“You, Draco, are about to be given the highest honor I could bestow upon one of my many devoted followers,” the Dark Lord said, pacing the room lazily before me.
I kept my face straight a stared before me, avoiding eye contact with the—man—who had taken over my home.
“Are you not curious, Draco?” he said, walking to stand next to me and peer at my profile. “Do you not wonder what this honor I am about to give you could be?”
In all honesty, I didn't care. I knew it was bound to be terrible, after all, my family had not been in the highest favor since the battle against the Order of the Phoenix at the Ministry. I just wanted to leave.
“Come now, Draco,” he said, moving in front of me and caressing my face. “Ask me.”
I didn't look at him as I spoke. “What honor do you wish to give me, my Lord?”
“There's a good boy,” he said, laughing and pulling out his wand. “You know, Draco, it is a good thing that you chose to wear short sleeves.”
There was no time to react, no time to think. The pain that the jet of light flying from his wand was immediate and intense. It felt as though my left arm had got fire, a burning that brought me to my knees. A cold, high-pitched laugh filled my ears as I gripped my arm and bit my tongue, giving everything that I have to not cry out.
“It hurts, doesn't it, my dear boy,” I heard above me. I barely registered the fact that my master was speaking, it felt as though someone was pushing a brand into the tender flesh of my inner forearm.
Then, as quickly as it had come, the pain subsided. It did not fade completely, but it faded enough that I could gain control of myself again. Slowly, I lifted my hand from my forearm. I had to fight the overwhelming urge to be sick, for there, on my forearm, was the black image of the Dark Mark.
“Rise, boy,” the Dark Lord hissed. I slowly rose to my feet and returned to my original pose. I could feel my arm pulsing. My entire body shook with tremors that seemed to stem from the Mark upon my arm, but I stood and kept my face strong. “You are strong, Draco,” he continued. “Just the type of man I need for this task.”
I swallowed before responding. “What is the task, my Lord?” I said, cursing myself for how weak my voice sounded after receiving the Mark.
The Dark Lord stared at me for a moment, smiling, then began to circle me like a vulture. “You are to discover a way to bring my Deatheaters into Hogwarts. Once you have accomplished that, you, and you alone, are to kill Albus Dumbledore. No one is to know of this plan outside of those who will be launching the attack on Hogwarts, and failure is not an option.” He stopped behind me. “If, by some chance, you do fail, know this: I will not hesitate to kill you, your father and your mother for your disobedience or lack of success.”
He turned and left the room, slamming the door behind him. I dropped my pretense, falling to the floor and collapsing into sobs. That was the day that everything changed. It was the day that my naïve and youthful outlook upon the world ended. No one was safe from the evil. Especially not a Malfoy.
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