Chapter 6 : Alpha Dogs
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Ok this one has a lot of 'telling', I wanted a bit of back-story for you all to get to know the characters and the Marauders better.
A few secrets come out, some canon-based, some not. Answers to a question lots of people had and also new POV.
As always take a few seconds to tell me what you think. It helps. A LOT!
Big shout-out to Apocalypse (Cal), Shortie, Classicblack, luciusobsessed and TabithaRose you guys are awesome! :D
Piece of advice, if you plan to sit in a boring class and not pay attention, this right here is the best seat.
You want to pick a seat at the back but not so far back that the teachers feel compelled to shoot questions at you to make sure you’re alive.
Equally important, pick a seat next to someone who wouldn’t snore obnoxiously while sleeping in class (ahem, Peter). Edith and I always sit together, right here, which are the best seats in class.
Peter happened to be seated in front of me sleeping blissfully with his head on the desk, his snores making the quill tilt away on his inkwell. I shook my head hiding my smile. He’s quite cute with his round face and childish smile. Peter’s recently start to put on a bit but personally, I think it suits him.
Next to him is Remus. While they are both clearly bored out of their skulls Remus is actually taking notes amid a few yawns. Of course you can’t see them from the back of his head but the boy has the most gorgeous forget-me-not-blue eyes.
Alright, I’ll admit it. I’m a closet writer, I notice these things about people!
Don’t judge me.
Remus’s eyes are such a perfect colour, I could write a freaking sonnet about it right here in the middle of Herbology.
ANYWAY, moving on… Sirius, on the bench next to Remus, is clearly just as bored. He’s abandoned all pretence of being interested in the class and has resorted to making paper planes out of torn pieces of parchment. As I watched, Sirius prodded one with his wand and it began to hover inches off his desk. A millisecond later (while Professor Sprout was drawing a large flower on the board) the paper plane shot straight into Kimberly Adam’s perfectly done up hair.
In a bored class, filled with bored people, this is an act of war.
Kimberly Adams gritted her teeth in anger causing James and Sirius to snicker. Following their gaze Lily turned to look at the distraction ahead and then rolled her eyes at the boys.
Ahh, typical. Lily pretends not to enjoy their little antics but really, we all do! It’s Herbology Theory for Merlin’s sake! In this class this is about as entertaining as McGonagall tap-dancing!
“Professor!” Kimberly’s shrill cry rang out through the class making me cringe.
“What? What!? I didn’t do it!” Peter blurted stupidly having been rudely awakened, throwing the entire class into a fit of laughter.
“What is it, Miss Adams?” Professor Sprout asked in a bored voice.
Yes, Kimberly throws a tantrum at least once a week. She’s awful, stuck-up and prissy. In short, a royal bitch. I’m positive the Hat was having a laugh when sorting her into Gryffindor! Sirius sure knew how to pick his targets.
“Black thinks it’s funny to put this in my hair!” she said in an annoying voice holding up the paper plane.
“How do you know he sent this?” asked Sprout calmly.
“It says ‘Courtesy of Sirius Black’ on it!”
Professor Sprout sighed, “Mr Black, what do you have to say for yourself?”
Sirius stood up pushing back his sleek black hair, “I have to say I am completely innocent, Professor.”
There were several loud bursts of laughter including one form Edith next to me, all through which he kept a straight face.
Sprout silenced the class, “Mr Black, I’m afraid disturbing the class warrants detention.”
“Yes, but it’ll only be worth it in another …hmm… five seconds!” Sirius replied with a smirk checking his watch.
“And why is that?”
“Three… two… one…”
We all strained to look at the odd crinkling noise at the front of the class.
As Kimberly Adams watched horrified, the paper plane in her hand crumpled into a ball. My eyes widened as a large rip appeared on the side of it pulling forth a bright red pair of lips and a pink tongue. As we watched flabbergasted the mouth on the paper ball sucked in a huge breath and blew a loud raspberry in Kimberly’s face. Then before she could even recover from the shock there was a short gagging noise and the ball barfed a large load of projectile green mucus on her.
Adams got up and ran out of the classroom, her screams echoing down the hallway.
Most of the class erupted in fresh hysterics at this. Edith put her arm around my neck sobering up from her laughter, “That was completely worth my burst ear-drum!”
“Absolutely!” I agreed.
“Detention, Mr Black!” said Professor Sprout in the most stern voice she could muster whilst trying to clamp down her jaws in order to not laugh openly.
“Professor,” James jumped up standing next to Sirius, “it was my idea, actually! The raspberry, not the mucus! Actually, I may have suggested the mucus…” he grinned.
Remus shook his head and sighed raising his hand up with his quill, “I came up with the spell for the vomiting!”
“And I…. err…. I helped!” Peter nodded importantly still half-dazed.
“Well then, all three of you can join Mr Black in detention.” Sprout smiled serenely to which these idiots simply high-fived each other.
In all my life I’d never met another bunch who was more than happy to be in detention. The bell rang and the students rose up from their seats in a hurry.
“Oh and Mr Pettigrew, ten points from Gryffindor for sleeping in my class!”
James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew.
Someday when someone asks about one of them, the name will always be tacked on to the other three.
“Thick as thieves, they were” they’d say. Because they are…
Every school has them. The Alpha dogs.
Here at Hogwarts, we called them ‘The Marauders’. No one remembered who started it, how they became to be known by the name. But everyone knew who they were and what they were capable of.
Closer than blood-brothers, it was almost odd to find one of them alone. I’d never seen such loyalty before. While Remus and Peter are integral parts of it, the pack as I see it, was led by Sirius Black and James Potter.
Sirius is that one boy who gets too much attention, knows it and enjoys it. He’s undoubtedly one of the most physically attractive beings to walk the earth. You know the type: you wouldn’t believe someone could be so good-looking until they walk past you, acknowledge you and suddenly you’ve forgotten what a syllable is.
Despite school-rules Sirius enjoys wearing his sleek black hair just below his shirt collar, parting it roughly with his fingers at the front so that it falls into his captivating silver-grey eyes when he lounges in his chair, typically by the fourth period.
Anyway, the first day of school is a pretty important day for everyone. Everything is new. New books, quills, parchment, new spells and potions to learn about.
But the Marauders love the first day of school for a whole other reason!
Yes, you guessed it! Pranks.
The day when a part of the student body is as innocent as they will ever be in their lives. This is the day First Years start their classes. The day they will remember for the rest of their lives thanks to a certain foursome.
By second period there were already several first years hung up randomly along the Charms corridor having stepped on invisible rope-snares, their limbs flaying about seeking help from passers-by. Some others had fallen though charmed trick steps or were being hugged to death by an animated suit of armour, others had sunk themselves up to their waist in a Quick-tile (where Sirius would charm a floor tile randomly to become a puddle but appear solid until stepped on). However their favourite were ones they personally got involved in.
While we were walking along the corridor to Transfiguration after lunch, Edith pulled me by the sleeve suddenly.
“What?” I asked nearly collapsing onto her.
“Watch,” she said with a knowing smile on her face. I followed her gaze and shook my head already beginning to smile. In front of an empty classroom Potter and Black were staging themselves for a passing group of first years.
“Oh man! Not again!” Sirius cried loudly looking up at a large pink bubble floating around his head.
“What’s wrong, Padfoot?” James walked up to his friend with mock concern while the three first years paused to watch.
“It’s Bob, my toad, he’s eaten Droobles again!”
“Yes! Look!” he pointed at the large pink bubble next to him “He’s got himself trapped inside a bubble!” cried Sirius in mock hysteria, “Prongs, please tell me you have a pin! I can’t watch him die, Prongs! I just can’t!”
“I’m so sorry mate… I don’t have a pin.” James said sadly.
“NOOOO! Bobby!” Sirius collapsed on James’s shoulder in tears. “Not like this, Bobby!”
Edith clamped a hand to her mouth as we both buckled under silent fits of laughter.
“We can help!” piped a first year girl with a French-braid, “will this work?”
She asked taking off her Ravenclaw pin from her tie and handing it to the taller boy next to her.
“Oh YES! Thank you so much!” said James and Sirius together nodding happily.
The taller sandy-haired boy smiled and stepped forward “It’s no problem!”
He pushed back his sleeves and reached toward the bubble with the pin.
Wait for it.
The pin grazed the bubble and there was a loud bursting noise as it popped.
Suddenly gallons of water and what looked like seaweed was dumped on the unsuspecting kid below.
The other two first years screeched and jumped back as their classmate, now wet head-to-toe stood shock-still with his arm still outstretched, pin held firmly. The toad that had landed on the boy’s head gave a loud croak as James and Sirius collapsed on the floor, their laughs rendering them breathless.
I was barely holding Edith up as we tried our hardest not to laugh out loud.
“You insensitive little PRICK! Why can’t you just leave them alone?!”
Lily, saviour of the innocent, marched furiously towards them with her red hair prickling in anger, eyes narrowed to slits and looking daggers at the duo still unable to control their laughs.
“Ten points from Gryffindor!”
“What kind of a Prefect are you? Docking points off your own house!” Sirius asked sobering up from his laughter.
“You want to make it twenty, Black?”
“We’re going! Urgh, you’re such a kill-joy, Red!”
She watched them with narrowed eyes as they left before dragging the shivering first year by the hand toward the Hospital wing.
Edith and I scarpered not wanting to be caught by ‘The Lilimonster’! Don’t look at me, E comes up with the nicknames.
Ten minutes later we were at Transfiguration, I sat next to Edith again and pulled out my books. I adore Edith, I’d say she’s probably my best friend in the dorms. She’s incredibly funny and a joy to be around. She’s a pioneer in sarcasm and most of that is focused on pretending she doesn’t have an immense crush on Remus.
It’s been there since fourth year when she fell in the lake fully dressed in cloaks and scarves and Remus jumped in to save her.
I must have heard the fascinating story at least a dozen times over Christmas that year of how Remus ripped the heavy wet jumper off her with his bare hands to stop her sinking any further.
And still, to this day she pretends she fancies Sirius, but oddly cannot think of any other redeeming qualities than Sirius’s abs and his hair. Sirius and Edith have always been good friends. They are both varying degrees of crazy, and therefore it makes perfect sense.
“Good afternoon, class” Professor McGonagall strode into the room, “Oh, hello Ms Evans, please take your seat.” She closed the doors behind Lily with a wave of her wand.
Lily was still disgruntled as she sank into her seat beside Quinn right in front of me.
“What’s wrong?” Quinn, who wasn’t wiser to Lily’s rotten mood, asked pulling her books out and giving up trying to tame her short prickly hair.
Edith and I shared a look and stifled our laughter as Lily went into a rant about Black and Potter’s antics while Professor McGonagall gave her “This is NEWT year, no messing about” speech.
Quinn listened nodding along mutely. Lily was taking notes. I wondered what she could possibly be writing down.
1. Do not mess about says McGongagall.
2. NEWT year is serious says McGonagall.
I wasn't the only one finding her quirks entertaining. James was shaking his head at her with a small smile in the corner of her mouth, almost as if to say, "Why am I in love with this nutter?"
Oh shut up, they belong together. Call me crazy, but I'm telling you they are one of those couples, you know the one. They fight, then they'll kiss and they'll grow up and get marries and have lots of babies. I will be Godmother to the runt of the family and will tell them embarrassing stories about mum and dad at Christmas dinners.
Lily has a secret soft spot for James. If the rest of them were as observant as I am they'd notice it too. She may hate his guts for what he does to Snape, but she doesn't despise him nearly as much as she says. She thinks she's so smart hiding it but Lily was the only one to remember James' actual birthday from the twenty-six fake ones he gave up in second year. And that porcelain cat on her nightstand came from one specific secret-admirer because on the other hand James' affection for Lily was anything but secret.
I do hope they get together soon. I want to be a Godmother before I'm forty! Quinn's already half there with her cousin due in three months.
Lily and Quinn are sort of best friends, I guess you could say. They are both smart, enjoy reading and often liked to stay ahead of the class. If it weren’t for their drastic difference in looks they could be sisters.
During first and second year Quinn and I were best friends. Our beds were next to each other’s and it was only natural. Over time I guess we drifted apart. I mean we’re still good friends and I’d do anything for her but we’re nothing like what we were. But I suppose we aren’t eleven-year-olds either.
Lily, you might be surprised, took a while to make friends. She didn’t talk much all throughout first year except with Severus Snape whom we called ‘Creepy thin guy’. Snape was sallow skinned with sharply contrasting greasy black hair and flat dark eyes. It looked like he’d spent ten years of his life locked in a cellar without a drop of sunlight (His physique had not improved other than having grown half his height taller).
But Lily was by his side whenever possible. They were only separated during meal times and nights. As time passed though we got to know Lily and she began to open up and well, she grew on us.
She has that effect.
“I mean they haven’t even had a chance to get through their first day in school and Potter’s already scarred them for life!” Lily complained loudly shaking her head.
“Oh for Merlin’s sake, it was just water!” James hissed next to her.
Lily jumped at his voice startling us all and turned around. James and Sirius were sitting right across the aisle from her.
Lily’s face turned a bright red, “Yeah… well… you’re an idiot!”
James was saved of coming up with a witty retort to that by McGonagall calling the class to order. “Alright! Let’s see if we can brush up on… whatever’s left in your skulls after the summer holidays. A question-answer round perhaps?”
Peter’s hand immediately shot up causing Remus to shake his head gravely.
“Yes, Mr Pettigrew?”
“Professor, do you think maybe we could ask the questions for a change?”
“I admire your optimism Pettigrew, but I’m afraid not,”
Sirius and James chuckled along with a few other students.
“Now, let’s see… Miss Pennyweather,” a girl three rows down flinched, “which would you use on a mongoose half transfigured into a lizard, a completion spell or a reversal spell?”
“Since it’s inter-species, reversal?”
“Excellent, five points to Ravenclaw!”
Points? Who said anything about points?
And like a charm, the entire class perked up. McGonagall sure knows how to get the class on their feet, well figuratively.
“Mr Lloyd, which among Gamp’s Laws is variable by circumstance?”
I turned to Edith who simply shrugged back.
As expect Lily’s hand shot up instantly.
“Yes, Ms Evans.”
“The Fifth, very rarely children without control of their magic have been known to alter composition of air, unintentionally!”
“You’re very close, Ms Evans” McGonagall gave her a commending look through her glasses.
“Yes but not quite,” came the over-confidant bored voice of James Potter, “Children born to parents with history of unrestricted use of magic have rarely and under extreme stress situations shown to unintentionally alter composition of air,”
“Very well put, Mr Potter. Five points” McGonagall nodded slowly and turned to Lily, “Ms Evans, take initiative to provide a complete answer. Your examiners at NEWTS will appreciate it!”
Lily nodded but her cheeks, if possible, had turned an even more brilliant shade of red, closely resembling her hair. As McGonagall’s attention diverted she shot James a scathing look.
James replied with a dazzling grin.
I nudged Edith and we both bit back a laugh. A day where James pawns Lily in a show-down of wits is a day worth living for!
“Given the choice would you rather use a vanishing charm or a disillusionment charm on an object?”
“It’s simpler and easily reversed!”
“Five points, sit up Potter!” McGonagall just had to call on James.
“Changing a hibiscus flower to a rose requires three steps of transfiguration. Which are?”
“Shape transfiguration, colour alteration and multiplication of petals!”
“Precisely! Five Points Ms Evans!”
“What’s the first step you’d take when transfiguring a mouse into a snuff-box?”
“Transfigure feet first to avoid it from scurrying around in panic!”
By the seventh question the entire class as turned to watch the battle of wits between Potter and Evans. Sitting across the aisle from each other they were shooting answers at rapid speed not bothering to put up their hands.
Lily was very smart and prepared ahead for nearly all her classes, but James was born gifted at Transfiguration. This was a close call. We all watched, our eyes flitting from one to the other as they spoke.
“Suppose you were to transfigure a rat into a teacup, what would you be cautious ab-” McGonagall hadn’t even finished her question before James opened his mouth.
“Not to make the handle of the cup out of the rat’s tail because if the handle breaks so does the spell and the rat will have no tail!” James finished and rocked his chair back a few inches for flair.
Sirius smirked at his best friend and I could have sworn even McGonagall’s mouth twitched a little. Lily however looked nothing short of indignant.
“Alright! Well that’s enough for now. Let’s allow Ravenclaws to score some points too.” McGonagall adjusted her glasses, “Serial transfiguration! Today’s lesson is not only a skill tested in your NEWT exams, it’s a skill that will prove extremely useful in the future for you!”
She waved her wand and a box suddenly appeared in front of each of us. “Placed in front of you, is a box containing one animal. On top of the box is a list of three tasks. Your assignment is to transfigure your animal into each of the three mentioned items, in order, by the end of the class.”
Everyone immediately began to pull out there wands.
“And as a welcoming back, I will offer thirty points to the first person to complete todays’ assignment!” said McGonagall.
As if on cue the entire class glanced once more at James and Lily (who looked ready for a death-match!)
I looked warily at my box. Unlikely that I would score any points, I was always a bit iffy about Transfiguration, but apparently it’s a must for Healer School.
“Transfigure in order into:
Step 1. A Purple Coot
Step 2. A Potted Runner-Bean Plant.
Step 3. A Wooden Tenor Flute”
Inside the box was a white dove.
Why does McGonagall always forget our school anthem? We’re supposed to forget everything we learnt over the holidays so that these they can teach us for another year ‘until our brains rot’.
I forcefully widened my eyes as if it would help me remember something.
Nope. Not working.
Edith and I tilted our heads cluelessly at my dove and her rat. In front of us, Quinn and Lily had set about their work. However across the aisle Peter idly fed a chocolate frog to his project, also a frog! It was more disturbing that you’d think.
Remus and Sirius’s animals no longer resembled anything living to ever walk the planet. With a long sigh I picked up my wand and turned to Edith who was sneakily flipping through her Transfiguration book on her lap.
“Hey, what does a coot look like?” I asked her.
“Beats me, what the hell is a possum?!”
Well, so much for Step 1.
After several attempts I managed to turn my white dove a bright purple colour but could not proceed any further. Instead I conjured some water for the poor bird and opened a bag of marshmallows for us to share.
James (my eyes widened at this,) had proceeded far. Sitting in front of him was a pot containing a perfectly pruned bush of miniature roses, each puffy pink flower in full bloom! He looked extremely pleased with himself.
“Well done, Potter. Proceed to Step 3.” McGonagall nodded. I barely caught the irritated huff just in front of me before Lily Evans flipped her hair back and pointed her wand at her leaf sprouting headless chicken.
“I give up!” announced Edith setting down her wand beside her rat who looked like a crossbred ferret with stripes!
“What’s that?” I asked her.
“That’s a rare breed of possums called the Flafliflala!” she said seriously.
“I see!” I smirked offering her some marshmallows.
She plunged her hand into the bag and stuffed her face. We both then settled for the entertainment of watching others try to handle their tasks.
Archie, Remus’s mischievous pet ferret had shown up half-way into the second hour and was prodding his still bunny-eared fidgety batch of Violets in amusement. Peter hadn’t bothered pulling out his wand. He and his frog both were snacking on fudge flies, while Sirius attempted the final step: turning his very metallic looking daisies into a set of brass scales.
I turned back to James.
I couldn’t believe it! He’d done it!
There he was with a perfectly accurate little radio upon his desk, lounging lazily in his chair with an arm behind the back-rest. It was moments like these that made him so hard to resist taking a fancy to.
Speaking of fancying James-
“DONE!” yelled Lily, startling me, Edith, Quinn and the purple dove who took a nice crap on my parchment!
McGonagall nodded at Lily’s gramophone, “Very impressive Miss Evans, however so is Mr Potter!”
Lily’s ecstatic face turned so rapidly into a murderous glare, one could hardly believe in such an emotional range.
Lily has this one special ‘glare’ she reserves for James. Her emerald eyes grow wide and start throwing sparks, the jaws clench, hair prickles and she stares at James as if she could just will him to spontaneously combust with her mind.
This glare means one of two things: “Potter I will kill you!” or, “Potter I will kill you dead!”
Probably sensing the palpable tension McGonagall quickly cleared her throat.
“Alight, well I suppose you’ve both done an excellent job so-”
In reply to that James simply yawned and turned a wheel on the small radio in front of him. Almost instantly the entire classroom was filled with Celestina Warbeck’s annoying high-pitched voice.
McGonagall tried very hard not to smirk at her best student, “Your skill is admirable Mr Potter, however your arrogance is not! Thirty points to be shared by Mr Potter and Miss Evans,”
Several boys (and the rest of the Marauders, of course) cheered James on who accepted it with a courteous (albeit pretentious) bow turning his back on Lily. Edith rolled her eyes next to me.
The bell rang and Lily immediately stormed out of the classroom before we even packed up.
Edith dropped a galleon on her table, “Stinging Hex!”
“No way,” said Quinn turning around, “I say she goes for a ‘Furnunculus’ this time!”
I laughed, “Your money’s mine kids, she’s going to lock his jaws together. Permanently!”
A long day is defined as any day I have to deal with Potter twice in twelve hours. And on such a day, this is my escape, a well-lit desk in a quiet atmosphere surrounded by walls of books. The library.
Of course Potter shows off, it’s practically his trademark. If one looked up ‘Ostentatious’ or ‘Arrogant’ in the dictionary there’d be a perfect wind-swept picture of the moron right underneath it.
No, this isn’t showing off. This is personal. He wants to beat me! All because I said he was useless after getting his help! And after I APOLOGISED!
Urgh! What a child!
Well Mr-I’m-God’s-Gift-to-the-World, if he wants to beat me, he’ll have the fight of his life! He has no idea who he’s messing with. I’ll show him!
Stupid Lily, what the hell were you thinking asking him to study with you for OWLs? You’ve upset the balance of nature! And look what’s happened!
POTTER IS ANSWERING QUESTIONS IN CLASS!
Woman, you’ve brought on the apocalypse!
As I sat in the library wasting my time, partly drawing a gigantic Nightglow-pea flower for Herbology and partly plotting ways to get back at Potter, I heard a set of fluttering wings behind my ear.
When I turned around I found a small yellow memo hovering next to me like a paper humming bird. I picked it out of the air and unfolded it. Prefects usually get memos like these informing them about unscheduled meetings, changes in Patrol times or Detention Duty, or even from teachers simply requesting assistance.
“Dear Ms Evans,
Please meet me in front of the Charms classroom at your earliest convenience.
Sincerely, Professor M. McGonagall”
I folded my drawing into my Herbology book and packed my bag quickly exited the library and headed toward the Charms classroom. I wondered what Professor McGonagall wanted but as I turned the corner at the foot of the stairs I saw her at walking up to me.
“Thank you Ms Evans, for coming on such short notice,” she began as she saw me.
“Is everything alright, Professor?”
“Yes, of course. I would have waited to talk to you tomorrow but Professor Dumas insisted on meeting today.” She said adjusting her glasses, a sign that she wasn’t completely comfortable with something.
“Now Evans as I understand it, you wish to attend a Healer Training Programme after leaving Hogwarts?”
“Yes, Mary and I were talking about it…”
“Well, I have a proposition that may work in your favour,”
“Yes, walk with me,” she said heading down along the Charms corridor. I fell quickly into step beside her. “Professor Dumas, your new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher has requested a Teacher’s Assistant. He has asked for the most intelligent mind of the year. Naturally, Mr Austin Bradbury of seventh year was my first choice,”
Naturally. Even the mention of his name made me blush.
“But since Seventh Years are facing NEWTS and have a lot on their plates I thought it best to pick from the Sixth Years. Professor Dumas offers a glowing recommendation in return for the valuable help he’ll be getting. Well, what do you say Ms Evans?”
“Me?” my jaw dropped open as I realised we’d come to a standstill in front of the DADA class, “HELL YES!”
Professor McGonagall’s eyes grew in response.
“I mean I’d absolutely love the opportunity to work with Professor Dumas!”
She gave a stiff nod, “Yes, very good. Come with me.” She entered the classroom and I followed her up the stairs to the office at the front of the class.
She knocked twice and waited.
“Enter,” replied a chiming voice.
McGonagall opened the door. My eyes widened. Everywhere I looked there were boxes stacked in piles. Most of them seemed to be labelled ‘Books’ and ‘Robes’. Sitting in an armchair by the fireplace was Professor Dumas.
He was a man of about forty, dressed rather flamboyantly with his feet up on a foot-stool in front of the fire. Professor Dumas was a lot younger than I previously deduced. His dark-blonde locks flowed to his shoulder. When he turned to see who had entered into his chambers, I saw he’d paired a pencil moustache with a chin-puff.
“Professor McGonagall! What a pleasant surprise,” Dumas stood up and greeted happily, “I’m so sorry we didn’t get a chance to chat at the feast after that… fiasco…”
McGonagall’s brow furrowed a little, “I do apologise for the inconvenience Professor Dumas.”
“Oh come now, Professor!” Dumas brushed away her apology, “Dumas was my father. To you I shall always remain Sydney!” he ended with a coy smile at McGonagall. I bit down on my lip to keep my composure and looked away.
In reply Professor McGonagall gave a flickering smile and hastily stepped towards me.
“Right well, Sydney, I would like to introduce to you Miss Lily Evans. She is one of our most diligent and hard-working students, as requested for your personal assistant?”
Dumas’ confusion cleared instantly, “Oh my word, yes! Yes I did.” He then turned to me with curious eyes that made me a little queasy. “Hello,” he said in the same musical voice he used to answer the door.
“Nice to meet you, Miss Evans” Professor Dumas extended a hand.
“It’s my pleasure, Sir” I gave a curt nod shaking his hand briefly.
“I’m sure it is,” he laughed, “And what is your favourite subject at Hogwarts Ms Evans?”
“I do like Potions, Sir” I said honestly.
“Oh..?” he seemed a tad disappointed, “well maybe my teachings will help change your mind” he said with great confidence. I simply smiled back in reply.
“My, what beautiful eyes! You know, green are the rarest of all eyes, you must be extra special.” He smiled.
I blinked awkwardly several times.
McGonagall cleared her throat. Just then there was another knock on the door.
“Enter,” McGonagall and Dumas said together causing Dumas to laugh again. He seemed quite jovial.
“You wanted me to meet you here, Professor?”
The voice made me spin around facing the door. He looked just as taken aback to see me as I was to see him.
“Oh hello Potter. Come in,” McGonagall called.
James Potter walked in shutting the door quietly behind him. Dumas’ once-again-curious eyes now turned to James.
“Of course we’ll need to accompany Ms Evans with another student. Dumbledore’s rules, you understand Sydney?” McGonagall said gently.
“Of course! Silly rules but still, rules are meant to be followed all the same I suppose” he chuckled.
“Very well,” McGonagall turned sharply to James, “Potter, you will join Ms Evans as… her assistant, while she works under Professor Dumas,”
“Pleasure to meet you, Potter!” behind McGonagall’s back Dumas waved cordially at James.
James however looked crestfallen at the news, “But Professor! Quidditch practice!”
He pleaded desperately with McGonagall.
“No ‘buts’ Potter, you’ll have to make other arrangements with your practice sessions.”
James’ shoulders sagged with disinterest but he agreed.
“Umm, Professor what am I to do here, exactly?” he asked in a defeated voice.
“You’re here to help her,” answered McGonagall swiftly.
I stepped in, “Professor if I may, I don’t need any he-”
“Rules are rules, Ms Evans.” McGonagall gave me a rare stern look.
“Help her with what, Professor.” James asked again.
James looked at Professor McGonagall as if to say “Come again?”
“I’m her errand-boy?” he asked incredulously.
“Quite the complainer isn’t he?” tittered Dumas.
“Oh, he’s just warming up!” I couldn’t help myself.
James shot me a dirty look.
“Oooh I sense a rivalry!” Professor Dumas twiddled his fingers excitedly.
“Mr Potter, you are whatever Ms Evans requests you to be. You will report here before classes and after classes and help in any way requested by Ms Evans. As a reward the detentions you will surely accumulate henceforth in the next few weeks of term will be annulled.”
James couldn’t help but smirk. I couldn’t help but grimace.
Thanks Life, you’re doing a great job of screwing yourself over.
“Well, good day to you all, Sydney,” Professor McGonagall exchanged a curt nod with Professor Dumas and left the office.
“Start with the boxes, instructions are on that one” Dumas pointed to a large box on top of a pile of large boxes, “off you go then,”
James and I both exhaled tiredly.
“So I guess we’re both stuck together,” James said breaking the silence in an amused sort of voice. It was only a matter of time.
I gritted my teeth, “Grave.”
“What I need you to be is as still and silent as the grave!”
I was lying in my bed, collapsed from exhaustion after dinner. It had been a long day. I winced as I thought back to my earlier misfortune.
What had started out as a great opportunity for extra credit and a glowing recommendation had quickly turned into a nightmare with me sentenced to spend months in the general vicinity of Potter and his arrogance.
I was calm though, owing largely to the fact that my brain hadn’t fully processed my current predicament yet. All I thought about now was how in an hour I’d have to get off my comfy bed and trudge down for detention duty.
“CRAP!” I whined out loud flaying my arms about in frustration.
“What?” Edith looked up from her book bushing back her dark hair.
Quinn must have heard me all the way from inside the bathroom, because she stuck her head out of the bathroom door, “Did you sit on my chocolate cake?!”
“No...” I groaned, “Detention duty, urgh!... Potter… dammit… son-of-a”
Edith watched me for a short while with a placid expression, “Somebody go get the verbs, Lily’s having a hard time finding them!”
Mary and Quinn giggled.
I rolled my eyes at all of them, turned to my side and picked a marshmallow out of Mary’s bowl and flicked it at Edith.
“Oi, that’s food! Eat it or I’ll stuff them up your nose!” Mary scorned.
I dropped the remaining handful back into the bowl. She’s strangely possessive of her sweets.
Try stealing a Sherbet Lemon from her, I dare you!
“What’s the great tragedy here,” Quinn joined us in her bathrobe with her dark wet hair hanging about her shoulders, “If you don’t want to do Potter’s detention just exchange with the other Prefect on duty with you.”
She plopped down on Cait’s bed (who was at choir practice) and began to magically dry her hair off.
With a shrug I pulled out the duty roster from my pocket and checked.
“What now?” asked Edith, now amused.
“Oh nothing, I’m sure Severus would just luurrrve to spend detention with Potter!”
“Lily, just ask him,” Quinn insisted, “I’m sure he’d give his kidney to see Potter clean bedpans all night!”
I sighed, “I just don’t want to deal with him right now.”
Edith swung her legs over the side of her bed and sat up, “Ok. I have to ask, what the hell happened with you two?”
“Yeah,” agreed Mary looking up from her purple nail-polish, “I mean one minute we were by the lake and you were storming up to James and Sirius yelling at them to stop making a circus clown out of Snape! And the next, Snape was threatening to sleep outside the dormitory ’cos you weren’t talking to him!”
“It’s a long story,” I said shortly.
They waited watching me.
“Once upon a time…?” Edith prompted.
I rolled my eyes and told them everything that had happened between me and Severus until the point where he got mad at me for seeing Potter in my memories.
“The rest you know,” I said leaving out the part about James spending the entire night teaching me Transfiguration.
Yes, I did write them letters briefly citing my inhuman moment calling James a waste of space, and his callous dismissal of my apology, but I wrote the letters in a way they probably assumed James saw me making a mistake and corrected it in passing…
Ok, yes I shouldn’t have lied. I know!
But I just knew they would all side with him if they knew he’d spent the night going through past papers with me.
“I have a question!” Edith put up her hand, “umm, why didn’t you smack Severus all the way to next Sunday when he pried into your head like that?!”
“Because, well…” I deliberated while they all stared at me, “Eurgh! this is weak, but he had my permission to do it,”
“WHAT!?” the shrill voices echoed off the walls making me wince.
“Ok, you guys remember Lucius Malfoy?”
“I’m familiar with his work,” deadpanned Quinn who had been attacked with a frog-barfing spell by him in our second year. Yeah, he thought he was cool.
“Well, he told Severus about Legilimency and books that teach you how to practice it. Severus got really good, studying by himself. He told me about it one day. And I sort of asked him to teach me about it. Not how to do it, just the theory behind it…”
I watched their wary faces as I continued, “I then asked him to teach me how to block Legilimency. He was reluctant at first but he taught me eventually and he helped me practice by trying Legilimency on me and helping me build strong defence against it. I got pretty good at it too. He wasn’t able to get in my head even once!”
Edith raised her eyebrows impressed.
“But then he said that our defences are stronger when we want to prevent an attack we know is coming. I thought he was just being sore-loser, so I told him fine, he could attack me whenever he wanted except when I was sleeping or doing anything that would be dangerous if I lost concentration.”
They all gave me a You-should-have-known-better-look.
“And?” Mary pushed.
“And, he tried twice before, while I was chatting with a friend and I deflected both times, but I sort of saw it coming. Severus has a tell. His eyebrows sort of pull together and his eyes widen…”
“But the last time, he caught you off guard,” Quinn interjected knowing the answer already.
“Yeah,” I looked away as flashes of our fight refreshed in my mind.
A chill ran through me.
Mary shook her head, “I still can’t believe you let him pry into your head! Are you mental to trust him with that!?
“Why?” It stung, the way she spoke of Snape. They’d always been less that approving of our friendship but they usually kept their opinions to themselves.
“I trusted him with everything else. Severus was my friend!”
“He was a creep Lily!” Mary shot back.
Anger flared inside me. “And Mulciber was what, Prince Charming?”
Dammit! I wanted to kick myself.
Mary’s wide eyes instantly pooled with tears but she immediately stood up and headed for the door.
“Mary, no wait!” I scrambled off the bed too, “I didn’t mean it!” I cried hurrying after her down the dormitory stairs. I caught up to her midway across the common room. She paused with her back to me.
“I’m so sorry Mary, I didn’t mean it! Please May, I’m sorry!” I kept gushing. She turned to face me and wiped her tears with her thumb.
“It’s ok, Lil” she blinked away a tear and smiled at me, “Bastard isn’t worth crying over,” she put her arms around me and hugged me. “I’m sorry about Severus.”
I hugged Mary tighter, resting my head against her thick golden locks.
“He’s not worth it either.”
Mary? Mulciber? Is anyone else curious? What did you like/hate? Tell me all in a shiny new review!! :D
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