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The Hands of Time by sweetredrose
Chapter 3 : Chapter Three
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 2


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Well now then mardy bum,
I’ve seen your frown
and it’s like looking down the barrel of a gun
and it goes off


*

September, 1977

As I vaguely paid attention to McGonagall prattling on about the importance of NEWTs, lesson content, and learning objectives, I allowed my gaze to wander around the classroom. There was nothing out of the ordinary here, apart from a change in the layout of the desks and a few transfiguration posters stuck up here and there which weren’t there last year. McGonagall must’ve been busy over the summer. There was Sirius at the front, twisting around in his seat whenever McGonagall’s back was turned to send me a wink. And at the desk next to him was James and a sandy haired boy who I didn’t know. James is pretty much the only constant in my life right now excluding the professors. And the Lily girl was seated a couple of rows to my right, scribbling notes furiously in between frowning at the mousy girl beside her, who’s attention was focused entirely on the back of James Potter’s head.

These people were not my classmates. Well, except for Potter of course. But everywhere else were unfamiliar faces. I had never spent a class with them in all my seven years at Hogwarts and most certainly had never seen any of them in the Gryffindor common room. Yet their robes informed me they were in fact, Gryffindors. However, the class was shared with a whole bunch of Hufflepuffs who I’d never bloody seen either.

Something weird was definitely going on here.

Where were my actual friends? Lacey? Charlotte? Gemma? And my enemies – Sebastian, the Slytherins… Surely they’d all be punished for missing class…and this bloody ‘Mary’ business was downright ridiculous…what the blithering hell is that even about?

Maybe it is a prank after all. Maybe…

No.

I am not going to entertain that idea.

*

But what if I’m right?

Okay, here’s what I’m thinking. Maybe (and this is a huge maybe, because even in the wizarding world things like this just do not happen, and I must be crazy to even think it), just maybe, I have swapped bodies with another girl. This Mary character.

Oh my gallivanting gnomes, what if I’m right?

*

I stared hard at my – Mary’s? – hands, which were gripping the oak desk tight. Well. They certainly looked like my hands. But who really looks at their hands? Who spends time analysing the appearance of their own hands? But I guess I see them every day, so I must know my own hands. Do my nails always look so bloody dull? Are my fingers really that bloody long? Do my knuckles usually stick out so bloody much? Who bloody knows?

Not me, that’s for bloody sure.

How do I know that these hands are really even mine?

I raised one into the air tentatively.

“Yes, Miss McDonald?” McGonagall asked sharply. I inhaled deeply.

“Professor, I’m not feeling too good,” I said shakily, “I think perhaps I should visit the hospital wing.”

McGonagall pursed her lips, eyes flicking over my appearance, as if judging just how ‘sick’ I really was. I must have looked like shit because she nodded as if her judgement had assessed that I was coming down with a life threatening illness, and opened her mouth to speak.

“Yes, Miss Mcdonald, you may –“

“What’s wrong babe?”

Bloody Black had practically sprouted wings and had flown across the classroom, and was now kneeling by my side, eyes swimming with ‘concern’. Oh how sickening.

“Mr Black, get up off the floor. Unless you wish to while away your evening serving detention, I strongly suggest you return to your designated seat this instant!”

Sirius shot McGonagall a sheepish smile and slid back to his desk, mouthing something that might have been “hope you’re okay” in my direction. Eugh.

“As I was saying before Mr Black interrupted, you may leave, Miss Mcdonald.”

I shot out of my seat and was out of that classroom faster than you could say quidditch.

*

Staring at my reflection in the girl’s bathroom.

Well, I’m definitely still me. Same old brown hair. Same old green eyes. Same old slightly disproportionate nose. Same old frown (who can blame me for frowning, on a day like today?). Still the same old Marissa Marriott.

Huh.

Perhaps when everyone else looks at me, they see this ‘Mary’ girl. But I am the only one who can see who I really am?

Eugh what is going on!?

*

Lunch.

After having a near meltdown in the bathroom, and being interrupted by some twittering first years, I’d decided to skip the remainder of my morning lessons (History of Magic) and alternatively wandered the grounds. I’m sure Binns wouldn’t even notice I was gone. I’d thought about Lacey, and what she would have thought of the matter. She’d probably drag me to the library and show me books on body-swapping and so on, and then slap me until I stopped hyperventilating. But I didn’t have Lacey, she had bloody disappeared, so I was left to attempt to calm myself down.

All that light strolling and hyperventilating had proven hard work in the end, and my stomach had begun to protest, so I’d found myself in the Great Hall, sat at the Gryffindor table tucking into a plate piled high with boiled potatoes – my absolute favourite.

So lost I was in the heavenly goodness of the potatoes, that I barely noticed Sirius storming into the hall. That is, until he threw himself into the vacant seat opposite me and snatched my plate away, moving it just out of my reach. The prat.

“Hey! Give that back!” I exclaimed indignantly through a mouthful of potato. Attractive.

“Not until you explain where you’ve been.” Sirius remarked.

“I told you, hun, I went to the hospital wing. The nurse checked me over and said it was just a little spell of over exertion and sent me to the dormitory to get some rest.”

Since when had I become a bloody compulsive liar? Oh bollocks, he’s raising an eyebrow and giving me that ‘I don’t believe a word you’re saying’ type of look. He’s onto me!

“Stop talking shit Mary. Look, if you’re seeing someone else behind my back I’d rather you tell me now before –“

“What?”

“Mary, I checked the hospital wing. Madame Pomfrey said you hadn’t been in there at all. So I asked Lily to check your dorm. You weren’t there either. So you’ve clearly been out running around with this Sebastian bloke, while I’ve been running around the castle worrying about your state of health!”

“Oh for Merlin’s sake Sirius, it’s as if you don’t trust me! Did you ever stop to think that I could have been in the bathroom?”

This pretending to be in a relationship business was proving hard work. Why am I defending this girl, Mary? It’s hardly my fault if her fella can’t trust her to go to the girl’s bathroom alone, is it?

“Well, no, I –“

“If you must know, I was feeling a little constipated. And I was hardly going to shout that out to McGonagall in front of the entire class now, was I? Now give me back my damn potatoes will you?”

Sirius’ cheeks reddened as he gingerly slid my plate back across the table.

“Thank you.” I said shortly, before shovelling more potatoes down my throat. Sirius watched with apprehension.

“You know Mary, I don’t think all those potatoes will help much with your um… current situation.”

“Shut up, Sirius.” I snapped as I reached for a chicken leg.

“I’m just saying, it’s not like you to eat like this, Mary. I thought you were on a diet – last week you were refusing to eat anything other than salad…”

I glared at him and ripped off a strip of chicken with my teeth.

“Well this week I’m on a high carb diet, right?”

“Okay, sorry, sorry!” He held his hands up, “Look, I know you missed the post this morning, which was my fault. And I know you like to read the paper during Arithmancy. So I nabbed Peter’s copy of today’s Prophet for you. Here…”

He produced a folded newspaper from his backpack and handed it to me.

“Um…thanks.”

“Oi Padfoot! You best get over here, Moony reckons he can fit twenty carrots in his gob at once!”

Sirius grinned as he glanced down the table to where Potter and a couple of other boys were sat. The sandy haired boy who was sat with Potter during Transfiguration was gesturing at a pile of carrots in front of him. Why was Potter hanging around with these guys and not his usual gang? Sebastian’s absence was highly suspicious.

“Must dash!” Sirius stated, “So are we cool? You’re feeling okay now, and definitely not cheating on me?”

“No Sirius, I’m definitely not cheating on you. We’re fine.”

“Brilliant!”

And with that, Sirius stood up, leant over the table, and grabbed my shoulders. I began to stutter “what are you doing?”, but was cut off by his lips crashing down over mine. I sat frozen, eyes wide and half a chewed potato still in my mouth, taken entirely by surprise. And as quick as it had started, it was over, and Sirius was winking at me and murmuring something about catching me later, and then he was gone.

I blinked.

I should have expected it really. After all, the poor bloke did seem to believe I was his girlfriend – Mary. And I had kept up the pretence and gone along with it, not admitting the truth – that his girlfriend was trapped in my body, and I was trapped in hers. Oh Merlin, I’m a home wrecker! I’ve kissed another woman’s man!

I shook my head as if to erase all the thoughts, pushing the kissing incident to the back of my mind. I needed distraction. Normality. Glancing down, I caught sight of the copy of the Daily Prophet that Sirius had ‘nabbed’ for me. Perfect, I thought, that’ll take my mind off everything.

But as I picked up the newspaper, I realised it wouldn’t take my mind off things at all. Because there, in tiny print on the top left corner of the newspaper, was the date. Today’s date.

Tuesday 2nd September, 1977.

Nineteen seventy seven – well I guess that bloody explains it all!

*

AN

So there it is, Chapter Three! And Marissa finally realises she’s living in the past! Sorry for the excessive use of the word ‘bloody’ I think I got a little carried away.

Updates from now on might become a bit slower as I work two jobs and start back up at uni this week along with trying to maintain a social life, but I’m hoping to get cracking on chapter 4 soon and will try to keep the updates flowing. :)

The song at the beginning is the work of the Arctic Monkeys and is called Mardy Bum. It doesn’t really fit that well with the chapter, but I just love the song ha!

Thank you so much for reading, as usual, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Reviews are always more than welcome. :) x 


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