Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Secret Lightning Scar- Chapter 3 [A Harry Potter FanFic]

September 1st came surprisingly quickly, and it wasn’t long until I found myself on the Hogwarts Express, sitting in a compartment with Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fred, and George, staring out the window at the English countryside the train was weaving through. Fred and George were chatting excitedly about all of the pranks they would pull upon arriving at Hogwarts, while Hermione scolded them. Ron and Harry were talking animatedly about the upcoming quidditch season and the positions that would need to be filled on the quidditch team.

Are the twins planning on playing quidditch this year?” I wondered, hoping that the answer was no. While they were still at Hogwarts, I played as a chaser, and only ever got to play beater when they were out. I didn’t mind playing chaser, but my real love was playing beater. Competing with the twins would be difficult. They were both equally good, meaning either both of them would get the spots, or neither would.

“So are you two going to play quidditch for Gryffindor?” I asked them, pulling myself out of the daze I’d been in.

“Don’t worry, sis,” George said with a smirk that looked surprisingly sad. “We’re not allowed to play. The letter from Hogwarts said that. I’m assuming it’s because we’re far older than everyone else. Or something. So your spot is safe.” I immediately felt bad for asking, because I knew how much they enjoyed playing quidditch.

Just then, the door to our compartment slid open to reveal Malfoy, signature smirk across his face, flanked by Goyle and Zabini, both looking incredibly bored.

“Potter. Granger. Weasley.” Malfoy said as a curt greeting. “Carrie,” he continued with a warmer tone and an actual smile directed at me. Shockingly, he was being abnormally friendly toward everyone else. Normally, all everyone else got was a sneer in their general direction. I was the only one who ever received a warm greeting from him, his affection never failing to be completely obvious.

“What do you want, Malfoy? I’m not interested,” I snapped. He frowned, but my rejection didn’t seem to shake him too much. It shouldn’t have at that point. He’d continually asked me out throughout school. At this point, I was all but convinced that I was a mere challenge for him. He just wanted to win, and he was going to keep going until he did.

“I’m here to extend an olive branch, actually. Although I would still completely love to take you out if you’d give me a chance,” he said, another seemingly sincere smile crossing his face. I was speechless. Draco Malfoy, who had tormented us for years, was standing in front of us, asking for forgiveness. Sort of. It was as close to “I’m sorry” as he was probably going to get.

Unlike me, Hermione seemed to have plenty of words to say. “Oh shove off, Malfoy. You’re only saying that because Voldemort was defeated and now you’re crawling back with your tail between your legs,” she retorted.

Malfoy scowled at her. “And how would you know that, you filthy-” but he stopped himself mid-sentence, and paused before beginning to speak again. “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, much more calmly.

Fred rolled his eyes. “Whatever, Malfoy,” he said. “Just get out. No one wants you here. Not 
after what happened.”

Malfoy frowned- a legitimate frown this time- and simply said, “I tried.”

He looked straight at me for a brief second, but I couldn’t exactly read the emotion in his eyes. Frustration? Sadness? Whatever it was, he was upset- but not angry. He then turned around and walked down the train’s corridor, Goyle and Zabini following.

“That was pathetic,” Ron said with a chuckle. I frowned, still confused by what had just happened.

“Did no one else think that seemed surprisingly genuine for once?” I asked. It was Hermione’s turn to roll her eyes.

“He’s just trying to get your sympathy. He realizes he was on the losing side and then has to return to school with everyone hating him. He’s the same Malfoy we know and hate,” she said. But I wasn’t so convinced.

“Hermione, he stopped himself from calling you a mudblood. When has he ever done that in the past?” I said.

“Don’t tell me you’re actually falling for this. He’s just trying to save face. Anything that’s pro-Voldemort isn’t at all OK right now,” Fred said.

“I just think he’s acting incredibly odd, that’s all,” I said. Harry, who was directly across from me, gave me a very quizzical look, as if wanting to know what was going on in my mind, and I knew he’d question me about it later when the others weren't around.

I went back to staring out the window, this time wondering what had just happened, and where the real Malfoy had gone. We arrived at Hogwarts soon enough and I soon found myself seated in one of the carriages, being pulled closer and closer to my one true home. Everyone continued chatting except for Harry and I, who simply sat and attempted to catch glances of Hogwarts through the trees. When we finally got through the woods, my heart leapt with joy at the sight of Hogwarts spread out before me. I glanced over at Harry and we shared a joyous grin, knowing we were home.

Once we reached the front gates, we all hopped off the carriage and hurried to grab our luggage and haul it toward the doors of the castle. I was impressed by all the repairs that had been done in the last couple months since Voldemort’s defeat. Last time I’d been here, huge chunks of the building were strewn all over, but now the castle looked as if it had never been touched. As we walked across the courtyard, we ran into Neville, Dean, and Seamus, who were catching up on each other’s summers. We said a brief greeting to them as we continued toward the entrance hall. Once there, we dropped off our luggage and made our way through the huge doors of the Great Hall to the Gryffindor table. We took our seats and waited for the sorting ceremony to begin. The ceiling above us reflected the gorgeous sunset that could just be seen through the windows, making my return home feel all the more perfect.

The first years filed through and were sorted into their houses fairly quickly. I noticed that there was a relatively low number of Slytherins this year, and couldn’t help but wonder if that wasn’t a coincidence.

I was starving, and by the way Ron was squirming, I could tell he was famished as well, but we had one more thing standing in the way of our feast- McGonagall. Once all of the first years had been sorted, she stood and walked up to her podium.

“Welcome to another year at Hogwarts- a very unique and unprecedented year, if I do say so myself,” she said. “I’m sure you’re all at least a little confused about how this year is going to work, so I’ll briefly explain before continuing on with my other announcements. I and the Ministry of Magic have decided that the education received last year at Hogwarts was not up to par due to Lord Voldemort’s control over this school. Because of this, students will be completing the year they should have completed last term. This means that we have a doubly large class of first years. Students may, if they desire, take examinations to prove proficiency in their current year and move forward a year. We understand that this is inconvenient, but we have been left with no other choice after last year’s fiasco.”

McGonagall paused for a moment, to let her words settle, and then continued on to her announcements. “I would like to remind everyone that the Forbidden Forrest is, in fact, forbidden. I would also like to remind everyone to look at the list of banned items that they should have received, and to make sure you are not in possession of any of these items, especially those from Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes.” McGonagall paused once again to peer over her glasses at the Weasley twins, who both scowled back at her. “I would also like to introduce our new professor, Professor Hughes, who will be teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts.” McGonagall gestured toward a pretty blonde woman seated beside Professor Sprout who appeared to be in her mid-thirties.

“Now,” McGonagall said with a smile, “let the feast begin!” As soon as the food appeared in front of us, Ron, Harry, and I were grabbing at it.

We sat there for several hours, shoveling food into our mouths, sharing summer stories, and enjoying being back at Hogwarts. After we’d sufficiently stuffed ourselves with enough food for the next month, we retrieved our luggage and hauled it upstairs to Gryffindor tower.

Hermione turned in quite early, preparing for the first day of classes by getting as much sleep as possible. Several of us hung out in the common room until only Ron, Harry, and I were left. It was nearly 1 in the morning before Ron finally left, yawning profusely.

Not two seconds after we heard the boys’ dormitory door shut, Harry turned and looked at me. “Spill the beans,” he said. At first I was completely confused.

“About what?” I asked.

“Malfoy,” he reminded me.

“Oh! Right! I dunno, I just thought he seemed like he genuinely wanted to make peace with us,” I said. “He was relatively friendly, and didn’t insult any of us the entire time he was there.”

“This might surprise you, but I actually agree,” Harry replied.

“You do?” I asked, taken aback.

“Yeah. He was certainly acting odd if nothing else,” he said.

“So you think he actually regrets the side he chose?” I asked. Harry shrugged.

“I don't think he really chose. He had it pushed upon him. His father messed up, and Voldemort forced him to step up in his place,” Harry said. “He only chose the side he did because he would have been killed otherwise.”

“I’m not so sure about that. Malfoy is still definitely of the pure-blood mindset,” I replied, still skeptical. Harry vehemently shook his head.

“You should have seen him the night Dumbledore died. Dumbledore offered him protection from Voldemort and told him he had options. Malfoy was lowering his wand. He didn’t want to do it. He may be a stuck-up git, but I’m not sure I’d ever define him as evil,” Harry said. I let the words sink in. Maybe Harry was right. Maybe Malfoy wasn’t quite as sinister as he seemed.

“I guess only time will tell,” I said. “Maybe he’ll leave us alone now.”

“Maybe. But right now, we should probably get to sleep. We have class early in the morning,” Harry said.

We said goodnight and headed up to our dorms. I curled up into bed, excited to start the new term in the morning, thoughts of classes, food, and Malfoy’s oddities filling my head. This was already turning out to be an interesting term.

I hope y'all enjoyed chapter 3 of The Secret Lightning Scar! Chapter 4 is coming on Saturday, March 1st! Sorry this one was a bit short. The next one will make up for it, I promise!

Hope y'all are excited for the next section, because I'm excited for y'all to read it! See you back here soon!

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