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The Prologue

She stood at the window looking out at the setting sun, the fiery orb casting a heavenly glow atop her rich honey-blonde hair. A single piece of parchment was clutched in her hand, a name scrawled across the center in evenly neat script. She had folded it in half and sealed it, a black seal representing her family name. The young woman cried as she realized what she had already known: he would be home late, and she would be long gone by the time he received her message. Smiling sadly, she turned back to the desk, immaculately organized and completely free of dust, and took a seat once again. A single tear cascaded down her flushed cheeks, falling soundlessly to the note she laid neatly on top of the desk: a last sign of her passing.

In one swift motion she stood again, the wooden chair scraping against the polished wooden floors, sending shivers up and down her spine. She retreated from the room, her silken gown making her seem like some sort of ghost, an apparition of love once alive and vibrant but now gone dead and cold. She threw on a heavy cloak of black velvet and seemed to blend in with the black wooden walls of the hallway as she stepped into it. She retreated down the stairs; her bare feet leaving no sign or sound of her passing, as if she had planned deliberately that it would seem she had never been there at all.

At the bottom of the stairs covered in rich black carpet she paused, hesitating for a fraction of a second, contemplating her decision for the millionth time. The young woman allowed one last tear to escape her vibrant blue eyes, following its trail mentally as it rolled down her milky white skin and around her full red lips, hanging precariously from her chin as if suffering the same indecision as the person who shed it. With a final quiver, the diamond tear drop fell, landing without preamble upon the wooden banister, the candlelight from a sconce reflecting in it brightly, making a beacon noticeable to even an untrained eye, should somebody walk in the door. A last sign to him from her. Without another pause or thought, the young girl opened the door and slipped out into the night, tucking her long blonde hair deep within the hood of her cloak so that she became a tendril of the night.

Hours later, when the sun began to rise and tinge the sky a light pink, the large door of black oak swung forward and a young man, hardly twenty, stepped through, flinging his warm woolen cloak from his shoulders and slamming the door behind him. Without looking up from a stack of papers in his hand he placed his cloak on a coat stand, and then ran his now free hand through his long, platinum blonde hair. His icy blue eyes ran rapidly over the information his brain struggled to take in quickly, but a flicker of light from a place it did not belong distracted him, calling his attention away from work to its bright and radiant glow.

A single drop of water sat on his staircase banister of polished black oak that matched his door, walls, and floors, and it clearly did not belong. The young man stepped closer, and a scent reached his nostrils that sparked a flood of memories. A sweet, cake-like smell, the gentle scent of vanilla, mixed with night blooming jasmine, drifted through his hallway, a scent that he had not smelled in almost two years. His breath caught in his throat and his fingers touched the diamond shaped drop of water: he recognized it as a tear, a sign meant to show that she had been there.

“Cordelia?” he called softly, almost as if he was afraid he might startle her. “Cordelia, are you still here?” He followed her scent that lead him up the stairs, searching for some other sign of her passing, but he found none. He stopped outside of his office door and took a deep breath, a small attempt to calm his racing heart. Slowly, he turned the knob, hoping that the beautiful young woman would be waiting on the other side, but knowing the tear left on the banister meant she had left. He stepped into the room and saw it was as he left it, with one small change: a folded piece of parchment lay across his otherwise clean desk.

Hesitantly, he approached his desk, recognizing the neat handwriting that ran across the parchment, spelling his name. “Draco Malfoy” blinked at him, a rainbow of colors shining and changing as if under a phosphorescent light, a touch which Cordelia had always enjoyed using on any letter she wrote be it happy or sad. His long white fingers caressed the seal of black wax, a formal gesture that only implied bad news. Carefully, he picked up the letter and broke the wax guard, reading her last words to him.

Dearest Draco,

I write this to you now planning to leave your life for the rest of eternity, never to darken or brighten your doorway again for as long you live. Please understand that I tried, for as long as any girl could, to understand and accept your double nature, to love you despite the dark evil that lay dormant, but dangerous, within the very pits of your soul. Honestly, I did try, but you became steadily darker with each passing day, taking me with you until one day I looked in the mirror and could not find myself. I saw my face, my hair, my body, but my eyes held a morbid secret, a morose feeling so complete I could not smile. This was why I chose to leave, and stay away, remaining distant, discreet, and invisible for two long years, despite my strong desire to see you, hold you in my arms and reaffirm my love for you.

I watched you after I left, saw you grow more bitter towards me with each passing day that I did not return, or did not leave a sign that I still cared. I watched you grow cold towards the few good people you still associated with, falling deeper and deeper into the dark circle of hell that your father placed so stubbornly in front of you, hoping that one day you would follow in his shadow, working for the Dark Lord as he tried to destroy all of innocence and purity. I doubted my decision those two years, part of me thinking that it was my leaving that finally pushed you over the edge, and I considered coming back to you every single day. Sometimes I crept into your bedroom at night and took my place next to you, never waking you up, but offering comfort. It was these times that I realized you would never change, and that my leaving had not forced your turn of fate, for you were the same cold, evil-natured man as you wrapped your arms around me and murmured sweet words of love in Portuguese in my ear while you slept on.

I do love you, Draco Malfoy, and I will love you always, until my dying day. Come what may, you will always remain in my heart, and I will continue to watch you, to observe your actions, though you will never know when I’m there and when I am not. I leave you the ring you gave me on my eighteenth birthday, the day you made me the happiest of all girls by requesting that I become your wife. Even now I wish things could be different as I look at the perfect three sapphires you chose and set yourself in platinum as perfect as your hair. You loved me unconditionally then, before you fell deeper and deeper into the Dark Arts. If you still possessed the same potential as you did then, I would not be writing this letter to you now.

The sun sets quickly, Draco, tinting the sky a scarlet color so close to the shade of the blood that you will spill someday in the name of the Dark Lord Voldemort. My time here has ended, and any sign of my coming you find will be intentional: you well know that if I do not wish to be found, I will remain hidden. Once again, I love you still, Draco, and I hope that you will forgive me for the cruel injustice I am bestowing upon you. Your strength of character will not allow you to die for it, although you once vowed to do just that if I ever left you, and so I harbor no fears that you will attempt to take your own life. Farewell, Prince of Darkness, may the flight of devils bring you to your rest.

            Love for eternity,

            Cordelia Anne McLean

               Draco didn’t realize he stood there crying until his salty tears dotted the page in his hand, smearing the rainbow ink and making parts of it difficult to read. Not that it mattered: the words would forever remain in his mind, seared into his heart and into the very essence of the soul which Cordelia so tactfully claimed he no longer possessed. The last line hurt him the most…“Farewell, Prince of Darkness, may the flight of devils bring you to your rest.”  So poetically final, so complete, that the phrase could only have been written by his lovely Cordelia.

“Farewell, my beautiful Belladonna,” he whispered to the last letter, kissing it tenderly as his hands shook with a fierce rage. “May your poison spread within your own body, taking your life as it took mine, leaving you cold with nothing but regrets to comfort you in the darkness of midnight purple you create.” With a flick of his long white fingers the letter burst into flame and floated lazily to the floor, shriveling before his eyes. “My heart is now as black and lifeless as these ashes.” He turned and left the dark stain on the floor, slamming the heavy door as he left the room.

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