Note: Kasey was dropped into the Harry Potter world before the second Fantastic Beasts movie came out. I'm going to treat the second movie as if it was an in-universe unauthorized biography that got quite a few things wrong. That way I'm not tied to the weird inconsistencies of that movie. In general, I will treat all of the post-book information in that way. If it's interesting and doesn't contradict the books, then I might use it. Otherwise, I won't.
The summoning spell was turning out to be really difficult.
I glared at the pillow at the end of my bed that refused to come to me. The most I'd gotten out of it in the two hours I'd been trying was a sad little wiggle. I glared at my obstinate little pillow lump as if that would do anything. On impulse, I tried the spell silently. Nothing. Then on further crazy impulse, I sat my wand down and tried the spell wandlessly. I stared at the pillow and tried to summon it to myself with every ounce of my willpower. My muscles strained. My eyes watered from not blinking.
"Are you going to poo yourself? You look like you're going to poo yourself?" Susan asked unhelpfully.
I turned my glare in her direction. At the same time, my right calf muscle cramped badly.
"Ack," I cried out and straightened my leg on the bed. I rubbed my calf to get the cramp to go away and threw Susan another glare for good measure.
"You're just frustrating yourself. You should take a break," Hannah suggested while sitting at her vanity table. A bright red comb and a cordless black curling iron were hovering around her hair like horse flies. Suddenly, the comb dipped down into her hair and started to tease one of her curls. Hannah lightly batted it away with the back of her hand. "I told you, I don't WANT my hair teased!"
Her curling iron angrily snapped at the comb like a protective chihuahua.
Ugh, she's right. I need a break. I flopped back down on my side and regarded Hannah curiously. "Why does it keep trying to tease your hair?"
Hannah moved her head out of the way of the comb. "I borrowed it from mum. It still thinks we're in the mid-eighties. Stop it!" Hannah wagged her index finger at her comb. "No. Bad comb! Bad!" The comb dipped a little in the air. "Bad comb! Go lay down!"
The comb sadly floated down into an open vanity drawer and was still.
The curling iron seemed smug (or I was imagining things) as it started to curl Hannah's hair again.
"Why do you want to learn the spell anyways?" Susan asked me curiously.
"Because it's cool," I half lied. The spell was cool, but my true goal was to be able to summon a tiny bit of shed basilisk skin from the drain in the sink in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom.
The plan was learning the summoning spell, come up with a logical reason I could have discovered the basilisk existed, summon a little bit of basilisk skin through the drain, learn how to compose a letter that can't be traced back to me, send the letter with the tiny bit of skin to the world renowned creatures expert Newt Scamander, hope that the letter entices him here, and then let him and Dumbledore figure everything else out.
So yeah... It was a ridiculous plan that probably wasn't going to work.
Oddly enough, the biggest problem was the letter. I wasn't sure, even with a year of preparation, that I could come up with an untraceable letter. The idea was worth researching and wouldn't be a waste of time if I decided to not go through with it. The summoning spell was useful regardless so that wouldn't be a waste of time either. And if I could write a letter that couldn't be traced, I could send a letter to Dumbledore anonymously about the horcruxes if I decided to or if the shit hit the fan and I had to.
And as far as sending a letter to Newt Scamander instead of Dumbledore... I oddly thought he was trustworthy? Was the basilisk inherently evil? Was it just a morality-less creature? Or was it a creature that needed to be put down? I have no idea. Rather than operating on logic and ruthlessness and the greater good like Dumbledore, Newt Scamander seemed to base his decisions on kindness. And maybe I'm going too full-on Hufflepuff here, but I'd trust kindness any day over all of that other stuff.
And if his autobiography was true... at some point he had learned how to tell Dumbledore no.
I liked that.
There were a lot of "maybes" and "ifs", but I felt better doing something than nothing. And besides, the summoning spell was pretty cool. Some day, I'll be able to do it silently and wandlessly and like, recall my wand after someone disarmed me. And then I'll just smirk and raise one eyebrow at them. Like a badass.
I might have daydreamed about that scenario just a little bit.
I rolled over to my other side and watched Eloise. She was trying to apply some foundation on her skin in front of the full-length wall mirror in our room, but she wasn't blending it very well.
I jumped out of bed and dashed to pick up my purse from where it was sitting on top of my school trunk.
"I am so sorry Eloise! I bought you something over the summer then forgot about it!" What a garbage friend I was. It was nearly the end of September. I stuck my hand in my purse shoulder-deep and rooted around. Finally, my hands felt a crystal vial with ridges on the outside and I pulled it out.
The lavender crystal vial was just as pretty and elegant as the day I had bought it last summer.
"What's that?" Eloise asked curiously as I walked the vial over to her.
"It's a special magical cream that will prevent your acne from scarring you." I handed her the vial as her eyes got really wide. "It's from a fancy glamourer shop in Diagon Alley. It will only last until Christmas. It's not much more than a small sample, but Madam Mimsey said if you see her in person she could help get rid of your acne. She said-"
"Did you say Madam Mimsey?!" Hannah interrupted with a high pitched shriek.
I glanced over at her. "Uh, yeah. Is she famous or something?"
"Is she famous?!" Hannah sputtered and looked at me with eyes the size of dinner plates. "Is she famous?!" Hannah repeated incredulously sounding a little unhinged. "She's one of the most famous glamourers in the world. She's legendary! She invented an anti-wrinkle cream that's permanent! PERMANENT! It's like the Philosopher's Stone of skin creams! It takes years to make an appointment! And you just walked in there?!"
I turned to Susan hoping for her to be a voice of reason, but she looked gobsmacked too. Thankfully, Eloise just looked confused.
I rolled my eyes. "She was very nice actually. A little intimidating, but in a super cool sort of way. Anyways..." I turned away and proceeded to ignore Hannah's theatrics. "Smooth a tiny drop of the cream into your face before you go to sleep. It will prevent future scarring and help heal some of the scarring you already have. If you want more, you have to go to the store with your dad. Here is the brochure with their prices." I dug out the brochure and handed it to her. "The acne treatment isn't that expensive. I got the impression she might treat you for free or at a sharp discount just to spite her sister."
"For free?!" Hannah cried out from behind me.
I whirled around. "Seriously Hannah. Chill. Do you need a calming drought to calm the hell down or what?"
Hannah stuck her tongue out at me. "It's a big deal! She's super expensive!"
Susan had finally gotten over her shock and was now looking at me with narrowed eyes. "Did you actually pay for that bottle?"
Eloise turned towards me in surprise.
"No I didn't. And-" I paused. Well, fuck it. Let's just get this all out in the open. "Yes. I'm filthy rich. I think it's really obvious by now. My family didn't start rich, but in the last few years their business has exploded and now we're rolling in a giant money bin like Scrooge McDuck. I try to keep it on the down low because I don't want to be a prick about it. I could have outright paid the fee, but I didn't." I stared Susan down and she was the first to turn away. "I went there to do some research for Eloise and got lucky that Madam Mimsey came across me and decided to see me on a whim. Then I got even more lucky when she ended up being Madam Pomfrey's sister."
That got a new round of open mouthed surprise from everyone.
I explained in detail what happened on my visit. To my satisfaction, Susan looked rather contrite.
"Basically, you have to convince your dad to take you. Hopefully, if he sees the difference the cream makes in your face he'll be swayed," I finished.
Eloise held the crystal vial like she was afraid she'd accidentally break it. Then to my utter horror, Eloise started to get teary-eyed.
"Whoa! Whoa! Don't cry okay? It's not a big deal!" I looked helplessly around.
Susan rolled her eyes and handed Eloise a handkerchief from the top of her desk.
Hannah stood up, walked over, and hugged Eloise. Her curling iron was still trying to curl her hair.
"Th-thank you!" Eloise said and then loudly blew her nose on Susan's handkerchief.
I felt my face reddening in embarrassment. I didn't think the gift would get this dramatic of a reaction. "It's no big deal. I just had some free time before I went and got my books."
Ugh, I'm babbling.
Eloise jumped up and hugged me. I awkwardly patted her on the back.
"Thank you! Thank you!" She squeezed me so tightly I thought I heard my bones creak.
I awkwardly patted her back again. "Uh, you're welcome."
I wasn't a big hugger.
Thankfully, after a few seconds she released me. Her eyes were still wet with tears. She then bounded over to Hannah's vanity table and opened the bottle. As soon as she uncorked it, the room smelled faintly of lavender.
I might as well go to the library and do some more research on the letter thing. I also want to check out a few more Enchanting books. I'd like to make a few defensive items this year. And I guess I'll do my Astronomy homework... if I feel like it. Ugh, stupid lame Astronomy homework.
"I'm going to head to the library before curfew," I said and grabbed my bag. Partly, because I needed to and partly to escape any further hugging.
I waved and left the room, hopefully at a normal not awkwardly fast pace.
I stared at the end of my wand and sighed. Or more accurately, I stared at the lack of anything at the end of my wand. The Spell Club members had agreed to practice the Patronus spell after each Spell Club for a half an hour. Four weeks with little progress was taking its toll on the group. Spell Club members who were willing to take the extra time after the meeting to practice the spell were hemorrhaging every week. Kevin, Anthony, and Daphne had already given up. Even Hermione was wavering somewhere between pride that she couldn't figure a spell out and wondering if her time would be better spent elsewhere.
Hannah, Eloise, and Neville were determined to learn the spell with me since they had experienced dementors full-on. And then there was Oliver...
Oliver was doing really well, annoyingly so. He was the only person who'd managed to make any progress. Heck, he'd gotten a silver mist to come out of his wand on week two and could now consistently get to that stage. Oliver wasn't any better at magic than the rest of us, but his unique brand of inexplicable optimism must be a perfect match for this spell.
I glanced over at Oliver. It might have been my imagination, but I could swear I saw the shape of wings within the silvery mist.
All I'd gotten was one solitary silver spark. One.
I had the pronunciation correct. My wand movements were precise. I just couldn't keep a happy thought in my mind. If Peter Pan tried to take me to Neverland, I'd sink to the ground like a boulder. I feel like the memories I have chosen weren't happy enough either. I didn't have any of the obvious life milestones to pick from. I was never married, never had a kid, never had a lover tell me they loved me back... I'd graduated college, but it never felt that much of an accomplishment. I'd chosen a bachelors that I knew I could easily breeze through. There was never a doubt in my heart that I would graduate.
After that, there was a seemingly endless series of gray office cubicles one after another and video games after work. There had been a brief respite where I'd fallen in love, but that was tinged with so much sadness that I knew not to go anywhere near those memories. Besides, I'd been in love with the idea of who I had thought he was, not who the actual man turned out to be.
The best I could come up with was finding out I had magic, but that was still tinged with so many other things; the uncertainty of war, leaving my family and home dimension behind... It wasn't enough. It wasn't pure enough.
It's like I needed to make better memories first.
I lowered my wand and turned towards Oliver. "What memory are you using?"
"That's a bit personal," Hermione interjected and frowned at me.
Oliver didn't seem to mind though. "Today, I'm remembering my big brothers wedding! He was super happy and his new wife is really pretty. It was a really fun day. I got to wear a suit and I looked really awesome."
He's using a memory where he's happy that someone else is happy? Good god, is his blood made of cinnamon rolls or something?
I turned toward Hermione and Neville. "What are you guys using?"
Neville shrugged. "I'm trying to remember the time I found out I wasn't a Squib. I was also dropped out a window right before that though so I probably need to think up something else?"
Yeah, probably Nev...
Hermione looked uncomfortable, but spoke up anyways. "I was using the day my Hogwarts letter showed up. But maybe..." She scrunched up her eyebrows in thought. Then she took a deep breath and cast the spell again. A couple of silvery wisps came out of the tip of her wand.
"Oh wow! What did you use?" I asked.
Hermione blushed and looked away. "It's personal. I'd rather not say."
Eloise sighed. "I've tried birthday parties, holidays, Christmas, and I can't seem to keep the feeling in my head? Maybe if I tried at Christmas?"
"Dementors aren't going to attack you only at Christmas." I sat down on the ground and rested my chin on my knees.
"But if they do, I'll be ready to save Christmas!" Oliver shouted and put his hands up in fake triumph. The thought must have inspired him, because he cast the spell again and then to our astonishment a silvery hummingbird emerged from the end of his wand.
We stared in gobsmacked astonishment as the tiny silver hummingbird flitted about the room curiously.
"Did you..." I opened my mouth. Closed it. Cleared my throat, and then tried again. "Did you manage to cast a Patronus from only the thought that you could someday maybe be called upon to save Christmas?"
Oliver grinned. "Yep! Aw man, he's so cute!"
The hummingbird flew towards Oliver, excitedly flitted about his head briefly, and then faded out of existence.
"That's it. I'm done for the day!" I exclaimed and jumped to my feet.
I wish I wasn't too young to drink.
Hermione sighed. "Me too. My hand is starting to cramp."
Eloise picked up her bag and walked up to Oliver. "You did great Oliver! Hopefully, we'll make more progress next week."
"Don't be discouraged! You guys just have to be more optimistic," Oliver advised. And then the cheeky little bastard gave us a thumbs up.
God, what are his parents like? Should I hate them or pity them?
I picked up my bag and slung it over my shoulder. "No one can be as optimistic as you Oliver."
Eloise giggled. Hermione groaned out loud.
We gathered up our things and left the room as a group. Oliver waved goodbye and headed off to the Ravenclaw tower. I turned toward Eloise.
"You can go on without me. I'm going to swing by Professor Flitwick's office first," I announced and started off toward the direction of his office. Eloise waved goodbye and headed down the stairs. Hermione, however, quickly caught up to me.
"I'll go with you. I was meaning to ask him about doing some extra credit," Hermione exclaimed.
I raised an eyebrow. "Why do you need extra credit?"
Hermione blushed. "I missed a point on the exam the other day. I want to get the top score this year in Charms in our grade."
I couldn't hold back my grin. "Oho ho ho! Trying to beat my 110% from last year are you?"
Hermione stopped in her tracks and poked me hard in the chest. "I KNEW it was you!"
I rubbed my chest. Her bony little finger had stabbed my boob. Ow. "You're a hundred years too early to defeat me!"
Hermione continued to look at me accusingly.
"I'm not sorry I did well. I'm sure you did the best overall in our year. My astronomy and Flying grades tanked my average," I admitted and continued walking. Hermione followed me down the hall.
"What did you get in Astronomy? We studied that together!" Hermione exclaimed outraged and apparently taking my failure personally.
I reached into my bag and dug out last year's end of year report card.
Hermione snatched it from my hand and read it out loud. "It really does say 110% in Charms..." Hermione muttered and scanned the rest of the card. "A 92% in Herbology and a 90% in History of Magic? We can work on that. Hmm, a 100% in Defense? I only got a 95%." She paused and rolled her eyes. "Oh good grief. Is this 95% in Transfiguration because you still refuse to spell color with a 'u'?"
I scowled. "It's not just that! More and more words with different spellings keep sneaking up on me. She shouldn't be taking that much off for spelling anyways!"
"You passed Flying by one point? Wow. I suppose that can't be helped..." Ouch. She's right, but ouch. Hermione continued on. "An 85% isn't bad for Professor Snape, but both of us can do better. I only got a 90%," Hermione trailed off and looked embarrassed.
"I doubt he gave anyone a perfect grade. Heck, he wouldn't give a perfect grade even if the student came to their finals with the mythical Potion of Eternal Life. He'd claim we stole it," I half joked.
Actually, he'd probably kill us so Voldemort could never get a hold of it...
"70% in Astronomy?! How could you? We studied so hard. I'm so disappointed in you." Hermione looked up from the card and turned a betrayed look towards me.
Her look actually did make me feel a little bit bad. Is Hermione my Tiger Mom?
I shrugged. "I'm just not that interested. It's kind of neat to be able to look at planets and other stuff with our ridiculously powerful telescopes, but most of the information we're learning to find out can just be referenced in a book. There's no point in it and it takes time away from things I do want to learn."
"It must be useful or they wouldn't be teaching it to us in the first place," Hermione argued.
I laughed. "Oh come on. This class is mandatory because of tradition and no other reason. It should be an elective. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if they added it to fill out the class roster time. It's the equivalent of back in Muggle school when you'd have to glue toilet paper rolls or popsicle sticks together for some lame project. It's practically busy work if you're not going to be an astronomer when you grow up."
Hermione opened her mouth to retort, and then stopped abruptly when she noticed that we had arrived at Flitwick's office.
"Excuse me, Professor. May we come in?" I asked quickly, hoping to head off any more arguing from Hermione.
"Come in. I still have fifteen minutes left for my office hours," Flitwick called from the other side of the heavy wooden door.
I pushed the door open slowly and walked in. Hermione followed behind me.
Flitwick's office reminded me of a bookstore that had been hit by a tornado. Every book on the bookshelf seemed to be crooked slightly. Stacks of books lined the floor. Paper lay on top of the book stacks, was stuck between the books, and a few fluttered about the room like confused pigeons.
Flitwick's desk was on stilts at the moment so he was able to look us both in the eyes. "Why if it isn't two of my best students. How can I help you?"
Hermione visibly puffed up from the praise. She looked towards me and I indicated she go ahead first.
While Hermione begged for extra credit, I perused Flitwick's bookshelf. While there were a lot of books about charms, quite a few of the books had nothing to do with charms at all. He seemed to be a very eclectic reader. I saw books ranging from history, Transfiguration, cooking, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Alchemy, and Enchanting. My fingers itched to open the Enchanting books and shift through them. Flitwick even had some Muggle books. He had a disturbingly large Daniel Steele collection.
Eventually, Hermione seemed to wring as much extra credit as she was going to get from the man and it was my turn to talk.
Flitwick smiled a bit tensely. Hermione could be a tense negotiator when it came to grades. "And what do you need Miss Thompson?"
I grinned evilly. "I'd like some extra credit that's worth one more point than whatever you just assigned Hermione."
Hermione gasped in shock. Flitwick started laughing.
Hermione glared at me. "That's not funny!"
I stuck my tongue out at Hermione and then turned back to Flitwick. "Actually, I wanted advice. I'm trying to learn the summoning charm and I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong."
Hermione gasped. "That's worse! That's years beyond our level!"
I turned my back and started to ignore Hermione.
"Don't ignore me!"
I proceeded to do just that.
Flitwick laughed again, but it seemed like he was at least trying to hold it back this time.
"Seriously though, can I attempt to cast it while you're watching and you can tell me if there's something off about my pronunciation or wand movements that I'm not noticing?" I asked and pulled my wand out from my bag.
Flitwick nodded. "Of course."
I took a deep breath, brought my wand up, did the wand motions and said, "Accio!"
The book lying three feet from me didn't even wiggle.
I dropped my wand.
Flitwick regarded me curiously. "You're doing the wand movement correctly and there's nothing wrong with your pronunciation. Are you picturing the object in your head?"
"I think so?"
Flitwick was silent for a few moments in thought and then began again. "I think you're putting too much 'oomph' into the spell."
I raised an eyebrow. "Oomph?"
"Mana, focus, will, there are several terms used in the academic world. It pertains to how much magic you've put into the spell. In other words, you're trying too hard. We haven't really went over this yet in class, but spells are taught in order of how much 'oomph' you need to put into them. With some exceptions, the more complex the spell, the less it needs. Younger witches and wizards are throwing their oomph everywhere and it's leaking out. That's one of the reasons accidental magic happens. It's also why we wait until eleven years old to teach magic. Intentionally trying to narrow your magic is thought to be harmful while one is still growing." Flitwick shrugged. "I think that theory needs to be tested much more before it's considered fact, but that's neither here nor there."
Huh, I wonder if that's one reason obscurials happen?
"So I need to... try less hard?" I asked uncertainly. That seemed easier said than done.
"Yes. Not the answer you were hoping to hear I'm sure," Flitwick admitted kindly.
A few things clicked together in my mind. "Is that why wandless magic is so much harder? You have to learn to narrow how much 'oomph' you put into a spell without a wand to help you focus it?"
Flitwick beamed. "Exactly! Five points to Hufflepuff!"
Hermione made an angry cat sound behind me.
"And five points to Gryffindor for seeking out some extra credit... Actually, cancel that previous extra credit. It's much too easy for you really. How about you learn the summoning charm too?" Flitwick smirked.
The angry cat sounds behind me intensified.
"Wonderful. You can work together. Is there anything else you need?" Flitwick asked. I could swear he looked a little calculating. I wonder how often Hermione goes around bothering her professors for extra credit?
"No, that's it. Thank you for your time. Have a good day, sir," I replied and turned to leave.
When I turned to leave I heard Flitwick sigh audibly and what I felt to be a tad melodramatically. I paused and turned around. I saw him peek at me and then he sighed forlornly again. It was beyond obvious that he wanted me to ask him how he was doing. I was tempted to just let him continue to sigh, but he'd given me some good advice so I might as well play along.
"Is something bothering you professor?" I asked politely.
He sighed heavily and dramatically again. In another life, he might have been a theater actor. "There is a new first year girl in my house who has had a terrible time making friends."
And why are you telling a couple of kids then? What's his angle?
"Is she being bullied?" Hermione asked concerned.
Flitwick nodded. "I've done my best to curb the bullying, but I can't be everywhere at once. Also, I know from first hand experience that interference from Professors can sometimes make the bullies worse."
A short mixed breed smart kid? Yeah, he would have had a hard time at school.
"What is she being bullied about?" I asked. I was curious about how much he knew about Luna's situation.
Hermione frowned. "Does it matter? Bullies don't need a reason."
"Indeed. They don't always need a reason. Miss Lovegood is certainly unique. Her father owns the Quibbler an... adventurous magazine that believes in some fringe theories most of which I don't personally believe in. However, what's the harm in investigating a theory as long as you're willing to accept the evidence you've found? History shows that we're bound to be horribly wrong about some things we're now sure of. Books are just as fallible as the people who wrote them." Flitwick cleared his throat and laughed. "But I digress. I can be a bit windy sometimes!"
I glanced over at Hermione. Her eyes were wide and she looked like she was absorbing this wholeheartedly like a sponge.
"Will she be okay?" Hermione asked concerned.
Flitwick sighed and it sounded a bit melodramatic again. "If only she could find a hobby or club. Maybe she could make some friends," Flitwick lamented. He put a heavy emphasis on the word "club".
So that's your angle. I was planning to do that anyway, but I feel kind of unsettled that the Professors know about the Spell Club. Not that we have been keeping it a secret or anything but... eh. I suppose if they haven't forbid us from it they must not mind?
Hermione turned toward me so fast her curly hair bounced. "Kasey, we should invite her to the Spell Club! We could use another member right?"
I shrugged and acted nonchalant as if this wasn't life throwing me a gigantic bone. "Sure. Why not?"
Flitwick clapped his hands together. "Excellent. I hope everything works out. What a wonderful idea you both have had." Flitwick beamed at us. Hermione beamed at him. I tried to make my expression say 'I know what you did old man and I'm only going along with it because I was going to anyways'.
Okay, my expression probably wasn't that uh "expressive" but I did my best.
After we said our goodbyes to Flitwick and closed the door behind us, Hermione immediately swung towards me.
"So how do you think we can track her down? Do we just go to the common room and ask? Or maybe get Oliver and Anthony to help us find her?"
I could look at the Marauder's Map if Hermione wasn't here. I'd tried looking Luna up on the map a few times already, but I was having a hard time catching her when she wasn't on her way to class or in the dorms. She seemed to skip meals a bunch too. Admitedly, I've been distracted with my own side projects. I haven't been trying to track her down very hard lately.
"Right now?" I asked surprised. Hermione seemed really gungho about this.
"It's terrible to be all alone at Hogwarts being bullied with no friends. Why should we wait? It will give her something to look forward to!" Hermione marched off towards the Ravenclaw dorms without waiting for my reply.
I jogged to catch up to her.
If I remember correctly, Luna's ah "creative" relationship with facts always rubbed Hermione the wrong way in the books. I always felt like they wouldn't have had anything to do with each other without the glue that was Harry keeping them together. In this world, I was all out of Harry glue and Hermione was just primed to insult the Quibbler. She was honestly, enthusiasm aside, the worse person to come with me to do this.
"So... I've read the Quibbler before. It's ah..." I trailed off. How do I say this nicely? "It's... creative with the truth. Not in a malicious way. It just seems to be very willing to believe in things without a whole lot of evidence. I think Luna's dad might write the whole thing by himself so she was raised that way. Remember, even if it might be far-fetched it's still something her dad does for a living."
"I'm not completely without tact, Kasey," Hermione huffed, clearly annoyed with me again. She was going to have frown lines by the time she was fourteen if she kept scowling that hardcore.
"Oookay," I replied unconvinced.
"I can be very tactful!" Hermione insisted. Her eyes lit up for a moment. "Oh! I could teach her about the scientific method! There's nothing wrong with trying to discover new things as long as you're methodical about it. Besides, sometimes you have to pretend that people's silly stuff isn't silly."
"The person who said that must have been very wise," I said and tried to nod sagely.
"A stopped clock is right twice a day," Hermione retorted.
I giggled. Hermione could be a lot of fun when you got her riled up. "I seem to remember I called it "stupid shit" though."
Hermione winkled her nose. "Do you really have to curse?"
"Curse words are the spicy vocabulary of life," I quipped.
Hermione rolled her eyes.
I stopped. We had arrived at the door to the Ravenclaw common room. The door was a massive slab of ancient looking wood with no doorknob or keyhole. Instead, the only embellishment was a bronze knocker in the shape of an eagle.
It's really weird that Ravenclaw's mascot isn't a raven. I wonder if Rowena Ravenclaw did that just to be contrary?
As we watched, the knocker stirred to life and turned its bronze head towards us.
"You measure my life in hours and I serve you by expiring. I'm quick when I'm thin and slow when I'm fat. What am I?" The bronze knocker asked us in an eerie echoing voice.
Hermione looked at me and I almost laughed. As if I'd ever know the answer to a riddle that wasn't asked by Smeagle in The Hobbit. God, I hate riddles. I'm so glad I didn't end up in Ravenclaw. I peered at the door hinges. In an emergency, I bet I could just take the door off its hinges instead.
Hermione perked up suddenly. "Oh! It's a candle!"
"Correct," the voice intoned. The door swung open.
We both peered in. The Ravenclaw dormitory was a round airy looking room with tons of stuffed bookshelves and blue couches embellished with eagle motifs. We looked around, but didn't step in. A few people were beginning to stare. Anthony Goldstein was at the back of the room and currently trying to sneak away before I noticed he was there.
"Oi! Anthony! Come here for a second! I know you saw us!" I called out.
Anthony slumped defeated, and then shuffled over to us. Everyone in the room was staring now.
"What do you want? You're not allowed in you know." He dropped his voice to a whisper. "Did Oliver promise you a spot in his game? We have to actually sneak non-Ravenclaws in you know. You can't come in through the dorm's front door."
"We're not in the dorm. We're in the doorway to the dorms," I corrected him.
Anthony sighed. "Just spit out what you want. Everyone is staring."
"Can you see if a first year girl named Luna Lovegood is here? We want to ask her if she wants to join the Spell Club," Hermione explained.
Anthony looked incredulously at us. "Luna Lovegood? The weird girl who was going around sniffing the common room furniture yesterday?"
Hermione looked taken aback. "Uh, yes? I assume there's only one girl with the same name in the year?"
Anthony looked uncertain.
"Please? It would really help us out," Hermione begged.
And then Anthony blushed just a little bit and glanced away for a second. "I guess I can look for her real quick. Just this once okay? I'll be right back."
Anthony walked away quickly and disappeared into a side room.
I smiled at Hermione like a cat who ate a canary.
"What's that expression for?" Hermione asked confused.
"Nothing," I replied in a sing-song voice and rocked on my heels a couple of times. I filed away the information that Anthony might have a crush on Hermione to be used as possible teasing fodder later.
Less than a minute later, Anthony came back in to the common room. A small girl with long blonde hair down to her waist and large blue eyes that were almost too big for her face trailed behind him. She wore a purple and black t-shirt, muggle jeans, and bright green sneakers with dinosaurs on them. Her expression was weirdly neutral. She reminded me a bit of Daphne.
Hermione smiled awkwardly. "Hello, I'm Hermione Granger and this is Kasey Thompson. We're part of a club called Spell Club. In the club, we take turns learning new spells during our meetings once a week. We were wondering if you wanted to join us?"
Hermione held out her hand for a handshake.
Luna regarded the hand curiously and then tilted her head like a confused bird. "Why?"
Hermione's smile faltered. "Um, why what?" She still had her hand out awkwardly.
"Are you trying to trick me into going somewhere deserted so you can pull a prank on me?" Luna asked matter-of-factly without a hint of aggression. It was like it was just a statement of fact. While her expression was bland, her body language seemed a bit tense like a bird on a wire ready to fly away at a moment's notice.
Hermione dropped her hand. "What? No! We would never!"
"We've got plenty of people in our own dorm to torment if we want. We don't need to outsource it," I argued.
Hermione scowled at me. "That's not a very convincing argument." She turned back towards Luna. "Listen I..." She faltered for a moment and then stood up straighter. "I know what its like to not have friends. I know what its like to be bullied because I'm different. I thought if I could save someone else from weeks of lonely misery then... why not? And I can always use another friend." Hermione visibly gulped and then stubbornly put her hand out again. "I suppose what I'm really asking is... would you like to join the Spell Club and be our friend?"
Something soft and warm settled in my chest.
"I think you'd fit right in. It's a lot of fun to learn new spells too," I added and held out my hand too.
Luna stared at both of us intensely for long enough it became awkward, hesitated for a moment, and then reached out and shook both our hands at the same time. Her handshake was soft and rubbery.
"Okay. I'll join. The bumblesports did smell like good fortune yesterday..." Luna trailed off.
Hermione looked confused for a moment and then smiled as bright as the sun. "Uh did they? Um, let me write down the time and location of the club meeting for you."
I glanced at Luna's shirt while Hermione scribbled on a piece of Muggle notebook paper. It was purple and black and had a group of pirates in some kind of rock band? The four man group had a guitar, vocalist, drummer, and a keytar player. The title "Siren's Song" was written across the top.
I pointed towards Luna's shirt. "What's Siren's Song?
"Oh, it's my favorite band. They're a ghost pirate band."
Everything within me; mind, body and soul grounded to a halt.
"Whaaaaat?" I gasped.
"They're ghost pirates who play in a rock band. It's a bit out of fashion but I still like them," Luna shrugged.
OH. MY. GOD.
Hermione paused scribbling on her paper and looked at me. "Are you okay?"
"THERE'S. A. GHOST. PIRATE. BAND?!"
Luna nodded. "My mum had all of their records even the one you're supposed to listen to while underwater. They haven't released anything in awhile though."
"How do I get one of their albums?! No fuck that, I don't even care if they're good!"
"Language!" Hermione hissed and gave the piece of paper to Luna.
I whirled towards Hermione. "It's just spicy vocabulary!" I whirled back towards Luna. "How do I get a t-shirt? Do they have a fan club? And if so, how do I join?! Oh my god are they playing guitar on a pirate ship? How did they get the electric guitars when they weren't invented yet in pirate times? For that matter, how do they get the electric for the guitars?!"
I must know everything!
"Oh, they change with the times somehow. They'll disappear for a few years and have a different style of music when they reappear. It's too bad they only started releasing records after their 'Big Band' phase. I would have liked listening to their swing band phase. I'm not sure how they get their new instruments when they reinvent themselves. How do instruments become ghosts? Some fans think they might be poltergeists instead since they change so much. I'm not sure myself. Mum used to think they were some kind of third new entity. They're a bit behind the times at the moment. They're still a glam rock band," Luna explained.
"THEY'RE A GLAM ROCK PIRATE GHOST BAND?!" I put my hands on Luna's shoulder's and nearly hyperventilated. "How can we convince them to NEVER EVER change from that?!"
A pirate glam rock band was too wondrous to exist. Too amazing. Too awesome. Do they have Ghost Pirate Power ballads? Please God, let there be Ghost Pirate Power Ballads.
Most of the common room had started to stare at the commotion I had started. Anthony had already disappeared into the crowd like a freaking ninja.
Hermione removed my hands from Luna's shoulder.
Hermione was beet red. "Don't accost her. Wonderful, now everyone is staring. We'll see you next Saturday, okay? She's usually not this embarrassing..."
Hermione grabbed the hood of my hoodie and violently yanked me away from the door frame.
"Bring a record to Spell Club next week okay?!" I called out as Hermione dragged me away.
The last thing I saw as Hermione dragged me around away was that a small smile appeared on Luna's face.