"Hey there baby," Emily cooed, smiling down at the snake resting in her lap.

Adam was a Green Vine snake, one of the few special creatures that everyone around the world knew about, not just magical communities. He had a cheeky smile that he always seemed to showcase for Emily alone.

Whenever she was home, Emily often baby sat magical creatures for other people. It made the days go by quickly and she got to interact with several interesting people.

The door swung open, letting Case #1 into the house.

Trisha dealt in anything to do with cold-blooded reptiles, although specialising with lizards and snakes. She bred all kinds and sold them to different interested parties, which ranged from the alchemists to the spell makers to the collectors.

"Wadda mooli," Emily called, watching as Adam wound up her arm, clinging to it tightly. Trisha replied with glee, flying into the house. While Adam wasn't that very rare, he was most certainly Trisha's favourite, which is why Emily always kept him on her body whenever she was in Trisha's house.

"Adam baby!" she cooed. Adam drew back his mouth, showing his delight to see his owner once again. Trisha had been away for three days because of a rare sighting. Emily caught the sight of a cage sitting at the door.

"Who's th' newbie?" she waits patiently as Adam transfers himself from her arm to Trisha's. "Product of your recent travel?"

"Oh yes," Trisha beamed, giving Adam a few strokes down the back of his head. "Her name is Amanda. Don't look into her eyes though; she's a basilisk. Someone was breeding them and this lady got loose."

"You gonna blind her?" Emily looked back at Trisha; her mouth was now set in an unhappy scowl.

"Unfortunately. I have to." Adam flicks out his tongue, nudging Trisha's cheek. She hisses at him in the snake language, the two of them eventually chatting up a storm. This was one of the biggest reason Trisha chose this job; seeing as she could speak snake (a talent that was highly favoured in nearly every local Aboriginal community) and understand lizards, she could control nearly every animal that came under her care. "For now though, I've put some fabric over her eyes."

Emily approaches the cage, getting down to be level with the top of the cage.

"Wadda mooli Amanda," she greets. "I suspect I'll be takin care of ya in th' future."

Seeing as the Australian magical community had no government to speak of, unlike Britain's Ministry of Magic, most of us just conformed to the normal government's laws, most of them covering all that was needed. Of course, there was a secret branch that made more magically specific laws, but they didn't really come into play a lot. With no major laws, nearly every magical citizen was free to continue with life.

With no government meant that there was no magical towns and cities; no hidden streets like Diagon Ally; effectively, a magical person was not magical in the eyes of the law. Australians lived like their non-magical counterparts, maintaining the same jobs, using the same currency, and mixing with each other. Magicals could identify each other, but to non-magicals, they wouldn't notice a thing.

On the other hand, the situation with native Aboriginals was different. Nobody in their community took efforts to hide their magic, helping their less magically inclined family members. When the magical and non-magical Europeans came along, they disrupted that balance; not only were they racist because of their skin and how they lived, those with magical ability were suddenly shunned, and those who could speak snake were hunted.

Thankfully in the past century, everybody realised their mistakes towards the native Aboriginal tribes and snake speak; it was now considered a gift to have the second language.

Emily's ancestry didn't have any magic to speak of past her parents, and her lineage was pure European. Trisha, on the other hand, was one of the Wulgurukaba people and had inherited snake speak.

Emily was able to take care of her animals because Trisha's daughter had been friends with her back from primary school, despite it had been several years since they spoke. After the first trial run, Trisha was content to leave it to her hands.

This was one of the reasons why she loved to baby sit magical creatures; not only would she understand how to ward against them (a crucial ability to survive in Australia) but occasionally she got to interact with animals that she normally wouldn't have done so.

Amanda being one of them; once Trisha had a good chat with Amanda, she let her out of his cage, Adam hissing a hello.

"So young yet so big," Emily gasped, watching Amanda explore her new home. "I heard basilisks can grow pretty quickly."

"Yes," Trisha nods "Amanda's only a few weeks old." It was a little hard for Amanda seeing as there was a thick cloth tied around her eyes.

"Does th' tribe have any spells to stop th' death spell in her eyes?" Emily asked, watching as Amanda find her foot, tasting the air with her tongue. Trisha gave it a thought.

"They might, but I wouldn't put any hopes on it." Despite her words, there was a glimmer of hope in her tone.

Emily's phone pinged in her pocket. Normally she would ignore it because she was taking care of all Trisha's precious animals, but it was almost time for her to go home anyway.

"It is ok if I come by to see Amanda?" Emily tentatively asks, dropping her phone back into her pocket once she replied to her mum's text.

"Of course!" Trisha beamed. "The more people she's around the better. She needs to make friends."

"Thank you," Emily says, and looks down at the snake in question, currently slithering her way around the lounge. "I'll see you tomorrow or th' day after."


"Great news Emily! The elders did have a spell for basilisk eyes!"


"Come on Amanda, smile!"

Emily must have trained her since her introduction to Trisha's house to react to the word smile. Since Trisha found the spell, Adam and Amanda have not been seen without the other. It only made sense that Amanda copied Adam's cheeky smile.

So far her camera album was filled with both snakes' grin, some including her in the picture, most not.

Just like nearly every day previous, Amanda smiled, Emily's camera snapping away.

"I have t' go back t' Hogwarts tomorrow," she said sadly, flicking through the previous photos she had taken, showing them all to both Adam and Amanda. "Sad t' say goodbye."

Amanda rested her heavy head on her stomach, not bothering Emily much seeing as she was lying down.

"Awww don't do that, I have t' go home soon," Emily sighed, and snapped a few more pictures. Adam peered over the top of her head, looking at the screen. "Isn't Amanda just so cool? Shame I can't put her on social media."

Light tapping at the window; Emily looked over. It was Oh the Second, meaning that it was a letter for her. Sure enough, there it was, tied to her leg.

The first thought was 'Theo' but Emily remembered that she was used to the bag that Oh uses, and Russians put letters in the beak of the owl, not tied to their legs where it would annoy them.

Amanda finally removed herself from Emily's body, allowing her to let Oh in. Unrolling the letter, she could tell that it wasn't from Theo. Her name (and no address, which was more a courtesy seeing as owls delivered by names, but still noteworthy) had been written with at the least amount of personality. No curves, no running writing, nothing to say 'this was so-and-so's hand writing.' Someone had obviously tried to keep their identity a secret.

This could very may well be from Tiani.

Emily was suddenly thankful that Oh had delivered it to her in Trisha's house; there were numerous animals that could sniff out magic, from friendly to malicious.

Adam was one of those snakes, although he could only detect magic. Cautiously, she left it in front of Adam, who dipped his head down to study it, tasting it with tiny flicks of his tongue. He does nothing, losing interest and slithering away to where Amanda was on the couch.

Emily flicked it open, pulling out the tiny piece of paper. While there was no magic, someone could've just sent hate.

All there was, clearly written by a speech-to-letters quill (another British thing), was this:

Who would do these attacks? It is only logical that someone with bitterness towards Muggle-borns is the culprit.

And, right at the bottom, almost like an after thought, and this time not in the same rigid quill structure was some numbers.

43110

Emily stared at the numbers and the sentence above it, trying to make sense of it. Was it one of those chain emails, only wizard style? She hadn't received any of those.

The mail was on her mind the entire afternoon, too confused to really play around with Amanda and Adam. She went home early, giving the two snakes one final pat goodbye.

It wasn't the end of the Christmas holidays; heck, Christmas hadn't even come yet. But the 150th birthday and the wedding had been and gone, and there wasn't any reason why Emily should stay in Australia. Both of her parents had been roped into some hunts and rescues and her brother had chosen to stay at Durmstrang for the holidays, leaving her parents struggling to find someone to supervise her at home.

It was just easier to go back to Hogwarts.

Throughout the night and the day's travel back (including several portkeys at ungodly hours in the morning and travelling the Express all by herself), Emily thought about the letter, and in the same thought vein, the night of the first attack.

It was Halloween, a day that she didn't celebrate. Most of the time Emily slid by the kitchens to grab a few lollies and other sugary foods to stash in her room, but Theo had wanted to go out to the Astronomy Tower, wanting to get her homework done for the next week, seeing as everyone was inside, feasting.

Here is where her memory blurred; one moment she was almost asleep watching Theo measure the stars, and next second she was walking in a massive group towards the Gryffindor dorms, chatting with people she did not normally talk to.

The group halted, confused whispers sweeping around her. She pushed forward with no problem, everybody stepping out of her way.

Harry, Ron and Hermione stood in between the two groups, Gryffindor and Slytherin, each trying to get to their own dorms. They all were trying to make them smaller than they were, too shocked to do anything but stare at something on the wall.

It was Mrs Norris and something shiny, painted on the wall to look like words -

And here she was thrown back to the Astronomy Tower, unaware of the turmoil happening inside the castle at that moment. Theo had finished her work and together they watched the stars for a few more minutes, returning back inside when the Bloody Baron had come back and asked them to leave seeing as it was nearing curfew. It was only the next day that they heard of the incident.

The error in her memories seriously bothered her, worrying her until she fell asleep on the train. The trolly lady woke her up when the train pulled up, waving off Emily's apologies.

She stepped off the train, pausing to give apologies to the train driver. Theo's present was in her hands, ready to go under the bed as soon as she found her bed.

Theo wasn't in the dorms, leaving Emily to not to worry about hiding the present from her. She hadn't told Theo that she would be back, intending to give her a pleasant surprise.

Leaving the memory thing behind, Emily explored the castle. Seeing as they made a habit of hiding from anybody's sight, there were numerous places to go, places to hide.

One place was Myrtle's bathroom, home to the ghost who shares our pain. If there was one thing that was guaranteed in that bathroom, it was the fact that weird shit happened in it. Wheather it was Myrtle's fault or because some student thought nobody went inside, little to nothing was really 'weird' in that bathroom.

Which is why when Emily spotted the smoking potion she completely ignored it and went to find Myrtle.

"Myrtle, has Theo been 'round?" Her voice echoes throughout the toilets. She walks in between the lines of stalls to the window Myrtle favoured, hoping to find her there. She was right.

"No," Myrtle sulked. She was always either sulking, whining, moaning, complaining or crying. "You haven't visited me in a while."

Emily nods in agreement.

"I'm sorry. How ya been? Any bullies ya flushed out? Dirty secrets ya overheard?"

Myrtle giggled and told her everything she had heard from the pipes. There was sex in the bathroom, break ups to make ups, to bullying to - here she gestured to the potion Emily had previously ignored - potion making.

"Harry asked me to scare away anybody who came in here, except I like you." She nods, finally sounding like any of the verbs she had listed before. "So you can stay."

"Thank you Myrtle," Emily smiles at the ghost, who had moved from the window to 'stand' with her. "I like you too. Ya one of my friends." Myrtle bashfully smiled, glancing away.

"Oh," She says. "Harry!" her ghostly body rockets away towards the door. For a moment Emily pondered on whether she should hide, but when she turned to face them, she saw the two other students behind Harry gaping at her.

"Myrtle!" said the bushy haired girl, "You said you would keep everyone out."

"I like Emily, she's my friend," the ghostly girl scowled.

"Don't worry, ya not th' only person I've come across makin' potions here." Emily walks over until the smoke that eminates from the potion pools around her ankles. She leans forward to give it a good look. "Watcha makin'?"

"Did your accent get stronger?" The ranga - obviously a Weasley - asks, gobsmacked.

"Been t' Straya." Emily nodded. "Got back t'day." There was a book beside the cauldron, open to a specific page. She leans down to pick it up, the page opened up on 'Polyjuice potion.'

"Ron! Why did you leave it here!" the bushy brown haired girl snaps. The ranga scowls.

"It was me," the scruffy haired boy admits.

"Ya do know that there are more secure ways t' do this," Emily says dryly as she rummages around her bag to pull out all the different house's ties. Seeing as it was Christmas holidays, nobody really wore the uniform unless they wanted, excluding the Slytherins. "Who ya stalkin'?"

The bushy haired girl blushes shamefully. "What would a tie do?" she snaps, "Everyone knows that you're Gryffindor."

"Ya be surprised." Emily snarks, duplicating the Ravenclaw tie until there were three more. "Alright, ranga, ya too noticeable. Everyone knows who you are, Weasley." she waved her wand, his hair suddenly turning a dull dirty brown.

"Those freckles, too." Another wave of her wand and they were concealed with some magical makeup.

"Time t' get rid of those hideous clothes." Suddenly he was wearing robes, the ends tipped with blue and bronze.

"Let's give ya some hair accessories." The ends of his fringe which normally fell before his eyes were pinned back by bobby pins and hair clips alike, mannly enough that he shouldn't complain.

"Alright," Emily said, turning the other two's clothes into Ravenclaw. "Ready t' go?"

"Um, you might want to do that to me..." the black haired boy murmurs.

"Why? Ya look alright... oh that's right, ya th' Potter." Emily narrows her eyes at him. "This may be a bit bold, but..." She waved her wand and his hair was suddenly a dirty blond, it growing out until it had lost the shagginess from before. It started to braid itself as Emily tried to cover the scar with the magic makeup. The magic only stuck on for so long, so Emily had to reach into her bag to get the Muggle makeup the Theo had put in there so long ago. It didn't really suit his skin tone, but Emily was no makeup wiz, so she had to leave a 'birthmark' on his forehead.

"If anyone asks, ya parents tried to make you look like Harry Potter." she nodded, before turning to the remaining victim. "I guess I'll do a make over for ya too."

This time her hair went black and Emily made it braid itself into two French braids. There wasn't anything else to be to done, seeing as her hair was the most noticable.

"Go look in th' mirror," They scramble to comply, lost for words when they see their reflection. While they were so obsessed, Emily slipped into a stall to change her clothes into some robes. She wasn't going to transfigure her own clothes when she already had Ravenclaw-coloured stuff waiting to be used.

While she was changing she found the blue and bronze scarf, which made Emily pause. Wasn't the brown girl also teased for her teeth?

"Here," she says as she walks out, "put this on."

The three of them looked so uncomfortable and awkward that Emily had a hard time stuffing her laughter.

"The first lesson of sneaking around," Emily says after putting a spell on the scarf so it would cover the bottom half of the girl's face. "We need new names. I can still go by Emily because it's a common name. Harry can still go by his name because many parents have called their child Harry. Weasley, make up a new name. Same with ya," she gestured to the girl.

"Charlie?" the ex-ranga offers with a sqeak.

"Well nice t' meet ya Charlie."

"Jean. It's my middle name." The newly christened Jean stands up with confidence. I reach over to bring the French braids so they would rest in front of her shoulders and not hang over her back.

"Good."

"Can I go by Harriet?" Harry blurts out.

"Fire away, mate." Emily shrugs. She wondered if she should tell them they would forever be remembered in her head as those made up names but pass on the idea. "Second lesson, ya gotta be confident. Make it look like ya should be in the Ravenclaw dorms."

She got questioning glances in reply.

"Look," she sighed. "If I go around in th' Gryffindor common room looking nervous and on edge, ya gonna be suspicious." Here she dropped the confident posture, crossing her arms and hunching her shoulders, nervously glancing around the bathroom.

"There is some distance between this bathroom and th' Ravenclaw room so ya have some practice." Emily goes to exit, pausing to place a glamour on her hair to return it to its usual brown-blonde. "Come on, leggo."

The three of them followed behind her like some ducklings. She lead them for a bit before stopping to turn to them.

"Another rule; don't mention ya year level. People will always assume tha." The resume walking. "And walk with me, not behind me."

"Charlie," Emily sighs. "Stop touching ya face and ya hair." His hand lower guiltily.

"Harriet. Ya need to walk inna line. Don't spread out ya stride."

"Jean. Stop tugging at ya scarf."

On and on went the suggestions, until they were interrupted by a call from down the hall.

"Emily!" someone called. She knew who exactly it was, but wanted to test her new ducklings.

"When someone thinks they know you, always pretend they don't. Act like they are strangers." she hissed as they turned. There she was, Theo, in all her glory. Jean let out a huge sigh; her shoulders slouched. Obviously, they knew that Emily and Theo were friends.

"Who are you?" she asks, stripping her voice of all Australian accent, best she could.

"Oh, sorry, I thought you were someone else," Theo stops in her tracks, friendly face shutting off and sliding back into the normal smooth pure-blood facade.

Emily nodded once, and turned away, returning her previous route. There was a pause and the three of them quickly ran to catch up to her.

"Isn't that Theo?" Charlie asks, a little too loudly.

"I don't know a Gryffindor, I'm a Ravenclaw." she hisses, gesturing to lower his voice. They turned the bend and there was Theo again, waiting by the side of the hallway. "Thomas, I haven't seen you in a while." Except, this time, she was dressed as a Ravenclaw.

Confusion was written all over their faces.

"Emily," seeing as Theo was parading as a bloke, her voice had dropped a few octaves. "Who are your new friends?"

"Ohhh, she's wearing Ravenclaw clothes," Harriet sighs in realisation. "I'm Harry - Harriet."

"Charlie."

"Jean."

"They wanted to learn something new, so I offered." Emily smoothly adds. Theo had also spelt her skin to be darker than usual, her skin tone now approaching Arabic. She had also got rid of the makeup that made her look feminine, now appearing as the gender she was born as.

"Oh really," Theo gives them a look over. "They need a lot of help."

The three of them blush.

"I'm giving them a crash course as soon as we get back to the common room." Emily smiles and continues walking.