Thread: Fire Burns
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Old November 24th, 2009, 11:14 pm
Purple Banana  Female.gif Purple Banana is offline
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Join Date: 29th March 2004
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Age: 31
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Re: Fire Burns

Chapter 4 - Double Potions

Lily Evans ate her breakfast slowly, only half listening to the excited chatter of the girls around her. James Potter was sitting a little way down the table with the rest of his gang, and for some reason she found herself glancing his way repeatedly. Beside Lily, her best friend, Mary McDonald, let out a soft giggle, which was hastily stifled as Lily whipped round to face her, glaring. Mary managed to look apologetic for a full five seconds before dissolving into laughter again, attracting the attention of the Marauders, who looked over curiously.

“Come on, we’ve got double Potions first, we’d better get going,” said Lily quickly, tilting her head so that her flaming red hair covered the brilliant scarlet blush rising in her cheeks.

“It’s only a few corridors away,” objected Mary, determinedly taking another bite of her toast, to prove that she wasn’t going anywhere until she actually had to.

“So? Anyway, I need to get my Defence against the Dark Arts book for later and I’ve left it in our dormitory.”

Mary raised her eyebrows but knew better than to argue; Lily was the most organised person she knew, so she found it very hard to believe that she’d forgotten one of her books. As well as being uncannily organised all the time, her friend could also be exceptionally stubborn; she had, for example, been denying that she fancied Potter ever since their first year at Hogwarts. Sighing heavily, she grabbed her slice of toast and her bag, muttering disconsolately under her breath, and followed Lily out of the Great Hall, straight into the group of seventh year Slytherins coming the other way.

“Well isn’t this a nice surprise?” came the cold, scornful voice of Evan Rosier, a burly, brown haired boy with a reputation for Death Eater aspirations. “Our charming new Head Girl.”

In front of Mary, Lily had frozen, staring at the Slytherin boy, and Mary hurriedly took her place beside her friend, presenting somewhat more of a united front. Evan Rosier stood in the middle of the corridor, blocking their way, with a group of more Slytherins standing directly behind him.

Someone was laughing from the back of the small crowd and someone else called: “Oi Mister ‘Come On We’re Already Late’, what’s the hold up?”

Evan didn’t reply, he simply stared at Lily, eyes narrowed; she looked back steadily, wishing he would move as she didn’t want cause a scene before lessons even started.

Someone stuck their head over Evan’s broad shoulder and looked at Lily too. Bright green eyes met vivid blue ones, and the latter grinned. “Oh, hi Lily.”

Lily watched in amusement as Evan’s face turned purple and he whipped round to look at Katherine, who immediately side stepped round him, grinned at Lily and Mary and ran past them into the Great Hall.

“Hey-” Evan began, but two girls Lily thought she recognised as Cassandra Rookwood and Nicola Meliflua pushed past him at that moment, hot on the heels of their friend. Evan was left spinning round on the spot, trying to figure out what was going on. A blond boy that Lily remembered as Robert Avery put a hand on his shoulder to stop him.

“Evan, don’t do that. You look like an idiot,” he said calmly, flicking his highlighted blond hair out of his eyes casually. Evan looked extremely put out as he marched off after the girls, Fiona hurrying after him haughtily, casting a contemptuous look at the Gryffindors as she did so. That left only Snape and Avery in the corridor with them; Lily looked uncertainly at Avery, but he only glanced at her with haughty brown eyes and then walked past into the Great Hall, Snape following silently.

“Way to start the day,” murmured Mary as they walked quickly along the first floor corridor, past portraits of bored looking witches and wizards and the occasional muttering statue. Lily didn’t say anything; she was thinking about the look Rosier had given her – it had been one of utter loathing, yet she’d never done anything to him. What was it about pure-blood wizards and witches that made them think they were better than everyone else?

Lily was still pondering this concept half an hour later as she entered her Potions classroom and heard her name being called.

“Hey, Lily.”

She turned round curiously and raised her eyebrows, momentarily startled, then she smiled. “Come on Mary, it looks like someone saved us seats.”

Her friend followed her gaze, and then her eyebrows shot up, almost disappearing into her hairline in disbelief. “You have got to be joking.”

Lily appeared to consider this for moment, then smiled brightly. “No,” she replied and walked over to the desk.

xxx

Katherine smiled to herself as she walked into the Great Hall, making her way to the far end of the Slytherin table where there was quite a large space - their space in fact. They were seventh years now and that fact earned them a great deal of respect – that, and the fact that none of them would think twice about cursing anyone who got in their way.

Katherine sat down next to some timid looking first years and reached for the nearest jug of orange juice. Just then the Great Hall’s door swung open again and a burst of hysterical giggles announced the arrival of her friends. Katherine grinned wickedly up at them as they approached.

“You should have seen the look on his face,” laughed Nicki, as she flung herself down opposite Katherine.

“I can guess.”

“I don’t think he’s very happy,” smiled Cassie, helping herself to sausages and eggs as she took her seat.

“He’s never happy. He needs to stop taking things so seriously,” Katherine said lightly, grabbing a couple of slices of toast and buttering them.

She knew better than to ask if Lily and Mary were ok; her two best friends were great, but they were only just getting used to the idea of her being friends with Remus, and if she started inquiring after other Gryffindors they were going to start thinking that she was mental. Not that they didn’t already, of course.

However, as Evan and Fiona stormed in a few moments later, when she was half way through a plate of bacon and eggs, with Robert and Severus following soon after, she needn’t have worried. Despite part of the group’s somewhat late arrival, they all finished their breakfast with ten minutes to spare before their first lesson.

“We don’t have to go right now, do we?” asked Fiona, lazily casting a disapproving look over her new timetable. Hogwarts would have been the perfect place to spend the year, if it weren’t for the lessons.

“We do if we want good seats,” said Evan calmly, getting to his feet; Fiona sighed and stood up too. Katherine stood, slung her bag over her shoulder and waited patiently with Cassie for Nicki to catch up with them.

“Remind me again why I took Potions,” sighed Nicki, rummaging in her bag for her favourite red lipstick as they walked.

“You liked Gareth O’Brian and thought you could persuade him to tutor you,” said Cassie, pushing a lock of blonde hair behind her ear.

“Oh yeah,” said Nicki, pausing in the middle of touching up her make up and smiling wistfully. “Too bad he left last year – now I have all the boredom of Potions and none of the extra curricular fun. ”

“Given your reputation, I very much doubt you’ll have any trouble finding some other poor guy to abuse,” said a male voice behind them.

“Aw, still bitter I moved on, Black?” asked Nicki with mock sympathy, not even bothered to turn and face her erstwhile lover.

“You think I’d want to be with you after what you did?” asked Sirius Black, scowling at her back.

“And what was that exactly?” asked Nicki airily, glancing innocently over her shoulder at him. Next to her, Katherine and Cassie exchanged knowing grins, and concentrated on not laughing.

“You know very well,” said Sirius, brown eyes narrowed in dislike.

“I’m sorry, I’ve got absolutely no idea what you’re referring to,” retorted Nicki, drawing to a stop as they reached the dungeon classroom where Potions was held.

“So Zonko’s Special Delayed Action Itching Powder and the entire contents of my wardrobe brings back no hint of a memory at all, then?” asked Sirius, cocking his head to one side and fixing Nicki with an angry glare. He’d stopped, reaching the door seconds after they did, and Katherine was puzzled to see that, for once, his three other cronies weren’t attached to his hip, hanging on his every word.

“Sorry,” shrugged Nicki, shaking her head. “Nothing’s coming to mind.”

“I really think she’d remember something like that,” said Katherine gravely, and Cassie nodded fervently in agreement.

“Maybe it was one of your friends. They like pranks, don’t they?” Cassie added, clear green eyes open wide in a good imitation of sincerity. “I seem to recall Potter displaying Severus’ underwear to the entire school once; maybe they thought you should do the same.”

“We didn’t take off his pants,” growled Sirius, eyes narrowed dangerously.

“It was only a matter of time,” said Katherine quietly, meeting his gaze calmly. “If McGonagall hadn’t turned up, I’m sure Potter wouldn’t have hesitated in doing so. Besides, you managed to get out of the Great Hall before you stripped completely, to the great disappointment of the girls you haven’t managed to hook up with yet, I’m sure.”

“So that was your idea of payback, was it? Snivellus doesn’t have the guts to stand up for himself, so he gets a bunch of girls to do his dirty work for him?” asked Sirius, glowering now.

“Don’t be stupid,” said Nicki, examining her reflection in a hand held mirror. “Why would we care about your ridiculous feud with Severus?” Apparently satisfied, she snapped the compact closed and looked up at him with a pitying smile. “We just did it for fun.”

Sirius opened his mouth to respond to this, but at that moment the classroom door was pulled open and their new potions teacher, Professor Delphinus, appeared, ushering them inside. He muttered something about getting into groups of five when they arrived in the classroom, and then wandered off to add another instruction to the long list on the blackboard.

Sirius cast one last glare at the girls then moved to the back of the classroom to reserve the table the Gryffindors customarily occupied. Katherine and Cassie grinned at Nicki, who laughed and led the way to a table on the opposite side of the room from Sirius. Evan and Fiona were already seated at the table next to theirs with Damon, and when Robert and Severus entered the classroom a few moments later, Evan gestured for them to join him with an imperious wave of his hand.

“We’re two members short,” pointed out Nicki, tapping her fingers irritably on the desk and eyeing Evan’s table in annoyance.

“You want to ask Fiona to join us?” asked Katherine, nodding towards their room mate, who was examining her freshly manicured nails and listening to something Evan was saying.

“God no,” said Nicki quickly, giving a mock shudder. “Besides, she’s already sitting next to Sir High and Mighty.”

“And to think you two used to be such good friends,” smiled Cassie sweetly, pulling out her text book and opening it to the page noted on the chalkboard.

“Not out of choice,” said Nicki, scowling. “We were thrown together at family parties. Do you know how dull those things are? I had to have someone to talk to.”

“And now you flirt horrendously with any available males instead?” asked Katherine, earning herself a glare from her friend.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Kat,” chided Cassie, perusing the potion ingredients with a critical eye. “They don’t have to be available, they just have to be hot.”

“You know, maybe we should ask Fiona to join us,” said Nicki with a bright smile, which stopped her friends’ sn!ggers abruptly.

“No way,” said Katherine darkly.

“No, really,” said Nicki, warming to her theme. “We don’t involve her enough-”

“Nic, the girl’s a walking blonde joke!” hissed Cassie, her own blonde hair falling over her shoulder as she leant across the table. “I happen to want a good mark in this class and Fiona will drag us kicking and screaming into the deep dark abyss of failure. Not all of us have family fortunes to fall back on.”

“I’d take a father who didn’t sod off and leave when you were a baby, any day,” retorted Nicki, sitting back a little in her seat with a sour expression. “Money isn’t everything.”

“Easy to say when you’ve got it,” shrugged Cassie. “Besides, fathers aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.”

“Maybe not,” sighed Nicki, leaning her elbows on the desk. “What’s your father like, Kat? Kat, you ok?”

Cassie followed Nicki’s concerned gaze, argument forgotten as she noticed the blank expression on her face. “Katherine?”

“What?” Katherine asked, looking up suddenly and shaking her head. “Sorry, I was just-”

“Are you ok?” interjected Nicki. “You looked kinda-”

“I’m fine,” said Katherine sharply, turning away and scanning the room. Nicki and Cassie exchanged unconvinced glances but were promptly distracted by Katherine’s next words. “Hey, Lily.”

Nicki whipped round and saw Lily Evans and her friend change direction and start walking towards them.

“You have got to be crazy,” she hissed, but Katherine only smiled oddly at her.

“Probably.”

Cassie raised her eyebrows, but shrugged when Nicki turned to her for support. “Well we do need more people.”

“Hi,” said Lily softly, reaching their table.

“Want to join our team? We need to be in groups of five,” explained Katherine, as Cassie grinned at Nicola’s dubious expression. Lily glanced at Mary who was still in apparent shock that her friend was voluntarily accepting an offer from a Slytherin.

“Um-”

“Come on, we want to beat Rosier’s group,” put in Cassie, now smiling amiably at the red head. “They’ve got Severus, which makes it totally unfair, and everyone knows you’re brilliant at Potions - Slughorn always said so.”

“Erm-” murmured Lily, biting her lip, but the decision was made for her.

“Fine,” said Mary stoutly, sitting down and ignoring her friend’s look of surprise. “As long as we don’t get jinxed.”

“Done,” smiled Katherine, nudging Nicki, who rolled her eyes with a sigh.

“Fine, whatever.” She looked over at the new Professor who was sorting through some papers on his desk. “Hope he’s as good at Slughorn was – looks a bit like he’s going to keel over at any moment, doesn’t he? Why’d Sluggie have to go on sabbatical in our last year?”

“Said he wanted to explore the world, didn’t he?” shrugged Cassie, flicking through the glossary section of her potions book. “No time like the present.”

“You’re just mad because you won’t get to go to any more of his parties,” said Katherine dryly, rolling her eyes at Nicki, who still had a dark look on her face.

“Oh, were you in the Slug Club, too?” Lily asked the brown headed girl, in an attempt to make polite conversation.

“Nah,” grinned Cassie, casting an amused glance at her friend. “She just latched onto the boys who were.”

“I’ll have you know Professor Slughorn said I could go far,” said Nicki haughtily, folding her arms indignantly.

“Yeah, he saw the way you attached yourself to the men who actually will,” remarked Katherine, and Cassie laughed as Nicki glared at her. Mary and Lily didn’t say anything; they weren’t sure their mirth would be so easily tolerated, but further conversation was halted as Professor Delphinus stopped sorting through his papers and stood at the front of the class, calling for quiet.

xxx

Sirius sat slouched in his seat, watching the three girls unpack their things on the other side of the classroom. No doubt about it: girls were trouble.

“Something wrong?” asked a familiar voice, and Sirius looked up to see James setting his bag down on the table next to him. Sirius shook his head, still frowning.

“Just wondering why I seem to attract trouble.”

“That, Padfoot, is because you actively seek it out,” said Remus, arriving with Peter in tow, and smiling wanly. “What did you do this time?”

Sirius jerked his head towards the three Slytherin girls, just as Katherine turned round, searching the room for something. Remus held up a hand in greeting, but she looked away quickly and called out to someone by the door. Remus frowned, sitting down opposite James and eyeing Katherine with an odd expression.

“Why did I go out with her?” asked Sirius, scowling at Nicki.

“Because she’s pretty?” offered Peter, glancing over at Nicki somewhat fearfully. They hadn’t gotten along very well in the brief time she and Sirius had been an item, and he was normally uncomfortable enough around attractive girls.

“But she’s a Slytherin. I knew it was a bad idea and yet I still did it.”

“Pads, you’d stick your hand in a fire to see it was hot,” said Remus wearily, tearing his gaze away from Katherine and giving his old friend a sober look. “It’s just who you are.”

“Thanks, Moony,” said Sirius sarcastically, arching an eyebrow.

“My pleasure,” said Remus briskly, grinning at him.

“What’s she doing?”

The three boys all looked at James, who was openly gawping at someone near the front of the class. Remus and Peter, who had their backs to the front, turned round to follow his gaze and Sirius gave a low whistle.

“That’s an interesting choice of friends Ms. Evans has got,” Sirius remarked softly, glancing at James, who appeared to be in a mild state of shock.

“She’s sitting with Slytherins!” exclaimed James, more surprised than actually angry.

“Who is?” asked Frank absently, hurrying over to the table as Professor Delphinus closed the door with a flick of his wand. “Apparently we’re working in groups of five. Mind if I join you?”

“Lily,” said James, hazel eyes fixed on the red head. “Why would she sit with them? They’re evil and they hate muggleborns.”

“What he meant to say is ‘sure, have a seat’,” said Remus, giving James an appraising look. “And Katherine is not evil, Prongs.”

“Well she’s not good,” said James quickly. “Didn’t she put some poor guy in the hospital wing last year just for calling her names?”

“I seem to recall you were quite prepared to knock seven bells of out Snape when he called Lily a mudblood,” remarked Remus quietly, tilting his head slightly to one side. “You think Katherine’s evil just because she doesn’t like that name much either? Besides, Madame Pomfrey managed to put everything back in the right place, didn’t she?”

James looked uncomfortable, and just as Sirius was about to argue the point, Professor Delphinus cleared his throat, calling for silence.

------------------------

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Last edited by Purple Banana; December 8th, 2009 at 1:30 pm.
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