visit, Harry Potter felt the need to argue most avidly with his most
trusted teacher. Dumbledore had come not only to stop Lupin and Tonks
from carting him to Hogwarts, but to change his mind about coming
there altogether. Harry was confused suddenly as to why he was not
allowed to go, and to what arrangement made it a bad thing for him to
want to see Alina? Dumbledore sat listening in the comfort of Fred
and George's kitchen, letting Harry fume as much as possible. When
he was finished, and had put his hands down upon the table's
surface, Dumbledore began to speak.
"Harry, I do not expect you to understand my methods, and I apologize for giving you prior permission and most absurdly taking it away, but I would like you to understand that this is not only my opinion, as much as Alina's." Harry's mouth fell slack a bit, and he had to remember to pull it back up.
"But why sir? Why doesn't she want…" Dumbledore put up a finger to silence him.
"Yes Harry, she does want friends and to get to know the boy her father loved, but you must understand. Alina feels that she has created a very large and out of order situation for the Weasley family as well as yourself, and at her most audible wishes to do anything but put anyone in harm's way again. Therefore, she does not wish for your accompaniment to Hogwarts at this time." He finished and Harry was still slightly off his mental balance.
"She never put anyone in more danger than I have." He said without meaning too, but it was the truth.
"Although that may be true Harry, imagine if you had never had a friend, or the chance of making friends, and suddenly you've endangered all of that because of your name…but of course," he gave Harry a knowing look, "All of these things are similar to what you have gone through. So I am sure, that you can sympathize with her dilemma." He nodded once bleakly.
"I understand sir…just tell her she's not alone." He added watching Dumbledore rise in his long blue silken robes.
"I shall bid you the best of the summer Harry." He nodded to him, and with a loud obnoxious CRACK, was gone.
Harry found it hard to believe that he knew exactly where Alina was coming from. She'd been alone her entire life, much as he had, and put everyone that meant something to her in immediate danger. He also kicked around the idea that he didn't really know her yet, but maybe that was more of her defensiveness as well, she wanted to separate herself in his mind from Sirius to Alina. In fact he was almost sure that was a major reason, that being Alina in his eyes was far more important than him seeing her as something of Sirius. Hermione and Ron came trudging up the stairs after Dumbledore had left and found his side almost instantly.
"What's wrong mate? You were pretty loud." Ron said slapping him on the back, which almost made his glasses fall from his nose and smash onto the floor. Hermione righted Harry's balance and smoothed out his shirt where Ron had hit him.
"He doesn't have to tell us." She said crossly shooting Ron a dirty look.
"No, no it's fine." Harry said waving them off of him. Once they had given him space he continued, leaning back against the kitchen counter. "Nothing really. He just said Alina didn't want me to leave early, she'd up at Hogwarts already, she wanted me to stay here and leave with everyone else on the normal day." Ron looked baffled.
"We didn't know you were fixin' to leave early." He mumbled looking a bit hurt. Hermione seemed to have the same expression, but covered it up more hastily.
"Well, I didn't know I was either…Lupin just said I could…and…I felt bad for her after saving us you know…" he felt the words leave his lips, but that they were reaching deaf ears. Despite the tense situation Hermione fixed the bent air as she always did.
"We understand Harry. It's all right." She took his hand apologetically, and Ron looked burnt red, with fire in his eyes. Harry didn't fail to notice that.
*** A few months later, at the start of the term…The Great Feast!!!***
and Hermione were watching for Harry anxiously, awaiting his arrival,
which had yet to come. Although they had no idea where he was, the
sorting was about to begin, and the first years looked tinier than
the last. There was a short bustle of new robes and jittering from
the mass of new faces, and Hermione took time to note that they were
a fair bit shorter than last years lot. Ron was focusing on Alina
Black, who stood out like a sore thumb, and he couldn't help but
notice the whispers circulating her. In fact, he decided it reminded
him of the whispers and mumbling from his very first year, when Harry
Potter had been called to be sorted. He wanted to know where she
would be put, and as he watched Dumbledore stand, everyone fell
"Thank you all, and Welcome all, to the Start of the Term. May we all feast to the challenges of the New Year, and laugh at our mistakes along the way. I must note, however, that security around the castle has been changed and highly strengthen. There are to be NO children out of their dorms past dark. With that being said, congratulations on the new year, and may it begin brightly!" he looked out over the edge of his half moon spectacles, and gave a small nod in his and Hermione's direction smiling. He sat, and as he sat Ron noticed the chatter and whispers begin again. McGonagall stood with her wide brimmed maroon hat, a bright green feather sticking out from it's edge, and waved the first years' over to the sorting hat. Hermione leaned forward a bit watching as the first few were called, their order being sorted into Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, Gryffindor…and then they heard it.
"Alina Black." McGonagall called through the chatter and whispers. Everything fell as silent as it had when Dumbledore had spoken. Ron watched Alina push her way past a few of the younger children, and slid onto the stool with an annoyed look on her face, he also saw Malfoy sit up as straight as a board. The shocked look on his pale features was as if you'd stretched a white sheet over a lumpy log. The hat was placed upon her head, and it shouted angrily making most of the tables jump.
"A BLACK EH!?" it bellowed, loud enough for all to hear. Alina cringed gripping the stole beneath her until her hands were white. "Another Black…well, well, well…it has been so very long since I have seen your blood here." Since Ron and Hermione were sitting closely up front, they could barely hear, but enough to understand the brown talking mass.
"Great…" Hermione heard Alina mumble.
"Hmmm….Sirius's daughter I see…the temper of Bellatrix…you have a strong family line…" Alina whispered back.
"Most of my family are horrible people." She shut her eyes.
"Most intelligent…elusive…but where to put you?" it looked out over the tables in the hall. Ron thought vaguely he remembered those words all to well.
"Where…" it murmured thoughtfully, "Perhaps you are daring as your father…no…you have a dark past…SLYTHERIN!" it called out triumphantly as if placing her there had been it's best choice of all. Alina's face was that of mock horror, and then it slid downward into a cold distant and blank expression, that neither Ron nor Hermione liked. She made her way over to their table, Malfoy clearing Pravati aside for her to sit, made a wide grinning smile. Ron watched as Alina glanced towards the open seat, then sat far away from him at the front end of the table. He laughed, while Hermione smiled.
"She's a good egg at least." She said somewhat confidently. "Though I do hope she'll be alright there by herself." Ron watched the food appear.
"At the moment, I think she'll be fine." He said digging in.
No later than pudding had arrived Harry burst through the front doors, Snape in view behind him, and strode across the Great Hall towards the Gryffindor table. The Slytherine's were all cackling, Alina watching Malfoy mocking some event in which she was sure the blood on Harry's face had come to be, and Harry took his seat beside Ron.
"Bloody Hell, what happened?" he asked. Harry had altogether forgotten what had happened, and looked at his face in the back of Ron's spoon.
"Here I'll get that." Hermione said and put her wand to his face to siphon the blood from it. Harry thanked her and then glanced around.
"Slytherine mate. Bad luck." Harry's eye shot towards the Slytherine table, and he spotted Alina immediately. She was picking at something on her plate, refusing to eat, and seemed not very at home in the house she'd been placed in. He felt a sudden pang of guilt, that she'd have been awaiting this day with horrible fear of being put in Slytherine, and no one had been there to comfort her. He sighed, forgetting the fact that he hadn't had any dinner, and watched her again. Malfoy was eyeing her carefully, trying to figure out how to get to her Harry assumed, but she kept herself smartly placed between two fourth years and out of his conversation reach. She glanced up, towards Harry's direction, gave a half smile, and looked down again. He felt his stomach tighten a great deal, because he knew what it felt like to be alone too.