Chapter 13 : Chapter 13
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Saoirse Ronan imagined as Lucy Hollister
- Chapter image by me
I am actually good
Can't help it if we're tilted
- Tilted, Christine and the Queens
The evening sun glistened softly through the tall hospital windows, bathing the majority of the wing in a warm orange-yellow glow. I audibly growled at the sight. Yet another reminder of my ridiculously long stay in this peaceful yet deathly boring part of Hogwarts castle. In the distance, I heard the great bell chime seven.
“Alright,” I thought to myself determinedly, “that’s it.”
Swinging my legs over the edge of the cot I’d been occupying since last Friday night, I made for Pomfrey’s cubicle-like office at the end of the row of beds. I couldn’t stand another minute of staring at the gothic ceiling and walls, even if the bloody sun ’d be bathing them bright pink with rainbow-coloured hippogriffs.
“Madam?” I said, after a rapid knock on the old nurse’s office door.
“Yes, child?” she replied, from behind a paperwork-scattered desk.
“I was wondering…” my voice faltered, suddenly at a loss of words.
“Come girl, spit it out. I haven’t all day, do I?” she urged, waving her wand at a quill which started scribbling down on a piece of parchment feverishly.
“Well I was wondering … when might I leave?”
She stared at me, her left eyebrow almost disappearing under her matron’s cap as she raised it obliviously.
“It’s been two days since I arrived here, and I’m feeling so much better. Not the slightest trace of a headache. And tomorrow ’s Monday, so I’d like to spend what’s left of the weekend revising Potions in the library, if that’s—“
“You were dismissed this morning, Miss Thompson”, Pomfrey interrupted matter-of-factly.
Now it was my turn to stare.
“Err, no I wasn’t…”
“Oh, it must’ve slipped my mind to do so, then. Yes, yes. The Lockhart Test results were quite alright. Well, off you go now girl! Chop chop! But do stop by whenever you feel queasy or dizzy again!”, she ushered me out.
I felt my legs carry me towards my cot, felt my hands pull on a sweater over my pyjamas and collecting the few essentials Lucy had brought over from Ravenclaw tower, but my head couldn’t quite catch up. Had I … spent the entire day trying to entertain myself with Max’s shrilly singing ‘Get Well Soon Loser’ card … in utter vain? I shook my head disbelievingly while I took one last look at the figure vaguely visible behind the tinted glass walls of the cubicle office before pushing the heavy double doors and making my way out of this realm of boredom.
It was then that I ran smack into none other than one and only Nose Job Girl.
Her eyes narrowed and flashed dangerously at the collision, so I expected either another dig at my, honestly non-existent, French accent or a nasty curse from her haughtily-set lips. I gripped my wand tighter in case she opted for the second very probable scenario.
“Thompson,” she greeted, “Madam Pomfrey discharged you, I see.”
Blessed with great observational skills, this one was.
“Thank you, Auror Obvious, for those very useful remarks. Now what is it you want?”
“Why, I came to visit you,” she said indignantly.
Indignation, yes. But not a trace of hostility in her tone, not a trace of menace or ill-will. Very different from the hostile voice she’d used to provoke me in Friday’s DADA class. If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought she sounded almost … friendly. Ha, as if…
“Why, so you could leave a lovely pot of Devil’s Snare on my bedside table?”
The corners of her lips turned upwards at this.
“Not quite, Thompson, not quite.”
She furrowed a little through her dragon hide designer bag, then pulled out a bright orange package decked in purple lettering.
“From the newest range of Skiving Snackboxes, hasn’t even hit the shelves yet.”
She proudly held it out to me, and I eyed it suspiciously, unsure of what to do, how to act.
“Consider it a peace-offering, Thompson. Merlin knows I can be a royal bitch at times, but I usually only pull shit on people who had it coming. And well, you didn’t deserve the errr, … remarks I threw your way. I barely even know you, don’t I? So I suppose this is me apologizing?”
Her voice went up at the last sentence, seemingly turning her statement into a question. Strangely enough, this made her entire little speech sound more genuine, making me want to believe her. I still hadn’t taken the package from her perfectly manicured fingers though. A few nice words weren’t going to erase a lifetime filled with security drills and hard core lessons of ‘don’t-take-any-sweets-from-strangers-Elisa’.
“Oh, for Salazar’s sake,” she rolled her eyes, “I’m going to set this thing right here on the floor. By all means, run all the Dark Arts detection spells you know. When you’ve realized this Snackbox is utterly harmless and you’re thinking about possibly accepting my apology, come find me.”
She set down the package, smiled and turned on her heel.
“You haven’t told me your name,” I called after her.
She stopped in her tracks to look at me incredulously, before laughing out loud when she realized I was dead serious.
“What’s funny?” I couldn’t help but slightly smile along.
“Nothing. It’s just… I’m not used to people not knowing my name. But I suppose you genuinely don’t, Frenchie. It’s Lily, Lily Potter.”
She laughed once more before sauntering off, her tell-tale flaming red hair which should’ve given her straight away bouncing with every step. Yeah, for a Ravenclaw and teen highly trained in lethal combat, it appeared I could be quite daft at times.
I looked back at the bright orange packet that still sat in the middle of the hallway, wondering what to do with it. Despite her last name and seemingly genuine apology, I didn’t trust Lily Nose Job. On the other hand, I did love the Unibrow Unicorns Julie and I had bought during our visit to Wizard Wheezes over the summer. Max had been forced to kind of braid his ultra-wild sparkly purple eyebrows out of his eyes for days, before aunt Tori couldn’t stand it anymore and Jules and I finally gave him the half containing the remedy. Who knew which wonders this supposedly newest range contained?
“Elisa?” a voice interrupted my internal babbling, “what are you doing out of bed?”
Lucy Hollister appeared by my side, a platter filled with food and a bottle of pumpkin juice floating in front of her.
“And what are you doing staring at that WWW box like it might bite you any second?”
“Lily Potter gave it to me, to apologize” I answered slowly.
“Aha, so it might actually have a pair of fangs to bite off your head with,” she immediately understood.
“I should probably Incendio the thing right away, but she said it’s from the newest range. Hasn’t even hit the shelves yet.”
I turned to Lucy, expecting her to tell me the only right thing to do, was to blast the box to pieces and be done with it, before it could start chewing away at my ears or something similar. She didn’t though.
“Have you had the Unibrow Unicorns?” I added, somewhat pleadingly.
“Sophie, my little sister, obsessed over them all summer,” she grinned, understandingly.
“We could run some detective spells, Elisa, but I’ve been dying to test out this thing I’ve been working on?” she asked excitedly, looking at me for permission.
I wasn’t exactly sure what she had planned, but who was I to deny the girl whose visits had been the only distraction for days whilst stuck in that wretched Hospital Wing? Well, her visits, my cousins’, and a certain Alex Greengrass’s on Friday night.
“What did you have in mind?” I quickly said to avoid grinning like a mad fan girl at the thought of that particular Slytherin.
“Accio sneakoscope three!” was her clear answer.
“I’ve been tinkering with some old Dark Arts detection devices I came across at a second-hand market. During the Wizarding Wars, there were tons of these things on the market, but since The Great and Most Noble HP saved us all from Voldy’s reign and eternal doom, innovation and development concerning sneakoscopes has sort of stalled. Let’s put it this way: wizarding peace has been a bitch for manufacturers of DA detection devices,” she grinned.
“Consequently, the few sneakoscopes I’ve managed to put my hands on are outdated, their results comparable to trying to watch your favourite TV series on an 80s telly. Cute and vintage, but pixelated and highly unreliable. So I started taking them apart, then tried to combine their individual strengths into one single sneakoscope.”
“And voila, my third prototype!” she concluded proudly, while a colourful object resembling a distorted disco ball with tiny planet rings orbiting around came flying down the marble stairs, then landed in her out-stretched hand.
My jaw dropped, utterly amazed.
“You mean to tell me, that you… made this?” I spluttered.
“Life at Hogwarts gets quite boring when your only sane dorm mate spends the majority of her free time flying around on a random piece of wood,” she smiled nervously, “honestly Quidditch is so overrated.”
“Lucy, it’s brilliant. You’re brilliant! How does it work?” I was close to clapping my hands together and jumping up and down in amazement, like an overly excited child on the morning of its Hogwarts letter.
“Just hold it over any object you’re suspicious off,” she said while holding it over the WWW box, “and give it a good counter-clockwise spin.”
As she did so, the colourful sneakoscope started spinning in the air like a mad whirligig, making all sorts of mechanical beeping sounds.
“It’ll tell you –“
“The exact content and components of the object…” I completed her in absolute awe, as that was what the sneakoscope was currently spelling out, letters and arrows appearing above Lily’s package, hovering in the air like a neon hologram.
Bezoar, butterscotch, cinnamon, daisy stems, fairy wings, … On and on it went in alphabetical order, the exact percentages and ratios displayed as well.
“Doesn’t seem as if Potter junior tampered with any of the ingredients, none of them are particularly poisonous. Now, let’s see which kinds of magic this thing holds.”
She gave the sneakoscope another spin, clockwise this time. It buzzed and beeped again, until the same hologram letters and arrows appeared, spelling out which spells the box had been subject to.
Anteoculatia, baubillious, densaugeo, furnunculus, … A plethora of spells associated with prank-pulling appeared, none of them especially dangerous or harmful.
“Looks like Lily doesn’t plan on ending your life anytime soon, Elisa. This thing’s safe, as far as Skiving Snackboxes go. You know, I heard she prevented the other Slytherins from proclaiming you an Unspeakable, she must’ve taken a liking to you or something.”
“She prevented them from proclaiming me a Department of Mysteries worker?” I said confusedly.
“That is one meaning of the word Unspeakable,” Lucy laughed, somewhat bitterly, “in the context of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’s lovely student life however, it is a synonym for utter outcast. You make that list, and your life here is basically over. I remember Martina Bulstrode declaring her little sister an Unspeakable for being sorted into Hufflepuff a couple of years back. The next semester, the poor girl’d transferred to Beauxbatons out of sheer misery.”
“So much for blood being thicker than water…” I mumbled.
I’d never imagined Hogwarts as pure treacle tart and pumpkin juice. I’d seen enough reruns of Skins and Here come the witches, bitches to know what a bunch of teens thrown together in school are like. But bullying your own sister to the point she is forced to flee the country? Breaking off entire friendships for something as insignificant as an argument about blood status, like Matt and Alex had done? Hadn’t the last Wizarding Wars been fought out of prejudice and division? The world was meant to be smarter now, love and peace and understanding were supposed to rule.
“I think managing to stay off that blasted list calls for appropriate celebration, so let’s take all this food outside,” Lucy gestured towards the almost forgotten platter of food that was still floating in front of her, “and test out the new wonders the Weasleys came up with by the lake!”
An assortment of Fizzy Floats, Candid Caramels and Snazzy Jazzy Apple Drops kept us thoroughly entertained for the remainder of this warm September evening, as we alternated between hovering about 2 feet off the ground, temporarily falling victim to Tourette’s, and tap-dancing our bloody feet off.
I could see why Weasley Wizard Wheezes flourished during the War, as no thoughts of Unspeakables, blood status arguments, my mother’s insanity or the boredom in that wretched Hospital Wing entered my mind. WWW un-complicated things, reduced life to laughter, to a few moments of borrowed yet sacred simplicity.
Even if only for a summer's night.
Lovely lovely Lucy, but what do you think of Lily? And which are some of your favourite stories on HPFF? I'm always looking for mooooooooore :D
Lots of love, and please review if you have the time!
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