Chapter 6 : The stag and the doe
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And that fact was made clear well over midnight in their Wednesday Astronomy class, when she was throwing James looks that weren’t withering, or angry, or even irritated, but shy. Just shy.
And poor James was so distraught by this change of attitude; he mistook Scorpius for Orion and didn’t once laugh at the Sirius pun. Five minutes before the end of the class, he bumped his eye right on the telescope and it was already blackening.
“She’s mad, I swear to Merlin,” he grumbled, glaring at her. But even in his current state he couldn’t find it in him to be truly upset.
Sirius laughed for the umpteenth time until he saw Camille. She seemed to have an effect on him like an ice cold bucket, because every time he saw her he froze. And this time he shuddered too, because she met his eyes with such a blank stare, it felt almost like a Dementor’s kiss. He tried to smirk, but she didn’t waver. Finally she turned away to her friends with her shoulders stick-stiff.
“Do you think someone put a love potion in her pumpkin juice?” Remus mused.
“No, she would’ve been snogging Prongs already if that was the case,” Peter guffawed a little too loudly. Lily snapped towards them and blushed. James’s intelligence shut off again, and then flickered on in a start.
“Do you think that Reyes broad talked to her?”
“No –why –what would she say to her?” Sirius stammered, mentally kicking himself for it.
“I don’t know, but Lily’s been that way since I left them two alone in the headquarters last night. And when she came back to the common room, she kept her head down and went directly to her dorm.”
“It’s possible,” Remus said. He gazed thoughtfully at the two. “But then again, what could a Slytherin that holds a grudge against us say to make her realize her undying love for you?”
“Undying love –Moony don’t joke about things like that!” James squeaked, his cheeks reddening too.
Sirius pondered on the thought. Reyes would enjoy messing with their minds, but a few things weren’t logical in the matter. First, like Moony noticed, there’s little she could say to make a hotheaded girl like Evans think twice about her feelings –that is, if she even had feelings for Prongs. And second, she would at least be enjoying watching Evans make a fool of herself in front of the entire Astronomy class. She definitely wouldn’t have this impassive look that was driving him mad.
He shook his head, frustrated. There he was, analyzing her when he shouldn’t even be looking at her twice. This was getting ridiculous.
Evans was making a complete fool of herself. That was for sure.
Camille hadn’t told her to drop a hundred IQ points, for Merlin’s sake. She was dying to spell some sense into her, or maybe try the old fashioned way and lock them in a broom cupboard until they work it out. But she didn’t do anything, didn’t let one single emotion towards the Gryffindors fissure the façade she so carefully sculpted.
When the class was dismissed and the next couple of weeks were declared Astronomy-free, she led her friends in the long way down to the dungeons, but they were interrupted when none other than Evans caught up with her.
“Prefect business,” she said. “If you have a minute.”
Natalie and Ester rolled their eyes but didn’t object when she dragged her feet behind the Head Girl.
“I think I’m doing something wrong” was the start of her speech.
Camille wanted to bug her eyes out and speak in her most sarcastic voice, “You don’t say?” but she kept quiet and stony.
“So?” Lily asked, looking expectant.
“So, what do you think I’m doing wrong and how do I fix it?”
For a second, Camille lost control. Just a second, and then she wiped her face clean of shock again and laughed mirthlessly.
“Evans, you’re terribly mistaken,” she said. “I’ve never intended to give you the impression that we were… friends. In fact, the mere thought of it makes bile rise in my throat. We’re not even acquaintances. Not classmates. We’re two girls who pass each other in the halls of a school they both go to. We talk about prefect things only. I most definitely do not give you relationship advice. Now if you’ll excuse me.”
She sidestepped her and walked away.
Sirius had imagined very strange things in his seventeen years of existence. He had imagined Hogwarts collapsing, Hagrid doing a jig and McGonagall in a men’s tuxedo (he denied it when asked).
But he couldn’t have imagined what had just happened, not in a million more years of existence. It made the shy looks of yesterday night pale in comparison. It made Bellatrix loving Voldemort pale in comparison. It made him pale in shock.
Lily Evans walked up to James Potter during breakfast, told him, “You’re an idiot,” and flung her arms around his neck, locking their lips in a kiss that sizzled.
“OI YOU TWO, NOT OVER BREAKFAST!”
Even his yell didn’t destabilize them. Full-on chaos broke out between the students, varying between “improper behavior for Heads”, “Finally it’s happening”, “Merlin I lost the wager” and “We’re eating, damnit!”
Lily separated herself from him and with a look that Sirius would rather not think about, she exited the Great Hall. James paused for half a second only and took off after her, with a skip in his step. The others, however, weren’t as quick to get over the matter, which was very ironic.
“Did this just happen?” Mary McKinnon said, as she was passing five galleons to her friend. “Couldn’t she have waited until Easter vacation?”
Sirius started to laugh but froze, not because he saw Camille (he was purposefully avoiding looking at her) but because he remembered he too had a bet going on with Remus and he’d just lost it. That was probably why the latter was smiling triumphantly.
“Pay up, Padfoot,” he goaded, a little unlike himself. Sirius blamed it on the shock of the situation.
“I can’t believe this,” Peter squeaked. His eyes were practically hanging out.
“You should follow them, Wormtail,” Sirius mused, wanting to distract the lot from the wager. “To make sure they don’t start procreating somewhere.”
“In your other form,” Remus added quietly. Peter nodded eagerly and left, and the others watched with anxiety in fear of their friend’s short attention span. Knowing him, he might just transfigure in the middle of the Great Hall.
Thankfully, he didn’t.
Natalie groaned. “You can’t even eat in this school anymore.”
And she was right. All hunger or appetite fled from Camille’s mind as she watched the scene unfold before them. At least now she was sure there wasn’t an ounce of tact in Evans’s body. She was either acting like an emotionally-challenged preschooler or a hormone-crazed collegian. Both of those had the same effect; breakfast was now out of the question.
“Come on, let’s go to Ancient Runes.” She couldn’t bear to stay in front of the Gryffindors any longer, especially since Black was rather weak in the stealth department. He was acting like she wasn’t there, or like she was just another face in the Hall, but it was clear from the way his body inched towards the Slytherin table and the way he snapped his eyes shut every time they wandered close to her that he knew she was there.
And she hated to admit it, she was absolutely loathe to even have such thoughts, but she knew he was there too, with his ridiculous black hair and ridiculous lean built and ridiculous energy just radiating off him.
She didn’t know what was worse, this, or the fact that when she’d told Evans last night that thinking about them as more than strangers made her sick, she was lying. Actually it didn’t make her sick, far from it. It made her feel just like she felt with Ester and Natalie –easy, normal, and it wasn’t normal at all.
It was the second day of the week where they had Ancient Runes first, and she took comfort in the routine. If there was one thing she truly loved about Hogwarts, it was that subject.
After class ended and they were on their way to Transfiguration, there was a group of girls no doubt gossiping about the Heads. They quickened their pace but they caught a bribe of conversation anyway.
One girl was gushing about how she was the first to talk to Evans about the matter.
“Very cryptic, she was. She said that, and I quote: talking to some people sometimes makes you realize how mistaken you were.”
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