6: ClassMature

The alarm went off on my nightstand next to my extremely comfortable 4-poster bed. I was in heaven, but somehow, I didn't really mind getting up. It was my first real day of classes. My first day at Hogwarts. I couldn't wait to begin!
 
As soon as I stood up, a wave of nausea passed over me; memories from last night. I'd told Mr. Malfoy I thought we were friends, and then ran off like a scared little chicken. After that I smiled. I'd kissed Rafe on the cheek, and we'd held hands walking back to the dungeons.
 
Rifling through my trunks, I pulled out the customary gray pleated skirt, tights, white button down shirt, green and silver tie, black sweater vest, and my Slytherin robes, not to mention the hideous brown loafers that went with it all. I sighed. You couldn't have it all ,right? Besides, it's not like I was much of a fashionista back home. This would save me from actually having to put much effort into what I wore.
 
Mitchie was in the common room, looking as if she were waiting for me. When she waved me over and offered to walk with me down to breakfast, I realized I was right.
 
"Rafe usually skips actually sitting down to breakfast. He wakes up ten minutes before class, grabs about ten pieces of bacon passing through the Great Hall, then slips into class just before it starts,' she explained conversationally.
 
I laughed. "That's alright. Boys will be boys, eh?"
 
I looked over to find her blushing. "Sid, you're older than me. So can I ask you a personal question?"
 
Okay, this was weird. I shrugged anyways. "Erm, I guess so. I don't know how helpful I'll be though."
 
She took a deep breath. "Have you ever . . . thought about another girl? You know, l-like the way you might . . . think about a guy you, er, liked?"
 
My eyes bulged out of my head. "Mitchie, are you asking if I've ever been romantically involved with a female?"
 
Mitchie looked like she was about to cry, and I suddenly felt awful.
 
"I-I'm sorry for bringing it up like this," she choked out in a whisper. "It's just that I didn't want to tell any of my close girl friends, because I didn't want to freak them out. I thought that this kind of thing was more common in the States or something."
 
I shook my head to bring myself out of my temporal paralysis, and I gave her a slight hug. "Well, no. I haven't experienced that personally. But it's okay to be gay, Mitchie. You can't help who you like, right?"
 
This was the most awkward thing ever. I was trying to be comforting and helpful without giving the girl the wrong idea. I wasn't sure what to do.
 
"I know I haven't known you very long, Sid. So it probably seems weird that I'm sharing all this with you . . but I'm just s-scared," she whisper-sobbed.
 
I patted her shoulder slightly. "It's alright, Mitchie. Listen to me, do you have a crush on someone? I mean.. well, do you like a girl? Is that where this is coming from?" I asked gently.
 
She nodded. "I think so."
 
"Then, if she's as good a friend as you think is, let her know. Maybe you'll kindle some unknown feelings in her for you, too. Tell her like you told me," I suggested tentatively.
Mitchie wiped the tears from her eyes and agreed. "Okay. Thanks, Sid."
 
I swallowed the awkward lump in my throat. That's what I call it. The awkward lump. It always bubbles up in situations like these. "Sure."
 
"Would you mind not telling Rafe about this?" she asked
 
I promised her and then we were in the Great Hall, sitting down at the Slytherin table, eating breakfast. I looked up at the Staff table, but Mr. Malfoy was nowhere to be seen. My face heated up. Was he trying to avoid me now? Then I realized that was ridiculous. He probably didn't even care that much. It was more likely that he had forgotten all about me by now.
 
Mitchie had gone to sit with a few girls and I wondered which one she liked. I sat between a few people I recognized. None of them I was really talking to, though. Across from me was this little red-headed boy whose robes looked too big on him, and he kept staring around as if he had a guilty conscience. I pinned him as a first year.
I was just shoveling some eggs into my mouth, when a timetable appeared in front of me with a slight pop. Glancing around briefly, I noticed that everybody was getting a similar piece of parchment. Headmistress McGonnogal had stood up and was addressing the Great Hall.
 
"As you have all noticed, students, I have placed your timetables in front of you. You are all to follow these accordingly throughout the year. If your professors think amendments are needed, then you will come to my office and we will discuss the changes. First period starts in fifteen minutes, so I suggest you all kindly head to class," she announced. With that, we were dismissed.
 

My schedule read that my first class was Care of Magical Creatures with Hagrid and the Gryffindors. After that I had Charms with Professor Flitwick and the Ravenclaws. Third, I had double DADA with Mr. Malfoy; this was an all Slytherin class. Next was lunch, and then a free period, thank god. Transfiguration followed that with the Hufflepuffs. Last was Potions with Professor Slughorn and the Gryffindors again. This was all in one day?
 
I groaned. A double class period with Mr. Malfoy might be unbearably tempting. Not to mention I was still so mortified about my behavior last night. I ran a hand through my hair before tucking my schedule away in my bag and standing up to go find Hagrid's hut.
 
"Sid!" a voice called. I looked around to see Lily, from the train, waving at me. I recalled that she was in Hufflepuff so I would have Transfiguration with her.
 
I went over to her, and she asked if I needed some direction. I smiled sheepishly, but grateful. "Yeah, how do I get to Hagrid's?"
 
She pointed me the right way. "How was your first night at Hogwarts?" she asked.
 
I tried to remain nonchalant. "It was good. I like Slytherin. Everybody's been pretty friendly so far."
 
Lily smirked mischievously, but said nothing.
 
"What?" I arched an eyebrow at her.
 
"Oh, nothing. See you in Transfiguration. And I'm glad to hear you're getting along well!" she skipped off happily. That girl was something else.
 
I was walking down the lawn in the direction of Hagrid's house which I realized I could have quite easily found on my own. It was the only other building on the grounds besides the greenhouses. A lot of 7th years were already wandering down there. I noticed that the Slytherins mostly kept with the Slytherins and ditto with the Gryffindors. I wondered if there was any house enmity still there.
 
"Hey girl, heyy!" a male voice called out in an obnoxious imitation of one of those preppy American cheerleader-types.
 
I rolled my eyes as Rafe ran up to me and slung an arm over my shoulders. "I didn't think you'd make it to class on time."
 
He grinned at me. "Mitchie told you about my lack of punctuality?"
 
I nodded. "You get your timetable?"
 
He pulled out a crumpled piece of parchment. I looked it over to find that we had most of our classes together with the exception of Charms and Potions. I told him this and he frowned.
 
"Rubbish," he said. "We were supposed to have everything together."
 
I poked him. "I think we'll live."
 
Care of Magical Creatures wasn't all that exciting. Hagrid, I discovered, was an half-giant, with a lot of facial hair. Nice as can be, though. And he had an endearing passion for the creatures he looked after.
 
Rafe hugged me goodbye as we parted for our next classes and I noticed my heart rate speed up a tiny bit. That made me smile. Maybe I did like him.
 
Charms passed without incident, too. I copied down brief notes, my mind too preoccupied on how my next class would go. As much as I hated to admit it, I really was excitedly nervous to see Mr. Malfoy again. I knew I couldn't' talk to him, and that I wouldn't be able to make eye contact. If I did, I would probably just blush like mad and stutter a lot. I couldn't face him one on one after last night.
 
There were tables scattered about the DADA room, each with enough room for two people to sit at them together. I walked in and found myself an empty table, diverting my gaze from the front of the room as long as I could. Once I peeked, I came to realize that Mr. Malfoy wasn't even in the room.
 
Somebody sat next to me and I turn to say hello to Rafe. Then, I felt stupid because the boy sitting next to me wasn't' actually Rafe. It was a good-looking boy with dirty blond hair and brown eyes. He had strong facial features and an average build.
 
“Actually, it's Devon. But hey, you can call me whatever you want," he said flirtatiously. I rolled my eyes.
 
"Okay. Well, Devon, then. I was saving this seat for somebody whose name really is Rafe. Therefore, if you wouldn't mind . . . leaving?" I said in my smart-alec tone. This guy was a tool; I could already tell.
 
He put his chin on his hands and smiled mockingly at me. "I rather like it here, however. I think I'll stay."
 
I smiled innocently now. "Well I'm not staying, then. And I don't believe you are either."
 
I stood up, enjoying the confused look on his face. He reached out to grab my arm so I wouldn't' leave and I kicked the chair out from under him. He crashed to the floor, landing on his bum. I relocated to a different empty table just as Rafe walked in and claimed the seat next to mine, looking on in amusement at the bloke on the floor.
 
"What happened to Devon?" Rafe asked.
 
I looked at him, feigning indifference. "I kicked the chair out from under him when he tried to steal your seat."
 
Rafe shook his head, laughing. "Poor bloke, never stood a chance, eh?" He put his arm around my shoulder again just as Mr. Malfoy walked in from a door at the back of the room. He spotted Devon and tried to conceal a smile.
 
"What's the meaning of this?" he asked boredly.
 
Devon pointed at me, rather rudely I might add. "The new girl over there kicked the chair out from under me! It's rubbish, Professor. That's a detention, I'd say!"
 
Mr. Malfoy didn't look at me. "Miss Greyson, see me after class, please."
 
Rafe stood up indignantly. "It was his fault! He was hitting on her!"
 
"That's enough Mr. Tyson. I believe I'm the Professor here and if you value your residency at Hogwarts, I suggest your hold your tongue.'
 
Rafe sat down, looking as if he'd just been slapped in the face. It was pretty harsh. I thought everyone said Mr. Malfoy was a cool teacher.
 
He turned on the class with a smile now. "Books away, everyone. We're having a practical lesson today. Wands at the ready, now."
 
Everyone resumed a casual demeanor and the tension was cleared away. The rest of the class was a lot of fun actually. I discovered that I really enjoyed the class, other than the fact that he wouldn't look at me. I was partners with Rafe as we attempted to hex and deflect spells against one another. I knocked him on his arse about ten times before he told me to cut him some slack.
 
I ended up being glad that this was a double period, after all. Rafe and I got to just sit and talk after he finally mastered the spell himself. I learned a lot about him, actually. He told me that if I didn't' have plans for Christmas, I had to come with him to meet his mum. That sounded . . . like a committal type of thing. I didn't know if I was ready for that, but I tried not to show any hesitation.
 
Towards the end of class, we were told to get out some parchment and a quill so we could write a short essay on the spells we learned today, and it was due at the end of the week. Not bad at all.
 
I began working on my essay and nearly had enough time to finish it, but then class was dismissed and everyone was packing up their things. I packed up slowly, knowing I had to stay behind. I tried to calm myself down, thinking he would just give me a detention, and then tell me to leave his classroom, and I could cry silently in the bathroom before I went to lunch.
 
No. I wouldn't do that. If he was going to treat me like that, he wasn't worth any emotional suffering. I supposed I should actually see what he wants before I start worrying about this.
 
Rafe ruffled my hair gently before he left. "Good luck." I smiled and waved to him.
 
Just as I was about to stand up and head to the front of the class, I heard footsteps approaching me, and then Mr. Malfoy just hopped up on my table and took a seat right there. I scooted back in my seat slightly out of surprise.
 
I looked up to see him frowning down at me. His cold, blue-gray eyes bore into mine and I could have sworn he would be able to hear my heart thumping inside my chest.
 
I cleared my throat, thinking he was waiting for me to speak. "Er, I'm sorry for pulling the chair out from under Devon?" I offered.
 
He dismissed it with a wave of his hand. "Oh, I don't care about that. Bloke deserved it. I just wanted a chance to talk to you," he explained.
 
There was another lump in my throat. This one was a nervous lump, though. Not an awkward one. "About what?" I tried to speak around it and my voice came out strained.
 
He scratched the back of his neck. "Listen, Sid. About last night, I didn't mean to . . . I mean. Look, I wasn't trying to imply that we weren't - friends."
 
I shrugged. "You don't have to make up any excuses for me. I'm just you're student."
He shook his head. "It's the truth. I just - it's just that we're not supposed to be. Friendship isn't something schools usually condone between professor and student, you know? I already crossed lines with you."
 
My face scrunched up in confusion. "I don't really get it, Mr. Malfoy. Why go through the trouble?"
 
He groaned. "You're going to be late to your next class."
 
"It's just lunch," I retorted. "And you didn't answer my question."
 
"You're a nice girl, Sid. Genuinely innocent. There aren't too many of those around Hogwarts. I would just hate myself if I didn't look after someone like you." He rubbed his hands over his face.
 
I frowned. "Someone like me?" I knew this conversation was going into forbidden territory, but I didn't' care.
 
"You're making this very difficult on me, Sid. I mean someone so vulnerable and inviting and trusting. There are a lot of people here who would take advantage of that," he explained as best he could.
 
"That's not your job, Mr. Malfoy. I can take care of myself," I told him.
 
He sighed, his hand twitched toward me as if he wanted to reach out, but he clasped them firmly in his lap instead.
 
His platinum hair was falling into his face, and I longed more than anything to brush it out of his face. To hold him close and never let go.
 
But that was never going to happen.
 
"As your friend, I feel like it is my job," he said softly, carefully.
 
I bit my lip, trying not to holler out in joy. He did think of me as a friend. He didn't hate me.
 
I nodded. "You don't need to worry about me, though. Thanks for the concern."
And with that, I walked out of his room, stunning both him and myself with my abruptness.
 
Bloody hell, Sid Greyson, what has gotten into you?

The End

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