Chapter 3 : A Cornfield and Buttering Up Barmaids
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“Get up, you lazy lugs! We’re almost to Homemade.”
Shanti shook her catatonic like friends as she practically screamed into their ears. It was useless. She knew that once Mia was out, there was no waking her. Sirius seemed to be on a similar wavelength. Shanti sighed, shrugged, and walked out of the room.
“Fine. Be that way. Not my problem.”
As she exited the compartment, she brushed past Meg.
“Great, you’re here. You get them to wake up.”
“You mean they’re still asleep! It’s been like four hours.” Meg asked in disbelief.
“I’m guessing someone didn’t get enough sleep tonight.”
“Or someone is merely preparing for the stellar party that is planned for tonight.” a voice said, as James Potter sidled up to the girls.
“Do you really think that’s the wisest idea, James? Lily won’t like her Head Boy goofing around first night of term.” Shanti told James harshly.
“It’s tradition!” James said emphatically, “Besides, I already asked Lily, and she said that if you girls were in, she was too.”
“Really?” Shanti asked excitedly.
“Really?” Meg asked skeptically.
“Really.” James replied, a grin stretching across his face.
Shanti gave a cheer, “Yes! So what’s the plan?”
“We’ll all meet up outside the Room of Requirement after the feast. The marauders will be supplying food and drinks for all.”
“But we’ll all eat at the feast. We’ll be full.” Meg pointed out.
“Who cares? It’s the first day of seventh year! Perfect time to pig out on whatever delectable edibles that the House Elves can scrounge up. Sirius even volunteered to go get drinks from the Three Broomsticks.”
“Firewhiskey?” Shanti intoned eagerly. She and Meg looked at James expectantly.
“It’s Sirius. Naturally.”
The girls smiled at each other deviously.
Then they heard the train whistle.
“FIRST YEARS! OVER HERE, FIRST YEARS!”
“I better get going. I promised Lily we’d find a carriage together. She said she has ‘official Head business’ to discuss.” James hurried down the train, and the girls followed him.
Meanwhile, alone the now close to empty apartment, slept a peaceful Sirius Black and Amelia Jones.
Mia was woken abruptly when she felt a rush of icy water cascade across her face and seep into her clothing. Beneath her, Sirius stirred ever so slightly before screaming as he two was doused in the chilled liquid. As he tried to shake himself dry, the two tumbled onto the floor.
“Terribly sorry, dears, but the train is about to leave.” Mia and Sirius looked up simultaneously to see the middle-aged woman who pushed the candy trolley eyeing them apologetically.
Sirius got to his feet hastily, offering a hand to Mia as well.
“Oh, it’s fine, Ma’am,” Sirius told her, ”Wait a second…Did you just say the train was about to leave?”
“Yes, Mr. Black!”
Mia already had her trunk in hand by the time Sirius had gained enough composure to ask, “Have the carriages left already too?” The woman nodded at him. Sirius stood there is shock.
“But how could we have slept… no one woke us…”
“Sirius, who cares? We need to get off this train now!” Mia told him as she heard the familiar call of the scarlet steam engine. “The train is moving! Grab your trunk, damn it!”
Snapping out of it, Sirius gathered his belongings and sprinted out the door in record timing. Mia followed behind him. The two rushed passed compartments, looking for an exit. Once they reached one, Sirius whipped the door open. The train was picking up speed.
“What are we going to do?” Mia asked, catching her breath.
“WHAT? Sirius there is no way that I am…”
“It’s either that or take the train back to King’s Cross! Your choice.”
Mia, looking anxious, didn’t reply.
“Now, on the count of three. One. Two…Three!”
“SPONGIFY!” Sirius cried as they jumped onto the pavement. Toppling over their feet, they landed quite comfortably, trunks beside them.”
“Cushioning charm.” Sirius replied to Mia’s unasked question.
Mia sighed with relief. “Good thinking.”
Gathering up their belongings, including Mia’s trunk that had fallen into a small pond, Sirius scoped out the area where they had landed. “Well the train went further than I thought, I’d say we’re a couple of kilometers from Hogwarts from here.”
Also getting to her feet, Mia reached for her trunk, which was in Sirius’s arms. “Great! Just bloody fantastic. This is exactly how I wanted my last year at Hogwarts to start out.” She tugged on her trunk fruitlessly as Sirius kept his good grip. “I’m in the middle of some cornfield, kilometers away from civilization, and to top that off my stuff is soaking.” At that moment, she stopped tugging on her trunk. Giving Sirius one last irritated look, Mia lunged forward, gave an almighty tug on her trunk, and put all of the rest of her weight onto Sirius’s chest. The two toppled in a clumsy tango before Sirius slipped. The result was one Sirius Black landing in the pond that had previously contained Mia’s luggage.
Sputtering about, Sirius wiped his shaggy wet hair from his face. Looking up, he saw a triumphant Mia holding her luggage above him, completely dry. “What exactly was that for?” he asked exasperated.
“It’s your fault that we’re in this stupid mess.”
“Because I was the one who fell asleep and decided not to wake up before the train left.”
“Yes, clearly this is all your fault.”
“You really are something, you know. By the way, we aren’t in a cornfield. This happens to be a field of sunflowers.”
Mia looked around, and surely, they were indeed in a field of sunflowers. How this fact had evaded her knowledge, she didn’t know, nor did she particularly care. With one simple look at Sirius, she was able to convey this feeling of apathy toward what exact kind of crop they were currently standing – or in the case of Sirius sitting – in.
As she furthered observed their surroundings, Mia noticed an old farmhouse about four hundred meters to their left. The night was clear. She could make out several constellations perfectly and directly above them sat a waning crescent moon. Looking to her right, she spotted Hogmeade’s infamous Shrieking Shack, which had been rumored to be haunted ever since it was built during her first year at Hogwarts. Mia shivered. There was definitely something creepy about that place. She was feeling uncomfortable and slightly spooked when she noticed Sirius was speaking.
“Hello? Anyone in there? Okay, so you’re giving me the silent treatment. Look, I’m sorry we missed the carriages, but I promise that we’ll get to Hogwarts in no time. And on the bright side, now we can stop and get supplies for the party.”
“Party?” Mia questioned, “What party?”
“The annual Marauder’s Last Night Before Last First Day of School Party.”
“How can the party be annual if it’s our last first day of school?”
“Do you honestly think that we’ll all graduate this year?”
“Exactly. I like to think ahead of the game you see. This is definitely going to be an annual event. I’m feeling it.”
“Whatever. Can we just get out of here? This place gives me the heebie jeebies.”
Sirius looked around. He laughed. “What? You mean the Shrieking Shack. Come off it.”
“That place is haunted Sirius.”
“Nah, those are just rumors.”
“For real, that place creeps me out.”
Sirius smirked at her.
“No, love, I’m Sirius. Oh dear, maybe you did bonk your head jumping off that moving train. I better check this out. Come here.” Sirius grabbed her head and twisted her neck around, looking for signs of damage. When his rather exuberant examination was over, he then decided to bring her whole head, along with the rest of her body because for some reason the two seemed to be attached, to his chest. “My poor baby. How could I have let this happen? It seems like only yesterday we were…running through the sunflowers…”
“Sirius.” Mia muffled voice was heard through a mouthful of Sirius’s jacket. “Let go of me.” Biding by her wishes, Sirius let go of her head, giving her a reassuring smile when he saw that Mia still looked spooked by their current situation. “Can we just go now?” she asked.
“Of course,” Mia sighed in relief, “but…”
“Oh great, I thought I detected a but.”
“I promised James that I’d get drinks for the party, and, well, since we’re so close to The Three Broomsticks, what better a time…” he trailed off, looking at Mia both apologetically and hopefully.
Giving him a look that said she knew she’d later regret this, Mia replied unwillingly, “Oh, fine.”
“Yeah buddy! This is going to be the best annual Marauder’s Last Night Before Last First Day of School Party ever!”
“Yeah, yeah, of course, now can we please get a move on it.”
“We are on it, sister friend.”
“Don’t talk like that.”
“I will not, sister friend.”
“Call me sister friend one more time.”
“Alriiigghht, siiisterrr…” Sirius trailed off looking sheepish as Mia glared at him. “Okay, we are on the move.” Sirius changed the subject, and then he charmed himself, Mia, and their luggage dry. He also enchanted the two’s trunks to discreetly follow behind them as they made their way past the field of sunflowers and into Hogsmeade.
“Rather efficient, now, aren’t we?” Mia asked him with interest.
Sirius looked at her, confused.
“Relax, Sirius. I was merely commenting on the fact that you seemed to have adjusted well to using magic outside of Hogwarts.”
“Oh,” said Sirius, his expression loosening, “Yeah, well, I suppose that’s true. Why? Haven’t you?”
Mia snorted, “Hardly.” The two began carving their way through the empty streets of Hogsmeade village.
“Oh, come off it, you just turned seventeen last month. You’ve hardly had any time adapt.”
“Yes, while that may be true, I simply am not as gifted magically as you are.”
“You’ve gotten better marks then me for the past six years!”
“Yes, Sirius, I have, and that is because I paid attention and worked hard in class. I earned those marks. You, on the other hand, seem perfectly able to do even the most complicated of spells without a seconds practice. Face it, you’re a kickarse wizard.”
Sirius laughed. “Yeah, I guess you could call it that. Most of the teachers seem to think differently.”
Mia shook her head. “That’s because they see so much potential in you. They expect more from you magical backround and pureblood status.”
“Hey! I don’t give a shit about magical status and pureblood backround…or whatever the hell you said. Look at Evans, clearly that doesn’t make a difference in the aptitude of a wizard.” Sirius looked annoyed at the very thought that he could be like those who thought that Muggleborns, or Mudbloods, were nothing but scum and wizards had the right to supreme rule of over Muggles…
Mia looked taken aback, and corrected herself, “Sirius, no, that’s not what I’m saying. I know Lily’s the brightest witch of our age, and her blood status obviously has nothing to do with that fact. I’m just telling you that you’re good at magic, but you really could be great at magic if you put in a little more time.”
Sirius sighed. “You sound like McGonagall, look if I ever need a lecture, I’ll ask for you for one.” Sirius quickened his paced as the two moved toward the doors of The Three Broomsticks. Sirius entered the restaurant in a huff, moving immediately toward the bar.
Turning to see who had entered, the young barmaid smiled. “Well, if it isn’t the devil charmer himself, what can I do for you today, Mr. Black?” She smiled at him, shooting him a quick wink.
Turning on that said ‘devilish charm’, Sirius grinned at the girl. “Well, my friends and I are throwing our annual Marauder’s Last Night Before Last First Day of School Party and we really need something to spice up the night.” Sirius flashed he a melting smile, and returned the wink.
Behind him, Mia raised an eyebrow, entertained by the spectacle before her.
“Oh, and could you whip up something quick for my friend here and I? We missed the school carriages and are completely famished.” It was only then that Mia realized that she hadn’t eaten since breakfast, and her stomach growled accordingly.
Noticing that Sirius wasn’t alone, the barmaid lost her flirtatious attitude, and glowered defiantly in Mia’s direction. Mia simply gave her a wave and a smile. She gave Sirius a gentle tug on his upper arm, saying, “Let’s go find a place to sit, Sirius honey, and Miss, if you could please have that ready in a jiff, that’s be just fabulous.” Sirius gave her a questioning look, but followed her to sit down, nevertheless.
“You have no shame.” Mia told Sirius as the two of them found a table in the corner.
“What? That? That was nothing. You should see me when I’m really in action.”
“Right. How silly of me.”
“All the fan girls would wilt at the sight.”
“I’m sure they would.”
“I don’t like your sarcastic tone.”
“Sarcastic! I would never use sarcasm when discussing such a serious topic of that of Sirius Black’s fan girls.”
“Good.” Sirius shot her a smirk, but Mia merely smiled and rolled her eyes, knowing that arguing about him flirting his way into a free meal. Then again, if the flirting got her a free meal as well…she really was astoundingly hungry. She couldn’t believe that food had slipped her mind for so long. It was one of her three greatest joys in life… eat, sleep, food…okay, it was two of her three greatest joys in life.
“Oh. My. God. I. Am. So. Hungry.” Sirius seemed to read her mind and voiced the every growing obsession she had on food during the current time.
Mia could only nod meagerly in agreement, for even speaking would take far too much effort.
In what seemed like days to Mia, the barmaid finally came over to the two of them.
“Well, here you are Mister Black. Something to…spice up,” she grinned flirtatiously, “your night.”
Mia seemed to notice that she had regained some of her swagger, probably realizing that her and Sirius weren’t actually together. Well, they were together, but not together together. Oh, you know what I mean.
“And of course, some food for the trip back. Also, I snuck in some treacle tart just for you Sirius. I know it’s your favorite.” The girl batted her eyelashes in what Mia thought was far to forward. If she had any food in her stomach, she’d most likely barf.
Rising at the words “treacle tart”, Sirius bounced up from his hunger induced catatonic stupor and grabbed the bag of food, practically taking off the arms of the barmaid.
All manners entirely forgotten, Sirius dove into the bag. Taking out some treacle tart, his eyes widened in desire as he took one bite…two bites…three bites…his expression slowly became less demented with each bit. As Sirius regained some control, he slowed his eating, but didn’t stop, just enough to say thanks to the looking-somewhat-disgusted barmaid.
Grabbing the party supplies, Sirius took Mia hand and pulled her to the door. Walking outside, Sirius took a left at the first stop.
Mia, who had willingly let Sirius pull her along thus far, stopped.
“Sirius we’re going the wrong way!”
“No. We’re not.”
“Sirius. Hogwarts is right up there. It’s a huge castle. You can’t miss. We have to go this way.”
“I know a better way.”
AN: Chapter 3 yo!
Tell me what you thought! I need some reviews...it's literally killing me. Help a girl out. What do you think of Mia?? Sirius? Shanti? James? Claribel? Anyone! Is this all horrible? Is it awesome?! Let me know! REVIEW!
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