Some Bad Luck
“So you're gonna—?”
Lily heaves a great sigh. “Wow.”
“Yeah.” I mix around the remains of my soggy cereal, which now I am completely unwilling to eat. Why do bad things always happen to me?
Lily shakes her head at my depressed figure and pats my shoulder reassuringly. “Hey, don't worry 'bout it, mate! It'll get better!”
“Yeah.” I pause. “Wait, I mean, no!” I protest, dropping my spoon with a clang, “I'm gonna have to marry Sirius Black, the womanizer of the century! How the bloody hell is that okay?”
Lily shrugs. “Oh, I don't know,” she says as she bites off another piece of her toast. “Maybe it's a different Black. I mean, Sirius doesn't treat you better than he does to any other girl, so maybe there’s another relative we don’t know about or…”
“Alright, you know what?” I stand up abruptly. “I'm gonna confront this guy about this today. I'm gonna ask Sirius if he knows about it and if he doesn't, then maybe I can get my parents to rethink this shi—”
“What're you guys talking about?” I feel a hand on my shoulder and spin around.
Upon seeing who it is, I let out a relieved sigh and sit back down. “G'mornin', Remus,” I reply in a melancholic tone as the rest of the crew moseys down towards us.
Huh… except Sirius. Wonder where he is.
Remus sits down next to me and answers as if he just read my mind. “If you're wondering where Sirius is,” he says with an amused smile, “he's outside the Great Hall, on the right, behind the statue of Bartalemy the Berserker.” Weird name for a statue. “We were unfortunate enough to crash into them when we were trying to escape from McGonagall.”
James sits down across from Lily and grins at her. “Some dung bombs slipped from my hand. Accident, I swear!”
Lily folds her arms and turns away from him. “So immature…” she mutters disapprovingly, the words at odds with how her face immediately turned bright pink at the thought of James sitting next to her for breakfast. Very cute, Lily.
“Well anyways, we kind of saw something we probably shouldn't have seen behind that particular statue,” Remus continues as he takes a bite out of an apple. “James and I are pretty much used to it. Peter on the other hand…”
Peter slumps down onto the bench, gasping. “Scarred me for life.”
I'm about to make a witty comment about Sirius' depravity when Remus suddenly reaches over my arms to grab a couple sheets of paper.
“Ah ha! Our schedules!” he says as he hands one to each of us. “How could you guys miss these? They were right in front of your faces!”
Uhh, does he actually expect me to answer that truthfully? Too lazy to even look at it, I place the class schedule back on the table. “Er, we were talking about… stuff,” I reply awkwardly.
He raises his eyebrows at my vague answer. “Stuff, eh?”
Suddenly, Remus leans in and looks straight into my eyes. His face was so close to mine, I could almost see the lavender flecks in my eyes in his chestnut brown. It felt as though he knew the entirety of our conversation just by looking at me.
A seemingly understanding expression lights up his eyes and my face turns pink. “Umm, Remus?”
He just grins and turns away. “Okay.” And with that, he casually leans across the table to engage in James' conversation with Lily, leaving me alone with my doubts.
Okay. Okay?! Does he know? Okay, Cecilia. Logically, this guy can't read your mind. Logically… oh god, what if he's psychic? No, wait that'd be stupid. He doesn't know what Lily and I were talking about! Although he might know it's about Sirius... Oh no, was I that obvious? I mean, I was gonna say something about him before he mentioned it, but… agh, stupid stupid stupid.
I reach out my hand to blindly grab an apple for myself and my hand crunches over something else. I make the effort to turn my head to check out what it is.
“The class schedule?” I mutter, bringing it up to my face.
Lily takes this opportunity to escape James’ flirt-attacks again and looks over my shoulder. “Huh,” says Lily with a satisfied nod. “Double Defence Against the Dark Arts with Ravenclaw and then Charms with Hufflepuff. Not bad, not bad.” Lily lowers her voice so only I can hear. “Meaning you'll have plenty of time to talk to Sirius about the… y’know, the thing.”
“How so?” I ask, raising an eyebrow curiously.
Lily just leans back on the bench nonchalantly and replies, “Oh, Professor Whittle likes to do a lot of practical spellwork and often leaves us to ourselves.”
He was not at all whittle… or whatever that means. Professor Whittle was a big, buff muscleman. How ironic. Wonder where he got those genes.
So, here I am sitting with Lily watching this guy make his daily lecture while brandishing around his enormous biceps. What is this anyway? The military?
“Listen up, you runts!” he bellows, as if we weren’t just feet away from him, “This isn't your first class with me in Defence Against the Dark Arts, so I'm sure you students know me pretty well. MEANING I DON'T ALLOW SLACKERS, GOT THAT?”
Blimey, who even is this guy?
“I'm sure you've all heard about my practical application lessons in Fifth Year D.A.D.A. and I'm sure not going to hesitate starting you lot out with a BANG!” He emphasizes the word by slamming his gigantic hand on the desk of a poor student sitting a couple of feet before him.
I'm surprised that puny desk didn't bloody shatter under the impact.
“I just got the okay from Professor Dumbledore this morning, SO!” He claps loudly, making everyone jump in their seats. “I want to see what you Fifth Years can do! We're going to be dueling!”
There sounds a big whoop from the class and with a sweep of the professor’s wand, all the desks fly to one side of the room.
He gestures grandiosely to the front of the room. “The randomly chosen pairs are on the board! While you show off your most impressive jinxes, I'll be walking around observing you lot!” he yells at the class at a volume one would shout across the length of a Quidditch pitch.
My eyes scan the chalkboard, searching quickly for my opponent. I find my name at the very bottom and immediately my jaw drops in a, er, rather unsightly manner.
It was a one in a billion chance and it happened. Since when was my luck ever this good? Or should I say, this bad?
“Well then,” I hear a voice behind me, speaking directly in my ear. “This’ll be fun.”
I spin around, my hand covering my ear protectively. “Sirius!”
He grins and gives me a friendly wave. “Looks like we'll be dueling each other. Go easy on me, eh?”
Just the sight of him makes me remember him and Ellie last night and I gag mentally. “Ugh, you make me sick,” I mutter under my breath.
How can Mum make me marry this guy? Knowing him, he’d probably cheat on me every second of the day! It’s only the second day on school and already I’ve seen him exchanging flirty glances with other Ravenclaw girls in class. And he has a girlfriend. Unbelievable…
“Oi, what was that now?” He smirks.
In response, I snatch my wand out from my cloak lightning fast and shout, “Incendio!”
The streak of fire that burst out of the tip of my wand just barely grazes Sirius’ hair as he dives out of the way. “Whoa!” He shakes out the slightly smoking tips of his bangs. “What're you being so aggressive for?” he demands, pulling out his own wand, “What happened to sweet, gentle girl I met at King’s Cross?”
I give him an icy glare. “Wow, you sure act differently when you're not snogging your girlfriend, Black,” I spit out fiercely. “Impedimenta!”
He points his wand at the air in front of him. “Protego!”
My curse bounces off the invisible shield and ricochets off the walls.
“I’d love to know why you’re saying my name so contemptuously, Vance,” Sirius remarks before giving me an impish grin. Without even uttering an incantation, he flicks his wand upwards.
“You ignorant little—WAGH!” Suddenly, my feet get flung up towards the ceiling, leaving me hanging upside-down in the air. “What the—hey!”
Sirius slaps his leg in seeming disappointment. “Oh, you’re wearing pants, I forgot!”
My face turns bright red. “You perverted little piece of—”
“Ah ah…” Sirius wags his finger at me, still looking like he’s trying not to laugh. “Watch your language, Vance, before I drop you.”
“You better!” I retaliate angrily as I try to point my wand at him and hold my shirt down at the same time. “You better undo the jinx, Black, or else!”
“Or else you’ll what?” he says teasingly. “Hex me—whoa, alright alright!”
Sirius just barely dodges a well-aimed bat-bogey hex I shoot at him. Damn his impeccable reflexes… And with another flick of his wand, I fall crumpling to the floor.
I slowly get up, my face red and out of breath. “So… you seriously don't know what's going on?” I say, ignoring the steadily growing crowd around us.
As for the dueling: from the looks of it, Lily easily defeated James with a rather clever jelly-legs jinx and Remus completely knocked his partner Percival Hansen out for the count. Peter, however, is losing horribly to Sirius' girlfriend, Ellie. And she isn't even that good!
“What do you mean ‘what’s going on’?” Sirius raises an eyebrow, now looking curious. “Is that why you’re mad at me? For something I didn’t even do?”
“You mean you didn't get anything from your parents last night?” I say astonishment. Yes! This might be a mistake yet!
Sirius’ brows furrow. “Uh, no, I did no—OW!”
An owl spontaneously flies in and knocks into Sirius’ head with a violent crash.
“Bloody hell! What in the name of Merlin's gigantic ba—oh, thanks.” The owl drops a letter into Sirius' hands and he immediately rips it open, reading it with increasingly narrowed eyes. “What?” he exclaims after a few moments.
“Give me that.” James rushes forward (after recovering from the jinx) and grabs the letter from the shocked-out-of-his-wits Sirius.
James straightens out the wrinkles in the letter and clears his throat. Then to my dismay, he starts reading it aloud: “'My dearest eldest son, Sirius, I hope that you're…' blah, blah, blah skip that… 'I forgot to tell you that your fiancé Cecilia Vance will be attending Hogwarts this year. I hope you two will get along so that when you start dating you can send your preferred date for your arranged marriage. If you don't start dating, send your preferred date for your arranged marriage anyway. Love, Mum—WHAT?!”
Ending on that note, all the students in the room immediately start murmuring to each other about what they make of this ridiculus sitation.
I just stand there, a look of completely and utter shock on my face. Are you bloody kidding… This can't be happening to me!
Sirius snatches the letter back from James, rather red in the face. “You stupid git, why'd you read it out loud?” He crumples it up and burns it under his wand tip. “Right,” he says through gritted teeth, turning back to me. “What makes our parents think they can even begin to arrange marriages? Stupefy! Much less ours?”
I grab a pillow and throw it at the incoming spell, deflecting it. Aiming my wand directly at Sirius' stupid head, I yell, “Reducto! How the hell should I know?”
“Protego!” Behind the shield, Sirius spins around clutching his head furiously. “Arghh!” he yells, almost to himself. “I can't settle down with a girl right now, much less you! This is mental!”
Are you kidding, Sirius? You think you've got it bad? Are you the one who's engaged to the biggest player in Hogwarts? Are you the one engaged to a guy with a bloody girlfriend already? Probably one of many? Are you the one engaged to a flirtatious, complete IDIOT?
“I come to Hogwarts for the first time and the first thing I get is this jerk of a fiancé?” I yell to the air in complete frustration.
We glare at each other and point our wands at the each other's faces simultaneously. “If you think I'll marry you, you've got to be kidding me! Expelliarmus!”
A blast shoots from our wands and then everything goes black.