Hey guys! Thanks for deciding to check out this story! Just a couple things I want to bring to attention before I start-Astoria's age I changed so she would be in the same year as Draco, Harry, Ron, Hermione...ect. This book takes place in the 6th book, and also this doesn't necessarily tie into this chapter but I made Draco nicer because as the title says, love changes you! Review Please! :)
DISCLAIMER: You guys know the drill, I own nothing, ect.
Chapter 1:The Carriage ride
I slid into the red cushioned seat next to my my best friend Julie and the completion of our group of four, Sarah and Lucy.
"Astoria!" Julie squealed, pulling me into a tight hug. We drew Sarah and Lucy into the four way embrace, laughing and falling back into our seats as the Hogwarts Express took a sharp right turn. Us four Ravenclaws had stuck together since first year, and neither boy nor petty argument had seen the end of us yet, or ever would (although occasional fights weren't unheard of. We were teenage girls, after all). We giggled over swapped summer stories for a while, comparing tans and complaints about siblings.
"How's the evil Daphne?" Sarah snickered, referring to my sister in the year ahead of us.
Sarah's light hair, much like my own, fell back against her face as she repositioned herself.
"The usual, but a bit nicer actually. But Pansy Parkinson was over all the time. They got super close, which is to say closer than they were already and it was always Drakie this, Drakie that, Drakie Poo's a prefect and so hot and amazing...I swear if I hear one more word about Draco Malfoy I'll-"
"Talking about me, are we?" drawled an unpleasantly familiar voice from the cracked open door to our compartment.
"Eavesdropping Malfoy?" I hissed at him. It was common knowledge that we hated each other, ever since his first snide comment I had known he was no good.
"I was after the lunch trolley actually, it appears as though I've missed it."
I said a word that made Lucy gasp and scold, "Language!"
I hoped the warmth spreading through my cheeks was merely because of the temperature in the compartment, I was not going to let Draco Malfoy see me blush.
"And by the looks of it Greengrass has missed it too," Malfoy snickered, causing me to narrow my eyes at him.
"Sod off Malfoy, and go back to Parkinson," I hissed. Julie put her hand on my shoulder and Malfoy slammed his palm into the frame of the door and walked off.
"Well?" Sarah said impatiently. I narrowed my hazel eyes at her.
"Go get some bloody lunch! I don't want to listen to your stomach this whole ride!"
"Fine..." I grumbled, not looking forward to scampering after Malfoy like a lost puppy: that was Pansy Parkinson's job. I fished out a few gold galleons from my pocket and walked out. I passed my friend Luna Lovegood's compartment and waved as she was explaining something to a rather confused looking Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom.
Probably something along the lines of wrackles or nargspurts. Or was it maybe wrakspurts and nargles? As I was considering this I came inches from running into the boy I had just been so keen on avoiding.
"What're you doing?" I asked.
"Going back to Parkinson, as requested," he stamped off in what appeared to be a fit of male PMS. I rolled my eyes and turned to the plump witch who ran the trolley looking at me sympathetically.
"What?" I asked, startled.
"You just wait dear, you'll know soon enough." she smiled warmly.
"Uh...I'll take Bertie Bott's every flavor beans and a ham and cheese magic sub. No mayo please," I added as an afterthought.
As I walked back to my seat I narrowly avoided running into Ginny, who was putting her wand back into her pocket, looking confused.
"Hey Ginny!" I said brightly to one of my best Gryffindor friends one year younger.
"How was your summer, Astoria?" she asked, smiling. "Malfoy-free, I hope?"
"Mostly-but even worse, it was Parkinson infested. She may as well of pitched up a tent on the lawn for the amount of time she was at our house with Daphne," I sulked. Ginny smiled sympathetically.
"Well, I'm off to Compartment C for hexing someone." she waved her hand dismally.
I snickered, stopping at my compartment door.
"See ya, Gin!" I called, stepping inside. "Try not to start off Gryffindor with negative points!"
"How's Malfoy?" Julie snickered as I stepped in. "Did you two snog in the-Hey, every flavor beans? Whatever happened to licorice wands?" she complained.
"One, we didn't, nor will ever-"
"Is that a promise?" laughed Lucy.
"-and two," I plowed on as if I hadn't been interrupted- "I was feeling a bit daring, so yes, I got the beans."
"Cool it, we aren't those bloody Gryffindors," Sarah smiled as she held out her hand.
"And don't make promises you can't keep!" Julie said.
"What?" I asked, baffled.
"You. Malfoy. You and Malfoy. Astoria Malfoy. It's only a matter of time," she said slowly.
"In your dreams!" I scoffed. "Now everyone grab some!" I announced, holding out the box.
"Count of three," Lucy offered, holding hers up to the light, examining it.
"One." I began.
"Two," Julie said.
"Three!" We said together, putting them in our mouths. My face contorted in disgust as the taste of blood flooded my mouth. Sarah was choking and Lucy and Julie were laughing, relieved.
"Mint!" Lucy announced.
"Caramel!" sang Julie.
Sarah swore. "I dunno...but that was about the bloody sourest thing I've ever tasted!" she shivered.
"Well if yours was the bloody sourest, than mine was the bloody bloodiest," I offered, quickly choking down a bite of my sandwich to take away the taste.
"What?" everyone said simultaneously.
"The flavor was blood," I clarified.
Soon after we changed into our robes, the Hogwarts Express began to slow down, giving us a view of the castle's silhouette in the distance.
"There it is!" we squealed.
"N.E.W.T.S this year, girls," Sarah sighed.
"And you know who on top of that," I added darkly.
"Astoria, your family must be the only pureblooded one who hasn't strayed onto you know who's path in one way or the other," Julie mused.
"I'll be quite happy to keep it that way, thanks," I said lightheartedly.
The train finally slowed to a stop and kids of every age poured out the doors, shouting loudly to friends across the train.
Astoria, your family must be the only pureblooded one who hasn't strayed onto you know who's path in one way or the other...Julie's voice drifted through my head.
She was wrong.
Fenrir Greyback, or at least him as a werewolf, had recently become my boggart, and for good reason, too. He had come calling, with visitors, over the summer too many times for my liking. Actually, my liking was not at all. I knew my mother, Jacquiline, didn't welcome him with open arms, but didn't close the door on him either, a fact that I detested immensely. Zacharias, my father, stood on the same ground. No member of the Greengrass family's forearm was marred with the dark mark, but my parents didn't oppose him as much as they ought to, which was a fact that I detested even more than I did Draco Malfoy. I wasn't exactly sure where my sister Daphne stood, she had been helpful on several occasions during the summer but was friends with the Pansy Parkinson crew which annoyed me to no end. But my opinion, since I had as good as ruined the name of Greengrass (according to Daphne) by being a Ravenclaw instead of a Slytherin, and a blood traitor on top of that, was weighed as not very much. Because of this my parents had been telling me very, very little about the Death Eater's visits so I suppose we could have been more connected to him than I could have guessed.
I was brought back to the present as I almost crashed into a worried looking Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.
"He must have gone ahead. I hope he isn't upset," Hermione muttered. I opened my mouth to greet them but was pulled away by Julie before I could get the words out.
"Firs' years over here!" Hagrid bellowed, standing several feet above the frightened 11-year olds.
Not paying attention, my arm was wrenched from Julie's grasp and I slammed into the hard chest of Draco Malfoy, sending the both of us sprawling.
"Just can't keep away from me, can you Greengrass?" he sneered in response to the growing snickers around us.
"You have it backwards as always Malfoy, you arrogant prat!" I yelled as I hauled myself up, the crowd already thinning so much that we were the last ones still there.
"Why's there blood on your feet?" I blurted. He didn't answer, but looked triumphantly toward the train, which had let out a loud whistle. Than he turned back and we stood there, glaring at each other.
"Look what you've gone and done Greengrass! We'll miss the carriages!" he sneered, hastily pulling the sleeves of his robes down over his hands.
"Look what I've done? Why is everything my fault?" I asked, rolling my eyes. I made sure my 11 inch oak and unicorn tail hair wand was still tucked carefully inside my robes.
"I don't have all day to stand and argue, I've got to go," he said, jogging off.
"Well obviously I've got to come as well!" I called after him, jogging to keep up. We were immediately pounced upon by an over eager Filch with his much used secrecy sensor. Soon Snape had walked over, rescuing Draco and throwing a "well, Greengrass had better come to I suppose," in my direction. Filch looked extremely disappointed in being denied another round of poking and prodding with his sensor, and we hurried off before he changed his mind. Draco and I were quickly herded into the last carriage together, unfortunately, which caused us to squish against opposite sides, trying to sit as far apart as possible. Shouts and laughter rang out from other carriages, while ours was filled with bickering.
He let up after a while, and silence overcame us. I was extremely aware of his breathing on the other side of me/
"Can you see them?" he asked suddenly, his light blue eyes staring ahead at what was supposedly Thestrals pulling our raven black carriage. I wouldn't know, I couldn't see them.
"No, I've never seen someone die," I answered truthfully, startled that he had asked me such a civil question, at least in tone. I looked at his to see him twirling his Slytherin ring on his finger, his unfocused eyes staring blankly ahead of us.
"I see them," he said with no emotion in his voice, barely audible over the trotting hooves over cobblestone, which suddenly sounded a lot louder.
"Who..." I trailed off, unsure of how to phrase such a question. He looked at me head on, and I was startled by the intensity in his icy eyes.
"Who have I seen die?" he finished for me. He almost looked like he was going to answer, but than snapped his mouth closed and looked the opposite way.
"None of your business, Greengrass," he drawled, back to his normal arrogant self.
"Mature, Malfoy," I tried my best to drawl back.
A\N So what did you guys think? I know this is by no means a very exciting chapter, but trust me, it gets better! You can't start the action...or romance...right away, can you? ;)
REVIEW PLEASE! :)