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Chapter 3 : Chapter Three
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It should have been relatively easy to find some way to have a conversation with Lily, however one sided it might be, but Mina couldn’t find a way. They slept in the same dormitory, but Lily always managed to get in her bed before Mina and charm the perimeter to repel her.
On other nights Lily just waited for Mina to fall asleep before she came to bed and by the time Mina woke up she was always gone.
Of course Mina just assumed Lily came to bed at all. It was possible she was sleeping in the Common Room or with another year. She was Head Girl. She could do things like that.
Eventually Mina gave up. She accepted that Lily needed time, although this was the same way things had gone with Severus. She’d thought Lily just needed a bit of time and then she never spoke to him again. Mina didn’t want that to happen, but she didn’t know any other alternatives. Lily always did what she wanted.
After a while, she couldn’t take watching Severus from across the Great Hall anymore. She needed to talk to him, warn him of the Marauders’ plan. She wouldn’t approach him during mealtimes or when he was with his Slytherin friends, but she waited for him to be alone.
Severus was a loner at heart. He had few exceptions to that rule outside of necessity and Lily was one. Mina had never been one of those exceptions. He only allowed her around because Lily wouldn’t hear of pushing her away.
She found her opportunity when Severus broke away from his friends at breakfast and left for the library. She followed him until they were a good distance from the Great Hall, but not quite at the library. “Severus! Wait up!” She called, jogging to catch up with him.
He sneered at her, distaste on his face. “What do you want, Sherwood?” He wasn’t her biggest fan, but he’d never gone after her quite the way Black and his friends had. And he at least remembered her name after seven years.
“Black and his gang, they’ve got something planned.”
Severus looked suddenly tired and the sneer dropped from his face. “Oh.”
“I thought-” Mina cleared her throat awkwardly. This conversation was just as bad as she’d assumed it would be. “I thought you ought to know.”
Mina gulped and nodded. “They’re going to drop dungbombs on you outside of your common room.”
Severus had a look on his face that Mina couldn’t decipher. For a moment she thought he might thank her, but that wasn’t Severus’s style.
“Do you know what they did to me last week?” She shook her head, not at all sure she wanted to know. “They stuck a kick-me sign to my robes with a permanent sticking charm. I had to burn the robes to get it off. The week before that they left me hung up by my ankle in the library and the week before that they coated the insides of all my robes with a paste that glued them to my skin- but only after I’d put them on.”
Mina stared at him in horror. The Marauders had always pranked Snape, it was half the reason they’d gone after Lily and Mina as well. She hadn’t realized that their interest in him had progressed as his friendship with Lily failed. “That’s horrid! Have you gone to any professors? They’ll put an end to it.”
“When I want it to get worse I’ll go to the professors. Until then a few dungbombs aren’t the worst those blood traitors can dish out.” However much pity she felt for him, Mina couldn’t help cringing at the insult.
She wasn’t a pureblood like the Marauders, rather a halfblood like Snape. Unlike him she didn’t put much stock in blood purity. “Don’t say things like that,” she said, refusing to meet his eyes. “You know blood status doesn’t matter.”
“It matters to some very powerful people,” Severus responded. “If you were smart it would matter to you too.”
“It never mattered where Lily was concerned.”
Severus looked away, the familiar sneer returning to his face. “I can’t be seen around you.”
“Wait!” Mina burst out, before realizing she didn’t have anything else to say. She just didn’t want him to leave so soon. Severus was the closest thing to a friend that she had. “When did they get so bad?” she asked.
“When Lily stopped being my friend in sixth year. When she stopped telling them to bugger off. When Potter began dating her.” He spat ‘Potter’ like it was a dirty word and Mina couldn’t blame him. She’d thought all of the things the Marauders did to her was horrible, but what they were doing to Snape was thrice that at least. “If you haven’t got anything else to say-”
Mina was too dumbfounded by his words to comprehend what he’d just said.
With a disgusted sigh, Severus walked around her and headed towards the library at the end of the corridor.
She wasn’t shocked by his attitude, but she had warned him about the Marauders’ prank. Was a simple thank you too much to ask? Mina turned back down the corridor and walked in the opposite direction. In all the years she’d known him, Severus never thanked anyone, not even Lily. Of course it was too much to ask.
Later that day, Mina was studying in the Common Room. It was rather crowded, but as NEWTs, OWLs, and end of year exams grew closer, even the younger students had quieted down. It was hard to make a peep without being shushed by some overworked fifth or seventh year.
Mina had her transfiguration book in front of her, silently going over the incantations and wand movements in her head. She hadn’t realized she was moving her hand until a voice interrupted her thoughts.
“What are you doing?”
Mina’s eyes flicked open and she flushed in embarrassment. “Nothing,” she muttered, lowering her empty hand. Her wand was laying on the desk, marking her place in the textbook.
“Didn’t look like nothing,” James Potter said as he skimmed the titles of the page she was reading. “This is pretty basic stuff. Just make sure you’re concentrating on the end product and it’s a piece of cake.”
Mine closed the book with a snap. She might need Transfiguration tutoring, but she certainly wasn’t going to accept help from James Potter. “What do you want?”
He shrugged. “My girlfriend’s upset and she won’t tell me what happened, but it’s clearly because of you.” Mina hated the way he said his girlfriend. Lily wasn’t his. They’d only been dating a few months. Lily had been her best friend first. “What happened?”
“Where’s Lily?” Mina hadn’t seen her around except at a distance and in class. It wasn’t difficult for her to merely sit with James all of the time instead of just some of the time. “She needs to talk to me.”
“No way.” James was shaking his head. “She doesn’t even know I’m talking to you. I just want to find out what happened so I can cheer her up. Care to explain?”
“You happened,” Mina muttered under her breath.
“Sorry, I didn’t quite catch that,” James said, looking a bit surprised.
“I said ‘you happened’,” Mina repeated with a scowl. “Clear enough for you? We were perfectly fine together until you and your stupid friends came around.”
“A little testy, aren’t you?” He said with a smirk.
“Go away or shut up. Lynn Royal’s going to try to kick you out of the Common Room, Head Boy or not, if you keep this up.” The plump fifth year had fixed them both with a stare that would frighten a basilisk and her face had slowly begun to turn a delightful shade of purple.
James lifted his hand and gave her an apologetic wave before turning back to Mina and continuing their conversation in a much quieter tone. “She needs to lighten up.”
“She’s got OWLs.”
“OWLs,” he scoffed.
“And we have NEWTs.” That reminded Mina that she was supposed to be studying if she expected to pass her Transfiguration exam. At this rate it would take her an extra month just to get a grasp on the basics.
James ran his fingers through his hair, a gesture Mina found annoying. “NEWTs aren’t that bad and we’ve still got loads of time to prepare. Just tell me what happened with Lily and I’ll be out of your way so you can go back to er- A Study in Transfiguration. Sounds thrilling.”
“Leave me alone Potter,” Mina said, pulling the book out of his hands. She knew James Potter didn’t do a lot of studying, he and his friends were just naturally brilliant. The professors all loved them for that, despite their troublemaking.
“Not until you tell me what happened.” He pulled out the chair beside her and sat in it backwards, resting his arms on the back. “Come on, can you honestly resist the Potter charm?” He flashed her a smile which was clearly supposed to make her laugh, but Mina only felt disgusted.
He still thought he was god’s gift to women and the rest of the world, better than the mere mortals the rest of them were. “Go away,” she muttered, trying to study her book some more.
James pulled it from her grasp. “Come on, just tell me. I don’t care if you did something embarrassing. I just want to know what to say.”
“You know what? Fine. Fine! I’ll tell you! Lily started dating you. That’s it. That’s all that happened. Happy now?” Mina took a deep breath and realized what she’d just said. She hadn’t actually meant to tell James Potter anything. Outbursts like that weren’t usually her style.
She pulled her book from his hands and hugged it to her chest. James stared at her in surprise. “Me? I don’t get it. Lily and I are happy. What’s the problem?”
“You used to hate us. You were awful to us. That’s the problem,” Mina said. She’d already gone too far, she might as well keep going until James got it.
“I never hated you two,” he said with a laugh. “I think you’re mistaking me with someone else.”
“You used to always play pranks on us. Always. And- and do mean things to us in class. And tease us.” Mina’s began to water. She’d thought she was past crying where James Potter and his friends were concerned. She wanted to be past crying.
James shook his head. “I honestly haven’t got a clue what you’re on about,” he said.
Mina was shocked. She wasn’t just imagining all of that. She knew it had happened. She could hear people’s laughter as he intentionally spilled a potion over her bag in class, burning through her books. She scrambled for a good example. “You poured mud on us one morning at breakfast in the Great Hall. In front of everybody.”
His eyes widened and he laughed. “Oh Merlin, that’s what you’re on about? It was a joke when we were thirteen. Let it go.” He continued laughing as he exited the portrait hole, leaving Mina watching after him in shock.
Of all the reactions she’d pictured him having, that wasn’t one of them. It had been more than just a joke at the time. They’d only been in third year and didn’t know any good spells to get the mud off so they’d spent hours trying to wash it all out of their hair, not to mention their clothes.
And everyone had made jokes about it for weeks, even the older students thought it was hilarious. They didn’t seem to care that the Marauders had lost Gryffindor fifteen points. They were just amused that two third year girls had mud dumped over their heads.
Mina shook her head to clear it from her thoughts. She’d moved on from that. She wasn’t a little third year anymore. James Potter and Sirius Black didn’t care about her anymore. She could study for Transfiguration in peace.
She opened her book again to the incantations she’d been going over and continued to memorize the spells.
It was difficult to focus as her thoughts flew back to third year and all the years and the teasing she’d endured. As much as Mina tried, the memories wouldn’t go away and continued to interrupt her studies for the rest of the day.
A/N: Originally this story was only going to be four chapters, but as I'm working on the fourth and seeing it get longer and longer, I'm thinking about doing a short fifth one just to end it. Maybe an epilogue. I'm not really sure. Can you tell I haven't planned this story at all? Haha.
Well in either case, I'm more than halfway done with chapter four and it should be up sometime next week. I want to finish this story before Camp begins in August so I can focus on other stories. And on that note, don't forget to leave a review! =)
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