The Grass Is Always Greener

Chapter 4

Adrianna practically flew out of the Common Room that morning; she hated the fact that the Slytherins resided under the lake in the castle, it was impossible to gauge the weather conditions of the day until you got upstairs. And knowing weather conditions was vital for someone like Adrianna, an avid Quidditch player and her teams’ star Chaser.

That October morning marked the first Gryffindor vs. Slytherin match of the school year so excitement and tensions were obviously running high. Lily had been telling Adie about how Potter and Black had been caught attempting to hex Lucius, the Slytherin Captain. This greatly amused Adie – as much as she disliked Sirius, she would always hate Lucius more.

When she finally reached the Entrance Hall she immediately made for the huge oak doors leading out to the grounds. They were already wide open despite the early hour. Adie rested against the door frame and sighed happily.

Perfect conditions, she thought. Bright, with light cloud coverage so as not to blind the Seeker; just a gentle breeze; no rain clouds; dry, solid ground for a good kick-off. She couldn’t wait.

As she gazed across lake at the Quidditch pitch, Adrianna heard some familiar voices floating through the air.

“It’s going to be a great match.”

“I know, right? Perfect conditions too; Bright, with light cloud coverage so as not to blind the Seeker; just a gentle breeze; no rain clouds; dry, solid ground for a good kick-off. I can’t wait.”

Aw crap, the Slytherin girl thought, Sirius Black... There was no way he’d just walk past her without comment, not on a day like this. She considered trying to hide behind one of the huge doors but then she’d probably just end up looking like an idiot. Best to just play it cool, she decided.

To her great surprise Sirius only shot the dirtiest look he could muster at her; his special reserved-for-Slytherins-only death glare. James naturally, Adie thought contemptuously, followed Black’s example. Adrianna just let her eyes unfocus and drift over the boys as they stalked past her. But a strange thing happened.

As Remus walked past, he deliberately looked at her; the two made eye contact. And he looked apologetic. Adie felt her lips curve up into her trademark grin, acknowledging his embarrassment.

Unfortunately for the pair, their exchange did not go unnoticed by Sirius.

“Moony, what the hell?” He didn’t bother to lower his voice. “For Godric’s sake, don’t encourage it.”

‘It’. Adrianna swallowed; Sirius Black, the greatest hypocrite there ever was.

“Please Sirius.” Remus sounded somewhat exasperated. “You’ve barely ever even spoken to her.” Another uneasy smile sent Adie’s way; her return grin was not quite as enthusiastic as before.

“And, she is Lily’s best friend…” Adrianna looked in surprise at James Potter. Was he actually defending her, against his leader and best friend?

Sirius tutted, looking scornfully at his mates. “They are a bunch of poisonous vipers, trust me – I would know. Being one of those dirty Slytherins isn’t just something you ‘decide you don’t really want to be’. She’s just like all the rest of them really.”

His hypocrisy made Adie want to slam her fist through the wood she rested against. She wasn’t usually such a violent person but as Sirius shepherded his gang away from her as if she was some sort of monster, she really felt like hexing him into next week.

I take it back; Adie thought viciously, I think I actually prefer Lucius. What a low.

She simmered angrily in the Entrance Hall for a half hour or so before making her way into the Hall for breakfast. She didn’t eat much, she never did before a match, and her mind still lay on that awful Black boy.

To distract herself, Adrianna chatted idly to Regulus, convincing herself that at least one of the brothers was an okay guy. She was just laughing at one of Reg’s stories about his mother’s eccentricities when she saw Lily and Emmeline subtly motioning her over to the Gryffindor table where Emmeline, although Ravenclaw, often sat.

Adie made her way across the Hall; she never sat with the Gryffindors – that would definitely be crossing the line. However, she could get away with chatting to them every now and again at meal times.

“Miss Vance? Miss Evans?”

“We just wanted to wish you luck, Adie. We may not understand the game whatsoever but, hey, that doesn’t really matter.”

“You two are such hopeless cases. And anyway, I don’t need luck! Not when I’ve got pure talent and skill on my side!” Adrianna gave her friends a mock smoulder, sweeping her honey hair over her shoulder dramatically.

“Watch it, Snake, nearly dropped your locks in my pumpkin juice!” Diana poked Adie jokingly and the other Gryffindor girls laughingly joined in flaunting their House colours at their Slytherin friend.

“Whatever, whatever – we’ll see who’s laughing when we murder you on the pitch, eh?” Adie grinned at the others. Her smile soon vanished as Sirius made a derisive noise from where hit sat a few places away from Lily.

Adrianna turned to look at the boy, a sweet smile on her face. “Maybe, I should be wishing you boys luck instead seeing as your team is not so blessed on the skills and talent front?”

She spoke the words calmly and politely. No one missed the fact that they were meant in any way other than that. Adie quickly left the table before Sirius could hurl a return at her, she didn’t want to fight with him. She was just sick of putting up with his (in her opinion) completely unjustified hatred of her.

Adrianna had cooled down somewhat by the time she reached the changing rooms. Quidditch was the only time she ever felt any pride in being a part of her House, the only time she enjoyed decking herself out in their signature colours. Quidditch was everything to Adie, one of the things that helped her survive being in Slytherin. When she was flying across the pitch, part of that team, she didn’t mind them all half as much.

Walking on to the pitch, hearing the cheers of her House and the hissing of pretty much everyone else, Adie felt a familiar thrill of adrenaline surge through her. This was her third consecutive year on the team and although she wasn’t a terribly vain person, she knew she was their best player. And so did they. Aside from Lucius, the Slytherin Quidditch team were the people who treated her best within the House (mainly from fear of her leaving the team but beggars can’t be choosers, she thought ruefully).

There was a tense handshake between Gideon Prewett and Lucius before the teams kicked off. Straight away Adie grabbed the Quaffle, weaving across the pitch and exchanging the ball with John Bullstrode. He tossed the ball back into her arms as they neared the Gryffindor posts. Longbottom, the Keeper, didn’t even see it coming.

“Nice one, Adrianna!” Lucius called appreciatively. She ignored him, focussing herself completely on the game.

They continued on, scoring endlessly. The Gryffindors were getting massacred by Adie and Bullstrode.

The girl felt a feeling of accomplishment as she passed the Quaffle through the goalposts yet again, realising that it was one hundred and ninety to twenty. Even if they caught the Snitch, we’d still win, she thought smugly. Adrianna let herself exchange a high-five with her fellow Chasers.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Regulus diving frantically. He’d seen the Snitch! Oh! If they caught it now – what a runaway victory… Unfortunately, Gudgeon (the Gryffindor Seeker) was one step ahead and his fingers grabbed the Snitch seconds before Reg.

The emerald-clad section of the stadium erupted into cheers as the final whistle blew. Adrianna saw her team streaking down the pitch to congratulate her; she luxuriated in the feeling of being adored by her fellow Slytherins, even if it would be just for a day.

“SO SLYTHERIN HAVE WON THE FIRST LIONS VS. SNAKES MATCH OF THE SCHOOL YEAR, ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY POINTS TO ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY. A VICTORY LARGELY THANKS TO MISS GREENGR- OI! Black, what are you-?”

Adie swung her broom round as the commentator broke off his exultation of her performance. His exclamation had been aimed at whoever was behind her.

As she turned her broom, a Bludger flew past her impossibly quickly, missing her by millimetres. The force of it almost knocked her off her broom anyway. If she hadn’t moved, Adrianna would have felt the weight of that slam straight into her spine.

“BLACK. What the hell were you playing at?” Adie screamed across the pitch; she no longer cared about avoiding conflict with the boy. “The match is over, you moron. You could have broken my fucking back!”

In her blinding anger, she barely even realise that she was flying towards her would-be attacker or that he was heading straight for her. They stopped simultaneously, their faces centimetres apart.

“My silly little mistake, I suppose.” Sirius spoke quietly and silkily, a dangerous tone.

“Don’t even try that shit with me Black – you did that on purpose.” Adie was shouting again. “What is it with you and your irrational hatred of me? Leave me the hell alone, Black.”

“So fucking conceited – guess what? Just like the rest of your nasty House and your stupid pure-blood family. Stop trying to put on this innocent little martyr act. You are just like them.”

She could contain her fury no longer, moving forwards again with an aim to close the small distance between them. Sirius’s wand was drawn and the spell to send her flying across the pitch was on his lips when she felt a pair of arms restraining her. James was holding Sirius back similarly.

“Trying to knock a girl off her broom twice in five minutes? So brave and courageous, Black!” Adie snarled from the confines of his brother’s arms. “What a set of morals you have, eh? You are the most disgusting hypocrite I’ve ever met!”

Emmeline and Lily sat with her in the Library later on, after a stern talking to from Madame Hooch (Adrianna felt a small sense of victory at the fact that Sirius had received detention).

Adie did not want to return to her Common Room that night, she knew they’d congratulate her for her verbal sparring match with Slytherins most hated blood-traitor. But she didn’t want congratulations. After the showdown, she had just felt so… Slytherin and bitchy. Not at all like herself; it was why, she reminded herself, that she’d so studiously avoided conflict with Black before. Something about him made her blood boil.

“You really went for him, Adie.” Em remarked, breaking the silence.

Adie voiced her feelings about him, the way he made her want to punch things a lot. Her friends had their own theories on she felt like that way.

“He is what you aspire to be,” Lily theorised. “Sirius has broken the mould of his family, he’s in Gryffindor and is a complete disgrace to you all and yet, he receives a lot less hassle than you. Plus he’s always so happy. You’re not.”

Adie nodded, Lily’s theory was very plausible; it did completely enrage her that she was forced to put up with her parents and Lucius’s false niceties when all Sirius Black got were a few dirty looks.

Emmeline cleared her throat. “I think it’s because you two should be allies, friends. You’re both in the same boat, really yet he can’t stand you. You’re always calling him a hypocrite and its true, Adie – he should admire you and help you.”

“Truly,” Adrianna pronounced. “I am blessed to have such excellent shrinks for best friends.”

She relaxed into the window seat beside her said friends, ceasing her restless pacing. Em was completely right, Adie realised. She resented Sirius because she just couldn’t fathom why he despised her so. She was a Slytherin by name, true, but it didn’t mean she was a Slytherin by nature…

Adie reclined across Lily’s lap, her feet on Em’s knees. The redhead pushed her reading glasses to the end of her nose, mock-counsellor-style.

“Now Miss Greengrass,” she spoke in a stupid nasal voice. “Let’s begin the analysis of your relationship with your mother… If we apply Freud’s theory of- Hey! Ouch, Adie don’t hit at me like that; you wouldn’t hit a real therapist would you now? OUCH! Right that’s it!”

That’s better, Adie thought, there’s no better way to end a stressful day than with an all-out tickling battle with your best mates…

“Adrianna Greengrass! Tickling charms are against the rules!”

“Rules? Pffft, I’m a Slytherin, hadn’t you heard?”


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