Being Different Year 5

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Anne woke up to find Diana bouncing on her bed.

She groaned as she checked her watch, it was already six o’clock.

“Morning Di,” said Anne tickling the kitten between the ears, “how’d you like Hogwarts?”

Anne pulled herself out from under her bedsheets and got ready for a shower. It was usually too far busy to take a shower in the evenings. If you wanted to take a bath, then you must be crazy.

By the time that Anne got back from washing her hair half an hour later, Diana had fallen asleep on top on Anne’s quilt and Persephone and Padma were starting to wake up.

“Why do you always get up so early?” grumbled Padma.

“And why are you always so cheerful?” scowled Persephone as she pulled her covers on tighter.

“I suppose I’m just a morning person,” shrugged Anne as she brushed out her hair so that she could plait it.

“How do you do that so quickly?” asked Padma as Anne plaited her hair.

“I’ve been plaiting my own hair since I was seven years old,” she muttered as she tied her ribbons.

“What time is it?” mumbled Mandy.

“Quarter to seven,” said Anne fetching her book.

“Wake me up in half an hour,” said Mandy before going straight back to sleep.

“How is it,” chuckled Irwin as Anne came down the stairs from the girl’s dorms, “that the only time we get alone all day is when we are waiting for our roommates to wake up properly?”

“Because,” she answered between kissing him, “we go to a magical boarding school with a group of friends who are very nosy and don’t know the first thing about privacy.”

“True,” said Irwin sitting down next to her on the sofa.

Anne needn’t have bothered brining her book down with her, she was too busy kissing Irwin, he was right the half an hour or so before their roommates started to surface in the Common Room was some of the only privacy they got.

“Can we help you?” asked Irwin glaring at an innocent first year with dark hair who had been staring at them.

The young girl looked even more nervous than earlier because Irwin was glaring at her, she now looked on the verge of tears.

“I’m sorry,” she stuttered, “I was just wondering if either of you knew your way down to breakfast, I don’t want to get lost.”

“That’s ok,” said Anne checking her watch, “it’s still a little early only just seven o’clock. If we wait till half past, then some more first years might have come down and I can show you all the way back to the Great Hall.”

“Thanks,” said the girl smiling slightly.

“Do you mind if I join you, I don’t really know anyone yet?”

“Of course,” beamed Anne making space on the sofa.

“Bang go my mornings plans,” muttered Irwin picking up Anne’s book.

“Just ignore him,” chuckled Anne, “he’s always like this in the mornings.”

There seemed to be something vaguely familiar about the young first year girl who had joined Anne and Irwin, she had the same chocolate brown eyes and slightly upturned aristocratic nose that Anne had seen so many times before.

“Have you got any brothers and sisters at Hogwarts?” asked Anne, she knew that a lot of baby boom children had siblings higher up the school.

The young girl seemed to falter for a moment, “no,” she said abruptly. “No, I’m the oldest.”

“Well I’m Anne and this is Irwin,” Anne said indicating towards Irwin who now was deeply engrossed in his book.

“Pleasure to meet you Irwin. I know who you are though,” she said becoming less nervous, “firstly you introduced yourself last night. Also, our whole world knows who you are.”

“And who are you?” asked Irwin putting away his book, he knew that he was never going to get any reading or kissing done before breakfast today.

“Morgana,” she beamed holding out her hand to shake Irwin’s.

“So what are the professors like?” asked a first year boy with platinum blonde hair as they waited for some more first years to arrive.

“Well, they’re all pretty decent,” said Irwin.

“Just be careful around McGonagall, she’s tough but fair, pay attention and try your best and you’ll be fine.”

“Whereas Snape,” added Irwin, “is a greasy git!”

There was a large amount of tittering from first years who had been asking Anne and Irwin questions for the last half an hour or so. By half past seven most of the first years were waiting and were eagerly and asking questions about the staff and lessons

“Do you think Anthony’s going to show his face at all?” asked Irwin.

“I think he’s a bit scared of us,” chuckled a tall black boy.

“Who can blame him, there’s only one of him and sixty of you lot!” said Michael who had come down to join the entertainment dragging a very disgruntled looking Anthony with him.

“Have no fear Anne,” said Terry crowd control has arrived, he said patting Anthony on the back.

“Ok, let’s go get some breakfast,” said Anne.

Between the five fifth years they managed to show all the Ravenclaws down to the Great Hall without losing anyone.

“It’s like trying to herd cattle,” muttered Anthony darkly who had only been awake about fifteen minutes.

“It wouldn’t be so bad if there weren’t so many of them,” he continued as he poured himself a glass of pumpkin juice. He glared at the other four Ravenclaws prefects further down the table who had been trying to supress their laughter watching Anthony trying to keep some kind of order.

The Ravenclaw Prefects had a fairly good system which usually worked, the two fifth year Prefects would deal with the first years and sort out their problems such as settling in, stopping them from getting lost and being homesick. The sixth- and seventh-year Prefects meanwhile would keep order over the rest of the house, trying to settle fights or stop bullying.

This system would have worked much better if Anne and Anthony hadn’t been outnumbered thirty to one. Fortunately, Irwin, Terry and Michael had helped them this morning, but Anne didn’t know how long that would carry on.

“Good morning!” beamed Padma as she came down at quarter past eight.

“Is it?” asked Anthony glaring at her over his toast.

“Just a moment,” muttered Anne getting up from the table.

She had just noticed someone floating past in the corridor, they might be able to help the first years get used to the castle.

“Good morning Helena,” said Anne dropping into a deep curtsy. Anne and Helena were great friends and Helena had helped her destroy one of Tom’s horcruxes the year before, the diadem was now Horcruxless and in Anne’s room at Grimmauld Place.

“Good morning Anne,” said Helena returning the curtsy, “and how was your Summer?”

“Wonderful thank you.”

“Can I help you with anything today Anne?”

“Well there are a lot of new first years,” Anne started.

“Yes, I have noticed, nearly two hundred and forty in total,” said the ghost.

“I was wondering,” said Anne, “when I was in first year you helped me find my way around.”

“I would be more than willing to help the new Ravenclaws find their way around this vast and at sometimes confusing castle,” said Helena.

“The moving staircases can be a bit annoying at first,” chuckled Anne as she and Helena walked back into the Great Hall.

Anne gestured for Anthony to come over and he came over to the first years grumbling and still holding a piece of toast.

“Ok guys this is the Grey Lady,” said Anne once they had managed to get the first year Ravenclaws’ attention.

“She is going to help you find your way to your new classes, if you ever get lost feel free to ask any of us to help.”

“I’m sure that many of the other ghosts would be more than happy to help too,” added Helena.

“Just stay away from Peeves,” warned Julian, “he’ll try and convince you that Transfiguration classes take place in the Great Lake.”

Some of the first years laughed at this.

“I’m not even joking,” said Anthony.

“That was some quick thinking there Anne,” said Anthony once they were sat back down, “we could have been lumbered trying to keep that lot from walking off the astronomy tower when they were looking for Herbology all year.”

“They are still our responsibility Anthony,” Anne pointed out.

“Yes but getting the Grey Lady to help was a stroke of genius Annie,” said Irwin, “she was a life saver back in our first year.”

Flitwick soon came around handing out the schedules.

“What’s the daily poison today then?” asked Terry.

“Well we’ve got Charms and double Transfiguration this morning,” said Persephone scanning the correct column.

“That’s not too bad,” he shrugged.

“And then Divination and double Defence this afternoon,” finished Anne.

“You have got to be kidding me?” groaned Terry.

“Trelawney and that Ministry Witch Umbridge in one afternoon?” asked Irwin.

“Excuse me,” interrupted Padma, “there are quite a few witches present and we resent being associated with Umbridge.”

Lisa and Mandy nodded.

“I think he meant to replace the W with a B,” said Anthony.

Anne and Anthony left breakfast early, so they had time to help the first years find their first classroom and still make it to charms on time.

“Five points each to Ravenclaw,” said Professor Flitwick as they arrived five seconds before class started, “for managing to get the first years to breakfast and their first class without losing any.”

“Yeah,” chuckled Draco, “Hufflepuff have already had at least twenty go missing!”

“At least they haven’t scared their students stiff,” said Padma glaring at Malfoy.

There was a rumour that Snapes office had been full of first years asking for a house exchange because they were already fed up with Malfoy and Pansy trying to bully them into submission.

From the beetroot colour that Malfoy’s face turned the rumours must have been at least half true.

“Yes, thank you Miss Patil,” trilled Flitwick,

“This year is going to be very important for you all, we have a lot to get through.”

The morning wasn’t that bad, Flitwick and McGonagall both reminded of the importance of OWL’s and then they did some revision from the previous years.

The afternoon was far more eventful, they were doing dream interpretation that year.

Anne didn’t want to write down either of her recurring dreams, the corridor of The Department of the Mysteries, or Tom and the Graveyard, she knew what they meant on her own thank you very much!

She eventually decided to write down a dream she had had the other night about Remus and Tonks, they were holding their new baby and seemed very happy. But the happier they seemed the further away from Anne they went.

“And what have you for us today Anne?” asked Trelawney coming up to her star pupil, a true seer!

“Well,” Anne explained, “I think it’s trying to tell me that I’m jealous of Remus and Tonks’ baby that’s arriving next year.”

Trelawney nodded enthusiastically.

“But I don’t agree with the oracles interpretation. I’m not jealous as such, more worried that Remus won’t need me as much anymore.”

“Both are equally plausible explanations,” muttered Trelawney, “you are clearly in turmoil internally. It is clear that the real meaning of this dream will have to wait a while.”

“At least she doesn’t keep predicting your death,” chuckled Harry as they headed down to Defence Against the Dark Arts together.

Irwin hadn’t been in Divination but had been in Ancient Runes. Harry sat down with Ron at a desk at the back of the classroom Irwin was already sitting at the front desk waiting for Anne to arrive.

Professor Umbridge was already behind the teacher’s desk wearing a fluffy pink cardigan, she had her hands folded on the desk.

“Good Afternoon class,” said Umbridge once they had all sat down.

“Afternoon,” muttered a few students.

“Now that won’t do!” she exclaimed, “say Good Afternoon Professor Umbridge.”

“Good Afternoon Professor Umbridge,” returned the class in a monotonous tone.

“Much better,” she beamed, “now wands away and quills out please.”

The class groaned as they started fumbling in their bags putting away their wands and finding quills and parchment.

Professor Umbridge pointed her wand at the blackboard and the words, ‘Defence Against the Dark Arts: A Return to Basic Principles,’ appeared on the board.

“Now then your education up until this point has been fragmentary to say the least, fortunately this year you shall be following a Ministry Approved Curriculum, which should get you all up to OWL standard by the end of the year.”

Umbridge tapped the blackboard again and the course aims filled the board.

Anne scanned the three course aims and noticed that at no point did the aims mention using defensive spells for protection. What are we supposed to do if we need to protect ourselves?

“Keep your head down,” she could hear Remus muttering in her head. Anne copied out the aims, she would keep her head down no problem, but Harry? That was a different question entirely!

They were told to read the first chapter of the course book. She had already read it and it was desperately dull, but she couldn’t see any harm in reading in case there were some nuggets of gold shimmering beneath the dullness.

Anne hadn’t got very far into the chapter when she was distracted by what looked like might be an argument developing at the back of the classroom between Umbridge and Hermione. As well as this Irwin had been nudging Anne and pointing towards Umbridge with a look of mirth on his face.

“Well Miss Granger,” said Umbridge with a voice full of sacrine sweetness, “the course aims are perfectly clear if you read them closely enough.”

“Well actually, there’s nothing about using defensive spells.”

“Using defensive spells?” asked Umbridge shocked, “why would you use to defensive spells Miss Granger? Or are you expecting to be attacked within my classroom?”

Anne felt her charm bracelet glow for just a moment as if in warning. But a second later it had gone back to normal.

“We’re not going to be using magic?” asked Ron.

“Please raise your hand Mr?”

“Weasley,” said Ron throwing his hand in the air. So did the other Gryffindors.

Umbridge turned around to face the front of the class where the Ravenclaws were sat. Half of them pretended to go back to reading the book, Michael and Terry were looking at her in interest but Irwin had his hand in the air.

“Yes Mr?” she asked walking towards Anne and Irwin’s table.

Anne’s bracelet began to glow again but warmer this time, she gripped Irwin’s hand under the table.

“Scamander,” said Irwin, “if we will not be learning defensive spells then why is this class called Defence Against the Dark Arts?”

“That is a good question Mr Scamander, I am here to teach you all how to use these spells in a risk free environment.”

“Risk free!” shouted Harry. “If we’re going to be attacked it wont be in a.”

“Mr Potter your hand is not up,” said Umbridge trying to keep her voice level.

Harry put his hand back in the air but Umbridge called on Mandy this time.

“Your name is?”

“Mandy Brocklehurst.”

“Well Miss Brocklehurst?”

“Well Harry has got a point, if we get attacked it won’t be risk free, surely we need to know how to defend ourselves?”

“Miss Brocklehurst do you believe that you are going to be attacked in my classroom?”

“Not in here no but.”

“Exactly,” said Umbridge her mouth going into a strange expression that might have been an attempt at a smile.

“You have been exposed to some very irresponsible wizards in this classroom, not to mention convicted criminals.”

“If you’re talking about Crouch then you’re right,” said Ron.

“There has been more than one criminal teaching this class,” Umbridge smirked.

“If you’re talking about Sirius,” Harry shouted getting up from his seat, “he was innocent, Pettigrew killed all those muggles!”

“Sit down Mr Potter” she said through gritted teeth.

“Whether a man is innocent or not is a matter of opinion,” said Umbridge glaring at Harry as sat back down. Umbridge was still clearly fuming at the outcome of Harry’s trial.

“You have been introduced to spells well beyond your age group,” she continued ignoring the fact that Harry was now seething, “some of which were highly dangerous and lethal. You have been frightened into believing that you will be attacked by Dark wizards every other day.”

“That’s not true,” interrupted Irwin.

“Hand Mr Scamander!”

“It also come to my knowledge not only performed illegal curses in front of you, but actually cast them on you.”

“Yes, well he was death eater in disguise, though wasn’t he?” pointed out Anthony logically not even looking up from the Runes homework he had taken out. “One of the best teachers we ever had,” he muttered before continuing with his essay.

“What about using the spells?” asked Parvati.

“You won’t be using them,” chortled Umbridge, “if you study the theory hard enough you should be fine come your exams.”

“So we aren’t going to get to practice before the exams?” stammered Padma.

“As long as you study the theory hard enough,” Umbridge continued.

“And what good’s theory going to do us in the real world?” shouted Harry.

“This is school Mr Potter not the real world,” pointed out Umbridge.

“Well personally I cant see what the difference is, for the last four years, I have been ‘safe’ inside this school but for some reason I seem to nearly die every single year!”

“Why would anyone want to attack a school child like you?” asked Umbridge.

“Oh I don’t know,” thought Harry for a moment, “Voldemort!”

There were gasps from around the classroom, both Anne’s hands were aching, her charm bracelet was burning her wrist and the other hand was being gripped onto firmly by Irwin’s under the desk.

“Keep calm,” Remus muttered more instantly this time.

“Ten points from Gryffindor,” spat Umbridge.

“Now let me make one thing quite clear,” said Umbridge walking to the front of the classroom.

“You have all been told that a certain dark wizard had returned from the dead, this is a lie!”

“He wasn’t dead in the first place,” said Harry, “but yeah he’s back.”

“Lies!” spat Umbridge.

“He’s not lying!” stuttered Anne, “Harry doesn’t lie!”

“Yeah I’m not lying,” said Harry standing back up, “I saw him and I fought him!”

“Detention Mr Potter,” she said smugly, “Five o’clock this evening.”

“Right, I repeat you are not going to be attacked by any dark wizards, can we please continue with Basics for Beginners?”

The rest of the class tried to continue with reading their textbooks but Anne was shaking.

“It’s ok Annie,” muttered Irwin, “just ignore her.”

“So according to you,” said Harry his voice trembling with rage, “Cedric Diggory dropped dead of his own accord did he?”

There was a sharp intake of breath from around the classroom.

“That was a tragic accident,” she started.

“It was murder!” said Anne getting up from her seat and shaking off Irwin’s grasp, “Voldemort killed him!”

If the class hadn’t been watching before they were now, she was surprised that the whole school couldn’t hear them.

“Oh, did you see it one of the visions of your deranged mind?” sneered Umbridge.

“Don’t call my sister mad!” shouted Harry running towards the front of the classroom.

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