A Curious Girl

A Very Eventful First Day

Dear Uncle Remus and Grandpa Lyall,

Hogwarts is amazing! It’s even more beautiful and magnificent than I remember!

Dumbledore may look like Merlin, but that’s where the resemblance stops. I cannot imagine Merlin using words such as blibber oddment or tweak.

I have been sorted into Hufflepuff. I hope you’re not disappointed Grandpa, I know you wanted me to be a Ravneclaw like you, and the hat gave me the choice, but I had made some friends on the train and they had already been sorted into Hufflepuff.

I made lots of friends yesterday, on the train I sat with Ernie and two other boys Justin Finch Fletchley and Neville Longbottom.

A muggle born girl kept running up and down the train trying to find out which compartment I was in because she wanted to be my friend. I’m sure she didn’t mean any harm but Justin and Ernie thought she was being a bit rude.

There is one other boy in my house whose name is Zacharias Smith, I haven’t got to know him very well yet.

There are three girls in my dorm other than me. Hannah Abbot, Susan Bones and Artemis Nightshade. Artemis only ever goes by Artie though and to be honest I cant blame her!

Guinevere has already claimed pride of place in the dorm on the window seat, I’m pretty sure she stayed up all night guarding the door and then sleeps when we’re all awake, it’s like having our own security system!

Everyone is so nice, and I can’t wait to start classes today, I hope we have Herbology, you know I love plants other than that I’m probably most excited about History of Magic.

Hope you are all well, send my love to the sheep on the hill,

Love Always, your Cariad Beth.

“What are you doing up so early?” asked Susan looking over from her own bed.

“Writing home,” said Elizabeth as she folded up a drawing from the day before to put with her letter.

“Do you want to borrow Freya?”

“Who’s Freya?”

“She’s my owl,” said Susan as she started to get out of bed.

“Are you sure?”

“Of course,” beamed Susan.

Elizabeth and Susan both got out of bed leaving Artie and Hannah to sleep in. they pulled on their uniforms and robes which now had a black and gold trim.

“See you tonight Gwen,” said Elizabeth giving her a quick hug as they left.

Hannah and Elizabeth had a theory that as they didn’t know what classes they had that day, they would bring all their set books between them and then share when they got to class by sitting at the same desk.

“Morning fair damsels,” said Ernie bowing, “and how are this fine morning?”

“Good morrow noble sir,” giggled Elizabeth curtsying back to him, “we are well.”

“Why are you two doing that?” asked Neville.

“Because we live in a castle!” laughed Elizabeth as they left the common room.

“It’s called imagination Nev,” said Ernie.

“I know that,” muttered Neville.

Before they went for breakfast they found the owlery, Elizabeth, and Ernie wanted to send letters home.

“This is Freya,” said Susan stroking the snow-white owl that landed on her arm.

“Freya meet Merlin,” said Ernie, “I hope you two become very good friends you’re going to be living together for the next seven years.”

“Seven years,” groaned Neville as they headed down to the Great Hall.

“Whats the matter Nev?” asked Susan.

“Zacharias Smith,” groaned Neville and Ernie.

“He cant be that bad,” chuckled Susan.

“He is the most foul person I’ve ever met,” muttered Ernie.

“He quizzed us on our family history and wouldn’t leave us alone until we told him the answers.”

“That doesn’t sound too bad,” said Susan.

“My parents our in St. Mungo’s,” mumbled Neville, “they were tortured into insanity by deatheaters.”

“It was practically torture,” growled Ernie shaking his head, “he just wouldn’t leave off until Neville finally broke down and told him about his parents.”

“He didn’t hurt you, did he?” asked Elizabeth standing still where she stood.

“Oh Beth, no he didn’t hurt Nev he didn’t touch anyone, it was more annoying pestering than torture, I was over exaggerated.”

“You promise,” she breathed.

“He wouldn’t dare touch you,” said Ernie, “he’s too much of a coward.”

“He sounds like a bloody git,” said Susan shaking her head.

“My sentiments exactly,” said Ernie.

They arrived in the Great Hall where a very peeved Zacharias was sat down next to Justin who was ignoring him.

“You ok Nev?” asked Justin.

Neville nodded and grabbed himself a slice of toast.

Elizabeth sat as far away from Zacharias as far as possible.

“I’m sorry if I upset you last night Nev,” muttered Zacharias.

“If you were really sorry, you would have left him alone,” said Justin turning around to face him, “he clearly didn’t want to talk about his family last night.”

“Look Zach,” sighed Ernie, “just the next time someone tells you to leave them alone or drop the subject just do it ok?”

“Ok, I really am sorry Nev.”

“Can we just pretend last night didn’t happen?” asked Neville.

“I’m Zach, it’s nice to meet you.”

“Nev,” said Neville smiling slightly.

Professor Sprout came around handing out the timetables not long after this.

“Good morning, I’m Professor Sprout, if any of you have any problems feel free to come talk to me about it.”

She handed the first years their timetables and Elizabeth scanned her timetable for today. Her face split into a beam as she read the column for today. Double Herbology, Double History of Magic, and then Double Potions after lunch.

“What are you smiling about?” asked Ernie.

“All my favourite lessons on my first day!” she beamed.

“Let’s get a move on then,” said Hannah going to go and get her bag.

They had Herbology first with the Ravenclaws.

Susan and Elizabeth shared a table with two Ravenclaw girls Mandy Brocklehurst and Lisa Turpin.

It was fascinating they learnt all about the different plants and they’re uses, and both Neville and Elizabeth got points for Hufflepuff.

After Herbology they had History of Magic.

Elizabeth had her quill and parchment ready as she sat down at a desk at the front of the class with Susan. They had this class with the Slytherins, there was five Slytherin boys, three of them were sitting at desks at the back of the classroom lounging around like they owned the place, and the other two had gotten out their charm’s textbooks for history class.

The class came to a flying start, literally when the Professor came floating through the blackboard.

Unfortunately for most people it went downhill from there, Professor Binns had a monotonous drone that drifted most people off to sleep but the things that Professor Binns was talking about were fascinating such amazing stories.

He told them that this year they were going to be learning about magic in the ancient world, starting off with learning about Hecate, the Greek Goddess of magic.

As Elizabeth made frantic notes not wanting to miss a word the rest of the class got distracted, Susan was starting her Herbology homework, Neville and Ernie were playing hangman. One of the Slytherin boys who had bright blonde hair and was sitting at a desk on his own had his feet up on the desk and had gone to sleep.

By the end of the hour and a half lesson Elizabeth had enough parchment to fill the desk.

“How did you make so many notes?” asked Justin as she packed it away in her bag.

“I just copied down everything he said in case I missed anything; I’m going to abridge them later.”

“Two sets of notes on that rubbish?” asked the blonde Slytherin boy who was accompanied by two big set boys who had spent the whole lesson thinking they were in Charms.

“Tease all you like Draco,” said Susan, “but you’ll be jealous when exams come around.”

“I don’t have to pass exams,” he scoffed, “my Father’s on the Board of Governors, I’m surprised you’re even bothering Potter, they’d never throw you out.”

“You ‘saved the wizarding world’” he said sarcastically using his fingers for quotation marks.

“Just leave her alone Malfoy,” said Justin trying to push past him so the two girls could get past

“And who are you?” said Malfoy as his friends Crabbe and Goyle blocked the exit.

“Justin Finch Fletchley.”

“Unusual name,” said Malfoy turning his nose up slightly, “I don’t know any wizarding families with that name.”

“His parents are muggles Draco,” sighed Susan.

“So now I’m being bossed around by a blood traitor,” he said looking at Susan, “and a mudblood?”

Susan flinched slightly and Justin gripped onto their shoulders.

“And all I wanted to do was to introduce myself properly to Miss Potter here,” he sighed shaking his head.

“Look I’m sorry,” stammered Elizabeth, “but I don’t want to be friends with you, I don’t know what the names you just called Justin and Susan actually means but it clearly wasn’t very nice, if you’re not going to be nice to my friends you don’t want to be my friend.”

“That’s not to mention the fact that you’ve actually blocked us in to stop us from leaving,” she pointed out looking from Crabbe to Goyle.

“You’ll regret this Potter,” muttered Malfoy sweeping from the room.

“I sincerely doubt that,” said Justin shaking his head as they finally left the classroom.

“Susan what are blood traitors and mudbloods?” asked Elizabeth as they headed to the Great Hall.

“Words not usually in polite conversation,” she said through clenched teeth.

“Blood traitors is a term used for pure blood families who associate to much with muggles.”

“What do you mean by that?” asked Justin.

“Well by marrying muggle borns, or muggles, or by sympathising with muggles or socialising with them in public.”

“So why did Malfoy call you a blood traitor?” asked Justin.

“Because my Uncle married a muggleborn, my family fought against You Know Who in the first war, and my Aunty Amelia is a well-known supporter of muggle rights in the Ministry.”

“But there’s nothing wrong with any of that,” said Elizabeth, “why is that an insult.”

“Because Malfoy’s family are the opposite of Susan’s,” said Ernie who had been sitting next to them, “he hates muggles and his father was a deatheater.”

“So then what’s a mudblood?” asked Elizabeth.

Ernie spat out his pumpkin juice, Zacharias whipped his head around and Neville bit his lip nervously.

“What did she just say?” seethed Zacharias.

“Calm down Zach,” said Justin, “she was only asking a question.”

“Who called you that Justin?” asked Zacharias pulling out his wand.

“Malfoy,” he stuttered, “Draco Malfoy.”

“Don’t do anything stupid!” cried Neville as Zacharias got up.

“Put your wand away Zach,” said Ernie keeping a cool head, “you don’t know any spells.”

“You’re right,” he said putting his wand back away.

“I wish I did though, I’d curse him into next week.”

“But what does it mean?” asked Elizabeth.

“It means dirty blood,” sighed Ernie, “it’s a term that some people use instead of muggle borns.”

“Pure blood bigots like Malfoy,” said Zacharias who was still seething.

“As I said,” said Susan, “not terms used in polite conversation.”

“And with that friendly note,” said Ernie getting up, “to potions!”

Their dormitories were on the way down to the dungeons, so they stopped to collect their cauldrons before going to class.

Susan and Elizabeth set up their cauldrons at a desk towards the front, and the Hufflepuff’s waited for the Gryffindors and Professor Snape to arrive.

The Gryffindors arrived and Hermione set up her cauldron at a desk near hers with a boy with bright red hair who seemed to be more than slightly peeved with the seating arrangements.

Professor Snape came bursting into the room his robes billowing out behind him and he gave them a speech on the subtle art of potion making, Elizabeth was hanging on every word.

“Potter!” snapped Snape turning on her as he reached the end of the speech.

“What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?”

She knew this, she had read it in her book a powerful sleeping potion called the drought of living death.

Professor Snape was glaring at her and was standing over her desk, she couldn’t bring herself to answer his question.

“Let’s try again,” He said smirking.

“Where Miss Potter would you find a bezoar?”

Remus had taught her that, stomach of a goat, used as an antidote for poisons.

She didn’t know why but something about Professor Snape was scaring her, maybe it was because he was glaring at her intimidatingly.

Her breathing started to quicken as Professor Snape glared at her.

“Let’s try again shall we,” he said starting to lose his temper at the lack of the response, “what Potter is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?”

Same ingredient different name, also known as aconite, used in Uncle Remus’ Wolfsbane potion.

“Well girl what is it?” he asked losing his temper and banging his fist on the desk.

“Are you deaf, dumb or mute?” he said banging his fist on the desk again trying to get her attention “because you are clearly one of the three!”

Elizabeth started to shake in her seat and hyperventilating.

Snape realised he had gone too far, and the class was staring at him in shock.

He stood back from the desk and calmed down.

“Miss Potter?” he asked concernedly

Susan was looking at Elizabeth in confusion as she shook and hyperventilated.

“I should take her to the hospital wing sir,” said Ernie “I think she’s having a panic attack.”

“Yes of course,” muttered Snape who was trying to compose himself.

“Beth,” said Ernie crouching down, “can you hear me?”

“Hmmm,” she muttered.

“Come on let’s go see Madam Pomfrey,” he said putting an arm around her and shepherding her from the classroom.

“Should I come?” asked Susan getting up.

“We’ll see you after class Susan,” said Ernie, “don’t worry she’ll be fine.”

Susan nodded nervously and sat back down.

“Come on Beth,” said Ernie as they headed up from the dungeons, “you’re going to be ok, nobody is going to hurt you.”

Ernie found the Hospital Wing and went in with Elizabeth who was still shaking slightly and hyperventilating.

“Can I help you?” asked Madam Pomfrey coming out of her office.

“Um yeah,” stammered Ernie, “I think Beth’s having a panic attack.”

“But she’s only eleven,” said Madam Pomfrey in confusion.

“Professor Snape,” muttered Ernie.

“Enough said young man,” she said shaking her head and pulling out a bottle of the Draught of Living Peace.

She poured out a tablespoon for Elizabeth.

“I need you to take this please Miss Potter, it will make you feel better.”

“Hmmm,” she muttered swallowing the medicine.

“This isn’t entirely Professor Snapes fault,” said Ernie, “her Aunt and Uncle weren’t very nice to her.”

“That is an understatement,” said Pomfrey flicking through Elizabeth’s personal file.

Elizabeth started to calm down slightly as Pomfrey went to add this to her file.

“You ok Beth?”

“Hmm, could we go back to class?” she asked trying to get off the bed.

“No chance,” said Ernie firmly getting her to sit back down.

“Why did Snape scare you quite so much?”

“I think it’s because he was shouting at me,” she stammered, “I knew the answers.”

At the end of classes for the day Professor Snape came rushing into the Hospital Wing followed by a very nervous Susan, and Professor Sprout the others were taking their things back to their dorms for them.

“Is she alright?” asked Professor Snape frantically.

“She is fine no thanks to you Severus,” said Pomfrey through pursed lips.

“How was I supposed to know she was so sensitive?”

“I don’t know how many times I’ve told you Severus, to not bully the first years, it scares them!” said Professor Sprout.

“I’m sorry Miss Potter,” he said earnestly, “I misjudged, I assumed you would be like your father and were ignoring me just to annoy me.”

“Um that’s ok,” said Elizabeth slightly confused

“Perhaps if you had read her file Severus you wouldn’t have been quite so brutal,” said Pomfrey passing it to him.

Snape looked confused but began to read it, his eyes getting more and more narrow by the line.

Susan sat down on Elizabeth’s bed and clutched Ernie and Elizabeth’s hands, she didn’t know what was more scary, shouting Snape or quiet Snape with narrowed eyes.

“Petunia,” he spat,

“Did Dumbledore know about this?”

Elizabeth bit her lip slightly as Snapes eyes burnt with rage.

Snape took a deep breath to calm down.

“Did Dumbledore know about how they were treating you and not do anything about it?”

Elizabeth nodded slowly.

“Right,” he muttered sweeping from the room, “right!”

“Why does Severus always have to be so over dramatic?” asked Madam Pomfrey as she put Elizabeth’s file back away.

“Are you alright now dear?” asked Professor Sprout.

“Yes,” said Elizabeth getting down from the bed.

“Do you want to go get some dinner perhaps?”

She stared down at her shoes.

“Don’t want to go into the great hall?” she asked knowingly.

Elizabeth nodded smiling slightly.

“Tell you what why don’t you and Susan go back to the Common Room and I’ll show Ernie where to find the kitchens.”

Susan took Elizabeth’s hand and they both headed back down to the Common Room where Susan tapped out the password.

They headed up to their dorm and sat down on Susans bed, they didn’t want the crowded common room.

“Um Beth,” muttered Susan.

Elizabeth looked up at Susan.

“You don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to, but why did Snape get so angry when he read your file?”

“You won’t tell anyone?” breathed Elizabeth.

“Of course not!”

“My aunt and uncle were muggles and hated magic, imagine the opposite of Draco Malfoy.”

“So they didn’t like you because you had magic?” she asked

“Yes,” she nodded, “Uncle Vernon used to beat me and I used to sleep in the cupboard under the stairs.”

Susan’s face went white.

“I notice,” said Susan slowly, “that all of that was in the past tense?”

“Yes, I live with my Uncle Remus and Grandpa Lyall now.”

“That’s good,” beamed Susan.

Elizabeth still seemed slightly shaken up from earlier.

Susan pulled her in for a hug cautiously but Elizabeth didn’t flinch away.

“Hey girls,” said Ernie coming in with two bags of food, “see I’ve found the right dorm?”

“How did you even get up here,” chuckled Susan, “boys aren’t allowed in the girls dorms.”

“That’s what they want you to think Susan,” beamed Ernie.

“Professor Sprout told me the secret, if you’re going up the girls staircase to do something you shouldn’t be like plant dung bombs or sneaking into a girls room, you can’t, but if you’ve got permission, or you’re doing something good such as delivering food then you can go up the stairs.”

“Huh,” muttered Susan as she helped him unpack.

Ernie had brought up three portions of beef casserole with potatoes and then ice cream for dessert.

“Um guys,” muttered Elizabeth as she ate her ice cream.

“Yeah?” asked Ernie turning to her.

“Thanks for not abandoning me, even though you know about the Dursleys.”

“Why would I abandon you Beth?” asked Susan, “you’re my best friend.”

Elizabeth stared into space for a second but then pulled Susan in for a huge hug.

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