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The Eighth Horcrux

The task.

If you asked Draco Malfoy, nothing was more important than family. He loved his mother, idealized his father, and wanted nothing more than to make them proud. He hated himself for the shame he’d caused when he was unable to kill Dumbledore. In the Dark Lord’s eyes, and more importantly his father’s, he was a failure. But he was willing to do anything to bring honor to the Malfoy name again, so he was thrilled when Voldemort requested his presence one late, July night.

Voldemort sat at the head of the dining room table, where Draco’s father once had, before their family manor had been turned into the Dark Lord’s headquarters. Nagini laid on top of the table, her long body stretching almost the entire length of the table. She was barely moving, assumedly because she was still digesting her dinner—Hogwarts former Muggle Studies teacher.

Draco didn’t know where to look or what to do. He could feel the Dark Lord’s eyes watching him, but he couldn’t bring himself to meet his gaze. He wasn’t sure if he should sit down or move closer, so he stayed in his original spot, his eyes fixed on the floor. His heart was beating out of his chest.

“Young Draco,” Voldemort’s voice filled the room. “Look at me when I speak to you.”

Draco lifted his gaze to see Voldemort’s red eyes staring back at him. “S-sorry sir-”

“You don’t need to speak.” Voldemort interrupted, causing Draco’s heart to sink to the pit of his stomach. “Some may call me a fool, but I have decided to entrust you with another task.”
Draco bit his tongue. He wanted to tell Voldemort how thankful he was for this opportunity, but was afraid to say anything. He didn’t want to upset the Dark Lord. He couldn’t afford for anything to go wrong. His family’s name was at stake, and this would probably be his last opportunity to fix his past mistakes and finally make his parents proud.

“Alexandra Brooks,” Voldemort said, Draco instantly recognized the name. She was in Slytherin, like him, but she was two years younger. “You know her I presume?”

Draco nodded. Nearly everyone at Hogwarts knew her. She was half-Veela, and girls like that tended to receive a lot of attention. A sly smile crept on Voldemort’s lips, causing Draco to feel uneasy. The gesture was so awkward-- it was as if smiling was so foreign to Voldemort, his facial muscles didn’t quite know how to react.

“I need you to gain her trust.” Voldemort said, lacing his long fingers together in front of him. “I want you to watch over her and protect her, and then bring her here for Christmas holiday.”

“That’s it?” the words left his mouth before he even realized he was speaking. The task seemed so easy. This time last year he was being told to kill one of the most powerful wizards of all time, and now he was just supposed to become friends with a little girl? It didn’t make sense.

“Yes,” Voldemort spoke slowly, and Draco instantly regretted his outburst, pressing his lips into a thin line. “Apparently I asked too much of you last year, but I feel this task is a lot more suitable for someone with your limited skill-set. Do you agree?”

“Yes sir,” Draco said through gritted teeth. He hated being reminded of his failures, but now he was more determined than ever to make everything right again and to succeed.

“Excellent.” Voldemort said, reaching to pat Nagini’s head. The snake hissed quietly before slithering forward, moving to wrap herself around the Dark Lord’s shoulders. “If the task is understood, you may leave.”

Draco bowed before turning on his heel. He felt no desire to stay there longer than necessary. The quicker he could get away from Voldemort’s red glare, the better.

“And Draco,” Voldemort’s voice stopped Draco immediately in his tracks. He inhaled deeply before turning back around to see what the Dark Lord wanted.


“Alexandra is to be your first priority. Nothing bad can happen to her. Her life means more to me than you will ever know.”

“Yes sir, I understand.” Draco said, quickly leaving the room before Voldemort could say another word.
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