Being Different Year 5

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Outnumbered

Anne woke up with a headache and was shivering, her bracelet wasn’t warm which meant she was safe. At least she didn’t feel nauseous like she used to.

So, Tom was after the Prophecy in the Department of Mysteries, well that was good to know, she’d have to tell Remus before she left.

Diana was only a kitten so thought that night-time was actually play time, she was jumping all over the bed trying to get Anne to play with her.

Anne pulled on her covers a little tighter before checking the time on her watch, it was half past four. She didn’t think she’d be able to get any more sleep, but it couldn’t hurt to try.

She turned on one of the electric candles on her bedside table, so that it wasn’t quite so dark as it was. She snuggled back under the covers with Diana giving her a cuddle as she tried to get back to sleep.

Anne must have fallen asleep because the next thing Anne knew she was licked on the face by Diana.

“That tickles!” Anne laughed as she woke up.

Anne checked her watch again and saw that it was now half past six.

“Are you ready to go to school Di?” asked Anne.

Diana looked at Anne confused but then nodded her head and leaped into Anne’s school trunk which was packed but had been left open.

“No Di,” chuckled Anne, “you don’t go in the trunk, you travel in your little basket.”

Anne put Diana down on the bed whilst she packed her bag for the train with her book and her wand. She then brushed out her hair into her regular two plaits, and pulled on her school robes, her hair ribbons went dark blue to match the trim on her robes. Finally, she pinned her new Prefect badge onto her robes.

“How do I look Diana?”

Diana looked at Anne for a moment before giving a firm nod.

At just gone seven o’clock there was a knocking on the bedroom door which was then opened.

“It’s time to get up dear,” said Mrs. Weasley gently as she came into the room.

It was clear that she was doing the rounds because Anne could already hear grumbling from the others as they started looking around for lost books and quills.

“Oh, you’re already up,” she said surprised, seeing that Anne was already fully dressed and packed. Anne was sat on top of her bed reading a Charms magazine to Diana.

“I’m an early riser,” shrugged Anne, “especially on the first day back at school.”

“I wish some of the others were,” said Mrs Weasley going back downstairs to check that Ron and Harry hadn’t gone back to sleep.

Anne put a feather light charm on her trunk and carried it down the stairs before coming back up for Diana’s basket.

Diana tried jumping into the basket as she picked it up.

“Don’t worry not yet poppet,” said Anne taking her out of the basket and putting her down on the bed, “we’re not leaving for a few hours yet.”

Anne carried the empty basket downstairs and Diana followed Anne around the house. The others were all rushing around trying to look for clean robes and textbooks.

Ginny was screaming at Fred and George as they went past the fourth floor.

“Why did you two have this?” she screamed holding up her diary.

“And why do are accusing us of taking your diary?” asked Fred.

“It could have been Ron,” said George.

“Yeah or your boyfriend Harry,” agreed Fred.

“Then why,” she seethed, “why was it in your trunk!” she shouted pointing at Fred.

Anne headed down to the kitchen having dropped off Diana’s basket next to her trunk.

“Good morning Mistress Anne,” said Kreacher.

“Morning Kreacher,” said Anne picking up Diana who was nuzzling her feet under the table.

Kreacher had left a saucer of milk and a bowl of cat food for Diana.

“Go on,” said Anne putting Diana down, “eat your breakfast, we’ve got a long day.”

“You too young lady,” chuckled Remus who had just appeared in the kitchen.

Most people that morning were rushing around the house with pieces of toast as they gathered lost possessions, but as Anne was already packed then she had time for her usual bowl of fruit.

“You excited to go be going back then?” asked Mr Weasley.

Anne shrugged for a moment, “I’m not sure, most of the people at school think I’m mad.”

“Only the people who don’t know you properly,” said Remus.

“Also, Harry’s been getting a much worse time,” said Sirius, “the Prophet hasn’t written about you in nearly two months but Harry’s getting mentioned on an almost daily basis.”

“You’ll be fine Anne,” said Remus giving her a hug.

“Besides if anyone hexes you, you can just set Diana on them,” said Sirius.

“Diana is a kitten,” pointed out Anne, “they’d eat her up for breakfast.”

“Yes, but she is also a kneazle who are very protective of their owners,” said Sirius.

“It’s true,” said Mr Weasley, “some families have them instead of guard dogs.”

“Ok kids,” called Sirius up the stairs at a quarter to ten, “trunks in the hallway please!”

Anne was halfway through putting Diana safely into her basket when she was knocked over by Fred and George’s flying trunks.

“AHHHH,” yelled Anne as she was knocked over.

“Fred George!” screamed Mrs Weasley, “what do you think you were doing!”

“You could have killed her why couldn’t you have just carried them? Bill didn’t charm everything in sight! Charlie didn’t apparate everywhere! Percy,” Mrs Weasley stopped mid-scream and put her hand over her mouth before running from the hallway.

“Now you’ve done it,” muttered Ron as he and Harry carried their trunks down the stairs.

“You ok sweetheart?” asked Remus helping Anne off the floor.

“Yeah,” she muttered brushing herself off.

“Here,” chuckled Tonks handing a disgruntled Diana back to Anne.

Diana had run up the coat stand to avoid being hit by George’s trunk.

Anne placed Diana in her new basket and fastened it securely.

They loaded the six trunks and various pets and broomsticks into the boot of the two cars and headed for the train station. They reached the barrier at twenty past ten and they took it at turns to run onto the platform.

“Hey Annie,” said Irwin giving her a hug.

“Nice badge!” said Irwin having released from the hug.

“Thanks,” she muttered.

“Where’s your badge Irwin?” asked Harry.

“I didn’t get one,” shrugged Irwin, “if they have half a brain, they’ll have given it to Anthony.”

Anne and Irwin headed to go find a compartment, Anne was going to have to go for a Prefect meeting at eleven but that wasn’t for half an hour.

Anne left her trunk and cat basket in the compartment and went back off the train to say goodbye to everyone.

“Good luck kiddo,” said Sirius, “blow their socks off.”

“See you at Christmas Anne,” said Tonks, “I’ll probably have bloated up to the size of a balloon by then.”

“Be careful sweetheart,” said Remus, “and don’t forget to call alright?”

“Do I ever?” asked Anne.

Anne left Diana with Irwin and Luna and headed off to the Prefects compartment.

“Hi Anne,” said Anthony, “congratulations!”

“You too,” said Anne, “Irwin said it would probably be you.”

“I thought Irwin was going to get the badge.”

Although Anthony was happy to see her, the rest of the compartment were staring at her as if confused as to why she had been chosen.

“You can’t be serious?” drawled Malfoy, “they’ve made you a Prefect Potter?” he said sneering at her. “Then again Dumbledores mad too so it’s no surprise that you got picked.”

“You know Malfoy,” said Anthony, “I was thinking the same thing about you. I thought your head was big enough to begin with.”

“Just leave it Anthony,” she muttered as the new Head Girl and Boy came to the front of the compartment.

After the Prefects had been briefed by the head girl and boy, they went off to patrol the corridors.

After Anthony and Anne had done their patrol duty, they went to go find their compartment. Irwin, Luna, and Persephone were all waiting for them.

“Hey Anne,” said Persephone.

“Hi guys,” said Anne as she sat down next to Irwin. Diana leapt onto Anne’s lap as she sat down.

“So how were all your Summers?”

“Less interesting than yours,” said Anthony, “how come Professor McGonagall was invited to your birthday but Sephie and I weren’t?”

“Maybe it’s because we’ve gone it hiding,” said Anne.

“Yeah what with Voldemort and everything,” said Irwin.

“You’ll never guess who they’ve made a Prefect?” asked Anthony.

“Well seeing as we already know who the Gryffindor and Ravenclaw Prefects are that eliminates half the year,” pointed out Luna who had seen Ron and Hermione in their new badges earlier.

“I’m going to guess Justin Finch Fletchley,” said Persephone.

“Nope,” said Anthony.

“Ernie?”

“Yep,” nodded Anthony, “but that’s not the one I’m pissed off about.”

“It’s Malfoy isn’t it?” asked Irwin. Malfoy had been tormenting them since their first day on the train four years ago.

“Afraid so,” muttered Anthony.

“And Pansy,” added Anne.

“You have got to be kidding me!” said Irwin.

“Pansy’s not very nice, she calls me Loony,” said Luna.

“Sorry to admit it Luna but half the school calls you that.”

“Yeah,” said Anne, “but the rest of the school don’t hand out badges saying Loony Luna Lovegood.”

“Ok,” said Irwin, “so Snape has just given the two biggest bullies in the school even more power.”

“Who’s the other Hufflepuff one?” asked Persephone.

“Hannah,” said Anne.

“I wonder who the defence teacher is going to be,” said Luna.

“Based on the set reading they will be about as competent as Lockhart,” said Anne.

“Seconded!” called Irwin.

“Wait,” said Anthony, “we only got the book lists yesterday and you guys have already read it?”

“It makes very good bedtime reading,” said Irwin, “bored me straight to sleep.”

“How bad can it be?” asked Persephone.

“No one can be worse than Lockhart,” said Luna, “he set a cage of pixies on our class in the first week.”

Before long they had to stop of the Hogsmeade station.

“Luna, could you look after Di for me?”

“Of course,” said Luna taking the basket from her.

“Come on we need to help people into the carriages,” Anne pointed out nudging Anthony who had been making out with Persephone.

“See you guys later then,” said Anthony as he pulled himself off the seat and followed Anne into the corridor.

“There are a lot of them aren’t there?” asked Anthony as he looked at the swarm of confused first years trying to figure out where they were meant to go.

“There can’t be as many as last year can there?”

“Looks like it,” said Anne.

“First years,” called Anthony, “follow us.”

Anthony and Anne helped the other Prefects lead the new first years over to where Professor Grubblyplank was waiting for them.

“Oi!” shouted Anthony at a couple of fourth years, “pick on some kids your own size!”

Some Gryffindor fourth years had just thrown two Hufflepuff second years out of their carriage. The carriage rolled away before Anthony could catch up with them though.

“Thanks for trying to help,” said one of the Hufflepuffs.

“That’s ok, Gryffindors can be jerks sometimes,” said Anthony.

“I’m Anne and this is Julian,” said Anne, “what’s your name?” she asked the other Hufflepuff.

“Mike,” he muttered, “why were they so mean, we were there first.”

“Some people are like that, tell you what why don’t you and your friend come in a carriage with Anthony and me?”

“Ok,” they muttered seeming to cheer up slightly.

“What’s pulling the carriages?” asked Mike as their carriage pulled away.

“Thestrals,” said Anne.

“Can you see them?” asked Mike’s friend.

Anne nodded.

“Who did you see die?” they asked.

“Nobody actually,” said Anne, “I can see them because of a charm on my bracelet.”

“Cool!” said Mike.

When they got up the school there were just as many new first years as the year before, if not slightly more.

Anne sat down between Irwin and Luna and waited for the new first years to be sorted. She looked up at the staff table and took a double take.

“What’s up?” asked Irwin.

“That woman,” she stuttered, staring at one of the new professors, who had a toad like face and was wearing a pink hair bow with matching robes.

“She works for Fudge; she was at Harry’s trial.”

“She’s from the Ministry?” asked Irwin.

“Maybe it’s part of Cornelius Fudge’s attempt to take over the school,” suggested Luna dreamily.

“Actually, you might be right there,” muttered Irwin.

“All I know is I promised Remus I’d keep my head down,” said Anne.

“Yes, but I made no such promise,” said Irwin.

Soon after this the sorting hat opened its mouth to sing its new song for the year and began to sort the new first years into their houses. By the end of the sorting Ravenclaw had sixty new students which meant that the first and second years took up nearly half of the house table.

“Why are there so many first and second years?” asked Lisa.

“Well there aren’t that many in one year because of the first war against Voldemort,” explained Irwin.

“And then after Harry defeated him there was a lot of relief and the wizarding community started making up for lost time.”

“Hence the baby boom,” finished Anthony.

“But our year is a sixth of their size!” exclaimed Terry.

“Actually, the average year size is about 120 which is three times the size of our year group so it makes sense in a weird kind of way,” said Persephone.

After dinner Dumbledore gave his regular speech but what surprised Anne the most was when Professor Umbridge interrupted him.

Anne noticed that a lot of people weren’t paying attention to Umbridge’s speech, Harry was talking to Ron, Padma and Lisa were filling out a quiz in Witch Weekly, Anthony was reading a book under the table.

It was hardly surprising, most of what she was saying was very boring, but underneath that Umbridge was saying phrases such as “prohibiting practices that ought to be prohibited.” Anne was hardly surprised though; she was starting to think that Luna was right that Fudge wanted to take over the school.

After the end of the speeches Anne and Anthony stayed behind to show the new Ravenclaws up to the Common Room.

“Hi guys my name is Anthony Goldstein and this is Anne Potter, we are two of the Ravenclaw Prefects.”

“If you follow us, we’ll show you up to your new Common Room,” said Anne.

There was a lot of muttering from some of the first years as if they seemed slightly scared of Anne and Anthony. She didn’t know whether this was because they were Prefects and four years older, or because of the rumours of Anne being mad. What she did know is that they outnumbered her and Anthony thirty to one.

The swarm of first years followed Anne and Julian up to the Ravenclaw Tower. Occasionally they stopped to do a quick head count to make sure they hadn’t lost any.

“Do any of you know what makes the Ravenclaw Tower different from some of the others?” asked Anne.

A nervous black girl with a ponytail at the front of the group raised her hand.

“Does it not have a password?”

“Correct does anyone know what they have instead?” asked Anthony.

No one put their hands up this time.

“Instead of a password you have to answer a riddle,” Anne explained.

Anthony knocked on the eagle knocker and the eagle asked him the question.

“What gets broken without being held?” sang the eagle.

“A promise,” answered Anthony.

“Correct,” said the eagle as the door swung open.

Anne and Anthony counted them all in to make sure they hadn’t lost any on the way up.

“Welcome to Ravenclaw,” said Anthony, “house of the house of the wise and the creative.”

“If you have any problems please come talk to either me or Anthony, we’ll be happy to help.”

“Any questions?” asked Anthony.

A blonde-haired boy put his hand in the air boldly.

“Are you mad?” he asked looking directly at Anne.

“I’m sorry what?” asked Anthony.

“Is Anne mad?” he repeated.

The whole Common Room drew a breath and was listening if they hadn’t been before.

Anthony took a deep breath and tried to keep calm.

“Do any of you guys know what autism is?” asked Anthony.

The first years all shook their heads.

“It’s an anti-social disorder,” explained Anne, “it means that I view the world in a different way. It also means I have particularly high anxiety levels and I might not be able to cope with stressful situations as well as other people.”

“In other words, Anne’s not mad,” said Anthony, “she’s just different, once you get to know her well enough you’ll realise she’s anything but mad. She’s a very kind and understanding person, she’ll also help anyone which is probably why Professor Flitwick and Dumbledore chose her as one of our new Prefects.”

“Any other questions?” asked Anne.

“Where is the library?” asked a different first year.

“I’ll show you tomorrow,” said Anne.

Once they had shown the first years up to their new dormitories, Anne and Anthony headed back down to the Common Room.

“You ok Annie?” asked Irwin.

“I’m fine,” she muttered, “I just need to go talk to Flitwick.”

“Want me to come with you?” he offered.

But Anne was already out the door.

Anne knocked on Professor Flitwick’s door.

“Hello Anne, I was going to ask you and Anthony to come I’m tomorrow anyway, can I help you with anything?”

“Why did you make me a Prefect?” she garbled.

“I’m sorry?”

“The whole house thinks I’m mad, why did you make me a Prefect?”

“Firstly,” he explained calmly, “is it the whole house who think you are mad or just the new students?”

“Just the first years really,” admitted Anne.

“That’s because everyone who actually knows you, knows that you are not mad.”

“I’m still confused as to why you’ve made me a Prefect in the first place.”

“Anne, you know how many first years there are this year?”

She nodded.

“I have noticed that you are particularly good with helping your fellow students with their problems, whether personal or academic.”

“I know that you might not be the best at crowd control which is why I have picked Anthony as the other Prefect for your year. I could have chosen any of the other girls in your year, but I don’t think that Lisa or Padma for example would have had the patience to deal with the constant stream of questions and problems from our large intake of first years.”

“So,” said Anne, “you just want me to keep an eye on them?”

“Yes, help them if they have any problems, getting lost or feeling homesick or having a problem with another student.”

“I guess that makes sense,” shrugged Anne.

“Now,” said Flitwick, “I believe its quarter to eight which means its nearly time for the nightly musical extravaganza.”

“I’d come and join you all,” he chuckled, “but I’m afraid it might put off some of the students watching their head of house dancing.”

Anne got back to the Common Room where Mandy and Lisa where setting up her record player and picking out some records to put on.

“Should we go get the first years?” asked Anne to Irwin.

“Time to introduce them to the creative side of their new house?”

“Definitely,” said Anne, “come on Anthony.”

At eight o’clock the table had been put to one side of the room apart from six desks which had been lined up and pushed up next to each other in a line for dancing on top of in the middle of the common room.

The two hundred Ravenclaws were standing excitedly waiting for the music to come on.

“Fellow Ravenclaws!” called Michael using a Sonorous charm, “welcome back to school.”

“And a special welcome to all our little firsties,” said Terry who was also using the Sonorus charm.

Michael and Terry were always the disc jockeys during music hour.

“Welcome to our nightly session of music extravaganza, from eight to nine every single night we put away our books and put on our dancing shoes,” said Michael.

“If you guys have any requests for future nights please put them in the request box,” said Terry indicating the request box by the notice board.

“Are you guys ready to rock?” asked Terry.

“We’re going to start with a favourite,” said Michael as he put on the first record, Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners.

For the first couple of songs, the first years seemed fairly nervous about the older students and stood still on the side of the room. But by the end of the hour they were all jumbled up within the rest of the house and the social barriers between the younger and older students had been dropped.

“Do you guys do this every single night?” asked one of the first years to Anne at the end of the music fest whilst they returned the Common Room to normal.

“Yep,” nodded Irwin as he moved a desk, “every single night.”

“Cool.”

“So what about school work during that time?” asked another first year.

“Well it’s not compulsory to join in, some people go study in their rooms,” explained Anne, “but most people find it a good way to let off some steam at the end of the day.”

“Do you have a favourite group?”

“The Seekers.”

“Ohh I love them!” exclaimed the first year.

“Have you guys got any Spice Girls records?” asked a muggle born boy.

“Not yet no,” said Anne.

Anne headed up to her dorm and unpacked her trunk.

“So someone’s hit it off well with the firsties,” said Anthony.

“You’re just jealous,” said Irwin, “because they’re scared of you and they love Anne.”

“Actually I think that’s what Flitwick kind of planned,” said Anne, “for me to be approachable if there’s a problem, and for you to break up the fights when needed.”

“That does actually make sense,” said Anthony.

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