My two travel companions arrived just in time to grab their things as the train arrived. As we departed I noticed most of the students heading towards some black carriages. It was strange, I could feel impatience, but I saw nothing where normally horses would stand. It was almost as if the horses were invisible.
I wasn't able to put much more thought into it though as the swirl of conflicting emotions around me was beginning to make me ill. Didn't people know how to contain their feelings? Briar was debating breaking our cover of being strangers to check on me when a blonde boy and two large gorillas came up to me. Thankfully they were fairly thought-free. The blonde boy looked at me strangely before asking what was wrong with me. I think I would have found his tone rude normally but as I wasn't feeling well didn't fully notice and instead answered him almost honestly that I found the outward display of so many emotions was making me feel ill. The boy surprised me by smirking slightly and introducing himself as Draco Malfoy and introducing the two gorillas as Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle. He then offered me his arm and escorted me to the boats where a large bear of a man was yelling for first years to go.
It was a relief the boats were more spread out so I didn't feel so overwhelmed and sick. I thanked Draco and introduced myself as Artemis. He raised an eyebrow at me in question when I didn't include my last name. So, I explained that I preferred not to be judged solely on my family name and that he would find out soon enough what it was. For some reason Briar found this to be hilarious. He is lucky mother's family isn't as well known.
Draco seemed to take in my answer in a calculating manner, I bet he is a Slytherin, before he smiled and said something along the lines of "fair enough." On the rest of the boat ride we talked about meaningless things like; favorite spells and potions. I had concluded that he was a well brought up, decent sort of pureblood. Sadly, that impression shattered when Draco met Harry Potter.
Ooooooo exciting, the boy-who-lived. My grandfather insulted Voldemort to his face and walked away alive after Voldemort tried to kill him. I don't see what the big deal is. But I am going off topic. At the moment Potter rejected his friendship, I learned that Draco Malfoy is very prideful and does not like being snubbed in public. The blonde boy that hid his emotions well was suddenly filled with anger, embarrassment, and hatred. I could no longer focus solely on him to ignore the emotions making me ill. I was in luck as the crowd pushed Briar close enough that he secretly slipped me one of our wonderful tea candy creations before disappearing back into the crowd. This one had ginger in it and some other things that I couldn't place but made me feel better.
Looking around I saw Potter and a red-haired boy talking quietly, I think Draco called him Weasley, then I spotted Neville who seemed to have found his toad. I told him it would return. Hermione was near the front of the group fretting about tests she hadn't prepared enough for. I located Briar near one edge making friends and spreading calm. He had learned early on when we were in muggle school how to calm excited people so that I wouldn't get sick. He is the best brother ever. Then I saw Draco heading back over to me; he was complaining about Potter and the Weasel, I think that's the red-head. He seemed to want me to stroke his ego or make him feel better, Instead I told him that if he didn't want to be shunned in public that he shouldn't turn a simple introduction into a spectacle for people to watch. It was beautiful to both see and feel all Draco's emotions slowly fade away to hide behind his mask. He simply stated that he hoped I would be in Slytherin with him.
That was when McGonagall opened the doors and led us like docile sheep into the Great Hall. I will admit to being surprised to see both Hermione and Neville end up in Gryffindor. Vincent, Gregory and Draco were all sorted into Slytherin. Then I listened to the beautiful silence as Potter was called up before it ended quickly when he was sorted into Gryffindor. When it was my turn the hat seemed to laugh when it realized Briar was listening to it through me. It found it quite amusing whatever it saw and sent me to Slytherin. I couldn't help noticing as I made my way towards the polite clapping of the green clad table and sat across from Draco; that there wasn't nearly as much booing for me as there had been for other first year Slytherins. In fact, when the name "Tranquillitas" had been called there had been some silence as well, maybe my family isn't as forgotten as my Grandfather hoped it had been. Briar laughed at this and his laughter brought a slight smile to my face, maybe school would be fun.
Luckily Briar was called with Willowbirch and the hat called us overprotective siblings as this time it was my turn to listen in. For some reason the hat decided that Briar was a Gryffindor and as he got up to go to the table I saw Professor McGonagall look quickly from Briar to me. So, she knew Briar and I were related, did all the teachers know, or just the house heads? When the last first year was sorted, poor Zabini, I risked a look at Briar who smirked at me quickly before we broke eye contact. Draco had noticed and asked who I was looking at, I think he wanted to make sure it wasn't Potter. I told him honestly that I had a twin who was using a different last name and that he was sorted into a different house. I guess that seems like a lot to trust someone I just met when I am supposed to be keeping my twin a secret, but Draco seemed to want to be my friend and I wanted to be as open as possible now to avoid awkward hatred later on when the truth comes out as it always does.
I did tell Draco that I like my secrets but would tell him what I could until he earned my trust and respect. Draco was actually okay with this and almost seemed to give me his approval for it. During the feast Draco told me about his family, so to be fair I told him that my parents were squibs from two pureblood families. I also told him that it was my Grandfather that had taught me what I knew of magic after they had died. Draco seemed both disgusted and fascinated, so I also told him my family's beliefs on squibs. He was surprised and told me he had been raised to believe all purebloods thought differently than that; with the exception of blood traitors like the Weasleys. Eventually we were shown to our common room. Briar and I couldn't believe the irony. I was under the lake, just barely above so much plant life Briar could feel the traces through me, and he was in a tower up high above the school, away from everything and everyone (and their emotions). Despite that, I found the underwater room calming. Slytherins as a whole are good at hiding their emotions.
Draco as almost wizarding royalty had the best bed in his dorm. I mention this suddenly since I discovered my bed in a dark corner of my dorm. It had beautiful black satin curtains, but the wood was dried and cracking. This was especially odd since there was a very tiny patch of moss growing out of one post. Moss shouldn't grow where there is no moisture. Briar looked it over through my eyes and said it had been sucked dry recently. Somehow, he also convinced the moss to come loose from the post so I could send it to him via Shadow. I didn't dare sit down through until we had verified the wood would hold out for one night. Briar can fix it but he would have to be here in person for that. I would just have to sneak him in on the weekend. Maybe Draco would know a counter spell to the one used. The only real information Briar and I had before going to bed was that this had been done to my bed on purpose and that I should be careful.
I talked to Draco during breakfast. Apparently, he does know a charm of some sort, and he is willing to teach me. Draco claims he isn't free though and that he is letting me off lightly by only requesting a favor from me sometime in the future when it is most convenient for him. I agreed readily enough but told him to leave the false pride behind the next time we make a deal. I don't think he quite knows what to make of me.