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Vita couldn’t believe Cedric Diggory had been made Head Boy. Of all the people she could have been stuck with, it had to be him. Cedric was one of the most popular boys in the school and everyone knew he had a thing for beautiful girls. He typically used them until he became bored with them and then he would dump them before moving onto his next victim. In the end, Cedric Diggory was nothing more than a heartbreaker for the female population at Hogwarts.

After the train had arrived at Hogwarts, Cedric left the Head compartment to go find his gang. Vita remained alone as usual as she exited the train. When it came to finding a carriage, she had even less luck. Nobody would want to sit with her and most of the carriages were already full. As she approached one, which appeared to be empty to the eye, she saw the Thestral standing there, waiting for the carriage to fill. She figured the life of a Thestral must be easy; always roaming the woods and free to fly away, unlike her.

As Vita stepped into the carriage, her Potions Professor, Severus Snape, had been sitting there quietly. He remained in his usual demeanor; same black cloak, greasy hair, and pale complexion. Vita seemed to be running into him quite a lot lately, but she didn’t mind Snape. There was just something real about him, like he had actually experienced life beyond the fashion trends of the students at Hogwarts.

“I’m sorry to disturb you professor,” she apologized. “I could find another carriage if you like.”

“Nonsense,” he stated in his usual monotone voice. “No one else would sit with me anyways. There is no point in having the Thestral pull a carriage with one man in it.”

Vita finally sat down across from him and relaxed. As she sat, the Thestral began to pull the carriage as if it knew no one else would be joining them for the ride. A sigh left her mouth as she watched the Thestral. She knew many students couldn’t see them, but she could. She had witnessed her mother’s death when she was just a toddler. It had happened during the First War when a Death Eater stormed their house. Her father had been away on business, but her mother remained at home. Vita had been hiding in the kitchen cupboard under the sink, playing hide-and-seek with her mother. Unfortunately, the cupboard door was still opened a crack and she had witnessed the flash of green light take her mother.

Severus had noticed Vita watching the Thestral, which brought up the usual question. “Who did you see die?” He asked casually.

Vita turned her gaze away from the Thestral and looked at her professor. “My mother.” She answered, not giving him any details.

Severus nodded calmly. “Most of us will see death before we reach our own demise,” he explained, sounding rather wise. “Most people find death depressing, but you can’t have life without death to balance it out.”

Vita smiled slightly, being reminded of why she liked Snape so much. “Well, most people don’t see the big picture.” She said, revealing how many people tend to think these days.

“That is why you should take no offense to the way people treat you,” he suggested. “Many students do not realize that their popularity here during their time at Hogwarts will no longer matter once they are on their own. They will not have the stone walls to protect them.”

Vita continued to understand her professor’s wisdom, as she wondered why students didn’t like Snape. She knew he could be mean, but she figured it was a way to hide his rough emotional interior, which had become bruised throughout the years.

“Yes. People like Cedric Diggory will no longer matter.” She agreed with his statement.

“Unfortunately, you will find out how some people still act like they are at Hogwarts years after they have left,” explained Snape coolly in an undertone. “People like Diggory may never amount to anything.”

Vita nodded as she completely understood and knew what she wanted to become. “I want to be an Auror once I leave this place.” She confessed, having big hopes for someone who barely socialized.

“It will take a lot of hard work, and if you would like, I could teach you many things, especially about the Dark Arts which you must understand to defeat your opponent.” He offered generously which rarely Snape had ever displayed.

Vita’s heart flipped with excitement as she realized Snape was actually willing to help her. “That would be wonderful. Thank you, Professor.” She said graciously.

“Very well. Come by my office after dinner tonight and we will discuss when to have our sessions.” He explained, appearing like the usual Severus Snape, but actually being decent to someone.

Vita nodded and then the carriage finally came to a stop outside of the Great Oak Doors. As she stepped out of the carriage, a question crossed her mind. “Professor, why are you being so nice to me?” She asked, trying to sound at least rude as possible.

Snape didn’t seem offended by her question at all and he almost acted like he had been expecting it. “You remind me of myself when I was at Hogwarts.” He explained without detail.

“Alright. I’ll see you later.” Vita said before entering the castle along with many other returning Hogwarts students. She made her way to the usual Ravenclaw table and sat down by herself. No one ever sat by her and she had become accustomed to this routine over the years. She glanced over at the Hufflepuff table to see Cedric laughing with his friends. The thought of Cedric even having friends disgusted her.

Once all of the returning students had settled down, the Sorting Ceremony began. The hat sorted short mischievous children one at a time. Each house ended up with more students and the houses each cheered when a student had been sorted into their house. A rather dorky looking young boy approached the stool next. McGonagall had read his name, Will Winchester, before he sat down on the stool. McGonagall placed the Sorting Hat on the boys head and a few seconds later the hat shouted, “Ravenclaw!”

The Ravenclaw table cheered, but none of the Ravenclaw students seemed eager to sit by him. Perhaps his dorky appearance had been the reason, but Vita sympathized with the young boy. His bulky glasses and slight buck teeth reminded her of how she felt every time students looked at her. As the boy tried to find a seat, Vita patted the spot next to her. “You can sit here.” She offered.

The boy sat down and smiled graciously at her. Once Will sat down, Dumbledore started with his usual beginning of the year speech. “Welcome to another year at Hogwarts. I must remind all students that the Forbidden Forest is off limits,” he began. “I would like to congratulate all of our new prefects along with our new Head boy, Cedric Diggory.”

The Hufflepuff table went wild as they all cheered loudly and some even whistled. Cedric even stood up to show off.

“Let’s not forget our new Head Girl, Vita Valios.” Dumbledore added.

The Ravenclaw table clapped, but none of the students seemed to be thrilled. Vita sighed, but she noticed Snape had been clapping and that meant more to her then anything because she knew he was being sincere.

“Now that everything is in order, the feast shall begin.” Dumbledore stated as he raised his hands and made all of the food appear.

All of the students began shoving their faces full of food while they explained how their summer had been to their friends. Vita could never explain her summer to anyone unless she ran into George and he asked her. She looked at the brown haired boy next to her and noticed how he was trying to reach a basket of rolls in the middle of the table while the other students ignored him. She reached over and grabbed a roll, placing it down onto his plate in front of him.

“Thank you.” The boy said quietly and shyly.

“You’re welcome,” she replied. “I’m Vita Valios by the way.”

The boy looked at her through his big bulky glasses. “So you are the Head Girl?” He asked.

“Yup. That’s me.” She answered, eating a bit of her food.

“I’m Will Winchester.” He introduced himself before biting into the roll Vita had put on his plate.

“Well, it’s nice to meet you.” She smiled, continuing to eat her food.

As she ate, the Ravenclaw first years walked by and completely ignored Will. The group followed a prefect who would show them to the Ravenclaw common room. “Should I go with them?” Will asked, looking slightly upset that the group had bypassed him.

“If you want, but I can show you where it’s at.” Vita offered.

“Alright.” Will said, waiting for Vita to finish eating her food.

After Vita and Will finished eating, Vita stood up from her seat and looked at Will. “Follow me.” She requested before starting to walk away from the table. She walked towards the main staircase and as she did, Angelina Johnson and Alicia Spinnet walked by, laughing and giggling at the sight of Vita and Will. “What are they laughing at?” He asked Vita.

“Just ignore them,” she replied, starting to walk up the staircase. “Be careful of the staircases. They change from time-to-time.”

Will nodded and tried to keep up with her. A painting talked to him by saying, “Welcome to Hogwarts.” The poor boy almost jumped out of his skin in fright. Vita couldn’t help but grin since she almost reacted the same way when she was a first year. “The paintings tend to talk sometimes. They’re usually pretty friendly,” she explained. “The ghosts, on the other hand, are different. You mainly have to watch out for Peeves the Poltergeist. He tends to cause mischief.”

Will seemed to absorb all of this information as they continued up the stairs. Eventually they reached the fifth floor where the portrait hole for the Ravenclaw common room had been. “This is it,” stated Vita. “You will need to remember the password.”

“What is the password?” Will asked, looking at the portrait.

“Gillyweed,” she answered, causing the portrait hole to open. “Go run along now and try to make some friends.”

Will smiled and ran into the common room as if he had taken her words to heart. Vita grinned and started running down the stairs, trying to hurry to the dungeons to meet Snape. She wondered what time of the day the two of them would practice as she ran faster until she finally reached the dungeons.

Once she entered the Potions classroom, she could barely see anything because the room was dark. The only light glowed from Snape’s office so Vita entered his office to see Snape sitting on his desk, writing on a bit of parchment. “Sit down.” Severus requested in his usual monotone.

Vita sat down quietly in the chair across from Severus’ desk. He looked up from the parchment he had been writing on and focused on Vita. “I will teach you Defense Against the Dark Arts, Unforgivable Curses, Advanced Potions, and much more,” he listed off. “It will be a lot of hard work on top of the work you will be required to do in all of your classes.”

“That’s fine.” She replied, looking at him with her mind ready to learn.

“You will come here everyday after dinner and if I require you to come during other times, I will inform you ahead of time,” he explained, picking up the parchment he had been writing on. He leaned forward and outstretched his arm, handing her the parchment. “This is a list of things you will need. If you cannot get them, let me know. I may require you to find other items in the future. Is all of this understood?” He asked like he was being his usual self again.

“Yes professor.” She replied, glancing at the list to only recognize a few things.

“Also, do make excuses about where you are at to your fellow students if one does become curious,” he added in a monotone voice. “I’ve notified Dumbledore of our arrangement, but no one else knows and I’m sure many students would not want to hear about how you are being treated with special privileges.”

“Yes professor.” Vita said, seeing a glimpse of the typical Snape showing through.

“Now run along.” He demanded.

Vita left her seat and walked towards the door. She wondered why Snape had been so nice to her even though he explained how she reminded him of his time at Hogwarts. As Vita headed back the way she came, she figured there was another reason Snape had been behaving differently. Vita knew she would appreciate the help plus it allowed her to be away from her common room. The less time she spent around Diggory, the better, but for right now, she was headed to that exact place she didn’t want to go.

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