The Half Blood Prince
Draco Malfoy would never claim to be a pleasant person.
He aimed the dart at his target: a picture of Harry Potter. The dart hit Potter's cheek. Draco Malfoy watched in glee as the Wizarding photograph howled with pain and blood dripped down Saint Potter's face.
Malfoy heard the footfalls of someone down the Manor's grand hallway, but didn't look out from his bedroom. If someone wanted to find him, they could do it themselves. The loud footsteps were distracting; Draco missed his target, the dart falling to the floor.
The source of the disturbance, Blaise Zabini, leant on the doorframe of Draco Malfoy's lavish bedroom casually. "Hello, Draco," he greeted cordially.
Draco spun around. "Hello, Zabini."
"Muggle darts, Draco?"
Draco Malfoy smoothed his hair, trying not to look flustered at a connection to those…pitiful little people. "Mother forbade me to charm them, but I wasn't going to give up on a good chance to terrorise Potter."
"Terrorising Potter seems to be a family trait."
Draco smirked. "Indeed. He's so pathetic, hanging around with Mudbloods and half-breeds, someone needs to put him in his place."
"It's pity all the girls think he's a catch. I've even heard Parkinson speak fondly of his looks."
"Merlin, don't talk to me about Parkinson."
"She's a right old pug isn't she?" Zabini laughed.
"You know, Potter's girl isn't so bad looking -"
" - She's half Muggle, Zabini - "
" - But have you heard she's a Seer?"
Malfoy rolled his eyes. "Yes, I have. Sounds like a load of bollocks to me, though."
"Still, such magical power like that at our age…I think it's rather interesting. Imagine if she were at the Dark Lord's mercy."
"In any case, Zabini, her father was an Auror. He hunted Slytherins like your father and mine."
Zabini grinned. "Until my father killed him, of course."
Draco's eyebrows rose. "I had no idea. Good on him."
"Yes, it is too bad that he died. Have you seen my latest step-father, though? Sometimes I don't think my mother mourns father."
Draco sighed, tired of the conversation. He didn't care to hear of Zabini's trivial woes. Up until recently, his family had been perfect. He didn't care for anyone else to complain.
Draco smoothed his hair back again to express his boredom. His long sleeve slipped.
Zabini's eyes flickered towards Draco's wrist, and he smiled. He took a seat on Draco's lavish four-poster bed, complete with silken jade sheets, without waiting for permission. Draco almost bristled at the impoliteness, until Zabini came out with, "Ahh, so the rumours are true. You really are a Death Eater."
Draco tried not to look affected by Zabini's pronouncement.
"Mother was not pleased," Draco elaborated slowly, warily, "but it had to be done. It is my duty to rectify my father's mistakes."
"Yes, I had heard from Mother than the Lord was not all together pleased with the way Malfoy Senior handled things at the Ministry."
Draco chose not to answer. Zabini was toying with him: the boy knew how much public embarrassment they Malfoy name had endured recently, not to mention the fury of their breadwinner's master. Only a fool would have not chosen to take his father's place in the Dark Lord's inner circle.
Draco Malfoy was not a fool.
"I find the peacocks in the front yard particularly charming," Blaise commented after a few minutes of silence, understanding the previous turn of conversation was not appreciated.
Draco aimed: another dart hit Potter's eye. He paused before answering.
"Mother likes expensive things."
They were silent for a moment.
"Why are you here, Zabini?" Draco asked in clipped tones.
Zabini smiled widely, showing his perfect white teeth. "I was wondering when you were going to ask. As you know, Draco, I do enjoy knowledge - but I'll come to that in a moment. I'm here because I found this book in the potions cupboard last year. Some of the notes made are quite…interesting. I know you have a job to do and thought it may come of use to you seeing as you won' t be focussing so much on education."
Draco tried not to look as interested as he felt.
Zabini ordered upon a nearby house-elf and soon the creature retrieved the curious book from Zabini's belongings, which had been stowed in the living room upon his entrance to the Malfoy Manor. Draco shut his door in order to obtain some privacy and secrecy about their potential deal.
"'This book belongs to the Half-Blood Prince'," Malfoy read, a disgusted look on his face. "I don't want anything to do with half-breeds, Zabini."
"Don't judge a book by it's previous owner so quickly, Draco." Blaise flipped to a bookmarked page, and pointed to one word scrawled in the margins. "Look at this, it's a spell this Prince devised. 'For enemies - Sectumsempra'. The book is filled with spells that a man in your position could use…and cheats for Potions class."
Draco snapped the book shut. His mind was haunted by instructions and the word sectumsempra.
"What do you want in return, Zabini?"
"I want to know what you are up to."
"Because I like to have knowledge. Because knowledge is power."
"You're not working for the Order, are you, Zabini?"
"I like to consider myself neutral in this impending war. My father was a Death Eater and my mother's one and that never got them very far. Neutrality seems to me to be the right way to go."
Remarking, "It's your funeral," Malfoy considered this for a moment, before confiding in Blaise Zabini of his Dark Lord's plans.
"You, Draco Malfoy, will administer the vanishing cabinet in Hogwarts as you have been instructed."
"Yes, my Lord."
"You will be faithful to your Lord and help Him to infiltrate Hogwarts."
"Yes, my Lord."
"You will rectify your father's mistakes and bring down Harry Potter."
"Yes, my Lord."
"When the time comes, you will attempt to kill Harry Potter yourself, no matter the means."
"Yes, my Lord."
"You will not fail me, Draco Malfoy."
"No, my Lord. I will not."