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18 November 2004 @ 09:30 pm
God's gonads. (Nothing about them; just thought they needed a mention)  

Two moderately amusing/embarrassing things happened to me today.

Sharon was telling us about a man in Millstreet, where she lives, who is a permanent stoner and thinks she is Galadriel. Now, Sharon hasn't read the books or seen the films, so she had no idea what he was on about when he'd come up to her and say the following: 'Hey, I know you're her! When's the fourth one coming out?' It was only when her boyfriend twigged at this - the most pithy summation of LotR that I've ever heard: 'The one with the twin towers and the little shits running around' - that she realised...

And, in photography, myself and Mary were going through the spinny door that's designed to keep light out. I discovered that if you lean against it and push, it makes a satisfactory whooshy movement. Mary had no clue what I was doing, and thought I was trying to squash her to death or something, and just as the door opened into the light room she yelled, quite loudly so that a couple of people in Eygpt didn't hear her, 'What were you trying to do to me?!'


And of course there was ten thousand cute fellas standing around developing things and going, 'Oo-er you lezzers'.


Half an hour later, Draco was happily tucking into prime ribs, knocking elbows with his father and his father’s boyfriend as they laid into the meat without bothering with the inconvenience of cutlery, or indeed plates. This was the life, in Draco’s opinion. It would even be worth being gay to eat off the table and avoid floral patterns for life. Though he thought he might see how other gay people ate and decorated, before making a final judgement on that.

Around a mouthful of British pork, Draco asked, ‘Were you wanting to talk to me about Loony Lupin and Add A Bit More Acid Snape, or what?’

The other two shared a significant look.

‘Remus is an old friend of mine,’ Sirius said, spitting out a bit of bone. ‘He’s gone awfully mopey since Snape went on a date with someone called Selina last Friday.’

‘Snape scored Miss Vector?’ Draco’s eyes were round with admiration. ‘Wow. No wonder Remus' jealous. She is majorly hot.’

Lucius grinned at his son’s idiosyncratic heterosexuality. ‘I think his jealousy was more to do with the fact that she is a girl, more than anything.’

‘Oh, yeah. What to do? I mean, it’s obvious Lupin fancies Snape – although why, I can’t imagine.’

‘What does he look like?’ Lucius asked with interest.

Seeing Sirius open his mouth, Draco had the presence of mind to distract him by stamping down hard on his foot. He knew his father had a rabid jealousy problem. He’d inherited it. ‘Let me see,’ he said with perfect innocence. ‘Medium height, longish gelled black hair, inexplicably wears leather trousers one day out of three...’

‘Sounds like his type, all right.’ Lucius shot his lover a sidelong look, but Sirius, his mouth full of food, merely puffed out his cheeks like a hamster.

‘I suppose you’ve seen Remus' radical image overhaul,’ Draco said, taking a long refreshing swig of BPM. Sirius had offered him neat vodka, but Draco had been forced to decline in view of his father’s impending coronary at the suggestion.

‘No,’ his father replied. ‘Have you, Sirius?’

‘I don’t know anything about it,’ Sirius said with a small frown. ‘What’s he gone and done, exactly?’

‘He chopped off his hair and pierced his eyebrow,’ Draco said breezily, unaware of the surprised looks the other two were sharing. ‘It’s nothing half as cool as mine, the bar I mean, but I got mine off this specialist website that hopefully he knows nothing about.’ He ended his rambling as he finally clued in to the thoughtful look on Sirius’ face, and the anxious one on his father’s. ‘What is it?’

Sirius shook his head impatiently, like he was trying to get rid of an irritating fly. ‘Oh, it just made me remember something. He must really have it bad for this one.’

‘Why do you say that?’ Draco asked with interest.

‘Because I remember him doing it once before. We were about sixteen, and I hadn’t come out yet. Remus was mad for this chap called Kingsley something. God, I can’t recall his last name. Bolter, maybe? Anyway, not only would Kingsley not have noticed that Remus fancied him if he hired a skywriter to do it, he was a confirmed heterosexual. Remus went into a sort of determined rebellion. Dyed his hair green and got a tattoo, as it happens.’

‘What was the tattoo of?’ Lucius asked guardedly.

‘A wolf, on his lower back.’

‘So you think that was his reasoning for getting a haircut? The fact that Snape is straight?’ Draco asked thoughtfully. ‘Wow. Usually I just go when it gets a bit long.’

‘Well, the situations are awfully similar, don’t you think?’ Sirius argued.

‘Its all circumstantial evidence. There could be any reason why he decided to ditch the whole Darcy hairstyle. Because its so damnably uncool, perhaps.’ Draco shrugged.

‘Well, if we take Sirius’ hypothesis as fact, all it means is that we have further proof of what we already know – to wit, that Remus likes Snape,’ his father pointed out.

‘Yes, what is it, exactly, that you want me to do?’ Draco asked, reaching for another rib and licking the grease off of his fingers. ‘Shoulder Lupin into Snape’s arms when I pass them in the corridor? Start carving little hearts with RL 4 SS on the desks? I really don’t think it’s advisable for me to try to set up teachers. Expulsion is something I can deal with only in the abstract, not the reality.’

‘I agree,’ Lucius said, although Sirius pursed his lips, clearly disappointed at this lack of foolhardy courage. ‘Messing about with the affairs of two teachers is not only stupid, its unlikely to yield any decent results. What we need,’ and here he narrowed his eyes to snake-like slits, ‘is a little guile.’

‘What did you have in mind, Dad?’

‘It’s fairly simple,’ Lucius said, rubbing a finger against his jaw. ‘Two people, if they like each other, will eventually end up together. It’s a tradition, or an old charter, or something. Our main obstacle is the fact that Snape is – or at least thinks that he is – straight.’

‘What’s your point?’ Draco asked impatiently.

‘We need you to find out for sure that he’s not,’ Lucius replied, grinning evilly. ‘Whether rumour or truth, it doesn’t matter. I mean, do you think he’s straight, Draco?’

‘I never thought about it,’ Draco said, taken slightly by surprise. ‘He does flirt with the girls in class an awful lot – ’

‘Denial,’ said Sirius with certainty.

‘Maybe. He’s never had a girlfriend that I know of, anyway.’ Draco frowned meditatively. ‘I think I’ll ask Blaise Zabini. She seems to know everything about everyone.’

‘That’s not your girlfriend, is it?’ Sirius raised his eyebrows.

‘I don’t have a girlfriend,’ Draco said, thinking Hermione’s not my girlfriend – yet.

‘What about that Pansy girl?’ Lucius asked in consternation.

‘Oh, her,’ Draco said testily. ‘Well, she may think she is, but she’s not going to be for long. I’m breaking up with her tomorrow. I was only using her to make someone else jealous.’

‘Sneaky,’ Lucius approved in admiration, at the same time as Sirius exclaimed, ‘That’s awful!’ Draco swigged more BPM, watching their polar opposite expressions with amusement.

‘Let’s hope it really is true that opposites attract,’ he said fatuously. Sirius and Lucius shared a look of intent before chucking breadrolls at him.


Draco halted Sev in the halls the following day on the pretext of a query about a recent experiment. Once Sev had finished pretending to die of shock (to Draco’s annoyance), he gave Draco a long and detailed answer that nearly bored him to tears, especially as he already knew it in depth from notes copied from Hermione. Draco began to fear that he would be out of time before he could achieve what he’d set out to do, when Sev gave him an unexpected opening.

‘I see you’re quite the trend-setter now, young Black,’ Sev said loftily, and added quickly, with all the appearance of guilelessness, ‘after all, even Mr Lupin has taken your eyebrow-piercing idea.’

‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ Draco said carelessly, performing a hasty inner tap dance. ‘After all, I copied him in getting a tattoo. His wolf tattoo is so cool; I just had to get one. Oh, there’s the bell. I’d better go and find a place to loiter before being late for class.’

Standing in pleasant contemplation, his last words only hit Sev after he was long gone. To the amazement of a passing group of first-years, he grinned inanely and walked off, shaking his head slightly.


Hermione was, for once, not sitting next to Black in history, as Binns had separated them out for a test. She was still across from him though, and kept shooting him quick looks between questions, interested to see how he would fare without her to copy from.

Annoyingly, he had his head down, scribbling furiously, and she didn’t once catch his eye.

With a sigh, she turned back to her own paper, and found that she had written ‘and when Black invaded the country of Abyssinia’. Vexed, she scribbled out his name with more force than was strictly necessary.

Blaise had informed her earlier in the day that Black was still, despite all her pronouncements on his feelings for Hermione, going out with Duckface. Blaise had promised to try and squeeze her for information during French, but Hermione didn’t hold out much hope. Now, not only was she an idiot, she was also an adulteress. Or at least had forced Black to become one. It was not a happy place to be.

‘Pens down please! Test over,’ Binns said, without the slightest hint of raising his voice. He meandered down between the desks, collecting papers with a look on his face that would have suggested to the uninformed observer that they were nail bombs. Hermione held out hers at the ready, and noticed that Black was still writing.

Binns took her paper and turned to Black. He leant over him and said in his usual low voice – now almost obscured by the babel in the classroom – ‘Test’s over, Draco.’

She watched, in dawning comprehension, as Black’s head snapped up in shock and his gaze flashed around the room, his face set in a murderous scowl. Nobody except Hermione had taken note of Binns’ words, however. Black shoved his test into Binns’ hands, and muttered what could have been, ‘I am going to kill you, you know.’

Binns, his expression bland, returned what sounded like, ‘How nice, Draco.’

And as he turned to pass her desk, Hermione could have sworn that Binns tipped her a wink.


The new day had brought for Sev relief on several counts. He was freshly attired, newly washed and hangover-free. He was also intent on tricking Remus or otherwise into going out to celebrate his birthday.

He was helped considerably by Remus' request for a meeting with him at breaktime. He swaggered into the free classroom chosen by Remus, and halted in some confusion at the sight of Bertie and Minnie, who were clustered around a desk with him. All Sev’s grand plans of throwing Remus down and ravishing him mercilessly shrivelled and died small, quiet deaths.

‘Ah, there you are!’ Remus said cheerfully, beckoning him over. Reluctantly, Sev grabbed a chair and dragged it next to Bertie, the only available space being the one furthest from Remus.

‘I just called this little meeting to talk about the sixth form trip,’ Remus went on.

‘Oh, did you hear back from that charity place then?’ said Sev with interest.

Remus hid a smile at his bluntness and replied blandly, ‘Yes, and they are happy to extend full remuneration for the trip. I just wanted to go over details with you and Minnie, as year heads, and Bertie’s approval must also be gained.’

‘As if I would refuse it!’ Bertie said heartily. ‘Are you planning to go yourself, Remus?’

‘I was thinking about it,’ Remus admitted. ‘But only if I can be spared, of course.’

‘I think we’ll manage something,’ Bertie said, twinkling.

Sev tuned out after that, as Remus and Bertie went over facts and figures, with the occasional interjection from Minnie. So Remus was going, was he? That would certainly make the trip less of a halfway house to hell...indeed, on the contrary...

So lost in his thoughts was he that the light pressure against his leg made him yelp out loud.

‘Are you quite all right, Severus?’ Minnie asked him, peering at him over the top of her glasses.

‘Perfectly fine, thank you!’ Sev gasped, for now a warm foot was slowly but surely insinuating itself around his left ankle and Remus was looking at Bertie with a little more intentness than his comment on bus fares deserved.

Remus concluded the meeting a few minutes later, for which Sev was unutterably thankful – a few more seconds, and that wandering foot would have been between his legs, and the result of that was not something Sev wished to share in company.

Minnie and Bertie made their way out, chatting companionably. Remus stayed behind, ostensibly tidying papers, while Sev slumped in his chair, trying to regulate his breathing.

‘Are you coming, Sev?’ Remus asked, tucking his folders under his arm.

‘Almost,’ Sev replied in a strangulated voice. Remus' choice of words gave him a sudden need not to stand up anytime in the near future. He wished Remus would just go, and tried desperately to think about really boring things, like correcting tests and the Eurovision.

Abruptly, Remus sat down again, sweeping a chair around so that he was hugging the back of it and his face was only inches from Sev’s. ‘I’m really glad you’re going along with this idea,’ he said sincerely.

‘No problem,’ Sev managed.

‘I was wondering – ’ they both said at the same time. ‘No, you first,’ Remus said courteously.

‘Well, I thought you might like to come out for a drink with me, to celebrate your birthday,’ Sev said, the words coming out in a rush. ‘That is, if you’re not doing anything – ’

‘I’d love to,’ Remus said firmly. ‘In fact, I was just going to ask you if you’d like to do that – you know, have a drink.’ Sev noted with astonishment that he was blushing, and wondered what on earth Remus had been thinking about. Then, as his current situation came back to him, he just as hastily decided he didn’t want to know.

Remus had risen again and was at the door when Sev called after him, ‘Meet you at about six, in the Leaky Cauldron?’

‘Sure,’ Remus replied, lingering. Finally feeling capable of standing, Sev joined him. Just before they separated to go to different classrooms, Sev said in a low, suggestive drawl, ‘And maybe you could show me your tattoo?’

He swept off, leaving Remus behind him, bemused, very impressed, and with an urgent desire to get quickly behind the shelter of a desk.


Hermione had taken Black’s advice – loath as she would be to admit it – and ditched the school PE uniform, following a trail long left cold by her classmates. She was not, however, thick-skinned enough to dare the school skirt, as sported by Blaise and Lavender and Co. She had opted instead for a nondescript sky-blue jumper and navy O’Neills.

‘Did Pansy have anything useful to say?’ Hermione asked Blaise in an undertone. ‘Shocking and all as that would be.’

‘No – she didn’t come in till the end of class, and I think she was crying.’ Blaise sounded preoccupied, and following her gaze, Hermione realised why. Harry was standing – leaning, rather, against the mesh fence, looking suitably fragile. Hermione hoped a wind would spring up, to see if he’d be blown over. Ron was not in evidence, which may have accounted for his lost-puppy expression.

Smiling wickedly, Hermione cleared her throat and yelled, ‘Hey. Potter! C’mere for a sec, wouldja?’

‘What the hell do you think you are doing?’ Blaise said out of the corner of her mouth, her eyes wide in suppressed horror.

‘What, little old me?’ said Hermione innocently, deliberately not looking at her. Harry, after looking up in uncertainty and surprise, was now shambling their way, hands thrust defensively into the pockets of his baggy trousers. Beside her, Hermione could feel Blaise going into meltdown.

‘Hey Harry,’ Hermione said in a friendly tone, ignoring the fact that she’d never spoken to him in her life before. ‘How did you find the history test?’

‘Um, okay,’ he said nervously. He was biting the side of his lip, and squinting up at the sky. Hermione, a bit irritated, snapped her fingers in his face, belatedly realising it could have caused him to have a seizure. ‘I’m down here,’ she pointed out, not unkindly.

‘Sorry,’ he said. ‘Ah, what questions did you do?’

‘The ones on Prussia and Mussolini’s Italy,’ Hermione responded enthusiastically. ‘I – ’

‘Oh, God, what have you done, Potter?’ Blaise groaned dramatically, and only Hermione could have heard the slight trembling in her voice. ‘She can go for hours about this, you know.’

Harry grinned but said nothing. Hermione viewed him objectively. He had a nice smile but he was definitely undernourished. Oh well, if Blaise wanted him...

‘Oh, that’s my friend, Blaise,’ she said airily. ‘You may know her – she fancies you like mad.’

And she quickly drifted off, before Blaise could belt her.

Blaise remained, staring fixedly at her feet and feeling a blush rising up, all the way from her toes. She looked up when she felt Harry tentatively touch her shoulder.

‘I’m sorry,’ she said quickly. ‘I mean, I do fancy you – oh, shit, I did not mean to say that!’

‘Why not?’ Harry’s tone was quizzical, and she looked into his thin face, at his kiwi-green eyes, which were mainly dilated pupil. ‘I mean, I fancy you too.’


Hermione hid behind the shed, giggling like mad from hysteria and fear. She had no idea what had come over her. First kissing Black, now this – what next, pole dancing in English?

She eventually dared to emerge, but kept strategically to the far side of the court from Blaise, who actually didn’t seem all that angry. In fact, she was sitting in goals, sharing earplugs with Harry. Hermione felt elated at her success. Sometimes brutal honesty could achieve more than the finest tact.

She was so absorbed in a cackling-madly sort of glee that she walked straight into Pansy. Which, in hindsight, was not the greatest move in the world.


Pansy was mad. Livid with rage. Burning with passion. Black had just broken up with her.

It was a good thing she didn’t realise that what he actually said – something along the lines of ‘it’s not you, its me’ – was far different from what he really meant i.e. ‘you were, in essence, the blonde canary, and the gas, as of now, has made you keel over and DIE.’ Conversely, in the manner of all women scorned everywhere, her mind performed marvellous tricks of acrobatics so that Black emerged utterly blameless.

And naturally, another scapegoat was now required.

She had heard hints and rumours, of course. And, when she told Lavender – the gossip matriarch of Oakwood Comprehensive – what had happened, those hints solidified and the rumours became definite fact.

In short, she now knew that Black was mad about Hermione Granger.

Ergo, it was all Hermione’s fault. In her current state of incontinent fury, Pansy was liable to blame Hermione not only for stealing Black – which she must have done, else why would he break up with her, Pansy? – but for everything that was wrong in the world, right down to the growing, red, under-the-skin spot on her nose.

It was a big spot.

She walked into the PE court to find Black staring moonily off into the foredistance. A few seconds later, she spotted Hermione huddled, for some reason, behind the equipment shed.

Bugger dignity. This was war.


Hermione knew for a fact that she was taller than Pansy by a good two inches. This did nothing to erase the undeniable reality that Pansy was towering over her threateningly, seeming to block out the sky.

She had a nasty feeling that this was something to do with Black.

Pansy – never a great conversationalist in any case – didn’t bother with speaking. Why, when fists were so much more effective? A good right hook can speak a thousand words.

Hermione felt stunned, and not only from Pansy’s sledgehammer blows, which suggested that she had been taking boxing lessons from Mohammed Ali on the sly. She had never been in a real fight before, not even the rough-and-tumble engaged in by siblings, being an only child. She managed to do little more than try to shield her face – ineffectively, as Pansy landed one square on her temple and she felt her eyeball fill with blood. The pain made her sure her eyebrow was broken, if that was possible.

Fights – in which the red haze of bloodlust can descend and wipe the mind free of all rational thought – have their own time keeping. Hermione felt as if Pansy moved in slow motion, like a badly-edited special effects film, and though she knew it was impossible, the fight seemed to last for years. Although it was more of a mugging; fighting suggests at least some participation on both sides.

Suddenly Hermione’s ears – which had been filled with a rushing sound similar to being underwater – popped and were filled with a flood of voices. On top of them all she could hear Blaise’s hysterical screaming, and Mr Hagrid’s booming tones. Pansy was wrenched off her, but not before she got in a vicious kick to Hermione’s shin, toppling her off balance and causing her to crumple like a rag doll.

She lay uncomfortably on the rough gravel, staring up at the grey sky. All at once, Blaise’s worried face appeared upside-down in her line of vision.

‘Are you okay?’ she asked, and her voice, though loud, seemed to come from a long way away. ‘Shit, we’d better get help. Sir! SIR!’

She disappeared again, and Hermione gratefully sunk into welcoming blackness. Black. Blackness....


Sev was so nervous about his date with Remus that he arrived at the Leaky Cauldron at half-past-four. It wasn’t as pathetic as it appeared, as Sev’s watch turned out to be a quarter of an hour fast – making him an hour and a quarter, not an hour and a half, early – but it was still pretty bad.

He leaned nervously against the bar. At this time of day, only serious drinkers – the ones who actually hoped not to wake up afterwards – were hunched over their pints, ignoring the exotic cocktails on offer, to the barman’s obvious disgust.

Sev had dressed with care, scorning his favourite leather trousers in favour of soft cream chinos and a white shirt. The shaded purple lighting of the bar made him look sallow and almost Italian, but he felt oddly naked with out his cowskin chaps. He caught sight of himself in the mirrors, and rubbed his aquiline nose thoughtfully, pressing the lump where it had been broken as if he could smooth it back into the skin.

He had made his way down two pints of Budweiser, and an hour had painfully ticked by in a mess of nerves, when a familiar voice made him start with surprise and turn to the door. However, the door remained determinedly shut, and the clientele did not appear to have increased in number. Frowning, he turned back to the bar, where he came almost nose to nose with Marv, who was leaning his elbows on the counter from the other side.

‘And what’s a gorgeous lad like yourself doing in a place like this?’ he laughed.

‘Marv?’ Sev asked, confused.

‘That’s my name. Don’t wear it out.’ He raised his eyebrows at Sev, blue eyes sparkling mischievously. ‘Though you’re welcome to wear out any other part of my anatomy that you take a fancy to.’

‘What are you doing behind the bar?’ Sev, refusing to be tempted by his blandishments.

‘I own it, don’t I?’ Marv laughed again, a hollow, husky sound. Sev regarded the swell of his throat as he leaned his head back to survey his domain.

‘And the taxi?’

Marv tilted his head. His glacial eyes bore into Sev’s dark ones, and Sev’s soft hair, in a sudden gust of wind, fluttered all over his face.

‘I only use that to pick up impressionable young men to ruin and degenerate,’ he whispered hoarsely.

Sev’s eyes fluttered shut and then Marv was kissing him, running his tongue along his lower lip and drawing it gently between his own with his teeth. His hand brushed along Sev’s throat, to where his hair grew just below his ear. Leaning forward further, Marv pressed his lips to Sev’s hairline and Sev sighed out and opened his eyes.

Remus was standing two feet away from him. And from the expression on his face – one of hurt, anger but above all, hatred – he had been there for some time.

‘Remus!’ Sev gasped, pushing Marv away in horror. Bereft of balance, Marv slid down the other side of the glass-topped bar, grazing his stomach in the process. Ignoring his moans of pain, Sev stared at Remus, but Remus refused to catch his eye. He was concentrating ferociously on Marv, for some reason, and his expression was a fixed, cold one.

Marv finally straightened up, with much over-emphasised groaning and rubbing of his scraped torso. Snape, still unable to take his eyes off Remus, like a heartbroken rabbit in the beams of a suddenly detached oncoming vehicle, noticed that he bared his teeth, revealing his pointed canines. He looked remarkably like a wolf.

Startled, Sev was stirred to action, although he knew there was little he could do to atone for this. It was no use saying Marv had kissed him, even though he had. And for all he knew, Remus could be a raging homophobe. Just because Sev had decided he was in love with him – and when exactly did that happen? – it didn’t automatically make Remus gay.

‘Remus, this is Marv – ’ he began, but the look Remus shot him – that of a wounded beast, still wild enough to fear the touch of humans – halted him dead.

‘I know who he is,’ Remus snarled. ‘Of all the fucking people in the world, Severus!’ Overcome with emotion, Sev could see Remus struggling to master what looked like a consuming rage. Abruptly, a frosty, inert mask descended over his face once more, and Remus, crossing his arms, shifted his body minutely, his body language indicating that Sev was now no longer a factor in this conversation.

‘Marvolo Riddle,’ he said tightly, as if he was grinding out each word individually. ‘Well? What have you got to say for yourself?’

Turning to look at Marv for the first time, blinded by pain, Sev was struck by how calm he appeared. At Remus' words, he looked up from idly flicking his fingernails. The emotional battlescene before him seemed to have left him entirely unmoved.

‘Hello, big brother,’ he said coolly.


Hermione awoke and the pain – previously deferred – decided to make good its debts.

Gritting her teeth to keep from crying out, she mentally assessed the damage. Her right eye throbbed – more than the rest of her face, that is – and her vision was a little cloudy. Her stomach ached like the time she had decided she’d needed to get fit and done a hundred sit-ups in a row. (This had been, needless to say, a fairly short-lived ambition.) As she rolled to get up, a stabbing pain in her left ankle announced its presence. She got herself into a sitting position, but when she tried to stand, the pain in her foot made her gasp with pain and fall back onto her elbows.

At once someone was kneeling behind her, supporting her back, and she subsided gratefully into their arms. A worried voice said, ‘Hermione? Are you alright?’

It was Black.

‘Of course I’m not bloody alright!’ she snapped, anger inflating her like a rising balloon. ‘Your cow of a girlfriend just used me as a punching bag, remember?’ She tried to yank away from him, but her anger was obscured by a tidal wave of pain.

‘Bugger,’ she said weakly.

Settling for the fact that she would have to remain here, uncomfortably wedged in Black’s embrace, as moving either up or down was out of the question, she cast her eyes around the court, which was deserted.

‘Where is everybody?’ she said, then mentally cursed herself for addressing the primary cause of all her pain – both physical and, she had to admit, mental.

‘It took Greg, Vinnie and Seamus to pull Pansy off you,’ he said, with a ring of relish to his voice. ‘Harry and Dean went along to take her to Dumbledore. Blaise and the other girls went with Hagrid to phone a doctor.’

‘And they left me here alone?’ Hermione asked accusingly.

‘No, with me!’ Black said in a hurt tone of voice.

‘And they left me here alone?’ Hermione repeated.

‘I told them to,’ Black said, and he sounded irritated now. ‘I’m the only one who knows any first aid, and it’s not good to crowd an injured person.’

‘You mean a loser,’ Hermione groaned. She felt ashamed now. She hadn’t hit Pansy back or anything, not even once. Black refrained from comment.

‘Where does it hurt?’ he asked briskly.

‘Everywhere,’ she grated, then at his long-suffering sigh, added grumpily, ‘My eye and my left foot.’

‘Okay, then, let’s have a look.’ He gently released her, and Hermione managed to remain in a sitting position, hiking up her good leg for balance. For a moment, Black gazed at her face, thoughtfully biting his lip. His fingers lightly caressed her cheek, below her eye, and, unable to stop herself, Hermione shivered. Despite his benevolent mad-doctor expression, the gesture was unspeakably erotic. His nearness was enough to stop her breathing, and the slight wind carried his scent in her direction. He refused to look her in the eye, however, and abruptly drew back, to sit on his heels.

‘Yeah, you’ll have a nice shiner there in the morning,’ he said, addressing the tarmac. ‘Try and get some cold steak to put on it; it’ll stop the swelling.’

He stood up and walked to her foot, where he sat and took it into his lap. Hermione tried desperately not to think; at the same time, Draco was maniacally concentrating on Sellotape. He found it a great distraction in times such as these.

He removed her shoe with care, but Hermione still winced in pain. She winced in embarrassment also, at the thought of him touching her sweaty foot. He rolled down her sock by degrees, and if it wasn’t so painful, Hermione would have laughed at the mixture of salaciousness and yuckiness the scene engendered. She was also acutely aware of the fact that she hadn’t shaved for days. If Black moved his hands too quickly, he’d cause sparks.

Black slowly rotated her foot, causing her to howl.

‘It’s not broken anyway,’ he said confidently.

‘It felt like it,’ Hermione gasped through gritted teeth.

‘No, if it was broken you’d have passed out when I did that,’ he said. ‘It’s just a nasty sprain.’

‘How do you know all this?’ she asked despite herself.

He shrugged and began to lightly chafe her foot, to shield it from the seeping cold. ‘My aunt Andy is a nurse in the Beaumont Hospital in town,’ he said, eyes fixed on his task. ‘I usually stay with her in the holidays, and she taught me.’

Hermione closed her eyes and submitted to his ministrations, enjoying the feel of his warm, dry hands on her sensitive soles. Another scrap of information to file away in the slim Black folder in her brain. And she felt suddenly sad when she realised that in a few months, she’d be gone and she’d never see him again.

She even felt inclined to forgive him for his girlfriend’s psychotic episode.

‘What was up with Pansy, anyway?’ she asked sleepily.

‘You mean you don’t know?’ The hands stopped moving in surprise.

At that moment, Blaise’s shout rent the air.

‘Hermione! The doctor’s here!’

coralia13 , I think you'll like this one. *smirks*
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: 'Head over Feet,' Alanis Morisette
Caitcoralia13 on November 18th, 2004 07:58 pm (UTC)
Don't like the sound of that smirk...!
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 19th, 2004 02:50 pm (UTC)
Moo. Also Ha and Ha.