Hello there. This is my very first Harry Potter fanfic. In fact, it's my first fic ever. I sincerely hope you enjoy the characters and plot, my sexy ladies and gents.

Essentially following the major storyline of all the HP books, this is a continuation (fully canonical) fic. We begin our tale nearly a year after the defeat of Voldemort.

This story is not for the faint of heart who get bored easily, prepare for the LONG HAUL. And I mean, I do not have a set end in mind, I have many that I constantly change ideas about. The chapters get very long.

Enjoy xx

Rated M for mainly language, as well as alcoholism, sexuality and plain old sex. I do not own any of the characters used.

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There's something wrong with me chemically,
Something wrong with me inherently,
The wrong mix in the wrong genes; I reached the wrong ends by the wrong means.
It was the wrong plan, in the wrong hands

I was born with the wrong sign, In the wrong house,
With the wrong ascendancy.
I took the wrong road; that led to the wrong tendencies.

- Wrong, Depeche Mode


Prologue:

Something had happened to Draco Malfoy.
Something he knew would not be easily fixed. An emotional overhaul would be an understatement, and yet Draco couldn't quite put his finger on what had drastically changed.

It wasn't just the fact he felt his regular confidence slipping, though most of it had vanished long ago. It wasn't just that he no longer had the desire to eat and sleep. No, it was something else….something worse. Something that formed in the pit of his stomach, that attached itself and refused to leave, leaving him hollow except for that distorted feeling.

"Perhaps," Draco thought as he lay sprawled on his luxurious four-poster bed."Perhaps it has to do with my father."
It was then, in the clear cold month of January, that Draco heaved a great sigh and finally began to think through the turmoil that had befuddled his brain for the past several months. He had left it to balloon in his mind, and it seemed that today was the last straw, the pin to pop it open.

"For the longest time, I merely assumed that father was right," Draco mused inside his head. "What we were doing for the Dark Lord was the only thing and most importantly the right thing to do. I've always felt superior to most, that Muggles and Muggle-borns were filth...that becoming a Death Eater was a thing meant to happen.
"Now I know better. Now I know that we, as his servants, meant nothing. We were disposable. The ones who were stupid enough to shed loyalty to him in the first place got what they deserved, but me? I was thrust into it. Did I deserve punishment? Of course. I yearned for power just as much as the next man."

"And yet…" for this was the part that puzzled his brain the most, "If I was so convinced about my confidence in the dark side, why did I cower in fear? Why did I feel empathy for the Muggle Studies teacher when she was tortured? Why did I lie for Potter, Granger & Weasley? I tried to capture them all later I suppose…but why didn't I just end it right then and there?"

It can't just have been out of being scared.

He gulped, dragging a lone finger to trace the faded tattoo on his covered forearm, the daily reminder of what his cowardice had cost him.

"Never before have I felt such confusion for anything in those obscure moments. And even ghastlier, I feel guilty of all things. Guilty towards my family because I helped Potter. Not ashamed however, which is worse. And guilty because that Burbage woman didn't deserve to die…all those people didn't deserve to die. I was saving my own skin, I was trying to save my parents, was I really in the wrong? Even if I wasn't a coward, all the skills I possess couldn't have any effect on The Dark Lord."

He knew he was making excuses to himself, he had been trying to convince himself since he got off the broken castle floor nearly a year ago that he wasn't the one to blame.

"This is all Father's fault!"Draco continued his thoughts as he pounded his fists onto his bed. "We could've been fighting for the other side and not be in such a state now – Dad in Azkaban, Mum a wreck all the time, and I confused about what it is I should do to occupy my life. If dad wasn't so bloody hungry to succeed, I wouldn't have this…I wouldn't have…This horrible mark!"

Draco shouted aloud into the confines of his dark bedroom. "But it's not his fault," he conceded to himself like a lonely mad-man. "He was only doing what was best for us in the long-term. I doubt he really did believe that the Dark Lord was going to come to full power until it was too late."

He sighed, then pulled up his left sleeve to reveal the never disappearing Dark Mark, still on his arm, but faded to a grey tinge in the moonlight – almost as if it were drawn with charcoal.

"Ugh, this is what Potter must feel like…or felt like," he spat, trailing his fingers for the millionth time overtop of the deadened skin. He and Harry shared a constant physical reminder of what had occurred in their past. A scar.

Draco's fate however, was just that; fate. Harry's had been destiny.

Even though the snake remained dormant on his skin, the dull ache never occurring again from being summoned, he shuddered as he remembered what The Dark Lord had truly been like.

Nothing like Draco had really expected. He first thought that meeting him would be a great honour, that doing his bidding would bring him evil glory that he could revere in for eternity. Because how could a 16 year old boy bring down a monster? Staying with Dumbledore would've been a mistake. The first encounter was terrifying beyond any realm that he knew existed before that point. Voldemort was ruthless; he made Draco torture people, he made him do things or else face the actions himself.

It had quickly escalated into a game – a revenge plot for Lucius – Draco was a mere toy ready to be rid of in an instant. Lucius' constant slip-ups enabled Lord Voldemort to use and squeeze him like a sponge full of water, until he was sucked dry and tossed in the rubbish bin. He had money and connections, but most of all, a weak heart; status was everything to him, an obsession.

But even more so, Lucius like any mortal man valued his life, and moreover, his family. Status among those most powerful ensures the things you treasure most can remain safe; Lucius wasn't completely heartless after all. And nobody, nobody ever stops being a Death Eater if they value the will to live.

His father taught him well. Draco complied like a good little pureblood.

At the first moment Voldemort threatened to kill him if he failed to carry out his task to assassinate Dumbledore, Draco knew what it must feel like to be somebody of lower status- with little or no power to seize, an idea that had never quite hit a note, having always been the spoiled child with no cares in the world.

Sitting in the presence of somebody so evil, somebody so…relentless and remorseless, made Draco truly feel fear. Sure, he had been threatened and alarmed once or twice, punched in the face and jinxed – but this wasn't the same. It wasn't out of hatred or amusement that Voldemort wanted to kill Draco. It was indifference on the welfare of a fellow human being. Lack of emotion in violence is a much scarier sight than anger or revenge.

Well maybe lack of emotion is the wrong phrase to use. He didn't hate Draco, but he wanted to reprimand Lucius. He knew that Draco was lost of his wits at the mere sight of him, a quality that should never be displayed by a follower, so he played with his emotions, planning fully that imminently he would be dead. Voldemort had the instincts to tell how much Draco's parents cared for him; he used it to punish while getting still his way.

But he survived, Draco did. Out of sheer luck that he still didn't fully comprehend. He never wanted to kill anybody, to harm anyone without using his voice. Raising a wand to a man willing to save you was the most difficult thing he had ever had to do.

And it was at this moment, the thought of guilt about almost defeating his Headmaster, the niggling realization on the metamorphosis of Draco Malfoy smacked him in the face: he was no longer compelled to be a nasty person.

Draco was stunned, sitting shock still. Then slowly, his jaw dropped ever-so-slightly and closed at this unexpected comprehension. It had always been in his nature to be sardonic, sarcastic and mean to those around him, a way to exert his superiority and hide his insecurity. But now… it all felt useless. Who has he going to overpower or control? He had nothing to prove. He was now the scum of the Wizarding world, despite still being a part of one of the richest families alive. And even the most expensive of Firewhiskey's couldn't drown that out of his system.

Of course he was still externally fierce, not willing to let his struggling emotions spill onto centre stage, though it did more often than not. But now it was for a defence-mechanism type response rather than simply pointing out others flaws to cover his own inhibitions.

No, he held no will to be rude to his 'inferiors' all the time, not because he had had a change of heart though. He merely had given up. He wasn't even a good person out of this fleeting circumstance, and it bothered him that he recognized this.

"Merlin's beard…what have I been reduced to?" he whispered as he slunk back down onto his four poster bed. 'Me, Draco Malfoy? Feeling sorry for people? Relating to people? Talking to myself like a maniac? Ugh. I almost wish that I had died when – AHH!"

A large black owl had stealthily swooped in from outside the cold air and landed on Draco's shoulder, causing him quite the fright.

"Birds…always surprising you when you don't want them – ouch!' apparently this canary had a better sense of hearing than initially thought, and his comment earned a swift nibble on his finger. The owl dropped a familiar looking letter onto his lap and began to fly away with haste.

Meanwhile, Draco had stopped breathing at the letter he'd received as he read the font. It bore the unmistakable red Hogwarts crest, and a large gulp emitted from Draco's throat. No, way, it couldn't be...

It was addressed to him:

Draco Malfoy
Draco Malfoys Bedroom
Malfoy Manor
Wiltshire, England

He smoothed back his platinum shaded hair and grabbed the ends of his bed with his fingertips, to sit up properly. Slowly, he lifted the waxy seal off of the letter that rested on his lap, and flipped the lid over, folding it to the other side.

Taking a deep breath, Draco lifted the protruding parchment out of its envelope and opened it. He moved over to the chaise by the fireplace, scanning the document he now held. He could never have prepared himself for what it contained.

Dear Mr. Malfoy,

It has come to our attention that last year you were not present for the Fall or Winter term, and thus did not graduate from your seventh and final year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. Normally in this circumstance you would be expelled for failing to provide an excuse or a warning about your absence. However, due to the recent events of the past year, we understand that drastic measures had to have been taken for some families to remain in a safe environment.

At this, Draco snorted. But he continued.

Concerning the obvious interception of proper teaching methods in the previous school year, we are asking that every 7th year student from last term repeat their final year. Therefore, we extend an invitation to rejoin Hogwarts one last time.
Classes begin February 9th. We apologize for the inconvenience of the major change in school scheduling, but the reorganization and rehabilitation of restoring this fine institution has taken quite a bit longer than expected. Due to the demand of admissions into the school, we feel it best not to wait until September to resume as normal protocol suggests.
If you are interested in returning for the Winter & Summer year, please reply by owl before January 31st. Enclosed are lists for school books and equipment.

Yours sincerely,
Minerva McGonagall
Headmaster

Draco averted his eyes from the letter, his head suddenly dizzy from the surprise.

An invitation? Back to Hogwarts? A place where he would be hated, and a place that he hated too. Yet it was a place where he could earn the marks to leave Wiltshire, get a job to distract himself, and live on his own. A place to maybe reconcile with his acquaintances. All would be a hard feat. He would be in for a tough year, bad habits had sprouted up in the past 2. But, it was his way out. His only way out.

Decisions…decisions