A/N: Woohoo! Finally, the plot bunnies have struck again! Hopefully I'll actually finish this story. This takes place during Draco's and Harry's fifth year. More Draco than Harry. It took me awhile to write this chapter, so it might be awhile between updates.

**Just finished it, and kinda realized it has a semi-Lord of the Rings beginning. I'll stay my best away from it!

The title comes from the Latin translation of "Draco Malfoy".

DISCLAIMER: The Harry Potter universe is the property of J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. The writer of this fic neither claims nor implies the ownership of the aforementioned universe. No money was made writing this.

CH 1:

A slight breeze swelled up, ruffling the silky strands of grass that stretched for acres on all sides around Malfoy Manor. The sun shone down merrily, casting shadows of a fairy-tale nature on all uneven edges. Buds on the apple trees were big-bellied, foretelling the fruit that was to come. A thin veil of ivy hugged the tall towers, like a mother comforting a child, and gently traced along the outsides of the windows. Inside one of these windows stood a boy, with blonde hair and gray eyes, who gazed into a mirror.

Draco Malfoy flipped his collar into place, and used his well-manicured fingertips to adjust his tie, again. He nervously smoothed his hair, and took a deep breath to calm himself. It was finally here. Today would be his first meeting with Lord Voldemort.

He had spent his entire summer studying the Dark Arts. Sometimes, if his father had free time, he taught Draco. But the majority of his knowledge came from the ancient volumes in the extensive Malfoy library; books ranging from simple hexes and curses to ancient killing spells of medieval England. Draco had learned more ways to permanently disable someone than the average ministry worker, and could kill a man with fifty-seven distinct spells.

This was part of his importance to Voldemort. The rest of the interest accredited to him was a result of being the Malfoy heir, son of Lucius Malfoy, second in command to the Dark Alliance. Lord Voldemort regarded the entire bloodline with sanctity most reserved for deities; the Dark Alliance's goal was to make the population view them as gods.

Draco sighed as he heard footsteps echoing in the hallway. He closed his eyes, and tried to regain his composure. When he opened them again, he saw his father in the mirror, standing behind him. It was startling how alike they were. Draco, now fifteen, had been carved into almost a carbon-copy resemblance. The same pale skin, the same pointed face, the same high cheekbones. The same cold, gray eyes, that bored into your very soul, and could fill you with an irrational icy terror. The only difference between the two was their hair color. Lucius bore a deep brown, almost black color. Draco had the pale white-blond, inherited from his mother's veela ancestors.

"It is time, son" said Lucius. "Are you ready?"

"I am ready, Father." Replied Draco, surprising himself with the steadiness of his voice. He felt as if a thousand moths were dancing in his stomach. Was he ready?

He followed his father down the hall, dimly aware of the Malfoys in the portraits on the walls. They looked down at him smugly, no doubt having heard that this was his 'big day'. They too, throughout the ages, had served various dark lords, but none so powerful as Lord Voldemort. Pride was in their eyes as they gazed at the boy who was about to carry on family tradition.

Draco's hands became clammy as he approached his father's study. The tall mahogany door seemed to daunt him, and a cold draft wrapped itself around him, unusual for August, bearing a premonition of evil things that were to transpire. A tiny voice in his head seemed to scream run, stop, hide. But, as usual, he ignored it, telling himself it was only nerves.

Lucius stepped up to the door, and wrapped sharply on it.

"Come in…" a voice hissed from within, sending chills down Draco's spine. It seemed inhuman, almost serpentine in origin.

Lucius opened the door and slipped in, Draco following with a catlike grace seemingly fitting to the situation. He silently shut the door behind him, and turned around, receiving his first look at Lord Voldemort, He-Who-Must- Not-Be-Named. In a few years, He-Who-Would-Be-Draco's-Master.

Draco instantly refrained from flinching, closing his throat around a horrified gasp that threatened to escape. Never in his wildest dreams had he imagined a creature like this.

Voldemort's face was flat, and elliptical in shape. He was not only bald, but was also lack eyebrows. Huge, crimson eyes stared out, reminiscent of pools of liquid blood. They shone with a strange glow, like rubies in an engagement ring, but lacking the mirth the former implied. He was devoid of a nose, but instead two slits of nostrils rested on his face, adding to the startling snake-like resemblance. Two thin, pale lips melted in with the surrounding skin, creating a sharp gash twisted into a malicious grin.

This head rested on a lithe, thin body, two graceful to be referred to as "lanky". He was clothed in robes of a deep emerald green, with a trim of black serpents marching across the collar and the edges of the sleeves. He proved to be an intimidating figure, as he sat in the high-backed jade chair that bedecked Lucius' office.

"Hello, Draco," he half-hissed. "I've been waiting to see you. Step into the light, and let me have a good look."

Draco obeyed, playing off every sign of hesitance. He stood resolutely, neither refuting nor quaking under the Dark Lord's harsh gaze. Lord Voldemort's grin grew wider; it had been awhile since he had met anyone brave enough to look him in the eye.

"You seem to be brave, young Malfoy," he began. "I feel you will prove to be a great supporter and ally for our cause. I can sense you are stubborn, as any teenager will be, and that will be beneficial when enforcing our 'standards for decency'.

"I want to show you something. Step over here," He beckoned, showing Draco an object in the corner. It stood large, but unrecognizable under the emerald sheet thrown over it.

Lord Voldemort rose from his chair, and slid the sheet off the object. It proved to be a mirror, great in proportions. It was ornamented in wrought- gold, and had an inscription across the top.

"Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi." Read Draco, his attention fueled by curiosity.

"This mirror has hampered my efforts before, but now it shall aid me. Tell me, Draco, what do you see?"

Draco unconsciously quirked his eyebrow in interest, then stepped up to the mirror.

This time, he did not try to disguise the gasp that rose in him. He stood gaping at his reflection. He was older, taller, and standing proudly next to Lord Voldemort. He was dressed in robes of a deep hunter green, with silver embroidery delicately threaded into designs of moons throughout them. He wore an expression of smug malice, and began to grin evilly. He stood with obvious camaraderie with Voldemort, pleased of being a partner in crime.

Real Draco began to grin evilly also. "I see myself and you. I'm older, and I'm standing beside you. I'm… I'm the new Dark Lord." He said, barely containing the excitement in his voice.

"Good," grinned Voldemort. "You have done well so far. Now for the real test of your loyalty." He stepped towards Draco, his two forefingers outstretched. He gently touched the sides of the boy's temples. "Close your eyes."

Draco obeyed, and his mind was immediately bombarded with images. Fire. Pain. Suffering. The clips ran like a muggle movie through his head. Buildings flaming, falling, crashing to the ground, destroying the surrounding area with itself. Muggles ran frantically in all directions, screaming in pain and terror. Wizards in hoods and masks pursued them, shouting curses and obscenities. Wizards raped women muggles, forcing themselves upon teenage girls, taking pleasure in the other's pain. And over it all was an image of Draco, standing proud, smug in knowing this was all his doing. And in the back of the real Draco's mind, a feeling of horror was recognizable. This was what being a Deatheater was all about?

Just as suddenly as they began, the images stopped. Draco flung out an arm to steady himself against the shock of being thrown back to reality, his face still a mask of indifference.

"Did you enjoy that, Draco?"

Draco knew better than to say no. "Yes," he said, a malicious smile spreading across his features. "I liked to hear the muggles screaming."

Voldemort grinned, and looked about as giddy as an evil seventy-year-old Dark Lord could be. "Excellent. As you know, you will not become a Deatheater yet. You will not be able to fully dedicate yourself to our cause until you graduate from Hogwarts. But until then, you are to observe all of the meetings that take place while you are here at the Manor. You are expected to continue your studies of the Dark Arts, and various techniques for torture. We were originally to have you do some reconnaissance missions at Hogwarts, but while they still have that fool Dumbledore—" he spat the name out as if it were a vicious swear, "—working there, we feel it is too risky at the moment."

Draco nodded, fully prepared to take heed of the instructions. But there was a tiny voice in the back of his mind that kept repeating but the blood! Remember all the blood!

"Good. That is all for now."

Draco nodded again, and departed from the room, leaving behind his father and Voldemort.


"Yes, my Lord?"

"Keep an eye one the boy. We don't have him yet."

"Yes, Lord."

"But he will be ours."

Voldemort casually strolled over to an oak table that stood in the corner of the room. He picked up an item that lay on it, a book, and flipped through the pages until he found what he was looking for. He held up the page, and showed it to Lucius.

"Do you know what this is?"

Lucius knitted his brow in concentration. On the page was an ancient illuminated manuscript, showcasing a silver ring. The band was twisted in the shape of a serpent, meant to wrap around the wearer's finger. Three tiny emeralds were set across the top of the band, and the word 'evinco' was inscribed on the inside.

"The Ring of Dominic?" Lucius asked. "But I thought that existed only in the myths."

"Quite the opposite," began Voldemort. "The Ring of Dominic was forged around 1546 BC, by the Druid chief Dominic. He was said to have placed his powers into this ring, so that his magic would not disappear with his death. Legend states that the ring, when used with The Nameless Spell, would offer the user access to all of Dominic's powers. This would enable someone to become the utmost supreme ruler of the universe. Yes, it sounds like something out of a children's' story, but it is true.

"Now, do you know what our next mission will be?"

Lucius's eyes lit up in realization. "To find the ring!"

Voldemort smiled wickedly. "Quite correct. The ring was last seen around 1320 AD, when it was being held secure at a monastery in the northern English countryside. There was a fire there, and a monk supposedly took the ring before the entire place was burned down. From that point on, it is lost to history. It may not even be in existence anymore. But we are willing to take the chance, because it could mean the final emergence of the Dark Side."

He turned back to the table, and set down the book.

"We just have to wait."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Draco slipped through the door to his room, locking it behind him. Finally, he was back at his sanctuary. It was the tall tower room he was at earlier, located high in one of the stone spirals of the manor, modeled after the ones on old Welsh castles. It was outfitted with dark wooden furniture, with plush velvet coverings. His bed was a large four-poster, much like the one in his dormitory at Hogwarts. The only difference was that here, black edging replaced the traditional Slytherin silver, and a large dragon was pictured on a wall hanging, acting like a guardian over the room. Its teeth were bared and its claws were spread out, and it was twisted around a skull. It was the Malfoy family crest.

Draco walked over to his bed, and sat down on the edge of it, running his fingers through his impeccably groomed hair. This was a nervous habit he had acquired years ago, after watching his mother do it repeatedly.

The images that had been put into his head just minutes ago had frightened him. He had always visualized being a Deatheater as attending secret meetings and ceremonies, and candle-lit reconnaissance missions. He imagined the Romantic side of it, leaving out the blood and the killings. But now…

Realization struck him. 'I'm going to be a murderer,' he thought, slightly in shock. 'A murderer.'

'Well, why not?' Another voice in the back of his head asked. 'You're father is one, your grandfather was one, and his father was one. It's in your blood.'

Draco shivered. It's in your blood. Those words sounded so prophetic, so final, it was hard not to believe them.

'But the screaming! Do you remember the screaming?'

He flinched; he remembered. The high-pitched squeals of the children, of the women being raped. It was mind-boggling how anyone could stand it. 'But they like it,' he thought, bringing a wave of sickness.

"I won't," he said out loud, startling him. 'Go to Dumbledore, he'll help.'

Draco scowled. Yes, Dumbledore, savior of all. Of course he could help, he saves the day every time! Him and that no-good Potter.

'But who else do you have to turn to?'

He sighed, and made up his mind. He would be on the train to Hogwarts in three days. He'd go see Dumbledore, after the feast. Because, after all, who else was there?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Ginny smiled as she stepped out into the sunlight at Diagon Alley. It was three days until she had to leave for Hogwarts, and she had come to do her shopping. She, Ron, Fred, George, Harry and Hermione had been able to persuade Molly into letting them go by themselves. After all, they had said, they were teenagers, and responsible enough to take care of themselves. So, after making sure they all had enough Floo powder for the trip home, she let them go, telling them to return in time for dinner.

"Me an' Fred are going to go check out the new jokes!" said George, and left, with Fred following in his wake.

"Well then, where to first?" asked Hermione.

Harry and Ron looked at each other, and simultaneously said "Quidditch."

Hermione rolled her eyes. "Fine. I'm not coming with you, so Ginny and I will go get our books and go to Madam Malkin's while you two goof off."

"All right," said Ron. "Bye!" Then he and Harry departed, leaving Ginny and Hermione standing just inside the archway.

"Well, I sure feel loved." Said Ginny sarcastically. "Well, let's go to Flourish and Blotts."

Ginny and Hermione purchased their books, and went Madam Malkin's for robes. Ginny had been able to get a job working at a muggle farmer's market during the summer, so she was able to save up enough money to get new robes. She felt proud as she carried her large shopping bags around; this year, she wouldn't be going to school looking shabby.

When they were done getting their supplies, Hermione checked her watch.

"We still have a few hours we can spend here." She said.

"How about we go to Andmira's Attic?" suggested Ginny, referring to a decrepit antique store situated at the end of Diagon Alley.


She and Hermione walked through the cheery sunlight, chatting about everything and nothing. However, their light-hearted mood was instantly changed as they stepped through the dreary doorway of Andmira's Attic.

"Oh," exclaimed Hermione, drawing in her breath. It was a dark store, full of second-hand junk and trinkets; most in badly need of repair or polish. Cobwebs lined the ceiling, the torchlight cast through it sending shadows dancing on the walls. No sunlight had ventured into this place in ages, for the window was covered in dust and grime. Sniffing, the girls caught the faintest whiff of mildew and weathering.

"Ugh, why did we even come in here?" asked Hermione, disgusted. Adventurous though she was, she was not enthusiastic about staying in this shop. Especially without sterilized gloves and a mouth covering.

"C'mon, it's not that bad," Ginny said, wiping her finger against a wooden box, making a streak in the dust. "Even though it looks more like Knocturn Alley than Diagon. "Who knows, we may find something really cool in here!"

"Whatever you say," replied Hermione doubtfully, as she began to browse through the shelves.

Ginny strolled by the back wall, looking curiously at the tall bottles and jars, each with different contents. She shivered as she read some of the faded, hand-written labels.

"Pig fetus, fossilized phoenix liver, two-headed flobberworm. Hmm… I bet Ron would like to see that…"

Turning to a small display case set to the side, she gave a little gasp of surprise.

"Oh, Hermione! You've got to see this!"

"What?" asked Hermione, coming to see what was getting Ginny excited. The display case was slightly grimy, but was still translucent. Lying inside, on deep purple velvet, were about twenty various pieces of jewelry. "Those are quite pretty," she said. "But probably expensive."

"Look at that one! It's beautiful!" exclaimed Ginny, pointing to a ring that lay in the middle. It was made of silver, and had a thin, delicate band twisted into a shape of a serpent. Across the top of the band, three tiny emeralds glittered, reminding Hermione of Orion's Belt. Just barely visible was a word etched on the interior of the band. 'Evinco'.

"You must be kidding. It looks like some twisted symbol for Slytherin! And the snake looks like it is trying to eat itself."

"Hermione, must you always look at things pessimistically?" asked Ginny grinning. "I wonder how much it costs."

"Find something that interests you?" a soft voice hissed, dangerously close to Ginny's ear.

"Eeep!" both girls squealed, startled, and turned around quickly, only to face a very frightening looking wizard. He was tall and lanky, with short brown hair. Bushy eyebrows hovered above two brilliant-blue eyes, tiny and piercing. His nose was thin and ended in a point, and his lips were mere lines on his face, currently twisted into a dangerous smile. He was clothed in flowing black robes, much like the Hogwarts' ones.

He whispered again. "I'm sorry, I did not mean to frighten you. I thought you had heard me. Now, is there anything I can help you beautiful," with this, he licked his lips. "…young ladies with?"

"Er, yes," said Hermione, the first to recover from the scare. "We would like to know how much this ring costs." She pointed to Ginny's ring.

"Ah, that is a beautiful piece indeed." He said. "It was rumored to have belonged to Salazar Slytherin when he was alive." With that, Hermione nudged Ginny, as if to say 'I told you so'. The man continued, "But those rumors have never been substantiated. I've been trying to get rid of it for ages, for some say it is cursed. Now, are you sure you are willing to accept whatever…consequences that might come with this ring?"

Ginny bit her lip, remembering her first year at Hogwarts. She certainly had a background with cursed and enchanted objects. But the ring seemed fine; she decided if anything funny happened with it, she could just throw it out. "I'm sure. How much?"

"Twenty galleons."

Ginny sighed, and reached into her purse. It was a good deal of the money she had made over the summer, but she thought it would be well spent. She extracted the galleons, and handed them to the man, who visibly refrained himself from snatching them out of her grasp. He then put a finger on the case, and muttered something undecipherable, which caused the glass to pop up. He picked up the ring, and handed it to Ginny.

She thanked him hastily, and then checked her watch. "Hermione, we need to go. It's almost time to leave." The two girls hurried out of the shop, the strange man watching them go. He smirked; oh, youth. So naïve.