Chapter 4 : I'm not so invisible
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I rolled my eyes at the four boys surrounding me. They were so worried it was actually a little amusing.
“Kate?” James hissed even louder than Sirius, not bothering about being discreet. I’ve come to realize that James isn’t a very discreet person. Several people glanced at him and Remus nudged him in his ribcage.
“I’m here, guys. It’s ok!” I reassured them exasperatedly in a whisper and I patted Sirius’s shoulder because he was closest to me. The boys showed no sign they had heard me except for a little relief to wash over their faces and they continued to chat so as not to arouse suspicions.
We hobbled along off the platform at a town called Hogsmeade and walked towards some carriages. I was surprised to see that there were no horses attached to the carriages. The Marauders hadn’t had much time to explain to me the wonders of Hogwarts as, by the time we had organized (well, they had organized) how we were going to get me to their dorms undetected, they had about five minutes to get changed.
“Sirius?” I breathed into his ear, causing him to jump. “Sirius, how do the carriages take us to Hogwarts if there are no horses?” I wondered.
He looked around, making sure that no one was watching him. A few girls quickly stopped their staring, causing him to smirk.
He jumped again and glared about thirty inches to the left of me. “Stop doing that!” he muttered.
I bit back a retort. “Could you please answer me, Sirius?” I asked politely in hushed tones.
He seemed a little surprised at my formal reply but muttered, “Its magic, Kate. The carriages pull themselves.”
Every little piece of magic I discovered excited me just as much as The Wall had. My inner critic, who carried a voice remarkably similar to my mum’s, told me it wasn’t real, that this was all a figment of my imagination.
But I threw those thoughts away. I was happier here, even if it wasn’t real so I was going to enjoy myself. But I often had an urge to pull a camera out and start snapping pictures of everything I saw, just to prove to myself that it was real.
When we reached one of the carriages, James peered inside trying to see if it was empty. He turned back to us.
“Lily and Alice are in there,” he muttered, “but I think that’s the best we’re going to get.”
Remus nodded his agreement and Sirius snickered at James though I wasn’t sure why.
Sirius opened the door and pretended to be distracted by something while I climbed through. I nudged his arm when I was done so he’d know.
Sitting on one side of the carriage were two girls. The one closest to the door had thick, dark red hair that fell down in waves until it reached just past her shoulders. Her fair skin and almond-shaped bright, emerald eyes stood out and contrasted nicely with her hair. She was laughing with her friend. The friend had a round face with slightly pink cheeks and short brown hair down to almost her shoulders that held little curls. She carried a very ‘cute’ persona with her big brown eyes and short height.
I sat on the opposite side of the carriage in the far corner so I was opposite the red haired girl. James came in after me and nearly sat on me until he felt me there and quickly sat down beside me.
“Alright, Evans?” James greeted the red head in a deeper voice than usual, a charming smile on his face.
The red haired girl stiffened slightly and looked at James with distaste before ignoring him and turning back to her friend. Remus came in next and slumped into the seat next to James, followed by Peter and Sirius who sat beside the short girl.
“Lily, Alice, how are you both?” Remus asked warmly to the two girls.
“Fine thanks, Remus,” replied the red head, smiling back at him.
The other girl grinned at him. “I’m good, Remus!” she told him brightly.
Remus laughed. “Well you definitely haven’t changed much, Alice. Still dating Frank Longbottom?”
She nodded her answer. “Of course. I wish he was still here this year though,”
The other girl, who I’ve assumed must be Lily Evans looked at her.
“Oh that’s right, he was in 7th last year wasn’t he?” she remembered.
Alice nodded a little less enthusiastically than before, looking a bit glum.
James looked a little disgruntled at his lack of input in this conversation but quickly covered it up by a big smile as he remarked, “You’re looking as lovely as ever, this year, Evans.”
A smile pulled at my lips at his obvious flirting and I glanced at Sirius as if to say, are you serious?
Then I remembered I was invisible.
Sirius had a similar expression to me on his face and he actually looked my way just for a moment before turning away again. He frowned to himself, seeming confused.
The red haired girl looked faintly disgusted at James but seemed used to it as she ground her teeth together and went back to determined conversation with Alice.
James tried to appear as though he didn’t care but failed quite hugely. He looked at Sirius and leant forwards to talk to him with a frown on his face. Sirius leant forwards too as James asked in a whisper so the others couldn’t hear, “why is she ignoring me this year?”
I could only eavesdrop because I was squished between James and the wall.
“Dunno mate,” Sirius answered sympathetically. “Maybe she reckons if she ignores you, you’ll go away,” Sirius suggested, trying to continuing to sound sympathetic but grinning a little.
James forced a laugh and leant back into his seat, watching Lily.
I settled back into my own seat too and I didn’t try to listen to the conversation. I was happier just relaxing into my cushiony seat and feeling the bumpiness of the ground pass away beneath the horseless carriage’s wheels.
When we reached the castle, the carriage came to a halt and Lily opened the door to get out.
She gave a wave and a smile to Remus, who appeared to be the only one she was friendly with and jumped out, followed by Alice who waved at everyone. They walked towards the castle which was obscured from my view by the openly staring James.
The Marauders hopped out first and I followed, shutting the door behind me. What I saw when I looked up nearly made me gasp.
It was a real life castle – I didn’t find it difficult to believe that witches and wizards lived there. It was absolutely massive and the stone walls, darkened by the night, were broken up only by the faint dots of yellowish light coming from the windows.
There were towers every so often, some tall and some wide. It was a little mismatched but that kind of made it endearing. It was more lovable because of its slight oddity.
It was the most amazing building I had ever seen.
I was so mesmerized by it that I didn’t realize that the boys were already at the huge front doors, about to walk in. I ran towards them, hurrying to catch up and go in undetected. Panting slightly, I reached them and walked with them through the open oak doors. We entered into a big hall, though not as big as the next one we came to. The larger one was probably about the size of an Olympic sized football oval and had four long tables running vertically through it. Then, at the far end there was a long table filled with adults, going horizontally, probably the teachers’. I laughed to myself at their attire. Though perhaps not as strange as the man in the night grown at Kings Cross Station, the teachers wore robes of all different colors, flowing to the ground like dresses. The students were dressed in robes too, but these were less remarkable as they were plain black.
One man in particular stood out at the teachers’ table. He had robes of deep purple and though, to me, it looked odd on everyone else, the robes seemed to suit him perfectly. In fact, I found it down right impossible to imagine him in normal clothes. He looked exactly as I would imagine a wizard to, he even had a pointed hat that matched his robes and fell to one side. He had a long graying beard that went all the way to his chest and hair in the same colour and length. His eyes crinkled at the edges as he smiled fondly around at the students milling into the hall. His half moon spectacles fell down his crooked nose a little and his eyes were an electrifying light blue that was similar to my own eye colour. The way the lines on his face were shaped made me automatically warm to him. I could tell without even talking to him that he was a kind man.
He was sitting in the middle of the teachers table and he appeared to be the leader or principle or whatever it was they had here.
I made sure I stayed close to Sirius and Peter as we marched through the crowded hall and I tried my hardest not to brush up against anyone. It was hard but whenever I did, no one looked too hard to see how thin air had touched them.
It made me wonder about how much magic there really was here.
The Marauders were heading towards a table that was the furthest from the entrance hall - I remembered they had said it was the Gryffindor table. They had told me proudly that they were in Gryffindor house and that these tables were house tables. Apparently, Gryffindor was the house for the brave and the loyal and I didn’t find it hard to believe that they fitted in there.
They sat down, leaving a space between James and Remus which I squeezed into. All the students were chatting to their friends and at the front of the hall, between the house tables and the teachers table stood a crowd of small kids, probably about ten or eleven year old and all visibly nervous.
“James!” I hissed, causing James to jump even more than Sirius had.
He looked wildly around before seeming to remember that it must be me.
“Blimey, Kate. Don’t do that,” he muttered, looking a little to the right of me.
“Sorry, but what are all those kids up the front for?”
He looked over to the front then back at me. “Oh, they’re the first years, they have to get sorted into their houses,” he explained.
“Oh, I see.”
The hall started to quieten down as a stern looking, middle-aged witch with her hair pulled back in a tight bun stepped up, in front of the teacher’s table. She looked around the hall with an expression that, even to a new comer like me, clearly spelt the words detention if you don’t shut up now. Once the hall was devoid of noise, she unrolled what looked like a scroll and called out a name.
A skinny, blonde boy stumbled forwards, towards a chair with an old, weathered hat sitting on it that the stern looking witch stood next to. The witch lifted the hat up, allowing the boy to sit down and she placed the hat on his head.
It was so big that it fell past his eyes and he hurried to push it back up, blushing. I waited impatiently for a about thirty seconds until –
“Hufflepuff!” cried the hat.
No, I’m not joking. The hat cried “Hufflepuff”. A slit in it opened up to resemble almost a mouth and the word rang out clearly throughout the hall. Everyone else seemed to find this incredibly normal so I just mentally added it to the list of things I would ask the Marauders later.
The witch continued calling names in an alphabetical order and every time someone got sorted into Gryffindor, I cheered along with the rest of the people beside me. When she finally reached, Zyne, Jake, she rolled up the piece of parchment she was reading from and sat in the seat next to the magnificent purple robed man.
Conversation broke out again for a few minutes before the magnificent man stood up, causing all talking to cease immediately. It stopped even quicker than it had for the stern looking which, even though this man had a much more relaxed, less threatening expression on. This man seemed to maintain a higher level of authority.
He smiled around at us all, the candles from the table glimmering on his beard.
“Welcome students, to another year at Hogwarts! I imagine you are all desperately hungry and to be honest, I am too. Let us eat before we talk – dig in!”
As soon as he stopped talking, food appeared in the middle of the table and I nearly had a stroke. Gasping at the latest in my magic revelations, I looked around at the food that had materialized and found that there was nothing I could find, that I didn’t want.
Then I realized a problem. How did I eat when I was invisible?
Nudging Peter who jumped so hugely I swear his arse left the chair, I asked, “Hey Pete, do you think that um … I could maybe eat some of the foot off of your plate?” I asked timidly, hoping he’d say yes. I was starving.
“Is that you, Kate?” he wondered, looking around a little jumpily.
I restrained myself at rolling my eyes. Who else would would it be? Did he often get invisible people tapping him on the shoulder? For trouble-makers they all seemed pretty worried of some invisible girl. I laughed at the sentence.
“Yeah, it’s me,” I answered him.
“Okay. Yes, yes you can have some of my food."
“Thanks!” I whispered gratefully.
Keep the cloak around my hand but careful not to let it actually touch the food, I grabbed some chicken off of his plate and placed it in my mouth hungrily. He kept piling more food onto his plate and I ate at least half of it. I hadn’t realized how hungry I was. I though I was full … until desert came around. My mouth watered at all the delicious delicacies and I whispered in Pete’s ear, telling him which foods to get for me.
Sirius was just reaching out, from next to Peter to get some chocolate mousse when all the food disappeared. He glared haughtily at the place it had gone from.
Just as I began to laugh at this, I saw something that made me scream.
Clamping a hand over my mouth, I looked around and saw a few students looking around questioningly, some seeming a little scared. James, Sirius, Remus and Peter all exchanged worried expressions and tried to find me to glare at. They all failed.
But I had reason to scream! In front of my eyes I saw, clearly from my years of watching scary movies, a ghost. It was a sort of white slash transparent and the haunting dead man appeared to be from about the fifteen hundreds. Wearing clothes suitable of Shakespeare, the man looked around a little too, wondering where the scream had come from. He was floating, with his torso halfway through the great wooden Gryffindor table and I wondered if I was going to faint. I certainly had more than enough cause to – who wouldn’t after seeing all that I had today? It was hard to believe that so much had occurred all in one day.
Ha, and today I had thought it was just going to be another day of disappointment, watching the Wall People run through the wall while I looked on in envy.
Yeah, it happened a little differently.
Bringing myself back to the present, I tore my eyes away from the ghost and followed the direction of everyone’s heads, looking at the front again.
The bearded man was standing once more, staring around at everyone expectantly.
“The house elves never fail to amaze me,” he began with a chuckle, rubbing his belly and sighing. “But onto more serious subjects than our excellence feast … To our delightful first years, welcome! To the rest of you, welcome back! I am sure this year will be just as much fun as usual but before you can all go to bed, I have a few start of term reminders.” He paused, glancing at a twitchy man wearing grubby robes.
“Firstly, Mr Mandle has asked me to remind you all that any students found in possession of Zonko’s products will face detention and that the Forbidden forest is out of bounds to all students. We have a few new additions to our staff this year, and I’m sure you will all join me in welcoming Professor Kettleburn, who will be taking Care of Magical Creatures!”
There was some polite applause for the rather frail looking wizard who stepped up quickly, nodded and sat back down.
“Also, the post of defense against the dark arts which was in need of a professor, I’m sure you all will be delighted to hear, has been filled by none other than my good friend, Kingsley Shacklebolt. Let us have a round of applause for Professor Shacklebolt, if you please!”
There was some rather more enthusiastic applause (especially from the girls) for this; okay I’ll say it, incredibly hot guy. As I assessed that he looked to be about mid-twenties, dark skinned and muscular, he stepped up, gave a small grin and a wave and sat back down, beginning to chat with a tiny wizard with long white hair and a matching beard.
“I shall keep you no longer from your beds which are waiting, warm and comfortable as ever. I’m sure you all want to be as rested as possible so you can enjoy your lessons tomorrow!” the Headmaster finished cheerfully, sitting back down and engaging in animated conversation with the stern looking witch.
I kept staring at him, open mouthed. It was a rather odd speech for the Headmaster to make, especially to me since I was used to the repetitive drone of the principle from my old school. I noticed students all hopping up and swarming around me so I did the same and clung to the Marauders closest to me - Sirius and Peter - with all my might so as not to get lost in the crowd.
Though I’m not sure how he knew where it was, I felt warm breath tickle my ear as Sirius murmured, “Look up.”
I obeyed and thought for a moment that we were outside. Then I remembered I was in a massive hall and realized it must be a spell or something.
The ceiling looked exactly like the night sky. It was like a big dark blanket, broken up by dots of light scattered on it and the wisps of insubstantial cloud. It was beautiful.
Slightly breathless from the amazing view, I looked to my left at Sirius to thank him but he was laughing with James, making sure no one knew I was there.
The crowd of students almost carried us out of the hall and I didn’t concentrate on where I was going as much as concentrating on who I was going with. I knew I just had to stick with the Marauders, I could learn my way around later. Though, when I think about it, I doubt I’ll ever be able to find my way around this huge castle. Stumbling my way through the corridors and stone staircases I gasped for what must have been about the twentieth time today when I saw a portrait of an old man wave enthusiastically at me. I felt a little faint and hurried to keep up with the boys.
The group of students was smaller now and when we reached the top of a staircase, we stopped walking. I looked around and realized I couldn’t see Remus anywhere. I supposed he was probably talking to someone in the crowd, just out of my line of sight. As we waited for something, though I had no idea what, I began to take in my surroundings now that we were safely motionless. I was on about the fifth floor and the roofs around me were stone, cavernous and looked quite far away. There were lots of portraits hanging on every wall and the fact that they moved freaked me out a little. I couldn’t see what was in front of the crowd of students but I assumed it was a doorway or passageway for us to enter into.
Sirius, James and Peter were talking and laughing raucously and I noticed lots of girls sending furtive looks their way, trying to get their attention. I also noticed that James kept sending similar glances towards Lily Evans, who was talking to Alice and another girl I didn’t know.
The crowd made a gap as a boy and girl that looked around my age, maybe a little older strode forwards, a group of younger students behind them. The boy said the word, “Fairy Lights,” clearly to a moving portrait of a rather fat lady. She was dressed old fashionably and made a comment that I was unable to hear as she swung forwards, revealing a hole in the wall and allowing the students entry. The crowd thinned as they spilled through the portrait hole but as I stepped forwards, someone tread on the back of the cloak and it was yanked off of me as I tripped, coming to a crash on the ground as if in slow motion. As I cursed in horror of being revealed, a voice made me look up.
“Miss Renald, I believe. Would you do me the honor of joining me in my office?”
A/N- can you guess who that is?! ;) Okay, now you might be a little confused as to how that all happened - i promise it shall be explained in the next chapter. Sorry if i described everything in a little too much detail but Kate, as you've probably realised from the first chapter, is very observant and likes to see things to beleive them. So she's taking it all in and Hogwarts is alot to take in!
Thank you so much for the people that have reviewed, especially those of you who have reviewed each chapter, i love you!
Please leave a review guys, i haven't had that much of a response for this story so im wondering if i should keep going. is it good or not so good? Let me know!
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