"One Fine Wire"
"The whole muggle-born thing hanging over your head."
I know we aren't friends. And I know that you have called me way worse things in our time here at Hogwarts together. But I was starting to think that maybe we had moved past such prejudices since we've been writing to one another. I guess I was mistaken. Why does it matter so much to you that I was muggle-born? Especially now that You-Know-Who was destroyed for good at the Triwizard Tournament? I have worked so hard to prove that I'm smart and have superb magical talent. I have the best grades in our year. What else do I have to do to prove to you that blood doesn't matter?
I can't even decide what to say next. Part of me just wants to rant and rave and tell you off for still worrying about the fact that I'm not pure blood. Part of me just wants to throw away all your letters and forget about even writing to you again. But another part of me wants to give you the chance to explain yourself. That's the part that wants to try to be friends with you. That's the side of me that doesn't want to stop writing to you over something as trivial as a misplaced comment. Maybe I'm a little too sensitive to such comments. I'd like to blame you for that. After all, you are the one who has made most of those accusations and called me those awful names. But I really think that it's my own fault. I didn't have to let you get to me all those years, but I did. I'm always worried about not being good enough, not being smart enough. You just gave me another reason to feel that way. And I let you do it. I shouldn't have let it bother me but I can't change that now.
So I'm giving you a chance. A chance to explain yourself. I'm not expecting an apology or anything. You're the last person I would expect to apologize for anything really. But I do want you to explain to me why you still hold muggle-borns in such low esteem. Consider that my condition for writing to you in the future. If you want any more letters, I want that answer.
Now that I've gotten that out of my system, I can answer your other questions. Yes, the Gryffindor common room is pretty similar it sounds. It's a little drafty in the tower but it isn't really that cold. Everything is decorated in reds and golds, as I'm sure you could have imagined. There are some nice comfy chairs throughout, and couches. There is one nice chair near the fireplace that I'm a little partial to. I like to sit there and read with Crookshanks, my cat. I can't remember if I told you his name before. The chair is situated perfectly so that I know no one can read over my shoulder. I hate that. One of my pet peeves, I suppose.
I can't blame you for not wanting to join my organization. I'm finding that precious few people seem to share the same beliefs that I have about Elfish welfare, not even my best friends. It's been really frustrating. I think I might have to wait until I'm out of school to actually do something to make a difference. Maybe that's what I'll do with my life. Perhaps I'll go into Magical Law and try to do something to help them. Or perhaps in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. Or maybe both, who knows? What do you want to do with your life after Hogwarts? Do you have any specific interests?
As for muggle food, I've found that there are a lot of similarities to wizard food. In fact, for the most part, muggle food isn't that different at all. But then you come across things in the wizarding world like pumpkin pasties and chocolate frogs which muggles definitely don't have. My favorite muggle foods are all Italian though. I love pasta of all sorts. A good pesto sauce makes my mouth water. If you're ever somewhere that you can order tortellini with pesto, you should try that. It's one of my favorites. Where are some of the places you've traveled over the years? I've been out of the country on a few occasions. I'm sure you've had the opportunity to see more sights than I have. I'd love to hear about them.
Well, I really only have one more thing I wanted to ask you about. When you ran into me in the Owlery the other day, why didn't you say anything? You told me that things wouldn't really change between us, whether in person or in private, so I suppose I expected you to be angry with me for almost knocking you over. Now that I think about it, you did seem a little angry with the way you shoved that letter at me and then stalked off. But I really had expected you to look down your nose at me and say something about my heritage or something. Are things actually changing between us? Just a little? Because I'm thinking that I might not mind that as much as I thought I would.
That's really all I can think of to say. I really hope you'll answer my first question in your next letter. I've found that I would really hate to have to stop writing to you.
P.S. Thank you for noticing.
She laughed right out loud. She couldn't help it. Sometimes her two best friends drove her mad and other times they were two of the most entertaining people she knew. The impressions of their Divination teacher were priceless and tended to bring tears to her eyes, laughing as hard as she usually did. She usually didn't condone making fun of anyone, but she and the Divination teacher were sort of at odds, to put it nicely.
It was cold out. The sloping yards had been so frost covered earlier that morning that the first years had run about, excited at the first snow. It hadn't actually snowed, to their disappointment, but it would only be a matter of days now. The trio wasn't to be dissuaded from their stroll around the grounds, however, tired of being cooped up in the common room during break. As they made their way down to the edge of the lake, she couldn't help but grin. It seemed they weren't the only ones making the rounds this afternoon.
He sauntered toward them, as he would normally do, his two cronies trailing closely. Her two friends stiffened as if ready to pounce and she had to tell them, with a roll of her eyes, to play things calmly. Sometimes she got tired of having to be the cool-headed one in the group.
His eyes met hers and she immediately suspected that he'd already received her letter, just from the look in his eyes. Rather than the disgust and loathing she normally saw there, he showed her curiosity and something a little playful. She'd only dropped it off in the Owlery this morning but it seemed that inter-castle mail didn't take long to reach its destination. If he hadn't, he would have already been making comments. She took a moment to wonder what sort of response she would receive when he wrote back to her. He smirked and crossed his arms, staring down his nose at her and waiting for her to make the first move. She fought an outright grin at his behavior and settled for something more closely resembling a sneer. Behind her, the boys were restless. She could tell that without having to turn around to see. They each sent scathing comments toward their enemy and rival, who for once didn't even regard them. His gaze was only for her.
They stared each other down for a moment longer, ignoring the boys and their inquiries as to what was going on. Oh a whim, she pulled a hair elastic from her wrist and, without breaking eye contact, pulled her brown mane back from her face. She smirked and crossed her arms, raising an eyebrow in challenge.
He laughed, although he tried at the last minute to turn it into something taunting. She knew what it meant though, and that was all that mattered. He spat something offending toward her friends and turned, leaving them where he found them.
Her friends bothered her to no end the rest of the day, trying to figure out what had really happened back there. She blew them off and told them not to worry about it. Eventually they gave up, figuring it was just their nemesis being his unusual self. Before she knew it the two of them were embroiled in one of their games of wizard's chess, leaving her alone.
But she went to bed that night, understanding the difference in him and smiling for it.
I want you to think back to your childhood. I want you to think about all the holidays you spent with your parents, all the values and morals you learned as you grew up, all the friends you had as a child. Imagine how you spent eleven years, or almost twelve in your case, surrounded by friends and family who all shared your beliefs and values. Now imagine coming to school, to a whole different world almost, to find out that everything you had spent a lifetime learning was considered wrong. Imagine you find yourself in the minority with your beliefs. What do you do? Do you change overnight to fit the mold? I don't think you would, or even could, do that. So you can't help but cling to what you know, right?
I know the muggle-born thing isn't as big a deal as I was raised to believe. I mean, you are living proof that a person can be muggle-born and be a terrific witch. But a childhood of indoctrination doesn't go away overnight. I'm still in some sort of limbo, trying to be what is socially acceptable in this day and age while still making my parents proud of me. It isn't easy. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not looking for pity or anything. But you wanted to know why the muggle-born issue is hard for me to come to terms with. Well, this is why.
I'm getting better with it though. Surely you noticed that the other day down by the lake. I didn't insult your blood once. But I'll be honest, I had to fight the urge. It really isn't anything against you personally. It's habit at this point. I can't promise not to slip up and say something that offends you. And I shouldn't have to. I mean, have you made anyone else you know promise not to call you names? Probably not. Granted, I have history against me here. But what I can promise is to not try to intentionally hurt your feelings. Most of the time, the things I say to you are really just to get a rise out of the weasel and the golden boy. Those are two people I won't pretend to like no matter what you ask of me. But then, I'm not asking you to be buddy-buddy with any of my housemates either. I'm sure that's something we don't even have to argue about.
So I'm not apologizing, as you accurately guessed I wouldn't do in your last letter. But I do hope I've explained things enough for you. I don't want you to stop writing to me. Despite what I thought possible, this has been entertaining as well as enlightening. And I find that I look forward all week to getting mail. I hate that I'm admitting that to you but there you go. Take it for what you will.
As for where I've travelled, I've been to Paris, Vienna, Madrid. I've even been to the States once, thought I don't know what all the fuss is about. There are many other places I'd like to visit in my lifetime. I want to go to Tokyo someday, and I'd love to see the ancient Mayan ruins as well. Which, if I'm able to have the career I want, I should be able to do. I want to be in trade relations. That might come as a surprise to you. I'm sure you'd think I would go into politics or something. But I can't travel as much if I'm in the Ministry. So I would really love to go into the trade business. Now all I have to do it convince father that this is an honorable career. I can't do it without my inheritance so I can't have him disowning me. We'll see how that goes.
I think it's great that you want to go into Magical Law. You really have the brains for it. I think you could make some great strides in that arena. I can tell you are really passionate about House Elf rights. But honestly, I'm a bit surprised at your friends' lack of interest in your project. Do they not support you better than that? I figured your relationship with them was one of equal partnership. I mean, it seems like you are always supporting them in whatever hare-brained scheme they have. Why don't they afford you the same respect? Well, they are a bunch of nitwits. Perhaps that's why. Sometimes I wonder if you should have been put in Ravenclaw instead of Gryffindor. At least there you would have more like-minded people to surround yourself with.
So the holidays are quick approaching. Do you have any plans this year? I haven't decided if I'm going to go home or not. My parents' idea of an entertaining holiday differ from mine so I might stay back at Hogwarts this year. The last Hogsmeade trip is coming up too. Are you going? I know I need to finish up some Christmas shopping. I imagine I'm not the only one. I think I'm asking for a new scarf this year, among other things. It's supposed to be a colder winter this year than last year. How about you? What things are you asking for?
Well, I hope that I've answered your questions sufficiently. I'd really like to keep writing to you. But, if you've found my answers lacking, please feel free to keep all my old letters. I told you that you could before, and I'm not going back on that now.
P.S. It's hard for me not to notice.
The letter was finished and sent to the Owlery. He came into his dorm room, thankful for the warmth. He began to shuck his outer layers, the cloak, the boots, the hat and gloves, tossing everything in or near the chair next to his desk. He would worry about putting everything away later. Right now all he wanted to do was lie in his bed and think about things.
He flopped himself into his bed, stretching out on his back and tucking his folded arms behind his head. This was his favorite place to think. It was quiet, usually, and no one tended to bother him. His roommates had learned over the years that if he was lying in bed, he didn't want to be disturbed. He didn't even have to pull the curtains closed on his bed any more for them to get the idea.
Closing his eyes in frustration, he thought of the letter he had just sent to his pen-pal. He was sure she would find it satisfactory. Between the explanation he gave and his behavior down by the lake, he was sure she wouldn't stop her correspondences with him. Part of him was a little worried still, but he tried to squash that feeling, the feeling that his heart was going to fall out of his stomach and land in the dirt at his feet. That was how he felt any time he thought of what his life would be like now without her letters to look forward to.
He shook his head, trying to throw away those thoughts. Of course she would still write to him. He'd given her no reason not to. He was sure of it. Almost.
He sighed. He had really wanted to ask her to meet him somewhere in Hogsmeade. The last trip before Christmas was moving toward them quickly. He had wanted a repeat of the Halloween trip. But he couldn't bring himself to ask her. He was sure she would shoot the idea down, now knowing who it was that she would be meeting. There were still a few more letters to be written before the trip actually came up, so perhaps he would just comment that he would be in a certain place at a certain time and maybe she would get the hint. If there was one thing he pen-pal got, it was hints.
He was wondering also what to get her for Christmas. He had thrown out the question of what she was wanted in order to get a few ideas. He knew what he had gotten girls in the past, but those were presents gotten for someone who wanted his affection. He had no idea what to get for a girl who used to be his enemy and now was lingering in some sort of limbo between enemy and friend. This wasn't his usual gift-giving situation.
His first thought was to get her some sort of book. Surely there had to still be a few out there that she hadn't read yet. But as soon as he had the thought he banished it. He wanted to get her something a little more personal than that.
He suddenly had an idea that made him grin from ear to ear. He knew exactly what he wanted to get her.
A/N: Thanks for reading guys! I hope you like where this is going. I've had so much fun writing this. I hope it isn't moving too slow for you. It's just that this pairing can't be rushed and still be believable, lol. Thanks in advance for all the wonderful reviews you're going to leave me :D
Also, I now have set up a separate Facebook account for my writing! www . facebook . com/Lucawindmover (minus the spaces). This is a great way to keep informed about updates, brainstorming, ask questions and give feedback. For authors, it's a great way to bounce ideas and keep in touch. I hope you will all friend-request me. It's been a lot of fun using this account to keep up with writing!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. J.K. Rowling is the genius behind Harry Potter and those things related to Harry Potter. I just enjoy tormenting the wonderful characters she has created for us.