Green eyes opened suddenly. It was morning; again. It was almost a surreal experience for Harry James Potter, to wake up and not hear the sounds of birds singing in trees nearby or the general sounds of nature.

Black Manor, formerly Malfoy Manor, was a large house that had been in the Malfoy family since William the Conqueror had given it to them. With the death of Lucius Malfoy, the former Head of the family, and the return of Narcissa to the Black family, the manor had been taken by Sirius in response to the violation of the marriage contract by Lucius. Not only was the man dead but he had died while in the service of a terrorist to the state. The fact that Sirius was extraordinarily gleeful in taking the house as his own just to spite the deceased Death Eater was just a bonus.

Since the time that Sirius had taken control of the manor he had invited, to live with him and Narcissa, his cousin -and once-again Black- Andromeda Tonks and her family. Unfortunately for the middle-sister of the Daughters of Black, her muggleborn husband had left both her and her daughter Nymphadora.

Then, there was Harry's cousin whom was the same age as the young Potter; Draco Malfoy. Draco's middle name had once been the name of his father but with him now being a ward of the Black family until he is able to take on the Lordship of the Malfoy family, Sirius had ruled in favor of removing the additional name. Sirius wanted Draco to grow up with the bare minimum of knowledge, or connection, to his father. When Draco was of age, Narcissa would sit him down and reveal everything to him but not until he was mature enough to handle the knowledge.

Harry wondered, for the millionth time, why it was that he thought so much; especially in the mornings.

Sighing, he raised his left hand from under the covers and aimed his entire arm towards the side and without a word or even a look he pushed his magic in the direction his open palm was now facing. There was a squeak followed by a thump as something heavy hit the floor.

Rolling his eyes, Harry pushed the heavy quilt down his body so he could sit up. While his body had recovered quite well from his time 'imprisoned' within his birth home and he now longer resembled a living, emaciated, corpse Harry still was small for his age. It was more to do with his genetics than it was some aftereffect of the many years he had lived off either scraps or...he shuddered and shook off those thoughts.

The ten year old hopped off the bed and looked down at his Metamorph cousin. He pushed up his right sleeve to reveal a wand strapped to his arm. It was actually quite awkward sleeping with the wooden foci seeing as it was longer than his forearm and he had to keep his arm straight in order to keep it where it was. It was almost like a splint to the eyes of a muggle but for Harry, it was a reprieve from the prankster currently at his mercy.

Unstrapping the wand, he pointed it at Nymphadora and cast a silent Ennervate. Sputtering as she came back into consciousness, Nymphadora groggily got up to her feet all the while giving her youngest cousin the stink-eye.

"You know, one of these days I'm going to teach you a lesson about stealing my wand, Harry." She threatened, though there was no heat in her voice.

The solemn boy shrugged as he offered the foci back to it's owner. He didn't worry about her immediately retaliating for having her latest prank foiled; they had long ago come to a compromise that a person could only be pranked once in a ten hour period and if a person's prank failed or was countered then that person's 'turn' was over. Though this was agreed upon by both pre-teens, Nymphadora was the only one who actually pranked anyone in the house. Well, by 'anyone', that was to say she pranked Draco and tried to prank Harry. Sometimes, she'd get in one over on Sirius by Harry had quickly deduced that the Lord of the Black family allowed some of those pranks to get to him seeing as how it would be more detrimental than humorous to continuously get the best of a twelve year old girl who was currently the only one in the family that had a sense of humor akin to his own.

Draco abhored the pranks done to him and wasn't quite creative enough to 'get his revenge' and Narcissa had long ago put a stop to his constant need to tattle on his elder cousin for every single slight. Though, she only put a stop to it because both Andromeda and Sirius had warned her what type of person Draco might become if he grew up believing that all he had to do in order to get his way was run crying to his mother.

As for Harry, he would simply react, instead of being the initiator. This was balanced out by the fact that, unlike his godfather, he countered every single attempt Nymphadora made. Sirius, for some reason Harry had not yet discovered, did not even attempt a minor prank against the youngest child of the house. Sure, Sirius might make light-fun of Harry for this reason or that, but he never attempted anything like the Metamorph would.

"I am sure, that one day I might believe you." With that, he stepped around her and made his way out of his room; Nymphadora following behind him muttering under her breath.

"Ah! Good morning my Lord Black. How was your slumber?" Harry blinked as he looked up at the portrait of Bellatrix Black. Bowing slightly in respect to his elder, even if she was deceased and he would one day be older than her.

"Good morning Lady Bella; my night was restful. Also, I am not Lord Black yet and I know you only refer to me by that title because Uncle Sirius will hear about it and become agitated." The portrait had been moved a few days after his arrival at Black Manor, the dead woman had swore up and down that no portrait in the manor would know any peace nor would the living inhabitants if she was not allowed to be moved in front of her young lord's room. Of course, she had originally wished to be placed inside his room but even Harry had rejected that idea.

When he had first come to the manor, Harry had referred to everyone by title no matter what anyone told him. It was something completely ingrained in his head; manners. Even with Nymphadora and Draco he would place the title 'cousin' before their given names and he absolutely refused, or just ignored, Nymphadora's demands that she be simply called by her surname or anything other than her full given name. It had gotten to be so much that, by her good graces, Nymphadora declared that there would only ever be one person allowed to refer to her by her given name with impunity; and that was Harry. Everyone in the house knew that it was mostly because Harry would continue calling her that regardless.

"Pah! You'll be taking up the lordship next year will you not? As well as that of Potter! Ooooh! You'll be walking into Hogwarts starting at the top, no one will dare mess with you; not the Dark families that remain nor the Light!"

"Grr! Harry! Stop talking like an old man!' Nymphadora turned an accusing finger towards the portrait as she grabbed a hold of Harry's collar with her free hand. 'And you! Stop corrupting him!"

Bella's portrait giggled deviously as she watched her niece drag Harry towards the stairwell.

"Such jealousy! Little nymph!"

The girl flushed red and hurried her cousin faster until they reached the top of the stairs. Once, there she released his collar and took hold of his arm as they made their descent.

"I don't know why you put up with her Harry, she's a bad influence!" Harry 'hm'd' as he allowed his cousin to lead him down the stairs. He wondered if Nymphadora had entered into her puberty and that's why her face red with embarrassment, instead of the indignation she was feigning for.

Never let it be said that Harry wasn't very perceptive as well as learned. She had insured that he would always be prepared for any situation; or at least, any situation that could ever possibly pop up in the first four years of Hogwarts. She had lamented missed opportunities and friendships, or alliances, simply because she hadn't known anything about the world she had stepped into at the tender age of eleven. Harry would not have to have such regrets.

"So! Have you thought about who your date will be for the ball?" The hesitance was recognizable as well as the hopefullness.

"Pansy Parkinson." Was the easy, and quick, reply. The reply was immediately responded to with the painful squeezing of his arm and the sudden ringing of his ears due to the...

"WHAT!?" Nymphadora screeched as she tried to strangle his arm and wrenched him back towards her and getting in his face.

"How could you agree, much less choose, to take that little...little...bitch, instead of..." She cut herself off and Harry shook his head slightly.

"Draco doesn't want to go with her as his date again and asked me for a favor. I asked and she accepted, easily enough. Next time, I'll ask you though. Promise." With that Harry calmly removed his arm from her death-grip and made his way towards the dining room.

"Wha...who...Draco? Oi! Who said I wanted to go with you anyway?" Her sputtering was amusing to him and he, without stopping, turned to look over his shoulder and smirked at her. She had begun to follow after him but froze upon seeing his face and instantly she ran off to the side, no doubt heading for the loo. Okay, so maybe he did play a few pranks now and then. He knew, however, that in the playing field he was in, and how subtlety wasn't always caught, that he would sooner or later find himself in a situation that had been misunderstood. He only hoped he didn't accidentally cause some girl to believe he had feelings for her when he didn't. He knew well enough how easily a marriage contract could enter a person's mind.

Harry blinked slowly as he looked around the room. He, Nymphadora, Draco and their respective guardians were all guests in Longbottom Manor. They had already done the required meet-and-greet with Lord Frank and Lady Alice Longbottom as well as their only son, and heir, Neville before moving off and away from the slightly spoiled boy in order to meet up with their own acquaintances.

Saying they each follow such a plan would imply that Harry had acquaintances at all. In truth, he believed himself to know no one beside those he lived with. Sure, he knew the names and faces. He knew who to 'watch' out for and who were easily approachable but the main thing he knew was that he didn't care a single whit for any of this.

He had arrived with Pansy Parkinson on his arm as had been planned and the girl was completely besides herself with glee. She had actually only complained a single time that her date wasn't her "beloved" Draco. His cousin, for that matter, was currently in a small group of boys near the refreshment table; Draco's date, a girl whose name Harry could not remember but he did recall she was from Germany, was standing just a few short feet away from Harry with the group of girls that Pansy was showing him off to.

Harry had been introduced to quite a few girls that would attending Hogwarts the following year alongside he and his male cousin, he had also been introduced to a few of Draco's male friends though Pansy had quickly led him away from the Malfoy heir seeing as she didn't want to be caught up between the two and her differing opinions on who she wanted to end up with; at least, that's what he surmised. In all honesty this whole thing was quite...

"Boring. Isn't it?" Harry turned, calmly, to his right; then, after seeing the young brunette there, he turned to his left and was somewhat caught off-guard to see the exact same girl once more. Taking a breath as well as a step forward and spinning on his heel so that both girls, who had close ranks so their shoulders were touching, were in front of him.

"I do not believe I have met the two of you." He stated without preamble, switching his gaze to and fro from each pair of similar brown eyes. The twins were both wearing identical green dresses that looked rather good on their undeveloped bodies. He frowned as he noticed that, besides matching outfits, everything about the twins was exactly the same. Hair and eye color. Skin complection. Footwear and even the pink-rings they both had on their left hands. They also had the same look in their eyes; fondness.

"You have the most beautiful green eyes we've ever seen, Harry Potter." The twin on his right said, her gaze -like her sister's- not leaving his.

Again, giving them a once-over: Green dresses, green gemstone in the pinky-rings, green hair-ties. Ah.

"I suppose you both will be striving for Slytherin then? That being the only House that has green as part of it's ensemble." The twins briefly turned to catch each other's eyes before looking back at him, warm and inviting smiles now on their faces. They both stepped forward, creating space between them and making it obvious that they were going to move past him.

"We look forward to having you as a fellow House-mate, Harry." The same twin that had spoken before said lowly as she reach a hand up and let it trail down his arm all the while continuing foward.

"Yes. It's just like she said, after all." The second twin spoke, drawing his attention. She caught his eye and her smile grew as a hand came up as if to touch his face but stopped just short of it's goal.

Then, they were gone. Harry blinked as he turned back towards the crowd and watched as the twin girls seemed to vanish amongst the mass of people.

"I'd stay away from them if I was you, Potter." A voice spoke from his side and Harry wondered if this was a trend amongst Pureblood girls.

"Hello Greengrass.' He replied. He then asked, before she could speak. 'What are their names?"

"Flora and Hestia Carrow. They are of relation to the Amycus and Alecto Carrow -Death Eaters- but no one is absolutely sure what the relation is." She tried for an even voice but the irritation was evident.

"I thought you didn't believe in labeling people because of their dead parents."

It was true, to an extent, she obviously didn't hold Lucius against Draco, or Theodore Sr against his son. The Greengrass family was said to be one of the few remaining neutral families but Daphne herself admitted that her father supported the Dark Lord financially in lieu of taking the Dark Mark as well as guaranteeing the safety of the family. Some people would consider Marcus Greengrass to be just as Dark as any Death Eater but who was to say what a man would and would not do in order to ensure the survival of his family. Harry didn't think one way or the other about the man.

"I'm not even going to dignify that with an answer..."

"You just did."

"Fine! Do whatever you want! See if I care!" The clearly upset girl finally ground out but before she could move Harry turned towards her with a simple smile.

"It was nice seeing you again Daphne, thanks for the warning." And with that, and leaving a gobsmacked Daphne behind, Harry made his way towards Pansy who had migrated towards her parents once the group of girls she was holding court over had dispersed. Harry resigned himself to a longer night of dancing and playing politics with the rest of his age-mates as well as those a few years under or above him. He wondered, again, what it would be like if he lived away from this type of world.

'Just as boring, I'm sure.'

*edit* 11/19/13 4:37am. For those who don't already know, I do not accept guest reviews (positive or negative).

Real quick, I made Nym only two years older than Harry here on the off chance that I decide that she and Harry enter a romantic relationship somewhere down the road.

Okay, I know it's been quite a while since my last update, and I apologize. Look at it this way, I had originally planned on putting out another one shot in my ideas-fic before doing this chapter so...yeah.

I have quite the idea for how Hogwarts will be set-up in this story. This isn't a real spoiler but just a taste of what to expect.

First, Second and Third years do not have a House. They are not Sorted until Fourth year. At the beginning of each new year, ALL students are Sorted again with the sole exception of Seventh years. Whatever House a student was in as a Sixth year will be the House they remain in for the final year.

The first three years are used both by the new students and the older students and staff to determine where a student should best be Sorted (Yes the Hat is still used). Think of the Houses as being more like clubs; in the first three years, they look for "talent" so-to-speak to fill their House with. They look for the qualities that make up their House so that way there isn't a student in a House when he/she clearly doesn't belong there.

Now, a person doesn't necessarily stay in the House they are first Sorted into. People change, and there will be changes in Sorting to show that. Harry might go straight to the red-and-gold/silver-and-green and stay in that House, or he might be Sorted into at three different Houses.

Another thing to think about. Dumbledore isn't the Headmaster. He wont be at Hogwarts, not officially. Certain staff wont be around either: Snape, Binns, Trelawney. Also remember that certain events wont be happening in the course of this fic. The Stone, the Chamber and the Diary, Azkaban breakout/escape, Dementors on Hogwart's grounds, etc. Anything to do with Death Eaters and Hogwarts (as far as canon goes) will not happen.

MegaB has given me a good idea for who I can use for the Headmaster, though I doubt he remembers. Surprise me B!

One last thing, though I know it looks like Harry has instantly adjusted to the Pureblood lifestyle and that all the kids are not acting like kids, I tried to show subtle hints of where they are acting and what's actually their personality. Don't forget, I haven't revealed what Harry experienced within the dome but he is more mature than most his age. I will try not to let it get to ridiculous though.