Somewhere in London, a handsome manor house grew out of a patch of forgettable darkness. To the casual passerby, the Manor would be nothing more than a blurry shadow in the corner of one’s eye. However, to the educated, one would see a long, narrow driveway behind a wrought iron gate.
The property in question is surrounded by high, trimmed hedges. Feeble lights glinting in the diamond-paned downstairs windows; the rest black as pitch. Albino peacocks wander amidst hemlock, cuckoo pint, and foxglove planted throughout the quiet grounds surrounding the Manor. This ancestral home has clearly seen better days. Whether it was due to the current political climate, or the owner’s increasing paranoia, one thing remained apparent: the Malfoys were spending more and more time holed up in their home.
If one were to enter the manor and ascend the once majestic, although now dilapidated, staircase and take a sharp left down the hall; they would find themselves facing a large, oaken door washed in a dark varnish. Behind this door is a large bed piled with silken sheets and plump pillows. Nestled amongst these luxurious accouterments is one Draco Malfoy, the subject of our tale. On this particular evening, Mr. Malfoy found himself in an unexpected, if welcome dreamscape…
‘I’m so sorry, Draco…’
Draco Malfoy tensed as a calloused hand drew itself down his chest. Draco’s body quivering in response to the delicate touch.
‘I didn’t… I couldn’t know that that spell would have such repercussions…’
The hand slipped around to the small of Draco’s back and pulled him close.
Out of the hazy, dreamy atmosphere emerged a face all too familiar to Draco.
‘Vulnera Sanentur…’ Potter murmured breathily as he stroked his wand against Draco’s chest.
An intense burst of light erupted from Potter’s wand. The wounds on Draco’s chest reknit themselves, leaving behind tender, pink flesh.
Potter lowered his head to kiss the newly healed skin on Draco’s taut chest.
Draco gasped, moving to push Potter off.
Harry resisted and pushed Draco back down.
‘Now, now. I’m not done healing you yet, Malfoy. There’s only so much a wand can do…’
Potter moved in a flurry of motions.
Before Draco knew it, Harry was holding both Draco’s wrists above his head. Draco was shocked as he realized that Potter had accomplished this all with one hand. He tensed as Harry drew his tongue down the smooth flesh of Draco’s chest.
A hot breath escaped Harry’s mouth and glided over the trail he just drew with his tongue. Gooseflesh quickly replaced the path as if by magic.
Harry gave a warm, throaty laugh before swinging his mouth down into Draco’s lap.
‘G-get…’ Draco found himself unable to say the words.
“Off!” Draco Malfoy screamed as he tumbled out of the extravagant, four-post bed in his parents’ home.
Black, satin sheets, and a heavy duvet quickly followed after him, covering Draco in a mountain of fabric and batting. Draco awoke with a start, eyes fluttering. He exhaled audibly.
Another one of those blasted dreams…
Draco didn’t need to look down into his lap to know that he awoke erect; this had been the seventh time in a week since Potter started plaguing his sleep.
Betrayed by my own mind and body...
Nothing seemed to be going Draco’s way anymore. His parents had insisted continuously that once the Dark Lord returned to power, their family would be ruling the British Isles. Voldemort’s treatment of the Malfoys over the last year had said otherwise. When Draco brought this point up to Father, Lucius countered that the Dark Lord wouldn’t truly be in power until Potter fell; he completely ignored Draco’s observation on their family’s fall from grace.
Draco didn’t buy a word of it.
Deep down, Draco knew that his family was screwed either way. The other Death Eaters all but walked all over the Malfoys and the Dark Lord encouraged it. Father had been reduced to a paranoid fanatic and Mother wasn’t much better off, constantly looking over her shoulder, worried about hexes and curses flying from the shadows. If Voldemort won the War, then the Malfoys would continue to be made an example of.
If they survived that long.
If the Order won, then the Malfoys would be socially scorned, which was just as good as death as far as Mother was concerned. Still, if the Order won, then the Malfoys could relocate. They still had friends in France and Russia. Surely one of those foreign families would aid the Malfoys. Surely. The fact that Draco was longing for an Order victory left him sickened… If Father knew he felt such a way…
The grandfather clock in the corner suddenly chimed, frightening Draco.
Eight o’clock… the meeting will be starting soon. No use sitting around my room naked…
Draco drew himself up from the floor and stretched. A stiff joint popped and Draco sighed with blessed relief. He made his way into his private bath and closed the door behind him, leaving all thoughts of the Order, Voldemort, and Harry’s skilled touch behind.
Malfoy Manor may never have had the warmest of atmospheres, but it certainly used to be more welcoming. Not anymore. Ever since the Dark Lord and his minions took up residency at the Manor, all mirth and joy had vacated without warning. The Malfoys had made many happy memories in the various salons and sitting rooms, but Draco always loved the dining room most. Holidays, birthdays, parties. He now found it hard to hold on to those memories. It was like the ghost of a Dementor had descended upon the Manor, sucking up every last bit of love and kinship that the Malfoys had cultivated between themselves.
Draco was seated at the dining table, surrounded by Death Eaters. There was once a time when his family would be sitting to the right of the Dark Lord, a place of reverence amongst the shadowy lot. Now they were crammed between two Death Eaters that Draco had never met before. Sweat trickled down his back as the nasty piece of trash to his right stared openly at the Malfoys. The old git was missing a few teeth and half his scalp. Rancid breath washed over Draco’s face as the mouthbreather started laughing at him.
Would it be worth the Dark Lord’s wrath if I just ended this bugger?
No, it wouldn’t.
The disgusting stranger quickly turned from the Malfoys and began staring straight ahead. Draco felt his spine go straight as the Dark Lord passed behind them. Draco wanted to close his eyes. This all had to be a bad dream. In minutes he would awaken in his plush bedding, no Death Eaters, no Voldemort anywhere to be found.
He couldn’t close his eyes. He didn’t dare. He knew that as soon as he did, one of the hecklers amongst them would point it out and then everyone would have yet another laugh at the Malfoys’ expense; the Dark Lord given yet another reason to detest Draco and his parents.
A sudden wail sounded, a terrible, drawn-out cry of misery and pain. Many of those at the table looked downward, startled, for the sound had seemed to issue from below their feet.
Not Draco. He knew what was down there. That didn’t concern him so much as what was above them.
Draco’s eyes wandered up. He was still in shock. Never in a million years had he expected to walk into his own dining room to find one of Hogwart’s Professors being held captive. Professor Burbage tried to squirm but to no avail. Bile rose in the back of Draco’s throat. That could easily be him or one of his parents.
“Wormtail,” said Voldemort, with no change in his quiet, thoughtful tone, “have I not spoken to you about keeping our prisoners quiet?”
“Yes, m-my Lord,” gasped the small man halfway down the table. He scrambled from his seat and scurried from the room in a flurry of huffs and whines.
“As I was saying,” continued Voldemort, coming to the head of the table and looking at each of his followers, “I understand better now... I shall need to borrow a wand from one of you before I go to kill Potter. There is no other way given the present circumstances.”
To his left, Draco felt Father tense up. He knew what was coming. Voldemort had been targeting the Malfoys with every little bit of petty vengeance he could conjure.
“Hmm? No volunteers?” asked the Dark Lord. “A pity... Let’s see… Lucius? I see no reason for you to have a wand anymore.”
Father’s face shot up. His skin appeared yellowish and waxy in the firelight, and his eyes were sunken and shadowed. Lucius Malfoy looked like the ghost of the man he used to be. A hoarse voice came from his throat in reply. Voldemort looked on with a clam, unreadable expression.
“You wand, Lucius. I require your wand,” the Dark Lord replied as if speaking to a child.
Voldemort walked back over to Lucius’ chair, spindly fingers coming to rest on the back of it. Draco dragged his eyes from Professor Burbage’s floating body and glued them to the wall in front of him, in a perfect imitation of Mother. Out of the corner of his eye, Draco saw father shakily handing Voldemort his wand.
The Dark Lord inquired for a few moments as to the wand’s makeup. He seemed pleased. Whether that was due to the wand or Father’s embarrassment, Draco couldn’t be sure.
The rest of the meeting went on the same as they had for the past few months. Voldemort made a joke at the expense of Mother’s side of the family. Everyone laughed hard at that one… It wasn’t even that funny. Draco was more surprised by the revelation contained in the joke.
Apparently, earlier in the week, Sirius Black had married Remus Lupin. Mother had often commented on what a womanizer Sirius was reputed to be. That had just been a cover apparently.
Draco felt bitter over the news. Someone could find a little happiness in this shitstorm they created and of course, it would be members of the Order. Of course. Things always seemed to work out for that lot no matter how much cunning force the Dark Lord tried to throw upon them.
“Which brings me to my next item. Lucius, since you are now without a wand, it shall be impossible for you to accompany us this evening. Therefore, it brings me great pleasure to inform you that Draco shall be taking your place.”
Draco snapped out of his thoughts at the mention of his name. He slowly turned his head up the table, eyes passing over countless sneers. The Dark Lord was staring straight at him, expression grim.
It was Mother, who had been silent this entire meeting, that spoke up first, “Surely, my Lord, you would prefer someone more experienced. I humbly volunteer my services, if it pleases you, My Lord.”
Voldemort made a tut-tut sound under his breath as he regarded Narcissa.
“I am flattered that you’re throwing yourself at the opportunity, Narcissa, but Draco is the best choice in this matter. Your passion shall not be ignored, however. When next I have a suitable task for you, I can assure you, Narcissa, you shall be the first one to hear of it.” The corners of Voldemorts mouth quirked up a tad as if he was about to smile at the family. A ghastly sight.
Voldemort spun Lucius’ wand in his left hand, looking down at the proud piece of wood. The entire gathering sat silent, staring up at the Dark Lord with expressions of reverence and obedience. He seemed to ignore them all, lost in his own thoughts.
With a slap, Voldemort threw his pale hand down upon the table top and gazed out to the far end of the room, over to the door that Wormtail had just gone out of. That same quirk hit the corner of his mouth again before he went on in a polite tone.
“Ah, I have been so rude! How very thoughtless of me. Wormtail, attend!”
The short man bustled out from the hallway and waved his wand at Professor Burbage, who was still floating above the table. A sudden cough announced that the sleeping jinx had been removed from the Professor. Draco slunk deeper into his chair as he heard the soft moaning escape her lips.
“We are joined here tonight by Charity Burbage who, until very recently, taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You see, she taught the students all about Muggles… how they are not so different from us…” Voldemort shook his head, almost to himself, "Filling our children's heads with nonsense... Misguiding them and turning them from our noble mission."
Voldemort made another tut-tut sound in mockery of the bound Professor.
There were small noises of abhorrence around the table. A broad, hunched woman with pointed teeth gasped dramatically. One of the other Death Eaters spat on the floor. A few of the others swore under their breath. Charity Burbage revolved in place, her groans growing with every turn of the body.
Draco stopped paying attention to the Dark Lord and just starred at Professor Burbage. The woman was now lucid, her eyes searching the room, in vain, for a familiar face. It didn’t take long before her eyes found what she was looking for. Draco followed her line of sight to see Severus Snape sitting at the opposite end of the table, looking intensely at Voldemort.
The whispers at the table suddenly died down, causing Draco to look back over to Voldemort. As his pale eyes fell upon their leader, the Dark Lord brandished Lucius' wand and suddenly screamed out.
A flash of green light illuminated every corner of the room. Charity fell, with a resounding crash, onto the table below, which trembled and creaked. Several of the Death Eaters leapt back in their chairs. Draco fell out of his and onto the floor.
He heard about it, and he had thought about it, but seeing it was a whole ‘nother matter. Nothing could prepare one for the sight of a massive snake eating a human body. Sure, Professor Burbage had been dead when the deed was done, but that didn’t take away from the shock and gore that Draco witnessed on his dining table. He had vomited twice during the spectacle. Unfortunately, decorum enforced that Draco swallowed back down what sickness had formed in the back of his throat.
What a horrible night it was turning out to be.
The only saving grace of it all was the mission that he had been forced into. Oh, he did not want to be here either. The constant paranoia and worrying that accompanied this mission had helped Draco forget about Burbage for the moment; although he knew that he would be seeing her lifeless body in tonight’s nightmares.
At this time, Draco was sitting on his broom, floating directly above Harry Potter’s house. Well, it was not his house exactly, but close enough. Voldemort had cloaked his followers in darkness while they waited for the Order to emerge from Privet Drive.
It didn’t take long at all. Draco gaped openly when he saw seven members of the Order of the Phoenix paired off with, what appeared to be, seven Potters emerge from Privet Drive.
Polyjuice? Couldn’t think of anything better then? Sloppy, Potter. Voldemort will find you no matter who else wears your face…
Draco chanced a look at the Dark Lord whose eyes had gone wide. Two Death Eaters quickly approached Voldemort as a quiet rush of whispers were exchanged between the three. After a few hostile snarls, Voldemort looked pleased with himself as the other two broke off to whisper with the other Death Eaters in attendance.
No one came over to Draco.
No one needed to, for they all moved into a large circle. Draco, Voldemort, and 28 Death Eaters sat expectantly. The Order it seemed was flying straight up from the house and blindly into the center of the newly formed circle.
Bloody idiots! You’re coming right for us! You’ll all be dead, and you won’t even know what happened! Where are the brains with you lot!? He’s won without even trying…
As the Order leveled out with the circle, a loud crack could be heard off to Draco’s left.
Despite the dread Draco felt over Voldemort’s impending rule, the look on Potter’s face was priceless; all seven of them.
Screams sounded in the air, a blaze of green light emerged from every Death Eater in attendance, except Draco. The killing curse wouldn’t come no matter how much he shook his wand or cried out the incantation. One had to mean it when casting one of the Unforgivable Curses. Draco was too doubtful over the need to slay Potter. He prayed the Dark Lord would not notice his failure... Many members of the Order gave a yell as some fell from their brooms and others shot off in different directions.
Draco couldn’t help but take note of one Potter in particular. This one was clinging to the side of a floating motorbike and screaming, “Hedwig!” The caged owl had been dislodged and was now falling from the enchanted vehicle.
Couldn’t be any less obvious could you, Potter?
Without a second thought, Draco took off after the now retreating bike. He could hear Potter crying loudly as a green light made contact with the airborne owl cage. Howls of anguish escaped Potter’s trembling lips.
Stupid, Potter… You practically asked for this… Others dying for you… Stupid…
Four other Death Eaters had the same idea as Draco, as they were now passing the Malfoy heir. Countless flashes of green and red light flew back and forth between the two groups.
Draco did his best to avoid getting caught in the crossfire. Dodged blasts of light, Draco drifted off to the side but kept up the pursuit of Potter. One of the other Death Eaters seemed to notice the fact that Draco wasn’t even trying to cast a curse or a hex. The masked stranger shook his head with a laugh and sped forward, wand out.
Potter quickly shot a Stupefy at the assailants, and it hit the masked stranger square in the face. The Death Eater slipped from his broom and plummeted towards the Earth.
The motorbike sputtered a bit before halting for a moment midair, Draco almost colliding with Hagrid and Harry. Another beam of red light shot from Potter’s wand and connected with Draco’s chest.
What happened next was a blur. Looking back on it, Draco wasn’t sure how it happened exactly. The only thing Draco knew for sure was that one minute he was on his broom and the next he was sprawled out across Potter’s lap, falling unconscious.