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Chapter 2 : From Cunning to Courageous
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From Cunning to Courageous
Platform 9 ¾ was packed with students. They were either saying goodbye to their mums and dads, or saying hello to the friends they haven’t seen since school ended. I heard many squeals of girls meeting up with each other going “Hey how was Paris/Camp/Grandma’s house?” I felt so alone as I tried to navigate my way to the train. I kept bumping into people and saying excuse me, and they’d stare at me shocked for a while and then they’d immediately move out of my way. I knew it was because of my looks, but I couldn’t help but feel a little annoyed at their gaping.
I guess, one could say I was lucky that I could speak English. My mum was British, so I had grown up knowing both of the languages, but I had a very light French accent, and would sometimes say French words instead of English words. It confused people sometimes, but I couldn’t really help it.
My dad hadn’t felt it necessary to walk with me onto the platform, or even drop me off at the train station. I had had to find my own way like he was always having me do since mum’s death. I pulled my luggage with me to the steps, and tried to climb up them onto the train, pulling my stuff with me.
“Need any help?” I heard someone ask me. I turned around and saw someone who looked to be in my year. He had soft, curly brown hair and light brown eyes. He had an average body: not fat, not muscular, but he had these adorable freckles across the bridge of his nose.
It wasn’t like I expected that if I treated people my regular way they’d accept me. I knew they wouldn’t like me unless I was nice. And I had trouble being nice, obviously. But I couldn’t help but be snappy with him. I was perfectly strong enough to pick the trunk up myself.
“No I don’t need your help,” I said rudely. The boy looked at me quizzically and then shrugged his shoulders.
“Okay, just thought I’d offer. I’m Peter Pettigrew by the way,” the boy said to me still trying to be nice. I honestly didn’t get why he continued to talk to me despite the fact that I had been rude to him. What was wrong with him?
“I don’t care by the way,” I retorted lifting my trunk up into the train. I flipped my silver hair over my shoulder and smoothed down my formfitting lilac cami and black micromini. The lilac made my eyes look even more purple. I grabbed the handle of my trunk and picked up my cage with my cat, Snow, in it and started to walk away.
“Well, in case you do change your mind, you could always sit with me and my mates. You must be new seeing as I haven’t ever seen you before so if you want you can share a compartment with us,” Peter said to me eagerly.
Did he really not get it? I so obviously sent the message that I was done speaking with him I didn’t even bother to respond. I just walked away from him, dragging my trunk after me.
“Maybe next time then, eh?” Peter called after me as I continued to ignore him. Okay, so, maybe I could have been nicer to him, but what was the point? It’s not like he could really do anything to me. He didn’t seem to be popular, so why should I care?
I found an empty compartment and instantly opened the door and sat down in it. I opened Snow’s cage, letting her roam around the compartment. She made herself into a ball on my lap, despite all the room and I absently stroked her while staring at the window.
The scarlet train’s engine flared, and I felt the train begin to move. I was happy that I had my own compartment. I would rather be alone then try and put on a show for people I barely knew. I didn’t like the constant annoyance of having to impress people. It hadn’t worked out for me before and it probably wouldn’t now.
Suddenly, the door to my compartment jerked open and I heard a voice shout, “In here!” I looked at the girl, who had stunningly auburn hair that waved over her ivory shoulders and framed her heart shaped face. Her emerald eyes stood out and I noticed she seemed to be calling after people. Did she not notice I was sitting here?
“Uh, who are you?” I asked her slowly, hoping she could understand that she couldn’t just barge in here.
The girl turned and looked at me as if noticing me for the first time. She seemed surprised but quickly composed herself. “Oh sorry! I didn’t see anyone here and I couldn’t find any other compartments. Do you mind if my friends and me sit here?”
I looked at the girl quickly and seemed to decide in my mind that she was good enough to be seen with me. “Whatever..” I said stroking my cat absentmindedly muttering to myself quickly in French. She looked at me confused, but I just turned and asked again, “Who are you?”
“Lily Evans,” the girl said sitting down. “It’s so nice to meet you. Are you a transfer student?”
This girl seemed overly enthusiastic and I couldn’t help but wonder how stupid she actually was. I mean obviously I was a transfer. “No, I’ve obviously been going here for the past six years. That’s why you recognize me.”
Lily seemed shocked at my rude reply but didn’t show that she was angry, “Oh sorry duh! Of course you’re new… just… you know-”
“Lily you’re our savior you found us a seat!” a girl exclaimed walking into the compartment. She was with another girl and seemed to be rather happy that she was intruding upon my compartment. I noted, with a hint of jealousy, that she was kind of pretty. She had wavy brown hair and bright green eyes. But she wasn’t nearly as pretty as her friend who had silky, straight black hair that surrounded her face, and chocolate brown eyes. I smoothed my hair down self consciously, even though I knew I was prettier than them.
“Don’t thank me, thank her for letting us sit with her,” Lily said gesturing to me with a smile. This girl was really a piece of work. Could she not tell that I didn’t actually want her and her little gang to sit with me? The two girls looked at me for the first time and their eyes widened in shock.
“Bloody hell! I didn’t know Dumbledore was allowing veelas into the school,” The brunette said to me not containing her shock. I raised my eyebrows.
“I’m not veela,” I said snidely. The brunette seemed shocked at the discovery.
“Excuse my friends rudeness,” the black haired girl said. “I’m Bella and that’s Elizabeth.”
“Annabelle,” I responded after a long pause.
“So you’re not veela then? Wow, you're, like, one of the prettiest people I’ve ever seen,” Bella said to me trying to make conversation. I was flattered by her compliment but didn’t show it on my face.
“Thanks..” I said slowly.
“So, do you know what house you want to be sorted into,” Lily asked me seeing that I was actually being more civilized. I looked at her curiously. Why did she care so much? I actually hadn’t really thought about the house I wanted to be sorted into. When I had read about Hogwarts all the houses sounded equally boring.
“Uh, I guess I was thinking about Slytherin?” I said making up an answer. It had been the most interesting of the four houses. At least it contained the attributes needed to get ahead in life.
“Oh.. that’s nice,” Bella said encouragingly although it didn’t look like she actually thought it was nice. “We’re in Gryffindor, so I guess we’re a little biased on the houses.”
“That’s the one that’s all about like risking your life for what’s right even if you end up dying and such, right?” I said thinking about how stupid that house seemed.
“You mean bravery and courage?” Lily said huffily. She seemed a tad insulted about what I said about her precious house.
“Même chose,” I said shrugging my shoulders. They all exchanged looks not sure what I had said, but I wasn’t really bothered.
Lily opened her mouth to say something but then looked down at her watch, “Oh no! I have to get to my heads meeting to meet the headboy. Bye guys!” She dashed out of the compartment waving to us as she left.
“What’s a head’s meeting?” I asked Bella and Elizabeth. They looked at one another wondering who was going to respond.
Bella finally took a breath and said, “Lily has been made head girl this year, which is like where you monitor your fellow students and make sure they don’t break the rules and stuff. If they do you can deduct points from their house. They are also in charge of the prefects and such who also do the same thing.”
“Oh,” I said simply.
There was silence that hung over the room for quite a while. I sat there stroking Snow, as Bella and Elizabeth exchanged glances and whispers. I knew they were talking about me. I could feel it, and I was never wrong. I instantly regretted my snappy mood and wished I had tried to be nicer. I didn’t want this year to be a repeat of last year.
The silence seemed to be deafening. No one made a move to say anything and I continued to stare out the window pretending not to care. After about an hour of this, the silence was interrupted by a loud shout.
“I can not, bloody well, believe what was running through Dumbledore’s freaking mind when he made you head boy!” the voice shouted. “He was obviously completely high when he made the choice!”
I looked out the carriage window and saw Lily yelling at probably the hottest boy I’ve laid eyes on. He had this silky, jet black hair that was actually pretty messy but made him look good, and these hazel eyes that gleamed as he watched Lily. I was shocked first of all bye Lily’s rudeness, and second of all by the fact that she would treat someone as gorgeous as him so terribly.
“But, my flower, can’t you see? This was obviously fate that brought us together. Giving us that shove so we could start a relationship,” Mr. Gorgeous responded. I could tell he was joking in a way but he seemed rather serious.
“I will have a relationship with you when hell freezes over, Potter,” Lily snapped. I turned away from the window and looked at Bella and Elizabeth who were watching the action as well.
“What’s wrong with her?” I asked them quizzically.
“She just gets a little angry whenever she’s around James,” Elizabeth said gesturing to Lily who told Potter to shove it where the sun don’t shine.
“A little..” I said trailing off.
“It’s just, James has been teasing her and asking her out for years now, and Lily’s been going on about how its some big joke and he doesn’t actually like her. Although I’m pretty sure he does seeing how he looks after she says mean things to him sometimes. She also thinks he’s immature. He and his friends call themselves the Marauders, they are like the ultimate pranksters of the school. Remus and Peter don’t get into as much trouble as Black and Potter though,” Bella explained to me.
“So,” I said unhurriedly, “she likes to be mean to boys that like her.”
Bella looked shocked and responded, “No that’s not what it is, she just gets a little upset sometimes.”
As soon as she finished saying this, Lily barged into the room her face a light pink and she started to yell, “I am going to kill myself and Dumbledore if he really thinks I’m gong to work with James all year!”
Listening to Lily’s whines was probably the last thing I wanted to hear. “I have to use the bathroom,” I declared walking out of the compartment and down the train.
I wasn’t actually sure where the bathrooms were, so I roamed around the train because I’d rather look like a complete loon then listen to them. When I passed many of the compartments, the people stared through the glass at me.
“Looking for someplace?” I heard someone say. I turned and saw two boys walking in the same direction as me. The first one was just as gorgeous as James, maybe even hotter. He had silky black hair that fell gracefully into his slate grey eyes. I looked at him shocked he could be so beautiful. The second one was more cute, he had this thick sandy hair and light brown eyes, almost gold when you looked hard enough.
“Bathrooms,” I said flipping my long hair as I always did when in the presence of boys. “Happen to know where they are?”
“Yes, I do. But I won’t tell you until you tell us your name,” the black haired one said. The sandy haired boy looked at him and rolled his eyes.
“Annabelle. And you?” I responded.
“I’m Sirius Black and this is Remus Lupin,” the black haired boy answered. So they were part of the Marauders. Interesting.
“So.. bathrooms?” I said impatiently. I knew if I acted too interested they wouldn’t leave me alone.
“Down to the end and to your left,” Remus said pointing down the hallway. I turned on my heel and left without a thanks. I wasn’t about to stay around and chat.
“Your welcome!” Sirius shouted after me.
Hogwarts was probably one of the most annoying schools to get to in the world. Don’t get me wrong, it was a beautiful castle (although Beauxbatons was prettier in my opinion) made out of grey bricks with old fashioned turrets peaking out, but it basically took forever to get there. I had thought after the six-hour train ride, that’d be the end of it, but there was a freaking carriage ride too. And nothing was even pulling the carriages. How safe does that sound?
I had tried my hardest to take a carriage alone up to the castle. I really did. But when Lily had spotted me in the carriage she had immediately made a beeline towards me, followed by Bella and Elizabeth, and thanked me for saving them a seat. I hadn’t meant to be nice but I was.
I felt awkward sitting in the carriage with them. First of all, because once I had gotten back from the bathrooms I heard them talking about me, and second of all I knew they didn’t like me. I had leaned against the door for a while listening to them.
“It’s not like we have to worry about her next year though. She wants to be in Slytherin,” Bella had said a little bitterly.
“And she is so rude! We’ve been nice to her this whole train ride trying to make conversation and she just, shuts it down,” Elizabeth had complained.
“Maybe she’s scared? I mean it’s her first day at a new school where she doesn’t know anyone. It can’t be easy,” Lily had reasoned.
“Maybe,” Bella had said not really believing her words.
So, now I sat in the carriage staring at the scenery we passed not listening to what Lily and Bella and Elizabeth were saying. They didn’t seem to care that I wasn’t listening, and I was glad they had finally decided to exclude me. I wanted to be left alone this year. “Don’t hurt me and I won’t hurt you” I liked to think it.
“-so going to Professor McGonagall would probably be best,” I heard Lily say. Everyone stopped talking then and I looked at Lily to see she was looking at me.
“What?” I asked as the carriage came to a halt.
“I said,” Lily repeated slower as if I wouldn’t understand, “New students should go to Professor McGonagall to get sorted.”
“And she is…?” I said as everyone climbed off the carriage.
“The one that looks like she has a stick shoved up her arse,” I heard a boy say behind me. I turned and saw James Potter walking past along with the rest of the Marauders.
I examined all the adults and instantly knew which one he was talking about. I stifled a laugh as I looked at the Professor, who was standing ramrod straight, her black hair pulled into a tight bun.
“James! You never speak that way of a teacher, especially being head boy!” Lily said about to explode.
I quickly walked over to where Professor McGonagall was, escaping what I knew was to be a blow up, and waited as she finished explaining to a drenched first year that he was to see Madam Pomfrey after the sorting so he didn’t catch a cold. Once she finished I stepped in front of her.
“Er.. excuse me I’m new and I don’t know where to go..” I said trailing off.
Professor McGonagall pursed her lips and looked down her glasses at me before saying, “You are to wait in line with the first years until your name is called and then you will be sorted into your house.” I noticed she was holding a dirty hat under her arm with a wide rip at its brim.
“Okay thanks!” I said politely heading to the line of first years. I felt awkward towering over all of them. Many of the first years seemed intimidated by me.
The doors to the Great Hall opened and it was time for all of the first years, and me, to walk up in a line and get sorted. When I stepped into the great hall the first thing I noticed were the whispers that immediately escalated as I walked by the tables. I tried to ignore it, but I couldn’t block out the words:
“Why the hell is a veela in the school?”
“Who is she?”
“Please, she’s probably stupider than a pinecone.”
The whispers went on and on. I looked up at the ceiling for the first time, and noticed that it was a perfect reflection of the night sky. The stars winked at my from above and I couldn’t believe a ceiling could be so breathtaking.
The rip in the hat started to sing and everyone in the Great Hall was silent listening to its song. It sang about all the four houses and what each of them represented. I still wasn’t quite sure what house I wanted to be in. Slytherin seemed the safest bet, but from what I could tell it didn’t seem to be the most favored.
After the song, Professor McGonagall started calling people’s names off of a list and it seemed she was going in alphabetical order. I zoned out and started to drift my eyes over the room. I noticed that Bella, Elizabeth, and Lily were sitting next to the Marauders. Hm.. I thought she hated James and couldn’t stand him? What was she doing sitting near them?
I heard a Laughlin, Kaylahn get called up to the sorting. Right before the hat hit her head it shouted out Hufflepuff. No offense to that house, but Hufflepuff seemed like one of the most pointless houses in Hogwarts. I mean they were only known for being good friends. How does that get you anywhere?
A Randleson, Parker was called up to the stool and I knew my turn was coming up. I wondered how many S last names were going to be before me. Because I definitely didn’t want to wait here all day.
Finally, I heard Professor McGonagall say, “Somers, Annabelle.” I sauntered over to the stool and sat down on it. Right before the hat hit my head I heard it go:
“SLYTH-” and then dead silence. Everyone in the great hall looked at each other and the teachers seemed confused.
“Whoops almost judged you too soon,” I heard a voice (the hat?) whisper into my ear. “Or maybe not.. it seems you feel Slytherin has the most valuable assets for you…. But there is just something in that head of yours that doesn’t sit right with being in Slytherin… Hmm what to do what to do.”
I don’t care just freaking sort me, I thought to myself. I, however was unaware the hat could hear my thoughts.
“A feisty one are we? Well then I was definitely wrong on my first instincts. Better be… GRYFFINDOR!” the hat shouted the last part loud for the hall to hear.
I was shocked that I was sorted into Gryffindor, despite my liking for the Slytherin house. Not only that, but everyone in the Great Hall was staring open mouthed at my switch from Slytherin to Gryffindor. I didn’t know if I should get up and go to my table or not.
I decided to get up and as I did the Gryffindor table started to applaud (started by Lily and her little gang). I felt the sinking feeling as Lily waved me to sit by her. Oh no. I was going to have to put up with her this whole year wasn’t I?
The Slytherins looked at me upset, as if they had been hoping I would get sorted into their house all along. I felt just as cheated as they did probably. I sat down next to Lily and watched the sorting continue.
“How’d that happen?” Elizabeth asked not even caring that she was talking rather loudly. The Marauder’s who were sitting by us turned to listen (although they tried to act as if they weren’t).
“How’d what happen?” I said acting confused.
“Well the hat seemed to think you were, like born for Slytherin, but then it was just like ‘Oh wait sorry Gryffindor it is’,” Elizabeth explained.
“It said it spoke too soon or something,” I said not really caring.
“Yeah but you went like from Evil to Good…“ Elizabeth said.
“From cunning to courageous.” Bella finished.
“It was just not what you would normally see,” Lily said slowly.
I didn’t say anything and instead just watched more people get sorted. I was finished talking, I didn’t owe them any explanation. The Marauders seemed to sense this and turned away so as not to be seen eavesdropping.
“So,” I said changing the subject and to ask the question I’d been wondering, “Lily, don’t you hate them? Why are you sitting by them?” I nodded my head towards the Marauders not caring that they heard me. James, however, seemed to think this was the appropriate time to introduce himself.
“Well hello! Since we haven’t met properly, I’m James,” he said to me. I stared at him for about five seconds without saying anything.
“I didn’t ask,” I said turning away from him and looked at Lily for an answer. She seemed put on the spot.
“Told you,” Peter said under his breath.
“Told him what?!” I snapped at him.
“Nothing…” Peter said alarmed I had heard him.
“You know, you’re kind of a bitch,” James said to me defending Peter.
“You know, you’re obviously confusing me with someone who gives a fuck,” I fired back.
“Hey, hey!” Remus said interrupting, “Let’s not bring such fowl language to the table.”
“You mean like saying fuck?” I responded. The sorting ended, and Dumbledore had stood up to say his speech.
“Precisely,” Remus responded.
“Fuck,” I said to him as Dumbledore started to talk. Lily, Bella, and Elizabeth watched me with shock.
“What crawled up your ass and died?” Sirius asked rudely. By now, Dumbledore’s speech was over and food started appearing on the plates in front of us.
“Yeah, your mother should be ashamed of you,” James said tutting. I felt as if I had just been slapped in the face. No one should ever bring my mother into anything. Even if I had started it. I always got overprotective when it came to her.
My face seemed to drop and I responded dryly, “Seeing as she’s dead I don’t have to worry about that do I?”
James looked at me with a hint of remorse but he didn’t say anything. Instead of taking the pity from everyone that now surrounded me and the looks, I got up and walked out of the Great Hall, to the shock of many students and teachers. The doors made a loud noise as they closed behind me. I didn’t care that I had no idea where I was going. I just knew I didn’t want to burst into tears in front of people I had just met, since I felt the familiar stinging behind my eyes.
I sat down in the first corner I saw and leaned my head against the wall. My tears were now flowing down my cheeks and I knew my eyeliner was probably down to my chin.
So this is where I had wound up on the first day? Not only had I pissed off many of the people I had just met, but I had managed to make a scene. It was like last year all over again. How did I keep making the same mistakes? Why was I so mean?
I felt my whole body collapse and I curled into a ball. I cried for my mother, I cried for last year, I cried for my ignorant dad, and I cried for my inability to make friends with people who tried to get to know me.
But most of all I cried for myself, because sometimes that’s really all you can do.
Alright hey to anyone that glanced and read this. So, I'm proud of myself for getting this chapter out. I have about 10 chapters written so far, so there will be speedy updates. Tell me what you think. Like it, love it, hate it? Critiques?
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