Chapter 3 : three. not fit for this class
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“I hate school.” I dropped my bag with a thunk and fell into a chair. I’d only been to two classes and I was already exhausted.Who knew N.E.W.T. leveled classes were going to be this tough?
The Slytherin common room was, for the most part, empty. There were a few sixth and seventh years here and there, but everyone else was at class.
Al, Scorpius, and I had just come from Potions and Blaise and Jasper came from Ancient Runes. Jasper and I were skipping class (Divination) and everyone else had a free period.
Jasper frowned. “You’re telling me. Do you have any idea how much homework we got in runes?”
Al pulled a chair out beside me and rubbed his face. “Ugh. Don’t even say that word. We already have a two foot long essay to do in Potions.”
“Oh, shut it Al.” I said, exasperated. “I bet you already outlined yours.” The school year had barely even started and we were already getting pegged with assignments. “Anyways, when are Quidditch tryouts for you guys?” Scorpius shrugged and I gave him a thumbs up. “Great captaining Scor.”
“You think you’ll tryout this year? You’re going to have to if you want to be seen by any scouts.” Scorpius asked as he rummaged through his bag and threw me a chocolate frog, taking one for himself as well.
“Thanks.” I unwrapped it and shoved it in my mouth. I basically lived off these and Scor always kept a box in his bag. “I’m not sure. With Clements gone there’s a Keeper spot open. James has yet to post a date for tryouts. And anyways, who knows if they’ll even let me on.” The prospect was dim.
Al perked up. “Laila, I know James like my own brother-” I snorted.
“Al, he is your brother.” James was Al’s older brother, a seventh year, and had been captain since last year. Gryffindor lost the cup to Hufflepuff the previous year so James really wants to win this year as it was his last.
He gave me a ‘shut-up-and-let-me-speak’ look, “The thing is, if he thinks you’re a good player, he’ll let you on. No prejudices are going to stand in the way, I promise. You’ll be the greatest Keeper Gryffindor has ever had!” He yelled the last part and threw a fist in the air, earning peeved glances from the other Slytherins.
“I guess.” Not.
I love Quidditch, have ever since I was little. It’s always been my dream to play for Puddlemere United when I got out of Hogwarts. Except, to even be asked to a tryout for a team as big as that, you’ve got to be noticed by scouts. To be noticed by scouts, you’ve got to be playing on a team.
See my problem?
“Well, I’m off to the library. Have to finish that stupid essay for potions.” Al got up and grabbed his bag. He also picked up mine and thrust it in my face. I muttered a ‘fine’ and snatched the bag from him, slinging it over my shoulder.
“Guess I’m going too. See you at lunch guys.” I gave an awkward wave and slung an arm across Al’s shoulders. “Onward!” I pointed towards the door.
“So, why’d you lie?”
“Huh?” I looked up from my essay.
Al and I were at a table in a deserted corner of the library. He was leaning his chair back, arms crossed over his chest, and staring intently at me.
“About tryouts. Why’d you lie? I know for a fact James put up the dates right away last night.”
“Al, do we really need to have-”
“Yes Laila, we do.” He sat upright, slamming both hands down on the table. “I thought you wanted nothing more than to become the next Oliver Wood? To become the first woman to be on an all men’s team?”
“I do! It’s just-”
He continued on, “So why can’t you just go to the tryout? Look, I get people don’t treat you in the nicest way, but come on, you’ve been at this school for 5 years. I know you’re a girl, but grow a pair already! Going to this tryout will not end the world and who knows, maybe people will finally stop ignoring you.” Keeping my head down, I played with the corner of my parchment, refusing to look Al in the eye. Everything he said was reasonable. If there was one thing I disliked about Al, it was that. Arguing with him about anything was pointless because he was so damn reasonable.
I pretended to think about even though I had already accepted the fact that I had lost the argument. “Fine.” I say throwing my hands up. “I’ll go to the tryout. But Al, why do you even care? You-you don’t even like quidditch!” I gave him a look that said ‘HA-got-you-there’.
“I believe sports to be quite narcissistic and Quidditch is one that only fuels the dreadful connotation of sexism on the field, seeing as majority, aka all, of the major european teams contain only men. However, as your best friend, it is my job to throw away those beliefs and help you achieve your greatness in whichever way you desire it. In this case, forcing you to attend the Quidditch tryout even though I hate it and wish Quidditch to the fiery depths of hell.” With that, he ducked under the table and buried his head in his bag, searching for something. He grabbed out his camera and began to mess around with it, signaling that our conversation had ended and that he had moved on.
“Are you going to tell the other guys when tryouts are?” Or not.
“I’ll tell them later if it makes you feel better.” I said. “Anywhos, what time is it?”
“Thanks.” He disregarded my question and went on fiddling with his camera.
I leaned over the table and grabbed Al’s hand to look at his watch.
“Oi! Watch it!” Al snatched his hand away from me.
“Al, it’s almost time for Defense. If we don’t start walking now, we won’t make it in time!” The classroom was on nearly the other side of the castle.
“Yeah, hold on a sec.” Al was still poking around on his camera.
“Al! Come on. I don’t want to land another detention with Penderghast.”
“You’ve already landed yourself in a detention? Laila, we haven’t even been here a whole day yet!” I ignored his patronising tone and grabbed his camera, shoving it into his bag. “Hey!”
“Look, I’ll tell you about it on the way, now up! Up, up, up!” I went behind him and attempted pushing him out of his chair.
“Okay, okay.” He got up. “I’m coming. Merlin, you’re so pushy.”
We left the library in hurry, trying to beat the rush of students, and of course, actually get to class on time.
As we walked, Al searched through his bag for something (most likely that darned camera) while I retold what occurred this morning.
“So, I was just chillin there eating, while Penderghast went around looking through peoples O.W.L.S. to make their schedules and - Al, watch out!”
Al walked right into a suit of armor and fell backwards with a thud. The armor teetered dangerously and I caught it before it could fall on Al.
“You should really watch where you’re going.” I scolded, helping him up.
He winced. “Yeah, well, I was a bit preoccupied. Anyways, you were saying, eating, Penderghast, schedules?”
“Oh yeah.” I delved straight back into my story. “So Penderghast came up to me and started to go through my O.W.L.S . . “
“Miss Malfoy, you cannot go into Transfiguration with an A. You are probably also aware that you will be unable to take History of Magic, Herbology, and Care of Magical Creatures. I will put you in Charms, Potions, Divination, and Astronomy.” Penderghast waved his wand over a blank piece of parchment and a neatly inked schedule appeared. “Here you are then.” He handed me the schedule and prepared to move onto the next person, not even asking for my input on the schedule.
FLASH! There was a flash of white light as Al took a photo of me. I glared at him. “What? You get all animated when you tell stories and-”
“Albus Potter, you put that thing away or it will find itself crushed under my foot.” He gulped and quickly stuffed it back into his bag. “Thank you. Now stop,” I slapped his arm, “interrupting me!”
“Wait, Professor!” Defense was nowhere to be seen on my schedule.
“Yes?” He turned around, slightly disgruntled.
“How come Defense isn’t on here?” I said, waving the schedule in the air. “I got an O. That should automatically place me in the class.”
“It is a N.E.W.T. leveled class.”
I looked around, not getting his point. “But I got an O.”
“I don’t think you understand Miss Malfoy. It is a much harder class. Passing the O.W.L. does not mean you are ready for my N.E.W.T. class. ”
“You said we needed at least and E to move onto N.E.W.T. level. I HAVE. AN O.” I tried my best to not get angry. I didn’t want to land myself in a detention on the first day.
“Very well.” He flicked his wand and Defense was added to my schedule. “But keep in mind, I do not think you will be fit for that class.” With that, he turned back around, moving onto someone else’s schedule.
“Maybe you’re just not fit to teach the class.” I muttered. Unfortunately, it was loud enough for Penderghast to hear.
“Detention Miss Malfoy!”
“And he gave you a detention? Just like that?”
“Yeah. Merlin, I hate him so much.” We neared the classroom. It had been moved to the west side of the school, father from the library, after Hamish Cooper blew up four or five of the classrooms last year, and almost the library as well. Good to know he won’t be setting foot in this school again (this wasn’t the first time an ‘accident’ like this had happened).
“Al, you see Scorpius anywhere?” Most of our classmates were just goofing around and chatting. It was like we’d walked right into the middle of a war zone.
“I think I see him over there with Blaise and Jasper.” Al lead me to them where we all took a seat, not wanting our spots to be taken when the ruckus quieted down.
There was a loud slam and Penderghast walked down from his office. Everyone shut up and scrambled to take their seat.
I slid in between Blaise and Al and rested my head on the table.
“Welcome to N.E.W.T. level Defense Against the Dark Arts! The paper going around is your entire school year curriculum. Please read it once through . . .”
“Let’s see, Potions sucks, Divination sucks, Defense was a total double suck,” I blew a big fat raspberry at the last one, “ Lunch is slowly starting to become my number one class.”
“You, my friend, must be delirious,”Jasper jabbed a fork at me, “Lunch should always be your number one class,” and stuffed his face with more food.
After a morning filled with classes, it felt nice to come and stuff our face with food, forgetting about the piles of homework waiting for us back in the common room. I had planned on relaxing as I had free periods for the rest of the day, but the professors had other plans. And there was also that detention I had to go to tonight.
I was not looking forward to that at all.
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