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Chapter 5: Friends and Morons
I’d been at the castle barely a whole day, and it was fun. My misgivings were stupid, and the little ‘hiccups’ so far (notably an attack and an attempted attack) hadn’t left me with any permanent scars, so this year was turning out to be a success!
Oh, what are we saying, Eva? Fool. It’s been a day.
NO! It’ll go well. We’ve met some really nice people.
And they’ll get hurt just like everyone else. We are being selfish.
I don’t care. If you care, then go away.
HA! That showed... erm, that showed me.
Lily and I happily avoided the Marauders after they caused havoc in the library. After the professor had told them to stop planning loudly, Remus drew –on the table when he ran out of parchment- a series of cartoons detailing the adventures of Pug, the most socially inept wizard in the whole of humanity (imagine James and Peter moulded into one, he told me) and Teacup, his directionally challenged owl. I was familiar with the cartoon, although the version I used to read didn’t have quite so many expletives.
Peter joined us eventually, and spent most of his time laughing and egging on James and Sirius –with occasional wistful glances at myself, Remus and Lily.
James and Sirius were being dickheads, to put it bluntly. They toppled a very high bookcase, nearly setting off a domino-effect across the library, and blamed it on the tiny first years whose table we’d nicked. They then attempted to break into the Restricted Section. That set off a Caterwauling Charm, and then they hid under our table while the librarian, Madam Pince stalked past, muttering angrily about ‘those bloody boys’ who have ‘brains the size of peas! Peas!’. Apparently James and Sirius were a bit cramped under the table (inexplicable) so they had a whispered argument which turned into a full-blown duel. That only stopped when a stray spell accidently hit Peter and he became stuck onto the ceiling. It took Remus, myself, Lily, Madam Pince and several other students to finally get him down; James and Sirius were crawling on the floor they were laughing so hard. Once he was down, Peter treated the whole thing as a big joke, despite the fact he had been nearly crying up there, and calling the idiots every bad name under the sun.
Remus accompanied the others to Dumbledore’s office when Madam Pince found out about the graffiti, and Lily and I went down to dinner alone. We’d even been awarded house points because we hadn’t joined in. Lily revelled in telling me funny stories of James being a prat, aided and abetted by his fellow fools.
“And he’s always asking me out!” Lily sighed wearily.
“Seriously asking you out, or jokingly?”
“I hope he’s joking. Remus and Sirius say he’s being dead serious, and that he really likes me, but I don’t know.” Her head sunk to the table next to her lemon mousse.
“Do you like him?” I asked.
There was a long pause. “I could,” she replied finally. “He’s the sort of person who can be fantastic and funny and lovely, but he’s usually the sort of person who you want to put the full Body-Bind on, and then lock him in a broom cupboard for the rest of the foreseeable future.”
I nodded sympathetically. I knew a lot of people like that.
“And I’ve got a date next Wednesday anyway,” she continued.
“A Ravenclaw in seventh year.” She swivelled in her seat and indicated a brown haired tall boy on the next table, with chiselled features and a good build. “He’s the Captain of the Ravenclaw team, and a beater.”
I whistled softly. “I can tell! And he is unbelievably good-looking! What’s his name?”
She never got round to telling me, as the Marauders appeared, boasting of their detentions and James had a scarlet feather behind his ear which he swore came from Fawkes’ tail. I hoped it wasn’t really. Fawkes was a fantastic bird.
Lily raised her eyebrows meaningfully at me, and we both left the table as they sat down, despite James’ crestfallen face. I think he really did like her- he just had an annoying way of showing it. I wouldn’t have minded taking Lily’s place though- James was a good looking guy himself.
“Do you think Potter will mind?” she asked me as we started up the stairs.
“If he actually likes you, then of course he will.”
“Will he go mad?” she sounded apprehensive, but I just shrugged. I barely knew James, and I said as much. She nodded. “Yeah. But it’s not like I’m going out with him. He just annoys me. He’s got no right to say who I go out with.”
She was trying to convince herself, so I just smiled reassuringly.
She gave a tentative smile back. “Thanks. I haven’t told anyone else. You’re a good listener.”
I’d been called many a thing, but not a good listener before, so my smile grew wider. “It’s no problem,” I told her. “Sometimes you need someone different to talk to.”
We were halfway to the common room when a group of Slytherins passed us. The inevitable jeers and names rang through the corridors, but I ignored them. I don’t care, I don’t care, I chanted in my head.
Apparently, Lily did though, as she wheeled around and yelled “SEVERUS SNAPE!”
The whole group stopped laughing and looked at us. A black haired pale boy with a long nose coughed nervously.
“Severus Snape, I don’t care about your moronic friends, but you will apologise to Eva!”
I pulled at her sleeve with a shaking hand. The Slytherins noticed and there was a couple of sniggers. “Leave it Lily!” I hissed. “I’m used to it, I don’t care.”
“Sev should know better!” she spat. She was talking to me, but aimed the venom in her voice at the long-nosed boy.
He took a few steps towards us, his face twisted with embarrassment and guilt.
“Go on then, Snape. Run off to your mudblo-” sneered a younger boy who looked astonishingly like Sirius. I didn’t let him finish his sentence. My wand was out and up sprang dozens of huge, pus-filled boils with angry red heads all over his face.
I breathed heavily through my nose. Crap. What happened to I don’t care? I quickly glanced around. No teachers, thank Merlin. I stared the Slytherins down defiantly. But Lily looked outraged, and stalked off down the corridor.
I followed, bemused.
“What’s the matter?” I asked. She was doing her scary powerwalking again.
“Lily?” I tried. She didn’t answer. “What’s the matter? What’s wrong Lily?”
“Why does it always have to be violence?” she groaned, stopping suddenly. “You’re as bad as the Marauders! Act first, and don’t bother thinking at all! It’s just a word.”
“I was quite happy to walk past when they were insulting me! You wouldn’t let that go!”
“So what, you’re a knight in shining armour, rescuing all those insulted? You were insulted, I was insulted, and it should make no difference. I only wanted Severus to apologise because he should know better than petty name-calling. And so should you!”
Hang on a cotton-picking minute. Why was I in the wrong? And how was the two things different? What?
“Why am I in the wrong?” I asked, and she stormed off again. She was stroppy.
You’d better apologise...
Why is it you, and not we now?
EVA! Stop talking to yourself when your only friend is exceptionally angry.
Alright! I’ll apologise. Merlin, I’m bossy.
I caught up to her again. “I’m sorry for cursing that boy. It was impulsive and rash.”
I held my breath and waited.
“I’m sorry for kicking off,” she sighed. “I just wish that it didn’t have to be fighting all the time.” She smiled. “But you are pretty handy with your wand! Did you give Regulus hives?”
“Regulus?” I was surprised she knew his name.
“He’s Sirius’ brother,” she explained. “He’s in the year below us.”
“Will Sirius mind?” I asked anxiously. “It was boils...”
“Sirius? He won’t give a flying rat’s arse what you do to his brother, as long as you describe it to him in length and with appropriate sound effects.”
A/N: Any thoughts?