A/N: This is written for the Ultimate Death Eater Competition round 1 on the HPFC with the prompts "Malfoys don't cry." and "Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty."

The given characters for this round were Lucius and/or Draco Malfoy.

This is also for the School Subjects Competition - Arithmancy ((could be) canon) and for the Creatures Of Hogwarts Competition – Boggart (someones faces their fear).

Disclaimer: I'm not JKR. Just so you know.

Draco stared at himself in the mirror. A pale, almost ghostlike face stared back at him. He run a hand through his hair. He looked tired he thought. People are starting to suspect I'm up to something. Which, of course, he was. Yet, it was harder than he'd thought, much harder. He had spent months thinking about it, planning it all out. The old man had to die, that was a thing that was clear to him. But how?

It was so easy to let other people take the blame. Catching Madame Rosmerta off guard had not been difficult at all. Getting her under the influence of the Imperius Curse had been a bit trickier. Apart from Occlumency, aunt Bellatrix had taught him the Unforgivables, because she thought he might need to use them. He had been hesitant to use it on Madame Rosmerta at first, but once he had spoken the words and cast the spell, he had felt a rush of power going through him. He had used it several times since, each time becoming more accustomed with it, and when the Gryffindor came around, it really was quite simple to have Madame Rosmerta curse the girl. He liked the curse, because it made people do whatever he wanted. Most Death Eaters considered the Imperius Curse to be the least of the Unforgivables, but he found that he didn't agree. The Killing Curse was brief, you were gone in a second. Crucio was really effective, but a bit messy when people started to vomit. The Imperius Curse however, could make others torture your opponents for you and then you would not have to get your hands dirty. I sounded like the perfect plan.


But it failed.


So maybe Hogwarts students weren't the best way to handle things. Potter had been suspicious with the Gryffindor incident, never getting off his back. Draco didn't know which one he found worse: Potter or Snape, constantly trying to trace his every move. Snape had been furious that he had made such a fool of himself with the necklace and he just hated the man snooping around. So what if he had taken an Unbreakable Vow? For all he cared, the Potions' Master could drop dead as well. In fact, it would be a bonus if he did.

But however much Draco had gotten to disgust him lately, the man had a point. If he Imperiused a student, it would be too easy to trace it back to him. But you couldn't go wrong with teachers, could you? Especially not if the teacher you had in mind was a close friend to the old fool and loved his foods and drinks just a little too much. He let Madame Rosmerta give Professor Slughorn a bottle of her finest mead – which in fact was only half mead, he had replaced the other half with poison. Now if the old man died, it would never be retraceable to him.


But that too had failed and the Dark Lord was getting impatient.


"If you have not succeeded by the end of this year, I will kill your parents. There will be no second chances," the Dark Lord had said and he knew that He meant every word of it. How had it come to this? Why had he ever agreed to become a Death Eater? A little voice inside his mind answered this question for him: 'Because you don't want your parents to suffer."

The thought of his parents brought tears to his eyes, but he quickly wiped them away with the back of his hand.

"Dammit, get yourself together Draco! What would father say if he saw you like this? That is really not befitting for a Malfoy!'' And it's really not befitting for a Death Eater either, he thought.

He remembered the vanishing cabinet at Borgin&Burke's and the one he had seen in the huge storage room on the seventh floor, the one that had been broken but that he had fixed. He knew the cabinets were twins, but he had never thought the day would come that he would actually have to use it. He'd thought the poisoned necklace would do the trick, or the poisoned mead. But poison apparently wasn't the way. No, if he wanted to get things done, to get the old man to die, he had to do it himself. He had to take matters into his own hands to succeed. He was absolutely terrified at the thought of having to kill the old man, but it really was the only option left. He could not complete the task with his hands clean, things would get dirty and messy and he could only hope he himself – and his parents – would survive.

Draco straightened his spine and tried to keep his fears tucked away. They would not do him any good in completing the task he had been given. "I'm going to do this," he spoke to himself. "I'm going to make sure the Dark Lord approves of me and lets my parents live. It really is the only possible way."

A/N: As you can see, I have not used the prompts literally, but I have used them as a theme throughout the story.