Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.

The Slaying of the Dragon
By Silver Sailor Ganymede

When Draco Malfoy remembers the war, it isn't the bloodshed that scares him. The memories of the torture he had to induce on others and the murders he was almost forced to commit are horrific, but they aren't the worst thing, for there is still a small part of his mind, even all these years later, that wonders whether the mudbloods and bloodtraitors didn't quite deserve exactly what they got. The wider world will never know this, of course; he is reformed and respectable and can't be doing with his past coming back to haunt him.

Except it does. Not so often as it used to, admittedly, but it's still there. It's only a handful of times a year now, but it's enough for his wife to whine about his constantly waking up, about his screaming in his sleep and disturbing her night's rest. At times like this he wonders why he married Astoria Greengrass, but those thoughts always die in the cold light of morning. It's only during the night that he allows himself to think about anything at all anymore.

He remembers the first time he laid eyes on his aunt. It was after his father had been condemned to Azkaban, as she knew that she never would have been permitted to set foot in Malfoy Manor had Lucius still been there. According to his mother they had despised each other for years, and the fact that the war had ended with Bellatrix's martyrdom and Lucius' freedom had only served to intensify that hatred.

Yes, martyrdom. That was exactly what Draco had thought of her as when he first heard her tales – a martyr. He was enamoured by her stories of the times when the Dark Lord had been truly powerful and they, the loyal ones, had had the world at their fingertips. Then Potter had ruined it all, (just like he always did, Draco had thought bitterly, memories of failed Quidditch matches coming painfully to mind).

The Dark Lord was powerful and so they were as well. The Dark Lord would have the world at his feet and he would reward his followers greatly. The Dark Lord was the answer to everything; he would give them all that they could ever have dreamed of – and more. All Draco had to do was serve him, replace his traitor of a father in the Dark Lord's ranks. That was all he had to do and he might eventually have the honour of becoming a martyr like Bellatrix.

He supposes she was the first woman that he was ever really enamoured with. The fact that she was his mother's sister, a married woman and had spent almost as long as he had been alive in Azkaban for torturing people into insanity didn't even cross his mind. She was beautiful despite Azkaban, swathes of dark hair fallen down past her shoulders like silk and making her eyes appear even brighter. Most boys would have found it disturbing to kiss a woman and then find himself staring into his own eyes, but to Draco it wasn't like that. Seeing his own features reflected in her face simply reassured him that her blood was pure. She was his aunt and married and supposedly insane, but Draco was too ensnared by her to care about that.

He knows that his mother never had a clue what happened, never understood exactly how her sister had seduced her son into joining the Dark Lord's ranks. Narcissa never knew and Draco intends to keep it that way. He has no doubt, though, that both Bellatrix's husband and brother-in-law were entirely aware of what was happening – and neither of them cared.

The thing that scares Draco the most when he remembers the war isn't the bloodshed or the torture or the killings; it's the shrieking laughter of Bellatrix Lestrange and the disappointed, bored look she shot him when he failed to kill Albus Dumbledore. He had thought his heart was breaking then, as that's when he realised he was simply another toy to her, that she had never cared for him at all. It wasn't in her nature to care for anything other than herself and her Lord.

Draco knows he should have realised that warriors always slay dragons, no matter how much they pretend to love them first – but he was fifteen years old and stupid, what could he have done? Either way it doesn't matter; even though he still sees her face in his dreams (his nightmares), this dragon has long outlived the warrior who tried to kill it.