Chapter One ~Right At The Very Beginning ~
"Mel! What category would a book called Dangerous Half-breeds and Where to Find Them go in? I'm really not sure." Adelaide called between the shelves of the run-down, old store.
"Stupidity perhaps?" Called back her boss and friend and they both laughed from the ends of the shelf-lined corridor. "Just sick it on one the specials stands." Mel said dismissively waving a hand.
"But wouldn't that promote that you're against half-breeds?" Adelaide asked, half mockingly and half serious as she placed the heavy book on the rotating, wooden shelf next to the counter.
"No more so then the author is. That Delores Umbridge is really going to get what is coming to her one day. Besides, no one who walks down Knockturn Ally is going to care what I place as my specials. And anyway, the sooner it's gone the better." Mel said while she tied up her long, white-blond dread-locks in a black, velvet ribbon. Just at that time the bell for the door rang and in walked a tall, sly looking boy in a black suit. Adelaide went to the counter hopping over and skipping around the boxes between shelves, tripping over a pile of books and knocking then askew in the process. "Hello, how can I help you?" She greeted the customer politely despite her now aching toe.
"I need a book on repairing magical objects." he said shortly, not looking at Adelaide in the face.
"Alright, arhh... follow me, please." Adelaide turned and forwarded down the aisles but not before seeing Stan, her long time friend stride through the door with a remarkably happy expression on his face. Stan pushed passed the customer, much to the boys disapproval and hugged Adelaide "Are you ready?" Stan asked excitedly, bouncing on the balls of his feet.
"Stan, I'm serving someone." for the first time Stan noticed who she was serving
"Oh," he said turning to look up at the customer who was nearly a head taller than him. "Draco, what are you doing here?" Adelaide noted there was a tone of surprise in his voice.
"None of your business!" The Draco snapped "Now, hurry up! I haven't got all day."
She grabbed the book of the shelf above her head and moved passed him and back to the counter clumsily where Stan sat in the space on the table top beside her "You know I'm not sure I really want to go after all, what is someone recognises me!" Adelaide whispered to Stan as she wrote out the recited for a book called If It Ain't Evil, Don't Fix It and ignoring Draco who was pacing on the other side of the counter.
"Oh, don't give me that." Stan countered, " We finally convinced your dad to let you go to Hogwarts and now you're having second thoughts? No way you are backing out now. Besides, there is barely a chance anyone could recognise you from a baby photo from 15 years ago."
"Can we stop talking about this, please." Adelaide nodded her head towards the still pacing Draco.
"You brought it up." He moped and bounced off the counter to land next to her.
She wrapped the book in brown paper, tied it with string and stamped it with the store's seal before walking around the counter to hand it to Draco wordlessly, exchanging it for the seven galleons he owed. He left quickly without looking at her or saying anything. "Weird boy." she thought to herself.
"Mel! I'm off! I'll try to stop by before I leave otherwise see you over Christmas" Adelaide ran between boxes to find her friend.
"Adelaide, where are you?" came from somewhere within the labyrinth of shelves "Come here and hug me, my Adda-lady!" Mel emerged from between the romance and history sections and embraced Adelaide with fondness. "Owl me!" She pleaded.
"I will!" The younger promised and the two teens -Stan had waited the few minutes until her shift's end- left the store. Adelaide quickly put on her leather coat and they made their way through Knockturn Ally, avoiding peoples eye until they reached the bright, busy contrast of Diagon Ally.
When they made it to Flourish & Blotts they noticed the colourful Mya running towards them, avoiding busy pedestrians and trying not to knock any one out with the heavy-looking, black guitar case she was carrying. "Hey guys!" Mya called, clearly out of breath. Stan took the case from the little Mya who was not much taller than the case itself. The three went inside and purchased any of their books for the school year that couldn't be found at Melody's Melancholies which did not specialise in ministry approved texts, to say the least. The rest of the day was relatively uneventful, that is, if you bypass the time when Adelaide tripped in the Quidditch store and knocked over 12 brand new brooms, one of which she bought. Her old one had been battered beyond repair in her last match with her neighbours, the Weasley's. Well, only the twins who were at least sufferable.
Three days later the three friends were walking into Kingscross station after a very long goodbye from Adelaide's father that left him in tears and her on edge and all three students slightly later then appropriate. "So, what now?" Adelaide asked, alternating staring at the wall between platforms nine and ten and her ticket.
"Now," Said Stan, "we run!" And with a quick glance to check for onlooking muggles the three were hurtling towards the bricks with their trolleys before them but, surprising Adelaide, there was no impact.
The site of the platform before her was the most mesmerising she had ever seen. The entire platform was bustling with wizard families farewelling their children with kisses and reminders, the enormous train was emitting so much steam she could barely see ahead of herself. Quickly, the three loaded their luggage and found a large dining compartment at the end of the train. That is, if you could call a train compartment large. It soon filled up with other students one being the boy from the bookstore the other day flanked by some of his friends. It also didn't escape Adelaide's notice that the famous Harry Potter boarded the train with his little friends, too. She had seen enough of Potter with her neighbours and tried to avoid him as much as possible in case she said something that would give herself away. Oh, how she loathed how he was so sought after, so famous and how everyone was so sympathetic. "Poor saint Potter lost his parents and survived the dark lords killing curse." She hadn't exactly been cursed by the dark lord himself but the death eater was strong, strong enough to kill her mother but she was stronger, a fighter. She had the scars to prove it and she would fight back.
Adorning her new school robes for the first time Adelaide mentally prepared herself for her first day of school. Due to the high standard of her home tutoring she was deemed fit to join the sixth year students that her age matched. Of this Adelaide was very glad of as both her friends, Mya and Stan were in their sixth year. Arriving at the breathtaking castle that is Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Adelaide was more gripped with nerves then she ever had been in her life. She found that even seeing the castle was more terrifying then riding her broom for her first time, but still one hundred times more exciting. She was going to school, finally. Adelaide eagerly merged up the stairs with the rest of the school population enjoying the warmth that the whole student body created. She tried to keep Stan and Mya in her line of sight but, unfortunately she lost them in travelling up into the entrance hall. She could have sure used one, or both of their hands to hold. Looking around at the beautiful sights surrounding her she collided head on with the back another student. The tall, blond boy from the store, Draco she remembered turned to look at her with a scowl. "Watch it!" he sneered and stormed away as well as he could between other bustling students.
Before long Adelaide spotted a small, old-looking women sporting a rather large witches hat. Professor McGonagall. Adelaide parted the crowd as best as she could being as small as she is and ended at the woman's side where her name was checked off a long list with a golden, feather quill. She was then ushered to wait outside the Great Hall while the rest of the students entered except for a mass of smaller students. Most likely first years. The old woman addressed her personally. "You will sorted before the first years, after that you may take your seat with your allotted house. Now, how are you feeling, Dear?" The affection she received from the woman was not odd. Over the past four years Professor McGonagall, Gran Minerva, her mother's mother had stepped in once a week to tutor Adelaide in anything she deemed essential knowledge for the girl that her father wasn't polished on. Needless to say Adelaide's best and favourite subject was transfiguration.
"Strangely tall for once." Replied Adelaide as she was standing among 11 year olds, making her grandmother laugh. "I think I'll be fine." The elder nodded and informed the students the process that would take place when they entered the hall. They then proceeded through the large wooden door and up the middle of the hall between two of the long tables filled with students. The hall was silent as McGonagall called out the first name. Her name: "Adelaide Hart"
Before she knew it she was up there, in front of the entire population of Hogwarts, sitting on a three-legged stool being scrutinised by not only the students and the professors but also by the smelly, old hat on her head. "Hmmmmm..." It said quietly, "Where are we going to put you? You're a tricky one, eh. Hmmm...Cunning. I see perfect for Slytherin but no, you're not what I thought. Brave though, a Gryffindor specialty, smart too and oh so loyal. You're very tricky indeed." The hat couldn't seem to decide and after almost a minute it called to the hall "Perhaps SLYTHERIN! I'm confident it will suit you best."
The Sorting Hat was taken of her head and she made her way to the applauding table adorned in emerald green decorations. From her place she could see the blond boy. He was staring at her fiercely but stopped when she turned to him. How strange. Neither Stan or Mya were in Slytherin. They were in Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw respectively but Adelaide was confident they were all going to remain friends. They had done it for the ten years or so up until now.