So I've been going through a horrible bout of writer's block and was going through my old stories. I stumbled upon this and it amused me so I thought I'd throw it on here. I hope it amuses you as well. To my readers for Never the Same, I'm working on that. Chapter four shall be published... eventually
Disclaimer: If I owned Harry Potter... I'd have some pretty awesome cars and I wouldn't be spending time on this site.
The sorting hat rested pensively atop a raven haired girl. The creases that made its face were drawn together in an apparent look of concentration, though the girl gave little mind to this. Her blue eyes scanned the crowd of students before her. Most of their eyes were on her, old friends, or other potential housemates still waiting to be sorted. It seemed that some students were staring at her, waiting anxiously to see what house she would be sorted in. Perhaps their excitement made up for the lack thereof by the girl. Her gaze was apathetic at best, empty at worst. She sat properly with an air that lingered between arrogant and bored. The hat was thinking things to her, running through her traits and trying to get a fix on her personality.
Hmm, a bit arrogant yes, but rightly so. Brave depending on the circumstance. Fiercely loyal, but no one left to be loyal to… You have ambition, quite a bit of it. Intelligence. Any of the houses would suit you well, but you don't care much for people anymore do you? Very well, I know where to put you.
"Slytherin!" A table of green and silver burst into applause and the table suiting red and gold groaned. The other two clapped politely. The girl stood from the stool gracefully, walking towards her table in a manner that most would believe impossible for an eleven-year old. She didn't return any of the greetings sent her way, nor did she give any attention to the sneers that some of the more informed students were making. They didn't matter to her, they probably never would.
"Miss Woods," A raven haired head lifted slightly as the aforementioned student lazily made eye contact with the voice that had drawn her from her thoughts. "I'm sure that your day-dream must be exceptionally pleasant, but you would be doing us all a great honor if you would focus your attention to this class." The class snickered at this, but Snape sent them all glares.
"Of course professor, my most sincere apologies." The girl propped her head upon her hand as she stared down her teacher with a look that made boredom seem like an amusement park.
"As I was saying, since you seem to be one of the few students who have some mastery over wordless magic, you would be doing your classmates quite a favor by demonstrating this." He motioned to a student that stood in the front of the classroom, wand already in her hand. "If you would be so kind as to do this by dueling Miss Granger. Fifty points will be awarded to the house of the victor." Snape smirked at this.
"Of course." The girl repeated again dully. She stood from her seat and glided to the front of the class and drawing her wand.
"Ah, here for your first wand are you?" Ollivander questioned the girl warmly and took her silence as a yes. "Very well, let's see what we can find you." The man shuffled through various boxes. "Perhaps this," he lifted a box, removing the wand and handing it to her. Not needing directions, she gave it a flick only for a stack of papers to catch fire. "Perhaps not that one then." He stated as he regained the wand from the child and went back to searching. After several more tries which were on par with the first of worse, Ollivander gave an exasperated sigh. "I do not believe I have ever had this much trouble finding someone a wand." He spoke, rummaging through the boxes. "Hmm," he lifted a box, "this might suit you well." She took the wand he offered and smiled lightly at the mild warmth it gave off. "Bark from a willow tree and sphinx hair, I thought I was mad when I made it, but it seems to accept you."
Both students observed the niceties, even though the Slytherin student's bow was theatrical in optimistic standards. The duel began with both students throwing curses and counter curses. Hermione was at a disadvantage since she could not use wordless magic and sensed this from the very beginning. The other student, however, had no such qualms. She gracefully cursed and blocked, expending no more than the movement absolutely necessary for each spell. She wasn't trying to win, why give Snape the satisfaction? but she didn't care to lose either. She also didn't care to draw out the duel. While she would never express such weakness, every spell made her want to flinch and run away. Perhaps this was a reason she was not in Gryffindor. Regardless, she continued, firing spell after spell and observing her opponent. Hermione was determined, but her wand work and spell choice were becoming sloppy. The Slytherin let her guard down, underestimating what Hermione might do. She lowered her guard so that she could use a spell to finish the duel, but just as she was about to flick her wand, Hermione unleashed hers.
She was eleven again, but her eyes held something far worse than an uncrossable sea of apathy. Fear. The killing curse was being used in rapid succession. Both her mother and father lay on the ground away from her, dead eyes glazed over. Her brother was her only barrier between her and the monster responsible for this. He was ripped away from her and flung across the room.
The nightmare was ripped away, replaced by the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. It took her a moment to become aware of what was happening. She was on her knees leaning forward, her hands gripping the hair at her scalp. Although, the hardest thing for her to process was the sole trail of moisture down her face. She wiped at it and seemed confused, how long had it been since that happened? Her attention finally diverted from herself to settle on Hermione who seemed to be apologizing profusely.
"Adrian, I'm so sorry, I didn't.." Hermione trailed off, not quite sure how to continue.
"Enough, Granger." Snape snarled while handing Adrian a cup. "Drink it, it should rid most of the side effects of that spell." Even as he said this, he knew it was mostly a lie. He knew that her nightmare wouldn't have been some terrifying alternate reality, with a past like hers; nightmares may have been a reprieve. No, what she had seen would have been memories, and there was little he could do for that.
Adrian took the cup, mildly surprised at just how much she was shaking. She drank the potion like a shot, worried that doing anything else would cause her to spill it. She handed back the empty cup before standing and returning to her seat, ignoring the eyes boring into her from all around the eerily silent class. A burst of laughter from a group of Slytherins broke the silence.
"What's the matter Woods, have a bit of a family reunion?" One of them jeered, but Adrian did not pay enough attention to identify who it was. She grabbed the bag from her desk at the back of the room and made her way to the door.
"You could say that, I could introduce you sometime, I'm sure they'd love the company." Adrian spoke without turning around, her voice laced with an odd, wistful hatred. The room returned to silence, the antagonist was probably a few shades whiter and Adrian took pride in this. If there was one thing that people knew about her by now, it was that she had a low tolerance level and that she had the spells to make people very wary of that level.
Adrian sat in her preferred corner of the library. Several books were spread around her as she lounged in her chair. A book with a list of spells and the proper wand movements rested in her hands. Her wand lay on the table forgotten since the last spell its owner had cast. The sound of footsteps caught Adrian's attention. Sapphire eyes snapped from the pages of spells to the chocolate eyes of the reason she was in the library instead of class. Hermione approached her nervously.
"Adrian," Hermione implored, "I'm really sorry I used that spell, it was uncalled for." Her eyes searched Adrian's, looking for anything, anger, pain, sadness, but she could detect none.
"You have nothing to apologize for," Hermione tried to cut her off, "It was a duel Hermione, if that spell had popped into my head I probably would have used it as well." Adrian eyed the other girl, "And, honestly, I wouldn't have felt the guilt or regret that you do." She stood up, closing her book.
"I don't think you would have." Hermione spoke after a long pause. "You want people to think the worst of you don't you?" Adrian froze for a moment, just long enough to be evident to someone if they were paying close attention. "I thought so." Hermione turned and left, but not before throwing a comment over her shoulder, "If you'd ever prefer someone to think better of you, you can always talk to me."
Adrian sat in a stunned silence. Was that a friendship offering? How long had it been since she had a friend? Quieting her thoughts, she shook the offer off, Hermione had just felt guilty about the spell and it wasn't in her nature to not do something to make up for it.
Throughout the next few weeks, Adrian slowly began to realize Hermione truly meant her offer. The brunette had been sincerely kind lately, doing favors that threw Adrian off of her usually cold and calculating demeanor. Quite frankly, she was unsure of how to proceed. She hadn't bothered connecting with anyone in nearly seven years. Seven years of apathetic isolation. She was unsure of whether or not she could acknowledge her emotions anymore even if she tried or wanted to. She was also unsure if she wanted to tap into that well of feelings. Ever since that tragic night, she had not bothered to process such things and instead chose to lock them behind a steely, unfeeling gaze. She had never mourned her loss, the tears she shed after Hermione had hexed her were the most she had produced since the bodies were cremated.
She was now making her way to the Great Hall for breakfast. Adrian hated being surrounded by so many people, but did enjoy the anonymity she felt. She happened to approach the door the same time as the infamous golden trio did. Hermione shot her a smile and Adrian's lips twitched upwards slightly. This was progress seeing as the level of apathy was lowering and she wasn't glaring. As the group made their ways to their respective tables, Hermione caught Adrian's wrist, startling the girl slightly even though her she managed to maintain a look of indifference.
"Why don't you join us today?" Hermione asked, causing Ron to gape at her. Harry had a look of slight surprise, but it was pleasant, especially compared to the expression Ron wore. The red head seemed to be about to protest, but halted when he noticed the glare Hermione was shooting him.
Adrian didn't reply, just gave a slight nod and shrugged her shoulders. She followed the group to their area, ever conscious of the grip that was still maintained on her wrist.
"Hermione," Adrian began in an indifferent tone, but if one knew her they might have caught slight amusement, "I assure you that I won't bolt back to my table when you release me."
Hermione started slightly at this, a faint blush covering her features. "Right, sorry." She quickly removed her hand before taking a seat. Adrian furrowed her brows ever so slightly at this reaction, but shoved it to the back of her mind as she joined the now seated group. It didn't take long for some Slytherins to notice this occurrence.
"Well, well, well." Draco began and Adrian turned to lazily glance at him. "I know your parents were blood traitors, but I always thought you had potential." He eyed her up and down before looking at the people she sat with. "To see a pure blood Slytherin sitting here," he worked up an infamous sneer, "with a mudblood and blood traitors, it's just depressing." He spat the last word, still holding a look of contempt. A moment of silence followed the insult.
"You're right." Adrian spoke airily, receiving surprised looks from those around her. "It is depressing, here I was sitting with the impression that status had no influence on a person's worth as a wizard. Thank you for clearing that up, I'd certainly hate to have my blood tainted by simply being in the presence of a muggleborn. You see, I was under the impression that your genetics stayed constant throughout your life, but now that I am aware that such things can be corrupted, I'll be sure to select who I spend time around much more carefully."
"How dare you-"
"Speak to you in such a way?" Adrian challenged, standing up gracefully. "Need I remind you of your place?" She was absolutely hissing by this point. Malfoy flinched slightly, realizing a bit late just who he was dealing with. "I'd like to remind you just how far below me you are." Now she was the one sneering. "My family may have been 'blood traitors,' but they were far braver than yours. Last time I checked, your father began groveling as soon as Voldemort was out of the picture. And need I remind you who here had parents who were renowned as the best aurors of their time?"
Malfoy felt cornered now, like a mouse running from a snake poised to strike. "How dare you even speak of my father you-" Malfoy was about to finish his insult when he realized that Adrian had drawn her wand. By the time he could respond, he was already on the other side of the Great Hall sliding on top of the Slytherin table.
Adrian returned to her seat and took a sip from her goblet before looking at the various Gryffindors staring at her in mixtures of awe and fear. Her gaze fell upon the one person whose response she mildly cared about. Hermione was looking at her with a look of pure adoration and Adrian quickly glanced behind her to make sure that look was aimed at her. "What?" She asked, disliking being confused. She was answered by Hermione throwing her arms around her.
"You didn't call me a mudblood." She declared as if Adrian had just saved her from a dragon.
"Why would I?" A mild look of puzzlement appeared on Adrian's face, probably the most emotion she'd shown in quite some time. "A person should be gauged on talent and skill, not where they come from." If it were possible, Hermione's grip tightened around her. Adrian was silently debating how to remove her without appearing rude.
"Hermione, you are aware she has to breathe right?" Harry questioned and Adrian resisted the urge to hug him.
Hermione immediately released Adrian, "Sorry." It was at this moment that the tears in her eyes were evident. Adrian shot a glance at Harry and Ron, but both seemed as puzzled as her.
"If it's about what Draco said, I can hex him if you want?" Adrian offered.
"No," Hermione shook her head before smiling at Adrian, "It's just.." She trailed off, for once at a loss for words. Harry finally seemed to have made a connection over the past few seconds.
"I think what Hermione is trying to say is that she's happy that someone like you defended her about being muggleborn."
"Like me? As in pure blood or Slytherin?"
"Both," Hermione seemed to have recovered a bit, "It's nice to know not everyone fits into the Slytherin stereotype."
At this Adrian tilted her head a bit. "I assure you I fit the Slytherin stereotype perfectly. I'm a powerful pure blood with a great deal of ambition. Even though the sorting hat had some difficulty choosing, I was sure that was the house I'd end up in."
"She means the 'if you're not pure blood and Slytherin, you're beneath me' stereotype." Ron explained.
"Oh, don't take it personally. Slytherins are all ambitious, they want to be better than everyone else and they want power. Knocking other people down a few pegs is just a cherry on top." Adrian rambled with a shrug, already becoming bored with the conversation and focusing on her breakfast.
"How do you do that?" Ron questioned in awe.
"Do what?" Adrian responded, her only reaction was a slightly elevated brow.
"Go from being understanding and sympathetic to distant and uncaring?" Harry clarified.
"I was being sympathetic?"
"That would be the part that throws her off." Harry muttered good humoredly.
"Honestly, everything about you guys throws me off. You all are quite strange." Adrian stated bluntly before taking a bite of toast.
"We're strange?" Ron stressed. "You're as emotional as a stone and you make Hermione look like a first year when it comes to spells." The protests from Hermione weren't acknowledged.
Adrian just responded with a shrug. "See! That's exactly what I mean. Are you too good to feel that you need to express emotion?" Hermione sat, unsure of what to do. Part of her wanted to scowl and slap Ron for saying such things and the other part of her wanted to gauge Adrian's reaction, to see just what her emotional depth was.
"I'm not above emotion." Adrian continued using the same tone she had begun with. "I simply know how to suppress it, unlike some people I know." Ron's face reddened at this. "See, perhaps if you had some control your face wouldn't match your hair, no?" Adrian smirked, rose from the table, and then promptly left the Great Hall.
"You did kinda ask for that one mate." Harry laughed.
"Honestly Ron, can't play nice with anyone, can you?"
"Hey guys," Ginny joined the trio, "what's wrong with Ron?"