The first thing you would notice about this night is probably the lightning. And that's probably what you would think was bothering the white-blond haired boy who kept tossing and turning in his sleep. Of course, that wasn't what was bothering him. It was what he saw. What he dreamt of.
Because no matter how much you hate it, your dreams haunt you, and feel real at times. And this boy's dreams were the most realistic thing. It wasn't the details, or the fact that there were corpses everywhere in it.
No, the most terrifying thing about his dream was that it had happened to him. Just a few months ago. And he wasn't the only one being haunted by these dreams.
One of the two other occupants in the house also repeatedly had these dreams, except she didn't see them to this intensity. She only imagined losing two people, whereas the white-blond haired boy imagined losing everyone. Whether he liked them or not, he still couldn't bear the thought of losing them.
This boy's name was Draco Malfoy.
At 10:30 the next morning, Draco Malfoy was found to be using his wand to pack everything into a trunk, trying to get ready, and eat his breakfast, while staying quiet, so his parents wouldn't wake up. His father had been extremely messed up since his family was deshamed, and he would kill Draco if he found out what Draco was doing.
But the last person on earth who cared? Draco Malfoy.
When everything was packed, and his breakfast slowly digesting, he grabbed his trunk and apparated to Platform Nine and Three Quarters. Draco Malfoy was, technically, going to Hogwarts for his eighth year. But so were all of his other classmates. He could easily guess who the Head Boy and Girl were: Ernie McMillan and Hermione Granger. And so, his guess was confirmed as he entered the prefect compartment on the Hogwarts Express.
It wasn't cheers that welcomed Draco, well save for Draco's ex-girlfriend, Pansy Parkinson's. It wasn't booing either, so Draco could relax. The only one who shot glares at him was another "8th" year by the name of Ron Weasley. After a few minutes, Hermione Granger spoke.
"It's good to see you guys. Now, Professor McGonagall said that she wanted to give some specific instructions to you guys. So, what's happening is that people are in the same years they were supposed to be in last year. Except last years' first years are gonna get re-sorted and repeat their first years. The Ministry and Professor McGonagall debated it and decided it was for the best. They also accepted the students who are supposed to be first years. So, the first years are gonna be the largest numbers. It's gonna take a little adjusting, but she's hoping it'll work out in a while. And we're technically 7th years. Any questions?"
"Yeah." Everyone turned to the Slytherin prefect, stunned to know he actually was curious. Hermione nodded at him, so Draco spoke. "Are there any students who didn't come for their 7th year?"
"There are a lot. And they're, well, dead." Silence met this statement, and no one needed to clarify where they had died. They knew, because they had seen them die. Not every single one, but they has been there, clinging to their own lives. It'd be a surprise if even one of them couldn't see thestrals.
"We should start patrolling the carriages," Hermione's voice said, breaking everyone out of their thoughts. She quickly gave them all shifts, and they all went their own ways. Draco Malfoy went from one end of the train to another, patrolling it while looking for the one person he needed to apologize to.
When Draco Malfoy did find him, the boy wasn't happy to see him, but he didn't put on the same look of loathing as he had for the last eight years.
"Malfoy," he said neutrally.
"Well," Draco said in a carefully controlled and calm tone. It didn't matter what he had done these past eight years. It only mattered if he just changed, even if it was a little late. "My name is Draco, not Malfoy."
The wizarding world's biggest hero at the moment looked stunned, as did his companions. There were six of them in this one compartment, with Draco standing in the doorway, doing the one thing he knew he had to do, simply because he could and should.
Naturally, the blonde-haired girl recovered herself.
"Hi Draco. How was your summer?" Even though his expression didn't change, Draco felt a surge of pleasure towards Luna Lovegood for helping him out.
"It was good...... in a way. I kept thinking of something I had to do, something I should've done years and years ago." And with that, Draco Malfoy turned to the other people in the compartment, ready to say what he'd been bursting to for the past two months.
He didn't get the chance to, though. He had barely opened his mouth when the ginger-haired boy said, with venom in his voice, "Get out."
Draco gave Harry Potter, Ginny Weasley, Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, and Ron Weasley one last look before turning back around and walking out. It didn't matter if he wanted to apologize. He wasn't going to force them to listen to his apology.
He would wait for when they were ready to hear it. But that certainly wasn't now.