Searching for Neville's Toad
Recently one of my minor characters rioted against me until I finally focused in on her story enough to reconsider her minor character status. As I am pretty sure she's going to convince me to write her own fanfic some time soon, I thought it best to get to know her a little more and round out the kinks in her story and personality. Give me the best questions you can think up!
Good evening. It's a pleasure to meet you. My name's Claire Worthington. I'm not accustomed to talking to strangers, but I am feeling a bit lonely sitting here by myself at the Three Broomsticks. I was actually just about to convince myself to head back to my dormitory instead of wasting time here.
My house? Of course, I should have realized. I'm not in my uniform, so you obviously couldn't have known. I'm a Slytherin, a Prefect as well. I caught that look of surprise on your face. Don't worry. I was surprised as well. I mean, I'm a muggle-born. My parents don't understand anything about magic and don't even bother to learn how to owl a letter to me. I know that everyone's heard the poor little rich girl story, but it is real. It's not just a made-up tale.
How do I like Hogwarts? Well, it's much better then my muggle school. Those aren't very fond memories that I enjoy lingering on. To sum it all up, I had nearly no friends and had quite the reputation for always being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Not even the bullies bothered with me since something always happened to anyone who upset me. At the time, I had no idea what was going on, but obviously I later learned it was the magic. Even that couldn't keep me happy when I was sitting at lunch alone, though.
It's a feeling I've never experience again until recently. As soon as I arrived at Hogwarts, I thought everything would be different. Circumstances changed. Being sorted into Slytherin was the best thing to ever happen to me. There were only five first years, and only a few over twenty students in the entire House. We are all very close, especially the five of us Sorted in 2017. Caroline Nott and I naturally became friends as the only two in our dormitory. Scorpius Malfoy instantly became one of the closest friends I have ever had in my life. Aaron Jordan stole my first kiss under the mistletoe our third year. Then, fourth year, Tyler Zabini stole my heart.
We never meant for it to turn into a year long relationship, and we were both a little shocked to find our relationship still in tact after our OWL exams. Well, at least, I though everything was fine. During the summer, Tyler became distant, even more so than usual. I was used to him not talking about himself much, but his letters became formal and impersonal until he finally broke it off in July.
You can see why I was a bit put off by his sudden change of heart, and why I attempted to discuss it with him when school began again, but the beginning of sixth year brought me back to my primary school days. Caroline acted as if we'd never met before; Scorpius shot me looks of pity but barely spoke a word; and Tyler always found a way to leave the room whenever I entered. The only person who still talked to me was Aaron, and he told me he felt out of the group as well. Aaron found ways to let go, socializing with the fifth and fourth years more then his once best friends, but I couldn't bring myself to move on as easily. I had to find out what had happened over the summer.
Scorpius eventually shut me out completely, and Caroline would simply ignore my presence if I pushed to hard or tried to mend our friendship. Naturally, I tried to reach Tyler, thinking something must have happened with his family. I knew Blaise and Daphne Zabini were being whispered about, and not in a kindly way, but Tyler just told me to stay out of his business before I got hurt.
It's sort of ironic how he told me that as if he were trying to protect me. After all, no one's hurt me as much as he has. I don't know why I do it, but I keep pushing him and chasing after him. I can understand why he gets so frustrated with my attempts at getting him to confide in me. I know I crossed the line that time he pushed me to the ground. And when he grabbed my arm and yelled in my face. And when he knocked me away with his hand. The bruise around my eye has gotten a lot better; I can barely see it anymore.
But don't you see? I have to keep after him. There's something going on, and I suspect whatever is happening is dark. I don't know what Tyler has gotten himself into, but I promised that I would not give up on him a long time ago. I can help him if he'll just let me.
I'm sorry. I didn't mean to talk for so long. There's been a lot of things on my mind lately, though, that I just needed to say out loud. If I've kept you, don't feel the need to stay any longer. It's about time I returned to the castle anyways.
Searching for Neville's Toad
Well, thank you so much. It's true, this past year has been rather rough.
Do you normally speak your mind, or do you keep your thoughts to yourself? If the latter, how come?
For the most part, I usually do say what is on my mind. I'm not a very opinionated person, but if I am part of the conservation, I am going to be part of the conversation. I'm not afraid to tell other people what I think and am rather open to talking about just about anything, as you can see. I've always been annoyed when other people pretend to be listening or fake a smile or a frown when someone else is talking. If I'm listening to someone, I am going to give them my full attention and actually hear what they are saying. I try to give good advice or express my thoughts in the most tactful way possible, but lately I've found most people I talk to glancing at other places and looking for an excuse to leave so I try not to ramble on too much.
How much worth do you put on what others think of you?
I suppose I used to put quite a lot; there's a part of me that still does. In primary school, I tried so very hard to fit in with the other girls, stealing make-up from my mother's drawers that I wasn't allowed to wear until I was thirteen. Being ten years old was the worst year of my life since the "accidents" were becoming more frequent and causing more chaos than before. I was also loosing control of it. When fringes were suddenly the thing to have, I awoke with one even after my mother promised to take me to the barber's that afternoon. After one girl sniggered at me behind her hand, she remained stuck to her chair for the remainder of the day while known of the teachers could understand why. She blamed it on me, of course, because everyone always blamed those types of things on me, and I hated it. I suppose when I came to Hogwarts and found friends, I became a little obsessed with the attention. Last year, I was able to convince the captain of the Slytherin Quidditch team to put my brother on as Chaser just by batting my eyelashes. I've matured a bit since then, even if it's only been a year. Nowadays, they are just old habits I can't break, but being on the outskirts of my friends has made it necessary not to depend on other's thoughts of me. Sitting alone at dinner hasn't gotten any easier, though.
Why did you fall in love with Tyler? What were your favorite things about the relationship, and what qualities did you think it lacked?
If I only I knew the answer to this. Why did I fall in love with Tyler? Since first year, I only ever had eyes for Scorpius, though he was always too busy besting Rose Weasley in everything to pay any attention to my affection. Remember the kiss I mentioned with Aaron? It was a ploy to make Scorpius jealous. Once he and Rose settled their difference and became permanently attached at the hip at the beginning of fourth year, I finally looked around at the other boys and found Scorpius's cousin, Tyler. I don't know how I passed him over before. I don't know if you've seen him around, but he has the most beautiful dark skin and long black hair and irises that I swear are only a shade lighter than his pupils. I will admit that he's not the most likable boy since he keeps his distance from emotions, but once I started to know him as more than just a brooding face, all I wanted was to help him. Even though he doesn't talk about them much, I know he doesn't get along well with his parents or his younger brother, Logan. I found in him a kindred spirit with parents who don't seem to care about their children.
My favorite things about our relationship came much later in the year. It took a long time for him to finally accept his feelings for me. We never mentioned it, but in one of our recent fights, I finally understood why it was so hard for him and why he pushed me away, and is still pushing me away now. I'm muggle-born. I... Mudblood... Is that alright to say in conversation? I'm still getting used to the term. Well, anyways, I can't blame him for thinking that way; it's how he was raised, but I know it's the cause of all our problems. When he finally decided it didn't matter during the final months of our fourth year, we shared a blissful thirteen months together before summer came and destroyed it all. I supposed I enjoyed the moments of comfortable silence the most. Tyler isn't one for many words, and when I try to get him to talk, there's always stress, but when we were sitting in the common room or laying in his bed or walking between classes without a word, we were always happiest because we were together without bringing all the complications of life into it.
And when he smiled. I love his smile. I feel like I may be the only person whose ever seen him when he genuinely smiles; not the smirk when he finds something amusing or the polite grin when something happy has happened, but the moment when he forgets the world outside of us and I can almost see a weight lifting away from his shoulders and his white teeth shine against his dark skin. I miss his smile the most.
What do you like about Caroline, and what do you not like? How is she similar to/different from you?
Caroline is hard to sum up in a few simple words. She's... complicated. When we first met, I thought we'd be friends for life, but after the six years we've spent together, I've learned who she really is. I've heard her tell whole stories of complete lies to the three boys who she claims to be great friends with. She's manipulative and acts however it suits her at the time in order for her to get what she wants. She's an expert at the fake listening, fake smiles, fake concern, fake friendship, fake loyalty. I don't hate her; actually, I would love for things to go back to how they used to be, but now that I know our friendship could have been all just a convenient lie for her, I'm not sure I could be her friend again even if I tried.
Who are your role models? Why do you aspire to be like them?
To be honest, I'm not sure I have any at the moment. When I was younger, I greatly admired numbers of actresses and singers, wanting to be famous like them and having millions of people look up to me. A piece of my heart still wants that, I think, but lately my greatest aspirations have been to just make it through the year and praying that Tyler will let me into his life again.
What activities do you enjoy? For example, do you like taking classes? Playing Quidditch? Rule-breaking? Hanging out with people?
I've always worked hard for what I want, which is what got me into Slytherin according to Linnet, the Head of Slytherin House, and I've never before had trouble with gaining it. Well, I suppose when it comes to people, that doesn't apply. I enjoy being well liked among the Slytherins even if the other Houses don't think much of me. Scorpius explained that's just part of being a Slytherin after the war that happened in the Wizarding World a while ago. Apparently, people still aren't over it. Anyways, I've never been one for sports, so flying never took an interest to me even though I worked hard to do well in my Flying Lessons when I was eleven. I do my best in my classes and even though I don't think I am the top of class, I'm definitely in the higher middle area. I really would like a job at the Ministry after Hogwarts, so I'm taking quite a few NEWT classes in order to be able to interview for a job. As for... rule-breaking, did you say? I'm not one to enjoy getting in trouble. I am a Prefect, after all.
Searching for Neville's Toad
What do you mean by 'parents who don't seem to care about their children'? Are your parents like that? How has that affected you?
I've always known that my parents never really planned on having children, and I am just the result of a mistake. They were both young when I was born, so I was left in the care of a nanny while they continued with their busy careers away from home for most of the day and attending social events every weekend. Even as I became older and they would take me on holiday trips, I never really felt like part of the family; they didn't know how to raise a kid since they were both in their twenties and barely adults themselves. The older I got, the more excuses they had to leave me on my own. The only benefit that came from this was that adjusting to a boarding school was very easy.
'Mudblood' doesn't bother me...does the term bother you? Do you mind being one?
It's actually a term that I hadn't heard until this year. With all the anti-prejudice work that the Ministry is doing, it's not a word most people say or hear. I've heard my House mates talking about the Blood Purity Wars, but not growing up in the Wizarding World, I never truly understood it. When Tyler called me one at the beginning of the year, Scorpius explained it to me since, at that time, he would at least still talk to me if I struck up a conversation. Actually, when I said it, he nearly choked on his fork. After that reaction, I try not to use it since it seems to offend the half-bloods and pure-bloods more than the muggle-borns. I suppose that I don't like being called one since Scorpius seemed surprised that I didn't slap Tyler or something when he said it to me, but it doesn't really bother me as much as it seems it should.
Do you think the prejudice against Slytherin is merited or unmerited? Does that bother you, or not really?
My first year at Hogwarts, with only hearing snide comments from the older students, I was really upset about the prejudice against Slytherin, but as I learn more and more about Tom Riddles and the Death Eaters, I can sort of understand it. Of course, I still think it is unmerited since we're obviously not all pure-blood Death Eaters; at least, I'm not. I think it's something we've all had to become accustomed to since we do receive a bit of verbal abuse, but nothing like the House used to get. For the most part, the other Houses are starting to let go of the prejudice.
Do you think Aaron would like things to go back to how they were? Do you think Scorpius does? What about Caroline?
I know Aaron would love to have his best mate back again. He and Scorpius have been inseparable since they met. Actually, Scorpius barely paid any mind to his cousin before this year, so Tyler spent quite a bit of time on his own until we started dating. Aaron's found some new friends, though, so I don't think he wants things to return to how they were as much as me, but if Scorpius would talk to him again, I know he would be the happiest boy in the world.
As for Scorpius, I'm not so sure. I know he rarely smiles anymore, so he can't be happy with only Tyler, Caroline, and her younger sister, Gemma, for company. He's gotten into a lot of fights with Albus Potter and Rose Weasley as well, and they used to be his best friends. He hasn't made any effort to make things better, and I get the feeling that he's being held back my something. Caroline does watch his every move, so I can't help but to think something is going on that I don't know about.
Honestly, I'm beginning to think Caroline is behind all this, so no, I would say she doesn't want thing to go back to how they used to be. Then again, maybe she does. I never talk nor see her anymore, so I wouldn't know.
You say you work hard for what you want, and thus usually get it. Have you thought about what to do to help Tyler, and maybe regain friendships with Caroline and Scorpius? Are you already working on it?
I haven't given up on any of them. Well, since I'm never in contact with Caroline, I haven't really tried to mend that friendship, but as I said before, I'm not sure I want to. With Scorpius, I do keep attempting to start up conversations, and he'll usually respond before making an excuse to run off. I do really try to work things out with Tyler, but so far, it's only gotten me hurt, both emotionally and physically. I will keep trying, but I'm out of ideas on what to do. I've tried talking to him out in the open where people can see, but he normally shrugs passed me or blatantly ignores me. When we talk in private, he spends the entire times trying to walk away. When I corner him, he lashes out. I've tried not talking to him at all, but I can't stay away.