Disclaimer: This story is a prequel to the Harry Potter series, and it belongs to JK Rowling. All information belongs to her and to the HP Lexicon, except for the OC's. Author's Note: I hope you enjoyed chapter one... This one is a bit lengthier. I'm cutting out things like the carriage ride from Hogsmeade and the Sorthing Hat song, because I like keeping things brief and I don't enjoy "filler" chapters. So I'll probably be putting in important info only throughout the whole story. Once again... Seen something out of order? Tell me! We're not told precisely how old the Black sisters are, which is why I've decided to put them in years of my choice. Just for the record - Narcissa and Andromeda aren't twins, they differ by ten months. All the names mentioned in the Sorting should be familiar... I'm not randomly making anyone up. Please read/review!
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CHAPTER 2 - The Slytherin Turncoats
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September - October, 1971
The smoke-filled platform of nine and three-quarters began filling with children and their parents long before the Hogwarts Express was due to depart. Footsteps could be heard rushing over the stone floor, and trolleys wopshing out from the barrier. Older students spoke in loud voices and greeted each other cheerfully, while the first years clung to their parents timidly. Especially the Muggle-born children, who had no siblings at Hogwarts and to whom the concept of Magic was brand-new.
Sirius Black eyed the Muggle-borns with distaste. He stayed close to his mother and his cousins. Bellatrix, the eldest, was already a fourth year. Sirius disliked her, although he didn't dare tell anyone that. Bellatrix could be very intimidating, and he didn't want an enemy like that at school. Narcissa, a snobby-looking blond, always tried to copy her, and he was sure it would be the same way at Hogwarts. Sirius secretly preferred Andromeda, the youngest out of the three. She was more like him; with a good up-bringing, but more open and cheerful. She and Narcissa would both be entering their first year along with Sirius, and it was expected that they would all become Slytherins. No one in their family had ever been anything else (except for a dodgy uncle in Ravenclaw, but that was a forbidden subject).
"What are you staring at the Mudbloods for? Turn the other way," Mrs. Black snapped.
Sirius sighed, and his eyes wandered off in a different direction. He didn't know what exactly it was about Muggle-borns that made them inferior - his parents had never explained - but it had to be something bad. Instead, Sirius watched a bespectacled boy with messy raven hair with interest. He looked somewhat nervous; everyone was. But he had also made a comment that brought laughter from the people surrounding him.
"Who's that?" Sirius asked his mother.
She always knew every single person in the Wizarding world, it seemed. Unless they had a suspicious background.
"Oh, those are the Potters. Purebloods, but I don't know of what sort... They don't mingle too much with our circle."
Sirius wasn't really satisfied with the answer. Purebloods that kept to themselves were rare, and all the more interesting. He decided to investigate further when they got onto the train.
"I-I think it's time for us to get on..." Andromeda stammered.
It looked as though she was hiding behind her long black hair, and her cheeks were beginning to turn bright red. Like other Black girls, she wasn't used to being outside in public. On top of that, she had a bad case of shyness.
Sirius grabbed his trunks eagerly, along with the cage that held his owl Kla. It was a dark, brooding owl, with no sense of humour at all. Sirius wished he could buy himself a new one, or a cat like Andromeda had, but his mother was unyielding. She wanted good results at Hogwarts before handing out any more animals.
"Well? Get a move on!" Mrs. Black snarled at Narcissa, who had been gazing at a man with an eye-patch. They all gathered their things, and awkwardly said goodbye. Sirius felt uncomfortable seeing the families around him enveloped in hugs, and quickly headed for the train.
"I don't want any complaints! You listen to your cousin Bella!" Mrs. Black cried after them, and Sirius pretended not to hear. He helped Andromeda carry her luggage into the Hogwarts Express, while Narcissa hurried along with Bellatrix.
"I'm taking only one of you with me!" Bellatrix threatened. "I don't want a bunch of first years sitting with me and my friends."
Honestly Sirius couldn't care less, he was glad to be rid of his two least favorite cousins. He and Andromeda watched them leave, and set themselves to the task of finding an empty compartment. They dragged their belongings into one after the other, met everywhere by seats already occupied by students.
"This is hopeless," Andromeda complained, looking disgruntled. They were about to give up when one of the doors slid open, and the raven-haired boy Sirius had seen earlier beckoned them.
"In here! We've got more than enough space," he cried, flashing them a bright grin. Andromeda turned bright red again, but gathered her courage and followed Sirius into the compartment.
"Hello, I'm Sirius Black," he said to the boy, who had dropped back into his seat. He was stuffing himself with Chocolate Frogs, and could only nod in acknowledgement.
"And I'm Andromeda Black," Andromeda added somewhat lamely. She sat down carefully in a seat opposite the strange boy, and opened one of her trunks to let out her cat. The multi-coloured feline immediately settled on her lap.
"Well, I'm completely delighted to meet you," the boy replied, after swallowing a considerable amount of chocolate."I'm James Potter... What are you? First years?" He eyed them judgingly.
"Yeah, we're new," Sirius grunted, feeling slightly annoyed that it was so obvious. He felt that he looked thirteen, at least. Even Andromeda told him so sometimes.
"Same here. Hungry?" James offered them some of his Chocolates good-naturedly. Andromeda politely declined, but Sirius quickly launched himself on a mouth-ful.
"Wow... Don't you eat anything at home?" James asked, and Sirius reddened.
"Of course I do... Mother just hates us eating unhealthy food, that's all."
James looked extremely sorry for him, and pulled more snacks from his bag. When Sirius proceeded to devouring all of those, too, Andromeda turned to look out of the window in embarrasment. That James Potter would think they came from the poorest family on earth!
"So... You're a Pureblood, aren't you?" Sirius asked, trying to make conversation. James' face had been pleasant before, but now he scowled.
"That's right. I should have known you were one of those..." He didn't finish what he was saying, and Sirius' curiosity peaked.
"One of what? Say it, go on!"
Andromeda was watching them again. Not even the green landscapes shooting past were as interesting as the looks on the two boys' faces.
"One of those Wizards that think Muggle-borns and Half-bloods are scum," James spat.
Sirius paled. He had never met anyone like that in his life... But it was what his family felt. How would James react if he told him that? They had just been getting along well, he didn't really want the boy to hate him.
"I don't think so!" Sirius said hastily. "I was just asking, that's all."
Andromeda coughed, but said nothing. She wasn't about to betray her cousin. As Sirius had hoped, the grin reappeared on James' face.
"No harm done! Fancy a game of Exploding Snap? They've told me it takes four days to get all the way to Hogwarts, we might as well have something to do on the way."
Sirius quickly agreed, and soon he and James were involved in series of matches that always ended in a stray card flying up and exploding in Andromeda's face. Finally she had enough, and moved safely to the other end of the compartment. Her cat Rainbow also looked very dissaproving and followed her owner, slightly scorched at the tail. When an old witch with a trolley arrived selling food, Sirius quickly treated them all on Pumpkin juice to prove that his family wasn't living off breadcrumbs.
They were startled when one of the doors slid open, and Narcissa Black walked into the compartment. She looked as though it was an awful bore to be coming up to them, and swung back her blond hair casually. Apparently hanging out with her sister's older friends had given her a bit of an ego.
"Sirius, Andromeda... What are you doing still dressed like that? We have to change into our school robes, Bellatrix told me so. We're arriving in less than half an hour."
She closed the door again, and Rainbow hissed menacingly.
"Who was that?" James asked, raising an eyebrow.
"My cousin, Narcissa," Sirius replied darkly. "Thinks a lot of herself, that one."
James looked unimpressed.
"I don't see why. I'm not one for blonds; and she has a nasty look about her."
Andromeda positively glowed. Narcissa always told her how ugly she was; it was refreshing to hear someone say she wasn't much to look at herself.
Sirius got up from his seat and started changing into his school robes. James looked a bit apprehensive with Andromeda's presence, but she turned around to give him some privacy. As they were straightening up and waiting for the Hogwarts Express to arrive, Sirius turned to James and grinned.
"Four days, huh?"
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"I don't know, James... All I have to do is sit down and the Hat will put me where it wants? That sounds a bit unreliable," Sirius hissed, as they were standing in line to be Sorted.
The first years felt very uncomfortable, with hundreds of eyes fixed on them. The common fears - tripping or making a fool of oneself - were in all of their minds. One by one, the eleven-year-olds had to walk forwards to the strict looking woman with a bun on her head and pull an old, patchy Sorting Hat over their heads. So far, "Avery, Demetrius", had been put into Slytherin and "Bagman, Otto", into Gryffindor. Andromeda was next, and she looked as though about to face some sort of horrible monster.
"Black, Andromeda!" The strict witch called out, and Andromeda wobbled nervously to the front. She sat down on the stool and jammed the Hat over her head, hiding her red face from the crowd.
"What is she hoping for?" James whispered to Sirius, and he shrugged.
"I dunno. Slytherin, I s'pose."
James looked disgusted. Suddenly Sirius wasn't so sure of what he wanted anymore. To be in Slytherin was something that came naturally in their family... It would be an outrage, a shame if someone wasn't...
Sirius looked up, stupefied. His eyes met with those of his cousin, wide and fearful. She shook her head as though not daring to believe. Andromeda, the first Gryffindor in their family... For as long as anyone could remember.
"I can't believe it... What a disgrace!" Narcissa muttered, frowning.
She pushed the other students aside to get to the front, and gave her sister a dirty look as she passed. The Sorting Hat had barely touched Narcissa's head before it cried "SLYTHERIN!"
Looking pleased with herself, Narcissa got up again and headed for a place next to Bellatrix at the Slytherin table.
As though in a trance, Andromeda had sat down at the Gryffindor table. She was greeted by beaming students, but it looked as though with the shock that she had just gotten, nothing was going to cheer er up.
Sirius walked to the stool with lead in his shoes. There was an incredible conflict going on in his head. He didn't want to shame his family... But at the same time, he didn't want to be in a House with Bellatrix and Narcissa. Maybe if he was to be put in Gryffindor as well, no one would blame Andromeda too much...
Breathing heavily, Sirius sat down onto the stool and placed the Sorting Hat onto his head. A mysterious, eager voice filled his head.
I see the wit of a Ravenclaw... Loyalty of a Hufflepuff... The ambition and trouble-making of a Slytherin... And you're also very, very brave... Where to put you?
Sirius stared ahead of him, stony faced. He suddenly caught sight of James Potter giving him a thumbs-up, and felt as though he was having an epifany. He could bear the family shame... If being a Gryffinfor meant you were brave, he was certainly brave facing an enraged Mrs. Black.
Smiling from ear to ear, Sirius Black went down to meet his cousin. After "Crockford", "Diggory", "Dearborn", "Evans", "Edgecombe", "Fawcett", "Gudgeon", "Jones", "Jugson", "Pettigrew", "Prewett", "Prewett" and "Perks", James Potter accompanied his new friend.
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