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Author's Note: Sorry this chapter took so long. I've been awfully busy lately!




Up until today, life seems to be all fun and games for me and my mates, doesn’t it? Not so when one has detention with the irksome Professor Nott. All I could think of as I trudged to his office was the fact that I was supposed to be having Quidditch tryouts – my Quidditch tryouts! But no, I was stuck in detention with the most annoying teacher in the wizarding world… sometimes I really do hate my life.

As I walked, I wondered what the smarmy fool had planned. Usually, his detentions had something to do with the infraction committed. But how was he going to punish me for not wearing my uniform? I’d like to see him think of something clever this time!

“Ah, Mr. Potter. Delighted to see you. I’m glad we set our appointment for so early.”

“Of course you are. You do seem to take pleasure in destroying all the happiness around you.” It was nine o’clock on a Saturday morning, a time when 1) I should be in my bed sleeping and 2) am not prudent enough to keep my smart comments to myself.

“We’ll see if your tongue is so eager when you’ve finished with your detention. Come with me.”

Afraid I’d be dragged if I didn’t follow, I reluctantly trailed after the Defense Professor, out of his office and through the hallways until we reached the Great Hall. On either side of the huge doors, there were two small rooms, one of which Nott led me into.

Inside, we were greeted by a most unpleasant sight. Piles of uniform clothes were scattered all over the floor and the tables were covered in assorted debris. “Welcome to your home for the day, Potter.” His voice sounded a little too pleased to be considered human.

“What am I supposed to do with all this shi- I mean, stuff?”

“Sort and clean it, of course. You will be hosting a sale next week, to relocate all of this Lost & Found material.”

“A sale? Whoa, I didn’t sign up for that. This isn’t a week-long detention or anything, you know,” I protested, not liking where this was going at all. What did the bloke think I was, some sort of house elf?

“The Headmistress put you in detention with me, Potter, and if I say that means a sale, then by Merlin you will have a sale.” His beady eyes narrowed and he gave me a forceful push into the cramped space.

“Okay, okay, no need to get antsy about it!” I put up my hands in defense. “Can I get a few people to help me with the sale then?”

“Anyone else who gets detention between now and the sale will be helping you,” he informed me, lips curling into a delighted sneer.

“Right, well then, can I just sort this any old way or what?” I imagined a couple haphazard piles strewn around. Yeah, that’d do the trick nicely, and get me out of here fast.

“You will sort it in a way that someone besides yourself would be able to understand its order. In other words, you do actually have to sort it.”

Damn, it’s like he can read my mind. “You wouldn’t happen to be a Legilimens, now would you, mate?”

The words were hardly out of my mouth before his hand clamped down in a vice-like grip around the scruff of my neck. “No, I am not a Legilimens, Potter.” He lowered his head so he was whispering right in my ear. “And I am not your mate.”

“Right. I’ll just be off to my sorting then.” Wrestling away from him, I scurried away and began pretending to arrange the piles.

Nott stood in the doorway for a minute, surveying my “work” and then, with a swish of his long cloak, was gone.

“A sale? Yeah, that’s bloody likely!” I called after him, making a rude gesture at the door as he slammed it behind him. I gave the mess around me a dismayed stare. “Nothing for it but to start sorting, Jamesie. These people don’t give you a magic wand for nothing…”




Two torturous hours later, Nott was back, and I hoped to relieve me from this suffering.

“Mr. Potter.” I never knew so much contempt could fit into only three syllables. “I see you’ve somehow managed to clean all this mess. The sorting, I’m not so sure about, but if you can pull off the sale, I suppose that will be enough.”

I couldn’t resist giving him a smug smile.

Stepping out of the doorway and into my own personal ring of Hell, he gave me a very menacing glare. “Now that you know what all the pieces of the Hogwarts uniform look like, Mr. Potter, perhaps you will be able to wear them yourself.”

“I make no promises, mate, but you’ve given it your best effort, I suppose.”

“Perhaps I am not making myself clear. I am not a teacher to be trifled with. I do not find you amusing. I am not charmed by your witty sense of humor. I do not favor students because they are worshipped by the rest of the school. In the past six years, you have never quite understood that, but I intend to help you comprehend it in your final year here with us.”

Merlin, did he have a bug up his arse. If I hadn’t seen the Giant Squid just that morning, I would have thought it was stuck up there. “Sure, Professor. Got it.”

He didn’t reply, just gave me a death stare as I tried to inch from the room.

“Right, glad we had this heart-to-heart but I really gotta be going. Looking forward to our sale!” Whew, glad that torture is over with! Now on to my mastermind plan… Realizing that it was probably lunch-time by now, I trotted across the antechamber and into the Great Hall. Ah, how I loved the refreshing scent of lunch, especially when it was banger-scented.

As I made my way to the Gryffindor table, I was stopped by a most eager looking Meygan. She ran a hand through her red hair, fluffing it up so it looked very poodle-esque. I know because my Grandpa Weasley bought Lily a poodle for her 7th birthday and it scared her so badly that he had to take it back home and hide it in his tool shed. Not an experience I would care to repeat.

“Hey, Jamesie,” she simpered.

“Hiya, Meygan. How is my favorite lovely lady today?”

“Better now that you’re here.” She reached out and took hold of my hand. “Come on, we’re all over here.” Meygan proceeded to drag me across the Great Hall to where my mates and Steff were sitting at the Gryffindor table, surrounded by random girls in pounds of makeup.

I pushed through the gathered crowd, slid onto the bench next to Eddie, and gave my mates a wink. “Done!”

“With what?” Luke asked, his mouth full of some sort of greenish grub. So it actually came out sounding rather like, “Wif wug?”

I wrinkled my nose. “Detention, dumb arse.”

“No need to insult me.” He swallowed his mouthful of mush and smiled charmingly. “How’d it go?”

“Fine. Well, not really. I had to sort and clean all of the Lost & Found clothes. So as fine as that could possibly go I suppose.”

“The Lost & Found clothes? Don’t you think that’s a little harsh for just forgetting to wear your uniform?” Alex asked as he shoved a Chocolate Frog in his mouth.

“This is Nott we’re talking about here, mates. Of course it’s a little harsh. And that’s not even the extent of it-” I leaned closer to them, excited to launch my complaint about the sale. But before I could say anything, Eddie gasped loudly. “Way to ruin my dramatic announcement,” I scolded him.

But when I looked at my mate, I realized that he hadn’t heard me at all. His eyes were glazed over - sort of the way Alex’s eyes always looked when we went to Honeydukes - and his mouth hung open as if he were trying to catch escaped Cornish Pixies in it. I followed his gobsmacked gaze over to DeAndra Wilkes, practically the hottest girl in the entirety of the Hogwarts student body (just don’t tell Meygan I said that). Needless to say, Eddie adored her.

Only problem with the setup was that DeAndra was dating Jason Schaffer, the oh-so-dashing Ravenclaw Quidditch Captain. The two of them were known as “the Hogwarts item.” People were all “Merlin, DeAndra and Jason did this” or “Jason and DeAndra said that.” It made me quite sick, to tell you the truth. See, I personally thought DeAndra should be dating one of us. We’re the celebrities of Hogwarts, right? So, shouldn’t one of us be part of the ideal couple?

But if the two of them made me mad, I could only imagine how angry Eddie must be. He was in the same predicament as me, really. Could have any girl he wants, but only wants one, who doesn’t want him. Judging from our popularity, you’d think the two of us would have nicer lives than we do…

As Eddie gaped over at the tall, long-legged beauty – who was casually taking a sip of pumpkin juice over at the Ravenclaw table – Luke shook his head. “Merlin, he’s got it bad.”

Eddie’s frenzied stare snapped back to us. “She’s always saying she likes troublemakers!”

“Excuse me?” I gave him my best confused look as I began shoveling mashed potatoes into my mouth.

“DeAndra is always telling people how much she likes troublemakers!” he repeated.

“Well, mate, lucky for you you’re one of the best the school has then.”

Steff gave Luke a look. “You think he should get it trouble on purpose?”

“Hey, if it works!”

“I just don’t get it,” Eddie murmured, not even hearing them. “If she likes troublemakers, why is she going out with goody-two-shoes Schaffer?”

“Because they’re Hogwarts’s item, that’s why. No self-respecting girl could say no to that!” Alex exclaimed, chewing his sweets vigorously.

I shot him a dirty look and turned to Eddie. “Look, she likes troublemakers. You’re a troublemaker extraordinaire. Put two and two together.”

“Junior, I’m a Prefect! Merlin only knows how that happened, but I can’t just start causing trouble all over the place!”

“Then I think it’s time for you to buck the system.” Luke’s eyes sparkled, the way they always did when he was plotting.

“Buck the system?”

“Forget his weird clichés. Look, you can’t get in too much trouble for one or two minor infractions, right? So let yourself think the way your twisted mind has been longing to. You know you want to…” I waggled my eyebrows in a way I’d like to think looked tempting.

Ed took a deep breath. “You’re right. Here goes nothing.” He reached out a tentative hand and grabbed hold of a string of sausages.

“Oh no, you wouldn’t!” Alex gave a frightened gasp.

“Oh, but I would.” Clearly Eddie had been longing to do this for some time. He dug his other hand deep in a bowl of mashed potatoes. Then, climbing up onto the bench, he yelled grandly, “Food fight!” and began flinging his handfuls of bangers and mash in opposite directions. Ed’s a Chaser too so his arm strength is pretty good and the food ended up whacking some poor victims in the face.

Pleased at this new development, most of the student body played along, whipping their own lunches around wildly and laughing like the maniacs they all were.

I glanced over at the Ravenclaw table and saw that DeAndra sat beside her toss-pot boyfriend, clearly amused as she was laughing really hard and pointing over in our direction. Schaffer, however, wasn’t quite as pleased. He looked rather ticked, actually, judging by the scowl plastered on his face. Bloke probably didn’t want his girlfriend laughing at anyone else’s jokes.

As I watched Schaffer glower in our direction, I noticed that he was no longer sitting at the Ravenclaw table. Oh no, he wasn’t sitting at all. He was heading straight for us, stalking down the aisles, glare intent on Eddie.

“Erm, Ed, we might have a problem here,” I whispered.

My mate turned to face me and his dark eyes got very wide as he saw the furious Ravenclaw Quidditch Captain. “Oh no.” His voice was very, very soft.

“Hey, Bryant, do you like your face the way it is?” Bryant is Eddie’s last name, you see, and Schaffer simply adores referring to us by our last names, as it sounds more menacing that way.

Eddie gulped. “Yes,” he whispered.

“Then stop making my girlfriend laugh.” Schaffer’s teeth were tightly clenched making him look slightly constipated. Merlin, possessive much?

I stood up. “Hey, hold on a minute there, mate. Stop making her laugh?! It’s not Ed’s fault if your girlfriend laughs at his jokes – take it up with her, not Eddie!”

I regretted my bravery, though, when he fixed me with an equally threatening glare. “Don’t get involved, Potter, this is between me and your mop-headed friend there.”

“Mop-headed!” Eddie exclaimed, standing up beside me. “Whoa there, hot stuff, take it easy.”

Luke, too, got to his feet and faced Schaffer with us. “Look, Schaffer, you may fancy yourself some sort of muscle man – and, hey, who am I to disturb your illusion? But let me just tell you this: there’s no way in hell you have a chance against all four of us.”

Luke was right, of course, and Schaffer hated it. But there wasn’t anything the tosser could do. At least, not while we were all together. “We’ll settle this on the pitch, boys, got it? Three weeks from Saturday, Gryffindor vs. Ravenclaw. You’re going down.” And then he was gone, stomping back off up the aisle, broad shoulders hunched.

We watched him leave with DeAndra, wasting a bit of time mocking the smarmy git as we finished our lunch.

“Settle this on the pitch, boys,” Alex mimicked. He’s our resident imitator, you see. Seriously, the bloke can do everyone. Ew, that sounded so wrong.

“Stop making my girlfriend laugh!” Eddie choked out between bouts of cackling. “What a dolt.”

Thankfully, because it was Professor Lovegood’s lunch monitoring day, there was no supervision, so Eddie’s Battle of Victuals was still progressing quite energetically around us. At least, until Kat came in, that was.

“Eddie Bryant, what do you think you’ve done?” she hollered, marching over towards us and yanking him down off the bench by the hem of his jumper. Clearly she had witnessed the entire scene. She’s like a ghost, that one – invisible one second, right beside you the next.

Ed gulped visibly. Even though Kat stood at about eight or nine inches shorter than him, he was clearly intimidated by his fellow Prefect. “Erm, hiya, Kat.”

“Don’t you ‘hiya’ me, you smeghead! You are a Prefect – what kind of example do you intend to set for everyone else?” Her blue eyes flashed and, for some reason, I found myself momentarily forgetting where I was.

“It’s kinda a long story, actually,” Ed attempted, wiping his greasy, mash-potatatoed hands on the front of his jumper.

“Then you can tell it to Headmistress McGonagall.”

“Kat,” Eddie whined. “Give a bloke a chance to explain!”

Reluctantly, she let go of his jumper and crossed her arms. “Fine, spit it out then.”

“See, it has quite a lot to do with DeAndra,” he whispered.

Kat’s eyebrows rose incredulously. “DeAndra Wilkes?”

“That’s the one. See, she’s always said that she likes troublemakers.” He stopped, as if that fully explained the situation.

“So what?”

“So, I’ve always kinda fancied her, you see. And I figured, it couldn’t hurt to cause a bit of trouble. To impress her.” Eddie bowed his head, evidently waiting for Kat to yell. And she certainly didn’t disappoint.

“You caused trouble to impress a girl? I can’t believe you, Eddie! Why were you even picked to be a Prefect in the first place?” With her hands on her hips, Kat bore a striking resemblance to my Grandma Weasley. It was actually rather frightening…

“I ask myself the same question every day, babe.” Eddie gave her a hopeful look.

“Don’t you ‘babe’ me Ed, we’re going to the Headmistress!”

“What? No! You wouldn’t rat me out! You wouldn’t turn in your fellow Prefect!!!” he wailed, flashing desperate looks at us all as Kat reached for his jumper once more.

“Watch me.”

I did as I was told and watched, disturbed, as Eddie let Kat drag him from the Great Hall, whining and whimpering all the way.

“Why doesn’t he just shove her off him?” Alex wondered out loud.

It was a reasonable question, considering the fact that Eddie was almost a foot taller than her and endowed with an intense set of muscles.

“Did you not even see how she just handled him?” Luke asked. “Bloke would be nutters to try and resist.”

When our snorting subsided a bit, Alex piped up. “Hey, Luke and I are going to run down to Professor Marigold’s office to get our Potions books from her. Meet you up in the Common Room?”

“Yeah, I’ve got to post the sign-up sheet for trials,” I explained. “That should be a blast.”

We dispersed along with the rest of the students, Luke and Alex to Marigold’s office, me towards the stairs. As I rounded the corner, though, I was stopped by the sound of voices floating towards me from a hallway behind the antechamber.

“You know I hate it when you get like this!” yelled a voice much too dumb-sounding to be anyone but Schaffer.

“Jace, you’ve been super controlling lately! I don’t know what’s up with you, but I’ve had it. What Bryant did was funny and if you have a problem with me laughing just because you and I are going out, then maybe we shouldn’t go out anymore.” DeAndra’s clipped tone floated towards us from the hallway.

“I’m sorry, baby, you know I’m just doing it because I love you,” Schaffer murmured.

I stifled a gag in my sleeve.

DeAndra heaved a sigh. “I know, Jace, but I’m sick of it. You’ve got to trust me, okay?”

“Of course I trust you, Dee.”

Silence. My imagination went to work, conjuring a most unwelcome picture of what the two were doing over there in that hallway. “Right. On that note, I suppose I’ll be going,” I whispered to myself. "But sure as hell, Ed's gonna be hearing about this..."




Author's Note: As always, favorite quotes please? I adore getting reviews =] Hope you all liked this chapter and I should have the next one up soon!!!

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