— M&MWP.
Also, many thanks to Rachel (RGBTheDuckie) for pointing out all my typos...(:

"...and Penelope, you go check the far compartments down the end of the train."

Penelope Clearwater glared at the Head Boy, far too annoyed to remember to watch her tongue. "Nobody goes down there anyway. Except the Slytherins, of course. So why not send Pucey down?"

Unfortunately, her pleads were disregarded and so, Penelope found herself clenching her fists in an attempt to rein in her anger as the beady eyes of her Slytherin peers followed her down the train. It was when one of the slimy gits slithered up to her and slurred a very suggestive comment in her ear, the Penelope swiveled on her heel, fully intending on getting Pucey to check the damned compartments.

And she would've left too, had it not been for the crash accompanied by yelling that suddenly echoed through the carriage.

"What was that?" she demanded, her fingers having curled around the evocative boy's shirt collar. "D'you know what that was?"

He shrugged at her, smirking as he ripped his uniform out of her grasp. "Marcus Flint'll be havin' a chat with someone, if y'know what I mean..."

"Where? Damn it. Tell me or I swear to Merlin, I'll hex you six ways from Sunday."

"The compartments near the back, I reckon," the boy said, his eyes warily resting on her wand that was peaking out from her robes. "He only ever chats with the Gryffindors though, so s'not really a worry for you..."

"Oh, you absolute idiot," Penelope spat, pushing him out of her way and rushing down the train.

What she saw didn't surprise her in the slightest. Marcus Flint, though not particularly bright, was a large boy and like many at Hogwarts, was far too caught up by house rivalries. His calloused hand had found its way around a Gryffindor, just as the other boy had predicted and Penelope wasted no time whipping out her wand and firing Flint backwards.

"For goodness sake, Flint, what were you going to do? Strangle the poor thing?"

She needn't have worried about reprimanding him though, for not a moment later the 'poor thing' had scrambled to where his wand lay several feet away and was yelling a string of hexes at Flint, his face twisted in anger.

"OI! GET OFF HIM!" Penelope yelled, shooting both boys away from each other with a flick of her wand. "Come on, you. I'll take you back to the Gryffindor carriage. And as for you, Flint," her eyes narrowed at him, "I'm sure Professor McGonagall will be having words with you soon enough."

Although both boys seemed eager to continue their fight, they backed away from each other slowly and the smaller boy nodded at Penelope, allowing her to escort him away from the Slytherin compartments. Instead of taking him to where his fellow house mates were though, she paused at the compartment where the prefects had their meetings and pulled him inside.

"What's your name, then?" she asked, pushing him on the seat and examining his neck. "You're the one that hangs out with Percy's brothers, right?"

"Fred and George? Yeah. Name's Lee Jordan."

"And how'd you manage to have the pleasure of Flint's hand around your neck, eh?"

He winced as she prodded at the bruise that was forming on his neck and replied, "Dropped a dungbomb in one of the compartments, but I'd rather you didn't tell Minnie that..."

"So long as you stay away from the Ravenclaw carriage...and Ravenclaws in general, mind you." Muttering a spell at the wound, she smiled as the purple faded. "I'd advise you keep away from Flint. He's a bit thick, but boy, that grip he had on you..."

"Yeah, yeah."

Penelope frowned. "I'd also advise that you work on those reflexes so that next time he makes a grab at you, you can hex him before he tries to strangle you."

"What?" Lee grinned up at her, his white teeth flashing and contrasting against his dark skin. "Giving me permission to hex Flint, are you?"

"Don't twist my words, Jordan."

"Oh, don't worry," he drawled, suddenly confident now that he no longer had a hand around his neck. "I think it's very nice of you to be looking out for me."

The older girl's frown deepened. "You'd better get going."

"Why?" He shuffled across until their thighs were touching and placing his mouth near her ear, he murmured, "Do I make you uncomfortable?"

At this, Penelope let out a loud laugh and leapt up, causing Lee to plummet head first into the cushioned seat. She turned when she reached the compartment door, grinning at his displacement. And then she turned, leaving him to gape after her in a very unattractive fashion.

Several moments later, after he'd managed to gather his jaw, Lee sighed to himself.

"And to think I was planning on rewarding her for being so kind..." he muttered, his brain working on overdrive as he pondered why on earth the pretty girl had left him all on his lonesome. "Next time, perhaps. After all, she really does deserve some recognition, doesn't she?"