For the first time in my life, I rather wish I was taking N.E.W.T.-level Potions. Not that taking the regular seventh-year potions course isn't absolutely fascinating; I simply can hardly imagine the sort of thing Flamel must be teaching at the N.E.W.T. level. Both Sirius and James are taking that class; Sirius assures me that I'm probably not missing anything, but James still seems convinced that Flamel will get around to teaching them to make the Elixir of Life, and Peter seems quite supportive of this campaign. Personally, I really don't think I'd like to cope with my life forever.
I really think I should mention the whole Azoth fiasco -- though I suppose "tragedy" might be a better wording -- but really, the whole thing's been talked into the ground, and at this point I think I can only say that I'm very glad none of the students sustained lasting damage.
Something else has come out of it too. Minda, strangely enough, has a penchant for reciting Oberon's lines from Midsummer in her sleep, and quite a few of the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff fifth years were beginning to giggle over this when Sirius stepped in and saved her from potential embarassment by an impromptu preformance of Puck's opening scene. I feel rather bad for Hugh, who accidentally ended up reciting Titania.
The upside of all this, of course, is that a number of the suddenly rivited audience members are also in the Defense study group, and I have been asking them for weeks now if they would like to play the Mechanicals; this preformance convinced them, and we now have players for ever Mechanical, including Flute. Davey Gudgeon has impressed me.
The more frightening result, of course, is that now anyone in the school who may not have known about the play now knows, beyond any doubt. Because of this, I'd really appreciate it if we practice not only Tuesdays and Fridays after Defense study group, but on Saturday afternoons as well. I really do want this to go well.
I'm really getting to love this play. Remus dragged along a great lot of his study group last night -- he said there were a disappointing number of Slytherins in attendance, but I didn't see anything disappointing about it -- and I guess some of them brought their friends, because some of my Hufflepuff fan club turned up too. When Hugh saw them he grabbed my arm to keep me from running away, though he looked like he wanted to run away with me and never see the giggly girls again.
Anyway, some of them started giggling at Remus too as he was asking them what parts they might want (why do some girls giggle so much?) and now it looks like a great lot of them are set up to be fairies, the study group and the fanclub as well. I'm feeling safe in the knowledge that none of those girls yet realize they won't be seeing much of their Puck, as they're with Titania most of the time -- sorry, Jenyae -- and I'm with Oberon. I think Minda's relieved by this too.
Also, some of the fifth years who've read Midsummer seem to think Remus would make a good Duke Theseus. (Help, I don't know if I spelled that right, and I know Remus will probably look very disapproving if he discovered I was spelling some of his beloved Shakespeare wrong. Anyway.) So he sort of hemmed and hawed about it, so then this really pretty fifth year, Ravenclaw, I think, this girl with really huge blue eyes and curly black hair, came up to me and asked me quiveringly if I could please convince Remus to play the Duke. I think she was trying to convince me with those great blue eyes of hers, and at a guess I'd say it's probably worked for her before, but I just shrugged and said, sure, I'd talk to him about it. So after rehersal I did mention it to Remus, and he smiled and said, "You mean Eleanor Wimbley? Yes, she wants to play Hippolyta." And then he threatened to tie me up in the bedsheets if I teased him about it, so I didn't say a word.
Anyway, in other news, this weekend's Hogsmeade. James and I were all set on restocking the Zonko's supplies, but it turns out it's Minda's birthday on Monday, and Remus was planning to go off alone with a bunch of fifth years to celebrate and do who-knows-what else, so we've got no choice but to accompany him. And besides, Minda, whether she likes it or not, is sort of my adopted sister, so I can't let her spend her sixteenth birthday all alone, can I?
|Subject:||And all is well|
I guess I'm not too surprised everyone reacted so strongly when me and James and Peter and Hugh all went off after Mittelman, but I'd think by now they'd realize that this is the sort of thing we do for friends. I'm really not good at self-analyzing, but I think standing up for my friends all the time, even when they'd rather I'd not, is sort of my way of thanking them for not being a bunch of stupid horrible elitist pricks like my family and most of the people I knew as a kid. If that makes any sense.
I do think I may be getting better at explaining myself, though, like Remus has been at me to work on for years -- I managed to tell Minda I wasn't sorry at all and still have her forgive me. Because I think I justified myself well enough. Not that I really think what we did needs justification, but there it is.
Anyway, I managed to do it well enough that Minda ran at me and Hugh this morning when we were leaving the Great Hall after breakfast, and hugged us with a sort of frightening amount of enthusiasm. And I got wind that she was practicing Oberon's bit around lunch, so I went and joined her to see if she could manage to drill some of Puck's lines into my head. Minda took a little while to get from grateful Ravenclaw to sarcastic King of Shadows, but she managed really well and also somehow convinced me to run through the Oberon-Titania scene with her, with involved a lot of poetic nonsense. I don't think I'll ever live it down, but at least she stopped short of threatening to make me do a high-pitched girly voice for Titania. Then again, it probably would have just annoyed her, so never mind.
Also, Chayaez, your Mouse has snuck back into the Gryffindor common room and is trying to drill holes into my trouser-leg with her claws. Evil bugger. Maybe if I barked at the cat it'd go away. If not, I'll try to find some helpful Ravenclaw to take Mouse back to you.
|Subject:||Oh God ...|
Really, this school is full of so much drama it's a wonder we're even considering the idea of livening it up with a Shakespeare play.
We didn't have a boggart for Friday's study session, which seemed to elicit mixed reactions of disappointment and relief; Professor Flitwick was especially worried, because it seems the boggart had vanished just before he was going to fetch it for the study group.
All I'm really saying is, you four had better know exactly what you're doing with a boggart on your hands.
I really don't know what they're planning or doing; it's not particularly my business if they choose to do foolish things, and quite honestly if I had my way, school and teenage honor wouldn't dictate that feuds be settled without the aid of someone in authority who actually knows what they're doing ... I cannot stress how glad I am that I am not Head Boy. I would go mad with overreaching the limits of the responsibility. James, I do believe you have the opposite problem.
Aren't weekends supposed to be less stressful than this?
This is a quick apology more than anything else. I really do choose very inopportune moments to become ill; fate seems to have decreed I only fall sick on Tuesdays and Fridays. However, I am feeling much better, and can safely say that Friday is on, both for study group and the play.
We will be doing boggarts, I think. I asked around, and Flitwick says there's one in the back cupboard of his office; he offered to find a free professor to supervise us, just so things don't get out of hand and the boggart doesn't wander off about the castle. I'm fairly sure we'll be able to handle it just fine, but of course extra precautions are always welcome.
Also, in what I suppose was an effort to help me get over my bout of illness, Sirius took the oppertunity to fairly blast me with the Muggle music he got over Christmas -- the Beatles or something. The song Sirius chose to blast at me consisted of someone proclaiming that it was getting better all the time, which I suppose was in the spirit of things, though Sirius must not have listened very closely to the words.
Really, bugger this. I hate missing classes.
|Subject:||Trying day ...|
Oy. Glad today's over with.
Professor McGonagall yelled at me; my rat exploded (I'm glad Pete's not in my transfiguration class any more -- he really likes rats and I think he'd be paranoid of me for weeks if he'd seen it), and when my rat exploded McGonagall did too, a bit less literally. She hasn't flown off the handle at me like that since fourth year, so I sort of hung around after class and asked her what in bloody hell she'd been on about. She said she'd thank me for not swearing so much, and that really I should start thinking about what I did, because she'd heard about what James and I got up to over the hols and she was really displeased, and she said sometimes she really worried about me, so I was supposed to take care of myself, and by then she wasn't yelling and she gave me this sort of shaky smile and half-ran out of the classroom. I don't know what to make of all that, but it made me late for Defense.
Then Remus wasn't in Defense class, which is really weird for him. I was a bit worried and then I realized he'd been feeling a bit off-color ever since breakfast. So after class I checked the infirmary, and sure enough Remus was there. I offered to bring him up some dinner, but apparently he was feeling bad because of something funny he ate at breakfast -- though he doesn't blame the house-elves -- and so Madam Pomfrey was taking care of his dinner. Of course, right then he panicked because he realized it was Tuesday and he was supposed to be down in the library with his fifth year study group, so I had to calm him down and then rush off to the library to tell everyone Remus wasn't coming.
I was actually a bit surprised about how concerned everyone was; I mean, I know what a great bloke Remus is, but some of the Slytherins were looking a bit worried. Anyway, I told them Remus had gotten a bit of a stomach bug but that he said he expected they could carry on well enough on their own; they laughed a bit at that, but before I could leave to get myself some dinner, Minda dragged me over to her table to help her argue her case with another Ravenclaw girl about exactly where Grindylows were from. And I love debate enough -- it's horribly fun to argue with someone when you've got Minda on your side -- that I stayed in the library, and the next thing I knew I was explaining vampires to a bunch of Slytherins. It was only afterwards I realized they were Slytherins and everything was still really civilized, but by that time it was really dark out and I was halfway back to the common room.
I've gone over my lines for Midsummer again ... I didn't realize Puck had so many lines. Anyway, I'm still trying to work out if I can manage to give myself pointed ears for the preformances. Maybe I can rope Minda into helping me with that problem too; after all, she's Oberon and she'll be wanting the ears as much as I am, if she has any sense.
And I've still got all my homework to do. I know I'm not getting a wink of sleep tonight.
Well, for a first rehersal, I think things went rather well. Of course, I use the word 'rehersal' in the loosest of terms.
As far as I can tell, Minda's Oberon and Sirius's Puck shall be one of the best things about this production; the way I've always read Dream, Puck takes his greatest delight from taunting everyone, up to and including Oberon, and Oberon is happiest when ordering Puck around. As this isn't too far from the reality of the situation, as far as our actors go, I think this should come off well.
At this point, I'm completely sure the costume trunk is from Dumbledore -- it even came with an enchanted donkey's head for Hugh to wear. I shall, however, be guarding it closely, and check it for any number of hexes before every time Hugh wears it; as much as I trust my friends, there are some things even they cannot resist, and enchanted donkey heads are most likely one of them. Yes, I'm talking to you two, James and Sirius. And no, that was not actually permission to tamper with it; you'll only be creating more work for me.
I really do think all I shall be doing for this production is being a stage manager, and probably directing unless someone else volunteers. I might fancy a small part as well, perhaps one of the Players with Bottom; Peter Quince would be my personal choice, if no one else takes his role, and I really do refuse absolutely to be Flute, because the poor boy must dress in drag and I will not do it.
Classes start tomorrow; as we're not really planning to preform this until just after the Easter hols, we really don't have to have regular rehersals yet, but does next Friday evening at about 7 work for everyone?
Well now, everyone's back at school, and just in time for James and I to catch the end of lunch, too.
According to a rather hurried rant from Peter and a slightly more coherent one from Remus, James and I missed out on a lot of fun while we were away. (Remus is reading over my shoulder; he just punched my shoulder and told me that I was an idiot and "fun" isn't the word for it at all.) I'd have liked to take a good look at all the curses on that old cell wall, and seen if I could have broken some of them, but according to Hugh Dumbledore's taken them off for good, so it's a no go there.
I guess I had my share of exciting things over holidays, too. James and I only meant to enchant a snowman or two to chase after the wizard kids around where James lives, but somehow we ended up on my motorbike in London, and there were all these angels in the shop windows so really we couldn't do anything other than enchant them, and then when the Muggles started getting suspicious we went down this residential road that I realized was horribly familiar, and I never want to go back to Grimmauld Place, but James had the brilliant idea that we didn't have to go inside, we could just up the Christmas spirit a bit on Number 12.
We did get in a bit of trouble over it, because the Muggles took more notice than they usually do. But when Mr. Potter heard about what we'd done to the Not-So-Noble and Bloody Ancient House of Black, he started coughing in his tea and Mrs. Potter tried to look really disapproving while trying not to smile, so she got a really funny look on her face. So we didn't get in as much trouble as we might have.
Anyway, now that I'm back at school, I propose that we start scouting around for kids to kidnap and bring to the Room of Requirement, so we can require a bunch of Dream scripts and get our play started. Dumbledore approves, and if no one minds making a bit of a fool of himself, we can all preform it right after the Easter hols or something. Anyone with me?
That was certainly quite a way to begin the weekend.
Poor Minda was trapped in that old cell for almost a day; everyone was very good about not panicking about it, but now that I think back on it I start shaking a bit. Leftover nerves, I think. I'm also terribly good at empathizing with people -- a good part of the reason I can never stay long annoyed with my friends, I think -- and so I keep imagining being locked up in that tiny space, and knowing that really only I can get myself out. Just imagine if some scared little first year found themself locked in there!
I know this is a terribly historical castle, and all the rooms should be preserved, but I really do think someone should find a way to get rid of this one. Not that there will be banshees or any of the other creatures running around Hogwarts, but I do think that a wall enchanted against them is something of a hazard. There are perfectly nice vampires in the world; it's not very polite to cover them with roses and garlic just because they've touched the wrong wall.
Then again, this is rather a touchy subject for me. Silly Remus and his defence of underrepresented creatures.
Anyway, Sirius and James are coming back on the train tomorrow, and they'll probably want to hear the whole story at great length. And they're not to tease Minda about this, or I'll have quite a few things to say to them. Half of me is very relieved they weren't here, but then again, they can be very creative, so it may have taken less time to get Minda out.
Whatever the case, I'm very glad the whole thing is over with.
I've seen this floating around, and while I'm not really in the habit of filling this sort of thing out, I felt it rather appropriate. So I present a number of answers to questions that sum up this year.
( All of it nicely folded away and not taking up too much spaceCollapse )
Well. A merry new year to you all.
I wonder what Sirius and James have been doing with their holiday at James'? Evidently James' family has no computer, or we should probably be hearing updates on the number of children they've terrorized with enchanted snowballs.
I really do love Christmas. The number of presents at the foot of my bed this morning truly was a bit astounding; presents from almost all the Gryffindors in my year, presents from a surprising number of other upperclassmen in all houses, presents from most of my study group, and presents from my family. I'm really feeling very loved today, and very full, too; quite a few of the kids in my study group sent Honeydukes candy, probably because they wanted to get me something but didn't have the time to put a great amount of thought into it; I don't blame them for it at all, as I've seen firsthand the amount of holiday work they have to contend with.
My favorite gift was a very beautiful leather-bound illustrated edition of The Lord of the Rings from my father; this favorite gift is closely followed by a second, namely a very small costume trunk with some sort of space-saving charm, so that very large amounts of costumes and stage makeup can fit inside. This particular peculiar gift came with only the note "For the cast of A Midsummer Night's Dream" in vaguely familiar handwriting, and no signature. So, was it one of you, or has Dumbledore somehow gotten wind of our little plot?
I shall be off to find Minda now; I do believe we've got some snowmen to enchant, and the grounds are quite beautiful and absolutely covered in snow now that the storm's passed. I do hope Dumbledore will have arranged for only one table at the feast tonight; if there's one thing I really do dislike about Hogwarts, it's the house segregation virtually everywhere, and I really should like to sit with Minda and Hugh and any of the others who are here at the feast tonight, as well as with Peter.
Now, where has my scarf gotten to?
Packing up and off to James' tomorrow on the train. May Remus have fun with his fifth year minions while we are gone, and hopefully Peter won't eat the whole kitchen, either.
The trainride's going to be one hell of a trip, I know. It's still storming like anything. I'm only hoping it'll be lighter down south, so we'll be able to terrorize little wizard kids with snowmen and the like. Don't want to be shut up indoors the whole time; that'd be dead boring, and would probably drive Mr. and Mrs. Potter insane.
I really do think that's about all. Except for, Minda, you're present's in the common room. Red and gold wrapping paper. Can't miss it. Have something for you too, Hugh, but I couldn't manage to find your bloody common room -- does it always move around like that? -- so I'll have Remus deliver yours.
Oh, and Remus gave me my present today. Thanks, Moony.
I really do wish I wasn't so prone to illness. Really, a night of 'flu shouldn't prevent me from taking classes all week. Fortunately Peter is a wonderful boy, and though I have more classes in common with Sirius and James, Peter takes the better notes. Not to say that Sirius and James didn't bring me absurd amounts of homework and candy, because they did. Padfoot even had the cheek to bring his frightfully heavy Complete Works and expect me to be up to doing a reading. I confess I growled at him a bit. He should know by now I get tetchy while ill.
As it is, I'm quite exhausted and my mind isn't working quite properly, but I shall be in the library this afternoon for study session, because I owe it to the kids. I'm sure they're just as hard pressed as I am to get all their course work done in the next week before they go home for the holidays.
Goodness, one week. Shall have to go to the owlery this weekend and see if I can find some owls strong enough, and willing enough, to carry a load of packages to James' house at Christmastime. The owls will certainly have their work cut out for them, as it looks like the weather's shaping up to a proper winter blizzard.
And just when I thought Sirius had left Shakespeare behind him, he ups and starts recruiting people for a January production of Midsummer Night's Dream. To which I have one thing and one thing only to say: I absolutely refuse to be Titania. I shall be anyone else Sirius wishes, though I am not so much a fool as to start listing characters I am willing but not happy to be. As is, our cast so far is short, and I am sure part of Sirius' plot is to play Puck and so discourage his various fans from trying out for the part of a love interest. I applaud this plan, seeing as the entire play is a large mess of romanic comedy.
In slightly less mind-bloggling news, I am not feeling very well. Unless I make a stunning recovery within the next few days, I don't believe I shall be attending Tuesday's study session. Friday's is most certainly still on, as I'm sure I'll be feeling better by then.
Oh, and a word of warning: Sirius's birthday is on the fifteenth. He's all set to Apperate the moment he turns seventeen, so I am attempting to make him read Hogwarts: A History. So far, no luck.
I can feel Christmas. It's in the air, I can smell it everywhere, even down in the potions dungeons and up in the astronomy tower. I really bloody love December.
I'll be spending Christmas with James this year, because it seems the Potters have full-on adopted me. Hardly protesting, though I'm still trying to connect the idea of 'Christmas cheer' and 'not at Hogwarts'. It shall be educational, I guess, though I doubt we can get away with spiking the eggnog.
Pete's going home too, but Remus is staying on with his horde of fifth years. He keeps on telling me I'm making out that they're all his minions or something, which is pretty damn funny. The idea of Moony with minions is a bit scary, too, especially considering the whole lot of them are busy learning curses and countercurses from one of the best.
The whole love potion thing seems to have simmered down, probably because everyone's too busy watching Flitwick decorate the trees in the Great Hall to remember who they're madly in love with this week. Not holding my breath, though; I won't breathe easy until March when Valentine's Day is well over.
Remus probably thinks I'm over being mad about Shakespeare now too, because I haven't made him act out anything for me for a while. Truth is, he's been too busy with a load of papers and fifth years and cats and things to realize that his Complete Works are missing. I've got it in my trunk, and I'm reading Midsummer Night's Dream. Not the most brilliant thing, though really really funny. My only problem is that I don't understand Shakespeare right unless it's read aloud, or if possible preformed. This means reading it dramatically in abandoned classrooms at odd hours, if I want to do it properly. I'd ask for someone to come do it with me, and save me the embarassment, except that I suspect most people who'd volunteer would be my Hufflepuff fanclub, or some really twisted Slytherin. Dunno. Prongs, want to act out this really lovely girl called Helena for me?
I cannot possibly say how relieved I am that the Christmas hols are in less than three weeks now. We can finally stop worrying about these rediculous love potions. According to Hugh, there was even at least one girl after me, which is of course absolutely silly; I can't possibly imagine why they even notice me when I spend most of my time with Sirius and James (and Peter, of course) when both afforementioned boys are so much better at attracting attention than I am, and indeed want it more than I do as well. Sirius seems to be the worst off; he's rather tetchy right now, having discovered that someone tried to tamper with his precious motorcycle. At this rate, it may be impossible to sooth him with food, and I shall be forced to inlist Peter and James to help me tickle and hex him back into proper form.
Aside from this love potions mess, I'm wondering whether any of my study group shall be staying for Christmas, and whether any of them should like to continue O.W.L. preparation. Cynthia Forrest has already requested continued studying sessions, but as her sister Anna has told me in no uncertain terms that studying over the holidays is a particular and very horrible form of blasphemy, it appears that people are of rather mixed opinions. I shall be asking around, though I know at least Hugh can tell me here if he should like holiday studying.
Oh, and it appears I am mildly allergic to Mouse. I never had the opportunity to discover this before, as most animals tend to give me my space. However, Mouse is rather inexhaustibly friendly, and it mystifies me. Cats are such strange creatures.
Today Cedric Tynbridge told me in passing that in seventh year advanced potions, the students are learning the theory of love potions. Cedric assured me that it is theory only, and that Professor Bezoar told them in no uncertain terms that a loss of house points would not be the only consequence in the event that a student attempt to actually make a potion.
Still, as far as I know, this is the first year Hogwarts has allowed for the teaching of even love potion theory. I'm sure all of this has something to do with Headmaster Dumbledore, trust, and moving forward in the spirit of education, but all the same I am rather wary.
Hopefully the worst that will come of this shall be a few unlikely seventh years getting starry-eyed and sorted out within the course of a week.
All the same, for the remainder of the term I believe I shall be procuring my own food directly from the house elves. In this I don't even trust my friends as far as I can throw them (the record being four feet, across the dormitory. James is lighter than he appears, and all the boys were impressed for the rest of the week. No, I don't generally make a habit of throwing people.)
I was walking around today, and as I passed my Hufflepuff fan club, they started giggling like mad. I know better by now than to actually stop and ask them what's up, because they don't have the foggiest idea how to be coherent. Anyway, right after that I ran into Minda Lisle, who apparently is able to have at least vaguely coherent coversations with the Hufflepuff girls. According to Minda, my fan club's new clubhouse is the library, where they're reading all the Shakespeare they can get their hands on. I'm not entirely sure where this came from, but apparently there's rumors going around school that Moony and I are going to be putting on some play or other, as a sort of Christmas treat.
It's not a half bad idea, really. Though I refuse to play a main character opposite one of the giggly Hufflepuff girls. In fact, it'd be so much funnier to just have Remus play all the girls instead, like we first planned.
In slightly less surreal news, I have yet another stalker to add to my tally. There's this little tabby cat, a real darling thing, with huge yellow eyes and a whippy tail. Bloody big ears, too, and she always falls all over herself, and she never mews, she makes this squeaking sound. She's attached herself to me. Every day when I come to the common room to work on some essay or other, she'll be in the chair I want to sit in. And if I move her, she'll squeak and then claw her way onto my shoulder and sit here, and purr really, really loudly. I'm sort of mystified by the whole thing. Cats usually don't like me particularly. Anyway, this cute little bugger is a bit familiar -- Lily, is she yours? I've seen her with you once in a while, though maybe you were just her last project and now she's moved on to me.
Shakespeare is excellent. Really, really excellent. Incredibly Muggle too, of course; boil, boil, cauldrons and things, honestly. It's funny, at any rate. This next one we'll be doing, once I'm finished with my transfigeration essay that's due tomorrow, is 'Hamlet', which Moony says is a good one. Tragically it appears to be, like Macbeth, horribly short on female roles. Pity. Just wait until we get to the romances section. Then Moony will suffer.
Also speaking of this Shakespeare stuff, James, you and Peter should really try it. It's marvelous, and at any rate I know the two of you haven't been completely cut off from Muggle culture, so you must've heard of him.
Know what I'm getting everyone for Christmas. Including Perfect Prefect Minda. No, darling, it won't explode on you. Speaking of girls and explosives, James, have you thought about getting a present for Evans? One that, perhaps, isn't stupid or sappy? I'm sure Remus can help you out with that.
|Subject:||Happily, not all school-related things|
Yesterday's study session went rather better than Tuesday's. For that I have in particular two people to thank; Hugh, for being wonderfully considerate (especially taking into account what Diotima was saying ... really, you'd think she'd learn); and Charles, who brought all of us a number of biscuits. Actually, I suppose in this vein I also have Minda to thank, for telling me of Charles' talent for providing food.
I suppose people noticed that the potions dungeon in general, and one Severus Snape in particular, were
rather more slimy than usual, sorry, rather slimy yesterday. James, I cannot stress this enough. This is not going to impress Miss Evans, and it never will. Flowers, I believe, are generally rather more effective.
I have recently introduced Sirius to the world of Shakespeare, and upon learning that in Shakespeare's time all the actors were men, Padfoot took it into his head to have me act out the various plays as we went along. I have my dignity, but I also have a great and abiding love for Shakespeare's plays, so we decided that as long as Sirius also partake in the acting out of various better scenes, I should be willing to dramatise them. Of course, if there is a girl in the scene, inevitably poor old Moony shall be playing the part (which is rather silly, as Sirius' hair is far longer than mine; he's been growing it out all year). This hasn't proved a problem as of yet, but then, so far we've only done Macbeth. God help me when we leave the tragedies section and move on to the romances.