chapter one

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AMBROSE CURTIS TRIED HIS BEST. While he often did not succeed, or get anywhere close to succeeding, it still was important to him to at least attempt everything to the best of his ability. At least then he could say that he had put his all into his actions.

Unfortunately for him, the professors at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry were not willing to accept at least I tried as an excuse for failure. His professors did not care that he spent hours on end studying; all they saw was his, admittedly mediocre, exam scores at the end of the year. This was never more obvious than when Professor McGonagall, his head of house and Transfiguration teacher, pulled him aside when handing out schedules to the fifth years.

"Mr. Curtis, wait a few moments," She had called out upon handing him his years schedule, making his heart plummet and his hands shake. Ambrose knew that she couldn't want to talk to him about anything too serious; the school year hadn't even started yet, but that didn't lessen his anxiety.

Professor McGonagall continued to pass back the rest of the years schedules, while Ambrose stood near her and tried to remember how to breathe. He had a feeling that she wished to discuss his terrible scores in his subject last year, and he had no interest in doing so. While he was decent in charms, he was absolutely dismal in almost all of his other subjects, and it showed every class.

Finally, after much longer than a few moments, she turned back to him. For the most part, the Great Hall was empty of students, but this made him feel worse as he knew that their conversation would be easier to hear.

"Take a seat Mr. Curtis, this will only take a minute and then you can head to your first class. Charms, I believe?" He hadn't even let himself look at his schedule, so he took her asking as a suggestion to do so.

He brightened up immeasurably when he saw that she was correct, and that charms with Professor Flitwick was in fact his first period class. Any class with Flitwick was enjoyable for him; seeing as he was a member of the school choir, the small teacher had a soft spot for him, and it made getting help with the course load much easier for him.

"I have to admit, I was quiet disappointed by your scores in my classroom last year. Most of the other professors also feel that you could have done better in their classes had you tried harder. I just feel it crucial to remind you that the scores you receive in this years examinations will be a deciding factor towards what career you wind up with. That is all, you may head to Charms and tell Professor Flitwick that I was the one who held you back."

Ambrose watched her walk away, an indignant look on his face. His anxiety for the conversation had melted away, leaving in its place anger and injustice. The idea that he got bad scores due to not trying enough was enough to make him want to scream; he spent most of his free time last year working on learning the spells and theories that everyone else seemed to naturally get. While the other kids in his year went to Quidditch games and hung out, he was in his dormitory with his nose buried in his textbooks.

He walked to class, giving himself pep talks to try and get rid of his anger. It did not work, and his classes that day seemed to be even more stressful and confusing than normal seeing as he could not concentrate.

All throughout the day, in every class, his professors stressed upon everyone that the O.W.L-Ordinary Wizarding Level-examinations that they were to sit at the end of the year were deciding factors for their future. Ambrose wasn't sure whether he was reading too much into the stares they gave him as they spoke of the huge amount of work they would have to complete.

To put it frankly, Ambrose felt like a disappointment. The idea that he was the source of annoyance to the people that dedicated a fraction of their lives to helping him gain an education made him want to never leave his dormitory. But more than anything else, he was disappointed in himself. He had gotten too distracted by the tragic events of last year, with the chamber of secrets opening and classmates being petrified, to truly put in all of the effort he was capable of.

He hated admitting to himself that he put in less work than what he was capable of. He had relied far too much on his professors going easy on him, and he had allowed himself a break of sorts from the strict studying regime he had established his first three years attending the school. Not only had he disappointed his professors, he had disappointed himself, and that was even worse.

He was just going to have to try harder than ever before.

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wow can you believe i rewrote this three times and STILL hate it. it's been so long since I've truly written anything, and it feels so weird :(. but I'm happy to finally take the time and be able to write the way I haven't been able to this past school year! bear with me while I get my funk back :)

published: June 10th, 2018
rewritten because it's aCTUAL TRASH: idk soon probably

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