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Chapter 3: Freak
Chapter image by rebel_heart@tda :)
I awake with a start, slamming my toe into one of my bedposts. Silent curses spew out of my mouth as I rub my aching toe. It's six or seven in the morning, classes don't start for about two or so hours. My roommates stayed up very late catching up and exchanging gossip and are now passed out in their respective beds. I carefully climb out of bed and dress in shorts and a tank top. Running is one of the few things the wolf and I agree on and it being so close to the full moon, agreeing with the wolf saves me from headaches and exhaustion.
I stop by the Great Hall and grab a piece of toast before going out onto the grounds. Its smells so fresh and crisp out here. The sun rays have only recently touched the ground and I can hear the sounds of animals waking up in the forest. I retie my left shoe and stretch by the lake shore, looking into the murky water.
After pulling my hair back into a high ponytail, I let the wolf instincts take control and run along the shore. I breath in time with the pants of the wolf and force myself to just focus on the run. We run around the lake countless times before having to slowly come to a stop. The wolf happily allows me to contain it and I walk my aching body back to the Gryffindor Tower to shower and get ready for the school day. Upon entering the common room, I'm shocked to see another person awake and ready an hour or so before classes start. Lily Potter is walking down the stairs as I'm walking through the portrait hole.
She sees me and instantly frowns. The wolf that was so easily contained is now fighting against me in an effort to harm this fifteen year old. I should know why she hates me, but, honestly, I don't know. All I know is that from the moment she stepped onto platform nine-and-three-quarters to wave her brother off for his and my own first year, she hated me. She strolls up to me now and winks as she passes me. In my surprise, the wolf wins and I growl at her.
“Freak," she says to me, leaving me and the wolf to battle each other in the common room.
I walk to my dormitory and cry in the shower. Never, have I ever felt so out of control than when faced with Lily Potter. I finish getting ready as my roommates get up and file through their own routines and leave for the Great Hall, the second time today. It's important that I sit at the Gryffindor table for breakfast so that I can get my time table, but I search the Slytherin table for Leo and his friends. Sure enough, they're chatting at the end of the long table. I catch my brother's eye and wave at him to make sure he knows I'm okay after yesterday's events.
“Ellie!” a voice calls and I turn to see James sitting alone, waving me down from the end of our table.
I hesitate, but decide I'd like to have company and walk to him, “Hello, Potter. Get your time table yet?”
“Yes, look how many free periods I have now that we don't have to take so many 'filler' classes like Divination or Ancient Runes.” He thrusts his time table into my hands and I give it a quick look over. Indeed, he had two or three free hours in between some classes, “I bet you're taking NEWT potions," he adds.
“Yeah, if Professor Clearwater will have me,” I reply.
James snorts at this, “I'm pretty sure she'd go crazy if you didn't take her class. You're the best potions maker since Severus Snape.” I blush at his compliment and watch the owls fly over our heads delivering the daily mail. A beautiful, snowy owl lands next to James and hands him a letter and waits as he reads over it. When James finishes, the owl pecks at his fingers.
“Blimey Hunt, I was getting to it. Calm down, ya old bird brain,” James mumbles, throwing some treats at the beautiful owl. It hoots happily and flies off. I giggle as James sucks on his newly received scars.
“That's an adorable owl,” I say and dig into a plate of bacon.
“You two could team up. You'd punish me emotionally and Hunt can swoop in and damage me physically,” he laughs, re-reading the letter.
“Anything news worthy?” I ask him, pointing at the letter. I regret my nosiness after I voice the question and blush.
“Same old, same old. An update on family events. We're so enormous that these letters are generally two or three pages in length.”
I let out my held breath, knowing he wasn't offended by my questioning and return to my breakfast. The wolf requires that I eat a lot of meat so I pick up a few sausages to add to my plate. Professor Longbottom skips over to me and hands me a timetable.
“'Ello Ms. Galatian, looking better after yesterday. Good luck today,” he smiles and walks away to find another student.
“Oh good, your time table,” James says, grabbing my time table and inspecting it, rigorously.
While James tries to memorize my schedule, Charlotte walks over and sits next to me, “Hello Gryffindors, mind if I eat with you guys?”
“Shush, I'm concentrating,” James waves at her and I laugh.
“I don't mind at all. What's your first lesson?” I greet Charlotte.
“Arithmacy, what is yours?”
“The same, I think. I didn't really get a chance to look at it before Potter seized it from me.” My complaint doesn't even stir James as he continues to observe my schedule.
“How are you doing? I hear you had to be carried to the hospital wing by your stalker over there,” she nods her head towards James.
I frown, “I wasn't carried the whole way there. I'm feeling much better today. I haven't heard anything else regarding a lack of magical powers on my part, so that's a plus.”
Charlotte laughs, “Yes, I do suppose that that's a good thing.”
I check my watch and freak out, we have to get to the other side of the building and we barely have enough time, “We should go,” I say, getting up.
“Oh! We're going to be late,” Charlotte agrees and yanks my time table from James.
He pouts, but cheers up as we leave the Great Hall, “I nearly have all my classes with you, Galatian.”
“That's nice,” I dismiss him as we race to get to Arithmacy.
“You think so? I just have Care of Magical Creatures when you have Muggle Studies. It's a shame really,” he continues to my annoyance.
“What profession are you going into that requires Muggle Studies?”
“Potter. Shut up.”
“You heard me, we're going to be late if you don't pick up your pace.”
He grabs onto his chest and falls down to the ground in a mock heart attack, “My heart! My heart hurts because of non-reciprocated love, and now, I have to die! OHHHHHHH!”
I look back at Charlotte, she shrugs, “Let's leave him.” I agree with a nod.
“Oh, look! I've miraculously survived!” James shouts after us, getting up off the ground and running to catch up.
We arrive in class with two minutes to spare, huffing and panting. The professor doesn't even bother to look up at us as we choose our seats. Charlotte and I sit together and James sits next to a friend of his across the room. After a few minutes, the professor gets up from his desk and lectures us on the importance of N.E.W.T. Level Arithmacy. I try to keep from succumbing to my exhaustion and falling asleep during class with the help of Charlotte poking my side every so often. The professor excuses us fifteen minutes early.
“Are you okay? You could barely keep your head up throughout the lecture, and we haven't even started learning the equations yet,” Charlotte asks as we pack our bags.
James and his friend Anthony Burke join us, “Are you still sick?” James asks. He, of course, stared at me during the lecture, a fact that both flattered and annoyed me.
“Yeah, just a virus,” I respond, while our small group follows me out of the classroom.
“You look super tired, Galatian,” Anthony adds.
I sigh and turn to them, causing us to stop our progression towards potions, “Look, I'll be fine. I get sick every once in a while, just like everyone else. Okay?”
They nod and we start our progression towards the dungeon, once more.
“Er, so quidditch try-outs are tomorrow night. Can you believe that I made captain?” Anthony changes the topic.
James laughs, “Not really, I mean, no offense, but you have a serious 'falling off the broomstick' problem. Pomfrey's got bone mending potions waiting for you each and every game.”
“Oh, you're the boy that always falls from a thousand feet!” Charlotte exclaims to James' amusement and Anthony's horror.
“Even the Hufflepuffs know who you are!” James beams at Anthony and I giggle, to his delight.
“Jamsie!” a voice calls from down the corridor, we turn and see Lily Potter racing to catch up to her older brother. I shift nervously from each foot.
“Lilykins, what are you doing out of class?” James chastens.
“We got out early, where are you going?”
“Potions, what's up?”
“I wanted to tell you the good news! Leo and I are back together,” Lily squeals. I frown.
James groans, “I told you that I don't even want to think of my baby sister snogging some bloke-” he pauses and looks at me, “Wait, Leo Galatian? The kid that broke up with you?” Lily doesn't get dumped. She's gorgeous.
Lily nods and glances at me too, “This morning he told me he missed me and wants to get back together.” James nods, lost in thought.
“We'll be seeing you,” I say after a few moments of silence and lead James away from Lily and towards the dungeons.
Homework the first day of school. This is what O.W.L. Year is all about, I suppose. Albus, Scorpius, and I leave the Transfiguration classroom and head towards lunch. I've been itching to talk to Ellie since I saw James Potter carry her out of the Great Hall.
“Charlie says that there's a keeper and a chaser opening on the team this year, you going to try-out, Leo?” Scorpius asks me.
“Yeah, Ellie and I really worked on my keeper skills over this summer. I can catch anything!” I announce to my best mates. They roll their eyes.
As we walk into the Great Hall, I scan the Gryffindor table and see Ellie chatting with a very beautiful brunette wearing Hufflepuff robes, “Listen, I'll catch up with you guys later,” I wave them off and stroll to my big sister.
“Hey Leo, we heard some big news about you this morning,” Ellie tells me. Her friend looks up and smiles nicely at me. I'm still surprised to see anyone socializing with Ellie, not that she's a horrible person. She's amazing, it's just that she doesn't make friends easily.
“Really? Did you hear that I lost all my magical capabilities over the summer?” I tease, sitting next to the two girls.
“That's old news, I hear you've gotten together with Lily again,” she explains. Oh right, I forgot I'm not single anymore. I quickly look for the girl in question and see her talking to Rose Weasley.
“Yeah, it's nothing special. Hey, are you okay?” I ask Ellie and grab some food.
“That's not very nice,” Ellie chastens me, “Yeah, just a little weaker yesterday night, ya know?”
I nod my head, Ellie has it super hard. She was bitten by a werewolf when I was six and ever since, she's be fighting to take control of her own body. Our parents are good for nothing. They are so terrified of her that they literally isolated her from everyone else up until she turned eleven. It's weird for me because I love Ellie and my parents, but I always had to choose one over the other. Early on, I decided to always choose Ellie, and here we are, not allowed to go home for any breaks, or even to write them.
“I'm Charlotte Parkings, head girl,” the hot brunette offers me her hand and I laugh at it.
“No need for formalities, Parkings,” I wink at her and Ellie glares at me, “A friend of Ellie's is a friend of mine,” I explain and dig into my lunch.
The three of us chat about school and quidditch. Apparently Anthony Burke is captain of the Gryffindor team. He's a chaser that we, Slytherins, like to tease the most. He's always falling off his broom, the poor bloke.
“Hey, Leo,” Lily cuddles up next to me on the bench. Both Ellie and Charlotte stiffen upon her arrival.
I ruffle her hair, “Hey, Lils, how was school?”
“You're my boyfriend, not my father, now kiss me,” Lily commands and I frown. I remember why I broke up with her, she's a spoilt brat.
“Now, now, Lily, calm down. We just got together, don't make an argument out of nothing,” I chasten her and pull out of her grasp.
“Fine. Meet me by the Lake after classes," she commands and leaves me to grumble at my empty plate.
“Leo, didn't you break up with her because she treated you like dungbombs?” Ellie asks me after she leaves.
“Yeah, good ole' days,” I shrug and get up from the table.
“Would you mind explaining why you got back together with her?” she asks me frantically.
“I have my reasons,” I conclude and leave them to finish their lunch.