Thankfully, there were very few other incidents about finding dangerous magical creatures in the castle all the way up until Halloween.
Emmelia awoke with a splitting headache. She pulled herself out of bed and swung her feet over to the side. She cast Tempus, the spell that let her check the time.
5:30 in the morning, Emmelia's standard time for waking up every morning, drilled into her repeatedly by the Dursleys. She fished through her bag until she found a clean pair of school robes and and her toiletries and made her way over to the showers.
After soaking in the hot water for twenty minutes, Emmelia toweled herself off, pulled on her silk robes, and carefully braided her hair, using little wisps of her magic to assist her when her arms couldn’t reach.
Finally, she made her way down to breakfast.
The small girl took a deep breath before plastering on a fake smile and waking into the great hall. She walked over to Hermione, who was at the Gryffindor table.
Her smile became more sincere when she noticed just how happy the brunette was in her house, “Hey Hermione.” She turned to the boy seated next to her, “Finnigan, right. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.” She fell into a small curtsy.
The brunette was obviously shocked by the grace and formality she demonstrated, “A-“ he looked like he was trying to swallow his knee jerk to say something informal, “A pleasure to meet you as well, um-Heir Potter.” His face contorted unpleasantly at the formal sounding words.
She nodded her head, a sweet smile plastered onto her face. She turned her back towards him in an obvious dismissal.
“‘Mione, your coming to the library later today, right?” The bushy haired brunette nodded, “Good. I was wondering if you could join Pansy, Daphne, and I on a little project.”
Hermione’s face soured, “Pansy doesn’t like me very much.” She pointed out, “And what type of project?”
“You’re right, she doesn’t. But the only way you can fix that is for you to be around her more. I want all of my friends to like each other.”
“You didn’t answer my question.”
Emmelia cleared her throat, unsure of how to tell the girl her intentions without sounding rude.
“Well-er. What can you tell me about wizarding culture?” She finally said hesitantly.
Hermione frowned, thinking, “Well, the pamphlet they gave to all muggleborns said that it was basically just English culture but like, fifty years in the past.”
“That’s-that’s an extreme oversimplification. For the purpose of explaining it, It’s practically an entirely different country. There are different customs and fashions, and Pansy even mentioned different holidays. I was thinking that we, you and me, could talk to Daphne and Pansy and learn them all.”
Hermione opened her mouth like she was going to argue, but Emmelia kept talking.
“Listen. When you go to Japan, you do your best to follow their customs, right?”
“Well yes-obviously, it would be rude not to.”
“Exactly. Don’t you think it’s rude for some muggleborns to waltz into the wizarding world and completely disregard all of its customs? They’ve even gotten rid of their holidays! Daphne thinks that that’s the reason that a lot of purebloods discriminate against muggleborns. They feel like they’re destroying all of their traditions. Don’t get me wrong, some of the traditions are awful, but not all of them.”
“So you want me and you to study them? I don’t know Emmy. I don’t want to change who I am or anything.”
Emmelia hesitantly put her hand on Hermione’s shoulder.
“It’s alright Hermione. I just really think it’ll help you. Me too. Think about it, okay.” She leaned down to pull something from out of her bag, “Here. This is a book on all the traditional wizarding practices that no one bothers to teach us. Tell me if you want to come, alright?”
Just then, Ron Weasley barged into their conversation, “Hey Hermione! Get away from that slimy snake!”
Emmelia almost cringed, he was so loud.
“Ah, hello Weasley, it’s-uh-a pleasure to see you again.”
Ron blinked a few times before he responded, “You? You’re Emmelia Potter! I knew you didn’t belong in Slytherin! Sit with us, it’s alright Hermione you can keep talking to her. You know who that is, right? Never mind, of course you do. You know everything.” His voice darkened at the last part.
Emmelia narrowed her eyes, “No thank you, I think my friends from Slytherin have just come up from the dungeons. Excuse me. Hermione, maybe I’ll see you in the library?”
“Well, that’s all I guess. And Ronald? Try not to be such a prat. I don’t really think that it’s working out for you all that much.” With that she turned on her heel before the redhead could figure out that she’d insulted him.
Class flew by quickly, just like any other day. Emmelia had started studying ahead in transfiguration, potions, and defense against the Dark Arts. She was starting to get better at charms too, but it was still hard to funnel her magic through her wand in small enough amounts that she didn’t light her feathers on fire. Despite her struggle with charms though, she found herself really good with hexes. Probably because if you overpowered a hex, you’d just get a stronger result. Still, they hadn’t really been helpful, no one had bothered to attack her, her only opposition were some nasty glares.
Regardless, none of that really mattered, because she was grilled in the library with Pansy, Daphne, and no Hermione. Emmelia didn’t really think much about it, she hadn’t expected her to come to one of their meetings the first time she’d asked her. She was too stubborn. Still, as all three girls sat and discussed the merits and cultural significance of wearing your Heir rings around your neck, Emmelia couldn’t shake that feeling again. Something was off.
It hadn’t gone away by the time lunch rolled around. She only figured out what it was when Pansy began to talk repeat all the important gossip she’d heard throughout the day. Hermione, according to Lavender Brown, was crying in the girls bathroom because of something the youngest Weasley had said. Emmelia had just begun to step off of the Slytherin bench when Professor Quirrell ran into the great hall and loudly proclaimed, “Troll in the Dungeon, just thought you ought to know!” Before fainting.
“Shit” Emmelia muttered under her breath so nobody could hear her curse. She turned to Pansy, “Come with me, we need to go find a prefect.”
“What? Where are we going?” The brunette said while sliding up beside her.
“Hermione” was all she said.
“Uuuuugh do we really need to go after a stupid mud-“ she caught herself at Emmelia deadly glare, “-ggleborn.”
“I think it’s obvious that Hermione is anything but stupid. And yes, it is. Hermione is my friend, and we need to make sure that she’s okay. You don’t need to come if you don’t want to.” Her tone of voice indicated that there would be consequences if she didn’t.
“Fine,” Pansy grudgingly ground out, “I’ll come. Where is Flint?”
“I see him, let’s go.”
“He might not come you know.”
“He better, or I’m going straight to Professor Snape and quitting the team.”
Emmelia smiled up at the older boy in front of her, “Flint, I’m afraid Parkinson and I have a problem.”
“What is it Potter?” He said gruffly.
“My friend, Hermione Granger, is in the girls bathroom. She was being bullied by Weasley -the youngest one- and she’s been crying in the bathroom even since. Parkinson and I are worried that she might be attacked by the troll.”
“And you want me to go with you and check up on her?”
Flint looked like he couldn’t care less, “Fine.” He turned away from them, “Farley!” He yelled, “Keep the kids in the Hall. I don’t know what the Headmaster was thinking, the Hufflepuff and Slytherin common rooms are down near where the troll is.” He turned away from the young prefect, “Alright you two, let’s go. The girls bathroom on the first floor, right? Isn’t that the one with the ghost?”
Emmelia nodded and the three of them turned towards the exit of the great hall. Still, out of the corner of her eye, Emmelia spotted Professor Snape. Curiously, he wasn't with the rest of the teachers, they'd all left with Dumbeldore to try and find he troll. Instead, he was climbing up the stairs, away from all of the action.
Odd, but Emmelia decided kit to question it. What the Professors were doing was really none of her business. Most of the time.
Redirecting her attention back towards the issue at hand, Emmelia left to go find Hermione.
Shit shit shit shit shiiiiiiiiiiit. How had this happened? She was even trying to be responsible by bringing an older prefect with them. The prefect who now probably had a concussion from being hit in the head by a troll’s club. She looked over at Pansy, who was trying to coax Hermione (who had broken her leg) out from her hiding place behind a bathroom stall. They needed to get out of here. Fast. The only problem was that the bloody troll was blocking their escape.
Emmelia shifted her feet and prepared to lunge her wand that was on the other side of the room. They’d already discovered that the creature's skin was resistant to almost all spells (well, all the spells that first years knew) but maybe- just maybe - it could be hurt by something else. Suddenly, Emmelia had an amazing idea.
She turned back towards the two first year girls and shouted, “Pansy! Hermione! Grab Flint and get out of here on three, alright?”
Emmelia took a deep breath and concentrated on the feel of her magic around her.
She felt it swell with power as she placed it in front of her like a protective barrier.
She shoved all of her magic at the giant troll, it stumbled back into the sinks and stayed there, blood pooling around its head. She grabbed her wand and sprinted out the bathroom door just quick enough to see Pansy and Hermione (floating an unconscious Marcus Flint behind them) run into the large group of teachers.
Professor Sprout spoke first, “My goodness children! Are you alright? Miss Granger! You’re bleeding! Is your leg alright? And Mister Flint! Oh goodness, all four of you up to the hospital wing at once! Right away”
“Oh, come now Pomona dear, I’d like to hear these children’s stories, wouldn’t you?”
Emmelia refrained from rolling her eyes at the headmaster. One of the students had a bloody concussion and the other had broken a bloody bone, they needed to get to the hospital wing.
“With all due respect, headmaster, I agree with Professor Sprout. I think that Pansy here has a broken wrist and Marcus Flint was hit in the head with a troll club. Not to mention Miss Granger. I believe a visit to Madam Pomfrey is necessary. I’m sure my friends and I can tell you all about what happened after we’re all healed.”
As predicted, the old man jumped at the chance to get on her good side, “Yes, quite right Miss Potter, quite right. Let’s all head up to the hospital wing.”
Out of the corner of her eye, Emmelia saw the very pale, but otherwise completely composed face of her head of house.
Everyone, including the suspiciously limping Snape, made their way up to the hospital wing.
Emmelia’s smile looked a little painful when she spoke to the headmaster. The man hadn’t even waited for Madam Pomfrey to check up on her before he’d cornered her and asked her to explain what happened. She told most of the story- leaving out the part where she’d done wandless magic -and Pansy filled in the rest. Hermione, who had passed out in one of the beds, woke up and explained to all the professors how it was her fault that the four of them got hurt. Emmelia made no move to contradict her, if he’s wanted to take the fall for all of them then so be it.
In the end, Slytherin had been awarded twenty points. Both for their courage to go save a fellow classmate (Emmelia could tell that Dumbledore was trying to force his Gryffindor ideology down her throat. For Merlin’s sake, she’d only gone after Hermione because the girl was her friend. Nothing else.) and for their responsibility in contacting a prefect to go with them. Even if that prefect was knocked out.
Emmelia spent the rest of the day in her room, sitting in quiet remembrance of her parents sacrifice. She’d only gone to the feast because Pansy had insisted after all. Secretly, she fumed about Ronald Weasley, the bully who’d almost gotten her friend killed.
Still, she wasn't cruel, she wasn't going to hurt him. It was just absolutely absurd that that part of Hermione's story had been brushed under the rug, Dumbeldore saying the classic "Lions will be Lions" saying that had apparently grown exponentially in use of the years that Dumbeldore had been The Lord of the Light.
Honestly, it was such a stupid saying. It was counterproductive too! It demonized Gryffindors, practically saying that it was their nature to be irresponsible and rude.
It was Emmelia’s goal to fix the magical world, not go around whining like a little baby and not doing anything about it. To rid her world of all of the hate and prejudice they currently festered all throughout it, she needed to start with her generation. They were the people who she was going to be working alongside with, and they were the ones who’d support her when the time came. If they suffered from the same ignorance their parents did, there would be no hope for the future if the Wizarding World.
Well that was a depressing thought.
Draco Malfoy, she decided, was a brat. He never shut up! Emmelia had thought that he was just feeling homesick or something during the first couple weeks of school, but it turned out that he was just a spoiled little bitch. Sure, he was a pureblood heir and all, and he had his moments of composure and maturity, but he was just so annoying!
He was arguing with the youngest Weasley again, and while Emmelia definitely didn’t like the red head, but she could do without each of them constantly flinging snarky, immature comments at each other in the halls and in class.
The blonde had no concept of subtlety. Emmelia honestly couldn’t understand how he was put in Slytherin and not Hufflepuff or Gryffindor. He was loud, rude, and pompous though, so probably not Hufflepuff.
Still, it wasn’t like she could actively move against him. Well, not out in the open at least. He was the Malfoy heir, which granted him a certain amount of respect within the house. He also had the backing of Theodore Nott, another pureblood heir, and his two vassal who were sworn into his house, Crabbe and Goyle.
Emmelia decided that his immunity was over when he called Hermione the M word.
They’d been leaving the transfiguration classroom after Hermione had totally smoked him in class, when he exclaimed to everyone- seriously though, where was his subtlety -what a know it all Mudblood Hermione was.
Everyone had turned to the bushy haired girl to see her reaction. Hermione, though, looked unbothered. Pansy and Daphne had told Hermione all about blood supremacy (mostly Daphne, Pansy had been uncharacteristically quiet during that lesson) and Hermione had scoffed at the very mention of the M word, brushing aside centuries of oppression with a simple, "Who cares about what they think?"
It was a shocking statement coming from the bushy haired girl, seeing that she'd been found crying in the bathroom no less than a month ago, thanks to a certain redhead.
Emmelia thought that the moment would pass unaddressed, when a mocking voice rang out from the crowd of students.
“Honestly Malfoy, it’s like you’re not a Slytherin at all. Really, Hermione isn’t a know it all just because she can kick your ass at transfiguration. And don’t say ‘when my father hears about this’. Be honest, your father hates your incessant whining as much as the rest of us. Honestly just shut up. You may be a Malfoy, but that only takes you so far.”
Hermione, and everyone else, was speechless. Pansy Parkinson was from a known Death Eater family, and she just defended Hermione Granger, a Muggleborn. Where everyone could see!
Emmelia smiled a little before sneering at Malfoy, “Let’s go girls. I think Malfoy and I should have a little chat later in the common room. Is that alright with you, Malfoy?”
Her sneer smoothed out into a pleasant smile. She jerked hey head towards her next class.
Pansy, Hermione, Emmelia, and Daphne turned and left without waiting for an answer from the stunned blonde.
Emmelia had a new person on her on her revenge list.
She met Malfoy and his goons right in front the portrait hole. She gestured to the stairs, “We're going this way.”
All of their previous alliance was gone, Malfoy had publicly attacked one of Emmelia’s group, and he had been humiliated in turn.
The blonde sneered, “What makes you think I’m going to listen to you, Potter? You have no power here. You’re just a filthy half blood.”
Emmelias eyes flashed a deadly green. Draco had never noticed how unnatural they were.
Her smile was sharp and cruel when she spoke next, “Now, now little dragon, come along. We don’t want to start a scene, do we?”
Her patronizing tone must have set him off, because he whipped out his wand, but he fumbled, giving Emmelia enough time to brandish her own. Her movements, oddly enough, were lithe and practiced, like she’d done the same motions hundreds of times before.
It was unsettling.
(Unbeknownst to Draco, Emmelia had spent hours in front of the mirror in her room at the Leaky Cauldron practicing whipping her wand out from within her holster)
“Do you really want to do this? I’m ahead of you on all of our classes. If you lose here, we both know you won’t have any power left in the house.”
Malfoy snarled, “I’m not going to lose.”
Emmelia shrugged, her face blank, “If you say so.”
A few of the older students turned their heads to watch the first years duel. It was a pretty common for skirmishes is to break out the common room though, so no one gave it much thought.
Well, they didn’t until Emmelia lowered her wand.
“What? Surrendering already.” Behind Malfoy, Nott snickered.
She continued to place her wand in her pocket- she really needed to invest in a holster -and smiled sweetly again.
“No, I just don’t think it’ll be necessary.”
A few of the older years raised their brows in surprise. It was a great form of disrespect when an opponent declared something like that. Even more shocking when the person was a first year.
“As if you can do any wandless magic.” Malfoy laughed, but he looked unsure.
“Why don’t we begin and find out?” Though Emmelia couldn’t perform any real spells without the use of a wand, but she could move things or light things on fire.
She raised her hand dramatically and flicked. Draco flinched. Pansy snickered quietly.
The ginger rolled her eyes but took a deep breath in concentration. His hair lit on fire. He screamed shrilly.
“Put it out! Put it out!”
“Awwwww, poor dragon. What’s the magic word?” Emmelia’s lips curled up into a snarl.
The boy fell to his knees, “Please, please! I surrender! I'm sorry.” He sobbed. His scalp was red and blistered by the time the fire was gone.
Emmelia knelt down to his level, “Next time, think before you speak. You can’t go around calling people Mudbloods in the middle of the hall. Especially not my friends, understand? Hermione, and all of my other friends, are under my protection, you’ll do well to remember that.”
She put a finger under his chin, forcing him to meet her eyes, “Remember Draco, I wanted to do this privately, but you insisted on a duel. This is your fault. Also, I wouldn’t go running to Daddy with this little,” she paused, “incident, alright? It's in your best interest, I promise.”
With a seemingly half hearted flick of her wrist, Malfoy was on her feet again. She turned to the rest of her house, “Is anyone here a healer? I don’t think it’s a good idea to bring him to Madam Pomfrey.”
No one responded. She shrugged and went off the stairs with most of the first years trailing behind her.
Exhausted, she collapsed into her bed the moment she entered the dorm room. Though it didn’t show that wandless magic had taken a lot out of her. She was still young, and her magical core was still developing. She wasn’t supposed to be able to do stuff like that.
With a mumbled goodnight to everyone else in the room, she fell asleep.
The next morning at the Slytherin table, Draco Malfoy could be seen sitting at the end of the table with only Crabbe and Goyle for company, though they didn’t look too happy to be seated with him.
Malfoy’s scalp, while it had been healed, was still completely devoid of his platinum hair. It was hard to tell though, since he'd taken to wearing a wizards hat. He looked properly miserable about his new position in the house.
In his previous spot, the one closest to the second and third years, sat Emmelia Potter-Black, with Pansy, and Daphne to her right.
And if anyone noticed Blaise Zabini sitting closer to her and her group, no one said anything.
As the children made polite conversation with their older classmates next to them, they were oblivious to the panic the old headmaster was going through.
What was happening? Dumbledore had thought that Emmelia would be rejected from the Slytherin hierarchy due to her status as the Girl Who Lived and her notoriously Light family. Instead, she seemed to have risen to the top and collected some sort of little gang. Almost all of which were heirs to pureblood families. Neville Longbottom, Pansy Parkinson, Daphne Greengrass, and now Blaise Zabini. The only muggleborn was Hermione Granger, and while Dumbledore thought that it was definitely good the the girl seemed to be making friends indiscriminately, it still frightened him that she was associating with children of notorious Death Eaters.
He’d been so sure that the girl would be sorted into Gryffindor like her parents. He had even tried to ensure it by raising her like young Sirius Black. The boy had been raised in an abusive household and which caused him to be rebellious and brave- the perfect Gryffindor. (It really was a shame that Dumbledore needed him to be sent to jail. He’d really just been straying too close to the Dark with some of the spells he’d been using in the war. Besides, he killed Peter and all those muggles in that alleyway, so it wasn’t like there was anyone to prove him innocent.)
Instead, Emmelia was calm and composed, with all the teachers wrapped around her finger. He’d yet to hear of an instance where she raised her voice or acted impulsively, and he rarely ever saw her without a charming smile paired with her wide, innocent looking eyes. Instead of a perfect Gryffindor, he’d gotten a perfect Slytherin, and he had no idea what to do.
He knew Gryffindors. How they ticked, what buttons to press, their motivations, their minds. But most importantly, he knew how to get them to do what he wanted. With snakes though, they were unpredictable and cunning and way, way harder to manipulate.
And so, Dumbledore felt himself floundering, and he decided to use the one thing he knew would work. Magic.
He’d used different types of compulsion on the girl, but they all seemed weak. There was one that was supposed to force her to follow him blindly, but it was battling fiercely with her already strong resentment towards him. The same went for the Gryffindor compulsion, it clashed with her very Slytherin nature. It just wasn’t working. He really was afraid that Emmelia would turn Dark if she spent her school years surrounded by the children of Voldemort’s supporters. He needed to show her how evil the man really was.
He needed to manufacture a confrontation.
All of the teachers had already designed a task that Quirrell needed to get through in order to find the stone, but it wouldn’t be too hard to change them. Make it easier for Emmelia and her first year friends to make their way through them. He could convince them to go after Voldemort. That way, they could fight and Emmelia would realize how evil he and Dark Magic is.
Yes! It was perfect, now all he needed to do was place a compulsion on her, a real one this time. Maybe he just wasn't using the right type. He needed to make her more Gryffindor, easier to...persuade. It would be easy. All he had to do was get close enough to her and put the compulsion on personally.
With a new plan in mind, the old headmaster smiled and went back to eating his lemon tart.