Her wide, ocean blue eyes watched as a paper airplane flew around the charms classroom, distracting her temporarily from my work. Skylar Harrison watched as the airplane soared lower and lower until it hit Professor Flitwick squarely between the eyes and a loud chorus of laughter came from the other side of the laughter.
Turning to her left she saw, as she knew she would, Fred and George Weasley laughing loudly. Fred and George Weasley were twins, a pair notorious troublemakers. Both were tall, both rather muscular as they were both Beaters. Their eyes were a soft brown that seemed to sparkle in an intriguing sort of way. Their hair was bright red that hung messily across their foreheads and they always seemed to have the air of being up to something, mischievous. They were impossible to tell apart, even their freckles were identical. Though over the seven years Skylar had known Fred and George she had realised only very little differences between them, a) George had a small scar above his lip, b) Fred was more daring, though not by much, c) George was better at Herbology d) Fred was better at Transfiguration e) (though this may not even be true) apparently, as Fred insisted, Fred had a tattoo of a Chimaera on his back.
Skylar had to reframe from rolling her eyes at the twins as she returned to her work. Skylar, with her long brown, naturally thick and messy curls, eyes as blue as the deepest ocean and freckles splashed across her nose, was the type of student who could do no wrong. Many of her fellow classmates always asked why she wasn't in Ravenclaw; she was top in every class and Skylar herself did question it. She was a Gryffindor, though she had no way she had been placed there, she had not done anything remotely chivalrous in her life, unless you could count avoiding deception as being chivalrous. If the sorting hat had placed her in Ravenclaw she doubted that she would have got along with any of them. The seventh year Ravenclaws were undoubtedly cold to her, but maybe that was because she had more Outstanding's in her O.W.L.s than any other Ravenclaw.
Charms, was one of Skylar's favourite classes. She sat with her two best friends, Alicia Spinnet and Angelina Johnson at the very front of the class. Today, they were practising Cleaning Charms and Alicia seemed to be having rather a lot of fun in tipping over the waste paper basket and waiting for Angelina or Skylar to clean it up with a flick of their wands.
"Fred and George are annoying Flitwick again I see," said Angelina, casting a look over to where the Weasley twins were now being given their third detention of the day.
"They already have three detentions and it is no even break yet," said Skylar. "A detention with Snape for turning Malfoy's hair pink, a detention from Umbridge for transfiguring her bow into maggots and now one from Flitwick for hitting him with a paper airplane, I honestly can't fathom how they have time to serve all those detentions and make those sweets they sell in the common room!"
"Yeah," said Angelina, frowning. "And somehow they still have time for Quidditch training as well,"
"How is Quidditch practise coming along?" Skylar asked, turning her attention back to mess on the floor made by the paper waste basket and flicking her wand so that the mess immediately jumped back into the bin. "Is their brother Ron any good as a Keeper?"
"Well…" Alicia began, tipping the basket over again. "He is good when he's on form but–"
"–he has a really big problem with nerves," cut in Angelina. "Honestly, I would think that you would be better on a broom!"
"I've never flown one before," muttered Skylar, embarrassed.
This was another thing about Skylar, for want of a better word, she was a good girl and there was no other way to describe her. She had never done anything wrong in her entire life, she had never gotten into trouble (unless you could count the time that she had broken her young brother's toy plane out of pure jealously and her father had sent her to her room for twenty minutes), she never handed in her homework late, never lost her temper, never drunk even a sip of Firewhiskey, never got less than anything an Exceeds Expectations on an exam, and, although she would not admit it to anybody but Alicia and Angelina, she had never had a boyfriend or even kissed a boy.
"We should take you flying one day!" said Alicia brightly. "It would be really fun and–"
"No!" Skylar said quickly, looking flustered. "I-I would probably fall off and break my neck or something…"
"There's no point in trying to convince her Alicia," said Angelina sharply. "I've tried countless of times, even Madam Hooch couldn't get her on one of the school brooms because Sky had–"
"A nervous breakdown yeah," Skylar said quietly. "I remember – I've been called Cry Baby ever since then."
"Flitwick," muttered Angelina as she flicked her wand so that the mess would once again fly back into the basket.
"Well done Angelina well done!" Professor Flitwick squeaked and Angelina grinned as the bell rang to signal the end of lesson.
After Charms, Skylar had a free period, which was a rare occasion as her timetable was so full. As Angelina dragged Alicia to the Gryffindor common room to talk Quidditch tactics, Skylar made her way to one of the courtyards and sat down on a bench and pulled out her copy of The Advanced Arithmancer's Handbook and began to read quietly.
Barely a minute after she began reading the book was snatched from her hands.
"Hey!" She squeaked getting to her feet, her eyes darting upwards and widening as she was meet with what looked like all of the Slytherin seventh years.
"Why hello Cry Baby," said Malcom Grimstone, who was standing right in front of her and holding her book in his fat hands.
"Can I have my book back please?" Skylar mumbled, looking down at her feet and feeling incredibly small.
"Oh?" shrieked Lisette Sedai, "Is this your book?"
"Yes," Skylar said quietly, still not looking at them.
"What was that?" said Malcom, "I can't hear over, speak louder Cry Baby!"
"I said, yes!" Skylar squeaked and the Slytherin girls cackled wickedly, making Skylar's bottom lip quiver as she looked up at them.
"Aw!" cooed Teresa Dolohov. "Is Cry Baby going to cry?"
Skylar scowled and shook her head quickly, "No!" she mumbled. "Can I just please have my book back?"
By now each of the Slytherins surrounding her was laughing at how she whimpered, looking like a deer trapped in headlights. Skylar stood there, feeling embarrassed and ashamed that she was in fact on the verge of tears. The worst thing about it was that, although she did not like it, Skylar was used to the Slytherins torments and their jibbing. She knew it was best to be polite and most importantly of all, not to cry in front of them.
"You want your book back?" Malcom said menacingly. "Jump for it!"
Skylar's face flushed a violent shade of tomato red as the Slytherins began to laugh even harder. "No, can I just get my book back–"
"Don't you understand English Harrison? Jump for you book," Lisette sneered at Skylar, who felt completely inferior to them.
Feeling as though she would rather have melted into the grass beneath her, she began to jump for her book that was being dangled high in the air in Malcom's hands.
"She's actually jumping!" Jessica Pinder yelled, as the Slytherins began to chant, Jump Cry Baby, Jump!
"Can I have my book back please?" Skylar pleaded as she jumped for her book, but Malcom's arm was too high up in the air.
"Let me think about that," Malcom said in a drooling voice, "No."
They're just trying to make you cry, don't, Skylar told herself as she felt her eyes sting as she began to jump for her book again. But suddenly as she jumped for her book, somebody grabbed her bag from the bench she had been sitting on.
"Oh look what we have here," said Lisette, pulling out all of Skylar's books, tossing them onto the floor, along with her quills and ink bottles, which smashed to the ground and spattered ink all over the bottom of Skylar's robes, "Oops."
Angelina Johnson, her face contorted with rage and her wand raised, was running across the courtyard over to the scene, and closely behind her were Alicia, Katie Bell, and the last two people that Skylar would ever imagine standing up for her, Fred and George Weasley. It wasn't that she thought Fred and George would stand back and let it happen, she and the twins were friends, but she would never imagine that they would ever willingly come to her aid.
"Alright Johnson," said Malcom. "Come here to watch Cry Baby jump for her books have you?"
"No actually," said Angelina through gritted teeth, "I've come to curse you–"
"Can I just have my book back please?" Skylar said in a much louder voice now.
Malcom's attention turned back to her and his face inches away from hers so that she could smell his retched breath. "I told you, Cry Baby, jump for it–"
Suddenly Malcom's face blanched before his skin turned completely green, his eyes moved around madly in their sockets, his legs began to dance about madly and no less than ten tentacles grew on his face. Alarmed, Skylar jumped backwards as Malcom came crashing to the floor, his legs still dancing about madly.
"Right," said George, looking rather proud of himself as he peered round at the remaining Slytherins. "Any other Slytherins want to be hexed?"
The Slytherins all began to scarper; leaving Skylar standing beside the dancing hermit crab that was Malcom Grimstone.
"Thanks," Skylar said to the group as they approached, she leaned down and grabbed her bag that Lisette had dropped and began to collect all of her discarded books and quills and repaired her, now empty, ink bottles, wiping her wet eyes on the sleeve of her robes as she did so, so that they couldn't see her.
"You should hex them next time Sky," Alicia said in a soft voice. "You could probably hex them until they're just a pair of shoes on the ground," This made Skylar laugh but she didn't reply. She didn't want to hex them, not because she didn't want to stand up for herself because she did, but because if she did she would get into a lot of trouble. The Slytherins had all probably ran to tell Snape what Angelina, Alicia, Katie, Fred and George had all done right now.
"I'm sorry," she said softly. "But it would be ten against one and half of them have Death Eaters for parents,"
"It's fine Sky," said Angelina. "But I swear the day that we graduate I will send them a nice bouquet of Devil's Snare."
This too made Skylar laugh, but she stopped, "You are joking right?"
"Oh Sky," said Katie, "She's being sarcastic,"
"I know," she replied. "I was just checking because with Angelina you never really know do you?"
"Very true," said George. "I wouldn't put it past her."
At that very moment, Malcom let out a noise that sounded like a whale and the group turned to look at him, his legs still dancing about feebly. "What in the name of Merlin did you lot do to him by the way?"
"I have no idea," said Fred. "I cast the Jelly Legs jinx,"
"Merlin only knows what happened to his face though," said George, looking down at Malcom with what George clearly thought was a sympathetic look, but was more of a satisfied grimace.
"We should go before Snape or Umbridge get here," said Skylar. "I have go Transfiguration anyhow,"
"Right," said Angelina. "Then let's go."
With that, the two girls began to walk down the passage that led away from the courtyard.
"Hold up once second Skylar!"
She turned to see Fred and George skipping, yes merrily skipping, towards the two of them.
"What do you two want with her?" Angelina asked skeptically.
"Relax Angie–" said Fred and Angelina scowled, she hated that nickname, "–we just wanted to return Skylar's book that Malcom stole from her."
George handed the book to her, and she stared sadly at the now very muddy cover. "Thanks," she said softly, trying to rub the mud off with the sleeve of her robes.
"Here," said George, pointing his wand at her Arithmancy book and said, "Scourgify!" The mud disappeared and she smiled gratefully up at the redheaded boy.
"We should really clean the bottom of your robes as well," said Fred, his wand pointing at the bottom of her robes and giving it a complicated flick and the mud disappeared, "Ruddy Slytherins."
"You know Alicia's right," Angelina said as she tapped her wand on her head so that her dark brown hair turned suddenly blonde. Professor McGonagall nodded curtly, showing her approval before turning to Lee. "You should really hex those Slytherins next time they do anything to you."
Skylar hummed in response as she tapped too her head, her hair turning a dark purple. "I could get into trouble though, and I really don't want to hurt anybody–"
"When are you going to stand up for yourself Sky?" Angelina snapped suddenly. Skylar looked at her guiltily before shrugging her shoulders and tapping her wand on her head once again, her hair turning back to brown.
Angelina surveyed her sad eyes for a moment, before she too turned her hair its natural dark brown with a flick of her wand.
"I'm sorry Angelina," Skylar exclaimed. "It's not exactly like I don't want to stand up for myself – because I do – I just…" She didn't know exactly how to convey to Angelina here reasons for not standing up for herself. "…I'm used to what they do to me Angelina."
"I know that, even though you really shouldn't be used to it," Angelina said. "You're scared to stand up for yourself and I understand that. I'm only saying this out of concern. What if one day myself or Alicia aren't there to hex them and they do something really horrible?" Skylar did not want to answer. "I'm just saying that one day you're going to have to be do something about it."
Skylar smiled at Angelina and she turned back to the mirror in front of her and whispered in an undertone, "I'm not looking forward to that day."