Spike sat straight up in her bed, shaking off the dregs of the dream. Sorting. Sorted every term. She shuddered. It made sense, of a kind; hadn't Dumbledore himself expressed doubts about the system, said they Sorted too soon? Perhaps unearthing other drives produced a more well-rounded witch or wizard in the end. But to lose my place in Slytherin . . .
She could still smell bacon and coffee. Sascha stirred at her feet, where he usually spent the night, curled up like a dog. Totenberg opened the door from his usual post, and Dmitri came in with a pot and platter. Spike put on a robe and fuzzy slippers, sitting at the small table by the window where she always had breakfast at home, from the time when her feet didn't quite reach the floor. We're not morning people, that's for sure. The custom had been established generations before, when one of her ancestors had realized it was easier to keep staff if you didn't have to interact with them before your first cup of coffee.
Totenberg let the first cup sink in, and then asked, "Gots plan for the day?"
Spike thought about her OWL, and the rest of the disastrous term, and her vow to earn a thousand points for Slytherin. "I think I'll plan for the upcoming term," she said slowly. "I think I have an idea for next term's OWL."
"What you gonna do?"
"Care of Magical Creatures."
"Don' have a gamekeeper, not as such . . ." Any wildlife on the estate was expected to fend for itself, frankly, and most of it could, evolving toxins, fangs, and opposable thumbs at a healthy clip.
"Nooooo . . . but we do have someone I could talk to. And you could introduce me." She pointed at him with half a strip of bacon, chewing slowly.
"You mean -- de bonecutter?" Totenberg paled a little under his fur. None of the Hounds had anything but unflinching respect for the man who kept putting them back together when they were hurt, but it didn't mean they loved him.
"The very one."