Hermione hurriedly stuffed random memorabilia into her trunk. It was time to meet Ron and Harry at Diagon Alley and she had woken up late! She slowed down, making sure the ink was safely closed and no ink would end up splattering her precious books and stuffed the quills in the side pocket so the feathers wouldn't get rumpled.

Closing the trunk, she told her parents to take her to Diagon Alley. She tapped the familiar bricks with her wand and the archway opened up. She strolled down the streets, looking at all the familiar shops: The Emporium, the ice cream store, everything. She gazed fondly at Ollivander's, remembering the joy and elation she had felt when she had found the right wand.

She consulted her list. Madam Malkin's first for some new robes. Crossing the busy street, she entered the store, the smell of fabrics and soap filling the air. Madam Malkin was fussing with a tall, lean, black-haired boy who obviously didn't want to get robes.

It seemed he couldn't take it any longer. "Stop it," he commanded the flustered woman, "I'll talk to the headmaster at Hogwarts. I can't believe these silly things…" he trailed off, pulling off the robes and the pins. His voice was rich and aristocratic. As he passed her, she blushed. He was really very handsome. He had violet eyes and a coy smile. Strands of black hair hung in his face and his posture was straight: like a well brought up boy.

As Madam Malkin fussed over her, she began to think about it more and more. Suddenly she asked Madam Malkin, "What year was that boy from before in?" The woman's face darkened.

"Impertinent boy!" she ranted. "But anyways, dear, he said he was a transfer from Area 11. He's in fifth year, he is," she nodded and once finished with Hermione, she turned her attention to the boy in line behind her.

She finished up with the Apothecary and decided to go to the Flourish and Blott's to get her books. There was the boy again. He was reading a book on potions. Potions of Battle by General I. E. Kotger, to be exact. Battle?

She paid for her books and left for the ice cream shop to go find Ron. Harry soon joined them and they left for Hogwarts together.

After saying their goodbyes to Mrs. Weasley on Platform 9 ¾, the three made their way to an empty compartment, stowing away their trunks, and sat down. Ron took out his chess set and began playing with the pieces. The door slid open and all three looked up to see a lean, dark haired boy with violet eyes. "Chess?"

Hermione gasped in recognition and the boy's eyes roved towards her. "Oh. You're the girl I saw at Malkin's and at the bookstore," his voice was aristocratic and clean, deep and alluring. Hermione blushed.

"Yeah. I'm Hermione Granger," she said, extending a hand. The boy smiled and shook it. Hermione couldn't help noticing how long and slender his fingers were. The fingers of a pianist.

"A game?" he asked Ron who was fiddling with his chess set. Ron brightened. He had been trying for the last ten minutes to get Harry or Hermione to join in a game but nothing had worked. He nodded and the handsome boy sat down beside Harry, across from Ron who got out a small folding table and began to play.

His fingers moved with swift precision. His face a mask of indifference. Harry turned to him. "I'm Harry Potter," he waited for signs of recognition but the boy just turned to him and smiled.

"Lelouch Lamperouge," he said, the syllables flowing off his tongue like water. He turned to Ron who was racking his brains for a move. "And your name?"

Ron looked up, distracted. "Oh. Ron Weasley,"

Ron was very frustrated. Three minutes into the game and he already been checked twice. Lelouch smiled. Just two more moves and if Ron moved as he predicted—checkmate was imminent.

Ron moved his bishop two squares diagonally. Lelouch smiled. So predictable. He moved his queen and Ron immediately moved his knight out of the danger zone. Lelouch smiled. Game over. "Checkmate," he said, moving his queen. Ron's eyes bulged.

The door slid open yet again to reveal a familiar blonde haired boy.

"Malfoy," Harry snarled. The pale boy just smirked.

"If it isn't Potter," he drawled. Lelouch looked to see who it was. The pale boy gave a start. "A Britannian," he said huffily. Lelouch smirked.

"And you are?" his tone was clipped and polite.

"Malfoy. Draco Malfoy," the boy replied proudly. Lelouch looked up from his fingers which he had been examining.

"Excuse me? I wasn't listening. I really don't care, you see," he said calmly. Malfoy's face turned purple. Ron's shoulders shook with muffled laughter. Without another word, Malfoy turned and strode out the compartment.

Harry decided then and there that he liked this Lelouch guy. The compartment was filled with conversation and quiet chuckling though Lelouch mostly stuck to his book.

Hermione stood up to grab her robes.

"You guys better start changing. Hogwarts is coming up," Lelouch looked at her. He smiled.

"Dumbledore gave me special permission to wear my uniform instead of the robes," he said before returning to his book, Potions of Battle.

A few minutes later, the train pulled up to Hogwarts. After waving at Hagrid who was taking the first years in the boats, they made their way to the carriages. Lelouch was already there, petting the thestrals. Wait. The thestrals?

The gruesome, black horse like beings were nudging him and crooning as he stroked their rotting flesh, hanging off gleaming white bones. Harry went up to the black-haired boy. "You've seen death before? No other explanation for you seeing the thestrals," he said haltingly. Lelouch stared at him with unreadable violet eyes.

"Yes," he mused, "I suppose I have seen death before. Britannia causes many deaths in many countries," Harry knew about the Britannians' ways of conquering countries but the idea still appalled him.

"But you're a student, you shouldn't be in the army," he said as the thought struck him. Lelouch smiled.

"I come from what was known as Japan, now known as Area 11. I assume you know how the Elevens are treated? Racial discrimination, just like America before us. Many Elevens' deaths are seen daily. The government just doesn't care." He said sadly.

Suddenly, Hermione was beside them. "Then you should join S.P.E.W.! We're fighting for the house elves' rights! They work to death and don't get anything in return! It's slavery," Lelouch was a bit surprised.

"Hermione," he said gently. "From what I've read about house elves, I can deduce that the house elves enjoy being slaves. They enjoy serving others for nothing in return. So you liberating them isn't going to make them happy," he finished, the gently tone still rumbling through his words in an effort to soothe the angry girl.

"Not Dobby!" retorted Hermione.

Lelouch raised an eyebrow. "All right. You're going to base your beliefs on the happiness of one elf out of the millions that exist. That is…ridiculous, to say in bluntly. I'm sure that 10 out of 10 elves you ask will say they don't want to be freed. So there may be some abnormalities like this Dobby you speak of, but still. Look at it logically,"

"Don't say Dobby is an abnormality!" Harry snapped. Lelouch shrugged his shoulders in apology.

"Different, then,"

Hermione was furious. "THEY'RE BEING TREATED LIKE SLAVES!" she yelled at him before turning on her heel and storming off, muttering things like 'racial injustice' and 'doesn't understand the good of this organization'. Lelouch watched her, amused.

"I suppose, being her friends, that you joined the ridiculous group," he said nonchalantly. Harry chuckled ruefully.

"Yeah," Lelouch shook his head.

"I'm glad I only have one crazy friend," He missed Millay.