Chapter 1 : One Stormy Night ...
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Disclaimer: J.K Rowling owns the entire amazing HP series. I am merely using her universe for my own entertainment. I do not own anything apart from Stephanie.
Chapter 1 Ė One Stormy Night Ö
Lightning and thunder crashed as the rain pounded on the thin roof. Wind swooped among the castles nooks and crannies, adding an eerie whistling sound to the mix. Adding some bass, tree branches thumped hard against the old brick walls. Three exhausted girlsí heavy breathing accompanied this and the annoying creak of the wobbly old bedstead the fourth girl was leaning against.
Steph sighed. She wished that she would be able to sleep through storms. But there was something about them that was just so loud. To everyone else, it was nothing worse then normal, even some thought it helped them sleep. But to Steph, it was just pointless noise, annoying and irritating. She surveyed her sleeping roommates, frustrated that they could sleep that night, were as she would be sleeping the next day, if the storm had stopped by then.
In the bed closest to hers, Megan Bailey was curled into a tight ball with nearly all her covers piled on top of her. For a few moments, Steph wondered how she could breathe with all of that on top of her, but then saw the rhythmic moving of the blankets and a small, tunnel like space that must lead to her mouth. The only parts of her you could actually see were a few locks of her black wavy hair, flowing over a few cracks in the pile and a pale hand, no doubt reaching for the radio.
On the bed opposite to Meganís, Alicia Spinet was lying peacefully unaware to any storm that might be going on around her. A black silk eye mask with pink lace around the edges covered her baby blue eyes and matched her nightie that barely touched the top of her thighs. Her short, blonde curls were perfectly in place, making her look like an angel. Looking at her sleeping so perfectly, it was obvious to Steph why she was the prey of every boy in the school. But the day that Alicia let any boy take advantage of her was the day that Dumbledore danced in front of the whole school wearing only a bikini.
Then there was Angelina Johnson, with her long limbs spread all over her four poster. Her braided, black hair was strewn all over her pillows. If only Fred could see her now, in her old pajama pants and baggy Puddlemere t-shirt. Beside her bed on the table, lay all her books for the next day, extra quills and parchment. That was such typical Angelina, being organized way ahead.
Then it came back in a circle to her bed, Stephanie Mallow, the only one who wasnít somehow involved with quidditch. With her big, vibrant green eyes and out of control, dark brown curls, she was the quiet one of the group. Steph smiled at the difference between them all. It was a wonder that they had even become friends. If you could call what they had friendship.
But the happy moment faded quickly when another flash of lightning lit up the sky, followed by a roll of thunder that made her wince. She pulled her knees closer and sunk further against the headboard. When she was even a baby she hadnít been able to sleep through thunderstorms either. Never cried, just stayed awake, looking out at the world. The first time this happened, her mother had stayed with her, but it soon came apparent that she didnít need her. So she just left her alone, because as a single mother, she had other things to do.
Their little house by the seaside was exactly that, little. But it was always neat and tidy, so no one could insult it. It was true, The Mallows didnít have that much money; you could probably call them peasants if it was based on money alone, but Stephís mum always made sure that everything they owned was presentable, including themselves. Stephanie always had clean robes that fit, up to date school books (even if they were from a second hand store) and that her hair was presentable. She was one of only two people who knew how to control her hair. The other was Alicia. The first thing Alicia said to her was ďYou have got to let me tell do your hair!Ē She had given her special shampoo, conditioner and had taught her a spell to stop the frizz and make it drape in to loose ringlets. She always pulled it back into a pony tail though, no matter how much Alicia begged her to let her style it.
Alicia was a genius with hair, makeup and fashion. She was obsessed with it as much as Megan was with attention and Angelina with being organized. The dresser beside her bed was covered with blusher, mascara, eyeliner, lip-gloss, everything! The entire floor around her bed was the same, except it was clothes, shoes and accessories. Hers was probably the messiest area. Meganís area was her own personal haven of herself. Pictures covered the walls above her bed, of herself and Ďpeopleí she looked up to. Clothes covered the floor over there as well, for on the weekends Megan had to make sure she looked her best to get the most attention. Angelinaís area was spick and span, not a thing on the ground, everything in its place. Stephís was sort of medium, not a pig sty but not quite tidy. A few clothes here and there, a book or two and a bit of piano sheet music.
Sighing, Steph turned to the window, looking out at the rain and wondered how it would feel to fly through it. Sometimes she wished that she had learnt to fly, but whenever she actually got near a broom, she remembered why she didnít. She liked to have two feet flat on the ground or in the water. It was a shame that Hogwarts had nothing to do with swimming, what with having the huge lake. Everyday, she would go for a swim early in the morning, before anyone was awake. She had even made her own little changing room by the side of the lake, with a hot shower and everything. If only Flitwick could see the spells she had used to make that. Definitely enough to pass her N.E.W.Tís.
But no one knew that she could swim, it was her little secret. She didnít want to be known for swimming. Everyone would go ďOh look, there goes that swimmer girlĒ, she didnít want it to be like that. She preferred to go about her own way. She always heard the girls complaining about guys that had asked them out and they didnít want them and why wouldnít that guy take notice her? She didnít want all of that. It sounded like they got hurt more then they got there happiness. Why go through so much pain just to get a day of happiness? She was content on being just Steph, the girl that was always there, but no one actually noticed. Even the girls forgot about their roommate, when they got caught up in the Quidditch or teasing with the guys. And lately it had gotten worse, what with the match so close.
But that was ok with Steph. She noticed somethingís that others didnít. For example, she was the only one that had noticed that George had been staring at Alicia more and more lately, and that Harry Potter, the Gryffindor seeker, had been staying up longer and longer with his friends Hermione and Ron, stressing over something. It was also common knowledge that to be on the Quidditch team you had to be passing all subjects, which Katie Bell, the other Gryffindor chaser was getting more and more concerned about. She was lucky that Oliver Wood, captain and keeper of the Gryffindor team, was to busy preparing for the Hufflepuff game that was coming up to in two weeks to check any of his teamís grades. The whole school hyped for the game, for it was the first of the season.
It was Oliverís last year and he had already gotten multiple offers from multiple clubs. He was pushing the team harder this year, as if already getting offers wasnít enough. It was plainly seen by everyone that the whole team was shattered, but he kept on pushing the practices later and later. They had all threatened to quit at least three times each, Alicia even twelve times, but they never went through with it of course. All this practice was completely taking over there lives. Spare time was devoted to homework and sleeping. It was even worse at the moment, with only two weeks to the game.
Steph hardly even saw them anymore. She doubted they even remembered her. But she did everything she could to make it even a little bit easier for them. Cleaned up a bit, showered in her hut so not to waste the hot water, that sort of stuff. Since they were the only people that noticed her at anytime, for two weeks she was completely ignored by the whole school. Including the teachers. She didnít have good enough grade to get noticed, or bad enough, with the exception of Charms. Exceeds Expectations all around apart from Outstanding in Charms.
A shadow passing the window startled Steph. Getting off her bed, she walked softly over to the window and peered out through the foggy glass. The rain was so thick that she couldnít see a thing. Grabbing her wand off her bedside table, she muttered a quick charm that cleared off the glass and made it easier to see through the rain. Looking over the Quidditch Pitch, she could barely just make out a figure flying way up by the goal posts, enchanting Quaffles to fly at them. Only one person would be dedicated and stupid enough to do that.
She turned away. He was a good enough flyer to not be put off by the rain, and if he wanted to get wet to the skin that was fine with her. He was an idiot though. Sitting back down, she deliberately turned away from the window, making a point not to look at it. She nearly even crossed her arms, but stopped herself. Sinking back into her day dream world, she had nearly forgotten the flyer outside until another flash of lightning illuminated the room.
Running back to the window, Steph hid behind the wall next to the window, peering out from the side. It wasnít like he could see her or anything, but it was just a habit of trying not to be seen. She felt strangely relieved to see him still flying, and not lying crumpled on the ground. Feeling more confident, she fully faced the window, looking at how he was enchanting the Quaffles. It was just a simple levitating spell, with a twist to make them be able to move without him controlling them. She didnít notice how long she had been trying to figure it out; she was just watching his wand movements to see what he was doing.
Just as she had thought she had figured it out, he turned his head sharply in the direction on the window. It was almost as if he could sense her eyes looking at him. Gasping, she turned and flattened her back against the wall next to the window. How had he known? He couldnít have seen her; she could only see him because of the charm on the window. But she felt uneasy anyway. Slowly she sunk back on to her bed, wondering how he had noticed.
She had just decided that it must have been a coincidence, when another flash of lighting sent her flying back to the window. But he was still there, flying around. Something was different though. Just a small thing that had changed since last time. It took Steph a minute to figure it out, but he was shivering. She could see it even from here. His hands werenít as tight on the broom as before, and when he cast the spell on the quaffles, his wand work was shaky and uncertain. If he was out there for much longer, he would for sure get hypothermia. Someone had to go and bring him inside. He was too dedicated to his Quidditch to willingly stop. And who else even knew he was out there apart from her?
Sighing, Steph turned away from the widow and picked her wand back up. Quickly pulling on a baggy hoodie over her white, muscle back top, she cast a waterproofing spell over herself. It was a useful charm, especially in the Scottish weather. Quietly, she moved over to the door and quickly pulled it open. She didnít worry about it creaking; she had cast a permanent oiling spell on it in third year. Tip toeing down the stairs, Steph was happy to see that the house elves had kept the fire lit in the common room. She didnít have to face the cold yet.
The corridors were a different matter. It would have been impossible to heat the whole castle thoroughly, so they didnít bother. The only part that had some heat was the Great Hall and the Entrance Hall. Shivering, Steph took a secret passage way that went straight to the Quidditch pitch from next to the Gryffindor Common Room. The less time spent out in the cold, the better.
Outside in the grounds, it was icy cold. She shivered but kept going, cursing herself for not putting on some track pants over her short pajama pants. He must be frozen, what with being wet as well as being out in the wind. This thought made her run faster.
After two minutes, she couldnít feel her legs they were so cold. Stepping on sticks didnít hurt the bottom of her feet anymore. But the entrance to the stadium was in sight. Picking up the pace, Steph passed through the gap between the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff stands. Sighing in relief, she turned the corner just as another bolt of lightning darted down. She stopped as she saw, in slow motion it strike the lone flying figure above, making him plummet towards the ground below.
A/N: So that was the first chapter! Sorry that there wasnít much dialogue or action, itís the middle of the night so there couldnít really. But where do you think this is going? Oliver falling? Stephanieís background? The girls? Tell me in a review!
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