Layla payed little attention to the rest of the Sorting Ceremony. Right after she had settled onto the bench, 'Malfoy, Draco' was also sorted into Slytherin and sat down next to her.

She sat in silence until Dumbledore rose, made a short speech, and food filled the plates in front of her. Layla watched the surrounding first years grab at the food greedily, laughing and smiling.

Eyeing a juicy fat sausage right in front of her, Layla made to spear it with her fork when the blonde boy next to her, Malfoy, took it and put it on his own plate. 

'Hey!' Layla said, frowning at him. 'That was the last one.'

Malfoy shrugged, his mouth full of sausage.

'It was mine,' Layla continued angrily. 'You could see that.'

Wiping his mouth, Malfoy sneered at her. 'Yeah, whatever, Goldilocks. It's just a sausage.'

Layla's hands automatically moved to touch her thick golden hair that she adored so much. Malfoy sniggered, and turned away to talk to the two burly, ugly boys on his other side.

 Layla watched the other people in the hall, especially interested in the ghost chatting to the Gryffindor first years a table over. The Gryffindors were all smiling and laughing at eachother, looking like they were having a really good time.

The Slytherin table was a darker affair, and people still talked and smiled, but in a different way. It was less warm, less exuberent.

All of a sudden, she felt Malfoy shudder beside her, and saw that a disgusting old ghost had sat itself inbetween him and the two ugly boys. He wriggled away in distaste, until he realised that it bought him closer to her.

'What?' he said, catching her watching him.

'Nothing,' Layla said, turning her eyes down, but secretly laughing, as she could see the Gryffindors laughing at Malfoy's misfortune.


That evening, Layla curled up in her four poster bed with a book propped open on her knees. The night had ended in the school song being sung merrily, and the school retiring cheerily for the night, a new school year ready to begin the next day.

The other girls in Layla's dorm were sitting round a bed opposite hers, whispering to each other, sometimes throwing glances her way. The weren't being openly nasty, but they weren't welcoming either.

Most of the Slytherins had blanked her, and Layla took comfort in the familiar story she was reading. As the light left the room and the other girls slept, Layla continued to read, warmed by the happy tale.

When she eventually fell asleep, book still in her hands, she had a smile on her golden framed face, dispite being all by herself and alone.

The End

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