Chapter 2 : Draco Malfoy
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It was the first time that he actually was looking forward to leaving Hogwarts. He had made no secrets about his thoughts concerning Hogwarts over the years. But the reason had nothing to do with his opinions. No, it was more sinister. Or more accurately, it was far more scandalous. His friends delighted in whispering behind his back. The more daring ones asked him tauntingly about his father. He had grown annoyed within the first few hours of their warped wit and in the ensuing time had not heard one word of concern for his family.
It was the end of the long school year and they were gathered in the Great Hall for their yearly Farewell Feast. He wasn’t interested in the plentitude of food sitting before him – it looked unappealing. His plate remained clean. Why go through the pretense of eating? Pudding was no better – it was a congealed mess. He envied the others, able to eat and drink and laugh with those around them. Those sitting near him talked around him. How had he fallen so low? He was popular! He had loads of friends! A small voice teased him, asking him “And where are your friends now?”
For once he wasn’t interested in the yearly tallying of House Points. He let Professor Dumbledore’s voice roll over him as he stared at his empty plate. He ignored the usual taunts and jeers of his fellow Slytherins against the Gryffindors who won the House Cup yet again. Another problem he could lay at Saint Potter’s feet. Ever since Potter had arrived at Hogwarts, Gryffindor was charmed. He couldn’t have cared less who won the Quidditch Cup. There were more important issues than silly school competitions.
His grey eyes searched the Gryffindor table until he found the person he sought. Saint Potter. It was completely Potter’s fault he was in this mess. It was his fault that his father sat languishing in Azkaban after being caught in the Department of Mysteries. It was also Potter’s fault that he sat in the Great Hall, very much alone. He was half surprised when Potter met his scowl with a scowl of his own.
Of course he had known before that morning had broken that his world had changed. His mother had sent a secret message during the night. The eagle owl had woken him as he had sat in the common room. He knew his father was on an errand for the Dark Lord and thought they might laugh about Saint Potter’s reactions afterwards by fire. He hadn’t meant to fall asleep.
That same note also told him there would be an unexpected surprise waiting for him when he arrived home. His mother said nothing else about this surprise or mention if he would like the surprise or not. She always hoped he’d like the surprise. Why hadn’t she?
“Poor Draco,” Pansy cooed, leaning against him. Crabbe, Goyle and Nott took turns glaring at Saint Potter. Draco inwardly cringed – how had he not noticed how irritating Pansy was before now? He pulled away from her slightly causing her to frown at him before turning her calculating gaze onto Potter, laughing at his messy hair and blood-shot eyes.
He felt someone watching him. He stirred the glop of pudding before casually looking around. His eyes met her concerned eyes before she glanced down. He watched her pretend that she hadn’t just been staring at him as he considered her. A slight blush stained her cheeks telling him she knew he was still looking. With a small smirk, he looked back in front of him, his mind swirling with competing thoughts.
How he managed to sit through the rest of the inane chatter and final events, he didn’t know. He stood as soon as the Feast was finished and had started towards the common room before his supposed friends had blinked. He wasn’t lucky enough to get away from them. Pansy caught up with him, chattering about stupid happenings and luckless people. She took particular delight in noting that Saint Potter had been crying. He ignored her. He knew when Crabbe and Goyle joined them. Their muttering was loud enough to understand.
All he had to do was make it to tomorrow. Tomorrow they would be on the train home. His mother would take him away from the tediousness and there was that surprise waiting for him. He was looking forward to getting away from his fellow Slytherins. He was used to being taunted and derided by the other houses, but not the Slytherins.
He shut the curtains around his bed and Sealed them so that no one would disturb them. He stretched out on his bed. “Tomorrow,” he whispered to himself. His eyes closed as he stared unthinking at the ceiling even as the image of the shy Slytherin came back to his mind.
The day was surprisingly bright without a cloud in the sky. Very much at odds with how he felt as everyone took the horseless carriages to the Hogsmeade Station for the Hogwarts Express back to King’s Cross Station. Pansy sat next to him, chattering inanely, as Crabbe and Goyle watched him with dark looks. He suspected they had finally realized during the night how far his family had fallen for they had never looked at him that way before.
He tried once more to outpace his supposed friends when the carriage stopped. He wanted to find a compartment where he didn’t have to listen to stupid chatter or deal with hostile glares.
That would have been too easy, his jaw clenched tightly as he sensed his dream splintering. The same three from last night had caught up with him as well as many of his previous friends who also happened to be the children of his father’s private club.
Draco was annoyed at not being able to shake his friends. At least most of them had stopped at one of the compartments so only Crabbe and Goyle remained. His lips curled in a sneer as he watched Potter walking in the aisle ahead of them, not paying attention to his surroundings. The opportunity was too good to pass up. There were no professors around. He drew his wand intending to make a spectacle of Saint Potter and was pleased when Crabbe and Goyle also drew their wands. He started to flick his wand but never finished. His vision faded to black. He didn’t hear the laughter of from the members of Dumbledore’s Army or Harry’s thanks to them. There was one word he did hear – slug.
He woke in his own bed. He didn’t look around at his room decorated in his house colors of green and silver. And for the smallest moment, he was able to pretend everything was right with the world. He pretended that his father hadn’t brought disgrace to the family name. But the fantasy faded and reality crashed in. He pushed the dark green sheets off him as he tried sitting up, wincing in pain as he succeeded.
He was unaware of the terror his mother had felt when he hadn’t met her at the station. She had waited until there was no denying he had not left the train. Professor Snape had assured her that Draco had gotten onto the train. In a panic, she boarded the train and searched every compartment and every aisle. She sobbed with relief when she found him in the luggage rack with Crabbe and Goyle. The three friends had already begun changing back to human form though all three were still unconscious with considerable spell damage.
She had taken all three off the train and delivered Crabbe and Goyle to their parents who looked horrified at the state of their children. Without saying another word, she had brought him home and healed him.
Draco didn’t notice that one of their many house-elves had disappeared when he woke up. But he did hear the knock at his door. His mother opened the door after he responded. She looked very worried. He was surprised to see worry on her face. Her face crumpled when she realized that he was still very weak but there was no more time for him to recuperate. “Draco, it’s good you’re home,” she said softly after looking around.
“What were you writing about?” Draco asked. “What is the surprise?” When his mother flinched, he quickly understood that the surprise was bad and his day was about to get worse. “Mum?”
She tentatively glanced to each side before replying. “We have been graced with the choosing of our house as headquarters for our movement.” She spoke softly, not wanting the smallest hint of displeasure to reach the Dark Lord’s ear. She also didn’t want her sister to hear her words, afraid she would react first to defend the Dark Lord’s honor.
Draco stared at her in horror. “All of them? Here?” he asked in a strangled voice. He barely tolerated many of their children and now he had to deal with their parents also? Were those he wanted desperately to escape also here?
She nodded putting her finger to her lips. “It really is an honor, especially in light of what happened at the Ministry.” Her face twisted into lines of sorrow as she thought of Lucius sitting in a cold cell in Azkaban. She forced the grief away, her mask of contentment firmly back in place.
Draco’s mind refused to comprehend what was happening. Voldemort and the Death Eaters were living in his family’s house. For once, he wished he had learned his mother’s trick.
“Get dressed. He has requested to see you in the library,” his mother looked him in his panic-stricken eyes. There was no doubt in his mind of whom she was referring or the importance of this meeting. He nodded sharply, waiting until she had left the room before moving.
His mind raced furiously as he took his time getting ready. For the first time in his life, he realized that his father wouldn’t be able to get him out of trouble. He knew with a sickening clarity that the Dark Lord would punish him for his father’s failure. His father was supposed to retrieve an item once it had been taken from its place of safety. That item had been broken during a battle that shouldn’t have taken place. Not only that, but his father had managed to get his entire group captured and sent to Azkaban and revealed to the world that the Dark Lord had returned.
His mother was scared of what that punishment would be. He knew she hadn’t been graced with the mark like his father, but both had supported the Dark Lord before his downfall by Saint Potter. They had seen firsthand much of what the Dark Lord could do. Butterflies began twisting as his mother’s fear began to manifest in him. What would his punishment be?
He took one last look in the mirror to brush a stray hair into place. The butterflies took flight again. He took a deep breath. He was a Malfoy and Malfoys didn’t run. He stuck his nose in the air trying to feel braver than he currently felt. It wouldn’t do to make the Dark Lord or his minions wait overly long. He began his walk to the library, each step to his new destiny filled with dread.
The library door was open, beckoning him onwards even as he wanted to run the other way. His choice was taken away when his Aunt Bellatrix saw him and grabbed him, pulling him into the lair. He tried pulling away with no success. His skin crawled being so close to her and he detested that she ruined his image of a grown man with her dragging him along as if he were a child in her delight to serve her master.
Her master sat in his father’s leather chair, patiently. But Draco knew the Dark Lord had no patience. The brief look into his eyes told a different story. The indifference changed into detest – as if Draco were the very last thing he wanted to see. “Enough, Bellatrix, leave the boy alone.” Bellatrix dropped Draco’s arm, snatching her fingers away as if they had been burned. Draco took the moment to straighten his jacket.
“Come closer, Draco.” Voldemort beckoned like a spider. “I believe your mother informed you that I wish to speak with you?”
“She did, Master,” Draco replied after quickly running through his head the response his father would have chosen. He knew better than to speak the name Voldemort or to call him You-Know-Who to his face. “I apologize for the delay.”
Delight rippled on Voldemort’s face. “You have trained him well, Narcissa. I am pleased.”
His mother kept her carefully crafted mask of delight in place. “Thank you, my lord.”
Voldemort considered Draco closely. Slight evidence remained of what happened on the train. “Closer, Draco,” he pointed to a spot near his snake. Draco eyed the snake carefully as he stepped even closer taking heart when the snake remained curled. “I understand you wish to become a Death Eater? That you wish to become one of my chosen few?” Voldemort captured his eyes, looking deep into them.
“Yes, Master,” Draco replied evenly, fear blossoming in his heart, as his aunt cackled gleefully.
Voldemort pulled back, looking towards Narcissa and Bellatrix. “He has potential. He will make a fine addition to our small circle.” Bellatrix’s face lit with unholy glee while Draco saw the smallest hint of terror on his mother’s face. Voldemort turned back to Draco. “Put out your arm.”
Draco held his wand arm out to everyone’s amusement.
Voldemort looked amused, “Your other arm, Draco.”
Draco’s cheeks burned as he switched his arms, pulling his sleeve up. How could he not have remembered which arm held his father’s Dark Mark?
“You will prove yourself to me,” Voldemort’s red eyes refused to let Draco look away. “Before this time next year, I want you to kill Albus Dumbledore. And I warn you that the penalty will be terrible should you fail me as did your father. You hold the fate of your entire family in your hands. Succeed and all shall live, fail and you will all die. Do you understand?”
Draco heard his mother’s gasp and his aunt’s cackling. How was he supposed to accomplish his mission? Did he have a choice? He nodded stiffly. “Yes, Master, I understand.”
A/N: As always, I hope you have enjoyed this next chapter. Please let me know what you thought about this chapter, especially if you have constructive criticism! I am always looking for ways to improve my writing! Thank you very much!
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