A/N - This story starts after sixth year, after Harry and Hermione have arrived at The Burrow for the summer but before the trio have had a chance to start their horcrux hunt.
Draco Malfoy bit his lip to stop the scream that threatened to escape his lips as the agonising pain coursed through his body. After nearly six weeks of being tortured daily Draco knew the torment would be over quicker if he made no noise. The Dark Lord only threw more curses his way if he let out one tiny bit of noise.
Draco was sitting, practically lying, in the middle of the floor in the front room of Malfoy Manor while Voldemort pointed his wand at him. Standing watching the torture Draco was enduring, unable and in one case unwilling to help, were Lucius Malfoy, Severus Snape and Bellatrix Lestrange. Lucius and Severus would have interfered if they could have but Bellatrix had no problems with watching her nephew get tortured by The Dark Lord.
"Get up." Voldemort sneered at the blond boy on the floor.
Draco carefully pulled himself to his feet, grimacing in pain. Standing facing The Dark Lord Draco didn't dare wipe at the blood that was running from his mouth. He also resisted the urge to look at the three other people in the room.
"I'm going to give you one more chance to prove yourself." Voldemort told Draco. "Mess this up and there will be no mercy."
"Yes, My Lord." Draco said, wondering what he was expected to do now.
Ever since his failure to kill Dumbledore, Draco had been tortured daily by Voldemort as The Dark Lord made a final decision on what to do with his youngest and most reluctant Death Eater. Draco knew the only reason he survived his failure in the first place was the fact that Dumbledore was actually dead.
"Within the next few weeks an important member of The Order of the Phoenix will be kidnapped. You will be looking after them and when the time is right, you will kill them." Voldemort said.
Draco nodded making sure his expression remained neutral at the shocking news. Draco felt sick at the thought that he had once again been asked to kill, something he knew that he couldn't do. Draco was many things and he was aware that he wasn't the nicest person but he was no killer and he had no intention of becoming one.
"May I ask who you're kidnapping?" Draco asked, shocking everyone in the room. It wasn't common to question The Dark Lord and Draco had always been too afraid of him to speak before he was spoken to.
"You'll find out later. You can leave now." Voldemort said dismissing Draco.
Draco respectfully nodded at Voldemort and left the front room, eager to get up to his own room and treat his wounds. When Draco entered his bedroom he wasn't at all surprised to find his mother pacing the floor.
Narcissa Malfoy knew exactly what had been happening to her son, but unfortunately she was powerless to stop it. The best Narcissa could do was be there for Draco when he returned to his room and treat his wounds.
Narcissa immediately rushed to Draco's side when he entered the room. Narcissa carefully wrapped her arm around Draco's waist and helped him to the bed. Once Draco was sitting down Narcissa summoned some potions and a first aid kit from the adjoining bathroom and began cleaning Draco up, starting with the blood that was running down his face from his bleeding lip.
Narcissa had cleaned Draco's bloody face and was checking he wasn't badly injured anywhere else when a knock on the door disturbed them. Narcissa opened the door and Severus Snape entered the room.
"I'll leave you two to talk." Narcissa said, before she left the room.
"I thought you might find this helpful." Severus said handing Draco a strong pain potion.
Draco swallowed the potion in one go before he turned to his Potions Professor. "What do you know about this newest plan?" He asked.
"This is the first I've heard of it." Severus admitted.
"How on earth does he plan on kidnapping someone from the Order?" Draco asked.
"I'm not sure. But I do know he has someone feeding him information about the Order's movements." Severus said.
"No." Severus shook his head. "He's got someone under the Imperius curse but I have no idea who."
"How long have they been under?" Draco asked.
"Since sometime last year." Severus said.
Draco sat on the bed in silence for some time before he finally spoke, his voice barely audible in the large room. "I can't do it."
"You have to." Severus said, sitting down next to Draco. "Your life depends on it."
"What life?" Draco snorted. "Being stuck in the Manor getting tortured daily until Potter defeats The Dark Lord and I end up in Azkaban."
"Do you really think Potter will win?" Severus asked curiously.
"Yes." Draco nodded. "Even if it takes years, The Order won't stop fighting."
Severus nodded agreeing thoroughly with Draco's observations. Severus desperately wished that he still had connections within the Order and they didn't all hate him for Dumbledore's death. With Lucius out of Azkaban Narcissa's life was no longer being threatened and Severus was confident he could have persuaded Draco to go to the Order for help. Unfortunately with recent events at Hogwarts it would take a miracle for the Order to believe that Severus and Draco were on their side.
While Severus was thinking of what could have been Draco carefully stood up from the bed and started walking towards the bathroom.
"Are you okay?" Severus asked as he also stood up. He wasn't sure if he meant physically or emotionally but either way Severus knew the answer was no, Draco was anything but okay.
"Fine." Draco muttered before he turned in the doorway to face Severus. "You know sometimes I think it would have been better if you'd let Potter finish what he'd started in that bathroom last year."
"You don't mean that." Severus exclaimed, surprised by what Draco was insinuating.
"Don't I." Draco said darkly, heading into the bathroom and slamming the door behind him.
Severus stood stunned, looking at the closed door leading to Draco's en-suite bathroom. Draco had been forced into serving The Dark Lord and ordered to do things he found difficult but Severus never once suspected that things were so bad for him that he considered death a better alternative to his life.
The sound of the shower turning on shook Severus out of his thoughts and he hurried to the door, Draco wouldn't be happy if he found him still in his room when he re-entered it. Severus left Draco's room and the first thing he saw was Narcissa sitting on the floor opposite Draco's door with tears streaming down her face. Obviously the witch had heard the entire conversation and had heard what Draco had said just before he entered the bathroom.
"Narcissa, get up before someone sees you." Severus said, hurrying to the witch's side and pulling her to her feet.
"What does it matter?" Narcissa sobbed.
Severus didn't answer, instead he pulled Narcissa into an empty bedroom a few doors away from Draco's room. Severus sat Narcissa down on one of the chairs in the room and squatted down in front of her.
"Narcissa you have to get a hold of yourself." Severus said to the distraught witch. "It won't do Draco any good if anyone finds out how he really feels."
Narcissa sniffed one final time and wiped her eyes on a handkerchief she produced from her pocket. Severus watched as Narcissa calmed herself and slowly became the poised woman he was used to.
"What's he been asked to do this time?" Narcissa asked, once she had regained her composure.
Severus explained about the task The Dark Lord had assigned Draco. He debated whether to tell Narcissa that it was Draco's final chance with Voldemort. He did tell her, eventually deciding to be honest with her.
"You have to help him, Severus." Narcissa said, struggling not to burst into more tears. "He's not a killer."
"I know he's not." Severus said. "But I'm not sure what I can do to help him."
"Get him to the Order, anything. Just please save him." Narcissa pleaded. She was now wishing she had told Snape to take Draco to the Order the previous year.
"We both know I can't take him to the Order now." Severus said with regret. "But I promise to keep an eye on him and if I see the opportunity to help him, I will."
"Thank you." Narcissa said, trying to smile at Severus. "Do you think he meant what he said?" She asked after a minute's silence.
Severus knew exactly what Narcissa was referring to. "No, he's just upset."
"So you don't think he'll try to do anything about it?" Narcissa asked, barely able to think about what she was asking.
"No, he's not suicidal. That's not something you have to worry about." Severus said sounding confident. Despite Draco's words Severus had no doubt that he would never consider killing himself.
Making sure she was composed and using her wand to fix her make-up Narcissa stood up. Severus also stood up right and together the two headed back downstairs before someone wondered what was happening and came to investigate.
After taking a shower Draco threw on some comfortable clothes and headed out onto his private balcony. No matter what was going on in his life Draco loved the spectacular view and the sense of tranquilly he got by sitting on his balcony.
"Misty." Draco called for his own personal house elf once he was settled in the chair that stood on the balcony.
A small female house elf appeared next to Draco with a small pop. Misty had been with Draco since he was born and was extremely fond of her master. Unlike Lucius, Draco didn't hurt or abuse his elf.
"Bring me a hot chocolate." Draco said to the elf.
Misty apparated away and returned less than five minutes later with a large mug of steaming hot chocolate, topped with cream.
"Thank you." Draco said absentmindedly as Misty placed the drink on the table next to him.
Misty once again apparated away, leaving Draco alone with his thoughts. He was trapped and saw no way out of his predicament. Draco was aware that there was a strong possibility that he would have chosen to join Voldemort on his own but the fact he was forced into it when he was barely sixteen had changed his perspective of things. It was one thing to choose the life he was living but it was terrible to have the decision forced on him when he was unable to protest.
Draco was also worried about his new task, he knew there was no way he would be able to kill anyone. Draco tried to forget the last part of The Dark Lord's task and instead he tried to concentrate on who was the potential kidnapping victim.
Despite Snape telling him about the informant Voldemort had within the Order Draco was finding it hard to believe they could get away with kidnapping someone from the Order. He was also bemused by who they would want to kidnap, other than Potter himself. Draco knew that Potter wasn't the person they were kidnapping as The Dark Lord would just kill him outright.
After a few hours sitting on his balcony Draco got cold and decided it was time to head indoors for the night. After hours of dwelling on The Dark Lord's newest plan Draco picked up his book, vowing to forget all about his troubles for a while.
Just before midnight Draco put down his book and headed into his bathroom. After getting washed and brushing his teeth, Draco returned and crawled into his large four poster bed. Draco extinguished the light and tried to find a position he could lie in that didn't hurt his aching body. As Draco eventually drifted off to sleep he hoped that his daily torture would stop now that Voldemort had a new task for him.