Chapter 1

Draco Malfoy couldn't have said precisely when it began to happen.

He certainly noticed when he started having to pluck dark hairs from his upper lip - he didn't dare shave them in case he was left with an unsightly five o-clock shadow.

He had begun to wonder when his fingers no longer seemed to feel right on the piano keys, but then he had put that down to lack of practice.

And when his voice had grown very slightly deeper, he had come to the naturally expected conclusion.

But the dark hairs on his upper lip had him stumped.

Malfoys were blond. Draco was a Malfoy in every sense of the word, he had been born with startlingly white hair, as had his father Lucius, and Abraxas before him, and all the hundreds of Malfoys before him. Each one had luscious blond locks, and the facial hair and their other body hair was blond too.

There were no exceptions.

And I'm not about to become one, he thought, leaning close to the mirror, tweezers at the ready and braced to wince.

The first day Harry woke up and noticed a change in himself was a Tuesday, and the reason he remembered it so well was that he opened his eyes, yawned and read the day on the calendar.

That particular phenomenon escaped him, until he reached to take his glasses of and realised he wasn't wearing them, and what was more, the calendar was on his bedside table, and by rights should be nothing more than a blurry white square when he wasn't wearing his glasses.

Harry looked in a dazed manner from the calendar to his spectacles which sat innocently beside it, the sun twinkling off the lens.

A slow smile spread over his features.

Draco was beginning to panic as his birthday drew ever near.

He didn't know what it was; his trousers were a tad too short, his sleeves ever so slightly too long, his fingers were tripping over his piano keys, and he found himself having to take deep breaths and count to ten when he allowed himself to think of the other things.

All he could guess was that someone had cursed him.

The odd moustache hairs were a problem of the past; he now had taken to bleaching all his facial hair every morning, which was more often than he shaved, but he just couldn't bear to wait and see how much the damage had spread.

His eyes were getting feverishly bright.

He had a rash of some sort on his head - a rash!

And worst of all, he was getting grey hairs. When he had first noticed that, he had cast a bleaching charm at his full head in horror, and he'd started to do so daily, even though he didn't know if the pestilence would continue.

The same day of the grey hair incident, he'd decided to take action. He needed help.

His mother and father had decided to spend the summer in France, leaving Draco to his own devices, and even if they had been home he wasn't sure he would to divulge his problem to them.

His father might begin to fear, as Draco was, that the Malfoy gene was defective in him, because Malfoys didn't get dark hairs during puberty, and if premature aging induced by exam stress or such rot was the problem, it still didn't explain why he was getting grey hairs rather than white like all his Malfoy ancestors.

His mother might not care so much if Draco was taking after her side of the family rather than his fathers but, well, you just don't approach a woman like Narcissa with health problems. Any childhood illnesses had been taken care of by the house elves, and they had taken little Draco to St Mungo's if there was anything they couldn't heal themselves. He was sure his mother would look mildly repulsed and call Dippy to take him to Healer Stantrout.

Well Draco was too old to be escorted by house elves, so he had performed the bleaching spell again for luck, put on his favourite cloak (the one with the emeralds set into the catch), and floo-d to St Mungo's.

He had left half an hour later, and to say he was in a tizzy would be an understatement of huge proportions.

He had had a long and uncomfortable wait in a packed waiting room, and Healer Stantrout wasn't even in, so he'd had to see Healer Tupple instead - a dumpy woman with grey hair pulled back into a tight plait which was so long it brushed the carpet.

Draco had described his various symptoms and sat back to wait for a potion to be prescribed. Healer Tupple had then asked him to remove his bleaching charm, which had left him spluttering in outrage. He would have thrown an outright tantrum, had she not demonstrated how little concern she had for ousting a Malfoy unceremoniously from her office, so Draco had acquiesced.

He had been left stunned when he and the Healer had stood side by side in front of a mirror as he removed the charm.

He was repulsive.

The rash on his forehead was getting worse, his hair was a peppery grey colour throughout - even his face didn't look the right shape! If he hadn't shaved that morning, he knew he'd be able to see dark hairs beginning to show under his translucent skin.

"Well your hair is greying somewhat," Healer Tupple said thoughtfully. "though I don't know if there are any other changes."

"Somewhat?! No other changes?!" Draco said, aghast "I'm hideous! Can't you see, I look feverish! My eyes are changing colour, they were grey, not this unsightly turquoise shade!"

"Now now," Tupple said, her voice soothing "I'm sure you've just been stressed at school recently - stress is the most common cause of premature greying in young people."

"I'm a Malfoy, I don't grey, especially not prematurely!" Draco snapped, but his tone had earned him nothing but an invitation to leave the room, so he did so, making sure to re-bleach his head first.

"Is there nothing you can do?" he asked desperately before the door closed in his face.

"Just try not to worry so much," Tupple replied "and if you really think there are other changes, take measurements and chart them and come back in a month."

"A month!" Draco exclaimed angrily as the door closed in front of him.

Draco wanted to scream with frustration every morning when he took a note of his measurements. He had sent Dippy off to find a tape measure, but no matter how often he took notes on the length of his fingers, arms, legs, the diameter of his face, the distance between his eyes and the size of his ears, the results were always too minimal to be of note.

It had been four days, and when he looked in the mirror he could see the difference, but the tape measure said it was only, at best, a millimetre in difference in one or two places. He suspected it was cursed too.

It was his birthday tomorrow, and he suspected his father might come home for a few hours to bring him his gifts. Mother rarely came home when she was spending time in France, she detested the British weather and the Malfoy Paris townhouse suited her sociable nature because it meant she could go shopping with her female friends whenever she wanted without the deplorable necessity of having to get ash on her clothes when taking the floo.

What if his father could see the difference too? Draco hoped he wouldn't notice, because he was sure Lucius would disapprove.

…000...

His baby son closed his tiny hand around his fingers and gurgled up at his father happily.

The sight of the smiling cherub face beneath the blond curls almost made him turn back. So innocently unsuspecting, gazing around at the world in the accepting wide-eyed gaze of a soul too young to know that the world, so big and new, wasn't safe, even when he was wrapped up in daddy's arms.

He had his mother's jaw line already, and the beginnings of what Lucius just knew would be fine looks. But not for long, if things went well.

He steeled himself. The Dark Lord had asked for a child. He'd asked Lucius to bring him one.

"I believe you have a son, Lucius? How convenient. Have him here tomorrow at midnight."

It was too much to bear. He wanted to please his lord, but family, it always came first. Blood was important, and none more pure than that of the baby in his arms, distilled by nine generations of exclusively pure-blood breeding. Much, much more if one went back further than the family trees showed.

His lord wanted to be immortal. He'd hinted he'd achieved his goal, but Lucius, despite how much he wanted to, couldn't believe it. If such a thing were possible, why wasn't Merlin still with the wizarding world? Why was Dumbledore withering away? One couldn't count the legendary philosopher's stone, created by Flamel…true immortality could not rely on taking regular doses of a substance.

The Dark Lord wanted a child to sacrifice - to experiment with protective enchantments, he'd said. The blood of the innocent could shield the Dark Lord from innumerable threats.

But he wasn't going to experiment on his little Dragon.

Torn between his master and his son, Lucius let only a single tear drop as he kissed little Draco on the forehead. Holding him against his lips for only a second, he closed his eyes and for a moment tried to enjoy his son while he still had one.

Then, not looking at the baby's smiling face, he held him away from his body, and used a somnus charm to put the child to sleep.

There was only minutes to spare.

The laughing couple he knew were just around the corner could not suspect that the juggling wizard on the unicycle was no more than a diversion. The problem was, the father was holding his son, pointing out the ridiculous man to the giggling baby.

Lucius pulled the invisibility cloak from one of his deep pockets and covered himself and his son. It had cost him a fortune from Borgin & Burkes, but what was money to him in a desperate situation with so little time?

The wizard continued to juggle and make absurd noises, and Lucius knew he only had so much time before the couple moved on. Already the mother was beginning to look restless.

He raised his wand.

"Imperio!"

Without removing his eyes from the wizard on the unicycle, James Potter seemed to absentmindedly let his child slip, wriggling, from his arms to the cobbled streets. The child shrieked in delight, and started to run around, attracting the mother's startled attention, but another quick imperio took care of that.

After that, as if sensing Lucius's need, the child toddled over to a shop window mere feet away, and reached out to something shiny in the display. A quick notice-me-not charm and Lucius moved swifty to grab the child and before it knew what was wrong it was in the alley way, and a spell later, fell asleep in Lucius' arms. He carelessly let him slip to the floor, laying Draco beside him.

Focring himself not to think, not to feel, Lucius Malfoy held his wand to the head of his son, closed his eyes an began to mutter a low, rhythmic chant. Pausing for breath, he didn't open his eyes, but moved his wand to the forehead of the Potter baby and began again.

It tore at his heart, to cast Imperio on his own son, and watch him wake up. Green eyes horribly blank under the curse, the little boy scrambled to his feet, getting dirt on the knees of trousers that another mother had lovingly picked out for another child.

Lucius watched with an empty heart as the baby moved towards James Potter, who suddenly noticed his empty arms, and scooped up the child without a second thought as it reached his legs.

Removing all three imperios, James Potter noticed nothing, the mudblood wife frowned and looked around in confusion, and the baby looked for his father and began to cry.

Lucius scooped up the irrelevant bundle that was Harry Potter and apparated away to where the slaughter would take place.

Disclaimer - I do not own Harry Potter or any of the other characters, they belong to JK Rowling. I am not making any profit from this fic, it's purely for fun.