A/N: Took some time with this chapter. Hope that it is satisfactory (albeit a little dark). Thanks for the reviews, and I hopefully await many more (:


Very carefully, Draco began the ascension to consciousness, although he was quite comfortable in the enveloping oblivion. His limbs felt too heavy, his head too small for his shoulders. It was if he had undergone some spontaneous growth spurt his internal system had yet to recognize. And with all these changes, came this unbelievable sense of unadulterated power. Draco was always very aware of his magical capabilities; he understood that a wizard was merely a host to the magic abundant in the environment. It was the wizard's ability to channel the magic that made him powerful. However, now, it seemed as if the magic withheld underneath Draco's skin had tripled while his body shrank. Power pulsated within his veins, wanting desperately to be released. It was an irritating, pricking pain throughout every cell of his being, one that caused him to curl on his side like a child. He willed the pain away, compartmentalizing the ache until he could focus on the why.

Cunningly, he continued to act as if unconscious and eavesdropped on the conversation; surprisingly, it was very dull.

"Mr. Potter, I am ashamed that what I thought was a simple spell caused you so much harm. I pledge, under your scrutiny or Veritaserum or any other means of truth-telling that I had no nefarious plot."

"I'm sure Harry understands that, Mrs. Malfoy." It took Draco several tries to figure the voice before he placed it as the headmaster. Perhaps the spell had tired him more than he assumed prior.

There was a pause, and when Narcissa spoke, it was in an undertone. "Do you have an inkling, professor, as to why this occurred?"

"I suppose it is because they are underage – the abundance of physical magic may have overwhelmed them. I am sure that neither boy has experienced pure magic other than the effect of a spell. This was conjuring elements; they have not reached this level of study or familiarization."

Leave it to Dumbledore to have the answers. But that was not what Draco wanted to hear; no, he wanted to know what Potter was up to. It seemed, from his mother's extensive apology, the doltish Gryffindor was affected from the spell whereas his aunt and mother were unaffected. But how? Their age seemed irrelevant, no matter what Dumbledore said – Draco was well read. He knew of only a few certain, spells which would cause a side-reaction based on age.

"Will Draco be…?" There was a whisper of fabric, indicative of someone moving, and then a sloping shadow over Draco's skin. A cool hand was pressed to his forehead and he unintentionally leaned into it, smelling the powdery scent of his mother's perfume.

"He's awake now, if you wish to ask your son himself," Dumbledore responded, voice thickly amused. Draco cursed; he was a lot happier trying to glean information this way, however useless it may be.

Narcissa brushed her lips against Draco's forehead in a rare allowance of affection. She then stepped away.

"Regardless, Mr. Potter, I do sincerely apologize."

"Its fine, Mrs. Malfoy; I'm alright." That lethargic, unintelligible mumble was none-other than Potter. It had to be. Forget the shoddy explanation Dumbledore offered; Draco's internal system must have shut down with a simple touch from the Chosen Prat.

There were more formalities, a couple of boring reassurances from Potter, an extravagant thank you from the headmaster, and then they were gone. Done with feigning a stupor, Draco rose from his sick-bed, blinking as he took in the room. It was darker than when he was once conscious, the sky covered in stars. The moon hung low, and was the only light in the room, casting Narcissa's pale face in a radiant glow.

"Are you the heir?"

The origin of the voice was practically concealed from Draco's position. With a shift, he was able to glance into the furthermost corner by the door where Bellatrix had hidden. The woman was veiled in black, her dark curls nearly hiding her face. She looked strangely pensive, hands locked in her lap.

"Are you the heir?"

"I don't know," Draco spat in response. He really was unafraid of Bellatrix, regardless of her insanity. He also held no respect for her. Although he was no fan of Sirius Black, Narcissa had often taught Draco the importance of family before all other allegiances. There should be no award for Bellatrix in the slaughter of her own brother.

"Search your feelings, you will," Narcissa said softly, peering at Draco gently. "I am certain that you are not though, Draco."

As his mother said the words, Draco was positive she was right. It was an odd feeling, as if he was recalling potion ingredients; he knew, without a doubt that he was not the heir. Annoyingly, however, he also knew that in turn Potter must have been. For some reason, that irked Draco unreasonably.

Regardless, he shook his head, adding a venomous, "No," for Bellatrix's benefit.

"Fuck," Bellatrix growled, standing. She proceeded to prowl the room. "We gained nothing from this."

"We gained trust," Mrs. Malfoy lilted. She tilted her head in a way reminiscent of an owl.

Draco said nothing, only gazing out blearily at the sky. He had protested just as adamantly against opening their doors for Potter as his aunt. Obviously, to no avail.

"And what will that do for your son?" Bellatrix queried in her raspy voice, slightly mystified.

Narcissa grimaced. "It will allow him to get closer to Potter and allow Draco to reach his task more easily."

Draco stiffened. He did not particularly consider how he was going to off Potter, but he also knew his plan did not involve getting chummy with the Chosen Bastard. He was actually still quite put-out by his mother forbidding him to cause any physical harm to Potter – that and the fact Dumbledore's presence spoiled the evening. However, considering it now, it did seem rather ideal. A frown tugged his porcelain lips. Killing Potter this night was a bit too simple. The more he mused, the more he knew he would have felt like a cheated child on Christmas. He wanted a public execution. A way to illustrate his mastery in magic. Something more complex than Avada Kedavra, if only to show up the Dark Lord. It could be a documentary, a brilliant expose on the idiocy of Gryffindor trust and morale. The thought was appealing. He could imagine Potter's face screwed up in idiocy and betrayal, right before the light left his eyes. It was perfect, too perfect.

He grinned in the dark, even more pleased when Bellatrix stalked away, looking as if she was on the verge of combustion. His mother made moves to follow her sister, but hesitated, staring after Draco. A haunted expression overcame her face, darkening her blue eyes, and ridding Draco's smile as if pouring a sluice of cold water overhead.

Draco watched her wearily, curious as to what speech she would spew tonight. However, she surprised him when she turned away with a shake of her head. The hopeless movement ripped at his chest, but he ignored the sting. She would understand one day why he undertook what he did. Until then…, well, Draco would simply have to swallow her disapproval by the pint and hope not to become poisoned.


The hawthorn wand felt foreign in his fist, as if the past five years had not eased the transition to familiarity. It was an unbalancing feeling, hence why Draco had released the book about rare potions (a little research on how to rid himself of the Boy-Who-Needs-to-Die), to stare in wonder at it. It was a trusty wand, reasonably springy and a good length. He was always a bit upset that his wand was merely an inch shorter than Potter's, but the length suited it – it was an agile wand, thin with a unicorn hair core (Which is much more superior and majestic than a phoenix feather). It had saved his arse many a time, had served his dirty-work efficiently.

Since that stupid accident with the Heir Ritual, it felt as if his wand was inadequate. It still worked faithfully, lighting the candles Draco had littered the library with. But it felt…well, foreign.

Draco placed his wand gently on the side-table's delicate doily, like leading a tired friend to bed, and grasped the heavy leather-bound tome he found in the library on the ritual. It was an easy read, explaining little back-story on pure-blood magicks. It's a simple idea to wrap his mind around; inheritance spells were not bestowed on DNA or other foolish, muggle ways of singling out people. Instead, it was gifted to the tenor in magic; each family had a certain coding in their abilities, a certain similarity. The spell was twined into that coding, seeking out the heir in a certain dissension of qualities; purity of blood, age, and then gender. There were other factors, such as the whim of the deceased, and their ability to affect the spell to certain demographics. But other than that, it was fairly simple.

The ritual was to release the magic in each host's body and test it for the entwining of the inheritance spell. The more Draco read, the more amazingly simple it was. And more confusing it was to explain what had occurred. He read more diligently, but the chapter ended. There was no clause on how it may affect underage wizards. Nothing.

Draco growled, tossing the book from him. It flew into the bookcase more powerfully then he intended, knocking a shelf. Books littered the floor in a matter of seconds, the bookcase toppling in entirety. It began a domino effect, until the once luxurious library was a crime scene. Immediately, Pippy appeared and began to fix it with his magic. The cases were once erect, the books alphabetized to Draco's preference in mere minutes – seven to be exact. Draco watched as Pippy levitated the books onto the shelves, mesmerized by the ease of the actions.

The hardest problems…straightforward answers, Draco reminded himself, massaging his temples. Another book. That's what he needed. But first he needed to think on what happened. Recall the details.

He was halted from doing so when he heard movement at the entrance to the library; from the tap of dragon-hide boots, he figured it to be Blaise. Then the smell hit him, the silky smooth scent of Italian summer fruits. He sighed, biting back apologies for their last meeting, deciding it was simply Blaise's fault in the first place. If he was not so eagerly trying to push the unspoken boundaries, urged by Pansy's doltishness, then their argument would not have occurred.

The creak of the wooden floors was indicative of Blaise kneeling before him – he felt the fabric of the Italian's shirt brush his knees. He leaned in, replacing Draco's fingers with his own. He pressed his slender thumbs to Draco's temples, careful not to ruffle the blond's hair. He knew too well what mussing the well-kept hair would do. An irate giant was nothing compared to the hour long whinging-fit Draco could spew.

"You're stressed." No preamble, no greeting.

Draco bit back something sharp, instead replied with a short, "Yes." He breathed in Blaise's sweet breath, which was as calming as it was stimulating.

The hands moved, curving around his chin, traveling down his neck with an exacerbated slowness. He felt them touch on his belt, undoing it carefully, then unbuttoning the several bronze fastenings. He fished for Draco's cock and fed it through the slit of his silky pants. Just the attention began to fill the organ with blood. But it was a half-hearted erection; Draco was not as turned on as he wished to be. It was rare that Blaise would get on his knees without coercing, but for some reason it was not as arousing as it should have been.

Regardless, Draco had no qualms when the brunet took him in the mouth, finding it rather pleasant. His mind kept whirling however, thinking of plans and musings; he began to consider what it would be like to have Potter this submissive, this demoralized. Oddly, Draco found it exciting; he came a shortly after, laughter on his lips. Potter on his knees for Draco? Oh, how rich. How delightfully, deliciously rich.

How perfect.

He finally opened his eyes then, gazing dizzily at the Italian. He was carefully pulling off his muggle-blazer and draping it over the back of a chair. Draco raised a single hand to halt him, his afterglow fading fast.

"Not today Blaise – I have research to do."

The Italian frowned, brushing back his thick curls. There was something unfathomable in his face, then he smiled stonily. He had lit a cigarette at his lips in record time, probably to rid himself of the sticky taste of Draco's cum.

"On what now?"

For some reason, the question was grating. "Ways to off bloody Potter."

"All work and no play makes Malfoy a dull boy," Blaise teased, making sure to take on a sultry tone. He sat adjacent to Draco, puffing at his fag with a casual air, and leaned forward, elbows on his knees. His eyes were highly amused. "Have you any idea of how you want to do it?"

"Not quick, no," Draco said immediately in his drawling tone. His thoughts were resolved, but his restraint too scattered by the remarkable orgasm Blaise urged. Thus, he shared the inner-workings of his mind. "I need to mortify him to the fullest extent." The Slytherin paused. Then grinned. "My mother gave me an idea; to befriend the ridiculous Gryffindor and then off him. Perhaps I can make him bend for me."

Blaise coughed, choking on smoke. "You're not serious are you?"

"Well, yes, I am. And why not? I think it's fair enough to shag him to death, don't you? Give him a little pleasure. He'd be making my life wonderful with his last breath; it's a decent trade off." Draco smiled adoringly at Blaise.

"You're mad," the Italian managed, the air of nonchalance dissipating. His face darkened, brows shading his eyes black. "Completely, bloody, irrevocably mad." He wiped a hand over his lips, as if ashamed now of bringing the blond off. "You're not even sure if you can kill the prat in the first place by regular means. He is a wary, accomplished wizard." He spat the words. "The Dark Lord could not even succeed."

"He had too much hubris," Draco explained off-handedly.

"And you don't?"

The question struck Draco as odd, thus he disregarded it. Instead, he realized his cock was still lying limp between his thighs. He stood and refastened his trousers, walking casually over to a bookcase for a volume on wand-lore. If he was in private, he may have skulked, may have growled under his breath, for he was that frustrated. It was, perhaps, a bit idiotic to mention to Blaise his ideas for Potter – much less acknowledge the foolish ideas as more than just musings – but when was it suddenly allowed for Blaise to get off as righteous? And when did it become alright to act as if they were more than fuck-buddies?

Those ridiculously persuasive hands gripped his hips, pulling his arse flush against Blaise's crotch. They slid up Draco's shirt and massaged his pelvic bones, causing goose-pimples. "If you truly want to know, I'd rather you not shag your nemesis, Draco." He nipped at the blond's ear.

"Don't start on me about fidelity again."

Blaise sighed. "I'm not; I know I was wrong about that. You've been with no one but me; I understand that, thus my pleading was an insult. But really, Potter? Do you think that I can't shag you better?"

"It's not like I fantasize about the prat." Just shaming him to the most painful degree, Draco added internally. "I simply thought it would be a punishment. But suddenly you're as sensitive as Pansy and don't appreciate my randy humor."

Blaise bit hard at Draco's ear, sighing once more when he pulled away. He lit up again, almost immediately. The room was already smoky with the cigarette plumes. A silence overcame them, and it gave Draco a moment to look for his book. One eye read the names along the spines, while the other gauged Blaise's expression from under pale eyelashes. The Italian was gazing out of the window, smoking to his heart's content. There was something in his eyes that kept him from looking dazed or pensive; there was something drawing his lips as well. Draco surmised the emotion, but couldn't place the origin. He turned his whole attentions back to the volumes.

Blaise made a soft sound in the back of his throat, as if to regain Draco's interest. "I found this of particular comedic value earlier." He paused, leaning against the bookcase. "Theo is planning a masquerade party."

Draco couldn't find the energy to snort. Instead he sneered. "Leave it to Nott to struggle for originality. Has he made it more specific than that?"

"No," Blaise replied, another puff of his fag. "But I was thinking of what we should go as. Not that it would matter, seeing as your hair is a dead giveaway."

"I don't particularly want to go as anything. I'll wear a mask, to humor the traitor, but I will not succumb. I am there only to gather information, and nothing more." Draco immediately attempted to ignore the forlorn look on Blaise's face, but it was annoying. Acting on that, he tossed a grin over his shoulder. "Besides, I don't want us to look too different Blaise. Your heart may stop if some inbred fool tried to touch me; an Unforgivable may ruin the festive atmosphere."

Blaise's lips softened to a smile, then smirked. He sidled closer, fragrance oozing from his pores. "But don't you want to play a little game? I could be anyone for you, anyone you desire."

The thought was deviously and wholly Slytherin patented; it made Draco's mouth dry. Draco, however, regained composure immediately. His mind whirled just as swiftly, as he devised a plan. He decided to test Blaise's reaction to certain stimulants, all of course, ending with Draco's wicked means.

"For now, you're the one I desire."

Ugh, Hufflepuff. But it was applicable here – it was merely an assessment of Draco's charm.

Blaise's pupils dilated. Draco watched curiously, wondering at which point such words could have such an effect on an individual. Certainly they would never affect me this powerfully. The Italian swaggered forward, pressing his growing groin against Draco's; the blond resigned, leaning towards him. There was no way to avoid Blaise now, as provoked as he was. Draco thought of ways he may be able to all-throughout their rowdy love-making. He came much longer after Blaise, attesting it to the nice blow-job he had earlier. And when they lay in the middle of the library, Draco couldn't stand the idea of Italian wrapping around him (although he relented). It was too Gryffindor, too sensitive, too….

Draco considered many possibilities. But it few of them appealed as much as demoralizing the Gryffindor. Oh, rape was out of the question – it was nasty, for one, and far below a Slytherin; perhaps a rotten Hufflepuff. No, Potter would have to come willingly to his death bed. Draco surmised the prat to be a virgin; too easy. Too easy. He imagined the scenario; he would start off being remorseful, sweet. The mudblood would fall quickly, Weasel would be too confused to be any help. Potter would be wary, curious. Perhaps take his cloak for a test run and follow Draco around again. Draco'd feign forgiveness, give him gifts, and perhaps assist him in class or something. He'd get closer, carefully snog Potter when he would be unawares. Give it a month, make him desire Draco until he bit his nails to the quick. And shag him too amazingly and violently that Potter would be shot into oblivion, far before Draco would give him the finishing blow. He would play in missionary, to see Potter's face in raw pleasure before his demise. Or perhaps he would simply incarcerate him and bring him to Voldemort's feet, then off him. Yes – that'd be better.

The plan came together the more the cogs in Draco's head turned. He tested his flirtatious skill on Blaise – a Hufflepuff comment here, Ravenclaw stares there, a Gryffindor persistence in bed. He noted the way Blaise's composure began to crack; he was getting sappy, sloppy in bed, wanting to be held and kissed instead of roughly shagged. It was fucking annoying, except that the brunet was more willing to get on his knees, practically anywhere. And he had more of an appetite, needing to be bedded every other day. Draco's cock was beginning to feel raw from the attention.

He tried on Pansy as well, when he was not feeling as disgusted as usual with her. She would bat her eyes and smile, lean forwards. But she was easy. Too easy.

He needed a new culprit.




The room was spacious, not wholly cavernous in size, but because of its gloomy ambiance, akin to a cave. A strange, eerie red light flooded the area so the Death-Eaters could see, but it did nothing to alleviate the dank black. Nothing adorned the wall; nothing on the floor besides a large, emerald carpet, stained with what Draco guessed was blood. There was no seating on the rug, other than the throne fixed affront of the roaring fireplace. Draco's eyes fell upon it as always, unwilling to gaze at his peers surrounding the room, like shadows in the walls. He distracted himself by following the sloping curves and lines of the pure marble. There was no comfort in the seat. A python (or what Draco surmised it to be) motif twirled around the armrest in embellishment, beautiful in its cold form. But it was there the beauty began and ended.

Draco rose his eyes slowly, remorsefully, to cast upon Him, then looked quickly away. There was something in His face, a maliciousness, which made Draco feel ill. However, Draco quickly cast those emotions to the farthest region of his mind, keeping the forefront meticulously clean. Snape had taught him the basics of Occlumency, and although Draco did pretty well in the area of magic, he never once entertained the thought that he was a superior Occlumens to the Dark Lord's talent for Legilimency. The Dark Lord just had a way with human beings. He could chew them and spit them out, exponentially darker, crazier, with the twitch of his fingers. Draco had seen it many a time. Mostly on his father.

However, this time, the Dark Lord had cast mercy on the Malfoy-Black line; instead, his victim for tonight was Igor Karkaroff. The once tall man was on his knees, spine curved in an atrocious angle so his silvery head touched the floor. He was shaking violently – it made Draco feel sick – and sobs shuddered from his chest.

"Forgive me my Lord – forgive me! I am merely human… I… I… I make mistakes, my Lord! I am not like you – you are godlike, my savior!" He looked up with shining eyes, hair limp with sweat.

The Dark Lord grinned, or rather upturned his slit of a mouth. A series of hissings were issued next. He paused, then nodded, satisfied with whatever he heard that the rest of them could not.

Draco looked away as the Dark Lord gave Karkaroff a Crucio, hands twisting behind his spine to rid himself of the tension. He studied the masks adorned around him. They were elaborate, some personified for the wearer. Bellatrix, for example, had managed to carve an image of a mutt into the twirls and designs, signifying the quick death she brought to her brother. When Draco was finally Marked, he considered having a stag (for Potter's patronus) ingrained in his mask. That's if….

Salazar… the screaming…!

No – next, next: focus.

A slither came from between his legs; he stood stalk still as Nagini made her way to her master, constricting around his ankles as she went. She shot Draco a malevolent grin, more human than actually snake-like, and tongued the air. She probably tasted Draco's unease.

The Dark Lord pet the snake dutifully on the head, glancing once at Draco. It was a searing moment that Draco felt throughout his bones like a magnified Pepper-Up. His heart palpitated and sweat began to form on his lower back, but he remained calm. He didn't fidget, or look away, or shake. He was beyond childish antics as such. It felt like eons, but it lasted a second. The Dark Lord matched Nagini's smile, then turned to the man falling apart at his feet.

"You are no longer fit to live," the Dark Lord declared. "And all you, who are like him. Those who defy me. He may have outrun me. Yet he has returned so willingly with excuses of his insubordination. It was out of self-preservation that he returned, for he is selfish and mindless. And now he will suffer."

Kakaroff screamed, and from the way he was hopelessly gazing at the Dark Lord, Draco knew he was being tortured through the mind. Perhaps imagining the skin being peeled away layer by layer. Lucius had explained, when Draco had shared his intentions with his father, that that was how it felt, for him anyway. He had said so with such a chilled expression, his eyes wide and mad, that Draco nearly faltered, as He said, out of self-preservation. Ironically, it is for the preservation of his name that he stands in minor rank among the Death Eaters.

"I will torture you until you beg for death," He continued silibantly, and with his wand, spun Karkaroff around, contorting his body until his arse was high in the air, face in the ground. He gazes around at the Death Eaters, tongue flickering out and tasting the fear. "But I will not allow it to come."

He clawed the trousers off Karkaroff, leaving his arse bare, and forced himself inside, first by his wand, and then by his…

Salazar, Draco didn't want to watch. He couldn't. His eyes were burning, trying to close, but he could not show weakness.

Blood began to stream down the backs of Karkaroff's thighs as he let out screams from his very core. Fortunately, they were muffled by the carpet, but were still as horrifying.

Sweat dripped into Draco's eye like poison, and burned.

"Notice how he squeals, like an animal! Like a pig to the slaughter! Mindless!" the Dark Lord laughed, tossing his head back. He stopped his rigid movements, and poised his wand over Karkaroff's spine. From the way the traitor screamed, it was a Crucio so powerful he vibrated in place. And by the way the Dark Lord let out a hiss, that was the desired effect.

Draco's eyes closed, nails biting into his palms.

"Take him away. I am not through with him yet," the Dark Lord said when the cries ended. Draco dared open his eyes then, and indexed Karkaroff. He was still breathing, blood streaming from gouges on his bare arse, coating his thighs vivid red. His lips were red and swollen, drying blood coating his thinning hair.

Two Death Eaters levitated the unconscious Karkaroff into another room, who twitched like an animal. Draco refocused his eyes on the fresh blood splatters on the rug, fighting the bile rising in his throat.


His eyes shot up warily and into the slits of the Dark Lord. He was sitting now on his throne, his wand held aloft, his other hand beckoning. Blood dampened the front of his robes. Nagini was contentedly flickering her tongue to taste the stains. Draco's stomach heaved. "Come here, boy."

Draco stepped forward, chin coming up higher as he steadied himself. I must remain strong, he chanted, then locked it away, letting it play in the sound of his boots as he came ever nearer. He met the Dark Lord's eyes and ignored the incinerating aspect of the gaze. He would hold it as long as he needed to.

"Sir," he said reverently, with a formal, flourishing bow.

"Was he important to you?"

"Pardon, sir?" Draco cocked his head and bemoaned his stupidity. He was caught off-guard. He would not make the same mistake twice.

"I did not stutter, Malfoy," He said impatiently.

"No, sir, the traitor was of no significance to me."

The Dark Lord grinned, petting Nagini on the head. She looked up from her master's robes and fixed her eyes on Draco. "Then explain to me why you could to witness his punishment? Do you feel pity for him? Are you so weak that you have sympathy? Concern for his wellbeing?"

"No, sir," Draco said, forcing himself to remain eloquent although his eyes were beginning to tear. He took comfort in the fact that the Dark Lord had not yet breached his mind in torturous intent as He had his father. "I merely could not stand the sight of a loathsome rat returning to your presence"

He chortled something between a laugh and a hiss. "You are as silver-tongued as your Lucius. I wonder if you will cry out as he, in the same pathetic, feminine fashion. May I remind you, that your father returned as Karkaroff, with the same excuses, and yet you look upon him! Why should I not extract my punishment on you as I have Karkaroff?"

Draco categorized his panic away, which was something he could subject to later. Collectedly, he bowed his head to the Dark Lord. "I cannot apologize for my father's misgivings. I was merely a child when this occurred. He had made mistakes, for it seemed you had been eternally suppressed, and had taken more time than needed to establish a fortune and study the spells to make you whole. This is unforgivable. However whereas my father failed, I will succeed in bringing you Potter's head." The Death Eaters around him murmured laughter. "Our family is not merely a collaboration of failure. Although my mother has defied my rule as head-of-house and cleaned my hands of all tasks you have given me, the deaths you have required have been carried out. Bellatrix, as well, has been faithful under your name. She slain Sirius Black, a confidant of Potter, and weakened his defenses considerably.

"If you choose to punish me, I shall take your extraction with head held high, for I know in the future I will change your expectations of House Malfoy."

The Dark Lord gesticulated for Draco to step back. He spent no time mulling over Draco's promises, but from the slight frown on His face, He was not wholly pleased with the fact Malfoy was not a mouse to torture for amusement. He was poised to strike mercilessly promptly afterward, like a Cobra desperate for a meal. Goyle shifted in place, and he made his attack, beginning the same heedless interrogation and shaming accusations.

I have dodged a dragon, Draco thought, striping the flesh from his lip. For now.