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Chapter 1: Rant
Like most people, I didn’t meet or talk to Tom Riddle until after he was dead.
Even though it had been more than 20 years after his death, the Dark Lord was still as popular as ever, and not just among the History of Magic nerds. You couldn’t say his name in one of the hallways without dozens of people crowding you and claiming that they know everything about him.
In reality, these people usually don’t know anything about him and are just clamoring for attention. You won’t see me in those crowds, but if you want to know something about the Dark Lord, come to me.
I am Lily Luna Potter, and I want to know everything on the fallen Lord Voldemort.
I walked towards the room that detention was being held in, holding my head high as the sound of my boots against the floor echoed across the room. Detention was something that had become normal for me, not something I really tried to avoid. But it wasn’t really my fault; I just had a knack for trouble, much to the disappointment of my parents.
But I wasn’t the only one of the Potter kids who stood out; all three of us did, but for different reasons. James was the captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team (and the school heartbreaker), Al was the rebellious bad boy stereotype (ick), and I was the ‘bad one.’ Combat boots with the school uniform, why not? Breaking into other dorms was a skill of mine; most of the passwords weren’t so hard to figure out. (Though I was never able to break into the Ravenclaw’s dorm…I’m not very good with riddles).
I opened the door to the detention room and saw Professor Sprout sitting at the table.
She looked up at me and said, “Ah, Miss Potter. Have a seat.”
“I thought Professor Flitwick was holding detention,” I said with a little bit of hope in my voice. Professor Flitwick made us do the simplest charms over and over for detention, but Professor Sprout didn’t make us do anything.
“He had some very important business to attend to. Take a seat, Miss Potter.”
With a sigh of relief I smirked and slid into a seat, looking around the room. The usual detention gang was there: kids who smart-mouthed teachers, kids who snuck out after-hours, kids who wrote graffiti on the bathroom walls, the works. I toyed around with a piece of my bright red hair until something hit me in the back on my head. It was just a small piece of paper, but it had my name on it.
You’re in detention again, Lilzies?
I flipped around and saw Hilly Gray, my best friend, sitting in the back of the room. She flipped her irritatingly straight dirty blonde hair and smirked at me. All she had probably done to get detention was say a curse word to a teacher, and I knew I had her beat.
The night before had been the most thrilling night of my life. And I remember every detail.
I snuck through the halls towards the headmaster’s office, trying not to make a sound as I completed my barefoot mad dash through most of the school.
The statue in front of the door stared back at me with sharp amber eyes.
“Sugar quills,” I whispered, silently praying that my voice didn’t echo through the halls.
The statue slid away from the door and I bounced up the stairs in an almost catlike manner, the bottom of my bare feet nearly like blocks of ice against the freezing cold floor.
Since it was almost three in the morning, the headmaster’s office was dark and empty, but I saw my target almost immediately. A light blue haze emitted from it and I couldn’t help but let out a little squeak in my joy. I instantly panicked and held my hand over my mouth, looking around to make sure nothing was around, but I didn’t see anything in the shadows.
I made my way over to the bowl and looked over to the glass cabinet that held what seemed like hundreds of tiny bottles. I didn’t know what I was looking for, so I just grabbed a bottle and popped off the topper.
The contents of the vial poured almost as slowly as honey, but it glowed bright neon green. The liquid pooled in the bowl for a while until it mixed in. I leaned in slowly, somewhat scared of what I would see.
My head went through the liquid, but I didn’t feel wet or cold; I just felt like I was falling. For a while, I just fell. In a strange way, it felt somewhat… peaceful.
When the feeling finally stopped, I looked around and saw that I was in a hallway. A narrow, simple hallway. A woman stood not far from my left, peeking into a room. I walked over and stuck my head in through the door.
A young boy with dark hair and green eyes sat across from a young man and woman who didn’t look much older than me. The girl’s smiled looked forced, and the boy wouldn’t look away from her. Never once did I see him look at the boy.
“So, Tom,” the girl said slowly, “how do you like school?”
“Fine,” said the boy simply. His voice was small and quiet. He was looking down at his feet, and it seemed like he wouldn’t dare look at the couple. It looked like he was holding something behind his back.
The man must’ve noticed it too, because he asked, “Hey, what do have in your hands?”
The boy raised his head. He didn’t smile. He just laid the thing on the table without showing any emotion. The thing he had was just a clump of something white but he didn’t take his eyes off it.
The girl’s eyes widened and she squeaked, “Is that… is that a dead rabbit?”
Her voice sounded scared and somewhat panicky. She grabbed the man by the arm and practically dragged him out of the room, slamming the door behind her.
“That boy is unstable! Mentally unstable!” the girl screeched at the woman that was outside. “He doesn’t talk or hardly look at us and then he puts a dead animal on the table! There’s no way we’re adopting him!”
Then she took her husband and left.
Tom came out of the room and didn’t glance at the woman. He just walked towards a room at the end of the hall and shut the door. I followed after him, desperate to know what he was doing.
I reached out to open the door, but my hand went straight through the doorknob. I smirked and walked inside through the door.
Tom sat on a small bed, the dead rabbit by his side. He did nothing but stare at the floor and I swear I saw a small tear roll down his face.
In an instant, it felt like a hand had grabbed my shoulder and pulled on me. I was yanked out of the memory and greeted with the blank, hard face of Professor McGonagall.
I opened my mouth to say something, but no words would come out. There was nothing I could think to say that would help me in the situation.
“Detention, Miss Potter. And fifty points from Gryffindor,” she said simply and started to walk out of the office.
Suddenly she paused and said, “You know, in a way, you remind me of your father, Lily. And your grandfather too.”
I pulled myself from my memory when I realized that detention was over and I was free to go. I linked arms with Hilly and sauntered out of the office.
“So, Hilly, tell me,” I teased, “what did you do that got you in detention?”
Hilly smirked playfully. “I covered for you, Catwoman.”
The title and the first line (I didn’t meet or talk to…) is from the book Rant by Chuck Palahniuk.
Catwoman is a Batman character that belongs to DC comics.