I could have just hit that boy. Devious and demanding, Damon was one who had a large reputation, and not for a good reason. He was the type of wizard who enjoyed pranking muggles and watching their confused, or scared, reactions. And, he had called me 'sweetheart'. For that alone he deserved a piece of my mind. I am nobody's sweetheart, and I won't be talked to in that way by an American newbie.
When he left the Great Hall after dinner, I crept off my Ravenclaw table, and followed him as he stepped out into the chilled air.
It took a few seconds then for him to realise that he was being followed. Our altercation was that of two hotheads.
“Why would I want to read about you?” I snarled.
“Well,” he called back (as we were about three metres away from each other), “you seemed to know who I am, and you don’t seem too pleased to see me here.”
“It’s hard not to know who you are; your father and the minister are basically best buddies.” I ignored his other point. “Like I care.”
He was just like the Damon Dragomin I’d heard of. And that was basically how our conversation went: he would spite me, and I would send another piece of useless information his way, and he would spite me once again. I didn’t waste my time trying to remember the entire conversation. At least, I said to myself, we weren’t duelling; I’d heard that Damon was quite the wizard, despite his many faults.
“…and sadly I haven’t got the time right now,” he finished, turning and heading back to the castle.
"Don't call me 'sweetheart'!" I yelled at his retreating back. He ignored me.
As the few spectators to our argument scuttled away, I folded my arms across my body for warmth. The snow-capped mountains gleamed orange from the sunset that cast its slender fingers over them. Hogwarts was truly a beautiful place, but there were sometimes when I just wanted to run, to hide in the forest and be away from it all. There it was: theForbiddenForest, the dark cloud that sprouted out under the mountains. It was closer, of course, so it looked bigger, an object swarming up to take us all.
In the background to the chirping of magical crickets and the splashes of the supposed giant squid in the late, I heard a Scottish-accented voice calling my name. Although, I knew and liked its owner, I keep my eyes focused on the vista in front of me.
Elco Chang, another Ravenclaw, but in Sixth year, hurried up behind me, and placed a hand gently upon my arm.
I couldn't possibly ignore him another minute, could I? Nevertheless, I turned.
"Tough day, huh?" said Elco.
"You don't know the half of it. I yell at the people on my carriage, people who are supposed to be my friends, and then that new boy, the Slytherin Yank, decides he can treat me as though I'm one of his 'girls'.
"Elco, I see everybody chatting amiably; I see everybody wandering round with their big groups of friends. Even Zoe and Kaitlynn are happy as they are with their groups. But look at me. I have nobody to be that close to...and I just feel useless.”
"Don't say that, Mel," Elco replied. "You may not think you have many friends, but the Fifth years would certainly be willing to support you if something happened.”
I nodded, not believing his sympathetic words. The sky was turning the darkest blue, blocking out the distance, yet revealing little tricks of its own. It was getting so late that the stars were beginning to come out.
Suddenly I spotted a blur of purple whiz through the air.
"What's that?" I said, pointing to where it had been for a second out to Elco.
"It must have been your imagination, or nothing. Come on, Mel, you can't stay out here all night. Zhang and a group of us were going to try some of those new Bertie Botts' Every Flavour Beans. You're welcome to join."
I sighed, shrugging.
"I might as well. I’ll see you up there; I want to spend a couple more minutes out here.”
So, about five minutes after Elco had done the same, I turned and wandered through the warmth to my common room, welcoming the end of a long day.