Disclaimer: Harry Potter does not belong to me. The only characters I own are the ones I create. This disclaimer counts for all chapters.

Summary: She's a freak, and enjoys it. But in the war to come she's a key. The main key. There's no running from it. But she's got her friends… and she's got Draco… Nothing is as it seems… Which suits them just fine.

This is an AU fic (No, not Au, as in gold – nerdy me). OOC Snape (sometimes) and Draco (occasionally).

Warnings: Bit of language in later chapters.

Pairings: Draco/OC, Luna/Blaise, Snape/OC and many more.

Read A/N at bottom.

Chapter 1: The letter.

I was sitting in my room, reading. That was my favorite pastime. It let me escape from this wretched place. It opened a world where I could be the hero, where I could just belong. The book was rather ratty, but I couldn't expect much more, could I? The Orphanage's funds were low.

My room was rather small, only my bed and a smallish dresser in the room. A tiny window allowed some light to enter the room. The thin shards fell on my bed, which was covered in faded grey linen. I didn't realize it was possible for grey to be faded.

The book was grabbed from my hands. How had the door opened without me hearing it?

I looked up slowly. I thought people knew better than to mess with me? I was, after all, the freak of the crop. I saw the guilty party dance around with my book.

"Please return my book."

"No."

I stood up. Slowly I advanced on the older boy. I let a smile creep onto my lips. He measured me curiously. I held out my hand expectantly.

"Come on, Night, you aren't fooling anyone." The boy said. I deepened the smile. Hiss expression changed. He obediently put the book in my hand. I pointed my other hand at the door. The message was clear: Leave, or else…

I was yet to discover what the 'or else' was. Maybe I'd smile at him some more – I thought, amused. Tremble, weak mortal!

He considered me for a moment. I felt almost animalistic.

"You're still a freak, Night. Always have, always will. One day you'll regret taking your freakishness out on us." After that he scarpered. I closed the door loudly. It was odd, really, that I had gotten a boy older than me scared.

With a sigh I searched for the last page I was on and sat on my bed. But, try as I might, I just could not concentrate. He was right. I was a freak. Odd things always seemed to happen around me. There was a time where all of the colors of the bedding in the Orphanage had changed to bright colors. All of the blame had come upon me, but really? Grey? It was no wonder the children here were depressed. And I have no idea why they even blamed me, it was just one of those things you blamed on the outcast.

There was also the time that all of the girls in the Orphanage had their hair shaved off, due to our caretaker getting mad with a bunch of older girls. The next day mine had grown back. The others had stared at me, after that I was framed as the freak. So much so that I frightened the other eleven-year-old girls. The matron had given up by giving me my own room. Being a freak did have its perks, though… not a lot of the older boys bothered me like they bothered the other girls.

After that I was considered the outcast – the hair growing back was weird, I had to admit. I threw myself into my schoolwork, there was nothing else for me.

A tap on the window.

At least it's raining. I love the rain. The smell of the wet earth mixed with the sound of rain on the window... it just did something for me. I didn't know how I could smell it, I just could.

Another tap.

Wait, I didn't smell the earth, and that meant that it wasn't raining.

Another tap.

I looked up.

How odd. An owl was sitting outside my window, now tapping furiously on the window. I stood up slowly and made my way over to the window. And how in the name of everything good did I manage to confuse a scrape on the window with raindrops?

I opened it hesitantly. The owl swooped in and landed on my bed. It held its foot out to me. Attached to it was a letter! I took it off with shaking hands. The owl hooted happily and few out the window.

Someone knocked on my door. They didn't wait for an answer before entering my room.

"Miss Night? You have a visitor." It was the matron. Not even a greeting.

I looked up to see an elderly woman entering my room.

"Good day, Miss Night." The woman said to me. I almost laughed at the greeting: 'good day miss night', it sounded as if I had to miss the coming night.

She wore odd clothing - a dress with a leather jacket over it, and she had spectacles. And a very stern face. I wouldn't want to mess with her… another thing I noticed is how much she reminded me of a cat. Her eyes were sharp; I doubted she missed my fingers running through my hair, or even me twirling my fingers.

The door to my room closed quietly. I realized that the matron had left. How could I have missed that? And what were they thinking, leaving me with a strange woman? What if she tried to kill me?

Maybe the matron was simply familiar with her.

"Hello." I greeted the old woman.

"I'm sure that you are curious as to why I'm here." A small smile played around her lips.

"Yes, ma'am." I grinned at her.

"Miss Night, I am here to tell you that you are a witch."

I would've laughed out loud, but I knew she was being truthful. Number one, she didn't look capable of lying (or joking), number two, I had suspected it myself, recently. The other day two boys from the Orphanage had tried to drown me by pushing me off a cliff ("Kill the freak!" They'd chanted, I couldn't believe it, were the older boys really going to kill me? Then again, they might be part of some of the local gangs.) - we were at a beach, someone had been generous enough to donate some money to our cause - and I'd survived. I hadn't even reached the water. I had screamed and wished more than anything that I could stop falling. And I did. It was a rather weird experience. One minute I was falling, the next I was back at the top of the cliff. I'd looked around wildly, wondering if it was a dream? The two boys had been laughing, but when they saw me, they yelled and ran off to the matron. I had then figured it wasn't a dream. The matron was stunned at the two boys' fear. They said something about me falling off a cliff and reappearing right next to them – strike two for the outcast.

"You are not surprised?" The old woman asked. I realized that I hadn't answered.

"No, ma'am. I figured a witch, a cyborg or a genius." It was weird. I found out I was a special snowflake, but it wasn't really that special anymore.

She looked confused for a bit – I don't think she knew what a cyborg was. Her eyes shifted around the small room and rested on the letter in my hand.

"I see you've got our letter." She said with another slight smile.

"You sent it?" I asked the question, though it unnecessary.

"Yes, I did. Or, more accurately, the school did."

"School?" Now I was curious. All Orphanage children went to the local school, where we outcasted – me more than the others, of course.

"Yes, Miss Night. You have been offered a chance to study at Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I am Professor McGonagall."

The who, where and what now?

And more important, am I dreaming? I didn't dare pinch myself – the older woman would think I'm mental. Even I was, I didn't want to advertise it (yet).

"Is this real? Did someone send you to prank me?"

"This is real, I assure you." See, she didn't lie.

"Would you be offended if I asked you to prove it?" I tried to phrase it respectfully, but my tone implied otherwise.

"Not at all, Miss Night." She took out a thin stick and pointed it at me.

The next thing I knew I was laughing uncontrollably. Every inch of my body was being tickled. The sensation concentrated on my hands and feet – the most ticklish parts of my body.

Then it was over.

"What did you do?" I gasped, catching my breath

"It's called a tickling curse, the incantation is Rictumsempra."

"Cool." How literate of me.

"Do want to go to Hogwarts?" She asked. I cocked my head and gave her a look that clearly meant 'are you kidding me?'.

"Of course, ma'am. All I want to do is get out of here."

"All right. Attached to that letter is a list of books you'll need for the upcoming year."

"How will I pay for it?"

"The school has a fund for that. Here." She took out something from underneath the leather jacket and handed it to me. "Would you like me to accompany you?"

"Please, ma'am." I had no idea where to go, after all.

. . .

We had spent half the day in a place called 'Diagon Alley'. It was a charming place, actually, with stalls everywhere and people waving at eachother. Some stopped to talk with people they obviously knew. We bought books at a shop named 'Flourish and Blotts', they had a vast array of books, and I could've spent the day just there – but she dragged me away, saying that we could return if there was time.

Next we went to a shop that sold potion ingredients, another place I loved. The little dead creatures floating in unknown substances were just so interesting. McGonagall had to drag me away from there too.

After that we went to 'Madam Malkins', which was a shop that sold robes. I was measured – every piece of me, I might add. She'd not only sold me school robes, but also two pairs of other robes I might want to wear. To my immense surprise, they sold normal clothes too – and McGonagall insisted on buying me a few outfits, saying the clothes I'd worn at the Orphanage was second hand and therefore they just wouldn't do. I suspected she paid for it with her own money.

The last stop was the best, for me anyways. It was the wand shop. The old man that had helped me unnerved me a little, but I was happy with my wand. Blackthorn, fourteen inches. The core was made from Veela hair. It had taken a lot of tries before I got my wand – probably thirteen tries. Once I set his paperwork on fire. I apologized, but he just smiled his eerie smile and told me not to worry, he remembered every wand he'd ever made, and that mine would be no different.

Lastly the professor and I headed to the biggest building in Diagon Alley, there she asked me to wait outside as she went into Gringotts, the wizard bank. While I waited I read the letter again. I still couldn't believe it. Magic was real… but how could I ever have doubted it? Were most things that happened not magic?

Something soft was moving against my legs.

I looked down slowly, afraid of what I might find in this new, and odd, world.

It was a kitten! Oh, how sweet!

A black kitten was rubbing itself against my legs.

I bent down to pick it up.

"Well, aren't you adorable?"

Its eyes were grey. It was a she, and her fur was extremely fuzzy.

The professor returned. She saw me holding the cat and smiled kindly.

"Are you going to take her with you to Hogwarts?" She asked me.

I looked around for the owner, but saw none.

"May I?" I asked eagerly.

"Of course."

"Then, yes."

With a smile she escorted me back to the Orphanage. She gave me a ticket and told me to be at King's Cross Station on the first of September. I took it and thanked her for everything. I really liked her – an almost impossible feat.

. . .

September first came faster than expected. The matron took me to the station. I knew that the other children were just too happy to see me go, and the feeling was mutual. I, also known as the freak, was a troublemaker – even if all I did was stay in my room and read or scribble my odd theories on discarded paper.

I couldn't find Platform Nine to Three Quarters at first, then I saw a pale family go through a barrier, or I thought it to be a barrier, I mean, what else could it be? They went through a supposed solid brick wall. I followed them. I expected to crash into the wall, my belongings to be everywhere within minutes – but the collision never came. I opened my eyes warily, and saw a huge steam engine train. Smoke being blown out of its chimney – could it be called a chimney? I didn't know much about trains.

I tried to load my trunk on the train, but it was too heavy. Luckily for me, two red-headed boys approached me and helped me. They joked about Shadow – I glared at them for that. They shared a horrified look and apologized. I told them to take it easy – I was only kidding. They introduced themselves as Fred and George Weasley, I thanked them. The one leaned in to the other. "Is it just me, or do you see Snape in her glare?"

"No, it's me too." The other answered. What was a snape?

They excused themselves and left to help another.

On the train I had a compartment to myself. Well, that was until three boys joined me. One of them was the child from the pale, blonde family that shown me the barrier. I had kept out only a book, which I was now busy reading. The youngest of the pale family had entered, and also two rather big boys. I only sunk deeper into my book. The pale boy cleared his throat. With a sigh I lowered my book and politely looked at him.

"I'm Draco Malfoy." He introduced himself. He held out his hand, I took it out of graciousness.

"I'm Skye Night." I introduced myself.

I returned to my book.

"What are you reading?" He asked. I sighed inwardly.

"A book." I answered coolly.

"That much was obvious. I meant, what is the title of the book?"

"Hogwarts: A History." Being new, I had no idea of this new world, and, curious, I just had to read it. I was astoundingly nerdy and fully expected to be sorted to Ravenclaw. Perhaps Slytherin even.

"Are you a First Year, then?"

"Yes."

"Me too."

"Fantastic." I wondered if he noticed my sarcasm.

A girl with bushy, brown hair opened the compartment door.

"Have any of you seen a toad? A boy named Neville's lost one."

Both Malfoy and I shook our heads. His two friends weren't paying attention to their surroundings, divulging in sweets I had absolutely no idea where they came from. She left us with a defeated sigh.

"What house do you want to be in?" He asked me. I'd read about the four houses, though. So I didn't seem completely incompetent.

"I don't know." I answered honestly. He looked shocked. "How about you?" I asked politely. Being rude to the first person actually to talk to me wouldn't help with my new wish to find friends.

"Slytherin. Pure blood, ambition..." It sounded like he was going to launch into an explanation.

"I know." I cut him off. Once again he looked shocked. Obviously he wasn't used to people interrupting him. I heard a commotion outside. Someone yelled something about a spider. I rolled my eyes and picked my book up again. Malfoy cleared his throat again. I looked up.

"Yes?"

"Where do you come from?"

"London?"

"Where in London?"

"You don't need to know." I didn't mean to snap at him, but I didn't want people to know that I was from an Orphanage. (I could've just said the general area, but I was eleven and defensive.)

He remained silent. I tried to return to the book, but he cleared his throat again. With a sigh I closed the book and put it next to me.

"Have you got any pets?"

"Yes."

"What is it?"

"A cat."

"I didn't think you'd like cats."

"Surprise." I said dryly. I thought I saw him smile.

"What did you call it?"

"Shadow."

The black cat had grown a lot since I had found her near Gringotts. She was, right now, sleeping in a basket in the shadows.

"Why?"

"Because that's where she's always hiding." It had seemed like an obvious choice. And my cynic ways was getting in the way of me making friends.

"Oh."

I looked from him to my reflection in the window. A girl with long, brown hair and light green eyes stared back at me. My hair was neatly tied into a ponytail. I already had my new uniform on. All in all, I looked neat. As I preferred it.

"Are you a pureblood?"

I didn't know what a pureblood was, so I pretended not to have heard him.

"Night?"

I looked at him.

"What?"

"Are you a pureblood?"

I shrugged and looked at him questioningly.

"Wait… you don't know what a pureblood is, do you?'

I looked affronted at him.

"Excuse me!" I scoffed, grabbing my book and hiding my face behind it.

It seemed to have worked, because for he didn't push the subject. Instead he asked me random questions. One's that I answered - but I was careful not to let slip any personal information like where I was from. Maybe later I will tell someone, after I've made friends. Not going to be an easy task.

. . .

A/N: Okay, so now this chapter raises some questions, I know. This is not some Orphanage of Terror/Pain/Fear. And Skye was laughed at, true. But this is not based on a British Orphanage, it's based on South Africa's, which is admittedly behind on almost everything. We're getting there, but not for a while. It's based on the uses of an SA orphanage, because it's dedicated to Vaselinetjie, a girl who lived in an orphanage where they did these things. They cut off the girls' hair, she never said if it was due to a lice break out or not, only that some girls had misbehaved.

Warning: Flames will be laughed at. Continuously.