bottom of the [ocean]

Sophie Moore
First Year
Sophie Moore
First Year
Joined: 5:07 PM - Mar 09, 2012

7:58 PM - Mar 16, 2012 #1

It was early and the hallways at Hogwarts were quiet. Most teenagers were probably still snug in their beds, but Sophie had been up for almost an hour already. Being a light sleeper, Sophie had grown restless in her bed. She knew that if she continued to toss and turn, the others in her dormitory would get quickly cranky. Grabbing her gear, Sophie was headed to the swimming pool.

The previous evening Sophie had received a post from her Father. He usually sent her quarterly updates. His letters were never really personal (more like the kind he forwarded to all his investors and business partners), but Sophie still liked to get them. This letter however was not as pleasant. Sophie had not seen her Father, Henry since Christmas. Her Mother had set up a reservation at a nice restaurant in London where they spent most of the time chewing dry turkey in silence. In this update letter, her Father had included a picture of himself with a strange lady in some rain forest. Engaged and Happy - She Said Yes! Sophie remembered the caption. The girl looked like she was barely twenty years old.

Upset, Sophie let herself into the pool room on the second floor and dropped her bag and towel on a lounger close by. Taking off her flip-flops she looked at the inviting water and jumped slightly. She hadn't noticed someone else there. The person had their back to her, so Sophie didn't know who it was. A bit disappointed, Sophie slipped into the pool. She was hoping to have some time alone, to maybe cry or express her anger.

"Good morning." Sophie said as pleasantly as she could when she reemerged from the warm water. Just because she was having a rough start to the day didn't mean she should ruin someone else's day too.

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Harry Berkwood
First Year
Joined: 12:22 AM - Jan 27, 2012

9:06 PM - Mar 16, 2012 #2

There was nothing more annoying than being unable to sleep. Harry wasn’t often plagued by insomnia, but when it came it all but drove the sixteen year old mad. Sleep was a beautiful thing. It refreshed, it healed, it gave one something to do during those hours of the day when everything ground to a halt. The Ravenclaw loved sleeping, almost as much as loved wearing himself out. So these moments of sleeplessness were enough to make the boy want to tear his hair out and run screaming through the castle. It wasn’t just that he couldn’t sleep—it was that everyone else could. There was no one to distract him, no one to talk to. Sometimes, the eagle would get lucky and would find someone in the common room, up late studying or finishing homework, and he’d be able to hang around with them until either they finished or he finally succumbed. But it was the wee hours of the morning—no one was up at this time. The sun hadn’t even risen yet, clearly agreeing that it was far too early to show its face.

At about half past four, Harry finally gave up and got out of bed. All he’d done all night was toss and turn, trying to quiet his mind long enough to doze off. That hadn’t worked—at least not for very long—so the sixth year decided that there wasn’t much use staying in bed. It was so late—or early, he supposed—that no one was likely to be awake and patrolling the hallways. Or was it early enough that students didn’t need to be in bed? The eagle wasn’t really sure when that whole curfew thing ended, only that it was okay to go about the castle starting some time before he normally woke in the morning.

Deciding he needed to work off some of this energy, the boy threw on a pair of swim trunks and a t-shirt before heading out of Ravenclaw Tower and starting for the stairs. The pool wasn’t the easiest place to find, but in Harry’s mind it was more than worth the effort. It was never crowded, always warm, and was pretty much the perfect place to get expend excess energy. The Ravenclaw had heard that there was a pool in the prefect’s bathroom up on the fifth floor, but he’d never been in there before. He was just glad there was a pool regular students could use. Or, well, one that regular students could use if they could find it anyway.

Having been to the pool many times before, the sixth year found it again easily. Harry sighed as he entered the warm room, wondering if the warmth in here would make him sleepy enough that he could go back to his room to catch a couple hours of sleep before class. Pulling off his t-shirt, the Ravenclaw tossed it on a chair near the pool’s edge, then pulled a bath towel from a cupboard and tossed it on top of his shirt. He turned to consider the pool for a moment before sitting down on the edge and slipping himself into the warm water. The boy sighed. Normally, Harry was the sort who just dove right into the water, but on this particular morning, with fatigue weighing down his limbs, he decided that wasn’t the best idea. And anyway, all that water hitting his face would just wake him up even more.

Harry was about to turn and float on his back when he heard the door open and close. Turning his head, the boy relaxed slightly when he saw that the girl who had entered wasn’t a prefect or a teacher or anybody likely to be angry at him for being up at this hour. “Morning,” the sixth year greeted. “Couldn’t sleep, either?”

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Sophie Moore
First Year
Sophie Moore
First Year
Joined: 5:07 PM - Mar 09, 2012

10:50 PM - Mar 16, 2012 #3

Sophie tried to give her new swimming partner a reassuring smile, but couldn't find the emotion to back up the movement of her mouth. Biting her bottom lip, Sophie nodded slightly and glided through the smooth, clean water. Feeling a little self-conscious about someone seeing her in a bathing suit made Sophie blush slightly. Carefully and slyly she checked underwater to make sure her chest was well covered and that her bathing suit wasn't riding up. Although she was nervous about her attire, it felt relaxing and calming to stretch her muscles and softly splash about. The warm pool water was much better than still being in her stiff bed enclosed with stale air. Focusing on her movements, Sophie let the thoughts of her Father’s engagement drift to the back burner of her mind. She would figure out how to deal with that later, right now was a chance to enjoy herself.

Standing up as best as she could, Sophie managed to keep most of her face above the water. While she balanced on her tip toes, she gave her attention to the boy in which she was sharing the swimming pool. Sophie knew of him yet couldn't recall his name. He was a fellow Ravenclaw, but he definitely stood out of a crowd. Sophie could remember times when she judged him about the ridiculous outfits he wore or social mistakes he made, but they had never really spoken before. Her friends would laugh and tease behind his back, but Sophie secretly admired his bravery and willingness to be extra noticeable. Happy to have the chance to get to know someone new, Sophie hopped to a treading position near the tall floating Eagle. He had a friendly look about him. Mature, well versed, and friendly (for someone up this early in the morning) was what Sophie read from his current exterior.

Sophie looked down at her own appearance once more. She hadn't expected to cross paths with anyone this morning so her hair was still disheveled from tossing about in her covers. As she double-checked the positioning of her swim suit, Sophie remembered she hadn't put on any makeup either. Sophie could only imagine what kind of terrible impression she was making. Quickly trying to rub the sleep out of the corner of her eyes, Sophie felt the rise of a small pimple the side of her nose. Great, Sophie thought and tried to remember not to touch it.

“Are you a morning person too?” Sophie asked trying to spark conversation that would keep things from getting to personal. Idle chatter didn't bother her much, in fact, this morning she would welcome any type of distraction from her own thoughts. Automatically she reached up to the newly forming zit and picked at it again.

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Harry Berkwood
First Year
Joined: 12:22 AM - Jan 27, 2012

7:07 PM - Mar 20, 2012 #4

While Harry noticed the girl’s self-consciousness, he wasn’t really paying much attention to what she might feel self-conscious about. It wasn’t really the type of thing the sixth year noticed, unless it was sort that one couldn’t help but notice. Really, for a scientist—or the wizarding equivalent, anyway—the Ravenclaw had some obvious blind spots. At any rate, what mattered to the eagle was that this girl felt uneasy about something, and if there was one thing Harry worked to dispel, it was uneasiness. Never mind how successful or unsuccessful he usually was at that. The point was that he always tried.

The sixth year swam closer to the girl, his usual friendly smile on his face. The boy was pretty sure the girl was in Ravenclaw—at least, he thought he’d seen her around the common room before—but he was pretty sure they’d never actually spoken to each other. The sixteen year old was usually pretty good about remembering people he’d met, so he was fairly confident in the fact that he wasn’t going to look like a complete fool if he introduced himself. The eagle wasn’t a fan of offending people. Offending people tended to lead to arguments, and arguments sometimes led to the sorts of fights the Ravenclaw didn’t have the slightest chance of winning.

“Nah,” the boy answered, shrugging. “Not really. I’m more of a ‘get a full eight hours of sleep’ person.” Harry grinned. “So, I guess, if I can get that and wake up early, then sure, I’m a morning person.” The eagle shrugged. He liked to think of himself as flexible in just about everything—even in the stuff that probably didn’t matter at all. It was just a good mindset to have. There was a silver lining to everything, the Ravenclaw figured, so why not expend energy trying to find it? It seemed way more logical than always being a pessimist, anyway. “I’m up now ‘cause I couldn’t sleep,” he told the girl. “I thought maybe I’d tire myself out with some activity so I can catch a couple hours before class.”

Harry propelled himself backwards with his arms, trying to exactly as he’d just said. The warm water was soothing, calming, and the sixth year desperately hoped it would do the trick. In retrospect, it was probably a dumb idea to go swimming when he was this tired, but whatever, he wasn’t alone now, so he’d probably be all right, even if he was suddenly overcome with fatigue. Though, the pool was shallow enough that the sixth year could stand easily if he wanted to, so he wasn’t particularly worried about his safety.

“Don’t think we’ve met before,” the sixteen year old continued as he moved his way slowly across the pool. “Not officially, anyway. I’m Harry.”

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Sophie Moore
First Year
Sophie Moore
First Year
Joined: 5:07 PM - Mar 09, 2012

9:58 PM - Mar 22, 2012 #5

Sophie listened patiently as Harry explained his sleepless night while she leaned into a relaxing back float. The warm water soaked around her face and straightened out her wavy brown hair. Sophie looked up to the stone ceiling and wished there was glass or an apparitional view of the sky like there was in the Great Hall. Sophie always enjoyed beauty and was often left in awe at the splendour the Hogwarts Grounds had to offer, especially this time of year when the earth was just beginning to awake from dreary winter. It was during these moments that Sophie wished she was gifted in painting. The ability to capture a breathtaking view was not something Sophie was able to do; replicating the tune of a song-bird however, Sophie could reproduce and embellish without hesitation.

“Don’t think we’ve met before. Not officially, anyway. I’m Harry.” The eagle introduced himself.

Sophie tried to sit up in the water, but felt her body be pulled under the water and was forced to tread lightly since her toes didn’t even graze the bottom of the pool. Sophie’s teenage growth spurt had yet to come, leaving her as one of the shorter girls in her class. One day, Sophie hoped to be as tall as her Mother, but for now, she accepted the aid of stylish high-heeled shoes to catch her up to her peers.

”Sophie, fourth year - also in Ravenclaw.”Sophie offered as her own introduction and stuck out her hand to shake formally.

Humming to herself a little tune, Sophie kicked at the water below. Feeling relief as her muscles worked to move the resistance, she felt a little more content as her thoughts vanished from her mind completely. Flipping around, Sophie dove under the water’s surface and made her way across the pool. She pushed herself as far as she could go before consenting to the needs of her aching lungs and rose up for a fresh breath.

“I wonder how hard it would be to get my hands on some gillyweed” Sophie spoke aloud, mostly to herself. The ideal sensation of breathing underwater precipitously fascinated Sophie. Herbology was one of Sophie’s favourite classes and they had recently had a lesson on the intriguing plant. Professor Webb did not show a sample to the class, but One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi gave a graphic description of the slimy, green wiggling vines.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in Slug & Jiggers Apothecary in Diagon Alley. Though, to be honest I usually pre order my shopping from there… it always smells awful. I can’t stand it for very long.” Sophie continued as she began leisurely doing a back crawl across the length of the pool.

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Harry Berkwood
First Year
Joined: 12:22 AM - Jan 27, 2012

7:42 PM - Mar 26, 2012 #6

Harry could feel all of his muscles slowly relaxing in the warm water. The boy let out an involuntary sigh. It was amazing how tense it was possible to feel without realizing it. That was the problem with insomnia, at least as far as the eagle was concerned. You got so wound up by trying to sleep and not being able to that it just made everything that much harder. It was just a vicious cycle until there was no other option but to succumb to exhaustion. Or you went insane. The sixth year wasn’t quite sure. How many days did it take to go nuts after no sleep? Seven? Or was it ten? How tired did he have to be to be wondering about this?

“Good to meet you, Sophie,” the boy responded, shaking the girl’s hand. Harry propelled himself backwards with his arms, trying to keep his feet from dragging on the bottom of the pool. This never used to be a problem. The sixteen year old used to be short and scrawny—short enough that he could stand up in this pool, but just barely. Now the Ravenclaw felt like a giant. Still a very scrawny giant, but a giant nonetheless. Harry wondered if the pool in the prefects’ bathroom got any deeper than this one did. Clearly, either the eagle needed to become better at sneaking around, or he needed to make friends with a prefect, stat.

“Yeah, gillyweed would be nice for this,” the sixth year agreed. Taking a deep breath, Harry lowered himself beneath the water’s surface to try swimming under water. He kept his eyes opened as he moved through the water, partly to avoid knocking into his housemate, and also because he didn’t want to miss anything. Granted, there was only so much to see in water, and all of it was blurry and made the sixteen year old’s eyes ache after awhile, but still. It was a different angle to look at the world from, one the boy didn’t get to see too often. Harry surfaced again when his lungs began to burn, shaking his head and letting his hair fling water about him.

“Slugs and Jigger’s not so bad,” Harry said. He shrugged. “It might smell awful, but I’d rather see exactly what I’m buying. Ordering it, waiting for it to come, then having to send it back if it’s not right and having to wait again… It just seems like a lot more effort than it should be worth.” The Ravenclaw spent most of his pocket money on odds and ends from the apothecary. The sixth year loved that place—there was always something he hadn’t used yet. “But it helps if you only breathe through your mouth when you go.”

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Sophie Moore
First Year
Sophie Moore
First Year
Joined: 5:07 PM - Mar 09, 2012

6:42 PM - Mar 27, 2012 #7

Sophie watched as Harry’s long arms pulled him gracefully under the water’s surface. He looked in his element as his long body propelled through the warm water of the pool. In her private moment of silence, Sophie’s mind wandered back to the reason she was out of bed in the first place, her Father’s engagement. In her mind, Sophie recalled the faces of two strangers wearing tourist clothes somewhere in South America with big smiles, dancing under the bows of the lush rainforest trees. Hidden under Sophie’s daily complacent disposition, emotions of betrayal and hurt brewed intensely as she thought about her family. Sophie’s relationship with her Father was that similar to casual acquaintances. She didn’t even call him Dad, but referred to him as Henry – even in person. Sophie had very few childhood memories where Henry was present; even before her parents’ divorce, Sophie’s Father was very distant and always working. Henry didn’t make family dinners, birthdays, or anniversaries a priority in his life. Sophie guessed she shouldn’t have been so surprised that Henry was moving on – Sophie and her Mother sure had.

As Harry resurfaced, he spoke again about gillyweed, bringing Sophie’s attention back to her current circumstances. Sophie grimaced when Harry suggested she should just breathe out of her mouth when shopping at Slugs and Jigger’s. Sophie figured the terrible smells would turn into gut-wrenching tastes instead making the experience even worse.

“If you say so.” Was all Sophie could say, trying to keep the grotesque feelings to herself. “Maybe I’ll give that a try next time in Diagon Alley. I’m sure your strategy could also work at Hogs Head too” Sophie added, not that she’d ever be caught at The Hogs Head in Hogsmeade. When Sophie went into town, she’d spend most of her time split between the quill shop and Madam Puddifoot's Tea Room. Sophie was in love with the idea of love and wished she had a boyfriend. Many of her fellow eagles enjoyed going to Madam Puddifoot's for romantic dates, Sophie went for the pomegranate green tea and to day dream about love (if there was time in her already filled daily schedule).

“Are you feeling the pressure of NEWTs yet?” Sophie asked Harry. He hadn’t told her how old he was, but Sophie assumed he was a seventh year. Harry was so tall and without his eccentric clothes, Sophie though Harry could be at least seventeen . “I’m not even in fifth year yet and thoughts of OWLs are already making me nauseous!” Sophie admitted and glanced at the clock. She had only planned to swim for thirty minutes before going back to review her notes for potions and get ready for the day. Her time was up, but she was having fun and chose to ignore the fictitious alarm beeping in her head.

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Harry Berkwood
First Year
Joined: 12:22 AM - Jan 27, 2012

12:47 AM - Mar 29, 2012 #8

Harry shrugged. "There's an apothecary in Hogsmeade, too," he offered. "The selection's a lot smaller, so I doubt they'd have gillyweed either, but they've got decent stuff there." The Ravenclaw didn't consider himself to be knowledgeable in many things--he hadn't worked half as hard as he should have to earn the title of "expert" in anything--but he did know the apothecaries. The boy spent most his free time in those places, trying to find things he could use. It was the best part of Hogsmeade weekends, which was saying a lot, considering there wasn't anything about those weekends that the eagle didn't like.

The sixth year touched his feet down on the bottom of the pool, standing so his head and shoulders were fully exposed above the water. The boy was starting to feel like maybe he'd reached the end of his energy level. Harry hoped that meant he could leave here soon and head back to the dormitory for a couple hours. Much as he enjoyed talking to people, at the moment it was near the bottom of his list of priorities. The Ravenclaw needed to go to bed, desperately. His eyelids were starting to droop, and the warmth of the water really wasn't helping matters at all. Going swimming in the pool on the second floor was probably not a smart idea when Ravenclaw Tower was so far away. Oh, well. He'd make it upstairs somehow, and then he'd fall into bed and sleep... and hopefully wake up in time to make it to class. Not that he'd be much use in class on two hours of sleep, but whatever. It was better than skipping and probably getting in trouble for it.

Making his way over to the side of the pool, Harry braced his hands against the edge and pulled himself out, but only enough so that he could sit with his feet dangling in the water. He could spare a few moments before he went off to pass out, the eagle reasoned. It seemed rude to do otherwise.

"NEWTs? Not really," Harry replied. "I still have a year before I really have to worry about them." The sixth year shrugged. "I don't know. In a way, NEWTs are better than OWLs, though. With OWLs, you have to study everything. But when then you get to cut out those classes you're really bad at, or can't stand. Unless you're one of those people who are good at everything or are an overachiever, you usually have fewer NEWTs than you have OWLs. But the test's harder, so I guess it levels out." Personally, Harry was glad he didn't have to take his NEWT exams in all the classes he'd taken. The sixteen year old had pretty much completely flunked his Defense Against the Dark Arts OWL. There wasn't much use in studying something he was awful at. He probably wasn't going to use something like that for a career, so there wasn't really much other use for it.

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