Chapter 6 : A Dog Always Follows His Nose
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Headed off to Italy for a few days so I’m sorry this chapter is so late. Enjoy! X please review :)
The next day was the groups’ first official day as sixth year Hogwarts students. Marion and Lily sat together at the front of Potions class, books out and quills ready as Professor Slughorn entered the room. The small man rolled in with the usual spring in his step and a smile on his slightly wizened face. He stepped into the middle of the room and addressed the whole class with his croaky voice.
“Welcome back, dear ones.” He grinned, mostly towards the two beaming know-it-all’s at the front. “Today we are going to head straight into the practical work. I trust that at least some of you have read through the potions book for this year? Yes? Good, good. Well today we will be working on the Draught of Living Death so please turn to the appropriate page and begin your practical.” No sooner had the Professor finished his sentence, Lily and Marion shot out of their seats and began what they referred to as ‘speed-brewing’. As Lily set up the equipment, Marion gathered the ingredients and they both concocted together with such speed, they were done before most of the other groups were even halfway into it. Even Slughorn was impressed with his two prize students and he dropped a leaf into their cauldron to test it. No sooner had the teeny object touched the surface of the liquid, it dissolved and crumpled until there was nothing there.
“Merlin’s beard!” cried the aging Professor as if it were the first time Lily and Marion had ever got anything perfect. “This is perfect 30 points each!” He was still in a gaze and muttering happily to himself as he walked off after he had instructed Lily and Marion to spend the rest of the lesson instructing the others on how to make their potions.
As Lily walked off to help those who actually needed it, Marion drifted off to David’s spot where he sat with his quidditch friend Pendry Alchemy. Lily looked over her shoulder at her friend, sighing in amusement as she saw her twiddle her hair between her fingers flirtatiously. Marion was enjoying herself profusely. Anyone could see the interest that David was giving her every time she leant over him to get to his cauldron. One of these anyone’s was one Sirius Black. He had become bored and let James struggle with the work and ended up staring into space. He couldn’t help it that that space had been invaded by Marion and David. He couldn’t be bothered to move so he chose to put up with watching her. He rolled his eyes at how obvious she was when she was flirting, she was relentless. She had just been dumped to the point of tears and now she was flinging herself at the first guy to show a spec of interest. Unbelievable! Sure she was beautiful and smart and funny and sporty and tough but-
Sirius snapped out of his daze and looked up, his eyes widening in shock. Marion had walked over to him and James while he had been staring at her. He hoped she hadn’t noticed because that meant she would think he liked her and that was an open opportunity for piss-taking.
“You look like you and James could use some help.” She said with- was that a smile?! Sirius couldn’t believe his luck. He nodded his head as Marion looked at him with a strange look at the surprised expression on his face.
“James has abandoned you to go and harass Lily so if you just stay quiet I can sort out this mews you’ve made.” Marion sighed as she headed off to the store cupboard. Sirius followed her gaze to the other side of the room and, sure enough, there was James trying the same old material on the red head, who looked completely nauseated as usual. A chuckle administered from his throat as Marion returned with a bundle of ingredients that Sirius didn’t even recognise, let alone know he needed for this potion. He sat in the same spot, not thinking to offer his seat to Marion who was doing all the work, and watched his friends’ failing attempts to make Lily fall for him with much amusement.
Then, he caught a whiff of something. Something pleasant. His animagus form had given him a keen sense of smell, but it was still faint. His eyes rose in the direction of the smell, and once again, his eyes widened in surprise. Marion’s neck was less than two inches from his nose. It then became obvious that she was the source of the pleasant smell. The sweet odour was emanating from her neck. He couldn’t help but breathe it in. He wondered what it was that made her smell like that. Without entirely thinking it through- true to form- he looked up to her and spoke.
“I like your perfume. You smell good.”
He then realised what an idiot he sounded like. Squeezing his eyes shut and hoping she hadn’t heard him, he heard a chuckle.
“I’m not wearing any perfume.” Can Marion’s voice from above him. Embarrassment flooded his cheeks red. He hoped with all his might that she was the only one to have heard him. He could hear her straining back her laughter. He shrunk back into his seat as Marion continued concocting, with a large smile on her face. Sirius was kicking himself internally. He had given her the upper hand and new material to use against him. Kissing him on the cheek was nothing compared to him sniffing her neck and telling her she smells nice. As his eyes darted across the room to find James again, desperate to find someone who was doing worse than him, they fell on his three friends, who were looking back at him with smug little faces. Sirius wanted nothing more than to punch each one of them until they resembled hob-goblins, but for now a scowl would do. He knew that they had witnessed the encounter and probably couldn’t wait to tease him about it later.
He was right. After Potions was over, Remus dragged them all to the library to study, and slotted them into a table at the very back. Hiding their conversation behind large, hard-cover books, James began the tease-fest as Sirius looked at the floor, bracing himself.
“Mate, do we even need to tell you how bloody thick you are?” he laughed, causing the others to snigger quietly, not wanting to draw attention to themselves.
“I know, I know.” Sirius mumbled. Peter wheezed as he tried to keep back bellowing fits, Remus hushed him.
“’You smell nice’? Good one, Padfoot. You do realise that she’s never gonna let you forget that.” Remus continued. Sirius just nodded angrily, not making eye contact with any of them.
“Well at least now you can admit it.” Peter put in. Sirius’ head snapped up.
“Admit what?” he inquired. All the others’ grins faltered.
“C’mon, mate.” James said, “It couldn’t be more obvious now.”
“What couldn’t?” Sirius asked again.
“Oh my God.” Remus muttered shaking his head.
“WHAT?” Sirius burst out angrily. After being shushed by the other inhabitants of the library, James cleared things up.
“Look, it’s obvious you fancy her.” He said.
“Wh- you think- you honest- erm-er n-no.” Was all he could get out at first. After seeing the smug looks again grace the faces of his friends, he found his tongue. He leant in and whispered harshly at them.
“I do NOT fancy Marion Preston. And if you still don’t believe me, I’m going to have to prove it.”
“Prove it by doing what?” Peter asked. Sirius smirked in satisfaction. Remus was now on red alert.
“No. No pranks, Padfoot.” he warned. Sirius sat back, shook his head and opened his arms in apology.
“It looks like it’s the only way, Moony old pal.” He said, grinning.
“She’ll only retaliate; she’s Marion for Gods’ sake.” Remus cautioned again, but this time he was completely unacknowledged.
“So, Moony. You’re Preston’s friend. What’s her least favourite colour?” he quizzed, a plan slowly forming in the back of his mind. Remus shook his head furiously.
“Nope, like you said, I’m her friend. I’m not giving you anything.” He told him superiorly.
“Fine,” Sirius continued, crossed his arms across his chest and smiling arrogantly, “I’ll just have to ask James. He’s known her before she even started Hogwarts and he likes me more so there!” he finished like a child. He turned to James, who was more than willing to divulge the information.
“It’s bubble-gum pink. She hates it. It’s the colour of all the dresses her mum made her wear to our garden parties. We used to paint funny things on then to annoy her-” Sirius cut him off.
“I asked for the colour, not a back story.” He chuckled, causing James and Peter to laugh also.
“So you lot think I fancy Preston? Fine. We’ll see what’s what tomorrow.” He said proudly. With that, he got up and strode out of the library with his head held high, leaving his friends at the table.
“Why do I get the feeling that I’ve just fuelled the fire?” James asked, now hesitant.
“You haven’t fuelled the fire, Prongs, you’ve started the storm.” Remus replied gravely as the three of them watched Sirius leave.
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