Chapter 1 : The Feast
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“Oh shut up, Slug-face.” Rose jumped in with a comeback before I could, sliding onto the Gryffindor bench next to me. Kevin’s face turned red at the thought of the incident from last year, when he started growing a slug for a mustache while trying to impress the girl he liked. Frowning, he slumped away towards his group of friends.
I laughed and gave Rose a big hug. “Why weren’t you on the train?” Since we’d met on Platform 9 ¾ five years ago, it’d had been a tradition to sit on the train together, sending chocolate frogs zipping around the Slytherin compartments.
“My dad was lecturing me about my behavior this year, as if he never got into any trouble. And he and his friends had an invisibility cloak to help them. So I missed the train, then had to deal with Filch-Two.”
I nodded; I could definitely picture Mr. Weasley doing that. “What did Filch-Two do? Did he threaten to tie you up in the potions closet again?” I shuddered at the thought of Jenk, the new squib apprentice to Filtch. His greasy hair and browning teeth were enough to give any fifth year nightmares. During our first year he had tied Rose up in the small, damp potions closet for making fun of him to cheer me up after I’d blown up a cauldron while trying to make a simple fertilizer for Herbology. It took me almost four hours to find her, and when I did she had almost passed out from her intense claustrophobia. Since then we’d had each other’s backs, Rose had even given up meat when she found out I did, just to support me. I really appreciated it, especially because she used to eat bacon with everything.
“Nah, he just said that if you and I didn’t watch our backs, we’d be expelled. As if any of the teachers would dare expel us, my mum would kill them!”
I knew the lecture she must have gotten well, I’d heard it at least once a week last year. “Sara Maguire, if you and the Weasley girl don’t shape up, you’ll be out of this school before I can say ‘Abra Cadabra’. I swear it! Watch your back, Jenk is watching you, always watching.” I spit out, imitating the way Filch-Two’s head always bobbed crazily while he talked.
“Just wait until we really hit the school this year, his head is going to fall off from yelling at us so much! It’s a pity he won’t give up like the other teachers did last year, I guess he just doesn’t know my legacy and your bull-like stubbornness.” She was talking about her father’s two older brothers, Fred and George, and all the trouble they caused when they’d gone to Hogwarts. One of them had died in the Battle of Hogwarts, but stories about some of their pranks were still being passed around the school. I put my two pointer fingers up to my head and poked Rose’s shoulder. “Stop that!” she laughed, twirling her robes around like a matador.
“You mess with the Sara-Bull, you get the horns.” Both of us erupted in loud laughter that made half the school look up from their feasts to see what was so funny. Most of them lost interest when they saw it was us, even though this was only our fifth year here they had learned to expect our extreme behaviors.
“Your face matches your hair,” I said once I’d caught my breath.
“Yours does too, and Ryan is staring at you.” Rose smirked happily, she always had fun playing off my weak-spot for Ryan Foster.
“Bloody hell!” I groaned, trying to smooth out my hair, which was pulling out of my low pony-tails. I starting liking Ryan back in second year after I caught him feeding clover to a baby unicorn, I found his soft inside to be a perfect complement to his harder outside. When I felt like my hair was under an acceptable amount of control, I turned towards the Ravenclaw table to look at him. The smile dropped from my face, he was slipping a piece of bread into another Fifth year’s mouth.
“It’s okay,” Rose said, rubbing my shoulder, “He wouldn’t be able to deal with you hotness anyway, he’d get burned.” I smiled at her cheesy attempt to make me laugh.
“I guess you’re right,” I said, “At least I’m not the one kissing that frog.” I motioned to the girl that he had wrapped his arm around. It hurt, but I tried to push it to the back of my mind. I could get upset about it later, when I didn’t have a mission to accomplish.
Rose turned back towards her plate and scooped a huge spoonful of carrots into her mouth. If there was one thing she was bad at, it was eating. I remembered her mum saying that she inherited her father’s table manners when I went to stay at her house for a week in the summer. “Hey Rose,” I said slowly, waiting for her to swallow her food.
“I dare you to steal a roll from Scorpius’s plate.” I smiled, this was our favorite game, we’d keep daring each other until one of us refused one of the dares.
“Okay,” She smiled back at me, her eyes gleaming. “But then you have to kiss Professor Longbottom tomorrow in Herbology, in front of everyone.”
“I’ll do it.” I had to put a hand over my mouth to stop myself from laughing as Rose got up and walked confidently towards the Slytherin table. She had a history with Scorpius that went back farther than both their grandparents and I loved watching her around him. Her normally over-confident personality always became bolder, even cockier than normal. When she reached his spot at the long table, her slender arms snaked around his waist, as if she were about to hug him. I envied the way she could make her movements slow and seductive, at least as seductive as a fifteen year old could get. From across the room I could see Scorpius’s body tense at the touch, he still didn’t know who it was. Rose plucked a roll from his plate quickly and brushed the browned bread against his lips before retreating from the contact she held with him. The blonde haired boy whipped his head towards her and the scowl on his face shined throughout the Great Hall. Rose said something to him, but I couldn’t read her lips. By the time she was walking back towards me, chewing happily on his roll, the look on Scorpius’s face had grown into an angry frown.
“Easy,” she said, throwing the roll at me as she neared the Gryffindor table. “Can you come up with something better?”
I thought for a moment, thinking of dares that would provide entertainment for the younger kids, that way they’d always remember us. Finally I came up with one that played off her dare for me. “I dare you to kiss Andy for at least fifteen seconds, right now. And you have to do it standing on the table.” Andy was another one of my older brothers, the closest to my age. Even though he was a year older than us, Rose had liked him for a little while our third year.
She paused for a moment, then nodded. “I’ll try. I always wanted to kiss Andy anyway. “ She said it so simply, like kissing someone was as everyday as brushing your teeth. To her it probably was, Rose always seemed much older than she was and she’d had her first kiss two years before, with Blake Roth, a Hufflepuff that was a year older than us. To me boys seemed foreign, they were my biggest weak point. My mum always told me not to worry, after all I was only fifteen. “And when I get back, I’ll come up with a good dare for you.” Rose’s lively voice broke me from my thoughts.
Once again she stood up and strutted away from me, this time towards the Ravenclaw table where my brother sat. Now people realized that they were going show and more than half the room had their eyes glued to her. I watched as she tapped my brother on the shoulder and grabbed his hands as he turned to face her. I always thought that he was the most handsome of my brothers, he had inherited my father’s dark hair and he always appeared clean and composed.
Still holding his hands, Rose stepped up onto the bench, then the table, pulling him with her. He looked confused, but curious. I felt a little bad for him, Andy didn’t like getting a lot of attention. But when I saw the amount of chicken on his plate, I didn’t feel so bad. I shook my head as Rose let go of one of his hands so that she could trail her finger along the side of his face, of course she was going to make this into a show. Andy must have realized what was happening, because he tried to get away, however Rose wouldn’t let him. She pulled him into a deep kiss and I started counting. I reached 43 before she pulled away and jumped of the table. She really was to promiscuous for her own good, a word that my mum had used to describe her on multiple occasions. I watched Andy step slowly from the table, rubbing his red face with a trembling hand. I felt a slight pang of guilt and brushed it off, thinking of the dead animal on his plate.
“Not bad, huh?” Rose was smiling as she plopped down next to me again. “I dare you to dump your soup on Damien’s head, then scream ‘Down With The Slytherins’ at the top of your lungs.” I was eager to do this one, Damien was Scorpius’s best friend and greatest ally. Together the two of them had sabotaged my finals fourth year, so I didn’t even feel slightly bad about pouring hot cream of mushroom soup on his shaggy black hair that he prided so much.
I picked up my gold colored bowl and scoped another ladleful of the bubbling liquid into it before walking towards the Slytherin table like Rose had done earlier. Both boys’ backs were towards me and the other students at their table didn’t notice me, so it was easy to sneak up on them. I dumped the gray soup on his head and raised the empty bowl above my head like a trophy, ignoring Damien’s shouts. “Down with the Sly-“ A cold, bony hand ripped my arm down and I stopped short, gasping slightly. It was Jenk, his brown teeth smiling crookedly.
“Well, well, look who’s already causing trouble. Maguire and Weasley… surprise, surprise.” His head was bobbing wildly as Rose jumped up and ran to my side. “What should Jenk do with you two? I can’t tie you to a tree in the Forbidden Forrest, now can I? Pity… Maybe I’ll just lock you in the dungeons like I normally do. No, that’s boring.”
“The girls are going to go to their dorms now,” Professor Shaw smiled gently at Jenk, like a primary school teacher smiles at her student. Jenk nodded and let go of my arm, I rubbed it briskly, as if that could get rid of the clammy chill that overtook my entire body.
“Thank you,” I said, looking up at Professor Shaw. She was the Divinations professor and my favorite teacher. She always stood up for us.
She nodded, “Now go to your dormitories before one of the other teachers decide to give you a more reasonable punishment.”
We both ran quickly off, we knew better than to push our luck the first day back at school. Racing to Gryffindor tower took less than three minutes and I beat Rose to our dorm by exactly eight seconds. “You’re parents let you get a new owl?” Rose asked, puzzled. She was pointing at the covered cage that was sitting on my bed.
I shook my head, smiling broadly. “Meet Harvey,” I said, pulling the sheet of the cage. “Her eggs are due to hatch tomorrow.