A/N: Well, it's been a long time. I'm rewriting Broken Pieces and reposting under this pen-name, so if the story sounds familiar to you, this is to let you know that it isn't plagiarism. I'm all geared up to continue and hope I won't disappoint anyone.

Please take note that I began this story before Deathly Hallows came out, so it is AU from the sixth book onwards. I incorporate as much canon background and characterisation as I can, however.

The prologue is set just after Snape and Draco Disapparate off Hogwarts grounds. The italics in front are taken from the book, to refresh your memory, in a way.

Enjoy reading, and please review!

Prologue: Vow, Fulfilled

There was silence. Harry stood imprisoned within his own invisible, paralysed body, staring at the two of them, his ears straining to hear sounds of the Death Eaters' distant fight, and in front of him, Draco Malfoy did nothing but stare at Albus Dumbledore who, incredibly, smiled.

"Draco, Draco, you are not a killer."

"Let us discuss your options, Draco."

"My options!" said Malfoy loudly. "I'm standing here with a wand – I'm about to kill you –"

"My dear boy, let us have no more pretence about that. If you were going to kill me, you would have done it when you first Disarmed me, you would not have stopped for this pleasant chat about means and ways."

"I haven't got any options!" said Malfoy, and he was suddenly as white as Dumbledore. "I've got to do it! He'll kill me! He'll kill my whole family!"

Draco let Snape lead the way, his mind blissfully blank, unthinking, as they hurried through the undergrowth of the forest. He seemed incapable of thought, mind numb from the murder he had just witnessed. Snape said nothing to him, but hurried through the increasingly sparse trees. Both of them had Apparated into the forest after getting out of Hogwarts grounds, and they were alone.

It was on the outskirts on the forest that Snape stopped, turned and regarded Draco. His beady black eyes searched the blond carefully.

"So you couldn't do it," Snape said finally.

Draco opened his mouth to say that he could have, if he'd been given the time, but he couldn't say it. He saw, in his mind's eye, Dumbledore, flying through the air and disappearing as he tumbled down. Dumbledore, extending a helping hand, even though it wouldn't keep him safe…was there any way he could escape the Dark Lord? Not when his family were involved…

He turned away from Snape. There was a village nearby; he could see the houses, and the road leading to them. "What's going to happen? I failed. He – he's going to…" his voice trembled. "He'll kill me."

"I made a vow to your mother that I'd keep you safe," Snape said, eyeing Draco very carefully. "Do you know what that means?"

Draco looked at him. "He'll know you did it."

"Not if I said you escaped. Disapparated right after we got here. I didn't know you could Apparate." Snape stepped closer to him. "Tell me what happened before I came."

Snape's helping me. Just like Dumbledore wanted to…but he killed Dumbledore. He killed him. He's on the Dark Lord's side.

But he's helping me.

"I'll not give you to the Dark Lord. It means sure death for me," Snape said, when Draco did not answer.

"If you help me escape, and he finds out, he'll kill you."

"If he finds out. He won't. Now, tell me exactly what happened on the Astronomy tower."

Draco told him, watching for Snape's reaction to his words. He told him about getting up there, and finding Dumbledore weakened. Draco thought he saw something flicker in Snape's eyes when he said this, but then it was gone and his eyes were the same as before; black, beady, intent. Draco told him about the conversation they'd had, about Dumbledore trying to help him, when there was no way he could.

"And would you have taken the Order's help, if you could?" Snape asked softly.

"What difference would it make?" Draco said bitterly. "He'll find me. And mother."

"Would you have taken it?"

Draco hesitated. "I wanted to. But Dumbledore was probably lying, anyway," he dismissed with a wave of his hand. "He didn't want me to kill him, that's all." And he saw Dumbledore again, flying through the air, and the flash of green light.

"No," Snape said quietly. "He wasn't afraid of death."

"He couldn't help me. You can't. No one can," Draco said, staring at the ground. He wanted to help me.

"Come." And Snape set off on a brisk walk towards the village. Draco followed. "Where are we going?" he asked.

"Somewhere safe," Snape replied shortly.

They arrived at the village and continued onwards until they arrived at a small house with a thatched roof. The garden was full of flowers and a television aerial poked up from the roof. Snape strode right up to the front door and knocked.

It opened, slowly, revealing a woman that resembled Narcissa Malfoy, except that she had dark hair, instead of blond. "What –?"

"Do you remember the talk we had?" Snape asked quickly. The woman nodded, comprehension dawning on her face as she saw Draco. Snape pushed him inside the house. "Narcissa will be here soon, if I can convince her. Find a good Secret Keeper." He turned to leave.

"Stay safe, Severus."

"I'll try, Andromeda," he said without looking back. And he hurried out of the village, cloak wrapped around him. The same scene played over and over again in his mind, Dumbledore falling over the ramparts, coupled with the words, "When the time comes, kill me. Save Draco."


A/N: Rather short but I hope you enjoyed that. Chapter 1 will be up soon and it is definitely longer.

Constructive criticism is welcome (if you didn't like my story, tell me why. If you liked it but thought some aspects could be improved, tell me what). Reviews in general are so welcome I'll give you cookies! (virtual ones of course)