A/N: Written for the Joys of Arranged Marriage Challenge! Thanks to MrsBates93 for betaing this! :) I am seriously honored that all of you are enjoying this so much, and I appreciate all the feedback you give me! So keep it coming! :D enjoy! Xx
Draco entered the dimly light room, ignoring the heavy beating of his heart. Closing his eyes, he tried to steady his breathing. He imagined a lake, pushing all of his memories towards the bottom of it. It wasn't just his life on the line anymore.
Once in the center, he dropped to his knees. "My Lord," he whispered, willing himself to stay strong.
"Draco," the snake man hissed, circling the young man's body. "Where were you today?"
"London, My Lord," Draco answered swiftly.
"And what were you doing in London?" The Dark Lord asked.
"I was getting a drink, My Lord; I was unaware that my presence was needed."
The Dark Lord hissed. "I grow tired of your games boy, it's time for you to step up and be the Death Eater your father wishes he could be."
Draco didn't glance at his father, but knew his face was probably sour. Lucius had been under serious criticism from the Dark Lord as of late because of the fiasco at the Ministry.
"I have a mission for you, Draco, and should you fail, I shall not be so lenient, understood?"
Draco nodded curtly. "Of course, My Lord."
"Lucius, leave us," the Dark Lord hissed at the elder Malfoy.
He nodded, quickly exiting the room. The door slammed shut behind his retreating figure, leaving Draco alone with Voldemort.
"Draco, you wish for Purebloods to take their rightful place as the rulers of the world, do you not?" he asked, observing the young boy for any signs of doubt.
"Of course, My Lord," Draco replied. He kept his eyes low, not wanting to meet Voldemort's gaze.
"And you know there is someone who stands in our way," Voldemort continued.
Draco's grey eyes snapped up. He waited for the Dark Lord to continue.
"Draco, I want you to kill the old fool, Dumbledore."
Draco's eyes widened. He opened his mouth to protest but quickly snapped it shut. He knew what would happen if he objected.
"Do I sense some doubt in you, Draco?" the Dark Lord asked, a teasing edge in his voice.
"No, My Lord," Draco ground out.
Draco snapped his mouth shut, willing himself not to cry out. He had learned over time that crying out would only fuel Voldemort's anger. It felt as though thousands of knives were piercing his flesh. His lungs burned and his eyes started to water.
After what seemed like an age, Voldemort released him from the curse. "Draco, you have until the end of the school year. Dumbledore must be dead by then, or else I'll kill your mother, and then you." With that he Disapparated leaving Draco alone on the hard, cold floor in the Manor.
The door opened and footsteps moved towards him. "Draco," a voice called out. He felt a hand grip his arm, yanking him to his feet.
Severus half carried, half dragged Draco towards his bedroom. Once inside, he warded the door shut. "What happened?" he asked, handing his godson a potion for the pain.
Draco cringed as he swallowed the bitter fluid.
"Well, I have to kill Dumbledore before the school term is up," Draco said, wincing in pain as he lay down on his bed. "Uncle Severus, what the hell am I supposed to do?"
Severus was silent for a moment.
"I'm not meant to kill him; because there's no way in hell I could kill Dumbledore. Even if I wanted too, which I definitely don't, he's way more powerful than I am and would stop me in a heartbeat."
"I think that the Dark Lord doesn't mean for you to achieve this task."
Draco sighed. "I figured as much. Perhaps this is punishment for my father being an idiot? Either way, I'm sick of being his damn pawn."
"I know, Draco, which is why we went to Dumbledore in the first place. It is important you keep a clear mind through your meetings with him if you wish for things to progress smoothly."
Silence filled the room. It was heavy with emotion, causing Draco to choke up.
Severus wanted to comfort the boy, but he couldn't. He wasn't one for emotion, and that wasn't something that he was going to chance.
"Did I make the right choice?" Draco asked, looking up to his godfather.
Severus was quiet for a few moments. "Yes, I think you did, Draco. The life of a spy is not an easy one, and you will question your choice many times. But just know that you have done the right thing."
"Will Hermione hate me for this?"
"Draco, you know I don't know the answers to all these questions."
Draco shrugged. "An opinion then."
"No, she will not hate you. Hermione is a strong witch, and she is not one to do things lightly. She is as key to this War, as you are. Your destinies are now entwined, even if you do not realize it."
"That's rather philosophical of you, Severus," Draco said, arching his eyebrow.
"It is the truth. You have bound yourself to her, a bond that can only be broken by death, Draco."
"I know," he sighed. "Have I committed myself to a loveless life?"
Severus shook his head. "I think not. You are both young, and in time, I think you could grow to love each other."
Draco smiled softly at that.
"But enough with the questions. I have to leave, will you be all right?"
Draco gave a curt nod. "Could you tell Father I don't want to be disturbed?"
"Of course, Draco, take care."
"I'll be in touch." Severus nodded at his godson, before disappearing through the door.
Draco lay back on the bed. What a day it had been. Lifting the covers, he slipped beneath them. He wondered what his wife was doing.
He drifted to sleep, images of Hermione filling his mind.