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If You've Fallen in a Forest

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Hogwarts never felt like home to me. While I had my friends and my classes, even when I was at the top, I still felt like someone staring in. Towards the end at least, I didn’t care. But still. Hogwarts wasn’t home. To be honest I didn’t really know what home was at this point any more. During the war, with the Dark Lord staying in my home, the manor, was no longer home. I could still feel the Lord’s magic creeping in every room and hallway. It was suffocating and just made me regret everything a little more.


Not just the house though. It feels much more empty. My mother still walks its halls, but my father is still locked away. I have… Complicated feelings at the very least about my father. While I really did love and care for my father, I also despised him. I despised his choices. I despised how it was Father that landed the family where they are now. But. No matter…
I continue on my path and step onto the train. Hopefully, at the very least this year will be quick. I had been invited for an ‘8th year.’ It was meant to be a repeat of the 7th year. For those who didn’t complete it.


“Draco, darling. We found a compartment,” Pansy smiles. She was at the very least dependable. I won’t be alone at the very least.


I allow myself to be pulled into the compartment. Pansy was comfort. Blaise, who had also been pulled into the compartment, was also comfort. They helped through all of the most difficult times I had to face. I sit down, leaning onto Blaise, and Pansy sits across from us.


“Do you know of any others from our year coming?” I ask. I don’t really care for those outside our house.


“Theo went to France I know, and Greg already got a job. He said he couldn’t come back. Not after Vince…” Pansy looks out the window at the station. Students alike are wandering around outside, waving goodbye to their family, and getting onto the train.


“Can you really blame him though? I wouldn’t be here unless you and Draco were here,” I continue staring out the window. 

 

“Well no. I don’t really blame him at all. He’s at least kept in contact,”

 

They continue speaking, and the train starts, towards Hogwarts.

 

~~~~

 

Professor McGonagall had found her element at the very least. She was great at giving speeches, and she demanded all the attention she deserved. Thankfully, she wasn’t that fool Dumbledore.


“And lastly, to those who have returned to repeat their seventh year, I welcome you all back. We will speak more after the feast. Now, please tuck in, and once again welcome to Hogwarts,” She was eloquent as ever, and at least didn’t seem too different.

 

Though, I knew better. The war changed everyone. I’m sure that she could see the ghosts of all her students who perished, and all that were lost. I knew that I could at the very least. It makes me sick. I survived, when so many didn’t. I continue to pick at my food, avoiding the stares of everyone else. The Golden Boy and all his friends returned. A few others returned, but it was mostly Gryffindors.


“Draco, love, you need to eat a bit more than just picking at it,” Pansy smiles and runs her hands across my shoulders. She’s trying at the very least, to keep me comfortable. 

 

“I know, I’m just… not hungry…” I continue to poke out my food with a grimace. 

 

“She’s right you know. You’ll have to keep our strength up to survive this year at least,”

 

“Blaise! That isn’t helpful!” Blaise laughs slightly.

 

“If I was here to be helpful, I wouldn’t be here,” 

 

They continue arguing, at least some things never change. I finally look up from my food and lock eyes with Potter. His face scrunches up and he sharply turns away with a glare. At least some things never change.