Chapter 6 : Chased By Trouble
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The sound of opera singing woke me up the next morning.
Some very off-key opera singing too, if I say so myself.
I foolishly tried to keep my eyes shut at first, thinking that maybe I'd be able to cram another hour of sleep into my schedule, even if that meant spending a lot less time getting washed, dressed and mentally ready for another day in the mental ward that is Hogwarts.
The singing got louder, and much to my alarming shock, five times as worse as it had been two seconds ago. It could no longer be described by using the usual metaphor of sounding like a cat was being strangled, no, now it sounded like a cat screeching because it had just gotten run over by a bus that was carrying 30 blocks of cement on its roof. And an elephant. A fat elephant. Not just a fat elephant, an obese elephant.
That's how horrid it was.
I squeezed my eyes shut tighter, grabbing my sheets, and trying the old technique of covering my head with my pillow, to muffle the sound. All was in vain though, since the singing - no, actually it can't even be called that - the shrieking was so loud that I actually feared the roof would crack, and fall on top of us all.
I bolted upright rapidly, and my eyes landed on the culprit of my awakening: Elf Girl.
Pushing a lock of messy blonde hair behind my ear, I stifled an irritated groan, and approached the criminal, with firm steps that echoed around the room.
She'd reached a whole new level of awfulness, when I put my hand over her mouth, to shut her up.
She then licked my hand.
As anyone else would have done, I jumped back, wiping the saliva on someone's shirt while simultaneously groaning about how disgusting that had been.
"Why'd you do that?!" I demanded to know, approaching Elf Girl again, only this time, with my hands way out of her tongue's reach.
She ignored me, and shrieked an octave higher.
"Hey, I'm talking to you! Oi! Hey, hey hey! HEY!" I screamed. I'm not a very patient person as you may've guessed. "Stop trying to make my ear's bleed, and shut the hell up, you, you... girl!" I stuttered the end pathetically.
The 'Person With the Unknown Name' (we'll call her PWUN for now) carried on with the torture, and I sighed in defeat, slumping my shoulders.
"She's always like this in the mornings, says its some sort of preparation for the day." Jenny explained, coming up to me. Today, she was wearing the obligatory uniform (thankfully), but was still wearing last night's cap, which hid every single one of the hairs on her head.
"How do you put up with it?" I asked, genuinely desperate to know the answer. If I had to put up with this every morning (which thinking of it, I would have to do), I'd wish that my ears could detach themselves from my head, and run away, for their sake, just like happened in cartoons.
Not like I still watch cartoons or anything... (insert suspicious whistling here).
Jenny answered my question by taking out the earplugs in her ears. "What did you say?" She asked, I shook my head, muttering "never mind", and asked if she had a pair of spare earplugs I could borrow.
* * *
I found out that I'd been last to wake up, and that the last to wake up, is the last that gets to use the shower.
Who would've guessed, eh?
I accept it though, it's only fair. But you know what isn't? Taking a whole 54 minutes (and counting) in the bathroom, while the rest of us (me), wait patiently outside without complaining.
"For Merlin's sake, how much longer can one take in a bathroom?!" I shouted, banging the door of the bathroom.
So maybe I lied a little...
"Gretchen get out of there already!"
I said I was an impatient person, but I know I can control my anger-
"If you don't get out of there in exactly 5 seconds I will bring the door down!"
Oh look at that, I just keep on surprising myself, with my newly found temper.
A series of very long, and very frightening threats proceeded to leave my mouth for another two minutes non-stop until the door opened, and Gretchen stepped out of the bathroom at a leisure pace.
"A whole 56 minutes?! How could you possibly have taken so long in there?"
Gretchen shrugged, suddenly finding her nails extremely interesting, and tried to hide an evil smirk that was creeping its way into her face.
"I only took 20 minutes actually, but I thought I'd stay inside a little longer, just to annoy you." She told me, her voice sugary sweet. "Welcome to Hogwarts." She said, and winked, giving a cackle.
It took all the will power in my possession not to bat-bogey hex her right there and then. Instead, I turned to the open door of the steaming, blue-tiled bathroom, and took two steps inside, before Gretchen called for my attention again.
"Oh! By the way Jones." She started, an evil smile that lit up her face, and made her brown eyes glisten as if it were Christmas was now in full view. "You're late for breakfast."
I shut the bathroom door with a loud slam, as Gretchen's laugh continued to sound inside my head.
* * *
Three quick, yet well-heard knocks made me jump for a moment, and shook me out of the hard decision I had been taking on whether, I should let my hair down, or put it up in a messy bun. Before uttering a single "come in", or "who is it?", Dom entered my dorm in a rush, resembling a red hurricane.
"Emma! Aren't you done yet? We're waiting for you, to eat!" She hissed, as she threw a glance at the dorm, and after a few nods, decided it was okay, since it was probably smaller than hers.
I've known Dom since what seems like forever, and can practically hear her thoughts.
"I'm getting to it! It's not my fault, that I have the Devil as a dorm mate. And how'd you get into the Slytherin Tower anyway?" I enquired, deciding finally on the messy bun.
Dom had began to walk around, exploring the green and silver place, with a critical eye, eyeing especially close, Melanie's impeccable part of the dorm. "I have my contacts." She replied, her lips curling into a devious smile.
I rolled my eyes, brushing the blonde mass one would doubt to call hair, carefully. "By that you mean you asked one of your flings to give you the password?"
"Yup." She said. "But I'd rather you not call them flings. They occupy a very special place in my heart you know." She said, frowning.
"Or somewhere else..." I muttered, and then avoided the pillow Dom threw at me, letting out a giggle.
"Whatever. Just hurry up!"
One last check in the mirror, and we were rushing downstairs.
"I don't get what her problem is anyway, I don't even know her! She can't possibly hate me, without knowing what I'm like can she?" I had complained all the way, about Gretchen. I was no longer in a bad mood, as I'd been yesterday, and had returned to my normal self.
And my normal self was worried. People usually liked me. I mean, I'm a likeable person! You know, except for the minor crazy glitches I have every now and then. But I try to be a kind and good, and although I'm insane (I admit it, yes), it's a nice kind of insane isn't it?
"Don't take it personally, Henries is a bitch to everyone." Dom said, not exactly reassuringly.
But I was no longer concerned. Now I was fuming.
"It's not fair!" I exploded. "Why do bitches like her have to make everyone else's lives impossible? She has no reason to hate me!"
Dom suddenly seemed distracted with the wall.
"Dom? She has no reason to hate me...right?" I asked again, with more uncertainty in my voice this time.
"Well, actually..." She started,
"Well what Dom? Tell me!" I demanded.
"Henries has always had a crush on Al." She stated. Although taken aback, I still didn't get what that had to do with me.
Dom gave me an exasperated look. "Well, he's one of your best friends, apart from moi of course, and so she's jealous that you spend so much time with him!"
It took me a few seconds to take this in. "Henries is jealous... of me?" It seemed ridiculous. And because of Al none the less! Believing she was just a bully plain and simple would be a lot easier.
"Well duh." Dom replied, and then skipped the rest of the way, to the Great Hall.
Cra-zy, I sang in my head, as I walked behind her.
* * *
On the contrary to what Dom had made me think, (that since my friends had been waiting for me endlessly, we'd be the last ones left at the Great Hall, and would have to eat alone, whilst I got glared at, because it'd all be my fault), the Great Hall was packed. Looks like the Hogwarts students weren't ones to wake early. In fact, most of them resembled zombies more than students right now.
In Beauxbatons, no one was to be seen having breakfast later than half seven. This ensured that students would use their extra time to prepare the lessons they had that day.
But efficiency wasn't a Hogwarts thing. Oh no.
"We've arrived." Dom announced, and sat herself down between Freddie and, ugh.. Potter.
I hesitated. "Aren't we supposed to sit with our Houses?" I asked while stealing a quick glance at the other tables. They too, seemed to hold a wide range of pupils all from different Houses.
Dom snorted. "Pfft. That is so like two and a half decades ago Em!" She exclaimed, and continued to pile on to her plate, every piece of food that contained sugar in it.
Throwing her an I-really-don't-think-you-should-have-all-that-since-you're-already-hyper-enough-as-it-is look, which she promptly ignored, I sat next to Al.
He froze, waiting for me to set off like I had last night. Instead, I smiled cheerfully and served myself a chocolate bun.
"Morning Al." I said, biting into my bun.
He was surprised, I could tell that much. "M-morning." He stuttered, a quizzical look on his face.
"Where's Scorpius?" I asked, in the same casual, and chirpy tone I'd used before, as I poured some pumpkin juice into my glass.
"Er, I don't know." He replied, buttering his toast, but continuing to study me through the corner of his eye.
"Cool." I said, and ate.
We sat in silence for a few seconds, until Albus couldn't hold it in any longer.
"What's going on?" He asked, turning to face me, a fleeting look of suspition passing his features. His hair, black as the night, was still wet from a shower he must've taken this morning, and he brushed a hand through it, a habit he had when he was confused.
I heard a few girls catching sight of this, sigh in admiration, and I mentally rolled my eyes.
"Nothing's going on." I told him, keeping my smile in place. "I don't know what you're talking about."
Al's eyes narrowed severely. "Aren't you mad, about last night?" He enquired, relentless.
I was extremely aware of the questioning looks the rest of the occupants at our table were sending us, and that all of Al's 'fan-girls' (whom he'd spent a whole 2 hours telling me about, and how cool it was to have them, in Third Year), were very much listening in into the conversation.
"Last night, is last night. It's the past, and I won't bring it up, if you don't." I said inpassive, only raising an eyebrow, to ask if he accepted the deal.
A moment of silence followed, and then Albus nodded.
Relief flooded from me, and I was finally able to place a truthfully happy smile on my face.
"Great!" I exclaimed. "Now pass me some more of these buns yeah? I'm real hungry."
Al did so, but couldn't help a snide comment to follow. "You sure you should really be taking more of these? 'cause you sure look like you've had enough."
Although one of the things I love most from my friendship with Al, is how much it can change from one second to another; one minute we're negotiating, and the next he's making jokes, I still whacked him on the arm, until his "ow" was loud enough for the whole Great Hall to hear.
We're such Slytherins.
* * *
I had Transfiguration first thing, and both Dom and I half walked, half jogged to the lesson.
We'd left the Great Hall with plenty of time, but between all the "Oh my Merlin, you're a Potter/Weasley" exclamations that the member of each those families had gotten told by First Years, and how Freddie had begged us to wait for him because he'd forgotten his books in his dorm, but then ended up taking twenty minutes to get them because he'd bumped into a long-lost friend of the brother of the cousin of the hairdresser of his mum's, now we were running late.
"If Greenwich hasn't cursed us into oblivion, I swear to Merlin, that I will murder my cousin." Dom muttered under her breath, as we dodged Hogwartians.
Yes I made a cool new word up. No, you can't use it.
"If Greenwich doesn't curse us into oblivion, after you murder your cousin, I'll finish him off by feeding the rests of his body to a Nundu." I said, but gained a strange look from Dom.
"What the fuck is a Nundu?" She asked.
Have I mentioned Dom like to cuss more than I do? No? Oh, well she does. A lot.
I sighed at her lack of knowledge. "Do they not teach you anything around here? A Nundu is a gigantic, ferocious, grey feline. Size of a donkey. Roamed Tanzania, and came in contact with England in the beginning of the 1990s." I informed her, as we entered the classroom.
Some clapping caught both our attention.
Professor Greenwich was a thin, thin man, with practically non-existing lips, and very high cheekbones. He had round, sky-blue eyes that rested below some very thick eyebrows the same chocolate brown colour as his messy hair. He looked a lot older than he probably was. Perhaps because of the dusty grey robes he wore, or due to the stress wrinkles on his forehead.
"Very good. 10 points to Slytherin." He said, looking straight at us.
"Pardon?" I asked, Dom and I were both wide-eyed and confused.
"Your name?" He asked in return.
"E-Emma Jones." I mumbled, still now knowing what this guy was on about.
"Ahh yes, new girl I see. Your explanation of what a Nundu is was excellent, so I awarded your House, 10 House points. The points that all the members of the House add up, will tell us which House has won the House Cup at the end of the year. The points are summed up in the large hourglass clocks at the entrance, there will now be ten more emeralds in the Slytherin hourglass." He summed up rapidly. The man talked really fast, and I had trouble catching up with what he said at times, but I think I understood it.
"But Sir, you're the Transfiguration teacher, and that's Care of Magical Creatures knowledge." Dom complained. I groaned internly on why she couldn't just let it be.
"Yes, thank you, Miss. Weasley for reminding me what subject I teach." Professor Greenwich drawled dryly. "But your statement may be in danger if I were to turn you into a Nundu. That would be Transfiguration, would it not?" His severe glare was daring Dom to contradict him, but even I was sure she wasn't that dumb.
"Yes Professor." My best friend replied, quickly taking a seat on the table I was already at.
But it seemed that now that Dom had set Greenwich off, he wouldn't be satisfied with just being right.
"No, no Miss. Weasley I would prefer it if you could sit next to Mr Rogers, and.. ah yes! Mr. Longbottom, you sit with Miss Jones." The teacher commanded, and after giving me a pitying look, which I didn't completely understand, Dom reluctantly left her seat next to me, and sat at the table behind us.
I was quite busy wondering why no one, not even Neville himself, had told me he had a son. He was a very good friend of the Potters, and therefore, Teddy and I had met with him occasionally. I found him to be a very kind, humorous man, that didn't suit having a son at all. I'd pictured him with a daughter, actually, one he could spoil to no end, and teach all about Herbology.
The mystery boy himself, heavily dropped himself on the seat beside me, and didn't even bother to look my way.
I expected a little more politeness from a Longbottom, to be honest.
"Hello." I said, encouraging a brief greeting, before Greenwich started the lesson. He was too busy arguing with Dom right now.
Remember I said she wasn't that dumb before?
I take it back.
Meanwhile, I watched my silent companion. He had short, dark brown, curly hair, and skeptical lighter brown eyes. Well-built, he probably played Quidditch. He also wore a badge that read 'Prefect' over his red and gold uniform, making him a Gryffindor.
"I'm Emma Jones." I said, seeing that he still didn't respond. Maybe he was shy, as his father had been back in his Hogwarts days. "And you are?"
He glanced at me, with a bored expression. "What's it to you?"
I ckecked his tie again, in case I was going colour-blind, and had confused him with a Slytherin, but no, the red and gold was still there, with not a trace of green or silver, like on my own.
Then I frowned, ignoring why people were so rude around here. It was like Beauxbatons all over again.
"That's it Miss Weasley, 10 points from Gryffindor! And if you interrupt my lesson again with any more of those stupid remarks of yours, I'll make it 20 points your House will be losing, and a detention with Mr Filch." Greenwich had apparently lost all his patience, and had resorted to threats to shut Dom up.
It worked at least.
"Right class, now open you text books on page 132, and get your wands out. This morning we'll be refreshing your memories on how to change the colour of people's hair." He explained, and there were several sounds of pages being fluttered, and of books slamming on the tables.
"Sir isn't that Second Year work?" Dom's persistent voice piped up.
I sighed, as I caught sight of Longbottom scowling at me, this was going to be a long morning.
* * *
I stomped out of the classroom, uncertain of who I was more annoyed at; Mark Longbottom (whose first name I had only found out because one of his mates had called him, and asked if he had a spare quill), myself, or...
I had never thought her voice could get more irritating, since the day I slept round her house, and she spent the whole day rambling on about the shopping spree she'd gone to, without me. But now, she'd just made it.
"Gosh, you walk fast." She sighed, finally catching up with me. Sensing my obvious annoyance at her, she sighed again, differently this time. "I don't know why you're so annoyed Em, you know I was right."
"No! You weren't Dom, that's the whole point! You. Were. Not Right." I seethed, turning towards her, my voice letting on how furious I was. "But you always have to have the last word don't you? And now, look where that's landed us."
Dom, didn't seem frightened at all by my outburst, like Al and Scorpius had last night, she just shrugged, not even trying to look apologetic. "Detentions aren't that bad Em."
I shook my head in disbelief, and kept on walking, in a desperate attempt to leave Dom behind.
As you may've guessed, class went pretty bad.
At first, I'd tried to be calm about Mark not wanting to take part in the assigment Greewich had set us, all because, as he had plainly stated, 'he didn't want to work with a slimy Slytherin'.
"Well I'm sorry if you're not happy with Greenwich having paired us up, but you'll just have to put up with it like I have. So start changing the colour of my hair." I told him.
I then caught sight of a mischevious smile appearing on his face, when he uttered 'fine', but didn't fear anything until it was too late.
Mark picked up his wand and uttered the spell.
He instantly started laughing. And one by one, as they caught sight of me, the rest of my classmates did too.
"What? What has he done?" I asked Dom, as she tried to keep herself from laughing, and handed me her compact mirror.
I let out a shriek as soon as I saw myself.
"Bald?! You've made me bald!" I exclaimed, pointing an accusing finger at Mark, as he practically rolled on the floor, laughing.
Greenwich took that moment to intervene. "Alright, alright. That's enough!" He shouted, and the class quietened down. "Miss Jones, calm down, Mr Longbottom has merely turned you hair invisible, but Ican easily fix that." And as he spoke, my hair returned.
Greenwich smiled, looking pleased with himself. "Now Mr Longbottom, you will be serving a detention tonight, for causing so much havoc in my class. 8 o'clock sharp, in Mr Filch's office."
I couldn't help grinning smugly, until that voice had to mess everything up again.
"Ha! You little twat, finally got what you deserved." Dom yelled. Professor Greenwich and I both snapped our heads up to look at her. Greenwich glaring at her, whilst I sent her a panicked look.
"Miss Weasley, I have had far more than enough with you today. You will also be serving detention tonight with Mr Longbottom." He said, probably, secretly enjoying the look of disbelief painted on my friend's face.
"But that's not fair! That idiot deserved it, and I don't! I know I don't, and Em agrees with me!" She added suddenly, increasing my panic.
"If that is so, then your friend will also accompany you in detention. 8 o'clock sharp. Do not be late."
I hadn't had a detention in the whole of my academic history, and now I'd be attending one because my stupid best friend didn't know how to keep her mouth shut.
I sighed in frustration, as I turned, ready to find Dom running after me, once again.
"What now?!" I asked, the irritation clear in my voice, as I was faced with a surprised-looking Teddy. "Merlin Teddy! I'm sorry I thought you were-" I started apologising, but he cut me off.
"Don't apologise to me just yet. McGonnagal wants you in her office now." He informed me, looking dead serious.
Alarmed, I followed him to the Headmaster's office, and up the stairs, after he whispered the password..
"Please take a seat Miss Jones." McGonnagal asked after greeting us with a curt nod, and it was only when she pointed at the only remaining seat left in the room, that I noticed that Al, and Scorpius were both here too, looking fidgety and guilty.
"Now," McGonnagal began, "it has come, to my ears, that you were all out past curfew last night."
My whole body froze, as I wondered how she could possibly know.
We all remained in silence, so she continued.
"I have been informed, you all went out on your brooms and nearly got yourselves killed by getting far too close to the Whomping Willow!" She exclaimed, her voice tainted with dissapointment.
None of us would make eye contact with her. Al stared at the shelves stacked with books on his side, as Scorpius studied the numerous strange and magical artefacts laying around. I only had Teddy to look at, but he wouldn't meet my gaze.
"Now, is this true?" McGonnagal questioned.
I knew that if one of us didn't speak up, we'd all be in trouble, so, finally, and reluctantly, I looked at her.
"It was me." I said. In the corner of my eye, I saw Scorpius and Al staring at me, looking utterly shocked.
"I was the one that snuck out past curfew last night on my broom. It was me, that came to close to the Whomping Willow, I would have gotten killed if Al and Scorpius hadn't come to help me." I lied fluidly, my audience looking more, and more surprised with every word.
"So the boys also left their dorms after curfew." McGonnagal stated. I could see Albus opening his mouth to tell the truth (he's awful at lying), so I quickly continued my story.
"Only because they saw me from their window, and came to help, if it weren't for them I'd probably be at the Hospital Wing right now, or not even there."
Teddy took a quick intake of breath, closing his eyes, and massaging his temples. He'd never looked so old before.
"Is that so then, boys?" Professor McGonnagal wasn't stupid, not at all. She was giving the boys a chance to tell the truth, because she knew I'd made up the whole thing, so she waited expectantly for their answers.
I prayed that it would be Scorpius who'd answer. Hopefully he could lie better than Al, he's a Malfoy after all, isn't he? Doesn't lying come with the surname?
"Yes. That's correct Professor." Scorpius (thankfully) replied, after clearing his throat. "But you shouldn't be too hard on Emma, she's new, and she doesn't really know how things work around here." He added, in a last attempt to lessen my future punishment, which I mentally thanked him for.
McGonnagal sat at her desk without showing the slightest sign of anything, really. She was silent, staring off into space, seeming to be somewhere else, perhaps remembering something, until she blinked a couple of times, and looked at me.
"Very well. That will be fifty points from Slytherin, and a month worth of detention with Hagrid for you Miss Jones." She said, and I looked down, so she wouldn't see my relieved face. Relieved, that is, until she started to talk to the two boys at each of my side.
"And you gentlemen," I looked up. Would McGonnagal leave the guys be, and swallow our unlikely story? Or was she going to act like a severe Headmistress, and punish us all? "Fifty points to Slytherin each, for saving a life."
The boys grinned widely, as I gave a small smile of my own.
"You may leave now." McGee told us, waving us away.
Teddy, looking slightly relieved, yet still very dissapointed, escorted the three of us out the door.
Before the door closed behind me, however, I heard something I didn't understand. McGonnagal seemed to be talking to someone, with a wise, distant voice.
"Don't they remind you of someone Minerva?"
"Indeed, they do Albus. Indeed."
A/N: So, finally it's here. Did you guys like the version I made of the scene in the first of the HP books when Hermione encounters the troll, Harry and Ron save her, and she blames it all on herself in front of McGonnagal? Please review and tell me if you did, and also if so far, you're hating, loving, this story, your favouritequite/character, any advice... JUST REVIEW, 'kay?
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