Disclaimer: Anything you recognize is obviously not mine and is the brainchild of JK Rowling. 





The suburban home was dark with the only light being little lamp burning at the kitchen table with three shadowy figures seated around it. A fourth figure slunk through the darkness, quietly on the tips of her toes, towards the meeting she was so clearly excluded from. The small figure hid in the darkness of the kitchen, crouching behind a marble counter, listening to the hushed conversation between her parents and older sister.

“We can’t leave,” a pretty middle-aged woman with fluffy, blonde hair whispered. Her warm brown eyes had a kind of nervousness about them, a shaky quality as she tugged at the fabric of her purple dress, threatening to rip it with her compulsive fiddling. “This is our home, Daphne! I’m not leaving England!”

“Norella, love,” a burly man with a bouncing mustache said in a deep, husky tone. He looked lovingly at his wife, but his weary, little eyes wanted to be anywhere else. His shirt was carefully starched, the way it always was when he went to his fine office in the Ministry of Magic. “Your brother’s in America. We could join him. We don’t have to live in fear.”

“We’re not in danger here!” Norella squeaked. Astoria could tell from her dark hiding spot that her mother had begun to cry. She felt tears begin to sting her own eyes, rolling down her cheeks at the thought of her family leaving England for America. Norella was right, England was their home, no matter what.

“We’re blood traitors,” a dark haired girl with beady black eyes spat out. Daphne Greengrass, only two years older than little Astoria, seemed worlds older than her sister. While Daphne had always been treated as an adult, Astoria was a perpetual child. It didn’t help that Astoria liked to dress in warm, floral things like her mother, while Daphne had adopted a very utilitarian style. She looked as if she were living in a war even before she was actually living in a war. “Blood purity only goes so far when you’ve been tinkering with muggle science for decades!”

Daphne shot an accusing look at her father as she spoke. Linus shrunk back into his chair, away from his daughter’s glare. The thought of decades worth of magical and muggle research in his office upstairs made his stomach queasy.

“That’s enough, Daphne!” Norella snapped in a shrill voice. She didn’t yell at her daughters often, but she was adamant about staying. Norella had lived in that home since she was first married at twenty-years-old. She’d given birth to both her daughters in that home and she intended to die in the house. “We’ll be fine. We aren’t leaving this house! You and Astoria are going to Hogwarts in a week and that is final! Linus, please!”

“Your mother is right, Daph,” Linus sighed. He rubbed his temples with his wide thumbs and took his wife’s shaking hand in his, rubbing small circles across it with his big thumb. In the dim light, Astoria could just make out the grey streaks in Linus’s still full hair.

Daphne narrowed her eyes at both her parents, annoyed at their attachment to the house. Of course, she loved their home as well, but Daphne was nothing if not practical.  

“Back to that school then? Back to the school that’s run by a murdering madman? Where Astoria and I will be surrounded by the children of Death Eaters? And who knows, maybe more of them are Death Eaters now! Draco joined up, what’s stopping Pansy or Crabbe? I wouldn’t put it past those two to join up, but they probably aren’t bright enough! Surrounded by them, mum! Is that what you want?”

“Stop it Daphne! We aren’t talking about this anymore,” Norella slammed her fist on the table and silenced her eldest daughter. Norella quickly composed herself after the outburst, but it had seemed to shatter something in the quiet atmosphere, the slam of her first echoing through the whole house. Daphne’s thin lips froze in contempt and she glared coldly at her mother. The tension around the table was unmistakable. Astoria, from across the room could feel it creep along her skin. The tears were still rolling down her own face. She wiped them silently and held her breath, not wanting anyone of realize that she was listening in.

Astoria knew that Daphne had a point. They could sneak away to America and live with her Uncle Alfie and his family in America. They could be safe. They could be happy there. But England was her home. This house was where Astoria and Daphne were born. They learned how to talk here and they got their Hogwarts letters here. Their neighbours had gone on the run and the school had been taken over by the new regime and the Ministry had fallen, but they couldn’t abandon their homeland in her time of need. England needed them.

~

The two sisters sat across from each other in silence on the train ride to school. Astoria stared at her feet, while Daphne stared straight ahead, her small eyes cutting through Astoria’s skull. The English countryside whirred past them, but the girls didn’t notice as they kept the blinds shut, keeping their compartment in the dark.

The girls looked enough alike, but there was something distinctly different about them. While Astoria was described in soft, sweet words, anyone who met Daphne always saw her in a cold light. Sunshine bathed Astoria’s black hair and skin, turning it soft and sparkling, but Daphne sat in the shadows. Her eyes were blank and her hair dull. She had never been the pretty sister, but she was always the tough one. The one her parents could rely on to never cry over an injury or never complain about anything. Astoria was the delicate one. Everyone doted on her, thinking that one wrong move would destroy her. Daphne didn’t resent her sister for it, she had never needed that affection, she had only ever needed Astoria.

“Tori?” Daphne finally spoke, breaking their odd silence. Her voice was a rough alto. “It’s going to be okay.”

“You can’t guarantee that,” Astoria said in a dejected tone. It broke Daphne’s heart to hear her sister talk in such a dead way. Her sister lived and breathed joy and happiness and beauty. She couldn’t allow this darkness that had swept her nation to destroy her sister as well.

“I promise you,” Daphne swore. “I promise you that it’ll be okay. I’ll take care of you. I won’t ever let anyone hurt you. You won’t be afraid here. You won’t be in danger. Everything will be fine. We’ll be okay.”

Daphne stared into Astoria’ big, doll-like eyes, wondering how someone so pure had become so hopeless. All her life, Astoria had been Daphne’s own ray of sunshine. She needed Astoria to lift her up again when her own world got too dark. She needed that perpetual smile in her dark world. When her friend, Draco, had become a Death Eater in sixth year, Astoria was there to comfort Daphne and make her believe that it would all be okay. When Cedric Diggory passed away in her fourth year, Astoria assured Daphne that he was in a better place. When no one else in the world could tell that Daphne was hurting, Astoria knew because she just always did. But it was gone now her light was gone and Astoria needed Daphne.

“You can’t promise that,” she finally said.

~

With military precision, Astoria, Daphne, and the rest of Slytherin House marched down to their quarters. The feast had been devoid of the joy that usually marked the beginning of the year feast. There was none of the loudness, none of the colour. There was only gloom with the only cheers coming when Professor Snape took the gold inlaid chair in the centre of the room and when they announced the new regime and then again when Neville Longbottom was dragged out of the hall, presumably for some terrible punishment for daring to speak against Professor Snape.

Astoria sat in silence during the feast beside Daphne, holding her sister’s hand in hers. Besides her sister, Astoria had no one left at school. Her best friend, Johanna, was on the run with her muggleborn mother. Johanna, a bright, bubbly girl in Slytherin as well, was Astoria’s only friend. The only person she had ever confided in at Hogwarts, apart from the House Elves Astoria had befriended in her third year. She was notoriously introverted person. Having spoken very little to her classmates in the past four years. Astoria preferred to keep to herself, burying her nose into books and homework, hiding out in the library or kitchens, keeping House Elves as her only company.

Daphne had never been quite as introverted as Astoria. She’d made friends with a group of popular Slytherins, her best friend being pretty and popular Pansy Parkinson, the daughter of a Death Eater. Pansy was haughty and proud of her blood status and that of her friends. She took pity on plain, boring Daphne before, relegating her to the role of side kick. Daphne had never minded before. She didn’t crave the spotlight like Pansy did, but now Pansy was a queen. She not only ruled the school, but her ‘class’ of people ruled the actual world now. As far as she was concerned, she had won. She was dating popular and pureblooded Blaise Zambini and had some strange fling with notorious Death Eater, Draco Malfoy. At least, Pansy called him a notorious Death Eater.

In their dorms, Astoria and Daphne sat alone, closed off inside the curtains. Astoria wrapped herself in her sheets, listening as Cordelia Yaxley and Jenna Sewlyn talking endlessly about their fathers’ new positions at the Ministry of Magic. Astoria balled herself up and let the tears roll down her face thinking of Johanna, hiding out somewhere in the forest. Alone. Scared.

~

“You know the spell,” Amycus Carrow whispered into Daphne’s ear.

Daphne stood tall, despite feeling his warm breath sliding down her neck. She didn’t shiver, she didn’t shake. She stared straight ahead at the first year boy shaking in front of her. He was small. Much smaller than she remembered being in first year, maybe even smaller than Astoria had been. Still a child, having only arrived at Hogwarts three weeks earlier. He was a half-blood, according to Professor Carrow, who was in detention for the crime of daring to utter You-Know-Who’s name. Had he not been so young, he wouldn’t have gotten away with just detention. It would have been Azkaban for this one.

“Crucio,” Daphne said calmly, pointing her wand at the child. A steady stream of red light raced towards the boy’s body, just missing his heart. The room was bathed in an almost ethereal red glow. If it weren’t for the screams, it would be almost beautiful. But the boy did scream. His pain filled the room as Daphne just stared straight ahead, cold, unfeeling. A smirk spread across the face of Amycus Carrow. His thin lips curled around his teeth, baring them like a mad dog. The child screamed under Daphne’s spell, but she couldn’t stop. He hadn’t given her the signal yet.

Just when it looked like the child would pass out, Amycus raised his hand and Daphne lowered her wand. She still stared straight ahead, avoiding the little boy’s body still shaking and crying on the dungeon floor.

“Very good Daphne,” Amycus drawled. Daphne was reminded of the presumptuous voice of the Ministry official who had come to question her family about the disappearance of their muggleborn neighbour. “See class, you ought to all follow Miss Greengrass’s example.”

Daphne did not smile at the praise. She still looked straight ahead with those beady, bird-like eyes. In her peripheral vision, she saw Neville Longbottom glower at her. She ignored him though. Daphne ignored everyone staring at her in Defense against the Dark Arts.

“Hey Daph!” Vincent Crabbe called after her when the class was let out. The first years still huddled in the corner, crying and trying to forget about the pain. “Wait up!”

“Bugger off, Crabbe,” Daphne growled. She plowed on without waiting for him. Crabbe had never been someone Daphne was fond of, even though he did hang around the outskirts of her group of friends. He had always been rude to Daphne, hurling half-witted insults at her and never treating her as well as he treated pretty Pansy.

“Come on Daph,” Crabbe panted as he caught up to her. He grabbed her shoulder, but Daphne roughly pushed him away from her. “Show me how to do that! You’re so good at dark arts. Just show me. Please. I can round up some little firsties and we can practice.”

“I said fuck off Crabbe!” Daphne snarled in an even harsher tone. “Get away from me before I practice on you. Don’t test me.”

Crabbe grumbled something under his breath and stalked away from her, shoving aside a fourth year girl as he did. Daphne continued to speed her way through the crowded hallway towards the Slytherin common room. She had no desire at all to help Crabbe torture more first years. Despite what her classmates believed, Daphne didn’t get some sort of sick pleasure from it. She’d never be like Crabbe, getting off on the idea of those screaming children, but Daphne did was she had to. She didn’t stick her neck out. She didn’t take the risk of defiance that people like Neville Longbottom did. Defiance, revolution, resistance, that was for people who actually cared. Daphne Greengrass didn’t care. She just needed to get through.

~

“Miss Greengrass!” Alecto Carrow shouted. “Need I remind you again?”

“Sorry Professor Carrow,” Astoria mumbled. Tears began to slide down her cheeks as she stared down at her hands in her lap. Muggle studies class was one of Astoria’s worst subjects. She simply could not buy into the terrible prejudice Alecto Carrow tried to indoctrinate into the class. Astoria had never done terrible in a class before, she had always been quite intelligent, but Alecto Carrow just incapacitated her somehow.

The whole class turned to stare at her as Alecto Carrow marched towards the skinny girl and grabbed her by the back of her collar and messy ponytail. Cordelia snickered as she saw the tears staining Astoria’s pale cheek. Her hair bunched under Alecto’s grasp and her feet barely reached the ground. She grasped for breath.

“Tell me again,” she demanded. “What are mudbloods?”

“They’re-they’re the sc-sc-scum of the earth, Professor,” Astoria stammered through her thick, hot tears. Her scalp was burning under Alecto’s grasp and she could barely force air down her windpipe. “They’re parasites on p-proper w-wizard w-wizarding society. They st-steal magic, Professor Carrow.”

“And what must we do to them, Miss Greengrass?”

“We have to- we must…” Astoria stumbled through her speech, unable to say those final hateful words. She had seen the students in her class be strong. She’d heard what happened to people who defied the Carrows, Neville Longbottom in Daphne’s year, Ginny Weasley a year above her and Luna Lovegood as well. The Carrows had hurt them more than Astoria could imagine, but still they fought. The tears stung Astoria’s eyes as she realized that she could never be that strong.

“What must we do, Astoria?” Alecto shouted, demanding an answer from the shaking girl still in her hard grasp.

“Destroy,” she finally spat out. “We must destroy them.”

Alecto dropped Astoria to the ground and pushed her aside with her foot as if she were some beaten puppy. Astoria stayed, nestled on the cold floor, rubbing her hand along her burning scalp and wiping away the tears that stained her face. Purple bruises formed on her neck where her collar had cut into her pale, delicate skin.

“Correct, Miss Greengrass,” Alecto said sharply. “But detention for your weakness. Never let me see you cry in this class again.”

Astoria nodded weakly and pushed herself back onto her chair. No one dared make eye contact with her, but Astoria could see the pity in their eyes anyway. Everyone at Hogwarts knew what happened to those who got detention. 





Author's Note: So this is quite different than anything I've posted before. I do hope it's good, so let me know what you think by leaving a review! Before you ask though, Astoria will not meet and fall in love with Draco over the course of this story. 

June 7, 2015: I've edited this chapter to make the Greengrass family purebloods. I've decided to keep with canon on that regard and make them secret pureblood blood traitors, like the Weasleys, but secret. 

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