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The End is Just the Beginning

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 As head Auror Robards called out the partners, Draco just dearly hoped he would get a decent partner. Marleen Gwain wasn’t that bad, and they had a few pleasant conversations in the mornings. Draco wasn’t a bad Auror, to the surprise of both himself and most of the Ministry. He kept his head down, turned in his work on time, and rarely did he even get in something as simple as a petty argument-unlike most of the other Aurors... He opted to disappear in the background, and he hoped he could continue to do so in the near future, so as long as he had a decent partner. But of course, the fates just had it in for him.

 

“Auror Potter and... Auror Malfoy.”

 

Well, it could have been Weasley…

~*@*~

 

“Hey-o, Draco!” Draco turned from his cup of tea and saw the open face of one of his only friends.

 

“Good Morning Marleen, how’s Weasley?” Marleen had been partnered with the red-haired Gryffindor, and they worked surprisingly well together, unlike himself and…

 

“How’s Potter?” She said smiling that little smile they shared whenever the raven-haired golden boy was brought up.

 

“When he talks to me, I’ll let you know.” They shared a chuckle and walked to the offices. Just a regular day.

 

Since childhood, Draco’s life had always been centered around routines. And as a result, he fell into one quite easily at the Ministry. Go to work, chat with Marleen in the break room, go to his desk and let Potter pointedly ignore him, occasionally work on a case with said partner, do the paperwork that Potter never assisted on, and go home. Quite a boring life, but he could live with it.

 

So when Potter wasn’t around when they, as a team , were to go on an important case, Draco was rather wary.

 

~*@*~

 

“Malfoy!” Robards popped his head into their office. “We got a lead on the Nano-Death Eater’s case, can you and Potter go in and…” Robards stopped in front of Potter’s desk.

 

“Hold on a moment, where’s Potter?” Draco shrugged in response. He honestly has no idea. One moment Potter was carelessly drumming his fingers on his desk, the next he was storming out of the room without a glance back. Not that was a surprise.

 

“Well no matter, go with Auror Weasley then, Auror Gwain is out sick today.” Draco mentally sighed and nodded sullenly. He already was aware of that, with the fact that she didn’t show up for tea, and sent him an owl earlier. This day was already as bad as it was.

 

Somehow, he just knew that something was about to go terribly wrong.

 

~*@*~

 

“Great just great, I have to be stuck with Malfoy !” Weasley grumbled and complained loudly as they hike up a rather steep and windy hill, towards the hidden warehouse at the top. Draco merely sighed and continued on. They walked, higher and higher up, Weasley complaining and throwing barbs at Draco, while the former just ignored him.  

 

They continued walking and finally reached the peak of the steep hill. The top was covered in green grass and beautiful multi-colored flowers. He had to resist the urge to go up and smell them. He had found he had a new enjoyment for flowers. They brightened up many aspects of his dull life, and he always went out to the flower shop down the street to collect new ones for his shabby little upstairs flat. He had seen Potter there a few times. Draco guessed he liked flowers too. There were some on his desk. But anytime they happened to spot each other, both would come to a silent agreement to ignore everything they saw or heard.

 

He later regretted not going over to smell the flowers.

~*@*~

 

He and Weasley walked into the semi-abandoned factory down the hill. It looked like the definition of gross, covered in mold and gunk on all four sides. It was just about as big as his flat complex. Perfect for a Death Eater meeting .

 

He was scared. He always was. These raids always left a sore spot, and on days like this, he would usually invite Marleen so they could drink and watch Sherlock on the telly. He usually had particularly horrible headaches the day after, and always woke up with Marleen across from him on the bed with a Sherlock Holmes cluedop piece, and him in a thick gray jacket over his white shirt and slacks. Those were weird nights. They had found that both enjoyed the series on the telly, and would always watch them together. He enjoyed the main character and found himself with the books after his first day of watching.

 

They walked into the old building and looked around. It was seemingly empty. But they both knew it wasn't true. They walked farther into the dark factory and were looking back constantly. They went up to the next floor, and a spell shot straight through the air, barely missing Draco's head. An Ambush . He went a bit pale. Weasley then looked at him.

 

“We both hate each other, and that's obvious. But right now we're in a dangerous situation. Can we please work together so neither of us ends up dead?” Draco was surprised by Weasely’s sudden maturity.

“You're still a right smarmy git,” And there it was. “but I don't want you dead. So let's do this.”

 

Draco nodded, and they turned back to back to help protect each other. A spell then shot between the two of them, and they both rolled to a side to avoid it. Three Death Eaters came out of nowhere. And Ron and Draco were now separated.

 

They each fought as hard as they could, seeing as their lives did depend on it, and knocked two of the three of them out. But they weren't sure where the other one was. Then Draco saw it. The gleam of a hateful eye through the black swirling mask. They raised their wand towards Weasley. No .

 

Draco sprinted over, thinking about what he was doing. But he knew he had to. Weasley had a wife! And children! People who relied on him and loved him. What was his life compared to Weasley’s? He had no family but Andromeda and Teddy, and even they didn’t seem to look forward to his visits. The way they did for Potter. Draco wouldn't be leaving a wife or any children behind.

 

He shouted out a loud ‘No!’. That distracted the ‘Death Eater’ for all but a second. The green killing curse that was supposed to come out did not.  Instead, a stream of dark purple light came out. But by the time Weasley noticed, there was no time for defending himself. Then Draco did the unimaginable for his former enemy.

 

He jumped in front of him .

 

Weasley gasped in surprise and shot a spell to the Death Eater. Draco didn't see what he shot or what happened. Draco flew across the room, his vision blurring as his head hit something. Draco gasped as the pain hit him in waves, making it hard to breathe. Draco felt as though his heart had been pierced with steel. As though his chest had been shredded with a sharp sword. Suddenly cold all over, Draco felt so... lifeless . He wasn’t aware of anything at the moment, even has the blobs of color before his eyes frantically moved about. He just knew he was cold .

 

Weasley looked down at him, all the while gasping for breaths of air.

 

“M-Malfoy?” Draco tried to respond but couldn't. It hurt too much. His vision was fading to black dots that danced across his eyes, and it felt like there were a thousand racehorses galloping in his head.

 

Weasley tried again.

 

“D-draco?” To that, Draco used all the strength left in him to look up at Weasley, his vision momentarily focusing on a drop of blood had fallen in front of his eyes, before looking back at the blob of red and black above him. “The Aurors are on their way. You'll be alright . Merlin , just... Stay with me Malfoy!”

 

“We both k-know that's not true W-Weasley.” Draco whispered brokenly, as he tried to will oxygen into his failing lungs.

 

Weasley looked a bit shaken up, his eyes wild and panicked, as he tried spell after spell. Trying to heal the blond who was bleeding out in front of him. Even through Draco’s pain addled state, he knew it was a lost cause. He was a lost cause

 

“Why? Why would you? Do that…?” Weasley finally stopped the pointless enchantments.

 

“You... you have s-something worth l-living for .”

 

As everything went black, Draco distantly heard the pops of apparition, and wondered,

 

‘When did everything go so wrong?’