The first prank
The First PrankDisclaimer: see previous chapters.
The day started all wrong for professor Trelawney. For a start, she couldn’t find her glasses. Yesterday, when she was going to bed, she, as usual, had put them down on the bedside table, but when she woke up, she was unable to locate them there. Barely reaching the bathroom, she found her glasses there, next to her solitary toothbrush – a reminder to the Divination professor that the stars did not find it suitable for her to get a life-long companion or even a boyfriend. Sighing, Sibyl proceeded to carry-out her morning grooming ritual...
The next oddity took place right beyond the bathroom. After pouring tea into her favourite tea cup (bought on sale in Hogsmead), Trelawney, as was her custom, leaned to discover what was in store for her today. The tea leaves behaved oddly, though: they didn’t want to sink to the bottom and instead of producing a clear picture of the professor’s future, slowly hovered in tea. When, at last, they did sink all the way, they produced such a picture, that Trelawney decided that they are mocking her. Putting her glasses off and then on again, she looked into the cup once again. Nope, there wasn’t any mistake... unless she went completely mad.
To figure out the actual condition of her mental capacity, the professor, with her hands noticeably quivering, climbed up her ladder and brought down the thickest folio from the highest shelf. This folio bore the proud title of “Seeing your future in tea leaves”, and was written by the Master of all Magics, Abu Musa Jai ibn Hayam. This exertion left the professor noticeably dizzy, her ears were ringing, but she did get safely off the ladder, and putting the folio down, opened it at the right page.
Glancing once more into the cup to ensure that there was no mistake, Sibyl turned to the ancient parchment. And – she overdid it, most likely, as she peered at the pages so closely that the book’s dust, accumulated through the ages, got into her nose. The professor sneezed, dropped the ancient book, and almost dropped the precious teacup as well. Quickly pulling the volume back onto the table, she re-started studying it anew.
“No, this cannot be. Last time I saw this, I was sixteen. I believe back then it that was handsome Hufflepuff – what was his name, again?” the professor blushed in a girlish manner and sup-pressed the urge to giggle. She fought this urge for a minute or two, before winning over it, sadly.
Sibyl Trelawney never told anybody about her first and only love, not even her own familiar – Fanny the cat (and beyond Fanny she didn’t have anyone to confide to, in any case). Remembering that brief and enlightening episode in her life, which, alas, had ended in sadness, Sibyl fell that her mood for today got ruined for good. Thank Merlin that today’s a Saturday and she’s got no classes. Yet the idea of spending the rest of today in her tower was also intolerable now. Therefore Sibyl decided to break away from her custom for today, and literally descend from the skies to the ground for a walk.
Combing her hair somewhat, and putting on her favourite scarf (green with orange monkeys), she got-out a moth-gnawed fan, her heirloom from grandma Lizzy, and almost left...when she remembered that she left her glasses behind again. Grabbing them, the professor thought that they feel somewhat strange. Then again, this entire day felt somewhat strange, so she decided to ignore it, and went down the staircase that connected her tower with the rest of Hogwarts.
For a while, Trelawney’s descent went smoothly, and she didn’t meet anyone, but on the third floor, she was struck with another misfortune: one of her heels broke.
“I just knew that today was going to be this sort of day,” Trelawney muttered to herself, as she prepared to take off the other shoe to return to her tower barefoot. “Apparently, the quadrature of Jupiter and Mars, opposing Mercury as well, means that today I shouldn’t be going for a walk.”
Trelawney paused and added to herself:
“After all, I can always look at the lake from my tower.”
Trelawney loved to stare at the lake, dreaming of the times when brave knights saved imprisoned maidens and beautiful women were kidnapped by fire-breathing dragons. But it seemed that the stars had it for the professor on this day. As she turned around, she stumbled and fell onto something small and fuzzy. At first, she couldn’t even see what, because her glasses got knocked off to the side once again. And when she fixed them, she saw the man of her dreams.
Trelawney felt really excited by now. A handsome fellow with curls as dark as the night and an elegant Spanish moustache just stared at her with passion in his gaze. His face looked vaguely familiar, Sibyl was somewhat sure she had seen him somewhere. But where? In her dreams, or in some book of hers, as one of the knights... Not that it is important, for the man of her dreams was standing before her, and was helping her to stand up.
“Sibyl! What rotten luck! Sorry about this – let me help you up,” said professor Flitwick, as he helped her recover.
“Oh my! Who are you, my noble knight?” Trelawney assumed that this was his declaration of love, and adjusted her behaviour accordingly.
“Sibyl? How are you feeling?” professor Flitwick was getting more worried. “Maybe we should get you to the medical wing.”
“With you? To the end of the world if I must,” professor Trelawney cooed.
“Pardon?” Filius was getting confused. “The end of your world is your tower, which is actually too far to go to right now.”
“The Tower? Oh no!” Trelawney shuddered. “The Tower is the chaos and the crisis, the disillusion and the downfall! I haven’t touched any of the major arcana cards lately and I most certainly didn’t seek the Tower! But for this I waited for so long! Save me from loneliness – that relentless monster that wants to consume me from the scarf to the buckles! I want to live, you know?!”
“Right then. No more solitude for you for now,” Filius firmly grabbed Sibyl by her arm. “Still, Sibyl, get up! Right, there, that’s a good girl... Are you feeling dizzy?” he asked, clearly worried, and looking Sibyl straight in her eyes.
“Thank you, my knight! You’re so kind!” Sibyl was blushing like a schoolgirl, for her part.
Apparently, the professor just couldn’t remain untouched by Sibyl’s passionate words. Casting a spell that made him just a bit taller, he took Sibyl by her arm, helped her get up, and led her in the direction of the medical wing.* * *
The tapestry that depicted Barnabas the Bizarre and his interactions with the trolls, moved, revealing four Hogwarts students, two boys and two girls. “That was simply fun!” one of the Weasley twins said excitedly, “not as fun as what we would’ve done, but for our first week here? It’ll do!”
“Glad that someone’s had had fun,” Serena Stormosi muttered sotto voce, and turned to her friend Tara. “Satisfied, Malfoy?”
“Yup!” Tara replied nonchalantly. “Promise me a death by some bizarre muggle contraption, would she? This’ll keep her out of other people’s business! Serena, let’s go, or Parker Parkinson will find us.”
“Just wait and see what we’ll cook up for old Snape!” the other Weasley twin said cheerfully. “And let us assure you two, it will be almost as fun, even nowhere as lovey-dovey!”
“We’ll see,” Tara said, still feeling too good to be cross, and the foursome left the staircase as well.End