Chapter 1 : A very average day
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I hurried down the corridor looking worriedly over my shoulder every few seconds, hoping I wasn’t going to see the long greasy hair and crooked nose that scared me so much. I rounded a corner and jumped as I bumped into a tall figure with long black robes.
“Longbottom, get up off the floor please, I don’t want you getting hurt.” The stern looking witch peered over her glasses at me.
“Prof…Professor, McGonagall, I’m sorry.” I stammered, looking up at her whilst fiddling with the hem of my jumper.
She looked at me and sighed, “What are we going to do with you Longbottom? Go on, off to your lessons.” I hurried away, glad to be out of her studying gaze. As I rounded another corner, not quite remembering what lesson I had next and praying it wasn’t potions I passed two familiar looking girls, both identical as far as I could see.
They both stopped and laughed, what stupid thing had I done now? I looked at them worriedly, “We thought that Boggart was funny Neville” One said, I wasn’t quite sure which. I could never remember which one was in my house and which one was in Ravenclaw.
“Oh yes, very funny. I wish my Boggart was Snape, all the things I could do to him.” The other one laughed, she didn’t seem to want to elaborate but by the small grin on her face I had decided whatever she wanted do to Snape would not be very nice for him.
“Um, do you know what I have next?” I asked looking at the one in Gryffindor uniform, deciding if anyone would know in this corridor it would be her.
“It’s lunch silly” She walked off giggling with her twin, leaving me stood there round and red-faced as usual.
I walked dejectedly to the Great Hall and sat down at the Gryffindor table. I watched Harry from a distance, laughing and eating. Why couldn’t I be more like him? Cool, on the Quidditch team, lots of friends, clever. I was none of that, I never will be.
I dug into my potatoes, keeping a close eye on the high table for any sign of Snape. Just as someone brushed past me I dropped my fork. After a few minutes of scrambling around under the table to retrieve it I resurfaced to see a horribly familiar face looking at me. His lip was curling and his eyes were set into a look of pure hatred he only reserved for the worst of students.
I gulped, placing my fork on the table but misjudging it and it made a resounding clatter in the now slightly quieter Great Hall. Several students from my year were looking over interestedly and even some from other years as well. Why does news have to travel so fast around here?
“Longbottom” He sneered, “Come with me” I looked around pleading for any help, but there didn’t seem to be anyone to give it. I got several sympathetic looks and thumbs up as I reluctantly followed Snape towards his office, and most probably my doom.
He led me to the first floor corridor and stopped gesturing inside an unused classroom. I was scared stiff, almost shaking as I stumbled in, to the obvious amusement of the Professor.
He closed the door behind us, and I back up to the window, thinking if I had to I could shout for help. I shook slightly as he walked slowly around the room. I wanted to shout at him, Say something! Of course I never would but I just wanted this over with.
Finally after what seemed like hours of him pacing and me staring worriedly out of the window for a distraction, he looked at me, his lip curling into a satisfied sneer.
“Longbottom, I have heard rumours, very interesting rumours about your Dark arts lesson.”
My eyes opened wide as he said that, oh no! He is going to kill me or poison me or…he was going to torture me. I looked up at his tall, imposing figure. “S… ss ... sorry S…sir… I didn’t m…mean to.”
He laughed a cruel, slow laugh that made my hair on my arms stand on end. “Longbottom, you simple, foolish boy. You are too afraid of me to be anything but sorry.”
He walked towards me and I backed up against the wall, realising I couldn’t go any further; “Longbottom, I shall make your life a living nightmare” He spat, causing me to shrink slightly.
Suddenly the door opened, a shabbily dressed figure entered the room with a bemused look on his face as her surveyed the scene before him. “Severus?” I silently pleaded him to save me as he looked from me to Professor Snape several times.
“Lupin” He drawled, “I was merely talking to the boy about his shoddy potions work, if he wants to get a good O.W.L in this subject he will have to work harder.” I was released! I was free!
Professor Lupin looked at me, “Neville would you please wait outside my office, I need a little bit of help” I was trapped. Again.
I walked as slowly as possible to Professor Lupin’s office. Just as I rounded a corner I caught sight of myself in a window. I am a chubby useless blob who can’t do magic and that is how people will remember me. I thought to my reflection, a pair of big round eyes, filled with sadness stared back at me.
Sighing, I walked onwards with my head down. Why couldn’t I be like everyone else? I don’t want to be special; I just want to be normal, able to do stuff without anything exploding at the very least!
I finally reached Professor Lupin’s office, he was already there somehow, knew a shortcut I didn’t I suppose. I sighed and walked in as he called me.
“Hello Neville” He said, the pity and disappointment behind his eyes that every teacher had when they talked to me.
“Hullo Sir.” I said, looking up at him, hoping I wasn’t in trouble. I couldn’t help my fear! Or could I? Maybe I could have said something else! Maybe the Boggart would have changed into that! I am so stupid! I should have tried that.
I carried on cursing inwardly, only realising too late that Professor Lupin had been talking to me. “Sorry sir, I wasn’t listening” I said dejectedly. He sighed and sat back in his chair.
“Neville, I am worried about you. You need to have more confidence in yourself” I slipped down slightly in my seat, hoping to disappear into thin air. I listened to him for a little while, zoning in and out as he told me what every single teacher had for the past three years. Eventually he let me go.
I walked out of the office and slowly up to the common room, hoping I would remember the password.
As I thought back on the last few hours I realised, this was a fairly average day for me, maybe even a good one.
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