Chapter 2 : Things Are Never How They Appear
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Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, all belongs to J.K. Rowling.
Things Are Never How They Appear
Emmeline had already woke up and got ready for the first day of lessons and was waiting on Hestia, who was scrabbling around. How someone could lose track of their belongings when they hadn’t even been back at school for a full day was behind Emmeline as she opened up her sketch pad and started shading in a sketch of her cat, which she had drawn a couple days ago. Currently, at that moment, her cat was scrunched in a ball, fast asleep, atop her pillow.
“Emmy, have you seen where I put my shoes last night?” Hestia asked, as she frantically spun on the spot. “I can’t find them anywhere.”
“Uh,” Emmeline glanced up and scanned Hestia’s small area of the dorm, which already looked like a tornado had spun through it. It took her a few minutes before she found Hestia’s shoes on the floor beside her bed, half concealed by the bed skirt. “On the floor near your bed,” she replied, returning back to her drawing.
“Huzzah!” Hestia exclaimed as she retrieved the shoes and put them on. “Okay, I’m ready. Let’s go down to breakfast, shall we?”
“Yeah, alright,” Emmeline said as she closed her sketch pad and slid it into her shoulder bag before she followed Hestia out of the dorm. The others in their dorm had long since headed down to the Great Hall about a quarter of an hour ago.
On the way down to breakfast, the girls cheerfully discussed how they thought the day would go. In fact, Hestia even went as far as to tell Emmeline that she had to make an effort with Sirius, which seemed rather impossible considering she didn’t even think Sirius would notice her at all. Sure, he had spoken to her on the train yesterday, but that was only because she had run smack into him and fallen down. Would Emmeline have to fall every time Sirius Black was within her line of sight just to capture his attention? If that was the case then she would never get a date with him because she was not some clumsy girl whom constantly tripped over her feet at the sight of a boy.
When they had arrived at the Great Hall and sat at the Hufflepuff table they noticed some students whom had already received their lesson schedules were leaving for their first class of the morning. It caused Emmeline to look around before she spotted Professor Sprout, Head of Hufflepuff, passing out schedules to a few Fourth years down the table a little ways. She took her sketch pad out and continued to shade to enhance her cat’s features as she munched on a couple slices of buttered toast and waited for the professor to reach where they were seated as Hestia chatted with Nina Hallowitz, one of their dorm mates, about which guys look more attractive since returning back to Hogwarts after summer.
“’Morning, Ms. Vance,” Professor Spout greeted as she reached the niche where Emmeline sat across from Hestia and Nina. “I assume you’re keeping all of your N.E.W.T. classes the same, am I correct?”
“Yes, I am, Professor,” she replied, watching as the Herbology Professor tapped a blank note card with the tip of her wand before handing it over to Emmeline. She looked down at it and saw that she had Potions first thing that morning. Great, just great, the first class back was the one that gave her the most trouble. If it was not for the fact she needed Potions to be accepted into the Auror training program straight out of Hogwarts like her brothers before her she would have undoubtedly dropped the subject.
“What do you have first?” Hestia asked, wanting to compare schedules like they usually did. Emmeline passed her lesson schedule over as Marlene came over to the table and sat down with her schedule held out before her,
“Potions first thing this morning, then Charms,” Marlene announced. “And after lunch I have Care of Magical Creatures and History of Magic.”
“We only have two lessons together today,” Emmeline frowned, wishing she was taking the same classes as Marlene. “And both are before lunch, when we’re going to be still waking up.”
Marlene frowned as she read each of their schedules from day-to-day during the week, then said, “Well, at least we have classes together as it is difficult since we’re all planning to do different things once out of Hogwarts.”
“True,” Emmeline agreed. “At least we have some classes together.”
The friends left the Great Hall together, bidding Nina goodbye as she had a free period that morning, and made their way down to the dungeons for Potions. Upon reaching the classroom, they discovered they were early and only a small amount of people milled in the corridor waiting for Professor Slughorn to open the door for the lesson to start. Among these were Lily Evans, Mary McDonald, Dedilus Diggle, Nathan Goldstein, Severus Snape, and a couple other Slytherins that Emmeline could not recall their names.
There was a slight chatter filling the din of the corridor as they waited and more arrived, however it was still hushed enough to hear a few rowdy guys making their way from around the corner. When they came into sight, Emmeline was not at all surprised to see that the loud, obnoxious boys making all the racket in their wake had been three of the four Marauders: James, Sirius, and Remus, though Remus wasn’t making near as much noise as the former two.
Emmeline dropped her gaze quickly to the flagstone floor of the hall to avoid catching Sirius’s eyes and felt a jab in her side. Looking up, she noticed that it had been Hestia that had nudged her to remind her of the dare and to keep her head held up high instead of directed at the ground. Fine, she would just not look over in the direction of the Marauders then.
“Oi, James, it’s Evans,” Sirius said to his best mate, indicating to where Lily was very pointedly ignoring the group of boys, namely one, by immersing herself in conversation with Mary. Only that tactic did nothing to faze James at all as he looked over at the girl he had been crushing on for a few years now.
“Evans!” James exclaimed through a grin that spread across his face. “What do you say you agree to spend the day with me at the first Hogsmeade visit?”
“In your dreams, Potter,” Lily scowled with a roll of her eyes in exasperation.
And as much as everyone loved watching Lily and James bicker, it was soon cut short by the sound of the door opening and Professor Slughorn stepping out, belly first, to greet the Seventh year N.E.W.T. students. Emmeline followed her two friends into the classroom after a few of their classmates. They ended up choosing a table at the front to sit at, as usual.
The better part of the class was spent listening to Professor Slughorn drone on about the importance of N.E.W.T.s in which everyone, including Emmeline, tuned him out. The majority of the N.E.W.T. Potion students passed slips of parchments back and forth and the other few spent the time to catch up on their sleep. Emmeline, however, sketched in her drawing pad; mostly of the swirls and delicacy of flowers and intertwining vines.
When the Potion Master had ceased his lecturing of N.E.W.T.s and how hard the year was going to be, he told the class to get started on brewing a draft of Felix Felicis, the liquid luck potion. Apparently they would be brewing potions that take a longer duration to finish this term.
Emmeline worked on her potion until the end of class, not paying much attention to those around her. When it was time to leave, she corked up a sample of what she had done in a glass bottle and handed it into Professor Slughorn before leaving with Hestia and Marlene. Both of her friends stood impatiently in the hallway as she exited the classroom, but as she made her way over toward them she slipped on something and fell to the ground with a hard wallop.
“Oomph,” was the single sound that escaped her mouth as she lay perfectly still on her back, wishing she could disappear into thin air as she felt all eyes of those in the corridor glance to where she fell.
“EMMY,” she heard the familiar voices of her two friends as they rushed to help her stand. “Are you alright?” Hestia asked her as she took both their hands and straightened up. “It was those stupid, childish boys,” she went on when she realised Emmeline was indeed alright. “They put something gooey on the ground so that the next to leave the class would slip and fall, though we didn’t realise they had until you were down as they started to laugh and walk off. If you ask me, they’ve lost their touch.”
“Whatever, it doesn’t matter,” Emmeline muttered as she bent over to collect her books—which were strewn across the floor—and placed them back into her shoulder bag. “C’mon, let’s get to Charms before we’re any later than we probably already are.”
The girls rushed through the corridors and up a few flights of stairs until they had finally reached the Charms classroom. Emmeline could easily hear the professor taking roll call through the door as she gently turned the knob and pushed, sucking in her breath when the door’s hinges gave an annoyingly high-pitched noise like nails on a chalkboard.
“Ladies, so glad you could join us,” Professor Flitwick said from where he stood perched on the usual stack of books on the chair behind the lector stand. “Please take your seats so that I can get on with the lesson today.”
“Yes, sir,” Emmeline replied, while at the same time looking around the room for an open spot they could all sit which there was not. There were only two seats together at a table, which left the only other available seat at the back next to Mason Jennings. She motioned for her friends to take the only two seats side-by-side opened as she made her way back to the back, where coincidentally the four Marauders sat behind where Jennings was. It was some day, alright.
It was after she had sat down that she heard a snicker from directly behind her. Craning her head around so she could see who had laughed at her, Emmeline discovered it had been Sirius who was laughing at her with the other three grinning mischievously, eyes twinkling devilishly. Pondering what was so funny she rolled her eyes and turned back around to face the front as Professor Flitwick started lecturing them on N.E.W.T.s—again.
If Emmeline had to listen to one more lecture about the importance of N.E.W.T.s she would go insane indefinitely. Slipping her sketch pad from her bag, she opened an ink well to dip her quill into and continued to draw on the same page she had doodled on in Potions, completely ignoring Mason Jennings next to her and the Marauders at the table behind her. She would not let anything bother her today, lest she succumb to how they expected of her to act in regards to their trivial behaviour.
She did not much like drawing with quills, but the only pencil in her bag was in dire need of sharpening already and she had left her sharpener downstairs in her dorm at the bottom of her trunk with the rest of her drawing materials. Besides, she did not feel like having her fellow students stare dumbfounded at her as she used a stick with lead on one end and an erase on the other. Her friends asked her what she was using to draw more than she could count as it was, the last she needed was for others to start throwing questions about her choice in writing utensils next.
Tracing a line of ink from her quill onto one of the sheets of parchment inside of the sketch pad, she placed her other hand on the edge of the pad to keep it steadied as she drew the very window at the front of the class that overlooked the grounds beyond which part of the Quidditch Pitch was just visible toward the left of the window. Emmeline drew what she saw for the most part, though she did draw some abstract images from scratch when she didn’t feel much like drawing still-life.
Though, despite being talented at drawing what she saw, she did not like drawing people because the image just seemed too permanent and not as lively as in real life. She liked to view a person how they really appeared instead of in a drawing or photograph as you got to see more of them that way. Her brothers had often teased her growing up because she had been a quiet child who preferred to watch people and their surroundings instead of taking part in the action herself. In fact, they still teased her mirthlessly because she still preferred the sidelines rather than to be centre stage.
As Professor Flitwick continued to drown on about some of the topics that are sure to be on the Charms N.E.W.T., Emmeline saw Mason from the corner of her eye look down at what she was drawing and his jaw dropped suddenly. No idea as to what could have shocked him Emmeline continued to sketch the window and grounds that were visible outside of it. She did not much care about what he thought of her drawing.
The lecturing carried on for the whole class so that by the time Flitwick was finished it was time for lunch. As she made to stand, Mason stood beside her and said, “That’s some sketching.”
“Yeah, so,” Emmeline said, shutting the pad and putting it securely into her messenger bag before slinging said bag over her head and letting it rest on her left shoulder.
“I’m just trying to compliment you,” Mason said, a little on the defensive side. “Don’t take it the wrong way. It looked exactly like the window, complete with the scenery behind it. You’re really talented.”
Emmeline blushed. “Thanks.”
That said, Mason left the classroom and a few seconds later both Hestia and Marlene were standing beside her. The three of them left the classroom and headed down to the Great Hall for lunch. Having not eaten much of anything except toast that morning, Emmeline was famished.
She walked through the corridors with her two friends, surrounded by other students on their way down to the Great Hall, unaware that a group of troublesome boys were not far behind them. The girls were talking about how dull their morning lessons had been at first, but the conversation soon changed to which boys appeared to have changed over the summer yet again. It seemed this topic never tired.
“So, what was Mason saying to you?” Marlene asked. “I saw him turn to say something to you before he left at the end of class. Did he ask you out?”
“No,” Emmeline replied. “He was only complimenting me on my sketch, which I had been drawing during Flitwick’s lecture.”
“You know, one of these days you’re going to wind up in trouble for not paying attention in class,” Marlene lectured her. “But what were you drawing this time?”
Emmeline rolled her eyes at her friend’s scolding before answering, “The window that overlooks the grounds behind where Flitwick stood behind the lector.”
“No wonder he was impressed,” Hestia spoke up. “You’re talented at drawing what you’re looking at any given time.”
“And not to mention modest, too,” Marlene said, observing how uncomfortable Emmeline was at that moment. “You really have no clue how talented you are, huh? In fact, I think you should find another career other than becoming an Auror that would fit you much better.”
“But I want to be an Auror.”
“Yes, of course you do,” Hestia said, joining in on the conversation. “But you could still work in the Auror department, just not as an Auror. Instead you could draw descriptions of crime scenes and wanted wizards. Your drawings are always so precise.”
“Hestia makes an excellent suggestion,” Marlene agreed. “You should reconsider what you want to do in the Auror department.”
“Perhaps, but I really do want to follow in my brothers footsteps as I admire their brave ado and skills,” Emmeline said, thoughtfully.
“Fine, but think about,” Marlene said.
“So, anyway, what about those guys we were talking about last night?” Hestia changed the subject with no subtlety at all. “Are you ladies ready to make your moves?”
“Oh, hush,” Marlene said, as she waved her hand to the side with her cheeks turning crimson.
“Ah, of course,” Hestia said. “You’re not bold enough to say anything to him that may risk your friendship.”
“Actually, I haven’t even had a conversation with him since being back yet,” Marlene said, defending why she had not told Remus of her true feelings for him yet. “And besides, it’s only the first day back.”
“Yes, it is,” Hestia replied. “However that doesn’t mean you should use it has an excuse for not approaching him at all.”
“I’m not using it as an excuse,” Marlene defended herself. “I’m only saying that I haven’t been able to talk to him yet. It doesn’t necessarily mean I’m backing out on my dare, though, as I fully intend to talk to him soon.”
“Yeah, you better.”
When the girls arrived outside the entrance to the Great Hall, they were stopped by said troublesome boys calling out to them. Upon realising just who had called them back, Emmeline looked down at the stone floor in an attempt to hide the blush that had begun to crept up into her cheeks. She was vaguely aware of four sets of eyes on her, in addition to her two friends however she did her best to block it out.
“How did your summers go, ladies?” Sirius asked.
“It was alright, pretty dull,” Hestia was the first to reply due to the fact she was not crushing on any of the Marauders like the other two were. “But Emmy had an exciting vacation in France, though, didn’t you Emmy?”
Emmeline looked up at her friend, giving her a ‘You-Are-Toast’ look before making eye contact with the guys. “Actually, I’d hardly call it exciting as I was with my parents.”
“But you still got to leave the country,” Hestia insisted.
“Yes, but it was not nearly as fun as I would have had if I had spent it with friends rather than my parents.”
“What about you Marlene?” Remus spoke up, directing a question toward Marlene. “Did you have a nice summer?”
Marlene nodded. “It wasn’t much, but I enjoyed it nonetheless as my brothers really are quite fun and entertaining, even at times when they aren’t even trying to be. You?”
“It was great, we spent most of the summer doing what we do best.”
“Ah, and I suppose that means you spent your summer causing hi-jinks and pulling pranks.”
“Yes, we did,” James and Sirius proudly admitted in unison.
“Why am I not surprised,” Hestia said, putting in her two knuts worth.
The Marauders only grinned at that and then entered the Great Hall for lunch. All of the guys minus one, it was Remus who had held back and he was looking anywhere but at the girls as they stood before him. It was not until he looked up after a few moments silence had fallen between them had he said anything at all,
“Hey, Marlene, can I talk to you for a moment?” Remus asked before he added, “alone.”
Marlene looked at Emmeline and Hestia before both girls got the hint and headed into the dining hall over to the Hufflepuff table. Neither of them wasted any time at all before they started to discuss what it was Remus could possibly want to tell Marlene that he could not say in front of them.
“He’s probably asking her out as we speak,” Hestia said. “I knew he’d make a move eventually, and Marlene was worried he only saw her as friend. Ha, as if!”
“But did you think it’d be this fast?” Emmeline asked, a slight frown forming at the corner of her lips. “This is Remus we’re talking here. What if he wants to talk about something else with her? Not that I don’t doubt that Remus likes Marlene, it’s just it seems a bit off that he’d ask to talk to her on the first day back at school.”
“Perhaps,” Hestia considered. “Though, he may have been pushed into asking her out by his mates, you never know.”
At that moment they looked up to see Remus enter and watched as he walked over toward the Gryffindor table before turning back to the entrance to find that Marlene had not entered. It was odd to say the least considering the pair had just been standing out in the hall together. It piqued the friends’ interests and sent their minds on red alert in case something had happened.
“Let’s go,” Emmeline said, stepping into the role of mother hen as she headed out of the Great Hall and into the hall. She looked both ways to find no sight of Marlene, however if she knew her friend as much as she thought she did, then Marlene would more than likely be out in the grounds by the lake.
It did not take long at all to find Marlene once they had left the confines of the castle and were walking down the sloping lawn toward the great, black lake. Upon reaching her, Emmeline sat down and put a hand on her shoulder to get her attention. “What happened, Marley?”
Marlene looked up and sniffled back the tears that were starting to form in her eyes. “He said he thought it would be best if we didn’t hang out as much this year.”
“What?! Why?” Hestia said, upset for her friend.
All Marlene did was shrug in response to Hestia’s outburst before dropping her head to look downward.
“It’s got to be because of his mates,” Hestia steamed. “They’re probably giving him a hard time over his friendship with Marley by ragging on him and telling him he needs to ask her out already.”
Emmeline sighed, turning her attention to the downtrodden Marlene instead of the angered Hestia. “I’m sure he’ll come around. He’s just being a stubborn Gryffindor.”
That got a short, wet laugh out of Marlene, despite the fact she was still clearly upset over Remus telling her they couldn’t be friends anymore. It was another few minutes before Marlene was fine and the girls headed back up to the castle and parted as they had no afternoon classes together that day.
Author's Note: I'm so sorry for the delay between ch. 1 and ch. 2, this chapter was just sitting on my computer waiting for me to wrap it up by adding a couple of paragraphs for the better part of a few months. But it's up now and I hope y'all enjoyed it. Things will pick up and get more interesting the further in it gets, it's just starting up now. Thanks for reading!
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