A flash fic for Victory Day, commemorating the Battle of Hogwarts.
The first time Astoria Greengrass saw Hogwarts, a turn on the traditional journey across the lake, she stood a little straighter and decided she would make her family proud. She couldn’t wait to attend class, make friends, go to Quidditch games—she wanted the full experience. But then, her parents never told her how the other students would hiss as she walked by to take her seat at the Slytherin table.
When she asked the Prefect why, she told Astoria this: “They will always hiss, until that day you hiss back.”
It took her six years to figure out what the Prefect meant. Snape had gone, and Harry Potter the legend just looked like a scared kid to her. Determined, stubborn beyond measure, but scared. Maybe that’s why they called it courage.
But then Pansy Parkinson played the wrong move—they all knew she’d given in to fear the moment Voldemort took power. And the one person Astoria thought for sure would know better; Professor Minerva McGonagall ordered all the Slytherins back to their dungeon common room.
She stood frozen as her housemates grumbled and began to shuffle off. She planted her feet. A friend tugged on her arm, nervous, confused—what are you doing, Astoria Greengrass?
Well, I guess I’m hissing back.
“No.” She said the words clear as bell, folding her arms and meeting the gaze of the Lion before her. All it takes is a bite of the Black Mamba and even the mighty King of the Beasts will fall.
“I beg your pardon, Miss Greengrass?” Professor McGonagall said as she appraised the sixth year before her.
“I’m not going down to the dungeons,” she said to a stunned crowd. “I’m going to help in the battle.”
Seamus Finnegan sneered at her from behind the professor. “Oh yeah, help the enemy, you mean!” he mocked. She heard the murmurs of agreement. She didn’t take her eyes off the Head of Gryffindor House.
“You know very well why I can’t let you do that,” Professor McGonagall said, taking a step toward her.
“I don’t, actually,” Astoria countered, her words like ice. “I’m disappointed in you, Professor. For such an loud proponent of muggleborn rights, you’re awfully quick to marginalize an entire group.”
She thought she heard an intake of breath.
“But how can we trust you!”
“A snake always lies!”
The cries were a broken record these days. She had heard far worse. She took a deep breath and projected her voice to break above the din.
“If being Slytherin is what makes me evil, why do you have any of us at all?” She looked around at them as an awkward silence permeated the space. “You sentence us the moment the hat touches our heads—I’m destined for the dark side. All because some asshole throwing murder like cupcakes sees fit to drag our reputation through the mud. I’ve no Dark Mark, I don’t agree with his crazy regime, and I want to fight by your side like I have for the last six years. I’m a Slytherin, not your enemy.”
Professor McGonagall hesitated. Astoria felt the shifting tension in the air. She watched the Transfiguration teacher shake her head, lips thinning to a stern degree—and then Harry Potter stepped forward with a smile like the blazing sun.
“Welcome aboard, Astoria Greengrass.”
And for every Pansy Parkinson who stayed behind, there were four others with wands at the ready.