Chapter 3 : The Anomalous
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It is the last week of September and my life is as it should be.
History of Magic has become tiresome which makes me sad because I really detest not liking my lessons.
Transfiguration is taking up too much time while resulting in very limited improvement.
I am constantly distracted by a boy - a new thing for me - which is completely unacceptable (I mean that me being distracted is unacceptable - Remus John Lupin is very much acceptable).
And - to top off the fish-flavoured ice-cream sundae - Professor Slughorn is throwing one of his Slug Club Gatherings which always put Charlie in an irritable mood.
An irritable Charlie, though entertaining, gets old rather fast.
We grumble through our Tuesday with very little effort at conversation or pleasantries.
By ‘we’ I mean Charlie, Lily and I.
Is it odd that we are suddenly all chum-like with Evans?
The only odd thing I can think of is the fact that I don’t find her nearly as irksome as I had once thought her to be.
Is that mean? I don’t think so, but Charlie may…
Charlie and Lily aren’t still on me about that silly little plan they came up with way back in the early days of innocence (i.e. nearer to the beginning of September) - Charlie has a bit of an issue with keeping an interest in things over extended periods of time - and I all but thank my lucky stars that that particular bother is pretty much out the proverbial window.
I wonder how many glass windows there were in proverbial times… There couldn’t have been many - or any at all really…
“I refuse to go to the Slug Club nonsense.”
I look at Charlie and smile. She really has a loud voice. It snapped me right out of my window-oriented reverie.
Lily scoffs, “good luck getting out of it, York.”
I must say that I agree with Lily.
“I agree with Lily,” I throw an arm around Charlie, “Professor Slughorn has something of an obsession with your family.”
“Damn gramps,” Charlie mutters, “had to go and make himself a famous explorer author person.”
“Hey,” I interject, “lay off Grandfather York, he’s fascinating.”
I speak with pure admiration and sigh dreamily.
I wish I could be an explorer. I wonder how one gets into such an occupation, would it do just as well to be a wizarding anthromologicalist…?
Charlie rolls her eyes at my ridiculous and somewhat mocking sigh.
Grandfather York is fascinating, but that isn’t the point. The point is that Professor Slughorn thinks so and never fails to mention it.
“Then there’s silly ol’ big brother Charles,” Charlie continues, “who has to be all accomplished in every bloody way.”
I gasp and Lily chuckles, “Language, Charlotte,” I reprimand.
“Bugger off,” she mutters and I cannot but chuckle at her general unpleasantness.
She continues to mutter about overachieving Ravenclaws and her older brother who's in seventh year - Charlemagne Sedgwick York the Second who we affectionately refer to as 'big brother Charles'.
I know what your thinking...
There was a Charlemagne Sedgwick York the First. In fact, big brother Charlemagne is named after his grandfather; the fascinating world explorer himself.
Professor Slughorn is never quite able to contain his glee when confronted with big brother Charles.
Thank goodness that my family keeps to themselves and that I am only E level at potions - i.e. hardly worth noticing.
Despite having spent all of Herbology and Charms with Charlie’s unpleasantness, I feel incandescent with blissful delight.
Why...? You may ask.
The answer is as simple as it is lovely.
I love that it has snowed unseasonably early this year and that - though still in the last wee ol’ week of September - the grounds are quite plainly swaddled in white.
Of course, not everything is delightful at the moment.
I've just received my first - and hopefully last ... but probably not - N.E.W.T.s level A.
I feel inadequate.
Of course, Charlie insists on telling me I need to see an analyst so’s I can get fixed in the head.
“I don’t need to be fixed in the head,” I mumble into my tomato soup.
“Chin up, Quinn,” Charlie says, “it’s only Transfigs, after all.”
“Only Transfigs?” I splutter indignantly.
Really, is there any other way to splutter?
“Do you realize that if I want to pursue a career as an auror than I need top marks in Transfigs?” I demand.
I go on quite a tangent about the importance of Transfigs and how, if I fail at it, it's equivolent to failng at life. It's desserts before I realize that Charlie probably isn't even listening.
“Just become a professional wizard’s chess set maker,” Charlie eventually suggests with overstated seriousness.
“I need Transfigs for that too,” I mutter around my treacle tart.
Lily - who sits nearer her other friends during meals - passes behind Charlie and I wave a greeting to our favourite red head.
I’m not being sarcastic; don’t be mean.
She waves back and smiles a Lily smile.
One more bright side to report..!
I am pleased to say that I have not been distracted by any Remus J. Lupins at all today.
Of course, this may be because he hasn’t been in any of his (and thereby my) classes all day.
Charlie can’t read my thoughts so they don’t count; thank goodness that she’s yet to master legilimency.
Drat it all...
Charlie is looking at me expectantly and I think she’s waiting for me to answer some sort of query she’s raised. I must answer something so’s I don’t give away my pesky Lupin oriented thoughts…
“Yes,” I venture.
Charlie grins and I feel foolish.
“I don’t know,” I try slowly, enunciating every syllable.
“Don’t you?” she is in silent hysterics and I feel flustered.
"Well - I mean - I - what was the question?” I stammer.
She’s shaking so much so that I fear she’ll fall out of her seat.
“I asked,” she pauses dramatically, speaking with deliberation, “if you’d noticed that every time you think of a certain someone there is this dreamy far off look on your face and you sigh ever so softly.”
I feel more than I know that I am rose-faced but try to maintain a façade of composure.
“Right,” I say with dignity, “I did know that.”
Charlie, still laughing, says, “Actually, it’s quite becoming.”
I do not deign to answer her.
"Really, if he could see you now-"
“Quit your tittering, Charlotte,” I mumble choosing another bite of delectable Treacle.
“Aye,” she says, hardly stifling her laughs.
I positively trudge up the stairs into the sixth year girls’ dormitory and flop onto my bed.
“Blimey, I’m exhausted,” I mumble into my pillow.
I’m glad I’m not a pillow.
“Are you?” Lily asks from somewhere in the room.
I nod and flip onto my back.
“Life hates me, Lily,” I confess.
“Look on the bright side,” Lily says from her own bed, “we're all inching slowly toward death anyway.”
“Yes,” I admit, “that does sound like my kind of bright side.”
Charlie bounces into the room singing a song by the Knobheads, an alternative wizarding band that’s become quite chic amoung Northerners. Charlie, being a Central Londoner who's family keeps a house in the country, is always apt to know what is chic around my folk.
“Go away,” I call out, “you odd little lively thing.”
I’ve decided I don’t much like Tuesdays wherein I discover that I’ve received an A on a Transfigs paper that I spent ages upon ages working on. Snow or not. O. Q Quinn will spread the unpleasant.
“I know something you don’t know,” she practically sang at us.
"What?” Lily enquires - mostly humouring her.
“Slughorn’s fallen ill!” She all but squeals.
“Oh,” Lily looks confused for a moment, then brightens and sets herself eagerly on her knees, “Oh.”
Charlie nods, bouncing on her heels.
“You two are mean,” I tell them, still not looking at them, still lying in bed.
“Oh, shush, Quinn,” Charlie says dismissively waving my comment away, “you’d be just as excited if they’d cancelled a meeting of the Chess Club.”
“Would not!” I splutter, again, indignantly, "and it isn't called the 'chess club' we are called the-"
“Alright, alright,” Charlie shrugs cutting off my almost rant, “chess is your choice, I suppose, I was unwillingly drafted.”
“As was I,” says Lily, somewhat sheepish though she may be.
As if that explains anything.
I turn in my bed, close my curtains and try to fall asleep - more to get away from the two giddy witches than anything else.
I wake at an unreasonably early hour and decide - as I will never fall back to sleep having been out for somewhere around ten hours - to go down to the common room and mumble incoherent nonsensicalities to no one in particular. That or do some Transfigs readings.
I take a ridiculous amount of time getting ready. I shower a bit longer than usual. Spend far too much time on my hair. Fuss far too much with my skirt and tie. And even try to apply some of Charlie's devious looking makeup that makes her eyes look stunning. I take about twenty minutes per eye (one of the reasons I don’t use makeup on a regular school day) and put on some of my usual coconut sun-protective lip balm.
I stumble into the common room, dressed for success as they say, and fall into a loveseat nearest the fireplace which is roaring warmly much to the credit of a clever house elf. There is a brisk morning chill in the common room, though the anomalous snowfall from yesterday seems to have disappeared overnight.
I settle on taking out my Ancient Runes text - which is far more comprehensible than Transfigs and therefore the more logical choice at this pre-dawn hour - and start using it to decipher a passage that Professor Zachariah had us copy out last Thursday.
I really rather love Runes. Professor Zachariah always favours students who do well. And boy do I do well. Runes just make sense in a way that Transfigs doesn't.
I hum and read and translate and write 'till the sun starts to ascend; breaking into what promises to be a bright brisk day.
I hear more than see the pink lady's portrait open and look up just as Pete Pettigrew stumbles in, closely followed by the rest of his rag tag pals.
"Take the cloak Wormtail."
“Watch where you walk, Prongs.”
“Ow,” Potter stifles a swear as he staggers into the room. He only staggers because he’s carrying something.
Or helping to carry someone, rather. I see Remus Lupin follow, attached to Sirius Black.
“You boys aren’t up to any mischief are you?”
They freeze and turn in the direction of the ominous voice (me… I’m the ominous voice - cool is’nit?).
“Morning,” I say cheerily.
Pete lets out a sigh of relief.
“’Lo, Quinn,” he says.
"What’re you doing up so early?” Sirius Black asks - his arm still slung casually around the shoulder of one tall handsome albeit bedraggled looking Remus J. Lupin.
“Runes assignment,” I say, motioning to the scattered papers on the table in front of me.
“That’s not due for another week,” Potter says suspiciously.
I am forced to wonder at why he is suspicious of me; they’re the ones sneaking in during the wee hours of the morning, after all.
“Getting an early start,” I say pleasantly returning to my translating, tickling my chin with my quill.
They stand for a moment and I feel their eyes still on me. I look up and cannot but smile at the lot of them; they seem to be waiting for me to say smoething - looking almost fretfully expectant.
“Carry on,” I say, not really interested in the roguish business they’d been up to.
They relax somewhat and continue on their way. I still sense some wary glances my way.
Barmy bunch of wizards, that lot.
Well, I've gone and offed another one. Hope it's adequate. I would like to, again, thank all who've reviewed and favourited. Particularly Just_Me_Black who did both. *squee* And superfantasticquirkyquill for being such a legend. It brings a bit of happiness into my humdrum life. Yeeah...
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