Chapter 7 : Lessons Learned
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Thank you to my fabulous and most amazing beta, butterbeergal and for the beautiful chapter image supersonicCAT at TDA!
The first day back was much the same as Roxanne and I had anticipated. She kept on shooting me dirty looks, then sighing and looking longingly out the window beside me at the bright blue sky all through Charms class.
I started to tune the ancient Professor Flitwick out, regretting my decision not to skive off class. I got Roxanne’s none too subtle hints... what I would give to be flying right now.
No sooner had I thought it when someone zoomed by on a broom. I heard the loud bark-like laughter of my eldest brother and realized he and some of his mates were enjoying their free periods off. Roxanne shot me another dirty look.
“Ms. Weasley, Ms Potter. Please kindly direct your attention to the front,” Flitwick’s squeaky voice interrupted any retaliation on my part.
Roxanne shot what she thought must have been a winning smile at our Professor (who admittedly did seem to grow a tad pinker). “Sorry Professor.”
Her charm, however, did not work on the Ravenclaws who shared the classroom with the Gryffindors. Many, including the always pretentious Bridgett Harris, looked right pissed at the slight disturbance we caused.
I swear, all these swotty Ravennerds needed to leave the library sometimes, have some fun, go outside... Hey, you never know, they might learn something.
The ring of the bell interrupted any further boredom. Roxanne and I collected our things and made our way out into the corridor.
Bridgett, with two other girls from our class, was waiting for both us.
I looked at Roxy who simply rolled her eyes and turned a scathing glare on the Ravenclaws. “What do you want, Harris?”
That’s why I loved Roxanne. I mean I loved her for other reasons of course, but she is not scared of anyone and truth be told, I was surprised Bridgett was not cowing under her very Angelina-like stare.
Bridgett stepped forward and put her hands on her hips. “I would just like to remind you that some of us are trying to learn in there, and just because you two Gryffindors are still trying to ride on your parents’ famous coat tails does not mean you can cause disturbances in class.”
“Oh, for the love of Dumbledore, we were not even talking,” I retorted, annoyed at her slight about our famous last names.
Roxanne scowled at the girls and then her face settled into a smirk, one very similar to her father. “Leave it, Lily. Harris just needs to get shagged.”
I laughed while the blonde Ravenclaw blushed. Everyone in the castle knew she had been after my cousin Louis since third year, and everyone knew how she failed miserably each year.
Roxanne waved a mocking hand at the Ravenclaws and grabbed my arm, turning me to make our way to Transfiguration.
“Well, you should know, shouldn’t you, Weasley? Everyone knows you’re the biggest slag in our year,” Bridgett yelled after us
.Now that was a very false statement. Sure, Roxanne flirted an atrocious amount (most of the time it was simply to annoy Fred), but she had only ever kissed one boy.
Roxanne simply laughed, tossing her mane of black hair. She blew a kiss back at the girls and the crowd that had converged to watch our altercation. “Well, I hope your books keep you warm at night, Harris!”
The crowd erupted into laughter and Harris and her groupies stalked away. We giggled all the way to the classroom and found seats at the back of the class. I watched as classmates trickled in, and I was slightly relieved to see the green and silver uniforms join our red ones.
I leaned over to Roxanne who was pulling out her text book. “I have to say that for once, I am glad we are with the Slytherins. I did not want to put with more of Bridgett.”
Roxanne chuckled in agreement. She took a glance at the clear sky and then back at me, her eyes big and puppy dog-like. “Aldridge is not here yet, we could probably sneak out. Worse comes to worst I have some Fever Fudge in my bag.”
Just as I was about to respond, Professor Aldridge swept in, placing a glass tank full of worms. He travelled to the board and wrote ‘O.W.L.S’ in large capital letters (I heard Roxanne sigh behind me) and setting the chalk down, he turned and surveyed the class with his dark eyes. I liked Aldridge.
He was strict and had high expectations but he was an incredible teacher with a very dry sense of humor. I enjoyed class immensely. It also helped that he was a very good looking older man. Probably slightly older than my father, Aldridge seemed to even make Head Mistress McGonagall giddy (if ever such a thing could happen), though this was based purely on his looks; he was not much of a charmer.
I was one of his favorites, too. He gave me detentions and punishment but I think for the most part it was for his own amusement.
“I expect everyone in this classroom to be able to achieve an OWL in this course. With enough dedication, hard work and practicing, along with my phenomenal teaching skills, everyone should be quite successful this year.”
The class remained dead quiet as he spoke, his presence as well as his confident voice kept us all subdued, something only the headmistress could achieve.
“Now before we get started on the lesson for Vanishing spells, I am going to propose my pet project. Headmistress McGonagall has already approved it and supports it whole heartedly, so no complaining.”
My peers began to glance at each other with questioning looks, all looking for the same answer, what could he possibly have in mind?
“Now as you know, the seventh years are all preparing for their N.E.W.T s. For their review of their first five years of magical education and for your revision for your exams, you will each be paired with one of my students in my N. E. W. T level class. As there are less of them than you young ones, some of you will be with another student in your year as well as the seventh year. This is an opportunity to develop leadership for your upperclassmen and a chance for you students to experience another way of learning and work on anything in greater depth that you are having trouble with. I call it cooperative learning.” He folded his hands together looking pleased with himself; however, there was a collective groan around the classroom – this only meant more work for us.
“Now hush, no complaints, this will only benefit you when it comes time for your exams. You will meet with your ‘tutors’ every week for two hours, it is up to you and your partner to determine when and where. I will be choosing the partners and the matches will be posted in your common room by the end of the day. And no, Weasley and Potter, you two will not be together. I would not inflict that horror on my greatest enemy let alone a poor seventh year student.”
Roxanne and I immediately stopped motioning at each other, and turned to give our Professor cheeky grins.
He simply shook his head. “As well, this counts for part of your grade, and no slacking. I will be watching.”
He grinned and with those ominous last words he began our first lesson.
“Well, looks like we are going to need Aldridge’s cooperative learning,” Roxanne sighed as we made our way out of the classroom.
We both were unsuccessful in our attempts to vanish our worms in the period much to our great disappointment.
“It would have helped if you didn’t kill my first one.”
Roxanne threw up her hands in mock innocence. “It was an honest accident!”
“You dropped your textbook on it.”
Roxanne grinned at me. “Purely coincidental.”
“And then you threw my second one across the room.”
“It lived, didn’t it? Who knew worms were so resilient?”
I snorted. “You just didn't want me to get the spell before you did.”
She laughed. “You say it like you think I am competitive or something.”
“Yeah, imagine that.”
She laughed again and lightly bumped me with her hip making me laugh as well.
We reached the Great Hall eager for lunch. We sat down beside Edie and Samira and dropped our bags onto the floor.
Samira smiled shyly at us, “Sorry we did not sit with you girls in our classes today but you two always sit in the back...and well, we prefer the front.”
I smiled at her. “It’s okay, Sam. Really, not to worry. You will probably concentrate better without us two bothering you.”
She is just so nice. I don’t think anyone could ever speak poorly of her. Roxanne nodded in agreement while eagerly digging into a large sandwich.
Al sat down heavily next to me, looking disgruntled. Edie had to move over quickly to make enough room for him.
“Merlin, Al, do you not have your own friends?” I asked.
He gave me an annoyed look, and reached for some roast potatoes.
“Rose is with Clar, Shayne is with some broad from Huffelpuff.”
Roxanne and I both gave him dirty looks.
“You are surrounded by girls right now, brother dearest, watch your words.”
Al groaned and his head fell into his hands. “I need more guy friends.”
Samira and Edie laughed and excused themselves saying they had to visit the library. They each patted Al on the back in sympathy and made their way out of the Great Hall. I laughed as well but felt slightly bad for Al. He was a bit of a loner.
While James was enthralled and basked in the fame that came along with our name, Al had always shied away from it. Shayne was Al’s only true friend other than Rose. Sure, Al had lots of acquaintances, but it took a lot for him to trust someone. James was the complete opposite, once he made a friend he never doubted their loyalty, and he was lucky to find friends in Luke and Daemon, as well as our cousins. I knew that sometimes Al was jealous of the brotherhood James had created for himself. He and Al used to be so close; I think Al sometimes feels replaced.
Speaking of James, my eldest brother came and sat down, placing himself on my other side.
Leaning across me, he poked Al in the ribs.
“Oi, four eyes.”
“Fuck off, James,” mumbled Al through his hands, his head still down.
“You said you would talk to Erin for me. Did you?” James was relentless.
“Yes, I sung your praises and highlighted your great qualities… not that you have many,” Al retorted finally lifting his head.
Ah, so here was their compromise, what caused them to resolve their Erin issue. Al would talk James up in the hopes of actually getting my oldest brother a date, while I am assuming James had some role in Greg Mcdonald, Vivian’s newest boyfriend, waking up without any hair this morning. With one look over at the neighboring table, the sun shining off a very bald head, it appeared that whatever the Marauders used, it was not easily reversed. At the very least you think he would put on a hat or something.
“Well you buggered it up nicely then, in DADA today she called me Jack!”
I stuffed my fist in my mouth to stop myself from laughing and Roxanne spluttered her milk everywhere.
“Oi! You two! It’s not funny!” James exclaimed.
His annoyance only made us laugh harder. He became more riled up and I gathered from his pink cheeks, rather embarrassed.
“I’m sorry, James, it’s just that you’re always so cocky. Maybe you deserve to be brought down a bit,” I managed through my giggling.
“That’s exactly what Erin is doing,” came a new voice. Rose sat down in Edie’s vacated seat.
James’s face mirrored the bemusement that everyone else was feeling.
She looked at James, her expression a cross between pity and amusment, “I was just in the loo and I heard her talking to Michelle Oaks. Erin was saying how she is playing hard to get to make you want her more. She also does not trust that your feelings for her are real or if it’s just a game to you. She and Oaks were laughing about how she called you Jack today in class.”
James looked gobsmacked, his mouth hanging open so wide I probably could have fit a Quaffle in. “She...wha...bloody hell,” he managed to splutter.
Roxanne interrupted James musings. “But I mean isn’t that playing a little too hard? She pretends she doesn’t even know his name, seems a bit extreme to me.”
Rose motioned at James. “It’s been working, hasn’t it? I mean I am not one for games involving the heart but you can’t deny she knows what she is doing.”
James managed to collect himself and he gazed across the hall to the Ravenclaw table. “Wow, girls are evil.”
“Cheers to that, brother,” Al said and raised his glass of pumpkin juice in James’s direction.
The rest of the day passed quickly and after dinner, Roxanne and I rushed outside with our brooms to enjoy that last of the evening sun. We had been out there for about an hour. The sun was setting and only a few dim rays lit up the pitch. We decided to call it a night and traveled back to the castle, exhausted but exhilarated from our fly.
“We have so much work to do. All I want to do is sleep. Or eat chocolate. Or both,” Roxanne complained.
“Agreed,” I said as we entered through the portrait of the Fat Lady with the password ‘Fawkes.’
There was a small crowd around the common room announcement board and I looked at Roxy curiously.
“It’s the pairings for the co-op learning thing!” Roxanne said excitedly. “Oh, I hope I am paired with Ashton Davies, he is so dishy.”
We made our way pushing through the small group, our brooms effective at making space for us. I got to the list before Roxanne did and I ran my finger down the list.
“Roxy you are with...Amelia Hall, she is in Huffelpuff and...Violet Finnigan is your Seventh year.”
Roxanne groaned, “Oh life is so cruel. All I wanted was a cute boy.”
“I much prefer you with two birds, thank you very much.” Fred’s long arm reached around Roxanne’s shoulders and pulled her tight into his chest.
“Hey, Freddie,” she grumbled into his sweater.
He smiled, and pushed me slightly out of the way to read the list. “Fred Weasley...Edie Diamond.” He looked over his shoulder at Edie and gave her a flirtatious wink. She blushed madly in return and ducked her head. “And Arnold Caswell in Slytherin...ah, well you can’t win ‘em all. In reference to Arnie of course, Edie here is a delight.”
I shook my head and pushed his arm out of the way. Lily Potter...Lily Potter...I glance over the list...oh, here we are, Lily Potter and...Luke Wood.
Fred roared in delight when he saw who my partner was. My heart could not stop beating a mile a minute.
“Luke! You’re with Little Potter!” Fred yelled across the common room to where the Marauders were sitting by the large fire.
Luke looked thunder struck. I offered him a weak smile and he composed himself, giving me a half hearted wave.
Fred left us to go join his friends by the fire but not before ruffling my hair and giving Roxy a kiss on her hair. Roxanne was giggling madly, looking at the list then between me and Wood.
“Shut it, Ro-Ro.”
She pointed her finger at our two names, “And look, you two are one of the lucky exceptions Aldridge was talking about. Just the two of you. How utterly...romantic.”
I pushed her lightly and started to make my way up to our dormitory. Roxanne followed like a puppy at my heels.
I threw my broom on my bed and banged my head on the post once or twice.
“My life is over.”
“No, of course it’s not, it’s just the beginning. You and Luke are going to fall madly in love, get married, where of course, I will be the maid of honor, and have lots of little brown haired and ginger children.” She could not contain her laughter.
“First of all, that will not happen. Second of all my hair is auburn like Rose’s… I am not a ginger. Hugo is a ginger. Lucy and Molly, they are gingers. I am not.”
“Oh, whatever, Mrs. Wood.”
“I hope your parents won’t miss you too much when I kill you.”
“Please, you wouldn’t kill me. You can’t have Edie standing up there on the altar with you.”Roxanne was practically dancing, she was so giddy.
“I am sure my dad could get the charge down to manslaughter... What is that? Ten years? Nothing compared to a life free of you,” I mused.
“Oh, Lils, don’t talk like that. What would you do without me?”
“Probably be able to vanish a whole worm, get into a whole lot less trouble....”
“The worm was a misunderstanding,” Roxanne flashed her white teeth at me, “and your life would be so horrendously boring without my company”
That, I had to agree with her, was most likely true. Her antics always made things exciting.
We grabbed our books and Roxanne dragged me down to the common room, choosing a table as close as possible to the Marauders.
I scowled at her and she pretended like she did not notice, whistling loudly and getting her work out.I pulled out a piece of parchment and began to work on my essay reviewing Summoning charms for Professor Flitwick.
Roxanne kept on shooting pointed glances over at the ‘Boys Club’ and when she did it for the eleventh time, I kicked her in the shin.
She squawked loudly gathering some attention.
“Okay, relax, I got the point.” She laughed and pulled her Charms text book closer to her to actually begin her work. We worked steadily for an hour and a half before we were interrupted.
Luke Wood came over, wearing an old Puddlemere United jumper and a slightly apprehensive expression. “Hey Lily? Since we are partners, when and where do you want to meet?”
I was distracted by how damn fit he was, even in a somewhat ragged jersey. “Ummm, how about Monday? After dinner?”
Luke was about to nod when Roxanne, ever the meddler, intervened, “We have practice on Monday. James would murder you both if you ditched.”
Luke smiled slightly. He knew my brother; he was after all one of his best friends.
“Alright, what about on Sunday? After dinner? We have morning practice that day anyways so Quidditch won’t be an issue,” he suggested.
“Sounds wonderful,” I managed to get out.
He gave me one of his crooked smiles. “It’s a date, then. See you later, Lily.”
He walked away and joined the other Marauders on their way out of the common room, probably off to the kitchens or to pull off some prank.
I looked over at Roxanne, her eyes wide and she seemed to be radiating excitement.
I ignored her and returned back to my work, but I could not keep the grin off my face for the entire night.
A/N: Wow! Okay so apologies first and foremost...please no throwing of objects! I know my updates have taken forever, but I really like this chapter, hopefully you all feel the same and it was worth at least some of the wait. And it's the longest one yet! What do you think of Roxanne? I think her character becomes more developed in this chapter, I imagined her as a pretty equal balance between George and Angelina, I hope that showed. And what about James and Erin? Girls are cruel sometimes haha. Oh and of course the biggest question, what about Lily and Luke? The next update should not take too long, I am half way through it so it should be up in the next two weeks, this time I promise :)Please leave reviews, I adore all the feed back, even if it is just a few words. Also please check out my some what new author’s page!
p.s 222 favourites? I am thrilled and floored by all the support!
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