Chapter 1 : Narcissa Black
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Eleven-year-old Narcissa Black stood nervously in the line of First Years, waiting for her name to be called. Her insides were squirming uncomfortably and her palms felt clammy.
Yet, no one who saw her could tell her real state of emotions. All they could see was a calm, collected and pretty little eleven-year-old girl with strawberry blonde hair standing firmly with a cool demeanour among the group of shaking, fidgeting jumpy first-years.
Narcissa Black was a pure-blood, belonging to the Most Noble and Ancient House of Blacks, and was expected to act like one. She was not allowed to even show a flicker of her emotions on her face, or to slump her upright stance. At the mere age of eleven, she was not allowed to act like a silly eleven year old girl, but a Black daughter who would one day become a ‘prim and proper’ lady.
Cissy wanted to look down and avert her gaze from everyone surrounding her as her heart beat faster. However, she couldn’t do that. As ingrained in her brain by her mother before coming to Hogwarts for her Wizarding education, she was supposed to never appear vulnerable, wear a mask of cold indifference and look calm and confident in the perfect poise for a lady.
She stifled a sigh. Right now, she could hardly care less about all that, yet she knew if she let the little girl inside her take over the youngest Black daughter, her siblings and cousins would give her a good telling off – they might even tell Mother, and she suppressed a shudder at the thought of her mother being disappointed in her.
‘Relax Cissy. You’re going to be sorted into Slytherin and your parents are going to proud of you. There’s nothing to be afraid of.’ She counselled herself, trying to look as nonchalant as possible.
When ‘Black, Narcissa’ was called out, she closed her eyes for a fleeting moment, wrinkled her nose like Bella had taught her, and strode forward with as much confidence and authority as her eleven-year-old body could muster.
She gently sat on the stool and felt the Hat being placed upon her head. It was far too big and fell past her forehead obscuring her vision. She could almost hear her mother’s voice fussing over how her ‘perfect’ hair was going to get spoilt. She allowed a slight sadness to flit across her face, taking advantage of the fact that no one could see her expression, as she thought about all that was expected of her as a Black.
“Ah… another Black. Pureblood. Expected to be in Slytherin.”
She almost jumped when she heard the voice speak, but controlled herself.
“Hmm... definitely the traits of a Slytherin. Ability to control emotions, a thirst to prove yourself, and a determined streak.”
Her heart gave a little jolt as she heard the Hat’s musings. So, she was a Slytherin after all.
“But there’s something else I sense. Cleverness. Wit. Intelligence. Perhaps Ravenclaw would suit you as well.”
She pondered this over for a second. Her mother wouldn’t mind that much if she was sorted into Ravenclaw, but her cousins would definitely take the mickey out of her. She already ‘read too much’ according to them, and if she was sorted into Ravenclaw, she could just imagine their glee.
“Not a Ravenclaw then?”
The Hat seemed to be listening to her thoughts, so she chanted in her head, “Slytherin. Please.”
“As you wish my dear, Slytherin it is. I can see you’re going to be one of those extraordinary Slytherins who will bring a change. You’re destined to do something big.”
The Hat prophesized as well? Narcissa held back a snort but a smile was forming on her lips. She would do great things. So, she would live up to the expectations of her family then. She needn’t worry about failing them anymore – somehow the Hat had reassured her.
“Slytherin!” The Sorting Hat bellowed to the crowd and she felt it being lifted from her head. She was met by cheers and applauds as she made her way diligently to the Green and Silver house table.
“I thought the Hat would never sort you! It took ages Cissy!” Bella exclaimed as she took her place between her two elder sisters.
“Don’t be hard on her Bella. You know the Hat takes time for some. Our Cissy is special.”
Andromeda smiled at her younger sister and Narcissa gave her a small but grateful smile. The freshly sorted Slytherin looked forward to seeing her dormitory and sink on her bed to drift to the land of dreams – the only place where she could truly be herself without any constraints.
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