The Great Hall was abuzz with the usual teenage chatter and banter. However this morning the buzz seemed quite a bit louder for the Headmaster had just announced that a new foreign exchange student from Singapore would be arriving that evening. They’d be taking the sixth year curriculum, but live in a separate dorm from their housemates despite being sorted due to special circumstances.
“Why do you reckon this new kid’s got their own dorm?” Ron asked, turning to his two companions after Dumbledore had finished off his spiel.
“It’s none of our business Ronald Weasley.” Ron winced as Hermione, one of his two friends, pinched his arm. As he was whining about the pain, Harry was busy staring at the teacher's table with a worried look on his face. A few minutes into their usual friendly bickering, Hermione noticed Harry’s expression and nudged Ron in the ribs with her elbow, which again started up a whole new round of whinging. It died off after a look from Hermione and they both turned to their friend.
Harry wasn’t amused, he wasn’t amused at all. Dumbledore had that damn twinkle in his eyes again, the twinkle that said he was ready to mess with the lives of innocent people. Whoever this new person was, Dumbledore was eager for them to arrive which spelled bad things for all of them. Every time Dumbledore twinkled, it meant trouble for Harry.
“I’m fine guys, Dumbledore’s just twinkling again.” He scowled, “wonder what exciting new trial I’m to go through this year.” Harry nonchalantly said, taking a sip of his pumpkin juice. Hermione and Ron wrinkled their noses as if they smelt something bad.
“Perhaps you’ll get to fight the giant squid this year,” Dean joked from across the table, causing their group, consisting of Neville, Ginny, Hermione, Ron, Dean, and Seamus, to burst into sniggers, earning them a nasty look from McGonagall. Giving them all a lopsided grin, Harry hid his worry with laughter yet again even as his eyes caught the twitch in Professor Snape’s expression. He wasn’t that concerned though, Snape was in their pocket whether he liked it or not, Harry’s smile turned into a wicked smirk.
Severus’s mind was running miles per second, he kept thinking about the vow he took a few weeks ago unable to think of much else. Draco wasn’t helping either, the brat refused to tell Severus of his plans or ask for aid in general. His Lord had given the boy an assignment, to kill Dumbledore. He had already told Dumbledore of the assignment and his vow. As worried as he was about Draco, his gaze couldn’t help but flicker to the rowdy Gryffindor table. Potter’s eyes caught his and he held his stare for some time. Severus loathed to admit it, but the Golden Trio had calmed down some after their fourth year. By calmed down, he meant they weren’t causing trouble in class anymore. Their feud with his Slytherins had also calmed down. Not that he was surprised, after last year with Umbridge…a shiver ran down his spine at the memory.
He was the first that found her remains in the forbidden forest, found them standing just a few feet away covered in blood. One blank-faced and the other two with mirth dancing in their eyes, daring him to do something about it. Only his strong mental shields stopped him from vomiting on the spot. They had completely torn her apart, remnants of an ancient ritual surrounding Umbridge’s body. Severus could feel the power thrumming off the trio. He had backed away then, wand in hand and sparks of magic dancing off his fingertips. Fear had gripped him and he knew that no matter how powerful his master was, none of them would have a chance against these three. The dark muggle-born who wants to use knowledge to change the world, the quiet last child who wants to be free from his family’s shadow, and the broken boy who lived who had won their loyalty. His lord stood no chance against all three of them, and neither did he.
Severus had always been a man of self-preservation, he had no trouble admitting that. So naturally, they had come to an agreement of sorts for he knew that they’d never let him leave the forest alive if they thought him to be a threat. He left the forest with them in tow, pretending that he had caught them sneaking around after curfew (which he did, but no one needed to know what happened after) and allowed them to construct their own excuses for the headmaster. The vow was simple, if he told anyone about what he saw without their explicit permission he would lose his magic, this extended to writing it down or showing the scene through occlumency.
“- in addition to the curriculum this year…Severus? Severus, are you alright?” He snapped to attention, shifting so that he was slightly facing in Minerva’s direction.
“I don’t see why I wouldn’t be,” Severus drawled, flicking a strand of hair out of his eyes.
Minerva hummed, her eyes narrowed suspiciously in Severus’s direction, “If you say so.” She muttered reluctantly, knowing that if she pushed him any further he would just leave. Her mind flickered briefly towards the new transfer student, ‘It would be nice to have a new lion,’ she thought.
The doors to the Great Hall were abruptly slammed opened, startling her out of her musings. The chattering slowly died off as an unfamiliar figure paused at the entrance, clad in a heavy royal blue cloak and a few small trunks floating behind them. The figure pulled back their hood and regarded the Great Hall with a blank expression, only twitching slightly when their eyes rested on Severus, though he seemed to be the only one that noticed that. They saw his eyes narrow slightly, to which they answered with an amiable grin. Their dyed purple hair fell around their shoulders, poofing up to slightly resemble Hermione Granger’s own hair.
“Ah, the new student! Come, my girl, you may sit with the Gryffindor house for now since we arranged for your sorting tonight. We weren’t expecting you till evening after all,” Dumbledore clapped, his eyes twinkling more than ever and a grandfatherly smile on his face.
The new student’s nose wrinkled in mild disgust. A few people startled as they noticed her eyes were completely white, fading to light purple around the top and the remnants of what might’ve been pupils stared at Dumbledore.
“Blimey, the new student is blind,” Neville commented, staring wide-eyed at the abnormal looking student.
“Yes, because we didn’t notice,” Ron teased, nudging Neville slightly with his foot under the table. Neville flushed slightly in embarrassment and kicked Ron in retaliation, sparking a foot war between the two, that only stopped after Hermione both smacked them on the back of the head. The group looked up to see Professor McGonagall staring at them in disapproval, while the new girl had slightly tilted her head towards them.
“I was persuaded to arrive earlier due to certain events,” The student said, her voice almost like a whisper of the wind that everyone strained to hear, “I’m Seraphie Rhea, for those who’d want to know.”
A few of the purebloods sneered, realizing that Rhea was not a pureblood name. Seraphie smiled, amused as if she could sense their disdain. She turned and started walking towards the Slytherin table, her steps sure and light, and her trunks following behind her.
“My dear girl, the Gryffindor table is the other way,” Dumbledore chuckled, his fingers laced together.
“I know,” Seraphie said, not pausing in her steps, “Hogwarts told me, told me everything.” As she took a seat at the Slytherin table, her eyes sought Dumbledore’s, despite her being blind, “Everything.” She said again, not caring about the whispers that erupted around her.
The Headmaster shifted uncomfortably for a moment, before smiling genially, "That's nice dear girl. Well, take your seat so we may continue the Feast."
Seraphie continued staring at the Headmaster, causing many around her to move away, slightly afraid of the unwavering glare she held. After a few moments, she looked back down onto the plate that had magically appeared in front of her and fiddled with the utensils. Draco and a few of the other Slytherins gave each other searching glances before nodding decisively.
"I'm Draco Malfoy," He declared pompously, "We don't like your kind here, so you can go and sit with another house." The rest of the Slytherins mumbled in agreement, backing up the Slytherin Prince.
The new girl gave pause and cocked her head to Draco, "I don't believe I asked you for your name or your opinion." She whispered, her voice low and slightly lilted. She had panicked at first, thinking that he knew what she was, but she relaxed after realizing that he just had a problem with her blood.
Draco spluttered indignantly, his face flushed in embarrassment and annoyance, "Listen here mudblood, only purebloods are allowed in Slytherin so unless you-" He was cut off as Pansy smacked his arm, her eyes wide and panicked. As he turned to berate her, he noticed the dark shadow looming over him and he paled.
"Do continue, Mr. Malfoy, I am eager to hear the rest of your sentence." Severus hissed. While he wasn’t that angered by what Draco had said, he was upset since he knew he taught Draco to not talk before assessing the situation. The new student sparked of magic, pure and raw, it rippled beneath a bubble that surrounded her. He knew that some blind wizards preferred to use their magic as an extension of their physical body to navigate themselves, but he had never seen such a show of power. While he wasn’t intimidated, he’d rather his Godson not get himself killed because of his mouth, even if Draco was being a brat this year.
“If you don’t mind, Professor Snape, Malfoy didn’t mean any harm by it.” Everyone stared at Seraphie, baffled by her statement. Her voice had become light, almost dreamy and ghostlike.
“How do you know me, Ms. Rhea?” Severus snapped, his posture tense.
Seraphie giggled, “She told me everything, Professor.” Was all she gave in explanation. Severus’s eyes narrowed and he sneered in reply, even though she couldn’t see, and swept away.
Draco turned towards her and snarled, “Why’d you do that? What do you want?” It was more a statement than a question.
Chuckling, Seraphie reached a delicate hand to pat Draco’s cheek, a crooked smile on her face, “I require nothing in return, Draco. I know everything.”
He paled at the last sentence, his mind flashing to the cupboard in the Room of Requirement. His wand was in his hand the next moment, Seraphie smiled in understanding and patted him again. In a split second, she had a glass of water in her hand and had emptied it over his head. As Draco was spluttering and resembling a drowned cat, Seraphie had grabbed a bun and run out of the laughing hall, a trail of giggles following her.