15 October 1991 Tuesday

Tuesday. Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday. Porridge for breakfast, sandwiches and soup for lunch, roast beef and popovers and haricots verts and trifle for dinner. I didn't have the usual headache in DADA because we didn't have class. It was cancelled because PQ was unwell. I asked Remus if we could discuss with PD and Mr. Malfoy the idea of me taking the course as independent study. I'm learning more in our Saturday remedials than I am in a week of classes anyway, and I could use the time to keep up with my muggle age mates in maths and stuff. The big problem with that is that if I did it, everyone would want to. Justin Finch-Fletchley and Sally-Anne Perks are already cutting the class to do maths independent study. I danced with her again in dance class today and we talked about it. She says she's thinking of staying at Hogwarts only long enough to get her OWLs and then going back to public school to prep for Uni. That doesn't sound like a bad idea, actually. There aren't a lot of jobs in the wizarding world. I'm lucky that being Lord Black is a job in and of itself.

Heck, Lord Black isn't just a job, Lord Black is an employer. I'll have to... OK, there taken care of. I owled Mr. Malfoy asking him if we had any openings and did any of the current Black-aligned seventh-years look like good or good enough matches for them. He sent a reply back with Hedwig telling me good thinking. Some openings will depend on NEWT performance, of course, but he's been watching the current crop to see which ones have promise.

Art and art and astrology were fun and Neville and I have agreed that the Tuesday/Thursday tutoring block are sufficient to get him up to speed on potions now, so we don't need to brew on Saturdays as well. Theo loves his new set of nibs and is already doing impressive things with it.

I ate dinner with the Griffindors this evening. (I think our dance and deportment classes need to start including a unit on table manners.) The bicycles have given everyone something new to talk about now, cos now that the two purebloods know how to ride, all the guys have it in common as well as football. Now Dean and Seamus are going to ask PMM about having bicycles at school, since first years aren't allowed their own brooms. And Seamus seems to be just as fond of stunt riding as Ron and Draco are, and loves the idea of a bike with cushioning charms. Ron is really impressed at the things he's done without them. I think he's barking mad, myself, but then that's not new.

And I figured out how to sit down and talk to Ron. It wouldn't work with Greg along, and Percy would be worse than useless for this, but Neville is nice and non-judgmental and quiet. So now Ron is going to teach me and Neville chess and Remus has promised to play Ron after each session to give him a bit more competition. That will also make a nice foursome for Bughouse, if Neville and I ever get any good. Or it could be me and Remus as partners against Ron and Neville. That would probably work better.

Oh, in dance class today we got to do muggle dancing for the last set, as usual (Professor Tate considers it excellent exercise) and somebody queued up "Big Balls" by AC/DC. I wish it had been me, the results were awesome. That was the sort of prank I can support. Watching people's faces as they realized what exactly was being said was a riot. Watching the professors' reactions was even better. This one's definitely going in my "memories to treasure forever" mental file. And all I have to do is mutter "Oi've got big balls," and the entire dorm cracks up.

And I finished the first Space Squid book. Looks like the bad guy at school is the evil Ghoul Studies professor, who is trying to figure out Corby's secret and maybe wants to experiment on him.

Hmm. Evil Ghoul Studies professor. Professor Sallow is definitely creepy. He looks kind of like a corpse himself, and he talks like Death would, if Death had spent a few years in Jamaica. Maybe he wants to vivisect me to find out why I'm the Boy Who Lived? Or, well, if he's the poisoner, maybe just dissect me. I'll have to compare notes with the others tomorrow to see what they think.

And for the rest of my day, my homework is as done as it needs to be for the moment, I've showered, I've brushed Tango, my fangs are nice and squeaky clean, as are my talons (Draco and Blaise have been bugging me about being properly manicured, so tonight I gave in and let them show me how to have nice aristocratic hands), I don't want to go to sleep yet, I feel like I'm forgetting something, but it is bedtime.

16 October Wednesday

Quidditch practice was brutal! Flint wanted the Seekers and Beaters to get some more practical experience, so I spent the evening dodging bludgers. And it was cold and damp and foggy all day, with light misty rain that felt utterly evil to fly in. Other stuff happened today, maybe I'll take some time tomorrow morning to write about it. I've just had a very long shower and now I am going to bed.

17 October Thursday

Today was Professor Flitwick's birthday. At dinner there was an amazing trifle in his honor, with odd fruits in it I'd never had or heard of before. I was wondering if they were something goblin, but it turns out that they're just American fruits that don't travel well, and the house elves were showing off. (Lunch and breakfast were about the same as yesterday.)

The big news of today is that I got an owl from Sirius Black. He's feeling a lot better and is starting to get tired of St. Mungo's. It sounds like they'll be letting him go in time for term break, though. He and Mr. Malfoy don't get along well, but they've managed to work together a bit and Mr. Black is going to have a suite in the wing Mrs. Figg lives in at my house. That's also where guest quarters are for the magical side of the family.

I can't convince him to take his title back, and Mr. Malfoy was right that he's really sorry for saddling me with it. He says he'd be willing to be the heir again, so long as he never again has to set foot in Grimmauld Place, but really he thinks Percy is a brilliant choice and I should stick with him until I get old enough to start producing heirs of my own.

You know, I hadn't thought of that. Percy is the Black heir, and probably will be for the next decade or so at least. That means Grimmauld Place is his. I'll ask Mr. Malfoy what needs to be done to get the place ready for someone to live there again and if we can show Percy around over Christmas break. Percy's ambitious, having a residence to entertain from should help. Hmm. Percy will finish his seventh year in 1994. He'll probably go to work for the ministry, although he'll probably also do some summer interning for the various Black holdings as well, so he might find a spot there somewhere. If I'm lucky, we can find him someone nice and get him married by 1996. I won't be finishing my seventh year until 1998, and I'm hardly going to be getting married and having kids until sometime in the next century. Say I produce a male heir in 2004, said heir wouldn't be seventeen until 2021, so Percy might as well get the good of the place for as long as he needs it until then.

I wonder if Mr. Malfoy and/or Remus would be willing to take me by the two Curdzon Way places over Christmas break?

Anyway, I think that covers plotting and planning for the moment.

The Black Brigade (that's what the odd assemblage of first years who take remedial DADA have taken to calling themselves) have been talking, and some of us got together, and we decided Professor Sallow does bear watching. We haven't quite decided how yet, but Ron says the Twins are taking Ghoul Studies, so that's a start.

And I remember what it was that happened yesterday that I wanted to write about besides freezing to death. We had a fascinating lecture in Charms. Professor Flitwick asked us about all the different ways to categorize magic, and we talked about Light and Dark, Earth, Air, Fire and Water, Transformations, Charms, Rituals, and Professor Flitwick said that at the base, most categorizations are arbitrary. We then talked about dividing all magic into cat, owl, and toad magic. We'll be working on that for the rest of the month. We have six inches due tomorrow on the symbolic meanings of cats, owls and toads. He told us not to stick to what anyone else has said, go wild, so long as some actual facts about toads, cats, and owls are at the base of it.

So, cats for offense, owls for defense, and toads for staying out of the way. Toads are ampibulous, so they would be associated with transformations. Owls would be associated with communication, and cats with creature comforts. Owls air and water (because some owls fish), cats fire (because they sleep next to it and they're fascinated with candles) and ice (because they're good at being patient and at sitting totally still, and toads earth and spirit (because, erm, because I said so - I'll come up with something better by next class, I hope.) Cats are light, owls are dark, and toads are shadow, and all of them take shelter from the noonday sun and go warily in the darkest dark.

Oh, and I almost forgot to say, DADA was cancelled again. PQ was in the hospital wing again. Independent study is looking better and better.

Since DADA was cancelled, Remus and Neville and Ron and I got together for our first chess games in the free period. Ron really is good, although explaining it all to us mortals is a bit difficult. After a bit of talking, we worked out that the patterns of possible moves and countermoves are obvious to him, and it took us a while to convince him that we couldn't see them. Once we figured that out, he started talking out his game as he played, and then we asked him enough questions that he's started to try to figure out some of the stuff he doesn't even think about, it's so obvious, because that stuff is the difference between him and the rest of us. Ron learned to play chess before he learned to read, and he honestly can't remember ever not knowing that the little horsie moves in an L shape, etc. I've got to ask Percy if he remembers anything about that.

All in all, it was really fascinating, both what I learned about chess and what I learned about Ron. Nothing certain to write down, but lots of interesting hints.

Sleep. I need sleep. Way too many things to analyze. Save some for tomorrow.