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The Summer Series: Decisions by juls
Chapter 1 : Draco's choice
Rating: 12+Chapter Reviews: 24

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Disclaimer..... All things Hogwarty owned by JK Rowling.

A/N: the world of Harry Potter belongs to JKR.
A/N: this story is the rewrite of my first fanfic “Decisions” after reading the reviews. Yes reviews really do help. Hope you enjoy it's reincarnation.
A/N: Thanks to padfootandprongs91 (jackie) and jessie_rose for betaing. you girls rock =)

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. . . ."
"A Tale of Two Cities" By Charles Dickens.

Draco had pondered those words through out his short life. His mother, Narcissa, had written them in a journal she had given him for his fifteenth birthday. It was an age old prophecy of a little known seer who had taken secret pleasure in writing muggle literature. Dickens had hidden it away in a famous tome for all to see, but few to comprehend, until the actual days of its coming.
Draco had sneered his normal smirk, thanked his mother, and promptly threw it in a drawer to be forgotten for 2 more years.
He was now seventeen. He had come of age in the wizard world, and was preparing to make his mark. Or was it to take his mark?

His mother was gone. She had made the mistake of trying to shield him from one of his father's cruciatus curses. Lucius had been disappointed once again by Draco. He had failed the Dark Lord by not killing Dumbledore with his wand. Instead, Severus Snape had to complete the task. In his anger, he had struck out at the one thing he knew would hurt the boy the most.

He had been forced to watch as his mother was murdered before him, held immobile by a spell. Narcissa Black-Malfoy had been forever silenced by the wizard he had through out his whole life tried to please and to be like, his father, Lucius Malfoy.

The memory of her eyes as she laid on the cold hardwood floor was burned into his mind forever. That was the day he had learned what hate truly was. He also knew he could let the hate consume him or he could use it to fuel a desire to avenge.

That day had been his turning point, and all he would do now would be because of it. For what ever choices he would make to follow, this would be his most important one.

Again, he sneered, hiding all that he felt behind it. His aunt Bella had taught him well in the defenses of the mind. Clearing his mind, he thought only of what was to come. He banished his thoughts of his mother to a secreted place in his mind.

He adjusted the black robe that covered him, hiding his form. He pulled up the pointed hood. The white mask covered his face. Staring at himself in the mirror in the foyer, he saw something he did not like. His blood ran cold, and a numbness coursed through him. He could do this, he decided. It was just a little mark, nothing to fear.

Snape placed a cold hand on Draco's shoulder, a twin image in the reflective glass. His mentor into this dark path of his life. "It is time, the Dark Lord awaits you to join him the main room. Lucius also. Follow, please." Snape turned without looking, opening the double doors. Draco forced himself to followed. His mind in turmoil over what was to come. The only constant he had was the trust others had in him that he was making the right decision.

"Ah, young Malfoy. Welcome." Lord Voldemort said from his throne, surrounded by his masked followers. "You make your Father," he nodded to the figure on his right "and me so very proud you have decided to join us here tonight." He gestured with his wand hand. "Come closer!! Yes, closer. It is time!!" He stood up the chair and walked to the center of the room. His followers made a circle around Draco and himself. Draco felt hemmed in with no chance of escape.. His steps faltered , an intense hatred for a moment slipped past his mind's defensed. He swallowed it back and continued forward. The taste of the bile it had created still in his mouth.

In the shadows, a rat like man stood cowering, as if waiting to do his Lord's bidding when he was called. The snake Nagini slithered across the floor from beneath the throne. Its forked tongue flicking in out as if feeding off the dark magic that permeated the air. The flames from the candles on the wall flickered, casting sinister shadows on the walls.

"Kneel down. And extend your left arm to me." Voldemort ordered. There was no turning back now. Except by death. There was no way his father would allow another disappointment.

Draco did as ordered. Every fiber in his being screamed no as he slowly lowered to his knees. He looked to the left of Lord Voldemort as he lowered his head and caught Snape's eye, and saw Snape's nod. His right hand in his pocket, he fingered an object there, drawing strength from both Snape's encouragement and the warm of the small token. A last remembrance of his mother, a small charm she had kept on chain. He had found it lying by her body after his father had fled the Manor.

He could feel his father's triumph, his overwhelming joy. Lucius had won, he had caved into his father's wishes. His father's mouth widened in a smile as he watched his son take his final steps into becoming the man he wanted him to be. All the disappointments he had ever felt in Draco could be washed away by this one act.

"Draco, do you come here willingly?" ask Lord Voldemort. It had begun.

"Yes, my Dark Lord." Draco said.

"Draco, do you promise to serve your Lord in all things?"

"Yes, my Dark Lord." his fingers squeezed tight around the object, his nails digging into his palm.

Voldemort nodded to Lucius, and Lucius stepped forward to pull up Draco's sleeve.

"Do you accept my mark?" The former Tom Riddle asked.

"Yes, my Lord." his voice firm with conviction.

"It is time!" He placed his wand on Draco's forearm, said a few words as an incantation, initiation, and the dark mark burned into Draco's arm. The pain coursed up his arm and he felt the walls of his heart almost burst as the skull and snake mark formed.

Draco fell fully into the crowd of Death Eaters, pain making him writhe on the ground. But his pride kept his cries silent in him. Thoughts of his mother's last moments strengthened him. In the end, he would make her proud. Nothing else mattered.

It was finished. He was branded a Death Eater.

"Celebrate..." the Dark Lord cried. "Another has come to serve me."

Hours later.

Snape and Draco apparated just outside of 12 Grimmauld Place, the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. Placing a firm hand on his former student's shoulder, “Ready?” Draco nodded. He could do this. He could step through that door.

“Follow please.” Snape's black dress robes billowed in the evening breeze as he walked up the few steps to the door. Grasping the knocker, he slammed it down three times, and the sound seemed to echo in the silent street.

The door slowly opened and a small house elf's face peeked out as if to wonder who could be demanding entrance at such a late hour. One look from Snape made him back away in fear as the door opened wider for the two Death Eaters to enter.

“They are in the sitting room.” said the quaking elf as it scurried from sight.

Snape flicked his wand at the closed sliding doors and they parted without a sound. They entered.

In the room stood the Order's new leader, Remus Lupin, and the aurors Tonks and Shacklebolt. Draco barely noticed them as his eyes fell on the portrait hanging in honor on the wall.

“Mr Malfoy?” it said. It's eyes twinkling as in life, its mouth sucking on a muggle candy.

“It is done, Professor Dumbledore!!” he said as he pulled up the sleeve of his rob, exposing the still raw mark on his arm. “He has accepted me. I will avenge my mother.” he pulled his mother's trinket out his pocket, a phoenix charm on the chain and placed it around his neck.

He felt his cousin Tonks' arm wrap around his shoulder and hold him close to her. He turned into her and let her love heal him.

“You'd have been proud of him, Cissa.” Snape thought silently. “He stood brave. The man you always wanted him to be.”

They watched as two of the last three remaining Blacks held each other close and cried for a truly remarkable woman. Narcissa Black-Malfoy, former death eater and secret member of the Order of the Phoenix.

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