Although Care For Magical Creatures was not one of Leon’s favourite subjects, something inside him interjected that he would enjoy doing class with fifth-years. They were handling Hippogriffs, but he wasn’t entirely sure why they needed fifth-years around for that. Nevertheless, after breakfast the following morning, he and Blair headed down for the fenced area in the meadow: Eruka about twenty meters behind them.
“Where’s Eruka?” asked Blair, looking at Leon, and then around at the rest of the class, “Oh, there she is. Talking to Alexis.”
“Then you had best not distract them, Blair. Let them talk about their women stuff.” Said Leon, cracking a grin and chuckling. Down near the fence they could see about ten fifth-year Hufflepuff students tending to the Hippogriffs. When they finally arrived, Professor Everett walked away from the nearby Hippogriffs to address the class.
“Welcome! Is this everyone for today? Hurry up, Eruka and Alexis, please. Quickly! Now, as I told you after our last lesson, we have the fifth-years with us.”
Blair raised his hand, and was prompted to ask his question by Professor Everett. “Why do we have them with us today?” The fifth-years looked disgusted. “Interesting point, Blair. You see, many years ago a third-year boy was attacked by one of these. He was a foolish boy, but the Ministry has made it so we need older students with us when playing with Hippogriffs for whatever reason. I think it’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard, but nevertheless enjoy the company. Now go! To a Hippogriff. There is enough for one to groups of four. Remember to bow your head and…”
Leon felt a tap on his shoulder and he spun around. “Hello. Leon Lopez, right?” Leon nodded at the fifth-year. “Oh, we haven’t met. My name is Cyrus Laplume.”
“Oh, it is a pleasure to meet you,” said Leon as he shook Cyrus’s hand, still looking confused as to why he introduced himself.
“Oh, forgive my rudeness. I’ve been assigned to your group. Are these three your friends?” He pointed at Eruka, Blair and Alexis. Leon nodded, and they walked towards Leon, and then Cyrus led them to a Hippogriff.
“So,” Cyrus continued to Leon, as soon as they were no longer within earshot of the rest of them. “I couldn’t help but notice last night at dinner. You, uhh—made a new friend?” Leon’s chest felt heavy as soon as he noticed whom he was talking about. Cyrus chuckled weakly and said, “Ms. Myrvold?” When Leon still hadn’t replied, he said “May, Myrvold.”
“Oh, right. Yes, I only met her last night when Alexis brought her over to my group of friends. Why do you, er…?”
“You want to know why I brought this up?” Leon nodded once again. “It doesn’t surprise me my name didn’t come up. I’m her boyfriend.” A tinge of jealousy lit his eyes and voice. “Oh. Oh! Well, if it’s any consolation I knew she had a boyfriend, I just wasn’t expecting you to—“
“It’s okay.” He said, as he went to bring the Hippogriff over, and as he passed Leon once again he said, “Just remember where you stand with her.”
Leon thought Cyrus was kind of annoying, but he still had another forty-eight minutes remaining of the class, so he had to tolerate him.
“No way.” Blair said with a chuckle when they were back in the castle, “This Cyrus bloke has got to be kidding himself! You only met this girl last night for ten minutes.” Leon and Blair laughed together, though Blair was still oblivious to how Leon felt about May. During their double period in Divination, (which was a drag like always) Professor Mayhew entered the room, requesting to speak with Leon; pointing at him.
“Oh, I suppose. His aura is precarious right now, anyway.” Leon got up with a sigh of relief, and said snidely to Blair, “Have fun,” and laughed.
“Is everything okay, Sir?” He asked Mayhew as they left the room.
“I’ll explain when we get back to my study, okay?” Leon nodded and followed Professor Mayhew in a uniform motion, observing the candle-lit hallways with tinted windows letting in sunlight of different colours all around him, when he tripped on something in the red carpet, which, as he turned around, appeared to be a tear. “Just about due for new carpets, aren’t we?” Mayhew grinned. After what felt like nine or ten flights of stairs, they finally arrived at his study.
Panted, Leon said wearily, “We’re all bloody magical fricking Wizards, and we can’t find a faster way to get up the bloody stairs?”
“Language please, Leon. You’re in Ravenclaw for a reason.” Professor Mayhew held the door open and stood to the side, allowing Leon the first entrance. “Have a seat,” he said as he motioned his arm towards a chair at the table. “Would you like some tea?”
Leon’s attention was wandering around the mysterious room, when Mayhew began after clearing his throat, “I’m sorry to pull you out of class like this, but this is crucial information and I’m afraid it cannot wait.”
“Ha!” Leon yelled, “Divination is a joke of a subject, isn’t it? Hardly even magic, if you ask me; any Muggle can use tealeaves to read fake prophecies… Oh, sorry, Sir. You were saying?”
“I couldn’t help but notice you have befriended Ms. Varela: a Muggle student.”
“Willow? Yeah, she seems pretty cool. What about her? Oh, you don’t think that she and I—“
“No, no, of course not. I can tell that you have your mind set on somebody else.”
Leon tried not to look too startled; had he noticed his reaction around May last night at dinner? Mayhew chuckled once more. “It’s just the fact that she’s a Muggle.”
“Sir?” Leon questioned.
“The new Dark Lord, Lazarus, is none too fond of Muggles. His father thought the idea of Wizards and Muggles ever coexisting was disgusting. No doubt, his heir, his very own son, shares the same views. Furious about the decision made to mix us with Muggles and expose ourselves, he has turned a lot of his anger to these Muggles: people who cannot defend themselves. I trust over the weeks you’ve known Willow you have grown fond of her; which is my main point: to give you a warning that Lazarus might try to—Well, you know.”
“Yeah, kill her.” Continued Leon. Mayhew sighed with a frown on his face, and nodded. “That is the very reason as to why I have you all, not only learning to defend against Dark Arts, but also practise it.”
Leon, looking distressed, said, “Thank you for telling me this, Sir.”
Mayhew held up his hand and said, “Not at all. I just must ask that you tell your other friends. Maybe not Willow, though. I am certain the last thing she wants to hear is that she can be killed any minute of any day.” Leon looked shocked, “You’re kidding?!”
“No, no. Figure of speech; my apologies. No, we would definitely know when he’s infiltrated these almost impenetrable walls. Luckily, he hasn’t attempted to do so yet.”
That night, Leon, Blair and Eruka were all sitting outside in the courtyard near the fountain once again, and Leon was filling them all in on what Professor Mayhew had just told him. “That’s crazy. It’s a mad world we live in, isn’t it?” said Blair, hanging his head looking down at his lap. “Until just before,” said Leon, sounding sentimental, “I had never realised how much I actually cared for Willow. I should really get to know her better; we all should. She’s in Ravenclaw with us, Eruka, so I suppose we could talk to her tonight when we head back to the dormitories if she’s still in the common room. I should also show Dimitri and Alexis that I care for them, as well.”
“Blair and I are your best friends for three years, so you don’t need to show us,” Eruka said with a laugh.
Blair stood up, “Anyway, I’m gonna go to the Gryffindor common room; I think I’ll squeeze as much homework in tonight as I can before bed.”
“Yeah, we better head back too, Lee.”
As Leon and Eruka entered the common room, they saw Willow by herself next to the fire, and Leon and Eruka sat as she waved at them. “Hi, Willow,” they both said. “Where are the other Ravenclaws?” Asked Leon to Willow. “Oh, since the curfew has been extended to nine o’clock most of them are still out somewhere. Those who are here are up in bed.” “At half-past-eight?” Leon asked her.
“Hehe. I know, it’s way too early.”
Eruka caught her attention. “We’ve known you for—How long has it been? Two months? Something like that? Anyway, we really don’t know that much about you, Willow. All I know thus far is that you’re a third-year Ravenclaw and a Mugg—“ Willow shot her a daring look. “…Non-witch. Sorry.”
Willow said, “Well, there isn’t too much to tell, really. My mother had a Wizard brother, but he’s the only one in the family. He was… you-know-what-born. M-word-born. My mother herself isn’t a Witch, and neither is my father.”
“Wizards coming from non-Magic parents is quite rare, your brother is one of the lucky few,” said Leon.
“Yeah, we all thought it was quite strange when he was accidentally setting the trees on fire without touching them when he got angry with us. Hehe. Anyway, I’ve always got high grades in classes like Mathematics, English and History, but I like to act like a floozy sometimes.”
Leon chuckled, “That’s alright; floozy suits you,” he said with a grin.
“But I suppose, since my birthday is right at the end of the year, on the 29 of December, and I’m a year behind the other third-years I like to act a little bit more immature.”
“So,” Eruka began counting mentally, “You’re thirteen, turning fourteen next month?” Willow nodded cheerfully.
Leon leant in towards her, and said, “Willow, have I told you that the Heir of the Dark Lord, the Second Dark Lord, is out to… to kill me?”
Willow gasped and jumped backwards in her chair. “No way?” Leon nodded glumly. “I suppose the exposure of the Death Eaters and their leader was one disadvantage to exposing ourselves to Mug—“ This time Leon cut off earlier than usual, “to non-Magic people. Sorry, again.”
“Forget about that! What if he succeeds? What if you die, Leon? I don’t—I can’t—I wouldn’t—“
Leon rose out of his seat, walked over to Willow and put a sympathetic hand on her shoulder. “It’s okay, Willow. I promise I’m not going anywhere. Our Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Sithofith has us practicing a bunch of spells to fight evil.” However, he wasn’t so much as worried about him dying, as Willow getting herself killed; but he couldn’t bring that up right now.
“That’s good, then!” She exclaimed, mopping her eyes. “I’m still worried, though. I don’t want you to—“
“He’s not going to! We’re here to protect him,” said Eruka, assuring her.
“She smiled and said, “Mr. Sithofith? He’s my History teacher! He’s a scary man.”
“If you think he’s scary,” Leon began amusingly, “try having him for Dark Arts class.”
It was eleven-thirty when the three had finished talking. “Alright, I think we all best head off to bed,” said Leon, heading towards the boys’ dormitories. “Goodnight!”
Five minutes before breakfast ended, Cyrus had once again approached Leon. “Oh, here we go,” he mumbled to Blair and Dimitri, standing either side of him. Leon had also filled Dimitri in on Cyrus’s outburst four days ago.
“Hey, Leon, I would like to apologise for how I acted during Care For Magical Creatures. I know you have no carnal intentions on May,” of course he did, he just couldn’t tell anybody standing around him, yet. Cyrus, he could never tell. “It’s okay, Cyrus. I understand if I may have imposed on you—“
“No, no! She’s free to talk to anybody she likes; it’s just that she’s very kind and attractive, I have to worry about all these people she talks to, you know? It’s just who I am. Well, anyway, I have to go study for my O.W.Ls. I’ll see you later, maybe.”
The three said bye to him as he walked off.
Dimitri turned to Leon and Blair. “Gee, that guy’s a load, isn’t he? Can’t say you didn’t warn me.”
Leon’s heart leapt up to his throat as he saw May skipping towards them. “Hi, May! How are you?” asked Leon, nervously. “Good thank you! I just wanted to apologise if Cyrus was acting jealous again, telling you to ‘know where you stand with me,’ “ she said as though she had memorised it over many times he has said it, like he says it a lot, which didn’t surprise Leon in the slightest. “I really hate that he acts like that to every guy I talk to—“
“So why are you with him?” asked Dimitri. May looked agitated, but calmed herself at once. “Because, silly, he’s just the greatest guy I know!”
Leon felt depression interjecting on his mood. ‘Although,” she continued, as she started to walk in the same direction she came from, and talking to Leon as she passed, “…you’re a very close second.” Leon had felt happy again almost immediately, but tried not to show it to Dimitri and Blair. He watched May leave the Great Hall.
“Careful what she says, Leon; you wouldn’t want poor old Cyrus thinking you,” his voice changed to sound slightly older, but more annoying, and he stood on the tips of his toes, so as to raise his height, “ ‘have carnal intentions on my dear, sweet May!’ “ They all laughed about it, and then Leon said, “What d’you reckon he would do if, hypothetically, I DID have ‘carnal intentions’ on her?”
Dimitri smiled, “Well, I guess you’d be getting another speech from ol’ Cyrus then, wouldn’t you? Quite frankly,” Dimitri continued, as they walked towards the Great Hall doors, “it is quite strange, their relationship. Cyrus seems like he’s about six years older than her!”
Leon was unsure how to feel about what had just happened. Should he feel happy that May said he was a ‘close second’ to being the greatest guy she knew, or upset that Cyrus was still the first? He tried not to think much of it, and just enjoy Transfiguration with Eruka, Alexis and Blair.