Chapter 2 : In which Ed is harshly critiqued.
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Double transfiguration with Slytherin is dreadful if you want a bit of fun, on account of the satisying amount of work that truely gets done.
Slythern and Ravenclaw have a cold kindred with each other, and that is another reason why I love this block.
I use the time to sit with my Slytherin connections. Tammy Galley and Dom Foster. They are cousins and have the loveliest name assonance I’ve ever heard. McGonagall sets the three of us into a group, the objective being that we must work out how proportions will alter a transfiguration if you don’t have the right mathematical concept, which is all rubbish to me right now. All I can really focus on is the spiffy peppery smell that seems to be coming from Dom.
“So I heard you were organizing something new,” said Tammy.
“Yes! Muggle sports.”
Tammy sneered, and Dom cocked his head to the side.
“That sounds like a whole lot of sweat,” she said
“For some people, exercising is fun,” Dom countered.
“I ran the plans through with McGonnagal, and she gave me a list of things I need to do before it’s possible. I’ll have it up and running next term.”
I glanced up at the two of them and neither were listening any more.
It’s fine. I have plenty of people who are interested.
I turned to Dom.
“Attending the match, Dom?”
“What else would I do?” he said, scribbling something down on parchment.
I’m sorry, I had no idea there was nothing more important. I saw by his face that it was a rhetorical question. Then I decided whether I was going or not.
“I’ll see you there, then,” I said in reply. He nodded impatiently. Tammy glanced at me and laughed. I have no idea on earth what for.
I took longer than everyone else to vacate the classroom so that I could have a moment with McGonnagall. She stood there and watched me as I made believe that I was actually doing important things in my book bag.
“Yes, what is it, Ms. Stradeki?” I had not even gotten to her desk yet.
“Professor, I am fully aware that this is the time of year when you start considering students for the head boy and girl position.”
She rolled her eyes, smiled and nodded her head. “You’re right, as usual.”
“There’s not quite a delicate way of putting this, so I’ll just come out and say it: I should be head girl.”
She just looked at me.
“I understand if you are obligated to consider all of your options, but I just want to assure you that I am the best choice for the job.”
Fourth years began to trickle into the classroom. By the look on her face, I started to panic a little. Maybe I should take a different approach. I’ll switch confidence for humility. I let my facial expression crumble. Subtly, I don’t want her to think I’m fake.
“Professor, I need this position. If there are some things that you think I should work on to secure it, I would appreciate the tips.”
She smiles. Success!
“Maybe you have too much on your plate as it is.”
I shook my head desperately. She continued. “Perhaps you’ll work on that.” She shooed me away but called out to me before I was gone. “I usually choose head girls who are attentive in class too, Ms Stradeki.”
I had Ancient Runes next, where I began to bubble map ideas for the muggle sports fundraiser. Then, I filled out the bi-weekly meeting schedule for HHUL.
Please don’t worry. I took McGonnagal’s advice to heart, but I still have to get those things done.
I decided that I have to work harder on finder new stewards. I made a chart of certain organizations and prospective leaders for them. To be honest, it’s discouraging, the thought of giving up authority. I don’t want any of them to go to waste and fall apart.
But I was made to be head girl. It ranks number one on my priority list.
By the end of class I had a lot done. I wrote down what the homework was for next class, (I’ll always be able to figure that out later... We have a very large library here at Hogwarts, and a very helpful Homework club every other night).
After class, I spotted Tucker, Heather and Phoebe sitting near the top end of the Ravenclaw table in the great hall. Heather was giving phoebe a disdainful look, and Phoebe was trying to explain herself, angrily.
“Heather stop being a cow. Phoebe can do whatever she wants with her drapes.” Tucker said munching on a bacon sandwich. I really didn’t want to sit in on that conversation. I sat down sideways and Slughorn stood up in front of everyone, tapping his throat with his wand, and speaking in a loud booming voice.
“Settle yourselves, please! I need to address something that you all should be aware of. Firstly, Wednesday’s match between Hufflepuff and Gryff-“
He was interrupted by very loud cheers throughout two of the four long tables. I glanced over to Gryffindor, and Albus was doubling over laughing as Fred Weasley stood on a bench and cried a mighty war sound.
“Yes, yes. We are all very excited. I’m sure most of you know, but for those who don’t, lend me your ears: The match will begin early tomorrow... at ten o’clock due to storm warnings. Your first period classes will end at nine twenty, so that everyone will have time to bundle up and head down to the pitch.”
Somebody in Hufflepuff ‘whooped’ and everyone laughed. Slughorn looked like he was wrapping up, and I took the opportunity. I hopped out of my chair and ran up to where he was standing near the staff table.
“Yes, what is it, Ms. Stradeki?” I loudened my voice the way he did, and he got the idea.
“I have a few announcements as well.”
Everyone was completely quiet.
“We only have a month left of school, everyone, and I wanted to get this out to all of you now to avoid wasting time.
“I believe we need more fitness in this school, especially for those who don’t, and can’t, play quidditch.” Somebody near the front of Slytherin table mumbled something snide and the group around him snickered. “So I have been researching muggle recreation, and it truly is extensive!” I paused for dramatic effect and look around. I had their attention. “Games like dodge ball, where you pelt each other with rubber balls, Frisbee golf, where you toss disks around for some reason, I don’t know why but it looks fun. And last but definitely not least muggle football!” I see a few smiles at this, and am encouraged. “Which is the most popular sport in the world. I watched a TV show about, and it looks very exciting.”
Some voice piped up from the Gryffindor table. “I saw people doing it, and all they do is kick a ball around. Why is that fun?”
I roll my eyes as if what she said was ludicrous, searching for an answer in my brain. I haven’t finished all of my research yet. “Why do you play quidditch?” I ask in a rhetorical manner. Pippa Dorey, the Ravenclaw seeker, and my roommate, answers.
“Because it’s high up in the air and it’s fast and exciting. Nothing compares, and no one cares about your stupid club.” I hear Dom yell something at her from across the room. I disregard what the bint said.
“Quidditch takes skill and concentration. Football takes skill, concentration, and a really fit body. I run on my own free time, and I know of a few others who do. I would love the opportunity to run while I’m playing a game with an objective. Doesn’t anyone beside quidditch players exercise anymore?” All was quiet. I saw a few nods, Phoebe’s smile, and a satisfied look from Dom. Tammy and Heather looked quite bored, and then I saw Albus and Lily Potter, and they were smiling, nodding, and discussing what I was talking about.
Hey, if I can get some Gryffindors into this, then I’ll have a good slathering of students.
“So when is it?” Tucker yells.
“I haven’t scheduled it in yet, I need to cover a few things first with the headmaster. But I would like to know who is interested. I have ensured sign up lists on the boards in your common rooms. Write your name down if you want to be involved.”
I hear a cough. That’s my queue, I guess.
“Thank you all very much. Have a wonderful rest of the day.”
The hall burst back into its usual noise as I skipped off stage and into my seat.
“That was successful!” beamed Phoebe.
“Cheers,” I raised my glass of apple juice at her.
A sixth year Gryffindor walked across the isle to me.
“You should include American football as well,” he said, leaning over onto our table next to me, his eyes wide. I don’t know what the variation is in the states, but I nod, appreciating his enthusiasm. “Do you know how to play?”
“Well, yeah, I’m muggle-born, I grew up playing.” His hair was dark and curly, and his eyes, I kept noticing were a very dark brown.
“What’s your name?”
“David,” he replied
“David, I was wondering if you could be my games advisor for the Muggle Sports Guild?” I asked him as I stood up and shook his hand.
“Erm... okay,” he looked apprehensive.
“Don’t worry, it will require little work on your part. I will set everything up, and then I will notify you when it all starts. You would be my main resource on how the games are played.”
“That actually sounds pretty cool.” He smiled, and I hear Heather laugh behind me. “Alright then I’ll see you around.” He waved to the three behind me, and he lingered on Phoebe and smiled before turning and sitting back with his friends.
Phoebe’s face was all red, and she was pushing a piece of crust around on her plate.
“Cheer up, Phoebes, you have a great dancersize following, no one's going to abandon you.”
Now Tucker laughs. I am always out of the joke for some reason.
The rest of my day is full of activities, and altogether dull.
Three more classes, a Herbology club meeting, Dinner, which was uneventful, and then homework group in the library at seven. Charms seem to have gotten me confused, but I ended up with a well enough paper.
Hugo walked me back to the towers. He was going on about some girl that I didn’t know or care about. Just another lay-about flirt.
“...And then she kind of flicked her hair to the side and said thank you. I couldn’t stop watching her after she took my quill, though becau-“
“Don’t let pretty girls distract you, Hugo.”
“No – I mean she was chewing on it the entire time. Who does that? Borrows someone quill, bat their eyelashes, and then slobbers all over the thing. I’m glad the cow didn’t give it back.”
“Why did you snog her last night, then?” I asked, genuinely confused.
“Come one, Edie, she’s the hottest girl in my year.”
“Yes I suppose that counts.”
He nodded, laughing at my exasperation.
There was a comfortable silence for a while, going up the stars, but then Hugo stopped and looked at me.
“I need to find you a bloke,” he said. I could feel the blush creep on my cheeks.
“Stop!” I said moving away from him, with my hands on my cheeks.
“Don’t you ever just feel like... fancying someone!?” he cried passionately running after me.
“I don’t have time,” I said as I quicken my pace.
“Edie, you’ve got to make time for these things. Someday you’ll regret going through all of the best years of your life without falling for someone.”
I stopped to sit down on a bench. I truly hate it when people force emotion out of me.
“Are you worried that nobody likes you?” That kind of hurt. I don’t respond. “Well you don’t have to, because I can think of at least four blokes who said they thought you were fit. All you need to do is change your hair somehow. And stop wearing turtlenecks...”
At the same time I’m offended and intrigued, the latter shows through better.
“Who?” I ask in a sheepish voice, tugging at my collar. A big group of first years pour past us, and Hugo waits for them to leave.
“’Who’ is unimportant. Don’t you see, Edie? You have the potential to hook plenty of guys. You just don’t give anyone the time of day. And you don’t really give yourself the time of day either.” I squirm in my seat. “I’ve got to go,” he said, standing up and straightening out his shirt.
“Okay, I’ll meet you near the astronomy tower for rounds.”
He facepalmed his forehead. “Oh yeah! I forgot to tell you. I asked Albus to switch with me cause I have a detention.”
“Hugo,” I reproached.
“I’m late now, but I told him where to meet you. See you later Edie.”
He stepped away, and I sat there still trying to recover from what he told me.
There is this phenomenon that I don’t have a name for, but I wrestle with quite often.
So say you learn a new word. You never heard this word before, and you look up the meaning, and your like ‘right, then, I know what it means now, don’t know when I’ll ever need it.’
And the from then on, the word just starts making itself visible to you. You see it all the time now, in books, on posters, in conversation.
Obviously it’s because you didn’t give a spit about the word in the first place, so now once you know it, you can pick it out.
But another part of me thinks ‘why is it popping up all over the place now? Right after I learn it.’ I’m sure you’ve felt this before.
Well the same thing is happening to me, except with a person.
Albus Potter was leaning against the banister with his hands in his pockets chatting with a painting when I came upon him.
“Well I usually start a game day with a very large breakfast, really rich in fiber and carbs, but since the match is in the morning, I’m not going to stuff my self, that would be stupid.”
“How are you going to get you protein, I heard protein was important for your muscles and energy,” replied the painting. It was a young irish monk holding a very large book.
“Now there’s the misconception,” Albus said, finally seeing me, waving vaguely and going back to his point. “You should eat protein, like a hard boiled egg or something, after your active, because it helps rebuild the cells in your muscles.”
“Ahh I see,” said the monk, who then turned to me. “Hello ms., are you who this young man is waiting for?”
“Yep,” I replied.
“Let’s go,” said Albus, and we began to walk up the stair of the tower. I always start going through the halls, and then double back through the tower so we don’t miss anything, but I don’t care enough to correct him, I always schedule him for late night rounds on the first floor.
“I’m thinking about joining your muggle sports club,” he said conversationally. This made me smile.
“Actually a lot of Gryffies signed their name.” I beamed this time. Now I know I can start asking Gryffindors if they want to be involved in the government of the club. If I want to be head girl, I can’t be using all of my energy taking care of another club. Everyone in that house is a natural born leader, I don’t see why they don’t automatically step up to the plate.
“If you talk too, this will go by faster,” he pointed out.
“Okay,” I obliged, “I’ve decided to attend your match.”
“That’s a no-brainer,” he said caustically. “A lot of people are making it into a date, which seems weird to me, but whatever. Are you going with anyone?”
I thought back to the conversation I had with Hugo, and felt torn between telling the truth, and making it seem like I was as ‘wanted’ as Hugo made it seem.
“Dom Foster asked me to sit with him. I had no idea that it was supposedto be a date, though,” I say innocently, and guiltily. Dom never said anything like that, but I like the way Albus turns up his lip and nods as if he’s impressed.
“He must be bloody disappointed Slytherin lost. It was because of him as well.”
Dom isn’t like that. He truly just likes to play Quidditch, I didn’t hear the entire story but he’s a beater, and I think it was a mistake penalty on his part that screwed up his game. Dom didn’t care desperately about winning like Scorpius Malfoy, or Albus was for that matter. He enjoyed the game in every aspect: playing and watching it. I liked Dom for that. It was a hobby that made him happy, not an obsession that made him crazy. I raised my eyebrow at Potter.
“I’m sure he regrets it,” I say, brushing it off. “I’ve never been to a quidditch game,” I add, just out of speculation.
Albus stops where he is with his jaw hanging open. “Seriously?”
“Erm – yes, seriously,” I replied, not seeing what the big deal was.
“Have you ever lived?” I was getting tired of his dramatics. So I ignored the question, and he picked up on the queue.
“So I heard you were counting on being head girl next year.” I nodded my head emphatically. “Well I heard Slughorn talking to Longbottom, and they were saying how it ought to be me and you.”
I picked up my head at this.
“You heard that?”
“Yeah, but then Sinistra was all, ‘she doesn’t pay enough attention in class, she’s too busy managing those stupid clubs, blah blahh,” he trailed off, studying my reaction carefully.
“Yes, I know all that, already. I just have to fix those assumptions.”
“Or you could just not be as involved,” he said. My face dropped in horror.
“What an infuriating thing to say!” I said calmly, but angrily.
“You’re the one who’s infuriating!” he shouted back, finally taking his hands out of his pockets. “I’ve seen you around, Ed. You walk around as if you have fifteen different careers. Everything you do has to have some sort of twisted diplomatic perk to be worth your time!”
“Don’t call me Ed!” I said, biting my inner cheek, and trying hard not to burst in anger.
“It just irks me to no end, seeing a sixth year who doesn’t do anything for pleasure.”
“Of course I have fun, did it ever occur to you that these things I do are hobbies of mine?”
“Quiddtch strategy isn’t a hobby for you, you told me yourself!” He was really overreacting.
“That’s just one thing.”
“We have Herbology together, and I’ve heard you say how much you dislike it, and you are the president of the Herbology Club? That’s twisted.”
I sputtered in anger. What could I say? This kid was attacking me for no reason.
“Mind your own business!”
“When have you ever just sat around and talked to your friends? I don’t think I’ve ever heard you laugh!”
“I laugh!” I protested, my voice getting higher. He was pushing me too far. “Calm down!”
“You can’t even argue! Blimey, you’re not normal. You’re emotionally void!”
“I’m not like other girls, Potter, I have control over my feelings. Verbal conflict is for babies.” I got pretty close to exploding there.
“I’d rather be with a girl who cries at everything I say, than someone who is numb to her own feelings.”
I want to scream at him at the top of my lungs. What a prick! Why does he feel the need to criticize me like this, I have never had anything to do with him. But I won’t satisfy his argument. He looks down at my fists, which are all balled up. Before he can look back up to my face I spin around and walk away as calmly and apathetically as possible.
Except on the inside I feel like he’s cut me through and through.
Thanks for reading, folks! Written chapters are building up, so stay tuned. I'm up to chapter 7...
I should probably get a beta... how do I go about that?
I appreciate reviews!
Side note: If anyone wants me to make them story and chapter graphics, please ask me to, I love making them!
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