Chapter 4 : Letter
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“Wilson, Karen” called professor Longbottom from the front of the great hall. A frail looking girl with a curly blonde bob walked to the stool. She flinched slightly as Neville place the hat on her head and her hands were visibly shaking.
“Puff. She has to be.” James whispered to me and Freddie, a confident smirk on his face. I studied the girl closely as Freddie said, “No way, she looks like a Claw!” I watched as she clenched her fist tight to stop from shaking, her shoulders seemed to roll back slightly and her head rose from its drooping position. I smiled.
“Nope you’re both wrong. I’ll bet my money she’s a Gryffie.” Freddie and James scoffed looking up at the small girl with amusement. A few seconds pasted in a hushed silent when the hat finally called out “GRYFFINDOR!” Freddie groaned and James slammed his face down on the table before sliding there money in my direction. Laughing at the two idiots that I called friends I clapped as Karen made her way to the end of our table and professor Longbottom removed the stool from the hall.
McGonagall stood in front of the hall to welcome the first years with her annual speech. The hall quietened some, with hushed conversations sprouting up around the tables, as Minnie went over the rules that James Freddie and I were most likely going to break this year anyway. After what felt like an hour she finally sat back down at the staff table and the food appeared on the table. There were squeals of excitement from the first years and sighs of relief from everyone else that by this point in the evening were probably all starving. I watched with baited breath as all along the Slytherin table people began to shovel food into their mouths. The potions would activate in about five minutes giving everyone enough time to eat something on the table.
“Thank Merlin. I swear those speeches get longer every year.” James grumbled as he heaped some broccoli onto his plate. Don’t ask me why, but the guy has a freakish addiction to the stuff. When I asked him about it once in second year he got very embarrassed and started mumbling something about tiny trees and feeling like Grawp. I didn’t know what the hell that meant and needless to say I didn’t ask him again.
“Oh stop moaning and eat your broccoli.” I elbowed him playfully in ribs and he let out a very feminine squeal. Yes, the epitome of manliness (his words not mine) just squealed like a girl in the middle of the great hall. Remember this moment people. “Pass the potatoes Freddie” I asked sweetly as James glowered at me and I looked down at my watch.
“Five, four three, two, one…Chaos.” I grinned mischievously as Slytherins scattered round the table who had been delving into the steak pie began to rise from the table and frantically run from the hall in search of a toilet, desperately clutching their bottoms and trying not to shit themselves. As James and I saw Hugo join this group we laughed even harder. It was when he sent us a withering look that I decided I would sent a very expressive thank you note to George who had given us his latest Wheezes product to test. Clean out Potion…well the name said it all really- to put it shortly the Slytherins would be on the toilet for days.
“The Pepper up and Piss off potions was genius mate.” Freddie laughed, thumping James on the back. It really was a great idea. Putting cheerful and angry people together in the same room was like mixing oil and vinegar. Arguments broke out among the Slytherins who were either extremely cheerful or extremely angry. I high fived James as the remainder of the Slytherins hair started flashing rainbow colours. Molly squealed in anger as her hair turned a putrid shade of green. She stood up abruptly from the table, clutching at her poker straight hair. The action jostled the table in front of her causing a goblet of pumpkin juice to spill into her severely pissed of friend Jamie. In utter fury he began launching his dinner at her and when a stray heap of mashed potatoes splattered a nearby Hufflepuff an all-out food fight erupted in the great hall. The laugher ceased immediately being replaced by shrieks and screams as girls dove under tables and or ran for the door. I was ready with a repelling charm and I lazily swished my wand preventing the flying food from hitting me as James and Freddie began launching food at the other tables. McGonagall being McGonagall didn’t let the fun go too far. Being the buzz kill that she is she sent a huge spike of lightening down from the enchanted ceiling. The hall froze, all heads snapping towards her, most people had hands still raised either in defence or ready to lob a fistful of food.
“Enough!!! What i…” she cried furiously. Her wand was magically projecting her voice allowing it to reverberate around the room. She froze midsentence as she felt the charm take over. Freddie beside me had hit her with a colouring charm. McGonagall stood in front of the hall, eyes glinting with fury and mouth hanging open mid word, purple from head to toe. Her hair, her skin, her fingernails and even her cloths were a brilliant shade of violet. As planned I flicked my wand one final time and our banner appeared in the air, hovering above the head table and the purple McGonagall.
Legend Pranksters James S. Potter, Coralline V. Brady and Fred B. Weasley welcome you back properly to another year at good old Hoggy-Hoggy-Hogwarts. Watch out for our work, new material coming soon.
If it was possible for steam to come out of McGonagall’s ears and she was red instead of purple, she would freakishly resemble the Hogwarts Express. She was literally shaking with rage as Freddie James and I stood up on the Gryffindor table and took a bow.
“Bed. Everyone off to your bed.” Chuckling we hopped off the table and sauntered against the current of students exiting the great hall, walking towards the staff table. There was no point in trying to escape punishment, it was the inevitable part of the back to school prank although we tended to be more careful with getting caught throughout the year. As we approached McGonagall who had just finished resuming herself to her original colouring she held out her hand to us. We took our wands out and placed them in her outstretched hand before her and the other teachers left the hall. I walked over to the broom cupboard at the side of the hall where I knew the cleaning supplies would be and began dragging out buckets and mops for cleaning up the evidence of the food fight. This wasn’t the first time that one of our pranks ended in a food fight so we knew the protocol rather well by now- maybe a little too well. As I strategically placed the cleaning supplies around the hall James and Freddie took out there really wands – having given McGonagall the fake WWW wands- and began cleaning the hall with Scourgify. Technically it wasn’t the punishment that good old Minnie intended but the students of Hogwarts could get quiet messy when they wanted to be and after having to clean the hall the muggle way twice we devised the plan to always carry the fake wands when our pranks included the great hall.
“Non-verbal punishment this time. That’s new.” I chucked as I sat down beside a bucket and scrub brush after the hall was clean.
“Well we knew what our punishment would be. No point in wasting her breath on telling us what we already know. Anyway what do you think we should do next?” Freddie asked. He was standing on the podium, leaning casually on the end of a mop with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. I looked over at James to see him lying on the Ravenclaw table rag in hand and his “thinking face” expression. Merlin James don’t hurt yourself.
“Filling Hendricks potions cupboard with pixies?” he suddenly shouted out looking extremely pleased with himself. Honestly?
“We did that in fourth year. How about turning the grand stair case into a waterfall?” I asked lying down on my stomach.
“I like it but I think we should save that for later. Give Minnie some time to cool down first. I don’t want another Howler from mum. We need something small but effective.” I agreed. A howler from Ginny was not fun. I had been on the receiving end of a fair few myself and just thinking about it made me shudder.
“Agreed, putting Dungbombs in the Hufflepuffs air vents?” I suggested. At this Freddie’s eyes light up like they do at Nana Molly’s Christmas dinner and James sat straight up on the table.
“Yes!” Freddie cheered, “When?”
“Next month before the Hufflepuff quidditch try outs. With any luck they won’t get as good a team together.” Trust James to use this prank as an advantage to win at quidditch. We spent the next hour planning out the finer details of the prank as we waited for McGonagall to return and let us leave. When she strolled in at ten o’clock and handed us our wands.
“Your parents have been owls. The disgrace you caused tonight has been described in excruciating detail. Oh… Mr Potter, Mr Weasley your cousin along with his fellow Slytherins is in the hospital wing with terrible bowl movements. If you could give Mrs Pomfrey the antidote it would be much appreciated. That will be all.” And with that she walked out of the hall.
“Eh, Freddie?... Did you by any chance ask your dad if the potion came with an antidote?” I asked reluctantly, staring at the doors from which McGonagall had just vanished.
We had been back to school for two weeks now and the Slytherins were just getting out of the hospital wing. Madame Pomfrey had owled Freddie’s dad and pleaded with him to make an antidote. At first he refused, insisted that letting the potion were off naturally was key to his experimentation process. He finally gave in after two weeks and in the end I think it was Hermione who forced him into creating an antidote as Hugo was one of the pupils involved.
“How you feeling Hughie?” James snickered as we walked into the common room after dinner Friday –Freddie was serving a detention for being caught after hours in a broom closet with Paisley Dunbar- to find Hugo and Lily sitting in front of the fire. James flopped down over the back of the sofa, landing on the seat, completely sprawled out. I walked around the sofa and picked up his legs before sitting in the space they had previously occupied and then placing them on my lap. Hugo looked up from his chest game with Lily long enough to glower at us before ignoring the question entirely.
“Come on you’re not mad at me are you Hugo?” I said mock sweetly and he glowered again.
“Madam Pomfrey had to rub a calming potion in a very embarrassing area twice a day. Of course I’m mad at you Coralline Valerie Brady.” Ouch, the full name. Damn he was pissed at me. I cringed against the sofa at the use of my full name whereas James melted into a puddle of laughter. He ended up falling onto the floor clutching his sided and kicking the floor. His throaty laugh boomed across the busy common room attracting the attention of everyone in the room. Always the centre of attention our James.
“M-Madame Pomfreee-hee-hee,” he wheezed between laughs, “Had to r-rub a potion on you’re a-a-a-arse hole?” I was now fearing that if James laughed anymore he would pee himself in the middle of the common room. That or by the thunderous look on Hugo’s face, that he was about to be punched in the face if he didn’t shut up soon.
“You know James I don’t see why you find that funny because I seem to recall,” Lily interrupted suddenly. A mischievous gleam in her eye, “mum having to wrap another very personal part of yours in dittany soaked bandages when you got splinched after illegally aparating last summer.” His laughter ceased immediately and James and Hugo visibly shuddered at the memory. There was a moment of awkward silence before I yawned loudly.
“Okay,… and with that, I think I’m going to go to bed. I’ll see you guys in the morning.” I said as I got up from the couch and began walking towards the dorms. It was only a week until the next full moon and I could feel it start to take over. My body was weakening for the transition, I was more tired than I normally was and the stairs to the common room where enough to send me into a coma for a week. My senses were also heightening; a wolf trait that I actually found useful. I could hear conversations through walls and floorboards- or even across the great hall if I concentrated and my sense of smell was insane.
I walked into my dorm room after climbing yet another flight of stairs to find it empty. All my roommates must still have been at dinner or in the common room and after getting ready for bed I pulled back my scarlet hangings to find a letter on my pillow. My name was scrawled across the envelope in a blood red ink. Even without opening it, I knew that it was nothing good. And so with shaking hands I drew the note from the envelope and read through the jagged slanting writing, my heart pounding faster with every word. My breath caught on the last words and the letter fell from my hands. I stared at it lying open on the floor with mind reeling. I was right; it meant nothing good.
Heyy, so...ermm...yeah, I'm really sorry it took me for-like-ever to get this up. I know i promised a faster update this time but i think its time i accept that i cannot write a chapter everyday even though i would love to. I have been crazy busy over the last month (in the process of moving out) and between time i have been trying to write this chapter the way i wanted it.
On the plus side i have straightened out all the wrinkles in the plot and plan of the novel so writing it should go a lot easier. i have also written the first drafts of two of the big climatic chapters and I'm really happy with them. I think you will like them too and maybe even be a little shocked. I wont give to much away.
As always thanks for reading and please please please leave a review. They make my day better.
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