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April - Prompt: "Yes, I'm short. Tell me something I don't know."


The 21st of April dawned painfully bright and far too sunny. Theo, along with most of his year, traipsed up the path to Hogsmede in various states of nervous excitement over their imminent apparition tests. He was not particularly worried about passing, and instead focused on reciting all the properties of snargaluff and tentacula seeds in potions under his breath, in an attempt to drown out the nervous chatter surrounding him. He had gotten as far as cleaning potions (snargaluff increased the potency of any scouring potion) when Daphne Greengrass' voice broke through.

"How about you Nott? I mean we all saw you do it last week, but this will be harder, don't you think?"

Theo assumed she was talking about apparition, and was restraining the urge to comment on the relative differences in their abilities to think, when Blaise stepped in with a smirk.

"Nott doesn't get worried about things that use his brain like you do Daphne. And look at it this way, if you fail, you can go take the test with Malfoy over summer instead."

Daphne looked pleased at this, and Blaise wandered ahead to talk to Tracey Davis before Greengrass caught on to the insult. Theo glanced between the still chattering Parkinson, Greengrass and Bulstrode, and the silently lumbering Goyle, and decided to slow his pace enough to get free of them.

This allowed the Ravenclaw pack to overtake him, and he blithely ignored them, though Anthony Goldstein gave him a brief nod. They had been forced to work on a paired Herbology project last year, and had managed to be surprisingly civil with each other. He suddenly registered soft footsteps matching his pace, and turned to find Morag alongside him, though she didn't speak or look at him. As the village came in sight, he finally gave in and murmured "So are you talking to me yet?"

She glanced at him (an improvement at least), and cocked her head, as though trying to decide whether she was or not. She had been short with him for nearly a fortnight after the library incident, but apparently decided he was forgiven two days before the Arithmancy test. Until that night of studying in the library together, he hadn't realized how much he had missed her company. At least until a third-year Hufflepuff managed to knock over an entire shelf of books, and he had made a joke about Mudbloods trying to learn by dropping books on their heads. Rather than laugh and roll her eyes she had hit him with an itching hex and went over to help. Only then had he remembered that Emily Wright, one of Morag's fifth-year friends was a mudblood too.

She hadn't really spoken to him since, and when he had tried to catch her after Potions the next day, she had used a stinging hex that had burned for nearly a week after to make him release her arm. Even worse, Blaise had seen this, and kept making off-colour jokes about their "lover's tiff".

"I guess I could stand your company again," she announced finally as they passed Scrivenshafts, "If you can mind your language that is."

Theo winced inwardly, but decided it was worth the effort. "I forgot that Wright was a mu-ggleborn."

She gave him one of her wry smiles, as she answered "well I suppose that's as close to an apology anyone gets from you. And on that topic, I apologise for the stinging hex. It was only meant to last for an hour or two, but I could see it was still bugging you the next day."

"Week," he muttered, though she apparently didn't hear him as the Ministry examiner had started speaking.

They were lined up in alphabetical order, and summoned two at a time to first sign the application papers, and then attempt the test. To his surprise, he and Morag were able to continue their conversation, as her cousin MacMillan, Malfoy, and Lillian Moon were not present. Behind him, Parkinson was asking one of the Patil twins something about Divination, while just ahead a pair of Hufflepuffs were arguing in Welsh.

"So do you fancy getting a butterbeer after to celebrate?" she asked him softly.

"I guess" Theo replied, hoping that the other Slytherins wouldn't expect him to join them. Looking down at her, he saw her chewing her lip as Susan Bones and Terry Boot were led out into the open area.

"Nervous?" he asked.

She scowled at him, then looked away and muttered "a little."

He reached down and patted her head. "Look at it this way, there's not much of you to apparate, so it shouldn't be too hard."

She batted his hand away. "Yes, I'm short, tell me something I don't know."

But she was smiling again, and didn't jump at the pair of cracks of Bones and Boot successfully vanishing. "One for Ravenclaw, one for Hufflepuff. Care for a bet on which house gets the most passes?"

Glancing up and down the line, Theo quickly counted the coloured badges, and said "No bet. Too many Ravenclaws, not enough Slytherins here to make a good contest."

Forty-five minutes later, they were summoned together. "Good luck," she whispered as they moved out into the open. Theo waited for the pop, before he twisted into suffocating blackness to follow.