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Like a House on Fire by 800 words of heaven
Chapter 3 : The Deeper Things in Life
 
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Millie’s POV:

Life could be so cruel sometimes. Why else would I have double Potions on a Monday morning? “I’m sorry about what happened… over the summer.” Did I mention that my partner was none other than Sirius Black? And that he was trying to make awkward small talk with me? And that he was failing miserably? What did they teach the (ex-) Princes of Pure-bloods these days? How to survive in the real world or something?

“Um, thank you,” I sort of mumbled. At least my mother taught me what to say in such situations, even though I knew that he had no idea who I even was, let alone my family.

“Do you… miss them much?” Sirius hazarded.

“Let’s just cut the crap shall we?” As you could probably tell, the nightmares were seriously affecting my delicate sleeping patterns.

“Cut what crap?” asked Black, looking a little surprised. I didn’t blame him. If my Potions partner started cussing at me out of the blue, I would have backed away as fast as I could and requested a partner change pronto. But that’s just me.

“We hardly know each other, right? And I’m really not in the mood to actually talk to you this morning – actually I’m really not going to be in the mood to ever talk to you, but I still have to put up with you as my partner. You suck at Potions. I don’t. Your writing’s neat. Mine’s not. We seem to both be lacking something that the other needs.”

“What are you suggesting?” He looked a little wary. I suppose he had a right to that, seeing as we didn’t know each other, and here I was, cutting deals like I was part of the Mafia. Or at least I think that’s how the Mafia cut deals. The magic community is too small to have a proper Mafia to draw stereotypes from, so I’m just going by some of the old Mafia movies my dad used to watch all the time.

Yeah, Dad was pretty weird – even for an Unspeakable.

“I’ll manage the prac; you copy down whatever old Slughorn decides to put up on the board. Clear?”

“Very.” Did I detect a slight note of sarcasm there? Should my delicate pure-blood upbringing be affronted by this rudeness? Probably, but I really didn’t have the energy today.

“Great.” And that was, I hoped, the last long conversation I would have to have with Black. However, like I mentioned before, life could be so cruel sometimes.

 
“So?” It was lunchtime, and I had the misfortune of being interrogated by Sarah. Don’t get me wrong, I loved her and all, but was it necessary to keep such close tabs on every guy I talked to? “I heard your Potions partner’s Black.”

“Does the whole school know, or did Lily tell you?” I asked sulkily. Best to get this done as quickly as possible.

“Neither. I heard Slughorn raving about your potion when I passed him in the corridor. Something about Black having vastly improved his Potions skills over the summer or something.”

“He didn’t. I made the potion.”

“Is he making you do the work for him?”

“No. I suggested it.”

Sarah looked baffled. “It isn’t like you to do other people’s work for them.”

“Extreme personality changes are required when one has to pass Potions with a decent mark and one’s partner is terrible at Potions,” I intoned with as much mock pomp I could muster.

“There’s a reason why your relationships don’t ever last longer than a day,” mused Lily, deciding to finally join the conversation, though I was hoping it was to save me, not torture me further.

“Hey! My relationships do so last longer than a day!” I cried.

“Figuratively speaking of course. But it’s because you don’t quite understand the concept of partnership. You’re both meant to give equally.”

“How does this have anything to do with our randomly assigned Potions partners?”

“It does because it proves my point. You have to let him do something.”

“He does,” I muttered.

“Oh yeah? What’s that?”

“He writes my notes for me.” Sarah and Lily exchanged a look.

“What do you think Lils?” asked Sarah.

“A match made in heaven,” replied Lily.

I hated it when they did that.


~*~
 


Sirius’ POV:

“It didn’t seem to go down well with Millie, mate.” Prongs, Moony, and I were doing our homework in the common room that night. Well, Moony was; Prongs was lounging, and I was pondering the deeper things in life.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I said, but I frowned at the memory, clearly suggesting that I knew exactly what they were talking about.

“I told you so,” Moony almost sang out but was still too preoccupied with his essay to give it his all. And besides, Moony didn’t really sing.

I frowned again. “Is she always that nasty?” I asked.

Prongs smirked. “Not usually. It must have been you.”

I rolled my eyes and sighed. “It was weird. She hardly talked!” Except for that little heart to heart we had near the beginning of the lesson.

“She’s a little shy I guess,” Prongs shrugged. “She might talk more once she gets to know you.”

I leaned further back into my cushy armchair and decided to once again resume my pondering of the deeper things in life, namely the mystery that was Millie White. But alas, it was not to be.

“Stop sulking, Padfoot, and start your essay,” Moony said, unfortunately snapping me out of my thoughts.

“Aw, come on, Moony! It’s not due in until next week!” I whined. It’s an unfortunate habit of mine, whining, one that I can’t seem to control. I think it has something to do with being a dog.

Moony just shook his head at me. “Suit yourself.”

I sighed and decided to at least look at what the essay was about.

It was marginally better than brooding about a certain brunette.

 

AN: Hello everyone after a really long time! I actually have no legitimate excuse why this chapter was edited so slowly. It just was. Anyways, I just wanted to take this moment to thank my amazing beta, once again, because she can never be thanked enough. I swear she is the Queen of Commas! Also, I’d like to thank my wonderful readers and reviewers – again – because I never do that enough. You guys have been so supportive and encouraging, and your words of criticism and advice have been greatly appreciated (for example, if you read the first few chapters before the edits, you may notice that I have decided to actually label my changes in POVs, because it can get quite confusing at times)!
 
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed yourselves!

Adios amigos! :D


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