Chapter 5 : Guillotines, Curses and Invitations
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"Ah shit," I said, rather loudly.
Charlie and Lupin looked at me. Well, Charlie stared at me while Lupin glared. Her eyes were still red though. Red and puffy. And she had come to class.
"Fuck, it's still the sobbing Charlie. Of course it is. What did I expect," I said, turning around, waving my arms, "you to magically become the person you were six months ago?"
I heard someone growl. Lupin, of course. I turned back towards him and just shook my head.
"Oh don't bother. I am feeling really bad today considering I told you something so personal for whatever reason, then I fought with my supposed best friend, then she ran off with you and Carter blew up. Man, I should have just stayed in bed today."
Charlie sort of smirked at my last comment. We said that whenever one of us had a bad day. My chest tightened as she smiled, hoping that maybe we could get over this stupid spat. But probably not considering Lupin was glaring at me as if I had impregnated myself with the spawn of Satan. Wow, my analogies have gotten worse. I sighed and dropped down in my normal seat. Usually Charlie sat next to me but she seemed to have gotten the message and walked over to Lupin's usual seat. I sighed and pulled out parchment from my bag. Taking out a quill, I began to draw. Well, scribble.
I can't actually draw to save my life. But it relaxes me. All these thoughts I have in my head spilled out on paper. Perhaps it's a good thing I'm a horrid artist. That way no one can figure out what is happening inside my head. I was just about to shade in the lopsided head of my stick person in a guillotine (yeah, I was bored and thought of the French revolution my mum had always talked about when I was younger – her family was French and she loved history) when a shadow passed over the parchment.
"Morbid," a voice said.
I looked up and saw Black, looming over me like the creep he is. I scowled at him and he smirked.
"My stick person is none of your concern. And if I decide to decapitate him, it should not be considered morbid. Especially if he did something extremely bad like become a sad, depressed, whiny little girl for no reason."
Black scoffed. "I'm assuming your stick person is modeled after a certain leech?"
"Leech? If you're referring to Charlie, you may want to rethink that description," I said, flaring.
"Hey, you're the one who's mad at her!"
I scoffed. "Yeah, but she's still my best friend. That means you can't say anything about her, you arse hat!"
He just rolled his eyes and just sat down beside me. I glared at him. He smirked again.
"Yeah, okay then."
"What the bloody hell do you think you're doing?"
"Well, I'm pretty sure I'm sitting down. That's what it's called when you put your arse on the chair." He smirked again. "I thought Ravenclaws were supposed to be smart."
I scowled. "No, I mean what the bloody hell are you doing sitting here next to me?"
"Well, considering your leech friend – sorry – Charlie, is sitting next to Moony, er, Remus, I need to sit somewhere and this seat is the only one available."
I looked around and cursed. Even Lily was sitting next to one of her Gryffindor friends. Granted, I was still mad at her and Defense Against the Dark Arts was not a class where you wanted your partner to be someone who wasn't fond of you at the moment, but sitting next to Black was not a better alternative.
I scowled and turned back to my wonky drawing, the little stick person feverishly screaming as the guillotine blade raced down and then went back up again. I drew another stick person, this one with a noose around its neck. Judging from the large arrow that designated the stick person as Sirius Black, I think he might have gotten the message as he looked over my shoulder.
Smirking once again, he began to play with his quill and once in a while he began to poke me until I shot him a glare and threatened to castrate him. Each time he just smirked and turned back to playing with his quill. I was beginning to wonder where Professor McLaren was when she finally bounded down the stairs and vanished all our tables. I squeaked as my parchment disappeared from under my hand while it floated down to my feet. Black giggled girlishly and I shot him a glare.
"Nonverbal spells, children. We have been working on them all year. Now is the time to show off what you've got," Professor McLaren said and I scowled.
Damn her. She made a platform appear and my scowl deepened if that was possible. She quickly called up two students, one from Hufflepuff and another from Slytherin. I watched as they duelled. The Slytherin in question was a definite supporter of You-Know-Who, but the Hufflepuff was a pureblood there was no doubt about it. I could tell the Slytherin was apprehensive to actually harm him.
But after a minute, it was over. The Hufflepuff fell over, stupefied by the look of it. Professor McLaren quickly revived the Hufflepuff (who was pretty shaken up and unfortunately not Diggory – hey look I used his last name!) and sent him off the raised platform. She turned to the rest of us and smiled. I shivered. That was not a good smile. She turned her smile to me and I felt dread deep in my core.
"Miss Alexandra James and Miss Charlotte Meaver, if you would please join me up here?"
I scowled and could feel rather than hear Black laughing from beside me. Seriously, did his whole body shake when he laughed? I rolled my eyes and did as Professor McLaren said. Once we were both next to her, she directed us to the opposite ends of the platform.
I took out my wand and pointed it at her, developing the perfect sparring stance. Professor McLaren jumped off the platform and told us to start. Immediately, Charlie sent a jinx in my direction, but my easily placed shield charm kept it at bay. Of course, we both whispered seeing as we still hadn't mastered the nonverbal aspect of nonverbal spells.
Yeah, aren't we making the other Ravenclaws proud? But Charlie didn't stop there. She sent jinx after hex after charm in my direction and it was all I could do to shield myself from them. She was going all out, frustration and anger obvious on her face. At one point she sent what I assumed to be a stinging jinx in my direction and it was all I could do to yell out my shield charm.
"Charlie, what the hell are you trying to do? Kill me?"
She glowered. "You aren't supposed to be saying your charms out loud Alexandra." At my full name, she smirked, a hard gleam in her eye.
She then sent more hexes in my direction. My anger flared. Instead of shielding myself from her hexes, I just stepped aside as they came by and attacked on my own. Her eyes grew wide but soon, we were yelling jinxes at each other, the class having backed up against the wall and Professor McLaren trying desperately to get up on the platform but having to jump back every time a curse came near her.
At one point, I didn't sidestep her spell and was thrown into the wall behind me. I gasped as the harsh rock met my back and mouth splattered from my mouth. A sharp pain from my stomach made me wince and I desperately hoped I didn't puncture anything. That wouldn't be good for the upcoming match. Especially considering it was against Gryffindor.
I swore and Professor McLaren gave me a hard look. I glared at her and turned back at Charlie. She didn't even seem remotely sorry that she had hurt me. I gave an indignant squeak (if that's possible to do) and began to attack again, Charlie and I both shrieking jinxes, hexes and swear words at each other.
I finally managed to hit her with a stunner but as soon as I began to relax, Lupin jumped up and ran towards her, basically leaping onto the raised platform. He revived her and she fluttered her eyes, raising her torso up and leaning on her forearms. She grasped onto his arm as he helped her up and I could barely register Professor McLaren jumping up onto the platform and grabbing my wand out of my hand. I was still shrieking curses at Charlie although they may have been the non-magical kind.
Actually, they were definitely non-magical curse words. And most of the kids in the class seemed scared of me as I spit them out. Well, all but four. Charlie and Lupin were focused on either glaring at me or making sure she wasn't at risk of death while Potter and Black were snickering.
I calmed down enough to stop yelling obscene words at her at one point and hardly noticed that Professor McLaren had set me down in a chair and that Potter and Black had each taken a hold of one of my arms. My wand was on Black's lap and I seethed as I sat there, slowly realizing my situation. I growled as Potter and Black shared a look and Potter opened his mouth as if to say something. They looked at each other and began to giggle.
"Oh grow up you toss pots. And shut up while you're at it," I hissed.
Potter smirked. "We aren't the tosser who attacked her supposed best friend while in class. And we also didn't elbow Professor McLaren in the face."
I looked right at him, shock visible on my face. He smirked and gestured towards Lupin, Charlie and Professor McLaren, the latter with blood running down her face, clutching her nose as Lupin continuously apologized. I smirked. Figures he would hit the teacher in the nose.
"She can smile!" Black proclaimed excitedly and my smirk quickly disappeared.
"Bloody hell, you're so immature!" I said, scowling. "Let me go will you?" I said, trying to tug my arms out of their grasps.
"What? So you can hex us too?" Potter asked, giggling like a schoolgirl again.
I scowled and stepped on his foot as hard as I could. He yelped and I grinned, satisfied that I had hurt him. Potter released my arm and began massaging his hurt foot.
"You're a freaking menace," he fumed and I stuck my tongue out at him.
He shook his head and got up, making his way towards Lily. She was, as normal, listening intensely to Professor McLaren as she helped the two new students up on the platform on their stance. Potter draped his arm around her shoulders and kissed her on the cheek. Immediately she stepped on his injured foot and then elbowed him in the stomach. As Potter doubled over in pain, I laughed. Black looked over at Potter and back at me laughing too.
"He's got a problem that arsehole does," he said.
I nodded and turned to him, blinking a little faster than normal. "You know, I never realized this, but you and Potter are really fun," I said quietly, leaning forward so he could hear.
His eyes twinkled and his breathing became labored as my arm that Potter had released crossed my body and my hand came to rest on his thigh. I slowly began to move my fingers around, slowly making my way up his leg. He leaned in and his panted breathing made me smile. Leaning towards my ear, he slowly gripped the arm he had in his grasp a little tighter.
"Lexi, could you please get your hand off my leg?" He asked in a pained voice.
I pulled away from his and smirked. "Why Black?" I leaned closer. "Or should I say, Sirius? You know, I've always really admired your… well…" With that I moved my hand up his leg a little more, careful not to touch anything still.
He froze and then leaned towards me again. "Lexi, I have to tell you something." He paused and I nodded. "I have your wand in my other hand. Good try though."
I leaned back and took my hands away from him, laying them in my lap. My coy smile fell and I let my face go stony, no emotions visible. His grip on my arm relaxed and I yanked out of it. He made to grab it again but I crossed my arms and leaned back in the seat. Obviously it didn't seem like I would be attacking someone soon so he let me be, but didn't move away.
I scowled as he twirled my wand around his fingers. Instead of glaring somewhere else and ignoring him though, I turned and scowled at him, full stare. He smirked as he felt my gaze and looked up to meet my eyes. Stormy grey met vibrant green and I felt a sense of déjà vu. My breath caught as I remembered something.
"Mystery man…" I whispered.
Black froze but quickly smirked. "Mystery man? Who's he?"
I shook my head. "No, no, no, no, no, no, no. You're mystery man?"
"Um, no I'm not."
I raised an eyebrow. "Did you or did you not almost snog someone in a dark corridor the night of the Gryffindor welcome back party?"
"Oh I snog many girls on many nights. You'll have to be more specific."
"Did you or did you not almost snog me in a dark corridor the night of the Gryffindor welcome back party?"
His smirk vanished. "I thought you had forgotten. Diggory told me you were too pissed to remember and to never bring it up. How do you know?"
"Your eyes. I remember grey eyes the colour of clouds right before a storm. Not the really dark ones but the grey ones. Your eyes, right?"
He snickered. "You sound like a gushy romantic. 'Eyes like a cloud before a storm.'"
I scowled. "At least I didn't say the colour of indecisiveness."
"Is that an insult? Like an intelligent insult? Because I don't get it."
I smiled and pointed at him. "Gryffindor," then me, "Ravenclaw."
He rolled his eyes. "You aren't that amazing. It's not as if you can figure anything out just by being a Ravenclaw."
"When you go up to your dorm this evening, look straight across the stair gap thingy and tell me that the golden tapestry doesn't have your password on it."
"The stair gap thingy?"
I sighed. "You know what I mean!"
He chuckled and I elbowed him in the stomach. Holding his stomach, he doubled over and began to groan dramatically. I rolled my eyes and giggled. I guess he was nice to be around. When he wasn't around his friends at least. He was like Lupin, I thought. I had always thought they were arsehats.
But they really were nice and interesting once they were alone and took things seriously. And they made me feel like they could be my friend. I smiled and he looked up at me and smiled too. Just then Potter came over and fell into Black's lap.
"She told me she would never go out with me in a million years. A million years Padfoot! That's like… a million years!" He sighed dramatically and winced in a very fake manner.
My smile fell and my face went stony again. My arms hugged my body and I sat lower in my seat. Ignoring the idiots beside me, I kept glancing at Charlie who was apparently nursing a twisted ankle. I rolled my eyes and coughed into my sleeve. I looked around. There must have been some dust around if I was coughing. That or I was getting sick. But that was unacceptable.
The game was coming up. I could not be sick. When Professor McLaren finally decided that we had no more time for class and that the bell would sound any moment, she let us pack up. I quickly shoved things into my bag and slung it over my shoulder, trying to run out of class as soon as I could. Unfortunately, Professor McLaren wasn't having any of it.
"Miss James!" She shrieked over the raised voices in the classroom.
I froze and rolled my eyes. Turning around, I saw her motioning me towards her.
"And Miss Meaver as well!"
I shuddered. This would not work out well.
"Misters Longbottom, Black, Potter and Pettigrew as well."
The weight on my shoulders lifted as the four boys joined me, Charlie hobbling over soon after, Lupin in tow. Professor McLaren sat in a chair and folded her legs. She gave us a disdainful look and as soon as she was satisfied that were all uncomfortable, she smiled.
"Mister Lupin please leave this classroom. I have no need for you," she said in a harsh voice.
I heard Lupin give a noise in protest but Professor McLaren dismissed him with a flick of her hand. Damn she was sassy. She turned to the rest of us and smiled.
"It has come to my attention that you six are the worst students at nonverbal spells I have ever had the misery to teach." I saw Charlie's face fall as mine did. "Oh, I'm kidding," Professor McLaren snickered but her grin soon fell. "But seriously, you are horrid. So, I have concluded that you will be working in groups of two, figuring things out and perfecting the art of nonverbal spells. So, as follows, Meaver and Potter, you shall be paired, James and Longbottom, Black and Pettigrew."
I sighed, more joyful than pissed. Frank was probably the best partner for me at this moment. I don't think I could stand any of the others at the moment. I could see he was a little relieved as well. Frank Longbottom was a strange little boy, he was. He was quite attractive but a complete spaz.
He had never been good with spell work, or the physical attribute of spell work, but always seemed to pull top marks on written works. He obviously knew what he was supposed to be doing, so maybe he could help me and in turn I could help him once I had mastered it. Professor McLaren dismissed us and as I left the room, Frank caught up to me.
"Mademoiselle James," he said winking.
I leaned against him, threading my arm through the crook of his. "Monsieur Longbottom."
"So I was wondering if we could work on the spells tonight. I've finally finished that Charms assignment that was due last week" – I gave him a reproachful look – "and since you're usually in the library, want to meet up there some point?"
I shook my head. "Quidditch practice. Some dolt got himself detention and the Gryffindor and Ravenclaw practices have been switched for today and tomorrow morning."
"Okay, well how about tomorrow night?"
"Yeah, sure. Meet me in the library after dinner and we'll work."
He nodded and dashed off down the corridor, tripping up as he rounded a corner and almost falling. I rolled my eyes and chuckled. Oh Frank. He was probably the only Gryffindor I could actually stand. Suddenly, my arm that had just recently been left cold by Frank was warm and I looked up into grey eyes. Shit.
"What do you want Black?" Then my other arm was grabbed a hold of. "Potter, same goes for you," I growled.
I suddenly realized thatthiswastheexactsituation wewereinnottwenty minutes ago,althoughI now hadmywand and no professors werearound. I quickly tried to fumble through my robes but the idiots held tight to my arms and dragged me into an empty classroom.
"If you're planning on raping me," I said, a dull lull in my voice, "please do it soon as I need to get to my next class."
"Wow, even in the face of danger the Ravenclaw doesn't flinch until it comes to tardiness," Potter exclaimed.
I rolled my eyes and let my body drop, the dead weight surprising them. They let me go more from shock and I quickly grabbed my wand from my robes, turned onto my back and fired something at them. They quickly dived out of the way and I shuffled backwards like a crab, my wand clutched in my hand. I hit something and looked up to see Potter's unruly mop of hair tickling my forehead as he bent down. I sighed and he pulled me up by my armpits.
"The bloody hell was that? We weren't actually going to rape you? And even so, don't you carry mace or something?"
I sighed. "I just don't want to be around you boys. What do you want from me?"
They shared a look and Potter grinned. "Well, considering the match against you old toss pots is coming up, Padfoot and I were wondering if you could help us plan a party."
"A party?" I raised my eyebrows. "I would be a good person to plan a party. Like a massive rager of a party?"
Black chuckled. "Well, we'd need the Ravenclaws. Think of it as a simple party for the sake of–"
"For the sake of getting drunk and shagging girls," I finished for him. "How about, no."
I tried to walk away but Potter leaped over a desk and gave me what I thought was an attempt at puppy eyes. Although to me it looked like someone was desperately trying to copy the expression of a troll.
"Think of it as a reconciliation. Plus, we've been officially banned from the kitchens so we need someone to get food for the party and who better than the second best quidditch team?"
I feigned innocence. "But you just said you were banned Potter. How ever will you manage?"
"Very funny, Ravenclaw. I'll take that as a yes?"
I took a step closer to him until our chests touched. "Make it worth my while and you might have a deal."
With that I turned on my heel and walked out the door, Potter and Black high-fiving behind me. I really shouldn't have said that I might consider, I thought to myself. But if it's a chance to get drunk, then this new Lexi shall party hard.
I was panting, waiting for Carter to finally end practice like he should have an hour ago. Charlie hadn't shown up, which was a good thing, but Carter seemed even more tense and psychotic than normal. When he finally said his last word, we touched down and I made my way to the change room. I was in desperate need of a shower. But first I had to talk to Carter.
"Day!" I yelled as he paced near the change rooms.
He had sprinted as soon as the meeting was over and had just put down his broom when he began to walk back and forth. He looked up and gave me a harsh look.
"What is it James?"
"What you said to Charlie earlier today, what did you mean?"
His gaze hardened if that was possible. "Why don't you ask her? She's already been too much of a prat today hasn't she? No use ruining my good mood."
I nodded and headed back towards the girls' change room. Good mood my arse.
I stumbled up to the six year girls' dorm room. Damn I was tired. It was late. I was glad to be going to bed even if I hadn't quite finished all my homework. At least tomorrow I had the entire day off of quidditch. I sighed as I opened the door and made my way to my four-poster. Falling onto the bed not bothering to take off my quidditch kit or to put the blankets over my shivering body, I opened my eyes to slits as I heard retching. The door to the bathroom was open and I could see Charlie on her knees in front of the toilet.
Part of me wanted to go over and comfort her, but then I remembered that she didn't need me anymore. She had Lupin and didn't need me anymore. I sighed and turned my head, literally turning the other cheek. I saw Kendra in her bed, furiously kissing some boy. I rolled my eyes and flicked my wand, her drapes moving to form a sort of protective cover from my eyes. Muttering a silencing charm at her bed, I felt my eyes droop and I fell asleep, wand still in hand.
"Alex. Please wake up. Lexi! Alexandra!"
I grumbled and turned over but the person shaking me didn't stop.
"Alex I need you to wake up now!"
I sat straight up and looked over at the person shaking me, my hair covering my face. I guess I looked quite creepy, or a little miffed, as Charlie flinched.
"What?" I said in an icy tone.
"I'm bleeding," she said, pointing to her pajama paints which were stained with blood in the front.
I rolled my eyes. "Your very first period," I said sarcastically. "Good job Charlie!"
"No, Alex, you don't understand. I tried to tell you but I felt as if you would judge me and I just couldn't. I couldn't lose you but now I think I did and I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. I should have told you…"
"Charlie," I said, cutting her off, "what did you want to tell me?"
She took a deep breath and her eyes welled up with tears. A few fell down her face and she put her head down.
Author's Note: Ha! Next chapter will be what happened at that Gryffindor party from Charlie's point of view. Maybe it will clear some things up.
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