Both of her professors had long since left the room, telling her to stay in there for as long as she needed. She didn't know if she was prepared for what was behind the door, but she didn't want to take advantage of her professors' generous offer. Fixing her hair quickly in a dusty mirror next to the door, she took a deep breath and pushed it open.
Stepping into the Great Hall, all eyes turned to Effie. The elderly man with long grey hair and a long grey beard who had been speaking moment before had fallen silent, his eyes also fixated on the new student who dared to draw attention away from his speech. Effie cringed, not used to all of the attention. Looking up across the hall, she noticed an open seat in front of Neville. The only problem was that to get there, she'd have to walk all the way across the room and all of the students.
After a moment had passed, the old man continued speaking, not regaining the stares of his students as they were still fixed on Effie. She straightened her posture and held her head up high before starting to make her way to the Gryffindor table. Hundreds of eyes watched her as she walked, trying to determine which house she was in. Shoulders drooped when she passed by their tables. Refusing to look anywhere but straight ahead, Effie found her seat next to Neville and turned to face the old man.
Though many students had turned back to the speech or whatever they were doing before, Effie still felt many pairs of eyes lingering on her. She turned to Neville who was shyly staring at her and flashed him her biggest smile, causing him to blush.
Turning back to the old man, who she now recognized was the headmaster himself, Dumbledore, she listened intensely to his warnings about dementors. Subconsciously, she had been moving her lips and mouthing the words to the speech she knew so well.
"They will not distinguish between the one they hunt and the one who gets in their way."
At the end of his speech, Effie turned to Neville who hadn't stopped staring at her.
"Hello again, Neville."
Smiling at his nervous nod, she turned to the people in front of her. Across the table sat two boys, one who was tall even seated with smooth chocolatey skin and the other one a dark haired boy with prominent Irish features.
"Hi. I'm Effie."
They both stared at Effie and Neville with shocked expressions; their mouths were agape at her appearance and her previous connection to Neville. Although Effie already recognized their appearances from book descriptions, she couldn't let them know that. She leaned across the table and flirtatiously placed her hands on the chins of both boys, slowly closing their mouths.
"Now, now boys. Wouldn't want you catching flies."
Effie didn't know where the sudden burst of confidence had come from. She came to the conclusion that her looks had changed her, but surprisingly she didn't mind it. Both boys were still staring at her in shocked silence.
With a raised eyebrow she prodded, "Well, don't you have names?"
The taller boy was the first to speak.
"I-I'm Dean Thomas. And this is Seamus Finnigan."
She smiled kindly at both of them before mounds of food suddenly appeared on the once empty plates in front of them. Even though she was expecting it, Effie couldn't help but stare in awe and let out a gasp at the magnificent feat of magic, a response that was noticed by many students at the table.
While Dean and Seamus already started digging in, Neville stared at Effie shyly without touching the food. Worried that he was waiting for her to start eating or embarrassed about her seeing him eat, she quickly grabbed a drumstick from the pile in front of her and took an over exaggerated bite out of it, shaking her head like a dog at a suddenly smiling Neville. Taking this as his cue to start eating, Neville began to fill his plate. Content, Effie gently wiped chicken grease off her mouth with a napkin before serving herself food and eating like a normal person.
When she was finished eating, she wiped her face once more before turning to Dean and Seamus who were staring at her again.
"You'd think I was part Veela from the way you two stare at me."
Seamus perked up.
"Are you part Veela?"
She shook her head.
"Why don't you boys tell me about Hogwarts?"
Seamus and Dean took turns discussing teachers and classes at Hogwarts while Neville stayed silent.
"What do you think your favorite class is going to be?" Dean asked.
"Well I know I'll love Defense Against the Dark Arts and Charms and I'll do fine in Potions but I don't know how good I'm going to do in Herbology. That's the hardest subject for me... Are any of you good at Herbology?"
Dean and Seamus shook their heads but Neville perked up.
"I'm okay I guess."
Effie smiled at him and then back at Dean and Seamus. They were warming up to her and her appearance was having less of an effect. They chatted for a few more minutes about Quidditch, which Effie expressed that she wanted to learn, and House points before Effie yawned and stood up.
"I'm absolutely dead. Will one of you show me where the Gryffindor common room is. I'm a bit afraid I won't find it since I hear the stairs change."
Neville nodded and stood up.
"I'll take you."
Effie smiled at him and they both left the Great Hall. Neither of them, however, took notice of the pair of green eyes watching them leave as they also hadn't noticed them watching Effie since she walked into the Great Hall.
Still at the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall, the bushy haired girl snapped her fingers in front of the green eyes.
"Harry! It's like you haven't been here at all."
Harry rubbed his eyes and ruffled his already messy hair.
"Sorry Hermione. Just thinking about Sirius Black, considering he wants to kill me and all. It's a little distracting."
Hermione scoffed then got up from the table. The red haired boy looked to Harry.
"Go easy on her mate. She's just worried about you."
"I know Ron, I know."
Harry and Ron rose together and caught up to Hermione outside of the Great Hall and walked with her back to the Gryffindor common room.
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