Cinder's eyes widened at the amount of food, mainly candy, set out in front of her. "And I thought the normal amount of food was a lot."

Cress giggled. "I'm going to be a whale after this!"


Hearing a laugh from behind them, both Cinder and Cress turned around.

Pearl sat laughing at the Slytherin table. "Cinder, is this one of your friends?"

Cinder rolled her eyes. "Yeah, Pearl."

"She's funny. It's kind of a surprise that she's able to put up with you, y'know, considering your mum and aunt and everything."

Cinder huffed and turned her back to Pearl, ignoring her comment. She focused in on the gigantic slice of pumpkin pie in front of her instead.

Later on, back in the Ravenclaw girls dorm, Cress sat herself onto Cinder's bed, crossing her legs under her. Sighing, Cinder sat down next to her. She knew what was coming.

"I don't mean to pry, but what did Pearl mean about your mum and your aunt?"

"My mum, right after I was born, became a death eater." Cinder noticed the confused look in Cress's blue eyes. "Like, Voldemort kind of death eater. So was my aunt, Levana. My mum became his favorite lieutenant, and Levana was jealous of the attention, so she tried to kill her. She failed at first, so instead of going for my mum, she went for me. She almost killed me, but her husband, surprisingly, came to save me. Levana then killed him, but not before he sent me to Adri's house, who was an old friend of his. She kept me in secret, treating me like her own child, for a few months. Then, Levana was finally able to kill my mum. I became an orphan, and Adri adopted me."

Cress sat back, processing the information. The question she asked surprised Cinder. "What about your dad?"

"What do you mean?"

Cress took a deep breath. "Like, what happened to him?"

"Oh. Well, I kind of, well, um, I don't know who he is." Cinder stuttered.

Cress, instead of replying, leaned over and wrapped her arms around Cinder. After a moment, Cinder melted into her embrace, letting her tears fall. "Thank you."

The next day, Cinder expected Cress to treat her like a fragile, breakable thing. Once again, Cress surprised her. The entire day, Cress just acted like she would normally, and Cinder silently thanked her. She didn't mention a thing to any of their other friends, and Cinder felt her worries deflate, just a little.

"So, wanna go study in the library?" Scarlet asked, toying with her red hair.

"I don't know, I told Jacin we could play gobstones today." Winter sighed. She was quickly becoming a part of their small group, but none of them were too sure about Jacin, her best friend.

"He can come too, if he wants." Cress offered.

Scarlet glared at her. "If we're inviting other friends, can my friend Ze'ev come?"

Cinder laughed. "You're the one who invited us, you get to decide, remember?"

"I was being sarcastic."

"Oh. Are you going to invite that Ze'ev guy, though?"

"Should I?" Scarlet tapped her nose twice.

"You should! Wait." Cinder stopped mid-sentence.


"Do you mean, Ze'ev, as in that kid who goes by Wolf? The scary looking one?" Cinder put her fingers in front of her teeth and wiggled them like fangs.

"Yes, the scary looking one." Scarlet smacked her.

"Sorry, merlin's beard, chill."