Disclaimer: Anything recognizable belongs to JK Rowling. Also, the riddle is from riddles.com.
“Welcome all to a new year! I am your new headmistress! You may call me Headmistress or Professor Umbridge!” She clapped her hands together daintily. “Now, let’s all enjoy this feast, and save the rest of this lovely speech for after dinner, shall we?” She clapped her hands again, and food appeared magically on the tables, with every plate filled to the brim with food. It was like I had died and been forgiven of all my sins. During a loll in the food, I asked Scorp and John what they knew about Umbridge.
“So what’s the deal with her? She seems rather harmless to me, just a little physco.” I asked.
“Well, she was a huge supporter of the ministry when the ministry went bad all those years back, you know, when Voldemort was trying to take over.” Scorp explained, as John was currently having a moment with his bread roll.
“So, do you think she’s changed then? Why else would people let her in? She must have done something to ensure a spot on the good side.”
“I dunno… It’s hard to say. We’ll just have to find out. I bet she’ll just be strict, but not as bad as she used to be… Rumour has it that she gave Harry Potter a scar on the back of his hand when he had a detention.” John supplied between bites of chicken.
“Well, as long as she doesn’t do anything crazy like cancel quidditch before I even play my first game.” I said, teasingly.
I rolled my eyes. “Relax, I’m only joking. It’s not even the first day of class. It’s a long shot that I’ll make the team anyways, even if I was a guy. Besides, I don’t even know what team will take me.”
“Hufflepuff will probably give you a good chance. Maybe Ravenclaw. Slytherin, probably not. But if Fred’s the captain then you definitely might. It’s hard to say.” John pondered, returning to their earlier conversation on the train. “All depends on how good your tryout is.”
“Well, I’ll do my best.” It was then that the hall quieted and Umbridge stepped up to the podium again. “Well, that was a delightful little feast!” She said brightly. “Before I send you all off to bed, I would like to establish a few school rules. For those of you who are new here, I’ll begin with the basic rules. The forbidden Forest is forbidden, of course.” She giggled. “There will be no wandering the corridors after hours, no foolishness, no items are allowed listed under Filch’s ban list and you should be prudent about timeliness and attentiveness in class.
“For all students,” She said, looking out into the huge crowd. “There are a few teeny new rules that I would like to institute. To begin, all students must stay away from the seventh floor tower, formally known as ‘Gryffindor Tower’. All students may not go into or near the Black Lake, the Whomping Willow, or the Boat house for the express safety of all students.” She smiled. “That is all for now, off to bed for all of you. Pip, pip!”
“Well, that doesn’t sound too bad.” Scorp said, climbing up from the table.
“Yeah, except for the part about not being able to go near the Black Lake. That kind of sucks.” John admitted. “And the part about Gryffindor tower being off-limits. I bet they haven’t even bothered to repair it since the Battle of Hogwarts.”
“Yeah, I thought that part was a little weird.” Agreed Scorp.
“Well, I have to go find Rose and Lizzie.” I said, following John and Scorp out of the Great Hall. “I’m rooming with them until I get sorted.” I said goodbye and went to follow Rose and Lizzie up the big staircase down a bunch of hallways and moving staircases until we reached the entrance to the Ravenclaw Tower.
The door handle seemed to speak as a prefect approached it and stood in front of the door. “You hear it speak, for it has a hard tongue. But it cannot speak, for it has no lung. What is it?”
Well, geese, if I have to answer a riddle every time I want to go into the tower, I’m screwed from here to Greenland. (That happens to be a long way to swim, thank you very much. And no, I haven’t swum there; I’ve just visited there for a short time.)
The prefect seemed to consider this, than answered, “A Bell.” The door swung open, and we stepped into a large circular room with couches scattered around, with shelves of books lining the walls and curvy staircases leading to the dormitories framing a marble statue of a woman wearing a fancy tiara. Tapestries decorated what wall space was left, and there was a huge window in the ceiling. It seemed like a really nice, comfortable library.
“Our dormitories our up this way Anna.” Said Rose, pulling me gently towards one staircase. “We’ll show you out dormitory.” She and Lizzie led the way up the stairs, following another big bunch of girls. We had to climb a lot of stairs until we reached what was supposed to be our dormitory. The door was open already, and there were two other girls inside, unpacking clothes and other girl stuff. One of them smiled at our arrival.
“Hi Rose, Lizzie!” She said, smiling. She spoke with a slight Irish accent and had plain, dark, nondescript hair and a warm face.
“Hey Erin!” Lizzie said. “How was your summer holiday?”
“It was great, yours?”
“Good. Oh, this is Anna, by the way. She’s new this year. She’s a year older, but she hasn’t been sorted yet, so she’ll be staying with us in the extra bed.” She explained, introducing me.
“Wow, it’s nice to meet you! My name’s Erin!” She smiled and pulled me into a hug. So
Erin was a friendly person. Fantastic.
I smiled back as best as I could, responding, “Same here.”
“Well Anna, here’s your bed.” Rose gestured to a four-poster bed closest to the door, adjacent to a window. I saw that my trunk had already been set neatly at the foot of the bed, with my favorite pair of boxers and t-shirt laid out for me. The other girls were either changing into them now or they had already changed into them a while ago. I quickly changed and brushed my teeth in the bathroom we shared, and then climbed into bed.
“Goodnight, Anna.” Rose said, climbing into the bed next to mine.
“Nigh’ Anna” Said Lizzie sleepily from across the way.
I could still hear Erin and the other girl in the bathroom, but eventually they both stumbled into bed and drew their hangings. Once mine were securely drawn, I lay on top of the huge comforter and tried to relax.
You see, I tend to get insomnia at night sometimes. I either wake up really hot, and can’t fall back asleep, or I just don’t feel sleepy no matter what I try. Fortunately, I fell asleep pretty easily, and dreamt of quidditch tryouts. It wasn’t a particularly long dream, but I do remember trying out for Beater and smashing one of the Slytherins in the head with my bat. I was then rudely awoken, by someone practically shouting in my ear.
“Anna! Get up! You’re going to be late for Breakfast!” So they were shouting. I opened my eyes to see Rose’s face hovering over mine, the light from the window streaming through the hole Rose had created with my bed’s hangings. She was fully dressed, shaking me from my slumber, tangled in my blankets.
“Finally!” She cried. “That took forever! You must be the hardest sleeper I know!” She opened my hangings completely as I stumbled out of bed. “You had better hurry! Classes start in an hour and we need to have breakfast and get our schedules! Everyone else is probably already down there!”
I ignored her and went into the bathroom and brushed my teeth, getting rid of my horrible morning breath. I then redid my ponytail, combing my fingers through my hair as best as I could. I ended up rushing after Rose pulling my shoes on with my robes and borrowed Ravenclaw tie over my shoulder along with my book bag. She pulled me through the nearly- empty common room then through the hole and down about fifty bazillion hundred flights of stairs. Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually a great natural runner, but it was like seven in the morning and had just woken up four and a half minutes ago. So I was still lagging behind as we entered the Great Hall, Rose panting for breath from the run down stairs and me yawning groggily.
We found Lizzie sitting with Scorp and John at the long table, enjoying breakfast. They looked up as Rose stumbled into a seat next to Lizzie across from Scorp, still panting for breath. I sleepily sat down next to John.
“Where the hell have you been?” Asked Lizzie.
“Anna took forever to wake up.” Rose explained. “I didn’t realize how bad it would be to get her up.”
They all looked at me. “Does anyone have the coffee?” I grumbled, speaking for the first time in the five minutes I had been awake.
“So I take it you’re not a morning person, then.” John concluded, biting into an apple noisily.
“Is your hair green?” I countered.
“Not that I know of.” He mused. “Oh, and the coffee is down there, looks like Lorc and Lysander have it.”
I grumbled as I stood up and ventured over to them clumsily, retrieving the coffee, otherwise known as the nectar of Merlin.
The steam wafted up to my face as I poured my first cup once I had sat back down. I gulped it down thirstily before pouring another one, feeling the effects already. My eyes opened completely, and I didn’t feel as groggy.
“Ahh.” I sighed. “That’s some damn good coffee.”
“I can see that helped.” Scorp noted.
“There are two things that wake me up in the morning.” I explained. “The sound of fire, or coffee.”
“Well that’s just silly.” Remarked Lizzie. “Fire doesn’t have a noise.”
“Yes it does. It sounds like the wind, except not.” I then continued to fill my plate with eggs, bacon and sausage, stuffing my face from the hunger I always feel in the morning.
As I cleared my plate, a woman with shiny black hair came around down our table and handed us our schedules. “John, Lizzie, here are yours.” She said kindly.
“Thank you Professor Chang.” Lizzie said sweetly.
“Rose, Mr. Malfoy, here are yours.” She glanced at me. “You must be the new student, am I correct?” She asked.
“Well, I have your schedule here somewhere.” She rustled around her stack for a bit. “Ah, here we are, Anna. Good to have you as a temporary Ravenclaw. Have a good day, all of you.” She smiled.
My schedule for the day looked like this:
Anastasia- 5th Year
Transfiguration- Professor McGonagall, 5th floor
Care of Magical Creatures- Professor Hagrid, grounds
Herbology- Professor Longbottom, Greenhouses
Potions- Professor Slughorn, Dungeons
Defense Against the Dark Arts- Professor Thomas, 6th floor
“So, what do the rest of your schedules look like then?” I asked after reading through my Timetable.
“Mine seems okay.” John said.
“Same.” Said Scorp.
Lizzie and Rose had already headed off to charms, which they had first with the rest of the fourth years in Ravenclaw.
We compared schedules, Scorp, John and I. We had our basic classes together, as well as Care of Magical creatures, while I had Astronomy with Scorp on Wednesday nights, and Muggle studies with John every Tuesday and Thursday.
“Well, guess we better head to Transfiguration then.” Said Scorp.
“Yeah, ol’ Minnie will have a cow if we’re late.” John added.
I laughed, following them through the doors of the Great Hall, pulling on my robes. I was still tying (wrestling with) my tie when we walked into the class and snagged a couple of seats towards the back of class.
“Here, let me help with that.” John said, taking my tie from around my neck, and tying it loosely around his. He slipped it off and handed it back to me, stringing it around my neck.
I snorted. “I do know how to tie a tie thank you very much.”
“You’re welcome then.” He said, smirking.
Then a bell rang and all the students settled into their seats, pulling out fresh rolls of parchment and quills.
I pulled out my textbook and parchment along with a pen. I know, it’s against tradition, but I just can’t stand using those quills.
“Welcome to your first O.W.L. level Transfiguration lesson. To succeed in this class, you will need to be able to understand the basics of your past years in this class as well as be able to apply that which I teach you in this course. So anyone who does not possess the ability to do so can leave now.” Professor McGonagall spoke severely. No one spoke or even moved a muscle. I actually considered leaving as I wasn’t sure what I was doing in a level 5 Transfiguration class, but decided against it as McGonagall stared me and the rest of the class down. This was a strict one.
“Before we begin, I would like you all to pick up your things and come up to the front of the room. I will be assigning you seats so that there are no unnecessary distractions during my class.” Everybody obliged, traveling towards the front into one large pack. She conjured up a list and told each of us where to sit.
“Anastasia, you will be sitting back there, next to Ms. Ceanne.” I looked over to where she was referring. There was a girl with perfectly curled blonde hair gracefully sitting down at the desk I was to share with her. I gathered my things and marched over there, feeling all the eyes in the room on me once again. I noticed I would be sitting right behind John and another guy from Hufflepuff, who we shared the period with.
“Hi, you must be Anna. I’m Arabella.” The girl said quietly as I sat down next to her.
“Yeah, that’s me. Nice to meet you.” I said, trying to be as friendly as possible.
“So, where did you go to school before here?” She whispered.
“I didn’t really go anywhere before here.”
“Oh, so you were homeschooled!” She automatically assumed.
“Yeah, you could say that.” I said, figuring it was the easiest response.
“Hey, I didn’t know your full name was Anastasia.” Whispered John, turning around in his seat to face me.
“Yeah, well, it never came up.” I said. Arabella seemed to perk up at the sight of John turning around to talk to us.
“Hi John!” She whispered excitedly.
“Hey Arabella. So, you know a lot of transfiguration, Anna?” He said plainly.
“No, not really.” I said honestly.
“Oh, well I’m really good at it, so you’ll be fine as long as you stick with me!” Arabella interjected.
“Um, yeah, okay.” I agreed.
“Now, today we will begin by reviewing the material from last semester.” Spoke McGonagall from the front of the room. John turned around and we began to get to work.
This was brutal, as I only knew the most basic of Transfiguration spells. By the end of the hour, McGonagall seemed to notice that I was having trouble converting my parakeet into a lemon and offered for me to come and take special lessons with her to get myself caught up. I agreed, embarrassed.
Care of Magical Creatures seemed to go better. I liked Professor Hagrid, and we were studying Nifflers, the little black fuzzy things that could smell out gold.
By the time lunch rolled around, I was practically brain dead. Thankfully, this was nothing a good serving of Shepard’s pie couldn’t fix. After Lunch came Herbology.
As we entered the steamy greenhouses, we found a table to sit at with a guy who introduced himself to me as Robert. He had wavy black hair and dark brown eyes with tan skin. He shared a dormitory with John and Scorp.
“So, you guys ready? I heard we have to collect Butober pus as a review assignment. Girls tend to scream and run so it will probably just be us three for the most part.” He said, blatantly ignoring me.
I cleared my throat loudly. “Ahem.” He looked at me expectantly. “I resent that. In fact, just show me how to do it, and I’ll lead the group. I think I’ve handled a lot worse than some stupid pus.” In fact, I had, but I’ll get into that later.
“Well, then. I think this will be a good group.” Said Scorp uncomfortably, sensing the awkwardness. I was still staring down Robert when the professor showed up. He stood at the front of all the groups, explaining the exercise. It sounded simple enough to extract the pus. He gazed across the class whilst explaining the procedure with which to separate the pus from plant parts, when he made eye contact with me briefly. He gave me a cursory glance before stumbling over his sentence and looking back at me. His eyebrows creased and he seemed confused, but he shook his head slightly and moved on before I could think anything of it.
He came around distributing the plants then, passing out thick gloves and safety gloves to go with. “Well then, let’s get to it.” I said, snapping my goggles on. The three guys just stared at me weirdly.
“Come on, what are you gawking at? Let’s get going!” I then proceeded to begin the task of squeezing out the pus, which was quite satisfying. The guys helped amid screams of squeamish girls, which Professor Longbottom was trying to suppress, the loudest of which was the Arabella girl from Transfiguration.
“EWWWW!!! It’s in my hair!” She squealed. I tried not to laugh at this, I really did, but I couldn’t help it. She just looked so funny. John began to laugh with me then the others joined in. We all took a few more goes, making sure to separate the pus from the plant parts. We had collected a pretty decent amount from our plant, squeezing it dry, way before the rest of the class.
A disheveled Longbottom dismissed us, telling us to leave and go get cleaned up before our last class. We cleaned up our station and left the greenhouses, laughing and picking chunks of the stuff from our hair. We had managed to get most of the stuff out by the time we got to potions, where we joined the rest of the pus covered Ravenclaws and Slytherins, who we shared the period with.
Potions went almost as bad as Transfiguration had, but almost as embarrassing. At least we got to choose our seats. I sat with John and Scorp at a table along with another quiet Slytherin guy.
“Welcome to your first O.W.L. level potions class!” Said the professor, Professor Slughorn, cheerily. “To begin our course, Headmistress Umbridge has asked me to have you all complete and pass a short safety exam issued by the Ministry for your personal safety before we continue on with any dangerous substances.” He seemed a little put-off about this whole safety exam thing but he continued to pass out the exam packets to all the students.
“You have the whole hour to complete this quiz. Do your best and when you finish, bring it up to me, and I will correct it. You should find it easy, so you may begin.” He went and sat down at his desk and began to work, leaving us to our exam.
I stared down at the first question.
1. If I were to be required to make the antidote for any negatively balanced potion, I should avoid:
a. Adding pig urine
b. Mixing the antidote with scaly substances
c. Boiling/ broiling the substance to over 900 degrees C
d. All of the above said.
What the hell? I looked around. Everyone else seemed to be getting it easily, so I took my best guess and moved along.
Some of the questions were common sense, even for me, like;
28. What would you do in case of a fire erupting in or near your cauldron?
43. If the person next to you sets your potion ablaze, you should…
I finally reached the last question when most of the class had finished.
75. If my potion were to begin to emit a sulfurous odor, I should:
a. Inform the professor
b. Ring the emergency alarm
c. Ignore it and move along
d. It is probably just my neighbor
I nearly laughed out loud at this question, but instead restrained myself to shaking violently, laughing internally as I circled the correct answer. (Or what I thought it would be.) I turned it in and the class was dismissed shortly after. Overall, it had been an interesting day. Of course, I was still behind in most of my classes, but what could I do? Nothing right this instance.
Well, I hoped you enjoyed this chapter! I know things may seem weird or bad right now, but I promise that things will make sense soon. Like, what the hippogriff is Umbridge doing at Hogwarts, the old coot! Thank you so much for those who have reviewed! At this point, the story has had 1400 reads!!!!! Thanks so much to you all! Now I'd just like to hear from all you people! Tell me what you think so I can make my story better!!
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