Summary: When we, in OotP, saw the Marauders taking their OWL exams,
there was a girl siting behind Sirius. She was looking longinly at him, while
he didn't seem to notice. My first thought was "It could have been me, at
that age". Well, she turned out to be rather different from me -- and
rather more interesting as well!
Disclaimer: I don't own Potterverse. I just claim a Fanficcers right of
way everywhere I like to go.
Authors note: I'm very grateful to Gryffinjack for her faith in me,
insisting that of course I could write in English. Tack, raring! And I'm even
more grateful to Alkari, for encouragment and extra-quick Beta, including a
spell- and grammar-check! Not to mention our meandring Chats that not only gave
me ideas, but also made me more secure in my ability to write in English.
Selena Hopkirk put her quill down and flexed her fingers.
There! She had done it. Every question on the OWLs DADA exams answered. Plenty
of time to double-check her answers, as well. Not that she wanted to, the
subject of the exams made her skin crawl.
Naturally Selena understood the importance of DADA,
especially in times like this, but that didn't mean she had to like the
subject, did it?
As if that hadn't been enough, Sirius Black was lounging in
the seat in front of her. It was a miracle she had been able to concentrate,
Being a Slytherin, Selena would never admit having a big
crush on Sirius Black. At most, she would say that sure, he was good-looking, but...
and shake her head. And her friends would smile knowingly and nod in agreement.
Selene strongly suspected at least half of them had crushes on him as well, but
they wouldn't admit it any more than she would.
Back to the questions. First one was about Red Caps.That
one was easy. Selena had spent long hours at Great-aunt Etheldred's house
reading an old illustrated Fantastic Beasts while the grown-ups had tea
and talked. Nothing to add, she'd written down everything she knew about them.
Next question, then. Death Omens. Death Omens. No-one
believed in those nowadays, not even Muggles. Well, almost no-one. Berenicia
Duff had come running into the Library in hysterics, claiming she had seen a
Grim. But that was shortly before Easter break, and she wasn't dead yet, more's
the pity. Although it had been a close call when Madam Pince heard her
In front of her, Sirius stretched and pushed his hair out
of his eyes. Selena couldn't help sighing, wondering if his hair was as silky
and soft as it seemed... no, back to Death Omens! She sighed again, when
re-reading what she'd written. She just wasn't able to make those long
elaborate answers the teachers prefered. Which was why her exams and essays
were graded "A", with the occasional "E". Sluggy had even
said that much, during the Career Advice talk. But, he'd added, she needn't
worry, with her family connections she'd go far. And how was her Aunt Mabel?
Selena's Aunt Mabel was an Unspeakable, and a former
classmate of Sluggy's. Actually, Aunty deeply disliked him, but Selena kept
quiet on that. Anyway, Sluggy was right, she had good family connections
in the Ministry and elsewhere. And - another thing Sluggy pointed out- she had
a knack for getting along with people and making friends.
Which was useful, as well as nice.
Not that everyone thought so. The other day she'd been
chatting with Iphigenia Dearborn and Lily Evans, from Gryffindor. The three of
them,all being fair-skinned red-heads, had the same problems with sunburn, and
Dearborn had read an article on new sunscreen lotions in Witch Weekly.
She promised to make copies for the other two. Later that afternoon, Severus
Snape had cornered Selena and told her off for speaking to "Mudbloods and
Mudblood lovers". She had told him in no uncertain terms that it was no
business of his whom she talked to. There were quite a few other thing she was
dying to tell him, but you had to step careful around Severus. He knew too many
nasty hexes, and would carry a grudge until Judgement Day, or longer.
At least there was a couple of Potions realated questions
for him. Both his favourite subjects at once, the slimy git probably needed an
extra parchment. Or three.
Selena had tried to make friends with him in their first
year. She'd actually felt sorry for him, he seemed so lonely. But it quickly
became clear that Severus only wanted friends among the older, more powerful
students, and scorned his classmates. Well, he paid for that now. And that
ridiculious pure blood mania! As if that mattered. You had Muggle-born in every
family, just that some didn't admit it. Anyway, if you were born with magic,
that was it. Mind you, the Ministry really ought to take custody of those
children, having them adopted by wizarding families so they could grow up in
the real world. That would make everything so much easier for everyone,
really. Perhaps it would be a bit hard on the Muggle parents, but they would
lose their children anyway, later on.
She continued reading her answers, adding a few things
she'd overlooked. Sirius seemed to be checking his answers as well.He
didn't care about all those blood-and-family ideas! Nothing like Regulus who
was full to bursting with pride of being a Black, the silly brat. Strange,
really, Sirius being so different... No wonder he was Sorted into Gryffindor.
How to recognize werewolves. Hah, if you were close enough
to notice the pupils it was far too late. She couldn't help wondering how they
had found out that one. Had they asked a were to check in a mirror when
transformed? Anyway, wouldn't it be a better idea to learn to recognize them
when in human form? She added a couple of paragraphs on those wolf-like dogs
Muggles used to pull sledges - their curled tails could be mistaken for a
werewolf's tufty one.
And now on to vampires... at least werewolves were human
most of the time.
Outside, the sun was shining brightly. Indoors, Selena
struggled on. It wasn't easy, ignoring the sun as well as Sirius. He had tilted
his chair back on two legs, looking vaguely bored. Finished already? Most
students in the hall were still writing. Well, he had the brains as well as the
good looks of his family, after all. And the arrogance, a small voice she tried
to ignore told her.
She gave up on the potions ones. Potions was easily her
worst subject. Anyway, you could buy what you needed, and leave the actual
brewing to weirdos like Severus. Those fumes couldn't be good for you, anyway.
The last question was about discussing the Unforgivable
Curses. Selena didn't want to discuss them. She didn't even want to think about
them. She'd had quite a debate with Tina Greatrakes and the Duff twins in the
common room yesterday. Tina claimed that the killing curse was the worst, the
Duffers that the torturing one was. Selena thought Imperius must be even worse,
being forced to do horrible things against your will. Deira Duff claimed you
wasn't aware you were cursed, but Selena wasn't so sure. She felt that
somewhere, deep inside, you knew and struggled in vain to break free. She
wondered how Sirius felt about it. She could imagine him thinking like her,
being enslaved would be the worst.
She wished she had the nerve to speak to him... Not that
he was too fond of Slytherins, for a reason. But surely he realised there were
nice girls in that house as well?
Or, she thought sourly, perhaps he wasn't really
interested in nice girls? Selena had seen him deep in conversation with
Isobel MacFusty on several occassions this term, sometimes poring over one of
her Muggle magazines. Sirius was interested in some Muggle stuff, like their
music and those motorcycle things, that MacFusty for some reason knew a lot
about. But she was supposed to be going out with Dan Dunglas, wasn't she? Not
huddling in odd corners with other boys...
Oh well, there was selkie blood in the MacFusty clan, and
everybody knew what that meant, didn't they? Especially all the boys
who turned their heads whenever she strode by in the corridors, with that awful
animated draught-exluder of a terrier at the heels of her dragonhide boots.
According to Marion McKinnon, MacFusty claimed that as she was from the Isle of
Skye, not Isle of Man, there was no reason to have a cat. Selena could only
agree with McKinnon it was lucky the MacFustys weren't from the Shetland Isles.
'Five more minutes!' Flitwick called out.
Oh no, here she wasted time thinking of that wench when
she should double-check her answers! As usual at the end of a test, Selena was
sure she had left out all the important things in her answers. Sirius was quite
at ease, however, giving the thumbs-up to Potter the Prat.
No, there was no reason to stare at her parchments
anymore. What was left out was left out. She allowed herself to slip into a
daydream where she said something witty -she wasn't really clear on what-
making Sirius actually notice her...
'Quills down, please!' squeaked Flitwick.
About time. Selena was dying for a cold drink, and to go
outside. Now she only had Transfiguration to worry about.
And how to make her daydream come true, of course. She
promised herself she would do it. Perhaps not this term, but next!