Chapter 1 : Chapter One : Misery and Comfort Food
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credits for the chapter image go to Milady @tda
I could not stand it anymore.
I had to get away from the pitiful stares and the disappointed looks of the people in the Common Room.
It was almost midnight, and the Common Room had never been so full, yet so silent in my memory. The whole Quidditch team was gathered around me, (well, almost the whole team, James was MIA after the match) still in their Quidditch robes, almost too scared to even talk to me. Not that they hadn’t tried, but they quickly backed off seeing the look on my face. I must have looked terrible, no denying that. I felt terrible.
I couldn’t stand it any longer.
I stood up to leave and I felt a small, warm hand on my arm. I stopped for a second, not even glancing back, then I heard Lily’s voice, “You know it’s not your fault right, Allie?” she said, using her special nickname for me since the time when we were kids. Nobody, not even my mother called me Allie. That was a right which only Lily had, which James abused most of the time. My expression softened for a bit, and I turned to give her a small smile and gently pulled my arm from her grasp. She didn’t stop me, she knew I needed sometime to cool off.
I climbed the stairs to the dormitory and quickly changed out of my Quidditch things and pulled on my pajamas and jumped into bed. I heard my roommates come in, but they didn’t address me as I was concealed behind the curtains. I kept on tossing and turning and I couldn’t sleep for what felt like hours. Finally, I decided to get some fresh air and pulled on my bathrobe and quietly slipped down to the now empty Common Room and out of the portrait hole.
Usually, wandering around the corridors at night was not allowed at Hogwarts, and if you got caught, you could end up in the worst ever detentions possible. But that didn’t bother me, as I had been careful to take the Invisibility Cloak and a certain bit of old parchment; both of which I had ‘borrowed’ from James, who had in turn, just happened to ‘come across’ the items in my dad’s personal and not-hidden shelf.
Yeah right, James. Like people will believe that story.
I always enjoyed walking around the castle after hours.
And no, it has Nothing to do with my being a Gryffindor.
Or my having a tiny sneaking tendency.
Why would you even suggest something like that?
The castle was quiet, in a peaceful way, with the corridors faintly lit, and moonlight streaming through the huge glass windows in patches across the cool stone floors and a pleasant breeze blowing from the lake leaving shadows dancing on the walls. This was so different from the usual hustle-bustle of the castle, and I loved it. Don’t get me wrong; I love Hogwarts at all times, be it day or night. During the day, the corridors were filled with students rushing towards classes, the sounds of incantations, jets of light streaming through the air (I know we aren’t supposed to use magic in the corridors, but that is one of the many rules that are overlooked) and the sounds of laughter filling the air. I loved all of that, but the sight of Hogwarts during the night is just so beautiful and peaceful and...magical.
Despite of all this, I pay no heed to where I am going, and before I know it, I find myself in front of a painting with a bowl of fruit in it on the ground floor. My feet have wandered these passages too often that they subconsciously bought me to the place where I needed to be at the moment. I stretch out my finger and am just about to tickle the pear, when a voice says, “Hello? Is someone there?”;which is when I realize that I am still wearing my Invisibility Cloak and my finger must have looked like it was floating in mid-air. I curse myself for being so stupid and retract my finger quickly. The voice seemed to have come from the far end of the corridor, and it sounded like a girl.
I thanked my lucky stars (thought they mysteriously disappeared during the match this morning. Thanks Guys! Appreciate this!), moved to the shadows as quietly as I could, and removed the Cloak and stuffed the Map in my pyjama pocket and stepped out in the light to see who it was, that was stumbling around alone at this time of the night, that too in this part of the castle. The entrance to the kitchens was supposed to be a secret, after all.
As soon as I stepped into the light, she also did, and I froze, not expecting to meet her, of all people.
She was the reason I was down in the first place. She was responsible for my restlessness and lack of sleep. She was the reason I was wandering around aimlessly at one in the morning near the kitchens looking for comfort food. Right now, I hated every bit of her, right from her dark hair glinting in the torchlight; her sea blue eyes focussing on me, and hardening; her slight frame stiff with anticipation of what I might do; to the tips of her sneakers pointing out from beneath the robes she wore.
Her Quidditch robes.
Her Hufflepuff Quidditch robes.
I glared at her, and she glared right back at me without flinching.
Remember when I told you I thanked my lucky stars? Yeah, I’m pretty sure they are non-existent in my life.
I hated it, hated the fact that it was her I had to come across when I was upset.
I hated that she was the reason for every fucking thing that happened today.
I hated it even more, because it wasn’t even her sodding fault.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I have immense pleasure in introducing to you the reason behind my misery.