Chapter 1 : "Wha-...you heard that?!"
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And now, without further ado, i present to you "A Subtle Touch Unseen"....
Chapter 1: "Wha-...you heard that?!"
My loose brown curls flew behind me as I ran to my favorite room in the castle. The sound of my feet hitting the floor echoed throughout the empty halls. I was aware of the clumsiness I had when not on a broom, but knew I wouldn’t trip over or fall on anyone, for everyone was enjoying their dinner in the Great Hall. I wasn’t hungry at all and wanted to be alone. Sitting at the end of the Gryffindor table, somewhat away from civilization, didn’t quite have the effect I hoped it would. All it caused was everybody to stare at me, not exactly the quietest one in Gryffindor, sitting alone, and my friends to come up to me to ask why I was isolating myself. Me sending them back with frowns on their usually smiling faces probably made some think I was turning them down one by one when it appeared they were coming over to ask me out, considering all but a couple of my closer friends were guys.
So I decided to go there. I didn’t exactly know why I was running, but I felt the need to be in this particular room. I finally got to the corridor and paced back and forth three times, thinking of a nice, cozy room, with a comfy couch, fireplace, blankets, pillows, coffee, and a small library of my favorite books. When a door appeared on the wall, I eagerly went in to see my randomly created room. It was obviously just how I’d pictured it. The fire was already going. I went over to the bookshelves and picked a random book, knowing that I’d like it, no matter what it was; muggle or not. I settled myself on the couch pulling my – freakishly long, compared to my torso – legs under me, with a light blanket on me, shielding me from the fresh winter chill. Before I dove into my book, and took a sip of my coffee that was on the coffee table in front of me. My mother would have disapproved, for she believed I was addicted to the wonderful delectability of strong, black coffee. I agreed with her, but I was afraid of the withdrawal symptoms I’d definitely go through, if I stopped drinking my precious coffee. I smirked, as the sound of her scolding voice went through my head, saying, “Jenyse Syl Baccari – (Oh, mother, with her exotic names…) – you drink one more cup, and I will send you to a muggle rehabilitation center!” She thought here at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I’d have no way of getting any coffee except on Hogsmeade trips, for all we had here was pumpkin juice, milk, water, and tea, but being the muggle she was, she had no knowledge of this blessed room; the Room of Requirement.
My father, a wizard, didn’t give any thought towards my addiction. He worked a lot but whenever both of us were home, he and I would spend every minute together. We were more best friends and partners in crime, than father and daughter, though he was very protective. He didn’t mind that my best friends – James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, and Travis Decker – were guys, since he knew most of their parents (he was a little iffy on Sirius – his relatives were dark magic worshippers and psycho paths – but eventually softened up when he found out he was in Gryffindor and not the dreaded house of Slytherin), but if I talked of any other unknown (to him) guys, he’d shoot me up with a thousand ridiculous questions and assumptions about the poor guy, including, “Do you like him? No? Good,” without waiting for any answers. Other than that, our relationship was everything I could ask for.
I realized my eyes weren’t moving across any of the pages and that I had been thinking about things totally different from the vampires in the book. I gave up on reading and just sat and thought. Why was it, again, that I was here? Oh, right, because somebody was going to cut his hand open and try to turn a tiny glass full of his blood into pumpkin juice and drink it; Sirius bloody Black…no pun intended. I get a little queasy when I see blood that isn’t mine, hence I will never take after my father’s nor my mother’s career – a healer and a nurse.
Thinking of my friends, I looked at my watch, knowing they should be looking for me by now. I had been in my personally-made room for over an hour. Dinner would surely be over, along with the bleeding, and everyone would be going to their common rooms to finish last-minute homework due on Monday, so they wouldn’t have any work over the weekend or Christmas break.
I decided to resurface. I drained the remains of my coffee, and then left the room.
Right outside stood the Marauders – as James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter called themselves – obviously waiting for me. They knew me too well. The second I stepped out, all of them moved from their casual leaning positions, shooting into an explanation of Sirius’s experiment, and continuing as we walked to the Gryffindor common room. I walked slowly, somewhat behind them, next to Remus, the only one of the four who actually showed concern for me at the moment.
“You okay?” he asked quietly.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Just trying to avoid the sick smell and sight of the red substance that should be trapped underneath everybody’s skin.” I shivered at the thought of gushing blood.
Remus snickered. “Is that why you ran off?”
“Shut up. I’m fine with my own blood, but if anyone else’s comes within a 10-foot radius from my eyes or nose, I’m out, like Rocky the Flying Squirrel.”
“I thought you were supposed to be the ‘tough-ass chick,’” he said, sarcastically, using air quotes. I lightly punched him on the arm. He smiled and put that arm around my shoulders, in a brotherly hug.
I considered all of the Marauders as my brothers, all just as protective as my father. Remus was the most down-to-earth, and the one I could relate to the most. He was a half-blood, too. He was the one that understood all of my muggle jokes and problems. He had sandy blonde hair and brown eyes. He was the bookworm and the good, innocent guy of the group, but also used his intelligence in helping with the Marauder pranks. He was also a prefect. The only thing I couldn’t relate to Remus with was the fact that he was a werewolf, and that was the one thing I wish I could help him with. But he had the guys to help him with his “furry little problem;” they became Animagi – illegally, of course – so they could control Remus, whose nickname was Moony, once every month.
On every full moon, instead of the messy jet-black haired, hazel eyed, egotistical guy with glasses, James transformed into a brilliant stag. His nickname was Prongs. When not in animal form, James was Head Boy and constantly after the Head Girl, Lily Evans. We all knew he loved her, but they just recently became friends and we convinced him not to push his luck until at least after Christmas break. He was also the Quidditch Captain. If we didn’t know any better, we could have sworn Dumbledore, the Headmaster, was purposely playing with James’s ego. James was a chaser and so was I. He was the one to cheer me up when I was down.
Sirius’s Animagus form was a big black dog and his nickname was Padfoot. Sirius’s human form was a shaggy black haired, grey eyed, educationally smart – but with no common sense – idiot who didn’t understand any joke said, except his own and the obvious “serious-Sirius” pun. Sirius was the one we mostly laughed at, because of this. He was a very suave guy, as almost every girl in Hogwarts wanted to be his. The bad part about this was that he knew it. He was specifically egotistical about his looks and his knack for getting girls. Sirius was the one who could make me laugh as quickly as the snap of fingers. He was daring, and many a time, disgusting. He was also a beater on our team.
And the last of the Marauders was Peter, or Wormtail, whose animal form was a rat. Ironically, his human features did somewhat resemble a rodent. He had mousy brownish-blonde hair, was short, and on the bigger side. He was kind of the follower of the group, but was still accepted as a Marauder. He seemed to hero-worship James, Sirius, and Remus, for he wasn’t as good at school or Quidditch as them. As every group of friends needs someone to playfully pick on, ours was Peter. We made fun of him a lot, but Peter knew we were joking around, whenever we did. He wasn’t one I could share my feelings with, but was still a good guy to have around.
I felt a slight squeeze from Remus as we reached the common room. I hadn’t realized I was zoning out. Remus shot me a look of concern as we sat on the couches near the fire.
“I’m fine,” I assured him, adding a smile to convince him. He seemed to take it, and joined back into the conversation.
“…and then I drained the tiny shot glass. It actually tasted quite good,” Sirius finished telling his story.
“You should’ve been there, Jenyse. It was sick!” James said.
“Yeah, sure. So, what are the plans for Christmas break, everybody?” I asked, eager to get off subject.
“I’m staying,” everyone said, at the same time.
“Good. I won’t be alone,” I said.
“So, Jenyse, Queen Gift-Giver, what did you get me?” Sirius asked.
“Uh-uh. Not telling. It’s a surprise, as in you will not find out until you open the box.”
“Ah-hah! It’s in a box!” he said, as if that were the key to guessing what his Christmas present was.
“Sirius, that doesn’t tell you anything. For all you know, she could have put a galleon in a box, wrapped it up, and put it under your pillow,” said James, “…aaafter she put my ten galleon worth present under mine! Right? Right?” He raised an eyebrow and nudged me in the ribs.
“Course, James. You know I got the most expensive Rudolph nose there is.” He childishly stuck his tongue at me; I copied the gesture.
“What d’you get me?” Peter asked me.
“A wheel of cheese; what else?” We all laughed, including Peter – he knew better than to take our jokes into offense. “And before you ask, I got you that exclusive portable cassette tape player with the built-in voice recorder you wanted, Remus,” I joked, off handedly. Everyone but Remus stared at me with confused and dumbfounded looks.
“Yes! I’ve been wanting that for forever!” Remus mocked. We kept up the pretense for another minute, until we gave in and began to crack up. The flustered looks turned to frustrated and surprised looks, within a second.
Finally, one of them caught up. “Ha-ha. Hilarious, guys. Way to pick on us non-muggle folk. Now, what the hell is it?”
“Ha! James, get a sense of humor,” Remus said.
“Yeah, it’s not our fault you three are pure-blood,” I said.
“Sure, sure. Now, tell us what it is!”
“Fine. You won’t understand half of what I say, but fine. It’s an electronic device that plays little cassettes with music on them and also records voices on blank cassettes,” Remus explained, speaking quickly.
They looked like stupefied baboons. Their mouths were half open; their eyebrows were raised; drool was about to come out of their mouths. It was really entertaining. I had a vision of them with lots of hair, animal fur clothes, and stone clubs, talking in grunts, and scratching their heads.
“Huh?!” Sirius asked, finally coming out of his caveman state.
“Oh, never mind. Forget it,” I said.
“You know, sometimes I wonder if you guys are just making this rubbish up,” Peter said.
“Boy, you must think we’re dumb, huh?” accused Sirius.
“Do you really want me to answer that?” I asked.
“Yyyeah. No. You’re right.” I smiled an “I’m-always-right” smile at Sirius.
“So, has everyone finished their Trans-”
“Come on, Jenyse!”
“-ation essays?” I asked, annunciating each syllable and getting louder around the complaints.
“I have,” Remus said.
“Of course you have! Because you two are freaks! Why did you have to bring that up?!” Sirius exclaimed.
“Yeah! Now we have to listen to Moony give us a lecture for slacking for the next half hour!” James whined.
“Guys, stop procrastinating! The faster you get it done, the sooner you can goof around,” I said. “And I’m not a freak. I’m not Lily Evans.” I mean, I get my homework done as soon as possible, but I’m not deranged enough to move ahead and read the rest of the text book.
“Hey! There’s nothing wrong with Lily!” Of course James sticks up for her. I shrugged, not bothering to retort back. “Anyway, you know what I always say: ‘The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up!’”
“Pff…right,” Remus said, rolling his eyes.
“I finished mine,” a slightly embarrassed voice said from beside Sirius. Four heads, including mine, turned to Peter. He was shrinking in his chair, from the incredulous eyes gawking at him.
It took a while for any of us to recover from that mind-blowing statement. “Wait….You, Peter ‘Wormtail’ Pettigrew, finished your Transfiguration essay days before it was due?” He nodded. I prepared for my jaw to drop, but found that it was already the lowest it could go. “Oh, Merlin. It’s an apocalypse!” Peter’s face grew even redder than it already was.
“You traitor! You’re one of them, now!” Sirius said, noting to Remus and me.
“Very funny, Sirius,” I said.
I saw Remus shake his head quickly as if to shake off the shock. “Good, Peter. Now you can relax like us while these gits do their essays. Now, for that lecture….” Remus said.
Before he could start, I bailed. “I’m out. Have fun, kids.” I smiled, amused. James made a face and Sirius mouthed, “Don’t leave me!” which made me laugh.
I got up and searched for someone to talk to. My eyes didn’t even make it full circle around the room before someone caught my attention. A blonde, fellow seventh-year, about my height was approaching me. He grinned when he saw I was looking at him. I reciprocated the gesture when he stopped in front of me.
“Hey, Jenyse,” he said in his low, husky voice.
“Hey, Travis. What’s up?”
“Nothing. I see that you’re being released. May I have custody of you now?” Travis asked, somewhat grim. I saw him shoot a short glare at the Marauders. They saw him and glowered back.
“Ugh, stop it. You guys act like you’re separate parents of mine. Yes, Travis, I will hang out with you,” I said, correcting his words and rolling my eyes. He grinned at me. I could feel the Marauders’ eyes on us, as we walked to a corner of the room.
The Marauders hated Travis. And in return, Travis hated the Marauders. And, for me being in the middle, it sucked. I had no idea why they disliked each other, and whenever I asked, I’d get answers like, “He’s an arse,” or, “They’re jerks.” Personally, I thought all of them were really nice. Well, maybe not the Marauders, all the time; they spend their days pranking Slytherins.
Now, Travis, he was the quieter one of all my friends; only showing his true self in front of me. I always wondered why he was so conservative, because – in my opinion – he’s hilarious! But he’s not the cliché kind of funny, like Sirius; we share an odd and particular kind of humor. I met his family a few times, and it was obvious where he got his humor from: his mother. She was – if not more – just as funny as him.
Travis had brown eyes, curly hair, and was a muggle-born. He wasn’t one I could share my feelings with, but he freely shared his with me. If ever I was upset or anything around him, he’d instantly notice and his discomfort would suddenly become evident. Our friendship was certainly peculiar.
“So…what’s up, Travis?” I asked when we sat down on the floor. He sat pretzel-style, supporting himself with his hands behind him, as I leaned against the wall, across from him.
“Ah, nothing. Just bored. Why’d you run off at dinner?” he questioned.
Ugh. Not again. “Blood,” was all I mumbled. I always thought of him as brave, yet shy, so I was even more embarrassed telling him, than Remus.
“Oh.” That’s it?! No, ‘Are you serious?! You whimp!’? Just an ‘Oh’? I gaped at him in awe. He looked passive. When he looked up at me, he cocked an eyebrow. “What?” I voiced my surprised thoughts and he chuckled. “A lot of people can’t stand blood. I’m just not surprised you can’t, is all.”
“Huh….” I said, still astounded. “Anyway…have you got your Christmas shopping done with?”
“Course. There aren’t many people I have to get gifts for, other than you and my family.”
“Merlin, Trav, how the hell are you gonna get a girl if you don’t start socializing with other human beings other than me? It’s our last year here! Don’t you want to have a family? Don’t you want to grow all old and crusty, sitting in a rocking chair on a porch, with little Travis Double-Juniors running around in the yard?” I may have said it a little more harsh than I intended, but his lack of communication with other people was bugging – and somewhat worrying – me.
“Well, yeah, but-”
“Then stop being so asexual!” I cut him off.
“I am not being asexual!” he said indignantly. “I’m just…I dunno, uncomfortable talking to girls like that.” He was embarrassed now. I was offended now!
“Oh, and I’m the bum on the street?! Thaaanks; that means a whole lot.” I rolled my eyes, wearing a faint smile that I couldn’t hold back.
“Pff…as if! You’re the hobo on the train,” he joked, as if it were plainly obvious. I punched him in the arm. “Alright, alright! You’re the witty, slightly annoying, and motherly girl who happens to be the best friend of the asexual, pathetic, and hopeless, 17-year-old guy. Happy?”
I grinned like a little girl who just got a unicorn for her birthday. “Very.” Travis reached over and ruffled my hair. I stuck my tongue out at him and fixed my bangs. “You know what? I’ve been your friend since third year and have been waiting for you to get a girl or at least another friend, since, so I’m taking it into my own hands. Next Hogsmeade trip, you are coming with me to The Three Broomsticks to meet and hang out with my friends….Alright, my non-Marauder friends,” I added when he shot another glare at them.
“Fine, mum,” he said sulkily.
“Good boy. Oh, and wear those cute little red boxers, with the black ink blots on them, honey,” I mocked.
“Whoa, when did stripping get into the picture?”
“Oh, stripping has been in the picture since you were a baby, sweetheart! Remember that naked baby picture of you in the tub? You’ve grown so much! Oh, and wear those jeans I bought you the other day. And that adorable Quidditch shirt with the open button-down over it. Oh, you’re going to be so cute on your little play date!” I continued with exaggerated hand movements, and pinching his cheek at the end.
“Mum, you’re embarrassing me. I’m going to bed, now,” Travis said, getting up. Huh…he’s serious about the bed part….I followed him to the boys’ staircase.
“Do you want me to tuck you in?” I asked.
“No, mother.” We both laughed at our little skit. “See you, Jenyse. And thanks for your effort in making me as obnoxious as you.”
“No problem, Trav. ‘Night.” I smiled and went back to the Marauders to say goodnight. “How’s the reprimanding goin’?” I asked, leaning over the back of the couch Remus and James were sitting on. James and Sirius groaned, which made me chuckle.
“What’d he want?” By the way Remus spat the pronoun out, I knew who he was talking about, instantly. I sighed and rolled my eyes at their hostility towards Travis. Surprise, surprise.
“Nothing. Although I’m sorry I can’t go to Hogsmeade with you guys, next weekend.” A round of complaints followed my apology. “Sorry, guys. I’m making Travis learn how to interact with others.”
“Hah! I’m sorry, Jenyse, but that’s a lost cause,” Sirius interjected.
“Yeah, and that’s what we said about James and Lily getting together, and look what happened – or…is happening.” I received a, “Hey!” from the former, for that remark.
“Yeah, but that’s James. You’re talking about Travis Decker,” Peter said with a look of disgust in saying Travis’s name.
I made a face at him. “For your information, Travis happens to be the funniest person I know. He’ll get along with them fine.” I saw James and Sirius about to protest, so I cut them off; I didn’t feel like getting into another pointless row. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, ladies and gentleman,” I said the latter, noting to Remus by messing up his hair, “I am going to go to my dormitory while you poor souls finish your essays.”
“Argh!” was heard from the two lazy bums.
“Alright, Jenyse, see you in the morning.”
“’Night.” I patted the heads of the two I was standing behind and went up to the seventh year girls’ dormitory. I changed kind of sluggishly and crawled into bed. Once I was snuggled up with the curtains of my four-poster bed closed around me, I realized I wasn’t very tired. And to top it all off, I was bored. Of course boredom usually makes most normal people tired, but for me, being the abnormal freak of nature I am, I can never go to sleep when I’m bored. So I decided to check if the Marauders were still down in the common room. If they were, I’d hang with them; if not, I’d go up to their dormitory, hope that they were sleeping, and steal James’s nifty Invisibility Cloak so I could go around the castle, not seen. I hoped for the latter to play out.
I went down the girls’ stairs and peeked out. Nobody was there. Yes! I creeped up the boys’ stairs, to their dorm, and heard all of their snores. I snuck in and took the Cloak from James’s trunk at the foot of his four-poster, and escaped into the common room. I put the cloak around myself, went through the portrait hole, and out into the corridor. I walked around for a while, thinking of something to do that Travis would call obnoxious. I passed an open classroom and back-tracked. It was unusual for a classroom to be open this late at night, but my thoughts didn’t dwell on it. I went in, closed the door halfway, took off the Cloak, laying it on a desk, and walked around, examining the room’s contents. From my observations, I gathered that this was an unused classroom, where piles and piles of supplies were kept.
I was too preoccupied, looking at a jar full of purple goo, that I didn’t notice a change in the atmosphere.
“Ooh,” said an appreciative voice, “lead me not into temptation – I can find the way myself.” I almost dropped the jar from shock of two things: 1. somebody came into the room without me noticing, and 2. that somebody said the most forward thing any stranger-ish being had ever said to me. I made sure the jar was safely on the shelf before I quickly turned around, raising my eyebrows.
“Excuse me?!” I asked the boy leaning on the desk closest to the door, who was giving me a once-over…times five. I was surprised he didn’t look at all familiar to me. He looked like he was my age, had light brown spiked hair, hazel eyes that had a more prominent tint of green than James’s, and was considerably taller than me. He was still wearing his school robes, from which I gathered he was a Ravenclaw. He seemed shocked, that I responded so harshly, and, for some reason, confused.
“Wh-…you heard that?!”
A/N: Sooo...questions? Comments? Critiques?? Constructive Criticism? Favorite parts? I'll take 'em all! Thanks for reading my first chapter! Now, please review!