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The Strange Lestrange

Chapter Text

A single white flower bloomed on a branch illuminated by the last rays of the evening sun. A nose made its way to the flower and took a sniff. It was a panther's nose. A beautiful female black panther.

She snaked through the grass and made her way towards a towering oak tree.

"HAZEL!" Bellowed a magically amplified voice.

The panther stopped in her track and turned her head towards the magnificent manor 50 feet away from her.

Suddenly the panther began to grow taller and her fore feet rose. Her tail shrunk and in a second there stood a girl in the place of the panther. Her hair as black as the panther had been.

"COMING!" She bellowed back.

She sprinted towards the manor and found a lady in expensive green robes waiting at the gates.

"Yes mother?" The girl asked.

"You've got mail." Her mother replied holding up a letter.

The Hogwarts acceptance letter.

Hazel's hair instantly turned golden.

"YES!" she screamed and snatched the letter to have a good look at it. "Yeah baby, I'm going to Hogwarts."

"Behave yourself, young lady."

Hazel turned serious and straightened up, her hair turned black again and she muttered,
"Sorry mother."

"I must say, I'm quite surprised. I didn't expect you to make it." Her mother said coldly. Then she grabbed Hazel's arm rather roughly and her nails pierced there way through Hazel's white skin, "Now listen here Hazel. You have had the honour of being born in one of the most ancient and pure wizarding family and we Lestranges have a certain reputation to uphold. Now, be warned that if you end up in any other house than the noble house of Slytherin, don't mind coming home for Christmas." She spat leaving Hazel's arm at last.

Hazel stared after her mother, who was now retreating to her room.

End up in Slytherin?

Hah!

I'd rather not go at all.

"Well, well sister. I must say I'm rather proud. My little sister actually receiving the Hogwarts acceptance letter. I didn't expect you to make it." Sneered a voice and Hazel turned around to find a 20-year-old Rodolphus Lestrange behind her.

Like mother, like son.

"I've already heard that one, I'm afraid. You'll have to think up another insult. But on second thoughts, don't mind thinking, I've heard it hurts the first time." She smirked and went to her room leaving Rodolphus behind.

Once inside, she jumped up and down and danced around the room.

Hogwartssss.

I'll be leaving this shitty house behind at last.

Buckle up Hogwarts, here I come!

**************************************

Chapter Text

The scarlet train whistled and belched smoke over the crowd of parents and children. Hazel thought she was probably going to miss the train. Rodolphus, who was supposed to be helping her, was really busy complaining loudly about all the muggleborns present there.

"......everywhere I look I can see one of them. And there are so few of us. Oh there's Nott. Thank Salazar! Ah and there's Malfoy. He's the Slytherin prefect this year, I heard." He said.

Ofcourse he's the prefect!

The great Lucius Malfoy.

Hazel thought sarcastically and made her way through the crowd and entered the train. Each and every compartment she passed was full and there wasn't space for even one person.

At the end of the train she found something familiar. A Black.

Sirius Black was standing outside a fairly empty compartment as he saw Hazel approach him.

"Well, well. If it isn't little Black." She sneered coldly and some strands of her hair turned red.

"Hazel Lestrange." Sirius greeted, certainly not noticing the changing colour of her hair.

"Oh look! It knows my name." She faked surprise, forced her hair back to black and entered the compartment in which a single red headed girl was sitting with her face pressed to the window.

"It!?"

Had she just called him 'it'?

Sirius frowned and sat down with her.

Hazel ignored Sirius and looked at the girl. She looked like she was crying and just as Hazel was about to ask her what was wrong, the compartment door slid open again.

It was another first-year and he was looking from Hazel to Sirius to the redhead nervously.

"Hey, I'm Hazel Lestrange. Nice to meet you." Hazel greeted the boy offering him a handshake.

Remus Lupin had never in his life seen a girl even remotely as beautiful as Hazel. Maybe it was because he had barely met anyone his age, due to his 'condition'. Maybe it was because of her bright and twinkling sea green eyes. But whatever the reason, Remus found himself staring at her and it seemed physically impossible for him to take his eyes off her.

He took her extended hand and felt her warm skin soothing to his cold hand.

"Remus Lupin. Nice to meet you too." He replied.

Now Sirius spoke up "Sirius Black. Nice to meet you, mate."

Remus shook his hand too and Hazel patted the space between her and Sirius, gesturing for Remus to sit there.

Hazel wanted to be as far from the Black as possible. She gestured for Lupin to sit between them.

Wait, did he say Lupin? That seems...... familiar. I've heard that name somewhere.

Maybe mother mentioned that name.

Hazel was about to say something to the sobbing girl when the door slid open again, rather roughly this time.

In came a boy with extremely messy hair, the same color as Hazel's, wearing a pair of spectacles. He walked in like he owned the place and sat down next to the sobbing girl announcing himself as "James Potter."

He shook hands with Hazel, Sirius and Remus.

Potter. The son of Fleamont and Euphoria Potter, I'm sure.

Hah! You'd think he'd have better hair. His dad invented the best potion for taming hair while his own son is roaming around carrying a birds' nest on his head.

And of course, there's Black. I don't even know why he's sitting here. Maybe the Slytherins kicked him out of their compartment, or something.

Lupin. I must have heard that name from mother.

Strange I don't remember.

Maybe I heard it in a family gathering.......

"So, Remus, right?" She said and he nodded. She smiled.

Her smile was as radiant as it could get. Remus felt himself warm up from inside and his heart skipped a couple of beats.

"What house are you planin......" her question was interrupted by a kid walking inside their compartment. He had greasy black hair and black eyes and he had already changed into his school robes.

Ignoring everyone else present there, he made a beeline for the sobbing redhead, who still hadn't moved her face from the window.

The boy sat down between the girl and James and they started having a hushed conversation.

Meanwhile Sirius and James talked loudly and laughed together as if they had known each other for ages. Remus heard them talk and occasionally voiced his opinion too, while Hazel looked at the passing scenery.

Should I take out my phone? She thought.

Control Hazel. Just a little more time and then you'll be safely inside Hogwarts.

But there's no one here who'd stop me from using my phone!

There's Black.

What can he do? I'm taking it out.

No. What if he told your mother? Or someone at his own house?

Oh no. I'll have to wait.

But just then, the greasy haired boy said something that made everyone stop.

“You’d better be in Slytherin."

Hazel raised an eyebrow, she was strongly reminded of her brother. Although she tried not to be prejudiced, she still thought that anyone wanting to be in Slytherin couldn't be good news. She was about to say something when James interrupted.

"Slytherin? Who wants to be in Slytherin? I think I’d leave, wouldn’t you?” James asked Sirius.

Sirius did not smile.

“My whole family have been in Slytherin,” he said surprising everyone except Hazel, who continued to glare at the greasy haired boy.

“Blimey,” said James, “and I thought you seemed all right!”

Sirius grinned.

“Maybe I’ll break the tradition."

Hazel immediately turned to face Sirius with surprise written all over her face.

He what?....

"You, a Black, don't want to be in Slytherin? Why?"

Sirius smirked and said, "You're not the only one rebellious here, Haze."

She frowned at the nickname but didn't say anything.

Strange. Guess I did misread him. Maybe he's not as bad.

Get a grip Hazel, he's still a Black.

Wait. Did he just call me rebellious?

He knows?......!!

"Where are you heading, if you’ve
got the choice?” Sirius asked James.

James lifted an invisible sword.

“‘Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart!’ Like my dad.”

The other boy made a small, disparaging noise. James turned on him.

“Got a problem with that?”

“No,” he said, though his slight sneer said otherwise. “If you’d rather be brawny than brainy —”

“Where’re you hoping to go, seeing as you’re neither?” interjected Sirius.

James roared with laughter and Hazel smirked.

Way to go, Black.

The girl sat up, rather flushed, and looked from James to Sirius in dislike.

“Come on, Severus, let’s find another compartment.”

“Oooooo . . .” James and Sirius imitated her lofty voice; James tried to trip the boy as he passed.

Hazel burst out laughing and Remus looked at her and broke into a smile too.

“See ya, Snivellus!” Sirius called, as the compartment door slammed.

Everyone in the compartment was now roaring with laughter and Hazel made a mental note to never cross paths with 'Snivellus' in Hogwarts.

When the laughter died down, Sirius leaned forward to look across Remus at Hazel and, running his hand through his black hair, said,

"Say Lestrange, where would you want to go? Certainly not Slytherin."

Oh my gosh. How on hell does he know?

Hazel. Relax.

Act neutral.

"Why would I not want to be in Slytherin?"

"I can tell. I saw what you did that day at Bellatrix's party. She was fuming in anger the whole week."

Fuck.

Years of acting and pretending wasted.

You messed up Hazel. He knows it was you.

Oh no.

"I didn't. ..... how did you...."Hazel stammered.

Was it that obvious?

And you thought you had fooled them all.

"I am just good at observing things. Don't worry I won't tell anyone."

Sirius smirked and continued his conversation with James and Remus. Meanwhile Hazel was staring out of the window having an inner argument with the more mature part of her conscience.

I'm sure he won't tell anyone. He seems alright.

Hazel, you tripped his cousin into a cake. He's probably really angry with you.

He certainly doesn't seem angry.

She looked at him and found him laughing with James.

He must be a really good actor.

Bet everyone at Black manor already knows.

No. Look. He doesn't even want to get into Slytherin. He can't be that bad. I don't think he'd tell anyone.

Maybe he lied about not wanting to get into Slytherin.

I don't think so.

You are defending a Black! Years of training wasted! You are still like your mother.

Wait, what? No. I'm not.

I'm sure he'll get into Slytherin.

He won't.

He will.

No. He won't.

Hazel made a small growling voice which made Remus glance up at her. He could swear her hair was turning red by every passing minute.

Hazel noticed him and said,

"What's wrong?"

"Your hair. I mean it's not wrong, just, peculiar. I mean it's just..."

"Changing colours?" Hazel said and changed her hair back to black.

"Huh? Um..yeah." Remus said, unsure.

"I am supposed to be a metamorphmagus."

That got everyone's attention.

Fuck.

Way to go Hazel. Now why don't you invite them to read your personal diary as well, while you're at it.

It slipped out.

"What do you mean 'supposed to'?" James asked.

"Well, my powers are quite ..um.. underdeveloped."

"You mean weak" Sirius interrupted.

Hazel frowned at him.

"No, Black, I mean underdeveloped. You see, I can only change my hair color."

James frowned and Remus said,
"That's all?"

"Yes. I've tried about a million times but I can't seem to able of doing anything else. I can change my nose sometimes, though. But what use is that? But my hair on other hand........"

She tried to concentrate and her hair turned orange and then green then yellow and then back to black. Everyone was impressed.

"I can usually control it but sometimes it changes on its own if I'm feeling a strong emotion."

"That's all you can do?" James asked.

"Yup." Lied Hazel.

I'm not gonna tell them about the Panther part just yet.

Thank god, I didn't know you had that much sense.

The trolley arrived and James and Sirius filled their arms with sweets while Remus bought a few chocolate frogs.

But all of their eyes went wide with surprise as they watched Hazel walk in with half the trolley's supply in her arms.

"In my defence, I didn't have breakfast."

Her hair had turned golden now.

"It changed on its own." Sirius said noticing her hair. "Golden must represent happiness."

Hazel flushed, her hair turned black again, but she replied,

"No, it represents irritation. As in 'Black is so irritating, what's he doing in my compartment. He should probably just shut his mouth'." she replied and James roared with laughter.

"You think you can get rid of me that easy?" Sirius asked.

"Well, one tries. But perhaps I can't have everything good in life."

They all sat together and ate up the sweets laughing and chatting about random things.

Hazel was going far away from her family at last and from all the asshole purebloods who were supposed to be her 'friends'. She was going to be free now. And with a place to go to, she wouldn't need to pretend anything anymore.

Sirius was feeling just like Hazel was. He was going to be away from his family at last. He was going to Hogwarts and he had already found his friends.

**************************************

Chapter Text

The Hogwarts express reached the Hogsmead station and the nervous mob of first years was greeted by Hagrid.

No one spoke until the crowd reached the great hall.

"Oi! James! What do you reckon we'll have to do to get in a house?" Sirius asked.

"Don't know, mate. Maybe we have to wrestle a troll or something." James replied making a nearby boy go pale with fear.

Hazel laughed at the nervous boy and followed James towards the High Table.

Just then a teacher walked in holding a stool and a very battered looking hat.

"I shall call your names and you will come forward and try on this hat." She said to the first years.

After a few names it was Sirius's turn.

"Black, Sirius"

Sirius's legs felt like lead as he walked to the stool.

He knew that Slytherin was the most probable house because he was, after all, a Black. But still, he somehow felt that he was different. Felt that he didn't belong among the brooding purebloods the Slytherin house held.

It took the hat quite some time but at last he was put into "GRYFFINDOR".

He sighed, not sure what to feel, and went to the cheering table at the left while the students on far right exchanged disgusted looks.

Hazel couldn't believe that Black had actually been chosen for Gryffindor.

He wasn't lying.

She watched as the redhead from train also went to Gryffindor and then it was Hazel's turn.

McGonagall announced for "Lestrange, Hazel" to come forward and immediately her hair turned sky blue, which she forced back to black. She walked feeling the eyes of all the Slytherins looking at her.

No. Not with you. I'm not gonna join you.

Oh. My. God.

What if the hat puts me in Slytherin?

Don't worry Hazel. Take a deep breath. Threaten the hat if you have to.

She sat on the stool and the hat was put on her head covering her eyes and she was staring into blackness.

If you put me in Slytherin, I'm gonna find you and burn you.

The hat seemed to hear her thoughts because she heard a voice in her ear going, I wasn't planing to. But, on second thoughts, after that threat, you seem to be quite the right candidate for Slytherin.

Hazel panicked.

Nice job, idiot.

No. I meant it. Put me in Slytherin and you are dead.

The hat replied again, very well then, better be GRYFFINDOR.

The scarlet clad table cheered again as the Slytherins spat on the floor in disgust.

Sirius welcomed her. He was delighted that he wasn't the only blood traitor and family disappointment that was present there.

It was Remus's turn now.

He was feeling quite nervous as he made his way towards the professor.

But the hat didn't think long before announcing him a Gryffindor too.

The Gryffindor table cheered again and Sirius and Hazel stood up to welcome Remus.

He blushed as Hazel congratulated him and Sirius patted him on the back.

Then they watched together as "Potter, James" got his wish of being in "GRYFFINDOR".

But James wasn't the only one whose wish had been fulfilled. The hat had bearly touched Snivellus when it bellowed, "SLYTHERIN". Hazel saw as Lucius greeted Snivellus and quickly turned her head the other way when the blonde haired boy looked over.

In the end, Dumbledore stood up to give a small speech and just as he sat down all the plates on the tables filled up magically with food.

Soon it was time to sleep and as the Gryffindors were being led to their common rooms Hazel felt too tired to carry on.

Everyone mumbled 'good night' and trotted on towards their dorms.

**************************************

Chapter Text

Remus woke up to an excruciating pain and instantly started screaming. He soon realised that he was chained up and there were others there too. The pain paused momentarily and he turned his head to find Sirius and James chained up besides him.

"Crucio!" Shouted a female voice and the pain returned.

Remus's throat was hoarse from shouting and he watched as Sirius and James fainted in pain.

"Crucio!" The voice returned, and so did the pain.

He moved his eyes upward to find the wand that was creating this pain pointed at him. He lifted his head up and saw an arm, a Dark Mark, a petite shoulder, black hair, and finally the face.

It was Hazel.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Hazel woke up to the sound of the alarm in her phone. Sweating profusely, she turned it off and realised that it was all just a nightmare.

She shook off the dread and got up from her bed only to find the dorm deserted .

I slept in.

She had been too tired the previous night to mind meeting her roommates. And now, she had overslept and obviously none of them had bothered trying to wake her up.

Maybe they did try.

Waking up Hazel was not as as easy as it may sound. That girl could sleep through a tornado.

But, as lucky as she was, it was a Saturday. So there were no classes that she could have missed because of oversleeping.

Rubbing her eyes she got off her bed, brushed her teeth and trotted towards the common room.

Everyone in the Gryffindor tower was up and awake and lounging in the common room. Everyone had had their breakfast.

Sirius and James were chatting on the couch while Remus was sitting near the window in one of the squishy chairs. All three of them had been wondering where Hazel was and why she hadn't come for breakfast. They had tried to check her dorm but the stairs wouldn't let them up the girl's dormitories.

Just as they were about to get up to wander around the castle, Hazel came down the stairs into the common room.

She looked... messy.

She hadn't changed out of her nightdress, she was still rubbing her eyes, her hair was a mess of black strands and her eyes were unfocused and sleepy.

"Good morning." She greeted to no one in particular.

"Morning? Its almost afternoon, Hazie." Sirius chimed in and, standing up, steered her towards the couch.

"Yeah, yeah. I slept in."

"What about breakfast?" Remus asked, concerned.

Hazel looked at him and smirked.

"Nothing," she said, "stops me from having food."

Saying so, she turned towards the portrait of the fat lady and started getting out.

"There's no food in the great hall anymore." James told her.

"Who's going to the great hall?" Hazel smirked again and just before stepping out of the common room, shouted over her shoulder, "Who's up for a break in?"

"Me!" Shouted Sirius and James in unison and followed her out.

"Where are you all going?" Remus asked as he followed them too.

Hazel stepped out and tried to straighten her hair with her fingers, but in vain.

Potter’s potion might come in handy right now.

The three boys followed her out.

"A break in on the first day? I hadn't taken you to be such a rule breaker." James said.

"Relax, it's just the kitchen." She grinned again.

Remus felt his heart go warm again.

"You know the way to the kitchen?" Sirius asked.

"I'm Hazel Lestrange. I know everything." She smirked and quickened her pace.

She suddenly stopped in front of a picture of a giant fruit bowl, stretched out her forefinger, and tickled a huge green pear. It began to squirm, chuckling, and suddenly turned into a large green door handle. Hazel seized it, pulled the door open, and led everyone inside.

They were now in an enormous, high-ceilinged room, large as the Great Hall above it, with mounds of glittering brass pots and pans heaped around the stone walls, and a great brick fire-place at the other end.

"Woah!" Exclaimed Sirius.

"Wicked!" James said.

"I'm pretty sure that we're not supposed to be here." Remus said.

"Ofcourse we are not. But it's alright. My brother did this all the time when he was in Hogwarts."

Half an hour later, the four kids were back in the common room feeling satisfied and their pockets bulging out with the food the house-elves had insisted to give.

"Let's go to the lake." James said and Remus and Sirius followed him outside.

Hazel still hadn't unpacked her trunk, so she went back towards her dorm.

She got into shower and tidied up herself then she opened her trunk and placed her belongings around her bunk.

Wait, I should get everything out.

What do you mean? Everything's already out.

No it's not.

Oh good Lord. Hazel, no!

But i'm in Hogwarts. I'm a free woman.

And grinning from ear to ear she opened her trunk once again and fished out all the clothes and then, grabbing a pocket knife, she cut open the trunk's bottom from inside. There, barely visible beneath a layer of cotton, was a muggle guitar.

My baby!

Hazel delicately pulled it out and plopped on her bed.

I'm gonna play it.

No!

Yes! I'm gonna play it and I'm gonna sing too.

Oh Lord.

Hazel seated herself comfortably and pulled a few strings of the guitar, thinking of a song to play.

"Hmmmmm."

"I hopped off the plane at L.A.X.,
With a dream and my cardigan.
Welcome to the land of fame excess,
Am I gonna fit in?"

Hazel grinned. This song sounded amazing on her guitar. She gained confidence and continued a bit louder.

"I jumped in a cab,
Here I am for the first time.
Looked to my right,
And I see the Hollywood sign.
This is all so crazy,
Everybody seems so famous.
My tummy's turning and I'm feeling kinda homesick,
Too much pressure and I'm nervous,
That's when the taxi man turned on the radio,
And a Jay-Z song was on,
And a Jay-Z song was on,
And a Jay-Z song was on."

Knock, knock.

Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit.

Did they hear me?

Ofcourse they did. You idiot.

Hazel stuffed her guitar into her trunk and covered it with her clothes.

Knock, knock.

Hazel hurried to open the door and found the same red head from train.

"Hi, I'm Hazel Lestrange."

"Lily Evans." She replied, though she didn't look like she was happy to see Hazel there.

"I heard music from inside."

"Uhh.....I was.. er..........Music?.... What music? There was no music."

"Can I come in? It's supposed to be my room too."

"Oh. Sorry."

Hazel made way for Lily to enter.

"We're roommates?" Hazel asked.

"Uh... yes..." Lily replied frowning at Hazel's haphazard clothes which were overflowing out of her trunk.

Hazel hurriedly approached her trunk and tried to neatly fold her clothes, while Lily sat watching her.

Uh... how do we do this thing?

Maybe if you would have just taken care of your things on your own instead of burdening the house elves, you'd have known.

Shut it. She's watching me. I've gotta look like I know how to do this shit.

Why care? She obviously already hates you. You all insulted her friend on train, remember?

But just then Lily, sensing Hazel's inability to arrange her clothes, kneeled down besides her and started helping her.

She doesn't hate me!

Hazel grinned.

"Have you never done this before?" Lily asked.

"Um... We have a good number of house elves at home. I never had to do anything on my own."

"House elves?"

"Oh. You're muggleborn." Hazel said knowing that she had never heard of any wizarding family named Evans.

"Yes." Lily answered, folding Hazel's black t-shirt.

"Well, wizarding families have house-elves to do all the household chores. Well, all of us don't, though. But the rich ones do, anyways." Hazel told her while trying to remember how Lily folded her cloak.

"Severus told me about the Lestranges once. He said that you are purebloods and ridiculously rich. But he said you all hated muggles and muggleborns."

"I... um... its true. Most of us are sometimes a little.... uh..... biased towards muggleborns."

"He said purebloods generally ended up in Slytherin."

"Well, not all of us. The nice ones are generally in Gryffindor. Or Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw. But certainly not Slytherin."

"Severus's in Slytherin."

Awkward silence.

"Look, I'm sorry that my friends insulted Snivel.....er... Severus on train."

"You laughed too."

"I... its just that he was trying to say that Slytherin is better than Gryffindor. Didn't you see how he insulted James when he said he wanted to be in Gryffindor? You're new to this world Lily, you don't know what's right yet. A few months here should be enough to make you understand."

Lily seemed to be in deep thoughts and she absent mindedly moved Hazel's clothes which exposed her guitar, but Lily didn't notice. Hazel panicked and covered her guitar again and hurriedly closed her trunk.

"I think that's enough. Give my apologies to Severus, though. I better get going now."

"Where are you going?"

"To meet the boys. It was nice meeting you."

And Hazel locked her trunk and hurried out towards the black lake.

**************************************

Chapter Text

"Look at that!" James exclaimed as his stone bounced thrice on the surface of the lake before drowning.

"I can do better." Remus said and threw a stone, which bounced four times. He smirked.

"My turn." Sirius said and flung a stone too, which drowned in the water with a 'plop'. His smirk faded as James and Remus fell down laughing.

Frowning, he picked up another stone and flung it with all his strength. No luck. James and Remus continued to laugh.

Come on. I'm Sirius Black.

He tried again but Remus interrupted,

"Guys?" He said and pointed towards two kids across the ground.

James and Sirius squinted their eyes to see who they were.

"That looks like Hazel." James said. "Who's that blondie?"

"Lucius Malfoy." Sirius mumbled.

Hazel had hurried her way out of the castle and onto the grounds.

Well that was a close one.

If you had only listened.

Shut. Up. You're not very helpful.

She walked around the ground looking for her friends but suddenly she saw someone who made her stop in her tracks.

Lucius Malfoy.

"Hazel."

She faced him and smirked,

"Hello Lucius."

He was quite tall for a fifteen year old and he towered over her. His long platinum blonde hair was pulled back into a ponytail and he looked quite handsome in clothes that were, no doubt, very expensive.

"I'm quite disappointed, Hazel. I was sure you'd come to Slytherin." He said.

What do I say?

Act sensibly. You still have to go back to home in summer.

Alright.

"Yeah. I'm quite disappointed myself. I wanted so bad to get into Slytherin."

Liar liar liar.

"But the hat just wouldn’t listen. It kept insisting that I was brave."

"That's a shame. Slytherin would have been honoured to have you. Gryffindor can't give you what Slytherin could."

Lucius moved closer to Hazel. He took one stray strand of her hair, and gently tugged it behind her ear.

Lucius and Hazel had always been friends, but it had been a few months ago when Lucius had suddenly turned into a jerk and had started showing interest in being more than just friends. But Hazel always pretended to not notice.

"Should we help?" James asked.

"Why is he touching her?" Remus said with disgust.

"We should really go and help." James said.

"No. They're friends. She'll handle him better than all of us put together. Just see." Sirius said.

"I think I should go now. It was nice meeting you, though." Hazel said trying to edge away.

Just as she turned to leave Lucius grabbed her hand and said,

"You still owe me that dance, Haze."

"Lucius." She warned and turned back to face him.

He was taken aback.

Hazel. Mother will kill you.

Hazel forced a smile and said, "Some other time. I've to meet someone right now."

Lucius left her hand and smirked.

"How can you say 'no'? Look at me. I'm perfect."

That was the last straw.

"Perfect? Ah. Yes of course." She got her wand out and walked closer to him.

"You're perfect, alright. But there's still a minor flaw. Allow me."

She raised her wand and tapped it on the tip of his pointed nose.

"Ah. Now you're perfect." She winked at him and turned on her heel.

Lucius stood there staring at Hazel's retreating back.

Wait, what did she....... oh no.

He noticed his hands and saw, to his horror, that they were turning neon orange.

"Oh no." He cried out.

And James, Remus and Sirius chuckled from far away as they saw his skin and hair change colour.

"Don't tell me I'm turning neon!" He cried again.

"You're turning neon!" Hazel shouted over her shoulder and smirked at the horrified fifth-year Slytherin.

James, Sirius and Remus doubled over in laughter as they saw the scene from far away.

"You! Oh! I'm gonna get you!" Lucius shouted and ran after Hazel.

Hazel screamed as she was being chased by Lucius, but she was laughing too.

"Hazel stop! Turn me back!"

"I won't!"

Lucius quickened his speed and caught Hazel around her waist and lifted her up. Hazel moved her legs in air uselessly and couldn't control her laughter as she screamed.

James, Sirius and Remus ran towards them and found Hazel fallen down and shrieking as Lucius was bent over her.

"What's he doing to her?" Sirius asked concerned.

But when they reached them, Lucius was tickling Hazel.

"Get off me. AHHHHH. Lucius!" Hazel shrieked between laughs.

"Change. Me. Back."

"Leave her Malfoy." James said but he was really surprised to see Lucius Malfoy on his knees and tickling a girl.

Malfoy saw the boys and his body language changed in an instance. He got to his feet, straightened his clothes, cleared his throat, puffed his chest, lifted his head proudly and looked down at the short first-years like they were little insects.

But his attempt to look intimidating was thwarted by the fact that he was covered in neon.

All the students passing by were looking at the scene with interest, some laughing, some sneering.

"Potter." Lucius said coldly.

"Hello, Neon-Boy." James said and Sirius burst out laughing.

Malfoy looked at the laughing Black and said, "I see you didn't heed to my advice of staying away from Hazel."

"She's my friend now. Neon-boy."

"Sirius!" Hazel, who was still sitting on the ground, stood up. "Lucius! There's no point in...... wait, you told Sirius to stay away from me?"

"He was staring at you hungrily at Bellatrix's party. You should have seen him drooling."

"I was NOT DROOLING!"

"So you accept that you were staring?" Lucius said with unnatural calmness.

"Lucius, you have no right to say anything to him when you yourself have been spending the last 6 months lusting after an 11-year-old." Hazel said coldly.

Lucius looked taken aback.

"I... I'm just marking you as my own before someone else can."

"And you don't even care that we used to think of each other like a sibling when we were younger?"

"That's........ that's completely off the point. Change me BACK." He said, changing the topic.

"I CAN'T." Hazel shouted back.

"WHAT DO MEAN YOU CAN'T."

"I DON'T KNOW HOW."

"What?!!" Lucius said horrified.

"I don't even know how I did that and I don't know how to change you back."

There was a pause.

"Go to Madam Pomfrey, or something."

Lucius was frozen to the spot and Hazel grabbed the boys and led them towards the castle.

"That's my girl." Sirius said happily as he patted her back.

"Nice job Hazel." James said.

"What did he say to deserve that?" Sirius asked.

"He thought he was too perfect to reject." Hazel answered.

"Then he did deserve neon orange." Remus said as all of them laughed again.

"You, my friend, have what it takes to be a Gryffindor." James said as he slid his arm around her shoulder.

"Thank you, Jamie." Hazel replied.

"I feel like breaking in into the kitchen again." Sirius said, sliding his arm around Hazel's waist.

"No need for that. It's lunchtime Sirius." Remus told and they all headed to the castle together.

**************************************

Chapter Text

"Too much for the first day." Hazel sighed as she slid down on the common room couch between James and Remus. 

 

The day had been so much more than Hazel had expected. As it turned out, news travelled faster in Hogwarts than a forest fire. One minute they had been walking down the corridors alone and another minute they were sitting in the great hall surrounded by students from Gryffindor, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, repeating again and again how Hazel had turned Lucius neon. The whole school knew the story till the end of lunch and Lucius, who had been in the hospital wing the whole time, was found trying to sneak into the dungeons unnoticed, still sporting the bright colour.

 

The rest of the day was spent in trying to avoid the fuming Slytherins and over-excited Gryffindors and Lucius didn't even turn up for dinner.

 

"Only if Lucius knew that this wasn't the first time his day had been ruined because of you..." Sirius said.

 

Is he threatening me?

 

He would tell Lucius. I told you not to trust Blacks.

 

But... 

 

"Are you going to tell him?" Hazel asked trying to sound mocking rather than worried.

 

"Nah. I told you I'm not telling anyone."

 

Thank god.

 

Bet he's lying.

 

We'll see.

 

"What sort of code language do you guys keep using? What is it that Lucius doesn't know?" James asked.

 

"And you talked about some Bellatrix too. And how Hazel did something at her party." Remus said."What's all that about?"

 

----------------------flashback----------------------

 

Hazel woke up to find her brother loudly swearing at her from across her room.

 

"......everytime. And Hazel's just so bloody lazy. Why can't she be on time for once in her lifetime? I have to go and meet Bellatrix and all she can do is fucking sleep."

 

"I'm up." She said lazily.

 

"Get ready in five minutes young lady, or we might leave you here. And don't change your hair color today." Said her mother as she closed the door to give her privacy.

 

I wish you'd leave me here.

 

She won't. She's just trying to get you to hurry up.

 

Yeah. She thinks not being able to go to Bella-bitch's party is the most horrible punishment for me.

 

Hazel opened her enormous mahogany cupboard and found her dress hanging inside.

 

Gosh. Look at it. It's covered in frill and flowers.

 

There are no flowers. And stop complaining, at least its black.

 

Hazel sighed. She had went through a ridiculous number of gowns to choose this one at last. All of the available choices were too bright, or too flowery, or too long. But at last she came across this dress which was her favorite color, black. It had no flowers (thank god) and it was just the right length for her. Her mother didn't approve, of course, ("That thing is an abomination. Why is one of your leg visible? And you are too young for black, Hazel."). But she eventually gave in.

 

Hazel pulled out the dress and put it on. She looked beautiful. 

 

"I'm ready." She cried and in an instant she was surrounded by a couple of maids (yes, we have them too, in addition to house elves. For more...um.. intelligent tasks. Make up, for instance). 

 

One of them fussed over her hair while the other started her make up.

 

"It's alright. You don't need to work on my face much. I'm really happy without makeup, to be honest."

 

"I'm sorry, ma'am. We have explicit orders from Mistress to make you look as pretty as possible. We'll have to do make up." One of them replied.

 

"Why is she fussing so much today? We've been to numerous parties before. I didn't know she took the Blacks that seriously."

 

"The Malfoys are going to be there." Another replied.

 

Hazel groaned.

 

Well, that explains it.

 

She's gonna do it today. 

 

I'm dead. Oh Lord. Save me.

 

You're gonna have to do the saving yourself, I'm afraid.

 

"And why's Rodolphus extra grumpy today?" Hazel asked again.

 

"Master Rodolphus thinks it's time to talk to Miss Bellatrix's parents. He has graduated, after all." The maid replied again.

 

Oh no. Are they gonna fix their marriage before I go to Hogwarts?

 

Maybe.

 

I can't stand Rodolphus anywhere near me, and mother is just horrible. Put Bellatrix in the mix, and I think I might just run away.

 

Wait till Hogwarts.

 

I will. I have to.

 

Oh no. The Malfoys are going to be there. 

 

Stay good and nothing will happen.

 

No no no. If I stay good they might agree to mother's proposal. I have to do something.

 

You can't.

 

I will.

 

You've a choice between facing the wrath of your mother right now or marrying Lucius eight years later. I would choose Lucius if I were you. He's not that bad. And maybe they'll all forget about the marriage until then.

 

Rodolphus and Bellatrix had been chosen for each other at the time of their birth. I don't see anyone forgetting them.

 

I would still choose Lucius.

 

"We are done, mistress. Allow us to leave." The maids said and Hazel glanced at her reflection at last.

 

I look..... amazing.

 

Bad news, bad news. The Malfoys will definitely agree now.

 

I'm not ruining my look for that idiot. I'll think of something else.

 

"You look presentable. I'm sure the Malfoys wouldn't say no." Hazel's mother had just walked in.

 

Presentable? 

 

Come on Hazel. Coming from her, that's as good as "you look exceptionally beautiful".

 

Yeah, right.

 

"Um. Mother?"

 

"Yes."

 

"Are you going to talk to them today? At the party?"

 

"Yes indeed."

 

"Do you think it's the right time? I mean, I'm just eleven."

 

"Rodolphus and Bellatrix's marriage was fixed when they were born. You know how these things are. We don't want them to choose anyone else now, do we?"

 

"But aren't there.... uh... better families than the Malfoys? We can do better than them."

 

"Of course we can do better. Rodolphus did. But you dear... I would be pleased if you married the Malfoy boy some day. They are far better than the muggles that you would definitely marry if I don't fix you with him. Anyways, I'm quite sure that Lucius will be happy to have you. And I don't think any boy of better blood would even look at you. If only you were more well-behaved...."

 

The Black manor was adorned with antique furniture and everywhere Hazel looked she saw black and green. Guests we're pouring in and the now 20-year-old Bellatrix was going around greeting the guests.

 

The Malfoys hadn't arrived. But, to Hazel's horror, Rodolphus and Bellatrix's marriage had been fixed for the summer.

 

At least I'll have Hogwarts to go to after that.

 

Hazel was getting bored and just then a few more Blacks poured in.

 

How many of them are there anyways? I thought pure-bloods were supposed to be a small population.

 

Sirius Black had been skulking in a corner of the room, trying to avoid his cousins and other family members. He hated these parties. His mother had forced him into a tuxedo and he felt suffocated in it. Just then he noticed a girl dressed in black standing across the room, looking bored.

 

She was beautiful. She had amazing black hair and twinkling sea green eyes and that dress hugged her body in just the right places. Sirius stared at her and heard someone clear his throat besides him.

 

"I wouldn't look there if I were you."

 

Sirius turned to find a blonde standing besides him.

 

"Lucius Malfoy, Mr. Black." Lucius offered a handshake, but when Sirius gave his hand, Lucius pulled him in and roughly grabbed him around his shoulder. Sirius was only eleven and couldn't do anything to stop the towering 15-year-old. "Friendly advice Black, don't even think about Hazel again. She wouldn't even look at you. Hazel has better taste than that, I'm sure."

 

And letting Sirius go, Lucius made his way towards Hazel. 

 

Hazel noticed him come and groaned inwardly, while on the outside she grinned like nothing could have pleased her more than seeing him.

 

He had to come? Couldn't he get a flu or something? Why do the Malfoys always show up when I don't want them to?

 

Just then, the music changed and a slow song came up. Rodolphus grabbed Bellatrix and several other couples started dancing gracefully to the tune of the song.

 

Oh God. A slow song? Is the whole world conspiring against me? 

 

"Hello beautiful." Lucius approached her and offered her his hand.

 

"Hello Lucius." She replied and slid her hand in his outstretched hand. Lucius kissed the back of her hand.

 

"You look exceptional, as usual." Lucius complimented.

 

Get your hand off of me.

 

"You look ..... presentable."

 

I'm stealing dialogues from mother now?

 

To Hazel's horror, Lucius laughed.

 

"I almost forgot how hard it is to impress you. But I always love a little challenge."

 

How I'd love to smack that grin off his face. 

 

Lucius smirked and said,

 

"Would you like to dance, Hazel?"

 

I'm saying no.

 

Hahahahahah. Don't mind going back home after that.

 

"Yes ofcourse. I'd love to."

 

Across the hall Sirius watched as Lucius and Hazel talked and saw as Lucius kept touching her unnecessarily. But she seemed alright with it. 

 

Of course, he's a Malfoy. There are girls who would cut away their right arm to be with him. 

 

But somehow Hazel didn't seem to be one of those girls.

 

Lucius steered Hazel to the middle of the dance floor and slid his arm around her waist and pulled her flush against his chest.

 

What the.... what's he doing?

 

Hazel's eyes went wide at their closeness but she forced a smile.

 

I should get an Oscar for my acting.

 

Lucius started dancing and Hazel followed his lead.

 

Do something you idiot.

 

What? Trip him? 

 

Good idea.

 

Hazel glanced at her brother and accidentally locked eyes with Bellatrix, who looked her up and down and scrunched up her nose in disgust as if to say, 'you're really wearing that?'

 

It's over. It's war now. I'm gonna burn this house down.

 

Yeah, good luck with that.

 

But just then Hazel saw something that made her eyes light up.

 

The birthday cake. 

 

It was enormous, of course. It was on a trolley which was being pushed by a house-elf. He was probably taking it towards the Long table at the end of the hall where all the food was.

 

I have a wicked idea.

 

Don't do that.

 

Shut it.

 

Hazel grabbed Lucius's shoulder tightly and began leading him towards her brother and Bellatrix. Lucius, happy with her sudden enthusiasm, followed her lead .

 

Sirius watched in surprise as Hazel stuck out her foot and tripped Lucius. He fell backwards and accidentally tripped Rodolphus in the process. Rodolphus probably thought that he had tripped on himself and he fell on top of Bellatrix. The elf pushing the trolley ran away in fear as Bellatrix fell into the cake, followed by Rodolphus.

 

Hazel covered her mouth with her hands and faked shock while in reality she was trying to suppress her laughter.

 

Everyone stood in pin drop silence as they registered the scene. 

 

Lucius had stoop up hurriedly and was edging away as if he had nothing to do with anything. He was looking from Bellatrix to Rodolphus in horror. Bellatrix stood up, cake dripping from her hair, and slapped Rodolphus hard across his cheek. Rodolphus fell down on his ass in surprise as Bellatrix stormed off. 

 

Bellatrix fell on a cake and Rodolphus got slapped? This is my lucky day.

 

Everything had happened so quickly that no one knew exactly what had caused this mayhem. But from the looks of the scene it seemed as if Rodolphus had pushsd Bellatrix into the cake.

 

Lucius was looking at Hazel with pleading eyes, trying to stop her from saying that it was Lucius who had caused Rodolphus to fall.

 

Some people moved to help Rodolphus up while some others continued to chat as if nothing had happened. The house elves hurried to clean the spilled cake and Hazel moved to leave to hall. On her way she stopped near Lucius and whispered in his ear, "Don't worry, I won't tell anyone." And smirking she left the hall followed by a confused Rodolphus and their fuming mother.

 

-------------------Flashback ends----------------

 

James and Remus were rolling all over the couch laughing and Sirius grinned at Hazel.

 

"You did a great job." He said.

 

"Apparently not. If I had done a great job, you wouldn't have noticed me do it."

 

"Oh no. Don't worry. That's not your fault. I'm just good at observing. But I'm sure no one else saw you."

 

He smiled at her.

 

I really don't think he is like the rest of his family.

 

"They still got married this summer, sadly." Hazel said.

 

"What about you and Lucius?" Remus asked. 

 

"Mother didn't get time to ask his parents that day. But I'm sure she wouldn't delay too much." Hazel sighed sadly and bit her lip.

 

"But you are too young right now. Can't your mother wait till you're older?" Remus asked.

 

"She thinks Lucius will lose his interest in me if we delay this."

 

"But can't you just say no. Just tell her that you don't want to have an arranged marriage." James said.

 

"Its not that easy. You don't know how my mother is, James. She's impossible. She would never listen. She has decided to get me married to Lucius." Hazel sighed again.

 

Sirius looked up at her with pity.

 

"Don't give me that look Black. Lucius is not that bad. He's been my friend since we I was 3. At least he's got a sense of fashion. And he's kinda hot."

 

"They get grumpy as they age." Sirius said.

 

"I'm going to sleep, Black." Hazel said and climbed the staircase towards her dorm. 

 

**************************************

Chapter Text

By the next few days, the story of Hazel turning the Slytherin Prefect orange had reached everyone's ears, including the teachers. While all the non-Slytherin students were giving Lucius a very hard time by shouting "Neon suits you" everytime he happened to be in the same room as them, the teachers didn't seem too amused, especially Slughorn, the potions master and head of Slytherin. 

 

But, even as Dumbledore and McGonagall pretended to be quite disappointed, Hazel could swear she saw Dumbledore pass McGonagall a Galleon when Lucius turned up for breakfast still donning neon. Apparently, Madam Pomfrey had been unable to change him back. And so had all the teachers, but whether or not they had tried wholeheartedly was not known. Dumbledore seemed to find a neon covered Malfoy quite amusing.

 

Nonetheless, Hazel's outburst had landed her with her first detention. But it was worth it. Seeing her childhood friend, who was, in reality, the most pompous ass to ever walk, keeping to himself and avoiding people, was the most satisfying thing ever.

 

No other student had ever done anything that might anger Lucius Malfoy. That boy was rich. Had influential parents. They had power, money and reputation. Anyone messing with the Malfoys didn't end up well.

 

But Hazel wasn't worried at all. After all, she was one of the select few people who had seen Lucius when he was the most vulnerable. She was the one who had seen the boy make googly eyes at a teddy bear in display at a store. She was the one who had seen him cry for his dead horse. 

 

But all this seemed a lifetime ago, and Lucius had now grown to become a boy his family wanted him to be. He had chosen the path his family had thrust on him. He had become a typical brooding pureblood. He was, as Sirius had said, growing grumpy as he aged and Hazel no longer recognised him as the same little boy that had once told Hazel that she could become his friend if she bought him a unicorn.

 

Hazel could now clearly see her little Luce joining the death eaters and serving the dark lord as soon as he left school. But, no matter how hard he tried to be intimidating, Hazel knew that he still hadn't changed completely, there was still hope. He still had his childish side alive deep inside, but under his present attitude towards Hazel, she was doubtful that she would be comfortable in going anywhere near her probable future husband, let alone help him come over to the good side.

 

The classes had started, and although it had been just a few days, Hazel and the boys had found their favourite teacher.

 

Professor Minerva McGonagall had made it clear in the first class that she was not to be crossed. And although she maintained the aura of a strict teacher, her motherly love towards children didn't escape the Gryffindors' notice. Add that to her sass and mind blowing transfiguration skills, not to mention the fact that she could actually turn into a cat (which Hazel could relate to) and she permanently fixed her place as their favourite teacher in just a few meetings.

 

Professor Flitwick however had amused the boys. And even though Hazel knew she shouldn't be making fun of his height, she couldn't help but laugh everytime the professor fell down or was too short to reach something. Nonetheless Charms became a personal favourite of Lily Evans, with whom Hazel was now on friendly basis. 

 

Hazel, however, had taken a certain liking to transfiguration, so had the three boys, although Remus was equally good at defence against the dark arts, too. Remus was actually good at pretty much every subject, nay, he was brilliant. That boy had the perfect combination of wits and skills and he was best in theory and practical, alike. James, Sirius and Hazel, however were not that interested in the theory and lengthy textbooks. And however good they might be at every other subject, they knew that history of magic could never interest them.

 

Remus, Hazel found out, had a certain love for chocolates and books, both of which, were equally loved by Hazel, if not more. But as Hazel ate any and every type of chocolate, she didn’t have the same attitude for books. Her reading range strictly included only fiction. And she strongly avoided textbooks and romance novels.

 

One day Hazel, Sirius and James walked in on Remus sitting in the common room and playing wizard chess with another first-year boy.

 

"Peter Pettigrew." He was named, apparently. And he strongly reminded Hazel of a small and shaking rat.

 

Hazel now spent all of her days with the four boys and she hadn't had a decent conversation with any other girl except Lily. Hazel had never been the one to have many female friends and this always helped her in staying away from the drama and fuss that the other girls put up. After all, these boys were more than enough for filling up her days with laughter and fun.

 

But all this fun and laughter was turned into grim silence one morning when two owls dropped identical red howlers at the Gryffindor table, one with the Lestrange family crest and other with the Black family crest. Both burst open at the same time and the great hall was filled with the shrieking voices of two women. It was all a mess of shouted words and insults but among them some words were audible from both the howlers. "BLOOD TRAITOR ........... A DISGRACE TO THE FAMILY NAME ...... GRYFFINDOR?...... WHAT WOULD ANYONE THINK OF OUR FAMILY NOW?...... I ALWAYS KNEW YOU WERE THE ROTTEN EGG.... " were some words that were audible from both the letters.

 

Sirius had been considerably quite the whole day and although Hazel tried her best to remain her normal self and not look too concerned, her friends could still mark a change in her behaviour. But it took just a few words of encouragement from James, Remus and Peter and a trip to the kitchen to make Hazel and Sirius completely forget about the howler.

 

The first week had been too full and Hazel felt weary as she sat down for breakfast the next Saturday.

 

Hazel and the boys had spent rest of the week glaring back at angry Slytherins, trying to coop up with the magical studies and helping Peeves, who had taken a liking to them.

 

She had her detention at 8 p.m. and Remus was nowhere to be seen. He had been a bit peaky for the last two days and when she asked him, he said his mother was ill and he might be visiting her soon. So she just assumed that he had gone to see her.

 

She waved Sirius, James and Peter over as the food began to appear.

 

In front of her, however, wasn't the usual Hogwarts plate but rather a large white plate covered with a lid.

 

"What's that?" James, who had become more like a brother to her in the last week than her real one had for the last 11 years, spoke.

 

She picked up a card that had appeared along with the plate and eyed it suspiciously. 

 

"'Here's a gift for you, Hazel!'" Hazel read.

 

"Is it your birthday?" Sirius asked.

 

"No." 

 

She lifted the lid and there, beneath the lid, was a mouse. Breathing. Alive. Moving. And a 100% real mouse.

 

If there was something that Hazel was afraid of, it was a mouse. Rather ironic for a panther, which, after all, is a cat, to be afraid of mice. 

 

She let out a deafening shriek and tried to get away from the table, which resulted in her falling down from the seat and dragging herself along the floor, still screaming and trying to get away.

 

The innocent mouse sat on the plate and watched as Hazel tried to get away from him as if it were cursed. Sirius, James and Peter were too busy laughing their guts out to help her up.

 

"GET THAT WRETCHED THING AWAY FROM ME!!" Hazel shrieked and she heard someone laughing. Turning her head, she found Lucius sitting among amused Slytherins and laughing at the scene. That's when Hazel realised that the only person who knew about her hatred of mice was.....

 

"LUCIUS!!" She bellowed and got her wand out.

 

Dumbledore merely chuckled from behind his goblet while McGonagall said, "I don't want another show of coloring spells here, Miss. Lestrange."

 

"HE PUT A RUDDY MOUSE IN MY......... OH LUCIUS YOU ARE SO DEAD NOW." she advanced on him but was stopped. 

 

"Expelliarmus." McGonagall disarmed Hazel.

 

"I believe Miss. Lestrange that you are serving detention today for performing magic on your fellow student, do you want me to multiply the number of detention you will be serving?"

 

"But didn't you see? HE PUT A MOUSE IN MY PLATE!!"

 

"Oh little Hazie. Are you so afraid of mice?" Lucius said in an irritating sing song voice.

 

"WHAT? AFRAID? ME? NO. NEVER!..... I'm just..... just... they just gross me out .. that's it."

 

"Oh no. Little Hazie's afraid. What's she gonna do now? Cry to mumma about it? Oh little Hazie......." but the rest of his taunt was drowned by Hazel jumping on top of him and tackling him to the floor.

 

"YOU'LL DIE TODAY!"

 

"Detention! For both of you!" McGonagall shouted standing up.

 

James and Sirius got Hazel to her feet and dragged her kicking and shouting away from Lucius while Peter just kept laughing like a maniac.

 

Hazel was fuming for the whole day and at 5 minutes to eight, she got out of the common room cursing Lucius under her breath.

 

They were to spend their detention writing lines in McGonagall's office. 

 

Hazel had to write "I will not turn my schoolmates into any outrageous color."

 

And Lucius's one was "I will not hide mice in my schoolmates' breakfast plate."

 

Hazel was so annoyed by the end of the detention that she practically ran out of the office and all the way to the common room when it ended. 

 

Fuming and cursing under her breath, she spat the password and hurried inside only to find the room deserted. Everyone was in the great hall having dinner. Everyone except Remus, who was still gone to see her mother, and Hazel.

 

Hazel knew she ought to go for dinner but she didn't feel like eating, so she trotted towards a chair near the window and dropped herself into it.

 

The view outside was beautiful, stars were twinkling and the moon was hidden behind some clouds. A cool breeze was playing. It was all peaceful. Looking down, Hazel found the grounds dark and deserted and the inky black surface of the lake gleaming in the light from the tower windows. Suddenly the ground was bathed in bright light and it looked like someone had opened the main doors to the castle. Two shadows emerged in the lightened grass. One looked like it belonged to a child and other was of a woman. 

 

What are they doing? Shouldn't they be at dinner?

 

The figures moved into the grass and started moving, apparently towards the forbidden forest. Hazel squinted her eyes and pressed her face to the window, desperate to find who the rule breakers were. The figures moved into light and Hazel's eyes widened when she recognised the boys jumper and the woman's clothes. Remus and Madam Pomfrey.

 

Remus? I thought he had gone home to meet his mother. 

 

Maybe he came back.

 

But why's he going to the forbidden forest with Pomfrey?

 

Hazel's questions were left unanswered as both the figures made their way across the ground, around Hagrid's hut and into the forest.

 

Hazel sat and stared at the forest, waiting for the duo to return. She rested her face on the glass and kept staring at the forest, dozens of questions popping into her head.

 

She was looking at the forest....... then at the full moon, which had now emerged out of the clouds........ suddenly a dragon appeared ..... it was making a strange noise, like a wolf......... now it was not a dragon anymore...... it was her mother...... she was shouting. ....... shouting at Hazel for getting into Gryffindor..... shouting the same words at Hazel that she had sent in the howler...... "YOU ARE A DISGRACE........ DON'T YOU DARE RETURN HOME ON CHRISTMAS......" ........ somehow Sirius had appeared too....... somewhere, someone was shouting the same words that Sirius's howler had shouted....... Sirius looked sad...... then he looked at Hazel..... "Wake up, Hazel.".....

 

Huh?

 

"Wake up now."

 

"I think she is really tired."

 

"Don't be ridiculous Peter. All she did today was sit and curse Lucius under her breath."

 

"But Sirius, maybe she got tired at the detention."

 

"James, she's just being lazy."

 

"WAKE UP."Sirius shouted.

 

Hazel opened her eyes to find the three boys standing over her and trying to wake her up.

 

"Where were you during dinner?" Peter asked.

 

The common room was now bustling with activities as all the students had returned. 

 

"I wasn't hungry. Where's Remus?" She asked.

 

"Remus? We thought he was gone to see his mother." James replied.

 

"He said that she was ill." Sirius said.

 

Should I tell them?

 

But you're not even sure that it was Remus.

 

What are you saying, no one here owns the exact same jumper.

 

But why would he lie about going to see his mother and then dissappear for a day and go to the forbidden forest at night with Pomfrey?

 

Maybe he had gone to see his mother. But he returned early.

 

And then used the spare time for going on a nighttime stroll into the forest? With Pomfrey? And if you haven't noticed, he still hasn't returned.

 

But there's no point in telling them right now. I will ask Remus about it first.

 

Somewhere far off a wolf was howling. The three boys were looking at Hazel. 

 

"Yeah, I think he went to see his mother."

 

*************************************