A/N: So…I am completely on cloud 9 right now. Why, you ask, dear reader? Two reasons:
1: I went to a seminar/discussion thing at school, where a certain actor made an appearance. I can’t say his name…but I’ll give you a couple hints…;D
a) He’s on an American adaptation of a British show
b) He’s HILARIOUS
Anyway, he was really awesome, talked philosophy for an hour, signed copies of his book, and I got a picture. It was AMAZING. I totally babbled complete nonsense at him when he said hi to me and shook my hand. Eek…embarrassing…
2: I came home and chapter 9 was validated! I feel really terrible about that 3 week wait for it. I just can't seem to catch a break, guys. I'm sorry. I'll really try harder next time!
“Hiya,” Sirius said as he slammed his bag onto the library desk, right next to Ivy’s head.
She jumped and glared at him once her eyes focused. After the last night’s debacle, she hadn’t gotten much sleep, and she had bloodshot eyes to prove it.
James and Peter pulled the other seats at the table out and plopped down across from her. Peter craned his neck around cautiously, probably looking for the Phantom of the Library that was Madam Pince. She had the hearing of a bat, and Sirius was about as quiet as a screaming mandrake. Proof: he pulled a chair out for himself, spun it around as noisily as humanly possible, and sat down backwards.
“What do you want?” Ivy asked grumpily as she ran a hand through her dull hair. Even her hair was tired.
“Status report,” James said, as if it were a common occurrence to bother her during free period, which in fact, it was becoming.
“He still hates me. End of report,” Ivy glared at the desk, where someone had etched two sets of initials inside of a heart. I bet whoever MR and JS are, they broke up eons ago, he’s a drunk, and she’s fat. –– Okay, Iv, stop being so mean. She probably hasn’t put on more than 15 pounds. Then Ivy realized that Sirius was speaking.
Sirius looked at her like he had better things to do, so the least she could do was listen to the brilliance spewing forth from the deepest, darkest, scariest recesses of his mind, where he hid it so that girls wouldn’t think he was nerdy. Yes, Ivy detected this from one glance. Yes, there was a real possibility that Ivy imagined this whole thing in exchange for more listening she should have been doing.
“–came back to the dorm looking really pathetic. Hateful people don’t look pathetic, they look pissed off and bitter. So he can’t possibly hate you. You’re wrong,” Sirius concluded with a superior air. He even straightened an imaginary monocle on his left eye for emphasis.
“Really? Are you really that bizarre?” Ivy asked, the filter between her brain and her mouth unable to catch the disdain before it escaped.
Well, at least he’s a resilient weirdo, Ivy thought.
“Go over what happened. We know Remus. Maybe you did just misunderstand,” James said, more diplomatically.
“Uhm…” Ivy chewed her lip. How much to reveal? How much to conceal? She wanted to fix things with Remus, but would they believe her side of the events enough to help? Or would they automatically blame her too?
“Go ahead,” Peter nodded encouragingly.
“I don’t know,” her shoulders slumped when she relented. “It was bad from the start. He was really pissed off the whole night. I tried making small talk, but he kept on shooting me down. When I finally tried to sincerely apologize, he started shouting and just…” Ivy subconsciously shivered, just remembering the look in Remus’ eyes. “He was furious, and I didn’t know what I to do, and…well…”
“What happened?” James asked in a whisper, leaning across the table towards her.
“Hesortofbackedmeintoacorner,ranaway,signedinwithLily,chasedmedowninthehallway,Iapologized,andthenIranaway,” Ivy said in one breath. She had been talking with her hands, but when she realized they were shaking, she put them down on the table to try and mask it.
All three of them were gaping at her, but she didn’t notice because she was still staring at the desk. Then her head shot up when she heard a loud bang.
James and Sirius had both suddenly stood up, and James had knocked over his chair. The two of them began pacing in opposite directions, deep in thought. They exchanged several significant looks.
“Are you okay?” Peter asked quietly and laid a hand over Ivy’s trembling fingers.
Ivy gulped and shrugged. She turned her gaze back down at the table, unable to look at Peter’s concerned eyes or James and Sirius’ unsettling movement. They were in their own little world when Madam Pince rounded a bookshelf and pointed an accusatory finger at them.
“YOU! GET OUT OF MY LIBRARY, RIGHT NOW!”
James and Sirius froze mid-step and only their eyeballs moved as they darted between each other, Peter, and the enraged librarian. Ivy’s eyes widened slowly, mind finally catching up with what was happening, clearing of its earlier lethargy. The boys scrambled for their bags and Sirius and Peter tugged Ivy out of her seat and dragged her out of the library as Madam Pince chased them.
“I expected more from the Head Boy, Potter!” She screeched.
“So lovely to see you, Irma! Pity we can’t stay,” James called over his shoulder as he jogged away from her, lifting his knees unnecessarily high and obviously not taking the old woman seriously.
Sirius, Peter, and Ivy had overtaken James when she was suddenly struck with the absurdity of the situation and burst into laughter, which only irked Madam Pince more, and made it difficult to run.
“Can’t–breath,” she gasped.
“Cardio, Marcell. Cardio,” Sirius said breathlessly as he grinned down at her.
“It helps if you don’t laugh,” Peter said beside her. He was the same height as Ivy, but was keeping up with Sirius. Neither of them had let go of her hands and they were pulling her along.
“Bloody hell!” James shouted somewhere behind them.
Sirius and Peter both looked over their shoulders and quickened the pace.
“Damn,” Sirius swore as they rounded a corner.
“I see you Marcell! You ought to have better judge of character, young lady!”
The shriek reverberated through the hallway in Madam Pince’s unmistakably dulcet tones.
“She never actually follows us,” Peter gasped as he too began to lose steam.
“Just leave me. What’s the worst she can do?” Ivy asked as she began to slow down.
“Oh no, you don’t,” James said, directly behind them now. He put a hand on her back to urge her on.
“We’re almost there,” Sirius said and tugged harder on Ivy’s arm.
“C’mon, Wormtail,” James said, using his other hand to propel Peter forward.
They could hear the clacking of Madam Pince’s boots echoing through the corridor behind them.
“She’s fast for an old bird,” Peter said as they climbed a flight of stairs.
“Just around this corner,” Sirius huffed as they skidded around a turn. He quickly rapped on a statue with his wand and pushed Ivy inside of it. Her stomach jolted into her throat as she plummeted down a slide, immersed in total darkness. Ivy was too disoriented to scream. The faint whooshing sounds above her head were her only indicator that the guys had also jumped into the chute. Then, quite suddenly, the slide ended, and she tumbled onto hard compact ground.
“Move!” Someone shouted behind her and Ivy scrambled to get out of the way, bumping her head on a wall as she crawled on all fours. She heard a thud, closely followed by two more, and a groan.
“Gerroff!” Someone shouted, voice muffled.
“Sorry,” someone else (Peter, maybe) apologized.
Someone’s footsteps pattered distinctly on the ground before James shouted.
“Nobody move! I lost my glasses!”
The footsteps continued.
“I think I heard them skid over h–” began one voice (again, maybe Peter) before it was ended abruptly by one more step and a howl of pain. Definitely Peter.
“Sorry mate,” Sirius apologized.
“Didn’t he tell you to stop moving?” Ivy asked, slightly annoyed. She had turned around and sat up against the very wall that had accosted her, and was rubbing the sore spot on her head.
“This is stupid. I can’t see a thing,” James muttered.
A thought occurred to Ivy and she began feeling around for her pockets before she found her wand. Then she sat, momentarily stumped as to why she had wanted it in the first place. Damn, that really hurts. Oh right.
The narrow passageway was bathed in light and there were three similar grunts of pain as the light struck the boys in the eyes.
“Merlin, why’s it so bright?” Sirius complained, shielding his eyes as he leaned against a wall.
“Got ‘em!” Peter shouted triumphantly, turning with James glasses in his raised hand.
“Thanks Wormtail,” James grinned as he took them and jammed them onto his face. Upside-down. He frowned for a second before taking them off and putting them on correctly.
“Hand okay, Pete?” Sirius asked nonchalantly as his eyes adjusted to the light.
“I’ll survive. Don’t I always?”
“Is talking to you guys always this eventful?” Ivy finally asked, also standing up.
They exchanged glances before grinning at her.
“This is awesome,” Ivy said as she looked around the basement of Honeydukes Sweetshop.
“Doesn’t your school have any secret passageways?” Peter asked as he climbed out of the hole in the floor.
“Merlin, build some muscle mass, would you?” James complained as he pulled Peter up by both hands.
“Excuse me, quidditch prat,” Peter replied good naturedly.
“All of our passages lead to safe houses for the younger girls who can’t apparate in the event of an emergency,” Ivy shrugged.
“Hang on,” Sirius said excitedly as he climbed out behind Peter. “You mean Salem’s really is an all girl’s school?”
“Calm down,” Ivy raised her eyebrows. “I hate to break it to you, but you’re a guy. There is something that will prevent you from getting admitted as a student. At least I think so.”
“Ha-ha,” he replied sarcastically. “I mean, all those girls in one place…” Sirius drifted off and got a dreamy look on his face.
“Okay…” James said, giving Sirius a look that said remind-me-why-I’m-your-friend-again? “So the shop is up through here,” he nodded up a set of stairs and led the way. Sirius trailed along at the end. James pushed a door open and they all walked out into the shop behind the register.
“Morning, lads. Shouldn’t you be in class?” A middle aged man called out to them and jumped down from the ladder he was using to restock some shelves.
“Morning, Mr. Sheffield. We’ve got free period,” Sirius finally came out of his reverie to reply from behind Ivy.
“Ah,” Mr. Sheffield winked at them and chuckled before noticing Ivy. “Who’s this then? Please don’t tell me this is one of your pranks gone wrong and this is Remus in girl form,” he said, eyes twinkling with laughter.
“Nah, sir,” James replied. “This is Ivy Marcell from Salem’s in America.”
“Remus isn’t feeling well today,” Peter added.
“Too bad,” Mr. Sheffield clucked his tongue. “Give Remus my best.”
“Will do, sir,” James replied, leading them out of the shop.
“It was nice meeting you, Ivy,” the shopkeeper called after them.
“You too,” Ivy replied with a grin.
“He doesn’t mind you guys sneaking into town through his cellar?” She asked once they were outside.
“Nah. He trusts us. But if we get caught, he doesn’t know a thing,” Peter replied.
“Where are we headed, Prongs?” Sirius asked.
Ivy noticed that they were slowly becoming more open with the use of their nicknames in front of her. They used to walk on eggshells around her, just like the other students, but they were slowly beginning to trust her. Or maybe they didn’t even notice.
“Hog’s Head,” James said simply. “It may not be the prettiest pub in town, but at least there’s no chance we’ll run into any professors.”
“At 10am, James?” Ivy asked doubtfully.
James decided not to dignify her impertinence with a response and instead glowered superiorly. Ivy shook her head ruefully and turned to Peter as they walked towards the quiet end of the village. But then she saw a look of uncertainty on Peter’s face before he wiped it off and resolutely followed James and Sirius.
If he trusts them, why did he betray them?
The four of them stepped into the dim pub and sat down at the bar. The barman looked ancient and off-putting. Or maybe it was the fact that he looked up at them as they entered and just so happened to spit on the straw covered ground at the same time. Complete coincidence, they were sure.
“Four firewhiskies, my good man,” Sirius said confidently.
The old man sidled over to the expanse of bar they were occupying, and squinted at them. His eyes got progressively narrower as he looked from Sirius to Ivy to James to Peter (who admittedly didn’t look a day over 14).
“Sure the lady wouldn’t care for something more…delicate?” He asked before inhaling sharply and (thankfully) turning away before spitting again.
Any other time, Ivy would have bristled at the suggestion that she was fragile, but she silenced her inner feminist and seized the escape, eyeing the dirty glasses that lined the bar.
“Actually, I think I’ll have a bottle of something you don’t already have open. Just something I can drink straight from the bottle.”
The barman snorted again, but no spit followed, and he turned away to fetch their order. He returned with three shot glasses, a half-full bottle of firewhiskey, and a warm bottle of butterbeer. It wasn’t ideal, but there was no way in hell Ivy was going to ask for a glass of water. Witches and wizards were brilliant but the concept of plastic, and therefore bottled water, escaped them. I suppose that makes the wizarding world environmentally friendly, then…The old man moved away and disappeared into a back room.
“So Remus is sick?” Ivy asked as the guys threw back their drinks.
James hissed loudly as the alcohol burned its way down his throat. “Yep,” he replied.
Sirius handled his shot with much more practiced ease, and Peter choked for a moment before ending with a grating cough.
“Is he in Gryffindor Tower? Maybe I should go pay him visit, you know, apolo–”
“No!” All three of them shouted at the same time.
Ivy resisted the urge to shake her head. She supposed this was what passed for “subtle” in the 70’s.
“What we mean is,” James rushed to recover, “if last night was anything like you said it was, maybe we should talk to him first before he sees you again.”
“You mean you’ll help me? For real this time?”
“What d’you mean? We helped you the last time, didn’t we?” Sirius asked indignantly.
“Uh, no you didn’t. You fed me to the dragons, is what you did.” Ivy had heard a third year use the expression. She guessed it was the wizarding alternative to being fed to the sharks. “You neglected to tell me exactly how angry he was.”
“Right, we didn’t do a very good job last time, did we?” Peter admitted, having the decency to look slightly guilty.
“Okay. Here’s to helping for real this time,” Sirius said, raising his glass.
“Yeah, cheers,” Peter followed his example.
James, not to be left out, quickly grabbed his shot, sloshing a bit on the bar just as the barman came back out. This earned him a stern squint, which he deflected with a fake grin, as if he had no idea that he just added to the grime on the roughly hewn wood.
“To helping Ivy,” he declared.
“Get Remus to be her friend,” Sirius continued.
“‘Cause she’s awesome,” Peter finished.
Ivy grinned and tried to hide her blush by taking a deep gulp from her butterbeer. She’d never been toasted to before, and having her first toast be by ¾ of the Marauders was way more flattering than it should have been.
“Thanks, guys,” she said, trying to suppress her glow.
“WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?!”
The door to the pub slammed open, and all four of their necks cracked as they whipped their heads around to look at the figure in the doorway. They spoke in unison.
“What were you thinking?” Professor McGonagall railed at them, pacing behind her desk as they sat staring down at the carpet. “Don’t you understand that these are dangerous times in our world? You can’t just go gallivanting off school property! I have half a mind to suggest expulsion to the Headmaster.”
McGonagall held up her hand to silence them.
“However, I know that the only thing keeping students like you four out of real trouble is the fact that you are here under the protection of Headmaster Dumbledore. To expel you would be tantamount to signing off on the dementor’s kiss,” she said primly, finally taking her seat, satisfied to see the fear her threat had put in them.
All four of them relaxed slightly.
“But you must be punished. Severely.”
At this, they each sat up straight and held their breath.
“The four of you will serve evening detentions under my supervision, each night for the next three weeks. Furthermore, Mr. Potter, as the Head Boy, I am most disappointed with you. As of now, your powers as Head Boy are suspended until further notice.”
Poor James, Ivy chewed her lip as she saw the mixture of remorse and relief on James’ face.
“And you, Miss Marcell, are no longer a prefect,” McGonagall said firmly.
Ivy sucked in a silent breath, but only nodded. She dropped her gaze to her hands, unable to stand the let down look on the older woman’s face. Only she and Professor McGonagall knew exactly how much faith had been placed in her with the prefectship.
“I cannot help but note that you are at the center of all the commotion amongst the 7th years of Gryffindor house thus far this term. Although these gentlemen are hardly innocent,” she said, gesturing to the guys, “your coalition with them is undeniably disruptive. To allow you to remain in a place of authority amongst the other students would be foolish, especially when you have very little trouble encouraging chaos. Please hand in your badge.”
Ivy only nodded as her hands moved to unpin the badge attached to her lapel.
“No! Wait, Professor–”
“Mr. Black, there is very little you could say to improve your case, therefore I suggest you not speak.”
“But ma’am, she didn’t make us leave the grounds. It was the other way around,” James spoke up this time.
“You are far from safe, Mr. Potter,” his Head of House warned.
“But it wasn’t Ivy’s idea!” Sirius stood, gaining bravado from James’ support. “It was mine. Please don’t punish Ivy because we dragged her along.”
“Sit down, Mr. Black. If Miss Marcell had objected, she could have refused to go. But she did not,” Professor McGonagall’s patience (what little there was left) was quickly depleting.
“Ma’am, if you take Ivy’s badge, then you ought to take mine as well,” James suddenly said, also standing.
Ivy gaped before also standing.
“Shut up James,” she hissed through clenched teeth. “Professor, I will gladly turn in my badge. Please ignore him.”
“I’ll serve two extra detentions, if you’ll allow James and Sirius out of tonight’s detention,” Peter suddenly jumped up and tried to maintain a brave face. James and Sirius shot him veiled glares, and Ivy wondered exactly what he was playing at. Then she remembered that tonight was a full moon. They might have been in trouble, but Peter was still minding Remus. Ivy almost said ‘awwww’ but swallowed it. Get a grip, Shelton.
“Why would I do that, Mr. Pettigrew?” Minerva’s voice was deadly quiet and didn’t betray her curiosity. She knew what time of the month it was, and although she and Dumbledore suspected the boys in front of her of knowing about their friend Mr. Lupin, they weren’t sure.
“Erm, because–because,” Peter stuttered, desperately searching for an excuse, his eyes shifting nervously.
“Because I’ll serve two extra detentions as well. And I’ll revoke my own Hogsmeade visits,” Ivy said, struck by the sudden urge to do something to help Remus. He might not like her at the moment, but she was going to make him, damnit.
All three boys now stared at her in awe. James and Sirius knew what Peter was doing, but what the hell was Ivy doing?!
“Let me get this straight. Miss Marcell, you’re offering to turn in your Prefect badge, serve 23 detentions, and refrain from visiting Hogsmeade for the whole year, so that Mr. Potter and Mr. Black can be excused from tonight’s detention?” McGonagall raised an eyebrow at Ivy, but she didn’t blink.
“And Mr. Pettigrew, you’re also willing to serve 23 detentions?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Peter replied determinedly.
“I’ll serve 30!”
Four faces adopted what-the-hell?! looks as they turned to Sirius.
“And I’ll quit quidditch,” he added.
“Me too!” James chimed in.
“You’re the captain, James,” Sirius hissed over Ivy’s head.
“So?” He retorted. “I quit too.”
“For what purpose?” McGonagall snapped, removing her spectacles to pinch the bridge of her nose.
“Then I change my 23 detentions to 30!” Peter piped up again.
“I don’t care about the badge–”
“I’ll give up flying completely–”
“40 detentions and that’s my final offer–”
“I won’t graduate! I’ll stay another year–”
All four teenagers promptly snapped their mouths shut.
They dropped into their seats and stared wide-eyed at their Head of House as she snatched her hat off, yanking some of her hair out of its pins in the process.
“I have never, in all of my years as an educator, seen four students so determined to drive me mad by penalizing themselves,” she hissed. She then calmly picked up her glasses and slowly polished them on her robes as she tried to regulate her breathing back down to a calm pace. By the time she placed them back on her nose, she was the unflappable Deputy Headmistress again. “Therefore, I award each of you 10 points for your house, which just so happens to be mine, for selfless behavior.”
They all stared at her, completely stunned. She continued brusquely before they could come to their senses.
“Mr. Potter, Miss Marcell, you may both keep your badges in exchange for power suspension until I feel you have earned them back fully. Mr. Black, you and Mr. Potter will remain on the Gryffindor quidditch team, in exchange for never threatening to quit again. I want that quidditch cup in my office. All of you, including Mr. Pettigrew, will serve 14 detentions with me, beginning tomorrow night, in exchange for your promise that I will not regret letting you all out of detention tonight. Miss Marcell, you will attend Hogsmeade on specially mandated Saturdays, and those days only. I believe that covers everything.”
All four of them sat, their mouths agape as they sat through their sentencing.
“I’m afraid those punishments will have to suffice.”
They continued to stare at McGonagall, so she raised her eyebrow.
“You are excused.”
They all quickly jumped up, bumping into one another in their haste to scramble out of her office. They exchanged furtive grins as they ran-walked to the door.
“Thanks Professor!” They all chimed before the door swung shut behind them.
Minerva sighed and removed her spectacles again as she leaned back in her seat. Only then did she allow herself a smile. Why the Sorting Hat had given her such wily students, she didn’t want to ask, but a tiny part of her was grateful. Poor Horace probably would have been driven to the brink of insanity. With one last shake of her head, Minerva resumed the paper grading she had interrupted to drag the four youngsters back to the castle.
“That part about the extra detentions was priceless, Peter!” Ivy laughed as they lightheartedly ambled through the school to lunch.
“Seriously, mate,” James said, throwing his arm around Peter’s neck and ruffling his hair.
“Truly inspired,” Sirius grinned and playfully shoved Peter’s shoulder.
“Yeah, well…” Peter blushed. “I meant it.”
“Aww, you little bugger,” James pretended to tear up, but tightened his grip around Peter’s neck until the smaller boy began to choke. It quickly turned into a really one-sided wrestling match in the hallway. Ivy and Sirius merely watched, amused.
“You know what, Marcell?” Sirius asked as he put a considerably more gentle arm around Ivy’s neck. “You’re pretty cool for a psychopath.”
Ivy quirked a half grin and elbowed him in the ribs.
“I cannot believe you got your badge suspended,” Lily said for the 10th time that night at dinner.
Alice unattached herself from Frank’s face with a slightly nauseating suction sound.
“Would you give it a rest already, Lils? At least it wasn’t revoked,” she said, more than a little annoyed. “You’re disrupting my mid-meal snog.”
“I could cite you for excessive PDA,” Lily threw back peevishly. “And Ivy’s lucky it wasn’t revoked. How you got away with your prefectship in tact, I have no idea.”
“Lily, could you please just stop?” Ivy suddenly asked with forced calm. Lily was really irritating her with all of her nagging. “I get it. You’re not happy. But it’s my badge to lose, okay? When my recklessness starts affecting you, then you can lecture me until I’m as old as Professor Binns.”
Alice snorted. “Too right.”
Lily hmphed and was quiet for the first time since Ivy had informed them about what happened. Well, mostly. She left out the detention negotiating bit. She figured Lily wouldn’t have been very impressed with that part. Maybe she’d tell Alice later. Plus, it was too long winded of a story to tell alone, and she didn’t want to try to explain the odd friendship she was forming with the Marauders (minus Remus).
“Where are the guys anyway?” Amelia asked absently, looking up and down the Gryffindor table.
“Probably with Remus. Apparently he isn’t well,” Ivy replied before thinking. Hopefully they would move on from the topic quickly.
“You know,” Frank began with a piece of roll in his mouth. Alice jabbed him in the side, but he only opened his mouth wider to show her the contents. Alice made a disgusted sound and put a hand over his mouth until he finished chewing.
“Happy?” He demanded.
“Yes, thanks,” she replied sarcastically.
“As I was saying, you know, Remus gets sick a lot. I’ve been wondering if it’s serious. He misses a lot of class for whatever it is.”
“That’s true, isn’t it?” Lily said thoughtfully.
“And he always looks so tired after one of his sick spells,” Amelia added sympathetically.
“Do you know what it is, Ivy?” Alice asked.
“Why would I know?” Ivy asked, a bit defensively.
“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe because you spent the whole morning with his best mates?” Alice replied with an odd look on her face.
“Or y’know, the fact that you’ve been stalking him?” Amelia added.
Ivy relaxed but scowled at them.
“I have not. And they didn’t say. But they did say that he should be back to class tomorrow,” she added the lie, hoping they’d drop the subject.
“That’s good to know,” Lily said.
“But every mon–” Frank began insistently, but luckily at that moment, a diversion occurred in the form of Peeves. He entered the hall through the ceiling, dropping sizeable rocks on the tables as he zoomed along, guffawing. But when the students took short breaths in to shout at the mischievous spirit, several gagged, and girls screamed “Dung bomb!”
Students began jumping up and either taking cover under the tables (bad idea), running out of the hall (worse idea), or trying to hex Peeves (worst idea ever).
The girls and Frank were amongst those attempting to hex the irritating poltergeist. They couldn’t get a clear shot at Peeves as he zipped around the Great Hall, so they ended up sending odd spells ricocheting off walls and through tapestries. They tried aiming for the dung bombs, but those seemed to have minds of their own. They were pelting themselves at students cowering under the house tables, and chasing after those trying to escape. For God’s sake, they were even multiplying.
Dinner had turned into complete anarchy in the span of 10 seconds. All of the students that stayed to try and subdue Peeves (mostly older students and prefects) were beginning to turn green, either from valiantly breathing the noxious fumes, or from holding their breath entirely.
“PEEVES!” Someone roared over the melee and the whole hall stilled and turned towards the double doors, where the Bloody Baron stood, rattling his chains threateningly.
Peeves’ eyes widened briefly before he dropped his entire supply of dung bombs on the floor in a heap.
“So sorry your grotesquely bloody eminence!” He simpered before disappearing back up through the ceiling, but not before one last gleeful cackle.
“Thank you, Baron,” Dumbledore said cheerfully to the Slytherin ghost, who merely inclined his head and floated away through a wall. Ivy noticed that Dumbledore hadn’t moved from his seat all throughout the bedlam, choosing instead to see how the students dealt with the poltergeist. When his eyes landed on her as he surveyed the damage, Ivy gave him a slightly disgruntled scowl, which he only answered with a wink.
Crazy old man.
All of the students slumped back down onto the benches and dropped their heads tiredly on the tables. The four girls simultaneously took a deep breath, shot up in their seats gagging, and ran out of the hall with their hands over their noses.
“Yeah, Wormtail?” Remus replied through a yawn.
“What happened with Ivy two nights ago?” Peter asked bluntly.
Last night, on their way up to the dorm, James and Sirius had pegged Peter as the one to broach the subject with Remus. Even they could admit that Peter was most likely to approach it with tact.
“Why?” Remus demanded, suddenly much more awake.
“We spoke to her yesterday. She seemed off,” he tried to remain natural.
“Oh,” Remus replied, a shadow falling across his face.
Peter chose to remain quiet and wait for Remus to gather his thoughts. James and Sirius were trudging along behind them, Sirius’ book bag dragging noisily on the floor.
Last night had been one of Remus’ worst transformations yet, and it showed on all their faces. But because of his size, Peter had been allowed to hitch a ride on Sirius and James’ backs periodically through the night, so he wasn’t as tired as the other three. For all of their efforts, Remus only had two fresh scratches, one on his forehead and a particularly nasty gash on his arm. He had long ago stopped letting Madam Pomfrey tend his wounds, choosing instead to keep them as a reminder that he would someday conquer his condition, or die trying.
“I dunno mate,” he began in a strained whisper. “I think it’s getting worse. Y’know. My…problem.”
“What happened?” Peter asked in a slightly cautious tone. They each might have suspected Remus’s ‘disorder’ as being the reason why he acted out so extremely towards Ivy, but none of them wanted to say it out loud. They never spoke about the odd outbursts of rage from Remus. Talking about it just made him moodier.
“I have no clue. One minute I was just so pissed off, the next thing I know, I’m bearing down on her, and she’s in tears,” Remus shook his head, equally bewildered and disgusted with himself.
By this time, they had reached the Great Hall for breakfast, and they all slumped down at the Gryffindor table. James pulled a bowl of cereal towards himself and lethargically began shoveling it into his mouth. He missed several times, spilling cereal down his front, but didn’t so much as indicate that he noticed. Sirius poured himself a cup of coffee and stared blearily at it before remembering that he was supposed to drink it.
“Mate, I think you need to talk to Ivy,” Peter said gently.
“I know. I tried,” Remus said. “That night,” he added when Peter looked at him curiously. Peter nodded and began unpeeling a banana.
“Try again. She was probably upset then. I’m sure she’ll be more open to talking now,” he said after swallowing a bite.
Remus grunted in response.
“What happened to you lot?”
They all looked up as Alice peered down at them, and then looked at one another. They were each in various forms of rumpledness. Peter’s robes hung off one shoulder and he had semi-circles under his eyes. James’ hair was leaning all to one side of his head as opposed to its customary overall shagginess. Sirius’ tie was undone and slung over his shoulder, and his shirt was only half tucked in. One side of Remus’ collar was popped, plus he had a plaster on his forehead. They all looked back up at Alice and shrugged. She rolled her eyes and reached between them for the pitcher of coffee.
“You look like you were all sick, not just Remus,” Amelia chirped as she munched on a slice of toast.
The four girls sat down and looked curiously at the boys. All except Ivy. She could feel Remus willing her to look at him, but she was still too unsettled by him. Ivy had never not faced something head-on, but she’d also never been so scared shitless as two nights ago. So she ignored him, knowing his eyes were attempting to burn a hole in the side of her head, and tried to listen to some gossip Alice had.
Amelia sighed when she looked at her watch.
“We’re going to be late to Transfig,” she said and the four of them stood back up again.
“Potter,” Lily snapped and he immediately jumped to attention. “Sneaking into bed at dawn isn’t the best way to get off of probation.”
“McGonagall and Ivy told me last night. And you’re a prat for landing yourself two weeks’ worth of detentions.”
With that, Lily huffed and stalked off to class with the other three in tow.
Remus sighed, having noticed that Ivy didn’t say a single word all through breakfast.
“Hang on,” he said as Lily’s words sank in. “Probation? Detention?”
“We got into a spot of trouble yesterday,” James evaded.
“We went to Hogsmeade during free period,” Peter elaborated.
Remus snorted. “That’s what you get for having fun while I was stuck in bed.” He turned to Peter. “I’ll talk to Ivy tonight during rounds. She can’t avoid me there.”
“Actually mate,” James grimaced. “Her badge is suspended as well, and she’s got the two weeks’ detentions with us.”
“What?” Remus asked, not believing what he was hearing.
“We took her with us to Hogsmeade?” James cringed.
Remus reached across the table and cuffed him upside the head.
“Oi! What was that for?”
“You really are a prat, Prongs,” Remus scowled.
“These two were there, why don’t you hit them? You got freakishly large hands,” James grumbled, massaging the side of his head.
Sirius suddenly sniffed very loudly and spoke for the first time that morning.
“What’s that smell?”
A/N: So another MORE beastly chapter than the last one…Good or bad?
Please drop me a few words. Preferably in that empty little box down there. =)
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