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Golden Girl Gone “Bad”

Chapter Text

 

Emmelia was probably the most perfect child there ever was. Obedient to the letter, she did everything her Aunt told her. She was elegant and graceful, yet still held a child like innocence that charmed anyone who came in contact with her. She moved beautifully, her Aunt had insisted that she take ballet and acrobatics in order to perfect her refined posture and attitude. Her bright smile and sweet voice could turn even the most disdainful to her side. And one look into her bright green eyes would be enough to give her everything she ever wanted. Well, anyone except her relatives of course.

In fact, it had taken a long, long time in order to convince her Aunt and Uncle to even allow her to begin to do gymnastics. She’d started small. When she was six, she’d managed to hide right outside the living room window and watch the Olympics on the Dursley’s television, right through the glass pane. She’d watched as the gymnasts gracefully flung themselves from pole to pole, and she became transfixed with the sport.

She started to practice by herself. It didn’t matter if she got hurt. Just like the bruises her Uncle gave her, every injury faded in a weeks time. She would flip herself between tree branches and would stretch out all of her muscles every night because that’s what the book she’d borrowed from the library said to do.

At seven, she managed to orchestrate a situation to ask her Aunt for professional lessons. She’d done it in front of her P.E. coach, Mrs. Larson, so she couldn’t freak out and attack her.

Mrs. Larson had stood behind her, smiling widely, “She’s incredible!” She had said happily, “I’ve never seen a child with so much potential! Have you seen the type of flips she can do on a bar? Imagine what she could do with a real instructor. Actually, I’ve been talking with my friend Amy about this little one,” The broad shouldered woman had ruffled Emmelia’s hair affectionately, “And she’s agreed to teach her! She was an Olympic gymnast back in her day! You don’t need to of course. Just a suggestion. Not like you’ll be losing money or anything though! Within a years time, Emmelia here will be raking in cash non stop with all the competitions she’ll win.”

The mention of money had put a terrifying gleam in her Aunt’s eye, and the horse like woman slipped smoothly into a lie, “Oh no, we couldn’t ask that of your friend. Actually, my husband and I have been thinking about something like this for a while, and we already have someone in mind.” She’d said sweetly.

“Oh that’s just great. I look forward to seeing you kick butt in competitions Emmelia.”

Emmelia had smiled warily, “Thank you, ma'am.”

“Sure thing kiddo.”

From that day on, Emmelia had been subjected to grueling lessons with Emma Dawson, a terrifying woman with no regard for Emmelia health. After every lesson, Emmelia had left with bleeding and raw hands, only to return a couple days later with no evidence of the injury. That only made Dawson push her harder. One day, she broke her arm while attempting a particularly hard flip, and the old woman had forced her to do the routine again. Eventually, Emmelia no longer found herself looking forward to gymnastics.

Starting ballet hadn’t even been her own idea. It wasn’t nearly as painful as her acrobatic sets, but it definitely wasn’t easy. Her instructor wasn’t as mean as Dawson though, which Emmelia supposed was an upgrade. It wasn’t fun though. She’d started gymnastics because she’d liked it (regardless of how she felt about it now) but ballet was something her Aunt had forced her to do after her current P.E. coach had made an offhand comment about how perfect her skill set was for ballet, and how many dance competitions she could win.

She’d tried so many times to stop, either sport really, but Petunia had been cruelly insistent. Mrs. Larson had been right, Emmelia really did make a lot of money. From both prizes and donations. Over time, Emmelia had given up on asking to quit. She held her tongue, because she was the perfect child.

No matter how perfect she might be though, she certainly had her strange moments. Emmelia liked to call the things that she did magic. One of her favorite books, The Alchemyst, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, talked about it a little bit. Before she’d read the series, she hadn’t even known the things she saw were weird. The book, while they did briefly mention it, wasn’t technically on whatever it was that she could do, but it definitely mentioned it. An aura, or so the book called them, was a form of spiritual or mystical energy that surrounded the body of a living creature and was regarded as an essential part of the individual. She thought that was a little wordy, so she referred to it as life energy, or magical energy.

For example, her Aunt and Uncle had no magical energy. Emmelia decided that that was probably why they hated anything slightly fantastical so much. It was much the same as everyone else in her neighborhood. Except for the strange old woman who lived on the corner named Mrs. Figg. Whenever she asked her about it though, she stared back blankly like Emmelia was an idiot.

Sometimes though, on her way home from school, or dance, or piano, or the annoying class that her Aunt made her go to that taught her about manners and politeness and how to be the perfect child. After all, she couldn’t be embarrassing her Aunt in front of all her church friends, could she? She would see someone like her. Someone bathed in the colorful light that surrounded them. Someone with magical energy. She would always wish to run after them and ask them a million questions about it, or whether or not they even knew about the beautiful aura that surrounded them. She wanted to know what the different colors meant, was there a difference between a golden aura and a black one? Those were the only two colors that she saw, which was strange.

Unlike everyone else’s, Emmelia’s was silver. That meant that she was like Sophie Newman, one of the protagonists of the Nicholas Flamel books. It made Emmelia feel a little special. Even compared to the people like her, she was different.

The colors weren’t nearly as important as everything else though. Emmelia knew that her aura could do things. Magical things.

When she focused on her own energy, she could guide it towards different objects and make them do things. She could move things with her mind, make things appear (and sometimes, if she tries really hard, disappear), and do other weird stuff, (one time, she set all of Dudley’s presents on fire. She’d spent the next month in her cupboard with four broken fingers, of course, but she thought it was worth it). One time, when her Aunt was feeling particularly jealous of Emmelia’s beautiful red hair, she had hacked it from mid chest all the way up to her ears. Emmelia had stared blankly at the wall all night without making a sound. She concentrated for hours, wishing over and over and over again that her hair grew back to its normal length. Shockingly, Emmelia awoke with her hair even longer than before, much to her Aunts horror.

She couldn’t do anything to change people’s emotions though. No matter how desperately she twirled her magic around her Aunt and Uncle, they never loved her. No, all of that was directed toward Dudley. Her whale of a cousin.

She could do more than just manipulate random objects though. No, she discovered that she could talk to snakes. That had been an interesting discovery.

—————-

It was the morning of Dudley’s ninth birthday. This time, he was complaining about his lack of presents.

“There’s only thirty six!” He shrieked in outrage, “Last year I got thirty seven!”

“No no Duddykins, look! You forgot Aunt Marge’s present. See.” Petunia said, pointing to the large present that was strategically placed away from the fireplace, “You have thirty seven!”

Dudley’s face continued to redden and Petunia, fearing a tantrum, quickly assured him, “Two more presents sweetums. We can go to the mall and get you two more presents! Is that alright darling?”

Dudley’s brow furrowed in concentration, “That would mean-that would mean I have uhh…”

“Thirty nine dear.”

Emmelia wondered if her cousin was actually messed up in the head. He was nine and he still couldn’t do simple addition.

“Petunia! Bad news! I’ve just gotten a call from Mrs. Figg that says she’s fallen and broken her hip. No one else can take the girl.” Called Vernon from the other room.

“I don’t want her to go!!!” whined Dudley dramatically. He soon forgot about her though because, at that moment, Dudley’s best friend Piers rang the doorbell.

Vernon turned to Emmelia, “Not one thing out of you girl. If anything weird happens, you’ll be in that cupboard for the rest of the month. Got it?”

“Yes Uncle Vernon.” Said Emmelia. Her Uncle really was terrifying when angry, so she preferred just to do what he said in order to dodge the punishments. Unlike her Aunt, who preferred constant verbal abuse, he used physical violence in order to force her to follow his rules.

“Good. Get in the car.”

All five of them got into the Dursley’s freshly cleaned car and drove to the London Zoo. The only noise during the entire trip was Dudley’s loud bragging and Pier's quiet snickers. Emmelia herself was very quiet, ever the perfect child, not that anyone noticed, of course.

————————————-

When they finally arrived at the zoo, Emmelia was overwhelmed. She was surrounded by all sorts of animals, the likes of which Emmelia had only ever heard about in the hundreds of books she’d read. She never really went anywhere unless her Aunt wanted her too.

After about thirty minutes in the African exhibit, Dudley decided to make his way over to the reptiles.

Dudley immediately ran over to the largest snake, a Boa Constrictor that looked like it could crush Uncle Vernon’s new car without even trying. Unfortunately for Dudley, the snake was currently asleep.

“Daaaaaaaaaad,” Dudley whined to Vernon, “make it dooooooo something!”

Vernon tapped on the glass. Nothing happened.

“Do it again!” Dudley demanded angrily. Vernon wrapped on the glass forcefully with his fist once more. Still, nothing happened. Eventually, Dudley got bored of staring at the sleeping reptile and left with Piers to go bother the turtles.

The snake suddenly opened its beady eyes. Slowly, very slowly, it raised its head until its eyes were level with Emmelia’s.

It winked

Emmelia narrowed her eyes, suspicious. That wasn’t normal snake behavior. Then she looked quickly around to see if anyone was watching. They weren’t. She looked back at the snake and quietly said, “You’re a boa constrictor, right?”

The snake jerked its head in surprise.

“Indeed I am sssssspeaker. I have not met one of your kind in a very long time. There have been stories passed down throughout all of the generations of snakes at this zoo.”

“Not by your parents?”

The snake jabbed its tail at a little sign next to the glass. She peered at it.

“Bred in captivity, I see. I take it you didn’t spend a lot of time with your parents.”

“I did not.” The snake confirmed.

“Yeah well, me neither.”

Emmelia took a moment to consider the absolute absurdity of the situation she was in. She was talking to a snake.

“You’re from Brazil?” This time as she spoke, Emmelia heard the hiss of her own voice and watched as her energy concentrated around her throat and mouth. .

The boa nodded, looking a little forlorn.

“Would you like to go?” Emm asked. She wasn’t sure if she could really send the massive snake all the way to another country, but there was no harm in trying.

“Yesssssssss” the snake hissed excitedly.

Emmelia looked around and saw that the Dursleys and Piers were moving farther away from where she was standing. They had forgotten Emmelia. She supposed that was good, she was definitely doing something that Uncle Vernon would not approve of. After all, she was talking to a snake. She assumed that was classified under weird.

Emmelia had seen pictures of Brazil before. In one of the library’s many encyclopedias. The rich Amazon filled with rich life and rainforests. She felt something ticklish dance across her skin. Her aura began to glow brighter and expand. It was warm and comforting, almost like a blanket that danced tauntingly around her.

“I’ll tell you what. I send you to Brazil and you tell all the other snakes about me.” For some reason, Emmelia felt herself smiling at the huge reptile.

The boa constrictor readily agreed, and Emmelia placed her hand on the glass. She concentrated hard for about ten seconds before the silver glow surrounding her began to grow and expand out towards the large snake. With a final pulse, it wrapped all the way around the boa and, surprisingly or not (Emmelia wasn’t quite sure which), it vanished.

Emmelia startled, as if she was waking from a trance. The snake was gone, leaving nothing in its trace, and the Dursleys were not in the Reptile House any more. She needed to catch up before they realized she wasn’t with them. As she rushed from the room, she let a small, satisfied smile slip across her face. She wouldn't be caught this time.

——————————

By the time she had returned to the car, all of the Dursleys and Piers were already sitting in there seats. The look in her Uncle’s eye was wild and angry, though he really had no clue what she'd done. There was no way they had found out about what she's done to the snake.

"Where the hell were you, girl?"

Sometimes Emmelia just wished that he used her real name.

She averted her eyes from his and did her best to look scared, confused, and innocent, "I'm really sorry Uncle Vernon. I got lost in the reptile exhibit, and I didn't know where you went. I decided that it would probably be smarter just to wait by the car so I didn't cause any more problems."

Vernon coughed and sneered, "Yes, well that may be hard, seeing that you were a mistake from the moment you were born." He roughly grabbed her arm and fires her into the backseat, between the two boys.

Lovely, an entire car ride of being pinched and elbowed.

"Next time, try not to be idiotic enough to get lost in a zoo of all places. We'll have to leave you if it ever happens again."

"Yes, well be fair Vernon dear, it is where she belongs. With the rest of the animals and freaks."

"You're right Petunia, darling." He turned to glare at her again, "Still, keep up or you're never leaving the house again.

Emmelia was pretty sure she looked the proper amount of shameful, "I'm sorry, Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon. I'll be better."

With a final, "You better be." The car door slammed shut and they were on their way back to Number Four, Privet Drive.

————————————

Chapter Text

-Wake up
-Make breakfast
-Clean the house
-Ballet
-Piano
-Get home
-Garden
-Make dinner
-Homework
-Sleep

That was the schedule that Emmelia stuck to every Sunday. All the way up until July thirty first, her eleventh birthday. Once again, it had been a normal day. The Dursleys had never acknowledged her birthday, and they definitely wouldn’t have randomly started this year.

She had gotten up and made breakfast for the Dursleys and then went to get the mail. She paused when she felt an unusually heavy envelope in her hand. Looking down at it, she barley hid her surprise under a mask of cold indifference.

It was addressed to her. Nobody else.

One side looked like the back of an envelope, complete with a red and shiny seal. The other side, however, featured Emmelia’s eerily accurate address: "Miss. E. Potter, The Cupboard Under the Stairs, 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey."

She didn’t know what to think of that, so she quickly shoved the heavy envelope into one of the oversized pockets in Dudley’s old pants (she was only ever allowed to wear her nice clothes to the many gatherings or events her Aunt took her too). She grabbed the rest of the mail and slammed it down on the counter while walking calmly back to her closet.

Carefully, she slid open the high quality envelope and hoped that this wasn’t Dudley’s sick idea as a joke.

Setting aside the fancy parchment, she read the opening lines.

Dear Miss Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted into Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry. Please find an enclosed list of all necessary books and equipment. Term begins September 1st. We expect your letter of confirmation no later than July 31st.
Yours sincerely,
Minerva Mcgonagall Deputy headmistress

It sounded way to grown up for Dudley to have written, Emmelia knew. She read the letter over again and paused.

Witchcraft and Wizardry

That would certainly explain her strange and abnormal abilities. Last she checked, normal people didn’t go around transporting huge snakes to Brazil or moving things with their mind.

‘I’m a witch.’ She thought, certain. It explained everything. She wasted little time writing a reply.

Dear Deputy Headmistress,
I am equally pleased to inform you that I accept my place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. However, I regret to say that I have no way to acquire the materials on the list, such as a wand or robes. Please understand that, unless I am to attend school empty handed, I require someone to guide me to a place I can buy them. Also, I’m assuming that I have access to a Hogwarts scholarship of sorts, otherwise I have no funds. I am quite sure that my Aunt and Uncle will take no part in paying for my supplies and tuition.
All the best,
Miss Potter

‘That sounds good, if a little formal.’ Emmelia thought to herself before folding the letter in half. She would need to steal an envelope in order to seal the letter, though she wasn’t sure how she would send it. It wasn't like a letter back to this mysterious magical school by way of mail man.

After sneaking downstairs to grab an envelope, she copied down the supply list, in case her Aunt and Uncle found the letter and she never saw it again.

After writing it all down, she read the list over once more. She would need:

UNIFORM
1. Three sets of plain work robes (black)
2. One plain pointed hat (black) for day wear
3. One pair of protected gloves (dragon hide or similar)
4. One winter cloak (black with silver fastenings)
Please note that all pupils clothes should carry name tags.

COURSE BOOKS
All students should have a copy of each of the following:
The Standard Book of Spells (grade 1) By Miranda Goshawk
A History of Magic By Bagthilda Bagshot
Magical Theory By Adalbert Waffling
A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration By Emeric Switch
One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi By Phyllida Spore
Magical Drafts and Potions By Arsenius Jigger
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them By Newt Scamander
The Dark Forces: a Guide to Self-Protection By Quentin Tremble

OTHER EQUIPMENT
1 wand
1 cauldron (pewter, standard size 2)
1 set glass or crystal phials
1 telescope
1 set brass scales
Students may bring if they desire, an owl OR, a cat OR, a toad.
PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT FIRST YEARS ARE NOT ALLOWED THEIR OWN BROOMSTICK.
Yours sincerely,
Lucinda Thomsonicle-Pocus Chief Attendant of Witchcraft Provisions.

Sadly, Emmelia had absolutely no idea where she would get any of the stuff on the list, except maybe a cat. Cats were fairly common in everyday society.

Taking a deep breath, she tucked her response away in the drawer of her bedside table and hurried her way through the rest of her chores.

———————————

When Emmelia awoke the next morning, she looked around for her letter. Panicking, she dug through her nightstand again. She couldn’t find it. Both the Hogwarts letter and her response had vanished. In their place was another letter with the Hogwarts seal on it. Ripping through the parchment once again, she manages to read through it and remain composed.

Dear Miss Potter,
Thank you for your response. We have abided by your request and sent a Professor to assist you with your shopping. I will arrive at half past twelve later today.
Yours sincerely,
Minerva Mcgonagall
Deputy headmistress

‘Half past twelve, that’s in six hours!’ It usually took Emmelia an hour to make the enormous breakfast that Vernon and Dudley required every morning, and after that, the Dursleys would once again make her to do the tons of chores they had assigned her, as well as the multiple activities she participated in.

She quickly maneuvered her way from under the stairs and into the kitchen, where she began to fry bacon and eggs. Pushing them on the plate, she hurried over to the pancakes she was making on the stove. She placed three glasses of orange juice down on the table next to the freshly cooked stack of pancakes and rushed to the door to get the mail.

There was nothing there. Someone had already gotten the mail.

‘Oh no.’ Emmelia thought desperately, ‘please let there be no letter this time. Please!’

The letter that Professor McGonagall had written had been sent earlier that morning, so there was a possibility that there would be another Hogwarts letter too.

She knew her pleas had gone unanswered when she heard Petunia shriek from the room next door.

“Girl!” She cried, her voice shrill. Emmelia hurried into the kitchen, although still the picture of sophisticated grace.

“Yes, Aunt Petunia?”

“Have you gotten one of these already?” She said, waving the letter frantically in front of her face.

“No, ma’am. Why, is it addressed to me?” Emmelia tilted her head in feigned confusion.

“No! No it’s not. Just—go back to your chores.” The relief in her Aunt's voice was practically tangible. Emmelia knew it wouldn’t last though. Not with a magical professor on the way to their house.

By the time half past twelve o’clock rolled around, Emmelia was done with everything she was supposed to do. She might’ve used a little bit of magic to get her way, but Petunia didn’t need to know that.

She had put on her best clothes, a yellow dress she’d managed to convince her Aunt to let her keep after hours of charming her older friends and extra chores. It was the nicest thing she owned, the rest of her fancy clothes were sealed up in her Aunt's closet, only to be brought out on special occasions for other people to see.

“Where do you think you’re going girl?” Asked Vernon, barely looking up from his paper. Just then, the doorbell rang and Petunia ran to go get it, Emmelia hot on her heels.

The first thing that Emmelia noticed about the woman in the doorway was that she was very odd. Professor McGonagall, as Emmelia assumed her to be, was tall and very severe-looking. Her dark, graying hair was pulled up into tied up in a bun, and wore a set of green, flowing robes that curled around her like a blanket. Her aura (Emmelia had a strong suspicion that all magical people had auras) was golden, much like many of the other strange people she occasionally saw out and about.

Despite the harshness to her face, she looked rather grandmotherly and caring, no matter how hard she tried to hide it.

“What are you doing here?” Petunia gasped, though Emmelia wasn’t sure if it was in fear or shock. Probably both.

“Hello Professor McGonagall.” Emmelia said politely, “it’s very nice to meet you. I’m all ready to go if we need to leave.”

McGonagall's eyes seemed to visibly widen when she looked at her, but she contained herself, “Yes of course Emmelia.” She smiled down at her, “You look just like your mother.”

Her Aunt whimpered.

“Petunia!” Called Vernon from the sitting room, “What’s taking so long? Who is it?”

“No one dear!” She called back in a shaky voice, “You! Get out of here if you’re going to leave!” Her eyes were cold with compressed fury as she leaned down to her ear, “I never want you to come back to this house ever again. Is that understood?” Emmelia nodded. She didn’t like Privet Drive all that much anyway. It was obvious that she wasn’t welcome.

With those last words from her Aunt, she was promptly pushed outside as the door shut in her face.

Chapter Text

“Alright, come on child, we can come back for your stuff later if you need it.”

“I'm sorry ma’am, but how will we get inside? It's obvious that we aren't very welcome.”

Her eyes twinkled (much like a certain headmaster that she hadn’t met yet) when she said, “That’s nothing a little magic can’t fix Miss Potter.”

“So” she said dusting off her already meticulous robes, “What do you know about your parents?”

“My parents? I know they died in a car crash. But-that’s it.”

“You parents,” Professor McGonagall said, sounding offended, “did not die in a car crash. Is that what you told you? That Lily and James died in a car crash? Good Merlin I knew that those muggles were the worst of the sort.” McGonagall murmured the last bit to herself.

“Who are Lily and James?” Emmelia asked in innocent confusion. Better to have this new Professor look at her with pity rather than suspicion.

McGonagall took a deep breath before answering, “Lily is your mother's name.”

“And James is my father?”

“Yes. Quite the power couple they were. The wizarding world will forever be in their debt.” She turned to face Emmelia, “Yours as well.”

“Me?” Emmelia said, genuinely puzzled, “What could I have done? Honestly ma’am, I didn’t even know that the wizarding world existed until yesterday.”

Smiling fondly at the petite girl, McGonagall launched into a long explanation of Voldemort and the Wizarding War that he brought with him.

——————————-

“I still don’t quite understand how apparition works.”

“It complex magical theory. You won’t even begin to study it until your fifth year.”

“Alright…” Said Emmelia, sounding glum. She liked knowing things. It made her feel like she mattered.

“Excuse me ma’am.” She said, much more shy than before, “But I don’t have any money to buy school supplies with...there is a financial aid program, right?”

“Not for you.” McGonagall's voice was filled with amusement.

Emmelia swallowed her panic. Okay, so it wasn't for her. The Professor obviously didn't hate her, so it wasn't like she's purposely deny her money in order to shop. That meant she probably didn't need any financial aid. So she already had money. That was good. Her parents must have left her some before they died. Okay, she was fine.

Still, she didn’t want to seem to mature or smart in front of a professor who seemed to think of her a but like a lockable grandchild, “I’m sorry Professor, but I don’t understand. I don’t have any money.”

“Don’t worry Miss Potter, your parents have left you plenty to cover school funds. It’s right this way.” The woman began to briskly make her way towards Gringotts, a curious Emmelia behind her.

“Good morning,” McGonagall greeted the small man seated at in the tellers chair. On their way over, she’d explained to Emmelia the concept of different magical races abs creatures and that Gringotts, the bank that they were headed too, was run by goblins. Something that she found absolutely fantastic.

“Miss Potter and I are here to access her trust vault.” The goblin peered over his gold-rimmed, half-moon glasses and raked his eyes over Emmelia’s tiny form, his upper lip curled revealing sharp, needle like teeth.

“And do you have her key?” The goblin’s voice was silky smooth and deceptively soft for a creature as vicious as he was, and Emmelia couldn’t help but feel slightly unnerved. She hid it behind a serene smile, trusting that Professor McGonagall did, in fact, come prepared with her key.

“Yes, of course.” Came McGonagall’s proper voice.

She reached into her bag and withdrew a large golden key that she handed to the goblin. He grabbed it and wiped away some non existent grime, but nodded nonetheless. He smiled greasily.

“Everything appears to be in order.”

McGonagall nodded stiffly, “Good. Secondly, I have permission from Dumbledore to retrieve the object currently housed in vault seven hundred and thirteen.” She held out a fancy looking letter for the goblin to read. He scanned over it carefully before he set it down.

“Very well,” He sighed as if heavily put-upon, “I shall have Griphook take you down to both the vaults. Griphook!”

Another goblin suddenly appeared next to Emmelia, this one slightly younger in appearance with a slicked down mop of greasy black hair. Emmelia and her professor hurried after Griphook as the goblin started a rather swift pace. Together, they all headed towards one of the hundreds of glossy black doors lining the large marble hall.

“What’s the object in vault seven hundred and thirteen?” Emmelia asked, blinking up at McGonagall curiously. So deceptively innocent.

The women looked down at her sternly, but her eyes betrayed the fondness she felt, “I’m afraid that it’s a secret Miss Potter. It belonged to a very good friend of Headmaster Dumbledore.” Emmelia frowned thoughtfully. Why would Dumbledore have told McGonagall to get the object on the day she was introducing a student to the very idea of magic.

The strange trio stepped into a long, dark corridor. Emmelia was slightly disappointed, she had expected more marble grandeur, but instead was greeted by the cold and mildly damp-smelling interior of what looked to be the entrance to a complex series of cave tunnels.

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

It was rather, she didn’t know how else to describe it, gross.

A small cart was waiting for them on the start of a steep slope with rail tracks stamped into the rocky ground. The drop seemed to just appear and the ground disappeared beyond a certain point. Hesitantly following Griphook’s lead, Emmelia sat down on one of the (slightly rickety) seats carefully. She took a deep breath and assured herself that, even if the cart looked dangerous, hundreds of other people had already ridden them, so it was unlikely for them to fail with her in them. Also, she had a feeling that Professor McGonagall wouldn’t have allowed her into the cart if she was going to die.

Besides, the older woman could save them all with magic if she had to. Emmelia would be fine.

The cart crawled forwards, achingly slowly and Emmelia’s body almost relaxed until the cart dropped down a dangerously steep path, causing Emmelia’s shoulders to tense and her hands to tighten around the handle of the cart.

Her stomach flew up into her mouth as the cart continued to nosedived down the tracks. Emmelia held back a screech and instead dug her nails into the wood, holding fast as the cart made sickening jerks and twists round the corners, narrowly avoiding the different rock outcrops that were littered around their path.

Still, she held perfectly still, terrified that the shifting of her weight would fling the cart of the tracks. She looked over to her Professor, whose lips were pressed together in a white line while her hands clenched together in her lap.

She tried to find some way to ask McGonagall if everything that was happening was normal, but all Emmelia could focus on was the harsh pounding of her blood in her veins and the sharp whistling of the wind as they hurtled through the intricate tunnels and rode over sickening drops.

The cart finally screeched to a halt and Emmelia managed to stumble out of it, barley stopping her body from trembling. Looking up, Emmelia noticed that McGonagall looked only slightly better than she did. The goblin, however, was completely unaffected as he walked over to the impressive double doors dominating the archway of the cave.

“Miss Potter’s vault,” The goblin declared in a reedy voice, inserting the small gold key McGonagall had handed over into the tiny gold lock in the warped metal of the doors. A loud lock clicked and the doors slowly swung open, revealing a large treasure trove to Emmelia’s wide, highly impressed, eyes.

Gold, silver, and bronze coins were stacked high in a mountain that took up a large portion of the vault. Trunks and gilded chests were scattered haphazardly around the room and spotless shelves held multitudes of vials and bottles containing strange glowing liquids.

Here and there were piles of precious gems, and a quick look in a dustless glass display case showed neatly organised fine jewellery that sparkled in the oil lights.

It was obvious her Aunt and Uncle had no clue about the vault’s existence. Otherwise, she was sure that it would have been drained years ago, as payment for her living with them.

Emmelia stared at the large pile gold in front of her, mystified.

“So all this is mine? No one else can access it?"

She had directed her question to Professor McGonagall, but the goblin answered instead, "The only other person who can access this vault without your permission is Albus Dumbledore, your magical guardian.

"I see. And what are the duties of a magical guardian, sir?"

"I'm sure that you can discuss that with your vault manager during your meeting."

"Very well, thank you sir."

Griphook smiled cruelly, buy Emmelia was pretty sure that all of his smiles were cruel.

After about a twenty minute examination of the vault, the goblin handed her a bag of golden coins (the newly named galleons, she supposed). They left the vault after that, only now, she was wearing a silver bracelet that looked like it was meant to represent Ouroboros, the Norse serpent that eats its own tail, which symbolizes infinity. It was intricately carved, with small emerald eyes and sharp fangs, though the serpent’s mouth was to small for someone’s finger to feel them.

She been drawn to the piece of jewelry because of its strong silver aura, much like her own. When she put it on, it’s in magic seemed to mix with her own. It was an...odd but comfortable sensation. Also, it was really pretty, and Emmelia happened to like pretty things.

According to Griphook, it had remained in the heir vault for over 200 years because none of the Potters had been able to properly bond with it since Iolanthe Peverell. Apparently, the Potters hadn’t produced an heir with a Gray magical core since her great great great grandmother (Iolanthe), who’d married Hardwin Potter. Emmelia mentally thanked the woman for leaving her the beautiful bracelet.

Finally, Emmelia, McGonagall, and Griphook got back into the dreaded cart and rode to vault seven hundred and thirteen. When they’d arrived, Emmelia was unimpressed by the anticlimactic object in the vault.

If she was being honest with herself, the girl had thought that it would be some huge, mysterious magical artifact. Instead, it was just a small, indiscreet, brown package. She supposed that it could still be extremely powerful, just not look the part.

Actually, upon closer examination, the package had a huge, silver aura extending from it. Emmelia had to physically restrain herself from reaching out to touch it. The sensation vanished as Professor McGonagall picked up the object and placed it in this odd bag shed been storing in her robes.

When they were back at the surface after another thrilling and terrifying cart ride, Emmelia addressed Griphook, “Sir, I need to meet with my vault manager right away. I have some important things to discuss.”

McGonagall had told her that Gringotts bank managed almost all wizarding money as well as inheritances. That meant that they could find out if she had any living family. Well, family outside of the Dursleys.

“This way.” He said gruffly in reply.

McGonagall put a hesitant hand on her shoulder to stop her, “Meet up with me outside the bank. I have a few errands to run.

Emmelia nodded, and strode after the goblin.

 

———————————

 

“I would like to claim my inheritance. Now please.”

Ragnarok, the goblin who had managed her accounts for the ten years that her parents had been dead, eyed her suspiciously before shifting through some of the papers on his desk.

“Emmelia Lily Potter, correct?”

“Yes sir.”

He handed her two different papers from his desk, “Write your name here. We need to confirm your connection to the Potter and Black houses.”

Emmelia dutifully signed her name after she had read through each contract thoroughly. Basically, each outlined the specific obligations she had as heir to one Noble and one Ancient and Noble house. According to Ragnarok, they verified her magical signature so they knew that she really was Emmelia Potter and not someone else.

Her eye caught two names at the bottom of both papers.

“Who are Sirius Black and Alice Longbottom? Why aren’t they here if they’re supposed to be my godparents?” Emmelia asked her manager.

“Alice Longbottom, along with her husband, is a permanent member of the St. Mungos mind healing ward. Sirius Black, on the other hand, is imprisoned in Azkaban.” The goblin’s mouth turned up in a mocking sneer, “Come here.” Emmelia cautiously moved closer to him, “You need to claim your heirship rings.”

“What do they do?”

“They mostly increase your societal standing, but they do have an actual function. Because you are a child, all three will serve to strengthen your magical core, meaning you’ll be able to perform harder spells with less of a cost. Spells befitting of all of your houses. Technically, they’re meant to deem a witch or wizard fit to rule their house, but since the magical document you just signed legitimizes that you are who you say you are, you have nothing to worry about.”

Emmelia thought that Ragnarok was much nicer than the other goblins that she’d met earlier.

“And when will I be able to declare my heirship?”

“Right now, you have full claim the Potter line because there are no living relatives with a strong enough connection in order to claim lordship. Thankfully, Sirius Black is imprisoned and had already named you as his heir before his sentence. However, that means that you won’t be able to claim ladyship of the Black line until he dies.”

“Oh well, I suppose that’s good-and bad. That means I can claim both of my lines as heir, correct?”

“Yes” Said the goblin gruffly.

The ginger nodded thoughtfully, “Thank you” Emmelia said as she took the two rings from Ragnarok. She examined each ring individually. The first ring was crafted out of a silver so dark it looked black. It was impeded with a black diamond carved into the shape of a skull surrounded by vines. It looked rather haunted. She placed the ancient looking ring her finger and hissed as the cold suddenly came scalding hot. The magical ring (at least she assumed that it was magical) was surrounded by swirling black magic as it cooled off and adjusted its size to fit around her finger perfectly.

The goblin inclined his head in recognition, “Heir Black.” She smiled at him and picked up another ring to study.

The ring was golden, and the design seemed to be branded into the metal. It radiated a strange magic, just like the Black ring had before, only this rings magic was golden. She flinched again as the process was repeated.

“Heir Potter.” Ragnarok Said, bowing again.

Witt the two rings on, Emmelia felt much stronger and more serene then she usually would. She was practically buzzing with energy. Her aura (Or as, Ragnarok had called it, her magical core) had swelled from the light blanket that surrounded her to a pulsating mass that extended at least three feet out from her body. All in all, she felt bloody amazing.

"Also sir, I would like to ask about the famed Albus Dumbledore? I heard from Griphook, the goblin who escorted me downstairs, that he was my magical guardian. Does that mean anything in particular in the magical community, or is it just a title. I was curious because I've never had any contact with him, and I hadn't even heard his name till today. I don't like the idea of a stranger having access to my funds, I'm sure you can understand that."

"Yes, of course Heir Potter- Black. I'm alarmed at the idea that you had no contact with him. As your magical guardian, he should've been caring for you. If not, he should've at least checked on you multiple times a year and overseen your magical tutoring."

"Magical tutoring, I'm sorry. I never received any tutoring of any kind."

"I see." Ragnarok's eyes visibly narrowed, "I take it that you never received any updates from me or Gringotts in general." Emmelia shook her head. "I'm terribly sorry about all of that, Heir Potter-Black. I'll see what I can do to get him uninitiated as your magical guardian, seeing as he is obviously unfit for the role.

Emmelia thanked the goblin for his cooperation and the two spent the next thirty minutes discussing the responsibilities that fell on her as Heir of the house. She had Ragnarok assign the best goblins under his command to manage all her funds and investments, since, as an underaged witch, she couldn’t do it herself. She also requested renovations for all of her newly acquired properties, as most of them had fallen into disrepair. Technically, she wouldn’t be allowed to actually access any of her properties until she reached her teenage years at thirteen, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t prepare them for her return. Her account manager promised that all would be fully restored by the end of the month.

With that assurance from the goblin, Emmelia left the bank with full confidence in the future of her money.

—————————

An hour and thirty minutes later, Emmelia met the harsh looking Professor outside the bank. This time, McGonagall was smiling happily, like she finally had a weight lifted off her shoulders. She took a deep breath to compose herself.

“Alright then Miss Potter, off we go. We have no time to waste. None at all.”

The pair spent the rest of the afternoon speeding through different shops and buying all the supplies her Professor deemed necessary for her first year at Hogwarts. Thankfully, she let Emmelia buy whatever books she wanted, even a slightly suspicious looking one about all different kinds of hexes and curses.

With a full bag (though completely weightless because it was charmed with the feather light charm, or so McGonagall had explained) Emmelia and her new Deputy Headmistress found themselves in front of a very odd shop called Ollivander's. Apparently, this was where she was supposed to find her wand.

A tinkling bell rang somewhere in the depths of the shop as they stepped inside. Emmelia suddenly felt very strange. She could see the different colored magic swirling around each other, presumably from all of the wands. It was beautiful and blinding all at once.

“Good afternoon,” said a soft voice. Emmelia stiffened slightly at the man’s sudden proximity to her. Her mind was screaming too close too close too close over and over again. Impressively, McGonagall gave him no reaction. With all the times she must’ve taken other students to Ollivander’s, she was probably used to it.

 

An old man was standing before them, his wide, pale eyes shining like moons through the floor of the shop.

“Hello,” said Emmelia. She was extremely uncomfortable, though determined not to show it.

His magic was odd. All over the place. It wasn’t anchored down, like most other people’s. It was the only other living person with a silver core she’d seen since her adventure into the magical world.

“Ah yes,” said the man. “Yes, Yes. I thought I’d be seeing you soon. Emmelia Potter, yes.” It wasn’t a question. “You have your mother’s hair and eyes. It seemed only yesterday she was here herself buying her first wand. Ten and a quarter inches long, swishy, made of willow. Nice wand for charm work.” Emmelia was glad that her memory was so good, she wanted to remember every single piece of information the world had about James and Lily Potter. Had her mother been good at charms?

Mr. Ollivander moved closer to Emmelia. She wished he would blink. Those silvery eyes were creepy.

“Your father, on the other hand, favored a mahogany wand. Eleven inches. Pliable. A little more power and excellent for transfiguration. Well, I say your father favored it-it’s really the wand that chooses the wizard of course.”

Mr. Ollivander had come so close that he and Emmelia were almost nose to nose. Emmelia could see herself reflected in those misty eyes.

“And that’s where….”

Mr. Ollivander touched the lightning scar on Emmelia’s forward with a long, white finger.

Emmelia stared straight into his eyes, unwilling to back down and give him the upper hand. She wanted to tear out his throat.

He kept speaking, “I’m sorry to say that I sold the wand that did that to you,” he said softly. “Thirteen-and-a-half inches. Yew. Powerful wand, very powerful, and in the wrong hands… well, if I’d known what that wand was going out into the world to do…”

He shook his head. Emmelia tried to calm herself while Mr. Ollivander talked to McGonagall about her own wand.

“Well, now- Miss Potter. Let me see.”

“Which arm is your wand arm?”

“I’m ambidextrous sir, but my right hand is more dominant.” Ollivander have a thoughtful hum before he handed her a dragon heartstring wand contained in some sort if cherry would. When she’d taken hold of it and tried to cast a spell (though she hadn’t learned any) and the wood splintered down the middle, until the wand fell apart in her hand. Emmelia wasn’t sure if that was an encouraging sign.

Emmelia went through wand after wand, until she felt like she must’ve tried every one in the shop. She refused to let herself be embarrassed though. All it meant was that she needed a rare wand, because she was powerful. That was it, she assured herself.

Ollivander paused as he seemed to consider something, his misty eyes alight with interest.

 

“I wonder, now- yes, why not- unusual combination- holly and phoenix feather, eleven inches, nice and supple.”

Emmelia took the wand. She felt a sudden warmth in her fingers. A burning on her wrist. She raised the wand above her head, brought it swishing down through the dusty air and a stream of silver and gray birds shot from the end. They elegantly flew above everyone’s heads until they faded into mist.

“Oh, bravo!” Said McGonagall. She looked so genuinely pleased that Emmelia felt a swell of pride rise up in her. All the compliments she’d gotten in her childhood were from jealous parents and peers, envious of her abilities and performances. No one had been genuinely happy for her success before.

 

“Curious… curious…” Mr. Ollivander muttered while he wrapped up her wand.

 

She leveled the old man with her cold, green eyes, “What’s so curious, sir?”

“I remember every wand I’ve ever sold, Miss Potter. Every single wand. It so happens that the phoenix whose tail feather is in your wand gave another feather- just one other. It is very curious indeed that you should be destined for this wand when its brother- why, its brother gave you that scar.”

Emmelia kept her face impressively fixed into a curious and innocent expression as she absorbed that tidbit of information. For some reason, she felt like she didn’t fool him.

“Yes, thirteen-and-a-half inches. Yew. Curious indeed how these things happen. The wand chooses the wizard, remember… I think we must expect great things for you, Miss. Potter… After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things- terrible, yes, but great.”

A thought occurred to Emmelia. “He couldn’t have been Voldemort when you sold him that wand,” she said.

Mr. Ollivander got very still when she said the name. “No indeed,” he said softly.

With wand in hand and McGonagall by her side, Emmelia left the odd wand shop, more confident then she’d even been.

She’d be great indeed.

 

—————————

Chapter Text

If there was one thing that Emmelia knew about her future at Hogwarts, it was that being placed in Slytherin sucks ass (regardless of the fact that she was one, even if she hadn't been sorted yet).

Everyone hated Slytherins.

After finishing all of her school shopping with Professor Mcgonagall, the woman had dropped her off at the Leaky Cauldron with all of her belongings (even with all of her stuff she’d left at the Dursleys. Though, admittedly, there wasn’t much besides a few books and her pointe shoes. The woman hadn’t known to go to Petunia’s closet to look for all of Emmelia's fancy clothes.).

Emmelia had made sure to buy multiple books on wizarding culture and Hogwarts itself. She was shocked at how prejudiced the wizarding world was. Not only the discrimination that muggleborns were regularly faced with, but people were constantly painting all Slytherins as villains. She knew that couldn’t be right.

Obviously, a lot of blood purists were in Slytherin, but they weren’t all like that. Merlin was a Slytherin for God’s sake. The house was about ambition and the want to become something.

Either way, Emmelia was not excited be sorted into the house of snakes. She’d read a couple biographies on herself (even if most of the facts about her current life were completely wrong) and she’d practically choked on the pure prejudice and ignorance they stunk of. Basically, she was known as the ‘Girl Who Lived’. As a baby, she’d vanquished the Dark Lord and became the savior of the Light.

(She hadn’t really understood the Dark and Light thing until she looked it up. She’d eventually got it when she matched people’s auras (or magical cores) with either Dark, Light, or Gray.)

Slytherin though, was the Dark house. When she was put there, (because there was no doubt in her mind that she would be) people would be distrustful of her. It was stupid and bigoted, but she hasn't seen a single person in all of the books she's read acknowledge it as wrong. Emmelia knew what people wanted of her. She wanted an amazing, powerful, and polite girl that would promise to defeat Voldemort again if he ever returned. They wanted a bloody Gryffindor.

Emmelia decided that if people hated the people like her that much, she'd use her own world renowned game to fix it. Being out in slytherin would obviously make a lot of people like her, but she was pretty positive that the amount of adoration and gratitude that people from the Light looked at her with would eventually outweigh the negativity. In turn, it would help encourage the public to be more trusting of people like her.

Currently, Emmelia had thousands of people that adored her. While she might lose a few if she was a Slytherin, they'd probably eventually forget to hate her. That meant she would get all the popularity of being the Girl Who Lived, with all the political benefits of being sorted into a house with all of the main Ministry officials kIds. Win win.

It was odd though. She’d studied up on Dark cores, and found that there was literally nothing wrong with the concept of Dark Magic. It was just like Light Magic. Sure, there were Dark Arts spells that were dangerous and ‘evil’, but there were Light spells that did the same thing.

It was obviously all about the intent of the witch or wizard. Dark Magic couldn’t be inherently bad, it just made no sense.

Emmelia had promised herself to study Dark Magic (in private of course). Thankfully, her (rare) Gray core allowed her to perform both Dark Magic and Light Magic with equal ease. She’d guessed that she'd inherited her silver magical core from the ancient Peverell line, because both of her parents were known Light wizards.

The weird thing though, was that she couldn’t find a single book that mentioned peoples auras. The one she was currently reading, The Importance of Magical Cores in Today’s Society, said that the only possible way to tell what someone’s core was through experimentation with both Light and Dark Arts. That meant that either the book was wrong, or Emmelia was insane.

She decided that it was probably the first one. Hopefully. She’d look it up at Hogwarts. After her two weeks at living at the Leaky Cauldron, Emmelia had already exhausted all of the books that Flourish and Blotts bookstore had on the topic.

Waving her hand towards her bedside lantern (the Trace didn’t work at places like the Leaky Cauldron. If the ministry saw a magical signature go off in her room, they’d just assumed that an adult had cast the spell, not her. It was quite a useful little loophole), Emmelia watched as her aura snuffed out the fire. She rolled over in her bed and tried to imagine what her life at Hogwarts would be like. She had a feeling that it would definitely be better than living with the Dursleys.

 

————————

 

Emmelia took a deep breath as she prepared to run through the wall. She’d asked a pair of redhead twins how to get to the station and they’d told her to run straight in between the nine and ten platform markings.

She’d looked at them skeptically and, to prove it, one of the twins had shown her what to do. Still, she was awfully reluctant to get her head bashed in.

She looked at the other twin again. He was grinning at her, “Want me to go before you?” Emmelia shook her head in determination, she may be a Slytherin, but she was no coward, “Yes well, it is ladies first.” His smile became wider as he scratched the back of his hair.

She smiled back, although hesitantly. ‘Okay, I can do this.’ She thought. Shutting her eyes tight, she walked towards the supposed platform. She wasn’t going to run straight into a wall of she could help it. Her body tensed in anticipation as she waited for her cart to hit brick. It never came.

She opened her eyes and gasped quietly. She was surrounded by hundreds of family dressed in the strange robes that all magical people wore. The most shocking sight though, was the scarlet steam engine that lay on the tracks of the station.

“Amazing, isn’t it?” Emmelia squeaked in surprise when both twins threw their arms over her shoulder. Get off get off get off get off.

“So,” Said one smiling.

“What your name little lady?” Said the other.

“We-”

“are Fred-”

“and George!”

Emmelia was at a loss with how to respond. She never really spoke to anyone her age, and definitely not so casually.

“Well I’m-my name is Emmelia Potter. It’s a pleasure.” She smiled at the boy on her right. She couldn’t remember is it was Fred or George.

Both pairs of eyes widened in surprise, “Your Majesty!-” one of the twins gasped dramatically.

“We had no idea-”

“That we’d-”

“Be meeting-”

“The famed-“

“Girl Who lived-”

“The hero of the Light-”

“Miss Potter!”

One of the redheads swung around to face her and kissed her hand. She really needed to get used to all the pureblood customs everywhere. If she didn’t, she’d just look like a fool. She’d study up on them again while at Hogwarts.

Emmelia managed to stop herself from snatching her hand away. Kids her age were way too touchy. Adults were much easier to talk to. One awe filled smile and an incorrectly guessed age and they’d do practically anything for you. Also, the only contact they initiated was a hand on the shoulder, or maybe a pat on the back. Emmelia could handle a pat in the back. Or a hug if she knew it was coming.

Emmelia shook her head in denial, deciding to take the humble approach with these boys, “No no, I didn’t really do anything. I was only a baby, I doubt I could’ve done anything to defeat Voldemort. Thousands of other full grown wizards had tried, and they all failed.”

“But there’s proof! You managed to reflect the killing curse in to him. You might not know how you did it, but you definitely did.”

“I guess you're right. I’m not very used to all this attention. And-uh,” She glanced meaningfully at their arms which were back around her shoulders, “touching.”

“Oh! Of course-“ Fred (she thought it was Fred at least) immediately took his hand off her shoulder and his brother followed her lead. They continued to talk about random things. Emmelia decided she rather liked the twins when they weren’t smothering her.

Eventually, both boys were called away from her by their mother. Emmelia turned her attention back to the Hogwarts express. Climbing up the polished wood steps, she could see just how ancient the train really was.

Suddenly, a loud clanging behind her caused her to turn quickly. A small girl with golden princess curls and light lavender eyes had fallen to her knees while she was trying to get her trunk up the stairs. Emmelia immediately bent down to help her. Her own trunk was levitating a few feet off, so it wouldn’t cause any problems.

Emmelia offered to carry/float the shy girls trunk for her.

“What’s your name?” Emmelia asked, smiling.

“Oh-me? Um well-my name is Daphne...Daphne Greengrass.”

‘Ahhhhhhh’ Emmelia thought, recognizing her name as one of the sacred twenty eight, ‘Yeah, definitely the rich type. Doesn’t seem to spoiled though, which is ideal. She might make a good friend. She’s definitely the follower type, and I want to work on breaking down the walls of prejudice that surrounds Hogwarts. She’s a sure bet for Slytherin, obviously. The Greengrasses have been in Slytherin for decades.”

“Hello Daphne. My name is Emmelia Potter. It’s a pleasure to meet you. Is it your first year?” This girl was much easier to talk to, much more reserved and quiet. Not that she didn’t like talking to the twins of course, they were just a lot.

“It’s nice to meet you too, Heir Potter.”

“Oh please, call me Emmelia. I want to be friends.” She took Daphne’s hand, “Come on, let's go find a seat.” Emmelia noticed her hesitation and quickly backtracked, “Unless you want to sit with your friends. You’re probably really popular.” She said, flattering the shy girl.

“Oh no no! It’s just that-that no one’s ever really wanted to be my friend…” Daphne said, embarrassed, “Thank you.”

Well that’s rather stupid. Emmelia thought that there would be plenty of purebloods wanted to be friends with the Greengrasses. They were very powerful and influential, it’d be a great alliance to make.

“Of course Daphne. Come on, let’s find an apartment.”

 

————————

 

They’d ended up sitting with Neville Longbottom, the only heir to the Longbottom line, and Hermione Granger, an extremely bright muggleborn witch. Thankfully, Daphne made no rude comments to either of them, despiser her being dark and a pureblood. Emmelia hoped that meant that she wasn’t a blood purest.

Neville had lost his toad (multiple times) during the train ride, so Emmelia suggested they ask a prefect to find it. Hermione had praised her for her brilliant idea, and suggested they find the Gryffindor one, because was obviously that best house. Daphne looked like she was going to say something at that, but Emmelia stopped her.

Eventually, Percy Weasley had found the toad, so all four of them went back to their little compartment. The rest of the ride was spent chatting (mostly Hermione spouting knowledge from all of their school books and Emmelia trying to gauge everyone’s personalities and likes) and preparing to get off the train.

Eventually, the steam engine chugged to a halt. As everyone got off, they were met with a giant, hairy, man, waving his arms and yelling, “Firs’ years firs’ years over here! This way everyone!”

Hesitantly, all of the eleven year olds followed him towards the lake. When the man caught site of Emmelia, his eyes widened and he said, “Merlin Emmy! Is that you? I haven't seen you since yuh were just a baby! Look just like yer mum, yuh do! How are yuh?”

“I’m uh, very well sir, thank you.”

He laughed, placing her hand heavily on her shoulder. Emmelia hissed, “Yuh can call me Hagrid, Emmy! That’s what everyone calls me! I’m the groundskeeper here at Hogwarts.” He said proudly, sticking out his chest.

“Well then thank you Hagrid. Have a nice day!” Emmelia called over her shoulder on the way to the boats with her three new friends.

“Who was that?” Hermione asked, slightly horrified.

Emmelia smiled at her, “Don’t worry Hermione, he knew my parents. Just wanted to say hello. No harm done.” She assured her.

“Alright then. I guess.” She moved closer to her and whispered, “He was huge. I wonder if he’s part giant.”

Emmelia shrugged. She had no idea, she’d just met the man.

They spent the ride over the lake wallowing in their anxiety. Some of it was lowered when Daphne promised that the sorting wasn’t some sort of test. Just a weird hat that sang. Emmelia wasn’t sure she believed her.

She was proven wrong fifteen minutes later, standing in front of the large wooden doors that led into Hogwarts. They were greeted by Professor McGonagall, the same teacher who had brought Emmelia shopping in Diagon alley. She began the introduction to the sorting ceremony.

“In a few minutes, you will be shown into the Great Hall where you will be sorted into your houses. This ceremony is not merely tradition, but is critical to your life at Hogwarts, as your houses will be your homes and nearly your family while you are here at Hogwarts.

“You will attend your classes with the other students of your year from your house, you will sleep every night in your house dormitories, and you will no doubt waste many of your precious few hours of free time that should be spent on homework, playing games and socialising in your house common rooms.

“The four houses are, in alphabetical order: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. I will add that all houses have produced their fair share of great and notable witches and wizards, and no house is any greater than any other.”

At those words, Emmelia heard a soft snort behind her, and she and several others turned their heads to see a pale blonde boy with aristocratic features looking up at Professor McGonagall with disbelief written all over his face. His smug look vanished however when she turned her imperious gaze to him with a look of utter disapproval.

“Now that all interruptions are over, also while you are in your house, you will have the opportunity to win or lose points for your house. Points are awarded for good behaviour and excellent performance in lessons, and taken away for poor behaviour, and are only granted or removed by staff. Please note that school prefects and the Head Boy and Girl on the other hand while unable to remove or give points, can give out detentions and other punishments. At the end of the school year, the house that has earned the most points will win the House Cup, the highest award for a house in the school. So, I hope you will all apply yourselves thoroughly while you are in attendance and do credit to whichever house you are sorted.

“I will now go and prepare the Great Hall for your entrance. Please take these remaining few minutes to straighten yourselves out as best you can, ensuring you all look your best when you present yourselves before the school to be sorted.”

She said this last part somewhat stiffly, and her keen eyes darted about, landing notably on Neville whose robes had been spun around sideways in the jostling of getting into the room, and one of the red headed boys who had been standing with the rest of the Weasleys, who had a smudge of dirt on his nose.

 

Eventually, the door slammed open and the first years were forced into the great hall. Professor McGonagall placed a dirty old hat on the four legged stool already there. Slowly, a rip opened near the brim of the hat, like a mouth. To all the first years (even Daphne’s) disbelief, the hat began to sing:

 

“Oh, you may not think I’m pretty,

But don’t judge on what you see,

I’ll eat myself if you can find

A smarter hat than me.

 

You can keep your bowlers black,

Your top hats sleek and tall,

For I’m the Hogwarts Sorting Hat

And I can cap them all.

 

There’s nothing hidden in your head,

The Sorting Hat can’t see,

So try me on, and I will tell you

Where you ought to be.

 

You might belong in Gryffindor,

Where dwell the brave at heart,

Their daring, nerve and chivalry

Set Gryffindors apart;

 

You might belong in Hufflepuff,

Where they are just and loyal,

Those patient Hufflepuffs are true

And unafraid of toil;

 

Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,

If you’ve a ready mind,

Where those of wit and learning,

Will always find their kind;

 

Or perhaps in Slytherin

You’ll make your real friends,

Those cunning folk use any means

To achieve their ends.

 

So put me on! Don’t be afraid!

And don’t get in a flap!

You’re in safe hands (though I have none)

For I’m a Thinking Cap!”

 

The entirety of Hogwarts broke into a wild applause, Gryffindor being the loudest and Slytherin being the quietest. Emmelia was not looking forward to being in Gryffindor, loud people were the absolute worst. It died off as Professor McGonagall called the first name.

“Abbot, Hannah!”

 

——————-

Chapter Text

Emmelia walked gracefully towards the hat when her name was called, ignoring the hundreds of whispers that broke out at it. She’d been right about Daphne, who’d been sorted into Slytherin. She’d thought Neville would be in Hufflepuff, but, surprisingly, he’d been put in Gryffindor, along with Hermione.

She crossed her legs and sat on the school. An old, scratchy voice spoke in her head.

“Ahhh finally. The Girl Who Lived yes? I know just where to put you.”

“In Slytherin, I presume.”

“Indeed, my girl. Though, I'm surprised, no argument? I'm sure you’ll be great in Slytherin, but what of the other houses? Both of your parents were in Gryffindor, you know."

"I'd figured as much, yes. And regarding the other houses, I genuinely hold no ill will towards any of them. I imagine that I'll do well in Ravenclaw, too. I've always had a thirst for knowledge after all. However, the only reason I seek out that knowledge is to use it, not just for the sake of knowing something new."

"Very true, child. After all, resourcefulness and ambition are classic traits of Slytherin."

"Yes sir."

"Tell me, Miss Potter, what about Hufflepuff? Or Gryffindor for that matter."

"I'm sorry sir, but I don't really see why we're doing this."

"Just--consider it a thinking exercise, if you must. Do it for my sake."

"I guess...Again, I'm really not opposed to the idea of being in Hufflepuff. It's just, I won't really fit in there. Badgers, well--they're known for being trusting and loyal, and while I recognize that those are traits that are very noble, it's hard for any of those things to manifest in you if you have such a shitty childhood, y'know?"

"Indeed, child."

"And Gryffindor--I actually think that is do pretty well there. If you ask almost anyone else, they'll probably expect that I end up in Gryffindor, like my parents."

The sorting hat made a vague noise of agreement.

“And from an outside perspective, it's probably the best place for me to be. I have an image to uphold, after all. Savior of light, vanquisher of Voldemort, ect. If I go and get put in Slytherin, people will start calling me the next Dark lady. We can avoid that all together if I just stay in the box that people are trying to force me into."

“That’s such a Slytherin thing to say.”

"I'll take that as a compliment. But, the thing is, if I start my journey into the Wizarding world restraint myself to the expectations of the masses, my entire life from that point forward would be constructed to what other people what. And I just--I can't live that way anymore. All I ever did with the Dursleys was exactly what they told me to do, regardless of what I wanted. But I--I won't do that here. I won't let myself be pushed around by other people, not anymore."

"Very good, Miss Potter. I'm glad. The Wizarding World needs someone like you."

"Thank you."

The hat seemed to consider everything for a moment, then it hummed again.

“You see, Miss Potter, you happen to remind me of a very particular student, about fifty years ago. I and I happen to agree with you on all of your points. Yes now, it better be…”

“Slytherin!” The hat yelled to the rest of the hall, who'd been muttering in anticipation. Abruptly, everyone went dead silent, but Emmelia herself just smiled innocently down at all of her schoolmates. After a few more moments, the table on the far right broke into hesitant applause, and the other houses clapping along politely.

Carefully, the ginger haired girl made her way down the steep steps towards her new house.

Daphne, gave her a hesitant smile and meaningfully patted the seat on the bench never to her. Emmelia took a deep breath when she finally sat down beside her and the sorting resumed.

Neville and Hermione had already been sorted into Gryffindor, of course, but Emmelia wasn’t particularly worried about their newly formed friendship. On the train ride over, she’d gotten claws sunk pretty deep into them.

She turned her attention away from the Gryffindor table and back to Daphne, who she began a soft spoken conversation with. The two girls carefully ignored the whispers that surrounded Emmelia and spent the rest of the sorting talking in light whispers about new classes and students. Emmelia decided she rather liked Daphne, even if she didn’t have her money, she was still decent conversation. She was a little shy and soft spoken, but Emmelia knew she’d grow out of it eventually, so it wasn’t that much of a problem.

 

———————-

 

As the last student, a boy named Zabani with skin so dark and beautiful he looked like a shadow, had been sorted into Slytherin, the headmaster of the school rose and held his hands up for silence.

His eyes twinkled as he spoke, “Welcome! While many of the smiling new faces looking at me are expecting a speech, the older faces with grumbling stomachs are far greater in number, and thus their obvious desire for a feast wins out over any inspirational words I may feebly attempt to muster. So instead, I shall leave you with these simple thoughts: Nitwit, blubber, oddment, tweak!”

All of the tables filled with food. Foods Emmelia had never seen before. Some of it looked amazing while others, like the pickled tomatoes, looked awful. Emmelia hated tomatoes.

Emmelia looked at a brunette girl who sat next to Daphne and asked skeptically, “Is he a bit mad?” Referring to the headmaster.

The girl sniffed disdainfully before answering, “Mad? Definitely. But don’t be stupid enough to say that he isn’t the most powerful wizard of the age.”

Emmelia nodded, she’d read all about Grindelwald during her time at the Leaky Cauldron.

Finally, Emmelia made the decision to properly introduce herself, “Parkinson, correct? It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m Emmelia Potter, heir to house Potter and Black.”

Parkinson raised an eyebrow delicately at when she mentioned her claim to the Black line, she held out her own hand to shake, “The pleasures all mine. And yes, I am Parkinson, Pansy Parkinson.”

Emmelia have her best cutting, yet undeniably charming smile, “I hope we aren’t enemies Parkinson, you seem like a dangerous one to have.”

“I appreciate the compliment Potter. Or is it Black?”

“Potter, for now. Can’t have people going around claiming I’m the next Dark wizard because of my last name, can we?”

“No, I don’t suppose we can. It’s already bad enough that you’re in Slytherin, isn’t it? I’m sure the old Headmaster had quite a shock.” She smiled viciously.

Emmelia returned the look and with that, their conversation was over.

Soon after, the savory goods faded off of everyone’s plates and were replaced by exotic desserts. Emmelia left those alone, she didn’t like sweets. The last time she’d snuck one away from Dudley, her Uncle had almost given her a concussion.

She’d been seven.

As soon as everyone had eaten their full, Dumbledore rose once more.

"And so, now we have stuffed our stomachs with our kitchen's delicious feast, it is time to fill your heads a little with some announcements finally. Students will do well to check the extensive list on our Caretaker Argus Filch’s door of items not permitted at Hogwarts, and he has reminded me once again to remind you all that magic is not allowed in the corridors between lessons.”

“Quidditch tryouts will start next week, and Captains should check with Madame Hooch for scheduling the Quidditch pitch for their teams.”

“First-years need to take note that the Forbidden Forest is strictly out of bounds, though some of our older students could do with a reminding of this rule as well.”

He’d looked at Fred and George, the twins who’d helped her at the platform, pointedly after that announcement.

“And finally, it must be noted that the third-floor corridor to the right is now out of bounds to anyone who does not wish to suffer a most gruesome and violent death.”

That was a stupid thing to do. If you wanted kids not to go somewhere, you didn’t tell them where not to go. After being alive for so long, the headmaster probably knew that. Which meant that he wanted someone, somewhere, to go exploring in the third floor corridor.

Emmelia decided that she'd definitely be avoiding that corridor. Personally, at least. Maybe she could send someone down there for her if she ever got curious enough, though she doubted she would.

 

———————

The common room somehow managed to look elegant and jointed at the same time. It was deep within the dungeons of the school, under the lake almost. The furnishing and decorations consisted mostly of dark, mahogany wood and black leather furniture, with some dusting of silver and green. The entire place was cast in an eerie blue light emanating from the lake.

It was beautiful.

In the center of the room stood an imposing figure clothed in dark robes. Emmelia remembered seeing him sitting at the head table.

Slowly, the students began to quiet and patiently wait for the man to begin talking. When he did, his voice was a slow and smooth drawl.

"I am Professor Severus Snape, your Head of House and the Potions Master of this school. As a new member of this House, there are a few rules that you must know and learn to abide by. Outside these walls you will face prejudice and discrimination because of your House selection, and for that I am sorry. Slytherin House is not seen in a positive light. Because of this, all Snakes, while not within our main territory, will appear as a united front. Even if you utterly despise a fellow Housemate, outside these walls you will allow none of this to show. If you see a fellow Housemate in need of aid, you will help them. This rule is non-negotiable." He looked at each of them to make sure they understood before continuing.

"We are Slytherin, and this House champions cunning. Should you, under any given circumstances, deviate from the written rules: Do. Not. Get. Caught. If you think you may be caught, have an alibi at your disposal. And if you are caught, make sure that it's by me."

Snape gave them a look that promised a steep retribution should they be caught at all, and Emmelia raised a copper eyebrow at him in surprise. He wasn’t explicitly saying that they weren’t allowed to break the rules, just that they shouldn’t do so carelessly. It was somewhat exhilarating.

"The prejudice you face, unfortunately, also extends to members of this faculty. They will believe the words of another House over your own in a heartbeat. So if you have any problems, any issues or any concerns, you are free to come and speak to me at any time. My office can be accessed through the painting of the stirring cauldrons, and if you are unsure a prefect or older student will show you the way."

With his dramatic speech complete, Professor Snape glided out of the room with an intimidating sweep of his dark robes. Gemma Farley took his place in front of the impressionable first years.

“You heard Professor Snape. I, or any of the other prefects for that matter, will almost always be available to speak with as well. However, if we decide that you’re wasting our time, I reserve the right to ignore you.”

For the first time since Emmelia had seen the girl, Farley smiled, “Welcome to Slytherin everyone, try not to get killed.”

———————-

Emmelia sat on her bed in the Slytherin first year dorm. Her bed! Not one at a hotel, like the Leaky Cauldron, but her own bed. All she’d ever had was the cupboard at the Dursleys. It was so small, that she had to sleep curled up in a ball to avoid all the cleaning supplies and spiders. Here though, she stretches out her entire body and just barely touch the corners of the mattress.

Her bed was in the corner, closest to the window. She’d already cast silencing and privacy wards around it, (the one she’d been studying ridiculously hard in order to master while at the Leaky Cauldron) to make sure no one touched her stuff. Her trunk was at the end, though it was empty.

During her shopping trip with McGonagall, Emmelia had insisted on buying a magical organizer. It looked like a regular old book bag, but when you opened it, there were tons of expanded compartments inside. She’d put everything she owned in there. That way, she’d never be unprepared.

Placing the bag next to her bed, Emmelia whispered goodnight to Daphne, Parkinson, Davis, and Bulstrode. As they whispered their responses back, she closed the curtains on her bed with a swish of her hand, watching as the silver mist of her aura mixed with the darkness.

While at Hogwarts, she’d tried to compress it as much as she could, in case anyone *cough* the headmaster *cough* took too much of an interest in her.

She'd save the big guns for when she really needed it.

 

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

Emmelia blinked in surprise at the state of her schedule. None of her friends had had a chance to look at theirs from when it had been handed out to them by their heads of houses that breakfast. Instead, they were all gathered in the library to go over them together.

Appalled, she read it again, as if she could magically change its contents.

She blinked again, completely surprised, even though she had already read it. There was no maths! And the closest thing the schedule had to science was potions. They didn’t even have a single language class, despite the thousands of languages in the Wizarding World. Emmelia loved language classes. She was practically fluent in French, and was working on Italian. But here, she would need to actively go out of her way to learn them. She growled in annoyance.

And there were only three or four classes every day! This would be so easy. Emmelia had maintained a 4.0 in (almost) every class since her first year in primary school. Last year, she had seven periods every day! That was twice the amount she now had at Hogwarts. She’d definitely had to do some independent studying, just so she wouldn’t die of boredom.

Hermione looked like she was in the same predicament as herself. Emmelia touched the other girl’s hand comfortingly, if hesitantly, “It’s alright Hermione. I’m sure we can do extra work together if we get bored. I know that I want to learn Ancient Runes, and maybe study up on why I can see people’s magic.”

At the mention of her special ability, Neville whipped his head around to face her, “You can see magic? Like peoples cores?”

“Yes? I mean, I can tell if they’re Light or Dark. And I watch everyone’s aura move when they do any spells…”

“Merlin’s balls, Emmy! That’s incredible!”

“What? What is it? Is that a bad thing? What's wrong?” She chose not to comment on her newly acquired nickname. She rather liked it actually, she’d never had a nickname before. She was pretty sure that Girl and Freak didn’t count.

“Wrong? There’s nothing wrong! That’s incredible Emmy! I’ve never met one before!” Daphne joined in after she'd gotten over her shock. She spoke louder that Emmelia had ever heard her.

“Met one of what?” Asked Hermione. She hated the idea of not knowing something. That’s what put her apart from the Ravenclaws. Hermione might’ve loved learning, but she loved knowing even more.

“You really have no idea, do you?”

“No! I don’t! And quiet it down please. I don’t want everyone to know if it’s something rare.”

“You’re one of the magic blessed. That Lady Hecate decides are important enough to the Fates that you deserve to see her.”

“See her?”

Neville looked completely dumbfounded as he continued, “Of course. Lady Hecate is magic. You can see her because she deemed you worthy. That's-- I can't even explain how incredible that makes you, Emmelia. I can’t imagine the things you’ll do one day.”

“Oh” was all Emmelia said in response. It was certainly helpful for the wizarding world to regard her as some sort of prophet. It was also extremely flattering that Lady Hecate honored her so, even if she wasn’t sure if she was real or not.

“You can’t tell anyone.” She said to the two young Gryffindors and the one Slytherin.

“What? Why?” Asked Hermione.

“It needs to stay a secret. That way, I can use it to my advantage if I’m somehow targeted by the media. Or even Voldemort.” She silently added Dumbledore to the list in her mind. She didn’t like him very much (he’d left her with the Dursley’s after all) and he was a dangerously influential man. Even on the Dark side of things.

“That’s an awfully Slytherin thing to say.” Said Neville jokingly, echoing what the sorting hat had said the night before. He seemed to really be coming out of his shell, even after only a day. She was glad, she needed him to be more confident in himself. Confidence went a long way, even when it came to magic.

“Yes well, I am in Slytherin. And plus, it’s just the smart thing to do.”

“I suppose so. We’ll keep it a secret, right Neville?” Hermione asked the Longbottom, who nodded. She turned back to Emmelia, “So what color is my magic? And what’s Neville’s? Or Daphne’s?”

“Hermione, you’re a Light witch, and so is Neville. That means that you guys will have an affinity for Light spells, which is mostly the stuff they teach here. I myself also happen to be Light,” Emmelia lied. After all, she couldn’t have her new friends run around blabbing to people about her ‘corrupted core’, “So were all really I’m good at Light magic.”

Hermione shuddered, “I’m glad I’m not a Dark witch.” She said, relieved.

Emmelia frowned disapprovingly at her, “That’s an awfully ignorant thing for you to say Hermione.”

“What do you mean? Dark magic is evil. Everyone knows that.” Neville agreed with Hermione.

Emmelia’s scowl darkened, “Dark magic itself isn’t evil. It’s just like Light magic. For example, there is a healing spell that works better for people with Light cores, and another one for people with Dark cores. It’s like different sides of the same coin. Also, Daphne here has a Dark core, and she doesn’t look so evil to me. It’s more of an inheritance thing. Like, I got my red hair from my Mum, but I also got her Light core. Daphne probably got hers from her parents too.” She explained.

“But what about Dark rituals and all that stuff?” Neville asked her.

Emmelia almost laughed, “You don’t think that there are some Light rituals just as bad?” Seeing his confused look, she tried to explain in a way that he would understand, “You know, when you call Dark magic evil, you’re basically insulting Lady Hecate herself. She must've created Dark magic and Light magic, so that the different cores would be equal. And Hermione, I can recommend some books for you on the topic.”

Neville looked horrified at the fact that he might be insulting his goddess. Hermione just looked intrigued (and delighted at the thought of more books).

“I’d never thought about it like that. That makes so much sense!” The bushy haired girl said enthusiastically, “You’re so smart Emmy! I wish I could be like that. All I do is memorize stuff and spit it back out. Also, I’d definitely love to read up on that,”

“Don’t be silly ‘Mione, you're smart in your own way. I’m sure you’ll show everyone in class. Speaking of which, actually, we need to go, we can’t be late on our first day.”

Emmelia didn’t fail to notice the small smile on Daphne’s face as all four of them left the library.

 

———————

 

The day flew by quickly. Well, some of the day flew by quickly. Since it was Tuesday, they’d had History of Magic first thing in the morning. Emmelia had tried her best to engage Professor Binns, the ghost who’d been teaching the class, but all she’d gotten was a monotone answer and blank look. Halfway through the class, she’d decided that she never wanted to see his stupid face again. She didn’t have any malicious intent towards him, it was just Emmelia loved learning, and she couldn’t do that with him as the teacher. Why Dumbeldore hadn't fired him yet was beyond her understanding.

Besides, the man (ghost?) had been teaching for a hundred years, non stop. He deserved a break more than anyone.

After History if Magic, her and the rest of the first year Slytherins had double charms with Professor Flitwick, a goblin human half breed so short he’d had to stand on a tall stack of books just to be seen. Charms were pretty difficult for her if she was being honest. She had the theory down, but every time she tried a spell, she ended up pushing more power into them then necessary. They’d been working on Lumos, a charm that caused the tip of your wand to light up. It was a lot like a muggle flashlight, really. Anyway, she’d said the incantation and instead of making just the tip bright, she’d accidentally created a mini flash bomb that temporarily blinded the four students around her.

Thankfully, they had double charms with the Hufflepuffs, so all was forgiven.

That was it though. Two classes, and then they had a free period for the rest of the day.

With nothing else to do, Emmelia and Hermione managed to drag Neville and Daphne to the library again to do some extra studying. She wanted to read more about her supposed blessed ability. Also, she needed to ask the librarian for more books on the Wizengamot and wizarding politics in general. She needed to learn to use her influence properly if she was going to change some of the ridiculously stupid things in this world.

Sinking down into a quiet corner, she opened The Magical Abilities of the Ancient, and began to read.

 

———————

Forty minutes later, Emmelia paused at the title of a section in a completely different book. It was titled, Parseltongue: a Snake Master’s Guide to Understanding Their Abilities.

It caught Emmelia’s attention. When she’s spoken to the snake at the zoo, she’s just assumed that it was a random act of magic that anyone could do, not a magical ability or language.

She hastily read the rest of the chapter and sighed in defeat. It was an extremely Dark ability, and commonly associated with Salazar Slytherin and his descendants. Because of that, she’d obviously need to keep it a secret. For a little while at least. She probably wouldn't even tell Neville and Hermione. While the pair had seemed like they’d started to understand that Dark Magic wasn’t undeniably bad, Emmelia knew that people didn’t get rid of prejudices that quickly, especially if they’d been forced onto you since you were born, like Neville’s case. She’d tell the eventually, but not yet.

She might tell Daphne, though. Maybe just a little later into the year.

She went up to the front desk where the Librarian, Mrs. Pince, sat.

“Excuse me ma’am,” Emmelia whispered with a charming smile on her face, “but do you think you could point me in the direction of books on magical languages?”

The older woman smiled back. It was the first time Emmelia had seen her look even remotely pleasant, “Of course, dear girl. You know, you have your mother’s coloring, but your features are all your grandmother. I went to school with her, Euphemia Black. Pleasant girl, but vicious when you made her angry. A Slytherin of course, like all the Blacks were up until Sirius.” The fondness in her face fell at the mention of her convicted godfather. She quickly made to change the subject, “Why the particular interest in languages, child?”

“I find the whole concept fascinating. Don’t you think so? All the different animals and creatures that have their own languages. In the muggle world, there are no animals that talk. I just wanted to learn more about the differences. Are they all sentient?” Emmelia lied effortlessly. Really she just wanted to know more about parseltongue.

“You’re absolutely right Miss Potter, I suppose it would be a fascinating subject to some raised in the muggle world.” The smile was back on her face by the time she next spoke, “We need more curious students like you in these halls, dear girl. It would do Hogwarts as a whole some good. Just this way.” Mrs. Pince led the girl over to a remote section all about different magical languages.

“Thank you ma’am, have a nice day.” Emmelia gave a slight incline of her head in goodbye. She had twelve books on different dialects neatly organized in her book bag. She wanted to study them all, not just Parseltongue.

“You too, my girl. I hope that you never lose your passion for learning. You would’ve been great in Ravenclaw. Come back soon.” The woman turned away from her as Emmelia left the library and headed back to her blessedly quiet common room.

 

——————

 

On her way down to the dungeons, Neville, who had just come from charms class, had spotted her and caught up with her, paper in hand.

“Hey Emmy!” He cried waving his hands to catch her attention. She smiled when she saw him.

“Hi Neville. How are you?”

He looked caught off guard by her question, “Me? Oh I’m fine. You?”

“Lovely, thanks for asking.”

“But look at this.” He enthusiastically showed her the paper he’d been carrying. On the front page, there was a story about an attempted robbery and Gringotts.

“Apparently,” Said Neville, referring to the article, “Someone broke into Gringotts, the literal safest place in the world, besides Hogwarts of course, and got out alive! No one's ever done that before, even if they technically didn’t manage to steal anything.”

“Does anyone know what it was they were trying to steal?”

“What? Oh, no. Apparently, the vault was emptied earlier that day.”

Lucky for them, “What vault was it?” Emmelia assumed that it would be one of the less-secure ones.

“That’s another crazy thing. It was vault seven hundred and thirteen, which is really high security.”

Emmelia’s eyes widened at the mention of that vault. She turned to Neville, “I was with Professor McGonagall when she went to empty it! We went to pick something up from vault seven hundred and thirteen for the headmaster. All it was was a small, brown package. I think Hagrid was supposed to do it originally, but he got called away.”

“Why Hagrid?” Neville questioned aloud.

Emmelia gave a (somehow) graceful shrug, “I have honestly no idea.”

The pair left it at that. Neville had moved on to questioning her about how she liked all their classes so far, though they hadn’t done much. Emmelia tried not to show how much it affected her, but the thought of someone actually caring about her and how she felt, was a little overwhelming.

Neville had gotten a little shy when he told her how bad he was with the practical material they’d worked on. She assured him that it was normal. It was only their first day and all, and if he really was awful, he could get tutoring sessions from some on the older Gryffindors.

They young boy had looked confused at that, and he’d said that none of the Gryffindors had offered to help any of the students. They were all too busy.

Emmelia had thought that was weird. On their first day, Gemma Farley, the fifth year prefect, had told all the first year Slytherins that they could go to any other student in their house to ask for help.

She really hadn’t ever had a friend before. Because she'd skipped a few grades, everyone in her class at school had been two years older than her, which made talking to them more than a little awkward. And there were the bullies of course. Dudley couldn’t do much at school (he was two grades below her and they rarely saw each other) but there were older kids in her class that were jealous of her. Of her talent and grades. It was like that all thought that it was unfair that she was smarter than them. Like she didn’t bust her ass off every night in her cupboard to finish all the homework she’d been assigned by the light of the weak flashlight the Dursleys had given her for Christmas when she was six.

It was humiliating and embarrassing to be called a cheating, dirty liar in front of the whole class and watch as the teachers did nothing but scold the bully with a few weak threats and glares. Here, though, it was different. She was praised for her talent, and no one actively went out of their way to bring her down. Well, not yet at least. After all, she’d only been at Hogwarts for a little over a day. But her life in the wizarding world was vastly different then her life in the muggle one.

Here, she was important. Here, she was powerful.

 

———————

Chapter Text

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?”

“Yes Ma’am.”

“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.”

 

——————————

Chapter Text

Emmelia spent the next hour before lights out trying to explain to Pansy Parkinson exactly what she had seen without explicitly telling her. After the increasing amounts of confused frowns and suspicious looks, she eventually gave up.

“Basically, I’m Magic Blessed. Well, that’s what Neville and Daphne said at least.” She said with an exasperated sigh.

Parvati’s already wide brown eyes widened drastically before she composed herself. She spoke in a whisper , “A-a Magic Blessed? As-as in you’re blessed by Lady Hecate? The goddess of magic herself? You should’ve just told me!”

“Yes well, I’m kinda trying to keep this whole thing secret. So please promise me something Parkinson. Please. You can’t tell anyone, alright.”

“Fine, but on one condition.”

“What condition?” Emmelia asked hesitantly.

“I want you to call me by my first name. And of course, I’ll call you by yours too.”

The ginger smiled wickedly, “You got it Pansy.”

“Of course, Emmelia. Just, I wouldn’t be so obvious about it. You know, the glowing eyes and floating hair…” she trailed off suggestively.

Emmelia laughed at that, “I definitely will, don’t worry. That was a mistake in my part. I’d never done that before. I didn’t even know I could do something like that, and there aren’t very many books on the Magic Blessed in the library, so I haven’t been able to learn much about it.”

Pansy’s eyes lit up at that, “Hmm, well, I’m sure I could help with that. I studied all about them when we were younger. I can teach you.”

“Really? And what would you want in return?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe just a reserved favor for later. Of equal value obviously.” Pansy smirked.

“Deal.” Emmelia shook the hand that Pansy had stuck out

That was not what Emmelia was expecting that conversation to go. For some reason, she expected Pansy to be freaked out by her and then spend the rest of the year ignoring or avoiding her. She felt-she felt almost ashamed of her ability really. Like she was weird. A-a freak. That was one of her Aunt’s favorite insults against her. Emmelia knew it would take longer than a few days to get over the years of self hate ingrained into her by the Dursleys, but she didn’t think she’d really understood how deep it went.

The two girls bid each other good night as Daphne and Davis entered their dormitory. Emmelia stayed up for another two hours study about Parseltongue and Parselmagic until she finally cancelled her Lumos charm and went to sleep.

Overall, Emmelia thought that it had been a day of revelations.

 

——————

 

Emmelia waited outside of potions class, anxious for it to start. She’d heard from older students that Snape, her head of house, absolutely hated Gryffindors, and favored his own house to an extremely obvious extent. To be honest, she wasn’t sure she blamed him. From her time spent in shared classes the Lions, she’d gathered that they were rather loud, disrespectful, and annoying. That wasn’t the best combination. Also, besides Hermione, they weren't really the best students. Most acted as if they had never picked up a book before. It was rather, well, embarrassing.

She couldn’t wait to see what happened.

When the doors opened without warning, she strode quickly over to the nearest seat, Hermione, Daphne, and her new friend flanking her. Neville was standing alone a little ways behind her, and she gestured for him to sit closer. She hadn’t even realized that she’d gained her own little squad. Emmelia supposed that it was a good start.

She waved at Parvati, who was sitting across the room, chatting with another brown haired girl who’s name she couldn’t remember. She smiled and waved back. Emmelia was glad that neither of the girls seemed to think that all snakes were slimy, unlike some of their other classmates (cough cough Ron Weasley and Finnigan).

Not five seconds after the class was seated, the doors banged open again and a tall, black cloaked figure glided to the front of the classroom dramatically, looking like he’d just swallowed a particularly sour lemon. Snape really did love dramatic entrances.

He glanced over all the students quickly before he began to take role. He paused before her name, looking extremely uncomfortable. He didn’t look up to find her when he said, “Potter, Emmelia.”

Nor did he react when she responded, “Present, sir.”

He finished with the list efficiently. After, he began his introduction to Potions.

"There will be no silly wand waving in my class. If you are one of the select few that can maintain the subtle art of potion making, I can teach you to bewitch the mind, ensnare the senses, brew glory, or even stopper death." He stated.

The things that he was claiming were certainly promising. Distracting enough that Emmelia was barely able to keep up on her notes. As the days passed, she was getting increasingly more annoyed with her quill.

He stopped speaking suddenly, before he snapped, "Mister Weasley! Care to share the topic of your oh so important conversation with Mister Finnigan?" He said finishing in a whisper.

Ron’s ears went bright red, “No sir.”

Snape’s eyes narrowed dangerously, “I was afraid so. Ten points from Gryffindor.” Ron started to protest loudly before Snape stopped him with a deadly glare, “Now Mister Weasley, I was under the impression that I was in charge of this class.”

Emmelia heard the Slytherins around her snicker quietly.

“Why don’t we test your knowledge, Mister Weasley?” She could practically hear Ron gulp nervously from the other side of the room, “Tell me, what would you get if you put a powdered root of asphodel with and infusion of wormwood?" He inquired, smirking.

Ron stutterd, his face even more red than before, “I-I don't know sir.”

“And tell me this, Weasley, where would I find a bezoar?"

“Umm-Uh. In South America?” He was starting to get angry, Emmelia could tell.

The snickers from the Slytherins had turned to full on howls at this point, but Emmelia couldn’t bring herself to feel bad for the boy. He was arrogant and rude. And besides, he should've probably known all of that. The Weasleys were part of the sacred 27 for Merlin's sake.

“Incorrect. Final question, what is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?”

Now that one was a little unfair, it was a trick question, but she doubted that the ginger would know that.

“I don’t know!” Ron yelled at the professor, upset, “Why are you even asking me this? No one else knows the answers!”

Technically, Hermione had had her hand up for the first question, but Emmelia had told her to put it down after it became clear that Snape wasn’t going to let her answer.

“Then why don’t we ask our resident celebrity and see if she knows the answers, hm? Tell me Miss Potter, can you answer my first question?”

She raised her eyebrows at the intimidating man, “You would get the Draught of Living Death if you put a powdered root of asphodel with and infusion of wormwood." She proclaimed confidently. She'd read that in a second year potions book, but had rendered it because she found the concept of the potion so interesting.

“That is correct.” Snape said suspiciously, “And the bezoar?”

“In the stomach of a goat, sir."

“Yes. And, pray tell, what is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?"

While she couldn’t remember the exact passage she’d read it in, she was pretty sure about her answer, “I don’t believe there is a difference, sir. It is the same plant, also known as aconite."

“Congratulations, Miss Potter.” He said hesitantly, looking slightly paler than he was before, (which was impressive, considering he was already as white as a ghost when class started)

“As you can see, Mister Weasley, Miss Potter has actually bothered to open a book, unlike you, unfortunately. Next time, do your best to come to class prepared. Also, fifteen points from Gryffindor. ” He spun around suddenly, “What are you doing?” He snapped, “Don’t just sit there daydreaming, write that down.”

The order was followed by the frantic sound of twenty quills scratching on rough parchment.

The rest of the class was spent in the pairs that Snape had assigned them. He had set them all to mixing up a simple potion to cure boils. He swept around in his long black cloak, watching them weigh dried nettles and crush snake fangs, criticising almost everyone except Malfoy, whom he seemed to like. He was just telling everyone to look at the perfect way Malfoy had stewed his horned slugs when Emmelia’s hand whipped out in front of Neville’s cauldron, (who’d been sharing it with Dean) knocking over a glass bottle of ink on accident.

The whole class whipped their hands around to stare at the two of them.

Emmelia immediately removed her hand from Neville’s wrist, through not before he put down the ingredient he was about to add.

“I’m so sorry for interrupting, sir. Neville was about to make his potion explode, so I had to stop him.”

“And what, Miss Potter, was he attempting to do?”

“He was going to add the porcupine quills before taking the cauldron off the fire. I’m almost positive that that causes the potion to have the opposite effect, meaning it’ll give someone boils.” Neville hung his head in shame, while Emmelia patted his back comfortingly.

“Indeed. You’re very lucky that you’re working next to Miss Potter, Mister Longbottom. Ten points to Slytherin.” He looked uncomfortable just saying the words, “Next time be more careful boy.”

“Yes sir.” Neville said solemnly.

Emmelia leaned closer to him and whispered, “It’s alright Neville, it’s only the first day, it wasn’t really your fault. Just a simple mistake, right?”

“Right…” he replied hesitantly.

She turned back to her almost completed boils potion that she’d been working on with Daphne. The rest of the two periods were spent in uneventful silence.

 

———————-

 

Emmelia smiled, “So Daphne, I was wondering if you’d like to join Pansy and me for my tutoring sessions.”

Daphne’s eyes narrowed questioningly, an expression that clashed harshly with her naturally innocent looking face, “What type of tutoring. Neither of you need any academic help.”

Pansy cut in, “No, but Emmy was raised by muggles, so she knows basically nothing about pureblood culture and etiquette. Just that stuff she’d read from books.”

Emmelia nodded, “Exactly, she’s actually teaching me proper etiquette and what duties I’m expected to perform as an heir to two Noble house. I’m sure you could help me too. If you want to at least.”

“I’ll see what I can do. I may have been raised to be an heir, but it doesn’t come naturally. I have to literally force myself into the mask. Pansy’s slips on right away, she’s amazing at it.”

“And so are you. Think about it alright?”

 

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

Chapter Text

"Emmelia! Emmy!"

Emmelia was startled from her serene state by Hermione's voice calling her from about twenty feet away.

"Emmy. I need to talk to you. Something absurd happened last night. You won't believe it."

By now, more than a few Slytherins were listening. Some with more malicious intent than others.

Emmelia placed a placating hand on Hermione's arm, "Maybe right not now, 'Mione? How about we wait until we're in a more private place?" She said with a meaningful glance records her housemates.

"Oh. Right, yeah. My bad. Sorry." She looked genuinely startled at the fact that other people would be eavesdropping on their private conversations.

With a quick, "Talk to you later, Emmy! You too, Daphne, Pansy!" Thrown over her shoulder she scuttled back towards the Gryffindor table.

Looking around at her table, Emmelia glared at the Slytherins around her that were sneering at the bushy haired lion.

Turning her nose up especially to Malfoy, she moved her attention back to her eggs.

 

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

 

"Alright, what is it?" Pansy asked with an exasperated sigh. They'd managed to find an abandoned classroom to use. Pansy had warded it to potentially dangerous listeners, showing off her surprisingly advanced expertise in the subject.

"Alright, so did I tell you about the duel, that Malfoy challenges Ron too after he insulted his father?"

"Oh Merlin, don't tell me that idiot actually went." Pansy groaned.

Hermione grimaced, "He did. Anyway, I went with him, obviously. To try to stop him."

She was interrupted by an incredulous Emmelia, "How, exactly, is that the obvious answer to that problem?"

"Well, I couldn't just let him go alone. He'd get caught in an instant! Do you know how many house points we'd lose?"

Pant rolled her eyes, "Anyway, continue. What happened?"

"Alright, so Malfoy, the little weasel, he didn't show up."

"No, really?"

"And the two of us ran into Filch. He almost saw us too, but we both managed to hide behind this door. But!"

"What? What happened?" Daphne asked with wide eyes, clearly enthralled.

"There was this horrifying, three hearses dog behind the door! Oh Emmy, it was terrible, slobbering all over the place. That's when I realized that we were sitting in the third floor corridor!"

Daphne gasped and Emmelia looked at her, "Giant, three headed dog means hellhound, right?" Daphne nodded, "What in Morgana's name is Dumbledore doing keeping a bloody hellhound in the castle?"

"That's not even in though! The dog-er hellhound, whatever- was sitting on something. I'm nearly positive it was a trap door, too!"

"A trap door? Oh Merlin, it has to be guarding something, something important." Pansy said in fascination.

"Whatever it is, I want absolutely no part of it. If Dumbeldore wants to go around endangering his students, then he can do that. But not me. Good God. A bloody hellhound." Emmelia declared.

"I agree. It sounds dangerous." Said Daphne.

"But-" Neville protested, finally speaking up from his spot in the corner. "What if someone tries to steal it? And don't you want to know what it is?"

"I suppose, it really must be valuable if Dumbeldore is keeping it in the castle. Tell you what, 'Mione," Emmelia said, turning her attention back to the bushy haired girl, " I have a hunch. I was talking to Neville the other day, and he told me about the Gringotts break in. You've heard about it, right?"

Hermione nodded enthusiastically, "Of course! The first successful break on ever since the bank was founded in-"

"Yes, well, earlier in the day, Professor McGonagall and I went to the vault that the thief attempted to steal from. The only thing there, though, was a small, boring looking object with a shockingly potent magical aura. Obviously, it must be extremely powerful if someone is willing to risk breaking into Gringotts of all places. But think about it, Gringotts is supposed to be one of the safest places in the world, so where would they put the object if it isn't in the back anymore? The other safest place in the world."

"Hogwarts." Neville said quietly to himself in realization.

"Exactly. That's probably what they're hiding underneath that trap door."

"Oh~" Hermione said dreamily, "I wonder what it could be..."

It does...sound interesting." Emmelia reluctantly agreed.

"So you'll help me find out?"

"Only if it continues to be interesting, Hermione. I'm not wasting my time on this little research project if there's no reward."

"Fine."

"I'll help too." Surprisingly, Pansy was the first one to offer her help.

"So will Daphne and I, right Daph?"

"Oh, uh-yes I suppose. Me too."

"Lovely, I'm glad we're all in. I don't exactly know where to start, though. It's not like I'm actually going to go down there."

"Well, I can research magical artifacts that Dumbeldore worked on personally. I mean, it's gotta be his object, right?"

"True, Professor McGonagall did say that she was on an errand for Dumbeldore."

"Exactly. Maybe Daphne and I can work on that together." Hermione suggested.

"Me? I mean, if you want too."

Hermione smiled at the shy girl, "I'm glad."

 

"Still, there's not much the rest of us can do, is there?" Pansy pointed out.

"Yeah..." Neville trailed off, twirling his hair in what seemed to be an odd habit of his, especially since his hair was too short to actually twirl.

"We'll, then I suppose out meeting here today is adjourned. Well see you all later. Daphne, Pansy, lets go."

All five students rushed past each other on their way to their next classes.

Chapter Text

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?”

“Maybe.”

“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?”

“Yes, please.”

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?”

 

“One!”

Emmelia took a deep breath and concentrated on the feel of her magic around her.

“Two!”

She felt it swell with power as she placed it in front of her like a protective barrier.

“Three!”

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.

 

———————--

Chapter Text

“Tea? With the groundskeeper? Why?” Pansy asked before taking a sip out of her own cup.

“To be honest, I don’t really know. I think it's some sort of bonding thing. He knew my parents, remember?”

“Yeah maybe.” Said Daphne quietly. Emmelia could barely hear the girl.

She leaned forward and attempted to make the girl speak louder, ”What? I can’t hear you, speak up.”

Daphne glared lightly at her before repeating what she’d said at a normal speaking volume.

“Are you going or no?”

Emmelia shrugged as gracefully as she could, “I don’t see why not. He’s a little intimidating, true, but he’s been nothing but nice to me. To be honest, after watching him while he’s at the staff table, I’d say he’s a bit of a gentle giant. Well, not exactly gentle per se, but he obviously isn’t trying to hurt anyone.”

“Actually, do you guys want to come with me? And Neville and Hermione too.” she looked over her shoulder towards the Gryffindor table,

Pansy scrunched up her nose at the idea of bringing the lions along. Or maybe it was just Hermione, Emmelia wasn’t sure. Though she mostly kept it to herself, it was obvious that Pansy didn’t feel comfortable around muggleborns. She seemed to be getting better about Hermione though, so maybe it wasn’t that.

Daphne smiled and said she’d go, and Pansy reluctantly agreed.

The brunette looked thoughtful for a moment, “Are you sure there isn’t another reason why you want to go?”

She leaned in closer to both the girls and whispered, “Also, I think he knows something about what was stolen from vault seven hundred and thirteen.”

Daphne put down the scene he was nibbling on and looked at her quizzically, “Why do you think that? I mean, no offense, but Hagrid doesn’t seem like he’s a strong enough wizard to break into Gringotts.”

Emmelia laughned, “I don’t mean that he tried to steal it, I mean that I think he knows what the person was trying to steal. Same with McGonagall, but I have a feeling that we’ll get more answers out of Hagrid. I mean, his reaction when he read the paper the other day said it all.”

“I thought you said that you were going to leave this alone?” Pansy pointed out.

“Yes, I know Pansy darling, but something in my head keeps telling me that I’m missing something. I might not be as invested as Hermione, but it's still suspicious. And also blackmail material against Dumbeldore if he happens to be hosting a dangerous object in a school full of children."

“Fine, we’ll go with you.” Pansy finally managed a laugh.

“Right, me too. I’m sure it’ll be fun. I hear that Hagrid had lots of creatures that he can show us.” Daphne said.

Emmelia smiled fondly at the shy girl, Daphne was always so sweet.

“I’ll write to him, we’ll go this Sunday.”

 

———————-

 

At five to three they left the castle and made their way across the grounds. Hagrid lived in a small wooden house on the edge of the forbidden forest. A crossbow and a pair of large boots were outside the front door.

When Emmelia knocked they heard a frantic scrabbling from inside and several booming barks. Then Hagrid's voice rang out, saying, "Back, Fang -- back."

Hagrid's big, hairy face appeared in the crack as he pulled the door open.

"Hang on," he said. "Back, Fang."

He let them in, struggling to keep a hold on the collar of an enormous black dog.

There was only one room inside. Hams and pheasants were hanging from the ceiling, a copper kettle was boiling on the open fire, and in the corner stood a massive bed with a patchwork quilt over it.

"Make yerselves at home," said Hagrid, letting go of Fang, who bounded straight at Daphne and started licking her ears. Like Hagrid, Fang was clearly not as fierce as he looked.

"This is Daphne Greengrass," Emmelia told Hagrid, who was pouring boiling water into a large teapot and putting rock cakes onto a plate, “And that’s Pansy Parkinson, and Hermione Granger. Neville is my friend too, but he couldn’t make it.”

"Nice to meet yeh all.” He looked uncomfortable, “Wasn’t sure you’d come, yeh know. What with being in Slytherin and all. Thought you might think me some filthy half breed. That’s why I waited so long to ask yeh.”

“Oh nonsense, Hagrid, sir. All my friends and I are open minded.” She said in a sickeningly sweet voice. She saw Pansy fake a gag behind her, and shot her a look.

The rock cakes were shapeless lumps with raisins that almost broke their teeth, but Emmelia and Hermione pretended to be enjoying them (Daphne was discreetly feeding hers to the dog and Pansy wasn’t even touching hers) as they told Hagrid all about their first lessons.

Emmelia picked up a piece of paper that was lying on the table under the tea cozy. It was a cutting from the Daily Prophet:

 

GRINGOTTS BREAK-IN LATEST

Investigations continue into the break-in at Gringotts on 31 July, widely believed to be the work of Dark wizards or witches unknown.
Gringotts goblins today insisted that nothing had been taken. The vault that was searched had in fact been emptied the same day.
"But we're not telling you what was in there, so keep your noses out if you know what's good for you," said a Gringotts spokes goblin this afternoon.

 

Perfect, that was exactly the opening she needed.

"Hagrid!" said Emmelia, cutting in to the conversation, “What do you think about this Gringotts break-in? It happened on the day after my birthday, you know. When I was actually at Gringotts."

There was no doubt about it, Hagrid definitely didn't meet her eyes this time. He grunted and offered him another rock cake. Emmelia read the story again. The vault that was searched had in fact been emptied earlier that same day.

McGonagall had emptied vault seven hundred and thirteen, if you could call it emptying, taking out that grubby little package. Had that really been what the thieves were looking for?

 

“The break in, eh? Never heard anything like it before. Yeh know, if it weren’t for Professor McGonagall takin’ you out to get yer supplies, I would’ve been gettin’ that package from that vault.”

Ha! I knew it!

“Really? Do you know what it was? It must be pretty valuable for a thief to break into Gringotts for.”

“Oh no no, couldn’t tell yuh that. That’s between Professor Dumbledore and Mister Nicholas Flamel it is.” His eyes widened when he realized what he had just said, “Ohhhhh I should not have said that, I should not have said that. Now you’ll all go out there and try to find out who he is.”

I don’t need to, Emmelia thought to herself, I’ve definitely heard that name before. The only problem was that she didn’t know where she’d heard it from. She’d figure it out eventually though.

Daphne reached over and patted his arm comfortingly, “It’s alright sir, almost all of us are Slytherins, remember? We won’t go looking for whoever this Flamel guy is, we promise.”

“You really promise? Oh, Dumbledore is gonna be so mad at me for telling you that.”

Emmelia highly doubted that.

“He trusted me with that secret, and I’ve gone and messed it all up!” He moaned into his hands.

Emmelia felt like it was time to step in, “Really sir, it’s alright. It was just a little slip up. Everyone makes mistakes some of the time. Even Dumbledore himself.”

“Yeah, yeah ok. I guess yer right."

The rest of their time at Hagrid’s was spent counseling the large man and trying to change the subject. When the four finally left, it was nearly dark out.

“Well I think that was a big success.” Emmelia was grinning as they left the small, slightly run down hut.

“Nicholas Flamel, I recognize that name.” Said Pansy, looking annoyed that she couldn’t place it.

“Me too.” Hermione agreed, looking equally upset.

“So do I, though I don’t know how. Why don’t you two look up who he is in the library--"

"Wait, guys?" Said Daphne in a quiet voice.

"--and Daphne and I can work on who the bloody hell Professor Quirrell is.”

"Guys." She said slightly louder.

“What’s wrong with Professor Quirrell?” Asked Hermione.

“That’s for me and Daphne to find out.” With a cheeky smile.

"Guys!"

The other startled and finally look at Daphne.

"What is it Daph?" Pansy asked, masking her concern.

"I know who Nicholas Flamel is."

Emmelia raised her eyebrows in surprise, "You do? Then why didn't you just say something?"

"I tried!"

"Oh I'm sorry Daphne, we didn't hear you." Hermione flushed.

"It's-It's fine. Anyway, Nicholas Flamel was an alchemist. Probably the most famous one in all of history. He created the--"

"Philosophers Stone! Of course!" Emmelia said in excitement, finally recognizing the name from those stupid books she used to read when she was younger.

She smiled gratefully at Daphne, "Thanks so much, Daph. It probably would've taken me forever to remember that."

A shy grin graced Daphne's pale features, "No problem Emmy."

Not yet satisfied with their victory, the three girls hurried bank to the abandoned classroom that they had rehabilitated as a secret base in order to discuss their thoughts more privately.

"So let me get this straight," Hermione said, surprisingly exasperated, "Dumbeldore, the supposed savior of the world, is hiding the Philosopher's Stone in a school. A school?! Why?"

"How about we don't question the reasonings of a madman?" Pansy suggested with a sweet smile.

"I second that." Emmelia said bitterly.

"Regardless, I think it's best if we leave that issue alone for now. You had your fun, Hermione. Your curiosity is stated and so is mine. Go ahead and research more about the stone, but please, for Merlin's sake, don't go after it."

Hermione snorted, "Honestly Emmy, I may be a Gryffindor, but I'm not an idiot. What am I going to do with the Philosopher's Stone. I don't want it or need it."

"I'm glad. Meeting adjourned for now? I'm surprisingly exhausted."

"Same." Said Hermione and Pansy at the same time, causing them both to state at each other until Daphne awkwardly coughed.

"Goodnight Hermione" was echoed by all of the Slytherins as they separated back to their own dorm rooms to sleep.

 

———————-

 

Bulstrode was snoring loudly, but Emmelia couldn't sleep. She tried to empty her mind and fall into some sort of meditation, but to no avail--she really needed sleep, especially with her first Quidditch match in a few hours -- but the undeniable anxiety feastering in her gut was impossible to ignore. With a sigh, she resigned herself to just stare up at the canopy of her bed until morning.

When she woke a few hours later (she really didn’t know when she’d fallen asleep) her face stung at the iciness of the day and her bones ached just thinking about the exertion that would be fired from them in just a couple hours.

The Great Hall was full of the delicious smell of fried sausages and the cheerful chatter of everyone looking forward to a good Quidditch match. Emmelia didn’t really understand why there were so few matches during the year, especially if all the students loved them so much.

"You've got to eat some breakfast." Insisted Daphne, worried by her friends lack of appetite.

"I don't want anything."

"Just a bit of toast,"

"I'm not hungry. It’s hard to eat when you’re stressed about something, darling. Really, don’t worry about it.

The blonde ignored her and shoved a piece of toast into her hand, “Eat.”

Reluctantly, Emmelia bit into it. She sighed, the nervousness of her stomach already reciting. Maybe she was just hungry. She needed to calm down, the dangers in school Quidditch were slim to none. And if you did break an arm, Madam Pomfrey could heal it in a day tops, though she’d probably keep you in for at least a week.

By eleven o'clock the whole school seemed to be out in the stands around the Quidditch pitch. Many students had binoculars. The seats might be raised high in the air, but it was still difficult to see what was going on sometimes.

Meanwhile, in the girl’s locker room, Emmelia and the rest of the team (though they were all boys) were changing into their emerald Quidditch robes. Flint cleared his throat for silence.

"Okay, men," he said.

"And me," Emmelia pointed out

"And Potter," Flint agreed.

“We need to stay in the lead. You know how good it’ll feel to have Emmelia Potter, famed Girl Who Lived, first year, completely kick all the Gryffindors asses? We’re counting on you kid. You’ve been great in practice, but we need to know that you can actually perform in a real match. And Higgs, this is your first time as chaser too, so we need to see if you can really blend with me and Puecy. Alright everyone, let’s get out there and kick some ass!”

The team calmly made their way onto the field when Lee Jordan, the announcer, called for the, to enter the pitch.

Madam Hooch was refereeing. So she stood in the middle of the field waiting for the two teams, her broom in her hand.

"Now, I want a nice fair game, all of you," she said, once they were all gathered around her. Emmelia noticed that she seemed to be speaking particularly to the Flint. Understandable.

"Mount your brooms, please."

Emmelia clambered onto her Nimbus Two Thousand. She’d bought it herself with mail order when she realized that she’d be needing a functioning broom in order to actually catch the snitch. Madam Hooch gave a loud blast on her silver whistle.

Fifteen brooms rose up, high, high into the air. They were off. "And the Quaffle is taken immediately by Angelina Johnson of Gryffindor -- what an excellent Chaser that girl is, and rather attractive, too --"

"JORDAN!"

"Sorry, Professor."

"And she's really belting along up there, a neat pass to Alicia Spinnet, a good find of Oliver Wood's, last year only a reserve- back to Johnson and- no, the Slytherins have taken the Quaffle, Slytherin's bastard of a Captain Marcus Flint gains the Quaffle and off he goes- Flint flyin like an eagle up there- he's going to sc- no, stopped by an excellent move by Gryffindor Keeper Wood and the Gryffindors take the Quaffle. way to go Lions! That's Chaser Katie Bell of Gryffindor there, nice dive around Flint, off up the field and- OUCH- that must have hurt, hit in the back of the head by a Bludger- Quaffle taken by the Slytherins- that's Adrian Pucey speeding off toward the goal posts, but he's blocked by a second Bludger- sent his way by Fred or George Weasley, can't tell which- nice play by the Gryffindor Beater, anyway, and Johnson back in possession of the Quaffle, a clear field ahead and off she goes- she's really flyin- dodges a speeding Bludger- the goal posts are ahead -- come on, now, Angelina- Keeper Bletchley dives- misses- GRYFFINDORS SCORE!"

Gryffindor cheers filled the cold air, with howls and moans from the Slytherins.

Way up above them, Emmelia was gliding over the game, squinting about for some sign of the Snitch.

When Angelina had scored, Emmelia had done a couple of loop-the-loops to let off her feelings of annoyance. The commentary was so biased it was hard to listen to. Why didn’t they have a Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff announce for Gryffindor versus Slytherin games?

Scratch that, it was probably because Dumbledore was a prejudiced pig.

"Slytherin in possession," Lee Jordan was saying, "Chaser Higgs ducks two Bludgers, two Weasleys, and Chaser Bell, and speeds toward the -- wait a moment -- was that the Snitch?"

A murmur ran through the crowd as Terence Higgs dropped the Quaffle, too busy looking over his shoulder at the flash of gold that had passed his left ear.

Emmelia saw it. In a great rush of excitement he dove downward after the streak of silver and green.

Gryffindor Seeker Cormac McLaggen had seen it, too. Neck and neck they hurtled toward the Snitch -all the Chasers seemed to have forgotten what they were supposed to be doing as they hung in midair to watch.

Emmelia was faster than McLaggen- she could see the little round ball, wings fluttering, darting up ahead- she put on an extra spurt of speed --
WHAM! A roar of rage echoed from the Slytherins (and even a few of shocked and angry Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws) below -- McLaggen had run into her on purpose, and Emmelia's broom spun off course, with her holding on for dear life.

"Foul!" screamed screamed Flint in outrage, despite the fact that he’d probably committed at least five worse acts during this game alone.

Madam Hooch spoke angrily to McLaggen and then ordered a free shot at the goal posts for Slytherin. But in all the confusion, of course, the Golden Snitch had disappeared from sight again.

Down in the stands, Slytherins were muttering angrily to themselves about how small she was compared to McLaggen and one he could’ve seriously hurt her. Even the students that didn’t like her so much were defending her. Some of the righteous Gryffindors grumpily agreeing with them.

"There needs to be a harsher punishment she can give than just a penalty shot. He could've knocked Emmelia outta the air." Hermione said, annoyed.

Pansy scoffed, “She’s not gonna give them anything else, I promise. We’re Slytherins, remember?”

Hermione grunted but said nothing.

Lee Jordan continued, "So- after that little fight up in the air- really hope Emmelia is alright in all. I don’t think it’s safe to put a first year in a match- the game is on again!
A penalty to Slytherin, taken by Puecy, who puts it away, no trouble unfortunately, and we continue to play, Slytherin still in possession."

Emmelia dodged another Bludger, which went spinning dangerously past her head, when it happened. Her broom gave a sudden, frightening lurch. For a split second, she thought she was going to fall. She gripped the broom tightly with both her hands and knees. She'd never felt anything like that. Something was wrong.

It happened again. It was as though the broom was trying to buck her off. But Nimbus Two Thousands did not suddenly decide to buck their riders off. Emmelia tried to turn back toward the Slytherin goal-posts- she had half a mind to ask Flint to call time-out- but she then realized that her broom was completely out of her control. She couldn't turn it. Couldn't direct it at all. It was zigzagging through the air, every now and then making violent swishing movements that almost unseated her.

Lee was still commentating.

"Slytherin in possession- Flint with the Quaffle- passes Spinnet- passes Bell- hit hard in the face by a Bludger, hope it broke his nose- only joking, Professor- Slytherins score- Ano…”

The Slytherins were cheering. No one seemed to have noticed that Emmelia's broom was behaving strangely. It was carrying her slowly higher, away from the game, jerking and twitching as it went.

"I don’t know what Emmelia thinks she's doing," Pansy mumbled out loud. She narrowed her eyes through her binoculars. "I think- I think she’s lost control of her broom. But that’s- almost impossible I think. No student here could do it.”

Suddenly, people were pointing up at Emmelia all over the stands. Her broom had started to roll over and over, with her only just managing to hold on. Then the whole crowd gasped. Emmelia's broom had given a wild jerk and she swung off it. She was now dangling from it, holding on with only one hand.

She took a deep breath herself. Calm down Emmelia, it’s just like being on a bar, this is a competition and Aunt Petunia needs you to win that prize money, remember? Focus.

"Did something happen to it when that Seeker blocked him?" Hermione whispered, her hand over her mouth in shock.

"Nothing could’ve caused this," Daphne said, her voice shaking in fear, "it's almost impossible to interfere with a broomstick. The only exception is powerful Dark magic- no kid could do that to a Nimbus Two Thousand."

At Daphne’s words, Hermione seized Neville’s binoculars, but instead of looking up at Emmelia, she started looking frantically at the crowd.

"What are you doing?" moaned Neville, his face as white as a sheet.

"I knew it," Hermione gasped, "Snape- look."

Neville grabbed the binoculars. Snape was in the middle of the stands opposite them. He had his eyes fixed on Emmelia and was muttering nonstop under his breath.

"He's doing something -- jinxing the broom," said Hermione.

"What should we do?" Neville asked, worry thick in his voice.

"Leave it to me."

Before anyone could say another word, Hermione had disappeared. They all turned the binoculars back on Emmelia. Her broom was vibrating so hard, it was almost impossible for her to hang on much longer, even with her gymnastics training. The whole crowd was on its feet, watching, terrified, as the Slytherin team and the Weasley twins flew up to try and pull Emmelia safely onto one of their brooms, but it was no good -- every time they got near her, the broom would jump higher still. They dropped lower towards the other players circled beneath her, obviously hoping to catch her if she fell.

 

Hermione had fought her way across to the stand where Snape stood, and was now racing along the row behind him; she didn't even stop to say sorry as she knocked Professor Quirrell headfirst into the row in front. Reaching Snape, she crouched down, pulled out her wand, and whispered a few, well- chosen words. Bright blue flames shot from her wand onto the hem of Snape's robes.

It took perhaps thirty seconds for Snape to realize that he was on fire. A sudden yelp told her she had done her job. Scooping the fire off him into a little jar in her pocket, she scrambled back along the row -- Snape would never know what had happened.
It was enough. Up in the air, Emmelia was suddenly able to clamber back on to her broom.

"You can look now Neville." Daphne assured the terrified boy. He’d started to tremble nearly as much as Emmelia’s broom.

Suddenly, Emmelia shot off after something. Behind her, she could feel McLaggen gaining on her.

 

He was even closer now, but the snitch was right there! She could almost reach if! If only-- Slowly, she rose to stand on her broom and reached one arm out. McLaggen was neck and neck with her now. It was hard to move super fast when you were practically surfing on your broom.

With a triumphant shout, Emmelia jumped off her broom. Doing a flip through the air, she launched herself over Angelina Johnson. With her outstretched hand, she grabbed the fluttering golden ball and grabbed her broom with one hand before swinging herself back up onto it.

She held her fist into the sky, “I’ve got it! I’ve caught the Snitch!”

The crowd was silent for a few moments before Madam Hooch blew her whistle and the students erupted into cheers, with even some of the Gryffindors joining in.

She flew down to the ground and barely managed to gracefully jump off her broom before she was hoisted up onto the shoulders of her teammates.

Lee Jordan could be heard sadly announcing the results of the match, “Slytherin wins two hundred and ten to twenty. Well, better luck next time. Still, Potter’s catch was amazing, so you can’t be too mad about it.”

"It was Snape," Hermione was explaining, "I saw him in the crowd. He was cursing your broomstick, muttering, he wouldn't take his eye off of you.”

“Actually, it wasn’t.” Pansy butted into the conversation.

“What are you talking about? You saw him too!”

“I know, Hermione, but Snape was not cursing her, that was the counter curse. He was trying to save her.”

“No, he wasn’t! Who else would be cursing her?”

Daphne laughed, “Despite what you think, Hermione, Snape doesn’t actually hate Emmelia or any of the Slytherins. And Hermione, who was it that you knocked on his side on your way over to set our Professor on fire?”

Hermione blushed, “Uhh- um, Professor Quirrell I think? What does he have to do with any of this?”

“It was him, ‘Mione.”

“No it wasn’t! Quirrell wouldn’t- couldn’t- do something like that.”

Daphne smiled softly at her friends naivety, “It’s an act Hermione. His stuttering is fake. It’s all fake. He tried to kill Emmy.”

“The cursing only stopped when you knocked him over. It took at least thirty seconds for Snape to realize he was on fire, and Emmelia gained control of her broom long before that.”

“It really was him?” Hermione asked in a horrified whisper, “I just lit a Professor on fire when he was trying to save you?” She asked the girl who'd been silent for most of their conversation, absorbing all the information.

Emmelia smiled ruefully, “Its alright Hermione, you thought you were helping me. And there was no harm done."

“Anyway, see you later guys. I’m going down to the common room for the party.”

 

————————-

 

The party, it turned out, was not like any of the parties Emmelia had ever been to. Instead of snotty mothers sipping wine and comparing children, there were teenagers so drunk on Firewhisky that they couldn’t walk straight.

Instead of haughty laughter and cruel whispers, there were loud shouts of victory and success.

Within ten minutes, Emmelia found herself trapped between the mass of sweaty bodies with no way out. She felt like she was going to scream. There were so many people, so many bodies, and it was so loud. She couldn’t take it.

Fortunately or unfortunately, Adrian Pucey found her within the crowd and hoisted her up onto her shoulders with a loud cheer. Well, at least she wasn’t being crushed anymore.

It took her about thirty seconds for her to realize that he was drunk. Veeeery drunk. She patted his shoulder, “Why don’t you put me down? Over there?” She used her magic to push people out of the way and create a path for a Puecy to take her to the stairs that went down into the girl’s dormitory.

Slowly but surely, the chaser made his way down the parted sea of bodies and toward the dorms. Finally, Emmelia was able to hop down from his back and hurry down the stairs towards her bed.

She was asleep before her head even hit the pillow.

 

—————————-

Chapter Text

The months passed so quickly, that Yule actually surprised her. Emmelia wasn’t really used to celebrating Yule, or any holiday for that matter, but she really was shocked when Neville of all people asked her to go over to his manor of the holidays.

“Yule?” Hermione asked, not understanding.

Pansy gave a dramatic sigh, “Sometimes I forget how different muggles are these days. We don’t celebrate Christmas in wizarding Britain. Well, most purebloods don’t. Yule-- its is a lot like Christmas, but it’s a Pagan holiday. We’re celebrating the Winter Solstice instead of the Birth of Christ or whatever. Some celebrate in a way as close as possible to how they believe Ancient Germanic pagans observed the tradition. Most of the time it’s celebrated with a meal and gift giving. Oh! And the burning of the Yule log.”

“Oh. Do wizards celebrate all the Pagan holidays?”

“Yes! We do!” Pansy seems genuinely excited that anyone was finally taking an interest in her holidays, “Midwinter, that's the other name for Yule, Imbolc, the Vernal Equinox, Beltan, Midsummer, we also call it Litha, Lammas, the Autumnal equinox , Samhain. That one's on halloween.”

Where Pansy was excited, Daphne was annoyed, “Were supposed to,” She cleared her throat mockingly, “honor and celebrate the seasons and cycles of life. That’s a direct quote from my mother by the way.” Pansy glared at her, but she continued, “Oh come on Pans, I’m only joking. I really do like the idea of our holidays, but you know how mother and father are about them. It’s exhausting. The rituals are very nice though, it’s a shame we can’t do them here yet.”

“Yeah, it is. But don’t call me Pans.”

“Anyway," Emmelia finally saud, "Neville? You asked if I could go to your house- or manor- for Christ- Yule, I mean?”

Neville’s gave her a huge, uncharacteristic grin, “Oh yes! I asked Grandmother if you’re allowed to come over for the holidays, and she agreed! I wasn’t sure if I was gonna ask you, but I realized that you would be all alone here if you didn't come over to one of our manors. Daphne, Pansy, and Hermione are all going back home too. Still, you can’t stay for the entire break, only some of it. Family rituals and all that.

"Thanks, Neville." She said, smiling sweetly at her friend.

Pansy interrupted, “You get to go to the Malfoy’s Yule party too, which will be fun. Draco will be there, but he’s not going back for the holidays, Lord Malfoy is picking him up the day before and then dropping him off the day after. Daphne and I will be there too. It’s probably the biggest event of the season. Great for making connections.”

“Anyway Emmy, can you go? I mean, you don’t have to go if you don’t want to of course, it’s just- I thought- never mind it was stupid to ask. You probably want to go back to your Aunt and Uncle.” Neville suddenly seemed to grow more shy, much to Emmelia's worry.

“Neville, darling, of course I’ll go with you. I'd rather snap my wand them voluntarily go back there with no reason . And while I love Hogwarts very much, I think a visit to your manor will be much more fun and interesting.”

“Really? Oh great! I wasn’t sure. I’ll send an owl to Grandmother right away.” The shy boy made his way to the stairs and up the tower to the owlery without a glance back in their direction.

“He forgot to mention that you need to put your name down on the list for people leaving Hogwarts.” With that dry comment out of the way, Pansy and Daphne made to follow Emmelia back to their common room, waving goodbye to a thoughtful looking Hermione in their secret classroom.

She really did love her friends.

 

—————————

With a final look goodbye to Hogwarts, Emmelia got into one of the self pulling carriages that took her, Neville, Daphne, and Pansy to the train. Emmelia didn’t really understand why they were required to take the train all the way back to Britain just to be picked up and apparated somewhere else, instead of just floo-ing, but she just went with it. Maybe it was some sort of tradition. Still, it was a little annoying.

Thankfully, the train ride went smoothly and Emmelia barely noticed the passage of time until they found themselves back at King’s Cross Station, platform 9 ¾. Once they were out of the train, Daphne flung herself into a dark haired woman’s arms.

“Well met Lady Greengrass.” Emmelia said with a courtesy.

Lady Greengrass raised an eyebrow, “Well met Heir Potter-Black. Daphne has told me plenty about you.”

"Likewise, ma'am."

Her eyes warmed when she looked back at her daughter, “Now, love, why don’t we hurry home. Your father is very excited to quiz you all about school. Astoria too.”

With a nod of goodbye from Lady Greengrass and and bright smile and wave from Daphne, the two disappeared with a pop.

Emmelia looked back to Neville, who'd remained huddled behind her the entire conversation, "Do you know where your Grandmother is?"

"Oh-um no, can we go find her?"

"Yes, let's. Describe her to me, please."

"Well, she's really tall, and she usually dresses in dark colors. Um, her hair is a really dark grey...Oh! She also has a cane..."

"Does she happen to own a very large vulture hat?"

"She does! How'd you know th--Oh Merlin." Neville had spotted the same old lady that Emmelia had been eyeing, "Yeah, that's her."

"Lovely. Let's go meet her."

"Right."

Emmelia walked right up to the stern looking woman, bowing her head in both acknowledgement and respect, "Well met, Lady Longbottom."

Augusta assessed her for a moment, before saying, "Well met Heir Potter."

"Heir Potter-Black, ma'am."

"I see" She said finally, raising her eyebrow in mild amusement.

"Neville, glad to see you've managed to stay alive. Very well then, grabs my hand the two of you.” She held out two gnarled, yet manicured hands.

They both took one of her arms and suddenly, the ground was flying away from her feet and her body was being stretched in every direction. Then, there was a sucking feeling within her core and all of the pressure was released. She stumbled and her knees hit the floor. Instead of the cold stone she was expecting, her skin met rocky gravel. She hissed.

“Ah, apologies Heir Potter-Black . I had forgotten that you had been raised by muggles and have never experienced the joys of apparition. The first time is never fun. Awful really. Now, inside everyone.”

Neville helped Emmelia up and all three of them headed towards the large, castle like manor.

 

—————————

Staying at Longbottom Manor was a bit of a surreal experience. She was, for once, allowed to act like a semi normal child. She was allowed to play outside or lounge by the large lake on the Manor's extensive property. She wasn't expected to do any chores or housework. It was a normal holiday break.

It was...nice.

Lady Malfoy was, of course, very odd. Even discounting her fashion sense. Emmelia had often observed her with a somewhat blank look on her face, as if she was staring off into the distance.

Whenever that happened, Neville would look so terribly sad that Emmelia would do almost anything to distract him from his elderly grandmother.

On one such occasion, Neville had finally taken Emmelia out on an expedition to every corner of his house.

The Longbottom library, while very vast, was full of books that her (while mature) still very young mind had no hope of comprehending. The books that were at her level, though, all seemed awfully biased. For example, The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts contained outrageous quotes such as,

"The magick that we wizards consider Dark is the very embodiment of evil. It only exists to test those with weak souls and to balance out the overwhelming goodness that is Light."

Emmelia hadn't been able to contain her snort when she'd read that and while Neville gave her a curious look, he didn't question her on what was so funny.

About an hour after the two of them had first entered the library, Neville finally set his book down and looked up at her.

"I want to show you something. Someone? Someones? I want you to meet my parents."

Emmelia's eyes furrowed together as she studied her friend with a concerned expression. She had yet to meet Neville's parents in the entire two weeks she'd stayed at his house. She'd just assumed that something horrible had happened to them during the war. It wasn't exactly like that wasn't common.

Seeing her confused look, Neville shook his head, "Just--Just come with me. Please." He said determinedly.

"Yeah. Sure Neville."

He shot her a relieved smile, "Thanks."

The pair walked through the halls of the manor until Neville finally stopped at a dark oak door that led to a room she hasn't gotten too explore yet. They were both quiet until they walked in.

"Are they you parents?" Emmelia asked finally, looking up at the two moving portraits of a couple.

"Yeah, they are--they were my parents at least."

"Oh. How," she paused, "How did they die?"

"They're not. Dead, I mean. They just--aren't really there anymore. They're--they were tortured. Into insanity."

"Oh."

They stared up in silence at the happy couple.

"That's my mom's wand right there. They had to take it away when she was sent to the mind ward. Safely reasons and all."

"Yeah, I guess that makes sense... Where's your Dad's wand?"

"It's mine, actually. Grandmother gave it to me as a present for being accepted into Hogwarts."

Emmelia smiled sweetly at her friend, "That's great Neville. Impressive too. It's rare for a wand to choose two people within fifty years. Especially in the same family."

"Really?" Neville asked proudly, "Wait, what do you mean choose? I just like--picked it up..."

 

Emmelia studied her friend, "Neville, are you telling me that--that your wand dishy choose you?"

"I don't understand what you're trying to say Emmy. Of course it didn't choose me. It's not like it's sentient or anything."

"No, that's not what I --just come here."

Emmelia grabbed Neville's hand and dragged him back to the Longbottom library. After a few minutes showering the shelves, Emmelia finally found the book she'd been looking for. The wand lore book that Mr. had recommended to her between all of the wands she'd tried. She finally read it during one of her boredom filled days at Hogwarts.

She pulled the large book from off the shelf and slammed it down onto the nearest table. Flipping it over to the par she wanted, she began to read aloud.

"Every single wand is unique and will depend for its character on the particular tree and magical creature from which it derives its materials. Moreover, each wand, from the moment it finds its ideal owner, will begin to learn from and teach its human partner."

Neville stared at her blankly, not understanding what she was trying to say.

She sighed and tried to describe it in simpler terms, "You know Mr. Ollivander, right?"

He nodded his head, still confused.

"Well, when he first gave me my wand, he explained that the wand chooses the wizard. Or witch in my case. Anyway, that basically means that, because each wand is unique, they all work for unique individual people. Like, I wouldn't be able to use your wand, it doesn't work with me. Well, I probably could, but I wouldn't be able to produce anywhere near the level of magic that I could use with my own wand.

"Neville, you using your Dad's wand is seriously restricting your capability to do magic. No wonder you're such rubbish at practical magic. You're practically having I force your magic through a brick to get anything to work."

"So I'm--I'm not worthy of my Dad's wand?"

Emmelia's eyes softened, "It has nothing to do with being worthy Nev. You just need a wand that's perfect for you."

"Just for me?"

Emmelia nodded.

Neville stared off into the distance for a moment, before he quietly said, "I'll talk to my Grandmother about it."

"Good."

With that, the two went back to talking about other stuff, like what they were planning to get their friends for Yule or if they had finished their homework yet.

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

The week before Yule was filled with genuine joy. It was such a rare feeling for Emmelia that she got caught up in it and hardly noticed when Yule Eve came around. The day of Malfoy’s party.

Pansy had sent her a gorgeous pair of robes as an early Yule gift. They were long and elegant and the exact color of her eyes. Tailored somewhat like a muggle evening gown, with shall-like robes being draped from the shoulders. A golden circlet encrusted emeralds was paired with the look.

Emmelia shook her head in astonishment, it was by far the most expensive thing she owned, and she hadn’t even bought it herself. There was a wave of guilt brought on by the present. The gift she’d gotten Pansy hadn’t been anywhere near as expensive. She hoped the girl wouldn’t be angry with her.

Neville gave a small laugh when he saw her face, “Don’t feel bad Emmy, she does this every year. Over the top presents. She’s given them to all the important purebloods her age since I can remember. Even if they weren’t friends. Last year she bought the Parvati twins these ridiculously expensive Indian jules that had apparently been found buried with one of the ancient kings.”

“She has a bit of a status thing, doesn't she?” Emmelia managed to chuckle back.

Neville smiled again , “I guess so. I've always just thought she liked giving people nice stuff, but I’m pretty hopeless at that kinda stuff.” He said with a shrug.

“Fair enough, don’t be too hard on yourself. That just means you’re a better person than any of us will ever be.” She joked.

“If you say so.”

They were silent for a while after that, until Emmelia finally spoke up.

"Anyway, why are we talking about this, we have a party to get ready for.”

 

————————

 

Emmelia and the Longbottom family arrived twenty minutes after the party was set to start. Lady Longbottom turned over the flock of Granians, the silver winged horses that had been pulling their carriage, to one of the house elves waiting at the gate, and the five of them gracefully made their way up the long staircase to the gate.

Draco Malfoy was waiting their with a tall blonde woman that Emmelia assumed to be Narcissa Malfoy, his mother.

Lady Malfoy spoke first, “Always a pleasure to see you again Lady Longbottom. You and your grandson.”

“And too Lady Malfoy. It’s not just us today though, Neville has brought a friend over for the Yule holidays.”

“Very well met, Lady Malfoy. Thank you for extending your invitation to the Longbottoms to me.”

Narcissa flashed a calculated smile, “You as well Heir Potter. And of course, you’re always welcome at the
Malfoy Manor.”

“It’s actually Heir Potter-Black.” Neville said, surprising everyone with his uncharacteristic boldness.

“I’m sorry, Heir Longbottom?”

Emmelia stopped in front of him, “Forgive him, Lady Malfoy. He was simply correcting a simple mistake. You see, I’m Heir Potter-Black. My godfather, Sirius Black, had me listed as his heir when he was sent to prison.”

“I see. Yes well, my apologies Heir Potter-Black. Actually, I am of House Black myself. I hope to see you prosper once you take up the mantle of Lady.”

“That means a lot Lady Malfoy.”

“Of course. I’ll see you all inside. Draco will be with you in a few minutes.”

“A pleasure meeting you Lady Malfoy.” Emmelia nodded to Draco as they passed him. Lady Longbottom stayed behind to engage in a much more interesting conversation with Lady Malfoy.

She turned it to Neville, “What were you thinking?” She hissed dangerously in his ear, “You can’t go around arguing with people like Lady Malfoy.“

Neville looked confused, “I wasn’t being mean was I? I was just correcting her.”

Emmelia sighed, “Neville, you shouldn’t correct ladies of ancient and Noble houses. Don’t want to get on any of their bad sides. It never ends well. Knowing you, you could accidentally create a blood feud. For the rest of the night, why don’t you just let me do the talking, alright? I know you’re not very good with all this stuff, but I am. So just smile and look pretty. And try not to go around arguing with influential House Heads.”

“Was it really that bad?” Neville asked shyly.

Emmelia smile encouragingly, “I think your Grandmother stayed behind to fix it, but it's probably fine. From what Pansy has said, Lady Malfoy seems like a relatively kind and reasonable woman. Still, there are plenty of other people who wouldn't hesitate to gut you. Merlin, you had to have known this if you've been going to these for years.”

Neville scrunched his nose up in indignation, "This is my first time here! Grandmothers never let me go before!"

"What?" Emmelia blanched, "You never told me that."

"Yeah well, I didn't think it was that big of a deal."

"Well, that's fair I guess. Come on, let’s go find Pansy and Daphne. They might not be here yet though, they strikes me as the type of people to always be fashionably late.”

The blonde boy at that and the pair ventured into the large crowd of important political figures busy making polite conversation and sipping expensive wine.

A glint crept into Emmelia’s eye, these were the type of parties she was used to.

 

———————-

 

Pansy Parkinson stared in shock at one of her best friends. She was magnetizing. Her copper colored hair was beautiful done in a half updo, the rest draping around her shoulders like a curtain. Her laugh was high and light, tinkling in a way that made it sound so beautiful. She moved so gracefully that it looked like she might be floating. All eyes were drawn to her, yet she wasn’t even in the center of the room.

The emerald dress that Pansy had gifted her swayed with her every movement as she drifted from influential figure to influential figure.

Sure, Pansy had seen her charm people before, she practically had all of the professors, except, surprisingly, Professor Snape, eating out of her hand. But she’d never her seen her like this. The smile she wore never left her face, and her eyes held a warm amusement that looked impossible to fake.

She couldn’t look away.

There was something about her that drew Pansy to her. She didn’t look like she was the only one effecteded. Taking her eyes away from the green eyed girl, Emmelia managed to spy the youngest Malfoy in the corner, holding what looked like a glass of butter beer in his trembling hand.

Unlike the rest of the people watching her, Malfoy looked terrified. Like he didn’t know what to do. Probably because she had very nearly burned his face off with her mind.

His face was whiter than normal and he seemed to be completely ignoring the Nott heirs attempt at hushed conversation. It seemed like the other boy had yet to notice the captivating scene before him.

That wasn’t a surprise though, Nott was never one of the brightest. He just followed those he thought were the strongest. Though Pansy wasn’t sure why he was still trailing after Malfoy like a lost puppy. The boy had very obviously been dethroned from the seat of Slytherin’s prince.

Pansy turned her attention back to the crowd, making note of all the people whose gazes held undisguised awe or respect for Emmelia, and those who openly shared their disgust at the half blood. She knew the girl would appreciate it later, it was always good to know your nemesis from your allies.

Finally, she managed to find Daphne, who’d been sitting silently in the corner. The girl looked vaguely upset.

“What’s got your panties in a knot?” Pansy asked bluntly.

Daphne’s frown increased, “Nothing, I just hate this kinda stuff. Astoria and I just had another fight is all. And I wanted to go talk to Emmelia, but she's still over there talking with Rita Skeeter..”

“That monster, huh. You should probably just wait. She doesn't strike me as the type that lies to be interrupted while she's charming away.”

"I guess."

"Hey, there's Neville." Pansy said out of the blue, having spotted the boy awkwardly huddled in the corner.

Daphne smiled, "C'mon, lets go talk to him."

"Sure, why not."

Carefully, the two girls maneuvered their way through the groups of people to reach their obviously uncomfortable friend."

"Hi Neville." The blonde haired girl spoke first, tapping the boy on his shoulder.

"He jumped in surprise, "Oh! Sorry you scared me. Hi Daphne, Pansy."

"Hello."

What are you doing here all alone?" Pansy finally asked.

Daphne furrowed her brow, "Yeah, didn't you come here with Emmy?"

“Yeah well, she probably decided I was a liability since I insulted Lady Malfoy and all.”

Pansy's brow rose, “How’d you manage to do that?”

“I corrected her. I didn’t even know I was doing it. All I did was say that Emmy wasn’t just Heir Potter, but Heir Potter-Black.”

“That’s not that bad. Could be passed off as a simple lapse of courtesy or manners. You’re lucky it was Lady Malfoy and not Zabini’s mother, she would’ve slit your throat.”

“Right. I just wish I was better at all this stuff.” Neville said with a resigned sigh. It was rare to see her without her normal positive attitude.

“Really Neville, it’s not your fault that you’re a better person then all of us.” Daphne said lightly, echoing Emmelia's words.

“Yeah. Yeah I guess I’m the nice one aren’t I? Well, at least I’m nice without any ulterior motives.”

“Exactly, and when you’re not nice, it’s because you didn’t even realize you were being mean. Come on, let’s go save Emmelia from Ludo Bagman.”

With a smile, Pansy strode over to where the girl in question was looking slightly uncomfortable under the man’s heavy hand on her shoulder and his loud guffaws of laughter.

Pansy’s smile quickly morphed into one almost identical to Emmelia’s, “Mister Bagman, sir! It’s so nice to see you again. However, Miss Greengrass and I were wondering if we could steal Potter-Black away from you. If it’s not a bad time.” She added politely.

Ludo’s jolly smile didn’t faulted, “Of course not girl! Now you ladies have fun! Maybe I’ll see you again Heir Potter, er- Heir Potter-Black. I’m looking forward to all of your upcoming quidditch matches.”

“Yes sir, thank you sir. I’m looking forward to seeing you there. Have a nice night!”

“You as well, dear girl. You as well.”

Emmelia’s smile faltered a bit once his back was turned, “Oh thank Marlin, I wasn’t sure how long I could hold onto that conversation without falling asleep. Or collapsing under the weight of his arm.” Her grin turned more genuine, “It’s great to see you Pansy, I wasn’t sure if you were already here or not. I love the dress, it’s absolutely gorgeous, and it first me perfectly.”

Pansy sniffed at the praise, “Of course it does, I picked it out myself.”

“Of course, Pansy dearest, my mistake.”

Their bickering was interrupted by none other than Narcissa Malfoy and her son, “Girls!” The woman said, her smile matching Pansy’s and Emmelia’s, “I’m glad to see you’re enjoying the party. Draco here has volunteered to take you on a tour of the house,”- Draco looked very much like he did not volunteer, but chose not to argue with his mother- “Though, I know you’ve already seen the house, Miss Parkinson.”

“I wouldn’t mind at all, Lady Malfoy.”

“Wonderful. Draco dear, why don’t you show them around.”

Malfoy’s smile was so strained it looked painful, “Of course mother.”

“I’ll leave you to it.” Lady Malfoy’s eyes glimmered with a dangerous curiosity even as she turned away.

"Wait just a moment Draco, love. I need to collect my other friends."

Draco nodded his head in nervous understanding, "Yeah--uh go ahead. I don't mind waiting."

Emmelia smiled sharply at him, "Wonderful."

She quickly strife over to where Daphne and Neville were still chatting, "Daphne! Lovely to see you. I hope you and your mum is doing alright. I remember you telling me you too had a bit of a fight."

Daphne smiled sadly at the greeting, "Good to see you too Emmy. And me and my mum--we're fine I guess."

"I'm glad. And sorry for ditching you Neville. Believe me, it wasn't my idea. Miss Skeeter wanted to have a more private conversation."

"It's fine."

"Good. Well everyone, who wants a tour of Malfoy manor."

With nonchalant shrugs from everybody, the group made their way back to the youngest Malfoy.

“Well, Draco dear, why don’t we get started. I’m excited to see your library.”

And so they went to the library.

It was decorated much like the Slytherin common room with elegant but simplistic designs and dark color schemes. Despite its cold decor, the library did seem quite comforting, in a way. There was something about the magic in the room that welcomed Emmelia with open arms.

Emmelia found herself drifting away from Malfoy and his little tour group, into the tall shelves of different books. She stopped moving about thirty rows in. Right in front of where the magic was coming from. Carefully, she looked every book in the vicinity. Finally, her eyes found a nondescript, muggle looking diary about four rows up. She guided her magic up to the book and slowly brought it down into her hands.

She opened the first page.

Property of Tom M. Riddle

She stroked the leather cover with her thumb before shrinking the notebook and placing it within one of the many hidden pockets that Pansy had gotten designed into the dress.

She smiled, the book was hers.

The party ended three hours later. Emmelia felt like it had been a successful one, she’d managed to get to know many influential figures and establish a connection with Rita Skeeter, one of the most prominent journalists of the wizarding world.

Twenty minutes before the Longbottoms were set to leave, Emmelia said her final goodbyes to Daphne and Pansy before Lady Longbottom, her, and Neville went and said their customary thanks and farewells to the hosting family. At least until Emmelia left to go back to Hogwarts in a days time where she'd see Malfoy again.

Happy with her rewarding night, Emmelia went back to the Longbottom Manor with a smile on her face.

 

———————-

Chapter Text

“Alright, So Emmy. Those are yours over there. And those ones are mine, okay.”

More excited then she could ever remember being, Emmelia nodded and with a large grin on her face, Emmelia sat down next to the dozen or so presents. Carefully, she began to peel back the wrapping paper. The first gift was from Hermione. The bookish girl had gotten her a full set of rune books, Advanced Rune Translation, Ancient Runes Made Easy, and Ancient Runes Translation.

The second, almost hastily packaged gift was from Daphne, who had gotten her beautiful pair of golden earrings with emeralds. They resembled the circlet that Pansy had given her so much that Emmelia was convinced that she must’ve helped her buy them. Additionally, her friend had bought her a quill set charmed to never run out of ink. (Absurdly, wizards had somehow created pens without actually having to use pens.)

Malfoy had also gotten her a pair of earrings. She wasn’t surprised though, Pansy had explained the month before that it was customary for boys to send all girls pieces of jewelry for their Yuletide gift. Emmelia thought that it was a bit of a generalization to assume that all girls wanted jewelry, but didn’t say anything. Besides, she herself liked jewelry.

Crabbe and Goyle had both gotten her bracelets, and Nott had given her a gorgeous ruby and silver necklace. Emmelia was glad that she’d thought ahead and given everyone in her year gifts. She didn’t want to think about that embarrassment she would’ve suffered if she hadn’t.

Zabini, while still following the rule of getting girls jewelry, had gifted her a beautiful headpiece that he had sworn was a gift from one of his mother's ex lovers that she no longer had any use for. She raised an eyebrow at the mention of the Black Widow, one of the more infamous women within the decade.

Surprisingly, the Patil twins had also gotten her a gift, a silver ring with a Sapphire positioned on top of it. While simple, it was rather beautiful and Emmelia decided to slip in onto her finger right away.

Neville himself had given her a wand polishing kit and a signed poster of the Holyhead Harpies, an all female Quidditch team that Emmelia had quickly found herself fascinated over the course of her winter break.

She sent a smile and a thank you his way before clearing up the mess she'd made with all of her unwrapping.

 

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

 

A few hours after a large breakfast, she and Neville stood near the fireplace together, saying their final goodbyes to each other until Winter break ended in around a week. With one last smile, Emmelia grabbed a pinch of floo powder, through it down into the fire, stepped into the green flames, nervously yelled, “Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry, Professor Snape’s office." And with a swirl of smoke, she vanished.

Emmelia somehow managed not to stumble and fall onto the ground when she was suddenly ejected into an unfamiliar room. At the desk, a dark figure looked up from its work. It sneered, but then he almost looked pained, and the disgusted look disappeared.

“Li-Emmelia. I see that you are five minutes late. But that’s to be expected of a Potter.”

Emmelia glanced at the clock and found that she was definitely not five minutes late, but she was, in fact, five minutes early. She didn’t correct him.

She smiled up at the gloomy man, eyes shining brightly, “Thank you for letting me use your office, sir. It was very kind of you to go out of your way to make my journey back to Hogwarts more comfortable.”

The potions Professor gave a sharp nod, “Well, go on then. That is all. You are- dismissed.”

She rested the urge not to roll her eyes at her Head of Houses dramatic behavior and left the room with a courteous nod of thanks.

 

————————

 

Severus cursed the girl with Lily’s hair and eyes set into the face of the Blacks. With her charming smile and burning curiosity that was sure to be the death of her. The one with the vicious glare that he saw used so rarely, and the one who held her head up like she was born to rule. The one who barely concealed her flinch when his arms moved to quickly, or he appeared too suddenly. The one with the mask that worked to well, until you looked too closely.

He cursed the child of Lily and James Potter.

He cursed her for not being who he wanted her to be. Instead of being an arrogant bastard with zero work ethic, she seemed to spend multiple hours a day in the library studying ahead in all her classes. She wasn’t a bully. In fact, she’d gone out of her way to befriend both a Longbottom and a muggleborn, two different things that were sure to win her enemies in Slytherin.

Which brought him to another thing, she was in bloody Slytherin. When she’d first been sorted, he thought she was playing an immature prank (much like her ridiculous father). Instead, the girl looked happy and content as she headed over to the snakes’ table with confidence in her step.

When he finally realized that it was true, that fate really was playing some cruel trick on him, he prepared himself for a potions class filled with sarcastic remarks and big headedness. Once again, she surprised him. When he turned from the youngest Weasley make to Emmelia, she answered all of his questions correctly, showing the proper amount of humility. She’d even saved her friends potion from exploding for Merlin’s sake.

And there she was again, stepping out of his fireplace, bowing her head in respect, and leaving his office without so much as a witty comment. He restrained himself from throwing his bottle of ink against the wall.

Why couldn't she be awful so he could hate her?

And why- why did she have to look so much like her?

With a muffled, broken growl, he sunk back into his seat and resigned himself to grading half assed papers for the rest of his day.

Chapter Text

The first thing that Emmelia noticed when she entered her empty dorm room was the oddly wrapped present sitting on the foot of her bed. Not because it physically stood out, but because the power emanating from it was almost blinding for Emmelia. It’s aura was a thick silver mist that drifted around and covered almost all of her bed.

Emmelia stepped closer to the object, intent on opening it, until she noticed the faint whisper of Light Magic that seemed to be encircling the silver aura. Now that definitely didn’t seem natural.

She moved closer, although much more cautiously. Maybe she should take the package to a Slytherin prefect. She didn’t want to bother Professor Snape with her gift problems, especially since he didn’t really seem to like her.

Picking up the gift, she turned it over in her hands in order to examine it. Slowly, she peeled away the tissue paper cover big what seemed to be a silvery piece of fabric. Sliding it completely out of its wrappings, she held it to the light and watched it shimmer.

She frowned at it for a few more moments until refilling it and bringing it down stairs back into the common room.

“Farley!” Emmelia said with an inviting smile, glad that the girl was staying over break to study for her O.W.L.s.

“Yeah?” Farley said gruffly. She seemed to be in a bad mood. Understandable, since there were stacks of paper and random books on the desk where she was sitting, surrounding her.

“I don’t mean to distract you from your studies, but I was wondering if you could take a moment to make sure this isn’t dangerous. It was sitting on my bed, and I’m not sure how it got there.”

Farley raised an eyebrow before sighing, “Yeah, sure. Give it here kid.” She held her hand out for the odd gift.

A few detection spells later, Emmelia watched the older girl’s nose wrinkle in distaste, “Those are some compulsion spells you’ve got on this thing. Who’d you say gave it to you?”

Emmelia shook her head, “There was no name on the note. Just some vague message about its status as a family heirloom and something about how my father gave it to them for safekeeping.”

“Yeah well, here,” She stuck out the piece of fabric for her to take back, “I’ve mostly gotten rid of the compulsions. The rest will disappear in time.” Emmelia checked and saw that the gold whips infecting the silver mess of the aura were indeed mostly faded.

“That’s an invisibility cloak by the way. I’d be careful with it. Don’t know how it’s still in that condition if it’s a family heirloom, but I’m too sleep deprived to care. Go back and do whatever girls your age are doing right now. I need,” She yawned, “To get back to work.

Emmelia bowed her head slightly in thanks before turning and fleeing up the stairs to go finish the school work she’d been assigned for over the break.

 

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

 

After finishing the ridiculous Defense essay that Professor
Quirrell had assigned, Emmelia put the rest of her work away. While digging through her bag, she remembered the odd book that she'd been so attracted to last night. Before she'd gone to bed, she'd packed it in the first pocket of her bag.

Determined, she reached into the little compartment and took it out.

It was old, that was for certain. And definately muggle. Which begged the question, why on earth would Lord Malfoy be keeping an old muggle book in his extensive library. Emmelia opened it up in an attempt to understand what he was thinking.

The pages were blank.

That made her think there was some kind of spell that activated the magic of the diary. It definitely had a core, the entire thing was radiating Dark Magic to an extent she hadn't seen before.

Maybe she should write in it?

Unsure, Emmelia took out her ink and quills from where she had placed them while cleaning up. She had no idea what to write.

Feeling stupid, Emmelia wrote down the first thing that came into her mind.

Activate

She penned in a shaky script, still sorta unaccustomed to using a quill instead of a pen.

Her writing disappeared. Emmelia peered down at the book, more interested than she was before.

Slowly, a different word began to appear.

Hello

The book wrote back.

Immediately intrigued, she responded.

What are you?

I am not a what, but a who. Tom Riddle.

Emmelia furrowed her brow in confusion.

How in Merlin’s name did you get stuck inside this old book?

I wasn’t stuck. In fact, I’m not even real. The real Tom Riddle placed me into his diary along with all of his knowledge. He wanted to find a way to help kids long after he was gone. Consider me a helpful little guide on your way through Hogwarts.

You seem awfully Dark and powerful to just be a helpful little guide… I mean there's obviously nothing wrong with Dark Magic, but there’s so much of it radiating from you that I find it hard to believe that you were just a little guide that some students made on a whim.

Fair enough. It was my final school project for my sixth year charms class. You’re very perceptive Mister…

He trailed off, as if waiting for her name.

Miss, actually. Miss Emmelia Potter-Black. I’m a first year.

My apologies, Miss Potter-Black. Odd name combination. What House are you in?

Slytherin

A Potter in Slytherin? That hasn't happened for decades. Centuries even. I take it that you were raised by the Black side of the family, instead of the Potters.

Neither, actually. All of the Blacks but one are either in prison or dead and all of the Potters are dead. I was raised by muggles.

I am… Sorry to hear that. I too was raised by muggles. In an orphanage. My mother died giving birth to me, and my father was a useless prat.

I lived, or live, I guess, with my Aunt and Uncle on my mothers side. She was a muggleborn.

I see. I too was a halfblood. Well, that's assuming that your father was the pureblooded Potter-Black.

My father was just the Potter actually. Well, Im sure he has a bit of Black in their somewhere, knowing their reputation. Anyway, I'm not sure why, but the current Lord Black named me his Heir right before he was sent to prison. I suppose it doesn't really matter why he did it, just now im Heir Black.

You're a lucky girl. I didn't have the fourthought to get an inheritance test until I was a fifth year.

I don't know what an inheritance test is. I didn't take one. I just signed the papers that my account manager at Gringotts gave me.

You haven't taken the test? That means that you could still have inheritances that the Goblins didn't have prepared for you. You could have living family.
I'll have to take the test once summer comes around. Thank you, for telling me about it. I have to go now, its way past lights out.

Goodnight, Emmelia. Wait, I have one question for you before you go.

What is it?

How did you know that I was a powerful Dark object?

Oh, I’m Magic Blessed.

 

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

 

Emmelia awoke in the middle of the night. She wasn't sure why, but she had this undeniable urge to go exploring. She wanted, needed to examine every inch of the castle.

Without thinking, she reached for the invisibility cloak that someone had gifted her. Pulling it around her shoulders, she tiptoed up the stairs and into the Slytherin common room. Quietly, she pushed open the portrait door and stepped out into the quiet halls of Hogwarts.

It was surreal, almost. She was so used to each corridor being filled with the bustling of hundreds of students and staff. In the dark of the night, the silence that surrounded her was almost haunting in the way that it consumed everything around her. She flinched at every noise, no matter how small. Everything set her on edge.

She found herself wandering through a passage of abandoned classrooms when she saw a shimmering aura float through an open doorway and out in front of her. Immensely curious, she followed the trail into the room.

It was a magnificent mirror, as high as the ceiling, with an ornate gold frame, standing on two clawed feet. There was an inscription carved around the top: Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi.

Her curiosity growing, Emmelia removed her invisibility cloak and moved closer to the mirror, wanting to look at herself but see no reflection. She stepped in front of it.
Her heart made a massive leap in her chest when she saw someone in the mirror with her. She whirled around.

Her panic was lessened slightly when she saw that there was no one in the room with her. But now she was even more confused than before, because she had not just seen only herself in the mirror, but a whole crowd of people standing ominously next to and beside her.

But the room was empty. Narrowing her eyes, she turned slowly back to the mirror. There she was, reflected in it. But no, that wasn't right. It wasn't her. Not completely at least.

The girl in front of her was taller and older than she was, looking around sixteen or seventeen. But they had the same facial features and red silky hair.

She stepped nearer still to the mirror and reached out her hand in an attempt to touch the women. The woman simply shook her head at Emmelia. Frowning, Emmelia turned her attention away from the woman and towards the many people in the background.

There was a woman standing to the right behind what Emmelia suspected was a grown up version of herself.

She looked kind, much kinder than the rest of the people in the mirror. She had such a striking resemblance to Daphne that Emmelia assumed it must be the grown up version of her.

The woman to her left had to be Pansy, with Hermione right beside her.

Farther into the background were a number of other people, most of their faces concealed by the hoods they were wearing. Emmelia thought that she could make out the faces of an adult Blaise and Draco. Maybe Tracy Davis was there too, but she wasn't sure.

She reached out a hand and felt the air behind her. If they were really there, she’d be able to touch them, all of their reflections were so close together, but she felt only air – she and the others existed only in the mirror.

How long she stood there, she didn’t know. The reflections did not fade and she looked and looked until a distant noise brought her back to her senses. She couldn’t stay here, she had to get back to bed before the morning. She tore her eyes away from her adult friends faces, whispered, ‘I’ll come back,’ and hurried from the room.

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Emmelia awoke in the morning with a splitting headache and an unsettled feeling in her gut. Nevertheless, she awoke and did her morning routine before heading down to breakfast.
Draco was back from his little trip to his Manor for the Yule Ball, and the two reluctantly sat together for the meal, making boring conversation to entertain themselves. After breakfast, the two went separate ways, Emmelia to the library to look up the strange mirror and Draco to the first year boys dorm to do Merlin knew what.

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Emmelia flashed a small smile to Madam Pince as she entered the library, before heading to the table that she and her friends had claimed as her own. Laying all of her stuff out, Emmelia pondered what section she would have to go through in order to find information on the artifact.

Suddenly, she remembered her conversation the night before with the Diary Man, Tom Riddle. Hesitantly, she took out the small journal and began to write.

Hello, Tom

Hello Emmelia, He replied immediately, What can I help you with?

Do you happen to know anything about a mirror that says Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi on it?

Ahhhhh, that would be the Mirror of Erised.

So you know about it?

I do. Its reflection shows the onlooker their greatest desire. However, its known to be extremely dangerous. Many have become so enraptured with what they see in the mirror that they never leave. They die from dehydration or starvation.

Oh

I have to ask, why are you curious about it?

I ran into it, last night while I was exploring Hogwarts. I was--wondering what it was.

You saw it? Why was it at Hogwarts?

I’m not sure actually. I only found it because it's aura was seeping through the walls.

Right. What's it like, seeing the Magical Cores of everything around you?

It doesn't really affect me. Before I turned eleven, I didn't really know what it was. I just thought that some people were more special than others.

So you didn't know anything about magic before you turned eleven? Did nobody tell your relatives?

No, they knew. They were just too big assholes to tell me.

I see. I take it that you don't like them all that much.

No, I don't.

Is that all?

I suppose. Guess I'll have to change my plan of going back to the Mirror tonight.

Please do. I'd rather not have my only companion for years get stuck looking at some magical mirror.

Goodbye Mr. Riddle.

Goodbye Miss Potter--Black.

 

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Emmelia awoke in the middle of the night once more. Again, she had the name urge to take her new invisibility cloak and go exploring again. Thankfully, with Riddle's message about the dangers of the Mirror still fresh in her mind, she managed to push the feeling aside and fall back asleep.

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Tom Riddle had been stuck inside this Morgana awful diary for so many years. He didn't know how long, it was impossible to tell when you didn't even know what time it was in the real world. He hasn't even asked the girl who found him for the date!

Speaking of that girl, she was odd. Very odd.

For one, she was Magic Blessed. Something so incredibly rare that Tom didn't know how to feel about her. Another thing was that she felt...weird.

Not bad weird, just familiar somehow. He couldn't put his finger on it. They seemed to have some kind of connection, so much so that he could actually feel her Magical Core move about whatever room he was confined too.

There was another thing about her that was odd. He couldn't latch onto her soul, at all.

He knew it was possible for him to do, he'd done it before with Abarax Malfoy, almost possessing him completely before his original self had stopped him.

So that begged the question, why couldn't he do it with this little girl?

It certainly wasn't for a lack of trying, he'd put almost all of his energy into attaching himself to this kid, to no avail.

He thought that it might have something to do with their odd connection, but he wasn't sure. About anything really.

Except for that fact that he needed to actually get to know this girl. If he couldn't steal her soul for her own, then maybe he could convince her to help him of her own will.

 

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