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Chapter 1 : Hello and Goodbye
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Edit 26/5/13: I rewrote the first chapter since there were a lot of punctuation mistakes and I wasn't satisfied with it.
Chapter 1: Hello and Goodbye
“Keep still Katie, I got you,” Olivia whispered to the small, curly – haired girl that heavily leaned on her. Katie Bennett’s face was covered in scratches, her brown curls plastered and matted with blood. She moaned and stumbled on the long staircase that lead to her room.
“Just a bit further... come on,” Olivia muttered, practically carrying the petite girl. With a tremendous effort, she placed her friend gingerly on her bed. Her eyes fell upon the deep gash in Katie’s leg, and the bite marks that scattered her tiny body. Post – transformation mornings brought up the harsh reality of being a werewolf like nothing else.
Olivia carefully dampened a white cloth in the basin that stood next to Katie’s bed and removed the dried trails of blood from Katie’s face. She couldn’t do any Healing Spells yet, since she was only fifteen and therefore not allowed to do magic outside school. In fact, she would be leaving for Hogwarts in only a few hours, leaving Katie behind until Christmas break. It always pained her that Katie couldn’t come with her, for she was magical, but her parents didn’t allow it.
“Mrs Bennett?” Olivia shouted when most of the blood was washed off. “Can you come and perform the Healing Spells please?”
A tall, dark – haired woman entered the small bedroom and kneeled next to her daughter’s bed. Caroline Bennett’s face was streaked with the worry only a mother could feel for her child, stroking Katie’s matted, bloody curls behind her ear. Softly, she raised her wand and started muttering spells, expertly closing the gashes and wounds that were scattered across Katie’s body. Werewolf bites and wounds never fully healed, so she would wear the scars forever, just like the others she had acquired during the years. It also took her longer to recover, since the transformation greatly weakened her system.
A coughing noise brought Olivia back from her reverie. Katie gingerly spit out some blood, her light blue eyes scanning the room and finally resting on Olivia.
“What are you doing here?” she croaked, her lips split and dry.
“What I always do.”
“No, I mean, why now? You’re supposed to be leaving for Hogw – you know, your school,” Katie said, her frown visible between the fresh wounds and cuts on her face.
“I still have an hour. Either way, I wanted to say goodbye and all. Make sure you’re okay,” answered Olivia with the genuine smile reserved only for her closest friends. She generally appeared cool and indifferent to most people, a trait that she actively maintained since she didn’t let people come close to her often. If your best friend was bitten by a Werewolf at the age of 9, and you saw how people reacted to that, loathing and hating an innocent young girl, it was bound to rub off on you somehow.
“I would hate it if you missed the train because of me,” Katie whispered between coughs. Olivia wiped away the drops of blood in an automatic gesture, like she had done for the last 8 years.
“Don’t worry, you can carry me if I miss that ruddy train,” commented Olivia, with a half – smile, trying to lighten the mood. Katie’s chipped lips pulled up slightly in a grin.
“You’re one lazy piece of dragon dung, Olivia,” she smirked.
“Well, nothing new there.”
“Indeed”. They grinned at each other for a few moments when the ancient clock sounded, signalling it was time for Olivia to leave.
“I’ve got to go. Be a good Werewolf and don’t bite anyone while I’m away, will you?”
“If you don’t get your skinny arse out of here, I will bite you, human,” Katie grunted good – humouredly.
“Fine, don’t be a prat about it. Is it that time of the month again?”
“Go!” laughed Katie, her smile reaching her eyes now. Olivia gave her a brief hug and a military sort of salute when she left the room, strolling towards the fireplace.
“Muuum, where’s my Head Girl badge?” Ella Wright screamed upstairs, causing Olivia to wince at the high piercing shriek. Trust her sister to freak out and start jabbering at a pitch only bats could hear.
“I don’t know honey, have you checked the kitchen?” Sara Eriksen, their mother, shouted with equal nervousness from somewhere else in the house. Carrying a large trunk and a grumpy looking barn owl, she bustled into the living room where Olivia lay relaxing on one of the couches, not at all troubled by the hectic atmosphere. After years of dealing with two permanently stressed women, she had become as good as immune to it, like her father.
“It’s not there!” Ella almost sobbed, also entering the living room. Olivia watched the two women as they discussed where the lost badge could possibly be. The light blonde hair and fair complexion of Sara clearly indicated her Norwegian descent. Her family had moved to Scotland while she was still young though, and in Edinburgh Sara had met Aldwyn Wright, their father. When Ella had been born, two years before Olivia, the family had moved to Lynton, a small village by the high cliffs of England.
Olivia absolutely adored it there. She loved the magnificent cliffs with their windy heights, the beautiful ocean that stretched out as far as she could see and that delightful smell of sea air mixed with wild flowers, clearing her head with a fresh haze. She loved the open space, the seemingly endless sky with clouds chasing after one another, and the strong winds that tore at her hair. It was her natural habitat, her safe haven where she had grown up hiking along the cliffs, flying against the wind on her toy broomstick, and watching the stars at clear nights.
She believed that there was a place in the world for everyone, where you could just feel it was where you belonged; a place that seeped into your veins and crept under your skin to become a part of you, filling you up. That was what the cliffs and the sea meant to Olivia. It was a part of her, and while she hadn’t noticed it herself, it showed in her appearance while she grew up. Her light blonde hair had turned into a darker blonde over the years, matching the colour of sand on the hidden beaches between the cliffs. Her eye colour had changed from the light blue that graced her mother and sister’s eyes, to the green – grey colour of the North Sea. Her skin matched her hair colour, being of a sandy tone, but not what you would call tan. Anyone could tell her natural habitat was between the cliffs, with the violent sea thousands of feet beneath her, and a strong wind pulling at her hair.
“Mum, I can’t go to Hogwarts without my Head Girl badge!” Ella exclaimed, wringing her hands nervously. She seemed to be on the verge of tears.
“Oh, look. Here it is,” Olivia said calmly, pulling out a silver badge from between the folds of the couch. She quickly covered her ears when Ella gave a shriek of relief. Really, she loved her sister, but sometimes Ella was just too much.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
“Ella, you’re choking me!” gasped Olivia, trying to escape from the death trap that her sister called a ‘hug’. Physical closeness generally made her uncomfortable.
“Alright then, sour puss. Mum, I’m ready to go!”
“About time too,” their mother said while smiling brightly at her eldest daughter. Her light blue eyes turned teary at the sight of her oldest daughter, Head Girl and Hogwarts sweetheart, ready to start her final year of wizarding education.
“You’re so grown up,” she sobbed, hugging Ella close to her who had also got very emotional.
“I can’t believe this is my final year,” Ella sniffed in her mother’s neck. Olivia rolled her eyes as the two women whispered emotionally to each other. Sometimes it was hard to believe they were related.
“Merlin’s pants, are you two done already? You’d think Ella is going to live in sodding Russia for the next 15 years.”
“Yes yes, of course. We have to hurry,” Ella said nervously, checking her watch. “Have you got everything?” asked she, turning to Olivia who was still spread out on the couch.
She smirked and stretched out while stifling a yawn. “Sis, I packed everything days ago. I’m good.”
Platform 9 ¾ was the usual crowded, loud hustle it always was. Owls soared above the students, knocking off long pointed witch’s hats while cats hissed angrily in their cages. Ella quickly strode towards the front of the train, ready to fulfil her Head Girl duties, while Olivia dragged her trunk along to find her friend, Liz Ortega. She didn’t have to look far though, as when she entered the 3rd compartment she saw Liz already spread out on one of the benches.
“What in the name of Circe’s knickers are you wearing?” Liz nearly shouted, as she bolted upright. Olivia grinned. She had missed her dramatic, rude, extroverted friend.
“Oh don’t give me that grin, Olivia Wright. When will you ever learn to dress yourself as a woman?” Liz sounded almost exasperated.
“Well, I figured you’d be enough woman for the two of us, so I had to do something to keep the balance,” she replied drily. She and Liz were almost complete opposites, both in clothing style as in personalities. But somehow, they were best friends, and after a while people had stopped trying to figure out how their weird friendship could work.
“Why thank you,” Liz said smugly. She was wearing a red dress which came just above the knee, and fitted her curvy hips and slim waist neatly. The red of the dress complemented her olive toned skin and wearing strappy platform sandals, she was about the same height as Olivia.
“Too bad you’re still smaller than me on your heels, but nice try though.” She patted her friend on the head, something which Liz didn’t appreciate.
“Yeah well, at least I make up for it in other departments,” she snorted, looking critically at Olivia’s outfit. She wore a loose grey t – shirt, with shorts she had cut from an old pair of jeans and low all – stars. “I suppose I should be glad you’re showing your legs at all.”
“I suppose I should be glad you’re wearing clothes at all.”
This earnt Olivia a smack on the back of her head.
“Right. Look, do you know in which compartment James Potter is? I need to ask a few Quidditch related questions,” she asked, rubbing her head.
“Don’t expect me to keep track of your house mates, I’m having enough trouble remembering the names of my own ones,” Liz replied, studying her nails.
“And I thought Ravenclaw’s were smart,” Olivia muttered. “I’m going to look for him, be back in a minute!”
She walked through the hallway, dodging the odd curses and Dungbombs that were already circulating, and managed to find James in a middle compartment. She hurriedly entered, not bothering to knock.
James, his black hair sticking in every direction, was sitting in the middle of the compartment, with his best mate Sirius Black sitting next to him. Sirius was leaning back with an easy elegance, listened to his mate ranting about the upcoming Quidditch season. Remus Lupin was sitting next to the window, solving the crossword puzzle in the Daily Prophet with a small frown on his face and pushing his sandy locks out of his eyes. He looked very ill, since the full moon had been yesterday night. Of course, Olivia wasn’t supposed to notice this, but if your best friend was a Werewolf you tended to recognise the signs easily. Lupin and his friends had no idea that she knew his secret, and she intended to keep it that way. Peter Pettigrew was already snoring next to the compartment door, his mouth slightly agape.
“Oi, Potter, do you happen to know who got made Quidditch captain?” Olivia asked, interrupting a demonstration of James pretending to score a goal.
“Oh hi, Wright, didn’t see you there.” He flashed a grin. “I just heard that Evan Hamilton got made captain, so we’re in for a rough year.” According to her, he seemed a bit too happy at this prospect. “By the way, did you manage to get a new broom this summer? You can’t expect to pull off another season on that old Cleansweep 6.”
She frowned a little hearing the criticism on her old broom. After all, it had been her first broom and she was very attached to it, though she had to admit that its moments of glory had long passed.
“Yes, actually. You’ll never believe which one I got,” she responded with a wicked grin. James watched her with big eyes.
“You don’t mean to say…”
“I got a Nimbus 1000!” Olivia nearly shouted. James and Sirius seemed momentarily dumbstruck and then started to shout all at once.
“You HAVE to let me fly it, just one time!”
“Have you tried it yet?”
“Please, just once and I –“
“You’ll nail Slytherin’s asses!”
“I beg you, just this time –“
“How fast does it go?”
“If you let me, I’ll give you food and –“
“Gentlemen! Please contain yourselves!” Olivia interrupted them with a mock posh accent. “You’ll both get a chance to ride on it, it can speed up to 100 miles per hour, and we’ll definitely nail Slytherin’s asses, along with those of Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff.” She gave James a grin.
“Anyway, I’ll leave you guys now, I just wanted to know who the new captain was.” She paused, her hand on the compartment door handle and shot a quick glance at Remus’ crossword puzzle.
“By the way Lupin, you’re looking for the word ‘Lethifold’ over there. Third one horizontally,”
Remus gave her a slightly crooked smile, his amber eyes meeting her gaze for the slightest moment. “Thanks Wright.”
She gave him a quick nod as she left the compartment. Walking through the train, she heard snippets of conversation as well as the occasional curse finding its victim. Good to know some things never change.
“For Merlin’s sake Liam, get your own Chocolate Frogs!” Olivia snapped as the tall boy snatched away another one of the enormous heap lay next to her on her seat. Liam Healey, a tall 6th – year Gryffindor with reddish brown hair had been her friend since 3rd year, when she had tried out for the Gryffindor Quidditch Team and accidentally flew into him. To everyone’s surprise, they had made it to the team in the end. Strange how things could go.
“I could eat a Hippogriff,” Liam complained in his thick Irish accent, rubbing his stomach absently. “Dumbledore better keep it short, with that bloody welcome speech.”
“Don’t blame him for the fact that you have the concentration skills of a mentally challenged Flobberworm,” Liz reacted snidely, flipping a page in her magazine.
“Hey! I happen to be an extremely focused bloke!” he exclaimed in indignation.
“Yeah, on food and ruddy Quidditch probably,” snorted Liz, flipping her dark brown hair out of her eyes.
“Oh, and you’re sooo perfect, miss I – snog – everything – that – walks.”
“Sod off, Healey.”
Olivia absently tuned out their bickering and stared out of the window. Liz and Liam were friends, good friends even, but sometimes it was hard to say when you didn’t know them. They just happened to vent their frustrations out on each other, which suited them perfectly since neither one of them actually took offense. She supposed everyone had their way of dealing with stress.
“Come on ladies, we’ve arrived,” Olivia said sagely, interrupting their bickering. The change in her two friends was almost funny, how they’d gone from throwing insults to happy chatting.
The clean, fresh Scottish air was still warm and streaked with the last reddish orange rays of the setting sun, indicating an Indian Summer as they strolled from the train to the carriages. Olivia vaguely heard Lily Evan’s high voice shouting over the noise, herding the mass of first – years that huddled together with anxious expressions on their little faces. Remus Lupin stood next to her, hands in pockets, and appeared to be talking reassuringly to a few first years. She had expected them to receive the Prefect badges, since nobody else in their year was really up to the job.
As they were waiting for a carriage and Liz and Liam had started bickering again, Olivia found herself standing behind James, Sirius and Peter, who together with Remus were the boys in her year.
“Mate, where’s Remmy?” James asked Sirius, standing on his feet to look over the heads of students. He was quite tall, so it wasn’t a great effort to do so.
“Probably doing his Prefect business,” Sirius answered in a bored tone, pulling a face. “Poor bloke, he was destined to become one from the start.”
“He gets to spend time with Evans, though,” said James with a pout, which made him look more boyish than ever. Sirius rolled his eyes and shared an annoyed glance with Peter. Olivia guessed it could be a bit of a bore, listening to James talking about Lily Evans all the time.
“There he comes,” shouted Sirius, grinning widely as Remus pushed through the mass of students to where his friends were standing.
“I swear to Merlin, those first years are shrinking by the minute.”
“You don’t have to tell me, mate. A bunch of dwarves, that’s what they are,” James agreed, his hazel eyes wide. He opened his mouth to say sometimes else, but his voice was drowned by the shouting of Liz and Liam.
“I’m telling you, a Leaping Toadstool is blue with orange spots –“
“No, orange with blue!”
“Blue with orange!”
A carriage stopped in front of Sirius, James, Peter and Remus, but they didn’t notice, following the meaningless bantering instead. Olivia rolled her eyes and pushed past them, stepping into the carriage and wrinkling her nose at the musty smell.
“Aren’t those your friends, Wright?” James asked, pointing towards Liz and Liam.
“Nope, I’ve never met them,” replied Olivia with a straight face, earning a couple of weird glances from the Marauders who had stepped in after her.
“Orange with blue!” Liz roared, and slammed the door of the carriage shut in Liam’s face. “What’re you looking at, shortie?” she hissed to Peter, who quickly averted his gaze and mumbled something incoherently, a deep blush appearing on his cheecks. Sirius cocked one eyebrow, sharing a confused look with James and Remus, who in turn looked to Olivia for an explanation.
“Don’t look at me, I don’t know her,” she muttered calmly while Liz gave an annoyed sigh. It was clear that the Marauders felt a bit uncomfortable around them, as they had probably hoped to have the carriage to themselves. Olivia wasn’t exactly friends with them, even though they were in the same year and house. She chatted with James sometimes, since they were both on the Quidditch Team, and she could start some small talk with Sirius or Remus without it being weird, but that was as far as it went. So, needless to say, an awkward tension hung in the air.
As the carriage rode towards the main gates, patches of light coming from the lanterns occasionally illuminated Remus’ face. He looked very sick, just like Katie did on post-transformation mornings, but he could easily pretend it was a cold since he didn’t have any visible new scars. Olivia quietly studied him, inwardly ticking off the signs that indicated lycanthropy. It wasn’t until she noticed Remus growing more and more uncomfortable that she shifted her gaze and stared out of the window, to be welcomed by the magnificent sight of Hogwarts that still managed to take her breath.
Liam and Olivia went to sit at the Gryffindor Table, while Liz went over to the Ravenclaw Table to sit with her friends. As professor McGonagall entered the Great Hall, a hush fell over the students. A line of tiny first years trotted after her, all trying very hard not to think about the fact that the whole school was watching them. The Hat, having been brought in by McGonagall, begun its song describing the characteristics of each of the houses. Occasionally, one of the first years would shoot a shy look at one of the house tables, only to quickly lower their glances when they spotted someone watching them.
As the Hat fell silent the Hogwarts students clapped politely, although the Hall was filled with whispers about the some parts of the song. Just like last year, the Hat had mentioned a great danger approaching and emphasized the importance of standing united. There had been ominous attacks and disappearances the past summer, which only added to the sense of foreboding.
“Well, if a sodding Hat isn’t going to convince us then what else will?” Olivia muttered sarcastically to Liam. He smiled in agreement, but couldn’t say more since the Sorting Ceremony had started. McGonagall looked sternly around the Hall, silencing those who were still talking, then started with her list. Thankfully, it didn’t take long and while McGonagall rolled up her list, food had appeared on the tables.
Liam grinned approvingly, already diving into the food, while Olivia reached for the roast chicken. Across from her, her dorm mates Lily Evans, Joan Ellery and Mary McDonald were chatting away happily. The three friends obviously hadn’t seen each other this summer. A few places to the right, Emma Jordans was laughing loudly with her friends Andrew Fenn and Troy Harrison. She was also a dorm mate of Olivia but didn’t really get along with any of the 5th year girls, preferring to spend time with her friends from the team, where Emma and Olivia were the only girls. Emma was a bit of a tomboy, but Olivia liked her. She wasn’t as giggly as the others girls.
“Looking forward to Quidditch training?” Liam asked Olivia, his mouth full with boiled potatoes.
“I am, but I’m also a bit concerned about Evan Hamilton’s idea of a normal training,” she said while nodding. “His idea of a good normal training is, and I quote ‘where you’re so knackered you can’t tell broom from Quaffle'.”
“Amen to that,” Liam snickered.
“So all in all I hope we’ll still be alive when we get to play our first match.”
She just finished her chicken when the food vanished, only to be replaced with dessert. Claiming a lemon meringue pie, Olivia took a large piece and set to eat. She loved lemon meringue pie, but the house elves didn’t make it as often as she’d like. On the far end of the table, she saw James dig in his favourite treacle tart and Remus consuming a large piece of a chocolate tart. When the last pieces of dessert vanished and a few people were already starting to yawn, Dumbledore stood up once again to make the start of term announcements.
“Welcome everyone, to a new year at Hogwarts. Before you all fall asleep, I have a few things to say. Firstly, I would like to welcome professor Vaughan who has accepted the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher.” A young man with light brown hair and a small beard stood up and bowed to the applause.
“Secondly, in these troublesome times I wish to urge you all to be vigilant when you wander across the grounds. Hogwarts is intensely protected, but nevertheless it would be foolish to tempt fate.” Dumbledore’s twinkling blue eyes seemed to pause on the Marauders for a moment when he said this.
“And lastly, I would like to point out that the Forbidden Forest is, as its name suggests, forbidden for all students. Now up you go, to your dormitories!”
Above the sound of scraping benches and sleepy students, Olivia heard Lily Evans call out for the first years. She yawned, thanking her lucky stars that she hadn’t been chosen Prefect, and lazily strolled to the Marble Staircase. She passed Remus Lupin on the way, who was also leading the first years to the right direction and chuckled when one accidentally stepped on his foot.
“Can’t handle the ickle firsties, Lupin?” she asked drily, arching one eyebrow.
“They’re awfully dangerous for being so small,” he answered darkly, shooting her a grin. “Care to help me out with this lot?”
“Not a chance, Lupin. Not a chance,” she managed to utter while stifling a yawn, and climbed the familiar staircase to the Gryffindor Common Room, already dreaming about the warm bed that waited for her upstairs.
“Thanks a lot, Wright,” Remus shouted after her, but she didn’t hear him anymore. He chuckled softly and shook his head, watching her frame disappearing behind a tapestry.
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