Johnny O'Connor was very good at listening to instructions. He didn't touch things in the shop when his Mummy told him not to, and he was quiet when he was told to be quiet. Johnny was a good boy, but sometimes people acted like he wasn't.

"Mummy,"

Ms. O'Connor glanced down at her son as they strode down the sidewalk of Wiltshire, England.

"Who are those people across the road?" The little boy was no older than seven, and so pointing was still acceptable to his young mind. Ms. O'Conner, Margret, looked to where her son was pointing and quickly brushed his hand down to his side and looked away.

"Those are people we don't talk with, Johnny." She said, nervously glancing at the family across the way.

"But, Mummy," Johnny insisted. "Who are they?"

"Those are the Malfoys." She replied quietly. "They are very very rich and come from a very old family. They are practically royalty around here, and we don't bother people like them."

Johnny frowned, but he listened when his mother told him to come along. His small brown eyes went to the family again, and he tilted his head, curious about these people he wasn't allowed to bother.

The father looked like a king from one of his cartoons; tall, and blond and carrying scepter. He was dressed in fancy clothes, including a long sweeping coat and shiny shoes. His wife had her arm through his, and she was wearing a pretty dress under a big fur coat. She was also blonde, but her hair was darker than the man's. She didn't look like a queen, but maybe she was taking a day off.

There were two children following the couple, older than Johnny, holding hands as they trotted after their parents. The boy, the one closest to Johnny, was dressed almost like a miniature version of his father, minus the long coat, and with his hair slicked back instead of flowing over his shoulders. The girl was wearing a pretty dress that fell loose around her knees in dark green. She and her brother looked very similar, from their pointed faces lined with baby fat to their identical grey eyes and the slope of their noses, but the girl's hair was black as a crow's wing and pulled back harshly into a French braid and tied off with a ribbon the same color as her dress.

Johnny stared as they walked past him, awed by the king and his family. His mother tugged him nervously along, trying to escape the notice of these better people.

"She looks like a princess," Johnny told his mum, staring at the girl who held tight to her brother's hand and gazed into the shop windows with wonder. "Can I marry her someday and be a prince?"

Margaret O'Connor gazed down at her son and shook her head. "I don't think it will work out, buddy."

"Oh. Okay." Johnny said as the woman glanced back and gave him a cold look, before verbally ushering her children along.


Mister Lucius Malfoy was the proud owner of an albino peacock, a large mansion and an enormous eagle owl. These things weren't standard in any shape, but it was the eagle owl that was the oddity. Lucius Malfoy, however, thought this was completely normal, and it was in his community, for the Malfoy patron was a wizard. A prominent, pure-blooded, wizard who was very well known and was practically royalty amongst his peers. His wife was a pureblood from an equally old family, the Blacks, and she had even given him two lovely children in the proper order; his son, Draco, as his heir, and a beautiful daughter, Lysandra. He was very proud of how his children had turned out; proper and with the right mindset.

Lucius Malfoy's children had just turned eleven on the fifth of June, and in the fashion of the Wizarding World, had received their school letters by owl. They had been seated for breakfast when no more than five regal owls had flown through the enormous open window of the breakfast room.

One of these owls had landed in front of the Malfoy patriarch and had dropped the daily newspaper, named The Daily Prophet aptly. The other four owls alighted two apiece in front of the twins, each bearing a letter tied to their legs.

The twins paused their consumption of breakfast, glanced first at their father and then at their mother, before lowering their forks and knives and wiping their hands off. They shared a look and then turned their attention to the owls in front of them.

"Go ahead, children." Narcissa Malfoy, Lucius' wife, said, placing her cutlery down to watch. Lucius quietly opened the newspaper.

Two of the owls bore the same crest on their letters, and these were the letters that the twins reached for first.

"Miss L. Malfoy, Breakfast Room, The Malfoy Manor, Wiltshire, England." The girl announced off the front of her letter before flipping it around. Her brother, Draco, followed the example of his father, opening his letter without reading off the front of it.

"Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry…." Lysandra trailed off, scanning over the header of the letter. "I've been accepted, Mother."

"Of course you have, darling," Narcissa replied, folding her hands. "You're a Malfoy."

"I knew that." The eleven-year-old replied, placing down the letter carefully. Her small hands reached for the next letter. The owl who wore it had a pale blue ribbon tied around its ankle, complete with a little golden bell. This owl puffed itself up proudly and presented the letter with all the fanfare of a bowing courtly messenger.

It received a coo from the young Malfoy girl and a stroke on the head. The envelope that was untied from its leg was crafted with heavy and obviously expensive parchment. The ink that looped her name in elaborate cursive on the front was gold and the package smelt faintly of roses. The crest on the back, stamped in blue wax, depicted three wands shooting stars. The letter inside was edged in gold and was written on more obviously expensive parchment.

Lucius shared a look with his wife, amused at the attempt.

"Mademoiselle Lysandra Malfoy, Beauxbatons Academy of Magic is pleased…" She lifted her eyes to her brother and glanced at his second letter. "Durmstrang accepted you, Draco?"

"Obviously." He sneered, throwing a look at her rose-scented letter from the French Academy. His eyes shifted to his father at the head of the table. "Can I go, Father?"

"I will think about it," Lucius replied, setting his newspaper down to reach for the coffee before him. "Run along, children."

"Excuse us, please." The twins said in perfect sync, years of practice evident in their coiffed mannerisms.

The pair joined hands as they exited the breakfast room, leaving the letters on the table.


Madame Malkin was very proud of her shop. She worked very hard to keep up with the latest styles of both Muggle and Wizarding fashion, and always had a stock of alterable Hogwarts uniforms at the ready, especially when July and August came around.

She'd made the uniforms for people such as Gilderoy Lockhart, so it was no surprise (maybe a little), that the Malfoy family strode through her doors the summer of Nineteen Ninety-One, ready for Hogwarts robes.

"Good morning, Mister Malfoy, Madam Malfoy." She greeted from behind her desk. "Hogwarts robes today for the children?"

"Yes." Lucius replied, coldly, before handing over a slip of parchment with the Malfoy vault number on it.

"Right this way, you two." She ushered the pair onto the ready stools lying in wait for those needing measurements taken.

"We'll be back," Narcissa told the twins, ushering her husband out the door. "Be good."

"Yes, mother." They replied from their stools. Lysandra pulled off her coat and hung it on one of the supplied hooks, picking up Draco's from where he'd tossed it towards her. The Madame gave a small frown before calling for one of her assistants.

Quietly, the Malfoy twins stood while the seamstresses did their work. They were nearly finished when the bell over the door jingled.

"Hogwarts, dear?" Madame Malkin turned the small black haired boy who had just entered. Her entire squat body practically glowed at the salvation from the awkward silence the two Malfoy children provided. "Got the lot here- another young man is being fitted up just now, in fact. Him and his sister."

She pulled the poor boy by the elbow onto the stool opposite the Malfoy boy's. Her eldest assistant vanished into the back for something, leaving the Malfoy girl alone with the hem of her new robes pinned.

"Hullo," Draco broke the silence that had hovered in the store for the first time. "Hogwarts, too?"

"Yes." Said the other boy, watching as the Madame flitted around.

"Our father's next door buying our books and our mother's up the street looking at the wands." The blond drawled, boredom dripping from his tone. "Then I'm going to drag them off to look at racing brooms. I don't see why First Years can't have their own. I think I'll bully Father into getting me one and I'll smuggle it in somehow."

"If Father bought you one, he'd have to buy me one too." The girl reminded her twin with a slight scowl. "I'm also quite sure that the Headmaster would know if you snuck one to school. It's not worth the effort when we both know we'll just get one next year anyway."

"But I want one now." Draco snapped at his twin, before looking at the boy. "Have you got a broom?"

"No."

"Play Quidditch at all?"

"No."

"I do," Draco announced proudly, and then he looked at his counterpart. "So does Lysandra. Father says it's a crime if I'm not picked for my House, and I must say, I agree. Know what House you'll be in yet?"

He shot a dark glare down at the witch pinning his hem. "Watch where you stick those."

"No." The dark-haired boy pushed up his glasses and shook his head.

"Well, no one really knows until they get there, do they, but I know we'll be in Slytherin; all our family has been. Imagine being in Hufflepuff; I think I'd leave wouldn't you?" Lysandra's witch returned, smelling faintly of smoke and carrying her sewing kit and wand. The other boy hummed out a sort of confirmation.

"I say," Draco said suddenly. "Look at that man!"

"That's Hagrid." The boy said, nodding to the enormous man in the window. His equally enormous black beard was split into a large grin, and he carried two ice cream cones in his massive hands. "He works a Hogwarts."

"Oh, I've heard of him. He's a sort of servant, isn't he?" The blond sneered, looking that man with disdain.

"He's the gamekeeper." The boy replied. The witch hemming Lysandra's robe glanced around her at the man and offered a smile. She glanced behind her with curiosity.

"Yes, exactly. I heard he's a sort of savage – lives in a hut on the school grounds and now and then he gets drunk, tries to do magic, and ends up setting fire to his bed."

"I think he's brilliant." The black-haired boy said coldly.

"Really? Why is he with you? Where are your parents?"

"They're dead."

"I'm sorry for your loss." Lysandra finally spoke up, offering a small smile to the boy. He blinked twice at her with shock evident in his brilliant green eyes.

"But they were our kind, weren't they?" Draco shot his sister a look, and she shut her mouth.

"They were a witch and a wizard if that's what you mean."

"I don't think they should let the other sort in, do you? They're just not the same; they've never been brought up to know our ways. Some of them have never even heard of Hogwarts until they get the letter, imagine. I think they should keep it in the old wizarding families."

"The Muggleborns could learn our ways-" Lysandra was silenced, once again, by a sharp look from her twin.

"What's your surname, anyway?"

"That's you done, my dear." The Madame had apparently had enough of this conversation, and she ushered the boy out with Hagrid and moved to the back to gather the rest of the Malfoy's order.

"Well, we'll see you at Hogwarts, I suppose." Draco drawled out.


Ollivander's wand shop was perhaps not the most pristine wand shop around, nor the fanciest. However, it was the oldest and most reputable, and this was where most wizards and witches got their wands.

Ollivander himself was perhaps not the most pristine, nor the fanciest. But he was as kind as he was good at his trade, and his business was creating wands for the young wizards and witches of Great Britain.

The shop itself was narrow and shabby. Peeling gold letters over the door read Ollivander's: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C. A single wand lay behind the dirty window on a faded purple cushion. The bell above the door was slightly dented and tarnished, but it tinkled whenever the door opened. The shop was a tiny place, empty except for a single spindly chair by the door, the desk that barred the way to the back and the rows upon rows upon rows of shelves for the boxes of wands. Thousands of these narrow boxes were piled neatly – to Ollivander – right up to the ceiling.

Ollivander was narrow and old, with pale eyes and white hair that stood out all over his head in a frizzy mess, the way an older man's should. His face was lined with wrinkles, and his fingers covered in callouses and nicks.

Ollivander knew precisely which wand every person who walked through his door owned, and therefore, it was no surprise that the Malfoys – eighteen inches, elm, dragon heart-string and eleven inches, elm, unicorn hair – ushered their two children into his shop that beautiful afternoon.

"Good afternoon." He said, peering down at the twins before him through the gloom.

"Yes." Lucius Malfoy replied. "Wands for the children."

Ollivander watched as the boy strutted forward first, leaving the girl beside her mother. There was no chatting to be had with those classified as nobles, not like Harry Potter and Rubeus Hagrid when they'd come in for the poor boy's wand.

"Well now, young Mister Malfoy." Ollivander withdrew a long tape measure out of his pocket, the silver markings flashing in the dim lighting. "Which is your wand arm?"

"This one." The little blond held out his right arm. Ollivander measured Draco Malfoy from shoulder to finger, then wrist to elbow, shoulder to floor, knee to armpit and round his head. As with every new sale, Ollivander told the boy this:

"Every Ollivander wand has a core of a powerful magical substance, Mister Malfoy. We use unicorn hairs, phoenix tail feathers, and the heartstrings of dragons. No two Ollivander wands are the same. And of course, you will never get such good results with another wizard's wand."

The tape measure continued to do its job, measuring now between Draco's nostrils. Ollivander scurried into the back. "That will do." The tape measure clattered to the ground.

"Alright then, Mister Malfoy. Try this one. Birch-wood and phoenix feather, seven and three-quarter inches, stubbornly rigid. Give it a wave."

Draco lifted the wand and had barely given it a swish, when Ollivander realized it was not the wand for him and snatched it away, reaching for another box all the while.

"Elm and unicorn tail-" That one vanished even faster.

"This one. Hawthorn and unicorn hair, ten inches long, reasonably pliant." Ollivander passed this wand to Draco and nodded when several green sparks shot from the end. "Yes, indeed. Very good. That's nine Galleons for Mister Malfoy's wand. And now the young lady's."

The tape measure sprung back into action. Lysandra Malfoy held quite still, her right arm outstretched, as Ollivander vanished into the back again. He came out bearing a dusty box and then presented the wand to her.

"Maple and dragon heartstring, nine inches -" She had barely given it a swish, creating a terrible wind that nearly knocked the lamp off the desk, when Ollivander took it from her. And then he took the next one, and the next one, and the next one, and the one after that, and the next five after those.

Ollivander rarely ever had two tricky customers a day, and now this young girl was almost as wonderfully complex as Mister Potter himself. The pile of wands grew taller, until Ollivander paused what he was doing, tilted his head as though listening to something, and shuffled into the back muttering to himself.

"Tricky customer, eh? The perfect match… I wonder if…. No, no… But… maybe it would. Unusual, yes… but perhaps."

When he returned, Ollivander came bearing a dusty covered box embossed with swirling designs. He very carefully placed it on the desk, right at the edge, and swept the pile of wands to the side. By this time, only the girl and her mother remained; Garrick could see the male Malfoys striding towards the broom shop up the street.

"This," Ollivander placed his hand on the box, patting it twice. "Was the very last wand my great-grandfather ever made. And it has been tucked away until today. I am… unsure the reaction this wand will have to many of my customers, Miss Malfoy, as it is not something the Ollivander wandmakers have worked with since my great-grandfather, and he only ever made two; one of which is long gone, his own, and the other which sits before us in this box."

The young girl's startling grey eyes lifted from the box to his face and she bit her lip. Narcissa shifted daintily on the rickety chair and gave her daughter an encouraging nod when the girl glanced back.

Ollivander lifted the lid off the box and placed it to the side, and then presented the wand, still in the box, to the girl. The seemingly ordinary wand sat on a small cushion of aged ivory silk, and the wand itself was a deep brown, practically black against its pillow.

Lysandra's small hand hovered over the wand before she gripped it in her fingers and gave it a smooth swish. From the end burst a cloud of yellow smoke and it lingered in the room with the scent of cinnamon before it all abruptly vanished.

Ollivander was quiet for several seconds, still standing with the box extended, and he nodded slowly. "That, my dear, is your wand. Ten and one-half inches, sturdy and loyal, blackthorn…. and thestral hair."

"Oh, my." Narcissa breathed from her spot on the chair. Lysandra glanced down nervously at her wand and then placed it back into the box.

"The wand chooses the wizard, Mister Ollivander," She said, gazing down at it. "And if this wand has chosen me, then I will wield it. Thank you."

Her mother gazed at the girl, and then dropped a stack of Galleons onto his desk, far more then he would ever ask for this particular wand, but he understood the gesture. Thestral hair wands were not for the weak and were incredibly influential in the wrong hands. Considering her husband's previous affiliations, he knew to keep quiet. Ollivander nodded and then set the lid of Lysandra's wand onto the box, and placed it in a small bag so that she could carry it with her.

"Be cautious with your wand, Miss Malfoy," he said as they strode out the door. "And great things will happen."


True to the Malfoy fashion, the pureblood family arrived with a spare half hour to Platform Nine-and-Three-Quarters, followed by Dobby with their school trunks. They garnered quite a bit of attention at their arrival, causing a ripple of whispers amongst those who knew who the mostly blond family were.

"Narcissa dear!" A call came from a carriage three down the gleaming scarlet monstrosity of a train. The Malfoy matriarch turned and ushered her children towards the woman who'd called. The sizeablely boned woman brushed her son's robes off once more before she turned to greet the pureblood family approaching them.

"Doris Crabbe," Narcissa greeted the brunette woman, giving a small smile. "How are you?"

"Lovely, just lovely. And you, Narcissa? Ready for your children to head off to carry on our legacies?" Doris chuckled, smoothing her son's hair.

"I shall miss them." She replied, glancing at her husband, who was looking around the platform with an aristocratic sneer on his handsome face.

"I shall as well. Lacey has already dropped off Gregory; he's gone to find an empty compartment. The boys can move your two's trunks there."

"A good suggestion." Lucius interrupted. "Hurry up, boy."

The Crabbe boy lurched forward towards Draco's new trunk and began dragging it towards the train. He was joined halfway by another slightly taller boy, and they vanished into the train.

Narcissa smoothed Draco's already perfect hair and kissed his forehead, smiling sadly when her eldest complained about it. Lucius pulled Draco aside and began a quiet lecture. The Malfoy matriarch knelt to look her nervous daughter in the eyes.

"Lysandra, darling," Narcissa brushed a delicate finger over her daughter's cheek. "Be careful, yes? Please don't let your brother push you around."

"Yes, Mother." The raven smiled, and then she looked at her mother with solemn grey eyes. "Mummy,"

Narcissa started slightly; her children hadn't called her that in years.

"What if I'm not in Slytherin?"

The blond woman placed both her hands on Lysandra's shoulders, kissed her forehead, and then looked at her youngest with the most severe expression she'd ever seen directed at her.

"Lysandra, I love you. I always will," Narcissa's features softened. "Even if you end up in Gryffindor. If you are not in Slytherin-"

"Of course she'll be in Slytherin." Lucius had sent Draco onto the train and now hovered over his wife and daughter. "All of the Malfoys and Blacks were."

"Yes dear."

"I'm to be on time for work, Narcissa. Send our daughter onto the train, and we'll be on our way." The blond man turned when Doris Crabbe gathered his attention about something or another. Narcissa pulled her daughter sharply into a hug.

"One of my cousins was in Gryffindor," She murmured into her daughter's ear. "And he was likely the most… happy of all of our bloodlines. You will be fine. I love you. Owl me, when you get to your House."

"Yes, Mother." Lysandra nodded into her mother's hair, hugging her one last time before moving to join her brother on the train.

The Malfoy woman watched her children vanish into the train and turned to take her husband's arm.


"We're up here," Draco said to his twin, clambering onto the train as gracefully as he could given their short stature. "Crabbe and Goyle are putting our trunks in our compartment. Pansy Parkinson is down a compartment with Blaise and Daphne Greengrass."

He stopped outside what was apparently their compartment, judging from the figures of Crabbe and Goyle pushing Draco's trunk up onto the overhead rack. "We'll stick together."

"Of course." Lysandra smiled, stepping past her brother when he held open the door for her. Crabbe and Goyle lurched back against the window, having succeeded putting away Draco's trunk next to her own. Lysandra took a seat on the bench facing the front of the train but took the side closest to the door. Draco took the position next to her, and the other two sat on the bench across from them.

The compartment was silent for several long minutes, the four occupants awkwardly avoiding eye contact.

"I'm Draco." The only blond said, then gestured to the only girl. "This is my twin sister, Lysandra."

"Crabbe." The chubbier of the two boys grunted.

"Goyle."

The compartment went quiet again. Draco peered out the window to the platform. "Hurry up." He grumbled.


The countryside was rolling past at an incredible rate, and yet, the greenery primarily ignored in favor of the game of Exploding Snap currently going on between the compartment's four occupants and the candy wrappers that littered the seat Crabbe and Goyle occupied. The latter was searching through the pile for any candy that was left-over and waiting his turn.

"Uh-oh," Crabbe grumbled as the cards started smoking. Draco and Lysandra leaned back with identical looks and with a loud SNAP the cards exploded.

"You lose." Draco sneered, gathering the cards to play again. The raven-haired girl waved away some of the smoke and then leaned towards the corridor, where the door had been left open after their splurge on candy.

"Did you hear?" A Slytherin student asked her Ravenclaw friend as the wandered past. "Those Weasley twins were talking about Harry Potter being on the train."

"Harry Potter?" The students across the corridor poked their heads out. The two students stopped. "Going to Hogwarts?"

"That's what I heard." The Slytherin girl snapped.

The Ravenclaw crossed her arms and sighed. "Well, the Weasley boys aren't very reliable for information, you know, Felicity."

"I know." Felicity, the Slytherin, huffed. "But my cousin, who's in Hufflepuff, was down that way, and he said that its true. Harry Potter is two carriages down in the third compartment on the right. How's that for reliable information?!"

The girl twirled off in a huff, followed quickly by the Ravenclaw girl. The Snakes across the way glanced over at the Malfoys' compartment and then shut their compartment door.

"Harry Potter?" Draco drawled, standing and shaking out his pristine robes. "Let's go see if the rumors are true. Crabbe, Goyle, come on."

Lysandra hurried quickly after the trio of boys down two carriages, and to the third compartment. A discussion about Quidditch halted when Draco slid the compartment door open, peering inside with interest. She gazed around Crabbe, who shuffled closer to Goyle so that she could see. To her surprise, the dark-haired boy whom Draco had thought so rude at Diagon Alley was seated inside with a ginger boy of about the same age.

"Is it true?" Draco said. "They're saying all down the train that Harry Potter's in this compartment. So, it's you, is it?"

"Yes," Harry replied, looking at Crabbe and Goyle, who were a bit intimidating in their size and facial features. They were stood on either side of Draco like bodyguards, blocking the only exit.

"Oh, this is Crabbe, and this is Goyle." Draco threw a hand back in their general direction carelessly, obviously having noticed where Harry was looking. "And my name's Malfoy, Draco Malfoy."

The ginger gave a slight cough, which might have hidden – poorly – a snigger in Draco's direction. Lysandra frowned at his manners. The blond turned his head to regard the other boy.

"Think my name's funny, do you? No need to ask who you are. My father told me all the Weasleys have red hair, freckles, and more children than they can afford." Lysandra stifled a gasp, appalled. Indeed, their father had told them about who the Weasleys were, but just because they had more children than their own family had, didn't mean that they were unhappy, and that was what counted, didn't it?

Draco turned back to Harry. "You'll soon find out some wizarding families are much better than others, Potter. You don't want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there."

He thrust his hand in Harry's direction…. but Harry didn't take it.

"I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks." He said coolly. Draco didn't go red – none of the Malfoy family ever blushed red- but a pink tinge appeared on his pale cheeks.

"I'd be careful if I were you, Potter." He said slowly. "Unless you're a bit politer, you'll go the same way as your parents. They didn't know what was good for them, either. You hang around with riffraff like the Weasleys and that Hagrid, and it'll rub off on you."

Both Harry and the Weasley boy stood up.

"Say that again." Weasley's face was nearly as red as his hair.

Lysandra pushed past Crabbe and placed a hand on Draco's arm. "He won't. We're leaving."

"Oh, you're going to fight us, are you?" The blond sneered, shrugging his twin's hand off his arm. She dropped her hand after a couple of seconds of leaving it hovering in the air. Draco had never done that; he'd never shrugged off physical contact from her.

"Unless you get out now." Said Harry, glancing briefly at Lysandra, and then his green eyes moved from Crabbe and Goyle, then back to Draco.

"But we don't feel like leaving, do we, boys?" Draco glanced at his sister. "We've eaten all our food, and you still seem to have some. Lysandra, you can go."

He'd also never dismissed her, ever. That was something their father did to their mother and, occasionally, them. She'd never had this happen to her, and she drew back from the compartment, fighting back the tears that pooled in her grey eyes. She felt a bit betrayed; family was everything to Lysandra, and family wasn't supposed to ignore their sisters.

Goyle reached toward the Chocolate Frogs next to the Weasley, who leaped forward, but before he'd so much as touched the trespassing boy, Goyle let out a horrible yell.

A rat was hanging off his finger, sharp little teeth sunk deep into Goyle's first knuckle. Crabbe and Draco backed away as Goyle swung the rat round and round, howling. Their retreat pushed Lysandra back too, and she nearly bumped into the wall on the other side of the corridor. The rat finally flew off and hit the window. The three boys practically vanished, shoving Lysandra out of the way and into the wall as they took off. The raven-haired girl hit the floor and scowled deeply.

A bushy haired girl appeared from just down the corridor, and she scurried up towards Lysandra, who was pushing herself to her feet and brushing off her robes.

"What has been going on?" she said, looking between the sweets all over the floor, Weasley picking up Scabbers by his tail, and the disgruntled girl in the corridor.

"I think he's been knocked out." The Weasley said to Harry. He looked closer at the rat, twisting him this way and that. "No, I don't believe it. He's gone back to sleep."

What a strange rat.

"You've met Malfoy before?"

Harry quickly explained about their meeting in Diagon Alley. "He was at the robe shop when I went there. He and his sister. He was asking all these questions about Quidditch, and my family."

"I'm sorry about him." Lysandra was hovering by the compartment door, twisting her hands in the bottom of her sleeves. "I've never seen him do that before."

"You're…. his sister, right?" Harry said. Lysandra nodded quickly. "Eliza?"

"Lysandra." She corrected quietly.

"What're you still doing here?" The Weasley sneered. She blanched and then left them. The bushy haired girl moved further into the compartment. Perhaps, it was better to apologize to the Weasley boy later.

The raven paused when she reached her carriage, moving towards the compartment behind her own. The girls and the boy inside looked up from their discussion when she poked her head around.

"I just wanted to pop in and say hello before we got to Hogwarts."

Pansy Parkinson jumped to her feet, and leaped over, pulling the Malfoy girl into a hug. "LYSANDRA! How have you been!? I haven't seen you for months!"

"You'll suffocate her if you don't let go, Parkinson." Blaise rolled his eye, leaning back in his seat. The other two girls just watched, curious.

Pansy immediately let go and brushed Lysandra off. "I've wrinkled your robes. Are you alright? Are you dead?"

"I'm alright, Pansy." Lysandra carefully removed the other girl's hands. "Your friends should probably get into their robes. I believe we may be almost there."

"Ah!" Pansy turned to the two girls. "This is Millicent Bulstrode, and this is Tracey Davis. They'll be in Slytherin with us."

"Slytherin, yes," Lysandra mumbled, still worried about her House placement, not noticing Blaise shoot her a curious look.

"BLAISE!" Pansy suddenly shrieked. "Get out! They need to change."

Blaise heaved himself from his seat with another roll of the eyes, and sauntered out the door past Lysandra, moving to Draco's compartment. Lysandra could hear her twin's drawl from where she stood.

"I'll see you later, Pansy." Lysandra waved and hurried out, shutting the door behind her. She took a deep breath, smoothed out her expression as she'd seen her mother do practically her whole life, and then strode into her compartment. Blaise had taken up the spot across from Draco, and he shot her a small smile before turning to look out the window as he'd been doing.

"There you are. I thought we lost you or something." Draco said as she took her seat next to him.

"Thanks for abandoning me." She shot back with a cold look in her eyes. Draco's eyebrows shot up, and he looked confused. Thankfully, she was saved from whatever sort of reply he had by a voice echoing through the train.

"We will be reaching Hogwarts in five minutes' time. Please leave your luggage on the train; it will be taken to the school separately."

The train did indeed seem to be slowing down, and Draco pressed his forehead to the window to see what he could see. Crabbe and Goyle shifted nervously in their seats, cramming the leftover sweets into their pockets. Lysandra watched as the corridor filled with people and then stood to follow them. Blaise joined her quickly, nudging Draco with his foot.

People pushed their way to the door as the train stopped, practically leaping out onto the tiny dark platform. Lysandra pulled her robes tightly around her against the cold night air.

"Firs' years! Firs' years over here!" A voice boomed over their heads. "C'mon, follow me - - any more firs' years? Mind yer step, now! Firs' years follow me."

"Oh look," Draco sneered. He seemed to be doing that a lot today. "It's the oaf."

"That's not polite, Draco," Lysandra muttered, following after her twin towards the giant groundskeeper. Blaise, Crabbe, and Goyle hurried after them. Hagrid ushered the last of the straggling first years towards a dark path just to his right, lifting his lantern slightly higher, as though the higher it was, the more the light would spread.

Slipping and stumbling more often than not, the group of first years followed Hagrid down a very steep and very narrow path. It was so dark on either side that they must have been walking through a forest. Nobody spoke much, save for the occasional apologies when someone got shoved, or their robes were stepped upon. Someone sniffed once or twice just ahead of the Malfoy's group of eleven-year-olds.

"Ye' all get yer firs' sight o' Hogwarts in a sec." The groundskeeper, whose name was Hagrid, if she remembered correctly, called over his shoulder. "Jus' round this bend here."

There was a collective intake of breath and an awed, "Ooooooh!"

The narrow path they had traversed suddenly opened onto the edge of the vast lake, whose waters were black in the night. Perched atop a high mountain on the other side, with its windows sparkling in the starry sky, was a vast castle with many turrets and towers.

"No more'n four to a boat," Hagrid called, pointing to a fleet of little wooden boats sitting in the water by the shore. The looked unstable and unsafe, but they must have been fine, for Hagrid clambered into one himself, and it bobbed merrily in the water. Potter and the Weasley boy ended up in a boat with the bushy-haired girl and the boy who'd been sniffling. Lysandra followed her brother to a boat and they were joined by Blaise and a blonde-haired girl with chubby cheeks.

"Everyone in?" shouted Hagrid. "Right then – FORWARD!"

The fleet of little boats moved off all at once, causing some exclamation of surprise from some of the first years, including the girl in their boat.

"Muggleborns." Draco sneered, rolling his eyes. Lysandra averted her eyes from the flushed girl and focused on Hogwarts.

The boats glided across the lake, which was smooth as glass. Everyone was silent, staring up at the magnificent castle overhead. It towered over them as they sailed nearer and nearer to the cliff on which it stood.

"Heads down!" yelled Hagrid as the first boats reached the cliff. They all bent their heads, and the little boats carried them through a curtain of ivy that hid a wide opening in the cliff face. They were sent along a dark tunnel, which seemed to be taking them right underneath the castle, until they reached a kind of underground harbor, where they clambered – rather ungracefully in the case of some – out onto rocks and pebbles.

"Oy, you there! Is this your toad?" said Hagrid, who was checking the boats as people climbed out of them.

"Trevor!" the sniffling boy cried blissfully, holding his hands out. Hagrid led them through a steep passageway in the rock, coming out eventually onto smooth, damp grass right in the shadow of the castle. Lysandra's mouth dropped a little as she stared upwards.

The first years were led up a flight of stone steps and crowded around the massive oak front door.

"Everyone here? You there, still got yer toad?"

Lysandra watched with fascination as Hagrid raised a giant fist and knocked three times on the castle door.