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4. BOOKWORM BONDING

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ELENA AND KATIE WOKE UP, their bodies shaking. Since it was still early in the morning, their brain processed what happened slowly. Katie slapped the offender away, resulting to someone shrieking, "HEY!"

"Take that, Death Eater scum," she mumbled before turning under her blanket. The offender huffed and then pulled the sheets away.

"BLOODY HELL!" they chorused as their bodies exposed.

"Lily? What the hell, woman?" Katie cried.

"Honestly, you two, get dressed. Our classes are starting, don't you remember?" Lily said, already wearing her Hogwarts robes.

"Well, that's no excuse to forcible pull away our blankets," retorted Elena. "I'm only wearing underwear."

"Be thankful you're in an all-girl bedroom," hissed Lily. "Now, get up!"

The two groaned as they threw their legs off the bed.

"How can you stand waking up when the son is still not up? You practically slept late last night, studying," Katie explained.

"I'm always excited during the first day of school. And soon enough, you'll get used to waking up this early. Now, hurry up. Classes start, as I said. You'll just love them, along with the teachers," Lily squealed.

"Elena would. Not much for me," said Katie before getting up. "When're Quidditch try-outs?"

Lily looked surprised. "You play Quidditch?"

"Well, yeah. What's wrong?"

"Well, Gryffindor has been an all boy team for a few years now. Girls would rather drool on the players than play with them."

"That's sexist. Anyways, don't worry. I'm not really finding a relationship right now," said Katie, grinning.

"Okay. What position do you usually play?" asked Lily.

"Um—the best position for me would be chaser. But I'm also good as a seeker. Except it takes me a few minutes to find the snitch."

"That's better than our seeker. His name's Gregory Oden. It'll take him forever to get the snitch. Good thing the chasers are good. Even if the opposing team gets the snitch, we always win."

"Why don't they kick that guy out?"

"They don't really need him. As I told you, we always win, even without the snitch."

"But, it would be better if we did get the snitch," muttered Katie.

Lily shrugged. "I don't really care about Quidditch means." She got her bag. "Ready?"

"Yeah," said the girls in unison.

"Come on…what are your classes today?" asked Lily.

"I've got," said Katie, "Potions, History of Magic, Muggle Studies, Transfiguration, Charms, Transfiguration and Defence Against the Dark Arts."

"I've got all of those except Muggle Studies. I've got Arithmacy instead," said Lily. "How 'bout you, Elena?"

"Same with you," replied Elena.

"Okay, I've heard Potter, Black and Pettigrew have the same schedule with Katie. And You, Remus and I have the same schedule. Sorry, Katie."

"It's fine. I can spend more time—paying them back," said Katie with an evil grin. Lily looked astonished before exiting the common room. The Marauders were there.

"Lilykins!" said James.

"Stop calling me names, POTTER!"

"Speaking of names, can't you call me by my first name? There are a lot of Potters in the world."

"There are a lot of James's in the world as well. I chose to call you POTTER."

The two started bickering again. Then Sirius went to Katie's side. "What are your classes, beautiful?"

"Unfortunately, the same with you," whispered Katie.

Sirius grinned and slipped his arm around her shoulders. She shrugged it off. Then, she turned to James.

"When are Quidditch try-outs?"

The boys stopped short. "You play Quidditch?" They asked in unison.

"Yeah."

"Okay, then. Quidditch try-outs start next week. What position are you going to try out for?" James asked.

"Chaser."

James snorted. "Good luck. Richard, Fernando and I are the top chasers in the school." Then, he sighed. "But the student I do want to replace is our seeker. He ultimately sucks. As in big time."

"Hm," Katie said, pondering. Then, she said. "Never mind. I'll just try-out for seeker."

"What? Why?"

"Well, you said your seeker sucks. I might as well replace him if I get the chance."

"That's settled, then," Sirius said.

"So," Katie replied, "Gryffindor is an all boy Quidditch team?"

"Yeah. The girls aren't that sporty."

"Hey! I'm offended. Girls can kick the boys' arses not only in academic subjects, but also in Quidditch."

"Okay, then. Try-outs start next week, like James said," said Sirius. He grinned as he threw his arm around her shoulder. Again, she shrugged it off.

Elena watched as Harry's godfather flirted with her sister. It looked weird from afar. But, they shouldn't get too attached. Then, Elena had an idea. She could ask one of the bookworms if she could search in the restricted section of the library. She knew Lily would never let her do that, so she tried Remus. She ran towards him and grabbed his arm.

"What?"

"Can you tell me where the Library is later?" she asked.

"Um—sure. Why? We usually don't get homework on the first day," he whispered.

"Well—I need to search this book. My cousin had a time-turner. A device that enables you to go back in time, j-just a few hours. Um—I just want to search more on the subject. He kept bugging me about some questions that I can't answer…probably going to meddle around with his. I need to find a book about it so he would shut up."

Remus looked at her. He nodded.

"Thanks," she said as she smiled. Remus smiled as well. Then Sirius cleared his throat. He had been looking at the two for a while. They had been hand in hand. They flinched away from each other.

Finally, they reached their classes. Only Elena saw Sirius' expression which read, 'I told you so'.

"Good morning class. I'm Professor Slughorn, the potions teacher. Now, we will be learning how to make 'Draught of the Living Death'. Turn to page two hundred and ninety six of your potion's book."

There was a ruffling of pages.

"The instructions are said there. Now, would anyone tell me that 'Draught of the Living Death' is?"

Three hands shot up. It was Lily's, Elena's and Remus'.

"Yes, Miss Harrison?"

"'Draught of the Living Death' is an extremely powerful sleeping potion. It sends the drinker into a deep trance that mimics the state of death."

"Nicely phrased. Ten points to Gryffindor! Now, you have ninety minutes to make your potion. The best potion will get this—"

Slughorn held up a bottle of what looks like a brown mucky liquid. Everyone marveled at it, looking excited.

"Now, who can tell me what this potion is?"

Lily's hand was the first to be in the air.

"Ms. Evans?"

"It's polyjuice potion, sir. It enables a person to change his or her appearance temporarily into another's."

"Very good! Five points to Gryffindor. Now, I made a great deal to allow students to get this. I want you to use it wisely. Not for using pranks—"

James and Sirius snickered.

"—or any nonsense like that. Understand? You may begin."

Luckily, Hermione already knew how to make this potion. She also learned a lot from Harry before. She started of crushing the first ingredient, not cutting it. Liquid flowed out of it.

"How did you do that?" asked Lily, astonished.

"Crush not cut. Liquid flows out better that way," said Elena.

"No," Lily retorted. "The instructions specifically said to cut."

"No, seriously. There's no harm in doing a little shortcut," Elena replied. She glanced at Severus. He looked at her with suspicious eyes. His first ingredient was also crushed. She could already see scribbles in Snape's book.

After a while, Elena's potion was looking good. She glanced at Lily. She was hardly halfway through. James wasn't paying that much attention as Sirius and he were talking non-stop under their breath. Remus concentrated but didn't seem to make his potion work. Peter looked completely lost. His potion was overflowing. Severus' potion was as good as Elena's.

"Times up! Step away from your cauldrons," said Slughorn.

He checked all the potions. The room emitted a rather foul smell. Slughorn passed all the cauldrons without a second glance. He checked Severus' and had a pleased look on his face. Then, he reached Elena's. He looked pleased as well.

"It looks like we have a tie! Elena Harrison's and Severus Snape's potion are both well brewed. So, they both win. Twenty points to each of you! But, I was only permitted to give this bottle—"

"It's fine, professor. You can give it to Severus. I don't need it," said Elena.

James and Sirius looked disbelievingly at her.

"Very well. Here you go Severus," said Slughorn as he handed Snape the bottle. "CLASS DISMISSED!"

Elena exited with Katie by her side. Then the Marauders ganged up on them. "Why did you give that away to Snivellus, Elena? We could have used that potion for our pranks!" exclaimed James.

"Well, James, if I recalled, the potion will be given to the person with the best potion in the class," Elena said snootily. "And even if you begged or cried, you wouldn't even get your hands on that potion."

"But—" Then he staggered back; someone slapped him.

"Oh no, you don't, James Potter. I think it was a wise choice for Elena to give that to Severus. I wouldn't want that potion in your hands," said Lily.

"Here they go again," muttered Remus under his breath.

The rest of the day was okay. Nothing strange happened. Until—

"Good afternoon, class. My name is Professor Merrythought. Today we will be learning about—patronuses. But first, what is a patronus?"

The three raised their hands, as well as some Ravenclaws.

"Yes, Ms. Evans?"

"A patronus is the only shield that can protect a witch or wizard from a Dementor. It is conjured by thinking of a single happy memory and saying the enchantment, 'Expecto Patronum'. A beginner would conjure an indefinite patronus or a silvery vapor. A more experienced wizard may as well conjure a corporal patronus that can take a shape of an animal."

"Very good, ten points to Gryffindor. Now, we will be practicing it. Think of a single very happy memory. Then say, 'Expecto Patronum'. Divide yourselves into four groups. Two groups each house. Girls and boys."

The students scattered and went to their rightful places.

"Okay, Ravenclaw girls first."

"Expecto Patronum," they chanted. Only a few were able to do it.

"Fine. We can do better. Next, Ravenclaw boys."

"Expecto Patronum," they chanted. The same amount of boys as were the girls was able to do it.

"Fine, it's fine. Anyway, it was the first try. You'll improve. Next, Gryffindor boys—Potter, Black! Stop lollygagging and cooperate!" shrieked Merrythought. "Five points from Gryffindor."

James and Sirius were taunting a Gryffindor boy. They stopped at once. Lily shot them an annoyed and loathing look.

"Expecto Patronum," they chanted. A rather good number of boys were able to emit the silvery vapor upon their wands.

"Very good! Last but not the least, Gryffindor girls."

"Expecto Patronum," they chanted. Some emitted the silvery vapor.

Elena and Katie thought of their happy memory. They were at the burrow with Harry, Ron and the rest of the Weasleys. The memory brought smiles to their faces as they cried, "Expecto Patronum."

A silver otter was conjured out of Elena's wand. A silver horse was emitted out of Katie's. Everyone was awestruck, including Professor Merrythought.

"How did you girls learn?"

"Our mum thought us," chorused the sisters.

"Well, excellent, REALLY EXCELLENT! Five points will be given to you. CLASS DISMISSED!"

The sisters exited the room.

"Five points," Katie muttered. "Not even five points each. We should've gotten more than just five points. We were the only ones to conjure a corporeal patronus, for Merlin's sake—"

"Don't you get enough, Gin?" Elena hissed.

"No. This is injustice, I tell you!"

Before Elena could retort, someone interrupted. "What's injustice?" The Marauders followed…again.

"We should've gotten more than five points," Katie told Peter.

"I agree," James said.

"Why didn't you tell us you can conjure a corporal patronus?" said Sirius suddenly.

"I don't remember our conversation turning to that topic. Hmm—it slipped my mind," Katie joked.

"Ha ha. Let's go back to the common room," said Sirius.

"Sorry guys," said Elena, "Remus has to take me to the library. Right?"

"Um—yeah," said Remus.

"See you guys later," said Elena as she grabbed Remus' arm. Sirius was wagging his eyebrows behind the others' backs.

"What the hell's wrong with that guy?" Elena asked Remus, a slight twinge of red in her skin from the blush. "He doesn't honestly think you're attracted to me and vice versa, does he?"

"No, of course not," Remus replied, flushing. "He's just teasing me, because he said 'We could've done at least one prank now if you hadn't said one prank per week.'"

"Oh, yeah," Elena sighed. "Those two only think of pranks. Figures."

"Oh—um. Yeah, come with me."

After some twists and turns, they arrived at the library.

"What book was that about again?" asked Remus.

"Time-travelling, time-turners, whatever with that concept."

Remus nodded as he searched the bookcases nearest to the door.

The two looked through the books, high and low. They skimmed through most of the bookcases they could. After two hours of searching, they couldn't find anything. And they only covered a corner of the Library. The two were tired from all the walking. So, they sat down, books were scattered around them.

"God, this is harder than I thought," said Remus breathlessly. "And that's coming from a bookworm like me."

"Yeah, and I thought Quidditch was hard."

Remus laughed and picked up a book. He leafed through the pages.

"So, do you miss your friends?"

"Of course. I missed my friends and family. Harry and Ron, I wonder what they're doing now."

"Harry and Ron?" asked Remus kindly.

"Yeah, they were my best friends for years. I met—never mind."

Who were Harry and Ron? He wondered; he tensed.

Elena snorted. "I could imagine them snogging their girlfriends. Well, not really Harry, but Ron. He can do anything to prove to his sister that he's better than her. But, they deserve a shot of that. Katie and I are still finding boys that we can call 'boyfriends'.

Remus was relieved, but he did not show it. Then, Elena picked up a book that made Remus stiffen.

Running with the Werewolves

By Romulus Beiste

Elena casually looked at the book, trying not to shake. "Did you know Harry's godfather's friend was a werewolf?"

"Really?" asked Remus. "How did you and Harry react?"

"Oh, we were surprised. Obviously. But we didn't shun him," she reassured. "We were great friends. He was certainly smart, for one."

Remus didn't reply. He looked thoughtful. "Smart, huh?"

"Yeah."

"Where did he stay during the full moons? He couldn't afford to run around at night where he can kill people, if he's smart as you say."

"Don't doubt my words. I'm telling the truth. He—stayed under his house, in the dungoens. He—chained himself up on the wrists, ankles and waist."

"He lives alone?"

"Before," Elena explained. "But he was happily married already with a child."

Remus stiffened. "He pro-created? Was he mad?"

"Hey, calm down," Elena scolded. "Yes, he pro-created and no, he was not mad. Won't you feel happy that he was able to build his own family? Have a wife and a kid?"

"But what about the child?" Remus challenged. "What happened to him?"

"Are you talking about yo—his condition?"

"No, I'm talking about his skin color, yes, I'm talking about his condition."

"First of all, you don't have to shout at me," Elena growled. "Second of all, you don't have to insert sarcastic yet racist comments when you're going to ask a question. And third of all, he did not become a werewolf, okay? He just becomes cranky during the full moons and he likes to eat a lot."

Remus sighed and mumbled an apology. "I guess I shouldn't judge that fast."

"You think?"

"So, what did you think of him…personally?"

"I kind of pitied him. He told us his story. He was bitten at a very young age. He said those transformations were"—Elena shuddered—"painful."

"They are," muttered Remus.

"I'm sorry?"

"Nothing."

"I wish there was a cure. Or even something that could help him."

"There's neither cure nor an antidote. He can only endure it," said Remus harshly.

Elena cowered away from him. Remus noticed that.

"I'm sorry…again."

"It's fine," Elena sighed. "Let's head back to the common room—"

"Hold on, I have one last question."

"Go for it."

"Why are you always referring to your werewolf friend in the past tense?" Remus asked.

Elena fidgeted a little before whispering, "He was murdered."

"What? How?"

"De-death Eaters invaded his house and killed him."

Remus' expression turned sober. "So, his wife and kid are alone then?"

"Er—yeah."

"You hesitated," Remus accused.

"No, I didn't."

"Yes, you did."

"No, I didn't."

"Damn it, just answer the fucking question!"

"Wow, you cursed."

"Elena…"

"Alright, alright. Well, his…wife was in the house with him when Death Eaters attacked."

Remus paled. "How about the child?"

"He was in his grandmother's house at the time."

"And how old was he?"

"Just a few months old."

After a few moments of silence, the werewolves stood up and exited the library. The two entered the common room and went to their beds. There, Sirius and James were waiting for Remus. Peter's fat figure could be seen under the blanket, breathing slowly.

"So, how did you're 'studying' go?" said Sirius.

"Nothing happened, mate. You're being idiotic. I only met the poor girl."

"She's not poor. You're so mean, Moony!" exclaimed James.

"Pfft," scoffed Remus as he changed into his pajamas.

"Seriously, (A/N: Sorry, had to be done)" said Sirius, "what happened?"

"Elena's cousin was bugging her about—a topic. She doesn't know about it so she's searching for it. So that her cousin would leave her alone. That's all," said Remus.

"Specifics," ordered Sirius.

"Fine, we chatted a little," said Remus.

"What did ya talk about?"

"About her friends. Harry and Ron. And, Harry's godfather's friend was a werewolf," whispered Remus. The two straightened up.

"How did they treat him?" asked James.

"Normal. 'Just like a friend' she said."

"Well, it's perfect! You can ask her out now!" said James.

"What?—Why?"

"She can understand what you're going through. She might be the only girl who can, except Lily—"

"And Katie," said Sirius.

"Why Katie?"

Sirius shrugged. "I dunno."

Peter scoffed under his sheet which made James, Sirius and Remus jump. "You just say that because you think she's hot. I know that by next week, you'll be able to snog her already."

A few moments of silence then—

"Wormtail, you were listening to our conversation all along?" Sirius exclaimed in disbelief.

"Yes," he muffled. "It's really hard to sleep under all those screaming."

"Sorry, mate," Remus whispered.

"Hey, hey, hey," James said. "We're getting off topic."

"No, James."

"What do you mean: No?" Sirius asked.

"No, not at all, nope, on no account, certainly not, definitely not, nadda, not, never, I refuse! Get the picture, Paddy?" Remus replied. "I can't date her because of the same reasons I can't date other girls."

"She's an exemption!" Sirius exclaimed. "She said she doesn't care her friend was a werewolf—"

"Again—friend, not boyfriend."

"There's a first time for everything."

"No, it's still too dangerous. We can stay friends—"

"Come on, mate. You're not going to hurt her. It's just—you need to loosen up a little. She can understand."

"Why are you pushing me to date her anyways, padfoot?" Remus' eyes narrowed in suspicion. "What could you possibly have to gain by me dating a girl, huh? What's your devious scheme—"

"He says if you have a girlfriend, he can get revenge on you by teasing you and her," Peter said.

"Wormtail!"

"I'm sorry," he replied, "but it's your fault I can't sleep anymore. If you could just let Remus be—"

"Uh, yeah. It's one of those times where you should just shut up, Wormy," James snapped.

"Come on, Moony!"

"No, anyway, I just met her. I barely know anything about her—"

"She loves books and apparently werewolves—come on, Moony!"

"You know what, fine! I'll give her a chance. Just, let me know her first."

James and Sirius looked triumphant. Remus grumbled before putting his head on his pillow, wondering what it would be like if Elena had a relationship with a monster…

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