I got up and walked towards her when Professor McGonnagal called my name.
McGonagall lent me my schedule. I grinned as I didn’t have to sit at the Gryffindor table anymore, listening to all that tosh talk.
While waiting for my schedule I was sitting with my dorm mates feeling dead awkward as they continued to rabbit about Gabriel Corner and his girlfriend. Apparently the identity of this girl was still a secret and the lovely ladies I had the luck to share a dorm with found the subject interesting enough to talk about for half an hour.
Today I had Herbology with the Hufflepuffs and then I had a break before History of Magic. After lunch I had Ancient Runes and double Defence against the Dark Arts. Today was going to be a long day. I could only hope for no essays since it’s the first day of classes but I wasn’t too hopeful.
Before getting up to leave, I didn’t forget to bid my farewells to my dear classmates but they didn’t even spare a glance my way.
On my way to my class I almost ran into a few first years and that made me smile. I remembered breaking my ankle to my way to classes after running into an older student as I avoided tripping a ginger munchkin. Not a pleasant memory since as a muggleborn I had no idea it could be fixed in minutes. I was scared shitless until my ankle was as good as new.
In the greenhouses, my eyes searched everywhere for the only friends I had in Hufflepuff. In my successfully finished four years I shared every single Herbology class with the fellow Hufflepuffs, so I had a chance to make some friends.
I smiled when I finally spotted Macheath Peachum. Mack and I were never particularly close, we never spoke to each other in any meals or we never spent a break together just to hang out. Despite never doing all the stuff friends should do if someone saw us in Herbology they would think of us as best friends.
“Hey Mack, how was your summer?” I greeted him as I walked towards him.
He smiled upon seeing me. He was a nice looking bloke, he had a bit of a lanky built, he had pale blond, messy hair that was a bit on the longer side and his fringe framed a pair of pale blue eyes. Too bad he’s so depressed all the time. Suffering artist my arse, it certainly doesn’t add anything to the charm.
“Not bad. My old man and I went to see a Wisbourne Wasps’ match, how was yours?”
I opened my mouth to tell him that all I did was to try to think of some creative ideas with Jerome while we were both getting bored out of our minds so if he said his holiday was ‘not bad’ once more time I’d place a Bundimum to his attic, but someone cut me off.
“And you stingers got slaughtered by my team; Holyhead Harpies, didn’t you?” Jenny Lindbergh teased him.
Jenny and Mack were inseparable, you would always see them together; Jenny teasing Mack and Mack depressing her by being sulky himself. They bickered like an old couple but somehow they needed each other. I actually liked their company even if it was only for Herbology.
Mack rolled his eyes. He and I both knew that Jenny was not a Harpies fan. Jenny didn’t even like Quidditch. She just liked annoying Mack.
“Hi there, Frankie!” She beamed at me.
She was quite the opposite of Mack. She had mocha coloured skin and black luscious hair. Her dark brown eyes were big and almond shaped. Even I sometimes felt depressed when standing next to the gorgeous witch.
Their looks weren’t the only difference between the quite strange pair. While Mack had a calm but also blue personality, Jenny was cheeky and full of energy. She also told me she was outgoing but I doubted that since she never argued over the idea to read a book or just play a game of chess instead of socializing.
Tough, I have to admit, she was the friendly one when I first met those two. She wasn’t embarrassed easily and she didn’t have a problem with being the one to take the first step in any kind of relationship. She wouldn’t have any problems with making friends if she wanted to. But she was fine the way she was.
While I always felt lonely whenever Jerome was hanging out with his friends, she just didn’t need anyone other than Mack because they were both only friends with each other. I knew some of Jer’s friends; they were nice but honestly, girls wearing Alice Bands and dozy boys? You know at some point of being a Gryffindor, I caught some of that pride and arrogance.
“Jen,” I exclaimed happily. “How do you do?”
Even tough Jen was always more friendly, I sometimes found talking with her rather difficult because she was distracted too easily.
“Ay-up, look who just came in!” She said, pointing at a Gryffindor with her blonde hair reaching to her shoulders.
Mary McDonald was tall and slender with the most beautiful legs in my year.
Remember how I always complain about Alice Bands? I’m not complaining about them in a “Merlin, I hate those headbands, they are repulsive.” way. No, I complain about them in a “Merlin, those girls wearing Alice Bands are usually all fur coat and no knickers.” way.
I am allowed to be prejudiced if it’s about half the girls in my year. That’s barely prejudiced, more like observant if you ask me.
“What about McDonald?” I asked Jen curiously as I heard Mack groan.
She smirked in a way that made me even nosier and just shrugged.
“That’s unfair!” I exclaimed, huffing. “You Puffers aren’t supposed to be secretive prats.”
She mock gasped at my snappy retort.
“Is it true that you shrieked like a banshee at the Marauders on the train?” Mack asked.
It was my time to groan. I never thought they would’ve heard but I guess if I just walked next to the Marauders even Filch would know about it.
But still, Macheath Peachum gossiping is as believable as a Jarvey complimenting people. He is very subtle trying to change the subject. Very subtle indeed.
I was just about to press it a little further when Professor Sprout galumphed in.
“All books out of my sight.” She ordered us but none of us moved a finger since we already knew we weren’t going to use those books. Mine was lazily hanging out somewhere under my bed and this was the first day of the classes.
I was planning to write a note to Jen, asking about McDonald but the next thing Professor Sprout said made me forget all about that.
“This here is a Snargluff.” She said pointing at a plant that looked like a gnarled stump. “Observe. Take notes. Do not disturb it.”
I felt disappointed. I thought I would be able to get close.
“You can get as close as you can. Remember, never disturb it.”
I squealed happily, attracting a few questioning glances. I just found nature interesting. Surely I was not that weird. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Jen snickering and Mac rolling his eyes.
The rest of the lesson was quite thrilling as after a while Professor Sprout casted some shield spells and told Charles Gerandy to chuck a paper at it. We all had the chance to observe it while the Snargluff emitted wriggling tubers from the pods that were hidden inside.
“Sherry Rowland just asked me out.” Jerome bragged when he caught up with after a History of Magic class which was nowhere nearly as interesting as Herbology.
Even if I liked history, by the way I hate history, I wouldn’t like the class. Professor Binns was a teacher in this castle for a very long time and dying in his slumber didn’t stop him from teaching.
“Already?” I raised an eyebrow; Jerome was never noticed by many girls. “Are you ditching me, Parker?”
I was joking light heartedly but the thought of going to Hogsmeade all alone made me cringe on the inside.
“Nope, I’m afraid I’m stuck with you.”
A weight was lifted off my shoulders but I still gaped.
“Why? She’s not a hag, is she?”
“No. She’s not a hag or a Slytherin. Not that those two are much different.”
I frowned at him. Being the Gryffindor one would think I would be biased and dream about banning Slytherins from Hogwarts. Of course, I would be chuffed to see Avery leave the castle but I knew that there were a few decent Slytherins that didn’t go around hexing younger muggle-borns. Oscar Higgs was actually a nice bloke, for all I knew.
I wasn’t stupid. I knew Higgs wouldn’t even look my way if he could help it. But I couldn’t get myself to believe that Higgs would think of me, or any other muggle-born as a lesser being; he seemed like a sensible bloke. At least I thought he was, after seeing him giving out directions to a group of Ravenclaw first years, last year.
If I wasn’t exceptionally nosy today I would scold him.
“Then why say no, you blibbering Humdinger?”
Jerome shrugged. I swear to Merlin, he was a Bundimun in an early life. He may not look like a green fungus, but he sure knows how to secretly rot a house, in his case it’s a person, from the inside.
“Maybe I just want to spend my valuable time with you.” He said with a disturbingly cheery voice before wandering off.
Yes, right. For Circe’s sake, we spent all our time together for all summer. Him having those blighters as friends didn’t stop us from spending all our school days together too.
I’ll end up married to him if I don’t socialize, I thought to myself, smiling lightly at the memory of the eight year old Jerome, promising the seven year old me that he would marry me.
Jerome’s mother didn’t want him to go wander around in the streets. I didn’t understand why, daddy never told me not to. I never understood why he had to ask his parents to go somewhere or why he had to go back home after dark. Now there was this whole 'don’t go too far' thing.
Jer was so unlucky. His parents were such bad people. They never allowed anything.
“Jerry, I’m bored.” I whined.
I whined constantly as any seven year old girl would. But I didn’t look like a seven year old girl, my hair was a messy ponytail and my clothes were worn out, not to mention too big for me.
“Want to go inside and watch telly?”
No, I didn’t want to watch telly even if it they showing my favourite show, The Addams Family. I didn’t want to be sitting in their backyard doing nothing. I wanted to go exploring, I wanted to find a dragon so I could ride it. Of course, then I had no idea that dragons were actually real.
I shook my head as a no; pouting like a spoiled rich brat even tough we were far from rich.
Suddenly the door opened and Mr. and Mrs. Parker came out, smiling. Mr. Parker’s hand was on the small of his wife’s back. They looked happy and perfect. Like a proper family. They were such good people, they looked like good people.
“Hello Frankie, say hi to your father for us, will you?” Marissa Parker said smiling. “Jer, we’ll be back by eight. Remember; don’t go wandering around, alright?”
Then Mrs. Parker kissed his son’s head and the couple said goodbye to us.
“Jer,” I said, obviously troubled. “I don’t have a mother, do I?”
He looked up from the bug he was poking with a wooden stick.
“Of course, you do.”
I frowned. I didn’t understand, I never had a mother kissing my head or telling me to stay at home. I wanted that. I wanted it to be forbidden to go out to wander around.
“Where is she, then? Daddy is all alone.”
Jerome was so lucky. Her parents were together. I wished I was like them. I wanted to be just like them.
“That’s because she's somewhere else now and Mr. Malloy isn't married.”
Married? Like Gomez Addams and Morticia Addams? They were married. Could Mr. and Mrs. Parker dance like the Addams? That would be brill! That was it. I knew at that exact point that I wanted to be married.
“I want to be married.” I said, sounding a lot merrier now.
Lot’s of pictures of me and Gomez Addams doing tango were making me smile. We would have a nice, big house. But Gomez Addams was already married. Could one marry twice?
“I’ll marry you.” Jerome said, making me grin broadly.
If I married my best friend, I would have more fun. Wouldn’t I? We would dance just like Gomez and Morticia. We would dance even better. But I wouldn’t let him kiss my arm like Gomez kisses Morticia’s. That was gross.
“Do you think the Addams Family finished?” I asked, hoping it was still on.
Then Jerry and I happily got up and ran to the telly.
Now, as 15 year old, my dream about my life changed slightly. Now I wanted to work with Magical Creatures. Being a Magizoologist, I could go all around the world, searching for all types of magical animals. I would see dragons, observe Blood-Sucking Bugbears and see if Heliopaths are real.
I always knew I was fond of animals and keen on going on an adventure. Maybe it had something to do with never being home and playing with dolls. I never even had a doll.
Marrying? That dream was pushed aside to somewhere in my mind that weren’t used very often. In the dusty cupboard of forgotten dreams that would never become true, providing the perfect family to my little one was the only dream that still made me smile.
But I wasn’t the marrying type, I guess. I would never be able to have the perfect family because the perfect mother doesn’t go around chasing dangerous creatures. The perfect mother and father are always together and one of them constantly being in the danger of being eaten is unheard of.
Besides if I ever had to choose between marrying and my dream job, I would choose Manticores, Peruvian Vipertooths and River Trolls.
Tough, after tiring my mind with Ancient Runes and exhausting both my mind and my body with double Defence against the Dark Arts, marrying a rich wizard or a muggle and staying at home all day sounded oh-so-tempting.
I was sitting in my common room, in front of the fire, listening to the noise all the other Gryffindors made while reading my book. I had to put the book down eventually since my eyes were already tired and I wasn’t helping them by reading more.
I started looking around. People were laughing, chatting, first years were making surprise exclamations and some second years were eating their leftover treats from the train. I pursed my lips as I envied the girl eating a chocolate frog. What I wouldn’t do for a few chocoballs. I was close to drooling while I remembered the taste of strawberry mousse and clotted cream, covered in delicious, milk chocolate.
I shook my head, trying to distract myself since the only leftover I had was Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum.
Mary McDonald was speaking to the other girls whom I shared a dorm with. They seemed to be gossiping passionately. I hoped they weren’t talking about Gavin Corner. I didn’t want to share a dorm with mental girls. They are already scary without being mental enough to be talking about one boy the whole day.
Alice Pegg looked up and shot me a questioning look, only then I realised I’ve been staring. I looked at the fire in front of me. My face got warm but I couldn’t be sure if it was because I was blushing or because I was too close to the fire.
Then everyone in the room, including me, turned towards the portrait hole upon hearing a bark-like laughter suppressing every other noise. It was suddenly silent when Sirius Black got in followed by James Potter who was grinning, Remus Lupin with a hesitant smile on his face and a chuckling Peter Pettigrew.
I tensed the minute I saw them. Luckily they didn’t spot me as my furiously blushing face was blending in quite well with the crimson coloured common room. I quickly got up and it took all I had to stop myself from running.
I entered the fifth year girls’ dorm. I was immediately greeted by the welcoming colour created with the light of the candles and the crimson walls, curtains, covers and… well, everything. The old carpet’s smell was not disturbing but sincere instead, if that made any sense.
Why did I always have to be an awkward Plimpy?
I realised, in horror, that I left my book, and not just any book; the Godfather by Mario Puzo. Now my favourite book was all alone in a room full of witches and wizards who would never understand the value of it and I had nothing to do.
I sat on my bed, which was the one closer to the window. The bed by the window was always mine, since first year because I was the only one who didn’t socialize. I felt like an outsider but I didn’t mind since it was true and I had an amazing view.
Unfortunately, even the stunning view of our tower couldn’t make me feel better.
If I were hanging out in the Ravenclaw common room with Jerome, instead of avoiding his friends like the plague I wouldn’t have to be in my bed at ten thirty. I promised myself that I would hang out with his friends too, from now on.
Luckily, Richard jumped on my bed and purred, asking for my attention. I stroked her fur gently as I murmured crude words under my breath until I finally fell asleep without even getting out of my uniform.
“Malloy, you’re late.”
Emmeline Vance’s anything but sweet voice awoke me from my slumber and I watched her get out of the dorm. She didn’t like me because of a stupid fight we had in third year.
I got up to see that my petrol coloured jumper was covered in fur, due to sleeping with Richard and when I sneezed I first thought it was because of that fur.
But during my much anticipated Potions class with the Slytherins, I realised that my runny nose and coughing was not a good sign. I also felt tired and unwell.
Caradoc Dearborn, who was paired with me because we were both late, turned to me after I sneezed into our potion for what seemed like the billionth time.
“Are you sure you’re alright?”
Dearborn? What kind of a surname was that? Even if I wanted to call him by his surname just to be snappy, I would be calling him someone who was born a dear. That would so not be insulting.
Besides it was my fault that I fell asleep without anything protecting me from the coldness of the Gryffindor Tower.
Oh for Parcelsus’ sake, it’s only the second day back and I’m ill, can you not ask me if I’m alright you born bleeding dear person?
“Sure.” I said but it came out as something impossible to understand because of my runny nose.
He nodded uncertainly and went back to doing most of the work. I couldn’t get much close to the potion anyway; it made my coughing go even worse. Luckily, Caradoc was an okay student when it came to potions, so we managed to get a, “Well done Mr. Darling and Ms. Malory.”, from Professor Slughorn.
Also, I managed not to snort when Slughorn called Caradoc Mr.Darling. To be honest, I was afraid of the things that could come out of my nose if I snorted. Charming, aren’t I?
“You should just accept defeat and let me take you to the hospital wing, Fannie.”
I grunted some inaudible things in reply. He was trying to make me go to the hospital wing ever since I sat down to eat lunch with him. Oh my sweet Agrippa, it was just my luck to catch cold while my first week in Hogwarts wasn’t even finished.
In addition, what was with that dotty nickname these days? I don’t think that the child Jerome even knew how rude it was to call a girl “fanny” but his perverted mind started finding my nickname that sounded exactly like that crude word, amusing nowadays.
My plate was full of the most scrumptious dishes, but it tasted like parchment to me. I sourly pushed it away from me as I felt sick even looking at the food.
“Frankie, don’t be stubborn.”
I looked up from examining the wooden table to see Jerome frowning. He could as well as sod off on the back of a Hippogriff. I was not going to the Hospital Wing; I hated that place just as much as I hated the dungeons.
Tough the Slytherin Common Room is rumoured to be under the black lake and have a mystical lake view, I think I would miss the tower if I lived in the dungeons. I’m not even speaking about the Potions classroom, all dark and horrid.
It’s not that I’m claustrophobic. I’m just an outdoors person I guess, you could also predict that since I already told you about my dream job. I would never be able to spend my whole life working in a place made of stone.
Jerome opened his mouth to say something as he was getting impatient with me. Well, I was getting shirty with him.
“Shut it and find yourself a filly to hang out with.”
It was hard to sound intimidating with my eyes like pissholes in the snow and my voice unlike me due to the mucus inside my nose. Gross. Egg-headed Ravenclaw just laughed at my retort before going back to his book. Merlin’s beard, who reads a book at lunch?
Obviously not me; my poor book is still lost and could be in the hands of someone who would never appreciate its true value. Someone who would never understand what the book was meaning to say about family and power. My book could be in the hands of an imbecile, for all I knew.
What if Mary McDonald found it? I bet McDonald and her gang only read Fifi LaFolle. What would they know about muggle mafia?
Furthermore, did I really want anyone to know my interest in muggle mafia? I mean, I had lots of childish dreams. Living in a particularly bad part of London made me want to join the mafia, be a gangster and just be- you know what they say; badass.
I wasn’t ashamed of that, why would I be? I just didn’t need to be known as a tomboy, if it wasn’t too late for that already.
After lunch I had Charms, which didn’t go well for me since I kept sneezing in the middle of saying an incantation or messing up a charm because my whole body shook with a coughing fit.
“Ms.Malloy, are you certain you are fine? You have my permission to go to the Hospital Wing.” Professor Flitwick said once more, his eyes begging me to go to the Hospital Wing.
Why did he give a flying on the back of a Nimbus 1400 shit about my health anyway? I knew he was getting tired of me interrupting his class with the sickly sounds I made but still…
“Absolutely certain, Sir.” I answered, trying to sound convincing but my illness stood out like a crup’s balls.
I mentally scolded myself for using such language. I'm acting like a Jarvey these days.
Flitwick seemed hesitant but he reluctantly nodded and went back to helping a student with the Silencing Charm we were all working on.
I pointed my wand at the canary in front of me. My wand was ten and three quarters inches, sycamore with Manticore Hair. Sycamore wands were meant for people who like going on quests and having new experiences. Even tough tamers of magical beasts usually had chesnut wands, being a magizoologist required adventurous personality, so I was pleased with my wand wood.
Manticore Hair was another subject on its own. Dangerous hexes and miraculous charms, said the book I had on wand woods and cores.
“Silencio.” I said the incatation, moving my wand using a sharp jab.
The canary immediately stopped chirping as it its beak was now opening and closing without making a sound.
I smiled, pleased with the result I got. So when I didn’t sneeze or cough, I could do some “miraculous charms”.
Flitwick didn’t try to send me to the Hospital Wing again.
“Thank you Madam Pomfrey.” I said while steam caused by the Pepperup Potion the matron gave me was still coming out of my ears.
Madam Pomfrey nodded, smiling at my appreciation. Not all the students acknowledged the young nurse’s efforts. Personally, I liked her better than the old and grumpy Madam Keneally. Sure, Madam Pomfrey was strict, but at least her methods were a lot less scary. Madam Keneally made me feel like a character in an old, muggle thriller.
Then I quickly got out of the nursery, running away from the voice of Celestina Warbeck coming from a wireless, the smell of medical potions and the ugly white colour everywhere.
Wondering why, after resisting for a day, I gave in to go to the Hospital Wing? Actually, it wasn’t by choice. I was in the library, innocently reading Handbook of Hippogriff Psychology by myself.
I usually avoid the library and find myself more peaceful places to read even tough I like the smell of parchment and leather, the touch of rough leather covers and delicate pages, the sound of pages flipping and chairs creaking occasionally breaking the silence and the sight of long shelves full of books reaching up to infinity.
The library is the definition of serenity and peace but there is a dragon in there, waiting to be tickled and it’s not even sleeping.
Madam Pince, the old librarian is a horrible old woman. She is too thin for her own good, her cheeks are sunken and combined with her hooked nose, and she looks like a starving vulture. Her books are her life and anyone she sees as a threat to her precious books deserves to die the most painful death.
When the bleeding vulture, excuse my language, saw me sneezing into the book I was reading she threatened me with an army of books beating me to death and sent me to the Hospital Wing.
That ungrateful nutcase! I felt betrayed. You would too, if you were the one who told Emmeline Vance off because she called Madam Pince an “old maid” for never getting married. If that mug thinks I’ll ever defend her again, she’s confounded. Not that she knows I made an enemy on her behalf but still that’s no excuse.
Jerome caught up with me while I was walking to my common room.
“I’m fine, I don’t need to go to the Hospital Wing at all!”
I glared at him and his pathetic excuse of an impersonation. My voice would never come out that shrill and bratty even if I tried.
A/N: First of all I'd like to say that I'm sorry to keep you waiting. It's not a month but it doesn't mean it's acceptable since had the chapter ready and just couldn't post the chapter for a few days.
Second I want your opinion on Mack and Jenny. Don't they sound familiar? Don't they? I mean Macheath, Jenny and Peachum. Read some Brecht, people!
I just love the relationship between Jerome and Frankie and I don't want him to be forgotten during any part of the story so if you plan on staying around, reading this story please remind me if I ever forget to write about him. Not that I'm saying I will but just in case.
Besides I would love it if you could be a bit of an active reader. English is not my native language so warn me if I make any mistakes, warn me if the story gets boring or the chapters seem to get shorter. You can give me orders tell me to write a chapter with the lenght you would want me to. Tell me if there are any characters you would like to learn more about, tell me to explore the characters that should be explored. Ask me questions about things you don't understand, ask me what a Bundimum is.
I adore everyone who reads my story like a chick adores Sirius Black.
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