Chapter One, Simply

There was an eerie silence filling the fairly sized House of Malfoy. One boy, stood, alone in an empty parlor, its gothic décor familiar to him. His dark and cool gaze bore into the flames that burned quietly inside the intricate fireplace. Its light flickered across his pale skin, creating shadows that would dance around his young face, and light hair that was slicked back on his head. Despite the blank expression he was wearing, inside his mind was turbulent. Thoughts, unrelenting and uncontrollable, were frantic and unsure and entirely unwanted. For three days this boy has been warring with his thoughts and emotions.

He did not want this, but… something was going to happen whether or not he participated. So, what was the harm in giving in? To do as he was told, what his father wanted, what was expected of him. It shouldn't be this hard. He knew what to do, what he would be doing, and still it seemed that just the thought of actually going through with everything, what it would mean… It was ridulous, this is nothing. Sure, it would be his first time taking part in anything, but he was always a supporter behind everything…in theory. Letting out an aggressive sigh, the young Malfoy dropped down onto a lounge chair and ran a hand through his hair, frustrated. He really didn't have a choice in the matter, so why bother worrying. It was pointless.

Through his musing, footsteps broke the silence, coming from down the hallway. They were steady and sternly approaching the parlor room. With each step, its sound became louder and more clear until it was heard right outside the door. Being so near, he could hear an extra thud as the person paused behind the door, indicating that whoever it was had a cane.

At the sound of the door knob being turned, the boy immediately jumped up and made himself presentable, already knowing who was on the other side of that door. Not a millisecond later, the door soundlessly swung open and Lucius Malfoy entered.

"Ah, there you are. What are you doing, sulking about the house again? I thought you'd have outgrown such attention-seeking." Pale lips curled into an unforgiving sneer as the man looked down upon his only son with cold eyes. "In any case, I did not come here to speak on such trivial matters with you, Draco."

"Is there something you need, Father?" The boy stood tall before the elder Malfoy, his body language trained to command a certain amount of respect. However, his faltering eyes revealed his unease. His chin was raised, almost defiantly, but his gaze never rose past his sire's shoulders. Even his voice, thought it held no warmth, was significantly softer.

"From you?" Lucius just shook his head and took a few steps further into the room, passing Draco. His gaze swept over the room. Finding everything in order, he spun around and focused his attention solely on the teenager before him. "No, I just needed to be sure that you understand the situation at hand."

The boy nodded without hesitation. After a few moments of silence between them, he spoke. "I understand, Father."

"Indeed?" The man raised a grey eyebrow and sent his son a mock smile before wiping his face of all emotion. "You are no longer a child, Draco. You should be able to care for yourself. You will make the correct choices and you shall make allies with the right people."

This statement made Draco's head snap up to look upon his father's face. His expression, slight as it was, was something akin to dread. "But, Mother said-…"

Malfoy, who had been admiring the chess set on the table beside him, looked to his boy, his lip burled. "Relax. You have a long way to go before you receive His mark."

Draco took in a healthy breath and nodded, returning into a submissive position as his father continued.

"No, first you must prove yourself." Lucius' tone turned deadly serious. His eyes bore down upon his son, daring him to meet his gaze. "For years, the Malfoy name has held the utmost respect amongst our pureblooded community. Never have we faltered in our faith of Milord. He has our support and we have always contributed to his noble cause."

Hearing the pause, Draco interjected. "Of course." His voice was near a whisper and his eyes now lowered to the shoes on Lucius' feet.

"You know what you need to do." His voice was grave and his usually cold eyes held such a fiery intensity that the younger Malfoy visibly flinched. Satisfied, Lucius leaned back on his feet and let out a short breath. "Ah, well. I'll leave you to get some rest then."

He stepped back and to the side, giving his father space to leave. Biting a pale lip, Draco again nodded his head in agreement, but otherwise remained silent.

Without sparing a glance back or a word of farewell, the Malfoy matriarch brushed past his son and left the parlor, its door quietly swung shut. The sound of his retreating steps faded away as he moved further down the hallway until any residual echo disappeared completely from earshot.

Eyes closed, Draco just stood perfectly still as the peaceful silence encased him. The only other intruding noises were the slight crackling of the fire and the steady beating of his own heart. After indulging himself in the blissful calm, he started breathing again. He ran a hand over his face and sniffed up. A deep gust of air escaped him and he turned away from the door through which his father just exited. He strode further into the room and collapsed onto an overstuffed-expensive-looking armchair.

Raising his arms to shield his face, the fifteen year old wizard slumped down into a relaxed slouch, casually placing his feet onto the black coffee table in front of him. That's the way he sat for a while, not making a sound. Then out of nowhere he let ouft a snort and chuckled a bit before pulling himself up into the correct sitting position. Draco's eyes were dimmed and his mouth was set into a grim line across his pallid face.

Taking in a deep breath through his nose, his chest puffed out, the boy stood up on sure feet and then emptied his lungs in a long and obnoxious gust.. He slowly shuffled out of the room, head held high, and made his way to his bed chambers. Sleep sounded pretty good, and he would be needing the rest for later that night. Draco sighed, 'and a long night it would be…'

Things were pretty quiet. Everything was calm and relaxed. It was okay. Walking down the near-empty street, a certain raven-haired girl allowed her mind to drift as she made her way home from work. Though, she used the term 'home' pretty loosely. After all, she was currently living in a cramped and dumpy apartment alone in a foreign country. But it was better this way. For everyone.

London was actually pretty nice, especially during this time of year. It was actually quite warm outside, usually one would have to don a light jacket if you were to venture outside. Sighing, her blue eyes drifted towards an upcoming alleyway and narrowed.

Well, for the most part, things were pretty quiet. When she didn't bump into them, that is. She didn't know who they were or what their deal was, but there was definitely something inhuman about them. That she had learned very quickly. Though, as inhuman as they seem they had no demonic traits, which is why she avoided them when she could. But after working a double shift at the book store and having to walk home in the dark, they were kind of unavoidable, and a great stress reliever.

The girl proceeded carefully, edging slowly into the alley. She could feel them before physically seeing them. Four separate auras, all brighter than the average humans,' and each were slightly tainted by something unidentifiable to her.

"Well, well," a deep voice called tauntingly from the shadows, "it seems we caught ourselves a muggle, gentlemen."

'Muggle,' a strange term these people used to describe normal people. That much she has gathered from… previous conversations.

Chuckling, each of them slowly revealed themselves by stepping out into the light. They always wore black robes and masks that hid most of their faces. Almost as if they were a part of some supernatural cult. Though their interaction with another group of nondemonic-inhumans led her to believe it was more of a gang, and both groups were in some sort of territorial war.

"Indeed, we have. Pretty little thing, too." One of them commented, eliciting more light laughter as the four spread themselves out before her.

"Oh, I'm going to have fun with this one…" A jittery one in the back laughed whole-heartedly at his own dark humor.

The last one stepped up closest to her. His eyes practically burned into hers through the mask. "Brace yerself, girly. Y'er in fer one helluva night."

As the four cocky inhumans moved in, near trembling with anticipation, the girl was almost filled up with some of her own. Blue eyes flashed dangerously in the slight light that reached the alley, and a sinister smile of her own spread across her face.

'This is going to be one hell of a night…'

Walking briskly down the corridor, cane in hand, Malfoy made his way into another room where three people waited. They were speaking in hushed tones to one another when one noticed him enter and stepped forward to greet him. "Lucius."

Hearing the woman's voice, the two men stopped talking and looked up to Malfoy. They nodded to him in greeting and waited quietly for him to cross the room and join their conversation. The woman at Malfoy's side set the pace at a slow walk and held on to his arm. "I don't like this, Lucius."

"Narcissa," he glanced down at his wife with a bored expression, "don't start that up again."

Draco's mother gnawed on her bottom lip in a nervous fashion. Her face was linned with worry and her grip on his arm tightened at his dismissal. Her expression was amplified by the shadows on herface cast from the torches upon the walls. She remained silent while walking beside Malfoy. Narcissa knew it was near impossible to speak out against her husband, let alone in front of others.

"Crabbe, Goyle." Lucius greeted them. "I assume everything is set for tonight?"

They both nodded to him again. Then one spoke up. "We decided that Crabbe would stay with your boy and I would watch from a distance. That way we could finally find out what has been happening."

Malfoy nodded approvingly to Goyle. "Very good. Once this is sorted out, then perhaps we might just be able to eliminate this threat. Or, at the very least, neutralize him."

The large goons just kept nodding, knowing that any plan Lucius came up with would more than likely work out. This way, they didn't really have anything to worry over, despite the fact that they had no diea who they might be up against. After listening to a few more instructions, the two disapparated from the Malfoy manor at Lucius' dismissal.

Once Crabbe and Goyle were out of sight, Narcissa spun to face her husband. "Can't you just get someone else to help? This could get serious, you should tell the others-"

One glare sent her way locked up any other pleas she would have tried. Malfoy just turned away. "He's fifteen years old, he should be proud for being allowed at this opportunity. Plus, I'd rather not alert the others to my suspicions. This could turn out for the better. In which case, the credit for such an outcome should be clear."

Mrs. Malfoy scampered up to his side and nearly had to jog to stay there. "But, to use Draco as a distraction—he, he could get hurt. Or worse! There are three of you, you could do this on your own-"

"Unfortunately," Lucius interrupted her tirade, "I have a previous engagement that I must keep."

"Then, maybe another night—"

"No." He turned and leered viciously at his frantic wife. "I will hear no more complaints from you. I have already spoken with the boy and he is ore than ready to participate. Go and do something that doesn't involve pestering me about resolved issues."

With that Malfoy stormed out of the dark chamber, leaving behind the worried mother. Alone, Narcissa bit back a sob as her mind ran rabid thinking over all of the situations that could befall her only son that night.

"Always so eager, but you forget, tonight is for the boy." One of the others call out to the one towering over her.

Backing up a few steps, he man sneered. "Of course. Well, go on then, boy. 'Choo waitin' fer, an invitation?"

The one to whom the mockery was directed remained silent behind his mask. All were turned to the 'boy,' expectantly. His focus, however, was trained upon her. She vaguely noted that his aura was not nearly as dark as his older companions. After a moment, the first guy became frustrated by his inaction.

"Little shit's worthless. Maybe we should warm the muggle up for 'im."

The three men took on an offensive stance, preparing for an attack. Brandishing their blunt weapons, they moved in on the girl, but before they could start, a voice interrupted their advancement.

"You will not remember this encounter once it's over." The feminine voice, rough from disuse, haunted the alley and caused them to pause for a moment, halted in their procession.

Then a jittery voice forced a laugh. The others joined in and the silence was broken.

"Sounds like a challenge."

"More of an invitation, eh?"

Things finally started moving then. Weary of their slothfulness, she rushed one on the right and promptly knocked him unconscious. The others sprang to attention and began shouting foreign words at her. She stood still as several different bursts of light approached, only for them to disapate once reaching her form. Hearing their surprised and angry grumbles, a satisfied grin spread across her face.

A few more well-placed punches and ten or fifteen curses later, and the three cloaked men were all lying in the alley, incapacitated. Leaving only her and the 'boy' standing. By then he had pulled out his own magic-producing stick, but it couldn't seem to stay on target, he kept letting the tip dip downwards and away from her. She moved to turn and walk off.

"Wai-" His young voice started before being but off.

Suddenly, several more inhumans dropped down on them and the boy was attacked from behind. Another swept up behind her and whispered an incantation in her ear. The girl's thoughts raced. 'An ambush? No, their auras aren't tainted, this is the other inhuman group…'

Unsure of how to proceed, she complied, mimicking the boy's earlier actions and feigned unconsciousness. She hung loosely in one of their arms and resigned herself to being taken away by the latecomers. Her mouth twitched slightly, wanted to let out a sigh. 'Well, London is sure keeping me on my toes…'

I'm baa-aaaack~! *^_^*

Okay, I'm am officially a high school graduate so maybe I'll have more time for my fics. But I'm such a lazy person, I fear you guys may be hanging for a little bit. Though I have been working on the next chapters for the other two fics that I'm focusing, maybe even that other one too…

I'm considering asking for a co-author actually, …or maybe a beta reader… what do you all think?

The faster you get back to me, the faster I will consider getting back to you! XP