“Hey Evans!” James shouted as a tall girl with dark red hair passed the corridor.
“I’m not Evans!” she yelled back looking frazzled. She of course, with her grey-blue eyes and alabaster skin she was not Evans at all. She climbed into the compartment, stepped over Sirius’s lounging legs and sat down in the empty seat beside Remus Lupin.
“Look what he did!” she cried, pulling at a piece of long red hair. “Jinxed me from behind on the platform! And I thought it was a simple color-switching spell, but look-“She waved her wand, murmuring the incantation, and the chunk of hair dropped into her palm, “It just falls out! And it’s getting redder!” Two pink spots had appeared high on her cheek bones.
“Who did this? Remus asked concerned as James and Sirius roared with laughter.
“Snape of course!” she said.
“Ah, dear old Snivillus,” Sirius said darkly. “Did you at least hex him for us Alden?”
“What do you take me for? I used that one you told me about that makes your toe nails grow tremendously fast. They were a foot past his trainers when I left.” The boys erupted into roars of laughter again. “Do you have any ideas on how to fix this?” She pointed to her now flaming red hair. They shrugged.
“Fine then, I’ll just get Snape to put it right, and if he refuses then I’ll make him.” And she set off again.
“Wait! He’ll kill you!” Sirius called after her retreating figure. She wheeled around. She looked positively dangerous.
“Then it’ll be up to you three, maybe four-“She nodded to the huddled mass that was Peter snoring away “to avenge my murder, won’t it?” And set off again, only to be pulled back by Sirius.
“Vienna, don’t go, you know what they’re like” His voice had become softer, his face less arrogant, open. The change was startling. Remus and James seemed the notice it too and were staring bemusedly at their friend. Vienna looked a little confused, but pulled her arm free regardless, and set off along the corridor.
“Hey Mooney, why don’t you follow her and make sure they don’t kill her. Snape would love to if he could get away with it. I mean, you know Vienna, always biting off more than she can chew…” He trailed off.
“Yeah but she always comes out ok though?” James said. “Remember the time she put those two Slytherin sixth years in the Hospital Wing for a week in third year for hanging that first year by the chandelier? Took Madam Pomfry ages to get those leeks out of their ears…” He trailed off, chuckling at the memory. “They should have made her a Prefect instead of Evans.”
“They couldn’t, not with her track record,” Remus said laughing. “She prefers to hex them than give them detention.”
“Still its Snape, not just any random sixth year…” The gins faded off of Remus and James’s faces.
“Maybe you should, Mooney, you being a Prefect and all,” said James now looking a little concerned.
Remus set off without another word. He was just wondering where she could be when he heard yells. He darted to the source of the noise and found Vienna, in full fury, dueling Snape with five unconscious Slytherins strewn at her feet. His mouth open in shock, he drew his wand. It was hard to know what was going on as both were dueling completely silently, having somehow mastered this a full year before.
“Protego!” He shouted as Snape shot a green jet of light, directly at Vienna’s chest. It collided with Lupin’s shield charm and disappeared with a hiss.
“What are you playing at?” He said angrily as both turned to face him. Half of Snape’s head seemed to be covered in green fungus while Vienna was sporting a nasty gash under one eye that was swelling rapidly.
“Vienna, set Severus’s head right, that’s gross, it looks like he’s got mold growing on his head. Severus, you better set Vienna’s hair right; I think it’s getting redder.” It was now a vivid fire engine red. They just glared at one another. “NOW!” He barked. Vienna gave her wand a quick flick and the fungus evaporated from Snape’s face. Snape brought his down in a long slashing motion and Vienna’s hair fell out.
“You’ll get it now Snivillus, you arse!” she yelled and sprang forward but Remus caught her around the middle and tossed her back.
“It’ll be back within the hour, I assure you,” he sneered as she looked aghast at her fallen hair. And sure enough, Remus could see it starting to grow before his eyes. He stepped back into the corridor, pulling Vienna along behind him. She slammed the compartment door as she left. They set off back to their compartment in silence, Remus still dragging Vienna, lest she go back and try and finish her duel, which seem exactly the thing she’d do.
By the time they’d gotten back to the compartment, her hair, now returned to its usual chestnut, was the length as his, flopping just above her eyebrows. The gash on her cheek was turning a sickly purple color tinged with green. Blood had trickled from the cut to the edge of her jaw bone.
“Not your best look Alden.” James said as Remus pushed her in ahead of him.
“Would it look better like this, Potter?” As she shook her head back and forth like a dog before plopping down in the seat next to Sirius. She then ran her hand through her hair in a very James-like way. It was now sticking up exactly the same way as James’s, who was sitting across from her. Everyone laughed. Even Remus who was still eyeing her concernedly managed to crack a grin.
“Now you’re really one of the guys, Alden. We’ll have to start calling you Garret or something,” James smirked. “I mean Muggle brawling and everything? You’re on a roll today!”
“I wasn’t Muggle brawling!” She said indignantly.
“Then how’d you get that wonderful gash on your cheek? It looks like you got wailed in the face.”
“Sectumpsempra’s one of Snape’s favorites,” She said darkly.
“Here I’ll fix that,” Said Sirius. He muttered a stream of incantations that sounded like a song and the wound grew very hot and then very cold, and was once again smooth alabaster skin. He muttered “Tergeo!” and the dried blood vanished.
“Thanks Sirius,” Vienna said as she tried to warm up her cheek.
“No problem, Alden,” He said with a smile.
“You really shouldn’t have done that, Vienna. That was really dumb.” Remus said at last.
“But you might not have been! If I hadn’t got there in time-“
“I might’ve floored Snape too. I already had Avery and Mulciber-“
“You knocked out Mulcier?” Sirius asked incredulously.
“And Rosier, Rookwood, and Travers. And I would have had Snape once that fungus hex obscured his vision-“
“You have to stop Vienna. You’re going to be killed one day if you keep dueling everyone-“
“They’re Death Eaters Remus.”
“Exactly, and once they leave school and join You-Know-Who, who do you think will be on the top of the hit lists? Anyone openly resisting.”
“They killed my parents.” She said softly. Everyone knew what happened to Vienna’s parents. When she was nine, during the beginning of Voldemort’s rise to power, he and some of his Death Eaters had hunted down her parents who were living in the little village of Tinsworth and slaughtered them. Vienna, who had been at a friend’s house at the time, came home to find her parents dead upon the floor. So she was shipped off to live with a distant Muggle aunt and the Wizarding community was left in fear that if Voldemort would dare attack and kill two well-know and successful Aurors, then how could they be safe.
“Let it go. It can’t rule your life forever.” Remus said gently. Vienna looked down at her hands, in part to avoid answering, but more to avoid being seen with watering eyes. Everyone was silent for a few minutes. Just then the plump witch pushing the food cart stopped by their compartment.
“Anything from the trolley dears?” she asked.
“Yes!” said James hopping up at once, followed closely by Peter, who had miraculously woken up at the word trolley and waddled out behind James. Remus followed suit. Sirius got up, turned, and saw Vienna still sitting, hiding her face.
“Here,” He said, handing her a handkerchief.
“Oh, thanks,” she said, looking surprised, eyes streaming.
He walked out to join his other friends. She wiped her eyes and carefully folded the handkerchief and put it in her pocket before following the boys outside.
After eating what felt like half the candy shop, the lanterns were lit and they started pulling on their Hogwarts robes. The rest of the journey seemed to fly by, and before they knew it they were in one of the horseless carriages, trundling up to the school. They took their seats at the Gryffindor table a little way away from Lily Evans, the girl James had mistaken Vienna for before she fixed her hair. It was now, thankfully back to its normal, dark chestnut, streaming to the middle of her back. James ruffled his hair and called, “Hey Evans! Good summer?” She gave him a look before calling back “Alright.” James looked pleased with himself.
The sorting hat was brought out as Hagrid lead the first years to the front. They took turns trying on the hat, which then shouted out the name of their house. They looked positively tiny, shaking from nerves. The sorting finally ended and everyone began talking excitedly to their friends.
The buzzing abruptly stopped as the Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, stood up to address the students. His blue eyes twinkling, arms stretched wide in welcome, he said:
“To our new students, welcome. To those returning, welcome back. I must make a few announcements before we enjoy our excellent feast. First off, the forest on the edge of the grounds is forbidden to all students, and some should bear that in mind more than others. Magic is also forbidden in the corridors between classes. No one is to be out of bed after hours. Tuck in!”
And the golden plates filled with food. Everyone was full to bursting before they walked up to their dormitories. James, Sirius, Peter, and Vienna took a short cut through the tapestry on the fourth floor. They reached the familiar portrait of the Fat Lady guarding Gryffindor tower.
“Password?” She asked.
“Errr?” James, Sirius, and Peter said looking at each other hopelessly.
“Beatlejuice, “ Vienna said, appearing behind them. The portrait hole swung open.
“I asked Lily before we went up. ”
“Well night,” said James and trudge up the boy’s dormitory stairs. Peter yawned and followed.
“Thanks again Sirius,” Vienna said before darting up the girls stairs.
Sirius stood there for a minute, transfixed, before following Peter and James upstairs.