Draco Malfoy was the first of his friends to receive the Dark Mark, and they clamored over each other on the train ride to Hogwarts, asking him how it felt, wishing they had theirs, declaring it an honor. Draco lied to their faces, forcing a facade of privileged aloofness. He dared not tell them the truth: that he lived with terror tattooed on his forearm, which seeped into his bones. He did not confide that a madman had taken over his house and fear permeated every room like a noxious cloud of darkness. He withheld his confession that he feared his mother would become a victim tortured at the dining table during daily brunch. Or that he was next.
When the train arrived at Hogwarts and his friends had gone, Potter lay immobilized on the compartment floor in front of him. Draco wanted to scream: You are the Boy who Lived! Why aren't you doing your job? Why aren't you rescuing my parents? He slammed his foot into Potter's face with an inward, anguished wail, Why won't you save ME?
But Potter bled uselessness, and with it lost hope. Draco threw the invisibility cloak over Potter and left wrapped in despair. He dug his fingers into the Dark Mark branded on his forearm, wishing he could claw it off.
His friends had declared it an honor.
Draco called it a death sentence.
Dumbledore's, and Draco's soul.