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Chapter 2: Levi the Leaping Lynx
Chapter II - Levi the Leaping Lynx
I pulled the scarlet blankets over my face as I finally realise that the sound of running water hadn't been in my dreams. I scowled at Alice, who I knew was the one in the bathroom. ‘Making the most of the day’ my arse. If she weren’t the sweetest thing since Sugar Quills, I’d swear she did it just to annoy the rest of us. I proceeded to stuff my head under my pillow, attempting to eliminate the noise. Even though my pillow, I heard Rae begin to stir and the grunting complaint of Mel at the prospect of moving an inch.
“It’s Saturday,” I mumbled to no one in particular. “I’m not getting up and Alice can forget it.”
I heard feet hit the floor, scuffling as they moved towards me. Tensing, knowing what was coming, I lifted the corner of my pillow and opened my eye a crack. Reyna sat on my bed and poked me, stifling a yawn.
I growled and she gave up, nudging my hip as I shuffled over for her. Rae curled up next to me on top of the sheets. At least she knew I had the right idea. I shut my eyes for a second time, letting my dreams welcome me back into their arms and smiled to myself when the noise of running water abruptly stopped, leaving our dormitory in a sleepy silence.
Distantly, I heard Alice wander out of the bathroom and I opened my eye a crack reluctantly. If she was going to pull something, I wanted to have some warning. She was rubbing her towel over her wet hair and looking around the room with a determined gaze I didn't like. When her round face turning towards me, I snapped my eyes shut.
Reyna toppled onto the floor and I instinctively curled up in a ball, attempting to contain my body heat.
“Ow, you troll! That hurt!”
The mental image of Reyna tumbling off my bed, unsuspecting, onto the floor, caused me to giggle. Her natural level-headedness and grace resulted in occasions such as these to be far and in-between. The award for getting to know the floor the best was usually reserved for me.
“Oi! I see you laughing, and don’t think for a moment that I won’t Accio your mattress!”
I bolted upright and stared at Alice, wide eyed. “You wouldn’t!”
“Try me,” she dared. “Shower. Now. I’m not going to go down to breakfast by myself, nor are you staying in bed all day.”
I scowled at her as I grabbed jeans and a blouse out of my trunk. She was still eyeing me when I closed the door of the bathroom. I ran the water, letting it heat for a moment, before I stuck my head outside the door.
“You know… I reckon this is all so you can get down to breakfast early to make sure you don’t miss Frank.”
I held back a laugh as Alice Foster went pinker than Madam Pudifoots on Valentines Day. Reyna’s eyes went wide as she grinned, her episode with the floor forgotten. Melody shared a knowing glance with Rae, smiling to herself.
“Keira, get in the shower. Alice missing Frank at breakfast isn’t something to make fun of. Seriously, they have every class together. She needs to make the most of these very rare opportunities where - Oh wait...” Melody smirked as Alice threw a pillow at her.
I ducked back into the bathroom to avoid a pillow to the face, before getting into the shower and covering myself in vanilla scented soap. I sighed as the smell reached my nose, while the sound of pillows being thrown and Alice’s denial reached my ears. If only Henry wasn’t in Wales, this would be perfect.
Breakfast was noisy. Everyone was well rested from the night before, and combined with the prospect of not having classes till Monday, left the castle was in a good mood. The sounds from the Great Hall floated up to us, as Reyna, Mel, Alice and I exited the shortcut onto the first floor.
“This is ridiculous. I can’t even get from the dorms to breakfast without exhausting myself. And to think! Getting to this point has been going down the stairs. Alice, I blame you for all of this,” Reyna muttered as she followed us over to the top of the Grand Staircase.
“Oh, shut up, Rae! It wasn’t even your blanket!”
“Yeah, but I was the one that ended up on the floor!”
“Well, if you hadn’t decided to go back to sleep on Keira’s bed, it wouldn’t have been an issue!”
Reyna opened her mouth to reply, but was cut short, as at that moment the Gryffindor seventh year boys rounded the corner.
“What’s all this I hear about girls sleeping in beds together? Andrews, you promised you’d let me watch!”
“Sirius Black! I promised no such thing! And unfortunately for you," Mel snapped, "nothing of that sort is happening. If you’re after such behaviour, go talk to the Slytherins. Merlin, if I was kept in close confinement with boys as ugly as those, I’d bat for the other team too.”
James’s laughter erupted, his glasses flashing in the light. Remus smirked, while Peter, looking unsure, eventually decided to take his cue from James.
Merlin, that kid needed help if he didn’t even know when he found something funny.
Sirius watched Melody with a careful, blank expression, but his eyes gave him away. Even where I was standing behind Melody, I could see the enjoyment he’d found in her outburst, his silvery eyes dancing with entertainment. Mel glared at him and turned on her heel, starting down the Grand Staircase, but stopped when James called out to her, still chuckling.
“Ignore Padfoot. It’s too early in the morning for him to remember his manners.”
“Like you can talk…” Sirius muttered, pushing his dark hair out of his eyes.
“Shut it mate. Anyway, Andrews… Quidditch."
“When are tryouts? We need a Seeker this year too don’t forget. Prewett left last term.”
"Really? I hadn't noticed," James said sarcastically before continuing. "Tryouts are next Saturday morning at eleven -"
I rolled my eyes and continued down to breakfast as James trailed off. He’d heard Lily’s voice coming down the corridor. Even Quidditch couldn’t hold James Potter's attention for too long when Evans was around.
I turned and grabbed Mel’s arm, pulling her down the stairs towards food. Sure enough I saw Lily’s red hair stop at the top of the staircase as I entered the Hall. I sighed to myself. Wandering down the table to where Alice had grabbed us seats, I thought that surely after seven years, Potter would have learnt by now…
I filled my plate up with eggs and tomatoes, not talking for a while as I ate, while Melody fell into the space next to me, loading up her own plate and digging into her food.
I sat there in silence, playing with my breakfast. The more I thought about it, the more it got to me; the fact that nobody knew who I was. Six years, and it was finally getting under my skin. Maybe because I thought, now that’d we’d be introduced by Anthony on the train, the seventh year boys would at least see me. But thinking back to that confrontation on the top of the Grand Staircase, they still hadn’t known I was there. Hadn’t noticed me at all.
They knew Melody, obviously. She was on the Quidditch team with James and was one of the best looking girls in the school. Reyna demanded attention as soon as she walked into a room. The dark colouring of her skin, combined with the way she confidently held herself meant she was impossible not to notice. Alice, full of life and so quick to have an answer to everything, was well known by the seventh year boys due to their friendship with Frank. She and Frank were mad about each other, although it appeared the only people who didn’t know it were themselves.
I wondered if Alice would be in the same boat as me if Frank didn’t talk about her so much. I wondered if she would blend into the portraits, as I had done earlier.
I doubted it. Alice would never blend in. She was too individual for that.
I stabbed at my eggs, eyes narrowed. Maybe if I sat here long enough, an answer would be spelt out for me by my breakfast. Squashing that hope pretty quickly, I reached for the coffee, sipping it without tasting a thing.
Melody’s nudge got my attention awhile later and I looked up, scowl still covering my face.
She was looking at me over her copy of The Daily Prophet, a goblet of pumpkin juice in one hand.
“Do I blend into the walls to you? Like seriously. Because I swear no one at this school knows who I am. James Potter introduced himself to me yesterday on the train because he thought I was new. I’ve been here six years and he doesn’t know that I exist. I’m obviously Disillusioned or something. I mean, surely I’m not that invisible naturally? I’ve been dating Henry for how long now? Almost everyone knows my name, but when we’re introduced, the first thing they say is, 'Oh! You're Keira Nyx. I thought he was dating someone else…' Seriously Mel, it’s been six bleeding years. You’d think at least the people in our house would know who I am!”
Mel stared at me incredulously after I had finished. I'd blurted it all out without thinking, yes, but I needed to say it and if Mel couldn’t help me, then no one could.
“One, you do not blend into the walls. At all. Any idiot could see that you’re amazing. Keira, you’re my best friend; if I didn’t think you were worth my time, trust me, you'd know about it. But as it stands, you have more individuality, humour, courage and sense in one of your brain cells than all of Potter and his friends put together.” She paused, taking a breath and searching my eyes.
I looked down at my plate, not wanting her to know everything that was going on in my head like she always did.
“I’ve been dating Henry Watts for over eight months now. Eight months dating one of the best-known boys in school, and no one knows who I am. I don’t want to be known as ‘that girl, the one that’s dating Watts,’ but who on earth do they think he’s dating if they don’t know it’s me? Everyone knows he’s with someone, but no one knows who I am. I just don’t understand. At this point, even if I was known as ‘that girl’ I’d still get more recognition then I do now… Being ‘that girl’ sounds almost appealing…”
Mel watched me even more intently. I could see her out of the corner of my eye, while I continued to stare at what was left of my breakfast.
“It’s really worrying you that bad, isn’t it?”
She reached forward and grabbed my face, turning me to look at her. I was examined for just over a second, before she yanked on my arm and hauled me up.
“Come on then.”
I blinked, confused, as I was towed along behind her, down to the other end of the table.
“Wher–“ I started, but swallowed my words as we stopped abruptly in front of James Potter, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. Peter was nowhere to be seen, but I guessed from the empty seat, he hadn’t left too long ago.
“Potter. I found someone for Seeker.”
His black hair, which always stuck up at the back, turned towards us, breaking away from the conversation he’d been having. He looked at us from across the table, surprised at the interruption, but not annoyed from what I could tell.
“Mmm. Keira Nyx,” Mel replied curtly, pushing me forwards and causing my toe to collide with the leg of the bench in front of me.
Wincing, I spun on my heel and stared at Mel with wide eyes. She cocked an eyebrow, hands on her hips, daring me to defy her in front of our present audience. I screwed my eyes shut and prayed to Merlin, before turning back to meet the now curious hazel eyes of James Potter. His brow furrowed for a moment, before recognition dawned on his face.
“Oh! You're King’s girl! The one we pranked by accident! I forgot you were friends with Andrews.”
Super. I was still Anthony’s girlfriend. My eyes flitted down the table towards Reyna. She and Alice were looking at us curiously, but were too far away to hear anything. I thanked Merlin again, before opening my mouth.
“Henry. Henry Watts. Not King. Though he and I are great friends, we aren’t dating.”
“Hmm? Oh yes, you're right. My bad, it’s coming back to me now.”
My eyes flicked to Remus as I heard his snort of disapproval. I smiled slightly, telling myself this was what I wanted, to be recognised. To not blend into the portraits anymore. And, true, I did want to hex Melody into next week for putting me in this damned situation; even I had to acknowledge this is exactly what I needed. Though not quite what I wanted...
“Potter, stop changing the subject. Seeker. Keira. She’ll be at tryouts on Saturday.”
And with that, I was dragged back down the breakfast table to where we had started.
“And that was all about…?” Reyna looked from one of us to the other, not particularly caring where her answer came from.
“Keira here, is trying out for Seeker on Saturday. Just informing the Captain. Thought he should know that there was no need to let anyone else sign up.”
“I actually cannot believe you just did that. Warning would have been nice, you know?” I stared exasperatedly at Mel beside me, ignoring Reyna’s nod of approval at Melody’s previous statement.
“If I had, you would have put up a fuss, dug your heels in and refused to. You said you blend into the paintings. I personally disagree, but what I think doesn’t matter in the long run. When you make Seeker - and you will make Seeker Keira, I’ve seen you fly – this new crisis of confidence won’t be an issue and you‘ll realise I was right all along. Besides, it’ll be nice to have someone with more than one brain cell between them on the team.”
“IF I make the team Mel. If.”
“Shut it, Nyx. Wait till Saturday and you’ll prove I’m right.”
“Keira, you’re a fantastic flyer. You’ve loved flying since we got here, for Merlin’s sake. Just as Mel said, no need for anyone else to turn up.” Rae nodded earnestly.
“Now you’re all just being –.”
“If you don’t mind my interrupting what I’m sure is a thrilling conversation Miss Nyx, I do have all of Gryffindor’s timetables to distribute and I would appreciate not being held up.”
I swung around in my seat to see McGonagall standing behind me, brow raised, parchment in hand.
“No! Of course not Professor!”
“Good," she replied, sounding anything but thrilled.
McGonagall sorted out all of our timetables and continued her way down the table, while we examined our new lesson plans. I noted my free periods and leaned over to have a look at Melody’s.
“Oh, good. We both have after lunch off on Monday’s. Oh! And Friday afternoons as well. Excellent. Rae, Alice, what about you?”
We sat there comparing timetables for a while, as the Great Hall slowly began to empty around us. Other students could be seen heading out onto the grounds to enjoy the sun and others back up to their common rooms.
“What are you all going to do? Head back up to our dorm or go sit outside?” Mel asked, as we stood in the doorway of the Great Hall awhile later.
“I’m happy to head back up to the dorm. I think the wind has picked up a bit anyway and I want to finish unpacking,” Rae replied, noting the whipping coats of students outside.
"I'm with Reyna. I've got stuff to unpack." I shrugged, largely indifferent, but wanting to spend time with them all.
“All up to the dormitories? Fine by me. Come on then,” Alice called over her shoulder as she made her way up the stairs, in the direction of Gryffindor Tower.
I fell backwards onto my bed with a thump. That had been an effort and a half.
“My back hurts.”
A pillow hit me in the face and I sat up, glaring in the direction it had come from. Reyna stood there, weight on one leg, with her hands on her hips and a smirk covering her face. I tried to peg the pillow back at her, but it fell short and she laughed. Before I could retaliate however, a face poked its self around our door.
“Hello ladies – Oh! Your dorm is looking good!” Lily Evans grinned at all of us and my bad mood began to ebb. “I was wondering if any of you had seen Levi, Leah’s cat? He’s gone for a wander it seems.”
Her smile was infectious.
“Nope. Haven’t seen the ginger thing anywhere,” said Alice, poking her head out of the bathroom where she was inspecting herself in the mirror.
“Negative. I haven’t noticed the lion either,” Reyna replied, looking so disappointed there was one less cat around Gryffindor Tower.
“I’ll help you look for it if you want. I’m done here and it saves me from Reyna’s target practice.”
“Oh would you Keira? That’d be great. I thought I’d check the Common Room before trying the kitchens. I have a feeling the house elves are overfeeding him again.”
“Do house elves like cats? I never really thought about it before,” Mel asked as she fell onto her bed now that she'd finished unpacking her trunk. Her lips pursed in consideration and she pulled a face at the canopy above her four-poster.
“Some of them do. I think it helps that he’s been finding his way down there since he was little. Levi wasn’t half as intimidating to them when he came up to their knees.”
The four of us chuckled at Lily’s remark and I followed her out of the dormitory, throwing one last pillow at Reyna for good measure.
We slowly made our way down the stairwell, checking the other dormitories as we passed. I couldn’t help but grin as all the other girls began to panic at the sight of the Head Girl checking everyone's rooms.
“You know, next time, you should probably pretend it’s something more serious, like whether their banner is hanging at a thirty-eight degree angle. Or if they’ve colour-coded their cupboards,” I deadpanned.
My comment earned me a swot on the shoulder and I glanced at the red head next to me to find her grinning.
“I can’t do that! The poor first years would have a heart attack and Madam Pomfrey would be furious with half of Gryffindor Tower in the Hospital Wing.”
“Yes, but… Can you imagine their faces…”
Another swot came my way, but she was still smirking at the idea as we came to the bottom of the stairs.
“Feel like checking by the fire? I’ll do near the window before we head down to the kitchens.”
I agreed and turned towards the fireplace before pulling a face. The seventh year boys were in their favourite spot right by the fire, the four of them sprawled all over the couches and the floor. I wondered if Lily had given me this side of the room on purpose, just so she could avoid Potter. It seemed likely.
I made my way over to the notice board a way behind them and began to search for the giant, missing cat, slowly making my way closer to the fire.
Sitting up from my position on the floor after failing to find the lynx under an armchair, I could tell I looked like an idiot. But I could see Lily doing the same thing on the other side of the Common Room and figured at least I wasn’t the only one looking stupid. Safety in numbers, right?
I continued to sit there for a moment, wondering what would happen if I just told Lily that Levi wasn’t by the fire and we moved onto the kitchens. It’d save me going near Potter and his friends, but if Lily found out I’d lied, any hopes of friendship I had with the older girl would be gone, I was sure.
I stood up and slowly made my way towards the boys, wondering how exactly I was supposed to ask if there was a small orange lion under their chair without looking like a fool. With different questions running through my head, I breathed easier once I realised that Remus Lupin was the one sitting closest to me.
He was slightly off the to the side, with a book open in his lap, but evidently forgotten. A failed attempt at studying it looked like, though what he’d be studying before classes began was beyond me. Absentmindedly nibbling on a bar of chocolate, he was listening to his friends banter between themselves.
I coughed quietly, and his attention left whatever his friends were laughing about.
“Ahem. Remus Lupin, right? We’ve never been properly introduced. I’m Kei-”
“Keira Nyx, nice to meet you.” He grinned as he held out a hand.
I shook it firmly, my nerves slowly fading away. These boys were only human after all, I argued to myself. What was the worst they could do? Surely they wouldn’t throw Dungbombs at me for asking them about Leah Crawford’s missing cat... thing. Maybe I should go see Madam Pomfrey. I needed serious mental help.
I smiled back at him.
“You haven’t seen Crawford’s cat, Levi, have you? He’s gone for a wonder.”
“Nope. Haven’t seen the thing, if you can call it a cat… hope you find it though. Do you want a hand?”
“Nah, thanks anyway though. Evans reckons he’s down in the kitchens, looking cute and getting the house elves to feed him. We just thought we’d check the tower first. Cheers, Lupin, I’ll talk to you later. Got to find this damned animal before he’s too fat to carry back up the stairs…”
The older boy laughed, nodding his head in agreement as I walked away, giving him a wave of thanks when I left through the portrait hole with Lily.
“And the kitchens are where exactly?” I asked as we made our way down the Grand Staircase into the Entrance Hall. I’d never been to the kitchens before. It’d never occurred to me to go looking for them, never needing food at times when I couldn’t get it from meals in the Great Hall.
Emerald eyes turned on me at my question, and I felt I might have just insulted her mother with the look of shock and disbelief she had on her face.
“You mean you’ve never been to the kitchens? Ever?”
“Pretty much… yeah.”
She blinked a few times, as if repeating the action would make my words sink in easier. Eventually, she gave up and snorted in a way that managed to combine amusement and disbelief. “And you call yourself a Gryffindor.”
I let her steer me through a door to the right of the Grand Staircase and followed her down an unfamiliar corridor. We passed a few Hufflepuffs as we made our way down the passage, and for the first time I wondered where their Common Room was.
Lily came to a sudden halt and I had to step widely, to stop my momentum carrying me into her.
“Kitchens?” I asked confused as to why we had paused in the middle of the passage. There was no doors insight…
Lily tapped the side of her nose, grinning, before reaching out and tickling the pear of a large still life on the wall next to us. I stared at the Head Girl, wondering if she’d gone mad and almost missed the pear squirming into a doorknob, it’s giggling subsiding as it did so.
I froze dramatically, only moving my eyes away from the doorknob to take in Lily’s chuckling expression. Deciding to just go with it, I held up my hands in mock surrender, a form of apology for ever doubting her. Lily opened the door, bowing theatrically and, taking that as my cue, I walked through the arch behind the painting.
The first thing to strike me was the tremendous size of the room. Maybe it was because our kitchen back home was on the smaller side, but this place was huge. It must have been at least the same size as the Great Hall and it even had the four long tables, running down the middle. The walls were covered in brass pots and pans and a roaring fireplace filled the back wall.
I span on the spot, absorbing every aspect of the room, finally meeting the emerald eyes that were dancing with laugher at my reaction. I blushed, embarrassed, and she gestured downwards, towards the marble floor. Confused, I followed her line of sight, starting when I found myself surrounded by house-elves.
They were smiling up at me, tugging on my jeans and pushing me out of the doorway, further into the kitchen. I stumbled along, slightly overwhelmed at the sheer number of them. There must have been hundreds, the tallest coming to just above my knee, all with bulging green eyes. Food was being pushed towards me and urgings to take it filled my ears. When I had eventually been pushed and pulled into the middle of the kitchen, an old wooden chair was forced behind me and I fell into it gratefully.
I laughed and smiled at all of them, politely turning down the huge roast chicken that was offered to me, informing them that I was still full from breakfast. Looking at Lily, I could see her arms were full of Butterbeers and Pumpkin Pasties and a feeling that she and her friends would be having lunch in their dormitory today crept over me.
I looked down at the elf tugging on my pant leg. I wasn’t entirely sure, but I had a feeling it was female. The face looking up at me was round, with large almond shaped eyes, bulging out of her head, yellow-green in colour. Her ears stuck out sideways and turned upwards slightly at the end, coming to a fine point. Wearing nothing but what appeared to be two tea towels sewn crudely together, she continued to tug on my jeans, trying to gain my attention.
"Don't worry about us." Lily laughed, as she politely turned down her third roast chicken. "Pretend we aren't here, go back to whatever you were doing before. I'm sure you're all busy."
Chatter involving “Yes, Miss Evans” and “We are happy to help, Miss Lily,” filled the room as the elves slowly made their way back to their tasks, still smiling at their guests. I looked down to find the same elf that had been tugging on my jeans still there, beaming at me.
“What’s your name?”
“I’m Keira Nyx. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Abra.”
“Would Miss Keira Nyx like a drink? Abra thought Miss Keria might like a drink as she has already said that she was full from her breakfast.”
“I’d love a drink, thank you.” I giggled at the look of joy on her face as she ran off to fetch me a Butterbeer.
“Looks like you made a friend.”
I smiled up at Lily who had made her way over to me.
“I think so. This place is amazing. Is it directly under the Hall? Because those tables line up exactly with the house ones upstairs.”
Lily laughed, nodding. “Yeah. It’s directly under the Hall. The tables are how the food gets transported upstairs for meals. Place it on the table and it automatically appears on the corresponding one above. Cool, right?”
“You have no idea. Our kitchen at home is nothing compared to this. I think mum would die.”
The tugging on my jeans was back, and I looked down to find a Butterbeer being thrust towards me, by the very proud little elf.
"Can Abra help you with anything else, Miss Keira? Or would Miss Keira like Abra to leave her alone? Abra does not wish to annoy Miss Keira or Miss Lily. Abra only wants to help, she does. Yes Miss, Abra loves to help.”
“Thanks, Abra. You've been a great help, but we're fine, honestly. You can go back to whatever you were doing before.” I smiled at her, and she beamed again, before beginning to shuffle away. As she did so however, I remembered our original reason for coming all the way down here.
“Hold up! Abra, you haven’t seen a ginger cat have you? Fat thing? Probably looking for food?”
“Miss Leah Crawford’s animal? The crossbreed pet? The animal is over there, it is. Smells bad it does too, Miss Keira. Abra wanted to wash it, make it clean, Miss. Cat didn’t like Abra and soap. Oh no Miss, cat didn’t like Abra and soap at all. Walked straight over to the fire, Miss. Yes it did, tail in the air and all, Miss. You're not angry at Abra are you? Abra was only trying to help. Abra didn’t think Miss Leah would like her cat smelling stinky, Miss. Abra was only trying to help, honest...”
The large green eyes looked up at me, wide with fear that she’d done something wrong and I wondered if elves could cry…
“No, no! Abra, you’ve done nothing wrong at all! We just couldn’t find Levi, that’s all. We thought he might have come down here for food. By the fire you say? We’ll go get the smelly cat out of here.” I crouched down to the elf’s height and grinned at her, making sure she knew she had done no wrong. The little thing was gorgeous. I wanted to take her home with me; she was so cute.
“Can you do me one last thing, Abra? Could you get me some more Butterbeers? Along with some Treacle Tart and pasties? Would that be okay?”
I hoped that I’d catch Mel and the others before they left the dormitory for lunch. I felt I needed a girl’s afternoon and the idea of having a picnic on the floor of our dorm was appealing.
Abra was off in less than a moment, weaving her way between the other house-elves all going about their business finishing lunch. Lily started to make her way over to the fireplace and I followed, spying the fat mound of ginger fur glaring at us instantly.
Conjuring a basket, Lily placed all of her food into it, before attempted to grab the cat. Levi inched out of her way, narrowly avoiding her grasp each time. It appeared it was determined to stay and put in the least amount of effort at the same time.
“Oh, you damned thing!” Lily snapped as the feline stared lazily at her, after she had missed again. The Head Girl pulled out her wand and pointed it at the cat. “Wingardium Leviosa.”
Levi hissed as he rose into the air and Lily smirked, picking up her basket of food again.
The tugging on my jeans was now familiar, almost to the extent that I didn’t notice it when Abra returned with the supplies I’d asked for.
“Will Miss be needing anything else from Abra? Abra would be more than happy to assist Miss Keira. Abra thinks Miss Keira and Miss Lily are both very beautiful if Abra is permitted to say…”
I think my insides melted at that. It was official, I wanted to keep her forever; she was so adorably cute.
"Oh, Abra, you're wonderful. Thank you. You've been a great help."
“Oh! You too, Miss Keira. Come back and visit Abra with Miss Lily soon. Abra greatly enjoys helping Miss Keira and Miss Lily.”
We were near the door when the house-elves had swarmed us again, all waving goodbye, wishing us to return and asking if we were sure we didn’t want a roast for the road. The portrait eventually closed behind us, with me turning to Lily, a grin spread across my face. She took one look at me and laughed.
“Enjoyed that, did you?”
“Not even kidding, Abra, can I keep her? She’s adorable!”
“Yeah, she is cute. She’s fairly new too, only been here the last few years. Still pretty young in house-elves standards from what I can gather.”
“Why’s she new? What happened to her family?”
“Killed in the war I think. They were big supporters of Dumbledore. They must have been, to leave her to Hogwarts in their will.”
There it was again. That word.
A cold shiver ran up my arms as I thought of all of the names in the papers every morning. With too many to count, many families were left only scanning the columns for familiar names.
I looked at Lily. She was Muggle-born, same as me, which left us both as targets to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
The red haired prefect next to me topped all of her classes. She was brilliant, witty, knew the right thing to say in every situation and everyone loved her. So why in Merlin’s name, did You-Know-Who say that muggleborns were inferior? Half of her class was Purebloods and she trumped the lot of them.
I just didn’t understand.
I thought of Melody. She was bright, she topped Charms every year after all, but that wasn’t because she was a Pureblood, it was because of hard work and a natural flair. Blood status had nothing to do with it.
Reyna was skilled in all of her classes (the only one she didn’t top was Charms, and that was due to Mel) and she was Muggle-born. She and I had both put so much effort into our magical studies when we arrived at Hogwarts. Both been aware of how lucky we were. After coming from a life where magic was only located in bookshops, between the pages of the volumes kept right at the back of the store, this new gift had been a dream.
My mind flittered back to Platform 9 ¾ the day before. Rae had been so nervous with the idea of leaving her family behind. None of us knew what would happen. Every day meant new opportunities for You-Know-Who to strike our defenseless families. Worried for her little brother, Rae had been writing to Dumbledore over the summer. Her four-year-old brother wasn’t showing signs of magical ability yet, but with Reyna not even knowing of her skill till she received her letter, she was worried little Zac would be targeted in an attempt to wipe out the next generation. I worried for Zac Wilkins too.
Would Alice be safe? Probably. Both of her parents were wizards, although her great-grandmother on her mother’s side was a Muggle-born. I wondered if it counted…
“You alright? You’ve got a funny look on your face.”
“Hmm? Oh yeah. Fine. Just thinking about all the names in the papers... I wonder if I read Abra’s owners names when they died. I probably did. I probably didn’t even notice. I wonder who they were; if their support of Dumbledore was worth killing out their entire household, you know? This war... I just don’t understand how someone could be so biased and judgmental of people he’s never met. Of people who have so much to offer our world, both the Muggle and Wizarding one. I just don’t get it. The more I think about it… the less sense it makes.”
I looked up from my feet and she met my gaze with a sad smile. I could see she’d had the same thoughts, the same unanswered questions and the same fears for loved ones and others like her. She dropped her arm from in front of her; not releasing the spell, causing Levi to fall to inches above the floor. He meowed loudly, but neither of us cared. We stood there in the doorway, just off from the Entrance Hall, having a silent conversation. A silent conversation about our fears, our worries and those dreams we dared not hope for, except for when we were alone, in the middle of the night.
In that moment, I knew that Lily Evans and I were friends. In the look we gave one another, I saw past the brainy Head Girl and understood her. All of her. The same understanding Mel and I had of each other and the same understanding Lily now had of me. We were friends, in this together. Support and hope for each other in this war against those born of Muggle parentage.
“Come on, picnic in my dorm. Bring Alice, Mel and Rae. I need a girls afternoon.”
How had she known I’d been thinking the exact same thing before? I released the breath I hadn’t known I’d been holding, giving her a small nod of agreement.
Lily smiled at that, but there was my sadness still mirrored in her eyes. She blinked a few times and it was gone, replaced by the same curiosity and cheek that was normally found and she smiled again, wider, with her eyes twinkling.
I felt the corners of my mouth creeping upwards and a giggle escape me as I watched to see what idea had brought the emerald eyes alive.
“What’d you say to some choreography?”
“You know. Dance moves." Lily spun on the spot, trying to show me what she meant. "I figure the walk up to Gryffindor Tower isn’t exactly the most scenic, and besides, we only have dear Levi here for a limited time before Leah snatches him off us. He looks like he could use some high intensity exercise to burn off all that food...”
I snorted with laughter as she made the cat twirl in the air. And I almost doubled over when he finally stopped, giving us the most murderous look a cat ever could.
“Can he leap?”
I promptly learned that he could, as I watched Lily dance the ginger lynx through the Entrance Hall and all the way up to Gryffindor Tower.
I rushed to finish this chapter, because I was so happy to see that people had read and liked my first one! Seriously, your feedback is great, both for motivation and inspiration. Thanks ^_^ I love to know what people think of my story and writing style. Favourite parts? Quotes? Characters so far? Thanks again everyone who reads this. I owe you one.
Remember, reviews are better than super speedy updates.
- Adele :)