Chapter 1 : Nerves
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Chapter I – Nerves
You looked down at your nails. They had been long and well taken care of at the start of the journey, but now they were bitten down until you couldn’t bite anymore. They stung, but you ignored it and kept chewing on what was left as you watched the Hogwarts castle come into view. The train rolled along the tracks silently, the gentle rocking had put the journey wary to sleep; but most were awake and relaxing, dreaming of the wonderful feast waiting for them. Only the first years were excited, whether it was nerves, fear, or happiness fueling the emotion.
“Lacelin?” Lily looked up from her book and watched you with concern. “Are you sure you’re all right?” she asked for the tenth time since the trip started.
You nodded and faked a smile. “Just nervous about our sixth year, I told you that.” You lied.
“Oh.” Lily smiled with sympathy. “It’ll be fine. At least we don’t have our N.E.W.T.S. till next year. It’s not like you to be nervous unless there’s a test involved.”
“Yeah…” You laughed nervously. “First time for everything, huh?”
She nodded in understanding and lowered her eyes back to her book, the goddess green irises immediately scanning the lines of black text.
You weren’t nervous about the new year. The first year when everyone was afraid, you were only intrigued. You were one for adventure, but never searched for it. Normally, you weren’t a fidgety person, but this situation called for some nerves, and had you eating your fingers. You were grateful that Lily didn’t read too much into it.
Once the train had come to a stop, you followed Lily and her popular friends to a carriage and climbed in. Lily’s friends didn’t like you, at all. They always told Lily to just dump you, but she never did. She always had time for you. You took pride in thinking that you were her only true friend. Lily would befriend anyone. She seemed to always have a smile or a comforting hug for anyone. Most people would see this as a weakness but she shone with an obvious strength. No one could walk over Lily Evans.
You sat in silence as the girls chattered about their summer and boys, and still didn’t say a word when you reached the castle. It gave you some comfort to see the huge stone building in front of you. Your home away from home: Hogwarts. The windows were lit warmly and the quarter moon shined on the lake where the first years had made their journey. Everyone around you was cheerful, if only you didn’t have such a heavy heart and mind.
You lost Lily in the crowd to get into the Great Hall, so you sat down next to Jodie Foster at the Gryffindor table. Jodie was a pretty girl, but she hid it under her tomboy clothes. She had chin length brown hair and forest green eyes. She liked to shop in the men’s section of the store and most of her friends were guys who played Quidditch. You didn’t like to think you were very girly, but sitting next to Jodie made you feel like one of Lily’s shallow friends.
“Hi, Lacey!” Jodie said very cheerfully. “How was your summer, hm? Mine was amazing! We went to Ireland to visit my great-grandmamma and, blimey, was it great!” she said without taking a single breath.
You smiled at her. “My summer was…mundane.” That was a lie if you ever heard one.
One attribute that remained feminine was her ability to talk. Jodie was often annoying, but you couldn’t help but love her. She lifted your spirits some as she talked about her family trip to Ireland and her desperate stalking of their Quidditch team. You listened as you poked at your food with a fork; you didn’t have much of an appetite, not with what you had to do later.
The Great Hall seemed to be louder than normal, and the first years ever more irritating. Many of the new girls were giggling about Sirius Black, a trouble making pretty boy who seemed to be the co-leader of his friends, a group of four known as the Marauders. You tried not to get mixed up with them. But since James (the apparent leader and best friend to Sirius) had a thing for Lily he was often around. They usually left you alone though, and found it decent to only prank you a couple of times. They weren’t all bad; Remus was a bookworm and the most responsible; you always wondered why he was with them. And Peter just tagged along, you felt sort of bad for the mousy boy actually.
After dinner the food disappeared causing you to stab the table with the fork, which promptly disappeared as well.
You heard Dumbledore speaking, but didn’t pay much attention to what he was saying. You stood with everyone else and started to head towards the portrait of the fat lady once the after dinner speech was over, but a stern hand on your shoulder stopped you.
Turning, you saw Professor McGonagall, one of the newer teachers at Hogwarts. She appeared to be in her thirties, and was a stern teacher but you had always been fond of her. She had gotten the position of Head of Gryffindor in your fourth year. “Miss Crill, your request to speak with the headmaster has been accepted. Please follow me.”
You did as you were told and followed the professor down a few corridors, feeling your nerves crescendo.
She stopped in front of a gargoyle statue. You were confused, and looked up at her, a little nervous. Ignoring your gaze, she glanced around quickly and then said, “Chocolate éclairs,” to the gargoyle.
You raised an eyebrow, thinking your head of house was crazy until the gargoyle leapt to the side to reveal a doorway. You stared for a minute, your mouth gaping open in a very unattractive way. Professor McGonagall opened the door and gestured you in without a word.
You cautiously stepped over the threshold and started up the winding staircase.
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