"Along with all of our wonderful first years, we have a transfer from America's Salem Witch Academy. Why don't we have her go ahead and get sorted first?" A witch in emerald green robes and a matching hat gestured for Zoey to join her up by the teacher's table. Sitting next to her, a hat rested upon an old stool. She sat down. The hat was put on Zoey's head and, surprisingly, it began to talk.
Oh, you've been through a lot, haven't you? it said. Zoey looked around. Apparently she was the only one who could hear it. Especially when you were fifteen. Oh yes, you do seem to regret it. And yet...you don't feel sorry for it happening
No, Zoey told it. It showed me that—
"Gryffindor!" it yelled, stopping her thought. The table second-to-the-left cheered loudly. Zoey smiled when she saw Remus sitting there, cheering along with them. She crammed herself between two of Remus' friends as they ate sloppily.
"Where are your manners?" Zoey asked, disgusted.
They looked at her curiously. The one with glasses said, "Where's your appetite? Seriously, have you even tasted the food yet? Or are you waiting for someone to serve you like they did back at Salem?"
I don't think I like him that much, she thought. What happened at the end of last year crossed her mind, it was embarrassing that she had got kicked out over something as stupid as interrupting a teacher, but it didn't matter anymore. She was at a new school, and there was a lot to do, so Zoey was never bored. But she was alone.
Whenever Zoey mentioned that she went to Salem, everyone would turn their back and act as if she didn't exist.
"Hey, you," Zoey heard Remus say as she passed him in the corridor.
"What? You don't want to be with four-eyes over there?" she asked solemnly, pointing at his friend James Potter, the guy who was mean to her last night.
"Nah, I don't have my next class with him. What do you have?"
"Me too. Want to walk together?"
"Sure." She started walking and noticed a big gash in his right arm. "What's this?"
He winced before responding. "I - uh, do - er - a lot of- um...."
"If you don't want to tell me, Remus, it's fine."
"Thanks. I...not yet." They walked the rest of the way in silence. Professor Slughorn looked very excited to see her.
"Hello, Miss Pryce. The rest of the class knows this, so I figured I'd fill you in. Basically, there are two types of kids in this class. There are the Slugclub members, like Mr. Lupin over there, and then there are the kids who will undoubtedly fail." He didn't give an example of a kid who would "undoubtedly fail," but Zoey saw him look in Sirius' direction. He told the class that for the first three months of school, they had to brew an advanced potion in groups of three, and each person had to write a three-foot essay on how they made it. The ingredients they used, how they thought it turned out, how well their partners participated, etc.
"Let me see..." he said, looking down at his class list. "Snape, Evans, and...Black." The guy with long hair from the night before rolled his eyes. "Finnigan, Brown, and Smith. Hm...Blaise, Lupin, and Diggory. And finally, Prewett, Pryce, and Malfoy." Then the Professor walked over to Zoey. "This is your chance, Miss Pryce. Do well on this, and you'll be well on your way to the Slugclub."