Thread: In Need, Indeed
View Single Post
  #2  
Old July 29th, 2012, 9:07 pm
Melissa_Potter  Female.gif Melissa_Potter is offline
Second Year
 
Join Date: 11th October 2002
Location: Canada
Age: 30
Posts: 256
Re: In Need, Indeed

Marianne barely slept that night, opting instead to spend most of it on searching for her schoolbag. She tried first in the girls dormitory, but Parvati and Lavender took much offense to her rustling and shuffling things around in the very late hours; none too kindly, they told her to take her search elsewhere. Marianne hastily dodged a flying Standard Book of Spells (Grade 3) and ducked through the door, deciding it was safer to continue in the common room. Her eyes surveyed the room whilst she descended the stairs. Empty. The dying fire didn't leave much heat, or much light, so moonlight would have to be depended on for the heavily shadowed areas. The furniture seemed like a good place to start, considering they were the focus of the whole room.

Marianne frustratingly stood up, dusting off her hands and knees after scanning the underbelly of a sofa. All she managed to remove was a fuzzy clump of dust. Walking up to the nearest wall, she took a chance on lifting the portraits; just in case there was a hidden nook behind them. While lifting one of the paintings, the movement managed to shake the portly, white-haired wizard with mutton chop sideburns within it. He awoke with a startled snort and his eyes darted madly.

"Do you mind?" he cried indignantly, once he spotted the culprit.

"Oh! Pardon me!" Marianne squeaked in surprise, sheepishly mumbling apologies several more times as she gingerly placed the portrait back against the wall and then held up her hands as if the frame burned them.

The portly wizard grumbled, shifted in his large armchair, and closed his eyes again. His look of annoyance was still etched on his face. Marianne stood in her arrested stance a few seconds longer, making sure he wouldn't reprimand her further. She tip-toed away to the opposite corner of the room once his snores were steady.

***

The morning dawned blustery and grey, and the schoolbag was nowhere to be found. Every available space within the common room had been searched thoroughly - twice. The sky was alight when Marianne reluctantly gave up. Noticing the overcast sky and the rippling trees of the Forbidden Forest outside the window, she frustratingly pinched the bridge of her nose. A whole night spent looking. Text books, her wand, two and a half quills, and a quarter-finished Potions essay had been left in the bag. Since it was Saturday morning, she still had a weekend's grace, but come Monday...

Panic started to rise from the pit of her stomach. What if it's been stolen?, she thought fretfully, wringing her hands, or taken as a prank?

Her imagination ran rampant, ranging from people selling her possessions for pocket money, to tossing them into the lake for the Giant Squid to enjoy. She forced herself to pause and calm down, but her thoughts kept going in circles. She began rubbing her forehead in an attempt to think clearly, then started pacing. It was also possible that it was simply left behind in a classroom, or somewhere in the castle.

Yes, yes, that is probably what happened, Marianne convinced herself hopefully, If I post a note on the Gryffindor's bulletin board, my schoolbag might turn up eventually. And by eventually, she was hoping soon. However, her solution did nothing to raise her spirits and she frowned. As much as Marianne hoped that her carelessness was to blame, she painfully remembered that she was no stranger to being a target.

A thump from the boys dormitory stairs interrupted her. She started, looking towards the top landing. Quidditch practice? Marianne's mind went blank and she instinctively fled the common room before the boys could reach the bottom. Once out of the portrait, she sullenly sat on the floor near the wall and groaned.

Ugh, what am I doing? All I want to do is interact with people. A smile, a nod, an acknowledgement, anything, she thought, frustrated. She tried to convince herself that she ran out of the common room because she was finished searching it anyway, that hiding places would be inaccessible because too many people would be in the way. But ridicule had built a reflex within her to avoid crowds, and she knew that no matter how many excuses she made, that was the truth. Fellow students probably didn't give a single lasting thought to her, but Marianne still somehow felt judged when noticed. How she was ever able to make friends before, she'd never know.

The portrait chose that moment to swing open, amid The Fat Lady's complaints of being disturbed. The Gryffindor boys didn't even see Marianne as they trailed out. They were too busy discussing Quidditch strategy and breakfast. The corridor felt cavernous once the Quidditch players were gone, their echoes still ringing in her ears.

There were no classes for the day, Marianne didn't feel at all hungry to go down to breakfast, and had no means of writing a note for the bulletin board. She forced herself to stand up, finding determination in the need of a quill, ink, and piece of parchment. Much more preferable than wallowing, at least. The library could be a good place to start...

***

The students who would be awake at dawn to study on Saturday was, unsurprisingly, few. Upon entering, Marianne spotted an older male Hufflepuff and a small Slytherin girl, both at seperate tables. The Hufflepuff was poring over three open books, alternating between reading and writing notes. The library was so silent that Marianne could hear the scratching of his quill. Strolling in, she had almost reached the Hufflepuff to ask if he could lend some supplies, but stopped when she saw his concentration. He looked relaxed, occassionally brushing his black hair out of his eyes, though focused on his work. Marianne felt guilty for wanting to disturb him. Perhaps it was best to look elsewhere.

Not making a sound, she turned around and passed the Slytherin girl who was reading a single book, completely engrossed in its pages. The girl jumped and emitted a squeaky gasp when she glanced upwards at who had walked in front her. Not loudly but audible enough to shatter the silence and disturb the Hufflepuff, making him turn in a flash to face both girls. Marianne was frozen to the spot, eyes wide as saucers, looking back and forth between them.

"You scared me," the Slytherin girl said, her hand rising to her chest.

"I'm sorry, I-I didn't mean to," Marianne whispered as steadily as she could, the room's heavy silence compressing her voice. The Hufflepuff raised an eyebrow. "Sorry for interrupting, I was just leaving." and she spun around so fast that her hair brushed the other side of her face. Their stares still prickled the back of her head, even when a considerable distance was put between herself and the library.

Marianne's frustration began to emerge again once she was within the safety of the empty corridors. Trying to walk off her embarassment, she wove aimlessly through the castle. Once, she came upon the Fat Friar who smiled, nodded his head politely and then floated away, but she didn't see anyone else.

It shouldn't have been so hard to find stationery in a school,even without having to run into anybody. Perhaps the staff at Hogwarts should have thought of implementing a Lost and Found. If her mother found out she lost - her mother! Marianne slapped her forehead. It had been ages since her parents received a letter fom their daughter. Now she had two jobs to take care of. Hopefully, her parents wouldn't be too busy to send a reply this time.

Her wandering was now on auto-pilot. The letter was in the middle of being mentally composed when she passed an empty, dark classroom. Stopping dead in her tracks, she backed up and stuck her head in through the doorway. Weak sunlight from the overcast sky was bleeding through drawn curtains. The entire room was very dim, save for the block of light coming in from the open doorway. Looking over her shoulders to the hall and seeing no one, Marianne slipped inside, thinking the chances were good that there were some discarded supplies in there.

***

The Great Hall was bustling with chatter as most of the students were now awake. Marianne cruised past them, carrying herself with a rarely experienced sense of satisfaction, the smell of breakfast not the least bit tempting. She proudly held in her hands a tarnished pot of ink, a rather ragged but still sharp quill, and two jagged sheets of parchment. Sitting down on the bottom step of the Entrance Hall staircase, she opened the ink pot. A shallow pool sat at the bottom but it would be more than enough. The quill dipped and ready to go, Marianne composed her notes, starting with...

Lost
One faded grey messenger bag. Frayed shoulder strap, hole on bottom right corner.
Contents include a 9 inch cherry wand, third year text books, and stationery.
If found, please return to Marianne Wilford.


A group of Ravenclaws were descending the stairs as the note was completed. They stared at Marianne with cocked eyebrows before continuing on their way to the Great Hall.

The second letter began...

Dear Mother and Father,

Very sorry for not writing in a long time. I know you told me to write at least twice a month, but I haven't much new to tell. Ormond making it to Head Boy this year has really kept him busy. I'm missing him more and more, like I lost a friend. I know I never tell him how much I appreciate being his sister (please don't tell him I said that! I will never hear the end of it).


Despite it being the largest scrap of parchment Marianne found, that didn't mean much. The bottom of the sheet was inching closer, but there was still so much that she was desperate to say. How she was now more lonelier than ever, how much she wished that her parents could comfort her in person, how her History of Magic grade was stellar while her other subjects were suffering. But she would have to compromise; combine all of her feelings into a small amount of space, which was about as easy as shoving a quaffle through a keyhole. Thinking for a bit, she dipped the quill again and held it just above the paper, pausing for several seconds.

Everything is fine. I would love to hear from you both again soon. And Mother? If you could please knit me another jumper, I will write twice as much! Hope it is warm where you both are.

Love always,

Marianne


Keep a stiff upper lip, her parents would say in their driven way. But Marianne wasn't like her parents.

Achilles Wilford worked in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, which sometimes took him to the opposite side of the country, and occasionally, even being called to travel beyond the border to help in foreign incidents. Despite the hazardousness and general filth of the job, Mr. Wilford donned fine robes when he was off duty, looking sleek and refined. He had tremendous pride for his job, though his usual demeanor was so stoic that many found it difficult to tell. A lifetime of hard, physical work had made him a modest man in mind and spirit, but not in finery.

Tristeza Wilford followed her husband wherever his department assigned him, filling out the official Ministry paperwork that Achilles was required to hand back to his superiors. Often, she would even accompany him while he was on a mission (though at a safe distance, wand at the ready).

It was a crime to say that Mr. and Mrs. Wilford didn't love their children, but to put aside time to spend with them was another matter entirely.

Marianne couldn't even say that she and her brother were best friends, their interests and the company they kept being so different. Still, they got along. Usually. Ormond, always the more charming of the two, found it easy to attract people towards him. This had afforded him much popularity throughout his school years, pushing his sister further into the background. Ormond only seemed to talk to her when his friends weren't around. While Marianne could somewhat understand - he was older and had his own agenda, afterall - it still felt like a puncture to her heart when his friends came first.

Marianne pulled herself up from the step, smiling a little. Anticipation for a letter from her parents put a new spring in her step. In fact, she could already feel it starting in her feet. Hopefully, this time, she'd receive a reply. If Mr. and Mrs. Wilford were traveling at the moment, the owl would have a longer journey ahead of it.

She walked swiftly, almost skipping, to the entrance of the castle, and gratefully slid through the double doors (Hagrid having opened them and strolled in at just the right moment). Standing outside, Marianne craned her neck to the overcast sky. The clouds were so thick and grey that it was hard to tell where the sun's exact position was; it's light was spread so evenly. There was a hint of a chill, carried by the breeze. Marianne huddled within herself. It wasn't freezing, but the absence of sunlight, in addition to the wind, left the air feeling cool.

The Owlery stood tall in the distance, it's pointy roof looking like it could penetrate the cloud blanket overhead.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A/N: I'll admit that this isn't my favorite chapter. I know it looks like a bunch of nothing is happening right now, but every single scene is building up to the ending, I promise. This is more of a setting up kind of chapter to build the mood.


Feedback is welcome! http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=131573


__________________
House: Ravenclaw
Animal: Snowy Owl
Wand: 12", Hickory, Unicorn Hair, Steady
Favourite Subject: Charms
Quidditch Position: Keeper
Patronus: Polar Bear
Pottermore: Ravenclaw / 14 and 1/2'', Hornbeam, Unicorn Hair, Solid

Last edited by Melissa_Potter; August 10th, 2012 at 8:06 am.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links