Chapter seven: Healing; Depression

POV: Draco Malfoy

I woke up slowly to a darkness that seemed to stretch over everything, dragging it down into the depths of despair and loneliness. I felt inexplicably depressed and weak. Indeed, I felt I hadn't the strength to even open my eyes.

A gnawing curiosity forced me to open my eyelids, though they were so heavy I couldn't keep them open for more than an instant. "He's awake!" I heard a very muffled voice say, as though it were under water. I tried to move, but I was so weak… it was impossible.

"Draco? Sweetie, are you awake? Can you hear me?" The same watery voice asked. I couldn't recognize it. I tried to open my eyes again, but I couldn't. I tried nodding, to let her know I could hear her, but I couldn't. I was too weak. I just lay there, frighteningly exhausted and unexplainably depressed.

I found it rather, difficult to breathe, in and out, in and… out, in…. and, out. I choked, suddenly unable to breathe. There was shouting another lifetime away, and I was suddenly able to breathe again. I coughed, gasping in air.

"Looks like he can't breathe on his own yet." A distant voice murmured. What was going on? What happened? The last thing I remembered, was being in class, and I suddenly couldn't breathe. It was so vivid and horrifying that I flinched. The flinch, though small, drained so much of my energy. I drifted into sweet nothingness once again.

I woke up, fatigued and depressed, unsure of where I was or what was going on. I opened my eyes, only to be blinded into shutting them again. I shifted slightly, feeling uncomfortably numb.

"He moved!" A hoarse voice cried in a whisper. I felt a hand rest gently on my chest. The sudden, though light, weight on my ribs made it hard to breathe. The hand moved and the pressure left with it. I swallowed, and opened my eyes again, blinking slowly. Everything was blurry, and colors seemed to mix and move, swirling slightly.

I felt nauseous at the sight and closed my eyes again. I moaned, feeling a sharp bit of pain in my abdomen. "Oh, sweetie, what's wrong?" A gentle voice murmured. It was as though the curtain of water had moved. I could hear perfectly now, and what I heard, I knew was my mother's voice.

I whimpered, feeling tears pool in my eyes, slipping down my cheeks. "Oh, baby, shh, it's alright." I felt my mother's lips press gently on my hot forehead. I swallowed again, unable to do anything else. I wanted so desperately to move, to ask what had happened.

After a while, I fell asleep from sheer fatigue.

I woke later, feeling stronger, but still unbelievably weak. I opened my eyes. Things had cleared up a bit, though everything was still a bit of a blur. I saw my mother sitting on a chair by my bed, her head nestled under my arm. I felt her body shaking, and heard little sobs.

I suddenly felt the need to let her know I was okay. I moved, and her head popped up. She stared at me with a tear-streaked face, her eyes red. "Draco! Draco, are you okay, sweetie? Can you hear me?" She begged. I stared at her, then turned my head to stare at madam Pomfrey as she began checking me over. I barely noticed her cold hands as she ran them along my body, feeling me over.

"How are you feeling, young man?" She asked. I stared at her blankly, not quite processing her words. "Her wan am?" I asked, trying to ask why I was here, but it came out totally slurred and not even the right words.

"What?" I turned back to my mother, who was staring at me intently.

I scrunched up my face, annoyed. "For her… wan am?... for…." I made a face again, shaking my head, trying to clear the dense fog that was there.

"What's wrong with him?" I heard my mother ask, but I had no idea what she was saying.

"He may be having trouble connecting words to thoughts." Madam Pomfrey replied, to which I, once again, couldn't understand what she was saying.

I looked around, my eyes searching for the person I knew wouldn't be there, but I felt the need to assure myself that he truly wasn't. When my eyes didn't deceive me, and I saw he was indeed not present, I lay my head back down.

I moved, suddenly very irritated. I tried sitting up, but was immediately thrown back by an overwhelming sense of dizziness and nausea. I coughed, trying to even out my breathing again. I closed my eyes and stopped moving, refusing to move or do anything, even with my mother's persistent shaking and 'Draco? Draco?! DRACO?!'

I held my breath, wanting to make myself pass out so I didn't have to deal with the numbness in my body which was slowly transferring to my brain. "He's not breathing!" She shrieked. Funnily enough, I understood that perfectly.

I let the darkness take me again.

I woke up again, very annoyed that this had happened for the third time in…. who knows how long it had been. Or was it the fourth? I really couldn't remember.

I opened my eyes again. Feeling as though I could care less about what I saw. Surely, there was something horrible, waiting to eat me? That would actually be helpful… I felt lousy enough to not care. I stared ahead blankly, not seeing anything of interest. That is, until my roaming gaze landed on a figure in black wizard robes standing by the bed.

I stared at it for a moment, then realized it was either Snape or Cerenbus. Seeing as the person was young, and wearing school clothes under his wizard robe, I figured it was Cerenbus. What was he doing there?

I stared at him. He stared back. I stared. He stared. I started getting creeped out. I still hoped he would eat me or something, put me out of my misery.

I blinked, sighing and moving slightly, feeling a numbness all throughout my body. "What happened?" I slurred.

He opened his mouth, taking in a short breath before he spoke. "You passed out. Again." He told me.

"How long have I been out?" I asked.

"Nearly a week." He told me. I widened my eyes.

"Well, since you first passed out in potions class." He corrected himself. "Only a day since you stopped breathing again." He told me.

"Oh." I looked around. "What made that happen? In potions?" I asked.

"Perem put a whole load of bad potions in your cup at breakfast that morning. That's why you weren't feeling well." He told me.

I widened my eyes, staring at him in shock. "Perem did this to me?" I cried.

He nodded. "He's been expelled. But not before he was given a piece of all the teacher's minds. Boy did he ever get it, especially from father." He shook his head slowly. I continued to stare at him blankly. "WE still can't get him to say where he got the ingredients to make the potions with." He sighed.

I swallowed again, feeling parched. "I'm thirsty." I told him. He moved obediently to the side of my bed and grabbed the cup from the bedside.

"Can you sit up?" He asked. I shook my head. His face twitched, and he set the cup back down, gently sliding his arms under me and pulling me up into a sitting position, holding my head up with one hand while he held the cup to my dry lips.

I swallowed greedily, feeling the soothing liquid drain down my throat. He put the cup back and helped m lay back down. "Where's mum? And madam Pomfrey?" I asked quietly, just then noticing their absence.

"They're having a meeting about whether or not you're well enough to stay here, or if you should go home." He told me.

"They-" I cut him off as he began to speak again.

"NO!" I shrieked with such force that caused him to jump back, startled. I let my gaze drop, clamping my mouth shut and swallowing hard.

Cerenbus continued on, quietly and uncertainly. "They, asked me to watch you…" He told me.

I nodded, not looking at him. "Are you alright?" he asked. I shook my head, not bothering to lie. "What's wrong?" He prompted. I just shook my head again, unable to tell him. I felt his hand rest on my shoulder, squeezing it gently. "I know how you feel." He whispered, right in my ear before moving away. I shivered as his cold breath sent chills down my spine.

Even after his hand was gone, I could still feel where it had been. I moved my head, but he was gone. I stared as madam Pomfrey, mother and professor Snape all walked in. "Baby!" Mum cried, running to me and holding my head in her hands. "Are you okay?" She asked.

I nodded, swallowing. "Do you want to come home, sweetie? You don't have to stay if you don't feel like it." She whispered. I shook my head fiercely. She stared at me knowingly. "Okay." She whispered. "Are you feeling better?" She asked, pushing my hair back and kissing my warm forehead.

I nodded again. "Are you hungry? You must be, you haven't eaten in a while. Madam Pomfrey has been giving you nutrients, but…" She chuckled carefully. "It's not the same." I shook my head. I was in no mood to eat.

"Do you think a warm bath would help make you feel better?" She asked. I thought for a moment, then nodded. "You want me to help you?" She asked carefully, knowing I wasn't a little kid anymore, but I could see it in her eyes that she desperately wanted to help me. I nodded slowly.

"Yes, I think a hot bath is just what he needs." Madam Pomfrey smiled warmly. I stared at her, too depressed to smile back, though I wanted to. I really wanted to.

"Can you walk, or should I levitate you?" She asked.

"I can't walk." I told her certainly. She drew out her wand but madam Pomfrey pushed her arm mother turned to look at her questioningly, she explained herself.

"The levitation spell will mess witht he speel I have keeping his lungs intact, you'll have to carry him." She explained. Mother nodded. I felt her slide her hands under me and gently lift me in her arms.

I wrapped my arms around her neck to help her out a little. I felt like a little kid again. She hadn't held me in a few years. At least four years, when I was seven. "I'm sure Severus can carry him if you can't." Miss Pomfrey stated when she saw mother struggling slightly even though I was small.

Snape looked anything but pleased at being elected to do such a thing. Mother handed me over to him, who reluctantly took me. I stared at mother's face. She was fairly strong, but I don't think she could have managed me all the way to the bathrooms. I was light –lighter than was healthy- but I still don't think she could have done it.

I dared not put my arms around Snape's neck. That would have been unbearably awkward, so I kept them in my lap as he shifted me in his grasp for better hold, then carried me through the corridors. Fortunately, classes were in session, so prying eyes were little to none. When we reached the levorotary, mother right behind us, he set me down on the floor next to the great big pool and mother crouched down beside me.

Snape, of course, left right away, promptly after ungenerously asking mother if there was anything else she needed. Mother helped me undress, and I was too out of it to care. "Okay, come on baby." She murmured, helping me into the steaming water she'd drawn.

I sat, half-awake in the gloriously warm water as my mother soaped up my head. My hair –and of course the rest of me- hadn't been washed in a week. I felt overall pretty gross. By the time mother had washed the suds out of my hair, her gentle massaging of my scalp had put me to sleep.

She stayed with me for a good long time, making sure my head didn't slip into the water. I should have felt so loved. But at that point, I was feeling other things entirely.

AN: Please let me know what you think?

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