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Chapter 2 : Stupid Rats
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I waited for Laura and Esther in the common room with Mandy and Ashley. We had just finished charms, our first lesson of the day and were looking forward to a free period. Laura and Esther had a free period now too, but were still at Herbology. We guessed they were cleaning the dung off themselves. Ashley was staring at her potions homework from last night in disbelief.
“Lils, you're super good at potions right? Help me out here, what's a bezoar?”
“Ash, we learnt about that in first year! And Slughorn was explaining them just the other day!”
“Yeah but... I can't remember first year, and there was this cute guy in Hufflepuff talking to me yesterday! You can't expect me to pay attention with that happening!”
She wrung her hands in desperation. “Please Lils! Dad will get super upset if I don't do well in potions!”
I looked at her disapprovingly. “Fine. But next lesson you have to pay attention!”
“Yes yes yes! Thanks Lily, you're a life-saver!” she squealed and hugged me, but it was a little awkward since she was now standing up, and I was still sitting.
“Ash, your boobs-”
“Well James, I think it's our lucky day, we just caught Ramona and Evans in the act! It's not a mystery anymore why Evans keeps rejecting you, but I must say I'm a little surprised Ramona.” laughed Sirius as he and James walked – no, strutted in from Herbology. Laura and Esther were behind them, and while Laura was laughing openly at Sirius's joke, Esther looked a little surprised and a faint blush crossed her face. Mandy looked up from her book and I could tell she was analysing the situation for gossip later. And James... James looked like either Christmas had come early, or if I had just issued his death sentence.
Ashley had gotten off me and was blushing and yelling profanities at Sirius. James walked over to me shyly and I noticed a faint blush on his face. I don't know what I was thinking, but I found it rather... cute.
“Are you actually a lesbian Evans?” he asked quietly. I starting blushing too and opened my mouth to explain, but he cut me off hurriedly. “Because, you know, it's okay if you are, because it's a life choice and it's not anyone else’s business if that's the case, and you shouldn't feel pressured to hide it from the world, because not everybody is homophobic nowadays, and I think that you'll find that most of society will accept you and-” he was talking very quickly and I had to fight off the urge to laugh.
“Potter, I'm not a lesbian. Ashley was just hugging me because I was helping her with her potions homework, but I was still sitting down. It was an accident.” I bit my lip and tried to fight the laughter again... But it was no use. I started laughing so hard my sides hurt, and I briefly caught James's look of surprise before I got another fit of the giggles. Ashley had joined me, and I felt light headed and happy. Mandy and Esther had gotten back to their work, but Laura seemed to be chatting with Sirius. James just kind of stood awkwardly, drifting between their conversation and watching us laugh. Maybe he wasn't so bad...
No. I stopped myself. I hate James Potter. I repeated it like a mantra and eventually stopped laughing.
I went back to helping Ashley, explaining about how Amortenia smells like things you love. Mandy, Laura and Esther had joined us and Laura piped up.
“What do you smell? I mean, we all got to smell it last potions, right?”
Ashley spoke first. “I smell... cherry lip gloss, you know the one I have? And... and freshly baked bread and horses.”
Then Mandy. “Hmm... I smell shampoo and a forest. And... something else, I can't quite place it.”
Next was Esther. “I smell wood, and a polish or something. And...” she blushed. “and I smell Ashley's blankets.” she blushed even more. “I- I'm not a creep I swear! It's just, that perfume she wears, and when she gets it on the blankets it smells really nice...” Then we all trooped up to our dormitory and had a sniff of her blankets, and we all agreed, it smelled delightful. Ashley was laughing hard at poor little Esther and her cute little blush.
“What about you Laura?” she asked, desperately trying to change the subject.
“Um, well... Dogs, though I have no idea why... and dust and old stuff. Like, my basement or something. And croissants.”
“Ooooh, like the croissants Sirius has for breakfast every day?” said Mandy. Trust her to pick up on that. We all laughed though, even Laura who insisted that it was because her grandma used to make them before she got too old.
“And last but not least, Lily Potter!” laughed Laura. “Wow, it does have a ring to it doesn't it?”
“Shut it, Laura Black.” I laughed back.
“Hey, what about Ashley- OH MY GOD RAT, RAT, RAT!!” squealed Ashley. We all leapt up onto the beds.
“Where!?” Esther asked hysterically.
“Just ran under my bed!”
“I'm gonna run for it!” I said. “I'll go see if someone down in the common room can catch it for us.”
The girls nodded, and climbed up to Mandy's bed which was the furthest from Ashley's. I heard a squeaking come from under her bed and felt queasy. I jumped off, and sprinted into the common room, to find Remus, James and Sirius laughing their heads off.
“-didn't know Pete had it in him-”
“-I didn't think he had the balls-”
“-wonder what he heard, apart from squealing-”.
I had no idea what they were talking about, and didn't care to find out. I decided that these guys were pretty tough so they'd do it.
“Oh my god, help!” I panted, trying not to look at James. “There's a freaking rat in our room- hey where's Pettigrew?”
James and Sirius looked ready to bust from laughter, but Remus smiled at me and said they'd be happy to help.
“Oh and Pete... is on some important business right now...” grinned Sirius.
“Whatever. Just get it out.”
“Well Evans,” started James. “Boys can't go up to the girls dorm.”
“They can if they go up with a girl.” I snapped. They all looked surprised at that information, but followed me up the stairs, which refrained from becoming a slide..
As soon as they walked in, I jumped on top of my bed, which was closest to the door, and climbed up onto Laura's which was above mine. Then I kind of went all monkey, and climbed from bed to bed until I got to where the other girls were. I huddled up with them. I saw Laura looking horrified that Sirius was in her room, and the boys just looked around, bemused.
“Huh. I was expecting frills and doilies.” joked James
“Perhaps some photos under the pillows...?” grinned Sirius, looking over at Laura's bed and lifting the pillow. There was in fact, a diary there. Us girls had all seen it, and even written in it ourselves so it was more like a scrapbook. But we all knew what Laura had written about Sirius in there...
She just about fainted right there and then, and I heard Esther squeal quietly beside me, “Put that down!”
Sirius disobeyed and instead grinned wickedly and grabbed the diary.
“Wonder what Ashton has written in here...” he laughed. Laura squeaked, face bright red. “Don't you dare or I'll curse you into next week.” and I noticed a wand in her quivering hand.
Sirius laughed again, and put the diary back. “Okay Ashton, you win. Now James, Remus, let's catch their little rat.”
Laura almost fainted again, this time from relief though. The rest of us also had diaries, and would do the same if they were held hostage. Remus caught the rat fairly quickly, and it seemed to have a pair of Ashley's more... revealing panties in its mouth. Ashley squealed, and Remus blushed hard and dropped the rat like it was on fire. I saw Sirius looking interestedly though.
“Wow Ramona, these are panties? Where would you even wear these?”
“Well I definitely won't be wearing them anymore!”
James decided to join in now, also looking more interested rather than embarrassed like Remus. “Damn, those are scandalous. Hardly any fabric at all!”
Ashley blushed hard and told them to just keep looking for the rat, not her panties. But every time they caught it, it would have someone else's panties in its mouth. We kept our panties in the bottom draw of our shelves, and we never really fully closed them, so there was a small crack in each one that it could get into. The last time, it got mine, and James caught it. He just kind of held the rat, which was surprisingly still, staring, but bright red. He gulped awkwardly and put the panties down slowly, and then looked at the rat and actually petted its head. I was not impressed. And yelled at him for being a pervert.
“Not your smoothest move James, but at least you got to see Evans's panties.” laughed Sirius. Remus walked over to us and apologised profusely, then punched his friends in the arm and slid down with them, as the stairs was now a slide.
Laura looked at us.
“Well we can never look at them again now. Stupid rat.”
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