Beyond the Foggy Path

Chapter 11: Brown Eyes

"Oh my god!" Erela growled and scratched her head furiously, leaving an angry mess of hair. "Why did I sign up for nine classes!?" she exclaimed.

"Bloody hell, Ela, keep it down," Michael shushed her. They were in the library studying for their O.W.L. the week before. "Besides, it's a requirement to take two additional classes once you reach your third year," he reminded her. "Be happy you're not taking ten classes and the fact that three of your classes are easy strolls through the park for you."

"That doesn't mean I don't have to study them," she growled at him. She was honestly so stressed that she was seconds away from flipping the table over and setting the textbooks on fire.

"Just a little while longer. You can do it," he reassured her.

Erela let out a sigh and went back to studying. Muggle Studies she skimmed through, an easy A for her, looked through her notes for Transfiguration and quizzed herself endlessly until she knew them backwards and forwards, and Defense Against the Dark Arts was tedious memorization. Notes . . . notes . . . notes . . . memorization . . . memorization! AAAAHHHH!

In the beginning, she wasn't so excited to go to Hogwarts because she was never good at making friends and had a feeling she would always be alone. She was only partially right. Michael had become her best friend, but because he was from a different house Erela was always alone when they separated to their own classes or to turn in for the night. She disliked being in the Hufflepuff common room, especially when some judging eyes were on her and her dorm room was always so awkward when she was in the room. Everyone judged her for what she did four years before and for befriending someone from Slytherin . . .

The Hufflepuff girl laid her head down on her textbook and let out a quiet groan. "Hey, Ela. I'm going to turn in now," Michael said and squeezed her shoulder.

Erela gave him a thumbs up before he disappeared. She yawned and rest her chin on the table as she flipped through her notes before her eyes became too heavy and fell asleep. Two paths were before her, both were too dark to see where it led to. One was crooked while the other looked smooth. The smooth trail looked easy to walk on while the other was bumpy and looked rather difficult. She saw the difference, but was having difficulty deciding which to take. She looked toward the smooth trail and took a step toward it, when—


Erela woke up and looked around her, the library was empty, it was only her and whoever woke her. She looked up at her awakener, her fellow Hufflepuffs, Stacee and Landon were looking down at her. "Hey guys," she yawned and rubbed the corner of her eyes.

"Hey, the librarian is kicking everyone out," Stacee told her. He had purplish pink hair (the pink stands out more) and grey eyes. He had pierced ears that he had gotten recently and wore miniature hippogriff feather earrings. He was a metamorphmagus, she finally learned the term halfway through their first year since his hair color made him stand out. The boy's hair was always changing color, especially when final exams were coming up since the stress turned his air a shade of greenish blue.

From what Erela had seen of Stacee's little sister, she showed no sign of being the same as her brother. It really showed that the metamorphmagus was a recessive/rare gene.

"Thanks," she started and stretched her back until it popped.

Erela packed up all her things when the freckled Hufflepuff, Landon said, "Geez, paranoid you're not going to do well?"

"You can say that," she shrugged and shouldered her back before Erela turned to the boys. Rather curious why they were waiting for her when she had hardly talked to any of them. She made way toward the exit while the boys followed just behind and talked amongst each other.

"Hey, you're in Muggle Studies, right?" Landon asked.

His brown eyes looked down at her. Erela didn't realize until then that they were really tall boys, possibly the only people, next to Michael, that made her feel rather short. She was rather relieved that the boys finally hit puberty and most grew taller than her but a couple inches or so. But Landon was the tallest out of the three boys she had spoken to.

Erela nodded in response. She usually sat next to one of the windows in the back corner of the class, giving her the privacy and freedom to space out and doodle during class. It was rare that someone sat next to her in any of her classes, socializing wasn't exactly on her agenda in her academic life.

"Yeah, I am," she finally answered.

"Do you actually get what the professor actually talks about?" he asked.

"Weeeeell . . . actually, yes," she shrugged.

"Let me guess, muggle-born?" Landon asked.

"Half-blood, actually," she corrected him. "Close," Erela said simply. No need to explain which parent had magical ability and which one was a muggle. It was a fifty-fifty guessing game.

"Hey," Landon started and draped his long arm over her shoulder. He was behaving far too familiar with her and uncomfortably close to her. "You always seem talkative with your friend."

Was that . . . bitterness in his voice?

"That's because he and I have actually talked to each other since first year," she reminded him and was practically shying away from his invasion of her personal space.

"We kind of do try to talk to you," Stacee said in a tone that indicated he was rolling his eyes at her. "You're just anti-social."

"I don't recall you being a social butterfly our first year either," she raised a brow at the metamorphmagus boy.

"Now now, no fighting," Landon started and pat Stacee's shoulder. "The stubborn bastard needs help with Muggle Studies and we know you're the best in the class."

"I'm not THAT great—"

"Whenever the professor notices you daydreaming and asks you a question to embarrass you, you always answer correctly with description . . ." he pointed out.

"Because he asks ridiculously easy questions."

"It's not that simple for some people . . ." Stacee mumbled. "Will you help?"

"Hmmm . . ." Erela thought of it. It wasn't like making a study group was going to help her with that class. Unless they helped her out with subjects she wasn't good at either. The students weren't allowed out past their curfew, leaving the students to have to study in their common room. It would help her out some more after she was done studying with Michael. "Okay, but I'll need help with a subject I'm having difficulty with too."

"You're doing badly in some classes? I'm shocked," Landon mocked.

"I'm only human," she rolled her eyes. Not that her nickname Michael gave her helped much either. "I've been doing terribly with Potions," Erela shrugged.

"Yeah . . . we noticed," Stacee nodded. "You tend to burn your concoctions and or use too much or too little of the needed ingredients before it blows up in your face," the boy smirked at her.

Was he making fun of her? Erela narrowed her eyes at him.

"I'm fine with it. Landon here is better at it though," he nodded to the freckled boy.

"I'll only help if you guys help with Defense Against the Dark Arts," he shrugged.

So it was mostly her doing most of the tutoring. "Fine fine, deal."

The three of them crawled through the barrel into the Hufflepuff common room when Landon called to her as she was about to go into the girls' room. "See you tomorrow, brown eyes."

Brown eyes? Rather odd nickname to give her when he had the same shade of brown eyes as she did. And sure they would. Erela wasn't really anticipating on them wanting to be around her anyway.

The next morning, Erela woke up completely exhausted and mentally fried. It couldn't be morning already . . . too soon . . . too early . . . The lanky girl sat up and picked her uniform pieces off the floor. It was getting warm, so her summer uniform was being called. Wearing a white tank top underneath her short sleeved button up shirt, her tie messily knotted, and her skirt just barely above her knees she went out into the common room where a sleepy Landon Wisenburg and indifferent Stacee Eitheridge awaited.

"Morning, brown eyes," Landon greeted with a yawn.

"You guys aren't at breakfast yet?" she raised a brow.

"What? We aren't allowed to invite you to eat with us?" Landon raised a brow and grinned at her. The bolt under his lip barely moved with the movement of his curled smile.

Erela blinked at them a couple times questionably and shook her head. "No . . . no, that's fine. Thank you . . ."

"Lets get going, I'm starving," Stacee yawned.

The three of them set to the Great Hall and Erela couldn't help but stare at the boys ahead of her. No . . . she wasn't going to think too hard on it. It was too soon to think of them as friends just yet. She would have to see what would happen later on to see what they were to her.

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