There is something strange, and almost heartbreaking, about watching the world crumble around you. Knowing there is not a thing you can do about it. It's worse when, perhaps, you could have.
It might have been my third day without sleep, only nights laying awake in anticipation of what was to come. The return to Hogwarts was fast approaching, and while I was eager to wander the castle halls once again, there was that ever present twinge of fear. For centuries the school had been home to dozens of fragile secret. The kind that could ruin dynasties and send entire families into the obsolete.
I was not blind to the order of things. I knew all too well the way the others of my house envied me. Slytherin was thought to be a breeding ground for madness, and I was the queen. The darkest of them all. With my jet black hair and piercing gaze, I became the embodiment of the shadows. They loved me and hated me and wanted me all at once, and I adored every sultry glance that came my way.
I couldnt quite bring myself to believe I'd ever belonged at Hogwarts. I'd always been destined for greater things. Darker, perhaps, but greater nonetheless. And I would get them, somehow. One day I would be free of the prison to which I was condemned, and I would move onto greater and darker things indeed.
I had been raised to be evil. Born and bred in hatred. And when the Dark Lord had fallen, he had taken down with him every Death-Eater, every name associated wth the Dark Arts. All those who had sold their soul for protection and power and the insatiable lust for all things terrible.
And so my family had fallen into debris. The name Hart, once so recognized, now bore a black mark that could never be forgotten. Once the Ministry found the evidence they needed, my parents had been whisked away to Azkaban, leaving me alone and defenseless. My fate was sealed; I was shipped off to live my aunt and uncle.
The sound of my name brought me out of my trance, back to the painful weight of reality. The Hogwarts Express was rumbling down the track, unnoticed by the world even at such unimaginable speeds. Across from me in the car say a pale blonde boy, the angular jaw and prominant white-blonde hair agonizingly familiar.
"Lazurus," I drawled lazily. "I was daydreaming."
"Dad says I'm not to let you do that," he told me in that matter-of-factly way of his. He was just a few months younger than me, and though it was nearly impossible to tell, he was also my cousin. Maybe the only true ally I had in these pressing times. The world was shrouded by an image of perfection, but I would not be fooled. Something was stirring just below the surface, some madness we couldnt yet recognize.
"Uncle Draco isnt here to tell us what to do," I reminded him. "I'm thinking of being very bad indeed this year." The last part was added with a raised brow and a devious smirk, one that even Lazurus couldnt resist mimicking. The train pressed on ever more, and we came closer to the destination that was Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Our sanctuary. Or exile. Or both
Yes, I was sure that something was coming. This year was going to be unlike any we'd seen before. And if nothing of exciting importance was to happen on its own...well, then, I'd just have to stir something up.