Disclaimer: I do NOT own the Harry Potter series. That credit goes to the brilliant mind of J.K. Rowling. Go Jo! I also do not own some of the material used. Again that belongs to Jo and Warner Brothers.

Chapter 1 The Dark Mark/ Prologue

As Ron sat in a compartment of the Hogwarts Express, he couldn't help but think about what might have been the worst summer holiday he had ever had.

Here he was with Hermione, running his hand through her hair, and he knew his time with her and Harry, who sat opposite them, was going to end very soon.

"When they find out what happened, it's over," Ron thought to himself as he stole a look out the window.

"Harry, not again," Hermione said as Ron came back to reality.

"I can't, Hermione. I know what I saw," he replied.

"What are you two on about?" Ron asked, hoping that they wouldn't get made for his lack of attentiveness.

Giving a sigh, Hermione answered, "Harry believes that Draco Malfoy is now a Death Eater."

This shocked Ron. What had Draco done to make Harry suspicious?

"You do?" Ron finally asked.

"Yeah, I do," Harry said, now looking at Ron with great interest.

"Well, if anyone would know, it'd be me," Ron said before Harry had the chance to question him, "and I can tell you he's not."

"Ron's right, Harry," Hermione said, sitting up now. This made Ron feel even guiltier now f or lying. "Think about it. If Draco got the Dark Mark, Ron would have to.

And then they both looked at Ron at once and Harry said, "Unless…"

"Unless what?" Ron asked a little too quickly

"Ron, what if they did it in secret?" Hermione asked.

He felt relief pass through his body. For a moment, he thought the worse.

Acting like nothing, Ron replied, "Draco would have still told me… or, at least I think he would've."

'What if they're on to you?" Harry asked.

Ron looked down and thought for a moment. He hadn't given much thought to that, but then he realized they couldn't.

"I'd already be dead," Ron concluded.

He hated lying to them about the situation, but he was going to protect them for as long as he could.

xxx

Ron was in his dormitory, getting ready for bed, when Draco walked over to him.

"Haven't snitched on us yet, have you?" Draco asked.

Ron sighed and replied, "Of course not."

Ron began to think about that faithful night as he let his head hit the pillow He remembered it like it was yesterday… the day he and Draco received the Dark Mark.

He and Draco had been his room when Mr. Weasley came in and said, "It's time."

The walk down the stairs to the kitchen was like walking to his death in Ron's opinion. He didn't want this, but he had no choice. He had to make sure nothing would happen to Hermione.

The Dark Lord was there, his wand already in his hand.

"You two might be sixteen," his cold voice began, "but you've proven to be loyal to me throughout the years."

"Thank you, my lord," Ron and Draco replied with a bow.

"Draco, you know why I have chosen you," Voldemort said.

Ron turned and saw Draco's mother, Narcissa was weeping into his mother's shoulder.

"And now, it's time to honor your services," Voldemort told them as Ron turned back.

The pain was like nothing Ron had ever felt before as Voldmort's wand punctured his skin as a skull with a snake coming out of its mouth was branded on his left forearm.

"It is finished," Voldemort said after doing the same to Draco. Ron would've loved nothing more than to run from all of this, but he knew he couldn't.

Ron shook his head back into the dormitory room as Draco called his name.

"You don't seem to like this very much," Draco said.

"You think?" Ron asked with a sarcastic laugh.

Draco walked over to Ron's bed as Ron sighed and let his head hit the pillow.

"Why did you do it, then?" Draco asked.

"He was going to kill Hermione to teach me a lesson if I didn't," Ron told Draco, not even looked at him.

"Yeah, well, I'm in it because my father couldn't get the prophecy," Draco said.

Ron didn't want to talk anymore about it, and apparently Draco didn't either as he got up to go to his own bed.

AN:

I hope you enjoy this.