A Curious Girl

In Which Artie Takes on The Reigning Champion

On Friday morning Elizabeth felt slightly tired as they had stayed up late the night for Astronomy class but she felt much better when not one letter but two arrived for her at breakfast.

“Somebodies popular today,” smirked Ernie who had letters nearly every day.

“Well go on open them,” chuckled Susan.

She opened the one with the familiar handwriting eagerly first.

“Dear Beth,

Of course, we’re not disappointed, Hufflepuff is a wonderful house!

We’re glad you’ve made so many friends already.

So, you’ve met Neville? His parents Frank and Alice fought against Voldemort with us during the war, they were wonderful people, Alice used to try and keep James and Sirius under control, but half the time Frank would end up joining them.

One time, Frank, Sirius and James were arrested for dangerous driving of Sirius’ motorbike by muggle police. They were on a mission for the order and had just caught a couple of deatheaters so were celebrating.

I had to go bail them all out, Lily and Alice were furious they were both six months pregnant at the time.

I hope you have enjoyed your first week at school and are doing well in class, the sheep on the hill say they miss the pretty girl with the wonderful drawings,

Love always, Uncle Remus and Grandpa Lyall.

“Neville,” said Elizabeth calling further down the table, “you want to borrow this, it mentions your parents.”

“Thanks,” said Neville smiling and taking the letter.

“There’s still another letter Beth,” said Susan pointing out the letter which had an untidy scrawl.

I was good friends with your parents when they were at school. I know you get Friday afternoons off and I was wondering if you’d like to come to tea this afternoon?

Hoping to see you then, Hagrid.”

“That’s pretty cool,” said Susan as she passed her letter.

“Can I come with you?”

“Sure,” beamed Elizabeth.

“Is this a girls only tea party?” asked Ernie.

“Is that you trying to ask if you can come too?” asked Susan.

“Maybe,” he muttered.

“Of course, you can come,” said Elizabeth laughing slightly.

“Thanks Beth,” said Neville passing back the letter as they headed off to class, “did you know that our parents knew each other?”

“Not really,” shrugged Elizabeth, “Remus usually talks about Sirius and Peter when he’s talking about old friends.”

“It’s really weird to think of our parents hanging out together isn’t it?” chuckled Neville as they got to Charms.

They had Charms that morning and then Defence Against the Dark Arts.

Elizabeth noticed that Professor Quirrell was more than slightly strange, he seemed to be scared of the dark arts. If he was scared of them, why was he teaching them?

Elizabeth was far too excited to eat her lunch that day, she was going to go and have tea at Hagrid’s.

After lunch Susan and Ernie raced each other down to Hagrid’s Elizabeth following them.

Elizabeth knocked on the door of the hut and there was a sound of loud barking.

Elizabeth stood back in fright.

“Hello,” said Hagrid opening the door, “back Fang back.”

The giant dog instead of going back leaped up at Ernie and started to lick his face.

“Hello,” said Elizabeth, “I’m Beth, these are my friends Ernie and Susan.”

“It’s lovely to meet you all,” beamed Hagrid, “please come in.”

They went into Hagrid’s house and the chairs were so big that Elizabeth and Susan could share a large squashy armchair with plenty of space.

“You wouldn’t be Susan Bones, would you?” asked Hagrid as he fetched the kettle from over the fire.

“Yes sir,” nodded Susan.

“I knew your Uncle Edgar,” said Hagrid, “great man, I fought alongside him a few times.”

“Did you know my Uncle Remus as well?” asked Elizabeth.

“Of course I remember Remus,” chuckled Hagrid, “it was the four of them, they used to get into all kinds of trouble, mostly James and Sirius, but then Peter would be the lookout and Remus would look all innocent in the library reading a book when he knew that James and Sirius were currently hiding a niffler in Professor McGonagall’s office because he had told them were to get the niffler from.”

“That sounds like Remus,” giggled Elizabeth.

“He’d never do anything too stupid himself, but he’d help with the planning.”

“What’s your last name Ernie?” asked Hagrid.

“Macmillan,” said Ernie who was sat on the floor of the hut playing with Fang.

“You wouldn’t know an Amy Macmillan, would you?”

“She’s my cousin,” beamed Ernie.

“Great with creatures,” nodded Hagrid, “I introduced her to my hippogriff herd one time, what is she doing now?”

“She’s just been accepted for the Scamander apprenticeship at the Ministry, gets to work in the Department for Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.”

Elizabeth, Ernie and Susan had a wonderful time at Hagrid’s, Hagrid knew everything about the school and told them all about their parents when they were back at school. The conversation was great, and the tea was lovely, but the rock cakes were not so great.

“Do you think he makes the rock cakes with actual rocks?” asked Ernie as they left.

“Shh,” said Susan as they left, “don’t be horrible.”

“We got any homework?” asked Elizabeth heading back up to the Hufflepuff Common Room.

“I don’t think so,” shrugged Susan, “we’re all caught up.”

Elizabeth beamed as she skipped up to her dorm and fetched her notes for the week and a large number of notebooks.

“What are you doing?” asked Ernie, “we’ve done all our homework.”

“I’m writing up my notes for the week.”

Elizabeth had seven school exercise books with lined paper that she had bought before coming to school, she still hadn’t got the hang of parchment and writing in notebooks seemed more organised and tidier than a mass of loose parchment.

She carefully labeled each of the exercise books, Elizabeth Potter, Hufflepuff on the top line, year one notes on the second line and on the third line wrote down the subjects, Transfiguration, Charms, Potions, History of Magic, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Astronomy and Herbology.

“Why are you writing them in books?” asked Ernie.

“Because stacks of loose parchment could easily get lost or jumbled up,” she shrugged as she started to copy out her Transfiguration notes.

“Fair enough,” muttered Ernie getting out a box of Bertie Botts, Justin wanted a rematch.

On Saturday Elizabeth was sitting in the Common Room and was doing her last set of notes for the week which was for History of Magic.

She was writing out the story of Hecate, the Greek goddess of magic, helping Demeter find her daughter Persephone who had been abducted by Hades.

She was drawing illustrations as she went, one was of Persephone being kidnapped by Hades who was flying away in his chariot, the other was of Hecate helping Demeter search for her, Demeter’s hands were torches.

She was just adding some colour to the illustrations with her pencils when Susan came over. Susan had been watching with disgust as Justin ate a Bertie Botts Every Flavour Bean which had turned out to be doxie droppings, not chocolate.

“That boy is determined to beat Ernie,” said Susan shaking her head.

“What’s the score?” asked Elizabeth as she coloured Hecate’s dress a soft gold.

“After he spat that one out?” she asked raising her eyebrows.

“Ernie’s on sixty-seven and Justin’s on thirty-nine.”

“At least it’s not as bad as Zach, he’s on minus ten,” chuckled Hannah.

Elizabeth started to pack away her pencils as she finished her History notes.

“Can I borrow this?” asked Susan looking at Elizabeth’s history notes with interest.

“Sure,” said Elizabeth taking the rest of her book’s upstairs.

“Are you sure we were in the same class?” asked Susan, “because this stuff is fascinating.”

“Exact same class, underneath that monotonous tone is actually very interesting stories.”

“But this is just a story book,” smirked Zacharias as he read over her notes and looked at the drawings.

“History of Magic is just stories Zach,” pointed out Ernie as he picked another bean, “it’s in the name.”

“Oh yeah.”

“Can I borrow this when we get towards exams?” asked Neville, “I’ll never remember any of this otherwise!”

“Of course,” laughed Elizabeth.

“It’s just your wording,” he beamed, “you make it so exciting.”

“And your drawings really make it come to life,” added Artie.

“It’s nothing,” she shrugged.

The boys came to the end of another box of beans.

“I believe I am still the undisputed champion!” crowed Ernie.

“Can I try?” asked Artie.

“But you’re a girl,” smirked Zacharias.

“So?” she asked raising her eyebrows.

“No offense but if we can’t beat him you can’t,”

“I grew up with four older brothers,” she said kneeling down as Ernie got out a box of beans, “I can do anything a boy can do, and last time I checked you finished the last round on minus ten!”

Zacharias stammered for a moment as Neville wrote Artie’s name on the end of the list of competitors.

“Remind me,” said Justin as he drank a glass of water sitting this round out, “to never cross that girl.”

An hour later, they came to the end of the box and Artie had seventy points to Ernie’s sixty-five. Zacharias had ten points.

“Ok,” sighed Zacharias, “I’ll admit it, I was wrong.”

“Told you,” smirked Artie.

“All hail the new champion!” said Ernie holding Artie’s hand in the air.

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