A/N: Hey babes! Here is my next submission for Marcus May - it's going to be a longer multi-chapter and I really hope that you all will enjoy it! The title came from the song Bigger Boys and Stolen Sweethearts by the Arctic Monkeys. You can follow me on tumblr (nauticalparamour) where I post sneak peeks, answer questions and post story updates.
Please let me know what you thought of chapter one and be on the lookout for chapter two soon!
Marcus Flint was one of the largest people in Hogwarts, despite being only a fifth year. Despite being one of the youngest people in his year - his August 28th birthday had just barely made the cut off - he stood at least a head taller than most of his classmates. He was lean and broad and covered in muscle most teenage boys wouldn't gain until much later in their lives, but that was the body type his father had given him.
His size, when paired with his relative skill on a broomstick, made him focus most of his attentions on play Quidditch, leading his home team to the Quidditch Cup for two years, and there was talk of him making captain in the following year.
One might think that all this put together would mean that Marcus Flint was a popular boy. One would be wrong. Instead, Marcus Flint was hideously lonely, his classmates finding little use for him off of the pitch and whispering rude things about his size and his teeth behind his back. Troll, they called him. They used his poor marks as further proof that he must have some troll blood in him.
Marcus desperately wanted to prove them all wrong, and being that this was his OWL year, he had the perfect opportunity. He was determined that he would pass them all. He was only taking four of them! How hard could it be? Wanting to pass his exams, though, meant that while the rest of his classmates were chatting happily in the Great Hall during lunch, he'd just grabbed a sandwhich off the table, and headed off to the library alone. He was sure that no one else would be there, and he could get some work done for a change, without the distractions that someone might be laughing at him to distract.
Only, the library wasn't empty. He'd trudged back towards the study tables, determined to get a jump on his Charms essay, only to find a little girl occupying what should have been a quiet place to work. And worse, she was crying.
He watched from the edges, not really sure what to do, while she took the smallest little bite from the sandwhich she must have snagged from the Great Hall as well, before wiping the tears from her cheeks. She was far too engrossed in the book in front of her - Hogwarts, A History from the look of it - to take any notice of the large boy watching her.
Marcus rocked back and forth on his feet, wondering if he should just sneak out of the room, seeing as she hadn't seen him yet. He could head back to his common room, or head off to his next class and she would never even notice.
Bur then he looked at her. Really looked at her. She had bushy brown hair that seemed to have a life of it's own, and a dainty little frame, with a little slightly upturned nose. She looked so tiny in the empty library, and even worse, she looked so alone. In that moment, despite their differences, Marcus could sense a kindred spirit. Here was a girl that had no other friends, and was alone, just the same as he was, and, well...maybe they could be each other's friends.
The scrape of the chair being pulled back from the table certainly caught her attention, and he could see how on edge she looked when he sat down across the table from her, pulling his sandwich out of his bag. Her face was transformed with a snarl, making her look like an angry little kitten, when she spoke to him. "What do you want? Come to call me mudblood, too?"
Marcus was taken aback, with her using a word like that so casually. Sure, his family didn't really care for muggleborns, but it wasn't like they went around using that word willy nilly, and he was sure that his mum would wash his mouth out with soap if she heard him use it. Though, his father might give him a congratulatory pat on the back. "No." He said, simply, hoping that she didn't send him away.
She looked surprised. "But you're a Slytherin. Don't you all hate muggleborns?" She asked finally, all traces of her earlier tears gone and replaced with curiosity.
He shrugged his shoulders. He didn't really think that he hated any muggleborns, mostly on account of him not knowing any. Marucs looked at her uniform - she was a Gryffindor, which seemed a little bit obvious to him at this point, but he thought that they were all about taking care of their own. So what was she doing hiding her in the library eating her lunch, then? "Why are you here in the library instead of in the Great Hall?"
The brunette nibbled her lower lip so hard that Marcus thought she might bleed. Finally, she gave a big sigh, and decided to answer him. "I don't have any friends in my house. I've never really had friends, actually, because well, the other children at my old school could always tell that I was a bit odd, what with my magic and all, but I had had such hopes that things would be different here." Her lower lip stuck out and wobbled a bit, and suddenly she was on the verge of tears again. "But I guess I am just destined to be the odd one out!"
Marcus could sympathize with her feelings. He supposed that he felt quite the same way too. He'd hoped that when he'd set a new record for points scored in a Quidditch match during his third year, that perhaps the other Slytherins would see him as someone who shouldn't be ignored, but it hadn't come to fruition. He wasn't sure what to say to her, not well versed in comforting crying girls of any age, and instead took a bite out of his own sandwich.
"What are you doing in the library, then?" She asked, her chin jutting outwards at him, her tone sounding rather accusatory, though Marcus couldn't blame her seeing as he had asked her the same question.
He looked at her, while he tried to decide how to answer the question. He thought about explaining about how he was wanted to do well on the OWLs, but he also didn't want to give her an edge over him. What if he failed miserably at his OWLs, and then everyone laughed at him. He would just about die from embarrassment. No, instead, he would just be honest with her, and maybe even...build a bit of a rapport with the first year. "I don't have any friends in my house either."
"Really?" The question burst out of her, as though she had no filter. "But you play Quidditch! Bit of an odd sport if you ask me...I don't see what's so great about it, but everyone here seems to go bananas over it."
Marcus tried to hide his smile when she finished. Did she not realize that she could have greatly offended him just then? Apparently not. "Yeah, well, Quidditch is about all I'm good for to most people in this school." He explained, with a shrug of his shoulders. "I feel at a disadvantage. You must know a bit about me, but I know almost nothing about you. What's your name?"
He watched as she squared her shoulders, before extending her arm across the table. "Hermione Granger. First year." Marcus stared at her hand for a moment, but then finally took it. "But I'm going to be turning twelve in a week." She added quickly, once they'd dropped hands.
Marcus couldn't stop the smirk from his face at that. He wondered if she was worried about impressing him, about seeming older, so he wouldn't feel upset about her being a little kid still. "I'm Marcus, Marcus Flint. Fifth year, but I just turned fifteen before school started." He said, looking back down at his half-eaten sandwich. He wasn't entirely sure what to do now that he and Hermione were talking to one another. He'd never had someone to chat with, let alone a girl.
Instead, he pulled out his Charms book, and a bit of parchment, still wanting to get a little bit of work done, if he was going to be in the library, desk mate or not. Seeing the books, though, Hermione lit up. It seemed that she was incapable of not saying whatever it was that spilled into her head at any given moment. "Oh, it's your OWL year. You must be really busy wanting to study for them all. Which ones are you taking?"
"Charms, Potions, Herbology and Transfiguration." Marcus said, rubbing his hand on the back of his neck. Part of him expected her to laugh at him for trying for so many OWLs, when so many of his classmates were surprised that he managed to get this far in his schooling at all, troll blood and all.
"What, only four?" Hermione asked, horror clear on her face. "I plan to get at least nine OWLS." She said confidently. Marcus wondered if it was the kind of confidence that only a first year could have - after all, she hadn't even had a proper exam yet - or if it was just an unshakable confidence in her own intelligence.
"Oi, it's not that easy, pipsqueak." He said, crossing his large arms across his body.
Hermione rolled her eyes at him and his nickname. "I never said it was going to be easy, you brute. But it's already obvious that I am the best in most of my classes. I studied all over the summer and I can already cast most spells, unlike my classmates." She said proudly. It seemed that it was just innate confidence in her own abilities. Marcus wondered what that might feel like, but he supposed it was just like how he knew that he could score in Quidditch. Maybe Hermione just knew that she would be able to perform spells. That would be nice, he decided.
"Oh really?" He finally asked, enjoying the way that she got a bit angry, so desperate to prove herself whenever he challenged her. "Prove it then."
"Fine!" Hermione said, pulling out her wand, sending it at his book. "Wingardium Leviosa!" She flicked her wand towards his sandwich, and had it floating higher and higher in the air and out of his reach. He stared at it, shocked, until he realized what was happening and snatched it out of the air. Her laughter was like a tinkling bell, and quite infectious. Despite his best efforts, Marcus started to laugh along with her.
"Alright, fair point." Marcus said, taking another bite of the sandwich, once it was safely back in his hands. "That was pretty good work for a first year." He admitted, impressed with her ability. When he thought back to first year, he was pretty sure that it hadn't been until midterms that he'd finally gotten that charm to work consistently.
"Thanks." She responded, a bright blush on her cheeks, before looking down at the table. It was odd the way that her mood suddenly dropped. "None of my classmates seem to think it's that great. Professor Snape called me an insufferable know-it-all, and well, even some of the other Gryffindors have been quite rude to me, calling me a show off, even though I was getting house points."
Marcus gave a little noise of agreement, knowing that Professor Snape could be harsh - even with his bias for Slytherin students. "Well, I think it's alright." He said, not used to giving praise to other people. It seemed to brighten the girl's mood anyway.
"Say Marcus?" She asked cautiously, her brown eyes trailing up to his face. "Does this mean that you and I are friends?" She asked, gesturing towards the space between the two of them.
He wasn't really sure what to say. On the one hand, he thought it was pretty pathetic that his only real friend was an eleven - nearly twelve! - year old girl, and not someone his own age or really...anything in common with him. But the other part of him thought that any friend was better than no friends. "Yeah, I guess so, pipsqueak. I'll be your friend." He was surprised by how warm he felt saying the words. This was going to be a good thing.
"Alright! Maybe I'll see you here again for lunch tomorrow?" She asked, gathering up her book bag, before looking down at the watch on her tiny little wrist. "I've got to run to transfiguration, Marcus. See you later!"
Without waiting for him to say goodbye, she was leaving the library, her bushy hair flying behind her. Marcus watched the little whirlwind girl leave, wondering what had just happened. He wasn't sure how, but he was pretty positive that Hermione Granger was going to change his life.