The Sugar Quill
Author: Arya (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Dorky Ravenclaw at Heart  Chapter: Default
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Dorky Ravenclaw in Heart

Thanks to my beta reader Zsenya for helping me fix this up!

Dorky Ravenclaw at Heart

“Someone turn off the bloody light!”

“Yeah, shut it off!”

“Too cold…”

I slid out of bed.  “Honestly, you might think this was a dormitory full of Slytherins!  Good thing you didn’t wake Padma; she’d murder you in an instant.”  I moved quickly across the threadbare rug that covered the stone floors and flicked my wand at the lamp on the reading table.  “It’s not so hard to turn off a light!”

My fellow fifth-year Ravenclaw girls groaned.  “Just shut the hell up, Mandy Brocklehurst, or I’ll curse you like a Slythie,” Lisa Turpin groaned as she rolled over.  “We have our lovely OWLs to study for in the morning.”

I shrugged and got back under my warm covers, not willing to argue at two o’clock in the morning with a half-asleep Ravenclaw girl who knew more charms than Flitwick himself.  We had gone through this ritual every morning since the beginning of third year: someone would fall asleep at the reading table with the lamp on while the rest of us slept in our proper beds, only to be woken at some unearthly hour by a screech to shut the damn thing off.  Ravenclaw girls were dangerous when what little sleep they got was interrupted. 

I waited in my warm bed until I could hear Lisa’s loud snores, then quietly slipped on my bunny slippers and tiptoed out of the dormitory, being sure to grab my fuzzy blue bathrobe from the coat rack by the door. 

Not for the first time in my five years at Hogwarts, I was grateful that my year was only on the second level of Ravenclaw Tower.  It made sneaking into the common room on nights like these easy. 

The common room was thankfully empty, the embers in the beautiful bluestone fireplace growing dim.  I knelt down by the fire and tapped one of the logs with my wand, creating an instant fire.  Pleased, I took my usual seat in one of the many deep blue, high-backed chairs that dotted our common room and brought my legs up to my chest. 

This was one of the few times I had to myself throughout the day.  In previous years, I had always managed to find time before a Quidditch match or at the start of a meal to ponder silently to myself.  Now, as a fifth year in the wise house, every last moment before Quidditch matches and meals was spent pouring over my spellbooks, reciting complex charms, and listening to the other fifth years curse themselves silly when they forgot the words to the simplest charms.  Honestly, Wingardium Leviosa? 

As much as I loved being a Ravenclaw, I occasionally wished that I had been placed in a less competitive house.  Even Slytherin had to be better than this.  What teenager wants to spend her sixteenth birthday puking in the loo because she forgot to do her Potion’s essay?  I amused myself for a moment, wondering what the Slytherins would think if they knew a Muggle-born Ravenclaw girl secretly longed to be in their house. 

My silent musings were broken suddenly as the wall behind me slid open with a sharp bang.  I rolled my eyes before turning around.  Most likely it was someone out for a midnight stroll with their Hufflepuff boyfriend or girlfriend, a fourth or sixth year whose life wasn’t consumed with studying just yet.  

It was Cho Chang.  My eyebrows shot up as I noted her tearstained cloak, matted hair and running mascara.  Personally, I disliked the older girl.  She was a disgrace to Ravenclaw, moping around in the common rooms after matches against Gryffindor, moaning about her dead boyfriend, the ‘perfect prefect’ Cedric Diggory.  True, I had felt sorry for her at the end of last year and even for a bit at the start of this year, but after more than a term of her wailings and occasional questions about the famous Harry Potter, I couldn’t help but wonder how in Rowena’s name she had been placed in this house.  I braced myself for the worst as she staggered over to the warm fire and threw herself onto a nearby chair. 

“What happened to you?” I asked before my brain could stop me.  Mentally, I scolded myself.  The last thing I wanted was some sixth year crying to me about her life’s problems. 

She blinked at me, apparently, having just noticed I was there.  Again, I scolded myself for being so stupid. 

“Oh, Mandy,” she said between tears.  “I d-didn’t s-see you th-there.”  She hiccupped loudly and I cringed. 

I was silent, watching her curiously as she continued to sob.  She had black streaks down her face now, looking slightly like one of the Muggle teenagers I had seen in downtown London dressed all in black with frightening makeup.  Except they had never cried like Cho Chang. 

“D-do you know H-harry P-potter?” she managed to ask.  I remained silent as she laughed shakily.  “Silly m-me, of c-course you d-do.”  She sniffed loudly and wiped her face with the sleeve of her black robes, smearing mascara all over. 

“D-do you think he’s c-cute?” she asked me suddenly. 

I frowned startled.  I had never thought of him as a boy I would want to date.  The famous ones weren’t usually my type, but apparently Cho had a knack for getting involved with them. 

“I…I suppose he’s all right…” I replied, desperate.  “Why?”

Cho sniffed.  “I think he l-likes me,” she stuttered. 

Well, bloody hell yeah. 

I had known it since last year, as had most of Ravenclaw.  That boy’s eyes followed Cho around school like a lost puppy.  The girls in my dormitory had even started up a bet over how many years it would take him to get up the nerve to date her.  Perhaps I would win after all. 

“What did he say?” I could only imagine what would make Cho Chang cry.  Hardly anything, and she became the Britain’s largest waterworks. 

She looked down at the floor.  “He didn’t say anything,” she said quietly.  “He just…kissed me.”

“When?” I asked curiously.  I, like any sixteen-year-old girl, didn’t mind a bit of social news. 

“At…at the…” She didn’t seem to want to get the words out.  “It was at…our dueling club.”

I sensed a lie, but didn’t question it.  I wanted to hear the story. 

She continued on.  “I stayed after the others…I don’t know why…”

I did. 

“He was so sweet, even when I started crying…I feel so bad, crying while he kissed me…”

She cried?  “Was he that bad a kisser?” I asked, amazed.  One would think that a famous boy like Harry Potter would be fairly decent at snogging pretty girls. 

Cho shook her head wildly.  “No, no, he was better than Ced-” She stopped short; I could see a waterfall coming and quickly spoke. 

“Did he say anything?”

“N-no, not really…he seemed surprised…he patted me on my back and…oh, I just feel so stupid!”

I reached over and touched her shoulder.  “You’re not stupid, Cho.  You’re in Ravenclaw house!”

She smiled weakly at me.  “Funny, Mandy.”

“So, you two snogged until two in the morning?” I asked.  “How did you get back without being caught by Filch?”

Cho choked out a laugh.  “It was an easy charm…but it didn’t last ‘til two.  I…I was in the loo until just now.  Oh, you must think I’m so silly, crying like this, but you can’t understand how I feel…I loved Ced, I really did, but now there’s Harry, and he likes me, and…well, Ced was nice to me and everything, but he spent most of his time in the library, getting ready for those tasks…”

But I didn’t think she was silly.  For the first time, I seemed to understand Cho Chang, the beautiful Ravenclaw girl who was losing us the Quidditch Cup.  She was like any other teenage girl, wanting love, wanting to be accepted, wanting to be understood by a boy, a man, anyone.  I realized that Cedric had meant more to her than most girls’ first boyfriends, and he had been her third, at least.  Though Cedric hadn’t been able to give her his every moment, he had given her a sort of stardom that continued on to this day.  And now there was Potter, that stunning boy who had made a dramatic appearance into the wizarding world at the age of one.  The fact that he, a famous wizard known to all the world, liked her, Cho Chang, a girl who some said had only made it onto the house team as a fourth year because she was pretty, was something that still amazed her.  Sure, Cho had grown quite popular over these past few years, but she was still a dorky Ravenclaw at heart. 

I stood and went over to Cho, whose tears had slowed.  “You’re not silly,” I told her, hugging her tightly.  “Just don’t scare poor Harry.  He’s only a Gryffindor, after all.”

She smiled at me.  “You’re sweet, Mandy.  Thank you.”  With one last sniff, she wiggled out of her seat, hurried across the common room, and headed up to her dormitory, leaving me alone, at last, to think. 

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