2nd December 2021
My heart was racing. I told myself it was the fall. To the ground I mean. His arms were still wrapped around me, holding me just inches from the cold stone floor. My right hand was clutching at the material of his robe in a desperate attempt to stop the fall. Neither of us spoke. Neither of us moved. It was like time had stopped.
His eyes were blue. A deep serene blue, not like my mother’s dark ones but somehow equally beautiful. They reminded me of the sky. The sky just after the dawn. Like the dawn I had just witnessed. They were fixed on mine, staring intently like they were just learning to see. I could not help but stare back. How could anyone break away from such beautiful eyes?
My heart continued to race long after my breathing slowed. We were still locked in each other’s gazes, his arms still wrapped around me. He was so close, I could feel the pounding of his own heart against my chest.
I do not know how long we would have stood there, frozen in time, but fate had other plans.
“Nott?” a voice asked in surprise from somewhere behind me. The boy in whose arms I was resting jolted his head up. Surprise flickered across his face before all expression left it. He lowered me the last remaining inches to the ground and unwound his arms from around me. Then he straightened himself, dusting his robes and walking away without giving me a second glance, leaving me lying on the stone slabs of the Entrance Hall.
I just lay there, unable to move. His eyes were imprinted on my memory and I could not get away from them. It was not until the early rising students began to leave their common rooms and head to the Great Hall that I moved. My limbs were somewhat sore from lying on the cold stone but other than that, I was unharmed. Physically that is.
I tiptoed back to the Ravenclaw Tower unnoticed by the few dreary eyed students I passed. In my dorm, the girls were still sleeping. Slipping out of my robe and under the ruffled sheets, I let the warmth comfort my trembling body. I drifted off to sleep, knowing that I had first period free, and was greeted by dreams of serene blue eyes.
“Mistress Weasley,” a voice squeaked from somewhere to my right. “Mistress Weasley, it is time you be getting up now.” Something tugged at the sheets by my legs and I opened a bleary eye to see Elsa the House Elf looking up at me with orb like eyes. Elsa was a special friend of mine; she had looked after me ever since she found me crying in the corridor outside the kitchen back in First Year. If I was ever homesick or lonely, I would go to her and she would always know how to comfort me. “Good morning Mistress Weasley,” she sang once she realised I was wake. “Elsa has brought you some breakfast as you have missed the morning feast,” she mumbled, holding out a plate of American pancakes drowning in syrup.
“Thanks Elsa,” I smile, pushing myself into a seated position and taking the plate from her. She busies herself with tidying the mess my dorm mates had left this morning. There were five of us altogether: Melody Moon, Tamara Boot, Jen Goldstein, Avery Jones and me. Jen Goldstein was by far the smartest; she was more than capable of achieving Outstandings in all her subjects with little effort at all which infuriated the hot-headed Tamara and not only was she smart, but Jen was also pretty and kind – the envy of almost every girl in the school. She had thick brown hair that framed delicate features and large brown eyes that could make even the cold hearted Slytherins do what she wanted.
Tamara Boot on the other hand was the most hot-headed and impulsive girl I had ever met and that was saying something when you were a member of the Weasley family. She had shortly cropped blonde hair and three piercings in her left earlobe that were forever occupied by quirky little silver rings. Her hazel eyes could shoot daggers and would change colour depending on her mood. When they went gold, you knew it was time to run. Whereas Jen was an academic genius, Tamara had the sharpest tongue and could outwit anyone verbally.
Then there was Avery Jones, Tamara’s right hand woman. The two of them were almost inseparable. Like Jen, Avery had brown hair and dark eyes but in place of Jen’s flawless white skin, Avery was a milky caramel colour. She was the shortest girl in the dorm and wore black rimmed glasses that she could somehow make her look both smart and devilish depending on who she was talking to. Although she was not an academic genius like Jen, nor as quick tongued as Tamara, Avery was always the one who knew how to deal with any crisis that arose and if panic broke out, it would be Avery who would take control.
The fourth girl who occupied the bed to my left was Melody Moon. She was odd. Her hair was white-blonde and fell to her waist in a messy array of curls, plaits, ribbons and occasionally feathers. I had never once seen her wear shoes and was convinced she did not own any. It was impossible to hold a conversation with her that lasted over three minutes and yet if you had a question about anything, she would know the answer – sometimes she would even tell you before you asked her which could be freaky if you didn’t know her. Melody did not have any friends but she was perfectly content in her own little world and quite frankly, it was impossible to hate her. Very occasionally, she would turn her large blue eyes on you and stare at you without speaking, at times like this, it felt as if she could see into your very soul.
And then there was me: Dominique Selena Weasley. Like Jen, I had flawless white skin; like Tamara, I was a Chaser on the Ravenclaw Quidditch team; like Avery, I remained calm in a crisis; like Melody, I was a bit of an outsider. My hair was blonde but not white blonde like Melody’s or honey coloured like Tamara’s and fell to just below my shoulders; my eyes were blue and framed with thick but pale lashes and my eyebrows were dark in comparison to my hair. I had one freckle on my left cheek, just above where my dimple would be on the rare occasion that I smiled.
I was average. Nothing interesting ever happened to me.
“Did Mistress enjoy her walk this morning?” Elsa asked, magically straightening Tamara’s sheets. Elsa was the only creature in the world who knew about my morning adventures. I smiled at her before my memory was flooded with a pair of serene blue eyes. “Mistress? Is you okay?” she asked, frowning at me. I simply continued to stare into the nothingness before me. My vision obscured by the vividness of the memory.
Those eyes. Those hauntingly beautiful eyes. I could not recall ever seeing them before. Surely I would have remembered them if I had? My heart began to thump in my chest as I recalled his arms around me, catching me as I fell… But into what? I had not fallen to the ground, of that much, I was certain. So what was I falling into? And more importantly, whose arms were they?
There had been a name. Someone had called his name, hadn’t they? A name. A short name. An unfamiliar name. Why could I not remember his name? I had no idea who he was and I had been given a name which I had forgotten. Why must Merlin play such cruel jokes on us mere mortals? Why was my heart racing so fast?
“Mistress?” Elsa asked again, clearly worried about my sanity. Shaking my head to rid myself of those eyes, I looked down at her and smiled, informing her that my morning walk was delightful. For some reason, I kept the serene blue eyes to myself.
The Great Hall was almost empty as I wondered into it, in search of my best friend. There were a couple of students with their books out, finishing off essays due the next day and I spotted my younger cousin Hugo sitting with some friends on the Hufflepuff table playing a game of Wizard Chess. Finally, my eyes landed on the blonde and unruly hair of my best friend.
“Dominique,” he smiled, beckoning me over once he had spotted me. Moving between the Gryffindor table and the slightly fuller Ravenclaw table, I made my way towards him. I sat down beside him and got out my Potions essay.
“Lorcan… Why is that girl staring at you?” I asked after several moments of silence in which I had noticed a Fourth Year at our table repeatedly glancing at my friend. Lorcan Scamander flicked his eyes in the direction I was indicating and smiled at the girl, who blushed slightly and smiled back.
“That’s Lillianna, she wanted to talk to me about dad’s book,” he shrugged and returned his attention to his almost complete essay.
“You mean, she has actually read your dad’s book?” I asked in surprise. Rolf Scamander was, as one might expect from a man who married Luna Lovegood, somewhat peculiar. He was friendly enough and was always more than welcoming when I came to stay at his house over the holidays but there was always something about him that didn’t quite make sense. I always felt as if I was missing something whenever I spoke to him. Both he and Luna were what society deemed as ‘Wizarding Naturalists’ or Magizoologists. Mr Scamander had written a book several years ago about some obscure creature he had found in the Amazon rainforest and other than Lorcan and I, I was unaware of anyone else who had read it.
“I was shocked too,” he chuckled, dipping his quill in the inkwell. Sighing, I turned my attention to my Potions essay and began writing down the various uses of Strengthening Solution. Lorcan and I worked in silence for just under an hour, occasionally asking the other to explain something we were unsure of. It was a standard evening for us; after all, we were Ravenclaws.
As students began to filter out of the Hall and to their common rooms, no doubt to make use of the little social time that was left before they went to bed, I dotted the last of my ‘i’s and crossed the last of my ‘t’s before charming the ink dry and pulling out a blank bit of parchment. Dipping my quill into the now almost empty inkwell, I frowned, my mind trying to conjure up an image to draw.
As my quill began to trace the ragged edges of the mountains where they cut into the sky, my mind began to wander into the different colours of the morning light that had greeted me this morning. Of course, the ink was black so none of the colours could go into this drawing but I liked to picture them anyway. One colour, however, was more prominent in my mind’s eye than any other. It was an unusual colour and did not fit with the colour scheme I had been imagining. It took me a few moments to place it.
I flicked my eyes up as the memory washed over me once more and they were immediately caught be the same hue of blue I had previously been imagining. Except the real version was far more vivid and I knew that I would never be able to do them justice with the paint that I kept stored in my trunk in my dorm.
Across the Hall was the only remaining student besides Lorcan and I. His dark hair hung softly before his serene blue eyes and there was a shadow of stubble across his chin. His pale skin contrasted with his otherwise dark colouring and I could not help but think how he was practically the definition of a tall, dark, handsome stranger. And he was looking straight at me.
“Dominique?” Lorcan asked, a frown evident in his voice. “Are you okay? What’s the matter?”
“Who is he?” I whisper, trying not to move my lips for fear the mysterious, blue eyed stranger would read my question on them. I could not break our gaze though; he had a hold over me that I did not understand. A part of me knew that I should be afraid but I could not help but be intrigued.
“Over there… On the Slytherin table?” I murmured again.
“Him? The guy with black hair? I have no idea,” Lorcan shrugged, knocking my arm and sending my still poised quill scrawling across my parchment. Finally breaking his gaze, I lowered my eyes to see that what had begun as the mountains I could see from the edge of the lake had turned into the features of the strangers face, especially his eyes. There was just something so captivating about them.
I looked up from my crude drawing to Lorcan who was giving me a slightly amused look. He said nothing however, shaking his head so that his blonde hair fell in front of his eyes before packing up his books and essays and swing his legs over the bench to stand up. I followed his lead, resisting the almost overwhelming urge to look back at the Slytherin table and towards those transfixing, serene blue eyes, and stood up, packing away my own things and trying to ignore the squeezing sensation in my chest.
We made our way to the Ravenclaw Tower in silence, both evidently lost in our own thoughts. The corridors were deserted but memories followed me, memories of those eyes. I could not help but think they were still watching me despite the fact we had long ago walked out of eye sight of the remaining inhabitant of the Great Hall.
Those eyes. I knew then that no matter what happened, I would always remember those eyes, even if I were never to see them again. Because it was those eyes that I had fallen into only that morning; those eyes that had caught me as I tripped; those eyes that had haunted my dreams… I could not yet put a name to those eyes but to whomever they belonged, they had seemingly unwittingly become an irrevocable part of my life.
I was falling… I just wasn’t sure what it was that I was falling into.