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It's Lonely at the Top

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There's a moment in life, where you have the choice to break with what you've known or silently comply with your past. For most, a moment like this usually comes during radical adolescence rebellion, or post-graduates deciding wildly uncommon career paths.

My moment came when I was eleven.

I sat with the Hogwarts sorting hat over my ears and heard its ancient whisper in my head. A Weasley, eh? Yes, yes you come from a rich background of Gryffindors, I can see. But do you have the courage? I can see something else in you… I can see your cunning intelligence. I can see how you will stop at nothing to be the best… a trait of the Slytherins.

I sharply inhaled, realizing for the first time, there was a distinct possibility I could end up in a different house than Gryffindor. I expected to feel fear, but I felt exalted. I would be the first in my family to step outside the norm.

Being among such huge family, notoriety was scarce. Especially when your parents made up two members of the infamous trio that rid the wizarding world of the most evil wizard to exist. I would get attention for something, finally, by being placed in Slytherin.

Does that scare you? Making a different path than those before you? If it does, you're not meant for either house…

'I'm not scared!' I said loudly in my thoughts. 'I can do anything!'

"Slytherin!" the hat exclaimed. There was a beat of silence before a triumphant whooping exploded from the table at the end of the hall.

I took the hat off my head and walked dumbly to the table of green and silver. I kept my eyes trained on the floor, the ferocity I felt during the sorting completely halted by my new reality. I wished more than anything I had not inherited my father's red hair at this moment; it was a blatant sign of my familial betrayal as my fellow gingers sat in a clump at the Gryffindor table. I was the last student to be sorted, and I found the one open seat at the Slytherin table next to my fellow first years.

"A Weasley, eh?" The blonde boy next to me smiled, not all together unkindly.

I looked at the sureness in his blue eyes and the white blonde hair and tried to size him up.

"You've got a problem with that?" I said back gruffly, refusing to back down now from my act of defiance.

He laughed in surprise, "Not at all. Scorpius Malfoy," he said sticking his hand out. I looked at it scathingly.

"My father told me to beat you at every test," I said surely, crossing my arms and ignoring his outstretched palm. He pulled back his palm to his side, looking at me challengingly. He deduced by now that I was not just another young girl, eager to make friends and bond with her first-year peers.

"Well may the best wizard win then, eh?" He said back, turning to marvel at the enormous amounts of food now in front of us.

"Don't worry," I said, my eyes still trained on the side of his pale neck. I could see a small Adam's apple bobbing as he drank a flask of Pumpkin juice. "She will." And with that, I turned to my own plate, not bothering to see if Scorpius had heard me or not.