A/N Special thanks to VampireGirl3381 for being so supportive. You are definitely a huge help in motivating me to keep writing.
On another note who loved the Harry Potter movie? It was pretty good for a book turned movie and surprisingly an action comedy. It's all over until Pottermore starts I guess…
The First Day
Ashten was happier than she had been in her life, even with all the strange looks she was getting. She was safe, she had friends, and she hadn't seen Malfoy yet. All in all a great start to the day, Ashten thought.
Harry was asking Ron what all the hype about quidditch was, causing both Ron and Ashten to burst out laughing. Ashten gave him a look of mock reproach, "What's all the hype? You get to fly you silly boy! How could you not love it? You'll see. We'll take you to the Gryffindor's team practice."
Harry looked bemused, "Flying… not my thing I don't think."
Ashten laughed again, "Bet you'll reconsider that once you've tried it."
Ron smirked, "Come on Ashten… you shouldn't push him into it if he's too afraid to do it. It just wouldn't be right. Although…" he trailed off in mock thought, "it might be fun to see him fall off, Don't you agree Ash?"
Ashten raised her eyebrows at Ron, "Ash?" She realized that Ron probably couldn't see her expression and sighed, annoyed at her size as usual.
Ron's face went slightly pink, "Er… I thought it sounded like a cool nickname, I mean then you're Ash Black. If you don't want me to-"
"We could call you Ten," laughed Harry.
Ashten was trying not to laugh at Ron's flustered face, "No, no, it's cool. I've just never had a nickname before. Ash Black… Kinda corny but I like it. How about you Hermione?" Ashten tried to lure Hermione into the conversation.
Hermione was smirking suddenly, "Ash for a miniature Ashten. It's perfect."
Harry and Ron burst out laughing, surprised that the girl they had pegged as a teacher's pet made witty comments like that. Ashten just fixed the girl carrying her with a glare, "Really? I've known you guys for a day and already I'm getting short jokes?" Secretly Ashten was delighted, though she would never admit it. The only think she'd been teased with were the keys to her cell.
Thinking of that time made her smile, it's how she escaped the Malfoys after all. Why Lucius had ever let Draco come down to her cell, alone and with the keys, was a mystery to her. How stupid could he be? Thinking of the Malfoys made her think farther back, which left her with her time with Voldemort (or Tommy as Ashten called him in order to make him angry) (AN- Tommy. As in Tom Riddle. As in Voldemort for those of you who hadn't already put that together). Ashten wondered whether she would ever tell her friends. All she knew was it wouldn't be anytime soon, after all she had only known them a day.
The Great Hall was still fairly empty when the got there. There were only about forty students in the hall. The vast majority seemed to be Hufflepuff of twenty while Slytherin only had five students at their table. Ron led them down to where his twin brothers were already sitting and sat down across from them. Harry and Hermione followed his lead and Hermione set Ashten on the table so she could see everyone.
Needless to say the twins were surprised at Ashten's shrunken size, although their reaction was a world away from everyone elses thus far. "Blimey!" yelled Fred. "That's so cool."
"What spell did you use?" asked Fred's twin George eagerly.
Ashten smiled sadly, not that anyone noticed. "No spell I don't think. Maybe a curse or some weird genetic twist, but not a regular spell."
Everyone frowned, "Curse?"
"All I know is that this has been happening ever since I can remember," Ashten sighed. In a brighter tone she asked, "What's for breakfast this morning?"
Fred and George grinned again, "Anything you want, you silly girl. Just tell your plate what you want, like this." Fred demonstrated by asking his plate for chocolate chip pancakes and sausages which promptly arrived on his plate.
Ashten laughed, "That's pretty cool."
There was a chorus of, "Yeah," from the first years who were quick to try it out.
Ron proceeded to order waffles with a razzletart jam. Hermione asked for scrambled eggs with onion and peppers. Harry looked a bit unsure as to what he should order but eventually decided on an ET bagel with cream cheese and some bacon. Ashten went with a buttered croissant that was honestly as big as her, causing everyone to laugh. Ashten couldn't help it, she laughed too.
"Reducio," Ashten pointed her wand at the croissant. The croissant didn't change. Ashten glared at the croissant as if it were its fault and tried again. This time to Ashten's great relief it shrank. Ashten bit into the now tiny croissant happily. It was nice not to be eating crumbs for once.
"So, Ash," Harry said curiously, "Do you eat less when you're small?"
Ashten hesitated, "Normally I would get full while small with just crumbs but when I got bigger I was always starving. I think since I'm shrinking the food and still getting the same amount of nutrients as I would from the full sized one that I'll be fine."
A bell rung a few minutes later and all the students who weren't already in the Great Hall began to trickle in. The students who ended up sitting near the group of Gryffindors were giving Ashten curious looks which, while unsurprising, was quite annoying. At the end of the meal all the plates disappeared and a folded piece of paper appeared in front of each of the students. There was a rush to open the letters, especially the first years.
Ashten walked over to her letter scowling at its size. She'd already tried shrinking it but to no avail. She guessed that all the letters had been spelled so no one could tamper with them. She unfolded it using both hands, revealing her new class schedule. Ashten's schedule was snatched up by Ron before she even had a chance to look at it. Ashten glared at him, "Hey! I didn't even get to see it yet! Give it back."
Ron was staring fixedly from his schedule to hers, "I didn't know Dumbledore taught. How come you've got his class? The rest of our schedules are the same."
"I don't know," Ashten snapped. "I still haven't seen my schedule."
Ron blushed, "Sorry." He set the schedule down in front of her. Ron was right of course, there was an abnormality in her schedule. In the evenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays, after dinner she had a class with Albus Dumbledore… called Riddles. Ashten sighed. Dumbledore wanted to know what she knew about Voldemort she supposed.
After conferring with each other they all realized that, with the exception of Ashten's extra class, they were in all the same classes. This led them to realize that all the Gryffindor first years must have the same classes as each other. The first class of the day was Charms, with Professor Flitwick. After charms came Herbology, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Potions, Transfiguration, and finally History of Magic. Since today was Tuesday Ashten had her extra class with Dumbledore, much to her dismay.
"Off to your classes," Dumbledore called to all the students who hurried to leave.
Percy Weasley, the Prefect, led the Gryffindor first years to their first lesson. It took about five minutes to reach Flitwick's class from the Great hall giving the Gryffindors time to talk before class started. Percy, of course, had run off to his first class after dropping off the first years.
Professor Flitwick himself was a small, short (not that Ashten had any right to be calling anyone short) old man with white hair and green robes. He was just able to see over his desk when he was standing up straight. The four first years chose two tables near, but not at, the front of the room. Harry and Ron were sitting at the table to Ashten's right while Hermione was at Ashten's table to her left.
To the young Gryffindors' surprise the Ravenclaw first years entered the room a little more than a minute after the Gryffindors had found their seats. The Ravenclaws quickly filled in the available seats.
Professor Flitwick along with the rest of the class kept sending Ashten confused looks, although Flitwick's glances were also concerned. She wondered what she had said in the meeting that had concerned him. She couldn't think of anything though.
The bell rang and Flitwick called the class to order, "Hello students. My name is Professor Flitwick. It is not Flitwick, Shorty, Hobgoblin, or midget." All the students laughed, although a few students whispered to the people next to them, "Hobgoblin?"
Professor Flitwick ignored the quiet whispers, thinking that Quirrell should handle that question seeing as he was the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. He had his own class to teach, "As you are all aware this is an introduction to charms class. Today we will be making the feathers on your desk float using the levitation spell Wingardium Leviosa. Everyone repeat after me. Wingardium Leviosa."
"Wingardium Leviosa," the class repeated excitedly, looking forward to learning their first spell.
"Good," Flitwick said, pleased. "Now remember, swish and flick."
There was the sudden drone of people starting to attempt the spell. Ashten was having no luck at all, the feather hadn't even twitched! Hermione on the other hand got it on her second try. Ron seemed to feel like Ashten did, completely bemused. Harry's feather looked like it was going to float but it didn't, much to the famous child's annoyance.
As class went on most of the class started to do the spell correctly, although there was a… small mishap. Seamus Finnigan, one of Ron and Harry's roommates, made his feather explode by accident causing many of the people around him to scream. Seamus's face was comically covered in soot that Ashten couldn't even fathom where it had come from, after all it was only a feather and Seamus's face was full of the stuff.
Ashten and Ron still hadn't managed to make their feathers float. About six others hadn't succeeded by the end of class, though Ron managed it right before the end of class. Ashten and the other six who hadn't managed the spell were told to practice and perform the spell at the beginning of the next class.
Ashten was disappointed. She hadn't even been able to complete her first class without screwing up. She was terrible at magic, that much was clear. Maybe this morning in Dumbledore's office had just been a fluke. Perhaps she wasn't going to be able to do even simple spells.
Harry scooped Ashten off the desk when the bell rang and carried her to Herbology. The first years from Gryffindor were led out of the castle and onto the grounds for the first time. To say that Ashten was awestruck would have been an understatement. She had never seen anywhere so beautiful in her life. The grounds were green and lush surrounding the lake they had sailed (without sails. Sorry I'm a sailor so I have to make the distinction) on the previous night. The lake itself had a dark, mysterious sort of serenity about it. Trees and flowers were artfully arranged throughout the grounds with the forbidden forest at its edge.
Ashten was unfortunately carried into the greenhouse before she had the chance to see the whole grounds. The greenhouse was filled with plants. The class was rather boring for Ashten, Ron, and Harry. All they did was take notes on the medical benefits of plants with names that escaped her. Hermione of course already knew all the answers while the others were just trying to take the notes without missing anything.
Soon enough they were on their way back up to the castle for Defense Against the Dark Arts with professor Quirrell. Ashten didn't like the man for some reason. There was just something… off about the man other than the fact that he seemed terrified of his own shadow and couldn't manage two words without stuttering. They took notes on counter jinxes until they thought their hands were going to fall off.
Next came lunch. They spent most of it discussing the classes and the teachers. "That Quirrell guy is weird, isn't he?" Ron said looking at the aforementioned professor.
"Yeah," Harry replied. "I met him in Diagon Alley when Hagrid took me to get my school stuff. Really weird."
Ashten frowned, "There's definitely something off about him but who knows, it could just be from a past trauma."
"Trauma?" Ron smirked. "Who says trauma?"
"Er…" Ashten looked slightly embarrassed, "Me?"
"Okay," Ron grinned. "Well you talk funny."
Ashten and Harry laughed while Hermione scowled, "That's not very nice."
Ashten just smiled at her, "Chill Hermione. Weird is not bad you know. I find it quite refreshing. Actually I don't think I've ever met anyone normal."
"Okay…" they all said a little lost. Hermione recovered first, "Come on you guys. We've still got to find our way transfiguration."
Finally it was time for transfiguration, the class Ashten had been waiting for. Professor McGonagall didn't appear to be in the room when they got there to the Harry and Ron's surprise. Ashten smiled at their naivety as she looked at the cat on McGonagall's desk.
The cat had marks around its eyes that looked oddly like McGonagall's…
"Maybe she won't show up," Ron said to Harry. "She's quite scary, don't you think?"
Harry didn't have time to respond as McGonagall chose that moment to change from a cat into her normal self, "Mr. Weasley I presume?" McGonagall said. "It would be wise to be more careful where you say things about some one with powers unknown to you."
Ron gulped as the rest of the class laughed, his face going red.
"Alright class," McGonagall snapped stopping the class's laughter immediately, "you have a lot to learn in my class. Transfiguration is one of the hardest classes you will take at Hogwarts. It takes a focused mind and a lot of hard work. Today we will be transforming a match into a needle. Few of you will succeed today. Transfiguration is not something as simple as saying an incantation and waving your wand. You will have to work hard and practice during your free time. The first five people to complete the assignment will be excused from tonight's homework assignment."
All the students (with the exception of Neville) whispered excitedly at that. Ashten felt a little guilty about competing for no homework when she had already completed the task once. She shrugged to herself. She could use the break with the extra charm's homework she had to do.
The class listened to McGonagall explain to them how to do the spell and the quickly started to try it. Ashten managed on her first go again. Needless to say Hermione was more than a bit put out that Ashten got it so quickly. The class spent the next half hour or so trying to change their match into a needle.
Ashten spent this time preparing for her transformation back to a normal size. At around the time Hermione managed to change her match into a needle (she was the first person to manage it after Ashten) time was up for Ashten.
She transformed back to full size making a lot of people jump as she grew. They all stopped trying the spell to stare at Ashten. McGonagall was, thankfully, quick to get them back to work with a few choice words about extra homework.
Ashten was just relieved that she wouldn't be tiny for Snape's class. That would have been miserable considering he absolutely hated her. She wanted to be at full capacity for that class. No doubt Snape would take it upon himself to make her miserable… although for a Death Eater he was downright humane not that Ashten would ever admit that aloud.
At the end of class Ashten and Hermione were the only ones to successfully transfigure their matches and were exempt from the homework McGonagall gave to the rest of the class.
Fate definitely hated her, Ashten decided. Not only did she have to go to Snape's class but she also had to deal with the Slytherins at the same time. The foursome chose seats in the back of the classroom in the hopes of avoiding Snape's attention (except for Hermione who would have gladly grabbed a seat in the front of the class if Ashten hadn't dragged her to the back).
It was not to be however. The moment the doors slammed shut Snape began take attendance and all too soon he got to Black. He gave her a look of pure loathing and, to her surprise, he continued on down the list. Until he got to Potter.
"Looks like we have a celebrity class," Snape sneered. "Tell me Mr. Potter, what would you get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?"
"I don't know, sir," Harry replied.
"Looks like fame isn't everything. Perhaps Ms. Black knows the answer?" Snape smirked.
"No sir," Ashten said irritably. "It wasn't in the first year curriculum."
Hermione had her hand waving desperately in the air which Snape ignored. "I don't like your tone. Two points from Gryffindor."
Ashten glared at the man but shut up as Snape began to lecture on how potions didn't bother with magic. He said something about potions being an art at which point Ashten stopped listening. She knew the basics of potion making from living with Voldemort for so long as he tried different ways to come back to power. The potions he had forced her to make never came out, thank goodness.
All in all Snape was an ass all through class to Harry and Ashten. They listened to Snape lecture on the importance of following a potion recipe to the letter, and some of the effects that would happen if you didn't. It was a horrifying class for Harry and Ashten and they were dreading their next class with him.
When the bell rang they all but ran out of the dungeons in their desperation to get away from the potions master.
"Well all we have left is History of Magic," Ashten said in relief. "I hate Snape."
"Well he certainly hates you and Harry more than some one you just met should," Ron chuckled and then grew serious. "I wonder why he hates you both so much."
Harry shrugged, "Maybe he's just a git?"
"Nah," said Ron dismissively. "It's something more. It's kind of weird though that he hates both of you though. I mean Ashten's dad was said to have killed your parents so it can't just be some grudge for school."
Ashten sighed heavily, "He hates me an' Harry's dads. I don't know about my mum since no one knows who she is, but I know he didn't hate Lily. I'm not sure why since she was muggleborn and he hates muggleborns. He's a git like Harry said though."
"Well duh," Ron gave her a dubious look. "Everyone in the school knows that. Even us first years."
"Shut up Ron," Ashten snapped as they took their seats. After the initial shock of seeing that their teacher was a ghost they had to struggle to stay awake through his monotone monologue on Goblins. By the end of class only Hermione hadn't yawned at least once.
The two hours they had before dinner were spent doing their first assignments. Harry and Ron still didn't really like Hermione so they went over to a different part of the common room and procrastinated as Ashten and Hermione hammered out the homework. After finishing the written assignments Hermione tried to help Ashten get Wingardium Leviosa with little results. Though now the feather fluttered, Ashten thought irritably. Ashten Gave up before dinner and got ready for her class with Dumbledore right after dinner. They headed down to the Great Hall for dinner.
Ashten couldn't help but dread the coming hour with the headmaster…
A/N Please review. The next chapter is called Curse Breaking. I'll try and update faster this time. I had a lot going on at home. Sirius will be in the next chapter.