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Chapter 1 : The Graveyard
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“What is it, Astoria?” asked Draco worriedly.
“Draco, it’s…oh, read it!” she thrust the piece of parchment at him and sat down.
Dear Mr Draco Malfoy
I wish to inform you that, despite prior events, the Dark Lord’s fight will continue.
Together we will be more powerful than ever. Choose your side wisely.
“Draco, what does this mean?” asked Astoria, worriedly.
“It means either someone’s trying to fool us, or…or we’re in trouble,” replied Draco.
“Will you go?” asked Astoria.
“I – I must. He will kill us otherwise, and Scorpius still has so much ahead of him... Although, it could be a hoax…” Draco added as an after-thought. He stood, thinking. “There is no other way. I shall have to talk to Father.”
Astoria let out a gasp. “Are you sure, Draco?”
“There is no other way.” Putting the letter down on the table, he said to Astoria, “My father will know what to do. He was, after all, one of the first Death Eaters. Yes, he will understand this.”
In his old age, Lucius Malfoy's mind had shut down, leaving a shell of a man who mumbled incoherently and was scared of the slightest of things. He and Narcissa lived in a corner of Malfoy Manor, never coming out to eat with the rest of the family. The two things Lucius wasn’t scared of were Narcissa and his son.
Draco, alone, went through the house to his father’s room.
“Father?” Draco’s voice rang out in the silence of the room. “It’s me, Draco. I – I need to ask you something.”
“Draco…is that you?” came the frail voice of Lucius Malfoy. “Narcissa, my wand…”
“No let me…Lumos.” Narcissa’s wand flared and light flooded the room.
It was a small room, with a double bed in which Lucius was propped up in and an en suite bathroom. A door led off to an even smaller kitchen.
“Father…” Draco said. “This morning we got an owl from someone who – who claimed that there will be another Dark Lord, one even more powerful."
“The Dark Lord?” mumbled Lucius.
“Yes, a new Dark Lord. The person, he said to Apparate to Little Hangleton graveyard-"
“The graveyard?” Lucius’s voice became louder. “The graveyard where he – where he returned…” Lucius subsided into mumbling.
“Father?” Draco asked hesitantly. “I – should I go, or ignore the summons? Please, Father, this is – he could kill us all and Scorpius is only eleven…”
“Yes, yes Draco. Go, and offer him inside information on Hogwarts through Scorpius. That way he will not harm any of us…”
“Draco,” Narcissa said. “Lucius is weak. It would be best if you left.”
“Yes, Mother. Goodbye, Father.”
“Draco – good luck.”
“Thank you, Mother.”
“So…what was all that noise about?” Scorpius asked as he walked in.
Draco and Astoria had returned to the kitchen, talking in whispers. Draco stood, feet apart, wand in hand, about to Apparate to the graveyard.
“Just a – a letter about work, dear,” Astoria said.
“What was all the screaming for, then?” asked Scorpius.
“Your father has got a job, Scorpius. That’s where he’s going now.”
“Yes, Scorpius, I’ve got a new job,” said Draco, grateful that Astoria was such a quick thinker. “When I get back, you can show me some of those spells you’ve been working on.” With that, Draco Disapparated.
He appeared in the Little Hangleton graveyard, along with several others. Draco recognised his school friend, Gregory Goyle. He nodded at him, but he did not return the gesture.
“Ah, Draco, so glad you could join us. I was beginning to think you were…unfaithful.” Draco turned around and saw a man standing in the middle of the circle. His cloak was long and dark green and his hood covered his face so that he seemed to be speaking out of a dark void.
“I know your family have had trouble in the past. I thought you might not come. Stand here, beside Goyle.” Draco moved into his allocated space, and then the man in the middle began to speak again.
“You will be wondering how I came to be. My grandfather, Morfin Gaunt, was killed by the Dark Lord, yes, but not before he had a child. I do not know who my grandmother was, as she died during childbirth. My father was raised in an orphanage, rather like the Dark Lord himself. He knew that the Gaunts lived in a hovel outside the village where he lived, and he managed to trace himself back to Morfin. So my father grew up, knowing he was related to the Dark Lord, yet never approaching him. To simplify it for you, my grandfather was the Dark Lord's uncle. I am here to follow in the Dark Lord's footsteps and complete the tasks he set out to do, and to join forces with the new Dark Lord. He is one so powerful you could not even imagine...
“As the second-last descendent of Salazar Slytherin and as a relation of the Dark Lord's I think I deserve some respect. You will treat me as your parents treated the Dark Lord. Bow.”
Around the circle, the next generation of Death Eaters fell to their knees, as did Draco. He could tell they were all as afraid as he was.
“And, I should give you the courtesy of seeing my face. The Dark Lord did not hide, and after today, neither will I.”
The man lowered his hood.
He had sleek brown hair, a pointed nose and high cheekbones. Cruel red eyes glared out from beneath large bushy eyebrows. He was deathly pale, as if he had spent his entire life indoors. He was very tall, almost stretched, and he looked as if the faintest breeze would blow him away, yet there was certain strength about him that unnerved Draco. The man radiated power, and he knew it. “Now I will tell you my name. Or rather, my chosen name.” The man chuckled, as if he found this amusing. “My name is Alpha.” The man turned away, and said, “You will not tell anybody what you have seen or heard here. I leave you now, but meet me here again tomorrow, at twilight, and we will…begin.”
Draco didn’t like the sound of that, but he rushed forward and threw himself at Alpha’s feet.
“Yes?” Draco didn’t dare look up, but he could tell from Alpha’s tone that he was slightly amused.
“Please – my Lord Alpha – my son, he is starting at Hogwarts soon, I-"
“If you are loyal to me, Draco, I will not harm your family.”
“No! I can – my son can find out what’s going on at Hogwarts!”
Alpha turned towards him, smiling. “Do you think I have not already thought of this? Why, Draco, didn't you wonder who the last in Slytherin's line is? It is my son. He will be spy for me.” Alpha turned his head to the side, thinking. “Still, I suppose… Stand up, Draco. Your son, what’s his name?”
“Scorpius,” replied Draco, getting to his feet.
“If Scorpius is worthy, my son shall befriend him. No more questions, Draco. I must leave.” Suddenly Alpha Disapparated.
Draco Apparated back to the kitchen of Malfoy Manor to find Astoria and Scorpius shrieking and clutching another letter. For a heart-stopping moment he thought it was Alpha again, but then Scorpius yelled, “I’m going to Hogwarts!” and Draco relaxed.
“Well done, Scorpius! We knew you’d get in!” Draco hugged his son fiercely, and Scorpius whispered something in his ear.
“What was that, Scorpius? I didn’t hear you,” said Draco, smiling.
“The Slytherin snake is cool, isn’t it?” Scorpius grinned at his father.
Draco smiled back. “It is. I was in Slytherin, did I tell you that?”
Scorpius rolled his eyes. “About a million times, Dad.”
“Sorry,” Draco smiled, and felt an immense sense of pride as he watched his eleven-year-old wizard son walk over to his mother.
The next morning, a strange thing happened. Narcissa came down from her room.
“Draco?” said Narcissa, squinting even though the blinds were half-shut and the sun was not fully up. She and Lucius preferred the dark.
Draco did a double-take. “Mother?” he exclaimed, nearly choking on the slice of toast he was having for breakfast. “Why – how- what are you doing down here?”
Narcissa drew a deep breath, like she was getting ready to say something difficult. Draco prepared for the worse.
“Lucius wants to speak with you.”
“Father wants to talk?” asked Draco incredulously.
“Well, he sent me down here to get you. You’d better come.”
“Draco…” said the figure on the bed. “Come closer. I have not got much longer-"Lucius broke off in a fit of coughing. He looked even weaker than when Draco had seen him last, and his eyes had a pained look that made Draco wish he was still eleven, when his father had been well.
“Do not fear death, Draco,” said Lucius. “It is an irrational fear.”
Lucius gave a weak chuckle that turned into a hacking cough. “Draco, I am not much longer for this world. Once I am gone, you will face many difficulties with this New Lord. Do not doubt yourself, Draco. Remain strong. You must – you must remain strong…” Lucius sank into another coughing fit.
Draco waited patiently for his father to continue.
“Trust yourself, Draco. Above all, trust yourself.”
“But, Father,” said Draco, “what do you mean; you won’t be long for this world?”
Lucius smiled weakly. “All men’s time ends one way or another. My time here is…” Lucius paused, searching for a word. “Limited.” Suddenly Lucius’s body contorted with a deep, hacking cough that shook him from head to toe. With one last smile at his son, Lucius Malfoy was still.
“Father?” said Draco, knowing it was useless. He did not feel anything, inside he felt nothing. He thought he should feel grief, or at least sadness, but he felt nothing.
Draco left the room and walked back to the kitchen, lost in thought.
“Dad, will you play Quidditch in the back garden with me? Mum’s playing too.” asked Scorpius, bringing Draco out of his reverie.
“Er, sure, Scorpius,” replied Draco, glad to take his mind off things. He would tell Astoria about his father later.
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