Tapping, paper balls and- talking floors?
I sat with impertinence, my pen in my mouth, as I waited for my History of Magic class to end. Five minutes. Only five bloody minutes until we are free, dismissed. I tapped my foot impatiently, counting the seconds remaining. My Ravenclaw neighbour realised this and raised his eyebrows at me. I ignored him and remain counting the seconds whilst tapping my foot. Professor Binns didn’t seem to realise that his class was going to end soon. Before I can laugh at his bluntness, the bell rang and I gave an inner sigh of relief.
I quickly packed my things and drifted out of the classroom before anyone even got up. I knew that the last lesson of the day was Potions, so I quickly moved down the steps to the dungeons, hoping that Potions wouldn’t take long so that I could go have dinner, which I had been craving for the past hour.
As usual, Snape was the only one in the classroom as I stepped in. He ignored me as I dropped my bag next the seat in the back of the room. It was when I sat and opened my bag to take my things out that the noise of masses of footsteps and the chattering of students were heard. The door flew open and in came what seemed like the whole of my Potions class, followed by the fat belly of Professor Slughorn.
Oh dear, it seemed that me and Snape here were Early Potions Freaks.
Everyone began to sit in their usual spots. I spotted Lily looking around the room as though looking for something. She caught my eye and smiled, walking over to me. I realised that behind her was Potter, who had his eyes glued on her. He followed Lily’s every move with Sirius Black tagging along after him.
“I’m allowed to sit here, right?” Lily asked me once she stopped from beside my-or this- table.
“Sure,” I said, my eyes on Potter and Black’s backs as they sat on the seats in front of us. Lily beamed after dropping her bag on the floor and taking the seat from beside me. I smiled at her warmly, not really knowing why on earth she was so content.
“Gad afternoon, class! Now I know you’re all tired since it’s the last lesson of the day, but I want you all to bear with me,” Professor Slughorn announced in his usual jolly voice. “We have a few changes to make. Today I will announce the person you will be sitting next to for the rest of the year.”
Most of the class groaned. I, for one, would not have been affected by this news, but now that I have Lily as my table partner, I would not want to lose the prospect of her kindness and have some bimbo seated next to me instead.
Professor Slughorn walked to his desk and rummaged a sheet from the many stacks of parchment on his desk. He finally took out a yellow parchment from somewhere in the corner and scanned through it. With a satisfied nod of his head, he spoke, “Now, I will give out the list of names and when your name is said, you must go sit next to the person assigned for you. No complaining.” He added, giving a knowing look at some Slytherin students.
“Now let me see, let’s start from here,” Slughorn started calling out names. The silence in the room broke as students moved to sit with their assigned partners. Poor Remus was paired with Thaddeus Avery; Narcissa Black with fellow Slytherin Evan Rosier; Snape with Guilford Mulciber, and on the list went.
I just stay sitting, chewing my bottom lip and wriggling my fingers nervously as I waited for my name to be called. I prayed to God that I won’t end up sitting next to a Slytherin or worse: A Marauder. Yes, I would put sitting next to a Marauder (with the exception of Remus) worse than sitting next to a Slytherin.
I know, I’m insane.
I tilted my head to the side to get a good glance of Lily. As I predicted, she was glaring at Potter, who appeared to keep turning around and giving random smiles at her. She sensed that I was looking at her and turned her vibrant green eyes at me instead.
“You know, I really don’t want to be parted from you,” she said abruptly. I raised my eyebrow. Anyone would be willing to sit with her (apart from the Slytherins), so what was all the fuss about? Oh yeah, it was James Potter, wasn’t it?
“Don’t worry Lily…I doubt you’d be partnered with P-”
“-and Miss Evans, you will be with Mr Potter,” Old Sluggy’s loud jolly voice cut me off.
Lily’s mouth hanged open. And it stayed like that for a minute before I patted her shoulder gently. I tried to say something but Potter’s overly enthusiastic singing, yes singing, distracted me. I struggled to suppress a laugh.
All of a sudden, the class became silent, all watching as James Potter got up from his seat and started doing some muggle dance move with his feet. Sirius Black, looking thoroughly embarrassed, moved quickly to his best-mate and stopped him from doing that hideous dance.
“The least I can do,” Potter blurted randomly, smirking at Lily. Lily didn’t do anything but remain sitting motionless with the glare sill mustered on her face.
“Lily, I really think you are partnered with Potter,” I whispered at her frozen self. Her head turned swiftly, letting her auburn hair flip across my face.
“Oh, sorry.” She huffed helplessly, grabbing her bag and getting up. She sat on Black’s vacated spot beside Potter without a word.
Once the Evans/Potter scene and the Slytherins’ incoherent whispers were finished, everyone turned their amused faces back to Professor Slughorn. I started to tap my foot nervously, wondering who the bloody hell was going to sit next to me. I realised only a few students were left ‘un-partnered’. They were me, Sirius Black, Sophia Anson and a Slytherin girl I didn’t recognise.
Sophia Anson had her eyes glued on Sirius Black. She looked at him with such eagerness that I couldn’t help but stifle a giggle. I seriously hope she gets partnered with him so that I could have the pleasure of sitting next to that mean looking Slytherin girl.
But I was wrong.
“Mr Black, you will be seated next to Miss Taylor,”
It was my turn to hang my mouth open. Sirius Black looked around confusedly, probably wondering who the hell his partner-I- was. He looked at Slughorn questioningly, eyebrow raised. Slughorn gestured towards me and Sirius Black turned around.
I avoided Black’s grey eyes as he slowly came over and sat on Lily’s former spot. I quickly shifted my seat to the right to avoid close contact. It wasn’t until Slughorn finished his futile name calling that I looked up, still avoiding looking at Black. I could feel his eyes on me and I shifted in my seat uncomfortably. I tried to peak at him under my lashes without turning my head fully. His gaze wore a curious expression and it looked as though he was trying to solve a puzzle.
“Now, let me make this clear. You are not to move from your places. This will be where you sit for the whole year, so no changing spots. And if you do, I will realise it instantly,” Slughorn stated with resignation. “Class dismissed.” He declared once the bell rang.
I was fast. I quickly pushed my chair back, grabbed my bag and bustled out of the classroom before Sirius Black even managed to lift a finger.
Merlin, I will never be an Early Potions Freak again.
I came back to the Common Room with an overly full stomach. The Room was empty since people were all still finishing off their dinner, while I decided to skittle out the Great Hall. I went and sat in a far away desk and opened my bag to finish any homework I had to do.
But I couldn’t concentrate. The Potions partner scenario kept on playing in my head. I wanted to believe it was a nightmare that I had dreamt while sleeping in my actual Potions lesson. But I knew very well that it wasn’t a dream and that I was partnered with Sirius Black.
You would think that it wasn’t a big deal. That all I had to do was sit next to him for a few hours. That it’s not like I was getting married to him (which will never happen!). But it was a big deal…an immensely big one.
How in Merlin’s name am I going to survive sitting next the most arrogant, proud, desired, good-looking bloody guy in the school?
The answer is I had no bloody idea.
I just realised that I was stabbing holes with my quill into the piece of parchment in front of me. It caused the essay I had been trying to do look chaotic. I scrunched the paper up and threw it over my shoulder with pure annoyance. I hear a loud ‘ouch’ come from behind me. Hm, that was weird. I didn’t know floors could talk. But it was Hogwarts after all.
“Stupid floor, screaming ‘ouches’ when people bloody step on them everyday,” I observed, stomping my foot hard on the floor. But I didn’t hear another ouch. It seemed that floors of Hogwarts are only affected by paper balls. Interesting.
All of a sudden, I heard a bark-like laugh. “Are you insane? I’m not the bloody floor!” An amused voice said from behind me. A very manly, unexpected, amused voice.
My head shoots around involuntarily and I see no other than the arrogant git himself, his glossy black hair falling onto his eyes lazily and his hands in his pockets. I felt my face turn bright red. Had I really just thought that the noise had come from the floor and said them out aloud? Dear God, why do you do this to me?
I stay speechless; my eyes looking at his casually posed self.
His face slowly scrunches into something of confusion. “Are you alright?” Sirius Black asked me, cocking his perfect eyebrow.
No, I am bloody well not! Thanks to you! “Of course I’m alright. What the bloody hell do want? You just distracted me.” I fumed.
His expression changes to one of amusement. “Well, I was walking to the dorms, until I saw a yellowish something flying towards me and hitting my nose.” He said to me slowly as though I was deaf and couldn’t understand him.
I glanced at his straight, ariscotic, perfect nose and give a shaky laugh. Oh dear, I’m very sorry I damaged your nose with paper, Mr Perfect. “Whatever.” I snapped and turned my head around, ignoring him completely.
“Weird...” I heard him mutter to himself before he was gone. I gave a sigh of relief. Thank Merlin he left. He didn’t seem to notice that I was the girl he had to sit next to in Potions. I didn’t know I was that invisible…not that I care.
Before I had time to gather my thoughts, the Fat Lady’s portrait swang open and more and more people came bustling in. I gritted my teeth and started to pack my things quickly. How was I supposed to concentrate with all this noise?
I heard my name being called. I don't know if I had imagined it or not, since no one usually calls me. Shrugging, I picked up my bag, intending to leave for the dorms, until I heard my name being called again. I stopped to turn around and see who it was and spotted Mandy waving both her arms at me, skipping her way to my side.
"Hey Lizzy! I was wondering where you were." She greeted with a smile.
I smiled back with a raised eyebrow. "Hello Mandy! So...what is it you, er, want?"
She looked at me for a split second before bursting into a fit of giggles.
"What's so funny?" I asked defensively. This just made her laugh even more.
"Oh come on, Liz. Do you honestly think I would only talk to you if I needed something?"
"Well...no, I suppose."
"Exactly," she stated with remorse. "So, anyway, what’s up with you? You seem pissed at something."
"I’m not pissed," I innocently lied.
"You look really pissed," she continued as though I hadn’t spoken. “Come on, tell me what’s wrong?”
I sighed tiredly, rubbing my brow. "It’s the damn git. I have to sit next to him in Potions for the rest of the bloody year.”
“And who exactly is the ‘damn git’? She asked with curiosity.
She’s going to get one flip when I tell her. "Sirius bloody Black."
As I expected, Mandy practically squealed her lungs out, causing a few people turning their heads at us. "Are you kidding me? That’s…that’s fantastic!”
I rolled my eyes. "For your information, it’s a nightmare! I would rather sit with the Giant Squid than sit next to him!"
"Seriously Liz, you're crazy," she told me with an amused expression.
"Glad to hear." I replied sulkily.
"You don’t know how many girls would kill to sit next to him during class," Mandy sighed dreamily and continued rambling on and on about how she had eavesdropped on some sixth year Ravenclaw girls planning to ‘kill’ Christina Phillips and snare Black for themselves.
Did I mention that those girls need to get a life?
"-but you know what Lizzy," Mandy kept on rambling; I nodded boringly, pretending that I was listening and tapped my foot impatiently, which I realise I have been doing a lot today. "Now that you sit next to him, you can become friends and convince him to go out with me!"
My eyes widened in disbelief and I blinked. Did she really say what I thought she just said?
"What!?" I spat.
Mandy suppressed a laugh. "Oh, come on, there's no need to look so horrified. It was just a suggestion."
She really had gone crazy. "Mandy, I can't believe you just 'suggested' I be friends with him! I don't even have friends of my own and you think I could be friends with Sirius Black?!"
"I'm you're friend!" Mandy said quickly and somewhat convincingly. "After all this time, you didn't think I was your friend?"
An awkward silence took place after her little revelation.
She was my friend? Really? And I didn't even realise it.
"Er, look Mandy. If you really need my help…er…I guess I could give it a shot?" I offered before realising it, and broke the silence.
She looked up and tucked a strand of dirty-blonde hair behind her ear. A bright smile formed on her face. "Really?"
She swiftly moved and pulled me into a tight embrace. “You’re the best, Liz! I seriously love you!”
Only then did it click to me. Had I just accepted to help her get Sirius Black?