There she was - cold, dead, lifeless. Not a drop of blood running through her veins. She looked so serene, but he knew there was no serenity in the way that she died, beyond that her death was quick and painless. She died a mother, a daughter. The only thing unsettling Draco was that she did not also die a cousin.

It was the funeral of Nymphadora Tonks.

The people wandered about the grounds somber, their black robes echoing their moods as they skulked, dragging across the earth, slow like ghosts. If he didn't know better Draco would've wondered if any of these people were not really people, but Dementors. He watched as his mother timidly stepped towards her sister and his aunt, Andromeda. When their eyes met, there was a long moment's hesitation as they contemplated one another. This was the first time they'd met since Andromeda was estranged from the Black family - for marrying a muggle-born. The confusion on Andromeda's face slowly turned to sorrowful acceptance as she opened her arms to her sister, and she rushed into them full-speed, bawling for the niece she had never known.

Tonks was half-blood. Yet, at this moment, she had no blood. Did it still matter? He approached the casket, and a few uncontrollable tears rolled down his pale cheeks. He knew he was receiving unwelcoming looks of judgment, or at least uncertainty, from the dead woman's family. He couldn't care enough to lift his gaze from the cousin he never met. At least, not outside of a battlefield.

He took her stiff, cold hand. "Nymphadora," he whispered to her unhearing ears. "I'm Draco. Your cousin."

He looked down at their hands, now joined, one unwilling and unknowing. He looked at the veins on his wrist, bluish and teeming with life, then looked at hers, colourless and still.

His own blood, pure and untouched by muggle blood as it was, was only his for the short time he had on this earth. One day it would be absent, and he'd be reduced to nothing more or less than Tonks's blood status, or even Granger's in her death. Death was the great blood-equalizer. Blood had torn his family apart - it stole Nymphadora from his life without either of their consent or knowledge. The cousin he never knew now was the cousin he never would know. But if blood didn't matter in eternity, why did it matter in life?

The newly-realized and dreadfully sad truth of his entire existence was - it didn't.