Desclaimer: All belongs to JKR, folks.

Warnings: So far, none; will be SLASH eventually.

Summary: First chapter (or first part of the prologue, if you prefere), in which Draco is all huffy and revengful.

This chapter is dedicated to Fishie, and all other aquatic life :grin:

"I must say, I'm looking forward to seeing Malfoy's mother's face when he gets off the train," -Ernie Macmillan, OotP. I only planned on doing them in the first two chapters, really, since they serve as prologue, and therefore are sort of attached to the fifth book.

Draco opened his eyes, and then blinked in the darkness. His head ached, like he had hit it on something This was redundant, as your head usually only aches if you hit it-that's not true. There's a headache born out of sickness, which feels completely different than one that is a result of a hit to the head. and his throat was dry and sore. There was also a hard, flat surface under his back, which felt harsh against his shoulder blades.

He weakly pushed himself to a sitting position, and closed his eyes as a spell of dizziness attacked him. He blinked again and shadows swam before his eyes. "Crabbe?" he tried when the world was still again, and winced at the sound of his barely recognizable words. "Goyle?"

The only sound he could hear was his own loud breaths. He felt hot and clammy, and the dizziness still hadn't completely left him. He touched his forehead with his hand, and froze in horror – it felt as if his forehead was full of little bumps and tentacle-like growths. Growths that oozed slime on his fingers when touched. "What happened?" he whispered to himself.

Potter, of course. He should have remembered. He should have known not to attack the Boy-Who-Bloody-Lived on the train, when every compartment was full of adoring students, just waiting to jump on the first person to utter a bad word against Potter. But Draco had been so angry, so full of hate and rage. He had been blinded by his immediate thirst for revenge.

'Revenge is a dish best served cold, Draco,' a phrase his father often used came to mind. He forced himself to calm down, pushing the simmering anger beneath the surface.

Draco reached into his pocket for his wand, and felt a brief pang of panic when it wasn't there, but calmed when he found it next to his foot a moment later. "Lumos," he murmured, and pale light flared from the tip of his wand.

He was able to instantly recognise that he was in the baggage rack and smirked. Unintended though it was, his attackers had done him a favour: there wasn't much of a chance he'd be spotted here, a fact that saved him from much humiliation. Why not much?

He felt around in his robes and found his small, unbreakable mirror. "For a Malfoy," his father's voice echoed in his ears, "appearance is everything." Bracing himself, Draco looked in the mirror. What he saw made him blanch.

His face was almost unrecognisable. He was covered in what were indeed tentacles. His perfect hair was a mess, and covered in slime, and on his cheek, a rather large bruise was starting to form. "Well, Draco," he whispered to himself, mouth set in a grim line, "what are you waiting for?"

Ten minutes, quite a few counter-jinxes, and some cleaning charms later, he was back to his old self, except for a little dust and a small tear in his expensive robes. He had also concealed this bruise on his face with a charm charmed the bruise away; it wouldn't do for the rest of his House to see that he had been beaten by Potter and his ilk. He found Crabbe and Goyle in a nearby shelf and woke them up.

The sun was already setting and the train had already arrived in London; he'd been unconscious for a long time. He walked through the corridors on his way to an exit, peering into different compartments. They were all vacant. A House-Elf was waiting for him nervously on the platform, dressed in a towel bearing the Malfoy emblem and wringing its hands anxiously. Other than it, the platform was empty.

"Young Master Malfoy, Sir!" it squeaked as Draco neared him "Knock is waiting for Sir for so long! Mistress is saying to bring Sir back, and Knock is obeying, yes Sir! But Sir isn't here and Knock is afraid to go back without Sir! Knock is a good House-Elf, he is, Knock is waiting!" the creature looked ready to burst into tears at the end of its speech.

"Yes, yes," Draco snapped. He was already quite angry, and the creature's babbling was grating on his short nerves. The creature raised huge teary eyes to him. "Knock is to take Sir home," it squeaked, in such a small voice Draco almost didn't hear it. Draco nodded impatiently.

The House-Elf presented him with a small round stone, with a rough rune carved in the middle. It was a portkey, a family heirloom keyed to the Manor. Without Malfoy blood in a person's veins or a portkey, Apparating to the Manor was impossible. Knowing Knock would bring his trunk to the Manor, Draco grasped the stone without hesitation. The familiar pulling sensation surrounded him, and he felt his feet leave the ground.

His feet slammed to the ground, but he remained standing despite the impact. The Malfoy Manor stood before him; proud, cold and magnificent, in all of its marble glory.

The huge carved doors swung open as he came near them. He passed through them to the entrance hall. The floor was made of light green marble, polished to a dull shine by the ages of Malfoys who had walked upon it before him. The stone walls rose high above, curving inwards and creating a large dome made of glass and marble. On clear nights the stars could be seen through; but now, all Draco could see were clouds and a grey sky. He headed to the left of the two grand staircases at the far side of the hall, and continued to his rooms. The House-Elves would tell his mother he was home.

His rooms were at the north wing, the oldest part of the Manor. When he was young, he had rooms near his parents, who lived in the newest section, added only a hundred or so years before by Draco's Great Grandfather. The summer before he left for Hogwarts, he had asked to move here. They consisted of a large bedroom, a study, a guestroom and connected baths. All decorated in green, silver and dark wood, of course.

His trunk was already in the bedroom, emptied and stored; his clothes had been taken out for washing, and his belongings were set neatly in place. Draco took off his damaged robes, changed to a clean set, and sank down on his bed. He was home.

His mother came to see him a few hours later. She commented on how much he had grown, and how handsome he had become. But when she said he resembled his father very much, they had both closed up, and she left a few moments after, but not before telling him dinner would be served in a few minutes.

His father. The thought burned behind his eyes, in his mind. He couldn't help his father, not yet, but he could start trying. He had an entire summer to try.

The first thing he needed to do, he knew, was to learn some basic healing spells; a good wizard should always have the means to patch himself up in case no available Healer was found. The second thing he needed was to get in better shape. As much as he loathed admitting it, Pureblood wizards relied on magic too much. Draco tended to find history boring, but some parts were made clear to him since he was barely a toddler, drilled into his young mind; in the burning times, Wizards were burned. And without their wands, they were overcome easily. He knew most of the Pureblood families wouldn't have agreed with him; "Muggle fighting" was looked upon as crude and unrefined. Purebloods hated to acknowledge they were doing something- anything- wrong.

But Draco didn't plan to be easy prey, if he indeed found himself in such position.

Third, and the most important of all, to him, was to learn every curse and hex he could find.

The days after his return seemed to blend into each other. He got up early, for a morning run. In the first few times, he wheezed so hard he thought he would suffocate. By the second week, he could run a good two miles without getting too dizzy; by the end of summer break, he could run almost a full lap around the Manor.

He had borrowed his mother's healing books, first memorising the simple spells, to heal bruises and scratches. Then he moved on to cuts and even broken bones. He combed the greenhouse for plants to use in his potions, and made himself a small supply. He had also spent time lurking in his father's library, pouring over old, yellowed tomes and squinting at tiny, faded books and their tiny, faded writing. Every time he found something he thought useful, he marked the page and moved on.

Confident in the ability of the Manor's wards to conceal his underage magic, Draco studied around the clock, brewing potions in his study, murmuring hexes and curses under his breath, and later casting them on insects he found, not allowing himself rest until he collapsed at night in his bed, afraid of the thoughts that would invade his mind if he didn't keep himself busy. He took long trips in the hills near the Manor to find herbs the greenhouse lacked, digging up roots and carefully gathering flowers and leaves.

His mother came to visit him a few times, her face thoughtful and maybe a little anxious, but he paid her no heed and she didn't disturb him. It came almost as a surprise when the summer break ended, so wrapped up he was in his books.

He promised Potter he would make him pay, and pay he would.

Draco was ready.

Father was right, of course, he thought. Revenge was a dish best served cold, and he planned on having it frozen like ice, and having it well.

Well, what do you think now? Is it alright?