Changing from Within
An Eventful Breakfast
My dream of parrots taking over the world is interrupted by an annoyingly cheerful voice telling me to wake up.
Instead of awakening, I turn over groaning.
"Louise," the annoyingly perky voice continues, ignoring my groaning, "it is time to face the day and make brand new memories. It is currently twenty-two degrees outside and sunny. Lovely weather for a Friday."
Friday? I thought it was Wednesday?
"What's the date?" I ask, lifting my hands up to rub at the sleep knitting my eyes shut.
"It is Friday, August the second," August!? It was April yesterday! "Nineteen ninety one."
Then it triggers.
I'm at Hogwarts! I'm actually at Hogwarts and I have a wand and I can do magic!
And I'm in Slytherin. I'm a muggleborn. In the house that famously hates muggleborn’s.
Steph and Megan and Hannah and Gregor and Adam and Katherine are all in different houses. I have to face this alone!
We are still at Hogwarts. This really isn't a dream.
"Oh. My. Rassilon!" I scream, fully awake as the realization properly sinks in. I leap out of my bed, popping out of the curtains to face a blurry wall.
Groaning, I turn and crawl over the other side of the bed to where a nightstand is sitting, within the curtains. Grabbing my glasses, I look at the nightstand where a silver stand nightlight is sitting on the dark brown wood.
Crawling back out from the bed, I head to my suitcase and pull out a comfortable pair of jeans and T-Shirt, pulling the cloak from last night from where it had been launched over the end of the large bed.
Seeing the other curtains still closed, I go to the end of my bed, between the door and the sheets, to get changed, shaking off the weirdness at suddenly being in a much smaller and flatter body.
By the time I finish in the bathroom, the other girls had gotten up. Millicent is already lining up for use of the bathroom.
"This better not become a common thing." She moans lightly, with a slight quirk of her lips as she walks in behind me.
"You'll need to wake up earlier," I smile back as she closes the door.
I open the curtains on my bed and make it before heading back to my trunk, staring from it to the cupboard opposite the bed.
"Will we have lessons today?" I ask as I try and decide my next move.
"Yes," Daphne says as she walks out of the room, not looking at us. I blink at the bluntness but take the initiative to pack a bag.
I take my wand first, placing it in a side pocket, within easy reach.
I search through the suitcase, past the folded up clothes and underwear, the note from yesterday, and put a handful of parchment into a back pack I find at the bottom. Finding a bottle of ink, I place that and a feather quill in a side pocket of the bag.
Then I search through the books until I find 'Magical Drafts and Potions' by Arsenius Jigger' I place it in the bottom of my bag as well as a box labelled 'Potions.'
"How do you know we'll have potions?" Tracy asks, sitting next to her trunk eyeing me.
"Uh- just a feeling?" I say with a shrug. Tracy shrugs and pulls out a cauldron, placing it her own bag.
"I certainly hope you're right." She smiles as she finishes adding Potions things to her bag, "but if not, I suppose we can run back and grab our things before first class."
"Yeah," I agree, sitting back as we wait on Millicent coming out of the bathroom and Pansy packing her own bag.
"Daphne seems nice," Tracy points out, gaze on the door, I laugh in agreement as Millicent comes out, she smiles widely at seeing Pansy, Tracy and I waiting on her.
"Sorry for taking so long," she quickly says, speeding up on her way to find her bag for today. "What are we packing?"
"Potions. Apparently Louise is some kind of seer." Pansy informs her.
"I'm really not," I laugh, "it's just a feeling." That I got from reading the books like twenty years from now, heck I shouldn't even exist! I wasn't even conceived till 1995!!
"Well, if you’re wrong, we know who to blame." Millicent decides, pulling things from her suitcase and chucking them into her bag.
Together, we head out of the dorm, up the two flights of stairs and out to the Common Room where the boys and Daphne are standing with Gemma, waiting on us.
"Hey!" I greet, "thanks for waiting."
"Thanks for joining us," Gemma says, an eyebrow raised, I shrug sheepishly. "Professor Snape will be handing out your timetables at breakfast today, at seven thirty, this will give you the chance to come back and get what you need for the day after breakfast.
"Breakfast begins at six thirty in the morning, and ends at ten o'clock. First class begins at nine, for an hour. You have half an hour for a break, or to get to your next class, which starts at half past ten. Lunch is eleven thirty to twelve thirty.
"Class three begins at twelve thirty until one thirty and the final class of the day is two until three. You are expected to be at each class in time, and prepared. Tardiness generally involves loss of house points and repeat offenders receive detentions, same goes with homework.
"The classes are labelled with the floor they are on, say 03W14 would be on the third floor, to the West, classroom number fourteen. But seeing as the third floor corridor is off limits, you should not be found there.
"Keep track of the amount of flights you have gone up, and you should find your way around easy enough. If you do get lost, do not hesitate to ask a portrait or a fellow Slytherin for help.
"Now, if you follow me, I'll take you to the Great Hall for breakfast."
Gemma then proceeds to walk straight through the wall we came in last night. The boys follow, with Daphne straight behind. Shrugging, Tracy and I head through next.
I keep my eyes open, shuddering at the strange pressure I feel as the world becomes dark and muggy before I push through the other side, the rest of the Slytherins have already started walking so Tracy and I rush forward, Pansy and Millicent on our heels.
Reaching the end of the hall, we turn to the right and up the flight of steps. From a corridor half way up, the Hufflepuff’s appear in a large group. They catch sight of us and stop, allowing us to go forward first. I wait behind, shaking my head at Tracy as she turns to me.
"Hannah and Megan are with them," I remind her, "I want to see how they are doing so far." With a shrug, Tracy keeps going forward, the Hufflepuff’s head up soon after, I spot Hannah and Megan talking to each other at the back and rush forward with a grin, enveloping them in a hug.
"Oh my word, how are you?" Hannah immediately asks when we pull away and begin walking together, "how was everyone with you? Are you okay?"
I laugh at her immediate concern.
"I'm fine. I kind of implied I could be anything. Said all our parents died in an explosion and we grew up together." Megan nods, both of them looking relieved. "What have you told the other puffs?" I ask.
"Nothing yet, we were doing trust exercises last night, talking about the type of person we are and what subjects we are looking forward too." Megan answers me, I relax.
"Good, that way we can get you two to stick to the story." We arrive at the hall just then, "meet here at lunch." I decide, Hannah and Megan nod as we split off, Megan and Hannah going with the rest of the Puffs to the table to far right. I head to the far left to where Tracy has saved me a seat. I smile my thanks as I take a seat, eyeing the options available to me.
I immediately lunge for the best breakfast food ever, a pot of sugar right next to them gets snatched as well.
I quickly slather the goodness in sugary fatness and dig in.
Whilst eating, Professor Snape heads down the table, handing out sheets of paper.
Getting my own, I see it is my timetable, with, as I had previously predicted, Double Potions first thing on a Friday morning.
"You were right." Pansy states, looking from me to the timetable in wonder.
Finishing off my delicious meal with a nice cup of fresh orange juice, I look up to see Adam, Katherine and Gregor have arrived and are sitting together - well, Adam and Gregor are sitting on either side of Katherine, completely ignoring each other.
"Well, I had a one in six chance," I shrug, "I'm going to see how my friends are doing." I then inform them, getting up and headed to the back of the Hall, towards the doors.
I pass the Gryffindor table and head down the Ravenclaw table, walking between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. As I had hoped, I only get a few curious stares.
"Hey, guys," I grin as I reach Gregor, Adam and Katherine.
"Emma," Gregor smiles a greeting.
"Hi, Emma, how are you?" Katherine asks, smiling brightly and making space for me between her and Gregor.
"I'm okay," I answer, "Slytherin isn't as bad as I had thought it was going to be."
"Thought so," Adam buts in, smirking, "you’re certainly the type."
"Well at least I'm not a Ravenclaw." I pout, looking apologetically at the glares I receive for the comment.
"There's nothing wrong with Ravenclaw," Gregor immediately defends himself, "we know we need to pass our tests to get anywhere."
"We value keeping each other safe over having the best marks." I am quick to inform them.
"Anyway-" Katherine cuts in, "we were discussing home, and how we miss it." Judging by the wide eyed pointed look I'm receiving from her, I quickly catch on.
"I know, I wish we knew if our parents came here." I say sadly, avoiding eye contact. Opposite me, I notice the interest the other 'Claws are suddenly showing. Gregor, Adam and Katherine quickly catch on to my gist, that I have already come up with a cover and we all need to follow it.
Katherine smiles sadly, looking down at me, "the fact we're all in different houses though, one of us are bound to be in the same as them."
"Yeah," I agree, "if there hadn't been that huge ass explosion, we'd actually know though."
"There's no way to find out, is there?" Gregor adds, trying to cover the full story. I look up at him, rolling my eyes.
"Well duh!" I state, "We don't even know they're last names, there is no way of knowing who they were."
"Or who they were friends with." Katherine quickly adds, I understand the question, why don't we live with someone who knew them.
"Well, dad did just pick us up from an orphanage."
Gregor raises his eyebrows, I get the look - you're positive D is a male? I smile an affirmative.
"Oh!" I add in as an afterthought, starting to get up, "Megan and Hannah are meeting me at the doors at lunch time, you lot coming too?"
They agree readily and I head off, towards the most dangerous territory I am to face.
Taking a deep breathe, I eye the table as I walk back up the hall, near the top, I catch sight of Steph's bright ginger hair sitting next to a happily chatting Hermione.
Sighing in relief at her being near the top of the hall, I nervously make my way over, choosing the Slytherin Gryffindor side to make my way down.
"Hi Steph," I smile as I reach her, stopping behind.
Steph turns with a bright smile and jumps up, pulling me into a hug.
"Louise!" She exclaims happily, "how are you?" She adds, eyeing the Slytherin table behind me. I can already feel the eyes on me. Words from last night’s long speech circling around my head. 'But that doesn't mean we cozy up with Gryffindor’s,'
"I'm good," I answer, feeling myself tense at all the eyes I can feel on me. "How are you? And is that Hermione from the train?"
"I'm great. They have tea!" Steph exclaims with a grin. "And yup, that's Hermione, she has some freaky memory skills, we're not going to get lost with her about!" I laugh as Hermione turns bright red at the compliment.
"What is she doing here?" A rude, squeaky male voice blurts out.
I turn to see Ronald Weasely glaring at me from under a mop of untidy ginger hair. Next to him, Harry is looking resolutely down at his food.
"I'm chatting with my sister, is that alright?" I ask, eyebrow raised as I stare down the ignorant eleven year old.
"You’re a Slytherin." He states.
"Well done, apparently you can see!" I exclaim sarcastically, causing Steph to laugh.
"You’re not supposed to be talking to Gryffindor’s." Ron informs me. I cross my arms over my chest, my eyes narrowing dangerously.
"Oh, I'm sorry," I state, chest starting to warm as the familiar tingles ad my infamous anger begins to rear its head. "I didn't realize being in green meant I couldn't talk to my sister anymore."
"Well now you know," Ron blinks back, still glaring at me, "so get back to the other snakes."
Next to Ron, Harry elbows him, looking up and shaking his head. Ron ignores the mini celebrity.
"Evil people shouldn't talk to good folk like us."
I breathe in.
I breathe out.
I begin to see red.
My hands start to shake.
"Evil!?" My voice is deadly calm my chest burns and boils, ready to spill out. "What gives you the right to decide who is evil and good?"
"You're in Slytherin. All Slytherins are evil."
"Are you saying Merlin was evil?"
"What's Merlin got to do with anything?" Ron asks, his head tilting slightly in confusion.
"Do you know what house Merlin was in, Ronald Weasely?" I ask calmly.
"Yeah, Gryffindor." He puffs his chest out proudly.
Around us, the hall is almost silent. I take advantage and turn to the head table.
"Professor McGonagall?" I call out, she looks over to me, frowning slightly and stopping her conversation with Dumbledore. This causes everyone in the hall to turn to us.
"Yes?" She asks, voice clipped in confusion, she clearly hadn't been paying attention to her house.
"What house was Merlin in?" I ask her, making sure my voice is loud and clear so everyone can hear. I can see Ron turning bright red.
"He was in Slytherin I believe." The Scottish Professor answers me.
"Does anyone dispute that?" I ask the hall at large.
The hall is silent.
"No? Then by saying all Slytherins are evil, Ronald Weasely, you are saying the great Merlin himself was evil."
At being directly called upon, Ron's face turns a brighter shade of red.
"You-know-who was in Slytherin." He tells me.
"No," I answer, a lot of the hall frowns, opening their mouths to disagree, "I don't know who." I quickly finish.
"You know-" Ron tries, but I shake my head blankly. "The Dark Lord."
"You’re saying a young boy, by the name Dark Lord, came to Hogwarts?" I ask skeptically.
"He wasn't called that back then!" Ron quickly disputes.
"Well what was he called?" I ask. My eyes flicker up to Dumbledore who is watching Ron and I with a curiosity keen to newborn babies. "Doesn't anyone know who he was?" I ask the hall, no one answers. I turn to the teachers.
"Surely one of you would have been here when he was." I state, hiding behind a confused frown. Inside, however, I'm jumping in glee. I've trapped them in a corner. Everyone will find out Voldemort was a half-blood. Should stop some of the Death Eater wannabe's from continuing on that path.
"That is confidential information, Miss Nelson," Dumbledore calls from his position, I narrow my eyes at him.
"So this guy, who killed hundreds of people, started a war is allowed to maintain confidentiality?" I ask incredulously, "I think he lost that right when he decided to start killing people."
"Some information can't be given out freely," Dumbledore frowns, I glare back.
"Well lucky for you, I know exactly who he was."
"And how would you know that?" I feel a slight prodding in my head, like someone had pushed a cloth over my scalp, I glare up at Dumbledore with renewed vigor, gritting my teeth at the invasion. "Find what you were looking for?" I ask once the prodding stops a couple seconds after it started.
Many of the students around me look confused, some of the older ones look outraged.
"I think I shall see you in my office, now, please." Dumbledore decides, leaving no room for argument as he gets up and out of his chair, walking around the table and down the steps, heading towards me.
"Why?" I ask defiantly, staring the old geezer down.
"I think there are a few things we need to discuss in private." He says as he reaches and walks past me, I feel a sudden, deep urge to follow the headmaster and turn to do so, stepping out from the great hall.
But as I exit, I quickly turn back and smirk. "Tom Marvalo Riddle, look him up."
After leaving that pleasant bombshell, I turn and start walking after Albus Dumbledore again, smirking at my victory.
We walk in silence up four flights of stairs. Then through countless corridors until we come across a large, stone eagle carving in the wall.
"Jelly tots." Dumbledore says, with a loud, scraping groan, the eagle moves back into the wall, revealing a moving, spiral stare case heading upwards.
I take the step, four after the Headmaster, and wait awkwardly as we are taken up to a small hallway with a brass door.
Dumbledore walks in, leaving the door open for me to follow after. I close the door behind me.
Turning around, I see Dumbledore has already taken a seat behind his desk and is gesturing for me to take one of the wooden ones in front of him. I do so.
"Who are you?" He immediately asks, I raise an eyebrow at the bluntness.
"Louise Nelson." I tell him, "but you know that. You called me by my name in the hall."
"When are you from?" He asks, leaning forward in his chair and watching me closely. I gulp, admittedly a bit intimidated.
"What do you mean?" I ask, keeping my voice casual as I begin to sweat.
"You know things no eleven year old should." He informs me.
"Well yeah," I roll my eyes, “I am nineteen a years old."
Oh my shit did I just say that out loud!?
Judging by Dumbledore's glare, I can safely assume I did.
"When are you from?" He repeats his previous question.
"Twenty fifteen." I answer honestly.
"How and why?"
"I don't know." I answer with a shrug. Dumbledore's glare deepens.
"I will force the answer out of you if I must. Or shall I get the Ministry of Magic involved?" He asks. My breathe catches at his deathly tone.
"I honestly don't know how I came here!" I squeak out, "magic doesn't even exist where I come from!" His death glare turns into confusion.
"What do you mean?" He asks.
"I was born in nineteen ninety nine." I quickly tell him, "and grew up with the Harry Potter stories being fairytales!" Not exactly fairytales, but close enough.
"You do realize time travel is strictly forbidden?" He replies, a sharp edge to his tone.
"Didn't I just tell you that magic doesn't exist where I come from?" I ask, exasperated, "I went to bed like two days ago, it was the middle of April. I wake up and I'm on a train like twenty years in the past on a train that was part of a book series!"
"Harry Potter books?" Dumbledore asks, looking perplexed as he leans back, looking at me with careful eyes.
"Yeah. J. K. Rowling wrote seven books on Harry and Hogwarts and everything here. They're famous." I tell him.
"All right. But how are you here?" He asks, deciding not to get into the problem of the books, something I am highly relieved for.
"I don't know. I went to bed the other night and woke up on the train. And there was some letter from someone named D in my trunk." I add him.
"May I see this letter?" Dumbledore asks. I reach into my bag and pass him it, thankful I had decided to chuck it in my bag this morning.
"Well well what have we here?" Dumbledore asks after reading it over.
"Uh..." I stutter quietly, looking around at the Portraits in a vague hope for some help.
"How are you meant to be helping the future?" He asks.
"I'm sorry, I can't say." I tell him, squirming under his gaze.
"If you can't tell anyone, how are you meant to change things?" He asks.
"I can tell people." I say defiantly, reaching forward to snatch the letter back. Dumbledore sits back, waiting. "I just choose not to tell you."
I immediately regret saying that out loud.
The room suddenly chills, behind me, I can hear the portraits murmuring amongst themselves. But I focus on Dumbledore.
His normally sparkling blue eyes are sharp, blue pinpricks, ready to burn me alive.
"And why," he starts slowly, "wouldn't you inform me?"
"Well, for starters, you’re intimidating. You have too many titles and too much power for one guy and you’re a manipulative bastard whom I don't trust or like."
I say it all so fast, I'm surprised he understands me. Deciding I've risked my life enough for one day, I stand up and get ready to leave the room, charging to the door to find it has sealed shut.
Gulping, I turn around slowly to face the enraged Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Order of Merlin, First Class; Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, and Grand Sorcerer.