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Matters of the Hart by Flavia
Chapter 4: Sulking
I do not own Hogwarts, Hagrid, James or Albus Potter, Professors Sprout or Longbottom, Charms class, the Gryffindor Common room or anything else you recognise. They all belong to the wonderful Ms. Rowling.
I don't own unicorns either.
I do however own Tabby, Natalie, Annie, Rheydyn, Rowan and this storyline!
Awesome Chapter image by !obsessed @ TDA
“I haven’t seen him this sulky since the time Mum accidentally threw out his favourite Chudley Cannons socks!” ~Albus Potter
Tabitha arrived to Care of Magical creatures with a few seconds to spare. The sixth year students were waiting on the lawn near Hagrid’s hut, quietly chatting. It was the first lesson of the term and the air was still full of the excited chatter of holiday recounts. Her friends looked over at her expectantly when she strolled up next to them, but before they could ask any questions, Hagrid’s door opened, and out came the giant of a man, smiling happily.
“G’mornin’!” He beamed at the class. Tabitha noticed him wink at James. Hagrid had always been a bit like that, Annie had told her he was a good friend of the Potters or something. “Though’ we’d start with something easy terday, being the firs’ lesson an’ all.” Hagrid announced to the class. “So if ye’ll all jus’ follow me.” And he turned and strode towards the edge of the forest. Tethered to a nearby tree was a glimmering white unicorn, with two golden foals. Most of the girls squealed excitedly at the sight of them. “Now they’re a bit nervous like ‘bout you boys, so we’ll jus’ let the girls come over firs’ then…” Hagrid’s voice trailed off as the girls dropped their books on the lawn and crept forward. Natalie whispered to Tabitha as they approached the beautiful creature.
“What did Sprouty want?”
Tabitha smiled and casually indicated to the silver badge on her chest. Natalie looked where she was pointing and let out a small gasp.
“Amy.” Tabitha said in explanation. Natalie put and arm around her friend and a half-hug and smiled brightly.
“Oh I’m so happy for you!” She beamed. “Annie! Hey, Annie!” She hissed, pretending to be listening to Hagrid. Annie’s eye grew wide at the sight of the badge, and she gave Tabitha a quick thumbs up but couldn’t say anything because Hagrid was ushering them towards the unicorns. She had to admit that they were kind of cute, and a nice easy way to start the term’s lessons off. Hagrid set them the homework of looking up uses for unicorn hair before they set off back towards the castle and Charms class.
“Oh Tabby I’m so excited for you.” Annie squealed once they were away from the others. She linked her arm with Tabitha's. “And now you’ll have a bit more sway with the professors, which means that you can help me campaign for the ball!” She added happily.
“I don’t know Annie, I get the feeling she isn’t too keen on the ball.” James once again interrupted, as he and Rowan came up alongside them.
“Do you eavesdrop on everyone’s conversations or should I feel honoured?” Tabitha asked, her voice dripping with sarcasm. James looked at her as though he were a teacher and said mockingly,
“Now, now Hart. Is that any way to speak to your Quidditch Cap –” He froze, his gaze caught by a glint of silver on Tabitha’s robes. Tabitha had the smug feeling that the look on his face very much resembled her expression from the day before, when she had first seen his captain’s badge. Rowan followed his gaze and saw the badge too, but his reaction was the complete opposite. With a loud whoop, he picked Tabitha up in a huge hug and spun her around in the air. Tabitha let out a surprised gasp of laughter.
“Brilliant Tabitha! Well done!” He let her go but continued talking happily. “This is going to be fantastic…we’ll be the best Gryffindor prefects ever!”
“You’re the new Gryffindor prefect?” Said a shaky voice. Five faces turned to where Rheydyn stood behind them. The look on her face suggested she was going to start crying at any moment. Tabitha didn’t really know how to react or what to say, so she just nodded mutely. “Oh. Well that’s great. Congratulations.” The last word was blurred by a soft sob and Rheydyn took off at a run towards the castle. Tabitha glanced at the others.
“I’d better go talk to her.” She said, and jogged after the crying girl. She caught up with a tearful Rheydyn in the entrance hall, and by the time they had reached their Charms classroom on the sixth floor, she had calmed down.
“Sorry I lost it back there,” she smiled, her eyes still glistening. “Amy will probably be glad that you’re prefect, she was amazed that she was picked and not you last year.” She wasn’t the only one. Tabitha thought to herself. But in response she just hugged Rheydyn and said,
“I just hope I can live up to her. She was a really great prefect.”
The rest of the day passed rather uneventfully, except for a few words of congratulations to Tabitha from other Gryffindors. James had mercifully spent the rest of the day ignoring her (she could only assume he was nursing his damaged pride), and whilst she enjoyed not having him butt into every conversation she had, Tabitha couldn’t help but feel like it wasn’t quite right. As much as James got under her skin, the fact that he refused to look at or speak to her that night at dinner made her feel uncomfortable.
“You are brilliant!” Said a voice from across the table, and Tabitha pulled her stare from James to look at the cheerful fourth year boy who had just sat down across from her. Albus Potter, James’s younger brother, grinned at Tabitha. “I haven’t seen him this sulky since the time Mum accidentally threw out his favourite Chudley Cannons socks!” He chuckled gleefully. Tabitha gave him what she hoped was a smile but it felt more like a grimace. She should have been happy to have one over on James, isn’t that what she was always trying to do? But he seemed so…so…affected by her sudden promotion. “He’s such a sulk isn’t he?” Albus commented, glancing down at the table where his brother was picking at his steak and kidney pie. “He’s always like this when he doesn’t get his own way.”
As Albus continued to talk, Tabitha felt something that resembled the old anger and annoyance resurfacing. After all, why was she upset when he was just throwing a tantrum? He was, as Albus had said, just being a big sulk. This was a great moment for her, something she’d wanted for a long time. She wasn’t about to let self-absorbed, sulky James Potter ruin it. Tabitha felt much happier as she finished her dinner, and gave James a cheery wave as she passed him on her way back to the common room. She still had the smile on her face when she met Rowan on the marble staircase.
“You look happy.” He observed. “Just teasing James were you?” Tabitha felt her cheeks grow hot at these words. Was she that predictable? Rowan didn’t seem to notice though and kept talking. “I was just looking for you. Longbottom wants to see all of the prefects in his office, just to go over a few details about duties.” Tabitha nodded her head and followed Rowan.
After the prefect’s meeting Tabitha headed up to the owlery. She had been heading there when Rowan had met her. She shivered a bit as she entered the round room with glassless windows. Her Father had bought her an owl in her third year. Well he called him ‘their’ owl, even though he really only used him to write to her. Tabitha squinted up into the rafters and spotted him, a sweet tawny owl named Gerry. Luke has suggested they call him Gerulus because it meant ‘messenger’, but Tabitha thought it sounded a bit odd…even for the wizarding world.
“How about Gerry?” She had suggested, “Then we can at least say it’s short for Gerulus.” Her father had agreed. She waved the envelope for Gerry to see and he flew down to perch on her shoulder. She stroked his head affectionately and fed him an owl nut from her pocket. “Take this to Dad would you?” She told the owl as she tied the letter to his leg. Gerry hooted happily and nipped her finger in an affectionate way before spreading his wings and soaring out the nearest window. Tabitha watched him fly away until he was a tiny speck on the darkening horizon before she turned and headed back down to the Gryffindor common room. The room was full of happy chatter when she climbed through the portrait hole, but Tabitha knew she would have to get to work on her homework if she was going to keep up. She retrieved her bag from the dormitory and joined Natalie and Rowan at a table near the window. They both looked up, startled, when she sat down. Rowan ducked his head again quickly, staring at his Transfiguration book with fierce concentration. Natalie’s cheeks had flushed a bright pink, and she smiled guiltily. Tabitha raised her eyebrows questioningly, causing Natalie to copy Rowan and turn her focus back on her work. Tabitha stared at her two friends, now thoroughly confused. But both of them seemed firmly resolved to maintain their façade of studying, so she thought it best to follow suit.
It was close to eleven when Tabitha packed her books away and trudged up to bed. She crawled under the covers and stared sleepily into the darkness. She always felt so safe at Hogwarts, and she was glad to be back. It had been quite an exciting start to the term, and Tabitha had the feeling that the excitement wasn’t quite past them yet.
AN: Sorry this chapter's a bit short. Hope you liked it.
Please review, I will give you cookies!