The next morning I woke up early, had a shower, changed my clothes and headed straight down for breakfast. The hall was empty except for maybe a dozen of students and teachers. There were ten students scattered between four tables and two teachers sat at the high table talking quietly, whilst occasionally glancing up at the students and back down at some papers. They both seemed to be marking some assignments or taking notes but I couldn’t be sure. I quickly found a seat at the second to last table from the right and sat down. The last table at the far left hand side was still called the Slytherin table, as most Slytherin students kept to themselves and didn’t favour mingling with other houses. Students from other houses never dared to sit at the table. However there were a select few who were happy to sit with their friends from the other 3 houses and so the other three tables were available for any student who wished to sit there.
An empty plate had appeared a few minutes after I had sat down, followed by a bowl, a cup and a set of cutlery. As expected an elf appeared. “Hello Miss, what would you like for breakfast this morning?”
“Hello Lint, what do you have to serve today?”
“Anything you want Miss, we can make something if you wish?”
“Oh no Lint, don’t trouble yourself, I need to go to the library this morning to finish my assignment for Tuesday”
“It’s no trouble Miss but a full breakfast spread is served from 9am today. Students tend to wake up late.”
“I know. I’ll just have some toast and glass of orange juice for now then Lint”
“Anything else? We can cook something”.
“No that’s fine just toast and juice please”.
“Ok toast and orange juice coming up. Have a nice day Miss”.
“You too.” I just managed to say before he disappeared. Within seconds my breakfast, as ordered, appeared. I ate quickly and made my way to the library as planned.
I chose an empty table, between 2 rows of bookshelves, by a window and started my research.
My alarm blared loudly waking myself and my dorm roommates up.
“SHUT UP! I’m trying to sleep!” Blake yelled.
“What’n earth that noise?” Ethan incoherently moaned.
Without looking I placed my hand over where I thought the clock was and slammed my hand down. Unfortunately I estimated poorly and hit the desk hard causing a dull paint to shoot through my wrist. “Shit! Ouch! Aww damn” I peeked out from behind my duvet to discover the clock had fallen on the floor. I stretched from the bed towards to floor to grab it.
“Core! Turn that crappy noise off now man!” Dan, from the bed beside me, called.
“I’m trying, I’m trying” I mumbled tiredly.
I couldn’t reach the floor. I stretched more, almost too far. My fingertips touched the side of the alarm clock. The next thing I knew I was on the floor with the covers still wrapped around me.
“Goddamit Core!” Blake yelled, again.
The beeping noise was slightly muffled; I think I’d fallen on top of it. After a little shuffling I found the clock and turned it off.
Uh what a morning! Why did I forget to turn my alarm off? How did I forget!?
“Uh I don’t think I can go back to sleep”.
“Neither can I” I grumbled.
“It’s your fault anyway.”
I was too alerted to go back to sleep, so I untangled myself from my duvet and placed it neatly back onto the bed, put my slippers on and grabbed my things ready to take a shower. I turned around and saw Blake jump out of bed and leg it to the bathroom. I ran after him and bumped into the door milliseconds after hearing the faint click of the lock he’d turned. “OI! Blake, you knew I was going in”, I shouted as I hit my fist against the door.
“Tough luck cookie boo. You shouldn’t have woken every one up”
“Urgh fine!” I shouted at the door.
“Urgh will you both. Shut. The. Hell. UP! Dammit. I’m trying to sleep here” Dan interrupted.
“Hurry up and stop calling me cookie!” I finished shouting at the door.
“If I can’t call you cookie I’m taking an hour in here boo”
“Fine! That’s fine by me you... you... you princess sugar plum!”
“AWW you sweet cookie! You finally came up with a name for me! We’ve reached a mile stone!” He shouted over the sound of the shower. I dropped my stuff on my bed with a sigh. “He’s going to be a while. Breakfast?”
“Yeah why not, I can’t stay here listening to you two love birds and Braedan will probably take another hour in the shower, might as well grab some grub before it’s too late”. Ethan replied as he jumped out of bed. “Antwon? Shane”
“I doubt it. He got in late. Like really late. Like later than me late.” Dan mumbled through his duvet. And Shane, he didn’t even make it back last night”. True. His bed was empty.
“You coming ?”
“Nah. I want some quiet. Had verrrryyy busy night last night...”
Ethan rolled his eyes and I nodded to the door.
We arrived at the Great hall which was almost half full. Most of the students were luckily, most likely still in bed.
I sat there for at least a half hour looking at the same single paragraph. I just couldn’t seem to get a simple understanding of the text. Maybe I was thinking about it too much. I pushed my chair out from under the table, stood up, lightly threw my pencil onto the table and walked out of the library leaving my belongings right where they had been for the past 2 hours.
I made my way outside; towards the lake. It was a slightly dull, cloudy and windy day. Thankfully I had a mint woolly knitted jumper on. I sat down on a patch of dry grass under a tree. I looked across the lake’s surface- how peaceful it was. This calmed me a little. I began to stop thinking about the assignment I’d been trying to complete this morning. I closed my eyes, pushed my thoughts to the back of my mind and took a deep breath. I just sat silently, alternately, closing my eyes and just feeling the wind on my face whilst listening to the natural outdoor sounds; and sometimes with open eyes just watching the water, with the odd jumping creature and the birds and owls flying by.
By 10.00am Ethan and I had finished breakfast and were making our way back to the dorms.
As we walked down a corridor with a high frequency of stone arches, my attention was swiftly captured by the Saxum Arcus gardens; a small patch of grass surrounded by four symmetrical corridors. The garden was surrounded by a single line of pavestones between the corridor walls and the freshly cut, well nurtured, green grass. Right in the middle of the grass was a large oak tree; surrounded by what looked like a brick plant pot. A red brick wall was built around the tree and filled with compost. The brick wall was a pretty thick wall measuring around 60 cm thick and almost 2ft high. A 3.5cm thick slab of metal that basically looked like a huge thick washer was placed on top of the wall facing skyward up, allowing the student to sit under the tree.
“Hey Core, you coming?”
I realised I was stood at the empty doorway to the garden just staring at the rustling leaves. I turned my head to the voice. Ethan had un-noticeably walked ahead of me and was about to turn the corner.
“ Erm, yeah. I mean no. You go ahead I’ll be up in a bit”
Ethan nodded, turned away from me and walked off, disappearing around a corner and into another corridor.
I walked into the open, closed my eyes and turned my head towards the sky. The breeze barely hit my face; most probably because the walls prevented the strong winds. But the fresh air was quite simply refreshing. I stood for a minute or two before opening my eyes and walking towards the wall. I placed myself on the edge and swung my feet up so they were in front of me stretched straight out. I tilted my head back and lowered my upper body slowly allowing my back and my head to reach the walls surface safely. When my eyes were open I could see the white and grey dreary clouds peeking through the rustling leaves of the oak tree.
“Rose. ROSE! What are you doing here? I’ve been looking for you. I’ve been searching for you everywhere for almost an hour”.
I opened my eyes momentarily but had to close them to stop the bright light hurting my eyes. “Hmm?” I mumbled. I realised I’d fallen asleep under the tree.
“Rose! Wake. UP!”
I rubbed my eyes and lifted myself onto my elbows. “Alright, alright I’m up. Wait, what time is it?”
“It’s almost one. You were supposed to meet me at 12 in the library. You’ve never missed a library date”.
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t work so I went for a walk”
“And a morning/afternoon nap. You need to get your work done. It’s due tomorrow. You’ve never missed a deadline. Don’t start now. You’re lucky it’s a bank Holiday Monday and you have time to finish it.”
“I know. I know. I’ll get it done. Don’t worry.”
“Oh? I do worry. You get your work done as soon as you get it. How are you doing it the day before it’s due like normal people?”
I frowned at Val and scrunched my eyebrows as hard as I could. I stared at her for a whole minute until she rolled her eyes and huffed whilst crossing her arms. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, jumped onto my feet and started stomping back towards the school and into the library.
I sat under the Oak tree for who knows how long. I didn’t want to move; it was so quiet and peaceful. But once students started to walk through the corridors more frequently I decided it was time to move. I made my way back to the dorm room and found the room in a shocking state. It looked like we had basically been robbed. Antwon was still sprawled in his bed sleeping. Ethan was sat on his bed smiling at his phone’s lit-up screen; probably texting and flirting with some random girl. Blake and Dan were alternatively running around the room or searching for something on their hands and knees. I stood there in confusion. “What? What happ... What the hell?”
“The usual shirt incident”
“Oh my God guys. Seriously? Why don’t you just buy your own damn clothes?” They were fighting over the smallest things. Who was going to clean up the useless mess they made?
“I did. He’ didn’t” Blake and Dan both chorused simultaneously, “No. I didn’t”. Both of them stood up. “Stop wearing my clothes!” They looked at each other with loathing. “Buy you own!” they shouted.
Ethan and I couldn’t help but laugh at the continuous identical dialogue between both Blake and Dan. Even Antwon, who was woken up by the bickering was laughing with his eyes closed. “Stop! OH MY GOD!” They both threw their hands in the air. “I know you have it Blake.”
“I don’t have it. You wore it last”.
“For Merlin’s sake SHUT UP!” Ethan eventually managed shouted.
I tiptoed across the dorm, trying not to step on any of the items scattered all over the floor. I managed to make it to the bathroom with my towel and my clothes I’d left on my bed earlier.
I brushed my teeth, had a quick shower and changed as fast as I could; hoping to get back out of the dorm as soon as I could.
I threw my pyjamas onto the bed and before I could walk towards the door i heard Ethan mention Herbology homework. “Did you say it’s due tomorrow?” I asked confused, “I thought it was due the week after”.
“No she gave it us ages ago. It’s already been two weeks. She said its due tomorrow afternoon at the latest”.
“Oh damn I need to do it. I haven’t even started it. How did I forget about it?”
Before anyone could reply I had grabbed my bag and some books and was out of the door and on my way to the library.
I found an abandoned table by a window. There were a few sheets of parchment and paper scattered on the table and a satchel on the floor by the chair that was tucked under the table.
I sat down and started my work immediately. I sat staring at my work for at least 20mins before I started to comprehend it.
My hand started to ache after writing continuously for 45 minutes at a fast rate. It began to cramp and decided to give my hand a short break. As I turned my head in a circle to stretch my neck muscles, from the corner of my eyes I saw Val- a Griffindoor, pace up and down the library just like some of the younger students were. It seemed like she was searching for something but I didn’t pay much attention as most students did this. Especially when they were confused and had no idea where to find the book they were looking for. In my first year we were given a short reading assignment for potions at the beginning of the term. I spent a few hours looking in the directory before I gave up; I didn’t know who the librarian was so I couldn’t ask them and frankly, I wasn’t going to approach a student. Then I spent hours looking through the rows and failed to find it. Eventually I got tired I ended up aimlessly walking up and down the main library corridor numerous times before realising I wasn’t even looking at the books. That day I gave up went back to my dorm and flopped onto my bed. It had never felt so comfy.
For the walk back to the library I stomped the whole without turning back to see if Val had followed me or how further back she was if she had. Just because I’d been distracted this week; with the ball, Hogsmeade weekend, other unimportant events, I hadn’t managed to finish my homework for tomorrow. Regardless, it’s not like I haven’t done it at all. Like she said I’d never missed a deadline and I sure wasn’t going to start now. Yes maybe I left it a bit late, a bit too close to the deadline. I may not have it finished right now but I know I’ll hand it in by the deadline.
As soon as I found my seat, I pulled it out from under the table and huffed loudly as I sat down with my arms crossed.
The library was quiet with the odd pitter-patter of feet and light whispering. I had my head down and was working well until someone walked over to my table, pulled out one of the chairs and sat down with a large huff. I had actually been working well, understanding the work. However my deadline was tomorrow and I had to get it done. “Someone’s all huffy-puffy this morning” I muttered under my breath. I didn’t welcome any distraction. Whoever had just come in had better work in silence.
“Someone’s all huffy-puffy this morning. Wake up on the wrong side of bed or something?” Someone mumbled. I froze. The voice sounded vaguely familiar but I couldn’t figure out who it belonged to. “She never wakes up on the wrong side.” Val replied, “She’s too...” but her voice quietened. I looked up from the papers I was gathering up in my hands and realised why she’d stopped mid sentence. “...Organised”. Val eventually whispered slowly after what felt like an hour’s pause. Scorpious was sat across the table working with his head close to the table. As a minute of silence went by nobody moved until Scorpious finally looked up.
There was a faint sound of rustling papers followed by a few moments of silence while I kept writing. Once I finished the sentence I looked up to see Rose glaring at me with slightly squinted eyes and pursed lips. Her hands were frozen; holding a few sheets of paper. Beside her Val was stood with disbelief over her face and her eyes rolling back and forth between myself and Rose.