Saturday 21st April
The common room

Whew, I've just seen a sparrow be quite literally washed off its perch. Although that might be something to do with the fact that the Whomping Willow – the tree upon which it was perching – is in a particularly aggressive mood today.

There are ten things wrong with my life at the moment.

1) I have got a new spot
2) It is on the end of my nose (dammit all)
3) This means I'm going to get my period soon, which means cramps and awkward excuses as to why I need to go to the Hospital Wing for a painkiller
4) I have not done my Transfiguration essay, my Potions homework or my Care of Magical Creatures project despite the fact that they are all due in on Monday
5) This will undoubtedly land me in yet another detention
6) And what's more I just had two weeks in which to do all that homework in so I have no valid excuse
7) As a result of the argument I had with Yasmin yesterday involving the throwing of my ink pot there is now a huge black stain on Louise's sheets and she is going to go ballistic when she comes back tomorrow
8) In two days the Easter holidays will be over and it'll be back to lessons
9) It's end of year exams and probably some kind of mock NEWTs this term
10) Elodie (Smellodie) Rivers did not go home for the holidays

This sucks. It really does suck. When I came to Hogwarts I thought it was going to be really fun. Leila always used to come home for the holidays with stories of just how brilliant wizard school was. And I can remember really, really hoping I was a witch myself. I can also remember practically throwing up with excitement on my first day. I thought I was going to love it at Hogwarts.

Huh. Fat chance. Right now I'm sitting in a corner of the common room writing in my diary instead of doing the essay that I long ago lost interest in. It sucks even more that Yasmin – who has totally forgiven me for losing her necklace, by the way – has written about eighteen inches since half three (and her writing's tiny). My three and a half inches of large scrawl looks pitifully feeble next to hers.

Yasmin looked up at me and pushed her glasses up her nose.

"How much have you written, Kee?" she asked.


I held up my essay. Yasmin smirked.

"You need to put more effort into that," she said, taking it and reading my two sentences. "Come on, you know you can do so well if you try!"

"No I can't," I said sourly.

"You can, or you wouldn't be a Ravenclaw," said Yasmin. "Look, just put your head down and get on with it. That's the only way one can do these things."

Well that may be ok for Yasmin – who would be top of the year if it weren't for Hermione Granger – but not for me. I really don't know why I'm in Ravenclaw, to be honest. I guess the Sorting Hat must have just gone into default mode and shoved me in the first house that came to mind. It doesn't help that Leila got straight Os for her OWLs and near perfect NEWTs, too. Mum and dad don't even know what they mean but they know that Leila is an exceptional witch. They also know that I am not as good as Leila and can never hope to be, either. So that's another load of pressure on my back.

Oh bugger. Here comes Smellodie. I know that Yasmin and Lou say I should give her a chance, but it's really quite hard. But the thing is I don't have the guts to tell Elodie to just bugger off because I know that if I do she will not only make my life Hell, but all my friends' lives too.

As well as being totally and utterly gorgeous – long, thick blonde hair, bright blue eyes, no spots at all, figure to die for etc. – and really brainy, Elodie is also completely loaded and she's going out with Justin Finch-Fletchley. (Claw, claw.) She's also Queen of Bitching-Behind-Backs and putting people down in that innocent-yet-blindingly-intentional way. And what's more she thinks I'm her friend. Ack.

"Hi-i!" she said brightly, slipping into the chair next to me. I glowered. Yasmin gave me a warning look and said, "Hi, Ellie," in tones of forced pleasure.

"Hey Yaz. You haven't done that essay yet, Keira?" she said, peering over my shoulder at my miserable attempt at an essay. "You need to hurry up; it's due on Monday. I say, that's pretty poor, isn't it? I did mine at the beginning of the holidays and Mandy told me it was almost definitely an O, and then Lisa said I should get a commendation for it. I'm sure they were only saying that, though!"

I am genuinely sure they were only saying that. Mandy hates Elodie as much as me. However, dear Smellodie obviously believed that Mandy had been telling the truth. The false modesty was so bloody disgusting that I wanted to hit her on her stupid pretty head with something very hard, but I abstained with a smile.

"Oh, by the way, you do know you've got a huge red spot on your nose?" Smellodie said, looking at me with pity.

Heroically refraining from gouging her eyes out I gritted my teeth and replied, "Yeah, I'd noticed."

"You see, I don't get spots," said Elodie, sitting back in her chair with that smug air she always uses for gloating. "It's because I take such good care of my skin. And I eat a lot of fruit. You should give up the chocolate, Kee."

I scowled. I really detest Elodie. I know I shouldn't because it's not right and I'm probably going to Hell for it but I honestly would like her to jump under a bus. (If they have busses in the wizarding world. I doubt that Miss "I'm-too-good-for-the-Muggle-world-I'm-a-pure-blood" Rivers would have heard of busses.) Well, maybe that's a bit harsh. I don't want Elodie dead. Grievously injured, maybe, but not dead.

"Actually," said Yasmin, "spots are caused by stress, which chocolate is a good comfort food for. Fatty and greasy foods don't actually cause spots; it's just an urban myth."

Good old Yaz. I knew being friends with someone that smart would come in useful one day.

"Whatever. Well, I have to go now; I promised I'd meet Justin. He's coming back today! Yay!" said Elodie, standing up and looking thrilled. Yasmin looked slightly alarmed. "I'll see you two around!"

And she practically skipped off.

"Oh, I hate her!" I said, staring after her with a no doubt evil look on my face. "I really hate her. I hope she rots in Hell."

"Really, Kee!" said Yasmin, reproachfully adjusting her glasses and carrying on with her essay. "But yeah, she is a bitch isn't she?"

I laughed, but Yasmin doesn't hate her the way I hate her. Yasmin has no idea about me liking Justin Finch-Fletchley. Well, if she does know it's not through me. I haven't told her. Or Louise. Or Mandy. I don't think anyone knows except Terry Boot, and that was because he caught me doodling "I ♥ J.F.F" all over my notes in History of Magic last year.

"J.F.F?" he said, peering over my shoulder. I snapped my notebook shut. Didn't work, however, because I'd written it on the cover as well. Dammit all. "Who's that then? Do share."

I blushed. I blush a lot. Irritating, I know, but I guess I can't help it.

"Ok," I said, trying not to look him in the eye because despite the fact I was staring at the floor in shame I could tell he was grinning. "It's Justin Finch-Fletchley."

"Ah, I should've known," said Terry in an irritating know-all voice. "Well, I guess you could do worse than Justin."

"Whaddya mean?" I had said, flaring up at him in the way I do when someone insults Justin.

"Well, you could do worse," shrugged Terry. "Zacharias Smith, for instance. But you could do better."

"Like who?" I said crossly.

"I dunno...Stephen?"

I laughed.

"Stephen? Are you joking? He wouldn't look twice at me; he's got that Hufflepuff girl. Thingy."

"Thingy? That's precise."

Sarky git, I thought.

"You know who I mean," I had said, waspishly. "The little redhead with the braids."

"Megan Jones?"

"Megan Jones."

"I'm not saying you're supposed to date him, I'm just saying you could do better than Finch-Fletchley," said Terry.

I still haven't got a clue what he meant. Terry's cool enough in his way but he can be very confusing – and a little irritating – at times.

Goddamn it! Yasmin has written about another foot since I started this entry and I still haven't exceeded my few lines. Bloody Smellodie. Bloody memories. Bloody bad concentration span.

I think I might accidentally break my leg on Monday. Or something a bit less easy to repair, like my neck. Or I could just track down Gilderoy Lockhart and break my arm in front of him. Judging by what happened to Harry Potter in the second year that wouldn't be so easy to repair.

Oh God, if there was ever a good time for the school to be attacked by marauding Death Eaters with large amounts of fire, it's now.

Sunday 22nd April
My dormitory

I practically walked right into Justin and Smellodie in the library today. (Last-ditch attempt to do bloody essay.) She was giggling like crazy and her jumper was on back to front. What he sees in her I don't know.

Well, actually I do. I know exactly what he – and the string of boys before him – see in Elodie. She's gorgeous, smart and can sweet-talk you into believing she's a sweet, innocent, good-hearted little saint. Add on rich parents and nice clothes and voila. Boy's fantasy.

"Hi, Kee!" said Elodie, brightly. I tried not to scowl.

"Hi," I said, making sure I didn't look at Justin, because I knew that if I did I would go the colour of a tomato.

"Hey, you're spot's going down!" she said, happily. It wasn't. It looked even worse today. And I could just tell Justin was staring at my nose and thinking, "Who gets spots like that?" Bring on the blush. "You should buy some cleanser to put on it."

Elodie then starting going on about various types of spot cream and concealer and stuff. Tempted to decapitate her, but lacked means. Finally after the tirade of fake helpfulness and innocently delivered put-downs, Elodie chirruped, "Byeeee!" and led Justin away, leaving me with an essay to do and my ego somewhere around the centre of the Earth.

Marvellous. Bloody marvellous.

Louise came back today and found the stain on her sheets. She just raised her eyebrows and used a scouring charm. When that didn't work and she realised it was indelible she went absolutely mad.

After about five years of ranting and shouting about being me and Yasmin being careless and stupid and totally reckless with other people's property, Lou managed to tell us that she'd had an excellent time in Barbados on her holidays. Apparently the apartment had air-conditioning and a pool, she got her own room instead of having to share with her brother and she's come back with a lovely holiday tan. She's even prettier than she usually is.

Oh yeah, and she met a guy there. Of course, she didn't tell him she was a witch because he was a Muggle. But she still had a thing with him, even if he didn't know entirely who she was.

"Obviously I couldn't give him my number or address because we don't have a telephone and the postman doesn't know where I am," said Louise, matter-of-factly. "I think he thought I'd lost interest, to be honest. But I don't really care; it wasn't like a commitment. And anyway, I've got my sights on that hot Gryffindor. Y'know, the artistic one who's friends with the Irish guy? Dean Thomas. Oh, did I tell you about when I went body-boarding?"

You see? That's what I should be doing. My parents aren't poor. Ok, they're not loaded like the Riverses, but neither are the Spinkses. They should be jetting me off to exotic countries for the holidays instead of leaving me alone with Elodie Rivers to do impossible essays all Easter. Louise is so lucky.

Ok, I know Louise is lucky. She's a bit like Smellodie, but she's really nice and not so rich. She's pretty, but in a different way. She's got big brown eyes and dark hair and she's just really pretty. And she's smart. Ok, she's not like Yasmin, but she's smart none the less.

Louise has done all her homework despite being in Barbados for the holidays.

I've definitely improved on my essay. It's now eighteen inches, but lacks a certain something. Yasmin's is four feet nine inches! I don't know how she managed to write that much but obviously she did.

Hmm. I wonder whether she'd let me copy some of hers.



Monday 23rd April
Common room

Frantically finishing off my essay when Terry appears out of nowhere.

"You not done that?" he says.

"Does it look like I have?" I snap irritably.

Terry gives me a Look for about five seconds. It's a thoroughly unnerving five seconds.

"I'm sorry, but I'm a bit tetchy today," I say, holding my hands up in a peace-making gesture. "As you may have noticed, I have homework due in about ten minutes."

"Need a hand?" says Terry.

I look up at him, thankful as Hell. Terry is bright, and I know that everyone in Ravenclaw is bright, but when I talk about Terry I'm talking really bright. Gifted bright. In-the-same-league-as-Yasmin-Padma-and-Hermione-Granger bright.

"Thank you!" I say in genuine gratification. "You have saved my life, Terry! Really you have. Now please tell me what the hell this means!"

And then Terry Boot – resident sarky smart-arse of Ravenclaw – actually sits down and gives me a hand with my essay. The finished result is actually quite good. I should get an A, although I doubt I'll get an E. It's not O material, definitely not. But then I never get Os for homework.

"Oh, thank you Terry, you really are a pal of the first class!" I say in delight as I sign "Keira Matthews" at the bottom. "If you ever need anything you can ask me."

Not that Terry would need anything. And if he did he wouldn't come to me, Keira Matthews: lazy, dorky, clumsy sod. But it's a nice gesture.

"Welcome," said Terry, cheerfully. "I'll see you around, Keira."

And he just left. Just like that. How someone can be so jaunty after writing an essay – and what's more someone else's essay – I don't know. But that's Terry Boot for you.


Passing notes

Mandy, have you seen the lipstick Smellodie is wearing today? Kee xx

God, I know. Why does she think that bright pink suits her? She needs to wash of some of that eyeliner, too. She looks like a panda.

Oi! That's offensive! Those poor pandas!

Oh my God, you're so right. Poor pandas!

That's better. So what are you doing at break?

Dunno...probably hanging around trying to catch a glimpse of Harry Potter. Why?

Why do you like him, Mandy? He's so...weird.

He's not weird; he's had a lot of grief. You'd be weird if your parents had been murdered and you'd had to face YKW three or four times.

He shouldn't have gone looking for You-Know-Who if he was so bothered. Ok, his parents' deaths were crap luck but in the First year and the Second year he just went looking for trouble! Ditto last year!

Kee, if he hadn't "gone looking for trouble" you'd be at home with your mum and dad and YKW would be back.

You-know-who is back, or hadn't you noticed?

Well, he would've been back sooner. Anyway, according to the Daily Prophet Harry's the Chosen One and only he can defeat YKW.

That's probably rubbish. When you live as a Muggle you learn that you can't believe the tabloids.

You don't even read the Prophet, Kee. Your parents don't get it.

Newspapers are all the same, wizarding or Muggle.

Anyway, even if he is a bit messed up, it doesn't stop him being totally gorgeous!

What? You-know-who?

No, idiot, Harry!

Mandy, he doesn't even know you!

He will do, especially now I'm on the Quiditch team. He has to notice me when he plays against me.

Mandy, he will not think you are totally gorgeous and desirable when you're flying around all sweaty throwing a big red ball with your hair in a mess. Trust me on this one.

You'll see. Harry Potter will be mine eventually.

Look, can't you set your sights on someone a bit more attainable? He doesn't even

A bench in the Courtyard

Conjuring Spells: What are they and how are they stereotypically seen in Wizarding and Muggle society?

The Conjuring Spell is the more advanced opposite of the Vanishing Spell. The name sums it up completely: it conjures the desired object/animal/person to where you want it to be (if worked properly). Depending on the complexity of the desired subject, the spell is harder or easier i.e. an inanimate quill is easier to conjure than a frog, a frog is easier to conjure than a human etc.

Note: Professor McGonagall, those notes that Mandy and I were passing in class were strictly work related, I swear.

That's 68 words. 1432 more to go.

Care of Magical Creatures

Because the Salamanders we are supposed to be working on have run off somewhere and Professor Hagrid is rounding them up (not sure how but he has a sledgehammer), we're just sitting around waiting. It's very dull but it could be worse.

Justin is sitting nearby, but I can't go up and talk to him because he's got stupid Smellodie sitting with him. Grrrr. Does she have to ruin every little aspect of my life? Everything she does is designed to tick me off in some way.

"You ok, Kee?"

Mandy and Louise appeared out of nowhere. Yasmin doesn't take Care of Magical Creatures; it clashed with Arithmancy. And it was the only subject she got less than an E on. I was quite chuffed when I got an O, but I've always liked Care of Magical Creatures. I don't care what people say. I think Professor Hagrid actually uses some very interesting animals (apart from that period in the third year when he used Flobberworms after a Hippogriff attacked Draco Malfoy). The Skrewts were a bit dodgy but they were interesting. And last year was great! We did Thestrals and unicorns and loads of cool stuff. I'd quite like to join the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures department if I get the right grades in my NEWTs.

"Yeah," I say, although with Justin and Smellodie nearby I'm never ok.

Lou sits down next to me and clocks Beauty and the Beast.

"She must be excellent at the whole sweet-talking thing," she says, frowning slightly. "Surely he must have noticed what a bitch she is?"

"Evidently not," I say, trying not to sound too bitter.

I can still remember when Elodie and Justin got together, although at that point I didn't have a crush on him. He was just...well, he was just my gawky Potions partner. We had always got on reasonably well but it was only in the fifth when I really started to fancy him.

Anyway, in Potions one day he confessed to me that he had a huge thing for Elodie. Obviously I was highly amused that anyone could possibly fancy someone that horrible, but I didn't tell him. He also told me he was planning to ask her to the Yule Ball. To be honest, I really didn't care. All I cared about the Yule Ball was the fact that I had a date. Dean Thomas had asked me and I was really pleased. I didn't actually fancy him but I had said yes because I needed a date. Naturally this was before Louise started liking him or I wouldn't have dreamed of saying yes.

So whenever anyone brought up the topic of the Yule Ball I just thought, "Yay! I have a date!" and didn't really concentrate. If I knew that Justin was going to turn out really, really ridiculously good-looking I probably would've told him that Elodie had a date.

Of course due to some stupid advice I probably gave him he asked out Elodie and they ended up dating after the stupid Yule Ball. At the time I really didn't care. Now I wish that I'd told him all about Smellodie and her bitchy little ways. Goddamn it, why do I always bugger up everything? I wish I was a Seer. Then I wouldn't be sitting here watching Smellodie and Justin all over each other. It might have been me.

Well, probably not. But it would be more likely to be me if I'd been a Seer.

I suddenly realise that Louise has just asked me something.

"Err...yeah, I totally agree with Mandy," I say, hoping I'm not signing myself up for experimental brain surgery or something. "Yeah, I completely agree with what you're saying, Mandy."

"See?" said Mandy, turning to Louise. "Even Keira agrees that they don't set us enough homework to keep track of what we've mastered at what pace."

Nice job, Keira.

Tuesday 24th April
Lunch break
By the lake

It's really lovely weather today. It's so sunny and nice. Shame Professor Flitwick has dumped a load of extra homework on me. It wasn't my fault that Terry got soaked! It was that idiot Theodore Nott. He bumped right into me and made me point my wand in the wrong way. And Terry didn't seem to mind much. He actually thought it was quite funny, I think.

"You know, Kee, it's AH-gwa-MEN-tee," said Yasmin as I muttered the spell to myself and produced no water. "Not Ag-WAH-mentee. Look."

She waved her wand, said, "Aguamenti!" and a neat jet of water shot out of her wand. She watered the grass for a second before the water went out. I frowned. I've always been jealous of Yasmin's ability with spells.

"How are you so good at this stuff?" I grumbled, saying the same thing over and over again. No water appeared from my wand.

"Damn you, bloody thing!" I said, crossly waving my wand around and saying, "Aguamenti!"

Finally, it worked. However it wasn't the controlled fountain of water that Yasmin had produced. No. My water came out in a torrent, soaking not only my schoolbooks, but an innocent couple walking by. I looked up to do my usual grovelling apology and recognised the blonde hair.

The satisfaction of soaking Smellodie Rivers to the skin was soon replaced with horror when I realised that the person she was walking with had to be Justin Finch-Fletchley.

"Oh my God, I am so sorry!" I said, trying my best to look sincere. And I was. I really was. Well, about Justin I was, anyway. "Here, let me try and dry you off. Incendio! Oh no, that's the wrong one! Oh crap!"

Due to me being a total klutz the spell made Justin's sleeve catch fire. He looked slightly alarmed.

"Oh, I'm sorry! Hang on, I'll just..."

"Estinguero," said Yasmin, almost lazily waving her wand in the direction of Justin. The great robe inferno went out.

"Thanks, Keira," said Elodie in a nasty attempt at sarcasm as she dried off hers and Justin's robes with a hot air charm. "I need to redo my hair now. Next time I want to be drenched I'll come to you."

Justin didn't say anything. He just looked at me. Like I was a complete and utter freak.

I am.

My Top Five Most Embarrassing Moments...Ever!

5) When being sorted on my first day of Hogwarts, I fell off the stool backwards. Public humiliation and a nasty bump on the back of the head.
4) Walking in on a pair of Beauxbatons students...y'know, doing it at the Yule Ball. I don't know who was more embarrassed: me or them. Either way I didn't stick around long.
3) Slipping into the lake during a Care of Magical Creatures lesson in which a Skrewt went on the rampage. Lucky I'm a strong swimmer.
2) When Dean Thomas tried to kiss me when we were dancing at the Yule Ball. Even though he only got the corner of my mouth it was really embarrassing for both of us. Actually, that made it more embarrassing because it was blatantly obvious that I'd only said yes because I needed a date. And on top of that Mandy saw and kept calling him, "Your fancy man."

But the number one moment when Keira Matthews was the most embarrassed in her lifetime was...

1) Soaking Justin Finch-Fletchley with a terrible water-conjuring spell and then setting his sleeve alight.

Life is really a bitch sometimes.