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Cat and Mouse by ClairdeLune
1. Glory, Pride, and Encounters of the Humiliating Variety by ClairdeLune
Author's Notes:
So this is different from anything else I've written in the HP universe because it's in first person, in Draco's POV. You see, I wanted to show that the whole snarky thing is just an act. Draco is actually a very sweet boy. Ok... not really. But he's not quite as bad as he seems. Sometimes. Well, you can read for yourself and decide. Enjoy the first chapter!

Oh, and just a side note. The italicized sections are flashbacks. :)
I sauntered through the Hogwarts Express, my school robes swishing with every step I took. Students shrunk away as I walked past, eager to stay out of my way. Their faces showed awe and fear at my presence, and rightly so. After all, I was much more powerful than they were. And I was almost certainly better than them at everything. And of course there were my devilish good looks to consider. It must have been very intimidating to look at someone so incredibly attractive.

Of course by this point, I was far more powerful than their pitiful minds could comprehend. The Dark Lord had singled me out of the vast array of servants he had at his disposal. He had recognized traits that would make me the perfect person to carry out this imperative task. The mark on my slightly sore arm was proof that the Dark Lord trusted me. It was an incredible honor and I felt proud to bear his sign. The only thing marring my moment of glory was my mother’s reaction to the news.

“What did He want?” Mother asked as soon as I appeared in the Manor. It was obvious by her tone and expression that she had been anxiously awaiting my arrival. She looked like that often these days. Ever since Father’s imprisonment, she was never at ease.

I smiled slightly, comforted by the fact that my news would console her. No longer were the Malfoys a humiliation to the Dark Lord. “It’s good news, Mother,” I announced, my voice slightly smug. And why shouldn’t it have been? I had every right to feel proud of myself.

“Oh?” she asked, seeming doubtful.

I nodded firmly. “I have been recruited by the Dark Lord,” I proudly explained.

Instead of looking pleased, Mother blanched. “You are going to receive the Mark?” she asked, her voice hoarse.

A slight frown appeared on my face. She wasn’t taking the news the way I had thought she would. “Yes,” I replied slowly. “The Dark Lord feels it is necessary for me to be an official Death Eater.”

“And why does He feel that way?” Her voice was deathly quiet, and slightly menacing. I suppressed a shudder at the hidden animosity in her tone.

“Because I am to carry out an important task for Him.” I almost winced. I hadn’t meant to sound so surly.

Mother closed her eyes, looking as though her worst nightmare had come true. “What do you have to do?” I explained that I was to make the school accessible for Death Eaters to infiltrate at a designated time. Mother listened with a stony expression as I spoke. But when I told her that I was to kill Dumbledore myself, she gave a weak moan and sank into an armchair, covering her face with her hands.

“Mother,” I said sharply, slightly alarmed.

She didn’t appear to have heard me. “He took Lucius away from me. That was bad enough. And now He has the gall to take you away from me as well. He’s despicable.”

“Mother! You can’t speak of the Dark Lord that way,” I admonished.

She looked straight at me, her expression fierce. “The monster has ripped apart my family. I will speak of Him however I wish,” she spat out.

I blinked, utterly nonplussed. This wasn’t going at all the way I had hoped it would. Perhaps comfort would work better. I sat down in a chair next to her. “No one is taking me away from you, Mother. Nothing is going to happen to me,” I told her in my firmest voice.

But she just smiled a sad smile. “You’re wrong, Draco. Even if somehow, miraculously, everything goes according to plan, you will still be hurt.” I gave her a confused look. Just what was she talking about now? “Taking a person’s life will change you, my son, and not for the better.”

I actually snorted. “You seem to be forgetting that the person I’ll be killing is Dumbledore.”

Mother shook her head. “It doesn’t matter who it is. Murder changes a person. It certainly changed your father.” She sighed. “That’s why He’s doing this, you know. To get back at Lucius for failing Him. He wants to hurt Lucius by hurting you.”

I bristled. Did she really think it was so impossible for Him to pick me because I was talented? “He chose me because He understood that I would be a valuable ally,” I retorted angrily.

“I’ve wounded your pride,” Mother said with another sad smile. “I should’ve guessed that you wouldn’t believe me. You’re still so young. You’re naive. All too soon, you’ll know better.” The last sentence was spoken in a bitter tone. I scowled and opened my mouth to respond, but she beat me to it. “I’m going out,” she said suddenly, as if coming to a decision.

“Where?” I asked suspiciously.

“It’s no concern of yours, Draco,” she dismissed. I hated when she treated me like this, like I was still a child. Without looking at me again, she retrieved a cloak and Disapparated with a pop, leaving me to my jumbled thoughts.

I never did find out where she went that day, as she refused to tell me. But when she returned she seemed relieved somehow. This made me suspicious, but when I badgered her about it, she treated me to one of her “Mother” looks. And though I had just been picked to be a servant to the most powerful wizard alive, that glare did not fail to intimidate me. Well, I would prove her wrong, I reasoned. I would successfully carry out the Dark Lord’s plan. And once Dumbledore was dead and the Malfoy honor was restored, I would go to see Mother. Then she could see that killing the doddering old fool hadn’t changed me at all.

My musings were interrupted just then as a compartment door slid open and Ginny Weasley walked out. Like a hunter sensing its prey, I immediately perked up. Ah, how fortuitous. The youngest Weasley was one of my favorite victims. She was vulnerable. So easy to manipulate and antagonize. She was walking toward me, oblivious to my presence. It was time for me to play. As she reached me, Weasley looked up and saw me. “Weasel,” I drawled in greeting, making my voice as cruel and cutting as possible.

Then, an extraordinary thing happened. Instead of cowering, as I had expected, the girl glared at me, eyes flashing with dislike. “Ferret,” she retaliated curtly. Her tone was laced with derision almost powerful enough to match my own. Where was the fear? Where were the tears? What on earth had happened to Weasley?

This unsettling turn of events caused me to act in a way that I am deeply ashamed of. Instead of insulting her or her family, as was my custom, I stared at her. I stared blankly, and with slightly widened eyes. I must have looked so idiotic. Still handsome, of course, but undeniably foolish. Her behavior was so unprecedented that I truly did not know how to react.

Sensing my shock, Weasley’s eyes glittered with malicious amusement. She gave me a smirk worthy of a Malfoy’s and brushed past me. She walked away without another glance. I should have insulted her then. I should have made a comment so hurtful that it would haunt her until the end of her days. Or, barring that, I should have at least tripped her. But I did neither of those things. My momentary paralysis forced me to stare at her receding back until she was out of my sight.

As soon as she was gone, I came to. With my return to normalcy, I felt a sense of horror. Embarrassment curled deep in my stomach. This was ridiculous! A Malfoy shouldn’t feel things like that. It was an outrage. I attempted to make sense out of why I had reacted so strongly to her.

Yes, it was surprising that Weasley had managed to become more courageous. But it shouldn’t have flabbergasted me. And it wasn’t the insult. I had plenty of enemies and got insulted on a regular basis. I was rarely affronted by it. No, that was not it at all. I realized it was the way she had insulted me. No one had ever managed to speak with such vehemence to me. The intensity of her passion had overwhelmed me.

Well, she certainly wouldn’t catch me off-guard again. I was a Death Eater! I was a powerful, influential wizard! Right then and there, I swore that Weasley would pay for the humiliation she had caused me. I would make her life miserable. From this point on, I would always have the last word.

This story archived at http://www.dracoandginny.com/viewstory.php?sid=6419