Step 2 - Abandoning all former conventions and values in order to get to know my ten galleons; Whoever said this was going to be easy... is a liar.
“Tammy, how about I just slip him some love potion and you give me ten galleons.” I proposed as I laid down on my cosy, comfortable, always-there-for-me bed. I already knew what the answer will be.
“That’s not love, Penny. That’s fake love.” Tammy muttered, as she finished off her potions essay in the last few minutes before lights out. Coincidentally, it had been an essay on the process of making a love potion.
“Well, you wouldn’t know if I did slip him one or not!” I retorted, devising up ideas on how I can make Sirius - Sirius Black - fall for me.
Tammy stopped what she was doing and glared at me. “I will once it wears off.” Her voice was so deadly that I didn’t even want to consider that option anymore.
It was a lame option anyway, I thought. Out of the five hundred girls falling at his feet, offering to do his homework and being a doormat, utilising the extraordinary powers of a love potion and pretending to hate him in an attempt to seek his attention were the top three tactics. Obviously, each does not work, and thus, I had crossed them out from my mental “How to make Sirius Black fall in love with me” list.
“I think he might get Remus to sniff his drinks...” I mused aloud. I was sure that Remus was able to determine whether or not something had been spiked by a love potion, somehow.
Tammy snorted. I ignored her and focused on my list. I thought of everything that Sirius Black likes to do. Well, bullying Sever Snape was one. But I happened to like the guy so calling him an abominable git with an abnormally large nose in front of the Marauders was out of the question. Although, he did have an extremely large nose... Then I thought of how he liked to drop by Zonko’s almost every Hogsmeade visit, so there was an opportunity to coincidentally bump into him there.
The more I thought, the more I realised how many of my own personal morals and rules I would have to abandon. Is this mission truly worth ten galleons? I suppose it is... For the sake of other unattractive, not funny, socially awkward girls like Tammy and I, at least.
An idea struck my mind, forcefully, and I found myself gasping for life as I sat up. Tammy watched me, uninterested even though I could’ve been dying for all she knew.
“Spit it out!” she commanded and I grimaced at her.
“Detention!” I was so smart.
“What about it?” Tammy asked. I frowned at her even more, disappointed that she wasn’t able to fit the puzzle together.
“He has detention this Friday.”
“I won’t even bother asking you how you know that.” she replied, laughing at her own comment. She turned her attention back to the essay and I lay my head back down onto my fluffy pillow.
“You know, it is bedtime now.” I muttered to her, rolling onto my side in an attempt to rid myself of the orange light she’d switched on. I stared out the window and thought of the code I had to break before Friday. Never in my life had I been given a detention. Call me a goody-two-shoes, but it’s true. Just the thought of it frightens me to my toes. But nonetheless, somehow I would have to do something outrageously stupid just so I can spend the night at detention with a special somebody. I laughed evilly in my head.
Today was the day, I thought to myself as soon as I opened my blinkers to the nice sunshine that came through the window. I constantly reminded myself, Penny, rules are meant to be broken! The rule of listening to everything the professors say and abiding to it without hesitation must be broken! And this detention must be acquired by Friday! I sat on the toilet, brushed my teeth, ate my breakfast and walked to class muttering that sentence. Much to Tammy’s displeasure. She had no idea what I was on about and every time she’d tried to ask me, I muttered even louder and ignored her.
First lesson of the day was Charms. Boy, do I love charms. Professor Flitwick absolutely adored me, perhaps because I’m so charming. I laughed to myself as I thought of that pun, drawing in a few strange looks from nosy bystanders. Another reason was probably due to the fact that the Marauders were in the same class. Despite their beyond beautiful faces and angelic voices, they weren’t very funny, and they disrupted the class far too many times for me to appreciate it. But today was different! I promised to laugh at every joke they crack, participate in every demonstration they make, and last of all, contribute to the chaos that’ll most definitely ensue.
Tammy and I stood side by side as we waited outside the charms classroom, me still muttering like a deranged baboon who could not shut up. All of a sudden, there was a loud boom of laughter coming from the end of the corridor. Everyone, including me, knew who it was instantly. Everybody paused and watched as Sirius and James raced down the corridor, hitting and punching each other as they ran. Then there was Remus and Peter who ambled behind them.
I, single handedly (figuratively), clapped my hands as Sirius won the race. I beamed at him and he enthralled me, along with the numerous other girls present, with his famous wink. I stopped dead with the clapping and my tiny little heart almost exploded. Sirius chucked a small glance back at me and smiled weakly. This, possibly, could’ve been the happiest day of my life.
Professor Flitwick appeared from the doorway and smiled jovially at all of us, gaze lingering slightly longer on me. His white hair was as fluffy as cotton candy, and his sharp nose was the cutest to pinch. I felt my stomach drop. I would have to disappoint him today. He called us all in and we, one by one, filed in like marching ants.
The Marauders had been wreaking way too much havoc for Professor Flitty’s liking and thus, were given permanent sitting arrangements in single desks at each corner of the room. Sirius happened to sit at the back left corner, and there I was, a table right beside him for I had forced Brad and Neo to swap seats with Tammy and I. Phase 1 - complete. I smiled smugly to myself.
“Today, we are to perform the Colour Changing Charm, which, write this down everybody, will be in your O.W.L.s.” Professor Flitwick began speaking, writing down notes on the board with his wand.
There everybody was, scribbling down notes. Apart from the obvious Marauders who sent flying paper airplane messages to each of their member. But then there was also me. Penny. Who sat there, unable to pick up a quill. I groaned in anguish. But today was the day. Like I’d promised myself. I let out a deep sigh. The things I do for ten galleons I don’t even need.
I groaned once more and used my brilliant mind to conjure up a large spider. I set it atop a peer’s soft brown head. I knew Sirius was watching. The screams only took about a second to come. The room was in complete chaos. Professor Flitwick had no idea how to rid the room of the spider as it jumped, spun webs and grew larger with every spell it was attacked by. Sirius and James had got up immediately from their seats, smiling fiendishly and brought some more pandemonium to the class by screaming and attacking the spider just so it’ll grow larger. Remus merely sat back calmly, watching the class run wild while Peter was amongst the screaming.
I laughed loudly as Tammy let out a high pitched squeal. The fat, black, spider with hairs like tough spikes had landed on her head and stared down at her with multiple red gleaming eyes. There was nothing in the world that scared her more than spiders.
“Get it off!” she shrieked, “I can’t see it! Get it off!” I could hear her voice crack with desperation.
“Blimey!” Sirius exclaimed, grinning like a mad puppy. “It’s bloody huge!” - Where it actually wasn’t really that big - “Look at those hairs. Merlin’s Beard! Look at those fangs! Merlin, they look like they can rip your face to bits!” He winked at James, who shoved him in response, expressing his approval at the devilish act he’d just conducted.
James screamed like a girl just to add effect and that did it for Tammy. Tammy screamed a scream that pierced my ears, shaking her head wildly before running out of the classroom, crying with fear.
“Sorry!” I shouted after her, feeling tremendously horrible. James cheered me up, though. He’d moved over towards me and patted my back, smirking.
“Kudos, Huckleberry.” he’d said, watching with a raised eyebrow as Professor Flitwick chased the horrid thing, brandishing his wand and sending things flying off of the tables and shelves.
By the time Professor Flitwick had caged the immensely huge spider in a large glass box he’d conjured up, the short little figure had a face of outrage.
“Who did this?” he squeaked as meanly as he could. Flitty could never be mean.
Well, here it goes. I’m abandoning my code and everything else that had once made me, well, me. Detention here we come. Detention with Sirius Black! My conscience piped up. I smiled gratefully at it, in my head.
“I did, Sir.” I put my hand up and looked down shamefully, my fringe covering my view.
I looked up uncertainly to find the rest of the class staring at me, eyes large. Either with hate or astonishment was unknown to me. I didn’t particularly want to find out either. I looked to Professor Flitwick, who ogled at me with surprise.
“Well! I’d certainly recommend you and your spell to professor McGonagall! I’m sure she would enjoy this demonstration of yours. Not many fifth years is able to do what you just did, Miss Huckleberry!” Professor Flitwick smiled amiably at me and I furrowed my brows with complete confusion.
“Wh- What?” Don’t I get a detention? Don’t I get reprimanded or sent to my head of house? Which is Professor Flitwick, anyway. So I suppose there would be no point...
“Congratulations!” he squawked, clapping his hands at me. Not soon after, everybody else seemed to clap along. Including the Marauders, who I noticed, were huddled together with wide grins on their faces. I looked to Sirius, who nodded at me once.
I couldn’t be truly honest if I didn’t say I was slightly disappointed. But then again, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t relieved. Professor Flitwick didn’t hate me, so that was good, I guess. But then, my mission had failed! I haven’t gotten into detention. And despite my further attempts of bearing mayhem on Wednesday and Thursday, I couldn’t reach that detention for some cursed reason!
I slowly approached Professor Flitwick at the end of class on Thursday, nodding at Tammy to wait by the door. Yes, she had forgiven me for that cruel prank the other day, but not after a whole load of hell and slapping me on the arm. And yes, I am forced to execute my desperate measure.
“Sir,” I said at his desk, smiling unsurely at him.
“Ah! If it isn’t the child prodigy standing before me!” his voice was unbearably adorable. I laughed with him. “What can I do for you, my dear?”
I hesitated and glanced back at Tammy, who nodded encouragingly at me, and looked down at Flitty’s table.
“Sir, I was wondering if you’d be able to give me detention for tomorrow.” I paused and looked up at him dubiously.
“Detention?” Professor Flitwick ceased what he was doing for a moment, “Detention? Why should I issue you a detention, Miss Huckleberry?”
“I found it that I couldn’t really study in the common room, Sir. And I figured that a detention would soothe me, you know, with the cleaning and all, and I just thought it’d be a nice way to refresh my mind and interact with some of my fellow peers.” I bit bottom lip and hoped that was enough persuasion to sway him.
Professor Flitwick laughed out loud. He studied my pleading face and shook his head lightly, hair fluffing around on his wrinkly head.
He nodded, bemused at the unusual request. He wrote my detention down on a piece of parchment and handed it to me. I squealed out of excitement and thanked him by squeezing the little bugger in a hug. Detention, here I come!