Chapter 1 : First.
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Meg frowned and let herself be pushed along with the other students in the crowd that were making their way to the Great Hall. She didn’t know what was happening.
-Maybe it’s an emergency assembly?-
-I heard that Harry Potter was here with news!-
-Will you stop pushing!?-
“I don’t have a good feeling about this.”
Meg looked to her right at the voice and saw her best friend shake her head and blow her blonde hair away from her face. She couldn’t help but agree. It was a normal Tuesday evening at Hogwarts, a week back from the summer holidays, when everyone had been called down to the Great Hall immediately for some news.
What could the news be? Meg thought to herself. She yelped quietly when a 7th year pushed her out of her way roughly and shrunk under her gaze. She grabbed Chloe’s hand and stayed behind her best friend, feeling safer. She hated being in crowds. There was no where to breath, or think, and her skin was itching from feeling so much contact with the other students, who were sweating and shouting loudly because of the current situation.
After what seemed like hours they had reached the doors of the hall and everyone rushed to their houses tables, obviously wanting to be with their friends when the news was told. Meg sat down opposite Chloe on the Gryffindor table and looked around with her in search of their two other friends. It didn’t take long to spot the lanky, brown-haired boy and the black-haired hyperactive girl who were already making their way over to Meg and Chloe.
“What do you think is going on? Everyone keeps saying it’s something to do with the Ministry!” Amanda basically jumping next to Meg on the bench and put her hands out on the table, looking eagerly on to her friends.
“It could be anything really, we shouldn’t believe anything until they tell us exactly what it is,” Michael pointed a finger at a pouting Amanda and sat next to Chloe.
Meg nodded at what he said and looked around the hall for any sign or clue of what was going to be told to the whole school. She could see the nervous first years, huddling together and most likely reassuring each other that everything was alright. The second to fourth years seemed like they were trying to act calm, and pretend that this is all exciting them, but from what Meg could see they looked scared stiff. The fifth to seventh years were much like Meg and her little group of friends, just curious as to what was happening and making up rumours that could possibly make the little ones start to cry.
She still wasn’t feeling comfortable with the amount of noise and the atmosphere that was in the hall. Slowly, she wrapped her arms around her waist and slouched downwards a little, trying to stop the contact that she was feeling from the people rushing past her.
Chloe obviously seemed to notice and she put a hand on her Meg’s saying, “Hey, the noise will quiet down in a minute, don’t worry about it,” she smiled kindly and Meg loosened up a bit, nodding in gratitude.
She was so grateful for having Chloe Parker as her best friend, and felt bad for never being able to tell her. Even though Chloe was stunning and could pull of as being related to any of the Veela siblings, she decides to put up with Meg’s irrational issues and shyness. She puts up with her insecurities and occasional breakdowns. Sometimes, Meg dares to think that Chloe is just friends for her out of pity, but quickly put that thought away, not wanting to ponder on it.
“But it wouldn’t hurt to think a little bigger?” Amanda questioned Michael with a smirk.
Amanda was the bubbly, cute, adorable, delicate and whatever else means the same thing as ‘popular’ one of the little group. She had short, black pixie cut and a Beater’s body. She’s also oblivious to the fact that she can turn heads by just walking into a room.
“Bigger? That isn’t thinking bigger! That’s just making things up!” Michael said back.
Being the only boy in the group, he did often get weird looks, and someone started a rumour last year that he was gay- but he stated it false. He’s the one that keeps everyone sane and is always calm and collected, thinking logically all the time. Undoubtedly he was attractive, he had the hair that he needed to swish to the side every few minutes and girls seemed to love that about him. Frankly, it got on Meg’s nerves and she was tempted to cut it off with a kitchen knife.
That was them. It had been just the four since her first year at Hogwarts, Meg, Michael, Amanda and Chloe.
Amanda was about to reply to Michael when Chloe shushed her and motioned to the front of the hall. Professor Sprout, the headmistress, was standing there, with the other teachers at the table, an unfamiliar looking man stood next to her. He looked rather disturbing. He had short, curly hair, very big glasses and a smile that looked forced and never left his face.
But what really made everyone gasp in amazement and turn around to talk about was the fact that the Minister of Magic and Harry Potter were present too! Kingsley Shacklebolt was looking on at the students without any expression, whereas Harry Potter was smiling at everyone. Meg widened her eyes. Being a muggle-born, she hadn’t heard of Voldemort, the war or anything to do with Harry Potter until Chloe had filled her in, and decided that seeing the Minister and Harry Potter was the equivalent of meeting the Prime Minister and Prince William in the muggle-world.
“Quiet please, students!” Professor Sprout shouted, and her voice echoed throughout the whole hall. Silence fell quickly. “Now, as you already know, you’ve all be called into the Great Hall for some exciting news. I won’t say more from there, but hand it over to Professor Reginald Fletcher!” She clapped and the students quickly clapped after her.
Professor Fletcher walked up to the stand, smiling modestly, and coughed before speaking.
“Thank you, Professor Sprout, for that warm welcome, and for inviting me to this wonderful school! I am a professor, as you know, but I teach at a school in the muggle-world, specifically in the apartment of the mind.” His voice sounded a bit nasal, and whilst speaking he put a finger to his forehead and tapped it three times, looking around at the students closely.
Michael scoffed. “What a nutter.” Meg nodded in agreement and decided she didn’t like the look of this professor.
“What does he teach anyway?” Amanda whispered, mainly to Meg, knowing she was a muggle and might know.
“Something to do with the mind, so maybe psychiatry?” Meg answered her. They all gave her confused looks and Meg continued: “Basically like a healer, but they learn things about the mind specifically” They nodded in understanding.
Professor Fletcher started to speak again. “I am here today to inform you with a new...project, I have come up with, and thought that Hogwarts students would be the best subjects- sorry, people, to test it out on. Now, this project is only for 5th to 7th years, and I have looked over every single one of your files, records, backing history, health papers and grades, and have chosen 8 students, one boy and one girl from 5th year, 2 boys and 2 girls from the 6th and finally one boy and one girl from the 7th, who I think are the most able for this project. If you are chosen, consider yourselves lucky, and cleverer than your peers. You will all be informed more of the test once we have our players.” He smiled rather oddly at the students again and handed it over to Professor Sprout.
“Well, isn’t that exciting children! Thank you for that, Professor Fletcher. We have the names of the chosen pupils on this scroll. We only saw it fit for the Minister and Harry Potter himself to read them out. The Minister will read out the 7th and one pair of the 6th year students, and Mr. Potter the others. If your name has been called, please come up and stand facing the hall. Whenever you’re ready, Minister.”
Kingsley Shacklebolt smiled at her and opened his scroll, reading it, looking around the hall and said: “From 7th year, Sylvia Rolfe from Gryffindor and John Clarke from Hufflepuff.”
The hall erupted into applause, but no-one knew what for. The pupils who had just been called up stood and walked to the front of the hall, shaking hands with both the Minister and Mr. Potter. They smiled, but everyone could tell they were feeling anxious.
John Clarke was the definition of the school jock. Caption of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team, body that girls would die to see for themselves and that smirk that everyone seems to melt under. It’s a surprise to most people how he got into Hufflepuff. He had tanned skin, toned arms and dirty blonde hair that seemed to stick up in different directions.
Chloe sighed dreamily at him, which made Meg roll her eyes. Chloe had had a crush on him since forever, and it irritated Meg to no end when she went on and on about how perfect he was and that they were going to get married one day.
But that obviously wasn’t going to happen, because John already had a girlfriend, who was Sylvia Rolfe. She had long black hair that went down her back in spirals and had the face that some girls probably hurt themselves to have. She was kind and was liked very much throughout the whole school.
Shacklebolt continued after the noise had quietened down. “First pair from 6th year, Mary Finnigan from Ravenclaw and Albus Potter from Slytherin.”
Silence fell in the hall. Everyone looked to Harry Potter for his reaction which was one of slight amusement and anxiousness. He had raised his eyebrows and actually checked the scroll Shacklebolt was reading to see his son’s name.
After a moment of silence, everyone on the Slytherin table started to cheer, along with everyone in the Wotter clan, who were scattered here and there in the hall. Albus and Mary stood up from their tables and walked to the front of the hall, doing the same as the other too pupils. Mr. Potter patted Albus’ back and gave him a small smile.
Albus Potter was the only family member of the Wotter clan to be in Slytherin, which obviously put a slightly awkward space between himself and his family. He wasn’t loud, nor shy. But quiet, reserved and kept to himself. His best friend was the infamous Scorpius Malfoy, who everyone seemed to like. Being Harry Potter’s son he definitely gets lots of attention, from the girls in particular. Meg heard that once it got so bad he refused to leave his dormitory, stating that he’d turn gay if it stopped the girls from following him. He had short, messy hair, much like his father’s, and green eyes that everyone goes on and on about, but Meg hadn’t seem them close up before.
Amanda mocked the girls sitting near to them that were talking about how hot Albus is and what they’d do to him if they had him in a closet for 24 hours. Meg laughed quietly and Michael rolled his eyes.
Mary Finnigan was the daughter of Seamus Finnigan. That was all anyone knew about her. She didn’t like to have friends, and only had two close ones, (which included Rose Weasley). Her brown, wavy hair was always in a ponytail and if she didn’t like you she would let you know. Meg always avoided her whenever she spotted her walking down the same corridor. She was honestly very intimidated by her.
After the clapping stopped, Shacklebolt handed the scroll to Harry Potter and his voice rang through the hall.
“Last pair from 6th year, Hannah Ashdown from Hufflepuff and Peter Gregory from Ravenclaw.”
Everyone clapped, but the look on the faces of the pupils was obviously meaning ‘who?’ Hannah and Peter stood up and made their way to the front. Hannah had brown hair that was in a plait and looked quite short, but Peter looked almost has tall as John and his hair was just as blonde.
All the 5th year’s seemed to hold their breath as Mr. Potter read the last pair to himself.
It won’t be me. Meg thought to herself in relief. I’m no-one. She didn’t want it to be her anyway, as she hated too much attention and like to avoid it at all costs. She closed her eyes and waited for the names to be called quickly, so she could go back to her warm bed, finish the book she was reading, have a chocolate frog and go to sleep.
“From 5th year, Meg Crow from Gryffindor and Gavin Cooper from Slytherin.”
Meg’s eyes snapped open and she looked around in horror. Her friends were just as shocked. She then remembered what Professor Fletcher had said. “If you are chosen, consider yourselves lucky, and cleverer than your peers.”
Meg’s eyes widened. She was clever, but she definitely wouldn’t say she was one of the best. She looked at her friends, hoping that this was just a mistake and that Mr. Potter would apologise and say a different name. But he didn’t. And the hall was silent. Chloe tugged at Meg’s sleeve and encouraged her to get up.
She got up slowly; somehow she was still able to trip up on her robe and walked nervously to the front. She saw Gavin up there already, shaking hands with the Minister. Meg looked to the floor and shyly shook both their hands. She walked to stand next to Gavin and blushed under the gaze of everyone in the school. They were all thinking the same thing as her.
Why did she get chosen? She’s not even clever!
Merlin, does she even try and fix her hair in the morning?!
She’s a nobody and will fail this test.
She imagined what everyone was thinking and bit her lip, looking up a little and saw that the other chosen students were looking at her too with confusion. They didn’t know who she was. All apart from Gavin probably. They did have Herbology, DADA, Transfiguration and Potions together, so she’d be a bit disappointment if he didn’t know her.
“Well, those are our players! Give them a round of applause!” Professor Fletcher announced. He clapped in their direction and gave them a slightly scary smile.
She still couldn’t get over this. She was chosen. Out of everyone else in her year. Meg Crow. Silently, she thought that maybe be was clever, otherwise she wouldn’t be walking behind Harry Potter into a room, sitting down on a chair next to Professor Sprout with other very intelligent students and waiting for Professor Fletcher to speak.
Though she still thought it was a mistake. She spotted the scroll in Professor Sprouts lap, open and facing her. Slowly, without anyone looking, she craned her neck a little and let her mouth fall open a little when she saw her name in fancy lettering underneath Gavin’s.
Closing her eyes tightly, she wished this was just a bad dream, and pinched herself, but winced and sighed in defeat. She looked around the room that they were in, recognising it as the Trophy Room. It was quite big and it seemed to shine because of all the gold trophies, which made Meg squint her eyes a bit. She was sitting in the middle of Gavin and the headmistress, with everyone else in other chairs which made a little semi-circle.
“First things first, congratulations! If you ever doubted your purpose for living then revaluate yourselves! You’ve just been picked for my project! You are better than everyone else in that hall you just walked out of, you’re cleverer than them and in the long run make more out of yourselves. Well done!” Professor Fletcher exclaimed with wide arm movements. Meg frowned. She was a firm believer that everyone was equally important as their neighbours, and didn’t like the idea of what he told them. Suddenly he laughed such a high pitched laugh Meg had to cover her mouth to stop the giggle from erupting out of her.
“I won’t bombard your little heads for much longer, as I’m sure you all want some sleep. I will tell you more information tomorrow, for now, good night!”
Meg sighed and stood up straight away, walking towards the door and saw that Hannah was just has eager as her. She put out her hand to open the door when she was stopped by a loud yell which made both girls jump out of their skin.
“And where do you think you’re going?” Professor Fletcher said, walking towards them with a upset expression.
“Back to our dorms?” Hannah squeaked out.
“Oh no no no!” He shouted, putting a hand on each of their shoulders. “You aren’t going to stay with those dumb people you call friends! You’re going to stay in the place you intelligent people deserve. Your own private place in the castle! Follow me!” He started walking to a door Meg hadn’t noticed before, and after exchanging confused and slightly concerned looks from the others, followed John through the door.
My friends aren’t dumb. Meg thought to herself, as they walked down a dark tunnel. And why weren’t any of the Professors that actually worked here doing anything? Were they just going to let him call their students unintelligent?
After walking for a bit more, Fletcher opened a door and Meg squinted her eyes for the second time that day because of the light. Her mouth formed an ‘O’ shape and she heard Gavin whistle in amazement. The room was wide and long in length, and had a very high ceiling, which curved outwards. The walls were white, and the windows were big enough to light the Great Hall. There was a fountain in the middle and doors along the outside. One said ‘Girls’ and another said ‘Boys.’ Other ones said things such as ‘Kitchens,’ ‘Game room’ and ‘Pool.’ Around the fountain were various things to a fire place, with comfy looking couches, with a few tables in another corner, and a section full of shelves with books on them.
“Yes, it is wonderful. But you only stay here one night, so make the most of it! You know which door you go into to sleep in, unless you’re a boy disguised as a girl, which wouldn’t be very promising, but I would’ve known if you were, anyway, good night!” And just like that he closed the door behind him, locked it and left.
Meg didn’t think twice and went straight to the door which said ‘Girls.’ She didn’t want to sit around and socialise. She wasn’t hungry and didn’t like feel going to the pool, or the gaming room. She just wanted to be with her friends. She found a room that was labelled ‘Meg’ and opened the door.
The walls were a dark pink, the curtains and bed covers white, and the carpet peachy. She opened the drawers and found all her clothes there, the shelf had all her books on it, her school bag was there and owl, and everything else she owned and brought with her to Hogwarts.
She stood there for a second and tried to take it all in. Tried to get the hang of being looked at as intelligent. She was with people she didn’t really know and that didn’t care about her. She didn’t know what was going to happen tomorrow and felt as if all she needed was a light push and she’d drop right there. Her head was full. She felt dizzy. Ripping off her robe, she sat down on the bed and fingering the bed cover. It’ll be alright. She thought. I’ll just do the stupid test and return back to my normal lifestyle of being unknown. She nodded, looking forward to everything going back to how it should be and quickly took a shower.
Getting out of the shower, she wrapped a towel round her body and looked at herself in the mirror. In a sentence, her appearance was utterly boring. Her curly brown hair was always tied in a bun, her plain brown eyes seemed to look lost all the time, her pale skin made her look ill and her body was small. Nothing special at all.
She sighed, not standing to look at herself for much longer and changed into some pyjamas, decided to let her hair dry naturally, and got into bed, surprisingly falling asleep right away.
Well, that's the first chapter! I'm really curious as to what you think! I know I haven't explained much on what the 'test' is and things, but you'll find out soon enough. :P If you think I should improve on anything, feel free to tell me! I'm open to cristism!