The Sugar Quill
Author: Author By Night  Story: Beneath the Surface  Chapter: Default
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            Don’t give me that look.

            You know, the “oh, a Slytherin, better avoid her” look. The look of automatic distrust. There’s more to me than my house.

            Really, I, Daphne Greengrass, don’t fit anyone’s criteria of who I am. Ravenclaws immediately think I must cheat at Herbology somehow, in order for me to be getting better grades than them. Hufflepuffs still hate my house for the death of Cedric Diggory, as if all of us have parents who supported his murder, and therefore, tend to ignore me. Gryffindors play pranks on us at random. Most of the Slytherins respect me enough, but I know many of them wish I were a bit more sinister.

            Not that it matters; I have the friends I want, thank you. My friends are my little sister, Persephone, and Eloise Midgen – one of the few Hufflepuffs who didn’t decide to hate me after You-Know-Who’s return was confirmed. Sure, it is just them, but I don’t need to have a gang, like Pansy Parkinson’s got. The sixth years – Millicent Bulstrode, Nadine Vickerson, and Pansy herself – bore me with their childish insults. I think the only reason Pansy became Prefect was due to the fact that Lucius Malfoy pulled a few strings.

            As far as my family goes… we Greengrasses are not Dark Wizards. I believe Dad may have had a fourth cousin five times removed or something that followed You-Know-Who, but that is all. I will admit that not all of my relatives are as tolerant of muggles as I wish they were, but I like to think that actually murdering muggles would never cross their minds.

            You ask me what on earth I am getting at; am I trying to make you feel sorry for me, having to be one of the few good Slytherins?

            As a matter of fact, I’m not. I don’t take people feeling sorry for me well – I don’t want to be pitied. However, I do feel maybe you should look beneath the surface.

            Not all Slytherins are evil. Do we have our minuses? Absolutely. But while Slytherin has been the home of several Dark Witches and Wizards, not all Slytherins became Dark – and not all Dark Witches and Wizards were Slytherin. It is a well-known fact amongst the house that several of the captured Death Eaters were former Ravenclaws, Gryffindors, and even Hufflepuffs.

            As for the rumors that You-Know-Who himself was a Slytherin? I’d like to see the proof. I am not saying it is not possible – it certainly is. However, even if it is true, I doubt he discussed the matter with anyone over tea and crumpets. It was likely a rumor that was easily believed – or, someone who knew for sure told, but then, would that not be admitting to following him in the first place? Seems rather stupid of someone to do.

            And as for our Head of House, Professor Snape; I do feel, believe it or not, that he can be unnecessarily harsh. However, it is not as if all of us made him favorite us, and as he is a grown man, what some of his students might expect of him should not influence his decisions. If it does, there is clearly something wrong in that mind of his, and we should not be blamed.

            And then there are the house characteristics – namely, ambition. Ambition is not automatically a path to wickedness. Rather, how some people misuse it is. Ambition can be used, and has been used, for many good accomplishments. Salazar Slytherin, for one – yes, he became evil, but he was not always such. Students never seem to pause and wonder why the other Founders would have let him in on their plans if he was always a horrible human being.


            Which brings me to my next point – the notion that every single Slytherin to exit the doors of Hogwarts for the last time became evil. Yet according to my Grandmother, Mad Eye Moody, a famous Auror in his day before he went insane, was a Slytherin. Beaumont Marjoribanks, famous Herbologist, was also in Slytherin. Both of these people did plenty of goodwill to the magical community – and nothing, to my knowledge at least, that intentionally hurt anyone.

            It  amazes me that other houses seem to be favored above Slytherin. At the End of the Year Feast during my first year at Hogwarts (soon to be second), we came into the Great Hall seeing our House colors, and assuming we’d won. Instead, Dumbledore changed his mind. While I understand his reasons, and have since heard that Snape had put the colors up, not Dumbledore, it was still a severe disappointment, and I wish Dumbledore had used a little more tact.

            And let’s not forget what other houses do to others, as well as one another. When Potter and a few of his friends lost Gryffindor 150 points, I heard from Draco (who was gloating) that nobody would speak to him. I speak to my fellow classmates regardless of what mistakes they might have made – and some of them made very severe ones.

            Hufflepuff is also not exactly free of hypocrisy; they are supposed to be loyal friends, yet don’t tell that to Eloise, who has no friends there, although she’s semi-friendly with Susan Bones. Or to Cedric Diggory, whose own friends dismissed his death as an accident. That’s not to say similar things do not happen in Slytherin. However, we are also not the only house that includes students who will turn their backs on their friends in an instant.

            So next time you see me, do not scowl, or move away quickly; I do not bite, and neither do all of my classmates.

            Some of us may even pick up the book you just dropped… if only you’d wait to see.   


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