Chapter 2 : Owls and NEWTs
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At 7:30am Dom and I made our way down to the Great Hall for breakfast and sat down next to the others, whose heads were close together in deep conversation.
‘What’s up?’ I asked, sitting down and piling some eggs onto my plate.
‘Clarissa Van Slyck, that’s what’s up,’ Violet whispered furiously.
‘Not only is she still going out with James, but she’s sitting at our table!’
Our heads turned simultaneously to our left where Clarissa was spoon feeding Potter bacon.
Bella made a loud gagging noise, and Clarissa’s head whipped around towards us.
‘Hi girlies, hope you don’t mind me joining your table. You better get used to it, Jamesy and I are getting pretty serious!’ she smiled at us disturbingly.
‘Jamesy’ at least had the decency to look a little embarrassed.
‘Just as long as you don’t get too close, we don’t want to get infected,’ Dom snapped, holding her fork like she was ready to stab someone.
Before Clarissa could respond our head of house, the Herbology teacher Professor Longbottom appeared.
‘Miss Van Slyck, please return to the Ravenclaw table, the heads of houses are now handing out class schedules.’
Shooting a last filthy look at us, she marched off to her table.
We waited patiently as Professor Longbottom, one of my favourite teachers, read out our names.
‘Miss Farrell,’ he said handing me my timetable.
I quickly scanned it and saw that today I had nothing first, double Defence Against the Dark Arts and Potions, lunch then double Transfiguration.
The bell rang for class, and Dom turned to me.
‘What’ve you got first?’
‘Nothing,’ I replied smiling, ‘you?’
‘Ah you’re lucky. I’ve got Astronomy. See you in Defence then!’ she said, before walking off with Scorpius.
As everyone exited the hall, I decided I would use my free time to write to Camille, my older sister, who was to me like a best-friend and confidant. I wrote to her whenever I could, always asking for advice or just telling her about the happenings in my life. She would reply promptly telling me about what was going on with her, and she often gave me some good advice.
I just went back to Hogwarts yesterday and I haven’t got a class at the moment so I thought I’d take some time to write to you.
I’d completely forgotten to tell you when I wrote to you last time, but I’ve been made prefect. I’m just as surprised as you are, trust me! The other prefect from Gryffindor is James Potter, who I think I’ve complained about to you before.
Anyway, in other news, Charlie got sorted into Gryffindor which he was ecstatic about.
It probably had something to do with the Potters being in Gryffindor. His obsession is crazy… did you know he even named his owl ‘Harry Potter’?
How’s life going? How’s work at Gringotts?
Hooked up with any goblins yet? Ew no why did I say that, it put a really bad image in my head…
Anyway, can’t wait to hear from you!
I got up from the comfy armchair by the fire in the common room and headed out the portrait hole towards the library.
The summer weather was still lingering, which I was thankful for; it always put me in a good mood. And it meant Camille would reply faster, seeing as the owl wouldn’t have to fly through a thunderstorm.
My feet had already carried me to the owlery without me realising, and I decided to borrow Charlie’s owl seeing as I didn’t have one of my own.
‘Harry, where are you?’ I couldn’t see him anywhere. I swear that owl was as cheeky and misbehaving as its owner.
‘Harry! Harry Potter, come here now!’ I said impatiently, feeling foolish.
‘Why are you calling for my father, Farrell?’
I spun around to see Potter standing at the entrance to the owlery. Fan-bloody-tastic.
‘Well… the thing is it’s the name of my brother’s owl,’ I mumbled, blushing.
‘Oh, I see,’ he said slowly, nodding his head, ‘it’s your brother’s owl.’
I could tell from the way he said it he thought I’d made that up on the spot. Why did he have to hear me at that moment? He was going to think I had some strange fetish with his father, of all people.
‘It’s true,’ I replied defiantly, ‘I don’t have some strange fetish with your father!’
He was leaning with an elegant ease against the wall on his shoulder with his arms crossed, head cocked and messy black hair falling into his hazel eyes.
‘Whatever,’ he said suddenly, ‘at least it’s not as bad as that witch who paraded outside our house with a towel with dad’s face on it saying “nothing comes between me and Harry Potter”. Because that was fucking weird.’
Feeling a little disturbed, I turned around to see that Harry had decided to appear.
‘Finally,’ I breathed, attaching my letter to his leg.
Potter, having already sent off whatever it was he was sending, paused again at the doorway.
‘See you later, Dad,’ he said to Charlie’s owl, smirking, ‘and I’ll see you in Defence, Farrell.’
I was going to fucking kill Charlie.
‘Welcome back all of you, I hope you’ve had an enjoyable summer break,’ greeted Professor Quinn smiling.
Professor Quinn was, along with Professor Longbottom, one of my favourite teachers. He was only in his late twenties, I guessed, and he was tall, attractive and had a good sense of humour. If I had to describe him in one word, it would have to be ‘cool’.
Bella, true to character, flirted him whenever she got the chance, and Potter and him were basically mates.
‘I really do hope you had a break, because NEWTs is going to hit you like the Hogwarts Express at full speed, and Defence Against the Dark Arts is no exception. Today we’ll be starting to learn non-verbal spells.’
Just as Quinn said this, he began, to the class’ astonishment, to do a complicated looking Irish jig.
The class turned their heads to the left to see where James and Scorpius were doubled over in laughter.
I rolled my eyes at Dom; Potter had cast a non-verbal jinx at Professor Quinn.
When he’d stopped his jig and the class stopped laughing, he took a bow.
‘Thank you, thank you. Yes, I actually am an expert Irish jigger and was not at all jinxed non-verbally by Mr Potter and Mr Malfoy,’ he said, his mouth twitching, ‘but really, well done on already mastering non-verbal wandwork. It’s impressive. Ten points to Gryffindor!’
Only James Potter would get away with that. For the remainder of the double lesson, we paired off and began our attempt at casting non-verbal spells at each other. Naturally, I was with Dom. To my surprise, I got the hang of it rather quickly. Dom unfortunately was having a bit more trouble, especially since I kept hexing her when she wasn’t expecting it.
‘Nice one Miss Farrell,’ Quinn said approvingly as Dom’s wand flew out of her hand, ‘perhaps I’ll pair you with someone else… Potter! You’ve shown us all your skills in this area, come over here and you can duel with Miss Farrell.’
Potter strode over, rubbing his hands together eagerly.
‘This’ll be interesting,’ muttered Dom, pairing up with Potter’s partner Oscar Sweeney.
Suddenly it felt as though the whole room had stopped what they were doing to watch us as we faced each other.
Potter grinned at me; whether it was meant to be friendly or intimidating I couldn’t tell.
‘Okay,’ said Quinn, who had noticed the building tension and excitement in the room, ‘bow to each other, I’ll count to three… and then begin!’
We bowed slowly, each pair of eyes locked onto the other.
‘3, 2, 1…’
Instantly, we both fired a spell at each other at the same time, which we both managed to dodge. Potter then shot a well aimed jinx at me, but I blocked it instinctively with a shield charm.
I’d never duelled like this before; we were firing spells so quickly and I could feel the adrenalin pumping through me.
We kept on going for quite a while, I was pretty sure, because I could faintly hear Quinn in the background saying, ‘Okay guys, it’s nearly time to go to your next class!’
Just as I flicked my head to the side to see where Quinn was, Potter disarmed me and caught my wand which was flying through the air.
‘Yeaaaah! Go Potter!’ cheered his friends loudly.
Great, why did I have to lose concentration like that and let him win? Today was becoming a Bad James Potter Day. Firstly, there was the whole naming-the-owl-after-his-dad thing, and now he’d beaten me in a duel whilst the whole class was watching.
In the meantime, Quinn was grinning broadly.
‘That was bloody brilliant guys! Ten points to Gryffindor, each!’
‘What, even the loser gets points?’ said Potter.
‘Technically the duel still could’ve been going if I hadn’t interrupted, and it was an amazing show of talent. From both of you.’
‘You’re both in the same house anyway, idiot,’ snapped Dom, always the loyal best friend (although I suspected she was in a bad mood with him after finding out about Clarissa).
‘Oh yeah, right,’ Potter said grinning at me and handing me my wand, ‘nice job, Farrell. Not bad for someone who spends most of their time obsessing over my Dad.’
I groaned and pushed past him to get my bag.
‘What was that about?’ Dom enquired as we left the classroom.
I groaned again.
‘I’ll tell you after Potions at lunch.’
Thankfully, Potions passed calmly and without incident. Although the teacher was Professor Cranston, a middle aged witch who was incredibly tall and incredibly strict (she reminded me somewhat of an army officer), I found Potions to be one of my favourite subjects. I found it calming making the potions, unlike Violet who would become increasingly frustrated when her potions didn’t turn out the way they were supposed to.
I was now sitting across from Dom in the Great Hall at lunch.
‘So tell me, what was James talking about this morning in Defence?’
‘Oh right, that. Well I decided to write to Camille because I had spare time. And anyway, I was in the owlery and I wanted to use Charlie’s owl, but it was hiding so I started calling out his name loudly when Potter walked in…’
‘Yeah but what’s so bad about that?’
‘Well, uh, my brother named his owl Harry Potter…’
Dom, who was drinking pumpkin juice began choking and spluttering from laughing.
‘And he heard you calling an owl named after his dad! He’s going to think you’re one of those crazy, obsessed people! Oh this is just too good!’
‘I told him it was my brothers owl, but I don’t think he believed me…’
Dom just kept laughing hysterically.
‘Come on, people are staring, let’s go down to meet Hagrid, remember we said we’d go see him as soon as possible?’ I grabbed her arm and pulled her towards the entrance of the Great Hall.
Dom and I had befriended the Groundskeeper in our first year, when we’d been wandering around the grounds and got lost.
Hagrid, who’d been heading back from the Forbidden Forest found us, took us back to his hut and gave us tea and rock cakes (only being eleven, we were a little distressed. As in hysterical crying distressed). Ever since then, we’d made regular visits to see him.
We walked down to the hut and knocked on the door.
The door swung open to reveal the enormous half-giant that was our friend Hagrid.
‘Ellie! Dom! Ye came down fer a visit! Just in time too, I’ve got the kettle on.’
We chatted idly together about our family and holidays for a while until it was time to leave for double Transfiguration with the Hufflepuffs.
‘Come to see me again soon, you two!’ Hagrid yelled out to us as we made our way back up to the castle.
Dom suddenly burst out laughing again.
‘I’m sorry El,’ she managed to get out, ‘but… I can’t believe the owl thing happened, it’s just so h-hilarious!’
I looked at her killing herself with laughter until I couldn’t help but join in. Stupid James Potter. He was nothing to get worked up over.
Transfiguration with Professor Wilmot passed much the same as Potions.
Wilmot was a stumpy and balding man who seemed quite dopey at first, but who was actually a pretty good teacher.
This lesson we’d been learning about Animagi, which had been incredibly interesting. The downside was for homework we had to write a two foot essay on the importance of the registration of Animagi.
‘Of all the things we could’ve written about on the subject of Animagi, we write about the registration.’ complained Keira.
‘At least we didn’t get anything for Potions or Defence,’ Violet replied happily.
‘Well,’ I said drily, ‘I guess it’s just the calm before the storm.’
A/N - Hope you liked it :P please please review! xx
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