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Playing With Fire by Voldys_Moldy
Chapter 3 : Races, Maps, and Very Strange Irish Girls
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 2

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James’s POV:

Does anyone else think it’s weird that I saw Smithe walking on the grounds last night? And that when she saw me she kind of jerked back and then turned around and walked away? And does anyone else think she should wear that tank top a LOT more?

…I’m a guy. Get used to it.

Anyways, what worries me more than my new-found desire to see my (mortal) enemy in skin-tight clothing is the fact that I am currently heading to detention with her.

I officially hate Potions and Professor Slughorn. It’s not MY fault if I show up late to class, blow up a potion, and try to kill Smithe. She provoked me. It’s all HER fault. Trust me.

I’m sure that you want to know exactly what happened during Potions, but I sure as hell am NOT telling you. Go and ask fucking Smithe if you want to know that.

As I round the corner of the corridor, well on my way to the Trophy Room were Filch and some cleaning solution await me, I hear someone running down the hall towards me.

“Hey. It’s James, right?” A girl said breathlessly as she stopped in front of me.

“Um. Yeah? Who’s asking?”

“My name is Mary O’Connor. I think this is yours.” And with that she held up a piece of old, blank parchment that just so happened to be the Marauder’s Map.

“Whoa. Where did you get that?” I said, grabbing it and hastily stuffing it into my pants’ pocket.

“It fell out of your bag”, she said, looking away from me and shuffling her feet nervously.

“When?” I asked slowly, thinking I already knew the answer.

“Uh. Well. Sometime this…morning?” Shite.

Aaannnd cue the raised eyebrows.

“I kept it because I wanted to see what it was! I’m Irish, mate, I’m stupid and brave and much too curious for my good. It’s pretty brilliant, that map is, if you ask me though. Took me all morning to figure it out. Didn’t pay attention in any of my classes, so now I’ve got detention and no more map for all my hard work.” Looking at her, I realized that she definitely is Irish. She has curly, flaming red hair falling out of a bun and piercing hazel eyes. She would be pretty damn beautiful when she grew up, I can tell you that. She looked to be about thirteen right now, though.

I stared her down, trying to see if she was lying, if she wasn’t telling everything. “Did you tell anyone about the map?” I asked, narrowing my eyes accordingly.

“Nah. I don’t have any friends, anyways. No one would really care. They’d just think I was lying to get attention”, Mary frowned at that, staring off into space. “But whatever. You have fun with your map. I’ve gotta go, or I’m gonna be late for my lines with Professor Longbottom.” She sighed and ran off, more hair falling out of her messy bun.

Holy crap. That was weird. Some Irish Second Year picks up the Marauder’s Map and figures out how to use it? And then after having it for a day, without giving it back right off like she should’ve, she just runs up to me and pulls it out and then runs off? Really, what the hell was that?

“What’s the map, Potter?” Smithe steps out from behind a tapestry on the wall, covered in dust and cobwebs. Oh, this is just great.

“Nothing that concerns you. Just a piece of parchment, really.” Why is it easy to lie to everyone except for Smithe? Awesome. Another reason why I should hate her!

“Oh really?” The sarcastic, cynical, and, more importantly, single eyebrow goes up. How come she can raise one eyebrow and I can’t? It’s not freakin’ fair.

“Can you just go away now? I don’t want to have to spend any more time than necessary talking to a monster.”

She closes her eyes, taking a deep breath. “Whatever, Potter.

I turn on my heel and start walking to detention, still thinking about Mary O’Connor. Hmm. There seems to be some potential there for a very young Marauder. After all, she figured the map out all by herself, and she didn’t even give it up back when she found it this morning, which is proof of mischief and courage. And the fact that she did end up giving it back, even after figuring it out is proof of honesty. And to be truthful, the fact that she even thought for a second that it wasn’t just a piece of parchment is pretty remarkable. Now all I need to do is talk to the rest of the guys about thi-

“Hello? Anyone home in there? Oh hey, that’s right! I forgot that your ‘brain’ isn’t smart enough to stay active for longer than five minutes at a time, so you just spacing out like this is perfectly normal!” … WHY does Merlin hate me? Really, why? Why did you decide to tell Myra Smithe EXACTLY how to push all of my buttons at once?! If I were some bratty, fourteen-year-old girl I would be curled up on a couch, watching some shitty movie and eating ice cream. Except I am not, I’m MUCH manlier than that, so you can go and teach your grandmother to suck eggs.

“Seriously, you look really pissed right now. Is that steam coming out your ears? Wow, bypassing red and going straight to…puce? ‘Cos that color sure as hell isn’t purple…Maybe prune? Oh, wait, now you’re all white. Contrasts beautifully with the dark hair and the dark uniform…Hmm, now all you need is something red…other than your tie, that is.” By this point, my fists are clenched and my jaw is a vice, teeth grinding together so hard that I couldn’t talk if my life depended on it. And then, to make matters worse, Smithe reaches out and pushes my hair away from my ears. She tries not to touch me, you can tell, but she does. And when her fingers brush against my skin I feel a…spark. There’s no other way to describe it. My eyes lock with hers, which were blue just a minute ago, but are now a misty sea-green color. It feels like there is a magnet between us, like I can’t stop looking into her eyes, no matter how much I want to.

You know how people say that eyes are windows to the soul? Well, that’s true. At least, for Smithe it is. In her eyes, I see an ocean of pain that she refuses to let anyone know. I see her suffering, her hurting, her trying to hold herself together, trying as hard as she can not to cry or betray her one weakness. And I want to help her. I want to protect her from that pain. I want to destroy her weakness, want to tell her that she can cry, its okay, everyone cries sometimes. And I know that she won’t believe me, even if her life depends on it.

I feel as though her eyes are screaming “Help me! Help! I’m dying, I’m hurting, I’m crumbling, why can’t you see? Why can’t you save me? Why can’t you destroy my fear? Please, help!”

And then I’m back in the real world and I can think like a sane person again. Smithe’s eyes are back to normal, with no more pain. And I’m not thinking weird thoughts about protecting her from her greatest fear or some other crap like that. Please, if I know Smithe (which I, unfortunately, do), she’s not afraid of anyone or anything. I’ve never seen her look even remotely afraid. It’s like she’s immune to fear.

…Great, there’s another thing that I need to have that Smithe already does. Note to Self: Figure out how to be immune to fear.

Smithe drops her hand, which I hadn’t even realized was still be my ear. She clears her throat. Looks away. “We should get going or Filch is going to skin us alive.”

“That would be an improvement for you.” I say, smirking at her nervousness. So what if I’m actually just as nervous as she is? I’m not showing it.

“Go and die in a hole, Potter.” She snaps over her shoulder as she picks up her pace, trying harder to get away from me. I feel so loved, I really do.

“Nah, there aren’t any girls in holes. And what’s life without girls, huh?” I swear I don’t think like this. I’m just saying that to piss Smithe off.

Sure enough, she stops mid-stride. Her fists clench and I can see the muscles in her neck tighten. Score one for the awesome bloke.

“I swear I’m going to kill you sometime.” Her words hissed out like poison. Except not really, considering she says that just about every time I really piss her off. Which is roughly every day, so I don’t find it that scary anymore.

“Either that or you’ll fall in love with him. I wonder which will happen first?” Mary O’Connor skips down the hall, past our shocked faces.

“Are you MAD?!” we both say, at the exact same time. Wow, way to protest our “love” for each other. Really, Mary must be high or something. What does Professor Longbottom have in his office?

“Nope!” she said happily, red curls bouncing on her back. “You guys are both head-over-heels for each other, you just won’t admit it! Remember, there’s a thin line between hate and love, and you just might be standing on the brink.” I’m going to choose to ignore the obvious truth in her words (obvious truth except for the head-over-heels part).

“What are you on, girl?” Smithe asks, looking seriously alarmed.

“Oh, please.” Mary said, waving her hand as if to brush the question off. “If anyone’s crazy here, it’s you! Just because you have no idea who I am doesn’t mean I don’t know who you are.” With that rather cryptic statement, she taps her nose, winks, and runs off.

“She’s got to stop doing that.” I mutter to myself as we watch her go.

“Doing what?” Smithe asks, looking after Mary with a concerned expression on her face.

“You know, popping up out of nowhere, doing something you really don’t expect, and then running off. It’s getting annoying, and this is only the second time she’s done it!” I ran my fingers through my hair, annoyed at Smithe, annoyed at Mary, annoyed at detention and Professor Slughorn, and OH CRAP WE’RE GONNA BE LATE FOR DETENTION!

As much as I hate Smithe, I don’t want to see her in more trouble than she usually is, so I grab her arm (ignore the sparks, ignore the sparks, ignore the sparks, ignore the sparks) and drag her to the Trophy Room. Who said chivalry was dead? Well, whoever it was, they obviously didn’t take us Gryffindor gents into count.

Before I know what’s happening, we’re both racing headlong to detention, running as fast as we can. Trust Smithe to turn my good manners into a race; another competition between the two of us. Christ, she’s fast.

“You. Will. Never. Beat. Me!” I manage to pant out as a run even faster, if possible, trying to catch up with the inhumanly fast freak of nature that Smithe is.

…Who said I had to have good manners inside my head? Merlin, now I’m talking to myself. This is Smithe’s fault, somehow.

“No. You. Will. Never. Beat. Me!” She pants out as we tear around another corner, running flat out down the last corridor to Filch and Mrs. Norris. Yes, the same Mrs. Norris that haunted the halls of Hogwarts while my dad was here. She is immortal. A true horror, that cat is.

“ARRGGHHH!!!” I scream as launch myself into the air and tackle her. Whoever said I was smart? Oh, yeah, that’s right, no one!

I land on top of Smithe, bringing us both down in a heap of school uniforms, hair, and an incredulous Smithe. Ha, bet she thought even I wasn’t stupid enough to tackle her like that. And she says I’m not smart.

“YOU IDIOT!!” she screams, right in my ear, mind you. Well, no broken bones, but now I’m deaf in my left ear. Stupid Smithe.

“How much you wanna bet I’m gonna win now?” I say, grinning as I attempt to scramble to my feet. Apparently Smith had other ideas for who was going to win, because she grabbed my ankles and tackled me.

“You’re not winning, not on my watch!” She said, taking her turn to grin like the devil himself. Getting to her feet, she turns and starts sprinting down the hall, laughing like a maniac.

But I’m not one to give up that easily. So I get up and run after her, pumping my legs as fast as they’ll go, which is pretty damn fast, if I do say so myself. Evidently, not fast enough.

Smithe reaches the door to the Trophy Room, puts her hand on the doorknob, and is about turn said doorknob when the door opens from the inside, and she’s shoved backwards, right onto me.

Down we go again.

Except, this time, our faces end up much too close together. Again, we lock eyes, and hers change color, from blue to that same sea-green. I wish she just kept her eyes that color all the time. I mean, it’s just so pretty.

Wait, what?

Smithe scrambles to her feet, holding out a hand to help me up. Who know that even Smithe could have good manners? I’m truly surprised.

“Thanks”, I mutter, brushing past her (damn those sparks!) and looking up into the Horrific Face of Filch. This has got be the first time I’ve ever been glad to see Filch. Again, I blame it on Smithe. It’s her fault every time something bad/weird happens to me. And that is fact, not opinion. Trust me on this one.

“Finally you two hooligans decide to honor me with you presence, huh? Well, you gonna work or what, you lazy clods? No magic. Now start scrubbing, you ignorant slugs! If I had it my way, you’d be hanging from my wall by your ankles, but nooo! Something about laws or some such nonsense…” Filch’s crabby voice drifts off as he gets farther down the hallway, followed by Mrs. Norris.

We look at each other. And then we both burst out laughing.





So yes, I finally decided to just write the next chapter, and it’s going up now so I’m not going to spend too much time on this. How do you like Mary? She’s going to show up later, and I’m excited for it! (I love mary <3 she’s awesome! XD)

Now I feel really weird. Did I seriously just write a heart? Wow, I really need to sleep more. No, seriously, I’m getting less sleep over break then I do in a school week. What is up with that?! It’s my parents fault. They won’t let me sleep in. they’re evil.

So, please leave a review! I haven’t had one in ages and I really want to know what you guys think about this. ‘cos I’ve seen like 200 something reads for the first chapter and then only 70 for the next chapter, which basically means most people don’t like it. Wahhh!!!!!! :’(

Look at that, you made me cry over cyberspace. Now you HAVE to leave a review, in order to make up for all those bad karma points.

I’m going to shut up and just post this stupid chapter already, ‘kay?


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