People would have thought that with all his wealth, he could have gotten anything he wanted. But no. The only thing he had craved for all of his life had been acceptance. Yet fate had mocked him, as it constantly eluded him. He was never good enough. Malfoys were supposed to be the best at everything, but Potter beat him in Quidditch, Granger in studies. And now, he had even lost the control he'd had over the Slytherins, all because of his own weakness. His father would probably learn of it tomorrow and he would, no doubt, be furious to be informed that his only son had once again failed him. He knew that anyone who walked past would be able to see him since the door was open, but Filch never came up here, and it didn't matter who else saw, since no one cared anyway. In Slytherin, it had always been each man for himself - he had never formed any real friendships there - and he knew that people from all the other houses despised him. Burying his head in his hands, his barriers disintegrated as he allowed himself to break down completely.

It wasn't the first time she was out past curfew. She would have continued on her usual journey back to her dorm if not for her sharp ears. Her curiosity led her to follow the source of the sound, and as she stood outside the observatory, her heart went out to the stranger inside as she recognized it. It was eerily familiar, almost an exact replica of her own sobs in the past – for they both contained the same emotion – the feeling of being utterly alone. As she was debating over whether she should approach the person, the moon chose to peek out from behind the clouds at that moment, and as realization dawned, she thanked Merlin later that she had been too shocked then to do anything other than blink. That blond hair was unmistakable. No one else in the school had hair that light a color, a fact she vividly remembered him boasting about. She even remembered thinking how ridiculous it was when he chalked it up to his superior heritage yet again. His identity was confirmed when he lifted his head, and she watched as his features arranged themselves into a smooth mask once more, marveling at the irony of the situation. It was the most real she had ever seen him, despite having known him for five years. And years later, that would always be the story she started off with, whenever anyone asked her about how she came to love Draco Malfoy.