A/N: I just want you to know that this story is collaboration. Greeneyes is the second writer here, and she gets at least half the credit for this story. I did use my impressions of her to create a character in Manticore, and she feels it is only fair that she gets a chance to record her impressions of the way I am. So, here is Greeneyes' first joint project with me. We hope you like it.
Kimberly "Raven" Wood opened her eyes and bounced out of bed. She dressed in a rush, not because she was in a hurry, but because Raven did everything in a rush. She did stop and look around, making sure all her roommates were still asleep before opening the concealed lid inside her truck. Magician's trucks were great for hiding things.
She grinned happily as she collected a few trinkets and toys to play with today. It was her first Saturday at Hogwarts after all, and she planned to make it a memorable one. Closing her trunk, she collected her homework. She had to finish two more feet of Potions essay before she had the rest of the weekend to herself, and she really wanted to be done by breakfast time.
Raven bounded down the stairs in her normal fashion, skipping every other step. She didn't know it, but there was a bet going on between some of the older Ravenclaws, as to whether anyone would ever see her touch the top or bottom stairs.
She went to her favorite study desk in the common room and organized her things. She had her things out and was unrolling the unfinished scroll when somebody spoke. "What are you doing up this early?"
Raven jumped, surprised. She looked over at the study desk in the corner. One of those Manticore people was sitting there. She smiled at him. "I want to finish my homework before breakfast. It's my first weekend at Hogwarts and I want to see the forbidden forest, the Whomping Willow, the lake and the third floor area where the big Cerberus was, and then I'm going to talk to the Grey Lady, Peeves and some of the other ghosts before"
Raven's itinerary was interrupted by the older student. "You plan on doing all of that today?" asked the startled student.
Raven nodded happily. "Yes, and then I have other plans." She turned back to her desk. "First though, I have to finish this. Simple stuff, really, but I need two more feet."
She sat down and started reading. The other student watched her in bemusement for a few minutes. In those few minutes she shifted position almost continuously, ending up with her feet in the air and her head on the floor under the chair. Even after she was apparently comfortable, her feet were kicking in some rapidly wiggling pattern that would have driven Gregory Benton insane in short order.
Despite the nearly continuous movement, Raven never stopped reading, as if she was totally unaware of her motions.
"She even moves in her sleep." Gregory turned to find that another of the first year girls had come downstairs. Stephanie Spense was as calm as Raven was excitable, and the only problem anyone had with her was her family. The Spense Clan was listed third in the Book of Gold, the book that listed all the families in Europe by wealth and status.
Stephanie was as casually arrogant as any old money Pureblood bigot was without even knowing it. "I believe it. Does she ever stop?" Gregory asked, trying to be polite. The word had come from Chimera that both of these girls had Manticore potential although Gregory couldn't figure out why anyone would want this snob on their team.
Stephanie rolled her eyes expressively. "Not that I have ever seen, no."
The two students looked back at Raven who was now pacing around her desk as she read.
Stephanie sighed. "I was going to use the Viewing Window, if you're not using it."
Gregory shook his head. "No, I'm studying for the NEWTs."
Stephanie nodded and walked to the back of the Ravenclaw common room where the dimness held one of Ravenclaw's secrets. At some time in the dim reaches of Ravenclaw's history, a student or a group of them had enchanted a window.
With the proper word, the window would change, becoming a picture of a student's home, showing you what was happening there. It would not show you anything improper, nor did it have sound, but a good many younger students used it to relieve homesickness.
Gregory made a mental note that Miss Spense was using the window already and went back to studying.
Raven finished her homework before breakfast and went down to eat. At breakfast she tried to convince a couple of the other students to go with her, but they all seemed to have a couple of things of their own to do.
The only person Raven did not ask was Stephanie. The two of them had studiously ignored each other since the second day of school. Raven had made a comment to Stephanie, and been informed that the offspring of a "Muggleborn eccentric" was "Not fit company for any well-bred young lady."
Raven had stared at Stephanie for a second, and then discussed Stephanie's looks, family, habits, probable destination, intelligence, and life expectancy in no uncertain terns without ever cursing or repeating herself. She had ended by telling the "Bigot Bimbo" that if "your outhouse breath voice" was ever directed at Raven again, Raven would perform surgery by "reaching down your pencil neck and ripping your unused and unneeded heart out of your chest."
Another student in the common room had had the presence of mind to record Raven's diatribe and it had become quite popular among the students. One Gryffindor had asked Raven where she learned to do that and Raven had simply grinned before giving a one-word answer that was even more confusing. What in the world was a movies?
Raven was done eating before the late stragglers came to breakfast and she vanished out the door. She wasn't at lunch either, which was not unusual. Had anyone asked the non-human denizens of Hogwarts, they would have found out that Raven usually spent that time running up and down the stairs and poking her nose into every nook and granny in the castle. Today, she was outside somewhere, doing who knows what.
Stephanie Spense was outside this afternoon as well. She was walking and thinking, not wanting company while she struggled with a problem. Her father had always told her that one's family line was important, and that only people that were close to your bloodline in importance could be trusted not to try and take advantage of your money or position.
Stephanie had been at Hogwarts for just four days, and she was not finding that to be true at all. In fact, the only people in the castle that matched her bloodline were Americans, of all things. Granted, they were the future owners of Cumulus Co, and richer than even the Spence Clan, but the stories circulating about the male half of the twins were shocking to say the least. Stephanie was not looking forward to meeting those two at all, but her father had insisted that she introduce herself.
The doors those two could open in the business world were immeasurable, her father said, and worth dealing with the barbarianism that Americans would display. That was the crux of Stephanie's problem today. How was putting up with Americans for their connections any different than somebody trying to use the Spence Clan for something?
Stephanie was thinking hard and not paying any attention to where she was, so the sudden 'swoosh' sound was her only warning before the Whomping Willow smashed into her and tossed her broken body aside.