Chapter 6 : Sickness
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Keira Knightley is the perfect Elizabeth Bennett.
Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns Harry Potter
5/8/11 edit: Hey yall please keep Alabama in your prayers. The F5 tornadoes that came through have affected a lot of people I know and a smaller tornado came about 3 miles away from my house. I have friends in Tuscaloosa who don't have a house anymore and there are over 300 other people I don't even know who don't have their lives anymore. The state's doing everything it can to help out, and Alabama's doing a great job of showing the country what southern hospitality really is! But if you can, please try to donate money or pray or something because things are still in really bad shape. Thank you!
When I returned to the dormitory, I found Ellen, Leigh, and Brooke in what appeared to be a deep conversation with Meg. All four of them were sitting cross-legged on Meg's four-poster and they all stopped talking immediately when I walked in.
"What's going on?" I asked cautiously, walking over to my bed and sitting on it.
"Nothing," Ellen answered, shifting uncomfortably on Meg's bed.
"We thought you were Heather," Brooke said happily. She was always happy.
I slowly slipped off my trainers. "Why were you talking about Heather?"
To my surprise, Meg laughed and answered my question. "She told me she liked Sirius. I actually thought she was a bit of an idiot for telling me, of all people, but that doesn't matter."
Meg scooted over on her bed so there was a gap between her and Brooke. She patted the seat. "Come over here if you want to hear, I was just beginning the story anyway."
I hesitated. I wasn't one for gossip, but I thought we could maybe turn this into a girls' night. You know, with nail polish and chocolate and furry pajamas. We didn't need to stay up late, since it was a school night (even if no one cared but me), but I figured a girls' night with Meg included was in order.
"I don't know," I said, biting my lip and pretending to look indecisive.
"Come on, Lily!" Ellen snapped.
I raised my eyebrows at her and grinned. "Only if we turn this into a girls' night."
Leigh beamed. "With Meg, too?"
"Of course!" I said, laughing.
Meg was grinning. "I've always wanted to take part of your girls' nights," she said, and I immediately felt bad for leaving her out all these years. "My Ravenclaw friends talk about having theirs sometimes and I've never really been involved in one. I guess I never really tried to get to know you guys, though."
"Well, it's good that you know us now!" Brooke said cheerily. "We have lots of fun. You'll like us better than those Ravenclaws anyway!"
I opened my mouth to scold Brooke for her rude statement, but Meg surprised me again by laughing. "I already do!"
I smiled and got the feeling that I was going to grow to like Meg very much.
The five of us changed into our pajamas and spread pillows out in a circle on the floor. In the middle of the circle, chocolates and sweets were scattered around next to the wrappers of those that had already been eaten. I was lying on my stomach between Meg and Ellen and across from Brooke and Leigh, laughing about a joke Leigh had told about a man named Orgly. Meg told us the rest of the Heather-Black story. Apparently Heather fancied the pants off Black last year while he and Meg had been together and tried to seduce him into leaving Meg for her. Black - Sirius - had of course said no and tried to avoid Heather at all chances possible. Being the huge romantic he was, Sirius would never cheat on Meg.
Meg explained that Heather had told her all about her attempts to charm Sirius into liking her.
"I don't know what was going through her head while she told me this," Meg said, chuckling. "I obviously didn't care nor did I want to know, and I especially didn't want to know in detail."
Ellen, Leigh, Brooke and I laughed and poked fun at Heather for a moment.
"Where is she, anyway?" Ellen said in reference to Heather.
Meg rolled her eyes and tossed her long brown hair into a sloppy bun on the top of her head. "She goes off and sleeps with different guys most nights. Last I heard, it was Larry King."
"Ew, isn't he in Slytherin?" Leigh said with a sour expression.
"Hey, that's my owl's name!" Brooke exclaimed.
"Larry King?" Meg asked with a disbelieving look.
"No, just Larry."
"That's an odd name for an owl," Meg commented flippantly.
Brooke laughed good-naturedly. "Lily's cat's name is Tabs!"
Meg raised a brow. "The tabby cat? That's creative, Red. Good work."
I felt my face turn pink, but I found it humorous that Meg already had a nickname for me. "That's what Potter said, too," I said.
"Speaking of James," Leigh chimed, "How is our dear Mr. Potter doing these days?"
Rolling my eyes, I coolly replied, "You would know much better than I would, Leigh."
"Why won't you just give him a chance?" Ellen asked.
I launched into my worn-out lecture about how Potter is a prat and doesn't deserve to walk on two legs with a head as large as his. Everyone immediately began talking over each other to me about how great Potter was and how much he's grown up and how he's really owning up to his Head Boy title.
"I saw him standing up for a Third Year Hufflepuff when he was being picked on by some Slytherins, and James didn't even hex them."
"I saw him taking House points away from some Ravenclaws because they were trying to write graffiti outside the first floor bathroom."
"I saw him asking McGonagall if there was anything he could do to help her - actually taking up responsibility."
"I saw him snogging Kadie Hale in an empty classroom on the fourth floor."
Silence greeted Meg's last statement, and I had a fleeting image of me pushing Kadie Hale off Big Ben. I was immediately sickened by myself: I was sure Kadie was a nice girl who was stupidly charmed into sucking face with a twat like Potter. I shouldn't have wanted to do such a thing to her, so I replaced Kadie with Potter in the mental image and then I felt much better.
"That wasn't exactly helpful, Meg," Brooke stage-whispered so we could all hear her.
Meg shrugged and all of us snorted. Meg seemed like the bitingly sarcastic, extremely independent type, but instead of being annoying she came off as funny. I was upset it took so long for us to get to know her.
"Anyway," Leigh said, "what I'm getting at is you should at least agree to one date."
"No," I said flatly. "Besides, I already agreed to go on a date with Ryan Henke."
All of the girls gasped and covered their mouths with their hands, wide-eyed.
"NO WAY," Brooke gasped.
"RYAN?" Meg said, flabbergasted. "He's like my brother!"
"I don't really know much about him," I admitted. "I just saw him in the library and he asked me."
"He may come off as a bit obnoxious," Meg advised, "but it's only because he's trying to impress you. He's actually very sweet and intelligent once you get to know him."
I remembered having a similar conversation with Remus last year about Potter. I shuddered and listened as Meg spouted off more details about Ryan. Ellen asked when the date was and I told her tomorrow night. She asked where we were going and I told her I didn't know, but I assumed it was somewhere in Hogsmeade. Ellen rolled her eyes and said "duh, of course it'll be somewhere in Hogsmeade," and Brooke and Leigh gushed about how cute Ryan was.
We spent another few hours sitting around, chatting and gossiping about everything under the sun. By the end of the night, I felt very comfortable around Meg, comfortable enough to consider her one of "the girls."
When we ran out of sweets, I glanced at the clock. It said it was nearly one in the morning, and I had told everyone I was sorry to interrupt the fun but we had school tomorrow. Groaning, the girls and I cleaned up our mess and climbed into bed.
Overall, I thought as I wormed under the covers, the girls' night had been very productive. To my surprise, I hadn't even thought about the Marauders and their animagus forms at all throughout the evening. Deciding I would think about it later, I closed my eyes and listened to the girls light banter as we all got comfortable.
Somehow, as we laid in bed with the lights out, the easy conversation had strayed back to Sirius.
"Meg?" Brooke asked, her voice very quiet.
"Hmmm?" Meg said. I heard her roll around in her bed.
"Do you still like Sirius?"
There was silence for a moment, and Meg finally responded. I had to strain my ears to hear, but I caught the answer.
"Yes. Yes, Brooke, I do."
Meg sat with us the next day at breakfast. She normally sat with her Ravenclaw friends, but she had admitted to us that they weren't really good friends and that she felt more comfortable around us, anyway.
Potter sat down next to me. "Who's the new girl?" he muttered while the grabbed some toast and began covering it in butter.
I rolled my eyes. "She's not new, Potter, she's been here for seven years."
"I've never seen her eat with us before."
"She eats with Ravenclaws."
Why the hell was I explaining all this to James Potter? I hated him. I don't even know why I bothered talking to him on a daily basis when all it did was put me in a bad mood.
"Good morning!" Sirius sang, twirling around himself before plopping down beside Brooke. He didn't even appear to notice Meg while he hummed a tune that sounded very much like "God Rest Ye Merry Hippogriffs" and spooned eggs onto his plate.
I caught Meg's eye and she blushed deeply.
"Hey, wait one moment," Potter said slowly. "Didn't she go out with Sirius last year?"
"Yes, and for that reason you should know exactly who she is."
Potter's eyes darkened and he whipped his head around to glare at Meg. If she was confused at all about Potter's random action, she did not show it as she smiled innocently at him. I was sure it was supposed to be sarcastic.
Potter returned his gaze to his toast. "That's the girl who broke Sirius's heart," he said in a low voice so only I could hear him.
"What are you talking about?" I demanded, my voice just as low as his. "She said he broke up with her."
"No, she definitely broke up with him. After their break up, he cr- well, he was pretty messed up for a few days. Weeks."
"Why?" I asked curiously. Meg had told Leigh, Brooke, Ellen and I that he broke up with her because things were getting "too intimate." "What did Sirius say she broke up with him about?"
"She told him that she just wasn't interested in him anymore. She might as well have ripped his heart out and thrown it off the Astronomy Tower."
"Because he loved her!"
"If he fancied her so much, how come you don't recognize her?"
Potter prodded his toast with his knife. "Sirius didn't talk about her much. I thought she was just another girl, but after they broke up, Remus, Pete and I learned that she was a lot more than that." Potter removed his gaze from his toast and looked me straight in the eye. His eyes were quite pretty, I noticed. They weren't just brown, they had flecks of green and gold in them, too. "He tried all he could to get her to notice him, but she never seemed interested. I don't think she ever knew how much he cared about her."
I felt my breath catch in my throat. I looked away and took a sip of pumpkin juice to hide the fact that James's last phrase had made my heart skip a beat.
I set my pumpkin juice down and stood up quickly. "I have to go," I announced. My brain felt fried. I was too confused to even remember to study the Marauder's eating habits like I had told myself I would last night.
"Where are you going?" Ellen asked, eying me suspiciously.
I felt pressured and panicked. "I need to go - er - milk my lampshade. Yeah. Nice chat gotta go bye!"
I all but ran out of the Great Hall and mentally slapped myself for being such an idiot. It wasn't the milking my lampshade part - I could easily blame that on lack of sleep. It was the part about James that had got me, and I hurried up to Gryffindor Tower wondering if we had even been talking about Sirius and Meg at all.
A/N: I based Meg off of the Meg in Hercules. That's how I picture her and that's how I base her personality. OKAY
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