No, I don’t mean that in an I’ve-just-been-dumped-let’s-crack-out-the-lesbian-and-nun-jokes way.
I mean that in a the-boy-across-the-table-from-me-just-gave-me-a-three-sixty-degree-view-of-the-roast-beef-and-mashed-potatoes-in-his-mouth kind of way.
“Hey Erica,” he slurs, spraying me with flecks of spittle and potato, “Wanna go to Hogsmeade wimme inna weekend?”
“No, I do not,” I tell him firmly, wiping the food from my shoulder.
“Guts,” he says, and moves onto his next victim, Charlotte Pinkerley, who’s sitting beside me.
“Chew, swallow, and ask again,” Charlotte tells him.
I turn my attention from this feeble flirting to see who in Ravenclaw has returned for our fabled seventh year of hell. As a general rule we have the lowest rate of dropouts, but there’s always some arrogant prick who thinks he’s above the teaching at Hogwarts and spends his final year at Beauxbatons receiving the Finest Education Europe Has to Offer or some tripe like that. From what I can observe, the arrogant prick appears to be Louis Weasley, and a few inquiries confirm my suspicions.
“Good riddance,” his twin sister Dom says passionately, flicking her long, silky blonde hair behind her and glancing around to see how many males are now watching. It’s a shame about that; otherwise I’d quite like Dom. In fact, that seems to be the case with most of the girls in my year. You’d think, in the house of Rowena Ravenclaw, girls who were more concerned with their intellect than their hormones wouldn’t be too hard to come by, but apparently not.
Charlotte’s agreed to go to Hogsmeade with Mashed Potato Man.
Case in point.
In fact, the only person who seems immune to all of that is Lysander Scamander, which is why he’s my best friend. And before you get it into your head that I have a secret burning desire for him, let me point out Lysander to you.
He’s over there in the corner. You probably can’t see his face behind the mountain of food on his plate. He’s slightly pudgy (I’m being nice here) and has several days’ worth of gingery stubble on his face. He was cultivating sideburns in the holidays. He has longish blond hair that got sidetracked on the way to attractively shaggy and only made it to startled porcupine. He wears glasses, and because he’s short sighted they only serve to make his eyes smaller and increase his resemblance to a small, blond, and rather benevolent pig.
At least he doesn’t talk with his mouth full.
“Hey Lysander,” Melody Wright begins, and Lysander jumps, gives a strangled cry of surprise and begins choking on his dinner. He looks around for help, spots me and shoots me a pleading look. I pull out my wand, cast anapneo and look reproachfully at Melody.
“Don’t do that. Sudden social contact startles him.”
“Sorry,” Melody says apologetically. “Um, sorry, Lysander, but could you just pass the rolls please?”
I’m not even sure how I became friends with Lysander. Or, more to the point, how I decided it would be worth the effort to become friends with Lysander, because it doesn’t just happen. It’s an incredibly slow process. Like taming an animal. Slow movements. Neutral conversation topics that mostly revolve around school. When I asked him if he wanted to hang out in Hogsmeade with me in fifth year, it took him three weeks to get over the shock, and that was only after multiple assurances that I wasn’t interested in him In That Way.
But it was worth it. Eventually. I pick up my plate and slide across the table to join him.
“Good holidays?” I ask him.
He grunts noncommittally. “Lorcan got a girlfriend.” He pauses, and for one fleeting, horrified moment I’m scared he’s going to start angsting it out that he doesn’t have one. But I evidently have too little faith in Lysander Scamander.
“It’s gross,” he continues, a furrow appearing on his forehead. “They just…kiss. All the time. And talk about useless things that she’s interested in, when I know Lorcan doesn’t actually give a damn.” He pauses again, and adds, in a rare display of worldliness, “Anything to get laid, I suppose.”
I raise my eyebrows in agreement. “Who is she?”
“Sophie Eggleton. Sixth year.”
“Hufflepuff, of course.”
“Of course,” I agree, nodding sagely. Lysander’s always held his twin in contempt for being in Hufflepuff, and I can’t blame him. While Hufflepuffs are definitely losers, especially in our intellectual Ravenclaw eyes, it’s the one thing Lysander actually has on Lorcan. He may be in Hufflepuff, but Lorcan is definitely the more attractive twin (I’ve always thought that they’re part of a weird science experiment, where Lysander is being deliberately fattened up and his subsequent health issues are compared with Lorcan’s) and far more capable of functioning socially.
Not that I can talk about functioning socially. I’m the typical Ravenclaw cynic, embracing the culture of reclusiveness and rampant intellectualism that exists within my house to effectively cocoon myself from the verbiage of my peers. And yes, verbiage exists alongside reclusiveness and rampant intellectualism. The only difference between us and the other houses is that Ravenclaws, particularly the boys, dress up their verbiage with correct grammar and extravagant words so they come across as intelligent enough to be here.
The feast comes to an end, and Lysander and I make our way to the library to while away the evening. We tend to avoid the Ravenclaw common room on the first day back; it’s too noisy and claustrophobic, and full of overexcited first years who haven’t yet learned that they don’t really have a place there. There’s a very strong hierarchy in the Ravenclaw common room, based on age alone, and first through third years are seldom accepted.
“Hello, kids,” the librarian, Madam Chetterley, says, intercepting us at the door. “I’m afraid the library’s closed tonight.”
I frown at her. She’s normally a happy, cheerful woman – round and soft, like a marshmallow. Nothing ever worries her. But her face looks pained, her smile forced, and because she’s one of the only staff I’ve really gotten to know, and I’m one of the only students she really talks to, I decide to investigate further.
“Madam Chetterley, are you okay?”
“Oh, yes,” she assures me, trying to make her smile more convincing. “Absolutely fine, thank you, Erica.”
I raise my eyebrow and wait for her to tell me the truth. Sure enough, she does.
“Just a bit worried about the books, is all…a few have been a bit damaged, and I’ve found a few rat skeletons around. There might be something dangerous in there, I’ve asked Hagrid to have a look around when he gets time, but it is a shame, being the first day of term and all.”
“You’re right about that,” I mutter, thinking about the first years in our common room.
Lysander and I go back to the library after school to find Madam Chetterley and Hagrid having a poke around. It’s still officially closed, but we’re on good enough terms with both that we just wander straight in and ask if they need any help.
“Might need some o’ yer Ravenclaw brains, Erica,” Hagrid says. “Bin finding skeletons and the like in the shadows – no idea what’s done it, ain’t come across anything like it – they don’t leave any meat at all, see. And we haven’t seen anything.”
“Try throwing something just under the bookshelf there. It might attract whatever it is.”
“Good thinkin,” Hagrid says cheerfully, withdrawing a small ferret from his coat. “All righ’, let’s see what you make of this.” He tosses the ferret into the shadow cast by the bookshelf.
I yelp and leap back in fright – the darkness is literally devouring it. Before our eyes, the flesh is stripped, leaving only a shiny white skeleton behind. Lysander mutters a few words I didn't even realise he knew.
“Blimey,” Hagrid says, looking slightly taken aback. “Righ’. It’s invisible then. An’ vicious. Best keep the library closed for a bit longer, Liz, till I can do a bit o’ research and find out what that thing might be.”
Madam Chetterley nods, but she looks more terrified than anything else, and hurries towards the door. “Best get out, all of you.”
Lysander and I exchange glances. We don’t need to be told twice.
Disclaimer: I don't own HP or Doctor Who. Chapter title and summary are taken from Doctor Who, Season 4: Silence in the Library.
A/N: I've never written a crossover before, and I don't read them, so this is definitely new territory for me. Please leave a review and let me know what you think, any feedback at all is welcome! Thanks to my self-appointed beta, StEpH_M :)
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