Disclaimer: The only thing that's mine in here is the plot and Adrian; everything else belongs to Rowling. Not mine, even though I might wish it was. :D

Author's note: I've never written fanfiction before, so I'd really really really appreciate it if you could read and review, please! I need someone to tell me if what I'm doing is working or not. Also, I don't have a beta, so all mistakes are completely my own fault and I need you to point them out! :D Thanks! I hope you enjoy it!

Draco sat on the edge of his bed, shoulders hunched, as he stared at his identical twin, Adrian. "Please don't go," he said quietly, a pleading note in his voice. I don't know what I'll do without you here... I can't hide in my room forever, not even for just these two weeks, but if you're not here, Father will... It will be so much worse.

Adrian sighed and ran a hand through his hair. He paced in front of Draco. "I have to. I told you, I made these plans weeks before school ended. I told Stephen that I'd spend the last weeks of summer at his house. I can't change them now!"

"Well, why did you make them, then? We're not even going to be together for our birthday!" Draco's tone was harsh, but unshed tears glittered in his eyes.

"Yeah, but nobody knows that – everyone thinks our birthday is June 5th instead of August 26th because Mother didn't want us to be the youngest in our class."

Draco glared at Adrian. "Don't avoid the question!" Why doesn't he want to answer? Does he not want to spend the time with me – is he tired of me?

"I'm sorry." He sighed, staring at the wall. "You know I don't like leaving you home without me, it's just – I just have to get away. I just have to. I can't stand it anymore. The whole reason I made these plans was because I knew I wouldn't be able to stay here all summer, and I was right. Father is going to make me so angry I'll yell at him, or even hit him, and that would be bad for us both."

Face white and hands clenched, Draco stood up. "You couldn't stand it anymore? You just had to get away? What about me? Did you ever think that I have it a hell of a lot worse here than you? You know what Father's like, and you know he's worse when you're not here!" How could he use that as an excuse? It must not be the truth.

Slowly Adrian stopped pacing. He sat down on his bed across from Draco's, putting his head in his hands. "I'm sorry." His voice was muffled. "I'm really sorry, I am. I'm just not as strong as you. I can't take it. I hate what he does. Every time he hits you I get so angry and full of hatred. It's like he's hitting me."

Draco laughed, an edge of hysteria in his voice. "He's not. He's hitting me, in case you haven't noticed. And as for you not being as strong as me – right. The only reason I'm still sane is because every summer I know I can look forward to the school year, where I'm away from him. If it wasn't for that, I would have given up already."

"I'm sorry."

"You should be! You should be so sorry that you won't leave me!"

"I can't."

"Fine!" All of the fight seemed to leave him, and Draco collapsed back onto the bed. "I should have known that my own twin won't even try to help me, because I'm not worth it..." Burning tears slid down Draco's cheeks. Oh, Merlin... Why won't he help me? Can't he see how much pain he's causing me? I thought he cared. But why should he care? All I ever do is fail and give in and get hurt and be weak. I can't even protect myself from Father's blows... Not that I should bother to try to protect myself. I always deserve them. Father only does what's best for me.

"No! That's not true at all! Draco-" Adrian scrambled over to Draco, leaning over the bed. He wrapped his arms tightly around Draco, cradling him.

Draco stiffened at being confined, but he didn't fight. It is true, thought Draco miserably. If I was good enough, if I was worth something, then Father wouldn't have to beat me or – or – do those other things. His mind skipped over what those things actually were, unable to deal with them.

He realized that Adrian was waiting for some sort of response. "Don't lie," he said at last, hollowly.

"I'm not lying! Have you ever known me to lie?"

"Yes."

"Not often, and especially not to you! And I would never, never, lie to you about something like this! I love you, Drake. You're my brother, my twin, my best friend." Adrian reached over and brushed a few of the tears off Draco's cheeks.

His best friend? He really considers me his best friend? He cares for me as much as I care for him? No, that can't be right. Still, a flutter of hope rose in Draco's chest, but he pushed it away. He tells you he loves you enough that you should believe it by now. You shouldn't still be feeling almost giddy when he says that. Especially when you know that it can't be true.

"It's still so hard at times... What he does – you don't even know..." Draco shuddered.

"What don't I know?" Adrian asked, voice sharp. He straightened, his gaze intent.

Oh, crap, thought Draco, mind scrambling for an answer that wouldn't give him away. I can't tell him! He – what would he think? He decided to go with the simple answer.

Draco glanced away guiltily. "Nothing." Please, leave it. Just drop it...

"No, it doesn't mean 'nothing'. What are you hiding from me? Has he done something else?"

"I don't want to talk about it." He bit his lip, pointedly avoiding Adrian's stare.

Adrian glared at Draco for a moment before visibly relaxing. "Alright. I wish you would trust me more, but..." He bent back over Draco, hugging him closer. "I understand."

"No, you don't!" Draco shoved Adrian off of him, shaking. "You don't have any fucking clue what I'm going through, what I've already gone through, what it's like!" I never want him to, either, but how can he possibly think that he understands?

Silent for a moment, Adrian then nodded. "You're right. I don't understand. That was a stupid thing to say, and I'm sorry."

"Yeah, it was stupid." Draco glanced up at Adrian, eyes full of pain. "Why? Why me? Why does he do this? I know I must deserve it, b-but..."

"You don't," said Adrian. "Don't ever believe that. I don't know why he does it to you," he admitted, "because you're an amazing person. As for why he does this, any of it – it's because he's a sick, twisted person."

"No! No he's not! He's my father!" Draco scowled at Adrian. My father! Maybe he goes overboard sometimes, but he's still my father, and he wants the best for me. I just need to try harder to please him.

"Okay, okay! Merlin!" Adrian held up his hands in defeat. "Whatever you say. Let's drop it – I don't want to argue."

"Fine."

Adrian wrapped his arms around Draco again. "I'm sorry I'm leaving."

"You sure you have to go?" Draco whispers, vulnerable.

"I can't not go now."

"I don't want you to go. I – I'm afraid."

"You'll be alright. I'll see you in just two weeks."

Two weeks is forever, though. I don't know if we've ever been apart this long. If Adrian wants to go, however... Draco shifted closer to Adrian. "Yeah. Thank you."

"No problem, Drake. You're my brother."

******

After dinner, theMalfoys gathered in the living room to say goodbye to Adrian. Draco hung back behind Lucius and Narcissa, arms clasped behind his back and eyes worried. Adrian stood in front of the fireplace, holding his cup of floo powder. The cup was a large alpha wolf, curled up to sleep. If anyone but Adrian tried to pick the cup up, though, the wolf would uncurl and bite them – a nasty surprise of the type common in old wizarding houses. Draco let his eyes drift to his own small clay cup that sat at the very edge of the mantle. I wish I had a cup like Adrian's – maybe a silver Hungarian Horntail?

"Goodbye," said Adrian, shifting his weight from one foot to the other.

"Goodbye," Lucius said. He moved forward some, inclining his head. "Be cautious in your dealings – remember, you are a Malfoy and represent us. I expect you to bring us honor and prestige this year at school." I wish he would speak to me that way sometime – place his trust in me. But he won't. He shouldn't. I don't deserve his trust.

"I will, Father." Adrian bowed slightly towards Lucius, accepting the responsibility.

Narcissa moved forward, arms open. She hugged Adrian carefully. "Be careful, now. Don't get yourself in trouble. I'll make sure to send some sweets and other things when you get into school. The house elves will make sure your school trunks are packed and arrive safely. Alright?"

"Yes, Mother." Smiling, Adrian kissed her cheek. "Thank you."

Hesitant, Draco stepped forward some. "I- G-goodbye." Adrian reached towards Draco, but Lucius' cane came in-between them. No! No, please, can't you give me this one thing? Please! Silent, though, Draco stepped back, putting his head down.

"Alright, alright, that's enough boys," he said, a bored expression on his face. "Adrian doesn't want to be late."

Damn him! Why can't he let me have even a moment of comfort? Draco kept his face carefully neutral, but he was sure that Adrian would be able to see right through it.

Adrian didn't even glance over at him, though. He simply grabbed a small handful of floo powder and threw it into the fireplace. Sparks flew as the fire flared green, a few landing on Draco. Adrian stepped into the fire.

"Cornfoot Manor!"

The last glimpse Draco had of his twin was him being spun in a circle by the magic before the flames flared again and he was gone. Draco bit his lip, feeling as if he'd been torn in two. Panic threatened to overwhelm him.

Looking down at his clothes, he picked off a few specks of ash from the sparks that had landed on him. He held them gently in his hand. How sad and pathetic is it that I want to save these, that I feel like they're my last link to my brother? To Adrian? He barely noticed Narcissa walk out.

He did notice, however, when Lucius stopped directly in front of him. Draco jumped, startled, and slowly raised his eyes to his father's. Fear flooded him at the cold, cruel, malicious glint in Lucius' eyes. Oh Merlin, Adrian's gone, he's got free reign and he's going to hurt me hurt me oh Merlin... "You're mine now, boy." The words were barely a whisper, but they echoed as if a shout to Draco. Draco trembled uncontrollably as Lucius laid one heavy hand on his shoulder. "You're all mine." No no no please no oh please Adrian...

Lucius bent down and kissed Draco. Draco froze, barely remembering to open his mouth and give his father what he wanted. Lucius' lips were hard, demanding, and cruel, bruising Draco. After almost a minute, Lucius pulled back and slapped Draco, sending him tumbling to the floor. A sneer curled the lips that just moments ago had abused Draco's own lips.

"You better be waiting for me tonight, boy. I'll be coming to visit you. You better be ready."

Draco whimpered and curled up slightly into a fetal position.

Lucius started to sweep away, then whirled back to Draco. "And if you haven't dropped them already, you better throw those ashes you picked up away. Don't think that I don't know what you're doing. He's not here to protect you now." Then, he really did leave.

Minutes later, Draco started to return to himself, his mind calming down enough to form semi-rational thoughts. Oh no oh no, don't think about it, no no no, he's coming back tonight don't think about it – you'll be safe if you don't think about it, do what he told you... Lucius' last words sunk into his brain, and he sat bolt upright.

Throw away the ashes? But... they're all I have left until I see Adrian again at school. Undecided, Draco clenched them tightly in his fist. I can't disobey him, though... He'll know; he'll hurt me more. I don't want to give him another reason to punish me. I'm bad enough as it is.

His pride wouldn't let him give in completely, though, and he opened his fist, letting the flakes of ash drift to the floor and settle in the plush carpet.

Slowly, he climbed to his feet and walked to his room, head down and shoulders hunched. He undressed and put on pajamas before climbing into bed. It was only 7:30, but really, there was nothing else for him to do now but wait.

I'm all alone.

******

Late that night, near midnight, Draco was still curled up in a ball in his bed when Lucius walked in. You'd think that there would be more show or atmosphere, he found himself thinking crazily. Some creepy music, or his cane thudding on the ground as he walked down the hallway, or the full moon making strange shadows on the walls. He conveniently ignored the fact that he didn't have any windows in his room. But there isn't...

There was the soft clicking of his father's shoes on the ground coming rapidly closer – not at a run, but not a slow, intimidating pace, either. Just the normal, everyday, I-know-what-I'm-doing-and-you-better-not-get-in-my-way pace. The door swung open with a slight creak, then shut softly behind him.

Draco trembled, frozen, as Lucius tore the covers off him.

Lucius' hand descended and grabbed his hair, yanking him straight up. His face was a mask of fury. "I thought I told you to be ready for me, boy!"

Oh no , what did I do now? Draco scrabbled to get his feet under him to relieve the pressure on his sore scalp.

"When I say I want you ready, I want you ready!" Lucius threw Draco to the ground, sending him sliding into Adrian's bed. "Get your clothes off!"

Hearing that command, Draco's mind started to shut down more fully. He knew what was coming next and he didn't want it, didn't want to deal with it, couldn't deal with it. Mechanically he ripped off his pajamas, leaving them lying on the floor.

Obviously not satisfied with his speed, Lucius grabbed his arm in a vice-like grip and shoved him onto the bed, delivering a few slaps and other blows along the way. Draco didn't make a sound.

Lucius kissed him violently, leaving more bruises, then descended down Draco's body, his moans and pants filling the air. At last, finally, it was over. As Lucius pulled away and left, leaving a trickle of blood and other stuff Draco couldn't think about, Draco curled back up into his ball in the middle of the bed.

He was awake the rest of the night, eyes wide, but he only really returned to himself around dawn.

I have nowhere to go now. I don't know how I'm going to survive, Draco thought.

If I'll survive.

******

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