A/N: Hello there! This is something a bit different than my usual, as well as being some fanfiction of fanfiction! This is a prequel of sorts to shayalonnie's The Reclamation of Black Magic which, if you aren't reading, you should be (and will be a Harry/Hermione)!

You won't see any of the usual characters here, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. :D It is complete and I will be posting a chapter a day until it's all posted (as well as a special ending that I haven't posted on tumblr yet)!

If you enjoy, review! Thank you!


Dorea nibbles at the piece of lightly buttered toast, grey eyes flashing as she surveys the rest of the Slytherin girls, all neatly arrayed at the breakfast table. As Head Girl, she is well-known as a strict but fair disciplinarian… if you are caught.

The girls are neatly dressed, hair pinned back, ties straight – all in all, a lovely picture of pureblood refinement, and Dorea is no exception. Her eyes flicker to the letter from Miranda, delivered just as breakfast began that morning and currently residing neatly tucked beneath her plate until she can read it in the peace of her empty first class before the others arrive. Her best friend had graduated from Hogwarts three years prior, but that hasn't stopped their constant correspondence by owl.

She sighs, dropping the last bite of her toast to the plate and stands, deftly slipping her letter into a pocket of her outer robe as she glances down the table one last time. "All right, ladies. Breakfast is over in ten minutes. Please finish your meal and make sure to be on time for your first classes." She nods towards the group in general, though her eyes lingering on Walburga and Lucretia's bent together heads. Everyone knew that Walburga and Orion were to be married upon his graduation from Hogwarts in a few more years, and his sister had been steadily filling the other girl's head with facts and tips since the announcement at the beginning of that school year.

Dorea huffs silently, gathering her bag and slipping from the table, walking at a consciously proper pace towards the Great Hall's wide open doors when all she wants is to stride through the aisle and escape to read her letter. She glances around once or twice as she walks, her eyes lingering a moment too long on a messy head of black hair, currently tilted back in raucous laughter from something one of the Longbottoms must have said. Most likely the elder, Algernon, judging by the wide grin on his face. Enid is younger, and currently blushing a brilliant shade of red, though her shining eyes are fixed on Charlus Potter's face as though he were the very best thing in the whole room.

It makes her lips pinch tight, leaving her struggling to maintain the supercilious expression on her face.

Resolutely, she turns her face back to the door and allows herself to walk just a smidge faster. Through the doors and down the hall, up three flights of stairs, and down another hall later, she is so close to the classroom… and some peace.

But it isn't meant to be.

Just as she nears the door, just within arm's reach, "Ah, Miss Black. Allow me." The smooth voice speaks up from just behind her, as a tall, broad figure appears, practically from nowhere, right by her side. One arm, immaculately clothed in expensive black wool, neatly buttoned and perfectly tailored, reaches past her to grasp the classroom door handle with one smooth, clean hand.

Her eyes fasten to the Nott signet ring and linger as the hand it resides on pulls open the door. After a long moment, she glances away, her eyes trailing along the long arm, to the broad, strong shoulder, along the neck and up into the deep blue eyes of Thoros Nott.

The Slytherin Head Boy dips his head, motioning for her to enter the room ahead of him, the smallest smile lingering at the corner of his lips. "After you, Miss Black."

Dorea hesitates, her eyes still fastened to his face before she turns and strides into the classroom. "Thank you, Mr Nott."

"The pleasure is all mine, Miss Black." Thoros steps into the room behind her, allowing the door to swing shut. He hesitates, watching her move to her seat before walking to his own and setting his bag in the chair, his eyes moving to her again. He stares at her for a long moment, as she sits and unpacks her bag for class, including setting a letter from her robe pocket on the tabletop. He quickly looks away when she glances at him before she turns back to the letter in her hands.

Thoros watches her from the corner of his eye as he unloads his own parchment and quills onto the table. She is now reading the letter, a smile tugging at her cheeks and grey eyes glittering brilliantly when he clears his throat sharply and takes three steps in her direction.

Her dark head snaps up, the smile fading though not disappearing, as her eyes latch onto his figure. "Is everything all right, Mr Nott?"

He swallows as he steps closer, smoothing his hands along his robes. "Yes, Miss Black… Dorea." He takes another step, motioning vaguely with his ringed hand. "Have you spoken with your father lately?"

Dorea's brows arch slowly as she turns her knees to face him. "My father, Thoros? He sends a letter every week, Saturdays at breakfast, the same as every other year prior to this one. I'll hear from him tomorrow."

"Good; that's good then." Thoros nods absently as he rubs his thumb against the top of his ring.

Her eyes narrow as she straightens, her eyes flicking down to his idle hands then up to his braced shoulders, and the barely-there nervous expression on his features. "What is going on?"

"I know that it is proper to wait for your father to speak with you first, however…" He clears his throat and straightens his shoulders, settling those brilliant and intense eyes on her face. "I felt that our… existing relationship may allow for some familiarity, and I wish to express my regard for you, Dorea. I have spoken with my father, who has approached your father. I would like to marry you, after graduation, Miss Black."

Dorea's eyes widen and her lips part, rather unattractively gaping at the very attractive and apparently earnest man standing in front of her. "Thoros… I, I don't… That is…"

"I know that you feel your affections may lie elsewhere; however, I believe and would like to show you that our match would be advantageous. Would you accompany me to Hogsmeade next weekend?"

She watches him swallow hard, her eyes flickering between his as she processes his words. The faintest tinge of pink highlights his rather sharp cheekbones, high up and bleeding into the tips of his ears. It's a rather endearing look, and she can feel herself soften towards him. Thoros is smart, wickedly so, well-dressed, well-behaved, well-breed… quite literally everything that she should be seeking in a husband.

Just as she opens her mouth to respond, the door bangs open as the Gryffindor contingent, led by a loudly arguing Charlus Potter and Algernon Longbottom, blows into the room.

Her mouth closes slowly, and when she finally turns her eyes from the gleam of round silver frames, Thoros is still standing near her, watching her.

His face is blank, though his eyes are entirely too knowing. He quirks a brow before turning and stalking back to his seat two tables down and settles into his chair, eyes locked on the still empty chalkboard as they wait for the professor to appear.

Dorea relaxes even as a frown tugs at her lips, forcing herself to turn away from the other Slytherin and to face the front of the classroom. From the corner of her eye, she sees a sudden flash of red and when she glances over to the next table, Charlus meets her eyes, a wide grin on his face. She blinks in surprise before slowly returning his smile.

Just as the arithmancy professor bustles in, huffing about how the stairs changed on him at the last minute yet again, he throws a quick wink in her direction before facing forward.

Morgana, help me.