A/N: Alright, so this is my first story, and my first chapter. I hope you like it, and make sure you read the gloss at the end, or you won't get half of the sentences :)-Ai-:)
Disclaimer: Johanna and China are mine, everythink else is JKR's, and the dialogue up to "Ow" is directly from OoTP.
Johanna took a long drag from the white cylinder in her hand, scowling as she ground the cigarette against the railing.
It had been a long day. Peeves had decided that throwing ink bombs at first and second years was fun—which wasn't really a problem, Johanna didn't really care for the sniveling midgets—but he had quickly gotten over that and decided to splatter ink all over at least seventy-five portraits, which were not overly happy about it and kept on whining until Johanna was just about ready to kick a great big giant hole in the middle of their respective canvases.
All of them were quite conveniently 'much
too high for us to reach, thank you so much Miss Johanna, we appreciate her works so much, Miss!', and she had been left holding the bag (although it was more of a bucket filled with portrait cleaner); but then again, all of the house-elves were slightly miffed at Dumbledore's decision to allow her into the kitchens.
As was she. She scowled again, flicking the singed end of her cigarette into the dark and walking back into her room, shutting the door just a bit louder than necessary.
If she was lucky, she might be able to sleep tonight.
"Miss Johanna? Is Miss Johanna awake?" a squeaky, heavily accented voice asked from behind her.
Leche, I'm awake." Johanna said with a sigh, looking forlornly at the bed.
"Oh, Thank Goodness, Miss. Miss is needed by Master, Miss. Master says he is sorry, but it is an emergency, Miss." Leche said, coming in, looking slightly nervous. She gave him an encouraging smile, despite the fact that all of the Misses and Masters were giving her a headache.
"Thank you Leche, tell him I'll be there in a moment." Leche hesitated, and she groaned inwardly.
!" she said shortly. "Fine. If you would please step outside for a moment, I'd be happy to oblige our dear Master." She said sneeringly; but in true House-Elf fashion, Leche didn't seem to notice her sarcasm.
"Thank you Miss." he said with a bow, leaving the room. Johanna felt around her hips for a moment, pulling out a half-empty package of cigarettes and pulling one pristine white one out, lighting it with a flick of her wrist. She debated whether or not to have a quick smoke outside or to take it with her, but she figured, to hell with it.
"If Dumbledore wants to bitch at me, well then let him bitch." she muttered. "It's his blery fault in the first place." she said, and with that, tossed the package on the bed, and left the room.
Apparently, she wasn't lucky.
The three delinquent students walked back to the castle, still slightly shaken up and angry at what had just occurred between Hagrid and Dolores Umbridge. Hagrid, of course, had appeared relatively unperturbed—"Look, don' you go worryin' abou' me, I promise yeh I've got really good stuff planned fer yer lessons now I'm back… Now you lot had better get back up to the castle, an' don' forget ter wipe yer footprints out behind yeh!"—but they were a little more concerned.
"I dunno if you got through to him." Ron said as they walked back towards the castle, Hermione performing an Obliteration Charm behind them. Hermione set her jaw determinedly.
"Then I'll go back tomorrow!" she said irritably. "I'll plan his lessons for him if I have to. I don't care if she throws out Trelawney, but she's not—"
"Ow! Bloody Hell, what was that?" Ron asked, shaking his head furiously. A small white object dropped out of his hair and fell into the snow, letting out a sharp hiss as it hit the ground. Harry looked down at it, then up above their heads.
"I think it's a fag, Ron." Harry said after a moment, picking up the cigarette and pocketing it.
"I din' know any of the Professors smoked." Ron said, wrinkling his eyebrows. "Did you, Hermione?"
She shook her head, looking just as confused.
"Huh." Ron said as they continued back to the castle. "Weird."
Johanna glared at the gargoyles that guarded the Headmaster's office. She loathed them—they looked too much like the ones she had first seen when she had left her beloved Mzansi, her lovely, sunny, bright and colourful South Africa to come here; to this dark brooding place where everyone was pale and puckered, like maas , the sour milk drink she had loved as a child.
She hated them.
"I see you seem to find my stone friends rather engrossing." A voice said from behind her, and she rolled her eyes.
"Honestly, Meneer, they scare me a little. I don't like them at all." Johanna said bluntly, turning around to face the Headmaster.
"Yes, they are a bit grim, aren't they? But this is a castle, and we must keep up our appearances…" he said, and she shrugged apathetically. He gave her a sad smile.
"Now, something came for you in the mail today that I think will interest you. Ice Mice." he said, and the door opened.
Johanna let out a gasp of surprise. Not at the staircase, or the password, or the office, no—but at the box that was sitting to the side of the second step.
"Is that… what I think it is, Meneer?" she asked, almost whispering. He nodded, and she walked up to it fearfully.
"But… but I thought Oupa was going to flog it…" she said, and Dumbledore gave her a slightly puzzled look.
"It's in perfect condition, I assure—"
"No, Meneer, sell. Flog's just the slang for it… I'm still getting used to talking book English, Mene—sir." she said, never taking her eyes off of the package.
"Ah. Did you know my brother lived in South Africa for a while?"
"No. " she didn't ask where. It didn't matter.
"I assume you would like to take this with you?" he said, and she picked it up gingerly.
"Thank you, Meneer." she said, smiling at him for the first time since she arrived at Hogwarts, and he smiled back.
"Tomorrow's Market day, Johanna. I believe, if you hurry a little, you may have quite a while to play after the work is done." he said, his eyes twinkling a little, and she nodded, running off back to her room.
She slammed the door behind her and climbed up on the bed, shoving the package of cigarettes off to the side and pushing her cat to the end of the bed, glaring at it slightly.
"I swear, China, if you so much as get a hair on this you will be sorry you ever did." she said to the sleeping ball of fur, which opened one eye, inspected the scene, and promptly closed it again.
Johanna removed the tape tentatively, opening the box and smiling at its contents.
There, nestled among three days worth of cornmeal and a few packages of biltong was her most precious possession.
Her violin. It had been a one of a kind instrument crafted by one of the Masters specifically for her—her grandmother had gone all over Africa to find someone to make it for her.
It looked exactly the same as it had 7 months ago when she left it—it was just as shiny, the spruce and maple wood gleaming in the soft glow of the fireplace.
She fell asleep five minutes later—with the box still under her arm.
Glossary (All of this is South African slang, Afrikaans, or Zulu)
Blery- bloody, as in "Bloody hell!"
Mzansi- South Africa
maas- a sour thick milk drink
Meneer- another word for Sir or Mister.
Flog- Sell ( I know, odd isn't it?)
China- even though that's the cat's name, china also means best friend
biltong- It's like jerky, but with whatever meat available- which actually occasionally can include Ostrich.