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The Secret Rune

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James Potter hated hospitals. Like, really hated them. If he had it his way, he would never even step foot into one. Naturally, being an Auror, he often got injured, and in those cases his friends had to drag him to one, if not knock him unconscious to do so. Unfortunately, being in the hospital was something that couldn't be avoided today.

His amazing, beautiful, perfect wife was in labour. He was about to become a father, and that made him nervous. So nervous in fact, that he had been kicked out of Lily's room for it, because he had been irritating her. Remus had gone in instead, being much more level-headed, and much less likely to want to make Lily murder him.

"Stop pacing, Prongs. You're driving me insane."

James did an about turn, and faced his closest friend. "I can't help it, Padfoot! What if something goes wrong?" His concern was evident on his flushed face.

"Then go check."

"She'll yell at me again!"

Sirius Black smirked from where he was seated, elbows braced on his knees, hair falling around his face. "As if that's her fault."

The former of the two opened his mouth to retort, but was prevented from saying anything when Remus all but barrelled out of the room, looking more than a little thrilled.



The two jumped to their feet faster than what seemed possible, speaking over one another loudly.

"What is-"

"Is Lily oka-"

"Is it a bo-"

"A gir-"

"Quiet! Both of you!" the werewolf chastised immediately, even as the other two tried to speak again. "Lily is exhausted, but fine, and the children are perfectly healthy."

James and Sirius froze, then managed to exchange a shocked glance, before suddenly grabbing Remus by the collar, and shouting-


The sandy haired lycanthrope winced, momentarily cursing his sensitive ears, before extracting himself from the grips of his friends. "Yes, children," he stated, excitement building once again. "Lily had twins. Girls."

All three were quick to head inside, finding Lily reclining on the bed, looking pale, but content. She held both girls, one in each arm, and James approached rather cautiously, eyes on his children, his daughters.


The woman looked up at them and smiled, beckoning her husband closer. "Hullo, James."

He sat down on the edge of the bed, and leaned forward to kiss his wife, before peering down at the girls. "They're beautiful."

That had Lily smiling again, softer this time, looking down at her little girls herself. "I wasn't planning on twins, but I'm so happy."

"Yeah, me too."

Normally, Sirius would have mock gagged at such an emotion filled moment, but not today. He stood next to Remus, beaming happily, as if he was the father of the kids. Hell, he may as well have been. He was going to spoil them like crazy!

"What will you be naming them?" inquired Remus curiously. "You never said."

The couple traded a long look. They had decided on a couple of names for both genders, in case their first choice didn't fit the face. But it seemed they were going to be using both girl names they had chosen.

James, very carefully, picked up one of the infants. Her hair was as dark as his, her eyes an exact replica of her mother's.

"She was born first," his wife told him.

The young Auror nodded, then looked back up. "Rose," he stated, choosing the first of the names. "Rose Lily Potter."

Again, Lily smiled. She gazed down at the child in her own arms. "Violet Alice Potter."

Sirius blinked. "Alice?" he repeated in confusion, making Remus sigh in exasperation.

But the redhead, in a very good mood for obvious reasons, merely released a light laugh. "Alice Longbottom, remember? She's one of my dearest friends, and agreed to be their godmother."

"Oh." Sirius rubbed the back of his neck, looking sheepish. He cleared his throat. "Wasn't she about to have her kid too?"

Lily nodded. "It happened yesterday. They had a boy; Neville Frank Longbottom. I'm his godmother."

"That's great!" exclaimed Sirius, appearing genuinely pleased.

"Speaking of godparents," said James suddenly, drawing everyone's attention. He and Lily traded a nod, before he focused on Sirius. "Padfoot, will you do us the honour of becoming Rose's godfather?"

While the canine Animagus stood there looking dumbfounded, Lily addressed Remus. "And will you do us the honour of becoming Violet's godfather, Moony?"

The werewolf froze in place, caught off-guard by the sudden request. Most would never ask a lycanthrope to do something like this. And he was about to respond, when Sirius let out a loud, and very happy whoop, all but bouncing where he stood.

Both men accepted their new positions before anyone could say anything further, taking their respective goddaughter into their arms. Sirius grinned down at Rose, and Remus smiled at Violet.

The lycanthrope could immediately see that the only difference the girl's seem to have, were their eyes. Both were green like their mother's, but Violet's seemed...brighter. It was so difficult to explain, but they seemed to glow, strangely enough, like the feared Killing Curse itself...

Fifteen Months Later
James and Lily adored their children, and everyone else did too. Who wouldn't? Rose and Violet were both just so sweet! Even Lily's stuffy older sister Petunia had been taken with them.

Of course, things with Petunia hadn't always been easy, but the sisters had finally made up, and now both of them were aunts, because Lily's sister had a son, Dudley. He hadn't had the chance to meet his cousins just yet. Maybe one day.

Sirius and Remus, the twins' godfathers were around as often as they could, wanting to spend as much time with their little goddaughters as possible. They absolutely doted on the two, likely because they would never have their own children. Not unless they adopted, of course.

Despite being twins however, Rose and Violet were actually quite different. Lily had heard stories about twins being inseparable, and had even seen that in the example of little three year olds Fred and George Weasley. The two of them never went anywhere without one another, always climbing into each other's beds and sleeping cuddled up together, and never failing to drive their mother insane. But Lily's twins weren't like that at all.

Rose was the more excitable one of the two. She liked to be the centre of attention, drawing it to her if it wasn't already on her. She was always running around the house, filling whatever room she was in with laughter. But she was also very fussy when it came to something she didn't like, and cried as much as she laughed. Rose loved James and Sirius the most, the two of them always making her so very happy with their loud, fun pranks.

Violet was the complete opposite. She was very quiet, never seeming to draw attention to herself, and always trying to escape the room when it did. She never really wandered the house, not unless she was bored or looking for something specific, and was almost oddly quiet. It was rare for her to cry, but hearing her bright laughter was considered a treat. She wasn't at all fussy, generally doing things either without being told, or the first time asked. Violet got along best with Lily and Remus, seemingly at peace with their calm attitudes and softer voices...

It was Halloween and James and Lily were exhausted, the former more so than the latter. The twins had been a bit of a handful today, which was normal for Rose, but very strange with Violet. Darkness had fallen, and both of them sat, merely relaxing and speaking quietly.

"Violet was acting strangely today, wasn't she?" voiced James, making a statement more than a question.

But Lily agreed with him anyway. "She was, yes. She's normally not so...fussy and, even when she is, she's never very vocal about it." She frowned. She had been getting an ominous feeling nearly all day. Maybe Violet had been picking up on that? It certainly wouldn't have been the first time. The younger twin often picked her sister's emotions up as well, though perhaps that was merely because they had such a deep connection.

"Have you heard from Sirius?" asked Lily after a moment.

"Hm? Yeah, he'll be checking in on Wormtail in a couple of days, see how he's doing."

"And Remus?"

"Full moon recovery*."

The woman sighed. She loved Moony dearly, and wished he hadn't needed to deal with this. He was such a good man, and simply adored Violet more than anything. Why he was trapped with such a life was beyond her. She could still remember how shocked she had been when she'd first found out he was a werewolf, and how his three friends had become Animagi just to spend full moons with him. It made her wish she could do the same.

Peace in the Potter household came to an abrupt end when the front door suddenly flew open, a dark cloaked figure walking in, wand in hand. The young couple jumped to their feet, the man doing so faster than the woman, his Auror instincts kicking in immediately.

"Lily, get to the kids! It's him! Run! I'll hold him off!" And he turned on the Dark Lord, determined to protect his wife and daughters-his family. He didn't even register the flash of green light until it was too late.

Meanwhile, Lily had attempted to barricade the door, grabbing Rose and setting her down in Violet's cot, wanting to keep them together. Her blockade did nothing, the door bursting open, the figure all but gliding into the room, cackling.

That didn't deter the red haired woman though. She stood before the cot, arms spread in front of her children. "Not them, not them, please not them!" Was it even worth pleading with the Dark Lord Voldemort? Lily didn't know, but she would do anything to protect her little girls, her babies.

"Stand aside you silly girl, stand aside now."

Somewhere deep in the back of her mind, Lily was shocked by the words. Did he not plan to kill her? Was he really so desperate to end the young lives of her daughters? She refused to move aside though. She would never, never do something like that. Never. "Not, Rose, not Violet! Please, no, take me! Kill me instead..." And she would gladly die to protect her children. "Please, have mercy..." Did Lord Voldemort even know what mercy was?

Evidently not, for he laughed as he fired the deadly curse, and she screamed as her life ended, her daughters' faces the last thing she saw...

It was nearly finished. Voldemort turned his attention to the cot. Both children had been placed within, and one of them was crying loudly, the sound grating on his nerves as he recalled the orphanage, which did nothing to appease him. The other child however, merely gazed up at him, curiosity shining in her bright, green eyes. Eyes the matched the colour of the spell he had just used to end her parents' lives, the spell he would use to end her twin's life. The spell he would use to end her life.

But it was unfortunate. This one, the quiet one, had an intelligence shining in her eyes that her sister did not seem to have. He reached, almost cautiously, into the cot, setting a large hand onto her head, ignoring the bawling child nearby. He did not know which one was which, but knew one was Rose, and the other, Violet. Wormtail had told him as much.

A flash of silver caught his eye, and he saw they both wore bracelets, baring their names. The crying one was Rose, the quiet one, Violet.

His touch didn't seem to bother Violet. She merely continued peering up at him curiously, as if waiting to see what he would do. It was unfortunate really. If it wasn't for the prophecy, perhaps he would keep this one alive, and have her raised properly.

But they had to go. Both of them.

Voldemort retracted his hand, bringing his wand up and pointing it at Rose, drawing a frown from Violet. She began to move, the bright eyed one, trying to pull herself up. He ignored her though, and spoke the cursed words that would end everything.

"Avada Kedavra."

But even as he spoke the final syllable, Violet got in front of her sister, and the spell hit her instead, causing her to cry out. He barely had time for his eyes to widen before the spell somehow backfired, and then all he felt was pain.

Darkness approached quickly, and he fled, unaware of anything around him save the bright eyes that glowed like death itself...

Albus Dumbledore hadn't even settled down for the night when one of his alarms went off. He immediately knew which one it was, and jumped to his feet faster than anyone would think possible for someone his age. Something was wrong in Godric's Hollow. James. Lily. Rose. Violet.

He twisted the castle wards, Apparating out of his office and to the quaint village, rushing to the cottage. He paused in front of it, then hurried inside, freezing at the sight of James Potter's body. His hazel eyes were open, but he lay unmoving. Albus cursed under his breath, wondering if he was too late.

And then he heard the crying.

He all but ran up the stairs, hurrying to the nursery. There, he found Lily, as still has her husband, and he felt a pang. They had been so young. So good. So...light.

But his attention quickly landed on the cot nearby. Both girls sat within, both alive, both crying. He took large strides to reach them, stepping around Lily so he could get close enough to examine the babes. He saw it immediately. One of them had a cut. A jagged cut shaped like a lightning bolt. A quick glance at her wrist told him this was Rose. A frown marred his face, but he quickly turned to Violet, finding she was unmarked.

The prophecy.

He performed a few spells, and immediately guessed what had happened. Lord Voldemort had attacked, hitting Rose with the Killing Curse. But it had rebounded, and hit him instead. He knew Tom wasn't dead. No, not just yet. He would be back, Albus knew that for a fact.

First though, he needed to get the girls out of here. He easily scooped them both up, Violet silencing even as Rose continued to cry. He could do nothing about that now. A wandless spell later, a message was being sent to Hagrid. And as he walked out of the quickly ruining house, he began planning.

When he made it outside, a small crowd had gathered, and he moved away from the home, waiting for the half giant to arrive. Luckily, he did not have to wait long.

Albus did not allow Hagrid to speak, taking the time to hurriedly do so himself. He handed the children off, telling the large man an address, and asking him to meet him there by the next night. He would take the children himself, but he needed to stop by the Ministry, and inform them of what had occurred.

Hagrid obeyed without question, always having done as asked, and without waiting any longer, Albus vanished on the spot, determined mental wheels spinning rapidly...

Minerva McGonagall was in shock. The rumours she had been hearing all day, she refused to believe. Not until Albus confirmed them. Because they simply could not be true. Absolutely could not be.

She had been outside Number Four Privet Drive all day, waiting in her Animagus form. She knew she was at the home of the Dursleys. Of Lily Potter's Muggle sister's family. But why she was here, she did not know.

It was midnight when Albus Dumbledore arrived, and it only took a few minutes of stalling before he admitted that the rumours were all true. James and Lily had been killed by You-Know-Who. Their little girls Rose and Violet had survived. And Rose, Rose was the Girl-Who-Lived.

Minerva was speechless, unable to imagine what the last moments of the Potter parents had been, how desperate they must have been to save the lives of their daughters.

It was Hagrid's arrival that drew her out of her thoughts, and she was surprised to see him astride a motorbike, which he claimed belonged to Sirius Black. She looked at Albus when Hagrid passed one of the children over, confused.


"Rose will be living with her aunt and uncle now."

Minerva frowned. "But they are Muggles."

"Yes. Petunia however, came to terms with Lily more than a year ago, and is willing to care for Rose. They will ensure she learns of who she is. If she were to remain in our world, she would be worshipped, revered even. That is something no child needs."

Minerva watched Albus approach the door, ring the bell, and speak with the couple who answered, handing the bundle over, the thin woman immediately taking the sleeping child, tears flowing down her face. And it was only when Albus returned to the road, when she realized something. The Dursleys had only taken one child.

"What of Violet?" she asked curiously, wondering why she hadn't been taken in as well.

Here, Albus sighed, taking the remaining babe. "Vernon and Petunia already have a child of their own. They would not be able to raise all three, without suffering themselves. They can only take in one of them, and Rose needs the protection. She will be safe here."

The woman's frown only deepened, lips thinning. "Then what are you planning on doing with Violet?"

Albus smiled. "No need to fear, Minerva. I have it all planned out. You should join in on the festivities."

And after a farewell to both her and Hagrid, he turned and vanished on the spot, leaving Minerva shocked that he had just Apparated with a baby. No one did it, as it was horribly unsafe. What was that man thinking!?

Albus appeared in a darkened alleyway. Stepping out, he arrived in an empty street, and nodded to himself, pleased. This would do just fine. He strolled down this street, pausing in front of a weathered, two story building. Above the faded, peeling door sat a sign, declaring the place to be Starlight Orphanage*.

Conjuring a basket, he placed the sleeping babe inside, setting the item on the small landing at the top of the stairs. He then used a couple of spells to acquire a bit of parchment and a quill, quickly writing the girl's full name down, and adding this to the package.

Satisfied, he took a step back, gazing down at the child. Perhaps it was cruel of him to separate the girls, to send Rose to family who would care for her, and Violet to an orphanage where there was no guarantee of care at all. But one was the Girl-Who-Lived, and had a greater need for protection than her sister, for he knew Tom would return, and he knew that when he did, he was going to target the Girl-Who-Lived, rather than her sister.

Rose Lily Potter, and Violet Alice Potter. Twins with fates that would no doubt be so very different. And if one of them had to suffer for it, well, it was all going to benefit the greater good.

*I actually have no idea when the full moon was, but let's just pretend it just happened.
*I'm using the same name as in my other fic cause I couldn't think of anything else, so no, I didn't copy that if it seems familiar to you.

Chapter Text

Ten Years Later
It was the final day of July, and the middle of summer break. To young Violet Alice Potter, this was just another, average day where she sat in bed, reading The Hobbit-a favourite of hers.

Violet was ten years old. Or maybe she was eleven. She had no idea when her birthday was, though she knew what year she had been born in. Since it was half way through the current year, there was a good chance her eleventh birthday had already passed. No one knew for sure, because while whoever left her on the doorstep of Starlight Orphanage had left a note with her name, they hadn't left any other information at all-including her birthday.

While the girl knew she had been here for a long time, she had never known anything for sure. The Matron had never been the kindest woman around, but the assistant she'd had a few years back, most definitely had been. Violet had known not to ask the Matron anything, so instead, she had gone to the Matron's assistant.

She had asked the younger woman, who had been working in the orphanage for years, how she-Violet, had come to live here. The woman had told her that she had been found in a basket on the doorsteps in the beginning of November in nineteen eighty one. The only information they'd had, was her name. Naturally, they had taken her in regardless.

The girl had been here for ten years now, or just about, and she still had no idea why she had been left here-abandoned here. Had her parents not wanted her? Why?

Violet may have been an orphan like everyone else here, but she still somehow managed to stand out amongst them all. She was on the shorter side, which she knew was because she didn't get to eat enough, had straight black hair-dark as a raven's wing-that flowed down her back, and bright green eyes, that often seemed to glow eerily. The only really strange thing, was something that couldn't even be seen by others, since it was hidden by her clothing.

She had a strange marking on her midsection, which sat to the left of her belly button. It looked like a tattoo, but that couldn't be possible. It was through reading the Hobbit, and the Lord of the Rings, that Violet had come across the term 'runes', and after seeing the ones in the books, thought that her marking may have been one too.

But no one used runes any more, if they ever even had, so she doubted it actually meant anything. And the only way it could have been a tattoo, was if her parents, or whoever had been caring for her before leaving her here, had been that irresponsible. Who gave a baby a tattoo anyway? Maybe it was just a really abnormal birthmark that had, for some weird reason, appeared about a week after arriving at the orphanage? That was what she had been told by the adults.

Violet was a very introverted, intelligent girl, and was picked on relentlessly by the other children, be they orphans from Starlight, or classmates from school. She always kept to herself, preferring to spend her time reading and keeping her grades up, than running around outside and getting all dirty. Naturally, the others thought that to be very weird.

The young girl's behaviour however, was far from the only reason she was bullied. No, there was something very strange about Violet. She could do things that no one else could. Things that ranged from making things float, to speaking to snakes. And while Violet didn't understand, or even know why she could do these odd things, she liked how special it made her feel. She wasdifferent.

And everyone else knew that too. They knew she did weird things they couldn't, and that scared them. So because of that, they took it all out on her, and they hit her, and stole from her, and made her life miserable. Of course, that often ended up backfiring on them, because Violet would end up using those creepy things she could do to hurt them back.

When they told on her and she was punished, it was almost like she didn't care at all. She would just have this blank look on her face. But when they saw her afterwards, she would look at them, and her eyes would be glowing brighter than ever, making her look really scary.

Violet didn't always want to hurt them back, and she certainly didn't like always hurting them, but nothing else was teaching them, and they needed to know that she wasn't about to take all this all laying down. The adults never helped, and generally only seemed to make the situation worse, so she just took it into her own hands. No one could prove anything anyway...

The sound of turning pages was the only thing to be heard in Violet's room this morning. The other children were likely still asleep, enjoying being able to get up late for once. The raven haired girl had adjusted her schedule to account for that, savouring the silence. As soon as everyone else woke up, all the loud laughing and screaming started, and she couldn't ever concentrate properly.

Today was supposed to be a normal day for her, where she was planning on finishing her book. That plan went right out the tiny, dirty window, when there was a knock on her door.

Stilling for a second, she lowered her book, blinking. "Yes?" she called out cautiously, already mentally preparing herself to have to get up and run.

The door creaked open, a bit of peeling paint falling to the floor, and the Matron stepped in, a strange looking smile on her face.

"Someone here to see you, Potter. A professor from some boarding school you've been registered for." And then she left, gone so quick it was as if she hadn't even been there in the first place.

Violet blinked again, watching curiously as a man entered the room. The very first thing that drew her attention was the turban he had wrapped around his head. It was the only thing that seemed to stand out about him, because he was dressed smartly in a nice looking suit.

"G-g-good m-morning, Miss P-Potter."

The girl blinked a third time, surprise by the stutter, and then remembered her manners. "Good morning, sir. Won't you please sit down?" She gestured at the desk chair, glad she had one in the first place. And while the man did just that, she set her book, open but face down, onto her pillow, and moved to sit at the edge of her bed, back straight and hands folded in her lap.

"T-thank you," said the professor, having moved the chair and taken a seat. "I a-am P-Professor Q-Quirrell."

When he made no other move, the girl inclined her head in greeting, figuring he didn't want to shake hands for some reason. Maybe it was a religious thing? "Violet Potter," she returned, even though he already seemed to know that.

He gave her a twitchy looking smile. "A-as the M-Matron already s-s-said, I am a p-p-professor at a-a b-boarding school. Y-you have b-been r-r-registered in t-this s-school s-since b-b-birth, a-and can b-begin your f-f-first year there i-in September."

Violet frowned. Her parents had registered her in a boarding school, and then abandoned her? Why waste the time to do that then? And possibly also waste a lot of money? What was the point? "What is this school called then, if I may ask?"

"H-Hogwarts School of W-Witchcraft a-and W-Wizardry," he replied.

There was a pause. ...He's joking, right? Is the Matron playing a trick on me or something? So caught up in her thoughts, she didn't notice the subtle change in the person before her.

"You are different than the other children around you. You have an ability that they do not." He leaned forward, just a little, tone of his voice intensifying. "You are a witch, Violet Potter, and the ability you have, is magic."

The girl froze, eyes widening, never even noticing that the stutter had vanished. A witch? Magic? But-but how? She took a shaky breath, then looked up at the professor. "But that can't be true," she said softly, grip on her folded hands tightening. "Magic doesn't exist." She wanted to believe though, oh how she wanted to believe. She wanted a change in her life.

Quirrell just smiled, and there was something a little different in it than before. "Magic is a very real thing, Violet," he told her, tone oddly gentle. "Deep inside, you know this to be true. I know you do. You have always known you were different-special, right?"

Violet hesitated before nodding slowly, feeling like this wasn't something she should be admitting, but doing so anyway. "Yes," she replied in a whisper.

The man merely nodded, as if saying, 'I thought so', and straightened in his seat, regarding her closely. "You still do not believe me." It was more a statement than a question.

Shaking her head, the girl looked at him, head cocking when he moved, pulling something out from under his sleeve. It was a length of wood. Was that supposed to be a magic wand? He didn't say anything to her, just gave the stick a swish and a flick. At first, Violet didn't notice anything at all, and was just about to ask him what he was doing, when her book, which had been resting on her pillow, suddenly appeared, floating before her.

Quirrell caught it with his free hand, glancing down at the cover, before smiling slightly. "Ah, The Hobbit. One of my favourites. Have you read it before?"

Eyes wide, Violet nodded. "More than once," she replied almost absently, accepting the book back when it was handed to her. She examined it carefully. It looked perfectly normal. There was no way it could have been floating on its own. But then...

"Still don't believe me?" he voiced, looking more amused than annoyed.

Violet shook her head again, and watched curiously as the man made another weird movement with the stick. A bouquet of roses suddenly burst out of the end. These roses then flew up into the air, becoming mere petals that slowly fluttered back down. The emerald eyed girl held out her hand, allowing one of the soft petals to land on her palm. "Oh." That rose petal suddenly caught fire, but it didn't hurt her at all.

"Magic really is real," she all but whispered, looking back up.

"Yes, it is." The flaming flower petals vanished. "There is more you must know before we continue."

Violet blinked, surprised by the sudden, serious tone of voice. "What is it?" she asked hesitantly, setting her book back down onto her pillow so she didn't accidentally ruin it.

"Your family."

"Family?" I don't have one.

"Yes." He paused a moment, as if contemplating what exactly he should say. "In the Wizarding world, we have three types of...blood," he began, holding up a hand to ensure she merely listen. "Purebloods-those who have been born to parents who are both witches and wizards. Half-Bloods-those born to one magical parent, and one non magical parent. And Muggleborns-those born to magicless parents. A Muggle, is a non-magical, just to clarify."

Frowning, Violet nodded, trying to soak this information in.

"If a child is born to a Pureblood and a Muggleborn set of parents, then that child, despite having both magical parents, will be considered a Half-Blood. You, Violet, are one of these. You father was James Potter, a Pureblood Wizard. Your mother was Lily Potter, nee Evans, a Muggleborn witch. Among your parents, you also had a twin sister-Rose."

Her eyes widened in surprise. "A twin? What?"

If her lack of eloquent speaking seemed to bother him, Professor Quirrell didn't seem to mind. "Yes. However, first, I must inform you of the Dark Lord."


The man inclined his head. "There was a wizard who chose a different path, and became known as the Dark Lord Voldemort."

Violet frowned again. " Isn't that French?" The previous Matron's assistant had come from France, and had often spoke in her native tongue, teaching Violet a little when she had expressed her interest.

Quirrell raised a brow, looking impressed. "Indeed it is. Most do not say his name, referring to him as You-Know-Who, or He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."

"That's just kind of silly."

"I agree. They are all frightened of him, and they have reason to be. He was at large for years, and it was impossible to know who to trust. Now, the Dark Lord began targeting your parents." Once again, he held up his hand, asking for silence. "On the night of Halloween, in eighty one, he arrived at your home and he killed your parents."

Violet's lips parted, but no sound escaped her.

"We are not sure why, but he then turned his wand on you and your sister, firing the same curse he had used on your parents. But the spell somehow rebounded, and it hit him instead."

"Did-" she cleared her throat. "Did he die?"

For a brief second, an odd look crossed his face. "It is...difficult to say. Some believe so, yes. However there are others who think otherwise, who believe he is biding his time and building his strength. That he may return one day."


"Both you and your sister survived this night, and your sister was marked with a lightning bolt scar across her forehead. A cursed scar, apparently. She was the one who vanquished the Dark Lord, and Albus Dumbledore, the Leader of the Light and Voldemort's enemy, declared her as the Girl-Who-Lived."

Violet found herself frowning again. "Girl-Who-Lived? That's a strange title."

The man's lips quirked slightly. "Yes, well, the Headmaster-Dumbledore that is, sent your sister to live with relatives. Your mother's older sister and her family, I believe. They are Muggles. And it was he that brought you here to this orphanage. Though, despite living with Muggles herself, your sister has been aware of our world for years, aware of her title, and magic, and her family."

"But...what?" Her frown deepened. "Why? Why did she get to live with relatives? Why do I have to live here?" That wasn't fair at all! And why did her sister know about her, while she herself knew nothing about any of this?

Quirrell released a soft sigh, shifting in his seat. "I assume it was because Dumbledore believes the Dark Lord will one day return, and target your sister. There are protective spells around the house, and Voldemort cannot get to her while she is there. It seems he thinks that as you are not the Girl-Who-Lived, you will not be targeted."

"That's-that's stupid though! Where's the guarantee in that!?" Violet was fuming. "I don't want to die, of course, but what if he kills me just to get to her? What if he doesn't know my sister and I don't even know each other, and tries to kill me anyway!?" Realizing what she was doing, she quickly reeled her emotions back in, trying not to blush at the outburst. This was not normal for her at all, and she was feeling rather flustered now.

That earned her a light laugh. "Well, I cannot say why no one has told you what you truly are, but that is why I have come today, bearing this information as a present of sorts." He smiled slightly. "Happy birthday."

"...It's my birthday?"

The smile vanished. "You did not know?"

Violet shook her head. "No. The only thing I knew about myself was my full name."

The professor didn't look at all pleased to hear that, but seemed to decide to change the subject, taking a folded sheet of parchment out of his pocket and handing it to her, careful not to touch her. The girl took this and unfolded it, finding a list of things it seemed she needed for school.

"Do you accept your place at Hogwarts, Violet Potter?"

The girl hesitated for a brief moment, part of her still feeling like this was a joke. Though there was a much larger part of her that believed it all. "Yes."

Quirrell smiled again. "Good. Now, those are the items you will be needing for your first year at Hogwarts. I also have a key for you." He passed the small, silver object over. "This will get you into your vault at Gringotts-the bank, where you may withdraw money." He suddenly seemed to realize something. "You do have money, regardless of what you may think. Your parents set up trust vaults for both your sister and yourself."

"Oh, okay." She had money! "Where do I buy everything from?" she asked curiously, still trying to soak everything in.

"Diagon Alley." And he told her where it was, watching her face curiously. He caught something then. "Would you prefer to go on your own?"

"If that's possible." So used to doing everything by herself, she wasn't sure if she could release that control to adults. She didn't trust them, and even though Professor Quirrell hadn't done anything to earn her mistrust, it was something she had been dealing with for years. It was more an unconscious reaction than anything else.

"Of course. You are a very independent girl." He actually sounded rather impressed.

Violet set the list and key down by her book on her pillow, folding her hands back in her lap. "Is there anything else you think I need to know?" she asked.

"The Houses."


"At Hogwarts," began Quirrell, "students are separated into four Houses: Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin."

The girl nodded, trying to remember this.

"When you arrive, you, along with the other first years, will be sorted into one of these Houses, and will be a part of said House until you finish your schooling in your seventh year. Each House is represented by different characteristics."

Violet nodded again. "Okay." She paused in thought for a moment. "Will I-" she hesitated, "will I have to return here?"

"Over the summer, at the very least."

"Oh." She was disappointed to hear that. She had been hoping that with the place being a boarding school, she would never have to come back to Starlight. Life would have been so much better that way. Sighing inwardly, she posed another question. "When is the first day?"

Quirrell pulled something else out of his pocket, passing this over too. "Eleven in the morning, on the first of September, the train leaves for Hogwarts from platform nine and three quarters at King's Cross station."

Violet blinked. "Platform nine and-pardon?"

The man chuckled. "Nine and three quarters," he repeated, seeming to understand her reaction. And then he instructed her on how exactly she could get onto this platform, along with a couple of other inconsequential things. When finished, he got to his feet. "I believe that is everything. I suggest you do your school shopping sooner rather than later, so that you may go through your books before going to school."

"Yes, sir. Thank you, professor."

Quirrell headed for the door. "H-have a g-g-good d-day, M-miss P-P-Potter."

"You too, sir."

And with that, Professor Quirrell headed out, leaving the eleven year old alone once more, unable to believe any of this had just happened...

Chapter Text

Quirrell returned to his home, and was doing some menial task while Lord Voldemort fell into thought. When Dumbledore had requested that Quirrell be the one to inform Violet Potter of their world, the Dark Lord had been quite surprised. He had never forgotten the Potter name, nor the behaviour of the twins that fateful night.

He still recalled Rose, bawling away while her sister merely regarded him with curiosity, even after having killed their parents. He knew for a fact that his Killing Curse had hit Violet, rather than the other girl, whom he had been aiming at, when she moved. And that was why he had been surprised, and rather confused, when he had learned that Rose Potter had been the one declared the Girl-Who-Lived. He had wondered whether Violet had ended up dying after all, and hadn't felt as satisfied as he would have, had it been Rose instead.

And then, years later, he learned that both girls were alive, but separated. Rose had been sent to caring, albeit, Muggle relatives, and Violet had been taken to a Muggle orphanage. He learned that while Rose knew the truth about their world, and had even visited it, Violet knew nothing at all.

He had actually seen Rose just the other day. She had been in Diagon Alley, and he had not at all been pleased. Those Muggles she was living with had spoiled her beyond belief, and she was far too whiny, expecting the world to lay down at her feet. Everyone had known who she was, and it was obvious that she had been greatly enjoying all the attention. He found it unfortunate that he couldn't kill her where she stood.

That was why he had been so curious to see what Violet was like. And when Quirrell was sent out to inform her of everything, he was very pleased, because this gave him the perfect opportunity.

Voldemort, unable to actually see anything at first, had merely listened as Quirrell informed the Matron of who he was, and what he was doing here, concealing the truth about magic, naturally. He listened as the Matron spoke a little about the girl, and was surprised by what she had to say. Violet was different, that was for sure. He had listened as Quirrell entered the girl's room, and introduced himself, hearing her do the same.

She had sounded quite polite for a girl her age, and nothing at all like her spoilt sister. And he continued to listen as Quirrell told her Hogwarts' name. At that point, he had decided to take the chance, and seized control over Quirrell's body, like he was occasionally able to do when he had enough strength.

Violet had been seated neatly on the edge of her bed, posture already the opposite of her sister's. She'd been dressed in an old, rather tattered grey shirt and skirt, likely what all the girls wore in the orphanage. He assumed the boys wore the same, exchanging the skirt for trousers. The room was small, but tidy. There was water damage to the walls, and the paint was peeling off. The small window was covered with a grime that looked as if it couldn't even be removed. Yet it was the shocked look on the girl's face that drew his attention.

She obviously couldn't believe what she had just been told, but he knew immediately that she was very, very different than her sister. Violet's magic was dark. Not as pure a dark as his was, but certainly darker than he had expected. And so, he began speaking, uncaring about the lack of a stutter.

He told her of magic, even demonstrating when he saw she didn't believe him. Though he did so without actually setting fire to her prized belongings, like a certain professor had done so many years ago for himself. He told her of Purebloods, Half-bloods, Muggleborns, and Muggles. He told her of her parents, and her sister. And he told her of the Dark Lord, finding it a little strange to be speaking of himself without revealing it as such. She needn't know the truth. Not just yet, at least.

He told her of the Girl-Who-Lived title, and how Dumbledore had sent Rose to live with relatives, while bringing her to this orphanage. When he informed her his theory of why, he was caught off guard by her sudden outburst, and amused by the endearing flush on her cheeks when she realized how she had reacted.

And when he wished her a happy birthday, he was shocked to find out that she hadn't even know it was today. Had it really been so hard for Dumbledore to write down both her name andbirthdate before leaving her on the front steps? Even he had known of his own, despite not caring for it much.

He continued on to tell her about Diagon Alley, impressed when she claimed she would rather go alone, and went on to explain the Hogwarts Houses and Platform Nine and Three Quarters. What didn't surprise him, was the disappointed look that crossed her face when she heard that she would have to return here each summer. He could easily sympathize with that.

When finished, he had relinquished control back to Quirrell, allowing him to say the farewells. He had used too much energy, and began restoring it immediately.

Violet Potter, strangely enough, reminded the Dark Lord of himself, and he was curious to learn more about her. Would she change upon arriving at Hogwarts? Or would this behaviour continue? Where would she be sorted? Slytherin would fit her very well, he knew. Though there was no denying that her parents and sister were all true Gryffindors.

Would she break away from the Potter mould then? He was going to have to wait and see, and if there was one thing the Dark Lord Voldemort was, it was patient...

Violet was quite sure she was in shock. She was a WitchMagic actually existed. And she could actually do it! It was the strangest thing she had ever heard, and yet, seemed to, somehow, make perfect sense to her. It was like there was a part of her that had been waiting her entire life to hear something like this.

She blindly reached for the list again, wanting to properly go through it. There was a uniform listed, books, and other equipment such as a cauldron, and a telescope and, of course, a wand. Then there were added notes that students could bring a cat, toad, or owl, and that first year students were not allowed their own broomsticks.

"This really isn't a joke, is it?" she asked herself in a murmur, still unsure of what to think. Lowering the list, she picked up her book and saved her place with the train ticket she had been given, knowing it was the safest place to keep it for now. Maybe she would have a better place for it once she returned from Diagon Alley. If it existed, that it. She still wasn't sure.

Sliding off the bed and onto her feet, Violet looked down at herself, grimacing when she realized she had met one of her possible future professors, dressed in the ugly, tattered Starlight "uniform", as they called it. Well that was a bit embarrassing. She was glad he hadn't brought it up.

Violet hated being poor. She was smart, and polite, and kind, but no one looked passed her clothing. That fact that she was an orphan didn't seem to help matters either, because for some reason, people seemed to associate stupidity with having no parents. If everything Professor Quirrell had said was true, then this was the perfect chance to change things.

He said she had money, so she was going to fix her image, no longer needing to buy second hand clothes, and wear tatters. And if people at Hogwarts thought, like the Muggles, that being an orphan meant she wasn't smart, well, she was going to prove them all wrong.

She went into her wardrobe to fish out the least ruined clothes she had, which ended up being an old pair of blue jeans that only had a rip at one of the knees, and a black sweatshirt so thin, it was actually light enough to wear in the middle of summer. Peering at herself in the cracked mirror that hung on the inside of the wardrobe's door, she brushed out her long hair, and then sighed. This was the best she was going to get, and after gathering the list and key, left her room, hoping no one would come snooping while she was gone. They couldn't lock the doors, which she hated.

Making her way into the common area, she found the Matron seated in front of the television, her usual morning glass of wine in hand, and approached, clearing her throat softly.

"What, Potter?"

The girl hesitated for a brief moment, always having hated the woman's cruel behaviour and rude attitude. "Professor Quirrell informed me about the boarding school," she said, knowing not to mention magic. "I will be leaving on the first of September, and returning at the end of June."

"Good. Your room will stay like it is."

Violet nodded. "I need to go out today to get my school supplies." They weren't allowed to leave without getting permission first.


"Thank you, ma'am." And with that, the girl left the old, run down building, releasing a sigh of relief once she was outside. It had been days since she had last been out, the Matron never having given her permission to leave before.

She stood on the doorsteps, staring down at it and remembering Quirrell's words. Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster of Hogwarts and Leader of the Light, had left her right here. Left her alone, in the middle of the night, in November. Why? Yes, Rose was the Girl-Who-Lived and was in more danger than Violet herself was, but that didn't mean that she could just be tossed aside like yesterday's garbage or something.

Biting back a scowl, she descended the steps and began to walk, looking both ways before crossing the street as she reached the first intersection, following the directions she had been given...

It didn't take Violet too long to reach the Leaky Cauldron, and she entered the pub with apprehension, unsure of what to expect. The place was dark and a bit shabby, but despite this, already seemed to have quite a few patrons, even though it was still fairly early.

No one seemed to even notice her, and Violet was perfectly fine with that, as she observed those around her. Most everyone was dressed in coloured robes, and were talking about things that made absolutely no sense to her at all. There was a strange...feeling in the air, one that she had never felt before. It was almost as if it was just magic. That she was feeling magic. But that didn't make any sense, did it?

Nervousness building, Violet bit down on her lip in an attempt to squash the emotion, and quietly walked over to the bar, behind which an elderly man stood, wiping a glass with a rag. "Excuse me," she called, trying to gain his attention.

Luckily, he noticed her immediately, and peered down at her with a kind smile. "Well good morning there, young miss. Are you looking to get into the Alley?"

"Yes, sir. Could you please show me how to get through?"

"My word, so polite for such a young thing." He set down the glass and rag, and stepped around the bar to join her. "Come on this way then." And he led her into a small courtyard. "You look awfully familiar, young miss," he said suddenly.

Violet, who had been looking around the dead ended space curiously, paused. "I coincidence, I'm sure," she replied after a brief moment. "I've never been here before." She knew she could have just told him her name, but after finding out her twin sister was so famous, she wasn't sure how they would all react.

"Hmm." Tom started down at her for a moment longer, before tapping the bricks before them in a specific pattern.

The girl stared in shock as the brick wall shifted into an archway, and she thanked the innkeeper almost absently as she stepped through, onto the cobblestoned walk, head turning this way and that as she tried to keep her jaw from dropping in a most unsightly way.

This was unbelievable, amazing...real. She couldn't believe it. Violet walked forward, still looking around, taking everything in as she made her way to the bank, as Quirrell had instructed her to do. There were so many people around, going in and out of the many strange shops, most dressed in colourful robes, and chatting merrily.

She saw a plump, red haired woman, muttering about how expensive dragon liver was, and side stepped an older woman with a vulture stuffed hat, her huge red handbag nearly smacking her in the face. The woman didn't even notice this though, too busy reprimanding a dark haired, round faced boy.

Violet kept walking until she reached a building so large, it towered over everything else, its snow white colour causing it to stand out even more. This was Gringotts, and as she started up the steps, caught her first sight of a Goblin. He bowed her through the bronze doors, and she paused before a set of silvers ones, which seemed to have a warning engraved in them.

Enter, stranger, but take heed
Of what awaits the sin of greed,
For those who take, but do not earn,
Must pay most dearly in their turn,
So if you seek beneath our floors
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, you have been warned, beware
Of finding more than treasure there.

The girl cocked a brow, intrigued, but stepped through, immediately impressed by the massive marble Hall. There was a very long counter, and more Goblins sat behind it, scribbling away, weighing coins, and examining jewels. A lot of people were here too, being led to and fro through doors, by even more Goblins.

"That you, Rose?" called a booming voice. "Ignoring me now, are yeh?"

Violet didn't react until a massive hand landed on her shoulder. She turned then, finding herself standing before the largest man she had ever seen. She merely stood there, staring, propriety forgotten for a moment.

"What've yeh done with yer glasses, Rose?"

And then the girl realized that this was her first case of mistaken identity. "I'm sorry," she replied, getting a hold of herself again, "but my name is Violet, not Rose."

The stranger blinked and repeated her name. But instead of apologizing for the mistake and walking away, he started to grin. "Violet! I haven' seen yeh since yeh were just a little baby!"

Now Violet was the one blinking. "Um, may I ask who you are?"

He kept grinning. "Name's Hagrid. Keeper of keys and grounds at Hogwarts. Yeh here for yer school stuff?"


They spoke for a few more minutes, before Hagrid decided he would accompany Violet through Gringotts. She agreed because she didn't want to be rude, and they approached one of the tellers together.

Hagrid was the one to speak to the Goblin, and Violet handed over her key, which, after a quick examination, was passed back to her. She was quite curious however, when Hagrid mentioned he had a letter from Dumbledore about a You-Know-What in vault seven hundred and thirteen.

Why was he saying it like that? Was it really that big of a secret or something? She didn't get to think about it for much longer, because the Goblin teller called another one of his kind-Griphook, who led them away, and Violet was quite shocked to see the stone passageway, narrow and lit with flaming torches. It was the complete opposite of the elaborate marble Hall she had just been in.

The three of them got into a cart that took off so rapidly, that Violet gasped in alarm, clinging to the edge tightly, afraid she'd be hurled out. And when the cart came to a stop and they got out, she was a little annoyed by how her knees were shaking a bit.

Griphook took the key from her and opened the vault door, and Violet bit back a gasp at the sight of the gold, silver, and bronze coins. There was so much money in here! Was this all hers? The Goblin, whether expecting that as a question or not, answered it regardless.

"To avoid future confusion, this vault is yours," he said. "Your sister, Miss Rose Potter, has her own trust vault that initially contained the same amount of money."

Violet took this to mean that Rose had been using her money, and now had less than she did. But she nodded to show she understood, and Hagrid then explained the money properly, the girl focusing on memorizing this, while accepting a pouch that he had filled with coins.

The three of them got into the cart again, and took off once more, the sudden speed not shocking her quite as much this time around. When they reached vault seven hundred and thirteen, Violet was curious to know what this You-Know-What was. Much to her surprise, it was just a little package that was wrapped in brown paper. She frowned as she watched Hagrid take this and hide it in an inside pocket of his large coat.

They went through one more cart ride, and soon enough, Violet was back in the massive marble hall, saying goodbye to Hagrid, who claimed he needed to return to Hogwarts to give the Headmaster whatever it was that was hidden beneath that brown paper.

Once alone, Violet wondered what to do. School supplies were first, she knew. The extra things would come after. She looked around, spotting that near everyone had large trunks, or was pushing their purchases on carts. She didn't have either, and now that she thought about it, how was she going to carry everything? She was only an eleven year old girl.

Perhaps there was a shop around here that sold trunks like the ones she was seeing? Surely there was some sort of spell that could be used on them to make them lighter or smaller or something? Nodding inwardly to herself, she headed out, beginning her search.

It didn't her very long, luckily enough, and she stepped into the shop, seeing different coloured trunks piled all along the walls, and displayed everywhere. The shop keeper, a middle aged man, seemed to be busy with another customer, so Violet merely stood back, looking around curiously as she waited.

"How may I help you today, young lady?"

Violet turned and looked up at the man, who was smiling down at her. "Good morning," she greeted politely. Gathering her thoughts, she inquired as to whether it was possible to get a trunk that was easier to handle.

"Are you a Muggleborn?" asked the shop owner curiously, no doubt asking because of her own question.

"A Half-Blood," she corrected. "But I've been living in the Muggle world my entire life."

He nodded once, clearly understanding. "A Feather-light charm, along with a Self-Shrinking charm, should be just what you need, young lady, though adding spells does cost more. If you aren't worried about money, then I would recommend a multi-compartment trunk." He paused, looked around, and then pulled a nearby trunk over. "This is just a display, but-" He pulled out his wand and tapped the lid, saying "one", opening it. Inside was a small bag. He closed it, tapped again, this time saying "two". When he opened it, the bag was gone, and in its place was an apple.

"See?" he said, looked back over at her. "There are a number of different compartments you can use to organize your belongings-something that makes things much easier, and far less hectic. Each compartment is separated by a password of your choice. Tapping the lid and saying "one", opens the first, for example, and doing the same, but saying "two", will open the second. As long as you aren't oddly rough with them, these trunks can last for a good decade."

Violet was actually quite interested. Money wasn't a problem for her, especially since she wouldn't have to buy another trunk for a good while. And the compartment bit was something she would most definitely invest in. She didn't like when things were disorganized, though that may have had more to do with the Matron punishing them harshly if they weren't. "How many compartments do you recommend?" she asked after a moment.

The man scrunched his brow up in thought. "I'd say four is a good place to start. You'd have one for clothes, books, other school supplies, and any extra things you choose to take along-pet belongings, for example."

The raven haired girl nodded. "I think I'll take one of those."

"Good choice," smiled the shop owner. "Those trunks over there-" he pointed at the left wall, "are the multi-compartment ones. The ones in that fourth row are the ones with four compartments. You can go ahead and chose from one of those. You can also set your passwords-I wouldn't choose numbers-just to be safe. To set them, just tap the lid, open the trunk, and clearly say the first password. Then close it, tap it again, open it, and say the second. Do this until you've set all four, and I'll get back to you to place the extra charms you wanted."

Violet nodded again. "Thank you, sir." She waited until the man had walked away to help someone else, before approaching the trunks that had been pointed out.

She examined them closely, immediately dismissing the coloured ones that stood out. A slate grey trunk however, caught her attention fairly quickly, and she managed to pull it over to her. It was simple, and had a nice, clean look to it. Now she just had to set the passwords.

The orphan was someone who really liked her privacy, and after everyone at Starlight always stealing her belongings, she didn't want the same thing happening at Hogwarts. So she knew her passwords had to be something no one could predict. But what?

Finally deciding, she tapped the lid of the trunk, opened it, and then said, "Aragorn". Then she closed it, tapped it again, and opened it, this time saying, "Kíli". The third password was set as, "Thorin", and the final, "Legolas".* Satisfied that these wouldn't be so obvious, she waited for the shop keeper to return to her.

It took just about five minutes, but soon enough, he was placing the extra spells she had wanted-just the two though. Violet paid for all this, glad for the added explanation that she wouldn't get in trouble for using magic, since the spells were on the trunk already, and not something she was doing herself.

After leaving the trunk shop, Violet pondered on where to go next. She passed a platinum haired boy, and entered a place called Madam Malkin's, where she was measured for robes. She debating on getting other clothes too, and finally decided that she would, asking the mauve loving woman if there were any other clothing stores around.

Not wanting to spend too much money on this though, she only bought a couple of outfits, and nothing too expensive. She just didn't want to wear things with holes in them any more, and this was good enough for now.

She went to Flourish and Blotts next, and got all her school books. She ended up staying in there much longer than she had planned though, intrigued by the many books. Violet wandered, side stepping many people, and having to reach around a bushy haired girl that seemed to be everywhere in the store. She managed to talk herself into buying just a couple of extra books, with a promise that she would come back some other time.

Afterwards, Violet went through her list again, and bought whatever else was noted down, along with a few other things she thought might be needed, or heard others say were needed, like Potion ingredients, stashing all her purchases into her trunk, which would shrink so she could keep it in her pocket.

Soon, Violet found herself standing in Ollivander's wand shop. It was a pretty small store, with hundreds of narrow boxes piled right up to the ceiling, lining all the walls. The girl stood still and silent, feeling a strange buzz run through her. It was so quiet in here that it was almost a little creepy.

"Good morning, Violet Potter."

The girl jumped and looked up. An old man stood behind the counter, with light, almost silver coloured eyes. "Good morning," she returned, surprised she hadn't been mixed up with her sister again.

"I had a feeling I would see you today," the man continued in a low, whispery voice. "I remember when your parents were buying their first wands. Your mother had a nice wand for charms. Ten and a quarter inches, swishy, made of willow. Your father's was better for transfiguration. Eleven inches, pliable, mahogany. Your sister's is a cross between both. Ten inches, swishy, mahogany."

He made a soft, tutting sound. "Such a sad fate that girl has. The scar ties her to it, and I'm afraid I sold the wand that did it. Thirteen and a half inches, yew, powerful wand."

Violet knew he was talking about Voldemort, but wondered whether Rose's fate was really as sad as Ollivander was making it out to be. Professor Quirrell had said Dumbledore believed the Dark Lord was going to come back and come after her sister. Would he really?

Her right arm was measured, and she was handed multiple wands to try, most seeming similar to the wand that had chosen Rose, because apparently, twins often ended up with ones like that. But none of these seemed to work for Violet, and Ollivander seemed to only be getting happier with each fail.

Then suddenly, an odd look crossed his face. "I wonder... Try this. Eleven inches, nice and supple, holly and phoenix feather. Unusual combination."

Violet had only just closed her fingers around it, when she felt a warmth rushing not just through her hand, but her entire body. She brought the wand down, and bright sparks shot out the end, which had Ollivander applauding cheerfully.

The man took the wand back and began wrapping it up. Then he looked up. "This wand, Miss Potter, has a brother wand. The phoenix whose tail feather is in your wand, gave just one other feather. And that feather is the core of the wand that gave your sister the fate that she now carries. I had thought, when Rose came in, that this wand would have chosen her. How curious that it chose you instead."


Violet paid for the wand, and left the shop with a frown, wondering why she had the brother wand to the Dark Lord, and her sister didn't. It was really weird.

Having finished all her shopping now, the raven haired girl was about to leave Diagon Alley, when she remembered what Quirrell had said about getting a pet. There were only three options, unless you got special permission, but the professor had suggested an owl, saying they were more useful because they also delivered mail and whatnot.

She hesitated for a long moment. They weren't allowed to have pets at the orphanage, but having an owl would make life so much easier. Would getting one really be worth the extra punishments though? No, it really wasn't. She didn't have anyone who would write to her anyway. Maybe she would make friends at Hogwarts and get one then, but for now, no, she wouldn't.

With that decision made, Violet, unwillingly, left Diagon Alley, stepped out of the Leaky Cauldron, and walked back to Starlight.

The Matron nodded at her when she returned, likely just waiting for her to do something she could be punished for. Ignoring this, Violet returned to her room, pleased when it looked untouched. Collapsing onto her bed, she pulled her train ticket out of her book, and stared at it.

A month. Just one month before she could leave this place without having to return for a good ten months. Maybe even never, if she got permission, and she was most definitely going to ask...

*If that was me, and I was using all my favourite characters from the Hobbit/LOTR, I'd need like, a nine compartment trunk for Thorin, Fíli, Kíli, Dwalin, Thranduil, Aragorn, Legolas, Elrond, and Haldir. ...Maybe Violet will have more in the future.

Chapter Text

Tomorrow was the day. Tomorrow was the first of September, and Violet was finally going to go to Hogwarts. She had already reminded the Matron of this, and had packed everything back up, which she had needed to do after taking all her new textbooks out to read.

When she went to bed that night, it was to a rather poor sleep. She had a strange dream about flashing green lights and flying motorbikes, but she forgot about it almost immediately because she was too nervous and excited about what would happen the next day...

Violet woke early the next morning, and double checked everything before going to breakfast, which was just a slice of buttered toast and half a glass of orange juice. The Matron, seeming very pleased, once again confirmed whether or not she was leaving today, and when she would come back. She was likely just glad to be getting rid of her for a while. Not that Violet minded. She didn't want to be here anyway.

At half past ten, the raven haired girl set out for King's Cross station. Because it was within walking distance, it wasn't going to take her very long to get there, so she didn't need to worry about being late.

The station was as busy as usual, but Violet made her way over to the barrier and, just as Professor Quirrell had instructed, leaned up against it. A second later, she felt the brick wall give away, and when she opened her eyes (when had she even closed them?), found herself staring at a train. A scarlet steam engine, to be precise.


The platform was packed with adults and children, and there were cats meowing, and owls hooting, and even a toad or two croaking faintly in the din. Violet walked forward towards the train, watching people pushing and pulling large, heavy trunks around, trying to get them onto the train and into compartments. She knew the students couldn't use magic here, but why didn't the adults shrink the trunks or make them lighter? It would have saved them all a lot of time and effort, and stubbed toes.

Shrugging inwardly, she tried to find an empty compartment, noticing quite a few people seemed to be staring at her in confusion. It took a moment, but Violet then remembered she apparently had a twin sister who actually knew about this world, and often came and visited. Since Rose was famous, everyone probably knew what she looked like, and Violet assumed the reason she was being stared at was because she looked like her. Yeah, that made sense. And was also rather annoying.

Ignoring them, the emerald eyed girl finally managed to find a compartment near the end of the train. She stepped in, shutting the door behind her, and taking a seat next to the window. She could still see the platform, and wondered if she would be able to catch a glimpse of her sister and relatives. She had to admit, she was curious about them. Who wouldn't be?

Frowning, Violet once again wondered why exactly she had been the one to be left behind in an orphanage. Yes, she understood Rose was in more danger than her, but honestly, if Voldemort did come back, what was stopping him from coming after her-Violet-first? Once you considered that, wasn't she in just as much danger as her sister? Or did it just not matter because Rose was the Girl-Who-Lived and Violet wasn't?

She didn't get to think on this for much longer, because the compartment door suddenly slid open, revealing two people, a girl and boy. Both seemed the same age as her.

"Excuse me? Do you mind?" asked the girl.

Violet shook her head. "Go ahead." She was alone in here anyway.

The two entered, struggling to place their trunks above them, before they sat down across her, a slightly awkward silence filling the space, which had the green eyed girl sighing inwardly, figuring she may as well introduce herself-just to be polite. She prided herself on having good manners, despite being a "stupid, filthy orphan".

"I'm Violet," she said, and the other two looked up almost gratefully.

"Hermione," said the other girl. She had bushy, brown hair, and front teeth that looked just a little bit big for her mouth. But she seemed kind enough.

"Neville," said the boy rather shyly. He had dark hair as well, and a round face, but looked nice too.

After another moment of silence, the three began talking about Hogwarts. They spoke of the Houses and the classes, and Violet learned that Neville was a Pureblood, and Hermione a Muggleborn. She told them that she was a Half-Blood, but she had grown up in the Muggle world because she was an orphan, which surprised the other two.

Both were sorry to hear that, but Neville had an odd look on his face, and seemed to be looking at her closer now, like he was thinking hard about something. He didn't say anything though, merely shaking his head when she asked, and they continued chatting, getting along rather well, which surprised Violet a little, because that didn't normally happen with her.

Hours passed, and the three eleven year olds had bought some snacks from the witch pushing the sweets trolley. Hermione avoided anything with too much sugar, saying her parents were dentists, but Neville explained what certain things were to Violet, who hadn't heard of any of these, and got many of them. All three were still talking about where they were going, wondering how they were going to be "Sorted" as people were calling it.

"Gran didn't want to tell me," said Neville with a shrug. "She said I should just wait and see."

"Professor Sprout didn't tell me either," sighed Hermione. Like Violet, a professor had come to explain things to her and her parents. "What about you, Violet?"

The smaller girl opened her mouth to speak, but was cut off before she could even begin, when the compartment door suddenly slid open, causing the three occupants to look over in surprise.

Standing in the doorway was a young, platinum haired boy with a pale, pointed face. His silver eyes swept over Neville and Hermione dismissively, before landing on Violet. He smirked. "Well, well, well. If it isn't Rose Potter; the Girl-Who-Lived herself."

Hermione and Neville's heads snapped over immediately, both staring at her in shock, obviously having heard of her. Violet however, merely regarded the well-dressed boy.

"I'm sorry, but it seems you have me mistaken for someone else. My name is Violet."

The pale boy's eyes narrowed, and then widened. "Violet Potter," he practically whispered.

Now Neville's eyes widened too, as he suddenly realized something. "You're Rose's twin sister!"

Hermione gasped. Violet just sighed softly, but nodded, validating this statement. "Yes. My name is Violet Potter, and apparently, Rose is my twin sister."

The other girl in the compartment opened her mouth, about to say something. She wasn't able to even get the first syllable out though, because the platinum haired boy began to speak at the same time.

"Draco Malfoy," he stated, offering his hand.

Violet took his hand and the two shook. "Nice to meet you."

Releasing her hand, Malfoy inclined his head, and left the compartment after hearing someone call for him. The first three were left alone once more.

"I never knew Rose Potter had a twin," said Hermione with a frown. "None of the books said anything."

And while Neville stayed oddly quiet, Violet scoffed. "I had no idea either."

The Muggleborn blinked. "You didn't? But you're the twin we're talking about!"

"I know I'm the twin we're speaking of," said Violet. And she briefly explained how she had been left at the orphanage. "Professor Quirrell was the one who informed me of this world and what I am, along with my family. I knew nothing about any of this before."

"Why weren't you and your sister placed in the same place?" wondered Hermione.

The other girl merely shrugged, unwilling to get into the details that she didn't quite yet understand herself.

Silence reigned in the compartment once more, and Neville suddenly changed the topic, as if sensing that things were quickly becoming uncomfortably awkward. The emerald eyed girl was quite pleased with that, and joined in, Hermione doing the same a mere moment later.

Once again, things picked up, and the journey to Hogwarts continued in peace...

A few more hours passed before the Hogwarts Express came to a stop, the children all dismounting the train, and gathering on the darkened, chilly platform of what, Hermione had said, was Hogsmeade village.

"Firs' years! Firs' years, over here!"

Violet, along with her future classmates, all followed Hagrid. But even as she did this, the emerald eyed girl still peered around for her sister curiously. She had yet to see her, and had expected people would be talking about her. It seems not.

Her thoughts shattered around her when she got her first glimpse of Hogwarts. There was a huge black lake, and across it, a mountain. On top of this, was a massive castle, with many turrets, and the hundreds, or perhaps thousands of windows were lit with what must have been torches.

"No more'n four to a boat!"

Violet got into one with Hermione, Neville, and some dark skinned boy. The boats began to move on their own, practically gliding across the lake. The castle towered over them as they moved closer to it, and no one spoke, the sound of gently lapping water all to be heard.

They docked at a cliff, and climbed out, following Hagrid up a passage, before coming out onto dewed grass, in front of a very big wooden door...

Entering the Great Hall was as much of a shock as seeing Hogwarts from the outside. There were five long tables, four for students-probably for each House, and one for teachers, and these were lined with golden dishes that surely must have been expensive. The Hall itself was lit with hundreds, if not thousands of floating candles, and the ceiling looked more like the night sky. Violet had read something about this in one of the books she had gotten. It was bewitched to resemble the sky outside, and she heard Hermione whispering the same thing.

Stopping in front of the teachers table, Violet watched as a pointed hat was placed on a stool, and listened, surprised, as it sang. She found herself relieved that all she was going to have to do was put the hat on. She, Hermione, and Neville had been wondering, and this was going to be far simpler than, well, almost anything else, really.

And so, McGonagall pulled out a scroll of parchment, and began to read off names, eventually reaching someone Violet actually knew: "Granger, Hermione!"

Hermione rushed over and all but jammed the Sorting Hat onto her head as she sat down on the stool. She looked quite eager, and Violet wondered where she would be placed. Soon enough-


The busy haired girl hurried off, and another few names passed, before- "Longbottom, Neville!"

Neville stumbled over, trembling noticeably. He was clearly very nervous, and the Hat remained silent for a long, awkward moment, before finally calling-


Forgetting the Hat, the dark haired boy had to rush back to hand it over to the next person who had been called, after which he joined his new House-mates.

"Malfoy, Draco!"

Unlike Neville, Malfoy sauntered over to the stool. He sat down, and the Hat had barely touched his head, when it called out-


He continued sauntering, looking rather pleased. Violet had heard him bragging about joining that very House because it was in his blood. Apparently his parents had been in the same House, along with many family members for generations or something like that.

In any case, her attention was caught when a set of twin girls (Patil, Padma and Patil, Parvati) were called, and she watched curiously, wondering whether they would be Sorted into the same House. Some red haired boy had been talking about all his brothers, and his parents having been in the same one. What would she do if she was placed in the same House as her own sister?

But, and perhaps this was a good thing for her, but Padma was put into Ravenclaw, and her sister, Parvati, into Gryffindor. Okay, so there was no guarantee she and her sister would be together. And then she realized Professor McGonagall was already at the "P's", and "Potter" was going to be coming very soon.

"Potter, Rose!"

There were some whispers in the Hall, which were practically drowned out by cheers, and Violet finally got her first look of her twin.

She and Rose were definitely twins. Like Hagrid had indicated, Rose wore glasses, but they were not very large, or look out of place. In fact, they framed her face nicely, though Violet noticed that while they both had green eyes, her own seemed to be much brighter than her sister's. Other than that, Rose's hair was shorter, sitting around her shoulders, while Violet's flowed down her back. There didn't seem to be any other obvious differences between them.

Maybe it was the smile on her face, or maybe it was her posture, or maybe it was both of those and more, but somehow, Violet could tell that Rose was happier than she had ever been herself. She'd clearly had a much better life so far, and Violet wasn't sure if she should be happy, or not.


Grinning, Rose pulled the Hat off her head, and headed off to her new House Table, many of whom were cheering loudly, causing Violet to cringe slightly. How many of them knew of her existence? She would soon find out.

"Potter, Violet!"

The Hall, which had been fairly loud just a moment ago, fell into silence, before the shocked whispers broke out. The girl caught a few up them as she made her way up to the stool. Most were repeating her name in confusion, and seemed astonished that the Girl-Who-Lived had a twin, which none of them seemed to have known. Strange, then how had Malfoy and Neville known?

Sitting down on the hard stool, the Hat was then placed onto her head, the brim falling over her eyes because it was so large. Unsure of what to expect, she nearly jumped when she heard a voice in her ears.

"Oh ho! Another Potter, I see! And vastly different than your sister too. A good mind, and talent-and oh, a thirst to prove yourself. How very interesting. Where shall I place you...?"

Violet wondered whether it really mattered. Wherever she was placed, she was determined to prove to everyone that she was not some 'stupid, filthy orphan', no she was going to prove them all wrong.

"Hm hm! Oh, you remind me of another student from many years ago. He had the same mindset as you. Yes, yes I know where to put you now-SLYTHERIN!" The last word was yelled out for everyone to hear.

And as the Hat was pulled off her head, Violet noticed whispers had once again broken out, about Rose Potter's twin being a Snake. Right... Ignoring them, Violet joined the Slytherins. They did not outright ignore her, but their greetings, for the most part, were cool, and many were quick to look away.

Curious about this behaviour, Violet returned her attention to the rest of the Sorting, though kept an eye on her fellow House-mates. Would they behave as the other children from Starlight? Would she have to defend herself against them as well?

Once the Sorting ended, the Headmaster-Professor Dumbledore (Violet frowned), got to his feet to say a few, strange, words, before the feast began. The girl had to make sure her jaw didn't drop when the food appeared. She had never seen so much before, not all at once, and it took her a moment to pull through and pick a few things, beginning to eat carefully. Starlight never offered anything like any of these dishes, and it was all wonderful...

While she ate, the students around her spoke, not to her, but one another. She listened regardless, hearing about their blood statuses, the classes they would be taking, the professors, the other Houses, and so on.

Dinner became dessert, and after finishing a slice of some delicious treacle tart, Violet glanced up at the Head Table, eyes immediately landing on Professor Quirrell, who was rather hard to miss in that turban of his. He was speaking to the teacher seated next to him-one with dark hair and eyes, a slightly larger nose than normal, and who was fully dressed in black. She couldn't recall ever having seen him before, but at the same time, she felt as if she knew him. How weird...

With the feast finally finished, the Headmaster once again rose, and this time, had a proper speech, most of which were rules. The Forbidden Forest on the grounds was, as its name suggested, forbidden; magic was not to be used in the corridors; and Quidditch try outs were to be held in a couple of weeks. Violet only knew a little about the sport-just what Neville had explained.

"And finally," said Dumbledore, looking quite serious, "the third floor corridor on the right hand side is out of bounds to anyone who does not wish to die a most painful death."

Some of the students in the Hall laughed, but Violet frowned. Why mention it then? she wondered. Children are curious, and by telling us we can't go there, some will want to. If you didn't mention it, then no one would know, and since I'm sure you can use magic to block the area off, no one would be able to get through anyway. Were all adults lacking common sense or something?

It was only a few minutes later that they were all dismissed, and Violet, along with her fellow new Slytherins, followed their House's 'Prefects' as they were called, down into the dungeons. Oh. Well, what a lovely place to live for the next seven years. Sarcasm fully intended.

Heading down a corridor, they came to a stop in front of a wall, and Violet made sure to glance around and make note of anything peculiar, so she wouldn't end up getting lost. At this point, one of the Prefects, the girl, turned to them, informing them that the entrance to their Common Room was behind the wall, and to get in, they would need a password-which she then recited.

Stepping inside, Violet was taken aback by the sight, perhaps more than she should have been. It was dark, which was expected, seeing as they were underground, and not as damp as one might have expected. The entire, massive room, was tinged green, due to the greenish lamps, giving the space a rather eerie looking glow. This also seemed to be because they were apparently partially under the lake. Magic was strange. There were many low backed chairs and leather sofas, all in dark green or black, and dark wood cupboards which must have had some something or another stored in them. There were some skulls around too, which, despite being rather strange, seemed oddly fitting. There were also tapestries, decorated with those who must have been living in medieval times. The atmosphere was grand, but cold. Violet quite liked it.

Mister and Miss Prefect allowed them the chance to peer around, before explaining that their dorm rooms were off in the back-left for the boys, and right for girls. As they had the entire dungeons to themselves, students had their own rooms, which could only be opened by their owners, Head of House, Deputy Headmistress, Headmaster, or anyone they themselves gave permission to. Salazar Slytherin, their House's creator, enjoyed his privacy, and this was shown here.

"The password to enter our Common Room changes every fortnight," stated Mister Prefect, "so ensure you pay attention to the noticeboard." He looked up, past them, and then inclined his head. "Professor Snape will have a few words with you all now." And he stepped back.

Violet looked round, and saw the black clad professor from the Head Table, approach. He stopped only once he was standing before them all, onyx eyes sweeping over them, unimpressed.

"I am Professor Severus Snape," he began, his voice low and almost dark sounding, if that made sense. "I am the Head of Slytherin House, and the Potions Master." He went on to say that as Slytherins, they needed to prepare themselves to be treated harshly by the other three Houses. That Snakes had a cruel reputation around them, and they were going to have to deal with it. "You may retaliate against those harming you in any way, though if you choose to do so, then do not get caught. I will be lenient with you around other Houses, however, rest assured, I willpunish you the way I see fit later on."

The man's gaze swept over them again, and Violet noticed that they lingered on her for a bit longer. Though his expression remained blank, there was an odd look in his eyes that she was unable to recognize. He looked away before she could determine what it was though.

"Regardless of any...personal conflicts you may have with one another, I expect you all to remain banded together while around those not of our House."

Why he glanced back at her when he said that, Violet didn't know, but she listened anyway, nodding along with the others. The professor didn't look like one you would want to get on the wrong side of. He finished talking after a few more moments, and after inclining his head, left them alone.

Mister and Miss Prefect took over again, splitting them off into boys and girls, and then leading them in opposite directions. Violet, along with four other girls, was then told that the rooms they chose would remain theirs until they graduated, and then allowed them to pick which one they wanted.

They were standing in a short hallway that had six doors-three on each wall. A dark haired, pug faced girl-Pansy Parkinson, if Violet remembered, chose the nearest room, and then two others, Daphne Greengrass and Tracy Davis, took the ones next to and across hers. Millicent Bullstrode chose the room next to Greengrass, so Violet took the one next to Davis.

Parkinson, Greengrass, and Bullstrode had the rooms on the right wall, and Davis and Violet had the ones on the left. Miss Prefect informed them that once they stepped through the doorway, the privacy spells would activate, and they would have to invite friends in for them to actually be able to enter. Their rooms were not protected by passwords, so they had to be careful of who they allowed inside their space. She then followed up with when meals were, and a couple of other things they were required to know.

Nodding to show they understood, Miss Prefect returned the gesture, before walking off and leaving them be. The other girls entered their rooms, so Violet turned to do the same. The door was a dark wood, with a doorknob shaped like a snake's head. This wasn't the first snake she had seen either. In fact, that seemed to be a theme for Slytherins, or so she assumed, after having noted many of them throughout the Common Room.

Mentally shrugging, she turned the knob, opened the door, and stepped through, shutting it behind her. The room was a good size-not very big, but larger than her room back in the orphanage. Green and silver seemed to be the colour scheme, but she rather liked it, so she doubted she would need to change it-however one might do that.

There was a large bed, a desk with a chair, a wardrobe, and two arm chairs by a small table. All of these were made of a dark wood-she didn't know what exactly, and dark fabric. A door at the other end of the room led to a bathroom that followed the colour pattern, though it was on the smaller side.

Pleased, Violet pulled out her trunk and set it on the floor, tapping it once. It enlarged back to its original size, and she lowered down next to it, beginning to unpack her belongings and put them in their new places. She didn't have much, so it didn't take very long, and she worked mostly on auto-pilot, thinking about what she had seen of her sister.

As she had been making her way over to Slytherin Table, Violet had managed to catch another glimpse of Rose, and suffice to say, she hadn't looked too pleased to see Violet. She didn't want to judge her twin too quickly, seeing as she knew next to nothing about her, but that look hadn't been a good start at all...

Tired from the long day, she changed into her pyjamas (which were new, as she hadn't realized she would be getting her own room), brushed her hair and teeth, washed her face, and then settled into bed, marvelling at the feel of the soft mattress and sheets. This was nothing like her hard cot, and, oh yes, was definitely going to take some getting used to.

The candle on the bedside table blew out on its own, and she released a soft sigh, pulling the covers back up and mentally reminding herself of when she would need to head up for breakfast.

She was glad Salazar Slytherin had been such a private person, because she wasn't sure if she would have been able to share a room with others. After the orphanage, well, she wanted her space. At least she no longer had to worry about people walking into her room whenever they pleased, and stealing all her things when she wasn't there.

Violet, for the first time, finally felt as if she had a place where she could

Chapter Text

When Violet woke the next morning, it took her a moment to recall where she was. Once she had, a smile broke out across her face. She wasn't at the orphanage. She was at Hogwarts. It hadn't been a cruel dream. It was all real.

Sliding out of the comfortable bed, she checked the time, and then began getting dressed for her first day of classes. But when she opened the door of her wardrobe, she paused in surprise. Her robes, which had all been plain black, now had, what she assumed, was Slytherin House's crest-she had seen them on the older students. And there were ties as well, silver and green. How had they appeared like this?

Frowning slightly, she dressed regardless, and after brushing her hair, left her room. It was still fairly early, but the Common Room already had quite a few students in it, most chatting quietly. None of them paid her any mind, so she left silently.

Following the mental markers she had made the evening before, she retraced them to the Great Hall and, hiding her anxiousness, stepped inside. Gryffindor Table was all but deserted, a few students littered Hufflepuff Table, Ravenclaw Table was near packed, and Slytherin Table was about half full.

Violet could tell First years were to sit at the end of the table, so she took a seat across a fellow new student-the only other First year there. It was a boy, the same age as her, of course. He was on the thin and lanky side, as if his body was a bit big for him, but Violet had seen this before at Starlight, and figured he would end up being quite tall later on, once he filled out. His hair was a bit longer than Malfoy's, but was sandy blond in colour, and he had blue eyes that reminded the girl of a clear sky.

Oddly enough, he was the first to react to her, and though he didn't speak, he nodded his head, as if in greeting. She returned the motion, and reached out for the pitcher of milk. It was too far though, and she had to stretch, silently cursing her small frame. A huff of laughter had her looking up, and the boy took the pitcher, and held it out for her.

Violet froze for half a second, not at all used to something even as simple as this, before taking it. "Thank you," she offered politely. The boy merely inclined his head again, and she, biting back a frown, poured herself some milk.

Setting her plate, the girl began to eat in silence, hearing more people entering the Hall and sitting further down the table. Out of curiosity, she glanced back up at the boy across her-what was his name again?-and saw that he was still watching her. But there was no irritation, or anger, or amusement, or malice in his eyes. In fact, he sort of looked as if he were attempting to work out a puzzle.

She looked away, curiosity building, glancing over when the other First years arrived and took a seat beside her. Parkinson sat down next to her, but merely nodded curtly. Violet returned the gesture. She wasn't yet sure why their behaviour was as it was, but she knew she would learn soon enough. She was quite observant, after all, so even if they said nothing, she would still figure it out. At least, she hoped so.

Throughout breakfast, the other children discussed matters between themselves, most of them clearly already knowing one another. Just as the previous night, they ignored Violet, who ate in silence, listening curiously to those nearby. It was a wonder what one could learn when others believed you could not hear them.

Unfortunately, none of it was particularly interesting. They were mainly speaking of what classes they might have today, and so on in that nature. It was nothing she wasn't going to learn herself in the coming days, if not within the next few moments.

And sure enough, Professor Snape soon approached their table, beginning to hand out their schedules without a word. Violet accepted her own with a polite "thank you", garnering her an odd look from the man. But he moved on quickly, preventing her from putting much thought into it.

Frowning slightly at this, she mentally shrugged it off before examining her timetable. She only had two classes today: Herbology and History of Magic-both in the morning. She would be free for the rest of the day. Well, that didn't sound so bad.

The main problem would be finding the classrooms. Hogwarts was a massive castle, and her grounds were just as large. Violet didn't want to be late, but honestly, who knew how long it would take her to find where she needed to go?

When she looked up from her schedule, she noticed the other students were beginning to leave the Hall, no doubt heading to their first class. With a soft sigh, Violet decided she ought to do the same, before she ended up being late and losing points or something.

Putting her timetable into her bag, she got to her feet and swung it over her shoulder, before leaving the Great Hall. Having heard the others say Herbology was taking place in the greenhouses outside, she walked out of the nearby front doors, before pausing. Where exactly were these greenhouses? Why hadn't the professors bothered telling them? Surely first years at least deserved a map or something?

"This way."

Starting slightly, Violet looked over, only to find that same sandy haired, blue eyed boy from before. "Sorry?"

"The greenhouses," he replied. "They're this way. Come on."

Nodding, Violet followed before falling into step beside him. Both were silent for a moment as they walked, as if neither were sure of what to say. The boy stopped suddenly, and she did the same.

"Theodore Nott," he offered somewhat awkwardly, extending a hand.

The girl accepted it with a small smile. "Violet Potter." And with that, the tension was broken and the two continued on their way, a new friendship in the making...

The greenhouse they had class in was large, and damp with humidity, but the plants there more than made up for it. Violet had never seen them before, hadn't even heard of them, and was fascinated by them.

The Hufflepuffs, who they had the lesson with, were somewhat frightened of them, likely because they had heard of how cruel the Slytherins were, but Neville, whom Violet had met on the train, didn't seem scared of her at all. In fact, he had greeted her with a smile and shy "hello", and offered to explain what she hadn't understood. Herbology seemed to come naturally to him.

Professor Sprout was their teacher, and as the Head of Hufflepuff House, she was, naturally, slightly biased, but not obviously so. It appeared she was more concerned in ensuring no fight broke out between the two Houses. There were a few jeers from the Slytherins, but other than that, everyone remained well behaved enough...

After Herbology, Violet said goodbye to Neville, and she, along with the other Snakes, made their way to History of Magic, which they had with the Ravenclaws. Violet was quite shocked when she realized their professor was to be a ghost, and wondered how that even made any sense.

Theodore, who had learned of some things from his father, explained to her that Professor Binns had fallen asleep one day, died, and then gone on to continue his normal life as a ghost. When Violet had asked him whether it was even allowed for a ghost to teach a class, the boy had simply shrugged his shoulders, and said he had no idea.

And while having a ghost for a teacher would have been interesting in any other case, Binns only succeeded in making the lesson as boring as watching paint dry, his voice a monotone with zero pitch or enthusiasm. He simply droned on and on, and never answered questions, because it seemed he didn't even notice they were there.

Violet, who was normally very attentive in school, had a difficult time keeping herself awake, and saw more than one Slytherin begin to nod off. She certainly couldn't blame them. The Ravenclaws seemed to be almost immune though, and sat there all lesson, taking notes. Hermione, whom Violet had also met on the train, shot her a reproachful look when she saw her attention fading, but the emerald eyed girl merely smiled, and tried her best to focus.

She knew, even after just one class, that History of Magic was something she was going to have to learn on her own through reading textbooks...

The next morning Slytherins had Herbology again, which went practically the same as the day before. Violet was a sort of buffer between the two Houses, situating herself between Neville and Theodore, and speaking with both, despite the sneers she earned from others. Having grown up at Starlight, sneering did nothing to affect her. She found it to be rather childish, actually, especially when done by someone who didn't even know how to sneer...

The Snakes had Defence Against the Dark Arts after that, again with the Ravenclaws and this, Violet was quite curious about. Many of her House mates didn't seem to care much for the class, laughing at others who did. They, it seemed, were all for the Dark Arts themselves, and found the defence part of it to be comical.

After the first lesson, Violet could only think that the entire thing had been a joke. She had spoken to Professor Quirrell before, but he was different here than he'd been when she had first met him. Some of her classmates had mocked his stutter, or that the entire classroom smelt of garlic, but that wasn't what had bothered her.

Students had asked questions that he hadn't been able to answer, and it almost seemed as if he was frightened of his own topics, which didn't make any sense at all. Why teach it if you're scared of it? Violet just didn't understand why the professor had changed so much in just a month's time...

Wednesday morning was Herbology again, and after that, Astronomy, though as the second class wasn't to take place until midnight, the Slytherin first years had nearly the entire day free.

Violet chose to spend hers in the massive library, doing the homework they had gotten over the last couple of days, most of which were essays. There was some research to be done, but most of the answers were in their textbooks. In fact, the hardest thing for her, was trying to write with a quill.

The girl had only ever used pencils and pens before, and while she normally had very good penmanship, her first few results with the quill had ended up looking worse than chicken scratch. Huffing, she set down her parchment.

"Er-what's that even supposed to say?"

She glanced up at Theodore, who was seated with her at the table. "I don't even remember."

The boy blinked, and then chuckled, blue eyes shining. "Here, let me show you how to use that..."

Violet was more than slightly relieved when, after a good hour and a half, she was able to write at least legibly. It wasn't the best, and she wasn't particularly happy with it, but it was certainly better than before.

"You'll get better," Theodore assured her. "It just takes some practise."

The raven haired girl nodded, brushing her fringe out of her eyes. "Yeah, thank you." She frowned slightly. "I wonder why students aren't taught to use quills?"


Violet looked over at her new friend. "Purebloods and most Half-bloods probably have no issues, but Muggleborns and people like myself, who have grown up in the Muggle world, we don't use quills. It's already strange enough to be here, but telling us we have to use these," she raised the feathered writing utensil, "instead of pens or pencils, makes something as simple as writing our names harder than anything."

Theodore frowned now too. "You know," he began slowly, "now that I think about it, I've heard other Muggleborns say the same thing over the last couple of days. I kept thinking that they were just exaggerating, but they really aren't, huh?" He leaned back in his seat. "It is kind of weird, now that I think about it. I remember Father telling me to make sure my handwriting is perfect, because some professors dock points if it's bad."

The girl sighed, looking down at her Herbology essay. "It's almost like they just don't care about people coming from the Muggle world," she muttered, half to herself.

Her friend just shrugged, and the two went back to work...

By midnight, the Slytherin and Hufflepuff first years were up on the Astronomy Tower for their final class of the day. At first, Violet was in awe of the view. Living in London, surrounded by all that artificial light, she'd never had the chance to see so many stars, and having a clear view like this was utterly breathtaking.

And then, when class, taught by Professor Sinistra, actually began, her enthusiasm couldn't help but fade a little, as she realized how far behind the Wizarding world was in discoveries, as compared to the Muggle world. Some of the information given to them, even in just this first class, was old and wrong, and Violet bit her tongue to keep silent. Hopefully this would change in future classes...

Charms with the Hufflepuffs the next morning was taught by Professor Flitwick, the Head of Ravenclaw House. He was a tiny man, who Violet thought must have had some Goblin blood in him. He was eager and excitable, and squeaked when he reached her name, before sending her a welcoming smile.

Class began with a lecture on what they would be learning throughout the year, before they practised wand movements...

Transfiguration with the Ravenclaws was next, and this was taught by Professor McGonagall, who was the Head of Gryffindor House. She was strict, clever, and didn't seem to like them-the Slytherins, very much. Violet had quickly realized that Slytherins and Gryffindors didn't get along very well at all, so she wasn't all that surprised.

She started her class with a lecture as well, before having them take notes. Violet struggled slightly with this. She normally had no problems with note taking, but it was hard to write quickly with a quill. She hoped Theodore was right when he said she'd get used to it.

After finishing up their notes, the professor demonstrated how to turn a match into a needle, before setting them to work. Draco Malfoy voiced how doing this was beneath him, but had an eager glint in his eye regardless. Violet bit back a smile when she saw this, exchanged an amused glance with her friend who'd noticed the same, and the two focused on what they needed to do.

It was far harder than McGonagall had made it look, Violet quickly realized. Hermione had been the very first in the class to get hers, earning her five points for her House. Only Theodore had managed to transfigure the match properly on his first try in their own House, and he had looked quite shocked about it too, obviously not having expected it to work so quickly.

Curious and eager for the same result, the girl turned her attention back to her own match, and tried, only to fail. She frowned and tried again, failing once more. Then she tried to focus on actuallyseeing the match turn into a needle, and tried once more. This time she succeeded, and bit back a grin.

Some of the students, the Slytherins in particular, shot her glares when they saw, but she ignored them, too pleased with herself at the moment.

"Well done, Miss Potter." Professor McGonagall wasn't smiling, but her eyes had softened ever so slightly.

Violet could have sworn she saw sadness in them for a brief second, but it was gone so fast she was sure she'd simply imagined it. After all, what reason would the Head of the Lions have to be sad for a Snake?

Violet was happy when she woke Friday morning, because the weekend was finally in sight. As eager as she was to learn, she was utterly exhausted. This first week had completely tired her out.

They only had one class that day too, which certainly helped matters. Too bad it was going to be a double lesson though. So, later that morning, Violet and Theodore, along with their House mates, found themselves standing outside the dungeon Potion classroom.

The Gryffindors, who they had the class with, arrived soon after, and Violet hid her surprise when Rose and the tall red haired boy next to her approached her, pushing through a few others to do so. If she had thought that she and her sister would manage to get along, she was swiftly proven wrong. Though it wasn't all too surprising, since she had witnessed what Rose had done over the week, and some of the professors had mentioned a few things to her as well.

Stopping in front of her, Rose looked her up and down, before locking eyes. "So, still alive, are you? Still living in that filthy orphanage?" She smirked along with the redhead. "It's so unfortunate that you weren't important enough to stay with family." She tapped her finger on her lips. "But you know, you owe me, Violet. If I hadn't been there that night when Voldemort attacked-"

Many gasped in shock at the sound of the Dark Lord's name.

"-you would have died," she continued, ignoring the others around them. She sighed now, expression saddened. "I'm sure our parents are so very disappointed in you though. They were Gryffindors, you know, and now you're a filthy Snake instead of a proud Lion like the rest of us."

There were indignant sounds from the Slytherins, most of whom seemed like they were close to pulling out their wands, more to defend themselves from the insult, rather than her. Violet, however, stopped them with a single look, before turning her attention back to her sister.

Holding herself up straight, she fixed Rose with a cold gaze that had the redhead boy paling slightly. "I'd rather live in an orphanage than with whoever taught you those appalling manners," she retorted calmly, referring to her sister shoving past others to get near her. "Oh, and thank you so very much for saving my life," she added rather sarcastically. "However, in my view, I seem to be showing more respect to our parents by being not just a good student, but a decent human being, which seems to be more than you can say. After all, despite being aware that I existed, unlike myself, it appears now that you've never once bothered even claiming you wanted to see or meet me."

Rose just scoffed. "Why bother?"

Violet merely raised a brow. "I think I've proved my point. And anyway, neither of us will ever really know what our parents would think, because they're dead, and no amount of show boating is going to bring them back."

Her twin glared at her, prompting her friend to pull out his wand, thrusting it right into Violet's face, the tip touching her cheek. "You have no idea who you're dealing with here, do you?" he questioned with a snarl.

Violet's brow rose further, and she was about to retort, when the classroom door swung open.

"Weasley! Ten points from Gryffindor. Put that away." Professor Snape stood over them, glowering dangerously.

Ron Weasley lowered his wand, still glaring, and muttered mutinously, before he and Rose shoved past Violet to get into the classroom. Theodore caught Violet and helped her rebalance as the other Gryffindors entered as well.

"Are you okay?" he asked her quietly.

Rubbing her arm, Violet nodded. "Yes, I'm fine, thank you. I was expecting a confrontation, to be honest. I just didn't think it would go like that." She sighed softly, and followed the Slytherins inside, masking her expression. She would deal with all this later, once she was alone. She was just relieved that this was the only class they had with Gryffindors. The less she was around Rose, the better.

The room was dark and gloomy, but bright enough that they would still be able to see what they were doing without straining. Of course, as her Common Room was also down in the dungeons, the sight wasn't all that different. She just wasn't used to seeing pickled animals in jars all along the wall.

Once everyone was seated, the Slytherins near the front, and the Gryffindors in the back, Snape called their names while checking the register, pausing once he reached Rose's name, and mockingly calling her a celebrity, before moving on to Violet's name. When their gazes met, the girl fought not to look away. Snape's eyes were black and cold, and looking into them was a little unnerving.

Luckily, he continued, and lectured them about his class, speaking in barely more than a whisper. Violet's attention was caught immediately, and she listened raptly to each word.

"Potter!" called the professor suddenly, causing more than one person to jump in surprise.

"Yes, sir?"

"Yes, Professor?"

The two simultaneous responses seemed to confuse the man for barely a second, before he clarified, nodding at Rose. "You. What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?"

Rose looked more than a little confused, and claimed she didn't know.

Snape sneered, and oh yes, he certainly knew how to sneer properly. "Let us try again, Potter. Where would you look if I told you to find me a bezoar?"

Again, Rose had no answer, and was beginning to flush lightly, evidently embarrassed, especially since all the Slytherins save for Violet were snickering and shaking with silent laughter.

"Thought you wouldn't open a book before coming to school, eh? Let us try once more, then. What is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?"

"I don't know," said Rose quietly, cheeks red now, avoiding everyone's gaze.

The Slytherins laughed, and Snape straightened up to his full, impressive height. "Is that so? Then shall we see if your sister can do any better?" He turned his attention to Violet, who blinked.

Trying not to cringe at the sudden attention focused on her, she asked, "May I hear the questions again?"

The professor complied, and repeated the first of the three.

Violet thought for a moment, trying to recall what had been written in the textbook she had read last month. "Asphodel and wormwood make the Draught of Living Death, a sleeping potion, I think."

"Correct." He then repeated the second question he had asked.

This one Violet didn't have to think about. She remembered it because it had just seemed so strange to her. "You would get a bezoar from the stomach of a goat."

"Correct again. At least one Potter takes her education seriously." He then posed the final question once more.

The girl had to ponder for a moment here. She was sure she knew the answer, but wasn't positive, and replied hesitantly. "There is no difference between them. They're the same plant, and also go by aconite." She hoped she was right.

"Correct one more. Very good Miss Potter. Five points to Slytherin."

The Snakes cheered, Rose glared, and Violet smirked...

The class took notes on the three questions the twins has been asked, before they were instructed to brew a potion that cured boils. Since they were partnered up to do so, it really wasn't all that hard, though Weasley and Rose seemed to be having some trouble. Violet had no idea how.

The lesson ended without incident though, and everyone split up for the day. After dropping their bags in their rooms, Violet and Theodore went for a walk in the grounds later that afternoon.

As they walked, they spotted Rose and her Weasley friend make their ways over to a hut further along the grounds-Hagrid's home, apparently.

"Earlier, you and your sister both said you don't live together?" Theodore asked curiously.

Violet hesitated, but nodded, figuring there was no point in denying it or anything. Everyone was already talking about it anyway. "I've been told that after our parents were killed by Voldemort (Theo sucked in a sharp breath), Rose was given to our mother's sister and her family, while I was left on the doorsteps of an orphanage. I didn't know anything about being a witch or having magic, until Professor Quirrell came and told me."

"Did he say why you were split up like that?"

She sighed deeply. "He says Dumbledore thinks Voldemort is going to come back and go after Rose, which means she's in more danger than me."

There was a pause before the blue eyed boy spoke again. "But...aren't you in just as much danger? You're her twin, aren't you?" You could all but hear the frown in his voice. "Why? Will he just not attack you or something?"

"That's what I thought too," she replied with a half shrug. "But the Headmaster doesn't seem to believe the same."

There was another silence, as the two neared the lake.

"Oh, hey, did you hear that someone broke into Gringotts?"

Violet blinked. "Really? What happened?" she asked curiously, remembering the warning etched onto the inside doors.

"Nothing, they weren't caught. The paper said the vault the person got into had been emptied earlier that day, so they didn't manage to get anything either."

"Huh, how strange. When was this?"

"Back on the thirty first of July," replied Theodore. "They said it must have been a Dark wizard or witch."

The girl blinked again. "I was there that day," she said almost absently. Hagrid had emptied a vault that day as well. She wondered what the chances were that the same vault had been targeted.

The two fell silent once more.

"Does it feel strange to be around so much magic all the time?"

And that prompted another discussion, this one far more cheerful than the last...

After settling into her room for the night, Violet finally allowed herself to think about her earlier confrontation with Rose. If she was being honest with herself, she had sort of hoped that she and her sister would manage to get along and create a proper relationship. Unfortunately, that encounter had proved that that was going to be impossible.

Violet wondered if it was sad that she really would rather continue to live at Starlight, than with Rose and her family. If she was behaving like that, she could only wonder what her aunt, uncle, and cousin were like. Was Rose just an exception? Was she just the spoiled member of the family because of her "fame"? Or was their cousin like that too? Violet wasn't sure she wanted to find out, not that she would.

Her thoughts wandered to their classes. While Snape had been the most obvious about it, he certainly hadn't been the only professor to mention that Rose wasn't the best student. McGonagall had also mentioned that it had taken Rose far longer to properly transfigure her match into a needle, and even Sprout had suggested Rose having problems in her class, though Violet couldn't imagine what they could have been, considering all they'd been doing was planting seeds into dirt.

Still, part of her was feeling kind of smug about it. She may not have any family, but at least she was smart. And at least she'd made a friend who was a human being with manners, unlike Rose's redhead, who didn't even know to close his mouth when he chewed his food. That made Violet feel smug too.

Sliding into bed a little later, the emerald eyed girl was just glad it was the weekend. Classes aside, Hogwarts was just such a bizarre place. With it being so massive, it was so hard to find anything, made even more difficult by the fact that practically everything moved around nearly all the time-even the people in the paintings! That had been quite the shock, the first time she had seen it.

Despite the many questions she had, Violet was definitely enjoying her time at Hogwarts...

*I'm basically giving the Slytherins Harry's canon timetable, with a few changes. I have my reasons.*

Chapter Text

Not much changed over the next few days. Lessons became a little more complex as they went further into detail, but other than that, Violet mainly attempted to memorize her way around the castle. With everything always moving the way it did, it was much harder than it sounded.

Summer turned to fall, and the air became crisp. And it was on one of these mornings that the first years in the castle learned about their upcoming flying lessons. Unlike most of her year mates, Violet was more curious than she was excited. Flying on broomsticks was something that was only possible in fiction, so learning to do so was quite strange indeed.

She spent all day listening to Draco Malfoy brag about how he'd been flying for years, and she and Theodore, who wasn't all that interested in flying, exchanged many exasperated glances.

Still, at three that afternoon, she and her fellow Slytherins made their way out to the Quidditch pitch, where the Gryffindors, who they were, unfortunately, having this lesson with, were waiting impatiently. Violet sighed when her sister turned to her, opening her mouth to, no doubt, say something irritating, but luckily, didn't get the chance, for Madam Hooch, the professor in charge of these lessons, arrived at that moment.

They lined up, the Snakes facing the Lions, everyone standing beside a broom that was on the ground to either their left or right, depending on which was their dominant hand. Violet, standing next to Theodore, peered down at the broom she was to use. It didn't look particularly fancy, as she had been expecting.

As per Hooch's instructions, she held her right hand out over the broom, and in a clear voice, said, "Up." Much to her surprise, the broomstick jumped straight up into her hand. She blinked, then glanced around to see who else had managed to do the same. Rose and Malfoy were the only ones holding their brooms, and a few other students got theirs on their second try, Weasley and Theodore included.

After being shown how to mount the brooms and grip them properly, they were taught how to kick off from the ground, hover, and then come back down. Not every student was comfortable doing this though, because while they were in the air, just a foot off the ground, Millicent Bullstrode suddenly shot up into the air like a bullet, releasing a cry of shock, before turning, and diving straight back down. Going too fast and unused to riding a broom, she didn't manage to pull back enough to land, and crashed quite hard with a sickening crunch.

For a moment, everyone just stared, and then Madam Hooch rushed over to her, the Slytherins watching in concern, and the Gryffindors sniggering. And when Hooch led Bullstrode away to take her to the Hospital Wing, it was Rose who laughed first, quickly followed by her redhead friend, and then the other members of their House. Violet wondered whether they would do the same if one of their own had gotten hurt like that.

Unsurprisingly, the Lions locked on to Bullstrode crashing the way she had because of her weight, rather than her lack of skill. How immature. The Snakes all traded annoyed looks, none of them rising to the obvious bait. They were smarter than that. Though Violet couldn't help but wonder why Madam Hooch hadn't sent another professor out to watch over them while she was gone. No matter what, Slytherins and Gryffindors just didn't get along, and everyone knew that. So then why leave them on their own together like this? It was a stupid move. It was almost as if they wereasking for trouble.

Sure enough, mere moments after she'd finished forming this thought, Violet watched Rose smirk and mount her broom, before she kicked off and rose rather gracefully into the air.

"How about someone who actually has flying in their blood, show you Snakes how it's done?"

Still not taking the bait, they watched the Girl-Who-Lived ascend higher, and Violet frowned, pondering her sister's words. Someone who has flying in their blood? she repeated in her mind. Does that mean mother or father was skilled at this? Rose is a natural, clearly, and maybe that's because she already has practise, but what does that mean for me? She wasn't about to find out just now though.

Unfortunately for her, she was about to find out.

"Rose! Look out!" called Weasley suddenly.

Looking up, Violet saw her twin flying off the field and far too close to, what she had heard others say, was a tree called the Whomping Willow-a tree that attacked anything that came too close to it. Unconcerned at first, she watched Rose swerve around the branches teasingly as they reached out for her, ignoring the admiring calls from the other Lions.

She sighed and shook her head inwardly. This show boating was going to get Rose killed one day. And it seemed that day was going to be today.

Too busy showing off as she dodged around the branches in front of her, Rose didn't notice the one creeping up at her from behind, this one succeeding in shoving her right off her broom.

There were sounds of shock and surprise as the shorter haired Potter clung to her broom and swung her legs in an attempt to get herself back up.

"...I can't believe I'm going to do this," Violet muttered to herself. She grabbed her broom, mounted it, and kicked off. Her eyes widened the moment she was up in the air. "Maybe she was actually onto something with that whole flying being in her blood thing..." she murmured. There was a thrill here, a thrill she had never felt before. She felt so

Violet, somehow, knew exactly what to do here. She shot forward, distracting the Whomping Willow, and then came to hover beside her sister. "Get on."

"I don't need your help!"

The brighter eyed twin tried not to roll her eyes. "Shall I just leave you here to get killed by the tree, then?" she asked sarcastically, eyeing the creeping branches cautiously. If Rose didn't get on soon, she was going to leave her up here. "That would be some tale, wouldn't it? The Girl-Who-Lived, vanquishes the Dark Lord Voldemort, only to be killed by a tree."

Rose muttered mutinously, but got onto Violet's broom behind her, her own flying away, distracting the tree further, and allowing Violet to carefully descend. The moment they touched the ground, Rose shoved her sister away as she got off the broomstick, still grumbling to herself.

Violet did roll her eyes this time, and half wondered why she had even bothered. If Rose was really supposed to be their saviour, then they were all doomed.

"Are you alright?"

She shouldered the broom, and looked over to Theodore, who actually seemed a little concerned. "I'm fine, thank you," she replied with a small smile. "Although, next time I try to save my sister's life, do me a favour and punch me."

The boy blinked, and then began to chuckle. "If you say so."

"POTTER!" Madam Hooch was back, and she didn't look very happy at all.

"Oh dear," murmured Violet. "This doesn't sound good."

"No, no it doesn't," Theodore agreed...

Ten minutes later, both Violet and Rose were standing in the office of Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore. Madam Hooch had brought them here, explained what she had seen (which hadn't been much at all), and then left to return to the others.

That's the second time she left a class of eleven year olds alone. Even though the first time led to this incident. Such a responsible teacher, isn't she?

Dumbledore, seated behind his desk, folded his gnarled hands under his chin, and peered at the girls from beneath his half-moon spectacles. "I was not expecting to see either of you in here so early in the school term."

Does that mean he was expecting us in here later in the year? That's what he's making it sound like. But why?

"Now," he spoke in a grandfatherly tone, "what happened outside, dear children?"

Violet refrained from raising a brow at the way the Headmaster had referred to them, and listened as Rose quickly told a rather embellished version of what had taken place, where she-Rose, came out looking as if she had done absolutely nothing wrong. In fact, according to her, she had saved Violet. As those who had actually witnessed the events weren't here, Violet was the only one who could defend herself, and once her sister was finished speaking, recounted the truth of what had happened.

The Headmaster continued staring at her as she spoke, his eyes locked with hers. He had done the same thing with Rose as well, and Violet wondered if it had made her sister feel just as uncomfortable as it did her.

Dumbledore remained silent for a long moment once the twins had finished speaking, and then adopted a rather disappointed expression. He tutted softly. "I was hoping you both would tell the truth, though it seems one of you has decided not to do so."

It was difficult to tell who he assumed was lying, but with the way his eyes lingered on her, Violet was sure he thought it was her. Was this because her sister was the Girl-Who-Lived? That didn't make any sense though.

"Regardless of how exactly it occurred," the man spoke, "you have both broken the rules set in place for your own protection, and so, you will both be serving detention this evening."

Rose began to protest, but was cut off quickly, when the old man held up a hand to silence her.

"I am sorry," he said, "but you could have hurt yourselves severely."

Yeah, only because the professor you hired left us all alone, allowing Rose to be an idiot. Violet kept silent. She understood where the Headmaster was coming from, but hid her displeasure.

"Your Heads of House will notify you during dinner time, as to what you will be doing."

The twins nodded in unison.

"Very good. Rose, I would like to have a word with you; Violet, you may leave."

She inclined her head. "Yes, sir." And, curious about what he wanted to speak to her sister about, the brighter eyed girl left the round office, biting back a frown. She was unaware that Rose was not about to be punished at all, but rather, rewarded, in a sense, a reward her-Rose's Head of House had suggested.

It wasn't until later that evening that Violet began to hear the rumours. Apparently, Rose had been placed on Gryffindor's Quidditch team as their Seeker. But that couldn't be possible, could it? First years weren't even allowed to have their own brooms, let alone be on the team, right?


Violet blinked, and then looked up, finding Slytherin's Mr Prefect standing behind her. "Yes?" she asked politely, unable to recall his name.

"Professor Snape wishes for me to inform you that your detention is to take place at eight this evening in the potion's classroom. Don't be late."

The girl glanced at the Staff Table, noted their Head of House wasn't there, and inclined her head. "Of course. Thank you."

Mr Prefect returned the nod stiffly, and then returned to his seat further down the table.

"You shouldn't even be getting detention," said Theodore from across her. "It wasn't like it was your fault."

Aware Malfoy, who was seated next to her, was listening, Violet shrugged. "All the older Slytherins always say Dumbledore isn't fair to any of us, right? I guess being the estranged twin sister of the Girl-Who-Lived doesn't change that at all."

"Well, at least she has a detention too."

The emerald eyed girl wasn't able to bite back a scoff. "If those rumours about her now being on their Quidditch team are true, then I don't think detention will matter. You can't both discipline andreward someone for breaking rules. It doesn't make sense!"

Theodore sighed. "Fair point."

At eight on the dot, Violet knocked on the door of the potion's classroom in the castle dungeons.


The cold voice had a shiver dancing down her spine, but she pushed the unease back, and opened the door, before stepping through. It fell shut behind her before she could close it on her own.

"Good evening, Miss Potter."

Violet cautiously padded over to the large, wooden desk at the front of the room. "Good evening, Professor," she returned, noting Rose was in here as well. Odd, she had expected her sister to serve her detention with McGonagall. It was also surprising that she had made it on time. She seemed to be the type of person who wouldn't care about that. Or maybe she was just scared of what Snape would have done to her if she had turned up late.

Again, an odd look crossed over the man's face, but just like before, it passed over so quickly that she really could not be sure it had been there in the first place. He gazed at her in silence for a long, unnerving moment, before finally speaking once more.

"You will both be cleaning cauldrons," he stated, "without magic."

Violet nodded, even as Rose groaned. "Yes, sir," they replied together.

How hard could it be? Violet was used to cleaning. She did so all the time back at the orphanage. The Matron was a bit of a neat freak, and punished them harshly if they didn't keep things clean or do their "chores." Violet, being the "freak" had a few more frequent ones than the others, but they really weren't all that hard any more, they hadn't been for years, in fact.

Snape flicked his hand over to her left, and she glanced over, finding two stacks of cauldrons next to the sinks they used to wash their hands after brewing. Understanding what he wasn't saying, she nodded again, and made her way over to the one in the corner, Rose following behind her to get to the one next to it.

Ignoring her, Violet removed her robe and set it over a nearby table, before tying her long hair back with the hair tie she kept around her wrist, and rolling her long sleeves back to get them out of the way. She was glad she had changed out of her uniform before coming, because the tie would definitely have gotten in the way.

Once prepared, she turned the tap so water began to flow in the sink, heaved up one of the cauldrons, grabbed the strong looking sponge and the soap, and began to clean. It didn't take her long to fall into a comfortable rhythm, and though she felt her professor's eyes on her more than once, it was easy to ignore, because the Matron often did the exact same thing.

She cleaned cauldron after cauldron, completely forgetting where she was, and feeling like she was back at Starlight. She and Rose didn't exchange a single word the entire time and merely worked on their own. Moving efficiently, it really didn't take Violet all that long to finish her own half.

Rinsing the soap off the final cauldron, she set it down with the others, and then washed her hands, before turning the tap off, drying her hands, and then stepping back. She turned around, and found that Snape was still seated behind his desk. It looked as if he was marking homework or something of that sort. Rose still had at least seven cauldrons left to go.

Violet cleared her throat to get the man's attention. "I've finished, sir."

Snape's head snapped up, and his eyes narrowed. Saying nothing, he got to his feet and approached her, kneeling down to check each cauldron. Then he rose to his feet and peered down at her with what almost appeared to be a look of disbelief in his eyes. "Very good, Potter," he spoke after a moment. "You will wait until your sister finishes before you leave."

Blinking in surprise at the praise, something she wasn't used to receiving, she nodded. "Yes sir." She grabbed her robe, pulled it back on, and then sat down to wait.

Eventually, Rose finally finished, and Snape inspected her cauldrons as well. "Acceptable," he deemed. "You are dismissed."

The Girl-Who-Lived left with haste, leaving her twin and the Potions Master alone in the dungeon room. As she hadn't been dismissed herself, Violet remained where she was, filled was curiosity. Why was she still in here?


The bright eyed girl blinked again, puzzled. "Pardon me?"

Snape was gazing at her, expressionless, though she was sure she spotted confusion in those onyx irises. "You and Rose are twins, and yet, it is clear you dislike one another. How do twins dislike one another like this? You live together, and clearly do not even speak."

Bafflement growing, Violet blinked again. "Um, sir, Rose and I don't live together," she replied while attempting not to frown. "We haven't since our parents died."

"You-you do not-?"

She shook her head. "I live in an orphanage in London," she told him, curious about his reaction. "I didn't even know magic existed until Professor Quirrell came to tell me on my eleventh birthday, which I also hadn't known of. This was also when he told me about my mother and father, and about Rose. He said the Headmaster left her with relatives, and left me at the orphanage." She shrugged slightly. "Rose and I spoke for the first time before our first potion's lesson." Then she frowned slightly. "I think earlier today, during flying lessons, was the second time we even talked to each other."

The man actually looked shocked for a moment, and Violet realized he must not have known about any of this, which was strange in itself. Surely Dumbledore would have told all the professors? It was almost as if he was realizing just why she and her sister were so different, despite being twins. She had no idea he was already planning a confrontation with the twinkling old man.

"What is the name of this orphanage you reside in?" he asked suddenly.

"Starlight," she replied promptly. "Starlight Orphanage."

"And you have always been there?"

"Yes, sir."

"I see..." There was a brief pause where Snape regarded her closely, before speaking again. "You may return to the Common-Room."

Violet nodded. "Thank you." Still feeling confused by the odd expressions in the professor's eyes, she swiftly left the classroom, returning to her Common-Room for the night, leaving the professor alone with his tumultuous thoughts.

She'd barely made it three steps inside, when Theodore approached her. "Hey," she greeted, assuming he had come to ask about her detention.

"Malfoy challenged your sister to a duel."

The girl paused in place, the boy's words actually taking a moment to register in her mind. "A-a duel? Wait, sorry, what?"

"Apparently, Malfoy approached your sister after dinner, after having heard all those rumours about her being on the Gryffindor Quidditch team," he began anew.

Violet nodded, signalling she had understood this part.

"He challenged her to a duel later tonight, with Weasley as her second."

"Second?" she repeated in confusion.

As if realizing she wouldn't know how these things worked, Theodore explained how wizards duelled. "They're supposed to meet at midnight in the Trophy Room."

Violet glanced over to where Draco Malfoy was seated with his friends. He looked quite smug, more so than usual, which was certainly saying something. "Any chance he's just using the duel as bait to get her and Weasley in trouble?" she asked.

Theodore nodded. "That's what I thought too."

The girl ran her fingers through her hair. "Well, I don't think I can put it past Rose to be an idiot and fall for it," she said slowly. Then she shrugged. "If she does, then it's her problem." She looked up. "By the way, for our Transfiguration essay, there was this one part I didn't understand."

"Which part?"

Rose and Ron Weasley were both seated at Gryffindor Table the next morning, though they looked quite tired. Violet merely raised a brow when she saw them, and knew they had fallen for Malfoy's bait. How foolish.

It wasn't until later that afternoon that she saw them again. The two were standing in an alcove, speaking quietly, but unaware she was nearby and able to hear each word.

They were discussing what had taken place the night before, though were under the impression that Malfoy had "chickened out" instead of never having planned on showing up in the first place.

Uninterested, Violet was about to continue walking, when they suddenly brought up encountering a giant three headed dog. She frowned, listening to them debate on what was hidden under the trap door beneath the beast's feet-paws-whatever.

The Snake went on her way, hiding curiosity. So it seemed that forbidden corridor on the third floor was hiding a Cerberus. Well, that was what she was going to be calling it, at least. But the dog was merely a guard, protecting something that was being kept underneath it. But what?

She recalled meeting Hagrid at Gringotts on her birthday, and remembered the small, brown paper covered package that he had deemed to be very important. When he had left her, he had mentioned that Hogwarts was the only place as safe, or safer even, than the bank, and he was supposed to return to the castle to give the Headmaster whatever he had retrieved.

What were the odds that this massive dog was guarding that very same package...?

When Violet woke on the thirty first of October, she felt strangely...sad, and she had no idea why. She worked on auto-pilot while taking notes in Transfiguration, trying to figure out why she felt this way, but it wasn't until near the end of the lesson that she figured it out.

Today was Halloween. Today was the anniversary of her parents' deaths. Today was the day they had sacrificed themselves for her and her sister. And no one else seemed to care that their deaths were what had brought them the peace they currently had...

She had no choice but to pull herself out of her conflicting thoughts during Charms, because they were learning something new: the levitation charm.

As always, Hermione Granger was the very first to accomplish it, quickly followed by Theodore. Violet, who was seated between them, felt slightly dejected when her own feather-which they were attempting to make float, merely twitched in place.

"Your flick has to be sharper," said Hermione suddenly.

Violet glanced over. "Sharper?"

"Like this." The bushy haired girl demonstrated.

Understanding what she had been doing wrong, the emerald eyed girl tried once more, mimicking the Eagle, and watched as her feather rose into the air gracefully. This charm, she realized, must have been the same one Professor Quirrell had used on her Hobbit book when he'd been showing her that magic existed. She remembered it. "Thank you, Hermione."

"Of course." There was a pause. "Hey, Violet? Do you mind if I ask you something?"

The soft caution in her voice had Violet looking over again. "What is it?" she asked curiously.

"Is-is everything okay?" asked Hermione. "You seem...a little off today." She sounded as if she was carefully picking each word.

Violet blinked, and then sighed softly. "My parents were killed on Halloween, Hermione."

The other girl froze, and then her gaze softened. "I'm so sorry, Violet," she all but whispered. "It must be so hard for you, listening to everyone cheerfully chatter on about the feast taking place later, when you-" she broke off, as if unsure how to complete the sentence.

"When you, for the first time in your life, are mourning for them."

Both girls looked round at Theodore, realizing he had heard them, and Violet nodded slowly. Mourning? Was that why she was feeling like this? Perhaps it was. She'd never mourned before, and had no idea what it was supposed to feel like. But maybe that was why the boy did. He had lost his mother a long time ago too.

Hesitantly, Hermione reached out and set a hand on her arm. "I'm-I'm here for you, you know," she spoke gently. "If you ever need to talk or something. I can't say I know how it feels to lose a parent, let alone both, but..." she broke off again, looking slightly hesitant. Maybe because she wasn't sure how Violet would respond, being a Slytherin and all.

"I appreciate that, Hermione." The two shared a cautious, awkward smile, before returning to work.

And with that, Violet was unaware she had just formed a second, growing friendship...

Despite her confusing feelings, Violet was shocked when she walked into the Great Hall that evening. It had been decorated specially for the feast, with hundreds of bats and jack o' lanterns, casting eerie, flickering candlelight.

Violet settled down at Slytherin Table with Theodore, watching in concealed awe as the feast appeared on the golden dishes. The girl chatted and ate with the blue eyed boy, despite still feeling a little off, and had only just begun to enjoy herself, when Professor Quirrell suddenly ran into the Hall, looking panicked and terrified.

He ran straight to the Head Table, and then- "Troll in the dungeon! Thought you ought to know..." And then he collapsed, unconscious. What a brave Defence Against the Dark Arts professor.

For a moment, there was silence, as everyone looked at one another, down at Quirrell, and back up. And then chaos broke out.

Students jumped to their feet, the majority of them screaming, and it took a moment for the Headmaster to restore calm, before ordering Prefects to lead everyone back to their Common-Rooms.

Mr and Miss Prefect called for all Slytherins, and Violet glanced around the Hall as she followed them out, spotting both Hermione and Neville doing the same. At least they were safe.

It wasn't until the Snakes had reached the entrance to the dungeons that they all stopped in place, realizing something. Their Common-Room was down there, but...wasn't that Troll supposed to be there too? They weren't sure what to do.

"Shouldn't we just go back to the Great Hall?"

Though Violet had been speaking to Theodore, the others nearby turned, some glaring, some sneering, everyone staring. She tried not to cringe back when she noticed this, and automatically straightened in place.

"Back to the Great Hall?" echoed Mr Prefect, staring at her intently.

The girl fought not to shrug, and nodded once. "Would it not be better than risking an encounter with a Troll? We can't be blamed for not following the Headmaster's rules, since he was the one who forgot just where our dorms are."

Many of the students began to murmur, though she wasn't able to hear what they were saying.

"Very well," said Miss Prefect after a long moment.

These words seemed to finally draw everyone's attention away from Violet. The Snakes all turned to look at their House Prefects, who decided the raven haired girl was right in her claim, and began leading them all back to where they had just come from...

The Slytherins all filed into the Great Hall, and stood wherever they were, absently chatting with one another as they waited for some sort of all clear.

Choosing to voice her curiosity, Violet turned to Theodore. "How often do Trolls wander into Hogwarts?" she voiced quietly, so her words didn't carry over to others.

He turned to her, looking as baffled as she felt. "Never, from what I've heard. They're really dim," he told her, "and besides, there are protective wards and so on around the castle, to stop things like this from happening."

"Wards?" Violet echoed, falling into thought. "So, that means someone had to have brought it here then, right?"

Theodore seemed surprised by the idea, but then he frowned, thinking it through himself. "I guess so, yeah. I wonder who it was..."

"Probably a professor," the girl replied absently, even though the question had sounded rather rhetorical. "Maybe a seventh year. I'm more curious about why they did it though."

"A Halloween prank gone wrong? Those Weasley twins are always messing around, aren't they?"

Violet nodded. "That's true, but I doubt it was them. I don't think anyone younger than a sixth year could have done it, and they're what?-third years? Plus, I caught a glimpse of them earlier, and it didn't seem like they knew what was going on."

Theodore's frown deepened. "Why would anyone let a Troll into the castle though? Especially if it wasn't for fun?"

"I don't know..." Violet wasn't sure why, but she was getting the feeling there was a deeper reasoning behind this entire thing...

On a cold, bright morning in November, Hogwarts had their first Quidditch match of the season: Slytherin versus Gryffindor. Violet headed out to the stands with everyone else, Theodore by her side, she more interested than he, as she had never seen this sport before.

She settled down between him and Draco Malfoy, curious to see whether those rumours of Rose being on Gryffindor's team were true or not. As it turned out, the rumourmongers had been one hundred percent correct, for the Girl-Who-Lived followed her team mates out of the Lion's locker room, a sleek looking broomstick over her shoulder.

"A Nimbus Two Thousand?" Malfoy muttered with a scowl.

"That's the newest broom on the market," Theodore explained to the girl, noting her confusion.

Violet nodded in understanding, and bit back a scowl of her own. I guess I know what Dumbledore wanted to talk to her about that day... If Rose was getting this special treatment solely because of who she was, well, that wasn't very fair, was it? Why was the Headmaster so biased? This just-just didn't make any sense. It defied logic.

Sighing inwardly, she decided to push those thoughts aside and focus on what was happening on the field. She was glad she did too, because as soon as the game started, her attention was caught.

Malfoy, surprisingly, explained the rules while they watched, since she had no idea what was happening. Still, she listened curiously, eyes on the field, absently noting that the Slytherin team had no girls. Rose and those Weasley twins were the only ones on the other team that she knew, though she'd never actually spoken to the latter.

Violet wasn't sure if she would ever actually even want to play Quidditch, though she certainly wanted to fly again. It had been so very...freeing-liberating. It had been as if she had left all her cares and worries on the ground.

Gryffindor was in the lead in the beginning, scoring first as well, and the Slytherins made an effort to block Rose whenever it appeared that she had spotted the Golden Snitch. The Snakes, luckily, managed to score a few times as well, giving their House something to cheer about.

But then, suddenly, Rose's broom bucked hard, nearly unseating her. Then it did it again. And again. Violet watched, unsure of what to feel as her twin's broomstick bucked so hard that it threw her off. Rose, just like before, clung to the wood tightly as she hung in the air, attempting to swing herself back on.

The other Slytherins were muttering in confusion, but they didn't seem particularly concerned. Theodore glanced at Violet, but she didn't look all that worried to him. And she wasn't. Not really. The emerald eyed girl assumed that with how much everyone seemed to care about Rose, one of the professors, Hooch even, would go to help her.

Surprisingly, no one but the Weasley twins even tried, though them nearing had the girl's broom floating higher and higher, out of their reach.

"Looks like someone's jinxing the broom," said Theodore suddenly.

"Brooms don't just do that on their own," added Malfoy, who was clearly listening.

Violet frowned, but said nothing. Rose was in danger, and while part of her was concerned for her twin, there was another part of her that just didn't care. And all this only served to confuse her.

Before she could even begin to work out her conflicting thoughts, Rose managed to pull herself back up onto her broom, and headed straight for the ground, only to cough up the Snitch when she landed, earning her House the victory, and leaving the Slytherins booing and jeering...

As Violet lay in bed that night, she thought back to Halloween, thinking not of the Troll, but of her family. That day had been the death anniversary of their parents, and though Violet had only learned of them a mere handful of months before, she had certainly mourned for them far more than Rose had, even though her sister had already known the truth.

Violet had questions, questions about her parents, about Rose, about Hogwarts, about Professors Quirrell and Snape, about that Troll, about the three headed dog, and about that mysterious brown package.

She had all these questions, but not a single answer. Not just yet...

Chapter Text

The very next day, Violet gained more information on that mysterious brown package, courtesy of Rose and Ron, who didn't seem to know how to keep their mouths shut. The two were actually a rather good source of information though, because whenever they wanted to discuss something new they'd learned, they often chose to speak in an alcove or the library-places easy enough to eavesdrop on them, and they were practically always poking around.

Today, they were discussing what they had learned from Hagrid the day before, after the Quidditch match. They were saying Professor Snape had let that troll in on Halloween, and attempted to get past the strange three headed dog because he'd ended up bitten, that that package was what was hidden there that he was after, and that whatever it was, was known only to Headmaster Dumbledore and someone named Nicolas Flamel.

Violet went on with her day in thought. She had already assumed the dog was guarding the package, but had never expected her Head of House had been after it. She couldn't recall seeing him injured, but considering magic was a thing that existed, he had probably healed himself fairly quickly.

Who was this Nicolas Flamel though? The name didn't sound at all familiar to her. Still, while interested, Violet only researched when she had absolutely nothing else to do. She had school work to focus on, magic to learn, and an entirely new world to figure out. She had no desire to allow her curiosity to get in the way of these.

Weeks continued to pass, and the winter break slowly drew closer. Dawn and dusk were colder than ever, and Violet wondered whether the castle was heated magically or not, because it certainly didn't seem like it, which was rather irritating for the Slytherins and Hufflepuffs, whose dorms were in the dungeons and basement respectively.

Snow began to pile up, and the entire lake froze over completely. The corridors and classrooms were colder than ever, but with that, the Great Hall was decorated for the upcoming holidays. The massive hall was covered in holly and mistletoe, and there were Christmas trees-twelve of them! They were huge, and glittered brightly. Violet had never seen anything like it. Starlight always had a tree around Christmas too, but it was a tiny thing-smaller than her, and not at all impressive, not like this.

On Tuesday, about a week before the start of the break, Violet was waiting for Theodore in the Common Room. He seemed to be running rather late though, and the two had already missed breakfast. This was quite strange, because the boy was generally prompter than she was, and was normally the one waiting for her.

Everyone else had come and gone by this point, and the only ones left were the sixth and seventh years who had a free period first. Class was due to start in less than five minutes.

Concern beginning to set in, the emerald eyed girl headed over to Theodore's room, and knocked on the door, unable to actually get in, since it, like all the other rooms, was warded against anyone not invited inside. She waited longer than she thought necessary, before the door finally opened.

Theodore, she noticed immediately, did not look well. He was pale, though his cheeks were flushed, and his nose was red and raw looking, as if he had been blowing and rubbing it all night. He was shivering slightly as well, even though he was wrapped tightly in his emerald blanket, which he had dragged along with him from his bed.

"Theo?" she voiced, worried, reaching out to set a small hand on his forehead. He had a fever, she was sure of it.

The boy merely raised an arm, pressed his mouth to his elbow, and coughed raggedly, before groaning out what sounded like a 'hello'. Or perhaps it had been a confused, "Theo?"as she had never called him as such before.

"You're sick," she murmured, though it was a clear statement to both of them. "Come on, let's get you to the Hospital Wing. The older students have said that Madam Pomfrey can fix this instantly."

Theo merely nodded, coughing again, and he stumbled after taking a single step forward, groaning again. "I don't think moving is a good idea," he muttered.

Violet thought back to the others at the orphanage, trying to remember. "Moving makes you feel sick?" Maybe it was the flu then, instead of just a cold, as she had been assuming. Moving closer, she wrapped an arm around his waist. "Here, lean on me. We'll move slowly, okay? Just tell me if you need to stop at any time."

"Yeah, ugh..."

The two took their time heading up to the Infirmary, both wishing it was closer. The process took even longer, because the boy did indeed have to stop a few times when he felt close to being sick, which neither of them wanted. Violet wondered why there weren't more adults in the castle, because one of them certainly would have been a big help in these circumstances.

Eventually, they made it to the Hospital Wing, and Violet set Theodore down on one of the beds, before going to find the nurse-rather, Medi-Witch, as she was apparently called around here.

"Is something wrong, Miss Potter?"

"My friend is sick," she told the woman. "I think it might be the flu, or something of that nature. He's waiting in the main room."

Madam Pomfrey nodded and bustled over immediately, pulling her wand out as she did so. She stopped in front of Theodore, waved her wand in strange, intricate patterns, chanting various spells that Violet couldn't understand. A sheet of parchment appeared in the air beside them, words appearing on it as if being written by an invisible hand.

Violet watched curiously as the woman fed the boy a potion of some sort, and then told him to go to sleep. Theo nodded before lowering himself down, already looking a little less pale, though nowhere near his normal self.

"He needs rest, Miss Potter," Madam Pomfrey said a moment later, turning and looking down at the girl. "I would prefer if he remain here for the rest of the day, so you should hurry on and get to class."

Emerald eyes still showing a touch of concern, Violet nodded, deciding to trust the Medi-Witch, and after noting Theo had indeed fallen asleep, left the Hospital Wing. She returned to Slytherin Common Room, grabbed her bag, which she had left behind, and then made her way over to the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom.

She should have been in Herbology, but the lesson was going to end in just about ten minutes, and she didn't see the point in heading to the Greenhouses now, only to have to come back. Class would probably end by the time she made it there anyway, which would make the entire trip meaningless.

The Defence classroom was empty for the most part, the professor the only one in the room, seated behind his desk and going over a few different sheets of parchment. To be polite, Violet knocked on the door before entering and walking over to her usual spot, setting her bag down before seating herself.

"M-miss P-P-Potter! You're e-early!"

The girl inclined her head, acknowledging his words. "Theodore is sick," she informed him, "so I had to take him to the Hospital Wing."

"A-ah, that is u-u-unfortunate. I-I take it h-h-he will be m-missing today's l-l-lesson?"

"Yes, sir. Madam Pomfrey wants him to stay for the day." Caught in the concern for her friend, she didn't notice something about the man seated behind his desk change. She didn't notice the shift in intelligence visible in his eyes, didn't notice his posture straighten, and she didn't even notice that his usual stutter had vanished when he next spoke.

"Friend's illness aside, how are you enjoying Hogwarts so far?"

Violet couldn't help the smile that broke out across her face. "It's amazing here!" she exclaimed. "It was so hard to believe magic really existed when you first told me, but it's so...obvious!" And it really was, what with the way everything just constantly moved around without any visible aid, and the feeling in the very air itself. "Everything is just so different, but it's all wonderful."

"I am glad to hear that. And how have you been getting along with your House mates?"

"Okay, I suppose," she replied carefully. "A lot of them don't speak to me very much, and the few that do are pretty curt. Theo's the only one I can really talk to."

Quirrell nodded, though that was because there was something he understood that she didn't. "And your fellow first years from the other three Houses? I have noticed that your sister doesn't seem to take very kindly to you."

Violet shrugged. "I'm an 'evil' Slytherin who she believes to be a disappointment to our parents. Not that she even knows what she's talking about," she finished with a mutter. "A lot of them seem kind of scared, to be honest, but I do enjoy speaking to Hermione and Neville. They're both kind to me, and I to them."

"Ah, Miss Granger and Mr Longbottom, correct? Yes, I have noticed that as well. You do not get along with any of the Gryffindors?"

She shrugged again, the motion oddly elegant. "I suppose not." Though it was clear to her why that was. Rose was sort of like the leader of the first year Lions-perhaps because of who she was, and since she didn't care much for Violet, the others didn't either. Perhaps they simply didn't wish to get on the Girl-Who-Lived's bad side.

"And your classes?" asked the professor, dragging the girl back out of her thoughts.

"They're all really quite interesting," she replied honestly. "It's so different than Muggle school, and I don't just mean because there's magic here. Although..."


Violet hesitated. She'd been wondering this for weeks now, but hadn't actually brought it up with anyone, not even Theo. "Do the Pureblood and Half-Blood children learn things like the Alphabet, how to count and read, and recognize colours-all that the rest of us learn in primary school, at home from their parents? I mean, I know they wouldn't have been learning science and maths and so on, but how does that even work? If I asked a Pureblood what seven times six is, would they even know how to calculate that?"

Professor Quirrell was silent for a long moment, but actually looked quite intrigued. "Parents are expected to find the time to teach their children all this, yes, or hire a tutor for them, at the very least," he replied finally, eyeing her oddly. "Though the Muggleborn children will be far more advanced when it comes to many of those topics, as the rest of the children will only know the basics of the basics, seeing as it is assumed that they will never need to know them."

Violet nodded, but frowned slightly. "Doesn't that work the other way as well?"

"Pardon me?"

"Aren't there all sorts of things that the Purebloods and some of the Half-Bloods already know, but the Muggleborns and so on don't?" she clarified. "Like using a quill, for example, though that's hardly the most important thing."

The intrigue on the man's face only increased. "I see. You're quite inquisitive, aren't you?" It wasn't an insult. "There are indeed many things that Muggleborn or certain Half-Blood children know nothing of once they join our world, and, to a certain extent, are expected to know-being able to write with a quill being just one of them."

Violet's frown deepened, and her brow furrowed in confusion. "But...that doesn't make sense." She was about to say more, but the bell rang suddenly, bringing the conversation to a sudden, inconclusive halt. The girl sighed softly. Now she had even more questions that had been raised, and no satisfactory answer for anything...

First day of the break, Violet found herself saying goodbye to Theodore, who was, reluctantly, going home for the next two weeks. He had claimed that he didn't want to, but his father had insisted on it. Violet on the other hand, had absolutely no desire or reason to return to the orphanage, and had chosen to stay in the castle. Hermione and Neville had also gone home.

Slytherin Common-Room was nearly deserted, the vast majority of the Snakes having returned home as well, and Violet was the only first year in their House who hadn't, giving her plenty of time alone. And since there were no classes, she had a perfect reason to avoid other students, such as her twin sister and her friend, both of whom had also decided to stay behind, along with the other three Weasleys. The two of them were the only first year Gryffindors left.

Still, Violet didn't at all mind being alone. While she truly did enjoy spending time with Theo, she also liked spending time by herself, which was a normal thing to her, considering how she lived at the orphanage and her Muggle primary school. She spent her time doing some research, still unable to figure out who Nicolas Flamel was, or catching up on her reading, always having been so busy with school work. She had a few assignments to do too, and got those out of the way fairly quickly...

When she woke Christmas morning, it was to the pleasant surprise of presents sitting at the foot of her bed. How did these get here? she wondered absently as she sat up. But she was smiling as she reached out for them. There were four, but that was still more than she had been expecting, four more, to be exact.

The first present was from Theodore. It was a book. Violet scanned through it with interest, realizing it was, essentially, of fairy tales in the Wizarding World. How interesting. She knew all the classic Muggle fairy tales, and hadn't even thought that wizards would have had their own. Theo must have realized that too. She was going to have to thank him and send him something in return, since she hadn't given him anything. She had only been shopping once, and that was before even learning Theo existed, and she had no idea if ordering things was a thing that existed here.

The second present was a book as well, this one about magic itself; Light, Grey, and Dark, to be specific. Professor Quirrell had been the one to gift her with this, which was quite strange in itself. Oh dear, she was going to have to give him something as well at some point, wasn't she? She hadn't expected a teacher to give her something too. Regardless, she read through the contents list, fascinated.

The third and fourth presents were from Hermione and Neville, both sweets-a box of Chocolate Frogs from the former, and a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans from the latter. She would repay them for that as well, one day, even though they were just sweets. It was the thought that counted, after all.

Well, she now knew how she was going to be spending the rest of her break...

The next day, Violet learned, quite by accident, that Rose had received an Invisibility Cloak from someone unknown-a cloak that apparently belonged to their father.

If that was true, that the cloak had belonged to their father, that made it a family heirloom, right? So then why did Rose get it instead of Violet?

At first, Violet assumed that it meant Rose was, perhaps, the older twin, which was indeed possible. It wasn't as if she knew. But even if that was true, did those rules really apply to twins, whose age difference was mere minutes? Also possible, yes. But shouldn't whoever had given Rose the cloak have told her about it as well? Even if she wasn't going to get it, there was no reason for her to not learn it even existed, and they surely must have known that the twins didn't live together, let alone even get along, meaning Rose was never going to tell her about it.

Unless it had been given to Rose specifically because she was the Girl-Who-Lived. And if that was the truth, then it was unfounded and unfair. Violet could live with the idea that her sister had gotten it because she was a few minutes older, as irritating as it was, but this second reason, that annoyed her too much.

Why was it expected for the world to lie down at Rose's feet? Just because she possibly defeated the Dark Lord? Considering they had been a year old when it happened, did it even matter?

Aware she wasn't going to bring it up just yet, the Slytherin went on with her day, but the thoughts didn't leave her alone...

Despite having thought she was going to spend the entire Christmas break alone, Violet found herself spending a couple of days chatting with her Defence Professor. At first, she had merely gone to thank him for the book he had gifted her with, but then they had begun discussing it, and hadn't managed to finish their conversation the first day, which had prompted a second time.

"So everyone is born with a Grey Magical Core?"

"That's right, Violet. As the years pass, their magic shapes itself, and by the time they are of age, their Core will either remain Grey, or become Light or Dark."

"But you also said parents might have something to do with it."

"Yes, and you will find that in chapter eleven of the book you now have. Essentially, the parents of a child will help determine what type of magic that child's Magical Core will have. There is no guarantee, as external forces often play a large part of it, however, if say, both parents of a child have Light Cores, then there is a chance that the child will end up with the same."

Violet nodded in understanding. "And if they don't? If the child doesn't follow their parents?"

"Again, if the parents have Light Cores, there could still be a chance that their child will end up with a Dark Core, if not simply remain with a Grey Core. Although, it is more common, if there is a difference, for parents with Light Cores, to have children with Grey Cores, parents with Dark Cores, to have children with Grey Cores; and parents with Grey Cores, to have children with either Light or Dark Cores."

The girl frowned, trying to understand. "So, it would be uncommon for parents with Light Cores to have children with Dark cores, and vice versa?"

The professor inclined his head. "Yes." He was glad to see she caught on quick. "And, as I said before, there is never any guarantee, especially as there are generally always external forces. As children grow, they learn their own perceptions, and their views change, which impacts their magic. And these views may differ from their parents', which is why their magic may differ from them in turn."

Violet nodded again. "Professor, is there really that much of a difference between Light, Grey, and Dark magic?" This was something she was really curious about. The Gryffindors were always going on about the former, and the Slytherins, about the latter, though she had never heard the middle term before.

"The difference is not as large as you might believe," the man replied, raising a hand to stroke his chin as he spoke. "I am sure you have heard that all Light magic is good, and all Dark Magic, bad, correct?"

"Yes, sir." In fact, that was all she had heard about them.

"This is not necessarily true. Yes, there are indeed Dark spells that are more harmful than good, but there are Dark healing spells too, for example." He paused and sighed softly. "All Light spells, have a parallel Dark spell, so people with all types of Magical Cores can perform them."

The girl's brow furrowed in confusion. "So, not everyone can use all magic?"

"No. A wizard with a Light Magical Core will have trouble performing Dark spells, and the same is true in reverse. Only wizards with Grey Cores have a chance of performing all magic. What good would it be if a wizard with a Dark Core was injured, and had no way to heal themselves because all healing spells were of Light magic?"

Once again, Violet nodded, though the frown remained rooted on her face. "But...Light magic can be used as bad spells too, can't they?"

Quirrell raised a brow, which vanished under the rim of his turban. "Meaning?"

"Well...we learned the Levitation Charm the other week, right? And while we were only charming a feather to float, what if someone used the spell to levitate a...a big rock, for example, and drop it down on someone's head? That could really hurt them, if not kill them, and you can't really say it's an accident either, right?"

The professor looked quite impressed for a moment. "Although the Levitation Charm is Grey magic-neutral, you are, indeed, correct. There are many Light and Grey spells out there that are just as dangerous as the Dark ones, yet very few here question things as you do, Violet."

But there was pride in his eyes, in his voice, that had the girl's heart soaring, though she wasn't quite sure why. Perhaps because she had been complimented in a way, and wasn't used to it at all? Yes, perhaps that was it...

Christmas break came to an end, students returned, and classes resumed. With spring arriving, the snow turned to rain, and the lake thawed out while temperatures steadily rose.

While continuing her studies, Violet went on with her unsteady research on Nicholas Flamel. She had yet to figure out who the mysterious man was, though was sure she had heard his name at some point or another.

One Tuesday morning however, not too long after, she got the answer she had been looking for...

Herbology had been a very simple affair, with the Slytherins and Hufflepuffs planting seeds to newly discovered plants. With the task being so menial, many of the students had begun to chat with their friends, and Violet was no exception. She was in the midst of a fascinating discussion with Neville, about a plant known as the Devil's Snare. She had never heard of it before, but the badger seemed to be a natural when it came to the subject, and knew far more than she did.

Class came to an end, and after washing up, the Snakes headed up to Defence Against the Dark Arts, where they were joined by the Ravenclaws. Violet sat at her usual desk and listened to Professor Quirrell stutter on with half an ear. Nicolas Flamel... Nicolas Flamel... She had gone through so many books, spent so much time on this, and still didn't know who he was.

"Violet? Are you okay?"

It was Hermione's voice that drew the emerald eyed girl out of her thoughts. She blinked, and then looked up, finding the Eagle standing over her. She blinked again, and looked around, noticing that the room was emptying. The lesson must have finished. Strange, she hadn't even heard the bell.

"Violet? Hello?"

She blinked a third time, and then refocused. "Sorry, Hermione. I didn't realize I was lost in thought."

The frizzy haired girl smiled slightly, though the concern remained on her face. "What have you been thinking about? You were out of it all class. Even Professor Quirrell noticed."

"Did he? Oh." She certainly hadn't meant for that, and sighed. "Actually, there's someone I've been looking into, though I haven't actually managed to learn anything about him."

Hermione frowned. "Who? If you don't mind me asking."

"Someone named Nicolas Flamel," the slightly younger girl replied. "I...overheard his name a while back, and got curious, but I haven't been able to find anything about him anywhere. I can't tell you how many books I've gone through."

The Ravenclaw's frown deepened. "You know...I think I've read that name somewhere before. Where was that? I know it was recently too."

Violet perked up. Why hadn't she thought to ask Hermione before? If anyone in the castle could research something, surely it was a member of Ravenclaw House!

Suddenly, Hermione's eyes brightened and she released a gasp. "Now I remember! Meet me in the library in ten minutes!" And with that, she ran off.

Surprised and slightly confused, it took Violet a moment to figure out what had happened, and a low chuckle drew her out of her thoughts. She looked up, finding that Professor Quirrell was still standing by his desk.

"You should do as she says," he told her. "It wouldn't do to keep an eager Eagle waiting." A strange smile played across his lips, as if he knew something she didn't.

Still, the raven haired girl nodded, gathered her belongings, and left the classroom, making her way to the library, curious to know what Hermione knew. Theodore, she realized absently, must have gone off with Malfoy, who had been his friend for many years. Well, at least she didn't have to worry about leaving him confused about all this...

Fifteen minutes later, Slytherin's Violet Potter and Ravenclaw's Hermione Granger, were holed up in a corner of the library. Hermione had returned to her dorm, and come back with a large, old tome that she had borrowed from the library some time ago. Violet watched in amused curiosity as the Eagle paged through the book, clearly looking for something specific.


"I take it you found what you were looking for?"

"Yes! Nicolas Flamel is the only known maker of the Philosopher's Stone!"

Violet froze, and then her eyes narrowed. "Philosopher's Stone..." she repeated slowly. As an avid reader, she knew what that was, naturally, though she hadn't expected them to actually exist. If the contents of that little brown package were known only to Dumbledore and Flamel, it was likely that it was this Stone, wasn't it? But did it do the same thing as in fiction? She asked Hermione.

"Hmm...legendary stone...transforms any metal into pure gold...oh-it also produces the Elixir of Life, which will make the drinker immortal." She looked up, into emerald eyes. "It's the only stone in existence right now too."

"I see." That has to be it then-that's what that three headed dog Rose and Weasley were talking about is guarding. But why? Why hide the Philosopher's Stone of all things here-in a school? Why couldn't it stay with Flamel? "How old is Flamel?"

Hermione blinked at the sudden question, and then checked. "It says he just celebrated his six hundred and sixty fifth birthday. His wife is almost as old as he is as well."

Violet frowned. Which means he must have had the Stone with him for all those centuries, right? Why suddenly entrust it to Dumbledore? And why keep it in a school full of curious children no less? "Thank you, Hermione. This was exactly what I was looking for."

"No problem. I think this is the only book here in the library that mentions him, so you wouldn't have been able to look him up as long as I had the book out..."

Rose and Weasley are under the impression that Professor Snape is after this. I suppose it's always possible, but...something about that just doesn't seem right.

Weeks passed, and no matter how hard she thought, Violet was unable to piece together why the Philosopher's Stone of all things would be hidden at Hogwarts. Hagrid had, indeed said the castle was one of the safest places in the world, but that was never a guarantee around so many children, was it?

She had heard her House mates speaking of vaults deep down inside Gringotts that were guarded by dragons. Surely keeping the Stone in one of those would be satisfactory? It had to be hard to get past one of those creatures, right? Especially if you were trying to do so on your own. So then, why Hogwarts? Violet just didn't understand.

Another Quidditch match took place, with Gryffindor beating Hufflepuff in less than five minutes, even though Professor Snape was refereeing. And while Violet was impressed with her sister's skill, she still wasn't pleased that she had been allowed on the House team, despite her age-not to mention how she had almost gotten herself killed during flying lessons. Rewarding her instead of punishing her wasn't going to teach her a thing. Yes, she had gotten a detention and cleaned cauldrons as well, but it was hardly a difficult task, and with a spot on the Quidditch team in sight, well, Violet doubted the detention had bothered Rose very much...

It was after dinner, not long before curfew, that Violet was walking through the corridors, returning to Slytherin's dungeons from the library, where she had just finished up a Charms essay. Theodore had finished before her, and had been nodding off at the table, so he had returned to their dorms first, leaving her on her own.

The corridors in this part of the castle were primarily empty during this time, which was why Violet paused in place when she heard a sudden shuffling just around the corner.

"-t-to meet h-here of all p-p-places, Severus," a voice was in the midst of saying. It didn't take a genius to figure out who it was. Professor Quirrell sounded as nervous as ever.

"I thought we might keep this private," Professor Snape replied.

Violet was about to turn around and head back the way she had just came, but her Head of House's next words kept her rooted in place despite herself.

"Students are not to know of the Philosopher's Stone, after all."

I was right. It is the Stone. Even though she knew better, she pressed herself up against the wall, and listened closely.

"Have you learned how to get past Hagrid's beast yet?" questioned Snape.

Quirrell stuttered out a protest.

"You do not want me as an enemy, Quirrell."

The turbaned man stuttered out another protest.

There was more shuffling, loud enough to block the beginning of the next sentence, so Violet was only able to catch-"-waiting for your little bit of hocus pocus," from Snape.

A third protest, and this time, Professor Snape said he would wait until Quirrell decided exactly where his loyalties should lie, before they spoke again.

Realizing the discussion was coming to an end, Violet quickly left the area, unaware that she wasn't the only one who had overheard a piece of that conversation. Rose had heard it too, and while her twin sister continued to believe Snape was after the Stone, Violet, for the first time, began suspecting someone quite different: Professor Quirrell.

That stutter of his...I can't believe I didn't notice! It surely must have been fake, because now that she thought back, she could remember, quite distinctly, that it always vanished when the two of them were alone. It had happened the very first time they'd met, back at Starlight, and then again when she had gone to Defence early when Theodore had been sick, and also during their discussions over the Christmas break.

But the speech impediment always remained firmly in place when there were others around-students, teachers, and so on. It never vanished during classes either. So why does it only go away around me? Though, it wasn't just the stutter that would change. No, his personality-his demeanor, that changed around her too.

He always seemed smarter when they were alone, and far more confident. He would always know exactly what he was talking about, and would never hesitate in his wording. It was almost as if he was an entirely different person. But why was this? Why was he doing this? Why the strange behaviour? Why the stutter? Was he the one after the Philosopher's Stone? He had been the first one to see that troll on Halloween. What if he had been the one to let it in? But why?

In the ensuing weeks, Violet kept a close eye on the Defence Against the Dark Arts professor. Not just because she believed he was after the Philosopher's Stone, but because she wanted to see his strange behaviour change without anything clouding her judgement.

He grew paler and more nervous, but nothing else about him changed. They didn't have any more discussions alone either, since she was busy studying for the upcoming exams. Professor Snape, meanwhile, was his normal, icy self, and she was sure he had nothing to do with trying to steal the Stone.

She had heard Rose and her friend again, some time ago, discussing how the three headed dog-Fluffy, as his name apparently was, wasn't the only thing guarding the Stone. Other professors must have placed their own defences as well, though Violet had already guessed the same thing, from what Snape had said to Quirrell.

Not too long before exams started, Violet was studying with Theo in the Common Room, when a strange pain suddenly flared in her mid-section. Gasping in surprise, she set a hand over the spot, before realizing that that was exactly where the strange rune was.

"Violet? Are you okay?"

The girl's head snapped up, and she looked up, only to see a concerned looking Theodore peering back at her. "Y-yes, I'm fine. Sorry for the interruption."

"Are you sure?"


It was clear he didn't believe her, but he nodded and lifted his textbook again, returning to his own revision. Violet meanwhile, bit back a frown, removing her hand as the pain began to fade.

That 'rune' as she called it, had never ever hurt before. So why now? She couldn't have imagined it, and it couldn't have been anything else either. She brought her hand back and rubbed the spot absently. I don't understand...

Hours later, she ended up learning something quite shocking from Draco Malfoy of all people. He hadn't given many details, seeming a little shaken, but apparently, while in the Forbidden Forest for a detention with Hagrid (which Rose, and Weasley had also been part of), he had seen a strange, hooded figure begin to drink the blood of an injured, if not dead, unicorn.

Violet had been caught off guard by that, because Professor Snape had once mentioned in Potion's class that attacking a unicorn was a very, very bad thing, and that was why they only ever used ingredients obtained from live ones-such as their tail hairs.

One of the seventh year students had overheard Malfoy, and, looking shocked and confused, had mentioned that drinking the blood of a unicorn would curse you-that it would be better just to die.

And then, the very next day, in the library, her twin sister and her friend had been discussing the very same thing, though they claimed the figure had been none other than Lord Voldemort himself. Violet hadn't known what to think when she had heard that. Voldemort was...alive? And he was living off unicorn blood in the forest? That was hard to believe for sure. But...what if it was true?

Finally, exams arrived, and Violet was actually surprised with how well they went, despite the constant throbbing of her 'rune'. She had always been fairly studious, but she'd been worried since this was all new to her. Luckily, Theodore had been a great help when it came to studying. Unlike Hermione, who was far too...frantic for Violet to get any work done.

Defence and Potions were the easiest for her, Transfiguration and Charms a close second. Herbology was made simple because of everything Neville had told her about as well, which certainly helped her a lot. Astronomy hadn't been particularly difficult either. History of Magic on the other hand, her final exam, was the one she had the most trouble with, and she was more than a little glad when it was finished.

It was a gorgeous sunny day, and the emerald eyed girl had spent it outside with Theo, the two just chatting about this and that. When dusk began to arrive, the temperature dropped and a chill set in, so Violet returned to the Common Room, the blue eyed boy telling her he would join her in a few moments.

Violet sat in one of the many high backed chairs, simply examining the tapestries on the stone walls while she waited. The other Slytherins sounded quite cheerful, no doubt because exams were finally finished. The fifth and seventh years seemed the most pleased, and everyone appeared relaxed.

But when Theodore returned to the dungeon Common Room, he looked anything but relaxed. He made a beeline for Violet, stopping only when he was standing over her chair.

"What's wrong?" she asked in concern.

"I just overheard your sister and her redhead friend. They were talking about going through some trap door to stop Professor Snape from getting the Philosopher's Stone so he couldn't give it to the Dark Lord."

Violet froze, understanding what was happening immediately. Unsure of why she didn't want to tell Theo the truth, she merely played the whole thing off. "What?" She released an exasperated breath. "Those two are idiots, Theo. Who knows what they were talking about."

Theodore seemed to buy it fairly quickly. "True. They did help Hagrid with the whole dragon thing."

"Yeah, and where did that land them? Detention in the Forbidden Forest and a hundred points taken from their House..."

Though even after the two had bade one another a good night and separated, Violet couldn't cast what she had heard away. Rose and Weasley must have gotten the same information she had, though perhaps through other methods, and they were going through that trap door, maybe even right now, at this very moment.

Sitting on the edge of her bed, Violet set a hand over her concealed rune, biting her lip as it throbbed in pain. Maybe it was a connection to her sister. Maybe it was trying to tell her she was in danger. She tapped her foot as she thought, feeling irritatingly anxious.

If someone was going to steal the Stone right now, why not get the teachers involved? Had they even mentioned it? Had they been ignored? Her foot tapped faster. Maybe...maybe...maybe.

The tapping stopped.

Chapter Text

"I can't believe I'm doing this. I can't believe I'm doing this. I cannot believe I'm doing this!" Violet Potter was sneaking through the castle, carefully making her way to the forbidden third floor Charms corridor. She was going after Rose and Weasley, but sweet Merlin if she knew why.

She hadn't told anyone what she was doing, and she was sure she was going to regret it. She knew she should have gone to get Professor Snape, but despite him never having done anything to earn her distrust, Violet just had no faith in authority figures. Not after the orphanage. Not after the Headmaster. Not after Hooch. ...Not after Quirrell was likely the one after the Philosopher's Stone in the first place.

No, she was still going to regret it.

"...Why aren't there any teachers around?" she wondered in a mutter. One would think the forbidden corridor would have spells to alert them if anyone entered it, and since Rose and her friend were nowhere to be seen, they must have already gone forward. Did no one really know? Were there really no warning spells? Or had the adults simply ignored them? But that was-was incredibly stupid, wasn't it? Why do that? What if that three headed dog broke out of the room it was in? Were there spells to warn the adults about that? Or would the students be placed in even more danger?

Reaching the door, she found that it was open. Well then. She stepped through, and stopped immediately when she came face to face with the dog she had only heard of thus far. It was massive and indeed had three heads. But it was also asleep, perhaps because of the harp playing on its own in a corner.

She spotted the trapdoor, also open, and slowly inched closer, eyes locked on the sleeping animal, praying it wouldn't wake. That thing could devour her in one, and she certainly had no desire to experience that. She wanted to stay alive, thank you very much. Yes, because doing this won't kill me, or anything.

Wand in hand, she peered into the dark chasm below her, and took in a deep breath. "Still regretting this," she murmured. And then she jumped.

She closed her eyes tight as she fell farther and father down beneath the school, and suddenly began to hear panicked cries. She landed suddenly with a funny sounding thump, bouncing twice before stilling. Opened her eyes, she blinked a few times as her eyes attempted to adjust to the darkness.


"What the bloody hell are you doing here!?"

The Slytherin looked around, quickly discovering that they were sitting on a plant, and odd looking tendrils were coiled around Rose and Weasley. Wait, what? This...was this what she thought it was?

"Keep still!" she hissed at them, trying to push herself to her feet even as a tendril slithered closer to her. The two didn't listen to her, naturally. Well, they didn't get very far, did they? And she wasn't going to either, if she didn't do something about this. The brave Lions obviously weren't going too. They were too busy panicking.

And then Violet gasped, Neville's voice ringing through her head, cheerfully telling her all about the Devil's Snare during a Herbology lesson. "That's it!" she whispered to herself. This seemed to be that very same plant, and if so... "Lumos Solem*!" A bright light like that akin to the sun itself, shot out the end of her wand, and the tendrils nearing her backed off immediately, quickly followed by the others, freeing the Gryffindors.

The light vanishing, the three stood, staring at one another, and then an argument broke out. Well, more like Rose and Weasley stood there yelling, while Violet glanced around at their surroundings, looking for a way out of this room, the Gryffindors' voices simply washing over her. She honestly couldn't care less about what they had to say. She was still angry with their stupidity...not that her own actions were any better, really.

"-and you slimy Snakes are always getti-"

"Come on," Violet interrupted.


The brighter eyed twin bit back a scowl, and moved towards the only doorway in the room, which was more a passageway than anything. "I said come on. We can't get out, unless you can fly without a broom or climb these slick, damp walls. So that leaves us with one option-that door." She stepped through it herself, then paused and glanced over her shoulder. "You can stay here too, if that's what you prefer." I just want to know why Quirrell is trying to steal the Stone. Because I know it most definitely can't be Snape, no matter what these two say.

Clearly realizing they had no choice, but still grumbling and badmouthing her, Rose and her friend joined her, and the three continued on together.

"Shh!" hissed Violet suddenly.

The other two fell silent, and now all three students could hear something odd among the dripping water. There was a strange sort of...chinking sound. It was the redhead who reacted first, frowning.

"Are those keys? It sounds like keys."

Rose nodded, and pointed up ahead. "There's a light there."

So they followed it, arriving in a brightly lit chamber with a surprisingly high ceiling. Opposite them was a very large wooden door, and soaring above were a strange assortment of-

"Keys!" exclaimed Ron Weasley. "I was right! ...Why do they have wings?"

Rose spotted a thick, heavy looking broom nearby, and peered up with a frown. "Do you think we have to catch one?"

Violet, after a moment of hesitation, crossed the room quickly. She expected the flying keys to attack or something, but she reached the wooden door without hindrance, only to learn it was locked. Now she understood. "The key belonging to the door is likely one of those up there, so yes Rose, you're right, it needs to be caught."

"Then I'll take care of that!" Rose had barely even finished her sentence, when she mounted the broom, kicked off, and flew up into the air.

Her twin rolled her eyes. "Do you even know what the key you're searching for looks like?" she questioned in a mutter.

Weasley, who had joined her at the other side of the room by now, shot her a glare upon hearing her, before describing the key for his friend, and Rose ducked and swerved gracefully, quickly spotting the right one-a silver key with crumbled blue wings. A moment later, they had unlocked the door.

Stepping through, they found themselves in darkness. Curious and cautious, they took a second step forward, and the door slammed behind them, causing all three to jump, but at the same moment, the room lit up, revealing what was immediately recognizable as a life size chess board, complete with pieces. Violet was not getting a good feeling about this.

"What do we do?" Rose asked hesitantly.

"Play our way across, of course!" replied Weasley rather enthusiastically. "That door on the other side will probably stay locked unless we win, and I think we have to replace three of the black pieces here." His eyes were alight with excitement. He turned to the girls. "No offence Rose, but you're terrible at chess."

"None taken."

"You ever play, Potter?"

Violet merely shrugged lightly. "No." She could play checkers just fine, but chess, for some reason, had always sounded too complex to her, and she had never managed to understand it, which irritated her to no end.

"Ugh, fine. Rose, you take the place of that bishop there, and you, that castle." And while the girls did so, he himself replaced one of the knights.

As all chess matches, white moved first, and then black. Weasley directed them all around the board, actually surprising Violet with his skill, not that she particularly minded it right now, when they had an actual risk of dying (as far as she knew). Wizard's Chess was quite...violent. While it was obvious Weasley didn't care much for the Slytherin, he clearly didn't wish to be blamed for the death of a classmate, and was sure to keep Violet as safe as he was Rose.

None of them was sure of how much time had passed before the redhead paused it thought. "Aha!" he exclaimed softly, looking up at the queen.

"What is it, Ron?"

"I've got to be taken."

"What!? No!" Rose was not at all pleased, though Violet remained silent, watching.

"That's chess. Sacrifices have to be made all the time!" Weasley retorted. "If I let her take me, then you can checkmate the king, Rose!" When his friend opened her mouth to argue, he cut her off before she could even begin. "You have to stop Snape from getting that Stone! This is the only way!" And before anyone could say anything else, he took a single step forward.

Immediately, the white queen attacked, catching Weasley around the head, and dragging him off the board. Trembling visibly, Rose moved towards the white king, who took off his crown and tossed it at her feet. The chessmen all bowed, and then shifted away, revealing the door.

Rose however, rushed over to her friend. "Ron! Ron!"

Casting a longing look at the door, Violet decided to be a decent human being, and joined her sister, kneeling down next to her. She reached out, took the boy's hand, and placed two fingers on the pulse point on his wrist. "...He's alive," she stated, causing Rose to fall silent. "Alive, but unconscious." Releasing his hand, she checked his head. Living in an orphanage with a bunch of children had given her good insight on injuries, not to mention all of the ones she had sustained herself over the years. "It looked like a glancing blow, which is better than it being full on. He's bleeding a little, but it's already pretty much stopped. He might have a concussion though. He'll be fine." I think.

Rose stared at her for a long moment, as if judging her truthfulness, and then sighed, looking back down at her friend. Violet may not have liked either of them, but even she could see that there was a close friendship between these two, that they obviously cared for one another. She couldn't help but feel a little jealous about that. She'd never had a friendship like that before, and didn't know if she ever would. Slytherins were always so...guarded, and yes, she knew that included her too.

Sighing softly, she got to her feet. "Come on, let's go."

Rose, despite appearing uncertain, followed after her, and the two left the room through the newly unlocked door, both wondering how much further they were going to have to go before reaching the end.

The next room however, was filled with the worse scent Violet had ever had the misfortune of smelling, and she quickly started breathing through her teeth. Knocked unconscious on the floor was a massive troll. It seemed like it had a large bump on the head, and the girls didn't hesitate to simply run across the room and yank the door open, desperate to get out.

The Slytherin knew now that each...trial they had gone through was connected to one of their classes, or perhaps professor would be a better term, in some way. Sprout had clearly been behind the Devil's Snare, and Flitwick the keys. McGonagall had to do with the chess game, which meant the troll, as a dark creature, had been Quirrell's doing. Which left only two: Snape and Dumbledore.

On the other side of the door was a small room, in the middle of which sat a table. On top of said table, seven differently shaped bottles were lined. Well...this was a break from the norm, wasn't it? As soon as the two stepped forward, purple fire erupted in the doorway behind them, and black flames blocked the one in front. They were trapped.

Curiously, and silently, the twins carefully approached the table, and Rose picked up a rolled sheet of parchment that had been laying beside the bottles. While Violet examined the oddly shaped containers, she unrolled it and began to read, only to release a sound of frustration a moment later, and thrust the parchment at her sister.

"Here. Solve it," she demanded with a scowl.

Raising a brow, Violet lifted the roll and read through it, growing further impressed with each passing line. It was a riddle, she realized right away. A very well written riddle. When was the last time she had solved one of these?

"Well?" questioned Rose impatiently.

"Wait." Violet read through the riddle again, and then began matching the lines with the bottles, all the while wishing she had something to write with. It would have made things much easier. She was sure Theo or Hermione would have already solved the bloody thing. Eventually, she picked up a small, round, black bottle.

"Well, I'll be taking that!" Rose made a grab for it, but her sister pulled her arm back, dodging.

"There's enough for two swallows, meaning the both of us*."

"I'm not taking you with me!" And using her Skeeker reflexes, Rose managed to grab the bottle, and raise it up to her mouth.

Annoyed, Violet watched dispassionately. "You'll poison yourself if you drink the whole thing," she stated calmly.

Rose faltered and lowered the bottle slightly, glaring at her sister. "You're lying!" she accused.

The Slytherin merely shrugged unconcernedly, and brushed dirt off her shoulder. "Give it a try, if you like, though all you'll do is kill yourself and allow the thief to escape."

The Lion's scowl deepened, but since she had no way of knowing the truth, took a single sip, before passing the bottle over. Violet hid a smirk behind her hair, and downed the rest of the potion, a shiver crawling up her spine at the icy feeling that enveloped her.

Without another word, the Potter twins stepped forward through the flickering black flames...

A large, stone chamber met the girls, a strange mirror the first thing visible on the other side of the room. But standing before this mirror was a person, and it wasn't, as Violet had already suspected, Professor Snape.


Professor Quirrell slowly turned around to face them, a little smirk on his still face. "Yes, me," he replied, not a single stutter in his voice.

Rose couldn't believe it. "But-but Snape!"

The Defence professor raised a brow. "What of him?" he asked without interest. "Consider him an unknowing decoy, if you will. After all, who would suspect p-p-poor s-stuttering Q-Quirrell next to him?"

"But-! But Snape tried to kill me!"

"Did he now?"

"He jinxed my broom!"

Violet remembered that now. During the first Quidditch match, her sister had lost control of her broom, though she had still managed to catch the Golden Snitch, much to the displeasure of her House mates.

Quirrell's brow merely rose again. "I'm afraid I know nothing about that." His gaze met Violet's now. "However it appears at least one of you does not seem surprised to see me. Why is that?"

"It was obvious once I actually bothered looking and paying attention," replied the Snake. "Your behaviour was suspicious. Your stutter would vanish every time we spoke alone, and your personality would do a complete one eighty."

The man just chuckled. "Very good, Miss Potter. I suppose it should not be a surprise you did not consider your own Head of House as a suspect. I had hoped sending the staff running after a troll would have given me enough time to do as I needed, but he was too smart, and saw through me immediately."

"You let the troll in on Halloween!?" Rose gasped. Though her intonation had made it difficult to tell whether she was stating a fact or asking a question.

"Yes." Quirrell snapped his fingers, and out of nowhere, ropes coiled around the girls, binding and restraining them both. "Now, silence children. I must examine this interesting mirror. I know it's the key to finding the Stone." He wandered around it, staring hard and tapping the thick frame. "Trust Dumbledore to rely on something this foolish. But he's in London, and will be far too late in arriving to stop me."

Violet frowned. What the heck was the Headmaster doing so far away from the school? And was the mirror not a normal mirror? How would it help locate the Philosopher's Stone anyway?

Rose started talking again. "But Snape hates me!"

"Of course he does. He and your father went to school together, and they loathed one another. He has never wanted you dead though."

Oh. I guess that explains why he's so cruel to her. But then, why doesn't he treat me the same way? Is it just because I'm in Slytherin? I suppose that makes sense, and at least I have an explanation for all those odd looks he gives me when he thinks I'm not looking. The girl was pulled out of her thoughts abruptly when Rose fell over beside her. What was she even doing?

"Use the girl!" came a sudden, hoarse whisper from Quirrell, though his mouth didn't move. "Use Rose!"

Quirrell whipped around, vanished the bonds keeping Rose in place, and ordered for her to approach and look into the mirror. Violet's own bindings disappeared, but she remained where she was, unsure of what to do. Why hadn't she gone to an adult first!?

"What do you see?" questioned the man in a dangerously soft voice.

"I-I helped Gryffindor win the House Cup!"

...Really? Was that the best thing she could think of? Violet barely knew her sister, and even she knew she was lying!

"She lies... Let me speak to her, face to face."

Where the heck was that voice coming from!?

"Master, you are not strong enough!"

"Do not question me!"

Violet had no idea what exactly she had gotten herself into, and watched as Quirrell reached up and began unbinding his turban. Why was he doing that? Was he not wearing it for religious reasons then? She blinked, expecting to see a normal head, well, the back of his head. But, that wasn't what she saw.

Rose screamed, and a strangled gasp left her twin, both girls staring, emerald eyes wide with pure shock. Resting on the back of Quirrell's head was a face. It was pale, practically white, the eyes were glowing crimson, and his nose was snake like with two slits.

"Rose and Violet Potter," the face spoke hoarsely, giving away that it had been the mysterious voice. "See what I have become? Shadow and vapour, forced to become but a parasite, feeding off a host's body." His gaze focused on the Gryffindor. "Now, Rose, why don't you give me that Stone you have hidden in your pocket?"

"No!" Rose took a step back and stumbled, but Quirrell reached out and caught her by the hand before she fell, pulling her back up. "Let me go!"

"Stun her," Voldemort, because it couldn't be anyone else, ordered calmly.

With his free hand, Quirrell pulled out his wand and pointed it at Rose. "Stupefy!"

Rose collapsed onto the stone floor, leaving Violet alone with her Defence professor, who just happened to be possessed by the Dark Lord himself. ...Well, wasn't this a fascinating situation? Then she wondered if she should have been more concerned that her sister had just been knocked unconscious. And why did her thoughts keep straying like this?

She blinked, only to find crimson irises boring into her own emerald, and she blinked again, finally understanding that the man she had had all those discussions with over the year, hadn't been her professor at all.

"Are you scared, Violet?" questioned Voldemort softly. "Do you hate me?"

And it was at this very moment that the girl realized something for the first time. "No. I'm not scared, and I don't hate you."

"I killed your parents," the Dark Lord pointed out.

"I know," she agreed. "I may only be eleven, but I've learned a lot about the war that was taking place, and as far as I can tell, my parents were your enemy, as everyone from the other side was. They were the ones who chose to take part in an active war despite having two children, and like anyone who fights in wars, they became targets. They were casualties. They were in your way, and you killed them." She paused and took a breath. It felt strange to be admitting what she had been thinking for the past few months. "I'm sure my parents were very good people," she continued, "and while I can't really miss them since I don't remember them, it's hard to know they chose to continue fighting, even though Rose and I had been born."

Voldemort gazed at her, an odd expression on his pale face. He said nothing for a long moment, before finally breaking the silence. "There is much I wish to tell you, and it is unfortunate we currently lack the time. I have no doubt Dumbledore is already aware of what has occurred here, and will arrive at any moment, and I cannot be here when he does. However, there is one very important thing I feel you have the right to know, though what you do with that knowledge is up to you."

The girl blinked uncertainly, curious to know what he had to say, but not really sure what to say in return.

"You, Violet Potter, are the Girl-Who-Lived."

Her eyes widened. "M-me?"

"Yes, you. It was declared otherwise because your sister had that lightning bolt scar on her forehead, and you were unmarked. Though Dumbledore made a mistake. It was you I struck with my curse, not her. You rose and moved in front of her as the curse was in the air, and it was you who banished me, you who survived."

The child could not believe what she was hearing. Did that mean everything she had gone through had been for nothing? Rose had gotten everything because she was thought to be the Girl-Who-Lived, while Violet suffered in silence. Had there really been no point in all of that? And all because Rose had a scar on her forehead? She set a small hand on her middle, over her secret rune. It had been her the whole time...

"I cannot linger here much longer," said Voldemort suddenly, drawing the girl out of her thoughts.

"Oh...right." What was she supposed to do in this situation? Should she stop him, or let him go? ...Did she even want to stop him? She looked down, spotting a jagged, blood red stone that had fallen out of her sister's pocket. The Philosopher's Stone. "Are-are you going to take it?"

There was a pause, and then the Dark Lord answered, "There is no point. The stone is a fake."

It actually took a moment for the words to register in the girl's mind. "Fake?" she questioned, astonished. "But what about Nicolas Flamel?"

"His stone is indeed real. You have all the clues. I will allow you to find the answer on your own." Voldemort smiled slightly. "You are a very intelligent girl. I have no doubt you will learn the truth before long. But I must go now."

"O-okay..." What was she supposed to say, what was she supposed to think!?

Quirrell walked backwards, until Voldemort was right in front of her. Having saved up his power, he once again took control of the man's body. He reached up, over his shoulders, and took hold of both of the girl's hands, his skin beginning to sizzle like bacon on a hot frying pan. Saying nothing, he brought her hands up to the back of the professor's head, to his own pale face, and held them there.

Violet watched in horror as the flesh burned and Quirrell screamed, and it was clearly hurting him far more than it was her. But it was the calm look in the Dark Lord's eyes that began to quell her fear.

"This is proof," Voldemort said softly, his voice clearly audible despite all the screaming. "Proof that you are indeed the Girl-Who-Lived. Rose was touched as well, skin on skin, and did not have the same reaction."

The student had noticed that as well. A few moments ago, when Rose had stumbled, Quirrell had reached out and caught her by the hand, and nothing had happened at all. Yet she remembered, when the professor had come to the orphanage to tell her she was a witch and had a place at Hogwarts, he had made no move to shake her hand, as most would have done. She herself had merely assumed it was for a religious reason, coupled with that turban, and so she hadn't questioned it. And look at what the truth was!

"I have no time at the present to explain it," Voldemort continued, "but there is a reason you, and only you are unable to touch me."

Coloured spots appeared before Violet's eyes as darkness edged into her vision, and she began to feel the tell tale signals of unconsciousness. Her hands were released, and the pale face had vanished, leaving only burned flesh. Quirrell collapsed, and she knew, even without looking that he was dead. Voldemort had vanished. She could see no sign of him, but she could still hear his voice, low and lingering in the air around her as she dropped to her knees, suddenly exhausted and unable to keep herself up.

"Well will meet again, Kitten, some day soon..."

A dark veil settled over her, and Violet knew no more...

When Violet finally woke, it was a slow and rather confusing affair, and it felt as if her brain was working slower than ever. Unsure of where she was exactly, she fought to keep as still as possible while she tried to focus, and it was now that she realized she could hear voices. There were two people speaking, and since one of the voices sounded suspiciously like her own, she realized it must have been Rose. But then who-


Ah. Dumbledore. That made sense. Frowning slightly, but keeping her eyes closed, Violet listened closer, curious to know what the two were speaking about, even as, somewhere in the back of her mind, she understood they were in the Hospital Wing (the scent was familiar from when she had brought Theo). It seemed she had woken in time to hear the two speak of the Dark Lord.

"But, do you really think he'll be coming back?" Rose was asking.

"Once he finds a new method of return, yes."

"Why didn't he take the Stone, then?"

There was a pause before Dumbledore answered. "Perhaps he realized doing so would cause him to become easy to trace. That is the only Philosopher's Stone in existence for a reason. He would have been forced to rely on the Elixir of Life as well, and would die upon missing a single dosage. It is not a full-proof method, and he knows this."

Violet frowned. Hadn't Voldemort said the Stone was a fake though? Why wasn't Dumbledore admitting that? Surely he must have known, right? A sudden thought struck her. Nicolas Flamel was over five hundred years old, right? Which meant he must have been taking care of the Stone himself all these centuries. Dumbledore was old, yes, but not that old, so after dealing with the Stone by himself for so long, why suddenly entrust Dumbledore with it? Yes, Gringotts had been broken into, but in what universe was a school filled with children safer that a dragon guarded vault?

...Unless the Stone had been a plant the entire time. The real Stone had been swapped out, and Hagrid had, unknowingly, been sent to pick up the fake-perhaps to draw out the Dark Lord. The vault had, after all, nearly been burglarized. Then there was Dumbledore's words at the start of term feast, those words about the third floor Charms corridor being banned to those who did not wish to die painfully. Everyone knew if you told a child not to do something, they generally did the opposite. So informing them all of the vague hazard, there was always a chance for one of them to be bloody killed by that three headed dog.

Rose and Weasley had made it to that corridor, into that room, and down that trap door long before Violet had, and yet, there hadn't been a single adult in sight. Why? She had thought this as she had made it there herself, but were there really no alarms or counter measures up there? Why hadn't anyone known that the three of them had gone there? What if that blow to the head had killed Weasley?

And how in the world did Dumbledore not know the Defence professor was possessed by the Dark Lord!? How do you just...miss that fact!?

"Professor? Why didn't he kill me or her?" asked Rose suddenly, drawing the other girl out of her thoughts.

"Ah." For a brief moment, it almost seemed as if Dumbledore didn't know how to answer that, but then said, "There is one thing in this world that Voldemort does not understand, and it is that that saved the two of you."

"What is it?"

"Love, Rose, love. Voldemort does not, cannot understand love, and it was the love of your mother that protects you girls, the love that helped you all those years ago."

Then why is Rose the one praised for what happened that night and not mother?

"Do you know anything about the Invisibility Cloak I got at Christmas then, sir?"

The old man chuckled a little here. "Your father left it in my possession not long before his death. I thought it was due time for it to be returned to his blood kin."


...That still doesn't answer why she got it instead of me. Honestly, I really hope it's just because she's older than me, and not special treatment. Ask dammit! Ask! But Rose didn't bother questioning it, clearly having no concern because she had been the one to receive the cloak.


Oh, she actually sounds hesitant. I wonder what she's about to ask...

"Yes, my dear?"

"Why does Snape hate me?"

"Professor Snape, Rose," Dumbledore corrected, mild admonishment in his tone.

"Yes sir." Rose didn't sound particularly repentant.

The Headmaster sighed softly, sounding morose. "Your father and Professor Snape were...akin to yourself and Mr Malfoy in many ways. They argued, and they fought, and then James did something Professor Snape could never forget, or forgive."

"And what was that?"

"He saved his life."


Oh indeed. I always knew there was something there with Snape, but I didn't realize how...deep it was. She was still confused though, because now she was wondering if her Head of House was really that caught up in a schoolboy rivalry. With someone who was long dead no less! ...How was that even healthy?

Feeling tired again, Violet sighed softly and allowed herself to fall asleep once more, too many confusing thoughts swirling through her mind...


Violet jolted awake at the sudden cry. "Holy, jeez," she muttered, setting a hand over her rapidly beating heart. What was Rose yelling about? Yawning widely, she missed the next few seconds of the conversation, but once she was able to hear again, she froze. Hagrid was giving Rose a photo album containing pictures of their parents, obtained by people who had known them. Pictures...

"...Thanks, Hagrid! I've seen pictures of them, but only the Muggle kind! These are amazing!"

"I knew yeh'd like it!"

When neither of them made an effort to include her, Violet shut her eyes and tuned the voices out. She hadn't realized her sister could be so cruel. She knew she was there in the same room. It would have been simple to have shown her too. But she hadn't. And while Hagrid wasn't a bad person, he was just very prejudiced against all Slytherins. He had been kind to her when he had first seen her, but that was before she had been Sorted. He hadn't spoken to her since...

An hour later, while Rose was taking a nap, Violet headed to the loo, pleased Madam Pomfrey had told them they were allowed to leave in time for the Parting Feast in a handful of hours. She couldn't wait to get out of here. Glancing into the mirror while she washed her hands, she noted how much paler than usual she was, noticed how large, and dark her eyes looked. It was clear that while she felt fine, not all had been well in that room with the Stone. She sighed, then looked away from her reflection.

When she returned to her bed, she paused in place at the sight of something sitting on her pillow. Frowning, she reached out, and picked up what was clearly a photograph. A moving photograph of a man and woman dancing hand in hand among the falling leaves of autumn. She hadn't seen one in person like this before-only in the newspaper and in her textbooks.

Curious about how it got there, she was about to set it back down, when a flash of green caught her eye. Frown deepening, she raised it up to examine it closer, and froze. Those eyes... The red haired woman in the picture had a pair of very familiar green eyes. Now the girl looked even closer, almost greedily taking in every detail she could. The man's hair, the woman's nose, the man's mouth, the woman's jawline, the man's knees, the woman's shoulders.

Violet's breathing was quick and shaky as her fingers gently passed over the pictured faces of who she knew were her mother and father. This was the first time... She hadn't even known what they had looked like all these years, and now that she was seeing them, she didn't want to look away. She wanted to soak in each and every detail, terrified the photo would be taken from her. She didn't bother questioning its presence anymore, simply thankful to be able to see it.

She knew she had told Voldemort she didn't really miss them, but that didn't change the fact that they had given their lives for her and her sister, which meant, in her mind, that they must have loved them. Loved her. Tears pooled into her eyes, and one by one, slid down her cheeks, but she didn't even realize, too caught up with her tumultuous emotions.

So focused on the picture of her parents, Violet didn't notice the dark eyed man hidden in the shadowy corner of the room, watching her, confused emotions of his own swirling through his mind...

It wasn't until that evening that Madam Pomfrey finally allowed the Potter twins to leave the Hospital Wing. The two hurried out together, only to turn and go in the opposite directions without a word once in the corridor.

Violet was making her way to the dungeons, when she suddenly heard a call of her name. With the voice sounding familiar, she turned around, and saw Theodore and Hermione jogging over to her, both of them looking more than a little relieved. The two had been very worried for her, and despite being in different Houses, had been waiting for her together.

"You should have told us what was happening! Or at least told a teacher!" Hermione admonished, hugging her tightly.

Violet, who had stiffened at first, unused to being touched, relaxed and awkwardly patted the other girl on the back. "Er, sorry?" But when Hermione finally pulled away, Theo suddenly punched her, catching her arm. "Ow! What was that for, Theo!?" she questioned, rubbing her upper arm.

Blue eyes as cool as ever, the boy merely raised a brow. "I'm fulfilling a promise, that's all."

Both girls blinked. "A promise?"

"You don't remember?" Theodore smirked. "The day of the flying lessons, Violet, you made me promise to punch you if you ever tried to save your sister again. You did try, so I punched you."

There was a moment of silence, before all three began to laugh lightly, the sound filling the corridor and causing many of the portrait people to look round in shocked astonishment.

Seeing the concern, the relief in the faces of the Slytherin boy and Ravenclaw girl, Violet, for the very first time, realized that she had no reason to be jealous of her sister and Weasley, because she too actually had friends. A smile stretched across her face, and the three headed off together...

As the young Potter sat at Slytherin Table in the Great Hall (which had been decorated with Gryffindor banners after Slytherin's win had been snatched away from under them) a little while later, eating the feast set before her, she couldn't help letting her thoughts stray to the Dark Lord. What had happened to him? Was he...was he okay?

She knew everyone would be shocked if they found out what she was thinking, but she could still remember each conversation she had had, not with her professor, but Voldemort...not that she had known that at the time.

The Dark Lord, the man who had killed her parents, tried to kill both her sister and her, had been kinder to her, more considerate to her than the Headmaster of her own school. And solely because Dumbledore thought Rose was the "GWL", Violet was but a mere afterthought! It was infuriating! But, as it turned out, Violet herself was really the "GWL"!

No, she wasn't going to tell anyone about the truth. She didn't want all the attention her sister got from everyone. But at the same time, she found that she sort of wanted to...prove herself to Voldemort. All those little compliments and praises he had given her had always made her so happy and proud, though she hadn't understood why. Knowing it had been Voldemort the entire time did nothing to change that feeling either. Actually, the fact that the Dark Lord Voldemort himself had been impressed by an eleven year old girl, no matter their previous history, was shocking!

Violet had heard so many members of her House talking about him as if they revered him, so many of their parents or family had become his followers, and many of them spoke as if it was their life goal to do the same thing, if he ever did return in some way. Violet didn't want to become one of his followers though. Honestly, she didn't really know what she wanted, so she figured she would just wait and see what happened.

She knew this was insane, knew her House members had influenced her thoughts somewhat, but she really couldn't care less what others would have to say or think about this. She did briefly entertain the thought of her parents being disappointed, but they had been the ones who chose to continue fighting, so there...

After the feast, Violet approached Dumbledore, having something on her mind she was desperate to ask. "Headmaster?"

The old man blinked and peered down at her from beneath half moon spectacles. "Good evening, Violet. What may I do for you?" he asked with a smile.

The girl hesitated, wondering how to word her question, and then decided to just be blunt about it. "I was just wondering, would it be possible for me to...remain at Hogwarts over the summer? Sir?"

Blue eyes widened slightly, before clouding over, the smile fading. "I'm afraid not," he replied finally. "All students must return to their homes. The professors all do the same, and students cannot remain here unsupervised, you understand." He reached out and set a gnarled hand on her small shoulder. "Forgive me, Violet, but you must remain at the orphanage. It would not be safe for you anywhere else."

"...I understand, sir." But as she turned and walked away, a frown found its place on her face. And she did understand. Understand what the old man hadn't been saying, that is. Despite her "not" being the Girl-Who-Lived, Dumbledore was probably worried she would get a little too close to the Slytherins. If something were to happen to Rose, she knew she was probably going to become the new "GWL", with him likely saying a mistake had been made, or something along those lines. There was also a chance he was suspicious about what had happened during the whole "Stone incident". Or perhaps she was completely wrong and the castle was truly going to be devoid of life all summer.

That didn't mean she was happy about it though. Starlight was the last place she wanted to return to...

On the Hogwarts Express, Violet shared a compartment with Theo, Hermione, and Neville, the latter of whom appeared rather nervous to be there. Though he had beamed and blushed brightly when the emerald eyed girl had thanked him for telling her all about the Devil's Snare earlier that year. She honestly wouldn't have known about it otherwise, and then she would have been as stuck as her sister and Weasley. Neville's reaction however, had clearly told her he wasn't used to receiving compliments, and she made a mental note to rectify that. He...was a friend too, after all, she decided.

There really wasn't much conversation between them, all four of them being the quiet types (depending), and Violet gazed out the window, hiding her sadness. She watched London get closer and closer, and with each passing moment the happiness in her heart faded more and more. She didn't want to go back, but she had nowhere else to go.

Dumbledore had insisted she remain at Starlight, Theo's father would kill her, Hermione was going away for the vacation, and Neville's gran didn't like having guests over. Not really knowing anyone else, she didn't think she had any other options. She could run away from the orphanage, take money out of her vault, and rent a room, but she couldn't use magic outside of school, and honestly?-she had no idea how to live on her own. How would she survive? Did she even have enough money to do something like that? Not to mention no one in their right mind would give a room to an eleven year old.

So it was with a deep sigh that she stepped off the train, and onto platform Nine and Three Quarters. Still concealing how upset she was, she said her goodbyes to her friends, watching as Theodore left with his father, Neville with his grandmother, and Hermione with her parents. She saw Ron Weasley and his three older brothers be greeted cheerfully by their mother and younger sister, tight embraces all around. And then she saw her sister. Rose was standing with a tall, thin, horse faced woman, a very large man with no neck and a mustache that made him resemble a walrus, and a boy about the same age as them who had clearly taken after his father.

So those are the Dursleys. ...I can see where Rose learned her manners from now. While the little family appeared quite happy and pleased, Violet found herself glad she didn't have to stay with them. She wasn't sure how things would have turned out if she had, but for some reason, something was telling her that if that had been the case, then neither she nor her sister would have turned out very well.

Perhaps feeling the thoughtful gaze on her, Rose turned around, her emerald eyes meeting Violet's. The two merely regarded one another for a moment, before their aunt wrapped a caring arm around her niece, drawing her away as she began to walk. Rose followed after them, and then glanced over her shoulder, eyes meeting her twin sister's again, and she shot her a smug grin before turning back around and leaving the station with her aunt, uncle, and cousin.

Left alone once more, Violet turned around and took one last look at the barrier leading to the hidden platform, before she too departed the station with her head held high. She began her walk back to the orphanage, already missing Hogwarts, missing home...

*I believe this is what Hermione used in the movie, correct?/I know there was only enough for one person in cannon.*

Chapter Text

For the first time in her life, Violet Potter couldn't wait for summer vacation to just be over and done with. After having spent her first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, being back in the orphanage was just...heartbreakingly unsatisfying.

She hated that she wasn't able to use her magic, hated that the Matron and other orphans refused to leave her alone. The unfortunate bullying only seemed to get worse, and even more of her belongings were going missing. She was just glad she had that trunk, because now at least she could keep her most important things hidden, including the trunk itself.

She had no contact with anyone. She didn't have an owl, and didn't know Hermione's address either, so she was on her own once more. There were days she had to remind herself she did indeed have friends now, that those ten months hadn't been a cruel dream.

Had...she done the right thing, she wondered? The way she had handled things with Voldemort in June. Had that been right? Should she have tried to stop him instead? She was the actual Girl-Who-Lived, and that title was all about being the Saviour, being the one to have gotten rid of Voldemort. But instead of doing that, she had spoken to him, had listened to him.

Sitting on her cot, she stared down at the moving photograph of her parents, cheerfully dancing among the falling leaves. What would they think about all this? Voldemort had killed them, and she wasn't afraid of him. She knew nothing about her parents, so honestly, it was impossible to know for sure.

But, she thought, if they were going to be disappointed in her for the way she had handled herself around their killer, then they should be disappointed in Rose as well for obvious reasons.

Still, Violet sighed and replaced the photo. No one, not even her or Rose, could know what her parents would think about any of this. They were dead, and that was that. What really mattered, she supposed, was how the two of them used the life that had been given to them. Right?

Violet was working on her Potions essay in the dim light of the lamp on her tiny desk, when she heard a tap on her grimy window. Blinking in surprise, she looked round, only to catch a glimpse of what appeared to be an owl on the other side. Frowning, she set down her quill and got up, opening the window and watching in surprise as two owls flew inside, landing on her bed quietly, seemingly understanding her need for silence.

Still frowning, she took the letters and packages they had, only to break out into a pleased smile when she realized she had just received birthday presents from Theo, Hermione, and Neville too. Even though all she had gotten was a book and some sweets, Violet found that she couldn't stop smiling, even when she settled down to sleep...after having hidden everything away, of course.

It was about a week later when the booklist arrived, and Violet headed off to Diagon Alley after asking the Matron for permission to leave the orphanage.

It didn't take her long to get to the Alley, and she was alone, which suited her just fine. She came across many familiar faces, though no one made an attempt to stop to talk to her. She didn't either. At least, not until she bumped into Hermione.

"Violet! Oh, I'm so happy to see you! How are you? Have you gotten your books yet? Did you finish all your homework? Wh-"

"Breathe, Hermione."

She did so, and then smiled somewhat sheepishly. "Sorry. How are you?" she repeated.

"Alright," Violet replied with a little shrug. She had no desire to get into how things were really going at the orphanage. "And yourself?"

"Great! I just finished my shopping! There were so many books on the list to buy!" She blushed slightly now. "Just a warning, Flourish and Blotts is really busy today. I can't wait to read all the books though!" She glanced behind her, and waved at a couple standing not far off, looking around in curious awe. "I have to go. I'll see you September first!"

"See you then," Violet smiled, watching as her bushy haired friend hurried off to whom she assumed were her parents. She kept moving herself, heading to Gringotts to get more money out of her vault. It was once she was exiting the bank that she ran into another familiar, and friendly face. "Theo?"

The boy turned, blue eyes wide, before he smiled slightly, evidently pleased to see her. "Hey, Violet."

"What's wrong? What are you doing?"

"Trying to get away from my father."

"Ah." Though she didn't know the whole story just yet, the girl was fully aware that her friend was not at all fond of his father. He never spoke of him particularly kindly, and had, more than once, hinted that he may have had something to do with his mother's death. Violet had never asked for him to elaborate, but hoped for Theodore's sake that it wasn't true.

"Where are you headed?"

"The bookshop," she replied promptly. "You?"

"Same. Come on, let's go then." It would be best for both of them to stick together, the boy decided...

While the two walked towards the shop, Violet asked who Lockhart was, considering pretty much every book on their list seemed to be his, and she had never even heard of him before. Theo informed her he was a celebrity of sorts, though his voice was full of disdain, signalling he didn't think much of this man, however famous he was...

"Ah. So this is what Hermione was hinting at."

They had arrived at Flourish and Blotts, and were quite surprised to see the large crowd outside the doors, fighting to get in.

"What's going on?" wondered Theo.

But Violet already had the answer. "That," she replied simply, pointing at a sign nearby.

'Gilderoy Lockhart will be signing copies of his autobiography Magical Me today', followed by the time.

"...I don't really want to go in there."

"Neither do I."

"We don't have a choice, do we?"


Violet sighed in resignation, and the two friends struggled to squeeze in through the crowd. Unfortunately, the inside was just as busy as the outside, the store packed with what appeared to be dozens upon dozens of middle aged witches, forming a very long lineup.

The twelve year olds stayed near the door, looking around, and what they saw didn't improve their mood in the slightest.

Lockhart, blond haired, blue eyed, sparkling smiled, wearing robes that matched his eyes, stood behind a table surrounded by posters of himself, smiling for the camera as a man took his picture. But beside him, grinning from ear to ear, was Rose, who was all but preening under the attention. When Violet and Theodore looked closer, they spotted a few redheads nearby, and realized Rose must have been with the Weasleys. Luckily, the two of them went unnoticed for the time being.

"I will be teaching Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts this September!" Lockhart announced suddenly, and with another smile that had many witches swooning and chattering about how jealous they were that their children had the chance to have this "wonderful" man as their professor.

Violet and Theo continued to watch, with some amusement now, as Rose and her friend were confronted by Draco Malfoy as they made to leave the store. The entire situation was made even more amusing when the Weasley and Malfoy patriarchs got involved, Lucius keeping his cool even as Arthur flushed very noticeably.

"Here, girl. Take your book. Clearly it is the best your father can do," sneered Lucius, thrusting a textbook at who must have been Ron's younger sister.

When the Malfoy males turned to leave, Draco noticed Violet and Theodore, and approached them to greet them, one more stiffly than the other. He didn't really get to say much before his father interjected into the conversation.

"Ah, Miss Potter. Draco has told me much about you," he said smoothly. He inclined his head and held out his hand. "Lucius Malfoy."

Deciding to be polite, Violet accepted his hand. "Violet Potter. It's nice to meet you, Mr Malfoy." And then she blinked in surprise when instead of shaking her hand, he lowered his head and brushed his lips over her knuckles.

"The pleasure is all mine." Smiling just slightly as he released her, he turned to Theo now. "Theodore. It has been some time. I hope you and your father are well? Do tell him we should have a drink sometime."

Theodore nodded. "Yes, sir. I'll do that."

The Malfoy's left the store a moment later, and Violet had only just turned around, when she came face to face with Rose. ...Ah. Well hell. The Weasleys were there too, the twins, Ron, and their little sister.

This girl was the first to speak. "I didn't know Rose has a twin!"

The red haired twins frowned. "We didn't tell you?" they asked in unison.


Violet just nodded politely, and introduced herself for the second time that day. She didn't have anything against all the Weasleys, and besides, she had manners. "And what's your name?"

The younger girl blushed, evidently embarrassed. "G-Ginny," she replied quickly. "I-" She didn't get to say anything else, because Ron started to drag her away now.

"Stay away from my sister, you Snakes!"

Saying nothing, Rose merely gave Violet a look of disgust, completely ignoring Theodore, and left with Ron and Ginny.

The Lion twins, however, traded a look of exasperation and a sigh, before looking down at the two Slytherins.

"Sorry about our..."

" Nah, I don't think we know him."

"Have we ever introduced ourselves?"


"-and George-"

"-at your service," they finished simultaneously.

For a second, Violet and Theo just blinked, before the girl managed to get her brain working again. "Violet."

"It is a pleasure-"

"-my lady!" He and his twin looked at Theo. "And you?"

Surprise visible in his blue eyes at the shown interest, he blinked rapidly. "Theodore," he finally replied. "Theodore Nott."

"Nice to meet you, Theodore!"

"Excuse us. We have a certain joke shop to..."


"Yes, explore." And with a cheerful wave, the twins left the bookstore.

Once alone again, the two Slytherins just stood there amongst the squealing middle aged witches, who were still crooning over Lockhart and his perfect smile and hairdo.

"Well," said Theo. "That was awkward."

"Yes. Yes it was." And it wasn't only the encounter with the Weasley twins that they were talking about.

The rest of summer break passed uneventfully. Violet went through her new books, not really sure what to think about all the Lockhart ones, and finished her homework as well, usually doing all this in the cover of night, while the others were asleep so she wouldn't get caught.

And on the thirty first of August, she reminded the Matron that she was going to be leaving the next morning, and wasn't going to be back until summer. As it turned out, the Matron was just as eager for her to leave as she was herself...

In the morning, she had her usual tiny breakfast, double checked her room and trunk, and headed out, walking over to King's Cross, recognizing many more witches and wizards for what they were now. They weren't particularly good at blending in. She wondered why they didn't try harder. Muggles weren't complete idiots.

Violet got onto Platform Nine and Three Quarters without any trouble, and looked around for a familiar face. Seeing none that meant her well, she figured she was just early, and found an empty compartment to settle down in.

Many stared at her when they passed the compartment, so she focused her attention outside the window. Still, she was glad when she was joined by Hermione not long after, who was soon followed by Neville, and then Theo.

The three conversed casually, properly catching up and recounting what they had done over the break, Violet listening more than speaking, because nothing interesting ever happened at the orphanage.

Just as the train began to move, there was a knock on the door, which slid open to reveal a dreamy looking blonde girl.

"Is it alright if I sit here?" she asked, big blue eyes trained on Violet. "This is the only compartment not infested with Pufflakes."

Violet had no idea what Pufflakes were, and a single glance at her friends showed they didn't either, but she had no reason to refuse, and gestured at one of the empty seats. "Go ahead."

"Thank you Violet Potter."

Violet blinked. "You're welcome, er-"

"Luna," the girl replied with a smile. "Luna Lovegood." And with that, the clearly younger girl sat down, pulled out a magazine, and began to read. This kid was an oddball for sure.

The other four exchanged a glance, and merely shrugged as they resumed their conversation.

The ride was uneventful until, a few hours later, the door opened again. This time, Draco Malfoy was on the other side, Crabbe and Goyle with him as usual.

He greeted his friend before looking at Violet, ignoring Neville, Hermione, and Luna. "Do you know where your sister is?" he asked.

The raven haired girl had no idea, of course, and told him just that. "I'm sure you'll find her if you find Weasley. They're always together, from what I've seen."

"I already looked. He doesn't seem to be here either."

Violet frowned. "What about his older brothers and younger sister?"

"They're all here." But since he wasn't getting any information, Malfoy left now, shutting the door behind him.

While Violet didn't really care what Rose got herself into, she definitely found it rather strange that Ron wasn't to be found either. What were the odds of both of them being missing like this?

Whatever, she was probably just hiding under that Invisibility Cloak of hers, likely off doing something she wasn't supposed to be...

When the train reached Hogsmead station, and all the students save the first years approached the carriages, Violet was surprised to see that they were being pulled not by horses, but strange, skeletal creatures with wings that kind of resembled...well, horses. Sort of? They were rather more reptilian, but their heads were shaped like a dragon's, and their leathery wings were like a bat's.

"What are those?" she asked out loud, never having seen them before.

"What are what?" questioned Hermione.

"The things pulling the carriages."

The bushy haired witch blinked. "Nothing's there, Violet."

"What? But they're huge!" How could Hermione not see them?

"I see them too," said Neville quietly, staring wide eyed.

"I do too," said Theodore, his own blue eyes passing over the creatures.

That had Hermione frowning. "I wonder why I'm the only one who can't. You can't all just be seeing things." It was clear to them all that she was going to look into this as soon as she could...

The Sorting and Welcoming Feast were uneventful, save for Luna being placed in Ravenclaw and Ginny in Gryffindor. It was only towards the end of the feast, after Snape, McGonagall, and Dumbledore left the Great Hall one by one, and then returned, that the rumours started.

Suddenly, everyone seemed to be talking about how Rose Potter and Ron Weasley had flown a car right into the Whomping Willow, and had been expelled from Hogwarts.

Violet and Theo merely exchanged an exasperated glance at that, not particularly believing what they were hearing. But...a single look at their Head of House up on the Staff Table showed he wasn't very happy at all, clearly a lot angrier than usual.

Something had to have happened.

Chapter Text

It wasn't until Violet was seated at Slytherin Table the next morning with Theo during breakfast, that she found out that all the rumours about Rose and Ron from the night before had been true after all. Well, minus the expulsion part, which was actually quite surprising. Though, Violet supposed it shouldn't have been. When did Rose ever get punished for doing something wrong?

Sighing, she pushed those thoughts to the back of her mind, and was half way through her bowl of cereal, when hundreds of owls flew into the Great Hall with the morning post. Since she never got anything, Violet barely glanced up and just kept eating. Well, until what sounded like an explosion went off.


Silence descended upon the Hall, before the students broke out into laughter, the Slytherins seeming to be the loudest of them all. Violet wasn't laughing though. Surprised and confused, she just blinked.

"What was that?" she questioned.

Malfoy, who was seated next to Theo across the table, replied with a snicker. "A Howler."

Seeing as that hadn't explained very much at all, Theodore took over. "It's basically a magical letter that reads itself out loud in the writer's voice. There's no getting around it either, because it'll do it whether you open it or not. Once it's done reciting, it'll burst into flames."

"And boy was Weasley's mummy angry!" Pansy Parkinson shrieked from nearby, clearly amused.

Violet was still frowning though. She had no idea why Rose and her friend had done what they had, but she was shocked her sister would do something that was clearly so stupid. If they had needed help, they could have waited or owled Ron's parents, or Dumbledore even. Hell, Rose had been raised in the Muggle world too, hadn't she? She could have even called her aunt and uncle for help using a payphone or something.

Why was Rose so...brash? She was a Gryffindor, yes, but that was no excuse for idiocy.

Violet was pulled out of her thoughts when Snape approached their table a moment later, and began handing out their timetables. She accepted her own with a polite thank you, and examined it carefully. They had Herbology first, followed by Transfiguration, and then Defence Against the Dark Arts after lunch.

"Should we head to the greenhouses?" Theodore inquired, pushing his empty dishes away.

Violet stashed her timetable into her bag, and nodded. "No harm in being early." Getting to her feet, she slung her bag over her shoulder, and together with her friend, left the Great Hall.

The two made their way outside, and then down to the greenhouses, chatting vaguely about this and that until they were joined by the rest of the Slytherins and Hufflepuffs, soon followed by an irritated looking Professor Sprout herself, who was muttering under her breath about Lockhart's idiocy.

Violet and Theo exchanged a glance, but said nothing and entered greenhouse three with the others curiously. They hadn't ever been inside this one before, because it held more dangerous things that the first two greenhouses didn't.

"We'll be repotting Mandrakes today," announced Professor Sprout once everyone had settled, her annoyance gone. "Now, who can tell me the properties of the Mandrake?"

Neville's hand was in the air first. "It's a powerful restorative, and can turn anyone who's been cursed back to normal, but it's cry is also deadly to anyone who hears it." And then he blushed furiously, clearly having answered instinctively, perhaps forgetting where he was and who was around.

No one was surprised by his answer though, even if most of the Slytherin sneered. Neville had a real knack for this subject.

"Good boy! Fifteen points to Hufflepuff!"

Flushing again, the chubby boy grinned when his House members cheered, which had Violet laughing quietly, despite the jeering of the other Slytherins.

As Professor Sprout had said, they repotted the Mandrakes after that, and once Herbology came to an uneventful end, the Snakes and Badgers returned to the castle to wash up, before heading to their next class. The Slytherins soon found themselves sitting in Transfiguration with the Ravenclaws.

Today they were learning how to turn beetles into buttons. Violet found that taking the complicated notes was a lot easier than performing the spell. Having been unable to use magic over the summer, and having had very limited time in which she'd been able to go over her textbooks safely, Violet felt as if all her knowledge had somehow escaped her.

Then again, how many times over those two months had she needed to remind herself that all this hadn't, in fact, been a dream...?

As always, Hermione was the first to accomplish their task, earning Ravenclaw a few points, and she looked quite pleased about it too. Theo wasn't far behind her though, suddenly turning the beetle scuttling across his desk into a dark button too. He smirked, and then looked at Violet, only to see that she was scowling, her own beetle still running around. His smirk turned into a frown.

He didn't know or understand why, but ever since he had met Violet, he had always thought there was something a bit...odd about her magic. Even as he watched her, she struggled for another moment, before finally succeeding.

Violet picked up her beetle-turned-button, and examined it closely. She wasn't pleased with how long this had taken her. It was such a simple spell, and yet she had had so much trouble with it.

Well, at least she'd done it before Malfoy...

Violet and Theo were chatting quietly in the Great Hall during lunch, when Malfoy, looking quite smug and pleased, appeared at the table, flanked by Crabbe and Goyle, as usual.

He took a seat next to Theodore, dismissed the other two, and looked across the table at Violet, smirking. "Lockhart and your sister are giving out signed photos of themselves."

The emerald eyed girl blinked, and lowered her spoon of rice. "I'm sorry, what?"

Malfoy filled his plate as he began to explain. "Have you seen Creevey yet? First year-Gryffindork?"

"The name sounds vaguely familiar."

"Well, he carries a camera around with him, and he asked Potter-your sister if she would take a picture with him, and then sign it after. She agreed, and then that daft twit Lockhart joined in."

Violet just blinked slowly, and then sighed, even as Theo shook his head in clear exasperation. Rose really had let all that fame get to her head, hadn't she? And that was hardly a good thing.

"Speaking of Lockhart," said Theo after a moment, "we've got Defence next."

The girl sighed again. "His books make no sense," she said to her friend as she finished up her lunch. "They're very...elaborate and detailed, but did you notice he never once explains exactly how he solved the problem?"

Having a feeling he knew where she was going with this, Theodore nodded. "He's full of it."

And with that, they finished their lunch, gathered their bags, and then made their way up to the Defence corridor, where they once again had class with the Ravenclaws. They didn't have to wait long for Lockhart to arrive. He was dressed as exuberantly as always, hair perfectly coiffed, blue eyes glistening, white teeth glittering.

Hermione blushed. Violet and Theodore exchanged a look of disgust...

It didn't take most of them long at all to realize that the class was a total joke. They took a quiz with questions from all of Lockhart's books, though the majority of these questions, like the books themselves, didn't really have all that much to do with Defence in the first place.

The pixies the professor attempted to deal with next weren't any better. How in the world had this guy managed to become a teacher!? Even Quirrell had been better, and he'd been terrified of everything!

Half of the girls, too busy fawning over Lockhart, didn't at all agree. Violet was not among them, much to Theo's relief.

Nothing particularly exciting or interesting occurred over the rest of the week, Violet more focused on her lessons and homework. In fact, it wasn't until Friday that something rather odd happened.

It was late, and with tomorrow being Saturday, she had decided to stay up to catch up on her reading, after which she had settled on a shower before bed. She was in the middle of rinsing out her hair, when she heard something quite strange indeed.

"Come..." came a low, and rather eerie voice. " me. Let you. Let me...tear you. Let me...kill you..."

Startled, the girl shut off the shower and listened closer, though she heard nothing more. She cocked her head in confusion, and then shrugged, figuring she'd just been hearing things. It was hard to make anything out over the sound of the water, so it wasn't all that weird. Or so she told herself.

Violet had no way of knowing that just a few minutes later, a few floors up, Rose, in 'detention' with Lockhart, was going to hear the very same thing she had herself, and was going to be just as confused as her...

Days went by peacefully. Or as peacefully as they could for a bunch of teens and preteens. Violet didn't bother telling Theodore about the strange voice she had heard in the shower, and pretty much forgot about it herself, never having heard it again. Classes went on as usual, with everyone taking notes, and practicing new spells, and brewing more potions.

Violet didn't like Defence Against the Dark Arts much. She hadn't minded it last year, and was most certainly interested in the subject itself, but going to the classes taught by Lockhart was such a chore that it didn't even seem worth the minimal effort most of them had to put in. Theo agreed with her for the most part. Hermione on the other hand, vehemently disagreed. She didn't think Lockhart could do anything wrong. But that was her hormones talking, no doubt.

September turned to October, the weather chilling down while darkness began to fall a little more quickly. But with this, came the approach of Halloween, which was quite exciting indeed. Well, for most.

Soon enough, it was the thirty first of October-Halloween. Violet wasn't quite as solemn as last year, but she still allowed herself a moment to pay her respects to her parents. It didn't seem as if anyone else was going to bother, and as one of their children, there was no reason why she shouldn't. She had respect for what they had done for her and her sister, after all, even if she was still kind of miffed about it.

There was a restlessness by most in their classes that day, everyone no doubt eager for the feast that evening. Violet was feeling a little excited herself. Normal meals at Hogwarts were extravagant enough, but the feasts were just way out there. There never really seemed to be any fights between the Houses on Halloween either, no doubt because of all the excitement.

Classes couldn't have ended soon enough, and staff and students alike filed into the Great Hall later that evening. Once everyone was seated, the food and drink and candy appeared, and they all began to eat and chat with their companions, everyone enjoying themselves. It seemed most had already forgotten what had happened last year with that troll being let in.

As she ate and chatted with Theo, Violet only vaguely noticed that neither Rose nor Ron appeared to be in the Hall. She was enjoying herself too much to really pay much attention to it, and even Theodore merely shrugged when she absently mentioned it to him. Frankly, they were in no mood to ponder over what idiotic thing the two Gryffindors were up to this time...

The feast went uninterrupted, unlike the previous year, and eventually everyone began to leave. They had only made it to the Entrance Hall, when there was a sudden commotion from some of the students. When others, Violet and Theo included, curious to see what was happening, approached, they all found out why.

They were near the girl's lavatory on the first floor. They squeezed through the many students to near the front of the group, and Violet frowned immediately. The floor was wet, but that was the least strange thing here. There was a cat, Mrs Norris, they all recognized, hanging from a torch bracket by her tail. She wasn't moving. But the oddest thing of all was the wall behind her. There was something written on it in what was either red paint, or blood, which certainly wasn't pleasant.

'The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the Heir, beware'

Violet just blinked. What in the world did all of that even mean? Then she frowned again when she noticed Rose and her red haired friend standing right by the hanging cat, looking quite guilty. ...Had they done this?

"Enemies of the Heir, beware?" Malfoy repeated, sounding rather amused. "You'll be next, mudbloods!"

Violet's frown only deepened. This was hardly the first time she had heard that word. It was spoken quite often by the Slytherins, and she had asked Theo what it meant long ago. But just because she knew what it meant, didn't mean she liked hearing it, or even what it stood for. After all, not only was Hermione, her friend, a Muggleborn, her own mother had been one too. She wasn't fond of associating either of them with the word mudblood...

No doubt drawn by the crowd, Filch himself arrived suddenly, and it didn't take him long at all to notice the predicament his cat was in. He became absolutely hysterical, shouting at Rose and Ron, even threatening to kill them. Luckily Dumbledore arrived at the scene before Filch could actually do anything to harm the two.

For a brief moment, the Headmaster merely stared at the seemingly dead cat, before looking at Rose and Ron, who were standing right under it, and then looking at the words written on the stone wall.

"Return to your common rooms immediately," he spoke suddenly, his voice stern, and his expression hard. But as everyone turned to leave, he called three of them back. "Not you three, Rose, Ronald, Violet."

Rose and Ron both paused in place, still looking oddly guilty, but Violet froze. Why on earth was she being told to stay back? She hadn't done anything! Theo merely shrugged and hesitantly patted her on the back before heading off, leaving Violet to follow her sister, the redhead, Dumbledore, Filch, Lockhart, McGonagall, and Snape over to Lockhart's office, which was closest...and covered in photos and posters of himself. ...Ick.

Mrs Norris was set down on Lockhart's desk, and Dumbledore examined her closely, murmuring to himself under his breath, while the Defence professor blabbered on about who knows what, and Filch sobbed loudly. Violet wasn't really listening though, still trying to figure out why she had been asked to stay back, when she obviously hadn't done anything wrong. ...Unless enjoying the Halloween feast was now against the rules or something.

"She is not dead," the old Headmaster declared abruptly, straightening up to his full height.

Lockhart and Filch both fell silent immediately, and the two Gryffindors looked quite relieved. Violet just tried not to frown, still very confused about what was going on. The cat certainly looked dead to her.

"Not dead?" Filch echoed in disbelief.

"No. She has been petrified." Dumbledore looked at the cat again, then said, "It can be undone fairly easily, though it will take some months. Professor Sprout has recently come into a new batch of Mandrakes. Once they have matured, Professor Snape will be able to brew a potion that will be able to cure poor Mrs Norris."

McGonagall frowned. "But how could this happen, Headmaster?"

Filch's face contorted in anger. "It was them! Those two! They did it!" he cried, pointing at Rose and Ron with a shaky finger, his face red with fury. "I saw them! They were standing right-right by her!

"We didn't do anything!" Rose exclaimed quickly, looking very pale.

"We just found her like that!" Ron added just as loudly.

Snape stepped forward now, expression stoic, though his eyes flashed. "I do not recall seeing the two of you at the feast," he claimed softly, his suspicion clear.

And then, immediately, the two launched into explaining how they had been attending the Death Day party being held by Nearly Headless Nick-Gryffindor House's ghost, and how they had been returning to their common room when they had come across Mrs Norris, only to soon be joined by everyone else.

Snape didn't believe them at all. He claimed it was odd that they were going to go to bed without eating anything, for he knew ghosts did not offer food edible for the living, and if the flush rising on the Gryffindors' cheeks and the sudden hesitation had anything to do with it, the Potions Master wasn't exactly wrong.

But Dumbledore didn't seem to agree. "Come now, Severus. It could simply be a case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time." Now he looked towards Violet, who had been standing near the door, watching the proceedings and listening carefully. "And where were you when this occurred, my dear?"

Violet blinked, and then realized what exactly he was implying, and tried not to scowl. "I was in the Great Hall," she replied as patiently as she could. "At Slytherin Table, enjoying the feast with my friend and House mates. I only saw what happened when everyone else did." She couldn't believe Dumbledore thought she had something to do with this!

Luckily for the real Girl-Who-Lived, it was McGonagall who was able to back up her alibi, claiming she could distinctly recall seeing Violet with Theodore Nott at Slytherin Table during the feast. Dumbledore looked at Violet closely when he heard that, his blue eyes locked on her emerald, giving her a very odd, almost...probing feeling, that made her feel quite uncomfortable.

This entire situation was very bizarre, and Violet found that she was very pleased when she, Rose, and Ron were dismissed. As the two Gryffindors and the Slytherin went their separate ways, Violet was sure she could hear her sister mentioning something about a strange voice she had heard, but she was too far away to really make out any of the context.

Still, all that did was remind her of the odd voice she had heard herself some time ago. Or rather, the odd voice she had thought she had heard. Had that been real then? And had her sister heard it as well? What were the odds of that?

The dungeon common room was surprisingly loud when Violet entered, everyone talking rather eagerly about the Chamber of Secrets being opened and what that meant. But the emerald eyed girl was pleased she wasn't the only one who was completely lost. There were other Snakes that appeared to be just as confused as she was, some older than her, and some younger.

Violet approached her friend, who was seated with a few others, and sat down beside him, smoothing her skirt out under her. "Hey, Theo? What's the Chamber of Secrets?" She couldn't recall ever having heard or read about it before.

Those near enough to have hear her, fell silent almost immediately, many of them looking over at her in clear hesitation. It was obvious they were still trying to come to terms with a Potter being Sorted into their noble House. After some contemplation, and the repeat of the girl's question by other 'legit' Slytherins, those who knew finally began to explain.

No one really knew any details, but the Chamber of Secrets had been created by Salazar Slytherin, and he had left a monster of some sort in it that obeyed in his 'desire' to rid Hogwarts of all Muggleborns. When Salazar had left, none of the other Founders had ever been able to find this Chamber, or its monster.

And then, about fifty years ago, the Chamber had been opened for the first time since Salazar had left, and this had resulted in a Muggleborn dying, though no one seemed to know who. Either that or they just didn't want to say anything. Still, someone had found out who had been behind it, and the culprit had been expelled, though again, no one seemed to know who anyone involved was.

Malfoy claimed his father had told him all this too, but had always refused to give him any names. Violet wondered what Hermione would be able to figure out if she told her all this. She was a damn good researcher, wasn't she?

Nevertheless, Violet wasn't quite sure what to think about all this. Was this Chamber really open again? Was the monster within it really loose once more? If yes, then who was behind it? The older Slytherins had said the previous culprit had been expelled, and either way, that was fifty years ago. There was no way the same person could be behind it this time too, right?

And why in the world had Dumbledore insinuated that she had been the one to attack Filch's cat, when it was obvious she had been in the Great Hall the entire time? What was the point in any of this? Why was this all happening?

If this monster was going to do what it had last time and attack Muggleborns, was Hermione in danger? Violet sincerely hoped the attack on the Mrs Norris was the only one that was going to happen.

Halloween day came to an end with far too many questions being asked, and not enough answers to appease those asking them, Violet included.

Chapter Text

A few days and no answers later, Violet was making her way to the library where she was to meet Theo, when she began hearing an odd tapping sound coming from a broom closet nearby. Frowning, she approached it cautiously. There was no trusting anything around here, especially not with Peeves and his constant tricks.

She paused in front of the door, but nothing happened, though she could still hear that odd rhythmic tapping coming from within. Carefully, she pulled the door open, only to blink in surprise. There was a girl inside. "Luna?"

The first year Ravenclaw looked up, eyes looking a little red, as if she had been crying. "Oh, hello Violet," she spoke, her voice sounding falsely cheery.

But Violet was familiar with the sound, having faked cheerfulness herself multiple times over the years. She knelt down, still frowning. "What are you doing in here, Luna?" she asked gently. Judging by the expression on the other girl's face, she already had a feeling she knew what the answer was.

"I was looking for-for Smipys."


The blonde bit her lip, blue eyes downcast, and then mumbled something. But Violet heard her and moved in closer, drawing the younger girl close, and into a slightly awkward hug. She wasn't used to giving people comfort. But then Luna began to cry softly, her shoulders shaking, and she buried her face in Violet's robes.

"Shh, it's alright, shh," Violet soothed, running her fingers through Luna's long hair. She knew exactly what it felt like to be locked in tiny closets. It was one of the Matron's favourite ways of punishing her. Usually it was just a few hours, or a day, but there were other occurrences where she'd been locked in for days at a time. This was why Violet was now claustrophobic. She absolutely could not stand small, closed in spaces anymore. But right now, Luna's comfort was far more important than her own unease of being half inside this broom cupboard.

As the younger girl calmed, Violet spoke again. "Is it the other Ravenclaws?"

Somewhat hesitantly, Luna nodded.

"Boys or girls?"


"Your year or older?"

"...Both." But it was clear she wasn't willing to say much more.

Respecting that, Violet pulled back and smiled gently. "Do you know my friend Hermione?"

Luna nodded. "The Smipys don't like her."

Violet blinked, and then decided not to question that. "Why don't you stay close to her when you can? She's a nice girl."

Again Luna nodded and hugged Violet, before the two stood back up and stepped into the corridor. "Thank you for helping me, Violet Potter," she said, her voice sounding as dreamy as it had when the two had first met.

"Anytime, Luna. Don't be afraid to come to me if you ever need, okay?"

"Okay!" And with that, Luna skipped away cheerily.

Violet shook her head in exasperation, and then continued making her way to the library as she had been doing earlier. Entering the library, it didn't her long to find Theo, who was seated at a table near a window with Hermione. She blinked, then approached, glad because she had wanted to talk to Hermione anyway.

Joining her two friends at the table, Violet told them what had happened to Luna. "I hope you don't mind that I told her to stick with you when possible," she finished.

Hermione, who had been frowning as she listened, shook her head. "No, of course not. That poor girl. Don't worry, I'll try to keep an eye on her." She sighed softly, making a mental note to pay closer attention to her House mates. Luna was a little...weird, yes, and seemed to believe in strange things that certainly were never mentioned in any book, but that really was no reason to be bullied. Especially not to an extent where she was locked inside a closet. That was just harsh.

Theo said nothing while the girls spoke of this, merely listening, a small frown on his face. He almost looked as if he were trying to remember something, but what that was the girls didn't know. And when he didn't mention anything, the three simply continued (and began in Violet's case) with and on their school work...

The topics of the Chamber of Secrets being opened, and the monster within being loose inside the castle, were still very widely, and often, discussed by those in the castle. And they weren't likely to forget it any time soon either, especially since Filch had been patrolling the area where his precious cat had been attacked, day in and day out, assigning pointless detentions to any poor soul who dared pass through that corridor. When he wasn't snarling at students, the caretaker could be seen attempting to clean the foreboding words that were written on the wall, but it didn't appear as if they would come off or be removed in any way, and remained where they were, gleaming brightly on the stone.

Not long after, Violet once again found herself in the library, searching for a book Hermione had told her would help her with her most recent History of Magic essay, when she suddenly began to hear voices from the isle behind her. That wouldn't have been at all odd if the voices didn't belong to Rose and her friend Ron.

Though she told herself she wasn't really trying to eavesdrop, the girl heard bits of the conversation between the two anyway. They were talking about how certain students, a Hufflepuff named Justin, in particular, had begun behaving oddly around Rose, and sometimes even avoided her. Rose was upset with that, and Violet frowned, grabbed her book, and left after getting it checked out, too lost in her thoughts to notice the glare Madam Pince leveled her with.

Did this have something to do with the Chamber of Secrets? It had to, right? After all, the students still hadn't stopped talking about it, despite the number of days that had gone by. But what on earth did that have to do with Rose? Unless...wait, did these people Rose and Ron were speaking of think Rose opened the Chamber and attacked Mrs Norris? Just because she had been caught at the 'scene of the crime'? If that was their reasoning, then why wasn't Ron Weasley a suspect too?

The next day, out of a curiosity that she was cursing, Violet cautiously made her way over to the spot where the Halloween incident had occurred up on the first floor. She had seen Filch head towards the kitchens, meaning the corridor would be unguarded for once, which made this the perfect time to check it out.

Unfortunately, all of that went down the tube when she realized Rose and Ron had had the same idea. Dammit! Why were those two always where she went!?

For a moment, the young Slytherin pondered on what to do. Should she approach the two, or should she just leave? Finally, she decided that she may as well keep herself hidden and listen in on what they were talking about. She may not have liked either of them very much, and thought of them as far too brash and bold, but she had to admit that they always seemed to have the strangest and most important information. And what kind of Slytherin would she be if she didn't secretly take advantage of that?

Nodding to herself, Violet pressed herself against the nearby wall, and peeked around the corner cautiously, watching and listening. Rose, she noted, was on her hands and knees, crawling along the floor, staring at something she herself couldn't see from her position.

"Hey, Ron? Don't these look like scorch marks to you? See? Here, and here?"

Scorch marks? Were they caused by the monster, whatever it was, or something else? Considering the number of days that had passed since the attack, it was hard to say for sure. Especially since they were in a magical castle full of magical things. For all she knew, those scorch marks could have been made by some sort of kitten-dragon hybrid. You could never trust anything around here.

Rose had moved to a window by this point, and was saying something about oddly behaving spiders now. Violet still couldn't see properly from her position, and quickly pulled her head back when Ron turned around, facing her direction. Damn, now all she could do was listen. It was a good thing those two didn't know how to keep their voices down.

They didn't say much more though. Just that something was off about the spiders, and that Ron was afraid of spiders, that they were suspecting Draco Malfoy of opening the Chamber, and that they were going to check what was apparently called Moaning Myrtle's bathroom. Violet hadn't dealt with Myrtle herself yet, but Hermione, and a few of her female Housemates, had told her that the ghost haunted that loo, and always seemed to be crying. Weird. She wasn't particularly frightening or anything, but as Hermione had said, it was a bit awkward going for a pee when she was wailing like that. This bathroom was generally avoided because of that, and really only used in emergencies.

Still, Violet decided it was best for her to leave before Filch returned and she ended up getting caught. It would be too suspicious if she just happened to enter the loo now too, and there wasn't really anywhere to hide in there, meaning the other two would notice her pretty much immediately.

So with that, the girl turned and made for the stairs, and luckily, she had acted just in time, because she ended up passing Prefect Percy Weasley along the way. He merely eyed her suspiciously, and said nothing, so she simply ignored him and headed downstairs towards the dungeons.

Now that she was safely alone, the emerald eyed girl allowed herself to fall into thought. So, the two were suspecting Malfoy, huh? She supposed she couldn't blame them, going by the blond's reaction when they had discovered the attack and those words written on the wall. He hardly hid his disdain towards Muggles and Muggleborns.

But, in Violet's opinion, there was absolutely no way Draco Malfoy would be able to do something like this without bragging, and brag was something he hadn't done so far, meaning he probably didn't do it. But that hardly narrowed the suspect list.

At this point in time, all anyone could do was wait and see what happened next...

As the days went by, Defence Against the Dark Arts only grew to be a bigger joke. Lockhart didn't teach them a thing! It was probably because he couldn't, rather than he didn't want to. Instead, he would spend lesson after lesson reenacting different passages from his many questionable books. And even that was a huge waste of time, because all he really did was brag about all the stuff he claimed he did to help people.

Salazar, even Quirrell, who certainly hadn't been the best teacher, had been better than this! ...Maybe that was just because of Voldemort though.

Choosing to study DADA on her own, Violet allowed herself to fall into daydreams and thoughts that week, and soon found herself wondering what the Dark Lord was doing at this moment. Had he found a way to come back yet? Or had he taken someone else's body over?

She knew, even now, that these thoughts were absolutely insane. She knew, logically, that she probably should tell an adult the truth of what had happened the previous year. She knew that, but-she couldn't. Well no, it wasn't that she couldn't. It was just that she...didn't want to. And all that did, was baffle her even further.

That Saturday morning was the first Quidditch match of the season-Gryffindor versus Slytherin, and Violet made her way out to the stands along with everyone else, noting the dark clouds in the sky with a frown, and hoping it didn't start to rain. Although, going by the chill in the air, she supposed there was a chance it might snow instead.

Seated between a silent Theo, and an excited Parkinson, Violet was hardly surprised to see Malfoy emerge onto the field with the rest of Slytherin's team as their new Seeker-he had hardly shut up about it, practically vowing to beat Rose. Violet hadn't ever seen Malfoy's skill on a broom, but she certainly hoped his bite was better than his bark.

The match began, and as she watched, Violet realized that as much as she liked to fly, and enjoyed the matches, she doubted she would ever actually play herself. Not because of skill, since she had no idea what sort she may or may not have, never having tried, but simply because playing didn't interest her. She preferred to watch.

Slytherin started things off, leading by a pretty good amount at first, before it became clear that there was something wrong. One of the two Bludgers seemed to be acting oddly, streaking after Rose only, while ignoring all the other players on the pitch. Though Violet was new at this whole Quidditch thing, even she was sure that this wasn't normal.

Had someone tampered with the ball then? One of the Slytherins? It was possible, seeing as it was after a member of the opposite team. But shouldn't Madam Hooch have checked all the balls before putting them in play? Was that not a thing that happened? Why not?

Gryffindor soon began catching up with Slytherin's score, their play style changing after a quick time out. Rose went around dodging the Bludger on her own, while the Weasley twins-the Beaters, focused on keeping the other-normal one, away from their team, helping their Chasers earn more chances to score. Dammit.

Violet's emerald eyes kept returning to her twin sister, watching her weave around and away from the strange Bludger, silently impressed with her skill. But even as she admitted that, Rose lingered in a single spot for too long, and ended up getting hit in the arm or elbow, causing Violet's own arm to ache, just at the sight alone.

Still, she wasn't particularly concerned, she told herself. Thanks to magic and potions, Rose could be healed easily enough, so there really wasn't any reason to get upset.

Theodore glanced beside him, fully aware of what Violet was thinking right now, and knowing that she had no idea she had tensed up, green eyes locked intently on her sister. She was a good person, he knew, even caring for the sister who very clearly hated her very existence. Rose didn't deserve Violet's sympathy, he thought to himself.

The next morning, the students were practically buzzing. At first, Violet had assumed it was due to Rose losing all the bones in her broken arm, thanks to Lockhart's incompetence. Then she found out it was due to something far worse. Colin Creevey, a First year Gryffindor, had been attacked and petrified in the middle of the night, just like Filch's cat Mrs Norris.

According to Tracy Davis, it was supposed to be a secret, but it had gotten out somehow, and now everyone was talking about it. She claimed she had seen Creevey herself, having gone up to the Hospital Wing in the middle of the night due to an emergency she refused to elaborate about.

"He was so pale," she told them in the Common Room. "And frozen stiff. He looked like he was dead. I think Madam Pomfrey realized I saw him, because she surrounded his bed with curtains, and told me not to say anything."

By the end of that day, rumours that the Chamber had been opened before were circling the school too, even though that was actually technically true, not that many knew it or anything. But Violet was curious about that too. Fifty years was a long time, and there was no way anyone she knew, or their parents, as some were thinking, could have been behind the initial attack, right?

But even then, what sort of threat did a cat and an eleven year old boy have against Slytherin's monster?

When classes resumed the next day, Monday, Violet began to notice something a little concerning. Ginny Weasley looked awfully pale, tired, and frightened. She didn't really have anything against the Weasleys, just the ones who bothered her, and since Ginny hadn't ever done anything wrong, Violet found that she was genuinely worried for the girl, and cornered Fred and George outside the Great Hall before dinner that evening.

"Violet!" they greeted in unison, grinning.

"How lovely to-"

"-see you again!"

"What can we help you with?"

The raven haired girl couldn't help but smile-these two were beyond infectious with their smiles and laughter. But she sobered up quickly. "I'm sorry if I'm intruding or being too forward, but I was just...wondering if everything's alright with your sister? She doesn't seem well to me."

Fred and George's smiles faded to concern almost instantly, and they frowned, exchanging a long look, before turning back to her to answer.

"I think she's having a hard time adjusting to being here," Fred replied slowly.

"She's been having nightmares, apparently," George took over.

"The attacks on Mrs Norris and Colin are probably only making it all worse."

"She always did like cats, and she and Colin are in the same year and House, so they had classes together too."

Violet nodded as she listened. "Has she been speaking about this to anyone? Any friends or something?"

"I don't know," the twins replied together.

"She doesn't talk about any friends with us."

"She's always writing in her diary though."

Well, a diary was certainly better than nothing, but talking to an actual person would surely help her more, right? Maybe the reason Ginny was so focused on that diary was because she didn't have anyone else to talk to?

Still worried, and wondering why on earth she had been placed in Slytherin instead of Hufflepuff, Violet approached Ginny after dinner, against outside the Great Hall, not wanting to draw too much attention to herself. Ginny looked worse from up close. Her skin was so pale, her brown eyes very wide, and even her fiery red hair looked less lively. She didn't look anything at all like the blushing girl Violet had met at Flourish and Blotts over the summer.

"V-Violet? What-?"

"I'm sorry, I just...I just noticed you don't look well. Are you sick?" There, that was a nice, innocent way to start this off, right? No need to let her know she'd been asking her brothers about her.

Ginny shook her head quickly, but wrapped her arms around her torso, in a gesture that showed she was attempting to protect herself in some way. "I-I'm not sick!"

"I just wanted to make sure," Violet replied, trying to keep her voice slow and gentle. She felt as if the younger girl was going to run off like a frightened animal if she made the wrong move here. "I'm worried about you, you know?"

Ginny blinked. "You-you are?"

Violet nodded. "Of course. That's why I wanted to make sure you weren't sick. If you are, then I hope you go to one of your brothers, or the nurse, but if you aren't, then I hope you still get some rest, maybe have some chocolate. Chocolate always helps, don't you think?"

Slowly, the redhead nodded, gazing up at her with those oddly wide, brown eyes. "Violet..."

"Well, I should go-I still have homework I need to do," Violet said, trying to sound casual. "Come find me if you ever need to talk, alright? And there's a girl-Luna Lovegood, you might know her, since she's a Ravenclaw in your year. She needs some friends too, you know. She's a bit odd, admittedly, but she's sweet. And you don't have to tell any of your brothers either. If they ask, just tell them it's girl talk. That'll scare them away quickly enough."

That got a small smile out of Ginny, who nodded almost hesitantly, before quietly thanking her and walking away. Violet watched her grow, her frown returning. Something was definitely off with Ginny, but it was hard to say if it was just loneliness and homesickness, or something else.

The days went by without incident, and November passed into December, bringing cold days and a lot of snow. It was on one of these cold, snowy days in mid December, that the students of Hogwarts learned about a Dueling Club that was starting up, and oh yeah, that most definitely gained a lot of interest, especially considering what had been going on recently.

Figuring it would be interesting, and feeling rather curious, Violet and Theo looked at one another, shrugged, and decided to attend, deciding it may as well be worth it...only to begin regretting it immediately when they found out Lockhart was the one behind the entire thing. That couldn't be good. Although, it helped a bit to know that Professor Snape, Lockhart's 'assistant', was taking part too. That meant there was actually a chance for it to not end up being a total waste of time!

The many students stood around the large platform that had been placed in the center of the table free Great Hall, and watched with interest as the two professors faced one another and bowed, Lockhart with much unneeded exaggeration that would surely get him killed on an actual battlefield.

In fact, he was too slow to recover and react as the duel began, and was almost instantly disarmed by a much quicker Snape, who stood there stoically, dark eyes displaying a disdain very few could see.

"Well, Professor Snape," Lockhart began pleasantly, once he was armed and on his feet again, "I must say it really was all too obvious what you were going to do, and it was hardly going to be a challenge to step in and stop you..." he trailed off, paling just slightly. Snape looked absolutely murderous right now, and the blond was smart enough to back down quickly, realizing he would probably end up getting killed if he continued.

The Slytherins who weren't infatuated with Lockhart, exchanged smirks. And as much as they didn't like Snape, members of other Houses did the same, unable to help themselves...

Seemingly desperate to put some distance between himself and Snape, Lockhart quickly announced that they would be splitting them all off into pairs, so they could attempt to duel one another, and practically sprang to the opposite end of the Hall. And this left all those standing on Snape's side of the Hall gulping.

Most of the pairs he put them in really weren't all that bad, but some of them left much to be desired.

"Granger and Bullstrode." Snape didn't pause to see their reactions. "Nott and Zabini." Now he smirked. "Weasley and Malfoy." He noted the two glare at one another, ignored it, and moved on. "Potter and...Potter."

Ah. Well then.

"Does everyone have a partner?" Lockhart called out, blue eyes sweeping over the large group. "Yes? Good! On the count of three, then... One...two...three! Begin!"

Rose attacked half a second too early, and Violet, used to dodging attacks, only just managed to side step the bolt of red, telling herself she probably should have paid closer attention to what the spell was. She'd been too focused on their Defence professor's count, and hadn't heard the spell Rose had called out. Although, she supposed that was her own fault for taking her eyes off her opponent.

She retaliated, Rose dodged, and they went back and forth like this, neither of them actually managing to hit the other, irritatingly enough. Violet didn't like that they appeared evenly matched. Not at all.

Suddenly, there was a bang and a cloud of smoke, and Lockhart screaming at them all to stop, which only about half of them did. Taking charge, Snape merely waved his wand once, negating everything and vanishing the smoke at the same moment.

Neville and Finch-Fletchley were both on the floor panting, Ron looked quite ill and Malfoy's face was ashen, Hermione was standing as far as possible from a glowering Bullstrode, and Theodore looked triumphant while Zabini appeared rather sullen. Everyone else was in various states of disarray, showing Violet that she'd been one of the lucky ones.

Lockhart looked around at them all in dismay. Clearly this wasn't going the way he had thought it would. He sighed. "Hmm, perhaps it would be for the best if I taught you all how to block spells."

They didn't tell him that that was something he was supposed to be teaching them in class anyway.

Lockhart, not wanting to face Snape again, but not allowed to face a student himself, decided to choose two of them as a demonstration pair. He suggested Rose and Ron, but quickly agreed when Snape countered with Violet and Rose instead. He seriously did not want to argue with that man. And besides, the girls were twins. It would be very interesting to see what ended up happening with this.

Choosing not to argue, since she was quite curious herself, Violet stepped onto the platform, facing Rose who was standing at the opposite side with Lockhart beside her, speaking words she couldn't hear and making strangely elaborate gestures that had Rose's brow furrowing in confusion. Violet herself had Snape next to her, who said nothing at all, instead squeezing her shoulder before stepping back out of the way. Wait, had that just been a show of support from Snape? Weird.

The girls faced one another and bowed, neither of them taking their eyes off the other. They had never had much interaction before, and both of them were genuinely curious to see where the other stood in terms of skill and power. They didn't speak, which was odd on Rose's part, since she liked to brag. That just told Violet that her sister was actually taking this seriously. Good. She needed to.

Rose smirked, and Violet's eyes narrowed, expecting a cheap shot like before. Lockhart began his count, hit three, called for them to begin, and the girls had only just opened their mouths when, for some reason unknown to, well, everyone, Malfoy decided to interfere, a scathing glare locked on Rose. (He was still bitter about Slytherin losing the Quidditch match.)


A large snake shot out of the end of Malfoy's wand, hitting the floor with a thump. With many cries and gasps of shock, everyone quickly backed away from the serpent, staring wide eyed as it uncoiled its body, and then raised itself to strike. For a moment, nothing happened, no one spoke, and no one moved, and then a very enthusiastic Lockhart rushed forward and cried out an incoherent spell, sending the snake into the air with a bang. When it landed, it was obviously and unsurprisingly, not at all happy, and rose up, facing a very pale Justin Finch-Fletchley, hissing at him viciously and making him look as if he was about to wet himself.

And then Rose stepped forward quickly. "Leave him alone!" she cried, tone of voice panicked.

The snake rose up even higher, and now everyone was staring and muttering, fearful and shocked looks on Rose, rather than the snake, and Violet, not wanting the poor snake to get trampled on, because these people seriously aren't ever careful enough, knelt down and held out a hand.

"Hey, come here. You'll get hurt over there," she called out. She was sure the snake would listen to her-they always did. And sure enough, the serpent lowered back down, turned, and slithered over towards her, coiling around her arm, up to her neck, where it would be much safer.

Naturally, all this did was shock everyone even more. The Potter twins (who didn't seem to realize they had done anything strange) were both Parselmouths!?

"What the hell are you playing at!?" Finch-Fletchley demanded angrily, furious gaze locked on Rose. Violet had at least gotten the snake away from them, but Rose couldn't say she had done the same, since the thing had only looked like it was going to attack. But the boy didn't wait for an answer of any kind, and quickly hurried out of the room, wanting to get away.

Ron, looking so pale his freckles looked darker than usual, silently dragged a rather confused Rose out, while other students left in droves, loud chatter breaking out the moment they had stepped out. Soon enough, the only ones left in the Great Hall were the Slytherins, all of whom were looking to their Head of House, waiting to see what he was going to say, unable to believe any of this.

Snape payed them no attention, and slowly approached Violet, who still had the summoned snake wrapped around her shoulders. She was speaking to it quietly, the hissing echoing throughout the silent Hall. He simply stared at her for a moment, and then spoke abruptly.

"You're all dismissed."


"Return to your Common Room immediately. Now." He had no desire to deal with this in front of the others. Not until he himself was able to figure out what on earth was going on.

Not wanting to argue with a clearly unhappy Snape, the Slytherins left now too, many of them glancing over their shoulders at the man and girl, all of them more than a little confused...

Once the two were alone, Snape, eyes still lingering on the snake, spoke again. "Are you aware that you are a Parselmouth, Miss Potter?"

Violet looked up at him and blinked. "Parselmouth?" This was the first time she'd heard that word, and frowned. "If...if that means being able to talk to snakes, then yes."

"How long have you had this...ability?"

"Forever? Or as long as I remember, I suppose. And before you ask, Professor, I had no idea Rose could do this too."

Snape inclined his head slowly. "I see. And why have you never mentioned that you are able to speak Parseltongue before?"

The girl looked down and shrugged somewhat awkwardly. "It isn't something I really like talking about, sir." She didn't elaborate. She had absolutely no desire whatsoever to get into what had happened when the Matron had found out she could speak to snakes.

After a pause, Snape explained what exactly it meant to be a Parselmouth. Explained how only those descended from Salazar Slytherin himself possessed the skill, and how no person since the Dark Lord himself had such a skill, which meant both she and her sister were going to have to be more careful now, lest this information end up in the wrong hands.

Voldemort was a Parselmouth too? Violet tried not to react to that revelation, wondering why she liked that thought. Too bad Rose could do it too.

"I will have to vanish that snake, Miss Potter," Snape informed her. "Summoned animals are always more dangerous than their counterparts. I cannot, in good conscience, allow this snake to remain here, Parselmouth or not." He saw the expression that crossed the child's face, the sudden sadness that appeared in her eyes. He clenched his fist, remembering his friend. "Do you desire a pet, Miss Potter?"

Violet half nodded, half shrugged. "Yes," she replied honestly. "But we aren't allowed to keep snakes here, according to the rules. And the Matron doesn't allow pets either."

The man hummed lowly, making a mental note to discuss this with the Headmaster. The old man was no doubt going to want to speak to him about what had happened anyway, he knew. Sometimes he truly cursed his position...

As expected, it didn't take Dumbledore particularly long to call Snape to his office. "Severus! Come, sit. Tea?"

"No thank you, Headmaster."

"Very well." He sipped from a teacup himself, set it back down on his desk, then said, "Now, what is this I hear about young Violet being a Parselmouth?"

"It is as you heard," Snape replied. "Like her sister, Violet too possesses the skill." And in a clipped tone, he recounted what had happened, and what Violet herself had told him afterwards.

"I see..." Frowning, Dumbledore stroked his long beard in thought. He hadn't been surprised to hear one of those girls had that ability, but the other was an unexpected surprise. "How strange," he murmured to himself.


"Yes, Severus?"

"Violet desires a pet-a snake, I assume, but is concerned due to the rules in place, and the Matron of that orphanage you left her in." He saw the expression on the man's face-the protest, and his eyes narrowed. "You put her twin on the Quidditch team last year," he reminded the Headmaster, "gave her their...father's Invisibility Cloak, and have allowed her to get away with a great number of things."

"Severus," Dumbledore began in a mollifying tone.

Snape shook his head, and stood. "If you are going to show obvious special treatment towards one of them, Albus, you may as well do the same with the other. And you cannot say that only cats, toads, and owls are allowed here as pets. Weasley has a rat that I distinctly recall one of his brothers owning before him, and I have heard from Minerva that Jordan has brought a rather large tarantula with him this year."

Dumbledore sighed, but nodded. "Very well, I shall be sure to think about it. Snakes, Severus, are generally far more dangerous than any of the other animals, rats and tarantula's included."

Satisfied with that for now, Snape left the large round office, and made his way down to the dungeon, trying not to compare either of the Potter twins with the Dark Lord. Parseltongue was a very...unnerving language, especially for those who had once served the Dark Lord, willingly or not...

Meanwhile, Violet took her sweet time in returning to the Common Room, unsure of how everyone was going to react to her and what had been revealed earlier. They already didn't get along particularly well, most of them ignoring her, as she did them. Others spoke to her coolly, or treated her with disdain. Very few thought of her as an actual peer, and honestly speaking, she didn't want to lose the little bit she had.

When she stepped into the Common Room, she hesitated in place, noting the many pairs of eyes on her. But their gazes, instead of holding fear or anger, as she had thought they would, were instead filled with...awe. Not all, of course, but many of them. Cautiously, the girl made her way over to Theodore, who smiled at her and shifted over so she could sit next to him, conversations slowly resuming and picking up wherever they had left off before she had entered.

The Slytherins couldn't believe they had an actual Parselmouth in their House! They had grown up hearing of the ability, hearing how the Dark Lord had had it too, had used it, had commanded it. And now they too had someone who possessed the same skill. To a great number of them, particularly those who came from very old Pureblooded families, simply being in the presence of a Parselmouth was meant to be considered a great honour.

Though Violet didn't realize it at the time, it was at this very moment, when a fair number of her Housemates stopped being resentful that she was one of them.

Chapter Text

By the next morning, the snow fall from the previous day had turned into a full blown storm, cancelling any classes that took place outside, including Herbology for the Second years, since Professor Sprout had some important work to do with the Mandrakes, and didn't want any children around for safety reasons. This left Violet with a blessed free period that she certainly wasn't going to complain about.

Deciding to use this newly freed time to finish the essay for the Transfiguration class she had next, that she had neglected to do before due to a rare bout of laziness, Violet and Theodore, who was making a head start on his own work for the next day, made their way through the castle, talking quietly.

It was much darker than usual, thanks to all the snow falling outside, and very cold too, making Violet once again wonder why this place didn't use some sort of heating to warm things up a bit. You couldn't even sit in the Slytherin common room without a jumper on anymore! Perhaps she ought to research for a heating charm she could use on herself. It couldn't be that hard to learn, and had to be better than freezing her butt off, right?

Unfortunately for Violet, the gloom in the castle was only succeeding in making her sleepy, which in turn was making it rather hard to focus on her work. Theodore wasn't particularly pleased with the gloom either, because all this meant, was that he was the one who had to make sure his friend remained awake and focused. It seemed Violet became quite...lethargic, and sometimes even cranky, when tired. That wasn't fun either.

"Did you get that book I mentioned?"

Violet, chin resting on the library table, blinked at him blearily. "What book?"

"The one I told you about ten minutes ago."



"...No? ...What was it called again?"

The boy fought not to roll his eyes, and instead repeated the book's title. He watched as the girl blinked again, before she finally, slowly, got up to go search for the suggested tome. Now that she was out of earshot, Theo allowed himself a deep sigh. Violet was always so...put together, so it was really odd to see her like this-see her acting like a child. He sighed again, this time in exasperation, before he smiled slightly. It was actually kind of...nice, this different side.

Meanwhile, Violet, searching for the book she had been told to, was suddenly wide awake. She had come upon a group of Hufflepuffs from her year, who seemed to be taking advantage of their free period to discuss things seriously, but quietly. Aware it was none of her business, the green eyed girl would have turned away and continued her search, if she hadn't heard both her and her sister's names come up.

Keeping her back to the shelf they were behind, she listened as her fingers passed over the spines of the books before her. If someone came across her, she would look like she was innocently looking at the books, instead of eavesdropping. It was a tactic she had learned a very long time ago, and often used back at the orphanage-pretending to be busy doing something else, when she was actually listening in on things she wasn't supposed to be hearing.

"-so I told Justin that maybe it'd be best if he stayed down in our dorms," a voice she didn't recognize as belonging to Ernie MacMillian was saying. "I mean, for all we know, Potter'll come after him next."

Potter, huh? Does he mean me or Rose? Or maybe both of us?

"Best to stay safe and all," Ernie continued solemnly, "especially since he told her he's a Muggleborn himself! I told him that wasn't something he should go around shouting about."

Ah, Rose then. I don't think I've ever even spoken to Finch-Fletchley before.

"Are-are you sure it's really Rose Potter who's Slytherin's Heir?" questioned a girl-Hannah Abbott, was it?

"She's a Parselmouth!"

"But so is her sister," Hannah retorted.

Fair point, Violet thought as she listened.

Neville shook his head, though the eavesdropping girl didn't see the motion. "That's true, but it's obvious Violet called the snake away from Justin," Neville said quietly, but firmly. "It moved towards her right away, didn't it?"

"Hmm, Rose isn't really all that bad," another girl replied. "She's rather rude, yes, but it's also true that she is the one who defeated You-Know-Who, right?"

Ah, Susan Bones. I think she's the only 'Puff besides Neville I've spoken to. She always did seem like a thinker. I heard that has something to do with her aunt, was it? Amanda? Amelia? Yes, Amelia Bones.

"Look at it this way, Susan," said Ernie, "Potter-Rose, that is, has had more than one run in with Filch, hasn't she? And now Filch's cat has been attacked. Creevey kept taking pictures of her when she was laying in the mud when Lockhart removed all the bones in her arm after that Quidditch match, and he probably annoyed her, considering what she's like. Now he's been attacked too."

Hn, interesting way of looking at it, and not necessarily false.

Violet didn't see Hannah's frown. "But Rose was Sorted into Gryffindor, and her sister in Slytherin."

"That doesn't prove much," said Neville calmly. "And besides, Violet is good friends with Hermione Granger-a Muggleborn, while Rose only seems to be close to Ron Weasley-a Pureblood, even though the Weasleys are often called blood traitors. Unless you think Violet is only pretending to be friends with Hermione-and I'm positive she isn't, seeing as Violet and I are friends too."

Deciding she had heard enough, Violet grabbed the book she needed and returned to her table, causing Theo to raise a brow, and wonder why she suddenly looked so awake.

Violet didn't tell him what she had heard, and simply began on her work, finding it rather amusing that those Hufflepuffs seemed to hold more belief that Rose was Slytherin's Heir over her, especially after what Neville had told them.

She bit back a smirk. How many others in the castle were under the same impression, she wondered..?

As their free period came to an end, Violet and Theodore, having finished their work, left the library to head back to the dungeons, needing to grab their belongings for Transfiguration, which they had next. They were only a floor below the library, when Violet, who had begun feeling rather tired again, suddenly realized she had forgotten her Transfiguration essay behind.

Theo sighed, hoping tomorrow was going to be better, and promised the girl he'd wait here for her, so she could quickly backtrack. There was no reason for him to go back up too, and since they weren't that far, he wasn't going to have to wait long for her to return.

Nodding, Violet turned and ran back down the corridor, taking advantage of the fact that there didn't appear to be any adults nearby, and ignoring the portrait people who scolded her for running.

She returned to the library, found her essay under-wait, hadn't she put that book away? Jeez. She really hated this sort of weather. Sighing, the emerald eyed girl returned the books to their shelves, not wanting Madam Pince on her case, placed her now dry essay into her bag, and then left, once again taking off down the corrid-

She skidded to a sudden stop. "Hagrid?"

The incredibly tall man paused in place and peered down at her, blinking in surprise. "That yeh, Violet? What aren't yeh in class?"

"Oh, er, good morning, Hagrid. Class was cancelled due to the snow-Herbology."

"Tha' so?" He glanced out the nearest window, a frown crossing his face, before he refocused. "Where're yeh headed?"

"Back to the dungeons. My friend Theodore and I were doing some homework in the library."

"Good, tha's good." He cleared his throat somewhat awkwardly.

Violet noted that the man was clearly trying hard to remain casual and friendly with her, despite not having spoken to her at all last year. He didn't apologize for ignoring her since she'd been Sorted into Slytherin though. She wasn't surprised, or even particularly upset. He was trying, at least, and that was better than most, after all. "Er, why are you carrying a dead rooster through the castle?" she inquired curiously.

Hagrid blinked, and then raised the animal he was holding in one of his massive hands. "Oh, this? A few of 'em seem to've been killed recently. Thought I'd speak to the Headmaster abou' some protection to keep 'em safe."

"Oh." Well, that was certainly strange-that the roosters were being killed, but Violet didn't put much thought into it. There were all sorts of magical creatures around-especially in the forest, and it wasn't particularly odd to think that one of those animals had taken a liking to killing roosters or something. "Er, well, good luck with that. I have to go, Hagrid. I need to get my books for Transfiguration, and don't want to be late."

The tall man nodded. "O' course, go on."

Violet did just that and met back up with Theo, apologizing for having taken so long, and telling him about her meeting with Hagrid, which he found to be as awkward as she had. Shrugging the entire encounter off, the two of them continued making their way down to the dungeons, and had only taken a few steps, when suddenly-


"What the-?"

"Isn't that Peeves?"

"Sounds like it." And with that the two Snakes turned around and followed after the yells, hearing door after door opening, dozens upon dozens of students pouring into the corridors.

Everyone rushed over, only to find Justin Finch-Fletchley, Nearly Headless Nick, and Rose Potter in the middle of one of the larger corridors of the castle, not too far from the Transfiguration classroom.

Justin was laying on the floor, completely rigid, a look of shock on his pale face, his eyes wide, but staring out at nothing. Nearby was the ghost Violet only vaguely recognized. But he didn't look normal either. He wasn't pearly and white like the ghosts usually were. No, he was black, and smoky, and was floating in the air, an expression of shock frozen on his own face.

What in the world was this monster that it had affected someone already dead!?

But there was something else that drew Violet's attention to the scene. Rose. Her twin sister was standing next to the two who had been attacked, and while she looked paler than usual, she appeared unharmed. But why was she here in the first place? And why, for the third time, was she the one with some sort of connection to the attacks?

"Enough! Silence!" McGonagall called loudly. "Return to your classrooms and common rooms immediately!" And while the muttering students did as told, the woman peered around closely. "Potter-both of you, come with me."

"Wha-but I-"

"I didn't have anything to do with th-"

"I swear I didn't do anything, Profess-"

"I'm sorry, but this is out of my hands," was all McGonagall said in reply, cutting across them both.

Violet exchanged a confused glance with Theodore, who was clearly as baffled as her. She obviously hadn't done anything-hadn't even been nearby. Why was she always considered a suspect too!?

McGonagall led the Potter twins up to Dumbledore's large, round office, and then left them alone in there, which probably wasn't a good idea, considering the way the two of them always ended up arguing when they happened to end up near one another. And unsurprisingly-

Rose had hardly waited for the door to fall shut, before turning on her sister, eyes flashing from beneath her glasses. "This is all your fault!" she exclaimed furiously. "You seriously need to fess up before my reputation's ruined any more than it's already been!"

Well, that accusation was irritating, especially because Violet knew she hadn't done anything wrong other than eavesdrop and snoop around a little-hardly a crime. "I have nothing to do with this," she retorted firmly. "In fact, while you were found alone with that Hufflepuff and ghost, I myself was on a different floor entirely with Theodore, and even Hagrid. As in, I have a solid alibi, while you..." She trailed off and brushed some lint off her shoulder. "Your reputation surely must not have been a particularly good one if your precious 'fans' would turn on you so easily. Again."

It took Rose all of three seconds to process her twin's words, and the moment she did, she opened her mouth to retort, only to be cut off by a strange gagging sound. She whipped around, even as Violet looked round too, and at the same time, the two of them spotted a rather sickly looking bird.

It was thin, and its bright feathers had all fallen off, and it only continued making that odd sound. And even as they stared, the bird suddenly caught fire, startling them both.

Rose began panicking immediately. The last thing she wanted was for the Headmaster's pet to die while she was in the room. What if she got in trouble for that too!? Violet, on the other hand, who actually read to learn new things, quickly understood what was happening, although she found herself wondering where this bird had been last year, the first time she had been here in this office.

It was probably a good thing when Dumbledore walked in a few seconds later though. His pensive look turned into a more somber one when his blue eyes fell upon his flaming bird, and he sighed mournfully. He silenced Rose when she began blabbering about having no idea what was happening to the bird, and approached the perch, gently brushing aside the ashes.

"Fawkes is a phoenix, girls, and phoenixes are essentially immortal. Rather, they die and are reborn an infinite amount of times," Dumbledore explained with a small smile. "When it is time for them to die, they begin losing their feathers, and become thin and ill. And then they reach their Burning Day, when they burst into flames, only to..."

A baby phoenix poked its little head out of the ashes.

" reborn from the ashes," Dumbledore finished, his smile growing. He turned to the girls, who had identical expressions of awe on their faces. "Now..." he moved to sit behind his desk, and mere seconds after he had settled, the door flew open.

"It wasn' either of the girls, Professor Dumbledore, sir!" Hagrid exclaimed as he rushed in. "I was talkin' to Violet seconds before the boy was found! She couldn'ta had the time, and Rose would never do anythin' like this!"

Well, that certainly surprised Violet. Despite their fairly polite conversation earlier, it didn't seem like Hagrid had cared for her much since she had been Sorted last year. A conversation was one thing. Defending her when he clearly didn't care much for her was another thing altogether.

Dumbledore listened, and then raised a hand to silence the giant man. "I do not believe either of the girls was behind any of the attacks," he assured them all.

"Oh." Clearing his throat and coughing a few times, Hagrid, face flushed, quickly left the room, obviously embarrassed. And once he was gone, it was Rose who spoke.

"You-you don't think it was me?" she questioned.

"No, Rose, I do not. However, I still wish to speak to the both of you." The Headmaster gazed at them closely from under his half moon spectacles, and gave them that odd, penetrating stare that always managed to make Violet feel very uncomfortable. "I must ask you-both of you, if there is anything you would like to tell me."

The Potter twins remained silent, both of them clearly thinking. Violet had no idea what was on her sister's mind, but there was much she wanted to say herself, much that she was thinking of. And yet...she found that she didn't trust the Headmaster enough to actually do it.

"No, there's nothing, Professor," Rose replied finally.

"No sir, nothing," Violet spoke half a second later...

The double attack had caused great panic in the castle, more panic than the previous attacks had generated, thanks to the fact that a ghost had been attacked too, which only served to make the entire situation worse, in people's minds. This fear caused a mad rush for people to sign up to leave the castle over the break, most too afraid to remain behind.

Violet didn't share in their feelings. Monster or no, Hogwarts was infinitely better than the orphanage, and nothing was going to stop her from spending as much time away from there as possible. Still, she was rather looking forward to the upcoming holidays, mainly because so many people were going to be leaving.

The Potter twins were both being given wide berths by most of the school. Rose, however, had it much worse than Violet. She was so used to being watched and treated kindly, that she had a hard time dealing with people turning away from her, instead of approaching her. She was being treated with this fear from every House but Slytherin, who all mocked her instead, though that wasn't all too different from usual. They knew there was no way Rose Potter was the Heir of Slytherin.

Violet, already a Slytherin, was being treated pretty much as usual, just with a touch more fear. As a Snake, most were automatically frightened of her, and now that they thought she might be Slytherin's Heir, well, they avoided her even more. Her own House, however, seemed fairly pleased with her. Sure, there was no actual proof that she was the one who had opened the Chamber of Secrets, but she was a Parselmouth-a Parselmouth in their House, and that in itself was a very big deal, in their minds.

Fred and George Weasley on the other hand, found this entire situation quite hilarious. Not that there had been attacks, no, they weren't quite that heartless. It amused them that everyone assumed one, if not both of the Potter twins were considered Slytherin's Heir(s). They didn't believe it at all, and went around joking about the whole thing with both of them. Most who saw their antics were more surprised that they were Weasleys defending a Slytherin, than by what they were actually going around saying and doing.

Violet didn't mind what the two Gryffindors were up to-she thought it was pretty funny, even if she wasn't sure she'd really admit it. But one Weasley's behaviour was still rather concerning to her.

Ginny, she noticed, was looking paler than ever. Considering how long she had been like this, it surely couldn't have been a physical illness of any kind, could it? Violet had hoped her initial discussion with the younger girl would have helped in somewhat, but unfortunately, it didn't seem to have made any sort of difference, and Violet found that she was still quite worried.

She approached the Gryffindor again, once more inquired after her health, and reminded her that she was there for her if she ever needed something. Just like before, Ginny nodded hastily, only to turn and hurry away the moment their conversation came to an end. Well, that couldn't be a good sign...

Draco Malfoy, meanwhile, only looked more and more sour every time he saw what Fred and George were doing or saying, especially when they were around Violet. She had no idea why, and decided it might be best to just not question it. Maybe it was jealousy or something. She had better things to do than contemplate Malfoy and his behaviour.

The days passed in much the same way, and the day before the holidays began, Violet was approached by Luna Lovegood after her last class of the day.

"Oh, hello Luna. How have you been?"

"Good afternoon, Violet Potter. I don't believe that you are Slytherin's Heir. I just wanted you to know this, even though I know you don't care what others have been saying about you."

Violet just stood there and stared for a moment, completely caught off guard. Well, she certainly hadn't expected that. Although perhaps she should have. From this girl, at least. She smiled slightly. "Thank you, Luna. I appreciate the support."

The dreamy Ravenclaw smiled in turn, and then skipped away, no doubt heading to Ravenclaw Tower. It was nice to see her smiling. Hermione had informed her that the bullying had slowed down a little when it had been made clear that Luna and Violet had become friends. At the moment, most were too scared to pick on the younger girl, worried that it might cause Violet to set Slytherin's Monster on them.

Violet decided she would take what she could get. If these rumours meant Luna would be safe, then that was good enough for her.

By the next morning, Hogwarts castle was all but deserted. So many had left, but despite the threat of the supposed monster, both the castle and her grounds seemed so quiet and...peaceful. It was a wonderful break from the norm, and Violet was absolutely loving it.

Unlike last year, however, Violet wasn't alone. Theodore had stayed behind this year, claiming he didn't wish to see his father due to an argument they had had over the summer. He wasn't completely lying, but the main reason was simply because he didn't wish to leave his friend on her own. This was because Rose and all the Weasleys had remained behind too. And while he was sure those redheaded twins, the girl, and the Prefect likely wouldn't do much of anything, he couldn't say the same about Ron, not to mention Rose herself.

Malfoy had stayed behind too, unfortunately, and since Theo was friends with them both, he split his time between both Malfoy and Violet, neither of whom wanted to really be around one another. Poor Theo...

Christmas morning, Violet woke to the sight of a few presents sitting at the foot of her bed. She found that even though this had happened last year too, she was still surprised.

Theo had given her another book of wizarding fairy tales, this time called Tales of Beedle the Bard, with a side note that all the stories in the book were very popular, and all children grew up hearing them. Hermione had given her a set of nice quills, likely because she had finally gotten better at writing with the bloody things. Neville and, surprisingly, Ginny, had given her some sweets, probably because they didn't know her quite as well. Luna had given her a book too, this one on some rather strange magical creatures. And Fred and George had given her items they claimed she could use to prank Malfoy if he ever annoyed her too much-that last one, admittedly, had her laughing a little...

That evening, Violet sat in the common room with Theodore and Malfoy, a few other Slytherins milling about, but paying them no attention.

Malfoy was in a surprisingly good mood, because, thanks to his father's actions, Arthur Weasley was apparently now facing an inquiry at work due to that flying car of his (Violet wondered if Rose felt guilty at all for inconveniencing the family who seemed to truly care for her), and told both her and Theo that his father had confirmed that the Chamber of Secrets had definitely been opened fifty years ago. He claimed a mudblood had been killed, though said mudblood's name had never been revealed because they'd been underage, and their parents had wanted it kept quiet.

Violet didn't care much for the term used, but was curious about who this victim was. If their name was never made public, it wasn't going to be particularly easy figuring it out. Unless someone who was actually at Hogwarts fifty years ago came out and said it themselves. But had it been kept from them too, she wondered...?

Not much else happened over the break. Violet did some reading, worked on her homework, and chatted with Theo, and the Weasley twins. Ginny, much to her relief, looked a little better too, so that certainly helped.

Other than that, she sometimes wondered what Voldemort was doing-how he was doing, but obviously had no answers. He had told her they would meet again soon, but she hadn't heard a single word from him, and wasn't sure if she was relieved by that, or disappointed. Her feelings about him and this entire situation were still quite conflicting.

Classes resumed two weeks later, and with that came the return of accusations and avoidance. Violet wouldn't have cared much, and continued ignoring it, if she didn't end up being confronted personally.

One day, after classes, but before dinner in early January, Violet was simply taking a walk through the castle, needing a bit of time alone. She had just had an encounter with Lockhart that had really pissed her off, and she just wanted to calm back down before having to head to dinner.

She was minding her own business, when she found herself cornered by a rather tall teen-a Seventh year, if she had to guess, of Ravenclaw House. She barely had the time to look up before he was all but yelling at her, accusing her of opening the Chamber, of causing the attacks, and he even began threatening her.

Violet wasn't particularly intimidated. Used to dealing with idiots much bigger than her, Violet was sure she could handle the situation just fine. Or at least, she was thinking so until the Ravenclaw pulled out his wand. Well now, how could a Second year counter a Seventh year in magic?

Violet didn't have the answer, but figured she may as well give it a shot. It was near dinner time, and they were in a corridor that was going to be quite full in a few minutes. This guy was going to have to be quick to attack her, but generally, the quicker someone was, the sloppier they became.

Confident, the emerald eyed girl pulled out her own wand, only to sense someone come up behind her. Dammit. She was about to jump back, when the stranger spoke.

"Problem, Stewart?"

Surprised, Violet glanced over her shoulder. It was Marcus Flint. She didn't know much about him, hadn't exchanged a single word with him. She knew he was a Seventh year, was Captain of Slytherin's Quidditch team, and played the position of Chaser. He was tall, standing a little over six feet, quite muscular, not particularly attractive or intelligent, and he certainly wasn't much of a talker either. But right now, he stood behind her, dark eyes locked on the Ravenclaw he no doubt had had many classes with over the years.

The Eagle's eyes narrowed. "Nothing that concerns you, Flint," he retorted coldly, grip on his wand tightening. But now his eyes were shifting, searching, no doubt looking for a way out, just in case things turned against him. Some would argue they already had.

Flint remained unaffected, and merely set his rather large, free hand on the girl's shoulder, his own wand training on the Ravenclaw. "Walk away, Stewart."

"Mind your own business, Flint."


Despite her surprise and confusion, Violet decided to play along. "I never took Ravenclaws as idiots," she spoke calmly. "You really need to take a look at your surrounding here. You're outnumbered."

The Eagle sneered. "Think you can best me, kid?"

"Oh, I think I can," she replied, gazing up at him innocently. She smirked. "Boo."

Stewart flinched when he heard the hiss, and backed away, raising his wand up higher, even as he paled. "What're you-"

Flint smirked now as well, even though he too had no idea what the girl had just said. "Walk away, Stewart," he repeated.

The Ravenclaw fled. And once he was gone, Violet turned her attention to her Housemate, and raised a brow in question. Flint replied with another smirk, and gestured out in front of them.

"After you."

Without a word, Violet made her way to the Great Hall, Flint following her, keeping a few paces behind her. Well, she thought, I think I just got myself a bodyguard. Her eyes flashed, and her lips curled.

What an interesting development indeed.

As January turned to February, Violet learned that she had been right. She really had gained a bodyguard of sorts, and it wasn't just Marcus Flint. A fair number of the Sixth and Seventh years in their House had taken it upon themselves to watch out for her. Theo seemed to know why, but he refused to explain, evidently enjoying the entire thing.

Though still rather confused, Violet decided to just stop questioning it, and take advantage of the situation. She could handle those closer to her own age, who had had a similar amount of magical education as herself-they were hardly a problem. No, it was the ones who had more experience she needed a with.

Her new bodyguards really only provided backup. There were there to defend her should any of the older students actually attack her. If there was a confrontation, but no attacks, they merely stood behind her stoically. It was an intimidation factor, one that worked quite well.

But even if she was alone, Violet had found a way to deal with things just fine without help. And all she needed to do was say one word-any word, really. Just, not in English. The amount of people who were completely and utterly terrified of Parseltongue was both amazing, and depressing.

Just the other day a Sixth year Gryffindor had come after her, and Violet, on her own, had simply looked up at him and said, well, hissed, "I like Aragorn," and that was literally all it took to have him paling and running off with his tail between his legs. So much for Gryffindor courage.

Oh how Violet loved being a Parselmouth...

A few days later, Violet tracked down her twin sister and her redhead, figuring that they should have finally learned something new about the Chamber or monster, since they always seemed to have weird information like this. Why waste her own time researching when she could eavesdrop on those who already knew everything?

Keeping herself hidden in the shadowy alcove beside the one the two friends were in, she stood there and listened as they spoke, this time about...a diary of some sort? Ah, a diary that belonged to someone named Tom M Riddle. Neither of them seemed to know who this guy was, and were trying to figure it out, though they weren't having much luck.

Violet walked away from the alcove with a frown. Tom Riddle, huh? For some reason, that name sounded oddly...familiar to her, even though she was positive she'd never known anyone with that name. There used to be a Tom in the orphanage when she'd been younger, but his surname definitely hadn't been Riddle, which she knew for a fact, not to mention he was dead, having been hit by a car right in front of her. No, he wasn't the one she thought of when she heard the name Tom Riddle. But if it wasn't him, then who was it?

Wanting an answer, but aware she was pretty poor when it came to researching, Violet did the next best thing and went to her friend Hermione. If anyone could find an answer, it would be a Ravenclaw...

"Tom M Riddle?" Hermione repeated with a frown.

Violet nodded. "Yeah. Sound familiar to you at all?"

The bushy haired witch pursed her lips as she thought. "Hmm, can't say it does. Do you know anything about him at all?"

"He's either a Muggleborn, or a Half-Blood, but that's basically it."

Slowly, Hermione nodded. "Alright, I'll see what I can do."

"Thanks, Hermione..."

It took Hermione a week to get back to Violet with a few answers. With Theodore hanging out with Malfoy that Saturday, the two girls met up at a table in the back of the library.

"I couldn't find much," Hermione admitted. "It's actually a little odd at how much of his information is missing."

Violet frowned, but nodded. "What did you manage to find?"

"Tom M Riddle attended Hogwarts fifty years ago," the Ravenclaw began. "I found his name on an old Magical Merit. The only other thing I found was that he received an award for Special Services to the School-it's in the Trophy Room. It's dated fifty years back, but doesn't seem to state any details, so I can't say what it was for."

The raven haired girl listened closely. So this was who Rose and Ron had been talking about. Considering the date, Tom surely must have been here in the castle when the Chamber of Secrets had been opened the first time. After all, Malfoy had told them that his father had said the Chamber had originally been opened then, and Lucius Malfoy had no reason to lie to his son.

A special award for services to the school around the same time as the incident that had resulted in a death... Had Tom been the one to catch the one behind it? There was no way to know for sure, but it seemed likely.

And while Hermione promised to do a bit more research when she had the time, since she was curious now too, Violet continued wondering why the name of a boy from fifty years ago still filled her with such a sense of familiarity...

With no new attacks, the fear in the castle finally began to fade a little, and things started returning to normal. The Mandrakes, according to Professor Sprout, were beginning to leave childhood-a good sign, since it meant they were closer to maturity, at which point Professor Snape would be able to brew the potion that would help those who had been petrified.

Most stopped staring at the Potter twins, though Ernie MacMillian continued avoiding Rose as much as he could, still not fully trusting her. Lockhart, on the other hand, was as pompous as ever, somehow under the impression that he was the reason why Slytherin's monster had backed off and stopped attacking. Yeah, no one really understood that. Well, no one who wasn't infatuated with him, at least. Those who were, didn't question a thing. Idiots...

An emergency stop at the Hospital Wing on the morning of February fourteenth, had Violet late for breakfast, and she was so caught up in what had just happened, that she didn't realize what day it was. Unfortunately for her, she was reminded of it the second she walked into the Great Hall.

She stopped dead in the doorway. The walls were covered in weird, pink flowers, and heart shaped confetti was raining down from the enchanted ceiling. ...Ick. Disgusted, Violet joined Theo at Slytherin Table, (having told him to go on ahead because she really hadn't wanted him around when Madam Pomfrey was explaining...stuff) and the boy was pleased to see that she was as grossed out as he was. Honestly, it was a great relief, because far too many girls were taken by all this crap.

After she had settled down, he nodded towards the Head Table, and when she glanced over, Violet's disdain only increased. Lockhart was wearing bright, pink robes that matched the decorations in the Hall. Ugh. A good sign, however, was that all of the other teachers seemed to be just as disgusted as them.

McGonagall's jaw seemed to be twitching, as if she kept grinding her teeth, and Snape looked like his mortal enemy was dancing naked before him. The only staff member who seemed pleased was Dumbledore, but that was hardly surprising. Unfortunately, everything only became much worse when Lockhart introduced those cupid-dwarf...things that were to carry Valentines throughout the day. Oh Merlin.

"...Think I can fake sick and skive off classes today?" Violet questioned suddenly.

"If you're skiving, then I am too," Theodore replied.

"Which means it'll be too suspicious."


"Which means we can't and have to deal with all...this."



"My sentiments exactly."

The very next day, and a handful of awkward Valentine's later, Violet happened upon Rose, who was practically running down the corridor towards her friend Ron, who had just come out of the loo. Neither of them noticed her.

"Ron! Ron, listen!"

"Rose? What's up?"

"It was Hagrid!" Rose exclaimed breathlessly. "Hagrid opened the Chamber of Secrets fifty years ago."

"...What!?" The redhead's eyes widened, and he gaped like a fish. "Okay, okay wait, slow down, what?"

Rose took a few breaths, and then began to explain. It was that diary again, the one they'd been talking about before, the one that belonged to Tom M Riddle. Somehow, Rose had ended up in what she claimed must have been a memory of sorts, one from fifty whole years ago.

And as she explained what she had seen, what had happened, Violet, who had hidden behind a suit of armour, listened closely, a frown on her face, and her brow furrowed in confusion.

She was quite shocked, to say the least. Sure, Hagrid seemed to have a bizarre number of odd pets, but...Hagrid? Neither Rose nor Ron really believed Hagrid had been behind this, despite what Rose had seen, and Violet found herself agreeing with them. The taller than average man just didn't seem like-like someone who would be able to do something like this. He cared too much.

Still, Violet became even more curious about this strange diary, wishing she could get her hands on it so she could examine it herself. At the same time, however, she was suspicious as well. How had this diary been able to give Rose this information? She had claimed to have seen it like a movie of sorts, rather than having read it, and that didn't sound like any diary Violet had ever heard of.

Figuring it was a wizarding world thing, she decided to ask Theo, and at the same time, told him everything she had learned so far. And while the boy denied ever hearing of a diary or journal that behaved in the manner Rose claimed the one she found did, he agreed that there was a pretty low chance that Hagrid was the one who had actually done the deed.

They ended up telling Hermione all this too, and she in turn had a little more information on this Tom M Riddle guy. It turned out that he was one smart cookie. He'd been Sorted into Slytherin House, had been both a Prefect and Head Boy, and had received top marks on both his OWLs and NEWTs, which impressed Hermione endlessly.

That had them thinking. If they compared Hagrid with Riddle, well, it was clear who was the better student between them-who was smarter. They were sure Hagrid hadn't really done anything, but Riddle had still been awarded for stopping him. So what were the odds that Riddle was actually the one to have released the monster, only to set Hagrid up?

If everything Rose had seen and said were true, then Violet could somewhat sympathize with Riddle not wanting to return to that orphanage of his, considering they were in the same boat and all. And while she had it pretty bad, surely it must have been much worse for him, considering the war that had been going on in the Muggle world at the time.

His desperation to not return could have caused him to frame Hagrid. If he himself had really been the one behind it, he obviously wasn't going to give himself up. Hagrid was an easy person to frame, and there needed to be a clear conclusion to what had been a horrible situation.

No one would have looked twice at Riddle, considering his circumstances, and since everyone would have assumed the situation was done with, it would have given Riddle the chance to not return to the orphanage. After all, according to Rose, that was what the previous Headmaster had told Riddle, in a sense.

Yes, if that was true, then Violet found that even if she didn't fully agree with it all, she could understand where her fellow Slytherin was coming from. Both of them were Half-Bloods (according to what Rose had said, at least), both of them lived in a Muggle orphanage in London that they had no desire to be in, both of them had asked to stay behind over the summer break, only to be refused. Yes, there were many similarities indeed.

But who was Tom Riddle, exactly? Hermione hadn't been able to find anything personal about him at all, not even who his parents were, or what had happened to him after he had left Hogwarts. And she had looked pretty damn hard...

Chapter Text

The days continued to pass. Winter turned to spring, and with that came not only the Easter holidays, but time for the second years to pick extra courses for next year. There were five options: Divination, Arithmancy, Muggle Studies, Ancient Runes, and Care of Magical Creatures, and the second years had to pick at least two of them.

At first, Violet had absolutely no idea which courses to choose. Technically speaking, these choices were supposed to be made depending on what they wanted to do in the future-the work field they wanted to get in to. But at twelve years old, the real Girl-Who-Lived had hardly put thought into a job of any sort, let alone what courses she would need to get it, especially since she couldn't legally even get a job until she was sixteen.

Most, she noticed, were asking their family for advice, but she couldn't do that either. She didn't have family besides the twin sister who obviously hated her, and she certainly couldn't, and didn't want to, ask the Matron. Luckily for her, many of the older Slytherins had warmed up to her since it had come out that she was a Parselmouth, and they seemed to make note of her confusion, and offered her some advice of their own.

They told her a little about all five classes, the work she would have to do, the professor in charge, and other basic things like that. They didn't care much for Muggle Studies, and said Divination was crap, but would be an easy pass if she made things up. Care was good if you liked animals, while Arithmancy and Runes were a little more complex compared to everything else.

In the end, Violet went with a process of elimination. She definitely had no need for Muggle Studies, considering she was still living in the Muggle world half the time, even if the class was likely going to be very easy for her-she wanted a bit of a challenge. She didn't at all believe in things like fortune telling or destiny, so Divination was definitely out too. That left her with three choices.

She actually rather liked animals, for the most part, and thanks to Luna and that book she'd been gifted with over Christmas, her curiosity about magical creatures had grown, so she supposed there was no reason for her not to take Care of Magical Creatures, since that class would, no doubt, cover all that.

And out of the last two courses, well, it was easy to tell which one she was going to pick. Violet had been interested in Runes for as long as she could remember, and even though the Runes in the Wizarding World were no doubt different than the ones she'd read about in her other fantasy books, they were still Runes. So, obviously, Ancient Runes was the way to go.

The other Slytherins seemed to approve of her choices, and told her she was sure to learn much. The professors for both classes weren't that bad, and since they weren't Heads of Houses, weren't as biased.

Theodore, Violet learned, had chosen to go with Ancient Runes and Arithmancy, Neville had chosen Care of Magical Creatures and Divination, while Hermione had taken the hard way and just picked all five courses! Well, that was Hermione for you, Violet thought fondly...

Saturday morning, a week later, was sunny and breezy, and was also the day of the Gryffindor-Hufflepuff Quidditch match. The Great Hall was packed and noisy, everyone talking about the upcoming match, with the Lions and Badgers more boisterous, both Houses hoping their respective teams would win.

Violet and Theodore were discussing the match as well, and as eleven o' clock came closer, they, along with many others, left the Great Hall so they could head out to the stadium. The two Slytherins had only just reached the massive front doors, when suddenly-

"How dare you!?"

A hand on her shoulder yanked Violet back, and she quickly turned around, only to find Rose and Ron standing behind her, both of them glaring at her furiously. She blinked. "How dare I what?" she questioned, pulling herself away as Theo stepped forward beside her.

"You stole my diary!" Rose cried. "You pretended to be me, and snuck into our Tower, and took it!"

Needless to say, Violet was quite confused. But even more than that, she was amused by the accusation, and when she exchanged a glance with her friend, it was clear he felt the exact same way as her-the expression on his face showed just that.

"When exactly did this happen?"

"At breakfast as you should bloody well know!"

Violet blinked again. "Ah, well then, it seems I'm in the clear. Theo and I have only just left the Great Hall, as many students and professors alike have no doubt seen." When a few of the older Slytherins came to stand behind her, she waved them off. This was just Rose being silly again. She could handle it herself.

"Besides," she continued, folding her arms across her chest, "we may be twins, but we have different hair lengths, not to mention you wear glasses, while I don't. And perhaps the most important thing of all here-I have absolutely no idea where the entrance to Gryffindor's Common Room even is, let alone know the password to get inside it."

"Would you even want to steal her diary of all things?" questioned Theodore with a smirk, blue eyes glinting slightly.

The real Girl-Who-Lived scoffed. "Of course not! I don't care to know what she's been doing every day. I can already imagine what she writes about in there." Naturally, Violet was fully aware that Rose was talking about Riddle's diary, rather than her own. She wouldn't have gotten so upset otherwise. But Violet didn't want to admit she knew that, and simply pretended she didn't.

She turned cold, emerald eyes on her twin. "Before you go around blaming innocent people for a crime they didn't commit, you should really look at your own House members first, especially since unless it was a teacher, the only one who could have taken this diary of yours, was a Gryffindor girl." And when Ginny paled at that, Violet immediately knew who the thief was. She just couldn't understand why said thief had done as she had.

Finished making her point, Violet and Theodore turned around and walked off, the Sixth and Seventh year Slytherins following behind them, protecting her back. But they had hardly gone five steps, before something else unexpected happened to Violet.

"Kill...this time... Let me rip...let me tear..."

"That voice again!" Violet had completely forgotten about it, since she hadn't heard it for so long, and hadn't been sure she had heard it in the first place. She exclaimed this out loud, and while Theo looked rather confused, there was a gasp from behind them. Violet turned, and realized that Hermione had come up behind them. She was standing there now, looking oddly breathless. "Herm-"

"Violet! That voice you were just talking about, you've heard it before, right?"

Surprised, and a little puzzled, the raven haired girl nodded. "Yes, just once, I think, when I was in the shower, near the beginning of the school year."

Hermione nodded frantically, then turned and ran off, calling out something about the library. The other two exchanged a baffled look, but shrugged it off as being some weird Ravenclaw thing, and continued making their way out of the castle...

Most of the inhabitants of Hogwarts were seated in the stands around the Quidditch pitch, while the teams of Gryffindor and Hufflepuff were standing on said pitch, everyone waiting for the match to begin. Violet, Theodore, and Malfoy were discussing Hufflepuff's chances of beating Gryffindor (a small one, they all agreed), when they spotted McGonagall rushing out onto the pitch, looking rather frazzled, which was rather odd in itself. Violet and Theo exchanged a glance. This couldn't be good.

"This match has been canceled!" the professor called out loudly, her voice magically amplified. "All students are to return to their Common Rooms immediately!"

Everyone started talking at once, some complaining about the match no longer taking place, others gossiping, wondering what had happened, and some speculating on whether or not there had been another attack.

"Potter!" McGonagall called, when Violet had descended the stands.

Trading another worried look with her friend, who patted her on the back, Theo continued on to the castle, while the raven haired girl approached the Transfiguration professor at the same time as her twin sister, who was on the other side. The woman noticed this too, and was quick to correct herself, clarifying that she only wanted Violet, and that Rose was to go straight to the Tower. Figuring her sister was in trouble, Rose shot Violet a smug smirk, and then did as told.

"You're to come with me, Miss Potter," spoke McGonagall. "Remain close." She turned and made her way into the castle.

Feeling more confused than ever, and wondering what in the world this was about, Violet followed closely. The two walked in silence, weaving around students as they headed up flight after flight of stairs.

McGonagall only broke the silence as they, distressingly, neared the Hospital Wing. "I am afraid that there has been another attack, Miss Potter. Another double attack."

Violet couldn't help but wonder if she was about to be blamed for this one too, but something in the professors tone said no. Something in her tone told the girl that this was worse. Led inside the Hospital Wing, Violet immediately saw the first of the new victims, since the bed hadn't yet been surrounded with a curtain.

It was a girl, she noted, looking very pale. Her hair was long and curly, and Violet thought she vaguely recognized her as being an older Ravenclaw-the Prefect, if she was remembering correctly. But she couldn't for the life of her recall her name. The next bed over was also occupied, but she couldn't see who it was, because Professor Snape was standing over the person. All Violet could see were stocking clad legs-a girl, then. But the length of said legs showed it must have been someone fairly short-a younger student?

As McGonagall led Violet forward, Snape heard their approaching footsteps and glanced over his shoulder. Serious onyx met confused emerald, and the man stepped aside.

Violet felt her breath catch and die in her throat. "Hermione," she whispered in disbelief. Hermione had been petrified. Her friend had been petrified! Her knees buckled, and then Snape laid a firm hand on her shoulder, keeping her up and steady, but remaining silent.

"Miss Potter..."

Violet looked up at McGonagall, but didn't say anything.

"I must ask, when was the last time you spoke to Miss Granger?"

"Just-" her breath hitched, "just after breakfast, in the Entrance Hall. She said she was going to the library."

The older woman nodded. "Both she and Miss Clearwater were discovered near the library. This was discovered near them," she added, holding up a small compact mirror Violet had seen a fair number of older girls with. "Do you recognize it?"

Violet shook her head. The mirror was one girls used with their makeup, but Violet knew Hermione didn't wear any, meaning it must have belonged to the Prefect. But what this had to do with the attack, she didn't understand. McGonagall, Snape, and Madam Pomfrey spoke to one another, but the girl hardly heard a word they said.

She couldn't take her eyes off her friend. She had never seen Hermione to pale and still before. Violet had never had friends before, and while she certainly wasn't used to it just yet, she cherished them. And now one of those friends had been attacked, and was laying on this hard bed, looking like she was dead.

It was only when Snape's grip on her shoulder tightened, that Violet was able to look away. The women in the room, she noticed, where staring at her, both of them appearing rather upset. Violet looked down, and at that point, was led away by her Head of House, who took her back down to the Slytherin Common Room...

The Slytherins were shocked to see the gesture of comfort coming from Snape-even if it was just a hand on the girl's shoulder, and that shock only grew when the man called for Theodore, gesturing towards Violet, who was immediately lowered down into a seat by her friend, the two sharing an armchair now. It was only once the emerald eyed girl was settled, that Professor Snape spoke.

"There has been a second double attack," he informed them, not even required to raise his voice in the deafening silence. "This time, the victims were both Ravenclaw students. A Fifth year Prefect-Penelope Clearwater, and a Second year," his eyes flicked to Violet, "Hermione Granger." He informed them of all the new, restrictive rules, and then left them be.

Many focused their attention on Potter now, who was assuring her friend that she was alright. But it was clear that she was lying. They could tell that she was not only shaken, but worried too, and they supposed they couldn't blame her. Slytherins had a reputation of being cold and indifferent, but that was only around other Houses. They were actually some of the most caring and compassionate people, and one would never learn that unless they became close to them.

But what the girl didn't know, was that a fair number of them were actually upset over Hermione's plight. Not all, of course, but some. And there was a reason for that.

Potter was a Slytherin, and and despite being a Half-Blood, thanks to her ability of Parselmouth, her status was, in a manner of speaking, higher than theirs. They just hadn't told her this yet. She was only a Second year, and hadn't even gotten used to Hogwarts yet, let alone had the time to figure out how their House mechanics worked.

Now, because of this status, Potter's friends, whichever House they may have belonged in, and whatever Blood they may have been, were off limits, and essentially, under their protection. Right now, only Nott and Granger were a part of that, but they knew Longbottom and Lovegood would be added to that list soon too-possibly even a few Weasleys, at some point in the future. So, with Granger having been on that list, and now having been attacked, well, they weren't particularly pleased.

But the Slytherins weren't the only ones talking. Everyone in the castle was making a few observations: one Gryffindor had been attacked; a Gryffindor ghost had been attacked; one Hufflepuff had been attacked; two Ravenclaws had been attacked; no Slytherins had been attacked; Violet Potter was a Parselmouth and in Slytherin, so she must have been the one behind all this; Granger was her friend though, which was obvious; Rose Potter was also a Parselmouth, and Creevey wasn't her friend or anything; it was more likely that Rose Potter was Slytherin's Heir, rather than Violet Potter; it has to be Violet Potter thought, she's already in Slytherin; but-

No one was able to agree, or reach a consensus of any kind. Everyone was so sure that one of the Potter twins was Slytherin's Heir, but none of them could agree on which one it could actually be...

It took Malfoy only two days to get over what had happened. He walked into Slytherin's Common Room one evening, just before curfew, beaming. Hagrid, according to him, had been arrested, and his father had, shockingly, managed to get rid of Dumbledore too. Malfoy recounted his tale over and over again, to anyone who was willing to listen.

Violet, in the middle of doing homework with Theodore, frowned as she listened. She didn't care much that Dumbledore was gone-she was hardly his biggest fan, but she was positive that Hagrid's arrest wasn't going to solve anything. There was no way he was behind the attack.

But who was Slytherin's Heir? Who was the one doing this? Rose and Ron. Ginny. The diary. Tom M Riddle. The strange voice. The roosters. The petrifications. The mirror that had been found near Hermione and Clearwater. Violet knew she had all the clues, or at least most of them, but she couldn't figure out how exactly they all went together.

And that was really annoying her now, because she had always prided herself on her intelligence, and yet, ever since coming to Hogwarts, she couldn't help but feel like an idiot. It was because she didn't know much about this world, she knew. She understood she wasn't going to learn much in school either. And she was aware that she both needed, and wanted, to learn more. But to do that, she was going to have to wait until summer, so she could head to Flourish and Blotts and buy a few books. Hopefully the matron would continue leaving her alone, so she could read and study in peace...

That night, Violet had an odd dream. It was dark, she couldn't see anything, but she could still hear and feel. Someone was holding her hand. It was a big hand, dwarfing her own in comparison, its fingers long and slim, and oddly cool. The person's other hand was in her hair, stroking slowly and gently. These hands belonged to a man, she was sure. But the person never spoke. He just continued to stroke her hair, the motion oddly soothing.

"Tom..." Violet didn't know how she knew, but she was positive this was Tom Riddle. For months now she had been thinking that she knew him, that his name sounded familiar. This was him. She was sure of it. But he still didn't speak. She heard him chuckle, the sound low, before he pressed a kiss to her temple.

Violet woke abruptly, noted it was still dark and her arm had gone numb, turned around in bed, fell back asleep, and when she woke up again in the morning, had no recollection of the strange dream at all...

All the fear that had begun to fade, grew once again, exceeding what it had been before. Everyone rushed from class to class, escorted everywhere by professors, even to the loo. Nobody was allowed to be out of their Common Rooms alone, not to go to the library, not to go to the Hospital Wing, which caused a fair few problems, nowhere.

It was incredibly irritating and difficult for all, be they staff or students, especially because there weren't nearly enough adults to watch over all the kids at all times, and make sure no one broke any of the new rules...

Regardless, summer was getting closer with each passing day. The spring rains were beginning to dwindle down, and flowers bloomed, grass and tree leaves shining a pretty, healthy green. Unfortunately, it was nowhere near as peaceful inside the castle.

With Dumbledore gone, people were even more scared than before, even the professors, which certainly was not a positive or relieving sight. Lockhart seemed to be the only adult who wasn't scared or tenser than usual, and he appeared to be wholly satisfied that since Hagrid had been arrested, everything was going to be just fine now.

No one else really believed that at all.

Just a few days later, Theodore came to Violet, telling her that he had just overheard Rose and Ron talking. Apparently, they had followed some spiders into the Forbidden Forest, and come across a nest of Acromantula, who had claimed that the last time the Chamber of Secrets had been opened, a girl had died in a bathroom, and that Slytherin's monster was something they feared above all else.

"They were saying the Acromantula nearly killed them," the blue eyed boy added. "But, do you remember that flying car from the beginning of the year? Apparently it saved them. I'm amazed they weren't caught, those idiots."

Violet couldn't help but agree. Then again, Rose and her friend seemed to have abnormally good luck. Still, she soaked in the information, a little annoyed that Rose had gone and done something so stupid and dangerous. Again. She didn't like her sister by any stretch of the imagination, but she certainly didn't want her dead...

Not long later, when the girl got into bed, she had only just begun to drift off, when she was hit with a sudden revelation, and she bolted back up, a gasp leaving her. Moaning Myrtle. The girl who had died in a bathroom fifty years ago...what if it was her? It was no guarantee, but certainly a possibility, and as the only ghost who haunted a bathroom, well, it was worth at least asking about, wasn't it?

She wanted to find out, wanted to ask Moaning Myrtle herself, but it was near impossible to get away on your own thanks to the new rules. Rose had only managed it because of their father's Invisibility Cloak that she had been given. Violet had no such help, and to make matters worse, the older Slytherins were keeping a closer watch over her too, since she was being confronted by other students time and time again, some of whom were beginning to become increasingly violet.

As the days went by, Violet planned on how she would sneak away. She didn't tell anyone about it, not even Theo, and she was sure she was going to regret it, just like last year. But she still didn't trust people, and likely wasn't going to for a while yet.

Ginny, she noticed, was getting tenser, and more nervous, and pale, and scared, and this just worried Violet even more. She hoped it was just stress from the fear of the attacks, or even a chronic illness like Owen had back at Starlight. But with the way the younger girl had most likely stolen that strange diary from Rose, well...

Still, one morning, when Violet and Theodore were nearing Slytherin Table, Ginny approached the two, as pale and frightened as always, causing the two older students to pause.

"U-um, c-can I talk to you, V-Violet?"

The emerald eyed girl nodded and led Ginny a few steps away from the boy. "What's wrong, Ginny? Go on, you can tell me," she encouraged.

Ginny hesitated for another moment, her arms wrapped around herself tightly. "I-there's something I-I-" She didn't get to say anything more.

"Ginny!? What the bloody-!? Stay away from those Snakes!" It was Ron. He must have seen them talking, and hurried over, because his face was almost as red as his hair. He grabbed his little sister by the arm, and just like months ago over the summer, dragged her away, yelling about 'Potter trying to corrupt my little sister', or something along those lines.

"What was all that about?" questioned Theodore, once Violet had rejoined him.

The girl sighed and shrugged. "I don't know. She wanted to tell me something, something pretty important, if I had to guess, but," she sneered, "dragged her away before she could explain."

Theo hummed in answer, blue eyes lingering on Gryffindor Table. "She doesn't look very good. Is she sick?"

"I'm not sure. She's been like that for months now. Fred and George-the twins, say she's been having nightmares."

And as he poured himself some juice, Theodore decided that it was about time he did some research. Hermione may have been the better researcher, but he knew he was certainly no slouch. And after getting permission from Professor Snape, and spending some time in the library, it took him only a few hours to find the answers he had been looking for.

When he returned to the Common Room, he found his friend in an armchair in the corner of the room, reading the book he had given her for Christmas. He joined her, squeezing into the armchair with her, so they could speak quietly without anyone else hearing them.

"Violet, I think I know what Slytherin's monster is."

She lowered the book to her lap immediately, and turned as best as she could in the tight space. "What did you find out?" She knew he had been looking into it-he had told her as much.

"A basilisk."

Violet blinked. "A basilisk?" she repeated. A giant snake?

"Yes, listen-" He went through the clues with her. The voices she had been hearing that no one, perhaps other than Rose, could hear, was most likely Parseltongue, the language only the two of them could speak. She had assumed she was hearing the voice from through the wall, and he was sure the monster was using the pipes to travel-they would be large enough for that. Spiders were terrified of them, but a rooster's cry could kill them.

Violet listened closely. "Basilisks...they kill via sight, don't they?"

Theodore nodded. "Meeting their eyes causes instant death. But you see, no one who was attacked did look at it directly."

"Ah!" She understood immediately. "They all saw reflections, didn't they? Mrs Norris must have seen it in the water on the floor. Creevey had his camera, and he spends more time taking pictures than anything else. Finch-Fletchley likely saw it through that ghost, and the ghost was already dead anyway. And Hermione..."

"She and that Prefect were found with a small mirror near them, weren't they? Hermione found out it was a basilisk too-that's probably what she was looking up before she was attacked. When she left the library and ran into the Prefect, knowing her, she probably told her to look around corners with a mirror first."

But they didn't even have the chance to think about what they wanted to do with this information, whether they were going to tell a professor, or keep it to themselves, when the shocking news met them.

Ginny Weasley had been taken into the Chamber of Secrets, and a new message in blood had appeared on the same wall as the first, this time proclaiming, 'Her skeleton will lie in the Chamber forever'.

Malfoy laughed. Some of the other Slytherins did too. Theodore frowned, and turned to look at his friend, and the expression Violet had on her face didn't surprise him at all. She looked concerned.

Chapter Text

It was as if she had gone back in time. Violet, just like last year, was sneaking through Hogwarts, using the shadows as cover, and also like last year, she was already regretting it. There didn't seem to be any need for this attempt at stealth though, because she didn't encounter a single soul, living or dead. She knew a staff meeting had been called so they could discuss what they could do for Ginny, but did they seriously think no one would break the rules if they weren't given the chance?

She didn't realize that her sister was in the midst of breaking some rules herself. Rose and Ron had all the same information as Violet. The only thing they didn't know, was what Slytherin's monster was, since they didn't have a smart researcher or two on their side to look it up for them. But with them being typical Gryffindors, they didn't really even bother thinking things through, which was sort of understandable, considering it was Ron's little sister who had been taken down into the Chamber. Still, they basically just grabbed a reluctant Lockhart and rushed on, despite not knowing what lay ahead of them.

Regardless, Violet was able to make her way to the girl's loo down on the first floor without any issues (Why weren't any of the painting people saying anything? Were they really all asleep?), and she entered, looking around curiously. She'd never been in here before, having been warned off long ago.

It looked like a normal bathroom to her, stalls, sinks, mirrors. Nothing seemed particularly odd, at least until she walked down to the stall at the end, and spotted a ghost seated on top of the toilet tank, her head in her hands, face morose.

The ghost noticed her, and looked up at her, but her expression didn't change. "And what do you want? Come to make fun of me like your sister and her idiot friend?"

Violet blinked. Well, that certainly wasn't what she had expected to hear. Jeez, Rose really was a little prick, wasn't she? "No, I'm not here to mock you, not that I would. You're Moaning Myrtle, aren't you? If it's alright, I'd like to ask you how you died."

Myrtle's entire demeanor changed, until she became quite cheerful indeed. "Oh! It was absolutely dreadful!" she exclaimed, and then her voice lowered as if in an attempt to become dramatic. "I died in this very stall, you know? I was hidden in here," she explained, "crying because I'd been teased about my glasses again, when I heard someone come in. I had no problem with that, of course, it's a loo, after all. And then I heard them say something strange in a funny language I'd never heard before. That was fine too. But, you see, it sounded like a boy! So I opened the door to tell them to get out, and then I died."

That was confusing. "Just like that? But how? Did he-did he hurt you or something?"

The ghostly girl shrugged. "I don't really know how it happened," she told her, "but I do remember seeing a pair of great, big eyes, and then I sort of stiffened up and floated away."

"Where did you see the eyes?" Violet inquired. "Do you remember?"

"Over there, somewhere, by the sinks."

Well, thought Violet, those answers certainly did confirm the whole basilisk theory. That Tom Riddle, who she was sure had been the one to originally open the Chamber, must have come in here that day, opened it again, and called for the basilisk. Maybe he hadn't known Myrtle had been in the loo as well, and her death had just been an accident.

Then again, maybe he had known, and had had no issues with her dying. She didn't know him, so it was hard to tell. But that was fifty years ago, and he couldn't be the one behind the incidents this time, right? And Violet was sure Ginny was involved somehow, and ugh! The answer was right there! She knew it was ! But she just couldn't figure out what it was!

Heaving a sigh, Violet made her way over to the sinks that stood in a circle, and examined them. They looked normal to her, all of them did. Myrtle had gone back into her stall, so the Slytherin decided to not bother her again. Instead, she began turning the taps on and off. Only one of them didn't work. Curious, she leaned down for a closer look, and noted that under the faucet, there was an engraving of a small snake. ...Had no one ever noticed this before? She checked the others for the same thing, and none of them had them. Wow, people here were really bad at being observant.

"Open," she hissed, the snake tongue coming to her naturally and without thought or hesitation. She heard a groaning of metal, and took a few steps back, watching curiously as the sinks moved aside to reveal a rather large opening in the ground. It was a pipe, she realized as she stared. A very big, gaping pipe.

Huh, so this is the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets, is it? Why is it in the girl's loo of all places? And how on earth has no one been able to find it before!? Did they even try?

She pulled herself out of her thoughts. Ginny was down there. Violet knew the smart thing to do would be to get a professor and show them this, and let them take care of whatever lay down below. But...most adults were incompetent. And if they hadn't found the Chamber's entrance yet, when she of all people had, well, could she really trust them with something like this?

She sat down, her legs falling into the pipe, took a deep breath, and pushed herself forward. She slid down the pipe as if it were a slide, not that she had ever been on one before, the ride worryingly long, but very slick. Still, before she knew it, she shot out of the end and landed hard, hissing in pain as a jolt went through her ankle.

Wincing, she stood slowly, carefully putting weight on her left side. It didn't hurt anymore, just tingled a bit, which she was glad for. It had definitely just been a jolt, rather than a sprain, twist, or break. Satisfied, she looked around now, examining her surroundings. The chamber she was in was fairly large, very damp, very dark, and the ground she was standing on was uneven and oddly...crunchy?

She pulled out her wand. "Lumos," she intoned calmly. The end of her wand lit up, and she used the light to look around more closely. She was definitely well under the school, possibly even under the lake, but it was hard to tell for sure. And the floor... "Oh! ...Ew." There were bones littering the ground, dozens upon dozens of animal bones.

Deciding not to linger here any longer, Violet began to walk forward, following the passage in front of her cautiously, prepared to shut her eyes if she noticed any odd movements. The basilisk had to be down here somewhere, unless it had gone back up into the castle again.

The passageway was just as damp and dark as the chamber she had ended up in, but soon enough, the girl noticed something up ahead. There was a very large...mass of sorts, but it didn't appear to be moving. Violet paused and listened, but she didn't hear anything but the steady drip of water. Slowly, carefully, she approached it, and it didn't take her long at all to realize what it was.

"A snake skin," she murmured to herself. "A very, very big snake skin." This had to belong to the basilisk. After all, there couldn't possibly be more than one giant snake down there, right?

There was a sudden commotion, and Violet jumped when she heard a loud crash from somewhere behind her. She would have ignored it and moved on, if she hadn't heard the voices coming from there too. So she backtracked, only to discover that there had been a cave in. Not only that, but Rose was here too, standing on the same side she was, and yelling at Ron, who was on the other side of the falling rocks with-Lockhart? Dammit.

Violet was pissed. She confronted Rose, who was just as shocked to see her twin, and found out that Lockhart was actually a fraud, which didn't surprise her at all, and had tried to wipe Rose and Ron's memories using Ron's broken wand, which had backfired and caused the cave in.

"I'm going ahead. Find a way to move the rocks, will you?" Rose ordered before beginning to walk away down the passage.

Violet watched her go for a moment, her brow raised, and then spoke, tone sarcastic. "Oh yes, of course, go right on ahead and face Slytherin's monster all on your own if you can. Do you even know what it is?"

Rose paused mid-step, then turned back around and glared. "As if you do!"

"I do, actually. So, tell me dear sister of mine, how do you plan of faring against a fifty to sixty foot basilisk?"

"...W-wh-what!? A-a basilisk!?"

Violet inclined her head. "Yes, a basilisk. It would be pointless for either of us to remain here. Tell your friend to shift through the rock, and we can go on. The longer we stand here and argue, the more danger Ginny's in."

Rose's glare hardened, but she seemed to agree, because she did as Violet said and told Ron it was best if he tried creating a hole for them to get back through. And with that, the twins made their way down the passage together, Violet giving her more details about the basilisk, and warning to her shut her eyes at any sign of movement.

They walked and walked, and the tunnel kept turning and turning, until it was impossible to tell which direction was which, or even how far they had gone. They turned yet another corner, and suddenly reached a wall. It was made of some sort of stone, and had the image of two snakes with emerald eyes, entwined together, on it.

Violet heard her sister gulp, but ignored it. "Open," she hissed out, scoffing when she noticed her twin flinch.

The doors slid open with a grinding sound, and the girls stepped through. They were in a long, dimly lit chamber with towering stone pillars that had more snakes wrapped around them, the ceiling invisible in the darkness. Violet and Rose walked forward, side by side, close enough their arms were touching, and finally found themselves in the main chamber, the space utterly massive, wide and open. There was another statue here, bigger than all the others, in laying on the damp, stone floor in front of this, was Ginny.

The twins rushed over, both calling out the younger girl's name, Rose tossing her wand aside as she dropped down to her knees. Violet kept her own wand in hand, and lowered down as well, reaching for Ginny wrist, trying to find a pulse.

"Oh, come on Ginny, wake up! Wake up! Come on!" Rose shook Ginny with each word, but the pale girl didn't even stir. "Ginny!"

"I'm afraid she won't wake," said a soft voice.

Violet jolted and looked round, and out of the darkness, a figure emerged. It was a boy, a teenager, a few years older than her, but not yet an adult. He was tall, his skin pale, his black hair neat, his cold eyes grey. He wore robes, Hogwarts robes, she recognized, that had Slytherin's crest on the breast. Violet got a sense of familiarity from him, but couldn't recognize him. She didn't, but Rose did.

"T-Tom Riddle? What do you mean she won't wake!?"

Oh, so this was Tom M Riddle? Violet only knew his name, never having used, or even seen that diary of his. But she refocused quickly. "Is she dead?" she asked. She hadn't been able to find a pulse.

"She's alive," Tom replied, "but not for long."

"Are you a ghost?" Rose wondered.

A good question, Violet thought, because Tom had been this young fifty years ago, and now stood before them looking the exact same. And even then, he didn't appear wholly...solid. He wasn't completely transparent like ghosts were thought, and wasn't pearly white like them either. So in essence, he didn't look human, but he didn't look like a ghost either.

"A memory," Tom replied, his voice quiet. "A memory that has been preserved in a diary for fifty years."

Rose stared, and then moved, grabbing Ginny and trying to haul her up. "You have to help, Tom. There's a basilisk in here! It's been attacking people all year!" She looked around for her wand, then saw Tom twirling it between his long, slim fingers. She reached out to accept it back, but he made no move to hand it to her, and simply smirked.

The first thing Violet thought, was that she couldn't believe her sister had just dropped her wand like that. The second thing she thought, was that this entire Tom being a memory thing didn't make any sense to her at all.

Rose didn't seem to understand why Tom wasn't helping her. "Listen! That basilisk could show up at any second! We have no idea where it is right now!"

"The basilisk will not come, until it has been called," said the older teen calmly, looking totally unruffled. "I have waited a very long time to meet you, Rose Potter, Girl-Who-Lived." His grey eyes flicked to Violet. "Even if the afterthought had to come along with you."

Ouch. He obviously didn't know the truth, but while annoyed by the words, she wasn't about to correct him in front of Rose. "How have you formed a body?" she asked instead. "What's happened to Ginny?"

"Ah, an interesting question," he replied rather pleasantly, inclining his head towards her. "Little Ginny is like this because she poured her soul out to a stranger-an invisible one, at that. She's been writing in my diary for months, telling me all about how her brothers all tease her, and how she had to come here to Hogwarts with second hand robes and books, and how famous Rose Potter is best friends with one of her brothers, but won't even spend five minutes talking to her."

His gaze turned somewhat hungry when neither of the twins said anything. "It's really quite boring listening to an eleven year old girl prattle on and on, but I have always been patient. I wrote back to her, showed her sympathy. It always has been easy for me to charm those I need to." He smiled slightly. "I said a moment ago that Ginny poured her soul into the diary. As it happens, her soul is exactly what I needed from her. The more she wrote, the stronger I became, until I was able to pour a bit of my soul back into her in return."

Rose didn't get it, but Violet understood immediately, and her eyes widened slightly. "Ginny opened the Chamber of Secrets, didn't she?" But it wasn't a question. "She's the one who strangled Hagrid's roosters, and wrote the messages on the wall, and set the basilisk loose." It was as if all the puzzle pieces were coming together now.

"No," Rose whispered, horrified.

"Oh, very good." Tom seemed mockingly impressed. "Yes, it was her indeed, but of course, she didn't know she was doing it. It was all rather amusing, I must admit. Her new diary entries were displaying her fear." He laughed, the sound cold. "She grew suspicious eventually, and attempted to flush the diary away, at which point," his grey eyes landed on Rose again, "you found it. The person I was most anxious to meet."

"And why did you want to meet me?" questioned the Gryffindor.

"Ginny told me all about you, Rose. All about your fascinating history, about everything you have done." His expression grew even hungrier, making his cold eyes shine. "In an attempt to gain your trust, I showed you how I framed Hagrid, but it's clear you didn't fall for it. I learned later that Hagrid is your...friend." He sneered.

"But you can see why no one would suspect me. It took me five years to find the Chamber of Secrets. It was impossible for Hagrid to be Slytherin's heir. Still, only Dumbledore, the Transfiguration professor, seemed to believe Hagrid was innocent. He was the one who suggested to Dippet that he stay on as Gamekeeper."

Well, that explained why Hagrid was still here, despite having been expelled so long ago.

Tom's brow creased slightly now. "Dumbledore never did seem to trust me, and he always kept an annoyingly close watch on me, especially after that. But Ginny soon discovered that you had the diary, and stole it back. She'd been worried I had told you what she had told me, and said the entire school was abuzz, everyone talking about how the Girl-Who-Lived was a Parselmouth. And so I knew I had to meet you. I had Ginny write the second message, and come down here to wait, because I knew you would come. I knew I could finally ask you what I need to know."

Violet found herself frowning as she listened. Tom had done all this because he wanted to talk to Rose? Had caused Hermione to get attacked, because of Rose?

But Tom didn't wait for Rose to speak, and went on, asking his questions firmly, and calmly. "How is it that you, who possesses no extraordinary magical talent, managed to vanquish the greatest wizard of all time? How did you manage to escape with nothing but that scar," his eyes trailed to her forehead, "while Lord Voldemort's powers were destroyed?"

"Why do you even care!?" Rose retorted. "Voldemort was long after your time!"

"Voldemort," Tom said softly, "is my past, present, and future, Rose Potter."

"No," Violet whispered. "No, there's no way-" She understood. She knew exactly what Tom was about to reveal. And reveal it he did.

"I am Tom Marvolo Riddle," Tom declared, writing the name down with a spell in the air. He waved his wand, and the letters rearranged themselves. "I am Lord Voldemort."

Violet had no idea what to feel at that declaration, but Rose had been shocked silent, and the boy used that advantage to continue speaking, explaining.

"It was a name I was using at Hogwarts with those I was...closest to," he told them. "Do you really believe I was going to use my filthy Muggle father's name forever? Keep the name of that foul Muggle man who abandoned my mother the moment he discovered she was a witch? When I carry the blood of Salazar Slytherin himself in my veins? No, I created a new name, one I knew wizards everywhere would recognize and fear to speak."

But now, Rose smirked, evidently not impressed. "I'm not surprised Dumbledore never trusted you. He probably saw right through you!"

Tom was not pleased to hear that, and snarled. "That old man has been driven out of this castle my the mere mention of me!"

"He'd never leave Hogwarts! Not like this!"

Suddenly, there was a strange, unearthly sound of music, that caused everyone to fall silent. They all looked around, and then Fawkes flew into the chamber, carrying the-the Sorting Hat?

Tom dismissed the new additions almost immediately, not impressed. Was this the best Dumbledore could do for his precious Girl-Who-Lived? He didn't even care enough to come help her himself? But that was fine, because there was nothing special about Rose either. Rose hadn't done anything. It was their mother's sacrifice that had saved them that fateful night.

Violet knelt there in silence, listening to the two argue, and was surprised to hear about their mother. She'd had no idea about any of that. Wait, if they had only lived thanks to their mother, then what the heck made the Girl-Who-Lived title so special? When she refocused, it was Rose who was talking, a fire in her green eyes.

"I saw the real you last year," she was saying. "You're worse than a wreck, foul, and ugly, and so weak you have to hide yourself!"

Violet's jaw tightened, and she clenched her fist, but she remained silent.

Tom didn't seem bothered though. "Yes, I was right. There is certainly nothing special about you at all. Yes, I had wondered. We're rather alike, are we not?" Now that had Rose shutting up immediately. "Half-Bloods, orphans, raised by Muggles, Parselmouths." He smirked and spread his arms, still holding Rose's wand. "Now, let's see how the Girl-Who-Lived fares against Slytherin's monster."

He turned to face the largest statue, and in Parseltongue, called out. "Speak to me Slytherin, greatest of the Hogwarts Four!"

The mouth of the stone statue slid open, revealing a huge, dark opening, an opening in which there seemed to be movement of some sort. Rose shut her eyes immediately. Violet didn't do the same. She stared as the snake began slithering out into the chamber, keeping her eyes on its massive body, rather than its head, and oh, sweet Salazar that thing was huge! The basilisk lowered its head and, not wanting to risk it, Violet turned around, her back to the beast.

What the hell was she supposed to do now!? No spell she knew was going to do anything against the basilisk, especially not spells a couple of Second Years would know! Her mind whirled as she thought fast, trying to figure out what to do.

But before she could decide, there was a loud screeching, that was followed by what sounded like pained hissing.

"No! Turn! You can still smell her!" Tom hissed out angrily.

Violet decided to take the risk, and cautiously opened her eyes. She knew what had happened immediately. Fawkes had attacked the basilisk, and had pecked at its eyes, blinding it. That was a huge relief, but even without its deathly vision, the basilisk was still plenty deadly. She looked round, and found her sister groping around, her own eyes still shut tight.

"Rose!" she called. "Open your eyes, dammit! It's been blinded. You can look at it."

The Gryffindor didn't argue and looked. But even she knew the situation was nowhere near resolved. As Violet dodged back, she watched her twin sister grab the Sorting Hat, and pull it on her head. She was just about to question what the hell she was doing, when Rose removed the Hat and pulled out a-a sword!?

Violet stared. Rose stood, brandishing the sharp, silver blade, even managing to slice into the basilisk's tail, but she obviously didn't know how to properly wield such a weapon, and overbalanced. And because of that, she wasn't able to dodge the swipe of the snake's tail, and was sent flying across the room, where she hit the opposite wall and was knocked unconscious.

But the basilisk, still able to smell her, advanced on Rose, and Violet acted without thought and rushed forward, even as Tom, who had been watching in amusement, raised a brow in disbelief, amazed the Girl-Who-Lived had been taken out so quickly, leaving only the 'afterthought' to deal with the situation.

And now he grew curious, and despite calling out to the basilisk, remained where he was with Rose's wand, watching closely. If the GWL hadn't managed to do anything, there was no chance this girl was going to be able to either. He wasn't worried. Well, not until he realized Violet had succeeded in stabbing the basilisk through the roof of the mouth.

Now he straightened to attention, anger growing. He raised the wand he was holding and stepped forward, but the basilisk was dying from a wound he couldn't heal with the minimal power he had right now, and Violet was leaning against the nearby wall, sweaty, dirty, and panting, the sword at her feet.

Trying to catch her breath, and not yet sure of what exactly had just happened, Violet looked up at the approaching teen from under the fringe sticking to her forehead. She glanced around, noticed the basilisk had stopped moving, and that Rose was still unconscious, and turned her gaze back to the teen.

As Tom came to a stop nearby, he noticed a peculiar smirk on Violet's face. His eyes narrowed. Cursing himself for his curiosity, he found himself speaking. "And what has you so amused?" he questioned stiffly.

"Oh, nothing at all," Violet replied rather pleasantly. "Just that it's odd you don't seem to have any care for me at all, even though your future self and I got along quite well last year."

Tom raised a brow, interest snagged. "And what interest would I, past, present, or future, have in you?" he inquired, clearly not impressed.

Having caught her breath, the girl straightened up now. "Well, seeing as you-your future self, that is, informed me that I am really the Girl-Who-Lived, why don't you tell me? I wonder who the real afterthought is here?"

That both silenced and shocked the older teen, that was for sure. Then his expression hardened, and he took an urgent step forward. "What happened? Tell me everything."

And Violet did so, speaking quickly. This may have been Voldemort in front of her, in a sense, but she was still concerned about Ginny. There was no reason for an innocent girl like her to be involved in all this.

Tom listened intently as she spoke, grey eyes never leaving her emerald, slowly fingering the wand he had taken from Rose. "I see," he murmured when she had finished explaining that no one really even knew the truth. His eyes continued to search hers. "Little Ginny spoke of you as often as she did your sister, you know. She thought of you as very kind, in your concern over her health. In fact, she spoke of you so often, and with such positivity, that I wondered whether she had a childish crush on you."

Violet blinked, but since she had no idea what to say to that, she kept silent. But something about him had changed, she noticed. Lightened, almost. Calmed. His eyes remained on her face, searching for something.

"My future self seems to be quite interested in you too." Tom smirked here, and stepped towards her, getting so close, the girl had to tilt her head back to look up at him. "Yes, I think I can see why." With his free hand, he gently brushed her hair back, tucking it behind her ear. When the girl blinked again, he sighed softly, and stepped back. "My future self has plans?"

Slowly, a little confused by what had just happened, Violet nodded. "I don't know what, but he sounded like he did, at least."

Tom inclined his head, then looked down at his diary, then Ginny, then Rose, and then back at her. "If I do indeed have plans in motion, and if they are what I think they will be, then that means my original plans have backfired, and I will require as much of myself as possible, which means..."

He walked over to the dead basilisk, and without even cringing, broke off one of its sharp fangs. Then, calmly, he made his way back, and knelt down by the diary. "Here." Pulling Violet down with him, he pressed the fang into her hands. "Stab the diary."

Violet started, and looked at him in surprise. "I'm sorry? What? Why?"

Tom merely smiled charmingly. "Because it will help my future self." Gently, he placed both of his hands over hers, positioning the fang over the diary. "You will have to lie about what took place after the basilisk was killed. Be cautious of Dumbledore-he has the habit of looking into people's minds when he believes they are lying."

So much had been said there, that Violet had no idea how to react, let alone say. "Tom-"

Tom smiled gently, and leaned forward, pressing a kiss to her forehead. "Stay safe, Kitten. Once this diary has been destroyed, my future self will quickly be made aware of what took place down here. I am sure we will meet again."

He guided her hands down, and stabbed, the tip of the fang sinking into the diary. Dark ink spewed out of it, and Tom began to glow. He got brighter and brighter, and then he was gone, leaving her alone, emerald eyes wide with shock.

She dropped the fang and picked up the diary. The fang had almost gone all the way through, every page had a hole through it. She felt strangely empty all of a sudden, but there was something in the back of her mind, a very faint voice, telling her that what had happened was for the better, that like Tom had said, would help the current Voldemort.

She took a deep breath, held it for a moment, released it, and refocused. She had planning and sabotaging to do. She stood back up, bringing the fang and diary with her, and walked over to Rose, the girl still unconscious. Kneeling, she put the fang in Rose's hand, closing her fingers around it, and set the diary down beside her. The longer everyone went around thinking her twin was the Girl-Who-Lived, the better. At least for now.

Hearing material shifting behind her, she glanced over her shoulder, and saw that Ginny seemed to be stirring. Violet lowered down beside her just as Ginny's eyes flew open, and the moment they landed on the Slytherin, she began to cry.

"Violet! I'm sorry! I'm so sorry! It was me! I'm the one who-!"

"Shh, calm down, it's alright. Everything's alright. The basilisk is dead. Rose-killed it."

Her half second of hesitation was all Ginny needed. "You're lying. It was really you, wasn't it?"

Violet raised a brow. "I'm afraid I have no idea what you're talking about, dear Ginny."

Ginny, having lived with so many brothers, two in particular, understood immediately that, though she wasn't sure why, Violet obviously wanted to keep the truth quiet. So, she decided she would too. She would lie as well, for as long as Violet did. She owed her anyway.

Violet helped Ginny up, made sure she was alright, and then the two of them went over to Rose, and woke her up. The raven haired Lion was beyond confused, but Ginny insisted Rose had killed the basilisk before stabbing the diary and passing out. Since the last thing she could remember was a lot of pain and a flash of light, it didn't take Rose long at all to believe that what she was being told was true.

Violet knew this was just going to make her sister even more smug and stuck up, but if lying like this helped Voldemort's plans in some way, then it was a small price to pay. Or so Violet told herself, still not really sure what her thoughts about the Dark Lord actually were. This entire thing was just very confusing.

With things settled, the three girls left the large chamber, backtracking up the long, winding passage, until they made it to the cave in. Ron, surprisingly, had been hard at work, and had created a decent sized hole in the rocks that they were able to get through. Violet was actually impressed he hadn't made things worse instead, as she had been expecting.

She was the last to go through, and when she straightened, for once thanking her small body, her gaze landed on Lockhart, who was standing there, grinning stupidly. She was confused at first, until she remembered he had apparently lost his memory. Seeing as he wasn't going on about himself like he usually did, she believed it.

They used Fawkes, gripping the phoenix's feathers, to fly out up the long pipe, and back into the girl's loo, at which point they released the bird's feathers, and followed him all the way to McGonagall's office, the many portrait people (Oh, so now they're awake?) staring and whispering after them.

They walked through the door, Fawkes flying through, and saw that not only was McGonagall in here, but Dumbledore, and Mr and Mrs Weasley were too. At first there was just silence, everyone staring at a very pale Ginny and Ron, and a very dirty and bloody Rose and Violet. And then Mrs Weasley practically tackled Ginny, hugging her tightly and thanking Rose over and over again for saving her daughter. Mr Weasley did the same, but he stiffly thanked Violet as well, clearly not comfortable with it, but even more uncomfortable to not do it.

Violet just shrugged it off. She hadn't saved Ginny for the idiotic adults who sat on their hands and waited for someone else to take care of the problem for them. Instead of watching the hugging fest between the four Weasleys and Rose, she glanced around the room. McGonagall appeared very shocked, but Dumbledore, she noticed, was standing with Fawkes on his shoulder, beaming, and oh no, was it possible for Fawkes to tell him what had actually happened in the Chamber? Oh, she really hoped not.

The phoenix trilled something now, and just a moment later, Dumbledore began to speak. "Now, tell me, dear children, what happened?"

Rose and Ron started, explaining everything they had learned over the year, everything they had done, and what had gone on in the Chamber of Secrets. Ron told Dumbledore and McGonagall about Lockhart, and the cave in, and Rose took over from here, continuing on until she had 'blacked out', but sure she had been the one to kill the basilisk with the sword she had gotten from the Sorting Hat, and then destroyed the diary with one of the snake's fangs. But the way they told the story made it sound as if they had found and opened the Chamber first.

Violet told her own version, unable to lie about being the actual one to have first discovered the place, but other than that, she claimed that she had been knocked out, and when she had regained consciousness, the basilisk had been dead, Rose passed out, Tom had vanished, and Ginny had been stirring.

Of course, she remembered what Tom had told her, and when speaking to Dumbledore, had been careful to keep her eyes on his forehead, just in case. She always had gotten an odd, probing feeling from him, and wondered whether that had been him looking into her mind. She didn't like that at all.

"I see," said the old man slowly, gazing at them carefully from over his half moon spectacles. "What I wish to know now, is how Voldemort was able to do this to Ginny, when I have been informed that he is currently hiding in Albania." When Rose showed him the diary, he took it from her, examined it closely, and seemed almost...awed.

"Yes," he said slowly, "he always was one of the brightest Hogwarts had ever seen. Very few know Voldemort was once Tom Riddle. I taught him myself, you see. But he sank into the Dark Arts, deeper and deeper after he left the castle, and he changed, undergoing dangerous magical transformations, up to the point where he became unrecognizable. No, few were able to connect Lord Voldemort to the handsome, charming, Head Boy."

He sighed rather sorrowfully, and then assured them that Ginny wasn't in trouble, and sent all the Weasleys and Lockhart off to the Hospital Wing. The door had barely shut behind them, when he dismissed Violet as well. "There is more I would like to discuss with your sister," was all he said to her in explanation.

A little annoyed, since she had just as much to do with this all as Rose, Violet merely gritted her teeth and left. She walked down the corridor, turned the corner, and bumped into something rather hard. Knocked off balance, she stumbled, and a large hand came around her, landing on her back, steadying her.

"Miss Potter? Forgive me, I didn't see you there."

Violet blinked, looked up, and realized she had just bumped into Lucius Malfoy. Oops. "Oh, please don't worry, I wasn't paying attention either."

He smiled as he released her, then got a better look at her, and frowned. "What on earth has happened to you? You're filthy!" Even as he said it, he pulled his wand out of his cane, and waved it over her, cleaning her somewhat.

The girl gazed at him closely, judging him. She was sure he was here because of Dumbledore. He had been the one to get rid of the Headmaster, having gotten the other members of the Board to agree with him-probably through blackmail. "Well, the Chamber of Secrets is a filthy place," she replied with a vague shrug.

"The-the Chamber of Secrets?"

"Yes. Ginny Weasley was taken down in there, and has now been rescued, and the problem taken care of. Slytherin's monster is dead. It's fortunate that there were no casualties this time, isn't it? Especially considering one of the victims is a close friend of mine." And when the man paled just a little, stiffening just slightly, Violet finally had the last answer she had been looking for. "You should hope Voldemort doesn't find out how exactly Ginny ended up with that diary. I'm sure he won't be pleased."

The man's eyes widened. "I beg your-"

"Have a nice day, Lucius," she began in English and finished in Parseltongue, before walking past him. Bold. That had been a bold move. But she hadn't said anything the man didn't already, or wasn't soon going to know. Having walked away, she missed the way the man's eyes flashed, missed the smirk that crossed his face, missed the way he inclined his head in her direction...

Violet had only just entered Slytherin's Common Room, when Theodore was in front of her, blue eyes concerned.

"Where were you? I was knocking on the door to your room, but you weren't answering. You didn't get caught out there, did you?" Then his eyes narrowed as he looked at her face closer. "Are you alright? You look pale." He didn't believe her at all when she said she was fine, and told her just that.

Violet was the one looking at him closely now. How much should she tell him? How much could she trust him with? Trust wasn't an easy thing that came to her, but he was her friend, and you couldn't have friends without trust. He had confided in her as well, telling her about his father, and what little he remembered about his mother before her death, and how his father had treated him as he grew up. That hadn't been easy for him to talk about, but he had done it anyway.

Reaching a decision, Violet grabbed him by the arm and led him to her room, shutting the door behind them. Once the two were seated, Violet, still hesitating slightly but trying to build her courage (For Merlin's sake, she had just killed a massive basilisk! How could this be harder than that!?), began to speak, and once she started, she found that she couldn't stop.

She told him nearly everything, about the orphanage and how her life there was, what had happened the previous year with the Philosopher's Stone, and most everything that had just happened down in the Chamber of Secrets as well. One thing she didn't tell him, however, was what Voldemort and Tom had told her, and how she felt about him-them?-in return. No, that she wanted to keep to herself for now.

Theodore was shocked to hear all this. He was angry at Dumbledore and Rose, and claimed to hate the Matron as much as he hated his own father, which was a whole lot, evidently. Then he shook his head, and fixed her with a stern, blue gaze. "You have to tell me this stuff next time," he said firmly. "Stop keeping me in the dark, and I swear I won't tell anyone a word about any of this."

When she didn't say anything, he stood and approached her, setting his hand on her shoulder and leaning in, touching his forehead to hers. "We have to trust each other, Violet. We're friends. We have to tell each other these things."

"I know," the girl replied finally. "I know. You have to understand how hard this is. So I'll try. Okay?"

Theo smiled, paused, then said rather matter of factly, "You smell terrible."

Violet released a watery laugh, and punched him half heartedly. "I'd like to so you trudge around in the Chamber of Secrets and fight a sixty foot basilisk, and come out smelling as nice as always!"

An hour later, everyone had gathered in the Great Hall for a sudden and unexpected feast. It was the middle of the night, and most everyone was in their pyjamas, but no one seemed to be arguing, and sat around, eating and chatting cheerfully, happily discussing the supposed death of Slytherin's monster, and the closing of the Chamber of Secrets. They were all safe now, and that was indeed a good cause to celebrate.

Not long into the feast, everyone who had been petfrified came into the Hall, the potion having worked successfully to cure them. Violet watched Finch-Fletchley go over to Rose and shake her hand, and then she was tackled and shoved into Malfoy beside her, as she was smothered by a lot of bushy, brown hair. Hermione was here now too, fully cured, and Violet returned the hug tightly, making a mental note to tell her everything she had told Theo earlier. She trusted her just as much as she did Theo.

It was nearly three in the morning when Hagrid returned, the arrest and charges against him having been dropped since he obviously hadn't had anything to do with the Chamber of its monster. Dumbledore then informed everyone that the end of year exams were being canceled, and, unfortunately, Gryffindor ended up winning the House Cup again, thanks to the four hundred points Rose and Ron had been awarded. Violet had been awarded points too, but not nearly enough to win...

The rest of term passed fairly peacefully, and one day, a couple of days before they were due to head home, Violet found herself cornered by Fred and George, their expressions serious.

"Thank you for saving our sister," they said together.

Violet raised a brow, pretending she had no idea what they were talking about. "I'm afraid you have the wrong twin."

They exchanged a glance, but the expressions on their faces didn't change, and they looked back down at her. "No, we don't."

"We know it was you."

"And we know you're keeping it quiet."

"That's fine by us, we won't question it."

"But you still deserve our thanks."

Violet blinked. "How could you possibly know?"

They smirked. "We have our sources," they claimed in unison.

Violet couldn't help it. She laughed.

Violet, Theodore, Hermione, Neville, and Luna were all seated together in a compartment on the Hogwarts Express, on their way back to London. Ginny would have been with them too, but Ron had made her sit with him and Rose, and not wanting to argue right now, still shaken by everything that had happen, Ginny just agreed.

Violet, gazing out the window, found herself thinking back to what Tom had said back down in the Chamber, about how he and Rose were so alike. But Violet thought that those words actually applied even more for her and Tom, because like him, she too was living in an orphanage. Rose may be living with Muggles, but at least they seemed to care for her. Neither she, nor Tom were treated nearly as well in their respective orphanages.

And while she knew she had never met Tom before the incident in the Chamber, he had looked oddly familiar to her. Had sounded familiar too. Just like his name had sounded familiar. Why? And then there was the nickname. His past and present selves seemed to think the same way, having called her the same thing. The thought made her smile slightly...

When the train came to a stop, the students all descended, and goodbye's were exchanged. Violet watched her friends all head off first, and then walked out of the station, slowly, reluctantly, making her way back to Starlight.

The moment she walked through the door, the other children fell silent, and the Matron, who was seated in the same room, leveled her with a cold look.

"Back, are you? Wash your hands. You're preparing lunch with Ashley. Five minutes."

"Yes, ma'am." Violet returned to her room, hid her shrunken trunk, then heaved a sigh and prepared to suffer through another summer in this decrepit building.

But what the girl didn't know, was that at this very moment, her Head of House was having an argument with her Headmaster about why exactly she was being told that she had no choice but to stay in the orphanage. Unfortunately for Violet, her Head of House was losing that argument. It wasn't looking good for her.

Chapter Text

Violet Potter really didn't like summer vacation. During the long break, she was stuck at the orphanage, and had nowhere else to go. She couldn't even leave and go out into town during the day and return at night, because the Matron hated her and kept her busy with chores-especially during the break. She had to make up for getting away with not doing any chores at all for most of the year, she was told. It was unfair, the girl knew, but she could hardly complain about it. Doing that would just make things worse, and she really didn't want to be locked inside The Cupboard again. She shuddered at the very thought.

She was still small for her age, always would be, she knew, the malnutrition she'd been suffering through since she had been left at the orphanage no doubt having affected her too much for a substantial change. Even if she was able to eat properly at Hogwarts, none of that really mattered when she was back to eating very little over the summer.

She would still grow a little more-puberty was a thing, after all, but she knew Rose, her twin sister, would be taller than her. Rose didn't have to worry about being starved and neglected. Violet wondered if there was a way she could buy food and hide it in her trunk without it going bad. Canned foods and things like crackers were one thing, but she would need more than that-need fresher things to eat to ensure decent health.

She was going to have to look into that. Having already snuck out of the orphanage and into Diagon Alley so she could buy some books to learn more about the new world she was a part of, once, Violet knew she couldn't risk doing it again-couldn't risk sneaking out again. The Matron was already suspicious of her, and had been keeping a closer eye on her for the past couple of weeks. No, Violet knew she was going to have to wait before she could figure that out...

The girl did her chores, cooking and cleaning, during the day, and then did her summer homework at night, once she knew no one would come in her room. It was tiring, exhausting really, to have to stay up for so long, but Violet couldn't not do her homework, so she really didn't have any other choice.

But she was a quick worker, and as time went by, she was getting more and more used to the Wizarding world and everything about it, so her school work became quite easy. It only took her about a week and a half to finish it all, and another couple of days to edit through everything. After that, she did a lot of reading, learning what she could, memorizing what she read...

On the thirty first of July, Violet was kept very busy all day, and by the time she was allowed to return to her room, it was already dark, and she was completely tuckered out. Feeling, and certainly looking, rather dirty, she showered quickly, and wasted no time going back to her room before she was yelled at again.

Unable to sleep with wet hair, but also unable to perform a drying charm, she settled down to read again, and just a few moments later, heard a tap on her window. She had completely forgotten the date until she saw the cards and gifts a small group of owls brought her, Theo, Hermione, Neville, Luna, Ginny, and the Weasley twins all wishing her a happy birthday.

All three Weasleys had thanked her again too, for what had happened last school term, while also informing her that they were in Egypt, visiting their older brother Bill, who was working there. Hermione had been out of the country too, in France, and Theo was in Italy! Violet found herself to be quite jealous. She had always wanted to travel. The final gift, however, was the odd one out.

It was from Hagrid, which was certainly puzzling enough on its own. It was a book, which was even weirder. And this book was breathing, and had eyes and a mouth with fangs and a tongue, and all of that was just plain bizarre.

"The Monster Book of Monsters?" she read, emerald eyes on the title. She scanned the short note Hagrid had sent her, but all he had said was that it was something she'd find useful for next year. Weird. She shrugged it off and put everything away in her trunk, hoping that creepy book wasn't going to come out somehow and chew off her toes while she slept.

But the very next day, Violet found out what the book was for. Another owl arrived, this one with the new booklist, and the book Hagrid had sent her was on it. How did he know that? Either way, she was just pleased to see Lockhart's name was nowhere on the list. Good. Now she could get rid of all those idiotic books of his.

Along with the list, however, were two more notes. One was a form informing her that third years were allowed to visit a small village near Hogwarts called Hogsmeade, which Violet had already heard plenty about from the older Slytherins. Of course, to be able to go to said village, they had to get a permission slip signed.

Violet was immediately disappointed. She didn't have parents who could sign it for her, and while the Matron was, technically speaking, her guardian, the woman didn't know about any of this-magic and the Wizarding world, and was the type of person who would never sign something without reading it first. She heaved a long sigh. Well, it looked like she wasn't going to be going to Hogsmeade any time soon.

The second note, luckily, was much better news. It was from Professor Snape, and it told her that she now had permission from the Headmaster to get a pet snake, if she so desired. Better than that, it didn't specify any details about which type of snake she could get.

Violet, of course, had absolutely no idea how much arguing and convincing her Head of House had needed to do to get her this permission, or even that this permission was actually a compromise. She had to stay in the orphanage, but she was now allowed a pet. It wasn't the best, but it was better than nothing, so Snape had settled for it, for the time being. Not that Violet knew any of that.

The raven haired girl was thrilled, at least until she realized that, permission from Dumbledore or not, pets still weren't allowed here at Starlight. How could she possibly get around this? She sat on the edge of her bed, staring at the note with her Potion professor's spiky but neat handwriting, thinking hard, and eventually came to a conclusion.

She would try to find out if there was a way she could keep the snake and its belongings invisible to Muggles, or at least everyone in the orphanage, or just some way they wouldn't notice it. If that wasn't possible, she would just ask a friend to take care of it over summer breaks. She knew there was no point in asking the Matron for permission. Even if she agreed, magically coerced or not, the other children in the building were a problem too, and wouldn't hesitate to attack or kill the animal, whether they would be punished for it or not. You couldn't use spells on every person in the orphanage!

Violet waited three days before she approached the Matron, and asked for permission to leave so she could get her new school things. It was best to ask when the woman wasn't having a bad day, she knew. When she received a positive answer, she wasted no time, got dressed, and headed out, prepared to spend the entire day away from here.

She made her way to the Leaky Cauldron, entered the Alley, and headed over to Gringotts, where she was able to refill her coin pouch. Once that was done, she began her shopping, getting her new books, and more potion ingredients as well. Since she appeared to have grown a good three and a half inches, though she was still the smallest girl in her year, she got new robes as well, hoping she would keep growing, because she didn't want to stay this short forever...

After getting everything she needed for school, Violet began making her way over to where she was sure she recalled seeing a pet store of sorts called the Magical Menagerie, and it was just outside there that she ended up running into one of her friends.


The witch (Is she even taller than before!? That's not fair!) turned, and her eyes brightened. "Violet!" she exclaimed, hugging her friend. "How are you?"

"Alright, better now that I'm finally outside."

Hermione blinked. "Finally?" she repeated in confusion.

Violet nodded. "This is the first time I've been allowed outside since I got back."

"What? But that's-"

The raven haired teen shrugged somewhat awkwardly. "The Matron has never been a kind woman. Although, I did sneak out once nearly three weeks ago."

Normally, Hermione would have been upset to hear that her friend had broken a rule like this, but honestly, that didn't matter when it came to the orphanage. "Why? And why haven't you done it again since?"

So Violet explained what she had done, and about the books she had gotten. "-but I was seen by one of the older kids-a boy. He had snuck out himself, for a smoke, and he spotted me and told the Matron. She doesn't like either of us, really, but she hates me even more than him, so she did seem to believe what he said, to an extent. She didn't punish me, but she's been watching me closer ever since."

Hermione nodded slowly, fighting not to scowl. "Have you managed to finish your homework?" she asked instead, choosing to change the topic.

"I have, yeah." Violet smiled now. "So, how as France?"

"Oh, it was amazing!" And she went off, talking eagerly about what she had seen and learned and done.

Violet sighed rather mournfully. "Everyone seems to be traveling this summer!"


"Hmm. The Weasleys have gone to Egypt, according to Fred, George, and Ginny."

"Oh! I saw that in the paper! Their father works at the Ministry, and I think he won some money in a draw of some sort?"

Violet nodded. "Yeah, and one of their brothers works over there, so the entire family went, except maybe the other brother who works in-I think it was Romania?"

"Who else went away?"

"Theo," the smaller girl replied, but her eyes darkened as she said it. "His father has in Italy, and you know how he is, so he dragged Theo along with him."

Hermione's own smile faded, and she sighed softly. "Poor guy. His father is a cruel man. I can't believe he isn't in prison for what he did!"

Violet didn't have to ask for an elaboration. She knew Hermione was talking about how Theodore's father had killed his own wife. Theo had been very young at the time, and didn't really like going into details, but he despised his father.

"There was no proof he did it," she said instead. "None at all, and either way, I've heard the...'justice system' was very corrupt back then, so even if there had been proof, there's really no telling what might have happened."

Hermione nodded, sighed again, then shook her head as if to clear her thoughts. "Have you finished your shopping?"

"Yes. I was about to head into the pet store."

Hermione's eyes widened. "Have you gotten permission to get a pet?"

"From Dumbledore, yes, but not from the Matron." And she explained what she was planning, before both girls entered the store, Hermione claiming she had come here to get an owl of her own, saying it would make things easier for her.

The store was small, and every wall was lined with stacks of cages, the sounds of the many different animals almost deafening. The two looked around curiously, never having been in here before. Violet turned around, then then-

"Crookshanks, no!"

-was tackled in the face by a fluff of orange. Startled, she reached up, but the fluff moved and landed neatly on the clean counter nearby, where the shop owner sighed.

"I'm so sorry!" the woman exclaimed. "He's prone to acting up like that."

Seeing as she didn't appear to be injured, Violet merely waved it off, brushing stray ginger hairs off her face. "That's alright. It's fine." Eyes narrowed, she took a closer look at the what she now realized was a cat. A large cat with ginger coloured fur that was quite thick, and an oddly squashed, grumpy looking face. But even as she peered at it, Hermione reached out to pet it, and it purred contently.

Leaving them be, and having a feeling her friend wasn't going to be getting herself an owl after all, Violet wandered to the back of the small store, where she could hear all sorts of hissing. Here were all the snakes, just as she had been looking for. There weren't many of them, she noted in disappointment. She had done a lot of reading on plenty of different kinds of snakes, and had been hoping she would be able to pick one out of a larger variety. Oh well.

She leaned in closer, recognizing all their kinds, and listened with interest as they began speaking of her, some kindly, others with disinterest, and one annoying female one who could only be classified as a major prick, because jeez, she hadn't even realized it was possible for snakes to insult people like that. She dismissed her immediately. Their personalities would clash way too much.

"Oh, be quiet! You're making my head hurt!" hissed one snake, who had been silent until now, suddenly.

"That's not even possible!" another retorted heatedly.

"And? You're making it happen anyway!"

An amused giggle left Violet, and she saw the snakes all refocus on her, releasing hisses of surprise.

"Does she understand us?"

"No way!"

"But she laughed!"

"Who cares!?"

"I do! Shut it!"

"Well I don't, so you shut it!"

The snakes all argued with one another, until finally, the snake who had claimed to have a headache, spoke again.

"Oh, for Basilisk's sake. You, human, are you a Speaker or not?" When Violet nodded, still smiling, he seemed pleased. "There. You idiots have your answer. Satisfied?"




"Get me out of here, Two Legs, before I go mad and eat them all."

Unable to help herself, Violet laughed, and then nodded, already having made her decision. She opened the cage, and the large snake slithered out of it and up her arm, coiling around her neck and shoulders, having to wrap itself around her oddly, because it was actually bigger than her.

"Farewell forever, ignorant fools."

Oh yeah, she already loved her new companion. She returned to the counter, only to find the fluffy ginger cat-Crookshanks, nestled in Hermione's arms. "You got the cat?"

Hermione grinned as she looked over. "Yep! Isn't he gorgeous? What about yo-that's a big snake!"

Now Violet was the one grinning. "Yep, isn't he gorgeous?" she echoed. Then she sobered slightly. "Actually, he's quite average for his kind. They usually grow to be between four eleven, and six seven. I'd say he's nearly six feet long."

The Ravenclaw peered at the serpent closely, noting its glossy black top, and brilliant red underside. "What kind of snake is he?" she asked curiously. She hadn't read very much about snakes.

"A Red Bellied Black Snake," Violet replied, stroking its head. "Very specific, I know. They're mainly found in Australia, around some kind of body of water."

"What do they eat?"

"Small reptiles and mammals. I've read they do pretty well in captivity as well, and are happy to live off of rats and mice."

"Is he poisonous?"

"He is, but his kind isn't all that aggressive. He won't attack unless provoked, and even then, his kind prefers to flee if given the chance. And since no one ever specified what kind of snake I could and couldn't get..." she trailed off with a smirk.

Hermione just nodded, soaking the information in. "I'd say he might show slightly different characteristics, being somewhat magical and all- more intelligent, and his behaviour might not be the same as it should be. Have you named him yet? Crookshanks here has already got one, so I won't change it."

Violet hadn't thought of that, for some reason, and looked at the serpent around her. "Do you have a name?" she asked him curiously.

"Ah, you are a Speaker. No, I do not. Give me one," he demanded.

The girl blinked. Well, someone was bossy. And sarcastic. And-oh, she had the perfect name for him. When she told it to him, he seemed to ponder it for a moment, before agreeing, and once he had, Violet turned her attention back to her school friend, who was murmuring under her breath.

"It's just a language. Don't be scared. It's just a language. Don't be scared."

"It is just a language, Hermione. I'm not going to hurt you, you know."

Hermione jumped, then flushed at being caught, and flashed her a guilty smile. "I'm sorry. I know it's alright. It's just going to take some getting used to. Anyway, did you get a name?"

"I did," Violet nodded. "I asked him if he already had one, but he said no, and ordered me to give him one."


"Yes, ordered. And that's why I've decided to name him Sauron."



Hermione couldn't stop herself. She burst out laughing. Sauron grew quite offended.

When Violet returned to Starlight, it was with her belongings shrunken and hidden in her equally shrunken and hidden trunk, along with her new pet snake. The store owner had directed her to a place that sold habitats and such for animals, and when she had gone there, had been instructed on what exactly she had to buy for her type of snake.

She had also asked the owner of that store if there was a way to somehow conceal the habitat from Muggles, and he had placed a few handy spells on it, charging her extra, naturally, not that Violet minded, since this would ensure no one killed her pet. Everything had been charmed directly on the objects, so like with her trunk, she couldn't get in trouble for using magic.

If Sauron wasn't comfortable this summer, she would ask someone she trusted to watch over him during future summer holidays for as long as she had to stay in the orphanage.

Yawning as she walked, Violet approached the living area to inform the Matron she had returned, and found the woman watching the evening news on tv, the caster right in the middle of a rather vague sounding report.

"-lic has now been warned that Sirius Black should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. If sighted, the public is advised to not approach him, and instead give a call to a special hotline that has been set up-" and he went on, giving the number.

Violet blinked, eyes on the tv, taking in the sight of the man on the screen. His face was gaunt and sunken in, his dark hair long and matted, and he didn't look particularly healthy at all. But there was an odd gleam in his grey eyes, that she found to be rather strange.

Her frown only deepened. Black? Wasn't Black the name of a Pureblood family? Hadn't she heard of the Blacks before? Strange, but how could this man be a part of that family if he was on the Muggle news? No, he probably just happened to have the same name. No doubt there were plenty of Muggle people with the surname of Black. But still...Sirius sounded like such a-a Pureblood name.

Figuring it was just a coincidence, Violet merely shook her head and spoke up so the Matron knew she was there, then returned to her room to set up Sauron's new home, hoping the spells on it would remain in place. She knew she would be able to talk herself out of trouble if she was caught, but only the first time it happened. It wouldn't work again after that, so the longer Sauron went unnoticed, the better.

...That sounds really weird.

"Your home is terrible, and this room is even worse. What is this place?"

Violet smiled wryly. "It's an orphanage. It's where children who have no family often end up."

Sauron looked at her closely. "You have no family?"

"No. My mother and father were killed when I was young-a baby, and I was left here."

"Who left you here?"

"The Headmaster of Hogwarts-do you know it? His name is Albus Dumbledore."

"...I hate him."

"You and me both. Why do you hate him?"

"Reasons. Can I kill him?"

"Unfortunately, no." She decided not to ask him to elaborate just yet, and so, the two continued to talk, Sauron wanting to know everything about Violet, and Violet explaining away, answering the many bluntly asked questions...

When the morning of September first arrived, Violet was all but ecstatic to leave, and was pleased Sauron hadn't been caught. She put all of her snake's belongings into her trunk, the snake included, promising him that she could let him out once she got to Platform Nine and Three Quarters.

"You had better."

Yes, she had certainly named him well...

It was nearly eleven when Violet finally left Starlight. She was running late, thanks to some annoying interference from one of the other children at the orphanage, who had, irritatingly, decided to blame her for stealing something she had misplaced, right when Violet had walked out the door, obviously having planned it.

The Matron had stopped her, and begun to question her, clearly unconcerned with the thought that Violet could end up missing her train. The emerald eyed girl had argued back. She had no idea what Ruby had lost, and couldn't care less about it. All she wanted to do was leave this bloody place and go back to her true home. But the Matron refused to let her leave until she returned what she had stolen. How could she return something she didn't even have!?

She turned and began to walk away, but a long, thin hand grabbed her shoulder and pulled her back, before curling around her wrist, gripping so tight the girl had to fight not to wince. Violet wasn't released until a dog appeared.

It was a rather large dog, quite unhealthy looking and thin, with black fur that was very matted and dirty. In its mouth, it was carrying some sort of stuffed doll. Oh, was that what this fuss was about? The dog approached them, and dropped the doll down onto the ground.

Ruby screeched, grabbed the doll, then ran back inside, crying about how it was dirty now. The Matron, beady eyes locked on the dog, finally released her death grip on Violet's wrist, and with a glare, marched back inside, slamming the door shut behind her.

"Tch." Violet rubbed her wrist, a little pissed off that it was going to bruise, then focused her attention on the shaggy black dog, who had sat back, and was peering up at her through squinted eyes. "Er, good dog?"

He barked at her once, sounding pleased. And then Violet heard a hiss, a loud, familiar hiss.

"Are we not there yet!? Walk faster!"

Violet rolled her eyes and sighed. "Yes, yes, my Lord," she returned, not bothering to conceal her slip into Parseltongue since the dog was the only one nearby to hear it. Obviously it wouldn't know what she was doing. She turned and began walking quickly, half jogging. Because she had turned away, she didn't notice the dog recoil...

Finally on Platform Nine and Three Quarters, Violet was approaching the train, when someone stepped into her path, causing her to stop short.

"Miss...Potter. Er, Violet," said person spoke haltingly. "I'd like a word with you, if possible. Please."

What in the world Arthur Weasley wanted with her, Violet didn't know. But she hid her suspicion and nodded politely. "Yes?"

Mr Weasley inclined his head. "While I may not...approve of you entirely," he ignored the girl's raised brow, "you did play a part in saving my daughter's life, so I can't, in good conscience, let you leave without this warning."


"Do you know who Sirius Black is?"

Sirius Black? The name sounded familiar to her. Where did she-ah. "I've only seen him on the Muggle news," she replied, wondering what this was about. "They claimed he was armed and dangerous."

"Yes, that's him. That man is a wizard, and just as dangerous to Muggles as he is wizards and witches," Mr Weasley explained seriously. "He recently broke out of Azkaban, and it's most likely that he's done this to get to either your sister or you, if not both of you."

Violet blinked, and then her eyes narrowed as she frowned. "Get to us?"

"Kill. He could have broken out to kill either of you-both of you."

The girl was shocked, to say the least. So many questions were whirling through her mind, so many she wanted to ask, but there was no time. The train was about to leave. Deciding to remain polite, she simply thanked the man for the warning, and then headed off, boarding the train.

She walked through the narrow train corridor as they set off, glancing through the windows of each compartment door, searching for Theodore. Many stared at her, but she chose to ignore them. Some of the Slytherins inclined their heads in her direction, and she returned the gesture. And Rose and Ron glared at her, which only had her smirking.

Finally, Violet reached a compartment near the very end of the train, and it was here that she found Theodore, sitting with Hermione. When she slid the door open and stepped in, she realized there was someone else in here. It was a man, sitting in one corner, his head against the window. He was covered with a shabby looking blanket, was wearing equally shabby robes, and despite appearing to be fast asleep, looked rather ill and utterly exhausted. But though he didn't seem all that old, his light brown hair was, confusingly, flecked with grey.

She paused, then continued in, shutting the door behind her and greeting her friends as she took a seat across the man. "Who's he?" she asked curiously.

"Professor Lupin," Hermione replied promptly. "According to his trunk, at least."

Violet glanced up at the trunk herself. "Huh."

"Get me out of here! Are you ignoring me!?"

The girl blinked, and then giggled softly, and quickly brought her pet out in the open, returning him to his original length. "Sorry about that."

"You had best be." Sauron slithered over her legs, hissing softly, taking in the new scents around him.

Theodore stared in surprise from his spot near the odd man, blue eyes wide. "You got a snake, Violet?" He smirked. "That's going to surprise the other Slytherins."

Violet nodded in agreement with a smirk of her own, and then told them why she had been late, telling them what the Weasley Patriarch had told her back on the Platform. Hermione was alarmed, to say the least, but the Girl-Who-Lived turned her attention to her fellow Slytherin. "Do you know anything about Black?" she inquired.

Theodore frowned, and ran his fingers through his sandy coloured hair. "Not much. He was a part of the Black family-one of the oldest Pureblood families. They're generally known to be Dark, and followers of the Dark Lord too. I think he was Heir Black, because he was the oldest son, but I'm pretty sure my father told me he'd been disowned. He didn't say why, at least I don't think he did."

"Why was he in prison?"

"Apparently he killed a dozen Muggles, and a wizard named Peter Pettigrew one day in...I think it was early November in '81? The whole street exploded, and only one of Pettigrew's fingers was found, or something like that. Turned out Black was a Death Eater-that's what the Dark Lord's followers are called," he added, noting Hermione's confusion (Violet already knew that, being in Slytherin and all). "He was captured immediately, didn't resist, and was sent to Azkaban, and was there for twelve years until he broke out a few weeks back."

"I heard he's the first to do so?" the Ravenclaw voiced.

Theo inclined his head. "Yeah." His gaze returned to Violet. "You said Weasley warned you Black's probably after you or your sister?"

"That's what he said. He sounded like it was more likely that he'd go after her, than me, but I suppose it's still possible. Why?"

The boy seemed to hesitate. "Violet, Sirius Black is your sister's godfather."

Hermione gasped, and Violet blinked. "Huh. Well, crap. So he isn't my godfather as well?"

"No idea. My father's told me most of this, but I doubt he's learned any of this on his own-he's not nearly smart or valued enough. At a guess, I'd say Mr Malfoy's the one with the information-he mostly always is. Draco might know the basics, but I doubt even he knows everything. It would depend on how much his father decided to tell him."

Violet nodded in understanding, and wondered if it was worth getting in contact with Mr Malfoy to ask for some more information on all this. It was worth further thinking, she told herself, absently petting Sauron, whose head was resting in her lap.

The three friends were quiet for some time, and with all of them so absorbed in their thoughts, none of them noticed that Professor Lupin was not as asleep as he appeared...

Remus had deliberately chosen a compartment at the very end of the train, assuming he would be left alone. Exhausted, the full moon only having been last night, he had been attempting to sleep, desperate for some rest. And he had nearly managed it too, when he heard the door slide open.

"I don't think there's anywhere else to sit," he heard a girl say.

"This is fine," a boy replied.

He heard them enter, heard them stash their trunks, then heard them sit, the boy in the seat beside him, and the girl across the boy. They talked quietly for a few minutes, not saying much that would tell him who they were, or what Houses they had been Sorted in. All he got were that their names were Hermione and Theodore.

"Hmm, Violet's running late," he heard Hermione say. She sounded concerned.

Violet? he thought, a little surprised. Of course, while Violet may not have been the most common name, it certainly wasn't the most uncommon either. But still, it had been a long time now, since he had last heard it. And even though it was unlikely they were speaking of the Violet he was thinking of, he still felt saddened.

"She is," the boy agreed. "She's generally early. You know she hates staying at that orphanage longer than she has to."

...Orphanage? Then-no.

"Oh, I hope nothing happened to her."

The train soon began to move, and a moment later, Remus heard the door open again. He heard someone step in, heard them stop, heard them continue in and sit down in the seat across him after having shut the door. Then this person spoke.

"Who's he?" Her voice was light, but curious.

It was Hermione who answered, having gotten his name of his trunk, which he had placed in the rack up over his head. A moment later, Remus heard something hiss. It wasn't very loud, but with his better hearing, he still heard it clearly. He didn't think much of it, until he heard someone hissing in return. It was hard to tell for sure, but he was positive it was this other girl who had just come in.

But if she was hissing like this, then didn't that mean she was... Was this Rose? Albus had told him that Rose was a Parselmouth. So was this her? But Theodore and Hermione hadn't even mentioned Rose.

Theodore unknowingly answered his question for him. "You got a snake, Violet? That's going to surprise the other Slytherins."

Remus stiffened slightly. Violet... Violet... Violet was in Slytherin. Violet was a Parselmouth too, and Albus hadn't told him. But even without that, Violet was here. His sweet, little goddaughter. He hadn't seen her in years. Not since she'd been a tiny little thing, left in a decrepit, Muggle orphanage where he'd been unable to get to her. And now she was here, sitting right across him.

That was bad enough on its own. Unfortunately for him, matters were made so much worse when the children began discussing Black, and Remus had to force himself not to react. He tried not to listen anymore, tried to tell himself that it would be best if he just fell asleep now. But he couldn't help it...

The new Third years, of course, had absolutely no idea what was going through the man's mind right now, and had begun talking about Hogsmeade, now that they had finally reached the year where they were allowed to go. It was a rather casual discussion, until Violet revealed her permission slip hadn't been signed.

"Did you really think I could even ask the Matron?"

"She doesn't even know about this world, does she?"

"No, and there's hardly anyone else I can ask. I suppose Professor Snape is an option, but..."

Theodore understood, and took over. "If it's at all possible that Black is after you too, they likely won't bother until the situation's been resolved."

Violet nodded, and shrugged vaguely. "It's fine. It isn't as if this is the only year it's possible to go to Hogsmeade..."

The skies darkened with thick, grey clouds as time passed, and the three teens bought some snacks off the trolley, chatting quietly together, while making sure they didn't wake the sleeping man, curious though they were by his presence in the train.

Just as it began to rain, the three Third years were joined by Luna, who claimed she was trying to escape from the Wilfzers. Violet took that to mean the Ravenclaws from her year were bothering her again. Theo and Hermione quickly figured it out too, and Luna settled down between the two girls, cooing at Sauron, who was preening at the attention.

The drizzle turned to a pouring rain, and lightning flashed in the dark as a chill settled in the air. Violet wasn't afraid of storms, and she wasn't afraid of the dark either (unless she was locked in a small, enclosed space), but for some reason that she didn't understand, she really didn't like the way she was feeling right now.

The small group continued chatting and snacking for a while, but despite the hours that had gone by, it came as a surprise to them all when the train suddenly came to a stop. Well, that was odd. They were sure they weren't there yet. Shouldn't be for another hour or so. So why were they stopping? They couldn't possibly have broken down. They were on a magical train!

Before they would voice their thoughts, every single lamp on the train went out, the flames snuffing out, leaving them in darkness. Violet was the first to react, and lit her wand immediately. Theodore and Hermione followed suit. Luna hadn't learned the spell yet, but shifted closer to Hermione, as the three teens peered around.

They questioned one another quietly, all of them confused, and that confusion only grew as it began getting colder, enough so that they were soon able to see their breath misting in front of them as they spoke. No, no something was wrong. Violet felt it now more than ever, and she wasn't the only one. But none of them had the answer. Well, none of the humans, that is.

Sauron slithered up Violet's body, until he was level with her face, clearly seeking her warmth. "There is a Dementor nearby," he told her. "They are creatures that can suck out your soul. They are the ones who cause this cold. Tell the other humans. The boy will know more."

Violet had never heard of a Dementor before, so she simply obeyed the snake and did as he said. "Sauron just said a Dementor is nearby," she told her friends.

She had barely finished speaking, when there was movement in the corner. The man, Professor Lupin, was finally awake, and swiftly lit his own wand, his eyes-a light brown, almost amber, locked on Violet.

"Are you sure?" he voiced, his voice a low, tired gravel.

Surprised, the girl nodded. "Yes, that's what Sauron-er, my snake said."

The man's lips twitched just slightly, as if he were amused by the snake's name, but he refocused quickly enough and turned to look at the compartment door. He stood, and just as he took a step forward, the door slid open.

There was a figure, tall, so tall it nearly touched the ceiling. It was cloaked and hooded in black, its face completely hidden. Its hand, grey, scabbed, slimy, like it had been decaying in water, was quickly pulled away, hidden from sight. It was breathing, taking slow, rattling breaths that sounded ragged and wheezy all at once. Violet felt herself freeze.

She was cold, freezing cold, but more than that, she was scared-terrified, more scared than she had ever been before in her entire life. And then she heard the screaming, high, frightened pleading, though she couldn't make out any actual words, just the sound. She saw a light, a bright, bright light coming from Professor Lupin's wand...

Violet didn't realize she had fainted until she woke suddenly. She was on the compartment floor, Sauron on her chest, his tongue flicking across her cheek, and Lupin was hovering over her, concerned, and-why did those eyes look so familiar to her? No one said a word. Theodore helped Violet up and back into her seat, and the girl noticed that Hermione was holding Luna close to her, both girls pale and shivering. It was only after that, that she realized the lights were back on, and the train was moving again.

Wanting answers, Violet looked to the professor, who, no doubt aware of their confusion, explained. "That was a Dementor," he began calmly. "They guard Azkaban-a prison. It was here looking for Sirius Black." And for Violet's sake, added, "Don't worry, it's gone now." He pulled a large bar of chocolate out of his pocket as he spoke, breaking it into pieces and handing them all one-Violet given a larger one than the rest. Lupin waited until they had all bit into the chocolate, then excused himself.

The moment the door had slid shut behind him, Violet's emerald gaze moved to Theodore. She wanted to know more, and she had no doubt he would have more answers for her. And so, Theo explained. Like Lupin had said, Dementors guarded Azkaban. They essentially ate away at happiness, which is why so much dread is felt when they're around. And like Sauron had said, they could indeed suck out your very soul, which would leave you an empty shell.

Just as Theodore finished explaining, the door opened again, and Lupin returned, resuming his seat. Once he was settled, his brown eyes moved to the Slytherin girl.

"How do you feel, Violet?" he asked her gently.

"Er, I'm fine, sir," she assured rather awkwardly. It was a bit odd to have an adult feel any sort of concern over her, and she didn't really know how to react to something as strange as that...

They remained silent until they reached the station, and were just as quiet in the carriage ride to the castle. In the Entrance Hall, Professors Flitwick and Snape were waiting. The Head of Ravenclaw House called Hermione, claiming he needed to speak to her, and led her away.

Snape, meanwhile, took Violet aside as he told Theodore to go on ahead. He and Violet stepped into the dungeons, just in the entrance, where it was quiet, and the man peered down at the girl with narrowed eyes.

"Have you had any chocolate yet?"

Surprised, Violet nodded. "Yes, sir, Professor Lupin gave some to all of us after I-I woke up."

Snape's lips started to curl, as if he was about to sneer, but he masked the expression quickly, and inclined his head instead. "There will be more chocolate on your plate in the Hall. You are to eat half of it before you do anything else. If you still feel weakened after you have finished dinner, eat the rest of it. If I see you have not eaten it, I will drag you to the Hospital Wing myself."

Violet blinked. "Yes, sir." She told herself she needed to make sure to eat that chocolate, because she had absolutely no desire to end up in the Hospital Wing. Snape then led her into the Great Hall, where she made her way over to Slytherin Table, slipping into a seat beside Theodore, and watching a bar of chocolate appear on her golden plate immediately. Already feeling her Head of House's dark eyes on her, Violet opened it and broke off a piece.

The Sorting finished mere moments later, and then Dumbledore got to his feet, telling them all that Dementors were going to be stationed at every single doorway outside of the castle. He advised them that they shouldn't even try to sneak past them, because no matter what they did, they were going to fail, and it was going to be smarter not to even try.

Violet was not pleased to hear that at all. With everything she had learned about Dementors so far, she couldn't help but feel that creatures like this were not the best things to have around so many children. They guarded criminals in a prison, didn't they? All she could think was that so long as these Dementors were around, Hogwarts was just going to end up feeling like Azkaban, and that wasn't a comforting thought at all...

As Violet prepared for bed some time later, she looked at her reflection in the bathroom mirror, and was surprised by how pale she appeared. She certainly felt much better than before, the chocolate clearly having helped, warding away the chill somehow, and though she did feel stronger now, her colour hadn't properly returned. Hopefully some sleep was all she needed.

She settled in bed, but though she was trying to sleep, she couldn't help but think back to what had happened on the train-the Dementor, the screaming, the bright spell, Lupin. She closed her eyes, and saw the dark creature, causing her to open them again.

Violet bit her lip. She hadn't ever been so scared before, and had no idea what to do about it. As if noticing her discomfort, Sauron, clearly having escaped from his habitat, which had been set up at the far wall, slithered up onto her bed, and along her body, resting his head on her chest. He was comforting her. Or at least attempting to, in his own way.

It was only then that the girl realized that Sauron had also been very quiet since the incident on the train. It seemed she wasn't the only one who had been greatly disturbed by it.

Chapter Text

When Violet woke the next morning, it was a slow affair. She felt very groggy, her body heavy, and she had to drag herself out of bed. This wasn't a normal reaction for her, and she was sure it had something to do with the dementor from yesterday. Still, with Sauron staying behind, she freshened up, dressed, then met Theodore in the common room and together, the two made their way down to the Great Hall.

It was oddly quiet inside, especially considering it was their first day back for classes. Violet and Theo exchanged a glance, both of them having noticed the same thing, but neither of them said anything and joined the other third years at Slytherin Table. Their year mates were awfully quiet as well, and it didn't take the dark haired girl long to understand that she wasn't the only one who had been negatively affected by the dementors from yesterday.

They all ate in silence, none of them saying more than a couple of words at a time, even Malfoy, who was usually rather talkative. Professor Snape was quiet too as he came around to pass out their schedules, his eyes seeming darker then they normally were. Though he didn't speak to anyone other than the Sixth years, he still paused when he handed Violet her timetable, eyes scanning her face.

"Miss Potter."

Understanding what he wasn't saying, the girl smiled tentatively. "I'm alright now, Professor. The chocolate helped."

Snape inclined his head, then walked off, continuing down the table. Malfoy, who was sitting beside Violet, turned to her, a brow raised in question.

"The dementors affected you that badly?"

Though Violet didn't hear any sort of mocking, she simply shrugged and returned her attention to her breakfast as she scanned over her schedule curiously. With it being a Thursday, her first class for the day appeared to be Ancient Runes. Huh, well, that was bound to be interesting. After that was going to be Transfiguration, then Potions, then Defence, and then Care of Magical Creatures. ...Oh dear.

The first thing Violet noticed was that if there weren't many students taking it, these elective classes took place with members of all four Houses. Ancient Runes was one of those, which Violet quite liked, because she had both Theo and Hermione with her.

With today's Ancient Runes class being merely an introductory lesson, they didn't do more than take notes, but Violet didn't mind it yet. From what Professor Babbling had told them so far, this class sounded pretty promising, so that was good. Maybe it would tell her what her rune was too.

Transfiguration next period was filled with more note taking, McGonagall warning them that things were no doubt going to be much more difficult this year. But there was a bonus in that they were beginning to learn about Animagi, which Violet thought to be beyond fascinating. After that was Potions, the Slytherins and Gryffindors still together, unfortunately. Malfoy did most of the Lion goading there, so the only interaction Violet had with her twin sister was to ignore the glares that were shot in her direction. Professor Snape, however, seemed to be a little more irritable than usual, which everyone noticed, but no one questioned out loud. At least not near the man. And when Potions came to an end, the Slytherins soon found themselves entering the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, where the Ravenclaws were already waiting along with their new professor.

Violet was just glad to see all those Lockhart posters had been replaced with things that were far more interesting. That was nice. She took her seat, Theo at her side, and Hermione not too far away, and examined the man who stood before them. He still looked very tired, she noted, and wondered if he hadn't managed to sleep last night. Surely he would have looked better rested if he had.

Still, Professor Lupin smiled at them all gently, and greeted them kindly, which caused a few in the room to exchange surprised glances. Violet had a feeling she knew why. She could vaguely recall someone in the common room last night mentioning Lupin had been a Gryffindor when he'd attended Hogwarts himself, and since even McGonagall treated the Slytherins somewhat coldly, it was rather odd to them that this man wasn't. Odd, and a little suspicious.

"We'll be having practical lesson today," he informed them all a moment later. "So, if you all could take up your wands and follow me? Good."

Practical lessons in this particular course were a rarity. In fact, they had only had one before, but no one counted that, because Lockhart. That was literally the only reason. Lockhart. Regardless, everyone made sure they had their wands, and then followed Professor Lupin out of the classroom and all the way to...the staff room? Their confusion and curiosity only grew at that, but still, no one really spoke.

The room was empty, save for a bunch of tables and mismatched chairs, and the students all filed inside, wondering why they had been brought here of all places. Lupin shut the door behind them, then moved to the front of the room, coming to stand beside a large wardrobe that appeared to be shaking for some reason. Some of the students were clearly startled by that, and looked downright terrified when they were told the shaking was being caused by something called a boggart.

Violet merely frowned. She knew what those were-had read about them, but wasn't quite sure what to expect. And when they were told they were going to face the boggart themselves, she began to grow quite apprehensive. What would it turn into for her? What was her worst fear?

If she'd been younger, she would have said the Matron, but Violet wasn't scared of the woman any more. Most would probably expect her to be afraid of Voldemort, but that wasn't quite it either. She was nervous around him somewhat, but certainly not scared. The basilisk from a few months ago had been pretty scary, but even that didn't seem like it would be her worst fear. What scared her so much it left her feeling cold and clammy and trembling?

"It is always best," Lupin was in the middle of saying, "to have company while attempting to face a boggart. Does anyone know why?" He ignored Hermione's hand when it shot up, probably because she had already answered a question, and instead- "Violet?"

"Because it won't know what to turn into?" the girl answered.

Lupin smiled. "That's exactly right. The boggart will attempt to change into what frightens however many are near it, and more often than not, that isn't all too effective." He went on to explain that the creatures were best countered with laughter, and he taught them the incantation that would help them, and then had them stand in single file so that they could all face the boggart one after another.

Violet noticed that the vast majority of her classmates seemed to be pretty excited about it, with only a handful of exceptions. There were a couple of Ravenclaws whose names she couldn't remember on the spot who looked rather nervous, Tracy Davis looked terrified, and Theodore's brow was pinched. Violet herself wasn't quite sure what she was feeling.

She stood somewhere in the middle of the line, too busy thinking to pay much attention to what the boggart was turning into for those in front of her (a giant spider, a giant snake, a giant rat, a giant black dog, a classic grim reaper), and even though she hadn't made up her mind yet, Violet was already feeling cold. And then it was her turn.

Shivering and sweating at once, Violet, wand gripped tightly, stepped forward, green eyes locked on the clown reaper (which, in her opinion, was even scarier than the actual grim reaper). And then the boggart changed, and it wasn't the Matron, or the basilisk, or Voldemort.

Violet's breath caught in her chest and her blood ran cold. It was a dementor, as she had already, deep inside, realized it was going to be. Barely a second after the creature took form, Violet found herself staring at their professor's back instead. He had moved in front of her, blocking her from the boggart, and when she leaned out to look under his arm, saw that the dark creature had changed into the moon.

"Riddikulus!" he intoned calmly and firmly. The boggart changed again, and then it was gone, vanished back in the wardrobe it had come out of earlier. Just a moment later, the bell rang, signalling the end of the lesson. Lupin awarded those who had faced the boggart and answered his earlier questions points, and then assigned them all homework before dismissing them all.

And that was how their first Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson that year came to an end. The students all left the room chatting eagerly about the boggart, while Violet followed behind them in silence, still shivering...

Unfortunately for Violet, her day wasn't finished just yet. She still had one more class to go to, and soon found herself standing outside Hagrid's hut with the other Slytherins who had chosen to take Care of Magical Creatures-a great number of them. Even worse, they were quickly joined by none other than the Gryffindors, which just happened to include Rose and Ron.

Was Violet ever going to catch a break? She only had to see the hippogriffs to learn that the answer was a loud and resounding 'no'. She could already tell that this wasn't going to end well.

To Hagrid's credit, the hippogriffs were pretty interesting, even if the book he had assigned them was more on the dangerous side than anything else. Malfoy wasn't happy about any of this, but Violet hadn't expected otherwise, and simply rolled her eyes at the typical, 'Wait until my father hears about this,' bit.

Violet wasn't surprised Rose was the one taking initiative to approach the hippogriff-Buckbeak, first to pet him, and frowned when Brown and Patil muttered something about tea leaves. So she watched, silently and curiously as her sister cautiously neared the creature. But things went well, even though she thought letting Rose ride Buckbeak was a bit much. In fact, it wasn't until the rest of them had been split off in an attempt to near the other hippogriffs, that something went wrong. Unsurprisingly, Malfoy was behind it. Rose cared about Hagrid too much to screw things up in his first lesson.

The other Slytherins weren't at all pleased Malfoy had been injured, but in Violet's opinion, it was his own fault. Hagrid had clearly told them not to insult hippogriffs. And what had Malfoy done? Insult the hippogriff. And now they were shocked and upset he'd been injured? How idiotic. Malfoy hadn't been maimed or anything. It was just a bad cut from the creature's talon-something Madam Pomfrey could mend in a snap. It was hardly the end of the world.

Parkinson hardly agreed, and ran off to check on Malfoy the moment they had stepped back into the castle. The other Snakes watched her go, then made their way back down to their dungeon Common Room to pass time before dinner.

Violet had only settled in an armchair near the hearth, when she was joined by Sauron, who slithered through the room and up her leg to the chair.

"Have your classes finished today?" he inquired somewhat curiously.

"Yes, they're done-thank Salazar. I'm already exhausted."

"Did something happen?"

Violet laughed lightly. "What didn't happen? Today was very...action packed, I guess you can say." So busy recounting her day to the snake, she didn't notice the silence that had fallen in the room, nor the many shocked pairs of eyes that were now focused on her. She didn't even notice that more students than usual had gathered closer to the hearth, listening to her speak, even though they couldn't understand her.

Though Violet didn't notice any of this, Theodore did. Seated in the chair across his friend, he watched the others approach in amusement. It was actually kind of funny, in his opinion, that Violet Potter of all people was having this sort of affect on all these students-all these Slytherins. But it didn't surprise him. She was speaking in Parseltongue. His own father had warned him about that. He had told him how most of the Dark Lord's followers had a weak spot for the tongue of serpents, even back when the Lord had only been a student himself. They liked listening to him, his father had said. It made them feel like they were privileged, hearing him speak.

Theodore, admittedly, didn't entirely understand, but just seeing the reaction in the room towards Violet speaking to her pet snake had his father's words making a lot more sense to him. And if he was being honest with himself, he kind of liked hearing it too. Something about the hissing was almost...hypnotic, and calming.

Malfoy returned to class half way through Double Potions the next morning, where Snape made Rose and Ron help him with his potion. Neither of the Gryffindors were happy about that. Violet thought their mutiny was hilarious. A glance at Theodore showed he thought so too. It was so easy to rile those two up.

But more than just that happened during the lesson. It was quiet in the dungeon classroom when Finnegan from Gryffindor moved to Rose and Ron's table to speak to them.

"Hey, did you hear? Black was sighted."

"Are you serious? Where?" In the silence in the room, their voices carried. It was hard to tell whether they realized everyone else was listening to them too.

"A Muggle saw him, not far from here," Finnegan answered, taking Rose's brass scales to his own table to use. "She doesn't know who he really is, obviously, so she called that telephone hotline thing they have set up. But by the time the Ministry got there, he was already gone."

"Thinking of catching Black on your own, Potter?" Malfoy questioned, leaning into Rose and smiling maliciously. When Rose didn't answer, his smile widened. "I mean, if it was me, well I wouldn't want to wait either. But maybe you should just stay in school like a good girl. We wouldn't want you getting hurt now, would we?"

Frowning, Violet turned to Theo. "Does Rose not know Black is her godfather?"

Theodore shrugged. "I guess not. Maybe her aunt and uncle didn't want to tell her her godfather's a convicted murderer?"

Violet bit her lip, but nodded. She supposed that made sense. If the Dursleys knew about Black, going by the way Rose was seemingly being raised, maybe they hadn't wanted to traumatize her or something. But going by what Rose and Malfoy were saying, it definitely did seem like Rose didn't know.

Either way, if Black had been sighted fairly nearby, that couldn't be a good thing, could it? Especially if the reason he had broken out of prison in the first place was to kill one or both of the twins. Sure there were dementors stationed around the castle, but if Black had been able to get past them at Azkaban, well, why couldn't he just do the same here?

Were she and Rose really safe from him here? Hogwarts hadn't exactly proved itself to be the safest place so far, so honestly, she didn't have much confidence...

There was no further word on Black as the days went by. While Violet was, of course, curious about the man-the convict, the most suspicious thing, in her opinion, was Hermione's behaviour. The Ravenclaw had chosen to take every class available to the third years, which included all five electives. While that would be weird for most people, Hermione was, well, Hermione, so honestly, it should have been expected. So no, it wasn't that, that was odd.

Even though some of those classes took place at the same time as another class she was taking, Hermione had, somehow, been able to attend all of them. She hadn't missed a single lesson yet. That made no sense to Violet at all. How could Hermione possibly be in two places at once?

Yet whenever she brought it up, asking Hermione about it, the bushy haired witch would simply brush it off or change the subject. It was clear that she had no inclination to elaborate on how she was doing this, and while Violet supposed she understood they all had secrets they wanted to keep, it kind of hurt that Hermione was trying to hard to ensure she didn't find out something so...simple.

After a few attempts, Violet stopped asking. She was still curious, of course, but if Hermione didn't want to explain, it wasn't as if she could force her to. So the days continued to pass.

Care of Magical Creatures very quickly became rather boring, the class made to look after flobberworms of all things, which didn't exactly need looking after in the first place. Hagrid had lost all his confidence after Malfoy's 'attack', not just because the boy had been hurt, but because Malfoy's father had gotten involved, and well, that apparently wasn't a good thing. Fortunately, as Quidditch season neared, Malfoy found himself too busy with practice to complain very much, so that was nice...

Halloween day was a strange one for Violet. The first Hogsmeade trip was today, but since the Matron hadn't signed her form, she wasn't going to be able to go. It was, admittedly, a bit annoying, Violet thought as she bid farewell to Theodore and Hermione, both of whom were going with their own House mates, but it was hardly the end of the world. There was going to be plenty of time to visit the village in later years, if she could find a way around the permission slip.

She wasn't surprised by the way Rose and her friend mocked her for staying behind, though she cracked a smile when Malfoy of all people came to her defence, mocking her twin in response. It was only morning and it was already a strange day.

Once everyone was gone and the dark haired girl was alone, she wandered through the castle, wondering what she should do for the next few hours. She had already finished any immediate homework yesterday, and didn't really feel like doing the rest of it today. She could have just spent her time with Sauron, but the snake was in a foul mood today (he hated Halloween for some reason), so she figured it was best to give him some space until he calmed back down. Heading to the library was also an option, she supposed. Perhaps she could do some leisure reading for once.

Satisfied with that, she turned on her heel, needing to backtrack to be able to head to the library, and she had only passed through two corridors, when she heard someone call out her name in confusion. Pausing, she peered through the nearest doorway, where the voice had come from, only to realize she was standing outside Professor Lupin's office, just a door down from the Defence classroom.


Moving to the door, the man smiled down at her. "Good morning, Violet. Where's Theodore? It's a bit odd that the two of you aren't together."

She shrugged vaguely. "He's probably in Hogsmeade by now."

Lupin frowned, and when he spoke, his voice betrayed confusion. "Why aren't you there yourself?"

"No one signed my permission slip."

"The ah, the woman at the orphanage refused to sign it?"

Violet blinked, surprised he even knew about the Matron and the orphanage, and then just brushed it off, assuming someone else had told him about it. "I didn't even show it to her," she explained instead. "The Matron doesn't know about magic, or that I'm a witch. The form wasn't disguised or anything, and she never signs things without reading them. And since the Matron's my only guardian, there really isn't much I can do about it-are you alright, sir?" As she had been saying that last sentence there, the man had sort of...twitched, suddenly looking rather upset, though the expression vanished almost instantly.

"Yes, just a bit tired." He glanced back behind him, then looked at her again and said, "Why don't you come in? You can help me with the grindylow that was just delivered."

"What's a grindylow?" Violet asked curiously, following the man inside.

"It's a water demon," Lupin explained, leading her to a large tank...

Following the professor's directions and explanations, they prepared a second, larger tank for the creatures, and moved it into its new home, setting this tank aside against one of the office walls where it would sit until their next lesson. Once that was done, the two settled at the man's desk for some tea.

It should have been awkward, sitting here alone and having tea with a professor. This wasn't something students ever liked to do, but Violet was actually enjoying herself. Professor Lupin was very kind to her, despite her being a Slytherin, and he was easy to get along with, not to mention talk to. He also clearly knew a whole lot about the subject he was teaching, and Violet was always eager to learn more.

"May I ask something?" the girl voiced abruptly.

Lupin blinked. "Of course. Anything."

Violet bit her lip, hesitating. "Why didn't you let me face the boggart?" It hadn't bothered her at all, in the moment it had happened. If she was being honest, she was actually kind of glad he had intervened. But after her fear had died down, and she'd had the chance to think, she'd realized that he hadn't even given her the chance to try, before cutting in, which was really strange, since he hadn't done the same for anyone else.

"I was under the impression that the boggart would change into Lord Voldemort," he explained calmly, "and I didn't wish to induce panic by having him appear in the middle of the staff room. I did the same for your sister."

"O-oh." Violet frowned. "For Rose-did it really become Voldemort?"

Lupin inclined his head. "Yes, as she-as you both, rather, saw him in your first year. But it was only for a second, before I covered her. And your own..."

"Was a dementor," she supplied, "yeah."

For a moment, the man simply gazed at her, his eyes searching hers. "Did you think of Voldemort at all, when wondering what the boggart would become?" he inquired.

"...I did," Violet admitted, green eyes on the remaining tea in her cup. "I thought of him, but honestly, the dementors scare me way more than he ever has."

Slowly, Professor Lupin lowered his own cup back to his desk. "That's quite impressive."

The girl blinked. "How so?"

Lupin smiled gently. "It tells me that what you fear most of all, is fear itself. That is a very wise fear to have, Violet, especially for one still so young."

Violet honestly had no idea how to answer that, and didn't have the chance to either, before there was a knock on the door, and Professor Snape entered the room, a goblet (which was smoking for some reason) in his hands. His dark eyes lingered on Violet as he stepped into the room, but when he spoke, it was to the other man, informing him to drink the potion in the goblet immediately, and that he would need to take more again tomorrow. Lupin thanked Snape, and with an incline of his head, the Potions Master left the room.

Though curious, Violet didn't ask about the potion, whatever it might be, and simply watched as Lupin drank it down with a shudder of disgust. She couldn't blame him. Most potions were awfully nasty.

"Well," Lupin spoke, setting the empty, but still smoking goblet down. "Your friends should be returning any moment now," he told her. "I'm sure they'll have much to tell you about their trip to the village." He smiled. "You should join me for tea again sometime."

Violet nodded, smiling herself. "I'd like that," she replied truthfully. She wasn't sure what it was about the man, but talking to him like this felt bizarrely natural. Still, she dismissed herself, leaving the office and making her way back down to the dungeon common room, where she was soon joined by Theodore, who promptly dropped some very large chocolate bars on her lap.

"You like chocolate, right?" he spoke, squeezing into the armchair with her. "Honeydukes-the sweet shop, only recently started selling some new flavours. I thought you might like to try them."

Violet laughed, splaying the bars out like a deck of cards as she examined them. "Ha, thanks Theo. I can't wait to try them." They spent the rest of the time before the Halloween feast discussing where the boy had gone in the village and what he had done, and then made their way down to the Great Hall with everyone else.

The feast itself was just that, a feast, and passed without incident, with seemingly everyone enjoying themselves. Violet listened to those around her all talk about Hogsmeade while she ate, and hoped she'd have the chance to go next year. Perhaps she would talk to Professor Snape about it. Maybe he would know of some way the Matron could sign the permission slip without figuring out what exactly it was for...

Not long later, after the feast and certainly after everyone had returned to their common rooms, Violet, who had only just entered her own room, was startled suddenly by the sound of knocking on her door. When she opened it, she found she wasn't the only one who had been disturbed, the other girls in her year also there. They could all hear some sort of commotion in the common room, and before anyone knew what was happening, they (along with all the other Slytherins) were being shepherded back to the Great Hall, where they had left from barely twenty minutes before.

And the Snakes weren't the only ones. As soon as they got out of the dungeons, they realized all the other Houses were here too, everyone being sent back to the Hall. The professors were all there as well, trying to get everyone to fall silent.

They didn't receive much of an explanation to what was going on. The Headmaster told them a search of the castle needed to be conducted, and for their safety, wanted them all to remain in the Hall until told otherwise. Then he moved the House Tables out of the way, summoned sleeping bags for everyone, and that was that.

But even as everyone chose a sleeping bag and settled down, the story began to spread throughout the Hall, being told by the Gryffindors, and it didn't take long for everyone, Violet included, to hear what had happened. Sirius Black had not only entered the castle, but attacked the painting that stood outside Gryffindor's common room. Peeves had seen him himself, and it didn't sound like it was a prank at all.

In a corner together, Violet and Theodore exchanged a glance, no doubt thinking the same thing. It was alarming enough that Black had been able to get into the castle (though Violet honestly wasn't too surprised by it), but the fact that he had tried to get into the Gryffindor common room proved he really was after Rose, right?

Professor Snape was clearly thinking the same thing, as Violet found out some hours later, in the middle of the night, when the man paused nearby to inform Dumbledore on how the search was going. No one had been able to find Black, though the Headmaster hadn't expected otherwise.

"Then you have no doubt that Black is after Potter-Rose Potter, rather?" Snape questioned quietly.

"It is Gryffindor Tower that he attempted to get into."

"And what of her twin?"

"Will Black go after Violet as well? It's difficult to say. We can't be sure of anything just yet, Severus."

But he wasn't denying it, Violet, listening closely, realized. Which made it a possibility, didn't it? Black had probably chosen to go after Rose first because he knew where her common room was, since he had been in Gryffindor himself, and it was Rose who was his goddaughter. But where exactly did that leave Violet? How much danger was she in, when it came to this man?

Chapter Text

No one could stop talking about Sirius Black as the days went by. Violet was not only tired of hearing about him, but rather annoyed too, because every single time she heard his name now it brought her a great amount of stress. Maybe that was what caused the sudden nightmares.

Barely a week after Halloween, Violet woke abruptly in the middle of the night. Breathless and shaking, she lay in bed, images of her most recent nightmare continuing to flash through her mind. Nightmares were a fairly normal occurrence for her-she had been getting them since she'd been very young, though she didn't get them quite as often now that she went to Hogwarts. Either way, it had been a while since she had last had one this bad.

And now she couldn't go back to sleep. She tried, but she was beginning to feel kind of...claustrophobic staying in this room, even if the space wasn't very small-she knew it was because the nightmare had been about The Cupboard. She couldn't stay in here. Carefully moving Sauron (who basically only slept in her bed now) off her, she slid out of bed and made her way into the common room.

The room was empty, which wasn't at all surprising to her considering how late it was. With a deep sigh, already beginning to feel just a little better, she curled up in an armchair by the still lit fire...

Violet wasn't the only one awake at such a late hour. Severus too was woken suddenly, though it wasn't because of a nightmare. It was an alarm going off that woke the light sleeper out of a dead sleep. That wasn't odd-was something that happened more often than it didn't.

Each section of Slytherin's dorm rooms had certain warning spells placed on them. When a student of a particular gender and year left their room after midnight, an alarm corresponding to said gender and year would sound near him, alerting him to it. There was another spell triggered to inform him if a student left the common room after the late curfew as well. Severus was the one who had had these implemented a number of years ago, when a fourth year Slytherin had managed to sneak out of the dungeons, up to the Astronomy Tower, and jump off it, killing herself. (There was now a ward on the towers throughout the castle as well, all for the same reason.)

And now this alarm that went off told him that a third year girl had left her room. He didn't react at first, giving her, whoever she was, a few minutes. Perhaps she had abruptly remembered something she had left behind in the common room, or whatnot. Unlikely, considering the time, but certainly not unheard of. Still, he remained awake, laying in bed and waiting for the alarm to stop sounding, which would happen when the girl returned to her room.

But she never did. She didn't leave the common room, fortunately, but she didn't return to bed either. Severus waited another five minutes, and then scowled and got out of bed, grabbing his robes and pulling them on over his bed clothes. Using a hidden doorway that would lead him directly to Slytherin's common room, he stepped inside and peered around with narrowed eyes.

Potter? Surprised and a little confused, he moved forward, lowering down into the armchair across the girl, who hadn't even seemed to notice his presence, instead choosing to stare at her toes. "Miss Potter," he voiced finally.

She started, green eyes wide. "Oh! Professor Snape..."

"It is very late, Miss Potter. Why are you not in bed?" He saw the hesitation that crossed her face immediately. "You have class in the morning," he chose to remind her.

The girl shrugged slightly. "I know," she replied quietly.

Severus gazed at her closely, considering his words. He had nothing against this girl, and appreciated that she at least had proper manners and cared for her education, unlike her clearly spoiled twin, but he found that it was still difficult to...conduct himself around her. He struggled to come to terms with how exactly he was supposed to treat her. "Are you having trouble sleeping?" he inquired eventually.

He knew the answer to the question immediately. Saw it in the way she lowered her eyes, tightened the hold on her knees, and tensed. "Is it being caused by nightmares?" And here, he waited. Even though he was sure he was correct, he decided to leave it to her to tell him. Nothing good would come out of forcing her to admit it. He knew that already. Had gone through it personally.

There was a very long silence, Severus watching Potter stare at the toes she kept flexing as she debated with herself. This wasn't a rare situation for him to find himself in. It happened at the end of every September-often later in the year as well, a handful of the new first years always struggling to adjust. But sometimes it wasn't just the first years. Sometimes even the older students had problems-not just homesickness, but nightmares as well. The only reason this was strange, was because it was Potter, and he had never had a problem like this with her before.

"...Yes." The word was a whisper, barely audible, but in the silence of the room, Severus still managed to hear it clearly.

The man inclined his head and got to his feet. "A moment then." He left her where she was, returned to his rooms, and tracked down a particular potion vial, returning to Potter a minute later. "Take this."

Potter took the vial from him, looking at it in confusion, then tilting her head back to peer up at him instead. "What's this, sir?"

"Dreamless Sleep. Take only a mouthful-any more and you will poison yourself. Do not take it more than twice a week. This potion is very easy to become addicted to. I trust that you are responsible enough to regulate the usage yourself?" He would still be keeping an eye on her for signs of addiction though, just in case.

The girl nodded. "Yes sir. Thank you, professor."

Severus inclined his head once more. "Get to bed now. I'll not be excusing you for being late in the morning."

Nodding again, Potter finally uncurled herself and got up, the vial held close to her chest. "Good night, Professor Snape."

"Sleep well, Miss Potter." He watched her walk off, waited for her door to shut, and sighed deeply when the alarm only he could hear finally went silent. He didn't know what to think about this...

Literally the next afternoon though, Violet was rather surprised and caught off guard when she was suddenly summoned to McGonagall's office during lunch. But when she saw Rose inside as well, and the sombre expression on their professor's face, she had a feeling she understood what this was about.

And she was right. Professor McGonagall attempted to warn them both about Sirius Black possibly coming after them, but she didn't get to elaborate very much before Rose cut her off, saying that she already knew about it. Violet did too. McGonagall was surprised, and perhaps a little caught off guard at their knowledge, which Violet thought was kind of weird. Did she really think no one would have bothered telling them about any of this? Especially when they were the ones at the heart of this?

Either way, when she was dismissed (before her sister, because the professor had to talk to her about Quidditch, or something like that), Violet left the office, but had only gone down a single corridor, when-

"Luna? Ginny?"

"Oh, hello Violet."

"Hi, Violet!"

Approaching them, the green eyed girl smiled. "What are you guys doing?"

Both girls shrugged. "Just talking," Ginny replied. "Why are you up here?"

Violet shrugged in return. "McGonagall wanted to speak to me."

"Are you in trouble?"

"No, nothing like that." She hesitated, wondering whether or not it would be alright to ask Ginny how she was doing after what she had gone through the previous year. Was she just supposed pretend it never happened? Or was it okay to bring those memories up again? And what about the bullying Luna had been going through? Had that stopped? Should she ask?

After a brief moment, she decided not to. She had assured them both that she was there for them, so if they wanted to talk about these things they could come to her first. It was probably better that way. "How are your classes going?" she asked them instead, prompting a cheerful and casual conversation between the three girls...

After lunch, Violet walked into the DADA classroom, only to pause in the place in the doorway. The professor standing at the desk wasn't Lupin, but rather, Snape. Huh... Making her way to her seat, Violet settled down beside Theodore, who seemed to be as confused as she was.

The explanation came out quickly enough, the Potions Master informing them that Lupin was ill and unable to teach, and that he would be substituting for him until he was well enough again. The Slytherins didn't really mind. Lupin was a fine teacher, some of them liking him more than others, but they were hardly going to have to worry about Snape, as he was their Head of House. They had no problems here.

Still, Violet frowned, actually somewhat worried about Lupin. She honestly wasn't surprised that he was sick-he always looked rather unwell. Did he have some sort of chronic illness, perhaps? That would explain why he was sick, and why he always looked so tired, and why he appeared older than he really was.

There had been a girl at her primary school-Fair, who had suffered with some sort of chronic illness. She had always looked tired and frail, and hadn't been allowed to run around and play like the rest of the kids. She'd been very kind and quiet too, though she and Violet hadn't spoken much (Fair had had parents, after all, unlike Violet, and everyone knew orphans were disgusting and stupid), but Lupin was kind of reminding her of this other girl.

So yes, maybe it was a chronic illness. How bad was it though? How dangerous? Was this something that would kill him? ...And why was Professor Snape making them skip straight to the end of their textbooks so he could teach them about werewolves?

The next day was Saturday, and the first Quiddicth match of the season-what was supposed to have been Gryffindor versus Slytherin, but had been changed to Gryffindor versus Hufflepuff (because Malfoy was using his 'injured' arm as an excuse). That didn't really matter to Violet, honestly. Hell, it just gave her own House a better chance at winning the Cup later in the year.

The only thing that really surprised her about all this was that the match was actually happening, despite the horrid weather. It was a very dark, gloomy, chilly day, the rain pouring, the thunder clashing, and the lightning flashing. These were horrible conditions to walk in, let alone fly in, and yet, apparently, the match was still going to take place.

How on earth was this safe? What if someone got struck by lightning? That could easily kill them! How the hell was the school not only allowed, but encouraged to do this!? Why did everyone lose their minds when sports became involved?

But even despite thinking this, Violet still ended up joining the other students out in the stands, situating herself on a bench in between Theodore and Malfoy. And then she looked out at the pitch and wondered why she had bothered to come. Visibility out here was terrible.

Rose and Diggory-Hufflepuff's Seeker, were going to have a hard time finding and capturing the Snitch. Hell, Fred and George, along with whoever Hufflepuff's Beaters were, were going to have a harder time too. It was going to be difficult to see the Bludger in this, let alone aim properly when hitting it at the opposing team. Even the Chasers were going to have some issues. It was going to be smarter for the three of them in the team to stick close together to keep the Quaffle between them.

Hopefully the Weasley twins would be careful. Violet didn't want to see them hurt. Secretly, she was quite fond of them. Rose was going to have some trouble though, especially when compared to Diggory. While a little bigger than Violet, Rose was still quite small. Diggory was not only two years older than her, but a fair bit larger too-his size was only going to be an advantage in this weather, what with all the wind.

...Was Rose going to remember to use a spell so her glasses would repel water? She was never going to be able to see otherwise.

The crowd was still pretty excited as the match began, but that excitement began to fade a little as the match went on in time. It was cold out here. Cold and wet and windy and dangerous. But still the match went on. Gryffindor had a good lead, but Hufflepuff would still win if Diggory managed to get the Snitch soon.

And speaking of...

Just a moment later, Diggory shot off to the right side of the pitch. When Rose realized this she followed suit, chasing after him, trying to urge her Nimbus on faster. But she didn't catch up.

She didn't catch up, because suddenly, a strange silence fell over the entire stadium, and the chill in the air worsened until Violet could feel it inside her-in her bones, until she went numb. She couldn't hear anything, couldn't feel anything, couldn't even see anything, her vision going hazy.

Because of this, Violet didn't notice what was happening out on the pitch. She didn't see the dozens upon dozens-close to a hundred dementors that had gathered on the Quidditch pitch. She didn't see the ones gliding up to her twin sister, didn't hear her cry of shock either. Instead, she heard something else.

There was a voice, a high, strangely familiar voice, pleading. "Not them, not them, please not them!"

And then there was another voice, this one lower, this one too oddly familiar. "Stand aside you silly girl, stand aside now."

"Not Rose, not Violet! Please, no, take me! Kill me instead-! Please, have mercy!" the first voice, the woman's voice, continued to plead.

Violet didn't notice Rose fall off her broom, only saved thanks to a spell that slowed her down. She didn't notice this, because at the same moment her sister fell, Violet lost consciousness, shocking Theodore and Malfoy seated on either side of her, catching her as she slumped over...

Violet woke abruptly in the Hospital Wing. She was confused, but not exactly surprised to find herself here. She felt groggy and shaky and her entire body was aching. When she looked over, she found both Theodore and Hermione seated at her bedside, both of them speaking quietly. She turned her head, and saw Fred and George just as they walked out of the Wing. They must have just left her bedside, judging by the diagonal line they had been walking in. But Violet quickly noticed that she wasn't the only one in bed here. Rose was too, a few beds away, Diggory sitting with her, the two of them also speaking quietly, the both of them still in their Quidditch robes, Rose's scarlet, Diggory's a bright yellow.

Violet shifted in bed, drawing the attention of her two friends, both of whom seemed very relieved to see her awake-Hermione looked like she was close to tears. It didn't take them long to explain what exactly had happened. They told her about the dementors that had come onto the pitch, told her how Rose had fallen off her broom from at least fifty feet in the air, though she had been saved thanks to a spell, told her how Dumbledore had used another spell to get the dementors away. They told her how Diggory had gotten the Snitch and won the match, but hadn't noticed what had happened until after, and had come to Rose to apologize-which was what they were probably talking about now. And Theo told her how she had passed out at the same moment her sister had fallen off her broom, and that Professor Snape had insisted she remain in the Hospital Wing, because it was likely because of the dementors that she had fainted.

Violet didn't know what to say in response to the slew of information, and only just managed to nod.

She was stuck in the infirmary all weekend...

Her friends returned to visit, including the Weasley twins and their younger sister, along with Neville and Luna as well, but with nothing to really do, the green eyed girl had a lot of time to think-too much time, perhaps...

Rose was allowed to leave long before she was, because unlike her, her twin hadn't passed out, which was really rather weird, as Rose had been the one to be attacked by the dementors in the first place. She had to remind Theo to make sure Sauron was fed. Rose sort of looked like she had a crush of Diggory, because she blushed around him a whole lot. Malfoy had been weirdly quiet, according to Theo. Hermione had made Theodore bring her her homework to do, despite the fact that she was stuck in a hospital bed. Fred and George were so concerned about her that it was actually kind of cute. She really hated this weakness she felt whenever dementors were around. That ceiling tile had a stain shaped like Australia. Professor Lupin seemed to only come to see her when she was sleeping, according to Hermione, though he never lingered when someone else showed up. She was really craving some treacle tart right now-anything but chocolate, which was very odd as Violet normally loved chocolate. She was pretty sure she had heard her mother begging Voldemort not to kill her-Violet and Rose. That was kind of disturbing.

Voldemort had told her mother to stand aside. Why? Had he not meant to kill her? Had he not wanted to? Why had he then? Because she had refused to move? Why not just stun her instead? Immobilize her in a different way to get her to move? Even if their mother had lived, would things have even been any better? If she had lived, would Rose and Violet have still survived?

According to Dumbledore (or had it been diary Tom?), their mother's love and sacrifice was what had saved them. So didn't that mean that if their mother had lived, they-the twins, wouldn't have? That's what that seemed to mean to Violet. And if that had happened, if their mother had survived instead of them, how would things have changed? How would the world here be now?

Violet really had no answer to any of this, and thinking about it was only succeeding in making her head hurt. But that didn't actually stop the thinking. Because now she was thinking about the Dark Lord.

She hadn't heard from him since the end of her first year, discounting the strange diary version of him from last year. He hadn't been upset with her or anything, but if that was the case, why hadn't he made any sort of contact with her? Was it because it was too dangerous? Was he worried someone would find out? Was he just in a strange position where he couldn't, even if he wanted to?

The girl frowned. ...Actually, that last one there sort of made sense. Voldemort had been possessing Quirrell because he hadn't had a body of his own since he'd been 'vanquished' all those years ago. But now Quirrell was dead, and the Dark Lord had escaped in a sort of...mist form. So what had he done? Possessed someone else? Or was he still moving around in that vapour form? Because if the latter was true, then obviously he hadn't been able to contact her. You couldn't write a letter when you were just a mist!

Bizarrely enough, that actually made her feel a lot better.

Violet didn't realize that she was actually very close to the truth. The Dark Lord Voldemort had hardly forgotten her, but truly was in no shape to make any sort of contact with her. As she had thought, after leaving Quirrell's corpse behind he had travelled in a more...ghost like, non-corporeal form, something that was nowhere near solid.

He had escaped into the forests, possessing the bodies of various animals, small ones, mostly snakes, using them to travel. But these bodies were incapable of hosting him for very long, making him jump from body to body irritatingly often.

And as he travelled, he certainly did find himself thinking of Violet every now and again. She was young, of course, but intelligent, and her magic was...strange. When he had been there during her first year, he had thought more than once that her magic felt somewhat odd to him.

It was strong, yes, and at the same time, weak. It had...alternated between the two, making it so she could master certain spells immediately, yet struggle with other spells that, in some cases, were even weaker. But at the same time, she hadn't the only one whose magic had been like that. Her twin's magic had been the same-stronger in some cases, weaker in others, and none of it had made any sense to him, still didn't, regardless of how much he thought and debated on the topic.

But that had been a while ago. Had that changed now? Had that magic regulated? Was it natural-a simple imbalance in her, in their magical cores? Or was there another reason behind it? It was difficult to say at this point. He hadn't been around either of them long enough to learn or discover an answer.

Voldemort was curious to learn about more than just Violet's magic though. There was much about her that piqued his curiosity. Perhaps he would have the chance to speak to her again. He wanted to see how she would grow, see how much smarter she could become, how much stronger.

But first, he needed to find a way to get out of this predicament. He needed a solid body-a human body, and not the body of some weak, incompetent wizard like Quirrell had been. He needed a stronger body than that, one that would be capable of properly containing his strong, dark magic without negative effects, a body that already contained a dark magical core.

He needed his old body back.

Chapter Text

Violet was incredibly relieved once the weekend came to an end and she was finally allowed to leave the hospital wing. Madam Pomfrey had been very...fussy, so it was nice to finally get away from the constant nagging. She knew the woman was just concerned, and took her job very seriously, and that was something Violet did actually respect (especially after the Matron's constant neglect), but it became overbearing very quickly, even if the intentions were good.

The corridors were empty as Violet walked through them, but that wasn't surprising as everyone was probably in the Great Hall for dinner. Having already eaten in the Hospital Wing before having been dismissed, Violet just made her way down into the dungeons and into Slytherin's common room. It was mostly deserted, containing only a handful of older students who clearly must not have felt hungry.

She hadn't even made it half way through the common room when she noticed Sauron slithering over to her, and she remained still as he made his way up her body. He always had to wrap himself around her so awkwardly because of how much larger he was than her-Violet still found it to be so amusing.

"You are well again?" he asked her, tongue flicking out to touch her cheek.

"I'm better now, yes. Those dementors are just..."

"I know."

"Have you been fed?"

"Yes, that boy...Theodore you call him, has ensured it. He is still frightened of me."

That got a light laugh out of the girl. "Well, you're a very big snake, Sauron. He's probably worried you're going to strangle him or swallow him whole or something."

"Sss, I doubt you humans taste very good."

Violet giggled and shook her head in exasperation, beginning to make her way back to her room, unaware that all the conversations in the common room that had stopped suddenly when she and Sauron had started to speak, started up again.

To them-the Slytherins, it didn't matter how important what they were saying or doing was. When this particular Potter started speaking in Parseltongue, they were all going to shut up and listen to her. Sure, they didn't understand a single word...or rather, hiss, but the fact that they could listen was enough for them.

Most of them doubted she was aware of the significance the language had, but unlike her damned twin, she at least wasn't afraid to speak it, and now that she had a snake (and an excuse), well, they liked being around her a lot more all of a sudden.

Violet was actually kind of relieved when she returned to class the next week. She'd been stuck alone in the Hospital Wing with her thoughts for way too long, so for once she was glad to be around other people again, just because it meant she didn't have the time or the attention to focus on those thoughts.

That relief was only increased when she saw that Professor Lupin seemed to be back for their Defence class. He definitely did look like he had been sick though. He still looked weak and tired, and had dark circles under his eyes. ...What the hell was wrong with him?

Still, Lupin smiled and greeted them as kindly as ever as they took their seats, and launched into yet another fascinating lesson that not even Malfoy complained about in the moment.

And it was after the lesson, once everyone was dismissed, that Violet was called to stay behind. Telling Theo she'd meet up with him after, Violet and the professor were soon left alone.

He didn't speak at first, just regarded her closely, eyes searching her face, before finally saying, "How do you feel?"

"Better," Violet replied truthfully, "but still kind of...heavy?" She didn't know how to explain it really, but since she had woken up, her body felt sort of weighed down. She didn't know why that was, but it was certainly a whole lot better now than when she had awoken.

Lupin nodded in understanding, but frowned slightly. "It is...strange that you are being affected so badly."

"Is it?" It wasn't like she liked it or anything, but she hadn't thought there was anything particularly odd about it. She'd figured it was just bad luck that it always happened to be her. Bizarre, unfair things like this were a common occurrence in her life.

"It's strange because while your sister was affected enough that it had her falling from her broom, the dementors had no other affect on her. And that's something that is almost unheard of when she was the one being attacked in the first place."

"Oh." Did that mean Rose was stronger than her? If she was affected twice as bad, but Rose not at all, isn't that what that meant? That her twin was stronger than she was?

"It has absolutely nothing to do with strength or weakness," Lupin added suddenly, as if realizing what she had begun thinking. "Dementors are dark and foul creatures that drain all happiness and hope from a person, magical or Muggle, though Muggles can't actually see them. They drain away everything that you find good, and if exposed to them long enough, you're left with nothing but negative emotions and memories. The more negative experiences you have had in your life, the most susceptible you are to the effects of the dementors. You're not weak, Violet, but you have gone through a lot."

"And-and that's why they make me feel like that? Like this?"

"That has much to do with it, yes."

Violet bit her lip, hesitating, then said, "But Rose has been through at least some of what I have-bad things, I mean. And I think those things were much worse for her than they were for me. So why don't the dementors make her remember those things? Or-or remind her of those?"

Lupin sighed, bracing his hands on his desk. "That's the part that I find to be strange. There is no reason why only one of you should be affected like this, especially as, at least this second time, it was Rose who was attacked, rather than you yourself."

Violet had no idea what to say to that, because she honestly didn't understand it. "Is there a way to-to get rid of dementors? To make them leave you alone?"

The man blinked, then inclined his head. "There are spells, yes. Dementors can't be killed in any fashion, but there are spells to defend you from them. The spells-or spell, rather, is most useful when there are only one or two, but..."

"Do you think you can teach me, Professor?"

The hesitation that Lupin felt upon hearing those words was obvious in the expression that crossed his face. " a spell, one that I know of that can help you, but..."


"It's a difficult spell, Violet. Very advanced. I'm not sure you would even be able to cast it right now."

"But how would you know that if I don't at least try?"

Lupin reached up and scratched his chin, his brow furrowed. "I suppose that's true. It isn't as if casting the spell is dangerous. It simply uses a great amount of magic that children your age generally don't have. But it's worth attempting it, at the very least." He nodded here, as if to himself. "You'll have to wait until after the Christmas holidays though. I have a lot to do before the break thanks to falling ill at such an inconvenient time. The spell is called the Patronus charm, by the way. There should be books in the library that can tell you more. I'll explain it in more detail of course, but feel free to look it up if you'd like."

Violet had no reason to argue with anything that had been said there. It wasn't as if he was refusing to teach it to her, just that right now was a bad moment. Christmas break wasn't that far away, so she could wait. She was certainly going to take him up on his suggestion to research the spell too. She was curious to learn more about it, even if it turned out she couldn't cast it yet herself...

The last weekend before the break began was another Hogsmeade visit. Pretty much everyone seemed to be pleased about that, mostly because they would be able to do their Christmas shopping there. Violet herself was mostly indifferent. Nothing about her situation here had changed, so she obviously still wasn't allowed to go to the village.

It really wasn't that huge of a deal, honestly. Would it be nice to go? Sure. Did she want to? Of course. But she still had around four school years to do that. She understood that because of Black being around, the adults were nervous about letting even Rose, who did have permission, go. So there was no reason for them to give her special permission when they were already worrying. They probably figured it would be easier if she stayed in the castle, since it was safer. It was hardly the end of the world.

So she gave Hermione a list of things to buy, along with some money, that way she could actually give her friends Christmas presents for once. Of course, he had Theo buy Hermione's present, because that would be weird otherwise. Then she said goodbye to her friends, watched them head off into the cold, and made her way back into the castle.

Now, what to do? She could head to the library, or maybe see if Lupin had any new creatures in class. Sauron was going to have to be fed today too, so she'd do that in a bit. Or she could-


"There you are, dear old friend of ours."

She didn't even have to look to know who was speaking. She turned, finding Fred and George approaching her. "I'm surprised you two haven't left for Hogsmeade yet," she said in greeting.

"We have plans," said Fred with a grin, "but there's something we decided to do first."


"We have an early Christmas present for you!" George announced with a grin of his own. "We've been using it since first year-"

"-knicked it from Filch's office, as I recall-"

"-but honestly, we don't really need it anymore. We have it pretty much memorized and figured it would be a lot more useful to you."

Violet blinked, then raised a brow when Fred held out a rather old looking parchment that seemed to be folded. "And what is this, exactly?"

"This, darling Violet, is how my dear brother and I have been as successful as we have."

"Check it out." Pulling out his wand, George tapped the parchment. "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."

Violet watched, fascinated as lines of ink began to spread out from where George's wand had touched, flowing out over the entire parchment, forming- "A map?"

"Not just any map."

The girl took it as it was handed to her, examining it closely. Right on the top were the words 'Messers Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs are proud to present the Marauders' Map'. And yes, it certainly was a map-a map of Hogwarts, to be precise. A very detailed map of Hogwarts that showed not just the corridors and rooms, but the people inside as well. It showed exactly who they were, and where they were, and seemed to follow them as they moved.

"Salazar, this is amazing!" Violet breathed, feeling genuine awe. How had these people created such a thing? She hadn't thought something like this would even be possible. Magic really was just...just amazing, wasn't it? Then she looked up. "Why aren't you giving this to Rose?"

The Weasley twins exchanged a glance, and in unison said, "We'd rather you have it."

"We owe you for saving our sister's life-"

"-and besides, Rose has an Invisibility Cloak. It may not be as effective as it would be with the map, but she's already got a way to sneak around."

"You may not be able to be invisible, but so long as you're quiet and keep an eye on the map, you'll be fine."

"So we bequeath this to you!" they said simultaneously.

"Now, what you need to know is that there are seven secret passageways out of the castle," said Fred, pointing all of them out for her on the parchment. "Most of them lead into Hogsmeade."

"Filch definitely knows about these four," said George, tracing them with his finger. "But we're positive that he, and the other professors aren't aware of these three here. This one here's caved in though, so it can't be used. And this one's got the Whomping Willow over it, so obviously don't bother using that one either unless you want to get hurt. But this one here's safe, and leads into Honeydukes' cellar."

"So if it comes to sneaking out of Hogwarts, this one here's your best bet."

Violet looked up at the twins. "So what you're telling me, is that I can use this passage here to get into Hogsmeade."

"Yep. But you'll have to be careful if you go today."

"Since it's the last visit before the break, a lot of the professors go too, so it's possible you'll be caught."

"So just be careful if you do. And to clear the map, you just tap it and say 'mischief managed'. Make sure you remember-"

"-or else anyone could read the map."

And that was it. Violet thanked the twins, who merely responded with winks and cheeky smirks, before they turned and headed off, no doubt to make their own way to Hogsmeade.

Once they were out of sight, Violet refocused on the map in her hands. This was certainly a very valuable thing she had just been given, and was most definitely something she was going to use quite often. And while sneaking into Hogsmeade was something that was possible now, the twins were right in that today wasn't the best day to do it.

She had already seen more than one professor leave for the village herself, and it was unlikely that they would mistake her for her twin. They did look alike, of course, but there were still a couple of obvious differences between them. Maybe a first glance could be passed off, but not more than that.

So no, she wasn't going to go today, but that didn't mean she couldn't use this map to explore the castle more. Since everyone else was out in the village, she was less likely to be disturbed here.

Nodding to herself, Violet made her way back to Slytherin's common room so she could feed Sauron, and then brought him with her to explore (as he demanded when she told him what she was going to do)...

When Violet met up with Theodore and Hermione when they returned, both of them looked Disturbed. Hermione especially. Instantly, Violet's guard was up.

"What's...going on?" she asked cautiously.

The other two exchanged an equally cautious glance, before Hermione began to speak hesitantly.

"When we were at the Three Broomsticks, we both...overheard something..."

"Overheard what?" Violet asked curiously.

Hermione chewed on her bottom lip, but didn't answer, seemingly unsure of what to say or how to say it. Maybe that was why Theodore took over.

"McGonagall, Flitwick, Hagrid, and the Minister were talking to the owner of the Three Broomsticks. They were talking about Black. He was friends with your father-best friends, apparently."

Violet nodded. That wasn't all that surprising, since Black was her twin sister's godfather. Their parents would only have done that if Black was someone they really trusted. You didn't really make random old classmates the godparents of your children, after all.

"Black was the one who turned traitor and told the Dark Lord where your parents were hidden. According to McGonagall, Dumbledore had some sort of suspicion about Black, but your parents, your dad mostly, insisted Black was trustworthy and used him as their Secret-Keeper. Er, you know-"

"I know how the Fidelius charm works," Violet confirmed with a nod. She'd read it in a book not too long ago, so there was no need for it to be explained to her.

"Right, so no one would know where your house was unless Black himself told them. And I guess that's what happened. He ran after that, and the next day the whole thing with Pettigrew and the Muggles happened."

"Fudge said that even though Black spent so many years in Azkaban around the dementors, he seemed strangely normal," Hermione finally said. "That's...pretty much impossible, or should be, rather. I mean, even in Muggle prisons people who have been locked up for so long show some signs of being affected. And Black was locked in one of the worst cells to be locked in-they said there were dementors at his door almost constantly."

Slowly, Violet nodded. Sure, finding out Black was weirdly sane was kind of surprising, but that didn't explain why her friends were behaving so oddly. Surely it couldn't be because of this information. So she asked them what else was wrong. There had to be something else. And sure enough, they once again exchanged one of those cautious glances.

"We-we learned why Black isn't your godfather."


Theo sighed and dragged his fingers through his sandy coloured hair. "Black isn't your godfather, because Lupin is."

"...Ah." That was...genuinely surprising. Violet wasn't quite sure what to say. Lupin hadn't ever mentioned anything to her about this, but...hadn't he sort of...hinted at it? He didn't seem to care at all that she was in Slytherin, he had made an effort to speak to her in private-they'd had tea together, and he knew who her friends were by name too. "I-I wonder why he hasn't said anything?"

"Maybe because he's sick?" Theo suggested. "At first I thought it was because he didn't want to mix up his professional life with his personal one-like Professor Snape. He's Draco's godfather, but neither of them ever show or mention that. But that would only apply for this year. So I suppose it's possible the illness he has, whatever it is, makes him too weak to take care of a kid?"

Violet blinked, then cocked her head to one side. "That...makes sense, actually. It he does have a chronic illness like I think he does, then it's definitely possible that he's just physically, and maybe even financially incapable of taking care of a kid, me or not."

Theodore sighed. "But that doesn't really explain why he hasn't at least contacted you before, even if he couldn't take care of you."

"Yeah... Hermione? What's wrong?"

Having been oddly quiet for the last few minutes Hermione, looking hesitantly thoughtful, finally spoke. "You know...I sort of have a-a suspicion on what might be wrong with Professor Lupin."

"About his illness?"

"Yes. I-I'm not positive yet or anything, but I'm...beginning to wonder if he might be..."

"Be what?"

"A-a werewolf."

Violet just stared, but Theodore made a soft sound of understanding. "Actually, you could be right."


"Yes," he agreed with a nod. "I didn't really consider it before, but being a werewolf would explain a lot about Lupin. It's a really...straining thing. That could be why he always looks so tired, and why he looks older for his age and those grey hairs he's already getting. It would explain why he gets sick around the same time of the month, and why he always looks even worse when he comes back. And it would explain why he's hasn't said anything to you, Violet."

"Does it?"

Theodore nodded. "I guess you wouldn't know this, but werewolves don't have any actual legal rights in our world. Even if he was already a grown man when he was turned into one, he would have lost all those rights immediately."

Hermione looked scandalized. "What!? But that's horrible!"

"It's been like that for years, and was made worse by some Ministry hag when we were little-or maybe around the time we'd have been born. I'm not really sure. Either way, even if your parents named Lupin as your godfather, Violet, him being a werewolf means he has no actual rights over you. Actually, him taking care of you would be illegal. That could be why you were left in an orphanage-I don't know. And while I can't say for sure why he didn't contact you, I wouldn't be surprised if the werewolf thing had something to do with it. That is, if he really is a werewolf."

Slowly, Violet nodded. "How can we make sure? I don't really want to go asking him out of nowhere. Is there any way to prove it?"

"I can do more research," Hermione offered. "Like I said, I'm only suspecting he's a werewolf, but it's entirely possible that I'm wrong. I'd like to wait at least another month to see if he gets ill at the same time again. For now it could all just be a coincidence or a fluke. So I'd like to wait one more month to make sure."

That was fair, Violet agreed. She didn't quite understand this whole werewolf thing, and definitely was going to have to look into that more. But at the same time, she wanted to hear what Lupin had to say about all this himself...

The Christmas break started just a couple of days later, and Violet felt a Almost the entirety of the castle had returned home for the break, and Violet was the only girl in Slytherin who was still here. Theodore had stayed too, the two of them the only members of their House left in the castle. There were no Ravenclaws at all, a couple of first year Hufflepuffs, and the only Gryffindors here were Rose and Ron.

Yeah, that made things a little awkward.

Rose seemed perfectly content-Weasley too, but Violet and Theodore ignored them for the most part. It was almost as if they had called a truce for the break, without having discussed it or anything. Honestly, they were all fine with that. Violet had too many things on her mind right now to focus on her twin and her friend.

Christmas day itself passed normally a couple of days later, and it was during Christmas dinner that they really noticed how few were still in the castle.

A single table had been prepared and set for twelve-the six students, Dumbledore, McGonagall, Snape, Sprout, Filch, and Hagrid. Lupin wasn't there, and the Headmaster informed a curious Rose that the professor was ill again, but asked Snape if he had prepared 'the potion' for Lupin, the Potions Master confirming that he had.

Upon hearing this Violet and Theo exchanged a glance, and the boy nodded in response to the girl's unspoken question. Lupin had once more become ill around the full moon. The possibility of him being a werewolf was only growing. They were going to have to let Hermione know about this when she came back.

Neither of them noticed that Snape, sitting across them, had noticed their interaction, watching them with a small frown on his face...

Chapter Text

The rest of the Christmas break truly was uneventful. With only six students in the castle, two of them being shy first years, there really wasn't anything interesting going on at all, even if there were issues between the other four of them. The two Slytherins and the two Gryffindors mostly just kept to themselves, and honestly?-all four of them were enjoying the peace and quiet.

And since there was nothing going on with the students, the professors seemed to be content to leave them to their own devices, so long as they appeared for dinner in the Great Hall each evening. Other than that, it didn't seem to matter what they said or did. No one was complaining about that at all.

With Madam Pince away for the break as well, Violet approached Professor Snape about being allowed inside the library so she could borrow a couple of books. Violet wasn't sure why he didn't question her about that-didn't know if it was because she was who she was, or because he suspected what she wanted to research, but the man agreed, remaining in the library with her and checking out the books she had found after a bit of looking, with only a passing glance at their titles.

Both books were, of course, on the Patronus charm that Professor Lupin had promised he would teach her. Since Snape hadn't said anything, Violet took that to mean Lupin was right in that her attempting to cast the spell wasn't a dangerous thing. And while she did trust Lupin, the fact that Snape didn't find a problem with the spell was actually kind of reassuring. Maybe that was because he was her Head of House and had his own weird ways of showing concern. She honestly didn't know.

With Theodore spending the day doing his break homework, Violet (who was sort of procrastinating on that front), curled up in one of the armchairs by the fire in Slytherin's common room, Sauron napping by the hearth, and began to read one of the books she had just borrowed, already prepared to take notes...

Some time later, while Violet was lost in her research and notes, Sauron, awakening from his nap, decided he was bored. He didn't wish to disturb his new...companion-she was clearly quite busy, but he had no desire to simply lay here either. He would explore the castle more, he concluded. It had been some time since he had last been here, after all.

He slithered to the door, and hissed at it to open. When it had, he made his way out into the corridor where he began his exploration.

The floors were irritatingly cold in this place, the stone chilling his underside. The dungeons in particular were the coldest in the entire castle, he knew, so it was sure to warm up a little once he was out of it.

And not very long after he had, when he was just past the Entrance Hall, he encountered a human-the one in the shabby clothing. Ah, yes, Lupin his name was, wasn't it? He stopped where he was.

Lupin stopped too, looking down at him. Then he hesitated for a moment and knelt down. "Does Violet know you've left the common room, Sauron?" he inquired.

Raising his head off the ground, Sauron shook it as well as he could. It surprised him that he could smell no fear coming off this man. He was a little nervous, yes, but certainly not frightened. How strange. He looked ill, but smelled tired and somewhat weak. He could tell the human was not just human-was something more than human, but he was unable to determine what exactly that non human side of him was.

Lupin smiled gently. "You shouldn't be out for too long then. It's cold in here, and Violet will worry if you're gone for a long time."

This time Sauron nodded. Lupin then conjured a rather tasty looking mouse for him, which squeaked in fear before running off. If the serpent could have smirked, he would have done so right now as he shot off after the mouse.

He didn't always understand human speech. There were some humans he was able to understand more than others (like Violet, or her Theodore friend), and others he was unable to understand at all (like Violet's Hermione friend), but his understanding of Lupin had more to do with the man's beast blood, whatever the beast was...

After his meal, Sauron continued his exploration, recalling Lupin's words of not staying out for too much longer. He would return once he reached the end of this corridor, he decided. It truly was cold here, and the hearth in the common room suddenly looked a lot more welcoming to him, bored or not.

And then he smelled a rat. A strange rat that smelled human more than it did rat. What in Basilisk's name was that? Curious, he followed the scent for a few minutes, never coming across the...thing, whatever it was, and soon enough lost track of it. The scent must have been older than he had been thinking.

Unable to find this scent again, he returned to Slytherin's common room, once more curling up by the hearth, Violet still in the midst of her readings. Sauron still wasn't sure what the smell had been, or why it had smelled both rat and human, the latter more than the former.

How curious...

Nothing else really happened over the break, at least nothing particularly important or eventful, and it wasn't long before all the other students returned, filling up the corridors with their noise yet again. ...How unfortunate.

Classes began the very next day as well, everything continuing on as if there hadn't been a two week long break at all. But at least they had finally actually begun studying runes in Ancient Runes, though they were only on the basic of the basic of them. Still, the progress was nice, minimal though it was.

Either way, Violet had a feeling that if her rune really was, well, a rune, then it wasn't something she was going to learn about any time soon. She supposed that wasn't a huge deal or anything. If learning about it now meant she wasn't going to understand anything about it thanks to her lack of knowledge on the subject, then learning it later, once she knew more, made a lot more sense, didn't it? Unless it was something that did come up earlier, which she kind of doubted was going to happen.

Technically she could probably try to look it up in a book or something, regardless of what year she was in (unless the book was in the restricted section and no one wanted to give her permission to read it, though she could always sneak over using the map the Weasley twins had given her), but...did she really want to do that right now? What if it turned out that the rune was something bad?

The rune on her skin had always been something that...well, not exactly defined her, but was something she had always considered a part of her. It was one of those things that had made her different from everyone else, which she had taken great solace in back at the orphanage and at primary school, where she had been alone more often than not. She had always considered it to be a good thing-mostly because there hadn't been many of those back then. And if it turned out that it was something bad, something horrible, something best gotten rid of... She didn't know if she wanted to find that out just yet.

Professor Lupin called Violet back as she began to leave the classroom after her next Defence lesson, telling her he had finally managed to catch up on all his urgent work and now had some free time, if she still wanted to learn the Patronus charm. She did, of course, especially after all the research she had done on it.

They spoke for a moment longer, deciding when and where, and once that was finalized, Violet left the room, feeling rather pleased. She really did want to learn how to cast this spell, though she didn't know if she was even going to be able to. The books had said the same thing Lupin had. The spell wasn't dangerous to cast in any way. It just took a lot of magic and focus-more than what children her age were capable of. That didn't mean it would be impossible for her to cast it, just that it was bound to be awfully difficult.

But that was fine. Violet liked having a challen-


"Oh, hello Violet. How've you been?"

"Alright. What about you? What're you doing out here?" They were standing in the middle of one of Hogwarts' many corridors, this one not to far from the DADA classroom.

"I'm doing okay. And I'm looking for Trevor. He's gotten away from me again." He sighed sorrowfully, glancing around. "Have you seen him anywhere?"

She shook her head. "I'm sorry, but I haven't. Do you want some help looking for him?"

Neville smiled shyly. "No, that's alright, but thank you. He'll find me once he's hungry. That's what he always does. Oh...but, um, if you could maybe tell your snake not to eat him..."

Violet laughed, unable to help herself. "Don't worry. He won't, but I'll let him know anyway." Sauron didn't care for toads. At least not as food. He preferred mice. But she knew he wandered around the castle a lot. Maybe she would ask him to just keep an eye out for Trevor...

That Thursday at eight in the evening, Violet stepped into the darkened History of Magic classroom. Lupin wasn't here yet, so she lit the lamp and settled down to wait. Today was going to be her first lesson in casting the Patronus. She was feeling a little nervous. ...No, nervous wasn't the right word. Anxious, perhaps?

Fortunately, she didn't have to focus on this feeling for very long. Professor Lupin entered the room with a rather large crate just five minutes later, greeting her as he set it down on the desk, explaining that he had managed to find another boggart hidden in the castle. This was what they were going to use for practice.

"The boggart will turn into a dementor for you," he told her. "When it does that, it'll have the same characteristics as an actual dementor, only less...severe, for a lack of better terms. Casting the Patronus on a dementor shaped boggart in the middle of a lit classroom will be far easier than doing the same on the real thing, but it's a good place to begin, especially considering your age and the current approximate size of your magical core." He rolled up his sleeves and pulled out his wand. "Now, have you read up on the spell?"

Violet nodded. "I did. The spell basically conjures a guardian of sorts, doesn't it? And it's like a shield that'll block the dementor. And it's made of the same things dementors feed on, but can't feel any negativity like humans can, which means the dementors can't actually harm it."

Lupin smiled. "Exactly that. Patronus' are cast with positive memories and intentions. To conjure one, you must focus all your attention on a single happy-a single very happy memory. The stronger your happiness towards this memory, the stronger your Patronus will be, or in your case, the stronger the chance will be for you to conjure one in the first place."

And this was where Violet's confidence wavered. She doubted she was going to be able to conjure the Patronus on her first try, but if needing extremely happy memories was how she was supposed to do it, she wasn't sure she was going to be able to conjure it at all! Happy things were kind of a rarity in her life.

What memory in her life was happy enough to conjure up a Patronus? She'd been thinking about this for days now-ever since she had read about this particular thing during her research, but she still couldn't come up with anything. Honestly, her mind kept going back to one particular thing, but it wasn't exactly a good memory.

"Are you ready to try? Do you know the incantation?"

She nodded and pulled out her wand, her jaw set. She watched Lupin open the case, and watched as a dementor rose out from within it. She could already feel its affects, even though she knew it wasn't even a real dementor. But she was already beginning to shiver, and the flames in the lamps were flickering out one by one, and everything was starting to go dim.

She tightened her grip on her wand and tried to speak the incantation, but it was only seconds later that she began to hear the screaming again. The screaming, and the pleading.


She jerked forward and realized she was laying on the ground, Lupin kneeling beside her, pale and concerned. He helped her up, and before Violet even knew it, she was telling him what she had just heard. If anything, the professor only paled more. He asked her then if she wanted to stop, but Violet refused immediately.

She had never expected to succeed the first time, but she was hardly about to give up without really having had had the proper chance to try. So she accepted and ate the Chocolate Frog that was handed to her, and then rose up to her feet, wand once more clenched in hand tightly.

But things didn't go any better this second time. The same feeling filled the room, the same cold chilling her from the inside-everything was the same, except for the voice. The voice was different this time, belonging to a man instead of a woman.

"Lily, get to the kids! It's him! Run! I'll hold him off!"

And then she was waking on the cold, stone floor again, Lupin once more at her side. He helped her up again, and they sat facing one another for a long moment before the girl was able to speak.

"I-I heard dad, I think."

Lupin's entire body sort of...jerked in response to that. "You...heard James?"

She knew why he was asking, but only nodded in answer. They were quiet for another moment as she ate more chocolate, and the second she was finished, she said, "I want to try again."


"I want to try again."

Lupin regarded her closely. "Very well," he conceded. "But only once more. At least for tonight. We can try again next week. Alright?"

"Yes. I understand."

And again they stood, and again the crate was opened, and again the dementor shaped boggart rose up from inside it, and again Violet tried her hardest to focus and cast the spell. But this time, something different happened.

A whisp of silver emerged from the end of Violet's wand, causing the dementor-boggart to recoil slightly. But Violet didn't even notice, because just a second later she dropped her wand and fell to her knees, screaming.

Alarmed, Lupin quickly returned the boggart to its crate and dropped down beside the girl. She was still screaming, her face contorted in pain, and her hand was trying to grip-no!

He scooped her up immediately and practically ran to the Hospital Wing, Violet's cries fading into quiet sobs, before silencing altogether as the pain caused her to finally, mercifully, fall unconscious.


"Remus? What on earth are you-" The Medi-Witch cut herself off the instant she saw the girl cradled in his arms. "Come on. But her down here. Gently now. What's happened?" she questioned, even as she ran her wand over the prone figure, casting a diagnostic charm.

Worried and terrified, Remus explained what they had been doing. "The first two times she passed out were due to the dementor's influence and nothing I didn't expect. I was reluctant to allow her to try a third time, but you know as well as I do that attempting to cast the spell itself is harmless-only draining. She was able to produce something the third time, just a shapeless mist, but then she began to scream. She was clutching at her middle, where-"

"Where her magical core is, yes, I see." Poppy frowned, casting a few more complicated spells. "The Patronus certainly does require a lot of magic to cast, but there's no reason for it to have depleted her core to the point of pain, unless her core is smaller than it should be. Has she had trouble casting other spells?"

Remus shook his head, rubbing his hand over his face restlessly. "Not that I've seen. Minerva mentioned something in passing, but didn't seem to think it was odd. Filius has as well, now that I think about it. I haven't heard anything from her other professors, but she wouldn't have a need to cast very strong spells in any of her other classes just yet."

Poppy made a thoughtful sound, which was quickly followed by a sound of surprise, and then confusion. "What in the world...?"


The woman hesitated, more out of confusion than anything else. "I can't be sure, feels as if there's something...attached to her magical core."

"A-attached? What do you mean?"

"I...don't know," the woman admitted. "This isn't my field. I have very little experience with this sort of thing. Other Medi-Wizards wouldn't either, not on this sort of thing. I think our best bet here would be to get a goblin to examine her. They are the ones who deal with strange things like this. It's either them or the Department of Mysteries, and though the goblins charge a fair amount-"

"I'd much rather deal with the goblins." He didn't trust the Ministry at all.

Poppy nodded. "Then I'll go contact them now. She's going to remain unconscious, I don't doubt. It's for the best, in any case. Even with...whatever this thing is, sleep will help her recover, at least a little."

Remus watched her go, then turned back to his young goddaughter, a frown on his face. She looked as if she was sleeping peacefully, showing no signs of her earlier, excruciating pain, and for that he was grateful.

He wasn't entirely sure what Poppy had meant, but as far as he knew, there really shouldn't have been anything wrong with Violet's magic. There were diseases out there that could be behind this, but Violet, like her twin sister, had been vaccinated against all of them before James and Lily's deaths.

Whatever this was, was something that had happened after that point. But 'attached'? What in Godric's name did that mean?

Chapter Text

It was only a few minutes before Poppy returned to the room, an elderly goblin in tow. He looked quite solemn, his eyes dark and his back bowed a little, but he kept up with the Medi-Witch's slower pace, listening intently as she spoke to him, recounting what Remus had told her, and what she had learned herself.

When they came to a stop at Violet's bedside, the goblin stared down at the girl for a long, silent moment, and then raised his gnarled hand over her and began to chant in his own tongue.

A strange glow enveloped Violet's entire body, but the goblin continued chanting. As he did so, Remus realized that the glow was shrinking, narrowing down to a single point until it was only visible in one spot, over Violet's mid section-over her magical core.

The goblin frowned and cut his chant off part way to chant something else instead. The glow over Violet's magical core began to pulsate slowly, keeping a steady pace-almost akin to a heartbeat. What was this? What did it mean?

Remus looked to the goblin again, but his frown had deepened. Poppy herself was watching him, a deep frown of her own locked on her face. Remus clenched his fists reflexively. He was getting the feeling that this was going to be worse than he was thinking.

After what surely must have been ten minutes, the goblin's rhythmic chanting ceased and he lowered his hand, once more simply gazing at Violet, frowning. After a long minute of silence, he finally spoke.

"This girl has had a strange spell cast upon her." He didn't even look up, eyes still locked on Violet. "It has been siphoning her magic from her magical core, as a parasite would do."


The goblin glanced at Remus, and then back down at Violet. "Yes, however, instead of feeding the parasite, her magic is being delivered to another-someone who has a...connecting spell cast upon their own magical core. I cannot say who this may be, or how long it has been there for. This has been weakening her magic, and is why said magic has been more unstable than it should be for a witch of this age. It is why she felt such pain and collapsed after attempting the patronus charm. Because of this parasitic spell, her core does not, at present, contain enough magic to cast something so powerful. Without the parasite, it is possible that she would be successful."

"Can it be removed?" asked Poppy, her hands folding together tensely.

The goblin inclined his head. "For a price, yes."

"How will removing it affect her? And whoever it's connected to? What about them?"

"There will be no negative effects on Miss Potter," the goblin said. "With the parasite gone, her core will be able to regulate her magic at a proper rate, so the fluctuation of her magic that is not being caused by her age and lack of skill will disappear. She should, however, avoid casting anything high levelled for some days. As for the one with the connector... They have been receiving a steady increase of magic on a consistent basis thanks to this spell. Upon its removal, that increase will, of course, stop. Depending on tune they are with their magic, they may notice themselves as somewhat weaker, or have trouble casting certain spells, but that will all depend on who they are and the current maturity of their magic."

Right now, Remus didn't give a damn who the spell was connected to. He just wanted it gone. Now. "How soon can it be removed?"

"I can take care of it here and now, if you wish," the goblin replied promptly. "I do, however, require the consent of Miss Potter or a guardian of hers. I understand that she is an orphan, and as such, her parents cannot offer anything themselves, but the payment can be removed from one of her vaults, so she does not have to pay us on the spot. We can take the payment owed ourselves."

Remus nodded here. He had no say over Violet's money, and was aware that both she and Rose had been left multiple vaults, though while underage they only had access to their trust ones. If the payment could be taken from a vault other than Violet's trust vault (which was specifically meant to last for her childhood and teenage days), then that was much better. But as for a guardian...

"I am Violet's godfather," said Remus. He hesitated, then added, "Though our law doesn't consider me so."

The goblin eyed him closely, no doubt aware of his true nature. "Does magic consider you as her godfather?"

Remus nodded immediately. The moment he had accepted James and Lily's offer to be Violet's godfather, magic itself had solidified that bond. Even if the law didn't recognize that (and there was nothing he could do on that particular aspect), it didn't change the fact itself.

"Then your permission will do. Do you wish for this parasitic spell to be removed from the magical core of Violet Alice Potter?"

"I do, yes."

The goblin nodded now and closed his eyes. "Very well. Then I shall began." He turned back to Violet, bringing both of his hands out over her middle. He started speaking, the words leaving him in a steady stream before they turned into a low chanting.

The entire Hospital Wing was silent, save for this strange, low chanting, neither Remus nor Poppy speaking, their eyes remaining locked on Violet, searching for any signs of pain or discomfort.

But there were none. Violet remained as she was, pale but still, even as the goblin finally fell silent. He gestured for the Medi-Witch to examine the girl again, and Poppy did so immediately.

"It's gone," she reported. "I see no signs of the parasite on her."

"Then my job here has been completed," said the goblin. "I will see to the payment when I return to the bank. She will wake in some hours, but should refrain from using any magic for twenty four hours, and from using spells beyond her year for the next seven days. After that she may do as she desires, and should face no problems with her magic beyond the natural ones that should improve themselves with age. I cannot say what will become of the one the parasite was connected to. It will depend on their age."

And that seemed to be that. Remus and Poppy thanked the goblin, and Poppy walked him back to the floo, leaving the lyncanthrope alone with his goddaughter.

He wasn't sure what he had expected to happen when Violet had reacted in such pain earlier, and had certainly been alarmed to find out about the spell, but he was beyond relieved that the parasite was gone and Violet was safe.

In fact, now that he knew that, he found himself beginning to wonder who had cast the strange spell in the first place. Had it been connected to that same person? Even if it hadn't been, why do this at all? Why attempt to weaken Violet? What was the benefit of weakening her of all people to strengthen another? Why did they want the unstable magic of a child strengthening them?

The Hospital Wing was quiet when Violet woke. She lay where she was, blinking slowly as she recalled what had happened, and why she was here. All she remembered was feeling an intense amount of pain when she had been trying to cast the patronus charm, and Professor Lupin being very worried and carrying her out of the room. She had passed out after that, she was sure. But what exactly had happened-what had caused her pain, she wasn't sure.

She felt...different though. Frowning, she poked her belly. Right there, something was different from before she had passed out. It wasn't her rune-that wasn't in the centre there, and that felt the way it always did. She wasn't quite sure what this difference was, just that it was...odd. A good sort of odd, though she couldn't really describe it.

Brushing it off for the time being, mostly just because she really had to pee, Violet carefully sat up, and it was only seconds later that Madam Pomfrey came bustling over to her.

"Feeling any pain? Any discomfort?"

"No, erm, I'm just a little light headed, but that's it."

The woman nodded, running her wand over Violet, scanning . After a moment, she nodded to herself. "You'll be here on bed rest until tomorrow morning. I must ask you not to use any magic until then as well-for your own safety. Go freshen up. I'll have breakfast sent up for you."

Violet only had the time to blink before Madam Pomfrey was already bustling away, leaving her sitting there in bemusement. What in the world was even happening? Why was she even here? What had that pain been?

Unable to ask right now, Violet slipped out of bed with a soft sound of discomfort, pausing when her head spun, though it faded quickly, fortunately, allowing her to make her way across the large room and into the bathroom, where she took care of business and washed her face and rinsed her mouth.

As she left the bathroom a few minutes later, Violet noticed that the light headedness had disappeared, and she felt pretty alright now. She wasn't really sure why she couldn't use her magic today, but she supposed she wouldn't have been told that if it wasn't important.

"Theo?" Sitting in the chair at her bedside was Theodore, who turned relieved blue eyes on her when she approached, getting back in bed. "What're you doing here?"

Theodore raised a brow. "Do you seriously have to ask?"

Unable to help herself, Violet cracked a smile. "No, I guess not." She pulled the covers up over her legs, then said, "How'd you know I was here?"

"Lupin told me and Hermione. He said he knew we'd be wondering where you were."

"Did...he say why I was here?"

Theo frowned. "Not really. He said something unexpected happened when you were practising the patronus charm, but that it wasn't because of the spell itself. He assured us that you were okay, but needed rest, and said it was alright if we came by to see you. So...what happened?"

Violet frowned now too. "I...I don't really know."

"You don't?"

She told her friend what little she knew-just what had happened during her lesson with Professor Lupin and on the way to the Hospital Wing, and what Madam Pomfrey had told her about not using her magic until tomorrow, but emphasized that that was all she knew about it.

Theodore didn't seem particularly pleased. Leaning back in his seat, he folded his arms across his chest, a furrow in his brow. "Why aren't they saying anything?"

"I don't know," said Violet with a shake of her head. "I really don't. But it's kind of starting to piss me off."

"Yeah, I can't blame you there," the boy agreed with an annoyed sigh.

The two were quiet for a moment before Violet spoke again, her voice curious. "Where's Hermione?"

"Trying to get more information out of Lupin."

"Oh." Chewing the inside of her cheek, Violet wondered if the man would give her the answer if she asked him. No one had told her anything yet, but she hadn't really asked yet either, so maybe that was why.

Regardless, it wasn't too long before a concerned Hermione arrived in the Hospital Wing as well, asking Violet if she was alright, but also adding that Lupin hadn't really told her anything. All that did was make the Girl-Who-Lived even more curious about what answer she would get if she asked herself...

As Madam Promfrey had said, Violet remained in the infirmary for the rest of the day, and spent the night there too, before being discharged after a gross breakfast of sludgy, flavourless porridge the next morning-just in time for the start of the weekend.

Today was Saturday, and also happened to be the next Quidditch match-Slytherin versus Ravenclaw. Slytherin won, fortunately, but it was a pretty narrow thing, which wasn't quite as good.

Either way, the days after that seemed to pass rather uneventfully, though Violet did still make note of a few strange things.

Hagrid, and more precisely, the Hippogriff that had 'attacked' Malfoy a bit ago was apparently in trouble, Malfoy having gone and complained to his father about the incident. Though the boy was in her House and a friend of Theo's, Violet felt far worse for Buckbeak than she did for Malfoy when it came to this particular situation. Hopefully it wasn't something that was going to get any worse.

The weather turning colder seemed to really bother Sauron, but it seemed to be more because of the season than it did the actual cold, which Violet thought to be awfully strange.

Weasley's pet rat was apparently getting quite ill, though that was something Violet only had a passing curiosity in, mostly since he had taken to blaming Hermione's new cat Crookshanks for his rat's...ailment.

Hermione herself was somehow still managing to attend all of her lessons without trouble, even the ones that seemed to take place during the exact same time as another, which seemed more than a little impossible.

And evidently, Rose had been gifted a rather fancy broom or something, which had been confiscated for fear of it having been sent by Black of all people, which was honestly pretty odd.

But perhaps the strangest thing of all was occurring to Violet herself. Her magic felt...different. She didn't know what it was exactly, or even how to pinpoint it, but there was definitely something different about her magic. If she had to put it into words, the only way she could describe it was that it felt And this was something that had only changed after the incident with the strange, intense pain from not long ago. Had that pain led to this...freeness?

She had asked both Madam Pomfrey and Professor Lupin about what had happened, and they both had just said that it had something to do with her magic, and that she didn't need to worry about it. Lupin, at least, had seemed apologetic about it, adding that he was still trying to figure out what had happened, and that he would explain it in time, once he had the answers himself, so that at least was good.

But Violet had few answers for any of her questions, and so time continued to pass. January turned to February, and nothing seemed to change, not even Violet's progress in the patronus lessons she was taking with Professor Lupin.

She had been forced to skip a week, thanks to whatever had happened to her, but the week after that the lessons had resumed. During her second one, she had managed to produce a bit of silver mist-something she was told she had managed to do at the end of the first lesson as well, though she obviously didn't remember that.

And now, in her third lesson with Lupin, though she could now produce the mist on her first attempt at casting the spell, and didn't seem to hear the voices of her parents or faint, it was all she could do, and that was really, really annoying.

"You're putting too much pressure on yourself," said Lupin suddenly, as if having read her mind. "This is your third week-third day, rather, attempting to cast the spell and being able to produce even a vapour so soon is truly something to be proud of."

"But it's not as strong-"

"It isn't, no, but it's still early. If you were to be attacked directly-like on the train, then you would be able to buy yourself some time at least. And if you keep practising then I have absolutely no doubt at all that you will be able to cast a fully formed one soon enough. You've been doing so well, Violet."

Feeling a little embarrassed, Violet scratched her arm absently, avoiding the man's gaze, not really sure of what to say to him. He was giving her praise so freely. That wasn't something she was particularly used to, and yeah, it was pretty awkward.

Keeping her eyes lowered deliberately, she didn't notice Lupin's smile of amusement...

It was the day after that third lesson with Lupin that Violet heard something that genuinely caught her off guard. The source was Rose and Weasley, which wasn't surprising, as the two tended to be everywhere, speaking of things that really should have been kept quiet, in public places. No, the source wasn't surprising, but the information most definitely was.

Rose was no longer capable of speaking or understanding Parseltongue.

Violet shamelessly eavesdropped after that, curious to learn more. She had done some research on the ability the previous year, after learning there was a name for it, and from what she had read, the ability was something passed along through blood and wasn't something that could just be learned and forgotten like other normal languages.

But Rose claimed that she really couldn't do it anymore. That she had encountered a large snake in the castle dungeons (Sauron, no doubt), and had tried to tell him to get out of her way, but the words were only leaving her in English. And then the snake had said something to her in turn, but it had been a series of hisses, and she hadn't been able to understand a thing.

"I honestly have no idea what happened, but I'm actually glad I can't speak it or understand it anymore. I really hated it."

Violet hurried to find Sauron after that, asking him if he had encountered Rose recently, and sure enough-

"I saw her, yes-your...twin. I understood little when she attempted to speak to me, and it was clear to me that she was unable to understand me either when I tried to speak to her. I thought you said she could?"

Yes, this was certainly strange news. News Violet wasn't really sure what to feel about. On one hand, it was really weird that Rose was seemingly no longer a Parselmouth, something she hadn't thought possible. But on the other hand, she was actually sort of...pleased. Pleased Rose no longer had the ability too.

It wasn't too long after that that the next Quidditch match took place-Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw. Violet woke with a bit of a headache that morning, and honestly probably would have skipped the match if the Weasley twins hadn't been playing in it. She liked them. They were funny and sweet, and had given her a most useful gift that she really did need to use more often.

The first thing she noticed when she took her seat in the stands was that the Gryffindors seemed to be far more excited than usual, and it wasn't long before she realized why. Rose had gotten her new, fancy broom back-one Malfoy was all to happy to tell her about.

Gryffindor won the match, which had the Slytherin section booing and jeering, though Violet herself didn't join in. She didn't cheer either though. There were only two people on that team she cared for, after all, and she could always speak to them in private later on, if she wanted.

The entire castle-mostly, seemed to be in high spirits that night, coming off the high of a Quidditch match. Most of the students stayed up late, chatting with their friends and House mates, and all in all, Hogwarts seemed to be a mostly cheerful place that night. At least until Black decided it was a good idea to break into Gryffindor's common room.

The cheer that had been floating through the castle was completely overtaken by a thick blanket of confusion and fear. Just like Halloween night, everyone was sent to gather in the Great Hall with very little explanation, and it was only then that the story started coming out-the Lions themselves telling the others what they knew, or heard had happened.

Sirius Black had indeed somehow managed to get into Gryffindor Tower, and in fact, all the way up into the third year boy's dorm, for some strange reason or another. It was Weasley who had spotted him, having woken to the escaped convict standing over him, a knife in hand. Weasley had cried out at the sight, and Black had fled immediately after, rushing out of the Tower. That was Weasley's account of things, if one were inclined to believe him, at least.

Violet wasn't entirely sure what to think though, and Theodore and Hermione (the latter of whom had come to join them in the Hall when they had all first entered) agreed with her. Weasley was Weasley, after all. He didn't have much of a reason to lie, aside of wanting attention, but with Black after Rose, a lie like that didn't seem all that likely, unless he was that desperate for the attention to be on him.

But if he was telling the truth, then why had Black entered the boy's dorm? He couldn't get to Rose in her own dorm simply because it was a girl's dorm, and males, according to Hermione, weren't allowed to enter. Only Slytherin students had their own rooms, mostly thanks to their House founder and namesake being an extremely paranoid and private person. While they themselves had to give permission to anyone wishing to enter their room (other than the Headmaster, Deputy Head, and their Head of House), everyone else shared dorms, and males (with the same exceptions as before) weren't allowed to enter the girl's ones, though girls could still enter the male's, which was pretty strange.

So it wasn't odd that Black hadn't gone into the third year girl's dorms, just because he couldn't, but that didn't explain his strange visit to the boy's dorms. What reason did he have for going up there? Weasley was claiming it was because he was Rose's best friend, and Black wanted to kill him because of that, but Violet didn't think that was very likely.

Black was a wanted criminal-a man who was to be Kissed by Dementors on sight. If he really was after Rose, was he really going to sneak into and through the castle just so he could kill Rose's friend, even if it was a best friend? Maybe Black had been a Gryffindor back in the day, but that was such an...unnecessary and dangerous thing to do, even for a reckless Gryffindor.

So why exactly had Black done something like that? Why had he gone into the boy's dorm? The third year boy's dorm, at that? There had to be a reason there, right? There was no way he could have confused it for something else. He had spent seven entire years in Gryffindor Tower, after all.

So what was the reason? What exactly had happened? What had he been thinking? Because the more she thought about it, the more Violet began to question things-things she knew, things she didn't know, and it wasn't long before a particular thought began nagging at her.

If Black wasn't as crazy as everyone thought he was, if Weasley's story was true (for the most part), if Black really had deliberately entered that particular dorm for a very specific reason...were people wrong? Was everyone wrong?

Was it possible that Sirius Black maybe wasn't actually targeting Rose at all?

Chapter Text

Just like after Halloween, Sirius Black was all the occupants of Hogwarts talked about for the next little while. Violet was no exception to that, though her words were far different than what others were saying. Because now that she had that nagging thought about Black's possible true motives, she couldn't stop thinking about it.

She spent an irritatingly long time focused on these thoughts, to a point where it even started affecting her school work, which honestly seemed to bother Hermione more than it did Violet-though it certainly did bother her too. Still, it was incredibly frustrating having so many thoughts and questions, but being unable to truly understand them.

She told both Theodore and Hermione of these thoughts and suspicions she had, but while curious and confused, neither of them had much insight on what was going on either, which certainly wasn't surprising. Because really, if Black hadn't made any sort of mistake at all, and had known exactly what he had been doing, and where he had been going, and who he had been standing over, what in the world did he want with Ron Weasley of all people...?

That was Violet's biggest question, and the one neither she, nor anyone else it seemed, had the answer to.

But even as the days went by, Violet still couldn't help but think that things here were somehow...deeper?-than everyone was thinking. Everyone seemed to think, seemingly without question, that Sirius Black was either after Rose, or Violet, or even the both of them, and not a single person questioned that-not even the Headmaster, as far as Violet knew.

Violet still had the thought in her mind that perhaps that wasn't quite the case, and decided that there was only one person in the castle-one adult in the castle, who might understand where she was coming from, or maybe even be able to give her more insight on why she had this particular nagging suspicion in mind.

So before her next patronus lesson with Professor Lupin, Violet stopped him before he could open the crate carrying the boggart in it, telling him she had something she really wanted to ask him.

Lupin immediately began locking the crate back up, not wanting the boggart to escape where neither of them were paying attention, just to be safe. "Of course. What is it?" he asked as he did this.

"Is Sirius Black really after Rose?"

Lupin froze. For a moment he didn't move. Then, making sure the crate was properly secure, he turned around slowly, a frown on his face. "Why would you ask me that?"

"...You were friends once, weren't you? He's Rose's godfather, and you've mentioned you were friends with mum and dad. It's only logical you and Black were close too." She should have added that she knew he was her godfather as well, that she knew her mum and dad had chosen both him and Black, but something about the look in Lupin's eyes told her that that wasn't something she really ought to be bringing up just yet. She wasn't sure she even wanted to right now.

"We were...close once, yes," Lupin said slowly, clearly thinking out and weighing each word carefully before he said them out loud. "Your father, Black, and I, along with a boy named Peter were once close friends. A long time ago now. It's-it's not worth dwelling on any longer. ...Why do you believe Black isn't after your sister?"

"He nearly attacked Weasley, didn't he? How could he have possibly mistaken the boys's dorm for the girl's? Especially since he probably wouldn't have been able to get into the girl's dorms anyway? Aren't the girls' dorms warded against men or boys or whatever?"

Lupin frowned again, but didn't look all too bothered by what she was suggesting. "He spent twelve years in a small cell that was heavily and constantly guarded by dementors. It isn't difficult to assume that his mind isn't...isn't all there anymore."

But Violet wasn't convinced, and lowered down onto a nearby desk. "That doesn't make sense though," she protested firmly. "He's sane enough to break out of Azkaban-being the first to do so, apparently, and he's sane enough to travel all the way to Hogwarts. He's sane enough to get into the castle, and up to Gryffindor Tower, and into Gryffindor Tower, but he's too insane to figure out he'd gone up to the boy's dorm when the goddaughter he's supposedly trying to kill is a girl, and very likely sleeping in the girl's dorm?"

"There's no way to know how a killer's mind works."

Violet didn't buy that either though. "Anyone can kill. I don't think him being a crazed killer means very much here. I think he's a lot more sane than people are giving him credit for being."

Lupin's frown only deepened as he looked at her. "...Then you believe he had a reason for going into the dorm he did? Is that what you're saying? What reason would he have to want to attack Ron?"

Here was where Violet had no particular thought or answer, and here was where she found herself to be most confused. Everything else could be explained in some way, either to support her thoughts or disprove them, but why Weasley of all people? There were two or three other boys in that same dorm room, right? So why choose Weasley out of all of them?

"I don't know," she answered honestly. A bit annoyed with herself for even bringing the topic up in the first place (especially since doing so hadn't really even led to anything), she stood again and pulled out her wand, moving into her usual position for these lessons. "Maybe he just doesn't like Weasleys. Maybe he thought Weasley's obnoxious snoring was annoying. Maybe he just wanted to put Weasley's sick rat out of its misery. Who knows what he was after?" She shoved her hair out of her eyes, then said, "You can open the crate-I'm ready to star-um, are you alright, Professor? You look really pale all of a sudden."

Lupin blinked, as if having been startled out of his thoughts. "N-no, er, it's fine, I'm fine." He cleared his throat. "You are ready to begin?"

Violet frowned and cocked her head, but nodded and tightened her grip on her wand, turning her attention back to the crate before her. She was determined to do this today. It had been long enough since she had begun practising. How much longer could it possibly take to properly summon a patronus?

As it turned out though, today wasn't any better than any of the previous days. Once again all she was able to produce was a bit of vague, silvery vapour, which only annoyed Violet even more. It was unfortunate that she couldn't practice this particular spell on her own whenever she wanted-mostly for her own safely, but this was serious starting to get frustrating. She felt like she was making no progress at all! Was she really going to be able to do this?

The next few days were mostly quiet. People still occasionally spoke about Black, but even that talk had started to die down. Violet herself still often thought about Black and what was going on, but she had mostly turned her attention back to her classes, or was simply hanging out with Theo. Hermione was always so busy that she was rarely free to do much even on weekends, so unfortunately, they didn't see her very much.

Really, Violet was still wondering how Hermione was managing to get to all her classes. Even after she dropped Divination, which honestly wasn't much of a surprise, because Hermione had been quite vocal in her dislike and disdain for the subject, she was still taking so many classes, some of which still overlapped with one another.

Theodore seemed to have a suspicion about what was going on, but since he wasn't entirely sure just yet, he kept that suspicion to himself for the time being.

The only new news that came around was that Hagrid was having a hard time thanks to Lucius Malfoy. He wanted Buckbeak to be executed, and Hagrid, naturally, wanted to avoid that. Rose and Ron were apparently helping Hagrid deal with that, and Violet honestly hoped it worked. Draco Malfoy's idiocy was not worth the horrible price of the death of an innocent animal.

As the Easter holidays approached, the temperature finally began to rise, but with the third years saddled with far too much homework for some reason, none of them were even able to enjoy the new, nice weather, which was truly unfortunate. One thing that surprised Violet though, was the number of older Slytherin students who approached her, offering to tutor her in various spells and potion brewing that they thought she would like to know, and figured she would be capable of actually learning right now.

Always eager to learn, Violet accepted the offers with little thought, starting to learn a fair few charms, hexes, jinxes, potions, and a few other things that she decided could come in handy at some point...

Things didn't change very much even after classes started up again after the break. There were still occasional whispers about Sirius Black, but most of the students seemed to have moved on, having found more interesting things on their minds. Like the upcoming Quidditch match, for example-the final match of the year actually, that was pitting the Slytherin team against the Gryffindor one for rights to the Quidditch Cup.

The rivalry between the two Houses only grew more intense as the match drew closer, until even students from both Houses who weren't interested in Quidditch were getting cornered and assaulted in the corridors. Violet thought it all to be kind of idiotic. She liked Quidditch too, of course, and certainly wanted Slytherin to win the Cup, but attacking people like this? That was just stupid and childish. Worse than childish, really. And she told Theodore just that when they were seated in their common room one evening some days later, expressing her disdain with the way everyone seemed to be acting recently.

She didn't realize that a number of the older Slytherins had overheard her, and had begun spreading her words and opinion around among themselves. Violet did notice that the attacks from most of the Slytherins stopped a few days later, mostly only taking place in self-defence, but she had no idea it was because of her-because of the respect some of them held for her.

That respect was still mostly because of her being a Parselmouth, but they were sure she was going to get stronger. Maybe she hadn't noticed it yet, but many of them-the seventh years in particular, had already sensed a strange change in her magic. It felt stronger. She felt stronger. It was a fairly subtle change so far, but they knew it was only going to improve over time. They felt like it was almost a guarantee that by the time she was their age, she would be the most magically powerful student in the castle-easily even stronger than a number of the professors. It wasn't a matter of if, in their opinions, just a matter of when.

The final Quidditch match in May was...interesting. No one watching (or playing) expected a clean match at all, but it was surprising that both teams were matched with the amount of cheating they did. Really, neither team could blame the other, claiming the other had cheated and they hadn't, because both teams very clearly did.

Violet was rooting for Slytherin to win, of course. Though the Weasley twins were indeed her friends, and were part of Gryffindor's team, she was still a proud Snake, so naturally, she wanted her House team to win.

It was a close match, very close, the two teams evenly matched and tied when it came to the score too. It was clear that the Seekers catching the Snitch really would be the only thing letting one team win over the other. But Malfoy and Rose were evenly matched too, and the match was really starting to drag on.

In the end and by mere inches-literally, Malfoy managed to catch the Snitch, and thus, lead Slytherin's team to not just a victory, but also the Quidditch Cup. The members of their House exploded with cheers, and though Violet wouldn't admit it, she wasn't any different.

She approached Malfoy herself a little while later, once they were all back in Slytherin's common room, celebrating the only way they could when Snape was their Head of House.

"Congratulations, Malfoy," said Violet with a smile, setting her hand on his shoulder. "That was a good match. You played pretty well." Rose was a good Seeker, so Malfoy managing to get the Snitch before her was actually pretty impressive.

Malfoy just sort of stared at her for a few seconds, and then began to preen, clearly pleased with her attention, especially as it was positive attention. But he didn't really say anything to her, mostly because he wasn't quick enough and Violet stepped away, rejoining Theodore.

Because she had turned her back to him, Violet didn't notice Malfoy's grey eyes lingering on her back, his cheeks a faint pink that was barely visible in the not so amazing lighting that existed in the dungeons.

Unfortunately for Violet, the high of her House winning the Cup was the last bit of happiness and excitement she got for a while. Exams were rapidly approaching, and Violet had to put most other thoughts out of her mind so she could focus on her studies. She wasn't going to risk failing.

Exams themselves went...okay. Not the best, not as good as Violet had wanted them to go, but she supposed that was her own fault for slacking off and spending too much of her time focusing on Sirius Black over the past few months. She was going to having to make sure she paid more attention next year, because though she was sure she was going to pass everything, her grades weren't as good as she generally expected them to be.

But just as Violet made that promise to herself, the promise to focus on her studies, Theo approached her, and the expression on his face had Violet quickly realizing that she was about to break the promise she had just made, at least for the remainder of this particular school term.

"What's happened?"

Theodore stopped in front of her and frowned. "How'd you-?"

"You have that look on your face. The one you get when you find out something weird that you don't understand."

He cocked his head, expression turning confused. "That's an expression people make?"

Violet shrugged and flashed him a grin. "I don't know about other people, but it's definitely an expression you make."

"Oh. ...That's-that's kind of weird." He gave his head a shake, then said, "But anyway, you're right, I did find out something weird-from your sister and her friend."

"Them again, huh? What's wrong with them now?" Because really, there always was something strange going on with those two, especially this year with Black and all.

"The Divination professor, Trelawney, apparently made some kind of prediction or something when your sister was doing her practical exam with her. From what she was telling Weasley, it was something about the Dark Lord's servant breaking free tonight and rejoining him and making the Dark Lord stronger." Theodore frowned at his own words. "It was something like that. They seemed pretty shocked, so it didn't come across as like, a joke or something they were just saying."

"Y-yeah, I..." Violet trailed off and bit her lip, unsure of what to say. She didn't care about Divination at all, in any of its forms, whether it was magical means or Muggle, and she certainly tended not to believe in any of it, but... What could she even think about this?

Trelawney was a fraud anyway, but this was a damn weird...prediction to spout off on the spot, especially to someone like Rose, who was known as the Girl-Who-Lived and all, and whose enemy was the Dark Lord. This would affect her directly, and not in a good way. Even Trelawney should have realized that. So why would she make something like this up? But even if she hadn't, and this was, impossibly, a real prediction, then what it implied was...well, Violet wasn't entirely sure whether it was good or bad. It would be bad for many, of course, but for her, she didn't really know.

But the bad and strange news didn't even end there. Just a moment later Neville hurried over to them, looking out of breath.

"Violet! I-I'm sorry to interrupt, but-"

"Whoa, hey, calm down, Neville. Catch your breath."

Neville did so, hunching over, hands braced on his knees as he tried to calm his breathing. After a moment, he straightened back up. "I-I just heard from Hermione, she said Hagrid's hippogriff-Buckbeak-he's going to be executed today!"

"T-today!?" That certainly surprised the other two. They had heard that Hagrid had lost his appeal, but they hadn't thought the Ministry would actually go through with executing Buckbeak-didn't they have more important things to do? And why today? Why so suddenly?

"Yeah," said Neville with a nod. "Hermione said she'll meet you in the Entrance Hall, because she wants to see Hagrid before it-it happens. I told her I'd tell you."

"Alright. Thanks, Neville. I'll go meet up with her. Are you coming?"

"No, that's okay, I still have to tell Hannah." With that Neville hurried off, looking worried again.

Once Neville was out of sight, Theo turned to Violet. "You're going, then?"

"Uh huh." Violet brushed her hair out of he face, and frowned. "I know Hagrid doesn't like me as much as he does Rose, but I still feel really horrible about this. I wish Malfoy hadn't been so stupid. This wouldn't be happening if it wasn't for him." She sighed deeply. "Are you coming too?"

Theodore shook his head, and scratched his chin awkwardly. "No, I don't think I will. Hagrid may not mind you, but he really doesn't care about the rest of us Slytherins. And since I'm Draco's friend, and Draco's the one who's put him in this position..."

"Ah." Violet understood. "Maybe it would be better if you didn't come."

"Yeah. I think I'm just going to go take a nap. I'm dead tired. I stayed up way too late studying last night." He certainly looked tired, dark circles under his eyes.

With a short laugh, Violet waved her friend off with a smile, and then made her way through the castle alone, heading down to the Entrance Hall where she spotted Hermione standing and waiting by the doors.

She greeted Violet with a shaky smile, her hands wringing nervously. "I know we shouldn't be going outside, but-but-"

Violet just nodded. "I know. We can't just...leave him alone. Buckbeak...he didn't do anything wrong, and it's stupid that this is happening anyway! I can't believe he has to die over Malfoy being a stupid git!"

That was all they needed to say on the matter. Mostly because they weren't sure what else they could say. This entire situation was incredibly unfair and incredibly biased against Hagrid, especially since Lucius Malfoy had done the complaining. It was obvious that no matter what Hagrid said or did, the Ministry would side with the Malfoys over him. That was unfair too. And the worst part of it all was that an innocent animal was going to lose its life.

Was there really nothing they could do? To help Hagrid? To help Buckbeak? As it turned out, Violet and Hermione weren't the only ones with that thought in mind. At Hagrid's front door they encountered two others-Rose and Ron. They weren't surprised.

Even more unsurprisingly, they argued, but it was a very brief one this time, before they decided to just put their differences aside for the time being. After all, they were all here for the same reason. Hagrid protested at all of them being there, but seemed too upset to truly care, and simply let them all into his hut, sobbing all the while.

None of them really seemed to know what to say or do, all four of the students feeling saddened and awkward. Ron offered to make tea, shrugging and saying it was what his mother always did when someone was upset, when the girls all looked at him in confusion. Well, at least he was trying, and had more to do than the rest of them.

He was in the middle of doing as he'd said, when he cried out suddenly in surprise. "Scabbers!"

Violet and Hermione both looked at him, but it didn't take them long to understand why this was so surprising. Apparently the rat, who everyone knew had been rather under the weather recently, as Ron mentioned it multiple times over the past few months, had vanished. Ron had been under the impression that he had either run off or been eaten by one of the cats (specifically blaming Crookshanks, though Hermione vehemently denied it) in the castle. But here he was, hidden away in Hagrid's hut for some reason.

They were distracted by this new discovery for a while, too distracted until Violet caught a glimpse of movement out of the corner of her eye, and looked over out of the nearest window. Unable to stop herself, she gasped in surprise, quickly moving out of sight of the window.


"Dumbledore's coming!"

Rose peered out of the window too, and paled. "That executioner from the Ministry's with him! And Fudge too!"

"Yeh need to get outta here," said Hagrid quickly. "All four of yeh."


Hagrid shook his head forcefully. "I don't want any of yeh here for-for Beaky's... Yeh don't need to see it. Get outta here and get back teh the castle before yer all caught!"

Hermione was the first one to move towards the back door, Violet following after her. Rose and Ron were more hesitant to leave, but they soon followed too, and it was Rose who pulled out her Invisibility Cloak, insisting they all attempt to hide under it if possible. A bit caught off guard, Violet was only able to raise a brow.

Rose scowled. "If one of us gets caught, then we all do," was all she said to explain.

And that was certainly true enough. If Rose or Ron got caught, they were definitely going to make sure Violet and Hermione did too. And if Violet or Hermione got caught, well, it was pretty likely that Rose and Ron would as well. The only way this was going to end well for them all was if they all managed to sneak back to the castle without being noticed, and they knew that.

So they struggled to hide under the cloak, Ron having to stoop down slightly due to him being a bit taller than the rest of them, and they slowly and awkwardly began making their way away from Hagrid's hut, Ron trying to keep a grip on his pet rat, who was squirming around annoyingly. Violet glanced over at Buckbeak tied to a post in the pumpkin patch, and felt a strange flutter in her chest. Was he really about to die? Was this really the last time they were going to get to see him?

"Walk faster!" Rose hissed.

Too upset to argue, Violet just did as told and sped up, wondering if there was anything she could have done to stop this from happening. Could she have spoken to Malfoy about it? What about his father? Really, it was too late now, but she couldn't help but feel like she had failed somehow. She barely even knew Hagrid or Buckbeak, but even then...

Some distance away from Hagrid's hut, about half way back to the castle, all four of them heard a familiar sounding wail and froze on the spot, heartbroken. That was it, then. It was done. Buckbeak was gone forever.