Chapter 5 : The Underside of the Boy
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The Underside of the Boy
“Mr. Potter! Please pay attention!” Professor McGonagall shrieks, slamming her book down on her desk.
“I’m sorry, Professor. It won’t happen again.”
“That’s the third time you’ve said that during this period! If I have to speak to you again, I’m going to be forced to give you detention!”
“Yes, ma’am.” It must’ve only been moments later before James was once again off in dream world. He was holding a crumpled piece of parchment that had been earlier thrown at him, compliments to Malfoy. I know I shouldn’t be curious as to what is on the paper, but I can’t help it; I am.
The first time McGonagall spoke to James hadn’t been for an unusual reason as he was talking to Sirius. The second time was similar because he had been staring off into space. The third time, however, Lucius threw a note across the room at James when McGonagall wasn’t looking. She caught him reading and didn’t take it away only because she didn’t know it was note.
“Miss Evans!” Professor McGonagall suddenly yells, stalking over to me and slamming her hand down on my open book. I jump at the sound of her voice as she leans forward and glares at me. “Pay. Attention,” she hisses. I nod weakly, still shaken from my short-lived shock.
The rest of the class seems to fly by, save for the last ten minutes. Those last moments remain implanted in my mind for a quite a long time. “Just beat him after class. I’ll make up some excuse for your absence,” Sirius is whispering to James. James only shakes his head, glances over at me, and then takes the note that Jayde is handing him.
“Mr. Potter! Detention!” Professor McGonagall yells, turning to write something on the chalkboard. “And Miss Evans! Do you think I’m blind? You will be joining Mr. Potter!”
“What!” I say, looking up. Wrong move.
“She didn’t do anything!” James defends.
“I don’t need your help!” I snap at him, glaring.
“Fine!” James slumps down in his seat as Sirius stares at me in shock.
“What?” Sirius just puts up his hands in order to avoid getting in trouble. He turns as McGonagall slams her book down on her desk again.
“This is ridiculous! Three weeks of detention! Both of you! And twenty points off Gryffindor! Each!” she screams. “Dismissed!” everyone quickly scrambles to exit the room as I gather up my things and head over to James to yell at him.
“How could you!”
“Not my fault, so don’t even start with me!” he immediately retaliates, turning to face me.
“Not your…” I begin, but James just brushes past me.
“Nice going, Evans,” Sirius hisses, almost shoving me as he starts to walk by. I accidentally stick out my foot and he trips, falling into one of the desks. Instantly, I disappear. “Evans!” I can hear Sirius roar behind me as people shriek and part for a raging Sirius and friends.
Someone. I need someone. And, suddenly, my whole world cracks, shatters, collapses, and disappears. I feel like I’m shrinking, becoming so small, it’s unimaginable. I feel like everything me is just closing up faster than anything. The one person that would have saved me now hates me. I have completely failed. In every aspect of my life…
I scream suddenly as I feel a hand close around my wrist and I am pulled into an empty classroom. A hand is put over my mouth as my captor puts his ear to the door and listens. I look down at the arm now around my wait and inwardly gasp. I know the hand covering my mouth, I know the arm holding me tight, and I know the body up against my own. “Don’t piss off Sirius again. Next time, I’ll make sure I’m not there,” James says, stepping away from me. He opens the door, exits, and leaves me. Almost as soon as the door closes, I collapse to the floor and immediately start crying.
“You hate him, Lily. You have to,” I whisper, choking away my tears and wiping my eyes. “You don’t need him, Lily. He’s nothing to you. He never has been.” Stumbling up, I fall into the wall. “Then why am I still hoping? Still holding on?” I finish, reaching inside my bag. Grasping a wrinkled piece of paper tightly, I let the tears flow again…
Although I am already fifteen minutes late for Potions, I figure it’s better than just missing the class. Bracing myself for whatever oncoming rant I’m about to receive, I know on Professor Stato’s door. “Enter!” a booming voice commands before I slowly open the door. “Ah, Miss Evans. So nice of you to finally join us. And what is your excuse?”
“I don’t have one, sir,” I say, hanging my head.
“No excuse? Hmm, simple unacceptable. Well, I will continue to follow my rules and grant you a tardy for this quarter. Late again and it’s detention. Do I make myself clear?”
“Good girl. Take a seat.” Professor Stato turns back to the board to continue writing directions as I sit down next to Jayde.
“I cannot believe you showed up late,” she whispers as I take out my things needed for the class.
“Stupid Potter and Black completely ruined my day. Or next three weeks, for that matter. Did he show up at least?”
“Yeah, but he hasn’t said a word since he walked in. He’s really upset, Lily, and you know it isn’t because of the detentions. You hurt him and you know it.”
“Oh, he’ll get over it.”
“No, you need…”
“Girls,” Stato warned. Jayde nodded sweetly, waited for him to disappear into his closet, and then continued.
“No, you need to be a little less insensitive, a little less blind, and a little more understanding.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Not only are you mentally and emotionally killing him everytime you speak to him, you are so blind to the fact that he’s trying his hardest to defend you in every way possible and he’s trying his hardest to be nice to you although all you do is yell at him. Not to mention he has matured so much since last year and he isn’t trying to impress you or get you to go out with him.”
“And that’s not because you changed. I’m sure if you were still regular, old Lily, he’d still be doing what he’s trying to now. You need to stop bagging on him every change you get and start trying to be even slightly nice to him. Otherwise, I’m really gonna not like the idea of being your friend. You have absolutely nothing to back up your reasoning for hating James at this point.”
“Miss Matthews, please, no more speeches until after class,” Stato whispers as he walks by our table.
“I’m sorry, sir. Won’t happen again.” Jayde suddenly pulls Stato aside and puts on a sweet smile. “Umm, Professor, may I make a suggestion in the switch of a few partners?” I stare at Jayde, mentally shaking her.
“Sure. Go ahead.”
“Switch Sirius and Lily here.” Stato looks at Sirius trying hopelessly to cheer James up to the horrified me.
“Mr. Potter,” he suddenly begins.
“I hate you,” I hiss, grabbing Jayde’s forearm. She grins as I look up at Stato.
“You are going to start right now,” Jayde says, shrugging.
“Please come sit where Miss Matthews is right now. Mr. Malfoy, go sit where Mr. Potter was. Mr. Lupin, please move back a seat. Miss Matthews, you and Mr. Black can go work at another station together. And, Mr. Crabbe, move up front and work with Miss Dark.” James, Sirius, Remus, Jayde, Lily, December, Lucius, and Crabbe all look at Stato in shock. “Let’s go. Move, people. We have a potion to make.” Although unwillingly, everyone obeys…
“Can you pass me that vial? No, the pink one,” James says, tucking a pencil behind his ear as I pick up a small, pink vial and hand it to him.
“What is that going to do? It says nowhere in the directions to add anything pink.”
“I know. That’s the trick to the potion. You see, Stato, along with every other teacher, always leaves something out of every task. It is the student’s job to figure it out. By manipulating the potion from every direction, I can clearly decipher what the secret ingredient is. I mean, sure, the potion will come out right without this little additive, but it will come out better with it. Besides, I’ve helped my mom make this potion before,” James concludes, smiling slightly as he carefully lets a few drops slide out of the vial. The potion sizzles and turns a disgusting shade of purple before it turns an ugly green.
“Umm, I don’t think it’s supposed to be that color.”
“Correct. Turn down the burner a few degrees. Then add the dragon’s skin. I’ll put in this icky, yellow stuff.”
“How do they get the dragon skin?” I question, moving my stool back in order to turn down the burner. James taps me on the shoulders, points to the front of the desk, and then laughs slightly. “Shut up. Jayde is always doing the technical stuff. I’m not used to it,” I mutter, standing up and walking around to the front to turn down the burner.
“Well, when a dragon gets really sick, like sick enough to die, they’ll kill it to put it out of its misery. Or, when a dragon starts to get really old and it starts dragging, they’ll kill it in order to make room for new dragons. After the dragon is killed, they skin it and send the skin off to various places. Some goes to schools, some goes to shops, and some goes to merchants. Once the skin is off…” James pauses, pulling the vial away from the potion and setting it down.
“What’s wrong?” I question as he makes a face. He puts up a finger, turns, and sneezes. “Bless you,” I say, smiling as I head over to the back of the table and start to separate the dragon’s skin from the sticky black substance it is residing in.
“Thanks,” he mutters, turning around, and picking the vial back up. “As I was saying, after they get the skin off, they remove its class, its teeth, and its horns if it has any. Finally, they’ll use any of its good meat for various things like selling it to merchants or feeding other dragons and creatures. The bones usually go on display. So, basically, every part of the dragon is used after it’s killed.”
“How do you…” I stop, watching as James sneezes again, and then continue, “…know so much about this stuff?”
“My mum used to do, like, super awesome in Potions. It was one of her favorite subjects. My dad, however, was totally into DADA. That’s why he’s an Auror, obviously. But, I guess everything just sort of got mixed cuz I love Potions and DADA. I just happen to have thing for dragons thrown in on the side.”
“Your dad is an Auror?”
“Top of the line. Harold Potter.” James grins broadly as I roll my eyes slightly. Then, it clicks.
“Oh my God.”
“I’m sorry. One second.” Unexpectedly, James stands up and heads over to Stato's desk, sneezing twice on the way. He talks with him for a few minutes and then heads back, brushing something off his fingers as he does. I stare at him, but more so at a different him I’m suddenly discovering as he walks back. James isn’t that bad once I get to know him. He actually is a nice guy and I can see why Jayde is always defending him so much. She was right. I was wrong.
“You okay?” I question as he sits down.
“Huh? Oh, yeah, fine. I’m slightly allergic to the yellow stuff. I thought it was that but I wasn’t sure what it was.”
“I could’ve told you.”
“Yeah, well, I had another question anyway. So, what were you saying about my dad?”
“Different question first. How do you retain so much information?”
“What do you mean?”
“You were just talking to me, and then you go up and have a quick little conversation with Stato. You come back here and pick up right where we left off.”
“I have a good memory. But, trust me, if we stay off-topic long enough, I’ll forget and never remember.”
“Okay, your dad, over the summer, was he called on some trip to a family’s house where the Muggle father killed the Muggle mother and they had two daughters, one of which was a witch?”
“Yeah, how did you know?”
“No reason. I was just curious.’
“Oh… okay… I guess.” James just shrugs as he continues to add ingredients to the potion.
“Ten minutes!” Stato calls out suddenly.
“Look, I know who you’re talking about, but we need to just forget that for, like, seven minutes. Can you work really fast and not complain?”
“I’ll do my best.”
“He’s amazing. He knows so much and he always on task. He can work so fast and, I know, weird, but he does everything right. He figures out problems inside and out before he’s totally sure it’s right and even then he does that really fast. He works quick and diligently and he totally forgets he’s in a classroom. We had a full, normal, non-fight conversation, totally off-topic of the potion. He seemed to have no sense of where he was or what he was doing, but he was doing everything right. You get what I’m saying?”
“Lily, Lily, Lily. Guess what?”
“Oh, Jayde, c’mon, I really don’t need that.”
“I told you so.”
“I know. You’ve already told me twice today. Maybe we can fit in four more times by the end of the day.”
“I’m sorry. You know I didn’t mean it. Just joking around.”
“Der. Of course I knew that. Hey, dream guy coming up ahead.”
“Yeah, and why doesn’t he look happy?”
“Umm… oh, shit, Lily, we need to go, like, now. You so do not want to be caught in the middle of this.”
“Jayde, what are you talking about?” I turn around, spot Malfoy, and then bite my lower lip. Hard decision, Lily, but you can do it. I walk away from Jayde and up to James, preparing myself. He doesn’t see me yet, so I fix my smile into a fake, yet happy one and step in front of him just in time. “Hey James!” I say, causing him to stop short and look down at me. He steps back, looking at me curiously. He catches the glare in my eye and instantly steps back a little more.
“Hey, umm, Lily.”
“Don’t touch him. No matter what he said or did. Set a good example,” I mutter, letting my smile slip into a really, yet unhappy frown as I stalk away.
“Hey, Lindsay, look, she’s in seventh year. She’s the Head. Go ask her.”
“Is something wrong?” I ask, turning around to face the two frightened first years.
“We’re sort of lost. We just came from Potions and we can’t find our way to the Great Hall.”
“That’s okay. I just came from Defense Against the Dark Arts, but I was formerly at Potions, so I can direct you to the right place. If you exit the dungeons and… wait, you’re in Gryffindor, right?” They both nod. “Well, if you go like you’re going to the common room…” I stop as someone pushes past me and I stumble. “Malfoy! Watch it!” I yell at him as he continues to storm towards someone. “Sorry. Go the way towards the common room, but head towards the huge room you first entered at the beginning of the year. Is that clear? I’m not really good with directions.”
“I think we’ll manage. Thank you, umm…”
“My name is Lily.”
“I’m Lindsay and this is my best friend, Catherine.”
“Uh, are they supposed to be fighting?”
“What?” I turn around to see James suddenly stumbling and falling to the ground, Malfoy advancing on him. Remus helps James up as Sirius throws a curse at Malfoy. Lucius jumps out of the way and the curse hits a watching third year. The girl screams and immediately runs off, her group of friends following her. James throws a punch that hits Malfoy in the stomach and Malfoy doubles up as Sirius throws another curse at him.
“POTTER, BLACK, AND MALFOY! STOP IT!” I scream, running over to them. Jayde helps me separate the fighting boys along with Remus, December, my friend, Emily, Remus’ girlfriend, and Taylor, December’s boyfriend. “THIS IS UNCALLED FOR!” I continued, feeling the anger rising in me. “LUCIUS, DETENTION FOR ATTACKING JAMES! SPEAK TO PROFESSOR STATO ABOUT IT!” Malfoy doesn’t move which only makes me angrier. “NOW!”
“But it’s lunch period!” he complains.
“I DON’T CARE! GO!” the crowd starts to dissipate as James and Sirius hang their heads slightly. “Sirius, you will be serving your detention with McGonagall, but on Saturday. You will miss Quidditch practice because you voluntarily cursed another student against his own will. That is against the rules.
“DON’T EVEN GO THERE! YOU AREN’T ALLOWED TO CURSE ANYONE! AND YOU KNOW THAT!”
“But, you said…”
“Sirius, oh my God, shut up!” James yells this time, shoving Sirius.
“And you, I’m not going to give you any detentions only because you have a full three weeks ahead and because I know you had nothing to do with that fight.” Although still angry and still able to scream a bit longer, I turn on my heel and walk away, Jayde trailing quickly behind me…
“My throat is killing me,” I whine as we find a seat at the crowded Gryffindor table.
“Yeah, I wonder why. You just screamed like psycho at Malfoy, James, and Sirius,” Jayde responds, watching the Marauders walk into the Great Hall. The Slytherins all boo and hiss as James and Sirius walk by, but James just ignores them and holds Sirius back. “Maturity,” is all Jayde says as they continue towards the Gryffindor table. “Oh no,” she suddenly gasps, looking down the table.
“They’re going to sit with us. They have to. There’s no room anywhere else for the three of them to sit together.”
“Are you serious?” I hiss, leaning towards Jayde.
“Can I sit here or are you just gonna snap at me?”
“Sirius, go to hell, okay?” James says, shoving Sirius on the other side of him. James sits down next to me instead as Sirius glares at me and sits down next to him. Remus sits on the other side of the table, next to Jayde as Jayde looks at me questioningly. I give her a look and she immediately stands up as do I. We switch spots before switching meals and then continue on with our conversation as before.
“Was that absolutely necessary?” James questions, glaring at me.
“Was what absolutely necessary?”
“Did you have to deliberately get up and switch seats just to piss me off?”
“What? You think I want to sit next to you?”
“What the hell is your problem, Lily?”
“My problem? What’s my problem? Are you kidding me? Take a look at yourself!”
“I have lately. And I don’t see anything currently wrong! We have a perfectly normal day until some faggot decides to attack me and then you think I’m the worst person ever! What is wrong with you?”
“He does have a point,” Jayde puts in as Remus nods.
“Not to mention…”
“Sirius!” James and Remus say at the same time.
“Fine. I’ll just shut up and be ignored by everyone. Nothing new.”
“Oh, so now you’re gonna start acting all pissy! Just cuz Evans has got your stomach in knots! Get over yourself, Prongs!” Sirius stands up, stalking away after he has removed himself from the table.
“Am I doing something seriously wrong here? Cuz everyone seems to be hating me,” James says as Remus stand sup.
“I’ll go talk to him.”
“Well, I’m not staying along with him.”
“You make it sound like I’m some kind of disease!” James shouts at me as I push away my plate and stand up.
“Well, maybe that’s what I’m thinking!” I yell back, glaring at him in a way that could’ve possibly killed him. “C’mon, Jayde!”
“What? With you? Are you insane? Those three have never had a fight and you cause their only one! Yes, you, Lily! You did something wrong! And, another thing… I hate this! I can’t even eat a decent meal without hearing about you two fighting or actually watching it! This sucks!”
“Lily, save your frickin attitude for someone who cares!” Jayde snaps, getting up and stalking off.
“Fine! I will!” I walk off in a huff in the opposite direction and as I approach the Great Hall, I turn to find James gone. Upon looking at the other exit, I see him just slipping through the doorway. What have I done now?
Alas, stupid Lily is finally realizing her mistakes. Well, I promised I’d have this chapter written and finished by tonight, so, here you go, all done. I actually liked this chapter a little. I mostly liked the part that took place during Potions class. The rest was kind of typical. So, reviews will help me very much and, truly, I do love reading and responding to every single one. It brightens my day with every word. :) Wow, that sounded corny. Anyway, I love reviews, so end ‘em in !!! Plus, criticism helps !!!
And, again, like last chapter, that Author’s Note was written when I actually wrote the chapter. I don’t have much else different to say, but, we’ve got a sad chapter coming. I’m not saying anything more than that, but, by chapter seven, you’ll know what’s going to happen. So, toodles till chapter six !!!
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