Beautiful chapter image by SophieScarlette @ TDA!
I am hopeless at riddles. This is an extremely bad thing because, being a Ravenclaw, we have to answer riddles to access our common room.
"What is greater than God and more evil than the devil? The poor have it will the rich need it and if you eat it, you will die," the eagle said and I swear I could hear it smirk.
"I don't know. Can't you just let me it?" I wheedled. The eagle just stared blankly into the air.
"Could you give me a different riddle then?" I asked hopefully.
"Pronounced as one letter but written with three only two different letters are used to make me. I'm double I'm single I'm black blue and grey. I'm read from both ends and the same either way," the eagle said.
Damn, this one wasn't any easier.
"Look," I said desperately, "I come in here all the time with others. I'm just not good at riddles. Please let me in, I just need to pick up my potions text book."
"It is the beginning of eternity, the end of time and space, the beginning of the end, and the end of every space. What is it?" The eagle asked.
I sighed softly. I was never going to make it to potions.
"It's the letter 'e'," Louis said from behind me.
"How do you know?" I asked sceptically. Louis just stepped past me and opened the door. Damn, I was sort of hoping he was wrong.
"I could help you, you know," Louis suddenly offered when I was halfway up the stairs.
"Riddles and stuff."
"I'll be fine," I said and headed back up the stairs.
"The eagle gave you ones he normally saves for the first years," Louis called up after me.
"Shut up, Louis!" I yelled back.
"So yeah, I reckon you need help," Louis joked when I came back down the stairs. I sighed.
"I'm not that bad."
"Yeah you are!" Louis teased. I hip bumped him and he nearly tripped over.
Oh dear Merlin, I did not just giggle.
"Ah ha! See, you don't really hate me, do you?" Louis said and gave me huge puppy dog eyes. Merlin, who could resist that?
"No, of course not. I just don't really approve of your initiation thing," I said and pushed open the door to the Potions Class room.
"Maddy, come to my locker with me?" I ask my best friend softly.
"Nah, let's stay here," Maddy brushes my question off and goes back to her lunch.
We're sitting in the packed cafeteria. Girls are chatting and gossiping all around me but I might as well be sitting by myself.
"Maddy, please," I beg her as tears prickled the back of my eyes lids. Maddy must have heard the desperation in my voice as she looked at me and stood up.
One girl looks at me. She knows something is up but she doesn't say anything. She looks for a little too long but then glances away.
Maddy and I start the long walk to my locker. It's dead silent outside, with most of the girls sitting in the cafeteria or sitting as far away from the classrooms as possible.
"Mads, she's telling my parents," I eventually break the silence. My voice echoes all around us and I wince. Maddy doesn't even ask what I'm talking about: instead, she just nods.
"It might not be such a bad thing, you know, Tessa," she says.
"Are you kidding me?" I say, "It's the worst possible thing."
We fall into silence as we reach my locker. I grab my drink bottle and skull half of it in one go.
"You know what pisses me off the most?" I slam the locker shut, "She didn't even give me a fucking choice. She told me that she would never tell anyone anything but she just randomly goes 'oh hey, Tessa. I'm going to tell your parents'."
"Tessa," Maddy turns face on to me, "You do realise that what you have is a serious condition, right? You do realise you could die!"
Her words echo around me and it finally sinks.
You could die.
You could die.
YOU COULD DIE
"But I still don't want them to know," I say weakly.
“Tessa,” Maddy sighs, “I think I should tell you something.”
“What?” Maddy ignores my question and stares off into the distance.
“It might help you with everything you’re going through,” Maddy says off handed.
“What is it?”
“I’ve been struggling from depression for the last three years,” Maddy says and then glances at me and quickly looks away.
“Are you ok now?” I ask softly.
“Yeah, it’s fine now,” Maddy says, “Mum made me go to a psychiatrist. I had to take antidepressant pills.”
For some reason, I can deal with this. I can deal with my best friends going through depression and having to go to a psychiatrist and taking happy pills but the thought of myself going through it all makes me want to throw up.
“It helps, Tessa,” Maddy says and hugs me, “Things are going to get better. I promise.”
I was absolutely smashed by the end of the week. The amount of homework the teachers gave us was ridiculous. Their excuse was they needed to prepare us for our O.W.L.’s but who could be bothered writing 3 essays due in a few days?
We were eating lunch when Headmistress McGonagall stood up to make an announcement.
“This year, Hogwarts is starting a new initiative,” she said, “It is a pen pal project.” All the first years started chatting excitedly but us older students just groaned.
“This is so gay,” Louis whispered from next to me.
“It sounds fun!” Kelly exclaimed and flicked her hair. McGonagall called for silence.
“During your next lesson, you will find out your partners. You must write the letters in your own time and you may reveal to your pen pal your true identity,” McGonagall said and then raised her hand when the chatting started up again.
“The purpose of this new initiative is not only for fun but for you to get to know someone without any prejudice or preconceptions about them or their reputation."
I stared blankly at the letter in my hand. Who did this ‘Disaster Button’ think he or she was?
And it was a really random name. Ok, let’s be fair, so was mine…but still!
I’d picked the name out of the hat which had been especially charmed to make sure each pair picked each other’s name out of the hat.
That is an extremely random name.
Anyhow, I don’t really get what the point of this project is. My Potions teacher just told us to write about ourselves without outright telling you who we are so here goes nothing.
I’m 16 and I live for Quidditch.
My penpal name is Disaster Button. You might think this is a really random name but it’s my favourite song from my favourite muggle band name Snow Patrol. You should listen to them some time. They are amazing.
Anyway, I’ve run out of things to write so yeah.
From Disaster Button
I scrunched the letter up and felt like ripping into little tiny miniscule pieces. I knew it wasn't their fault, but Snow Patrol was Julia's favourite band.
How did they know? Or was it just a coincidence?
I put down the letter and looked around the Great Hall. I looked for any suspicious looking people. Hmmm, other than those Slytherins, everything was pretty normal. Then again, Slytherins were always looking dodgy.
“Ohhh, is that your pen pal letter?” Rose said as she sat down next to me.
“Yeah,” I said and put it down on the table, “Do you know who it is?”
Rose tilted her head sideways so she could get a better look at the letter.
“The handwriting seems familiar,” she said. I looked at the messy tilted scrawl and decided that it belonged to someone very interesting.
“Have you gotten one yet?” I asked her.
“Nah,” she shook her head, “I’m going to send the first one tonight.”
“I have no idea what to reply,” I sighed, “What’s the point of this anyway?”
“Don’t you know?” Rose said, surprised.
“Um, no,” I said.
“Have you heard of Voldemort?” Rose asked. Her eye brows shot up when I shook my head.
“Well, he was the darkest wizard of all time. Her waged was against muggles and muggle-borns. The Slytherins were famous for being Voldemort supporters. They were pure blood fanatics. Now, have you heard of Harry Potter?” Rose asked.
“Is he by any chance related to James Potter?” I asked.
“Yep, Harry is his father. Harry was prophesied to be the only wizard to be able to defeat Voldemort, which he did but the war created a huge division amongst the houses,” Rosie said, “Things are supposed to be better now but most students still think there are huge house rivalries.”
“But James and Fred and Louis are friends and they are in two different houses,” I pointed out.
“Yeah, but that’s different. They’re cousins. They were tight before they had even heard of Hogwarts,” Rose said.
“Oh, that makes sense, I guess,” I said and pushed my food around my plate.
"So ever since then, there's been a rift between the houses, especially between Slytherin and Gryffindor and the professors have been trying to mend it forever but it's just not working. Me and Albus figured that this is, like, McGonagall's last ditch attempt." Rose explained.
"Who's Albus?" I asked, "Your boyfriend?" Rose laughed.
"No, he's my cousin. He's in Slytherin but we still get along. Us Weasleys and Potters are spread in every house but we don't hate each other because we're family," Rose said. We eventually feel into a comfortable silence.
“What’s it like?” I suddenly said. Rose looked at me in surprise.
“What’s what like?”
“Having a big family,” I said.
“It’s great!” Rose exclaimed, “It’s never boring, especially with all my cousins, they’re amazing.”
“I would love to have a big family,” I said wistfully.
“Do you have any brothers or sisters?” Rose asked. I shook my head.
“It’s just mum and I,” I replied. Saw Roses mouth open, presumably to ask me about my father, but it quickly snapped shut.
Thank you, Merlin.
“Sometimes being in a big family is hard,” Rose said, “Sometimes people with bigger personalities can overpower you and sometimes you can feel a bit left out.”
“Rosie!” James bellowed as he came rushing into the Great Hall.
“What’s this about Wood and you I hear?” He came charging up to us and sat next to me.
“Nothing,” Rose shrugged but I could tell it wasn’t nothing by the way she furiously blushed.
“Nothing my arse, Rose Weasley!” James exclaimed, “You are going to tell him right after dinner that you will not
be attending Hogsmeade with him and that you do not
like him and that he is to leave you alone and never ever ever come near you again!!
Rose was furious. Her face matched her hair and she looked ready to explode.
“LEAVE ME ALONE, JAMES POTTER!” She screamed. I edged slightly away from her. What happened to lovely friendly Rose who seemed slightly understanding?
and will not
tell me who I can and who I can’t go out with!” Rose hissed. Holy mother of Merlin, she was scary when she was angry, “I am going to Hogsmeade with Luke and you can’t stop me!” Rose stood up and looked ready to tip her pumpkin juice all over James but, instead, she stood up and stalked out of the hall.
“Don’t forget to tell him the part where he’s got to stay away from you!” James yelled after her.
“Well…” I said awkwardly. Dear Merlin, why did you have to make me so tongue-tied around guys?
“I heard about the initiation thing,” James said casually and I got the feeling that he was trying to fish for information.
“Yep, jumping off the tower isn’t fun,” I said and shrugged.
“It sounds wicked!” James grinned at me. I stared at him.
“Are you serious?” I said.
“Well, now that you say it, Sirius is
my middle name,” James said and his grin spread across his face, lighting up his eyes.
“No way,” I said, realising that I had walked right into that one, even if I didn’t know his middle name was Sirius.
I shook my head but a small smile touched my lips.
a.n. Hello my lovely readers!
So what do you think of the pen pal project? I would love to have a secret pen pal. It would be so fun.
Oh, and did anyone get the Hunger Games reference? *hint* Tribute *hint* You may have realised by now that I love the Hunger Games.
And has anyone figured out the answer to the two unanswered riddles right at the beginning of this chapter?
1. What is greater than God and more evil than the devil? The poor have it will the rich need it and if you eat it, you will die.
2. Pronounced as one letter but written with three only two different letters are used to make me. I'm double I'm single I'm black blue and grey. I'm read from both ends and the same either way.
Brownie points to anyone who knows the answer and I'll include the answers in the next chapter!