Slytherin's Tongue… You have Slytherin's Tongue…
Then why aren't you in there?
'I don't know… It had to be a mistake…'
Perhaps it's because of your fondness for that filthy Muggle girl...
You would've never been good in Slytherin anyways. You're an abomination to what he stood for…
He would've been disgusted!
Theodore shot up from his bed instantly, holding his chest as he was gasping for air. Sweat was trickling down his forehead, and his body felt so hot. He looked around to see the early sun creeping in through the window panes of the boys' dormitory and the other boys fast asleep. He didn't have a watch with him, but he knew that it had to be before seven o'clock.
Deep breath after deep breath, Theodore got out of bed and rummaged through his things looking for something in particular. He fumbled around some more until he pulled out Louise's necklace from underneath his new uniform. It glinted in his face from the sun's reflection as it slowly rotated. He gazed at it some more and placed it back to where he found it before going to prepare for his first day. After he had gotten clean, Theodore quietly put on his uniform and got everything that he needed. The week was looking to be a long one.
He walked down the spiral steps expecting to see nobody, but his presumptions were proven wrong. A couple of older students were sat along the round table in the corner, and a girl that was a little less younger than them was relaxing on a cozy red armchair. Theodore had thought to turn back around to the dorm again, but stopped when he heard somebody calling his name.
"Theodore, over here," the voice whispered. On the sofa near the crackling fire was Hermione already in her uniform with a pile of books on the table in front of her. Looks like he wasn't the only early-bird in his year.
"What are you doing up so early?" the boy asked as he stood next to Hermione by the sofa.
"I wanted to get some reading in before classes start. You know, as a warm up."
"But it's like quarter to seven. Didn't you get any sleep?"
"Of course! After yesterday's banquet, I almost slept in my uniform. By the way, your tie is a little loose."
Theodore fixed his tie and sat next to Hermione who was reading Magical Drafts and Potions, a book that Theodore was familiar with.
"So why are YOU up so early?" Hermione asked while keeping her nose in the book.
"Couldn't really sleep that well."
"Was it the food?"
"Definitely not." Another lie.
"Then what it is?"
"I think the Sorting Hat really made the wrong decision."
Hermione now looked up at him. "Again? I honestly doubt that the Hat would. It was deciding whether I should've went to Ravenclaw or Gryffindor instead."
"The Hat didn't say Ravenclaw out loud before changing its mind, did it?"
"Well…" Hermione said airily as she returned to her book.
"I'm telling you, it's a mistake. I'm sure that something went wrong! The Hat told me that I was like Slytherin himself. It just didn't make sense why I wasn't put inside-"
"Theodore! You need to let it go! The choice has been made, so deal with it! What's been done cannot be undone." Hermione sounded like an annoying parent who constantly scolded any child they came across, regardless if it were their own.
Theodore leaned backwards and huffed like a four year old. Maybe he was acting childish. Maybe the Hat was right, and so was Hermione. Letting things go wasn't him at all, but in this case he had to consider it. The clock in the corner struck seven as Theodore and Hermione heard the other Gryffindors groaning in their dorms. Soon, the common room was washed with dressed students all excited about the first day and what laid ahead for all of them.
The journey to class was entirely different from the Muggle schools at home. Stairs which possessed some form of sentience occasionally moved and disconnected from the given platform within the castle; doors that sometimes refused to open no matter how hard you pull. Theodore wondered how anyone could learn, let alone arrive to class, in this place. It was all too mind-boggling. But he loved it. He usually walked alone to his classes, but would be tagged along with Hermione or Ron and Harry, even though they wouldn't speak that much. Theodore didn't consider them friends yet, but he knew that the right time would come. He was confident like that.
Defence Against The Dark Arts was taught by a feeble man called Professor Quirrell, whose classroom reeked with raw garlic and the smell of a rotting carcass wafting behind him. The Professor's story of warding off vampires after defeating them seemed pretty nonsensical to the students. A frail man like himself didn't look like he had the balls to face a monster like that. As stupid as the Defence lessons were, Quirrell was not as incompetent as he seemed. History of Magic, however, sent Theodore and others into the realm of boredom as the life-sucking dullness of Professor Binns, the only ghost teacher, took a toll on everyone. The first class that Theodore enjoyed, however, was Transfiguration by Professor McGonagall.
"I'll make this clear from here on out. Any silly business, any dangerous, reckless actions that are performed in my classroom will earn you a permanent leave from here. Understood?"
Everybody nodded their heads in a synchronised fashion.
"Good. Now, everyone get out your parchments and quills and be ready to take notes."
Everyone listened and copied McGonagall's words robotically, probably because they thought that there would be a little more to Transfiguration than writing notes. Theodore wrote everything down as quickly as McGonagall could speak while Seamus peeked over as he barely written a sentence.
"Hey, Theo. D'you think you could let me see a bit? She talks a bit too fast," Seamus whispered.
"She hasn't said that much though," Theodore replied quite irritably.
"Just a few words. I'll be quick."
Theodore huffed and said, "Alright, here. Be quick!"
Seamus busily copied Theodore's notes while Theodore impatiently tapped against the shared desk. Seamus was taking a bit too long now. After another minute, he snatched the parchment away from Seamus while the boy spilt some of his ink over Theodore's notes.
"Look at what you did!"
"It's not my fault, you took it back without saying anything!"
"You said you was going to be quick! That wasn't quick at all!" Theodore snapped angrily.
"Well, I'm sorry for being such a slow writer!" The boys carried on butting heads until McGonagall took notice as she turned towards them.
"Finnigan and Riddle, is there a reason as to why you are arguing in my class?"
The boys looked at each other and then to McGonagall. "No," they said in unison.
"Then you both better be quiet!" she snapped before she returned to talking about the fundamentals of Transfiguration.
Theodore used his sleeve to absorb some of the ink, but there had been too much. Half of it covered the parchment, and the other was unreadable because it had been smudged greatly. Near the end of the lesson, the class was then tasked to change a single match to a needle with almost everyone failing miserably. Theodore waited until Seamus finished clearing the singed desk after blowing his match up and then attempted the required objective. With a flick of his wand and a mutter of the spell given, the match shape-shifted into a perfectly thin silver needle. Theodore was proud of himself and so was McGonagall, despite the interruption beforehand.
"Well done, Mr Riddle. It would seem that you're not just a chatterbox in the class."
"Professor, Hermione changed the thing into the thing!" Lavender screamed from the other corner.
McGonagall beamed happily as Hermione stood proudly with the needle in her palm. The two had both gained ten points for Gryffindor to which the other students envied by a very slight margin. The rest of the week had only been more glorious for the two as they seemed to excel in every class, even History of Magic.
On the early Friday morning, Theodore was sitting in the Great Hall eating a stack of maple syrup-drenched pancakes next to Harry and Ron. The three had become quite aquatinted with each other as the two often went to Theodore for help on the classwork. Harry had a bowl of steamy porridge while Ron had finished a plate of toast, eggs and bacon.
"Guess what we have next," Ron said in between the licks of his fingers.
"What?" Harry replied while pouring sugar in his porridge.
"Double Potions. With the Slytherins. And Snape is the teacher."
"The Head of Slytherin House?" Theodore asked.
"Yep. Apparently, he has them all under his wing while he spits on the other Houses. I think that it's unfair how McGonagall treats us all the same, yet Snape has favourites."
"He can't be that bad."
"Bad is an understatement," Ron's twin brothers, Fred and George, said as they walked past.
Theodore finished his last bite of the pancakes and reached for his bag, ready to leave. "Well then it'd be stupid to annoy him. If you don't mind, I'm going to Potions early."
"Oh come on, Theo! You always go to lesson early. Couldn't you just stay around for a little longer?" Ron asked.
"You're always late, Ron. Even you, Harry. If McGonagall can take ten points from you two, imagine what Snape could do!"
"Just live a little! It's okay to untwist your knickers sometimes, you know."
Theodore brought his fingers to the bridge of his nose to ignore Ron's taunt. "Alright, fine. But if we're late, I'm feeding Scabbers to the owls."
Ron looked offended as he held what was a lazy fat rat hidden in his robe. Speaking of an owl, Harry's own, called Hedwig, descended from the ceiling angelically and dropped a letter to her owner's plate.
"Who's it from?"
"It's from Hagrid. He said he wants to talk about my first week." He scribbled a reply on the back of the note as Theodore began to regret his decision of not getting an owl. He could be sending letters to Louise every single day. Then again, he wasn't sure how she would take to an owl appearing by her window with a letter for her. The bell had rung across the hall as the three boys made their way to the dungeons for their first Potions lesson.
The classroom was cold and damp, and would seem revolting to the average person. Theodore didn't mind it though. The shelves were littered with several jars of unidentifiable insects, plants and possibly fecal matter. They took their places on the opposite side of the room against the Slytherins. Theodore sat next to Hermione who was glad to see him as she said she didn't have anyone to talk to that much during the week.
Professor Severus Snape, a pale-faced man with greasy long black hair and matching robes, took the register with the class in complete silence. He brushed through each name without a care until one had intrigued him greatly.
"Harry Potter. The new… celebrity," Snape said sarcastically. Snickers from the Slytherin side of the room emerged, but went unnoticed by Snape. The register was soon finished and the lesson had finally begun.
"Potions… is one of the most complex and intricate arts that you'll find in this castle. No repetition and constant wand-waving will be found here. Only. Your. Mind. You will become capable of brewing desire, titre power and mixing magic itself, if you weren't absolute idiots."
Theodore was puzzled by the sudden disdain. They hadn't even known each other yet he was undermining them already. All that meant to him was that his come up would be all the more greater.
Silence filled the room until Snape snapped at Harry. "Potter! What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?"
Harry looked completely baffled. Hermione's arm shot up but was ignored. "I don't know, sir," Harry replied monotonously.
Snape scoffed a little and said, "Such a shame. And I thought that your knowledge would match up with your fame. Riddle! The answer, if you will."
"Um, the powder mixed with the wormwood should make a sleeping potion that's called… the Draught of Living Death?" Theodore wasn't too sure if he had gotten that right. He didn't want to join Harry as Snape's targets of ridicule. Instead, Snape slightly curled his thin lips and nodded in approval of the boy's answer.
"Let's see if Mr Riddle would not be required to save your behind this time, Potter. If I told you to find a bezoar for me, where would you look?" Snape was enjoying himself too much.
"I don't know, sir," Harry said flatly once again. His neutral expression and emotionless tone masked a brewing hatred for the teacher. Snape seared his eyes into Harry's until he snapped his fingers and pointed at Theodore.
"It's usually found in a goat's stomach, sir."
Theodore started to feel a bit sorry for Harry. He didn't mean to answer correctly to Snape's questions; he was sure that Harry would've done the same if the roles had been reversed. Hermione's arm was still outstretched to the ceiling, eager to answer one question at least.
"Final chance. What is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane."
"I don't know, sir."
Snape's smirk turned into an ugly grin. He looked over Hermione, who practically stood up from her seat, and pointed at Theodore. He didn't want to embarrass Harry any further so he shook his head instead, and left Snape unanswered.
"Such a shame, Mr Riddle. You were quite impressive. As for you, Potter, wolfsbane and monkshood are both the same plant which is also called aconite." Harry looked down and tapped his fingers on the desk. Draco, on the other side, was as smug as ever.
"Gryffindor will have one point taken off for Potter's lack of knowledge." He turned around and sat on his desk with an evil smile along his face.
"Why was he being so mean to Harry," whispered Hermione in Theodore's ear. Theodore shrugged and looked back at Harry, whose eyes glimmered with seething anger.
They both went to writing their notes down, feeling pitiful for the scar-bearing boy. After they had finished, the class had gotten into pairs with each other: Ron with Harry, Neville and Seamus, Theodore and Hermione, and so on and so forth. Lavender and Parvati attempted to try and partner up with Theodore, for more reasons than one, but retreated instantly when Snape hissed at them. For Theodore and Hermione, arguably the two brightest in the class, completing the tasks at hand was so simple that they finished five minutes before everybody else. As for the others…
"Idiot boy!" Snape scolded Neville as he turned his potion into sentient acid that corroded the ground and some people's clothes, including his own. And somehow, Snape still found a way to blame Harry for it.
"Well done to Draco for properly using the correct concoctions needed. Two points for Slytherin! And two points from Gryffindor! You can blame Potter and Longbottom!"
Hermione huffed as they finished their lesson when the faint bells rang across the dungeons. "Why didn't he give us any housepoints? Draco didn't even come close to finishing at the same time as us!"
"Keep your voice down!" Ron hissed. "Do you want to get more points taken off? No offence, Harry."
When they had left the dungeons, Harry started to complain about Snape's favouritism and his sudden hatred for him. He and Ron parted ways from the crowds of first-years until they realised that somebody was missing. Theodore was walking up the marble stairs to the Great Hall with Hermione chattering alongside him. He stopped in his tracks as Hermione walked a little further.
"Theo, you coming with? Hagrid invited us, well, actually Harry, to his home across the grounds. Come on, it'll be fun."
Theodore looked over to Hermione, who pretended to not look at the boys, and turned his head back. "It better be fun. I don't want you to waste my time."
"Okay, Lord Riddle," Ron replied in a voice mocking Theodore's. He looked at the corner of his eye to see Hermione's hair bouncing away without looking back. It may have looked heartless, but was it his fault she didn't have any other friends? Karma read his thoughts and turned the tables on him when Professor McGonagall appeared out of nowhere, giving Theodore a shock.
"Mr Riddle, the Headmaster has requested to see you."
"But I'm going with my friends."
"This is not up for debate, Riddle! Headmaster's office, now." She sharpened her eyes. Theodore really had nothing to say to Dumbledore. He didn't speak to him for the entire week, or the summer and spring before, so why now? McGonagall was still waiting for the correct answer.
"I don't know where to go."
"Then follow me. Don't worry, you will see Potter and Weasley afterwards."
The boy then followed the professor away from Harry and Ron who spectated the entire thing. They walked through many hallways and up many stairs before they reached the Headmaster's Tower. Below it was a stairwell that had been occupied by a large stone gargoyle. The gargoyle blinked and shook its head until it took notice of McGonagall and Theodore.
"Sherbet Lemon!" McGonagall cried. The gargoyle lowered its back and rotated while ascending upwards. Underneath was a spiral staircase revealing itself, winding and winding until it came to an abrupt stop. McGonagall swiftly paced up the steps while Theodore tagged behind her, already tired from walking up the many steps from before.
The office that laid in front of Theodore's eyes was saturated with colour to the fullest. The orange and red bricked walls were covered with so many moving paintings that it looked like an exhibition. Spinning things, jumping things, rolling things, things that did nothing at all were displayed all over the room, giving the impression that the place was also a toy store. Near the bookshelves, nipping comfortably on its wings was a large scarlet bird that had feathers as beautiful as the sunset across Hogwarts' horizon. The young wizard knew that it was a phoenix bird, and was eager to look at it closer until his eyes fixated onto the old man sitting behind the large mahogany desk.
"Good afternoon, Theodore! Thank you, Minerva. Please, sit!" McGonagall walked out of the office as Theodore sat on the comfortable wooden chair that was opposite Dumbledore.
"So, I've heard from many teachers that you and Miss Granger show a keen interest in their subjects. I can see now that you are just like your mother and father."
"But I wouldn't know that since I haven't got a clue about who they really are." Theodore's attempt to test Dumbledore failed as the old man chuckled.
"You see, Theodore, I've seen some prolific wizards and witches passing through Hogwarts during my entire career to this day. Yes, I've taught many students over time, but your father stood out from among the rest. Never have I seen such… drive to learn more. He was brilliant. One of the best. It was not every year a student like that would come to Hogwarts, no. But his nature, what his drive led him to had consumed him in the end. He let his talents and gifts warp his mind into something dark. Something that I should've seen before. It was far too late."
"And my mother? You told me her last name was Potter, like Harry's. Who was she to you?"
"A lost soul," Dumbledore said quietly.
His mother a lost soul? His father warped into darkness? What kind of people were they? Did his mother truly leave him in the orphanage out of love, or was she incapable of compassion to raise a son with his father? He needed answers. Real answers.
But then he thought of something. He did need answers. Just not from Dumbledore. He could find it out for himself and not have a biased old man twisting the truth in front of him.
"Is there something on your mind, Theodore?"
"No, sir. None at all."
Dumbledore looked suspiciously at him, but then smiled again. "Then you better get a move on. Hagrid will be waiting for you."
Theodore excused himself out and left, not for Hagrid's Hut. Harry and Ron could wait. He wasn't even invited in the first place. There was one thing that he needed to see…
Later at dinner…
The Great Hall was once again filled with all the students of Hogwarts as they enjoyed their late dinner after their long first week. It had been tiresome for most, but at least it was over. Down the Gryffindor table were the first-years talking among themselves about their week and the exhaustion that they endured.
"I don't think you're supposed to eat it like that."
Ron, Neville, Harry and Dean watched Seamus gnawing at one of the rock cakes that had been given to Harry and Ron by Hagrid. It was black and studded with raisins that looked like pebbles from a stream.
"Don't worry… Almost… cracked it." Seamus hollered as his left incisor became chipped and jagged. He quickly ran to the hospital wing with his hand stopping the blood flow as Malfoy and his sidekicks laughed.
"Has anyone seen Theodore anywhere?" Neville asked as he flicked away the remnants of Seamus's tooth off of the table.
"He left with McGonagall to Dumbledore's office last time I saw him. Why do you need him?"
"He said he'd help me with my Potions homework and took it with him to look at, but I haven't seen him since!"
"Neville, relax. We haven't got Snape until next week."
"But Snape told me to hand it in before dinner! If not, he said that I would get a detention with him for two hours!"
Ron looked disgusted.
"What sort of madman sets homework due on the day he set it? It's barbaric!" Dean announced. The boys murmured in agreement. It seemed that Snape had gotten under all the boys of Gryffindor House's skin in that one lesson.
"Why don't you just ask Hermione? She knows-" Ron added.
"Oh yeah! They're best friends! She'll know where he is! Hermione!"
"I meant ask her since she's a know-it-all," Ron remarked under his breath. Theodore suddenly appeared through the Great Hall doors and casually walked over to his table. He made eye contact with Draco who simply lifted his eyebrows in return. He wouldn't think that Draco would still be friends with him after finding out who he spoke with. Theodore knew that he and Harry were not exactly on good terms. He sat next to Ron in Seamus's place and started to eat without saying a word.
"So did you get into trouble?" Harry asked from across the table.
"All Dumbledore wanted to do was talk," Theodore said before treating himself to a chicken drumstick.
"Hagrid said he was looking forward to meeting you and got you this cake." Ron slammed another cake on the table. Theodore tapped it and returned to eating again. He was interrupted once more by Ron who leaned into his ear to whisper, "Harry and I have something to tell you. We think you'll be interested."
Ron pulled back and chewed on a piece of steak. Theodore didn't know if this information would be of any value to his current motivation, but anything involving the Boy Who Lived had to be something worth knowing.
Dinner had finished and everyone went back to their common rooms, fed and watered. Theodore noticed that Hermione did not say a word during the meal, and said nothing to him on the way to the dorm. Maybe he was too harsh by completely abandoning her in the hallways for Harry and Ron. He would say something to her if she didn't go straight up. Fred and George gave wolf whistles in the corner, being the first ones to actually recognise what was really happening between the two, no matter how blind they were to it.
In the boys' first-year dorm…
The three boys were huddled around Harry's bed, careful as to not speak so loudly for the others to hear them.
"…so that's it," Harry finished after sucking up a large amount of air.
Theodore's brain whirled as everything that Harry had explained was processed. "So you think that whatever Hagrid took out of that vault was the target for the break in?" Ron and Harry nodded their heads vigorously. "How can you be so sure?"
"Come on, it all makes sense! Hagrid empties the vault on the same day; the article says the vault was already empty; it fits together! Hagrid is not telling us something and we have to know why."
"Do we really though? What if it's just a piece of jewellery or his mother's favourite cup? It could've been just an ordinary break in."
"An ordinary break in that includes nobody else's money being stolen? Yeah, because that happens in the real world," Ron said.
"Then you should go ask him. Be subtle about it. Or you could sneak a truth potion in his drink and make him talk!"
Harry shook his head, completely against the idea, but Ron was onboard. "We can't… drug Hagrid, that's way too extreme!" Harry snapped in a whisper.
"Then Plan A it is. We go to Hagrid's tomorrow morning."
"Erm... I can't do tomorrow," said Theodore as he ruffled his hair.
Theodore shook his head.
"Then Monday, after class! You have to!"
"Tuesday! That's all I can do!" The three boys broke and went to their beds with a set plan ready for the next week. Theodore went under his sheets and absorbed the warmth that the bed had to offer. He was enjoying every single ounce of slumber that he had gotten ever since he had arrived. Louise would've never left the bed, even if she tried.
Theodore jumped out of bed and grabbed a quill from his bag under his bed. He dipped it in ink and pulled a large piece of parchment on his bed. He paused for five seconds before scribbling down something lengthy. After he finished, he then folded it four times and brought out an envelope to which he tucked the letter inside. After sealing it, he dashed over to Harry and shook him until he shot up quickly. Harry's glasses were off, showing his bright green eyes and his parted hair to reveal his trademark lightning scar.
"What is it Theo? What, you can't do Tuesday as well?"
"No, I need Hedwig."
Harry put his glasses on to see Theodore better. "She didn't want to go with the other owls, so she's sleeping over there." A rustle and a small hoot could be heard. "She was sleeping over there. Fine, you can use her, but you have to promise that you'll be there on Tuesday."
Theodore gave him a nod and went over to Hedwig's cage. Her big amber eyes followed him as he approached her. He opened the cage and stuck his finger out to show he didn't mean any harm. That's what Harry did all the time. Hedwig was frozen for a short amount of time and then gently nipped on his finger. Knowing that he got her trust, her led her out of the cage and to the window on the far end of the dorm. He handed the envelope to her beak to which she clamped it shut.
"Okay, send this to 'Louise Free' in an orphanage named Stuggle's. Do not be conspicuous and do not hang around in plain sight. Go on."
Hedwig dived through the window and circled around the tower before flying off into the night sky. He watched her flap her wings with such grace that he was quite mesmerised by her. Now he really regretted not getting an owl.
The first weekend started off freshly as everyone slept in, including Theodore. He was dreaming about something with a lot of green and black flashing in his mind, but he couldn't remember. All he knew was that it was pleasant enough to not shock him like the last one, which was etched into his memory. Before breakfast had started, all the boys and some of the girls crowded around the twins as they observed their latest plan of attack on the teachers, dubbed Quirrell's Lost Turban.
"It's all plain and simple, you see," said George.
"Simple and plain," Fred remarked.
"Absolutely foolproof," the twins said together. What was floating in the air of the common room was a chart that looked more of a child's colouring book than anything else. The plan seemed way too complicated to be considered 'simple'. Theodore could not see the chances of it even succeeding. In the corner, Hermione was holding a large comb while she separated her hair, tutting to herself.
"Attacking a school teacher is against school rules, you know," she said as she tried to tame her wild hair.
"Not attacking, more like having fun."
"Besides, everyone has a right to know what he's hiding under there. I'm betting on a vampire's tongue."
"A creepy face!" Ron shouted.
"I still think it's garlic," Seamus said. His tooth had regrown perfectly. The twins made bets with everybody willing to, earning even more tuts from Hermione. While everyone was invested in getting quick Sickles, Theodore walked over to the struggling Hermione, who was fighting her hair.
"Isn't there a relaxing agent that you could use? I think your hair is falling out."
"Don't… be… daft! And I don't need any of that, my hair is fine just the way it is."
"I never said that it wasn't," Theodore replied as he sat next to her. She turned to the side to hide her red face from Theodore as he got quite closer to her. "I'm going to need your help with something."
"Help with what?" Her face was still turned away.
"It's about my… parents. And Salazar Slytherin," he added quickly.
"For the last time, stop it with the Slytherin-"
"I'll promise to stop after we're done," Theodore interrupted.
Hermione's comb pelted across the room and smacked the back of Ron's head. He rubbed it in pain and gave Hermione a look of venom before turning back around. "Why me?"
"Stop being problematic and give me an answer."
Theodore was getting frustrated with her. It was too early to talk about manners and respect to him. Hermione was always going on about how he needed to change the way he spoke to others.
"No more of that attitude. It stinks, quite frankly."
He sneered and crossed his arms. Hermione gave some more thought to it before she agreed and returned to her ineffective hair styling.
Later on after breakfast, the duo had left the Great Hall for the library. Hermione has suggested the Trophy Room first due to the possibility that Theodore's father had been a great student and should've won many awards. He thought that it was a great place to look for, but insisted that they'd look there after he'd finished in the library.
They reached the first floor and entered the room. Many aisles contained thousands of shelves, housing even thousands more of books. They were stacked high and out of reach for anyone of their height. The two divided and began their long search of any information that they could scrape in the amidst of the masses of books.
Theodore was sat on a table with Hogwarts: A History by Bathilda Bagshot, along with a stack of books in the middle. In the hour and a half that he had been there, he had only went through three, not including the one he was reading currently. Everything within that book seemed useless. Facts on how the magic ceiling in the Great Hall worked; how boys can't go into the girl dormitories, but girls can go into the boys and other irrelevant topics.
Another book was wasted and so was his time. He scratched his head in frustration until his fingertips burned. It was only the first Saturday, but he felt as if it was the last day at Hogwarts. It all felt like a rush to him. He needed to find something that meant real value to him before he'd blow a fuse in the library. As his temper was rising dangerously, three other girls appeared from behind him, all clumped together.
Of course, Lavender and Parvati were together, but the other girl was new. It didn't take him long to see that she was the identical twin of Parvati. She had more of a serious expression than her sister and looked like she was dragged there against her will. The other two girls were just as giddy as ever which annoyed Theodore ever since they first meet.
"Hey, Theeoo," said Lavender. Her voice almost sounded as if she was singing. "I've never seen you in the library before. But it makes sense, seeing as your such a brainy guy."
He gave her an awkward smile and looked straight for the next book, hoping that Hermione would come soon. The girls didn't stop there as they sat theirselves down on the same table with their eyes fluttering at the embarrassed boy.
"So you're doing extra work on the weekend? You are so like my sis. Never can put a book down."
"Shut up, Parvati."
"Is there something that you girls want?" The two girls leaned in closer, forcing him to move back. How these girls became friends in one week was not beyond him.
"We don't get the Transfiguration homework at all! So we figured that you'd help us. You can help us, right?" They pouted, hoping that he'd say yes, but was met by a different, and rather disappointing answer.
"I'm sure that Hermione can help you with the homework! She's better at it than- Hermione!"
Hermione was holding a thick brown book with the spine having silver lining in her hands with her right eyebrow arched. He didn't care how much she heard; he was just glad that she was there.
"Hermione. I see that you two are friendly with each other. Hate to interrupt your time." Lavender got up as did her friend, and left with Padma who looked upon them with ridicule. Theodore swallowed at the silence between them. Hermione slowly sat down and placed the book in front of him, eyebrow still arched.
"Can you stop looking at me like that?"
She wagged her finger in his face whilst growing at the boy. "Attitude, remember? Anyways, I saw this book on display near the front of the library. The librarian let me take it because nobody really noticed it."
Upon further studying the book, Theodore could see the Hogwarts emblem raised on the front cover with the name Our Founders written in silver. The name of the author was nowhere to be seen on the book. She flicked the pages while explaining what she had found inside the book.
"A lot of pages have been ripped out, but at least some of the important ones weren't. In here it said that Salazar Slytherin was the founder of Slytherin House, but you knew that already. He had left the school when he learned that Muggle-borns were being introduced to the school every passing year. Apparently, he started this whole 'pure-blood supremacy'. That's the reason why Slytherin has gotten such a bad reputation over time."
Theodore thought back to when Draco called Muggle-borns Mudbloods. Seemed like a disgusting word.
"Well, that's everything."
"Yes,Theodore. Everything," she replied, condescendingly.
"But there has to be mo-"
Hermione slammed the book shut and stood up. "I said that's everything! Let's go to the Trophy Room and get this over with!" Hermione's hissing could be heard from all over. She didn't look ashamed when everyone was looking at her as she replaced the book.
"Didn't need to overreact…"
The Trophy Room had served a little more than the trip to the library. In the quiet chamber, cabinets full of golden plaques, trophies and medals were hung all over reflecting their colours on the rusted armour in the corners. The two peered at each one, looking for 'Riddle' to appear any second. They couldn't find anything for the first time so they tried for the second. Hermione was so sure that she had seen a plaque with the name on it. There was just too much gold. They tried one more time until Hermione decided to call it quits.
"Maybe it's in another Trophy Room. Or maybe your dad took it home when he left Hogwarts."
This time, Theodore wasn't going to argue. The search was wasted throughout the day and they had nothing to show for it, other than the fact that one of the Founders was prejudice towards Muggle-borns. Although it was hard to do, the young wizard had to let go of the short-lived obsession, and went back to the Great Hall to find Harry and Ron.
Sunday came and went, and school was back on for the second week. The Gryffindors and Slytherins were paired in the Flying Lessons to which both sides despised. It was bad enough that Potions was conjoined. Both Harry and Theodore looked grim on the day for particularly different reasons. For Harry, it was because he didn't want to make a fool out of himself and for Theodore? Well, he hated anything that made him speed up and twist in the air in any way possible. They were all in the Great Hall discussing the lesson that would happen in thirty minutes time.
"I'm done for! Just done for!" Neville exclaimed. He looked worried, which was typical for him.
"You and me both, Neville." Theodore wasn't one to be comparable with the timid boy, but if they had one thing in common, it was that they were both terrified of flying.
"Neville, if it helps, I can give you tips on how to manoeuvre a broomstick properly. It's really just basic physics-" Hermione glared at Ron who scoffed at her words.
"Basic physics? There's no such thing in Quidditch! It's all about reflex, agility and how well you know the game. Bringing 'Maths' inside the game ruins it for everyone."
"I'm sorry, Ronald, if I offended your little sport, but have you even flown before?"
"Yeah. Have you?"
Hermione stayed quiet and turned back to Neville. Ron looked as smug as Malfoy as he enjoyed the rare instances where he'd one-up Hermione. As she was about to educate Neville on the fingertip techniques, the hoard of owls arriving interrupted her, bringing mail for the students. One owl dropped a package for Neville which was a Remembral from his grandmother. Of course, he couldn't remember what he had forgotten. Hedwig swooped down and landed in front of Harry, earning a small rub on her head. Tied to her leg was a purple envelope with a blue stamp on the corner. Harry excitedly unhooked it from the owls leg and looked at the writing on the front, only for his face to fall again.
"What's wrong Harry?" Neville asked while shaking his Remembral. Harry outstretched the letter to Theodore.
"Here, it's for you."
Theodore took it from Harry's hand and looked at the neat handwriting on the front. He recognised it easily. He opened it up quickly and unfolded the letter in his hand. He read it to himself as it said:
I can't believe that you just sent a letter all the way from Scotland. You're such an old man! Also, what's even stranger is that an owl was outside my window for almost three hours, hitting its head against it with your letter. Have you trained a bird while keeping tigers as pets in that fancy school of yours, because I don't know what to think about that!
Things here are okay, I guess. The food is still crappy and Gretchen has calmed down since you left. Only proved that she hated you more than she hated me. The Reaguls took me to go see London on Wednesday and it was wonderful! I wish you saw it with me. They still aren't too sure to take me in, but I know they will. Who wouldn't want me?
Anyways, it's been quiet now that you're gone. Even Simeon doesn't say anything now these days. Guess whatever happened to him really turned him into a complete sissy. I'm running out of paper and I was only allowed one, so I have to end it here. I miss you. Don't forget me.
From your best friend, the Lovely Louise Free. XXX
P.S. Do you think you can send me more of those Liquorice Wands? I couldn't find them anywhere in the shops here. You must've gotten them really early. And don't lose the necklace.
Theodore had forgotten that, in that moment, he was a wizard in a magic school among other magic children, in a magic castle far away from home. Every word brought him back to Stuggle's to his best friend's side. What was only a week ago felt like forever to him. The same heartstring loosened then contracted again. How very odd.
"Theodore, let's go!"
He blinked several times as he saw everyone leave for Quidditch with him alone on the table. He quickly, but carefully, put the letter in his bag and followed the others to the dreaded lesson ahead, feeling more happier than he had felt in the past week.
This was definitely one of my weakest chapters, but I don't want to delete it and start all over. It's all over the place, I know! But guess what? You are going to have two chapters today to compensate for this shitty one! Aren't I a nice guy? Also this is where my story, which is not owned by me by the way, starts to take a tangent from the Philosopher's Stone or Sorcerer's, whichever one you prefer. Hope you at least read the chapter, not expecting you to enjoy it. Later.