Chapter 1 : How To Tickle A Doorknob
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Chapter Image By The Amazing Ms.Moony @ TDA.
“I'm not part of your elite, I'm just alright.” ~ Green Day - Stuck With Me.
How To Tickle A Doorknob
“Black, Sirius…” Professor McGonagall looked down the Gryffindor table, peering over her square spectacles. As usual, her jet black hair (with a few speckles of grey) was tied in a tight bun. She wore a prim expression as always, and the remaining students in the Great Hall could almost hear her saying ‘Just because it’s the first day doesn’t mean it’s a time to mess around.’
Professor McGonagall certainly didn’t have to look far, though; Sirius Black stood on his chair, bowed and grinned. He raised his arms in mock-glory, as if he’d won the Quiddich World Cup or something along those lines. She pursed her lips, not lowering her gaze for a second. Peter Pettigrew, a ratty looking boy with a pointed nose who was sitting opposite Sirius, erupted into applause.
Sirius sniggered, jumped off the chair and skipped down the hall, “Yes, Professor?”
“He likes to show off, doesn’t he? Arrogant git,” My best friend, Matthew Zeller, muttered darkly to me. I said nothing, watching Sirius with interest. He took the timetable Professor McGonagall had in her outstretched hand and studied it with fascination, as the people called before him did. He returned to his seat, with the people sitting nearest to him leaning over to look at it. Sirius’ dark grey eyes surveyed the timetable, his face looking serious for once. I always loved watching people reading, especially people like Sirius and James Potter; ever the jokers. Their faces always full of mystery, it was really intriguing to watch. I always had to be careful though – I might be rarely noticed, but I’d rather be rarely noticed than have the label of STALKER FREAK.
“What’s so interesting about it?” Matthew mumbled, half to me, half to himself. I shifted slightly, tearing my eyes away from Sirius Black. “It’s as if he’s never seen a timetable before.”
“Maybe it’s different,” I replied, quietly. My replies are always short; I tend to speak in short, sharp sentences. I also only tend to speak more than a few words when I actually have something to say. This irritates a vast amount of people, who consider me boring after five minutes of silence. I’d like to reply back to them that I’d rather speak little and actually say something worth while than speak a lot of crap, but this would involve me wasting my time with judgmental contradictors, which I couldn’t really be bothered with. I’d rather raise my eyebrows at them, and smirk. It usually works.
Professor McGonagall read a few other names, and gave them their timetable. I wasn’t really paying attention, just looking at the sky above.
I looked up in surprise. I was in Ravenclaw… usually the heads of our houses called out our schedules. Professor McGonagall was the Gryffindor Head.
Sure enough though, she glanced over to our table. I stood up, blush rising in my cheeks, and walked to the front to receive my timetable. I hated walking in front of people. It made them look at me.
I took my timetable, and mumbled a thank you to her. Professor McGonagall gave a tight-lipped smile in my general direction, before reading off the next name. I walked back to my seat next to Matthew, which seemed to take a lifetime, and sat down. I looked at my timetable with curiosity too; it was different.
Matthew leaned over, to have a good look, and I whispered, “Hypocrite,” to him. He smirked and poked me, but remained nosing at my timetable.
Usually, it had my name at the top, the Ravenclaw badge, the Hogwarts badge, my year, the timetable and a list of teachers. The timetable had, in the corner of each lesson, Ravenclaw and the house we would share the lesson with. It was basically the same this time, but instead of Ravenclaw and the house we’d share the lesson with, we had letters.
“This is odd?” Matthew said, pulling it towards him so he could get a better look, “This means that… we’re going to be in classes with letters, not houses…” I nodded, looking at it in confusion.
“Zeller, Matthew…” His was the last name to be called. He walked up, with far more confidence than I had, took his timetable and returned to his seat next to me. We compared timetables.
“Yeah… mine’s the same…” Matthew scratched his nose thoughtfully, “Weird… We aren’t in many lessons together.”
I shook my head, my long brown hair falling to my shoulders awkwardly. I rolled my eyes and tied it up hastily while giving Matthew a sympathetic smile, “I think we’re in… one or two…”
Matthew nodded, “Yeah… I guess I’ll have to find someone else to annoy…” I hit him playfully, and grinned. I tugged his wavy blonde hair and chucked as he smoothed it down again. And he calls Sirius Black and James Potter posers.
“Ahem,” Professor McGonagall said loudly, silencing everyone but a few who said a couple of sarcastic comments. She raised her eyebrows, a silent threat, and the remaining people shut up, “I think you may have noticed that your timetables are a little… different this year. Professor Dumbledore had decided, in aid of unity of people despite their houses, you will be put in classes according to your surnames.” Professor McGonagall stopped, to show that she was finished. As if on cue, every single person turned to their friends and began to avidly discuss the new way of attempting to get the houses to talk to each other.
Rolling her eyes, the Head of Gryffindor dismissed the seventh years and hurried to the first lesson she took of the day. I stood up and walked out of the Great Hall with Matthew.
“It’s pathetic, and it’s really not going to work,” Matthew said, linking arms with me, “They’d think they’d give up sooner or later, don’t you think?”
“Maybe it’s a good thing,” I reasoned, unlinking our arms and turning to look at him, “That Voldemort guy - the weird cult man – is breaking everyone up. It might help if we all grouped together.” Matthew opened his mouth to argue, probably to say something negative and along the lines of ‘It’s pointless and not going to work’ when I raised a hand to gently shush him, “No, I think it’s better than doing nothing.” Matthew opened his mouth again, making me roll my bright blue eyes and say with growing impatience, “We have nothing to worry about anyway. Everyone seems to respect Ravenclaws, even if they do think they’re better than us.”
Nodding thoughtfully at my reasoning, and looking slightly surprised at the amount of talking I did, he changed the subject, “So what’s your first lesson?”
Pulling the timetable out of my bag, I looked at it thoughtfully, “Double History of Magic…”
“Ouch,” Matthew patted me supportively, and I grinned at him and shrugged a little.
“Never mind,” I smiled, starting to walk up the stairs, “What about you?”
He pulled a face, and groaned, “Urgh Double Divination…” I chuckled, making him glare, “I still don’t know why I took that…” He grumbled under his breath while I gave him a neither do I! look.
He walked me to the forth floor to Professor Binn’s room, bade a quick goodbye and hurried off up the staircase before it moved again. Chuckling slightly, I walked into the classroom. I sat down in the middle of the classroom, pulling out my A History Of Magic: NEWT level 7, my favourite quill (an golden eagle feather, with red tones), a bottle of jet-black ink and a few pieces of parchment, I sat up straight, ready to start the lesson.
Thinking absentmindedly as I looked out of the window, I jerked out of daydreaming when, suddenly, Sirius Black messily sat down next to me. It was so abrupt that I almost fell out of my chair.
“Hello!” He said brightly, pulling me back onto my chair with a grin. I gave him a small smile, and I nervously nodded at him, “I’m Sirius--”
“—Black!” In front of us sat a pretty Hufflepuff, with blonde, curly hair and far too much makeup on. Sirius paused, looking at the girl silently with raised eyebrows. She giggled and turned around, whispering to her friend. He turned back to me and grinned, “Yeah, him.”
I nodded, one that meant ‘Yes I know’. He made a moment with him hand, signalling me to introduce myself.
“Claire Blake… I sat next to you in Transfiguration for three years.”
Sirius let out a laugh that was really more like a bark, “Really?”
I nodded. He raised his eyebrows in a suggestive manner, “I find that hard to believe… you’re very… memorable.” He grinned, and began to check me out jokingly – I think?
“Flattery isn't going to give you a copy-Claire's-work pass,” I replied, with a grin to match his. He looked surprised at this and laughed loudly. The girl in front turned around, looked at the two of us laughing and gave me a death-glare. She looked scandalised and turned back around. I could hear her friend whispering that I was ugly and the girl was prettier than me by far into her ear. This made me laugh more.
“The quiet ones are always the most surprising,” Sirius began to play with a stray bit of my hair. I laughed silently. I knew this game. Whoever backs down first loses.
I made eyes at him, putting on a mock-serious face.
“Yes, you are Sirius. You’re also cocky.” I noted, matching his smirk and turning back to my parchment. Sirius made a funny voice, between a disbelieving laugh and a snort.
“Okay you win.”
I gave a triumphant smile, saying nothing.
“You really are quiet.” He noted.
I shrugged, “I don't feel the need to constantly fill silences. I'll speak when I have something to say.”
“Lovely. I don't want to talk about your one track mind, Sirius!”
“You love it. Where’d you reckon Binns is? He’s never late. Maybe he’s too busy fantasising over me…”
I shrugged. For the next ten minutes or so, Sirius tried to make conversation. I wondered why he felt the need to incessantly speak. The fact that I didn't have words flooding out of my mouth seemed to make him very uncomfortable. I enjoyed making him squirm. He amused me – he obviously wasn’t used to girls not jumping at the chance to talk to him.
I looked up, and around the room, searching for the source of the dull drone that was Professor Binns. I stared at the chalkboard, and saw his old form float through it. Everyone seemed to hang their mouths open in shock. He was a ghost?
As no one did so, I raised my hand. I didn’t usually raise my hand in class; drawing attention to myself wasn’t my favourite hobby.
“The history of the magical self-locking door. Invented in 1678. You can open this particular door by—Yes, Mr. Baker?” Binns drawled, dragging out every syllable into a boring monotone voice. He looked at Sirius, who had raised his hand.
“It’s knob sir?”
“You tickle the door’s knob. It’s fulfilling, and gets both the person and the door exactly what they want.” Sirius’ voice was soft and sensual sounding. He winked at me. Professor Binns didn’t notice.
“That’s incorrect, Cereal Baker.”
I had put my hand down by this point, deciding to question the fact Professor Binns was dead until after class. Sirius raised his hand again.
Sirius raised his eyebrows at the ‘Mrs’ part, but made no comment on it, “Did you notice that you’re dead?”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Well,” Sirius stated loudly “You’re dead. You'd think that, since we're learning about doors, you would have noticed that you hadn't used one...”
Binns slowly looked down at his stomach area, and said in slightly less monotone (almost as if he was actually a bit surprised), “Oh dear. I think I left my body in the staff room…” The class leaned forward in anticipation, expecting a shriek or him to leave the room in search of his body – or some sort of emotion other than about-as-interesting-as-a-spoon that he normally presented himself with. He merely pondered for a moment before looking back at his notes that were on the table and continuing the lesson, “In 1678, you would tickle a door and it would open. Now, in 1690 it was declared--”
“No way!” Sirius elapsed into fits of silent laugher. He put his head on the table, and his back shook every time he tried to breathe properly.
Stepping put of History of Magic I smiled at Matthew, who was waiting outside. This was something he’d done since we became friends in first year. I raised my hand at Sirius; he saluted me as he walked past.
“What was that?” Matthew asked, as we walked to our common room. I looked at him questioningly as we climbed the spiral staircase that led to the Ravenclaw common room. Pausing at the door, with no handle or keyhole, he asked me again, “What was that, with Sirius?”
I rolled my eyes, and chose to ignore him. Knocking the door once, a beak of an eagle opened and a musical, sing-song voice said, “Mirror, mirror on the wall… who is the fairest of them all…?”
Thinking quietly, I replied, “Is an almost impossible question to answer; it depends if you mean literal fairness… or beauty… beauty would be a matter of opinion.”
“Well reasoned,” said the voice, and the door swung open.