Chapter 7 : Of Sponges and Sarcasm
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I slept through the rest of the day on Sunday after I got home from St. Mungo’s. Devon had looked horrible, but what was I expecting?
Raffie was unusually quiet and instead of being a good brother and telling me, the baby of the family, ‘sure, yeah, everything’ll be fine,’ he felt the need to sit there with no expression for an hour before we went back to school.
Alice? Or was it Lily?
Alice pulled back the curtain on my bed and sat on the edge. “Feel any better?” she asked carefully.
Oh yeah, everything is all good and fine now. I’ve completely accepted the fact my brother has lost his job, life and personality. It’s just peachy.
“A little,” I answered, resting my head on the backboard. “I’m glad I saw him.”
Alice gave a little smile and nodded. “Dinner’s starting, I didn’t know if you wanted to go down…”
I shrugged. A little food wouldn’t kill me. “Sure. It’ll make Monday easier.”
“’Kay. Let’s go then, sleepy-head,” she said teasingly.
At least she wasn’t treating me like I was stuck in a permanent depression or anything- because I won’t be. That was one reason I was glad I’d already had to deal with my Mum’s death. Even when I was eight my dad always told me you could have twenty-four hours to be absolutely miserable and cry and eat all the ice cream you could hold down, but then you had to deal with it.
My dad’s a pretty wise guy. Seeing him today made me realize how much I miss him. It also made me want to talk to Raffie. However, my tosspot of a brother was not interested in talking to his little sister, even when our brother is attacked by a monster.
I sighed and shoved my trainers onto my feet, not bothering to tie the laces.
Alice and I walked down to the common room in silence, but it wasn’t uncomfortable. Just…nice.
“For the last time, Potter, I would not go out with you if given the choice between your big head and-and… Oh, hello Elsa, feeling better?”
I laughed loudly at catching Lily and James in the middle of a heated argument.
“Yeah, actually. A little drained,” I answered honestly. Lily smiled and gave me a hug.
“Good. Now let’s go, I’m starving,” Lily said, “Oh and James, to answer your question: no.”
James just shrugged and grabbed Sirius off the couch.
Sirius groaned and reluctantly followed his best mate. “But I was so comfy,” he whined, rubbing the back of his neck. “Er, hey Elsa. Feel okay?”
“Better,” I answered shortly, busy concentrating on the fact that Sirius apparently cared enough to ask.
I need to get my priorities straight.
“REMUS!” James yelled up in the direction of the boy’s dorms.
I put a hand over my ear. “Bloody hell James, would it kill you to just go get him?” I asked, my ears ringing.
Sure enough, Remus appeared at the top of the stairs and joined the group rather quickly, although his distaste at the method of summons was clear.
“Are you really that lazy, James?” He asked, frowning.
James chuckled. “Yeah,” he said, as if he was used to it.
Come to think of it, he’s James Potter. Of course he is.
Remus shook his head and turned to me. “Feel better?” he asked kindly.
I shrugged. “A little tired out.”
Remus put up a finger and began to dig around in his jacket pocket. “Aha,” he said, producing a wrapped block, “Chocolate?” he asked, breaking off a piece.
I smiled and took it. “Yes please,” I said, popping it into my mouth. I instantly felt better. “Chocolate really is the cure for everything.”
“See, I told you,” Remus said, replacing the chocolate. “Now you can tell Sirius that I’m not crazy.”
I looked at Sirius, puzzled. “You don’t like chocolate?”
Sirius rolled his eyes at Remus. “No, I just don’t think everything can be fixed with it. I mean, it’s not like if you break your arm chocolate is going to bend it back into place.”
I laughed. “Okay Sirius, whatever you say,” I said, shaking my head. “Where’s your dearly beloved Mary?”
“Sirius! There you are! I thought you were going to meet me downstairs,” Mary MacDonald said, approaching our little group that had formed in the center of the common room.
“Right on schedule,” Alice mumbled. “Shall we go?” she addressed James, Lily, Remus and I, seeing as Mary had wasted no time in dragging Sirius away by the hand. I swear, anyone who dates Sirius really does let it go to their heads.
“Yeah,” I sighed, looking up ahead at Mary and Sirius laughing and holding hands.
I can’t really get any more pathetic, can I?
I took Remus’ outstretched hand and followed Alice through the portrait hole.
I don’t know what it was about having a guy to hold hands with, but it felt a lot better than glaring at the other girls who did. And Remus just had this calming effect where he says something and you just instantly feel much better. He’s kind of like his beloved chocolate in that way.
And it sucks that I still want Sirius.
“Now, give the cup to the person opposite, yes, there, that’s it, and read their inevitable future!” Professor Fortis exclaimed, madly waving her arms in the air.
Let me be the first to say that Divination is a load of rubbish.
I’m sure I won’t be the last.
I handed over my cup to Alice, who sighed and peered in. “I think that’s some kind of dish, and a bird of sorts,” she started, squinting into the low-grade teacup, “Actually, it’s just a bunch of tea leaves, but whatever bullshit gets us an O is what I’m going to go with.”
I stared into Alice’s cup. “That there looks kind of like a pair of scissors, or it could be a bird, I don’t know.”
Alice shrugged. “Well, let’s see. If that’s a dish, there’s trouble at home, and uh, the bird means good news. So there’s trouble at home, but it’s good.”
I laughed. “Oh yeah, maybe next I’ll find out that my house has burned down and my father has been permanently transfigured into a donkey. I mean, that’s happy, right?”
“Hey, maybe if you tell Fortis that all of this came true she’ll give you extra credit,” Alice suggested.
Not really a bad idea.
“Well, according to this, these scissors indicate separation and quarrel and uh, that’s the sun, there, and that’s happiness. So you’re going to separate, but your going to be happy about it…” I trailed off, just wanting this class to be over.
“Whatever the magical tea leaves say,” Alice sighed, glancing in the direction of Frank Longbottom.
“You know, I’ve been thinking, since you’ve got yourself a boyfriend, I want to go back with Frank. I mean, I kind of miss him,” Alice said fondly.
Was she kidding?
“Are you joking? First off, Remus isn’t really my boyfriend, you know that, and Frank was kissing Marlene,” I hissed.
“I suppose, but I still miss him. Hey, do you think that James will go out with me to make him jealous?”
“Yeah, good luck dragging him away from Lily,” I answered, looking over to James’ table, where he was asleep over the teacup next to Sirius. “Besides, I doubt that Frank would be too affected, I mean, this is the only class you three even share.”
To tell the truth, I didn’t really like Frank all that much. He was kind of dumb (hence the 6th year Divination class and not the NEWT level one) and I hadn’t forgotten about the whole ‘big-mouthed whale’ thing.
“Class dismissed!” Fortis exclaimed, dramatically gesturing to the door.
“Thank Merlin,” Alice said as we got up from our table and met James and Sirius at the door.
“So, either of you predicted to die young or suddenly today?” I asked jokingly.
Sirius snorted. “No, but apparently I have money coming and Jamesie here is going to be betrayed by a feline.”
I laughed. “I really doubt a cat will sell you out. And besides, I thought rats were normally the emblem for distrust.”
James shrugged as we began the long climb down the stairs. “I was just disappointed there was nothing about Lily in there.”
“Of course you were. Oi! Watch where you’re going!” Sirius suddenly exclaimed, his Divination book flying from his hands.
The four of us looked down and were met with, just my luck, Regulus Black and his cronies.
“Sorry dearest brother, didn’t mean to. By the way, mum sends her regards. She’s blasted you off the tree, you know. I guess you leaving hasn’t caused us much harm,” Regulus spat, sounding very unlike the boy I agreed to go out with.
Sirius didn’t say anything at first. Clearly Regulus knew exactly what to say to him to put him off.
“Shove off, you prat,” said James, grabbing Sirius by the shoulders.
Regulus only laughed. “Oh, hello DeLestrade. Sorry I missed our little ‘date’. But I have to say, that was your own fault there. I mean, did you actually believe someone would really ask you? Because-!”
Alice smacked Regulus hard across the face. This was why she was my best friend.
“How dare you,” she hissed at him.
“Go be a bastard someplace else, Reg. No one wants you here,” Sirius said coldly.
Regulus shot his brother a glare, but pushed past the four of us and continued up the stairs, rubbing his jaw.
“Bloody git,” Sirius mumbled, quickening his pace and leaving James, Alice and I standing on the landing, rather confused.
“Well, Regulus really got to him,” Alice stated, picking up the Divination book Sirius had carelessly left behind. “What did he mean with all that?”
James was clearly uncomfortable with the subject and kept adjusting his glasses. “I’d tell you, but it’s not really my place. Oh, and I wouldn’t ask Sirius outright. If he wants to tell, he will. You know how he is.”
I lost track of the conversation from there, playing the words Regulus had said over and over in my mind.
Was I really that dumb?
How could I have ever thought someone would intentionally ask me out with no ulterior motive?
I wasn’t pretty, I wasn’t smart, I certainly wasn’t kind, and the only reason Remus agreed to go out with me was so that he could make someone who was nice, intelligent and gorgeous fancy him.
On top of that, one brother is ignoring me and the other is a werewolf.
Fuck you, world.
I’m going to be happy.
And you can’t do a damn thing about it.
James had concluded this had been a pretty boring and all-around melancholy week; he was right.
I was trying my best not to wallow in self-pity, putting on a fake smile and failing horribly at making anyone laugh.
Sirius hadn’t been the same since Monday after Divination when we had run into Regulus. And that made me even more saddened, because lord knows I’m obsessed.
Even Alice was not in the best of moods, as Frank had settled himself with a new girlfriend.
So James decided to do something so damn stupid that it even had Peter glowering at him.
James set up what one would call ‘booby traps’ for one Severus Snape. Seven.
Seven damn stupid, damn useless, and damn unfunny booby traps for Snape to waltz into.
And that’s how myself, Alice, Marlene, Sirius, Peter, Remus and of course, James, got here, on the floor of the second story girl’s lavatory, scrubbing the damn floor.
I will kill James with my bare hands if I get some sort of disease.
“I can’t believe you’re such an idiot,” Marlene grumbled, picking at her nails as she sat against the wall, neglecting any real work. “I mean really. How is it you managed to get seven people in detention for something you did?”
“Wouldn’t that make him a genius, oh intelligent one?” I snarled at Marlene. “And how about you get your arse down here and do some actual work?”
“Right,” Marlene snorted, playing with her hair, which was fading into a nice shade of forest green.
Sirius threw his sponge at his ex-girlfriend angrily. “Marlene, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Quit being a whiny bitch and just help us, would you?”
Oh Sirius, you know just what to say. What’s that? Why yes, I would love to be your girlfriend. We’d look so cute together-!
“Ouch, what the hell?”
Something squishy and wet had hit the back of my neck.
I turned to see Alice smirking. “Daydreaming, love?”
I blushed furiously. “Of course not,” I said, throwing my own sponge at my best friend.
“Would you two quit it!” James exclaimed, sponge flying from hand and hitting Marlene, who aimed in the direction of Peter, who looked around dumbfounded before hitting Remus.
And the battle had begun.
The next minutes were a mess of flying sponges, various spells and spilling water.
“Just what do you think you’re doing, Miss Collins?”
God damn it McGonagall, you couldn’t have come in, oh, let’s say thirty minutes from now?
“Detention. All of you.”
At least we went down laughing.
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