I’ve never thought of myself as pretty. Sure, I am prettier than some people, but almost all of the rest of the school is prettier than me. I have never been as pretty as the muggle actresses that my mum always talked about. I was certainly not as pretty as Lily Evans. I mean, if I were, then maybe James Potter would be chasing me around, not her. And if he was, I would seize the opportunity and say ‘Yes’.
I have always wanted a marauder. Ever since second year, all the girls in school have been all over them. Even Lily was a little star struck for a while.
That first year, the four of them were free agents. They loved to walk past girls and make them giggle in there little groups. I never giggle in little groups of girls. I don’t even have a little group of girls. All I have is Callum. Callum is the fifth Gryffindor boy in our year. Everyone expected great things from him in the beginning. I mean, you have to expect great things from the other boy that is rooming with the brilliant marauders. Unfortunately, though, Callum didn’t turn out great. A lot of people, myself included, always wondered why James, Sirius and Remus had chosen Peter over Callum. I figured that Callum had just missed out on his chances when the other four boys had been together their first night at Hogwarts. I mean, it wasn’t Cal’s fault that the chicken he’d eaten had made him sick, causing him to spend that night in the Hospital Wing. By about 3rd Year, everyone had given up on Cal. They now expected nothing great from the short, pimply boy that slept in the same dorm as the Marauders.
I guess you can say that Callum is my only friend. Sure, I’m on okay terms with Lily and the other girls I share a dorm with. I’m also on pretty good terms with Sirius Black. His mother and my father had been great friends when we were younger. We used to see each other all the time when we were younger, up until I was about four. Mrs. Black had discovered that my father had married a muggle, and wanted nothing more to do with him. Sirius is different, though. He’s not into all the blood-purity crap that his parents are all about. Sirius and I talk sometimes during class, but I would barely call us friends.
Have you ever noticed that all the girls in movies and fairytales have flowing blonde hair and eyes that sparkle? Well, I’ve got half of that right – my hair is blonde.
I hate my hair. It’s stick-straight, blonde, and super messy. No matter what I do, it tangles. Even if I just sit around all day, it still becomes a knotted mess. No one wants to tangle their hands in knotted hair as they snog. No one.
My eyes don’t sparkle, either. They are just mud brown. Brown eyes don’t sparkle. Sure, brown eyes can look cute. But, only chocolate brown, hazel brown or light brown. Not mud brown. No one wants to look into mud brown eyes as they pronounce their love. No one.
I am whipped out of my thoughts as Lily Evans hands me my History of Magic quiz. Professor Binns always gets Lily to hand out, hand back and collect the work. Since he’s a ghost, I guess he can’t really hold things. I look at the quiz and frown. Written on the top is a great big ‘T’. I got a Troll? I flip through the quiz, trying to find where I went wrong.
“What’d you get, Becca?” Sirius Black asks, grabbing my paper.
“Give it back!” I shriek, trying to grab back my paper.
Sirius bursts out laughing. “You got a T?” he asks me. “Rebecca, you got a T!”
“It’s not funny,” I snap, trying to grab my paper. Sirius holds it out of my reach. He grins at his best friend, James Potter.
“I thought it was pretty funny, what about you, Prongs?”
James shrugs. “Just give her back her quiz, Padfoot,” he says.
Sirius stares at him in shock. “What?” he asks. As he’s looking at James, I come up behind him and grab my paper back.
“Thank you,” I mutter. He turns around to look at me.
“Sirius,” James says, “Just leave her alone.”
This time, we both look at James in shock. Then, I figure it out. He’s just trying to be mature for Lily. Ever since he was appointed Head Boy, he’s been trying to act more ‘civilized’. I guess he has realised that this is his last year to win Lily over.
Sirius gives me one more look, before returning to his own desk. Professor Binns hasn’t even seemed to notice a thing. He is floating at the front of the room, beginning his lecture for the day. “In 1835,” he begins in that drawling voice of his. “The giants began to fight amongst each other. This was the first hint that a giant war would rage. It ended up happening in 1841…” I hate this class. I don’t know why I decided to take it for NEWTs. If I want to be a writer, though, I have to know my history. Professor Binns drones on. I shut my eyes and the next thing I know, I’m asleep.
I am shaken awake a little while later. “Rebecca!” Lily Evans is shouting, as she shakes me.
“Wha?” I ask, sitting up.
“Class is over,” she tells me, her hands on her hips.
I look at the almost empty classroom, only the two of us remaining. “You don’t say.”
She groans. “You fell asleep again, Rebecca. How do you expect to pass your NEWTs if you keep falling asleep in class?”
I shrug. “I don’t know, okay?” I grab my book bag, and head for the door. It’s time for lunch. Callum and I always eat lunch together, because he has Transfiguration while I have History. It’s about our only class that we don’t share, unfortunately. Maybe if we did, he could help tutor me. It’s not my fault that I fall asleep in class. Professor Binns is just so boring!
I find Cal waiting for me outside the doors to the Great Hall. He is absentmindedly twirling his wand between his fingers.
“Where were you?” he asks, as he notices me approach.
“I fell asleep,” I tell him.
“Again?” he asks me.
I nod. “It’s not my fault! You know how boring Professor Binns is! It’s not my fault his voice is too boring to keep me up!”
Cal just rolls his eyes at me. I sigh, as we walk over and sit at the Gryffindor table.
We sit down, and I grab some chicken. Callum does the same, and begins eating. I watch him for a second, and then begin eating my food. We sit in silence for a few minutes.
“Hey, Rebecca,” a voice behind me says. I groan, and turn around to see Sirius and one of the other Marauders, Remus Lupin. Sirius is grinning at me triumphantly.
“Yes?” I ask them.
“Okay, you know how you got a T on your quiz?” asks Sirius.
“What?” Cal asks me. “Rebecca, you got a T? How could you get a T?”
I ignore him, and look up at Sirius. “Go on,” I say.
“Well,” he continues. “I want to help you.”
“You help me?” I ask. “What are you going to do, tutor me? I mean, you probably just scraped by with an A!”
Sirius shrugs. “So? At least I passed! Anyways, I’m not going to be tutoring you. Moony is. He’s got some of the best grades in our year, besides Lily, but that’s not the point.”
I look over at Remus. “Is he making you do this?” I ask.
He shrugs his shoulders. “Possibly,” he says, but then cracks a smile to show he’s kidding.
I look over at Sirius again. “Okay, fine. I’ll let Remus tutor me.”
“Great,” he grins. “Now, you two should be able to meet tomorrow night. The sooner the better. We don’t want Becca here getting another T.”
“Oh be quiet,” I tell him.
Sirius just chuckles. “Okay, well, see you ‘round.”
“Yeah, sure,” I reply. “See you tomorrow night, Remus,” I say to him.
“Okay. Try to stay awake well I tutor you.”
I glare at him, but he just laughs. “I’m kidding, Rebecca.”
“Good,” I say, then turn back to Callum. He’s just sitting there, looking at me.
“What?” I ask.
“You got a T?” he asks. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
I shrug. “I guess it didn’t seem important.”
“Didn’t seem important? Rebecca, if you fail, you’ll have to repeat seventh year all over again! See how un-important a T will be when that happens!”
“It’s not going to happen, Cal.”
“How do you know?” he asks.
“Because, Remus Lupin, one of the smartest kids in the year, will be tutoring me, okay? Now stop being so paranoid.”
Cal sighs, and returns to eating his lunch. We sit there for another few minutes of silence. Finally, Cal breaks it by saying, “Just be careful, okay?”
“Be careful,” he says. “I don’t know if I trust the Marauders. Always breaking the rules, always pulling pranks. They sneak out of the dorm for a couple nights every month or so! Just, be careful around them,”
I roll my eyes. “You’re just being paranoid again.”
“Fine,” I reply. “I’ll be careful.
That night, as I lie in bed, I keep thinking of what Cal had said. Was he really just being paranoid, or are the Marauders really bad news?
“I don’t care,” I whispered to myself. “I need to pass this class. If Cal’s so worried, he can tutor me myself.
One of the girls in our dorm shushes me. I think it might’ve been Lily, but I’m not sure.
“Sorry,” I whisper back out.
“Shh!” they repeat. This time, I don’t whisper back an apology. I’d rather not be shushed again.
I roll over onto my stomach, and shove my hands under my body, so I’m lying on them. I feel so warm and snug. I can feel my eyes drifting shut. Soon, I’ll be asleep, and all my worries will be gone.
The next day goes by in a blur. James blows something up in Potions, must to the distaste of Lily; I fall asleep again in History (oops!); I eat lunch with Callum, who is still paranoid about the Marauders; and, we have test in Ancient Runes, which I’m pretty sure I just scraped through.
Callum and I are sitting in the common room after the day is through. Cal is finishing up some homework, and I am watching the portrait hole, waiting for Remus, Sirius, James and Peter to show up, so I can possibly pass my next quiz.
The portrait suddenly swings open, and the four boys came stomping through. Remus gives me a small smile as he enters, and I return it. He walks over to me.
“Hey, Rebecca,” he says.
Callum sighs. “I better get going then.”
I groan as he leaves.
“What was that all about?” he asks me.
“Oh, nothing. Callum just thinks you guys are bad influences.”
Remus shrugs. “Well, James and Sirius may be, but I’m not. Well, at least, I’m not that bad.”
I giggle. “True,” I say, as I try to run my fingers through the back of my hair. They go about half way done, then get caught on a huge knot. Oh great. That’s going to be fun to get out.
“So,” he says. “Where do you want to start?”
“How about the Giant Wars?” I ask.
“Okay,” says Remus. “How much do you know about them?”
“Uh, just that Professor Binns was talking about them yesterday in class.”
Remus chuckles. “Okay, well, let’s start here.” He points to a page in my textbook. “The Giant Wars began in 1841, though fighting started in 1835. This war is why giants are pretty much extinct in Europe.”
“Because they all killed each other?” I ask, pretty interested.
“Yes,” he says. “They fought over territory, food, and the leaders.”
“Giants have leaders?”
“Yes,” he repeats.
“Wow, this is actually pretty cool!”
Remus nods. “All this stuff is pretty interesting.”
We talk more about the Giant Wars, and how they affected wizards, witches and muggles. Then, we move on to talk a bit about the customs giants have. I never knew that all this stuff was so interesting! That just goes to prove my theory; Professor Binns can turn anything boring. Bloody battles, giant fights and horrible deaths. Anything.
When we’re finally done, the common room is empty.
“So, you think you’ll remember all that for the next test?” Remus asks.
“I think so,” I reply. “The Giant Wars started in 1841, they almost exposed magic to the muggles, the wars ended in 1857, and this happened all along Europe, which is why most of the population is extinct."
“Good job,” Remus smiles. “Well, I think it’s time that we turn in,”
I nod, yawning. “Yeah, I’m tired!”
He smiles. “Okay, well, lets figure out another time to meet tomorrow morning, okay?”
“Okay,” I repeat. He gives me one last smile, before he disappears up the stairs to the boy’s dormitory. I gather up all our books, and bring them up to my dorm, where all the other girls are already asleep. I throw them into my trunk and grin. I am so going to nail the next test!