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 WHEN OPHELIA GREENGRASS SAW her daughter's bright red hair, she almost had a fit, and and Easton would've lied had she said that it wasn't the reaction she'd initially anticipated, or rather gone for.

Her father, on the other hand, only gave Easton a probing once-over, looked her straight in the eyes, pursed his thin lips in a highly unimpressed manner and then left without saying another word, leaving his wife to deal with the rebellious teenager herself. And deal she did though unsuccessfully.

Easton was by far the epitome of what one would call a troubled teen. The defiance itself had began on her very first day at Hogwarts when the bloody ancient Hat had placed the poor Hufflepuff at heart into the House of snakes.

Her family was ecstatic, of course; had she been sorted anywhere other than the sacred alma mater of her ancestors, Easton would've been shunned even more than she was now.

It should be known that the older Greengrass daughter was quite used to living among snakes, however, no matter how hard she tried, which she at all didn't to be quite candid, she could never fit in. It didn't sadden her, really; no, Easton was actually rather happy, and the thought of being sorted into a House that would finally help her embrace her personality, made Easton giddy with eagerness.

But alas, life put a huge damper on that one dream. And then on many others.

"I hate green," Easton grumbled straightening her Slytherin robes. The burning red color of her short hair looked even brighter now in contrast with the cold green and silver, and Easton hated it. She hated her hair, hated her stupid tie and hated the sodding bag that she couldn't get off the upper shelf.

"What're you gonna do with the robes after we graduate?" Penny asked nonchalantly, putting on the yellow and black Hufflepuff tie, "Mary says she'll keep 'em for her future love child with Alex," suddenly she seemed deep in thoughts, "D'you think they've already?..."

Easton snorted, "Have you seen the way he looks at her? That man has either seen her naked or has a hell of an imagination. As for me, I'll go into the woods and burn the sodding hell out of them robes, that's what," she stated fiercely, her face now matching the hair, that hard she was pulling on the bloody bag, "and then, dear Penelope, I'll go running around the little stake, absolutely naked and laughing and laughing...what're you staring at?" Easton huffed breathlessly noticing the strange look on her best friend's face.

"D'you maybe need...em help with that?"

The silence that instantly set in the compartment was so palpable you could throw a Bludger at it and it would bounce right into your face and knock you down. To be honest, Easton would've preferred that instead of having to face Remus Lupin who stood awkwardly in the doors of their compartment probably regretting his decision to intervene.

Easton was about to say that yes, of course she'd love some help and then nicely thank Remus for being a sweetheart that he was, but suddenly there was a loud thump, and Easton instinctively jumped away from the bag that chose that exact moment to fall down.

Awkward silence once again filled the small compartment. Penny looked to Easton, Fawlty hissed angrily at the bag that'd almost crashed him, and Easton herself finally found it in her to say something, "I'm good, thanks," on second thought, she should've probably stayed silent.

"Right," was Remus's humble response. He most definitely thought the girl in front of him was bonkers but was too much of a gentleman to show it. Instead he smiled that warm and friendly smile of his, bode them goodbye with a sheepish "See ya' then!" and disappeared leaving the two girls completely dumbfounded.

"What's just happened?" Penny was the first to give any signs of life.

Easton picked up the bag from the compartment floor and looked and the place where only seconds ago stood one of the infamous Marauders.

"That, my dear Penny, was our nonexistent social life flipping us a bird," and she made to get off the train.

"Bloody Remus Lupin," Penelope mumbled under her breath and then noticed the ball of fur on one of the seats, "Hey, Tony, you forgot the cat!"

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After all the first years were sorted into their rightful Houses (and Easton could've sworn the boy she'd met at the barrier was now thrown into a snake pit beside her) it was time for Headmaster Dumbledore's annual opening speech.

Easton had been successfully ignoring it for all the six years, but this time something in the wizard's normally cheery demeanor and voice seemed very off. And somehow she knew exactly what it was.

The past couple of weeks the front pages of the Daily Prophet had been filled with the horrors of the upcoming war. The previous week it was a family of muggles, and only two days ago a Muggleborn Ministry official who had been found dead in his house, reportedly tortured and killed with an Unforgivable.

Easton remembered the way her mother's face had paled with unease when she read the headline of one of the articles. She also remembered her father's reaction or better yet lack thereof. Given, Gideon Greengrass had never been generous when it came to showing emotions, but what kept Easton at night was the terrifying tranquility in his eyes and the ghost of a smile tagging on his thin, almost nonexistent lips.

"...I now invite you all to eat, drink, and make yourselves at home!"

Easton paid no heed to the foods appearing magically on the table. Instead, her eyes involuntarily moved to the far end of the Slytherin table occupied by the so called "Gang of Slytherins". The lot of them were whispering amongst each other, cackling at something her cousin Evan Rosier'd said.

Easton couldn't hold back an exasperated sigh that escaped her lips at the sight of them, a scowl finding its way to her face. Honestly, hadn't she known better, she would've thought their little Slytherin club some sort of cover for something much more intimate and embarrassing.

"What's with the frown, Greengrass?" asked the girl at her right, whose name Easton couldn't memorize for the life of her.

"Or better yet what with the hair," the familiar voice instantly pulled Easton out of the strange trans.

Felicity Higgs made her way to their part of the table, having previously been conversing with her younger brother Trevor, and sat beside Easton. Her porcelain skin seemed even paler now which brought out the slight darkness under her big, brown eyes, caused by many sleepless nights spent on the Quidditch pitch with her idiot of a sibling.

"Hello, Felicity," greeted Easton in an uncharacteristically reserved manner and put some food onto her plate. She wasn't really hungry, having lost all her appetite thanks to the Slytherin's finest, but tried to at least pick at some chicken for appearance's sake.

"Where's your sister?" asked another girl, Daisy Flint was her name.

"Haven't the slightest."

Easton tried to keep small talk to a minimum, because it inevitably led to bigger talk and that in its turn was a Slytherin way to wiggle out new gossip and possible blackmail material.

"So, Easton," those words were never followed by anything even remotely positive, "us girls have been thinking lately," oh, that's bad, "What's going on with you and that Mudblood from Ravenclaw?" she practically spat out the word as though only saying it could somehow taint years of her spotless inbred heritage.

Felicity was quite possibly referring to the poor Ravenclaw Prefect Adrian Williams who was unfortunate enough to have been assigned Easton's Transfiguration tutor at the end of last year. He wasn't helping her now for obvious reasons (which all had to do with her being hopeless at it).

Easton grabbed onto the fork even tighter imagining Felicity's smug face and that piggy little nose of hers crinkling at the thought of pure-blood contamination. All Easton really wanted to do was stand up and leave the Slytherin table to join Penelope and the other Hufflepuffs, but the bloody rules prohibited her from doing it—apparently you had to suffer through breakfasts and dinners with your sort. And suffer Easton did.

"Not to seem rude or anything, Felicity," those article tips must've really paid off, for now Easton was the embodiment of serenity despite the urge to strangle the gangly Slytherin Chaser, "but why exactly are you talking to me?"

"Why wouldn't I be talking to you?"

Easton didn't even think the question worthy of an answer—her red hair, robes that had all sorts of pins stuck onto them and bright blue nail polish spoke for themselves.

"Right," Felicity concluded clearing her throat, "but seeing as soon we are to become...sisters of sorts—"

"What?" Easton looked at the blond in confusion, the fork now ready for action.

"You really haven't heard, have you?"

"Heard what?"

"Josefine..."

"JAMES POTTER, IF YOU SNIFF MY HAIR ONE MORE TIME, I SWEAR TO GOD—"

And it was time for the daily Gryffindor circus show, ladies and gentlemen. Everyone's eyes were now fixed on the lions' table, witnessing what was the normal interaction between Lily Evans and James Potter, also known as this year's Head Girl and Head Boy. Easton had no idea what was in those crazy Dumbledore's candies, but he'd sure lost his marbles.

"I didn't sniff it! Come on, Lily, I promise!" James looked pleadingly to his best friend Sirius for some sort of support, but the latter only snickered, "You totally sniffed it, Prongs."

And suddenly Easton found herself completely enticed by Sirius Orion Black.

Again.

It was as if the whole Great Hall had narrowed to just him and his infectious, barking laughter filling the stone walls with its angelic melody. She couldn't take her eyes off his genuine, slightly mischievous smile, his ever ruffled raven hair that hung just above his shoulders in light waves. Ah.

Easton knew she was sick long before the illness really kicked in what with the sodding pixies in her stomach and complete loss of any self respect when it came to the grey-eyed Marauder. She'd been terminal for five years, ever since he'd pulled the most amazing prank on the Slytherins (her included, but Easton couldn't care less because seeing her cousin Evan covered in disgusting green goo was just precious).

For five years she'd been pining after Sirius Black and yet the only time he really acknowledged her existence was during Potions, in their fourth year, when James quite vocally deemed all Slytherins slimy bastards, and Sirius exclaimed "Oi Greengrass s'alright", upon hearing which, Easton'd almost toppled her cauldron.

"Black is rather fit, isn't he?" Daisy noted and took a bite of her roasted chicken in a manner that made Easton wonder what was really on her mind in that moment.

"I saw him on the pitch yesterday," chipped in another girl whose name Easton didn't even bother to learn.

Their eyes were glued to the subject of the heated discussion, that Easton didn't really fancy being a part of. And yet there she was, right in he middle of it all the while staring deeply at her plate.

"The way he works that bat...Salazar, I don't care care if he's a blood traitor, he can Bludger me any time."

Easton almost choked on her pumpkin juice.

"I've heard he's dating that Mudblood McKinnon"

"Sirius black doesn't date, Irma," Daisy scoffed, "Esme Clearwater from Ravenclaw once said that he's simply shameless and that thing he does with his—"

"Clearwater shagged him?" Felicity almost laughed at such ridiculous and apparently false statement, "she probably had a dream about it and thought it was true. Honestly, how she got sorted into Ravenclaw is beyond me, that girl can't even get into their Common Room most of the time."

Yes, it was true. Easton once saw poor Esme screaming at the merciless door knocker ordering it to open and let her in. She'd been on in for at least an hour, until someone finally came to her rescue.

"Whatever, my parents would kill me if I got mixed up with him anyway," the nameless girl sighed in pure sadness. How truly dreadful it was, the prospect of never getting to shag Sirius Black, to which Easton could relate on a deeply spiritual level.

"Some things are simply worth dying for, Margery."

Oh, so that was her name.

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