"Strength grows in the moments when you think you can't go on but you keep going anyways."

Chapter One

"Is it alright if I sit here?"

My soft voice cut through the conversation the two boys were having and both of their heads jerked up looking at me surprised. My face started to feel hot as a blush spread through my cheeks. I almost immediately wanted to back out of the compartment embarrassed but the darker haired boy nodded, a smile crossing his face.

"We have enough room so go ahead." His smile grew wider as I took the seat next to the red head who was looking at me curiously.

"I'm Ron Weasley." The red head said and I recognized his name immediately. Both Mother and Father had warned me to stay away from blood traitors and muggleborns and the Weasley's were definitely one of those two. As much as I wanted to listen to what my parents had said my curiosity got the better of me.

"Cassiopeia, though I prefer Cassie. Cassiopeia is too…" I trailed off not really knowing the word.

"Old lady." Ron offered and I nodded, giving him a large smile. He didn't seem so bad. His attention however turned back to the black haired boy sitting across from us.

"Are you really Harry Potter?" Ron blurted out and my mouth almost fell open.

I had heard stories about Harry Potter all when I was younger but I never thought I'd see him in person. Or even go to the same school as the legend.

Harry nodded looking rather uncomfortable from our reactions and I blinked a few times, trying not to be rude. Mother always said that staring was rude.

"Oh well- I thought it might be one of Fred and George's jokes." Ron said referring to two of his many brothers. "Have you really got… you know?"

He pointed at Harry's forehead and harry pulled back his bangs showing a rather strange looking lightning shaped scar. Ron stared at Harry rather intently and I wanted to kick him to stop staring.

"So that's where You-Know-Who…"

"Yes, but I can't remember it."

"Nothing?" Ron asked almost too eagerly and this time I did kick him shooting the boy a dirty look. Harry threw me a grateful look.

"I remember a lot of green light, but nothing else." He said after a moment causing Ron to stare at him for a while longer.

"I'm surprised you remember that." I said after a moment of awkwardness. Both boys looked at me confused. "Maybe I just have a bad memory but I don't remember anything that happened when I was a baby."

This caused Ron to snort though he looked a bit shocked and a rather wide smile grew on Harry's face.

"Are both of your family's wizards?" Harry asked rather curiously and I let Ron answer first.

"I think so. I think Mom's got a second cousin who's an accountant, but we never talk to him."

I nodded at his words though I really didn't know what an accountant was. By the sounds of it, it was a muggle job.

"So you must both must know loads of magic already." He said rather glumly causing Ron to shrug and both eyes were on me.

"My parents had us taking lessons so my brother and I know the basics. Not much more than you though. I heard you went to live with muggles. What are they like?" I asked unable to stop the wonder to fill my voice.

"Horrible." His words caused my shoulders to sag. "Well not all of them. My aunt and uncle and cousin are though. Wish I'd had three brothers."

While the two were talking about Ron's family and Hogwarts I turned my attention to the Herbology book that was laying in my backpack sinking into it. It was one of the subjects that I was looking forwards to most. Father never allowed me to garden saying that the house elves were in charge of that. Mother being the more lenient one gave me some flowers to grow in my bedroom but that was it.

A bit after noon there was a knock on the door and it opened up revealing an older smiling woman with a cart full of treats. Harry immediately jumped to his feet while both Ron and I remained seated. As delicious as the candies looked, I was reminded to watch my weight before going to Hogwarts.

Both Ron and I were stunned when Harry came back into our compartment with his arms full of treats. I couldn't stop the longing look on my face. As I stared at the Cauldron Cakes. Of course he had to get my favorite.

"Hungry are you?" Ron asked as Harry sat down in his chair, taking a rather large bite out of a delicious looking pumpkin pasty.

Ron mumbled something about corned beef while looking at his rather lumpy sandwich.

"Swap you for one of these." Harry said holding up a pasty, obviously wanting to share. "Go on-"

"You don't want this, it's all dried up. She hasn't got much time, you know with five of us." He said hastily and I felt a pang of pity for his mom. It must have been stressful for her to deal with them all. Though she clearly cared having made Ron a sandwich. It made me kind of wish my mother would do that instead of one of her house elves.

"Go on, have a pasty." Harry said again tossing Ron the treat. He picked the cauldron cake out that I had been eyeing and tossed it towards me with a large grin. "You too. I can tell you want this."

I stared at the chocolatey treat for a moment, Mother's words echoing in my head before pushing them in the back of my mind and happily munching on the candy. It had been so long since I had a sweet this good.

The three of us dug into his candies rather eagerly and Ron and I taught Harry about the candies and treats. Apparently the muggles had different candies then us as well. It amazed me to hear how different our two worlds actually were. I finished eating way before the boys who seemed like bottomless pits. Seeing how scrawny Harry was, I felt like he needed to eat more so I bit my tongue.

The sun was starting to set when there was another knock on the door and a round faced, tearful looking boy popped his head in.

"Sorry but have you seen my toad at all?" His voice shook as he spoke and I couldn't help but to feel bad.

"I've lost him! He keeps getting away from me!" I jumped to my feet and couldn't stop myself from pulling the boy into a hug as he started to panic even more. He seemed a little freaked out but grateful.

"I'll come look with you okay?" I said putting my hands on his shoulders and he nodded. "Come on now."

Ignoring Ron and Harry's looks from behind me I pulled the boy out of the compartment and towards the next. Determination filling my stomach.

"I'm Cassie by the way." I said giving him a smile which he returned.

"Neville. Thank you for helping me."

Nodding, we set to work. The two of us made our way down the corridor, popping our heads into different compartments but having no luck. We kept on walking until a bushy haired girl popped up who was apparently helping Neville look for his frog.

"I'm Hermione Granger by the way. Thank you for helping us look for his frog. I think we can ask the conductor or maybe find a professor. I'm sure it'll show up soon though." She said rather quickly and I gave her a small smile not wanting to interrupt her.

"Cassie. I'm going to head back to my compartment but if you guys find him let me know okay?" I said to them and the both of them nodded before heading to the front of the train.

I ran to the bathroom to change before heading back to the compartment. With how late it was getting I figured it would be time to change into our robes soon. By the time I got there I was a bit shocked to see my brother and his two friends standing in the doorway.

"-you don't want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there." I caught the end of Draco's speech and couldn't help to feel annoyance bubble up inside me. I hated it when he acted like Father.

"I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks." Harry said rather coolly and I decided to interrupt before Draco could make the situation any worse.

"Is there a problem here?"

Even though my words were soft, it caused everyone's head to snap towards me.

"What are you doing here?" Draco demanded taking a step towards me. "Please don't tell me you've made friends with the likes of them."

Ron and Harry both stood up but I shot them a look causing them to back up a bit slowly.

"I like them and they like me so please don't do this Draco."

I laid a hand on his shoulder and gave him a look. The two of us just stood there staring at each other for what felt like an eternity before he let out a sigh and left, Crabbe and Goyle trailing after him. I knew that we were going to have to have a talk about this later.

"What was that about?" Ron demanded both boys looking confused and I let out a sigh of my own sinking into my seat, both boys doing so as well.

"That would be my twin Draco."

Stunned looks graced both of the boys' features and I couldn't help but to roll my eyes. It wasn't like we looked different. Both of them must really be oblivious.

Draco's face was narrow and rather thin besides his baby fat. He had the signature Malfoy platinum blonde hair and grey eyes. While his was slicked back my hair fell mid-back and laid in loose curls. My eyes were grey as well though seemed warmer than his. My face was rounder and I was much more petite than my brother. Sometimes I liked to think of myself as the runt of the family.

"How is someone like him related to someone like you?" Ron demanded and I couldn't stop myself from frowning.

"What's that supposed to mean?" as rude as my brother could be he was still my brother…

"Well you're so nice and quiet and he's such a prat." He finished and I just shrugged not knowing what to say. The ginger haired boy narrowed his eyes at me and we stared at each other. Both at a loss for words.

Whenever we went into public Draco got that way. He turned into Father and I hated it.

"Just because her brother is a prat that doesn't mean she is." Harry piped up and we both looked at him. "Trust me my relatives are bad too."

That made Ron shut up almost immediately. Though he was giving me a rather suspicious look.

The rest of the train ride wasn't too eventful besides an interruption from Hermione who neither of the boys seemed to like. It wasn't long before we found ourselves standing inside the Hogwarts Great Hall waiting to be sorted. I was standing in between Ron and Harry with my heart in my throat.

As happy I was that there was no actual test and all we had to just try on a hat, I was still beyond nervous. Father was going to kill me if I wasn't in Slytherin but a feeling in the bottom of my stomach told me that that wasn't the house for me.

"MacDougal, Morag."

My hands were shaking and I watched the girl get into Ravenclaw. My name was going to be next. I glanced back at Harry who gave me an encouraging smile and I almost felt my heart beat out of my chest as McGonagall called my name.

"Malfoy, Cassiopeia"

Stumbling up the steps I sat down on the stool trying to ignore everyone's eyes on me. A sudden weight fell on her head and the hat dropped over my eyes enveloping me into darkness.

"Well isn't this interesting." A small voice in my ear mumbled causing me to jump a little. "Not a difficult sorting but an interesting one for sure. As much as you want to be in Slytherin that's not the house for you."

My shoulder's sagged a bit at his words. In the back of my mind I knew that he was right but it was still a bit discouraging to hear. Father was going to be very disappointed.

"You're going to be far from a disappointment. Your talent and kindness will lead the way. Especially in GRYFFINDOR!"

The hat shouted the last word and my stomach fell, it felt like someone had dumped freezing cold water onto me. The whole hall was silent. Almost shocked. A Malfoy in Gryffindor. The rival house. Father was going to kill me.

Shakily I pulled off the hat and gave it to McGonagall who gave me a soft smile. I looked at the head table where Dumbledore was smiling down at me and he started clapping. Slowly everyone else starting clapping as well and I found myself a seat with the other first years ignoring the looks I was getting from some of the older students. I glanced back at my brother who was avoiding my eyes.

"Malfoy, Draco."

Almost as soon as the hat touched Draco's hair it shouted Slytherin and the house erupted into applause. I couldn't help but to sink into my chair a bit at that. He didn't even glance over at me.

We were always together. Since birth and now we were getting separated. A small part of me wanted to cry but I pushed those feelings down as both Harry and Ron were sorted into Gryffindor. Relief flooded through me as we all ended up in the same house. At least I had a few people I knew.

"Welcome" Dumbledore said standing up after the sorting was officially done. I couldn't help but to grin up at the older man. "Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you."

He sat back down and everyone started to cheer. Harry looked both amused and slightly confused at his words.

"Is he—is he a bit mad?" He asked turning to Ron's older brother Percy and I turned my attention over towards the dishes in front of us.

At first I only pulled a small portion chicken and veggies onto my plate but after finishing that and realizing I was still hungry both Ron and Harry started to pile more and more food onto my plate and I started to eat eagerly. Harry doing the same.

The feast ended with all of us filled to the brim and excited about the school. It was even better than I imagined.

"I'll see you two tomorrow morning?" I asked the boys who both nodded as we stood in the Gryffindor common room which looked homier than the manor ever looked. I made my way up to the girls' dorm beyond exhausted.

I shared the dorm with three other girls. Lavender Brown a girl who seemed nice but a bit too talkative, Parvati Patil who was sweet though stuck close to Lavender's side, and Hermione. Luckily Hermione and my's beds were next to each other because while she did talk quite a bit and seemed to be too studious, she was still rather interesting to talk to.

After talking to the girls a bit I fell asleep almost instantly. Forgetting about my parents and excited about classes the next day.