I didn’t like to think of myself as a worrier, a person who constantly dwells on their problems. When in actual fact I probably was; I don’t know I wasn’t quite sure. To be fair I worried about my father a lot and what he was doing, when I might next see him and lots of other minor things. I also worried about how I looked, how I came across to people, what others thought of me just general teenage self-consciousness. Although like it said my biggest worry was my father, you may remember me saying how I wasn’t allowed to talk about his last visit.
Not only wasn’t I allowed, I didn’t want to and I couldn’t remember it all too well. I remember my father visiting the last time and speaking to me briefly but then that’s it, because I know I’m forgetting something about it. But I don’t know what. However I didn’t like to think of myself as a worrier so I didn’t dwell on it too much and just assured myself it might have been a date or time. Those kinds of things that seem and are made out to be big and important but really are not.
At this moment in time my mother was particularly stressing me out, which was almost alien to me. My mother and I had an almost stress free relationship because we were so naturally synchronised. I let her get on with her business because not matter how crazy it was, it was usually pretty harmless like banning apples and going crazy with Christmas decorations. And she left me to my business because I was generally a good child at home I never needed reprimanding, that was for school. My mother never got mad and when she did it was over something huge, she was too easy going and light-hearted to let anything burden her.
She had decided to give me the silent treatment because I was socialising with Harry Potter, which I disagreed with completely. I wouldn’t call it socialising I’d call it more saving me from being left under various debris and ash for god knows how long.
But then again I didn’t know why it bothered her so much; it didn’t exactly affect her in anyway. I knew dad was against it, but never once had she been bothered by what my father did or said. Lately, it seemed she was hanging onto his every word and I didn’t know why, all I knew was that it was getting ridiculous. She was becoming unnaturally stern and stressful, which ruined the flow of our mother, daughter companionship. However at this moment in time even though she was trying to express anger, I didn’t sense it to be that. When I was around her I felt an aura of sadness, stress and disappointment. The kind of feeling I get when I move school or have to socialise with people.
So at this moment in time we were both sat in silence eating breakfast while she read the paper and I twiddled my thumbs. I wanted to break the silence but I couldn’t think of anything intelligent or worthwhile to say that could spark conversation. So like a supressed five year old I sulked in my chair and began fiddling with the laces on my Dr Martens that my Aunt Georgiana – who I love very much – bought me. They were white with a flowery pattern on and they had to be one of my favourite pairs of shoes I got them for my fourteenth birthday last year. I only wore them on good days, as to preserve them somehow because my mother had insisted I only wear them on special occasions.
Well I though today was a pretty special occasion I’d be starting school today at Hogwarts, so I had fussed a great deal over what I was wearing. It was silly really, my clothing made no difference to anything but it was just one of those days when all your clothes seemed to look strange and fit weird. Hence the once pile of all my belongings on the floor. Eventually I had decided upon a white peplum top and blue jeans, pretty simple really considering all the fuss I’d made.
“Did you pack everything for school?” My mum finally asked, breaking the silence. I let out a imaginary sigh of relief.
“Everything's packed and done, I put Lucifer in his cage as well.” Lucifer is my owl, I named him Lucifer because of him being completely black in colour and his eyes and glare was rather scary. I think that’s why out of all the other owls he was left behind, no one wanted him. That’s why I took a shine to him, he was outcast like me, but he was gentle and loving all the same. “Mum please don’t be mad at me, I don’t want to leave for school on bad terms.”
“I’m not mad.” She sighed in reply.
“You seem it.”
“I’ve just got a lot on my mind.” She had a twinge of sadness in her tone as if her voice was about to break at any moment, like she was about to turn to tears. “I love you very much you know.” She added, I jumped out of my chair and hugged her.
“I know you do and as crazy as you are I love you too.” I hadn’t really ever shared a moment like this before. “Why are you so emotional?” I asked her.
“You wouldn’t understand. I just need you to know I love you because…People just don’t hear or say it often enough.” She wheezed.
“Mum if you’re worried I’ll be back in summer. I’m only going to school; I’m not dying.” I laughed.
“Yes but when you come back you might not be mine anymore.”
“Mum don’t be silly.” I laughed.
“Okay…I think we’d better go. Go get your stuff.” She said her voice normalising again as she broke away from me. So I did as I was told, something was plaguing her definitely, something big. My mother was so carefree I’d never seen her so stressed in my life; it just wasn’t in her character. Why wouldn’t I belong to her anymore?
On the platform there was a plethora of wizard kids, too many to count. All different ages, looks and background; it was weird like there had been an adult apocalypse and only children remained. I quietly stood in the midst of it all sat on my trunk; I was just taking it all in, never before had I seen any form of school so full of life. When we waited for our transport to Beauxbatons the only thing around were squealing girls, holding mirrors, talking about boys and picking on a few unfortunate girls. This was something else altogether.
Although old habits die hard I guess as I did the same as I did at every other school, sit on my trunk clutching my guitar case and hummed to myself.
There was a group of girls chattering excitedly about school one was clutching a book and the others were peering into it. The girl clutching the book was Ravenclaw and the others were a mixture of Hufflepuff and Gryffindor. I did my research on the houses and I’d become even more adamant that I wanted to be in Hufflepuff they just seemed the best kind of people and I wanted to fit into that category.
“Is that?” I heard someone think, it was a loud thought. It was a boys though and he was wondering if I’d seen him.
“Hi Harry.” I almost laughed, knowing it was him without turning. Then I turned to see his slightly confused face.
“Oh hi Romany, it’s nice to see you not covered in ash and debris.” He replied.
“It’s nice to see you while not being covered in ash and debris.” I chuckled to myself. “Where are your friends?” I asked him.
“Around…How about yours?” He asked me.
“Not the foggiest. I haven’t seen Draco since the match and Nicole…well we’re not really all too close.” Harry screwed his nose up when I mentioned Draco, and I laughed at his expression. “You don’t like him very much do you.” I snickered.
“Am I that obvious?” He said to me, I wasn’t sure if he was being sarcastic or not and when I tried to dig to sense if he was I got nothing. But I’d just heard him? “Open book, that’s me. You probably already have me figured out”
“Actually no…I can’t seem to figure you out at all.” I sighed.
“Why are usually good at figuring people out?” I wasn’t good at figuring people I was just nosy; I don’t think anyone peered so deep as I often did. I embarrassed myself sometimes, because I knew it was rude but… the temptation was too great.
“Something like that… but I do understand you taking not such a shine to Draco.” I replied changing the subject. “He can be a pain sometimes but what can I say? I bet I do loads of things that annoy him; I get him he gets me. I don’t really understand how it works, I think it helps the fact we practically grew up together.”
“I guess I can respect that.”
“How about you and Ron, you guys seem pretty close. Best Friend?” I asked.
“Yes I met him at my first year of Hogwarts, been friends since the start.”
“What about Hermione?”
“She’s a cool girl we didn’t see eye to eye at first but after a while it just all seemed to fall into place. Ron, Hermione and I….I don’t know.” He babbled seeming a bit embarrassed.
“Don’t get in a fluster; I think it’s sweet when guys chose to share their emotions a little.” I smiled at him and he smiled back. He was an odd character I didn’t know what to think of him in the slightest.
“Harry! I was looking for you…Who’s this?” Ron had run up to us noticing Harry, he had a slight red tinge on his cheeks from running.
“This is Romany….Do you remember Romany Riddle?” Harry told Ron.
“Bloody Hell I didn’t expect her to be pretty!” Ron cried, then realising what he said flushed a red colour. I just smiled trying not to laugh, well this was awkward.
“You saw her at the match”
“Well it was dark.”
“We saw her in the stadium.”
“Can’t say I was paying attention.” Ron replied, Harry gave him a slight glare and Ron shrugged his shoulders in exaggeration it seemed they were having a silent argument.
“It’s fine I don’t mind being pretty.” I laughed, trying to break the awkwardness. Ron shrugged his shoulders at me and I just laughed. “You guys crack me up.” I giggled.
“Move out of the way coming through!” A voice snapped, as a trolley containing quite a few trunks pushed through right beside me. Quickly I managed to grab Lucifer and jump out of the way. It was Verona who was sat on top of a trolley pushed by a couple of boys who were very red in the face, panting for breath. “Well look who it is. Park it here guys!” She demanded, jumping down gracefully from her trunks. If I tried to do that I’d fall over.
“Oh leave off Verona.” I grumbled, turning away from her putting Lucifer back.
“Oh look it’s a troll, why such the unpleasant greeting.” She cried, holding a hand over her mouth the other hand on her hip. She really boiled my blood, she was so prissy and insolent.
“Because you’re rude, tacky and I hate you.” I snapped flashing her a sarcastic smile. “But I like all your boxes is the small one where your brain goes when it gets tired.”
“Please what does yours contain your mask case, for your Halloween isn’t for a good month.”
“Wow a great one, I’d happily put you in your place after that but sorry all the rubbish bins are full.”
“I’m just going to ignore you now.” She retorted back to me, before turning to Harry and Ron. “Hey Harry, long time no see and likewise Ronald.”
“Not long enough.” Ron mumbled, but Veronica didn’t hear.
“Yeah…Totally.” Harry muttered.
“Well I better go bye guys.” She said cheerily before turning to me and glowering at me “I hope you drown in a sea of rejection. You desperate little man snatcher.” Vernoica added, Man snatcher?
“Cedric and I are just friends Veronica; you’re welcome to him, it’s not of my business.”
“Whatever…Boys I need you to push again.” She called before jumping back on her trolley and being wheeled away. That girl was unstable, that girl was unbelievable, that girl was probably bipolar, and that girl was definitely something. I shook my head all the way of her being in my eye line, maybe I did start that argument and it was a little uncalled for her. But no doubt she would have said something eventually anyway, and people like her aggravated me more than anything.
The way she rolled in looking and acting like she was the most important person here, she had her own personal slaves! Not to mention the fact she showed a complete disregard for anything in her path, almost sending Lucifer flying and some other people – but as long as she was okay nothing else mattered. Before I could mention this out loud I heard a shrill scream and I turned to see a girl stood on a bench while another girl was stood with an exasperated expression on her face.
“Get it Away Mia Get it away!” Screamed a girl stood on top of a bench, I couldn’t see her face all too well because her dark brown hair was flying around, due to her jumping around like a maniac.
“Demi it’s just rat calm down.” The girl who I assumed to be Mia sighed ooking towards another girl stood with her: it was Zara. Mia’s voice was slightly husky and had a weird tone to it, a slight twinge of welsh rested on her lips. Mia chased the rat away - which was barely big enough to be called a rat. She then tutted, flipping back her ginger hair; it looked like a flame not just by its colour but the way it curled and stuck out in some places. “There you go.”
“It’s gone?” Demi asked, looking around before realising it was safe to come down. Her small petite features, including her button nose were screwed up at the thought of a rat being in her space. Her green eyes going dull. “Mia you know I hate rats.”
“I think everyone else knows now as well.” Mia laughed, chocolate brown eyes lighting up. Mia caught me staring at them and gave me a questioning glance. “Can I help you?”
“No, I just wondered what all the commotion was.” I babbled, feeling ashamed for staring at them like that. “Hi Zara.” I added.
“Hello Romany, Mia, Demi this was the girl I told you about; I met her at the match. This is Romany Riddle. Romany this is Mia Hamilton and Demi…Well we don’t know her at the moment.” Zara laughed while Demi shot her a half-hearted glare. We all exchanged greetings, even Harry and Ron who already knew them.
“We better go find Hermione, bye Romany.” Harry said to me, I smiled at him and waved. “Mia, Zara and Demi.” He nodded before walking off.
“Do you want to sit on the train with us on the train?” Zara asked, I was surprised she asked this and it caught me a little off guard. They were asking if I wanted to sit with them?
“That’d be great, thank you.” I replied, they began to walk in a group and I followed closely, quietly behind making sure to keep my distance. Mia glanced back at me, grabbing my arm and pulling me further into the group.
“So it’s your first year? Its Coral’s first year too, you can get sorted together.” Mia beamed.
“What houses are you all in?” I asked.
“Well I’m a Gryffindor.” Mia said seeming very proud of the fact. “Zara is a Slytherin but she’s cool, we have a friend Demi who is also in Gryffindor and some other friends in some other houses.” Mia explained.
“What house do you want to be in Romany?” Coral asked me, she had a rather loud voice naturally but she seemed nice. She had long caramel blonde hair and green eyes.
“I thought about maybe being a Hufflepuff.” Ireplied that’s what I had said from the start and that’s what I was going to stick with. I think I’d join with Mia on the fact I’d be extremely proud to be a part of Hufflepuff. “Although all the houses are great, I met a Ravenclaw girl Ivory she’s very nice. How about you?”
“Slytherin of course; I personally think there’s not better house to be in, for me of course. I have nothing against any of the other houses.” Coral chirped she had a rather expressive face and voice; it constantly changed for every word or sentence. One minute she frowned, raised an eyebrow or smiled; I’d never seen so many conflicting emotions expressed in one statement. She had an air of motivational speaker about her.
As we boarded the train, the girls practically made us run to find somewhere to sit. “the seats fill very quickly.” Mia had explained. Eventually, we had sat down; I had opted to sit closer to the window because apparently no one fancied it.
“So how do they sort us into our houses may I ask?” I piped in over the monotonous chatter that served as just a time passer.
“They have a hat, very cleverly named the sorting hat. They place it on your head and boom! It judges your character and places you in your house.” Mia informed me rather excitedly, it seems everyone took the house sorting business very seriously at Hogwarts. Everyone was so giddy about mine and Corals sorting, it was crazy. “Coral how are you getting sorted are you doing it beforehand or with the first years?”
“I thought about it and I might as well do it with the first years, then people can know me. Rather than having some random girl placed in their class or house thinking, who’s she?” Coral pointed out, and I had to admit rather cleverly.
“I might opt for that as well then, we can stay together.” I added in, Coral simply nodded at me.
“So let’s leave that now how was your summer guys?” Zara asked.
“I’ll start, well I kind of spent most of the summer home alone. My parents went on holiday without me so I went out with some people just walking, the weather was terrible but we still constantly visited the beach. And I went to the dog shelter and helped out with a new dog they had.” Mia told us, everyone chuntered in approval, nodding and doing the odd thumbs up gesture.
“I’ll go next, I went out with my friends some days we camped out a lot. And by camping out I mean there’s this patch of grass next to me house and we pitched a tent on it.” Coral sighed jokingly and everyone sniggered playfully in reply. “I also read too many books, so much I can now quote Wuthering Heights…Backwards.”
“Well my parents tried to get me to go to some stupid healing camp because ‘that’s the one my sister went to and look at where it got her’ so I took my stuff and ran off to my friends house for a week or so, where we just loitered around being generally bored. Until we found this cool Art expo thing, it ran the whole summer and there was a new artist there every two days, with live music and stuff. Then when I finally went home my parents tried to make amends by taking me and Veronica to Quidditch world cup where I met Romany” Zara finished, I simply stared in amazement. They all did such cool and interesting things, all I did all day was practice piano.
“What about you Romany?” Zara probed.
“My…well…my summer wasn’t all that interesting.” I stuttered.
“It doesn’t matter we do this every school year, your our friend now that means you do it too.” Zara demanded.
“Okay, but stop me if I bore you.” I sighed trying to warn them off the idea, but when they all gazed at me seemingly engaged; I realised I didn’t have much choice.
“My summer…in the first two weeks I went to my muggle Grandma and my wizard Grandad in Derby. Where she complained about my posture and how I still don’t have a boyfriend. But my granddad saved me as much as he could by taking me to antiques fairs where all I did was read books. Then when I got home I practiced piano, non-stop.” I sighed, they all gave me a look of disappointment. Well what did they expect? Some amazing shock horror, news worthy extravaganza. I ate, I slept, I played piano and I read books.
“What about Quidditch world cup, come on Romany you’re not telling us the full story.” Zara had an amused tone to her voice.
“Well I was hanging out with my friend Draco… Malfoy.” A loud groan came from Coral when I mentioned his name Mia shushed her. “My father invited me for dinner at his house so I could go to the match the next day. I bought a bracelet off a creepy woman I bumped into Cedric Diggory we talked for a while. I watched the match but had to leave early when Nicole got sick, then I saw Cedric again and I had an argument with Veronica Marks because she accused me of stealing Cedric off her. I met Zara and I talked to Cedric again then…That was it really.” I didn’t bother to mention about the dark mark or Harry because I felt that was still a soft spot.
“How many times did you say Cedric Diggory?” Coral laughed at me.
“Oh…Sorry.” I blushed, well it wasn’t a lie. I had talked and seen him a lot on that day.
“Romany your blushing.” Zara accused.
“No I’m not!” I snapped a little too quickly.
“You have a crush on him!” Mia squealed.
“No I don’t”
“Who doesn’t have a crush on him he’s bloody well gorgeous!” Coral cried, they then all began to giggle nervously. Teasing me and cooing over me.
“I’m just his friend; I don’t know what the big deal is.” I replied shaking my head, how many times would I have to explain myself to people. “Plus he’d never go for me.”
“That’s not what I’d say.” Zara sung.
“What you say isn’t what he’d say and I’m not interested anyway so can we just drop it.”
That was the last anyone mentioned of Cedric Diggory.