Authors

Allen Sanchez and Keiyani Ismilda

Disclaimer

We do not own the Harry Potter Universe, nor do we try to. We, however, do own the original characters in this story and hope that you enjoy it. If you copy it without permission, try and call it your own, I will hunt you down like a deer and take you in, in a bag.

Enjoy.

"Seventh year at last! Can you believe it?"

Ashley Selwyn turned to her brother, who shrugged noncommittally. She rolled her grey-blue eyes and shoved him gently. "C'mon, Aaron! Get excited! One more year, and we're free!"

Aaron grimaced. "I can't wait to be out of here," he grunted, eyeing his sister as she continued to chatter excitedly.

Ashley's dark brown curls bobbed merrily around her shoulders, cascading down to the middle of her back, as she allowed a little skip to her step. They were almost to the Great Hall, where she would soon reunite with her old classmates. "I think being in Slytherin has taken all the fun out of you," she pouted.

"And being in Ravenclaw has done wonders for you too, sis," Aaron said sarcastically. Ashley looked hurt, and Aaron sighed. "Fine...I guess I am a little excited. One more year, and I'm off to make a future for myself! No more listening to Mum nag at us..."

"And no more you and Father arguing," Ashley said impishly, eyes sparkling. Aaron chuckled, and nodded, as they entered the Great Hall. "Have fun, dearest brother," Ashley called after her brother in a mocking tone.

"See ya 'round, Ash!" he called over his shoulder.

Ashley giggled at her brother's pet name for her, then quieted, becoming her usual, quiet self, as she approached the Ravenclaws. Only with her brother could she become truly animated. To everyone else, she was the quiet Ravenclaw, with a surprisingly Slytherin-like wit and humor. Sure, she had her moments of bright happiness, but she had learned to trust herself and herself only, due to a home life that no one knew about. Still, she managed to remain fairly well-liked amongst her fellow Ravenclaws, and even amongst a few other students, namely a few boys from both Slytherin and Gryffindor.

Currently, she was dating Jonathan Harvis, a Gryffindor, who was busy trying to get her attention, as she walked past. She gave him a brief smile, and a little wave, after which he seemed satisfied. She quickly made her way to her usual seat at the Ravenclaw table, where she was greeted by her friends, as the doors to the Great Hall opened once more.

It was the 7th year of school; last year and that was it. It wasn't like he needed to be there this year, but because his mentor and colleague had asked it of him, he couldn't refuse. At least he got to choose the school in which he got to go to. That much was important to him; Durmstrang, as much as it was his home, he had hated with a passion. People there were so uptight about who was there. He was Muggleborn (though there was knowledge that somewhere deep in his family history, there was a wizard) and all he had to look forward to was this last year of school before he go to active alchemist service.

"What are you doing here amongst the first years?" Said Professor Dumbledore, a man who looked to have seen some better days. He pulled down his half-moon spectacles and eyed the boy standing tall amongst his younger classmates, "You should be in the Great Hall with the rest of your class mates."

The boy stood at attention, the black military uniform he wore made him stand out more, making him feel self-conscious, "Sir. I'm the transfer student from Durmstrang under the orders of the Ministry of Magic." He relaxed a little as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a leather bound notebook and handed it to him, "My name is Damien Kelmore, sir. My mentor, Ethan Minsk is a new teacher here. Headmaster Dippet already knows I'm here. I still have to be sorted into a class sir."

"Why didn't you just choose one yourself? These orders state you could have."

Damien shrugged, causing one of the bangs of his whitish-grey hair to fall in front of him. He moved the bang and tucked it underneath those that were pulled back already, "I just needed to make this place feel more like home, sir." To this, Dumbledore nodded in agreement and waved towards the door, "very well. Please proceed forward then, into the Great Hall. Mr. Kelmore, please lead the group." Damien nodded and shifted forward, his gait being a little off balance due to nervousness. He looked down each table with crystal blue eyes, catching the eyes of his fellow classmates, who were curious about the new comer that was just mention. He stopped just short of the steps to the podium, watching Professor Dumbledore lean over to the Headmaster and hand him the papers that Damien handed to him.

Time for the Sorting.

Ashley's eyes fell curiously on a tall figure striding along in front of the first years, and she felt Meghan Ivans, her best friend, prod her in the side. "New transfer student?" Meghan asked in a whisper. Ashley shrugged, as she studied the boy, with his piercing blue gaze and dark hair.

Damien's eyes scanned the room once more, coming across a variety of students, who all looked at him in all his odd demeanor. He began to feel a bit nervous and warm in his suit. Stupid suit... he didn't even want to wear it. His father made him and with great resentment he did. He shifted in place for a moment before his eyes fell upon Ashley's slender form. He felt a wave of fuzziness wash over him. Enough to distract him from the fact that Headmaster Dippet had called him twice with no response. The sound of Minsk's voice snapped him back to reality as his name rang in his ears, "Damien! Fool, you need to pay attention. You're up to be sorted."

"Sorry sir," he said as burning red embarrassment singed his face hard. He gave the girl one more quick look and a smile before stepping up to the chair and felt the hat slowly get sat on his head, feeling it spring to life. The gruff voice of the hat echoed throughout the Great Hall, "Ah, yes. A brilliant mind. Full of potential. Amazing courage and intellect, but what defines you is your craft... a darkness rests inside of you boy. A power that must be nurtured and trimmed to fruition. Better be... Slytherin!"

Several of the Slytherins gave loud whoops, drowning out the sounds of disappointment from the Gryffindors, a few who had gotten into a conversation with the boy and found him interesting. Damien stood up from the stool and walked over to the table, shaking hands with his new housemates, then plopping a seat down next to Aaron.

"He's eyeing you," Meghan teased in a low whisper. Ashley shot a scowl at her friend, feeling her cheeks burn. Sure enough, the new student was looking at her...and he'd smiled at her! With some hesitance, she gave a smile in return, flashing a quick glance towards Jon, who was glaring at the new student in his audacity. Ashley sighed. She'd have some damage control to do later.

Aaron had also witnessed the smile from the boy - Damien Kelmore was his name - and his eyes had narrowed. He never liked it when anyone eyed his younger sister - younger by three minutes, as she would argue - and though he wouldn't admit it, he did feel rather protective of her. So when Damien sat down next to him, he leaned over to him. "Do you randomly smile at any pretty girl you see?" he asked with a raised eyebrow. "Name's Aaron Selwyn...and that's my sister you just smiled at."

Damien looked over to the boy next to him, giving a slight chuckle, "No, only the ones that really intrigue me. Damien Kelmore. I'll stop staring at what I can't have then?" He offered him a hand, watching as other students got sorted."

Aaron glanced at Damien. "Oh, by all means, stare at her...if you dare. You'll have to get around Jonathan somehow though...actually, that might not be such a daunting task...and if you're not Pureblood, forget it! My father would have a fit if he found out Ashley was dating anyone that wasn't Pureblood." He rolled his eyes. Meanwhile, Ashley was still being teased by Meghan, who was now joined by Zach, a sixth year who thought he was nature's gift to women and who would never stop pursuing the seventh year girls.

"He keeps staring," Zach whispered conspiratorially.

"Don't you have something better to do than stare at other people," Ashley asked, annoyed. Zach pretended to be affronted.

"I am not staring..."

"Coulda fooled me..."

"I just don't like others staring at my future wife..."

Ashley rolled her eyes. "Oh please...I'd never marry you...and just so you know, I'm still dating Jon..."

"I can hope, can't I?"

Damien shifted uneasily in his chair for moment, once again chuckling nervously, "yeah... Pureblood. I guess I've got nothing to worry about if I ever do want to take a chance with her." He looked back up front, seeing Zach whispering something to Ashley and watching her get annoyed, "Is that Jonathan? Seems a little... stalker-ish, no?"

Across from Zach sat the 7th year Quidditch captain, Mason. He was tempted to pick up his goblet to chuck at Zach, but was afraid of hitting Ashley, "Seriously Zach, sit the hell down and shut the hell up! You may be a real "Don Juan" but that's probably why the ladies don wannabe with you..." He said with an annoyed tinge in his words, "Ashley, maybe you should get your brother to step in, because this guy is ridiculous."

"Nah, that's Zach. He thinks he is the hottest thing in Hogwarts...not Ashley's type, though he'd like to think so. No, Jonathan's over there." Aaron nodded towards the Gryffindor, who at that moment laughed at something someone said. The boy flipped his dirty blonde hair from deep blue eyes, and glanced over at Ashley. "He's not that bad, but he's stubborn as a mule. Jealous type too. He knows that several others have their sights set on her. He's afraid of the competition. You still have a chance though." Aaron glanced at Damien.

Ashley laughed at Mason's pun. "I'd ask Aaron to step in, but that would only prove his point that I can't take care of myself." She smirked. "Maybe you can get him off of my back..."

"Hey! I'm right here you know..." Zach complained.

He nodded with a smug smile across his face, "It's good to know I at least have a chance. Normally I never get that." He smiled as another student was put into Slytherin House. He looked across the way to Jonathan and snorted, "That's Jon? He's not that bad of a guy. I was talking to him on the train."

Headmaster Dippet waved a hand, quieting down the rest of the students, "Now... For a special treat. A member from each house may be selected to take part in a tournament of wit, skills and knowledge. If you were interested in trying for this position, please submit your names to your Heads of House by Saturday evening. Now... since all announcements have been made, the feast can begin!" With another wave of his hand, the tables were magically set with loads of food.

Aaron studied Jonathan. "He wasn't that bad before you smiled at my sister. Now he's sure to be a bit wary around you. Definitely not as friendly as before." As the Headmaster stood, he looked over, excitement hidden by his calm features. "I'm definitely putting my name in. What can it hurt? I probably won't be chosen...but at least I can say I tried!" He grinned. "And if I do get in? I'll make Slytherin proud."

The Following Morning

Professor Dumbledore in the middle of the hallways, handing out the class schedules for the Gryffindors, next to Professor Slughorn, the Defense Against The Dark Arts Teacher and Head of Slytherin House. Damien felt refreshed after a night of getting to know his classmates and young debauchery. One student woke up and had to go to the Hospital Wing... really sad. Next to Damien was Aaron, who was getting ready to turn in his name for consideration of the tournament being held at the school. He had talked Damien into turning in his own name. Walking to Slughorn, he gave his name and waited for his scroll of classes. Off of the corner of his eye, a beauty was caught walking with some friends of hers; his eyes seemed to just stay locked on her.

"You might want to keep your eyes in your head. Jonathan is right there..."

Ashley was glad to be back in Hogwarts. She gave a beaming smile to her own Head of House as she received her schedule, and turned to compare it to Meghan's. Suddenly, she felt an arm wrap around her waist. "Hey, Ash," the familiar voice crooned in her ear.

"Jon!" she exclaimed happily. "It's great to see you again!" She hadn't seen him the previous night, having been caught up in the back-to-school celebration in Ravenclaw. Nothing like homework to excite her fellow Housemates. Her eyes caught the gaze of another student, standing next to her brother. Damien Kelmore, the new student. She allowed a brief smile to play across her lips in his direction, before she turned her attention back to the Gryffindor in front of her.

Jon didn't miss the smile, however, and he turned to look over his shoulder with a curious glance. Curiosity became a scowl, and he glared at the newcomer. "Why'd you smile at him?" he asked, turning back to Ashley.

"Oh come now, I was just trying to be friendly," she argued, exasperated. Honestly, what was with boys and being possessive?

"And last night, you were being friendly too?"

"Yes! Just let it go, Jon. I can smile at whomever I please." Ashley tossed her hair. Her boyfriend scowled again.

"But I don't like it when other guys ogle you. Your smiling at them doesn't help!"

"Let Aaron beat up the others then. You don't need to." She put a finger against his lips to silence any other response he had, and she gave him a smile. "Now, shall we enjoy today or not?"

Jon sighed, a reluctant smile on his face. "Yes. Oh, I signed up for the tournament!"

"Did you?" Ashley beamed. "You'd do well if you were chosen. I just know it!"

Aaron grimaced at Jon, after the Gryffindor had turned back to Ashley. "No guy is worth my sister's time," he grumbled. With a quick glance to Damien, he spluttered, "I mean...not that it's any of my concern...I mean, she's just my sister...it's her decision...oh whatever." He jerked his head towards Jonathan. "Well, as you can see, he's not too friendly with the competition. Better not let him catch my sister smiling at you again...Get her to smile when he's not around."

A wicked gleam appeared in his eye.

"Actually...I think I'll help you steal her from Jon...never really liked him anyways...I'd rather she dated a Pureblood Slytherin." He glanced at Jon again. "You're a better match than he is..." With a chuckle, he looked at his class

"Even if the guy is a bit of a tool, I don't want to steal anyone from anyone. It's just not fair I think for all parties involved..." He looked to Aaron, then back to Ashley, "I mean look at her, does it really matter who she's with? I think it's about how happy she is with whoever she is with." He handed over a slip of paper to Slughorn with his name on it for the tournament and started back for the hallways to go to his first class, which happened to follow past Ashley.

Aaron shrugged. "Suit yourself. I figured you, as a Slytherin, would jump at the chance." He chuckled, then handed his own name to Slughorn, before glancing at the couple. "Still, she's always happy with whoever she dates. Then he ends up being a jerk, and she keeps a stiff upper lip about it, and they break up, then she finds another guy. It's the same cycle. If you were the same way, being a jerk and all, then I'd have to beat you up, just like I did with the other guys." His tone was almost cheerful, mocking, as he said this. "Anyways, ever heard that saying, 'all's fair in love and war'? Well, I assume that means everything is fair game, even stealing the girl!" He headed along with Damien as they passed the group.

"Hey, Ash," he called with a mischievous glance towards Damien. "Have you met Damien yet?"

Damien leaned into Aaron and jabbed him in the ribs, whispering into his ear really quickly, "Go piss on yourself, Aaron."

His sister looked over as he called her name, and she glanced warily towards Jonathan. "No, I hadn't," she said cautiously. The Gryffindor's look was dark, but he didn't comment, as she walked towards her brother.

"Hi, I'm Ashley," she said warmly, deciding to ignore Jon for the time being and extending her hand in greeting. "I'm sorry you had the misfortune of my brother being your company at the moment. Watch out for him; he's a grouch in the morning."

"Hi there..." He said a bit nervously with a smile. He gave Aaron a look and chuckled a little, "I'll make sure to stay away from him in the mornings then. Hate to interrupt here, but it seems that someone over there isn't too happy." He motioned his head towards Jonathan, who was now fuming.

"No more than you are," Aaron retorted. "Damien and I are signing up for the tournament. Isn't that right?" He nudged Damien. His sister immediately looked concerned.

"Oh, do be careful, Aaron! Mother and Father would kill me if you were hurt."

"I look out for you, not the other way around," Aaron sniffed. His sister glared at him.

"Hey, Aaron. I think I should get going to class. I got Potions first, so best I try and figure out where I'm going. Maybe you and I can catch up some other time, Ashley?"

Aaron wore an amused grin on his face, cheerfully ignoring Damien's newfound 'hatred'. "I'm off to Charms. See ya later, Damien, Ash." His sister nodded a goodbye to him, before glancing back at Jon. She gave him a look, and his scowl softened as he came up and put his arms around her. "See you at Transfiguration," he said, kissing her hair, and giving Damien a subtle glare as he did so.

"See you," Ashley replied happily, smiling at his embrace. He left then, reluctant to leave with her being anywhere near Damien. Oblivious to this, Ashley smiled winningly at said newcomer. "I have Potions right now too," she said cheerfully. "Aaron's not taking Potions, or he'd be here too, but I can take you there. Ravenclaws and Slytherins share this period." She waved at Meghan as the girl passed, before again addressing Damien. "We'd better go...don't want to be late on the first day!"

Damien scratched his head nervously after he tried to grab Aaron to keep him from leaving him alone with his sister. He was almost reluctant to incur the wrath of Jonathan, who headed towards his class. He turned back to Ashley and gave her a sloppy grin and shrugged, "yeah sure. So I'm guessing you've been here from your first year? Not too many students transfer from school to school often like I did. By the way, does your boyfriend seem a little... you know agitated?"

Several students all gave Damien a look; some of admiration, others of contempt (all of these were Gryffindors).

Ashley nodded, smiling back. "Yeah, I've been here since first year. Mother was pleased that I took after her, getting into Ravenclaw and all that, but Father was upset. Guess having Aaron as a Slytherin wasn't enough." She shrugged cheerfully, but her smile faded at the mention of Jonathan.

"Yeah, he's a little upset, I guess you could say," she said slowly. "You see...he's the jealous type. Hates it when I associate with others of the male species." Ashley snorted softly. "The last girlfriend he had is now his ex-best friend's girlfriend. I'm sure I don't need to explain what happened. Anyways, he's been a bit...annoying, lately, with this jealousy thing. I'm not the kind of girl to go flirting with every other guy. If I like a guy, then that means I feel he is worth my time. I don't know why he can't see that!"

She smiled sheepishly. "Here I am, burdening you with all my female thoughts, and I've only just met you. Sorry about that." Ashley glanced at a pack of Gryffindors as they passed, a few shooting Damien a dark look. She narrowed her eyes at them, and they hurriedly averted their gaze. Honestly, with all of their loyalty to Jonathan, they ought to have been Hufflepuffs! She sighed inwardly, thinking, It's so troublesome, to date a Gryffindor! But she wouldn't abandon Jon.

Damien smiled as they continued down the hall, "I don't mind. It's nice to be able to talk to someone who isn't all about the purity of your wizarding blood or how strong you are. Other things matter in life, just no one seems to see it." He pushed his way past a few girls who just stood in the middle of the walk way, "Most men are just slow in that sense, Ash. If you don't mind me calling you Ash, do you?"

Ashley wrinkled her nose. "Oh, don't get me started about the purity crap." She made a face. "Father is all about Purebloods and why they are superior, but me...I really don't care. A witch is a witch, a wizard is a wizard. Being a Muggleborn doesn't make you a Muggle. You're still a wizard." She huffed, then glanced at Damien.

"You may call me Ash," she said slowly, "But you might want to avoid doing so around Jon. He feels like it's his nickname for me. It's not, really. Actually, Aaron was the first to start calling me Ash. You might as well too." Ashley smiled. "As for men, well, we women know how slow they can be. But we try our hardest to make you understand." She laughed.

Damien nodded, "Well I can see the impact your father has on your brother then? He seems to follow after your father in that respect... I think he doesn't know I'm... well," he paused turned the corner, noticing no one was there, "that I'm Muggleborn. My father is an alchemist, my mother is just a pharmacist. We get magic from alchemy from what my father says."

Ashley glanced around, before leaning closer. "Don't let anyone hear that," she hissed softly. "If Aaron finds out...or if any of the Slytherins do...they'll be more than upset...Aaron and his friends might just kill you for trying to befriend me." Her eyes were worried. "Like I said, I don't care...but if Aaron catches you even smiling at me, he'll take it the wrong way! For now, just pretend you're Pureblood..."

She sighed. "Aaron is very much like Father, when it comes to this nonsense about blood purity. I guess that's why he went into Slytherin, and I went into Ravenclaw. Mother isn't as bad, but even she is slightly disdainful about Muggleborns." Ashley's eyes were apologetic. "It's stupid, really. I think Muggleborns are perfectly fine. Actually, the Muggleborns I know are better witches and wizards than some Purebloods!"

Damien sighed, stopping to lean against the wall. He never really liked those who were against the Muggleborns. He found it quite comforting to find someone who didn't really care about purity though, as all the other schools he'd ever been to had had plenty of them, "I'll make sure to keep playing along. I think he's under the impression that I'm pureblooded. I don't want to start any problems here... I've had too many at the other schools."

Ashley nodded in understanding. "It's best if you continue keeping the wool pulled over his eyes," she agreed. "I love my brother, but I worry for him sometimes. This obsession with purity...it can't be healthy! It'll get him into trouble sometime..."

She turned towards a wooden door. "Here we are, Potions. One of my favorite classes." She grinned at Damien, as she moved towards the door. "See you later then?"

He gave her a quizzical look, "We have this class together remember? Let's just survive this class so we can move on to the next class."

Ashley looked embarrassed. "Well, I was going to sit with the other Ravenclaws. I don't think the Professor will mind if we sat together today though. I can help you find what you need." She nodded, satisfied. "Yeah. I can help you survive today."