A few days later the school assembled for the funeral of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. It seemed as though half of the wizarding community of Great Britain came as well, along with many foreign wizards and witches.
After Dumbledore had fallen, Sofia had lost her mind. Every moment of that night afterwards was a blur. She remembered standing with the rest of her classmates as they gathered around the body of their fallen headmaster. She remembered crying, as Luke held her and tried to console her. She remembered screaming out for her parents, for her brothers, for Draco. Yet none of them had come. She remembered the darkness that hung over the school, the pain and heartbreak etched on the faces and in the voices of everyone around her. She remembered the tears, the screaming, the utter shock and dismay. She remembered the heartbreaking cry of a Phoenix that rang out across the grounds throughout the night, rattling the hearts of every soul who heard it.
Now, hundreds of chairs had been set out by the lake, and people began to fill them. Sofia sat at the back by herself, away from the crowd where she could be alone.
She had failed. She had failed to protect the people she cared about. Numerous people had been killed in the battle that night, and the most powerful of all had been killed. Snape's true loyalties had come to light and he had left a path of death and destruction behind him. Worst of all was the situation with Draco. He had disappeared that night. She had not heard a word about him since. Perhaps her parents had sent news of him in their numerous letters that lay unopened on her bed.
She did not wish to hear from her parents. She knew what they would say. Be strong, have faith in your abilities, and that everything is going to be okay. But how could she be strong when everything was crumbling around her? How could she have faith in a world where the innocent were helpless and unable to defend themselves? What good was having all this power when she could not even use it as she wanted?
Sofia looked out over the lake. Merpeople were hovering just below the surface. They began to sing a mournful song in their own language that gripped at the hearts of the bystanders. Centaurs stood on the far shore, not daring to move out of the tree lines, but wishing to show their respect.
Hagrid came down the center isle, carrying the body of Dumbledore in his arms. Sofia could not bear to look. She could not bear to sit there in solitude, surrounded by so much pain and anguish. She stood up from her seat and began to run towards the forest. She reached the edge and fell to the ground. She heard something crashing through the leaves and looked up as and enormous black bear walked towards her. It bowed it's head as it passed her, it's eyes filled with grief. It passed her and stepped out of the forest to pay it's last respects to the great Dumbledore.
Sofia knew where she needed to be right now. All the people here, they had each other. They had those around them to support each other, and comfort their aching hearts. There was one person who had no one, one person who needed her as much as she needed them.
She transformed quickly and took off through the forest. Her powerful paws propelled her faster than she had ever moved before, and she arrived at her destination in less than a minute. She transformed once more as she walked up to the door and tapped on it once lightly.
After a moment of silence, the door opened and Narcissa Malfoy peered at Sofia curiously.
"Oh, hello Sofia. Come in, dear," she stepped back and motioned for Sofia to come in.
Sofia followed the witch in wearily, suddenly wondering if this was such a good idea.
"Do not worry," Narcissa said, noticing Sofia's hesitation. "No one is here at the moment. Draco is in his room."
She motioned up the stairs. Sofia nodded and thanked her then ran up to the the room where her best friend sat alone. She tapped on the door lightly. Then she opened the door and stepped inside, closing the door behind her.
"Oh, it's you."
Draco was laying on his bed. He has sat up slightly when Sofia walked in, but now he leaned backwards and rested his head on his pillow. Sofia walked over and laid down beside him. She rested her head on his shoulder as he slipped his arm around her and pulled her close.
"I'm so sorry, Sof. I never meant for any of this to happen. I never meant to hurt you. I never meant for anyone to get hurt."
"I know, Draco, I know. It's okay. It's all over now."
"I didn't want to kill him. I didn't want him to die. I wasn't going to do it. I would have let him go, but they came to soon. If only I hadn't been so stupid."
"Shhhhh," Sofia whispered in his ear. "Don't talk, just listen. I don't blame you for what happened. You are a good person. You would have made the right choice that night. But none of that matters. It's all over. What's done is done and there is no going back. All there is left is to move forward."
The room was silent for a while, and Sofia listened to Draco's heart beating against his chest. For the first time in many months she felt as though she was right where she was supposed to be.
"Sof," Draco said after a few minutes silence, "I wish I had never shut you out."
Sofia sat up on her elbow and placed a finger to his lips.
"I said don't talk," she said softly.
She reached over to his left arm and lifted the sleeve. He reached to stop her but she pushed his hand away. She pulled the sleeve back from his forearm.
The Dark Mark glinted at Sofia, standing out against his pale skin. Sofia placed a finger against it, and traced it gently. She felt Draco sigh and relax.
"That makes it feel better," he whispered. "It normally burns when something touches it."
"That is why I am here," Sofia whispered back. "I am the ice that soothes the burn, the antidote that cures the poison. Draco I am here to heal you and protect you."
She laid back down beside him, feeling like nothing evil could ever touch her.
Sofia was invited to remain with the Malfoys for the rest of the term, which she agreed with no protest. She wrote to her parents to tell them where she would be, but said nothing else. When their reply came, it was short and understanding. The said they would see her when she returned home in a few weeks. Her trunk arrived from Hogwarts with all of her things neatly tucked inside.
She also received a letter from Luke, but she did not open it. She tucked it in her trunk, telling herself that she would read it later.
During one if the days at the Malfoy manor, she was strolling the front gardens with Draco when a dark figure came walking down the front path. Sofia felt a pit in her stomach as she realized it was Snape. She had hoped she could escape this visit without meeting any if the Death Eaters.
Draco stepped in front of Sofia protectively as Snape approached.
"Why are you here?" He growled.
"Not to see you," Snape said calmly. "I am here to speak with Miss Adema."
Draco held his position in front of Sofia, but she grabbed his left arm gently.
"It's alright, Draco."
Draco grunted and stepped out of the way. Sofia stepped towards Snape as the man turned and stalked back down the path a little ways. Sofia stayed a step behind him.
"Tell me, where do your true loyalties lie?" He asked her.
"Why does it matter?" She asked.
Snape stopped and turned to her. They glared at each other for a few moments, studying each other under equally cool stares.
"The Dark Lord does not trust you. He believes you are waiting for a chance to turn on him."
Sofia felt herself becoming angry. This man, this coward dared to question her loyalties when he was the murderer of the man who trusted him above all others.
"What about your loyalties?" Sofia demanded. "The man who saved you from Azkaban, who gave you a second chance, you killed him. You're a coward!"
Snape's nostril's flared in anger.
"How dare you call me a coward?" He reached out a hand and slapped her hard across the face. "You know nothing of the sacrifices I have made, the things that I have done."
Sofia resisted the urge to raise a hand to her face, which burned where he had struck her.
"I know you supported the man who killed the only person you've ever loved."
Snape stepped back, looking as though she had struck him. His eyes were wide, almost afraid.
"Yeah," Sofia continued. "I know about Lily Potter. Dumbledore told me."
Snape looked around the garden, then his gaze fell back on Sofia.
"You have no idea. Lily was my best friend. She was the one person who I could trust. And I, I was the one who gave the Dark Lord the information that led him to the Potter's doorstep that night. I begged my master to spare her but he would hear none of it."
Snape's head was bowed in sorrow as he continued.
"Dumbledore tried to protect her, but the Potter's were betrayed. My master destroyed my one love. The only thing left of her was her son."
"But why did you turn against her son? I know you hated James, but why turn against the only thing you had left of her? Why kill the man she trusted?"
"I had no choice!" Snape growled. "Do you think I wanted to? Do you think I wanted any part of this? I wanted out a long time ago, but the old man gave me no choice."
Sofia's eyes widened.
"Dumbledore? He asked you to kill him? So Draco would not have to?"
Snape nodded, and for the first time Sofia thought he looked weak, sad and damaged, like a single gust of wind would blow him to pieces.
"Why?" Sofia asked softly.
"He was going to die anyway. Nothing would have stopped the curse in his hand from spreading and killing him."
Sofia felt an immense growth of respect for the man she had long resented. He had put himself in unfathomable danger. If Voldemort were to find out whose side he was really on, it would surely mean his death. Yet he was loyal to the woman he loved, even if not to those she had placed her faith in. This man, cold and cruel, had given everything to save the son of a man he hated, because that boy was also the child of the woman he loved. In Sofia's eyes it was proof beyond anything else that love was stronger than any force on earth, proof that love was eternal.