And here comes the first chapter of Book 2. There will be no regular poetry in this Book, as I've been having a hard time finding any that fits the situation, but there will, sporadically, be poetry at the start of a chapter. And from the looks of it, I might put in a song lyric somewhere down the line, but don't worry, it won't turn into a song-fic, no matter what happens.

Disclaimer; I do not own any of the characters or locations described in this story. They belong to JK Rowling and Warner Bros.


Sunlight filtered in through the window, and it would have woken me up had I been asleep. I wasn't; it had been over 48 hours since I last slept, and it did not look like I would sleep anytime in the closest future. Loss of a family member is a good reason for insomnia. It tends not to go away, and keeps bothering you for years on end. Of course, I had yet to investigate that, but seeing the effects it had had on me only the last two days, I was sure it was true.

Mother, Marise and I were temporarily housed in the village near our house, with what little of our possessions had been saved from the fire. Miraculously enough, my Defence textbook was unharmed, but for some soot stains on the cover and a completely ruined last page. The managed to save a few articles of clothing and among those my father's favourite shirt in a green and silver pattern, which I now kept under my pillow at all times. It was strange to think that our home was gone. Where it had stood, only smoking ruins remained. Smoking ruins that had become my father's final resting place; they had not even been able to find his bones afterwards.

It was funny, really, that a man such as my father would end his life so young, and in such a way. It was not often that wizard houses burned down, as there were many ways to put the fire out by magic, but my father and my mother had both been asleep, my father at his desk on the top floor, and my mother in her bed on the ground floor, when the fire started, and while my mother could get out, it was too late to stop the fire. They did not yet know what had caused the house to burst into flames, but my initial suspicion of Death Eaters was crushed when I realised there had been no Dark Mark in the air above the flaming ruins. And Death Eaters, being who they were, would not burn down a house without letting everyone know it was they who did it.

I walked quietly across the floor towards my trunk, dodging the bed where both my mother and my sister were sleeping. Due to the shortage of rooms, we were all sharing one bedroom, causing late night studying to be impossible. Neither of them slept much anymore though; thoughts of father were haunting them just as much as they were haunting me. I spent the first night after the fire just staring out at nothing, hugging my sister as she cried and trying not to think at all. My mother had been sobbing almost non- stop, worrying about us, about herself, and mourning father like I thought she never would.

The agony I felt that night have not faded in the least, and I don't think it ever will. Maybe I'll learn to live with it. Maybe I won't; whatever happens, I will never forget. Seeing my house in flames is an image that has been burned into the back of my eyelids for all time.


And so came the morning when I had to go to King's Cross once more, and head off to begin my sixth year at Hogwarts. My mother came with me to the platform, although she merely gave me a hug and left, not wanting to leave Marise alone for too long. I couldn't blame her; I wouldn't want to be away from my child for too long either, and it was nice of her to come with me to the platform, even though I'm not her favourite child by far. I'm the complete opposite; I turned out just the way she did not want. I'm too much of a loner for her to approve of me, so it must have taken a lot of her to go with me to King's Cross.

There seemed to be so much more children at platform 9 ¾ this year; I must have stumbled into at least seven first years before I even reached the train. I climbed into the train, dragging my hopelessly light trunk behind me, looking for the part of the train where the Slytherins sat. Houses tend to gather together, even on the train; Ravenclaws right at the front, Slytherins just after them, then Hufflepuffs, and lastly Gryffindors at the very back of the train, which is no more than they deserve. Soon-to-be first years tend to scatter along the train, almost always ending up close to their future Housemates. It's some uncanny knack all of them have. I know I had it in my first year.

I found an empty compartment and settled down to wait. I had no idea where Draco and the girls were; normally, we meet up at the platform and go looking for a compartment together, which Draco then leaves after about half the ride to go and bother Potter. This time, however, I had not even thought about it. I knew my mother had written some letter to someone the day after the fire, but I don't know to whom it was addressed, so I didn't know whether Draco and the others were informed of my loss. Of course, it could have been a letter to Dumbledore, which would make sense.

I pulled out my tattered Defence book from my trunk, and flipped through the damaged pages, looking for something to distract me. I found the page I had left off on, about Blinding Curses, and began to read. Even though it was only September 1st, I wrapped my arms around myself to keep warm, pulling the shirt a bit farther up over my shoulders. I'd brought my father's green and silver shirt with me, and even though my father was broader over the shoulders than I was, and the shirt was too big for me, I was wearing it as much as I could. It made me look even more skeleton-like than I normally did, but I refused to let go of it. A security blanket, if you will.

"...Blinding Curse...Invented in 1236, by Corlath the Thoughtful..." I mumbled as I read.

"Blaise?" Millicent stuck her head in through the door, looking surprised, "Where have you been? We've been looking for you all over."

I looked up at her, startled at her appearance, and had to bite back tears once more. She stepped into the compartment, Pansy right behind her, looking immensely worried at my lack of reply. I slammed my book close, and opened my mouth, trying to find the words to say, but falling much too short. Millicent sat down next to me, raising her eyebrows, and Pansy sat across from me.

"What's wrong, Blaise?" Pansy asked, "You look like you've lost the world."

Her statement fit my situation so perfectly that I could not help but chuckle. It sounded hollow, emptier than it should have been, and it must have startled Millicent and Pansy because they jumped and stared at me. I don't usually laugh at something that is not intended as a joke or a sarcastic comment, so I assume it must have been strange.

"If I've lost the world?" I asked, "You can bet I have. I guess mother didn't write you then?"

"No," Millicent shook her head, "She didn't. About what?"

"Two days ago, our house was burned to the ground," I informed them, "My father is dead."

Plain, simple words, but it was the only way I could think of phrasing it. It was the exact events, and the exact outcome, and I saw no reason to twist it around. What surprised me, however, was when Millicent closed the distance between the two of us and hugged me. Not thinking properly, I hugged her back, letting my book slide into the seat beside me. I could feel Pansy's hand on my shoulder, comforting me along with Millicent. I refused to cry in front of my friends, not wanting to appear weak, and just sat through it silently.

"I'm so sorry, Blaise," Pansy whispered as they let go of me, "I had no idea."

"No one else had either," I shrugged it off; "I'll deal with it."

"We'll be here," Millicent promised me sincerely, "You can wake me up in the middle of the night if you have to."

"You forget one thing, Millie," A voice from the doorway said, "He won't be able to as the stairs to the girl's dormitories won't let him in."

My head snapped around, and I met the eyes of the infamous Draco Malfoy standing in the doorway. He had a small smile on his face, though it was not a particularly happy one, and he stepped into the compartment, dragging his trunk behind him. He didn't have Crabbe or Goyle with him though, which was odd. They followed him everywhere.

"Of course," Draco continued, "I'm sleeping in the same dormitory, so you're welcome to wake me up. I'm sorry; I know what it feels like, almost."

It took me a moment to understand what he meant, but then it hit me; Lucius going to Azkaban must have been almost like losing a father. While I could not imagine truly ever liking Malfoy Senior, I could very well imagine Draco missing him like hell. I know I love my mother, even though she's immensely annoying and not a little condescending at times, and I wouldn't want her to go to Azkaban, not for all the money in the world.

"Yeah, well," I shrugged again, awkwardly, "I'll live. I'll have to."


The door to the restroom slammed closed behind me, the sound echoing in my head. I sighed and rested my head against the door, wishing not for the first time that no one had stopped me when I tried to run into the fire. No matter how supportive my friends were, at the moment, my life was hell. My throat hurt as I tried not to cry, and after swallowing multiple times, I actually succeeded in standing without support.

Due to age and wear, the mirror in the restroom was dented and silent, unlike normal magical mirrors that talked all the time and never said anything useful. What they were good at, though, was reflecting you exact appearance. If you looked ugly, you no doubt were ugly too. I stared into it, noting of course, my in-born ugliness, but also the dark rings beneath my eyes and the way my cheekbones stood out. Since I had missed dinner the day I returned home, and only eaten a sandwich, and my breakfast the next day had been a cup of coffee, I had not eaten much at home, and the last two days, well, I hadn't been hungry, and there had been no time to eat.

Sighing heavily, I began to remove my clothes; as it was about fifteen minutes left till we reached Hogwarts, I needed to change into my robes. As I slid my father's shirt off of my shoulder's I stopped for a moment, staring at it. After wearing it constantly for two days, it felt strange taking it off. After buttoning up my shirt and pulling on my jumper, I looked at it for a moment, before grabbing it and putting it on as well. I slipped my robes on over it, and watched the result in the mirror. Somehow, it felt..right. I might be breaking the dress code, but I couldn't not wear it.

I fumbled a bit with my tie, before finally managing to get it tied correctly, and surveyed my handiwork in the mirror. The green and silver shirt stood out against the stark black and grey of my school uniform, and it was still old and raggedy, with some soot stains on it, but I didn't care; it had belonged to my father, and now it was mine, and I would like to see the teacher who could take it away from me. I did not earn my O's for nothing.

I turned and pushed the door open, ready to head back to my friends. However, my first step outside the restroom door had me running head first into Weasley. I hadn't intended to, and had no idea he was standing just outside the door, and therefore had a hard time slowing down properly. I bashed into him and nearly got knocked to the floor when he shoved me away. I stumbled back and hit the wall, disoriented by both the sudden collision and the immediate consequence, and stared at him in confusion.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" He growled at me, eyes flashing.

"I'm sorry," I apologised, still a bit dizzy, "I didn't see you standing there. I was just leaving the restroom."

He growled something more, looking angrier than I had seen him in a long time, and without warning, he lunged at me, fists flying, and managed to hit me across the face before I had time to put my hands up in defence. I saw stars for a moment, but then everything cleared and I ducked the next blow, wondering what the hell had come over the psychotic Gryffindor, and doubled down towards our compartment, not wanting to face the wrath of Weasley once again.

Fortunately, I managed to reach the compartment before Weasley caught up with me, if he even tried. I halted just outside, and put a hand to my cheekbone, where the blow had landed. Already, I could feel the bruise forming. What the hell had made Weasley jump at me like that? I'd apologised, for crying out loud! I pushed the compartment door open, still grimacing slightly, and stepped inside.

"Hey!" Millicent nearly knocked me over the head with her shoe, "Knock first, will you? We could have been changing clothes in here you know!"

"Sorry," I apologised, "Draco?"

"Yeah?" Draco looked up from his book, "What is it?"

"Did you go and bother Potter earlier?" An explanation for Weasley's odd behaviour had begun to form in my mind.

"Yeah," A grin appeared on Draco's face, "He had his knickers in a twist when I left. Why do you ask?"

"Because Weasley just slapped the hell out of me for no reason," I said, turning my head, "And why are you in here if Pansy and Millie ´might still be changing´?"

"I have my ways," The grin on his face was by now positively glowing.

I snorted but sat down on the seat, picking up my discarded Defence book and resuming my reading about the Blinding Curse. In my opinion, reading about something that interested me was far more important than bothering with the idiotic lesser beings of this world. Gryffindors and their psychotic tendencies could all go to hell in a gilded carriage for all I cared. The train chugged along, the sound lulling me into a trance-like state, almost sleeping, but not quite, since I was aware of everything around me, and it did nothing to help my fatigue.


Where did all these pesky little creatures come from? They're everywhere, running around, talking incessantly and sometimes even screaming at the top of their voices. Their clumsiness and habit of running straight into me, intent on knocking me over and trampling me was soon making me wish I had stayed on the train, playing cards until the end of time. At least then there wouldn't have been any loud, plaguing, midgets running around.

I am speaking, of course, about first years.

It's funny; they never seemed to be this annoying in my previous years. But then I had not recently lost my father and gotten punched by Weasley, all within the same 72 hours. Things like that do tend to ruin my mood. Of course, one would have to be a plaguing midget not to let something like that bother one. I dodged a particularly annoying one and headed for the waiting carriages.

I climbed inside, and sat down on one of the, in my opinion, uncomfortable seats, and waited for my friends to join me. Through the smallish window, I could see the students milling about, looking for empty carriages, but I turned my attention to the Thestrals. They really were nightmarish creatures. They must have been created magically, because nature, while strange, only created creatures within the boundaries of reason. A skeletal horse with dragon wings, that never fed except when given carcasses, and that could only be seen by those who had seen someone die was definitely not within the boundaries of reason.

"Blaise? You in there?" Millicent called.

"Yes." I answered, not turning my head, "Where are the others?"

"Just here." She said, climbing inside, "Hopefully the ride to Hogwarts will be quick; I'm starving."

My stomach growled, but I ignored it. I wasn't hungry; even though my stomach was telling me otherwise. Pansy and Draco climbed inside, and closed the door behind them, and the carriage began to roll off towards Hogwarts. Draco pulled out a deck of cards and began to deal them out, in hope of finishing at least one game before reaching the castle. I didn't join in, but watched them instead from over the top of my Defence book.

"I've got a pair," Pansy informed the world at large, "over ten."

"So have I." Draco replied, "I've got kings, you?"

"Aces," Pansy grinned.

"Damn!" Draco exclaimed, "But I'll win, I swear I will."

I couldn't keep back a grin and shook my head at their antics. Draco always took games such as this one so seriously. It was the same with Quidditch; the hours before a game he had this fanatical look on his face, this glow in his eyes, and you know he'll fight as if the demons of hell were snapping at his heels when he's out there. He won't let Potter get the Snitch, not on the pain of death. The nights after Slytherin loses to Gryffindor are the nights when it is impossible to speak to him; he'll sit in front of the fire and just glare at it for hours, hating himself.

Because he knows he can do better. He can beat both Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws Seekers without a fight; he is good, no matter what Potter might believe. He can fly better than anyone on the Slytherin team. I'm better than he his, if only because I just fly, and don't play Quidditch, but he's good. But Potter is always better. No matter what happens, Potter will always be one step ahead of Draco, unless Draco gets his act together and Seeks during the games instead of taunting Potter. This year, if I have time to, I'm going to make sure Slytherin wins the Quidditch Cup, instead of coming in a measly second.

I took out my quill, and stole a piece of parchment from Millicent's trunk, and began to write a list of what I should accomplish this year. Number one; make sure Slytherin wins the Quidditch Cup, two; pass Defence with highest possible grade, three; decide what I want to do in the future, (something I'd missed out on in fifth year), four; make sure Slytherin wins the House Cup. I ran out of things to do about there, but vowed I would do all of them before the end of sixth year. It was going to keep me occupied. Next year, I might make up another list, or I might even add things to my list this year. Everything to keep me from thinking about more personal occurrences.

Of course, knowing what five years as a Hogwarts residence during the time of Potter had taught me, there would be some disturbance this year, and it would likely result in us not having to do our exams, and the school would most probably be blown up or something. And if not that, then there would be some horrible attacks on Potter and the whole school would be force to sit through some "we-should-all-pity-Potter" speech from Dumbeldore. Hopefully, this time it would be something fun for a change. Something that would result in an amusing illness or something equally laughable.

The carriage came to a stop in front of the castle, and we got out. I was once more amazed at the sheer mass of students that were attending Hogwarts this year. I always though parents would keep their children away from Hogwarts after the Ministry announced that Voldemort was back. It would have made more sense. But, of course, since the Daily Prophet and the Ministry had been lying to them for so long, they might well assume that they were doing so now as well. I noticed Potter having a strange expression on his face; he looked almost as if he had seen a ghost. Well, what did I know; he might even have seen one. It wasn't impossible, since Hogwarts is teeming with ghost, even though few of them choose to go outside the castle walls. The only one who does is Moaning Myrtle, and that's not by choice.

I shook off my rambling thoughts, and turned my attention towards the great castle behind me. It looked the same as it always did; overly large, almost looming, and not a little intimidating. Shuddering, I remembered the million tiny things I had learned over the years about the place. How chilly the dungeon floors would be in the mornings, for example, and how perfectly peaceful the Astronomy Tower was at night, when we were all filling in our star-charts. Another year had arrived, and I would no doubt leave with even more tiny details committed to my memory for all time. I knew for sure that I would never forget the feeling of bare feet on a chilly stone floor in the mornings, and nor would I forget how good those cold stone floors felt in the oppressing heat of summer days.


Ending Notes; Ah, the Return to Hogwarts. Watch as Blaise rambles even more.