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Chapter 7 : Task Twelve
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“Miss Evans…did you just use knockwurst to describe Veritaserum?” Professor Horace Slughorn’s incredulous voice stopped Lily’s comment.
The embarrassed redhead cringed and nodded yes. Merlin, this task is not getting any easier. Three full class periods…shit. I’ll have to make the next task really good.
Luckily for Lily, Slughorn just muttered, ‘women’, and turned away to interrogate another student.
Lily turned her head slightly to acknowledge Megan’s whisper.
“What are you going to do about James?” Megan had been pestering Lily about it for years. It being James. And their ‘inevitable’ marriage.
“Right now?” Lily took down a note and flicked her luxurious hair behind her shoulder. Rolling her eyes she mumbled, “Sorry knockwurst.” Lily shrugged and turned around as Slughorn told the students to disperse into groups. “I don’t know.”
Megan soldiered on. “I’m just concerned. I think you would be happier and more relaxed if you and him got together.” She paused, peering at the statuesque redhead in horror. “You still like him, don’t you?”
Lily glanced at the young man in question, and then measured out some Jobberknoll feathers, adding them to their cauldron. “Knockwurst.”
“What? ‘Knockwurst’ is not an actual answer.” Megan rolled her eyes playfully at her.
All eyes in the room slammed into Megan at her outraged exclamation. “What?!? You are completely joking, right?” She sent a discreet glance towards Sirius. Turning back around to Lily, Megan whispered intensely. “What the bloody hell are you playing at Evans? If you break James’ heart, I swear…”
“I’m in love with him.”
“..”I’ll never forgive you for making the biggest mistake-“Megan stopped. “What did you say?” She could not have heard right.
Lily smiled a small smile of a young woman who has fallen for a man. “I’m completely knockwurst for him. At first, I just thought that I liked the knockwurst, but now…” She trailed off at Megan’s uproarious laughter. “What the knockwurst are you on today?”
Megan laughed hard, trying to form a full sentence. “You liked the-the –knockwurst? That’s good.” She settled down enough that she could talk like a human. “But what I want to know is…when did you taste it?”
Lily flushed tomato red, realizing what Megan meant. “Good Merlin, Oz. You are reprehensible.” She scoffed haughtily. “As terrible as a bloke.”
Megan giggled and rolled her eyes. “So,” she started, going in for the kill, “When are you and James going to get together?”
Slughorn paused next to the girls, sniffing hungrily above their potion.
Why does the man always seem hungry? And you shouldn’t be hungry for a truth potion. Sodding nut. Megan watched the professor, completely bemused. He sniffed the potion, let out a blissful sigh and moved on.
“Sometime knockwurst soon. Is there a way to make ‘knockwurst’ less awkward?” Lily sighed. “It’s fine when I’m describing something; that’s so knockwurst. But I’m not always describing stuff. Knockwurst. Bloody knockwurst hell.” Her emerald eyes flashed dangerously before she shook her head.
Megan covered a giggle with a cough and their cauldron with a lid, sending it over to the incubation chamber. “Just think about how funny the next task will be. There is some really funny stuff left.” She grabbed her bag and fell into step with the much taller redhead. “Listen Lily,” she whispered as they joined the other denizens that inhabited Hogwart’s,” next time he asks you out…accept. Simple as that. Or you could just hang out with him. He’s a barrel of laughs.” Megan scratched her elbow, trying to seem nonchalant in her pimping of James Potter.
Lily stopped short. “Oh knockwurst.” She paled elegantly, eyes as wide as saucers.
Megan turned. “What’s wrong?” She couldn’t think of anything truly bad that James and Co. had done lately.
“The sodding knockwurst hasn’t asked me out yet this year.” Lily turned a despaired look on Megan. “What if the knockwurst doesn’t like me anymore?” She chewed on that thought all the way to the final class of the day.
Megan watched Lily shuffle away lost in her thoughts. How the bloody hell could Lily
think that? James was…laying off Lily! For once in his life the chap did as he was
told to. Why now? She followed Lily’s shuffle down the hallway, running into random
small people and not caring.
“Meg…are you awake?” A gentle voice asked, welcoming her back into the real world.
“I guess.” She paused and looked at the lithe chap who had spoken to her. “Why did James have to pick now to start being just friends with Lily?” She turned silently into the Arithmancy room. Settling into the seat next to him, she radiated stymied anger.
“Calm down Meg…being mad isn’t going to make them get together. He’s just letting his guard down. Showing her the James we know and love. You and I both know that he’s matured; it’s about damn time she’s taken notice.”
Megan liked Remus for exactly this reason. He was always so logical, but still fun. He calmed her down. Smart, fun, attentive…Remus was the perfect man. If he only didn’t like Joanie and remember when I ran around with his underwear on my head.
“Well he’s got BLOODY FANTASTIC TIMING!” Megan dropped her head onto the desk, lifted it again, dropped it, and repeated the action about four times. “Remus, it’s not helping.”
Remus grinned sarcastically. “Then stop. Beaning yourself stupid isn’t going to get them together any sooner.” He reached out a hand and grabbed the back of her neck. “So stop.” He shook his head wearily. “Sometimes I feel like your mother.” He paused. “Sometimes I’d like to feel up your mother.”
Megan turned a disgusted look on him. “That is the most terrible thing you’ve ever said.” She shuddered. “You filthy-filthy…sexual deviant.” She was so caught up in her disgust; she failed to notice another person slipping onto the bench next to her.
“Since when is Remus a sexual deviant? I’ve never heard a girl call him that before.” Sirius grinned cheekily at Megan.
“Fuck off,” she stated firmly. “The both of you.” She sat glaring a hole in the head of the Hufflepuff in front of her.
The boys sitting on both sides of her sent each other bewildered looks. Sirius crooked an eyebrow, mouthing ‘what is her problem?’
Remus mouthed back a reply. ‘Some rot about James’ maturity and I’m assuming Lily’s recent development of powerful feelings for him.’
Megan sighed dramatically. “I’m short, not blind.” She death glared both of them. “Stop mouthing words at each other over my head.” She slouched angrily, muttering all the while. “Bloody poofs. Spouting sonnets above my head, no doubt.” She applied herself to her notes industriously. “Morons don’t think I know about their forbidden love. Joanie’s just a cover.”
Remus stopped her. “What are you muttering about? You sound like a mental patient.” He rubbed her back reassuringly. “Why are you so concerned with James and Lily today?”
Sirius’ head swiveled around so fast Megan felt a gust of wind. “What happened?”
Megan relayed their earlier conversation to the two men. Both of whom sat there, gob smacked. Sirius found his voice first.
“Didn’t you say the same thing to me yesterday?” He peered at her, his grey eyes questioning.
“Yeah, but Lily hadn’t said anything to that extent until ten minutes ago.” She sighed. “Stupid teenagers.”
“Aren’t you one, too?” Ah, Remus, ever the sensible one.
“Blow off. Seriously. Hard.”
Sirius burst into laughter. Noticing the worried looks his friends sent him, he stifled his bark-like laugh. “Sorry. I just heard what Oz said. I’m a boy. Can’t help where my mind went.” He chuckled for a couple more minutes as Professor Tangent droned on about some rubbish essay that most of the class had failed.
Megan sent him a withering glare. “Sod off.” She huffed. “We gots problems, mates.”
Sirius sighed. “What? They both want the same things; have the same feelings…What is keeping them from getting together?”
Remus jumped in. “Timing will be of the essence. James has been for Lily for years; she only recently.” He thought. “We aren’t going to be able to set them up without it backfiring.” His pale face showed defeat.
“No; we can. It will just be subtle.” Megan smirked. “I know how to make it work.” She smiled devilishly at both boys. “Sirius, we are going to hang out everyday for the next couple weeks. Proximity will only help us.” Megan stopped, smirking at the black haired boy. “Then you won’t have to stalk me anymore.”
“What are you talking about?” Remus’ protective hackles grew at the same rate as Sirius’ blush.
“Nothing; just an inside joke.” Megan waved a dismissive hand. “Remus, we just have to play it cool. You’ll have to hang out more with Joanie. I’m sure it will be tough,” she winked cheekily,” but I have faith in you Wildboy.”
The boys spoke simultaneously. “What else do you have planned?”
Sirius scrunched up his face. “I can’t imagine that proximity will help. They need a push.”
Megan’s chocolate colored eyes sparkled with mischief. “They’ll get it. Don’t you worry.”
Most of the rest of class passed slowly, accompanied by the droning tones of Professor Tangent and punctuated by the dainty snores of Edward Miskovic. Megan entertained herself by plotting. Diabolical plotting. After sitting patiently, well somewhat patiently, class was dismissed and Megan packed up her stuff. She noticed the boys were dawdling, so she sped up her packing and they migrated towards the door. Spying Joanie and Lily, and James, Megan decided to set her plan in motion. “Joaner!”
The Pixie spun around. “Buurlllibba?”
Megan stifled a giggle. Task still in session! Smiling, she sent a cheeky smirk towards her friends. “Lily loves the knockwurst!” Cackling manically, Megan scampered away into the crowd, missing the looks of utter surprise, and in Lily’s case, complete mortification.
James and Joanie shared a confused glance before staring concernedly after Megan. James spoke.
“What the bloody hell is she talking about?” He sent a worried look at Lily. “You alright, Lily?” His eyes softened as he took in her rosy cheeks and wide eyes. She’s so perfect. He placed a gentle hand on her arm. “Are you going to die of embarrassment? I don’t know exactly what she meant; I’m assuming she meant something completely different from what it sounded like; but it can’t be that bad.” He smiled as Lily shook off her embarrassment. Slinging a companionable arm around her shoulder, James led Lily away from their friends. Sending a wink over his shoulder at his friends.
Joanie rounded on Sirius and Remus, still confused. “Brr be fut?”
Remus contained his amusement first. Grabbing her arm, he steered Joanie and Sirius down a deserted corridor. “Lily is in love with James.”
Joanie just crooked a sarcastic eyebrow, popping her hip. Assuming her ‘So What?’ pose.
Sirius by now had stopped laughing, and he replied. “She said it. Normal as all get out.” He sauntered away from them, towards the Common Room. “Megan said she had a plan.”
Remus snorted. “Merlin help us.” He sent a pointed look to Joanie. “Can you talk yet?”
Glancing at her watch, she shrieked. “Hells to the yeah! Sweet Circe!” She reddened after shouting so randomly. “Why?”
“What’s the plan?” Remus smiled charmingly, hoping to easily extradite the information.
Joanie shrugged. “How the hell should I know? I was sitting on the opposite side of the room from you lot.” After waiting for Sirius to give the password, she stepped through the Portrait Door. “Remus, you know as well as I do, we won’t know what she’s planning til she tells us. Who knows? It could be a completely mental Plan for all we know.”
“It won’t be. Megan doesn’t make up shite Plans.” Sirius rushed to Megan’s defense, only to be scrutinized by Joanie.
“How would you know? And that is the second time in the span of three minutes that you’ve referred to Meg as ‘Megan’.” Eyes narrowing, she put her hands on her hips. Sure sign of a lecture. Or a display of Pixie Anger. Stabbing a finger into his chest, she went on. “And don’t think that I haven’t noticed the way you’ve been staring at her like you’ve been fasting for a week and she’s a bloody steak!” She paused, as realization crossed her features. “You like her, don’t you?” She took a step back, blue eyes as wide as saucers.
Sirius quickly looked around. “Shh! I would appreciate it if it was kept unknown.” At Joanie’s indignant gasp, he shook his head. “Not because I’m ashamed. I would really like to get to know her first.” Having pacified Joanie’s temper for the moment, he went on. “It is really something I’d like to tell her myself. Finding out from someone you don’t like, doesn’t have the same effect.”
Joanie grinned mischievously. “Want help?”
Sirius was saved from having to accept by a very boisterous Megan and Lily bursting into the Common Room.
“Are you for real, Lil? That’s bloody brill!” Megan laughed cheerfully, head thrown back in mirth.
Joanie took in the fascinated look upon Sirius’ face and tapped him on the shoulder. “I’ll help you.” She smiled at him, eyes glittering happily. Fancy that, Sirius and Meg? She turned back to the laughing pair. “What’s so ‘bloody brill’? And Meg, what’s is the Plan?”
Megan grinned, shoving The Inventory into Joanie’s hand, placing the protective charm on it. “Read Number Twelve. It’s mine.” She cackled.
Remus and Sirius peered at the parchment, reading number twelve, not seeing at all why Joanie flushed in anger, and the other two burst out into giggles again.
12. The collecting of coasters is called tegestology.
Megan sauntered up to the dorm, far away from the eruption of Mount Joanie. Who had finally read the task.
12. Lick Remus Lupin.
AN: Sorry for the long wait. April and May are super busy every year. After next Saturday, my life clears up drastically (my studio has recital). The wait shouldn’t be soooo long. Oh, and please review! Much love, Amanda.
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