A/N: Thanks to: Serpent's Ballet, TeamRocketDiva, ShadowPalace, Kaiba-Kun, Setoglomper, Demonic Disturbance, redwood-ribbons, Vampiric Dragonrider, syrusfanatic12, sellyme for reviewing. Hope you like it!
Cedric felt extremely guilty that he was not helping the new students adjust enough. He'd spent hardly any time with them, and they seemed to be extremely homesick. "Would you like… would you like me to introduce you to my friends?" he asked, attempting to smile. His reply was three glum shrugs.
"Well I have some homework, so…" his cheeks flushed, apparently he felt bad about leaving them.
"That's fine," Atticus said at once. He was the one of the three who had remained cheerful throughout the day, and offered up a grin to Cedric.
"Alright then," Cedric said, "I'll be in the common room if you need anything." He strode out of the dorm room, leaving them alone.
"We got stuck with the Zane of Hogwarts," Syrus said, folding his arms.
"You said it, not me," Atticus said, grinning. "He's not so bad, though. Better than the kids in Chazz's dorms."
Hassleberry nodded, "Yeah, did you see those guys?"
"Yeah," Syrus answered, "I'm glad I'm in this house. So far everyone's been really nice."
"How did Jaden and everyone make friends so quickly?" Atticus asked.
"I guess they just got lucky with their roommates," Hassleberry said, "…I miss Duel Academy, do you guys?"
They both nodded. "Suddenly I kind of wish that this place was more chaotic," Atticus said.
Syrus smiled slightly, "Don't say that, it just might happen."
Bastion was sitting next to Luna on the common room couch, reviewing an issue of the Quibbler. He was a bit baffled, as some of the terminology was beyond his understanding.
"Does this Ministry really use nifflers to steal werewolves' property?" He stumbled over the word niffler, deciding he'd look it up in his textbook later.
"Oh yes," Luna answered, twirling a lock of hair around her finger, "They're quite discriminatory. They don't like any half-breeds, or half bloods for that matter."
"What are those?" Bastion asked curiously. He found the magical world to be absolutely fascinating.
"Well, half-breeds are creatures that are only partially human." Luna said.
Bastion thought of Tanya and the other Shadow Riders, but didn't say so. "And half bloods?"
"People who only have one magical parent. Or one muggleborn parent and a pureblood parent."
"Yes, like you I suppose. Born to ordinary parents, but with magical abilities."
"It's quite extraordinary, actually. People assume that they are less special than the rest of us, when in reality they are more so."
Bastion didn't know enough about the magical world to understand how profound this was.
"Run!" Chazz shouted.
"Run?" Alexis repeated, "Um, I think we'll just get in more trouble." She fiddled with her slightly singed hair, looking aggravated. "Ick, look what we did with this place."
It was true. There was a thin film of black dust over the room, and certain things were burned or otherwise damaged. Their entire night's work was damaged, as all of the glass potion bottles had broken in the explosion.
"Do you think he's going to come?" Alexis asked nervously, looking towards the door.
"Maybe not," Zane said, "He could have left for the night."
"Well, the door's locked," Chazz reminded him, "So he kind of has to come back. Doesn't he?" He was met with silence.
"Why don't we try to clean this up," Alexis suggested, "That way it'll look okay when he gets back."
"What about the potions?" Zane asked.
"Well… we'll deal with that later."
They had slim chance of escaping deep trouble, and they knew it. But if the place didn't look like a disaster sight when he returned, maybe they would be given the benefit of the doubt.
"Anybody see any rags or anything?" Alexis asked.
"Not really," Chazz replied, "We can use these." He held up a stack of cauldron covers.
"I thought the plan was to avoid trouble," Zane said. It took Alexis a moment to realize that he was making a joke, and then she smiled.
"Well do you have any better ideas?" Chazz asked. He seemed even tenser than usual, with sweat pouring down the sides of face.
"Hey Chazz, are you okay?" Alexis asked, "You seem a little –"
"I'm fine," he snapped, breaking his code of never-speaking-ill-to-Alexis. "I just hate detention."
"Me too," Alexis said. "I've never gotten one before."
"I have," Chazz said darkly, "Because of stupid Slifer-Slacker."
Alexis grinned, "Bet he doesn't seem so bad compared to some of your new roommates."
"Hey!" Chazz snapped, pounding his fist upon a table. "Don't talk about them."
Alexis's eyes widened in surprise, "Okay, I'm sorry…"
"Guys," Zane interrupted, "Will these work?" He had up a stack of dirty looking cloth.
"Sure," Alexis said, with a sigh, "Let's clean this up."
They had almost returned the room to its original state when they heard the creaking of the door.
"What do we do?" Alexis whispered, frantically brushing at the floor.
"Hide?" Chazz suggested, only partially kidding.
However, Snape was in the room before they could do so, and they were forced to show him the mess of the room.
"What's gone on in here?" He asked at once, eyes traveling over the impaired furniture.
"Um," Alexis said, "Well, a bottle broke… and when we were trying to clean it up, we spilled something." It sounded ridiculous and made no sense, but she figured it was better sounding than an explosion.
Snape eyebrows went up. "Then where are the rest of the potions?"
When no one answered, he got a nasty smile upon his face. "Well then, I'm afraid you may have to spend the rest of your detentions brewing the potions you've destroyed, now won't you? Oh I do hope you're quick learners." He clasped his hands together. "Now, return to your dormitories."
They left, rather discouraged, and headed down the hall. "They really are horrible, aren't they?" Alexis asked, once they were out of earshot.
Chazz nodded, looking distracted. "Yeah."
"Listen," Alexis said quietly, "If you really hate your dorm, talk to the headmaster. He can probably help."
"I doubt it," Chazz said, "I'll see you guys in the morning." He left abruptly, leaving the other two in wonder.
"I really hope he's okay," Alexis said.
"It's Chazz," Zane answered sarcastically.
Alexis grinned. "You're full of surprises tonight, you know that?"
Zane shrugged, then hesitating.
"What?" Alexis asked.
"Nothing," he replied, "It's stupid."
"If you say so," Alexis said. She'd long since stopped trying to get information out of Zane.
"It's just…" he began again, "That dementor."
"Yeah?" Alexis said, prodding him on. She'd felt it too.
"Did it change you?" Zane said.
"I don't know," she answered honestly.
"Me neither," Zane answered.
"You know what, this place is full of surprises," Alexis replied. She was so lost in thought that she did not even notice Zane's slight smile.