"You're sure that my presence is required at his hearing?" Sighing loudly, I turned to Sirius.
"Come now Ella, surely you can support your brother at a time like this." He said, while he read The Daily Prophet.
"Fine." I managed to spit out, practically fuming as I walked out of the kitchen.
At a time like this.
Oh, don't worry about Ella. SHE'S not the chosen one, just his sister who happens to be hunted by the dark lord Voldemort this very second. No big deal, though. She's fine.
I entered the small room that I was sharing with Hermione and Ginny. And of course, Hermione just had to be in the small space the same time I was. She was sprawled out on the twin sized bed, reading her new school books like there was no tomorrow. What an insufferable know-it-all. I angrily plopped down on the other bed and sighed loudly.
I was feeling extremely unwanted by everyone. I let my mind wander to my parents. They would probably like Harry better than me; just like everyone else. I felt a sudden burst of sharp pain in my scar. Hoping it wasn't Voldy, and rather me just feeling the emotional pain of no one caring.
A light knock at the door startled me out of my thoughts.
"Ella, we're getting ready to leave." Mr. Weasley's voice rang through the thin door.
Mr. Weasley, Harry and I, walked the busy streets of London until reaching a vibrant red telephone booth. Mr. Weasley gestured for Harry and I to get inside. My first thought was, how the hell are all three of us going to fit in there? I stepped inside the tiny compartment and was reminded of this time last year when I went with the Weasley's to The Quidditch World Cup, and was amazed by how small our tent looked on the outside. Only to have looks be extremely deceiving, as I entered a Weasley mansion.
Mr. Weasley gave both Harry and I and amused look as he put the muggle money in the telephone box. I swear, Arthur Weasley almost jumped for joy when the booth accepted his muggle money. I jumped when the compartment started descending.
It was a dark journey down the hole, to the Ministry of Magic. Once we had arrived and left our telephone box elevator, I felt a lot like Alice in Wonderland. There were witches and wizards everywhere. All exiting a fire place with bright green flames. I looked at Harry, who seemed to be uneasy. Most likely reminded of the green from the famous killing curse.
We entered an elevator, stopped at what seemed like one hundred floors, before the elevator stopped at a place called 'Department of Mysteries'. This should be interesting. We walked down a long hallway of dark green marble and I felt right at home with the Slytherin colors. Suddenly, I heard whispering coming from ahead.
Turning around the corner at the end of the hall, stood none other than, Lucius Malfoy. Malfoy senior immediately stopped his whispering, and stared at us with a disgusted expression. I smiled cheerfully with my fakest smile, and waved. Raising an eyebrow at me menacingly, he turned from us and continued whispering. I felt Mr. Weasley tug on my arm a bit, pulling me away from the private meeting.
"You're asking for it, Ella." Harry said, sounding a tad bit like Granger.
"Says the one who's been expelled from school." I spat back.
Harry not being as quick witted as me, couldn't come up with a come back before we reached the room where his hearing was located. Which to our surprise, the time had been changed to immediately. Maybe my wishes were being granted and Dumbledore wouldn't make it in time to defend his golden boy.
Harry walked in the room hesitantly, and Mr. Weasley and I sat on a bench outside the room. Oh yeah, I was really needed here today.
I could hear Fudge blubbering away loudly. Weird, you think they would put a simple silencing charm on the room, but I guess they didn't care who heard. Lovely, this was going to be a long and boring wait.
My butt was starting to fall asleep from sitting on the hard bench for so long. I needed to go on a walk before this became a permanent feeling.
"Uh, Mr. Weasley, I need to use the restroom."
"Down the hall and to the left."
I nodded and started my journey to the bathroom.
"Ella," Mr. Weasley called.
"Yes, Mr. Weasley?" I turned around to face him.
"It would be wise not to go looking for trouble here." He said, knowing me all too well.
I nodded, and walked down the emerald hall. Once I was out of his sight, I picked up the pace, hoping Malfoy's dad was still having his private conversation. I was so lost in my own thought's of finding out something useful, I felt the sudden, unexpected pain of colliding with someone.
Albus Dumbledore had always kept an annoyingly close watch on me, and always gave me the same 'I know what you are doing because i'm so smart and powerful' look. Damn, he was going to new lengths, trying to catch me before I had gotten myself into big trouble.
"Er, sorry, Professor Dumbledore. I uh, didn't see you there." I said, looking like a child who was caught with their hand in the cookie jar.
"It's quite alright, Miss Potter." He smiled, eye's with their familiar twinkle.
I smiled back politely, hoping he would just leave for Harry's hearing and I could get back to my secret mission. To my surprise, he did just that. I continued down the hallway until I heard a faint whisper.
Sneaking up against the wall, I made out a few words from his hushed conversation.
"The girl...prophecy...the dark lord...highly important..."
Malfoy was saying something else, but people started shuffling out of the elevator making it hard to listen. I figured it would be weird to continue standing against the wall, all sneaky like and up to no good. So, I blended in with the hoard of magical folk, back to Mr. Weasley. Who looked like he was going to pass out for a midday nap. Harry's hearing didn't take much longer after i'd arrived back at the bench with Mr. Weasley. And of course, he had not been expelled.
We arrived at Platform 9 ¾ bright and early the next morning. Sirius had insisted on taking the form of a dog and accompanying us to the station. Moody was not at all pleased. Then again, I couldn't think of a time Moody had ever been pleasant.
Harry and I followed Sirius into an empty waiting room, while Moody stood guard at the door. Sirius was now back to his normal self, smiling at us.
"What are you doing here? You could be caught." Harry said, concerned.
"I had to see you two off, didn't I?" Sirius replied and gave Harry a hug.
I stood there very awkwardly. Deep down, I knew i'd never be as close to Sirius as Harry.
"Ella," Sirius called. "Don't be so distant. Come and give me a hug goodbye."
I walked over to Sirius, giving him a short and friendly hug. He then motioned for Harry and I to sit next to him on the bench. Digging into his coat, Sirius pulled out a crumpled, old photo.
"This was," He began in a solemn tone, "The original Order of the Phoenix."
There they were. Mom and dad, smiling at us through the wizard photograph. They looked so happy and proud, a look Harry and I would never get to see in person.
"They would have been so proud of you two." Sirius said in a hushed tone.
Trying to conceal my tears, we exited the room and headed for the platform.
As I boarded the Hogwarts Express, I couldn't help but feel genuinely happy for the first time this summer holiday. I couldn't wait to be back in my dorm room, even if pug faced Parkinson would be there. I missed the castle so much over break. Hell, I even missed Malfoy and his snobby remarks.
Okay, missing Malfoy was a bit far.
I quickly found Daphne Greengrass, the only girl in my house I could actually stand to be around. She told me all about her summer vacation, asked me why I never replied to any of her letters and how she had met a cute boy in Paris, but he was a muggle and her mother would never approve. Soon our compartment was full with Millicent Bulstrode, Tracey Davis, a first year, and the pug Parkinson. I quickly drained out their voices and stared out the window into the empty fields and mountain ranges ahead.
We arrived at Hogwarts hours later, tired and hungry. Stepping of the train, I heard Hagrid's booming voice calling out for the first years. I followed Daphne towards the carriages, walking past Draco Malfoy and his gang. Malfoy shot me a devilish grin as we approached an empty carriage.
"Why's Draco looking at you like that?" Daphne asked in a disgusted tone.
We both hated Malfoy, and were both just as shocked that he hadn't given us the usual snotty glare. I however, had no idea why he gave me the look, just that it probably wasn't out of kindness.
"I have no idea." I said, shrugging my shoulders, boarding the self pulling carriage.
"You know, he and Pansy split up over the holidays." Daphne noted.
"Finally realize that she was parading around with Zabini? Or that she's just ugly?" I asked, trying not to laugh at my own response.
"If I didn't know you better, I'd think you were jealous of Pansy." Daphne said, combing her fingers through her hair.
If looks could kill, Daphne's arse would be dead.
"Get real, Daphne," I glared at her. "Who'd be jealous of pug faced Parkinson?"
"Oh, be nice Ella! She's not as bad as you think."
"I'd rather hang out with Longbottom than her." I stated.
Daphne turned to me in shock.
"That was a bit far, Ella." She said, laughing loudly.
"Okay, okay, you're right," I said through laughter. " I was only joking."
Everyone had taken their seats in the great hall, hungrily waiting for the sorting ceremony to be over. Slytherin had gained a few first years, but not as many as the other houses. Looking to the staff table, I saw Snape was sitting next to a pudgy lady, dressed in all pink.
"Who's that?" I asked, gesturing to the mystery woman.
Daphne looked just as puzzled as I did, and simply shrugged her shoulders in response.
Dumbledore walked up to his podium and the room fell silent.
"Good evening, children. Now, we have two changes in staffing this year. We are pleased to welcome back Professor Grubbly-Plank, who'll be taking Care of Magical Creatures while Professor Hagrid is on temporary leave. We also wish to welcome our new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Dolores Umbridge. I'm sure you'll all join me in wishing the Professor good luck. Now, as usual, our caretaker, Mr. Filch, has asked me to remind you..."
"Hem, Hem," The woman dressed in pink, Umbridge, interrupted Dumbledore and walked to the podium with a giggle.
"Thank you, Headmaster, for those kind words of welcome. And how lovely to see all your bright,happy faces smiling up at me. I'm sure we're all going to be very good friends." Yikes... Daphne and I exchanged horrified looks as the plump lady in pink continued on. " The Ministry of Magic has always considered the education of young witches and wizards to be of vital importance. Although each headmaster has brought something new to this historic school,... progress for the sake of progress must be discouraged. Let us preserve what must be preserved, perfect what can be perfected, and prune practices that ought to be prohibited. Hee, hee..."
Some of the students clapped, which I thought was weird, but I already liked her for cutting Dumbledore off. Even if she was a bit creepy.
Dumbledore smiled at her as she walked back to her seat.
"Thank you, Professor Umbridge, that really was most illuminating." Dumbledore stated.
So, The Ministry is interfering at Hogwarts. And I was hoping for a problem free year. Cute.