Stepping out of the shower, Draco walked naked to the full length mirror in his bedroom and stood before it. Idly he examined his body and the bruising and scarring it had endured over the last couple of months. Draco had been part of the fighting all summer, and there'd been plenty of it as Voldemort was keen to move things along and try to end the lives of Harry and Dumbledore. Most of Draco's bruising had faded, but he knew events of the summer had left him with three permanent scars. The first was on his shoulder, which he'd sustained in his first fight, and they'd been joined by a gash on his right thigh which had caused him to limp for days, and the most recent one was down his left side.
Although the scars weren't the only things Draco had achieved during his time as a Death Eater. Even though he'd only been in the action for a matter of weeks, he'd already earned himself a reputation both with the Order and his fellow Death Eaters. Since he had no regard for himself or his own safety, he had even less for anyone else's, and that made him a dangerous opponent. It also made him a dangerous person to get on the wrong side of, as Marcus Flint had discovered when he'd snapped at Draco during a battle and then when he'd fallen seriously injured, Draco had merely stepped over him and left him where he lay. Another time he'd cursed Amycus Carrow before a Death Eater meeting when the older wizard had annoyed him.
During battles the killing curse had still not left his wand, but he had taken his first life just a couple of fights ago, or at least it was the first death Draco knew for sure had been caused by him. Truth be told, Draco had no idea what became of the people he encountered in battles, and quite honestly he couldn't care less. But a couple of weeks ago he'd been at an attack and found himself battling Percy Weasley. Straight away it was clear that Percy was a good wizard, but fighting wasn't his forte and it didn't take long for Draco to get the upper hand in their battle. During their fight, he'd sent Percy flying into a wall, and he'd hit it with such force his skull cracked upon contact and he was dead before his body even slumped to the ground.
Draco hadn't been sure how taking a life would affect him, but he found that it had changed nothing. He barely felt anything when he'd stood over Percy's dead body, knowing he was the reason he was gone. If he hadn't been sure before that Hermione's death had destroyed him that incident alone would have convinced him that part of him died along with his girlfriend. The part of him that felt remorse and cared for other people had been lost, and Draco knew it would never come back. Hermione's death had frozen his heart, and nothing could thaw it. Not even his love for his parents was enough to snap him out of his depression and get him to value his life again. Draco had reached the end of the road, he'd had enough and all he wanted was for the pain to end.
Unfortunately for Draco, his pain was still going on as despite the bruising and scarring, he was still standing. Even making sure he removed his mask as he went into battle, which should have made him a target, hadn't seemed to have worked. It was true that without his mask the Order knew who they were fighting and several times they'd tried to target him, but nothing seemed to work. Draco almost felt as though he was invincible, and while at any other time he might have loved the feeling, right now it felt like a curse and he would give anything for something to finally reach him and bring him down.
Belatedly noticing that he was getting cold, Draco stepped away from the mirror and began to get dressed. Just as he was pulling his shirt on, Voldemort's voice sounded in his head, ordering him to be downstairs in two minutes. Fully expecting another attack to be taking place, Draco slipped into his black robes but deliberately left his mask behind. He'd already lost a couple of masks in the heat of battle, and although Voldemort had replaced them, he'd former no attachment to his mask as he knew other Death Eaters had done.
"Lost another mask I see, Draco," Bellatrix remarked when Draco reached the front hallway.
"It's not lost," Draco answered with a shrug. He wasn't sure why his aunt was concerned as he'd never seen her wear a mask in battle, like him she seemed to like the opposition knowing who they were facing.
"The masks are supposed to help protect you, Draco," Bellatrix said.
"I don't need protecting," Draco snorted. "Now are we going or not?"
"We're waiting for your father," Bellatrix replied, just as Lucius and Voldemort appeared coming from the direction of Lucius's study.
Lucius was carrying his mask in his hand, and he slipped it on as they prepared to leave. Voldemort gave Draco the address of where they were going, before he pulled out a mask of his own and slipped it on. He then led the group away from the manor, where they met up with the other Death Eaters on a hill overlooking a bizarre house which looked to be teetering to one side.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you The Burrow," Voldemort called. "Home to the Weasleys, one of the most influential families in the Order. I'm in no mood for prisoners, so do your worst."
The end of Voldemort's speech was the cue to attack and Draco joined the other Death Eaters in running down the hill towards The Burrow. As they reached the gardens of the house, the doors and windows flew open and spells came flying the Death Eaters way. Either the Weasleys and the Order had been waiting for an attack, or they'd attacked on an evening when more than just the family of redheads were home. Not that Draco cared either way as he shot a burning hex at an open window and heard a cry as it hit someone in the shoulder.
Losing himself in battle, Draco found himself hit with a spell that sliced his already scarred shoulder open within the first half hour. As painful as it was, it wasn't enough to bring him down and he continued to wreak havoc as he pushed him way into The Burrow along with several other Death Eaters. By this time it was clear most of the Order had appeared, but Draco wasn't bothered about how many people they were fighting. He was just hoping one of them would finally do something right and end his life once and for all.
After rampaging through The Burrow, Draco found himself emerging from the front door. The second he did so, he found himself set up by Ron Weasley. Draco had seen both Harry and Ron in battle on numerous occasions, but he'd never fought them one on one. As such he was unprepared for the rush of anger he felt when faced with Ron. He'd never really given much thought to the fact Hermione had been with her best friends when she was killed, but with Ron right in front of him, it was all Draco could think about. All he could focus on was that Ron and Harry should have protected Hermione, but they didn't and he'd lost the love of his life due to their incompetence.
With a guttural roar of anger and pain, Draco flew at Ron and the pair began to trade hexes and spells as well as physical blows. If he'd been thinking clearly, Draco might have been surprised by how well Ron fought, both magical and physical, but his anger and pain overwhelmed him and he lost himself in the blood-lust of the battle. Eventually Draco's anger began to pay off and his desire for revenge gave him an advantage over Ron as the redhead began to tire. Spurred on by thoughts of Hermione, Draco sent his fist crashing into Ron's face, before following it up with a swift knee to his groin. Ron went tumbling down to the floor, his wand skittering out of his hand and skidding to a stop nearby.
"Pathetic," Draco sneered, looking down at Ron with contempt.
With a small groan of pain, Ron rolled over onto his stomach as his fingers reached for his wand. Draco waited until Ron's fingers had almost closed over his wand before he raised his foot and brought it down heavily on the back of Ron's knee. The bone in Ron's knee audibly cracked as it broke, but the sound was quickly drowned out by Ron's howl of agony. Stepping off Ron, Draco casually stepped over him and kicking the red-head's wand away, he strode off, leaving Ron whimpering and crying in pain behind him.
Shortly after his altercation with Ron, Voldemort sounded the call to leave. Yet again, Draco left a battle still standing, although he did feel better that he'd elicited some revenge for Hermione. He ignored the tiny voice in his head that told him she wouldn't want revenge, and she would be horrified with what he was becoming, instead focusing on the first positive thought he'd had since her death. For the first time since losing Hermione, Draco wasn't overcome with grief and he had to admit it had felt good to lay into Ron. Not that it changed anything in Draco's mind, Hermione was still gone and without her he didn't want to live.
When he arrived back home, Draco immediately sensed there was someone in his wing of the manor. Expecting it was just his mother had come to check on him, he got a shock when he found Blaise and Theo lounging around in his library as if they owned the place.
"What are you doing here?" Draco demanded harshly.
"We've come to take you out for the evening," Blaise replied, smiling despite Draco's less than welcoming attitude.
"And we're not taking no for an answer," Theo said, jumping in before Draco could even open his mouth to argue.
"Tough, because my answer is no," Draco retorted.
"Don't make us force you, Draco, because we will if we have to," Blaise warned.
"I'd like to see your try," Draco snorted. "Now bugger off and leave me alone."
Not bothering to wait and see if his friends did as he ordered, Draco turned around and strode back to his bedroom. Pulling off his robes, he yanked off the rest of his clothes and headed into the bathroom to clean himself up. When he re-emerged, wearing just his trousers, Blaise and Theo were sitting on his bed.
"I thought I told you to leave," Draco said through clenched teeth as he pulled on a fresh shirt, aware that both Blaise and Theo were openly eyeing up the two scars that was visible on his torso, not to mention the cuts and bruises he was sporting following his spat with Ron.
"And we told you that we're not taking no for an answer," Blaise repeated. "All you have to do to get rid of us is come and have one drink with us, Draco."
"One drink and then I'm done," Draco said with a sigh, recognising that Blaise was in one of his stubborn moods and wouldn't budge until he got his own way.
"Excellent, I know this perfect little bar just opened in Manchester," Blaise said.
Reminding Blaise and Theo that he was merely going to have one drink with them, Draco accompanied them out of the manor and to the bar that Blaise recommended. The bar was a fairly decent place and in a better mood, Draco might have enjoyed it. However, he had no enthusiasm as he found a table with Theo while Blaise went to grab the drinks.
"The waitresses here are so hot, and they're all so obliging," Blaise announced as he returned to the table with three glasses of firewhisky.
"I said I would have a drink, I'm not interested in girls," Draco warned as he picked up his glass.
"I wasn't implying that you asked one of them to marry you," Blaise remarked with a snort. "But Granger's been gone for months now, and you have to move on."
"I have no intention of moving on," Draco grumbled.
"What about sex?" Theo asked.
"What about it?" Draco questioned with a confused frown.
"Don't you miss it?" Blaise inquired. "I mean, you must be sick of taking care of yourself by now."
"Just because all you two think about is sex, doesn't mean we all do," Draco snapped as he drowned the rest of his drink and headed off to the bar for another one. He might have agreed to one drink, but suddenly he was eager to get totally and utterly drunk.
Of course it hadn't helped that Blaise and Theo had struck a nerve with Draco. It was very easy for Draco to focus on the love he'd lost when he'd lost Hermione, but he'd also lost his lover. Before Hermione's death his sex life had been sizzling, and just because she was no longer with him didn't mean his sexual urges had faded. Draco just had to close his eyes to remember what Hermione looked like naked, and how it felt to be with her. Of course without her, he'd had to take care of his own sexual needs over the last few months, but thanks to Blaise and Theo he was suddenly craving more. He knew he couldn't have Hermione, but he wanted a real live witch to help ease his sexual frustration.
Several drinks later and Draco had decided that Blaise was right about the waitresses in the bar. Several of them were very attractive, and more than one had tried to flirt with him. Focusing in on a brunette waitress, Draco blatantly propositioned her. Even though the waitress initially turned him down, it didn't take long for Draco to change her mind and when she'd finished her shift the pair found themselves in the alley behind the bar.
Draco wasn't even sure if names were exchanged as they pounced on one another the second they reached the alley. The waitresses' hands were all over his body, but he merely slid his hands under her short skirt and pulled down her silky knickers. Within minutes of them arriving in the alley, Draco was inside the waitress and he was roughly taking her up against the wall. In his lust filled haze, he didn't have a clue if she'd enjoyed herself, all he was focused on was his own pleasure. When it did hit him, Draco's mind wasn't on the witch he was with, images of Hermione filled his mind and he was fairly sure it was her name that fell from his lips as he came.
Almost the second he pulled away from the waitress, Draco felt disgusted with himself for giving into his urges. Cursing Blaise and Theo for dragging him out and tempting him, Draco didn't even bother to return to the bar before he headed home to try and forget the night had ever happened. What he didn't realise was that while he'd gone home disgusted with himself, Blaise and Theo were thrilled with their evenings work as when their friend hadn't returned they thought he'd gone home with the brunette waitress. They honestly thought they'd finally gotten through to Draco and he was finally moving on with his life, but little did they know that for the first time in weeks, Draco cried himself to sleep as he wished Hermione was still with him.