Disclaimer: All the characters are J K Rowling's Rating: R

I rubbed a smear of blood from my cheek, grimacing distastefully.

If there was one thing I hated about raids it was that every blasted wizard in the building seemed determined to cover me in their impure blood.

'Fourth or seventh?' Voldemort asked coldly, referring to which division we'd just obliterated.

I looked at the body in front of me and leaned down yanking a small chain from around his neck.

'Fourth unit.' I said simply, regarding the man's details and then letting his tag drop to the floor.

Dean Thomas.

I'd known him once.

He wasn't even a Mudblood.

But if he'd been foolish enough to cross me then he deserved everything he got.

'Well done my Lord.' I addressed formally, my eyes drifting over the ruined room in front of me. 'This will be a great blow to Dumbledore and his side.'

Voldemort smiled chillingly, although I was unsure it could be counted as a smile.

This was the third enemy base we'd destroyed this week.

Reports from our spies told us that Dumbledore himself was beginning to despair.

The wizarding world was fast descending into chaos.

The next step in out plan would plunge it straight into obscure darkness.

'Look at them.' He said scornfully. 'So naïve- they truly believed he could protect them. Look where their trust and belief got them Draco and rejoice that we have none. Rejoice that we will this battle.'

'I rejoice already my lord.' I murmured respectfully, my eyes picking out familiar faces staring the blank gaze of death.

'Pity Potter wasn't here to enjoy it with us.' A sardonic tone crept into his voice. 'He is what stands between us and our victory.'

'He will be found soon enough.' I promised. 'I will see to it.'

He nodded. 'You shall.'

There was a threat hanging behind the words.

I was used to it though.

After three years of being Voldemort's right hand man I was threatened quite a bit by everybody.

I didn't worry though - nobody ever carried out the threats because I never gave anybody the chance to.

'Everybody here?' I raised my voice so the entire room could hear it.

'Sunley's missing sir.' Someone replied.

'Dead.' I answered immediately, my tone containing nothing but boredom.

He was a fool anyway.

'Anybody else?'

There was silence.

'Good- apparate back to the base.' I ordered in a tone that left no room for questions. 'Zabini, Ball, Newton and Rutherton - you're all on sentry tonight. Everybody else get some sleep. There's a meeting at eight. I expect you all to be there - no excuses.'

That basically meant that if they weren't dead, and they missed the meeting, they would be.

'Go. Now.'

Immediately the figures of the Death Eaters before me began to fade.

Voldemort nodded at me before apparating himself.

I sighed, flexing my arm which I'd been careless enough to injure.

When I had enough time and energy I'd heal myself but until then I would have to put up with the pain.

It would teach me to be more careful next time.

The ruins around me began to smoke and I looked upwards. What had once been a roof now was an opening to the night sky.

I loved the night time- it was the only time I ever felt truly alive.

Ironic really considering it was the time I associated with death - ironic indeed that I only felt alive sending others to their death.


I stifled a yawn, squinting to read the tiny writing on the latest reports from the other bases.

They were so boring.

I felt the urge to fire the current commanders and replace them with someone who could write something that kept me awake.

Not that the defence measures of Death Eater bases weren't of the utmost interest to me but. . .

Why couldn't Voldemort do some of the work?

They were his bloody bases not mine.

He was the one getting all the glory and the fame and I was the one doing all the hard work.

Except, to be fair, I was getting a considerable amount of fame.

The price on my head had escalated rapidly over the last year and it now wasn't actually that much less than Voldemort's.

Only his was "dead or alive".

Mine was "alive".

I wasn't sure if that was good or not.

If the rumours about the auror's methods were true then maybe I'd rather be dead.

There was a faint flicker as something moved past the candles in the corridor.

I tensed and closed my eyes, concentrating on where the person was.

There was an exclamation as the person realised I had apparated right in front of them.

'Why are you not in bed?' I asked coldly.

The Death Eater swallowed. 'Couldn't sleep.'

About to launch into a lecture and then possibly a curse I paused, realising I was too tired to be bothered with a minion.

'Fine. Make yourself useful and go join the others on watch.'

He frowned. Obviously he didn't want to actually do some work.

Before he could blink my wand was at his throat.

'Is there a problem?' I hissed.

'No sir.' He choked.

'Good.' I withdrew, leaving him quaking in terror. 'And it better stay that way. If there is so much as a leaf that moves out there I want to know about it.'

He nodded mutely.

'Immediately.' I stressed.

The nodding speeded up.

'What are you waiting for?' I asked.

He spun around and ran towards the exit.

I sighed.

I needed to calm down a bit.

I was tired and stressed but so what? Pretty soon every Death Eater was going to think I was as crazy as Dumbledore if I carried on like this.

I checked the time.

4 am.

If I went to bed now I could perhaps get two hours sleep before I had to be up again.

Normally I would have scoffed at the idea and carried on working.

But I'd been working for three days non-stop and I couldn't see straight.

I would be no use if we were attacked.

My mind made up I apparated to my bedroom, too tired to bother walking.

With a sigh I lay down on the four poster bed, fully clothed.

I buried my face in the silky soft sheets and finally let my eyes drift shut.

Sleep was easy to come and just as easy to depart.

There was a creak outside my room.

My wand in my hand, I was standing before the door handle turned.


I relaxed slightly.

'What?' I snapped.

'There is an intruder.'


He nodded.

'Capture them. I want them alive. Do not engage in battle- simply catch them unaware. And QUICKLY.' I snapped.

He disapparated instantly.

So much for sleeping.

I looked wistfully one last time at my bed before resigning myself to another 24hours of wakefulness.

Hoping to wake myself up I chose to walk to our largest containing room.

Whoever the intruder was he was going to suffer twice as much as usual for interrupting my sleep.

I glanced at a chair wishing I could sit down.

But to need to sit was a weakness, one I could not afford now I was faced with the prospect of a prisoner.

The air blurred hazily as a team of four apparated in the room.

They really had to work on instant apparation.

'You have them?' I asked.

Zabini nodded. 'Yes sir.'

A body was thrown on the floor by my feet, landing face up and revealing a face I'd dreamed of seeing.


This was too good to be true.

'His wand?' I asked.

Zabini presented it to me triumphantly.

I nodded to him. 'You have done well. Go and inform our Lord. I shall keep watch on the prisoner. I want guards stationed outside the doors.'

Orders dealt with, I turned and silently regarded Potter.

All these years of trying to find him and he turned up to our base, alone and unarmed apart from his wand.

What on earth was he thinking walking into a Death Eater base?

It was an even more stupid foolhardy move than I would have expected from him.

There was a small groan from the floor and I watched as the body moved slightly. The famous green eyes fluttered open and I watched as his pupils dilated to see in the dim atmosphere.

'Where am I?' He whispered in confusion.

'Come on Potter you can do better than that.'

He jumped, obviously not expecting an answer.

'Who are you?' He snapped, looking around the room anxiously.

I stepped out of the shadows and his eyes widened slightly as he saw me.

'Potter.' I greeted in a lazy drawl.

'Malfoy.' His glare could have killed.

'How nice of you to join us.' I smirked at him.

'Well thanks for the invite.'

'I wasn't aware we'd issued one.' My eyes showed sarcastic concern. 'But I'm pleased by your presence nonetheless.'

'At least one of us is pleased.' His eyes regarded me with a coolness that seemed out of place on him.

I made a disappointed noise. 'Not pleased to see me then Potter?'

Stony silence answered me.

'Shame.' I picked some dirt out from under my fingernail.

His mouth opened to retort.

The doors flew open and Voldemort strode in, looking ever inch the villain.

'Harry Potter.' Voldemort said gleefully, rubbing his hands together.

He looked uncannily like Crabbe and Goyle did when approaching a chocolate cake.

I kicked myself inwardly- I had to stop making comparisons like that- it was making me lose all respect for him.

'Lord Voldemort.' Potter's scornful tone ruined the formal addressal.

'I trust Mr Malfoy has greeted you appropriately.' He looked at me with a small smirk.

Damn I knew I'd forgotten something- pain!

I was supposed to have been torturing him!

'But the night has only just begun.' Voldemort said sinisterly.

'Actually it's morning.' Potter corrected him.

'I'm sorry?' Voldemort asked icily.

'You are? Oh well- forgive and forget's always been one of my favourite-'

There was a cracking sound and Potter's head snapped to the side.

Interesting spell. I had to learn that one.

Voldemort smirked.

Blood tricked out of Potter's mouth as he straightened up.

'Damn that impure blood sure does taste bad.' He spat it on the floor. 'I see where you're coming from now.'


Since when had Potter developed a sense of humour? Let alone a skill at witty repartee.

Why couldn't he have had that at Hogwarts? It would have made my life a whole lot more fun

'By the time the sun sets you won't have any left.' Voldemort hissed. 'You'll be begging me to kill you. You'll regret ever being born and rue the dare you dared to cross me!'

'Ooh scary- are you going to bore me to death?'

I kicked myself as I almost laughed.

'You'll eat your words before I'm through Potter.' Voldemort's eyes flashed with seething anger.

'Draco.' He turned to me. 'Do you want to have a little fun with your prisoner.'


I had fun?


Torture and maiming.

When wasn't I up for that?

I frowned.

So why was I hesitating?

The sudden realisation hit me.

I didn't want to have any sort of "fun" with Potter.

But there was no way in hell I was going to tell Lord Voldemort that.

And come to think of it why the hell didn't I want to?

I'd hated Potter since day one.

'Of course my Lord.' I said quickly, realising I'd taken a little too long to answer.

He gestured to me with his eyebrows that I should go ahead.

I pulled my wand out my pocket, feeling it slip slightly in my sweating palms.

~What the hell is wrong with you?~ I mentally berated myself. ~This is Potter. The bane of your existence. The one person you've been doing this to get to. ~

I blinked in shock.

The one person I'd been doing this to get to?

What was going on?

I hadn't thought about Potter once in the last five years since leaving Hogwarts.

Well maybe once or twice but it was only ever in a violent bloodthirsty way - totally natural.

So why was that distinct feeling of reluctance running through me.

Our eyes met and I felt a jolt run through me at the sight of the green eyes, filled with defiance, and a great deal of pain.

'Something the matter Draco?' Voldemort's voice had chilled somewhat and I jumped at the sound of it.

'No my Lord.' I lied nervously, turning back to Potter.

~Just say it Draco. ~ I ordered myself. ~It's just one little word. ~

Even Potter was looking at me now, his expression curious.

Curious as to why he wasn't currently screaming in agony.

Due to the look on Voldemort's face I had about another second to make a decision.

It was either me or Potter.

When it was put like that.


A jet of light streamed out of my wand, hitting Potter squarely in the chest.

A smile spread across Voldemort's face as he listened to the screams.

It was obviously music to his ears.

And to mine?

For the first time in a long while. . . it was just screaming.

Horrific screams of agony that chilled you to the bone.

The sort of screams that made you realise you still had a soul because currently it was being torn apart.

The sort of screams I didn't want to listen to.

And then they were over and the only sound was Potter's pain filled gasps.

I closed my eyes slightly.

Why did I care so much?

This lack of sleep must have been getting to me more than I'd realised.

'Much as I'd love to see you carry on eating your words Potter,' Voldemort snarled, 'I'm afraid the starter's over and it's time for the main course. We wouldn't want any rescue attempts before the meal's over would we?'

Actually you know what?

I think I'd quite like to cast 'crucio' again.

I'd been so wrapped up in the spell itself I'd forgotten what would happen when it ended.

'I have been waiting for this moment for a long time Potter.' Though low, Voldemort's voice carried to every shadow filled corner in the room.

I was beginning to feel sick.

I just couldn't imagine it.

Potter- dead.

I'd always known that those two words would someday never be apart but now that I was facing the opportunity.

He just wasn't the type to die.

I'd never met anyone more full of life.

And the idea of a world without him. . .

My hand grabbed the chair, half to support myself, half for me to squeeze so hard it splintered.

'Any last words Potter?'

If I hadn't been waging such a difficult internal battle then I would have rolled my eyes at the cliché.

The green eyes turned towards me and I tensed as they met my own, unable to breathe.

Something flowed between the two of us- more expressive than any last words he could say.

'No.' He said simply.

He broke the connection.

I swallowed.

My heart began to beat faster and a vague feeling of panic began to spread through me.

He couldn't die.

I couldn't see him die.

Oh God.

What was I going to do?

I had to do something!

But if I so much as moved then Voldemort would know.

And I'd be dead.

Just like Potter.

My breath was coming out in erratic bursts and the blood was rushing to my head. Voldemort raised his wand.

'Avada Kedavra!'

I watched in stunned silence as the light raced across the room.

Light issued from my wand.

Oh shit.

As the light hit Voldemort's body I felt my heart stop beating.

What the hell had I just done?

I watched in sick fascination as Voldemort's body fell to the ground.

But he wasn't dead yet.

Somehow he was fighting back.

I poured more energy and magic into the spell.

It was too late to go back now.

My senses were reeling and for a second I felt Voldemort's pain as if it was my own.

And then with a last sudden flash the light went out.

I staggered slightly.

My heartbeat filled my head.

So this was how it felt to die.

I fell to my knees, trying to remember how to breathe.


I saw the mouth shape the words rather than hear it.

Green eyes stared down at me and without realising what I was doing I reached out a hand and gently touched his cheek, feeling the moisture on it.

My last thought before darkness claimed me was that Potter looked like an angel when he cried.