A.N.: Next chapter! A bit longer than the last thankfully, though not spectacularly long. I would have made the last one longer but I had so much I wanted to do and it would have made the last chapter too long. Hope this appeases those of you who were afraid that all the chapters would be as short at the last. I know I do so I share your pain over the last chapter. *cringes* And Pansy is more than a little out of character but I wanted Harry to have a friend who was a girl so I used her. Don't hate OOC Pansy!
Again, Kudos to my lovely BETA: LittleLaunch! Loves! :D
Oh, and by the way, I switch back and forth between names, from Harry to Haleigh and so forth, I hope it doesn't bother you; it is mostly to remind myself I am writing about a girl. :P To keep me from getting confused.
The Little Miss
Harry sighed as she laid back on her king size bed. She had expected the upper suits to be expansive but this was exquisite. The room she had signed herself up for, while costly, was completely worth it. There were seven private suits on her level, fourteen private dorms on the floor below, between the suits and the regular common room level. There were many advantages to having a room on this floor, not just the privacy. This was the only floor of the Slytherin commons that was above ground. It took up the entire bottom floor of the Astronomy tower in fact. This meant they all had their own entrances to their rooms, not having to go through the common room to reach their suit. She grinned as she thought about all that came with the room, besides the prestige, though she enjoyed that as well.
The room came not only with it own sleeping quarters but with own bathroom, large enough to rival the prefects' bathroom, though a bit smaller since it wasn't meant to hold more than one person. Harry snickered at that thought however; knowing without a doubt they had on many an occasion, not matter what the purpose of the rooms.
There was also a small private common room, a small library and study and a good sized kitchen, with house elf quarters, should you have brought one of your own, and a private lab for those potion and spell making enthusiasts. Of course, there was a small community common room with its own central fireplace large enough to keep the whole floor warm.
She giggled to herself, thinking how much she was going to enjoy her private room.
She heard a knock at the door and froze for a moment, before realizing it had to be the two boys she had told to come up for her to talk to this evening. Zabini, she smiled when she thought about him. The boy was smart, quick too, with just enough attitude to keep it interesting but not enough to get out of hand. He would be useful to her did what he was told and didn't cause trouble.
Malfoy on the other hand, while the boy was smart he didn't seem to have much common sense. She understood that he was taken by surprise with Blaise's comment on her Parseltounge abilities, she would have to talk to Blaise about that as well, but the boy should have known, especially with that father of his, that somethings just weren't spoken of in public! She shook her head in exasperation; the boy would need a lot of work if he was going to be of any use. He had too much pride and too little self control from what she had heard. And she would have to rid him of all the bad habits his father instilled in him. She grinned, well; it isn't like she couldn't do it, so no worries. She got off the bed and made her way to the door of her suite, thinking. No doubt they would want to discuss the comments Snape had made in the common room as well. The man had made a lot of good points. She smiled, I knew I liked him.
She thought back to what he had said.
No doubt you are all eager to move forward with your new King, she has already proven to be a strong person who is not to be toyed with, and after the disasters of your last few Kings, that is obviously a relief, Snape had said, in that dryly amused way of his.
She had smiled softly at that, practically able to taste the waves of discontent and anger coming off Thomas Zabini. Blaise had just sniggered quietly into his hand, picking up on what had made her so happy.
I too have high hopes for your new King, Snape had gone on, she comes from high stock and from what I have seen, has been able to, in the last few hours, make Slytherins do what no King has been able to do since the rise if the Dark Lord, she has made you think. Harry could see the unease at the corners of Snape's eyes when he said that, knowing the man was going out on a limb saying this to a room full of potential Death Munchers. But he was also openly showing support to the new King, one who had the throne well in hand and wasn't about to let it go. Snape no doubt knew that his support would also garner him protection.
She grasped the handle of the door and pulled it open, surprised to see more than two people. In fact, she saw five. She scowled at Blaise and Malfoy at the front. "What are all these people doing here? I didn't tell you to bring guests."
Malfoy shifted a bit, unconsciously, before he caught himself and stilled. Blaise just smirked, "They wanted to talk to you."
She kept scowling, "So?"
Blaise smiled, softening his smirk and used a mock coaxing tone, "Now, you wouldn't refuse an audience to your cousin would you?"
Haleigh growled, "What are you-?" Then what he had said sunk in and she narrowed her eyes, "Which cousin?"
Blaise chuckled and pushed forward one of the girls behind him, of which she now noticed there were two. There was the Parkinson girl and the Head Girl, Juliana Halberd. There was another person, a boy their age who she remembered as Theodore Nott.
She focused her attention on the girl in front of her, Pansy Parkinson. She looked the girl up and down. She was rather scrawny, kind of reminded Harry of herself, who couldn't remember the last time she had a decent meal before she took off for Diagon Alley, refusing to stay with the Dursleys once freedom was in her grasp. She rolled her eyes at the thought of her so called relatives.
She stepped back and waved the girl into the room. But when Blaise tried to follow she pushed him back out, smirking and telling him, "Private audience my dear, can't have you interrupting." And she closed the door on his scowling face. She snickered as she walked back into the common room, beckoning Pansy to follow. She waved the girl down into the seat next to hers, pouring the girl some tea. Handing it to her she asked, "Now, tell me why you came to see me."
Pansy was nervous, and it showed. She had a problem meeting Haleigh's eyes and twisted her tea cup in circles in her hands. When she finally spoke, she spoke quietly, reservedly. "I need your help."
Harry smiled crookedly, "I figured, what else would you come to see me for?"
Pansy finally looked up at Harry, who noticed her eyes were a bit damp, though she couldn't figure out if it was genuine or for show. "Will you tell me I can't become a Death Eater or get married?" She spoke this question beseechingly, like she had no idea Harry had fully intended to give one of those orders already, though she had made it pretty obvious.
Harry set down her own teacup, looking over Pansy with a more critical eye than before. I wonder if she really doesn't want to become a Death Muncher or if she is just avoiding a bad marriage, Harry wondered.
Well, let's find out. "Why do you want me to do this? Do you truly not wish to become a Death Muncher or are you just avoiding an unsightly marriage to a Death Muncher?" She spoke frankly, knowing Slytherins, for all their cunning, would not be accustomed to frankness.
Pansy looked momentarily startled by both the question and, if Harry guessed right, her little nickname. "Both, milady." Pansy breathed under her breath, wondering what answer would garner what she wanted. Haleigh could practically see the girl mentally crossing her fingers.
She smiled and sat back, "This person you're supposed to marry…?" She trailed off, letting the other girl pick it up.
Pansy scowled, "He is terrible! He is old, in his forties! And they want me to marry him when I turn seventeen, he will be in his fifties by then!" She gagged at thought.
Harry laughed at the girls antics. "I have never been a fan of arranged marriage so I will send your parents a letter telling them I have plans of my own for you after school and that will be that."
Pansy hesitated before asking, "What if that isn't enough? What if they push it?"
Harry gave Pansy a slow, lazy look, illustrating the fact that the elder Parkinson's failed to worry her. "We are called Kings for a reason, my dear. No doubt they remember what it was like in Slytherin. They will not fight it." She gave the girl a dark grin, thinking of how she would word her letter to make the most impact on her Aunt and Uncle.
Haleigh giggled to herself, just calling them Aunt and Uncle might do that.
Pansy didn't relax completely but was comforted by the confidence of her cousin. She felt a bit odd thinking of the girl as such but knew it was true, Snape himself had said so, and also recognized that being related to this particular girl was not a bad place to be at the moment, with her abrupt but effective takeover of the school.
Harry rose from the couch, making her way to the door, "If that is all." She raised an eyebrow at the girl, expectantly.
Pansy shot up from her seat, "Of course, milady!" She quickly made her way to the door.
Harry neither opened the door nor removed her hand from the knob. "Where are you going?"
Pansy stopped a few feet from the door, "Didn't you want me to go?"
Harry waved a hand at Pansy, scoffing, "No, I was just making sure it was alright for me to let the morons in."
Pansy looked startled, "The morons?"
Haleigh nodded, "Yeah, Malfoy and Blaise. Not a lot of good they are yet so until they prove otherwise they are the morons." She said this as though it were completely normal for her to be calling the only two people others had seen her conversing with by insults as if they were names.
Pansy stifled a giggle, "Yeah, its fine. I want to thank Blaise for bringing me up here anyway."
Harry nodded and opened the door, catching the attention of the two boys and motioning them into the room, beckoning the others, the Nott boy and the Head girl, with them. She ushered them into the common room, sitting them down, getting them tea and the like before setting herself down by the fire, wondering if she should get a house elf to do the tea pouring for her, it was starting to get on her nerves.
"So," she started, bringing her cup to her lips. "What can I do for you two?" She directed this question to Juliana and Nott.
Nott shifted in his seat. "I have a question to ask, milady, but I would prefer to do it in private if you don't mind."
Harry nodded, wondering what he would want to ask her at the same time she wondered when people took to calling her 'milady'. "That is fine, Mr. Nott." She smiled to herself at his surprise at her knowing his name.
I must make sure to know all their names, she thought. It will take them off guard and let them know I am watching and that I care who they are and what they are doing. She made a mental note to ask one of the boys to make a list of Slytherins that included pictures.
She turned to Juliana. She hadn't seen much of the girl but did like what she had seen. The girl was quiet and calm, observant and keen. She was like an older, more mature Blaise. Harry smiled when she thought that. Maybe she could recruit Juliana to help straighten him out. "What can I do for you, Miss Halberd?"
Juliana smiled a very slight smile, very subtle but filled with kindness, a bit of amusement and an entreaty for patience. "I too would prefer to talk with you alone, milady." Unlike Nott, she made a statement, not a request, but it was in a way that made it seem unassuming, merely a statement of what she would like than a demand to have it, which is what it was, for her smile and eyes were calm and kind but firm. Haleigh liked the older girl instantly. She made no waves, but gave no ground. She inclined her head, standing, "Well then, I know you must be heading out to your rounds soon, why don't you come into the study with me." She too refrained from posing her reply as a question, clearly telling Juliana that she wouldn't give ground either.
She moved toward the study, not looking back but knowing the other girl followed. She didn't turn to look at the Head girl till she seated herself behind her desk. She watched the older girl sit in the plush armchair across from her before asking, "Now, what is it you need to speak to me about?"
Juliana took her time making herself comfortable before meeting Harry's eye. When she spoke, she didn't give a direct answer. "The Nott boy, he is here to talk to you about his brother. He is a seventh year and is devoted to the Dark Lord. He will not accept your rule easily. He will be one of few I believe, but he will challenge you. And the younger brother cares much for the elder; you would be best ostracizing them both now."
Haleigh waited a beat before smirking, "Skirting the subject? Or trying to impress? You must be doing one or you would have told me what you wanted by now, I believe I asked specifically." She said this in as flat a tone as she could manage, for she wanted to laugh at the girl sitting across from her. What is she doing? Harry wondered, not being able to figure out what the girl was doing by avoiding the subject. She had come here to talk to her for a reason; she must have something to say.
Juliana straightened, a hint of a frown coming across her face, unnoticeable by anyone who wasn't scrutinizing her the way Harry was now. But her face evened out even from the slightest wrinkles. While there was no more smile, there was no frown either. "I was trying to offer you advice, milady."
Harry snorted, "I am a Slytherin too don't forget, advice is never offered without reason. So, tell me your reasons." She had already illustrated that she wasn't going to give ground, now it was time to make it clear she wasn't afraid to make waves as well.
Juliana's spine stiffened, trying to figure out, in the few seconds she had, whether or not she should take that comment as an attack on her honesty or what is was, a statement that was very much true. Juliana eventually sighed, an act that Harry couldn't gage the sincerity of, and said, "I was merely trying to win your favor milady, by proving to be knowledgeable and therefore useful to your Grace."
Harry sat silently for a few beats, making no movement but to swing her foot lazily from where her left leg draped over her other knee. "You should have made your intentions clear instead of avoiding my questions, Miss Halberd." She told the older girl sternly. She went into this hoping to change the wizarding world and ended up feeling like a school teacher. She mentally rolled her eyes. She knew going into this though that she would have to be tough, have to put her foot down with these people, let them know she wasn't going to be pushed around, manipulated…let them know they could lean on her, look to her…trust in her. How else would they pull themselves out of this pit they had fallen in without someone to guide them? They had been sinking deeper and deeper for over fifty years; obviously they couldn't do it themselves. That is why Haleigh had decided to get involved in the first place, because they needed help, the wizarding world needed help, and nobody else was going to do it.
She watched Juliana for a beat. "The best way you can help me to trust you Juliana is by trusting me. Know that you don't have to go out of way to impress me, being Head Girl does that already. Do what you do naturally, excel," she smiled, "and we will have no problems." She said this softly, but firmly. She didn't want to be too harsh but she wanted to make her point. They needed to learn that she was not going to be like any King they had had before. No, she was going to be better.
This chapter isn't a very interesting chapter but I needed to get a few things straightened out with certain people. Next chapter will hopefully be more interesting! Promise!