Author's Notes: Written for the "Hardest Challenge Ever Mwhahahahah" Challenge on the HPFC forum. The general idea was to write a one-shot in which you did not reveal the identity of the speaker. And… it was harder than I expected.
Brigitte is an OC, I own nothing else. Please leave your best guess as to who the narrator is in a comment. Enjoy.
I kept my eyes down, watching my feet.
Just hurry past, don't look at them and they won't look at you, just hurry past, don't look at them and they won't look at you–
"Well, look who decided to risk another day!" someone said, and snatched my glasses off my face. I yelped and jerked my head up. The group of girls – mostly Slytherin girls – who lounged about the entrance to the Great Hall – laughed, and the one who had taken my glasses waved them in the air like some sort of trophy.
"Decided to risk another day?" she cackled. I squinted to see her more clearly, and grabbed for them. She tossed them to one of her friends, who put them on her nose, and dropped her head with an exaggerated scowl, doing – I assume – an impression of me.
"Give them back!" I told her, clawing at her face. My attempt to sound brave fell flat, and I heard my words hanging awkwardly in the air.
She hopped back, out of my way, and in doing so tripped and stumbled backwards into the Head Boy, who had been strolling over in our direction. He caught her and set her on her feet, a little smile playing on his face.
"All right, girls, don't tease the unfortunate," he said. The girl who had my glasses gave them back immediately. I glanced at the Head Boy, cheeks burning.
"Thanks," I muttered, face, I knew, bright red.
"Any time," he said offhandedly. "Take care of yourself. Now for the rest of you girls, if you keep hanging around here, I'm going to have to report you."
It was stunning how he managed to say all that without for a second losing his easy smile and pure confidence.
The girls who had been teasing me dispersed, and I hurried over to relative safety of the table before they could reconvene and start torturing me again.
I don't know why I bother going on. I should just give up and leave school. I'm never going to be pretty, I'm never going to be smart, and no one is ever going to like me.
"Ignore them," said Brigitte, probably the only person at Hogwarts that I can call something like a friend. "They just need their early-morning meanness fix."
I made a general noise of assent, and reached for a pitcher of pumpkin juice.
"I saw you talking to–" Brigitte began, but I cut her off before she could get any further.
"He was just telling them to lay off me."
"But that means he knows you exist! Surely that's a good thing–"
"Not if he only knows that I'm the girl who gets her glasses stolen," I mumbled, pouring juice into my goblet and spilling some on the table.
"You know, people would like you a lot better if you weren't always moping," Brigitte said, passing me a napkin.
I felt tears prickling my eyes behind my thick glasses, and hurriedly took a gulp of the juice.
"You just have to prove to them that you don't care what they say," continued Brigitte.
"But I do care!"
"They don't have to know that."
I didn't say anything, and sipped my pumpkin juice.
"Well, all right, if that's the way you want to be," she said. "But – not to be mean – if you don't get over yourself now, you never will."
"What does that even mean?"
Brigitte shrugged. "Just that if you never figure out that they aren't worth worry about, you're never going to get anywhere. You're going to be just like this forever."