Chapter 2 : Of Lions and Ravens
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Chapter Two – Of Lions and Ravens
‘That is so not true! I do not!’
Bobby was sitting next to Callie in the Great Hall, fervently denying what Kevin, their other Ravenclaw friend, was telling her.
There were few students awake at that time of day. The others would be trying to get the longest lie-in as possible. It wasn’t the holidays anymore, and students were beginning to see the down side to that, or at least Callie was, whose shoulders were slumping further and further forward, and whose chocolate-coloured eyes were becoming heavier and much harder to keep open.
‘You do so,’ Kevin argued, his nut-brown eyes alive with laughter. It was a nice change from his previous zombie impersonation. His and Bobby’s argument most be livening him up a bit. ‘I noticed it the other day. Now you can never lie to me again!’ His tone indicated he had just held back a gleeful “HA!”
Bobby crossed her arms, scowling. Callie watched the argument with growing amusement, her eyes awakening and zipping to and fro, like she was watching a tennis match, waiting to see which player would strike next.
‘I do not bit the inside of my cheek when I lie! I do not! Right, Callie? Alexis?’
Alexis just smiled at her, taking another bite of her toast before she stared up at the charmed ceiling. The pale sunlight was beginning to turn the room from a dark blue to a light pink and now more students were beginning to troop into the hall. Callie used the sudden activity to appear like she hadn’t heard Bobby’s question. She knew better than to get in the middle of her friends’ little spats.
But Bobby saw through her façade. ‘Right, Callie?’
Callie sighed heavily and rubbed her eyes with the palm of her hands. ‘You know I hate to say this, Bobby, I really don’t want Kevin’s ego boosted, but, yes, it’s true.’
She turned her attention to smile up at Jason as he sat down next to Kevin. Jason was more Kevin’s friend than the girls’. His blonde hair was matted and he looked just as tired as Callie was feeling. Though Jason Harley could be a handful when he wasn’t half-sleep, and most certainly annoying in both cases, Callie was grateful for the interruption of Bobby’s glare on her.
She got out a piece of parchment and a quill and started to write. Eventually, Bobby turned away.
‘I don’t!’ Bobby glared across at the triumphant Kevin. ‘I don’t!’
Kevin smirked wickedly, not looking like he believed her one bit. He turned to Callie. ‘What’s first lesson, Cal?’
‘I’m not sure,’ Callie told him as she looked up from the letter she was now sealing in an envelope. ‘I think it’s potions… but I’ve lost my timetable…’
‘Ugh,’ Kevin groaned, having taken her uncertain word for it, shaking his shock of brown hair. ‘Save me!’
Bobby seemed to forget about the fact that she was supposed to be sulking. ‘Yeah, potions is lame,’ she agreed with Kevin, a rare occurrence. ‘We’ll have to make sure to get a good seat this time, Kev.’
‘You’re not sitting together, are you?’ Callie asked, eyes widening of fright, while Alexis’ expression changed to match her own. Jason, as oblivious as ever, just continued to watch a pretty blonde girl further down the table, his head slumping in the cup of his hand tiredly.
Bobby frowned at the two of them, her features flickering as she tried to figure them out. ‘Yeah, why?’
‘Why?’ Callie nearly exclaimed, her chocolate-coloured eyes widening of disbelief. ‘How about every time you’re potion partners you’re so busy arguing or being distracted by something shiny that your potion explodes or bubbles over!’
Bobby smirked. ‘You make us sound so stupid,’ Kevin grumbled, nudging Jason vaguely, for he was practically drooling now. Jason snapped out of it and jabbed violently at his egg. ‘It’s not our fault potions is so boring.’
Callie shook her head. ‘How did you even pass that class?’
Kevin placed his hand on his chest, gasping, mock offended. ‘We’re Ravenclaws, Cal!’
‘Sorry to disappoint,’ Alexis said, fishing around in her bag and producing her own timetable, and an expression that looked rather miserable. ‘But we have potions second, Divination is first.’
‘Thank Merlin!’ Kevin cried, punching the air. ‘That means we can just make up some crap and pass! I’d take that to potions any day.’
Rolling her eyes, Callie stood up. ‘I’m going to post my letter,’ she informed them all.
‘Here, post this as well,’ Kevin said, shoving his hands into his pockets and rummaging around. He handed Callie a rather soggy letter.
‘Er,’ she said, her eyebrows shooting up. ‘You do realise this letter is wet, right, Kevin?’
Bobby immediately burst into hysterical laughter while Callie watched her, utterly bemused. ‘He – dropped – it – in – a – puddle,’ she spluttered through snorts of laughter. ‘The complete klutz! You should have seen his face, Callie! Like someone had murdered a Hippogriff right in front of him. Priceless!’
Kevin scowled. ‘I’m am not a klutz!’ he denied stubbornly. ‘It was your fault anyway; you were distracting me.’
‘Nah-uh!’ Bobby gasped.
Callie sighed and cast a drying spell on the letter, wondering how Kevin could be a Ravenclaw if he hadn’t even thought of that. She departed from her friends and rushed up to the owlery, smiling politely at the portraits that greeted her as she did so.
The owlery was filled with hoots and squawks when she entered, and she felt like she was intruding when big bird eyes fixed critically upon her.
Wrinkling her nose, Callie tried to grab the nearest school owl to attach the letter that was meant for her Mum to its leg. But the owl she picked was a great tawny owl the size of Filch’s cat, and this owl wasn’t having any of it.
He seemed to find it amusing to peck and claw at Callie’s fumbling hands. The other owls hooted with laughter.
‘Ow! Bugger!’ Callie exclaimed as she nursed her scratched hand. She was at her last tether in the morning. ‘Bloody bird,’ she muttered, glaring into its amber eyes. ‘You think you’re so clever, don’t you, acting all funny in front of your friends?’
The owl cocked its head to the side, gazing at her incredulously, almost as if it was asking her, Why ask me, I’m just a bird. Realising the owl had won the silent battle; Callie turned to a small barn owl and fastened the letter on its leg instead as it nibbled on her fingers in an affectionate way.
‘And she’ll be getting treats, not you!’ Callie said as soon as she had watched the bird fly off, nodding her head in finality.
Callie swore the tawny owl stuck its tongue out at her.
After she was out of the owlery (though still mumbling ‘Bloody owl’ under her breath) she made a small detour to the Ravenclaw common room and grabbed her mahogany broom. She had some time to spare before divination.
When she was standing on the soft grass, she mounted her Cleansweep and zipped upwards. This time she would do it. She could master all the dives. She pulled her broom down and twirled into a plummet.
The sky began to turn from a morning red to a clear and bright blue as Callie practiced her manoeuvres. But her actions were still sluggish with sleep and not one of them was anywhere near perfect.
After ten minutes of practising, Callie’s hands were practically frozen from the cold morning air. She knew she would have to give up and go in soon. Just one last dive…
She dropped down, pretending that the imaginary snitch was just where it was last time. And just like last time, Callie was thrown off balance. She landed on her bottom on the ground.
‘So it really is a common occurrence…’
Callie spun around, seeing that Sirius was watching her with an amused expression. She scowled and stood up, ignoring his helping hand.
‘What are you doing here?’
‘Can’t a guy enjoy a stroll?’ Sirius asked, making his eyes big and round. Callie didn’t believe the expression one bit. ‘And I told you, you need to tuck your arms in more.’
‘I know that! But it’s a very difficult dive to make.’
Sirius held his hands up in mock-surrender. ‘So what position do you play then?’
‘Quidditch,’ Sirius explained. ‘You’re on the Ravenclaw team, right?’
Callie shook her head, repressing a disappointed sigh. ‘No. I was trying to get on the team. Tryouts are next week.’
‘Oh.’ Sirius nodded as he walked along with her. ‘And you want to play seeker?’
Callie glanced at him from the corner of her eye. He had a small smile on his face as he walked, hands stuffed deep into his pockets, his footsteps long and relaxed, the opposite to her quick and sharp ones.
‘Well, I’m sure you’ll get the position,’ Sirius said, smiling as he stared ahead of him at the magnificent castle. ‘You’re really good, apart from the whole, you know, falling off thing.’
‘No problem. Mastered that spell yet?’
Callie glared at him, wondering if he was trying to work her up, but he didn’t look like he was trying to make her mad. ‘It probably isn’t mastered enough to get through your shield.’
She didn’t even know how he had gotten so good. She had been watching him carefully in their other classes yesterday, trying to figure him out, and she had noticed that all he did was pass notes.
‘Never mind.’ He shrugged. ‘Not many people can get through my shields. Not even Moony.’
The question had been burning on Callie and she blurted out frustratedly, ‘Who exactly is Moony?’
Sirius turned to smile at her. ‘Remus,’ he said, his tone indicating a ‘duh’.
Remus Lupin… Callie nodded in recognition. And she felt a bit better. Remus was really smart. She knew him from Prefect duties; they sometimes patrolled together.
‘How did you even get so good?’ She studied him with her chocolate-coloured eyes, searching for some sort of explanation. But all she saw was a handsome boy whose emotions were kept strictly under control, nothing flashing across his face, nothing suggesting what his life was like. It frustrated her to no end.
‘I told you. Lots of practice.’ She frowned at him as they drew nearer the castle. Why would he practice so much? Maybe there was a reason? To be protected? If only he’d tell her. But why did she even want to know? She didn’t know this boy and probably never would.
‘Oi! Padfoot!’ James Potter greeted Sirius with a shout that made Callie jump as they entered the castle. ‘Padfoot!’ he rushed over to him, a goofy smile plastered across his face, his hazel alive with laughter and trouble.
Sirius was suddenly all ears. Remus and Peter walked over and joined them.
Remus, Callie found, was different to his group of friends. He was sensible and had a well-restrained manner while he was more polite and considerate, and much quieter, less rowdy. He had sandy hair, a contrast to his friends’ dark locks and was slightly taller than the rest.
Peter, however, was even more different. At least Remus had the same sardonic sparkle, but Peter just seemed… completely diverse. He was by far the smallest and his puppy fat had yet to dissolve, but his physical traits weren’t the only reason why he didn’t quite fit. He looked at his friend with an admiration that Callie found rather irritating; the last thing the Marauders’ needed was another confidence boost. But Peter had to be a Marauder for a reason, and Callie didn’t know him, so she didn’t judge him.
‘So?’ Sirius asked, staring between his friends, looking for some sort of answer. ‘How did it go? Did it work?’
‘Well…’ James expression fell slightly, and Callie thought he almost looked defeated. But that wasn’t James Potter; he was always so upbeat and determined from what Callie could tell. ‘Sort of…’
‘She told him to sod off and fall down a well,’ Remus chuckled, amber eyes sprinkled with amusement.
Sirius raised his eyebrows so they disappeared beneath his charcoal-black hair. ‘So that isn’t classed as “working” then, is it?’
‘No,’ James admitted in a rush. ‘But there’s always next time.’ He smiled determinedly to prove his point and he was suddenly James again. ‘There’s always tomorrow, always another plan-’
‘Operation, oh what is it now? …71?’ Remus interrupted dryly.
‘99 actually,’ James corrected as if that was extremely important. Callie didn’t know if he was being serious or not; James had a tendency to joke around. He must have really liked Lily if he tried so hard to win her affection. Callie thought, with some jealously, that Lily Evans was a very lucky girl indeed, having a boy who would do anything for her. It was a shame she hated him.
‘And it’ll be very soon in which the lovely Lily’s heart will be mine.’ James clutched his chest where his heart would be and sighed dramatically. He looked so goofy with his messy hair, crooked glasses, and dreamy expression that Callie almost laughed. But that would bring attention to herself.
The Marauders laughed instead, then suddenly, so suddenly it took Callie by surprise, hazel, amber, watery-brown and grey eyes were focused on her, like the Marauders had all just realised she was standing there, watching the spectacle with a mixture of interest and discomfort.
‘Err…’ She fidgeted unconsciously under their gaze. ‘I’ll have to be getting to divination…’
Sirius was the only one to grinned at her, minus Remus’ polite smile. ‘Right. Good luck with the Quidditch.’ He turned back to his friends, rolling his eyes as James immediately picked back up his conversation about Lily Evans.
‘Er, bye,’ Callie mumbled, not really expecting another reply and not surprised when she didn’t get one.
She rushed up the stairs to divination, wondering why the Marauders weren’t coming straight away as well – they would be late if they didn’t, and surely they couldn’t charm their way out of that?
As she opened the heavy, wooden door to the classroom, Callie was overthrown by the strong smell of jasmine. The Divination classroom was almost as messy, disjointed and mystic as the Professor who practically lived there.
She saw that her friends were already there. Kevin was sat next to Jason, while Alexis and Bobby had their own table with Stephanie Crabgrass.
Stephanie Crabgrass was Callie’s definition of a spoilt brat. She was extremely rich, since her Father (or “daddy”) had invented the Liquorish Wand. She usually brought this up in conversation whenever she could. She also had the looks of a snobby princess. While Callie was short with a round face dotted with nut-brown freckles and big brown eyes that made her look so much younger, Stephanie looked about twenty.
Her blonde hair spilled neatly down her back, framing her pretty heart-shaped face. Her almond eyes were and bright and sky-blue and her face contained not one freckle. Callie glowered, glared and scowled at her.
She had never liked her much and she had presumed her two friends hadn’t either, for Stephanie was the sort of girl Bobby despised with a passion, and Alexis would never find an interesting conversation with an airhead like her. Honestly, Callie thought as she slumped down angrily next to Alexis, it was a miracle that the girl had gotten into Ravenclaw. Callie presumed she bribed the hat.
‘You OK, Alexis?’ Callie whispered to her friend once she had moved her attention from the strawberry-blonde. Alexis looked so miserable she could have given Moaning Myrtle a run for her money.
‘Oh, she’s just sulking,’ Bobby said, waving her hand dismissively. ‘You know how she gets about divination, though I have no idea why, after-all she’s practically a Seer-’
‘No, I’m not!’ Alexis interrupted. Callie and Bobby both raised their eyebrows. The two friends were determined of Alexis’ psychic abilities.
She said things randomly that came true, such as “It’s going to rain tomorrow”, “Stay away from jam, Bobby”, “Don’t - he’s not worth it.”
And despite that it rained so much that day the Quidditch match had to be cancelled, Bobby had gotten attacked by a jar of strawberry jam over breakfast last year when someone had threw it at her (‘Just testing your Chaser reactions, I swear!’), and that Bobby’s boyfriend had cheated on her and he had not been worth it, Alexis called it all merely luck.
‘Hmm, you know who’s looking fine?’ Stephanie completely changed the subject.
Smirking at Alexis still, Bobby learned back in her chair and asked, ‘No. Who?’
‘Sirius Black,’ Stephanie said, her eyes flitting up and down the boy who had just entered the room with his friends. ‘He’s always been a looker but lately… I don’t know… he’s become much more.’
Bobby shrugged her shoulders. ‘He’s a Gryffindor,’ she said as if that meant something. ‘You don’t want to get caught up with them, they’re extremely loyal.’
'Is that a bad thing?’ Callie stopped glaring at Stephanie (did she have to look at that boy like he was a piece of meat?) to ask.
‘Well, they’ll be really clingy, won’t they,’ Bobby said as if it was obvious. ‘Besides,’ she turned back to Stephanie, ‘I said it to Callie yesterday, he’s bad news; he’s sarcastic and rude.’
‘He’s not that bad,’ Callie felt the need to defend him, though she had know idea why.
Stephanie smiled with her painted pink lips. ‘No, he certainly isn’t,’ she purred, gazing at him admiringly, which caused Callie to return to her scowling.
‘Class!’ The pupils stopped talking and fixed their eyes on their Professor, who looked very flustered at the sudden attention. ‘Today – to start out slowly – we will be orb reading.’
‘Yes!’ Kevin exclaimed extremely loudly. ‘Now we can just make up that we see our deaths and get an O!’ The class’ eyes widened and they turned back to Professor Hingly to see what she would do, but she appeared to be ignoring Kevin’s rather noisy outburst.
‘Now, I’m sure it will all be very simple. How about we have a volunteer, someone to get us started, hmmm?’
Professor Hingly stared right at Alexis from under her wide spectacles. ‘How about you, Alexis?’
Alexis squeaked and sat up straighter. ‘No, I’d rather…not.’
‘Nonsense, dear child!’ Professor Hingly boomed, causing half the class to jump in shock. ‘Let’s see if you have the gift.’
Alexis shook her head rapidly. ‘I definitely don’t have the gift, Miss. If you remember I failed in my last test.’ Alexis actually looked quite proud of this (‘because she purposely failed,’ Bobby mumbled under her breath).
‘Go, on, go on,’ the Professor urged.
Alexis sighed; realising there was no way out of it when the Professor had her mind set on something. She placed her hands on the ball and suddenly seemed intently focused on the milky orb.
‘Yes, yes,’ Professor Hingly said enthusiastically. ‘What do you see, what do you see?’
‘I see… I see four animals.’
‘Yes…’ Alexis licked her lips and narrowed her eyes in concentration. Callie watched her intently, Bobby looked extremely smug and Stephanie was admiring her nails in boredom. ‘I see… I see a rat, and…and a deer, no, a stag, a black dog and, and…’
‘Yes, go on.’
‘…And a wolf. But there’s more, I can see four more animals, only they’re standing opposite the first ones. There’s a wren, and an ermine, a wildcat and a pheasant.’ Alexis frowned, her eyes taking in lots of whizzing images. ‘The groups of animals are separate from each other. They stay with their own. But…’
‘The wren wants to go over. But why would the wren do that?’ Now Alexis sounded genuinely upset. ‘Why would the wren leave the other animals behind? Now the wren is with the wolf and the stag…. And, that’s it. I don’t see anything else.’ Alexis wrenched her hands away from the ball, looking distraught.
But Professor Hingly, despite Alexis’ sudden stop, still looked ecstatic. ‘Well done, Alexis, you certainly have the gift.’
Alexis stared around at the class’ started faces and sunk further down in her chair. ‘No, I really don’t.’ But it was just a whisper and only Callie heard her.
‘Okay, everyone, getting cracking!’ The teacher clapped her hands together and motioned for the students to start.
‘What was that about?’ Stephanie asked, frowning at the blonde girl.
‘Nothing,’ Alexis squeaked quickly. Callie frowned at her; she had never seen her friend so nervous and jumpy; she was always mystic and dreamy.
‘Well, it was wired,’ Stephanie said bluntly, conjuring a nail file.
Callie was surprised Bobby didn’t tell Stephanie to shove off and leave Alexis alone. Why had her friends ever befriended her? One day they barely acknowledged her and then the next they were acting like they were best friends.
Bobby had informed Callie when she had asked about that one time that they “had had a little chat and realised they weren’t so different”. Whatever that meant. Ah, well, at least Kevin didn’t like her either.
‘Excuse me, girls.’ The Professor was frowning in the four girl’s direction. ‘We’re working in twos and threes. Callie, maybe you could sit other there. Yes, yes, don’t look so distraught! Come on. And the same for you boys at the back. Mr Potter? How about you come and join Miss Williams?’
‘Oh, but Miss!’ James whined as Callie slumped down in her new seat, cursing Stephanie mentally. It should have been her that moved. They were her friends first.
‘Now, Mr Potter.’
James continued to do the most realistic impression of a sulking child that Callie had ever seen. ‘It’s okay, James,' Remus sighed; knowing James would refuse if he would be stuck by himself, ‘I’ll come with you.’ James still didn’t look happy but stood up anyways.
Callie flushed as James plonked himself down moodily next to her and Remus gave another of his polite smiles.
James ripped a piece of paper out of his book and started scribbling on it in his messy handwriting. He nodded once as soon as he had finished then balled it up and threw it across the classroom. Callie watched as it hit a very annoyed Lily Evans. Glaring at James the whole time, Lily slowly ripped up the note without reading it.
But this just seemed to motivate James. He took out another piece of paper and wrote on this one, turned it into a paper aeroplane and threw it across the classroom, only for it to land in Lily’s hair.
She crumpled it up with venom.
‘Mr Potter,’ Professor Hingly looked at him as sharply as she could manage, ‘do you have anything you would like to share with the class?’ The Professor had been expecting an abashed, ‘No, Miss. Sorry, Miss’ and so she looked extremely startled when James nodded and then stood on his chair, grinning wickedly.
‘Class,’ he said in a way of getting the student’s attention, but everyone had already been focused on him. ‘I would just like to say that Miss Evans’ new haircut is stunning, not that she isn’t anyways. I would also like to ask the lovely Lily Evans if she would like to join me at Hogsmead this weekend.’
The class erupted in fits of giggles and a few wolf-whistles were heard, the loudest coming from Kevin. Lily cheeks flushed as red as her hair, in both anger and embarrassment, but James was still on his chair, watching Lily with a foolish hope.
Lily dropped her head, muttering under her breath and her two friends shot James nasty glares. James sat back down slowly on his chair, his lips twisted into what Callie could only describe as a frown.
‘That was the wrong thing to do, you know.’
James’ head snapped up. ‘What?’
Callie flushed but continued. ‘You shouldn’t have made it so public.’
Well, it was true. The two boys were now watching her with interest. James coughed and tried to look nonchalant. ‘And why is that?’ he inquired.
Callie shrugged and replied simply, ‘She’s been telling the whole school she hates you for years, of course she wouldn’t agree while everyone was watching her! If she did she would be bombarded with questions. She had to say no because that was what everyone was expecting her to do!’
James sulked. ‘What do you propose I to do then, Miss know-it-all?’
Callie ignored the nickname. ‘Don’t talk to her. Let her talk to you.’
‘But Lily never talks to James.’ She was slightly startled that Remus had spoke, since he was trying to stare into the orb.
‘Yes, but she’ll be confused by James’ lack of interest towards her, and believe me she does like the attention really, what girl wouldn’t?’ She didn’t pause for an answer. ‘And she’ll want to know what’s up, therefore she’ll talk to James. Don’t you see?’
‘That’s…’ James stared at her like it was the first time he was seeing her, properly seeing her. ‘That’s brilliant!’
He grinned ecstatically and Callie blushed with pride, giving him a shy smile back.
‘James won’t be able to stay away from Lily for long,’ Remus interrupted, his tone indicating he was warning her. ‘He’ll go insane!’
‘I can do it.’ James was determined now. He smiled at Lily, who face was gradually loosing colour. ‘She’s worth it.’ Callie smiled at him softly.
‘You know…erm…Ravenclaw girl…’
‘You know, Callie.’ She looked up from her orb and saw James was grinning at her. It was a bad, bad grin like the one Sirius had given her before she had cast spells with him. And that experience hadn’t landed her anywhere good. She had learned not to trust a grin like that, and that theory was supported by the words James said next.
‘I just might have a proposition for you…’
A/N: Sorry for the filler-ish chapter.
Thanks for all the reviews so far! You guys make me happy. And, you know, if you would like to do the same again... *hint hint* =D
Oh, by the way, I used the boys and girls patronus’ in Alexis’ weird orb-reading thing, would you like to guess whose Patronus were whose. Here they are as a reminder:
And the girls:
The winner gets Remus Lupin... but I'll want him back! *Challenging glare*
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