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A/N: This was written for two challenges: Ilia's Every Word Counts challenge (at HPFF), to write a one-shot in exactly 500 words; and Psychee's The Sitting Girl challenge (at TGS), to write about the girl sitting behind Sirius and staring at him during the Marauders' OWL exam in Snape's Worst Memory.

Thank you to Violet Gryfindor, who beta'd this one-shot.

Please leave a review!  Thank you for reading!

She ignores him as best she can, considering he’s sitting right in front of her. Considering she’s already having trouble concentrating on the exam, Theory of Defense Against the Dark Arts, which was never her best subject. Considering he’s downright impossible to ignore.

She already can’t remember the difference between a Manticore and a Chimaera, and then – damn him – he makes a scene. She can’t ignore him when he bursts out in a fit of giggles, breaking the silence of the room that is otherwise still, save for the scratch of quills on parchment and the drum of fingers on desktops. He disguises his outburst as a series of coughs when Flitwick glances over in disapproval, but it’s obvious he’s seen something on the exam that amuses him.

Half an hour later, he leans back in his chair, his fingers laced behind his head. How is he finished so early? He’s either very smart, or he just doesn’t care. From what little she knows about him, it’s likely both.

She doesn’t know much about him, of course. He’s the standoffish type. Most people want nothing to do with him, and he wants nothing to do with most people.

She thought she was something different, that time he stood up for her when those Slytherin boys were picking on her. He told them that if he ever heard them say the M-word again, he’d curse their mouths shut. He handed her the book they’d knocked from her hand, gave her a kind smile, and went back to his friends.

He’s as gentlemanly as can be expected of a teenager. Handed her a quill that fell from her bag once. Allows her to walk through doors ahead of him when going to class.

Things like that mean a boy likes you…that’s what they tell girls, anyway. Things like that are what make a foolish girl like her ask him out to Hogsmeade.

It was the only time she ever saw a flush grace the proud, sharp features of his face. He gave her an incredulous look, mumbled, “Thank you but no,” and went back to his friends.

That was two weeks before the Christmas holidays. She went home and cried to her mother, who told her…how did it go?

“Some boys would rather just be boys than spend time with girls.”

Unfortunately, that also applies to the funny boy with handsome eyes, who defended her from bullies when he had almost no clue in the world who she was.

That’s just it, though.

He still has no clue who she is.

That’s why he doesn’t notice that she gives up in the last few minutes of the exam.

That’s why he doesn’t notice her looking.

That’s why, when it’s over, he rises and leaves without a backwards glance.

He exits the Great Hall with his arms slung over his friends’ shoulders. He laughs, and it carries back to where she stands, alone.

He smiles, and it has nothing to do with her.

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