Disclaimer:

This world belongs to JK Rowling, I'm merely playing in it.

Not making money, not becoming famous. Just playing with it, and promising to return everything to it's rightful place when I'm done.  Possibly glued back together, but returned just the same – in one piece.

::nods::

Cinder A Harry Potter Fanfiction

By: Laura Bishop (Archaic Raven)

*

"Eye'm sorry, Eye'm ugly,

all that I am

And I can never live up

Eye'm failing, Eye'm angry, afraid of the way

They pretend to be us!

It's fuct up, Eye'm different

Wurdz remain my only escape . . ."

'Blood Pigs' by Otep

from the album: SEVAS TRA

*

Chapter One

It wasn't a surprise that the other students were avoiding the compartment like the plague.  After all, she thought, I'm here in it.  A smirk crossed her pale, pretty face and she opened her purchase of Bertie Bott's.  As always, there was no one to share the candy with, other than her cat – Meow, and the cat wasn't one for sweets.  This fact didn't bother her in the least bit, or so she told herself it didn't.  She had convinced herself around her third year that she didn't need anyone else, except her cat and her mother. Since then, her mind had upheld that sentiment, at any rate in the conscious part of it.  But, deep down inside – Bella Cinder, a 7th year Slytherin at Hogwart's School – really longed for the company of a like minded individual who didn't hate her for the brain in her head, and didn't fear her for the way that brain worked. 

There was someone of course, but . . . he . . . he was a dream. 

Ha, she scolded herself, as if there could ever be more with him!

As if in a type of avoidance of these buried sorrows, Bella untied a small, burgundy velvet pouch from one of the belt loops of the black cargo pants she wore.  Muggle clothes were the best in her opinion, pure-blood though she might be.  Muggle clothes had more comfort.  Plus, they were just cooler – at least in her humble opinion.  Pale blue eyes locked on the bag then, small fingers drawing the black drawstring out to open the pouch.  There were other things that the Muggles were good at.  Like music, for example. 

In her fourth year, Bella's mother had given her an enchanted, pixie-like doll.  It could 'record' whatever music you exposed it to, then, when asked it to play back – it would not only give a perfect copy of the song requested, but also 'dance' to it.  It was Bella's most prized possession, after Meow and her favorite pair of silk pajama pants, of course.  This doll was also what happened to reside in her little burgundy bag.  As it was not electrical, but indeed very enchanted, it could work in the realm of magic.  A perfect thing to record Muggle music on.  Bella had her entire muggle CD collection recorded on this little peach of a gift, and it was a perfect boredom killer – especially at times like this.  When she was all alone.

Another smirk came to her face.  I have another friend in you, hmm? She thought towards the little music doll.  It floated in mid-air, spider web wings folded behind the delicate little arms.  Bella produced her wand (ebony and Sphinx talon) then, gave the incantation –and the little fae lifted it's glittery face to her own.

"What would you like to hear, mistress?"  The tiny voice was clear as crystal, sweet as honey.  That could change of course, but Bella didn't mean it to at the time.  She wanted to be calmed for the moment.   Hogwarts was something to look forward to, if one looked on the positive side.  There, some people that she didn't mind resided with her, and these select people didn't mind her – though she'd call none of those acquaintances friends.  No, not really.  But there was one, one whom she wished she'd count as more than friend . . . though she knew it was an impossibility. 

"Enya, Fallen Embers." Bella told her with a melancholy sigh, leaning back against the seat.  There were a  few things that Bella liked outside of the heavy metal and classical genres of Muggle music.  Enya was one of them.  Metal and classical though, they were her favorites.  But, the mood didn't call for either – it called for Enya.

"As Mistress wishes."  And then, the sound of the music began, and the little fae opened her mouth, and began to sing.  Her movements came next, pretty and gentle –a waltz of gossamer wings and wistful, almost sorrowful ballet steps. 

*

Down the corridor of that particular train segment, the music did not reach the other passengers.  Perhaps it would have if some of the nearby compartments were silent, but that was far from the present tense of any of the areas around Bella.  The other compartments were full of laughter, where children and teenagers played games of Exploding Snap, traded Great Wizards cards, made new friends or just caught up on one another's lives. 

In one particular compartment sat Hermione Granger.  With her were her constant Hogwart's companions – namely, Ron Weasley, and the ever famous Harry Potter.  At the moment, Hermione was ignoring them, reading a book, while they talked loudly about Quidditch.  None of this was an unusual scene for the trio.  It's good to be going home again, Harry thought – pulling his mind from the grip of Quidditch for a split second.   It's good to be with my friends.  Nothing seemed as perfect as this picture in his mind.  Such as this should not be laced with poison and death as it so was.

But here, he did not think of Voldemort; here he did not think of the death of Cedric Diggory.  At least, not for the moment.  The thoughts would happen upon him, momentarily . . . but until then, was it such a horrid crime to forget?  In away, one would say yes – it was, even for a moment of easy breathing.  Harry didn't think so, for not thinking about it did not mean forgetting.  That was something he could not do.  

As if in agreement, his lightening bolt shaped scar gave a faint, fiery pain.   It had been throbbing so all summer, though nothing had yet come of it.  Voldemort was most likely plotting, gathering information . . .  Saving the revenge for when it would be best served.  Harry had already written to Sirius, his outlawed godfather, as well as to Headmaster Dumbledore about these tale-tell pangs.   All they really could do, for the moment, was sit, watch, wait and be ready. 

Constant Vigilance!

*

A bit further down, past the outer doors of that one car, and into the confines of another's narrow hallway – Draco Malfoy walked with his own constant Hogwart's companions.  On his lips were the stories of new students from America, which he thought only to be a rumor.  Someone had told him that they were already on the train, which he doubted . . . But, he knew a better diversion that was on the train – she was always on the train.  His companions, Crabbe and Goyle both got knowing looks in there eyes.  A favorite past time of most of the Slytherins with a prominent cruelty streak was to verbally torture Bella Cinder.  That is, until she hexed you so hard you spent the next week picking your trousers from your teeth.  That was the game of course, to see who she hexed first.  First place was a badge of honor.  It meant you got passed that place where she ignored you . . . and that, they'd learned by experience – was a difficult place to get by. 

Draco had never really gotten first place in the whole house – someone else had always gotten o her first.  However, as this was Cinder's last year – he had a plan to reach his goal where she was concerned. 

After all, there were bets going. . .

*

                Bella didn't hear them coming, but that didn't mean she didn't expect them.  In fact, she knew they would be coming – at least one group of them, her would be tormentors from her own house.  Another fact she'd learned in her years as a Slytherin . . .they'll always come to play with the outcasts.  And she was the Queen of the Outcasts . . . not only in her house, but in the entire school.  At least for this year anyway, and then it wouldn't matter anymore.  At least, that's what mother told her.  Somehow, Bella doubted it.  She saw the way adults worked. . . it was perpetually like school.  Only with life or death added in for good measure.  

I'll survive though, she promised herself.  I'll survive them all. . . somehow. 

On this mental note, the door to her compartment rolled open, and she was joined by Draco Malfoy and his entourage of idiocy.  The music fae, then reciting the darkly romantic flow of Cradle of Filth's song "Beauty Slept in Sodom", stopped abruptly at this interruption.  Slowly, she turned to face the new comers.  Her glittery face scowled at the intruders, and behind her, Bella smiled.  Over the summer, she'd equipped the little musical pixie with one more little feature.  It worked only on people whom the fae sensed as hazardous to it's own well-being, and annoying to the Mistress.    Of course, not knowing this . . . Malfoy and his goons were laughing at the pristine toy, when suddenly . . .

                QWABANG! A flash of amber, and, after a short silence later . . .

Draco, Goyle and Crabbe were launched out into the train corridor, singing 'I've got a lov-a-lee bunch of coconuts . . . here they are standing in a row-ow-ow. . .', in a cockney accent that made their upper class hackles rise, even as the voices left their mouths. 

                "Sodding morons."  Bella muttered, crossing the room to close the door .   The fae followed her actions with enchanted eyes.

                "My memory banks cannot access that one, mistress."  The toy stated, her voice sorrowful.

                "Blatantly."  Bella chuckled, then she settled back into her seat.  "Let's go for something aggressive please.   I'm thinking . . .  Otep, Blood Pigs."

                "As it please you."  And then, her musical wish was granted . . .