Chapter 1 : Sandpits & Childhood Friends
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Sandpits & Childhood Friends
Six years old. Short, vain and quite foolish to be honest, that was me. The clock in the kitchen struck three o’clock. Mum’s favorite soap opera was on. Ushering me in to the backyard to play in the sandpit, Mum managed to watch her soap opera in peace. The cool breeze formed ripples through my sunflower printed dress as I daintily collected my multi-coloured buckets and toddled towards the small sand pit in the corner.
“Hi,” I heard a soft voice from behind me. I blinked as I settled my gaze on a small boy around my age; he had short brown hair and a shy grin on his face.
“Hello,” I replied unsurely.
“Can I play?” He questioned earnestly. I smiled; it wouldn’t be too bad having someone to play with. Mum never had time to play with me and I rarely ever saw Daddy. I nodded as he eagerly jogged towards me. I dropped down to the sandy ground, my cleanly pressed dress was getting filthy but I didn’t care.
“What’s your name? I’m Charis,”
A friendship had been formed. From that day on, I looked forward to three o’clock in the afternoon, when Oliver would be waiting patiently for me outside. In just a few months, he had become my best friend. He knew how to make me laugh when I was down. He knew when I was upset and when I needed to be alone. At the mere age of six, Oliver knew more about me than anyone. Except for that one day when my childhood dreams came to a crumbling end. The large grandfather clock struck three o’clock as I let out a squeal and ran rapidly towards the back gate where Oliver was waiting patiently, I could feel something strange in the air as Oliver softly said, “I have to leave now,”
Stupefied and senseless, I came to an abrupt stop and stared, “What?”
“I’m moving away,” He answered, shuffling his feet. I stood erect, unsure of how I should react. A long awkward pause ensued, our silence dominating the cheery background behind us.
He tapped my hand gently. I looked at him strangely as he held out a single silver coin.
“Keep this; it will remind us of each other,” He smiled. And just before he left, he leaned over on his tippy-toes and shyly gave me a peck on my cheek, before running down the driveway.
I gathered all my buckets and toys from the sandpit and darted inside the house, where I threw them all underneath the sink. I never wanted to see those toys again. Back in my room, I placed the coin on my desk and cried softly. I had lost my best friend and the only person I truly looked forward to seeing every day. I snatched the nearest object; a piece of paper and began drawing on it furiously with a red crayon, the lines scorching red and rough…
“Ms. Schellden…Ms. Schellden…” Professor McGonagall’s voice drifted in and out for a second before my eyes flew open, my cheeks immediately turning red.
“Yes, Professor,” I cleared my throat as several Slytherins behind me sniggered. Ignoring them, I glanced over at my Slytherin partner, who was leering at me in disdain.
“Well, now that I have your attention back, shall we continue?”
I gulped as I nodded silently. As Professor McGonagall began to settle comfortably back in to her lecture, I leaned back in my chair, instinctively toying with the silver coin that hung loosely from my neck. I had pierced a single hole through the coin and worn it years ago for fear that I would lose it one day.
“Charis! Charis!” I turned around and grinned. Demetrius ducked around a slow-moving couple and flung his arm around me, “I heard that you fell asleep this morning in McGonagall’s class?” He teased.
I moaned and covered my eyes, “Oh, let’s not go there, that experience, without your teasing, alone was embarrassing enough alone, thank you very much,” I sighed.
“Oh Charis, when are you ever going to realize that humiliating yourself once in a while is completely normal,” He clicked his tongue disapprovingly as I pursed my lips. Straightening out my blue and silver striped tie, I allowed Demetrius to guide me towards the Great Hall.
“Why aren’t you eating?” Demetrius asks, pushing a plate of boiled potatoes towards me. I shook my head.
“I just…don’t have the appetite, I’m going to go sit out in the sun for a while, I’ll see you later,” Grabbing my bag, I walked swiftly towards the exit, giving Demetrius a final wave before disappearing down the hall.
Ambling towards a soft patch of grass, I dropped my bag and settled comfortably beneath a willow tree. I rummaged through my bag in frustration. My goodness, it is virtually impossible to find anything in this mess. Aha! I pulled out a large piece of parchment and a board. A bottle of ink to my side and I was ready. I breathed in the scenery before allowing it to flow out through my fingers and on to the parchment. As a muggle-born, I have to say that although magic may be convenient, a pencil is a must when it comes to art but nonetheless, in Hogwarts, no such contraption exists. I must say, it wasn’t easy at first to draw with a quill; I kept making splotches of ink everywhere. It looked like something my 3-year-old cousin would draw. However, as time went on, I began to appreciate the quill’s gracefulness and fluidity.
I let out a shriek as someone shook me roughly from behind. I grabbed the nearest textbook and whacked Demetrius with it. He laughed openly as he plopped down beside me, “Charis, that’s beautiful,” He gushed as I blush deeply.
“But…Charis,” He begins. I immediately let out a sigh; I knew what was going to be at the end of that sentence. I need to stop letting my world revolve around art or it might just kill me one day.
“You need to stop letting your world revolve around art or it might just kill you one day,” Demetrius finished. I nodded and rolled my eyes. The same old lecture. He just doesn’t understand. Art means the world to me. It’s how I express my feelings, desire and interpretations amongst others. I absolutely adored art. I live for the overwhelming rush of joy, pride and accomplishment at a new finished product. I live for the challenge of balancing out detail in a specific piece. I have always felt that I haven’t truly been good at anything. Sure, I was sorted in Ravenclaw and I got decent passing grades but that doesn’t make up the fact that I’ve never found my special talent. Well, now that I have found my one true love in art, I’m never letting it go.
I flung my arms around Demetrius, “Thank you for your concern but I will be fine, now off you go, I have to continue…” I waved him off as Demetrius sighed, shoving both hands in to his pockets before marching off.
I groaned when I realized how dark it had gotten. Those darn clouds. I gathered up my things and shoved them rapidly in to my bag. I quickly paced back to the Ravenclaw common room, weaving through students rapidly. Back at the common room, I took my place next to Demetrius in front of the flickering fireplace.
“Back so soon?” Demetrius asked, ruffling his light brown hair.
“It was going to rain,” I complained, leaning back on to the squashy navy blue sofa as I unconsciously fiddled with my coin necklace.
“Do you realize that you fiddle with that thing every second your hand isn’t busy writing or drawing?” Demetrius smiled.
“What?” I blinked blankly before lowering my eyes to where my fingers were lying comfortably on the coin, “Oh hmm, I guess I never realized.”
“What is that anyways?” Demetrius squinted his eyes, peering closer at the silver ornament.
I touched it protectively and grasping the opportunity to tease Demetrius, I smirk, “Maybe…just maybe…if you’re good enough one day, I’ll tell you the entire story,”
“What? I’m offended! Why can’t you tell me now?” Demetrius feigned anger.
I laughed, “It’s a huge secret,” I winked before getting up, “Good night,”
Demetrius shook his head as he muttered, “Girls and secrets…”
“Hey!” I hit him over the head.
“Oi, that hurt! Goodness, for a girl, you sure do know how to inflict pain,” He groaned.
“I take pride in it,” I answered equally before jogging upstairs.
“It is too early for classes,” Demetrius covered his head with his arms during breakfast the next morning.
I mumbled in agreement, too groggy to string together a complete sentence. I glanced down the Ravenclaw table, where other students were chattering animatedly. Spearing my sausage lazily, I sighed, realizing that I did not mix and mingle much with the other students. I have pretty much stuck close to Demetrius ever since the very first day of Hogwarts. I still remember that day very clearly, Demetrius had reminded me so much of Oliver…maybe that’s why I have been so close to him all these years, he had always given off a brotherly vibe and I love him for that. Once again, twirling the coin between my fingers, I thought of Oliver, he must’ve been in some muggle school somewhere in London. I still missed him terribly after all these years, I know it seems silly but I still felt incredibly close to him, almost as if the connection between us had never been severed by his moving away.
“CHARIS!” I jerked up and immediately blushed; I had just realized that during my full session of introspection, I had been staring blankly at Demetrius.
“Goodness, I’m sorry,” I covered my eyes as Demetrius continued to observe me oddly.
However, at that moment, Roger Davies slid in to a seat next to me, thankfully, breaking the awkward silence between us, “Seton, you are trying out for Quidditch, aren’t you?” Davies leaned over the table, giving me a quick nod of acknowledgement, in which I returned with a stiff smile. Roger Davies had always made me quite uncomfortable, as Ravenclaw captain, he had a slew of girl admirers.
“Of course,” Demetrius grinned, his blue eyes lit up enthusiastically.
Davies chuckled, “Good, we’re out on the field by twelve, I’ll see you then,” He returned to his friends at the other end of the table.
“Well, just in case I miss you, good luck and have a great time,” I said, reaching over to give him a hug.
“Thanks, come on out and meet us if you have time,” Demetrius called after me as I exited the hallway. I gave him a wave and turned a corner, nearly colliding with a tall Gryffindor.
“Sorry,” I immediately say, too shy to look at him straight in the eyes.
“No, that’s quite alright,” He brushed himself off and walked swiftly in to the Great Hall. With that, I hurried to class, calculating silently if I would have the time to catch Demetrius during his Quidditch tryout. He’s always been there for me when I needed him, it was only natural that I should be there to give him moral support…even though, I’m not quite sure how that would work when he is 60 feet in the air and I’m a miniscule blurry dot to him. Oh well, it’s the thought that counts!
Glancing at my watch, I darted out of History of Magic as soon as the bell had rung and straight to the Quidditch field, where I could already see a gathering of people. There were several girls in the stands, giggling and waving at several boys on the pitch. I sighed and took a seat in the back. I caught Demetrius’ eye and gave him a wave, in which he returned with a wink and a confident smile. Mouthing ‘good luck’ before he sped off in his broom, I grabbed my quill and began drawing his swift movements on the parchment, the cool wind ruffling the edges and blurring the wet ink lines. I was in a race against time, as Demetrius sped back and forth, performing incredible tricks, my hands moved along with him. Finally, as he made a smooth landing back on the ground, I smiled and glanced at my new finished piece. Demetrius crawled up the stands and took a seat next to me.
“How’d I do?” He questioned.
“Horrible, Davies would be insane to pick you,” I said in disgust as Demetrius tickled me.
I let out a squeal of laughter, “Alright, you were incredible! Honestly, I was just trying to tell you the truth…but NOOO…” I rolled my eyes. Demetrius held up his finger threateningly as I hastily raised my hands in defeat.
“Alright, alright, you really were incredible! When’d you learn all those new tricks?” I asked as I began packing up my books to leave.
“I’ve been practicing like mad…I really hope that I am chosen,” Demetrius wrung his hands nervously.
I looked back and grinned, “You will, don’t worry about it”
“How do you know?”
“Before I forget…” I handed him the scroll of parchment.
“That’ll prove to you how I know,” I winked before dashing back to the castle. With a quick glance over my shoulder, I saw Demetrius staring at the drawing with awe. He can't doubt himself anymore.
A/N: I know it's a bit boring now, but it'll get better later (well...hopefully hehe) please review and tell me what you think! Thanks in advance!