Amelia Potter Goes to the Astronomy Tower, the Third Floor Corridor and the Hospital Wing (All in One Day).

It was near midnight on the last day of her first week at Hogwarts and Amelia was going to be late to class.

As she hurriedly climbed the million steps up to the top of the Astronomy Tower, Amelia wished she was still in bed, like Bob was, wrapped in her warm comforters, drowning in feather pillows and gentle blue blankets. But she forced her feet to trudge up and up and up.

Amelia had even forgone her goggles in her haste to make it to Professor Sinistra's first Astronomy lesson with at least some decency.

Finally, the large empty archway to the perfectly rooftop revealed itself and Amelia slipped into class just as the Professor stood to begin the lesson.

Professor Sinistra was a beautiful young woman, the youngest of all the staff Amelia guessed. Her skin was like dark satin and her equally dark eyes glittered in the night hour. As she flashed their class a polite smile, her teeth shone like the stars themselves.

"Welcome," she pronounced in a pleasantly husky voice. "It is always a pleasure to introduce a new set of students to the galaxies above. I am Professor Sinistra and I will be your Professor of Astronomy for the next five years."

Professor Sinistra went on to delineate very clearly and succinctly what she would not put up with. Then she turned her back to the class and looked on to the night sky.

In Surrey, it was a sad but true fact that Amelia had never been allowed outside late enough to properly see the night sky.

So at eleven years old, Amelia Potter finally beheld the heavens.

She was breathless from the beauty of it.

The sky above Hogwarts was scattered with hundreds of thousands of stars. It was awash with brilliance and spilt a light over Scotland filmier but just as beautiful as the sun. Off center and half-full was the moon, shadows of its crevices and chips visible but striking in its rugged finesse.

Sinistra sighed and turned back around with a graceful swoosh of her robes. The class was entranced, necks craned and mouths open.

"Please take a seat at one of the telescopes now, children. Choose wisely as this will be your seat for the rest of the semester."

Amelia looked around and was surprised to see a mixture of blue and green rimmed robes instead of the typical yellow. That meant…

Amelia slipped quietly down next to Hermione and gave her a smile that was returned with a slight nod. She slipped into her seat.

And then Amelia became lost.

Professor Sinistra had a quiet, unassuming magic: a soft white glow, the sharp scent of magnesium. But in the name of perfect Mauve Circles, did she know how to talk about stars.

The class required no wands, no potions, no actions other than listening and seeing. Sinistra explained that Astronomy was one of the smaller branches of magic because people presumed so little of it. Astronomy was the study of the stars themselves, the galaxies abroad, "And such largess, magnitude beyond magnitude…" Her eyes twinkled a little mischievously. "Wizardkind can sometimes have a hard time comprehending the uncomprehendable, the abstract reality, just because it does not touch them physically."

Several Slytherins shifted curious, perturbed it seemed by the knowledge that one of their teachers was a dreaded Muggleborn.

Sinistra went on for the hour and a half with Amelia and a few other students in the palm of her hand as the described the very basic planets, what a constellation was, the false distinction between the sun and stars, the concept of universes.

After so much wand waving and blustering over strange magical rules hither and nither, Amelia felt calm and comfortable in Astronomy. It felt familiar, like her small cove in the primary school library at recess, Miss Jenna the Nice Librarian's smile when she came in, and the stack of books on space and the sky and the sun that were hers alone.

Professor Sinistra began to wind down the lesson and Amelia's neck ached from looking up so much. She was also a) 99% sure that she was mildly in love with Professor Sinistra and b) be marrying Professor Sinistra, definitely and absolutely, by the end of first year. Amelia briefly entertained the notion to herself if. Who knows, maybe they could get married in space. Floating in the middle of the Ursula Major. Her beautiful teeth shining and Amelia probably fainting because it would be the best day of her life, access to all that beauteous SPACE SMARTS

Amelia shook herself out of her reverie when Hermione poked her because everyone else had left for their dormitories. Amelia turned to tell Hermione to go ahead, Amelia would be buttering up Sinistra as much as possible. But then, behind Hermione's shoulder, Amelia looked out onto the Forbidden Forest.

Amelia, as soon as entering the Tower, had been too enthralled with the sky to really look anywhere but Sinistra, sky, telescope and back, or some combination thereof. Thus, when her eyes caught their first full sight of the absolutely massive Forbidden Forest, Amelia felt awe rise up in her again. It extended into the horizon, miles and miles and miles of dark foliage. From the top of the Tower, it just looked like a sea of trees, but Amelia could See it.

It was like…it was like looking off the edge of a cliff. A kind of nice swoop in your stomach, an ache in teeth, fear a little bit but adrenaline, the addictive taste that thrill seekers knew, so much adrenaline. Blue like electricity, but dark too. It tasted like dark pools of dew in deep caverns, like…a thousand and one things, wrapped up in one ocean of timber.

Amelia just gapped at it. Her heartbeat thrummed louder and louder in her ears as she stared into the Infinite Magical Forest and her senses were basically mush and her heartbeat, her heartbeat was beating in time with the red pulse of the ForestGOOD FREAKING ANGELS OF LIGHT


The dreamy (or should she say starry?) Professor Sinistra yanked Amelia into her arms. Amelia (not protesting even a little bit) was a bit confused.

Hermione and Sinistra were staring at her like she was out of her conker.

"Sorry?" Amelia blinked a few times. She looked up into her beloved professor's eyes, doing to do her best adorable smoulder, but she probably ended up waggling her eyebrows too much. "What's up?"

Sinistra gave Amelia a perplexed look, then took a step back. Hermione grasped Amelia's upper arm tightly and then hissed, "You almost threw yourself off the Astronomy Tower, that's what!"


Sinistra rubbed her temples briefly. "Simply staring off into the horizon, I'm assuming. Miss Granger, Miss Potter, both of you, off to bed."

The next day was more wand waving.

Amelia and Wanda were still having difficulties.

In Wanda's defense, she was at least being a good wand-friend, cursing Amelia's naysayers, et cetera. It was best not to go into too much detail about the Incident At Charms this morning where Amelia's wand may or may not have turn their professor's blue and green. Having a volatile and mildly rebellious wand at least proved to be protective, in some way. Of course there was the small hitch that Wanda still refused to bond with Amelia's magic but whatever.



Great Grassy Greenery, Amelia should probably write a letter to Ollivander soon.

"Bob," Amelia conversed with her reptile. "Bob the III, kill. I command you, Bobeth, kill that cockroach under my bed. It's been following me around, I'm sure—"

Bob rolled over, to eye her from where he was laying on her inner elbow. "You asssume I care, human."

"Bob," Amelia whined. "C'mon, kill! Pew pew. Razor teeth shooting. Something? You must have some uses?"

"I will pretend I did not hear that because I am too comfortable to properly exact my careful and cataclysmic revenge."

"Murder! You love murder! And there is a perfectly large, juicy beetle awaiting your digestive system—"

"Insects are for birds. I am not a bird. Are you calling me a bird?"

"—like I expected at least some cool aspects to owning a snake, yknow? You can't poison anyone but maybe an attack perk once a month—"

"Girl-child, where are we?"

Amelia snapped out of her ranting and looked around.

Well. This was different.

They were in the die-a-painful-death corridor. Also known as the third floor corridor.

Also, now, known to Amelia as Super Interesting with Red Pulse and Pull corridor.

It was remarkable, how similar the experience was to her almost falling off the Astronomy Tower. The Third Floor Corridor was marked by a long hallow tunnel, a corridor truthfully it was not, at least not a Hogwarts one. It was utterly devoid of paintings, personas, windows— it was grey stone and a door. The door was large, definitely Hagrid sized (her mind flashed to their weird Gringotts detour). But more than that, there was something singing.

Amelia didn't know how she would describe it to a stranger.

It was red and soft and sweet like…like…where had she tasted this Color? She had. She knew she had. But digression aside, whatever was behind the door had such powerful enchanté, Amelia found herself moved halfway down the corridor without thought.

How could Color sing like that?

Amelia felt it like syrup in her ears, not unpleasant just so…different. Warm. No— it felt warmer, and the more she listened, the more she leaned forward.

Aching. God what was this?

Amelia felt her own eyes glaze over. Saliva pooled in her mouth.

Bob seemed to smell what Amelia could feel. He nipped her starkly, pulling her hair and trying to yank her backwards. "Girl-child, I do not—I think we must—I cannot…"

Her eyes could catch barely anything her. The door itself was mundane. From what she knew from her magic-catching net, there was no magic.

But then what was calling her?

Amelia couldn't stop a shiver from licking down her spine.

Amelia clutched Bob's small body as tightly as she could without hurting him.

Just as she began to skitter backwards, she heard soft voices and footsteps from behind her, around the corner.

Quickly, Amelia slipped into the shadows and pressed herself tightly against the forbidden corridor's wall.

Dulcet, low tones rang out. "Talking a stroll, Quirinus?"

Amelia clamped a hand over her mouth to keep from breathing too loudly.

"S-Severus." A teetering voice, quivering in response.

"Mmm. Tell me, were the Headmaster's words not enough to bay our dear Defense Professor?"

"I— I don't know w-what you m-mean."

Suddenly, the rapid scuffling of footsteps. "You do not fool me, Quirrell."

The noisy intake of breath. Rickety.

"Please, S-Snape, I'm simply—"

"Shut up." The Potions Master was deadly in his whispers. "I do not care for you pathetic pantomiming. Cease your attempts and your plans, Quirinus Quirrell. Or I will end them for you."

"—Sev-Severus, I c-can't un-under—"

Amelia heard Snape hiss. "I am watchingyou."

And with the whoosh that accompanied the flourish of robes billowing, Amelia knew Snape was gone.

She stood stiller. Because Amelia, unlike most of the Hogwarts populace, was most definitely more afraid of Quirinus Quirrell than she was of Severus Snape.

Quirrell let out a soft sigh then murmured. "Master, how shall I"

"Not here."

Amelia began to tremble.

Her scar, her scar was ripping itself open

Only as Quirrell swept away, far more assuredly than he ever would in public, did Amelia feel the blood on her cheeks from where her nails had dug in too sharply.

Amelia was now sat at lunch, slowly stirring her beef stew, Bob wrapped around her wrist attempting every five minutes to snatch a bit of meat.

That corridor would not leave her alone.

That delicious red energy behind that Door of Doom was stronger than anything she had ever felt before. It ached as if it was a part of her. It beckoned, begged, for her.

Or maybe she for it, she wasn't too clear on the details.

But more than that, Amelia could not forget—the nail marks on her own cheeks could not let her forget—

Thoughts spinning on that horror axis, Amelia was embarrassingly unaware of two redheaded Gryffindor twins who had seated themselves on either side of her.

"Reckon she's gone off the edge, Freddie boy?" Green asked.

"Hmmm." Magenta tapped a finger on his lips. Then he snapped his fingers in front of her face and so Amelia was startled out of her deep thoughts.

Realizing she was startled by Fred and George Weasley, and not the Dark Lord Flying from Death, Amelia accidently upturned her bowl of stew on Bob's innocent (not really) face.

Loud, muffled hissing and vague choking sounded and the rest of Bob's body flailed like a freaking lasso.

"Bob!" Amelia cried. She quickly pulled his head out from where he was drowning in the beef stew he had so desired only two minutes ago. As soon as he was out from his jail of brown and thick, he let out a roar that silenced the entire Great Hall.

Amelia hadn't known Bob could roar.

Even the Weasley twins looked slightly alarmed.

"Miss Potter," called Dumbledore from his faraway perch, his voice echoing in the quiet Hall. "Is your serpent friend well?"

Amelia, also paled, meekly nodded, hunched over to avoid everyone's stares and hurriedly used a napkin to dry off her pet.

"Must be indigestion," she heard Dumbledore suggest cheerfully.

Everyone went back to their business.

Bob was (not so) quietly hissing to himself.


Amelia, unashamed of her mild cowardice, was kind of glad he blamed the Twins instead of her.

"Er," said Fred Magenta. "Does your pet snake always roar like a bloody basilisk?"

George Green scratched his head. "Yeah, we didn't count on you own a small blue Basilisk. If we're bothering you, mate, we'll bugger off."


Amelia gently silenced Bob by stuffing him in her rucksack. His indignant hissing increased three-fold. She'd placate him with a lot of chicken later. She turned back to the Twins, who looked impressed by her handling of the obviously ticked off reptile.

Amelia shook her head and gave them weak grins, causing her messy hair to mess further. Fred grinned back at her (her heart oh god, she should run away, run away right now) and ruffled her hair. "Anybody ever told you, you're a pint-sized gallon of trouble, Potter?"

Amelia was extremely not okay.

Amelia was also extremely not okay with the fact that she was extremely not okay.

Amelia Dorea Potter had greater things to worry about than cute 13 year-old twins.

"Now," George rubbed his hands then put them together finger tip to finger tip like Super Villain. "We have a proposition for you, Lady Potter."

Amelia couldn't really do anything but blush at this point, seriously the emotional strain was a lot, did no one take into account she was eleven—

So why not sign away her life to the only two other Hogwarts students who were potentially more dangerous than her?


George's eyebrows rose at her stutter. "We'd like to hire your help with one Neville Longbottom."

Fred was now pilfering the Ravenclaw table for all of its treacle tarts. Amelia, who couldn't go a meal without them, was woken out her mild stupor and frowned. She smacked the popular boy's wrist smartly with her spoon and snatched back all the tarts. Fred laughed and only took one.

"Like my brother is saying," Fred said between munching. "Neville needs friends. We like you because you're weird and unashamed of it. Neville needs that in his life. We promise not to prank you, all throughout our overlapping Hogwarts career, so long as you give the lad a chance."

Amelia gapped at them. She enjoyed for a moment the stark contrast between the two tones of her life: Fred-and-George-Weasley and Vol-de-lord.

"You promise you won't prank me? That's your deal?"

Of course Amelia didn't mention that she wouldn't mind befriending Neville Longbottom without any incentive because she was deeply curious as to when his birthday was and how he liked his eggs on Sundays…also had they seen his magic? She wanted to be around when that stuff bloomed.

George looked at her very seriously. His blue eyes were the tiniest bit greener than his twin's, which was definitely something Amelia didn't notice nope, no, not at all. "Potter, we make it a point to prank everyone."

Fred continued. "And by not pranking you, we are bestowing upon you the utmost respect."

George snatched the rest of the treacle tart from Fred's hand and said through a full mouth, "Ish ah 'onor."

Amelia felt her melty crush morph into a kind of terrifying competitive energy.

She leaned forward. Pulled down her goggles. Focused in on the twins with her hopefully petrifyingly green eyes. Fred looked at her interestedly like she was a growling kitten that had just revealed it had glow-in-the-dark teeth. George, the smart boy, shifted a little uneasily.

"How about I make friends with Neville regardless and you two try and prank me?"

Both twins grew identical terrible grins on their identical handsome faces.

The Weasley twins proved distracting. It had only been an hour and a half since their bet and they had already thrice attempted to prank Amelia.

However, Amelia wasn't an easy person to sneak up on. So Fred and George had ended up falling into their own pile of Dungbombs, yodeling vivaciously about why Gryffindor was better than Ravenclaw, and slipping themselves an-extra-loud-snoring sleep potion.

Mainly, their issue was that all of their tricks involved magic and well, Amelia could see magic a (literal) mile away. (At least she thinks she can. Hasn't tried it, truth be told.)

It was flying lessons now. Rumors about her battle with Fred and George had already spun through the Hogwarts rumor mill, and whispers were especially prominent from Mandy Brocklehurst & Co. Amelia lounged in the grass, nearby Hermione and tried her best to just ignore them and soak up the lovely September sunlight.

However, it was hard to bask in a sunbath when the voice of Voldemort haunted one's ears.

Madam Hooch entered the scene and all the first years in all the Houses stood.

Flying wasn't too complicated, Amelia didn't have much trouble summoning her broom with a strong UP. Hermione and Neville looked like they were struggling and Theodore honestly didn't care when his broom shot up at his lazytone.

Neville, to the malicious amusement of the other children, couldn't manage too well and ended up spraining his wrist. Madam Hooch warned the class with a strict QUIDDITCH and EXPELLED and swept off to the Hospital Wing.

Amelia stood next to her kind-of friend Hermione, fidgeting with her broom, thinking of how she could start a friendly conversation when—


"—teach her, Fred and George are going to be so impressed—"

Mandy Brocklehurst's excited voice was an ugly, venomous sound.

Amelia felt the back of her googles fall apart.

She felt them fall to the floor. It was a testament to how truly emotions can muddle the deepes She couldn't help it when her eyes, unprotected, touched sight of Hogwarts.

All of it was— blinding— she couldn't see, it hurt too much— her head, oh god, it hurt

Then gentle blackness.

Amelia woke to soothing white.

Murmurs in the air. Comfortable. Her head pulsing a bit behind her temples, but overall, no pain. Her eyes felt sticky, as if they'd been shut too long. Pulling open her eyelids, Amelia gazed into big brown eyes.

"Amelia!" Hermione Granger's voice was, unusually, emotional.

"'Lo," she croaked, her throat strangely parched and gums aching as they always are after naps. Hermione hurried handed her a glass of water. "This is typical. What happened?"

Hermione's features molded into a sniffy mix of indignation, superiority and disgust. "Mandy Brocklehurst happened," Hermione spat.

Amelia had guessed so. "Doesn't her name sound like a disease?"

Even Hermione couldn't help but crack a conspiratorial grin. "Like a malignancy."

Amelia giggled. "Miss Granger, I do regret to inform you, you have come down with a most serious case of the Brocklehursts."

Hermione giggled back, playing along. "Healer Potter, but how? Oh woe is me, now how must I heal?"

Amelia looked utterly deadpan as she proclaimed. "There is but a single path. You must snort cow dung until your ears are sore!"

The two girls were snorting with laughter when Madam Pomfrey came over.

"Quiet, Miss Granger, or I'll have you out!" the Mediwitch scolded. "Miss Potter, you simply had a common fainting spell. What induced it," she glanced at the broken goggles on Amelia's bedside table. Hermione must have picked them up. "Is it some sort of sensitivity?"

Amelia didn't know how to proceed. Aunt Petunia had avoided taking Amelia to doctors at all costs, Amelia had only ever had her school checkups, twice in her life maybe. She wasn't even such if she was vaccinated.

Amelia's residual frustrations with Dumbledore & Adult Co. seemed to have internalized some shield because Amelia just shrugged.

Pomfrey's eyes narrowed. "Your medical records are woefully lacking, Miss Potter, did you know?"

Amelia kept her face blank. "I'm a healthy girl."

Pomfrey really did not seem to like the cheek. "Did you know, Miss Potter," the Matron's tone was becoming deadlier by the second. "Children placed in the nonpaternal guardianship without sufficient medical records are routinely checked upon by the British CPA?"

Her eyes glinted with an underlying ferocity. Amelia just snorted. She had come across many Poppy Pomfrey's in her schooling. She wanted this idiotic, subliminally-messaged conversation done with.

Madam Poppy Pomfrey might be thinking she was dealing with a namby-pamby maybe-abused submissive eleven-year-old but Amelia was not.

Amelia was NOT weak.

And she was not going to fall for this again.

This bloody day better end soon.

Amelia changed the subject and did not look at Hermione. "Can you fix my goggles?"

Pomfrey stared at Amelia for a beat, then flourished her wand into a quick Reparo.

Amelia thanked her. Pomfrey pursed her lips. "Miss Potter, you do know that Hogwarts requires at least some degree of confirmation of student health by a professional? I don't know why Albus accepted your records as they are—" Amelia flinched. "—but if they are not amended by the start of the next school year, including mention of whatever it is that causes you to wear those hideous goggles, I myself will give you the most thorough physical magical examination of the history of this school. Do we understand each other?"

Amelia knew she should feel threatened, angry as she was before, she knew that Poppy Pomfrey would be a disappointing and inconvenient enterprise, but she couldn't help a small surge of admiration. It was clear that the Matron took her Hippocratic vows very seriously. She would, in any other child's life, make a huge difference with her strict caring. But Amelia knew she lived a life with only two settings: Utter Nonsensical Delight and Utter Nonsensical Doom. Very little justice.

Amelia snapped on her goggles, slipped out of the bed and nudged Hermione. "Library?"

Hermione, she now saw, looked deep in contemplation. On the cusp of her expression was a lingering decided change, but master of expression that Hermione was Amelia couldn't really make out much more. Even Granger's colors were oddly softened. As if someone had mixed milk in with her cement.

Amelia gave Poppy Pomfrey a peace sign. Madam Pomfrey scoffed and bustled away.

Then she asked Hermione for full details on what happened to Mandy.

"Oh you should have seen." Hermione's thinking face broke into a smug smirk. "Madam Hooch came back and you were passed out cold, and well she wasn't pleased," Amelia could imagine. She wondered, where was Neville and how was his wrist? Hermione read the thought off her face. "He was released just a bit earlier than you, he's fine. We've got a few hours until dinner, should see him then. Anyway, Brocklehurst pretended your glasses just fell off and when Hooch left with you, we were all dismissed. We were walking and she wouldn't shut her trap, so I told her off a bit but then Fred and George Weasley came by looking for you. Brocklehurst started giggling and bragging to them about what she did to you but one of them just looked at the other and then the other said, 'Broccoli, that's not a prank, that's just you being being a git.' Then George I think, tugged on my hair and told me I wasn't too slimy for a snake, which I told him was anatomically correct in the first place. Then I came to you."

Amelia was giggling. "Broccoli?"

Hermione's smirk upped a few more malicious notches. "Her face. It was amazing."

Amelia nodded. They had reached the library. Hermione said, mostly to herself, "I really hate bullies."

Amelia gave her a side-grin. "Me too."

They settled on to a table quietly, Amelia pulling out the two books she had finished on magical theorem. Hermione had suggested them and the girls murmured a discussion. It seemed the magical world had not yet absorbed the Enlightenment? There was little to no scientific method in any of the books. It was miraculous if there was any method. In terms of what magic actually was, how it worked, or any relevant foundational questions…well, the magical world seemed content with their marveling platitudes and cloudy blanket statements. Energy. Aura. Space. It was—

"Hollow!" Hermione finished for her. "There isn't any real substance to any of their laws. It's like they don't understand critical thinking! They are so deep in their tradition," Hermione spat out the word, "they can't be bothered to actually prove, analyze or even fundamentally understand anything they say!"

Amelia agreed. "I'm pretty okay with abstraction, and even I know that these textbooks are taking it too far. I wonder if we should talk to some professors? Maybe they'll know more."

Hermione nodded. "I've an appointment with McGonagall for Sunday afternoon."

Amelia placed the books back on their bookshelves. She settled next to Hermione again holding a text full of magical creatures when Hermione piped up again.

"Would…would you like to come?"


Hermione looked a little pink. "Would you like to come see McGonagall about this with me?"

Amelia smiled. Then she smiled wider. Hermione rolled her eyes. "Is that a yes?"

Amelia felt something deep, deep inside her melt. "We're friends."


"You and me. Friends."

Hermione smacked her with a book. Amelia just laughed because the melting was growing and glowing and warming and this is what friendship with your peers felt like. Going to tea together to angrily protest the current state of magical theory.

"Can I ask you a question?" Hermione said some forty minutes later.

"Sure, friend."

Hermione rolled her eyes, but smiled pretty widely herself.

"Why do you wear those goggles?"

Amelia had expected this. She rolled the concept around in her head, wondering how to explain it. With Dumbledore, there had been Hagrid and with Hagrid, there had been…well, she hadn't even really explained it to Hagrid had she? She had just vaguely told both him and Dumbledore that she saw colors in the air, oh how nice that's magic. End of conversation.

Vagueness and oh how nice would not happen with Hermione Granger.

So Amelia took a deep breath and began explaining.

She talked to Hermione a bit about synesthesia, which she truthfully didn't even know that much about. Hermione, encyclopedic genius that Amelia was discovering she was, had read a paper or two about cognitive pathways, with regards to the neural properties of synesthesia. So Amelia explained her experiences in the Muggle world, with music and then her meeting with Dedalus Diggle. Then, bing bang boom, magical world is revealed, everyone looked like they have amorphous space-limbs. Flying motorbikes are found and Hogwarts castle gives her the Devil of all migraines.

"…and everyone has these Colors?" Hermione asked. "Like, every person you've ever met?"

"Only the magical species." Amelia said. "At least, that's what I'm assuming. Goblins are pretty cool. I think Muggles have a bit of Color, really subtle stuff, but witches and wizards have Colors like the T-Rex to the Muggle's amoeba."

"Your floaty eeriness is making more and more sense," Hermione sighed to herself.

"Sorry?" Amelia waggled her eyebrows. "Eerie? Floaty? Maybe also ethereal? Who knows if the Girl Who Lived is even humanoid after all!"

Hermione's lip twitched but she continued on. "And Dumbledore just accepted your word for all this? Just like that?"

Amelia shrugged. The thought had crossed her mind a bit. "It was accepted and moved on from. It was a bit weird."

Hermione shook her head. "A bit weird? It makes absolutely no sense."

"I'm not too good at the common sense thing so," Amelia scratched her head. "Probably comes with my True Sight blah-di-blah muddling up my brain."

"Something is muddling up your brain, yes," Hermione's lips twitched. "Dumbledore is a very intelligent wizard. He uses society's perceptions of him to hide what he actually thinks, says and does."

"I thought he was great until he acted like every other adult I've ever met."

Hermione looked confused. "What do you mean?"

And this was the moment Amelia saw Hermione Granger's true change. Hermione Granger was, in every definition of the word, a prodigy. However, Hermione had never really had friends her age and was the only child of sincere, nurturing, loving parents. Hermione had been educated at a primary school with teachers that relished in her advancements. Hermione had not been witness to the malignancy of grown ups, because they had been too busy coddling and praising her smarts. She had been positively conditioned to trust authority.

And at Hogwarts, that trust was crumbling.

Amelia saw why the Hat had placed her in Slytherin. Slytherin, where Hermione would never be coddled. Slytherin, where Hermione would be challenged with people not books. Slytherin, where Hermione would really learn to use brilliant brain and truly become a force to be reckoned with.

"Amelia? Amelia?" A hand was being waved in front of her face. "Where'd you go off to?"

Amelia beamed. "Just thinking about how you're going to take over the world one day."

Days ago, Hermione would have been offended by Amelia's blasé dismissal of explanation. Today, she just laughed. "Okay, Amelia. The adult thing?"

"You'll get it."

Hermione's eyes darkened with thought. "Does this have to do with your reaction to Madam Pom—"

Amelia abruptly walked away to shelve her returned books.

When she returned, Hermione's arms were crossed but she said nothing. Thankfully, she didn't pushed the subject. They were silent for another fifteen minutes.

"Thanks for telling me," Hermione muttered.

Amelia looked up, confused. Her goggles were pushed on to her head and her hair honestly looked like someone had electrocuted her. "Come again?"

"Thanks for sharing that with me," Hermione repeated. "Your Colors. I…I'm really glad you did. It's really very interesting and…I'm just glad you did."

Amelia's tension slid off. She rubbed her temples but tried not to show what was really bothering her. There was only so much sharing you could do in one day, after all.

"Yeah. I…It's weird. Hey, fair warning, I see Fred and George three stacks away holding some sort of glowing cauldron, so I suggest we sprint to dinner now."

"You're so bizarre."

"I am," Amelia said proudly. "You are too."

"Yeah," Hermione smiled, looking her own age for once. "I am too."

At dinner that night, as Hermione and Amelia sat together at the Ravenclaw table, whispers around them ignored and giggling at Mandy Brocklehurst's murderous expression, they didn't see Theodore Nott accidently drank from someone else's glass.

They wouldn't see the way he winced, as the water touched his tongue.

They wouldn't see Pomona Sprout gently touch his back as she walked by, knowing. Knowing.

They wouldn't see how he pushed off her hand, angrily and stalked out of the Great Hall.

They didn't see, but they would. It would take weeks, maybe months, but they would notice.

And when they knew, Theo knew…Theo knew there would be nothing but disgust.

Neville Longbottom wandered the seventh floor corridor alone.

He had just escaped an incoming group of bulky fourth years.

The Sword of Gryffindor sat in his dorm room, but it was constantly loomed over brain.

Feeling his cheeks heat with stress and his eyes prick with tears of self-pity.

Neville had dreamed of Hogwarts for years.

The reality was crushing him.

All I want is a friend, Neville thought to the walls around him. I can deal with being responsible for a very famous sword. I can deal with being a failure at magic. I can even deal with the bullies.

But I am so lonely, Hogwarts…I am so lonely…

And I don't know if I can deal with being so alone.

Little did Neville know, Hogwarts was listening.

And bubbling from the wall, morphing out of the very wall itself, opposite the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy—

A small figure leapt to its feet.

Who is this figure? What will happen to Quirrell? How will our heroine fare? I threw in that bit about Theo last minutes...because, well, I just felt like it was time to hint. I'm feeling like the "intro" is finally over and I can start getting on with the JUICY STUFF! I'll post another promo soon! Thanks for the follows and reviews, you are all stars. xx