Chapter 11 : A Flourish and a Tap
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11. A Flourish, and a Tap.
“Katie, you need to listen to me. And I’m being totally serious.”
That was a wonderful way to start off the conversation. I felt, momentarily, like running for the hills, or possibly killing myself.
Since I had lost control of my facial muscles and could only stare, horrified, at Oz, it was Albus who said, “Shoot.”
“Emily is angry at you.” Oz declared.
Thank you for that information, Oz.
As though I didn’t know.
I nodded, trying to remain serious like he had asked.
“Eric, is furious with you,”
God, he’s just the official good news bringer.
He looked to be opening his mouth again.
Go on, Ozzy—Make my day.
“Penny is adding fuel to the fire.”
I KNEW IT! She was such a bitch. I should never have let her anywhere near Eric. This probably wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for her.
…Well, it wouldn’t have been so extreme.
I finally regained control over my jaw and stared hopefully at Oz. “What about you?” I asked slowly. “Do you hate me as well?”
Oz was silent for a second. Then he smiled at me. “I have no opinion.” He told me. “I’m not angry at you, nor do I disagree with Em or Eric.”
I still needed to figure out exactly what he had to agree of disagree with going on with everyone.
Oz seemed to read my mind. “I’m not going to tell you what… Eric’s problem with the Potters and the Weasleys is.”
I nodded, silently.
“You need to find that out for yourself, and then make your own decision on what you think about it all. And I’m not going to influence that.”
Jesus, I’ve never seen Oz so serious, or so mature.
It was frightening.
Then he looked over at Albus.
“I have done exactly that, and I’ve made up my mind of what I think of you, and all your friends and family.”
Albus stared at him apprehensively.
Oz held out his hand. “I’m not going to hate you for something that you did all those years ago. So, here. I’m Oscar Forest the Third.”
Albus smiled at Oz for a second. “Katie wasn’t wrong.” He said. “You’re cool.”
Oz smirked at me. “You gossiping about me?” he asked.
I shrugged. “Just telling them every single thing about your life.”
Oz grinned, then he leant across the table and pulled my chair to his. Then I was being held under his arm, in a hug that I couldn’t help but lean into.
I had my OZZY back!!
As I hugged Oz with all my might, refusing to let go of his green oversized t-shirt, I looked hopefully over at Charmaine. She was smiling at the scene.
“You angry at me? I’m sure Emily has been talking about me when I’m not in the dorm.”
Char sighed grimly.
“I’d be a hypocrite if I said I was angry at you for concerning yourself with the Potter-Weasley clan.” She said. “I grew up with them, and I know them as well as you do…” She sighed. “Eric and Emily have never treated me like this.”
I sighed shrugging.
“So…” Oz said, changing the subject. “Were you really just in the neighbourhood?” He asked.
I blushed a little and Albus laughed.
“Actually I need some help.”
Oz chuckled, as though he had predicted it.
“What do you need help with?” Oz asked.
“What have we been studying in Charms?” I asked guiltily. “I kind of forgot.”
Char rolled her eyes before looking straight at Oz.
“We’ve been doing hexes.” Oz explained. “And the homework was based on the basic essence of all charms—because every single wand movement that we use concerning hexes all originated with the original movement.”
I nodded slowly. “And that’s the circle and poke thing we were doing in class before?”
Oz nodded. “Spot on.”
“So,” He continued. “The basic methodology that you need is in the hex area of the library, which is just over where you just were. We have to write eleven inches on the common derivation of wrist movements concerning Hexes, and comparing that to another section of Charms.”
But, Oz was the one with the smartitude authority, so I guess what he says goes.
Plus, he had just forgiven me, and forgiven Albus for whatever happened between them and Eric.
He was just a swell guy.
“Hecksellent…” I exclaimed, nodding. “Any specific books I should… consult?”
Oz looked down at the pile of books in front of him. He shifted the heavier looking volumes to reveal his own paper. He then consulted his list of books looked at.
“You should try… Complicated Charms, by Linda Ryder. It’s got a whole chapter on Hexes and their execution.” He suggested helpfully. “And also… The Common Origin; Hexes, Curses, and Spells, by Fiona Locksworthy.”
When he finished reading out, he looked up at Char. He exchanged a secretive sort of smile with her, and then looked back at the parchment, blushing a little.
I nodded, leaning over his list. I grabbed a piece of spare paper from his pile in the middle of the desk and then stole his quill.
“I’ll just write those down.”
I began scribbling on the paper. I wrote the two names in hurried writing, before moving down the page further, and writing, with completely different intent:
Have you asked her to Hogsmeade yet?
Oz jerked, looking straight up at me. Then he shook his head slightly. Then he saw everyone’s curious gaze and stuttered: “You… uh… spelt it… wrong.”
I grinned to myself, reaching down and scribbling on the page.
Do it! I urged. You’ll hate yourself if she goes with another bloke.
Oscar’s eyes widened. “That better?” I asked for verification.
Oz scowled at me, before wrenching the quill from my grasp. “I’ll do it.” He said.
She wouldn’t go with another bloke, would she?
Then, I really had no excuse for taking back the quill. She I took the parchment, folded in neatly in my hand, and smiled at Albus to let him know we were going.
Then I shrugged at Oz. “You never know…” I answered out loud. Then I grinned at Albus. “Keedokey.” I declared loudly. “Let us go.”
“You never know what?” I heard Charmaine asking him. “What?”
Oz must have been glaring, but I didn’t see. Then I heard his voice say, “How to spell things correctly. But don’t mind Katie. She’s a little challenged.”
I couldn’t find it in my heart to be truly angry with him for that remark.
“Back to business.” Albus said. “Let’s find those books, and put a little in the space between your ears.”
I glared at him.
But there was some truth in the statement.
“Lets find these books!” Albus said, in that pep-rally kind of way.
Half an hour later, we were still looking. Albus was in the aisle down from me, browsing through his books, and I was stomping through my own aisle.
“Libraries are stupid.” I muttered with a scowl. I prowled along the bookcase, my expression sour.
I was so not in the mood for making my brain work.
Albus didn’t halt in his action of browsing for another of his smartitude manuals. He was shaking his head at my idiocy.
“They’re dumb.” I continued, lifting my hand and running it roughly along the spines of the books. “They’re stupid. And Big. And too quiet. And smell of—”
I froze, as about five books tumbled to the floor. My hand exerted more force as I had listed the problems with a library, which had resulted in…
“Katie?” Potter’s voice sounded amused. “Did you just break the library?”
I hesitated. I could almost see his smirk.
After Albus had gotten his kicks from watching me pick up all the books, grumbling as Madame Reed glared down at me—both of us had congregated at the door.
Luckily enough, the books I had knocked off were the two I was specifically looking for. So I clutched the books to my chest, ready to borrow them and keep them forever.
“So…” Albus said, wrapping his arm around my shoulder. “Are we both safe from the dreaded Rose?”
There was the distinct sound of a throat being cleared right behind us. Then we both turned around the face, who we already knew it was.
Rose was glaring at us, waiting patiently for an explanation.
“Apparently not.” I said slowly.
She almost growled.
“RUN!” I shouted.
And then I had to run any way, because Madame Reed was after me with a broomstick.
I had rested my head on my hands for the Transfiguration class I was forced to attend. Just like any class, I was sitting to the left of the class, just close enough to the window to see the sky and the top of the mountain when I looked out.
Of course, I had to pay attention in this class, because our favourite Head of Hufflepuff was taking it.
Professor Macmillan was standing at the front of the classroom, illustrating how we were to change inanimate objects back into animals.
I jabbed my wand uselessly at the small stone frog that stared pitifully back at me. It was just too upsetting to think that I was supposed to restore the small creature to its previous green and, well, live state.
The poor little thing depended on me, to bring it to life.
“So this is what God feels like.” I sighed, tapping my wand on the desk.
The chair beside me—which I had come to accept would be vacant as long as Emily was angry at me—was pulled out.
I looked up to see Natalie smiling warmly at me as she sat down. “Now do you respect our heavenly father?” She asked.
I frowned. “I always did. I’ve always been Pro-God.”
“You mean Christian?”
I nodded, grinning. “That’s the one.”
Natalie grinned at me. “We’ve missed you at the Breakfast table.” She told me brightly.
I risked a glance at enemy territory. Eric and Emily sat together, heads huddled as they spoke either about mutilating the stone Bilby that sat in front of them, or mutilating me.
I’m not sure if I wanted it to be me to save the Bilby, or if I would sacrifice the Bilby for my own wellbeing.
“Yeah,” I said with a dry laugh. “I’m sure that everyone’s real messed up about it.”
Natalie looked at Eric and Emily together.
“You know,” she said quietly. “Emily’s been pretty upset.”
I frowned. I hadn’t seen much of Emily out of classes, when she refused to even look my in the eye. In the dorm, where our beds were right next to each other, she pulled the curtains whenever she saw I was coming in.
And if she were coming in, then she wouldn’t look at me, before stomping to her bed, and pulling the curtains.
“Right…” I said sarcastically.
Natalie shook her head.
“Seriously, Katie,” She told me. “She’s been crying whenever you’re not around. It wasn’t so bad the first day. She thought it would just be a little fight and you’d come back and apologise, like you always do.”
My eye twitched. It had taken the combined force of Fred, Albus, Scorpius, and their other friends to kidnap me and pull me into their dorm, and let me know what I push over I was.
And they were right.
I would always apologise, I not for a reason, then I’d do it just so that the fight would be over and my life could assume normalcy again.
But this time, I hadn’t. Because I knew I wasn’t in the wrong, and I had other friends, who made me feel better about myself.
I didn’t need to go begging for forgiveness.
Natalie must have noticed my irritation and she nodded. “See?” She said, indicating to my face. “You would have never gotten angry at someone else before.” She told me.
I frowned, puzzled.
“You always blamed yourself,” Natalie explained. “And Emily thought that you were going to do exactly the same thing, and just come and say sorry. But this time, you knew that you were right, and you didn’t do that. And instead, you went and found other friends, who you’re always hanging with now.”
I thought fondly of all my new friends.
If you had told me at the end of last year, that I wouldn’t be talking to Emily, and instead I would be confiding in Albus Potter, Rose Weasley, Scorpius Malfoy and Fred Weasley—I would have laughed.
“She’s really upset?” I asked, looking at Emily.
She did look sort of tired. Her hair was mussed up, and there were the faint remnants of bags under her eyes, covered by makeup from one of her Magical Cosmetic shops. And she was leaning, her head in her hands, to the side, away from Eric. As though she was struggling to stay awake.
“Yeah,” Natalie confirmed. “She was up most of last night, crying.”
I frowned. I was in that dorm. And I hadn’t heard any crying.
What I pointed this out, Natalie stared at me like I was stupid. “Well, of course you didn’t hear it. She doesn’t want you to know that anything’s wrong.”
I stared at her.
“She cast a Silencing Charm…” Natalie said, as though it was obvious.
It kind of was.
“Oh.” I said, feeling smaller than I had when I had come in. “What about Eric?” I leaned forward, trying to see the things I had seen on Emily, on Eric’s face.
Natalie grimaced. “He’s pretty angry.” She said. “But you know, he has a right.”
That is it!
I slammed my hand down on the table, particularly hard, but it didn’t make much of a sound.
Hurt like hell though.
“How come everyone knows what happened with Eric and the Potters and Weasleys? Was I just sick the day it all happened, or did he send out some bulletin telling everyone to keep it all a secret from me?” I demanded.
Luckily enough, I had enough sense to keep my voice down, so when I said the name ‘Eric,’ and both Eric and Emily turned to see what we were talking about—they couldn’t hear what I was actually saying.
Natalie sighed. “I don’t know why you don’t know. Frankly, I would’ve thought he’d tell you—but apparently he thought you didn’t need to know.”
“Well,” I said angrily, “I bloody well need to know.”
“Whoa…” Natalie said, holding her hands up. “Calm down, Kate.”
I took a deep breath, mentally kicking myself. Lashing out at an ally was not a smart move.
“Sorry.” I apologised. “I just… everyone has been saying that. And then no one will tell me what actually happened. And I can’t even try and fix things with them if they don’t tell me what I did wrong, or what is so bad about the Potter and the Weasleys. And whatever it is that they did to stupid, freaking, Eric!”
Natalie looked hastily over to see if they had noticed. Which they had.
Eric narrowed his eyes at me, and Emily rolled hers, looking away.
But someone else had noticed, who warranted a little more concern. Professor Macmillan was making his way towards us.
“Quick, quick, quick, quick, quick…” I said, lifting my wand. “What was the incantation?”
Natalie looked down at her notes, picking up her own wand. “Uh…” She scanned the page of neatly scribbled writing. “Animaus Reverto.” She said, “With a flourish and tap of the wand.”
A flourish and tap?
“A flourish and tap?” I echoed.
“Great.” I said. “That’s specific.”
She smirked, before leaning forward, and attempting on her own stone frog. “Animaus Reverto.” She chanted, and there was a small beam of white light that surrounded her frog.
It came to life perfectly, and then took one small jump before Natalie sealed her small cardboard box over it. It moved a little as the frog jumped against the wall, but she seemed to have caught it sufficiently.
“Good work, Miss Henderson.” Professor Macmillan said, smiling down at her. “That was very good.”
Natalie nodded, smiling. Then, to sell her perfectly executed act, she said, “I had some problems on the first tries, Sir.”
The Professor shrugged. “Well, you got it in the end. That’s the important bit.” Then he frowned down at me. “Have you been having difficulty as well, Miss Dalton?” He asked, smiling slightly.
God, I hate teachers.
They’re so horrible threatening, even when they’re smiling.
How Emily could ever have a crush on one is just beyond me.
“Uh…” I said, clearly having a little more trouble than Natalie and fabricating a lie. “Yes?”
Professor Macmillan chuckled, as Natalie flinched in the corner of my vision.
“Now, Dalton.” The Professor said, leaning over the desk. “I’ve been speaking with Miss Weasley about your progress, and she tells me that you would do very well if you just applied yourself. And I know that she’s not only tutoring you in Charms, even though that was all she was asked to do.”
I nodded, dumbly.
“I wouldn’t want to disappoint all her hard work by not focusing, and I suggest that you don’t either. She’s helping you at great personal sacrifice.”
He really has to work on his pep-talks.
All of sudden spending time with me is considered a personal sacrifice.
Oh god, what if Emily and Eric had gotten to the teacher now too.
Was Professor Macmillan on their side?!
Macmillan seemed to recognise the expression on my face and he sighed. “Personal sacrifice of her time, Dalton.” He emphasised. “Her time.”
“Come on, Miss Dalton,” he said, pushing himself off the desk and standing straight again. “Have another try.”
“But it’s useless.” I protested, frowning up at Professor Macmillan. “I honest to Merlin cannot do Transfiguration.” I declared.
Macmillan sighed. Then he pointed down at the frog. “Don’t be immature, Dalton.” He told me. “And try...”
I glared at him for a minute, before grudgingly picking up my discarded wand. I pointed it at the small stone frog.
“Animaus Reverto…” I said, with the hand motion that he had illustrated for us.
This isn’t going to work…
Both Natalie and I started backwards when there was a flash of white light around the frog, and then, when we looked back, a small little green mouse stared up at me.
I stared at my frog mouse.
“I’m going to take a stab and say that wasn’t supposed to happen.” Natalie stated.
Professor Macmillan, who had been caught up in the burst of magic, stared back at me, his bright orange hair blown back out of his face, and his hat on the floor behind him.
“At least your partner is accurate.” He told me, after a deep breath.
My frog-mouse jumped onto my chest, resting at the collar, so I could look straight down at it. Then it croaked again, right in my face.
Is a frog-mouse an amphibian, or a mammal?
“You are, honest to Merlin, the strangest person I have ever met.” Fred told me, staring down at me, as I let Michelangelo go into the lake, still lightly holding onto his green little tail.
“I’m gonna take that as an insult.” I said. “And how am I’m weird?”
I knew the answer, of course.
I must have been cursed or something as a child.
“Are you serious?” Fred asked. “You’re trying to see whether or not your unfortunate frog mouse named Michelangelo can breathe like a tadpole under water. What about that isn’t weird?”
“The name ‘Michelangelo’” I said to Fred. “It’s poetic. He’s a green mouse in a world of white, grey and sometimes pink. He croaks. He’s left behind the world of Frogs, even though he knows that’s where he belongs.”
Fed stared at me. “I repeat:” he said, “You are the weirdest person I have ever met.”
I shrugged. “Whatever. You love Michelangelo and you know it.”
Fred leaned down by the waterside with me. “He’s pretty cute. He is an attractive Frouse.”
I frowned, looking up at Fred. “What’s a Frouse?”
Fred shrugged. “I’m gonna get sick of saying Frog-Mouse.”
I stared down at Michelangelo. “I’m going to get sick of writing Michelangelo on all his birthday cards.”
Fred frowned this time. “When is his birthday?”
I shrugged, “Not entirely sure. But I figure, I made him a mouse today, to it can be his mouse birthday today.”
Fred shrugged along with me. “Makes sense.”
I nodded. “That it does.”
“So.” Fred said, after a second of watching Michelangelo struggled under the water before I lifted him above the surface, and shook him off. I then pushed him right back under the water. He seemed to be struggling to get away. “How are you doing this?”
I shrugged, nonchalantly, not taking my eyes off of Michelangelo. “Trial and error basis, really.” I explained. “Is he amphibious, or not amphibious?”
“What are you going to do if he is amphibious?” Fred asked. “I mean, if he needs to swim in the water every now and again?”
“He can have our dorm bath.” I said. “It can be his personal pond.”
Fred smirked. “And what if your dorm mates want to have a bath?”
I shrugged. “There’s always the basin.”
“You mean the sink?” Fred echoed. “For Michelangelo or for your dorm mates?”
I was momentarily entertained imagining Emily trying to fit into the sink for one of her long luxurious bubble baths she always had to celebrate the end of a term.
“Whoever doesn’t get to the bath fast enough.” I answered.
Fred chuckled for a moment.
My eyes widened as Michelangelo stopped struggling to get above the water, and fell limp in my hands.
“Ohmigod.” I said quickly. “Michelangelo isn’t moving.”
Fred peered down at the small helpless rat. “Huh,” he said. “You reckon that’s because he’s a mouse and mice can’t breathe under water?”
I stared, down at poor little Michelangelo, the green small friend who had left me so suddenly. Then I stared up at Fred.
“I just killed Michelangelo…” I said slowly. “I just killed someone.”
Fred looked worriedly at me now. “Uh, Kate. It was a little frog, that probably would have died in the belly of some bird if you hadn’t turned him into a mouse.”
I let out an exclamation of pain. “I denied letting him have that experience in life. He was from the wild, he knew that he had so much more to offer to the world.”
Oh god. I killed something.
Oh my god, Oh my god, Oh my god.
Fred frowned. “The frogs, that Michelangelo originated with were made by Macmillan, when he transformed the dust bunnies from his office.”
I stared up at Fred in horror.
“Fred.” I said. “That was this morning. And all the little frogs were turned to stone straight away, and then I turned him into a mouse. And he’s been with me ever since.”
Fred stared at me. “So?”
“Fred—” I used his name again to emphasise the seriousness of this statement.
“—Michelangelo died a virgin.”
Fred was silent.
Then, “Crap. Poor little guy.”
I leaned in, pulling the poor little ex-frog rodent to my chest. “He never even experienced the world.”
Fred nodded, wrapping his armed around me, and looked down at Michelangelo. “He was never laid.”
I looked up at him. “He will be laid.” I declared loudly.
Fred stared at me.
I wrinkled my nose at him after a second. “Not that kind of laid, you pervert!” I told him. “I mean, we’re going to lay him in the ground and bury him.”
Fred’s face assumed a look of realisation, and then he nodded. “Right, have fun with that.”
Oh no. You’re not getting away from this, buster.
“No, no, no, no.” I told him, grabbing his sleeve as he made a quick attempt at escape. “You’re not ditching his funeral. You’re his father.”
Fred stared at me, like I was crazy. “What are you talking about?” He demanded.
“I’m his mother,” I explained tiredly, “And you’re his father. I’m not letting you skip out on our final goodbye to our little boy.”
“I’m not going to bury a green rat.” Fred stated. “You made him, you killed him, you bury him.”
I lifted Michelangelo’s body up and made Fred face him.
“Look at him.” I ordered. “Michelangelo knew you were always his father. And he loved you. You may not want him, but he loved you.”
Fred swallowed, looking at poor little Michelangelo’s body. Then he looked at me, a distraught look on his face.
“I do want him. And I am his father.”
I let out a dramatic sob, and hugged Michelangelo to me. Fred then engulfed me in a hug, and in doing so, embraced Michelangelo.
“I’m so sorry Mic. I’ll miss you.”
I frowned, “Mic?” I whispered.
Fred nodded his head. “It was what I called him when we went outside to play ball.”
I nodded, and sobbed again. “We’ll both miss you, Mic.”
Okay. So I’m not entirely sure what happened with this chapter. I had planned everything with Natalie, and the earlier conversation with Oz... but the Michelangelo stuff just seemed to come out of my fingers. I like it, plus it will REALLY help me develop on Fred and Katie’s relationship—so I’m really happy with it.
Oh, and to those of you who aren’t big fans of Katie’s personality (the flighty part) please remember that she is my character. Not to say don’t review and give me your opinions—but keep in mind I’m obviously writing Katie that particular way for a reason.
Cheers and please review
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