‘I’m sorry, Mrs Malfoy, but you can’t go in there.’
Narcissa drew herself to her full height, staring the young Auror full in the face.
‘My son is in that room, awaiting the Kiss.’ Her voice was soft and quiet, yet deadly cold. ‘Exactly what do you think I could do? The room is heavily warded; he cannot escape. I want to say goodbye to my only son.’ Her words trembled slightly. She could see the wizard’s eyes softening.
‘Very well,’ he sighed resignedly. ‘You may have five minutes.’
‘Thank you,’ she said.
He turned to the door, muttering as he waved his wand, lowering the wards before he turned the heavy brass key in the lock. Narcissa swept through.
There, sitting on the cot with his head in his hands, was her son. He didn’t look up when the door opened.
‘Draco,’ Narcissa whispered. Stunned, he lifted his head, staring at her incredulously.
‘Mother? What … how did you –’
‘Shh, darling,’ Narcissa soothed. ‘I convinced the guard to let me in. I wanted to see you before –’
‘Before my soul is sucked away?’ Draco said harshly. ‘I’ve seen it happen. The Dark Lord used to let us watch as they fed on helpless Muggle-borns.’ He shuddered. ‘Have you ever seen it – the Kiss?’
‘You don’t want to. This one girl … when the Dementors came near, she screamed and pleaded for mercy, clawing at her bonds. All the Death Eaters stood by, laughing and mocking. The closer the Dementor got, the weaker she became, until … it pulled back its hood. Its face was like evil itself. Even the Death Eaters could barely stand to look at it. Its eyes and face were covered in scabs that oozed glistening pus; its mouth was lipless, full of small, pointed teeth.’
Narcissa stared at her son, chilled by the description. Draco’s eyes were unfocussed and glassy.
‘Then … the Dementor grasped the girl by the arms. She was no longer struggling – she just lay there, limply, tears streaming from her eyes, a look of complete horror on her face. The Dementor bent over her … pressed its evil mouth to hers … and with a deep, rattling breath, the girl’s soul was gone. She was gone, worse than dead.’
He turned back to his mother. ‘And now, it’s going to happen to me.’
‘No, Draco,’ Narcissa said firmly. ‘I won’t let that happen.’
Draco gave a harsh laugh. ‘And exactly how do you propose to stop it? You know as well as I do there is no escape.’
‘Yes, Draco, there is,’ she said gently, pulling out her wand. ‘I love you, Draco.’
She steeled herself for what she knew she had to do.
A jet of green light hit Draco in the chest. He crumpled to the floor.
Narcissa put her wand back in her pocket. She had protected her son until the very end, saving him from a fate worse than death.