My head bounced on the cool glass of the compartments window, and while it hurt, I couldn’t bring myself to move my head away. The small pain was the only thing that broke me away from my thoughts, and even if it was only for a moment, that moment was a blessing, because every time I closed my eyes, the image seemed to get sharper, instead of fade away. There they were, my parents, sitting on the couch, calm for once in each other’s presence, and somehow, I had thought that that could mean something good for us. I don’t know why I didn’t see it coming; I really should have after all those years. I mean they’ve been fighting practically since the moment I got my Hogwarts letter announcing me as a witch. Divorce, just that one word alone felt like a knife ripping through my very being. How could I not help but think that this was my entire fault? We had been one perfect happy family up until my letter came and from that moment on, every little thing seemed to spark a fight.
“Anything off the trolley? Anything off the trolley?” The haggard old lady called out as she pushed the sweet filled cart past the compartment I resided in.
I wanted something, I really did, but the amount of energy that would have been needed to either acknowledge the lady or move was too great for my troubled body. So instead, I pressed my head a little harder against the cold glass as my parents words played over and over in my head.
“Sweetie, your father and I, well, we’ve decided that life would be better for all of us if we were no longer together,” she said this as if I was a child, even though in the Wizarding world, my world, I am considered an adult.
“This doesn’t mean that I will see you any less,” my father had to chip in, and while I knew that his words were false, they at least allowed me to grasp onto some small form of hope that maybe we could all get through this together.
Nowhere in either of their speeches did they mention that it was my fault they were splitting up, but they also did not deny any such thing. It was this small bit of omitted information that planted the seed of feeling in fault in me. Surely, they would have said something otherwise, wouldn’t they have?
As the scenery grew darker outside, a heads up that we would soon be at Hogwarts, I decided it was as good of a time as any to get changed into my uniform. Usually, I would have already had my uniform on, and I was pushing it with only having a few minutes left before we stopped, but I had been hoping that Theodore would leave his group of friends so I wouldn’t have to pass him on my way, but alas he had not and now I was out of time to wait.
I rolled my uniform up in a ball, and pushed my way past them with my head down so as to attract the least amount of attention from the group of boys. If there was one thing I knew from my experience as a Slytherin so far, it was that as long as I stayed out of their way, they would continue to ignore me, and while most would much rather have the attention of the male Slytherins, I was content without it, or at least mostly content. I had been harboring a smallish crush on Theodore Nott for almost a year now, and I still couldn’t figure out what had caused my attention to focus on him, and for so long. Normally, I could at least pinpoint a source for the attraction and it usually went away after I noticed the boy behave in a gross or rude way but it didn’t matter how many times I watched him back Draco up in a fight, the small flutter of my heart stayed.
The guys chuckled as I walked past them, causing my cheeks to flush a brilliant shade of red, unsure if the chuckles were for me or something else. As I locked the women’s stall behind me, I couldn’t help but think that if this is how the year is starting out, and we haven’t even made it to Hogwarts yet, I don’t even want to know how the rest of it will go. I was just about to buckle my shoes when the train lurched and threw me into the stall door, announcing our arrival at the Hogsmeade station where we would catch a carriage to Hogwarts. This part of the trip was always my favorite. It made things so much more real for me, even more real than running through what was supposed to be a solid brick wall to find a bunch of people and a secret train waiting.
I quickly buckled my shoes before joining the crowd leaving the train and hopped into the closest carriage. It wasn’t until I sat down though that I realized I wasn’t with the best of company and thought about finding another carriage to Hogwarts when it began to move forward. Of all the carriages I had to get onto, of course it had to be the one that my roommates were on. To them a person’s image and name is everything, and I have neither. I was lucky though, because this way, my secret would still stay safe with me. In their group, secrets were poison, because if their secret were to ever be discovered, it could ruin them and everything they have worked for.
There was something interesting about our carriage though, because I wasn’t the only new person among my roommates usual group, instead, Daphne’s younger sister Astoria was perched next to Pansy and if the looks Pansy were shooting her was any indication, Astoria was not a completely welcome addition. It was interesting watching them interact though. Half of them seemed to think if they ignored Astoria she would just disappear and the other half continued to include her in the conversation earning glares from the latter half. That was how I spent the ride to Hogwarts, silently watching the not quite strangers in front of me, because even though I had spent the last six years sharing a bedroom with the same three girls, I still knew nothing of interest about them. As a matter of fact, I would say that even some Gryffindor’s knew more information about my roommates than I did, which was just sad considering the fact that they could barely stand being in the same space with a Slytherin.
As the carriage came to a halt, I looked up and took in the breathtaking view of Hogwarts. It didn’t matter that I had spent six years here already, and had spent countless hours exploring the massive castle, but that first view of the school year was always something special to me. The other girls in the carriage barely even glanced towards the castle before making their way to it, to them, the castle wasn’t really something to gawk at as a seventh year, it was just there. Sometimes, I wished that I could be more like them, care less about what was going on around me and expect only the best of everything, but then there were days when I thought about how exhausting it would have to be to always keep face and wondered if it would really be worth it. Of course for a seventeen year old girl though, the answer would always be yes, yes it would be worth it. Now if only I didn’t have such huge secrets, I would say that this is the year that I will become friends with Pansy, Daphne and Millicent, and I will finally get the guy. I guess a girl can dream though, because that will never happen, things like that only happen to girls like my roommates.
They’re each perfect in their own way and to be next to them, I’m nothing but a pebble trying to pass off as a gem. We sit together at the Slytherin table in the Great Hall, but that doesn’t mean that I’m with them, just that I have nowhere else to go and letting it appear that I’m sitting with them is better than letting the other houses realize that Slytherin house might just have their very own weak link. We are the house of sly and cunning folk, but what other houses don’t realize is that those traits aren’t the only things we are. We are loyal to each other in our own ways; if one Slytherin is taken down we all are, so we protect our own but only when needed. We don’t go out of our way to help each other, and we aren’t always the most comforting of people, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t give hugs or have passion. As a matter of fact, if you were to witness Pansy and Draco in the common room, one could even say that we have a lot of passion, though they always made sure to be tasteful because appearances are still everything and being sleazy isn’t a great appearance to have.
I was on autopilot through all of dinner and only seemed to really take any new information in when Professor Snape placed my timetable in front of me. If there was one thing I hated about September 1st, it was when it fell on a weekday and we were expected to start school the next, like this year. Tomorrow, we would all hit the ground running. There was no such thing as easing us into the school year, no; instead we would get homework piled on right away and would be expected have read the first chapter of each of our classes texts before we walked into class tomorrow. I groaned as I looked down at my first class of the day tomorrow, double potions.
While our head of house may favor us, I hated potions. I always seemed to mix something up, no matter how hard I tried or how many times I read over the instructions. Once I had even managed to make the draught of living death into a green oily goop that resembled what Professor Snape must use as his hair care product, that is, if he does indeed even use product. It wasn’t even that I had the wrong ingredients or amount, I always seemed to mix up how many times to stir and in what direction, or if I’m supposed to crush, mince, dice, or slice the ingredient. It’s the one class that requires both precision and following the exact instructions, and I have found in my six years that I fail miserably at both. I guess the year really wants to start off with a bang, and you won’t have to look far, because it will probably be coming from my cauldron.
The Slytherin common room was full of excited chatter that night, first years discovering their new home and classmates, and us upperclassmen busy reacquainting ourselves, some rather intensely. Pansy was busy making sure that all the underclassmen knew that she belonged to Draco Malfoy and him to her. Honestly, it got to be a bit disgusting watching them but they were not the winners this year of things that made my dinner want to reappear, instead, it was the small and rather tasteful kiss shared between one Daphne Greengrass and one Theodore Nott that did. I felt my face flush a light pink as I stared at them. Normally, I would ignore the couples around me, but this one captured me and I found I couldn’t look away. I wanted to be her; I wanted to know what it felt like to have his lips pressed against mine, to have his hands exploring my body, for him to be pressed up against me. Why couldn’t I look more like her? I wondered what it would be like, to look like her, to be desired like she is. Would it be worth it to let me secrets be exposed if I could even have one night with Theodore? As I watched his hand lazily trace a pattern I couldn’t distinguish on her side, my mind said yes, yes it would.
I stood up, ready to begin a new life, one where my secret wouldn’t hold me in place, but as I was knocked back into my chair by Crabbe who was busy undressing Millicent with his eyes, I realized I wasn’t ready yet to be in league with my roommates. I will get there someday, I will spend the year working my way up into their league, but for now I will settle with waiting and watching, watching for the perfect moment. I stayed in the common room for a few minutes longer but when I felt I could no longer handle watching Daphne and Theodore, I decided it was time to turn in for the night.
The room was quiet and the bed was soft, usually a perfect scenario for falling asleep, but tonight it was not. Tonight was different, tonight the quiet only allowed my thoughts to dominate that much more. I wanted things so much more this year than I had any other. In past years I had been content with my fellow Slytherins only knowing my name, this year, that wasn’t enough. I wanted them to know me and for me to know them, for me to be a part of their group, but I also knew that if they found out my secret, I would never be accepted into their group. I just had to figure out a way to get in without them becoming overly interested in me. Not only were thoughts of my classmates fighting for attention in my mind but my parents seemed to take up the other portion. Needless to say, it was a very restless night, filled with tossing and turning and too many thoughts to fall asleep properly and with double potions first thing in the morning, my day was already setting up for disaster. It wasn’t until after Potions started though, that I realized just how much of a disaster it was headed for.
“Your last year at Hogwarts,” Snape drawled as he swept into the classroom, an instant hush taking over, “it’s all been boiling down to this, to get you prepared for NEWTS. If you think I’m going to spoon feed you, or hold your hand through this year, you’ve thought wrong. This year, it’s all up to you. I won’t be telling you exactly what I want or what potions you are going to make, that is all up for you to decide. The only things I’m deciding are the due dates for each of your projects and the minimum requirements for them. To get things started, you’ll be getting paired up then the rest of the period is for you to decide which potions you will be working on this year.”
If I thought my day had been salvageable, I realized once my name had been called out with Theodore as my partner it would no longer be. I heard the quiet snickers coming from behind me as Theodore pulled the chair out from next to me, and plopped himself down. I chanced a quick glance in his direction and noticed the slight scowl on his face, of course he wouldn’t want to be my partner, he had probably been dreaming of partnering with his girlfriend, and having “study dates”. Well maybe this is how I can get my in with my roommates.
I couldn’t help the disgusted look on my face when my name was called out after Tracey’s. It wasn’t that she was a horrible person or anything, just not my ideal partner, though I guess she was better than any of the Gryffindor classmates. I tuned out Snape after I was paired off, it wasn’t like I needed to listen to him anyways, I was a Slytherin which already allowed me to get away with more, but the fact that he already admitted he wouldn’t be telling us anything else for the rest of the class was his downfall. I wasn’t the only one zoning out, all around the room, blank faces stared up at Snape. It was on my second sweep around the classroom that I noticed something, something that made my blood boil a bit. Daphne would definitely have some explaining to do after class was over that was for sure.
I didn’t pay attention to anything else but Daphne for the entire double period, she glanced my way a couple of times during the class and each time I would just shoot her with a smirk, she wouldn’t know what was coming. The classroom was filled with chatter, though I could bet that none of it actually had to do with potions, except for whoever ended up being paired with Hermione Granger, that girl seemed to only care about classes. Tracey tried a few times to pull me into a conversation, most of which about our Potions work, but finally after a half hour of being ignored decided doodling, or whatever it was that girls do, was her best option.
When the period ended, I stayed firmly planted in my seat, watching as the rest of the class made their way out of the room and into the hall to go to their next class. I got up as Daphne neared my table and easily fell into step next to her, making sure to grab her hand, and let everyone know that she is mine. She giggled a bit as I leaned up next to her a bit down lightly on her earlobe, something that I discovered last night she enjoys very much. I slowed my pace down once we left the classroom, keeping us to the end of the pack and only when the hall had emptied out, did I push her up against the wall.
I bit her earlobe once more and then I whispered into her ear, “If you want me to cover for you Daphne, that’s fine, but you’ll need to be less obvious.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she whispered back.
“I saw you staring at her,” I told her as I moved back so I could look her in the eye.
She stood up a little straighter and her playful smile dropped from her face, “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she repeated.
“Save the theatrics Daphne, I don’t care. I know what I saw and if you want me to cover for you, you’ll need to be less obvious.”
I left her standing against the wall behind me, as I began to figure out a way to get her back for trying to play me. Sure I would go along with her plan, let her date me, so that nobody else would realize what was really going on, but I would only do so until I could get her back. She should know that you don’t try to mess with a Slytherin unless you want to get bit. Now it’s just time for me to pick her poison. Besides, revenge is only fun when they never see it coming.
My plan seemed to form itself in the next class with a small little glance from the Slytherin who would be my potions partner. She would be perfect for it. Maybe Snape knew what he was doing after all when he assigned our partners; at least mine looked like it would be working out. The hardest part would be getting her to open up to me, but it would be worth the challenge to be able to get back at Daphne.
AN: Thank you all for reading this story! I do hope that you enjoyed it! Please leave a review and tell me what you think of it! I will be looking for a beta for this somtime soon as this was my NaNo piece this year!
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The Secret Life of Slytherins: Week One
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