@Clev, I looked back to the old POV’s and go to page 30, that’s about where we are at. Look at Sigmund’s Pov and his interaction with Kane (on November 8th). It all fits perfectly. Also, it gives you room to explain what Brad does instead of going to the SBG meeting (on the 7th).
Patches of sunlight dappled the dormitory, an empty dormitory at that.
“Those Jerks,” I thought. The curtains had been pulled open, something I’ve told them not to do thousands of times.
I perched myself upright and rubbed my eyes, adjusting to the various hues of the day. The cardinal red and gold strung across the room, yet every day their vibrancy seems to fade away. I guess it’s just what comes with age. Each bed was made tidy and neat, a nice welcome after a rigorous day of classes. Waking up was no longer the pleasure it once was, even if my dreams were better than reality.
My stomach growled its contents so empty because I skipped dinner yesterday. After tidying up, I made my way down to the dining hall. I hated Mondays.
The dining hall was a cacophony of chatter. The Gryffindor table was particularly crowded, but then again, I often didn’t arrive this late. Per usual, no one acknowledged my presence. Invested in their own lives and the gossip of the school, I was invisible to them.
I found Sigmund and Tim brimming with raucous laughter. So much so, that Tim was holding onto his chest, his face bright red and his drink spew out from his nostrils - the friends I live with.
“Jeez Tim,” I exclaimed, plopping down between the two of them. Across from them, Nolan was grinning from ear to ear while staring down at his food. Tim threw his napkin over his mess, wiped his nose with his sleeve, and proceeded to pat me on the back. The very touch sent chills down my spine.
“Chad, it’s about bloody time you decided to show up,” Tim teased softly.
“Slept in,” I said with a controlled smile.
“Chad, you missed it. Nolan told us another hilarious Mr. Hardaway story.” Sigmund interjected, his voice burgeoning with excitement.
I let out a soft chuckle. Mr. Hardaway was a substitute teacher, who must have been 90 or so years no doubt, he had the strangest ways of teaching. One time, during a test, two students were talking and as punishment, Hardaway told them to slap each other and if he didn’t deem it hard enough, he’d slap them himself. The students didn’t believe the old teacher could hit them that hard so they let him to it. Both of them were left with a red mark on their face for a week. That was one of the funniest days of my life.
“Bummer I missed it. You can tell me later though. I’m starving and still need to finish up my homework for the second hour today. Man, I hate Mondays.”
“I hear we have a potion project we’re starting on this week,” Sigmund said sparingly.
“I’m not surprised. Slughorn awfully enjoys our dissatisfaction it seems. ” I muttered.
“I just hope I’ll get a good grade on it this time,” Tim said soberly.
My friends carried the conversation to where I had no input. Too often this would happen, and I know they didn’t do it on purpose, but I felt as though I was all alone amongst my friends.
I continued to eat my food in silence. Always hearing but not really listening to their conversations.
Eventually, breakfast ended and everyone scurried to their classes for the morning.
* * * * * * * * * *
I ambled down the hallway whistling quietly as I went. An accumulation high-pitched voices and tiny bodies shuffled passed me like a herd of mice. A small Slytherin student rammed into my chest, yet before I could say a word she kept scurrying down the hallway.
Opposite from me down the hall, Tim, Sigmund, and Slytherin Captain Zebulon Dorado chatted earnestly as they entered potions class. Linda and Ericka filed in behind them. Not one of them even saw me. Not one.
Recently I had seen the three of them hanging out together more and more often. Zebulon and I have never really been friends. Back when Rhett and I hung out, Zeb always had an ego and was always with the Quidditch players. Slytherin Quidditch players. He was part of a duo with Duncan that everyone called the green monster. His quidditch skills alone attracted scouts from various league to come to their games and Duncan’s ruthless play made them a feared force for Chasers. I think Sigmund is even nervous to play them. Popular forces attract I guess.
The temperature drop was noticeable upon entering the doorway. The cavernous classroom room was dank and gloomy. Pickled animals floated in jars; something that would leave a younger me with wonder curiosity was now nothing more than lackluster accessories in an already depressing room. Professor Slughorn motioned us to remain standing near the Potion tables. I dropped my school bag next to my desk and proceeded to stand next to the huddling mass of classmates.
Professor Slughorn glanced at his watch and shook his head, “Pardon for asking, but has anyone seen Asher Davis?”
Piper Meadows, a short Gryffindor girl, stepped forward, “He’s um...sick Professor.”
Slughorn raised an eyebrow, “Sick? What is that the fifteenth time this Quarter? Oh well, he’ll have to take that up with McGonagall.”
The other students broke off into giggles until Professor started talking again,
“Alright, class today we will be a group project in making the draught of the living dead. In years past since I’ve come back to Hogwarts, only three students were able to brew it correctly. One of whom was Potter himself. Taking this into consideration, I’ve decided to do it as a group project these last couple of years. All of you will be assigned a partner, and you will have today to work on your potion. Consider it a rough draft. Tomorrow I will be accessing it for real. You are all very capable students, otherwise, you wouldn’t be standing here today. This is one of the hardest potions you will make all year. But I believe in you.”
After Slughorn’s pitiful inspiration, he began to assign partners. I studied the faces of the individuals being called, each one different with each partner picked.
“Tim and Zeb, Sigmund and Kane, Linda and Ericka....”
I began to wonder who my partner would be. Out of the corner of my vision, Rhett was leaning up against the wall; his arms crossed in an assertive manner. Even though we had the same classes, I can’t recall saying a word to him the whole year.
“Chad and Rhett, and Beau and Carter. Alrighty now, grab your textbooks and go to a table. The ingredients are all out there for you. Remember, this is just a rough draft. No need to be stressed.”
I looked over at Rhett, his lips pursed and his eyes turned to slits. His body language was stubborn, and he didn’t even look at me. What must he be thinking?
“Alright Chad, let’s go,” He said monotonically, his voice voided of all emotion. I didn’t know why, but I felt guilty. Rhett was always good at making it seem like it was your fault. He had new friends now, like Piper and Asher, but still seemed salty whenever I was by him. Those old wounds never healed I guess.
I whipped out my book and set in down open-faced on the table and pulled it open to Draught of the Living Dead.
“Dang this looks hard,” I remarked, hoping Rhett would take the invitation to chime in.
“That’s what he said. You don’t need to fake anything either Chad. Brad told me what you said to him the other day. Let’s just treat this as business and then you won’t have to talk to me.”
His words were blunt and they didn’t fail to miss their mark. I felt my heart pounding in my chest. His insouciance was startling, to say the least. I wanted to say something, but the words couldn’t escape my mouth.
“Ok,” was all I was able to mumble.
We worked quietly, without much success, and our concoction reeked like garlic breath in an overcrowded bus. I stood there engulfed in my own thoughts. I didn’t even think Brad and Rhett still talked anymore. Why would Brad bring it up to him? They’re talking behind my back?
The pain hit me like my arm was on fire. I dropped to the ground reeling and yelling, hoping the agony would end, but with each passing second, it got worse. The pain was like dipping my arm into burning hot tar, while rats tore and gnawed at my flesh. I couldn’t see anything, and overwhelming dizziness came over me.
Professor Slughorn shouted something, garbled and inaudible. A cool liquid coated my arm, and just when the pain was at its worse, it vanished to a dull throb. The pain had taken a toll on me. Whatever it was, had me under its spell, until eventually I was greeted by my oldest friend; darkness.
SORRY FOR THE LARGE FONT! DIDN'T MEAN TO DO THAT!