Prologue

If you headed down the seventh floor corridor you would have spotted something peculiar-something that same moment you would be almost horrified with sight you were beholding. A bloody, mangled body lying face down on the floor, neck torn apart. Most nauseating of all, you would see a figure, all dressed in black, walking satisfiedly away from the whole awful scene. If you were lucky... you wouldn't be his next target. But bad luck seems to follow certain people, and believe me when I say that being targeted is not the worst of it.

The Malfoy Curse

The enchanted ceiling at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was possibly one of the best parts of the meal. You could see the whole sky above you-which was a very good insight to what the day would be like. Today's sky was a very dull grey, with clouds rolling in. But, of course, nobody minded. Today was a very special day-well, not exactly special, but important.

Busy fifth years bustled in, seating themselves around the four house tables. The buzz of chatter was at an all-time high, not an unusual thing in the mornings. Except it was not the usual talk at all. O.W.L.s were today. The whole of fifth year was reviewing (not to mention the seventh years as well) and completely immersed in things like "The Goblin Rebellion" and who knows what else. Perhaps if you had brought yourself away from most of the hubbub you would have noticed that Draco Malfoy was not studying (or, more likely staring haughtily at Harry Potter). His closest friends (cronies) Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle would say he was out sick. No one would mind. And everyone would carry on studying like there was nothing else to do. More than anything, Hermione Granger would be explaining to her friend Ron Weasley that Levitation was no big deal if he had studied. He would sigh, she would open her books once more. But Harry Potter would be doing something else. He would be glaring at the Slytherin table and thinking.

For one thing, it was impossible to be sick on this day. It was O.W.L.s. Well, he thought, perhaps it would be possible to be sick (after all, Malfoy was human) but the chances were unlikely.

And for another, Malfoy did care about his grades. He was one of the best in the class, second only to Hermione. So what was with him? Harry suddenly forgot all about it when Neville knocked his goblet of pumpkin juice over his Transfiguration book.

Someone else was missing from the Great Hall. Eloise Midgeon. An inconspicuous girl, nobody had ever really liked her (not just from her horrible acne, mind) and therefore she was an outcast. So, instead of studying with the other Hufflepuff fifth years (well, most of them...) she was wandering alone along the seventh floor corridor. As she wearily passed the tapestry of that weird old warlock who tried to teach trolls ballet she noticed someone.

The person was dressed all in black. It contrasted most attractively with his pale skin and blonde hair. She knew very well who this was.

Draco Malfoy.

He walked slowly towards her, looking down as he did.

"What're you doing up here, Malfoy?" she asked. She didn't exactly care, though.

He did not reply. It was as if she wasn't there. She asked again, this time louder.

"I might ask you the same question." he retorted. Eloise cringed backwards into the wall. "And a terrible load of trouble you're in, too, I might add."

Pulling out his wand, he swiftly cornered her and pointed it at her.

She stuttered. "W-what are you d-doing, Malfoy?"

"Terrifying you. What does it look like?" He narrowed his cold grey eyes at her.

"Well, stop it!" she squeaked. He laughed. "No, I enjoy this. So, Eloise. Tell me about your friends in Hufflepuff."

She gulped, but began talking. "I have none."

"I know how you feel." His malicious expression did not, whatsoever, change. "I understand. No one really gets me."

She nodded, one quick jerk of her head was all the clarification she felt he needed.

He continued. "But this makes me feel better. It always does."

"D-does it?"

"Of course. I'm trying to make your worries disappear. You won't feel them," his smirk broadened, "any longer."

"Really?"

"Yes. Now say goodbye, Midgeon."

She turned almost as pale as him. "What?"

That was the last thing she ever said. He pulled out a dagger. Her scream was choked off and replaced by a horrible sucking noise and then-nothing.

Draco Malfoy kicked her body aside. It hit the stone wall, and it was splattered with what was left of her lifeblood. His eyes glowed red. Then he walked off, as if he had done nothing at all.