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No Chance



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  #1  
Old February 28th, 2007, 1:59 am
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No Chance

Hey this is my second fan fic and I can't wait to start writing it! If you like it, you should check out my first story, Runaway.
Disclamer: All these characters were made up by JK Rowling and not me. So she gets all the credit for that!

This story is about a teenaged girl named Sara who has a crush on James. Unfortunately for her, James only has eyes for Lily, and she's well aware of that. What she's not aware of, is that someone else has a crush on her.

Enjoy! And don't forget to leave feedback here.


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Last edited by witchsmart; April 20th, 2007 at 12:35 am.
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  #2  
Old March 2nd, 2007, 12:09 am
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Re: No Chance

Introduction

If a person happened to be walking through the mountains one calm September night, they wouldn’t have noticed anything out of the ordinary. If that same person had wandered a little too far into the mountains and had discovered an old castle hidden behind a giant lake, they still would not have suspected that there was something strange about the place. And if that wandering person had walked up to the castle and read the “Warning-Unsafe” sign hung on the front door, they still wouldn’t not have suspected that there was a great amount of magic about the place.

In fact, the only way that someone could find anything strange about the old castle would be if they ignored the warning sign, and walked straight through the doors. Only then would they be able to hear the hundreds of voices exploding from the Great Hall. There, they would see hundreds of students, all dressed in black robes, seated together at four long tables, participating in the annual Hogwarts welcome feast.

Of course, these weren’t regular students; every last one of them was a witch or a wizard, each with their own supply of magic, and each eager to be back at school at last. They all watched and listened as the headmaster of Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore, gave his yearly speech welcoming the new first years and greeting the older children. Everyone was watching him and listening attentively.

Well, almost everyone. There were two students who weren’t paying attention to the headmaster at all. One was a young Gryffindor who was in his fifth year. His attention was focused elsewhere, and he kept bringing his hand up to his head to mess up his already messy jet black hair.

The other student was a young witch, and she only had eyes for the distracted boy sitting across from her, three seats down. His name was James Potter, and her name was Sara Agine.


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Last edited by witchsmart; September 13th, 2007 at 3:08 am.
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 4:31 am
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Re: No Chance

Chapter One

“To all of our new first years, welcome. To all of our older students, welcome back.”

Oh wow. He’s sitting so close to me.

“I hope that the many years that you will spend here at Hogwarts will be full of learning and enjoyment.”

Well it’s not like he sat there because I’m here. He sat there because Lily’s sitting right across from him.

“I would like to inform our new students, and, for some of our older students who seem to need the constant reminder, that there are several areas in the castle and the grounds which are forbidden.”

She doesn’t even like him, and he still chases after her. He doesn’t even notice me.

“The astronomy tower is out of bounds except for classes, as is the forbidden forest.”

Oh god, I wish that he’d notice me. But he never will, he’s too busy staring at her all day.

“Also, our caretaker, Mr. Almagest, would like to remind students that stink pellets are not permitted in the corridors at any time. No matter how humorous it is to see the entire student body walk around with bubbles on their heads.”

Of all the people to have a crush on, why did it have to be him? In all the five years that I’ve been here, he’s never said one word to me. He’s arrogant, reckless, and he gets into trouble all of the time.

“Also, and this is the most important thing, the tower in the east wing is out of bounds, for all those who do not wish this year to be their last at Hogwarts.”

I really should find someone else, but, I just can’t.

“And so . . .”

Wait, what’s he doing?

“Without further ado . . .”

He's turning around.

“Pomp! Sust! And bloop!”

Oh god he’s looking right at me!

The silence of the Great Hall was instantaneously broken as hundreds of students noisily began to devour the platefuls of food that had just popped out of nowhere. Everyone was vigorously eating, except for two people.

James Potter, after giving up on his failed attempts to get Lily Evans’ attention, had turned to look up at the headmaster. But he was distracted by the pair of soft brown eyes that were staring directly at him across the table, three seats down.

Sara Agine, who as you know hadn’t been paying attention to anything but the boy sitting so close to her, stared back into James’ own dazzling eyes. They held eye contact for a second or two, although it seemed like a lifetime to one of them, and then James grinned. Sara quickly looked down at her empty plate, blushing furiously. James continued to stare at her for a few more seconds, and then he joined the rest of the school in the feast.

But Sara didn’t eat a thing. She just stared at her plate, her brain working furiously, trying to sort out what had just happened.

He looked right at me!

Well duh, he probably knew you were staring at him the whole time.

But he stared back.

Probably wondering why you were staring at him in the first place.

He smiled at me.

He
grinned at you. He gave you the same look that he gives to all the girls who stare at him. It’s a look that says, hey, you’re cute, but I’m already taken.

Cute? He thinks I’m cute?

It doesn’t matter, he loves Lily, remember?

Yeah, he likes Lily, but still . . .



He looked at me.


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  #4  
Old March 4th, 2007, 4:40 am
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Re: No Chance

Chapter Two

Sara spent the next few hours staring into the crackling flames of the fireplace. It was already very late at night, and only a few people were lingering in the Common Room. Among those people were James and his friends, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew. They were chatting away in one corner, probably talking about how their summers had been, and making plans for this year at school. But Sara wasn’t listening. She was deep in thought as she sat in the cozy armchair by the fire. She was thinking about the first time that she had seen James.

When Sara had first laid eyes on James, it was during the Sorting Ceremony. She had thought that he seemed like a nice boy, and hoped that maybe they could be friends.

But it was not meant to be. A whole school year came and went, and James didn’t even know that she existed. Sara had tried to go over and talk to him on several occasions. But she had always been very shy, and could not find the courage to do so. Sara had departed on the train at the end of the year without even once speaking to James.

She hadn’t seen much of him during their second year. When she did, she found that just looking at him made her feel all weird inside, sort of like a warm feeling in the pit of her stomach. She didn’t know it yet, but she had a crush on James Potter.

The second year passed in the same manner as the first, as did the third, and the fourth. Now they were both in their fifth year, and still Sara had never spoken to James.

Being shy wasn’t the only thing that was keeping Sara from talking to James, there was the matter of Lily Evans, and James’ affection for her.

Sara wasn’t mad at Lily for attracting James’ attention, unlike most girls who eyed him at school. Sara had met Lily once during her fourth year. Lily had been very nice to her, and Sara didn’t hate her at all. But she was jealous of her.

She was jealous because James’ noticed Lily, he talked to her, he loved her. She hated him but he still chased after her. Sara knew why Lily didn’t like James. It was because he was always jinxing students in the hallways, just for the fun of it. Of course, Sara had never seen this happen, so she wasn’t entirely sure if this was just a rumor or not. She hoped that it was, because she really didn’t want to think that James would do anything like that.

Deep down, Sara had always known that James would never notice her. And if he did, he would never like her the same way that she liked him. But that didn’t mean that they couldn’t be friends. Yet even though she was now in her fifth year, Sara was still too shy to start a conversation with James.

Sara shook herself out of her pool of self-pity. She shouldn’t be feeling sorry for herself all of the time. She should be grateful that she was back at Hogwarts, and that she could learn even more about the wizarding world.

Sara was a muggle-born, and when she had first gotten her acceptance letter, she had thought that it was some kind of prank. But the letter had reminded her of several strange occasions, like the time she had been looking at Aunt Barbara’s white hair and it suddenly turned bright pink. Or the time when she had been yelling angrily at her mother, and one of the living room windows had shattered. Maybe she was a witch after all.

Upon first arriving at Hogwarts, Sara had been excited by everyone and everything. She worked hard in classes, got excellent grades, and spent all of her free time in the library, where she would read as much as she could about the secret world that she knew never existed. Discovering that she was a witch was probably the best thing that had ever happened to her. She loved Hogwarts, and everything about it.

And, she thought, rising from the armchair, I should probably get some sleep so that I don’t doze off in class tomorrow.

As she made her way to her bedroom, Sara saw that the only people who were left in the Common Room were James and his friends. Just staring at him made her heart flutter. He must have felt her staring, because James suddenly turned around, only to see a deserted Common Room.


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Last edited by witchsmart; September 13th, 2007 at 3:18 am.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 2:16 am
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Re: No Chance

Chapter Three

The next morning Sara received a very fancy owl from her potions teacher, Professor Slughorn.

Dear Miss. Agine,

I would be delighted if you would join me and some other students for a get-together this evening at 6 in my office. I have these little parties every now and then, and seeing as you have continued to excel in my class, I would be very appreciative if you would come.

Sincerely,
Professor H.E.F. Slughorn


A meeting? With Professor Slughorn and some other students? Sara had heard about this thing before, the “Slug club”, as the students had dubbed it. Little parties with Professor Slughorn’s favorite students.

I wonder who else will be there? Sara thought to herself as she rose from the table and headed for her first class. On the way out she paused, catching sight of James sitting with his friends. He was staring at Lily, as usual, who was glowering back at him.

How can he still like her when he knows that she hates him so much? Sara wondered incredulously. Shrugging her shoulders, she left the Great Hall.

That evening, Sara left the common room and headed down to the dungeons. Walking down the empty hallways gave her the creeps, and she quickened her pace. Soon she arrived at Professor Slughorn’s office and knocked tentatively on the door.

“Come in! Come in!” boomed the voice of Professor Slughorn. Sara slowly opened the door.

Seated in a large armchair was an extremely short, squat, bald old man who was the potions teacher at Hogwarts. Professor Slughorn was one of Sara’s favorite teachers, and she always did very well in his class. Not to mention that potions was the only class that she had with James, and Sara looked forward to it very much. She was the second-best in the class, next to Lily of course, who was a potions prodigy. At first Sara had thought that her impressive potions skills might be able to impress James, but unfortunately he always spent the entire class staring at Lily, as he always did. Sara had quickly learned to just focus on her own work, and to not bother to even imagine that James might notice her while she was in the same room as Lily.

Seated in a circle around Slughorn on small cushions were several other students. Sara recognized three of them. One was a tall red haired boy named Connor Jones who was one of the beaters on the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and his father had a very important job at the Ministry, which was probably the reason that he was here.

To the left of him was a small, pale-faced boy who Sara recognized from the library, who came there nearly as much as she did.

In fact, Sara spent almost every spare minute that she had in the library, whether she was doing homework, or just reading about the wonders of the wizarding world. Not many other students were in there as much as she was, except for that boy, who she always saw sitting a table or two away.

And there, sitting right next to Slughorn across from the boy from the library, was Lily Evans. Of course she would be there, she was Slughorn’s favorite pupil.

“How good of you to join us Miss Agine!” said Professor Slughorn. “Please, have a seat!”

The only available seat left was right next to Lily, so Sara sat there. Professor Slughorn launched into one of his long speeches about the new year, his classes, and his expectations of his students this year. Sara tried to listen politely but after about ten minutes she lost interest. Suddenly a voice whispered in her ear.

“Hey, you’re Sara Agine aren’t you? I’ve seen you in potions class, you’re really good.”

Sara looked over at Lily, who smiled at her. She was really beautiful, with her shiny red hair and piercingly green eyes, no wonder James loved her so much.

“Thanks.” Sara mumbled shyly. “You’re really good too.”

Lily smiled again. “Thanks. So how long do you think this will last?” she asked, nodding at Slughorn, who was still talking.

“Who knows, probably a couple of hours.” Sara joked.

Lily laughed quietly.

“Yeah probably.” She said. “So how was your first day?”

And so began a long conversation, in which Lily and Sara talked about many things, about their classes, their teachers, and their families.

As Slughorn was blabbering away about his friends on World Quidditch teams, Lily asked teasingly, “So, do you like any boys in our year?”

The question caught Sara completely off guard. Her face turned as red as Lily’s hair, she looked down and began to play with the tassel on her cushion.

“It’s okay.” Lily smiled reassuringly. “I promise, I won’t tell anyone.”

Sara looked up nervously. Could she tell Lily? Lily didn’t like James at all, but it would still be kind of awkward.

“Y-Yeah. I kinda like this guy in our year.”

“Really? That’s so cool! What’s his name?”

“Um, I dunno.” Sara lied.

“Oh, ok.” Lily said, immediately understanding Sara’s feelings. “That’s cool, so do you hang out with him at all?”

“No, he probably doesn’t even know that I exist.”

“Really. How come?”

“Well, he likes this other girl, but she doesn’t even like him. He spends all of his time staring at her. I’ve never even spoken one word to him.”

Really.” Lily said, more to herself than to Sara. She looked thoughtful for a moment, then she turned back to Sara.

“So if he never notices you, how come you like him so much?”

Sara paused before answering.

“I, I dunno. He just seems really nice, I dunno, I just, um-”

“Kind of like love at first sight huh?”

Sara looked up at Lily.

“Yeah, kinda.”

That was how she felt. The moment she had laid eyes on James, Sara had known that there was something about him that she really liked.

“You know what’s funny?”

Sara shook herself out of her thoughts and answered, “What?”

“I have the same problem, but the exact opposite. There’s this guy who likes me, but I don’t like him at all, and he doesn’t seem to get the message.”

“Really.”

This last statement was followed by some more silence (Well if you ignored the constant drone of Slughorn’s voice it was silence). Both girls hadn’t mentioned the two boys’ names, but each of them knew exactly who the other was talking about.

______________________________________
Well that was a long one! Let me know what you think!


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Last edited by witchsmart; September 13th, 2007 at 3:31 am.
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  #6  
Old March 12th, 2007, 3:19 am
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Re: No Chance

Chapter Four

Sara left Professor Slughorn’s office with mixed feelings. She had just had a conversation with Lily, who was extremely nice, and she seemed to know exactly how Sara felt about James. But she was her main competition for James’ attention, and Lily didn’t even want to be a contestant. Maybe that was why Sara didn’t feel angry or jealous of Lily at all.

Life is so weird. Sara thought to herself, as she walked down the dark hallways. It was really late, and Sara hurried along, not wanting to linger in the creepy corridors.

Creeeeeeak.

What was that? Sara whirled around to face the direction where the noise had come from, but there was nothing there.

It must be my imagination. She thought. She kept walking, a little faster this time.

Creeeeeeeeeeeeak!

Again Sara turned around, this time with her wand at the ready.

“Is someone there?” she called out, unable to keep the fear out of her voice. She hated walking alone in the dark, for fear of something jumping out at her, and now there was someone, or something in the dark with her.

Her words were met by silence. Slowly, Sara began to turn around to keep on walking.

CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAK!

Sara whipped around, her wand glowing brightly in the gloom.

“Who’s there?” she called out. There was silence. Then suddenly from out of the shadows one of the knight in armor jumped out at her! Sara screamed and fell backwards, hitting the marble floor hard. The knight began to laugh, its cackling reverberating throughout its armor. Sara sat there, staring at the knight in horror, who brandished its lance at her.

Wait a minute. Sara thought. I know that voice.

The laughter was becoming more high-pitched, and Sara suddenly realized who it was. She stood up, very annoyed, put her wand away, and folded her arms across her chest.

“Peeves!”

The knight crumpled to the floor as a small, short figure zoomed out of it and floated above Sara’s head.

“HA! HA! I got you! You little scaredy cat! Oh, poor Sara, all alone in a dark hallway. I got you good I did!”

Peeves the Poltergeist rolled over in midair, laughing insanely. Peeves was one of the ghosts at Hogwarts. A small man who liked to play pranks on the students and annoy the caretaker, Eugene Almagest, who had been trying to get Peeves thrown out for years.

“Peeves you big jerk! Sneaking up on me like that! Maybe I should have let them kick you out of here!”

Peeves stopped laughing and straightened up.

“Oh shut up. It’s no fun if you get all huffy.”

Sara frowned, and then smiled.

“Ok, fine. You got me. Happy?”

Cackling, Peeves flew off through the wall. Sara was about to head back to the common room when Peeves poked his head out of the stone wall.

“You’d better get out of here before nasty ‘ol Almagest comes!”

“Thanks for the advice.” Sara said sarcastically. Peeves cackled again and left, probably to cause mischief elsewhere.

Not wanting to be found with a disheveled suit of armor in the middle of the night, Sara quickly hurried to the next floor.

That Peeves, she thought to herself. Is such a pest sometimes.

A long time ago in Sara’s first year, Peeves had played a prank on a student that had ended her up in St. Mungo's, the wizarding hospital. Rumors had flown around the school that Peeves was going to be thrown out of Hogwarts.

Sara, who had seen the whole thing, immediately rushed over to the headmaster’s office and had protested Peeves’ innocence. It was not him, she had said, but a student who had tripped Mary-Ann up and had caused her to fall down six flights of stairs. All Peeves had done was spook her a little, and then she had been tripped up.

Sara finished by saying that she was sure that Peeves would never do such a thing, and that if he was allowed to stay, he would calm down a little.

Peeves, who had been eavesdropping on the whole conversation, took that moment to come in and swear that he would never do anything like that, and that he would become a little more “tame”.

Professor Dumbledore had allowed Peeves to stay, and from that moment on Sara and Peeves had formed a little bond. They weren’t exactly friends, but all of the ink bottles, library books, and backpacks that were constantly dumped on students’ heads, all seemed to miss Sara. In this way, Sara was immune to most of Peeves’ pranks, and she was very grateful for it. But every once and awhile he found the need to sneak up on her when she was alone at night, mostly on the way back to the common room after spending hours in the library. He was very annoying, but in a good way, and Sara was sure that her bond with Peeves would come in handy some day.

Upon reaching the common room, Sara, having no homework, was about to head upstairs to bed, but then she spotted James and his friends sitting and talking by the fire. Not only that, but they were the only ones in the common room. Maybe if she stayed, James would come over to talk to her.

It was a small chance, but a chance nonetheless. And so, Sara sat down at a table near the fire, took out a book, and began to read, but not taking in a single word.


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Last edited by witchsmart; September 13th, 2007 at 3:42 am.
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Old March 19th, 2007, 3:02 am
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Re: No Chance

Chapter Five

“Well, time to start another boring school year.”

“Oh come on Padfoot, this is our fifth year. Do you realize how much work we’ll have now, what with our O.W.L.s coming up?”

“Oh shut up Moony, you take the fun out of everything.”

“Now, now Padfoot, Mooney’s right. We have to be more serious, our exams are nearly here and it’s time to start thinking about our futures, instead of worrying about trivial things, like having fun.”

There was a moment’s silence, then Sirius and James burst into laughter. Still chuckling, James continued.

“But really, it’s time we started something. What sort of fun shall we have this year Padfoot?”

“I don’t know Prongs. The usual pranks and rule-breaking are getting old. We need something new, something no one’s ever done before. Something that future Hogwarts students can look back on as the legend of Hogwarts.”

“The legend of Hogwarts, I like the sound of that. So my ingenious friend, how do we achieve said title?”

“I’m not sure. I don’t think that there’s any prank big enough to pull that will get us that status.”

“Honestly, you two are going to get yourselves expelled one day.”

“Oh shut up Moony, we just want to have a little fun.”

“Well that ‘little fun’ is going to land you both into big trouble.”

“Aw I’m sure it’s nothing we can’t handle, right Prongs?”

“Definitely. What’s ‘ol Filch going to do this time? Put us in separate detentions again? Please. So, I’m thinking we should explore the forest a bit, who knows what could be in there.”

“No way mate. We’ve been in that forest a dozen times, this has to be something that’s never been done before.”

“What about that forbidden tower Dumbledore mentioned?”

“Forbidden tower? What are you talking about? You don’t mean the astronomy tower do you? Sorry to break to you Wormtail, but that’s not exactly ‘forbidden’.

“Not the astronomy tower, the tower in the east wing.”

“Oh yeah that one! Good idea Wormtail.”

“Wait, what tower? What are you both talking about?”

“Didn’t you hear Prongs? Oh that’s right, you were too busy staring at Lily to hear what Dumbledore said.”

“Shut up. So what did he say?”

“He just said that it was forbidden.”

“Well, I think that’s worth checking out, what about you Padfoot?”

“Oh yeah, so when should we go?”

“Hold it you two, if you remember, Dumbledore also said that it was forbidden, for all those who do not wish for this to be their last year at Hogwarts.”

“Oh come on Moony, it’s not like we’re going to get caught.”

“Don’t even think about it.”

“Too late, thought about it, and we’re going to do it.”

“Fine, but you can count me out.”

“You take the fun out of everything. Oh well, your loss.”

Remus muttered something that sounded like, “Not mine” Then returned to the book in his hands.

“So when should we set the date for this adventure?”

“Mmm, why not tomorrow night?”

“Nah, can’t, Quidditch practice, I’ll be bushed.”

“All right then, how about Saturday evening?”

“Sounds good.”

“I’m warning you two, don’t do this.”

“Honestly Moony, you are such a prat sometimes.”

“All right. Just don’t come running to me when you’re packing your bags.”

“Will do. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m going to head up to bed.”

Sara pulled the book up to hide her face as James stood up, stretched, and walked past her on his way to the boy’s dormitory. As he walked by her, James looked over at Sara, but she just kept pretending to read Spells, Charms, and More and he kept walking. When she heard the dormitory door close upstairs, Sara’s mind went crazy. If Dumbledore said that something was forbidden, it was for a good reason. Was James really going to go through with this?

Well of course he is. Sara thought. Knowing him he’ll probably make a public announcement about it.

All the same, until Saturday night Sara was going to see if there was anything she could do to keep James from going into that tower. If he got expelled, then what would she do?


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Last edited by witchsmart; October 1st, 2007 at 2:53 am.
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  #8  
Old March 23rd, 2007, 1:48 am
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Re: No Chance

Chapter Six

The Draught of Living Death, or Sleeping Death, brings upon the drinker a very powerful sleep that can last indefinitely. It can be made by mixing a root of asphodel and an infusion of wormwood. The potion also contains sopophorous bean juice and chopped valerian root.

Where did I put that root?

Down in the dungeons, students were hard at work brewing The Draught of Living Death, for Professor Slughorn. All of the students were hard at work, except for James of course, who was goofing off as usual.

Come on, where’s that root? I don’t want my potion to brew for too long.

Finally Sara, who had been searching frantically for her valerian root, found it under her case of sopophorous beans and, cutting it into equal pieces, dropped it into her bubbling potion. It hissed and turned black.

“‘Cut up the sopophorous beans to release the juice needed.’” Sara read out loud. She was about to slice the beans with her knife when a voice whispered behind her.

“If you crush the bean with the flat side of your knife, it releases the juice better than cutting it.”

Sara turned around, at the table behind her sat the same pale-faced boy who had been at Slughorn’s last night. However he was completely involved in his work, and could not have been the one who had spoken. Occasionally he would scratch something out in his textbook, muttering to himself, and then write something else down.

He’s going to get into trouble for that. Sara thought to herself. She looked back at her beans. Pausing for a moment, she then turned over her knife and pressed the flat side against the beans. Juice came spilling out, much more than she had expected. She dumped the beans into her cauldron and the potion turned a light shade of lilac, exactly as described in the book.

“And, time!” called out Slughorn. “Let me see what you have done.”

He began to slowly walk around the room, inspecting each student’s potion.

“Excellent work Miss Evans!” he exclaimed, as he peered into Lily’s cauldron. Her potion was purple too, but slightly darker than Sara’s.

Sara held her breath as Slughorn walked over to her table. He looked at her potion and said. “Aha! Observe class, Miss Agine’s potion has turned a very delicate shade of lilac. This is what your potions are supposed to look like after you add the sopophorous bean juice. Well done Miss Agine, well done! Twenty points to Gryffindor!”

Sara blushed as Slughorn walked past. For once, she had actually done better in Potions class than Lily!

“Mr. Potter. Perhaps if you spent more time on your work and less time fooling around, your potion would resemble a little more than boiling water. You could learn a thing or two from Miss Agine.” Said Slughorn sternly, gesturing at Sara.

“Yes sir.” Muttered James, looking over at Sara. They held eye contact for a moment, and Sara registered something almost like recognition in his eyes. Embarrassed, she turned away and started packing up. Slughorn was now saying something about the boy behind her, but Sara wasn’t listening. As soon as the bell rang she rushed out the door. She had a free period now, and Professor McGonagall had assigned her class a 12-inch essay on Animagi transformations. She could use this time to do some research in the library.

“Hey, Sara!”

Sara turned around and saw Lily detach herself from a group of giggling girls and make her way towards her.

“Yeah?” she asked, as Lily reached her. They began walking down the corridor together.

“Nice job in Potions today!” she said. “How did you get your potion to turn that color? I tried everything that I could think of, but nothing worked.”

“Well . . .” Should she tell Lily about the mysterious instruction? Even in the wizarding world, it wasn’t a good sign if you started hearing voices.

“Well,” Sara began again. “I, I just had a, a feeling that if I pressed my knife against the bean, maybe more juice would come out.”

“And it worked?” Lily asked, amazed. “Wow, you’ve got a real knack for this stuff.”

“Thanks.” Sara said. The two girls departed as Lily headed to the Common Room and Sara continued walking to the library. When she reached it, she discovered that there was only one other person in there, the same pale-faced boy who had sat behind her in Potions. He looked up as she entered, then quickly buried his head in his book.

Sara sat down at a table by the door and began to work on her Transfiguration essay. When she got up to find a book on the registered Animagi, she saw that the boy was staring at her. After finding the book, she sat back down and finished her essay. Several times when she glanced up, she saw another pair of eyes staring back at her. Sara finished the essay just as the bell rang and, gathering her books, she quickly walked out.

The rest of the day passed uneventfully, and Sara soon forgot about the boy. With no homework to do she decided to go straight to bed for once, and was soon lying underneath the sheets in her dormitory. Tomorrow was Saturday, she could spend some extra time in the library. Maybe she could read more about that witch in Amagansett who accidentally turned her sister into a pig. Yawning, Sara turned over and presently fell asleep.

_____________________________________________
Thank you Wikipedia for the informatoin on the Draught of Living Death!


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  #9  
Old March 25th, 2007, 11:32 pm
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Re: No Chance

Chapter Seven

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

Sara couldn’t believe what she was doing, which at the time was sneaking out of bed at night and breaking a ton of rules. All for a boy.

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

Earlier that evening, Sara had been relaxing in the Common Room reading The Daily Prophet. It was late at night, and the Common Room was nearly empty. Sara was about to call it a night when she hear a shout from across the room.

“I’m warning you for the last time James, don’t do it!”

“And I’m telling you for the last time Remus, too bad!”

Sara whipped around, she had completely forgotten about James’ plans to sneak into the forbidden tower. Sara knew that James shouldn’t go in there, but how on Earth could she convince him when she’d never spoken so much as a word to him?

“Ready Padfoot?”

“Actually Prongs, I’m not really sure about this. I mean, Hogwarts is my only chance to get away from home, I don’t want to lose it.”

“What? I thought you were with me Padfoot!”

“Sorry mate.”

“Moony may have convinced you, but I’m still going to check it out. How about you Wormtail, are you coming?”

“M-maybe some other time Prongs.”

James looked around at his friends disbelievingly. Maybe, thought Sara, maybe I won’t have to say anything to him after all.

“You’re all thick, the lot of you! Do you know how many times we’ve broken the rules, and have gotten away with it? Well, I don’t care what you say, I’m leaving now! I’ll tell you chickens about it later.”

“No! Don’t do it James!”

The words were out before Sara could stop herself. She stood up abruptly and faced James. He in turn looked around at her, there was a brief silence, then Sara saw a hint of recognition in James’ eyes.

“I know you. You’re that girl in Potions and from . . . from before.”

“Y-Yeah.”

Oh God. Thought Sara, horrified. Of all the things to say to him . . .

“What were you doing anyways? Eavesdropping on us?”

“N-not really. I mean, you were kind of loud.”

“All right then, but why’s it any concern of yours how I spend my evenings?”

“Because,” Sara took a deep breath, this whole situation was overwhelming her. “Because, if you go to that tower, well, there’s bound to be security there, and if you get caught, you’ll get expelled.”

“You see James?”

“Oh lay off Mooney. And you,” he said, turning back to Sara. “I repeat, what do you care if I get expelled?”

“I-I just do.” Sara muttered weakly.

“Hey, don’t worry, I’ll be alright.” Said James, treating Sara to one of his cockiest grins.

“That’s not the point!” Sara said, starting to get a little annoyed now.

“Then what is the point? Are you scared? No one said that you had to come.”

“I’m not scared.” Lied Sara.

“I bet you are.” James said. “Even if I did ask you, you’d be too scared to go. Of course that goes without saying, you being a girl and all.”

“FINE!”

James stared at Sara, both of her hands had turned into fists, and she was staring at him angrily.

“F-fine what?”

“Fine, I’ll go with you.”

“What? But I-”

“What’s wrong James? You’re not scared are you?”

The Common Room was completely silent. Sirius, Remus, and Peter were all staring, first at Sara, then at James, to see what he would say. At first James just stood there, his mouth hanging open. Then he straightened up, smiling, and said,

“Very well, if you insist. Just hang on a moment while I get the proper tools for the job.”

Sara rolled her eyes, and James ran up the stairs to his dormitory. The moment he disappeared from sight, Sara swayed for a moment, then sank into the nearest chair.

“Please, you don’t have to do this.” Remus said, walking over to her. “James doesn’t know what he’s talking about, this could be really dangerous.”

Sara didn’t say anything at first, then she muttered, “No, someone has to show him, show him . . .”

“Show him what?”

“I don’t know, just, just show him.” Sara finished lamely.

They both looked up as James walked back down the stairs, carrying something in his arms.

“This,” he said proudly, holding it out for Sara to see, it was silver, and looked almost like a solid liquid. “This is a-”

“It’s an invisibility cloak.” Sara said astonished.

“How’d you know?”

“I’ve read about them, do they really make you invisible?”

“Do they?” James smiled, and put on the cloak, disappearing right before Sara’s astounded eyes.

“Now,” said James, coming into view again as he pulled off the cloak, “This may make you invisible, but people will still be able to hear you. So you have to be quiet.”

Sara nodded.

“Let’s go.”

So now here she was, walking down a dark corridor in the middle of the night, heading for the forbidden tower, all for a boy.

Then again, for the first time in her life she was with James, although this definitely wasn’t how she had pictured it would happen. So caught up in her thoughts, Sara didn’t even noticed where she was going, until her leg sunk down to her knee in the trick stair.

“Ow!”

Sara tried to grab onto something, anything, to stop herself from falling. She grabbed the cloak, and accidentally pulled it off of James, who tripped and fell on the stairs.

“HA! HA!”

Sara looked up to see Peeves swooping over their heads, laughing. James swore loudly.

“Peeves! Go away Peeves!”

“What do we have here? Nasty little Potter out of bed? Naughty, naughty!”

“I swear Peeves,” James growled, pulling out his wand. “Get out of here now, or else.”

“Tsk tsk. Shame on you Potter. I should call Almagest I should.”

“No!”

Sara pulled the cloak off of her and looked up at Peeves. “Please,” she said. “Please Peeves, don’t call Mr. Almagest.”

Peeves hovered in midair, unsure of what to do.

“Peeves, you owe me. Don’t call him.”

Peeves paused for a moment more, then frowned.

“You’re lucky your girlfriend was here to save you Potter.” And blowing a raspberry over their heads, Peeves flew through the wall and vanished.

“Wow, I’ve never seen Peeves listen to anyone, except the Bloody Baron.” James said incredulously, turning around to face Sara. “Why does he owe you?”

“I just helped him out of a tight spot once.” Mumbled Sara, not meeting James’ eyes.

“You don’t say. Well, here, let me help you.” And he reached down and pulled her leg out of the stair.

“Thanks.” Sara said, her voice muffled by the cloak, which she had pulled over herself so that James wouldn’t see her blushing.

“No problem. Try to be more careful next time alright?”

“Alright.”

The rest of the trip went on without a hitch, and the two soon found themselves standing outside of the door that led into the tower. It was large with an iron set of handles. An old fashioned lock was the only obstacle that separated them from whatever lay inside.

“Allow me.” James said, pulling off the cloak and raising his wand.

“Alohamora!”

The door remained locked.

“Here, let me try.” Sara said, stepping in front of James. She pulled out a hair pin and stuck it inside the keyhole. Within seconds the lock opened with a click.

“How did you do that?”

“Muggle trick.”

They both stood there for a moment, then James said, “Well, ladies first.”

“I don’t believe it. You are scared aren’t you?”

James said nothing.

“Fine, I’ll go in first, I’ll let you know when it’s safe.”

Swallowing hard, Sara reached forward and pulled open the door. It moved silently on its hinges, and Sara stepped inside, closing the door behind her. The room was pitch-black, so she used “Lumos” so that she could see where she was going. Sara found herself in an enormous room, as far as she could tell, with stone floors and walls. Upon closer inspection Sara found black marks on the walls, as though flames had scorched them. Turing around, she caught a glimpse of something at the far end of the room. Walking forward, she raised her wand to see better. The light fell upon the object, and with a gasp Sara realized what it was. There, lying asleep against the wall, was a dragon. And not just any dragon. What Sara saw before her, was the dragon that she had read so much about, the Hungarian Horntail, one of the most vicious breeds of all dragons.

Stifling a scream, Sara turned and tried to run out of the room. Unfortunately she was not looking where she was going, and tripped over something long and sharp. She fell to the floor, hard, and her wand went flying. Whatever she had fallen over had cut up her legs, and they hurt very badly. Hearing a scraping sound behind her, Sara looked up, straight into a pair of bright yellow eyes. She realized with a shock that the thing she had tripped over was a long, spiked tail.

The dragon was awake.

And it was angry.

_____________________________________________
Yes! This is my favorite chapter. Don't forget to leave feedback!


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  #10  
Old April 2nd, 2007, 12:44 am
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Re: No Chance

Chapter Eight

Oh God, how did I get myself into this?

Right now Sara was in the midst of what could only be compared with a dream gone horribly wrong. At the moment, she was running for her life, without a wand, being chased by a Hungarian Horntail. An angry Hungarian Horntail. And she was injured. The huge spikes on the dragon’s tail had cut her legs, and on top of all that she was scared out of her wits.

Where my wand? Where’s my wand?

Sara searched frantically for her wand, which had flown out of her hand and was now somewhere in this dark room. But she would never find it without some light. Sara’s prayers were answered, when flames shot out from the dragon’s mouth and lit up the room. Unfortunately, Sara was too busy trying not to get fried to use the light to see where her wand was. Suddenly the dragon’s tail swept across the floor and caught her in the chest, hard. Sara fell to the ground, and looked up as the dragon came closer. Quickly she scrambled to her feet and ran for the door. She was about to grab the handle and race out when the dragon attacked again. Its long, vicious fangs clamped down on her arm and she screamed loudly as she was tossed across the room.

Sara’s head struck the stone wall, and her vision grew fuzzy. The last thing she saw was the dragon drawing closer, its mouth hung wide open, showing her every last one of its sharp, pointy teeth. She finally understood the real meaning of Dumbledore’s words. It wouldn’t be a student’s last year at Hogwarts because they were expelled after going into the forbidden tower. It would be their last year because they would be killed by the dragon.

Sara lost consciousness and collapsed on the floor.


The sun was shinning brightly on a dozen white, puffy clouds. Sara was sitting in the midst of them, feeling their soft texture.

Where am I? She thought. Am I in Heaven?

She looked around. There were angels floating around here and there above the clouds. One or two looked towards her and smiled. Sara smiled back. Suddenly a figure approached her. Its entire body was aglow. The figure looked at her for a moment, then placed something down on the cloud beside her. Then it floated away.

Sara wanted to call out to the person, to ask them where she was. But it didn’t hear her, and disappeared. Sara tried to see what it had left next to her, but her body wouldn’t move. Suddenly the clouds grew dark. Thunder sounded and lightning flashed all around her.

Sara looked around to find that she was completely alone. Another figure was coming towards her. It was dark and wore a black robe. Black smoke swirled around its feet. It came closer, and closer. Sara tried to run, but her entire body was bound with heavy chains. The figure had reached her, and it held out a dark, ghostly hand to grab her.

“No!” She cried. “Get away from me!”

It ignored her cries and came ever closer, now muttering something softy.

“Go away! Leave me alone!”

“Sara . . .”

“Help! Someone help me!”

“Sara . . .”

“Leave me alone! Get away from me!”

“Sara . . .”

“Get away! Get away. Get . . . away . . .”

“SARA!”


Sara sat up in bed, breathing heavily. Her face was drenched in a cold sweat, and it took her awhile to figure out where she was.

She was in the Hospital Wing. It was morning and the sun was shinning through the glass windows. She was in a bed, and her head was covered in a turban of bandages. At first she thought she was the only person in the room, but then, as she turned around, she saw that someone else was sitting next to her.

It was James.

“Sara! Are you okay? You were tossing and turning and talking in your sleep.”

Sara didn’t answer at first, because she still did not understand why she was here, instead of in her bed in Gryffindor Tower.

“Wha-What happened?”

“You’ve been asleep for a week! I didn’t think you were ever going to wake up.”

“A-A week? Why?”

“Don’t you remember? You were attacked, by the-” James leaned in closer and whispered, “-dragon.”

Suddenly it all came back to her. The tower, the Horntail, all of it. Sara groaned and put her hand to her head, only to see that it too, was covered in bandages.

“How, how did I get here? I remember the dragon coming, and then, nothing.”

“I brought you here. I was waiting outside the tower, when I heard noises coming from inside. Then I heard running, and crashes, and roaring, and screams . . . and then silence.”

Sara said nothing, her eyes fixed on James.

“So I ran inside, and I saw you lying on the floor, and the dragon standing over you. I panicked. I had no idea what to do. I shouted and the dragon turned to me. Then I raised my wand and tried to stun it. I know, I know.”

James nodded when he saw the look Sara gave him.

“You can’t stun a dragon, at least not by yourself. But what was I supposed to do? I was alone, you were lying half-dead on the floor, and there was this enormous dragon about to bite my head off!”

Sara couldn’t help laughing.

“Well anyways, as you could probably guess my spell bounced off its scales. But it seemed fazed, or maybe it was just surprised that I was stupid enough to try and jinx it. Either way it just stood there blinking, so I ran and grabbed you and tried to escape. I barely managed to get out before the dragon came to its senses. It tried to barbecue me actually.”

James held up his arm, which had a small burn on it.

“That’s it?” Sara teased.

“It was bigger! Madam Pompfrey was able to get rid of most of it.”

“Oh, sorry about that.”

“Don’t be. Argh! This whole thing was my fault! You could have been killed because I was too pig-headed to listen to sense!”

“That’s not true. Well actually part of it is. You were being a bit thick. But it’s not all your fault. I should have known better than to do this.”

“I’m sorry for getting you into this mess.”

Sara looked over at James, he really did look sorry.

“Thank you.”

James looked up in surprise.

“For what?”

“For saving my life. It was really brave of you, trying to stun the dragon and all.”

James looked away, but not before Sara saw his face turn red with embarrassment.

“Oh good. You’re awake.”

Madam Pompfrey came over to Sara’s bed with a small bluish bottle and a spoon.

“Excuse me Mr. Potter. Here, drink some of this. It’s for your fractured skull.”

“My what?”

“Shush. Drink.”

Sara drank obediently, but immediately wished that she hadn’t. The potion tasted like sour milk, and instead of going down, it felt like it was traveling up to her head. James made a disgusted face behind Madam Pompfrey’s back. Sara smiled.

“There, now make sure you get plenty of rest. And I would stay away from broomsticks in the meantime.”

“Broomsticks?”

“Yes, of course she will.” Interjected James, giving Sara a look.

“Good.” Madam Pompfrey walked back to her office, muttering to herself, “Teenagers these days.”

“Why am I supposed to stay away from broomsticks?” Sara asked James, confused, after Madam Pompfrey had shut the door behind her.

“Well I had to think of some excuse to explain your injuries. It’s not like I was going to tell her that you had gone into the forbidden tower and got attacked by a dragon. I just told her that you were out flying with me, and that you fell off your broomstick.”

“I was flying, with you, in the middle of the night?”

“Hey, I didn’t hear you coming up with anything else.”

“That’s because I was unconscious.”

“Well if you’re going to put it that way . . .”

Sara laughed. Even though she was almost killed, Sara was glad to be here, having an actual conversation with James for the first time in her life.

“Well I guess it’s an okay alibi. You haven’t told anyone else the truth right?”

“The truth about what Miss Agine?”

Sara and James both turned around to see a tall man in purple robes standing in the doorway to the Hospital Wing. His silver hair and beard were long enough to tuck into his belt, and he wore a pair of half-moon spectacles perched on the tip of his nose, which looked as though it had been broken at least twice.

“P-Professor Dumbledore!” James stuttered.


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  #11  
Old April 3rd, 2007, 3:12 am
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Re: No Chance

Chapter Nine

“The truth about what Miss Agine?” repeated Dumbledore. His voice was calm, and he did not seem angry, though it was hard to tell since his eyes portrayed no sign of emotion. Sara was silent for a moment, her brain working furiously to come up with some kind of excuse.

“The truth, sir, of why I, uh, was out flying tonight.”

“Ah yes. And that would be?”

“Well, because, because I, ah . . .”

Sara looked over at James, and her face turned slightly pink.

“Because I wanted to impress James sir.”

Dumbledore said nothing, he only looked at Sara curiously. James on the other hand, looked astounded that Sara could lie so convincingly.

“So, let me see if I have grasped the situation clearly,” Dumbledore said, now sounding slightly amused. “You, one whom I have noticed always obeys the rules, decided, on the spur of the moment, to sneak outside onto the school grounds in the middle of the night, break into the broomstick shed, borrow a broomstick, and practice your flying in utter darkness to gain the attention of Mr. Potter here?”

“Yes sir.”

“Wouldn’t it have been easier instead, to come to the Quidditch field during your free time to borrow a broomstick and use that time for practice?”

“I, I guess I wasn’t really thinking about what I was doing sir.”

“I highly doubt that, you are a very intelligent person Miss Agine.”

Sara said nothing, but instead looked down at the bed sheets.

“But of course, our desires and affections for other people can often obscure our common sense from our minds at times. Now, Mr. Potter,” Dumbledore turned to James, who looked up with a start. “How did you come to find Miss Agine?”

“W-Well,” James’ voice faltered, he looked over hesitantly at Sara.

“Yes?” Dumbledore asked pleasantly.

“Well sir, I was, ah, already outside.”

“You were? And for what reason?”

“I, ah, fancied a walk sir.”

“I see. So you decided to roam the grounds in the dead of night, perhaps for a bit of fresh air, and came upon Miss Agine did you?”

“Yes sir.”

“And then you immediately carried her inside, and up here to the Hospital Wing, is that correct?”

“Yes sir.”

Dumbledore said nothing, he just looked at the two children in front of him. Then he smiled and said, “Well then, if that is what happened. Now I must be off. I am glad to see that you are feeling better Miss Agine. And oh, before I forget.” Dumbledore walked over to Sara’s bedside and handed her a wand. “I found this as the site of your, ah, accident.”

“Thank you sir.” Sara said nervously, taking the wand with trembling fingers.

Dumbledore nodded and turned to leave.

“Oh and, Mr. Potter?” he said, stopping in the doorway.

“Yes sir?”

“When attempting to stun a Hungarian Horntail, it is best to aim for the space between the eyes. Good day.”

And with that Dumbledore left. The Hospital Wing was completely silent as Sara and James looked first and the spot where Dumbledore had been, and then at each other.

“He knows.” Sara whispered softly.

“Yeah,” James said hoarsely. “But it doesn’t sound like he’s going to expel us, at least not now.”

He turned to look back at Sara.

“I didn’t know you could do that.”

“Do what?”

“What you said, when Dumbledore asked you about the truth. You were really good, you even had me convinced for a moment.”

Well that’s not surprising. Sara thought to herself. Considering it sort of was the truth.

There was another brief silence, and then Sara asked.

“So, no one else knows about this, right?”

“No one except for the other Marauders.” James replied. “I haven’t told anyone, and they won’t either.”

“Good.” Sara sighed, sitting back on the pillows. “I’m going to be so behind in my work.”

James looked at her incredulously.

“You just woke up after almost being killed by a dragon and you’re worried about schoolwork? Honesty, I think you and Moony must be soul mates or something.” He laughed, shaking his head from side to side. Sara nothing, but instead chose that moment to look at her beside table, which was covered with get well cards and flowers. She picked up the card closest to her, which was attached to a box of Honeydukes sweets. Opening it up, she began to read the slanted handwriting inside.

Dear Miss Agine,
I am terribly sorry to hear about your accident and I hope that you recover quickly. I am looking forward to have you in my potions class again.
Yours truly,
Professor H.E.F. Slughorn



“Who are those from?”

“Professor Slughorn.”

“Oh well no wonder, you’re one of his favorite students.”

Sara blushed and picked up a beautiful bouquet of roses, tulips, and carnations.

“I wonder who sent these?” she said.

“Probably your secret admirer.” James joked.

Sara laughed. “I doubt it.” she said.

There was no card with the flowers, nor was there any hint of whoever had sent it. Sara suddenly recalled the dream that she’d had, when a glowing figure had placed something down beside her.

Who gave these to me?

“So whose it from?”

“I dunno,” Sara said, putting the flowers back on the table and picking up another card. “There was no name.”

“I told you, it’s from an admirer.”

“Oh shut up. Hey this one’s from Lily.”

“Really? You two know each other?”

“Yeah, we met in Slughorn’s office.”

Sara looked down again at the card and read out loud.

Dear Sara,
I hope that you get better soon. James told me everything, I am so sorry that this happened to you. I don’t know what you were thinking. Hopefully you’ll wake up soon so we can talk.
Best wishes,
Lily



Sara looked up at James, shocked.

“I thought you said you didn’t tell anyone? You told Lily!?”

“I didn’t! Well, not the truth anyway. She cornered me after Potions class and asked me what happened. I told her that you fell off your broomstick, like I told Madam Pompfrey. I didn’t tell her that you were attacked by a dragon!”

“WHAT?”

For the second time that day Sara and James turned around to see a figure standing in the doorway.

What did you just say?” Lily demanded.


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Last edited by witchsmart; October 1st, 2007 at 2:52 am.
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  #12  
Old April 14th, 2007, 2:46 am
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Re: No Chance

Chapter Ten

“What did you just say?” repeated Lily, her hands placed accusingly on her hips, a bag hanging over her shoulder, giving James one of her most piercing glares. James looked first at her, then at Sara who smiled as if to say, Well, go on.

“Evans!” Began James.

“Don’t you ‘Evans’ me! Did you just say that Sara was attacked by a dragon?”

“Ah, no. No I didn’t.”

Smooth. Thought Sara.

“Oh really? Then what did you say?”

“I said, I said she was attacked by a, a dragster.”

“A dragster?”

A dragster?!? The best he can come up with is a dragster?

“That’s right. Sara was just walking on the grounds, minding her own business yesterday when a dragster flew down at her and attacked her.”

There was a brief moment of silence. Although none were spoken aloud there were plenty of thoughts going around in the three students’ minds.

Nice recovery. She’ll never know. I’m a genius.

Does he even know what a dragster is? Isn’t that some kind of muggle vehicle?


Oh God, a dragster? Yep that’s it, a dragster just flew down and attacked me. Makes perfect sense.

Needless to say it was clear as to whose thoughts were whose.

“James you’re a pathetic liar. I bet you don’t even know what a dragster is!” Lily smirked.

“I do too!”

“Then what is it?”

“It’s a, a, Sara why don’t you tell her what a dragster is?”

Sara, being a muggle-born, knew exactly what a dragster was, and she closed her eyes and sighed before replying.

“A dragster, is a very fast car that muggles sometimes use for racing.”

“Sara, does a dragster go about attacking people?”

“No it does not.”

“Oh, the accident must have addled her brains. She doesn’t know what she’s saying.” James said hastily, glancing at Sara and giving her a look that said, just play along. However Sara knew that there was no way that they would be able to convince Lily into thinking that she had been attacked by a flying dragster.

“Sara, does a dragster fly?”

“No, a dragster is a pile of metal that has no ability to fly whatsoever.”

“Now hang on a second!” interrupted James. “Dragsters do fly. I heard it on the muggle news!”

“Honestly James you are such a bad liar.”

“No really! The announcer said that dragster number 47 was flying down the track to the finish line!”

By the now situation had gotten so out of hand that Sara couldn’t help but laugh out loud.

“James,” she said. “When the announcer said that the dragster was flying down the track, he meant that it was going really, really fast. It’s a figure of speech.”

James looked down and muttered a soft, “Oh.” Lily laughed.

“Honestly James you are so thick. Now,” Lily’s smile disappeared faster than a gnome down a garden hole. “Tell me the truth. Did you get attacked by a dragon?”

Sara looked at Lily. Could she trust her? Not that she really had much of a choice, and James wasn’t going to be of any help to her, he had already made the situation about as worse as it could possibly be, knock on wood. Plus, Lily had been so nice to her, and she seemed like a really honest person. So Sara looked Lily straight in the eye, and nodded.

The effect of that simple nod seemed to have stunned Lily. Her mouth dropped open and she reeled backwards, leaning heavily against the door frame.

“Oh God. Why, how did you . . . ?”

“It was in the forbidden tower. The one that Dumbledore warned us about at the beginning of the year.”

“What? But then why would you-?”

“It’s my fault.” Interrupted James. “I goaded her into it. I called her a coward. I never should have done it. And I’m really, really sorry.” James looked imploringly at Lily, who glared at him reproachfully. Before any fighting ensured, Sara spoke up.

“It’s not all his fault. I could have said no if I really wanted to. I just, well, you know.”

At first Lily looked confused, then she glanced back at James and suddenly understood. She nodded, and came over to sit on the edge of the bed.

“What? What does she know?” James asked.

“None of you business.” Lily snapped. “What are you doing here anyways? Shouldn’t you be at Quidditch practice?”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

At this comment Sara’s heart beat faster, and she felt a warm feeling spreading from the pit of her stomach to the rest of her body. James, James Potter, Quidditch player extraordinaire, had skipped practice to come see her?

Another silence followed, and then in a desperate attempt to change the subject, Lily said, “I brought you your schoolwork.”

“Thanks.” Sara replied gratefully as she took a huge stack of books and some parchment that Lily had pulled out of her bag.

“No problem. So, looks like you’ve got a few friends.” Lily remarked, gazing over at the bedside table full of gifts from well-wishers. “Who are those flowers from?”

“I don’t know. There was no card.”

“Hmm. Well, I guess I should be off to class. I’m glad to see that you’re feeling better Sara. See you later.” And without so much as looking at James she left.

“I guess I should be off too. The team will be furious that I missed practice.” James said, gazing after her.

Sara nodded, but she knew the real reason as to why James wanted to leave. He wanted to chase after Lily.

“I guess I’ll see you later.”

“I’ll drop by tonight.”

“Okay, bye.”

James departed, running to catch up to Lily’s fading figure. Sara sat still for a few minutes, then sighed softly.

Well it’s not like I thought he would go out with me after this. He loves Lily. But it’s still nice, even if we are just friends. It’s a step up, at any rate.

Soon afterwards Sara drifted off to sleep, and dreamt of flying dragsters and flowers sent by invisible people.

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  #13  
Old April 17th, 2007, 11:32 pm
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Re: No Chance

Chapter Eleven

“Hey Sara. You feeling okay?”

Almost two weeks had passed since the dragon incident. Sara had been dismissed from the Hospital Wing a week before and had immediately caught up on all of her homework. The following week had passed by without event, except for the occasional flowers or small gifts that she would find tucked in between the pages of her Advanced Potions Making book or hidden at the bottom of her book bag. Sometimes it was just a single rose, but once she had found a beautiful necklace inside her bag when she had been getting out her essay for Transfiguration.

It was a stunning ornament, sapphire blue in color, and shaped like a tiny star. A thin, golden thread hung from the top point of the star, it was truly an amazing piece of jewelry. At first Sara had looked around the classroom, thinking that someone had accidentally dropped it into her bag. But when she saw that no one was searching the floor or asking if anyone had seen their necklace, she assumed that it, like the flowers, was for her. She had taken to wearing it around her neck ever since.

Sara often wondered who had sent her these gifts. They had all come without a name, a note, a symbol, or anything that would give her a hint as to who they were from. Sometimes she fantasized that James’ had been the one, her “secret admirer”, as he had once called it. But she knew that if James had been responsible for these presents, the necklace would be hanging around Lily’s neck, instead of her own. So Sara resided herself to wondering who her mysterious “lover” was.

Sara fingered her necklace as she looked up at Lily, who had sat down next to her in the Gryffindor Common Room. Since the accident, Sara and Lily had begun to hang out more often. This was enjoyable to Sara in more ways than one. Lily was very smart and interested in Potions, like Sara was. They often helped each other with homework, and sometimes James came over to sit with them, which was an added bonus. Sara knew that Lily would had gladly gotten rid of James, but she was considerate of Sara and said nothing while he bragged and boasted about the many adventures that he had been in. In fact, life was so good, that Sara had forgotten all about the dragon.

“I’m fine, yeah.” She replied, as Lily got out some parchment, ink, and a long, feathered quill. Instead of launching into her usual discussion on today’s batch of homework, Lily lay her quill down on the parchment and looked Sara straight in the eye.

“I’ve been thinking. About, you know,” she looked around to make sure that no one was listening. The Common Room was nearly empty, it was lunch time and nearly everyone was downstairs in the Great Hall. Sara usually came up to Gryffindor Tower after she ate so that she could get a head start on her homework. Sometimes Lily would come up and work with her. The only other students around were two sixth-year boys who were talking by the fire. Reassured that no one could hear her, Lily whispered quietly. “The dragon.”

Sara groaned, and involuntarily put her hand up to where she had hit her head.

“Thanks for reminding me.” She grumbled. “What about it?”

“Well, I was just wondering, why is there a dragon here? It’s not like they’re friendly creatures. Some idiot kid could wander into the tower like you did and get himself killed! There must be a reason, but why?”

Sara stopping writing, her quill hovering in the air above the scroll of parchment. She had never thought about that before. And now that she did, she realized that it was a very good question. Why was there a dragon at Hogwarts?

“Yeah . . . Dumbledore wouldn’t endanger students like that. And he’s bound to know that just a warning isn’t going to keep some students from trying to find out what’s inside the tower themselves.”

“That’s what I was thinking. So that made me wonder why the Ministry of Magic hasn’t come to get it, or why they didn’t have it in the first place.”

“Yeah. It’s as if . . .” Sara paused, thinking hard.

“As if what?”

“Well it’s either as if the Ministry can’t handle it, or as if the Ministry doesn’t even know about it.”

“I think that the Ministry could handle a dragon. They have a whole department for it.”

“I know. Which makes me think that maybe Dumbledore is sort of, hiding the dragon here. That he doesn’t want the Ministry to know about it.”

The two girls lapsed into silence, both thinking hard. Was that really it? Was Dumbledore hiding the dragon from the Ministry? If so, why? And how could they find out?

“Maybe a Hungarian Horntail has some kind of magical ability. Something that’s really important, and that’s why Dumbledore has one.” Lily remarked after a few minutes of silence. “You’re in the library a lot Sara, have you ever read about Horntails?”

“Not much. I just read a little bit about them when I was doing an essay for Defense Against the Dark Arts on dragons. But I don’t remember anything about any special abilities.”

“Hmm. Well I don’t know about you, but I’m going to check it out.” Lily said, standing up and packing her belongings into her bag.

“Now? But the bell’s about to ring.”

“Oh yeah. Well, I’ll check it out after classes are over. Do you want to come?”

“Sure.”

“Okay. I’ll see you later.”

“Okay. See you then.”

The bell rang and Sara and Lily left the Common Room together, parting at the entrance to the Common Room as Lily headed upstairs to Charms class and Sara walked downstairs to Defense Against the Dark Arts. As she went, Sara wondered to herself about their planned meeting later that day. What would they find out? And more importantly, what would they do about it?

________________________________________________
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  #14  
Old April 20th, 2007, 1:29 am
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Re: No Chance

Chapter Twelve

“‘Supposedly the most dangerous of all the dragon breeds, the Hungarian Horntail has black scales and is lizard like in appearance.’”

“I know that already. I got to see it up close and personal. Keep reading.”

“‘It has yellow eyes, bronze horns, and similarly colored spikes that protrude from its long tail.’”

“Ugh, I did not need to be reminded about that. Keep going.”

“‘The Horntail has one of the longest fire-breathing ranges (up to fifty feet).’”

“Already knew that. Is there anymore?”

“‘Its eggs are cement-colored and particularly hard-shelled; the young club their way out using their tails, whose spikes are well developed at birth.’”

“Still nothing. Keep reading.”

“‘The Hungarian Horntail feeds on goats, sheep and, whenever possible, humans.’”

“Well that’s pleasant.”

“That’s all there is.” Lily responded, closing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and stacking it on top of the other books that they had already searched through. Lily and Sara had been in the library for over an hour now and they still had not found anything.

“Maybe Horntails don’t have any special powers after all.” Sara said, putting her head in her hands as she looked at all of the books that they had previously searched through.

“I guess so. That’s a shame, I was sure that we could find something.”

“Yeah, well maybe Dumbledore’s just keeping it around as a pet.”

“A fire-breathing, spiky-tailed, horny, human-eating dragon, as a pet?”

“Sure, why not? Makes about as much sense as anything else in this place.”

“I suppose you’re right. Well, while we’re here we might as well work on that Transfiguration essay that McGonagall set us. What’s it on?”

“The art of Animagi.”

“Oh yeah. Here, you go look for some books while I put these back.”

Lily reached down and lifted up the huge stack of books. Staggering a little under its enormous weight, she walked over to the shelves in the back of the library. Sara sighed, stood up, and walked over to the shelves that she knew held books on Animagi. When she had first discovered that wizards and witches could turn themselves into animals, she had gone to the library and read everything that she could about them. As she reached up and took a thick, leather-bound book down from the top shelf, she couldn’t help but feel that she had read something having to do with Horntails that they had not gone over earlier, but she couldn’t remember what it was.

Shaking her head slightly, Sara returned to their table with an armful of books. That same boy was there too, sitting two tables down and engrossed in The Dark Arts and How to Stop Them. After watching him for a moment Sara placed the books on the table and sat down. Lily soon returned and they both began to work on their essays.

They had been working for more than two hours. Sara was about to finish and thought that a list of the current Animagi in the 20th century would be a nice way to end her essay. She reached over and opened Animagi: The Current Register.

She flipped to the right page and scanned the list. There were only seven registered witches and wizards. Minerva McGonagall was the third name down, registered as a cat. Suddenly Sara stopped dead.

“Lily . . .”

“Mhm?” murmured Lily, her quill making scratching noises as she moved it across the parchment.

“Lily . . . look that this.”

“Huh?” Lily looked up, Sara was holding, Animagi: The Current Register out for her to take.

“Oh! That’s a good idea. We should probably mention the newest batch of Animagi. Here, let me see. Hey are you okay?”

Sara had turned pale, and wordlessly held the book out to Lily, who took it hesitatingly.

“Are you alright? You look pale.”

“Lily, read the list.”

“Huh?”

“Read it.”

“Okay. Horace Bottores: Registered Horse, Chestnut.” Lily read out loud.

“Keep going.”

“Marcy Decores: Registered Macaw, Orange.”

“Further down the list.”

“Minerva McGonagall: Registered Cat, Tabby. Nicholas Schubert: Registered Dolphin, Bottlenose. Rupert Sacrite: Registered Elephant, African. Catherine Moasta: Registered Whale, Humpback. Fredrick Vlores: Registered-”

Lily paused, her mouth dropped, and she looked at Sara awestruck. Sara nodded, and Lily looked back down at the list.

“Fredrick Vlores: Registered Dragon: Hungarian Horntail.”

_____________________________________________
Thank you to Wikipedia and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for the Hungarian Horntail info!


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  #15  
Old May 22nd, 2007, 12:15 am
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Re: No Chance

Chapter Thirteen

“You’re joking right?”

“For the last time, I am not joking, and if you say that again I’ll hex you.”

It had been very late in the evening when Sara and Lily had finally returned to the Common Room. There had been only a handful of students who were still awake, and the atmosphere was very subdued, but Sara hadn’t felt like talking, and she was sure that Lily didn’t either. After Lily had shakily put down Animagi: The Current Register, the two had exchanged thoughts and ideas for a few moments, but then they both fell silent. After several minutes had passed, they had both wordlessly picked up their quills and worked on their essays. When they were finished, they packed up and headed back to the Common Room without another word to each other, each still trying to absorb the incredibly shocking information presented to them so spontaneously.

The next morning however, Sara and Lily ate a quick breakfast and stopped in the Common Room for a few minutes before their classes began. There the two began to eagerly discuss Sara’s amazing discovery from the previous night.

“So you really think that Fredrick Vlores is the Hungarian Horntail who attacked you in the tower?” Lily asked, not for the first time.

“Yes, I mean, it’s awfully specific, don’t you think?”

“Well yeah, but it could just be a coincidence.”

“Maybe,” Sara said, “But I don’t think so.”

“Why’s that?” questioned Lily.

“Because,” Sara checked the Common Room. There were only two people in the room, a boy and a girl talking together by the fire, so Sara went on.

“Because, last night I read a little further into that book—”

“Did you find anything?”

“Let me finish will you?”

“Sorry.”

“Anyways, I read a little further into that book, and I did find something. Listen to this.”

Sara reached into her bag and pulled out, Animagi: The Current Register, which she opened up to a marked page.

“Although an animagus is still in control of their own mind while in their chosen animal form,” she read. “It is not uncommon for the witch or wizard’s personality to become influenced due to the behaviors of his or her animal. This is why it is inadvisable to choose an unstable animal when becoming an animagus. The more time that the witch or wizard spends as that animal, particularly if it is a strong, wild, magical creature, the more that person will lose themselves to that form. A detailed description of one such occurrence can be found on page 562.”

Sara closed the book and looked up at Lily.

“What was the detailed description about?”

“It was about some lady who could turn into a hippogriff.” Sara said, placing the book back into her bag. “But she couldn’t handle it. There’s also an account in here written by some wizard called Borton Mosican. He talks about how he has this theory that every single person in the world, magic or muggle, has a soul with different levels of strength. Wizards and witches have stronger souls than muggles, because they’re exposed to magic since birth, and therefore can handle magic more easily. A person with a strong soul, he said, knows exactly who they are and cannot be overcome or possessed and become something that they’re not. You following me?”

“Sort of.” Lily replied slowly. “So the stronger your soul is, the stronger you are? And you have to know magic to have a strong soul?”

“Not exactly, muggles can have strong souls too, it’s called chi in some parts of the world. It’s the strength of your heart and your will that defines how strong your soul is.”

“Oh I get it. But what does this have to do with Vlores?”

“I’m getting to that. The lady who turned into a hippogriff didn’t have a very strong soul. The more she assumed that form, the harder it was for her to get out of it. Eventually she just gave up trying.”

“So where is she now?”

“I don’t know, the book said that she disappeared one night and never came back. They think that she was permanently turned into a hippogriff and is flying around in Normandy somewhere.”

“Are you serious?”

“Absolutely.”

Lily sat back in her chair for a few moments, pondering this information.

“So, you think that the Hungarian Horntail locked up in that tower, is Frederick Vlores?”

“Yes. I think that he didn’t have a strong enough soul, and so he was overcome by the dragon form.”

Lily sighed. “That’s a pretty big guess.” She said.

“I know.” Sara replied, “But I think that it’s definitely possible.”

“Maybe so.” Lily answered. “But then why wouldn’t the Ministry just change him back? Other people can turn an animagus back into human form can’t they?”

“Yeah, that’s the part that I don’t get. My only guess is that he was too strong for them, or that they couldn’t find him, or . . . or something.”

“I still don’t know. I mean, what are the chances of them being the same person, or dragon. Did the book say anything else about Fredrick Vlores?”

“No. I looked up his name in the index, and Hungarian Horntails, but I didn’t find anything else.”

“Oh.”

There was a moment of silence. The boy and girl by the fireplace were now walking towards the portrait hole, still talking with each other. After the portrait door closed behind them, Lily stood up and shouldered her bag.

“Well, I should probably be going to class now.”

“That’s it?” Sara asked. “What about Vlores?”

“What about him? I mean, even if you are right, what can we do about it?”

“We could help him get back into his human form.”

“And what if he isn’t really an animagus? What if he’s just a dragon? A vicious, fire-breathing, man-eating dragon?” She started walking towards the portrait hole, then stopped and turned around.

“Besides, even if he is a human trapped in dragon form, couldn’t Dumbledore have been able to turn him back? I mean, he is a really powerful wizard and all, isn’t he?”

Waving goodbye, Lily walked out of the Common Room, leaving Sara alone to think. Lily was right, if the Hungarian Horntail really was Frederick Vlores, Dumbledore probably could have turned him back to his normal self in a second. Maybe it really was just a dragon after all. But that still left one question.

Why was a Hungarian Horntail at Hogwarts?

___________________________________________
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  #16  
Old June 17th, 2007, 3:08 am
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Re: No Chance

Chapter Fourteen

The next few weeks passed by in a blur and before she knew it, Sara was signing up to stay at Hogwarts for Christmas vacation. Usually she went home for the holidays, but this year her parents were on a business trip, so she would be spending the break at Hogwarts. Lily was staying too, as well as James and the rest of his gang. Sara hoped that she would be able to get some studying done in preparation for her OWLs at the end of the year. Even though she always did very well in class, Sara was extremely nervous about her upcoming exams.

At the end of the week, students began to leave the school to head home for the holidays. Soon the Common Room was completely empty except for Sara and a group of seventh years. Sara was busy practicing the complicated wand motion for the charm, Exaboridos, which was supposed to cause trees to shed their leaves instantly. Although she couldn’t see the point of de-leafing a tree, Sara nevertheless worked tirelessly to master the hand movements.

Swish, up, flick, down, swish, up, flick, down, swish, up, flick, down.

Each move had to be distinct and precise, and yet made very quickly. Whenever Sara waved her wand at the right speed, the moves blurred into a sloppy circle.

Swish, up, flick, down, swish, up, flick, down, swish, up—

“Sara! Hey!”

Dropping her wand onto the table with a frustrated sigh, Sara looked up to see Lily walking over to her table. Sitting down across from Sara she dumped her book bag on the table. Sara could tell that she was excited about something.

“Hey Lily. What’s up?”

“Guess what? Brian Nadis just asked me out!”

“Nadis? Are you serious?”

“Yes! Isn’t it great?”

“Well, I guess if you like his type . . .”

Lily’s smile faded.

“What do you mean his type?”

“Well, he’s just, bossy, and rude, and selfish, and—”

“What are you talking about?” interrupted Lily. “He’s smart and sweet, and he’s very handsome. He told me that he’s admired me for awhile, and that he thinks I’m the smartest girl in school.”

“Okay! Okay! If you like him you’re free to go out with him.” Sara said hastily.

Lily still didn’t seem satisfied.

“What’s your deal? What do you have against him?”

“Nothing! I just think he’s a bit, well, arrogant at times.”

“Come on Sara, stop talking like that! You should be happy for me. It’s the first time that anyone’s asked me out.”

“You mean besides James?”

“Yes besides him. Do you know what I think? I think you’re jealous because he didn’t ask you out.”

“First of all, I’m not jealous. Second of all, even if he did ask me out, I would say no. I stand by what I said before. He’s an arrogant, selfish git. But that’s just my own opinion. If you like him, good for you. I’m glad you’ve finally found someone you’re satisfied with.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Just forget it.”

And without another word, Sara picked up her book on Charms and her wand and stomped out of the room. She automatically started walking down her usual path to the library. Inside her head she could practically feel her thoughts and emotions running around inside.

The truth is, She thought sadly to herself, I am jealous.

And she was. She was jealous that Lily had been asked out. She knew she should be happy for Lily. It was her first time being asked out by a guy, if you didn’t count the millions of other times that James asked Lily out everyday. That was another thing that Sara was jealous about. James was always asking Lily out, and as far as Sara could see, he was a nice, talented, handsome young man. And yet Lily refused to even talk to him if she could help it. Of course she was jealous. From what she could see, Lily had captured the hearts of at least two guys, when she had never even been asked out once. Heck, the only times that boys even talked to her was when they asked her if they could copy her homework.

Sara stayed in the library for a long time, wallowing in self-pity. After a lot of thinking, she decided that maybe the way Lily felt about James was the same way she felt about Brian.

There weren’t a lot of people that Sara hated in the world. But Brian Nadis was one of them. Sara remembered what had happened the first time she had seen him.


It had been during broomstick practice in their first year. All of the first years were excited. For most of them, it was their first time flying. Sara looked around eagerly at the instructor, Professor Ayblem.

“Stick your right hand over your broom and say, ‘Up!’.” He called out as his broom shot upwards into his hand. The calls of “Up!” could be heard across the grounds as the first years tried to get their broomsticks to rise up into their hands. Sara’s broom came up right away, but in her excitement she dropped it to the ground again. As she bent down to pick it up, she heard some snickering off to her left. A tall, sandy-haired boy was standing there with his broomstick clutched tightly in his hand. He was looking at her and chuckling to himself. Sara looked away, picked up her broomstick, and looked back at Professor Ayblem.

“Swing your right leg over your broomstick, and grasp it firmly in your hands.”

The Professor demonstrated and the first years did as they were told. Sara glanced sideways at the boy. He was sitting confidently astride his broom.

“When I blow the whistle, kick off from the ground, hover in the air for a few seconds, and then come back down.”

Sara’s eyes widened. She didn’t think she’d have to start flying so soon.

“Three, two, one, TWEET!”

At the start of the whistle about a dozen first years sailed into the air, some wobbling unsteadily on their broomsticks. The rest quickly kicked off and soared into the air. James Potter, who she recognized from the Sorting Ceremony, was weaving in and out of the other students like a pro. The boy from before was also in the air.

Sara took a deep breath and pushed her feet against the ground. Her broom rose into the air, and for a split second she felt exhilarated. But then her hands slipped off her broom and she fell to the ground.

Sara groaned and sat up. The boy was hovering above her and he was laughing hysterically. Feeling humiliated, Sara ran off the field.



Sara would have easily (and gratefully) forgotten about the boy. But he kept showing up between classes to point and laugh at her. Later she found out his name was Brian Nadis. Sara tried desperately to avoid him, and by their second year he seemed to have forgotten about her.

Despite her disastrous first attempt at flying, Sara kept practicing. Although she wasn’t that strong of a flyer, she could stay in the air for a minute or two and land without much difficulty. Even though Sara hadn’t flown since her first year, she still enjoyed watching the Quidditch games down at the pitch. She soon found herself looking at one player in particular, one of the Gryffindor chasers.

Brian Nadis was also on the Gryffindor team as another chaser. Even if she hadn’t already known who he was, Sara was sure that she wouldn’t have liked him. He was always elbowing other players, even his own teammates, out of the way to get to the red Quaffle. But it never really was a major problem for Sara until one match in their third year. It was the final game of the season. Gryffindor versus Slytherin. Everyone was going crazy. The score was 150 to 130, Slytherin. Sara remembered watching James streak down the pitch, heading for the goal posts, Quaffle in hand.

Maybe it was because he mistook James for a Slytherin player, or maybe he just was tired of James being the star chaser, but all of a sudden Sara saw Nadis ram into James and steal the Quaffle away. James swerved wildly and almost crashed, but he managed to stay on. Sara waited for someone to call a foul, but it had been at that very moment that the seeker, a boy named Eric Morant, had caught the Snitch, and everyone’s eyes were fixed on him. Sara had the feeling that she had been the only one who had seen Nadis hit James, and she never forgot it.

Nadis eventually left the team, but he still remained as obnoxious as ever, in Sara’s opinion. But, maybe Lily saw something in Nadis that she didn’t, Sara thought with a sigh, wiping away tears that she hadn’t even known were there.

I should get back to the Common Room and apologize to Lily. She thought.

Just as she was about to stand up to leave, she heard a voice behind her call out, “Hey Sara!”

Sara turned around to see James walking quickly towards her. Her heart sank. There was absolutely no way that James was coming to see her.

Please don’t ask about Lily. I don’t want to tell him she’s going out with someone, especially Nadis, that’ll kill him.

But then, said that little voice in her head, maybe he’ll stop chasing her and move on to someone else.

Before Sara could decide what to think, James was at her table.

“Hey, have you seen Lily?” he asked.

Great.

____________________________________________
Sorry this took so long, I was busy with school but I only have one final left so I'll be writing a lot more now.


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Last edited by witchsmart; December 30th, 2008 at 10:36 pm.
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  #17  
Old June 27th, 2007, 2:53 am
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Re: No Chance

Chapter Fifteen

“Um, Lily? I dunno where she is. Uh, why do you ask?”

“Well . . .” James glanced around, but the library was completely empty except for him and Sara. He pulled up a chair next to her and continued.

“I want to ask her out.”

Sara waited for him to say something else, but when he didn’t she looked at him, confused.

“That’s it?”

“What do you mean that’s it?”

“Well it’s just, I mean, you do ask her out about three times a day, you know that?”

James rolled his eyes.

“This time is different. I wanted to ask her out on a real date. A walk by the lake, a trip to Hogsmeade, heck, I’ll even hang out with her in the library if she wants to. I thought she might be in here, but I guess not.”

Sara broke away from James’ steady gaze, choosing instead to inspect her fingernails.

“Nope, it’s just me in here.”

James leaned back in his chair. There was an awkward silence for a few moments, then James stood up to leave.

“Well, I’m gonna go check in the Common Room, maybe Lily’s in there.”

“Wha—no, wait!”

“What?”

“Um, I don’t think she’s in the Common Room. Uh, she said she was uh, going to see Professor Slughorn about our essay on the effect of a full moon on many important potion ingredients.”

“Slughorn set us an essay? Ugh, I’ll never be able to finish it by tomorrow. I wouldn’t even know where to start.”

James looked over at Sara, but she seemed to be devoting all of her concentration in examining her thumbnails.

“Hey I know!” he said suddenly. “When I find Lily I can ask her for some help, she’s a whiz at potions.”

He turned to leave.

“Wait! James!”

“Hmm?”

“Uh, I-I’ll help you with the essay.” She mumbled, still not looking at him.

“What?”

Sara took a deep breath. Her heart pounding in her chest, she repeated, still staring fixedly at the table, “I’ll help you with the essay, if you want.”

James stared at her for a few seconds, then said, “That’s nice of you to offer, but I don’t have my books, or my quill, or any
parchment . . .”

“I have plenty of extra quills and parchment, and you can use my book. I’ve already finished the essay.”

There was another brief silence.

“Okay, sure.”

Sara nodded and was reaching into her backpack for her copy of Advanced Potion Making when James said, “Hey wait a minute!”

Sara froze.

“Y-Yeah?”

“We’re on holiday! Slughorn didn’t set us an essay!”

Sara bit her lip and took her hand out of her bag. James stared at her for a bit, then smiled and sat down next to her.

“I think I’ve figured it out, Sara.”

Oh no. Sara thought. How did he know?

“You just wanted me to stay here, so that you could spend some time with me. You were jealous that I just wanted to see Lily, and not you.”

This answer was so unexpected that Sara didn’t know what to say. James grinned and put his arm around her.

“If you just wanted to hang out with me, you should have said so sweetheart.”

“I, what?!”

Sara ducked under James’ arm. He smiled at her, but it was one of those smiles that he gave to all of the girls in school.

Oh god. She thought. He thinks I like him! Well, I mean I do, but that’s not why I wanted him to stay. Well, maybe part of it is, but still.

“N-no. I don’t, I mean, that’s not—”

“Don’t be shy, sweetie. You can’t hide the truth from me.”

Sara could now see why Lily hated James so much. He was acting like a pig, and she didn’t like it. Standing up suddenly, she grabbed her book bag and backed away. James cocked his head and raised his eyebrow. Sara couldn’t take it anymore and blurted out, “Look, I just wanted to help. But if you want to find Lily so badly then go ahead, but I don’t think the millionth time will be the charm!”

And with that Sara dashed out of the door, leaving James alone in the library. She slowed to a walk at the end of the corridor, trying to recover from her encounter with the new, pig-headed James.

I’ve never seen this side of him before. And to be honest, I don’t like it one bit.

“Sara, wait up!”

Sara panicked and broke into a full sprint.

“No, stop!”

Even though she ran as fast as she could, James easily caught up with her. He grabbed her arm and held her fast as she struggled to get away.

“No, let go! I don’t want—”

“What—is—the matter—with you?” he panted, barely maintaining control over her.

“Nothing! Nothing’s wrong, I just, I don’t—”

Sara stopped struggling and hung limp in James’ grip.

“What’s going on? Does it have to do with Lily? Tell me, please.”

Sara looked up at James. The big-headed, jerk-face James was gone, and in his place was the kind and sensitive James that she’d fallen in love with. He was bound to find out sooner or later, and it was better to hear it from her, rather than from Lily or someone else, right? Sara took a deep breath.

“It, it does have to do with Lily, James. I didn’t want to tell you this but she’s going out with Nadis, Brian Nadis. I’m sorry.”

There was yet another awkward silence. Though this one was notably longer than the previous ones, and was much more profound. Finally James said, “Nadis? You mean that git who used to be on the Quidditch team? Lily’s going out with him?”

“Yeah, he just asked her out today, and she said ‘yes’.”

“Oh.”

Even though it was really Lily’s fault, Sara felt like a jerk. James looked crestfallen, and the smile that always lingered around his face was gone. She leaned back against the wall and looked down at the floor.

“Why?”

Sara looked up.

“Why what?”

“Why didn’t you want to tell me? What do you care?”

“I just, I didn’t want to upset you. I mean, I know how much Lily means to you and I just . . . I do care.”

Then followed the longest silence of all. And throughout it all, James looked directly at Sara, in a way he had probably never looked at any girl before, except maybe Lily.


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  #18  
Old September 14th, 2007, 4:21 pm
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witchsmart  Female.gif witchsmart is offline
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Re: No Chance

Chapter Sixteen

“So, Ragrashok the Elf—”

“Goblin”

“—goblin, Ragrashok the goblin rebelled for the first—”

“Fifth.”

“—fifth time against the Scottish—”

“Bulgarian.”

“—Bulgarian Prime Minister, who sent ten—”

“Two.”

“—two hired aurors after him, and the battle that came after caused
thousands of deaths, right?”

“Three deaths.” Sara replied, not for the first time.

“Oh.” James looked disgruntled. “Well I was close.”

“Yeah, you were only off by at least nine-hundred and ninety-seven people.”

“Shut up.”

James and Sara had returned to the Common Room together after the library fiasco. The walk to Gryffindor tower had been a quiet one, and the only words the two had spoken were uttered when they bid each other goodnight. The next morning Sara had come downstairs early to an empty Common Room, most of Gryffindor tower had gone away on holiday. She sat down at one of the tables and finished her essay on the Exaboridos Charm, then went downstairs for a quick breakfast.

When she returned fifteen minutes later, she saw James sitting down at the same table she had recently vacated. Hesitating for a moment, Sara took a deep breath and sat down across from him. The first few minutes were full of an awkward silence that pressed down upon their ears. Then James spoke out loud.

“Hey, Sara. Can I ask you something?”

“Y-Yeah. What is it?” Sara asked, her heart pounding furiously in her chest.

“Could you, if it’s not too much trouble . . .?”

Oh my god. Sara thought excitedly. Is he going to ask me out?

“Could you help me with my homework? I’m getting really behind.”

And so they had begun. Sara had been amazed to find out that James hadn’t even finished their essay for History of Magic on goblin rebellions yet, so they started with that. The task of helping James finish his essay, and actually learn something from it, proved to be very difficult.

“But really James, we’ve been over this four times already.”

“I know, I know, but I just can’t seem to get it.”

“Look, just think of it as a Quidditch game.” Sara said, desperate to make him understand. Really, how hard was it to memorize all of the goblin rebellions that had occurred throughout the entire course of history?

“A Quidditch game?” James asked, clearly confused.

“Yeah. It’s the fifth game of the season, goblins versus the Bulgarians. Ragrashok is a beater on the goblin team. When the game begins, he hits a bludger towards the Bulgarian Prime Minister, who’s the Seeker, the most important position on the team.”

James nodded, and Sara continued.

“So in retaliation, the two hired aurors, who are the Bulgarian’s beaters, start taking out as many of the goblins as they can, and they manage to knock three players out of the air, including the goblin Seeker, so they win the game, or the battle.”

“I never thought about it like that before.” James said thoughtfully. “Yeah, it’s starting to make sense now. So the—” James squinted down at the paper in front of him “—fourth time that Ragrashok wanted to rebel against the Bulgarian Prime Minister, he was never able to get enough support from the other goblins, from his teammates. No one would back him up, or send a bludger his way so that he could hit the Prime Minister. Right?”

James looked nervously at Sara, whose face was completely empty of all emotion.

“That,” she said. “Is absolutely . . .”

James cringed in anticipation.

“. . . correct.”

“Wha-, really?”

Sara smiled at him.

“Really.” She answered.

“Awesome!” James cried. “So that’s History of Magic done,” he shoved his paper into his bag; Sara cringed as the fresh parchment began to crumple up. “And that leaves . . . Transfiguration, Charms, and Care of Magical Creatures.”

Sara sighed. It was going to be a long day.

“Let’s start the Transfiguration homework now, and then we can take a short break.”

“Okay. Oh wait, I left my Transfiguration book upstairs in the dorm, I’ll be right back.”

When James had disappeared up the stairs to the boy’s dormitories, Sara sighed and leaned back in her chair. It was fun to hang out with James, but how could anyone be this ignorant? It was like he’d never paid attention in a single class.

“Well that would explain it.” Sara said to herself quietly.

“Explain what?”

Startled, Sara turned around to see Lily climbing out of the portrait hole, and her heart sank. She and Lily still hadn’t made up since their argument the night before, and Sara didn’t know how Lily would act with her. Would she be mad? Would she still want to be friends?

But whatever the worries were going through Sara’s head, Lily didn’t seem to share them. She walked up, dumped her book bag on the table, and sat down in the seat that James had just left.

“Nothing.” Sara replied nervously. “Just thinking out loud.”

“Oh. Whose stuff is that?” Lily asked, gesturing to the books and parchment that James had left behind.

“Oh, uh, it’s . . . James. We were doing some homework, he just ran upstairs to get a book.”

Sara waited for Lily to scoff, leave, or do anything in face of the news that James might have moved on. But Lily only replied, “Oh, cool.” and propped her face up in her hands.

“I thought you were going home for the holidays?” Sara asked tentatively.

“I decided to stay at Hogwarts instead.”

“Oh, cool.”

There was a moment’s silence, then Lily sat up again and said, “So, guess where I’ve just been?”

Relieved that Lily wasn’t still angry with her, Sara shrugged and replied, “I dunno, breakfast?”

“Yes. With Nadis. Brian Nadis. You know, the guy who asked me out yesterday.”

Lily looked at Sara, as though waiting to see how she would react to this. Sara nodded and said, “Yeah, I remember. How did it go?”

“Great. Really great. Brian is such a sweetheart. He compliments me all the time. I’m so glad we’re going out together.”

Lily waited, as though expecting Sara to say something. Not knowing how to respond, Sara nodded and tried to figure out on paper how to connect Animagi with Quidditch. After a moment, Lily continued.

“We’re going to Hogsmeade tomorrow. To Madam Puddyfoot’s. They have the cutest decorations there, and all of the couples have lunch there together.”

Another paused. Sara nodded again and continued to write. At this moment, only a psychic could have heard anything in the quiet Common Room.

It’s not working, maybe I should talk about her love life now.

Would the wizard trying to transform be like a seeker?

“Yeah, I’m really excited.” Lily continued. “It’s a shame you’ll never be able to enjoy these simple pleasures of life.”

Sara looked up.

“What do you mean?” she said slowly.

“I mean going out with a boy and stuff. It’ll probably never happen to you.”

Sara put down her quill.

“And why not?” she said softly.

“Well, for whatever reason no boy has ever asked you out. Ever. I guess it’s something I have that you don’t, which is why Brian asked me out, and not you.”

“Is there some point you’re trying to make?”

Lily sprang up, her chair falling backwards behind her. Sara raised her eyebrows.

“You hate me because I got asked out and you didn’t! Admit it! Well you’re being real immature about it, you know that?”

Who’s being immature? Sara thought.

“Lily, I told you last night. I. Am. Not. Jealous. I don’t hate you. You’re overreacting.”

“Overreacting?! Ha! That’s a good one! And now you’ve hooked up with James to try and make me jealous. Well that won’t work, because I don’t give a d*** about whether he’s going out with you or not!”

It was hard to believe that just a few seconds ago, Sara had thought that everything was back to normal. That Lily wasn’t mad and her, and that they could be friends again.

“James and I have not ‘hooked up’. I am not trying to make you jealous. I don’t know what you’re trying to prove, but you’re being a real jerk right now. Maybe some of Nadis has rubbed off on you!”

Now both girls were on their feet, Sara glowering at Lily and Lily looking as though she wanted nothing more than to leap over the table and strangle her.

“I don’t know why you’re acting like this.” Sara said quietly, her eyes focused on Lily’s. “And I don’t care if you go out with Brian Nadis, James, or the giant squid. But you and I are supposed to be friends. And if this is how you treat your friends, trying to make them jealous, insulting them, then maybe I don’t want to be friends with you anymore.”

Some of the ferocity in Lily’s gaze seemed to ebb away. The two stared at each other for several long, antagonizing seconds. Lily opened her mouth to say something.

“What’s going on here?”

Lily and Sara looked around. James had appeared at the bottom of the stairs, Transfiguration book in hand. He stared, first at Sara, then at Lily, both of whom were on their feet, their hands balled into fists. There was a long silence. Then Lily closed her mouth, seized her book bag, and without another word stomped out of the Common Room. James watched Lily’s retreating figure slam the portrait door shut, heard the Fat Lady’s indignant cry, and then turned to face Sara.

“What was all that about?”

“Nothing.” Sara mumbled. She sat down and waited for James to come over. After another moment of staring, he walked to the table, picked up Lily’s fallen chair, and sat in it.

“So, Transfiguration.” Sara began. “Now, I want you to think of the wizard or witch trying to become an Animagus as a Seeker . . .”

____________________________________
Yay! I finally posted the next chapter! Don't forget to leave feedback!


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  #19  
Old September 17th, 2007, 3:09 am
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witchsmart  Female.gif witchsmart is offline
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Re: No Chance

Chapter Seventeen

Snow was falling gently outside the window when Sara awoke on Christmas Day. She lay still for a moment, feeling warm and cozy in bed, and then, unable to contain herself she sprang up and crawled over her sheets towards the foot of her bed. A small stack of presents was sitting there, and she vaulted over the headboard to begin opening the first one. The other girls in her dorm, Lily and a brown-haired girl named Martha Jones, were still sleeping, so Sara tried to rip off the wrapping paper as quietly as she could.

The first gift was from her parents, they had sent her several books from the nearby muggle bookstore back at home. The fifth book of her favorite series, Helena Pottamo, was included, and Sara couldn’t wait to start reading.

The second gift was from Professor Slughorn. His present was wrapped in green and silver wrapping paper and had a small note attached to it:

Dear Miss Agine,
Here’s a little head start on next year. Have a very Merry Christmas!
Professor H. J. Slughorn


He had sent a textbook entitled, Advanced Potion Making, which she wouldn’t normally have received unless she passed her O.W.L. requirements for Potions. Sara was about to call out to Lily to tell her this when she remembered that they were no longer friends. Sadly, Sara placed the textbook on top of the books from her parents and looked at her next present.

This one was rather large and badly wrapped, and when Sara opened it she received a huge shock as Peeves popped out screaming, “HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!” Cackling, Peeves did a somersault in midair, swooped down and through Sara, leaving her with the feeling that she’d just plunged into a bucket full of ice, and soared through the wall.

Sara just sat there for a moment, trying to warm up as the rest of her dorm, awoken by Peeves’ yells, began to stir and get up out of bed. Lily, who occupied a bed across from Sara’s, got up and went immediately to her pile of presents without so much as a ‘Happy Christmas’ to Sara. Sara tried to not to mind and turned back to her presents.

There were only two left. One was small and round, and the other was in the shape of a tiny vial. Sara picked up the small, round package, which was wrapped in a robin’s egg blue. There was no note inside, only a beautiful bracelet that sparkled with every color of the rainbow when held up to the light.

While admiring her bracelet and wondering who had sent it, Sara glanced over at Lily and saw her staring at her. When Lily realized that Sara was staring back, she frowned and picked up a small present wrapped in red. Sara’s heart skipped a few beats, it was her present. The one that she’d placed at the foot of Lily’s bed the night before. What would Lily do when she saw it?

Opening it up, Lily gazed at a necklace with a golden heart dangling from a silver chain. Sara did not need to see the heart to know what was inscribed upon it, the words, Best Friends Forever. She had gotten it weeks ago, long before the fight. Lily read the words, turned to Sara, and for a moment Sara thought Lily was going to apologize for everything. But then Lily smirked and tossed the necklace out the open window.

Fighting back tears, Sara looked down at her final present. It was wrapped in a shimmering golden color and felt very light when Sara picked it up. As the wrapping paper fell away Sara gave a small gasp of surprise. She was holding a small bottle filled with a golden liquid. It was unmistakably Felics Felices, the lucky potion.

Who on earth would give this to me? Sara thought, amazed. Glancing down at the floor she noticed a folded piece of parchment amidst the wrapping paper. Eagerly she picked it up and unfolded it. Inside was scribbled a short message:


In case you are in need of some luck.


Sara turned the paper over, but there was no name. Then who had given her something as valuable as this?

In case you are in need of some luck.

Sara glanced over at Lily, who was still unwrapping presents.

No. she thought. Save it for something else.

Her stomach rumbled as Sara stood up, her presents in her arms. She emptied the load onto her bed, except for the Felics Felices, which she hid inside her suitcase. Within five minutes she was changed and downstairs in the Common Room, headed for the Great Hall.

There were very few people inside the Great Hall that morning. Nearly everyone had gone home for the holidays, there were only a dozen or so Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws, and a solitary Slytherin boy, the dark-haired one Sara recognized from her Potions class, at the Slytherin table. The only Gryffindors sitting down eating breakfast were James and his friends. They were all laughing and sitting in the middle of the long house table. Normally Sara would have sat with Lily, but not today, and she was too nervous to sit with James when his friends were around. She made to grab a seat closest to the staff table, so that she could thank Professor Slughorn for his gift. As she passed James and his friends, she heard a voice call out.

“Hey! Sara! Come over here!”

Heart racing, Sara turned around and walked back towards James, who was piling bacon onto his plate. When she reached him he gestured to the seat next to him, so she shyly sat down.

“Happy Christmas, Sara!” James said. His friends echoed his words.

“Happy Christmas.” Sara mumbled.

“Where’s Lily?” James asked, looking back at the doors leading to the Entrance Hall. “You and her always come down together.”

“She’s still upstairs opening presents.” Sara said quietly, looking down at her plate and reaching for some toast.

“Oh.” James said.

“So, Sara,” Remus began. Remus Lupin was sitting across from James. Sara noticed that he had a pale, tired face, and short hair that looked as though it was already turning gray. “How are your classes going this year?”

“Oh shut up, Moony.” groaned Sirius. He was sitting to James’ left, and Sara knew that it was nearly every girl’s dream in their year to date the handsome Sirius Black. “It’s Christmas, and you’re talking about classes? You’re really depressing me mate.”

“They’re going really well. I can’t wait until our O.W.L.s.” Sara replied, smiling slightly.

There was a collective groan from everyone at the table except for Remus.

“You know what, Prongs?” Sirius said looking at Sara. “I think you were right. Her and Moony are soul mates.”

Sara blushed and went back to her toast as the smallest boy at the table, Peter Pettigrew, began to laugh.

“Oh ha ha. Very funny.” Remus snapped, frowning at Sirius. He turned back to Sara. “I’m excited for the exams too. I think that Charms will be the hardest; Professor Flitwick said that the Exaboridos charm might be on the exam.”

Sara groaned. “That’s the only spell that I can’t get the hang of. It just has too many motions. I can’t see the point of it either, who wants to de-shed a tree?”

“Yes, I know. But I don’t think the Potions examination will be very difficult. Especially for you.”

“Aw, listen to the little geeks talk about school with each other.” Sirius mocked, brushing his long, black hair out of his face.

“If you want Sirius,” Sara said, starting to get annoyed now. “I can make you a Growth Solution right before the exams.”

“What for?” he asked, frowning.

“Your brain. That way you can manage more than a Dreadful in your O.W.L.s.”

The entire table roared with laughter, even Sirius joined in.

“I guess you and Remus aren’t meant for each other after all.” He said, once the laughter had died down. “You’ve got a sense of humor, unlike boring ol’ Moony here.”

Sara blushed again and reached for a goblet of pumpkin juice. All in all, it was one of the best breakfasts that she’d ever had at Hogwarts.


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Last edited by witchsmart; October 1st, 2007 at 2:51 am.
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  #20  
Old October 6th, 2007, 4:00 am
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Re: No Chance

Chapter Eighteen

The rest of the day was just as enjoyable as breakfast was. After they had all eaten, James and his friends invited Sara to come with them out onto the grounds. Sara had planned to start reading her new books from her parents and Slughorn, but she decided that hanging out with James and his friends would be much more fun.

They had only been outside for about thirty seconds when the first snowball was launched. James had scooped up a handful of the freshly fallen snow and chucked it at Sirius’ head. What then followed was complete mayhem. Snowballs were whizzing through the air and the empty grounds were filled with shouts and laughter from the jubilant teenagers. Peter was having the worst luck out of all of them. His aim was so bad that the only way he could hit someone was if he aimed for the person standing three feet next to them. So many snowballs had found their way towards him that he looked like a tiny snowman come to life. Remus faired little better than Peter. Whenever he stooped down to pick up a handful of snow he would get clobbered by either James or Sirius, who were breathless with laughter. Indeed, Sirius was laughing so hard he almost fell down onto the frozen ground when James bewitched a snowball to fly right up Remus’ robe.

The two boys were laughing and pointing at Remus while he jumped up and down like a crazy man, trying to get the snowball out of his robe when SMACK! A snowball launched itself through the air and splattered onto James face, knocking him backwards. This time Sirius really did fall down as James tried to steady himself while simultaneously wiping snow out of his eyes and mouth. He looked around wildly to see who had hit him and saw, much to his surprise, Sara standing next to Peter, snowball in hand and shaking with laughter.

Grinning, James stooped down, grabbed a handful of snow, and with lightning reflexes whipped it towards Sara, but she had seen it coming and ducked. James was bending down to pick up some more snow when Sara’s other snowball made contact with the side of his head, leaving flakes of white in his jet black hair. Sara started laughing so hard that she didn’t see where James’ snowball was going and WHAM! It collided with the side of her head. The cold, wet snow trickled down her face as she shrieked in surprise. Then she turned on her heel and ran as fast as she could toward a cluster of trees by the lake. The boys became very confused by this strange behavior.

“How hard did you hit her?” Remus asked worriedly.

“I, I dunno. I hope I didn’t accidentally hurt her.” James replied nervously.

“That girl survived an attack by a Hungarian Horntail, I don’t think a snowball’s going to do much damage against her.” Sirius said, getting up and brushing snow off his cloak.

James walked slowly over to where Sara was crouched down on the shore of the lake. He came within three feet of her and stopped.

“Sara?” he asked tentatively. “Are you okay?”

It happened so fast that James barely had time to blink before a dozen snowballs came zooming up from the ground and hurled themselves straight at him. He yelled in surprise as the first one made contact with his shoulder, then turned around and ran for it. Sirius, Remus, and Peter were all laughing hysterically at the sight of James being pursued by flying snowballs, but the laughter soon stopped when Sara sent another dozen flying straight towards them.

“Run for it!” Sirius yelled, and all three of them followed James up the steps and into the school, with Sara in hot pursuit, bewitching snowball after snowball to pelt the backsides of the retreating boys, laughing harder than she ever had in her life.

After they were all dried and had changed into clean robes, Sara, James, Remus, Sirius, and Peter all met downstairs in the Common Room to hang out until the Christmas dinner. James, Sirius, and Sara sat in the three armchairs while Remus and Peter settled themselves on the hearthrug in front of the blazing fire.

“That was loads of fun!” James said.

“Definitely! I think my favorite part was when Sara sent that snowball straight up your—”

“Shut it Padfoot, I’m still sore from that last one.” James grumbled. “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sit on a broomstick comfortably again.”

At this everyone started laughing. Sara glanced up at James, but what she saw behind him made her smile vanish.

“What’s the matter with you?” James asked, looking at her.

Sara blinked and looked away. Lily and Nadis were making out in a corner of the Common Room, and the sight made Sara sick to her stomach. Why did she have to do that here? What if James saw?

“Nothing.” She mumbled.

“You always say that, and yet, it’s never nothing.” James laughed, and he turned to see what Sara had been staring at. For a minute, he seemed to be frozen, and Sara saw his smile slide off his face. When he turned around again, she knew he had seen Lily and Nadis too.

“What’s the matter Prongs?” Remus asked, sounding very concerned.

“Nothing.” James said, and he stared gloomily into the fire.

The five were silent for a while, and to Sara it seemed as though the happiness and joy had been sucked out of the air as quickly as if a dementor had just passed by.

“So,” began Sirius, trying to break the silence. “When’s dinner?”

Soon they were all seated at the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall, staring at the piles of turkey, pudding, mashed potatoes, and every other food imaginable. Their snowball war had made them extremely ravenous, and everyone grabbed large helpings of food and began stuffing themselves.

Well, almost everyone.

James was sitting completely still, staring at his empty plate, his eyes glazed over.

Poor James. I wish there was something I could do for him. Sara thought, staring at him sadly. There must be some way to cheer him up.

“Wizard cracker?” asked Sirius, jolting Sara out of her thoughts and holding out half of a purple thing that Sara supposed must be a wizard cracker. It didn’t look much different from the crackers that she used to pull back at home. Slowly Sara reached out to grab the other half, and pulled.

She yelped as a loud bang issued from the cracker. Purple smoke swirled all around them, completely blocking her vision. When it had cleared Sara shrieked again as hundreds of cockroaches began to swarm over the table, settling themselves on the food, so that it looked like there were brown coverings over all of the dishes. Sara leapt up from the table and backed away as fast as she could. Nothing like this ever came out of a cracker at home!

While she shouted and squealed, the boys roared with laughter. Even James started to laugh. Well, Sara thought, standing on the bench of the table behind her, At least I’ve managed to cheer him up.

She waited for the laughter to subside, but the boys didn’t seem as though they were going to stop anytime soon. Once again Sirius began laughing so hard that he rolled off the bench and onto the floor. I wonder how often he does that. Sara thought, rolling her eyes.

“Does that usually happen?” she asked, trying to bring everyone back to
reality.

“No.” Remus replied, still smiling. “It’s usually a hat, or a game board, or something a little larger than cockroaches.”

Sirius looked up from the ground at Sara, who was in complete shock at this news that something larger than cockroaches could come leaping out of another cracker.

“Haven’t you ever opened a wizard cracker before?” he asked.

“No.” Sara replied truthfully. Sirius’ eyes widened in shock.

“What do you live in a cave or something?”

Sara, who had had quite enough of Sirius laughing at her expense, got down from the bench, walked over, and bent over Sirius.

“I’ve only got one thing to say to that, Sirius.” She said, stepping over him and backing away quickly.

“What’s that?”

“Run.”

“Huh?”

But the meaning of her warning suddenly became clear as she pointed her wand at one of the cockroaches huddled on her plate of turkey. The cockroach immediately swelled to five times its normal size and launched itself at Sirius who propelled himself off the floor and ran across the Great Hall.

“Call it off! Call it off!” he yelled, leaping over tables to try and avoid it, but the insect, guided by Sara’s wand, continued to chase him around and around the room until he fell, panting, onto the floor at her feet. The bug scrambled over him, and Sara shook with laughter at the look on his face.

“Ugh, I can feel its hairy legs.” He moaned, rolling onto his back and covering his head with his hands. Still laughing, Sara looked up and saw Dumbledore staring intently at her. She stopped laughing and within a second the cockroach had shrunken back to its normal size. She continued to stare at Dumbledore, and could have sworn she saw him smile and wink at her. She smiled and winked back.


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