Chapter 1 : And then I accidently became a thief...
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A/N - A new story.... yay! This ones for a challenge, that's my excuse... the title challenge and I got 'Not just a bystander' and this is how it turned out... theres a fair few chapters written.... read and review? ;)
The thing is no one was supposed to see me. I really don’t think that people should be judged for what they do on their own... don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like I was doing anything especially gross like picking my nose or walking around with my hand down my pants and I fully believe that anyone who does anything that gross fully deserves to have it used against them.
I honestly don’t understand people who do that, anyway. Why, in the name of Merlin, would you ever be possessed to walk around with your hand in your underpants? It actually baffles me. They don’t even try to be discrete either, they just have their hand there as if their underwear has a built in hand cradle or something equally weird like that... Although, I actually wouldn’t put it past some of those males (because, let’s face it, you really do not see girls walking around with their hands in their pants) who are on rather high on the weirdness scale.
The only conclusion I have been able to come to, is that they think – if they walk around in such an annoying and weird manner – that us girls would be more interested in what exactly was in there pants. I thought this was quite clever and mentioned this to Dom in a way that made it sound as if I’d just thought of it, rather than been wondering it for several weeks. Dom snorted and told me that it was doubtful most of the blokes here had anything in their pants at all, and that they were probably just trying to allude to something actually being present. Or they were having growing pains due to only just making it out of a prepubescent stage of their life.
She actually had thought of that on the spot, and it made me incredibly jealous.
See, I’m not funny.
I may be many things such as skinny, too tall, slightly studious and a Ravenclaw but I am not funny.
I once tried to tell a joke to my pet gerbil, Brian, and I’m pretty sure I bored him to death. Either that or by using him to practice my spell work on I inadvertently shortened his life, but by the time I’d remembered the punch line the poor thing had snuffed it. I cried for two hours.
I told Dom about that and she pointed out that if you try and tell a joke, and someone ends up dead and another ends up in tears, you should probably never do so ever again. So I didn’t. I didn’t even attempt to be funny – it wasn’t worth the heart ache and stress that it would cause.
So... I was completely and utterly confused when I thought that I was alone in the corridor and someone started laughing.
Dom only laughs in a strictly-giggly fashion in front of whichever male she is currently processing through her complicated system; at stage two of the so called ‘process’ which most people call dating. Although, it is fair to say that Dom is not ‘most people.’
Dom is also the only Hogwartian person I have social interactions on a regular basis because like I’ve said, I’m not very funny or interesting and therefore no one else can really be bothered with me.
Dom is my friend because no one else will listen to her talk about herself for hours on end. I find her funny. Others... don’t so much. Therefore we’re mostly an exclusive twosome, excluding all of Dom’s many relatives. I don’t really know any of them because, in Dom’s words, they’d rip me to pieces within a couple of minutes, I’d be pranked within an inch of my life and then have my heart systematically ripped to pieces by one/several of her male cousins.
The whole point of my long nonsensical ramble was that I wasn’t used to hearing people laughing. Especially when I had thought I was alone in the corridor, and no one was supposed to be in the corridor, because, well, it was deserted.
Deserted is an adjective meaning abandoned or forsaken. Deserted does not mean a mysterious laughter coming from nowhere for no apparent reason.
Weirder things have happened at Hogwarts and normally such an occurrence wouldn’t have phased me – laughing from nowhere; paintings that talked; moving staircases and murderous ex-girlfriends were normal things here (especially with Dom ‘boyfriend stealing bitch’ Weasley around) but... I honestly hadn’t thought there was anyone around.
See... I was, I hate to admit it, dancing.
I am also not a very good dancer.
I blame Dom for the whole thing to be honest. If she hadn’t walked in when I was dancing yesterday in preparation for the big Quidditch bash and hadn’t commented on how I looked like an obese turkey on Christmas Eve then I wouldn’t have felt the need to... refine my skill, in the supposedly empty corridor... Now the sound of laughter resulted in me whirling around in shock, tripping over my robes and falling painfully on my arse.
The laughter increased.
It wasn’t like I’d never fallen over before... everyone’s fallen over before (bar Dom) but it wasn’t a regular occurrence and the shock of finding myself on the floor knocked the wind out of me and left me blinking in surprise. Those other few times I’d fallen over I’d just been glared at as if I was some kind of strange freak (which I suppose was a fairly accurate interpretation of me in general) but never before had I been laughed at.
I couldn’t even fall over in an amusing way normally and yet this invisible creature was laughing at me. Knowing my luck this thing would be like... a Dementor or a Boggart and my scariest memories and whatnot were of people laughing of me.
I stood up clumsily and still this invisible thing was laughing demonically. I threw my arms around in the direction of the laughter and...made contact with something!
The laughing stopped suddenly.
I lunged. My fingers brushed against some kind of material. I tried to grab it. Footsteps moved further backwards away from me –unmistakeable. So whoever it was who was that laughed had... feet. I also assumed they had a mouth and lungs, because I’m sure it would be quite hard to laugh without such things.
So I’d narrowed it down to things that had feet, lungs and a mouth.
So that was helpful.
Whatever it was also had to be delusional – for laughing it me when clearly I am not funny – and also invisible....
I whirled around and lunged. A little to enthusiastically as it turned out because my momentum continued to carry me forwards and forwards... I threw my hands out in an attempt to catch myself, but instead connected with something very solid and very invisible.
What the hell was going on?
I’ll tell you – I was still falling, but now whatever this invisible, delusional thing was with both feet and a mouth also seemed to be falling too: there was a stifled yell of protest, and that I had, you know, pushed whatever it was over in the first place, and now we were both tumbling backwards in the direction of the stone.
There were a few colourful swearwords, which I’m pretty sure I didn’t say. Then I was on the floor, except... I wasn’t on the floor. I was lying directly on top of someone who was invisible.... levitating a little way off the floor and staring straight at it.
“Well this is weird even for Hogwarts,” I commented. The thing underneath me laughed, again. I could feel the chest vibrating from under me and the sound. This was so unbelievably strange.
I needed to get up, that was for sure, because if anyone decided to join me and the invisible thing in the corridor they’d be even more confused than I was, but... at the same time I had to know what this thing was. I rearranged myself so I was straddling the invisible thing (with difficulty because I couldn’t see it...) and then waved my hands about to try and work out where it began.
“Oww.” It complained from underneath me as my watch made contact with his skin. I lowered my hands slowly until I made contact with it again. There was a weird round thing that was very solid. I followed the line of it around and found my hand trailing upwards... and there was a chin and an ear and...
So it had a face. That was another thing to add to the list.
I went backwards and found a very muscled arm, then there was a chest...
And then I realised that I was feeling whatever it was up, and sat up suddenly.
“So,” I began. “You have feet, a face, a mouth, lungs, shoulders, arms, and a chest. You’re delusional and...You’re invisible. You’re solid and you swear.”
“A little detective, are we?” Then thing asked from underneath me. I jumped slightly.
“Ahha! You understand English. Don’t think I’m not onto you, because I am, I am so onto you.”
It laughed again. What a weirdo.
“I don’t know about onto me, but you’re certainly on me.”
“You’re male.” I concluded. “You have muscles...you’re probably human.”
“Well,” I said. “I don’t know for sure, because I can’t see you. That could be what you want me to think.”
“Would you like to see me?” The voice asked.
“Aha!” I said triumphantly. “You’ve given away your secret now – you can become visible again, but tell me... how?” I waved my finger around close to what I’m pretty sure was his face and tried to look impressive.
Something moved – a leg? He must have legs if he had feet? – and suddenly I was face to face with James bloody Potter.
I screamed bloody murder.
“Shut up you crazy bitch!” James said, slamming a hand over my face and somehow completely reversing the situation so that now he was straddling me... and the only part of him that was visible was his head.
I think I genuinely had a heart attack. If James was any sort of Gentlemen he’d remove himself from me immediately and call the nurse so she could treat me for extreme shock. I’d just straddled James Potter, whilst he was invisible...
James Potter was the mysterious male, delusional, probably human invisible thing with feet, a face, a mouth, lungs, shoulders, arms, a chest, muscles and the ability to swear.
Well, if you thought about it, that did make sense.
“I’m sorry,” I said shoving his invisible hand away from me. “I wasn’t exactly expecting the thing I was straddling to be you, and really... you could have warned me.”
“But that wouldn’t have been any fun.” James said. “You’re Dom’s friend.” He commented pulling himself off me, straightening up and beginning to...
“Oh my God! Are you stripping?” I exclaimed shielding my eyes. “I don’t want to see!”
“How can you tell I’m stripping when I’m invisible?!” James asked, laughing.
“I can see your shoulders!” I said. “I don’t want to see! You’re not going to strip, suddenly become visible and then, then... erm...”
“I’m taking of the cloak.”
“Don’t!” I squealed. “It’s not necessary, keep your clothes on!”
“Look at me.” James instructed. I shook my head and squeezed my eyes shut. “I’m not naked!” He said loudly. I turned back to look at him. He wasn’t naked. He was visible. He was holding a weird cloak thing over his arm.
“What the hell are you trying to do to me? Not only have you just given me a heart attack, now you’re trying to give me a brain damage! What have you got against my health, Potter? I didn’t mean to fall on you – it’s not my fault you were invisible!” James’s lips curved up into an amused smile.
Amused. Amused?!? What was James Potter even amused by? Maybe there was someone behind me pulling faces... I whirled around. There was no on there. James burst out laughing.
“Oh my God! Stop it!” I wailed.
“With the invisibleness and the laughing! What’s so funny?”
“You are!” James said. He was blatantly lying. I wasn’t funny. My jokes caused death and tears. The last time I tried to make a funny comment it had taken Dom twenty minutes to recover from its ‘incredulous state of complete un-hilarity’ and had made me promise to never talk about how ironic the Herbology teacher’s name was (because, he’s called Longbottom, when actually he has a small arse. Dom said this was disturbing both because I genuinely thought it was funny, and because I’d actually looked at his arse in the first place. Both, Dom said, were completely unforgivable). I was not funny.
I folded my arms and glared at him. “I am not funny.”
“It was a compliment,” James said.
“It was?” I asked, confused.
“So it wasn’t like... Sarcastic or... like... erm, mocking?”
“Well, not much.” James shrugged. “What’s your name anyway?”
“I’m not disclosing any of my personal details at this stage.” I told him.
“What?” James asked with that amused smile still on his features. “Don’t you think we’re there yet? I mean, you’ve already felt me up so...?”
“I was trying to work out what you were!” I said defensively.
“Muscled and probably human?”
“I stand by my statement.” I told him crossly.
“Well! I still have no idea how you were invisible, so unless you can provide me with a valid and reasonable explanation I refuse to believe that you’re human.”
“Isn’t it obvious?”
“Well, no, otherwise I wouldn’t be wasting precious seconds of my life asking you, would I Potter?” James laughed. Again.
“It’s an invisibility cloak.”
“Oh wow!” I exclaimed pulling it out of his arms and running it through my fingers. I’d heard about invisibility cloaks before obviously, but to actually touch one...
“Try it on,” James said, rather generously if you asked me.
“Can I really?” I breathed rubbing my fingers over the fabric in awe. Then I realised I had my mouth wide open in shock and James could probably see right the way down to my stomach which was sure to be really attractive. Not that I cared. Much.
“Feel free, but...” James began. “You have to give me your name.”
“Well James,” I said throwing the cloak over my shoulders, “That’s something you’re going to have to work out for yourself.” Then I looked down at myself and... There was nothing there. I screamed for a second time. I couldn’t help it. It was so inexplicably weird.
Then there were footsteps and Professor Longbottom came running into the corridor looking panicked. “What’s going on?”He breathed.
“Oh,” James Potter said awkwardly. “Nothing.”
“Did you just scream, Potter?”
“Erm... Yes,” James said, nodding.
“Why?” He asked sharply.
“Well, you see Sir – it’s like this. I thought I saw er... erm...” He looked around for inspiration desperately. “A bird.”
“So you screamed...?”
“Well Sir, I’m really scared of birds.”
“You’re the Quidditch captain.”
“That’s why I keep it a secret.”
“You are scared of birds?”
“So what happened to the bird?”
“Well, there wasn’t actually a bird. I just thought I saw a bird.”
“Well, I er... I turned around too fast and I saw a piece of my hair out of the corner of my eyes, and I thought it was a bird, so I screamed.”
“Then you realised it wasn’t a bird?”
“If you don’t believe me, ask Dad, he’ll tell you – I had to have therapy for it once.”
“Right,” Longbottom said. “I... are you sure it was you Potter? I could have sworn that whoever yelled was, well... a girl...”
“It was me.” James said in a cool calm fashion I’d never have managed. “Birds really scare me.”
“Well... don’t let anyone know,” Longbottom said. “Or they might sabotage Quidditch by bringing, erm... birds into it.”
“Sure, Neville.” Potter said with a grin. “This will just be our little secret.”
Longbottom nodded a few times before disappearing off down the corridor. I let out a shaky breath and burst out laughing.
“All right Miss Hysterical,” James said turning around to face me (but facing in slightly the wrong direction because I was invisible). “Give me the cloak back, now.”
I took a tiny step backwards, just as he lunged forwards into thin air. “Come on,” James said. “It’s mine. I need it back; I’ll make it worth your while...” James said. I dug my hand into my pocket and pulled out a sickle. It was a shame to waste it, but I didn’t have anything else. Whilst James was attempting to coax the wall into giving him back his cloak, I drew back my hand and threw the sickle.
It bounced on the other side of the corridor. James whirled around and began blindly feeling his way in that direction.
With him distracted he didn’t hear my footsteps slowly back away down the corridor, and then I broke into a run.
I had an invisibility cloak. I had stolen from James Potter, who incidentally thought I was funny, and the icing on the top of this fabulously baked three tier double chocolate fudge cake with extra chocolate chips was...
He could be looking for me in that corridor for hours.
My how the tables had turned.
A/N - Whatcha think? I'll never know if you don't tell me ;)
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