Status: In very, very, very slow progress


Band Practice

The next day (Monday), Vanessa came happily running up to Gen, Claire and Lewis announcing,

“Hey, guess what? I’ve started a list of ‘Things I Probably Shouldn’t Do In Hogwarts But Will Anyway’, or ‘Things Not To Do At Hogwarts’. Wanna hear?”

“Sure!” Gen beamed.

“One: I will not call the Defence teacher Kenny, even if he is wearing an orange anorak.”

“WHAT?” the other three exclaimed.

“South Park, Muggle show, anyway…. Two: I am not allowed to paint the house elves blue and call them smurfs. Three: I will not introduce Peeves to paint-balling!” the other three cracked up on this, and may others such as ‘Professor Flitwick’s first name is not Yoda’ and ‘I am not allowed to make lightsaber noises with my wand’!

After the Charms lesson (during which Vanessa ‘accidentally’ called the teacher Professor Yoda!) Lewis, Gen and Claire approached her.

“Uh… Ness? We kinda need a band name.” Lewis stated.

“Ahh. Um. Yes, yes we do. Uh-huh. Err…” Vanessa replied.

“Got any ideas?” Gen asked.

“A few.” Vanessa replied, smiling.

“Good, cuz we sure as hell haven’t!”

Three classes later, the friends had decided on calling themselves Bleeding On The Ballroom Floor. They had also decided to practise together that evening in the Room Of Requirements (the ROR).

Sitting on a stool behind a microphone, Vanessa plopped down her guitar and looked over the folder of songs she had brought. She had informed her fellow band mates about this and they were bringing and songs/music that they had written. Which was helpful, as Vanessa had penned many a song and Lewis had composed many a piece.

“Okay, umm… I’ve been thinking. It’d be great to do some covers. I dunno what of, but I thought it’d be good….” Vanessa proposed timidly.

“Ooh, yes! Can we cover ‘Single’ by Natasha Beddingfield?” Gen asked excitedly. The rest of the group agreed, so Claire, who had a notepad with her wrote down that information. Pushing up his black, thick rimmed glasses and flicking his medium-length, dark brown hair (with silver streaks in it) out of his eyes, Lewis suggested,

“I think we should just… jam, you know? Just go with the flow. But Vanessa can start cuz she has lyrics and a tune.” The rest of the band agreed and Vanessa began singing the song she had written just after her mother’s death, which had a chorus of:

“In smoky wisps you float away,
No more life left for another day.
Neither was ready to part,
No one wanted it to start.
But the pain, lingers here,
And acceptance is not on the cards!”
To this Vanessa played a continuous melody of strings, Claire kept the rhythm, Lewis added massive power chords and Genevieve put the icing on the cake, so to speak.

“Lewis, d’you fancy doing backing vocals?” Vanessa asked randomly.

“Okay then! Got anything down?” he replied, grinning.

“No… go with the flow!”

“Will do!”

After looking over Vanessa’s lyrics and selecting a fair amount they began to think about covers. From much discussion they decided to cover ‘Cancer’ by MCR, ‘Minority’ by Green Day and ‘Chicago Is So Two Years Ago’ by Fall Out Boy, as well as ‘Single’ by Natasha Beddingfield.

With that sorted they began making up and fixing parts, song by song. Fifteen minutes before their curfew, Claire, Gen, Lewis and Vanessa packed up and went their separate ways. Gen and Vanessa made their way down to her solitary Slytherin dungeon dorm, while Claire and Lewis to their Ravenclaw dormitory near the Owlery. They had agreed to take part in a quiz to determine which house they were in at heart and which they truly belonged in, and dress in the colours of that house when they performed.

At breakfast a few days later, Cyanide dropped two envelopes in Vanessa’s lap, helped himself to some porridge and flew off gracefully, ruffling his jet-black feathers as he glided. Ripping open the first envelope, Vanessa was glad to see a letter from Katie.

Dear Vanessa,
My house has gotten REALLY bad drainage problems. Seriously, when you flush the WC, nothing happens, or it all kinda… comes back out. I know, gross! We’ve had several plumbers in but they don’t know what’s going on. They do know that there’s no way to correct it though. Which sucks. We have to move house! My parent’s found a nice house in Surrey, I’ve put my new address on the back; we’re moving in next week. Good luck with school, don’t let the bad guys bring you down, especially ‘cause you’re one of them! See you in the Summer,

The next letter was from Jenifer, and had a packet of Sour Skittles enclosed in the white envelope.

Hey, Vanessa!
I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that the aura of death surrounding our house (as you said in your last letter) is just too... thick. Joe and I have decided that the only thing we can do is move. I assume you’ve heard about Katie’s drainage problems? Well, we found a very nice house next to hers. It’s Number 3. Owl back with what you think. Joe magically packed your things, so you won’t have to, and we can move during term-time.

Owl me back,

“Guess what? I’m moving to Surrey!” Vanessa exclaimed, having scrawled a ‘yes please move Vanessa xxx’ on a scrap of parchment and giving it to Cyanide, who had come back for some toast.

“Surrey?” Gen commented, bewildered.

“Yeah, a quaint little place called Privet Drive.”

“But won’t it be weird, going from bloody Finchley to Surrey? I mean, that’s next to Kent!”

“I am quite aware of the geography of the British Isles, Gen! Yeah, it’ll be odd, but I think I’ll cope.” Vanessa laughed.

“What about your friend, Katie?”

“She’s got drain problems, and she’s moving to the house next door.”

“That’s great!” Gen said enthusiastically. “Absolutely splendiferous!”

“I already knew you were odd, but jeez….” Vanessa mused as Draco Malfoy walked by the table and sat down as Vanessa began to sing ‘Minority’ by Green Day.

“Hi Draco.”

“Hello.” Seeing the letters, he asked, “Who are those from?”

“My sister and my best friend out of Hogwarts. I’m moving to Surrey and so is she.” Vanessa said.

After Professor Lupin explained that the Spring/Summer Ball was to have live bands playing, Vanessa and the rest of the third year Slytherins proceeded to Care Of Magical Creatures. Their next lesson was Charms, in which they practised Cheering Charms. Grinning broadly, Estelle, a new Hufflepuff friend of Vanessa’s and Vanessa sang ‘Ugly Girl’ all the way to lunch.

In the library after dinner, halfway through an essay, Vanessa looked up at Hermione, who was pouring over a huge three tables of work. Her eyes were dark and tired; she looked as if she hadn’t slept since Halloween (bear in mind it’s now May). Struck by a wave of pity, she performed a Cheering Charm on her. Unfortunately, it was rather weak, but at least it did something.