Chapter 4 : Lasting Impressions
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It was comforting.
Durmstrang, although just as historic and prestigious as Hogwarts, was a cold, bleak and unfriendly place. The people were up their own arses. It was unbelievably dull at times. They still had a strict curriculum. It just wasn’t Hogwarts. I may have only gone to school here for a year, but it definitely left a lasting impression. Both people and place.
I was looking forward to getting back into the grind of things, though as I walked with Al deeper into the maze of corridors the castle housed, I realised that familiarising myself with them again wouldn’t exactly go amiss.
“I still can’t believe you’re back!” he said with a broad grin as he led me through the dungeons.
I flashed him a grin in return “I know, when I found out we were moving, I almost owled you”.
“Why didn’t you?” he asked with a frown, absentmindedly muttering “The fens.”
I shrugged as we stepped through the portrait, making a mental note of the password “It’s been five years. Things change.”
As we stepped through the portrait hole, a small smile made it’s way to my lips.
The Slytherin Common Room was a low-ceilinged, dungeon-like room and received just enough light from the greenish lamps that were scattered about the place. Skulls adorned almost every surface, whether engraved into the woodwork on the tables and hardback chairs, or a prominent display on the mantle and bookcases. The sofa’s and plush armchairs were a dark green, so dark in fact that one would assume they were black. But as much as it looked dark and unwelcoming, it was actually a surprisingly warm, comfortable and relaxing place to be. I’ve definitely missed it.
“Yeah, but people don’t” he said rousing me from my musings.
I scoffed, “Oh I don’t know about that one…”
“Oh yeah, you’re Mr Smooth, Suave and Sophisticated these days. I forget.” he smirked, sinking into one of the sofa’s in front of the fireplace, and lazily kicking off his shoes as he put his hands behind his head.
I shook my head with a laugh. “I like to think I give the people what they want” I said, sitting down on one of the chairs with a broad smirk. It was convenient that as I said that, a small cluster of sixth years girls walked past towards the stairs, whispering animatedly amongst themselves as they glanced my way.
I love how girls think we’re completely unaware when they do that. Lad’s know that girls are talking about them, and giggling and smiling flirtatiously certainly proves that. Pull them up on it though, will they admit it? Not a chance.
“I’ll say!” Al grinned, catching sight of the girls as they walked past, “You may have your uses after all” he finished, eyeing up a pretty blonde.
I rolled my eyes, loosening my tie as I sat back “And you tried to say people don’t change…”
“What?” he asked grinning boyishly, “I can’t not notice a pretty face when I see one. Anyway,” he said, sitting up straighter and facing me when they’d disappeared up the stairs, “How was Durmstrang? Dad always said it was a horrible school.”
“Not horrible,” I said frowning lightly, “but it’s not Hogwarts. Everything’s just more laid back and effortless here, where as Durmstrang is the complete opposite. Very structured. Get’s tiring after a while”.
“So that’s the reason for you looking like you have a stick up your arse?”
I raised an eyebrow, “Excuse me?”
“Oh you know what I mean,” he said waving my question away as if it was a perfectly normal thing to come out with, “Let’s change the subject. How was your summer? Do anything?”
“Alright,” I said slowly, “but no. We only got back two weeks ago, so we’ve just been getting the house sorted. What about you?”
“Same old,” he said with a grin, “just hanging around with the family. There’s a lot to go around. How was your run-in with Rosie anyway? I‘m assuming you met her before coming to the Great Hall?” he asked suddenly.
I thought back to when I was sat in McGonagal’s office.
I didn’t turn when McGonagal returned with the head boy and girl, but as they both sat down, I glanced up. I didn’t recognise her at her at first, but when I did, I was certainly taken aback. Not only was Rose Weasley head girl, but she didn’t look like that annoying little first year anymore. It took me a second before I was actually able to remove the traces of surprise from my features.
Rose Weasley, or ‘Weasel’ should I say, was a short, scruffily clad, messy haired, annoying girl, with unseemly freckles scattered about her nose and a permanent scowl on her face. She was snappy, short tempered and unbelievably irritating, and quite frankly, she looked like a boy with long hair.
The person who had sat beside me…well, to put it simply, she was nothing like that.
I could tell she’d figured out who I was. The way she rigidly sat in her chair, and clenched her jaw repeatedly and determinedly stared ahead was a bit of a giveaway. Even from the angle I was glancing from, I could clearly detect that old scowl.
Then when she looked at me, I could see the surprise in her eyes, and I smirked slightly. Clearly she wasn’t expecting me. But then the scowl snapped back into place as her dark blue eyes blazed with anger.
God how I despised that scowl.
She may have grown up a bit in looks, but she was still that snappy, short tempered and unbelievably irritating girl that I’d quite happily left behind. Though, I suppose it was comforting to know I could still rile her up with a simple smirk.
“It was…interesting” I said thoughtfully.
“She cursed you.” he said bluntly.
I laughed, “No.”
“You both had a blazing row?”
“She turned your hair pink again?”
“No.” I said with an angry frown, thinking back to when that happened. She thought she was so hilarious because she managed to sneak into my dorm and do it when I was asleep, so I went to breakfast the next morning not knowing a thing.
“Did she t-”
“She did nothing” I cut him off.
“Nothing?” he asked in disbelief.
“Nothing,” I said indifferently, “in fact, we didn’t even say a word. We glanced at each other once, and that was about it”.
“But…but…” Al mumbled confused, “you two always try to rip each others heads off!”
I merely shrugged in response.
Al shook his head in amazement muttering “Shocking…” as he moved his feet so his friend Artie could sit down.
“What is?” he asked interestedly glancing between us both as he took a bite of the sandwich he‘d snagged from the great hall.
“Scorp and Rose didn’t try to murder each other” Al said, his eyes still wide with amazement.
Artie turned to look at me, before shaking his head with a grin and propping his feet up on the table in front, “It’ll never last…”
I rolled my eyes. “And why’s that exactly?”
“Because,” he said quickly swallowing his mouthful, “the only reason you two haven’t argued is because you haven’t seen each other for years, and the surprise of seeing each other prolonged the inevitable. I give it a week and you’ll be at it like cats and dogs” he finished nodding wisely.
“5 galleons says it’s two weeks” Al said holding out his hand with a grin.
Artie scoffed, quickly grasping his hand, “Done. Prepare to cough up Potter, there’s no way they’ll last that long”.
“Oh I don’t know Edwards,” Al said, sitting back smugly, “I think she’ll try to act as if first year didn’t happen, try to start afresh being head girl and everything.”
“Bugger,” Artie said quietly, “Didn’t think of that…”
“How come she’s head girl anyway?” I asked suddenly, “Surely McGonagal had plenty of other options?”
“Course she did,” Artie said, finishing off his sandwich, “but Rose was top of the list”.
“She’s nothing like she was in first year, in fact, she‘s quite the opposite. At school anyway.” Al said at my confused expression.
“Evidently…” I mumbled.
It’s going to be interesting to see just how many things have changed in this place, I thought as I sat back, and listened to Artie tell us about the trip to Australia he went on with his family over the summer.
“-and then I hugged Al and he was looking again!” I said, throwing my hands up as I collapsed on my bed.
“Oh no,” Dom droned monotonously, “not another look. What is the world coming to. How dare he look at you when you were hugging his best friend. The sheer audacity.”
I leaned on my elbows looking across at her with a glare “I neither asked for, nor appreciate that sarcasm Dominique Weasley”.
“Oh what do you expect,” Mel said coming out of the bathroom, clad in her pyjama’s and running a hand through her damp curls, “you’re being far too dramatic. Have you heard yourself? You’re ranting about stares Rose. Stares!”
“Well I’m sorry if I found it disconcerting” I sniffed.
“Would you rather he had said something to you?” Dom asked, raising an eyebrow.
I frowned, and before I could answer, Mel jumped in, “No, of course you don’t, because that would mean you would have actually had to say something back”.
I looked at them both before replying sulkily “I don’t like this whole ganging up thing going on here.”
“Aw Rosie” Mel said coming to lie beside me and putting her arms around me, “don’t be such a baby and we won’t” she grinned.
“I’m not being a baby!” I said indignantly, “You asked me what happened with Jasper, and I told you”.
“Key word there being ‘Jasper’” Dom said pointedly, giving me a meaningful look.
I opened my mouth ready to argue, but stopped, glancing at Mel’s identical meaningful look. They were right. They hadn’t even mentioned Malfoy, sure, they both thought he was gorgeous and everything, but that was it, as far as they were concerned, they couldn’t really give a toss about what look he gave me.
What they had been interested in is how Jasper and I got on walking around the castle together on our own, the first time of many, and I’d somehow ended up talking about him.
It’s ridiculous! He’s been here a matter of hours and he’s already gotten under my skin. Everything about him just irritates me to no end, I can’t help but rant.
That definitely stops now.
From here on out, I refuse to let him get me so riled up. He does something to annoy me? I will merely respond with polite indifference and take my leave of him. Simple enough to stick to I think. It can’t be that hard surely. I’m nearly seventeen, not eleven.
“Alright,” I said with a smile, “What do you want to know?”
They both instantly perked up, and I grinned, all thought of Malfoy gone. At last.