Chapter 1 : Chapter One
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The Hogwarts Express rumbled through the countryside as a large storm thundered all around it. The passengers seemingly unaware of the torrential downpour and booming thunder just outside of their warm compartments as they caught up with all the details of their friends summers and talked about who had gotten more attractive over the break.
Mildred Finlay was curled up in a ball, sleeping soundly on her new Herbology book ‘Flesh-Eating Trees of the World’, her fluffy cat purred happily by her side. Books of all types were resting all around the compartment in a mess, having been scattered around as Mildred finished one book, and hunted for the next. It was a long journey to Hogwarts after all. The doors to the compartment suddenly slid open with a loud bang, startling both Mildred and her cat, Jinx – Mildred fell off her chair, and Jinx bolted out of the compartment in fright from Lily Evan’s piercing voice.
“Honestly Mildred, I reminded you before we got on the train that there would be a prefect meeting during the last half an hour of our journey! You forgot last year too, seriously, just how useless are you? It’s the first day of the school year and you’ve already forgotten something important. You’re supposed to be a Prefect for Merlins sake!” Lily snapped at the girl who had just woken up. “Be there in five minutes, or I will advise Professor Dumbledore that you should not be a Prefect anymore. I never knew a Ravenclaw could be so dim,” she continued before storming off to the Prefect’s compartment, leaving Mildred staring at the empty space Lily had just occupied.
In a rush, Mildred started picking up all her books, piling them into her arms before realising she couldn’t actually reach her bag to return them to when she heard a soft voice from behind her. “Um, sorry to interrupt, but it looks like you need a little help, would you like a hand?” She turned to find Remus Lupin standing in the spot Lily had occupied not too long ago, his sandy blonde hair hanging just above his eyes. Startled to find him there Mildred dropped all her books, sending them scattering around her compartment once more.
Before Mildred could even utter a groan, Remus started picking up some of the books that landed near him. Mildred stood staring at Remus in awe, thinking that he was probably the nicest guys at Hogwarts, before realising that she should probably help him pick up her own books. In a minute, her books were packed away in her bag and Remus and her were walking towards the Heads Compartment for the Prefect Meeting.
“Sorry about Lily, she’s already acting like she’s Head Girl and she’s not even in her final year, though you were late to last years prefect meeting too, weren’t you?” He asked her, chuckling at the memory.
“Well, that’s Lily for you I suppose and um, yeah, I was a bit … distracted last year, I suppose you could say.” She replied, thinking back to the journey to Hogwarts last year, when she actually had friends, and a boyfriend. She may not have had the popularity that the Marauders have, or even Lily Evans, but she had friends and she was happy, and now… Now she was alone.
Remus and Mildred continued on in silence as Mildred reminisced on the last year. “Don’t you need to get changed into your robes?” Remus asked as he looked down at Mildred’s outfit. Mildred snapped out of her thoughts quickly and looked down too, realising that she indeed had to change into her robes, as she wouldn’t have a chance after the meeting. Her face flushed a little red, and she nodded to Remus and headed off towards the bathroom, leaving him standing there alone.
After another five minutes, Mildred made it to the Prefects’ compartment where the meeting was already underway. Silently as she could, she sat on the outskirts of everyone near a window – ignoring the glares she was receiving from Lily, the Slytherins and her fellow Ravenclaws. As the meeting went on, Mildred couldn’t focus on anything except wanting the whole thing to end and paid more attention to the rain splattering across the compartments window than what was being said.
Slowly, and finally, the Hogwarts Express came winding down to a stop at Hogsmeade Station. The Heads and Prefects were always first off the train, as the first years usually came straight after them and chaos generally occurred. They all went running towards Professor Kettleburn, who would lead them to the boats but sometimes they got a little too excited. One girl had been so excited last year she ran straight into the water, completely missing the boat she had tried to get on.
Mildred walked around the station alone, glad the rain had ceased, looking for Jinx who she hadn’t seen since Lily had rudely scared her away, and to make sure there were no first years who were about to miss the boats. Not having any luck finding Jinx or first years, she made her way towards the carriages – hoping she would be lucky enough to find one by herself. There were only a few carriages left and unfortunately most were full, with the exception of a single carriage. This carriage had two Ravenclaws in it, the only two Ravenclaws in the world that Mildred Finlay did not want to see ever again; Alexis Mistrel and Oliver Waters.
Mildred silently climbed aboard the carriage and pulled out a book as an excuse to not have any form of communication with them. She was doing very well at not talking to them, considering Alexis shared a dorm with her and Oliver had shared every single class with her, she hadn’t spoken to them since May. Since the day she found them in the corner of the library, wrapped around each other, snogging their hearts out. Her boyfriend of almost a year, and the one girl she thought she could trust.
The carriage ride seemed like it was the slowest thing in the world. Both Oliver and Alexis tried to make conversation with her, asking about her summer, about her family, complimenting her haircut or something like that, but each time Mildred looked up she saw their hands entwined together and how close they were sitting and she hid behind her book again, holding back the tears that threatened to slip out.
As soon as they arrived at Hogwarts, Mildred was off the carriage and walking towards The Great Hall as fast as she could. She took her seat at the end of the Ravenclaw table, not too close to anyone but not far away enough that it allowed other people to sit near her. She watched as the first years were sorted, remembering her sorting. She was a near hat-stall. The Sorting Hat had taken four minutes and fifty-eight seconds to sort her and had very strongly considered her to be a Gryffindor, but in the end decided she was better suited to Ravenclaw. She was glad she was in Ravenclaw though as it meant she generally wasn’t made fun of for spending most of her spare time in the library and didn’t have to share a dorm with Lily Evans.
After the first years had been sorted, the wonderful feast appeared. One thing Mildred loved about Dumbledore was that he didn’t have long and unnecessary speeches before the feast because he knew how hungry the students were by then. Everyone dug into the glorious food that the House Elves had prepared, and as it was all winding down Dumbledore stood up for his speech.
“Welcome back old students and welcome new students! I hope you all enjoy your year back at least half as much as you enjoyed tonight’s feast.” His eyes sparkled as he chuckled. “A few reminders, the Forbidden Forest is indeed, Forbidden. Also, Mr Filch has asked me to remind you that any items used for pranks are not permitted, and also I would like to say please do not try to challenge the Whomping Willow. It is a marvellous tree, but can cause quite some damage if you go near it. With that, you will receive your time tables tomorrow morning so please go rest your heads for your lessons tomorrow!”
With that, the students returned to their chatter as they got up from the table and headed to their dorms. Mildred knew she was supposed to have Prefect duties tonight, such as showing the first years to the common room but instead she headed straight there herself without bothering. She was first in her year back, and she was glad she didn't have to deal with any of the other girls. Not bothering to unpack or shower, she got changed into her pyjamas, climbed into bed and shut her curtains: the only thing on her mind was when Jinx would show up. Jinx was half-Kneazle, and very intelligent so Mildred didn't worry too much, and she fell asleep not long after her head hit the fluffy pillow.
A/N: Thank-you for reading. I'm very nervous about posting this, but I thought it was time to share something back with this community. Leave a review if you have any feedback, it would be very much appreciated :)