I wake up around 8:30. I get ready and head to breakfast. I’m wearing a comfy, knitted, mustard yellow sweater and black leggings. When I get down to the Great Hall, not a lot of people are there. I eat a quick breakfast and head outside. I find a tree with a lot of fallen leaves under it. I make a huge leaf pile and lay down on it, staring at the sky.
About five minutes later, Ethan walks up to me. He’s wearing dark jeans and a yellow sweatshirt. His brown hair is disheveled, sticking up in random spots. His honey brown eyes shine in the sunlight. I find my own dirty blonde hair is spread out around my face. I sit up. “Hey.”
“Hey Kassie.” There it is again. That sweet little word. I pat the spot next to me. He sits down and rests his arms on his legs. In that moment, he looks perfect. He looks into my eyes. “By the way, you have really pretty eyes.” I look down and feel heat start to rise up my neck. “You look cute when you blush, too.” This makes me blush harder.
“Well, you look cute with your hair like that.” I half tease. He smiles. We sit in silence for a minute before he says, “Thanks.”
“Sure. What are friends for?”
Just then, I see Angelica walk out the front doors. She too is wearing black leggings and a yellow sweatshirt. We probably look like a group of bumble bees. She stretches out her arms as she’s heading toward us. “Why’d you leave me!” she mocks. “You were the one who slept in!” I shout back. She rolls her eyes jokingly, picks up a hand full of leaves, and throws them at me; however, because of the wind, they blow back into her face. We all start laughing. This causes a leaf fight.
We are on the ground laughing so hard it’s hard to breath by the time Olivia and Alice get over here. “What happened to you all?” Olivia asks.
I am able to stop laughing long enough to say, “Leaf fight.” We calm down after a while, and that’s when I get a good look at Olivia and Alice. Olivia is wearing skinny jeans and a gray sweatshirt. Alice is wearing blue leggings and a white knitted sweater. They sit down with us.
As soon as they do, the V-crew, Robert, and Keane all walk out. They seem to be deep in conversation, and it looks like they’re planning something. Robert is the first to notice us. He points us out to the others. “Uh oh. What do you think they’re planning?” Alice asks as they begin to walk toward us.
“Probably revenge,” Angelica answers.
“Well, well, well. What are you dweebs doing out here?” Robert asks with a sneer.
“We could ask you the same question,” Olivia retorts.
Ignoring Olivia’s remark, Keane says, “We were just thinking, there are five of us and five of you. How about we have a little fight to settle things once and for all.”
“So, you’re on their side now, huh? Just because the KAOAE ratted you out?” I ask. Turns out this is what they wanted me to say.
“We know you five are the KAOAE. So either you fight us, or we tell the whole school,” Victoria says, thinking she has won this battle. She hasn’t.
We all start laughing. They look at one another, confused. “Why are you laughing?” Robert demands.
“We don’t care if you tell the school who we are. We also aren’t going to fight you, so your threat is invalid.” We continue to laugh.
Then Vanessa, the Slytherin, leans in toward Olivia and says, “Fight us or I tell the whole school what you are.” Olivia stops laughing suddenly. Her face is stricken with terror.
“What’s wrong Olivia?” I ask, concerned.
With regret in her voice, Olivia says, “Guys, for my sake, we have to fight them.” Angelica, Ethan, Alice and I look at each other.
“We’ll do it. But give us a minute,” I say to the bullies, getting up and leading everyone out of earshot. “Alice, do you know any spells we can use?” I ask.
“Yes. Okay, here’s what we’ll do.” She whispers her plan to us and teaches us two spells. We turn to our opponents and raise our wands.
“Ready?” Victoria says.
“Set,” I answer.
We point our wands at the ground and say, “Spongify!” The ground turns rubbery and bouncy. We jump onto it just as spells are being cast at us. We jump high into the air and make a ring of fire (using Incendio) around the V-crew, Robert, and Keane. We land and run. One of the third years puts out the fire and they point their wands at us. Spells go flying past us. We turn a corner and run right into Teddy Lupin. “Teddy!” Ethan says, stopping in his tracks.
“Hey Ethan, what’s up?” he asks, seeming to not notice our disheveled state.
“We need help. Keane, Robert, and Victoria’s crew are after us. Can you turn into Headmistress McGonagall to scare them off?” Ethan asks. Teddy nods and begins to grow taller, his hair growing and his clothes changing until he looks exactly like McGonagall. Well, that was easy. He goes around the corner. I watch him go and see they have stopped, frightened.
“What are you five doing?” Teddy asks, sounding just like McGonagall.
“Nothing Headmistress. We were just practising for Charms.”
“I see. But be careful next time. You almost hit me.” Teddy comes back and changes into himself.
“Thanks Teddy. Is there anything we can do to make it up for you?” Ethan asks.
Teddy shakes his head. “No need. It’s kind of fun to scare them.” He walks off.
“That was a close one,” Angelica says, leaning against the wall.
“Thanks for doing that for me,” Olivia says, her face relaxing.
“Hey, what are friends for?” I reply.
We head around the corner to find a furious Victoria. “We’ll continue this another time. But for now, the secret is safe. Until next time.” She walks off with her crew, leaving Robert and Keane.
“By the way, you Hufflepuffs look like a bunch of bumblebees,” Robert blurts before walking off. Keane gives us nasty look.
He walks up to me, points a finger at my chest and says, “You were the one that saw us, and you decided to tell the whole school about me. Well, you better watch your back, because I’m coming for you.”
“Yeah right, coward.” This hits home. Being a Gryffindor, he is very prideful. He looks exasperated and offended at the same time, if that’s possible. He hurries off, leaving us alone.
“We need to go somewhere,” Angelica says. She looks like she’s stifling a laugh. She hurries off with Alice and Olivia in tow. When they think we are out of earshot, they start giggling.
“What was that all about?” Ethan asks.
“I don’t know. But I bet they’re either making a surprise for us or they want us to be together right now for some reason.”
Ethan thinks about it for a moment then shrugs. “Oh well. So, how’s life, Kassie?”
I think about it for a moment before saying, “Good, I guess. I mean, I’ve got to deal with all these haters. But aside from that, life’s good. How is it for you?”
“Good so far. By the way, what’s your favorite dessert?” Well, that’s an odd question. I think about it for a while.
“That’s a hard question.” By now we’re wandering around campus. “But if I had to choose, it would be my dad’s no bake cookies.”
“Can you show me how to make then sometime?”
“Why wait for sometime when you can do it now?” We head toward the kitchen. At the entrance, we see Angelica, Olivia, and Alice just leaving. “What were you three doing in there?” I fake scold, putting my hands on my hips like a mom that has caught her kids stealing cookies from the cookie jar.
“Nothing!” they lie, hurrying to who knows where. I shake my head. We walk in to find no one but the house elves. I show Ethan how to make the cookies. By the time we’re done, we’ve made three dozen cookies and have already eaten half of them. We split the rest and put them in our rooms.
We head back outside and find the rest of the KAOAE under a tree, laughing. Angelica spots us and waves us over.
“Where did you three run off to?” Ethan questions, sitting down.
“Oh, you’ll see. Merlin’s beard, not them again,” Alice groans, pointing toward the Forbidden Forest. Victoria and the others are heading toward us. I roll my eyes and pretend to not see them.
When they walk up to us, I turn toward them and ask, “What do you want?”
“We want to make a deal with you,” Victoria states. I stand up and look her in the face.
“Continue.” I say, hesitant.
“We’ll leave you alone if you tell everyone that we’re the KAOAE, not you five.”
I sit back down and answer, “Let us discuss.”
“What do you guys want to do?” I whisper.
“Well, we can’t let them take all the credit,” Olivia offers, clearly annoyed.
“Yeah, and they wouldn’t keep their end of the bargain,” Alice adds.
“Are we all in agreement that we turn down the offer?” Angelica says. We all nod.
I stand up and say, “We refuse your offer.” Victoria looks like I’ve slapped her. She turns to Robert and Keane, disbelieving.
“You turned down our offer?” Robert challenges.
“Yes, we did,” I answer. Keane pushes past Victoria and looks me in the face. He’s a full four inches taller than me, so he has to look down. In one swift motion, he grabs Ethan by the collar and pulls out his fist.
“Agree to the offer or I beat him up.” We all gasp.
“Don’t give in!” Ethan pleads. “I can take it.” I don’t know what to do.
Ethan looks at Keane and says, “I speak for all of us when I say we still refuse.” Keane’s fist goes flying.
“NO!” I shout. Ethan’s head snaps back, blood spurting from his nose. His face is bleeding. That’s when I lose it. I pull out my wand and point it right in Keane’s face.
In a low voice, I growl, “Let him go or I singe your eyebrows.” He drops Ethan, sending him spralling. I pull my wand away and help Ethan up.
That’s when I see Professor Ignatius come over. “What happened?” He demands. I explain what happened. He looks at Keane and says, “Twenty points from Gryffindor for Muggle fighting and ten points from Ravenclaw.” He ushers them away and asks over his shoulder, “Can you handle him?”
“Yeah.” I lead Ethan to the common room, his arm over my shoulder for support. “Angelica, do you happen to have a First Aid Kit?”
“As a matter of fact I do.” She runs to her room while I set Ethan down on a couch. Luckily, no one else is here. Olivia and Alice are waiting outside, probably worried sick. Angelica rushes back with the kit. I pull out a cloth and wipe the blood away. The bleeding from his nose has stopped, but there’s a gash going from his right eyebrow to the middle of his left cheek. I apply hydrogen peroxide. He winces from the sting. I place a big bandaid over it.
“You didn’t have to do that,” I tell him.
“But I did. We need to show them we can’t be pushed around.” I look at his face.
“Does it hurt anywhere else?” He shakes his head. “Come on, it’s almost time for lunch. Do you want to go to Madame Pomfrey to get that mended?”
He shakes his head. “This is good for now.” We head to lunch. There’s not many people there, but when they see Ethan, they start to whisper and stare. We sit in our normal spot.
A Ravenclaw girl with light blonde hair and blue eyes comes over and asks, “What happened?”
Ethan looks up and answers, “Keane punched me.” Her hand flies to her mouth as she gasps.
“Did you tell someone?”
“Professor Ignatius saw us.” She nods and scurries away. She starts whispering to her friends. By the time we’re done eating, word has gotten around and people are coming in to see Ethan. Some even claim they’re going to beat up Keane for doing such a horrible thing. Everywhere we go, someone finds us. Eventually, we end up on the seventh floor, across from the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy. I’m pacing, thinking that we could really use a place to relax and get away from all the drama, when the wall turns into a door.
I jump back, surprised. I turn to the others before opening the door. Inside there are five comfy-looking chairs centered around a little round table. Books and candy line the walls. It’s small but cozy. We enter and all take a seat. The door shuts behind us. “I think this is the Room of Requirement,” Alice says.
“That would make sense. I was thinking we could really use a place to relax and get away from the drama, and here we are,” I remark looking around the room.
I walk over to one of the walls with candy. I find a jar of chocolate frogs and set them on the table. I also get some acid pops, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, a jar of snickerdoodles, and a jar of chocolate covered strawberries. Ethan gets chocolate frogs, Olivia gets an acid pop, Alice gets Bertie Bott’s, Angelica gets snickerdoodles, and I get strawberries.
“This is the best place ever,” Ethan says, his mouth full of chocolate. We all nod. We sit there in silence for a while before Ethan says, “I think I can take my bandage off now.”
He reaches to take it off, but I stop him. “Let me do it. We have to be able to put it back quick if it starts bleeding again.” I sit on the edge of his chair.
Angelica, Olivia, and Alice start giggling. I whip my head around to look at them, making my hair smack Ethan’s face. “What are you laughing at?”
They stop and Olivia says, “Nothing.” I turn back to Ethan. I gently pull the bandage off. All that’s left is a scab.
“That healed fast. But be careful; it could open back up.” He nods and we catch each other’s gaze for a split second. I quickly look away.
They start giggling again. “Seriously, what’s so funny?” They laugh even harder. I roll my eyes jokingly. “Come on, we should head to dinner.” We head out and down the stairs. When we enter, afew people start pointing and whispering. We sit down at our house tables. People keep glancing at us.
“Hey Kassandra. Do you want to help me bake a few things tomorrow?” Angelica proposes. “Sure. What are we making?”
“It’s a surprise.” I shrug. We head to the common room. I’m planning on getting to bed early when I see a small, neatly wrapped package on my bed. I open it to find… wait, that can’t be right. I take a closer look. Sure enough, I see a heart shaped sugar cookie with a tree drawn in frosting. In small blue frosting-writing it says, “Ethan and Kassandra sitting in a tree…From your friends.” It makes me smile.
Underneath it is another cookie. This one is round and died deep blue, like the midnight sky. A white moon is drawn in the top left corner. In little white dots (which I think are stars) are the words, “The night holds many truths.” This one makes me think. The night holds many truths.
Just then, Angelica walks into the room. “Thanks for the cookies.” She smiles. “But, Angelica, what does the second one mean?” She smiles even bigger.
“It means people tend to tell the truth in the middle of the night. If there’s something you want to tell him, tell him tonight. He got the same cookie.” I take a bite out of it.
“These are good, by the way.” I finish both of them and get in bed.
Sure enough, I find Ethan in the common room that night. “I think they’re trying to get us together,” Ethan says without looking up. He continues, “And they want us to tell each other something. Unbeknownst to them, you’ve already told me your nickname is Kassie. It’s time I told you something.” I sit down next to him. “When I was younger, I used to have a dream every night about a girl I had never seen before. I began to want to sleep so I could talk to her. She was my best friend.
“She aged with me. People thought she was imaginary, but she wasn’t. She told me about her day, her life, everything. Things she said her parents wouldn’t understand. I could tell she was real because some of the things she told me I couldn’t have made up on my own. I then realised this was not normal. I realised it was some sort of magic. Now, my parents are both wizards. When I told them, they knew I would go to Hogwarts.
“One day, she just left, and never came back. Imagine my surprise when I see her on the Hogwarts train, sitting alone. And she had no idea who I am.” I stare at him blankly, and a tiny voice in my head tells me it has something to do with me.
“What was something she told you?”
He thinks for a second before saying, “She told me about her kidnapping.” I gasp. I had always wondered why I wasn’t scared during that time. I felt like someone was with me, helping me.
My eyes sting, and I start to cry. He had been there for me, and I didn’t even know it. He holds out his arms. I collapse into his chest, tears rolling down my cheek. “You were there for me. And I didn’t even know it. Do you know how much I needed that?” I choke out. I take a deep breathe. He smells like chocolate and pine needles. After a while, I sit up. His eyes are searching mine. His body is warm, and it pulls me toward him like a magnet.
He strokes my hair, murmuring, “It’s okay Kassie.” I’ve never really had a friend like this. After all this time, turns out I have.
I wake up to Ethan nudging me. I didn’t even realize I had fallen asleep on his chest. It’s still dark outside. “We should get to our beds,” he whispers. I nod. I get up and head to bed. I miss the warmth of Ethan’s body. I think back to my kidnapping. The only reason I got away was because my captator suddenly was thrown against a wall. I was really mad and tied to a chair. The ropes also came undone. At the time, I couldn’t explain what happened. Now I know it was magic.
After all this time, I finally have a good friend. Angelica is also a really good friend, but with Ethan, it’s… a different kind of friendship. Olivia and Alice are my friends, too, of course, but Angelica is my best friend and Ethan is my… deep-rooted friend.
I awaken on Sunday morning. Light is streaming through the small windows. I take a deep breath, smelling the earthy air. Last night comes back in flashes. Ethan telling me his story. Me crying on Ethan’s chest. Realizing he was the one that helped me through my week long kidnapping.
I get up and put on some jeans and a yellow hoodie. I head downstairs for breakfast. I eat some fruit and pancakes, and then I head to the kitchen. I make some cinnamon rolls. I eat a few and save the rest for later. I head out to the spot I was at yesterday where I made my leaf pile. When I get there, I see a pile has already been made.
“Boo!” someone yells as they jump out of the pile. I jump back a full foot and pull out my wand. Angelica starts laughing.
I relax. “Oh, it’s just you.” She makes her way out of the pile and sticks her hands in her yellow jacket.
“So, did you talk to him last night?” I think back and decide not to tell her what happened.
I shrug. “He was out there, but we just talked about how you did a semi-good job at getting us together.” I nudge her playfully.
“Come on, you’re such a bad lier. What else did you do?” I try to think of an excuse.
“We ate cookies.”
She leans in. “That’s a lie. I heard you go out. You didn’t come back for cookies and you were out there for a long time.” My head spins as I try to think of something. I decide to change the subject.
“So, are we gonna bake or not?”
Angelica senses that I don’t want to talk about it. “I thought we’d make some apple pie and have a small picnic later. We could also make some grilled cheese. But we should wait until a little later. In the meantime, let’s hide ourselves under the leaves so we can scare everyone else.” I grin.
It takes us almost an hour to get in place, since there’s two of us. We just barely get into position when the rest of KAOAE comes out. “Where are Angelica and Kassandra?” Alice asks, looking around.
“I don’t know, but I bet they will come over here,” Olivia suggests.
Angelica and I jump out of the leaf pile, yelling, “Surprise!” They all jump back, frightened, but relax when they see it’s just us.
“You nearly gave us a heart attack!” Ethan yells playfully, throwing leaves at us. I catch his eye for a split second, and the words go unspoken. Don’t mention last night. Alice plops down and says, “So, did you two meet last night?”
Angelica looks at her and replies, “I don’t think they want to talk about it.” Alice nods. Olivia sits down with her.
“How would you guys like to have a picnic?” Angelica asks.
“That sounds fun!” Olivia exclaims, getting up and pulling Alice with her. We head to the kitchen and make apple pie and some grilled cheese sandwiches. We head outside, set out a blanket, and eat until we’re full. We sit there for a while before I see Keane come out. He’s alone. My face darkens as he approaches.
“What do you want?” I growl, standing up.
“I’m so sorry for what I did yesterday. I just… I just… I don’t know what I was thinking!” I step closer to him.
“You know exactly what you were doing. Now I suggest you leave and never talk to me again, outside of schoolwork.” He opens his mouth to say something, but then thinks better of it. He walks off.
I sit down and immediately sag. “What’s wrong?” Angelica asks, genuinely concerned.
“All this drama is wearing me down. It forces me to be mean.” Angelica strokes my back gently.
“We’re here for you.”
I look up and smile at her. “Thanks. Oh, that reminds me. I made some cinnamon rolls. Do you guys want some?” We get up and head inside. I grab the cinnamon rolls and we head down the hall, eating them.
That night, we talk with all the older years. I get to know almost everyone. Their friends, enemies, struggles, everything. My brain is buzzing with information when I plop onto my bed and fall asleep.