Disclaimer: This story was written completely by me, through the countless inspirations from HP fanfics I've read over the last year None of the recognizable characters from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter universe are mine, I just shared my characters with them for a bit. No copyright infringement is intended. This tale conflicts with the Harry Potter storyline to some small degree, and in case you are wondering, I meant to do it that way. Please get my permission if you want to post my story on your site… I want to get credit for my creative genius after all. See general disclaimer on my profile page.

Rededication- For Andy... living proof that friends appear in the most unexpected places. Thank you for being a special one of mine.


The sun descended behind the hills and trees, blotting the sky with a splattering of deep lilac, cerulean and coral hues. She looked across the compartment and through the opposite window of the next cabin over and stared through to the other horizon. In the distance, she could make out a scattering of stars rising and blooming into the night. She lazily kicked the rich mahogany chest at her feet, making one of the leather-bound metal handles thump against the polished wood.

It was the first of September. Halo Mandelor had been dropped off at King's Cross station in London early enough that she was able to secure a cabin on the Hogwarts Express, and keep it to herself as other students passed by. Most would take one look inside and keep on walking, but some uninformed first years had stumbled in on her and departed just as quickly when she hinted there might be something hideous under the compartment seats.

The train slowed to a stop unexpectedly, and the lights went out. Shrieking from the compartment ahead of her made her roll her eyes. Oh great, she thought. I wonder how long this will last. Not long apparently, because the lights flickered on just moments later and the train began moving again.

She was irritated, and in no mood to entertain herself. But she was in much less of a mood to entertain others.

"Excuse me…" two first-year girls were poking their heads into the doorway of her compartment. The one who spoke had a rather high, squeaky voice, and it was obvious they hadn't been ambitious enough to just barge in and introduce themselves. They looked mortally terrified. "… we were wondering… could we possibly… share this compartment with you?"

Halo raised an inquisitive eyebrow. "That depends… do you have any spare body parts you wouldn't mind relinquishing?" she spouted in a nonchalant tone.

The already skittish girls promptly exchanged glances of horror and ran shrieking from the doorway. That's better, she thought. It's just like first year girls to take a peaceful journey and turn it into a slumber party. She valued her clever wit and acid tongue, as well as the desire to be left alone. And she had no complaints about her disposition.

It was good to be a fourth year. Her reputation alone preceded her.

Halo felt the train begin to slow as is descended into the valley and chugged to a halt in front of Hogsmeade Station. Her body rocked against the back of the seat at the locomotive's final jolt of movement. As the other passengers fumbled with their belongings and each other, rushing for the doors, Halo sat back and closed her eyes. There was no way in Hell she was going to get off the train with that ludicrous pack of eager beavers.

Their footsteps had ceased not ten minutes later when she pushed herself up from her seat and sauntered to the exit. She snorted in disdain at the blond-headed Slytherin boy huddled behind his two pet gargoyles and giggling idiotically while flicking Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans at the first year students.

Halo stepped up behind him and kicked him in the leg with the toe of her boot. "Draco, you dunderhead, did it ever occur to you that your defective genetics could lose us house points?"

"We're not officially checked in yet, so who cares?" He stopped for a second and his face changed to one of realization, apparently his pea-sized intellect didn't have the capacity to process such vilification as her personal attack took a considerable amount of time to sink in. "Hey!" he called after her.

Halo had already climbed into one of the carriages with a few Hufflepuff seventh years and pretended she hadn't heard him.