"This is the car I'm going to get once I get my license. Real top-of-the line shit right here," Justin Finch-Fletchy told me, pointing at some red sportscar in some auto magazine.

I don't know anything about cars, and frankly I couldn't care less, so I just kind of nodded and said "yeah" and "mmm" at the appropriate moments as he droned on about how BMWs are nothing more than overhyped pretentious German trash or whatever. He didn't seem to notice at first that I wasn't really saying anything but after a while I think he could sense my blatant apathy towards his monologue on the merits of manual transmission and excused himself from the table to go talk to Zacharias Smith.

I turned my attention to the comic book I was reading, Martin Miggs the Mad Muggle, but it was hard to focus because the panels kept moving.

"The thing about The Simpsons is, they've never been real good with emotional scenes, you know?" said Ernie Macmillan that night at dinner, cutting into his baked potato.

"What are you talking about?" I angrily asked him. "The Simpsons is - or at least, used to be - great with emotional scenes. I mean, just look at episodes like Life on the Fast Lane or the blowfish episode where Homer thinks he is going to die."

"Or Lisa's Substitute," Dean Thomas chimed in.

"Oh yeah, can't forget that," I said.

We politely waited for Ernie to finish swallowing a forkful of baked potato that he had shoved into his mouth. Dean took a swig of his pumpkin juice.

"Well, yeah you can say that," Ernie started, bits of potato still in his mouth. He paused for a moment, trying to collect his thoughts. "But they always ruin it with a... with a joke or something... it's like they're afraid to show their emotion, like it's uncool or something, so they build a fort of jokes around it."

"You're an idiot," said Dean.

We argued for a minute or two after that but then the conversation quieted after Dean and I realized that we were never going to get Ernie to come around to our point of view. He would always be just a casual fan and nothing more. We ate in silence as Ernie's attention turned to a TV across the hall. It was playing an episode of King of the Hill.

"Now that's a show that can do emotion," he said softly to himself, putting his goblet to his mouth. I wanted to kick him under the table, but I decided against it.

"Do you ever wonder whether God exists or not?" I asked Luna Lovegood as we sat under a tree over by the lake where the giant squid resides.

"Not really. I like watching balloons being let go and rise slowly into the sky, like Heaven or something is pulling it along on a string, though. I think it's really kind of beautiful, in a way," she said, looking up at the sky.

"Me, too," I replied.

"I heard somewhere that to know the thing that waits for you in Room 101 is to know the Face of God Himself," she whispered.

"How would you like to see my chamber of secrets?" I overheard Cormac McLaggan ask Victoria Frobisher in the Gryffindor common room as he gestured to his crotch. I pretended I didn't heard him as I went up the stairs to my dormitory to get a book. When I came back down, I noticed that they were thankfully gone.

"Hey, man," I heard a familar voice say. I turned around.

"Hello, Colin," I replied dully.

He was holding that damn camera he always brings around with him.

"Check it out," he whispered. He pulled out about eight or nine pictures from his pocket and showed them to me. They were voyeuristic upskirt shots of various girls from around the school. They were moving.

"You wouldn't believe how close I came to getting caught when I took this one," he said, showing me me one of the pictures.

"Is that Hermione Granger?"

"I'll give 'em to you for 20 sickles. I'll even throw in a little something extra," he added with a creepy wink.

"No deal," I said, passing him.

The next time I saw him, though, I gave him the 20 sickles and store the pictures in a shoe box that I found under my four poster bed, which I used the vanishing spell to hide.

"Okay, question time," said Dean Thomas when we were just hanging out outside. "If you were on a deserted island, which superpower would you like to have?"

"It would be pretty cool to be able to breathe underwater, I guess," I said. "Then I wouldn't feel so claustrophobic on the island."

"Me, I would pick super-speed," he said. "It wouldn't do me any good on the island, but it would still be a pretty cool power to have, you know?"

I remember the first day of history class.

"Aloha, I am Professor Binns," he had said, gliding through the chalkboard.

The stars in the sky shine brightly in the dark sky during Astronomy and sometimes when I look up at them, I get lost in old memories of events long past.

"I just thought of a good title for the screenplay about a talking cat I'm writing," said Michael Corner during dinner a couple nights later. "It will be called 'Frisky Business' and the studio can use CGI to make the cat imitate Tom Cruise's dance for the teaser trailers."

"Huh?" I asked. I wasn't paying attention.

Somebody had carved "MUDBLOOD GO HOME" into the desk next to me. I wonder who had done that. You can never tell how a recent a carving is. For all I know, it could've been carved there like 20 years ago or something, or perhaps yesterday.

"Wanna get totally shitfaced with me on Halloween?" asked Zacharias Smith late one night.

"Nah, man, I'm good," I said. I ended up doing it anyway.

"What's the password?" asked the Fat Lady when I got back to the tower that night.

"Fuck you," I said.