Status: Completely Rewritten!

All the Marks

Matthew Roaren

Emily stood in front of the Gryffindor common room, not wanting to go inside and deal with the ruckus. She fumbled with the ends of her hair as she looked up, admiring the portrait near the ceiling. She imagined it didn’t get noticed very often, being so high and directly above the fat lady. The portrait was beautiful, but the fat lady demanded so much attention Emily assumed no one noticed it but her. This portrait was different from most of the others hung around the castle. It didn’t move and talk like the others, but its beauty surpassed them all.

The lone star shining in the night sky called out to Emily, begging for the attention it had gone so long without. Emily imagined that years ago, when students weren’t so distracted, the portrait would have been admired. There would have been many more stars shining in the sky, but as time went on, and the portrait went unnoticed, all the other stars fled to other paintings that demanded people’s attention, until just one star was left. Emily vowed to look at the painting every day until the other stars came back so the deserted one wouldn’t be so alone.

“Emily, I’ve been looking for you all over.”

Emily turned to find Ron beside her, his red hair matted from the mix of wind and sweat.

“Oh, I’m sorry, it was just so busy in there and I wanted to clear my head.”

“What have you got going on up there that needed clearing?” Ron asked, tapping on her forehead.

Emily laughed, “What did you want to show me?”

“You’ll have to wait for that,” Ron smiled, “I have to give you something to look forward to.”

Emily moved her hand to her sweater, pulling at a loose string, “Oh please, Ron. I’m not a child. You don’t have to promise me things to keep me interested.”

“That’s not why,” Ron smiled, “I want it to be a surprise.”

“I hate surprises,” Emily pouted.

“Quit that,” Ron laughed, “You’re not going to talk me into anything.”

Emily glared at Ron as he began walking away.

He looked back, smiling at her, “Just walk with me.”

Emily began walking forward as he slowed down so she could catch up. The two walked the halls of Hogwarts, stepping quietly and turning corners to dodge the prefects.

“So tell me, Emily, what did you think of the match?”

“Well, Harry made an excellent chaser. That boy can do everything.”

“Yes, he can,” Ron said, moving his eyes to meet hers.

“And Dean played really well. I’m sure I’ll get to hear about it for weeks.”

“More like months,” Ron laughed.

“Seamus wasn’t as bad as I thought he’d be.”

Ron nodded.

“Even Collin Creevy did alright.”

“You’re right,” Ron said, moving swiftly in front of her, “Anyone you’re forgetting?”

Emily looked at him, her eyes moving from his toes to his face. He smiled at her, and she smiled back.

“Oh, and you did amazing as well,” Emily laughed, nudging Ron’s side.

Ron grabbed at his side, faking hurt, “That’s what I was waiting for.”

“Well, I figured that,” Emily said, stepping around Ron so she could continue walking.

Ron moved back to Emily’s side, walking slowly next to her, “Then why didn’t you say it sooner?”

Emily looked at him, her arms wrapped tightly around her chest.

“Well I wanted you to have something to look forward to,” she mocked.

Ron turned to her, widening his eyes, “You’re still going on about that?”

“Yes, yes I am,” she said, lifting her shoulders in a shrug.

Ron glared at her, attempting to mask his smile, “Fine, then. I’ll show you. But you have to promise it will stay between us.”

Emily nodded, “I promise. I’m very good with secrets.”

“You better be. I don’t show this to just anyone.”

Ron led Emily down a dark corridor, up a staircase, and through a pair of large wooden doors. The musty room was covered in a layer of dust. The rows of desks looked as though they hadn’t been touched in years. Tarps covered the objects in the room important enough to be kept tidy, but not important enough to move.

“What’s this?” Emily asked, moving her hands to touch one of the desks.

“It’s a deserted classroom, like the one you and Collin study in,” Ron nudged her.

Emily glared at him and folded her arms back across her chest, “Not funny.”

“I’m just messing with you,” Ron winked. “I get bored sometimes, while Harry and Hermione are studying, so I wander. I found this a couple weeks back.”

“But why did you bring me here? It’s just an old classroom, what’s so brilliant about an old classroom?”

Ron moved towards the opposite end of the room and gripped the tarp covering the wall.

“This,” Ron said, pulling the tarp off the wall and to the floor.

Emily walked to Ron, admiring the scene in front of her.

An old chalkboard covered the span of the wall. On it, were birds flying across a sky made of chalk, in front of a sun that seemed to glow. The birds flapped their wings carelessly, unaware they were being watched. It was simple, but brilliant, and it took Emily’s breath away.

“It’s beautiful Ron.”

“I know,” he smiled.

“And a Hogwarts student made this?”

“Well I suppose so. I don’t quite know the whole story, but I think it’s wonderful either way.”

“Do you think we’re the only ones who’ve seen it?” Emily said, looking from the chalk drawing, back to Ron.

“I like to think so,” Ron smiled and wrapped his arm around Emily, pulling her close to him.

She leaned her head against his shoulder and closed her eyes, determined to capture the moment forever.