N.B. I don't anything you recognise.

Prologue (Set at the end of OotP)

Draco Malfoy sat next to his mother in Malfoy Manor and stared at the head in the fire. He couldn't believe what it was saying: his father and the other prisoners that had been sent to Azkaban were not supposed to be getting out at all but at this moment there was a plan amongst the Dementors to break them out without any questions being asked. Sirius Black the escaped convict was dead and the ministry knew of the Dark Lord's return.

His mother was now talking to the head (a wizard by the name of Elessar Hades), Draco wasn't completely sure but he heard mention of Harry Potter's name and a prophecy or something, this confused him and he fell into a daydream.

He felt oddly numb inside in a way he couldn't explain. Ordinarily he would've been pleased at this news but since his return home from Hogwarts for the summer he had been thinking..a lot. And the more he thought about it the more he thought about it the more he thought Azkaban was the best place for the Death Eaters. Of course, he hadn't mentioned this to his mother and had so far managed to act like a loyal, evil son should.

He stood up.

"I think I'll retire now mother."

"Yes, of course." His mother rose elegantly from her chair and kissed her son on the cheek, "Goodnight my dragon."

"Goodnight." Came his reply and he made his way up to his quarters.


The Malfoys did nothing by halves...NOTHING, and Draco's rooms were no exception. His bedroom was huge and elaborate, decorated in lavish greens, blacks and silvers (ever the faithful Slytherin), and it was packed with the latest wizarding artefacts. The bedroom also contained a large leather couch and a huge fireplace, and leading off from this was a full size en- suite bathroom.

Draco threw himself onto the large four poster bed. He HAD to talk to someone, but who?! Crabbe and Goyle were hardly an intelligent choice...in fact none of the Slytherins were. Hmm...Slytherin? Snape? SNAPE! Why hadn't he been captured along with the other Death Eaters?! He defiantly was one. Draco's mind ticked over as he contemplated this new thought.

Finally, he jumped off his bed and made his way over to the immense fireplace. He scooped up a handful of floo powder from the silver pot and threw it into the dying fire. He knew he was taking two big risks here; firstly, by assuming he could trust Snape, secondly by using the floo network to locate him-it wasn't supposed to be used by only stating wizard's names...it worked of a system of place recognition according to the grate you called out, but Draco had no choice. He didn't know where Snape would be. He stepped into the fire behind the powder and shouted:

"Severus S. Snape. Hogwarts potions master!"


When the soot cleared and his head stopped spinning, Draco stepped out of the fireplace into the room where the floo network had taken him: it wasn't Hogwart's dungeons, although he hadn't really expected the potions master to be there during the summer holidays.

The room he was in appeared to be a large living room, elegantly furnished in dark forest green and deep coloured oak. Draco dusted down his robes with the clothes brush that was hung next to the fireplace with a tub of floo powder.

He suddenly began to panic; maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all. He began to turn back into the fireplace when he felt the tip of a wand being pressed painfully against the back of his neck.

"Don't move!" warned a cold familiar voice but Draco ignored the instruction and turned to face his head of house.

"Malfoy!" exclaimed Snape "What the hell are you doing here?! I thought you were.well, never mind. Explain yourself immediately!"

"I.I had to see you.sir, about my father."

"Me?! Why not go to your mother?!"

"Because, sir, I have a feeling I could trust you and what I have to say she would not approve of."

"What do you mean Draco?"

Draco took a deep breath...the moment of truth had arrived.

"Y...you're not really one of 'THEM' are you sir?"

"One of whom Draco?"

"The Death Eaters." There, he'd said it. Now it wasn't up to him.

The potions master looked stunned for a moment and when he spoke his voice was cool and worryingly calm.

"Come with me Draco." He said, and turning he led Draco into a large dining room. This too was also elegantly decorated only this time in deep red and ebony.

He indicated for Draco to sit at the large ebony table...he did so without arguments....the coolness in his professor's voice had concerned him. Snape himself then walked over to a marble drinks cabinet and poured himself a large brandy, for Draco he brought a butterbeer.

"You were very brave to come here tonight Draco and were even braver in assuming I am NOT a Death Eater."

Draco was now fearful and inhaled sharply, but Snape ignored the fear and continued.

"Why have you come here tonight Draco? Should you not be plotting with your mother and family friends to help release your father from Azkaban? I for one know that the Dark Lord would not be at all happy if he knew you were here, and not assisting in your father's escape."

Draco was slightly taken aback by this comment from Snape: he had assumed wrongly. Cold fingers fastened around his heart.

"I...I thought you would understand my reason for being here Professor." He stammered, clutching the butterbeer bottle tightly.

"And why would I understand Draco?!" I have been assisting the Dark Lord for over fifteen years. What makes you think that it is a front and that I am not his right hand wizard...prepared to strike down those who doubt him?!"

Draco was panicking now. What could he do?! There was no way out of this. He'd been so wrong to assume Snape was on the side of good and would help him break free from the chains of his family beliefs.

"Tell me Draco," Snape continued, his black eyes cold and empty, "Why do you wish to repent the family who have brought you up?!"

Draco decided he wasn't going to answer any more questions but his mouth had other plans, involuntarily it opened and poured out everything he needed to say:

Draco told Snape everything: About how he had realised that power, greed and prejudice were worthless and stupid next to family...even when that family stood for those things...how such things meant nothing when innocent people were targeted and killed.

Snape's cold eyes never left Draco's face as he spoke and Draco felt as if he were under the most intense scrutiny.

"There was Veritaserum in that butter beer wasn't there?!" Draco asked.

"Indeed there was Mr Malfoy. Now, as I said before you were very brave to come here tonight and you were even braver in assuming I am NOT slave to the Dark Lord. You are a Slytherin. Are you not proud of your house and family?!"

Draco felt the frosty talons clutching his heart once more.

"I know I am a Slytherin sir and I know that there is little I to do to change that fact. But that does not mean that I am proud of my birthright. I thought you would understand sir?!" He repeated.

He watched the potions master: whose eyes were boring into him, and Draco could feel him searching his thoughts...looking for proof of Draco's sincerity. Draco left his mind open to the search; he had nothing to hide from his head of house. Let him know it all. If Snape was on the side of good then it would do Draco no harm, and if Snape did work for Voldemort then let him strike Draco down dead on the spot: he didn't care; anything to prevent what he would otherwise have to become.

Eventually Snape seemed satisfied that he had seen enough in Draco's mind and the probing stopped. He turned to Draco and he saw the potion master's eyes had softened:

"I am pleasantly surprised by your mind Draco: it is open and honest, I can see you have told me the truth. So now I feel it is only fair that I do the same: you assumed correctly about my position ...well, almost correctly. Although I am still a Death Eater..." He rolled up the sleeve of his right forearm and showed Draco the mark that burned black and red on his skin. "...I am also a spy for a society called the Order of the Phoenix, fighting against the Dark Lord. My job is to report anything from the revels-I'm assuming you know what the revels are?" Draco nodded in response...speechless from what he was hearing...he hadn't expected this. "Well," continued Snape "I report things back to The Order for us to be able to plan against him."

Draco didn't know what else to say so he simply asked the question he'd been dying to know:

"But sir, why weren't you caught when the others were fighting Potter?"

"Ah, well, I have recently fallen out of grace with the Dark Lord for my 'inability' to kill Dumbledore or deliver Potter to him so I was not one of the...'selected' few to be chosen to fight him and his cronies."

Draco nodded...now it all made sense.

"You sound exactly like I did when I spoke to Dumbledore 15years ago when I converted."

They continued to talk for several hours before Draco suddenly turned to Snape:

"I want to join The Order and become a spy."