The White Scarf
Blimey, I can't be in the Hospital Wing again can I? I just fell asleep! That’s the least dangerous action in the world! At least I think it is.
I push myself up into a sitting position before standing up and looking around. There’s no scenery, no floor, no sky, no anything. Every surface is covered with a misty white fog. I’ve never seen anything like it.
“Cecilia,” a voice calls out to me in the distance.
I spin around to see a silhouette of a young boy running towards a smiling little girl with lavender eyes. Huh, that's odd. What kind of birth defect does this girl have? Who the hell has lavender eyes? Wait a minute. I have lavender eyes—wait, that little tyke is me!
I move right in front of the little girl and scrutinize her face, carefully taking into account the lavender almond-shaped eyes and the slight tweak in her right eyebrow when she smiled.
Oh, that is definitely me.
Meaning… this has a got be a dream. Usually my dreams are rather vivid and involve me doing something incredibly ridiculous, so clearly, this isn't one of usual crazy dreams.
I wave my hand in front of her face and say in a loud voice, “So, what's this dream about—”
“I was waiting for you! What'd you call me here for?”
And I am promptly interrupted as she runs right through me towards the silhouette of the boy like I don't even exist… which I don't exactly, but let's not get technical here.
I follow my kid-self to the boy with an increasing curiosity. Interestingly enough, I can’t see his face. Instead of clear, distinct features, the boy’s face looks like a blur. It’s as if I’m looking at him through glasses, but with the wrong prescription.
“Happy birthday, Cecilia.” The boy shuffles his feet in embarrassment.
“Thanks!” says the little girl, smiling widely. “Did you get me anything? I told you ya didn't have to!”
The boy fidgets a little and then reaches behind him to thrust out a white scarf towards her.
A positively gleeful expression spreads across my kid-self’s face. “Wow, a scarf!” She flings it around her neck and jumps up and down happily. “How cool! It’s so soft!”
“I thought you might like something like this.” The boy shuffles his feet again and continues, “It has wishes woven into it. I bought it from that foreign weaver lady down the street. It's eastern style magic and apparently depending on how many wishes you make or how big the wish is, the scarf will slowly disintegrate.”
No way, a scarf like that actually exists? Or, I mean, this is a dream, so it’s entirely possible that my brilliantly innovative mind just made the whole thing up, but… There’s just something about this dream that seems familiar to me. Déjà vu. Like it’s happened before. And if this dream is somehow a part of my memories, then… I wonder if I still have that scarf.
The little girl runs her hand down the length of the scarf and gazes at it with a curious look on her face.
“Never,” she whispers softly.
“What?” the boy stutters out, apparently interpreting her response to mean she would never like it.
“I'll never make any wishes!” She hugs the scarf close to herself, smiling contently. “That way I can have this scarf forever!”
The boy laughs and then says warmly, “That's dumb, Cecilia.” He grins at the girl and pats her on the head.
“Yeah, that is dumb!” someone says loudly.
Yeah, seriously! How sentimental are you, kid-me? You got a scarf-load of wishes and you're not gonna even use it? That's either stupidly romantic or just stupidly, er, stupid.
Hold on, who said that just now?
The image of the little girl and boy fade in and out of focus and…
“Wha—what?” I suddenly find myself back on the sofa, back with my essay, back in the Common Room, and back to reality. Reality meaning that it's morning and I'm supposed to be awake. Bugger.
“Why would it be scheduled this early? So dumb!”
“Blimey, it's up already?”
“When is it?”
“No way, it's in a week!”
I slowly open my eyes wider, squinting in the morning light. My arms push my head off of the table, numb from the weight of my head all night and—agh, I slept on my essay! Oh phew, good thing I don't drool or anything because if I ruined the parchment, then, blimey, all the time I spent finishing that thing would be completely wasted.
I pull the heavy Transfiguration book that I managed to steal from the library at two in the morning off my lap and look up to see what the fuss is about around the bulletin board.
I'm about to stand up when I suddenly feel a hand on my shoulder. “Hey, Cecilia!”
“WAGH!” I fall back down onto the couch in shock before looking up at the person standing above me. “Oh, it's just you.”
Lily folds her arms. “What do you mean just you?”
“I mean, good morning, Lily dear, “ I say in an overly cutesy voice and push myself back up into a sitting position. “Bloody hell, don't scare me like that next time. I'm not easily frightened, but I was still half-asleep!”
Lily jumps over the back of the couch to sit next to me and gives me a hug. “Okay, sorry, sorry,” she apologizes with a grin. “By the way, wasn't Sirius supposed to be here finishing his essay with you?” She gestures to the blank parchment with Sirius' name on it. “Where’d he go?”
I shrug, yawning. “He went off to sleep first. Said he was going to do it today.” I nod towards the crowd of students instead. “What's going on over there?”
“Ah…” Lily grins at me. “It's Quidditch tryouts.”
“Quidditch tryouts?” I repeat with an odd look on my face.
Lily nods slowly. “Yeaahh… you know that game in the wizarding world that you play on them flyin’ brooms? It’s rather popular, you know—”
I hold up a hand to cut short her sarcastic comment. “Yes, Lily, I know.”
Lily rolls her eyes. “Then what’d you look so confused for?”
“No reason.” I shrug, watching the crowd as they dispersed to eat breakfast. “I was just wondering about why they’re having tryouts so soon. Is it always in October?”
Lily tilts her head from left to right thoughtfully. “Yeah, usually, I guess. I’m not really an expert on it since I don’t play, but it’s pretty much Quidditch season sometime about now.”
She’s been attending Hogwarts for five years and still isn't clear as to when Quidditch season is? It takes real skill to ignore such a big event for that long.
“Bollocks.” I click my tongue and sigh. “I thought I’d at least have another week until tryouts, especially with all that’s happening right now.”
Lily looks taken aback. “What, are you trying out?”
I raise my eyebrows. “Of course, I am! What, do girls not play or something?”
Lily waves her hands hastily. “No, no, no, you got me wrong. Lots of girls play,” she explains. “Hell, even Ellie plays for Ravenclaw. I was just thinking, where would you practice Quidditch anyway? I mean, you’re home alone most of the time, right?”
Ellie plays Quidditch? Now that is a shock. Or maybe not. Maybe girls like her are Sirius’s type or something. Noooot that I care what kind of girls are his type.
“Usually.” I shrug, nodding in agreement. “I haven't played in a while, but my reaction time is pretty fast so I make a fair Chaser. Plus, I still play with Sonata sometimes.” I pause. “Er, well, I guess calling it ‘playing’ is stretching it a bit. She kind of sucks at sports.”
Nope, I take that back. She really sucks at sports. But I stick her in the Keeper position anyway because she occasionally makes these hilarious lunges that actually block the Quaffle. Then again, it's more like watching myself flailing in the air to grab it, but that's partly why it's funny.
“Sonata?” Lily repeats curiously. “Who’s that?”
“Oh!” I smack my palm with the back of my hand. “I didn’t tell you? She’s my twin.”
“TWIN?” Lily yells so loudly that the whole Common Room actually stops to glance towards us.
“Keep it down will you?!” I gesticulate exasperatedly with my hands. “Loads of people have twins!”
“But I didn’t know you had a twin! That’s wicked!” Lily exclaims, evidently not lowering the volume of her voice.
“Lily, shush!” I cover her mouth with my hand. “If I knew you were going to go mad, I would've told you a lot sooner, trust me.” I quickly decide to change the subject to distract her before everyone in the Common Room is loudly informed of my entire family tree or something. I turn her head towards the bulletin board again and nod towards it. “So, when’s the exact date of the tryouts? You saw, right?”
Lily reluctantly drops the subject of my sister to answer, “Mhm, it’s this Frida—”
“You’re trying out?” A head pops up from behind the couch.
Lily screams, but I just roll my eyes, not one to be scared twice in one morning. “Yeah, I am. What of it?”
Sirius jumps up from his squatting position behind the sofa and leans against the edge of couch. “Oh yeah?” He smirks. “What position?”
“Chaser,” I reply coolly. “What about you? You sound like you’re trying out yourself.”
Sirius jabs a thumb at his chest and grins. “I play a damn excellent Beater. Been on the team since my second year.”
Beater? That sure suits him. Considering the fact that he doesn’t pay attention to the don’t-hit-girls rule, that position’s perfect for him.
Sirius turns his head to the messy-haired figure slumping sleepily down the stairs and nods towards him. “James, on the other hand, plays Seeker and he’s the best Hogwarts’ ever had.”
James swings an arm over Sirius’s shoulder and looks at him with mock-surprise. “Blimey, that’s bloody flattering, mate! If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were flirting with me.”
Sirius elbows him in the ribs. “Yeah, that’s definitely what I was doing,” he retorts dryly.
James laughs before turning back to me. “I heard from up the stairs that you were going to try for Chaser, Cecilia. There are usually scrimmages during tryouts. You think you can take us on?”
I give him a pointed look. “Is that a challenge, Potter?”
Okay, that’s me bluffing. I haven’t played in a long while. Muscle memory or not, it’s going to take some real concentration to even be half as good as I was a little tyke!
James whistles and nudges Sirius, sniggering. “Oooh, tough, eh?”
I just roll my eyes at his teasing.
“Oh, and another thing I heard from the dormitories!” James stops laughing for a moment to turn to me again. “I heard that you have a, what, twin, was it? Is that true?” he says, strangely serious.
“Er, yes?” I reply awkwardly. “It’s not that amazing, really—”
“What’re you talking about, Cecilia? It’s not like any of us have twins!” Lily pipes up excitedly.
Blimey, she really popped back in right when the topic of Quidditch was dropped. Is she really that uninterested in Quidditch? Or… is it because she’s trying not to show James that she actually likes his beloved sport? Heh… heh… I bet she secretly goes to every single one of his games…
James’ eyes widen. “So it is true! That’s awesome, mate! She looks like you, right?”
“Of course, she looks like Cecilia, you idiot,” Sirius mutters. “They’re twins.”
I look suspiciously at Sirius, who is looking anywhere but at my face for some bizarre reason. But before I can even remark about his unusual behavior, James says defensively, “Well, she could look completely different from her too!”
“We’re identical twins,” I confirm with a nod. “So, yeah, we look exactly the same.”
“So, she’s pretty like you, right?” someone says right into my ear. I spin around in alarm only to see Remus hop over the side of the couch to sit next to me. “Morning.”
“Oh, it’s just you,” I mumble blushing slightly.
Remus just grins at me.
“Probably not as cute,” someone else coughs out, as if trying to get the words out discreetly.
My head immediately snaps up to glance around for who could’ve said that. My gaze slowly lands on Sirius, who was looking off into the distance with his arms folded. I stare at him with narrowed eyes. That definitely sounded like his voice. Did he just call me cute? Did I hear wrong? Is he possessed or something?
“Is this your homework?” says Remus absently. I look over to see him pick up the two-foot long scroll of parchment on the table and hold it up to his face. An incredulous expression crosses his eyes. “Wait a minute, so McGonagall wasn’t kidding? You guys really had to write the essay on this?”
I nod slowly. “Yeah, why?”
Remus drops the parchment back on the table and shakes his head. “This whole topic is N.E.W.T. level, mate. Either what you guys did really deserved a punishment or she thinks you two are geniuses or something.”
N.E.W.T.? She gave us an assignment on N.E.W.T. level transfiguration?! Heh… kind of proud of myself, actually.
“I love how you’re putting up this whole surprised act, Remus,” I laugh, giving him a pointed look. “I’ll bet you anything you’d know how to do this too.”
Remus grins sheepishly. “Well, I can’t say I haven’t read anything about it, but—”
“Uh huh, enough of the modesty.” I smack him across the shoulder playfully when something about Remus’ words conjures a memory from last night…
I spin around to face Sirius so abruptly that he actually leans back in alarm.
“Hey, we have Transfiguration at nine. Aren’t you going to do the essay?” I ask him suspiciously, sliding my finished essay under my textbook. No way am I going to let him copy one word of it. It's his fault he ditched me last night. Not to mention he stole my only source of information! You think sneaking past Filch at two in the morning is easy?
Sirius scratches his head, avoiding eye contact with me. “I finished it last night.”
I’m about to say something witty when James's loud snort echoes across the room, which was commendable considering that this is a very large room.
James edges through Peter and Lily to Sirius. “No, no, no, mate,” says James, an extremely amused look on his face. “You didn't voluntarily finish that essay last night. First, you come up to the dorms at one in the morning. Then, you rip open your curtains one hour later complaining about Cecilia or something or another. And then, you grudgingly light the oil lamp to do your homework.”
Sirius punches James in the arm furiously. “Why do you have to reveal every minute of my personal life in public all the time? Keep it to yourself before I destroy you or something!”
James just snickers at Sirius' embarrassed expression, only causing Sirius to smack him yet again.
I blink several times in confusion. “Hold on. Why couldn't you sleep again?”
Sirius stutters for almost a minute for lack of a real reason to point out before he finally decides to point an accusing finger at me instead. “It's your fault!”
Yes, Sirius. That is a very mature way of solving problems.
I gape at him, deeply offended. “Hey, don't be bringing me into your insomniac problems!” I fold my arms and glare at him. “And what the hell did I do to you that could possibly keep you up all night?”
Sirius goes into a fit of stammering again. For a so-called genius, he isn’t responding to this problem very well.
After watching our conversation go back and forth for a few seconds, Remus finally decides to pop in. “Wait a minute. Are you telling me you spent a whole night up because of Cecilia?”
“Er, well I just—I mean, I wasn't really—she wasn't exactly—”
Lily leans over on the edge of the couch to peer at Sirius' face. “Yeah, seriously, what did you guys do last night?”
Sirius' eyes move from Lily to Remus to James and then to me. “We didn't really—we were just—”
I raise an eyebrow.
We were just studying, Sirius. Blimey, what's so hard about saying that?
But instead of saying it at all, he suddenly slams his hand down on the edge of the sofa, which made a surprisingly loud noise for a cushion. “Why do you guys care anyway! Bloody hell, let's just go get breakfast.” He grabs his bag and turns on his heel to storm out the Common Room.
“Oi, wait up!” I call after him.
Merlin’s beard, he walks fast.
I stuff my book, essay, quill, and ink bottle into my bag and dash out after him, closely followed by everyone else.
Wait, Merlin’s eyebrows, he walks really fast.
I catch up to him halfway down the corridor and grip his shoulder to keep up with him. After taking a huge gulp of air, I ask, “Hey, so if you could finish your essay yourself with no problem, then why did you need my help in the first place?”
Not exactly the problem at hand, I know, but it's important to me, alright?
Sirius shrugs and brushes my hand off his shoulder. “Too lazy to think it up myself.”
My jaw drops. This guy… I seriously underestimated this guy. I open and close my mouth several times in disbelief before demanding, “So you already knew everything?”
Sirius glances at me and then back at the corridor. “Kind of.”
“Kind of?” I smack my leg in irritation and turn away from him, shaking my head. “I can't believe you, Sirius! We work on the essay for hours and then you get all 'you better remember the information' on me and then steal my book and then go off and leave me to do it on my own… and now you tell me you knew everything all along? Boy, are you going to get it now—”
I spin around in mid-sentence and… wait a minute. Something's not right. Yeah, something, or rather someone is missing. Evidently, my partner in my most recent conversation. I look around the entire corridor, but all I see is the rest of the group moseying down behind us.
Wait, this is weird. This is just bizarre.
“Hey, where's Sirius?” I call to Lily and the rest of the quartet.
Remus playfully slaps a hand over my eyes and pulls me back down the corridor as he walks by me. “Beats me. Let's go.”
“Ow, ow, ow!” I push away his hand, rubbing my forehead.
Wait, but really where did Sirius go? Ignoring James's “yeah, I'm starving!” behind me, I peer up and down the hall once more. I gradually walk down the corridor again, taking one last glance over my shoulder at the empty hallway.
“Okay...” I reply slowly, although I could've sworn I saw a flailing arm around the corner…