The next morning, I woke up feeling groggy. Mostly because I've been told I snore. I got out of bed, changed out of my pajamas and into my new robes.
The four other boys did the same, as I, and all of us, got the books we needed for class, but for now we headed down to eat breakfast.
When we reached the Great Hall, as I expected, a lot of people were staring at Harry and pointing at him as he sat down at the Gryffindor table. Not wanting the attention of being next to him and not knowing anyone else yet in my House, I sat on the far end of the table closest to where our Professors sat. When I did, a plate appeared in front of me. Being as hungry as I was, I piled my plate, and began eating.
I watched as a few of my fellow first years had made a lot of friends already, some of the Gryffindors were sitting at different tables. I couldn't see Hermione anywhere. Even though I didn't really know her, she seemed nice, and she did help me look for Trevor. But she seemed really bossy and is too involved in her books. I haven't even cracked open mine yet, for I had time to do that in class.
In the middle of finishing my plate, I saw that Slytherin boy with really blonde hair; it was slicked back like he put in a lot of conditioner. He seemed the type to think he's better than everyone else.
I started to get tense when he saw me staring at him. He motioned to his three friends. The four Slytherins walked over to me, two facing me, and the two bigger boys behind me.
"Why were you staring at me? Did I give you permission?", asked the blonde haired boy.
"I, I w-was just-", I stammered, nervous.
"Just doing what?!", demanded the girl, her voice firm. "Wishing you were in the better House? Guess you lucked out", she said.
The blonde boy smirked. "You must be a Mudblood. Are you?"
"No", I said, finally looking him in the eye. "Even if I was, there isn't anything wrong with that."
"You only think that because to be a Slytherin, you have to be the purest of blood. That's why if you're in Gryffindor, you're bound to fail", said the girl. "Right, Draco?", she asked the blonde boy.
"Exactly", Draco said. He picked up my wand I left on the table. Suddenly protective of my things, I stood up and tried grabbing it but he handed it to the girl.
"What is this? A piece of driftwood?", she gawked, weighing it in her hand. "This 'wand' feels pretty breakable to me."
"Don't you dare! Give it back!"
"I want to hold it a little longer", she said, still tampering with it.
"Isn't your last name, Longbottom?", laughed Draco, joined by the girl. "Hey Pansy, that's worse than Weasley". The four Slytherins laughed. I, however was getting really angry, not that I'd get a detention over these jerks.
Just then, from behind her, someone grabbed my wand, causing her to look around. Sarah then stood next to Draco, clutching my wand safe in her hands.
"Oh, and what happened to you, Malfoy? Your mommy wash your hair with lemons? And you Parkinson", she looked at Pansy. "Is that a pimple on your face or has that always been there?". That made me laugh. The sight of Professor McGonagall staring at four Slytherins ganging up on two other students was enough to make them leave, but not before giving the Gryffindors deadly glares.
Looking pretty satisfied with herself, Sarah pulled her books in front of her, opening one. And I couldn't help but laugh with her as she sat down.
"Thanks for that", I said, as she handed me my wand back.
"No problem. Just ignore them, they're a bunch of jerks. So how's Gryffindor?". I told her about the boys in my dorm, and her eyes went wide. "Harry Potter? 'The Boy Who Lived'?! What's he like?", she asked in between bites of bacon.
"He's okay I suppose, I haven't really had a chance at talking with him. He probably has tons of friends now anyway."
"Maybe you should talk to him. It isn't so hard. We're talking", she said.
"Yeah, but you're nice, how would I know he's nice, too? And why don't you try talking to him?"
"I can live without having a famous friend. And like I said, you should talk to him. It really works, because I made three new friends in my House, that Hannah girl, a guy named Zacharias and that Ernie kid you talked about."
I suppose she saw how unsure I was. She sighed louder than needed and playfully punched me. She rolled her eyes as she smiled.
"You'll make more friends, Neville, I know you will. So, I've been reading my History Of Magic textbook and I think it's really interesting. I've been hearing people say that Professor Binns is boring, but boring can be educational. Did you have a subject in mind?".
"Not yet, soon though. Speaking of that, we have to get going!", I said, seeing how we were going to miss our first class. We both picked up our books and hurried out of the Great Hall.
As we left, I felt someone push me forward so that I dropped two of my books. It was Draco Malfoy. Sarah began to chase after him but stopped. "Watch where you're going, prat!", she yelled, panting. She turned back and picked up my books.
During our classes, we had to sit with someone with our own Housemates. So, I sat with Dean while Sarah sat with a Hufflepuff I didn't know. Turns out Professor Binns was a Ghost, and he was pretty boring. The only students who were actually excited about this class and the ones who answered his questions were Hermione, Sarah, and three others.
I found Herbology to be fun for me. It was interesting to see how many plants there were. At one point I did an assignment right, and Professor Sprout said I did a really good job. That made me feel really great.
Charms and Transfiguration were alright. I had to duck when Seamus sent a ball of fire in my direction, which ended up hitting Professor Flitwick's hat.
Next was Potions. We entered a really cold room that was located near the dungeons. It was filled with bottles, books, and jars of I don't know what. Water was dripping from the ceiling. I sat down next to Seamus as we put cauldrons in front of us.
Professor Snape in particular scared me out of any other Professor. His black cloak was huge, which made him look like a monster. One moment he stared at me straight in the eye, his dark eyes made me feel small.
During roll call, he called on Harry and kept singling him out. Malfoy laughed at him for that. Snape kept asking him questions he didn't know, but Hermione did. All I wished for was he wouldn't ask me them as well. For the rest of the class were to create a potion just right. I tried focusing but with Snape looking over our shoulders, made me all the more nervous.
All of a sudden, Seamus's cauldron and mine was leaking on the desk, and all over the floor. Some kids screamed looking as the potion was burning holes in their shoes; so much they climbed on top of their stools to avoid my disaster. The minute I screamed, I knew I had gotten some on me because my body felt like it was on fire. I looked down at my arms; red boils started growing on my arms and on my face.
"Idiot boy!", yelled Snape. "I suppose you added the porcupine quills before taking the cauldron off the fire?". He flicked his wand, making the potion disappear. I felt myself tearing up, not because I was embarrassed, but because I was in a lot of pain. "Take him to the hospital wing", he said to Seamus.
I needed Seamus' help to lead me because two boils started growing over my eyelids, blinding me.
"Gosh Neville, I don't think I could ever mess up that bad. Me!", Seamus joked. I didn't find it the least bit funny.
Madam Pomfrey told Seamus he wasn't allowed to stay, and sent him back to class. In a matter of minutes, Madam Pomfrey made the boils go away completely. She said I had to stay there for the rest of the day, to make sure I was okay. Since that was the case, I fell asleep.
The next time I woke, and Madam Pomfrey had shook me awake, putting down a tray of food in front of me. Chicken, green beans, and orange juice. I looked out the window. Seeing as how it was nighttime meant I was allowed to go back to my dorm.
I finished eating, and as I walked into the corridor, thankful I didn't see Malfoy at first. But what I did see brought a smile to my face. Hermione, Seamus, and Sarah had been sitting outside of the Hospital Wing, and the moment they saw me, they ran over; Sarah grabbed onto my sleeve, like she always did.
"Neville! Are you okay?", she asked, concerned.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Why are you guys here?"
"To check on you, of course. If you need help, you could have just asked me, you know", said Hermione, but not in her bossy tone, more of a caring one.
"Really?", I asked, not believing my ears.
"Duh", said Seamus. "Why else would we be sitting on the cold floor for the past three hours?"
"We'd better get back to our common rooms before curfew", Hermione informed us. Agreeing with her, we said goodbye to Sarah as she headed towards the Hufflepuff common room.
Hermione, Seamus, and I said the password to the Fat Lady, letting us in. The three of us said goodnight to each other and went into our dorms to sleep.
Even though I slept for a couple hours, I could use a couple more.
Neville and Sarah had gotten quite close during their first few days at Hogwarts. Even though in different houses, they found time to spend with one another; breakfast, free periods, and times they spent in the library.
In the Great Hall during breakfast that morning, Neville was happy to hear Hermione, and the other Gryffindors didn't have a problem with Sarah sitting with them. In fact, Hermione was equally as happy to talk with someone who loved History of Magic as much as she did.
Neville was busy reading his book on Herbology. He might have taken a liking to this class, considering it was calm most of the time.
Ernie Macmillan and Zacharias Smith ran over to the Gryffindor table, looking excited about something.
"Sarah! Come on, or we'll be late!", said Zacharias.
"Oh yeah! Thanks guys! Is Hannah coming, too?"
"She's already there with Justin, let's go!", said Ernie. Sarah got up and gathered her belongings, said a quick goodbye to Neville, and followed her Housemates out of the Great Hall.
Neville wondered what they were doing. Even more why Sarah didn't invite him, too. He tried really hard not to over think it. He must have known she would get tired of him, eventually, everyone he knew did. He wasn't shocked when, once again, Draco Malfoy swaggered behind him, giving Neville a hard shove.
"So Longbottom, you're friends with that filthy half blood? Not as bad as a Mudblood, but still", said Draco, he obviously hadn't been prepared for Neville to very quickly get up from his seat with fists clenched; Draco took a step back.
"Shut up Malfoy", Neville said through gritted teeth. But Draco didn't lose his cool, he continued to smirk, for he knew Neville didn't have the guts to punch him.
"Pulled a nerve, did I? I'll have to remember that". And with the same stupid grin on his face, Malfoy went back to join Pansy for breakfast. Neville returned to his seat, only then realizing Seamus and Hermione had been watching him.
"I hate Malfoy", Neville confided in them.
"Yeah well, today we have our first flying lessons with that lot. So get prepared to hate him even more. He says he's a really good flyer. But I'm sure that's all talk, just to get people to think he's cool", Seamus said. Hermione moaned. Neither Seamus or Neville had ever seen Hermione actually upset to be learning about something. When they gave her questionable looks, she looked back and forth at them.
"Its just, I've never really liked the idea of being up in the air. I always got nauseous at the idea of it", said Hermione, starting to look a little green. "But, I did borrow this book about Quidditch from the library, if you guys want to read it with me".
"Thanks Hermione, but I know all about flying on a broom, I've seen my mum practice, and I've watched enough Quidditch games to know a few techniques", Seamus bragged.
Hermione scoffed at him, "Seamus, watching isn't really the same as hands on learning. You'll think you'll get the hang of it on the get go, but what if you get hurt trying to show off?"
"I'm not a show off! I just have confidence is all!", he said, sounding offended. Hermione rolled her eyes, and turned to Neville, who agreed to listen to her read to him.
"I've never been on a broom, either."
"Good choice", said Hermione, smiling. The two of them giggled.
Just then, owls started appearing in the Great Hall, dropping mail to the students; letters and packages from their families. Draco was showing off his box of sweets his mother must have sent him. A big barn owl had flown above Neville and dropped in his hands, a small package, which he quickly opened seeing his Gran was the one who sent it. When he finally got it open, he picked up a small glass ball with white smoke inside of it, realizing what it was.
"It's a Rememberall!", he said to Hermione and Seamus, staring curiously at the object. "Gran knows I forget things. This tells you if there's something you've forgotten to do. Look, you hold it tight like this and if it turns red, oh". Neville frowned when he watched as the ball filled with a red mist. "You've forgotten something". What could he have possible forgotten? He guessed the small object would come in handy. He thought he was about to remember, when Draco came back over to the Gryffindor table, near Neville and grabbed the Rememberall out of Neville's hand, looking at it.
Neville wasn't sure why Harry and Ron stood up. It couldn't possibly be to help him, why would they? Before he could say anything, Professor McGonagall had walked over and seeing the possible fight about to take place.
"What's going on?", she asked, scrictly.
"Malfoy's got my Rememberall, Professor", explained Neville. Draco dropped the Rememberall back on the table.
"Just looking", said Draco, motioning Crabbe and Goyle, his goons, to follow him. With one last disapproving glance, Professor McGonagall left the Gryffindors. Neville picked up his gift, and put it into his pocket.
The time came when the Gryffindors and Slytherins had to start their flying lessons outside. The instructor, Madam Hooch, looked strangely almost hawk-like, with her yellow eyes staring at the kids.
"Well, what are you waiting for?", she said, very cross. "Everyone stand by a broomstick. Come on, hurry up."
She had set twenty of the schools broomsticks laying in two rows on the ground, which they immediately went to. "Stick out your right hand over your broom, and say 'Up!", Madam Hooch said.
The class did as they were told, and began to shout at their brooms. Neville, no matter how hard he tried, couldn't even get his broom to move one single inch. He looked around and saw Harry's broom shoot up right into his hand. Hermione's was moving around on the ground but refused to leave it. It took a couple of more minutes than expected, but everybody had managed to get their brooms in their hands, and were about to mount them.
As Neville got onto his, he was afraid he might fall off, he was shaking so hard.
I was breathing in and out trying to calm myself down.
"Now, when I blow my whistle", continued Madam Hooch, "you kick off from the ground hard. Keep your brooms steady, rise a few feet, and then come straight back down by leaning forward slightly. On my whistle, three, two-".
But I must have bent my broom forward because the next thing I knew, I was being flown straight up into the air, unable to control my broom out of fear. I must have been up at least twenty feet in the air. And all of a sudden, I found myself on the ground, feeling a white hot pain coming from my arm. I was slowly being helped from the grass by Madam Hooch. I could barely hear her say "Broken wrist", from how loud I was crying, not even caring that people were staring at me; I was in pain.
"None of you is to move while I take this boy to the hospital wing! You leave those brooms where they are or you'll be out of Hogwarts before you can say 'Quidditch'. Come on, dear", she said to me. I was clutching my wrist, walking with Madam Hooch.
We reached the hospital, and Madam Pomfrey didn't seem too shocked at seeing me back. She put me into a bed and gave me a drink that didn't taste to good. But in a few seconds my wrist had stopped hurting, but it left a little pain, to which she had put my arm in a cast, and said it would take a while to fully heal. And she let me stay there again for the rest of the day, and told me I was allowed to sleep; I gladly accepted.
Night had come, and Madam Pomfrey had shaken me awake and set another tray of food in front of me. The rest of the beds were empty, but I wasn't alone this time. I sat up, watching Sarah, as she was sitting in a seat beside my bed, obviously having dozed off. She was sitting sideways in the chair, so she was leaning on the back of it; her head on the top, with her arm drooping over the side. Her long, dark hair was covering her face. I didn't want to wake her, but I also didn't want her to be in pain from sleeping like that.
"Sarah", I whispered, she didn't stir. "Sarah", I repeated, a little bit louder. This time she sat up, shocked.
"No, Sir, I didn't, I didn't-", she began, but after remembering where she was, she looked around, and awkwardly smiled while moving her hair out of her face, and behind her so it ran down her back. "Heh, sorry. I guess I fell asleep".
"Kind of", I said. "Why aren't you at dinner?"
"I blew that off so I could be here when you woke up. Neville, what are we going to do with you? We might as well keep you here permanently", she joked. I felt happy she was there, but at the same time guilty she was missing dinner. I looked at my plate and saw two rolls of bread and picked them up.
"No, I'm okay". I could tell she was lying. And I threw them to her. "Thanks", she said, smiling shyly, and ate with me. "Oh! I almost forgot!", she said. She dug into her pocket and tossed my Rememberall to me. "Harry gave that to me to give to you. He really is a nice guy."
I stuffed the ball on the stand next to the bed. "Yeah, what did happen?". She began telling me about how after I left, Malfoy found my Rememberall on the ground and threatened to hide it when Harry demanded he leave it alone. "Wow, I just hope Harry doesn't get in real trouble for helping me."
"Not at all, because Oliver Wood told me McGonagall asked him to give Harry a tryout for the Quidditch team", she said, brightly, finishing the bread and wiping the crumbs off her lap.
"I have to thank Harry I guess."
"Sarah, can I ask you something?". I wanted to ask her this for a while. Her brown eyes made me unable to look away.
"You don't regret being my friend do you?". I felt this way when I saw her leave with Ernie and Zacharias. She looked shocked I would even ask this.
"Of course not! Neville, you were my first real friend here. And when I make friends, I don't just abandon them. Trust me, as someone who's been friendless her whole life, friendship is the most important thing to me". She got up, walked over to my good arm, laid her hands on my wrist and gave it a comforting squeeze. "Don't forget that okay?".
"Okay", I said, smiling.
"Promise?", she asked, returning a smile.