Advisory Whatever: This is a non-serious fic that I threw together one day after a day of browsing made me die inside. It has: Crack-ish scenes, an almost obnoxiously laid-back atmosphere, beasts/being/creatures, passive-aggressive bashing of Snape and Draco Malfoy (but no one else, really), Crazy!Lily, Cheerful!Manipulative!Harry, a pinch of stalking, no concrete pairings, a sporadic update-rate, and oranges.
CHAPTER 01 - The Public's Chosen and the Other Half
Impatience was widely present in the Great Hall of Hogwarts that September evening.
The fact that McGonagall was in the P section of the list (finally!) was only adding to the tension.
She found it sad, rather than appealing, as she looked all around at those shining faces. Many students were biting their lips, tapping their feet, tapping their eating utensils, and whatever other kinds of fidgeting they could think to do.
They were all on the edge of their seats like this was some kind of show. She knew what they were waiting for. She could hear the whisper of the name Potter in every direction.
The silence was killed in an instant, replaced by the harsh drone of many people whispering at once. It was a difficult thing for her to suppress a grimace, but she managed when she felt a familiar touch on her elbow. Her expression twitched into a small smile that apparently dazzled the people around her, for they gaped at her like she was a saint. Her gaze flickered briefly to the bespectacled boy behind her. His face was calm and encouraging. She took a step forward amidst the eager leers.
"The-Girl-Who-Lived!" She heard from one side.
"She's so pretty. Look at her eyes! They're so green!" She heard from the other.
It was a small stroke of luck that the remaining crowd parted easily to let her approach the old sorting hat. She couldn't go as far as saying it was polite, since they were still staring and whispering like idiots. She sat on the stool and looked straight ahead at her still waiting future classmates until darkness enveloped her.
"You're a very bitter young lady," the hat began. "Have you tried making friends?"
"I have my brother and my books," she responded promptly. "Whether I make any more during my schooling here depends on how many people act stupidly around me."
"I see you are mostly your mother's daughter!" the hat exclaimed dryly. "If it weren't for your love of flying I would have wondered if James had any say in your upbringing at all."
"He had plenty," she said. "It's just that mum's lessons tended to stick a little more."
"Humph. You have her brain and lack of social skills," he remarked. "In another world anyone would have pegged you for a Ravenclaw."
"And in this world?" she asked; she didn't bother bringing up the fact that her mother was in Gryffindor.
"Where do you think?" the hat asked in return.
"I think I should go to the House that will complement me best," she determined smartly.
There was a brief spell of silence before the hat began to chuckle in a way that irritated her.
"The House that will benefit you most would be… GRYFFINDOR!"
Cheers erupted from most of the school. The deluge of clapping sounded like a stampede and if it weren't for the castle enchantments the floor would probably be rumbling. Camellia gripped the stool hard enough to strain her knuckles.
She choked, "Excuse me!?"
"Perhaps they will teach you how to socialize, little misanthrope!" the hat cackled.
She somehow managed to stop spluttering by the time the hat was removed from her head. Noticing that the crest on her robe now bore a rearing lion, she reluctantly stood and made her way to the red and gold strewn table, where she was greeted a little too enthusiastically for her liking. She hadn't been mobbed by more than three people at a time since that incident in Eturn Alley seven years ago. The smiling faces made her antsy.
"Where do you live?"
"Did you really fight a dragon when you were six?"
"Why do you keep your hair so short? It'd look lovely long."
"Welcome to Gryffindor!"
"We got Potter! We got Potter!"
It made her head spin as she tried to grasp who was speaking and when. Then she realized that everyone was speaking at once.
"Somewhere you'll hopefully never find me. No. I hate long hair. Thank you, I suppose. Yes, somehow, you do…"
Annoyingly, it seemed that the sorting was paused for a moment to let everyone get a good ogle in on her, the adults at the Head Table included. They were all staring at her with a variety of expressions. Several were pleased, several were distasteful, several were dispassionate, and one, the Headmaster's, was almost obnoxiously happy. She found the attention unsettling and more than a little overwhelming.
Finally, McGonagall continued, and her older twin brother made his way to the stool. There were whispers again, but she noted enviously that they weren't as prolific. Harry plopped down on the stool, which must be stronger than its appearance suggested, for it didn't move an inch under his aggressive seating. There was a pleasant smile on his face as the hat was dropped onto his head.
"Hey, what's your brother like?" a redheaded boy asked her.
"He's seems nicer than me," she answered neutrally.
He looked confounded. "But don't you live with him? Shouldn't you know?"
People began muttering impatiently; it wasn't the eager impatience they had set aside for her either. At least five minutes had gone with Harry hidden under that ratty brim. Camellia toyed with her fork while she waited. The polished golden dishes were still empty. Despite the atmosphere, she was looking forward to dinner. Both of her parents had agreed: Hogwarts had amazing food.
"SLYTHERIN!" the hat announced, finally.
"Oh Merlin, he must be evil!" the redhead declared, horrified.
She fixed him with an incredulous look, unable to tell if he was being serious or not. "Where did that come from?" she demanded.
It was true enough, but that didn't mean someone should accuse him of it without justification.
"He's in Slytherin!" the boy stage whispered.
She was about to gear up for a rant about typecasting, but was beaten to it by a frizzy haired brunette with large frontal teeth.
"Oh please, like you can claim that an eleven year old is evil just because of his dorm placement!" she brushed off haughtily. "I suppose you're brave and noble just because you're wearing red?"
The boy's ears turned that very color. "Who are you supposed to be anyway?" he asked angrily.
The girl sniffed. "Hermione Granger," she said. "And you are?"
"Ron Weasley," he said proudly.
Camellia just wished the food would hurry up already. It was a good thing no one else particularly wanted to have a long chat with the hat, for that was no doubt what Harry had been doing. He was probably pegged for Slytherin the moment the fabric touched his hair. The sorting finished off with a dark skinned boy named Zabini and Dumbledore's nonsensical announcement. Dinner finally arrived after that.
People were promptly ignored.
I was sorted into Gryffindor because even though I had the brains for Ravenclaw, I apparently needed the social skills that allegedly only Gryffindor could teach me. I feel like I was cheated and that the sorting must have been rigged because I refuse to believe that an enchanted ancient artifact was sentient enough to pull one over on me.
Harry was sorted into Slytherin, like any of us thought otherwise. Somehow, due to this, several people of questionable intelligence have declared that he is evil, unloved, and wants revenge on me for being the subject of adoration from all directions. I resent the opinion that he was unloved and believe they can find out for themselves just how evil Harry is if they're going to behave like that, along with just how much I appreciate their overbearing adoration.
This is going to be a trial. Dad, I still don't forgive you for pushing to send us to your old school. Harry and I were learning fine under mum and Remus. I wanted to be home taught and already miss my cat. I hope you're happy.
She put the quill away and blew on the ink, urging it to dry faster so that she could hide it away until morning. There was an irritating amount of giggling going on beyond the wall of red curtains cutting her off from her three roommates. She didn't trust them one bit.
"I'm going to bed," Hermione Granger announced. "I want to get up early just in case I get lost."
Yes, bed. It was a good idea. It would make the giggling stop. She decided to pile her weight on that declaration, figuring the Girl-Who-Lived nonsense might give her an excuse for at least some of her actions. It'd better, considering what she was predicting she would have to go through because of it.
"I'm tired as well," she said curtly.
She shoved the letter in her end table drawer and rolled into her scarlet bedcovers, intending to pass out and not have to listen to any more strange laughter. It was a good idea in theory, but she didn't know how well she'd sleep without four walls and a lock keeping everyone away from her.
Dear Mum and Dad,
Made Slytherin like I know you thought I would. Somehow Mell got into Gryffindor, but the Sorting Hat was an interesting fellow so he might have done it for laughs. Merlin knows he must be bored the rest of the year. So I sat and talked to him for a few minutes. I think I made a few people angry by postponing dinner to hear about Slytherin and Gryffindor's dramatic brawl over the last orange in Hufflepuff's fruit bowl. Ravenclaw won of course. I really wanted to hear the story behind the enchanted ceiling, but the hat told me it was a long one. He wants to talk again sometime. Apparently I made him whimsical because I remind him of how Slytherin was before he went mad and starting killing things. He didn't tell me why he went mad. I'm hoping that I can find out at some point during my schooling. It wasn't in Hogwarts: A History.
I think this year will be interesting. I don't think I've ever been surrounded by so many people. I don't know who to start with. By the way, Dumbledore said something interesting. Do you know anything about the third floor? He told us all we'd die painfully if we went there. It's making me curious. Like the time that you told me to stay away from the stream in the middle of our forest, remember, when I was almost drowned by the naiad there after going anyway.
I'll keep an eye on Mell. I know you're going to ask me to. I can't really guarantee I can help her make friends though. The students' reactions to her must have made her clam up. They practically pounced on her. I wonder if they'll back off once they find out how cold she can be.
He stretched after finishing his letter and moved away from his desk. Unlike his sister, he didn't need to worry about nosy roommates. He had none. Slytherin, being the paranoid man he was, had chosen the dungeons for their space and built his House to give each of his students their own room. Hogwarts would make the rooms available after the sorting to make sure there were no extra ones sitting around and the house elves were only allowed in at the beginning of each term to deposit the luggage. Even their Head of House could only get in when the doors were unlocked. Harry was very good about locking doors, considering who he grew up around.
It was very convenient for someone who would, eventually, have a number of things to hide.
Harry hummed merrily, gesturing the lights off, and removed his glasses on the way to the green canopied bed. The room was very bare, as it was up to the student to decorate as they pleased, but for now he was heading to sleep. It was better to be well-rested to make a good second impression to make up for putting off dinner by five minutes. Some people would need a good third impression or even a fourth. It didn't matter. There were a number of things he was willing to do to achieve his life goal. His mother always had emphasized tenacity. It was a good trait for those that bothered to use it appropriately, she claimed. Harry tended to take his mother's word on things. She always knew what she was talking about.
Harry slid under the sheets after placing his glasses on the end table. The bed was very comfortable. He preferred his hammock, still, but there was no reason he couldn't put one up somewhere around to school to lounge in when he felt the urge. The Forbidden Forest had a large number of trees that were both sturdy and close together that would be ideal. Harry made a mental note to add a post-script to his letter in the morning, to request a few of the things he hadn't bothered to pack.
He spared a thought to his twin, who was no doubt flopping around in frustration, and grinned. There was no question of who had the better deal. Mell was going to have to get used to being around people if she wanted to keep her relative sanity intact. The Gryffindors shared rooms. It was most likely not helping her at all. He laughed quietly before falling asleep, fading into wild dreams of feathers and spellfire.