In the night, I hear 'em talk
The coldest story ever told
Somewhere far along this road, he lost his soul to a woman so heartless
how could you be so heartless...
--Heartless, the Fray
My books skidded across the floor as they shoved me, sending me flying into the wall. Tears welled up in my eyes, but I bit them back. Crying only made it worse, I knew it from experience.
They didn’t stop to torment me any further, thankfully. I scrambled to pick up my books, magicking the cover back onto the one that had broken.
I was late to Transfiguration, even though I had sprinted. “Ten points from Gryffindor.” The professor barked. I nodded and walked to my seat, passing them on the way. One of them put his foot out and I tripped over it. The whole class laughed. I slowly got up.
I glanced back at them when I had sat down. They were whispering about something, probably their next prank on me. After all, what was life to them if they didn’t make mine hell?
But, of course, they got away with it. I mean, look at who they were. Albus Potter, child of the Boy Who Lived, and the looks to boot. Scorpius Malfoy, looking as if he was a Greek God and having the charms to match. Nathan Jones, the Minister of Magic’s rebel son. Aiden Clarke, my cousin, and ruggedly attractive.
They were perfect in every way. They were sweet, kind, chivalrous, funny, and the best prankers of the century. They would never hurt a fly, though. Right?
For some reason that I couldn’t even begin to fathom, they hated me. No, they didn’t just hate me. They despised every fiber of my being, and they loathed me with every fiber of theirs. They detested me in a way that only true enemies could.
I have no idea. Whenever I thought back, trying to remember what I had done to them to deserve their endless tormenting, there was just a blank spot. It was scary, not remembering part of my life, not having something there that should be. But it must’ve been so long ago. First year. I just always put it down to bad memory on my part.
When the class was over, I gathered my notes and was about to put them in my bag, when they burst into flames. I shrieked and skidded back in my chair. The Transfiguration professor looked alarmed, and put the flames out with a jet of water from his wand, but my notes were in ashes.
Almost automatically, I glanced toward the door. There they were, their receding shoulders shaking from what must’ve been laughter.
Why did they pick on me? What did I do?
I didn’t do anything.
But I must’ve.
Why else would they be picking on me?
I ran out of class, and immediately tripped down the stairs. My bag open split at the seam and my stuff went everywhere. Homework, ink bottles, books and quills. Ink coated everything in a sticky black layer, and they ran down the stairs, trampling my already ruined homework and schoolbooks.
Anger rose inside of me. “Why?!” I screamed at their shrinking figures as they ran to the Great Hall. “Why?!”
They didn’t turn.
I decided to just leave my things. They were ruined anyway. I turned and ran back to the dormitory, and I felt, for the first time since they started picking on me, tears spilling over.
I threw myself onto my four-poster bed in my dormitory, but not before catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror.
I looked hideous. My frizzy red hair was a mess. My nose and eyes were red and blotchy from my tears. My freckles stood out on my cheeks against the rest of my pale face. I looked like a multi-color freak.
They had made me this way. Ever since second year, they had been bullying me. I didn’t know what I was supposed to have done. But they thought that, somehow, they were better than me.
I punched my pillow into a more comfortable shape. There was no way of getting out of this situation, for sure.
Well, except suicide. I chuckled darkly at the thought.
But there really was nothing I could do. They were the four most loved, adored, and fawned over boys in the wizarding world. Compared to them, I was nothing.
I woke up at six a.m. sharp, as usual. I quickly shut off the alarm and jumped out of bed to take my shower.
After I was done, I decided to take a chance at a Drying Charm on my hair. It worked, and I smiled. My hair wasn’t as frizzy at it would have been had I let it drip-dry.
I quickly dressed in my uniform and ran down to breakfast. I was behind schedule. Usually I had eaten by now.
I sat alone at the Gryffindor table. Nobody wanted to sit by the frizzy haired ginger who everyone hated. It was routine to act like I wasn’t there to the students of Hogwarts.
I seriously wish that the four of them thought that the rules applied to them.
Speak of the devil, and the devil will appear. Or in this case, devils. I looked up in surprise as Albus, Scorpius, Aiden, and Nathan took seats around me.
“Hey, um. . . ” Scorpius said awkwardly. I narrowed my eyes at him. He knew my name. I silently dared him to say it.
Albus interrupted him. “Deandra. We’re really sorry. About—”
“About everything.” Nathan said, looking confident. “We’re sorry about everything.
I shouldn’t have accepted. I should have just told them to shove their apologies up their arses. But instead, I did the stupidest thing I could have done at the time.
“Um. . . apology accepted.”
And we spent the rest of breakfast falling back on our old routine. Just laughing and joking around together like old times.
I should have known it wouldn’t last.
“Well, we have to go.” Aiden finally said. “We’ve got Divination, it’s all the way up in the North Tower, y’know?” I nodded.
“Hey,” I called after them. “Um. . . sit by me at lunch?”
Albus smiled at me. “Definitely.”
As soon as they left the hall, I was jerked upward by my ankle. My skirt fell, displaying my bright purple knickers to the whole hall. Some people laughed, others covered their eyes, moaning that they were scarred for life. Others (cough Noah Finnegan cough) decided to make the most of the situation, if you know what I mean.
In golden writing, a message appeared below me. I managed to read it upside down.
Let this be a warning to you, Will Walters. If you touch Lily Potter one more time, we swear we will beat your brains out, and then publicly humiliate you like Deandra Misgen here.
We can and we will crush you.
Signed, Albus S. Potter, Scorpius H. Malfoy, Aiden C. Clarke, Nathan E. Jones
And something snapped inside of me.
I had been a warning for Will Walters to stay away from Lily Potter.
And then, I made my decision.
I was escaping Hogwarts.
And I was doing it soon.
That day, I marched right up to Minerva McGonagall’s and Floo’d to North America.
And I haven’t come back since.
I know it's kind of cheesy to cry to your own writing, but I did When I wrote this chapter. She just has such a horrible life.
I didn't tell you who she was. Hah.
But I'm serious, I cried while writing this. I recomend reading it again while listening to 'Heartless,' by the Fray. It enhances the chapter.
See ya! Delia
EDIT 3.12.12. I'm editing Exchange, because I realized that the first few chapters really suck. So.....I'm editing. There won't be any major changes in the plot. Except for that bit that I added in about her not remembering. That just ties up a loose end that someone brought to my attention. It'll be explained later in the book. Trust me.
Edit 8.21.12. There are going to be some changes in the plot. They won't really affect the outcome of the story in any way. It's just some changes to make the writing better in the middle and whatnot. So there might be a gap while I edit the chapters. It just means that I haven't gotten to that chapter yet. No worries.