A/N: Finally, after over a year of promising a revision, here at last is the new and improved Prologue!!! For those of you who have already read the old one before, I would still really love to hear your thoughts on this new one as well... And if you've never read the old one, well, I can assure you that you're not missing out on much, haha! ^_^'
I am a bit unsure about this change, as it is pretty drastic, so don't be afraid to tell me what you think of this new beginning guys - please and thank you!! =)
Under normal circumstances, this day would have been spent in celebration, with plenty of laughter and joy to spare. This day; as well as the night that followed it, should have been seemingly happy. But alas, it had turned out to be a very solemn time in the Malfoy Manor, very solemn indeed. For these were no ordinary times... The wizarding world was at war and, with each passing second, the tides were turning more and more in the Dark Lord’s favor.
Narcissa; wife if the infamous Lucius Malfoy, had just given birth to their firstborn child. A son; Draco Malfoy. He alone was to inherit the entire Malfoy fortune when he came of age, or so that was what his parents had thought was going to be the plan. Lord Voldemort, however, had other plans for this baby. Lucius and Narcissa had a dangerous secret, you see, one that would put them both behind bars for good if the word ever got out.
That secret was that Narcissa’s husband was a top-ranked Death Eater, though no one in the ministry knew it yet, for she was always covering for him. Lucius was very well affiliated throughout the ministry though, and therefore no one was ever really expectant of him. Sure, they all had their suspicions, but Lucius often found that those such suspicions could easily be forgotten... for the right price.
It was because of this that no one even questioned Narcissa’s unusual decision to have natural childbirth from within the confines of her own home. Sure it was unusual, because normally the Malfoys were one of those families who always sought after the very best of everything. But even if it did look rather suspicious; anyone who knew the Malfoy’s, knew better than to ask questions.
Narcissa was normally fine with everyone else remaining uninvolved. This night, however, was one of those times she wished that somebody had stepped in. Of course; she being as proud as she was, was not alright with having her baby at home. She would have much rather had him at St. Mungo’s, being delivered by the best healer in the maternity ward there. But her and her husband were being held hostage in Malfoy Manor that night, and instead of a top healer delivering their precious baby boy, it was Lord Voldemort who was there.
The Malfoy’s were being punished by the Dark Lord, for he felt as though the baby that was being born was an abomination. Sure; it was no bad thing that another pure-blood wizard was being brought into the world. But there was a time and a place for everything, and Lord Voldemort simply could not have one of his top Death Eaters being distracted by some helpless, useless child. Especially not while he was trying to take over the world... No, Voldemort needed Lucius’ full attention, which was why he had already decided, from the minute he learned of it’s existence, that this baby had to go.
Voldemort tore the baby away from its mother the second it was born and announced to everyone in the room that it was a boy. Lucius was beside himself at that point. Here he was; a man who had never begged for a damn thing in his life, down on his hands and knees pleading at the Dark Lords feet to spare the life of his newborn son. It took a lot of careful wording on Lucius’ part, but he was finally able to convince the Dark Lord that Draco should live. But only by swearing to an unbreakable vow, did Voldemort give in to Lucius Malfoy’s pleas.
By the terms of the vow, Lucius was to raise his son in the ways of the Death Eater and teach him Lord Voldemort’s laws - so that, by the time he came of age, Draco Malfoy would be the Dark Lord’s most perfect soldier. And although Narcissa did not approve of this; not wanting that type of evil lifestyle for her only son, she bit her tongue and said nothing. All she cared about in that moment was that it appeared her child was going to get the chance to live after all. Her husband had miraculously talked the Dark Lord out of the murder he had been so ready to commit not five minutes ago. What came next, however, was completely barbaric and absolutely uncalled for.
If the child were to live, then the Dark Lord should at least gain something from it’s existence - that was the way that he saw things anyway. So after Lucius had finished promising the child to him, he took out his wand out and placed the tip of it on the thickest part of the babe’s left arm. Before either of it’s parents could do or say anything to stop him, he spoke the incantation to permanently brand this child in his name for all of eternity. This way, no one could ever question who’s side the boy would end up on when he grew up, for he would always belong to Lord Voldemort.
Naturally, both of the parents were completely outraged by what had just happened to their newborn son.
“He’s just a baby,” Narcissa shrieked. “How could you?” He could tell now that she wanted nothing more than to wrench her child out of his cold arms and comfort it. The Dark Lord loved the level of discomfort he was causing her in that moment.
“This was not a part of our agreement,” Lucius protested along with his wife. “He was not supposed to receive the mark until the day he turns seventeen!”
“No, Lucius,” Lord Voldemort hissed. “You may not be turning him over to me until the day he comes of age, but he will still always be a Death Eater. Why else would I have you raising him as such? Just consider this mark as a friendly little reminder to you of what your end of the bargain is. This way, Lucius, I shall know for certain that you will never, ever forget the ways in which you are supposed to be raising our little Draco.”
The Dark Lord watched in amusement as Lucius Malfoy pondered over everything inside his head. He could see now that Lucius was finally coming to the conclusion he had been waiting for. “You mean that...” Lucius began, “that Draco will never have a choice in the matter?”
“Never, ever,” Lord Voldemort finalized with a most evil grin. “And once he is old enough to understand that little detail Lucius, I can assure you, he will hate you for it. After all, what kind of a loving, caring parent forces their ways on a child?” he laughed menacingly.
Lucius was shaking his head now. How could he have not seen this coming? “I do love him though, I-I’m sure he will understand...”
“Understand?” the Dark Lord laughed. “You wanted him to live so badly that you were willing to make an unbreakable vow with me, thus swearing that you would force this lifestyle upon him. What’s there to understand about that? If you honestly felt Draco needed to have any sort of say in the matter, then you would not have promised him to me in the first place. But now, if you do not force him to become a great Death Eater over the course of the next seventeen years, then I am afraid you will die Lucius. Such are the conditions of our little agreement.”
was clearly distraught. How could he have not seen this coming? How could he inflict this horrible life onto his only son?
Voldemort seemed absolutely thrilled at ’ reaction to this shocking, new revolution, for he began to laugh wickedly. The sound of his evil, hysteric laughter filled the room and baby Draco began crying even louder. The sound of it repulsed the Dark Lord, and he quit laughing immediately. He looked down at the child squirming in his arms, half tempted to drop it just to see if that would shut it up.
“Here,” he said, shoving the baby into Narcissa’s outstretched and waiting arms. “Take it, before I decide to change my mind!” Narcissa took her baby and pressed him against her breast, clinging to him for dear life. Voldemort then shot one last disapproving look at the pair of them before he finally turned and left the room.
But even moments long after the Dark Lord had left, the Malfoys could still feel his presence lingering in the room with them. Lucius shuddered as he began to pace back and forth, silently thinking over everything that had just happened, while his wife did her best to calm their bawling son. Voldemort was going to kill him, I had no other choice, he kept telling himself. But no matter how many times he repeated this over in his mind, he could not shake the feeling that it was all going to turn out horribly wrong in the end.
“I haven’t even been a father for ten minutes yet, and already I have failed,” he muttered, unaware that Narcissa could still hear him.
“Nonsense, Lucius” she disagreed. “I think what you just did was incredible! The Dark Lord was ready and more than willing to kill our baby, but you talked him out of it. Somehow, you did it - you saved our son. Don’t you see? You have given him a chance to live.”
“I have given him a chance yes,” he solemnly agreed. “But I did not give him a choice! Fornow I have no other option but to force Draco to become a Death Eater, whether he wants be one or not. What Voldemort said was right, one day he will hate me for this!”
“Well I don’t care what you say,” his wife shot back. “If it weren’t for you, Draco would be dead right now. I may not agree with it anymore than you do right now, Lucius. But I would rather have it this way, then be burying him in the ground right now; wouldn’t you? You mustn’t blame yourself for the way that things turned out. Personally, I am just grateful that you were able to find a way to save him like that. I thought you were brilliant, Lucius.”
“Brilliant?” He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Clearly she did not fully grasp the concept he was trying to get across. “Am I the only one here who realizes what that so-called act of brilliance means? It means that I now have to force Draco to practice this lifestyle of ours. I was at least was able to make my own choice to join the Death Eaters, and you were given the choice to follow me down this road. But Narcissa, think about it! Is this life, or is it not, something that we have both come to deeply regret as of late?”
She shook her head at once. “Yes it is, and you know why I would agree with you on that.”
“Well Draco will never get to make that choice like you an I did,” Lucius continued. “He has to become a Death Eater now, no matter what. And if he isn’t ready for it on the day he becomes a man, the Dark Lord will eat him alive! If he fails, even in the slightest, he will surely then be killed on the spot. Draco will never be able to have any kind of say in the matter, and he certainly won’t be allowed to fail at anything, not ever. Because if he is not one-hundred percent perfect, if the Dark Lord is dissatisfied with him in any way, do you know what that will mean for our son? Automatic termination, Narcissa! So sure; we did our best to protect him tonight, but I still fear for what the future may yet bring.”
“Well, if that truly is the case,” Narcissa said softly, “then we must chose to love him more and more every single day. We have to treat each day with our son as a gift, and live as if it may be the last day we may get to have with him. You did the right thing tonight, , whether you wish to believe it or not. At least you have given him a fighting chance.”
She could tell that he was still worried though, so she offered Draco to over him, in hopes that holding their son for the first time might help to calm him down a bit. “Would you like to hold your son now, Lucius?”
He swallowed past the lump that was forming in his throat and silently nodded his head, not knowing if he was ready for this. He did not have time for second-guesses, however, for at that moment Narcissa gently placed the baby in his arms.
Lucius looked down and gasped as the little boy looked up into his eyes and smiled. An unexplainable peace settled over him, and he knew - right then and there - that he would always do whatever it took to protect his only son. Even if that meant forcing Draco to be ready for whatever it was that Voldemort would throw at him when it came time for him to turn seventeen. He knew that he must keep to his end of the agreement, and make Draco into a strong young man, no matter what the cost.
Even if Draco did end up resenting him for it in the end, in his heart he would always remember that he was only doing what was necessary for Draco’s protection... And before he knew it, tears were pouring out of his eyes.
“Lucius, what’s wrong dear?” Narcissa asked, filled with concern.
He took a deep breath to steady himself. “I’m just so afraid that the Dark Lord’s prediction will come true; that one day he is going to hate me,” Lucius confessed. “My biggest fear, Narcissa, is that one day my only son will one day loathe me, despise me, resent me. He may even disown me for what I have done - what I will have to do to him now. I am frightened at the thought of the things that I am going to have to teach this infant one day, and of the hell that I know I must inevitably put him through.”
“But why are you saying all of this?” Clearly, Narcissa was starting to worry now, which was exactly what her husband had wanted.
“Because I need you to understand that this isn’t as great of a thing as you think it is,” he urged her. “I mean, what if Draco doesn’t want to learn any of it? What if I actually do end up having to force him into something that he isn’t comfortable with? Will you still stand beside me, even then? Or what if Draco actually ends up loving the Dark Arts? What if he turns out to be as sickly twisted, demented and obsessive over them as the Dark Lord himself is? What if I end up creating some sort of a monster out of all this? Will you end up hating me to? Will this come between us in the end? Will it tear us apart? Narcissa, I don’t want to loose you! I can’t bear the thought of losing either of you to Him!”
Narcissa stared at her husband in shock as she realized what he had been implicating all along; that this was indeed a very bad thing. “Oh my goodness, Lucius, what have we done?” she asked him in terrified shock.
“We haven’t done anything,” he replied. “It was me. I did this, not you!”
“But I didn’t think - I mean, I only thought - Oh Lucius, our son, our only son! He can’t -” Narcissa broke off and burst into tears. “We have damned our son to hell, you know that don’t you?”
“Yes... I have realized that fact from the start.”
“And yet you went along with it anyways?”
“Yes,” he said again. “It was the only way to save him. You said so yourself that if I hadn’t made that pact with the Dark Lord, Draco would be dead right now, remember?”
“Well, yeah,” she agreed. “But if you knew what you were exposing him to this whole entire time, then why did you do it? Why didn’t you just let Voldemort kill him? Death would have been better than having to live here in this earthly hell every single day! And I, I was being just as selfish as you were. All I cared about was having a baby, and then keeping it alive, no matter what the cost!”
“No matter what the cost,” repeated softly.
Some time during their conversation, Draco had finally drifted off to sleep. Narcissa looked down at his peaceful face and sighed. “What have we done?” she asked her husband once again.
Lucius too looked down at the baby in his arms. “No, what have I done?” he whispered.
An uncomfortable silence settled between after that, and neither one of them spoke another word for the rest of the night. They fell asleep shortly afterwards, snuggled together in their bed, with the little baby nestled carefully between them....
Yes, under normal circumstances, this night would have been spent in celebration, with plenty of laughter and joy to spare, for the Malfoy’s had been blessed with a son. But these were dark times now, very dark times indeed. The wizarding world was at war, and with each passing moment, the tides were turning more and more in the favor of Lord Voldemort.
Such was the way of things when Draco Malfoy was born into this cold, dark, lonely and cruel, unforgivable world.
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