Saturday, October 3, 2009

My First Year: Sorting It Out, Part 2

Edited for major typos on 10/04. Thanks to StitchingMagic and Stacy for catching it.

First, I would like to apologize to you all for the delay; I've been completely washed out completely. However, the memory of the morning of the second day still trickles in my mind as I speak. It was like a dripping faucet with a broken washer in its tap - ever present, wasteful, and wet.

By the end of the first day in red and gold, I was tired. I had spent the night before the first day of classes packing at my muggle home, so I hadn't slept for at least twenty-four hours. When the golden hour came to be, I followed my classmates to the sleeping quarters. My last ounces of strength got me up to the to the top bunk. There, on a feathery white pillow and under the watchful guard of a dream catcher, I fell into bed. The mattress seemed to surround me, and the stars outside suggested sleep.

Somewhere between three and four in the morning, a siren pierced the air, and most of Gryffindor were up on their feet on the instant. They woke up to the unlikely mix of smells - the overbearing wetness of water and the faint dryness of smoke. Water rained down from the ceiling; the smoke had to come from somewhere else. The entire girls' dorm - and perhaps some of the boys' dorm too - erupted in a spontaneous shriek. After a few minutes, the floor of the entire Gryffindor tower was soaked with an overdose of dihydrogen monoxide (that's water for those who are not keen on muggle culture). A few upperclassmen threw around some Impervius charms, but most Gryffindors decided to join the race towards the common room, the place from where the smoke seemed to originate. One wonders what they were running from the most - the sleeping quarters-turned-shower room, or the alarm that seemed to vibrate though most of my housemates' heads.

Those who made it close to the common room were spared from the manmade rainstorm but greeted to a door that opened to a blinding display of red and orange. Silhouetted by the flames was a thin female frame who sat on a partially burned couch. A heavy ring seemed to overtake her fingers, which were as thin as twigs. She seemed still as if she were unaware of the fires dancing all around her. Other couches, including my "bed" from my auditing days, were either burnt, burning, or waiting to be burned. Whispers from my housemates named her as Contessa*, the one who had fell silent after she had been sorted into Gryffindor. Some Gryffindors took unsure glances at their classmates, while others threw - with various degrees of accuracy - spells of Aguamenti. One underclassman even accidentally (Or was it intentionally? One finds it hard to tell.) hit the darkened figure; the latter did not flinch or in any way show any reaction to his jet of water. Many of the other water spells merely flickered the flames; they were neither coordinated enough nor accurate enough to douse the fires.

As Gryffindor after Gryffindor sloshed their way into the common room, eyelids moved upwards, jaws downward. Much of the furniture near the fireplace was charred. Whatever was left was being eaten by the flames. A few well-timed water spells put out the flames, but the scent of smothered flames still remained. No one could quite go to sleep - except for one person.

I woke up this morning to the dampness of a wet pillow and the sound of a sloshing mattress.

"What in Merlin's name happened here?" I asked. My housemates looked from one face to another, presumably shocked that someone could have slept through the rainstorm.

Thanks to Stuartsmom, Oriocookie, Alexist, and Meriadoc for filling me in.
*Contessa "Tessa" Connolly is a character made specifically for the blog; she is not a real crafter.
Got something to say to Contessa? Please leave a comment below.


kiri.stitching.magic said...

Hope I don't sound snarky, it's not intended that way, but water is H2O, hydrogen dioxide.

According to Wikipedia dinitrogen monoxide is: Nitrous oxide, commonly known as happy gas or laughing gas, is a chemical compound with the chemical formula N2O. At room temperature, it is a colorless non-flammable gas, with a pleasant, slightly sweet odor and taste. It is used in surgery and dentistry for its anesthetic and analgesic effects. It is known as "laughing gas" due to the euphoric effects of inhaling it, a property that has led to its recreational use as a dissociative drug. It is also used as an oxidizer in rocketry and in motor racing to increase the power output of engines. At elevated temperatures, nitrous oxide is a powerful oxidizer similar to molecular oxygen. For example, nitrous oxide in a test tube will re-ignite a smoldering splint.

StitchingMagic (who is a homeschooler teaching her ds basic science, and a bit of a geek)

Stacy said...

Second person here not meaning to be snarky to either person. H2O is actually dihydrogen monoxide (2 Hydrogen to one oxygen).

Biology major with lots of chem in there :)

Interesting story Covington. I'm interested to find out what happened!

Covington said...

Darn, that was a typo. It was dihydrogen monoxide in the draft.

Let me correct that. Thanks for the catching that.