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Schadenfreude: Chapter I - a harry potter fanfic/fanart community

didi posting in a harry potter fanfic/fanart community
User: sadistic_hpfic (posted by pyrogrl)
Date: 2007-02-18 15:57
Subject: Schadenfreude: Chapter I
Security: Public
Tags:angst, chaptered, draco/hermione, schadenfreude
I. About The Fic

“Schadenfreude” is set in mid-to-late 2004 during the trials of Draco Malfoy. Seen from the point-of-view of Hermione Granger, the story follows her as she suffers through them. Draco, on trial for murder during his time as a Death Eater, is dying; Hermione discovers that she takes an odd, sick pleasure in his pain. In secret visits to Azkaban, Draco learns that she is frightened of her newfound feelings and disgusted with herself for having them. He takes advantage of this knowledge to gain pleasure in hurting and confusing her with only words.

“Schadenfreude” contains flashbacks that were inspired by the show “LOST”. Sometimes the flashbacks are out of order and seem to appear at random, but in the end the reader understand why Hermione is in her current state. The fic is very dark and angst-ridden; even without swearing and adult scenes, I wouldn’t recommend it to younger readers. It is not a happy tale; there are few moments of happiness and any humour at all is at the expense of others’ happiness. If you are not into angst fics, please pass this by now.

II. About Didi

I hate filling out this part so if there is something you want to know then just ask. But I will give a list of nicknames you are NOT allowed to call me because other people are much cooler than you are have patented them...ish.

• Diddums
• Didage
• Didster
• Drumsticks
• Tweedle Dum
• Dodo
• Didiface

You can refer to me as "Didi".

III. Stats (the Short Version)

Title: Schadenfreude - Part One, Chapter One
Author: Didi (pyrogrl)
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Angst
Word Count: 3478
Warnings: Heavy angst, character death
Summary: Hermione attends the trials of ex-Death Eater Draco Malfoy and learns that she has a darker side: a side that takes pleasure in Malfoy's suffering.
Author's Notes: Big thanks to Beth, who helped me choose my beta-reader, and HUGE thanks to my beta-reader, Kristin! I like comments. I'm really proud of how this fic turned out, and I'm sad to be saying goodbye to it after so long.


Schadenfreude
Part One - Chapter One


The courtroom was crowded and dimly lit by torches suspended on the walls. For Hermione Granger, it was hot—too hot. She poured herself a goblet of water as she prepared herself for what she knew was to come. She looked up at the judge who was glancing over papers at his podium, and then he lifted his head and fixed his steely gaze on her. She gulped before he said in a deep, gruff voice:

“We would now like to call Hermione Jane Granger to question the defendant.”

Hermione inhaled deeply and took a sip of water before rising to her feet. She glanced into the crowd behind her and saw Ron nod at her for support; she smiled back at him appreciatively. She gathered her papers and walked forward, her knees trembling. In the wizarding world, there were no true lawyers. Aurors who knew of law in both the Muggle and wizarding world could apply to act as one in certain cases. The cases had to be high profile, and the Auror had to be connected to it in some way. Hermione secretly viewed the last requirement as biased, but had always held her tongue.

“Draco Lucien Malfoy,” she said, her voice cracking slightly. “I have here a list of people who have been tortured and/or killed by your hands.”

The young man in the middle of the courtroom narrowed his cold grey eyes slightly, but other than that, he remained motionless. When he'd first been caught in 2001, he'd confessed to murdering all but the last two. Her heart hammering, Hermione cleared her throat and looked at the list.

“Thomas Montoya,” she read. “A Muggle-born, twenty-two. His wife Amelia, a Muggle, twenty. They are both dead because of your use of the Killing Curse. Correct?”

Malfoy didn’t move. He simply glared at her, hatred seeming to radiate off his body. Hermione continued: “Also present was Thomas’s twin brother, Henry, also a wizard. He caught you off guard, I believe. That’s where you received the nasty scar on your neck, is it not?” Her eyes traveled to the left side of his neck, where a horrible red scar was slashed across it. “You took care of him, and then you quickly healed yourself before Disapparating back to the other Death Eaters.” There was still no reaction from Malfoy. She looked back at the list.

“Eric Stevenson. He was also Muggle-born. He was…” She hesitated for a moment. “He had just graduated from Hogwarts. He was only eighteen. He was the best friend of Colin Creevey, a member of Dumbledore’s Army. You believed he had information on Harry Potter’s whereabouts, so first you tortured him with the Cruciatus Curse. You force-fed him Veritaserum, and when he still did not say anything relevant you killed him.”

She saw him swallow. She could be getting through.

…schadenfreude…

Harry had defeated Voldemort in May of 1998. He had been mentally, physically and emotionally spent after the final battle and had been bedridden for weeks after it. Hermione and Ron, who received jobs at the Ministry as Aurors after Voldemort’s defeat, had convinced them to stop before Harry had a breakdown. Still, he hadn’t had much opportunity to rest. The Death Eaters that were still around began to search for him in hopes to avenge their Master. Even Harry knew that he didn’t have it in him to fight back; Hermione and Ron sent him into hiding on another continent. They were the only people who knew of his whereabouts. She had believed that after Voldemort was killed the Death Eaters would turn themselves in, if only just to save their own lives, but she was gravely mistaken.

Draco Malfoy was the last Death Eater to be caught. That was just over six years ago—four months after Voldemort’s death. After his arrest, Harry had returned safely home. To everyone’s surprise, he married Luna Lovegood, confessing that he’d sent her letters while he had been in hiding and had slowly fallen in love with her. Ginny was hurt, but she was also happy that Luna had been able to find love. (She seemed to be doing fine anyways; she was currently dating the new Quidditch instructor at Hogwarts.) There was a new sense of security in the wizarding world that had not been present since 1991, the first time Voldemort was believed to be dead.

But then, four years later, Malfoy had escaped. With no Dementors guarding Azkaban, escape was made easier. He was caught again very quickly, by Hermione herself, but not before he caused damage and heartbreak in the hearts of her and everyone she was close to.

…schadenfreude…

She had been reading through the list for nearly seven minutes before she reached the last two names. She didn’t know if she could say them. A knot formed in her throat and she felt tears burn her eyes. She looked up and saw Malfoy, still glaring at her. She took a deep breath and read them off, barely audible.

“N-Neville Longbottom. Twenty-five, pureblood. He was at the house of Harry Potter and Luna Lovegood-Potter. He fought you for nearly an hour before you…you tortured him to death. And then you…” She stopped here. It was too painful for her to say this—no, she had to. She couldn’t show weakness in front of Malfoy. “You heard someone scream. You turned around and you killed whoever it was before you even saw her. You killed Harry and Luna’s daughter.”

He opened his mouth at last. At first, no sound came out. He hadn’t spoken in months. He was offered water and he drank it greedily before trying again. His voice was low, deep, and haunted. It had been years since Hermione had heard him talk – frankly, she liked it that way – and he sounded so different from the arrogant swine she remembered.

“She was an accident.”

“I thought that Death Eaters didn’t make mistakes,” she snapped at him.

“Miss Granger,” said the judge in a warning tone.

“I’m sorry,” she said to him. She turned back to Malfoy. “She was just over a year old. She learned to walk the week before and just before Neville arrived to baby-sit she said her first word. Do you know what it was?” Malfoy set his jaw. “It was ‘dada’. She finally recognized her father and had a name for him. Luna was looking forward to her saying, ‘mama’ when they came back from their meeting.” At another glance from the judge, she stopped. The courtroom was not the place to vent.

“You made it back first,” Malfoy growled. Hermione winced inwardly. Yes, she had been the first onto the scene. She remembered it so well.

…schadenfreude…

Harry and Luna were living in a Muggle neighbourhood peacefully for a few years before the town’s Mayor decided that he wanted a park there. One resident organized a society to fight back and Harry and Luna were members of it. They had a meeting that night, so they first asked Hermione to baby-sit Rose. She had to work that night, so they turned to Neville, who happily agreed. He had just put her to bed when Malfoy arrived. He was, as Hermione believed, looking for Harry. He didn’t know that he was married, or that he had a daughter. He only knew where he lived by locating him with magic.

Unbeknownst to him, Neville used the old method of the Order of the Phoenix by sending a Patronus to someone to signal danger. Hermione had been at work, trying to figure out where Malfoy was hiding after his escape, when she saw the Patronus. She recognized it as Neville’s and Disapparated to the Potter house.

It had taken the Patronus too long to reach her. Because Neville couldn’t remember the location of the meeting, he sent it to the first person he could think of – Hermione – but she didn’t get the message in time to save him…or Rose.

The house looked fine from the outside, but Hermione immediately felt a sense of dread as she entered and walked into the living room. A gasp escaped her as she surveyed the scene: the furniture was strewn across the room, the wallpaper was ripped apart, there was…

Oh god there was blood on the carpet.

She held her wand out in front of her and cast a non-verbal charm, preventing anyone from Disapparating. She put up a shield around her and walked forward. She saw a foot protruding from behind the upside-down couch. She walked further and saw Neville lying dead, his face bloody, his clothes torn…Oh god.

“Rose!” she called softly, hoping the child would hear her. “Rosie! It’s auntie Hermione! Ro—OH GOD!”

She came upon the body of Rose, lying on the hallway floor and looking as though she was sleeping. She rushed towards her and lifted her up, tears streaming down her face. “Rosie…oh god Rosie…”

She heard a rustle behind her. Gripping Rose with one arm, she whirled around, her wand arm raised. “IMMOBULUS!” she screamed.

Draco Malfoy was frozen in his tracks as he was trying to escape.

…schadenfreude…

“I’m aware of that, Malfoy,” she said. “I caught you as you were trying to run again.”

“I let you catch me.”

Hermione pursed her lips. “What’s that supposed to mean?” she said, forgetting her formality. She shook her head. “Never mind that. Malfoy, although no one was present at the time of these murders that lived to say that you were indeed the murderer, there is also no evidence to prove your innocence. You have made no claim to being Confunded or threatened in any way to commit these crimes. Do you have anything that you wish to say in your defense?”

He rubbed his nose with his thumb and raised one eyebrow, peering at Hermione thoughtfully. “I do.”

“Then by all means, enlighten us.”

“I wasn’t after Potter. I was after Longbottom.”

There was a low murmur in the seats behind Hermione. The judge silenced them with a look. Malfoy narrowed his eyes and continued, “Longbottom murdered my family, Granger. Bellatrix, Rodolphus…my father.”

“You forget, Malfoy, that the Lestranges were the ones who tortured his parents and eventually killed them.” This was true – about a month after Dumbledore’s death, there had been a raid on St Mungo’s. The Longbottoms had been the first to go. Other long-term victims had also been murdered. Healers had been kidnapped to serve the Death Eaters, and the place had been burned to the ground. As for Lucius—Neville hadn’t truly killed him, but he’d been somewhat responsible for his death. He and the Lestranges attempted to corner Neville while he was alone at home, tending to his greenhouse (he volunteered to grow plants with healing properties). While Neville was fighting off Bellatrix and Rodolphus, Lucius had been trying to steal some plants. A Devil’s Snare had attacked him and suffocated him to death.

“And yet he was found innocent.”

“He was in battle with them. They wanted to finish him off. He only killed them in self-defense!”

“That is an entirely different matter,” interrupted the judge. “We will hear no more of that.”

Hermione nodded and motioned for Malfoy to continue with his defense. “I wanted to kill Longbottom for what he did. But I also knew that I would be traced too easily if I did. I searched him out with a locator charm and found that he was at Potter’s house. I didn’t know at the time that he…he wasn’t there alone.

“I only meant to hurt him. But he began to fight me more viciously than I expected him to. In the end, I made a choice: kill or be killed.”

“And…” Hermione couldn’t bring herself to say her name. “And the girl?”

“An accident.”

There was a shuffle and a murmur behind Hermione. She knew that Ron was trying to restrain Harry, who was present for the trial. Luna was at home; she didn’t want to see Malfoy. She didn’t want to look into his eyes and believe that he did not regret killing her daughter.

“I realize that no matter what I say, I’m condemned to die. Even if I was innocent and had the ability to prove it to you, my past and my associations would outweigh anything I had to say in defense. I don’t expect to live to see 2005.”

For a moment, Hermione pitied him. Malfoy had been born into hate and raised by hate. How could he know anything else? She couldn’t allow that to show. She sighed and looked at her papers.

“What do you have to say about the other people you’ve killed?”

“They were a job.”

“You felt nothing?”

“I pitied having to kill one of them. I believe that her name was Karen Bean. A Mudblood, of course, but –”

“Mr Malfoy, please refrain from using such vulgar language in my courtroom,” the judge interrupted sternly.

“Apologies.” He didn’t mean it. Everyone knew it, but they let him continue. “She was very bright and very strong. She was ambitious. She would have been in Slytherin, I expect, if she’d had other magic in her blood. She was power-hungry. I admit that she may have made a fine Death Eater. It’s a shame she was Muggle-born.” His brow furrowed as his mind wandered over the other murders. “Other than that, I felt nothing towards them. My mind was in a state of…I don’t know what, exactly. I was acting under my own free will, and yet I wasn’t. I don’t know how to explain it.”

“You weren’t under the Imperius Curse. You’ve already admitted that and magical testing has proven that.”

“I know that, Granger,” he spat. “It was like I was in a trance. You have no idea what happens when you put on one of those masks. It’s…liberating. I suppose that’s the only way to describe it.” He looked sincerely flustered. And Hermione didn’t believe a word of it. Six years at Hogwarts with him taught her that everything that came out of his mouth was filth.

Malfoy continued: “When I killed those Muggle-borns, I felt like I was killing everything horrible I’d experienced in my life.”

“How ironic,” Hermione muttered.

“Except when I killed the girl.”

Hermione inhaled sharply. She barely got through reading Rosie’s name off the list; she couldn’t bear to hear him talk about how he killed her.

“I had never killed someone so young. She was…innocent. I killed innocence, Granger, and I didn’t know what I’d done until it was over. I felt true regret over her death.”

Good, Hermione thought, narrowing her eyes. “Do you still?” she asked icily.

“Sometimes. I don’t regret that she was Potter’s offspring –”

“Swine,” Hermione heard Ron mutter. She glanced behind her and saw him physically restraining Harry again. Malfoy saw them and for a moment he looked – oh god, he looked almost happy. She ground her teeth together and clenched her fists, but held herself in check.

“Like I said, I only regret that I killed someone who defined innocence.”

“Does she scream in your sleep, Malfoy?” hollered Harry. “Does she haunt your nightmares? Is her face the last thing you see at night and the first you see in the morning?” Ron stood up and led Harry out. Hermione saw that he was trembling fiercely.

“I apologize on Harry’s behalf,” she said quietly to the judge. “He didn’t expect this from Malfoy. None of us did.”

The judge nodded and motioned for them to proceed.

“Do you have anything left to say?” Hermione asked. Malfoy said nothing. Hermione turned to the judge and let out a sigh. “I have no more questions, your honour.”

She sat down and propped her elbows on the table, leaning her face into her hands. She hadn’t expected the trial to be this hard on her. She had no idea that Malfoy would talk about Rosie’s murder. And what he said about the masks and about innocence was intriguing, if confusing. She poured herself a glass of water and drank it deeply.

No one else was called to question Malfoy. Harry was supposed to, but he had not returned. Hermione didn’t think he could ever look at Malfoy again without sending a curse his way. She couldn’t blame him. Malfoy had killed his daughter.

…schadenfreude…

Hermione had been present for the birth of Rose.

Harry and Luna had been told by both a Muggle doctor and by a Healer that their chances of conception were slim-to-none. Despite this, they kept trying, and eventually they succeeded when Luna discovered that she was going to have Rose. Hermione hadn’t seen Harry happier in his life than on the day Luna had Rose. Hermione and Ron had sat in the waiting room for two hours before Harry approached them, looking exhausted (he’d been at the hospital with Luna all night and neither had slept a wink) but more proud than Hermione had ever seen him.

“Well?” Ron asked as he and Hermione stood.

“Her name is Rose,” Harry said, and Hermione rushed forward to hug him as tightly as she could. Ron clapped him on the back and hid his own tears of joy.

“Congratulations, Harry,” Hermione said, kissing his cheek. “We’re so happy for you.”

“How’s Luna?” asked Ron.

“To say that she’s exhausted is an understatement. After they took Rose away to the nursery she fell asleep.” He looked as though he couldn’t have been more proud of her. Hermione stood back and surveyed the man she’d known as a boy: young, innocent, just discovering magic.

Look at you now, she thought. You’ve been through so much already and you’re not even twenty-five yet. You’ve defeated a Dark Lord twice. You’ve fallen in love more than once. You’ve been in hiding from Death Eaters. You’re the most famous wizard in history. And here you are, at a Muggle hospital, soon to be taking a baby home with you.

“What’s wrong?” Harry asked her. Hermione realized that she was crying.

“Nothing,” she smiled. “Oh, Harry, I love you!” She threw her arms around his neck again. He hugged her back, awkwardly at first, but then relaxed the longer she held onto him. “You’re brilliant,” she said, finally releasing her grip.

“By love,” said Ron, “you mean…”

“I mean he’s like family,” Hermione said reassuringly. Although she and Ron agreed years ago that it was best they didn’t date, he still became jealous if any other male became close to Hermione. Ron nodded in understanding and grinned at Harry.

“Congratulations mate,” he said. Hermione looked from one to the other. She loved both of them deeply. For a while she had been in love with Ron, but that had changed. She couldn’t explain exactly what happened between them: a few quick kisses, a loving glance, and then it was gone. It was better, she decided. She didn’t feel torn between them. They were her boys again. The thought made her smile.

…schadenfreude…

The judge decided that he wanted to wait for more hard evidence to prove Malfoy’s guilt (or innocence, depending on what side the viewer was on), so he announced that the next trial would occur a month from July 2nd, 2004. Hermione calculated in her head: it was 35 days away. In her opinion, a future trial – Merlin, this trial – was redundant. Malfoy was guilty through and through, even if he regretted killing Rose. Hermione’s name was announced as someone expected to be at the trial, along with Ron’s and Harry’s. Hermione was too tired emotionally to argue. She took her time to leave, waiting until the other witnesses began to file out the door, before gathering her papers and rising to her feet.

Merlin, her head ached. She couldn’t shut her eyes now without seeing Rosie’s corpse on the floor. She looked at Malfoy, who was silent and motionless in his “cage” in the middle of the room.

It’s your fault, she thought angrily. She stood still, staring at him for a moment.

As the last few witnesses exited the courtroom, she saw his shoulders sag and he dropped his cold appearance. She saw the real Draco Malfoy: the defeated Death Eater, haunted most likely by the screams of a little girl, who had nothing left but his fading dignity. And she found that she didn’t pity him, as she thought she would. No, she pitied the fake-Malfoy, the one everyone had seen in the courtroom. Her emotions towards the true Malfoy were different. They were so unexpected that it took her a moment to realize that she was…she was…happy to see him this way. And she wasn’t at all sorry for feeling that way.

With that thought in mind, she strode past him and out the door.
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