Disclaimer: JKR owns. I only play. You do not sue.
Length: 510 words.
Summary: Draco reflects on his sorting in an empty bathroom during sixth year.
Note: Originally written for a challenge a hogsmeade_elite.
Concrit: Always welcome and appreciated.
It was useless.
Draco stared at his reflection in the cracked mirror. The scant light of the bathroom made the circles under his eyes look even darker, and his skin looked almost grey. He no longer recognised himself. Gone was the carefully cultivated look of pride and smug reassurance; though not a hair was out of place Draco could see his inner turmoil reflected in his eyes. Desperation lurked behind the grey -- it wasn't the sort that petulant children used to get their way; this was real, and there was no getting away from it.
Last year this time, he had been at the top of his game. The Inquisitorial Squad members had strutted proudly through the halls of Hogwarts, and everything Draco wanted was his. It had been his first taste of real power, and he had loved every minute of it -- that had been why he'd been in Slytherin, hadn't it? To learn about power, how to take it, keep it, wield it.
Oh, well, you're quite sure about where you must be, aren't you? SLYTHERIN!
Slytherin. The house of cunning wizards who were supposed to stop at nothing to obtain their goals. Winning is everything. By any means necessary. Where there's a will, there's a way. Meaningless slogans, all, when you were sixteen and told to kill one of the most powerful wizards of all time, or die trying.
Draco shook his head. He wanted to go back to last year and just stay there forever. He wanted to go back to first year and tell the Sorting Hat to put him in Hufflepuff. Father would have disowned him and Draco wouldn't have to face this -- he should never have been put in this position of absolute helplessness where the circumstances controlled him. He knew there was no way he could do it -- kill Dumbledore! -- he simply was not able to. His throat grew tight.
He hated himself for his own self-pity. He was not allowed to let himself go like this, he shouldn't cry like this, couldn't be weak like this. Still his eyes burned and his chest constricted, and he gripped the slimy, disgusting basin, wanting to throw up but feeling traitorous, hot tears sear his skin.
"Don't," called Myrtle from behind him. "Don't ... tell me what's wrong ... I can help you ..."
"No one can help me," said Draco. He was shaking all over and his knuckles were white on the grimy sink. "I can't do it ... I can't ... it won't work ... and unless I do it soon ... he says he'll kill me..." He gasped and swallowed past the lump in his throat, angry now at the tears that streamed down his face. Shuddering as he tried to control himself, he looked up into the mirror--
Potter's face loomed in the doorway behind him.
Something dark and subliminal exploded in Draco's mind, all thoughts of duty, all traces of self-pity gone. Potter would pay for intruding on him like this.