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I Will Always Love You

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A young man sat on a windowsill inside an empty, abandoned classroom at the large boarding school he attended. His pale blonde hair was tousled in an attractive way that many girls found alluring. Most girls fawned over him in hopes of attracting his affections but it was futile. Draco Malfoy stared out of the classroom's window on the first floor, watching a group of students playing in the snow. His eyes fell on a particular read head. He watched her run, giggle, and have a good time with the other three that were with her. She moved with grace and speed in a manner that he found appealing. She was laughing with her three friends and he wondered despite himself what might be amusing them. If only she knew what she really meant to him. She was everything to him but he could not, or perhaps would not ever tell her that. He could hardly bear to part from her. It would be like removing a part of his soul but he knew what he had to do. It was only a matter of time. He sighed softly as he continued to watch her. Their destinies laid down different paths and he knew that. He could not drag her along with him. It would kill her. It would kill that fiery spirit within her, her caring nature that was so foreign to him, her innocent nature, and he would not be able to live with himself if he let that happen.

He sat in the room, remembering the good times they had had together. The secrecy of their entire relationship had been fun and exciting. They both knew her brother would have a fit if he found out about them. He never did like Draco, and with good reason. Draco and his little flame loved each other so much and their love had never faltered. They had met in the back of the library every night over the past few months or so, always having to check carefully to make sure that they were not discovered. He knew it would have to stop sooner or later. He knew that there was no point in staying with her because he knew he would have to leave her eventually. He had hurt her so much the day it ended. He could still recall vividly the look in her eyes as he spoke the fateful words. She had looked as if he was betraying her but he knew the truth; he was saving her.

"But... but why, Draco?" He could still hear the pain in her voice as he remembered the evening his world had crashed around him. He would have done everything in his power to keep her happy. He wanted to pull her into his arms and hold her as she began to cry. He wanted to kiss away the tears from her cheeks and tell her it would be all right in the end, but he could not do that. It hurt him so much to leave her and hurt her the way he did. If he could have found a way out of it, he would have. He loved her even though he told her otherwise.

"I don't love you anymore. It's as simple as that. Go back and cry on the shoulder of your Golden Boy, Potter because I don't care anymore." His words were as cold as ice and they hurt to say. They were like brittle shards of glass or jagged pieces of an iceberg but they needed to be said. He wanted her to leave because he could not stand to see her cry. It was even worse seeing her cry and knowing that he was the person inflicting the pain. If only she could have known that they were an agonizing effort for him and hurt him tremendously to say. "Just leave!"

"I know you love me Draco. Whatever reason you have for pushing me away, we can work through it. I love you! Please, Draco! Please, don't do this." She had started sobbing halfway through her speech and it made his heart ache. She was such a delicate flower and he knew he was crushing her. He turned away from her, not wanting to hear anymore, and left her standing in the middle of the deserted library, calling after him.

Draco could feel a warm, wet tear fall down his cheek as the memory overwhelmed his senses. He quickly brushed the tear away, not wanting to let himself cry or any emotion over losing her. He promised himself he would not let it get to him. No one could ever know that there was a gaping chasm within him now simply because she was no longer there, yet she was there. She was still in his heart no matter how much he wanted to push the pain away. His silver-gray eyes stayed on her form outside in the snow as she was pelted by snowballs, coming from her three friends, Hermione Granger, Harry Potter, and her brother Ron Weasley.

He continued to watch her as the group of four ran and threw snowballs at each other. She looked so happy but he knew she was crying inside. Did she wake in the night also, unable to return to sleep for hours simply because she had dreamed of them together? She had never let her friends in on their secret so there was no way they could know the pain she was experiencing. He stared at her as Potter wrapped his arms around her in a tackling hug, feeling jealousy burning inside him. He was jealous because he knew he would never be able to touch her like that ever again. All he had left were his memories because he was too weak to stand up and defy his own father.

"Malfoy, it's time to go." He looked back at his fellow classmate, showing no emotion, and nodded. He took one last look at her as she stared back up at him from outside. Her deep chocolate eyes, the windows to her soul, looked intently at him as if they were searching for something. He held her gaze for a moment before he turned away. He would not let her see the pain he was going through. He could not let her convince him to keep trying to make it work because he knew he would cave. He could feel his resistance to her weakening as it was and it was best to turn away now before he weakened any further.

"I love you Ginevra but I must do this..." Draco spoke so quietly that only he heard himself. It would be the last time he ever spoke her name. It was the last time he would allow himself to dwell on the happy memories of love and passion at least while awake. His dreams of her would never stop, he knew this. She would live for him forever within the constructs of his sleeping mind. At least in his dreams she could be his but not in his life. He hesitated for the briefest of moments and then walked out of the classroom to fulfill his destiny and follow in his father's footsteps. The hallway outside was empty. His fellow students were all outside or elsewhere. The emptiness was somehow fitting. He would be a void now, his father's puppet. His footsteps rang out in the hallway, echoing eerily back towards him but he barely heard them. His mind was filled with too many images, too many hopes that could never be fulfilled. He thought again of his father, squared his shoulders and began striding away.

Two students raced down the previously deserted hallway, both of them laughing, covered in snow from being outside. He recognized the girl with ease and she was laughing and enjoying herself. She went sprinting down the hallway, calling out merrily to her companion. As she reached the end of the passage, she turned to look at him, her chestnut brown eyes dancing with happiness. Her expression was seemingly entirely free of any kind of internal struggle. Her carefree gaze rested upon him for just a moment and then she was gone. The sound of her running footsteps still carried back to him. His mind was elsewhere though. It would always be elsewhere. This was the life he chose to live. There was no turning back.