Happy Birthday, Justin! Even if it has been buried a bit in NEWTs and Zacharias' missing fingers. You're old now, though, aren't you proud? As a gift you get...hayfever potions. No, not actually, although I brewed an entire cauldron-full early this morning, so we shouldn't be lacking any more.
I've been terribly neglectful of this thing for the past week. The up-side of that is that I made quite a breakthrough on my Potions project. It's not exactly right yet, but I've got the heart of it now, and all that's left is relatively minor proportion-tweaking and finding enough secondary material the prove I'm not insane. I'd rather have a working potion, though, so the hard part is nearly over. And I swear the stains on my fingers don't mean anything, and they ought to fade in a few days. Violet petals make a terribly strong dye in conjunction with two of the other ingredients, but my fingers are by no means going to fall off just because Zacharias' did. Honestly. Everyone should stop listening to hysterical fifth-years. You would think it was them having NEWTs instead of just OWLs. Merlin, I never thought I'd use the phrase 'just OWLs', but here we are. If another professor even mentions the word 'assignment', the entirety of seventh year may just walk out.
I'm simply wasting time, now, going on in this thing. There's really too much to do to justify that.
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I have been wearing a Slytherin uniform for four days now. It's a strange experience, but not as strange as it could be, I suppose. Breakfast is still mostly a silent affair, with the exception of Harry elbowing Zacharias constantly. I'm thinking that if this keeps up I should start sitting between them. Of course, Zacharias could always attempt not to sleep in the food, but the brusing is probably unnecessary regardless. Dumbledore's reasoning for the entire thing still alludes me, but a silent breakfast table does allow for quiet reading of the papers. Sadly, they're not much more interesting now that the censoring is gone than they were before. The muggle papers that Justin lets me read are slightly more informative, but only slightly.
My Potions assignment has been coming along as well as anything can in the preliminary stages. I think I've figured out what it is I need to do and, in the vaguest way posible, how it needs to be accomplished. I've sent an owl to Mum asking her if I'm on the right track. I'd really prefer not to make myself sick, after all. The books that Dadda filched from her shelves and sent were quite helpful. Arithmancy is a slow but steady process, and the Ancient Runes project barely rates speaking of. Potions is undoubtedly the most work, but it's also the NEWT I need the most. I do hope I haven't set the bar for myself too high. And I just recalled that I haven't finished tomorrow's Charms homework and that doesn't bode well for sleeping much tonight. I don't remember NEWTs year being this difficult for last year's seventh years.
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It has certainly been a complicated time. At least Zacharias is doing better now. That poor second year I sent to get Madam Pomfrey is still looking wary at me. I've since learnt his name is Miles, he thinks Professor Snape is the most frightening person in the world, and needs help with his Potions basics. As thanks for helping me, I told him I'd tutor him a bit. Snape scares people out of a perfectly good field, really.
Speaking of which, I've finally got an idea for my Potions project that I'm pleased with. That puts me only a bit behind schedule, which, considering, isn't so terrible. I've sent away to Dadda asking for a few books, and that should be enough to give me a good theoretical footing. I should really ask Professor Snape for a pass into the Restricted Section as well. Really, most of us should be needing one.
The mail has been quite interesting since Wednesday. Mum has sent at least six letters, but Dadda and Aunt Amelia have been far more sedate. My Aunt in particular had some informative news, and Prophet
has gotten exceptionally more interesting. Page sixty-one especially. I wonder if this is a fluke, or whether the Headmaster has finally given up on censoring our news?
Oh, and my dearest fellow Hufflepuffs, my mother has decided to send an enormous parcel of sweets for us. I expect your assistance in consuming them.
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Oh, for the love of Merlin. First the Ancient Runes assignment, then the Potions assignment, and today, an Arithmancy assignment. Outline your own future in as much depth as possible. What on earth kind of assignment is that? It will take utterly forever, and there's no possible way to insure accuracy. Not that I suspect that Arithmancy will be of incredible importance in my later life, but really. These assignment are getting ridiculous. How many of them can we possibly be expected to do?
All right. I'm breathing. But the sheer amount of work is honestly becoming oppressive, and if we get another assignment like this I just might collapse under an enormous pile of books and parchment and not emerge until the Leaving feast. Potions is managable and Ancient Runes is what it is, but Arithmancy is going to be horribly time consuming, and then there's three other classes and all that revision. I don't know how we're supposed to manage, unless sleep has suddenly become entirely optional.
I had a conversation with Julia Chambers earlier. I feel particularly guilty now that I did not make the same effort toward her that I did toward Pansy. She wanted me to tell you that she was sorry, Ernie.
The conversation got me thinking, though. There's something I'd like to speak with you about when you have a moment, Hannah. Oh, and Zacharias, I recieved a most amusing reply to my congradulatory letter to Gareth and Louise. That woman is amazing, really.
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Professor Sprout has asked me to offer a public apology, but I don't think I can do that, as I don't believe in apologising when I have no remorse. The best I can offer is an explanation, so it shall have to do.
I destroyed Kevin Entwhistle's couch. It was accomplished using a potion. If it worked properly, there is nothing left of the couch, so it cannot be repaired or reconstructed, only replaced. Because I destroyed the couch and it was school property, I am responsible for funding its replacement. There should be a new piece of furniture in the Ravenclaw common room by the end of the week.
Tonight, I was confronted by Entwhistle. Said confrontation ended in him attempting to strangle me. I was rescued by Zacharias. You are unlikely to get any further explanation for anyone's bruising or hoarseness. Madam Pomfrey informed me that it would subside in a day or two.
I do not have any particular remorse for my actions toward Entwhistle. He had an opportunity to avoid this situation, and he did not take it. Regardless of my remorse, or lack thereof, reparations are being made. To the rest of Ravenclaw, I apologise for any discomfort the lack of a couch may have caused you. Zacharias, I apologise for the necessity of involving you, and thank you for rescuing me from the situation I found myself in.
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I'm sorry. I had no idea it would be like that. I'm sorry.
Madam Pomfrey says I can have one visitor at a time.
Please, Zacharias. I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry.
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Oh sweet Merlin. No. This can't be right. It has to be wrong.
It can't be true.
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Thank you for the valentine, Zacharias. It was very sweet of you.
Lisa, thank you for the sweets.
Your flower was much appreciated, Finnigan. Zacharias isn't likely to come clobber you, though it was a near thing for a few minutes. I had to reassure him repeatedly that not all flowers are signs of romantic interest.
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I honestly cannot believe that anyone would attack poor Richelle. It's one thing to not understand Catholicism, but it's another entirely to make a little girl cry over something she could not possibly have done.
Spending a good bit of the day with Zacharias and Richelle meant that I apparently missed out on the latest hijinks of Hannah and Justin, which is quite a shame, as just watching them seems to brighten my mood. Megan seems to think that they're over-sweet, but really they're just adorable. Honestly, though, you two, you may want to think of better pet names than Boyfriend and Girlfriend.
The rest of the day shall be devoted to the latest Potions assignment, which I'm positive that Snape assigned solely due to a fit of pique, not any sort of syllabus. Luckily, I feel all too well aquainted with the basic ingredients of weak truth-telling serums, as we spent a good deal of time together over the winter holiday. Nonetheless, six feet of assignment, even a straightforward one, is tiresome.
Having Adalia gone for the funeral is very strange. Any unoccupied bed in a dormitory is, I suppose, and she isn't normally in the infirmary or anything like that. I keep looking over and expecting her to be lying there, scribbling away. For some reason, she left the book she was reading and the little dragon toy I got her for Christmas on her nightstand, though she took almost everything else important, and made off with two of my teas that she especially likes. At least she and my tea will be back soon, so I can stop being surprised by the empty bed and missing trunk.
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This week has certainly not lacked for entertainment in Hufflepuff, and not just because Greengrass has decided to regale us with her poor grammar and weak insults. I know that you're a very busy woman, Pansy, but if you have a moment, perhaps you should reintroduce her to naming conventions and the basic rules of grammar. It really is a shame when certain members of your house make the rest look bad by association.
Adalia and I have found Hannah the perfect dress for Hogsmeade. She looks fabulous. The rest of you shall have to wait to see it. Hannah, dear, you really do clean up beautifully. You also really might want to consider the whistle. That bickering couple seems intent on reaching ever higher levels of annoying loudness. Someday they will snog, or I fear Zacharias will lock them in a closet until they do. Then again, that would actually be amusing, instead of annoying.
Having had some time with the notebook, I can say that both the doodles and the different handwriting are equally amusing. I've added some things, but I'm not finished yet. It seems that the other notes spark the most interesting thoughts. The ways in which we work together are certainly fascinating.
Most of my portfolio is finished now, as I had one good batch of Polyjuice. I think Professor Snape shall be glad to be rid of me and the security hazard. Of course, he has all my current samples in his possession. I have been told that they're quite safe, but I would feel better if I could actually keep my work with me. Then again, perhaps a warded cabinet in Professor Snape's office is actually quite a bit safer than the dormitory. I expect so, actually. There are enough of each sample to send out six portfolios, not including the samples for Professor Snape and my mother. It's only polite, and somehow I can imagine my mother being quite offended if she never saw a portfolio. Either way, I daresay it's a rather full cabinet. He never mentioned if anyone else was preparing a portfolio, and asking probably wouldn't have resulted in anything bar a glare. I suppose there's nothing else to expect when you cut into the personal time of a teacher, even for good reason, especially when that teacher is Snape.
Admittedly, I am more excited than usual about the upcoming Hogsmeade weekend. Perhaps it's just a bit of stir-craziness. Getting off the grounds will be wonderful. Hopefully the weather is slightly above completely freezing, so that we can actually enjoy it.
I had been holding the lego until Zacharias actually got better, and then I just came across them again in my trunk. You can come get them now, boys.
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