"Marked" Preview

Summary: Two dead. Three missing. The Order is down a leader and another innocent takes the Mark. Where is the Chosen One, and who killed Draco Malfoy? Dramione, sequel to "Clean."

Chapter One: The Muggle

The tall, lanky Slytherin eyed his reflection in the mirror with displeasure.

The issue wasn't that he didn't look good in black; he did, without question - though he wasn't the sort to note such things aloud. It was more an issue of what the black meant.

Because Theo Nott refused to believe that Draco Malfoy was really dead.

"Impossible," he'd said, blinking. "That's - it's just impossible."

Blaise had reached out a hand to comfort him, and Pansy had glanced up through her tear-sprinkled lashes.

"I know, Theo," she'd said, her voice scratchy from crying. "It's heartbreaking. We all loved him - "

"No," he corrected her roughly. "You wanted his last name, and you" - he snapped, turning to Blaise - "you didn't even know what was going on with him all of last year, did you?"

Blaise looked taken aback. "Theo, what - "

"Don't pretend like you cared about him," Theo ranted angrily. "You didn't know. None of you knew."

But Theo knew.

First, there was Potter.

Potter, kill Draco?

Only in a world where nothing makes sense.

Though nothing did make sense, honestly - Potter and Weasley and Granger were gone.

Theo had seen Draco's face when he looked at Granger at the House Ball, like he'd never seen anything like her. Theo had seen Draco's face when he would glance up every so often, in the library or the dining hall or the classroom, nodding thoughtfully to himself as though assuring himself that everything was okay, because he'd assured himself that she was still in the room. Theo had heard the tremor in Draco's voice every time he'd denied it, denied her, denied everything - only to hold firm when he finally told Theo to keep her safe.

And Theo had seen Granger's face, when Draco would look back at his books and she would glance up nervously, biting her lip when she saw his bent head. Theo saw Granger run through the castle with Draco's blood on her hands, watched her hold back her tears as she sat in silence, hiding. Theo had seen the sparkle in her eye when he'd told her about a Draco she'd never known, and he heard the regret in her voice when she spoke, knowing she'd never know him. Theo had watched her look to Draco for strength and he'd watched Draco look to her for comfort and Theo knew - he knew - that it was not fucking likely that she'd bail with his killer.

"She's Potter's best friend" - no, fuck that. if Granger was gone, Draco was with her. Theo was sure of it.

Draco Malfoy was not dead. He couldn't be.

"Tell me what really happened up there," he'd demanded, throwing his books down angrily and confronting Professor Snape.

He hadn't even had the decency to look cornered.

"You already know what happened, Mr. Nott - "

"Bullshit - "

"Theo - "

"Tell me the truth!" he yelled, thumping his fist angrily against his chest. Come at me.

It seemed like everything Theo did now was a challenge, a dare. Lie to me, his face said. Lie to me, and see how I take it.

a/n: For the full chapter, you can find the new story, Marked, in my profile. Thanks for reading!