Chapter 5: Punishments and Rewards
“Dated her” Sirius yawned after turning down another one of my suggestions.
“You know they say things are always better the second time around” I enlightened him. “Maybe she’s picked up some new tricks”
“Can we move on? You’ve been pimping the girls of Hogwarts to me for fifteen minutes now”
I ignored him. I was bored after all.
“What about her, she has a whole mysterious thing going on?” I asked him again while pointing out a Slytherin girl with her face shrouded by her dark hair.
We were currently taking a well deserved break from our detention duties. He was relaxing by lying on a table, arms behind his head and his eyes closed while I was staring out the window trying to pick out a new girl of the moment for him as they walked towards Hogsmeade. A trip to Hogsmeade was a privilege that we weren’t able to partake in today because of my recent bit of violence and Black’s small problem of hexing fowl mouthed Syltherins. So here we are, stuck inside on a perfectly nice day.
Amy had promised to get me some sweets while she was there, her and her family may not get along well but she is never without money and is always willing to share a bit with me. One day I was going to have to pay her back for all the things she’s got for me all these years. A part of me secretly thinks she buys me stuff to shut me up; I used to tease her about being a spoiled rich girl.
Right now Sirius and I were supposed to be cleaning out an empty classroom that had been neglected over the years, and unfortunately for whoever actually cared about this, it was still being neglected now.
Unlike the others, he didn’t even open his eyes when I asked him about the girl. Instead he just gave another loud yawn.
“Remind me once more, why are you trying to find me a girlfriend again?” He asked exasperatedly.
“Because you picky prat, I’m bored” I responded, eyes now on some third years, hmmm, nahh too young. “Plus you haven’t had one in like a couple weeks, it isn’t normal and we are running out of taunting material for during meals.”
It was true, his last little number was a girl named Cecilia, who was way too clingy but provided us with much ammunition when she came up with an amusing cute nickname for him. Siri Bear was probably my favourite.
He sighed “Maybe I’ll try this bachelor thing for awhile, I don’t really need a girlfriend right now, and I especially don’t need you guys bugging me.” At his words I dropped my dust rag feigning shock.
“Hear that?” I whispered conspicuously at him. He opened his eyes and looked at me questioningly.
“No, what the heck did you hear?”
“That was the sound of hearts of half the girls in Hogwarts breaking into thousands of tiny little pieces”
“Only half? I was absolutely sure there would be more.”
I threw a dust rag at him and hoisted myself up onto the table next to him and crossed my legs all guru like.
“I can’t believe I’m actually in detention, especially Saturday detention” I moaned.
“And I can’t believe you or Amy haven’t had detention before.”
“We’re very sneaky little critters” I informed him and he laughed at me. Why did his louder laughs always sound so dog like? I would have asked but I didn’t want to upset him. When I first asked as to why his hair length was so long, and referred to it as “slightly girlish”, he looked like he might shed tears and got very protective. Then he threw mashed potatoes in my hair. I didn’t realize this until hours later of course.
“You weren’t very sneaky when you beat up Kimberly Roberts in the hallway” He pointed out.
“I didn’t beat her up” I cried “I just popped her one and I was teaching a lesson, no one slaps Paige Springer”
“I wish no one would slap Sirius Black”
“Stop cheating on your girlfriends and your cheek will feel a lot better” I retorted. I uncrossed my legs and mimicked him by lying on my back on the opposite side of the table, remembering the incident from a few days ago.
McGonagall had really screamed at me as Kimberly freaked out about her bloody, now off center nose. I was paying attention to her lecture, I really was but when she started talking (yelling) about how I needed to grow up I tuned her out a bit. No one is taking away my immaturity while I was still in school. Sometimes it was all I had.
“Amy was right you do daze off a lot” Sirius said, his voice bringing me back to the present I turned my head to the right, it was lined up with his and I still hasn’t heard him.
“Hullo there, what was it you were saying?” I asked him sweetly.
“I was just saying, I don’t cheat on my girlfriends, I have been known to possess a wandering eye, and a natural tendency for flirting but I don’t cheat”
“Good to know” I feigned relief.
He grinned “Yes so when we eventually hook up you can rest at ease”
I made a face “Ew”
“Please, you think about it” He put his hands behind his head confidently, almost hitting me with an elbow.
“Fine, whatever keeps your ego afloat”
“When you say afloat, so you mean water wise or airborne?”
“THIS DOESN”T APPEAR TO BE CLEANING!” A voice boomed, one that could only belong to our dear deputy headmistress. I nearly fell off our table in shock.
“Might I remind you two, your wands will not be returned until this room is spotless, and Miss Springer, I thought you might appreciate doing this the muggle way since you appear to enjoy their methods of dueling” She scolded further.
I groaned, I had a feeling this was meant to be some kind of ironic punishment. I hate it when teachers make punishments related to the crime. It’s so damn smart and annoying.
“I will be back to check on your progress in an hour and there had better be a difference” She warned us and stormed out of the room.
Sirius slid of his table and gave me his trademarked cheeky grin. “Let’s get to it Miss Springer”
If only I had something heavier to throw than another dust rag.
“At least you don’t have to write a letter of apology after this” I complained, not moving from my spot.
He continued smirking at me “Come on, tell me it was a little worth it.”
I grinned back at him. “Are you kidding, Amy told me all about the horrible ordeal Kimberly had to go through to fix her nose when she was taken to the hospital wing, it was one hundred percent totally worth it.” I proudly looked at my still bruised knuckles.
All right time to get to work.
“You reckon we can get away with nicking some of this stuff?” I asked Sirius while dusting a mirror
“You’d actually want any of this?”
“Sure, I think collecting dusty book ends is my calling”
“Sorry you had to hang at Hogsmeade alone” I apologized later to my best friend as she bombarded me with sweets from Honey dukes at breakfast in the great hall the next day. (Chocolate was so much better to start a day on than oatmeal, no matter how much brown sugar I add)
We hadn’t finished cleaning up the classroom until late last night and then I had me an apology letter to write. This understandably took a long time since I wasn’t sorry at all. I tossed it on Kimberly’s bed before I left for breakfast.
“I wasn’t alone, I went with Lily, Remus and James” She said without the faintest blush, she was getting better at this. “And of course I forgive you, here I was recovering from sickness and humiliation when my crush walks in to give me my homework, because someone was busy. To top it off, the girl I hate walks in with a bloody messed up nose, you are so my best friend.”
I stuffed some chocolate into my mouth and gave her a toothy brown grin “I know, wait Lily went with you, willingly”
“Yeah, James is an excellent pupil, she didn’t storm off once, I’ve taught him well”
“Hmm where is Lily anyhow?”
Lily not being here this morning was definitely strange. In fact I hadn’t seen her a dinner either. I also had the feeling that she was avoiding me. I wondered if she was mad about this whole thing punching thing and I was surprised that I was actually upset at the possibility of losing her friendship but at the same time I was a little ticked that she seemed to be taking our angry roommate’s side.
I pushed her out of my mind and turned to Amy “So….Hogsmeade with Lily, James and Remus” Ah, there was that famous blush.
Speak of the devil, he and his friends came into our view which stopped our conversation as they settled down with us.
“How are those hard working arms” Sirius asked teasingly, gripping my left arm.
“They never want to scrub floors again” I grimaced remembering how sore I was, I still couldn’t resist a bragging flex of my arms though. I’ve probably got amazing arm strength now. It’s be good for when I need to lift cars off of babies or something.
“Mmmm sweets” James drooled and reached over to my stash, I slapped his arms away. I must hog all my candy.
“Better watch it” I threatened lightly, “I’ve graduated from throwing badly aimed textbooks to right in the noggin punches, and I’m a pretty tough chick now.”
He decided to call it a bluff and snatched a chocolate frog. He lives dangerously that one. I’ll let him off because I admire that in a man.
Amy picked up a goblet and looked at her reflection to wipe away the chocolate on the corners of her mouth. Afterwards she held its gaze for awhile. “Maybe I should get my nose pierced” she mused “My face needs something a little more interesting.”
I was about to object, I actually wanted to see her on Christmas break, not have her grounded for the entire time, but someone beat me to the punch.
“You’re face is interesting the way it is” Remus calmly stated as he ate, then he paused for a moment and went red as he realized he’d said that out loud. James hastily started a conversation about the upcoming Quidditch match against Slytherin, now that’s some good friendship.
I couldn’t help it. As much as I prided myself with my self control I actually let out a small giggle at Lupin’s comment and Amy’s happily shocked face. Until now he had never shown anything more than friendly interest. This was a serious win for my temporary matchmaking career.
Oh good god please don’t tell me that deep down I’m one of those sappy romantics at heart. Cause my reputation with……well, myself could seriously be ruined.
After breakfast I thought about Lily again. With a quick goodbye to the others I headed to the library hoping she would be there and not off discussing revenge plans with Kimmy and the gang. When I got there I saw her in the back concentrating hard on some homework. I took a deep breath, Lils was so much different than Amy and I didn’t know quite how to handle her but I had to try.
“Hey stranger” I said, hopefully with no resentment in my voice.
She looked up startled and blushed “I guess I have been avoiding you guys” She mumbled.
“Look I’m sorry I hit your friend”
“Really?” she asked skeptically
“Well, no I’m not, she really deserved it” I explained quickly, I was already feeling sort of guilty but I wasn’t going to pretend I regretted what I did.
Lily sighed “I know, it has been tough with her and the others wanting me to take sides, I’ve been avoiding them as well”
“You could take my side” I suggested “Then you only have to avoid them” I gave her an awkward yet innocent smile of encouragement.
She sighed again and looked out the window before speaking once more. This time she seemed to be talking to herself “If I did that then I would always be around him, and now with all these new….oh I don’t know what to call it, developments…”
“Wait a second, what developments?” I asked, knowing very well who “him” was.
I sat down and looked at her seriously “Lily, don’t tell me the boy you hate with every fiber of your being is growing on you.”
She looked down “I don’t know, lately just when I’m around him I’ve been feeling more at ease and I’m realizing he’s not as bad as I once thought.” Whoa I thought, Amy is so much better at this matchmaking thing than I am. And here I thought I was the brains of the friendship.
I stood up and took a deep breath “Well maybe that’s not a bad thing, I mean you know I have excellent taste” she smiled “and I wouldn’t be friends with someone who wasn’t the slightest bit okay”
I watched her think and decided it was time I left. I can’t believe I’ve jumped on the Lily/James train. If everyone pairs up then I’ll be alone unless I date Sirius or Peter and that would just be weird.
I laughed the thought as I walked through the hallways. I’d probably fit better with a crazy Azkaban prisoner. Like that one they sent there for one year last month for broom theft. Nothing like a little stubble and crazed raving about the Comet Company’s alleged crimes against bats to get a girl going.
Okay no more fantasizing about felons.
As I went back to the common room I was also thinking, why was I feeling all this stuff about so many people these days? Before I only had one person to worry about and that had been just fine. When I walked through the portrait, I found Amy and the marauders lounging about. I interrupted their conversation without waiting for them to finish.
“Argh what have you guys done to us?” I exclaimed pointing to Amy and myself.
Before they could say a word I continued my on the spot rant “Since we’ve been friends with you guys I’ve experienced very many first time things, like my first sort of catfight and detention, and nothing will ever take away the horrible experience of being the boy’s dormitory” I reminded them, “Now when I enter a room, girls eye me suspiciously and stop talking instead of gush about you guys and ignore me.” I inhaled “I find myself suddenly entangled in your crazy love lives and actually convincing Lily to give her crazy stalker a chance and now all of a sudden I have more people to worry about and not to mention what a pain in the butt its going to be to get Christmas presents for people other than my dad and Amy and I’ll have to hold myself back from sending a crazy fan letter to the Broomstick thief and well…..I think that’s all for right now ” I gasped for breath.
I dropped on the couch exhausted; I really needed to just let that out.
James tossed me cupcake “But knowing us did lead you to discover the kitchens” he argued.
I munched the cupcake silently. He brought up a good point.
“Broomstick thief” Sirius was raising an eyebrow and everyone was looking at me questioningly as I turned red.
“I uh err”
“Oh Merlin Paige, I thought you’d forgotten about him” Amy sighed.
A/ N: So there it is, the 5th chapter, the one I was having trouble with, hope its okay. Next chapter is Quidditch themed. I think I might be moving my story along quickly so I don’t know if it will go beyond the teens chapter wise. But I have ideas for other stories as well.
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