AN: I'm REALLY sorry that I haven't posted in 8 months. School is just WAY too hectic. I'll try to be better about this from now on. And I know, I know! You all want the action to start! Have patience! It will happen eventually. Unless, of course, I keep going on forever with this AN… *Evil laughter* …
Okay, okay, I was joking! I'll continue with the story…
Disclaimer: horsegurl16 does not own
The next day, we had flying lessons. I had been waiting for this day since I had arrived at Hogwarts. I was the first one up in the morning, surprising even myself. I subsequently launched myself onto Ginny's bed and began pummeling her with my fists.
"Wake up!" I said.
Ginny mumbled incoherently "I am up!" she said sleepily. She sat up, yawning and stretching.
"About time," I muttered, falling back onto her bed.
Ginny raised an eyebrow. "You're one to talk," she said, rolling out of bed onto the floor.
I couldn't think of a comeback to that, so I just grunted instead. "I have no idea what you're talking about," I insisted as I got dressed.
Ginny sighed, but said nothing.
In my anticipation of flying lessons, I barely noticed the day going by. One moment I was eating breakfast, and the next Professor Snape was yelling at me for staring off into space.
"Sorry Professor…" I muttered, going back to my cauldron.
It was then I realized that my potion was beginning to glow and vibrate, causing my cauldron to shake violently. I looked around nervously, being reasonably sure that this was not supposed to happen. The fact that the contents of the other students' cauldrons were a bright turquoise color, or at least some shade of blue, while my own potion was the color of lava, confirmed my suspicions that it would have been a much better idea to pay attention. In the second that it took me to realize that fact, my potion exploded. In another second, I noticed that my "Cure for Boils" was causing more blemishes than it healed. Everyone within a 2 meter radius of me now had large purple growths erupting from their bodies. Scarlet potion dripped from everybody, hissing as it touched the cold stone floor of the dungeon. I winced as I noticed Professor Snape pointing his wand stiffly at his arm, causing the boil growing there to deflate. The room, which had erupted into chaos when my potion erupted, fell into silence as Professor Snape walked slowly towards my desk. Ginny, who was stationed next to me, flinched instinctively as he passed her desk. Potions simmered, forgotten, in their cauldrons. Every student in the room seemed to have forgotten why they were there. They all stared at me apprehensively, waiting to see what Professor Snape was going to do.
I looked up nervously as he approached me, wondering what he could possibly do to me in my second Potions class ever. His eyes bored into mine, giving me the feeling that he was looking straight through them into my mind. He looked at my cauldron, examining the droplets of potion that remained there. He straightened up and addressed the class.
"This," he said, jerking his head towards my potion splattered cauldron, "is what happens when you allow your potion to simmer for too long." He turned towards me. "That, Miss Granger, is why it is most unadvisable to stare off into space during my class. I must say, I expected more of you. At least your sister has the ability to follow instructions, albeit a limited one. Ten points from Gryffindor."
I gaped at him, uncomprehending. I opened my mouth to complain, but I received a sharp poke in the ribs from Ginny. I glanced at her, and she gave me a pointed glance. She mouthed 'shut it' and returned to her cauldron. I paused for a moment, then snapped my mouth shut and resorted to glaring ferociously at him for the remainder of the period. To my disappointment, however, Professor Snape looked unfazed by this, and he walked away, smirking.
As I packed my bags to go, I tried to glare at him all the way out the door. I banged into the door frame and toppled into Ginny, who stumbled. A few passing 5th year Slytherin girls howled with laughter, and I turned my glare to them instead. All that did, however, was make them laugh harder. I sighed. I watched the Slytherins, who were now bent double with fits of giggles, walk around the corner and out of sight.
I really need to work on my glares.
Ginny and I walked down to the Quidditch pitch together (AN: Is that where flying lessons were held?). I couldn't contain my excitement. I was skipping every few steps, and I couldn't keep a grin from spreading across my face. Ginny, for her part, seemed unfazed. She informed me that she had been flying since she was six. When I asked her how, she told me that she knew how to get into her brothers' broom shed. I started to quiz her on flying, and I got so into it that I didn't even notice when we arrived at the pitch. Broomsticks were laid out in rows, so we picked two next to each other and waited. Many people were chatting about their previous broomstick rides, and I began to feel uneasy. Was I the only one in my class who had never flown before? I knew for a fact that Hermione was terrible at it. What if I was too? As this crossed my mind, a lady with short, gray hair walked onto the pitch, blowing on a whistle that hung around her neck. Everyone fell silent at once, looking eagerly at her.
The woman stopped in front of us, her whistle dropping to her chest.
"Hello, everyone, I'm Professor Hooch," she said in a brisk, no nonsense voice. She continued on to explain about broomsticks and how to fly one. Determined not to follow in Hermione's footsteps, I hung on to every word.
"Now, I want everyone to pay close attention. Everybody stand to one side of their broomstick (AN: Does Rowling specify which side? I don't remember.) and put your hand over it." Everyone did as she asked. "Good. Now, look at the broomstick, and say 'Up!'."
There was a smattered chorus of 'up's. Some people's brooms sprang up into their hands immediately. A few simply rolled over. Most of the class, however, found their brooms about as willing to obey as pieces of driftwood. To my dismay, I was in this group. Ginny, whose broom had leapt up the moment she had asked it to, noticed my trouble.
"Don't be so nervous!" she hissed. "The broom won't listen to you unless you calm down!"
"I. Am. Calm," I hissed back. My knuckles were white with tension as I stared so fiercely at my broom, I was surprised it didn't burst into flames. Ginny laughed, and it was only then that I actually comprehended what she was saying. "Oh – right. Not so calm." Ginny nodded sarcastically. I sighed. Calm? How could I be calm? I was trying too hard to not be like Hermione to be calm. Then I realized that by trying not to be like Hermione, I was being like Hermione. My sister was constantly overthinking things. I was doing the exact same thing. Once my brain came out of hyperdrive, I found it a lot easier to concentrate. I took a deep breath, looked at my broom, and, in the calmest voice I could muster, said, "Up." To my delight, the broom immediately jumped into hand. Maybe I'm not so much like my sister after all.
It took a while, but eventually all of my classmates had their brooms in hand. Everyone was chattering excitedly, so Madam Hooch had to blow her whistle several times to calm us down.
"Alright, kids," she said. "Now, we can begin flying. On the count of three, I would like everyone to rise a few feet into the air, hover, then come down. And that's all. Anyone who does anything other than that will find themselves in detention for a very long time. Now if everyone could mount their brooms…"
Despite Ginny's assurances that everything would be fine if I just stayed calm, my heart was going a mile a minute. Dimly, I heard Madam Hooch's "1… 2… 3!" I kicked off from the ground, and to my surprise, found that I didn't go plummeting down to earth. Mentally, I kicked myself. Of course I wasn't falling. I was on a broomstick.
Now that I was in the air, my breathing started to ease. This wasn't scary; this was actually kind of fun! Now that I wasn't hanging on for dear life, I had a chance to look around. It was pretty easy to tell who had flown before and who hadn't. Those who had, like Ginny, were handling their broomsticks with ease bordering on boredom. The people to whom this was something new were sneaking glances around them to see what everyone else was doing. Turning my attention back to my broom, I started to get impatient. I was about to see what else I could do with my broom when I realized everyone else was already back on the ground. An instant too late, I remembered Madam Hooch's instructions. Rise a few feet into the air, hover, then come down. Oh, yeah. Face burning, I lowered myself back down.
"Thank you, Miss Granger," said the instructor. "Now, we're going to try this again, only this time we're going to do it one at a once you're in the air, if I think you're steady enough, I'll let you try moving around. We'll go in alphabetical order."
Next to me, I heard Ginny groan and mutter curses about the alphabet. I looked at her sympathetically. "I'll be you hate your last name" I told her.
Ginny laughed derisively. "The name's not the problem. It's the letter that it starts with that I hate. I can't tell you how many times I've wished my name was Beasly or Ceasly or something.
"Well," I said, trying to comfort her, "It could be worse. Your name could be Ginny Zeasly or something."
Ginny smiled weakly. "I just hope we don't run out of time." I didn't have anything to reply to that, so I turned and watched Madam Hooch. She was busy helping a boy I recognized as Collin Creevey, a fellow Gryffindor. She was doing her best, but Collin was rather hopeless. Every time he rose into the air, he fell back down again. Stifling a laugh, I turned back to Ginny, who was still muttering to herself. "Hermione used to think she had it bad because there are six letters in front of G," I told her.
Ginny laughed. "She doesn't know that half of it!"
I couldn't agree more.
Suddenly, I became aware that Madam Hooch was calling my name. "Oops," I muttered, making my way over to her. Nervously, I mounted my broom again. I looked at her for instructions.
"Whenever you're ready," she said.
Determined not to ruin this, I kicked off. I wobbled at first, but as got used to being supported by nothing but a piece of wood, I steadied. Soon I was hovering just above Madam Hooch's head.
The teacher eyed me critically. "Good, I suppose. Now, lean forward just a bit. When I tell you to straighten up again, straighten. Then go straight down to the ground. Understand?" I nodded.
Excited, I began to lean. Sure enough, the broom began to creep forward. I kept leaning. The broom kept going, picking up speed as it went. It kept speeding up until it was going faster than I could run. Suddenly, I had an idea. Carefully, I shifted my weight ever so slightly to the left. Somewhat reluctantly, my broom began to turn. As I finished turning the full 180 degrees. I became aware of a voice shouting at me in the distance. I looked up and was shocked to see how far I had traveled. However, I was close enough to see that Madam Hooch, who was the one yelling, did not look happy with me. Slowly, I flew back to where she was standing, dreading what was going to happen. As I slid off my broom, I realized that Madam Hooch actually looked slightly impressed. She still looked angry, but she seemed torn between the urge to strangle me and the urge to congratulate me. Finally, she seemed to settle somewhere in the middle.
"Just… don't do that again unless I tell you to. Got that?"
I nodded speechlessly and trudged back to where Ginny was standing. She was staring open mouthed at me, as were, I noticed, most of the class. I felt kind of uncomfortable, so I just sat there and stared straight ahead until it was Ginny's turn. I figured it would be rude to not watch my best friend take her turn, so I turned and watched. Ginny did really well. Madam Hooch let her do all kinds of things up there. When she got back I smiled at her, and she smiled back. By the time class was over, I had completely forgotten about how awkward my moment with Madam Hooch had been. I was just focusing on my brief but exhilarating trip on a broomstick. I couldn't wait until my next flying lesson.
AN: This chapter was a lot of fun to write. Because of Neville's accident, Rowling doesn't say what is supposed to happen in flying lessons after Madam Hooch tells them to rise a few feet into the air. So, I got to take a lot more creative license with this.
Again, apologies for the wait. I kept meaning to update, then I would get lazy and not do it. And it doesn't help that once school started, I got my school laptop, and I rarely got a chance to work on my home computer, where I had already started this chapter. And I didn't really feel like transferring it. So from now on, I'll probably work on Google Docs. Anyway, to make up for it, I made this chapter extra-long.
By the way, should I remove the mention of Wi-Fi in earlier chapters since it kinda clashes with the decade HP is set in?
Thanks to all my readers for being so patient! And if you're angry at me, I completely understand. Feel free to rage at me in your review. I won't judge. :)