An American Witch at Hogwarts

This takes place during the age of the Mauraders. Hope you guys like it.


*Spoiler Alert*Note: This is not completely accurate. Unfortunately, Bellatrix Lestrange didn't attend Hogwarts at the same time as the Marauders. It's my bad, and I hope you guys will forgive me for that.

Chapter 1

Time for Change

When I found out that the Salem Witch Institute had a student exchange program, I jumped at it. I was sick of the all-girls school, the stuffy uniforms, and the same dreary scenery. I applied and waited to hear where I would spend the next year. When I did get a response, I was only slightly disappointed: Hogwarts.

Now, don't get me wrong, it's one of the greatest Wizarding schools around, but England was close to the same climate as Massachusetts. When I mentioned that to Mom, she said to suck it up and reminded me that Dumbledore, my idol, was headmaster there. So, September first found me at Hogsmeade Station, trying to figure out which way I was supposed to go.

A little farther up the platform, four boys tossed something between them. Well , I thought, it never hurts to ask .

"Hey," I called, heading towards them.

The boys turned to face me. They were so similar and different at the same time. The one that caught my attention was clearly second in command, and he wore his percieved power like a second skin. He was tall, with longish dark hair and black eyes. His posture screamed "bad boy" and it was easy to tell by his smirk that he knew he looked good.

The others stood out in their own way. One was small, with unassuming brown hair and mouse-like features. The one closest to him was just as tall as the "bad boy", with a mess of black hair and glasses. The last one didn't quite look liked he belonged. His robes were shabby and patched, his hair cut short, and a badge with the letter P on it shined on his chest.

The one with glasses turned to the "bad boy". "She looks a bit old to be a first year, doesn't she, Padfoot?" he asked.

"That she does, Prongs, but she might not be," Padfoot quipped.

"And you might be the dumbest bunch of Brits I've ever met," I snapped.

"You're not from around here, are you?" the one with the shabby robes asked.

"Oh, wow! You're lucky your friend had a brain," I told the others. "No, I'm not. I'm here as an exchange student."

"Where are you from?" Padfoot asked.

"Salem, Massachusetts. I attend the Salem Witch Institute."

"Miss Conant!" someone called from behind me.

"Over here!" I waved my hand in the air and turned slightly.

As a woman came into sight, the boys seemed to wither and shrink away from her.

"Miss Conant?" she asked me.

"That's me."

"Minerva McGonagall," she said, offering her hand. "I teach Transfiguration."

"Lucinda Conant," I said, shaking her hand.

"Professor Dumbledore sent me to bring you up to the castle," she said. She released my hand and turned to the boys. "Mr. Potter, Mr. Black, I expect you two to behave yourselves this year. I won't hesitate to take points from my own house. Mr. Lupin, try to keep them in line. And Mr. Pettigrew, let's try not to follow James and Sirius on all their adventures this year."

The boys nodded as McGonagall lead me up the platform to a thestral-pulled carriage.

"I would avoid them if you don't want trouble," she advised. "Black, Lupin, and Potter are very bright, but Sirius and James have a disregard for the rules never seen before at Hogwarts."

"What about Pettigrew?"

"He's a follower. He follows them everywhere. Some of us professors wonder if they took him on as a pet project."

"Wow."

Once we reached the castle, I was stunned. I had spent some time in Europe before, but the castle was amazing. With high towers and classic gothic architecture, it was the most beautiful building I had ever seen.

"It's almost a thousand years old, right?" I asked McGonagall.

"Yes."

Once the carriage came to a stop, I climbed down and grabbed my suitcase. McGonagall lead the way into the castle, up several flights of stairs, and stopped in front of a gargoyle. I noticed how quiet the castle seemed to be without hundreds of thousands of students in it.

"Pumpkin pasty," McGonagall said.

The statue jumped aside. McGonagall climbed the stairs up to the headmaster's office with me on her heels.

"Professor Dumbledore should be waiting. I'll see you at the feast," she said. "Knock before you enter."

"Bye," I said as she made her way back down the stairs. With a sigh to fortify myself, I knocked on the door.

"Enter," someone called softly.

When I stepped into the office, I noticed all the odd instruments and the different doodads. On a stand next to the dest sat a magnificant phoenix. Sitting behind the desk sat a man who could only have been Dumbledore. His silver beard and haid still had a slight (and I mean slight ) red tint to it and his peircing blue eyes watched me curiously.

"Professor Dumbledore, my name is Lucinda Conant," I said nervously.

"Ah! The exchange student. I've been expecting you. Sit, sit."

Dumbledore pulled out his wand and transfigured the wooden chair into an overstuffed armchair. I sat down and clasped my hands nervously in my lap. I had always dreamed about sitting where I was--across from Dumbledore. He watched me for a moment before pulling an envelope from a stack on his desk.

"Your headmistress at the Institute sent this last week," he told me, pulling the parchment from it. "I must say that your record is quite impressive. Eleven OWLs, only failing Divination. You're a registered Animagus, and you've proven to be quite apt at creating spells that work." He glanced up from the letter, amused. "You seem to be the perfect student. There must be something that has been omitted."

"I have a tendency to ignore the rules that seem to favor one party over another, I dislike being treated differently because of who I am, and I have a problem with authority figures who don't use their power for the good of others," I said. "I'm also terrible at lying, even to spare someone's feelings. Though most people don't think that's a fault."

"You were treated--"

Dumbledore was interupted by a knock on the door. He sighed and glanced skywards quickly before calling, "Enter."

I turned to see McGonagall enter, a boy in tow. He was different, even from Potter's crew. His hair hung around his face, almost as if her wanted to hide behind it. His eyes, which were as black as his hair, glittered with emotion that he was holding back. When his eyes found Dumbledore's, he glanced away quickly, only to land on me. He blushed, his sallow skin turning a molted shade of red, and turned his gaze to his feet.

"Severus, not again," Dumbledore muttered.

"Lily Evans was complaining that he was bothering her again," McGonagall said. "Horace would have let him off, again . He doesn't want his Potions prodigy in detention, so I brought him to you."

"Thank you, Minerva. I'll take care of it."

McGonagall left and Severus glanced up. He looked like he wanted to bolt.

"Miss Conant, this is Severus Snape. Severus, Lucinda Conant. She's an exchange student from Salem." Dumbledore glanced at me. "Miss Conant, would you kindly get a chair for him?"

"Sure." I pulled my wand out and gave it a flick. A dark green bean-bag appeared next to my chair. Dumbledore quirked an eyebrow curiously. "I can't figure out armchairs."

Severus sank into it and dropped his bag on the floor. "Is she really from Salem?"

Dumbledore ignored his question. "Why were you bothering Miss Evans again?"

"I was trying to apologize, but she won't talk to me," Severus muttered

"Have you tried sending her a letter instead of confronting her in front of everyone?" I asked, cutting off whatever Dumbledore had been about to say.

Dumbledore looked slightly shocked for the space of a heartbeat, before he managed to slide a neutral mask in place. "There's an idea, Severus. Why don't you try that?"

Severus looked at me like I had grown a second head. I shrugged and turned back to Dumbledore.

"You were saying before, professor?" I asked.

"Ah, yes. You had said before we were interupted that you were treated differently in Salem? Would you care to elaborate?"

"My father is a direct decendant of the founder of Salem and the Institute. The professors treated me differently because they thought Dad would have them fired if I failed a class. That was one of the reasons I jumped at the exchange program."

"I believe there is more to it than that. Am I correct?"

"Um... Yes, sir. Permission to speak freely?"

"Of course."

"Dad's the last pureblood decendent of the Conant male line. I'm... well, I was the last pureblood in Salem, sir, and that's the other reason I was treated differently."

"Your father is no longer in Salem?"

"No, sir. He divorced Mom and moved to Dublin five years ago."

"You're a pureblood?" Severus asked.

"As much as I wish I wasn't, yes."

"Alright, then. Miss Conant, I can assure you that you will not be treated differently than any other student. You may be called upon by professors tomorrow, simiply because you have not attended Hogwarts before, but I am sure you have nothing to fear."

I smiled and ducked my head. Severus leaned over and rested a hand on my lef for a moment before sitting back upright.

"Where will she be staying?" he asked.

"Well, there's an open bed in Gryffindor and in Slytherin, or she could stay in an empty office, though I do believe she would be more comfortable in a dormitory."

I pulled a coin out of my pocket. "How will you decide?"

"The Sorting Hat," Dumbledore and Severus said together.

"What?"

Dumbledore stood and pulled an ancient hat off the shelf. It yawned a bit, a tear at the brim acting as it's mouth. He set it down on his desk.

"I know it's early, but we need to know if Miss Conant should be in Gryffindor or Slytherin," Dumbeldore told that hat gently.

"Gryffindor," it muttered

"There you have it," he exclaimed. Severus looked disgusted. "You'll stay with the Gryffindors, but Severus will show you around the castle. I'll inform Professor McGongall of your schedule," Dumbledore continued. "Now, we should get down to the feast."

Dumbledore stood, waved his wand at our bags, and strode towards the door. Severus shrugged and followed. I did the same, casting a glance behind me as I left the room. Our bags had disappeared.

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