Disclaimer: Did you really think I was J.K. Rowling? Forget it.

There was a sleek, shiny trunk. It was black, and in silver were embossed the initials D.R.L.. A complicated silver clasp held it shut. A girl was sitting on it, running her fingers through her silky black hair and nervously crossing and uncrossing her legs. She kept checking her watch. Finally, a tall young man came up to her, leaned down, and said:

"It was an honor to have you, Dellia. My mother would like me to tell you she is sorry about your father. You are welcome to stay with us in the holidays, but I understand the mess with your parents' place has been sorted out?"

Dellia nodded, almost imperceptibly.

"Remember, do well on exams for the classes that matter, obtain friends, and steer clear of mudbloods."

"Thank you, Mr. Malfoy," she managed. "For everything."

"Yes. Well, there are only so many pure-blooded families left in the wizarding world, and it would be best to not let that number diminish," Malfoy said, half to himself. "And you were a good guest. Also, I think my mother likes telling you about your mother. Have a good time at Hogwarts." And with that, he walked off towards his wife and son.

Dellia hummed a Bach concerto for a few seconds, then gave up and slipped her hand into the sleeve of her robe. She pulled out her wand and turned it over in her palm, admiring the smooth finish and elegant shape. Twelve inches, black walnut, unyielding, unicorn hair, the wandmaker had said. She couldn't wait to use it. She wondered vaguely which House she would be put in, decided on Slytherin, and slipped her wand back in her sleeve. The train was coming up the station, puffing steam into the faces of those nearest the tracks.

In the narrow hallway of the the train milled dozens of students, all talking loudly to each other. As she fought her way to a compartment door she overheard snippets of conversation:

"Did you hear about Professor Galgum? He's getting married!"

"...yes, and I told her that if she got put in detention one more time, she'd have spent four days in there..."

"Look at my revolving petunias! I can't wait to show Professor Longbottom!

Dellia forced open the creaky door of a compartment. There was only one person inside at the moment, a small boy holding an open book in his hands but looking everywhere except at its pages. He smiled nervously at her as she shoved her trunk on the rack and sat down on the seat opposite his.

"Hi," she said. Obtain friends, Mr. Malfoy had said, and although that was an odd way of phrasing it, she was going to give it a try, and this boy seemed as nice as any.

"Hi," he said quietly.

A few more moments of awkward silence, and then she said:

"I'm Dellia, but please call me Dell. What's your name?"

"Albus. Nice to meet you."

"You too."

Silence, speech.

"You know anyone else going to Hogwarts?" Dell asked.

"Mm. My older brother James and a few of his friends. My cousins Victoire and Rose. You?"

"My cousin Scorpius. That's about it."

Suddenly, Albus' expression became guarded.

"Your cousin is Scorpius Malfoy?" he said suspiciously.

"Yep. Why?"

Albus was saved from answering by the sudden lurch in the train and the fact that the door to the compartment was flung open and five grinning older students clattered in and flung themselves on the seats.

"Hello, brother!" said the apparent leader loudly. "How's it going? Still scared you're going to get into Slytherin?" He sniggered.

"Go away, James," mumbled Albus. James just smiled even wider, turning to his friends and explaining.

"Albus here is afraid he's going to get into Slytherin! We have to show him that we'll still love him!"

"Shut up, James! I'm not going to get into Slytherin! Go away!"

"Fine. See you at the Sorting!" With that last passing remark James shoved the door back open and swaggered out, followed by his sniggering friends.

Albus sagged in the corner of the compartment.

"He thinks I'm going to get into Slytherin," he muttered, almost as much to himself as to Dell. "My dad told me if I don't want to, the Sorting Hat will take my choice into consideration, but what if James is right?"

"There's nothing wrong with Slytherin," Dell said cooly. "My entire family was in Slytherin bar one."

Albus just gave her an odd look and buried himself in his book.

About fifteen minutes had passed when the door was pushed open again and two kids- a girl and a boy- entered. The girl smiled timidly at the two original incumbents of the compartment, then sat down hesitantly on the seat next to Albus. The boy grinned at Dell, nodded to Albus, and threw himself down next to Dell.

"Hello!" he said confidently. "I'm Dirk Elwood. What are your names?"

"I'm Caitlin Walker," said the new girl quietly.

"Dell Lestrange."

"Albus Potter."

Dirk's eyes widened. Dell's narrowed. Albus crossed his arms and glared at Dell. Caitlin's face bore a look of utter bewilderment at their reactions.

"You're a Lestrange."

"You're a Potter," the two of them said at the same time.

"Potter and Lestrange, eh?" Dirk said finally. "What in the tangled mess that is Merlin's beard are you two doing sharing a compartment? And since when did the Lestranges have a daughter?"

"I had the compartment first, she just came in here and sat down without asking!" protested Albus, then to Dell: "And you're a Lestrange? Your mother killed my grandfather's best friend!"

"And what am I supposed to do about that?" retorted Dell. Albus relaxed a bit, until she continued: "It's not my fault he betrayed the family and consorted with mudbloods!"

"Don't. Use. That. Word!" shouted Albus.

"I'll use whatever words I like, you insolent little cockroach!"

"Muggle-borns have every right to use magic if they can control it!"

"They rot away the pure wizarding blood!"

"Not if they're wizards themselves, you idiot!"

Dell couldn't think of a comeback to that, so she contented herself in slouching in the corner of the compartment and glaring out the window. Albus smiled smugly at the other two kids. Caitlin was still looking confusedly from Albus to Dell, then back to Albus.

"Mudblood is a very nasty term for a witch or wizard born to non-magical parents," Albus explained. "I'm guessing you didn't know about magic before you got you letter?" Caitlin nodded. "Then that's what she's talking about." He glared at Dell. "Get out, Lestrange."

Sensing that there was not a single person in the compartment that did not feel animosity toward her she decided to do as Albus said. Grabbing her trunk, she slammed open the door and headed to find a new compartment.

I actually had this idea long before I knew of the existence of fanfiction. I decided to do it. For certain aspects of Dell's character development to happen, I need her to be in the same house as Albus, Caitlin, and Dirk. Caitlin and Dirk can go wherever, but I don't want Albus in Slytherin or Dell in Hufflepuff. In my original story, Dell was in Ravenclaw and Albus in Gryffinfor, but I don't think that's going to work.

And yes, I know Dell shouldn't be in the same generation as Albus. Bear with me. I have it sorted out. Mostly.

Review questions:

1. Should I put the four of them in Gryffindor or Ravenclaw?

2. What do you like about my story?

3. What do you dislike about my story?

4. Which characters would you like me to put in?

5. Do you have any ideas for Caitlin's personality? Not super-shy and timid, it's boring to write and I already have a character like that (Gemma Glenden) in another fic.

6. Do you want an OC in here with cameo appearances or even in their year and house? If so, complete the form below:


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