Chapter 4 : Four
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The next day I went to Boare’s room and politely apologized for my behavior yesterday. She smiled at me and asked me to sit down so we could work on my song. I did as she asked. For a full hour, we sat and discussed different topics. Not one of them we liked. She gave me a bunch of ideas to use to help create a song but, though I didn’t say anything, I didn’t like those methods.
I left after that hour to go to my spot on the staircase that led up to the Astronomy Tower. I stared out at the school grounds which were covered with snow. I wrapped jacket around me tighter. I began to quietly hum to myself. Just a simple melody I came up with on the spot. Words appeared in my head. I quickly pulled out my wand and a piece of parchment, ink, and a quill came flying towards me. I sat criss-cross-applesauce and wrote the words while humming the melody.
When I was done, I leaned against the stone wall and reviewed my song, singing in my head the way I would sing it out loud. I tried many different ways but the first way I sung it seemed right. I smiled; I had a song. But I still had to sing on stage. I closed my eyes and sucked in a huge breath, thinking of Elinor’s advice.
The rest of Saturday and Sunday passed by quickly. On Monday, I got eight letters from relatives, wishing me luck this coming Friday. I got five letters on Tuesday and three letters on Wednesday. Today was Thursday and while I ate, seven owls dropped off seven letters from family. I set my fork down, opened, and read each letter. I saw Dumbledore stand up and I stopped reading as the Hall fell into silence.
“As we all know, tomorrow is the day of our Christmas Ball and our singing competition,” he sang. “Today, all classes will be cut short so we can have a quick rehearsal tonight. No one will sing their song; Professor Boare will be directing this. She will tell you tonight where you will sit and when you will go up for your turn. Have a day full of wonderful singing!”
Every student stood up and began to fight their way to class. I sat and finished reading my letters until the crowd died down. I stood up and walked to first class.
What with the shortness of each class, the day seemed to pass by much faster. When music class was over, the teacher walked with us up to the Great Hall. Everyone was behind me, gathered around Boare, asking her all about the competition. However, the Marauders were in front of me, not talking. Not a sound came from them.
In the Great Hall, the original tables were gone and lines of chairs were in an orderly fashion on one side of the room while round tables sat on the other side with a long aisle running down the center. I stepped into a corner and stayed silent as the other kids sang to one another loudly. The raised area where the teachers’ table usually sat was gone. The teachers stood against the wall up there. Boare, however, stood in the front center. Once everyone fell silent, she began.
“There is no particular order that you are placed in, except for the fact that it starts with the first years through the seventh years. I have told some of you where you sit; if I have in fact told you, please go to your seat,” she sang. Many students bulldozed their way to their seats. I walked to mine. She had told me yesterday that I was going last. She had also said that there was an order in each year; it was from worst to best. The teachers all knew but she didn’t want some of the students knowing it. She also knew that that would bring me too much attention to handle. She had spoken to Dumbledore and requested for him not to say my name when I came up. I was highly thankful to him.
Boare directed the last students to their seats. It was about an hour later when she finished. Starting with the people I knew in my row (counting down to me) was Remus, Lily, James then Sirius who sat beside me with his arms cross and a frown on his lips. I had pulled out a book when she had started with second year. I was still reading while she explained that we could have some background music by a band that was also performing during the ball. Dumbledore said after the last person had sung we could go up to our dormitories and quickly change for the ball. We were to wear our Hogwarts uniform during the competition.
When we were dismissed, Sirius slid past me with a quick ‘excuse me’ and disappeared. Remus walked up to me. I smiled at him. He smiled back.
“Sorry about Sirius; he’s upset because he can’t find this one girl,” he sang with a grin. I glared at him. He laughed. I walked away, knowing he’d follow. He fell into step beside me.
“It is in a particular order, isn’t it?” he asked. “In each year, it’s from worst to best, correct?”
“I figured,” he sang. “Ever since Sirius described your voice and I knew it was you, I
knew that Boare would want you to go last as the finale.”
I grimaced, making him laugh.
“Just hope that everyone will be too bored after sitting there for hours and hours
listening to hundreds and hundreds of kids who can’t sing and a few good ones who have an okay voice. Everyone’s song is going to be either stupid or about love,” he sang. I raised an eyebrow at him. He chuckled.
“My song’s okay, nothing special. Peter’s song is just plain stupid and I’ve told him that. James’ song is messed up and Sirius’ song is really confusing and depressing,” he sang softly, “which, then again, suits him because that’s how he’s feeling right now.”
I sighed and ran my fingers through my hair. We were at the Gryffindor portrait hole. Remus said the password and let me step through first. I went to a table at the back. He sat across from me. I crossed my arms on the desk and rested my head on them.
“If you never talk,” he began, “how do you get in here? You have to say the password.”
I smirked at him.
“What? You just look at her and she lets you in?” he sang unbelieving. I nodded.
“She’s not supposed to do that!”
I grabbed a piece of parchment from my bag and wrote, “I used to whisper it to her but not long after this curse/spell, I found a secret entrance that leads straight to the girls’ staircase.”
He stared at me, stunned, after reading. “Where?”
“Remind before the school year is over and I’ll show you,” I wrote. He rolled his eyes at me and I smiled. A thought came to me.
“Why is Sirius so upset about not knowing who I am?” I wrote. He glared at me.
“Why don’t you ask him yourself?” he sang.
“Remus, I’m absolutely terrified of attention. I’m trying my hardest not to get worked up about tomorrow night. If any of those girls sees me with Sirius, they’ll be on my tail like the Prince of England just proposed to me!” I wrote. He laughed loudly. Many people stared at him then at me. I let my hair hide my face as a blush rose up.
“You really do hate attention, don’t you?” he sang. I nodded franticly and brushed my hair out of my face. He sighed.
“I don’t know why he’s obsessed with you. No one knows; he won’t tell anyone, not even James. We tried to get him to talk with someone but he won’t budge. I just really want to know what’s wrong with him. And you owe me big time, girl.”
I gave him a confused look.
“I didn’t tell Sirius who you were when I could’ve. You. Owe. Me. Big. Time.”
I sighed but nodded anyways. By the look on his face, it was easy to tell that he expected more of a fight. He grinned.
“Good,” he sang.
He sang and I wrote for a while longer before we went to bed. Luckily, I slept decently with hardly any dreams.
But that didn’t stop reality from being nightmarish.
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