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Fanfic / Cruciamentum Eternus

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"There is a ghost who haunts the halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: a young man with a pale, pointed face and wide eyes. By day he walks the dungeons like a Slytherin; by night the silence is broken by his screams. This is his story." story synopsis

Cruciamentum Eternus is a Harry Potter fanfiction by Ankh-Ascendant, built around the idea of Draco being killed for his failure to kill Dumbledore and becoming a ghost. It isn't strongly plot-driven, instead focusing on flashes of his undeath to show his experience, against a background plot of Lucius avenging his death.

Cruciamentum Eternus includes examples of:

  • Accomplice by Inaction: Lucius holds those who did nothing as guilty as those who killed him. Draco also seems to hold his former friend Crabbe particularly guilty for his refusal to stand up for him.
  • Adaptational Badass/Adaptational Heroism: In the real seventh book, Lucius Malfoy was pathetic and beaten, and wouldn't stand against Voldemort until it was safe to do so. In this story, Draco's death motivates him to take revenge right from the start and he seems much stronger.
  • Barred from the Afterlife: The premise of the story is that Draco is killed and remains on Earth as a ghost.
  • Can't Grow Up: Draco has some angst from being stuck as he is, and he brings the trope up almost by name.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Draco is tortured with the Cruciatus Curse for hours by some of the most skilled torturers in Voldemort's arsenal.
  • Distant Finale: The finale/epilogue is about a hundred years after Draco died.
  • The Dog Bites Back/Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Lucius Malfoy has been the dog for Voldemort to kick for a while; killing Draco was one kick too many.
  • Fictional Document: The epilogue/final chapter is an excerpt from "An Interview With Death: The Complete Tales of Hogwarts Ghosts, circa 2100" by Odessa Lockhart.
  • Forced to Watch: Lucius was held back by the Crabbes and made to watch while Draco was tortured and killed.
  • Ghostly Chill: Touching a ghost is like being doused with icewater. Draco watching his mother flinch from the contact is a "this is really happening" moment.
  • Ghostly Goals/Unfinished Business: Averted. Like (most) Harry Potter ghosts, Draco didn't stick around for revenge or to accomplish something; he was just too afraid at the moment of death to move on.
  • Gratuitous Latin: This author uses Latin (with varying levels of fidelity) as the titles of Harry Potter stories. "Cruciamentum Eternus" theoretically means "Eternal Suffering".
  • Haunted Castle: Hogwarts remains just as haunted as canon, with a new addition.
  • Haunted House: Draco haunts Malfoy Manor for several years. He seems to be the only ghost there.
  • It's Personal: Lucius's original association with the Death Eaters was a sort of "idle rich" hobby; his crusade against them is intensely personal.
  • I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: Voldemort subverts You Have Failed Me into this trope; he isn't really interested in Draco at all, but is torturing him to teach Lucius a lesson.
  • Jacob Marley Apparel: Harry is initially startled when he sees Draco the ghost and he's wearing the Death Eater robes he was wearing when he died instead of school robes or fancy Malfoy robes. It also turns out Draco still has his wand and can cast ghostly spells, though they don't seem to do much.
  • Kick the Dog: The dog in this case is primarily Draco; Voldemort and Bellatrix stomp on him.
  • Mama's Boy: The leading theory in the story is that Draco didn't move on because he wanted his mother too much. When he's tortured (or reliving his torture), he screams for her. He also seems to be able to feel her touch, as warmth, the only thing he can actually feel.
  • My Greatest Failure: Lucius couldn't stop Draco's murder, and spends years trying to make up for it.
  • Papa Wolf: Over the next year, Lucius systematically kills all of the Death Eaters who were present when Draco was killed.
  • Poltergeist: Downplayed — poltergeists and ghosts are different in the Potterverse, and Draco is a ghost rather than a poltergeist, but when his emotions run high, he can affect the physical world (slightly).
  • Replacement Goldfish: Lucius and Narcissa eventually have another son, Aquilus, to carry on the Malfoy line.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Offscreen — During the Battle of Hogwarts, Lucius sees his last chance to get revenge and starts slaughtering Death Eaters, whereas until that point, he's acted with stealth and deliberation.
  • Sadistic Choice: Implied. Lucius is ordered to torture Draco, and casts the Cruciatus on him a few times; it's never outright stated that there's a worse option, but considering it's Lord Voldemort ordering it, you have to assume that the alternative is "or I will".
    • Subverted into Morton's Fork — it seems Voldemort never intended to let Draco live regardless.
  • Scars Are Forever: Draco broke his arm while he was being tortured; as a ghost, the broken arm remains.
  • Silly Spook: Utterly averted. Unlike in the novels, ghosts aren't comic relief, even when seen from Harry's viewpoint. In this story, they're tragic and a little pathetic.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Aquilus Malfoy is described almost exactly the same as Draco was in the first book.
  • Talking to Themself: In a strange version, Ghost-Draco has an argument with a talking portrait of himself.
  • Torture Technician: Draco is given to Bellatrix and Rabastan to torture, as they excel at and revel in it.
  • Undead Child: Draco dies and becomes a ghost shortly after his seventeenth birthday, so he is still an undead child, though at the upper end of the age bracket.
  • Undeath Always Ends: Averted. Ghosts in the Potterverse don't move on, though the fic mentions the in-universe urban legend that they can. The story ends 100 years after Draco died with him still haunting Hogwarts, and saying he supposes he always will.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: After the Death Eaters are dead, Lucius seems to get worse and lack direction, and starts Drowning His Sorrows.
  • You Have Failed Me: Voldemort doesn't take kindly to the fact that Draco didn't actually kill Dumbledore, and has him tortured and killed for his "incompetence" — or rather, mostly to teach Lucius a lesson.