Head Boy and Girl
“Now, yer mum and dad were as good a witch an’ wizard as I ever knew. Head boy an’ girl at Hogwarts in their day!”
Hagrid to Harry Potter, Harry Potter and
the Sorcerer’s Stone
The Marauder’s 7th Year and Maya’s 6th Year
The new Head Girl of Hogwarts finished telling the prefects about the increased safety measures at Hogwarts and took a deep breath. The English countryside flashed outside the windows of the Hogwarts’ Express. The scarlet train let out a shrill whistle as smoke puffed high into the air. Lily Evans straightened her shoulders, her new head girl badge gleaming on her black robes and asked briskly, “Any questions?”
“Yes,” the Slytherin male prefect drawled, “Why is he head boy?” He accompanied his question with an accusing finger at the young man standing in the corner.
James Potter gave the younger boy a fixed look, his expression carefully neutral until the youth squirmed uncomfortably and dropped his gaze. “I was as surprised as you were to find out I was head boy,” James told the group honestly. “But I care about Hogwarts and I care about keeping everyone safe. I’ll do my job – you lot just worry about doing yours.”
The group all nodded in agreement, even the Slytherin boy. Everyone left then, going to find their friends and catch up after a long summer filled with newspaper headlines and row after row of the missing and dead. The new Gryffindor girl prefect, Christy, smiled at James as she left and said, “I wasn’t too surprised – you’re pretty clever and all that.”
“Thanks, Christy,” said James.
Remus, his newly-polished prefect badge shining, grinned. “Careful Christy, you don’t want to inflate his head again.”
“Ah, knock it off, Moony,” said James, giving his friend a playful nudge. “I’ve promised Lily that I’m permanently deflated. Can’t have my partner thinking I’m an insolent toe-rag.”
Lily laughed. Remus and Christy left the compartment but James waited for her. “Lily,” said James, his voice strange. Lily looked at him questioningly.
“I promised to never ask you out again but...”
Lily’s heart rate increased tenfold.
“Would you like to join me for a pre-head- boy-and-girl rounds butterbeer? Nothing fancy, literally in our own common room...but...ah...” James got really embarrassed and fell silent, more uneasy than when he’d been talking to the prefects. Lily smiled.
“Okay,” she said.
Lily nodded, smiling so hard at the ecstatic expression that James was trying to hide that her cheeks actually hurt.
would have admired the magic if she weren’t so angry and scared. It was a
clever mixing of levicorpus and expelliarmus, with some sort of enlargement
charm plus some other factor that made it stick to the worn cobblestones of the
castle so that it would activate when people walked over it. A small part of
Maya’s mind told her that it was possible that it wasn’t meant for them – they
could have been simply experimenting. But it was too big of a coincidence that
Avery was standing there, laughing cruelly. With Mucliber and Patil and Nott’s
younger brother and Goyle and young Crouch all smiling evilly. And Severus
leaning against the wall with a pleased smile on his face. And Regulus with
that cruel, know-it-all grin that made his eyes shine with a cold light. It was
a new look for the young men Maya had known as Sev and Reg. She hated it.
And she especially hated that she was experiencing it upside-down.
usual group been walking together to the Quidditch fields to have some fun.
Sirius had his arm around Maya’s shoulders while Lily walked beside James in
that way that was making it increasingly obvious to everyone but them that they
should just be together. Remus had been mimicking professor Slughorn and Peter
had been laughing. They’d rounded the corner, completely unsuspecting, and it
had felt as if someone had yanked the floor from under their feet.
They’d all been hoisted by their ankles in seconds – letting out oaths and yelps of surprise; robes flung over their heads and their wands slipping out of their fingers even as they reached for them instinctively. Sirius had begun swearing like a sailor and Maya had been extremely glad that she was wearing pants she yanked the stupid cloak off her face.
Avery was still chuckling and James was glaring at him with so much dislike that Maya almost expected him to successfully curse the other boy without his wand.
“What the hell?!” Maya shouted, her voice joining that of her friends in angry protest. “Let us down! You stupid cowards!”
“Cowards?” Mulciber sneered. “Really now?”
“Only a coward lays a trap,” Maya snapped. “You know you couldn’t take any of us in a fair fight!”
“...get my hands on my wand I swear to God you will regret...!” Sirius was shouting.
James’ voice was just as loud; “Be a man and just challenge us to a duel, damn it!”
Lily was listing off the school rules they were breaking and threatened to have them expelled.
“You talk too much,” said Avery dismissively. “Silencio, maxima!”
Maya’s voice cut off in the middle of her sentence and she tried to scream. Nothing. That was when she got scared. Maya gritted her teeth and extended her hand, trying to grab her wand off the ground. Maya had a clear view of Remus from her position in the air, and his eyes were wide with worry as he struggled uselessly against the invisible force that held them high in the air. Maya’s fingers were only a few agonizing inches from her wand, but steady footsteps approached her and thin hands picked up her wand silently. Maya looked into the eyes of Regulus Black as he slowly stood after getting her wand. She glared at him spitefully, and he lifted his chin defiantly as he walked away.
“What should we do now?” Severus asked, almost lazily.
“I think we should show our dear Head Boy and Girl who really lays the rules around here,” said Avery, his wand still steady on those in the air. A slight furrow appeared above Severus’ forehead but he didn’t say anything.
Avery’s controlling the spells now, Maya suddenly thought. They did too many, if we break his concentration, we can grab our wands.
I know exactly what we should do,” Mulciber said, taking out his wand. He went over to Remus and gently placed his wand over the other young man’s neck. Remus froze. Maya heard his breathing speed up and the hot knot of anger in her stomach tightened. “It was, what, two years ago when we last had some fun with you? Do you remember what it felt like?” Mulciber asked. “Which of your friends should feel it first, eh?”
Maya remembered that day, remembered Remus shouting in pain at the bottom of the stairs as Avery and Mulciber laughed. The cruciatus curse. No! She wanted to scream and stun them or blast them back. But hanging upside down in the air wasn’t helpful to anyone. Sirius and James struggled against the invisible bonds holding them high in the air and Peter went limp with fear. Lily was shouting, her eyes wide, but no sound came out.
I need to break the spell, Maya thought desperately. If only Avery would lose concentration...if only I could attack him or something.
went still, her mind pulled back more than ten years ago as her mother read an
old musty book aloud. “In their animal form,” Maya’s mother had said, “As is
common with all magical creatures, werecats are impervious to spells ranging
from weak to moderate strength...”
Now, Maya wouldn’t necessarily call Levicorpus a weak or moderate spell but it had been diffused by so many others...she had to try, as Mulciber raised his wand and Sirius’ eyes burned with anger and defiance, and James’ lips were set into a tight line...Maya closed her eyes and time slowed down. She’d never tried to transform so early in the evening. The quarter moon was just starting to peak over the horizon and the sky was still a shade of deep blue from the last reaching rays of the Autumn sun. She willed the moon’s power to fill her veins and change her shape. Knowing full well what it could mean, Maya Night transformed in front of the young men who would probably become Death Eaters.
The result was immediate. Maya let out a noise between a howl and a hiss as a black cat with a single white paw fell from the air and twisted to land on her feet.
“Bloody hell!” Mulciber shouted, his eyes wide. But the cat was already leaping; leaping at Avery who was standing with his mouth open and his wand slack in his hand. Midnight’s strong muscles bunched underneath her and she jumped straight at Avery’s wand hand, her clothing left in a heap on the ground. Avery howled with pain as her claws dug into his arm and her sharp teeth latched onto the dark wood of the wand. Her momentum knocked Avery off-balance and everyone in the air fell to the ground as the fragile spell was broken. James snatched up his wand.
“Bang!” Mulciber was stunned.
“Bang!” Regulus was petrified.
Remus and Lily pointed their own wands.
“Bang!” Crouch was thrown against the wall with the force of the stunning spell that got Nott and he sprinted away. Patil and Goyle found themselves tied securely with ropes conjured from mid-air. Severus got his wand out just in time and began dueling with Sirius, sparks flying. James ran to help and Severus found himself pinned against the wall.
“Crack!” Maya bit down, hard, on Avery’s wand and it splintered into two.
“No!” Avery howled. He reached for the pieces instinctively and Midnight’s white paw slashed. Again Avery howled; this time in pain, and he yanked back his bleeding hand. “You filthy half-breed!” He yelled.
“Silencio Maxima!” Sirius yelled, his eyes sparking with anger. The spell was so strong that Avery was knocked onto his butt. Avery open and closed his mouth. But not a sound came out. Midnight hissed, her back arching and the hair on her tail bristling. Avery backed up, scooting across the floor, looking honestly frightened.
The sound of running footsteps filled the corridor and Professors McGonagall, Sprout and Slughorn all ran into view. All the students froze where they were.
“What the devil is happening here?” Professor Slughorn said, looking shocked.
Avery pointed at Maya, trying to speak but thwarted by the spell.
Maya sat back and meowed quietly, looking at her Head of House with big green eyes. Professor McGonagall’s mouth opened a bit. “Is that...?” She said after a pause.
“Maya,” Sirius said grimly. Maya looked at him and meowed again.
Professor McGonagall pursed her lips and said sharply, “Casters, end the spells. Now.” Silently, the seventh year Gryffindor’s let the spells dissolve. A bit shakily, Regulus got to his feet. Peter finally found his wand – it had rolled away in all the commotion – and looked around.
“Headmaster’s office,” said Professor McGonagall, her eyes flashing. “All of you.”
“Now, Ms. Evans!”
They all stood silently before the Headmaster’s desk, heads down. None of them were speaking, reminding Albus Dumbledore of the night so many years ago when Severus Snape had discovered Remus Lupin’s secret. James had the same serious expression, and the same tense silence filled the room.
The door opened and Professor McGonagall brought in Maya. The young werecat had transformed back into her human form and changed into her clothing. Sirius turned and looked at her. Dumbledore noted how the tense muscles in his shoulders relaxed as he saw her, and the angry look in his eyes softened. Maya and Sirius made eye contact and some silent thought was communicated, because Maya joined the line between Sirius and Remus without a word.
“What happened?” Professor Dumbledore asked.
He gave them a piercing look over his half-moon spectacles. Peter kept looking at James and then back at the floor. Regulus was squirming uncomfortably. Severus was stoic, his face a mask.
“Sir,” Remus said finally. “If both parties prefer not to say...perhaps you can simply trust us?”
“Mr. Lupin,” said Professor McGonagall sharply. “We found Maya transformed and half of the group cursed and you ask that we simply let it go?”
“James and I were made Head Boy and Girl for a reason,” Lily spoke up. “I...I ask that you remember that reason now and...and yes, trust us.”
Professor Dumbledore sat back in his chair. He wasn’t blind. He knew those wearing the colors of Slytherin standing before him spent hours reading about the Dark Lord. He knew that they terrified the younger students. And he knew that those in the colors of Gryffindor were quietly combating the fear the others were spreading. They could denounce each other now, but some strange sense of loyalty and secrecy that bound everything both groups did was keeping them all silent. Professor Dumbledore sighed, suddenly feeling his age. “Twenty points each will be taken from your houses. You may leave.”
“That’s not fair,” Peter suddenly said. “Crouch didn’t get dragged up here but he was involved too.”
James elbowed him in the ribs and Slughorn, who had been silent in the back for the entire time said, “Barty Crouch Junior? Really, my boy?”
“Yes,” Peter mumbled. Nott gave him a glare.
“Horace,” Professor Dumbledore asked. “I leave the decision to you.”
Professor Slughorn looked uncomfortable. “I’ll speak with him, headmaster.”
Professor Dumbledore nodded and said, “Everyone return to your houses.” “Except,” he added as they all turned, “Maya Night.”
Maya nodded and turned back to face him. Sirius gently put a hand on her arm and turned her so she was facing him. They looked at each other for a moment and then he gave her a hug. She momentarily closed her eyes and took a deep breath, steading herself. Regulus turned away, his hands tightening into fists and sped up. But then,
“Regulus!” Maya called. He froze.
“My wand, please,” Maya said. Professor McGonagall’s eyebrows rose but she didn’t say anything. Regulus reached into his cloak and pulled out Maya’s wand. He gave it back to her without meeting her eyes and then hurried out of the room. All the other students, except for Maya, followed.
They had just exited the stairs when Avery opened his mouth and began, “That...”
And the next thing he knew, James had him pinned to the wall. Wands were drawn and pointed, but James ignored them.
“One. More. Year,” he said, emphasizing each word by shaking Avery a bit. “We have to get along for one more year or everything we love about Hogwarts will go to hell.”
“You’ll go to hell,” Avery hissed.
“You’re all sickening,” Lily snapped, her green eyes flashing. “And not because of this – the stuff you lot do to the younger kids. It’s wrong.”
“You have no proof,” Nott countered.
“No,” said Remus, even his normally calm voice was brimming with anger. “But we know we’re right.”
“Leave us alone,” James said. “For one more year...”
“Then we all leave Hogwarts,” Sirius added. “And you can go live your sad, miserable existences until you realize that the Dark Lord doesn’t care about his followers.”
“Shut up,” Mulciber snapped.
James stepped back from Avery and walked away, ignoring the wands pointed at him. The other Gryffindors followed.
However, they only rounded the corner and waited until they head the Slytherins’ footsteps walk away. Sirius walked back to the base of the Headmaster’s office to wait for Maya.
Severus was the only one who noticed that Regulus had been absent for the entire conversation.
Professor Dumbledore had fixed Maya with his piercing stare and she had, at first, ducked her head in shame. But then, she’s lifted her chin defiantly and said, “I wasn’t going to just sit there when I could do something to help.”
“And your secret?” Dumbledore asked evenly.
“I’m not ashamed of who I am,” she answered. “Why should I? I didn’t choose to be born like this! It isn’t hurting anyone! Why should I have to hide who I am?”
Professor Slughorn chuckled. “Well
said, my dear.”
Maya gave the professor a small smile. She had been avoiding the Slug Club as much as she could this year – eager to avoid the pure-blood fanatics that frequented it – and she had forgotten that, despite being overly ambitious, Slughorn wasn’t a bad person. She had to remind herself almost constantly now – being Slytherin didn’t mean you were bad. Your choices did that.
“Ms. Night,” said Professor Dumbledore. Maya looked back at him. “Be careful,” he said simply.
“Yes, sir,” said Maya. And she quietly walked out of the room. Sirius met her at the base of the stairs and she jumped the last few steps into his arms.
“You,” he told her, moving a few springy strands of hair back from her face, “Are the bravest, most amazing person I have ever met.” She kissed him, and then relaxed into his arms, trembling a bit as she let the full implications of what she had revealed hit her.
“I’m not ashamed,” she whispered. “And I’m not afraid...not really...but yet...”
“I know,” Sirius whispered, rubbing his hand soothingly on her back. “I know.”
Severus Snape found Regulus sitting alone in the middle of his dormitory – everyone else was either studying or still at dinner. “Regulus?”
“Were we,” Regulus said, without turning around to look at him, “Going to let them use the cruciatus curse on Maya Night and Lily Evans?”
Severus didn’t reply.
“Tell me that we’re doing the right thing,” said Regulus.
Again, there was no reply.
“Sev?” Regulus turned. But Severus Snape was gone. On an impulse, Regulus jumped up and ran out of the room. A million thoughts raced through his head as he hurried up from the dungeon rooms towards Gryffindor Tower. Apologizing to Maya, to Sirius, or arguing with them or simply having them yell at him. But there was a sudden and overwhelming need to hear someone call him Reg and smile while they said it. He rounded another corner and froze. Sirius and Maya were kissing in the half-shadows of the corridor. As Regulus watched Maya pulled away, half-laughing and Sirius grabbed her hand, dragging her down another hall, a large smile on his face. All of Regulus’ emotions drained away then and he walked back slowly.
He was always alone.