Lucius Malfoy was dead.

Voldemort had killed him; no one doubted that fact. The Dark Mark had been hanging above his lifeless body when it had been found outside in the gardens of Malfoy Manor. The only mysterious part of his passing was the reason why. Lucius had remained fairly loyal to the Dark Arts through his years. Those of the wizarding society (who were greatly relieved that they could now speak freely of Lucius as a Death Eater without risking their lives) had two main theories. They were fairly simplistic, and easily believable.

The first was that he had made some gruesome mistake, accidentally foiled an especially brilliant plot. The second was that he had rebelled against the Dark Lord and his ideals. Neither explanation was completely satisfactory, but generally well accepted anyway.

However, Draco Malfoy, Lucius's sole heir, knew differently.

Days before his father's death, he and Lucius had had a terrible row. It hadn't started so terribly; a simple discussion over that Gryffindor mudblood, Granger, and how she somehow managed to show him up in every class excluding Potions. Soon, it had escalated into a full-fledged brawl as their voices grew so loud the walls shook, and many of the nice imported items his mother had bought were broken. Draco had said many things he did not mean in that horrible fight, but there was a certain one he regretted above all else.

"I don't want to become a Death Eater!"

Even now, days later, he wasn't sure he meant it. His entire life had been dedicated to the Dark Arts, and it was where he had always expected he would end up. But as the words tumbled from his mouth, he bore witness to how true they were. Honestly, he thought the whole idea had become a bit stale.

'How could he have taken me so seriously?' Draco mused to himself, while leaning back in his chair. Currently, he was in Potions, watching his partner complete all of the work. It was true, part of his grade was participation, however, he was quite sure Snape would make an exception for his favorite student. His partner hadn't objected, anyway. They knew he was grieving.

So, his father had done something stupid. He had told Voldemort without even consulting Draco, and it had gotten him killed. It wasn't his fault, he had no reason to feel guilty at all.

. . .But he did.

It wasn't as if he and his father had been close. Whenever he had been home for vacation or on holidays, he had been left alone in his room or quizzed endlessly on the Dark Arts. But it was the principal of the thing; he was his father!

Vaguely, he noticed Snape dismiss the class. He made no effort to move. Potions was his last class of the day, and he knew Snape well enough to be quite sure he would be able to sit in the classroom in peace. As the last students trickled out of the door, quickly followed by Snape himself, he laid his head on his arms and stared at his desk.

A moment later, a gentle hand lay on his shoulder. Draco considered brushing it away, but found that he was just too tired to care.

"I just wanted to say that I'm sorry about your father, Malfoy." An unfortunately familiar voice whispered above him. Warily lifting his gaze, Draco's eyes met the startling jade orbs that belonged to Harry Potter.

Without thinking, a glare surfaced on Draco's features. For the first time he noticed how incredibly practiced the whole scenario was. However, he pushed that thought and Harry's comforting hand away. "Don't patronize me, Potter."

Hurt creased Harry's brow, but he attempted to hide it. "I wasn't trying to patronize you, Malfoy. I just wanted to express my apologies. . ."

His words were silenced as Draco, in one quick motion, stood and backhanded Harry across the face. His head whipped to the side, but he acted as if he hadn't been touched. His feigned ignorance was maddening. "I don't know what kind of game you are playing, Potter, but do not insult my father's memory by pretending that you care. Go. Just go." He paused, 'I'm tired, I'm upset, and my father is dead."

Harry turned and made his way to the door without another word. Draco sat once again, laying his forehead against the wooden desk. He had finally assumed he was blessedly alone when Harry's voice rang out.

"Hey Malfoy?"

He did not bother to raise his head. "What, Potter?"

"My father is dead, too."

Draco looked up in time to see him walk out the door.



Disclaimer: Don't own Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, etc. etc. I don't have money, anyway, so don't bother to sue me.

A/N: I'm incredibly proud of my one shot. Heh. And no, I don't think I'll be continuing this unless people REALLY are dying to see another chapter. Since I doubt anyone is, I hope you enjoyed this short little thing. Oh, also. This was not intended to be slash, but interpret it how you like. *shrug* Doesn't matter to me. Happy reading, and please r&r!