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Gracie-Mae Goodwin

Life is short, eat dessert first

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Gracie-Mae Goodwin

In ways, Gracie-Mae had grown up a lot since arriving at Hogwarts. She'd learned loads, she'd met new friends, she'd been on adventures, and yet she'd also doubted herself, wondered if maybe she didn't belong here after all, and questioned who she was. But through it all, she liked to think that she was becoming a better witch and a better person.

 

And yet, some things had not changed. Gracie-Mae didn't immediately see her friends when she entered the great hall for dinner that day, but she didn't mind. She took an open seat at the Gryffindor table and began her usual dinner routine by shoveling some of the nearest dessert onto her plate - a lovely trifle. Gracie-Mae still didn't understand how anybody could eat a proper dinner when dessert was staring them in the face, and she simply couldn't resist the impulse. 

 

But as she placed the serving spoon back into the dish, Gracie-Mae bumped the elbow of the person next to her. "Sorry!" she yelped, slightly muffled through the bite she'd already taken. Then she realized she wasn't acquainted with the girl, and her silverware clattered back onto her plate as she quickly swallowed her food and extended a hand. "I'm Gracie-Mae, nice to meet you!" she added brightly. 

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Tabitha Callow

Tabitha to feel completely settled at Hogwarts but she was getting there. Some people seemed to fit in so well but Tabitha was an introvert and felt her social life was not progressing as fast as she would have liked. It wasn't all bad though, lessons were going well. Sure, she didn't know what she was doing most of the time, but she hadn't caused a fire hazard yet, and somehow landed herself with more than one 'Outstanding' grade in the recent exams which she was extremely proud of. All considered, Tabitha was doing well and was beginning to feel more confident than she had last term. With confidence came friendship she hoped.

 

Another element of Hogwarts she always looked forward to was the food. This evening she enjoyed a baked potato complete with a generous topping of cheese and beans. She mused over how the chef could bake a potato which was both delightfully fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside. She made a mental note to venture to the kitchen one day to ask the chef for a receipe and to thank him for the delicious variety of food served every day. Students could eat whatever they liked, like the person across the table who was enjoying a pasta dish, or the girl beside her was tucking into a trifle for their evening meal which Tabitha found amusing in itself. With no parents around to set boundaries, it was common to witness percuilar diets from Hogwarts students.

 

Tabitha smiled to herself as she scooped a chunk of potato with her fork, lifted the fork to her mouth, and flung it at her cheek. She hadn't meant to throw food at her own face but rather unfortunately trifle girl had nudged her at just the wrong moment. Tabitha giggled, unphased by the incident. She wipped the cheesy, beany, potato gloop off her face with a napkin then realised that she was being spoken to. She placed the napkin on the table and shook the girls hand. "Hi Gracie-Mae, I'm Tabitha. Nice to meet you too." She replied, "Can I just say, I'm impressed with your choice of dinner. I might have to join you after I've finished my main course." Tabitha preferred deserts second but each to their own she thought.

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Gracie-Mae Goodwin

Gracie-Mae was pleased that the girl had giggled - she hadn't meant any harm, and the fact that the girl seemed entertained was a good sign that she hadn't caused any. After all, Gracie-Mae didn't want to make a first year cry, or start a food fight (well, maybe she did want to do that one day, but on purpose, not like this!) or cause her fellow Gryffindors to feel unwelcome at their meals.

 

The girl introduced herself as Tabitha and Gracie-Mae beamed at her - not only had she meant what she'd said and was she genuinely pleased to make Tabitha's acquaintance, but she was also very relieved that the girl had responded well to the whole incident. Gracie-Mae honestly wouldn't have been surprised to have been told off or frowned at or otherwise shunned, and she felt it was very kind of Tabitha to take it all in stride. Impressive, especially since Gracie-Mae couldn't recall seeing Tabitha around before this year which meant she was likely only a first year.

 

"Oh, this?!" said Gracie-Mae, picking up her fork and gesturing to her trifle with it. She smiled sheepishly. "That's ... cool. Most people don't seem so impressed," she admitted. On more than one occasion her housemates had looked at her as if she'd had multiple heads - and for a second she'd had to wonder if perhaps she had sprouted an extra head or limb since Hogwarts was magical after all. But no, apparently it was just her choices in food that earned her such looks. "I was still gonna eat real dinner eventually, honest. Like ... oh! Yours looks good, maybe I'll have some of that. I just can't seem to convince myself to start with real dinner when there's dessert in front of me, y'know? It's like it talks to me." Wait, would that be misleading? Gracie-Mae quickly backpedaled. "I mean, it doesn't actually talk. Does food talk here? I haven't seen it yet but honestly I wouldn't be surprised ... "

 

Realizing that she'd started to ramble, Gracie-Mae decided this was a great time to shove some more trifle into her mouth. 

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Tabitha Callow

Tabitha raised her left eyebrow, she disagreed with what most other people said and fully supported Gracie-Mae eating desert before her main, or even instead of a main if she wanted to. "Do what you want, if Hogwarts didn't want you to eat desert first then they wouldn't have put it out at the same time as the main course." She shrugged, "I say take advantage of no parents telling you what you can and cannot eat."

 

Tabitha swallowed another mouthful of her baked potato whilst Gracie-Mae was talking. This time the first year succeeded in managing to get all of her food into her mouth instead of near it. She barely chewed before swallowing her mouthful to speak again. She smiled softly, "No, I've never heard any food talking around here but it wouldn't surprise me if  it did." She giggled. Then she remember that she had heard food make a sound before, but it wasn't talking. "Oh, but I have heard a snack croak before." She was referring to chocolate frogs of course. "Chocolate frogs are the weirdest things I've ever eaten but they taste so yummy."

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Gracie-Mae Goodwin

Gracie-Mae listened as she chewed. She felt heartened - not only did she appreciate Tabitha's support, but she was also eating dessert and that never failed to make her feel better. It was nice knowing that at least someone respected her choices - and perhaps even nicer that Tabitha seemed cool with them despite making different choices herself. So what if she and Tabitha did not have the same preferences? Tabitha seemed to understand and that was what mattered.

 

"You've eaten them?!?" Gracie-Mae said in awe when Tabitha mentioned chocolate frogs. She hadn't consciously made the connection that her housemate must also have come from a muggle upbringing - but she definitely agreed that chocolate frogs looked like a weird food. Gracie-Mae forgot all about her dessert for a moment. "It's silly but ... it looks and sounds so real! And I know it's just chocolate but then I look at it and I want to try it but I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it yet? It feels wrong to try to eat something that croaks and hops," she admitted. 

 

"What was it like? I mean did it get less weird? Do you get used to it? And does it like ... die?" Was that even the right word for something that had only been enchanted and had never really been alive in the first place? "When you eat it, I mean? It doesn't hop around your stomach or anything ... right?" Or did it? Maybe the Wizarding World was full of people with frogs in their stomachs and Tabitha was terribly brave to have joined them in their odd traditions. 

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