Sofia's first class the next morning was Potions. She had slept poorly and was in an awful mood as she sat down in the Great Hall across from Natalie. She had completely forgotten Natalie's sour mood the night before, until she saw the glare on her friends face.
"Nat, what's wrong? Please tell me. If I've done something wrong, I can't fix it unless I know what it is."
Natalie shoved some bacon into her mouth and chewed it slowly. She swallowed and then opened her mouth to talk.
"Ever since you were extremely ill at the end of term last year and spent several days in the hospital wing, you've completely abandoned me. You sneak around whispering with other people, but you hardly tell me anything. You're keeping secrets from me."
Sofia was caught off guard by Natalie's extreme accusations. She had always been trying to protect Natalie, and never imagined that keeping secrets was bothering her so much.
"Nat, please listen to me. If I don't tell you something, it's because I'm trying to protect you. I tell you everything I can, but telling you certain things would place you in too much danger."
"I can take care of myself!" Natalie snapped.
"Here at school, with a bunch of other students, yeah, you can. I'd pick you in a fight against most of our year. But the danger I'm talking about is out in the real world. The people you have to worry about are fully trained dark wizards and witches who don't play by any rules and won't stop because a teacher comes around to break up the fight!"
Natalie narrowed her eyes.
"So this has something to do with You-Know-Who?" She asked.
"It has everything to do with him. The reason I talk to Ginny, Neville, Harry, Hermione and Ron is because they already know pieces of it. They found out a lot that night at the ministry. But they still only know pieces. And if they knew more, Voldemort might come after them personally."
"But why can't you tell me what they know?"
"Because much of it is not mine to tell. Trust me, the pieces they know put them in terrible danger. But they are older and capable of much more magic than you are."
Natalie sighed and looked away. She did not look angry anymore, just lost. She stood up and left the table, making her way across the Great Hall towards the dungeons.
Sofia sighed. She had tried to make things as easy as possible for her friend, but she was worried that she had only pushed her farther away.
"That did not go so well, did it?"
Sofia turned around and saw Luke standing behind her. He sat down next to her and brushed a loose hair from her face.
"How much of that did you hear?" Sofia asked.
"More than enough. So you're still set on not telling her anything?"
"The more she knows, the more danger she is in. It's not fair for me to drag her through that."
"It's also not your duty to make decisions for her."
Sofia glared at him.
"Do you think I should tell her?"
Luke shook his head.
"Not at all. I just want you to understand Natalie. Remember, I've known her all of her life. She's stubborn and not afraid of risk. That's why she's in Gryffindor. She would rather fight and die than watch safely from the sidelines. Her entire life has been lived under the shelter of her brother and parents. Here at school, she wanted to find freedom to make her own decisions. But then you started to take them away again."
"I never meant to," Sofia said. "I just want to keep her safe. I've already put enough people in danger."
Shaking his head again, Luke grabbed her arm.
"You haven't put anyone in danger. Anyone who is in danger for you is there because they love you and would stand by your side through the the pits of hell."
"So what do I do?" Sofia asked.
Luke looked down at the ground and shrugged.
"That's not for me to say. Only you can decide. I've got to get to class but I'll see you later."
He kissed her cheek and got up from the table, leaving Sofia to walk to class alone. She sighed and stood up, making her way to the dungeons.
She entered quietly and sat down beside Natalie, expecting a quiet, uneventful class. That's not what she got.
As soon as Professor Slughorn entered the room, his eyes locked on Sofia.
"Oh," he said. "So the rumors are true, we do have an Adema among us. Sofia, I believe? It is such an honor to finally meet the descendant of the only known royal wizarding family."
He went on, gushing over Sofia and her family for ten minutes, while Sofia shrank down in her seat. Yes, she had gotten a lot of attention her first year because of who she was, but it had died down ever since and the last thing she wanted was for someone to stir it up again.
Finally Slughorn began his lesson, but he kept staring at Sofia. She began counting the minutes until class ended. When it finally did, she hurried from the room as quickly as she could. Outside the dungeon, a small group of third years Slytherins snickered as she walked by.
"Bet you loved that, Adema. Bet you drank up every minute of being in the spotlight."
Sofia whirled on the Slytherin boy who had spoken, Davy James, and pulled out her wand. He shrank away from it and Sofia smiled.
"I can see you're just as much a coward as the rest of your House. You'll say anything behind someone's back but face to face you'll run away crying for your mum."
Davy stood up straighter.
"I'm not afraid of you," he snarled.
"Then draw your wand and fight me, coward."
Davy stood unmoving. Sofia smiled. Everyone in her year knew she was the best at dueling.
"I thought not," she said turning away. She kept her wand out though, knowing what would come next.
She heard his voice yell out a curse. She spun around and shouted "Protego!"
The spell rebounded off her shield and came back to hit Davy straight in the face. He crumpled to the floor in pain.
"How dare you?"
Sofia looked up and Slughorn standing in the corridor. He was not staring at her though. He was glaring at the crumpled body of Davy.
"You'd try to curse a girl the second her back was turned? Well I'm glad she taught you a lesson. Here's another one, ten points from Slytherin. You'd better run along to your next class, Miss Adema."
Sofia nodded and turned away. Her next class was Defense Against the Dark Arts with the Slytherins. Davy would no doubt be looking for revenge.
Sofia was hurrying along when she heard a voice behind her.
"Slow down, Sof!"
She looked and saw Natalie hurrying up behind her.
"I'm sorry I've been in such a bad mood," Natalie apologized. "I realize after seeing you fight Davy I realized I could never do that. You're so much better at everything than I am."
"I'll teach you everything I can."
Natalie's eyes brightened.
"Really?" She asked.
Sofia nodded and Natalie smiled back. The two girls made their way through the corridors until they reached the DADA classroom.
They took their seats, unsure of what was to come. When Snape entered the classroom, he told them all to stand up.
The desks disappeared.
"Since you all have lacked sufficient Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers the past few years, today I am going to have you duel so I can see where you all stand and how much work we have to do with you all."
He divided the class into pairs. Each pair was comprised of a Slytherin and a Gryffindor. Sofia was paired with Davy.
"I will go to each pair," Snape said. "And you will have two minutes to attempt to disarm each other."
Natalie was first. She was paired with a red headed Slytherin girl who looked twice Natalie's size.
The duel didn't last long. Natalie disarmed the Slytherin, who kept incorrectly pronouncing her spell, in two tries.
Sofia and Davy were next.
"On my mark," Snape said. "Three, two-"
Davy casted on two.
Sofia's shield once again deflected Davy's cast, but this time he was ready for it. He ducked out of the way.
"Flipendo!" Davy cried but Sofia deflected this easily as well.
"Locomotor Mortis" Sofia said.
Davy's legs locked together and he stumbled. He raised his wand to curse her again but Sofia beat him to it.
Davy's wand shot from his hand high into the air. Sofia caught it and glared at him. Twice he had tried to show her up. Twice she had failed.
Snape undid the leg locking curse as Sofia threw Davy's wand back to him. As Snape move on to the next pair, the young Slytherin kept glaring at her.
"Oh my goodness Sofia," Natalie whispered to her. "That was amazing! You were so calm and relaxed and he didn't stand a chance."
"You did really well too. You disarmed the red head very quickly."
Once Snape has finished inspecting every group, he flicked his wand and the desks reappeared. The students took their seats as Snape returned to the front of the room.
"Although many of you have proficient control over offensive spells, it seems only Miss Adema has mastered the protective charm, Protego. I remind you all that this course is about Defending yourselves. Miss Adema, please come to the front of the room."
Sofia stood up nervously. She walked to the front and stood across from Snape silently.
"I'm going to try and jinx you. I want you to try and block it."
Sofia nodded and raised her wand. She was watching his face, and almost missed his wand twitch.
She barely had time to throw up her shield as sparks shot from Snape's wand towards her.
"Very good, Miss Adema. However you, like the rest of your classmates, rely to heavily on listening to your opponent to see what they are going to do. You were unprepared for the silent curse, and had it not been for your reflexes, you would not have blocked my curse. Return to your seat."
Once she had done so, Snape barked out to the class, "turn to page four and begin reading silently."
At lunch, Sofia found Draco in the Great Hall.
"Hey!" She said as she sat down.
He looked at her and muttered a hello, his face looking solemn.
"What's wrong?" She asked.
"Oh, nothing," Draco replied. "How were your classes?"
"They were all right. Slughorn obsessed over me which was quite uncomfortable. Then I got into a fight with Davy James. He thought he could curse me when my back was turned."
Draco raised an eyebrow curiously.
"Don't worry," Sofia said. "I only sent his spell back at him."
Draco shook his head.
"You shouldn't go picking fights with people. You need to keep your head down."
Sofia was shocked. Normally Draco would take her side.
"He was the one picking a fight. I merely defended myself. He tried to get me again in Defense Against the Dark Arts when Snape had us duel but I put him in his place."
"Sofia!" Draco snapped. "Don't you get it? I'm not going to be here to protect you from the rest of Slytherin for much longer."
"Protect me?" She asked. "Since when have you been protecting me? Since when have I needed protection?"
Draco shook his head.
"You just don't get it Sof, you don't understand it."
"Then explain it to me, why don't you?" She growled.
"Just forget it!" Draco snapped back. "Get out of here before someone does curse you."
Sofia was stunned. She turned away from him quickly, not knowing what to say to him. He had been so short with her, so vicious. It was not like him. Something was wrong, but he refused to tell her.
Sofia felt horrible for the rest of the day.