Summery: Draco decides to stay away from Harry for their last year at Hogwarts. But being separated from him finally makes Draco realize how much he cares for the depressed Gryffindor.

Disclaimer: As much as I would love too, I do not own anything that has been previously mentioned in The Harry Potter Books, which is very unfortunate for me.

The Tale of a Dragon

Ch1: Some Things Hurt More Than Others

Draco Malfoy stood in his extravagantly furnished bedroom on the third story of The Malfoy Manor, studying himself in his full-length mirror. He wore a black shirt, which made him look even paler than normal, as impossible as that sounds. He looked much to pale than he would have liked since his skin had become at least three shades lighter during the summer holidays.

He looked at his watch; it was almost nine in the morning. Draco used a simple levitation spell to get his trunk off his bed, down the hall, down the huge staircase and into the entrance hall where he set it down next to a hat stand. In the stand was a black cane with a silver snakehead on the top, which could only mean one thing; Lucius Malfoy, his father, had broken out of Azkaban. Draco swallowed nervously as he stared into the snake's eyes, fearing the worst. He heard someone coming up behind him.

"Draco." He turned to face Narcissa Malfoy, his mother. "Your father wants to speak to you. Now." She turned on her heal and strode into the living room with her nose in the air.

Lucius stood in front of the fireplace with his hands folded behind his back. Narcissa moved over to the left side of Lucius about one step behind him and rested her hand on the mahogany frame of the fireplace. Draco stood up straight and looked Lucius in the face, but didn't look him in the eye, as he had been taught never to look a superior in the eye. He also kept his face completely void of emotions because, as his father put it, 'emotions suggest feelings, feeling suggest weakness and a Malfoy never shows weakness'.

"Draco," his father said coldly, " I have just come from a meeting with The Dark Lord, and he feels that you are now old enough to join the ranks of the Deatheaters. You will receive your Darkmark during the Christmas holidays." His tone became even colder, "this is a very prestigious honour and you will accept it. It is your duty as a Malfoy to be as helpful to the Dark Lord as you possibly can. To prove yourself to be loyal, this year when you arrive at Hogwarts, you must do your best to find everything out about The Order of the Phoenix. You will send the updates to me, and I will send them directly to the Dark Lord."

Draco couldn't control himself any longer. "But I don't want to be a Deatheater." Narcissa gasped while Lucius's eyes narrowed.

"What did you say?" He hissed.

"I-I" Draco was starting to get nervous now. "I don't w-want to be a Deatheater." His voice was getting smaller and smaller by the second. He feared his Lucius's anger more than anything else.

"You will do as The Dark Lord wants" Lucius spat back. "Or you will suffer the wrath of both him as well as myself." He brought his hand up and backhanded Draco on side on his face. Draco started to fall sideways as Lucius kicked his feet out from underneath him. He instinctively turned forward and put his arms out. Draco felt one of the bones break in his arm and he smashed the side of his forehead into the coffee table. Tears threatened to spill, but he reminded himself that 'Malfoys do not cry', and held them back.

"Shame of our flesh, isn't he dear?" Muttered Lucius to his wife as they left.

"Yes, but you must remember, he hasn't always been a blood-traitor."

Draco closed his eyes and tried to push himself up with his good arm. He eventually made his way to one of the plush couches and collapsed into it breathing deeply to prevent himself from crying; he hadn't cried since he was seven, and he wasn't going to start again now. He got his wand out of his pocket then shakily pointed it at his arm. Draco wasn't the best at healing spells so even though he fixed the gash on his head, he still had a throbbing headache, and he did manage to fix the bone in his arm, but there was a huge bruise that looked almost black. There was a big purple and blue bruise on his right cheekbone, which he hid in the shadows by putting his hood up and keeping his head down, just in case someone noticed.

On the train Draco did his best to push his trunk into the luggage rack, but his sore arm prevented him from getting it up properly. He decided to levitate it up and he wondered why he didn't think of doing that before he strained his arm that much. He stalked off to the Head Boy/Girl compartment, to get the list of things he needed to do before they got to Hogwarts.

The compartment was very well decorated in all the house colours (red, yellow, blue, green, gold, black, bronze and silver) and had a feeling of superiority to it. Draco sat in a black armchair opposite Hermione Granger, who was Head Girl. Draco kept his gaze focused on the floor, about a foot to the left of the door. A few minutes after the train had started moving, two envelopes appeared on the table in between the Gryffindor and the Slytherin, one had a green boarder and the other's boarder was red. Draco's hand automatically reached for the green-boarded one, Hermione's to the red-boarded envelope. They opened their-own and read in silence.

Mr D. Malfoy

Congratulations on becoming Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry's Head Boy from the month of September too the month of July. Inclosed is a list of your duties that need to be carried out, in order, before the 7th of September.

Professor Minerva McGonagall

(Deputy Headmistress)

-Remind the Fifth and Sixth-year Prefects that at least two of them from each house must show the First-years to their dormitories.

-Inform the Sixth-year Prefects that The Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor will be: Professor K. E. Fable

-Make sure the house elves haven't made any mistakes while placing the student's luggage in their rooms in the Ravenclaw and Slytherin houses.

-Determine which would be the best times for which The Prefects to do the 'Prefect Patrol' that doesn't get in the way of their timetables.

As Head Boy you must set an example for the entire student body by behaving with the utmost courtesy toward the teachers and other persons in the school for the entire school year

Professor Albus P. W. B. Dumbledore


(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. Of Wizards)

Draco looked up slightly to see if Hermione had finished reading yet. She had, and now appeared to be re-reading it. Draco tried to find the speck he was staring at before, but was unsuccessful, so he stood up.

"We should go to The Prefects compartment now." Hermione followed him out, rolling her eyes as she did.

The whole time they were with The Prefects, Draco kept his head down and avoided looking and talking to people, he just hung around in the corner of the room next to the potted plant.

Pansy Parkinson was waiting outside the door for him to come out. As soon as he did, she flung her arms around his neck.

"Hey Drac…" He covered her mouth with his hand, then thanked his lucky stars that he had stopped her before she said the dreaded pet name she had for him; Dracy-Poo. When everyone had gone out of earshot he removed his hand. "What was that for!?"

"Pansy, you know I hate that name."

"Oh, but Dracy-P…"

"Don't you dare Pansy Parkinson! Don't you dare!" He looked her directly in the eye and her eyes shone with tears, but they vanished when her gaze shifted to his cheek.

"What happened there?"

"That's none of your business." He spat. He took a deep breath to calm himself, he was starting to sound too much like his father than he would have liked. "Look, Pansy, why don't you go get changed now? I'll find us a compartment up the front. Ok?'

"Yeah sure."

Pansy walked off and Draco headed to the back of the train and didn't stop or look up until he was standing in front of the compartment where he had put his trunk. Five Gryffindors had clamed the compartment for themselves. Two were the same ones that always took his compartment out of spite, Ron Weasley and Harry Potter. Draco never wanted to pick fights with them, but it was his pride and reputation that forced him too.

Draco slid the door open and was planning to ask if he could get his trunk. Everyone stood and got out their wands, Draco eyed them warily.

"Is little Malfoy scared?" mocked Ginny. In that one sentence she had insulted him more than she would ever know. Not only had he threatened his pride and questioned his bravery, but he had also judged him by his family by using his last name. Draco hated to be called a Malfoy.

"Well, well, well. Look who we have here. The golden trio, Weaslette and the squib."

Ginny's face went red with anger. It matched her hair very well. "Neville is not a squib!"

"You know what? You're right; he's not a squib. He doesn't even have an excuse for being so pathetic. He even needs his girlfriend to stand up for him." Several people's knuckles were going white. "But I suppose it's in the blood really. His parents couldn't defend themselves either." By now everyone's wand was at Draco's throat. "But then again. Maybe it's just Gryffindor's in general. They're all too proud of themselves to know when to give up. Sirius Black is the perfect example of that."

"Go! Now!" Harry's wand was now touching Draco's throat, being held by a shaking hand. His bright green eyes looked unnaturally shiny and Draco knew he had taken it too far, and he was about to leave, but once again, his pride wouldn't let him. He couldn't just walk away on Harry's command

"What's the matter Malfoy?" Hermione spat. "Don't look so tough without your body guards."

"Watch yourself Mudblood." Draco turned and left, closing the door quickly behind him as a spell bounced off it. He walked four paces before leaning against the wall and closing his eyes. ''To proud to know when to give up.' Man I'm such a hypocrite.'

As Draco stood there, as much as he wanted to, he couldn't forget the look that was in Harry's eyes. It was a look of anger, however pain, sadness and loneliness were dominant. A wave of guilt washed over Draco and he contemplated going back in and apologising, but he knew they wouldn't believe he was sorry, even though he truly was.

Draco made a discission; He wasn't going to annoy Harry for the rest of the year. The last thing Harry needed was to be reminded of, was all the deaths that had happened in his life. Draco had overheard detailed accounts of what had happened to them all: James and Lily Potter, Cerdric Diggory, Sirius Black, Bill Weasley, Nympadora Tonks and probably more that he hadn't heard about. Frank and Alice Longbottom had been tortured into insanity and Remus Lupin was in a coma and no one could find the last ingredient to the potion that would help him.

Draco finally pushed himself off the wall and went to find Pansy; maybe she could get his mind off everything. He didn't end up finding her and he sat for the whole train ride by himself, a lot more depressed then he originally was. He barely managed too not let even one tear fall.