After spending yet another evening in the Ravenclaw common room doing my homework (okay, copied it from Jeremy), I headed back to the Slytherin common room.
The common room was in fact beautiful in a cold and creepy way. Now, it wasn’t haunted or anything but it didn’t seem to welcoming although elegant and serene. I would have loved to spend more time here but amidst all seething glares from most of the Slytherins, it was uncomfortable. I often felt lonely even though my dorm mates weren’t that bad and the younger ones seemed okay. But I preferred spending my time talking to the Ravenclaws, asking them about new books and generally fooling around Jeremy and the others. I got along with the Hufflepuffs pretty well also.
But almost four years on, a lot of Gryffindors are still hesitant to approach me because I’m apparently one of those ‘evil-maniacs-who-think-they’re-better-than-the-others’. And the Slytherins weren’t any better either. They thought I didn’t deserve to be in Slytherin and were sure that the Sorting Hat made a huge mistake in sorting a Mudblood in the ‘noble’ house of Slytherin.
I think it’s a whole load of rubbish really.
I dropped my bag in my dorm and walked to the Great Hall.
‘Scarlet!’ called out a feminine voice.
I turned back and grinned at the short, chubby girl.
‘Alice! It’s been so long! Been busy with Frank, huh?’ I winked.
Alice went a deep shade of red and stammered something incoherent.
Her long brown hair was tied up in a plait and she was looking pretty.
‘So, you’re almost at the end of third year! Ready for the fourth?’ I asked her.
‘Oh Scarlet, I’m so worried! I don’t think I can do it! How do you manage?’ she asked worriedly.
‘Fourth year is okay. It’s pretty much like third year so you don’t need to worry so much Alice!’ I said and she sighed.
‘Hey, you want to go to Hogsmeade together this weekend?’ she asked.
‘Oh sure, it’s been quite long! And you have to tell me everything between you and Frank!’ I said.
She blushed but nodded.
‘Well I gotta go! See you on Saturday!’ I said when I saw Jeremy waving at me from the Ravenclaw table.
I took my usual seat next to Jeremy but unfortunately Chase was sitting across me.
‘Hey babe, I love your hair. How do get it to be so beautiful?’ he asked.
Chase isn’t really that bad but his pick-up lines get lamer and lamer each day.
‘Oh how nice! You noticed! You see,’ I see smiling sweetly ‘I use a special formula! Some Beetlap syrup, salamander spit and Prunespor eggs!’ I said in mock-wonder ‘And a teensy bit of troll’s blood.’ I added to complete the effect. Chase looked mortified and began choking on his soup.
I smiled smugly as David patted his back while the rest of the fourth years howled with laughter.
‘You know, Beetlap syrup is actually good for the hair’ said Jeremy, grinning at me.
Wow, I’m awesome. I make up random stuff and it turns out to be true!
‘But as if you need it right Scar?’ winked Jeremy.
I grinned, ‘Did I just hear a compliment?’
‘If you want it to be one.’ He stated, shrugging.
‘Oh just it out loud Jeremy!’ said Naomi, a tall Hispanic girl Jeremy’s left. Her dark eyes were gleaming; she thrived on gossip.
Chase didn’t look very happy while David just had a small smile. Jeremy looked uncomfortable under our gaze.
He hated attention.
‘No guys, it’s okay,’ I said breaking the silence ‘Besides, we’re getting late.’
Naomi looked away disappointed and Chase was still staring at Jeremy with a weird look on his face. David went back to his chocolate pudding avoiding my gaze.
Jeremy smiled at me gratefully and I smiled back reassuringly.
I decided to leave early since I wanted to walk around the common grounds. And as usual, Jeremy joined me.
We walked out of the Great Hall and went towards the Black Lake in silence.
‘Thank you’ whispered Jeremy. He was a bit taller than me and I looked up at him and smiled, ‘No problem Jay.’
He opened his mouth to say something but hesitated and closed it.
Something was definitely on his mind. I hated not knowing, but I knew better than to pry.
It was dark but the curfew was still quite some time later.
We reached our tree opposite to the lake and sat down.
The lake looked beautiful. The moon was just a crescent of silver and I ached to take a picture of it. Dad would like it.
I realized Jeremy and I hadn’t spoken for a whole 5 mintues.
I turned to Jeremy and caught him staring at me. His brown eyes were piercing but somehow gentle.
‘Ok, what’s bothering you?’ I asked, turning to give him my full attention.
‘Nothing’ he said quietly staring at his shoes.
‘Jay, I’m your best friend,’ I said ‘I know when you’re hiding something from me.’
‘Haha there’s no denying that!’ he smiled weakly.
‘Then tell me! What is it that is bothering you so much?’
And suddenly he yanked my hand and I landed right next to him. He then began….tickling me.
I giggled uncontrollably. Damn him, he knew I was extremely ticklish. I tried pushing him off but he held strong. It was mildly surprising since he spent half hid day behind books, absorbing facts and being the nerd he is.
‘No! Don’t Jay! I’m warning you!’ I said giggling, even though I meant it seriously.
He stopped and grinned at me.
I looked at him and began laughing and this time, he joined. After a lot of stopping and falling into fits of giggles, we calmed down.
‘Do you miss being a kid Scar?’ Jeremy asked.
We were now lying down on the grass staring at the thousands of twinkling specks of stars in the sky.
‘Yes, a lot,’ I said moving my arms dramatically ‘A time when there wasn’t much homework-‘
‘Homework? You never did yours! Even then you used to copy from me!’ Jeremy interrupted, looking amused.
I stuck out my tongue and continued ‘ A time when all I cared was about getting an ice cream or pudding for dessert if I behaved-‘
‘Which you never did. But you still got the dessert.’ He murmured.
‘Hey! I shared it with you! Don’t complain!’ I said, glaring at him. ‘But Jeremy, I don’t miss it too much because things seem pretty much the same even now,’ I said.
‘I still copy homework from you, I raid the kitchen whenever I want,’ I said grinning. ‘But most importantly,’ I turned to look at him.
He was gazing up at the stars and I could see their reflection on his glasses. His lips were curved to form a small, relaxed smile and he was casually lying on the grass with his hands below his head.
He turned to look at me, our noses just inches away and he had a curious expression on his face like he was waiting for something.
I realized I hadn’t completed my sentence. I blushed but recovered a moment later and said ‘But most importantly, you’re still my best buddy.’
His eyes lit up and he grinned.
‘Aw, I love you too Scar,’ he said pulling me in a hug ‘and no one can replace you,’ he whispered in my ear.
My chest suddenly felt really warm and I felt fuzzy when he said that. The feeling spread through my body and I felt light-headed.
We stayed there enjoying the silence for a couple of moments but curfew was looming by and I was disappointed to leave.
Despite my constant protesting, Jeremy accompanied me to the Slytherin dungeons.
And I thought we Slytherins were supposed to be stubborn.
We reached the entrance and I hugged Jeremy. He smiled at me,’ ‘Night Scar.’
He ruffled my black hair (signature move since the past 2 years) and walked away.
I entered the common room and it was quite crowded. I walked to my dorm, still feeling fuzzy, like in a trance like state.
Ten minutes later, I fell asleep staring at the water of the Black Lake lapping against the window beside my bed.