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Chapter 1

Being an Underwood wasn’t something Ella was really proud of. She would be the first to admit the pure bloods weren’t always the nicest people and tend to walk on the dark and wild side. To select an example from the family tree was as easy as a person breathing. The family tree was known for their psychotic members and death eaters. All a person had to do was look at Draco Malfoy or his father, Lucius Malfoy.

Draco, her cousin, and William Underwood, her brother, were the poster children of the family. The two boys had entered into Slytherin house like many family members before them. They were on the road to greatness with the dark side. She was on a much different path. She was a Gryffindor and she was actually proud of it. Many of the family members were ashamed to be associating with ‘the blood traitor’. So they cut her out from all family social events.

She didn’t care. She never was one to follow the rules or run along the lines of tradition. Many had tagged her as going down the same road as her uncle, Sirius Black. It was intended as a complete insult since Sirius was the joke of the family for being in the Order of the Phoenix, but Ella took it as an honor. He was a great man who did extraordinary things and was never afraid to be reckless. If he set his mind to something, there was no other way of persuading him. In her own little way, she was like that.

Ella let out a breath as she walked into the great hall for breakfast. The sixth year was upon her, and all the family drama was heating up. With the rounding of troops for Voldemort’s army, things were tenser then ever. She felt it when she was at home over the summer, and she felt it now. It annoyed the hell out of her. Not one for the feeling of fear, she looked for the way to fight back. So when she heard about Dumbledore’s Army, she knew she had found it. Now, all she had to do was sign up.

Harry rushed passed Ella almost knocking her over. He paused briefly to say he was sorry but she was all ready caught in her stare. There was one weakness she had: her attraction to the green-eyed boy that was a hero in her heart, Harry Potter. He was one of the nicest people in the house but he had issues with all the horrible things that had happened in his life. She wanted so badly to help him but with her family, it was socially impossible. He hated Slytherins and she was related to two of them biggest personalities of the Slytherin house. He would never actually accept her or give her a chance, for that matter.

“Are you all right?”

The voice knocked her out of her wondering thought. She looked at the green-eyed boy in front of her before nodding. She would have to put the personal feelings for him aside. They were not important as of now. What matter was the fight and that’s what she had to do.

“Yes, I’m fine,” She assured Harry.

He looked at her briefly giving her an unsure look as if he didn’t believed her, before turning and going to take a seat next to his friends, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger. She was half tempted to join them. She did need to talk to them, since they were the founders of D.A., but her girlish shy side was taking over just thinking about sitting next to Harry. She hated that side of her. If there was one thing she wasn’t, it was girly. Being raised around nothing but boys, she had a tough side and could easily give any guy a run for their money. So, when a guy made her weak in the knees, she got pissed off and reformed into a hard shell.

Ella put on her tough face before taking the seat next to Harry. All three students looked at her a bit startled, since she never sat anywhere near them. She ignored the looks of curiosity and decided to just jump into business.

“Harry, I want to talk to you about…” She paused a moment trying to decide the right word for D.A. while being secretive. “… your issue.”

“Issue?” Harry asked a bit confused.

She leaned in closely and whispered, “About Dumbledore’s Army.”

Harry’s face turned into clarity and he nodded as he finally understood.

“Ah, that issue.”

She nodded before letting out a breath. It was a simple thing to say but getting up the courage to say it was something unlike her. It frustrated her to no degree. She would have to have a stern talking with herself.

“I want to join,” She said simply and a bit rushed.

Harry nodded pleased with the information she had just given him. She couldn’t help but notice his sweet smile on his perfect pale skin.

“Ah well good,” Harry said before looking at Hermione. The two of them leaned in and seemed to have a secret conference. She didn’t have to wonder or try to eavesdrop to know the reason why. It was a simple answer, her Slytherin family. She caught slack for it and because of genes; she was stamped ‘untrustworthy’.

Ella glanced at the red hair freckled face known as Ron Weasley. Four branches off from her in the family tree, known as the cousin that was twice removed. The Weasley family preferably didn’t care much for the Underwood family. She never really understood why, but there was just some family rival gone wrong. There was a time where her parents wanted to toss her on the Weasley’s doorstep saying she was more of Weasley and less like an Underwood. In short, she was too good hearted and not enough bad in her.

There were times where she couldn’t help but think that if she did live with the Weasleys, then perhaps things wouldn’t be so much like a graveyard and possibly more like a home, but those thoughts were saved for days of her darkest.

Ron glared at her for a second confirming that perhaps all her thoughts were just false hopes but she chose to keep those emotions hidden until a much later time, like when there wasn’t a dark lord trying to kill everyone.

Harry and Hermione separated from their little private huddle. Ella watched as Hermione pushed back her golden brown hair before conjuring up the list with the words “Dumbledore’s Army” clearly written on the top with a golden quill at the side.

She picked up the quill and looked at Harry. Her heart fluttering as he looked so serious. It just hurt that he didn’t trust her, but it was expected since no one else did.

“You have to sign here,” Harry instructed pointing to one of the last empty spaces. His face was stern and almost emotionless. It was like she was the curse of the team.

She nodded and quickly scribbled her name down on the parchment. She sat up straighter as she handed the quill to Harry. She needed to get away from the harder stares of Hermione and Ron.

“When’s the next appearance?” She asked taking out her planner, so she was ready.

“Tonight in the Room of Requirements,” Hermione informed her a bit coldly. “I suggest you find someone on the list so you can find it. It’s hard for anyone to find on their first time.”

Ella looked at the list and her eyes automatically fell on Neville Longbottom. He was a nice guy, and he seemed to be the only one that befriended her. He knew so much about plants and it seemed that no one else wanted to listen to it but her. She spent many hours with Neville in the library just reading books. Not many girls her age got to say that, without a sexual innuendo.

“I’ll get Neville to do it,” She answered. All three of them stared shocked for a moment before backing off.

Harry reached into his pocket and pulled a wooden nickel. He reached out and handed her the nickel with the initials “D.A.” etched on the top. She examined closely before looking at him curiously. Why did he give her fake money?

“It will tell you when the next meetings are, so you never have to worry,” He explained as he conjured the list and quill away. “It is also a good way of finding out where you are. So keep it close at all times. We don’t need it falling into the wrong hands.”

She rubbed it between her fingers before nodding. She understood the urgency of it. If it fell in the wrong hands, they all could get detention or worse, expelled for trying to prepare.

“Thank you,” She said as Harry rose from the breakfast table.

He nodded at her before announcing he was off to Quidditch practice. As she watched him leave, a feeling of giddiness and nerves for that night filled her. Something was about to change. Now what it was going to be was the question.

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