Title: By Chance (Working Title, suggestions appreciated)
Author: Me! Arinya, known as many other names, Neopluto being one of them.
Rating: PG-13
Summary: When an ordinary girl slips into the wizarding world by accident, no one can tell what will happen, except wondrous things. Included: Snape action, good drama writing.
Disclaimer: This disclaimer goes for all the chapters of this story. None of J.K Rowling's characters belong to me, and at the moment are just being borrowed. No infrigement intended. I'm not making any money off of this. Stella on the other hand is mine, as well as Timothy.

Chapter 3: RUN!

The dazzling interior of the train made her look even shabbier than before, and she could just feel it. She smiled nervously at the one other occupant of the car, and took a window seat. She hoped she wasn't dirtying the place so much from all the soot that was on her, and shifted her weight around a bit, trying to get into a comfortable position. She put her bookbag on the seat next to her, and started to wipe her face with her sleeve.

After a few moments, the train's horn blasted two notes, then went off. Stella could feel it accelerate, and looked out her window, the trees were passing by at an astonishing rate. Her face was much cleaner now, although she did have smudges on it. Her main concern was now with her clothes and hair, but they didn't look like they could get cleaned up anytime soon. She crunched her nose, she didn't really like the smell she was emanating.

Somewhere the sun was setting, and it was getting darker outside. The lights on the train were slowly coming on, keeping a steady illumination. Stella was rather hungry, and tried to ignore the old woman coming down the aisle with a cart full of delicious looking items. She didn't want to give herself away with the whole currency problem, she was so close to getting through with one day already! However, the woman was getting to her, and she stopped at her aisle.

"Would you like anything sweetie?" she asked.

"No, it's okay," said Stella, smiling as best she could and hoping her stomach wouldn't growl.

"All right then, call me if you need me," she said, and continued on her way.

Stella grabbed her bookbag, and took out a chocolate bar, unwrapping it quickly, and taking a large bite.

"Oh, so good," she said to herself, in ecstasy.

She had to force herself to pack it away again though, she needed it to last longer than two minutes. The train ride looked like it was going to be long, and although a nagging voice in the back of Stella's mind told her to keep awake in case of anything. The day had exhausted her and soon she was fast asleep.

"Wake up, we've arrived! Hey, wake up already!"

"I don't want to...!" mumbled Stella, still asleep.

"Come on! We've got to go! I'm kind of hungry here and I don't want to miss dinner!" said the boy who had been sitting in the car with her.

"Leave me alone!"

"Ah!" he yelled in pain and took a step back.

She had just lashed out with her fist, catching his left cheek hard. The boy rubbed it, hoping there wouldn't be a very dark bruise. He'd hate to explain to his friends a girl had punched him while she was sleeping. He shook his head, and tapped her lightly on the shoulder, then took a quick step back.

"GET UP!" he said loudly, "WE'VE GOT TO GET TO HOGWARTS...NOW!"

He watched hopefully as she shifted around in her spot a little, then opened her eyes.

"Hey there, the name's Timothy, since we've arrived, I think we should go, and by the way, you've really got to fix your sleeping habits," he said as cheerfully as possible.

Stella rubbed her eyes, and looked at the boy in front of her. She noticed a fading red mark on his face and made a face.

"I did that?! I'm so sorry! I didn't mean it!" she said quickly.

Timothy waved it off, seeing how she was truly sorry and embarrassed by her actions.

"Ah, it's all right. I've gotten worse. But seriously, I've been trying to get you up for a while now. We've got to go!"

"Give me a sec," she said, grabbed her bag, then followed Tim out.

"Hello there Timothy, you know where you're going right?" asked a man in uniform.

Timothy nodded.

"Sure do, and I'll take her with me"

"Okay, you be nice!" said the man.

"I will! Don't worry!" said Tim, waving.

"So what's your name?" Tim asked, while half-running towards the boats lined up on the nearby shore.

"...Stella," said Stella, after tearing her eyes from the sight of the huge castle up ahead. What had she gotten herself into?

"Beautiful sight huh? I'm going to hate leaving after my seventh year," said Tim as he got into the boat.

"Which are you in now?" she asked, climbing in.

"Fifth. Say, I haven't seen you around before...and you look like you'd be in my year too!"

Stella made quick calculations in her head. He said he was in his fifth year, and he looked to be her age. He said she looked like she was in his year, but hadn't seen her before. She was 15, he was probably 15, so you started Hogwarts, this school when you were ten.

"I'm uh, I transferred from another school," said Stella.

"Ahh, nice to meet a new friend! I'm in Slytherin...actually, it's a bit of a shame really. I may have a mean streak at times, but that's just because I have alot of siblings! How can you not develop one when you have them running around? Anyway, I guess you're no so familiar with the whole House business either?" said Tim.

Stella laughed a little.

"No, I'm quite a stranger to it all," she said, thinking this was all very ironic.

"Let me break you in then! Hogwarts was founded by four great people, Godric Gryffindor, Rowena Ravenclaw, Helga Hufflepuff, and Salazar Slytherin. Now they worked together for a while just fine, they got the castle up and going, made it a school to teach magic. But then Godric and Salazar got into a fight about who should be accepted and who shouldn't. See the people who've lived in the wizarding community all along have pure blood, and the muggles who got accepted didn't. Salazar wasn't very happy with that, he wanted to keep the bloodlines pure, but Godric argued that anyone with magic talent should be accepted."

"Ah, I think I remember some of this! My friend was talking about it once, I just wasn't listening to her," said Stella.

"Well that's good, it's a bit hard on your mouth, going through hundreds of years of history. It's okay with you right?" he asked.

"Yeah, perfectly!" It was strange, but Stella really did remember the details of what he was talking about. Her friend had been obsessed with some sort of person named Harry Potter, or something of the like. She wasn't paying attention then, so she really wasn't sure.

"So the school's based on the four Houses, get it, Four Founders, four Houses?" Timothy said.

"Completely," said Stella laughing.

"Great. The Sorting Hat sorts all the new students into their respective Houses by sort of...probing their minds, seeing what sort of person they are and what sort of House would best suit them. Gryffindors are known for their bravery and courage, things like that. Ravenclaws for their cleverness and dedication to their studies. Hufflepuff for their loyalty and cheerfulness. And Slytherin, well...Slytherin has a bit of a bad record. History shows that they've been turning out evil wizards. But it doesn't mean all Slytherins are bad! I mean, what about me? To cut to the chase, they're known for their ability to get things done"

"Whew," said Tim, leaning back into the boat.

"Long talk huh?" said Stella.

"Very," he agreed.

"Before we talk about anything else, I was just wondering. How did our train catch up so quickly?" asked Stella.

"Ah, that's something I learned in my second year when I was late. See, the late train chugs as fast as it can to the main one that's left in the morning with a bit of extra magic, then when it does catch up, hooks onto the end and voila, a couple extra cars! I don't know the mechanics of it all, that's all the driver would tell me," said Timothy.

"I see, thanks"

"Anytime," said Tim.

Stella thought that it was pretty awkward that she was sitting in a small self-propelling boat with a guy she hardly knew underneath a blanket of stars. It was beautiful outside, and the air was crisp. She sighed quietly. It was actually a very romantic setting if one thought about it.

Soon the boat had arrived at the opposite shore, and Tim and Stella got out, heading towards the castle doors. In the full light, Stella noticed that everyone, including Timothy were wearing black robes with crests on them. She was the only one who wasn't.

"Hey, how come you didn't change into your robes?" asked Timothy.

"I um, I kind of lost them," said Stella, saying the first thing that popped into her mind.

"Oh?" said Tim, looking sort of confused.

"That's why I was late, I was looking for them," said Stella, trying to figure out what else to say next.

"Well there's nothing we can do about them now, come on, we can watch the rest of the Sorting, then get I'll bring you over to Dumbledore since you've just transferred, he'll tell you everything you need to know about your classes and such," said Tim.

"I think I'm in way over my head," Stella mumbled to herself, and hoped Timothy hadn't heard her when she realized she said so outloud.

She followed Timothy to a long table where many other people were sitting at.

"This is the Slytherin table," said Tim, "Don't pay attention to any of them"

Stella noted some looks directed at her that didn't look too friendly, and sat down next to Timothy. She felt rather strange, being the odd one out, but still looked at the ceremony going on. There was a stool at the head of the room and an elderly lady who was probably a professor of some sort holding a tattered old hat. A boy had just left the stool, going over to join another table. Stella tilted her head a bit, seeing the banners that hung over each of the four tables. The boy was in Ravenclaw. A girl was called up next, and sat on the stool, looking a bit apprehensive. The woman put the hat on the girl, and everyone watched with bated breath.

After a few moments, the hat shouted "GRYFFINDOR!" and the entire place burst out in applause. Although Stella noted that the table she was at didn't do their best at it. The girl eagerly half-ran towards the red and gold clad table and sat down, being welcomed heartily by her new friends.

Severus Snape's brow creased upon the entrance of the newcomer who was obviously not a Hogwarts student. He would not say anything to the Headmaster until he got a chance to, but in the meantime, he would watch this girl very carefully. She looked so obviously muggle that he was left wondering why no one else noticed, or why she herself wasn't getting excited by the floating candles. He saw her look up at where he and the other teachers were sitting, her eyes scanning them all one by one. When she got to him, he didn't try to hide his intention and glared right back at her. He could tell she was trying not to look troubled, and he snarled a bit. Next to him, Flitwick was looking at his future students, but turned towards his colleague upon hearing the sound, and noted the nasty look on his face, judging it would be best not to bother him.

"Who's the man in black over there? He's looking murderous right now," Stella asked Timothy in a hushed voice.

"Who? Oh you mean Professor Snape...you're right, he does look like he's going to kill someone. I wonder what's bothering him..." said Timothy.

'Me,' thought Stella. She had gotten the message this Snape was trying to give her. He knew who she was.

"Um Timothy, is there a bathroom around here?" she asked, shifting in her seat a little.

"Do you really have to go? I don't want you to get lost, and besides, it won't be too long until Dumbledore makes his speech and we have dinner!" said Timothy, turning around.

Stella's stomach growled loudly at the thought of a feast, and she winced. Dinner would be good right now.

"And I can tell you're hungry," added Tim, "Just wait a bit longer"

'Victim to my own impulses,' thought Stella with a tinge of mirth, and stayed in her seat.

This magical school was much different than she thought it would be. It was alot farther from the portals than she had thought, it was probably some sort of boarding school. And it looked like there would be some formidable security, especially with Professor Snape.

When the Sorting was over, the one called Dumbledore stood and addressed everyone.

"Greetings to all our new students!"

Stella felt as if he were talking to her only.

"I would like to welcome you to the new schoolyear with the introduction of our new Defense Against Dark Arts professor, Lenna Fairfield"

A young woman stood up from amongst the sitting teachers. She had shoulder-length curly brown hair, and a smattering of freckles across her nose. A nice looking person overall. There was a brief moment of applause for her, and she sat back down.

"As always, the Forbidden Forest and Third Floor are off-limits to everyone. This year we hope to have another Quidditch Cup match, and Yule ball. Since that seems to be all the important announcements, I see no reason to keep you waiting. Let us enjoy the feast!"

And with those words, all the tables filled up magically with food. Stella was in shock for a moment, then started putting some stuff on her plate.

"Who's your mate?" asked a boy, hungrily stuffing his face with the food.

"Her name's Stella, transfer student, be nice, 'kay? Or I'll bash your guts in," said Timothy, taking a bite out of the chicken leg he managed to procure.

Stella tried not to stare at Timothy's behavior since it seemed everyone was just starving, and gave a little smile to the boy.


"Mm, name's Kyle," he said, then turned back to his plate.

"Ah..." said Stella, more to herself than anyone else.

She tried not to worry about Professor Snape, and tried to concentrate on eating. But she couldn't help but take a quick peek over everyone's heads. The man wasn't sitting at the table anymore! Where was he? Stella looked over everyone, trying to find him. She had to forget the food now, he was of the utmost importance.

"Stella, I thought you were starving, come on!" said Timothy, still eating.

"Um, Timothy, I don't feel very well. I've got to go," she said, spotting Snape coming closer to her in a swath of whirling black robes.

Timothy looked up at her, worried.

"Hey are you all right?"

"No, Timothy, I have to go! Bye!" she said, then stood up and half-ran from the table.

"HEY! Stella!" shouted Timothy, standing up.