Julie Summers bolted upright in her bed, having woken from the same nightmare she had had since she was a toddler. Sweat, plastered her long, dark brown hair to her face and her palms were wet and sticky. She wiped away the tears that had begun to form, but it didn't help much.
Light filtered in through a crack in the curtains around her bed. Throwing the curtain open, she winced at the sunlight, not expecting it to be so bright. When the light adjusted, Julie panicked when she saw all the other beds empty and made.
Julie threw herself out of the bed, grabbing the clothes she had laid out the night before, and bolted for the dormitory bathroom. The clock on the wall told her she did not have time to shower. After getting dressed in the uniform black skirt, white button up shirt, and red sweater vest, she threw her hair into a bun, put on the most basic make-up and slipped into her black flats. She ran back in to the main room and grabbed her pack. On her way out of the common room she rolled her sleeves up and rolled her skirt twice-just because she was in a rush she wasn't going to look a complete dork.
The Great Hall was no longer full; only lingering students remained and not a lot of food was left on the tables. Julie spotter Harry, Ron and Hermione and went and sat next to Ron. She immediately stuffed a piece of sausage in her mouth, followed by a piece of toast.
"Glad to see you finally woke up," Hermione said. She filled a goblet with orange juice and placed it before Julie. "Slow down, you've still got ten minutes."
After downing the orange juice, Julie said, "How could you let me sleep so late? Especially when we have an exam in Potions this morning?"
"I am not your mother," Hermione said. "I am not responsible for you getting to school on time. You should be able to take care of yourself by now. Besides, you were having a bad dream and remember what happened to Susan?"
"Wait," Harry said, looking up from his copy of the Daily Prophet, "you broke Susan's nose? I thought she ran into a door."
"I didn't mean to!" Julie exclaimed. "She tried to wake me up and I guess my subconscious went into self defense mode. I don't know. It was an accident."
"Bloody hell," Ron said.
"I won't ever take that chance," Hermione said. "I am not making a visit to Madame Pomfrey and risk missing class."
Julie took one final sip of water before standing and putting her pack over her shoulder. "Well then, let's go before we miss this examination. Professor Snape would love to lock us out for being tardy."
"I'm sure he would like to lock us out of his classroom forever," Ron said. He was starting to have another growth spurt, putting him at eye level with the top of Julie's head. "Have you showered Julie?"
Julie's face turned bright red and she immediately put her hands over her head. "I didn't have time!"
Hermione slapped Rob on the back of the head. "You don't say things like that, Ron."
"I was just asking," Ron said.
Julie hurried into the stairwell leading to the dungeon, leaving the three behind. She slipped into the classroom and sat in front of one of the empty spots in the front of the classroom. Professor Snape stood at the front, waiting for the hour to start. He looked at her with an unreadable expression and she smiled at him.
None of the students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry knew that Professor Snape was Julie's uncle, brother to her mother. He had taken care of her after her parents death, but when it was time for her to start schooling, she was given private lessons and tutors, traveling around the world. When it was time for her to attend Hogwarts, Professor Dumbledore made her promise to not tell her relationship to the potions master. But that didn't mean she wouldn't be nice to him.
Harry, Ron and Hermione slid into the spots next to her, to which Professor Snape pulled his sleeves down, signaling he was ready to begin.