A Bad Death Eater Gone Good
Summary: AU. Voldemort won and Harry lost. Life under Lord Voldemort's rule isn't what the Purebloods thought it would be… so a half-baked plot to twist time to save their sorry hides is concocted. But will it work?
A lie told often enough becomes the truth.
Lenin (1870 - 1924)
PROLOGUE: THE LIE
Flint Castle. 2012. Early evening.
Draco Malfoy twitched as the screams started again. Of course, it was rather unseemly that the leader of the Legion would even think about twitching when someone screamed.
Or was raped.
Or eaten by werewolves.
Or, you know, ripped apart by unstable, volatile magic that their Lord and Saviour Voldemort seemed to conveniently forget he was capable of.
Like, every day.
In fact, Draco Malfoy had developed a nervous twitch that he was sure his deceased Godfather, Severus Snape, would have beaten him bloody and blue. As a rule, Malfoys certainly did not bow down to other wizards; and they certainly did not develop a nervous twitch that would give them away.
However, the nervous twitch wasn't just a by-product of Draco's thought process and worries for the poor victim whose scream had suddenly stopped—rather, his nervous twitch was a result from the near-death Crucio Voldemort tortured him with three Christmases ago.
When Draco remembered that night—which wasn't often, if he could help it—he would vividly remember the metallic taste of his blood, the creak and cracks of his bones popping and breaking under his writhing, and the pain in his throat from screaming himself hoarse. When Draco remembered the reason as to why the leader of the greatest dark army was on the ground crying and shivering from a bout of Crucio, well… Draco wanted to twist pretty, little kitties' necks in. That was all because he was tortured for not bowing deeply enough to appease Lord Voldemort.
Bowing deeply enough.
"Fucking ugly freak," muttered Draco ungratefully, before he abruptly twisted on his heel and darted his eyes back and forth the dark hallways in Flint Castle.
It really wouldn't do to have a house elf or spy overhear that. It was what got his mother killed years ago.
Actually, now that Draco thought about it, what got most of his Slytherin year mates killed was when Potter was imprisoned and the Mudblood—no, Muggleborn—executed a few years ago. Slytherins were usually good at self-preservation, but then again most were born with a silver spoon in their mouths. They expected a certain standard of living, which Lord Voldemort promised them.
And never received.
Draco forcefully removed such treacherous thoughts from his mind as he approached a dark corridor. It was the only path to this part of the chilly, old Flint Castle, illuminated by hanging sconces and a few flickering torches. The place looked positively primeval, with rough stone, all unevenly placed to make a fortified wall. There were no windows, no tapestries, no markings or decorations.
It was how all the Death Eaters knew that this corridor would lead to their esteemed Lord: he liked treasures and tokens but preferred them only in his throne room and nowhere else. The display was for his pleasure and his victims'.
Two guards in dark Death Eater robes and the porcelain mask nodded at Draco in greeting, silently opening the heavy, dark wooden doors to the wing of the Castle.
The large hall the Dark Lord had taken from the Flints—after he killed Marcus and his family—was the original Great Hall from the early 12th-century. The rectangular room easily held the higher-ranking Death Eaters as well as several mid-level management and supporters. The end of the Great Hall held a grotesque parody of a throne, made singularly of the bones of Voldemort's most resolute enemies. Apparently the Mudbl—Muggleborn's head made part of the throne's arm.
At the centre of the rectangular hall was a cleared space at the foot of the throne for Voldemort to watch his enemies—and for kicks, his Death Eaters—be tortured.
A meeting—torture, actually—was already underway, with their Dark Lord Voldemort watching silently from his throne.
The noise, stench, cheers, and jeers from the more enthusiastic Death Eaters gave Draco cover as he slipped in between his father and his long-time friend, Theodore Nott.
"You're late," muttered Theo, barely moving his mouth and keeping his eyes forward.
Despite having a glaringly obvious empty space between the two, no one seemed to notice Draco's late arrival; no one was behind them and no one was in front to block the leaders of the Legion and their view of a bloodied young girl, lying in front of the Dark Lord.
"Got caught up in the thing," answered Draco, his eyes falling on the young girl. He frowned, slightly; she looked familiar, but then again… lots of those the Dark Lord tortured did.
"Did you find it?" queried Lucius Malfoy quietly. He did his best to keep his voice low; while Rabastan Lestrange, at his father's right side in line, was sympathetic to their plight, Rodolphus, next to his brother, was not.
Here, Draco paused, looking left at Theo and then right, at his father. Both were dressed in Death Eater robes, but the tailoring and fit of the robes were designed as Imperial uniforms, similar to Draco's. Being highly ranked, they didn't wear masks like the lowliest Death Eaters, but wore insignias and tassels. Oh, how the mighty had fallen from scare tactics to brute, uniformed force.
Finally, Draco breathed, "Yes."
The two men at either side of the Malfoy heir sighed in relief, a small exhale of breath (no need to call attention to themselves, after all).
"Victorie!" a wretched man's voice hollered.
Draco started, blinking. Where had he heard that name before…?
Next to him, Theo almost sagged in on himself.
A part of the Death Eater crowd, directly across from Draco, Theo and the other Legion leaders, split. A tall, skinny man was straining against the invisible bonds that held him back and tethered to the floor. His hair was rapidly shifting colours as he stared at the still form of the young blonde.
Draco felt bile rise up. Victorie Weasley… and the metamorphagus was Potter's own godson, Teddy Lupin. They were the only children born to any of the Order of the Phoenix members.
"She's dead, mutt," laughed a familiar voice and Draco twitched. A tall Death Eater stepped out of the line by the prisoner and knelt next to the girl, stroking down her cheek lovingly.
Teddy roared wordlessly at the man, straining the bonds further. He slid a few feet forward, but the magic held.
The Death Eater laughed and moved close to the young man, taunting him. "How does it feel to be the last, Lupin? How does it feel to know everyone else is dead and you're all that's left of your precious Order of the Phoenix?"
Teddy bared his teeth in a ferocious growl, snarling, "Uncle Harry's still alive! Your Master couldn't even kill him at all, Zabini!"
Blaise Zabini backhanded Lupin, the force turning Teddy's head. Blood dribbled down the side of his split lip, but the young half-werewolf, half-metamorphagus did not react.
"Harry Potter has been a prisoner of the Dark Lord's for over fifteen years, Mutt," replied Zabini evenly, returning to his place in line. "He's nothing to us."
And that was the crux of Draco's problem. Harry Potter, the Chosen One, was comatose, stuck in a damp and dank prison cell underneath Flint Castle and unable to deal the killing blow to the Dark Lord.
Of course, those first five years, Draco was ecstatic. His father and friends had come out on the winning side and all was well; his godfather was dead, but then really, the man should've known better than to trust Dumbledore.
In those five years, the Order of the Phoenix tried to form a resistance but they all fell, one by one. No one was eager to help and the masses went with the victor of the Blood War, Voldemort. Death Eaters flocked to his call and many enjoyed the rewards of becoming one of the Dark Lord's.
The Muggleborn, Granger, was one of the last fighters until Voldemort killed her personally just a few years ago. But by then, Draco would have gone down fighting beside the woman.
Why, you may ask? Why would Draco Malfoy help Hermione Granger, Harry Potter's best friend and the bane of his life?
Simple: being a Death Eater under Lord Voldemort's reign sucked.
The man was a tyrant. And not just a simple, "oh look at me rule the world and cause mayhem and chaos here and there" tyrant, but a psychotic, unpredictable, egotistical, demonic tyrant who would kill someone who made his tea with one too many lumps of sugar.
It wasn't how Draco Malfoy thought things were going to be. In fact, for most of the original Death Eaters, it wasn't at all what they thought things were going to be. They were thinking a return to old Pureblood customs, a blockade against the Muggleborns from entering their world (let the Muggles deal with them), and maybe a little Muggle baiting here or there.
They didn't expect the mass graves; the rapes and brutalisation of their wives, their sisters, their mothers, or their daughters. They didn't expect to miss how things were when Dumbledore was still alive. When Harry Potter offered hope to the people.
Oh, Merlin, he was turning into a Potterite. A fan of Potters! Another Colin Creevey—Draco stopped thinking. Colin Creevey watched his little brother bleed out in front of him and was then fed to Greyback.
Draco cringed and found himself pitying Teddy Lupin. There was nothing left for the young wizard anymore; his family was dead and the woman he loved was dead. He'd be dead soon, too.
He hoped that someone would make it quick.
Zabini stepped forward and Draco realised it probably wasn't going to be that quick and then thanked his lucky stars he hadn't eaten breakfast.
In the middle of Zabini torturing the poor man with his favourite carving knife, who was bleeding worse and heavier than Victorie had, a random Death Eater slammed open the main Great Hall doors, and shouted, "My Lord! It's Potter! He's escaped!"
At the pronouncement, all noise stopped. Everyone was staring at the Death Eater, including Voldemort himself, who was slowly rising from his throne.
While everyone was staring at the Death Eater or Voldemort, Draco kept his eyes on Teddy Lupin, who summoned enough energy to rise unsteadily to his knees in front of Zabini and his still hand.
"Harry's everything to us," the man garbled out with a bloodied smile, drawing the attention back to him… just as he impaled himself on Zabini's outstretched and knife-wielding hand.
And as chaos erupted in the Great Hall, Draco Malfoy slipped out, just as unnoticed as he slipped in.
Some random Welsh countryside. 2012. Really late evening.
Everyone was shouting. They were shouting over each other, shouting at each other and shouting with each other.
Draco was getting a headache.
"This isn't going to solve anything," he muttered to Theo, who stood shivering beside him. "And why the bleeding hell didn't you cast a warming charm on your robes?"
"Forgot to," muttered Draco's friend. The man sighed and pulled his wand out to do as Draco suggested. "And I figured nothing was going to come of this anyway. What's the point of us being here, if even after you said you found the Clock, we can't decide what to do with it?"
Draco shrugged. "It was my job to find it, not decide what we're doing to do with it."
"ENOUGH!" raged Lucius, raising his wand, casting a deafening boom that shocked and silenced the group of wizards and witches in the field. "We did not come here to argue. We came here to find a solution."
"I thought we had one," grumbled Henry Greengrass, Daphne and Astoria's father, from his position across from Lucius. The once tall and strong man was nothing more than a grey-faced, limp-haired man with hopeless eyes. Draco pitied him; his daughters were concubines of the Dark Lord's and both, in the years since he took them as 'lovers,' had failed to produce a viable son. Astoria was already dying, wasting away to skin and bones. No one expected her to live much longer.
"I rather thought that we were planning on leaving the country," muttered Nero Edgecombe, a Death Eater who joined after the Blood War and only reaped the benefits for a month before his wife and daughter were given to the werewolves.
Lucius shot him a look. "Don't be stupid, man. Wherever we go, our Master will find us." He sighed. "I tasked my son in finding something... something important."
"What was it?" asked someone.
"The Immortal's Clock," answered Lucius evenly.
"It's a myth," Greengrass finally whispered, eyes wide in the dark, his face pale in the flickering torch light.
"I found it," argued Draco. "It's the real thing too—I can feel its power. It's staggering."
"The Clock... what does it do?" asked Isabella Thickenese.
Lucius looked at Draco, who sighed beside Theo and stepped forward, raising his voice to reach everyone. "It'll give us a chance. It'll transport our souls, our memories to a point in the past where we can change things. Change things for the better."
A cricket let out a lone chirp.
"Impossible!" shouted Greengrass.
"I don't believe it," scoffed Thickenese.
"Inconceivable!" jeered Edgecombe.
At the last one, Draco turned to Theo and muttered, "I do not think that word means what you think it means," causing his friend to stifle a snigger. Escapism in films worked for Muggles—and it certainly worked for Draco as well, whenever he could sneak away to watch a film at the Leicester Square Odeon.
Sighing, the young Malfoy scion stepped forward, out of the circular mass and into the middle of the ring, turning slowly on the spot as he addressed the crowd. "Wizards and Witches; we have been duped," he began, his voice low and rumbling. "Our Lord has given us nothing that he promised. We were promised a return to the Old Ways – the days of when we celebrated Nature and Order and Chaos and Death and Rebirth like our ancestors. A promise was given, allowing us to worship our Gods, to celebrate the Equinoxes and our heroes, not those of the Muggleborn's saints.
"None of that happened. Instead, we were given death, destruction and hopelessness. We have watched as our homes were taken from us, raided and burned like we were not the conquering victors of the battle. We watched as our mothers, daughters and wives were taken from us and used as playthings for the Dark Lord's whims. We watched, wizards and witches, as everything dear to us was taken."
Draco paused, looking at the hard ground as he remembered the last time he saw his mother.
Swallowing heavily and with resolve, he continued, his voice rising and falling with passion. "I say no more. This is not the world we wanted. This is not the future we envisioned. Call it treason; call it whatever you'd like—but I will not remain in this world we helped create."
"And what do you plan to do?" asked Adrian Pucey quietly. Another old friend of Draco's from school, only Pucey, Nott, Warrington and Zabini had survived the Dark Lord's purge of "wasted Slytherin potential, incapable of acting like Salazar's own".
"I plan to use the Clock," stated Draco, surprising himself as the words left his lips without thought.
Titters and murmurs erupted around the circle at the proclamation.
"I plan," continued Draco, raising his voice, "I plan to use the Immortal's Clock to return to a point in time where I was still in school with Potter, Granger and Weasley. I plan to give them—and us—a second chance. To make things right, to make them see and understand what the future would be like if they lost."
"They never trusted you then, Malfoy, why would they trust you a second time around?" asked Greengrass bitterly.
"Because I'll give them a fucking reason," growled Draco, turning to face the man.
The crowd shifted uncomfortably, each thinking their thoughts and muttering quietly to their neighbours and old friends, those who remained. Draco spotted Theo, next to his father, nodding. He too, would return to the past to get another chance to make things right.
"Say you do this, Malfoy," continued Pucey, thinking hard as he chose words carefully, leaving his mouth slowly. "If you do this, and you help Potter win—how do we know that things won't be any different for us? Everyone knows that Potter hated the Slytherins and Dumbledore sure wasn't any help."
Draco sighed. He had thought of that too. "There's only one way we can make things different for us, Pucey: by changing. Whatever world we'd create, it would still be better than what we live in now. Our homes wouldn't be taken from us; our families wouldn't be torn apart."
"And in the worst possible scenario, you know where the Clock is," rumbled a new voice, startling the circle and causing Draco to turn quietly on his heel and bring his wand up in defense.
Rabastan LeStrange stood next to his father, coolly looking at the assembled witches and wizards, all now known traitors to the Dark Lord's left-hand man. Nerves ran high in the group as they shifted and brought their wands out—not to defend, or fight, as they couldn't as a group take on LeStrange and win—but to flee.
"Peace, friends," called Rabastan, as he stepped into the circle and stood next to Draco Malfoy.
Peace friends, thought the young blond, I'm sure that's what Brutus said to Caesar before he and his friends jumped the Emperor.
"I understand your fears and worries," continued Rabastan, his voice low and hypnotic, soothing those in the circle. "I, too, agree. This is not the world I wanted to live in."
Silence descended on the group. One of the Dark Lord's most trusted advisors was in their camp?
"Prove it," called out Thicknese, her voice challenging.
Rabastan smiled, his wand pulled out carefully and slowly. "I, Rabastan LeStrange, do so swear on my life and magic, on this day, to prove to my fellow witches and wizards that I do not support my Lord, and do not believe that this is world we should be living in."
The man's magic flared up, shimmering in the air around his body and giving him an ethereal glow that dissipated within seconds; but it was enough. Rabastan LeStrange was like them.
"Can we do this?" asked Augustus Pyrate. "Can we really use the Clock, send ourselves back in time and relive our lives?"
"Yes," said Lucius calmly. "Because we have no other choice."
"I still don't think Potter will trust us," sighed Pucey. "The Slytherins at that time were so terrible to him and Granger. Weasley—well, not so much, he gave what he received, but the other two..."
"Then you might want to send me back with you."
Draco would never admit it, but he shrieked like a little girl at the strange voice. As a unit, the Death Eaters forming the circle turned with their wands out, creating a semi-circle with two rank files, and faced the new voice.
What you must know about the Welsh countryside is that while the land itself is rather hilly, filled with valleys and crevices, some locations are rugged. The location where the Death Eaters chose to meet, in the middle of the Brecon Beacons, while remote, wasn't necessarily the safest. Fog patches could sweep in suddenly, thick and heavy; visibility would immediately be reduced to zero, a cause with had many hikers plunging suddenly off invisible cliffs. There was a reason that the Muggle RAF chose to train their elite soldiers in the ever-changing environment.
The Death Eaters found this out the hard way. They choose the location because it was as far as they could get from any of the Dark Lord's fortresses and main holdings; it was also a location that was remote, with no people or villages nearby, and the landscape appealed to the group's moodiness.
It also served as an excellent cover for spies.
A figure began to move through the thick fog, with gentle breeze helping to sift the cloudy mist away from him. As clouds moved across the bright moon, a shaft of moonlight struck the figure just as he stopped walking, revealing his identity.
Draco sucked in a breath.
Harry Potter, pale, emaciated, wearing nothing more than rags, stood before the Death Eaters.
"Send me back with you," he said again, his voice raspy for disuse. "Then everything you do, you tell me, will be believed."
"Dumbledore wouldn't believe it," squeaked out Pucey, the first to find his voice.
"Dumbledore was a fool," replied Potter, the shadows hollowing his sunken eyes. "He kept too many things secrets from us in his final days that destroyed the foundations of the Order later."
Draco swallowed, again, and stepped forward, breaking from the semi-circle. "Potter, are you sure? We can't guarantee when we'd arrive back in time. It could be after he's got a body—it could be in the middle of the Battle of Hogwarts."
"I'll risk it," replied Potter evenly. "Let's do this."
Rabastan did the Arithmancy to ensure that by sending their consciousness back in time through the Clock, they would be destroying the fabric of their current reality. It would cease to exist suddenly, or, if Draco and his fellow Death Eaters failed, the reality would be held in some sort of stasis that would break only if they were successful, again destroying the reality.
Either way, it was a one-way trip.
The Clock required three drops of blood from each soul, who would be travelling back. There was no set time or way to determine when they would arrive; they just would. For the Clock to work, Rabastan explained that it would destroy their current body, leaving behind only the soul and consciousness for a brief moment before that soul and consciousness would merge with the younger self.
That proved too much from some of those within the circle, and they backed out of the plan. In the end, only the two Malfoys, Theo, Pucey, Greengrass, Augustus Pyrate, Rabastan and Potter agreed. The rest would serve as focus for the spell and blood binding.
Each stepped forward to where Draco stood, holding a strangely shaped Clock. At first glance, the Immortal's Clock looked normal: it was square, a dark mahogany colour, polished to a shine. The glass was perfectly clear and there were no scratches or marks. Behind the glass was a perfectly shaped circle, inlaid with gold filigree and Roman numerals, like a normal analog clock.
However, below the clock face, instead of a normal swinging pendulum, there was a swinging hourglass. The sand inside of the hourglass reminded Harry of Tinkerbell's fairy dust; the sand was fine, a pale shade of creamy white that glowed an otherworldly gold.
Draco, clutching the square clock to his chest, unhooked the latch to the glass plate in front of the clock face with his left hand and allowed his father to slice cleanly across his free hand's forefinger. Three drops of blood landed on the clock face, staining the white porcelain.
The others moved forward and did the same. The clock face as a dark red when they finished. Draco shut the glass and latched it. As soon as he did so, there was a soft sucking sound and the blood melted into the porcelain, leaving the clock face once more pure and white.
Holding the Clock in both hands now, Draco turned it to the back, showing the strange wind-up feature. As he met the eyes of his allies, Draco reached forward and began to wind the clock.
The winder clicked and creaked at each full turn, gears shifting into place and metal twisting. Suddenly Draco could not wind it anymore, and dropped his hand from the winder.
The Immortal's Clock started ticking.
There was a brief flash of light; a scream of pain; and then the world that they once knew and hated was gone.
It was up to seven Slytherins and a jaded Gryffindor to save the world.
[Feb.09.12] Although this might not be the update most of you wanted to see, this is one of the stories I've been working on since finishing "Greater Than, Lesser Be." Another time travel story, but this time focusing on Draco Malfoy as the main protagonist of the story (but Harry's now going to be in there constantly). I don't think this going for more than about 10 chapters, and it isn't the "big" story (again, another time travel, alternate reality story) I've been plugging away at - that's a Harry/Hermione friendship story that might make an appearance within the next few months. Might.
Everything else - Footsteps/Wyckham, Breach, and the others are still on hold. Interest has waned on those, but I hope to "reinvent" those stories sometime in the future. Sometime.
As for this, expect Chapter 1, "Ordinary Men" to be up next week. (cross your fingers!)