Disclaimer: Not mine, but the plot.  But I wish Draco was mine.

A/N Yeah I know, it's another story, but Masquerade is VERY close to its end and I thought I'd get a start on with a new fic.  This one is also posted at Schnoogle, and will most likely be uploaded more frequently there, but I'm also going to post this over here.  Anyways, it's not as fluffy as my previous long ones, but I like this one more than my previous two, so I really hope you'll stay with me.  I'll also post quicker since it's summer and whatnot.

Oh, right, and it's D/G, of course.


England had changed.

The exuberant realm in which Ginny Weasley had grown up had now disappeared with the return of Voldemort. The streets were dirty and dank, the civilians writhing in daily fear, and the aurors of the wizarding world slowly diminishing, conquered by the dark side. She was but twenty when it all happened, just a young woman on the brink of making her own in the world and nowhere ready for the turmoil that would erupt afterwards.

The war wouldn't have really concerned Ginny, at least not at that point. War was the least of her concerns. She cared about finding a job, finding a boyfriend, and most importantly, finding a husband. Her world may have been turned upside down, yet for the most part things were still the same, ubiquitous routine she'd grown accustomed to. But then again, at the beginning it never really affected anyone.

Then people started dying. One by one they fell, supporters of the good, victim to the brutal ravagings of Voldemort's supporters. One by one, the customers of Ginny's quaint little tea shop dwindled into nothingness, and she realized that indeed, there was no way she could carry out a normal life anymore. She had tried, Merlin knew, and for a while telling herself that Albus Dumbledore would defeat the one true evil brought high hopes into those around her.

Until Dumbledore himself had been mercilessly slaughtered.

But Ginny Weasley was never one to give up. She didn't become paranoid like Ron. She didn't become weepy and tearful like Hermione. And she never became listless, not like her mother.

She became an auror.

Without another thought, Ginny closed down her business, tore away the adorable hand-painted sign she'd so lovingly hung out in front of the shop, and tossed off her apron. In that moment, she vowed to reek havoc on the man who had haunted her first year, the man who had killed the headmaster she'd so revered and respected. He would pay, and she would see to it.

Her seventh year at Hogwarts, Ginny had made head girl. She was extremely intelligent, keen and apt, never one to let emotions control her. Minerva McGonagall thought perhaps it was without the shadow of her brother and his friends that she'd truly been able to shine, but whatever the reason Ginny proved herself to be skillful, determined, and goal-oriented.

Of course, that same perspicacity brought Ginny to the high ranks of aurors. Within time, she was among the best of the best, la crème de la crème, so to say. There was nothing Agent Weasley couldn't do, no puzzle too challenging, no enemy too villianous. Well, she could never quite kill—something about the killing curse bothered her incessantly—but with her best friend Bridgette beside her on nearly every mission she never particularly needed to deal with that.

By the time she reached twenty-four, almost all of the death eaters had been captured. Perhaps the most satisfying perk for Ginny was seeing Lucius Malfoy thrown into Azkaban, where she was certain he would rot. Her brother George, whose good cheer and congeniality had been dulled by the blade of terror, found it caustically humorous to allow Lucius a diary in his damp prison cell.

But in all, it had been rather pyrrhic. Because at the end of the day, even knowing the fighting was soon to end could not bring back the victims of Voldemort's war. It could not repair the ties severed nor the broken hearts of mothers whose beloved sons fled to the dark side. And if Ginny had thought herself cold from the loss of Dumbledore, it was nothing compared the frigid chain of events, which had procured when Ron had been savagely slaughtered.

He was an optimal target, just on the edge of pushing Cornelius Fudge from his undeserved position as the Minister of Magic. He would've been the youngest to ever accept such a title, which only added to the loss. The murderer was never apprehended, as there really was no substantial proof, and in the most subtlest ways, therefore, the family blamed Hermione Granger; Ron's fiancée, the intelligent muggle-born that had won over Molly Weasley at the news of their engagement, was the last person to be ever sighted with him.

Nobody believed she had been In cahoots with the plotting of his death, of course, nor did the ministry look upon her with shame. But to the Weasleys, the family that had once welcomed her with open and eager arms, Hermione was a pariah. Perhaps they were scared of the link she had once forged, through that simple solitaire diamond on her fourth finger that she still wore daily without fail. Or perhaps in their effort to find the perpetrator, their sub-consciousness just wanted somebody to pinpoint.

Ginny seemed to be spurred by tragedy; the death of her closest brother left her most aggrieved and yet more determined than ever to bring Voldemort to his knees. She worked now with a reckless spirit, vengeful to say the least, and such disregard for the rules she had once so preciously abided brought the Ministry's most celebrated capture yet—not only had Hayden Laures one of the last death eaters, but he was also one of the most heinous and notorious of the lot.

They thought victory had been near. They thought without his supporters, Voldemort's power was sure to be useless.

But boy, where they ever wrong.

Because Voldemort had something up his sleeve unlike anything anyone had ever seen before. He had a powerful free-lance assassin whose mercilessness went unmatched by even the most evil of death eaters—and whose wealth and stealth made him impossible to implicate.

He had the Lord Draco Malfoy.

- End Prologue -