"Carston Adema, it is a pleasure to meet you."
The voice Lucius Malfoy as he addressed her father made Sofia shudder.
"And this," he said holding a hand out to Sofia, "must be Sofia. Draco speaks very highly of you."
Sofia did not take his hand, but curtseyed politely. Lucius dropped his hand and turned back to Sofia's father.
"My wife and son shall be along shortly. I must say, you have a lovely home."
"Ah," Sofia's father said lightly with his thick Danish accent, "this is our summer house. We wanted a place where the children could spend their holidays away from busy cities and responsibilities."
"Surely you and your wife do not take holiday's from your work."
"No of course not! We work from the house whenever possible but we made a pact long ago that at least one of us would always be here for the kids at all times."
"What a noble pact" Lucius said. "You care very much for your children."
"Yes, it was very hard for us when Sofia went to school last year. Now Daniel is going too. Things will be much quieter with only Mathias to care for."
Sofia turned around and saw Draco and a tall blonde witch standing behind her.
Not wanting to get into a prolonged conversation with the Malfoys, excused herself from the parlor and walked outside. She heard Draco following her. On the patio, several students were gathered together in groups. Others were spread out along the beach. The sky was beginning to darken, and the silver balls that Sofia had levitated earlier were beginning to glow softly.
Natalie ran up and hugged Sofia.
"Why haven't you kept in touch?" Natalie demanded.
"I wrote" Sofia said.
"Hardly" Natalie said curtly. "You said you were having a grand summer and missed me dearly. That isn't saying anything. I want all of the details of your summer!"
Sofia looked around. Though Draco had followed her outside, he was nowhere to be found now.
"Come on," Natalie said, pulling Sofia down the stairs and onto the sand. "There's someone I want you to meet."
They wove through groups of students, many of whom now had wands out practicing magic.
"They shouldn't be doing that" Natalie said.
"Don't worry, my parents put a spell so nothing stronger than simple charms will be able to work."
Sofia was glad to see some of her Muggle-born classmates here as well, though she knew Draco would not be pleased.
Natalie stopped so suddenly that Sofia almost ran into her.
"Sofia, this is my brother's friend Luke."
The boy that Natalie motioned to was tall with dark blonde hair and brilliant blue eyes. Sofia had seen him in the hallways at Hogwarts before. He was a fourth year Ravenclaw.
"Hello" he said cheerfully.
Sofia wasn't good with people. She preferred to avoid them unless absolutely necessary. She had even boarded herself in her room earlier this evening until her mother had dragged her from the room and sealed the door so she could not go back in. She had also sealed the library, knowing that was where Sofia would go next.
"You are shy" Luke said politely.
Shrugging, Sofia replied "I don't really do well with so many people around."
"Why don't you two go take a walk or something, spend some time alone."
Sofia shot Natalie a murderous glare, but Natalie smiled and looked innocent.
"Would you like to?" Luke asked politely.
She allowed Luke to lead her back through the crowds of students. They walked towards the water and Sofia noticed that the pounding of waves had been drowned out by noise of the party.
"This is a beautiful place" Luke said, staring out over dark ocean.
"You should see it when all these people are gone. It's like no where else in the world."
Sofia saw Luke smile as the light of the silver balls illuminated his face.
He was quite handsome. His had a strong jawline and tan skin with a few dark freckles spotting his cheeks. His eyes were soft and warm, glowing brightly as he stared out over the ocean.
"Rumor has it that you don't like making new friends" Luke said jokingly.
Sofia shrugged and tried to relax, but her nerves were on edge.
"I guess that I just don't trust people."
"Why do you think that is?"
It was meant as a simple, innocent question, but it caught Sofia off guard. Though her friend often pointed out her guardedness, no one but Draco had ever questioned her on it.
"I don't know. I guess I'm just afraid that people will only want to know me because of who my family is."
Luke looked at her.
"Do you think that is why I am talking to you?"
Sofia shrugged and looked away.
"I assure you, Sofia, that is not why. Were it my choice, I would respect your wish for solitude and wait to see if you came out of your shell. But Natalie is persistent. She wanted you to have someone else to talk to besides Draco Malfoy. She does not like him."
"No Gryffindor likes him" Sofia noted.
"You do," Luke noted. "No one else knows him."
Sofia found herself liking the kind way with which Luke spoke about Draco. She liked that he gave him a chance when everyone else just shut him out.
"I hope I am not interrupting anything."
Sofia and Luke turned around. Draco was standing a few yards away in the darkness, glaring at Luke.
"Not at all," Luke said politely. "We were just talking."
"I need to talk to you" Draco said to Sofia, though he was still throwing a look of hatred towards Luke, who seemed not to notice.
"I'll leave you two alone then. I'll talk to you later Sofia."
Luke turned away and walked back up the beach towards the party. He was completely oblivious to Draco drilling holes into his back with an icy glare.
"What were you doing with him?" Draco demanded.
"Calm down. We were just talking."
"Why did you have to come down here by yourselves if you were just talking?"
Sofia felt her temper rise.
"I'm not going to justify myself to you," she snarled. "If you have nothing better to discuss than who I choose to spend town with then this conversation is over."
She glared at him, daring him to challenge her, but he gave him with a heavy sigh.
"I just came to bring you news that I thought you would find interesting."
"What is it?" Sofia snapped.
"I just heard that Potter was attacked by dementors."
Sofia's eyes widened and her heart began to beat fast. She felt blood pounding beneath the tattoo on her wrist, and knew that it was only a matter of time now before it burned, summoning her to his service.