“That’s disgusting,” Ivy said, sitting down with a grimace on her face.
“You just got here. We’ve been staring at it for five whole minutes,” Peter replied, looking equally disgruntled yet entranced.
“Speak for yourself. With Alice and Frank, I’ve long since realized that if I ever want to keep my food down, I need to have something to do during meals,” Amelia muttered into a book. She was surrounded by an array of colored paper.
Looking away from the sight in front of them, Peter and Ivy turned to her.
“What are you doing?” Peter asked interestedly, picking up one of the more complex looking pieces.
“Origami. It’s a muggle thing. I found it over the summer.”
“But what is it?” Peter stared at a piece that Amelia had already completed. Even Ivy, to whom origami was no secret, had to squint her eyes to figure out what it might have been.
“That’s a stork,” Amelia pursed her lips and took it delicately from his fingers. “And it means the folding of paper. See, we use parchment, muggles use paper. I found this store full of just paper near my uncle’s house, and I asked the shopkeeper what they do with it all. She suggested origami. Luckily Uncle Gershwin had a book about it. He’s always been a bit odd,” she added, as if it explained everything.
“A shop just filled with this stuff?” Peter said dubiously as he leafed through a stack of paper.
Ivy snorted and laughed to herself, imagining some poor office supply employee explaining the uses of colored paper to Amelia.
Remus rolled his eyes but didn’t react to Ivy’s greeting. He turned his attention to the sight across from them.
“We should stop them,” Ivy finally tore her eyes away and turned to Remus. “I can’t eat across from that.”
“What do you suggest? One of them is Head Boy, another is Head Girl, three of them are huge quidditch players, we don’t know her, and the last one is just plain crazy,” Peter shrugged.
“True. All we have are two prefects, and only one of them is crazy,” Amelia mused absently.
“Well, hey,” Amelia suddenly tuned into the conversation fully. She raised an eyebrow at Ivy. A very suggestive eyebrow. Ivy was suddenly wary of that eyebrow.
“Yeah?” She prompted hesitantly.
“If you can’t beat them, join them,” Amelia smiled innocently.
Peter snorted. “Who are we going to sn–”
Amelia cleared her throat loudly and rolled her eyes at him and then gave Ivy and Remus a pointed look past his shoulder. Peter noticed that neither one of them had said anything, and turned to find both of them staring uncomfortably at their plates.
“Oh.” Realization dawned on him, and he grinned wickedly. “Yes, why don’t you two join them?”
Remus glared over Ivy’s head, while she regained her composure and shrugged sadly.
“Remus dumped me for some bimbo he met at the library last week. And I’m pretty sure he’s already moved on from her as well. You know how it is with these effortlessly gorgeous types: they love you then leave you in no time at all. But,” Ivy sighed while Remus turned bright red and Peter and Amelia struggled not to burst into laughter, “he’s in demand. What can I do? They say if you love something, let it go.”
Then, having a seizure of inspiration, Ivy let out a sharp cry to compliment her tale of woe. People looked over at the Gryffindor table in fascination. They were sure the elves were putting something special in the pumpkin juice over there. Why else the sudden surge in Gryffindor melodrama?
“There, there, Ivy,” Peter turned to say seriously as he patted her hand, but his shoulders kept hitching with poorly suppressed laughter. “I’m sure Remus still loves you; he just doesn’t know how to show it.”
Amelia leaned into Peter’s other side as she laughed into her napkin.
“No he doesn’t!” Ivy wailed and pointed an accusing finger at Remus. “You don’t love me anymore; you promised you’d never leave me! I gave you everything, Remus Lupin!”
Remus reached unprecedented shades of red and sputtered as the other students gaped at the scene he had unwittingly become a part of.
Their Head of House had descended on their little soap opera looking in control, but a telltale flush of embarrassment was creeping up her neck.
“What on earth is going on here?” She demanded.
“We’re having a very public break-up, is what, Professor. Furthermore, Remus Lupin is a cad!” Ivy shouted scathingly.
Finding his tongue, Remus hissed “Shut up, Ivy!”
“I don’t think I will, Remus!” She retorted. Then Ivy saw something change in Remus’ eyes. A glint of resolve.
“Well maybe if you weren’t such a nutter, I wouldn’t mind being with you!” He suddenly bellowed, making both Ivy and Professor McGonagall jump. “I mean who starts planning the wedding after a month? Who does that?!”
Ivy struggled against the urge to grin; for the first time since they met, Remus was picking up the gauntlet. They were now both standing in the aisle between the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff tables, Professor McGonagall momentarily speechless between them.
“Oh, I’m sorry for missing a period and assuming that you’d the right thing!” Ivy fired back.
“It’s not the right thing if it’s entrapment,” he scoffed.
Ivy gasped. “How dare you–”
They both started and looked towards Professor McGonagall, who was breathing heavily.
“My office, now,” she hissed, grabbing them both by the elbows and practically dragging them out of the Great Hall.
Peter and Amelia finally let loose with peals of laughter. Seeing as it wasn’t quite the appropriate reaction in the aftermath of such a scene, the rest of the student body worried that the two quietest Gryffindor 7th years had finally lost it. And who could blame them? Their friends were mad.
Through their laughter, Peter and Amelia heard someone cluck their tongue and they turned to see five pairs of eyes staring shrewdly at them. (Sirius’ date for the evening wasn’t interested in the sudden turn of events, even though his focus wasn’t on her anymore.)
“The lengths you lot go to in order to avoid having to watch us snog at the table,” Alice shook her head.
“Which one of you will explain to me what that was about?” Professor McGonagall glared at them over her desk.
Ivy and Remus shifted uncomfortably and exchanged several looks that clearly said “No, you tell her.”
“Before I lose my patience,” Minerva warned, clearly already having lost it.
Remus cracked first.
“Honestly ma’am, we were just joking.”
“A young lady’s reputation is no laughing matter, Mr. Lupin,” she admonished, and he immediately looked contrite.
“Things may have changed since I was your age, but no young lady ought to air her dirty laundry out for the whole school to see,” Minerva added in Ivy’s direction.
“Yes ma’am,” she bowed her head obediently.
Minerva straightened her robes and calmly sat down in her red leather wingback. They wanted to create uncomfortable scenes, did they?
“Now, I understand that the Hogwarts experience entails not only an academic education, but an exploration of the opposite sex,” Minerva primly plucked her spectacles off her nose and lightly cleaned them on a square of cloth before primly setting them back on her nose, ignoring the two teenagers intensely heightened discomfort. “Adolescence is a time in which young people such as yourself are slaves to your hormones, and romance is very common in an environment such as–”
“Professor, it’s not like that,” Ivy cut her off with a mortified expression on her face. Remus nodded vigorously.
“You mean you’re not–” Minerva began with a calculatedly questioning look.
“N-no ma’am!” Remus stuttered. “Ivy and me – we’re just friends. Really.”
“There’s no reason to be embarrassed. The feelings you’re experiencing are perfectly natural,” Minerva said. If they didn’t mind making fools of themselves in the Great Hall, then they could certainly stand a little ribbing in her office.
“Whoa–feelings?” Ivy said an octave higher than her natural voice.
“Who said anything about feelings? No feelings here,” Remus said quickly.
Ivy tried not to let his quick words sting, but they did. Just a little.
“Yeah, nope. Nuh-uh,” she added instead of meditating on his vehement denial.
“I wasn’t born yesterday,” Minerva wagged a stern finger at them, “and I have seen my fair share of Hogwarts love matches–”
“What?” Ivy yelped.
“Love?” Remus’ voice cracked.
“We were so certain,” Minerva said, affecting an air of disappointment. “I suppose the other professors and I will need to remove your names from the staff voting pool of Favorite Student Couple.”
She barely reigned in her urge to cackle at the identical looks of horror on the young Gryffindors’ faces.
“Oh. My. Godric. There’s no way they discuss our dating lives like that!” Lily exclaimed from James’ lap.
After McGonagall excused them, much to their dual thankfulness, Ivy and Remus practically sprinted out of her office and up to Gryffindor Tower to find the rest of their friends. It was sufficient to say that the journey had been awkward. Ivy kept trying to think of some sort of crack she could make to ease the tension, but they both remained painfully silent. Had Remus reflected back on her behavior around him and made the connection to her crush? The idea made Ivy sweat. Silly, really, seeing as the same thoughts were plaguing Remus.
“Apparently they do,” Ivy grimaced.
“Frank,” Alice suddenly snapped at her boyfriend, who was having a conversation a short way’s away with his friends. He recognized her no nonsense tone and immediately gave her his attention.
“Shape up. We’re winning that vote,” she said seriously and the others burst into laughter at Frank’s look of incredulity.
“Alice,” Ivy hissed. “Psst, Alice.”
“What?” Alice asked distractedly as her quill flew across the parchment.
“I missed the part she said after irrepressive denuminators.”
“I missed that bit entirely,” Alice whispered back as she frowned down at her notes.
“Shit,” Ivy swore, her hand cramping as Professor Nicomedes dashed through the day’s arithmancy lecture. Now she was talking about stunted halves. Since when is a half any less than a half?! Oh, right, since I became a witch, Ivy thought bitterly.
Just then, the door to the classroom creaked open and a figure slumped into the room. Since Ivy was the only one without her ink splattered nose to her desk, she saw Severus Snape slink quietly towards his seat in the corner. Funny how she never really noticed him in her class before. Professor Nicomedes didn’t remark on his tardiness, even though he was over half an hour late. She probably didn’t even hear him come in.
Ivy watched Severus as he simply laid his head down on his desk and went to sleep. The dark circles around his eyes were more prominent than ever.
“Alice,” she hissed.
“Does Snape look ill to you?”
“No any more than usual,” Alice shrugged without taking her eyes off her parchment.
Severus Snape, it seemed, was Hogwarts’ very own living ghost.
Ivy was bothered by the dead look in Severus’ eyes, and the guys found her staring off into space in the direction of the Slytherin table at lunch.
“You okay, Iv?” Peter asked, glancing over his shoulder to follow her eyeline, but Ivy quickly jumped to attention.
“Yeah, fine. Just wondering what we’re doing in Kettleburn’s class this afternoon,” she lied automatically.
When they walked into the MCA classroom and Kettleburn was bouncing excitedly (more like ominously) in front of a large box, Ivy wished she hadn’t even pretended to wonder.
“Come in, come in!” He called them giddily and they shuffled into the room. “Gather around!” He waved them up to the box and they approached warily
“He’s off his rocker. You might want to stand behind us for your own safety, Marcell,” Sirius muttered, eying the professor.
Ivy rolled her eyes and walked ahead of him, but still stopped several feet shy of the box.
“I suggest you tie your hair up, Miss Marcell,” Kettleburn said cheerfully.
Ivy twisted her hair into a messy knot, pulling the end through it because she didn’t have an elastic.
“Er, what’s in the box, sir?” Peter asked apprehensively. They were now close enough to hear clacking coming from inside the box.
“Take a look,” He waved them even closer to the box.
They all exchanged looks before leaning over at the same time.
“They look like cra–” James began right before a blaze of fire suddenly shot up at them.
Ivy only had time to gasp before she was jerked backward and found herself lying on the floor.
“Not just crabs. Firecrabs,” Remus said breathlessly, and it sounded like his voice was coming from beneath her head.
That was when Ivy realized that she was laying right on top of him, and his arm was securely around her waist, but he quickly retracted it.
“Quick reflexes, Moony,” Sirius smirked at Remus as he helped Ivy up off the floor. Remus glared back but otherwise didn’t respond.
“Ch-yeah,” Ivy said gratefully as she straightened her robes, not noticing the looks they were exchanging. “Thanks Moose. I probably wouldn’t have any eyebrows right now if it weren’t for you,” she grinned and offered him a hand up the same time that Sirius did. They both hauled him to his feet, but Remus noticed when, unlike Sirius, Ivy held onto his hand for a beat and squeezed before letting go.
Ivy’s grin broadened when Remus’ cheeks flushed slightly.
“Excuse me, miss?”
Ivy turned away from Remus and Sirius mid-laugh to look at the first year.
“You don’t have to call me that,” she said awkwardly.
“Thank you miss,” he bowed as if she had just bestowed the greatest honor on him. The poor kid was shaking in his robes, and he was looking down at his shoes, probably to avoid looking at her.
“What is it?” She asked when he seemed too nervous to continue.
“There’s a boy outside the portrait, shouting, and I thought I should inform a prefect. I wouldn’t have bothered you, except everyone else has already gone to bed,” he rushed to say.
“It’s okay. We’ll take care of him. Thanks,” Ivy tried to smile at the boy, but he only bowed again and scurried off to his friends, who had waited for him at the bottom of the boys’ stairs, presumably a safe distance.
Ivy turned back to the guys with a disgruntled look on her face. Their lips were pressed together, but it didn’t hide their amusement.
“Merlin, Marcell, you’ve really got the ickle firsties quaking in their boots!” Sirius finally howled.
“Shut up,” she frowned. “I’m not mean; I don’t get why they’re afraid of me.”
“It’s because you’re a different kind of scary. A mad sort of scary,” Remus laughed.
“Ha-ha,” Ivy grimaced at him. “I guess I’ll go take care of whoever’s outside.”
“Oh good, I’m exhausted. I’ll just head on up to bed,” Remus said cheekily before making a quick exit.
Ivy scowled and would have called him back, but the half-circles under his eyes stopped her. She glanced out the window and realized that they were on the cusp of another full moon, and Remus was paying for it. Now that she thought about it, he had looked haggard this time last month, but she hadn’t noticed because James had been so miserable that he had her full focus. A tug of regret pulled at her stomach. Of course he’d been so snappy during the whole plotting debacle. Ivy resolved to make it up to him later.
She had taken two steps from the couch when she realized that Sirius was still sitting in his armchair, staring into the fire with a frown on his face.
“Everything alright, Sirius?” She asked hesitantly.
He stared at the hearth for a moment longer before slowly looking up at her. He looked through her, really, before his eyes focused and he grinned halfheartedly at her.
“Yeah, I’m alright. Just tired is all.”
“Go get some sleep,” she said, nodding her head in the direction of the boys’ staircase.
“I’ll head up in a bit, once Moony’s gotten settled. I just want a mo’ of quiet first,” he shrugged. Then he seemed to remember that Ivy was headed out the portrait hole. “Did you want help with the kid outside?”
Against her better judgement, Ivy smiled and shook her head.
“Nah. If that first year was anything to go by, the guy outside would have to be stupid to cross me, remember?” She said ruefully.
Sirius chuckled slightly and nodded. “Just give a holler if you need help.”
“Will do, thanks.”
Ivy waved goodnight as she approached the portrait. The closer she got, the more she could definitely hear yelling out in the hall. Ivy checked her watch; it was after 11pm. Whoever it was, he was stupid enough to risk a week’s worth of detentions for being out past curfew. Ivy opened the portrait and climbed out. Stupid enough, or drunk enough?
“Snape,” she hissed as she quickly shut the fat lady’s portrait with a snap before Sirius could identify the Slytherin’s voice.
“YOU!” He shouted, pointing a finger at her. Severus’ eyes failed to completely hone in on her, and the nearly empty bottle dangling from his pocket removed all doubts in her mind.
“Young man, you ought to know better than to point your finger at a lady,” the Fat Lady huffed, but eyed the whiskey bottle.
Ivy rolled her eyes and smile-grimaced at the Fat Lady. “Thanks, but I’ll handle this.”
“It’s useless trying to instill some manners in the youth of today – honestly!” She put a hand to her bosom in a highly affronted manner. She settled herself against her frame to watch the proceedings. Ignoring her audience, Ivy squared her shoulders and look at Severus.
“You shouldn’t be here. What are you doing out of your common room?” Ivy asked frostily.
“I’m just having-hic-fun just like ev’rybody else.” Severus’ words ran together as he smiled with what he probably thought was disarming charm, nearly falling over with the force of his hiccup. He clumsily pulled the bottle of firewhiskey out of his robes pocket, slopped some on the floor, and downed the last few sips in one gulp, dribbling a substantial amount down his chin. He belched loudly, and slumped against the wall across from the Fat Lady’s portrait. The Lady tutted but otherwise said nothing.
Ivy quickly realized two things: he wasn’t going to be reasoned with, and she was going to have to get rid of him on her own. When Sirius told her to ask him if she needed any help, he hadn’t known that she would be dealing with a drunk Slytherin. Just the notion of what Sirius’ idea of “a helping hand” would be made Ivy dismiss the possibility of calling him in one swift motion. Getting Remus was out of the question; he was probably already passed out, blissfully unaware, in his bed. Plus, she couldn’t risk going to fetch him with Sirius in the common room. There would be questions, and the scene that she wanted to avoid would invariably ensue. Nope. She was on her own this time.
Ivy sighed and looked down at Severus, whose eyes were drooping heavily.
“Oh no, you don’t,” she muttered, rushing to bend down and slap him lightly on the cheeks to wake him.
“Stop, you evil…harpy,” he grumbled sleepily, trying and failing to duck away from her hands.
“Watch your tongue, young man!” The Lady reprimanded.
Ivy ignored the nosey portrait and brushed off the insult. Snape was no match for her sober, never mind drunk.
“Come on, you can’t stay out here,” Ivy said, tugging on one of his arms, but he wouldn’t budge. Pasty and lanky he might be, but Severus Snape was still a boy, and a good deal taller than her at that. He was 150 pounds of dead weight currently threatening to fall asleep outside of the Gryffindor common room, smelling like he’d bathed in a keg of alcohol.
Ivy put her hands on her hips and assessed the situation. She could always levitate him, but what if she ran into someone? How would she, a Gryffindor prefect, explain wandering through the halls while a levitating Slytherin? Plus, in all honesty, her levitation charm wasn’t too great, and she would probably drop him on his head. Well, it would certainly be an improvement, she thought bitterly.
But then her frown slipped as she watched his face relax as he fell into a slumber, the wrinkles he’d worn into it by scowling so consistently over the past few days, gone. Ivy sighed. She could, in all honesty, forgive him for being such an idiot. The girl he loved was making off with the knight in shining armor that she had previously vowed was the bane of her existence. He’d probably stumbled through the castle to try and talk to Lily. Pity she didn’t live in Gryffindor Tower anymore.
“Okay,” Ivy said as she crouched down to eye level with Severus and lifted his eyelids with her thumbs. “This is going to be a team effort, got it?”
His eyes blessedly stayed open but lolled around, not seeing her; she seriously doubted that he was actually listening, but speaking out loud helped her gather her thoughts. Ivy pushed him over so that he was on his side. Then she straightened his legs out but then he flopped over onto his face on the floor.
“That’s not right, is it?” She asked herself, oddly cheerful as she stopped to consider her next move.
“Maybe you ought to roll him down to the dungeons,” The Lady suggested. Ivy had a strong suspicion that if she turned around, she would find the Fat Lady smirking.
“Thanks for the idea,” she rolled her eyes without sparing a glance at the portrait. “Right, there’s only one thing for it,” she decided, and knelt down so she was on all fours. She wrapped his right arm around her neck, wrapped her left arm around his waist, and slowly but surely used her legs to push them into a more upright position.
“Why are you helping me?” Severus slurred once they were sort of standing.
“Oh, I thought you’d gone to sleep,” Ivy said in lieu of a reply.
“Impossible, really, with annoying Gryffindors being all noble and shite,” he grumbled.
Ivy only had enough energy to breath out a chuckle, and she started dragging him haltingly down to the dungeons.
“You know that you have the ability to be noble too, don’t you?” She stated when they rested against a wall in the 2nd floor corridor.
“No I don’t,” Severus replied morosely. “I’m a Slytherin, ain’t I?” His head rolled towards her and he looked at her balefully through his hair.
“That doesn’t mean anything, you idiot,” she sighed.
“It means plenty to everybody here!” He said over loudly, swinging his arm out haphazardly, gesturing to the whole castle. Ivy had to duck to avoid getting smacked in the face, and barely caught Severus by his robes before he slipped sideways with the momentum of his arm.
“Not everybody. I personally don’t give a damn what house you’re in. But when stupid people like your friends act the way they do, it reinforces certain stereotypes,” Ivy lectured before she realized that her words were probably wasted on Severus.
“Maybe it’s easiest that way. Rocking the boat just makes problems,” he slurred. Maybe he wasn’t such a lost cause after all.
“Whatever, let’s go,” she sighed and repositioned him against her side.
“You wouldn’t help me if you knew what I was,” he moped as they reached the bottom of the marble staircase.
“We’ve been over this, Snape. I don’t care that you’re a Slytherin,” Ivy grunted impatiently, tired again, but wanting to get her latest task over with.
“I don’t mean that,” he shook his head emphatically. “I mean what I’ll be after graduation. All the time.”
Ivy wanted to believe that he had finally fallen off the plane of rational thought, but something in his voice told her they had simply crossed into the world of dangerously secret information.
“Don’t tell me anything you’re going to regret in the morning, Snape,” she said brusquely.
“And if I want to show you something?”
The words alone sounded ominous enough, but when he began to raise his left arm, Ivy, glad that her reflexes weren’t hindered by inebriation, quickly pulled her wand from her pocket and hissed “Immobulus.”
Her knees buckled slightly when Severus’ full weight was now on her shoulders, seeing as he had lost the ability to hold himself up. Ivy took two deep breaths, pocketed her wand, and forced her legs to straighten out, and proceeded to drag him down another flight of stairs.
They finally made it down to the dungeons, but now Ivy faced a new dilemma. There was little chance that Severus knew what planet he was on, let alone where his dorm was. She drew her wand again, and pointed it back at Severus, whose eyes were shut.
“Finite,” she said between her teeth. No longer frozen, Severus slumped even more uselessly at her side. “Up,” she growled, and hiked him up on her shoulder. “Snape,” she hissed, annoyed now more than anything else. “Typical. Try to do something nice for someone, and they just shit all over you,” she grumbled. “Snape. Where’s the Slytherin Commons?” She asked, shaking him slightly.
“In a wall,” he mumbled.
“Fantastic,” Ivy said sarcastically.
“Well, well, well.”
The voice loudly reverberated around her, and Ivy would have jumped if Severus didn’t weigh her down so thoroughly. She jolted and nearly dropped him altogether as she spun around to face the owner of the voice.
“What have we here?” Regulus smirked coolly.
“Beat it, Black,” Ivy snarled, nearly fumbling over the surname that she associated with a good friend.
“I think I spy with my little eye,” Regulus said as if she hadn’t spoken, “a Gryffindor that doesn’t know how to keep her nose out of other peoples’ business.”
“Maybe if you Slytherins had real friends, I wouldn’t need to haul Snape’s ass down here,” she shot back.
“You might want to watch yourself, Marcell,” Regulus replied, visibly unperturbed, but something in the air around them changed. Ivy sensed that she had just stumbled into something she wasn’t prepared to handle, but she’d be damned if she let Regulus Black know that.
“I am a prefect and as such, I have the authority to put your ass in so much detention that you can’t see straight. I suggest you lead me to the Slytherin Commons before I decide to do just that,” Ivy said coldly.
“Ooh, detention. I’m quaking,” Regulus sneered.
“If she doesn’t scare you – which she should – then maybe I can.”
Both Ivy and Regulus’ heads snapped towards the stairs that lead up to the basement. Ivy would have breathed a sigh of relief, but there wasn’t any air in her lungs. She gaped up at Ryden’s impressive figure as he steadily – not to mention, threateningly – made his way down the stairs. Ivy didn’t think that he had it in him to be so intimidating, but she just added it to the list of things she was wrong about.
“Who’re you?” Regulus demanded, trying to maintain control over the situation.
“Never mind who I am,” Ryden said stonily through gritted teeth. He easily relieved Ivy of Severus’ weight and sat him down against a wall. “Get your friend to bed, or you’ll both be hearing from Professor Slughorn in the morning for being out past curfew,” he ordered.
Wordlessly, Ryden took Ivy by the arm and led her back up the stairs without waiting to see if Regulus did what he was told.
It wasn’t until they were almost at the base of the marble staircase that Ivy finally found her voice.
“If you don’t mind me asking, what are you doing out past curfew?”
She had intended to thank him for interceding, but apparently her mouth had other ideas.
Ryden dropped his hand from her arm. He looked down at her with the corner of his mouth lifted and his eyebrow quirked in an oddly dazing smile. Ivy looked away, suddenly flustered to be alone with him, walking through the dark castle.
“I snuck out to the kitchens for something to eat, and when I came out, I heard voices coming from the dungeons,” he replied with a shrug.
“Right,” Ivy nodded automatically. She bit her lip and quickly added “thanks.”
“It’s no trouble,” Ryden said easily. If he sensed her discomfort, it wasn’t affecting him.
“So the Hufflepuff/Ravenclaw game is tomorrow,” she said in an effort to stave off an awkward silence.
“Yep,” he said cheerfully.
“Nah. The team and I have been training quite a bit this whole week. Besides, it’s all just in good fun,” Ryden shrugged casually.
They had reached the top of the marble staircase, but he continued to walk beside her.
“You don’t have to walk me all the way up to Gryffindor Tower,” Ivy said quickly. Since Professor Newark had shuffled their partners in DADA, they hadn’t really spoken. She didn’t know what they would talk about if he insisted on escorting her.
“I want to. Regulus Black is trouble,” he answered, a shadow crossing his face.
Part of Ivy wanted to latch onto the topic of Regulus Black, but she knew that showing an interest in Ryden would make him think she cared. And why can’t I care? She asked herself.
Because you don’t see him that way! You’ll get his hopes up again! Her conscience argued.
So what if I do? Maybe I do see him that way now.
Liar. You’re holding out for Remus, and we both know it.
I’m not here for things like crushes. I’m here to do a job–
Exactly, so why are we arguing? Her conscience asked exasperatedly.
Because maybe I need a distraction to get my mind off of Remus.
Don’t go there. Don’t even go there. That's shitty reasoning to do this.
I’m never going to do anything about my crush on Remus. He doesn’t like me. I’m going there.
Don’t you fucking dare, Ivy Shel–
“Ryden?” Instead of contemplating her mental wellbeing, Ivy had opened her mouth, without much thought in what she planned to say.
“Yeah?” He replied.
They reached the portrait of the Fat Lady, who was snoring lightly.
“I–uh, well I just–” Ivy broke off with a sigh. She couldn’t believe that she was suddenly so inexplicably tongue tied.
“Everything alright?” Ryden asked bemusedly, and Ivy smiled ruefully at him.
“Yeah,” she sighed. “I just wanted to say good luck at the match tomorrow.”
“Thanks,” he smiled and turned away to walk back down to the basement.
Ivy chewed her lip and screwed up her face, fighting another internal battle.
“Ryden–wait!” She called.
He stopped and turned, already halfway down the hall, but she could still the look of interest on his face.
“You want to go out with me on the next Hogsmeade Saturday?”
Ryden raised his eyebrows in surprise and for one heart-stopping second, she thought he was going to say no.
“Sure,” he grinned.
Ivy let out a relaxed breath and managed to smile in return.
“Cool. Good night.”
Ryden turned and she could hear him whistling as he walked around a corner and out of sight.
Ivy turned to find the Fat Lady awake and staring at her with a raised eyebrow.
“Well, that was interesting,” she said slyly.
A/N: Okay, be honest: how much do you hate me right now?
I’M SORRRRY!!!! But I just couldn’t let it happen yet. My conscience does this thing where when it looks like everyone is going to get their happily ever after, it takes over my brain and kills the rainbows and unicorns.
Please stay tuned. I (hopefully honestly) promise that your misery won’t last long.
Oh, and I do so appreciate reviews. *wink wink nudge nudge*
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