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 EASTON GREENGRASS DIDN'T HAVE MANY FRIENDS. In fact, she really only had one and hearing Penelope humming one of Celestina Warbeck's "hits" now made her wonder if their friendship was ever true at all.

They were in the library sitting on the floor between the Herbology and the Charms sections, killing time before the next period and eating away the muggle candy Penny's mother had sent her the previous morning. Neither of the two girls dared disturb the blissful peace each absorbed into their own thing: the cheery Hufflepuff was reading another magazine snuggled in the corner of the aisle while Easton was mindlessly sketching Sirius's aristocratic profile in her notepad.

"Would you stop singing that bloody song," Easton grumbled having had enough of her friend's screeching.

Penny smiled sweetly, "Sod off," she answered and casually flipped the page of the magazine, "God, Julie Christie is a goddess."

"Show me," Penny instantly turned the magazine around so that Easton could see the front page, "Oh, Merlin, Al Pacino is so hot," Easton whined.

"That he is," the blond nodded in agreement and continued scanning the page, "we should definitely see "Godfather" again.

"We could make it a binge," Easton suggested, her face instantly lit up by the idea.

"How about this Christmas? You can come stay with me, it'll be fun."

Penelope couldn't see the way her best friend's face instantly sunk, and Easton was thankful for that. Ever since third year, she would sneak out to visit the Hufflepuff for Christmas despite her parents' protest because apparently, "meddling with a half-blood" was simply inexcusable, especially for a Greengrass. And if Easton didn't care about what her parents said before, now she couldn't shake off the eerie tightness in her chest that felt disgustingly like fear.

Easton Greengrass was afraid. Afraid of everything that was going on, afraid of what could happen, afraid of her father, who she was almost completely certain had a part in all of it. And she didn't want to leave her mother alone with him and her dimwit of a sister.

"You okay?"

Easton instantly looked up at Penelope. The Hufflepuff was regarding her closely, concern evident in her kind blue eyes.

"Yeah, I was just thinking," Easton mumbled and put the notepad aside, "my mother...she wanted to visit her family in France this Christmas, so we'll probably head there for the holidays."

Lying was one of the few things Easton was surprisingly good at. She could get herself out of any situation only by opening her mouth and letting her silver tongue do all the work. But if most of the time, or rather all of the time, it brought her exceptional joy, now Easton felt nothing but guilt and remorse. For she'd never lied to Penelope before and hated herself for doing it now.

"Oh, bugger," Penny looked genuinely disheartened by the sudden news, which only made Easton feel worse, "It sucks, Tony, but I promise to save you some of mum's pecan pie," she added and winked playfully, "that should heal away all the horrors of your upcoming quality time with 'the fam'."

"And the Mars bars?" asked Easton in a small voice.

Penelope rolled her eyes and laughed, "And the Mars bars, now stop sulking and let's do this quiz."

Easton smiled and crawled closer to Penny to take a good look at the page.

""How to know if your crush likes you back"," she read dutifully, and it took a while for the title to truly register.

Penelope snickered.

"Ha-ha how very funny, Penny, congrats, truly," Easton laughed sarcastically and graced her friend with an unimpressed stare.

"But in all seriousness, Tony, a girl's gotta now, come on, let's take it!"

"Really, Penny? I doubt Black knows of my existence much less likes me, yeah right," snorted Easton and took another bite of the chocolate.

But Penelope Abbott wasn't kidding, for now she looked positively murderous.

"We've already been through this, Ton," she almost growled impatiently, "he knows who you are. Potions? Fourth year?"

"He's probably forgotten all about it already," dismissed Easton.

"You're the most un-Slytherin Slytherin to have ever existed, Tony-Ton, if anything you should be his personal hero. A Superman to his Loise Lane," Penelope added dreamily.

"Really, Penny? A Superman?"

"I'm just saying that it's the last year, which is the perfect time to embarrass yourself if something goes wrong," Penny returned to reading the magazine looking oh so innocent as if she hadn't just turned Easton's world upside down.

"Why if it is the year of embarrassments, dear Penny-Pen," Easton began in a sickeningly sweet voice, "why don't you finally invite Andrew Bones to Hogsmeade and tell him all about how you stole his Quidditch jersey last year?"

There was a minute of silence.

"I hate you," Penny finally replied.

"I hate me too," smiled Easton and picked up her notepad.





 

The small Muggle Studies classroom was filled with golden sunlight; it came in through the window glass spreading its rays to the walls, wooden desks and Sirius Black's shiny raven hair, that looked like a dark night sky lit up by thousands of shining stars. Or at least so thought Easton with a pencil between her teeth and eyes glued to Sirius's mesmerizing main.

She probably should've been listening to Professor Burbage telling away about the wonders of the Muggle world but found daydreaming much more interesting. Easton couldn't help but wonder if his hair was soft to the touch, how it would feel to run her fingers through the silky black locks, wondered if he liked...

"...Miss Greengrass?"

Easton had almost fallen out of her seat dropping the pencil in the process; a dull sound of it hitting the desk instantly resounded in the classroom walls. Before she knew it all eyes were fixed on her—the only seventh year Slytherin in the Muggle Studies class.

"Y-yes, Professor?" Easton stammered and looked to the front of the classroom where the teacher stood regarding her intently with twinkling mirth in her eyes. Easton couldn't care less about the idiot Bones, who whispered something to his friend whilst pointing a finger in her direction, didn't give a flying Snitch about McKinnon barely holding back her without a doubt angelic laughter. No, Easton was used to such looks and they didn't really bother her, but there was one pair of eyes amongst many others that made her cheeks grow almost as red as her new hair.

"Would you like to join our discussion or would you rather keep on daydreaming?".

Normally, Easton loved Professor Burbage for the most part because she taught Muggle Studies- the only subject Easton was quite decent in (thanks to Penelope). However, right in that very moment, Easton wanted nothing more than to strangle the woman.

"Sorry, Professor," she mumbled and dropped her eyes to the plain wooden desk, squirming uncomfortably in her seat.

Unfortunately, Easton was not lucky enough to be left in peace.

"We were just talking about muggle means of transportation, Miss Greengrass," Professor Burbage was all too happy to continue her torture, "Would you happen to know anything about it?"

She did in fact. About a year ago Penelope had shown Easton the wonders of the London tube, and they spent almost all day riding it, after which the two friends hopped on one of those silly buses and rode around the city until almost midnight. Penny's parents were livid, but it had definitely been worth it.

"Em..." Easton wasn't really sure what she was supposed to say, so of course she went on babbling, "There are... cars? B-buses? Oh and the tube of course, yes, definitely that one."

Merlin, I hate myself.

"And which one is the fastest?" asked Mrs.Burbage way too smugly for Easton's liking.

"S-surely the tube," Easton answered timidly playing with the pencil in her hands, "I mean with buses and cars you could easily get stuck in a t-traffic jam, but the tube will take you anywhere in just a matter of minutes."

The class went silent. And so did Professor Burbage, thank Merlin.

"Thank you, Miss Greengrass. Now open your books on the page..."

The rest of the lesson went without any further embarrassments, for which Easton was eternally thankful, and Mrs.Burbage quickly dismissed the class after assigning them a ten-inch essay on pros and cons of muggle transportation. Easton was the first to jump from her seat and start packing; she threw the books and quills into her cross-body bag and all but stormed out of the classroom.

"Hey, wait!"

Easton stopped in her tracks in the middle of the corridor and just stood there without moving a muscle. She knew that voice. She also knew the sound of his steps, which were closer with each passing second, and boy oh boy was she not ready for that.

Sirius Black now stood in front of Easton. His grey, steely eyes were looking at her directly, his hair, holy Founders, it took all of her not to reach and touch it. And, Merlin, his smile, it was positively enthralling. 

No wonder so many panties fell under its bewitching charms.

"As far as I remember we've got History next so why in the world are you in such a hurry?" he laughed. Easton laughed too, and she was wishing she hadn't, for it'd sounded more like cackling.

"He knows I'm in his History class" it suddenly dawned on her.

"Easton, right? Easton Greengrass?"

It's not like Easton was completely dense. She knew that this was one of those situations, as it happens in all dialogues, when it was her turn to say something or at least move, but she could do neither. She just stood there looking like there was a Giant Squid in front of her—absolutely horrified.

"You know a lot about the Muggle world for a pure-blood," Sirius pointed out humorously narrowing his eyes at her, "what's your secret?"

Come on, Easton, say at least something.

"A secret? I-I don't think I have one, really," she stammered; Easton could feel her heart doing triple axels in her chest, "I'm a shite secret keeper, to be honest. Huh, that's funny, actually. I once was covering for my sister, you know Josefine, right? Of course you know her, who doesn't, am I right?" as soon as nervous giggles left her mouth Easton knew she was done for. But, alas, it was already too late, "Right, so I was covering for her while she was out having a weekend-long snogging session with that boyfriend of hers, Trevor, Trevor Higgs, you must know him, he's an absolute arse. I—" Easton suddenly stopped when she noticed that Sirius was watching her with an amused smile on his face, "Oh, fuck, I'm so sorry, it's..."

"Oi Padfoot! You won't believe what the tea leaves told Moony...Oh," James Potter halted when he saw that his best friend wasn't alone. And Easton wished nothing more than to just magically disappear.

Remus Lupin slowly walked up behind Potter, seemingly less eager to share the quite subjectively exciting story looking rather run down. James, however, looked like a hyper puppy who vitally needed his friend's attention and was quite disappointed to find him busy, with a Slytherin at that.

"Oh, hello," Remus broke the silence again gracing Easton with his amiable smile, "Easton, correct?"

Easton was shamefully proud of herself for mustering a nod.

"Guys—"

"I should probably go," Easton said quickly, interrupting Sirius; she winced at her own stupidity, "I'm so sorry, you were going to say something, and I..." she felt herself starting to babble again, but, thankfully, managed to control it this time.

"It's fine, Easton," Sirius laughed, quite amused by her awkwardness, "T'was nice meeting you."

Easton froze as if petrified. Really, she could do nothing but stare at Sirius Black in the most creepy and embarrassing way, playing nervously with the bag strap.

"R-right," she mumbled at last and slowly started to retreat, "Goodbye then—I mean, 'see you', ob-bviously, we have History together," she giggled, "Alright, bye!"

Easton swiftly turned her back to them and started walking away as fast as possible without coming off weird. Well, weirder.

The three Marauders just stood in the middle of the empty corridor watching the girl awkwardly turn the corner and disappear from sight.

"That girl is all kinds of bizarre," Remus Lupin pointed out.

"What else can you expect from a Slytherin?" James sighed as if nothing the snakes did ever surprised him, "the lot of them are off their rockets, what with all that inbreeding".

"Nah," said Sirius, "Greengrass s'alright."

 

 

 

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