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Harry blinked as Narcissa apparated into the kitchen. She managed to make it seem graceful, landing like a cat, back straight and Harry thought ruefully of the amount of times he had fallen over after apparating. He cleared his throat as Narcissa stepped towards his photos, a slight smile gracing her features.
She turned without giving a hint that she might have been surprised and Harry smiled at her nervously. She gave a smirk that could have been a smile on someone else and Harry stepped out from the table.
"Hello Harry. I talked to Andromeda last night. She told me of what you and she spoke of. Thank you."
Harry blinked at this abrupt turn of conversation and waved his hand towards the dining table.
"Uh, would you like tea or coffee or something? Please sit." He rubbed the back of his neck, awkward and she nodded.
"Coffee, please. No milk. Andromeda said she had told you of my first day at Hogwarts." Harry nodded as he poured the hot water, unsure whether she had really been asking him anything.
"I'm not going to bite you Potter." Harry half turned, expecting her to be leaning back on her chair like Draco did. She wasn't but the expression was the very same, causing Harry to realise just how much Draco looked like her.
Everyone had always compared Draco to Lucius but in this light, seeing Narcissa close up, he realised there was barely any resemblance between son and father. Barely realising he was speaking; he recounted his thoughts to her and was rewarded with an almost shy grin.
Narcissa was lucky, there were no other girls in her year-several boys, yes, but they didn't matter. She wouldn't have to share a dorm with them. It had been one of her main worries- who she'd end up sharing with. And now she could think in peace, away from the noise that the Great Hall had filled with.
The hat had given her food for thought and she lay back on her bed, considering what it had said.
"Another Black, another Slytherin. Your dear cousin made such a change but you're interesting for all you're easy to place as a Slytherin. Nearly placed Andromeda in Ravenclaw but you already guessed that didn't you? Nice brain you've got here. If I were you, I'd keep a façade ready but behind it all learn about muggles. Third bookshelf from the left at the back of the library has a collection of fiction you'll enjoy. Drop the prejudices underneath and you'll be happier."
Easy to place as a Slytherin she dismissed instantly. She had known that, she knew how to handle herself and she knew that Slytherin didn't necessarily equal evil. A lot of people from Slytherin went bad but that probably had more to do with the fact that they had no one's trust. And everyone always forgot that plenty of people from the other houses had gone to the various "dark sides" throughout history.
Your dear cousin made such a change. That was understandable. While Sirius was a fool and had no sense whatsoever, he was very different from anyone she knew. The complete opposite to the rest of her family most certainly. And, she reckoned, under the bravado and idiocy, there lay a very complex mind despite the levels he went to to try and hide it.
Nearly placed Andromeda wasn't a surprise. Meda was too trusting to be a really good Slytherin but she definitely belonged among the snakes. Narcissa wondered whether the hat had considered all the houses, Meda could fit in any of them but the Black name that haunted her had probably meant that she'd come close to begging. It was something to consider and meant that she might, in the future, seek out the hat.
The rest was more interesting and not nearly as easy to deal with. Her views on muggle were slightly ff Bellatrix's thanks to an angry Sirius needing someone to vent onto and Narcissa being nearby. She still thought she was better than many muggles but because of the things she could do not because of her blood. And Sirius' friends hadn't let him spend a moment alone (well, in the form of letters and presents) during the summer. Narcissa wasn't foolish enough to think that any Pureblood she knew would do the same for her.
So maybe muggles weren't all bad. Third bookshelf from the left. It wouldn't be too hard to slip off to the library and a book cover wouldn't be hard to change slightly. The problem was getting past the librarian.
Rolling over, Narcissa grinned. Hogwarts was looking promising.
Rather irritatingly, Hogwarts wasn't that interesting. Andromeda tended to hang around with Ravenclaw people and Bella didn't really want to talk to Narcissa much so her company was limited.
However, the lessons were interesting. The Potions master she had under her thumb and, while the Potions were dreadfully easy, he was a source of limitless information and he didn't seem to mind her changing the Potions she created.
Charms was easy enough but it lacked interest. She didn't want to make a feather float. However, the library promised more interesting charms books for her to peruse. She wanted charms that pushed her, charms that would actually have some use.
Transfiguration was hard. She was changing something into a different thing and, while useful, she felt that there was something wrong about it. It'd get easier, she reckoned, but learning more about it would come in useful.
History of Magic was wonderful-it gripped her. It was so interesting! The politics, the people, the actions, the theories: it was wonderful and it made her head buzz just thinking about it.
Hogwarts did have the potential to be challenging but it meant learning it herself and Narcissa wasn't sure how that would work in relation to people's opinion of her. She was a Black and social status mattered.
If she went to the library in the early hours, before most people woke, she could get her books and indulge. Then she could make a few friends with the boys, to maintain links with the community.
Narcissa liked to learn and she had a thirst for knowledge that demanded her attention. She was also wiser than her years and it took a lot to hide that behind her Black persona.
It was a challenge, that was all, and the facades were still a game for her. She could pull them on and off, sometimes so well that she forgot which was real and which wasn't. She needed to talk to the hat again.
Narcissa paused, looking at Harry searchingly.
"This isn't a story that I can just tell. I had thought I could but it's not possible. I will write it down for you. I just can't tell it all." Narcissa didn't break Harry's gaze. It was slightly disconcerting and he couldn't help but look away from her, nodding.
Narcissa looked at the man's bowed head and smiled without any joy before apparating away.
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