Chapter 5 : Alexander the Not-so-Great
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I do own all of my OC's espescially Tabby!
Absolutely adorable Chapter image by EmmyLemmy @ TDA!
“I never thought I’d want to shake a Slytherin’s hand, but that was brilliant.” ~James Potter
It took James exactly two days to stop sulking. Albus and Lily, his younger siblings, thought this was positively hilarious, as did Rowan. Tabitha still found it worried her a bit, but did her best to ignore it. She poured her focus into the homework that the professors had already begun to set and making sure she was living up to the title of prefect. She was determined to prove to herself and everyone else that she was deserving of the shiny silver badge. She tried to be as fair as possible, not bugging students about little things like the odd banned Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes product or first and second years staying up a little later than they probably should. When she did need to speak to someone, she was calm and friendly; Tabitha was well liked and respected by most Gryffindor’s anyway, so she didn’t have much of a problem.
On the morning of the third day of term, two things happened. Firstly, James stopped pouting and started acting normally again. The second thing was the reason James decided to give up on his bad mood. Tabitha was sitting at the Gryffindor table with Natalie, Annie and Rheydyn, eating a piece of toast. Rowan and James walked in, both grinning broadly.
“You look like the cat that got the cream.” Natalie commented as they sat down and began piling up their plates. Tabitha couldn’t help but notice they kept shooting little furtive glances over their shoulders towards the door.
“We just saw the funniest thing…” Rowan started, but James shushed them and nodded towards the doorway, where a small group of Ravenclaws were entering. Tabitha could see at once why the boys were both snickering into their breakfast.
Gryffindors were notorious for the occasional (or not so occasional) run in with members of Slytherin house. This was normal, tradition, expected. When a Slytherin glared menacingly at a Gryffindor across a corridor, no-one really stopped to worry about it much. On the other hand, Gryffindor’s usually got along very well with the members of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. However, there was one particular Ravenclaw who seemed determined to change that.
Alexander Shreve was a sixth year Ravenclaw. He was exceedingly clever, arguably the smartest student in the school. He was also strikingly handsome and quite a good Quidditch player. Alexander, being such a clever boy, was perfectly aware of all of these things, and had decided that he was therefore superior to everyone else. Most people avoided him if it were possible, except for his friends and a small gaggle of Ravenclaw girls who seemed to think he was some sort of Rock Star. He was arrogant and rude and, considering he was something of a bully, most found that the best thing to do was simply keep out of his way. However, the Gryffindor students (particularly the boys) seemed to take Alexander’s existence as a personal insult, and did their best to bring him down a peg or two whenever possible. James and Rowan had, on more than one occasion, decided they were personally responsible for the humiliation and down-pegging of Alexander, and delighted in any mishap that may befall his oversized head. Even Annie, who, as a rule, usually allowed good looks to cancel out the faults of any boy, despised Alexander. The fact that he had turned her down when she had asked him out in their third year may have contributed to this opinion though.
At this moment, Alexander Shreve was standing in the middle of the doorway to the Great Hall, flanked by two of his mates and a few gasping girls, covered in some sort of green, slimy liquid. His brown hair, which was normally combed perfectly, hung down the sides of his face, clinging to his forehead and temples. He was looking positively murderous. Tabitha bit her bottom lip to stop the laughter in her throat escaping. Next to her, Natalie was shaking with silent giggles. James and Rowan looked simply delighted.
“Stinksap,” James grinned at the girls like a young child on Christmas morning. “He smells like the rear end of a Dragon!” Rowan snorted and put his hand over his mouth to hold in the laughter.
“Did you two…?” Annie hissed, her eyes glittering with delight.
“Oh I wish.” James hissed back, “I’d love to take credit for this, but no, we were just in the right place at the right time.” At that moment, Alexander glared over to the Gryffindor table, where most of the students were holding back laughter. For a moment, Tabitha thought he was going to come over and start yelling at them, but he seemed to change his mind and turned to the Slytherin table instead. He marched over to a group of snickering, guilty-looking fifth years and began bellowing profanities at them. Several of the teachers had to run forward and demand he leave at once to clean up and calm down. As he left the room, the floodgates opened, and the sound of hundreds of laughing students filled the air.
“Oh we should start every day like that!” Rowan chortled, wiping a tear from his eye before shovelling food into his mouth.
“I never thought I’d want to shake a Slytherin’s hand, but that was brilliant.” James added. “They were so bold too…just ran out from the dungeons and threw a cauldron full of it in his face!” He and Rowan looked at each other and started howling with laughter again. As the boys tried to control themselves, the sound of the morning owl post filled the room. Hundreds of birds soared in through the windows, bringing letters and parcels to various students. Tabitha spotted Gerry as he glided down through the crowds of feathers and landed gracefully in front of her. He was carrying a small parcel with a letter attached. Tabitha scratched his head affectionately and gave him the last of her toast. With a contented hoot, he lifted off into the air again, the toast clamped firmly in his beak.
Tabitha opened the envelope first, happy to see her father’s messy handwriting.
Prefect! My little chicken I am so, so, so very proud of you! I know how disappointed you were last year and now, well, you must be so happy. This really is wonderful news.
How is the term carrying along? I’m sure you are blitzing all your classes and are busy being everybody’s favourite friend (I’m your Dad – it’s my job to think that). When does the Quidditch season start? Maybe I could come down to Hogwarts for a match sometime this year? Or would that embarrass you too much, having your muggle father there?
I am doing ok here. Bosco misses you, as do the chickens. They miss their mother hen. Miss Peach came by yesterday for a cuppa and asked how you are. She made me some biscuits and gave me this box of them to send to you. I told her about you being made prefect and she said to tell you congratulations. She asked me round for dinner on Friday night, you know because I’m a lonely, old, bachelor vet who can’t look after himself! Actually it will be nice to eat with some company. Not that I’m that lonely. You know me, always out and about.
Anyway Chicky, I should go but I want you to know how incredibly proud of you I am. Your Mum would have been so proud too.
All my love,
Tabitha smiled sadly as she folded the letter back up. She worried about her dad sometimes, being all on his own. He tried to make it sound like things were ok, but Tabitha knew it couldn’t be easy living by yourself. She smiled as she thought about Miss Peach though. Lauren Peach, the lady who owned the bakery in their village, had a bit of a soft spot for Luke Hart. Tabitha knew that her dad liked Miss Peach too, but he was a bit old fashioned and too nervous to make the first move. Miss Peach was lovely though, and Tabitha was glad there was someone around to look after her father. Her smile dropped a little as she thought about what he’d said about her mother. Tabitha hoped she would be proud. She would have loved to have shared the news with her, and read in her mother’s own handwriting just how proud she was. Tabitha tucked the letter under the wrappings of the package and sighed, not sure if the letter had made her happy or sad.
Tabitha was glad that James was back to normal, even if his normal was still highly irritating. She wasn’t sure if the Alexander incident had caused him to forget his annoyance or if he was using it as a cover up, but either way Tabitha was grateful to those fifth year Slytherins. Tabitha was also glad to see Alexander taken down a peg or too. She wasn’t usually one to enjoy others being humiliated (unless it was James) but she couldn’t help but feel that Alexander deserved it. He’d always had a nasty streak, and he usually took it out on anyone who looked like they might upstage him.
In their first year, he’d purposely knocked Natalie off her broom in flying class because Madam Hooch had told her how good her natural flying stance was. In second year he’d ‘accidentally’ dropped dragon dung on Tabitha’s books when she had scored better than him in a Herbology test. And of course there was the incident in third year with Annie. It wasn’t so much the fact that he had turned her down (although at that point no boy had ever had the nerve to turn Annie Moore down), it was how he did it. Despite the fact that Natalie and Tabitha had warned her against it, Annie approached Alexander one day after Charms class to ask him if he’d like to go with her to Hogsmeade on the weekend. He’d looked at her as though she’d offered him a drink of Hippogriff urine, and then let out a burst of laughter that was so cruel Tabitha had wanted to scratch his eyes out with a piece of venomous tentacula.
“Yeah right! Nice one Gryffie. Somehow I don’t think you’d keep up with a Ravenclaw though.” And with another chuckle, he’d turned and walked away. The worst thing was, a lot of people were still in the classroom and he’d spoken so loud that none of them could have missed it. James, Rowan, and two other Gryffindor boys from their year, Charlie Hardings and Mitchell Farris, all earned themselves two weeks detention that day for trying to lock Alexander up in a broom cabinet with something called a blast-ended skrewt.
Alexander played Beater on the Ravenclaw Quidditch team and, Tabitha noticed, had been made captain this year. Things were always a bit rough when Ravenclaw played Gryffindor, as Alexander’s bludgers had a particular sting to them and James’s bludgers were usually aimed at Alexander’s head. Tabitha winced as she remembered the time she had broken three fingers because Alexander had been annoyed at how many goals she was scoring and ‘accidentally’ hit her, not with a bludger but with his beater’s bat!
It was no surprise then that, when she bumped into him on a fifth floor corridor a few afternoons after the stinksap incident, terrifying two Gryffindor first years, her blood was boiling. He was obviously still angry at everyone for laughing at him and was taking it out on the younger students, blocking their path and growling angrily at them. Tabitha became exceedingly angry as she watched the frightened faces of the two eleven year olds cowering under his glare.
“Hey Shreve! Leave them alone!” She snapped at him, marching up to where the two terrified students were standing. “Do you think you could be more of a bully? Maybe if there was an OWL exam on it and you were worried someone was going to outdo you?” He turned his glare to her, his eyes full of furious arrogance. Tabitha took the break in his focus on the younger students to wave them along. Relieved to be free, they gave her a quick look of thanks and bolted down the hallway. Tabitha went to follow, but Alexander stepped in front of her, obstructing her way.
“Where do you think you’re going Hart?” He asked gruffly. Tabitha glared up at him, annoyed rather than frightened by his intimidation attempt.
“Well I was trying to go back to my common room Shreve, not that it’s any of your business.” She snapped. He was quite tall and had very broad shoulders, but Tabitha had never been particularly afraid of his size. After all, she’d once helped her father round up an injured Bull who certainly wasn’t happy; she could certainly handle this oaf.
“I saw you laughing at me the other day Hart. I don’t like people who laugh at me. You know what I do to people who laugh at me?” He stepped closer and glowered down at her. He was a good foot taller than Tabitha but she still held her ground. He still didn’t frighten her…much. Tabitha could feel her legs wobbling a bit, but her voice was firm with anger when she replied,
“I don’t know Shreve, what do you do? Show them how good you are at losing Quidditch? Or do you just suck at Quidditch because you can’t help it?”
She heard a small growl in his throat and the tremble in her legs moved into her arms. She wouldn’t let herself back down now though, no matter how menacingly he glared at her. He wouldn’t actually hurt me…would he? Tabitha wasn’t so sure anymore. He looked pretty angry. She considered running for it, she was sure she could outstrip him any day, but that seemed a bit cowardly. She reached into her robes slowly and wrapped her fingers around her wand, ready to throw a jinx at him if he tried anything. Maybe a Furnunculus hex? She thought to herself. She began to carefully slide the wand out of her pocket…
“Hey Shreve, why don’t you just back off!” Came a yell from somewhere behind Alexander. He turned to see who it was as a jet of orange light flew past his shoulder, narrowly missing him. Tabitha jumped back in surprise against the wall and saw James standing about ten feet away, his wand pointed straight at the other boy.
“Get lost Potter.” Alexander growled, reaching for his own wand.
“I wouldn’t.” James warned, flexing his wand hand slightly. “I’m pretty fast. I’m sure I could hex you before you even got a hand on your wand.” Alexander seemed to consider this for a second.
“Why don’t you go away and find someone your own size to pick on?” James added. He took a step closer. Tabitha pulled her own wand from her robes and pointed it at the Ravenclaw boy.
“And if you try anything, I’m right behind you. Plus I’m sure if Professor Sprout heard about how you attacked two first years and then yelled at the prefect who tried to stop you she probably wouldn’t think you were stable enough to captain a Quidditch team now would she?” She said, no longer fear but adrenaline coursing through her veins. Alexander glanced over his shoulder as if he had forgotten she was there. With a roll of his eyes, he turned to slouch down the hallway.
“Bloody Gryffindors; think you’re so much better than everyone else.” He grumbled as he disappeared around the corner. Tabitha watched him disappear, then lowered her wand and turned back to James. He grinned at her.
“No need to thank me.” He said cheerily. Tabitha glared at him.
“Thank you? Why would I thank you? I didn’t need your help!” She retorted. James laughed.
“Oh no? That great big bully had you trapped in a corner, but you were just fine, nothing to worry about right?”
“In case you hadn’t noticed, I am a witch. I had a wand in my hand and I wasn’t trapped in a corner!” She yelled. “I was handling it. I don’t need you to come rescue me, James Potter!” She stormed past him up the corridor.
“Well excuse me for sticking up for you.” James yelled back. “But when two first years came running into the common room in absolute hysterics, shrieking that Alexander Shreve was trying to beat up that nice girl prefect, I thought you might like someone to have your back!” Tabitha stormed around the corner and up a flight of stairs, pretending to ignore James’s words. The truth was she had been relieved when he had turned up, glad that someone had her back.
She just wished that person hadn’t been James Potter.
AN: Thankyou for reading! I don't know if many people are reading this, but if you are thankyou! Please review, it is really such a big motivator for me as a writer.
I hope you enjoyed this chapter, and Alexander. He's is a lot of fun to write (I think he's an anti-marysue...he's all flaws and no good qualities!).
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