I know I'm in the middle of one story right now (my sequel), but I can't help myself when an idea pops into my head. I thought it over for a while, and I decided to do both stories at once. I've done that before in the other genre I write in, so it's nothing new. I manage to keep the stories separate and not clash with one another (or so I hope :P). Anyway, I really loved this idea and I couldn't wait until I finished the other story to start it. So here it goes…

Chapter 1: Prologue

I hate mudbloods.

I hate mudbloods.

I hate mudbloods.

I hate mudbloods.

I hate mudbloods.

I hate Hermio—

Draco dropped his quill, his hands shaking to their fingertips. He had written for hours on end, filling nearly a whole book, and all with the same words. His hand was cramped, his arm from the wrist to the elbow was stiff, and when he tried to rub out the dull pain it only seemed to worsen.

How am I supposed to serve the Dark Lord when I can't write a simple phrase? he thought irritably. He hated mudbloods and all the filth they represented, and yet…

And yet he could not bring himself to hate her. He jumped at her, teased her, brought her to the brink of tears and beyond. He showed all outward signs of the deepest, purest of the purebloods' hatred. But there was always that nagging twitch in the back of his mind. That small, seemingly insignificant part of him, that held the feelings he was supposed to have at bay. He had been raised to hate muggle-borns and blood traitors. All who were not pureblooded or traitors to their blood: Potter, the Weasleys, Dumbledore, and on and on.

And Granger.

But the harder he tried to express his feelings in his solitude, the more he had to force himself to think on the future. He was a Death Eater now, living on the run and in secret, the dutiful Professor Snape guarding his every move so not to end up with a shorter lifeline. Draco knew the only reason he was being protected was because of his mother, and for that he held something close to love for her in his heart. But, the truth being what it was, he held more contempt and reserved a special place of the deepest loathing for his father, the man who caused his own son to lead but a shadow of a life.

Draco sighed painfully, then crumpled the dirty piece of parchment and tossed it into the fire that blazed beside him. He was torn. Should he go against all that he knew, all that he had been taught? Or should he be the son everyone expected him to be, wearing the Dark Mark proudly?

In a week's time, he would have to face this very dilemma. The Dark Lord's forces were hovering over the place that Potter and his gang were known to be hiding, holding their breath in wait. They meant to strike, but not if the opposition struck first. And that was exactly what Voldemort intended to do.

The only problem was that Draco did not know which team he was going to fight for. Well practiced in both Legilimens and Occlumency, he could shut out his thought so that he was able to think freely and not have to worry about being struck dead every other second. And he was not only well practiced, but exceptional. He was a natural.

But Voldemort didn't scare him. Not anymore. What scared him most was his own indecision. Why could he not just do what he wanted most? Why was the decision so difficult? Shouldn't the answer be the right one? The one that feels right? He should not have to struggle so, two sides of his brain pulling against each other, willing the other to follow along or vanish. But, somehow, both answers seemed correct. On the one hand, he would remain alive, safe, and continue on in glory. On the other…

What did he really have there? Hope?

He laughed bitterly at the thought. No, the other hand was nothing but hopelessness. An empty void.

But, then again, there can never be nothing. There is always something.

And it was this something, this hint that perhaps this could be the right move, that caused him to make the finally decision. The decision that was likely to haunt him for the rest of his life, but not because it was the wrong one. Because it was so right, so much something that he wanted, that it terrified him. For never in his life had he ever gotten what he truly wanted, what he craved with all his soul:

To know love and acceptance for simply being and not doing.

He smirked bitterly and drew another piece of parchment towards him.

I hate my father.

I hate the Dark Lord.

I hate the people who would never give me a chance.

I hate that I'm supposed to follow in everyone's footsteps instead of making my own.

I hate image and blood and the power they have over me.

I hate that I'm afraid to die, but only because I haven't had a chance to make right my wrongs.

I hate how cruel I have been to impress my father and the Dark Lord.

I hate my life.

I hate the trials I am about to endure because I know I will fail.

I hate this quill because it's old and doesn't write well.

I hate having a soul that feels.

I hate myself.

And I love Hermione Granger.

Ok there. How was that for a prologue? A little weird, I know, and very open-ended. Why is Draco suddenly remorseful and potentially good inside? And WHY does he all of a sudden love Hermione? (Because I said so damn it! Heehee!) Well, the answer is: read on and find out. What do I love?—Flashbacks. And this story will have a fair few, but also some brand new twists and turns, available in the very next chapter. I am going to take this story to a very unexpected place and throw in a lot of elements. It's an experiment, and I just hope it doesn't blow up my lab :P

REVIEW! Please :)

P.S. It's very late right now, so there are probably a lot of typos. Please bear with me :P I love to write late at night, but sometimes I don't realize I'm not writing what I'm thinking because I'm tired. Silly, crazy me :P