INTRODUCING: The Jerks
I wake up to the sound of a woman saying, “Okay, Hufflepuffs! Get up! You don’t want to be late for breakfast!” I jump up and throw my robes on just as everyone else is waking up. It’s my first day of class! I walk out of my dorm with my supplies and head to the common room. I see Professor Sprout waiting for the first years to arrive. She’s a squat little witch with gray, flyaway hair. Her clothes are covered in dirt.
“Wow, you get ready quick!” She remarks as I step into the common room. “I’m just excited for my first day.” I wait while everyone else comes in one by one. Surprisingly, I feel really refreshed this morning. Maybe it’s all the plants. I spot Ethan and walk over to him. “Ready for your first day?” I ask, brushing a stray hair away. He nods and says, “The boys in my dorm are really nice. Did you know Teddy Lupin’s parents were Nymphadora Tonks and Remus Lupin?” I gasp. “No wonder the name sounds familiar. That also explains the hair.”
“Okay everyone, follow me to the Great Hall. I will show you around to all your classes today. I hope you make new friends.” We walk to the Great Hall just as Slytherin is arriving. As they pass, I spot a girl with black hair and blue eyes. She’s rather stunning, but everyone else ignores her. Some of them even push her out of the way. I make a note to become friends with her.
The tables are lined with pancakes, bacon, eggs, biscuits, honey, toast, and fruit. After eating a filling meal, I head off to my first class. “You’re first class will be Herbology with the Slytherins.” Professor Sprout tells us as we head outside. “You’ll only have my class on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. When you’re not in my class, you will be with Madam Hooch for flying lessons. Once you all get back from Christmas break, instead of going to flying lessons you will get library time.” I do a silent woo-hoo because I will be able to talk to that girl in Slytherin.
We file into the greenhouse, which is FILLED with plants. “Watch out for the Venomous Tentacula!” Sprout warns as a Slytherin gets too close to a green plant with little red buds at the end of the vines. “Now, everyone find a seat. You don’t have to sit with your house in my class, but in others you will.” I look around and find the girl. She’s looking around for a place to sit. Others are teaming up and taking their seats. I make my way over to her.
“Hi, I’m Kassandra. Kassandra Albers. What’s your name?” I ask her, holding out my hand with a warm smile on my face. She smiles shyly and shakes my hand. “Olivia Swan. Pleasure to meet you.” Olivia’s voice is smooth like honey. Her grip is firmer than I expected. “Do you want to sit with me?” She smiles brightly and says, “I’d love to. I haven’t made any friends yet. People keep being mean to me, and I don’t know why.” We find a seat towards the front. Angelica and Ethan sit next to me. I introduce them to Olivia.
Professor Sprout just talks about some basic rules and plants to stay away from. I say goodbye to Olivia as we head over to Charms with Ravenclaws. When we enter, Professor Flitwick organizes us by house. I have Ethan on my left and a Ravenclaw on my right. She has red hair and green eyes. She’s focused on Flitwick, not paying attention to the other Ravenclaws that are calling her “geek” and “over the top Ravenclaw.” I creep my eyes to the source of the insults. A boy with brown hair, brown eyes, and black rimmed glasses is pointing at her and laughing with his friends.
“You got a problem?” I ask him, coldly yet kindly. He stops laughing suddenly, as if a switch got turned off. “Oh look, a weak little Hufflepuff trying to stand up for the mudblood. What’s your name, little girl?” I smile sweetly and reply, “I’m Kassandra Albers. Who might you be?”
“Robert. Robert Bradley.”
“Well, Robert, why don’t you slip into something comfortable, like a coma?”
His eyes narrow. “I don’t like your attitude, Kassandra. It must be difficult for you, using your entire vocabulary in a single sentence.” Everyone has quieted down now, listening to our argument. Even Professor Flitwick seems interested. “You know, I would slap you, but that would be animal abuse.” That gets an “Oooooh” from everyone else. “You know, it’s pointless to make fun of you because it would take you the rest of the day to figure it out,” he retorts. Everyone is now leaning on the edge of their seats, waiting to see what will happen.
I pretend to look confused and I answer, “I’m sorry, could you say that again? I couldn’t understand you because I don’t speak idiot.” He opens his mouth to say something, but then shuts it again. Looks like I won this battle.
I turn to the girl next to me. Her eyes are wide with gratefulness. “Thank you so much Kassandra. They’ve been making fun of me all day. I’m Alice, by the way. Alice Newman.”
“Okay everyone, settle down. Now, today we will be learning a levitation spell. Hold on, hold on. Put your wands down. First we will practise saying the spell. Repeat after me: Wingardium Leviosa!”
“Very good. With your wands, you will swish and flick. Then point at the feather. You may begin.” Everyone starts saying the spell, trying to make their feathers float. On her first try, Alice makes it float into the air. “Good job, Ms. Newman!” Flitwick remarks. I soon follow her, and so does everyone else. By the end of the class, everyone is bubbling with excitement at learning their first spell. A lot of people congratulate me on my argument with Robert. But I notice a lot of male Ravenclaws do not.
As we are on our way to Defense Against the Dark Arts with the Gryffindors, Ethan catches up to me. “Meet me in the library after History of Magic, our last class.” He then hurries off before I can say anything. Hum, I wonder what he wants to talk about. When I enter, I notice this is a teacher mom never mentioned. He has dark brown hair, gray eyes, and a turn up nose. He looks to be in his mid to late forties. He must have come in after the Battle of Hogwarts. When he speaks, his voice is rough and low.
“Good morning class. My name is Professor Ignatius and I was once a Gryffindor. But that doesn’t mean I favor my house. Now, I would like you all to pair up with someone from the other house. He or she will be your study partner. I encourage you choose someone from the opposite gender.”
We get up out of our seats and start roaming around. I look for a Gryffindor boy that looks like he would not goof off. I see someone start to make his way toward me. He’s tall, probably 5’ 6”. He has dirty blond hair and ice blue eyes. And he’s super hot. “Hey. I’m Keane Jones. Do you want to be partners?” Even his voice is beautiful. I’m at a loss for words. All these Hufflepuffs, and he chooses me? “Sure. I’m Kassandra Albers,” I stamer.
He smiles. “That’s such a beautiful name.” Before I can reply, we are all told to sit down next to our partner. My hand brushes Keane’s as I sit in my chair. Even this is enough to make my heart flutter. “In this class, I will teach you many valuable lessons. Even though Voldemort is dead, there are still many dark wizards and creatures out there. Now. Does anyone know what a Hag is?” No one answers. “A Hag is a child-eating creature that resembles a woman. However, it normally has more warts than a normal witch. You can find more information starting on page five of your textbooks. And I want a two page essay by Monday. That gives you a whole week to work on it.”
Everyone groans. Homework on the first day? We get up to leave. Keane catches up to me. “Sit next to me during lunch so we can, do the essay.” He winks at me then leaves. Angelica walks up to me. “Your study partner is so hot. When are you going to go on a date?”
“What? Don’t be silly. We’re just friends.”
“Sure. And I’m Taylor Swift. Oh, by the way, after Astronomy, I’m going to head to the kitchen to make snickerdoodles. Wanna help?”
“That sounds fun! Count me in.” We head to the Great Hall for lunch. One of the tables is filled with sandwiches, fruit, salad, and cookies. I grab some food and tell Angelica, “I’ll catch up with you in a minute. Keane wanted to talk to me.” She nods, a mischievous look on her face. Thank goodness we can sit wherever we want during lunch. Everyone is scattered among the four tables. Looks like it’s only first through third years here.
I spot Keane sitting with a few other Gryffindors. I head over in their direction. When he spots me, he gets up and walks over to me. “Hey gorgeous.” I blush. “For a first year, you act like you’re fifteen,” I tease him. “So, what did you mean by do the essay?” He smiles mischievously. “Come with me. But leave your stuff here.” I do as he says. We walk out into the hallway.
I lean against the wall and fold my arms over my chest. “So, what’s so private we had to come out here?” He places one arm against the wall right above my left shoulder. He leans in. At first I think he’s going to tell me a secret, but he’s not aiming for my ears. He has to stoop down a little, since he’s four inches taller than me.
I push him away. “No.” I say firmly, setting my boundaries. “We just met. I’m not going that far.” He seems disappointed, but this is one time I will not make sure someone is happy. I walk into the Great Hall and grab my stuff. I then find Angelica, Ethan, Olivia and Alice sitting together.
“Hey guys, how do you like your classes so far?” I give Angelica a look that says I’ll tell you later. “Transfiguration seems cool. And I love Defense Against the Dark Arts. Too bad we have that assignment due next week,” Olivia says before taking a bite of her sandwich.
“I’m really excited for History of Magic. Oh, by the way Kassandra, thanks again for standing up for me,” Alice says. “No problem. What are friends for?” This gets me a big smile from her. Ethan speaks up and says, “I don’t really like my study partner for DADA. I wouldn’t say hate, that’s too strong of a word, but all she talks about is how unfair it is that some other girl got Keane while she’s stuck with, what was her wording? A stupid Hufflepuff?”
This remark reminds me of someone. “Ethan, what was her name?”
“I think she said it was Victoria Sanders?” I gasp. Alice drops her sandwich. “Oh my gosh, Ethan, I feel so bad for you. She hates Hufflepuffs. She also hates redheads like me, but that’s beside the point. You’re stuck with her. Let’s just hope we don’t have to do any partner projects,” Alice says, picking up her sandwich.
“Don’t worry Ethan, I can help you with your essay.” I add.
“Speak of the devil.” Olivia says, pointing over to one of the other tables. Victoria and her V-crew (that’s what I decided to call them) are making their way towards us.
“Well, well, well. If it isn’t the weirdos. Ravenclaw-mudblood, Swan-face, Hufflepuff-mudblood, dumb partner, and Crush-steeler herself.”
“We have names you know. Alice, Olivia, Angelica, Ethan, and Kassandra. But I guess you’re too stupid to read a simple name tag.”
Her eyes narrow, and she tells her Ravenclaw buddy, Vivian, “Go get my boyfriend. He can help us.” Vivian leaves to go get Victoria’s ‘boyfriend.’
“Why do you have a boyfriend if you have a crush on Keane? And aren’t you a little too young to be dating anyway?” I challenge. She just glares at me.
When Vivian comes back, she’s with none other than Robert Bradley. “What’s up sugar?” he asks her. Then he sees me. “Is this Hufflepuff giving you trouble?”
“As a matter of fact, she is. Kassandra had to nerve to call me stupid.” Robert glares at me. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Olivia and Alice get up. They both have a bag of something sparkly in her hands. No one else notices them because they are all focused on me.
“Well, we’ll just have to teach her a lesson, then, won’t we?” They both smile. Unbeknownst to them, Olivia and Alice are behind them. I catch a glimpse of what they’re holding.
Gold and black glitter.
Robert raises his wand, probably about to levitate me, when Olivia and Alice dump a bag of glitter on both of them. They both shriek in shock. Apparently, everyone was watching, and they all start laughing. Robert tries to ruffle the glitter out of his hair, but it just falls onto his shoulders. They both walk away, dusting glitter off as they go.
I turn to Olivia and Alice, who have just sat down. “Let me guess: you’re both prank masters.”
“Yes,” they say in unison. I see something flicker in Olivia’s eyes as they both laugh, but I can’t tell what.
“So, do you all want to study in the library together later today?” Alice asks. We all nod and agree. I look at Ethan and mouth I haven’t forgotten. Just then, we have to go to our classes. I’m headed to Transfiguration with the Gryffindors. Now, this is both good and bad. It’s good because Keane will be there and Victoria’s friends won’t be there. It’s bad because of Victoria.
When I walk, we are organised by house. And Thank Merlin I’m sitting with Keane on my left and Ethan on my right, because I’m on the border of the Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors. Victoria sits far away from me, still covered in glitter. The teacher has dark skin, black hair, and brown eyes. He’s wearing a purple robe and a matching hat.
“Good morning class. My name is Professor Ashnah and I am your Transfiguration teacher. Today, I will teach you the basics. By the end of the year, you will be able to do this.” He points you a raven that has been sitting on a stand. He waves his wand, and it begins to warp until it turns into a glass goblet. “But we will have to take baby steps.” He goes on about basic Transfiguration.
Towards the end of class, I feel something tap my left leg. I look down to see Keane is holding a chocolate frog box. He looks straight ahead while he does it. A little note on the front says,
Take it. I’m sorry I pushed you. I’ll wait until you’re ready. Don’t worry, the time will come soon. Just know I love you and I’m thinking of you.
Wow. So that’s how he feels. I blush, and take it. When I catch his eye, I mouth Thank you. At the end of class, I find Angelica. We start heading down to the dungeons for Potions with Slytherins. I quietly tell her about the almost kiss and the chocolate frog. I also show her the note.
“So he just full out admitted it?” Angelica whispers, her voice bubbling with excitement. “Yeah. Weird right? But I’m not ready for that kind of thing yet. I’d rather focus on more important things. But it’s nice to be flattered every once in a while, you know?”
We line up in front of the potions room. A man no older than twenty five walks out. He has combed brown hair and piercing green eyes. “Hello class. My name is Professor Aeson. Come in and find a seat. Slytherins on the left and Hufflepuffs on the right.” I walk in and find the room is filled with potions of all shapes, colors, and sizes. I sit down in between Ethan and Angelica.
“In this class, I will teach you many valuable potions. I will teach you things as simple as an antidote for common poisons to something as complicated as Amortentia, but that won’t be until later years. Today, I will teach you basic things you need to know.” He looks in my direction, but only briefly. At the end of class, he gives us an assignment (a one and a half page essay on safety precautions) due Friday. I have one more class to go to before I meet Ethan, and that’s History of Magic with Ravenclaws.
I hear bits of conversation around me, and it sounds like everyone thinks Professor Aeson is cute. I roll my eyes. “Can you believe it?” I tell Angelica. “Everyone thinks the potions teacher is cute. Watch out, Professor, there might be some chocolates coming his way filled with Amortentia.” This gets a laugh out of her. “Yeah.” She gasps, as if she just realised something. “Merlin’s Beard! Have you eaten your chocolate frog yet?”
“Keane might have put Amortentia in there! His note did say the time will come soon!” I stumble a little, the thought shocking me. Would he have done that? “Do you know how to detect it?” Angelica shakes her head. “Alice might. Ask her during our next class.”
When we get there, I’m surprised to find the teacher is a ghost. I sit down next to Alice. While Professor Binns drones on about boring stuff while we take notes, I whisper to Alice, “Do you know how to detect Amortentia?” She leans toward me and says, “It will smell like the three things you love most, but one scent will overpower the other.”
“Thanks,” I murmur. We are assigned a three page essay on witch hunts due Monday. Good thing I’m good at taking notes. Speaking of which, I think I’m finally getting the hang of using quills instead of pens. At the end of class, Robert comes up to me. “Hey little girl. Are you lost? This class is for big kids that can use their brains.” His friends laugh. “Then why are you here?” This catches him off guard, and I walk away.
I find Ethan in a little corner of the library, alone. “Hey Ethan. What did you want to talk about.” He looks around, and then leads me further into the library.
“Kassandra, I need to tell you something. I-” Just then, Keane swings around the corner, making Ethan cut off short. “Kassandra! I’ve been looking for you. Have you eaten your chocolate frog yet?” He then notices Ethan. “And who might this be?”
“Keane, this is Ethan. Ethan, this is Keane, my study partner.” Ethan’s face turns cold. “Yeah. We met.” He then pushes past Keane. “What was that all about?” I ask. Keane looks just as confused as I am. “Don’t know. Anyway, you should eat your frog. I picked it myself.” I pull it out of my bag. I hold it to my nose and inhale. Keane stiffens slightly. “Mmm. I love the smell of chocolate.” He relaxes. In reality, I smell rain, old books, and chocolate, the rain overpowering the rest.
“You know what, it smells so good, I’m going to save it until later. Anyway, I have to go meet my friends. We’re going to study together.” A glimpse of disappointment crosses his features, but only for a second. I walk off to go meet my friends.
“He did it,” I say as I place my bag on the table. “Who did what?” Olivia asked, voicing everyone’s question. I lower my voice and say, “Keane added Amortentia to a chocolate frog he gave me.” They all stare at me in shock. “He did what?!” Alice accidentally screeches, earning her a hush from Madam Pince, the librarian. She lowers her voice and says, “He did what?” I nod. “It’s true. Smell.” I held the chocolate frog up to her nose. “What do you smell?”
“I smell… butterscotch, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, and old books.”
“See? Amortentia. Now, let’s get working on our assignments.” We work for the next forty minutes before we head to dinner. In that time, I finish my DADA and Potions essays. I join up with Angelica after dinner, and we head to the kitchen. We have fifty minutes until Astronomy. She reaches her hand up hesitantly to tickle the pear. Surprisingly, the pear moves, laughs, and turns into a green doorknob. We go through a door into the kitchen.
I expected it to be like the one I have at home. Instead, I see a bunch of house elves scurrying around carrying dirty dishes. There are tables set up in the same spots as the tables in the Great Hall. They look up at us, and then rush towards us holding trays of food. “Are you still hungry?” One of them asks, bowing before us. “No need to bow,” I say. They straighten up. “We just came to make cookies.” The one that spoke to us smiles. “You must be Hufflepuffs. We get a lot of you down here. By all means, cook away.”
We move over to the kitchen area. We find all of the ingredients. That’s when we come up with a brilliant plan. “I know we’re making snickerdoodles, but what if I make a separate batch of chocolate chip cookies? But there’s a catch: I use the chocolate from the chocolate frog instead of chocolate chips. I then leave it on Robert’s desk and tell him to give it to Victoria. If he does, he’ll have his hands full with her and she’s be so in love that maybe, just maybe, they’ll leave us alone!” Angelica’s face brightens. “I’ve rubbed off on you, haven’t I?”
“I guess so.”
I make the batch and put them in a cute little bag. Angelica and I then hide the snickerdoodles in our room for later. That is, after we eat at least ten each. We’re just in time for Astronomy. We look at the stars and have to write a two and a half page essay on the constellations due Friday. By now, it’s around 9:30 and we have to get up at 7:30. I walk into the common room and instantaneously feel refreshed. The smell of all these plants is so soothing. I write a quick note to my parents and give it to Cinnamon. I fall asleep almost immediately, the smell of plants lulling me to sleep.