Riddle (H.P)

Cassiopeia Riddle has lived in an orphanage all her life; no knowledge of her family or who she really is. Nothing, that is, until she's finally found by Hogwarts and she can finally go and become the person she's supposed to be, discovering not just herself, but her family in the process. Will she find what she's looking for? Will she be left disappointed, angry and, most importantly, in danger?

(The Harry Potter series is property of J.K. Rowling. I do not own any scenes or characters from the books or the films. Cassiopeia Riddle is my character, however, and some scenes may differ from the books. There may also be some modern references.)

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4. Chapter 4

Cassiopeia threw items of clothing into a bag as Professor McGonagall magics her books into a bag that shouldn't be able to fit them all in, but will. 
"The charm I'm using here is an enlargement charm. No matter how many books you have, it will fit them," she explains. 
Cassiopeia watches as her books fly into the bag one after the other, slightly astounded. McGonagall catches her expression and smiles warmly. "I'm sure you'll be right at home at Hogwarts, my dear."
Cassy smiles at this and continues to pack haphazardly. "So what's it like there?" she asks, trying to close the suitcase after the last bits of clothing had been shoved in. 
"There are four houses at Hogwarts, named after the four founders; Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. I'm head of Gryffindor house and Professor Snape is head of Slytherin. He teaches potions in the dungeons and I teach Transfiguration." She continues, detailing the different teachers, elective lessons and what Cassiopeia will have to get used to when she gets there.

"The staircases move?" Cassiopeia gasps. "How do people find their way around?" 
"Learning which way the stairs take them at which point, I guess. You'll have people to show you around."
"I have a million questions," she says as they reach the bottom of the stairs with her 
"Understandably, really," Dumbledore says. "And you'll have plenty of time to ask them all, but right now I think Molly is waiting for us, Minerva. We should really get going."
"Yes, yes, of course. Are we apperating or are you making a Portkey?" she asks. 
Dumbledore surveys me over his glasses as if he is looking through me to make a decision.
"I think we'd best be safe and make a Portkey," he nods, looking around. "Is there anything we can use, Mike?"
"Yes, let me grab something," he says, looking around. He grabs an old, broken stapler and hands it to Dumbledore. "Is this okay?"
Dumbledore produces a stick of wood and waves it in the air muttering 'Portus' as he does. The stapler glows blue. 
"Make sure you're touching it now, Cassiopeia," he warns. "One... two... three."
And they were off.

 

It only takes a few seconds, but it felt like longer to Cassiopeia. The world around her started spinning until it was just a blur of blue light and blackness. As they land, her knees almost give way, causing her to stumble slightly. She would've fallen had it not been for Snape who had caught her just before she fell. She thanked him politely and he just nods. The concrete they'd landed on is part of a large garden with chickens running around, little bald creatures with disproportionately large head and very bony feet, and pretty little flowers and bushes lining the path. A woman comes walking out of the house, her flaming ginger hair flying behind her as she makes her way determinedly towards the group. 
"Albus! I'm so glad you're back," she smiles. She reminds Cassy almost like home, her voice is warm and her face is kind. "And you must be Cassiopeia, dear. I'm Molly, it's lovely to meet you. Do come in."
She takes flicks a piece of wood, not dissimilar from the one Dumbledore had used and the bags 1art to levitate, following the group inside. They go through the door and are greeted by a table of five ginger haired children, a now-balding, once ginger man and a boy with jet black hair, obviously a friend. They all stop talking and look up as they walk through the door and Cassiopeia feels her face going red slightly. One of the ginger haired boys let's out a low whistle. Molly hits him over the head with a rolled up newspaper and he immediately starts eating again, grinning to himself. Everyone returns to their breakfasts, apart from the boy with the jet black hair, who continues to survey Cassy with a curious, almost worried look. 
"Would you like any food, dear?" Molly asks warmly. 
"No, thank you," Cassy smiles, taking a seat that was offered to her by the boy that had whistled previously. 
"I'm George and this is Fred," he says. 
"We're twins," the other one says. 
"How am I supposed to tell you apart?" Cassy asks, hoping there was a way.
"You just have to learn," Fred shrugs. 
Cassy laughs gently, looking around. In one corner, balancing on top of a chest of drawers is a clock with nine hands, each with the face of a Weasley. It has multiple options ranging from work and school to dentist and prison. Her gaze lingers slightly, as she had never seen something like that before. Her eyes continue scanning and she sees a dustpan and brush sweeping by itself and an iron is working in a corner. As her eyes return to the table, another red head- this time covered in freckles and looking gangly and tall- introduces himself. 
"I'm Ron, this is Harry and my other friend Hermione should be down any minute now," he grins. 
Cassy smiles and turns her head as a brown, bushy haired girl comes bounding down the stairs with quite a large book in her arms. 
"Hermione, dear!" Molly calls, handing her a plate of food and pulling up a chair for her next to Cassy. "This is Cassiopeia. Hermione's the brightest witch of her age, you know! She's going to be helping you catch up."
"Hi," Cassy says quietly. Hermione is grinning at her. 
"Hello. Where do you come from? That's an interesting accent," she says, very matter-of-factly. 
"Well, I'm not really... from anywhere... I've lived in London for most of my life but I don't really have that accent..." Cassy answers, sinking back slightly awkwardly. 
"How can you not be from anywhere?" Ron says- with his mouth full. 
"I lived in an orphanage. I can't exactly say where I was born or where my parents are from," Cassy shrugs, acting as nonchalantly as she can.
"Wait, so... like, no parents?" George says in amazement. 
"No parents that I know of," she corrects. 
"So, what do you know about your family?" Fred asks. 
"My mum came to the orphanage pregnant, they took care of her until she gave birth and she was alive long enough to name me, and then she... passed," Cassy explains, suddenly aware of everyone's eyes on her. 
"And your dad?" 
Cassy just shrugs. "Don't know who he is, where he is, why he wasn't with my mum; nothing."
"Woah, imagine not knowing any of you family..." Fred says, sitting back from an empty plate. 
"It's not that strange, Fred," the slightly pompous boy says from across the table. "Loads of people don't have parents. Maybe you'll be more appreciative of your own parents."
"I am appreciative of my parents, thank you very much," Fred snaps back. 
"You have a funny way of showing it," Percy says back, looking down at Fred. 
"And that's enough of that conversation," Molly interrupts before Fred can even think of a good thing to say back. "Ginny, dear, can you show Cassy to your room?"
The only girl at the table nods and stands up, smiling welcomingly. She grabs some of the bags littering the floor behind them and Cassy grabs the rest, following her up the stairs. They go up to the first floor. She opens a door near the stairs and holds it open for Cassy. 
"You'll be staying in my room with me and Hermione. I hope that's alright," she says, sitting on her bed and motioning to two makeshift beds, one of which had clearly been claimed by Hermione.
"It's perfect, thank you," Cassy smiles back, setting some of her cases down. 
"My mum tasked me with telling you anything you want to know, within reason," Ginny says, crossing her legs on her bed and patting the space next to her to get Cassy to sit there. She does, hoping over her last case to get there. 
"So, what've you been told?"
"I've been told about the houses, the subjects, some teachers and I know that the staircases move," Cassy says, grinning. 
"Is that all? Wow," Ginny says. 
"What more is there?"
"There are secret passages everywhere, Filch is the caretaker and he hates students, so steer clear of him. There are Quidditch teams-"
"Wait, what's Quidditch?" Cassy asks, wondering what kind of sport Quidditch could possibly be. 
"We're going to the World Cup final this summer, in about a week. We'll teach you what's going on before then, but basically, it's a wizarding sport played on brooms, with seven people to a team. There are three Chasers, two Beaters, a Keeper and a Seeker."
Ginny continues her explanation, going into details about each ball and each player and how you can be fouled.
Cassy sits in awe for a moment after she'd finished, awestruck. "That's incredible," she says finally. "Andy there's a World Cup?" Ginny nods. "And we're all going to see it?" Ginny nods again. 
Cassy grins. "You're really taking me?"
"Of course we're taking you, Cassiopeia, you're a friend now. And our friends are basically family when they need one," Ginny smiles. 
Cassy smiles, suddenly feeling the need to hug her when a scream comes from the kitchen, followed by the scraping of chairs and multiple yells. Cassy is immediately on her feet and rushing down the stairs. 
"What's going on?" She yells, trying to get down the stairs as quickly as possible without falling. Molly stops her on the last step and Ginny bumps into her before gasping. Cassy follows everyone's gaze. Nagini was sliding across the table. Cassy starts to laugh slightly, know that no harm would come to anyone right now. 
"It's okay, she won't hurt you," she says, walking towards it, much to Molly's discomfort. She starts talking to her in the foreign language. 
"Nagini, maybe you shouldn't be here. You're scaring them."
"I came to warn you, your father is planning thingsssss, Cassy. Thingssss that could tip the balance of the Wizarding World."
"What do you mean?"
"I alsssso heard you're going to the Quidditch World Cup with the Weasley'ssss and a few friendsssss so I thought I'd come to wisssssh you a good time, and to remind you to ssssstay out of trouble- you never know what could go wrong."
Nagini's words held an ominous meaning to them, something was hidden behind them that Cassy couldn't quite see. The Weasley's were staring at her in shock, not comprehending the conversation they were having- but Harry could. 
"What do you mean?" Harry says in the foreign language, stepping forward. 
"Harry Potter. I forgot you were a Parsssselmouth too. I don't mean anything, I meant what I ssssaid," Nagini replies, dodging questions once again before sliding off of the table and out the back door. 
"The day I get a straight answer out of her..." Cassy mutters quietly. 
A few moments of silence settles over the kitchen as Cassy mulls over the words. Then an explosion of sound, questions being fired from all directions, Molly and her husband (now Cassy knew he was called Arthur) were asking what the snake said, whether she will come back; Fred and George going on about having two Parselmouth's in the house (a words that Cassy didn't seem to recognize as a particularly good one); Ron and Percy yelling about whether I'm going to be a Slytherin or a Gryffindor; and Ginny and Hermione yelling about how 'bloody awesome' that was and how she wondered if I could speak to dragons too. 
Cassy lets these sounds roll over her for a minute until  another man walks through the door. Slightly tattered looking clothing, scars across his face and thin and tired looking; but somehow Cassy knee she could trust him. Harry was still stood beside her looking at her curiously. "That was some good quality Parseltongue, did you learn or is it natural?" he whispers, takin advantage of the small break in noises as the man closes the door behind him. 
"Natural," she whispers back, "But I can do it whenever I want, I don't have to be with a snake."
"That's cool. I have to really focus, can you just switch in and out?" 
Cassy nods, still watching the man. 
"Remus," Molly breathes out. 
"I heard you had met Cassiopeia, and I wanted to come and say hi," he smiles, meeting her she pleasantly. 
"Hi," she replies quietly- everyone was listening for any evidence of a snake remaining. 
"Oh, Molly, I saw a really big snake coming away from you house a second ago, is everything okay?" he asks. 
"She came to speak to me again," Cassy says, her voice still quiet. 
"What do you mean again," Molly asks suddenly. 
"She's only done it once before- this morning. She said I'd see her again soon, but I didn't know it would be this soon," she explains. 
"This happened before and you didn't tell anyone?"
"It didn't come up!"
Molly sighs slightly. "Someone will need to tell Dumbledore."
"Isn't he going to meet us in Diagon Alley tomorrow?" Arthur points out. 
"Yes... I guess we could tell him then..." Molly says.
"What's Diagon Alley?" Cassy asks Harry quietly. 
"It's a wizard shopping street, you'll be able to get everything you need there."
Cassy nods, watching the conversation unfold. Soon they'd decided that it was best to tell Dumbledore tomorrow, where they could talk it over under the cover of buying books and school supplies.
Fred and George are jumping discussing the pros and cons of having two snake-talkers, trying to deliberate whether Cassy would be in Slytherin or not with Ron and Percy and just straight up insulting Percy when he obnoxiously says that Cassy must be in Slytherin. 
Harry and Cassy return to discussing Parseltounge, her asking all the questions she wanted to know in the language and Harry replying back in English. Hermione got pulled over out of curiosity and began getting Harry to translate for the questions he didn't know the answers for. Soon, she was all caught up... apart from the fact that they wouldn't tell her who else, apart from Harry, was a Parselmouth. This frustrated Cassy more than she'd like to admit. She wanted to know what they knew- she wanted to know who he father was. She'd not known for fourteen years, why couldn't she know now?
Soon, Ginny had swept her off to play Quidditch with the boys, so that she could get an idea for how it was really played. They spent most of the afternoon playing before being called in for a bit of an early dinner, but soon they were all off upstairs into Ron's room so that they could all talk away from the adults prying ears.

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