The Almost Chosen Ones

Frienemies And The Blurry Line In Between

Days turned into weeks, then months and exams had crept up to us. It was extremely hot in the classroom where we had to complete the written portions of our exams. Hermione was right, we had been given special new quills, which had been bewitched with and Anti-Cheating spell.

We also had practical exams. Professor Flitwick had us make a pineapple tap-dance across a desk. Professor McGonagall asked us to turn a mouse into a snuffbox. We got extra points for how pretty the snuffbox was, but had them taken away if they had whiskers. I didn’t know when we would need to do this out of this exam, but I don’t think I did too badly. Snape had us make a Forgetfulness Potion. He made everyone so nervous as he stalked behind us, looking for any of us to make a mistake to fail us. History of Magic was our last and most boring test. I was as ecstatic as everyone else when Professor Binns finally told us to put down our quills and roll up our parchment.

“I’d always heard that Hogwarts end-of-year exams were frightful, but I found that rather enjoyable.” Hermione said as we walked to the common room to drop off our bags for the final time this year.“Speak for yourself.” Ron’s right, enjoyable’s pushing it. As we were about to enter the courtyard I looked to the right and saw a tentacle splash around the Black Lake. “I’m gonna go to the big tree by the lake. Anyone want to come?” They knew what tree I was talking about. We got to compromise with Hermione quite a few times this year, that if she was going to make us study, it didn’t always have to be in the stuffy library. Plus, the library was a lot more crowded right before exams.

Nev decided to come with me while Harry, Ron and Hermione kept going. We picked a spot in the shade and sat down, leaning back against the tree. The grass was plush beneath us. I levitated a small pile of rocks that were by the shore in between Nev and I.

Since we’ve come to Hogwarts, it’s been hard to fit in some twin time that didn’t include studying. It got a bit easier after that detention, since the rest of Gryffindor, apart from the Quidditch team, were still giving us the cold shoulder for losing all those house points. We spent the rest of the day just hanging out in the sunshine and goofing off, skipping rocks by the lake. We saw the Weasley twins and Lee Jordan tickling the tentacles of the giant squid, who was basking in the warm shallows. We joined them and tossed it pieces of left over bread from lunch as the sun set. Fred and George liked my idea of a twin club. We spent the rest of the day causing havoc with the Weasley twins, mostly on the Slytherins.

I finally got them to show me where the kitchens were. It’s on the first floor, apparently close to the entrance of the Hufflepuff common room, hidden behind a portrait of a bowl of fruit. If you sort of tickled the pear it turned into a doorknob that lead to about a hundred little house elves that were preparing dinner. All of them were super friendly and almost fell over each other to help us with anything we needed. One house elf squeezed his way to the front when he saw Fred, George, and Lee. “Messrs. Weasley, Weasley, Jordan and friends, what can Fizzy do for you?” Fizzy had big green eyes that looked innocently up at us. “The usual, please.” Fizzy bowed and got to work on whatever the ‘usual’ was; knowing the house elves' skills in the kitchen, was bound to be delicious no matter what it was.

And delicious it was. Fizzy made Fish ‘N Chips and Butterbeer. That answers my other question. Fred and George whispered into his ear and handed him something before Fizzy returned to his duties. We planned as we ate; Nev and I were going to help them prank Flint and the rest of the Slytherin Quidditch team as “inconspicuous little firsties” while they helped us prank Malfoy for-well, he doesn’t really need a specific reason anymore, does he?

When we were done with our dinner in the kitchen, we waited on a staircase that overlooked the entrance to the Great Hall. Towards the end of dinner we saw the Slytherins stampede to their common room or the nearest bathroom. We had to smother our laughter when saw Filch yelling after them. Half way up to Gryffindor tower we came upon Mrs. Norris. Even though it was still before curfew, she was not happy to see us. Is she ever happy to see anyone? She sort of glared at us and hissed. Fred started digging into his bag as George and Lee looked around to see if anyone, namely Filch was coming. Seeing the coast was clear they nodded and Fred threw a color bomb at Mrs. Norris. “Run!” he yelled before we all booked it. I looked over my shoulder to see Mrs. Norris now sporting pink fur as the smoke began to clear.

We ran the rest of the rest of the way to the Gryffindor common room and collapsed, laughing, in the armchairs by the fire. There weren’t many people, but I didn’t see Harry, Ron, or Hermione. Must still be at dinner. It was nice to forget about studies or exams and have an adventure that didn’t include a three-headed dog or a twelve-foot troll. Fred, George and Lee went over to where Alicia, Angelina, and Katie were grouped together gossiping about something. After watching them fail at flirting I decided to go upstairs and take a long, hot bath before bed. Teenagers are weird.

Normally I never had enough time for baths, only showers. In the morning, everyone’s rushing to get ready for classes. I try to take a mental note to take one at night and normally can’t because there’s too much homework to worry about to really enjoy it, if I even had the time for it.

But tonight was the first night without homework or exams the next day. Tonight was the first night that I could actually relax in the tub. Sometime later I climbed out, once my fingers and toes were thoroughly pruned and wrinkly. I towel dried my hair, patted myself down and wrapped the towel around me. I wiped off the condensation off of the mirror and wrapped by hair into a bun with my wand. My eyes widened as I noticed that my locket was missing. It must have fallen off. I checked the tub, but it wasn’t there.

I got dressed to look for it downstairs. There weren’t that many people left in the common room. I didn’t see Neville, he was probably taking care of the asphodel that he’s growing on his windowsill. Harry and Ron appeared to be stuck in a hard game of wizard’s chess as they were both gazing intensely at the board. Hermione was skimming through all of her notes, not that it could do her any good now. Not that she needs to anyway, everyone knows that she passed everything with flying wand sparks. I checked around the floor of the armchair that I favor by the fire and came up empty. I know I had it during exams. I had worn the locket everyday and had grown the habit of playing with it, especially when I was nervous or bored. It has to be either in the kitchens or on the staircase overlooking the Great Hall. That’s if I was lucky, if it fell off while we were by the Black Lake I might never find it. On the way back to Gryffindor tower the Weasley twins showed us a few new secret passageways. As long as I avoided Filch I should be fine. I hope.

I looked back at Harry, Ron, and Hermione and mentally shook my head. I’ll just talk to them later if they haven’t left for bed already. It’s my locket, if I get caught I should be the one in trouble. Hopefully, it’ll be an unnecessary choice and I won’t get caught at all and no one will be the wiser.

I walked quietly through the hallways. I didn’t see anyone besides sleeping portraits until the exit of the secret passage that led to the second floor. I peeked my head out to check and see if the coast was clear and heard this annoying singing that could only be Peeves in the distance and ducked behind the portrait that hid the entrance to the passageway. I closed my eyes and kept my ear against the back of the painting. I heard his obnoxious voice get louder and louder as he got closer. I heard the cries of Filch chasing after him when they reached the hallway. I waited a couple of minutes for them to get farther away before I left the passage way and continued on my way, which luckily enough was in the opposite direction of where they went. Once I reached the staircase overlooking the entrance to the Great Hall I whispered “Lumos.” and searched the floor for my locket. I got some complaints from sleeping portraits, but no locket. “Nox.” So I continued towards the kitchens. When I hit the first floor I felt like someone was watching me. The hair raised on the back off my next I clung to the shadows next to a suit of armor and held my breath as I listened for footsteps, but I didn’t hear anything. Maybe it’s just in my head. I walked briskly to the portrait of fruit and tickled the peach.

“What are you doing, Primrose?” I jumped and subconsciously clutched where my locket would be. I glared at his stupid smirking face. “I think the question should be what are you doing Malfoy?” Can a smirk get smirkier? “You’re out after hours.” I raised my eyebrow at him. “So are you. Didn’t learn your lesson the first time?” His smirk dropped. Good. “You didn’t answer my question. What were you doing to that portrait?” I looked at him for a moment. “Depends. Are you gonna be a git and try to get me in trouble again or something?” He thought for a moment. “No, not tonight Blossom. Now fess up, what were you doing?” I’m probably going to regret this...but I also knew that Malfoy wouldn’t leave me alone if I didn’t.

I sighed and turned back to the portrait of fruit. I tickled the pear and went inside, knowing that he would follow me. There were still a few house elves in the kitchen. Where do house elves sleep? I searched the kitchens. I found Fizzy, but no locket. “You’re a strange witch, you know that? What are you looking for?” I looked back at Malfoy who was sitting at the table obviously trying not to look at the house elves. “I lost my locket and I was hoping that it was here, but it’s not.” The only other place it could be was by the lake, but that would have to wait for morning. If I found it at all, I sighed. “Would Miss Longbottom like some hot chocolate?” Fizzy offered to cheer me up. “Yes, thank you Fizzy.” Fizzy smiled at me. “Make that two, house elf.” Fizzy nodded and started making hot chocolate. “His name is Fizzy and it wouldn’t kill you to say thank you.” He scoffed. “Why? That’s what house elves are for.” I shook my head. “Because it’s polite for one. Would you like me going around calling you git instead of Malfoy just because that’s what you are?” He scowled. Fizzy brought us our hot chocolates, the one closest to me with significantly more marshmallows. “Thanks, Fizzy. This is just what I need.” Everything seems better with chocolate.

It didn’t take long to finish our hot chocolates. And to be honest, ten semi-civil minutes with Malfoy was more than enough. I just wish I found my locket. I’ve worn it everyday since I got it, became like a little luck charm. I thanked Fizzy again before we left the kitchens. Once we reached the first floor where we took different staircases to our dormitories I broke the silence, “This doesn’t change anything, just so you know. You’re still an annoying git.” He smirked. “Like I’d have it any other way, Daffodil.”

Luckily I didn’t see anyone else on my way back to Gryffindor tower, Filch must have been chasing Peeves around another part of the castle; once I got into the common room was a different story.

It was dark in the common room, yet I heard people arguing as I climbed into the portrait hole. “Don’t you call me an idiot! I don’t think you should be breaking any more rules! And you said to stand up to people!” Nev? What’s going on? I paused in the hole. Nev was finally standing up for himself, for whatever reason. I should let him handle this until he needed me. I also couldn’t deny that I was curious about what got him so worked up. “Yes, but not to us,” Ron said in exasperation. “Neville, you don’t know what you’re doing.”

“No, I know what you’re doing. I won’t let you. You’ll get Gryffindor into trouble again. I-I-I’ll fight you. Go on then, t-try and hit me! I’m ready!” What? I peaked into the common room. Normally I was the twin that got caught up in fights. “Neville, I’m really, really sorry about this. Petrificus Totalus!” Hermione said with her wand pointed at Neville. Nev’s arms snapped to his sides and his legs sprang together. His whole body rigid, he swayed where he stood and dropped to the floor. My eyes widened and my jaw dropped. Did that really just happen? Ron gulped loudly. “You’re a little scary sometimes. Brilliant, but scary.”

I stepped out of the portrait hole wand raised and glared at the three people who I thought were my friends. “Then I’ll have to warn you that sometimes I can be a bit terrifying. You have the next thirty-seconds to explain to me why you just cursed my brother.”

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