Chapter 3 : Easy Mistake
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Chapter Three - Easy Mistake
Lily, Jennifer and Amanda trudged back to the common room in a comfortable sort of silence, all exhausted from another day of schooling and the monotonous amounts of homework they would have to undertake when they actually did arrive at their location. Sometimes, Lily thought to herself sardonically, teachers don’t realize just how tiring school can be.
“So,” Jennifer sighed as she flopped onto the somewhat mucky old common room couch, enveloping herself in a cloud of dust. “Evaluation of the first day back?”
Lily smirked. “Trying,” she answered. “Extremely trying.”
“Why, what happened?” Amanda demanded, missing what Lily might possibly be talking about. “Professor Markender didn’t give us too much homework, surprisingly enough.”
“Well, actually I was referring more to the death threats received by Malfoy at breakfast, but no, you’re right. I wonder if she’s ill. Perhaps we should inform Madame Pomfrey?”
“Death threats, eh?” Amanda muttered, more to herself than the others and completely ignoring Lily’s admission of concern for the Professor.
“Markender can look after herself,” Jennifer snapped. “Hello! Where have you been the past five years? She’s got skin thicker than a dragon.”
Amanda shrugged it off. “So, has Potter started annoying you yet?”
“We had bets placed,” Jennifer added, smiling mischeviously.
The change wasn’t a big one, but there was definitely a change. Conversations had suddenly toned down, and a few girls in particular kept turning their heads, squinting sidelong at the three of them. “No,” Lily answered. “Thank Merlin.”
Almost instantly everything went back to normal, girls returning to conversations and going back to ignoring the three in the corner. Lily thought it was rather like those moments in really old, trasht Western movies, with the tension-loaded silence right before the shoot out. She smiled in amusement. Amanda and Jennifer smiled back; they’d noticed it too.
It was rumoured that basically every girl in the school (and quite possibly a few of the guys) were in some degree of ‘head over heels’ for at least one of the Marauders, if not all of them. Lily supposed it was rather for their charm and charisma than their looks, Remus being quite plain in reality and Peter being hardly what anyone would consider an eye-catching heart throb. And then there was Potter with that ridiculous hair.
Because Potter seemed to find that he needed to ask her out almost every week, Lily found herself the object of more than one petty incident. If only, one day, the entire female population would realise that she really, truly, mind over matter, head over heels, wasn’t in love with James Potter.
In all truth, Lily didnt care at all for the envious looks that other girls gave her, and she wished that Potter would stop picking on her and move on to some more healthy teasing, say, on a different girl? Yes, that would be good. Someone else.
But unfortunately, her fantasies were very short lived. "Evans!" shouted a familiar voice, and sixty percent of the females in the room turned to look at who the voice belonged to, even though they all knew, really. Lily turned around more slowly than the rest.
“Ew, puke,” Jennifer snarked as she witnessed most of the girls smooth down their robes and fluff their hair up.
"Hey Evans," James said, catching up to her, and smiling politely in greeting at Jen and Amanda. "How’s… stuff?" he asked.
"Well, it was nice. But now that you’re here, my life’s purpose feels fulfilled." Lily smiled. She ignored the little mutterings as the girls behind her disapproved of the way she spoke to Potter. Astonishingly, James laughed.
"Back to your usual self I see," he concluded, just as Sirius walked up behind him, making the girls start shuffling and checking their outfits again.
"Uhh, hi," Sirius mumbled, frowning. He couldn’t tolerate Lily most of the time, and Lily was less inclined to tolerate him, either. "We were just making our way to the Quidditch Pitch."
“Yeah!” James chirped, and grinned. “Come with?”
Jen snorted. “Or… not. We have homework. Potions. Much more preferable to spending an afternoon with two bigheads whizzing around in the air and being showoffs.”
Sirius obviously couldn’t help but laugh at James’ complete and utter rejection, resulting in a quick but sharp knock to the shin, compliments of James’ shoe. Sirius barked in pain, dropping onto the overstuffed velvet chair beside him and hugging his leg close to his chest. “Foul play!” he growled.
“Merlin, Sirius!” The high pitched squeal of Marina Colette was enough to give anyone a headache. “Are you alright?”
Before Sirius could answer, Marina had turned her anger on to James. “Shame on you!” she admonished, waving her finger dangerously close to his face. “And you, the Quidditch Captain! He could have been injured! Who would be your best Beater then, eh? Who, I tell you!”
“I’m fine, really,” Sirius gasped, face slightly pink, as he played the situation up remarkably well. “Just a bit tender.”
“Oh, you poor dear!” Marina shot one last reproachful glance at James before rushing back to Sirius’ side. “Let me rub it, dear,” she cooed, and Lily swallowed her urge to gag.
“… Ew,” Amanda whispered in Lily’s ear, “retch.”
“Oh, most certainly,” Jennifer nodded, having overheard, her eyes wide as she watched Marina with the ‘injured’ Black.
“Oh heck, Marina!” Jen snapped, temper wearing out. “Can’t you see he’s milking it? Merlin, James’ has one of the weakest kicks I’ve ever seen. There can’t be little more than a bruise, if that!”
“Do be quiet, Broker,” Marina snapped back. “As I recall, no one asked for your opinion on the matter. Now, are you all right to walk, Sirius? I’ll take you to the hospital wing.”
His eyes widened. “Oh, uhm, no, that’s all right Mary,” he answered.
“Marina, Sirius dear,” Jennifer corrected. “Her name is Marina.”
Lily stifled as snigger as Marina’s face went almost purple with embarrassment and anger.
“Easy mistake, Broker. Shut it. Come on, Siri, I’ll help you up.”
Sirius stood up with a suffering pout, and was dragged off by Marina, James following behind on her orders. The common room returned to its homely racket.
“Siri and I are like this!” Jennifer mimicked in a high, whiney voice, crossing her fingers and waving them about. “Stupid bint.”
The next few weeks passed by pretty uneventfully. The Marauders seemed to lay off a little bit, so that Lily, Jen and Amanda managed to get some alone time, and she hadn’t talked to Malfoy at all since that morning on the first day back.
Unfortunately the same couldn’t be said for Marina and her little posse of juvenile bigots, but there was very little anyone could do about that, really.
The three girls sat in the common room, in front of the fire, complaining about the amount of homework that Professor McGonagall had given them. "I barely finished it last night." Amanda told them, yawning. "I was up until three, and I fell asleep on the couch. I was rudely awoken by one Sirius Black at four, because he sat on me." Amanda scowled darkly.
They laughed at the sour, recriminating look adorned on Amanda’s face, but were rudely interrupted by –
“Speak of the devil,” Amanda snapped, glowering.
“What?” Sirius asked, looking nonplussed. “Look, if this is about last night, then it’s your own fault, quite frankly. You should really learn not to cover yourself in the settee blanket. One never knows when their might be someone underneath it. I don’t make a habit of checking for elves in my socks when I put them on, why should you be so special?”
“You’re an insufferable prat, Black,” Jennifer growled and stood up. “Bugger off and give someone else a reason to hex you for once.”
“Maybe I don’t want to. Maybe I enjoy annoying intolerable girls who seem to think they’re superior to everyone.”
“Well then, maybe you’re asking to be taught a lesson.”
“Maybe I am.”
“Maybe I’ll be the one to teach you that lesson.”
“Maybe you won’t.”
“Maybe you’re wrong.”
“And maybe we’ll have to see, once and for all, if your bark really is worse than your bite, Broker.”
“Oh, it’s on, Black!”
“Tomorrow. Dungeons. Eleven. Be there.”
“Don’t worry, I will be.”
Sirius stalked off and left Jennifer standing there, glaring.
“Uh, Jen?” Amanda probed. “I hate to pop any bubbles that might thus be forming, but perhaps you may have just made a big mistake.”
“No way, Amanda,” Jen assured her as she sat back down. “I’ve definitely made the right decision. Black’s too big for his britches these days. He needs to be brought down a notch.”
“All right then, what ever you say.” Amanda rolled her eyes discreetly at Lily.
“I saw that,” Jennifer growled, then nodded towards the window. “Whose owl is that?”
Lily looked over to the window, and certain enough an owl was perched on the ledge outside. She jumped up and opened the window, letting the owl in. Lily reached out her hand and took the letter attached to its leg, then watched as the owl dismounted from the ledge and took off into the night. The letter was addressed to her.
Jennifer walked up and joined her side. "What is it, Lils?" she asked, looking at the peculiar letter.
"No idea" Lily said, looking at it, puzzled. "Only one way to find out."
Lily slipped her finger under the flap and broke the wax seal. Slowly she pulled out the long piece of parchment, unfolded it and read the letter in silence.
"Lily..." Jen prodded Lily’s arm. "What's the letter about?"
“Uh, nothing important,” Lily answered, folding the parchment up quickly as Jennifer made a move to glance at it over her shoulder. “Something from the Ministry, about a book that they don’t have in the Restricted Section. I need it for Potions.”
Lily smiled at Jen and Amanda. “Well… I’m beat. So I guess I’ll hit the hay… or the sack… or whatever you’re supposed to call it these days.” She disappeared up the stairs and into her room, leaving Amanda and Jennifer alone.
“Potions book my Aunt Fanny,” Jennifer sneered.
A/N: Woohoo! I haven’t updated this fic since March… and I haven’t updated any of my other stories since like… May. Maybe even April! So, snaps for me. ^_^ I went through a bit of an anti-hpff stage (fanfiction, not hpff the site, just to clarify) and started writing a second-person Pirate of the Carribbean fic, which will be available at the site Opportune Moment in a short while under the same name if anyone’s interested (www[dot]opportunemoment[dot]net). SO, it’s been a while. ^_^
So, anyway, the rules haven’t changed while I’ve been away. Well, not really away, seeing as I still do the fanartist thing for The Phoenix Feather, and I’m a regular on the forums, but I digress. Same rules apply: PLEASE review, I live off those things, no matter how short, and constructive criticism is not only welcomed, but… well… REALLY welcomed :P I can’t find my thesaurus, sue me.