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Past, Present, Future Tense

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Mercy Comes with the Mourning". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Millicent lived an entire lifetime living up to all those labels, when all she really wanted was to be accepted for who she was. Too bad she had to die to get it.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Non-BtVS/AtS Stories > Theme: DramaJmariaFR1548,677053,3009 Dec 1023 Mar 12No

1. Pressure Points

Title: Past, Present, Future Tense
Author: Jmaria
Rating: FR-15
Disclaimer: JKR owns all, I own Banning
Summary: In all of the confusion and death of the final battle, new lives are created.
A/N: This all began as a series of drabbles done for a challenge at malfoy100, the original drabbles are still intact (in my story Banning), but will be expanded on and the back story added. This part is a slight extension/revision of One Night Stand in Banning.
This story was conceived long before Half Blood Prince was out, and it’s staying that way. The rating may go up for mature content relating to grief, war, and language. It’s fairly depressing.

Past, Present, Future Tense
1. Pressure Points


That night had been one of the longest in the entire Wizarding world history for many. Five hundred men, women, and children had been killed in organized Death Eater attacks on Hogsmeade, Godric’s Hollow, and Diagon Alley within the last few hours. Most of the damage had happened in Hogsmeade. Those that had been severely injured had been rushed to St. Mungo’s for medical treatment via port-keys. Those who had suffered less severe injuries had been rushed to the safety of the Hogwarts hospital wing.

Millicent Bulstrode nursed a bruised elbow in the hospital wing while frantically trying to help all of the other wounded. She, Pansy Parkinson, Hannah Abbot, Susan Bones, Lavender Brown, Parvati and Padma Patil had all been assigned to basically organize the entire hospital ward since Madame Pomfrey had been one of the more severely injured. A long, no-longer bloody scar streaked across the left side of the Madame's face, and not one of the Seventh years could understand how she was still standing, much less working diligently on her patients.

Millicent tore off a strip of cloth from an extra school shirt the house elves had been handing out to the impromptu nurses. It was small, and she thought that it must have been a first year’s shirt. She prayed to any god listening that the child had outgrown it, rather than not needing any shirts anymore. Millicent shook her head to clear her thoughts. She didn’t really know what was making her think such silly things, but she supposed it took her mind off the injured people all around her.

“Miss Bulstrode, I need bandages, now!” Pomfrey cried, startling the Slytherin girl from her thoughts.

Millicent nearly tripped over her own feet at the barking command from the mediwitch. She quickly ripped off a few more strips of cloth and raced to the older woman’s side. Lying on the bed was a bloody figure, her once platinum hair matted to her scalp and face. Millicent’s breath caught as she studied the face.

“Miss Bulstrode!” Pomfrey snapped. Millicent jerked the bandages forward.

“There’s so much blood.” Millicent whispered. “Why?”

“The wounds won’t heal. I don’t know why, but none of my spells are working. Work quickly, and wrap the most severe wounds tightly. We have to stop the bleeding before she can be safely transported to St. Mungo’s. Miss Abbot!”

“Yes, Madame Pomfrey?”

The blonde haired Hufflepuff gasped in shock, her mouth forming a perfect ‘o’ as she stared in disbelief at the figure on the table. That disbelief lasted all of thirty seconds, and then the girl had gone into action.

Her fingers moved nimbly, her face set for the task. Millicent felt her stomach clench at the sight of the older woman lying on the table, but set her thicker, clumsier fingers to the job as well. She pressed down firmly on the wounds, hoping to stop the bleeding through sheer will if not by her own clumsy binding of the wounds. More than once her mind went over how odd it was that they wouldn’t stop bleeding. She blinked back the tears as she worked. How could this have happened? How could any of this had happened so quickly and efficiently?

Madame Pomfrey worked around the two teens, her efforts focused on keeping the woman alive through potions, charms, and anything that would work should those two fail her. Hannah kept her eyes discreetly on the silent Slytherin girl. Millicent knew this woman, which made it even more clear that the injured woman was most certainly the person Hannah believed her to be. She barely heard Pomfrey’s words to Millicent.

“Millicent, fetch Professor Snape and Draco.” The mediwitch’s eyes locked on the girl‘s. “Hurry.”

Millicent nodded, dropping her bandages and racing out of the room. Pomfrey paused for a moment before meeting the uncertain gaze of Hannah. The mediwitch smiled grimly.

“Miss Bulstrode is strong, but she looked ready to break,” she explained, her fingers working to heal the witch on her table. “It’s harder when it’s someone you know. Poor Cissa. Hold on a little longer, dear. We‘re bringing him to you.”

Pomfrey’s voice was filled with such concern and care for the witch, that it stilled Hannah for a second. And the words she’d said of Millicent had been spoken from some painful experience in her past.. Hannah blinked back sympathetic tears that had begun to well in her eyes. Tears wouldn’t heal the woman on the bed. There had to be something that could, even if it only worked long enough for her to see her son one last time.

~*~

Millicent grabbed a broomstick that had been carelessly left by the messenger that had warned Pomfrey of the incoming wounded, and blatantly ignored the messenger‘s angry cry at her theft. She zoomed through the halls, breaking a dozen school rules and not really giving a damn about the consequences. The students were too busy to notice, and the staff too burnt out to care about the rules anyway. She only slowed her descent as she neared Professor Snape’s clasroom in the dungeons. She knew he’d be there raiding his potion cupboards to help heal those in the Hospital Wing.

All in all, her hunch turned out to more fortuitous than she’d hoped. Draco, his face a bit bloody and his hands a mess from the battle, was carefully putting the rows of healing potions into a basket. House elves were gathering up the filled baskets and popping up to the infirmary. Millicent dropped the broom with a clatter, getting their attention. That hadn’t been her brightest move in the last ten minutes or so, and she found herself suddenly at the business end of both the wizards’ wands.

“Miss Bulstrode, what is the meaning of this?” Snape demanded, lowering his wand.

“Draco,” Millicent said, ignoring her Head of House. Words failed her as he stared at her, and she knew he was seeing everything when he looked at her..

“What’s wrong? Who’s hurt?” Draco asked, recognizing Millicent’s look. He tried to brace himself for the news that one of their housemates had been severely injured.

“Your mother -” her voice cracked, and he hadn’t braced himself enough for those words.

“What?”

“She’s hurt badly, Draco. Pomfrey’s trying - it’s just not working,” Millicent blurted. “Madame wants both of you there. There’s a broom - that’s how I got here. Take it, Draco. Hurry.”

Draco was already out of the room and flying through the corridors before she could even finish speaking. Snape grabbed a hold of Millicent’s robes and pulled her along beside him as they hurried along the hallways after Draco. Fear clouded his eyes, and Millicent felt her own fear double.

“Tell me everything, Millicent. What potions has Poppy used?”

Everything, sir. It’s not working. She hasn’t stopped bleeding since she was brought in. We‘ve had to bind them the Muggle way. Even that isn‘t stemming the flow.”

“Who found her?”

“I - I don’t know. They said she was caught under something. But - that didn’t look like she’d been simply caught under rubble. She - she looked like she was tortured,” Millicent shuddered. “There was so much blood. I couldn’t stop it.”

“How could you?” Snape muttered, but Millicent wasn’t sure it was meant for her ears or if it was even directed at her. Before she could answer him, they were already there. How had he gotten them there so quickly?

Fear bit at her heels, making the war even more real. Just beyond those doors, a woman she’d come to respect lay dying. She choked back her own inadequacies, and followed him into the infirmary.

~*~

Draco had felt his heart jump into his throat as he sped through the corridors of the castle. He’d known something was wrong when Millicent had burst into Snape’s classroom with that look on her face. Millicent was usually composed and could cover her emotions better than any of them. Seeing her that frightened, scared and pained tore at him. And then she’d spoke.

Since his father’s arrest after his involvement with the Death Eater attack on the Ministry, he’d begun to rethink this war. For one, he wasn’t going to be an idiot like his father and follow Voldemort. While he still despised Potter and most of what he stood for, he didn’t want to ruin his life following around a crackpot.

And one by one, he’d learned that he wasn’t the only Slytherin who’d felt this way. Flint, his former Quidditch captain, had thrown himself into Quidditch and cut himself off from his Death Eater parents. Pansy, Blaise, Theo and Millicent had all come to him on their own, saying the same things he was feeling. He’d taken it to Snape, and his godfather had listened to them. They’d made plans, he and his mother. They were going to survive this war, by hook or by crook.

And now his world was crashing in around him. Draco propelled himself off the broom, slamming the doors open and racing towards Madame Pomfrey. The older woman gasped in surprise as he shoved past her.

“Tell me it’s not true, tell me my -” he started to yell.

But there was no denying what - who he saw in that hospital bed. His mother looked broken, even more so than she’d had after Lucius had been arrested. The blonde girl standing beside her was softly crooning something to her. Her eyes rested on him briefly, before focusing back on whatever task Pomfrey had given her and leaving him blessedly alone with his mother and the mediwitch.

“What’s wrong with her? What have you done for her?” Draco demanded, practically shouting at the healers. Part of him knew that they would do anything necessary to help her, but it looked like all they were doing was waiting.

Narcissa Malfoy’s body was eerily still on the bloodstained mattress. Her breathing was ragged and shallow. Her body was limp, her pale skin bruised and battered to nearly beyond recognition. Draco felt his stomach protest, and tears clouded his vision as he stared down at his mother.

“She was found on the outskirts of the village. We’ve tried everything to stop the bleeding, but nothing so far has worked,” the blonde answered quickly, noticing how stiff the mediwitch had gotten at his tone.

“I assure you, Mr. Malfoy, we have done everything in our powers to heal your mother.

“Try harder,” Draco snarled, his eyes narrowing angrily at the witches.

“Draco?” Narcissa moaned, startling them all. Draco beside the top of her bed within a second, his hand shaking as he brushed the bloodstained hair from her brow, as she had done for him when he was little. “I…needed to see…my darling…boy.”

“I’ll get them to fix it, Mum,” Draco said through clenched teeth. “We’ll be laughing at their incompetence later.”

“One…last…time,” Narcissa’s eyes fluttered slowly closed, speaking as if she hadn’t even heard what he’d said.

“Mum? Mum!” Draco’s eyes widened, panic flooding them. He couldn’t tear his gaze from her face as he snarled at the mediwitches. “Do something!

“There’s nothing they can do, Draco,” Snape’s voice said from behind him

“No! Mum, Mum, you’ve got to hang on!” Draco’s hand reached blindly for hers, but as his fingers tightened hers remained slack and cold. “Please, Mum, you’ve got to hang on! We’ll get you to Mungo’s and some proper healers! Mum!”

“She’s gone, son,” Snape’s face was blurred, and Draco couldn’t figure out why.

“No!” But he felt Snape remove his fingers from his mother’s and fury rippled over him. “I’ll kill her!”

Draco shoved away from the body - his mum - and ran to avenge his mother. He didn’t even notice that he’d nearly sent Millicent sprawling to the floor as he skidded into her. And he definitely didn’t notice when he’d gained a shadow.

~*~

Severus Snape glanced over at the shaken witch as Draco’s body slammed into her sturdier - and still battered - frame. She looked torn, and he knew that she was one of his five Seventh years that had defected from their parents during the war. Rather than commit themselves to Potter, they’d circled around young Malfoy. Bulstrode, Parkinson, Nott and Zabini would be the only ones who could get through to him.

Zabini or the Parkinson girl would have been a better choice to go after Malfoy. Unfortunately, Zabini was going around with Professor Flitwick to reinforce the school’s wards. Pansy Parkinson was on the other side of the Hospital Wing with Professor Sprout and Longbottom applying herbal concoctions to the wounded who would survive their wounds without proper potions.

“Go after him,” Snape nodded to the door. Millicent didn’t have to be told twice, thank Salazar.

Poppy’s lip quivered tellingly, and Severus knew she was still shaken from the hexes hurled at her earlier. The bastards had aimed for the school’s mediwitch first, hoping the loss of the healer would raise the death toll. And in a way, it had. Narcissa Malfoy was dead. It had risen by one.

~*~

Millicent raced after Draco. He was taller and leaner than she, so he had a bit of a gain on her. But the rubble from the attacks and the refugees from Hogsmeade made the passing a little more difficult to traverse. She winced as her right side ached from the earlier bruises and their own collision moments before.

He was very nearly to the Great Hall and the exit beside the four house columns that sparkled with the emerald, crimson, cobalt, and amber jewels that were used to tally house points. If he stepped outside the school, he could very well be killed himself by Voldemort’s followers. Her blood chilled at the thought. There had been enough death today to last her a lifetime.

She pushed forward, her hands clenching in the back of his robes and deeper into the flesh of his shoulders. Draco tried to shove her off, but she was heavier than him. Her fear outweighed his fury.

“Get off of me!” he sneered, shoving at her harder.

“Are you a complete idiot?” Millicent tugged him away from the doors and down the sloping corridor that led to the Slytherin dormitory. “Zabini’s busting his arse tryin’ to keep everyone inside this castle safe and you’re gonna go outside and play for a bit?”

“No! I’m going to kill the bitch that did that to my mother!”

“She wouldn’t want that, Draco!”

“Don’t you tell me what my own mother wouldn’t want!” He shoved against her, knocking her forward a bit. She stumbled but refused to be shaken free of him.

“Fine! Go and get yourself blown up by hexes and death curses! Leave us a wizard short! Leave all of us Slytherins who rally around you alone and leaderless! Scamper off like a good little trained ferret, Draco!” Millicent shoved him back, her eyes sparkling with unshed tears. “But don’t act like you’re the only one who lost someone today! Don’t you dare act as if mine, Blaise’s, Pansy’s or Theo’s safety nets hadn't got ripped away as well the moment those Death Eaters apparated into Hogsmeade and started killin’ randomly! And don’t you fuckin’ go and rip away the very last thing that’s keepin’ us all bloody sane!”

“I’m done! I didn’t ask to become your Scarhead -”

“No, but for the last seven years, you’ve made it hard for us to want to join him willingly. We all know that he is the only one who has ever defeated the Dark Lord. We’ve got no choice but to pray he makes it through the battle. Hundreds have died today - hundreds. There are bandages on people that come from the clothing of the fallen. And some of them were barely old enough to know how to flick and swish!”

She tortured my mother and left her bloody,” Draco seethed, his mind now playing images of unknown First years dying with his mother’s last gasping breath. “Someone has to pay!”

“So take it out on me,” Millicent murmured, standing in front of him.

Draco blinked as he realized she hadn’t taken him to the dorm. She’d pulled him into a classroom that was now barely recognizable. They weren’t in the dungeons, but on a floor almost between the first and the dungeons. Her words sunk in then.

“What?”

“You need to get it out, beat on someone, rail at a warm body - I’m here. I volunteer.”

“Slytherins don’t volunteer,” Draco frowned.

“What? You afraid I’ll trounce you soundly?” Millicent poked at him. His rage-fueled adrenaline had to be breaking soon. If she could only distract him for a little while longer. “Are you a wizard, or aren’t you?”

“I’m not going to fight you, I’m going to go kill my bitch of an aunt!”

“You’re just too chicken to fight me because you remember my headlock maneuver,” Millicent shoved at him again.

“No!”

Draco spun around her, pushing her back against the shelves on the wall. She didn’t so much as wince as the wooden ridges dug into her already battered back. A bottle tipped forward and crashed at their feet, startling both of them.

It hadn’t cracked. But then, most of Ogden’s wizarding liquor bottles had come with the standard anti-shatter charms.

“You can’t do anything to avenge her now, Draco,” Millicent’s voice was lower than he’d ever remembered hearing it. “Bellatrix will be long gone from here now. They all snuck in, did their jobs, and snuck back out again. He’s trying to lure Potter out, but we all know it’ll end here. It’s always got to end where it began.”

“You been sniffin’ Trelawny’s brew again?” Draco’s anger evaporated and his grief started to settle and burn through him.

“No.”

“Right, then this bottle ought to end where it began as well,” Draco tore the stopper from the Firewhiskey, guzzling it down without even offering her the fist sip.

~*~

Several hours later, she slipped away from him. Her hair was out of it’s plait and her robes and clothing mussed from sleeping on the floor in the abandoned classroom. Her bruises numbered in the dozens or so, and she ached all over. Not trusting him not to try and slip out past the newly resurrected wards over the school, she’d cast three or four locking charms on the windowless room as she left.

Draco would barely remember that night. The Firewhiskey and grief would blot out any memories of that day - except for a few key phrases that would get him through the end of the war. He remembered arguing - but with whom was the fuzzy part, and he remembered heated dreams that he should not have been dreaming hours after his mother’s death. And the impression that whomever had been with him that night had left him alone in the cold light of day without even saying goodbye, just as his mother had left him. After all, it’s always got to end where it began, he thought bitterly.
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