Chapter 4 : Little Vermin
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Okay, I seriously can’t sleep. Why? Well things haven’t been going too smoothly.
Well, for one thing, the girl who sleeps in the bed next to me—I think her name’s Aphrodite or Hermaphrodite, I don’t know, something terrible like that—snores. Constantly. One would think someone that pretty would at least have some sort of finesse while sleeping, but no. She sleeps like a middle-aged coal miner after a long day’s work.
Secondly, through all this frenzy and hatred going on I seemed to have forgotten that I’m a prefect.
It was just a little detail.
Okay, yeah I pretty much feel terrible for forgetting something like that. People are proud of this kind of thing, aren’t they? I remember getting the letter and feeling so utterly dejected that I wanted to punch Dumbledore in the face. Is this some sort of cruel joke? Is everyone taking my attendance here at this dreadful school as such?
See me? I’m not laughing. It’s a really bad joke. Everyone can stop now.
So you’re probably wondering how I could’ve forgotten that I’m a prefect. Blar, blar, blar how irresponsible and forgetful of me. Okay, first off, I never wanted to be one in the first place, which then caused me to shove that horrific “promotion” into the farthest regions of my conscience in order to forget the entire thing. I mean, honestly, why me. I’m not exactly what one would call the essence of all Slytherins out there, but I think the letter said something along the lines of “our institution needs a greater range of variety” and such and such.
It’s all just a sad pretext in order to make my life more miserable.
Another thing—I’m not too sure on how to reject my already given duty. Has anyone ever refused to be a prefect? What am I going to do? My prefect badge is lost somewhere at the bottom of my trunk. Okay, I may have buried it down there the moment I received it, but that’s beside the point.
And as if my situation couldn’t be any more obnoxious, no one, yes, no one, cared to confront me for neglecting my “duties”. Not a single word from Dumbledore or Slughorn or from any of the other prefects. It is beyond me why I get constantly ignored and forgotten. The whole missing the first hour of school totally threw everyone off. Totally. Seeing that I wasn’t there in the beginning, they decidedly figured that I was a no-show. I guess.
Now I ask myself the utter question of why exactly I’m doing my job now if I hate it so much. It’s only the third week of school, so hopefully no one noticed the neglecting of my duties too much.
A random first year passes by and trips right in front of me, falling flat on his face.
Hm. “You,” I say firmly. He looks at me blearily. “Detention for causing a ruckus!”
“B-but,” he stammers.
“No ‘but’s!” I point to my chest. “See this?” He nods with tears in his eyes, but isn’t really sure what I’m pointing to. “This is where a prefect badge should be, so… er… you shouldn’t question my authority! Go to your common room this instant!”
He runs away, bawling some incoherent things about how he hates his life.
Join the club, kid.
. . . . .
Okay, okay. That was mean.
I’ll be make sure to be less harsh next time. And I’ll admit, that was a bit too much—actually, that was really too much. It’s not like I’m actually going to give that poor child a detention, but on a side note, pretending to be a prefect without a badge to severely scare first years would be really fun. Actually I don’t really know how to give detentions exactly, but that’s beside the point. Merlin , I need to practice brandishing my authority sword.
Ew… that sounded awful.
But this prefect thing isn’t too bad. Maybe some good could come of it. You know, regulating the other students, making sure Hogwarts is a safer place to be in, laying down the law…
Well, okay, honestly I only want to get into the prefect’s bathroom.
Mmm I heard the bubbles are divine.
Oh, yes, and I forgot to mention something. Actually, I didn’t forget, I’ve just been trying to avoid mentioning it at all costs.
…They’re stalking me. You know—them.
So I was walking down the corridors the other day and I couldn’t help but have the slightest feeling that someone was following me. You know, the feeling that there’s a presence behind you, but then again you’re too afraid to look so you end up going paranoid until you turn around—except nothing’s there. Well, I turned around and all I saw was a blur disappear behind a corner. I wanted to go look. I really, really wanted to follow the blur, but it didn’t help that I was way too frightened to turn the corner only to get a giant net dropped on me like some jungle animal.
I have a strange feeling that a barrage of attacks will be set on me. For example, I’m not too sure on whether or not I was coincidentally at the wrong place at the wrong time or that a suit of armor just tried to attack me when I passed by because, well, it was intended for me. If this is only the beginning, then I can’t imagine what they have up next in their sick minds for me.
It’s the end of another long day as I grudgingly head towards the Slytherin dungeons. Overall, it’s not a very pleasant place to be in. Everything’s green so that just spoils my eyesight because once I leave the place all I see is red sparks everywhere. It’s normally very cold and not at all welcoming, so being in here for extended amounts of time just makes me depressed. The stone floors are clammy and uncomfortable, the chairs and couches are fairly uptight for my taste, and even the warm fire isn’t very warm and welcoming at all. But then again, I suppose the dormitories are alright. Since we have the freedom to make them our own, they’re a bit more homey seeing that the rooms actually look like people occupy them.
I think this is one of the very few places where they can’t get to me. Well, it’s a girl’s dormitory for one thing, so that’s pretty much default, and, well, not everyone knows where the Slytherin dungeons are, especially Gryffindors. We all don’t willingly give away the location of our inhabitance, and it’s not like they have a special map to show them where everything is, right? Psh. As if.
I peel off my thick jumper and loosen my tie, kicking off my shoes and slipping out of my skirt in the process. Ah, how nice it feels to be free after being tied up by school uniforms for so long. I collapse into my elaborately-decorated four poster, taking in the smells of lavender and fresh pine and staring at the various clippings I’ve taped to the top I while unbutton my white shirt. Mmm you really should try this sometime. Taking a rest in the middle of the day, feeling the odd tingle from taking off your tight socks and wiggling your toes…. Laying here is so comfy and soft and warm yet slightly cool and Merlin, do I need some serious rest. I’m just going to take a small cat nap and—
My hands freeze.
W-what was that.
Something wriggled from under me.
No, some things wriggled from under me.
Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit—
A little nose and whiskers pop up next to my face.
I scream like I’ve never screamed before. It’s not even bloodcurdling, it’s more than that. I bet I could raise the dead with it and make them dance the polka right out of their graves. Have I always been scared of them? Why is nobody in this bloody room? Oh, I hate them. I hate them. They disgust me!
I jump off of my bed onto the bed of my roommate and grab a pillow as if to shield me away from the little cretins. Gross, gross, gross.
Aghh I can’t breathe. What do I do?
I can’t believe they were in my bed! I laid on top of them! They wriggled from underneath me! They’re so horrid. I can’t imagine why people keep them as pets. They’re damn rodents that eat everything and possibly themselves! They’re giant, furry cockroaches with little ears! What do I do what do I do what do I d—
“What happened? Are you alright?” In rushes a boy—dark hair with deep gray eyes—that looks exactly like….
His face goes pink as I see his eyes wander towards my unbuttoned shirt.
Oh, shit—I’m nearly half-naked.
“GET OUT! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?” I scream, jumping down from the bed. I chuck my pillow at the perpetrator, all the while trying to cover myself up with some sheets, but realizing that said sheets are infested with rats, I scream some more.
The pillow hits him in the face, which then explodes into a flurry of feathers. “Argh. I was just trying to—!”
“GET A NICE PEEK, RIGHT? HOW IN THE NAME OF BLOODY MERLIN DID YOU EVEN GET IN HERE?!” I go to grab another pillow to throw, but then realizing that said pillow was actually a fairly large textbook, and then realizing that I’d already thrown it, it’s far too late. It cuffs him right on the side of the head.
Damn the Marauders. Damn them all to hell. DAMN EVERYTHING.
Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn.
So I’m in the hospital wing right now.
…Tending to the now unconscious frère of Sirius Black.
Both of whom, now that I mention it, look uncannily alike.
You know, this is just my luck. I get terribly pranked by possibly my worst enemies in the world under circumstances that I can’t even comprehend (How did they even get in there? And where did they get all of the rats?). And as if that’s not enough, I knock out Sirius Black’s little brother with a sodding textbook. It’s idiotic how I choose to use pillows and books as weapons instead of, I don’t know, an upside down broken wine bottle or a baseball bat, oh, or maybe my wand?
Stupid life. Why must you insist on screwing me up.
What’s even more infuriating is how I had to get him here. The rats were long gone after running away from my fervent brandishing of a broom to their arses, and he was just laying there on the floor, totally knocked out. How I even threw that book hard enough to do so is beyond me. I just stared at his motionless body, absolutely unsure what to do. I gave him a few shakes, but he was totally out. I quickly got dressed again all the while asking myself whether or not to leave him there until he wakes up or go to the infirmary. I even considered stuffing him in a broom cupboard…
Obviously I chose to bring him to Madam Pomfrey, but carrying him up and down the steps quickly made me regret the idea. Okay, I had some help from random passersby. Actually, I didn’t carry him at all, but I did manage to get him out of the dungeon alone.
…by dragging his legs.
Wait—why was there no one in the dorms? Hm. I think I may have missed a really big party or something. I never get invited to those things.
I’m dabbing his forehead with a cool, wet cloth because apparently he had a bad fever before I knocked him out cold. Maybe he was in the dorms alone because he wasn’t feeling well.
When Madame Pomfrey saw his state I think she was about to kill me. I quickly told her my story, but she merely looked at me with narrowed eyes and ordered me to watch over him until he woke up. A very skeptical little lady, isn’t she.
Wow, I just realized I don’t even know his name.
Hm. He looks a lot like Sirius. Maybe they’re complete opposites—he is in Slytherin after all…. Well, the opposite of Sirius is… Humorus. Haha, oh, I made a funny. Watch his name be something terrible like Aurelius, or Zephyr, or something really boring like Steven or Robert. Honestly, the names people give their children these days. I swear I know his name—it must be buried in the back of my brain somewhere.
Sigh. I don’t want to be sitting here. I should be taking a nap right about now, but no. Those filthy rats have rattled me into insomnia. Perhaps I could seek my revenge on the Marauders, but then again, they’re the ones seeking revenge on me.
But I didn’t deserve that! That was cruel…. And look what happened to poor Humorus.
Oh, Merlin, the name’s stuck. That’s embarrassing. Hopefully he won’t ever catch me calling him that.
Don’t think, just dab. Dab away.
I think I have thoroughly soaked his face. Mmm, what a lovely face, that is. He’s got these sweeping eyelashes that barely touch his dark, wavy hair. His lips are turned down slightly to a grimace and faint freckles scatter across his nose, otherwise indiscernible from far away. He looks so extremely vulnerable and small that I can’t help but feel a little protective of him for some reason. But now that I hear myself describe him, he sounds more like a little girl than this peculiar individual laying in front of me. Yet he looks quite innocent and ethereal when he’s unconscious....
…He didn’t look that innocent and ethereal checking out what color my knickers were.
(Pink and green polka-dots, by the way.)
Oh, but I suppose he couldn’t help it. I was half-naked.
Why must I be so passive? I need to be more aggressive.
He stirs. “W-where am I?” he begins to mumble, as I see his gray eyes wander around the room.
Now’s my chance! “You knickers-peeking bloody little minger!”
Wait, too much aggressive. Back to passive! Back to passive! I have wounded this innocent child!
He sits up and looks at me, completely startled. “What the hell are you talking about? Who are you?”
“No—er, erm—go back to sleep; you need your rest!” I grab his shoulders and shove him back down onto the bed.
“Ouch! You bleeding trollop—I’m tender!” He rubs his head in pain.
Why is it that I don’t know my own strength lately? And why do I have to figure that all out on one person? I’m so cruel….
Wait a minute. “I’m not a trollop!” I say angrily.
“Well, I’m not a minger!”
It’s true. He’s quite the opposite.
Argh, no. I’m fraternizing with enemy relations. “Just be a good boy and let me dab you.”
Our limbs begin to tangle while I am trying my hardest just to freaking dab the kid while he tries to prevent such dabbing to occur. I just want to help.
He ends up lying there with the cloth sitting on his forehead, looking up at the ever-so-interesting ceiling. We came to a truce. It’s either that or he’s just exhausted from being so sick. I swear I can feel heat radiating from his skin, and he looks extremely pale. Now, if I can find Madame Pomfrey to get out of this wretched place….
“Hey, you’re that one poor girl,” he suddenly realizes. “Ivy Parker!”
Wow, now that I notice it, no one has called me by name in quite some time. It’s either “you” or “hey” or “poor girl” or any combination of the three. If it’s an adult, professor, or likewise, it’s “miss” or “you, sleeping in the middle of my lecture”. I was beginning to forget my own name, even. Why does he know my it, anyways?
Oh, right. Because I’m the poor girl that screwed over the Marauders.
My eyes narrow to their own accord. “Hey, you’re that one person, Humorus.”
Oh, man. I’ve done it. Gah!
“What?” he asks incredulously. “Humorous?”
“You know, if you keep saying ‘what’, your face will get stuck like that.”
He shuts up. Heh heh. Kids. Actually, I believe he’s only a year younger than I am.
Eh. Kids. What can you do. Funny he hasn’t mentioned—
“You’re dead, you know that,” he says, staring me straight in the eye. Ah, there you go.
“You’re not the first to think so,” I mumble. I don’t think he heard me.
“Once I regain my strength,”—he coughs—“I’m going to—.”
“Ugh, you and your family and revenge. What is up with you people?” I hiss. “Must I be on the blacklist of every Black out there? You were sick with a fever, anyway.”
“Well, I’m sorry I knocked myself unconscious with a giant book—oh wait. That was you,” he snaps. Merlin, he sounds just like his brother. Actually, I think he said something exactly along those lines to me before… “You didn’t even apologize! Also, most people thank the person who runs to help them after their bloodcurdling screams echo through the walls.”
Damn, how did I not apologize? How thoughtless of me. Wow, that’s harsh. But I did get him some medical help…
I sigh. It’s useless. Why does everything end up being my fault? I better check into that more. “I—I’m sorry. And thank you,” I mumble.
“Apology accepted. You’re welcome,” he snaps.
Whoa. That was…quick.
I clear my throat. “That’s it? Y-you don’t want to make me do things for you? Haul around your books? Write your potions papers?” Not that he’d want to; I’m terrible at potions.
“You could pay,” he begins (not money, not money, anything but money), “With your body.”
I could do that.
NO, WAIT. NO I COULDN’T.
An image flashes in my mind of me and him going at it like animals here in the hospital wing, limbs flying everywhere and—
Okay, that is truly disturbing. Plus, he’s sick. I wouldn’t want to catch anything. I shudder, trying to get the odd image out of my muddied mind.
He laughs at my horror-stricken face and shakes his head. Hmm… I like it when he – FRATERNIZING WITH ENEMY RELATIONS.
I bite back my lip. Bad, Ivy. Bad!
“I was just kidding,” he chuckles. “Geez.”
“Hmph,” I scoff, rolling my eyes. We sit there in silence for a little while, until I realize, “How did you get in the girls’ dormitory, anyway? Isn’t there some sort of barrier type thing?”
He shrugs. “I guess it let me through since you were in… distress,” he says fairly sarcastically.
“I see.” I guess that makes sense. “Oh, and Humorus?”
“Mm?” he grunts, his eyes closed. Now he answers to that bloody nickname? Shit.
I shrug that off. “What did you say your name was, again?”
“I didn’t,” he yawns. “And it’s Regulus.”
Oh, right. Close enough.
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