Prologue

"You failed," The cruel voice of Lord Voldemort echoed in the cold marble chamber. Draco Malfoy kneed in front of him, his head hung low and eyes averted to the ground. "This is such a disappointment, I must say." He raised his wand and Draco buckled over as he felt the wrath of his Dark Lord.

"My Lord, forgive me," He panted, but the pain still lingered, itching at his skin.

"Forgiveness?" Lord Voldemort said the word as though hearing it for the first time. "Ah, that is something I know not." He pointed his wand again at Draco, who readied himself. It struck worse this time. Collapsing, Draco gasped for breathe. His sleek blonde hair covered his bruised face.

"Had Severus not been there to help you, that old pathetic man would still be alive," He mused, thinking aloud. "Get out of my sight!" As fast as Draco's body would allow him, he got to his feet and limped out of the chamber.

"My sweet Draco!" His mother leaped forward from the corner where she hid. She grabbed him and began to sob into his hair. "You're alive!"

Draco reached up and wiped his mother's tears from her elegant face. Narcissa Malfoy was a wreck, the thought of which made Draco burn with anger. "Let us go, Mother," Draco led her away. She whimpered softly.

The Malfoy Manor was not far from where they were at. They walked in silence up the neatly trimmed pathway to the massive doors of their home. Draco directed his mother to the parlor and lit a fire. "Please, don't leave," His mother whispered.

"I won't leave," He sat next to her.

"You must hide," She pleaded. "You will die if you continue service to him!"

"I am a Death Eater," Draco said quietly. "You can not hide from the Dark Lord."

Narcissa began to sob into her hands.