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Chapter 1: The Badger's Den
Disclaimer: The quote in my summary is from page 185 of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J K Rowling. :)
It has been a long time, old friends.
I have been left abandoned for several lonely weeks. I have been forced to remain with my memories; to remember when your laughter filled the air while wishing desperately for your return. Because you are the beginning and the end of my existence: you are what I live for. And yet you have forgotten me, retreating to others more familiar than I am.
I wait in the darkness, counting the days that pass until your return. Dust gathers itself in untrodden, non-existent corners. Yellow and black furnishings are all I can see, the colours broken up only by burnished copper decorating rotund walls, with plants hanging from the ceilings and decorating the cosy, earthiest room. Rare and interesting plants cultivated from the Herbology greenhouses dance amusingly and converse, providing my only entertainment until we meet once more.
Overstuffed sofas emblazoned with the Hufflepuff colours stand empty, crying out to be used once more. Circular windows that once displayed rippling glass and beaming dandelions basking in a glorious sun are now hidden from sight by rarely-used curtains. Beds that were formerly covered by patchwork quilts have been stripped bare, while the copper bed warmers hanging upon the walls have been taken down in a way similar to Christmas decorations once January has arrived.
The portrait of Helga Hufflepuff herself is empty; symbolizing that even our dearest Helga would prefer to talk with her own kindred rather than remain lost and solitary, like me. Underneath the copper frame stands the honey-coloured mantelpiece with badgers skilfully carved in the ornate wood. It has lost the earthy glow it normally possesses when scorching flames warm laughing students.
I remember the sound of uproarious laughter. I remember games occurring, and the endless comedic value they provided. I remember raucous parties after Quidditch matches and Triwizard Tournaments. I wish I could share those memories with you, my friends, but you have left me alone to mull over all those what-ifs and could-have-beens. I wish I could give you advice; guide you on the right path through your adolescences.
I do not notice at when Professor Pomona Sprout, the current Head of Hufflepuff, returns. At first I assume that she is doing what she has done all summer; feeding her plants. But suddenly, the curtains are drawn back to reignite life into a dying room. House-elves are painstakingly scrubbing away weeks-old dust; the fire is blazing once more; patchwork quilts are removed from the dark closets they have been placed in and placed upon beds, once more permitted to serve their purpose.
The end is near!
Anticipation fills the air as September the 1st approaches with lethal speed. I brighten when I hear footprints near, before the familiar sound of knocking rings out in the air. Knock-knock, knock-knock-knock, in the tune of Helga Hufflepuff's name. And then I see you once again, my friends, bursting through the tunnels that are my entrance. Activity and chatter fill the air with pleasurable joy as lovers are reunited and friendships reignited. Those who are new I survey with delight: it is you who I will watch over for seven years while you mature from innocent children to wonderful adults.
Not for the first time, I recall that wonderful phrase used by countless that have resided within my walls, and I'm sure within my counterparts' walls too: “walls have ears”. Walls do not just have ears: we have eyes and feelings too. The one thing we cannot convey is our dialogue: after all, walls do not have mouths. But if you were ever curious as to what would happen if walls could speak, then I will enlighten you.
If walls could speak, this is what I would say:
Hello, my old friends. Welcome home to the Badger's Den.
Author's Note: I'm not sure where this little one-shot came from; I just started typing and this is what I ended up with. Please let me know what you think! :)