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It was the dream again. Of course it was. Draco hadn’t dreamt anything else since eight year had started over five months ago. He stood on a crowded platform 9¾, his robes uncomfortably tight, the dark mark burning on his left forearm. The people on the platform looked right through him, walked right through him even, except for a special few who didn’t. Who looked at him. Who circled around him. Who closed in on him.

Big, white eyes, skin like wet paper, dried blood on various places.

Vincent Crabbe, Cedric Diggory, Albus Dumbledore, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, his muggle studies professor.

Draco knew it wouldn’t be long before Harry joined them too. Knew in a couple of seconds the insults would start, the harsh judgement, the shoving, the cursing, until dream-Draco couldn’t take it anymore. Then he’d walk onto the rails, and wait for the train to come.

Like you should have done in the first place. Like your whole family should have done in the first place. To die a coward's death is the only thing fitting for a waste of space like you. You never deserved survival. You never deserved a second chance. You never deserved redemption. You deserve the death we got. You deserve the death you brought upon us.

And for a moment, Draco would believe them. For a moment he would have the courage, or maybe more the cowardice, to take his own life. For a moment, al Draco wanted to do was jump, or hang, or choke, or swallow. For a moment.

But then there were always Blaise’s strong arms, Pansy’s forceful words and Daphne’s bone crushing hugs. And he’d be alright again. For a moment. Always only for a moment.

But tonight was different. Tonight was very different.

Draco turned around to watch Harry join the circle, and waited for him to open his mouth and kick off the second stage of his dream. He looked even more transparent than usual, and his stride was slow and heavy, like he was wading through water.

“Draco.” The ghost-Harry said. There was something odd about his voice, something Draco couldn’t quite place. “Draco, they can’t swim.”

“Who can’t swim?” Draco’s robes tightened around his chest, and suddenly he broke out in cold sweat. This was not supposed to happen, why was Harry not doing what was supposed to happen? He felt more sweat run down his spine, and in the background there was a faint snapping noise.

“They can’t swim.” The dream around him was fading rapidly, until only the faint outline of Harry was left. “They can’t swim Draco.” Now he was fading too. “They can’t...”

His voice died away. And Draco was left with nothing but darkness. Darkness and the sound of rushing water.