I'd just like to point out that I have re-written this chapter, chapter three, and I have re-posted it. So for those of you who have read the previous chapter three, I highly recommend you to read this one, as I’ve made many
changes, and it's much longer. :)
“Leave me alone Mama...”
“Oh for crying out loud, wake up! And since when did your mother call you ‘Hibs’?!”
I jolted up at this revelation to see, not Mama, but Jillian standing in front of my bed, with her arms on her hips. Yesterday was so stressful and hectic for me that I had almost forgotten I was back at Hogwarts, and not at home anymore. “What time is it?” I yawned, rubbing my eyes tiredly.
“There’s only five bleeding minutes till breakfast, so hurry the hell up! Everyone’s already gone!”
I groaned. It was only my first day back at school, and I had slept in. I blamed the stupid prefect duties. That was only another reason why I didn’t want the bleeding job. I dragged myself to the bathroom and began washing face. Even though my hair was in a right mess, I didn’t give a damn of how it looked like; no one was going to see it anyway, except for the girls in my dorms.
I was glad that Jillian was still waiting for me, as I was dressing into my uniform and getting ready in haste – my uniform was slightly different to the other girls’, because instead of a short skirt with stockings, I wore a long skirt that covered my legs entirely, and a bronze and blue Hijab, which represented my House.
“Thanks Jill.” I voiced out as we deserted the Ravenclaw common room.
“For what?” she asked.
“Well, for waking me up, even though I didn’t turn up the after Heads’ meeting like I promised.” I told her.
She shrugged. “I was actually pissed at you in the beginning, until I found out that James Potter and Evans were the Heads.” She looked at me questioningly, “How was the meeting by the way? I never saw you during the feast either, where you that busy?”
I had actually remained stuck in the Heads’ compartment for the whole train ride, because Potter and Evans used half the time arguing like they usually did in public – which consisted of Potter trying to act ‘charming’ and woo Evans, but he was obviously unsuccessful again. I was surprised he didn’t earn a black eye by the end of the meeting, as Evans looked ready to murder by the time she let us go. I sincerely didn’t know what Dumbledore was thinking when he paired those two, out of all people, together as the Head Boy and Girl. It was like pairing a hippogriff and a unicorn together. Dumbledore was a strange man, very wise, but strange. He made the most peculiar decisions, the worst one being that he chose me to be a prefect in my bleeding last year at Hogwarts.
Then again, I found it strange that Jill, for once, wasn’t mad at me over a silly thing. This time she had actually used her brain to figure out why I wasn’t there with her when I had promised I would be after the meeting. This wasn’t the Jill I knew. The quirky, happy, and boy-crazy Jill that instead of telling me about another hot guy she had seen, was actually interested enough about a boring topic like my prefect duties. “Jill, are you alright?” I asked before I could stop myself.
“Of course I’m alright.”
“Then why aren’t you acting normal?”
“Have you gone mad, Hibs? I’m acting perfectly normal!”
“Then why aren’t you still telling me about your latest dream man, like you usually did?” I chuckled, pinching her on the arm.
She was silent for a moment, and then spoke. “Because I don’t want to.”
“Because...” she paused, and then continued, “Because I found the bloody git snogging Lola Edgecombe senseless yesterday!”
I assumed ‘the bloody git’ was another guy she had set her eyes on, adding to the list of twenty or so blokes she already had her eyes on. What amused me is that fact that Jillian only talked about boys, but she had never actually dated one. Sometimes I had blamed myself for it, because I thought she avoided dating because I couldn’t, and wouldn’t, date. However, she refuted this assumption every time I told her about it, telling me that she was “far too clumsy” to capture the attention of any bloke, which I told her wasn’t true. “And who is this ‘bleeding git’, may I ask?”
“Sirius sodding Black.”
I rolled my eyes; apparently, she was still fawning over the arrogant idiot, also known as Sirius Black, a Marauder. “Er, Jill, I’d like to remind you that this isn’t the first time you catch Black snogging a girl senseless. What is she, anyway? Like his fiftieth girlfriend? What makes this one any different?” Sirius Black was a man-whore, who would date a girl and then dump her once he becomes bored of her.
“It does make a difference! You know how much I hate that stupid bitch Edgecombe!” Jillian looked like she was going to explode.
“At least she’s better than Bradley.” I told her truthfully. Bianca Bradley was definitely our worst and cruellest dorm mate. I sometimes thought Cruella would’ve been a better suited name for her.
Jillian huffed. “Not anymore, she’s number one on my hate list now, knocking Bradley down to number two.”
I rolled my eyes and chuckled, at least the real Jillian was back. “If I’m not mistaken, Bradley has dated Black too.”
“Arghh did you have to remind me? It’s like he’s dated every bloody girl in the school except me!” she fumed angrily.
“Well, not every girl.” I corrected her. I’m sure there were plenty of girls around that he hasn’t dated. I wasn’t included because I didn’t date – it was a big no-no in my religion, and my culture, for being involved with the opposite sex before marriage. Not that anyone would ask me out in the first place, the thought made me want to laugh.
“I’m done with stupid Black anyway, how dare he date the enemy! I’m moving onto Michael Davies, Lionel Wood and Remus Lupin – who I have to admit looks even hotter this year!” Jillian was literally drooling.
I felt nauseous after her mention of Remus Lupin. After he helped me out yesterday, he hadn’t even acknowledged my existence after that, even in the Heads’ compartment on the train. He acted as though he had never helped me and he never even looked at me. I was relieved of the fact, but also slightly annoyed. Maybe I was hallucinating yesterday, or dreaming the part. Maybe, and hopefully, it wasn’t stupid Lupin, a stupid member of the Marauders, who gave me the chocolate. The marauders were nothing but arrogant and conceited gits who acted as though they owned the school. This concluded that I surely must have imagined it. Maybe it was a random fourth year that decided to help an older student, and I, for some odd reason, was thinking it was Remus Lupin. Why I thought it was him was a wonder. I hardly even knew Lupin, let alone imagine him. It may have been due to the nervous breakdown I had been enduring.
After breakfast, Professor Flitwick handed out our timetables, and after finding out we had double Ancient Runes first up together, Jillian and I started to leave for the lesson, until McGonagall stopped us on our tracks.
“Miss Mostafa,” McGonagall called, walking over to us quickly. She wasn’t smiling, but the woman hardly ever smiled, only on rare occasions. “Miss Mostafa, before you go, I’d like to inform you that the Headmaster wishes to see you tonight in his office at seven sharp. Make sure you go on time, he is a busy man and has no time for late comers.” Before I could speak, she continued, “The password is ‘cockroach clusters’. Have a good day.”
“But Professor - ”
“If you’re going to tell me that you also have a prefect meeting in the Great Hall tonight, I very well much know of the fact, as both of the Heads’ are in my House. And the meeting does not start until 8 p.m., Miss Mostafa. Professor Dumbledore won’t need you for too long.” She said, and before I could say anything else, she was gone.
“What an odd password.” Jillian said absentmindedly, from beside me.
“More importantly, why does Dumbledore want to see me? She didn’t even let me ask or say a word!” I complained, as we made our way to the Ancient Runes classroom.
“I guess my theory was correct.” Jill nodded, still absentmindedly
“The one about Amy Robins bribing Dumbledore to make her a prefect instead of you.”
“Jill, she didn’t bribe him. She’s resigned from school for a while, and I ended up taking the stupid spot.” I often wondered why Jill ended up in Ravenclaw. I thought Hufflepuff, or even Gryffindor, would’ve suited her better. Maybe she was in Ravenclaw for me? I still loved her to death, and I couldn’t imagine how life in Hogwarts would be without her by my side.
Our classes that day consisted of our Professors doing nothing but droning on and on about our N.E.W.Ts, and we didn’t learn anything. My day was pretty much uneventful, until Arithmancy, where I ended up sitting next to Ernie Cornfoot again, the resident geek (as they called him) of Ravenclaw House. I didn’t know why, but I always found myself sitting next to him in the past years, so I knew him fairly well by now. I was usually shy, but I wasn’t shy around Ernie Cornfoot, because I felt that he was different. He didn’t care that I wore “a thing on my head” and he often got bullied by others himself anyway, just not as much as Severus Snape (who is the ultimate enemy of the Marauders, mind you). I guessed that it was because of the fact that he wore the most hideous glasses, and he wore his trousers up high – or maybe those bullying him were just jealous because he was smarter than them.
Anyway, the interesting thing was that today he had developed some kind of “nickname” for me.
“Well, if it isn’t Miss Modest again,” he smiled as he sat next to me, pushing up his glasses.
Yes, he had called me “Miss Modest”. I was sure he had intended it in a good way though. I smiled back at him. “And why am I “Miss Modest” all of a sudden?”
He chuckled. “Because you’re the most modest girl in the school?” he said, smiling warmly. “And you should take that as a compliment.” I always wondered why some people were rude to him, he was very nice, and I liked him.
I laughed at his conjecture. “I really don’t think I am.”
“And how could you possibly think otherwise?” he asked as he grabbed his books and quill out of his bag.
“Because, well, just because I don’t reveal as much skin as some others, it doesn’t mean I’m more modest than everyone else, if you know what I mean.”
He chuckled, taking off his glasses to clean it up with his shirt. I realised that he looked much better without them, and the colour of his eyes were a nice blue. His glasses were far too large and covered up almost half his face. “I’ll have you know that I can tell who is and who isn’t by just looking at them. It really isn’t only because you cover up...”
Before I had time to answer, Professor Warlock had started the lesson, and Ernie was back to his full motivation-mode he had on during lessons.
By dinner time, I began to get nervous.
“You’re not eating,” Jillian stated the obvious, pointing at my untouched plate with her fork. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine.” I snapped.
“No you’re not fine.” Jill stated the obvious again. “Is it because of the prefect meeting you have for patrol duties, or because of the meeting you have with Dumbledore next?”
“What meeting with Dumbledore?” It wasn’t me who had answered; instead it was the annoying voice of my brother, who happened to pop out of nowhere. Oh Allah...
“None of your business, Ali,” I snapped again, this time looking at him pointedly.
“Oh you don’t have to tell me. The man probably came back to his senses and decided that choosing you as a prefect was, and is, a big mistake.” he grinned cheekily, grabbing a piece of chicken from my plate. I smacked his hand off.
“Ha ha. Very funny,” I mocked. “What are you doing here anyway? Don’t you have your cronies to occupy yourself with?” I looked over at the Gryffindor table, where all his friends sat. Sure enough, they were waiting for his ‘return’.
Ali shrugged. “Just thought I’d see how you were, but I guess not.” He then went back to his table, and I sighed in relief.
“Hibs, your brother is gorgeous!” Jillian said all of a sudden, her eyes watching the Gryffindor table. She had been skimming Sirius Black (even though she has said she was over him), Remus Lupin and Lionel Wood the past few minutes, and now her gaze was on my bloody brother. “I can’t believe I never noticed that!”
I felt like vomiting. “Eww, Jillian, what the hell is wrong with you? He’s my freaking brother!” It was disgusting hearing someone call your brother “hot” or “gorgeous”, and I’ve heard it a lot, mind you. No one ever called me that, some people didn’t even think we were related. I guessed it turned out that it was he who needed to cover up, not me – even though boys don’t wear Hijab.
“I seriously would’ve considered him as well, even though you guys don’t date, and that he’s younger than me...”
I sincerely wanted to puke, not only because my own bloody best friend was practically drooling over my brother, but also because I had two nerve-racking meetings coming up. “Ah, well, I gotta go. Meeting and all.” I then dashed out of the Great Hall, before Jillian starting talking more about my “gorgeous” brother. Gross!
The large gargoyle moved aside to reveal the moving spiral staircase that lead to the Headmaster’s office. I was quite familiar with the Headmasters tower by now, seeing as I’ve had countless of meetings with Dumbledore before, for various reasons. There really shouldn’t be any reason for me to be nervous, but the difference is, I had known why Dumbledore wanted to see me in the past meetings, but this time, I didn’t know why he wanted to see me.
“Come in.” I heard Dumbledore’s gentle voice call from inside, after I had knocked the door.
I found Dumbledore sitting in front of his desk, and he appeared to be busy with something but looked up at me through his half-moon spectacles as I entered the room. “Ah, Miss Mostafa, do take a seat please.” he smiled up at me, his brilliant blue eyes twinkling with kindness.
I took the seat in front of his desk and waited. His office hadn’t changed much since the last time I’d been here. It still contained the spindly tables upon which set a number of silver instruments that whirred and emitted small puffs of smoke. I was also aware that his beautiful phoenix, Fawkes, was there in the corner of the room, sitting quietly in his cage.
It appeared that Dumbledore had been reading the latest issue of the Daily Prophet before I had entered, which I recall I had skimmed through this morning. It hadn’t contained anything new, apart a few suspicious killings of five muggles two days ago, possibly by You-Know-Who and his growing members of followers.
“Well, Miss Mostafa, you must me wondering why I have brought you here.” Dumbledore stated, looking at me closely, his eyes radiating kindness and mischief, like it always had.
He smiled again, and sat back on his chair properly; leaning is long fingers against his chin – or beard. “Well, to start, I’m sure you were surprised of the letter I had sent you during the summer holidays, about your new position, yes?”
I nodded, “Yes, sir.”
“You are also most likely wondering why I have chosen you for this position, correct?” I nodded again, and he continued, “Well you see, Miss Mostafa, as I’m sure I already told you this part in the letter, Professor McGonagall and I have been discussing who would replace Miss Robins, and we had found you the most suitable for the choice.”
He paused for a moment, but before I could say anything, he had already continued, “To be frank with you, Miss Mostafa, I would have considered you for this position from your fifth year, but I had known you would reject this offer.”
“But why, sir, have you chosen me now then?” I couldn’t help but ask him.
Dumbledore smiled warmly, his eyes twinkling again. “You see, Miss Mostafa, now that you have grown older, I’m sure you would now be more tactful for these matters than you would’ve been two years ago.” He was right, if I had received the letter in fifth year, I would probably have not returned to school, or I would’ve begged him to withdraw me from the position in a dozen letters until he responded. Did Dumbledore know me that well, or was he just a mind reader?
“Naturally, Miss Mostafa, there are a number of other reasons why I have chosen you for this position,” Dumbledore sustained, “I feel that you do not give yourself a chance in front of others. You believe that because of your dress-code, or because you’re a little different to some other students, that you cannot do amazing things or that you will remain overshadowed and hidden. I, as the Headmaster, do not wish to have any student in the school feeling like they do not belong here, as I’ve told you many times before, Miss Mostafa. I feel that you do not give yourself a chance, and that you are very unlike your brother, who is very care-free and confident in himself. But now I have assigned you this position to show you that you are not any different to any of the other students, and that you as free here as anyone else can be. Do I make myself clear?”
I nodded again, this time absentmindedly. I think Dumbledore might have just narrated some of my train of thoughts from the first day I stepped foot in Hogwarts. How could this man know so much about almost everything? A gift from Allah, I suppose. He was a good man, regardless of what he believed in or didn’t believe in.
“I understand, Professor.” I finally told him, having nothing else to say. It was pointless to try and argue with him or attempt to refute his ideas or decisions.
“Very well then,” Dumbledore smiled again, “If you ever have any more concerns, Miss Mostafa, please do not hesitate to come to me. In the mean time, I understand that you have a prefect meeting for your patrol duties to attend to?”
At the mention of the prefect meeting, I began to feel nervous again, but I didn’t want Dumbledore to witness that. “Yes, sir. And thank you.”
Before Dumbledore could say anything else, or see how nervous I really was, I sprinted out of the room.