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Unstable Magic (Pt. 2)
I woke up on my new bed. It was made of dark mahogany wood, and the blankets were heavy green comforters. The bed posts were engraved with snakes, the Slytherin house animal. The sun shone warmly through the stained glass windows, and I felt at home. Green really was a soothing color, and it was everywhere.
"Nice, isn't it Charlotte?"
I turned my head sharply to see Dani reclining on her pillow, her eyes still droopy with sleep.
"Hey, do you want to go down to the common room and talk, so we don't wake up the girls?" Dani suggested.
Down in the common room, which I heard had changed to higher locations after the days of Harry Potter, Dani flopped into a high-backed green velvet chair. I did likewise, and gazed at the elegant fireplace. It was impossible to imagine the dark, brooding common room that Marlee had spoken of, one located in the 'Hogwarts Dungeon.'
"Do you miss Ilvermorny?" Dani asked offhandedly.
I took a moment to think. It was actually a hard question.
"Not right now." I said.
I mean, it was a good school, but I had no friends because of my unpredictable power. Suddenly a pang of dread hit my stomach. My new friends didn't know that about me, and they would eventually find out that I lied.
Breakfast was nearly as good as dinner had been. Even though I was still dazed by my transition to Hogwarts, I found myself talking and laughing heartily with my peers.
My first few classes were not unlike my ones at Ilvermorny. Thankfully I did not have to use any small charms or anything of the sort, we were just introduced to our new courses. Everything went normal, until potions class.
"Welcome! Welcome back, my fifth year students! I would also like to welcome our new student from Ilvermorny, Charlotte Greenleaf!" Horace Slughorn waved his hand to me, and smiled.
Most of the Slytherins in the room didn't bother turning around, having already met me, but the other people in the room, Gryffindors, strained backwards and sideways to get a glimpse of me. I bit my lip, more than just a little bit frustrated that Slughorn had singled me out in this large class.
None of them looked familiar, except one. All the moving pictures of Harry Potter in my textbooks resembled him. Albus Potter.
He was a tall, lanky boy, with wavy black hair that nearly fell over his eyebrows. He had a nice face, containing both the hard lines of his father, and the pleasant features of his mother. His green eyes flickered with mystery and reckless, boyish curiosity.
Before I could realize I was staring at him, he grinned sheepishly and turned around, turning his attention to Professor Slughorn.
"Alright. I suppose most of you know what potions are. Same thing as the year before. This year's class will just be harder." The fat man chuckled, and when he realized that no one else laughed, he quickly cleared his throat and continued. "So instead of a long introduction, why don't you wonderful students turn to page forty-five, and get ready to attempt one of the hardest potions this year. For the experience. I will assign you partners, so no one person is given the full blame for blasting the school apart." Slughorn smiled, and we all groaned.
Slughorn proceeded to call out partners, and I waited quietly for my name to be announced.
"And lastly, Albus and Charlotte. Ah, Albus. Did you know your father was my favorite student all those years ago?"
Albus nodded his head, his expression saying that he would groan if he could.
"Oh, of course you do! I guess we will just become even more acquainted this year. And perhaps you as well, Charlotte. You seem like an interesting person as well! In fact, I believe I should have a banquet Friday night, and both of you are invited!"
Me and Albus shared surprised glances.
The professor seemed to finally snap back to reality.
"Well, what are you two waiting for? Go make your potion of rat transfiguration!"
At our table, me and Albus hurried to find and prepare the meticulous ingredients found all about the room. As I started to chop a messy pile of greens, Albus asked me a question.
"Why don't you just charm the knife?"
I tried my best to not flinch at the question.
"I don't know. I guess I just like doing things the simple way sometimes." I inwardly tensed, hoping he would not think me to be odd or thick-skulled.
Albus silenced, as if processing the answer.
"Huh. I guess I don't even really think to not use magic." The boy shrugged.
I released a tiny breath I had been holding, and continued to grind the greens into a slimy paste.
"What is it like moving countries?" Albus asked casually, gluing his eyes to the boiling cauldron.
His question caught me a little bit off guard. I flicked my gaze over to him, meeting his eyes, and returned to my green mash that was getting progressively stinkier with every ingredient that was listed in the wretched potions textbook.
"It's hard, I guess. You are separated from a lot of family. You have no idea what to expect when you arrive. I guess you could say it is scary and nerve racking." I paused for a second, but then followed up with a last comment. "In this case, it ended up fairly well. I think I will enjoy England."
"Well, I definitely believe you will love Hogwarts." Albus said.
"I already do."
As I poured my paste into the steaming cauldron, I glanced over at Albus again, who was hand-slicing a rat tail, and smiling to himself, even though the vile ingredient still twitched.
"What is it like having a dad who saved the wizarding world?" I asked, deciding to not be the only one with a strange background.
"Frustrating sometimes." Albus responded quickly, obviously not surprised that I knew. "People come up and take pictures with me, not because of who I am, but because of my father. But I love my papa, and I hope to be as great of a wizard as he was."
I was about to respond to his answer, but he spoke up again.
"You know Charlotte-"
Suddenly, our cauldron exploded in a boiling fury of green sludge. It blew up in Albus's face, and as I screamed, he was thrown into the dirt wall behind him.
He classroom froze in shock, and I recovered from my traumatized state, and rushed to the Potter's side.
I was horrified to see that he was unconscious, and the acidic brew had burned his face and arms badly. What on earth had happened? Angry boils appeared on his skin, and I wasted no more time.
Subconsciously, I flicked my pale birchwood wand from the sleeve of my robe, pointed it at the boy, and closed my eyes as an ancient spell entered my mind. Without uttering a word, a yellow strand of light shot from my arm, and wound around Albus's body.
By the time I realized what I was doing, the whole entire class was at my side, watching with both horror and intrigue.
The yellow strand of light stopped it's coiling, and abruptly turned backwards, and sped into the tip of my wand, and disappeared.
Albus was healed.
Later that day, me, Dani, Scorpius, and a few other Slytherins were sitting in the grass in the courtyard during our free time after our finished classes.
"What happened in there? In potions? I've never seen anything like it." An intelligent girl with thick brown hair, Carol, asked.
I bit the inside of my cheek, and twisted a long, curly, black lock of hair around my forefinger.
"I don't know everything. I don't even remember the spell."
The my fellow Slytherins, who had already been focused on me beforehand, became even more interested.
"So it wasn't voluntary?" Scorpius c***ed his head in confusion.
"No. Not quite."
"Well, whatever it was, it worked." Dani said.
"And it was pretty cool." Scorpius grinned lopsidedly. "Is there anything else you can do that you haven't showed us?"
I then showed off my ability to wiggle my ears.
My new friends laughed uproariously, and the mood was lightened, taking the unwanted pressure off me.
We talked a little while afterward, and one by one, my friends went their own ways. Some had to go and study and shower, while others had other things in mind. Not unlike Scorpius, who was the only person left with me.
"Hey Charlotte, do you want to sneak into the kitchen with me and sample some of those pumpkin cookies from lunch?" Scorpius asked.
"Not right now, thank you. But if you happen to find any extras..."
"Of course your majesty." He said sarcastically. "But next time you'll have to work for your own share."
He then stood up, brushed himself off, and headed happily towards the kitchens.
I was left to reflect on my day, sitting on my lonesome in the courtyard. It was a beautiful early autumn day, not too hot, but warm enough to make you want to lay out there forever. The sun had not begun to set yet, and I had an hour or so until dinner, so I decided stay out and soak in the peace of the afternoon.
For the most part, I was surprised that no teachers had come to talk to me about the potions incident. I decided that they all knew about my unnatural magic, and decided to leave me be. Although I would have liked to have known why our cauldron blew up. I made up my mind to ask Slughorn or Albus next time I got a chance. Curiously enough, my chance came pretty soon.
"Hey." I heard a familiar voice behind me.
I jumped, taken quickly out of my thoughtful state. I turned to see Albus Potter leaning on the pillar I was sitting against.
"Oh! Hi Albus. Uh, how are you feeling?"
The tall Gryffindor moved, and sat down on the grass in front of me.
"Completely fine. Thanks for healing me. The nurses were mind blown." Albus Potter stretched out, and laid back his head of black hair on his arms, gazing at the warm sky.
"Do you know how the cauldron blew up, Albus?" I asked curiously.
"Yep." The boy didn't say anything else, so I prodded the question forward.
"Well, can you tell me?"
The boy snickered to himself just a little.
"Let's just say I got a bit preoccupied, and threw Floo powder into the mix instead of green hippogriff feather dust."
"Where did you get the Floo powder?" I said, smiling, but suspicious at the same time.
"No idea, Charlotte. How did you get the healing spell?"
"It's weird." I said. "It wasn't like I knew it, it just came out of me. Things happen like tha-" I stopped, realizing that I didn't want to reveal any more.
"Well, you wouldn't be the only weird one." Albus said graciously. "I have secrets also. Most of which I can't trust to anyone but my father."
I gave the boy an inquisitive glance.
"Before the stupid pot blew up, I was about to say something." Potter rolled from his back, and onto his side, facing me.
"We are more alike than you think, Charlotte."
I blushed slightly, but regained my cool.
"But we only just met." I said, with an incredulous tone. "Surely you can't know all that." I shifted uncomfortably under the hard stone pillar.
"I know more than you do." Albus returned to his previous position, and with one arm, he plucked a strand of grass from the earth, and twined it through his pale fingers.
Feeling a mix of awkwardness and confusion, I didn't answer his statement.
"Sorry. I do that sometimes." Potter apologized, unintentionally making the situation even more awkward.
"It's ok, I just don't... understand what you're trying to say." I stated carefully.
"It's too soon to tell anyone anything yet. It's best you don't understand, for your safety."
Something not unlike horror twisted in my gut. Dang, I really would never have a normal social life.
"I have a long year ahead of me, Charlotte. This will probably sound weird, but I need your help."
I was about o open my mouth to respond, but he interrupted me again.
"I know it is a lot to ask."
He stopped, and I struggled to gather my thoughts into a firm answer. For some reason I had thought Hogwarts would be easier than I thought. I'd forgotten to speak completely, when I realized Albus's piece of grass was torn to shreds in his hands from nervous fiddling.
"Yes." I said, and inwardly face-palmed myself. I'd gotten myself into trouble, I just knew it.
Albus released a long breath of relief, and ran his fingers through his thick back hair.
"Since that I'm your friend now, can you tell me what on earth is going on?" I asked with an unintentional whine.
Potter stood up quickly, as to leave. But before he turned to go, he faced me, and with an excited voice, he gave his last instructions.
"Tomorrow at midnight, go to the room of requirements. I'll explain everything."
I was about to ask how I was supposed to get past the night guards, when he did that slightly aggravating interrupting thing, and answered the question before I could even open my mouth.
"To get there, just do that special subconscious-spellcasting thing that you do." He said hurriedly, and started to jog off to his house common room.
Still flabbergasted, I yelled after him.
"What's the rush?!"
"I have to get the other members!" He shouted from a distance, and then picked up his pace and dissolved into the dim lit halls of Hogwarts.