Eileen picked at her breakfast with a fork, placing yellow bits of her scrambled eggs into the Gobstone formation she read about yesterday in a Bulgarian handbook. Her eyes took in the angles and design quickly, checking its accuracy.
Suddenly claws ripped her carefully placed food to shreds, and a sharp beak pecked her in the shoulder. She looked up through her hair to see her father’s black owl.
She looked down at her plate again to see the envelope nestled between her goblet of orange juice and her napkin. She cut the twine that tied the letter to the owl’s leg with a jagged fingernail, and extricated the letter from the envelope, taking care not to tear the parchment. She would tear the parchment later and use the shreds as makeshift Gobstones to practice her aim in the hallways by hitting stones in the floor.
Ignatius Prewett is becoming too old to find an alliance, and he must produce heirs. You will meet him on the day of your graduation. The Prewetts are powerful family of great repute, and it would be a favorable alliance.
Eileen scowled. Ignatius Prewett was fifteen years older than her. This was absurd. Her parents didn’t care about her…they wanted to get in the favor of powerful people.
She could see Gobstones lying up on the board as clearly as if the game was being played right in front of her – in a way, it was. She was going to be knocked off the board by Ignatius Prewett’s marble, which would be flicked by her own parents.
She burned inside with rage. How could they make her marry a man like this? She supposed Ignatius would make a decent husband – besides his looks, he was rumored to be a very kind man. She also supposed that she could do a lot worse – she wasn’t pretty like most of the Slytherin girls.
Still, he could nearly be her father! She bit back a sob. She didn’t want to be a mother. She didn’t want to clean a house, or live with a stranger. She didn’t want any of this. Running up to her room, she threw things around the room. Finally, she found a Gobstone and cupped it in her hand.
Crushing it in her grip, she clenched her jaw and squeezed her eyes shut, breathing hard. Keep your cool. Stay in control.
Her pulse beat a rhythm against the gold surface of the Gobstone. Her fury ebbed a bit, and it was safe to go to Potions class.
The professor’s words slipped by her and she continued to look at the Gobstone rolling from one edge of her desk to the next. Flick.
She imagined Father, green slime spread into white hair. Flick.
Ignatius, his face covered with the liquid. Flick.
The professor’s unstoppable mouth spewing it forth.
Eileen turned her head to show that she had heard the professor.
“What page of the textbook are we on?”
She remained silent.
“I will take points if you do not give me an answer!”
“Thirty-five years old.” That’s who she was going to marry.
“Thirty points from Slytherin! That is the eighth time this week you have been inattentive!”
Eileen didn’t move to open her textbook. Flick.
The professor’s robes covered in a emerald mess.
After the bell rung, she trudged through the hallways to go back to the Slytherin Common Room. Once she slipped through the stone wall, she went straight to her unfinished game of Gobstones.
She hadn’t been playing for long when Hooper, the Head Boy, arrived.
“Bloody hell, Prince,” he hissed, “you lost us another thirty points. We’re in second place to Gryffindor, and my father will send me a Howler as soon as he hears.”
Eileen paid him no attention, and Hooper growled in fury. He swept his arm across the board, flinging the Gobstones to the floor.
“Do I have your attention now
Eileen finally looked at him. His eyes flitted from one focal point to another, looking nearly mad with rage.
A cruel smile twisted his features. With vindictive vehemence, he slammed his iron-toed boots onto Gobstone after Gobstone, crushing the soft gold under his foot. Eileen watched with muted horror as the destruction continued.
Finally, face red from exertion, he stopped. “You will never again play with those damn stones and lose House points,” Hooper said triumphantly.
He turned to walk away, and Eileen gazed at the flattened stones – her precious Gobstones. Fury built up in her and her hands shook. She had no Gobstone to clutch to console her raw rage.
Thoughtlessly, she grabbed her wand and pointed it at Hooper. “Stop.”
Hooper froze and spun to face her, a shocked expression on his face. No one had ever heard her speak in front of a group of people before. Everyone in the Common Room stared.
She paid them no notice. The wand felt different – long and sharp – against her fingers. She longed for the smooth roundness of a Gobstone, but this boy had destroyed them.
Her heart pounded in her ears, and she felt a swooshing sensation in her stomach. Her father, Ignatius Prewett, her mother, Dippet, the professors, the students – no one here knew what they had done to her.
Suddenly, she wanted someone else to feel her pain. She wanted someone else to feel as angry
as she did. There were no Gobstones to sympathize with her, nothing to hit, to crush until the madness abated.
“Avada Kedavra,” she hissed.
His stiff corpse crumpled. As she left the Common Room, ignoring the horrified looks of her classmates, she knew she could never return to the magical world. The Dementors were probably already searching for her. She smiled to herself as she walked towards Hogsmeade to Apparate away from this place, from these people.
The green light enveloping Hooper’s body was even prettier than how she imagined the Gobstones’ slime would look painted on his skin.
Death was beautiful.