“Oh, come off it, Sirius! We got second place!” James punches Sirius in the arm playfully.
But Sirius just stares blankly in front of him as we make our way to the next class, History of Magic. “I don't think anyone in our house has ever beaten me in Potions, mate,” he mutters in a dazed voice, “Ever.”
James rolls his eyes and says reassuringly, “Don't even worry, mate. It probably was just a fluke!”
JUST A FLUKE? How 'bout I smack you over the head and knock you stairs, eh? Then we'll see who's a fluke! …Calm down.
“Even if you got beaten by Cecilia, I still think you're cool, Sirius…” Peter mumbles from somewhere behind us.
“O-oh, thanks, mate,” Sirius says, not really hearing anything that his friends were saying at all. “Still though, I can't believe she finished so bloody fast like how…”
I smirk to myself. Heh, wouldn’t you like to know.
As the boys continue their rather ho-hum conversation, I turn my attention to Remus instead, determined to make this finally work. Remus is my best guy friend. I'm just gonna pretend nothingever happened and talk like we usually do again. Well, because really, nothing did happen.
I'll just start with a basic conversation starter. Yeah, that's it! “T-the sun sure is cold today!” Great, Cecilia. You blew it.
Remus looks at me oddly. “Huh?”
“I mean, congrats on finishing third place in Potions!” I say quickly. Ooh, nice save.
“Yeah, thanks.” Remus grins. “Though I wasn't nearly as fast as you. That was pretty amazing.” He lowers his voice to a whisper, “I saw your little trick.”
“What?” I look at him aghast, “Hey, that's my thing! You better not go around showing it off to everyone you know now!” I pause. “Wait, why were you watching me in the first place? Shouldn’t you be paying attention to your potion?”
Remus laughs a little and then puts his thumb and forefinger against his chin in mock thought. “Hmm, let's see. Maybe… No wait, I think you were sitting right in front of me. Better yet, right in the way of the directions! How could I not look at you?”
“Oh, yeah… you have a point there,” I mumble, embarrassed by my assumption.
We slow down a bit as we start going up the staircase to the fourth floor and Remus spins around, going up the steps backwards. “And you're pretty interesting to look at anyway. I mean, honestly, all those weird things you do?”
Huh? I do weird things? Wait, what am I saying? I always do weird things.
“Like that little habit you have when you eat,” Remus continues with a grin, “Whenever you take an apple or something, you always move to put it back and then look at it and then you eat it. It's really funny actually.”
I hit Remus with my bag indignantly, slightly pink in the face. “You watch me while I eat? Now who's the weirdo?”
He laughs light-heartedly. “Not always. I just notice things easily—”
But the rest of his sentence is obscured as my ears catch a voice utter softly, “Diffindo!” No one else seems to have heard it, but at that moment, the bottom of my bag rips open and all my notebooks and quills spill out onto the staircase. Uh oh.
The rest of the group turn their heads in concern at the sudden crashing sound of books.
“What the?” says Remus as he reaches down to pick up some of my broken ink bottles, “I didn't break your bag, did I? You didn't exactly hit me very hard.”
“Crap,” is all I can answer him with as I hastily bend down to start gathering the ink-splattered parchment and soaked quills. I could've sworn I heard that spell correctly. The Severing Spell, right? Who on earth would do that? If you ask me, it's a pretty dumb prank, though it is causing me a TON of trouble right now.
I point at my ripped bag with my wand and mutter, “Reparo!”
“Cecilia, are you okay?” Lily calls out and starts to make her way down the stairs towards me.
I hold up a hand for her to stop. “Oh, no I'm fine really!” I insist as I shove the stuff in my arms back into my bag, “Head on to class. Professor Binns won’t be happy if all you lot walk in late.” I take the broken ink bottles from Remus's hand. “You too, Remus. I don't want you to get in trouble skiving off because of me.”
“You sure you don't need help?” James calls from the top of the staircase.
I smile and wave at the others. “You guys go on ahead!” This is my problem, not theirs. Plus, I'm getting the feeling that this is more than a little prank.
Remus pats me on the shoulder. “Alright, I'll see you in class then.”
But I just push him towards up the stairs, grinning. “I'll be fine, Remus. Get goin'!”
Once he turns around to catch up with everyone else, I start cleaning up the mess I made, or rather, the mess the little prankster made. As I wipe up the ink puddles on the steps, someone taps me on the shoulder.
I glance over my shoulder to see a pretty blonde girl standing behind me with two other girls, both with equally beautiful and equally menacing looks on their faces. It was the same blonde girl I thought was glaring at me in Potions class. Soooo, I’m just going to put this out there right now… totally called it.
“Cecilia Vance, can I have a word?” the blonde says in a harsh voice, “Alone?”
I look back at the almost clean staircase and then up at the top where everyone awaited me in the History of Magic classroom, but something catches my eye. Looking a ways past the staircase, I lock eyes with Sirius, who apparently doubled back a few steps to make sure I got everything together.
We stare at each other for what seemed like more than mere seconds before I break eye contact to look at the blonde girl instead. “Pretty passive-aggressive way of getting my attention, but, sure, why not,” I reply coolly, “You put in so much effort to get me to be alone, the least I could do is give you three a few minutes of my time.”
“Why you little… talking back to Mia like that—” one of the girls behind the blonde starts angrily.
The blonde puts up a hand to hush her and then smiles at me coldly. “Follow me, Vance. Let's talk.”
I glance back up at the now empty staircase again before turning back to the girl. “Sure, I'll play,” I shrug, curious as to what exactly she wants from me, “Where we going?”
I follow her behind the greenhouses towards the Forbidden Forest. The odd feeling of emptiness promptly makes realize that Professor Sprout has no classes this afternoon. This is becoming less and less of a good idea... er, not that it was a ever good idea to follow a group of menacing looking girls who clearly hate me even though they don't even know me.
“So… Mia, was it?” I fold my arms and lean against the wall of the greenhouse. “Are you gonna tell me why you brought me to this dark, isolated space behind the dark, isolated greenhouse in front of the dark, isolated forest?”
One of the girls glares at me again. “You think you’re so cool, don’t you?”
“Yeah, I do,” I reply defiantly, but then the girl steps up and slaps me across the face. I’m about to blurt out a string of curse words, but before I can muster more than an “okay, ouch”, Mia raises a hand.
“That’s enough, Elaine,” she commands icily.
I raise my eyebrow at the apparent act of kindness, but as Elaine steps back, Mia pulls out her wand and points it at my face. This… is starting to get seriously out of hand.
“Looks like you have a rather high pain tolerance,” Mia says as she moves her wand closer to my face.
I unfold my arms and stick my hands in my back pocket instead, using the innocuous movement to grip my wand. “Hey, stop beating around the bush and get this over with so I can go to class, alright?” I sigh, “Just tell me what you want from me.”
Mia smirks at my demand and I swear to cauldron cakes that the hatred in her eyes was what generated the subsequent sparks from the point of her wand. It was quite the incredible feat. Not the sparks. I mean, hating me that much. Seeing as this is the first time I've ever met this girl, seriously incredible.
But before I could be any more amazed, Mia interrupts my thoughts with a malicious whisper, “I want you to promise me you won't marry Sirius Black.”
“...You wanna run that by me one more time...?” I gape at her, deadpan.
You have got to be kidding me. Let's take a break here and, please, will someone tell me when my life had become so completely stupid? This is seriously like the most terrible soap opera I've ever seen. First, getting engaged to a ridiculous school playboy. Now, I'm getting harassed by some crazed obsessive blondie? Man, if this takes longer than five minutes, then I'll admit I completely underestimated that guy's attractiveness.
I smack away Mia's wand from my chest, “Is this seriously why you dragged me all the way out here? What're you, a complete thickhead?”
Mia glares at me with increasing animosity. “Not at all. I'm just voicing the truth. The truth that you don't have the right to be engaged to Sirius.”
I just stare at her blankly. I honestly have no words for this girl. This is so unbelievably stupid.
Mia continues in reply to my silence, “You're not even pretty. Much less beautiful like me. And while you may have brains, you definitely don't have the body, nor fashion sense.”
I pointedly look Mia up and down in reply and let out a snort in amusement.
Mia flinches noticeably at my reaction and fiercely grabs my collar, pointing her wand at my face again. “What's so funny, Vance?” she demands, her pretty face twisting in anger.
“No, I was just thinking,” I laugh humorlessly, my fingers tightening on my wand in my pocket, “Don't get me wrong, Mia. You're gorgeous and beautiful and stuff, whatever, but I still don't see the point in this.”
She narrows her eyes at me.
“Because, you know,” I look directly into her eyes, the expression on my face amused derision, “after all this talk, I don't see you being Sirius' fiancé.”
I swear she turned uglier than the most ferocious troll right then and there. Like Incredible Hulk-style.
Mia shoves me against the greenhouse wall before letting go of my collar and stepping back to extend her wand arm at me. “That's it, you little bitch!” she shrieks furiously, “Cruci—”
“Expelliarmus!” I pull out my wand lightning fast and disarm her before she can finish her curse.
She falls to the ground in shock, her wand lying in the leaves meters away.
I take a step towards her, not taking the chance to lower my wand in case she had another one in hand. Honestly, with this girl, I wouldn't doubt it. “Hey, don't even think about trying an Unforgivable Curse on me,” I point out dryly, “You're lucky, Mia. If I gave a damn about any of this, I sure as hell wouldn't let you off for harassing me.”
“Screw you, Vance!” Mia spits out in reply, “You don't deserve, Sirius!”
“Says who?” I answer unthinkingly. I pause in surprise at my words. ...Okay, chill, Cecilia, it was a valid question. “Anyway,” I continue hastily, “give me your word that you'll leave me alone and I'll just walk away.” I flick my wand at her in reminder that I have the upper hand here.
I see Mia's body tense menacingly in response. “I'll do more than leave you alone, Vance…” And before I can blurt out an intelligent, “wha?” she gives me a scathing sneer and flings a bloody rock at me.
That girl works out her arms or something because, blimey, that rock moved fast.
Catching me off guard, the rock clubs me right across the head and the sudden break in balance causes me to stumble backwards and fall right through the greenhouse wall. It was a bloody graceful landing, I swear.
My butt sitting in a pile of shattered glass and my eyes seeing stars, I'm barely able to finish yelling, “OW! WHAT THE HELL, MIA?” before I hear a frantic voice somewhere outside the greenhouse.
“I'm so sorry, Mia! We couldn't stop him!”
I raise my torso up to see through the shattered wall, wincing at the glass poking my hands, just in time to see a familiar figure running towards us. Some... weirdly familiar fuzzy figure...
The figure jumps between me and Mia, his wand arm was outstretched and his back tense.