"Thirty percent of your final mark in this class will be divided into two parts. Fifteen percent will be devoted to your final examination, but the other fifteen will cover a new idea the professors have come up with this year. You will all be required to finish a project over the course of three months. The topic? Anything you have learned about in this class."
All of the sixth year N.E.W.T prep students for History of Magic glanced at one another. There were only a few of them, and nobody had wanted to continue with the boring, routine class. Each had a confused expression on their face, taking in everything the professor had just said. Rose Weasley rose her hand cautiously.
"Professor Binns, I -- er, actually, I don't think any
of us, understand what it is you want us to do."
"And if you had waited a minute before interrupting me, I would have told you. Now, let me finish before anyone else asks any questions." There was a short pause before the professor continued. "I have fifteen topics on a piece of parchment inside this hat. Each of you will get a chance to choose one slip of paper. On the paper, will be the topic assigned for your project. I don't care how you put your project together; an essay, diagram, presentation - as long as it doesn't bore us to death."
What resembled a smile filled their teacher's face. Apparently, before the war was over, he had been a boring teacher. After Hogwarts was put back together and opened, Binns had really livened up. He even cracked jokes like that now. The students replied with a sparse laughter. It was good to get him on his good side. His monotonous voice came out if they didn't.
"Now I'll call up everyone randomly to pick something. There are books in the library, and I have provided everyone a pile of excellent reference material in boxes behind you. Yes, the ones you were wondering about when you came in. Now, chop chop! Malfoy, you can go first."
Scorpius Malfoy sauntered over from his seat in the back of the classroom. Only overachieving students usually took this class. Rose was astounded upon his arrival to the class on the first day. He ran a hand through his white blonde hair and winked at a pretty Ravenclaw, who giggled softly. Rose Weasley rolled her eyes at the display. She couldn't stand Scorpius at all. In fact, she loathed
Scorpius reached his hand into the large top hat Professor Binns had conjured, and beamed as he read the piece of parchment he had chosen. "Sweet! Salazar Slytherin!"
Binns nodded and wrote it down, and then looked around for another student to come to the front and pick a topic. "Emma Cooper?"
The more names he announced, the more anxious Rose became. She had her mother's brains, so it was obvious why she wanted to draw out a topic. She needed to plan out an outline, figure out what on earth she was going to do. She hated unstructured projects such as these. Binns wasn't the only one attempting to add a muggle sort of aspect to the curriculum.
She tapped her quill against her desk impatiently, annoyed that everyone else had been called but her. At this rate, she would end up receiving a horrible topic. She just knew it.
"Rose Weasley, you're next."
She sighed in relief and walked up the front of the class, reaching inside the hat until her fingers found a piece of parchment. There were only a few topics left, and she needed to choose well. She dug around for much longer than the other students had, hoping it would help her choose the best topic.
"Come on Weasley! Haven't got all day you know. Some of us want to get started," she heard a familiar voice drawl out, followed by those annoying giggles the girls around him always managed to do.
She clenched her teeth in frustration and finally decided to pick a piece of paper. "Rowena Ravenclaw."
She was happy with the choice. Ravenclaw would have loads of stuff on her since she was indeed a legacy. Everyone had been shocked when she had been placed in Ravenclaw; the first Weasley ever to be placed in a different house other than Gryffindor. She seemed to inherit almost everything from her mother. Her hair wasn't a shocking shade of auburn as her siblings and cousins had. It was dark brown, and quite unmanageable, just like her mum's. Quite frankly, she had been relieved she hadn't been placed in Gryffindor, for she was sure she was not in any way considered brave. She never could have done what either of her parents or god forbid, what Harry Potter had done. Ravenclaw suited her much better.
She sat back down, still squirming around in her seat. She was now itching to open the box and see what Binns had provided. Of course she needed to do a lot more research -- whatever that tiny box contained could never suit her need to achieve above everyone else. When everyone had finally chosen their topics, Binns waved his wand and a small box appeared on their desk. It was the size of two of her hands in height and length, but when she opened the box, she was much relieved. Inside the box was dozens upon dozens of books. Maybe a hundred books filled the box; nevertheless, she couldn't wait to read each and every one of them.
The bell rang and everyone gathered up their books, as well as their individual boxes. "Remember, everyone - If you tap the box three more times, it'll become half the size," Binns called out as they all left.
She had lunch, but she wasn't hungry. Unlike so many others, she had desperately wanted to get working on this project. She found a quiet nook in the library and pulled out the box. She pulled out every single book, reading each title to find anything that caught her eye. After searching through nearly the entire collection, her eyes fell upon one of the books. But it wasn't a textbook at all. It was an old, leather bound journal with worn edges.
She opened it somewhere in the middle - slowly, afraid for the fragile pages. She began reading the first entry that the journal opened to, trying to discern the many smudges and faded ink.
My Dearest Diary,
You are the only one I can trust now. Oh, Godric doesn't even acknowledge me. It pains me so; to not even be able to speak to him. Does he not see how much my heart yearns to hold him and love him, as he should?
She stared at the words for a moment, not understanding what she'd just read. What was this? A story of some sort? It couldn't possibly be...could it? She flipped to another section.
I find much comfort in writing in you. I have nobody left. Helga despises me, Godric hates me, and Salazar has left me. I do not understand; I do not want to. All I want is for things to be back as they were. I wish so much you were someone real, my dearest Diary. I could use warm company as of now.
Rose skimmed through the rest of the diary, but it didn't seem to end. Like the magical box, this diary seemed to grow and shrink in size. She needed to show it to Professor Binns immediately. Collecting everything quickly and shoving them in her bag, she headed toward his office. She knew he stayed in his office during meals, for he was unable to eat, being a ghost and all. She pounded on his door many times before someone finally opened it. Standing before her, was Scorpius Malfoy.
She scowled at him as instinct urged her to do, and pushed past him. "What are you doing here?" she asked bitterly, glaring at him before looking toward Professor Binns. He was not alone.
Two more students, both of whom she recognized from her class, stood in front of him. T hey both held leather bound journals in varying shades of brown and black, identical to the one in her hands. She turned around quickly and saw Malfoy holding one too. What was going on? They all looked confused, but Binns looked ecstatic.
"What you have all found is precious indeed! I asked for entire sections of the library to be put in your boxes. She must not have known. What you hold in your hands is a journal written from the founders themselves. It will give you amazing references, including those of their innermost and deepest thoughts. Now that I know something like this has happened - I've decided to propose a new project for the four of you. You will all work together, and will hand in one project; merely read the journals you have all discovered and meet together every other day to discuss it, then form something out of your discussions. It will be fun indeed! I will be present of course. Well?"
Rose used this moment of silence to see who else she'd be working with. Scorpius had Salazar's journal, and she saw that a Hufflepuff girl, Jennifer West, had received Gryffindor's journal. She had Ravenclaw's journal, obviously, and, her heart dropped at the sight of Ryan McCord. He was the boy she had a crush on since she'd first laid eyes on him. Gryffindor, and completely perfect - she hated becoming just another girl around him. She should be better than this, but she was not, and that annoyed her. In his hands was the journal that belonged to Hufflepuff.
"West, McCord, switch journals and topics so it all works out. I shall see you all in two days? In the classroom, that is."
"But Professor, I have Qudditch practice," Scorpius protested.
"Sucks to be you then," Ryan retorted.
"I agree with Ryan here Malfoy. It is important. And it will only be for an hour. Read two entries at the beginning, that's all I ask of you. Until then," Binns nodded them out of his office.
They all stood outside of the doors glaring, or just looking at each other.
"We're stuck together," Jennifer said.
"State the obvious much?" Scorpius replied, rolling his eyes at her.
"Whatever. Bye," Ryan said before heading toward the Gryffindor common room.
"Yeah," Rose mumbled before heading to her own common room. Scorpius and Jennifer mimicked Rose and Ryan, heading to their separate common rooms after they had left.
How could four different people such as themselves be forced to work on a project such as this? Rose wanted to rip out her hair as she headed to her dorm so she could grab her afternoon books. She hated relying on other people to work with her. She needed to work individually for something as important as this. From what she could see already - Binns had finally gone back to being crazy. They were all going to end up killing each other. They had
been placed in different houses, after all. Just look at what happened to the Founders.
Four people, from four different houses, could not be friends. They all lived in different worlds.