The Grass Is Always Greener

Chapter 14

Adie returned to the Slytherin Common Room just in time to avoid breaking curfew. She curled herself up on the emerald sofa and buried her face into the velvet, desperate to forget the awful afternoon. However, as per usual, her reflective time in the Common Room was disturbed by the arrival of one smug blond.

Fortunately, Lucius did not seem overly concerned to see Adrianna although news of her latest escapade could hardly have failed to reach his ears. Unfortunately, he was with Snape. Adie clenched her jaw.

“Congratulations, Severus,” Lucius’ silky tones made Adie want to retch. “Finally ditching that dreary girl – such a dead weight! You can move on to much higher things now you’ve dropped the Mudblood.”

As he said the word, Lucius twisted towards Adrianna making sure to catch her eye. He smirked superciliously as she clenched her fists furiously. She whipped round to look at Snape, to see if he would show any signs of remorse.

He stared straight through Adie, not a hint of regret on his face.

“You’re right, Lucius,” Snape said; his voice had changed to a hard drawl, a cold sound, instead of its previous earnest tones. “I won’t deign to bless that unworthy Muggle filth with my presence again.”

Lucius’ grin widened at this comment and he draped one arm around Snape, pulling him closer. Adie realised the meaning of the action – Snape was under Malfoy’s wing now, his little apprentice. She felt a pang of pain seeing her friend, knowing she’d lost him for good.

In fact, Adrianna’s pain was so great that she almost went to make the first move and offer Severus an apology. No sooner had she opened her mouth, however, did Lucius beat her to it.

“Oh, I did mention didn’t I?” He asked innocently, before Adie could speak. “McGonagall wants you in her office tomorrow lunch time. I’m not sure of the specifics but somehow, she has heard whisper of your little… misadventure.”

Adrianna turned and headed for her dorm room, to angry to even speak. Snape had evidently told the teachers on them all (undoubtedly, Adie would see the Marauders tomorrow lunchtime too), probably under the direction of Malfoy.

She threw herself across her bed, fuming silently. Lucius Malfoy was the world’s biggest arsehole, Adie raged to herself, she pitied poor Cissy more than ever now!

Adrianna filled her head with anger instead of dwelling on the coming meeting with McGonagall. The idea of having to face the angry Scotswoman struck terror into the heart of the girl – she’d never actually had a detention before…

And so, it was with a heavy heart that Adie set off to McGonagall’s office at midday. Her morning had been consumed with packing and meeting her teachers to ask about further reading she could do over the holidays to prepare for NEWTs. This meant that she hadn’t had the chance to see the Marauders yet.

Adrianna wasn’t quite sure how she felt about this; should she be angry with the boys for their treatment of Snape? Or was that hypocritical as she’d ended up attacking him too? Adie decided to just wait it out and see how the meeting went.

Minevra surveyed the Slytherin girl over the rim of her glasses, looking up at the knock on the door. The professor was greatly vexed at having to punish Adrianna – usually she was a model student. Obviously there was more to the story than the account of an unwarranted assault that Severus Snape had given her, corroborated by Lucius Malfoy.

“Come in and sit down please.”

Adie did as she was told, waiting in silence as McGonagall calmly carried on with her marking. As it happens Minevra was still pondering the real truth behind yesterday’s events. Although James Potter and Sirius Black were somewhat rowdy and, on occasion, arrogant boys they were not the sort of students to influence another either.

McGonagall was not worried that the Marauders had been a bad influence – she was sure this uncharacteristic behaviour was Adrianna’s alone but she just could not figure out her motives.

Eventually, the silence between the two females was broken by another knock at the door. Professor McGonagall looked up again and beckoned the boys in before expressing her displeasure with the trio.

“I have been informed that you were involved in an incident by the Lake yesterday afternoon in which you three victimised Mr Snape, attacking him in a vile and bullying manner. This is not acceptable. All three of you will serve detention with Mr Filch tomorrow evening at seven o’clock.”

Adie sighed heavily, heartbroken that she should receive her first ever detention. James and Sirius, on the other hand, turned to each other in outrage.

“But, professor, that’s so unfair! He cut me, look,” James indicated the gash on his cheek which had obviously been partly repaired by magic. Moony must have performed the spell as the red mark had not entirely faded. “And he called Evans a…”

At the point James broke off and looked at Adie warily, as if scared that she might attack him too if he dared to utter the offensive word.

“He called Evans a,” James’ voice dropped to a whisper. “Mudblood.”

McGonagall raised one eyebrow at the statement and turned towards Adrianna to confirm its truth.

“He did – it’s why I hexed him. I know it was wrong though, I shouldn’t have let it provoke me.” Adie spoke quietly, accepting her punishment.

Sirius, however, leant forwards. “Look, miss, you know what it’s like: it’s clear that James and I instigated the incident, we’ll admit that. But Adrianna was just standing up for her friend. Merlin, she was even trying to help Sniv- I mean, Snape before he used that word. It’s unfair to punish her too.”

Adie looked at Sirius in surprise; although they were on much better terms these days, she was still intensely surprised to hear him defend her again.

However, his plea did not seem to greatly affect Minevra who just stared at the trio, unimpressed.

“As chivalrous as that was, Mr Black,” McGonagall returned, in crisp tones. “Miss Greengrass was right – Mr Snape’s crudeness does not make her actions acceptable. She, too, must face the consequences of her rash behaviour.”

Sirius frowned at the judgement but Adie didn’t mind so much. She just sent the scowling boy a grateful smile which he returned, shrugging.

“I will, however, be speaking to Severus about his language. That kind of discrimination is not tolerated at Hogwarts.”

McGonagall swept out of the room, pausing at the doorway to quickly remind the students:

“Mr Filch, seven o’clock in the Entrance Hall.”

She turned away once more and left the three chagrined students alone.

Adrianna grabbed her bag, pulling onto her lap and prepared to leave. Before she went, she remembered to turn to Sirius to thank him properly.

“That was very kind of you to try and get me out of trouble, Sirius,” Adie laughed. “But McGonagall is right, I do deserve a detention. I shouldn’t have let my temper get the better of me.”

Sirius shrugged again. “It’s nothing. I just thought it was pretty unfair, considering that you’d been trying to help the bastard just a few minutes before.”

Adie pursed her lips in remembrance of James’ less than kind actions towards Snape, which had prompted her heroism in the first place.

“And anyway, Adrianna, your temper always gets the better of you! I’m surprised this is only your first detention!” Sirius called this out to Adie as he and James exited the classroom. James waved, still quite tentative and unsure of whether he was forgiven or not.

Adie pondered Sirius’ parting comment with some surprise; she had never thought of herself as a particularly angry or impulsive person. That’s why her previous behaviour towards Sirius had seemed so drastic, because it was out of character.

Yet, when she thought about it, her angry emotions often guided her actions. Her apology to Sirius was a reaction to Lucius’ pride; so many of her actions in life were governed by what would most offend her sister and the other pure-blood elitists. It made Adie wonder why she spent so much of her time trying to please her parents when she had such a blatant disregard for everyone else who stood for the same ideals as them.

It’s just… they were her family, her parents. They were supposed to love each other unconditionally; Adie just resented all the conditions she had to adhere to in order to gain her parents love.

James and Sirius ambled down the corridor, heading in the general direction of the Gryffindor Common Room.

“‘Oh please, professor, don’t put my perfect girlfriend in detention!’ You are so pathetic, mate!” James laughed, shoving his best friend. He wasn’t quite sure if Sirius was comfortable enough with Adie yet to be putting up with romantic jokes but he thought he’d chance it anyway.

As it was, Sirius just seemed quite confused by James’ train of thought.

“I don’t fancy her, Prongs. It was just unfair.”

“Oh, yeah, I forgot you were just Lady Liberty herself.”

“Fuck off.”

James laughed loudly at Sirius’ annoyance in the way that best friends do. He seemed to be bearing the jokes fairly well and so James thought it okay to continue.

“To be fair though,” James spoke with suppressed laughter in his voice. “You do love to act the dashing hero around her – why is that, Mr Darcy?”

“Dear Lord, not you too. Moony was bad enough! Lily said those were girls’ books…” Sirius shook his head, marvelling at James’ femininity. “And no, I just… I don’t know. I feel a bit bad, I guess, for being so harsh towards her all this time. She’s not bad, Adie.”

James grinned widely, wisely deciding to ignore Sirius’ first accusation because his mate had just referred to the pretty, blonde Slytherin as ‘Adie’. Hook, line and sinker, James thought triumphantly.

*

Adrianna arrived first to the Entrance Hall, of course, the next evening. She was not in too bad a mood owing largely to the fact that on her way to the punishment, she had seen McGonagall giving Snape a right bollocking (as James would say).

However, early as Adie was to the appointment, Filch was there already. He scowled deeply at her as she joined him by the staircase; she returned his thundery look with the most sincere smile she could muster. They passed a few uncomfortable moments in a dark silence before the two boys appeared, laughing and joking as they walked.

Adie hadn’t thought it possible but upon seeing the boys, Filch’s grimace became even surlier and almost bordered on murderous it seemed to the girl.

“Alright, Filch, my man!” Sirius greeted Argus loudly, swinging one arm around the man and winking at Adie as he did so. She giggled slightly, shocking herself with the girlishness of the sound.

James high-fived Adie as he reached her. “It’s time you learnt what you’ve been missing out on all this time, Adie!”

Sirius laughed loudly as Filch pushed his arm away impatiently, muttering in anger.

“Welcome to the Detention Gang!”

Adrianna burst out laughing for the first time in days.

“You guys haven’t seriously named yourselves that have you?” she snickered. “I never thought I’d say it, but I actually prefer ‘the Marauders’!”

James and Sirius exchanged mock-hurt looks before grinning at their friend. Filch quickly broke up the laughter by explaining their task for the evening. Slughorn’s First Year class had experienced something of a disaster that morning resulting in one of the dungeons being covered in a brownish sludge. By now it had dried and was ready to be cleaned off of all the visible surfaces, by hand of course.

Filch collected their wands outside the door of the dungeon before walking off with a rather smug and satisfied air. Adie pushed open the door tentatively and was relieved to see that the mess was not really as bad as she had anticipated.

Sirius seemed to share her thoughts. “Hey, there’s barely any slime in here… There’s only a bit on the benches.”

“I bet old Sluggers cleaned some of it up! He knew we’d be the ones assigned the slave labour and he couldn’t have his precious Adrianna ruin her perfect Potion making hands, could we?”

Adie blushed slightly at what was probably the truth; she, along with both Lily and Em, was a member of the “Slug Club”.

The trio – or rather Adrianna - decided the best method was just to get the work done as quickly as possible and so they commenced scrubbing the worn work surfaces straight away.

As they completed their task, though, they did chat somewhat.

“Hey, Adie,” James called over to the girl, scouring a particularly stubborn patch of dirt. “Are you still annoyed with me for what I did to Snape?”

Adie paused in her chore for a moment to push some strands of hair out of her face. “Not really. I was at the time – I was beyond furious. Yes, it still irritates me that you would treat any person like that, James, because, regardless of how slimy and pathetic he can be, even Snape is still a person. And you just shouldn’t treat anyone with such little respect.”

James looked chagrined. “I’m sorry for offending you. And, I suppose, it was quite undeserved. I do feel bad; it’s just when I see Evans, I feel this irrepressible urge to snog her. And to impress her.”

Sirius snorted at this comment and Adie rolled her eyes.

“You really think she’d be impressed by your inhumane bullying of her friend. Well, ex-friend I think it is now.”

James shrugged. “I just feel the need to switch into Alpha-male mode. Plus, Snape is a creepy git. All that Dark magic he does is not cool. I mean, you know he does that shit right?”

Adie was silent. She hadn’t figured it out and she felt a burning sense of shame as she realised how obvious it was.

Sirius sat down on the work top Adrianna was cleaning and smiled at her.

“We only know because he tried to use some Dark spell that bloody Malfoy taught him on us. You weren’t to know, Adie. I guess it’s good you stood up for him really, it was a pretty loyal thing to do.”

Sirius’ attempt at sincerity was slightly marred by James pretending to swoon behind the pair but Adie didn’t seem to notice.

“Yeah,” she sighed. “I suppose so, I just feel like such an idiot now.”

James continued to lean on the desk behind them, making puppy dog eyes and drawing hearts in the air. Eventually, Sirius lobbed the manky, damp cloth he’d been cleaning with at his mate’s scruffy head.

“Oi!” James yelled as the dirty rag hit him full in the face.

Adie whirled round at his yell, noticing him for the first time. Her laughter echoed round the gloomy room at James’ indignant expression.

He flicked a handful of soapy water at her in return, leaving Adie spluttering. However, she managed to recover enough to send a lump of the congealed potion all around them flying towards James.

The scuffle continued for several minutes; Sirius joined the fray eventually leading to him and James in a crumpled heap on the floor after their fight got somewhat physical.

“Godric, Padfoot,” James exclaimed. “No need to hit me in the balls – Merlin, that hurt!”

Adie giggled loudly as the boys disentangled themselves.

Sirius grinned at the girl as he straightened up. “See, we told you that you were missing out!”

*

The memory of the detention was still making Adrianna smile as she wheeled her heavy trunk across the platform at Hogsmeade. She hoped that by concentrating on that she could delay the moment of realisation that she was about to have to spend six consecutive weeks with her family.

Adie was so concentrated on blocking out the thought of the coming holiday that she wheeled her luggage trolley straight into another student’s.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” The two girls said at the same time before looking up to see who they had nearly injured. They broke out into smiles, recognising one another and being so strongly reminded of their first meeting at King’s Cross.

However, the smile soon dropped from Lily’s face as she remembered the fact that she and Adie had not spoken for three days now.

The redhead appreciated what her best friend had done, knowing that it was an automatic reflex and an attempt to protect Lily. Lily also realised that Severus was not the boy who had been her friend throughout her lonely childhood; he had chosen a different path from her. He had done the very opposite of Adrianna who struggled against her fate. Sev had actively taken that route.

It was time, Lily felt, to accept that Severus was gone now. A part of her would always be his best friend and care for him because he had been there for her when no one else has. But he wasn’t going to be there anymore. Adrianna, however, was still here and still smiling hopefully.

Lily grinned back.

“How was your first ever detention?” Lily laughed. “You’re still alive and sane so I’ll assume Black and Potter were fairly merciful with you!”

Adie’s smile widened as she realised that Lily was not angry with her for the events at the Lake. The girls wandered to the train together, cackling loudly at Adie’s tale of detention with the boys.

The moment was marred only by the fact that they both knew it would be Adie’s last carefree moment for a month. It was time to return back home.


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