Author Note: This is my first story here so . . . advice is highly welcomed! As is being blunt about my story/stories. Oh! And any of the little songs you read on any of my chapters are mine. I really want to stress that because I really don't want to read a story and find one of my songs in it. And if you just happen to have any advice about these songs or are a songwriter yourself, advice, please? I'm an author, not a songwriter.
I guess that's about it. Enjoy the story and once I have other stories up, check them out, please! 'Til then!
Even after all these weeks no one knows for sure exactly what happened. Maybe it was a spell gone wrong or a charm that went airy or maybe a potion that was boiled wrong. Or maybe even a curse. The teachers raided the Hogwarts’ library, every bookstore in Diagon Alley; even the Ministry was on the case. But it was a month until Christmas; everyone was slowly giving up.
At first, the students found it entertaining and amusing and fun, even. Their minds changed after a month. All of the spells never went right, so everything practical was cancelled. All the teachers are giving lectures nowadays and a new class has been added, mostly for the students who can’t but everyone is in it.
I just want this to be over with! Of course, I have not “spoken”, for the few people who talk to me only want a nod or a shake of the head as an answer. But this . . . this . . . this non-stop singing has got to go.
I sat at the end of the Gryffindor table with a book rested against the tall plate of muffins as I ate breakfast. Voices filled the hall but I blocked them out. The owls swooped in and dropped off their letters. A letter landed in front of me. I opened and read it then read it again.
Your father and I are still searching for the way to get rid of this curse-like thing upon you and your friends. Your teachers may have given up but many parents and us have not. We will figure out how to stop you and your friends from singing everything you wish to voice.
Let your voice be heard, little bird.
Mom and Dad
P.S. Say hello and give our love to your friends.
I groaned inwardly at their wrong assumption. After mentioning some of the people who go here, they automatically assume that I’m best friends with them. I folded the letter and stuck it in the book as a bookmark. I continued eating and the hall grew quiet. Confused, I looked up to see Dumbledore standing.
“I wish to inform you,” he sang, “that we will be having a little singing competition at our Christmas ball. Everyone is to participate and create their own songs.”
Everyone groaned at creating their own songs. I was still stuck on ‘everyone is to participate’.
“We have to write our own songs?!” Sirius Black sang, loudly. Many girls sighed dreamily at his voice. To go along perfectly with his good looks, his voice was just as good.
“Yes, Mr. Black,” Dumbledore replied. His voice actually wasn’t that bad, not the best but not the worst. “If you need any help with singing or writing, please go to Professor Boare. Have wonderful day full of singing!”
The Great Hall erupted into voices singing all about the ball or their song or their voice. My jumbled thoughts blocked them out. Luckily, today was Sunday. I exited the Great Hall and climbed up the stairs to the stairway that leads up to the Astronomy Tower. About halfway up was a window with a wide ledge. I hoisted my self up on it then scooted over to the window. I stared out over the grounds.
Everyone was to sing? I can sing well but I’d have to sing in front of the whole school. There was no way I could stand all that attention. There has to be a way out of
it. . . .
I could be sick! Of course! Conveniently, I could come down with some flu the day before the ball. But what with our nurse being able to cure everything it wouldn’t work. Family emergency! Brilliant! Two days before the ball I could get a “letter” saying that some relative if deathly sick and is calling for my help personally. Maybe I could even get my favorite aunt, Elinor, to actually send the letter. I could easily stay with her for Christmas.
I smiled and grabbed parchment and a quill from my bag. I replied to my parents first then I began my letter to Elinor with my problem.
“It would be very unfortunate for you to leave us before the competition, my dear,” sang Dumbledore. I jumped and looked at him with wide eyes. How in the world did he know?! Was he a mind-reader or something?
He chuckled. “Sorry, I had no intention of scaring you.”
I stared at him, skeptic. He chuckled again.
“I really wish to hear your voice at the competition, Miss Grayson. The teachers have been thinking about calling on you in class just to hear you voice. But I dissuaded them otherwise. They ask for the competition so each person can be heard and everyone hear those to shy to speak. No one is to leave this castle until they have before the school. If you have to leave before the ball, you will sing before the ball, then,” he explained. I opened my mouth to complain but he held up a hand and cut me off.
“No, no, no, no, no,” the headmaster sang, “I shall wait until the Christmas ball to hear your voice. However, if you have questions or comments, please go to Professor Boare. Goodbye, Miss Grayson, and good luck.” He disappeared.
I sighed and leaned against the stone wall. How was I going to sing in front of hundreds of people? Surely, some parents might come to hear their children sing or the media might even be there.
I cleared the parchment and wrote to Elinor for help about what is to come. Tomorrow, I’ll talk with Professor Boare; she could help me.
That night my dreams were full of stages and singing, and balls and ugly gowns. I woke up a good couple of times. The last time I woke up, I knew I could never fall asleep again so I got ready for school. I stared at myself in the mirror. My hair was wavy and an interesting mixture of blonde and light brown. My eyes were brown but looked really close to a gold color. My skin was healthy and fair. My red bottom lip was a touch fuller than my top one. I was pretty content with the way I looked.
On my way out, I grabbed my bag and slung it over my shoulder. The Great Hall was empty except for a few early-risers. I sat down in my usual spot, ignoring Dumbledore’s gaze. As I ate, I watched students enter and say—well, rather, sing hello to one another. Once I was done, I sat and check over my homework until it was closer till eight. I repacked my bags and left to Transfiguration.
I sat in the very back and took notes as Professor McGonagall (this was her second year here) lectured. Surprising a lot of students, she could actually sing pretty well. Like Dumbledore, not the best but certainly not the worst. Every time I paused in my notes, I saw McGonagall’s eyes flicker to me then flicker away. She did this about twenty times in the full hour I had with her.
How had I not notice is this in the past? She at least wanted to know how I sounded. It was weird; I was never this unobservant. How odd. How had I missed this?
I paid more attention to the rest of my teachers during classes. Each of them looked at me about an average of twenty times. I shook the thought out of my head as I headed down to the little meadow where Professor Boare preferred to teach. I think that even if we didn’t have this curse-like thing, she’ll still be singing all throughout her lessons. Then again, we wouldn’t have her here if we didn’t have this curse-like thing on us.
I sat down against a tree trunk and waited for her to begin her lesson. She never called on me but her eyes, too, flickered towards me a lot.
After the lesson, I hung behind. She saw this and walked towards me, smiling.
“Yes, Miss Grayson?” she sang. “Is there something you need?”
I nodded and on a scrap piece of paper, I wrote down that I needed help with my fear of attention and that I also needed help with writing a song. She smiled at me, her blue eyes shined with happiness.
“So I finally get to hear your voice,” Boare sang. “Come, come, first I need to hear your voice to see about that song. Then we’ll work on your fear.”
I quickly wrote down on the paper. “But I’ll have to sing in front of you.”
She grinned at me. “Yes.” She pulled into the center of the meadow. She took a few steps back. Birds sang all around us. “Time to sing, my dear,” she sang. I blinked at her. What was I to sing?
“Just sing anything. Make it up if you must,” she sang happily. I took a deep breath. A song Elinor used to sing to me popped into my head. I decided to sing that.
“Don’t cry, little one,
Fall fast asleep for
Tomorrow’s gonna be here
With brand new life
Maybe a newborn dog
Or a newborn girl
Or if you’re lucky
A newborn lark
Wait and see
Sleep and see
For the brand new life
Tomorrow will bring
With a well-rested lark.”
The birds which had stopped singing when I sang the first word were quiet for a moment then started again. I stared at my professor. She stared at me . . . I couldn’t find the right word to describe the look of shock (which is an understatement) on her face. I took a step towards her.
“My god,” she choked out. “Your voice . . . . It’s—it’s—it’s . . . marvelous! Every other voice I’ve heard sounds weak and hoarse by comparison! Sing! Sing for me again!”
“Sing what?” I asked, of course, singing.
“Anything! Anything! Sing a story that you know!”
“I am not sure.”
“Sing! Sing!” she demanded. I searched for something.
“I know this one story . . .” I trailed off.
“Sing it! Sing it!” she sang. Luckily, since Elinor and I were the only ones in our family who could sing beautifully, Elinor loved to sing me stories.
“Once upon a time,
There once was a lark
A beautiful lark
Who loved to fly around.
She flew all throughout the forest,
She knew every tree in the forest you see.
And in the early mornings,
She’d sit on their branches
‘La ti da ti da
La de da
Over and over again and again
She would repeat that
All morning long, mind you.
One morning, a prince
A handsome prince
Rode by on his steed
A handsome steed.
He stopped when he heard a noise
Not a noise but a sound
A lovely sound that filled his heart.
He thought it belong to a princess
A beautiful princess—”
“Your voice is beautiful and marvelous but it is almost dinnertime, my dear,” the professor interrupted. She smiled sadly at me. I smiled back lightly. I grabbed my bag and we began to leave the meadow. She grabbed my arm. I looked at her.
“No one is to know how you sound,” she sang quietly, “no one except for me.”
I nodded. “Of course,” I sang back quietly, too.
When we entered the Great Hall, I sat down in my seat and began to eat. After five minutes of eating, the doors burst open and in walked Sirius Black.
“There you are, Padfoot!” James Potter sang. The Marauder ran towards his friends and they sat and ate, singing.
After dinner, I walked up to the library to work on my homework. I sat at my table next to a window in the very back, near the restricted section. I sat my bag down and got the books I would need before starting my five essays.
“But I’m not joking, Prongs,” I heard Sirius Black sing from behind a bookshelf.
“Explain it again, Padfoot,” James Potter instructed.
“Okay. So after I stopped walking you guys to talk to Boare, I went back but I heard her talking with someone. Only the other person wasn’t talking back. That was weird but whatever. I hid behind a tree and listened. I gathered that the girl, whoever she was, was trying to get help for the singing competition. Once Boare finally got her to sing, my god! The birds even stopped singing! It was perfect! Beautiful! Extraordinary! Unbelievable! Then she sang again later and I swear it was. . . . It’s indescribable. Once I find her, I’ll ask her to sing for you guys. Then you’ll fully understand,” he sang just at a whisper. Still, I heard it all, and apparently, so did he.
I took a couple deep breaths then returned to my work. The rest of the Marauders tried to convince Sirius that he was imagining things. But Sirius wouldn’t budge. Remus Lupin asked if he remembered any of the songs she—I—sang. He repeated them to him.
“Yes, yes, I know who she is,” Remus sang.
“You do? Who?” Sirius asked. You could easily hear the excitement in his voice.
“Of course, you do, Moony. You know everyone in this school and what house they’re in,” sang James.
“That’s because Moony pays attention,” pointed out Peter Pettigrew. His voice was rather plain. Nothing at all special. And he couldn’t sing that well.
“True,” James agreed lightly. Sirius groaned.
“Who is she, Remus?” he demanded. I heard Remus chuckled.
“You’re going to have to find her yourself, Sirius,” he sang happily.
“Do you even know what she looks like?” asked Peter.
“Yeah, a bit. I got a glimpse of her hair. It was really pretty but I can’t really recall it. It was too quick,” Sirius answered. He sighed. “How am I going to find her?”
“She’ll probably be staying back again after Boare’s class. Stay back tomorrow and
find out who she is,” James suggested.
“Of course! Thanks, Prongs.”
A few minutes later, they left. I sat there, my essays done and completed though they weren’t due for another day. I didn’t want Sirius Black trying to figure out who I am! I would never have sung if I had known he was listening! I hid my face in my hands, elbows on the table. No, no, no! This wasn’t how it was supposed to happen! I needed to tell Boare that I couldn’t stay after her class, that we needed another place for me to practice.
I sighed deeply and trudged off to my dormitory for sleep.