This chapter has not been beta read. Please tell me if you see any glaring mistakes. Enjoy.Chapter 13
Professor McGonagall smirked at Snape as she sat down in the empty seat beside the brooding potion master. Snape chose to ignore her smug face to sneer down at his plate. Damn the woman, she would be gloating over this for the rest of the term. He had hoped Ms. Rosenberg, with her cunning and intelligence, would be sorted into Slytherin or at least Ravenclaw; anything would have been better than Gryffindor. Well there was nothing for it now, but he vowed to make sure that the girl’s mind would not rot away under all that good intentions and Gryffindor nobility. It was a matter of pride. He did not waste half the summer teaching the girl to have all his work undone by house loyalties. He will make sure that Ms. Rosenberg learned to think for herself and not succumb to peer pressures like Ms Ganger, who was once an intelligent sensible girl, but after a mere few months in Gryffindor had become another self righteous miscreant blinded by her own arrogance.
Snape swallowed his disappointment and shock his head is dismay. How in the nine levels of hell did she get sorted into that house of do-gooders? Certainly Ms Rosenberg may appear innocent but underneath that facade was someone deeply familiar with the dark arts, the true dark arts and not the water down drivel they tend to teach the students at Hogwarts. The girl was raised over the Hellmouth for Merlin sake. He had venomously disagreed with the way the deputy headmistress chose to handle the situation. The deputy headmistress thought it was best to remove the girl from anything that remotely had to deal with the dark arts, treating her as if she was a prisoner that needed to be reformed.
As a dark wizard Professor Snape knew exactly how seductive dark arts could be. One does not merely reform from the dark arts. It soaks into to your very being, changes the soul from within slowly but surely and the girl had been soaking in the vile stuff for nearly sixteen years. Frankly he was surprise that the girl wasn’t reeking with dark magic by now, but there was no way in Hades that she hadn’t been influence by it in someway. Even he couldn’t anticipate the full consequences of prolonged exposure to the hell mouth would have on a natural born witch, especial one so young and untrained. Only time will tell as her magic begin to manifest. Already he could tell a mark difference in her magic by the frightfully rapid pace it had been developing. It was as if her magic was trying to make up for the past few years of inactivity. If she keeps this pace up she will no doubt be a powerful witch by the time she graduates.
Minerva was fooling herself if she thought that the problem would merely go away if they ignored it. But Gryffindors were not known for their forethought and Minerva was unfortunately living up to her house name. Now he feared that in her misguided attempts to help Minerva will only manage to alienate the girl and send her spiraling further into the path of corruption. What the girl needed was grounding, a solid foundation to keep her from wandering too far from the path and becoming lost in the darkness.
The Gryffindor table clapped enthusiastically as the whispering among the Slytherins grew to a fever pitch. Draco cringed. Oh well that clinched it. Willow was officially off limits. As if it wasn’t already bad enough that she was a muggleborn she had to be sorted into bloody Gryffindor. It was as if the universe and Merlin himself were conspiring against him.
The blonde Slytherin still felt a bit guilty about how things turned out. He really didn’t mean to hurt Willow, but he was left with little recourse. Rumors were already flying and if he showed the slightness bit of interest towards Willow it would be broadcast to the entire school before he could bat an eye. It was best that he broke it off before word got back to his father. Draco shuddered to think how his father, who was already critical of everything single thing he did, would react to the information that his only son and heir was involved with a muggleborn. If only Millicent had kept her big mouth shut than maybe they could have seen each other in secret and he wouldn‘t have to given her up. But now all his plans were ruined and he swore that Millicent Bulstode will pay dearly for it.
Pansy leaned towards Draco with her pug nose in the air. “Is it true Draco? Did you really went out with that Gryffindor mudblood?” whined Pansy scandalously.
Draco sneered in disgust. “Pansy dear where did you hear such a vile rumor?”
Millicent’s eyes lit up with excitement. “Don’t try to deny it Malfoy. I saw you two together at three broomsticks,” said Millicent triumphantly as her lips curled up in a smug smile.
Draco allowed cool indifference to seep into his face and gave the girl a dismissive look. “Pfft. As usual Bulstode your less than mediocre intellect has entirely misinterpreted the situation.”
“So what were you doing there with her then, Malfoy?” challenged Millicent indignantly.
“If you must know Dumbledore and my father, for some insane reason, thought that it would be a good idea for me to spend part of my summer tutoring the girl; and the old goat insisted that I spend quality time with the mudblood as well.”
“Poor Draco,” purred Pansy in what she must thought was a seductive tone. Draco mentally winced in irritation at the way his name rolled off her tongue. Frankly he thought she sounded ridiculous. “I hope your summer wasn’t too awful.”
Draco plastered a fake self suffering look on his face as Pansy continued to fawn over him. Blaise gave him a thoughtful look for a moment but fortunately said nothing. Draco almost sighed in relief. If he was anyone other than a Malfoy his house would have crucified him for less. He would have to be more careful in the future. Since the return of the Dark Lord things had become tense as different factions began to reposition themselves within his house. Those who supported the Dark Lord were actively looking for ways to gain his favor and those who were supposedly neutral were now looking for any possible leverage. No once could be trusted not even his closest friends. Everyone was a target and secret were now a valuable commodity.
Willow flushed in embarrassment at the enthusiastic greeting and cat calls she got from her new house. Sure they did the same for all the new students sorted into their house but it didn’t make it any less embarrassing. She took a seat near the end of the table next to dark haired boy with round fat cheeks. He smiled shyly in greeting and nearly turned beet red when she smiled back.
After Headmaster Dumbledore finished his speech food appeared out of thin air, covering every available surface of the table with food. Willow tried not to gape like a first year, but she had never seen so much food in her life. The students chatted loudly over their plates, cheerfully sharing antidotes about their summer holiday with their friends. Willow’s spirits slowly lifted as she found herself swept up in the excitement of the new school year. The sharp pain of rejection dulled to a mild ache and just for a little while she allowed herself to forget her past failure and enjoy the happy atmosphere around her, completely ignorant to the pair of silver gray and emerald green eyes secretly watching her.