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Chapter 4 : Professor McKinnon
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I tried to creep into the Muggle Studies classroom unnoticed. It didn’t work. Professor Turrell noticed me.
“It appears that Miss. McKinnon thinks that she can get away with being late. Maybe she thinks that a different set of rules apply to her and her alone?” What an old fart. I straightened up and sighed audibly. This just made Turrell even more annoyed,
“Come and stand at the front, Miss McKinnon,” he ordered and I reluctantly trudged up and leant against his desk with my arms folded. I didn’t really care at the moment. I saw some people sniggering at me and I felt like chucking them out a window. That would be fun. Lily kept glancing at me confusedly and I felt slightly bad for running off like that. But she was the only one who had known about me and Regulus, so at least she might understand more than anyone else. I realised Turrell had been speaking to me about something for the last five minutes and was waiting for an answer, so I quickly said something like,
“OK,” and everyone burst out laughing. “What?” I asked. Emmeline Vance a prickly hedgehog of a girl grinned happily at me from her seat in the front row,
“Professor Turrell was just wondering whether you might like to take over teaching his lesson and see how it felt for pupils to be constantly coming in late,” she simpered. What was her problem? I laughed a bit myself when I realised what I’d said and was about to go and sit down when James piped up from the back of the classroom,
“But Professor, she agreed to your proposal! You have to let her take the lesson now!” Turrell looked completely confused at this point and I was mouthing at James to shut up. Unfortunately, the rest of the class had decided that I would be a much better teacher than Turrell and were now pressuring him to let me teach. Bloody hell, how did I end up in this mess? Oh yeah, Regulus. Damn him. I half hoped that Turrell would find some grand authority and shout the others down but he is really a very weak chested man. So I found myself at the front of a classroom, supposedly teaching a class about Muggles. I looked pleadingly at Lily for help but she was looking at me sternly. She’d never approved of my little secret with Regulus and now was punishing me. I sighed again melodramatically and surveyed the class.
“Erm…ok. Get into groups of three,” I ordered, frantically racking my brains for something to do with them. I rummaged through my bag and felt around for…anything. I felt a squishy thingy and pulled out my fluffy toy rabbit Tiggly Biggly Boggles the Carrot-Eater. I loved Tiggly, I’d had him (or was it a her? I’d never thought about a gender before) since I was two. A gift from my parents. I hugged Tiggly tightly and breathed in the familiar smell. I liked to imagine that a faint trace of my parents was still left on him. People laughed at me and I turned Tiggly round and waved his little paw at them, grinning.
“Nice toy, professor!” commented Sirius. I nodded Tiggly’s head up and down then stuffed him back in my bag. Then I had a truly brilliant, evil, amazing idea. I clapped my hands together to get the class’s attention.
“Right then!” I put on my Evil Planning face, “I think we need to get a taste of how hard it is for the poor muggles having to do everything without magic. Can anyone give me an example of boring jobs that muggles have to do, that would take us about half a second?” There were giggles and a few hands shot up. I picked Emmeline. She giggled,
“They have to peel potatoes,” she suggested, glancing at Sirius through her eyelashes.
“They sure do! Now why don’t you be a good student and pop down to the kitchens to get some potatoes and a potato peeler,” I said in a patronising voice. Emmeline looked horrified, as did everyone else, as they realised what I had in mind for them. This was going to be such fun!
“Mr. Black!” I called and he looked scared, “Another suggestion please?” He gulped,
“Good little student! Now pop over to lovely Professor Filch and grab some paint and a brush!” He didn’t move so I picked up a ruler and thwacked it on his desk, “There is a type of muggle punishment called caning you know…” He ran out of the door.
“Basically my lovelies, you are all going to be my muggle, magic-less slaves for the day!” I explained, “So you can all set about sweeping the classroom, getting me chocolates and cleaning the windows. Chop chop!” I thwacked my ruler on the desk menacingly and watched with satisfaction as everyone scurried about. I got Sirius and Remus repainting the rather boring old classroom walls bright pink, while Emmeline Vance broke about a thousand nails peeling potatoes. I let Lily off and said she could be my partner in crime, but she wouldn’t speak to me. Mary kept shooting me dirty looks too as she scrubbed the desks. I just ordered some more chocolate. After a while though, it got a bit boring ordering everyone about and behaving like the Mistress Bitch, so I gave in and we had a ‘Muggle Picnic’ on the floor which soon turned into a ‘Muggle Food Fight.’ An apple hit me on the head which hurt. So I chucked a chair at the person who threw it-Emmeline. Hmm, maybe a chair was overkill as you couldn’t really count it as a food. I suppose it was food for a goat though. Eventually Turrell realised that this class had got a bit out of hand (talk about slow), so he made us stop. He kind of waved his wand and we all froze mid action. I need to learn how to do that spell! I could do the classic putting pointy things under feet and drawing moustaches on in permanent ink! Then he chucked us out of his class and we all spilled outside, using up the last of the fake snow the Marauders had made. That had been a pretty crazy lesson. At least it had taken my mind off things…
I sat under a tree feeling depressed and bored. I sat there for about an hour. I really got to know the tree. I think his name was ‘Crrrreaaakkk’ or something of that sort. I don’t really speak tree. I banged my head against the trunk telling myself to snap out of it. Seriously, who talks to trees? Am I going mad? I was pretty relieved to see Lily sitting next to me when I’d finished with the random banging.
“I’m going mad Lils! The tree said it was called Creak and then I tried to teach myself tree language, but I’m just so crap at everything that I couldn’t learn it in time,” I wailed to her. Lily sighed,
“We need to talk Marls. How come we don’t tell each other as much as we used to? I never knew you still liked Regulus.”
“I don’t!” I glared. Why did she have to mention that subject. I hate Regulus.
“You so do!” Lily slapped my ankle.
“Ow!” I protested, “No need for violence, woman!”
“Well you were killing that tree with your abnormally large head earlier. That’s hardly fair, is it? Poor Creaky.”
“I have an average sized head actually!”
“Back on topic? What are you going to do about it?” Lily is really very irritating. Although, maybe I do still like Regulus a tiny bit. When he told me he was joining the Death Eaters I thought I would hate him. But I don’t; he’s not evil. He’s tough and gorgeous on the outside but on the inside he’s like a helpless but very sexy lost puppy. And I love puppies. Especially lost ones.
“I don’t know. He’s in pretty deep with the Death Eaters now, Lily. I can’t exactly start dating him again. He doesn’t even want me.” Lily smiled sadly. I don’t know why she smiled though. “I don’t think he’s truly bad though. It just doesn’t seem right…” I trailed off.
“Honey, I think you need a rebound,” suggested Lily. But what has happened to my Lily? What alien has stolen her mind? A rebound?
“Like…go out with a random person just to quench my sexual desires?” I asked, horrified.
“Yep. Now I’ve got to go and finish some homework. I’ll see you later, Marls.” Lily stood up and brushed snow off her bum. It landed in my hair and I sneezed. I didn’t mind though because I was just happy that Lily was speaking to me again. When she had gone I chuckled to myself. Lily talking about rebounds. Ha! I wandered down to the Black Lake and pulled off my funky star-striped socks. The water was freezing but warmed up when my feet were covered in the deliciously squelchy mud in the shallow areas. I sat for ages, just thinking about the universe, my parents and Tiggly Biggly Boggles the Carrot-Eater. I wished he was here. I wish my mum was here. There I go again, wishing for impossibilities.
It started to rain and I shivered, but I didn’t feel like going inside. Nature was refreshing! Mary was right, there was a certain magic about it. I opened my mouth and let the water trickle into it. It made me feel les fuzzy. The Lake had massive waves raging across it and the sky went rather dark. There were strange noises from the Forbidden Forest on my left. What a cheesy name for a forest! And suddenly, it wasn’t so nice out here. A sound from behind made me scream and spin round too fast. With a plunging feeling in my stomach I was falling backwards into the murky depths of the Lake. The cold gripped my chest like iron bands and seaweed tangled round my legs. I thought of the horrible fish that must be lurking down here, just waiting to eat my toes and I started to panic and thrash about wildly. Help! My mind was screaming out. Strong arms grabbed my waste and legs and lifted me out as if I was weightless. I gripped onto that arm as hard as I could, feeling pretty pathetic at that moment. Especially as I realised I’d only splashed into the shallow end. Lightning crackled overhead. Isn’t that just so cliché? The brave warrior saves the damsel in distress…The person put me on the ground. I didn’t look up at who had ‘saved me,’ but I knew who I thought it was. I hung in indecision. What would I say to him? Why did he do it? I looked; it was Remus. Of course it wasn’t Regulus, he would have let me drown. Why was I kidding myself? But for a moment there I had imagined I was in some kind of romantic movie, where Regulus realised that the only thing he really wanted was…me. But now he had Marcia. And I had Lupino Supremo.
Nevertheless, I smiled at Lupin gratefully,
“Thanks Reems. Pretty…stupid of me, huh?” My teeth were chattering together.
“Just a bit,” he smiled back and helped me up, “What were you doing out here anyway Marls?”
“Just…thinking about stuff,” I answered, “What about you?”
“Thinking..about stuff,” he muttered back. Our eyes met. It was really scary; his eyes were exactly the same shade of brown as Regulus’s. Flecked with gold. The rain kept falling. The world carried on turning. So why did I feel so…strange? I started coughing violently and Remus knelt down next to me, worried.
“You need to get inside,” he ordered, then picked me up again. I felt pretty awkward but so what? I was getting a free ride back up to the castle. I snuggled into his chest. How did he stay so warm when everything else was freezing?
“You’re really warm,” I murmered, “Like toast.” He laughed quietly.
Who would have thought this morning that I, Marlene McKinnon, would have become a Professor, realised I still liked a Death Eater, fallen in a lake then get carried home by Remus Lupin. Oh, and make Mary hate me. Oh, no…Mary didn’t know about Regulus and Marcia. Oopsy-daisy. Remus felt me stiffen,
“Oh…” I considered telling him. For some reason I felt really calm round Remus. Maybe I’d tell him half the truth, “Lily and I saw Marcia, Mary’s sister, snogging Regulus Black earlier today. I’d forgotten that we hadn’t told Mary yet. She’ll hate us…even more.”
“Oh…so?” I sighed in exasperation. He was not good with relationship stuff,
“So, Regulus obviously lured Marcia into joining the Death Eaters, thus ruining her life, and Mary’s. Mary is distraught that her sister left her. Marcia will eventually get cold feet or be discarded and get murdered.” Remus didn’t say anything. He was probably analysing the information or something. He was such a nerd. In a cute way.
“You’re such a nerd Reems,” I grinned. He looked pretty happy at my accusation. Strange boy. We’d reached the Entrance Hall by now, and I was thankful for the soft lights and warmth flowing into me. I acted on a sudden impulse and hugged Remus. In a friendly way, of course.
“Thanks for saving me, batman,” I said into his chest. He hugged me back warmly,
“Catwoman? I’m Vegetable Lady!” I pretended to be offended.
“But catwoman is sexier.”
“Nuh-uh, I think vegetables are very sexy.” Remus pulled out of the hug,
“Is that why you called Sirius one, then?” he asked.
“No-Remus-“ I said to his back as he started to walk up the stairs. He didn’t turn round again. Screw my life! I’m never saying the word vegetable again. Vegetables are evil. I didn’t get what Remus was so upset about though. It was just a joke.
I stumbled up to my dormitory, feeling very cold. On the inside and the outside. The girls were all awake. Mary was crying. Alice was trying to make her stop. Lily wasn’t sure what to do with herself. She saw me and let out a sigh of relief,
“Where’ve you been Marls? Why do you look like a drowned fish?”
“Fish can’t drown,” I reminded her, then shuddered. I hate fish, “I fell in the Lake and Remus…saved me.” I signalled to Lily that I’d tell her more later.
“I would hug you…but you’re wet.”
“Medal for stating the obvious,” I flopped onto the bed wearily, “Why’s Mary crying?”
“I told her about Regulus and Marcia.”
“Phew. I thought I’d have to do it!”
“Selfish,” Lily insulted me to the best of her ability.
“I’m off for a shower!” I stripped off my smelly, muddy, seaweed covered clothes and stepped into the lovely hot water. It stung my back and made my hands swell from the sudden temperature change but I didn’t care. I was worried about myself. About how I managed to hurt people without realising. About how I never thought before I acted. About how I keep thinking about how Remus and Regulus have the same eyes. About how I keep wishing for impossible things. Lily was right, big surprise. I need a rebound. But who?
A/N Hey! Please tell me what you think about this chapter. I’m slightly worried about parts of it and I’d appreciate feedback. Oh, and I need a name for a very angry hippogriff. Any suggestions? -LWG x
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