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Credit for this incredible image goes to Roonil Wazlib, of course!


“So how does it feel to be a verified Ravenclaw?” I ask Clover the next week as we sit at our Potions table.

“Damn good.” She grins determinedly, but then realizing her smile falls short of true happiness says, “I couldn’t choose between my two brothers Remus.”

“I know,” I say not looking at her. I wonder if she saw my lips move at all.

She stares at a spot on the table. “I would have liked to be a part of what you guys have.” I know she means us, the Marauders, and for once, I realize she’s let down her guard in the slightest bit.

“I don’t know about that,” I reply thinking of all the detentions I’ve sat through mostly due to James’s over zealousness.

She laughs colorfully. I’ve never described a laugh as colorful, but that’s exactly what Clover sounds like.

And mine is musical. We should make a song together.

It’d be a hit.

“What are you thinking?” she asks.

I shake my head; I know better than to think when she’s around.

“Nothing. Just how you’d fit perfectly with the Marauders,” I lie.

She stares wistfully at my mouth. “I don’t know that last word.” I realize she’d never heard it before so she wouldn’t know how to read it off my lips.

“It’s not important,” I say, and it really isn’t. It’s just a label people know us by. Even now, seven years later, I can’t believe we’ve named ourselves.

It’s absolutely ridiculous.

We’re like little schoolgirls who call themselves the Three Musketeers. It’s like we’re a little exclusive club within a greater human population.

“Have you met anyone you like in Ravenclaw?” I ask to change the subject. I’m beginning to think I have a gift for that.

Clover nods. I’m glad she’s honoring my questions as a good one. Sirius told me how she picks and chooses her responses.

“Girl or boy?” I ask intrigued.

She looks at me with a question in her eyes which she doesn’t ask. Instead she murmurs in the little lilt she has, “Both.”

Now I’m really interested. She has boy friends? Of course, boys that are friends is what she means. Of course. Hopefully. Whatever.

“Do they have names?” I ask making a little joke of how relentless she is in keeping information to herself. It’s like a little game to her, and I’ve learned to simply play along.

She smirks. “Yes.”

Oh, now she’s trying to be cute with me.

“Cute,” I say.

She nods. She laughs again gracefully so that surrounding students peer around for the source. “Their names are Ada and George.”

“George,” I comment, trying to think of a boy named George I might have met at some point.

“Funny,” she grins, “how you immediately pick out only the boy’s name.”

“Hilarious,” I agree sarcastically.

It’s just a usual day with Clover as a part of it, and those days are always a little more exciting than the others.

“Do you play poker?” she asks sweetly.

I pause. Do I? “No, I don’t think so,” I estimate.

She doesn’t skip a beat. “I do. Let me teach you.” She seems eager for me to agree.

“Okay,” I voice, and I know I’m only doing it because it’ll make her happy.

-

The four of us are sitting outside basking in the sun when Clover walks over. She has a triumphant expression on her face, and Sirius sighs.

“What’d you do now?” he asks. His face is straight, but there’s a bit of amusement playing across his eyes.

“I tried out for the Ravenclaw Quidditch team,” she boasts.

“Did you really,” Sirius says passively.

“I made it,” she announces.

Peter plucks a blade of grass from the ground and James becomes suddenly very interested in the Giant Squid.

“Made it where?” Sirius asks stupidly.

“On the team,” Clover says, and I wonder how Sirius managed to get a response out of her for that question.

Sirius stands so that he towers over his sister. He’s not tall by any means, but Clover is so small, she seems dwarfish compared to him. He begins to laugh in a slow, methodical fashion.

“That’s great!” he exclaims. I’m thrown for a loop because I’ve seen that expression on his face before, and it’s one of concern. He envelops her in a giant hug, and she seems pleased.

“Congratulations,” I spout in her direction.

“Thanks Remus.” Oh good, that means she was watching me if she read my lips. I nod feeling pride in falling under her gaze even for a moment.

“George is on it as well,” she says, delivering a staggering blow to my confidence.

George. I shake my head.

She gallops off to announce her victory, maybe a bit more subtly, to her other friends, which I’m sure includes George somewhere along the way. Probably Regulus and his friend too.

“James,” Sirius hisses as soon as she’s gone, although I don’t know why as she wouldn’t have heard even if she was within range anyway.

James glances up as if he’s just come back into being.

“You better make sure nothing happens to her in that match next week James. Please.” I’ve never seen Sirius so earnest in my life, and it strikes me suddenly how much he loves Clover.

James looks like he’s going to be sick. He’s captain of the team this year, and he’s been stressing out already trying to maintain his leadership and balance his Head Boy duties. It’s not an easy thing to do especially with thoughts of Lily running rampage all throughout his head. “Alright,” he manages weakly.

“Thanks mate,” Sirius says amiably.

-

“Okay,” Clover says tossing some cards to me, “here’s how you play.”

We’re sitting in an empty classroom where she’s supposed to be getting tutored by me for Astronomy. Students keep peeking in upon hearing our voices expecting to see something different than the scene that meets their eyes.

Clover goes through all the various rules of poker and my mind is already swimming. I can easily grasp Charms. Transfiguration, no problem. This though, is going right over my head.

“Wait,” I burst, “three of a kind beats two pair?”

“Did you say something?” she asks for she was staring at the cards on the floor between us.

I’ve got to learn sign language.

“Anyway,” she continues, “you’ve really got to watch your facial expressions. If you get a good hand, don’t celebrate. It’s too early, and your opponents will fold right away. Then, you’re left with nothing.”

“Poker face,” I say nodding. I know this part. “Is that why you’re good at poker?”

She looks at me. “I never said I was good,” she says in an unprecedented burst of modesty, “but yes, that’s why.” She beams at me.

So much for modesty, I think.

“Are you going to do this professionally?” I ask as she flips over cards and deals them out like she’s done it all her life.

She shakes her head. “You’ll laugh if you knew what I want to do professionally.”

“At least it’ll make you happy if I laugh.”

She looks pleased and evidently decides I can be trusted to in fact, not laugh. “I’d like to be the Minister of Magic.”

I consider this. “You’d be good at it.”

“You think?” she asks uncertainly.

“Yes,” I say sure of myself. She would be. No one would question her.

She looks amused and delighted at the same time. “You’re the first person who’s ever thought that.”

“You should go for it,” I affirm. I can smell her perfume from where I sit, and it’s making me feel a bit hazy. She simply shrugs.

“Sometimes, you’ve got to lay all your cards on the table,” I say, knowingly making a bad poker reference.

She nods though in agreement. “Sometimes, you’ve got to move all-in.” She turns some cards over and seems pleased. Apparently she’s beat me out, although I still have no clue what I’m doing, but she reshuffles and deals again.

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