"Now, put away your wands. You won't have any need of them here."
Dolores Umbridge was standing in front of Sofia's Defense Against the Dark Arts class, looking quite fat and smug. She flicked her wand and the books on the desks of the students flipped open to the first chapter.
"Please begin reading the first chapter. There will be no need to talk."
The fat toad walked over and sat down behind her desk, staring at them as she waited for them to begin their assignment.
Sofia picked up her quill and began reading, occasionally scribbling down notes in her notebook. In the silence of the classroom, all she could hear was the scribbling of her own quill.
She heard a chair scrape back and looked up to see Umbridge standing up and glaring at her.
"Miss Adema, this is a reading activity and you are clearly off topic. Five points from Gryffindor, and you can surrender that notebook."
Sofia looked stunned as her notebook flew off of her desk and into Umbridge's outstretched hand.
"I'm sorry, Professor. I take notes whenever I am reading. It helps me later if I need to go back and find something without having to read an entire book over again."
Umbridge opened the notebook and studied the pages. Upon seeing the truth of Sofia's words, she closed it and it flew back to Sofia's desk.
"Very well, Miss Adema. You may continue. But I warn you that I will periodically check your notebook. If you have even one line not relevant to the assignments I give you, then you will receive detention."
"Professor, are you going to give her the House points back?" Natalie asked from beside Sofia.
Professor Umbridge looked appalled.
"I would have considered it but then I would have to take them right back from you for not raising your hand."
Natalie looked stunned, and turned her face back to the book on her desk.
"Now, if their are no questions, we shall return to our readings."
A hand shot up from the front of the room. Sofia looked to see Liza Beth Rawls, a dark haired Ravenclaw.
"Yes, Miss Rawls?"
"Professor, when will we begin to practice spells?"
Professor Umbridge looked furious.
"There will be no foolish practicing in this classroom. Prior Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers have been much too careless and you instruction has not been safe. Now get back to work."
No one spoke for a while. Sofia tried to pay attention to the book, until she realized that it was oddly familiar. She checked the title and author of the book and realized that her parents had giving it to her to read for her seventh birthday.
"Is there a problem, Miss Adema?" Umbridge asked.
"There's no problem Professor, I just realized that I read this book when I was seven. It was a present from my parents."
Umbridge looked extremely annoyed.
"Very well. If you think you have no need to read it again, I'll expect a foot long evaluation on the first three chapters on my desk by our next lesson."
"From all of us?" Liza Beth asked.
"Five points from Ravenclaw for your lack of hand. Because of the lack of respect in this classroom, everyone else will have a foot on the first chapter due next time we meet."
The bell rang, saving the students from any more torture. The students scrambled to escape, throwing their things into their bags.
"Miss Adema, would you please sty behind for a moment."
Sofia felt her heart sink. She gave Natalie a comforting smile as her friend walked from the room looking extremely uncomfortable. Once the classroom had emptied, Sofia turned back to the toad.
"Miss Adema, I know you come from a very powerful and prominent family, but I will not give you any special treatment because of it. The same goes for your brother."
"I understand, Professor. Honestly, I hate it when people treat me differently because of who my family is, as does my brother. We both wish to earn respect from the people around us, not be handed it freely."
The toad looked thoughtful for a moment.
"Well that is good. You may go."
Sofia hurried from the room. Natalie was waiting right outside for her.
"What did the foul witch want?"
"She wanted to let me know that my name would earn me no special treatment."
"No, it will earn you detention. I heard she was awful to Harry this morning. She gave him a week of detention."
"I have no trouble believing that," Sofia said. "I've heard my parents talk about the toad before. They say she's the foulest one can be without delving into Dark Magic."
Natalie laughed and the girls hurried off to the Great Hall for lunch, continuing their discussion of the fat toad. They passed Luke on the way, who joined their conversation.
"I haven't had the delight," he said with a great deal of sarcasm, "of meeting the woman yet. I have her tomorrow."
"Take my advise," Sofia said. "Fall extremely ill and save one period of your life."
"We can help with that."
The three turned outside of the Great Hall to see the Weasley twins standing looking quite joyful.
"We have a fresh batch of candies ready, along with their remedies."
"I'll think about that."
The five walked into the Great Hall together. Luke said goodbye and headed off to his own table.
"So how was your experience with the toad this morning?"
Sofia recounted the details, her mind floating back to something Natalie had said.
Umbridge had given Harry a weeks worth of detention. Why? This had to have something to do with the ministry wanting to silence him and Dumbledore, which meant it was falling right into Voldemorts plans.
"We have her after lunch," George was saying as Sofia pulled her mind back into focus. "We're already planning to make her first day teaching a very memorable one."
Sofia looked up and saw her brother running up to her, a wide smile on his face.
"Sof, look what Draco have me!"
He held out his hand and an eagle figure fluttered out. It flew around Daniel's head and then landed back in his hand.
"He said you have one too."
"He gave me two of them last year. Is he being good to you?"
"I have loads of friends. They're all really cool, although some of them seem more interested in our money than anything else."
He looked a little disappointed as he said this last statement, and Sofia's heart broke. Her brother was so joyful, so pure and innocent, so trusting of the world. She grabbed his hand and led him away from her friends.
"I had the same problem last year. In fact, I still sometimes have that problem. Danny, you must realize that wherever we go, people will judge us based on who our family is. They will make assumptions about is because of our blood. It's human nature. We just have to go and show them that there's more to us than shallow pure-bloods."
Daniel nodded, looking sad.
"I guess I'm just afraid of not fitting in, of not having someone I can really trust."
"I was too. And it scared me. But Danny, whatever you do, don't shut down. Someone will come along who will really care. Don't shut them out."
Sofia knew that she was the last person who had the right to tell him this. He needed to hear it though. He couldn't end up like she had, with no one she could turn to, no one who could help her get through what she needed to do.
"I won't. I promise."
"Okay good" Sofia said smiling.
"Sof, can I ask you something?"
"Of course," Sofia said, growing worried. "What's up?"
Daniel hesitated, looking very unsure of himself.
"Well...it's just...has your tattoo ever started burning?"
Sofia felt her heart sinking. She hoped that if Voldemort was using her, Daniel would be spared.
"He is getting ready to call you. He is planning a task for you."
Daniel's eyes widened.
"Has he called you before?"
Sofia nodded again.
"What do I do, Sof? What if he summons me?"
Sofia put her hands on his shoulders. He was almost her height now. She couldn't believe he was growing up so much.
"Daniel, it's going to be okay. If it burns again and you cannot get do me, I want you to tell Draco immediately."
"Should I tell Mother and Father?"
"Leave it to me."
Sofia turned away and left her brother standing alone. She hurried from the Great Hall and through the Entrance Hall, thankful that she had a free period after lunch.
She walked outside and started running, her mind racing fast. She had to get to Malfoy Manor, she had to save her brother from the same fate she had to suffer.
She could control her shape shifting. She could bring out her inner spirit. She had no idea how, but she had to right now. She had to keep her brother safe.
She thought of the little boy she had watched grow up, his youthful innocence and joyful personality. She thought of how much she loved him, how she would do anything to keep him safe.
This seemed to be enough. A trigger was set off in Sofia and she felt her body falling onto her hands, only they weren't hands anymore. They were large white paws and the moment they hit the ground they picked up speed at a neck breaking rate.
In seemed like only a few minutes later when Sofia was pounding up the driveway towards the gate of Malfoy Manor. She ran though the iron gate without hesitating. Her paws barely hit the ground in between steps, and in a few seconds she had broken down the door at the entrance to the mansion.
She stood back up onto her legs, her wolf spirit dissolving to give way her her human body again. She stormed through the door on her right where the dinning room was.
Every person in the room looked up in shock. There were many more people sitting around the table than there had been last time. Some of the faces seemed familiar. Some did not.
"Miss Adema, you had better have a good reason for being here," hissed a cruel voice from across the room.