A/N: The Harry Potter books, world and characters belong to JKR. I take no credit for any repeated quote or event from the original source.
At what point I had wanted to be an architect. Wouldn't that had changed things massively?
That being said, my minor obsession with architecture still remained. Hogwarts was beautiful. It was nothing like the castle I had imagined, or for that matter, I don't think it was like any castle I had ever seen. The only word that came anywhere near of doing it justice was that it emitted an actual sense of ancient magic from it the likes I'd never felt before.
An extra part of having been using wandless magic since day one, I was incredibly sensitive to magic. That meant allot more than what it sounded, it was like having a third eye that could only see magic, but at a 360 degree. The amount of awareness I had from it hadn't destroyed my brain due to the simple fact that I had occlumency. It instead redirected those senses to minimum.
Okay, that still wasn't a good explanation so bare with me. It was like...like having a slow computer as well as my brain. The computer would go over the information, only sending my brain the important information, instead of every major event, and would only go into overload with situations such as entering the Hogwarts words, that completely overwhelmed the 'limit' safety.
I am so glad I took Biology for A level, without it I wouldn't have a clue what I was doing. And yes, the brain was capable of doing such feats. The myth that the brain could only use 10% of it's capacity was a misunderstood myth, but anyway, back to magic.
"This are all the first year's Professor McGonagall" Hagrid informed the stoic women.
"Thank you, Hagrid, I will take it from here." She thanked before turning towards the first years. "Welcome to Hogwarts. "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.
"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 honour. 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." She finished the sentence as her eyes lingered for a moment on Neville's cloak, which was fastened under his left ear, and on Ronald's smudged nose.
"I shall return when we are ready for you," said Professor McGonagall. "Please wait quietly."
It took less than a second for the first years to start discussion how they would be shorted, every theory being more weird than the last as Iris hid more and more behind Nefeli. Felling sorry for the girl, she reached out and held her hand slowly, making a mental note of her scared flinch before she looked up at her.
"Don't worry, hardly anyone even opened they books. It simply is a test of personality, and it's impossible to not get shorted." She explained as the girl visibly relaxed, nodding in a thanking manner. Not that I'm sure how I knew that...
The hall was suddenly filled with gasp's as ghosts passed through the walls as if they never existed. Nefeli ignored the conversation, much more fascinated in the fact that she was seeing a ghost for the first time. Curious enough, she couldn't sense any magic coming from them, It was... empty, and in a castle overflowing with ancient magic that shouldn't be possible. It was like the very opposite of magic. Perhaps magic worked the same way particles and antiparticles worked? But that would mean that magic was related to life and death. She felt a shiver travel through her spine, suddenly realising that the three deathly hallows may have been massively underpaid from how powerful they where in reality.
"Move along now," said a sharp voice. "The Sorting Ceremony's about to start."
Professor McGonagall had returned. One by one, the ghosts floated away through the opposite wall.
"Now, form a line," Professor McGonagall told the first years, "and follow me."
The sorting worked in much the same way that the books had, with the only possible exception being on how much Draco's ability to swagger was underplayed. As her name was called she slightly tightened her grip on Iris hand before letting go as she whished the terrified girl some luck, purposefully walking up towards the stool in a humble manner and grace. Suddenly her mother's lessons on how a lady should behave didn't seem as bad.
"Finally, something interesting to short through!" An echo sounded through her head as her lip twitched.
"While not in cannon, I am assuming that this will remain confidential?" She mentally asked as the hat let out an amused - mental? - laugh.
"A correct assumption Miss Black." The hat responded as she nodded approvingly.
"Good, now before the shorting I need to know. What is your name? I really need to know." She asked slightly desperately as the hat let out a chuckle.
"Unfortunately I was never named, oh? How curious, there are many interesting names from your world." He said as I felt something moving through my mind."Tah? Oh, inverse of hat, I like it! Tah it is!" The hat commented as she snorted in amusement.
"Then I christen you as Tah" Nefeli said trying not to laugh.
"Now where to put you? While not lacking, I think Gryffindor is out of the question." The hat said as Nefeli nodded, she tried to avoid risk's, which was ironic seeing how her fortune had been based on risks, even if she had made sure that she never was put in danger. "Hufflepuff is a possibility, however I can tell that you have little interest in being targeted, which leaves us with Slytherin and Ravenclaw.
"You know in which house I won't go on a murdering parade, right?" Nefeli said as Tah let out a sigh.
"And there is so much talent as well..." The hat commented regrettably. "RAVENCLAW!" The hat shouted as a polite applause filled the room, many eyes slightly widened that she didn't go to the pit of snakes.
Nefeli walked towards the 'wise' table, noting how many people seemed weary of her as she sat down as the sorting continued.
Immediately whispers broke out through the hall as everyone looked in the small crowed of remaining first years, desperate to get a glance at they 'heroine'. All the while Iris looked absolutely terrified as she walked towards the stool, sitting down as her eyes momentarily met that of Nefeli's who gave her a reassuring nod.
"RAVENCLAW!" The hat said after some few quite seconds as Nefeli blinked in surprise, but immediately started clapping none the less. She had apparently greatly changed the timeline already, most likely taking the brat's place as to who spoke about Hogwarts in the train.
Iris removed the hat as she quickly moved towards Nefeli. Not receiving any applauses until she had almost reached the girl. Was it really that much of a surprise that she didn't go to the house that the parents she never met did?
"Welcome to the house of the wise, Iris." She whispered encouragingly as she flashed her a smile. Iris seemed to hesitate momentarily before she weekly smiled back at the girl.
Ignoring the remaining students, Nefeli started looking trough the teachers table. Her eyes momentarily coming at a stop on Quirrell, Snape and Dumbledore. Unsurprisingly, Quirrell was observing Iris with a dangerous glim in his eyes. That was something to be careful about, pathetic or not, the man still had Voldemort with him, which made him a threat that she would have to tread carefully around. Surprisingly, Snape was observing both Iris and Nefeli with a slightly raised eyebrow, most likely questioning how a Potter had befriended a Malfoy. With any luck he would treat her better than what he had in the books.
The one that slightly broke her heart was the way Dumbledore had looked at Iris. Oh, there was the known twinkle in his eyes, but behind them she could she a careful analytical observation of a chess master. There goes one of my favourite childhood hero's... Nefeli mourned in a sadden, mental tone. While that didn't mean that he was a bad person, Nefeli wasn't about to let Iris be manipulated into suicide.
She was brought out of her thought as the man in question stood up. His analytical stare disappearing as he beamed at the students, his arms opened wide, as if nothing could have pleased him more than to see them all there.
"Welcome!" he said. "Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! He sat back down as everybody clapped and cheered brightly.
Nefeli kept a discreet eye on Iris, who seemed almost scared to touch the food. She mentally cursed the Dursleys. Sighing, she started reaching out for the different foods as she put them on both of their plates. Iris looked at her in surprised, but quickly started eating the food on her plate. It took all of Nefeli's occlumency not to frown at her reaction. That was the picture definition of conditioned behaviour, which meant shed been forced to sit at the table watching the Dursleys eat, not receiving none themselves. She believed in second chances, but she was dam well close to calling dooby to help her murder. Realising that the table had gone silent, Nefeli looked up as every stared at her.
"Yes?" She asked curiously as they moved nervously.
"We where introducing ourselves." A girl said nervously. Nefeli guessed that she was Padma Patil from her Indian heritage.
"Oh, my apologies. I'm Nefeli, I prefer just being addressed by my first name. I'm guessing you all had the displeasure of either meeting or hearing of the Malfoys. I'll only say this once, I completely disagree with them, so try not to start insulting me for something I have nothing to do with." She said in a slight warning manner. "As for likes, I think it's obvious that I enjoy reading. I also enjoy spell crafting and duelling." She finished as many stared at her in surprise.
Not that she could really blame them, an unbiased Malfoy was as unlikely as Snape dressing in pink willingly.
"Ahem, just a few more words now that we are all fed and watered. I have a few start-of-term notices to give you." Dumbledore announced as he stood up. "First years should note that the forest on the grounds is forbidden to all pupils. And a few of our older students would do well to remember that as well. I have also been asked by Mr. Filch, the caretaker, to remind you all that no magic should be used between classes in the corridors."
"Quidditch trials will be held in the second week of the term. Anyone interested in playing for their house teams should contact Madam Hooch.
"And finally, I must tell you that this year, the third-floor corridor on the right-hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a very painful death."
So he really had gone through with it. Nefli let out a grown as she looked at Iris, who looked terrified on the thought of a painful death.
"H-He's not serious, is he?" She whispered with a shaky voice.
"We haven't got any lessons on the third floor. That being said we'll avoid it completely. Any efficient teacher would have put defences on the corridor either way." She pointed out reassuringly, even if she wasn't that sure herself.
"And now, before we go to bed, let us sing the school song!" cried Dumbledore.
Dumbledore gave his wand a little flick, as if he was trying to get a fly off the end, and a long golden ribbon flew out of it, which rose high above the tables and twisted itself, snakelike, into words.
"Everyone pick their favorite tune, and off we go!"
She'd cringed when she read it, and she felt like hitting the table with her head now that she was hearing it. In both worlds she had learned music, granted, in this one it was almost a requirement for a pureblood to learn it. Unfortunately, her poor ears where going to kill her if it dint end soon.
"Ah, music," he said, wiping his eyes. "A magic beyond all we do here! And now, bedtime. Off you trot!"
Nefeli followed the two prefects as they went through the halls, Iris closely behind. The poor thing looked greatly uncomfortable with all the searing, to which Nefeli did her best to cover as they walked at the front on one side. Eventually they reached the common room, a wide, circular room with arched windows.
Nefeli's first thought of the room was that she would have probably gotten along with Rowena Ravenclaw. The room is furnished with tables, chairs, and bookcase. Many, many bookcases. The place itself held a midnight magical air about it, perhaps because of the glass sphered selling on top of it, but the star's light entering into the room in a white, purple and blue coloured patterned that dimly illuminated the room. She could happily live the rest of her life here.
They where directed through one door next to Rowena's statue, through a spiral staircase with beautiful arched window's covered with plants and flowers. Surprisingly, unlike in the Gryffindor books, one was allowed to either have they own room or share with some few others. Nefeli made a guess that it had something to do with they own house policy of need to study rather than a difference in the book.
Iris looked at her nervously, not sure weather Nefeli would want to share with her. Smiling at the timid girl, Nefeli grabbed her hand softly and pulled her into one of the bedrooms. She would need to start braking Iris out of her shell, with the hell she was being targeted with.
Unsurprisingly, but not unwelcomed, the bedroom had two separate bookshelf next to the two beds. They trunks and pets already in the room, Amber calmly sleeping on her bed.