Thursday flying class was an adventure, to say the least. She’d had to deal with Hermione and Neville’s anxious muttering once she was there. Thank Circe that Daphne didn’t voice all her worries aloud. The worst one though, was Ron Weasley, though he was bragging about how good he was at flying. Emmelia wasn’t so sure she believed him.
She didn’t like him all that much. Actually, she didn’t like him at all. He constantly made rude comments about Hermione behind her back, and she’d caught him saying that Emmelia was way too arrogant about her own skills, though she couldn’t understand why. She’d never made a claim that she couldn’t back up. She hadn’t encountered a single situation she needed to bluff her way out of. And anyway, why risk it. She had an image to uphold and if she went everywhere lying about all the incredible things she could supposedly do, she’d lose all her credibility. Like that old muggle story, the girl who cried wolf.
Now, he was in the middle of talking to Seamus, a different first year Gryffindor boy. They were pointing at Tracy Davis, the only first year Slytherin half-blood (besides herself) and laughing about what an awful time she must be having in that house. Emmelia didn’t think that that was very funny, but she didn’t butt in on their conversation.
She turned back to her two friends. The bushy haired girl on her left was frantically paging through Quidditch Through the Ages, like the books would somehow teach her how to fly. Neville, who looked ready to piss himself, was hanging on to every word she muttered aloud while reading.
“You two will be fine. I doubt we’re even flying more than two feet in the air today. Just listen to the Professor and nothing bad will happen, alright?” Neither Neville nor Hermione looked particularly convinced, “Besides, if anything happens, I’m sure Ronald here will save you with his amazing skills on a broom.” She said sarcastically, jerking her head to where the red head was still talking loudly, “Right Weasley?”
Ron puffed out his chest dramatically, “O-of course I will.” That made her friends look even more skeptical.
Behind them, someone snickered and called, “Nice one Weasley! The only thing you’ve ever flow on is a bloody Shooting Star.”
Emmelia didn’t know what that was, but from the way Ron’s face reddened in embarrassment, it wasn’t good. The Weasleys obviously had financial problems, and making a joke about them was awfully rude, but the person who said it and the hot headed Gryffindor obviously had some long standing rivalry, so she let it go.
She turned and studied the Slytherin who said it. It was the same boy who’d made the snarky comment right before their sorting. She recognized him a bit from class, but he hadn’t done anything all to memorable yet. Daphne, who’d just moved to stand on her right side, whispered his name in her ear.
“That’s Draco Malfoy. His father is extremely powerful in both the Ministry and on the Governor on the school board. I wouldn't get on his bad side.” Emmelia nodded slowly in recognition as the boy introduced himself.
“Malfoy,” He said proudly while bowing, “Draco Malfoy.”
Emmelia smiled politely and gave a small curtsy, “It’s a pleasure Malfoy.” Her voice was warm and cheerful, but her green eyes were hardened and cold. No weakness, not in front of one of the Malfoys, who were trained to hone in on any opening and attack.
“The pleasure is all mine, Heir Potter-Black.” He said. His voice was colder than hers as he kissed her hand.
Ahhhhhhh, he must’ve noticed both the rings she wore on her finger. She’d hidden the Black one with the heavy glamour it provided, fearing controversy. Somehow, he must've seen through it. Maybe he was of Black blood.
Beside her, Daphne smiled shyly while Hermione and Ron looked uncomfortable. Neville just looked bored.
Ron snorted, breaking the tension between the two eleven year olds, “I don’t know what you’re talking about Malfoy, I’m a bloody amazing flyer. I’ll prove it to you down on the pitch.”
Malfoy turned to Daphne, “I bet you five galleons that he gets himself hurt before he even gets off the ground.”
Daphne thought for a moment before agreeing, “You better be as good as you say you are, otherwise, I’m down five galleons.”
Emmelia smiled at her friend’s suddenly confident demeanor. Gone was the shy girl she’d met on the train. In her place was the cool, powerful, Greengrass heir. No weaknesses. Emmelia had to admit, she was good. Daphne had obviously been trained for the part for years. She hooked her arms through Daphne’s and Hermione’s and left towards the quidditch pitch.
Emmelia, Neville, Hermione, Daphne and the other Gryffindors and Slytherins hurried down the front steps into the grounds for their first flying lesson. It was a clear, breezy day and the grass rippled under their feet as they marched down the sloping lawns towards a smooth lawn. Emmelia studied the forest on the opposite side of the grounds. It’s trees were swaying darkly in the distance.
Lying on the floor were twenty broomsticks, all set up in neat lines for each student. Emmelia had heard some upper year housemates complain about the school brooms, saying that some of them started to vibrate if you flew too high, or always flew slightly to the left. Still, she wasn't too worried.
Their teacher, Madam Hooch, arrived. She had short grey hair and yellow eyes like a hawk. She looked rather terrifying.
“Well, what are you all waiting for?” she barked. “Everyone stand by a broomstick. Come on, hurry up.”
Emmelia glanced down at her broom. It was old and some of the twigs stuck out at odd angles.
“Stick out your right hand over your broom,” called Madam Hooch at the front, “and say, ‘Up!’”
‘UP!’ everyone shouted.
Emmelia’s broom jumped into her hand at once, but it was one of the few that did. Hermione’s had simply rolled over on the ground and Neville’s hadn’t moved at all. Daphne’s had risen half way up before falling back to the floor.
Much to the delight of all the Slytherins and Emmelia (except Daphne) Ron’s broom had flung up and hit him in the face, causing him to stumble back and fall on the floor. She heard Pansy Parkinson snort somewhere to her left, but then quickly smothered the sound with her hand.
Madam Hooch then showed them how to mount their brooms without sliding off the end, and walked up and down the rows, correcting their grips. She told Malfoy to shift his hands so they were farther away from him, and Emmelia giggled slightly when she told both Ron and Malfoy that they’d been doing it wrong for years.
“Now, when I blow my whistle, you kick off from the ground, hard,” said Madam Hooch. “Keep your brooms steady, rise a few feet and then come straight back down by leaning forwards slightly. On my whistle – three – two –“
But Neville, nervous and jumpy and frightened of being left on the ground, pushed off hard before the whistle had touched Madam Hooch’s lips.
“Come back, boy!” she shouted, but Neville was rising straight up like a cork shot out of a bottle – twelve feet – twenty feet. He was so high in the air now that Emmelia could barely even make out his black robes against the blue sky.
Emmelia could see, though, his body wobble as he looked down at the ground falling away, she saw him gasp, slip sideways off the broom and –
Emmelia was on her broom and flying through the air before she even recognized that she was doing anything. She shot towards Neville, who was halfway to the ground and flailing through the air like a fish out of water.
She ducked under and caught him so he landed on her broom, slightly behind her. Neville clung on for dear life (they were at least one hundred feet in the air after all) as Emmelia spotted a small red object out of the corner of her eye.
Emmelia recalled Neville mentioning how ‘angry his Gran would be if he managed to lose his bloody Remembrall’. She could faintly hear the screaming of Madam Hooch, Hermione, and the other students. She could definitely hear Neville screaming in her ear right next to her.
She dove towards the quickly approaching ground, chasing after the little red ball. Two feet from the ground, she managed to grab the pesky little thing. Almost effortlessly, she pulled up on the broom and guided her and Neville to the ground. She shakily helped him off her broom and handed him the Remembrall.
When she turned, she was faced with a furious Madam Hooch and an even angrier Hermione. Daphne, who stood slightly behind her and to her left, tried to imitate the scolding look, but she came off a little more worried. Thankfully, she was saved from any more yelling by the nearby cat that looked awfully suspicious.
Emmelia watched in complete fascination as the feline transformed into her transfiguration teacher and head of house, Professor McGonagall.
“Miss Potter!” She called abruptly in her Scottish accent, “Come with me this instant! To the headmaster’s office at once.”
She followed after her Professor obediently and flashed a small smile at Daphne, who looked as pale as the moon and Malfoy, who was gazing at her with barley concealed awe and jealousy. Daphne was the only one who managed a smile back, Malfoy’s eyes just narrowed suspiciously.
“I think I can take it from here, Minerva.” A cold voice said from the shadows, “Miss Potter is in my house after all.”
“Of course Severus, of course.” McGonagall moved out of the way.
Still, McGonagall gave one last scolding, “Honestly Miss Potter, I expected more from you. It is an honorable thing for you to want to save your friends, but I’m sure that Madam Hooch had complete control over the situation.”
Emmelia highly doubted that.
“I’m sorry to have disappointed you ma’am. I know I’ll do better next time.” She kept her eyes trained on the floor in order to look as ashamed as possible.
McGonagall purses her lips before deflating, “Yes, well, I suppose as long as you think before you do something like that again, understood?”
“Alright then. You take care of her Severus. I’m going to head back to the Quidditch pitch.” With that, the deputy headmistress left the scene.
Emmelia spent her walk with Professor Snape in absolute silence. He seemed to be determined not to look at her, or even acknowledge her at all.
It took her a moment to realize that they weren’t headed to the headmasters office, but she didn’t comment on it. Surprisingly, the black cloaked man stopped in front of an unsuspecting and boring looking door marked Fifth Year Charms. He told Emmelia to wait outside and then entered the classroom.
Five minutes later, he came out, bringing with him a slightly confused but intrigued teenage boy.
He then brought both of them to his office before he sat down and explained what was happening.
“Mister Flint, this is Miss Potter.” He nodded in recognition. She appreciated him not staring at her scar. Snape continued, “She’s your new seeker.” He said coldly before raising his hand to stop Flints protests, “Listen, Mister Flint. We need a new seeker, and I’ve just witnessed Miss Potter catch a falling classmate 100 feet in the air, starting from the ground, and then race after his Remembrall, which she then caught two feet from the earth, before she pulled up on her broom and glided to the ground. Not a scratch on her. I’m not all that familiar with Quidditch in general but I understand that that is quiet,” he sneered, “impressive, for a first year.”
Flint’s suspicious expression changed from slightly bewildered to mildly impressed, “Charlie Weasley couldn’t have done that, and her father couldn’t have done it either.” Snape spat the word father like it was the worst curse he knew.
“What about my father? Was he a quidditch player too?”
“Yes, I’m aware that he was,” Snape’s face twisted even more, “quite skilled.”
“Oh” Emmelia said quietly. She got the feeling that Snape didn’t like her dad very much. As much as she hated to admit it, her parents were definitely a weak point. It wasn’t as if she wanted to dedicate her entire life to impressing them, but back until September, she hadn’t even know their names. She really wanted to connect with them somehow and show them that, even though she was a Gray witch, she wouldn't turn her back on their Light philosophies. Not all of them at least.
If her father loved quidditch, then maybe she should give it a try, if only for one year. Besides, she’d loved the feeling of the wind ripping through her cherry hair, her eyes burning as she chased after the red ball. Yeah. She’d try it.
There was only one problem.
“I’m afraid, sir, that my knowledge of the sport is very limited.” Emmelia pointed out, wearing her best wide eyed expression.
"I'm sure that Mister Flint will take care of that problem. If you'd excuse me, I need to speak to the Headmaster to confirm your placement on the team. But I'm sure that, even though you're a first year, he'd be more then willingly I give you some," he paused, as if considering his words, "leeway."
With that, he turned and left the room, leaving Emmelia with an overly excited Flint.
Flint looked back at her scandalized, “Did the folks you live with have no culture?”
“I was raised by muggles.” Emmelia said coldly, “They weren’t the most pleasant lot.” She was surprised by how little people knew that. She literally had an entire fictional series based off of her. She’d definitely be suing the company that had produced those.
“Yes well,” the older Slytherin waved his hand dismissively, “Whatever, no one gives a damn about those dirty muggles. I’ll give you a rundown on the basics of the game,” by the look in his eyes, Emmelia could tell that it was not going to be a basic explanation.
True to her prediction, the boy spent the rest of the first period giving a detailed description of every single quidditch ball, play, and game. Even Emmelia had a hard time wrapping her head around everything. She had no idea how the older boy managed to do it at all.
When Emmelia returned to lunch later that day, Ronald Weasley looked decidedly smug. It was almost as if he thought she’d been expelled, which was absolutely absurd. Even if she had been taken to see the old headmaster, Dumbledore (the leader of the Light mind you) would have to be completely insane to expel her (which, despite his odd beginning of the year speech, seemed highly unlikely).. She was the bloody Girl Who Lived for Circe’s sake, she wasn’t going to be kicked out of school, even if she was in Slytherin.
The moment she caught her eye, Daphne slid gracefully over to Emmelia, trying her best not to look like she was running.
“Emmelia Lily Potter!” Emmelia had no idea where the blonde had even learned her middle name. Probably one of those crappily written autobiographies. She continued to whisper furiously at her, “What do you think you were doing?! Madam Hooch would’ve handled the situation perfectly well if you hadn’t barged in with all you heroics and put yourself in danger! Are you alright? Neville is fine, if you're wondering his he is. Just a little shaken.” Her voice, thankfully, stayed at the pitch and volume.
“Honestly Daphne, everyone is perfectly fine,” She did a little spin in order to prove that she had no injuries, “See?”
Emmelia was smiled charmingly at her friend, but Daphne pursed her lips worriedly in response, “Fine, you’re right. No one got hurt. I’m sorry it’s just, you’ve never even been on a broom before, and then you were heading straight for the ground, and I thought for sure that you were going to crash and break your neck. I was just so worried. I’m sorry.”
“No harm done.” Emmelia assured smiling, “And guess what! Something amazing came out of this experience.” Daphne raised her brow skeptically. Emmelia gestured for her to come closer. After all, Professor Snape and Flint made her promise to keep it a secret.
Emmelia whispered it into her ears, thoroughly enjoying the girls reaction. At first, she looked a little baffled but then the sharp smile she’d used when talking to Malfoy slid into place.
“No punishment? That’s actually pretty wicked. But still, as a first year? There hasn’t been a first year on a house team in at least one hundred years! You’re going to get yourself hurt, or worse!”
Emmelia was flattered by Daphne’s concern over her wellbeing.
“Don’t be stupid Daphne! I’m not going to be killed by a school bludger. People rarely ever die in professional games, and their bludgers hit way harder. Trust me, I asked the captain, Flint, all about the dangers, so I’m sure I’ll be safe.”
“When’s practice?” She seemed to have gotten over her initial anger.
“We have practice on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday nights every week.”
“Alright then, not to bad. Plus, now you get Quidditch team invulnerability.” Emmelia raised an eyebrow in order to prompt her to explain, “Since you’re on the team, all the other members are pretty much forced to watch your back. At the very least, they won’t go out of their way to antagonize you, which is still good.”
Emmelia nodded in understanding, “I’m glad, I was definitely afraid that my status as a Potter would’ve brought some er-unfriendly attention to me. I’m glad that’s all taken care of. And I knew you’d warm up to the idea in no time.” She sat down at the Slytherin dining table and added a little bit of food to her plate. She knew from experience that she couldn’t go stuffing her face. Malnutrition did that to you. Thankfully, she didn’t look nearly as frail as one would’ve expected her to be after eleven years with the Dursleys. The ballet and acrobatic classes she regularly took had made her body much stronger and leaner.
Emmelia nibbled on a piece of pineapple while she eavesdropped on the conversations around her. It was times like these when she wished she was in Gryffindor. Not a single Slytherin was talking about anything remotely important. Well, if they were, it wasn’t anywhere Emmelia could hear. Honestly, not one mention of politics or secret alliances. Not even any blackmail worthy material.
She paused to listen in when someone mentioned Defense Against the Dark Arts. It was her and Daphne’s next class, so she wanted to be as prepared as possible. Strangely, the only thing the fourth year seemed to talk about was how different the teacher was from when he originally taught muggle studies.
For instance, the girl said that he was way more nervous then he used to be, though she chalked it up to his supposed run in with vampires. That and the garlic. The fourth year said that she’d remembered him having a little bit of a quiver in his voice, but nothing like the way he apparently spoke now. Also, she said that he was nowhere near as nice as he was in her second and first year. He used to offer all kinds of help to students, even outside the classroom. Now, he just awkwardly gave his ‘lesson’ and scampered out of the room like a scared mouse.
The girl’s friends had completely dismissed her worries, telling her that he was probably having a bad day. Or maybe he’d changed on his year long journey. The first girl didn’t look so sure, and Emmelia couldn’t help but agree with her. It was definitely suspicious.
After lunch, the duo made their way down to DADA. While Emmelia was excited about the prospect of utilizing the defensive spells she’d learned over the summer, she was hesitant to let her guard down anywhere near the unsettling professor. It was obvious to everyone with a brain that there was something wrong with the defense teacher, Professor Quirrell.
It wasn’t just the fact that he was different from the previous years he'd taught, but even her scar had been warning her about the man. Whenever he looked directly at her (which, so far, had only happened three times) or she looked at the back of his head, her forehead burst into a searing pain. Strangely, it looked like it was leaking Dark Magic, which Emmelia was sure wasn’t normal scar behavior.
The same Dark Magic, mind you, that hung around Quirrell’s head like some weird cloud. It had taken Emmelia a thorough examination of the man to actually notice the cloud of magic near his face that was much thicker than the rest of his Dark aura. Usually, someone’s magical core was just a faintly colored glow that hovered around them, but Quirell’s felt odd. Almost-wrong, in a sense. It felt gross and unnatural, nothing like the other Dark cores she’d encountered during her time at Hogwarts.
The magic from her scar balanced out her core though, which was rather nice. Even after only four days of school, all of the Light Magic the students had been practicing had been slowly getting rid of her pretty silver aura and turning it into boring, common, gold. After a ‘scar incident’ (as they were now dubbed) the Dark Magic from it swirled around and combined with her own aura, stabilizing it again. She knew she couldn't rely on it to keep her normal for forever, though. She would need to start practicing Dark magic in order for her core to stay neutral, like she wanted.
Emmelia was so glad she was a parselmouth. With that ability up her sleeve, she’d be able to study parselmagic, a subsection of the Dark Arts. It was perfect, really.
Still, Emmelia couldn’t help but feel bad about what the kids with Dark cores had to be going through. She hadn’t noticed any change in the color of their auras, but it was significantly harder to perform Light spells when you were naturally Dark. It just wasn’t fair.
She added that to her mental list of things to fix about Hogwarts and the wizarding world in general.
She was shaken from her thoughts by a concerned Parvati, a Gryffindor student. Emmelia hadn’t known that the Slytherins had defense with the lions.
“-mmy, Emmy, Emmelia! There you are! I was wondering if you’d been swallowed by the stench of garlic.” She laughed at her own joke and wrinkled her nose in disgust, while still smiling. Emmelia have a polite smiled back. She hadn’t ever talked to either of the girls, but Hermione had said that Parvati and Lavender were a little vain, but so were most girls their age. Emmelia knew she was a little vain herself. Afterall, she got up an entire hour before anyone in her dormitory in order to get ready (admittedly, she also took a shower and did her stretches. Ballet and acrobatics had been forced on her by her Aunt, and Emmelia had a feeling that when she went back (if she went back) she’d want her to continue making her money.)
“I know what you mean Parvati.” She glanced over at the back of the foul smelling Professor’s head disdainfully and barley avoided wincing at the sudden spike of white hot pain in her forehead.
The two girls sat next to each other for the remainder of class, Parvati on her left and Daphne on her right with Hermione behind her. Neville seemed to be talking to Dean Thomas from Gryffindor. Occasionally, Parvati would lean over her desk towards Emmelia to make some giggly comment or ask for an answer to the oddly specific test Quirrell had handed out.
Even the paper smelled like garlic.
Other than a few more scar incidents (Emmelia was now almost 100% sure that they only happened when she looked directly at the back of the teacher’s turbin, which meant he was probably hiding something under it, just like she’d suspected) class had mostly been uneventful. All Quirrell really did was awkwardly shuffle about and stutter random stories about his time traveling. After his explanation about the vengeful vampire he’d run into (which was why he carried around all that garlic apparently) Emmelia resisted the urge to point out that garlic did basically nothing to protect someone against a vampire. Hermione looked like she was doing the same.
After class, Emmelia went back to her room to read. She’d read through most the books she’d taken out, and was currently reading one about Mermish, the language of the merpeople. To be completely honest, it wasn’t very helpful. Most of the words in the language were spelled in ways that made absolutely no sense. That just made it a much more interesting read though, because she had to really put effort into each word and pronunciation. She was nowhere near understanding what everything meant, but it was interesting to hear the way each vowel contorted in her mouth.
After putting away that book for another time, Emmelia spent the next few hours before lights out trying to concentrate her aura as small as it would get. Two days previous, she‘d been embarrassed in charms when she’d overpowered her spell and almost blew people up. She needed to learn how to control her magic.
She wrapped it tighter around herself. Tighter, tighter. With all of her concentration focused completely on her aura, she managed to force it into an almost tangible substance that floated through the air like some sort of liquid, nothing like the mist that made up most other people's magical cores.
Her skin felt like it was buzzing from the inside. She rushed to the mirror to look at her entire body, and gasped at what she saw. Her usually green eyes were glowing silver, not even just the pupil. The entire eye. It was so beautiful yet creepy at the same time that it made her shiver.
Her hair was floating gracefully above her head, swaying like she was underwater.
She looked like some sort of goddess, if she was being honest. Like an almighty being who has some down to earth to smite an ungrateful and disrespectful human. Emmelia almost felt like she should be flying, or at least hovering in the air.
Her concentration snapped suddenly when she heard a shriek behind her. She’d forgotten that she was in plain view of anyone who walked in to her dormitory’s bathroom.
She turned around slowly. She didn’t want to alarm the girl who’d screamed. Emmelia was relieved when she realized who it was. It wasn’t a fifth year prefect who’d go running to Dumbledore or Snape to tell them what they’d seen, and it wasn’t someone who completely hated her, which was good.
Emmelia took a deep breath before opening her (non-glowing) eyes and raised her hands.
“I can explain.”