Chapter 3 : Stepping on your Toes
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“So you’re Potter? Look girls we’ve got a celebrity in our midst.” Lily tried to ignore the black-haired girl and headed to the four-poster with her trunk at the end. She noticed her green and silver Slytherin paraphernalia on her bed.
“How did a Goody Gryffindor like you get put in Slytherin?”
“She must have bribed the hat,” said a blond wearing pink pajamas.
“With what,” said another blond across the room, “free darning? Bet her mum works for Madam Malkins.”
“No, Madam Malkins is too nice for her, more likely that second-hand shop.” They all laughed and Lily turned to face them.
“Well at least my mum does something productive. What does yours do all day, charm her nails?” The three girls shot dark looks at her, but she just pulled her nightgown over her head and climbed into the four-poster pulling the green hangings closed around her. She lay awake until dawn wondering who she had offended.
She didn’t have much time to dwell on her misery before Scorpius and a black boy sat down across from her, bringing her thoughts to the present.
“Look who it is, Zabini, our little ‘savior of the wizarding world’ in the making.” She felt her stomach clench.
“Nice eye, Malfoy. Would you like another one?” She said in her best mockingly sweet voice. She watched him begin to pile bacon, eggs, and sausage onto his plate and wondered how anyone could possibly eat that much and remain so thin. Wanting to get away from him as soon as possible, she started shoveling food into her mouth.
“Slow down there, Potter. You’re going to be sick, and I haven’t finished eating yet!” Scorpius drawled. He held his fork suspended between his plate and his mouth, eyes wide as she stuffed her last bite of toast into her mouth and heaved her bag onto her shoulder.
Lily shot a glance at the black boy who replied with a pitying smile. She wondered what that could be about.
“That’s all right Potter. Don’t bother to wait. I’ll catch you up later.” Scorpius smirked at her before she turned and hurried off out the doors. She growled, frustrated that he seemed not to have learned his lesson. At least he would not be in her classes being two years ahead. It turned out only classes allowed her any peace from the git. After Charms (where she managed to incinerate her quill), he walked in front of her pretending to fend people off “in case her hair caught fire to their clothes.” After Defense Against the Dark Arts (where she fell face forward on the stone floor from having the Leg-Locker curse cast on her before she could mutter the spell for the Jelly-legs Jinx), he held her arm tightly as he led her to her next class because she “might fall and not be able to get up,” and after History of Magic (where she drooled all over her parchment ruining her picture of Malfoy being eaten by a hippogriff), he met her once again smirk in place.
“Hey, look! It’s the Potted Lily. Learn any useful spells in there? Oh wait, I forgot, you don’t need a wand. Do you even have one, then?”
Resisting the urge to throttle him (but only just), she set off to Transfiguration, wondering how long he would keep following her. She noticed two girls who were just coming out of a bathroom. One girl had a few red spots on her face. She stopped abruptly and turned to face Scorpius. He stopped too and stared down at her, amusement written all over his face.
“How DARE you say that about Matilda! She can’t help it if her acne is bad, you git!” She yelled at Malfoy, who seemed momentarily stunned. Everyone in the hall turned to look including Matilda, who gave her friend Prissy a murderous glace and jerked her head in Malfoy’s direction. Lily stood on his foot as hard as she could and rushed off down the hall, past the girls who were glaring daggers in Malfoy’s direction. Before she turned the corner, she looked back to see Scorpius hopping on one foot, Matilda and Prissy closing in on him. Serves him right!
She hurried down the corridor, so focused on her amusement at the scene behind her, it took a moment before she realized she did not recognize her surroundings. Rather than go back and face Malfoy again, she hurried ahead and found a narrow passageway leading off to a stair. Thinking it must lead to somewhere she would recognize, she headed into the passage and made her way up the steep staircase. A small wooden door stood at the top. It creaked as she pushed it open and peered into the darkness.
A quick “lumos” revealed a storage room of sorts. Dust covered old desks, and spider webs arched from beams overhead to picture frames leaning against the wall. She moved further into the room, boards creaking under her feet. One of the picture frames still held a torn canvass. She leaned over trying to figure out what it depicted.
“The last battle.” She turned quickly causing two of the frames to crash to the floor. The luminous shape of a ghost floated before her. His eyes reminded her of a cat’s. He must have died of starvation. His fingers looked like those of a skeleton, and his face appeared stretched. This particular ghost had not been at the feast, but perhaps he liked his privacy like the ghost her father had told her of that lived in a bathroom. He looked rather animal like, not quite human.
“Who are you?” She asked, surprised at the steadiness of her voice.
“Tom.” His voice sounded rather like wind through tree leaves.
“Hello. I’m Lily, Lily Potter.”
“Lily Potter,” he said and a smile spread across his flat features.
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