13th : Thursday.
Well diary, it has been nearly two weeks now since my first trip aboard the Hogwarts Express. The school is all Keith said it would be, and more. Though I have just begun to settle in, it feels like home here. The Ravenclaw common room has a spectacular view of the mountains… It certainly beats the brick wall I used to look at from my bedroom window. Keith said he and some other third years were going swimming in the lake after lunch tomorrow, I’m going to take my wand and practice. Getting wet is not for me.
Accio has been giving me trouble, but the Professor says it’s all in my head. And practice will iron out the kinks.
September 14th : Friday.
Hello Diary. Not a good day. Breakfast was abysmal, and the day just went downhill from there. I have no idea what’s going on, but everyone seems upset with Keith. He won’t tell me why. Here he comes now… let’s ask him.
Keith, what’s going on?
Shut your face and mind your business you little creep.
I knew that was coming, but I thought I’d write it in anyway. It’s been an idea I’ve had for a long time. The thought of keeping a diary has always been exciting. I am something of a chronicler, so says my dad, in his booming muggle voice. I suppose I am really. I like to write down the day’s events, as a kind of record.
Diaries are funny, powerful things… I’ve noticed, in the course of my studies, that diaries are generally regarded as absolute truth. There’s a reason for this (and I thought it up myself) and it’s pretty simple. A diary is a personal record of real events, thoughts and actions. No-one in their right mind would tell lies in a diary. It’s a place for truths. It’s perhaps the one place you wouldn’t lie, unless you were completely pathetic, and wanted to lie to yourself.
Anyway. It was a bad day. Keith got annoyed with my ‘incessant humming’ as he calls it. In fact I just mutter to myself under my breath a lot. I can’t help it. It helps me to think. I suppose Freud or someone like him might have called it ‘discourse with the inner man’.
Keith just calls me a prat every time he hears me do it. I’ve never once heard him talk to himself, or anything. He’s dead popular here. I don’t think it’s possible to be popular if you do things like talk to yourself and take notes in a pad from your pocket about everything that goes on around you. But I don’t mind diary. You’ll listen, won’t you?
You won’t think I’m pathetic…
Anyway, Keith threw his poached eggs at me over the table this morning. None of the teachers were looking – Keith is good at getting away with things like that. They hit me square in the face. I not only had yolk running down my cheeks, they were still hot as well. I was sent to Madam Pomfrey to have the blisters seen to.
I – foolishly perhaps, because I could see that my brother was in a mood today – decided to still go down to the lake with the third years. Taking my wand, a sandwich, a bottle of butterbeer and a fresh quill, I sat by an elm tree and practiced Accio.
I might note here that Accio finally worked for me this evening. In fact it was this very diary which was the subject of the spell, and it flew across the room and hit me in the forehead like it was somehow in league with my brother. He has terrifying aim too.
The lake was a fiasco. The third years had no compunction about swimming out of their depth, or indeed being sensible at all.
A large third year, a friend of my brother’s, asked me to come in the water. I was the only one on the bank. His name is Patrick. I do not like him. I said I was too busy practicing.
And so. I’m not sure what the curse is even called. Patrick produced his wand and pointed it at me, but I didn’t catch what he said.
Suddenly, I was upside down, being held by my heel, six feet above the lake. Patrick was laughing and hooting as he pointed his wand towards me, wafting me further out over the lake. Fifty feet of water now separated me from the dry bank. The curse let go, suddenly. Patrick roared with mirth as I splashed, head first, into the lake. This might be a good time to mention that I had failed to learn to swim as a child, despite numerous attempts at the local swimming baths.
Luckily, this time, a teacher was in the area. I suppose Professor Snape had heard the commotion. A lungful of water was threatening to force itself down my throat – soon enough it would succeed. I could not swim, but I could surely drown. Before that could happen though, Professor Snape used his wand to extract me from the lake, and deposit me on the bank.
Swimming in your robes. How terribly intelligent. Ten points from Ravenclaw. Now go and dry off, you foolish child. Do you think magic is a game? I’ll be watching you…
And he left. And the third years cheered, and laughed. Except for Keith, who came and backhanded me ‘for getting them in trouble’. He’s trying out for the Quidditch team this semester, so I don’t think he likes having points taken from our House.
Generally a pretty bad day, except for Accio. At least there was that.
September 16th : Sunday.
Well diary. It has been a strange day, I can tell you.
Believe it or not, I went to Hogsmeade! As a first year, we aren’t allowed to go. Well, I wasn’t planning on it…
Keith was in another mood this morning.
Calling it ‘another mood’ would suggest that perhaps Keith was in a different mood than Friday, but, sadly, it was more of a ‘same mood, different day’ thing. If anything, he was worse. Sullen and sour-faced, he wouldn’t talk at all during breakfast, but I suppose I should count myself lucky that I didn’t end up wearing his bangers and mash.
The third years lined up in the courtyard after breakfast, all ready for their first trip to Hogsmeade. I had decided to go for a walk to Hagrid’s cabin. He was rumored to be a half giant. I had met him only once, at the station, and had seen him from a distance several times, but giants had fascinated me since I had read about them in some of Keith’s schoolbooks, two years ago.
Patrick and two of his friends stood at the back of the line. As I passed, he slapped his hand on my shoulder hard enough to make me stagger.
Where’s Keith then?
Dunno. I ‘aven’t seen him since breakfast.
Where you going sprog?
Going for a walk to Hagrid’s cabin.
Patrick seized my wrist. His scowl was looking more dangerous than usual.
Not yet. Hang around till your cheating brother gets here.
I struggled. I had no desire to be the subject of Patrick’s bullying. Unfortunately Patrick stands a full head taller than me, and is roughly twice the girth. He had no problem restraining me. I started to hope for a teacher, surely one would be here soon. Even Professor Snape would do.
But things started to go downhill from there. Patrick’s friends, Marcus and Luc, stood to one side, sneering. They were watching the doors, no doubt waiting for Keith to come. Luc, a tall, ugly french boy with greasy blond hair, leaned towards Patrick and muttered something which I couldn’t understand, his accent is so thick.
Yeah. Yeah, that’s an idea. He’s bound to turn up then.
Luc grinned back, displaying irregular teeth that had, clearly, never been introduced to a toothbrush. He reached into his jacket, and produced his wand. It was short, dark brown, and had small knots circling the shaft.
To be honest (and you know how I feel about that, diary!) I don’t remember what happened next. I assume Luc cast a spell, but I can’t be sure. The first thing I remember after that is sitting in a pub. Curiously, I seemed to be wrapped in something, a cloak perhaps, though I could see well enough – the material was obviously thinly woven.
Patrick, Luc and Marcus were talking amongst themselves. I was sitting between them on a long wooden bench that lined the back wall; Marcus and Luc either side of me, and Patrick on an opposite bench across a scored, greasy table, which was clear except for three bottles of butterbeer. For some reason, there was no bottle in front of me.
I was disoriented, as if my body and my brain had been disconnected, and, as I opened my mouth to ask why I didn’t get butterbeer, I was surprised to find that my voice had disappeared. My mouth moved, but no sound whatsoever came out. Panic rose inside me, but as I was dealing with this new development, their low conversation began to sink in.
Marcus was muttering, in a stressed, urgent voice.
This is getting out of control. He’ll be missed, what are we going to do, put him in a cupboard? What if Keith’s skipped out?
Luc sneered, and replied before Patrick could speak,
Skeeped? ‘E better not ‘ave skeeped. Ve need zose galleons, ze uh…
He pointed at his throat.
Collier, uh, ‘ow you zay? Necklace… I do not trust ‘er to hold eet for us. Ve must ‘ave eet, or ze ritual will not be finis… Complete, oui?
Patrick spoke, looking towards me, though I noticed he didn’t meet my eyes. He seemed to be staring over my left shoulder.
It’s bad news for the sprog if ‘e’s skipped out. I’m not gonna let something like that happen, trust me boys. This is too important.
The trio fell silent. I digested their conversation, trying to make sense of it. They were after Keith, and it seemed he owed them money. I had no idea what Luc was talking about, I had never heard mention of any necklace. But it was Patrick’s comment that concerned me most.
It appeared that I was being held hostage.
At this point, I contemplated running, but my position between Luc and Marcus rendered me immobile. I still felt slightly disoriented, though it seemed to be passing. I opened my mouth to speak, but found that my voice was still blocked. I wondered why.
It must have been a spell. Perhaps Luc had silenced me when he turned his wand on me in the courtyard, though I had to admit to myself it didn’t account for my loss of the hour or more it must have taken to get here. I wondered how I’d gotten here. Had they carried me perhaps? Knocked me out first?
I decided, if I couldn’t speak, to attract their attention in the only way I could. I struggled against the strange cloak, finally finding an edge and lifting it in an attempt to throw the thing off. Before I managed it, however, I blacked out again.
The next thing I knew, I was walking slowly between the three of them. At this time of year, it had not yet begun to get cold, and, though I had never been here, I recognized the main street of Hogsmeade from my History of Hogwarts textbook, though that image showed the street dusted in snow. My legs felt like rubber, and the disorientation was back, so strongly that I staggered, but managed to stay on my feet.
I experimented with my voice, but to my dismay, I found that I still could not utter a word. Unable to think of what to do – I still had a desire to run, but again I was too closely guarded to do anything about my impulse – I resorted to the tactic that hadn’t worked before in the pub. I attempted to throw off the cloak that they had wrapped me in.
And once again, things became dark, and next thing I found myself here where I sit writing, right now.
But this time, I remembered one thing before I blacked out. Marcus’s voice.
Blimey! I can see ‘im, look at that then…
And Luc’s voice in reply.
Ze disillusionment charm, eet is failing, ve must ‘urry…
Diary, I am, I must say, astonished at the days events. I sit here, in this small space, with nothing save my wand and you, a quill, and my own company. It is dark and cramped, and I have not eaten since breakfast. Though I have beaten on the door no-one has come to let me out. Luckily, I have mastered the Lumos spell, so I have light. I wish I had more experience.
I know there is a spell to open doors, but I haven’t learned it yet, though I have heard Keith use it just the once. I tried to remember the correct phrase, pointing my wand at the door.
Aloe Vera! (a sticky, glutinous substance dripped from the end of my wand…)
Eeeewwwww. So gross. I gave it up, there was no way I could remember the exact phrase.
Keith will come. He will sort out whatever it is he’s done, and the boys will let me go.
I am confident.
I wonder what tomorrow will bring? Something to eat, at least, I hope. Though this situation has been beyond my control, I find myself curiously excited, as if I am on an adventure. I’m going to try and sleep now, Diary. Good night to you.
September 17th : Monday
Good morning Diary. Though I have managed a little sleep, my urgent need for the bathroom makes it impossible to sleep more. If someone doesn’t come soon, I’m afraid an accident is inevitable.
Monday afternoon… Finally, the door of my small prison opened. Luc and Marcus stood there, staring down at me. Luc’s nose wrinkled in distaste at the smell.
‘E as wet ‘imself.
Luc looked positively delighted that I had suffered. Marcus, at least, seemed to sympathize. Though he didn’t say anything, the worried, slightly panicked look on his face made me feel a little better. If things had been getting out of control yesterday, today they were much worse. I had failed to appear for three lessons so far today, and I certainly would have been missed. I realised suddenly that my voice was no longer blocked. I said, in as steady a voice as I could muster,
Can I go now then?
Marcus and Luc looked at each other, and back at me. Luc spoke, but to Marcus.
Eet ‘as worn off. Ve must ‘urry, eet will be sundown in an hour… Ve ‘ave to get him to ze forest, or Patrick will not be ‘appy. I ‘ope ‘e ‘as managed to convince Zelda to give up ze necklace…
Luc pointed his wand at me, and said
Marcus shook his head.
Oh man, this is so bad…
Once again, I blacked out. This time I awoke to find myself walking between the two of them. Luc had hold of my wrist, and all three of us this time were wrapped in the cloak that I had been covered in yesterday. I could see Hagrid’s cabin in the distance. We were approaching it, and I heard Luc say,
Ve will leave ‘im ‘ere till Patrick comes, and, if ‘e as not been successful, ve’ll come back for ‘im…
Marcus agreed, though I could hear something approaching real fear in his voice. I struggled against Luc, wanting nothing more than to get away from my two captors. Again, I blacked out.
And woke here. I can’t be sure, but I think it might be Hagrid’s storm cellar. It’s a cluttered little room with steps leading up to a trapdoor. I bashed on it, but no-one has come yet, and it is locked tight.
I think, Diary, that there will be some retribution against these boys when all this comes out. I have not eaten since breakfast yesterday, and I’m beginning to think Luc may be using the Imperius curse on me. I know, as would they, that an unforgivable curse will land them in Azkaban, if they are caught. I fear now, for my safety. I hope Keith comes.
But if he doesn’t, Diary, I’m going to leave you here. If anything happens to me, at least there will be a record of what has gone on. All I need is a safe hiding place.
Farewell Diary. I sincerely hope we meet again soon…