They were back to square one. She would hang out with Remus,
James and Peter while Sirius just sat there sullenly through all the jokes and
laughter. Adie could tell that the other Marauders didn’t understand what had
gone wrong. Adie’s problem was that she couldn’t figure out how to make things
Lily and Em would bad mouth Sirius to their friend, but Adrianna knew that he didn’t really deserve it. She wasn’t sure that anyone was in the wrong; Sirius was right, they were just very different people. There was no point in trying to deny or change that.
The thought made Adrianna feel quite hollow and unspeakably sad inside.
Yet life carried on. The next Transfiguration lesson, McGonagall had an announcement.
“Students, you are now in your NEWT years and will, or should,” Minerva lowered her glasses at this point to survey her class critically. “Be thinking about job opportunities.”
Adie’s head shot up at her professor’s words; any information about jobs could be the lifeline Adrianna was searching for!
McGonagall continued her speech. “You should all be aware that good grades alone will not get you into the best jobs or further education schemes on offer. You need to show you are a well-rounded individual who can offer more to a company.”
Adrianna and Lily exchanged interested looks; both were quite determined workers and keen for a chance to distinguish themselves from the other students. Adie could feel her Slytherin ambition coming into play.
“This year we are offering a tutoring scheme in which you, our NEWT level Transfiguration students, will be paired with an OWL student in order to aid their studies.
“This will demonstrate to potential employers your leadership skills and also consolidate your Transfiguration knowledge. Tutor sessions will occur in this classroom, every Wednesday at seven o’clock. Speak to me after the lesson if you wish to be a mentor.”
Adie, Lily and Em were naturally a part of the group hanging around after the bell rang and McGonagall had dismissed the rest of the class. However, Adrianna was surprised to see the Marauders also amongst the crowd who had remained behind in order to sign up.
Remus caught Adie’s inquisitive look; he and Peter sauntered over to chat with her, leaving a slightly uncomfortable looking James and Sirius at their desks.
“How did you manage to con them,” Adie nodded towards James and Sirius. “Into doing this? It is extra-work after all – I thought that went against everything they stood for in life?”
Remus laughed and Peter replied, “Actually, it wasn’t too hard. They put on this blasé attitude but in reality, they’re both pretty set on being Aurors after school.”
“Wow,” Em remarked. “They’d better work hard then. It’s a tough industry, I’d heard.”
Remus and Lily nodded sagely at Em’s words. Adie felt slightly uncomfortable as she realised with a jolt that the people they wanted to dedicate their lives to hunting down, were probably the people she’d grown up with. It was the first time it had really hit her: the boys she’d learnt her lessons with and the children she’d played with, at dull, grown-up dinners, were most-likely future “Death-Eaters”.
She was pulled out of her depressing reverie by McGonagall beginning the talk and noting down the names of the students present. Their first tutoring session would be next Wednesday.
When the three girls entered the classroom at seven pm sharp, their professor explained the set-up to them briefly.
“Here’s the list of students needing tutoring; the one beside your name is your specific partner. You can either study here or in the Library for an hour. Feel free to consult one another if you need to.”
Adie swept her eyes down the list in Lily’s hands and was happy to see Regulus was her partner for the project. She was glad of the chance to spend more time with her friend and was pleased she wouldn’t have to worry about the awkwardness of trying to break the ice.
The blonde sat herself down at a desk and waited for her friend, and now pupil, to arrive.
“Hey, Adrianna!” Reg swung into the empty seat beside her, his voice full of friendly enthusiasm. “So you’re my mentor, eh? That’s so cool. Looks like I got the best of the best; I was worried I’d get some second rate tutor but clearly not.”
Adie laughed loudly at her friend’s flattery and nudged him in rebuke. “I’m really not that good at Transfiguration.” She muttered.
Regulus raised an eyebrow as he tugged his textbook out of his bag. “Didn’t you get an O?”
Adrianna smiled sheepishly, silently admitting that this was in fact true. Regulus chuckled and rolled his eyes.
“Well then, Miss Modesty, shall we start?” he joked.
“I suppose we shall,” Adie replied, smirking.
The pair began to flick through the textbook, Adie explaining various concepts to Regulus with expressive hand gestures; Reg with a look of intent concentration, his eyes fixed on Adie. Every now and then, their serious air would be broken with some sort of joke and a burst of muffled giggling.
The two of them were so wrapped up in their friendship, unused to being able to spend time so freely together without having to check their emotions in front of their Slytherin peers. They were so engrossed that neither of them saw the looks Sirius was sending them.
His partner for the project was a sandy haired Hufflepuff boy who had spent most of the session sitting with his arms crossed, in front of the unopened textbook.
“Excuse me, but are you going to teach me anything this lesson?”
Sirius dragged his eyes away from the blonde head and black head leaning so close together, laughing conspirators, and looked in confusion at the younger boy. For a moment Sirius forgot who he was and why he was there; he had been far too intent on watching his little brother’s shameless flirting. Sirius’ real obsession, however, lay in trying to figure out if these feelings were being reciprocated by Adrianna. He was still at a loss.
“Um, yeah. What do you want to know about?” Sirius ran a hand through his hair, still completely distracted.
The Hufflepuff boy screwed up his nose. “Well, I got pretty stuck on Vanishing Spells last lesson. Can you do them?”
Sirius’ frustration with his brother and Adie was growing. “Of course I can! I passed my bloody OWL, didn’t I?!”
The boy blinked in surprise at his mentor’s vehement reaction. Sirius groaned and apologised quickly. He leant forward to find the relevant chapter in the kid’s textbook, deciding to forget about whatever was occurring behind him and to commit to the task at hand.
His resolve did not last long.
Another peal of delighted laughter had Sirius’ head whipping round at lightning speed. Adrianna’s lips were curved into a wide grin, her eyes creased with laughter. But worst of all she was leant in towards his brother, one hand on his shoulder and her thick curtain of hair almost brushing his face. Sirius could feel inexplicable rage bubbling in the pit of his stomach.
He so desperately didn’t want to feel this way.
“Oi! Could you quit lusting after the blonde and help me?” The boy’s voice was an indignant squeak in the face of his tutor’s negligence.
Sirius might have responded somewhat civilly if he hadn’t noticed, in that moment, the casual, proprietary way Regulus’ hand rested on the small of Adie’s back.
“No, you whingey little bastard, I’m not going to be teaching you shit-all today.”
And with that growled response, Sirius strode out of the room leaving his young pupil rather shell-shocked and the rest of the class very curious.
The only people who didn’t notice were Adie and Reg, still caught up in each other’s laughter.