Winner of the Watty Award for Best Fanfiction for the 'On the Rise' Category for 2011. :D

Staring longingly out the window at the mansion just up the hill is not something any normal girl would be doing on her sixteenth birthday, but I was no normal sixteen year old girl. The mansion just up the hill belonged to the Malfoys. Their son, Draco, just happened to be the boy that I was attracted to. Every girl at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was attracted to this boy, so it wasn’t anything special that I happened to be also. There was something different about why I liked him though: I knew the real him. How he acted most of the time was just a show for the world, but I know what he is truly like. You see, we used to be best friends. I say used to because something happened in the first year that we both will never forget.

“It’s true then,” Draco’s voice sounded over the crowd of excited first years. “Harry Potter has come to Hogwarts.”

I was on Draco’s right hand side when he realized that the Boy Who Lived was standing just a few feet from us. I smirked as he walked over to him. I knew what he was doing, reaching out and including him before anyone else could snatch him up. I wanted to be friends with him just as much as he did, but from the moment he walked over there, I knew that he wasn’t going to be friends with him. The red head next to him had been talking to him the whole time. The famous boy had already been accepted into a clique. He was too late.

“My name is Malfoy, Draco Malfoy,” he said proudly as the red head started to snort. “Think my name’s funny do you? I don’t need to ask who you are,” he looked the boy over. “Red hair, freckles, and a hand-me-down robe? You must be a Weasley.”

At the sound of that mean word, I pushed my way past the two stupid oafs, Crabbe and Goyle, and walked up next to Harry. Draco shrugged at me as I tapped my foot in his direction. I was the only one that could keep him in line back then.

“Draco,” I said. “What are you doing? Please come back and leave these nice boys alone.”

“No,” he said. “I came over here for a reason, and I’m not leaving until I have succeeded. Now,” he said, turning back to Harry.

“Come now or I’ll tell everyone about your little problem,” I smirked and he made a face.

He cleared his throat as his face turned a light shade of pink. “I don’t have a problem, but you will if you don’t shut your mouth, Court.” He then held his hand out to Harry. “There are some wizard families that are better than others,” he then paused because I had stomped on his foot, “I can help you there,” he continued despite my warnings.

Harry looked down at his hand before looking back up. “I think I can tell the difference myself, thanks.”

I laughed as a professor came behind Draco and tapped him on the back before leading us first years into the Great Hall. Draco pushed his way in front of me. I didn’t care though. He was being extremely mean to Harry and that Weasley kid. It wasn’t right, and I couldn’t just stand there and let it happen. The sorting took place, and Draco’s name was called before mine. The hat had no problem sorting him right into Slytherin. I, on the other hand, didn’t want to get into Slytherin. That’s where my dad was, and I never really got along with my dad. My mum was in Ravenclaw, but I didn’t want to go there either. So, when my name was called, I took a seat on the stool and crossed my fingers as the hat was placed onto my head.

“You have a great mind but also a thirst for power, my dear. You have some qualities of a Slytherin, just like your father was. Ravenclaw could be the house for you, just like your mother, but I’m afraid that you won’t fit in with most of the children there,” he paused. “What to do with you?”

“You could put me,” I said slowly, “in Gryffindor?”

“Now isn’t that an interesting thought. Gryffindor…that just might work after all,” there was a slight pause before the final decision. “GRYFFINDOR!”

I took a seat at the Gryffindor table right next to Harry and across from Ron. I peered across to the Slytherin table to find Draco staring at me in disbelief. We had always said that we were going to be in the same house. I guess we were too different after all.

Since then, Draco hasn’t had a civil tongue with me. He treats me like he treats any other Gryffindor, maybe even worse because I’m friends with Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger. Those are the three that he despises the most out of all the Gryffindors. No matter how hard he tries, he just can’t escape me. You see, my father is friends with his father, so  find myself over for dinner at the Malfoy’s a lot.

Bu anyway, I was looking up at the mansion because I was making my birthday wish before I had to leave. My mother was picking me up so I could spend time with her for the rest of the summer. My parents were divorced, have been since I was thirteen. My wish wasn’t to get them back together though like it had been on all my other birthdays since the divorce. No, this wish was a special one. I wished that Draco would at least want to be my friend. I missed the real him so much. I think I catch glimpses of it every once in a while, but then it fades back, as if he remembers that I was sorted into his rival house.

“Mistress,” called our house elf, Nanny. “Master would like to know if you are ready to leave for your mother’s?”

I nodded. “Yes, you can tell him that I am well beyond ready,” I said, moving from the window and over by my bed.

“I will tell him,” she said, backing out of my room with a bow.

I sighed and looked around my room. A picture on my dresser caught my eye. It had a book sitting open right on top of it, but I still noticed it. I removed the book and tossed it aside. The picture was of Draco and I when we were about seven. It was the time that our families took that vacation to beach. I was in my little sundress and he was in his swimming trunks. We were so cute together back then. It made me think about what had happened to us. It seemed like nothing could happen to us until we attending school, where our true colors shone. Well, my true colors. Draco showed the colors that his parents wanted him to have. That was another story for another day though.


I turned to see my mother standing in the doorway, obviously not in the state that I had left her in back in June. Her blonde hair and blue eyes were the only things I had gotten from her, the rest was of my dad, the height and the build. I was extremely tall and a little thick, but not enough that I was considered fat, but my mum, she was a different story at the time. She was very far along in her pregnancy with my little brother. She had married Remus Lupin in the beginning of the summer and was now due any day. I ran to her and hugged her as much as I could.

“I can’t believe that you’re sixteen already. It was just yesterday that you were running around the house showing everyone your brother’s underwear,” she laughed as did I. “You have grown into such a beautiful lady.”

“Thanks, mum,” I blushed a little.

“Well,” she said, turning around. “Let’s get moving. You’re brother won’t appreciate it if we’re late for dinner. Alexandra is working very hard on it from what I hear.”

My brother, Marcus, was about seven years older than me and married. I loved his wife like she was my own sister. Alexandra was just the best person that you had ever met. She was kind and gentle, very much the opposite of my brother.

“Got your trunk and everything? Even your Hogwarts letter?” she asked and pointed at my luggage that was sitting on my bed.

I nodded. “I’ve gotten everything,” I notified her as I shoved the picture that I was still holding into my Gryffindor bag.

“Courtney!” called my dad as he came into my room. “You can leave just yet,” he smirked. “You have a visitor. A young man that would like to speak with you before you take off to your mother’s.”

A smile appeared on my face. A young man had come to visit me on my birthday? I was definitely not expecting that. Not one bit. I looked over at mum, who looked just as excited as I did. She motioned for me to go, and I did. With a stop in the mirror on the way out, I floated down the stairs to the front sitting room, where I found Draco Mafoy waiting.

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