Forearm braced against the hard stone wall to her back, Poppy Evans meets the glare of Regulus Black, taking careful note of the funny little quirk to his lips.
His eyebrows are furrowed, sharp grey eyes just staring uncomfortably into her own.
She opens her mouth, to demand he get over whatever insult he was about to throw, but the need dies when he shakes his head with a scowl.
"This is stupid."
"Wha-" the last of her question is swallowed when lips press against hers. They're insistent, taking without once asking and Poppy responds in kind.
She had first met Regulus Black when they were eleven. Both fresh faced, unsorted first years boarding the train at Kings Cross Station that was bound for Hogsmeade.
He had been pompous, rude, and a whole slew of other nasty words. He still is now.
Poppy has no idea how she's fallen into this.
He got sorted into Slytherin (surprise, surprise) and she found her home in the house of badgers, in Hufflepuff.
Neither of them followed in the footsteps of their Gryffindor older sibling, but Poppy doesn't find that particularly surprising either. Lily Evans is bold and courageous and she belongs in the house of lions.
The only surprise was the fact Poppy didn't get sorted into Slytherin herself.
She had successfully talked her way out of the house of the cunning, but only because of her earnest approach to hard work.
Even then it had been a very close call indeed.
And while the idea of a muggleborn Slytherin may have appealed to the her before rebirth, in their current political climate, it's just not possible.
This is not Poppy Evans first go at life.
It is, however, her first as a witch. Her first as a little sister. And the goal is to ensure she's not the only magical Evans still living ten years from now.
She's studying, training in the Room of Requirement, she's working hard, a credit to her house.
That doesn't explain Regulus Black.
Regulus Black who has seemingly made it his mission to ensure she knows just how superior he is to her in every sense of the word.
Poppy spent the first three years of her Hogwarts career ignoring him, ignoring his cutting words (which admittedly had been rather sharp to have come from the mouth of an eleven-year-old) and she'd ignored his petty attempts at jinxing and later cursing her.
The counters were easy to find, the spells even easier to dodge. Then Fourth Year had happened and as her sister had been sitting her OWLS, Poppy had been sniping back at Regulus. He always confronted her when it was just the two of them, or when his Slytherin cronies could slither off. As the loner Hufflepuff, getting her alone wasn't difficult.
Getting her defenceless was impossible. Poppy has developed something of a reputation for being dangerous with her wand. All that time spent not socialising had been poured into spell-crafting, poured into making her wand-work as impressive as possible.
Maybe Regulus Black should have gone to the house of lions, because he was always brave enough to come challenge her, no matter how many dummies she blew up in DADA.
Fourth year transformed into Fifth Year and Fifth Year metamorphosed into Sixth Year and then… Then this mess happened.
Poppy's hand is curled into the hem of Regulus' shirt, drawing him closer, her other arm still trapped between the stonework of Hogwarts and the small of her back.
Regulus' own hand is tight in her hair, the other supporting him as he leans down against the wall. It's stupid and wrong and when he pulls away he doesn't lick his lips so much as wipe them in disgust on the hem of his sleeve.
But this isn't the first stupid kiss that's happened.
Poppy gets the feeling it won't be the last.
"If you find it so disgusting, why do you keep doing it?" Poppy hisses, watching as the pureblood's silver eyes narrow, lips pressing hard into one another and turning down in a frown.
"I don't know," he snarls back, equally as heated and Poppy glares right back at him.
She knows why she keeps doing it.
Regulus is an awful person, but he's got potential to change. It's that little fact that has her here.
Because there's something rebellious to be found in the action, in these fucked up interactions they share. It's not a relationship, more a dirty little secret. One they'd both deny if asked, one she doubts he thinks about once they leave each other's sights.
She does. Think about it that is. How can she not?
How can she not wonder at what part does Regulus begin questioning his role in the Death Eaters?
Is he even one yet? Poppy doesn't know, nor does she care.
She has her own goal, a goal to keep her sister alive and happy. She considered telling Dumbledore about the Horcruxes but put the idea off in the end.
Can't risk him going after them, drawing Voldemort's attention, only to have all the original pieces moved. She's already struggling on how she's gonna get rid of them. Fiendfyre isn't something she's capable of casting, not yet, and she's not exactly fluent in snake-speak to go get some Basilisk Venom.
For now, all she can do is collect the nasty little trinkets and figure something out as she goes. But they will be destroyed before Voldemort even thinks to go after Lily.
Oh, and Potter. Who's now finally dating Lily.
She doesn't smile at the thought, but that's only because Regulus is in front of her right now, and god forbid he think she's having kind thoughts of him.
"Let me figure out when you do, so I can stop it."
He sneers, a well-practiced thing and Poppy's only response is to lick her hand and the smear it across his cheek.
She walks away as he swears; she has shit to get done today, make-out session with the uppity pureblood or not.
Wiping the filth from his face, Regulus Black watches the sway of the arrogant little mudblood's skirts as she walks away, lips twitching despite himself.
Who does she think she is? Does she not realise how damn lucky she is to have even a scrap of his attention?
Her lips had tasted like tangerines.
Grimacing at the reminder, Regulus runs his tongue across his own mouth, savouring the taste he'd half-hearted tried to swipe away.
What the fuck is wrong with him? She's a mudblood, filth.
She shouldn't be excelling so much in class, shouldn't make her magic dance and twirl like she does. Shouldn't wear her red hair long and free to attract his attention, shouldn't have eyes such an intense shade of blue that stand out in her pale face.
He knows that Snape halfblood in the year above him still moons over the other Evans mudblood; Regulus had once heard him grumbling about how her green eyes were the most beautiful in existence.
Regulus had ignored it at the time, but he disagrees.
The younger Evans mudblood's blue eyes are better than green.
Which is fucking annoying.
Why couldn't she be a pureblood witch? Then every little thing that drive him insane would be a good quality. If it weren't for her blood, she'd have made a perfect betrothal. Smart, intuitive, beautiful.
But she's a filthy mudblood. Good for a quick fuck, but that'd be all.
If he could stomach laying with such a low-class woman.
The problem is, he can stomach the idea of it, has woken up from more than one dream in the middle of the night hard and aching, a half-hazed memory of spread legs, pale skin and sparkling blue.
Of his name moaned in the stupid accent that still carries in her words despite five full years of premium education here at Hogwarts.
Fucking hell, he hates Poppy Evans.
But he just can't seem to stay away.
Watching Evans is difficult.
None of the other Slytherins can know.
No, not just the Slytherins, no one can know.
It'll be the ruin of him if they find out his has a little tryst going on with the mudblood of Hufflepuff.
Not that she's the only mudblood of that waste-of-space house, but she's the one that stands out. The bludger yet to the chained back into the box, the snitch yet to be caught.
She doesn't belong at the top of their year group, but it's there she sits anyway. Whenever he goes she always seems to be there out of the corner of his eye, if not her physical presence then reminders.
The red of a Gryffindor tie masquerading as the crimson of her hair, the flash of a pureblood witch's pale skin at the hem of a sleeve a reminder that Evans' wrists are thinner than that, delicate even.
It's ridiculous and he can't stop thinking about her.
Has she curse him? Revenge for all those times he put her in her place in their first few years at Hogwarts? It's the only explanation.
It's driving him mad, Regulus hates it and he hates her.
That's all there is to it.
A day later, they're back in another little side corridor, one of Evans' legs hiked up around his waist as her hips grind against his.
He hates her.
So... er...I'm gonna have another go at writing this, but as you can see, I don't have the patience for a build up. I've got too many long fics already in progress, but I still really love the idea I had for this. So instead, I'm gonna start from here, and throw you in at the deep end, and hope I don't drown you enough that you'll still be here for the next few chapters to understand the kind of person Poppy is and the dynamic she has with Regulus.
Sorry to the people who wanted me to continue the original, but hopefully this is better than nothing? (I mean, I'm aware if you've already reviewed the old chapter 1 you won't be able to review this, but there so many hopeful people following g this story I feel like this is the best way to continue it)
If so, you can thank the people on tumblr for encouraging me to try my hand at this again when I gave them this above preview. Chapter 2 is half finished, but as with every other story I've got going, this isn't as high on my priority list as Marines. I can't promise regular updates, but I'm far more interested in writing the 'exciting bit' than I am the build up, so I'm hopeful.
I had fun writing it, so, yeah.