Two weeks into my final year at Hogwarts, yet I was already dreading it. I had already been within the castle walls for seven years, and now this was my eighth— finally.
After the Second Wizarding War, when McGonagall became the headmistress, she requested that all seventh year students return to conclude their uncompleted term. With the conclusion of my seventh year, I was beyond excited to move on with my life. However when the news broke that we were required to return, I was absolutely crushed. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the company of Hogwarts, but I felt as though I was ready to move on. Despite my optimism, I was struck with absolute disappointment.
Seated in the Three Broomsticks, I remained surrounded by a few of my closest friends. Luckily it was Sunday, which meant we had loads of time to slack around.
I took a cool sip of my drink as my focus shifted towards the conversation they were having, my hands wrapped tightly around the tall cup.
"Quidditch tryouts are coming up," Ron began to boast proudly of his past successes, "Figure I'll be keeper this year too?"
"Not if I can help it," Ginny sarcastically teased, "Keep acting cocky like you did in sixth year, and you'll be off the team before you can even get on your broom."
Harry was captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team again this year, and I suppose Ginny was just playfully messing with her brother. I never really have thought of myself to be good at Quidditch, so I've never thought to tried out like the lot of them. In reality, I enjoy watching the game more than physically being on the pitch.
"Come on, Gin," Ron crooned with a smack of his food, his hand clenched on his silverware, "I wasn't that cocky in sixth year. I was just bloody proud of myself."
"A little bit, yeah," Harry muttered in agreement to Ginny, "You were quite the character when you thought you were under Liquid Luck."
"Are you ought to try out for the team this year too, Valerie?" Hermione turned her head to me with a curious brow furrowed on her face.
"Me?" I widened my eyes, stopping myself from choking on the butterbeer I previously had been drinking. "Hell no," I shook my head with my immediate reply, "Quidditch has never been my thing."
"Come on you can't be that bad," Ginny rolled her eyes, "You should give it a shot, we need more girls on the team. I'm tired of all the bloody blokes at the after-parties."
"After parties?" I squinted my eyes, wondering why I've never heard of such a thing. Up until now I was never aware that the aftermath Quidditch games consisted of after-parties. It intrigued me a bit, I couldn't lie.
"Yeah," Ron shook his head up and down, "After every game, loads of students throw a party. It doesn't matter who played that day, anyone can show up. Quite fun actually."
"I'm surprised you haven't heard of them," Harry shrugged, adjusting the glasses that circled around his eyes, "They've been quite the talk for ages."
"Have you ever been to one, Mione?" I interrogated the brunette adjacent to me curiously, turning my head to meet her gaze.
"No," She scoffed with a wrinkled nose, "I don't waste my time with silly things like that. My priorities lie in much more important topics. Parties are practically an invitation for trouble."
"Partying is not a waste of time, Mione," Ron objected with a slight groan, "Just wait until the first party this year, I'll force you to go with me and you'll see how entertaining they are."
Quite frankly, I've always admired Ron and Hermione's exquisite relationship. In the eyes of practically everyone, the two of them are perfect for each other. The same went for Ginny and Harry. The lot of them had healthy relationships with someone they truly cared about. It seemed like I was the only single one in our friend group.
I'd like to think that I didn't mind the loneliness, though. No one has ever really showed me attention romantically, so I haven't ever really yearned for the feeling of it.
My part conversation broke as the pub's old, creaky door swung proudly open and a group of Slytherins walked in. I never had anything against the majority them, except a few. I watched as they walked over to the bar and took a seat. There were four of them, circling around one another.
"I'm surprised he choose to come back," Ron's whisper to the lot of us broke my observations, "It's absolute bollocks if you ask me."
"Who?" I tilted my head slightly.
"Malfoy," Harry replied softly, rotating around to glare at the platinum haired boy sitting closely behind him.
Draco Malfoy was the fourth Slytherin amongst the group, and the one we all despised the most. He was completely and utterly full of himself, it was so bloody annoying. The narcissism was overwhelming present.
"I don't think he necessarily choose to return to Hogwarts," Hermione bowed her head as she spoke in a low tone, "I'm pretty sure the Ministry forced him too. The Quibbler went on a rampage about how angry he seemed throughout the trial."
"Why's that?" I queried with a normal toned voice, pursing my lips in curiosity.
"I believe it's none of your sodding business actually," A familiar voice rudely called, he must've overheard us.
Draco stood up from the bar his friends rested at, boastfully making steps closer to our table. A gulp emitted from my lips, I was silently judging myself from speaking too loudly. It was obviously my fault that he heard us.
"What do you want, Malfoy?" I groaned, resting my head in my hand. This was my chance to revive my mistake.
"Don't act like you weren't just talking about me," A snarl formed on his lips, "Keep my name out of that filthy mouth of yours, will you? Do us both a favor and don't be a bother."
He was talking directly to me.
Of course he was.
"Piss off, Malfoy," Ron sneered for me, shooting a disgusted look at the boy, "Your friends are waiting for you, and you're killing the mood."
"They can wait a little longer," Draco shrugged as he began to back away, "And if you're going to talk about me at least be a little fucking quieter next time, Davis."
That's exactly what I'm talking about. He's completely narcissistic. Even if the conversation was technically about him, he just had to step in and make it even more about himself. He obviously wanted everything to be about him. I was set on my decision.
I don't understand majority of the girls at Hogwarts. They all swoon over him for no absolute reason. I don't get it.
Just because he's overly tall with a charming smile, doesn't mean he's a great person. I suppose a fair few of the girls have figuratively covered their eyes from his deceitfullness when money came into the picture. It's a load of rubbish.
"Let's go," Ron cleared his throat as he began to stand up, "Before the rest of them come over. They're being a bit dodgy."
"Right," Hermione agreed with a mumble, sliding around and getting out of the wooden chair.
We all grabbed our belongings as we exited through the front door, the sound of a little bell chiming upon our withdraw. Immediately upon our arrival outside, I let in a deep breath, exhaling into the cold air with my eyes closed tightly shut. Snow wasn't quite here yet, but it was definitely getting colder in Hogsmeade. This type of weather always relaxes me.
We arrived back at Hogwarts about twenty minutes later, opening the portrait to the Gryffindor Commons as I threw myself onto the dusty sofa. Relaxing, I closed my eyes once more to take in the sense of quietness.
Somehow they all made the conversation about Quidditch, again, circling the remaining sofas and comfortably lounging around the red-plush pillows.
"We're all going to the fields to train in a few days," Ginny ran her fingers through her fire-like hair, "You're welcome to come, Valerie."
I never really liked the sound of my name, I wish there was a better way to say it honestly. The only nickname that's managed to be picked up on is "V", but only my parents and brother call me it. It's just never stuck in the minds of my classmates.
"I'll come watch," I shrugged, picking up the Daily Prophet from the table and nuzzling the crumpled paper beneath my fingers.
"No— come practice with us," Ron suggested, "Give it a shot."
I swung open the newspaper as I began to read it, multitasking with my words, "I've already mentioned it to you, I'm not cut out for Quidditch!"
"Have you ever even tried to play the sport?" Harry interrogated, tangling his arms around Ginny's waist on the sofa vertical to mine.
"No," I huffed, peering over the paper.
"Then how would you know that you're not cut out for it?" Hermione replied curiously, opening her reading book and tapping her fingers on the back of the cover.
Honestly, I don't know for a fact if I am cut out for it or not. I never have tried it, but I guess it wouldn't hurt to give it one shot. I was easily convinced, they're points were decently persuasive.
I enjoyed watching it, so there was most likely a chance that playing it wouldn't be too bad. I just hoped I wouldn't regret complying to their plead.
"Fine," I agreed with a tease, "I'll try and practice with you all. If I'm rubbish at it, it'll be your fault. I don't want to be made fun of."
"Brilliant!" Harry smiled.
I'm glad Harry was smiling, ever since the war he has been overly stressed with people flashing cameras in his face for article reads. He had been on the cover of almost every newspaper article for at least 2 month. I honestly felt quite bad for him. Nobody deserves that much harassment.
As I scrolled through the articles on the Daily Prophet, I came across one with Malfoy's picture on it, reminding me of our earlier banter.
The article read:
LUCUIS MALFOY IN AZKABAN?______________________
Death Eater, Lucius Malfoy, has been sent to Azkaban for association with the Dark Lord. His trial occurred early this month, which sentenced him to 30 years in Azkaban— ruling him guilty.
His son, also a former Death Eater, somehow walks freely with his mother. The Ministry is yet to release details on why Draco Malfoy is allowed to walk free, when his actions mirrored his father's. It remains a mystery up until this point.
We will let our beloved readers know when we find out! The Ministry's secrets will be revealed from inside information soon!
— Rita Skeeter
I closed the article shut in rage, tossing the trash newspaper into the fire as I laid back on the pillows of the sofa. Skeeter's articles were never credible, and anything written in the Prophet was biased and annoying.
Eventually I found myself lost in thought, my hands rested behind my head as I stared up at the ceiling of the Commons.
Why was Malfoy allowed to walk free?
Honestly, he should've gone with his father. In my opinion it would've made this term a lot more simpler.
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