The sun hadn't risen yet and the dawn breeze rushed gently passed me, pushing my brown hair back in a strange-looking dandelion puff. My hands gently gripped the broom's handle, keeping it steady as I hovered in mid-air above the Quidditch stadium. I was still in my pyjamas, their blue and bronze flannel warming me against the morning's chill. I was glad the only person who knew of my morning escapades was the eagle door-knocker - if it could be classified as a person. I froze when I heard someone shout my name. It was coming from the common room, which had a fantastic view of the Quidditch stadium. I cursed my ill-luck, and twisted around, still seated on the length of wood and twigs so I could see who had spotted me. It was Lucy - I should have guessed. I swear that girl has her voice permanently on Sonorous. "Hey! Broom-stick nut! It's breakfast time!"
What?! I whipped my wand out and cast the spell that would make my voice louder and shouted back, "Already?!"
"Yeah! So fly on over here and get your clothing, unless you want to go to the Great Hall in your jammies!" She had my clothing - including certain necessities, - dangling out of the dorm window. Had she no shame?! I sped over, careening to a stop and snatched the items from her pale freckly hands. "Thanks," I hissed it, glaring at the other goggling Ravenclaw students who were amassing for breakfast.
"No problem!" Lucy beamed brightly, her loud, buoyant voice wafting after me as I flew away. I checked my items. No. Of course she did.
"WOULD YOU TWO SHUT IT?!" Bellowed Hagrid from his hut on the edge of the Forbidden Forest. I giggled, and aimed for the broom shed.
Cursing my ill-luck - I had had to stoop to using Accio to retrieve certain… items… from my rooms - I tugged on my pantyhose, still clad only in a bra, when a noise startled me. I looked over my shoulder and uttered a very loud "EEP!" My eyes became accustomed to the sudden brightness, and I was presented with a very red-in-the-face Madam Hooch. "Oh!" Ms Hooch! I am so sorry…" my voice trailed off. The flying instructor, to her credit, merely nodded, removing her broom and handing me a parcel.
"I think, Miss Birchmore, that you will find breakfast has begun. Miss Kennel requested that I give this to you while I was down here."
"Thanks," I stammered, utterly thrown at the thought of a teacher seeing me half-naked. Today really wasn't my day. And guess what I had next? Potions. With Hufflepuff. Oh joy.
The dungeons were cold, clammy and dark, filled with a dripping from an unknown source. They creeped me out. Horace Slughorn, who, although having retired twice, now taught potions again, idled beside his desk, sorting out ingredients. I found Lucy at our desk and wandered over, seating myself down amongst other numerous blue and yellow clad fifth years. "You forgot my undies," I hissed, and, being too lazy to get up and find my textbook, I merely Summoned it.
"Sorry," she said, looking anything but. I supposed I would live with it - after all, I was wearing them NOW, wasn't I? But I still had to give her a bit of a dig for her forgetfulness.
"I'm surprised you aren't in Hufflepuff," I said grinning. She sniffed in disdain and gave me an unamused look. I wondered how she would treat me if she knew what house I could have ended up in. Almost everyone had a unanimous dislike for Slytherin, except for Slytherin themselves, that is. It had been a close call.
"Isn't it exciting?" asked Lucy. She was at her bubbliest during classtime, seemingly doing her best to get us into trouble.
"I don't know, is it?" I muttered, concentrating on measuring my ingredients.
"Harry Potter!" she squealed.
"What about him?" monotonous voice Ro. Don't encourage her. Yeah right.
"He's coming here. Weren't you listening at breakfast apparently Harry Potter is coming here to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts and oh my God he is so famous I can't believe we're actually going to meet him!"
"Need to breathe yet?" I asked dryly. I was always amazed by my friend's ability to say almost a whole paragraph without drawing breath.
"WE GET TO MEET HARRY POTTER!" She almost screamed it.
"His son goes to our school moron," muttered someone from the next table over. Lucy stuck her tongue out at him. I was occupied; Edgar Allen Poe was a marvellous Muggle poet. I didn't care what anyone else said. I would read what I wanted to.
Something gurgled ominously. I looked up, curious to see what had gone wrong with the potion. It looked fine. Despite Lucy's absentmindedness, she was remarkably intelligent and creative, the reason why she had been sorted into Ravenclaw. I had been a toss-up between Ravenclaw and Slytherin. The Sorting Hat had wanted me to be placed in Slytherin because of my… affinity… shall we saw, with reptiles, but it couldn't overlook my other qualities - a strong sense of justice, intelligence, my quick wit and my love of riddles. Ultimately it had decided that the decision was up to me; Slytherin or Ravenclaw. And undeniably I had chosen Ravenclaw, without even knowing that I shared the founder's name. Rowena Ravenclaw. 'Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure,' she had said, and it was true. There was no argument that could not be won with wit.
That gurgle again. What was making it? I glanced around the room. There was nothing wrong with anyone else's either. Lucy nudged me under the table and placed something in my hand. It was an English muffin with ham and melted cheese. My mouth watered. "You're hungry Ro. Eat."
I did so, hunching over the table so that the professor couldn't see what I was doing. "And you call me forgetful," muttered Lucy under her breath.
Alright, I could be absentminded as well.
Everyone has their moments.
Aah lunch. The miraculous hour between morning and afternoon classes in which you are free to do as you will; provided that you have already started three of your assignments and practised that tricky Transfiguration spell. A time when Gryffindors and Slytherins have cat fights and the giant squid lounges in the shallows. A time - alright, alright I'm shutting up.
Lazily I leant back on the grass, twirling my wand in the air, levitating a leaf. A couple of boys played catch with a Kwaffel, before starting up a mock Quidditch game. I longed to join them but didn't think they would welcome it. My wand, twelve and a half inches long, made of English oak and dragon heartstring, completely rigid and unbending, dropped to my chest as I let go of it, watching as a blue robed Ravenclaw made an attempt to catch the little snitch. "Miss," I muttered, even before he reached for it. I glanced at the keeper. No coordination whatsoever. The guy was more likely to fall off his broom then he was to block the goal. I sighed in annoyance. I heard a yelp and a thud; my suspicions were indeed correct.
"Hey! Ravenclaw!" someone dressed in scarlet and gold was hurrying over to me. He appeared to be a sixth year, with snowy white hair and burning scarlet eyes.
"Yah?" I replied, drinking in the vision of splendour that stood before me.
"Someone told me you like flying. Reckon you could help us out? We're a man down." I looked over at the boys messing around on their brooms.
"You want me to play Quidditch?"
"Sure," he shrugged. "Why not?"
"Alright," I said, holding out my hand so that he could help me to his feet. "I'm Rowena. Ro, mostly though."
He made a face. "Arnold. Most people call me Arny… or Oldy... or Nold… you know what? Just stick with Snowy. That's what all my friends call me." His gaze dropped to a flat expression. "When they aren't being pricks." I giggled - like a total simpering wimp - and then grinned at him.
"What position am I playing?" I asked. Snowy clapped his hands enthusiastically.
"THAT'S what I like to hear! Keeper, if you could. Just stop the -"
I held up a hand, cutting him off. "Red ball from going through the giant bubble-blower? Yeah, I know."
He laughed. "Just making sure." We made our way to where the makeshift teams were playing. I was surprised to see a few Slytherin down there, playing nice with the other houses. My team mainly consisted of Ravenclaws and Gryffindors. No surprise there, but I was surprised that Hufflepuff and Slytherin were working together. I guess a lot of things changed after He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named was slain.
Playing Keeper was easy. No one put any power or creativity behind the throws, and considering that this wasn't a real game, there were no Bludgers careening around like a cannon-ball gone wild, trying to kill everyone. Our Seeker was very good - he was a second year, so he wasn't as big as us lumbering fifth and sixth years. The game was over within ten minutes, maybe less. Snowy, handsome and strong as he was, played Beater, but that position was granted redundant in the current match. He was on the Gryffindor team, and kept asking why I hadn't signed up for the Ravenclaw one. I shrugged his queries off. Truthfully, I was afraid that there might be someone better than me. He assured me that wasn't so, and managed to talk me into signing up. I grimaced and shoved him off his broom. He was only a couple of inches above the ground.
"Ro! RO! ROWENA!" Lucy was waving frantically, standing next to a tall, gangly red-headed fellow, and a slighter man with jet-black hair. I groaned.
"What's up?" enquired Snowy. I pushed my glasses up the bridge of my nose. Yes, I wear glasses. I also have my eyebrow pierced. Problem? I groaned.
"My friend Lucy won't shut up about Harry Potter teaching DADA this year. She's standing over there with who are presumably him and Ronald Weasley."
"Undoubtedly so," agreed Snowy amicably. "Well, c'mon. He was in my house, AND he killed Voldemort after all."
I let myself be dragged in his wake. He was hot. Who wouldn't have let themselves be dragged?
"Oh this is… who are you?" Lucy peered at Snowy, trying to figure out if she knew him or not.
"Arnold Snow," she said smoothly. "You can call me Snowy."
"Okay," said Lucy evenly, inspecting a thumbnail. She was so easily distracted it unnerved me. I peered at Harry Potter over my glasses. He smiled back at me, looking me in the eyes through his own. The tell-tale lightning bolt scar sat slightly to the left side of his forehead, and his eyes were entirely green, unlike my own. I decided I liked the look of him, even if I didn't know the man. Ron looked like all Weasleys did; there were a few of them at the school. Red hair, tall and lanky, freckles. He looked bored, and surprised to be where he was. I didn't blame him. "Yeah so this is my friend Ro! She's A-MAY-ZING at transfiguration and charms, Professor Flitwick is so proud of her."
"Pleased to meet you Mr. Potter," I said as politely as I could, shaking his proffered hand.
"She's also very skilled at Quidditch," added Snowy, who I was fast beginning to call a friend.
"Really? What position do you play?" Mr. Potter's face lit up. Apparently Quidditch was something easy for him to talk about. I blushed.
"Oh, I don't actually play I just… sorta…" I trailed off, embarrassed. Snowy piped up, grinning.
"She makes an excellent Keeper. I play as one of Gryffindor's beaters, although the legend of your brothers can never be beaten, Ron."
Ron smiled, but it was a weak smile. I remembered why; his brother Fred had been killed during the battle at Hogwarts. Harry nudged his friend and grinned. Ron rubbed where he had been jabbed and mumbled something about Hagrid's Blast-Ended Skrewts. Whatever they are, I thought, they sound dangerous.
The bell tolled, signalling the end of lunch. Lucy and I made our way back towards the giant castle we called a school, Snowy heading in the opposite direction for Care of Magical Creatures. We, on the other hand, had the marvellous lesson called History of Magic.