Chapter 1 : Chapter 1
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I had been waiting on platform 9 ¾ for five minutes and already I wanted nothing more than to leave it.
I could practically taste the fear spreading across the crowd, that seemed sparser then it had been the previous year. The Wizarding World hadn’t felt this kind of terror in years and everyone was in a panic. It was eerily quieter than normal, people choosing instead to speak in hushed voices, as though scared that they would be over heard.
Many people looked my way as I stood alone, my trunk lying by my feet and my owl perched on top of it in his cage. They all seemed to be avoiding where I stood, through fear that I would attack them, little did they know that I was against everything that they were, not all Slytherins followed the orders of You-Know-Who. I gave a sigh as I looked around for my best friend Blaise Zabini, wanting to get away from the reproachful eyes of those around me.
He arrived ten minutes later, dragging his trunk behind him as he walked towards me. He was easy to spot in the small crowds of people as he was taller than most of them, I felt relief flood through me as I grabbed my trunk and owl cage and walked over to meet him.
“Sorry, I’m late,” Blaise Zabini stated with a shake of his head, as we both made our way over to the train. People were moving quickly out of our way as though we had something contagious, shooting us glares as we passed, I tried my best to ignore them. We left our trunks and my owl’s cage with the man who put everything onto the train, before we ourselves jumped on board. I was thankful to be away from the atmosphere outside, not that it was much better inside, at least here people hid inside their compartments.
“For some reason mother seemed to think that I wouldn’t want to come back for my final year at Hogwarts.” Blaise told me as we slowly began making our way down the train, we could hear the whistle sounding and the train began to move slowly. “She seems to think that something bad is going to happen.”
“It wouldn’t surprise me,” I told him honestly.
“Has your dad hinted at anything being planned for Hogwarts, Theo?” Blaise asked me, I stopped walking to turn and face him. A few people passed us in the corridor, careful to avoid eye contact with us as though we were likely to hex them; it took a great effort to not roll my eyes at them.
“I’ve barely seen him in days,” I told Blaise honestly. “I’ve basically been alone in the house with the House-elf, although my Aunt has come over a few times to try and get me to join ‘The dark lord’.”
“Why didn’t you tell me to come over?”
“Because your mother took you to see your family, there’s no point bringing your mood down as well.” I told him honestly with a shrug. “I like being alone anyway.”
“What did you tell your Aunt?” Blaise asked me, “Something tells me that she was being very persistent.”
“I kept telling her to leave my house if she was going to keep talking to me like that.”
“I bet she didn’t like that,” Blaise said with a laugh.
I gave another shrug. “She kept coming back, sometimes she brought me food. So she apparently thought that I was going to come around eventually.”
“Are you still never going to join?” Blaise asked me seriously.
“I never want to; I don’t want to be a part of that.” I told him, we both had the same belief when it came to the Death Eaters and everything that they stood for, neither of us ever wanting to get involved in that kind of darkness.
“So, where was your dad?” Blaise asked me as we began our slow walk further up the corridor.
“Who even knows? He didn’t even come back to see me onto the train, I had to apparate myself here. I think he’s doing something on his master’s orders.”
“I’m so glad that my mother cares too much about me being hurt, to try and pressure me into joining.” Blaise told me.
“God, forbid that anything happens to her little, Blaisey,” I said with a laugh, Blaise shoved me in the shoulder but a smirk crossed his face.
I could hear Pansy Parkinson’s loud laugh as Blaise and I walked towards the compartment door that the Slytherins tended to occupy on the train. A laugh so shrill, it had a tendency to make your teeth stand on edge.
Blaise turned to look at me and his lip turned up in a sneer, he and Pansy had once dated and Blaise stated quite regularly that it was the worst mistake he has ever made, something which I agreed with. They hadn’t really been the same around each other, but still we sat with the other Slytherins in our year, it was something we had been doing since our second year.
I opened the door just as Pansy told the others in the compartment with her, “apparently Weasley has Spatergoit. I don’t know how they would be able to tell though; he’s ugly enough that those spots won’t make any difference at all.”
She turned to face us as Blaise opened the door and we took a step inside the room. Vincent and Gregory were already seated in here, as well as Draco Malfoy.
“What a pleasant surprise to see you.” Pansy added sweetly, she seemed to be ignoring Blaise’s presence. I turned my attention from Malfoy to her, a scoff escaping my lips at her words; she gave me a smirk as she looked back over at Malfoy.
Blaise rolled his eyes next to me, leaning against the doorframe and looking in at the room. He knew that now Malfoy was in here I wouldn’t be sitting down; it was a well known fact in Slytherin house that Malfoy and I didn’t really get along with each other.
“Do you actually think that they’ll let you back inside the school?” I growled, looking over at Malfoy. His eyes flickered to me and he seemed to wish he wasn’t there; his usual regal demeanour seemed to have been stamped out of him and had left this almost shell of a person. I refused to feel sorry for him.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Pansy snapped at me, I ignored her as I stared down at Malfoy.
“You may not have actually killed Dumbledore yourself, but you may as well have. We all know that you were involved; there are many at Hogwarts that hate you for it. I for one think that you’ve made the stupidest mistake you could ever make by coming back.”
“Why are you defending, Dumbledore? You should be happy that he’s gone, stupid mudblood lover.” Pansy hissed at me, a glare on her face.
“Do you not know what’s going to be happening if the Death Eaters take over more than the newspapers and the Ministry of Magic?” I asked her, turning to face her with a raised eyebrow.
Blaise was quiet next to me; I didn’t mind, he was more of an observer then a talker.
“We’re purebloods, we’re safe.” Pansy said dismissively, I gave another scoff in response.
“Don’t think for one second that you’re safe. The entire wizarding world is being taken over by the Death Eaters.” I growled at her, crossing my arms over my chest. How could people be so narrow minded and in such a state of denial that they think that the Death Eaters will stop at just targeting half bloods and those that apparently don’t have enough magical blood in them.
“That’s a good thing,” Pansy told me with a small shrug, a sneer across her face as she pushed her long black hair back with her hand. I gave a small snort of derision before I leant forwards and
“I don’t think that you’re getting it into your head. If the Death Eaters start to take over Hogwarts than, You-Know-Who will soon be following them there.”
Malfoy’s face seemed to pale more at the mention of his master, a frightened look crossing his face.
“You may not get it, as your pretty little head has been protected by daddy all these years, but have a good long chat with your precious Draco here and find out exactly what it’s like to be controlled by him. If he does take over the school than even the Slytherins aren’t safe from him; we’re not much better protected then any of the other houses. How long do you think it’ll be before they start coming after us purebloods? How long do you think it will be until they go back the hundreds of generations of our families and find a muggle born somewhere, and then prosecute you for it.”
“That’s ridiculous; they can’t attack us because of who our families were.”
“Precisely, and that is exactly what the Death eaters are doing now to everyone else. Open your bloody eyes, Parkinson.”
Pansy just glared at me, before shaking her head.
The room was silent; Vincent and Gregory were looking at me with their fists clenched. I knew that they wouldn’t touch me. They wouldn’t dare.
“Hey, don’t take this the wrong way, but don’t bother talking to me at school, okay?” I stated, “Actually, do take it the wrong way. You shouldn’t have even come back onto the train, you should have stayed away.”
“Theodore.” Pansy cried, outraged that I dared to talk to Malfoy like that. He meanwhile just stared at me, not saying a word to argue back, or even attempting to try and defend himself.
“How can you accept him back, like nothing has happened?” I asked Pansy, Vincent and Gregory. Turning to look at them as I spoke, Gregory gave me a shrug in response as Pansy glared at me.
“Because we’re his friends,” Vincent told me simply, his tone implying that that was the end of the conversation and he didn’t need to explain himself anymore.
“Don’t be surprised if he drags you down with him.” I seethed, warning them as I pointed over at Malfoy. I shook my head at the sorry excuse for a boy in front of me, before I left the compartment angrily, I didn’t want to deal with him anymore. I could hear footsteps rushing after me and knew that Blaise was following me.
“What’s got your wand in a twist?” Blaise asked me, grabbing my arm to stop me.
“Malfoy has. He thinks that he can just come back to school like nothing happened before the summer.” I told him, I wished so much that I could go back and give Malfoy a real piece of my mind but I was restraining myself.
I heard a noise come from beside me and I turned to face it. I saw Neville Longbottom, a Gryffindor seventh year, standing at the now open compartment door that Blaise had stopped me in front of.
I looked at him for a moment, seeing his eyebrows furrowed at me. He must have heard me mention Malfoy’s name and came out to find out more. I admired the courage of him standing there and listening to our conversation. I turned back to Blaise, choosing to ignore Neville’s presence and slight shocked face at the fact that Malfoy was back at the school. Everyone by now knew that Snape and Malfoy were on the Astronomy Tower with Harry, the night that Dumbledore had died.
“He may not have personally done the deed, but he may as well have. I can’t stand to be around him, Blaise.” I told Blaise, making sure that I spoke loud enough that Neville would catch the words, not that he would miss them, I could tell that he was listening intently. I didn’t want anyone thinking that I was agreeing with Malfoy’s behaviour at all. I was so annoyed at my fellow Slytherins for just accepting Malfoy back. Did they not care how much he had screwed things up? That he was one of the reasons that Dumbledore was no longer here to protect them all.
I turned away from Blaise and continued walking down the corridor, feeling Neville’s eyes follow me as I made my way through the empty carriageway of the train; most people had been sticking to their own compartments and not wanting to venture outside of them.
Blaise was calling for me to stop, but I was ignoring him. I wanted to keep walking and put as much distance as I could between me and the coward in the compartment that my fellow Slytherin seventh years were occupying.
Or I would have, if the train didn’t decide to come to a sudden halt, causing me to lose my footing and fall forwards. I reached out blindly and managed to grab hold of the handle of a compartment door, grazing my arm as I tried to stop myself from falling.
“What on earth just happened?” I asked loudly, straightening myself up and looking down at my stinging arm to see the damage done. It was nothing too serious, but I knew that it might become a bruise later on.
I turned back to look at Blaise, who was beginning to stand up, it seemed that he had been unable to stop himself from falling to the floor. Why the hell did the train just stop like that? We weren’t at Hogwarts yet, we were hardly near it, so what could be the reason behind the train stopping?
“God knows,” Blaise hissed, dusting himself down. I saw that other students were beginning to venture out of their compartments and look around questioningly, fear across their faces as they looked around. I opened the compartment door I had used to stop myself from falling earlier and opened it, I was thankful that it was empty.
I walked over to the window and attempted to look out of it, but due to the glare of the sun I was unable to see anything. Blaise joined me a few moments later and squinted out of the window. I tried holding my hands up to around my eyes, but I was still unable to see anything.
“I can’t see anything out there,” Blaise said. I let out a sigh before turning around to see if I could tell what was going on outside the compartment door, but a figure appeared soundlessly blocking my way and startling me. I reached for my wand that I was keeping in my pocket quickly, my hand gripped it tightly and a scowl filled my face as I realised who the hooded man staring at me and Blaise menacingly, was.
The Death Eaters had stopped and boarded the train, I could hear them going through the compartments down the corridor, judging by the screams and yells of fear I could hear.
“Theodore,” The man stated, his eyes searching the carriage for signs of someone that clearly wasn’t there. Blaise turned around and jumped wildly as he realised that we weren’t alone in the compartment.
“To what do I owe this pleasure, father?” I asked slowly, still keeping a hold of my wand. This was the reason that he didn’t take me to the platform this morning. Not that I cared, I had been doing things for myself for a long time now, a few more days without him around made no difference to me.
“Master, wants us to look for, Potter.” My father told me, glancing at Blaise who was standing next to me, before turning back to look at me, he noticed that my hand was in my pocket.
“If you think he’ll be going back to Hogwarts then you’re stupid.” I told him with an eyebrow raised; I resisted the urge to sneer at him.
A dark look crossed my father’s face before he spoke, “Just a precaution, son. Masters orders so they need to be obeyed.”
“What will you do when you can’t find him?” I asked him, curious. I didn’t want the Death Eaters to go to the school, I wanted them to leave the train, and I wanted them gone.
“We’ll be keeping watch for him.”
I glanced at Blaise, who was frowning. He was just as worried about the Death Eaters taking over the school as I was, we both knew what that would mean if they took over. The one place that everyone thought was safe wouldn’t be.
“Are the Death Eaters going to be keeping watch at Hogwarts?” Blaise asked my father, the anger falling slightly from his face as he thought about what that would mean for the student’s that went there.
My dad just gave a dark smile before backing out of the carriage and looking at me. “I’ll see you at Hogwarts, son.”
I could hear his laughter trailing down the corridor as he walked away, an icy cold sense of dread filled me.