: I'm so glad to finally be part of the Quill. :D Thanks so much to Mysterious Muggle, who has got to be one of the fastest betas out there. Also thanks to Louise Rennison and Meg Cabot, two authors who are the reason I love journal-style stories. And a cookie to anybody who gets the Billy Elliot
Chapter 1- September: How to Live a Blissful(ly) Ignorant Life
Teddy woke me up this morning, the prat. I don't know why he was so excited; it's my first day at Hogwarts, after all. He banged on my door and I had to roll out of bed and open it, because he wouldn't stop. He was blurry since I didn't have my glasses on. "What do you want?" I asked. "It's six in the morning!"
"Get dressed, Eris! You do know school starts today, don't you?" Teddy said. No, Teddy, I didn't realise that today was the biggest day of my life. Thanks for reminding me. Teddy was so excited, he was positively jumping. It's funny; he's almost seventeen, but when he's talking to me, he acts like a twelve-year-old. I think that's why we get along so well. "You'll be sorted today-- I know you'll be a Slytherin!"
Pssh. Of course I'll be a Slytherin. Every Nott for decades has been a Slytherin. Hmph, as if I would be anything else. Brilliance is boring, Hufflepuffs are duffers, and bravery is overrated. "Whatever, Teddy. Just get out of my room!"
"Okay, but hurry."
I just slammed the door in his face.
It took me about five minutes to get dressed, which made me even more cross at my brother. It was six o'clock! The train from King's Cross did not even leave until eleven!
Nana and Teddy were already downstairs when I got there. Nana's my grandmother, and she lives with us because one, she's going senile; two, because my Mum died when I was three and Teddy was eight; and three, because Daddy's been gone lately. Well, since June, actually-- Nana says he's on a business venture. I think she's crazy and I want to know where he's really gone, but I'm not going to ask her, and Teddy doesn't answer when I ask what he thinks. He goes into his "I-hate-the-world" phase. I hate that.
Anyways, Nana fed us both breakfast, and then she shoved us into the fireplace. We Flooed to the Leaky Cauldron in London, and now we're taking the actual London Underground to the train station. Actually, it's very good we're going without Daddy, because he really doesn't like Muggles, or Muggle contraptions, or anything Muggle, period.
I think Muggles are brilliant, now that we're on the Underground. It's so cool! I've seen other things Muggles have invented, too, and they're so wicked. But Nana and Teddy aren't any fun. Nana says she feels like she's going to be sick and Teddy's in his stupid phase again.
"Teddy, are you excited?" I ask him, but he just grunts. I'll try again. "Teddy, do you still fancy that one girl-- Lisa Turpin?"
He grunts again. Stupid prat.
"Eris, please be quiet," says Nana. She has a headache, she says. She's a party-pooper, that's what I want to say.
We've just stopped at King's Cross. I'm very, very nervous.
So right now I'm on the train to Hogwarts. Two other girls are in the compartment: Tanya Woodbridge and Maria Webb. They're nice enough, but Tanya is very talkative and Maria's too shy to say anything at all. Tanya has a fourth year sister in Gryffindor, and that's the house she wants to get in (I like her even if Teddy hates all Gryffindors. And Hufflepuffs, too, now that I think of it. And most Ravenclaws). Maria is a Muggle-born and when we were talking about houses, she asked us about them. Teddy and Daddy would both get very angry if they knew who I was talking to! But Teddy's too busy with whatever it is he does, and it's not like Daddy would ever know.
A lady with a snack trolley just came by. Nana gave me a lot of money, so I bought lots and shared it with Tanya and Maria. I haven't had such stuff since I went to Diagon Alley last month.
Tanya's asking questions, now, and even Maria's answering them. The chocolate frogs must have loosened her up.
I CANNOT BELIEVE IT. I SHALL NEVER... I DON'T KNOW, BUT I CANNOT BELIEVE IT!
I was supposed to be a Slytherin. Every Nott for generations has been a Slytherin.
I'm going to go lament (I hope that means what I think it means) being in Hufflepuff.
Nobody ever told me before, but I wish they had: lamenting is boring. I'm going to talk to the other girls here. They're all braiding each other's hair.
Today is the beginning of classes. I am at breakfast and Professor Sprout (the head of house, the one that should really be Professor Snape) has just handed out the schedules. Today I have, before lunch, Charms, Herbology, and History of Magic. Teddy's told me that Charms is okay, Herbology is okay, but History is the most boringest thing I will ever go through. I don't care-- I'm just happy to be here!
I have one double class with Slytherins, one with Gryffindors, and one with Ravenclaws. The Slytherins will all laugh at me, I know it-- I know a few of them through Nana's parties (the ones she used to have) and friends. They'll make fun of me-- imagine! Nott's sister in Hufflepuff!
I can hardly eat anything. I am too grieved by my Hufflepuffianishness.
Maria is sitting by me. She doesn't say much at all, but I like her very very much. The other girls in my dorm (besides Maria and I) are Priscilla Winston, and Mallory and Brianne Sinistra (they're the astronomy teacher's-- Professor Sinistra-- cousins. I imagine it would be very odd to have a relative for a professor here at Hogwarts. It's very rare, I expect).
Mallory and Brianne are very cool. They're identical twins, so it's difficult to tell them apart, but I've managed it. They both have shiny strawberry blonde hair, pretty green eyes, and wear braids every day. But Mallory has more freckles, plus she likes Quidditch and music and especially the Weird Sisters. Brianne is quieter, and she always paints her nails pink, plus she likes reading and animals and has an owl named Kennedy. They're both pureblood, but they aren't the sort Daddy would invite to a dinner party.
I'm not sure I like Priscilla. She's a half-blood, and that doesn't make her any less snobby. Maria, who is nice to everyone no matter what, tried to talk to her last night but Priscilla told her to go away. Mallory and Brianne both got mad at her but Priscilla just shut her curtains.
Priscilla is very pretty, and she knows it. She's got curly brunette hair and big blue eyes. She's not nearly as scrawny as I am, and she looks like a doll, honestly. She takes almost an hour to do her hair! And she wears her frilly dresses underneath her school robes, even though strictly speaking we're not supposed to wear Muggle clothes unless we're going somewhere off grounds.
She has a white Persian cat named Lollipop, who seems to have a crush on Emmy, my cat. I like Lollipop. When Prissy Priscilla shut her curtains, he looked at us like he was
apologizing apollogising apologising. It was very cute-- it seems like wizards' and witches' pets have minds, doesn't it?
Professor Sprout just told us to go get ready for our first class. After Charms starts, I'll be an official Hufflepuff.
Classes, so far, are very, very boring. Professor Flitwick (I'll tell you more about him later), Professor Sprout, and Professor McGonagall were very nice and all, but they all gave the same exact lecture about what we'll be doing in their classes and other stuff.
"Welcome to (insert class here), first years! This is Hufflepuff, isn't it? Well, we'll be having a spectacular year blah blah blah blah blah." They all sounded exactly like that. I forgot this journal, so I couldn't even write (Teddy says that the Hogwarts professors love it when you take notes. Or seem like you're taking notes. When you're writing).
Professor Flitwick reminds me of Grandpa. Grandpa wasn't short like Flitwick is, but he was crazy-- well, not crazy, but I can't think what word I mean. Esentrick. (That is spelled incorrectly, but I don't know the right way). They are both that-- Mum and Daddy never invited Grandpa for dinner. They said he didn't "uphold the family honor."
Neither have I, you know.
Bloody hell!-- I remember Grandpa telling me that he was a Hufflepuff, too! Hm.... So, really, Notts have been Slytherins for decades. The last five, at least.
Post. It's very wicked, the way all of the owls swoop in at the same time. There must have been 100 or more today! Nana sent Teddy and me a letter. It was sort of funny-- a lot of the time, siblings are sorted into the same house, so usually a parent can send letters with the same owl. Apparently Nana assumed Teddy and I were in the same house (and why wouldn't she? Oh, yeah...), so she sent us a letter each with Mimsy, Nana's old owl. Mimsy hasn't been feeling well lately. When she realised that she had to fly across the Hall to get to me before she could go to the Owlery and rest, her eyes positively bulged!
I haven't laughed so hard in rather a long time.
The letter from Nana was very long and very boring. Mostly she told me about a party she'd had and a dress she saw at Madam Malkin's and think I might like. If Theodore hasn't told her about my sorting yet, I'm not going to, either. She was Slytherin, too, you know (although I'm not quite sure why. She isn't cunning, and she doesn't seem very ambitious at all).
I am not forgetting my journal when I go to classes today.
We've got to bring porcupine quills, dried nettles, stewed horned slugs, and crushed snake fangs on Thursday. Professor Snape said we would have made the potion today, but "we're such a lot of duffers that it's taking us an extra day." Whatever-- what's important is, we're going to make a potion! Snape is not kind in the least. When he came to my name on the roll sheet, he looked at me like I was gum on his shoe.
"Eris Nott," he said. "What's this? A Hufflepuff? It seems as if Nott's standards are lowering."
He didn't say much else to me, but he kept looking at me.
Kind of freaky, actually. I wonder if he goes around like that. What people must think! "Look, there goes Snape, the potential child molester." He'd better watch out, really.
Oops. I've been so busy lately that I forgot I'd put this in my trunk. When I was looking for my tie today, I found it. And put it in my bag, and now I'm writing before Potions. I'm so nervous-- we're making the boil cure potion today. My first potion! For some reason, the thought gives me butterflies in my stomach. I'm so excited!
Too bad I wasn't so excited in Transfiguration yesterday. My beetle exploded it when I was trying to Transfigure it.
I am superbly surprised. I am in shock. I am so out of it you could do Cruciatus on me and I wouldn't notice.
Teddy told me that Professor Snape hates everyone except the Slytherins. After Tuesday, I rather believed him.
But I made a perfect boil cure potion, and Snape complimented me. Can you believe that? Just to make sure, I had to look up the definition of "compliment." It says, "An expression of praise, admiration, or congratulations."
I remember exactly what Snape said. At first I thought he might have just ignored me, or told me that there was something wrong with my potion (Mallory and Brianne's was smoking pink smoke, and they both got zeros for the day) but instead he raised his eyebrows at me and said (to both me and Maria, since she was my partner), "Miss Webb, Miss Nott-- this is your work? I wouldn't have expected it.... Not bad. Perfect, actually." Then he moved on. He just walked away like it was nothing. But it wasn't nothing, not to Maria and me-- it was a Very Big Something. We looked at each other with eyes like saucers and Maria would've fainted, I think, except we had to go put our potions in the flasks and stuff.
Too bad Snape said next time we'll be taking notes. I don't really fancy notes, but teachers do love it. Especially when you do it for real, and it's their idea. I have about four pages of notes for my classes-- each. When exams come I'll have a lot to study, that's the truth and no lie.
I've decided to join the Gobstones Club. Wayne Hopkins, a sixth year, is president. When I played him yesterday, guess who won?
Busy, busy weekend. Already I had homework-- two essays-- and I had to study, plus Mallory and Brianne wanted me and Maria to watch them try out for Quidditch. They said they would be the twins version of Harry Potter (Teddy hates him, but Harry seems so nice. And very fit) and that they will be the only first years on any house team. It came partly true.
Mal tried out for Beater (she's certainly got the energy) and Bree tried out for Chaser. This is really interesting-- Brianne made it, and Mallory didn't; but Bree's not a Chaser, she's a Beater. I think they got the twins mixed up, whoever picked the team. Mal doesn't care, though, she says she's going to practise all this year and that she wanted to do that in the first place-- she tried out to give her sister moral support. For some reason, I don't believe this, but I told her I understood.
Post came in again, just now. Nana sent me and Teddy both a package of sweets, she says to make up for Daddy not being there when we went on the train-- apparently he's also away on business again. I wonder what he does; he never tells. Anyways, good thing Nana used two owls (neither of which were Mimsy) because the packages were heavy! She must have packed at least eighty-seven sugar quills! I'm going to share them with everyone in my dorm tonight-- I'll even give a few to Priscilla.
I turned around to grin at Teddy, but he just glared at me. Who's Mr. Grumpy? Gosh.
I want to talk to him, but it's quite difficult as I'm a Hufflepuff, and he's a Slytherin, and we're six years apart. So I ripped off some of the parchment from Nana's letter (you know what? She writes the most BORING ones, I swear) and wrote him a note. It says:
Meet me tonight in the Owlery at seven. I'd like to talk to you but I'm really busy and can't talk very late with you since I've got Gobstones.
I sent it off across the Hall with Rice, my Daddy's owl. Teddy got it and replied back,
It's a lot easier if you just come over here and talk to me. We're siblings, so it won't look weird if a Hufflpuff comes to the Slytherin table. You're allowed to, you know. But, whatever, I'll meet you tonight. And bring some of your Jelly Slugs-- I told Nana I like them better than sugar quills, but she's obsessed with them. She only sent me a few, and I already ate them.
P.S. Why are you in Gobstones? Good God.
Humph. I like Gobstones, thank you very much. (Although the gob part of it is very disgusting, I can tell you). And it's his fault he's eaten all of his sweets. I'm going to Charms.
I left this in Herbology last Monday, and Hannah Abbott found it and gave it back. What I don't get, however, is why it's been in her trunk for the last week or so. Oh, well, it's not like I have much to hide anyways--
She's right, you know. You've got a boring life, Eris.
Oh, shush, Mallory. Yours is more exciting?
Of course. I'm not the one whose life revolves around Gobstones.
I LIKE Gobstones! Why must everyone criticise my Gobstonesyishness?!
Is that even a word?
It's an Erisism. What are you doing reading my journal, anyway?
Erisism isn't a word, either. And I wasn't really reading your journal. I was just reading what you were waiting. I was waiting 'cause I wanted to tell you that you'll get in trouble if McGonagall catches you writing. We're supposed to be practicing our spells.
What would I do without my friends?
You'd die, Eris. You'd DIE.
What? I was-- oops.
Oops is right. McGonagall caught us passing notes and she gave us extra homework. An essay, about Switching Spells. Mallory apologised about a million times, but I wasn't really very angry at her. I like Mallory, Brianne, and Maria very much. I may even like
Prissy Priscilla a little bit, because she has a cat named Lollipop and he's the second best cat in the world. Emmy comes first, of course. I miss Teddy, though.
I HATE Theodore Washington Nott. He is the bane of my being (I don't know what a bane is, but it sounds right, doesn't it?) and the disease of my soul. He makes me vomit. He is the scum between my toes. I HATE HIS BLOODY GUTS.
You'd like to know what happened? All right then, I'll tell you.
Wait, no. I can't. I'm too angry. I'm going to talk to Maria.
It's been two days and I'm still not sure if I cooled down from the Theodore thing. I'll try to write what happened, though.
Well, you remember the notes we wrote to each other? He met me at the Owlery at seven, like he'd said he would.
"What do you want, Eris?" he asked. He sounded very mean, I remember that.
"I'd like to talk to you." Obviously.
"Well... um... I don't know?"
"Then don't waste my time!"
Mr. Touchy, he was, Merlin.
"Why are you being mean to me?" I asked him. Because he was. We're siblings, so of course we fight a lot, but he hasn't been mean to me without reason for a long time.
He came very close to me. Towered over me, really, since he's six feet tall, and I'm something around five feet. "You traitor." And then he walked away.
I thought Teddy might understand most of all, out of everyone. Maybe I'm as naive as my family thinks I am.
I told the girls in my dorm about Him. Him. I'm never calling Theodore Washington Nott by his true name again. One, it's too long anyways, and two, it isn't worthy to pollute my sacred journal (I should be a poet, I swear). There's no way I'll call him Teddy again, that's for sure.
Anyways, I told the twins, Priscilla, and Maria about
Theo Him. And they were all very nice-- Mallory and Brianne gave me some sweets, Maria let me borrow the book that I've been wanting to read... and even Prissy Priscilla was very nice. She's very cuddly, you know-- it's comforting to hug her. Plus, she just got a new set of all pink Gobstones (she doesn't really like the game. Can't imagine why) and she gave me it. Can you believe it? She still doesn't say very much, but I think it's more from being shy than from being snobby.
She's just put a note on my bed.
I know how you feel. Exactly. Because my sister's a third year and Slytherin, and she hates me now (although we're more alike than she thinks) and my Mum was one, too. My dad was a Ravenclaw, though.
It's a little scary, that, isn't it? I mean, we've got a lot in common, haven't we?
Wow. I'm beginning to like Hufflepuff more and more. And it is a little scary, isn't it?
I just realised, when Daddy hears about my Hufflepuffishness, what will he think?
In 1504, Bodmin the Bedraggled attacked Hogsmeade... goblin revolution... I'm a horrible note-taker... seventy deaths... 1587, Reila the Realistic in Transylvania... la la la....
History of Magic is the most boring subject. Ever. Anywhere.
Or rather, Professor Binns is the most boring teacher ever. Although it's quite cool when he comes in through walls and such. Very ghostlike and all.
Brianne, do you understand what he's talking about?
No, of course not. He's horribly boring.
You read what I wrote, then?
Yes, you wrote a note to me on the same page.
Are you coming to my match?
The Gobstones one, tommorow night? Sorry, I can't. I've got Quidditch.
Can your sister come?
I'm not sure. She's probably got lots of last minute homework to do. You know her.
Maybe Maria will come, then.
Nope, she's got a YWS meeting.
SHE GOT IN?!
Well, she's being initiated. Poor girl was dressed as a mouse this morning, hurrying across the hall to all of the YWS girls, serving them food. Look at her now.
What's that she's doing?!
Poor girl, like I said. She has to go up to every Ravenclaw she meets and tell them that she's read more books than they have.
The YWS stands for the Young Witches Society, which is a group of "privileged" girls (that's what they call themselves). I think they're all snobby brats who have nothing better to do than switch glamour spells and make-up tips, but Maria has this idea that they're all beautiful, charming, and popular (which is true, to an extent). So, naturally, she wants to be one.
I know a few of the girls in the Society-- and I must admit okay, so they aren't all bad-- because you can always tell a YWS girl from the others when she's late to her first class because she lost her lipstick from Belinda Morrisey's newest line of products or whatever. From Hufflepuff, there are Hannah Abbott, Elenor Granstone, and Megan Jones (plus a few more, but I can't be bothered to remember their names), and I know Pansy Parkinson, a girl I know from when Nana used to have parties with "prestigious society", from Slytherin is in it. I don't know any of the others besides Maria. Nana says Mum used to be one... but then again, she said that after she told us all she could have been a famous dancer. For some reason, I can't think that's true.
One day, when He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is gone, some former Society lady will rise, and the YWS will be her minions. We should really be preparing.
Today was Maria's birthday! I suppose as a gift, the YWS let her in. So she's been trying to do my hair all day-- mental girl. I don't let anyone touch my hair-- it's the only part of me I really like.
I played Gobstones last night, a match against Gryffindor. My team (including me, Gary Laviere, and Victoria Penn) got third place, which isn't really great, since there are six teams. But it's good, I suppose.
I gave Maria sugar quills for her birthday. I think Nana's obsessed with them now-- she sent me another packageful yesterday.
Maybe Teddy will trade with me for a few chocolate frogs. Don't know why I even thought of that.
The book Maria let me borrow is very good, even though I think Maria "borrowed" it from her mother. It's called Hot in Hogsmeade by Terra Osborn. It's quite intriguing, and that's all I'll say.