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Chapter 2 : Muggle Studies Buddies
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“Thanks,” I said sarcastically. I wanted to go sit with Amber and Lara at the Ravenclaw table this morning (to further investigate Lara’s change of attitude, mainly) but I thought it would be a better example to the new little Hufflepuffs if I sat with my actual house. Since last night I wasn’t exactly the prime role model.
Today was the first day of classes and after last night’s disaster, I wasn’t feeling too positive. My ‘Hufflepuff spirit’ from yesterday had evaporated and I was wishing, once more, that I was in another house. You see, last night I forgot where the common room was. Yeah, I know- how is that even possible? I had asked Greg, when we were patrolling the train whether I could do the leading to common room and introducing and whatnot because it was the only thing I was looking forward to as a prefect. He said sure.
Long story short- in my panic at the prospect of being in charge of something, I led a whole army of first years (well, there was only ten of them but still) down all these stairs and through a complete and utter obstacle course until I was totally lost.
“Erm… Georgie is this the quickest way to the common room?” Greg asked pointedly. We were standing with ten first years in this dark corridor that I did not recognise.
“Yes! Could you just wait here with the first years, I’m just going to go find… this thing that needs finding,” I said cheerfully, then ran out of there like a mad hatter.
The first person I ran into was Professor McGonagall, of all people. I tried to act calm and natural but that woman is a mastermind.
“Miss Hart? Aren’t you supposed to be taking the first years to their dormitories? Why are you near the staff room?” She asked sharply.
“I’m near the staff room!?” I exclaimed half with relief and half with complete shock. At least I knew where I was now. McGonagall didn’t even look half as taken aback as I thought she would. On the contrary, she just exhaled loudly
“Yes, Miss Hart. If you follow the suits of armour back to this point, you simply turn left and you shall find the staircases,” I was about to open my mouth to thank her but she held up her hand.
“I am going to pretend that this never happened.”
Clara was still laughing at me whilst I just sat there with my arms crossed, biting the inside of my cheek. I ignored Veronica when she sat down next to me. Her mere presence just lowers the mood even more.
“What do you two have this morning?” She asked in her irritating chipmunk voice.
“Well… I have double Divination with you,” Clara replied, “what do you have, Georgie?”
I looked at my timetable, double Muggle Studies was first. Alright, at least I have a nice easy subject for a Monday morning. Well, it’s not easy but it’s easier than let’s say… potions. I’m notoriously terrible at potions.
“Muggle Studies,” I replied shortly, “I’m going to get going now… in case I get lost,” I got up, slung my bag over my shoulder and didn’t even feel guilty for leaving Clara behind with Veronica.
I stalked out of the Great Hall with my head down- hoping none of those first years will stop me and ask for directions or something. A few moments later, I ran into a person much bigger and taller than me, resulting in me being knocked to the ground.
“Is that you, Georgie?” I couldn’t mistake that voice anywhere.
I looked up to gaze into the very eyes of Sirius Black.
“Yeah, it’s me,” I sighed as he held out a hand to help me up. I took it, obviously. I was less mortified than I thought I would be at the prospect of Sirius Black finding me sprawled out on the ground. Maybe I used up all my embarrassment and dignity last night. I only get dished out a certain amount each week, I suppose.
“You’re still doing Muggle Studies?” he asked me as soon as I was standing again.
“Of course, I was in your class last year wasn’t I?” I asked him, trying not to sound too indignant. If he doesn’t remember being in my class last year then I will be pissed. We even talked for heaven’s sake!
“Yeah, I know… James has dropped out though. He wants to focus on being Quidditch Captain. He just spoke to McGonagall,” Sirius was looking a bit down in the dumps.
“Well that sucks for you,” I replied with the lack of anything better to say. “Have you had breakfast?” I asked him and he nodded. Oh jeez If I don’t shut up soon people will begin to call me- Georgie Hart; Master of the Pointless Conversation.
“Yeah, I was just about to go back to the Gryffindor Tower ‘cause I forgot a quill,” he was grinning at me. And then I was struck with a great idea.
“Oh don’t worry about that, you can borrow one of mine,” I said lightly, smiling at him. Okay, maybe it was a little less ‘great idea’ and a little more ‘common sense’. Whatever.
“Thanks, I guess we can be Muggle Studies buddies then,” he said, still with his cheeky grin.
“Try saying that five times fast,” I said to him in a bit of a flirtatious way. He did… and succeeded of course.
“I’m not even going to try,” I said as I would probably start stumbling on the word ‘Muggle’, “but I’m going head there now… do you want to come?”
He did a nod and a half shrug which I read as a ‘yeah, whatever’. So we began walking together, much to my delight.
I think I was doing a very good job of hiding my crush on him. I’m actually very good at hiding crushes- so good in fact that the crushee usually never finds out that I have a crush on them. This, I suppose, isn’t ideal.
I admit- I’m a little under-practiced in the flirting department and I’ve never been a fan of being an obvious flirt (what with the high pitched giggling- I usually just stick to my own cheery laugh). God, I hope I look alright.
Just as I thought that we walked we went past the big mirror on the fourth floor. Both of us slowed down a little to look at ourselves. It was kind of funny in an awkward way. I don’t think any girl has walked past there without checking themselves out- like I was doing. My shoulder-length, brown-ish hair (it’s got blonde-gold streaks all though it from the sun) was down in a plait so there were wispy bits flying about my face. It didn’t look too bad.
I’m not really that bad looking when you compare me to some other trolls around the place. I’m a normal height; I have a lean athletic body with long legs that I get from my dad’s side. My face, on the other hand, is like my mum’s- dark eyebrows, high cheekbones and a scattering of freckles across my nose. I have dad’s weird blue/green/hazel coloured eyes with a bits of gold and brown from mum. Sometimes I wish they were just blue.
Anyway, Sirius seemed cheerful enough just talking to me which is a positive sign. He chatted to me about what had happened in the Gryffindor common room last night- apparently he and James thought it would be a good idea to welcome the new first years with a display of fireworks and dancing furniture.
“Did they enjoy it?” I asked.
“I think so, I wouldn’t know because Remus bloody stopped it all within five minutes,” he was looking irritated.
“He probably didn’t want to get kicked out of the prefect position on the first night,” I replied reasonably, realising too late that I sounded like a loser.
Sirius frowned at me but then a thought seemed to dawn on him and he smiled again, “Oh I forgot… you’re a prefect too. How’s that working for you?” He asked.
Forgetting how I was supposed to be smooth and cool this year (well in front of him at least) and forgetting how I was supposed to be flirting with him, I launched into the full story of the tragedy last night complete with over exaggerated facial expressions and role playing. I can never resist imitating someone. I can also never resist acting out entire stories instead of just telling them like a normal person. By this time, we were outside the classroom and Sirius was practically in stitches.
I really couldn’t care less if he was laughing at me or with me- at least he was laughing. I was laughing too.
“Oh Georgie… that McGonagall impression was spot on, spot on!” He laughed in is bark-like sort of laugh that he has (which I happen to love). He was just recovering as everyone else began to mill around the classroom including my two dorm mates; Michaela and Henrietta. Last year I sat with them (since I didn’t really have any other friends in the class and they were the last resort) but they seemed in a very engaged conversation, they didn’t even acknowledge me.
My other housemates were there too; Clara’s twin brother Angus Chambers, Callum Cadwaller (whose acne looked worse than ever) and Galvin Gudgeon. Thank God Greg didn’t do Muggle Studies. The Ravenclaw guys had arrived as well- Justin Corner and Warren Dingle with Kate Zeller who was in Gryffindor. I like Kate but she usually spends all her time with the Ravenclaw boys so I don't know her that well.
Then arrived the gracious presence of Andrea Summers (with the professor, but who was paying attention to her?) and has seemed to become even more beautiful over the summer. Damn. I looked sideways at Sirius who didn’t acknowledge her existence and vice versa. But when I looked back at her, she was looking at me with a strange expression. I didn’t think much of it- I was too busy wondering what had happened between her and Sirius.
Professor Wilson unlocked the classroom and we all filed in. And then I panicked because I had no idea where to sit and what if Sirius didn’t want me to sit with him and what if I ended up sitting alone for the whole year like some poor lonely loser!?
“Georgie,” I spun around and saw him sitting at the centre back of the class, indicating for me to come over and sit next to him in the two-seater desk.
Well, if you insist.
I tried very hard not to do a little dance over to him although I couldn’t help but grin. This was progress. I’ve never sat next to Sirius Black in class before.
I looked over to Michaela and Henrietta who giggling together. Luckily they haven’t noticed me hanging around with Sirius- when they do notice, they’ll be pissed. They spent all of last year throwing themselves at him and accidentally on purpose running into him. And trust me, they weren’t the only ones.
I sat down next to him and got out my text book, parchment, two quills and handed one to him.
“Jeez, you have nice quills… where’s this one from?” He asked, looking at my peacock quill with great interest.
“Native Australian peacock,” I replied, “I chased him for ages down the road before I could yank it out. And then he chased me back up the road,” I explained. I am so cool.
Sirius was chuckling- I was guessing he was thinking of the mental image, which was, quite frankly hilarious. Then I got out my own cockatiel quill which was pretty small but had a lot of meaning behind it. Yes, I am sentimental with my quills. Don’t judge me.
“Why are you using that one?” He asked, looking taken-aback that I had given him the prettier of the two quills. I didn’t really want to tell him the history of my cockatiels- it’s very long and he will get bored.
“It’s my pet’s feather,” I replied shortly. “They’re specially bread cockatiels- they can mimic anything.” I couldn’t resist adding. Because I had trained mine to say ‘piss off’ whenever my mum’s friend is over (which is quite often). Ava and I dislike her with a passion. Also, no one knows who taught him to do it and it has now turned into the Great Hart Mystery of the Foul-Mouthed Cockatiel.
It was, overall, a great lesson simply because I was sitting next to Sirius and we talked literally the whole time. You know what we talked about? Birds. Yeah, I was sitting next to Sirius Black and we talked about birds. I thought we would talk about something he enjoyed… for example Quidditch or Defence but he was very animated chatting about birds. Like, he was more enthusiastic than me- especially when he got to tell his story about when he transformed Snape’s head into a bird head.
I don’t think I wrote a single page of notes and he definitely didn’t. When Professor Wilson dismissed the class, she came up to us after everyone had left the classroom. She was looking pretty miffed.
“You two,” she began, “have not shut up this whole time.”
She glared at us, although she’s such a pushover it was more like a dubious glower.
“I’ll let it slide today because I understand that it’s the first day back and you’re excited to catch up but you have to understand that it’s OWL year and I will split you up if I have to,” she said, actually sounding like she meant it. Although she’s probably the only teacher in the whole school who ‘understands’ we want to ‘catch up’.
“Sorry Professor,” Sirius and I replied in unison and she smiled at us. She’s quite pretty when she smiles.
“That’s okay, please make sure it doesn’t happen again,” she said and let us go.
Waiting outside the classroom for me was Lily, Lara and Amber whom clearly had just had Arithmacy together. They looked very surprised when they saw me followed by Sirius.
“See you,” he said before walking down the corridor. I waved back.
“What was that about?” Lara exclaimed once he was out of sight, looking more than a little angrier than I would’ve expected.
“What was what about?” I shot back. I hate it when people randomly have a go at me for no good reason. And then they always seem so offended that I retaliate. I indicated for the girls to walk with me- I didn’t really want Professor Wilson to hear whatever we were saying. You can never trust teachers when it comes to student gossip.
“Were you and Sirius sitting together?” Lara asked.
“Yeah we were,” I admitted. Lily and Amber grinned at each other whilst Laura looked distinctly pissed off.
“Why would he sit with you?” She asked nastily. What on earth was her problem? He’s never even said two words to her! He just talked non-stop to me for a whole hour!
“Excuse me?” I said, trying to sound a little more offended than I actually was simply to make Lara feel bad. It’s actually very hard to offend me- I usually just let people say what they want to say about me… I don’t really care. “Why wouldn’t he sit with me?” I raised my eyebrows at her and she immediately backed away from directly insulting me.
“I didn’t mean it like that, I’m sorry Georgie,” she said hastily. I looked over at Lily and Amber both whom were rolling their eyes. “I just meant to say; don’t you think it was a kind of bitchy thing to do?”
“What are you on about?” I asked, resigned to Lara’s mood swings which seemed to begin at the end of last year. The four of us had reached the Entrance Hall- I was about to head to the Greenhouses with Lily (Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors had Herbology together) whilst the Ravenclaws had Transfiguration with the Slytherins.
Lara looked around and came up very close to me and hissed in my ear.
“You know I like him.”
A/N I just made some minor edits, please review- I'd love to hear your thoughts :)
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