A/N- Err, I don’t even know if Rataman is even a legit Romanian last name. Oh well….
This chapter is a bit short, but the ending has an unexpected twist that I thought would be perfect to end off at.
“We have a free period after lunch, yourfree period of the day, and you want to spend it in the library??” Alvara complained.
I shrugged, shouldering my messenger bag along with the books in my hands. “If it bores you so you so much, you don’t have to stay in here with me,” I said, even though she practically sought me out here to make friends with me one day in there while I was just minding my own business.
So without a moment’s hesitation, besides giving a huff and a pointed look at me, she turned heel and did.
I began to get out my books. Already my Ancient Runes teacher assigned us a three-foot paper due next week, and I knew I was behind in my reading. I further settled in a comfy armchair. I wasn’t reading for long until –
“Hey!” A loud whisper greeted me from my left. I looked up. “I’ve been looking for you.”
It was Leon, the Romanian guy from the train, and I smiled embarrassingly. What I was embarrassed about, I had no idea. “Hullo,” I said. “How are you?”
“Alright.” He shrugged. “I really wanted to talk to you, though.”
My smile got even wider, despite the question. “What for?”
“Well, you and I are in the same Divination class and I …” I must say I liked the way he used that phrase you and I very much… “and, um, do you like the professor who teaches it?”
“He seems to know what he’s doing,” I said honestly, thinking of the handsome white-haired centaur who taught Divination. I had no idea where the conversation was going, but I was just reveling in the fact that he was talking to me.
“I agree. He seems to know a lot about the stars, and about prophecies and other mysteries hidden in the moon cycles.” He brought a nervous hand to his head. “I see you arrive to class later than usual, and I was wondering if you were lost or something.”
I felt heat rise to my face. If my skin was a little lighter, then I swear I could have been blushing. “Yes – well,” I began, trying not to sound too helpless. “The staircases are so confusing. They move,” I mumbled.
He chuckled a little, and I looked away. If all he came over for was to laugh at me…
“I understand,” he said, and, surprised, I turned back to look at him. “I was just offering… if you needed my help…”
I furrowed my eyebrows. “I am not as helpless I seem to be.”
“I meant—No! I meant –“ And Leon grabbed hold of my hand, and smiles at me. “Would you let me walk you in between classes?”
“Oh!” I exclaimed. I mean, who wouldn’t be caught off guard if a ridiculously handsome guy out of some make-believe story asked to walk you to your classes. “Yes, alright.” I said the last two words in a whisper after catching a look from the librarian.
Leon Rataman cast a quick glance behind him, then smirked back to me. “Pshh. Librarians.”
“Yeah. So… what class do you have before Divination?”
“Tranfiguration! How come I never see you in there then?”
“Maybe its because we sit on opposite sides of the classroom.”
“Yeah, probably… but even then…”
“I’m a pretty quiet person.”
Leon smiled at me like he was about to tell me a secret. “And that’s what I like about you.”
And so I was never alone on my walks to Divination ever again.
Most of Them were still looked down upon as Outsiders. Others – and these were the ones who bothered me the most – others found themselves fitting in just fine. One of them – oh, let me just skip to the point. His name is Leon Rataman.
I heard he’s Romanian. Like I give a damn. He has this thick accent that British girls just fawn over. He has this aloof way of handling things like he could just pay or cheat his way out of it if he wished. He reminded me of myself before my sixth year. He has this perfectly chiseled face that had this shadow of stubble -- that always maddeningly seemed to be there – making him look older than he really is. And don’t get me started on that smile, flashing it every two minutes like he’s got the whole world in his hands.
I would bully some third year into finding out more about him, but without Crabbe or Goyle around, they’d probably act all tough and say things like ‘Who’s going to make me?’ and ‘You and what army?’ Besides, I didn’t really have the heart. I wasn’t trying to be nice or anything; it just didn’t seem like I’d enjoy it as much as I did two years ago. I realize now that all my threats had been mostly all show and talk.
Nott’s still giving me the cold shoulder from when he tried to give me advice. Whatever. He could be such a prat sometimes.
So I walked in the Library one free period after lunch; the first time doing so for research outside of school. I don’t remember ever being in here alone. I don’t remember ever being in here for pleasure, either. Yet here I was, walking over to one of the archives in the back of the library, next to some library cushions.
About twenty minutes in (and no luck) I heard the voices. Yes, the voices. Very familiar voices. And then they were laughing. I poked my head from behind y bookshelf, to peer at the reading area. There, sitting quite comfortably in the loveseat by the window, were Gianna and Leon. No! No! What was she doing with a fake like him.
I had taken two steps from behind the bookshelf before I caught myself.I thought. What was I doing? I thought. The girl was allowed to talk to whoever she wanted. It was probably just an instinctive reaction to seeing his pretty-boy face anywhere doing anything. I wouldn’t have had a good argument for him sitting there, anyway. ‘Hey,’ I’d say. ‘Are you flirting with her?’ ‘Do you have a problem with ‘flirting?’ he’d reply. ‘Because I didn’t think you two were dating.’
Ah, Merlin. Did I really think of her that way?
“Will you be okay in Defense Class today, Malfoy?”
“I hope Potter doesn’t make you queasy this time!”
“Maybe you should call your mom to sit next to you and hold your hand while Potter teaches!”
Ah, yes. Wednesday. Defense Against the Dark Arts taught by the Boy-Who-Lives-Once Again. My absolute favorite class of the day. I was actually considering a transfer.
I already knew who was laughing behind me. The leader of the pack was Lawrence Tallwood, grinning at me, I knew it, and I was growing sick and tired of his insults. I had an urge to give him a surprise that he wasn’t likely to forget.
I spun around, chanting “Flipendo!”
The other Slytherin face-planted the ground, and I heard a tooth crack. I smiled satisfactorily, looking around for anyone who thought they had to avenge him. No one did, not even Tallwood’s crew, and they stared at me wide eyed. One girl in particular.
Gianna Larz stood there on the other side of the corridor alone, black messenger bag slung over one shoulder, one eyebrow raised interestedly. She smirked, and for a time-stopping moment, I felt like it was only us in the entire world; her with the same calculating eyes as her cousin’s, and me just … staring at her. Slowly a smile crept upon my face as I watched her leave to her next class, the way her black robes swished leaving filling up my whole mind.
That is, until . . .
“Damn , I think you made me crack a tooth,” said Tallwood who was slowly getting up from the floor. He had his hand to his mouth, which I saw was bleeding. He looked around the corner from where I had first walked from….
….where Professor Slughorn was walking our way, looking surprised with one of Tallwood’s crew was leading him to the crime-scene.
I could see another detention in my future. But for once, I think it was worth it . . .