Disclaimer: It's really not mine…I may look like it but really isn't…
A/N: you'll see a bit more of the HBP plotline but still take into notice that this is a different take on things. Keep an open mind !
That was all.
Snapshots of the New Beginning
Harry spent the rest of the Holiday contemplating and reflecting on what we've seen and heard at Knockturn Alley. First of all, this time both Ron and Hermione agreed that things were fishy as Hermione put it. On the other hand, both refused to agree with the notion that Draco Malfoy is indeed a death eater.
"For the tenth time this week," Ron said while rolling his socks into balls and putting then inside his school trunk. "Malfoy's all words and no actions."
"Then why was he there?" I asked and handed him a wooly pair of purple socks. "For kicks?"
Ron paused for a moment and then snorted and rolled the socks. "He likes it dirty."
"You're disgusting." Hermione rolled her eyes.
"Malfoy was there before with his father," Harry said. "Back when we started second year and who knows how many times since then," he explained. "And now Lucius got himself locked up after failing getting the p-" he stopped and turned pale just as Hermione dropped the book she was reading and Ron shaking his head.
"Getting what?" I asked. As if I don't know. Pu-lease.
The three exchanged swift looks before Harry yawned. "It's getting late." Ron nodded and yawned loudly.
"Let's go." Hermione got up and took me by the hand and out of Ron's room. "Night." She said and closed the door not before sharing a dark look with the two boys.
Harry almost missed the train. I saw him talking to Mr. Weasley, probably about Malfoy and how he thinks he's a Death Eater (which he is) and he ran and hopped inside in the last minute.
"Had a nice chat?" I asked but he waved me off and started walking up the corridor. "Such a nice, well educated young man."
"Fancy finding a compartment?" he grunted at me.
"Oh so I do exist then?"
He shrugged and walked away. I followed him, as usual.
"Hi Harry!" Harry and I turned around and saw the smiling face of one, Neville Longbottom.
"Neville!" Harry sighed with relief.
"Hello Harry." And that was Luna Lovegood. She does look sort of…loony. She was holding a magazine, must be the Quibbler, close to her heart and a pair of odd looking spectacles.
"Hi Luna, how are you?" I'm guessing Harry was taken aback by Luna's appearance as well.
"I'm well, thank you." She said and her eyes, misty when she looked at Harry, but now small as a frown crossed her face as they rested on me. "You're not from here are you?"
I was about to answer but Harry beat me to it. "This is Sophie, she and Ginny Weasley swapped places this year. Ginny's at Beauxbatons while Sophie's here." I wanted to say hello but once again I was cut off by him. "Let's find a seat shall we?"
The four of us headed off to find a free compartment and while doing so I've noticed the large amount of students staring at us from their compartments. At long last we found an empty compartment and Harry hurried us in.
"They're even staring at us." Neville said and pointed at him, Luna and me. "Because we're with you."
"They're staring at you and Luna because you were at the Ministry too." He hoisted his trunk onto the luggage rack and helped me with my own. "Our little adventure that night was all over the Daily Prophet pages since then."
After we all took our seats and Luna and Neville asked Harry about re-assembling the DA to which Harry declined, Luna made the uncomfortable comment about how it felt like she had friends. He was about to say something to her when the compartment door slid open and a group of girls giggled and whispered about how should come in and ask Harry something. The bold looking one, a girl with large dark eyes and shiny long black hair pushed her way inside.
"Hi Harry, I'm Romilda, Romilda Vane." She said loudly and baldly – I snorted and stifled my laugh. She gave me a nasty look but turned back to Harry. "Why don't you come and sit with us? You don't have to sit with them." She gave Neville's bottom, which was sticking out from underneath the seat as he looked for his toad, a very displeased look and sneered at Luna and me to which I arched my eyebrow at her.
"We're his friends." I said acidly but she ignored me and gave Harry a very furtive smile.
"They are." Harry said coldly at her.
"Oh." Romilda's smile disappeared and she mumbled a few words to herself and her friends before leaving.
"People expect you to have better friends than us," Luna said bluntly as usual. "Cooler friends."
"You are cool." I said and Harry nodded.
"None of them was with me last year at the Ministry. They didn't fight with me." he added.
"That's a very nice thing to say." Luna beamed and returned to the Quibbler.
Neville kept on talking about how Harry faced Voldemort and how his grandmother adored Harry. Harry quickly changed the subject to resent Owl results and while Neville went on and on about his Herbology and Transfiguration scores, Harry drifted off looking deep in thoughts. I leaned my head against the window and looked at Harry as he pretended to listen to Neville.
"Are you seeing Wrackspurt by Harry's head as well?" Luna asked loudly. "Is that why you're staring at him?" the compartment fell silent as both Neville and Harry turned to look at me as well as Luna. I was blushing up to my roots. "They're supposed to be invisible but some people have the ability to spot them."
"Are they really?" I asked.
"When a Wrackspurt floats in through your ear and makes your brain go fuzzy." She explained and waved her hand in the air. I caught Harry's eyes and smiled at him as he shrugged and changed the subject to quidditch. A while after, Ron and Hermione joined us and Ron told us all about Malfoy's not doing his prefect duties and just sitting in his compartment with the other Slytherins and Harry once again wanted to comment about Malfoy being a death eater when he and Neville were invited for lunch at Slughorn's compartment.
"Why we weren't invited?" Ron asked while unwrapping a cauldron cake. "I mean, Harry I get but Neville?" Ron made a sour face.
"Neville's great!" I cried. "You have no idea what he's capable of."
"I've been his friend for six years and you know him less than six hours." He said pompously. "I think I know what I'm talking about."
"And I've read the books!" I protested angrily and Ron's eyebrows shot way up while Hermione looked between the two of us, very confused and Luna's sight focused solely on me.
"Look," Hermione said slowly. "What Ron meant to say was that it's a little surprising that Neville was called for this lunch along with Harry seeing that he's not the usual type of a person for these sorts of events."
I took a deep breath and blinked a few times. "Fine," I said. "But I never thought you'd be one to underestimate anyone." Hermione's cheeks turned a light shade of pink and she bowed her head.
"You're far from home aren't you?" Luna asked and her wide eyes stared at me.
"Sophie's from France." Ron said and Luna's eyes grew even bigger.
"You sound English."
"That's because I'm English but I lived in France." I said dryly.
"Oh," She said and returned to the paper. "If you say so." Hermione rolled her eyes and Ron just shook his head.
It was quiet for a while in the compartment, sometimes I'd catch Ron and Hermione exchange secretive looks and smiles and Luna would gape at me and shake her head before going back to reading. As for myself, I dozed off a little, waiting for Neville to return and Harry to go and spy on Malfoy (note to self: go look for him before the train starts moving).
Suddenly the compartment door opened with a bang. At first I thought it was Neville, boy was I wrong…
"Hello Dean." Luna greeted the dark boy as dreamily and usual. Dean Thomas looked strangely at her and then turned to Ron.
"Where's Ginny?" he asked and Ron narrowed his eyes at him. "Er…I mean…hey…d'you know where Ginny?"
Hermione had her hand on Ron's upper arm and she smiled at Dean. "I'm afraid Ginny won't be here for some time, Dean." She said slowly. "Ginny and Sophie here-" she pointed at me. "Have swapped places at each respective schools."
Dean looked confused. Something about him reminded me of Mickey. "Hey." I waved meekly and Dean stared at me.
"Huh?" Dean looked at me and then at Hermione and then and Ron.
"Ginny's at Beauxbatons and I'm here. We've made a sort of an exchange." If I'll repeat this sentence one more time I'm going to kill someone or commit suicide just to end the confusion or otherwise this far too long hallucination.
"Oh…she never said anything about it…" and now he's hurt. Great! "I better be off …see you at the feast." Slumped and sad he walked out.
"I'll go talk to him." I followed Dean and found him just outside one of the last compartments but before I was able to reach him Neville popped up from nowhere.
"Err…Hi!" he squealed while running a hand in his brown hair. "Lunch is over. He's rather odd that Slughorn person."
"Asked you about last year's adventure?" Neville nodded. "I bet Harry loved it." I don't know if Neville was about to answer but Hermione's head popped out of the compartment.
"You better change," she smiled. "We're almost there. Have you seen Harry?" she asked Neville.
Neville turned red. "He…well…something came up…he'll see us at the feast."
"Oh," Hermione said and sneaked a meaningful glance at Ron who nodded. "Alright then, go and change, quickly now." She shoved a bundle of robes into my hands and both she and Neville returned to their seats.
I changed into the school robes. It was something between a cool costume for a Halloween party and a horrible living nightmare. "Oh Ginny…" I closed my eyes and leaned against the mirror in the shaky toilet compartment. "I think I'm going insane."
By the time I was out of the toilet it seemed we have arrived. The train has stopped and students were getting off onto the Hogsmeade platform. Ron and Hermione along with Neville and Luna were nowhere in sight. It meant only one thing: Harry's in trouble.
Well, not really in trouble. Just getting his nose broken by Draco Malfoy and never getting to Hogwarts but that's just all in a day.
I walked down the now deserted train corridor looking for the right compartment, it didn't took me long to find it. It was the only compartment with the drapes down.
I slowly opened the door, not knowing if Malfoy was still there or not. He wasn't, and to anyone who might just happen to look inside the space would've looked empty. I knew better.
"Harry?" I dropped to the ground and started groping the floor for his invisible figure. Finally I felt something on the floor beside one of the seats. "Harry!" I beamed at his petrified, bloodied face as I pulled his invisibility cloak off of him.
His eyes darted all around the room and I was about to free him when suddenly the train lurched and I fell face on, on top of Harry's still body.
"Sorry," I rolled off of him and looked for Ginny's wand (now owned by yours truly). "Wand out of reach-found it!" he rolled his eyes. "If only you could speak, than you'd probably say something smart about my performance-" I bid my time with words while trying to remember some spells from the books.
Harry glared at me as the train began to gain speed. "I'm thinking!" then I remembered. "Finite Incantatem." There was a flesh of red light and Harry set up on the floor.
"Da Drain!" was all that Harry said before leaping on his feet and getting out of the compartment. "C'mod!"
We ran down the corridor, Harry still bleeding and I'm looking baffled.
"Wotcher, you two." She smiled, although it didn't reach her eyes. "We'll better get out of here." We followed her to a train door she charmed open. "Jump!" in a nanosecond she was on the platform. "Just do it!"
I don't know what made him do it but Harry took my hand and for a split second we shared a look before we jumped off and landed on the platform. We both staggered back to our feet but as I looked up I saw the scarlet train pick up speed and disappear around the corner.
The night air was cold and that was the first I noticed I was sweating like a pig. It felt nice and soothing against my damp skin. I whipped the sweat off my forehead with my sleeve.
"Who did it?" Tonks asked just as I handed Harry his cloak back.
"Draco Balfoy," he sounded bitter. "Fanks…for Da…y'kdow…"
"It's nothing." I tucked a lock of hair behind my ear.
"I can fix your nose if you stand still," Tonks said from behind us and walked over to Harry.
"Episkey." The blood stopped running out of Harry's nose and it seemed mended. "Better?"
Harry felt up his nose. "Thanks."
Tonks flicked her wand and a silvery figure shot from it and streaked off into the darkness. It was Tonks' new patronus, the wolf. "I'm sending a message to the castle I've found you and you too," she turned to me. It was then I noticed she wasn't smiling, nor was she as colorful as she was in the last book. I forgot she's still hung up on Remus Lupin. Oh, if only she knew.
We started walking and as we did, Harry began asking questions. "How did you found me?"
"I noticed you didn't left the train so I thought you might be stalling your time, hiding for a reason, I was about to find you when you two came running down the corridor." Tonks said as we paced towards the castle. "Who are you?" she asked suddenly.
"Sophie Price, new student." I answered quickly. "You're stationed in Hogsmeade?" I asked to promote the conversation and avoid any further inquiries about me.
"Me and a few other aurors," she started. "We're here for to give the school extra protection."
"Who are the other aurors?"
"Proudfoot, Savage and Dawlish are here too."
Harry stopped walking and looked confused. "Isn't Dawlish the auror Dumbledore attacked in his office last year?"
"The very one."
We resumed walking in silence up the path to school. A rather long walk if you ask me, long for the distance and long from the complete and utter silence accompanied with it. Tonks was as mousy as good old JK described her to be; maybe even worse then she said she was.
Finally, we have arrived at the school gates. I was hungry, cold, covered with Harry Potter's blood, smelly and did I mention bored to death by the mere presence of Queen Mouse a.k.a Tonks. Harry tried to charm the gates open but after Tonks explained him that nothing except waiting will help, Harry thought that camping out will be the next best thing.
"Someone is coming for us." I pointed at the looming figure coming to us. "See?"
Only ten feet from us, did Harry realized whom it was approaching us, one Severus Snape.
"Well, well, well." He unlocked the padlock with a tap of his wand and the gates cracked open. "How nice of you to turn up, Potter and you have chosen to separate yourself from the rest of the student body by not wearing the school robes."
"I couldn't change, I didn't have my-" Harry began but he was cut off by Snape.
"There is no need to wait, Nymphadora. Potter-" he looked at Harry and only then he took the time to look at me. "and the new student," he gestured at me. "are quite safe in my hands."
Frowning, Tonks protested. "I meant the message to Hagrid."
"Hagrid was late to the start-of-term feast as was Potter and Miss-" he addressed me.
"Miss Price, sir."
I smiled broadly at him. "Pro-fess-or." I pranced pass him as he walked back to allow Harry and I in. I'd bet only the money in the world Severus Snape was starring at my bum. He closed the gates in Tonks' face and tapped his wand again on the padlock so we could be safe once more.
"Goodnight," Harry called to her over his shoulder. "Thanks for…everything."
"See you, Harry," Tonks waved. "Sophie."
Snape was quiet for the larger part of the walk. I could see and feel Harry's hatred seething and oozing from him as if there was another person walking with us and all he does is bash Snape in the head with a large bat.
"Fifty points from Gryffindor for lateness, I think," Said Snape. "And, let me see, another twenty for your Muggle attire. Twenty points from Gryffindor for your own lateness Miss Price as well as another ten for cheek." He flared his chest with mirth. "You know, I don't believe any house has ever been in negative figures this early in the term nor did any new student at it. You might have set a record the pair of you."
This man is infuriating! I counted to ten before I was able to calm myself down. He kept on chewing Harry's ear off with wanting to be a show off and make a grand entrance. We finally reached the castle after what looked like a week worth of walking but in reality was only less than half an hour.
"No cloak, Potter." He said as we stood by the doors of the Great Hall. "You can walk in just as you are. You wanted everyone to see you and you shall get your wish."
"Ignore him, Harry." I tugged his sleeve and proceeded in walking straight into the Great Hall.
"Where've you-blimey, what've you done to your face?" Ron asked as he gawked at Harry while we took our seats at the Gryffindor table.
"Why? What's wrong with it?" Harry took a spoon to check his reflection while I was busy helping myself with some food before it'll disappear.
"You're covered in blood!" Hermione shrieked and drew out her wand. "Come here-" with quick spell ("Tergo") the blood siphoned off his face and into her wand.
"Thanks," said Harry. "How do I look?"
"Quite the daredevil," I smirked at him while munching a chicken leg. "Don't worry, we'll tell you later."
Hermione sighed. "Can't wait," she said and while Harry reached out to help himself with some proper food, it disappeared. "You missed the Sorting."
"That's okay," I said as helped myself with chocolate pudding. "As long as we get to see Snape announced as the Defense against the Dark Arts Professor I'm good." I stopped my spoonful mid-air when I caught the looks from the trio.
"Why would say that?" Ron was appalled. "That's not funny at all!" boy was he about to be upset.
"It's only rational." I tried to cover up my slipup. "Harry said Slughorn was the old potion master, right?"
"Why would Dumbledore hire back the old potion Master when the current one is still working?"
Hermione's brow furrowed. "Perhaps Slughorn will teach DADA? It's not farfetched."
"I dunno, Hermione," Ron said slowly and peered at the Teacher's Table. "Snape does look overly smarmy tonight. From what I deduct from Neville, Slughorn isn't someone who'll just get back from retirement without anything for his advantage."
Surprised Hermione stared at Ron. "You know," she said slowly. "That does make sense." Ron ears turned bright red.
"Of course it does." I winked at him and his ears grew redder.
Harry was looking very sullen. "If he is the new Defense against the Dark Arts teacher it means only one thing." His eyes flaring as he looked at Snape.
"Which is what?" Hermione inquired.
"By the end of the year, he'll either be sacked or dead." He looked back at Hermione. "I'm hoping for the last."
Later that night as I lay on my own bed in the sixth girls' dormitories, I wondered whether or not I'd wake the next morning in my own bed.
A/N: the conversations between Harry, Neville, Luna and the groupies is taken from chapter seven pg.125-147, and with Tonks from pg. 149-153, and with Snape pg.153-156 from chapter eight. Not everything is taken from there but I still want to clear it up.
Next time! Potions, DADA Class and more!
Reviews are more than welcome. Their mandatory!
Kidding! But I'd still like some