Harry Potter and all its associates are owned and copyrighted by JK Rowling, and various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoat Books, and Warner Bros. This fanfiction makes no money and no copyright infringement is intended.

Pairings: Harry/Draco, Draco/OFC, Hermione/Ron
Warnings: Slash sex, non-graphic descriptions of violence/torture and rape. Character death (but of an OC).

At the moment I don't know how long this story is likely to be, although novella length rather than novel seems likely.

Prologue

August 2001

Draco Malfoy winced as the anonymous wizard slapped him around his face, yet he uttered no sound of pain. He refused to give his captors the satisfaction of hearing his despair. A laugh from one of the hooded men ran through the dungeon of… wherever he had been taken. He was chained, naked, to the dungeon wall, the shackles gripping his wrists tightly. With no wand, and an Anti-Disapparition Jinx in place, Draco's chance of escape was negligible.

A loud scream of agony drew his attention away from his stinging cheek, and Draco's breath failed him. He searched across the room until his grey eyes found the cobalt orbs of Annalisa; the normally brilliant-blue irises dulled with resignation of her fate. Tears leaked from the corners, as a wand belonging to one of their masked captors slashed her naked chest, leaving a deep wound across her right breast.

"You've chosen well, Malfoy," jeered another kidnapper. "She's awfully pretty. A shame she's about to whore herself out to me."

"No!" Draco shrieked in realisation of what the man intended to do, but his shout was drowned out by the cry of terror coming from his wife. He vomited up bile as he witnessed, helpless to intervene, the bastard who had taunted him open the front of his robes and force himself into Annalisa's body.

"You're a fucking traitor, Malfoy," the voice mocked, as he began to thrust.

"Please, please leave her alone," Draco begged. "She's nothing to do with any of this. Take me, but let her go. Please!" But he knew it was pointless. With a final thrust, the man grunted and stiffened as he released himself into Annalisa's broken body.

"Well, my pretty little thing," the man said, as he ran a bony finger across the woman's cheek whilst he withdrew from her. "That was fun. But do you know what would be even more entertaining? Making your poor excuse of a husband here watch you die."

Annalisa turned white whilst Draco sobbed. He sobbed so loudly he never heard the incantation for the Killing Curse leave their captor's lips, but he saw the jet of emerald-green light eject from his wand and hit Annalisa squarely above the heart. Draco stared numbly into the horrified face of his wife, her unknowing blue eyes staring unseeingly into the face of her murderer, the terror etched on her features being the last expression it would ever show. He screamed. Draco continued to scream as the man trained his wand on him this time and uttered another unheard incantation, and then Draco Malfoy's world went black.


August 2002

"Harry, I need to see you in my office, please. Immediately." The usually-imposing stature of Kingsley Shacklebolt seemed deflated somewhat, and his face was sombre.

Harry put down the report he was writing and, with a confused look to Ron, followed Kingsley out of his Auror office and into the Minister for Magic's. Kingsley closed the door behind him.

"Take a seat, Harry," he said quietly. Harry sat down, and gave Kingsley a puzzled look.

"There was a development in the Malfoy disappearance case last night," Kingsley began, "and unfortunately it is grave news. As you know, it was the anniversary of the kidnapping of Draco and Annalisa Malfoy yesterday. Well, those who carried out the kidnapping were obviously aware of the date as well as last night they made a fresh attempt on the life of Scorpius Malfoy, despite the heightened security at the time. They managed to bypass the Aurors on guard at Malfoy Manor."

Harry took a sharp intake of breath, and realised the fingers of this right hand that were gripping the edge of Kingsley's desk had turned white.

"They headed for the nursery, but Narcissa Malfoy was able to contact the Aurors before they could get in. However, Harry, Mrs Malfoy was killed trying to protect her grandson. It was the Killing Curse. Thank Merlin, however, that Scorpius was unharmed. I journeyed out to Azkaban earlier this morning to inform Lucius Malfoy of his wife's death."

Harry's eyes fluttered closed and he sighed deeply.

"Scorpius… who's looking after him?" he asked.

Scorpius Malfoy had only been three months old at the time of his parents' disappearance. Now, at fifteen months, he was the same age as Harry himself was when he lost his family. It connected them; a bond that two people should never have to share, yet Harry felt an overwhelming need to keep young Scorpius safe. He couldn't help but feel protective towards the boy.

"That's one of the main things I need to talk with you about," Kingsley continued. "As you know, we still believe the kidnapping and killings are the work of rogue Death Eaters with a vendetta against the entire Malfoy family. Scorpius is now a number one target. Harry, it is vital he receives top-level security, and has very little in terms of any living family, all of whom are unsuitable to take him on. There's his grandfather who is in Azkaban, his great-aunt Andromeda Tonks who was still estranged from her sister and has had no contact with the Malfoy family for three decades, and his mother's sixteen-year-old sister in France who has not yet finished Beauxbatons. That is it. Therefore his safety has fallen to us." He shifted his weight from one foot to the other and wouldn't quite meet Harry's eyes. "Harry, what I'm about to ask you goes well beyond the call of duty, but I have no one else I can trust enough to ask. As you're the lead Auror on the Malfoy case, and are able to offer such a level of security, I'm asking you to take Scorpius Malfoy into your home and become his guardian."

Harry gaped. He cared for the boy, but to look after him full-time, to be a dad to him, to the son of the man whom Harry had hated for so long at Hogwarts? There was no way he could do that. He was only twenty-two himself and knew nothing about children.

Then he thought about his own miserable upbringing by people who didn't want or care for him. He also remembered lying on the Forbidden Forest's floor, Narcissa Malfoy lying to Voldemort and saving his life. He was indebted to the family. Years ago, Severus Snape had fulfilled his life-debt to Harry's father, a man he, too, had despised, by protecting Harry from harm on numerous occasions; the least Harry could do was offer the same to the Malfoys.

"Of course I'll do it," Harry said, mentally deciding to stop by The Burrow for a crash course in toddler care from Molly Weasley on the way home from work that evening. "It'll be an honour."