Disclaimer: I do not own anything in the Harry Potter Universe, nor am I getting paid for this.
All my mistakes are my own as there was no beta for this one-shot. I don't really have much to say about this. It was an idea that came to me, and I decided to write it.
This is a rather dark one-shot dealing with abuse. It is not suitable for children and is rated M for a reason.
He watched her movements through the charmed wall, the sedated way in which she moved the brush through her hair. He could see the pained expression on her face when she turned her wrist a certain way, the pain remnants of last night's escapade with him. Somehow, it didn't bring him as much happiness as it used to. He followed her movements as she went into the bathroom and came back out, her body fully exposed to him, finger marks on her hips, thighs and shoulders.
She took a jar of ointment and slowly rubbed it onto her skin, every touch causing the grimace on her face to deepen. A year ago, he would have stormed in there and ripped the jar out of her hand before claiming her as his own once again. He wanted those marks there so that she could tell she was his and his alone. No one should touch her. Now though, he wished he could go in there and make the bruises fade. He wanted to make her pain go away.
But he knew the minute he stepped into the room, she would do what he taught her to do. She would lie on the bed, open her legs, and welcome him into her arms with a pleasant enough smile on her face. It took her months to perfect it. But his wife was a quick learner. He taught her and she learned. It was simple. It was their life ever since the day they wed, four years and five months ago.
After the war, Lucius and Narcissa were locked away in Azkaban. Draco was never tried, never sentenced because of Harry Potter. A sneer appeared on his lips at the thought of Potter. In any case, Potter had testified that he thought Draco was pushed into being a Death Eater, which was partially the truth. The whole truth was that he didn't want to be a Death Eater because he was better than them. He didn't want to bow to anyone. He was a Malfoy. But he let Potter speak his words and he got off on a probationary period, which had ended the day he married Ginevra Weasley.
Luck did not befall the Weasleys after the war. The economy took a turn for the worst as majority of the money had been on the losing side. George slipped into depression and spent most of his days spending the little money he had at a seedy bar in Diagon Alley. Bill and Charlie left the country and sent what they could to their parents. Ron was making pittance as a reserve player for the Chudley Cannons. Percy was still at his Ministry job, though he experienced a severe pay cut. And little Ginny Weasley was left to work whatever odd jobs she could, cleaning, babysitting, catering, anything. They were surviving, until George ended up in the hospital with liver failure. They didn't have the money to pay for the transplant he needed and things were looking bad.
Enter Draco Malfoy. He had money but he needed a wife, a family, to collect his inheritance. His mother and father were still alive and therefore still had control of his money, despite the fact that they were in Azkaban. His only option was to become the Master of Malfoy Manor, which meant he had to get married. Faced with getting a job or getting married, Draco chose the latter. His search for a wife began almost immediately.
He met Ginvera one night outside a bar. She looked pitiful, sobbing on the floor of some alley, her skirt hiked up to an indecent level. He managed to glean that she was attacked on her way back from work and managed to fend off her attacker before he could do anything too distasteful. Out of sheer curiosity, he invited her into the bar for a few drinks. She had no alcohol tolerance though and was soon heavily drunk, jabbering on about her life problems to which Draco provided her a solution.
They would get married. He would give her as much money as she needed to support her family for the rest of their lives. Problem solved. He courted her for an appropriate amount of time to placate her parents. And they were married in a beautiful summer wedding, tears and laughter abundant.
Of course, Ginevra did not know what she was getting herself into. She thought him a hero, saving her from the destitution her life had become. But he was no hero, something that became clear on the night of their wedding. He was none too gentle with her and she protested the treatment. He properly punished her for her outbursts and all the subsequent ones after that. After a few months, she was appropriately submissive, the perfect Malfoy bride.
He was rough with her. He took her when she wasn't ready. Often times, he would make her do things because he could. It was in his nature to do so. She should have known that. At least, that is how he rationalized things to himself when he left her bruised and crying, not like she cried anymore. Ginevra Malfoy had resigned herself to her fate after a year of their marriage.
Now, watching her as she turned down the sheets of her bed, he wondered where the woman he married was hiding, if she still existed. Those first few months, she fought with him, argued about his abuse of her. More than once she had threatened to leave him. She knew she couldn't. She had signed a contract after all, but she made the threats anyways. She was a spitfire. Her eyes always danced with passion and malevolence. She was beautiful.
He knew if he looked in her eyes now, they would be dull, lifeless. He had ordered her to close her eyes sometimes during sex because he couldn't bear the sight of them. With her eyes closed, he could pretend she was still the same person she was when they first married. Her body responded to him; her mind did not. He too closed his eyes sometimes during sex. He would imagine that her eyes were open and lit with the fiery passion that he missed. He imagined she was still that same woman, still strong and resilient to his abuse.
Once in a while, her eyes would light up with happiness but not for him. No, she was only happy when she was amongst her family. He allowed her to visit them when she pleased but never for more than two hours, unless she told him they were getting suspicious. He didn't need any Weasleys attacking him while he was out enjoying himself. She would come home from her family visits and her eyes would be filled with such happiness that it pained him. It didn't last long after that though. He made sure of it with a visit to her room.
The lights in her room went out, leaving just the dim glow of her fireplace. He watched her chest rise and fall beneath the blankets, the rhythm sporadic for a while before becoming even. Some nights, after she was asleep for an hour, he would go in and wake her up before taking her roughly. Some nights, he wouldn't bother waking her up. He took pleasure in seeing her after he used her, watching as she continued to rest on the bed before she went to clean herself up.
He stared at her for a little while longer before tilting his head to rest on the back of the sofa. He stared at the ceiling of what he considered his viewing room. His eyes were unfocused and the shades of black and blue seemed like a menacing shadow hovering over him.
"You've broken her, Draco."
He turned his head to see his mother, newly released from Azkaban. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Don't you?" Narcissa stepped further into the room. "When I heard you married a Weasley, I thought for sure someone was playing a cruel joke on me. My son marrying a Weasley?"
"Is there a point to this, Mother?" Draco drawled in a bored tone. "If so, do get to it."
Her lips formed a thin line. "I see you've lost your sense of respect for every woman, not only her."
"She's a Weasley, Mother. Isn't that what you just said?" He raised an eyebrow, a ghost of a smile on his lips. "What respect does she deserve?"
Narcissa laughed hollowly. "You're an exact replica of your father, Draco. I was surprised to see how much you mirrored him when I arrived home. It's my reasoning behind avoiding you. Or haven't you noticed?"
He had noticed. His mother had barely said more than a hello to him since she was released from Azkaban. They exchanged pleasantries on her first day back, and he saw her speaking to Ginevra once in the library. But she never spoke to him. She only stared at him during meals with this serene gaze, almost as if she was seeing right through him. One night, on his way to his office, he passed her room and heard the unmistakable sound of her crying. But he had brushed it off as her missing Lucius or something to that effect. He didn't bother checking on her, especially since she didn't seem to want to speak to him.
"I've noticed." He paused, his face blank. "And I am nothing like Father."
"Oh, you're more like him than you like to believe." Narcissa's lips quirked into a painful smile. "After getting over my initial shock of you marrying Ginevra-"
"Ginevra is it?"
"That is her name, is it not? She's no longer a Weasley, and I am not going to go around calling her that," Narcissa said.
"She's only a Malfoy by name, Mother. She's still a Weasley," he said, his eyes moving to the wall where he could see her struggle against invisible forces in her sleep. She had been doing that for a little over a year now.
"After my shock," Narcissa began again, "I thought it to be a good thing. The only way you could marry a Weasley was if you fell in love. It's every mother's dream to see her son fall in love. I did not expect to come back to the Manor and see her in such a state."
Draco's eyebrows furrowed. "What are you talking about? She was perfectly fine at dinner when you met her."
"I didn't meet her that day, Draco. I met her the night before," Narcissa said.
"Why did you not stay here, then?" asked Draco petulantly. He was angry that his mother had not come and seen him upon her arrival. He was her son. "Why didn't you come see me?"
"I was on my way to find you when I saw her." Narcissa watched carefully as Draco began to realize what she was saying. "It's not every day that a mother comes home to see her daughter-in-law bleeding on the floor."
Draco remembered that night quite well. On their way back from the dining room, he had caught a glimpse of a black lace brassiere under her dress that initiated his arousal. He had taken her right there on the stairs and left her there after. His forehead wrinkled as he tried to think of whether or not she was bleeding. As far as he could remember, she had not been.
"What I do with my wife is none of your concern," Draco said coldly. "Besides, she was not bleeding."
"Not when you left her," Narcissa said quietly. "It takes time for the blood to appear after a miscarriage."
A coldness swept over Draco. "She wasn't pregnant. I would have known."
"How? She didn't know herself, not at first anyways," Narcissa exclaimed, her voice rising. "You wouldn't believe the loathing I felt towards you when she only waved my concern off and said, 'This isn't the first time and certainly not the last.' My hatred for you was as thick and abundant as the blood in my veins."
"What did she mean not the first time?" asked Draco, sitting up. "She's hid this from me? And why did you not come get me?"
"Come and get you?" Narcissa asked, her voice dead. "So you could throw her down a staircase for not telling you? I thought she had been through enough. In fact, I was on my way to tell you that I was taking her for treatment and away from you when she stopped me. She told me to leave you to sleep and come back in the morning because she didn't want me to be angry with you. In her words, it was not fit for a reunion between mother and son."
"She had no right to send you-"
"She had no right to look out for your well being," Narcissa snapped angrily. "How could you, Draco? Three untreated miscarriages in four years, Draco? Do you know what that does to a woman's body let alone her mind? I can only imagine that since you didn't know, you simply went on with your behavior, damaging her even more."
"You didn't think. That is what you didn't do." Narcissa's voice softened. "The first day I came back here, I started making arrangements to leave. I was getting the house ready in France. I couldn't stay here, knowing that I raised a man that beat his wife and killed his unborn children."
"I didn't know," Draco yelled. "How could I have known? She never told me."
"All this time you've been having sex with her and you didn't think of the possibility of her getting pregnant?" Narcissa grimaced. "I was right to cancel my arrangements. As long as I live, I plan on staying in this home by Ginevra's side. She's admitted to me that it is nice having me here, and I refuse to leave. If she gleans only a little bit of joy from my presence here, then that is enough for me."
"You won't have a choice if I kick you out," Draco said coldly.
"Kick me out?" Narcissa threw her head back in laughter. "You must be foolish to think that you would be able to commit such an act. I may look frail, Draco, but never underestimate me. Your father treated me the same way you treat Ginevra, and I will be damned if you treat me that way."
"You never told-"
"Why should I tell you anything anymore?" Narcissa crossed her arms. "You're not the boy I raised, Draco."
He said nothing to her. Words failed him. His mind descended into a dark haze, which seemed to consume him. His mother's words repeated in his head, 'beat his wife and killed his unborn children.' His defenses of not knowing were failing him. He prided himself on knowing everything that happened to Ginevra, every bruise, every tear, every laugh. Now the one thing that was most vital had slipped past him. He thought of all the times he threw her roughly onto the floor and took her without abandon, wondering if she was pregnant then. All his previous actions rushed back to him, and his head dropped forward at the assault of images.
"I sacrificed myself for you over and over, Draco, both mind and body." Narcissa moved to leave the room, turning her head to the side as she spoke. "Now I'm beginning to wonder if it all was a mistake. I was sacrificing myself so my child could become a man. But you're nothing more than a monster."
Draco screamed in rage as his mother closed the door behind her. He stood from his couch and kicked over the nearest night stand. Like a boy who did not get his broom for Christmas, Draco threw a tantrum. Any glass object he could find was thrown against the door. The furniture was overturned, the couch blasted to pieces, and a chair was thrown at the window. When all was done, Draco collapsed among the shattered objects, his body shaking from the overwhelming emotions coursing through him like poison.
A few moments passed before his shaking calmed to trembling and he stood from the floor. He had decided that there was only one thing he could do in this situation. With determined steps, he left the room and walked to Ginevra's room, quietly opening the door. She was still asleep, her limbs tangled in her sheets from her tossing and turning. Her milky white skin gleamed in the darkness, her red hair dark in the dim lighting of the room
He moved across the room and heard the sheets rustle as she came awake. He stilled, watching as she slowly opened her eyes, confusion at why she woke up dancing in them. He stared as she gazed around the room, her eyes finally landing on him. She didn't respond to his presence, only stared at him. When he said nothing, she untangled her limbs, her full body revealed to him in all its naked glory. He sickeningly realized that he had ordered her never to sleep with clothes on over two years ago.
He didn't move when she shifted to the center of the bed, which prompted her to say, "Draco?"
Like earlier, his mind was lost. His face crumpled at the sound of her voice, so innocent and pure. She was sitting there, her legs slightly spread, completely open to him. She would sit and take whatever he gave her. He had done this to her. Like a puppet whose strings were clipped, he collapsed on the floor in a heap, his body shaking once more in anger and self-loathing. What had he become?
He didn't expect her to move off the bed and come to his side. But when he looked up, she was there, a sheet wrapped around her naked form. She stared at him intently, and he saw a glimmer of something in her eyes. It was concern. And for the first time in a longtime, he cried.
"How could you let me do this to you?" He reached out to touch her face and she flinched.
She stood up from her crouched position, her eyes hollow once more. "How could I stop you? You were a man possessed, Draco. I was too weak to stop you. I signed the contract. The only way out of this was my death, which I sometimes contemplated. But I'm too much of a coward to take my own life."
"Why didn't you tell me?" he asked softly.
She froze. "Tell you what?"
"You know what," he spat. He stood to his feet and watched as she toyed with the knot holding the sheet together. "Why didn't you tell me you were pregnant?"
"I didn't know," she said, her voice barely a whisper. "The first and the last time, I didn't realize until the bleeding started. The second time I tried to tell you. But before I could, it was over."
"Why didn't you tell me after?" he demanded harshly, the truth too much for him to bear. He reverted back to his usual manner in addressing her. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"I didn't want you to stare at me the way you always do with that cruelty and malice. I knew you would find a way to blame me or taunt me about it," she said, avoiding eye contact. "I couldn't deal with it at the time."
The emotionless voice in which she spoke broke him completely. Anger he could deal with. Tears he could get through. But this resigned tone of voice, the complete and total acceptance of his ways, of his brutality, was too much.
"What do we do now?" he asked, his voice almost fearful. "How can I fix you?"
Her smile was empty as she looked up at him and said, "You can't fix me, Draco. You've broken me beyond repair."