Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Make Them Gold

1991, Prologue: Not Very Malfoy-Like

by nevilleslongbottom 0 reviews

in which asterope malfoy proves once more that she's not very malfoy-like . . . | alternatively: aurelia black is born . . .

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Characters: Bellatrix,Draco,George,Lupin,Neville,Tom Riddle - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2021-01-02 - Updated: 2021-01-02 - 9496 words

                "DIDN'T YOU GET any sleep last night, wee moon," Mae Macleod asks Asterope Malfoy who is more commonly known as Aurelia Malfoy because her first name is usually too much of a mouthful even for her parents. Mae Macleod is the Malfoy's Squib maid, she's been with the Black Family longer than she had been with her own family and Aurelia Malfoy had taken a liking to the older woman. She runs a brush through the young girl's thick curls as she asks the question. Her Scottish accent is thick and though over the years Aurelia has grown accustomed to it, in her sleepy state, it takes a few minutes for her to process what Mae has said.

                Finally, Aurelia shakes her head and tries to stifle a yawn but fails to do. Mae smiles fondly at her as she starts to braid Aurelia's blue hair.

                "You know we're off to Diagon Alley today," Mae queries, "You have got a long day ahead o' you, wee moon."

                "I know," Aurelia says softly, the Scottish lilt of her voice makes Mae grin.

                "So, how come you didn't sleep last night?"

                Aurelia shrugs.


                Aurelia shakes her head.


                She shrugs again.

                "The scars?"

                Aurelia shrinks in her seat, suddenly finding the floor much more interesting than the mirror.

                Mae sighs softly "Wee moon, no one will see them —"

                "But I can't always hide them, I'm not good at controlling it!" Aurelia exclaims, her hairs turns white which only proves her point.

                Mae grabs her chin gently and turns Aurelia's head so that they are facing each other "Calm your nerves, wee moon, I'll see if your father will allow you more lessons with Tonks."

                "M'kay." Aurelia mumbles, still frowning.

                Mae presses a kiss to her nose "You've got nothin' to worry about when I'm around, wee moon!"

                Looking slightly less worried than before, Aurelia giggles and nods her head.

                Mae smiles and lets go of her chin "Well, your locks are all prettied up. I have to go and wake your brother up now." she says with a shake of her head, "He's worse than your father when it comes to mornin's!"

                Once the Squib has left Aurelia's room, she frowns. Looking at her face in the mirror, Aurelia has to hold back tears at the sight of the scars marring the right side of her face. The sounds of her screams and animalistic growls echo in her mind, her slender fingers graze over the smaller ones next to larger one and she struggles not break down in tears. Aurelia squeezes her eyes and tries her best to concentrate on making her scars go away but when she opens her eyes the most she could do is make them a bit smaller.

                She lets out a pitiful whine, her hair turning gold.

                Her Metamorphmagus abilities are next to dismal, the most she can do is occasionally her hair the colour she wants but most of the time all it does is make her stand out like a sore thumb. Aurelia is often referred to as the 'odd one out' by her parents' friends and as much as she hates it, they aren't wrong. It seems the only thing that makes her a Malfoy is her name, she doesn't share the same appearance as them, sometimes and although Aurelia tries she doesn't share the same beliefs as them, she doesn't act like them. Most of the time she feels like an outcast in her own home.

                She sighs sadly and represses the urge to throw her mirror on the ground. Aurelia wishes she looks more like her brother, after all he is her twin brother and they should, at least, look sort of alike. Her and Draco couldn't be anymore different. He's pale-haired, pale-skinned, freckle-less, and well-behaved. Aurelia is the exact opposite of him. The only thing the twins share in common are the fact they're spoiled brats.

                Aurelia looks into the mirror again and her annoyance flares at the sight of the myriad of freckles on her face. She doesn't have much time to think about how much she loathes them as her brother comes knocking on her door.

                He's got more energy than usual "Lia! Lia! It's today!" Draco screams, "We're going today! We get our wands today!"

                Draco practically leaps over her bed to get to her and when he does he tackles her into a hug.

                "Today," He squeals.

                Aurelia squirms in his grasp "Today," she squeals although less enthusiastically than him.

                "Aren't you excited," He asks excitedly.

                "Yes," Aurelia replies but she doesn't sound the least bit excited.

                Draco is not deterred by her cynical tone because he knows that she's excited but as usual she's letting her pessimistic thoughts get in the way.

                "We're going to Hogwarts! We're going to make so many new friends!"

                Aurelia snorts at this "You are, I'm not."

                Draco has always been the more outgoing twin and while Aurelia isn't shy by any means, she had always been the more quiet twin. Most of the friends her brother has should've been her friends too but most of them don't like how quiet she is so they stuck with Draco. Then after the werewolf attack she became even more quiet, her parents seem to like her better that way.

                She had lost most of her friends after the attack, Pansy Parkinson and Theodore Nott are the only ones that still call her a friend but even then they still play with Draco more. At least they have the decency to look her in the eyes when the come over for a playdate.

                He frowns, grabbing her face and peppering kisses all over the scarred half of her face. It's something Draco has done since the attack, he likes to think that doing that will make her feel better and sometimes it does.

                "You'll make lots of friends, Lia! Your scars are awesome, you fought a werewolf and that's amazing!"

                Aurelia shrugs "I didn't fight a werewolf, it tried to use me as its' chew-toy."

                "Dad says he saw you punch it before he could intervene," Draco says.

                "I thought that might've worked," Aurelia whispers sheepishly.

                "So you did fight a werewolf," Draco says, his grey eyes wide with wonder.

                Aurelia opens her mouth to argue but pauses, Draco's way too stubborn and she's way too stressed out to start a fight "Sure, I fought a werewolf."

                Draco grins and places several more kisses on her scars before letting her go "By the way, mum made chocolate chip waffles — your favourite," He tells her then runs out of her room almost barrelling into Mae who moves out of the way just in time.

                "I haven't seen the tyke that excited since your father brought those brooms for the both of you."

                Aurelia laughs quietly, she wishes she can be as happy as her brother.

                "I've got a surprise for you, wee moon." Mae tells Aurelia who perks up at the word 'suprise'.

                "A surprise?"

                "Aye, it's make-up. . . Special make-up that'll help hide your scar. It's magic, I had mukker o' mine charm it for you," Mae explains, revealing a jar of alabaster-coloured creme that she had hid behind her back.

                Aurelia throws herself at Mae, sobbing "Thank — thank you, Mae." as she hugs the squib tightly.

                "Anythin' for you, wee moon," Mae says softly, smoothing Aurelia's hair down.

                "Can you put it on me now," Aurelia questions.

                Mae smiles softly "O' Course! O' course!"


                HAVING HER SCARS hidden from sight makes Aurelia feel a thousand times more excited about the trip to Diagon Alley. But, she's upset by the fact that her parents have left her in the company of Mae, they usually do this but Aurelia had thought that since no one can see her scars they might've taken her with them.

                She's used to them doing this, they always take her brother with them and leave her with Mae — their Squib maid. Thanks to this, Aurelia has become rather attached to Mae despite the fact she is a Squib and should be treated as dirt.

                Aurelia sighs dejectedly as her parents tug Draco away from Aurelia and down the street of the alley. Draco isn't the least bit thrilled that Aurelia won't be joining them and almost threw a fit about it but their dad had pulled him away before he could start screaming.

                Mae places a comforting hand on Aurelia's shoulder.

                "You want to get your wand first," She asks.

                Aurelia nods her head quickly, a small smile forming on her face. At least I have Mae, she thinks.

                "Let's go get your wand then, wee moon," Mae says giddily, "Oooh, this is gonna be excitin'! When I took little Ellie for his wand he went through about ten wands before he found the perfect wand. It had Ollivander quite frazzled."

                Ellie — or rather, Elias is the boy Mae cares for. He's her adoptive son and Aurelia's met him twice, her parents think that Regulus is his father because they look so much alike but they can't tell for certain. If Elias is in fact his son than that would mean, Regulus would've lived longer than everyone thought and that would mean he's a Traitor because he ran from the Dark Lord, or Voldemort as Aurelia calls him. Either way, Ellie's like family to Aurelia even though they don't see each other often.

                Before they got to Ollivander's, Mae spots her sister-in-law and her kids so she pulls Aurelia in the opposite direction of the wand shop.

                "Oi, I see Molly with her little ones, maybe you can make some friends," Mae tells Aurelia.

                Instinctively, Aurelia's hands move to cover her face only to remember that no one can see her scar because of the make-up. She swallows thickly and allows Mae to drag her over to the family of redheads.

                She knows they're the Weasleys and she has mixed feelings on them. She has been raised to hate them but she doesn't because neither Mae or her Aunt Andromeda hate them and a lot of times Aurelia finds herself siding with them instead of her parents though she doesn't mean to. She just doesn't like to be mean to people even if they're less than she is.

                Aurelia tugs on Mae's shirt "Are they nice," she wonders.

                Mae looks down at Aurelia, she smiles and nods "O' course, they're nice! I wouldn't be introducin' you to them if they weren't."

                "Molls," She calls out to the other redhead.

                Aurelia can see Molly Weasley tense up but her children start grinning.

                "Auntie Mae," The little girl exclaims.

                "Awright there, wee Ginerva," Mae greets.

                The twin boys share looks of shock and whisper to each other, Aurelia covers her face and wonders if her scars are showing; Ginerva rushes forward and hugs Mae.

                "What are you doing here, Aunt Mae," One of the twins asks.

                "Where's Ellie," The other asks.

                "Ellie went to Lee's house for the day and I'm takin', Aurelia here, shopping for her school supplies," Mae replies.

                The Weasley children turn their attention on Aurelia.

                "Who are you," One of the twins asks.

                "She just said my name," Aurelia says without thinking.

                The oldest of the kids hides a small grin by looking away, the twins share another look, the tall boy laughs from behind his mother, and Ginerva snickers.

                "I like her! Her hair is cool! Friends," Ginerva says, holding out her hand for Aurelia to shake.

                Aurelia hesitates, her dad would never allow this but he's not here at the moment so she looks to Mae who nods and gently nudges Aurelia forward.

                She shakes Ginerva's hand "Friends."

                Ginerva grins "I'm Ginny by the way! Never call me Ginerva, only Auntie Mae can do that because she sounds funny when she says it. Do you have a nickname, your name's kind of a mouthful, I'm gonna call you, Blue!"

                Aurelia blinks and nods "Okay."

                She looks to Mae who laughs and pats her head "She's a talkative one, ain't she?"

                Aurelia nods and Ginny blushes "It's okay though, I like it."

                Mae points at the children "That's Percy, that's Fred and that's George, and that tree right there is, Ronniekins!"

                The tall one turns red and exclaims "My name's Ron!"

                Mae grins teasingly at him then turns to Aurelia and says: "He's goin' to be startin' Hogwarts this year."

                Aurelia observes Ron. They're a lot alike, she thinks, they're both tall and lanky although she's not as tall as him, she's just tall for her age, they're both covered in freckles, and they're both trying to use their mother\ mother figures as shield but are failing to do so.

                Ron smiles shyly at her and she decides she likes him so she holds her hand out for him to shake "Friends?"

                "Friends," He agrees, shaking her hand.

                "Hey," The one that Aurelia thinks is Fred exclaims.

                "What about us," George cries. He's got a lower voice than Fred, Aurelia notes, he's also got a mole on the right side of his neck that Fred doesn't have.

                "You want to be my friends too," Aurelia asks, shocked.

                The twins nod and grin.

                "We all want to be your friends, you can't escape us now," Fred says jokingly.

                Aurelia freezes, her eyes fill with tears and she presses herself into Mae. The twins' amusement turns to confusion. Aurelia breathes heavily, suddenly feeling trapped. You can't escape me now, little girl, the woman croons, Greyback will be so pleased I've found you.

                Aurelia's heart begins to race — this can't be happening.

                She's dead. She's dead. She's dead. The woman lets out a howl of pain, struggling towards Aurelia who blinks desperately trying to banish that woman from her mind.

                "Do you have a wand?" Ginny asks but Aurelia doesn't respond, she doesn't even look at Ginny.

                Aurelia grips onto Mae's shirt with all her strength, feeling the smooth material against her trembling fingertips against her trembling fingertips. This isn't happening, Aurelia tells herself. It can't be happening but there's that woman standing right before her in those woods — no, in the alley that she stands in but that can't be.

                Come — come here, little girl, the woman calls out to Aurelia, her voice's pained. Her blonde, dishevelled hair hiding most of her scarred face. Aurelia feels a crippling fear welling up in her chest. Come here, little — little girl, please, her bones begin to crack loudly and the woman cries out painfully, almost falling at Aurelia's feet —

                "Do you have a wand?" Ginny asks again, tugging gently on Aurelia cloak though her mother and aunt tell her not to.

                Aurelia blinks, the woman's gone, finally. She's in Diagon Alley not in the forest. Aurelia grips Mae's cloak tightly, that woman is dead, Aurelia tells herself, she can't hurt you again, but she was right there and it felt so real. Her fear starts to dissipate but the anxiety remains. She looks at the Weasleys hesitantly and they're all staring at her with concerned and confused expressions.

                Ginny waves her hand in front of Aurelia's face "Hello? I said "Do you got a wand?", well do you?"

                This startles Aurelia and she buries her face into Mae's cloak. She feels as though she's just woken up from a deep sleep filled with nightmares, Aurelia is so tired, she leans into Mae's side almost too tired to stand on her own, her legs are shaking as badly as her heart is pounding in her chest.

                "Ginny, don't do that, leave the poor girl be," Molly scolds.

                Ginny huffs, not understanding the situation.

                "No, she ain't got a wand, not yet at least. We were just headin' to Ollivander's when I spotted you lot, thought I'd come say hi." Mae says, rubbing circles on Aurelia's back.

                "How nice of you, Mae," Molly says coolly.

                Mae grows tense but she smiles nevertheless "It's always nice to see you, Molls and the kids, o' course. Well, Aurelia's very excited to get her wand and I best not keep her waitin'."

                They say their goodbyes and Ginny even hugs her, with that Mae steers Aurelia away from the Weasleys.

                "Mae, is . . . Is there something wrong with me . . . That — that thing happened to me again," Aurelia whimpers.

                Mae bends down to her eye level "There's nothin' wrong with you, Asterope Aurelia Malfoy, you went through a very traumatic ordeal and your still healing —"

                "It's been two years!"

                "You almost died, that's not something you get over quickly, Aurelia —"

                 "I want to get my wand now," Aurelia says simply but firmly.

                Mae sighs as Aurelia gives her a blank stare "Asterope . . . Darling, are you sure you don't want to go home we can do this another day, I know you must be tired —"

                "No, I'm fine," Aurelia says indignantly even though she was far from fine and she wanted to crawl right back into bed, "I want to get my wand . . . And maybe, some ice cream after."

                Mae laughs lightly "Alright, wee moon, let's go get your wand . . . As for ice cream, I think I can do something better than that."

                "What do you mean?"

                "You'll see, my darling donum vitae," Mae says, flashing Aurelia a mischievous smile.


                OLLIVANDER'S IS BUSY when they arrive, there's about five kids in there and three of them take about twenty minutes each getting their wands. One hits Aurelia right in the face with an empty wand box but she's cute so Aurelia lets it go and the last one sets Ollivander's eyebrows on fire. Three times. Even with the right wand.

                Finally, it's Aurelia's turn.

                "Hello, Mr. Ollivander." She greets politely.

                He studies her for a moment, glancing at Mae before he speaks: "Ah, Miss. Malfoy, here for your wand I see. . ."

                He disappears into the back of the shop, Aurelia can hear him muttering to himself as he rummages through the shelves. She's always had good hearing but after that incident, it has gotten better. Aurelia glances around the shop, Mae is doing the same thing only she seems to be more excited.

                There's a wand on the front desk that captivates her attention, she moves closer to inspect it. Aurelia notes that it's made of Cypress wood, she can tell just by looking at it, Cypress trees are her favourite. Her favourite artist, Vincent Van Gogh had painted them a lot and she paints them a lot to, Vincent Van Grow, her tree, is her always her model.

                Mr. Ollivander is still rummaging around so she grabs the box and reads the label.

Cypress Wood, Thestral Hair Core, 12 in.

                She didn't think that she'd ever find a wand made out of Thestral hair here. She had once read that they are used more in the wands in far off places. She knows that there's a wand-maker named, Xiang Yuhan, who is famous for using Thestral hair for his wands, they took what other wand-makers thought impossible and made it look effortless.

                Aurelia picks up the wand and it's lighter than she expects. It feels right, the wand fits perfectly in her hand. So, she gives it a wave like she's seen her mum and dad do some many times before and little stars and moons burst from the tip of the wand. She thinks she's found her wand, Aurelia looks at Mae who is beaming with pride.

                "Mr. Ollivander, sir," Aurelia calls out, "I think I've found my wand."

                He reappears a few seconds later holding quite a few wand boxes, he looks surprised as he asks: "Have you, Miss. Malfoy."

                "I think so," Aurelia nods.

                "Hmmm, that is most surprising indeed, you pegged me as the type witch a wand would have difficulty choosing," He says.

                She narrows her eyes. Is that an insult? She wonders, it sounds like an insult, in fact it sounds like the worst insult a wand-maker can say to someone.

                "No matter, no matter . . . Tell me, Miss. Malfoy, what wand has chosen you?"

                She sheepishly presents the wand to him. The realisation that she had touched something without permission is only hitting her now.

                "That is quite surprising, Miss. Malfoy. I've had that wand for over a century now, it was created by my great, great grandmother, she had been quite proud of that wand, Thestral hair is one if not the most difficult to use in wand-making. When I was a young boy she often told me that the hair came from the very Thestral in the tale of the Unicorn and the Thestral tale."

                Aurelia's eyes light up, she knows that tale off by heart. Her mum and dad read that to her and Draco all the time, it's their favourite bedtime story.


                Mr. Ollivander grabs another display box "She made a wand with the hair from the Unicorn but she told me that the Unicorn hair wouldn't cooperate with the Cypress wood for reasons she couldn't understand so she used Cherry wood. Your wand here gave her a hard time and for decades she was nervous to put up for sale and when she did most people refused to even try it because of its core."

                "Thestrals ain't that bad," Aurelia says softly, "They're just misunderstood and weird looking."

                Mr. Ollivander gives her a weird look but nods his head, she hands him the money for the wand and leaves with Mae.

                "I wonder what kind of wand Draco's gonna get," Mae says to Aurelia.

                She shrugs her shoulders, studying her wand "M'not sure, probably something boring."

                Mae laughs and shakes her head "you seem real impressed with that wand of yers, wee moon."

                "Oh, I am," Aurelia says, "I think Draco should be at Madam Maulkin's right now, can we go there . . . I wanna rub it in his face that my wand is cooler than his is!"

                "I don't think he's got his wand yet, wee moon," Mae says.

                "So, why would that stop me from bragging about my wand?"

                "What if his wand ends up being cooler than yours?"

                Aurelia snorts "As if. . . So, can we!"

                "We can. . ." Mae says, she then points at the Magical Menagerie, ". . . Or we could get you that cat you've always wanted.

                Aurelia stops walking to gape at Mae "But — but — but dad said I ain't allowed to have a pet!"

                "Well, I say that you can because you deserve one," Mae argues, "It's not like he has to take care of it, it'll be with you at Hogwarts for most of the year."

                "You could get in trouble for going against his wishes," Aurelia says fearfully, she doesn't want to lose Mae.

                "I won't get in trouble, your mum says you can get a cat, she knows you've wanted a cat for years now so she agrees with me. If your dad as anythin' to say against it, he'll have to deal with her. Merlin have mercy on him if he does."

                "Oh," Aurelia mumbles, smiling "I can get a cat? I can actually get a cat?!"

                "Yes, wee moon, you can get a cat," Mae replies, smiling.

                Aurelia squeals excitedly and runs towards the Magical Menagerie. Mae follows after her, she doesn't have the heart to scold Aurelia for running off. This is the happiest she's been in a long time.

                Aurelia pushes her way through the door of the shop and begins to look for the cat she wants. It doesn't take her long to find the one she wants. Mae comes to rest at her side and Aurelia points at the little kitten she wants so badly.

                "That one, Mae. I want that one," Aurelia says firmly.

                It's a black cat, oh the irony, Mae blinks at it shocked. She wonders if Aurelia can remember that as the little cat looks exactly like her.

                "Can I have it, please, Mae, please!"

                "Of course, wee moon, why don't you go find the owner and ask her to let the cat out," Mae says offhandedly as she stares down the tiny cat. Aurelia nods eagerly and turns on her heel to go and find the owner.

                Once, Aurelia is out of ear shot, Delphi leans down towards the cat's cage and whispers "Is that — is that you?"

                The cat stares at her with vibrant blue eyes and Mae stares right back. Sweet Merlin, she was going to have to visit Azkaban this week, wasn't she?

                Aurelia comes running back a few moments later and excitedly tells Mae: "It's a boy — I'm gonna name it Freddie Purrcury!"


                WEEKS HAVE PASSED since the trip to Diagon Alley, it's now the morning of September first and Aurelia Malfoy is finally going to Hogwarts. She's got her wand, she's got her little kitten who likes to sit on her shoulder instead of the cage she bought for him, she's got everything she needs for Hogwarts. Unlike her brother, who not only slept in but had forgot to finish packing the night before.

                Yet, somehow he's the one getting a more affectionate goodbye. He almost made them late for the train had it not been for the fact their mum had relented and used a little magic to help him pack. Her parents seems to have forgotten this as they praised and dotted on him in that moment as Aurelia stood of to the side. They had already given her their goodbyes, her mum gave her a kiss and hug and tearful goodbye, her dad gave her a kiss on the forehead and a stiff hug. Then they tossed her aside for Draco.

                Aurelia blinks away tears, as usual she's the least favourite, she's the odd one out, and she's not sure what she had done wrong to be treated this way. She turns to Mae. Even though Mae's a Squib and Aurelia shouldn't care about her, she does. More often than not, she finds herself looking to Mae for comfort instead of her parents, sometimes Aurelia feels that Mae is the only family she has next to Draco.

                Mae smiles sadly at Aurelia, bending down to her eye level "I'm gonna miss you, wee moon."

                Aurelia throws her arms around Mae's neck "I'm gonna miss you too, Mae!"

                Mae hugs her tightly, her warm embrace is the most comforting thing Aurelia knows.

                "Mae . . . What if — what if I don't get into Slytherin?" Aurelia whispers, finally asking the question that's been plaguing her mind since she had turned eleven.

                "Nothin' will happen," Mae whispers back.

                Aurelia shakes her head and pulls away "No. . . Maybe for Draco but — but not for me."

                "Nothin' will happen, wee moon, I promise you. No matter which house your sorted into, nothin' will happen because I won't let it," Mae says firmly.

                Aurelia hugs her again, Mae pats her back "Now, before you get on that train, I want to take a picture!"

                For the first time in two years, Aurelia doesn't object to having her picture taken. Instead she grins brightly and nods her head.

                Mae smiles, pulling a camera out of her handbag "Okay, smile!"

                "I'm already smiling!" Aurelia says, striking a pose.

                Mae chuckles and snaps the photo. When Aurelia hears the click of the camera, she drops her pose and skips over to Mae. Aurelia straightens out her yellow dress and buttons up the jean jacket she had gotten from her cousin, Nym, who had outgrown it. Mae smooths out Aurelia's pigtailed braids.

                "Oh, you've grown so fast, wee moon!"

                Aurelia turns as red as Mae's hair and for the third time hugs her "See you soon, Mae."

                "Aye, wee moon . . . Do you know what to do," Mae asks softly, gesturing to the barrier.

                She nods her head "Yes, I gotta run in between those two pillar things there to get to the platform. Are you gonna come with me?"

                Mae frowns "No, wee moon."

                Her expression is torn between disdain and longing and Aurelia realises that she never got to go on Platform 9 and 3\4 the same way Aurelia's about to. She feels bad for even asking.

                "Oh, okay," Aurelia mumbles.

                "I'm sorry, wee moon," Mae apologises, placing a kiss on her forehead, "you have fun at Hogwarts, make friends and behave!"

                "I will, Mae!"

                Then Aurelia runs through the barrier, she looks around the platform trying to spot the Weasleys but she has no such luck and so she gets on the train. Aurelia finds herself an empty compartment, she doesn't bother trying to make any friends though she wants to, she highly doubts anyone will want to be her friend. She settles into the compartment and pulls out To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee to read.

                On her last visit to the Tonks, about a week ago, to get a better handle on her Metamorphmagus abilities, Nym had given her the book. Nym had said that she reminds her of Scout Finch on certain occasions. Aurelia's read the book twice now, it's become her favourite, and she's not exactly sure how she's anything thing like Scout Finch. She isn't reading for very long long when a nervous looking boy comes knocking on the compartment door.

                He's a plump little thing, about a foot shorter than herself, he's got light brown hair that Aurelia can just tell used to be blonde and greenish-brown eyes. He's familiar, Aurelia knows him from somewhere. The boy's round face is beet red and he looks around nervously as he stammers: "Can — Can I s — s — sit here? P — p — please, everywhere else is f — full."

                Aurelia knows this can't be true, the train had only just started moving twenty minutes ago. She nods anyway, she'll feel too bad if she doesn't let him sit with her. He rushes into the compartment and takes a seat right next to her despite the open seat across from them.

                "I'm N — Neville long — Longbottom," He blurts out.

                She knows that name. Well, bullocks! Aurelia definitely knows this boy, she can't think of where she knows him from but sweet Merlin, she knows him. His face is too familiar to her. In the same way that her Aunt Bellatrix is familiar to her, she's seen the woman's face, she's got clear memories of her but Aurelia doesn't know where they came from because her mum and dad insist that Aunt Bellatrix had only around her and Draco a few times.

                Neville waves his had in front of her face.

                "Huh," Aurelia mumbles, blinking.

                "Are — Aren't you go — gonna tell me you — your name?" Neville asks.

                "Oh!" Yeah, I — I'm Asterope Malfoy but you can just call me Aurelia, it's much easier."

                Neville sits up straighter and smiles "You're related to Lyra Black?"

                She thinks for a moment then nods "Yeah, she's my aunt. . . I've only met her once though."

                Neville grins, saying: "She's my godmum! She — she told me about you."

                "Really? What did she say?"

                Nothing good, Aurelia knows that for certain, Lyra hates her and she had made that the clear the first and only time they had met.

                Neville's smile disappears "Oh, just — just that you'd be — be starting Hogwarts this — this year."

                Aurelia nods, though she knows he's lying. Between the fact she knows her aunt wouldn't hesitate to slander her and the fact Neville's voice got slightly higher.

                Changing the subject, Aurelia asks: "What's your toad's name?"

                He looks down at the toad in his hands "Trevor. . . What's your cat's name?"

                "Freddie," She replies, too embarrassed to tell Neville her cat's full name. She doubts he'll find it as funny as her cousin did.

                "What are you reading," Neville wonders.

                Aurelia's eyes light up "To Kill a Mockingbird. . ."

                "Why would you want to kill a mockingbird?"

                "Well, from what I've gathered, I don't think you're supposed to," Aurelia tells him and he looks at her confused.

                "Then why is is called To Kill a Mockingbird?"

                "I don't . . . I don't know, I've read it over and over again, I can't figure it out. I know there's a deeper meaning but I can't find it yet," Aurelia explains.

                "Maybe, try reading it out loud. Uh, that's what my grandpa use to tell me when I would learn hard words. You — You might see it in a, uh, a new light," Neville suggests.

                Aurelia stares at him, long and hard, he turns bright red as her green eyes burn into his skull. Then she smiles and tells him that he's brilliant, this only makes him turns even more red.

                "Do you mind if I do that now?"

                "No, uh, not at all. Um, go ahead," Neville says shyly, gesturing to the book with his chubby hands.

                Aurelia opens the book and begins to read, her Scottish accent transitions smoothly into a southern accent as she reads the book to him. It doesn't take long for Neville to be lulled to sleep with her very soothing and very impressive southern accent, his head rests upon her shoulder. She's very worried that he might drool on her but she's even more worried about waking him up. Aurelia falls asleep shortly after him, her head comes to rest upon his head and his hair is very fluffy. Between, the rhythmic sounds of the moving train and the fact that Aurelia had been having trouble sleeping the last couple of days, it's not long before Aurelia has fallen into a deep sleep.

                Their peaceful slumber only last two hours as Aurelia has a nightmare and wakes up screaming. She had been hoping to catch a break as she's had nothing but nightmare for the past week. Aurelia falls off the seat, trying to get away from the werwolf chasing after her. Her head slams against the opposite row of seats and her vision goes blurry as pain radiates in her skull. Neville's form is dark and huge as he looms over her — the werewolf, no no no — wake up, already! This is a dream, it has to be a dream.

                Neville leans over her and she shields her face from him, crying out for him to leave her alone.

                "What — what's happened," Neville questions in a panicked voice, "You — your hair!"

                Her hair has turned white with fright and in Neville's mind that has to be the reason that she's screaming, "What happened to your hair?

                She feels something wet and mildly warm on her shoulder — blood, what if this isn't a dream? Her vision is still blurry but she can see that it's bright around her, much too bright to be that night but why does she feel the blood from her wounds. Aurelia reaches up to her face, hesitantly, and feels that it's completely dry and she doesn't even feel her scars.

                Drool, she realises as Neville asks if she's alright in a very panicked tone, he had drooled on her. She's much to relieved that it's not blood to be mad at him still, she mumbles: "You drool when you sleep."

                "Oh, s — s — sorry, is — is that why you're screaming?"

                "No, I had a, um, I had a nightmare," Aurelia mumbles again.

                "Oh . . . Are you alright?"

                She nods, he helps her off the ground and back onto the seat.

                "Well, uh, what about you — your hair, it — it's white" Neville says and Aurelia's glad that he didn't ask about her nightmare.

                "Oh, yeah. . . It does that sometimes. . . I'm a Metamorphmagus."

                "You're a what?"

                "A — a — a Metamorphmagus. . . They can —"

                "I know what they are, they're rare! I've never met one before. Lyra said that her one niece, Nymph — Nymphadora was a Metamorphmagus. I think that's so cool!"

                She blushes at indirectly being called cool. Suddenly his eyes widen in horror as he looks wildly around their compartment.

                "Oh, no! I — I've lost Trevor again!"

                His toad must've hopped out of the compartment while they slept. Neville looks close to tears and Aurelia feels so bad for him.

                "Don't worry, we'll find him! We can look for him, I can go one way and you can go the other. Trevor can't have gone far . . . How does that sound?"

                "No, you don't have to Ari," Neville says and his lower lip quivers as he looks anxiously around the compartment again .

                "Well, I want to," Aurelia says pausing at the strangeness of the nickname he had given her. Aurelia had been given a lot of nicknames because it was always easier than Asterope but she never heard a nickname like that. Remembering there's a toad at large, she composes herself and says: "So, I'm going to! I can go this way and you can go that way."

                He relents easily, Neville sniffles and nods his head. So, they split up in search of Neville's lost toad.


                DURING HER QUEST for Trevor, Aurelia finds many things but he's not one of them. She finds a very mean Hufflepuff who compares her to her imprisoned Aunt Bellatrix, she finds the Boy-Who-Lived sitting with Ron Weasley, both of whom had already been asked by two other people about a toad. Aurelia finds another first year who offers her a seat in the compartment, she's wearing a Queen shirt and Aurelia knows that she'll have to befriend her at one point, for Nymphadora's sake at least.

                It seems that Neville had no such luck finding Trevor either. They reunite at Hogsmeade station when the train comes to a stop. Neville is empty-handed and distraught.

                "Don't worry, he'll turn up eventually," Aurelia reassures him.

                A giant man that Aurelia knows to be Hagrid calls over all the first years. Neville doesn't move an inch, clearly terrified by him. Aurelia grabs Neville's hand and leads him over with all the other first years.

                "Don't worry, Neville! Hagrid's harmless, my cousin told me so," Aurelia tells Neville who nods.

                "I — I know." He mumbles, his godmother works at Hogwarts as the Muggle Studies teacher, he knows a lot about the staff and he knows that Hagrid's really nice but he's still scared of him. Hagrid leads the first years to a bunch of boats.

                Aurelia pales at the sight of them, she internally screams at the lake before her. Oh, bloody hell! She hates water, she always has. It's been that way for as long as she can remember. Neville gets into the boat cautiously, afraid that he might tip it over. Aurelia still hasn't moved a muscle, so he gets out and helps her in. She sits down, clutching the side of the boat for dear life as Neville takes a spot next to her.

                Two other girls take a seat in the boat.

                "Are you alright," Neville wonders.

                She swallows thickly "Don't laugh, but . . . I'm afraid of water."

                "Can't you swim," One of the girls asks.

                Aurelia looks at her nervously before replying: "I can swim but water still scares me."

                The girl nods, playing with one of her blonde pigtails "I don't blame you, I can't even see the bottom — I'm Hannah, by the way! Hannah Abbott."

                "I'm Asterope Malfoy, but, please — please call me, Aurelia . . . Or like literally anything else."

                Hannah turns Neville, her pink face getting even pinker as she asks: "And you are?"

                "Neville Longbottom," Neville whispers.

                "I'm Olivia!" The other girl blurts out, "Olivia Newton and, yes, my mother knew exactly what she was doing when she named me."

                The three share a confused look, they don't understand what Olivia meant by that. But, Aurelia recognises Olivia as the one who had been wearing that Queen shirt on the train.

                "I'm a Muggle-Born," Olivia says brightly than flinches.

                While, Neville and Hannah show no signs of prejudice, Aurelia does though she doesn't mean to. Aurelia doesn't quite believe that Muggles and Muggle-Borns are below her to the extent that her parents do. In fact, she hardly believes it anymore, she did once but that had been before she had met her Uncle Ted. Still, it's a habit of hers to move away or frown at them when she sees one. Realising how rude that had been, Aurelia mutters an apology and leans into Neville. Olivia's no longer phased by her reaction as she continues to ramble on, excitedly. Olivia's no longer phased by her reaction as she continues to ramble on, excitedly.

                "How much do you know about Hogwarts? I tried to read it but that was too boring for me! I couldn't sit through even a few pages of Hogwarts: a History. My dad's a History professor and I love history but the books are always so boring, he tried to read it to me but I got distracted. I did happen to hear that there's a talking hat that places us into different house, or something like that — how do you think that works, what does that mean?"

                Aurelia knows the answer to this but she's too embarrassed to speak.

                "Yeah." Neville whispers, "My — my godmum works at Hogwarts . . . There's a Sorting Hat that will sort you into the different Hogwarts Houses."

                "Whoa! What are the houses?" Olivia gasps.

                "Well, there's Gryffindor for the brave, there's Slytherin for the ambitious, Raveclaw for the creative and wise, and Hufflepuff for the loyal. At least, that's how my godmum explained it to me."

                Aurelia almost sighs in relief. She's plenty of ambitious, so she's got a good chance of being sorted into Slytherin.

                "What house are y'all hoping to get into," Olivia asks them giddily.

                "Hufflepuff," Hannah answers proudly, "Most of my family has been in that house!"

                "My parents were in Gryffindor and I want to — to be in there as well but I — I don't think I'm brave enough."

                Suddenly it hits Aurelia, she knows Neville because of her Aunt Bellatrix. She tortured the Longbottoms, Alice and Frank, both of whom had been Gryffindors. That's why Aunt Bellatrix is in Azkaban now. Neville's parents are in St. Mungo's because of her aunt and he must know this because he knows Lyra and there's no way one can't tell she's related to Bellatrix. Oh, bloody hell!

                Aurelia frowns "That's not true, I think you're loads of brave! You wouldn't have sat with me if you weren't!"

                "What's that got to do with —" Olivia goes to ask but she's interrupted by Hannah.

                "Oh, look! Isn't it beautiful," Hannah exclaims excitedly.

                In the distance, Hogwarts can be seen. It's much larger than Aurelia expects. Much larger than Almerry Castle, which is the largest building Aurelia had seen prior to this.

                "Wow," Olivia gasps breathless, her dark brown eyes alight with excitement and wonder.

                Soon they arrive on the castle grounds, Hannah helps Aurelia out of the boat along with Neville, Olivia gets out of the boat just fine despite bouncing around excitedly.

                "Oi, you there, is this your toad," Hagrid asks after he checked the boat Neville had just left.

                "Trevor," Neville cries blissfully, grabbing his toad from Hagrid.

                Then Hagrid leads them up a passage way towards the castle. The closer they get to the castle, the more nervous Aurelia gets. She glances at Neville to see that he looks deeply saddened.

                "Hey, Neville?" She questions, "Why so blue?"

                Neville looks up and raises an eyebrow "That's green."

                Aurelia turns red, grabbing a handful of her hair. It is indeed green. Aurelia's not surprised by this, whenever she tries to make her a certain colour she usually gets it wrong; she's hopeless.

                "Oh, well . . . In that case, just ignore my joke completely!" Aurelia laughs nervously.

                Neville doesn't laugh and she worries that she's ruined any chance of friendship with him. He walks ahead of her and fear bubbles in the pit of her stomach. She matches his pace with ease, Aurelia bites her lip as she tries to think of a good ice-breaker. 'I fought a werewolf!' comes to mind multiple times like Draco encouraged she use but she'd rather not tell anyone about the ugly scars on her face just yet.

                Neville turns to her "Do — do you hate Muggle-Borns?"

                Aurelia stiffens.

                Lyra had told him to expect this but he's still disappointed by it nevertheless, he frowns "I — I saw how you reacted to — to that girl on the boat. . . If — if you —"

                "I don't hate Muggle-Borns!" Aurelia says.

                She's not sure why but she wants to be his friend so desperately.

                "You don't?"

                "No, I don't — I don't know," Aurelia starts to cry, "I don't know what I think," Aurelia hugs herself. She just wants friends even if those friends go against what she's supposed to believe.

                "I don't hate them," She says firmly.

                Neville nods and they continue their way up to Hogwarts. The group of first years soon arrive at the castle door, Hagrid knocks of the door and it swings open at once. A tall, strict-looking, black-haired witch stands in the doorway. From beside her, she hears Neville gulp loudly and she turns to him, he looks very intimidated by the witch.

                "That's Professor McGonagall." Aurelia whispers in his ear, "Nym tells me she's the bee's knees."

                Neville snorts quietly as Hagrid exchanges a few words with Professor McGonagall.

                "Bee's knees," Neville questions quietly, "Who even say — says that?"

                Professor McGonagall beckons the first years inside.

                "I do! All the time, it's fun to say," Aurelia gasps, pretending to be offended.

                Neville giggles and she gives him a pointed look.

                "Okay, okay . . . It's a little fun to say," He relents.

                "It's a lot of fun to say!" Aurelia says, grinning.

                Professor McGonagall leads them through the Entrance Hall to a small chamber just off the side.

                "Welcome to Hogwarts," She says, "The Start-Of-Term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your houses. The Sorting is a very important ceremony because, while you are here, your house will be something like your family within Hogwarts. You will have classes with the rest of your house, sleep in your house dormitory, and spend free time in your house common room."

                Aurelia shares a look with Neville, if she can't get into Slytherin then she hope she gets into Gryffindor — she just knows that he's going to be a Gryffindor — with him. Although, Aurelia doesn't think she has the qualities of a Gryffindor.

                "The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each house has its own noble history and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your house points, while any rule-breaking will lose house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the house cup, a great honor. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours. The Sorting Ceremony will take place in a few minutes in front of the rest of the school. I suggest you all smarten yourselves up as much as you can while you are waiting."

                Professor McGonagall's gaze lingers on Neville's cloak which is fastened under his left ear "I shall return when we are ready for you."

                She leaves the chamber and Aurelia suddenly feels sick to her stomach. Every Malfoy ever has been sorted into Slytherin, that's where she must go. Her dad, shortly after the twins had received their Hogwarts Acceptance Letter, had sat them down to answer their questions about Hogwarts. At one point, he had looked at them with that steely gaze of his and said: "You'll be in Slytherin, I know that for certain." which in Aurelia's mind, roughly translated to: "It's Slytherin or bust, kids."

                Aurelia is distracted from her thoughts by startled screams of the other first years. Neville grabs onto Aurelia's hand, letting out a frightful gasp. She looks up to see multiple ghosts floating by, she's not that surprised by this has Nym had told her all about them. Neville lets go of of her hand, turning red as he stammers out an apology. She shrugs it off with a smile and proceeds to fix his cloak.

                "Hope to see you all in Hufflepuff, that was my old house, you know," Aurelia hears one of the ghosts say.

                "Move along. The Sorting Ceremony is about to start." Professor McGonagall commands upon returning to the chamber, "Now, form a line and follow me."

                Aurelia's hair turns a vibrant white with a green hue, she feels sick. Nevertheless, she does as she's told and gets in line behind Neville.

                The group of first years enter the great hall, Aurelia's too nervous to be in awe of it like most of the other first years are. Aurelia spots the Weasley twins sitting at the Gryffindor table and they seem to have spotted her as well as they give her a thumbs up, in between the pair of them sits Elias Black even though he shouldn't be as he's a Slytherin, he too is giving Aurelia a thumbs up.

                They come to a stop, the Sorting is about to begin. Aurelia doesn't want to disappoint her parents. Not again. In front of her, Neville is dealing with the same fear. He wants to be in Gryffindor but he thinks it might be easier and better if he's sorted into Hufflepuff.

                Without thinking, Neville grabs Aurelia's hand. Although, he's wary of her because of the things Lyra had told him about her, he can't help but find comfort in her. There's something about her that's oddly familiar, he can't put his finger on it but he feels as though they're meant to be friends. When Aurelia squeezes his hand, he realises what he has done and quickly pulls his hand away.

                He goes to apologise but he falls silent as the Sorting Hat starts singing its' song. The whole hall bursts into applause when the Sorting Hat finishes singing. It bows to each of the four tables and becomes still again.

                "I'm sorry that I keep grabbing your hand," Neville apologises.

                Professor McGonagall steps forward, holding a long roll of parchment and announces: "When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted."

                Professor McGonagall clears her throat "Abbott, Hannah!"

                Hannah stumbles out of line, puts on the hat, which falls right down over her eyes, and sits down on the stool. A moments pause and then the hat shouts: "HUFFLEPUFF!"

                Aurelia claps her hands for the blonde than holds one out for Neville to hold "Don't apologise, it really doesn't bother me, you call hold my hand all you want . . . You have soft skin by the way."

                Neville's eyebrows scrunch together as he peers at her, confused "Th — th — thank you?"

                "You're welcome." Aurelia says softly.

                They hold hands until Neville gets called up, as she expects he gets sorted into Gryffindor.

                She claps for him but she's quickly stopped by Draco.

                "What are you doing?" He hisses.

                "Clapping for my friend." She replies, frowning.

                "He's a Longbottom! You can't be friends with him!" He tells her, shaking his head.

                "Why not?"

                He gives her an incredulous look "You know why!"

                "I — oh."

                "L — Malfoy, Asterope." Professor McGonagall calls out.

                She swallows thickly and puts on her best Malfoy facade and struts up to the stool. Before she takes a seat, she catches her aunt's hateful glare from the staff table. Aurelia's false confidence almost wilts right then and there but she does her best to give Aunt Lyra a smug grin. Once she sits down, the Sorting Hat is placed on her head.

                "A Black, huh? It's certainly been awhile since I've sorted one of you. You're just like your mother."

                Aurelia just barely represses the urge to turn to Aunt Lyra and stick out her tongue. The woman had told her that she's just like her Aunt Bellatrix more than her mother.

                "However, Slytherin is not the house for you."

                Uh, excuse me Mr. Sorting Hat but what the bloody hell do you mean Slytherin isn't for me? I have to be in Slytherin!

                The Sorting Hat chuckles "While you have a few Slytherin traits, they aren't your strongest. You're more hard-working than you are ambitious, you're more fair than you are cunning, you're not the most patient person, neither was your mother... Just like her, your strongest trait is loyalty. You value loyalty over all your traits which is what makes Hufflepuff the perfect house for you. Hufflepuff will help you grow into the talented witch you are meant to be."

                No, Aurelia thinks, I can't be in Hufflepuff! Put me in Slytherin, Mr. Sorting Hat! Everyone in her bloody family save for Sirius Black and Nym, had been in Slytherin. Put me in Slytherin.

                "The man you once called father wasn't in Slytherin. I'm surprised to see who he is but he most definitely wasn't a Slytherin."

                What do you —

                 "Contrary to your creation, Miss. Black, you are meant to fix things. Always remember that —"

                I don't give a bloody damn what I'm meant to do because I won't be able to fix my reputation if you don't put me in —


                Aurelia almost screams.

                They'll never forgive her for this.

                From behind her, she hears Aunt Lyra choke on her wine: "What?!"

                She's a disappointment, she's a failure. She's the odd one out as usual.

                Professor McGonagall places her hand on Aurelia's shoulder "Miss. L — Malfoy, you must take your seat at your house table now."

                Aurelia nods her head, blinking away tears. She steps off the stool and stumbles over to the table.

                "Malfoy, Draco!"

                The Sorting Hat shouts: "SLYTHERIN!" without hesitation.

                Of course, it's always just her that ends up in these situations, she certain now that the whole bloody world must hate her. She thinks it's terribly unfair that no matter how hard she tries to be a Malfoy even though she doesn't like what they like, she's always treated second best. Any chance of being the golden child has just been thrown out the window all thanks to a stupid, singing/talking hat! She'll forever be the odd one out — what kind of Malfoy gets sorted into Hufflepuff?! How can she be that much of a failure?

                Aurelia begrudgingly takes a seat at the Hufflepuff table.

                "Hello," A bronze-haired teen greets her, "Welcome to Hufflepuff, I'm Cedric Diggory — oh! You're crying."

                Aurelia nods her head, letting out a pitiful whine "I'm not su — su — supposed to be in Hufflepuff!"

                "Well, the Sorting Hat is never wrong . . . Honestly, Hufflepuff isn't that bad of a house, I swear to you, you'll make lots of friends and good memories here."

                "I know my cousin was in this house but — but I can't be in it. My parents will — will be so — so mad, they might e — even kick me out!"

                Cedric pulls her into a one-armed hug which surprises her "Well, here in Hufflepuff we're one big family, so if that happens, I'll be your new mother."

                "Wh —"

                "Shhh, I'll be your new mother now . . . We Hufflepuffs have got your back now, we'll be your family if you need one."

                "Listen, I appreciate the offer," Aurelia says in a quivering voice, "But, if push comes to shove I've got Blood-Traitor aunt to be adopted by so some bronze-haired teen ain't going to be my first choice."

                "Ha, I knew my hair wasn't red," Cedric says victoriously, "Hattersley can suck it."

                He says that to himself, Aurelia looks at him confused then looks away as a quiet sob escapes her throat, Cedric's victorious mood dies instantly as gives her another one-armed hug. Aurelia squirms uncomfortably not used to being hugged by strangers.

                "Hey, psst, hey. Down here," Ellie's voice startles both of them, "Down here, Goldilocks."

                Aurelia looks down to see Elias Black hiding under the Ravenclaw table "What are you —"

                "Congrats on Hufflepuff, Goldilocks," Ellie says with a wide grin, "Eugene owns me a galleon."

                "But, Hufflepuff, it's not very Malfoy-like of me," Aurelia tells him, flashing him a bittersweet smile and in return he gives her a lopsided grin.

                "Nothing about you is very Malfoy-like," Ellie counters, "You broke a chain, so what. You'll be fine, Goldilocks and 'sides yellow looks good on you."

                With that, Ellie turns and heads back to the Gryffindor table, complaining loudly about the other students kicking him as he crawls under the tables. Cedric Diggory looks utterly perplexed as and Aurelia looks down at her tie which is now yellow and finds herself agreeing with her cousin, she does look good in yellow.

                Aurelia takes a deep breath, she's done trying to be a Malfoy. She dries her eyes and decides that she wants to be more like her Aunt Andromeda, care-free, happy, and most importantly loved. The Muggleborn from the boat, Olivia Newton sits down next to her and Aurelia decides she's going to apologise and befriend her; the most not Malfoy-like thing she can do. Tapping the tan girl on the shoulder, Aurelia smiles brightly as she says:

                "Hi, I'm Aurelia Black . . ."
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