The Midnight Marauder

I Dare You

December – One Week Before The Holidays

Maya marched into an empty classroom and slammed the door behind her. Fuming, she stood in the middle of the room and wondered whether she should break something and if she could fix it if she did.

“Hey,” said a dry voice, “This is my sulking classroom. Find your own.”

Maya gave the boy sitting on top of one of the desks and small smile. “Hi, Sev.”

“Hey, Maya,” he greeted her. He put down the book he was reading and came over. “What’s wrong? Don’t think I’ve ever seen you mad before.”

“It’s just...” Maya let out an angry puff of air. “I just need to figure out how to summon objects in the next two days and I’ll be all good.”

“Summon objects?” Severus Snape frowned. “But that’s fourth year magic.”

“I know,” said Maya, frustrated. “But I got into a stupid argument with someone in my house and I’m not going to let them win!”

“About summoning things?” Sev asked.

“About magic in general,” Maya argued. “He said I was too little to do stuff with them – as if I even wanted to do stuff with them – cause I don’t know enough magic. I told him I could do anything he could think of and they laughed and then he picked summoning. So...!”

“Hold on,” said Sev. He put his hands on Maya’s shoulders. “Calm down.” Maya nodded.

“You said they?” Said Severus. “Who?”

“James Potter and Sirius Black,” huffed Maya.

“What?” Severus froze.

“Sev?” Maya asked cautiously.

Severus gave her a fierce smile and ran to grab his stuff.

“Come on, Maya,” he said. “You’re going to learn how to summon before the Holidays!” He dashed out the door in the direction of the library and Maya raced after him.

After quick conversation with Madame Pince and about an hour spent reading several advanced spell books, Maya and Severus were standing in the middle of an empty classroom with the books scattered around them.

“It’s all about concentration,” said Severus, his nose buried deep within a book. “Let’s try again. Accio, Potions and Potencies!” Sev flourished his wand but the book in question only wiggled.

“It moved that time!” Maya told him excitedly.

“Not good enough,” Severus growled, brushing his slightly greasy hair out of his eyes. “Your turn.”

“Accio, Hogwarts, A History!” Said Maya, glaring at the book. It didn’t do anything. Her face fell.

“Don’t forget the wand,” said Severus. “Accio, Hogwarts, A History!” The book hopped and fell back into its original spot.

Maya made a hissing noise and brandished her wand. The book went flying back and smashed through a window. Maya out both hands over her mouth and looked at Severus.

“That went in the wrong direction,” he said dryly. Maya giggled. Faintly, the familiar sound of Filch shouting came through the now-open window.

“Run,” said Severus. They collected the books and raced out of the classroom, giggling helplessly once they were far away from the crime scene.

“Same time tomorrow?” Severus suggested. “But in the Charms corridor?”

“Sure,” said Maya, her cheeks flushed with the dash to safety.

“And...uh...Maya,” said Severus sheepishly.

“Yeah?” She said.

“You know...maybe you can invite Lily to join us. She’s good at this type of stuff.”

Maya raised an eyebrow and Sev blushed.

“Okay, Sev,” she said mischievously. “Should I say that you requested her presence?”

“Don’t you dare...I’ll just go faster with her help...”

Maya laughed as she began the trek back to her dormitory, leaving Snape blushing furiously over the stack of books in his hands.

The day before the Holidays, Severus Snape and Lily Evans stood with Maya Night outside of the doors of the Great Hall.

“You sure you want to do it in front of so many people?” Said Lily.

Maya squared her shoulders. “Yup.”

“It’ll be fantastic,” said Severus. “I can’t wait to see the look on Potter’s face...”

“I’m doing it to Sirius, remember?” Said Maya.

Severus’ face fell a bit. “Oh...yeah...that’ll be good, too.”

“Okay,” said Maya. She swallowed, suddenly nervous. “What if it doesn’t work?”

“It’ll work,” Lily said. “I’m going to go sit down first, okay?” Maya nodded.

Lily entered the Great Hall and looked around. It wasn’t completely full – lots of the older students were busy finishing up some last minute schoolwork, but there was a pretty good crowd all the same. She sat down next to Remus and grinned at the group of boys. “Hello.”

The four of them looked surprised to see her sitting there – Lily avoided them as a general rule.

“Hi, Evans,” said James, recovering first. “How are you?”

“Ready to go home,” she said honestly. “I miss my mum’s cooking...” Lily trailed off as Maya marched over, looking determined. Sev slid into his spot at his own table, next to Sirius’ younger brother.

“You lost, Black,” said Maya firmly once she reached the group.

“Lost?” Said Sirius, bewildered. “Lost what?”

Maya grinned, took out her wand, and said firmly, “Accio, pumpkin juice!” The large jug of pumpkin juice on the other end of the table flew to Maya open hand and she staggered a bit under the weight. Grinning evilly she held it over Sirius’ head. “Apologize!”

“Bloody hell,” said Sirius, staring at the jug over his head with wide eyes.

“You can do the summoning spell?!” exclaimed Peter.

Remus began laughing. “Serves you right, Sirius!”

“Should I do it?” Maya asked the hall, tipping the jug precariously. A cheer rose up from everyone watching. Severus grinned broadly as Regulus cheered loudly beside him.

Sirius put up his hands. “I surrender,” he said. “ win, Maya.”

“You’re definitely allowed to hang with us whenever you want,” added James. Maya, looking smug, tipped the jug a bit more and Sirius cringed as a few drops fell on his perfectly combed hair. Then, Maya placed it on the table and squeezed onto the bench between Lily and Remus.

“Don’t ever say that I’m not smart enough to hang out with you, ever,” she told James and Sirius firmly.

“On my honor,” said James.

“Promise,” laughed Sirius. Peter looked at her with admiration.

Remus laughed. “I told you not to challenge her.”

“That you did,” said Sirius.

“Hey, Maya,” said James. “Think you can teach us how to do that spell?”

“Yeah, Maya,” said Peter eagerly.

Lily glanced over her shoulder at the Slytherin table. Sev gave her a grin and lifted up his cup in a silent toast for victory.

On his other side, Regulus grumbled, “I wanted her to dump it on him. It would have been funny.”

January – First Week Back

Maya bit her lip as she strained to hold the jar steady. The sticky stuff that had once been eye of newt and was now definitely “goop of newt” stuck to the inside and refused to go into the cauldron. It would be more helpful in the cauldron, with the rest of the potion ingredients, so I can get out of here, she thought irritatingly. The smell from too many cauldrons and singed eyebrows was making the underground classroom pretty awful. The smoke had already made two people faint – including Maya’s partner, Danni, and leaving her to struggle with the assignment on her own – and there was no end in sight.

A thump on the ground made Maya start and the entire flask of goo fell into the cauldron. There was a worrying bubbling sound and Maya dove to the ground right before the entire thing exploded, leaving a smoldering sludge stuck to the ceiling.

“Merlin’s beard!” Exclaimed Professor Slughorn, he gave Maya’s handiwork a dubious glance. “My girl, please be careful with the eye of newt! Exactly one eye, my dear!”

“Professor!” Regulus cut off any reply that Maya may have had, “Professor! Crouch fainted.”

“Oh dear,” said Slughorn, looking at Regulus’ partner with a bit of annoyance. “He’ll wake up in a moment, the smoke isn’t toxic. He may even have some good dreams to share.” Slughorn looked around the room, glanced up at the ceiling where Maya’s handiwork was starting to congeal, and said, “Maya, m’dear, would you mind working with Regulus for the last few minutes? I would really prefer for you to have a partner.”

“Me, too,” said Maya fervently.

She scooted around the remains of her cauldron and went to join Regulus at his table. Regulus have her a small smile. “What happened there, Night?”He asked, nodding at the disgusting ceiling.

“I think the eye of newt I was using went bad,” she huffed.

Regulus smirked a bit, and handed her the ladle. “Here, can you stir?” Maya nodded and got to work. Unlike her questionable potion, his was actually the right consistency – more like stew than wet cement. As the last hour of double potions dragged on – and more and more of their classmates gave up or were sent to the hospital wing (Crouch remained unconscious on the floor) – Regulus and Maya were very much enjoying themselves. They kept up an easy banter not unlike that between James and Sirius that probably looked like they were arguing to the rest of the class but, as they kept winking and nudging each other under the table, it was a lot of fun.

With a finished product that was probably unsafe to drink but actually the right color and smell, the two young wizards left the potions classroom last.

“Wow,” said Maya, “You’re pretty good at potions then, aren't you?”

“Um...not quite,” Regulus admitted.

Maya shot him a questioning look.

“I told someone in my house that we were going to try the ‘perfect dreams’ potion today,” Regulus said, reaching into his bag. “He told me that the instructions for that are awful and gave me some of his notes.” Regulus paused on the stairs and passed Maya a slightly crumpled piece of parchment. “Take a look. They’re bloody brilliant.”

Maya scanned the ingredients and muttered, “Ha. Only half an eye of newt. That makes more sense.” She looked back up at Regulus “Who gave them to you?”

“He’s a year ahead of us,” said Regulus, “Severus Snape.”

“I know him!” So as Maya excitedly. “He sat next to me on the train!”

“Really?” Said Regulus. “He’s a weird kind of celebrity in my House. He doesn’t have that many friends but he knows absolutely everyone and he’s pretty brilliant.”

“That sound like Sev,” Maya agreed.

Regulus grinned and took something out of his pocket.

“What’s that?” Maya asked.

“German chocolate,” said Regulus, “My mum had it sent to me.” He unwrapped the silver foil, took off a sizable chunk and offered it to Maya. “Would you like some?”

Never one to decline sweets, Maya took the offered rectangle. “Sure!” Maya took off a piece and bit into it. A look of surprised ecstasy crossed her face and Regulus actually laughed.

“It’s good, isn’t it?”

“This is blood brilliant!”

And the Gryffindor and Slytherin sat in the corridor eating chocolate. Each thinking that the others house couldn’t be that bad if someone as interesting as their current companion had chosen it.

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