Vienna found her own way downstairs the next day. It was Monday- the first day of term. She thought I’d be a good idea to get down to breakfast early now that James was Quidditch Captain. James might be likely to flip the table if everyone wasn’t down in time for a pre-class pitch look-round. She walked into the Great Hall bleary eyed and yawning, plucking herself down in the first empty seat.
“Getting some breakfast before James flips out?” said Sirius, lounging in his chair, carefree and elegant even at five in the morning.
“My sentiments exactly. Pass the marmalade please,” she yawned. Sirius laughed and handed it to her. “I swear, if he has us out at four like Collingsworth did last year, I’ll chuck my bat at him.”
“Ahem,” said a voice from behind them.
“I said James, if you have us out at four I will chuck my bat at you.” She said again without looking up.
“Course Schedules.” Said Professor McGonagall.
“Oops, sorry Professor, I thought you were James,” she said as they took their schedules.
“Ug, Double Potions today with, no, not again, the Slytherins. “ Sirius groaned.
“Ew, Merlin, why do we always have Potions with the Slytherins?” Vienna grumbled. “And we don’t have Defense Against the Dark Arts until Friday!”
“Crap schedule this year mate,” Sirius said as James sat down.
Turned out, James was too tired to tour the pitch, so instead they set of for Transfiguration early. It was the beginning of NEWTS, so this was bound to be an interesting class.
Professor McGonagall had them seated alphabetically this year, probably because of the incident last year when Sirius turned James into a tea set. It took her twenty minutes to put him right (which is what they were after of course.)So, now James was next to Peter, Sirius next to Vienna, and Lupin was sitting next to a girl with long blonde hair no one seemed to remember who she was.
It was fairly easy. They were working on cross species Switching spells, only instead of the usual shouted incantations; most people were blue in the face trying to switch guinea pigs to real ones. The only people that seemed to be getting anywhere were James, Sirius, and Vienna, who had managed to turned their guinea pigs to piglets and were watching the rest of the class struggle. Or in Sirius’s case, turning the pig blue and hairy.
“You should give it purple spots too,” Vienna giggled as the piglet sprouted two inches of fluffy blue hair.
“You got it!” And with a flourish, there was a blue and purple fluffy spotted pig before them. Vienna doubled up in silent laughter.
The rest of the day seemed to fly by and before they knew it, it was time to tramp down to Slughorn’s dungeon for Potions. Remus pulled Vienna pointedly away from Snape, on whom she had been advancing while Sirius watched; half worried looking, half amused. Snape just gave her a dirty look before filing in to the classroom. They sat in the back, as far away from Snape as they could manage; Lily seemed to feel the same way and shared a table Vienna, who was already kindling a fire under her cauldron.
The dungeon was damp and cold. Vienna held her hand to the fire, which was purple, and already licking the sides of her cauldron. Slughorn bounced in, jovial as ever. He started rambling on about the potions that were simmering on his desk.
“Miss Alden, can you tell me the name of this one?” He called, obviously sensing her disinterest, pointing to a cauldron full of a pearly liquid with clouds of vapor rising in spirals.
“It’s Amortentia. It’s the strongest love potion in the world. It doesn’t really create love it just creates powerful obsession or infatuation. Oh and it smells different to everyone too, depending on what they’re attracted too.” She said in a dismal voice, still warming her hands over the purple flames.
“Absolutely right, ten points to Gryffindor!” Slughorn cried. He continued to drone on about the different potions. Finally, he assigned them the Living Draught of Death and she unpacked her cauldron and got to work.
By the end of the period, her potion was the palest purple, almost clear, like Lily’s. The only person who managed to do better than them was Snape, who’s was as clear as water. This seemed to bother Lily as much as it bothered Vienna.
She waited outside for James and Sirius, who would both be going down to the pitch with her, because Slughorn made them stay behind and get their detention slips. They had blown up each other’s potions and drenched half the class. Talk about starting out with a bang.
The door opened and James and Sirius left still grinning broadly.
“How much did you get from Slughorn?” She asked.
“Three days of manual labor,” said James, smirking.
“Sometimes I think you two clean more of the school than the house elves.” She said and laughed. They headed down to the great hall, grabbed a quick bite to eating and headed out to the locker rooms to change into their scarlet robes. Vienna tied her hair back out of her face and lounged by the back wall, and was shortly joined by Sirius, who handed her bat and set his beside him.
“Thanks,” she yawned, “James better have a quick pep talk or I’m going to fall asleep. I don’t know whether it’s the fact I was up at five or if it’s the after effects of being drenched in the Living Draught of Death, but I’m dead beat.” James got up and started to address the team. No one seemed to be paying him any attention, and sure enough, after fifteen minutes of rambling, her head drooped onto Sirius’s shoulder. Sirius looked rather pleased about this occurrence. James however, did not.
“Oi! Wanna pay attention here Vi?” She didn’t stir. James cuffed her around her head. She jerked awake, blinking madly.
“Merlin’s pants, James! I was trying to sleep there!” Everyone burst out laughing at that. Even James cracked a grin.
“Fine then, everyone out to the pitch, pronto!” Seven sets of feet walked out onto the field and took off, doing the usual warm up lap. Vienna looped around James yelling, “Look Potter I’m awake, no need to get violent!” And speed away laughing. Sirius kicked open the crate on the field let the balls loose. The three Chasers Evie Prang, Charlotte Johansson, and Rodney Harris spend off with the Quaffle and started trying to get past their Keeper, Jason Dewhurst, while Vienna and Sirius lazily batted a Bludger back and forth. James had caught the Snitch twelve times before he called it quits.
“Good practice, all of you. Try and get some sleep, next practice will be Thursday.” James said when they had all landed. Vienna tried to wrestle the Bludger into the crate. It got lose and managed to smack her in the face, knocking her backwards. Sirius grabbed it before it could come round for another attack. He shoved it into the crate and chained it back in.
“It’s just not turning out to be your day, is it?” Sirius said, helping her up. Her nose was already a deep purple color and swelling. It looked broken. “I mean, two day since summer holidays ended and you’ve spent a good portion of them getting your face smashed open. You gotta slow down mate.” She grimaced, feeling her nose.
“Damb I lefd by wand in da dobadories” she said thickly. “I’ll see you lader.” She headed off toward the school.
“I’ll escort you. Young ladies such as yourself shouldn’t be wandering the dark castle by themselves, wandless and vulnerable. “She turned around, were he saw two stupendous black eyes blooming, and raised her eyebrows.
They headed to the Hospital Wing in silence. Sirius couldn’t help but notice how white she was becoming or how unsteady on her feet. And she was losing a lot of blood.
“I’b jusd going do sid down for a few binudes,” she said faintly before sliding down the wall. Sirius didn’t know what to do. He’d never seen her look so frail and helpless.
“Come on, we have to get you to Madame Pomfry,” he said picking her up off the floor, She didn’t object, which was odd. He looked at her and saw she was out cold. He started walking faster.
“Oh, not you again,” Madame Pomfry said as she looked at the unconscious girl in Sirius’s arms. He laid her down on a bed. She started muttering about the dangers of Quidditch as she tipped a green potion reading “Blood Replenisher” down her throat and started murmuring spells. The blood disappeared, her nose stopped swelling, and the vivid black bruises started to fade away. Her eyes fluttered open. Madame Pomfry stalked back to her office, still grumbling.
“What happened?” She asked confused.
“You got hit in the face by a Bludger. “ Sirius said.
“Great,” she said swinging her feet over the edge of the bed. “Where’s Madame Pomfry?”
“In her office.”
“Let’s go then, I don’t want to be stuck here over night.” And, creeping passed Madame Pomfry’s closed office door and headed back to the Common Room.
“Are you sure you’re alright?” Sirius asked finally, when they reached the warm circular room.
“Never better,” she said curiously to the definite note of concern in his voice.
They found James and Lupin sitting by the fire. Peter was in the corner trying to turn another guinea pig into a real one and failing miserably. Sirius sat down next to James and Vienna left to retrieve he bag from her dorm.
“What took you so long,” James asked irritably.
“Took her up to the Hospital Wing, she passed out, then Madame Pomfry fixed her up and we left.”
James looked like he was going to say something else when the portrait hole opened and Lily Evans walked through.
“Alright Evans?” James called loudly, a grin plastered to his face. She gave him a dark look and left up the girl’s dormitory steps without a word.
“Why won’t she go out with me?” he said, the grin wiped clean off his face.
“I’d say it’s because you’re an arrogant prat,” Vienna said as she silently reappeared. “Oh and it would hurt to stop calling her Evans. She’s not a guy, and she’d probably appreciate it.”
“Good idea Alden!” James said. Vienna rolled her eyes and pulled out a piece of parchment, a quill, and Advanced Transfiguration. She sprawled out next to the hearth and began writing her essay. Remus soon joined her to escape James’s and Sirius’s many admirers. Girls practically flocked to talk to them after the long summer.
“Always the same, eh Mooney?” Vienna said in an undertone to Remus as they watched some fourth year girl practically throw herself at Sirius.
“Yep,” Said Remus unconcernedly, going back to his essay.
“Twelve inches on non-verbal spells, right?” Remus nodded. She rolled up her finished essay and sat watching James and Sirius and the onslaught of girls. At eight they left for their detentions with Slughorn, leaving Remus, Vienna and Peter alone in the common room. Peter had somehow managed to make his guinea pig sprout leeks from its ears.