Draco Malfoy sat at the Slytherin table, laughing and joking with his friends- Pansy Parkinson and Blaise Zabini.

He loved coming back to Hogwarts after the holidays.

He could relax without worrying too much about displeasing his father.

For Draco, Hogwarts was the only place he felt safe and happy.

Dumbledore stood up and the hall immediately fell silent. Draco looked up expectantly,

"Welcome to another year at Hogwarts! As usual, there are a few start of term announcements before we begin our excellent feats. Firstly, the dark forest is strictly out of bounds to all students. Particularly after dark. Also, magic is not allowed in the corridors and you are to return to your dormitories at nine PM."

"Yeah, but that doesn't stop us though does it?" Blaise whispered in his ear. Draco smirked. Draco loved hassling people, especially the 'Golden Trio'. It made him feel powerful and superior. Like his father. Draco knew it was wrong, but it gave him the pleasure he was denied.

"Next, I would like to introduce our new defence against the dark arts teacher, Mr. Lucius Malfoy." Draco froze, stunned, as a tall, pale man with his own white-blond hair stood up to scattered applause. Why hadn't he been told? Surely Snape would've stopped Dumbledore from appointing him?

Draco felt frightened and hurt, this was the only place he could escape from his father's punishments and now he'd be breathing done Draco's neck, watching everything he did.

Draco felt nauseous.

He felt a hand on his shoulder and he instinctively flinched,

"Draco, are you okay?" Pansy asked concerned, "You've gone white." Draco shook his head numbly. He could feel Lucius' grey eyes boring into him and he started to tremble,

"I think I'm going to be sick." He mumbled before sprinting out of the room.

Luckily he got to the common room, before vomiting violently into the waste paper basket. Draco knelt there for a few minutes, his stomach tying it's self in knots, then Pansy and Blaise came rushing in and knelt down beside him. They helped him to sit up then Pansy hugged him and rubbed his back soothingly whilst Blaise handed him a glass of water, which Draco gulped down instantly.

"He can't hit you here." Blaise said quietly, "They wouldn't allow it."

"When has that ever stopped him?" Draco asked bitterly, "It doesn't stop him from slapping me in public or when we're visiting people does it? You've seen him! You know what he's like! Besides, Dumbledore would probably approve, he obviously hates me." Pansy stopped rubbing Draco's back and looked at him, confused,

"What do you mean? Why would he hate you?"

"Because I 'bully' Perfect Potter and his side kicks who, of course, can do no wrong. Dumbledore wouldn't care if he knew."

"What about Snape then. He's always supported you." Blaise suggested, Draco looked down,

"He's already done so much for me. I don't want to bother him anymore than I have to." Pansy rolled her eyes,

"He'd want you to bother him. I saw him looking at you when they announced that Lucius would be our teacher, he looked so worried and concerned for you. He thinks of you like a son, Draco."

"I don't deserve to have him." Draco whispered, "I've never given him anything in return."

"He doesn't want anything back. He just wants to protect you."

"He's always been so kind to me, ever since I was little. He was the only person who knew who thought it was wrong. Father's friends always laughed when I was punished but he was the one who spoke out for me. He always made me potions to take away the pain after Father…" Draco choked on an unwilling sob as tears formed in his eyes. He blinked hard to try and stop them from falling, but they came strong and hard and Draco broke into sobs, "Half the time, I don't even know what I've done…" Pansy put her head on his shoulder,

"I know. It's wrong what he's doing to you, it's not your fault. You do know that, don't you?" Draco nodded,

"I used to though, until I came here. I thought it was normal, that everyone's life was the same as mine and I deserved everything I got…" Suddenly, there was a babble of noise, the entrance portrait swung open and Crabbe and Goyle walked in. Draco hurriedly wiped his face and stood up, "I'm going to bed." He muttered to Blaise and Pansy, "See you later." He turned on his heels and practically ran up the stairs.

When he was out of sight, Pansy shook her head,

"I'm really worried about him, Blaise. This year's going to be hell for him." Blaise nodded his agreement,

"We have to do something…but at least no DADA teacher we've had so far has lasted for more than a year."

"Mmm…what topics are we covering in DADA this year?" Pansy asked. Blaise checked his timetable,

"Leglimency, Boggarts and Patronuses. Not good for Draco." Pansy shook her head,

"Poor thing." She said sympathetically, "He doesn't deserve this. No one does."