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Chapter One: Consumed in His Thoughts

It was mid-April. Overhead the thunder cracked and boomed, spilling their fluids over the castle of Hogwarts. It had been storming continuously for the past several days, and Draco Malfoy had found himself irrationally grumpy during this period. It also didn't help that at the moment he was stuck in his least favorite class, Divination, listening to the monotonous drone of Professor Trelawney.

Draco absolutely loathed this class. It was so bloody useless. He was doing even worse than Luna Lovegood, who was presently seated behind him with Neville Longbottom. Her constant chatter was driving him insane, as she was talking endlessly about Crumple-Horned Snorkacks, nargles, and pudding.

Today Trelawney was droning on about the different methods of divination they had discussed already throughout the year. Their N.E.W.T's were drawing closer, and soon Draco would be leaving Hogwarts. He had absolutely no idea what career he would pursue after he was finished with school, but at the moment he was only concerned about the upcoming Seventh Year Ball. It was a function held annually for graduates of Hogwarts, and Draco had found himself stuck taking Pansy Parkinson to this event. She was very demanding in her own cunning way; already she had planned out their entire evening despite the fact that he hadn't even asked her to be his date. And naturally, she expected him to take care of all the finances for the ball. Her ongoing demands had left Draco in a sour mood all through the week.

Draco realized that he had made a hole in his parchment by pressing his quill too roughly. Annoyed, he crumpled it up. Ninety-five more minutes to go, then his lessons would be over for the day.

At last Professor Trelawney finished her tedious lecture, assigning them all an in-class essay. Draco scowled as he pulled out a fresh piece of parchment. He glanced over at his friends' notes, but decided it would be better to not copy off Crabbe and Goyle. They were possibly the only ones in his class who had worse marks than him, excluding Longbottom. Draco sighed as he began writing his essay, wishing he had paid attention to Trelawney's lesson.

Draco's mind soon drifted again to Pansy. She was always making these decisions for him, much to Draco's annoyance. She was such a dull girl, constantly talking about uninteresting things, always nagging and whining…But Slytherin girls were rarely pleasant to look at, and Pansy happened to be the most attractive girl in their house. Not to mention the fact that she was a pure-blood. His parents would certainly be pleased of that. And it wasn't that Draco didn't like her; he supposed he did. He didn't mind having the hottest chick in Slytherin, and she was just lucky to be with such a wealthy, good-looking boy. However, Draco often wondered whether Pansy truly liked him, or if she was only interested in his money and reputation…

Draco was suddenly interrupted out of his reverie as he heard Professor Trelawney call his name. His head jerked up. "What?"

"Could you come here for a moment?" She replied.

Draco got out of his seat. Crabbe and Goyle peered at his parchments as he walked over to Professor Trelawney's desk. She put on her large, round glasses and spoke, "I am very concerned about your mark in Divination. You do know that the N.E. are approaching –"

He cut her off. "I know, I'll finish my work," he answered hotly.

"I don't think you understand, my dear. You'll need to achieve an 'A' in this course in order for you to graduate. If you fail, not only will you need to repeat the semester, but you will not be permitted to attend the Seventh Year Ball."

Draco felt his blood boil. How dare she talk to a Malfoy in this way? Of course he would graduate, if he didn't he would get his father to sack this woman. How the fuck could anyone fail such an illogical class anyway? Draco grinded his teeth as he nodded. "I understand that you do not inherit the natural talents that are needed to succeed in this field," she went on, "but do your best, my dear, and maybe you won't do too badly in your exams."

She smiled brightly and Draco turned away from her in haste. Crabbe and Goyle were hurrying to scramble down his answers when he approached them. His anger had increased exponentially within the past five minutes. How dare she accuse him of being untalented? He was a bloody Malfoy; a head boy, as well as a Quidditch captain.

Outside the thunder grew louder.