Happiness is Not a Riddle

Summary: MWPP. Rosalind Barlow receives a diary for her seventeenth birthday and proceeds to name it "Nora" for no particular reason. Nora becomes witness to her friendships, losses, and even some love on Rosalind's search for herself.

Disclaimer: If I were JK Rowling I wouldn't be on , duh.

***HERE'S THE DEAL:::: So this hadn't been updated in ages because I thought I lost the flashdrive it was saved on back in May. Well, two days ago I was digging in my backpack because I have lost me life, aka my debit card, and was looking for that when, instead, I found the flashdrive! Reading through it, I realized that in my mind, Rosalind and the gang are seventh years, but when I first began the story they were meant to be sixth years, so I didn't write James and Lily and Head Boy/Head Girl. Between that and few other tiny things here and there, I figured why not fix them and reload the first two chapters? And I almost have chapter three finished, it's pretty long; I hope it will make up for the whole losing the flashdrive for months thing. Enjoy!


Chapter One: Who Names Their Diary?

September 17th, 1976

Dear Diary (wow that sounds stupid),

Today is my seventeenth birthday. My mother gave you to me before I left for school a few weeks ago, but I felt it wouldn't be very appropriate to really use it until today. So Diary, as your writer, I suppose I should tell you a bit about me.

My name is Rosalind Judith Barlow (but my closest, craziest friends prefer to call me Rozza) and I am a witch. Growing up, I knew there was something different about me, but never what - I was raised without magic. My parents met at some, I don't know, counter culture gathering in 60's and had a fling. My biological mom (her name was Sonya, I believe) dropped me with my Dad and left. But she's not the woman who gave me this diary, that's Anna, whom I consider my real mother.

Anyway, although my namesake is Rosalind, the heroine of "As You Like It", I've never felt like much of a heroine in my own life. I don't even really like Shakespeare (but my father sure does! My brothers are Mercutio and Othello, for heaven's sake). I'm not meek, by anyone's standards, but…I don't know. I'm a generally pleasant person who prefers that not everything be a dramatic production. I keep a lot of things to myself - that I'm easily offended and that I hold grudges like no one's business. I'm a bookish, intense chatterbox who can't make eye contact and tries too hard. At school (Hogwarts, for other witches and wizards), I'm in Ravenclaw. I have a small group of friends from multiple houses (there are four).

Wow.

List of Reasons I Feel Like a Square Right Now

1. I used the phrase "dear diary." I really have to name you or something.

2. I just described myself to a collection of pages bound together.

3. I just suggested I name my diary.

I guess I am a square…but nothing I can do about it now.

10:15 pm

I had a pretty great birthday. Emmeline Vance (best friend) and John Seaton (other best friend and fellow prefect) got together a group of people I like and we celebrated in this fancy room I've never been to before. Somehow, there was cake and my favorite muggle music and my favorite people.

"You guys, how did you do all of this?" I asked Emme and John as they lead me towards the front of the room to do a toast (what was this, a wedding?)

"We pulled some strings, but I suggest you thank Lily," Emme said, a mischievous twinkle in her eye, which was rather odd but Emme is not exactly the mischievous kind of person. My own eyes flittered around until they settled on Lily Evans, another of my good friends and a Gryffindor (unlike John, Emme, and I) but whatever I was thinking was interrupted by the sound of clinking of a drinking glass.

"Hey, attention everyone!" John shouted. "First of all, we'd like to thank you all for coming, I know Rozza here is really glad you all could pretend to like her for an hour or so-"

"Hey!" I interjected, jabbing him in the ribs, but he only gave me a smirk.

"I am very glad you're all here," I said, taking over. "And I hope that despite some house rivalries, you'll all get along (looking pointedly at the Marauders…though I'm really not sure why they were there as we aren't friends)! I can't believe this is my last year here at Hogwarts. What an adventure! I could go on for quite some time about how quickly life goes by, but I'm sure you all just want to eat cake and mingle (that got a few giggles)…so enjoy yourselves!"

Nothing happened that stuck out, I guess, though despite much pestering, Lily Evans would not explain why I was supposed to thank her. I have a feeling she asked James Potter for a place to throw this, the cake, and a way to not get in trouble. I'm proud of her! Still can't believe he got Head Boy. Must have been a miracle!

Well, diary (still feel like a square), I guess I'll….talk to you later? (urgh)

-RJB

September 18th (79)

8:00am

I can't believe I'm up this early. I miss the weekend. I'm currently sitting at the Ravenclaw table for breakfast and finding myself terribly disappointed that someone has apparently eaten all the French toast. I love French toast to pieces, I must say, and I can't believe I'm about to go on a quest to find some.

-back. Lily had some over at the Gryffindor table. She was sitting with fellow Prefect Remus Lupin about patrolling or something (although I'm a Prefect myself, John and I are so close that we're practically on the same wavelength anyway).

"Lily, may I have some of that delectable French toast sitting beside you?" I asked, sounding dreadfully and pathetically hopeful. She laughed and handed me a few pieces on a plate.

"You and your French toast, Rosalind!" she grinned, and I noticed before walking away that Remus was giving me an…intrigued(?) glance. Ordinarily, I wouldn't have said anything, but in the morning, I cannot be held accountable for my actions…or words.

"Oh shut it, Lupin (even though he hadn't said anything)-that's right, I am addicted to French toast. Bugger off."

He still looks like someone kicked his puppy.

9:30am, History of Magic

Sometimes I really wonder why I'm in this class. Binns is on drugs, I swear, or at least, he would be if he were alive. Someone AVADA KEDAVRA me, please.

9:31 am,

Oh God. Remind me again why I thought it would be cool to take this as a NEWT class?

9:45am

Plus side of HOM: I came up with a name for you, Diary. I officially christen you Nora! Now, I should probably go back to taking notes.

5:30pm, Prefect Meeting

Prefect meetings are dreadfully boring, not gonna lie. I've been really busy all day and couldn't find time to write even at dinner. What can I say, I was really hungry.

Anyway, I'm sitting here with that Remus on one side and John on the other. However, while HG and HB are discussing things in private, John is attempting to flirt with Lisa Smith from Hufflepuff. I really don't see why (okay, so she's not a cow, but she really isn't John's type).

Is this a diary? -RL

No, it's Nora. And regardless, why are you writing in it if it isn't yours?

You were distracted by John's attempt at flirting and took advantage of the fact that you left your…non-quill unattended.

It's a pen. I only use quills for assignments.

Why?

I grew up as a Muggle. Quills are weird.

I never knew you were Muggleborn.

I'm not.

Oh-HB and HG finally sorted out whatever it was they were arguing about and are starting to talk. Lily's shooting me suspicious looks as I scribble furiously (she must know I've not paying attention to either her or James). The girl takes everything seriously; I can't imagine why she's not in Ravenclaw. Nora, you must be wondering (with all my not paying attention and hating History of Magic) why I am in Ravenclaw. In my defense, I would just like to say I do take a lot of things seriously, but it is important to try and be lighthearted. Taking life too seriously leads to serious stress. Though, the main different between Lily and I is that I'm a spaz and she's not.

Since when is John mooning over Lisa? -RL

I suppose since now. He's rather fickle, so I wouldn't read much into it.

I don't really care what/who John likes, I just needed an ice breaker. James and Lily as HB/HG is…interesting.

Ha! They are- last year's H team was far superior. And really, why do we need to switch up patrol schedules every week this year?

For no reason, apparently . Just to be difficult.

You guys need to stop writing and start paying attention! How will you know you're patrolling together Tuesday and Friday? By the way, I don't appreciate you talking about me either! -LE

Thanks Lily, you just told us! =)

Crap. Now Lily's mad at me. I guess I'll pull John from his woman and hope James Potter will make her so upset later she'll forget I annoyed her!

Homework

Ancient Runes: review chapter five

HOM: read/outline article "Bouddica: Witch or Muggle?"

Potions: essay on Draught of Living Death

Divination: pick a personal teacup (that's my kind of homework!)

Charms: practice review

Astronomy: chart B

-RJB

September 20th

Nora,

Today is Friday and tomorrow is our first Hogsmeade weekend! I am excited! I also love Fridays because I have a long free period in the morning. Here, I'll post my schedule:

Monday

HOM 9:00-10:45

Lunch 11:00-12:00

Charms 12:00-1:30

Study period: 1:30-3:00

Tuesday

Ancient Runes 9:00-11:00

Lunch: 11:00-12:00

FREE period: 12:30-2:00

Divination: 2:00-3:00

Wednesday

History of Magic: 9:00-10:45

Lunch: 11:00-12:00

Charms: 12:00-1:30

Potions: 1:30-3:00

(Rounds 9:00-10:00)

Thursday

nothing: 9:00-11:00

Lunch: 11:00-12:00

Divination: 12:00-1:30

Library Asst.: 2:00-5:00

(Rounds 9:00-10:00)

Friday

Study Period: 9:00-11:00

Lunch: 11:00-12:00

Ancient Runes TA: 12:00-2:00

Astronomy 11:30-1:45(am)

See? Clearly Friday is the best day: "study period" and no class! Some nights I have Astronomy, but I like that class a lot, so it's okay. Well, breakfast is over and I'm going to go back to the dorm and nap!

10:20am

Naps are so beautiful! I am actually fully rested (I was up-last night + working on Astronomy). I feel like reading something Muggle, let's go see what is in my trunk!

Hmmm…I've got A Passage to India, my Bible, The Feminine Mystique (for my inner feminist), and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

I feel like a little Edward Hyde is in order! You know what would be really, ridiculously amazing? If someday, they made a musical out of it (meaning the story). It's one of my favorite books, because it raises some important questions and really makes me think; it's not even the writing itself which interests me the most, but rather the ideas it inspires. There's this idea of the duality of human nature, that good and evil are present in everything, even inside each of us. What happens when we do not embrace the light and the dark, every aspect of ourselves, and instead chose to banish half of ourselves to the unconscious mind? Stevenson's interpretation is that we go batshit crazy and become two distinct people. I don't know what I think.

I'm going to read now. Check back in later.

12:02pm

Lunch was rather uneventful. Emme and I sat there, bored, watching John "work his magic" (insert unladylike snort here) on Lisa over at the Hufflepuff table. That boy thinks he is so suave, but believe me Nora, he's in for one really big surprise if he thinks she's going to swoon. After all, Lisa Smith is one of the prettiest girls in our year. Why the heck would she want to be with John?

Okay, that's kind of mean. Sorry. I love John, but he's a dork.

Anyway, the best part was when Emme started flinging pieces of chicken at the back of John's head. He'd stop talking, look around, glare at us, and continue 'flirting.' Then we would precede to fall into a fit of giggles before throwing some more.

So now I'm sitting in Professor William's class as his TA with a bunch of 3rd years who couldn't define aettir if their life depended on it. Professor William (Blake, he says I should call him) is one of my favorite teachers, partly because I kind of consider him a friend. I've always been very interested in languages and history, even before I started taking his class, and he's become one of those teachers you can talk to about anything. That's how he bribed me into being his TA and correcting essays on the origins of the Runic Alphabet.

Ya-ya? I think not. Can't wait until this shit is over and I can work on chapter five review…just me and some Babylonian hieroglyphs. Hurrah! That and Astronomy tonight. However, unlike the Babylonians, mapping the trajectory of Uranus isn't on my list of fun things to do. At least there's Hogsmeade tomorrow!

Oh crap, that was Professor Williams asking me to clarify something. Whoops. Later.

-RJB

September 21st

-breakfast

Hogsmeade will not be as fun as previously thought. John announced (by some miracle of fate) he will be going with Lisa as of about five minutes ago, and Emme has a really long Potions essay to write and doesn't want to wait until the last minute. I'm seriously stuck alone. Some friends I have! So I'm going to sit here at breakfast and sulk…somebody had better pay attention.

A few minutes later

My sulking has proved fruitless. John and Emme simply laughed at me and have driven me to the Gryffindor table to sit with Lily Evans.

"James asked me to Hogsmeade," she said, conversationally, after I explained the fake friends at my own house table.

"Big surprise there," I laughed, sneaking a glance further down the table at the messy haired trouble-maker.

"You know Rosalind," she began. "He's better than he used to be. He changed over the summer."

I raised my eyebrows, completely not convinced. Just last week I saw him and Sirius Black cornering a couple of Slytherin fourth years in the third floor corridor. But whatever.

"So did you say yes? If so, does that mean I'm still alone?" I asked, not really interested in whatever the heck she thought about James Potter at this moment.

"I told him maybe we could hang out for a bit," she shrugged, as if this weren't a huge deal…because, you know, Lily Evans and James Potter were totally best friends. Just because you work together…geez!

"So are you going to take pity on me or not?" I asked again, frowning slightly.

"Of course I'll take pity on you," she sighed, as if it were soooo obvious. "But you might have to hang out with the boys for a little bit."

This time, it was my turn to sigh. Here's a secret: I am head over heels in lust with Sirius Black. I mean, which teenage girl isn't? He's got this total roughish bad-boy thing going on that I really can't resist.

"Alright," I said, despite my reservations. The things I do to not be alone. Geesh.

10am

Well, here goes nothing.

5:15pm

Well today was exhausting! I don't think I've ever traipsed around Hogsmeade the way those boys did. First Zonko's, then Honeyduke's, then the stupid Quidditch store, then The Three Broomsticks, then messing around in front of the Shrieking Shack…and of course, Lily and James excused themselves and hour in to spend some time alone. Honestly, the things I do for friends.

"How did you get bribed into hanging out with us today?" Remus asked, sitting next to me in the booth at the Three Broomsticks, glancing over at where James and Lily sat alone, laughing at some joke we couldn't hear all the way across the room.

"Ha! I wish I was bribed, because then I'd be getting something for this," I exclaimed. "But John ditched me for Lisa, Emme ditched me for homework, and Lily didn't tell me I'd be alone with a bunch of crazy guys."

"You know you love it," interjected Sirius, with the trademark grin that made me go weak in the knees. Curses! I couldn't help but shyly smile back. I think Remus noticed.

Okay, so yes, I am undeniably attracted to Sirius Black. But please, Nora, don't take this as a sign that I want to date him, because that would be a nightmare. Sirius is a player, everyone knows it, and we would just be completely incompatible. He's a trouble-maker, a slacker, an impulsive Gryffindor…so not my type. Though, come to think of it, I don't really have a type.

I guess the whole day was kind of find, even if it was exhausting and not quite what I expected. I feel like I got to know Remus a bit better, which is a good thing in itself, as we are now patrol partners. I still don't understand, though, why Susan and Paul had to mix things up, aka, why John and I don't patrol together much anymore. Why is the universe conspiring against me and my best friends?

Oh well. I have homework to do. Check in later.

11pm

Out on rounds with Remus-not much going on, so I decided to write. I don't really like patrol, to tell the truth. Why should I bust kids in broom closets when I sure wouldn't mind being in one myself? This isn't to say I've ever gotten frisky in one, because I haven't (because it is kind of tacky), but I still feel a sort of hypocrite. But that's a whole separate story within itself (insert dramatic sigh here)

What on earth are you doing writing in that journal again? -RL

Well, Remus seems to have managed some sort of charm that lets him write in here without a quill or any type of writing utensil. Tricky bastard.

I saw that.

Yes, well, serves you right, then.

We're supposed to be patrolling.

You're one to talk, Mister My-Best-Friends-are-James-and-Sirius, aka trouble-makering extraordinaires.

You have a point, but how are you paying attention to the corridors and writing in here at the same time? If anyone found out, you could be stripped of your badge.

As long as you won't tell, I think we're good.

What if I do?

You won't.

Oh?

You're a nice guy, Remus. Plus, I'm pretty sure you've used your prefect status to help your friends pull off pranks. It would be out of character.

You seem to know me far too well, and yet, I don't really know you.

I'd lose all my mystery then, wouldn't I?

midnight

Remus was about to say something…but then an odd noise came from the corridor to our left and we had to go check it out. So I keep my mystery!

-RJB