Status: In very, very, very slow progress


"Professor, It's Like This Really."


“Well, Professor, um, well….” Ron started.

“It’s about Draco Malfoy.” Harry continued.

“And Vanessa.” I added.

“What seems to be the trouble, Miss Herbaceum?” he asked boredly.

“Well, Professor…you see, sir…it’s like this, really…. Basically, this is what happened….” She started. “I’m not explaining this very well, am I?”

“No.” the rest of us, including Professor Snape chorused.

“Do you want me to explain for you?” Gerard inquired.

“Please.” Vanessa sighed.

“Well, sir, Draco Malfoy has been…harassing her. And giving her…unwanted physical attention.”

“It’s not safe for her to be in the same common room as him!” Hermione piped up.

“He’s really rough with her, I swear, if he continues this may turn in to full scale abuse!” Ray added.

“He’s right – they all are.” Bob agreed. “And her claustrophobia brings on her asthma, which is the main, immediate danger.”

“Miss Herbaceum, do you agree with all this?” Snape inquired, looking towards Vanessa.

“Entirely.” She replied, her breathing returning to normal.

“Take her in to your dormitory, Miss Granger, and Miss Herbaceum, I suggest you talk to Mr. Malfoy tomorrow morning, and sort things out. If it happens again, tell me. Goodnight!” With that decided we left for Gryffindor Tower.

The Fat Lady made a fuss that we were bringing a Slytherin to Gryffindor Tower, but we said Snape had told us to, and she let Vanessa in.

Gerard’s hand was still clasping Vanessa’s.

The entire common room turned and looked at us – but mainly they stared at Vanessa.

“What are you doing bringing a dirty Slytherin in our common room?!” what looked like a brother of Ron’s said.

“George, she’s not like the rest of those idiots.” Ron said sharply.

“Is she here to find out the secrets of Gryffindor Tower?” George’s twin joked cruelly.

“Fred!” Hermione began, but Vanessa stopped her and said gently,

“Its okay, Hermione, I’ve gotten used to this sort of torture. Name calling, pranks, cruel jokes, I’ve had the lot pulled on me. Not just here, for being a Slytherin. I had it at the Muggle school I went to – people called me so many names, ‘freak’, ‘emo’, ‘goth creep’ oh, and my personal favourite, ‘Rock’; I’ve had things thrown at me – I had to go into hospital once cuz someone threw a huge stone at me and it knocked me out. The point is, there will always be stereotyping, no matter how many petitions against it I’ve made or signed, it will always be there. And if you fit a negative stereotype, you’re gonna get picked on, even if you only have one thing in common with that lousy stereotype. So don’t bother trying to defend me – it’ll all be in vain.”

Silence followed this amazing speech. I wonder if she’d had it prepared.

“Um, there’s a spare bed in my dorm, Vanessa.” Hermione piped up, but was almost immediately challenged with a girly looking and sounding, high-pitched girl screeching,

“You’re not bringing her in our dormitory!” Vanessa sighed and said,

“I’m right here!” The girl just looked at her like she was some sort of disgusting slug.

“Lavender, really, there’s no need to be so rude!” Hermione scolded.

“Has she come to spy on us and report back to her Drakie-poo?” an Irish accent rang out loud and clear. Finding the culprit, Vanessa looked him straight in the eye and said, “Shut the hell up. Don’t you dare say anything like that. You think you know me, think I’m just some bitchy Slytherin, but you have absolutely no idea.”

Looking around the common room she said, “So this is Gryffindor Tower.” She looked over at us, her friends. “My father told me about this place, before I came to Hogwarts, and he was telling me about it, the day he died. Did I ever tell you my dad was a Gryffindor? He was keeper on the Quidditch team as well. He told me he- he played alongside your father, too, Harry.”

Harry was speechless. I could tell. I guessed what he might have been thinking, but didn’t dwell on it. Fred asked,

“How did a Gryffindor keeper end up having a Slytherin daughter who can fly amazingly but doesn’t play Quidditch?”

“You’ve seen me fly?” Vanessa asked.

“Yeah. You’re really good; you’ve got great manoeuvres, good dodges too. Half the time I was watching I thought you were going to crash into a tree, but you moved at the last minute. It was great.” Vanessa smiled.

“Thanks uh….”

“Fred, Fred Weasley, I’m one of Ron’s brothers.”

“Thanks Fred.”
♠ ♠ ♠