Draco sat sullenly at the breakfast table; one hand resting against his cheek while the other viciously attacked a sausage with his fork. Aside from being pushed around his plate, Draco's breakfast remained untouched; the knot of nervousness and excitement that resided in his stomach meant there was no room for anything else. So instead of eating his food, he settled instead for merely poking it with the cutlery.

A loud sudden thump from above caused Draco to jump, his head automatically jerking upwards to inspect the ceiling. A second thump was followed by a series of smaller thuds and squeaks, suggesting that one of the house elves had just taken the quick way down the stairs, thanks to Lucius.

"Sounds like Dad's in a bad mood…" he said, betraying only the slightest hint of nervousness.

"You're father's been having a hard time at work." Narcissa said sternly, without looking up from her copy of the Daily Prophet. "And do sit up properly," she said, "You shouldn't slouch like that."

"Sorry, Mum…" muttered Draco as he sat up straight and folded his hands neatly in his lap. He stayed like that until Dobby, still limping slightly, cautiously pushed the door open and came in, buried under a stack of letters. Draco leaned forward eagerly as Dobby struggled up onto a chair so he could deposit the mail on the breakfast table.

"Post is here, Mistress." Squeaked the elf.

Narcissa nodded in acknowledgement, but still didn't look up from the newspaper. Dobby, with nothing to do, stood on the chair, nervously wringing his fingers while watching Draco flick through all the envelopes. As Draco finished reading the address on the last envelope, he subjected Dobby to a cold grey stare.

"Where's the rest of the post?" he asked.

"T-That's all there was, Master!" squeaked Dobby, cowering slightly beneath Draco's icy stare. Draco glared at the elf, until the tension was broken by a tapping on the window that was loud enough to startle Dobby, causing him to jump and end up falling backwards off the chair and onto his head.

Draco got up and went to open the window, where a large eagle owl was perched on the windowsill. Draco gently slid open the window, allowing the owl to hop into the room and drop a large envelope onto the carpet. With a gasp of delight, Draco grabbed the letter and proceeded to tear it open, ignoring the panicked squeals that came from Dobby as the owl pecked at his ears.

Draco felt the corners of his mouth curve up into a broad grin as he read through the fancy green script, muttering the words under his breath.

" Dear Mr. Draco Malfoy,

We are pleased to inform you of your acceptance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment…" Draco trailed off, his grey eyes scanning through the rest of the letter.

"Mum!" he said, looking eagerly at Narcissa, "It came!"

Narcissa glanced up, her eyes flickering from Draco's proud smile to the letter that was scrunched up in his hand.

"That's wonderful, sweetheart!" she said, crossing the room and embracing her son tightly, "I was hoping you'd decide to go with Hogwarts." She tenderly kissed Draco's cheek, pleased that her boy was happy, and that she wouldn't have to watch him leave for Durmstrang.

Draco hugged his mother, glad that she was happy. Ever since he'd decided to go to Hogwarts rather than Durmstrang, he'd been worried that his father's past might have stopped them accepting him. Obviously, he's fears had been unfounded. He was going to Hogwarts.

At that moment, his father came in, kicking Dobby out of the way as he walked over to the table to pick up the pile of letters.

"My Hogwarts letter came today, Dad!" said Draco, beaming proudly at his father.

Lucius didn't even bother looking up as he flicked through the envelopes, tossing aside the ones addressed to Narcissa.

"About time, too…" he muttered, picking up the cup of tea he'd left on the table earlier and took a swig. He grimaced as the lukewarm liquid went down his throat and he glared at Dobby, who was now tying his ears together to make sure he didn't get any blood on the carpet from where the eagle owl had taken a small chunk out of his ear.

"Dobby, make sure those are sorted properly by the time I get home, I don't have time to deal with them now." He said, chucking the letters at Dobby, who had to dive across the room to catch them. Draco watched as his father then drained his tea and stormed out of the room. He bit into his lip and his shoulders sagged slightly. Of course, his father had enough confidence in him to know that Draco would be accepted into Hogwarts, but still…. a few words of encouragement or pride would have been nice.

Draco felt his mother squeeze his shoulder sympathetically. He smiled up at her, taking comfort in the fact that at least she was sharing in his excitement.

"I'll take you into Diagon Alley today. We may as well get your books and wand now, before it gets too busy," Said Narcissa softly.

"Thanks mum," Said Draco, "I best go get dressed then."

Draco slipped the letter back into the envelope and walked out into the hallway. Once he was out of sight of his mother, he leaned against the wall and let out a small sigh. He looked down at the envelope in his hand, tracing the letters of his name with one finger. He didn't realise Lucius was there until his father came and stood right in front of him. Draco looked up, his cheeks flushed slightly, embarrassed at letting his father catching him in such a private brooding moment.

Lucius stared at his son, then at the letter he was holding.

"You'll be a fine wizard, my boy," he said, running his fingers through Draco's hair. Draco smiled; it was his father's one sign of affection.

"Do me proud, Draco." Lucius gave a half smile, then turned and walked back into the dining room.

Draco grinned and clutched the letter tightly to his chest, feeling his spirits soar once again. He wouldn't fail Lucius, and he'd be a great wizard. His future looked brighter than ever.

He was going to Hogwarts.