She limped down the corridor, hoping against all hope that no one would see her in such a pitiful state. She hugged her robes, pulling them closer around her body. She needed to stay warm ― she feared that she would die otherwise. She shivered. She frowned.
The hallway she was standing in was usually busy. Very busy. Why was no one there? Where had they gone? She paused in her thoughts. A brief glint of hope glimmered in her eyes. Was this all just a bad dream? A nightmare?
But the footsteps that echoed off of the halls told a different story. The girl froze. Hadn't they had enough of her? Did they honestly want more? The steps continued to approach. A moment later, they stopped. She could've cried in joy.
She slowly turned around with her eyes shut. She carefully began to open them and saw blurry Gryffindor colors. She released her eyelids fully. Her eyes widened when she saw him.
Harry Potter. He was in his rag-like clothes, but his lightning-bolt-like scar stood out like twenty-four-carat gold on his forehead. His green eyes ― and, oh, how green they were ― gazed into her dull amber. He looked concerned for her, which she found odd. After all, their houses were rivals. Why would a Gryffindor ever care for a Slytherin? Or vice versa? It was against the natural order of their society.
"Are you okay?" he asked. The way he questioned was as though he was talking to a close friend, and suddenly it clicked as to why he would be prowling the hallways while a monster that could petrify was running around (it had already claimed four victims ― two were students, one was a ghost, and the last was a cat.).
He had no friends. She had heard through the infamous Hogwarts rumor mill that Gryffindor house had evicted him on the grounds of being a dark wizard. It was because he could speak Parseltongue, the language of the serpentines, which made him automatically 'Dark' ― she scoffed inwardly. As if.
She didn't think Harry Potter could be 'Dark.' No, the boy was simply too 'Light' to be 'Dark,' too kind-hearted. Harry (Harry? When did she start thinking of him as Harry?) wore his heart on his sleeve. It proved to be his downfall in the end.
But none of that mattered at that moment, she realized belatedly. It was just Harry, herself, empathetic concern, and the empty hallway.
"Are you okay?" Harry asked again, taking a single step forward.
She flinched and stepped backward a few steps, even though they were dozens of feet apart. She was so focused on her internal monologue that she forgot Harry was there.
"I-I'm fine," she stammered. She blushed in embarrassment. She was a pure-blooded witch! She was not supposed to stammer and stutter and stumble in front of anyone!
But that wasn't her speaking, was it?
Harry opened his mouth before closing it, hesitating.
"Are you sure?"
Now, she could have said two things, 'yes' or 'no.' Saying yes would have alienated the two forever, as she wouldn't be able to face Harry after lying to him. Saying no, however, went against her pride. She pondered her answer for several moments, reflecting about the possible repercussions of her actions here tonight.
Harry sighed, startling her. She had, once again, forgotten about him.
"If you won't answer that, will you at least tell me your name?"
She gulped. Would she tell Harry her name? Should she?
Yes, she would. Yes, she should. Yes, she could.
"My name is..."
A.K.A the result of about a month's editing and revision.
As for who she is, well, there is going to be another chapter after this one, and hopefully about eighteen after that one. Suffice it to say, she will be revealed.