Chapter 3 : The Reading of the Manual
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I felt disoriented. I felt… older. More mature. Different somehow. I imagine Sleeping Beauty felt this way after waking up after her… nap. Yes, I could certainly be the next Sleeping Beauty. Except I still didn’t have a prince giving me a good morning kiss. Not that I was expecting for much to change after my transformation from normal-boring Lily to magical-famous Lily. Actually, forget that. I did. Not that I’ve had much of a chance to really “change”. Where was I, anyway?
It wasn’t every day that you found Lily Potter prostrated on the ground next to her brother Albus, his best mate Hunter Green and two other students. Not to mention Professor McKinley. Usually, Lily Potter was the one standing on top of someone else who was prostrated on the ground. And most certainly, Lily Potter was never prostrated on the ground next to her brother. But, you know, people change. And perhaps, that would be for the best when it came to Lily Potter.
“Hey, Potter!” I yelled out, trying to catch her attention, “No, not you!”
Stupid Al. I could always talk to him at home.
Lily groaned as she lifted her head out of the dirt. Half her face was covered with muck, and it slowly oozed down her neck and down her top.
“So, Potter… Interesting spot you’ve chosen for a nap.”
She started to wipe off her face with her sleeve and I thought I heard her say something about a sleeping beauty.
“What? Today I’m not even worthy of a reply? I see how it is…”
Lily, the girl who fucked up. Lily, the girl who doesn’t deserve to be here. Lily… the girl who was muttering under her breath.
“For fucks sake, couldn’t they at least provide a manual or something?”
McKinley, the spineless worm of a professor, cringed at her words.
“Keep it down, won’t you?”
Since when did Lily Potter, the rebel child, associate herself with professors? Must be another stupid scheme of hers. Involving her brother and his friends this time, was she? No consideration for their future…
I glanced over at the scene, trying to put to sense the assortment of characters. Whatever. I’d find out later today anyway. She could never keep from boasting about her most recent escapade for more than a couple hours.
As I started to turn back to the castle, Lily Potter stood up and straightened her robes.
She looked me in the eye for a long time. Suddenly she asked me the question.
“Are you… Dominique Weasley?”
“No, I’m fucking Scorpius Malfoy, what d’you think?!”
She muttered to herself again, “Great, I get to be in the middle of a family drama too.”
Dom and Lily were at it again. Those two girls couldn’t last through a minute of peace, could they? And then Lily always expected me to set things straight again.
Why do I always agree to do it, again? Oh right, because I love her. Bright, spunky Lily – the girl who was never afraid to stand up to herself. The girl who depended on me. The girl who would never love me back, simply because we’ve been friends too long.
Although, I have to admit, it’s not every day that you see Lily next to her brother, let alone in the same general area as him. I still don’t really understand the whole Potter-Weasley family dynamic, and I’ve been friends with Lily since, well… forever. I’m guessing no one knows, at this point. I know I’ve given up on ever understanding.
But enough about that, I need to get Lily out of that environment as quickly as possible before anything else blows up. She’s already missing quidditch practice today from yesterday’s escapade. You know, this is a lot, even for Lily. Usually she gives it at least a week before her antics start up again.
“Lils, come on, let’s go to the Library. Pince hasn’t seen either of us for a while; maybe she’s forgotten your prank by now. Dom, see you in Potions.”
Dom just rolled her eyes and stomped off. Typical Dom.
“Um, thanks... I think I’m gonna stay here for a bit. I need to talk to my friends. Um, I’ll catch you later?”
What was up with Lily today?
I pull her aside and start talking through my teeth.
“Are you sure? You know you can never last longer than five minutes next to your brother. And since when are Hufflepuffs and Slytherins your friends?”
Without warning she ripped her hand from my grasp and glared at me.
“As much as I appreciate your… help, I’m sure I know how to handle myself, thank you very much. And there is nothing wrong with Hufflepuff or Slytherin.”
What? Where did that come from?
“Lils, you know I’m just trying to protect you…”
“You’re a dick.”
This was going a bit far, even for Lily.
She groaned and dropped her head in her hands.
“Lils, are you okay? What’s wrong? You know you can tell me…”
Albus stood up and started walking towards us. He came up to Lily and grasped her shoulders.
“Look, now’s not the best time. Lily, our friends, and I have to talk. Could you give us some space?”
Fuck this, this was going too far even for Lily. It’s like she wasn’t even Lily anymore. I knew she’s been changing the past couple months, but this? This wasn’t the Lily I knew.
“Alright. Fine! Lils, you better explain all… this later.”
I gesture at the scene playing out in front of me. Then, I proceeded to stomp off like a five year old who didn’t get their sweets.
“Lily, what’s up with you today?”
As her brother, I have the responsibility of making sure she was okay.
“I don’t know. It’s like… I feel different. I feel… I feel like… The Lily from this world was a very different Lily than the Lily from our world. Than me. And I also feel like our personalities are mixing. I would have never lost it like that back home.”
“Lily, it’s okay. I’m sure you’re probably just stressed. It’s not like the machine could have changed you as a person. You just need to get used to it. We’ll be fine. Now come on, we need to talk with the rest of them.”
Lily looked up at me and then reached forward and hugged me tightly.
“Al? You know I love you, right? You’re the best brother – ever.”
“Thanks, Lils,” I smile, “You too. You’re the best little sister a brother could ever ask for.”
We start making our way towards the others.
“You know, it’s going to be weird when we meet James.”
I sling my hand over her shoulder.
“How about we worry about that when we get to it?”
Hello. My name is Gavin.
Well, at least I still remember my name. And I don’t feel dead. At least I hope I’m not dead - it would be quite awkward if I was. After all, being an atheist, I’d have a lot of explaining to do if this turned out to be heaven. Hopefully. I mean, it certainly doesn’t look like hell.
Lily’s over there arguing with some bloke.
I pinch myself.
Lily’s still over there arguing with some bloke.
Okay, I’m certainly not dead. And that bloody hurt.
Since when do I say “bloody”?!
And an English accent? Hell, I would have had the girls back home hanging off my new self. Just my luck to get an English accent only after I’m sent to some magical book world in Britain. Where everyone is British. And everyone has a English accent.”
“Gavin, it’s ‘professor’. You can’t be so obvious about it.”
“What, you’ll give me lunch detention?”
“No, I’ll make you go into the forest for detention. This, in my opinion, is much worse than lunch detention.”
“Damn. Forgot that was legal in magical Britain. Isn’t that like child labor though?”
“Gavin! Mr. McKinley! Lily and I need to talk to all of you.”
Albus and Lily finally decided to rejoin us.
And it starts again…
“Sorry. Professor. But we need to decide what to do next.”
McKinley cleared his throat, “Well, Lily asked about a handbook. The business men actually did give me one. They explained it to me, but I haven’t had time to look through it after that.”
Lily perked up and half yelled, “Well, what are we waiting for?”
McKinley’s eyes widened, “Shhhhh!”
Lily rolled her eyes, “Oh shut up, no one’s going to hear.”
“I know this whole experience has brought us closer together than just student-teacher, but I am still your teacher.”
Albus smirked. Finally, he found something I said funny. Achievement unlocked.
Lily rolled her eyes again, “Not happening. Just give it here.”
McKinley gave up and reached for his pocket.
“Is there something you want to know in particular?”
“Yes. Who was that boy who talked to me?”
McKinley nodded and started flipping through the book and muttering.
“Characters… yes, characters… okay, blue eyes… his eyes were blue, right?”
This continued on for about a minute.
“Is the manual magical or something?”
It’s like Lily read my mind.
McKinley glanced up from the book, “What? Oh… I suppose so… It wasn’t back at the school… I suppose so…”
“What?! Let me look at it!”
Leave it to Lily to get excited over magic.
I grin, “You know, we need to be at least a little bit less conspicuous. I think that blonde girl thought something was up. Who was she, anyway?”
Lily rolled her eyes for the third time, “After blonde bimbos already, are we? That was Dominique Weasley. I don’t know what was up with her. She seemed kind of bitchy.”
“Where?!” Lily yelped as she lunged towards McKinley.
“His name is Blake Wood. Gryffindor. Apparently, he’s the son of Oliver Wood and unknown. He’s very clever – he got six O’s on his OWLS, and he’s liked Lily since second year. That’s all it says.”
“He’s liked me since second year?”
“Not you. Lily Potter from the magical world.”
“We’re practically the same person.”
McKinley shook his head, “I wouldn’t say that. The manual has a bit about all of the old us too. Here. Lily Luna Potter, Gryffindor, daughter of Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley. She has the record of most detentions in her year. She’s gone out with… like a dozen guys. It goes on.”
“What? Let me see.”
Lily paled as she read on.
“I hate my brother? Why would I hate Al?”
Hunter suddenly shook his head.
“Give me the manual. I need to see if the bastards lied.”
He flipped through the book and stopped as he reached the page titled “Hunter Green”. He scanned the page, until he reached what he was looking for, and then he froze in shock.
Albus sensed the tension, “So?”
“I’m the best quidditch chaser in the whole school. I’ve been asked to be on several teams after I leave school.”
“Well, isn’t that great?!”
“No! It isn’t! They said I’d play basketball. I don’t know how to play quidditch!”
“I’m sure it’s similar…”
“No, it’s bloody not!”
“Come one, chasers are almost like offence in basketball!”
Hunter through the manual at Albus.
Cher was still sitting in the background. She seemed so cool and indifferent to it all.
“Cher, would you like to look at the manual?”
Well, I tried. I can’t force her to talk to us.
“Well, then I’m going to look at it. Could you find Gavin Black please?”
Albus listed through a couple pages until he found what I asked for.
“Gavin Black. Hufflepuff. Son of Andromeda Black and Sirius Black. Illegitimate--”
And then Albus burst out laughing.
Not that I really meant it. That was pretty funny.
“Now can I actually hear what’s written?”
“Fine, fine. Gavin Black. Hufflepuff. Son of unknown and unknown. Grandson of Alphard Black. Four O’s on your OWLS… boring… boring… Oh, apparently you’re loved by most of the female population of Hogwarts.”
Lily snorts, “That’s a surprise.”
“You’re in a sarcastic mood today, Lily,” I say before sticking out my tongue at her.
“Okay, now it’s my turn. And then we can do Mr. McKinley.”
“Just give up.”
Albus finds his name and starts reading aloud.
“Albus Potter. Gryffindor. Son of Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley. Scored seven O’s on the OWLS. Head Boy. Perfect track record… I am such a boring person. No wonder the old Lily hated me so much. I must have been a total bore. Okay, time for McKinley. What’s your first name?”
“Peter. And you’ll find me under the professor category, I think.”
“Found you! Peter McKinley. Muggleborn. Hogwarts Potions Professor. Hufflepuff Head of House. Left school in 2021. Wow, we’re in the future now, aren’t we? Anyway, you used to be a Hufflepuff. You got perfect NEWTS and OWLS. Single. Apparently, you nip down to the local pub with all the other professors the first Saturday of every month. We need to keep that in mind for pranking…”
“That’s enough. I think we should head up to the school. The business men said that they tried sending messages through the machine to the Head Master. We need to go talk to him. Let’s go.”
We all stood up and whipped ourselves as clean as possible. It was show time for the six of us. And, not to mention, we were starting to attract some odd looks.
So, how d'you like it? Is there anyone whose point of view you'd like to see more of next chapter?