Disclaimer: I do not own anything, Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling
A/N: Well, after lurking for years and years, I finally decided to jump on the bandwagon and write something. This is unbetaed, except for my own quick proofreading, if anyone would like to offer their services, I would be most appreciative. Don't know if I will continue this, I am not sure how much I like the story and characterization... Anywho, comments and criticism always appreciated.
Revenge is a dish best served cold.
The thief was a crafty one, he'd give him that.
As Draco Malfoy took in the scene of the crime, he wondered for the millionth time since that morning exactly how the thief pulled it off.
The morning started out as usual, wake up at half past six, shower and dress by seven, and breakfast in the blue room with mother at seven fifteen. Neat. Orderly. Just as he liked to start the day. Or at least until he had his first cup of coffee.
The trouble really started with the arrival of the Daily Prophet. The owl came on time as usual, and was deposited nicely beside his plate. However, he could hardly miss the headline screaming "ROBBERY AT GRINGOTTS!!!!!"
He must have looked dumbfounded, as his mother, usually oblivious to most events in the mornings, commented, "What ever is the matter, dear? You look so pale."
He wordlessly handed her the paper, and exited the room on her breathless gasp.
So here he was, trying to make sense of an impossible crime. Really, who could possibly break into, let alone steal from, one of the most magically fortified buildings in the world? Lord Voldemort had tripled the defense of the bank since his ascension, rendering it unassailable.
Or so they thought.
He approached Terry Boot, a lower official from the ministry he vaguely remembered as a Ravenclaw from his schooldays. They were the only ones currently in the vault, as the other officials had already completed the preliminary survey.
Terry nearly jumped out of his skin at the summons, and hastily stammered, "M... Malfoy! I mean, Sir, how can I help you?"
Draco smirked, never getting tired of the rush of power he felt that came from being in Voldemort's inner circle. With the end of the war, all the loyal death eaters were granted high positions in the new government. With the deaths of Dumbledore and Harry Potter, the resistance lost heart, and eventually all those lowborn muggle-loving fools were caught. Well, almost all anyway...
There were, of course, those that fled to other countries, but most were caught, mainly due to the concentrated efforts of Draco Malfoy and his underlings. The capture of such important traitors gave even more prestige to the young man, especially the capture of the rogue Professor McGonagall. Yet, even as Draco relentlessly searched, he could not find the one person that irritated him the most, the one person that he would howl in glee if he were to catch.
He couldn't find Hermione Granger.
One lousy Mudblood, one disgusting, filthy... It wasn't even known that she was alive. Her death was publicized, of course, to demoralize the populace after the last battle, but her body was never found. The bodies of The Weasel and Potty were found quite close together, as The Weseal had died protecting Potthead from some minor attack. This apparently caused Potter to go into a mindless fit of grief, rendering him easy pickings for an opportunistic dark lord.
Granger was easily the only one of the trio who was worth anything when it came to fighting. She could think logically, impassively, and he had often thought there was much Slytherin in her. Unfortunate blood...
Draco knew she was alive. And he would be the one to find her, the one to finally grind that spirit into dust.
Draco wondered what might have happened if Granger were there fighting alongside them. From all accounts of the battle, she was not present at their side, but leading the troops at the flank. Granger, surely, would have kept Potter stabilized long enough to escape to a hideaway where he could have gotten a grip on himself. All the better for Voldemort, then. After the death of the hero, the rest of 'Dumbledore's Army' was completely demoralized, and it was a complete slaughter.
Draco had participated in the battle, and accorded himself well, if not spectacularly. Fighting as near to the back as he could and still get credit,(He was a Slytherin after all, and Slytherins just didn't do well in situations were their necks were on the line) he was more involved in the actual restoration of order to the wizarding world.
Voldemort's first order of business was to set up a new sort of government, one in which he was the Lord and Master. As the official new Wizard King of Britain, he set up a rigid caste system where muggleborns and magical creatures were allowed little to no rights, those of pureblood accorded full citizenship status, and halfbloods were established as a
sort of middle class, with some privileges. Those that surrendered to the will of Voldemort were granted clemency, all except the leaders of the opposing army. Those were given to the Dementors as a well deserved reward for serving their master so well.
While the Ministry was still in existence, it had a purely bureaucratic function, with mostly halfbloods working desk jobs. The real power lay with the nobility. Draco was granted the title of Lord Malfoy, Wizard Duke of York by Voldemort himself. The next order of business was to extend their influence to all the various wizarding communities of Europe.
Exciting stuff, that. Except for all this nasty burglary business, Draco Malfoy would be feeling as happy as... well, as happy as a Slytherin could get. (Excessive happiness just wasn't dignified after all)
Terry was still stalling, and Draco was beginning to become impatient.
"Boot, I am really starting to lose my temper. Do we know how this happened or not?"
"Well, Sir, from what we can gather, the thief snuck in totally undetected by any of the wards or alarm spells. This was obviously a very well planned operation. There is no evidence anyone was here, except for the missing object. No hair, no skin particles, no fingerprints, nothing. A key apparently opened the vault, although this lock is magically-keyed, and the only key is in possession of our Dark Majesty. There is no magical residue here in the vault, but there was one spell done in the vicinity."
"And what, pray tell, was that?"
Terry sighed. "An advanced sleeping spell. The guard who does rounds in the middle of the night was found asleep here not too long ago, and that was what triggered the search of the vault."
Draco was aghast, "You mean that is the guard wasn't found asleep, no one would have noticed that the robbery?"
Terry swallowed nervously, "That... That about sums it up sir."
Draco was positively seething. "You are dismissed." He briskly turned away from Terry and started to walk out of the vault, trying to control his temper and keep his face impassive...
"Sir, may I ask what was in this vault?"
Draco stopped short, turned and advanced upon the suddenly scared young man. He stopped close to Terry's face and spoke in a slow, menacing drawl,
"The ruin of us all."
Hermione lay soaking happily in a huge vat of bubbles, surrounded by the flickering light of many candles. She read the headline of the Daily Prophet, and sighed contentedly.
She would have her revenge.