Chapter 1 : Revelations of Doom
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Perfect chapter image by Schultz. over at TDA! (PS: You're awesome!)
I'm in a place, surrounded by blinding white that is slowly morphing into a blur of trees and vines. It's warm, or it should be. Sunlight filters down through the canopy. It's peaceful. A stream burbles nearby, although I can't see it. It's too misty. A lone figure - facing away - is almost invisible, standing overshadowed by the largest tree I've ever seen. Tears spill freely as I realise who it is.
A long, wooden table appears in front of me - a book upon it.
Approximately Half A Year Previously
I, Willow Evergreen, didn't feel like going to sleep.
It had to be about one o'clock in the morning – and I wasn't going to look like hell unless I sucked up my stubbornness and grabbed a pillow – but I honestly didn't give a flying fuck. Nobody would care if I passed out during breakfast.
Unless I landed in the bacon. Fred was particularly protective of his bacon.
If misfortune was to occur, and circumstances were evoked in which I did indeed 'damage' Fred's bacon, well... let's just say I wouldn't live to see another slimy, gross Flobberworm.
I'd be stabbed.
With a fork.
I made a mental note not to sit near Fred and the bacon in the morning.
Fred was strange. And mean.
I remembered when he'd shoved me in a broom cupboard to avoid Mrs Norris; first day at Hogwarts, and I'd missed the Sorting.
Ah, the memories.
Interrupting McGonagall's start-of-year speech by bursting through the Great Hall's doors at full pace (okay, after the broom cupboard incident I challenged a ghost to a race), commando-rolling over the Hufflepuff table (a lot of screaming happened here) and landing front and centre stage of absolutely everyone was not part of my plan to stay 'low key' and to not 'attract attention' at Hogwarts.
Of course, Fred had walked extremely confidently up to the Headmistress (whom, I have to say, had turned a very impressive shade of puce) and profoundly apologised for being late.
Meanwhile, I still had my arse parked on that cold, unforgiving stone floor.
Then, just as I'd thought perhaps I was going to become a permanent fixture of the Great Hall, Professor Longbottom motioned for us to follow.
I'd sighed, and – as dignified as I could possibly be (which is practically about the same level as a monkey in a purple suit playing the cymbals), I'd brushed myself off and followed.
“Hey,” Fred started, “look at the ceiling.”
“Wha -” I'd been confused. It's not everyday you see a ceiling that looks like the sky. Or one that moves. Of course, after noticing something like that, I'd then shouted out; “HOLY MOTHER OF FLYING RHINOCEROS!”
That caused further laughter and embarrassment.
There and then I'd decided that Fred was an evil abomination; to be exterminated.
Longbottom led us into a smallish largish room, upholstered in gold. Many strange objects littered the place (they're basically impossible to describe further), including a rather worn and beaten looking hat.
Then the hat began to speak.
“Ah... I knew I was missing a few.”
“Yes,” Longbottom frowned, but I suspected he was holding back a grin (his eyes were twinkling; need I say more?), “these two troublemakers arrived late,” I glanced at Fred. How he was keeping poker face I will probably never know, “and I need them Sorted.”
I opened my mouth – to protest my innocence, and to ask what the hell a talking hat was doing in a teacher's office, and what the Sorting was – but I was cut off.
“There, as you already know,” Longbottom nodded at Fred. Stupid know-it-all non-Muggleborn, “are four houses: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. You will be placed according to your personality – Gryffindor: the brave, Slytherin: the ambitious, Hufflepuff: the loyal and Ravenclaw: the intelligent.”
Well, that sounded stupid.
“The Sorting Hat looks inside you and determines which house you'd best fit. Once you've been Sorted, you may make your way back to the Great Hall for the feast. You will sit with your house. Now, Fred Weasley, you first.”
“Let a real man show you how it's done, darlin'.” He winked, and the Sorting Hat barely touched his head – before yelling out: “GRYFFINDOR!”
He practically skipped out the door. Poncy git
I was up next. I gingerly placed the Hat on my head..
“Hmm...” The. Hat. Was. Talking. Inside. My. Head. Freaking. Out.
“Willow Evergreen, you are a strange one. You have a fair intellectual capacity, as well as the quirkiness that goes with Ravenclaw, but...”
“Not Gryffindor. Please.” Anything but that.
“You're honest, and a hard worker – very loyal; attributes to Hufflepuff,” the Hat was enjoying this, I could tell.
“Put me in Gryffindor, and I promise you I'll find the highest place in this damn building and throw you right off it.”
“Threats, hey? Sounds like a Slytherin to me. They have the ambition, and they don't care how they achieve their ends...”
“Not Gryffindor,” I said, “I'm not sharing a house with him -”
“Your bravery, your willingness to do do whatever it takes to redeem yourself, that's the feature that stands out the most...”
“I could drown you in that lake we had to cross today.”
“GRYFFINDOR!” The Sorting Hat spoke aloud this time, and I knew I was doomed.
“I hate you,” I told it; with a sort of conviction. “You should have put me in Slytherin."
“You'll forgive me,” the Hat was smug. Too smug.
I stomped out of the office; a bemused (as well as amused) looking Professor Longbottom following. I stormed through the Great Hall Entrance and rather reluctantly took my place at the Gryffindor table.
Everyone was silent; and staring.
“Nothing to see here, people,” I was not in the mood, “just an itty-bitty first year trying not to attract attention.” Another first year girl snickered.
“Nice entry,” she smiled.
“Thanks,” I grinned back, despite my black mood; helping myself to pudding, “it wasn't planned though.” I glanced at Fred. He was talking to some third year.
“It was legend. The way those Hufflepuff's squealed... and McGonagall's face...”
“Thanks, I'm Willow, what's your name?”
Five years later, and Bella Flint is still my best friend. That's the girl I just told you about, in case you're really thick. Her family disowned her after she was placed in Gryffindor. They're really old Slytherin bloodlines, apparently. So she basically camps out at my place in the holidays. And, as I live near most of the Wotters (the Weasleys and Potters), mostly we're friends with them, and camp out there.
She knew all my secrets (not that I really have many) and I knew all hers. Or so I thought.
Around twelve o'clock at night, I lose any sort of reasonable judgement. When I'm bored, I also do stupid things that have... well, bad consequences.
Therefore, at one o'clock in the morning, being bored out of my mind, I decided to read Bella's diary.
Dear diary, her neat, angelic handwriting wrote.
Today was interesting. When Willow was cleaning suits of armour (she's always in trouble for something, honestly) Fred and I –
I froze. Bella? Fraternising with the devil spawn? No! There had to be some sort of logical explanation. Maybe she was talking about how she played a prank on him.
- went to the Room of Requirement, to, well...
I snapped the little book shut. I did not want to know about that. Fred and Bella! Oh geez, what if they were having sex? I could not deal with that. Bella knew that I hated Fred!
I gazed at my sleeping so-called best friend in utter horror and mortification. She had a slight smile – as if she knew something the rest of us didn't.
Well, miss! You have been busy, haven't you?
I sighed. I'd have to confront this problem in the morning. Well, later in the morning.
I shook James awake, rather roughly.
Shit. I wasn't wearing the appropriate amount of material for a girl my age, in a male dormitory, at three o'clock in the morning.
“Cut that out. Fred and Bella. How long?” I wasn't messing around.
“Oh fuck,” was all he said. Then: “They've been dating for a year and a half, and you wake me up at three in the morning on a fucking school day in your underwear to tell me about it.” James and I are great friends, if you haven't noticed. Actually, we are, but you wouldn't know it from our conversations.
“A year and a half? Really?” I wasn't hurt that my best friend had decided to not confide to me the nature of her secret relationship. Not at all.
If you can't understand the exquisite language of snark and sarcasm, I apologise.
“They knew you'd react like this."
“Like what? You think I'm reacting badly?”
“Yes.” I sat on him.
I frowned, thinking.
“They're going to be killed over breakfast tomorrow, aren't they?” James asked warily.
“Are they having sex?” I demanded. James was internally struggling.
“Yeah,” he sighed. Then, hopefully; “Speaking of sex... seeing as you turned up here in your undies... and you're sitting on me...” I wasn't listening – I was too busy concocting my own plans.
“I need the Cloak.”
“We wouldn't need it, we'd just have to be very quiet...” He winked. I stared at him.
“What the hell are you talking about? I need to sneak into the Ravenclaw dorms. You're not coming with me.”
I was invisible, but I was stuck. The way in to the Ravenclaw Tower was by answering a question. Sounds easy, right?
Sure, if you're a freaky smart Claw.
As it was, I was a simple Gryffindor, who didn't usually look before I leapt. My plan was to break into the Claw's hideout, kidnap my Claw friends, and then get them to teach me the most painful jinx's they knew.
Also, I'd ask them their opinions on dealing with this situation, and what they thought of it.
Of course, the latter was a minor consideration.
Anyway, I had a fair few problems with this plan.
One – I was still in my underwear. Yes, I know, hardly something I really wanted to get caught in. If I answered the stupid logic quiz thing correctly, I couldn't rule out the possibility of some wimpy little first year seeing me and screaming. Professors would then be alerted, and I'd be in an extremely embarrassing situation.
Two – I sucked at logic. Sure, I was okay with subjects (no where near as good as Rose Weasley, but I was still pretty good), but logic? What's the point of 'brain teasers' anyway, if not to make us Lions frustrated? The dumb eagle door-knocker thing was bound to ask some question that I'd never get in a million years, and then it would dob me in.
Three – I couldn't just yell until someone heard me. I would probably have the luck to wake half the castle, and my friends would still be snoring their heads off. Although... that option did have it's merits. It was more my style than the 'bring it on, door-knocker' option.
Suddenly, just as I was about to activate my loudest yelling voice, Rose Weasley came sliding round the corner.
I attacked her.
That, in hindsight, was probably not the wisest of decisions.
“WILLOW! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?”
“Um... looking for some clothes?”
There was an extremely awkward silence. Then, we both noticed several facts about each other. Rose noticed that I was holding Bella's diary, in my underwear, and I noticed that Rose had lipstick on. Smudged lipstick. At three in the morning.
“Are you -” we spoke in unison, “it's not what it looks like!”
Then the jinx war was on.
“Jinx. Double jinx. Triple jinx. Quadruple jinx.” Rose mucked up the quadruple, so I got to speak first.
“You're seeing Malfoy, aren't you?!” Rose looked at her feet. “You are! That's fantastic!”
“Tell anyone? Fine, but you owe me.”
“You should have been a Slytherin”
“That's what I said.”
There was a slightly awkward silence. Just slightly awkward.
“Willow... why exactly do you have no clothing?”
“I have some,” I was in defensive mode now.
“Yeah, your bra and knickers. Who have you been fucking?”
“You... Malfoy... ARGH MY EYES!”
“Alright, alright, shut up. Now answer the question.”
“No one! I'm here because of this!” I held up Bella's diary.
“Oh... you found out about Fred, huh?”
“You knew? And you didn't think to tell me?”
“We knew you'd react like this!”
“LIKE A FREAKING MANIAC!”
I heard footsteps.
Through the Ravenclaw Tower entrance, into the hallway, entered a very cranky... Sophia Lovegood. With ice-cream smeared all over her chops.
Fifi liked food, okay? I was insanely jealous of her ability to be able to eat anything and not put weight on. Of course, the Quidditch probably helped a hell of a lot. Plus her hair. I liked her hair. It was very long, blonde and swishy. She could flick people with it when they annoyed her.
I sighed relief.
“What in the name of Merlin's left saggy buttock are you guys doing at bloody three o'clock in the freaking morning, shouting the bloody castle down?! Willow, you have explaining to do!”
“Why me? Couldn't it be Rose's fault for once?”
“No, it's your fault, because you're the one wearing nothing, with the Invisibility Cloak. Rose is an innocent bystander.”
I glared at Rose. Innocent, my arse. She was the one who was bloody snogging a Malfoy.
“Okay, I give up. If you all jump to conclusions like that, I'm not going to tell you why I'm actually here!”
“She found out about Fred and Bella,” Rose intervened, before I could chuck a tantrum.
“Oh, that. That's been going on for ages though! And now she wakes us up at three in the morning on a school day to – what exactly is it that you want?”
“I need the most painful jinx, hex, curse, whatever you've got. Then I'm going to... seriously maim Fred. Maybe Bella, if she annoys me.”
“Right. Good luck with that.” Fifi sighed; exasperated, then turned back to the Claw Cave.
“Where are you going?”
“To bed. You know, where we were before you decided to disturb us.”
Yeah, because that's obviously where Rose had been. Of course, me being me, I'd promised not to say anything about that.
“But – aren't you going to help me?”
An hour later, and Roxanne Weasley, Rose Weasley, Eloise Thompson and Sophia Lovegood (second cousin of Lorcan and Lysander Scamander, the sons of Luna Lovegood; war heroine) were aiding me in my quest.
We were situated in Roxy's dormitory, which also happened to be Rose's and Fifi's (Fifi is Sophia's nickname, although I'm 99% sure she hates it), in the Claw Cave. Yes, I know, it's the Ravenclaw Tower, but honestly, 'the Claw Cave' sounds a hell of a lot awesomer. So I'm calling it that.
El isn't a Claw – she's a Slytherin – but I figured her Slytherin, blackmailing, cut-throat nature would leap at the chance to research some revenge spells.
I was right, too.
“I don't see why you hate Fred so much,” Roxanne commented. “He's an alright guy, really. And he is my brother.”
“You know why,” I replied, with much conviction.
“Rox is right, Will, that was in first year. You're in sixth now, show some maturity and forgive him already!” Ah, Fi, always so practical.
“That's not just it, though. He's done heaps of stuff to me!”
“Oh, come on. You've pulled pranks on him too, so don't act all innocent and victimised.”
“Gah,” I almost growled in frustration. “I AM a victim!”
“Whatever helps you sleep better at night, Willow,” Roxy chided.
“How about you turn his hair pink?” Rose asked.
“Done that already. Can't be unoriginal.”
“Make his hair fall off?”
“Turn his clothes bright orange?”
“He'd probably prance around like a little fucked up happy prince.”
“Curse his shoes to dance?”
“Third year, Potions.”
“Ah... here's one that you'll like, Will. Make him say whatever happens to be in his head. Like that Truth-Potion we're learning about. Only it doesn't work if the victim knows about it, and it doesn't last long.” Eloise, being Slytherin, always came up with the best revenge schemes.
“I like it.”
The three Claws shared a look that clearly showed their exasperation. Plus their exhaustion.
Come to think of it, I was actually pretty tired myself.
I woke up with a start.
I had a very bad feeling that I was missing some vital information.
Okay... Was I in Gryffindor Tower (or as I like to call it, the Lion Den)?
Was I in my own dorm?
Was there anybody strange in my bed (don't ask, but I'd learnt from experience that strangers in my bed wasn't a good thing)?
There wasn't. Cue relief here.
Something was wrong, though. I didn't like it.
I rolled out of bed.
When I roll out of bed, I literally roll out of bed.
And hit the floor.
I grabbed a towel, meaning to have a long, hot shower before anyone else woke up, but I froze.
Someone was throwing up in the bathroom.
I hurried in – to just hold their hair out of the way (it's awful when you're heaving) – and stopped dead.
The poor girl was Bella.
“Oh, you poor thing!” I really could sympathise.
“Willow -” Bella whispered, then the rest of yesterday's lunch flowed out into the sink.
“It's alright. I'll get Madame Pomfrey to whip up some stuff that worked really well -” I caught site of a small, white stick.
Cue Bella crying.
“Hey, hey, it's going to be fine. Just fine.”
I grabbed a cloth, dampened it and pressed it to her forehead.
“How, Willow? How is this going to be fine? I'm fucking pregnant.”
Thank you, any readers for taking the time to read this!
A lot of these characters are based on people I know, and I just thought one day, hey, I could do a fanfic with all of us.
Reviews are welcome, seriously, I don't bite. Good and bad backfeed and critiquing; I don't mind. If you have any pointers, or questions, I'll gladly take it onboard.
PS: Currently undergoing slight editing. Aka: me re-reading and re-reading through and finding mistakes and then fixing those mistakes. So, if you find a mistake I haven't picked up yet, just tell me so I know, kay?