Dec. 1996

Dear diary,

What an eventful year ite's been. Professor Snape has abandoned his Potions post in favor of Defense Against the Dark Arts. How disappointing, I was looking forward to his NEWT level classes. Now that the OWL requirement is lower all the unsavory types (coughHarryPottercough) have joined the fray. Slughorn isne't a bad teacher though, just an odd one. He has a habit of staring at his students the way my Dad stares at his bottle cap collection. Like rare trinkets for display. Peculiar.

Our lessons have already been interesting. The first day we walked in to numerous bubbling cauldrons and a captivating scent in the air. I was going to comment on the fragrance reminiscent of an Italian deli when that mousy Gryffindor girl Hermione identified the source as Ammortentia. Why would my love potion smell likeā€¦ like him? After he abandoned me and everything. Needless to say I spent the class very distracted. Kai put up a fantastic show of making his potion but the surprising victor was one Harry Potter. Since when was he a potions master? Before Slughorn took over he wasne't even eligible for this class! Preposterous. Due to his abrupt heightening of skills Harry emerged victorious in our little competition and took home a vial of Felix Felices, liquid luck.

It was difficult to contain my jealousy after that. I considered my childish and one-sided rivalry with the Boy Who Lived a thing of the past, but this was practically targeting me. Potions is the one place I truly excel, and here he was taking that away from me. Luckily I could turn to Sonnet for comfort. We had grown closer than ever this summer and he was now my most trusted companion. I spent many nights with his head on my lap, stroking his soft hair as he let me vent my frustrations. It was much healthier than my habit of storming the halls until the rage wore off. Sonnet was the only one I could rely on anymore.

Speaking with Sonnet cleared my head enough to formulate a plan. If Harry was really such a genius with a cauldron now, I would simply have to up my game. Years of rivalry with Kai had prepared me for this moment: It was time to take on the ultimate target. All my free time I spent in the library reading ancient potions tomes, taking notes on everything from stirring technique to ingredient slicing. I brewed potions again and again until I assured their state of perfection. I must hone my craft in the most extreme fashion. I must come out on top.

Slughorn seemed to notice the extra work Ie'd been putting in. After a particularly difficult lesson, he pulled me aside as I was leaving the classroom. Apparently he hosted a gathering of similarly talented and influential students. This "Slug Club" would be meeting again this week and he wanted me to attend. Immediately I was disappointed. Where was my Felix Felices? Was I not more deserving than Harry Potter? I voiced this complaint to Slughorn but he only brushed me off. Apparently the vial he gave Harry was all he had. The large, bubbling cauldron of it we saw the first day was simply for show. With a forced smile I promised to be at the next Slug Club meeting and rushed out of the classroom.

In a clearly unlucky turn of events I ran smack into Tony Gabagool, the one man I had been trying to avoid all year. He stared at me with watery eyes and immediately collapsed on the floor, sobbing and apologizing profusely. While I couldne't understand a word of the blubbering I felt an uncharacteristic pity for him. In an attempt to console the fool and avoid the growing crowd of onlookers, I promised to be his date to the Slug Club Christmas party. He seemed to cheer up enough for me to validate kicking him aside and continuing on my path.

Only that night did the problem hit me. I had already bullied Sonnet into being my date, and now I had Tony too? Was I meant to decide? Was it so bad to take both? In the end my decision was not to decide. That, as things often were, was a problem for future Dollie.

If you reading this are future Dollie and everything went to shit: oops! But remember, you did this to yourself.