Changing from Within
It doesn't take long for the bell to go, when it does, I pack away my things, jump off the desk I had been sitting on and head out the door in time to see Tracy walking out of the classroom, Daphne already half way down the hall.
"Does she not know how to socialize?" I ask as I jump into step with Tracy, smirking as she jumps slightly.
"Obviously not." Millicent answers from behind us, "but forgetting her, I lost my timetable, what do we have next?" I laugh, shaking my head at Millicent but readily provide her the answer. Noticing, as I turn to look at her, that the boys are walking behind, watching us warily.
"Charms, with Professor Flitwick." Pansy scowls from next to Millicent, "Charms sounds so boring," she whines, shoulders slumping as we make our way up the stairs.
"Not as boring as History sounds," I quickly point out, "why we have to be taught by a ghost, I’ll never know."
"Here," I blink in surprise by being addressed by Malfoy, but obligingly turn my head so as to see him better as we head down the next hallway, at the end, I can already see Daphne waiting outside. "If you lost your parents, and were brought up by a squib, how do you know so much?"
"What do you mean?" I frown, turning to walk backwards so as to gauge his reaction as my heart hammers, he's too young to do legilamency, right?
"How do you know we are taught by a ghost?" I raise my eyebrow, calming at the simple question.
"Hannah and Megan had it first this morning," I answer, crossing my fingers behind my back, "We were discussing what we had had so far at lunch."
"You shouldn't be consorting with the likes of them." Malfoy informs me as we come to a stop behind the ever silent presence of Daphne Greengrass.
"The likes of who?" I immediately ask, "My siblings?"
"They are consorting with Mudbloods and the like, we Slytherins are better than that." He informs me pompously.
"What did I say yesterday, and this morning about that stupid ass word?" I whine, crossing my arms and glaring at the git. "I'm not going to stop talking with my siblings. No matter who they are friends with." I add with finality.
The door opens, completing the finality of my statement nicely as we all file in. I pick a seat at the front of the stands, Hermione on one side, Steph on the other, the boys take seats at the top and Parvati and Lavender choose half way up.
Professor Flitwick, the smallest teacher, perched on top of his well-placed books and begins the register. As soon as he finishes, he goes straight into the lesson.
"Charms is a skill requiring precise magic in both wand movement and in speech. In order to succeed, one must practice practice practice!" The tiny man tells us.
I roll my eyes and lean back. Turning my head, I see Draco and Zabini murmuring to each other. I turn to Daphne, at the edge of the front bench she is paying avid attention, rolling my eyes again, I sigh, I despise lectures. Instead of paying attention, I start fiddling, taking my wand out my pocket and twiddling it about. Daphne must have caught the movement as she glances up and glares at me but I ignore her, turning instead to the paper pushed in front of me.
'Would a growth charm work on him?' I turn to glare at Tracy, taking my own quill and awkwardly scratching a reply.
'Don't you think they would have tried if it was possible?' Passing the paper back to Tracy, I shake my head and tune back into the lecture.
"...Before we can start on your first spell, you must learn the words, the wand movement and the power needed behind it. Now if you would take notes." A shuffling emitted from the class as everyone began to take their books out as well as quills and pots of ink. I turn back to my own Parchment, putting Tracy's new note under it for later.
"Charms is useful in the home, work and general everyday tasks, charms can also be the difference between a win and loss in a duel."
Charms useful, home, work and every day, can help win a duel. Finishing my notes, I pick up Tracy's paper again. 'Isn't he part Goblin? He'd be offended if anyone asks, so no, I don't think so, why don't we? Besides, the spell was created like fifty years ago'
'Do you want detention on our first day!?' I reply, giving her it back just in time to catch the next part of the lecture.
"It is Charms that allow us to wash our dishes via magic, clean our laundry, quickly freshen up before heading out the door, keep our children safe."
I note that down, and tune out, going onto automatic as I retreat back to my awaiting notes, any mistakes will be fixed by a more concentrated me later on.
'You already have one, so doesn't bother me, besides, we're not meaning it offensively, it might help him in class, better than standing on a set of books all lesson. '
'Point,' I concede, 'but I'm sure if he wanted it done it would have been done.' Sliding it back to Tracy, I turn back to my own notes.
"The words are Winguardian Liviosa." I write the words down, grinning, I actually know this, "And you must ensure you pronounce it correctly. A mispronunciation can cause drastic effects. Does anybody know what can happen?"
Tracy puts her hand up slowly, her other hand sliding the next note towards me.
"Davis, sir. Tracy Davis. You can set the object you are trying to make fly on fire."
"Correct. Five points to Slytherin."
Tracy smiles happily, as Millicent and I pat her on the back, writing down in her book.
"The levitating spell was created in the sixteenth century by warlock Jarleth Hobart. To demonstrate the spell, he cast it on himself-" at this, professor Flitwick picked up his wand and swished it in an odd u shape at himself and said the words clearly. He rose into the air. "And appeared as if he was flying. Can anyone tell me why he was not in fact flying?"
I raise my hand. He looks at me.
"He wasn't moving?" I guess.
"Well that is true but that is not the correct answer." Daphne put her hand in the air. "Yes?"
"The spell had been cast on his clothes, not himself." She sounded bored, I spare a slight glare her way.
"Correct. Another five points to Slytherin. Can anyone tell me why it was not cast on his self?" The professor asks as he lowers himself back onto his seat.
"He was too big?" I ask, widening my eyes deliberately. Behind me I can hear three snorts of laughter. And roll my eyes, guessing its Draco and his goons.
Not even Daphne put her hand up.
"No? The levitation charm can only be placed on an inanimate object or a live one much lighter than the original caster."
I gave up on trying to take notes and instead decided to just copy Tracy's later on. I look over to her book and saw she had written twice more than what the teacher had said. My eyes widened for real. Where on earth did she find the time to write all that? And send me notes?
I turn to my next note from her instead, shaking my head in wonder. 'I believe it just won't work on him because of his Goblin blood.'
'Why did you bring the point forward if you believe it won't even work!?'
"For the rest of class, I want you to write an essay, using your textbooks, on the various uses of the levitation charm."
I take my book, The Standard Book of Spells - Grade 1, out and read the chapter on levitation before starting on an essay. I got half way down a page before the bell rang.
We pack up together, silently and Professor Flitwick dismisses us, but not before deciding the rest of the essay is set for homework. We leave the class in a groan.
In silent agreement, the ten of us, five males and five females, head down to the Slytherin common room first, to change and dump our stuff before heading back up for tea.
Once in the great hall and seated, I tuck into my food, occasionally joining in the conversations around me whilst my mind wanders.
What is going to happen with our ages? We are in eleven year old bodies and yet mentally I still feel nineteen. And I'm sure Megan, Katherine, Adam and Steph still feel 17. Hannah, and Gregor 16. Will we mentally age as well? Or will we mentally remain this age? And what about puberty? I don't feel like going through growth pains again.
As these thoughts flicker through my mind, we all finish our dinner and walk out the hall, the Hufflepuff’s and Ravenclaw’s following, I fall back, waving goodbye to Tracy and Millicent, Pansy had decided to walk ahead with Daphne.
"Let's see if we can find the room of Requirement. Then we can talk." Megan suggests. I agree and, just as I'm about to say we wait on Steph, she appears. And so we begin to head up the bazillion flights of stairs to the seventh floor.
"Did the founders not need to breathe at all?" I pant as we reach the fourth floor, my bag and body becoming heavier and heavier with each step.
"Na, they probably just apparated, before the wards were put up," Adam answers from the front, not sounding out of breathe at all.
"Do you have lungs of steel or something?" I ask breathlessly as he reaches the top of this flight and bounds up the next. "It's not natural, whatever he has." I finish quietly enough so that only Megan, Steph and Hannah, whom are panting and wheezing next to me, hear.
We reach the next flight and begin the slow treck up.
Step after step after step. Never ending steps.
"I tell you, I am NOT taking Divination when we get the chance." I inform everyone as we round up to the sixth floor.
"Why ... Not?" Katherine pants from behind me.
"It's even higher than this." I tell her.
"Come on wooses! I'm at the top already!" Adams excruciatingly jolly voice calls down from above the next flight.
"I swear he must be a robot," Hannah pants from next to me causing me to snort.
"Robot domination evil master plan one. Master the stairs. Complete." I say with a grin.
"Mission two, slaughter petty Humans at the top" Steph finishes for me causing the five of us to laugh as we finally reach the top.
"What tapestry is it next to?" Hannah asks still panting and wheezing.
"Dunno. But I figured out why Hogwarts doesn't have P.E." Gregor pants from his position slumped against the wall. I collapse and lie flat out in the middle if the hall, my legs slowly turning into jelly. I master enough energy to snort before my head falls back on the floor and I close my eyes. Next to me I sense Steph copying Gregor’s and my idea.
"Let's just rest up a bit, yes?" Hannah suggests as she slides down the wall.
Several murmurs of agreement follow her question.
After an unknown time of lying on the floor, arm hanging over the top step, my heart decides to resume its normal pace and my breathing follows soon after.
"We ready?" I ask as I sit up, looking at the various states of my friends.
"Do we have to?" Steph complains but she grabs my offered hand and pulls herself up.
"Opposite the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy." I inform everyone as we start walking down the hall.
"Why don't we use the point me spell?" Megan asks from the back.
"Cause we are exploring." Katherine tells her with a grin, "and the best way to explore is blindly."
"Found it!" Steph shouts from around a corner to which we all run around to see her standing in front of a picture of a short, mad man attempting to teach trolls ballet.
I stand and watch as the short guy shouts up at the three large, stick wielding trolls whom just look at him strangely.
Rolling my eyes, I turn my back on him and instead stare at the empty slab of wall. Walking up to it, I close my eyes and begin pacing.
We need somewhere to relax and talk freely. We need somewhere we can relax and talk freely. We need a place to relax and talk freely.
A low grinding noise answers my thoughts and I open my eyes to see a large, dark brown door on the previously blank wall. With a smile, I step forward and open the door to step inside and gasp at the sight.
Inside the door is an exact replica of the atrium of our High School. And over in the far corner is our tree and our bench. I walk over to it and sit down in my spot, a grin on my face I look out to the familiar pretty garden.
Before arriving here, Megan, Steph and I had completely finished school. We're never going to return. I didn't think we were going to sit here again, all of us in our group. Looking about, Hannah, Gregor, Adam and Megan have all taking their seats around me.
Katherine is standing awkwardly looking around, I smile up at her, making room between Steph and I for her. With Katherine and I having met in college, she never went to school with us. This is the first she's seen our old favorite spot. She takes it thankfully, sitting straighter than usual.
"Anyone got a pack of cards?" I ask with a lopsided grin.
"Why the atrium?" Hannah asks, looking around.
"I asked for somewhere we could speak freely and relax. The place we were happiest together has always been sitting here at lunch, hasn't it?" I reply.
"Yeah, typical that. The place we feel most relaxed together is the place we hated the most." Megan laughs as she leans back, looking up at the cloudy day.
"What are we gonna do though?" Steph asks, seriousness filling her posture.
"Well... Live through Hogwarts I guess," I tell her.
"But are we saving people from dying?" Steph continues, looking directly at me.
"I think we should. This is why Mr. D brought us here, wasn't it?" I continue, looking back at her.
"But who do we save and when?" Megan cuts in.
"Well first of would be Cedric, wouldn't it?" Hannah says logically.
"What about Quirrel?" Steph queries.
"We were told not to change anything this year and next." I tell her, secretly though, I don't want to save him. He willingly allowed Voldemort into his head. "And I don't think it is possible to save him anyway." I finish
"Yeah, probably not. But the basilisk next year. We have told everyone we are half-bloods. If we see it, we will be attacked. It only attacks Muggleborn’s." Gregor frowns.
"No," I quickly answer, "the story leaves room for us to be any kind."
"Are we friends or siblings?" Hannah asks.
"We are all cousins." Steph tells her.
"I've been saying either siblings or friends."
"We're been saying friends." Katherine says.
"It's a bit... Far-fetched though, isn’t it?" Gregor asks from his corner next to Hannah.
"Yes, but it would explain how we all know each other." I explain, "All of us being Muggleborn and being in the same town is incredibly unlikely."
"Besides, apparently the Slytherins believe it - Louise isn't dead yet." Megan shrugs. I pout but laugh it off.
"What's the plan for this year?" Adam asks as he leans on the wall next to Steph.
"Make connections. Try and become friends with Cedric. Gain his trust." I tell them, looking at Hannah and Megan.
"Okay. So basically, make friends." Hannah summarizes unnecessarily.
"Yes." I say.
"What about Crouch Jr?" Megan asks, "He’s under the imperius curse just now. That will still be weakening at the World Cup. He might still escape and be the one that brings Voldy back."
I breathe in deeply, frowning as I think of the possibilities of us changing everything. It's a lot more work than fanfictions usually make it seem. That could mean we could work towards freeing Sirius - if Crouch Jr ends up getting Voldemort for us and we can catch Pettigrew.
"We will cross that bridge when we come to it." I finally answer.
"What are you all going to do with Harry?" I ask. "In to help or staying out of it?"
"In" Hannah tells me immediately, beside her, Gregor nods.
"I'm in. I wanna help." Megan answers.
"In." Hannah decides.
"I'll help. This should be a lot funner than sitting at home killing people on my computer." Adam says with a grin.
"I don't want to be in any battles though," Katherine continues, not meeting anyone's eyes. "I'm sorry, but I'm a coward."
"No you’re not. We need brains to help as well." Megan tells her.
"Yeah, but I won't be fighting, you will all think if me as a coward."
"Don't you dare ever think I think that of you! I would never think that of any of you, no matter what you choose. This is a battle to the death most likely. This is real. Maybe we won't all make it out. Maybe when we die here, we go back to our time. None of us are proper adults yet. We are still technically kids. I'm surprised this many of us are willing to join. This is going to be dangerous. And self-preservation is not a weakness. It's smart. It’s how the human race is still alive. So don't you ever say anything like that again!" I rant, entirely truthfully.
We have all come to a realization via my speech.
Being at Hogwarts isn't as great as it's made out to be. Yeah back in my time I read a lot of fanfictions were people go to Hogwarts and all is fun and games. They muck around. They enjoy themselves, they don't have to worry about any problems. But this is not fanfiction. This is real. And this is our very real lives on the line. We might not all make it through seven years.
But it's a risk I am willing to take.