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Willa Henry

Don't know what a mess that i make of my days

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Willa Henry

Set the day after the February full moon. 

 

Most months, Willa wasn't fully aware of what night the full moon fell on. They were barricaded in the common rooms early regardless of the moon's disposition, and the blonde had resigned herself to the impossibility of wandering freely after curfew. There were just too many professors and prefects wandering loops that she couldn't keep track of that she had given up for the time being. 

 

It didn't mean that she wasn't breaking the rule at other times though. After class seemed like a perfectly reasonable time for her to wander the third floor, with the sun shining brightly on a cold, February afternoon.

 

The posters distracted her this time. She'd seen them lining the hallways for days, and it would have been almost funny to see the Professors struggling to take them down without two more popping up, but Atticus's face was on those posters and she didn't like meeting his eyes every time she snuck around a corner. They weren't close, and she was pretty sure he saw her as a pest, but there was something that upset Willa at the thought that a boy who hated magic and had been determined to end up living as a muggle was now stuck with a wizards curse that had and would ruin anything he planned. 

 

That was why she didn't see the prefects until it was almost too late. She ducked into the first open doorway, the armor gallery based on the decorations that felt like they were watching her every move and judging her rule-breaking. She recognized her classmate who was already in there quickly from having dueled him last term, but also from his face sitting alongside Atticus's. 

 

"Hey Pine," she started, unsure of how to approach this situation. She offered a hesitant grin instead, decidedly ignoring the elephant in the room. "Trying to dodge the buddy system too?" 

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Pine Tree

This was the day he needed a note to stay out of class. He didn’t know why he was having to go to class the day after he transformed. Being sick and hurt was the worst feeling in the world and he hated it. His room was calling his name and Pine knew that was where he was supposed to be. Still he was trying to be a normal person also. 

 

Something that some people at this school didn’t see at all, he didn’t understand why someone didn’t see it. He was a human and things just happened. 

 

As he was making his way out of class, he decided that he wasn’t going to go to the rest that day. He would ask the healer for a note the next day. Sitting in the armor room he heard someone, which he knew the voice as someone from his class, say that he was trying to dodge the buddy system. 

 

“I don’t think I should have that. What is going to happen to me.” He said with his head down and trying to figure out if it was too soon to make jokes about it. Pine needed to get better and not be a mess about everything. Just the posters and everything were making it so hard to get through the day and not deal with someone that was hating on him. 

 

“I just need a place to rest, I don’t feel so well.” Going to classes a mistake, the biggest one that he has ever made in his life. Still he was going to be a normal person. But he knew he wouldn’t make it the rest of the day. Maybe staying here would be the best for him.

 

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Willa Henry

Willa tried to ignore how awkward she felt when he very correctly pointed out that not much else could happen to him. Her mind was racing to come up with some sort of conversation, any conversation, that led away from everything that had happened at the school. Thankfully his head was down, so he couldn't see the awkwardness playing out on her face. 

 

Part of her wanted to turn around and leave while he was looking away since the prefects she had been dodging in the first place had probably gotten far enough away at that point, but she moved to sit down next to him instead. She'd never really been the charitable sort with acquaintances, but she had never imagined that her back would look like a glorified scratching post or that they'd have a couple of Scarfaces (one a werewolf, one an arse) walking around the castle. Pulling her knees up to her chest, she rested her chin on them as she looked at him. 

 

Seriously, what could you come up with to distract a werewolf?

 

"I'll hang here with you for a while. I'm pretty sure the prefects do a loop anyway, so they should be back in a few minutes and no reason for you to get in trouble and feel like crap." Still avoiding the general conversation of why he felt bad. "So I'm trying to figure out how the class did on Transfiguration last term because Knaggs is such a prat and I only barely passed. I've yet to find someone who got an O." She kept rambling, hoping to find some sort of topic that could work for them. 

 

"At least we don't have to deal with him for a while, huh? Or his teacher's pet, Killian. He was The WorstTM." Willa offered him a weak grin because who couldn't agree that the Slytherin prefect was the worst. 

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Pine Tree

It was the truth, it was something he was wondering about. What else could happen to him. Wasn’t having the buddy system was to make sure people did get hurt by a person like him. He was what he was now cause of the attack and didn’t see the point that he needed to be able to have a buddy. He tried to get away with it as often as he was able to get away with it. Since he knew that people would still stay something to him if he didn’t have one. 

 

Thinking that she was going to walk away as he was looking down, which he wouldn’t mind at all. Knowing that not everyone wanted to be able to be friends or even talk to a werewolf. He has learned a lot about that these past few weeks with the posters and everything that was popping up. It was just the most annoying thing in the world, but it was now something that he was used to. So if she was to leave he wouldn’t mind.

 

But she said that she could hang there. Looking up. “Are you su…” He stopped himself and wasn’t going to ask her if she was sure that was something that she wanted to do. “Getting in trouble is nothing.” He hated this feeling and should have just went to his room, but trying to act like a normal person was a lot harder than he thought it was going to be but he was going to attempt to do his best. “I didn’t understand anything he was saying.” After the fifth week he was more lost than other. 

 

That older boy was the worst, he was also so annoying. “The teacher pet made it worst, like we are first years we are still learning about our magic and controlling it. We won’t know everything right away.” Pine said, and then as he said that he felt like he was going to get sick, but he tried to not let her see it. 

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Willa Henry

Willa nodded resolutely, hitting her chin against her knee a little as he started to ask if he was sure. She didn't give him the answer that bubbled to her mind of 'of course. I wouldn't have stayed if I didn't want to,' but the stubbornness was there. At least he continued with their conversation, and Willa had to agree with his assessment of their Professor. 

 

"I couldn't see past the spit shooting out of his mouth each time he talked. I wonder if anyone's ever tried to dose him with some sort of calming draught or anything?" She didn't mention the number of jokes she'd made to her classmates about practicing her cheering charm on him throughout the year. "I think Killian just wanted to help so he could spend the term learning who to make fun of and bully..." 

 

Willa had spent a lot of time avoiding the prefect. Not only had she seen how he'd treated some of the first year boys for minimal slights, he'd also taken points from her, from his house, for making faces at another Slytherin. It wasn't even like she'd made any inappropriate gestures at Amelia. 

 

"Are there any classes you're looking forward to this term? I like defense because of all the extra dueling practice I'll get to have..." Willa rambled, mind drifting to ways down to the chamber from here and how she should have been working on some new spells for the tournament. She still had spells to learn if she was ever going to get strong enough to learn the smiting hex and use it on Dale. 

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Pine Tree

He was just feeling down, and it was supposed to be like this. He knew that this was the feeling that he always had the day after he transformed. Trying to be normal was the hardest thing he was able to do. Looking around and seeing that she did stay was something he was shocked about. Knowing that there were those few people that didn’t want to leave him because they were worried for him, but it seemed like she wanted to talk. About something that was normal. 

 

Something that didn’t have to do with classes and not what he was. “I think it wouldn’t do anything to him at all.” Not with the way he was, he was sure that Knaggs has been like that for some time and there was no changing him. “Someone like him shouldn’t be there, we are learning and not someone that wants to bully first years.” And that boy had a badge, that was just messed up. A real mess, Pine was trying to wonder why someone would give someone that mean a badge.

 

Then again, there was a sixth year in his house, that had a badge and didn’t take kindly to werewolves. Saying that he shouldn’t be allowed in the school. It wasn’t like he wanted to be there, this school messed him up. For life, nothing was ever going to be the same for Pine again. Wishing that people would understand that. 

 

“No really.” He didn’t think there was a point to taking classes, but telling Willa that wouldn’t mean anything to her. Pine knew there wouldn’t be a chance that he would be able to hold a normal job anymore. People wouldn’t hire him for what he was. He only went to classes and was at Hogwarts to get his potion and that was all. 

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Willa Henry

Willa nodded, not really sure how Knaggs had managed to get a position in the first place. She couldn't imagine him even being polite enough to survive an interview, but then again, Professor Grimsby seemed to sleep through most of their lessons anyways. 

 

"How about a cheering charm then? I'm surprised they were okay hiring such a jerk, but maybe the school was desperate to fill the position?" She offered, her mind jumping to the fact that Hogwarts probably couldn't keep staff because it kept getting attacked. Maybe that was why there were so many ghosts in Hogwarts? Speaking of which: "Did you see that the dueling chamber has a ghost as a dueling officiator? Maybe they just don't get good applicants..." 

 

Willa didn't mean to equate Knaggs with Madam Tibbles because she would take the ghost any day. Despite her tendency to fall asleep or run off chasing some floating denture set, Willa still found it incredible that ghosts actually existed and could interact with the living. Her Gran's house, though magical and with all sorts of creatures lurking in the grounds, did not have ghosts (They were incredibly dated, her Gran had said), so living in a magical castle with ghosts made Willa feel like she was living one of the stories out of the muggle books her mum used to read her before she knew magic was real. 

 

"Speaking of dueling, have you learned anymore elementals this year? I've finally figured out the shocking hex..." Willa beamed, only partially bragging, but also curious. Pine was only one of two students in their year that she'd heard had interest in the elementals as a whole, and she hadn't seen him around the dueling chamber much. 

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Pine Tree

He did wonder how some of these professors were hired. What was the background check they went through, if they even went through one at all. It was just odd to go through some classes and not be able to learn something because of the professors and sometimes with the way he was feeling. Since he was trying this being normal thing after a transformation. 

 

“Would that even work on him, I think if they whole class sent one it might.” It wasn’t a spell that Pine used a lot of, he knew it but he didn’t learn it at all. It was just a spell that he knew that was supposed to make people happy. Maybe. It wasn’t like he was reading up something. “I did see that they had one, that might be smarter for them. So they wouldn’t have to pay someone else.” Knowing that the budget went to Hogwarts for the Wolfsbane that him and eleven others were taking. It was horrible, he hated that he had to take that potion all the time. 

 

Knowing that he didn’t spend a lot of time in the chamber this year. With being sick and catching up on classes that he missed because of his curse he was spending more time doing homework than anything else at this moment. It was the worst thing in the world. 

 

“I have learned two so far, I just haven’t been in the chamber in a while.” Not sure if he wanted to get into it. He was going to need to learn how to balance things out and get into the chamber more and try and learn some more of the element spells. The two that he knew were not that useful at the moment as they were still weak and he was trying to make them stronger. Which just wasn’t working out if he wasn’t spending time in the chamber. 

 

Pine sat down, and put his head on a table. “Sorry, I just don’t feel so hot at this moment.” 

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Willa Henry

"I don't know..." Willa answered honestly, her mind running over the idea and potential of organizing the class into groups of people who'd be willing to try such a thing. Her odds were low, based on who was even capable of learning the spell in time and who would even consider such a thing. Even Willa knew when to give up on a useless fight. 

 

"You don't think they pay her?" She asked suddenly, more confused by that than the idea they had hired a ghost officiator. "That seems... wrong? Do you think ghosts even want money? Or money for alive people?" Her mind was already racing, too overwhelmed by all the possibilities that magic had invited, for her to throw more questions out at Pine. It was probably for the best anyways, because he wasn't looking good as he started to talk about the elementals and the fact that he hadn't been in the chamber for a long time. 

 

Even Willa had noticed that. 

 

"No problem," she answered easily enough. She wasn't going to ask why he felt so terrible though. The whole school knew why twelve students had to miss more classes and spent time walking around the school looking like the living dead. It couldn't have been easy having to deal with that so publicly. 

 

"Well, if you ever want to learn the shocking hex, I'll help you! I've already helped a second year learn it too!" Willa couldn't explain the sudden altruistic side, but it was easier to offer to help than it was to let the conversation drift anywhere near the events of that night. She still woke up sweating from dreams about snapping jaws and sharp claws often enough that she refused to let it be the center of any of her conversations anymore. It was easier to be uncharacteristically helpful than deal with that. 

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Pine Tree

“I don’t think they pay ghost here?” Maybe she liked doing the job, and that is why she decided to stay here after she passed. Why else would she want to stay at Hogwarts if it wasn’t for the fact the she liked what she was doing. “I mean, do any of the ghost get paid here. And I think she likes doing it. Thought she doesn’t stay when it comes to watching duels.” He was sure anyone would be able to get away with anything when she was the one that was watching there duels. 

 

It wasn’t like he knew these things, he was spending less and less time in the dueling chamber. Though he knew that it was something he needed to fix, but he had to get used to this feeling first and then he would be able to make sure he would be able to get back to being more normal. 

 

This was one of the worst feelings he had to deal with. Not looking like himself and he just hated it so much. He wished that he would be able to just be himself, but he had to find that new normal and it was just taking a lot longer than he was hoping for. 

 

“That would be nice, I wouldn’t mind trying to learn that spell.” He wanted to learn as many elements as he would able to learn. Since he figured that he needed to get back there at some point. “Let’s wait a few days, and then I shall be able to make it to the chamber and learn something new.” At least he was hoping that was when he would be able to go back into the chamber. 

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Willa Henry

"That doesn't seem right..." Willa answered, pouting slightly as she tried to imagine why anyone would do any sort of work for no money. Sure, she loved dueling more than a good majority of the school (based on the time she spent down there and the amount of things she put off to be there), but she wouldn't ever watch students duel just for fun. "Do any of the other ghosts have jobs though? I've really only met Tibbles, and she runs off after her dentures most of the time..." 

 

Unfortunately, Willa hadn't had a duel where she could take advantage of the officiators absence yet. 

 

Willa wanted to suggest that Pine go to the Hospital Wing, but she doubted that he would. She'd already fought Dale enough when he was feverish, and he didn't have to spend multiple days a month visiting the hospital wing and a night trapped there like a domesticated dog. She just stayed next to him, already feeling restless because she was sure the prefects would be back for the third round soon and she'd be able to slip out after them, but she had nothing against Pine and felt too weird leaving him here alone if he wasn't feeling well with all of the anti-werewolf older students running around. 

 

"Well, I live down there," she joked, desperately trying to avoid any mention of why he wouldn't be down there more often, "So just come drag me off to the golem's whenever. I'm already trying to learn the lightning hex, but it's proving to be a lot harder than I expected! Though I think it'd be fun to learn the bat bogey hex too. Can you imagine how funny it would be to watch someone's boogers attack them without them knowing?" 

 

Not that she had @Dale McQueen-Trengrove in mind or anything... 

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Pine Tree

It might not be right, but he knew that it was not cheap to have all these werewolves taking a potion each month and getting free work was something that he was sure they would do. Not that he would know that, but it was just something that he would think they would do. “I don’t know, I have not seen any other ones.” He knew they were around, heard about them. They just were not where he was most of the time, which was fine with him. Pine didn’t care for seeing them. 

 

He was almost in the wing or his common room all the time. 

 

Laying his head down, it was the best thing he could do. Knowing that he needed to make it to his room soon and just lay down the rest of the day. Looking at Willa, he could tell that she was thinking something but knew that it was nice feeling that someone wasn’t bring up being a werewolf or looking like crap all the time. Pine thought that was something that he needed in a friend. Not know if Pine and Willa were even friends, but this was nice. 

 

“I shall do that.” He laughed, it was nice to be able to laugh. “You are way better at dueling than I am.” It did not help that he never made it to the chamber, so of course she was going to be better. The week before he had to transfer he didn’t feel well and days like today right after he didn’t feel well. “I have not seen that one at all. There are so many spells I have not seen.” Maybe Willa would be able to show him some at some point or another. 

 

Right now though he needed to get up. “I think I should go lay down.” He wanted to make it to the rest of his classes but he knew that he wasn’t going to be able. “Can you tell the professors I am just not feeling well. I am sure they will understand.”

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Willa Henry

Willa was pretty sure that there were other ghosts in the castle (who hadn't heard about the Bloody Baron?), but she was now curious to see if any of them had jobs. She was too distracted to notice Pine laying his head down again, but when she looked back over at him after a few minutes of thinking where she could look for ghosts, she felt the same spike of concern that she'd felt when Dale was deliriously sick. It wasn't something that she'd admit to, but she steeled herself to either walk him back to the Hospital Wing or to his common room.

 

She felt better when she heard him laugh, her confidence growing as he called her a good duelist, but she bit back what she wanted to say. Of course he hadn't seen many duels or spells. How could he when she'd already heard how bad the side effects of wolfsbane were. 

 

But she wasn't going to have that conversation. The closest she'd come was acknowledging that they had stricter rules now. 

 

"Yeah, I will." Willa agreed as Pine mentioned that he was going to lay down. She pushed herself up to a standing position, figuring that maybe now was a good time to slip out and try to get down to the dueling chamber without a buddy. "You..." She paused, swallowing the impulse to ask if he wanted her to walk him. She wasn't that nice. "Feel better, okay? And find me in the chamber whenever. I'm always happy to duel." 

 

And with a weak grin, Willa walked out of the Armor Gallery. She was already planning how to tell the professors that Pine wouldn't be there as discreetly as possible. 

 

Fin. 

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