A/N – The first three chapters of this are reposts. Before I took this story down I had five chapters, but technical failure (yes, I also forgot to save them) saw the last two vanish into thin air.
Thanks to DH, this is now completely AU. But when has that ever stopped me?
Disclaimer – I don't own Draco, Ginny, or anything else HP. I don't pretend to own anything.
The warm, golden light poured in through the windows of the small palazzo, illuminating her white, set face, burnishing her beauty to a rich, golden glow. Draco watched, outwardly impassive, as that perfect, flawless countenance twisted and cracked, and her true feelings were revealed with disastrous clarity.
Inside, he felt as though he, too, was breaking apart.
Five years later…
The warning shout echoed through the cold, winter air, sending a shocking current through the gathering. They sprang into action, whipping their wands out; no untrained foot soldiers, these, but hard-bitten veterans of long, long years of war. In the veiled midnight air, they scattered into the forest, black-cloaked, flitting through shadow and half-light, hoping to escape their pursuers in the shifting, elusive fog.
Slipping cautiously through the trees, sliding around leaves and thin branches that would have caught disastrously at his robes, his heart beat with ice-cold steadiness, and his mind worked with the patient, hard-learned cunning of decades of combat. If he ran, they would sense the movement and follow, running him down and tearing him apart like hounds with a fox.
And so he sank down in the shadows and waited, holding himself perfectly immobile.
Soon enough the pursuit rushed past him, the forest growing still and silent. But experience had taught him the value of extreme caution, and he so held his position. Long after the animals resumed their normal routines, he finally stepped cautiously out from shelter.
A twig snapped behind him.
Reacting purely on instinct he whirled, throwing himself to the ground –
He evaded the full force of the curse. But the residual energy hit him with all the force of a speeding freight train…
"We have him," an anonymous, faceless man murmured, a small, gloating smile curling the edges of his mouth. "We have Draco Malfoy."