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Ryan Buratsche

Staring into the future

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Ryan Buratsche

Returning for his sixth year felt almost surreal. OWLs we’re behind him, and now he was focused on getting through his NEWT classes. And after that? Who knew. Thinking about the future for very long was a little anxiety-provoking. Hogwarts has been his home, and he wasn’t sure what he would do when he wasn’t there during the school year. 

 

One thing was certain, he definitely didn’t want to be shoveling manure on the sanctuary after he graduated, which he was sure would be his fate if he didn’t have some kind of job lined up when school ended.

 

He was today without any of the trademark posters that usually accompanied him when he ventured out of solitude. He’d seen a few of the new prefects out and about so far. His eyes fell on one, and he smiled.

 

”Hatty, right? Congratulations on Prefect.” 

 

He didn’t, truthfully, know her well. Once he’d said congratulations, he was left standing there, unsure of what to do next.  Should he keep talking?

 

”I mean assuming you wanted it—not that you wouldn’t want it—I mean—“ the words weren’t coming now. Maybe he should have just walked away. 

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Hatty Hambeldon

The badge seemed larger in her hands, but perhaps that was due to her size, which often magnified everything around her. She had been surprised at the thickness of the envelope when she had received it, but then had automatically assumed that everyone got envelopes like this in fifth year, due to OWLs or some other explanation that she would soon find out. 

 

But then as she had opened the parchment, the badge had dropped into her hands. "Pr-e-fect?" She had whispered to herself not daring to believe it. She still didn't. Hatty found herself from time to time still looking at the badge to make sure that she wasn't dreaming. She had never thought that she would get perfect. She often went unnoticed in most places and she didn't think she was leadership material.

 

Someone though had seen something in her maybe and she was grateful for the opportunity. And apparently the badge attracted a certain amount of attention. She blinked in surprise as Ryan acknowledged her - she had only every interacted with him in the Great Hall and some times in the common room but did not know him every well at all. 

 

She blushed. "Thanks, I, I didn't think I would get it to be honest," she spoke as she glanced down at the badge again for what seemed like the upteenth time. "I mean, it's..." 

 

It wasn't for people like her. But she didn't finish that thought. "I mean, it's a honor," she finished instead as she tried not to notice people pointing at her badge and whispering. 

Edited by Hatty Hambeldon

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Ryan Buratsche

He was suddenly conscious of the way that he towered over Hatty, and was filled with the impulse to take a step back. Was he offending her by doing so? One of the few times they'd spoken before, she'd spoken up about goblin equality--was it wrong of him to assume that it was because she had goblin ancestry? There was nothing wrong with goblin ancestry, but now that he was thinking about it, what was he doing and--

 

No, he needed to stop trying to think his way through this. What was he thinking? Stop.

 

He frowned when she said that she didn't think that she would be a prefect. He'd never entertained the idea that he could become a prefect (he got in way too many fights and public demonstrations for that). But surely, Hatty was different. Even from a few brief conversations he'd already formed that opinion.

 

"No, I mean, Professor Fjord wouldn't give the badge to you without a good reason," he nodded. "I mean, you're obviously very smart, and..."

 

He trailed off as he noticed people pointing and whispering at Hatty's badge. He furrowed his brow. "What are you looking at? She's a prefect, you know, she could dock points," he snapped, sending a couple of younger students scurrying back to compartments. 

 

"Sorry, I just--sorry they were probably being mean. They shouldn't be mean." 

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Hatty Hambeldon

Smart. She had never really been called that before - she struggled in her classes most of the time. But yet, she was one of the few people in her year who didn't like to cause trouble and blow up the whole school. She had a funny feeling that this whole prefect things would result in a complete fiasco - she just didn't have the ability to reign in her fellow classmates. Most of the time they seemed to forget that she was even there. It was the opposite of the way she knew Heidi's school treated her.

 

And her fears were confirmed by the way people acted around her. Why were people always mean? She didn't understand it at times. Their first instinct for example, was to point out how she didn't exactly look like everyone else. 

 

"People always are..." she trailed off. "Especially if you don't quite fit in, like me." She shrugged. "I'm used to it by now." That was probably a rather sad comment, but it was also true. She had learned to ignore it even though it still stung every time. "Hatty the doormat." 

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Ryan Buratsche

Ryan frowned at Hatty’s comment. And yet, he felt an astounding amount of both sympathy and comradery with her. He knew what it was like to be on the outside, looking in. Both because he was a muggleborn and had been denied a spot in his rightful house because of it, and because of his opinions. He saw injustice everywhere, and it incensed him. His classmates could barely do more than shrug and roll their eyes at what he brought up, and remained completely blind to the world around them.

 

“I don’t fit in either,” Ryan offered. He didn’t elaborate, though, because he was sure that Hatty was aware of his reputation. He was the one that was constantly buried under a stack of social justice texts in the library, and papering the Great Hall with the latest cause that he’d taken up. People shouted him down, and sometimes they went so far as to actually hit him. It wasn’t always fun to be him.

 

When she described herself as Hatty the Doormat, however, he felt a pang of sadness. “You shouldn’t say that about yourself,” he insisted. “You’re not a doormat just because you’re not like everyone else. That’s a good thing in my opinion.” He offered her a small smile.

 

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Hatty Hambeldon

She knew instantly what he meant when he offered that he didn't fit in either. She had been on his side on a couple of those occasions - particularly when a bank propped up that was trying to compete with Gringotts. Their opinion though, had not seemed popular on that issue. Nor on many of the other issues that Ryan often spoke out about. 

 

Maybe there could be a misfits club at Hogwarts for those who felt like they were not in the "in crowd." She had to admit, she was jealous of some of her year who always seemed to be in the center of the action while she was on the outside looking in. 

 

His kind words made her give him a soft smile as she blushed slightly, but they still didn't take the feeling away. She had felt like a doormat for too long now just for it all to suddenly disappear. But it did give her a small measure of comfort in that moment. "Th-thanks," she stammered. "I guess it's just hard when you feel like you don't really have many friends..." 

 

And no best friend either that she could constantly turn to when needed. 

 

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Ryan Buratsche

Now Ryan could definitely sympathize here. He didn't have many friends either. Alayna had become his friend, true, but it had taken years. He hadn't treated her well at first, something that still weighed heavily on him. 

 

It didn't seem fair to him that Hatty wouldn't have very many friends. Hatty didn't stage protests in the Great Hall or start fights in the corridors. 

 

"Well," Ryan said after a moment's pause. "I don't really have many friends either." He supposed that was obvious--he did have something of a reputation, after all.

 

After another moment's pause, he coughed, unsure if what he was about to say sounded too forward. "We could be friends....um, if you want." 

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