Eleanora Black slammed the door to the Slytherin fifth year dorm and dramatically flopped down onto her bed, her book bag dropping to the ground with a loud 'thump'. Daphne Greengrass glanced up from her book briefly, an amused expression on her face, as she took in her best friend face first on the plush green quilt.
"Eleanora darling, please don't suffocate yourself, I still need to copy your Charms homework later." She commented idly, setting her book aside and turning her full attention to the blonde-haired girl on the bed next to hers. Eleanora, who had flipped over and was now laying on her back, was staring up at the glass ceiling of the girl's dormitory watching a school of fish swim by at the bottom of the Great Lake.
"Why couldn't I have been a Hufflepuff? I would have made a good Hufflepuff…" Eleanora pondered morosely, Daphne rolled her eyes at her friend's dramatics.
"This is about Harry Bloody Potter again, isn't it?!" she huffed; Eleanora had always fancied Harry Potter, ever since their Third Year when they'd discovered that boys could actually be cute. Personally, Daphne couldn't see the appeal; he was lanky and awkward and a constant troublemaker, but Eleanora insisted that he was charming and brave. There were a million and one reasons why they would never work, not least because he was a Gryffindor and she was a Slytherin, but who was Daphne to rain on her best friend's parade. Eleanora huffed in indignation and rolled over to face her brown-haired dorm-mate.
"No! Not at all! This is about how sucky it is to be in Slytherin. Do you know I had my bag split three times today, three! And I got bumped into by a Weasley, I've got no idea which one, who then yelled at me as if it were my fault! God I wish I were a Hufflepuff, no one cares about them!" She vented her rage and frustrations to Daphne, who sat up and shot her a playful glare.
"Bite your tongue! No one wants to be a Hufflepuff. As for the rest of the school, they're all stupid and small-minded; like sheep, you know this, so why does it still bother you?!" Daphne asked aggravated; being treated like crap was nothing new in Slytherin house, it was something that they had all quickly learnt to deal with during their first year. But Eleanora still struggled with how quickly and harshly they were judged, she had always been very sensitive about how people misjudge her, leftover guilt from her family, Daphne supposed.
"Just because I know it, doesn't mean I have to like it! There is so much going on in our world, a bloody war on the horizon for starters! But instead of uniting together to defeat the Dark Lord, everyone just seems content to continue along the path that brought us here in the first place! Like, do they not see, that the way they discriminate against us for being in Slytherin is the Exact. Same. Way. the Dark Lord and his supporter's discriminate against Muggleborns and Half-Bloods?!" Eleanora huffed and flopped back down on the bed, stopping the pacing that she had unconsciously started doing during her passionate speech.
Daphne flopped back onto her back as well; she knew that Eleanora was right, of course. Things couldn't continue the way that they were, even if Saint Harry Potter did pull it off and actually defeated the Dark Lord like the rumors suggested he was training to do, it would only be a matter of time before another Dark Lord/Lady rose out of the divided society that they lived in.
As a society they were fundamentally flawed, with separate laws for those with status and for those who's blood either wasn't completely magical, or completely human. And while she personally reaped many benefits from the current system, Daphne knew that it was in desperate need of change if they were ever going to achieve any sort of cohesion in their world.
The only problem; How do you get people to change when they can't even see that there is a problem? Sure, people can see what is happening to Muggleborns and Magical Creatures in the outside world, the laws that limit them and what they are able to do, but precious few are able to connect that to the prejudices that are allowed to grow within the walls of Hogwarts.
Those teachers who do nothing to stem the growing rivalries because 'oh, it has always been like this!' Or who actively encourage them like her own Head of House. They send the damning message that prejudice is okay, so long as the many believe in it. House-elves, Centaurs, Giants, Goblins are all considered inferior because they aren't human, the same can be said for Muggleborns, how often teachers are surprised when a Muggleborn is at the top of the class, because they expect them to be lesser since they are not full Wizards.
Daphne felt that it was a sad truth; that in the end we usually become what we are expected to be. For example, in the Auror Department ex-Gryffindors' out number ex-Slytherins' 8 to 1, Slytherin Aurors have to work harder to prove themselves brave and worthy. After leaving Hogwarts, most Ravenclaws go into Law and government, Hufflepuffs are most likely to go into Medicine, and Slytherin's tend to go into politics or business.
"No dear, you don't have to like it, but you do have to accept it. Gryffindor's and Slytherin's don't mix, and probably never will mix! We're just too different; they don't understand the way we think and view the world, and we probably can't see things the way that they do and don't understand why they act the way that they do. Besides, we have more than enough trouble within our own house without adding in what the rest of the school thinks of us!" Daphne said sternly, trying to make her best friend see the cold truth that they have to live by.
"Yeah, I suppose you're right Daph…I just wish it were different sometimes…" Eleanora sighed, not quite ready to believe that this was all there was to their lives, that she would never be seen as anything more than a Slytherin.
"I swear you're living with your head in the clouds Nora!" Daphne admonished as she rose up off of her bed, relaxation time well and truly over, and grabbed Eleanora's bag from the end of her bed and started rummaging through it to find her Charms notes.
"Shut up! I just want things to change is all, is that such an awful thing to want?!" Eleanora laughed, yet she still felt restless in her position in life. Daphne paused, her quill hovering above the ink well, she could tell that this was still bothering her best friend despite allowing the subject to be dropped. Daphne decided to give her friend something to mull over, so she could hopefully copy out her homework in peace without a brooding blonde distracting her.
"Look, Eleanora. If you want something to change, change it. Stop wishing and wanting, go out there and do whatever you want to do. You're a Slytherin dear, if anyone can make it happen it's you." She said, sounding a lot more sagely than she felt, but it had the desired effect, Eleanora sat up straighter, a determined look on her face, as she pulled a piece of parchment towards her to brainstorm ideas.
Eleanora mulled over her best friends unusually wise words, if she wanted things to change, then it was up to her to make sure that they did. She knew that if she didn't start trying to change the attitudes of their fellow classmates, no one else would.
Eleanora felt a lot better now that she had something to actively work towards, she grabbed a spare bit of parchment and a quill from the pile Daphne had sat on her bed, as her friend began to painstakingly copy out Eleanora's rather long essay into her own words, Eleanora thought about her first major obstacle in getting the whole school to change their minds about prejudice; how the hell was she supposed to get anyone to even listen to what a Slytherin had to say?!
Later that night, after Daphne cursing her for her small handwriting and rambling sentences, they retired to bed with Eleanora still nowhere close to figuring out her problem of getting people to listen to what she had to say.
They were all settled snug in their beds, drifting off to sleep when it happened, Eleanora had a brainwave, she sat bolt upright and shouted
"I've got it!"
Forgetting where she was and what time it was in her excitement, she lit a lamp and jotted down her idea on the parchment next to her bed that she kept there for this exact reason.
The other girls in the room grumbled at her and turned away from the light. Daphne, who's face was right next to the rather bright light scrunched her eyes tighter together to block it out and rolled onto her back.
"That's nice dear… but if you don't turn off that light in ten seconds I'll make sure you're never able to have another thought ever again." She muttered, a mix of condescending and threatening that Eleanora knew from experience meant she was deadly serious, so the light was quickly extinguished and Eleanora went to sleep with a grin on her face.
She had a plan.
AN: This is something that I've had sitting on my computer for a while now, an old NaNoWriMo entry, and in an effort to avoid school work and other responsibilities I've decided to publish what I have written and finish it off. Hopefully you enjoy the story and let me know your thoughts, feelings, and opinions.
Obviously the HP universe belongs to JK Rowling, I'm just playing in it.