For failing to show up for your detention today, I see no other option but to issue two more for insubordination. Your new detention times are provided below. Failure to arrive on time for these meetings will give me no other option but to talk with Professors Snape and Dumbledore and work out a suitable punishment for your continued acts of defiance.
I trust you will arrive promptly in the Transfiguration classroom at the dates and times below.
Professor M. McGonagall.
I sighed as I read the times and dates staring back at me, written in shiny black ink upon creamy parchment that had arrived by owl during breakfast the next day. I didn't really mind the first two times, but the third would clash directly with quidditch practice on Friday night, but I was smart enough not to ask for it to be changed. No doubt it would only result in twenty more, scheduled purposefully for every training session we would have for the next month.
'Morning Tary,' Lyra said as she and Jenny sat down opposite me. They were both dressed in clean school robes with their hair pulled back, brown and blond respectfully. The only real differences between their outwards appearance today was the shiny silver ribbon woven into Jenny's hair, and the natural makeup Lyra wore was in direct contrast to Jenny's more licentious style that brought out the green in her eyes. Aside from that, they could easily have been mistaken for sisters with only slight differences in skin tone and the fact Lyra's cheeks were slightly higher than Jenny's, but for all the similarities their outward appearances possessed, they couldn't be more opposite on the inside.
'Morning,' I said kindly, choosing to ignore my porridge as I reread McGonagall's letter.
'Are you alright this morning?' Lyra asked with concern whilst Jenny smiled and waved to her Ravenclaw friends she'd been sitting with at dinner the previous evening. I nodded lamely. 'Did you want to talk about it-?'
'Alright then, if you're sure.' Lyra smiled at me gently, letting me know without words that if I ever changed my mind she'd be around to listen. Both girls soon got engaged in conversation opposite as they piled their plates with ripe fruit and toast, thankfully not dragging out the awkwardness I was feeling inside.
Once I had made it back to the seventh year girls' dorm rooms and locked myself in the night before, it had taken a full fifteen minutes for Lyra and Blaise to arrive, after having put Pansy in her place and waited down in the common room with a very irate Draco. It took only two more before Lyra ran up the stairs and sank down on the other side of the door, just sitting there and waiting as the sounds of Blaise and Draco's voices down in the common room floated up to our ears. She waited patiently for me to open the door, which happened thirty minutes later once I had gotten some control over myself. We didn't talk and Lyra didn't ask any questions, instead just choosing to sit in a comfortable silence on the edge of my bed. Draco had ventured off at some point to face his detention alone, and Blaise had filled Jenny in on everything once she had returned to the common room and kept her talking down there. Unlike Lyra, Jenny was a person who would ask questions and not give up until they were answered, so I was grateful that Blaise had prevented that event from taking place.
Only my brother Toby and Draco knew just how much Pansy's words would upset me, with the latter not knowing everything, and I wanted to keep it that way. No one needed to know the full story, not yet anyway.
'Gosh, he's so dreamy,' Jenny said with a blissful sigh as she looked over towards the Ravenclaw table. At the beginning of the year Jenny's eye had caught a hold of fellow seventh year Aaron Haynes, Ravenclaw beater and a rather tall and attractive brunette, and hadn't had eyes for anyone else since. It was one of the reasons she was spending more time with her Ravenclaw friends of late, not that she'd ever admit it to anyone.
Lyra and I shared a smile and continued with our breakfast whilst Jenny was caught up in a daydream, her elbow bent and resting upon her toast without her notice as she gazed lovingly at Aaron who had just taken his seat at the Ravenclaw table. My gaze scanned the remainder of the Ravenclaw table as I mindlessly folded my letter and shoved it into the depths of my robes, looking for my fifteen year old brother. It took a little while to find him, but his dark hair so similar to mine seemed to stand out amongst the lighter coloured hair of the people surrounding him so I found him in no time. Toby looked happy, laughing and talking with his friends who were showing him something in the latest addition of The Quibbler, a magazine my brother was rather fond of.
Seeing him smile only made one creep its way upon my own lips as I refocused on my breakfast. The only thing that mattered to me and that I fought for every single day was knowing that my brother was happy, and more importantly, safe. Nothing else mattered to me, even if Toby sometimes accused me of not looking after myself first; my only reply to that was that I cared, and we had to stick together. We had no one else to look out for us, after all.
'Where's Draco?' I asked before spooning some more porridge into my mouth.
'He and Granger had to see the Headmaster, something about a new school function that Granger's all keen for getting up and running,' Blaise said politely as he took a seat beside mine. 'Oh, and good morning, before I forget.' His words were met with a nod from Crabbe – Goyle was too entranced by his food to acknowledge Blaise's arrival – Lyra and I said hello, and after a quick jabbing in the ribs courtesy of Lyra, Jenny welcomed Blaise with a bright smile, and a shriek when she realised her elbow was coated in honey.
'Oh, darn! I have to go change,' Jenny said quickly, abandoning her meal and racing away down to the dormitories before any of us had the chance to remind her about a simple cleaning spell. Despite her blood being pure, people had often wondered just how closely related her parents were, as sometimes Jenny wasn't always the brightest star in the sky.
'Don't worry; she'll come back looking different anyway. She noticed Aaron's girlfriend arrive a few minutes ago, so no doubt she'll want to change for that reason as well.' Blaise, Lyra and I shared a knowing look and a weak chuckle, knowing that Jenny would return showing off a little more cleavage, or more thigh than was allowed in hopes of attracting Aaron's attention.
'We should probably hurry up, it's nearly time to go to class,' I said quietly as I buttered some toast and put a thin coating of strawberry jam upon it for Draco, just in case he hadn't had breakfast before being called up to the Headmasters office.
'I'm not looking forward to Charms this morning; I forgot we had an essay due. I've been so busy with quidditch lately.'
'Did you get it finished, Blaise?'
'Nearly,' he said with a sigh and started on the first of four pieces of honey coated toast on his plate. I watched with humour as Lyra rolled her eyes and drank some water, whilst I reached into my book bag and took out my pristine assignment Professor Flitwick was expecting in around twenty minutes.
'Here, you can take a look at mine. Just don't get any honey on it.'
'Are you sure?' Blaise asked, actually taking the time to return his breakfast to the plate and fix me with a hopeful stare. I nodded with a small smile and held it out for him. 'Thanks, Tary,' Blaise said with a knockout smile, one that made the pit of my stomach convulse uncomfortably.
Awkwardly, I turned back to face my own meal, avoiding his happy brown eyes at all costs. 'No problem, just make sure I get it back before class starts,' I said quietly, taking a small bite out of the toast I'd gotten ready for Draco as Lyra and Blaise began to talk once more.