Chapter 8 : Chapter 8
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“I heard he died in his sleep. How can you wake up and teach even after you died?” Cissney asked, taking the seat behind Ophelia.
Nevertheless, that was one of the most boring lessons Ophelia has ever listened to. For the whole lesson, Binns’ voice was nothing but background noise for her.
The day seemed to pass very quickly and in no time, a whole month passed. A week used to mean nothing back in Birmingham yet in Hogwarts, it was a mountain of homework and it was still a long time until Christmas.
One subject that seemed to make her feel joyful during the lesson was Charms. Professor Flitwick was smiling every time he would see Ophelia enter his classroom but the one professor that Ophelia liked was Professor Luce Spinnard, which it seemed just arrived in time to take over Defense against the Dark Arts.
“I do not care how much homework you have and do not bother telling me excuses. If you do not have your work done by the time I tell you, you may as well become the victim of the next lesson.”
A lot of students remained petrified in their seats, taken aback by the harsh look in those blue eyes and the way it seemed to overpower anyone and anything.
Even though the professor seemed to adore terrifying them, he never actually turned any student into a victim; not yet, at least. One afternoon, right after class was done, he eyed his students closely, making them hurry and almost run out of there. Those eyes stopped on two students that seemed to be gifted in defending themselves even if it seemed they weren’t fully aware of it.
“Lupin and Molley, stay back. I have something for you.” Professor spinning ordered them in his low authoritarian voice.
Remus’ eyes widened as he turned around, ignoring the “Stay alive, Lupi!” screamed by his friend. Ophelia on the other side seemed to be pleased, even if she too seemed a bit wary of the teacher’s intentions.
Tall as he was, he trotted towards them with his hands behind his back, standing straight and firm above his students, watching them from under long eyelashes.
“You seem to be the only students that actually know what a deadline is. I know it is rather quick, especially because you are only first years but I want both of you to write an essay and give it to me at every end of the week. I will give you instructions and permission to enter the forbidden side of the library.” He said before raising an eyebrow and leaning in, “But do not get in trouble.”
“Why would we get in trouble?” Ophelia asked, her eyes staring into those blue orbs of his with intensity.
Remus swallowed nervously and grabbed her hand, expecting some kind of violent reaction from the professor. Nothing happened; if anything, it seemed as if a ghost of a smile appeared on his face but disappeared in a blink.
“Leave.” He said, dismissing the two with a wave of his hand before turning to his desk.
“That was strange. Why would he give us supplementary homework when we already have enough?” Remus wondered on the way to the Great Hall. They still had charms before dinner and Remus was tired.
“He’s a peculiar man altogether. Besides, your favorite place seems to be at the library, in the very back with your loud friends.” Ophelia responded, having a certain way of referring to his friends.
Remus chuckled, surprised yet flattered that she was so attentive when she looked so ignorant for most of the time.
“What about your friend? The Slytherin boy.”
Now that he touched that subject, Ophelia stopped and thought carefully about her relationship with Severus. It’s been almost one month since they arrived at Hogwarts and the only times they speak to each other is during Potions.
“I doubt we are friends.” She mumbled, continuing to walk as if nothing she said was strange.
Remus raised an eyebrow and opened his mouth a bit, preparing to say something that was probably supposed to encourage her or something. Luckily, he didn’t have time because Ophelia hurried inside the classroom and sat as close to the professor as possible. That automatically meant she was standing with Lily, a friend that was constantly trying to loosen up Ophelia’s stiff personality.
“What did Professor Spinnard want?” Cissney asked from Lily’s other side.
Ophelia grasped her wand and copied the hand movements that Professor Flitwick was showing in front of the class. He was small, fact that surprised Ophelia on the first day because she had never seen someone so small before, but he was very quick.
“Extra work for me and Remus.” Ophelia mumbled, Cissney having to lean in to hear her.
“Have you done something?” Lily asked, doing the hand movements and getting it right from the first try unlike other students.
“Longbottom, try again! This time, don’t point it at Miss Riley’s robes!” Professor Flitwick screamed, jumping off his desk and walking towards a very flustered Rebecca Riley.
From two rows behind, standing in a line, were two boys on each side of a very uninterested Remus, laughing at Longbottom and Riley. One of them was familiar and seemed full of excitement.
“Those two, they seem familiar.” Ophelia whispered, pushing the importance of Wingardium Leviosa in the back of her mind.
Cissney glanced over her shoulder before she started to laugh. She seemed to hardly find her voice through all those weird noises she was making while laughing.
“Sirius Black and James Potter are in our house, Pheli. Actually,” Cissney leaned in again, blocking Lily’s wand under her, “Those two are super close already. Usually, Blacks have always been, you know, dark wizards. I think most of them have been sorted to Slytherin.” She added, eyeing the boy with medium black locks.
“So then why is he a Gryffindor?” Ophelia asked, sounding like she was asking out of courtesy instead of genuine curiosity.
Cissney shrugged and grabbed her wand seeing as Flitwick was coming towards them.
“Perfection comes with practice. You can leave gossips for after class, Miss Littlewood.” The short professor commented loudly, making Cissney blush profoundly.
The rest of the day passed incredibly fast. Charms was the last class on Wednesday, after Defense Against the Dark Arts. Unfortunately, next morning, they had a lot of work with McGonagall, whose Transfiguration classes were very clear but at the same time, very uncomfortable.
“I still don’t understand how you find Transfiguration uncomfortable? Did Professor McGonagall say something to you?” Lily asked, concerned that Ophelia might have gotten in trouble.
Ophelia glanced at the staff table during dinner, finding Dumbledore at the table as well. He was speaking to professor Flitwick with a smile on his face, like nothing in the world was wrong. Next to Dumbledore was McGonagall, whose firm yet elegant expression was pretty much the same as every day. She looked up suddenly but her eyes didn’t land on Ophelia but on the boys standing a few seats in the back.
“Black and Potter will get it badly one day.” Cissney mumbled before taking a bite from her piece of apple pie. “You know, they’re so loud in the morning that I don’t even need the alarm to wake me up. The first thing I hear every morning is hurry up, squib!”
“Yes. I believe they are referring to Pettigrew because Remus is usually up by then and the one screaming is usually Potter. I swear, that boy has such a loud voice, even when whispering.” Cissney continued, her eyes getting wider as she was explaining.
“Have you heard him whisper during Potions at Lily? The Slytherin, Ophelia’s friend, he was glaring daggers at him.” Alice added, chuckling at the end.
Cissney nodded furiously before turning towards Lily. The redhead didn’t seem amused at all, if anything she looked like she wanted to brush off anything that had any connection to Potter.
While the girls continued to speak about Potter and his lot, Ophelia felt two pairs of eyes look in her direction. Looking quite hopeful, she glanced at the Slytherin table only to find that Severus was most definitely not looking at her. He was peeking at Lily from under his black locks, trying to seem uninterested but it was obvious he wanted to talk to her. Those elongated green eyes moved down the Slytherin table only to meet the narrowed eyes of Lucius Malfoy. It seemed he noticed she was searching for her friend and was very rudely signing for her to turn around.
Dinner was done faster than she would have liked and she still didn’t find out who were the two people that have been staring at her for the past hour. It was more uncomfortable than Transfiguration and she was sure she won’t be able to sleep at night with so many curiosities.
That was how, next morning, unintentionally Ophelia woke up before everyone else and walked into the common room, hoping that she could practice a bit before breakfast. It just so happened that someone else did the same, someone she has never spoken to nor looked at for the past month.
Messy brown hair, sticking in every possible direction, brown eyes behind a pair of glasses that noticed her right away and a stupid boyish smile that seemed to complete his whole appearance. Yes, that was James Potter, the loudest kid Ophelia has ever heard.
“Oh, didn’t know you are an early bird, Molley.” He started, jumping on the sofa next to her.
Ophelia tensed and started to play with the hem of her shirt unconsciously.
“Good morning.” She mumbled, so faint that Potter took a few minutes to register what she said.
They stood there, both of them aware that the other was not exactly on the same page until Potter finally said.
“I heard you’re Spinnard’s pets. You and Remus…”
He didn’t start with a good subject and they both knew that. Therefore, he tried again.
“Anyway, you know that friend of yours? The ginger.” He started, fidgeting a bit. “She’s very smart.” He added.
Ophelia tilted her head to the side, listening with confusion. Potter was shifting in his seat, looking flustered for some reason.
“She’s smart, yes.” Ophelia answered curly.
“Yep.” Potter continued, emphasizing the p.
He sighed heavily when he realized Ophelia was so stiff that she wasn’t even realizing where he wanted to get with that discussion. Potter might have added something if the door to the girls’ dormitory wouldn’t have opened. Unfortunately, the one walking out the door was Alice not Lily.
They were so polite with each other that it made the atmosphere in the common room even more awkward. Feeling the tension rising because really, they were only children and had nothing to talk about and weren’t even going to try becoming friends, Ophelia got up and waved before leaving the tower.
“Is there something wrong with her?” James asked Alice as soon as the portrait closed.
“She’s just shy.” Alice responded, grabbing a quill and starting her Transfiguration homework. “But she’s good with Charms so I wouldn’t piss her off, Potter.”
But James Potter didn’t have to do that. Someone else had their eyes on Ophelia already, he just wasn’t aware of it yet, nor was her.
Walking so early in the morning through the castle was relaxing. That until Ophelia felt one cube of ice thrown down her shirt, making her tense and quiver.
“That was unnecessary, Peeves.” She said her tone as cold as the ice.
Hogwarts had many ghosts but it also had one poltergeist, which was actually a mischievous kind of ghost that liked nothing more than to mess about with everyone. That was Peeves and Ophelia met the wrath of the poltergeist only once before when he scared her by jumping in front of her in an armor.
“Always so whiny, aren’t you foxy? Don’t ruin the fun!” He screamed as he flied away.
Ophelia scoffed and continued her journey to the girls’ bathroom on the first floor. It was usually closed and she was happy with that because Hogwarts was full of girls and it was hard to find a place to just stay silently in.
The first thing she did when she stepped in was to look at her reflection in the mirror. Hogwarts was the place that she belonged in and she could feel that, she really could but it was also the same as in the orphanage and in the neighborhood with the Molleys. Ophelia was curious how was when her mother was alive and they would go visit Lillian’s acquaintances; she could vaguely remember some ginger man smiling at her and giving her jelly beans but it was so foggy.
In the end, Ophelia sighed and washed her face, pushing every question in the very back of her mind. She wiped her face and looked down at her hands. Transfiguration was one of her favorite classes because she was actually getting good at it without practicing much, just like Charms, but there was one elemnt that was making her feel stressed every time McGonagall would enter the classroom and that was her wand. Every time she’d try using her wand to untransfigure what looked like a poor attempt at transfiguration, it would actually lose direction.
Moving her fingers lightly, the same blue sparkles appeared, even if not as bright as before. Ophelia smiled softly, remembering the pale stranger and just how much he helped her and wondered just where he was.
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