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Leander

Part 1 - Journal date: 1st of September, 1993


So... How should I start? Maybe with some facts...

Name: Leander Nathaniel Griffin
Age: 15
Birthday: 2d of June (1978)
Hair colour: blond
Eye colour: blue
Siblings: 1 brother (Alistair, 16)
Wizarding heritage: Muggle-born, but...

Oh, now I know what would make a good start!


My aunt Sandra - my father's sister - is a witch. The only witch in the family, as far as we know. So, to what strange coincidence do I owe those magical powers that opened for me the doors of Hogwarts as well? That's the question my parents have been asking themselves since the memorable day - unforgettable even for me, though I was only five years old - when I accidentally set fire to a coloured pencil because a nasty little boy was annoying me with it.


- - -

(December 1983 - Leander's first year of primary school)

Little Leander is a very quiet child - at least at school - but sometimes even the quietest children can get angry. Especially when one of their classmates keeps pricking their hand with the point of a pencil. A shy boy like Leander may begin with only staring at the enemy with a startled, outraged, then furious expression, and merely trying to put his hand out of reach. But then...

At the fourth of fifth attack, Leander grabs the pencil and throws it away violently, causing the teacher to look his way in shock.

"Oh! This is not nice at all!"

Little Leander can't believe his own ears when he realises that the teacher is talking to him. She's reproaching him for throwing the pencil away, when he had every reason to do so. Does she think he should have let the other boy torment him all day long?

In reality, of course, the teacher didn't see what happened first, and she's now wondering how an angelic-looking child like this one could have suddenly thought it would be fun to steal his classmate's pencil and throw it across the room. How is she supposed to know he has been provoked?

She orders Leander to go and pick up the pencil to give it back to his owner, who takes it with a triumphant smile while the teacher tells Leander again that what he did wasn't nice and that she'll have to punish him if he does it again.

A little girl calls the teacher before Leander could explain himself, but he probably wouldn't have been able to, anyway. He's too indignant and he feels betrayed. It has never occurred to him that the all-powerful teacher could miss something happening in her classroom so, in his mind, it's clear she's being unfair on purpose.

Since the teacher's now talking to the little girl, the nasty boy takes advantage of it to prick Leander's hand again.

Next second, bright red flames appear out of nowhere, reducing the pencil to ashes in no time, and Leander stares in astonishment at the now crying little boy sitting next to him.

- - -

Fortunately, neither the teacher or any of the children realized that I was responsible for what had all the appearances of a spontaneous combustion, but I had no doubt; those flames were obviously the expression of my anger. I had no clue how it could have happened, though, and my mother wouldn't believe it. Only my father understood. As soon as he heard the story, he knew that, someday, I would receive a letter just like the one he had seen in his younger sister's hands about fifteen years before.

- - -

(December 1983 again, evening of the same day)

"You what?!"

Being a Muggle, Leander's mother knows nothing about wizardry. Consequently, the only thing that comes into her mind as she hears about the burned pencil is a horrified, "Surely they don't let children play with matches at school!"

"He had no match, but he did set that pencil on fire, Mum!" confirms Alistair, her other son.

Alistair is just a year older than Leander and since, in their village, the pupils of the first two years of primary school are taught in the same classroom, he has witnessed the incident.

"He looked at it and..."

"Don't be silly!" the confused mother cut short. "No one can set fire to anything just by looking at it!"

"But I did!" Leander protests. "I don't know how, but..."

"It was like magic!" Alistair intervenes again, grinning with delight at his little brother. "You did magic, Lee!"

Leander grins back.

"I did magic!" he repeats excitedly.

"No one can do magic, boys," their mother insists with all the patience she can show while trying desperately to understand what on earth happened in reality.

But, even before her sons can start protesting again, their father does.

"Actually...some people can," he reveals to his mystified wife. "Sandra can, and now it seems that Lee can, too."

- - -

I don't remember the entire scene, but I still can recall my feeling of wonder. I guess it took a long time for my mother to get used to the thought that magic did exist and that one of her sons had a frightening power to set things on fire when he was angry. I was too young to realize it was anything but common, and only years later did I start asking myself questions about it - especially "How can Aunt Sandra and I share that kind of 'talent' when it seems that no other member of our family has ever been magical?” I mean, it's not logical; she's my aunt, not my mother, so I can't have inherited anything from her directly. And even assuming that Ali, our father, and one of his own parents are all Squibs, there still must have been someone before them that was a witch or wizard. Now, even though I did a lot of research, I've never discovered any ancestor of mine whose name would appear in the Hogwarts records. So it has to be only chance... I can't believe it.

It doesn't really matter, I know. But curiosity may be both my worst flaw and my finest point - flaw because it makes me waste time looking for useless details and sometimes leads me to eavesdropping or the written equivalent of it; fine point because it's what makes me want to know more about practically everything I hear people talking about or come across while reading. I’ve learned a lot of interesting or useful things like that, and this is surely why the Sorting Hat decided to send me to Ravenclaw, the House of "those of wit and learning."


- - -

(1st of September, 1989 - Leander's first year)

"Griffin, Leander," calls Professor McGonagall.

So many pairs of eyes fix themselves on the blond little boy that he feels like running away. He hates being the centre of attention. As always when he knows he's being watched, he becomes all clumsy, and it makes him nearly knock the stool over while sitting down.

I should never had agreed to come to this school, he thinks (for what's at least the tenth time already that day) as he tentatively put the hat on his head.

Then he jumps. The hat's replying...

"Don't be afraid, little boy. I can tell you don't like the unknown, but you'll get used to this place very soon, I'm sure. Now let's see what House will be best for you... I see that unfairness highly outrages you, so Hufflepuff might be good. But you're not a hard worker, are you? You're too used to getting good marks without effort... You do like learning new things, though. I see you're curious about everything... You're definitely clever and have a lot of logic... Yes, I think you belong to RAVENCLAW!"

A few seconds later, Leander is sitting at his new House table, looking down as usual to avoid everyone else's eyes. Still, he knows that the boy in front of him is called Lancelot Fawcett, because he's the one who's been sorted right before. And the one at his right is a first year as well. Roger D...something. Davis, he believes.

"Funny you're not in Gryffindor, with such a Gryffindorish name!"

Leander turns timidly to face Roger and gives a weak smile before looking down again.

"My aunt was, but I knew I wouldn't be. Bravery is not my thing at all."

"So you knew you would be a Ravenclaw?" Roger asks, clearly failing to notice Leander doesn't really wish to talk.

"That or Hufflepuff... I couldn't be in Slytherin either, I don’t think. And I heard they wouldn't accept a Muggle-born, anyway."

"You're Muggle-born?" Lancelot intervenes, a puzzled look on his face. "But you said your aunt was..."

He stops in mid-sentence to clap along with the rest of the table as yet another boy - named Bryan Jones - is sorted to their House.

Bryan takes a seat next to Lancelot, and Roger greets him before turning his attention back to Leander, who's forced to explain about his aunt being a witch and all the rest of their family being Muggles.

"That's weird," Roger comments. "But who cares, after all? It's great for you to be here."

Leander still isn't so sure he'll like the wizarding school, but he says nothing.

"I would have liked to be a Gryffindor," Roger confesses then, unperturbed by Leander's lack of reply. "For the prestige."

The way he emphasizes the last word makes Leander laugh. He might like this boy, at least...

"Well, okay... Ravenclaw is probably more appropriate. Even if I'm really not an egghead."

"I'm not either," Leander says without looking at him - and looking even less at the girl who has just taken the seat at his left.

"Cool! We'll get along fine," Roger concludes with great conviction.

- - -

Sometimes I wonder whether something would be different if I was not in Ravenclaw. Since the Hat considered Hufflepuff before, I try to imagine me there, but it's not easy to tell whether it would be better, worse or just the same. Maybe I would feel more comfortable with my classmates, because Hufflepuffs are often particularly kind, but I don't know. After all, Roger Davies is very kind too, and I'm still not sure I can say that he's my best friend. Of course, we do get along quite well and I like him a lot, but in reality he's just everyone's friend. And I'm too distant, too "in my own world" to strike up a real friendship with anyone. Actually, if I tend to regard Roger as a friend in spite of the fact that I would never dare tell him too personal things, it's almost only because he's the first person I talked to on the day we arrived at Hogwarts.

I quickly noticed we had not much in common, though. But it doesn't stop me from liking spending time with him better than with other Ravenclaws, more "eggheads" (as he says), who always manage to become deadly boring at some point - Bryan Jones and Lancelot Fawcett are a little like that. And it's not because I don't play Quidditch myself that I can't enjoy going to see Roger play - I
love watching him play, actually. So sometimes, to tease me, he calls me his "best fan." And, even if it's exaggerated - and less kind than "best friend" - I'm glad to know that I am, in a way, important to him.

I only wish he'd stop saying I'm crazy just because I don't want what most people do - things like being a Prefect, for example. I'm not, and it's all for the better, because I wouldn't like being forced to interfere with the silly things other students do or incur their hostility by reprimanding them.


- - -

(Journal date) 

It's late, but Leander is still awake, writing while waiting for Roger to come back from the Prefects' bathroom he's allowed to use as a Quidditch captain (newly assigned). The other two are already sleeping – or at least it seems so, since they've been quiet for more than five minutes now.

A few more minutes pass and then Roger eventually comes in to drop immediately on his "best fan's" bed, affirming that Hogwarts' has certainly the most amazing bathroom of all times.

"The bath is a real swimming-pool... Still not jealous of Lance's shiny Prefect badge?" he asks playfully.

Leander doesn't even look up from his notebook to reply.

"Absolutely not. I wouldn't have wanted it for anything in the world."

"You're not normal!" Roger sighs with a desperate look quickly denied by a burst of laughter.

"I know," Leander says in an absent-minded tone. "You told me already. Lots of times."

Roger laughs again.

"Yeah, but this time I mean it. Everyone wants to be a Prefect."

He pauses for a second, waiting for an answer that doesn't come, then, knowing Leander well enough to be able to tell he's only pretending to concentrate on whatever he's writing, he decides to insist. 

"Really, you should see that swimming-pool. It has dozens of taps with all sorts of bubble baths that do funny things. I could have spent hours trying them all. And there's even a diving board. Plus, the room looks really classy - all in marble. It makes you feel like you're in a luxury hotel."

"It's still not worth the trouble of trying to discipline a bunch of stupid children," Leander comments, eventually looking at Roger. "I would have hated being a Prefect. You know I would."

"Of course...but that's because you're the most abnormal person I've ever met."

He has said it in a joking tone, so Leander knows there's no reason to take it as an insult. But he also knows that Roger expects him to pretend he's offended, so he stretches out a hand and hits the offender's arm (not hard, of course).

"Being abnormal is not necessarily a bad thing," he says with affected haughtiness before turning all his attention back to the notebook.

- - -

I know he doesn't understand me, but... Whatever. At least he's still nice. And he promised to give me the password, so I can have a look at the Amazing Prefects' Bathroom. Although he surely knows I won't go, since I'm not allowed to. 

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