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Chapter 34 : How You Remind Me
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I’ve been wrong, I’ve been down
Been to the bottom of every bottle
These five words in my head
Scream “are we having fun yet?”
~ How You Remind me ~ Nickelback ~
“I hope you’ve all been studying hard for your exams!” Professor Flitwick was telling all of us, the sixth year Ravenclaw’s, as he stood at the front of the common room. None of us could actually see him because he was so tiny, but we could hear him alright. Most people nodded in affirmation of his words. McGonagall would be giving the same speech to the Gryffindor’s, and one of them was bound to point out that these weren’t even our real NEWTs, but of course Ravenclaw’s took this stuff seriously. “Now I know that tomorrow is the Quidditch Cup final and we are playing Gryffindor, and I know that if we win you are bound to want to celebrate- but I can only advise you that, as sixth years, you ought to know that celebrations can wait until after the exam period. Are there any questions?” We all shook our heads. “Well, good luck to you all!”
“I guess they’re really upon us now, these exams.” Alice said tensely. “I wish Frank would spend less time on the pitch and more time revising.”
“Let’s be honest, most people are more interested in beating Gryffindor than they are in getting an O in Charms.” Perry stated. “Besides, it’s going to be my last game- maybe ever.”
“I still don’t think you should play.” I stated. “If you get hit by a Bludger-“
“I haven’t been injured in over a year. Stop worrying.”
“It’s not you we’re worried about- it’s the baby.” Alice said seriously.
“I know. You and Remus and David and everyone else.” David had freaked out about the fact he was going to be a father, as expected. However, he had stammered that he would be there for Perry and had become sort of a bodyguard for her, built as he was, glaring at anyone who so much as glanced in her direction in the corridors and being a general nuisance.
“You should listen to us- Flitwick, Pomfrey, everyone is telling you about the risks.”
“Everyone is trying to ruin my last hurrah.” Perry crossed her arms stubbornly. “Plus, you know Frank won’t be able to find someone to play for me overnight.”
“He said he had someone lined up in reserve- some fourth year girl who is meant to be really good.” Alice pointed out.
“Lydia Boot.” Perry shrugged. “Yeah, she’s good. But not as good as me.”
“You’re being stubborn on purpose, aren’t you?” I demanded. Perry grinned at me.
“Of course!” I rolled my eyes.
“I hope you realise we’ll all be doing everything in our power to stop you from playing?” I asked Perry, who shrugged, apparently on the assumption that nothing we did could stop her from mounting her broom against Gryffindor. Sirius was a Beater and I knew he wouldn’t aim Perry’s way now he knew she was pregnant, but the same couldn’t be said for anyone else other than James. Two against five wasn’t good odds, not to mention the ordinary hazards of flying such as the risk of falling.
“Lily is probably waiting for us outside.” Alice said, and now it was Perry rolling her eyes. Those two still couldn’t find a middle ground, though they were mostly civil. Lily was annoyed now by the constant presence of David, and Lily had always grated on Perry, who was equally put-out by David being around Lily.
Lily was indeed waiting for us. She looked tense. “I’m going to fail Transfiguration. I can sense it.”
“I doubt it.” Alice said.
“No, you don’t understand- I was studying with James, Sirius and Peter and they’re all so much better than me- I mean, Peter! No offence, but he’s hardly good at anything.” Perry and I glanced at each other. Although all of us knew that Remus was a werewolf, Alice and Lily were unaware that the other Marauders were Animagi, and we’d been sworn to secrecy.
“Being less good at something doesn’t make you bad at it. I’ve seen your work, you still blow most people out of the water in that class.” Perry begrudgingly complimented Lily, to everyone’s surprise. Lily’s emerald eyes widened accordingly.
“Everyone’s always said you should’ve been in Ravenclaw.”
“I don’t really know why I ended up in Gryffindor.” Lily admitted. Alice and I were surprised that these two were actually conversing in a civil manner for once. I nearly fell down when Perry smiled hesitantly at Lily.
“You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself, Evans.” She said.
It was this tiny branch of almost friendship being offered that must have led to Lily doing what she did. She didn’t tell Alice and I about it anyway.
I was awoken to the sound of whimpering and frustrated sighs from Perry’s direction. I opened the hangings around my bed and saw her struggling against something.
“Merlin’s- balls- what- is- wrong- with this- fucking- thing!” Perry grunted, then saw me looking. “I can’t get out of bed! I’m stuck!” I got out of my own bed and walked over to hers. I peeled back the covers and saw that she was literally stuck to the bed sheet’s beneath her. Almost like someone had put a Permanent Sticking Charm on her pyjamas. This meant that Perry was glued to the sheets wherever they met with the material of her pyjamas. I tugged the sheet itself and that too was stuck to the mattress. There was no way a pregnant woman could walk attached to a mattress. “Winnie Corner just laughed at me when she left, bitch.”
“There’s a note.” I noticed, picking up the parchment from Perry’s bedside table. I unfolded it and saw Lily’s familiar handwriting. I read it out: “ Perry, I know you shouldn’t be playing today and that nobody could talk you out of it. So I’m forcing you out of it. Lily.” Perry let out an angry scream.
“I can’t believe her! How am I going to get out of this bed?”
“Well, you can’t. I can’t undo a charm like this.”
“Then get Flitwick!” Perry yelled.
“I will. I’ll tell him when I go down to breakfast. By the time he’s sorted you out, the game will have had to start without you.” I smiled evilly, relieved that Lily had thought of this plan as I certainly hadn’t.
“You wouldn’t.” Perry said coldly.
“Oh, I have to.” I turned, and went over to explain to Alice, who was groggily frowning at us. “Don’t try to help her, it’s the only way to keep her off her broom.” Alice took the note from Lily and read it to herself. She smiled.
“Smart girl, Lily is. I wonder why she wasn’t in Ravenclaw.” Alice and I were still laughing as we left a while later. David was waiting anxiously for Perry. I knew he had been hoping for a last chance to try and talk Perry out of playing.
“We’ve sorted it, David. She’s not playing.” Relief flooded his face. I realised then that David was probably clinging to the child Perry was carrying, as he had no other family now. David trailed irritatingly behind us all the way to the Great Hall. I left Alice to explain to Frank what had happened, and made my way over to the Gryffindor table.
“Morning.” Sirius greeted me, clad in his scarlet and gold robes, with a kiss on the cheek.
“Hi.” I looked over at Lily. “You’re a genius. Thank you.” Lily beamed.
“I knew how worried you all were, and I didn’t think it was right. But really, it was James’ idea.” She turned to smile warmly at James beside her, who I saw bask in her gaze. “I never would’ve thought of anything that…”
“Underhanded?” He offered.
“Clever.” Lily responded with a smile. Peter made gagging motions at the pair of them, and we all laughed.
I told Flitwick about Perry’s predicament as everyone was leaving for the Quidditch Pitch. He looked quite alarmed, but when I refused to say who did the actual charm-work, he said he was really quite admiring of the skill involved and that it was probably for her own good anyway in ‘her condition’, though he assured me that he knew of a way to get her free, though as I hoped it would take some time.
I was never that into Quidditch, but I watched it for the sake of everyone I knew playing in this match. It was a tough one, but Lydia Boot’s late appointment to the game didn’t seem to damage Ravenclaw’s chances much. James scored four goals in the first twenty minutes of the game, but we soon caught up. The score was even, at 100 per side, when we saw both Frank and the Gryffindor Seeker, Reggie Davies, diving for the Snitch. The crowd gasped, on the edge of their seats, watching as Frank and Davies were neck and neck. The chasing of the Snitch seemed to go on forever, but finally, Davies’ hand closed triumphantly upon the golden winged ball. The Gryffindor side of the stands, supported mostly by the Hufflepuff’s, erupted in celebration, and I saw Dumbledore carrying the cup to the landing Gryffindor team. James, the Captain, raised it into the air triumphantly.
We all made our way up to our common room’s after that, and Alice and I continued on up to the dormitory. Perry had been let free of her bed, and was looking very sour. “We could’ve won if I was playing.” She said immediately from beside the window, through which you could see the Quidditch Pitch.
“Perry, we did great, we were so close.” I said, trying to soothe her, but she just gave me an evil look.
“Where’s Frank? I’m going to give him words about tactics.”
“This isn’t Frank’s fault!” Alice protested. “Perry, you know it was for the best that you didn’t play. Think of the baby.” Perry hesitated, then bit her lip guiltily.
“I know. I know, it’s just… well, I love Quidditch. And I won’t be able to play again for ages- even after the baby is born, I won’t be in a fit state to play for a while. It just feels like this is going to be no fun.”
“We’ll make it fun for you.” Alice smiled sweetly.
“Let’s see: no sports, no exams, no alcohol, I’m getting fatter every day- oh, and then even after all that, I won’t be able to sleep because the baby will be keeping me up all night.” She ranted.
“The way I see it, you get to relax, be lazy and eat whatever you want.” My attempt to cheer her up, miraculously, worked. She grinned.
“Okay, I see your point.”
Exams passed by in a blur of stress and I wasn’t particularly sure I did as well as I wanted to; this year had taken a lot out of my studying, while I was too busy living. I didn’t know whether I should be happy because I’d achieved all I set out to do- not a day had really been wasted, I had a boyfriend, and I’d made new friends along the way too. But, the studious Ravenclaw within still prayed for straight O’s. I wasn’t sure that was going to happen though, especially since Arithmancy went so badly wrong that it was laughable. But, surprisingly, I came out of the exam pretty cheerful.
“They’re going to predict me a T for my NEWT.” I told Remus, as we made our way to lunch after the exam. Ancient Runes went better, but I’d always been good at that class, even with the distraction of Sirius. I would’ve dreaded Potions, but I did passably well thanks to Lily’s excellent notes, which she let me borrow.
The end of term suddenly seemed to be coming up very fast, and I got called to Dumbledore’s office to discuss my future situation. Where was I going to stay this summer, seeing as my parents were in hiding? To be honest, I hadn’t given it a thought, and Dumbledore expected an answer. I mentioned this in a panic to Lily, who smiled brightly, to my surprise.
“I was going to ask you about that. See, you could come and stay with me this summer- you’re bound to be safer in the Muggle world, and you’re much better company than Petunia!” I stared at her, stunned.
“Wha- are you sure?” I said, flabbergasted.
“Of course! Erin, you’ve been a really good friend to me this year, with James and everything… and it’s no trouble at all. I kind of already asked my parent’s, and they said they don’t mind…” I hugged her.
“Lily, that would be amazing. I have to clear it with Dumbledore, but I would love to stay with you.” I turned and saw Sirius approaching us, at our spot beside the lake.
“Erin’s going to be staying with me, this summer!” Lily beamed at him in greeting. He grinned back.
“I was going to offer if all else failed- you know I put a deposit down on my own place- but I didn’t think we were quite there yet. You know, living together.” He added, kissing me on the cheek.
“Thanks, but you’re right.” I laughed. “You two want to come to Dumbledore with me?”
After Dumbledore had checked with Lily, he agreed on the plan. “Of course, the Order of the Phoenix will provide magical protection on the Evans’ property- nothing intrusive, of course.” He told her, and she nodded.
“Thank you sir.” He gave Sirius and I an x-ray vision look.
“I’m glad you have ended sixth year on a positive note, the pair of you, all things considered.” He smiled at us knowingly. Sirius looked at the ground. “You did a very brave thing. You stood up for what is right, Mr Black. Don’t forget it.” I squeezed Sirius’ hand, and he squeezed mine back.
A/N: Thank you for reading! For the record, no, I don't like Nickelback. This is the one song I do like, and it fit. Anyway. Ahem.
Let me know what you think!
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