Happy birthday, Angie!


With high blonde pigtails tied in emerald ribbons, Astoria Greengrass captivated all of those in the Slytherin common room without even trying. Although many people (mostly Gryffindors) would call the girls of Slytherin crueler and nastier than most, even they couldn't resist cooing as the Second Year skipped around the room and sang at the top of her lungs.

"Astoria!" Daphne, her older sister, groaned, tugging at her hand and forcing her to sit still on the couch. "No one wants to see you prance around like a trollop."

And then the room echoed with laughter when with a confused look she replied, "What's a trollop? Isn't that what Father calls Mum?"

Daphne was less than impressed though and slapped the younger girl across the cheek. "Just shut up, all right?"

If Daphne hadn't been a popular girl, someone might've told her off. And maybe if Daphne didn't excel at hexes, someone might've taken Astoria aside and calmed her down as tears began to slip silently down her cheeks. But unfortunately, Daphne was all that and even Pansy Parkinson who hated the girl with passion merely shrugged the act off.

She'd been taught not to cry. Crying is for the weak, her parents had scolded her as a toddler. But her parents weren't there and so Astoria felt little shame as she watched all the other girls, her sister included, walk away from her and out of the room without a care in the world.

Nimbly, she tore at the ribbons and pulled at the bands in her hair. Crying was ugly too. And ugly girls didn't deserve ribbons and pearls.

"You should've hit her back."

Jumping, Astoria quickly rubbed her eyes and blinked widely at the boy that now stood in front her.

Draco placed his hands deep into his pockets and shrugged. "Just saying."

"She's my sister," she said, soundly quite appalled at the idea. "I could never hit her. Would you hit your sister if you had one?"

"If she hit me first."

"Well, I think that's childish," Astoria declared, before pursing her lips in frustration. "Would you hit Hermione Granger? You don't like her very much, but you're not meant to hit a lady, are you?"

Giving a low chuckle, he placed a hand on the girl's shoulder. "You should never call a Mudblood a lady."

With those words, Astoria recoiled as if his hand was made of fire. She glared furiously up at him and crossed her arms defiantly. Finally, she spat, "Oh. You're one of those people. Just like my sister."

"Those people?" Draco drawled. "Do tell what, exactly, you mean by that."

"Those people!" she repeated with a screech. "I just don't understand you. Don't tell Daphne, but I've got a Muggle-born friend. And she's much more of lady than her. And Father always says that being a proper lady is most important for us girls."

"Mudbloo-"

She interrupted him before he could even finish the word: "Shut up. They don't like it when you call them that. It's like when the Gryffindors call you Ferret. You don't like that, do you?"

Kneeling in front of her, Draco looked at her with curious eyes. How such a naïve girl had been spawned from one the most elite families of the Pureblood world, he didn't know.

"Listen," he said. "Mudbloods aren't like us. They can't think like us. They stole magic from us. Bet your father's told you that too, hasn't he? To be lady you've got to follow the rules. You're a Pureblood - you're a lady. A Mudblood will never be good enough to be a lady. Never."

The next morning, Astoria Greengrass threw out her ribbons. She wiped away her last tear and sauntered into the Great Hall as if she owned the place. And when a friendly hand waved discreetly at her from the Gryffindor table, she ignored it.

She was a lady. Ladies didn't associate with Mudbloods.