Harry Potter - Series Fan Fiction ❯ Casual Factors ❯ Chapter 1: Prologue ( Chapter 1 )
Gabby took one step closer to the ledge. This was not what she thought it was going to be like. She thought it might be raining with some hard winds almost nudging her off the edge. The atmosphere would be dark and ominous. Maybe the sky would howl and drown out her thoughts. Gabby was expecting this moment to just flow through her like muscle memory; she daydreamed of it enough. This was not the case. It was a clear sky above. No clouds in the sky. A gentle breeze blowing across her skin. Almost a miracle on a clear night like tonight there was no one else here. It was fitting that she picked the astronomy tower though. She did not venture up here often besides for class; but she liked to gaze out over the lake and Forbidden Forest, hoping she might spot a mythical creature. That is probably why her grades were just average among her peers; she always had her head in the clouds.
A half-smile crept across her mouth. Finally, she let out a breath she did not know she was holding. The irony of that thought did not escape her notice. Her head in the clouds while being up in this tower. Well, she was never known to be funny.
Without notice, a wonderful feeling swept over her. Not so much a weight being lifted but more of a cleansing. The feeling of finally being free and fresh. As if she was new.
Gabby took a deep breath and held it trying to savor the moment. In her hands, she held her deepest secret. She could feel it burning a hole in her palms. She opened her hand and held a piece of folded-up parchment. Taking a moment, she stared at the work she had done that night just hours ago. She held on to it not only to keep it safe but also to remind her of the task ahead.
“No,” she said confidently. Pushing away from the memories of the words she had written to the back of her mind. This was her moment, not theirs. Gabby gently place the parchment in both hands and split the folded paper in half. A smile spread across her face. She repeated this until her paper was reduced to nothing more than shreds. It sat there in her hands. Stretching out her arms, she held both palms up until the warm wind picked up every piece and scattered them across the grounds.
To Gabby, this was the only way she could share her secret. She had to write it down on paper so she could face it, then scatter it to the world so they would all know it. No one would of course, but that was not the point.
When she could no longer see her ripped-up parchment in the night, she finally stepped out of the window. Gabby walked to the center of the room to where she dropped her belongings. This year she had bought a new set of robes. She had not worn them yet, until tonight. She knelt and inspected the robes she had neatly placed there. With both hands, she gingerly slipped into them and preceded to smooth out the wrinkles she might have made. As best as she could, Gabby gave herself a look over.
She stared at her dirty shoes and paused. I guess not everything could be perfect tonight. Bending over she used the cuff of her robe to try and buff out some scratches. Regaining composure Gabby straighten up and steadied herself. Everything seemed to be in order until she reached the front of her robe. Right above her Hufflepuff Patch was blank just like everyone else in her house. Gabby hoped more than ever that she would have been made Head girl. Evidently, luck was not on her side. It was unsurprising when she got her Hogwarts letter of school supplies and it was not in there. But there was still a small glimmer of hope that someone out there thought she might be worthy of it. She would have tried her best had she got it.
As a last thought, she took out her wand and held it in front of her face. 9 1/2 inches, Willow and Unicorn hair core. This was her most valued possession ever since she turned 11 and went to Ollivander's. Gabby gave it a quick peck and placed it in her robe’s wand pocket. Moving back into the center of the room she made sure all evidence she was there had been picked up.
In one swift movement, Gabby turned to face the window for a final time. She took one deep breath and started to walk towards the perimeter. In just a few steps she gained speed and started to sprint. She got about halfway to the ledge before it all went wrong.
“Gabriella,” came a voice from the stairs. Gabby came to a halt and froze. “Who would be here now,” she thought. At this hour? She quickly glanced over. It only took a moment to see who it was. It was Draco, a boy below her and in Slytherin.
She could feel her heart pounding in her ears. Gabby’s faced immediately turned a shade of dark red, she was embarrassed but of what she did not know.
Draco reached the top of the stairs and stopped. They both stood there in silence for a moment not knowing what to say to the other. She could tell he sensed her uneasiness.
Draco screwed up his face and Gabby could tell he was about to say something smart, but he stopped. He seemed to realize this was not a chance meeting with another student out after curfew. She could almost feel the question on his lips, so she took a step back. That is when he looked up from Gabby’s clean new uniform to stare at her face. He could see the tears lined up waiting to fall behind her lashes. He took another step towards her. “Gabriela why are you out of bed,” he questioned her. While he still stared her down Gabby quickly glanced to the open window. Draco must have seen this because now when he addressed her, he shouted. “Gabby! Why are you up here?” His voice was raised but Gabby could still hear a hint of panic behind his authoritative tone.
With one last second of silence between them, she dashed for the open window. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Draco reached for his wand. Gabby pushed forward and ran for freedom to the open air. She would not let the tears fall in front of him. This was her last chance to be strong, for herself. Gabby never looked back behind her. She almost said sorry, but that was a lie. She was not sorry. With each step she took, she repeated in her head, “You weren’t supposed to be here. You weren’t supposed to be here.”
Just as she reached it, she could feel the sting of a stunning curse on her back. If Gabby could smile at that moment, she would because it was too late. The momentum of the curse gave her the last push she needed to silently slip out.