A boiling, searing hot rage was bubbling inside me; I wanted to tear this stupid piece of paper to shreds! Failing Herbology, Herbology. Even though Herbology was the most useless subject Hogwarts could offer, Kurt Hummel does not fail anything! I squashed the paper into a ball and dropped it onto the Slytherin breakfast table; pushing my cereal bowl away as my appetite seemed to have faded.
"Dude, you're not hungry?" Barry Edger, my not-exactly-athletic friend, asked, emptying the contents of my bowl into his own before giving me a chance to respond. I snuck a look at his report card; all D's and A's, yet his appetite never failed him.
"What'dya get?" Jason Bentley, my other friend, asked, reaching over me and unfolding the report ball with a tap of his wand, "Du-dude! Defence Against the Dark arts: O. Transfigurations: O. Potions: O. Ancient Ruins: O. Herbol—Uh oh…" he dropped the paper and shot me a sideways look, "Sorry, Hummel…"
"Shut up, Bentley." I said calmly, and he did. A sarcastic tittering came from behind me,
"D, Hummel." Came the titterer's cold voice, "The great Kurt Hummel got a D." I turned around and saw Sebastian Smythe, my best friend, shaking his head at me with his arms crossed, an amused look on his meerkat face.
I pulled him down onto the bench, glancing around horrified, "Keep your voice down, Smythe!" I hissed, which caused him to laugh.
"Ashamed, are we?" He rolled his eyes, helping himself to Jason's toast. "Oh, relax Hummel, even I just got an A in Herbology. I could have gotten an O… if I wanted to. But I didn't, who does? It's not worth the energy, so it's really no big d—"
"Well it is a big deal to me!" I snapped back, "Kurt Hummel d-"
"Doesn't fail, yes, yes, yes, we know." He took a bite, "If it really means that much to you, then… you know, actually try in Herbology." I gave him a look. "… Yeah, you're right. Don't want to seem like a boff, do you? Unlike..." he gestured with the toast, getting crumbs everywhere, towards the Hufflepuff table. Well… more accurately towards Blaine Anderson.
Blaine Anderson was the hero of the Hufflepuffs. Seeker, top of every class, good looking, the Hufflepuffs all idolized him. Sure enough, when I glanced over he was surrounded by a gang of them, all gazing in awe at his report card. I rolled my eyes, "Yeah… who'd want to be like him?" I scoffed. Blaine was also the main target of bullying, particularly from Sebastian. Sebastian really made an effort to make Blaine's life hell, sometimes even getting Jason and Barry to join in. I never did. It was a waste of energy and Blaine wasn't worth it. Well… that was what I told the guys. The truth was… I didn't like bullying people. Blaine wasn't a bad guy; he never did anything to me. But he was smart, a Hufflepuff and Sebastian's rival seeker, so those were more than enough reasons for Seb.
I looked over my so-called 'friends'. There was Jason, blonde, well-built and so stupid it was amazing he was still breathing. God only knows how he got into Slytherin, must be his bitterness and vanity. Then Barry, porky with a troll's appetite, but strong enough to take on anybody. And then… Sebastian. Sebastian was without a doubt the cruellest, slyest, bitterest, vainest, most unfriendly person I had ever met. I really didn't like him, and if I could I'd avoid him for the rest of my life. But… I needed him.
My father was a very well known, respected wizard (and by respected I mean feared). He worked at the Ministry, but seemed to have more influence than the Minister himself. When he was at Hogwarts he was a Slytherin with the whole school under his thumb. Top of every class with no effort, but no one would dare accuse him of being a boff. Seeker who never lost a game. Yes… everybody knew my dad. So everybody knew me, and I was expected to live up to his reputation. Yet I was barely scraping one. I begged the hat to put me into Slytherin; which, thank god, it did. Sebastian got his reputation through fear, and seemed very interested in me due to my father. I realized that if the whole school saw me and Sebastian as friends they'd believe I must be exactly like my father. So all I had to do was act like him around Sebastian and not criticize his bullying, then he'd stay my friend, I'd keep my reputation and keep my dad happy.
The bell sounded the end of breakfast, and the start of lessons. Barry waddled off to Muggle Studies and Jason had a Potions detention, leaving me to spend my free period with Sebastian. As we made our way to the common room we passed the Hufflepuff table, and a wicked glint in Seb's eyes told me he was going to have some fun first. He banged into Blaine, obviously on purpose.
"Woah, watch it Anderson!" he snapped at him, getting in his face.
"S-sorry…" Blaine mumbled, trying to edge around him but Sebastian was blocking his path.
"Huh? What was that? You're sorry?" Sebastian gave him a little push back; I noticed a group of Slytherins were hanging around to watch. Sebastian bullying someone was highly entertaining to them. "Why sorry? Not your fault your head is so huge that it gets in my way."
Blaine blushed as the Slytherins sniggered, "Come on, I need to go—"
"Oh, wouldn't want to be late now, would we?" Seb got uncomfortably close into his face, "You'll stay here until I say you can go, clear?" Blaine gave a timid nod. Sebastian reached into Blaine's pocket and fished out his report card, Blaine didn't stop him. "Let's see… Ha! You got an O in Herbology?" The Slytherins sniggered louder, Blaine dropped his gaze, "Aw, you wike all the pwitty flowers, huh?" Sebastian mocked him with a fake baby voice, the Slytherins almost wet themselves, "You wike the pwitty flowers, don't you?" Blaine stayed silent, Sebastian got mad, "Don't. You?"
"... I… I like the pretty flowers."
Sebastian smirked, satisfied, "Now, run along, flower boy." Blaine's head dropped and he ran out the hall, away from the Slytherin's chants of 'flower boy' as they dispersed. Sebastian came over to me, looking pleased with himself. "Pathetic, right?"
"Yeah, what a nerd." I agreed.
"Bet he's crying now, stupid flower boy." He shook his head, "Common room?"
Almost everybody with a free lesson would be in the Library, but me and Seb had never stepped foot in there. Basically, the rule was to get O's in everything without studying or seeming like you want to pass. If you study or make an effort then you're a boff, if you fail you're stupid.
As we sat in the empty common room, watching the squid swim lazily past the window, I glanced down at my report. How on earth was I supposed to pass this subject without making it look like I want to pass? I asked Sebastian this.
"Why on Earth do you want to pass so badly, Hummel?" he sighed.
I gave him the look.
"… Point taken. How about… wait, I've got it!" He sat upright, checked around the empty room, and gestured for me to come closer. "Right," he was whispering, "Remember the Astronomy exam which I had no hope of passing because it's a stupid subject and do I look like an alien?" I nodded, "Well, I passed it because… because I paid a Hufflepuff nerd to tutor me." I couldn't help but snigger, Sebastian gave me a cold look, "Don't worry, he won't tell anybody. He knows I can make his life a living hell. So that is all you need, you need to find yourself your own personal nerd."
"… Okay. So… I need a nerd who will be too scared to tell anyone?"
"Yeah, should be easy." He shrugged, "What about… the little ginger one with the glasses?"
"Ew, no way. I might catch her freckles."
Sebastian laughed, "True. What about the little guy who practically faints in fear whenever we walk past?"
"He's only getting A's. If I'm going to do this, I'm doing it right." I leaned back, thinking hard. I glanced over at Sebastian, who was smirking. "… What?"
"Flower boy! Ask him."
I blinked, "… are you serious?"
"Completely. He's a Herbology nerd, and he's a wimp. He's perfect."
"He's pretty popular with the Hufflepuffs, what if they find out?"
Sebastian thought for a moment, "… okay… how about this? You tell him that you want him to tutor you, if he agrees and doesn't say a word… I might stop bullying him. If he refuses or tells another living soul… I'll make his life a misery."
"You already make his life a misery."
"Tell him I've been going easy on him, I can do much, much worse." He smirked; it was true, he could.
I sighed, then nodded, "… alright. Alright, I'll ask him tomorrow."
And there it was, Kurt Hummel was about to be tutored by Blaine Anderson. What could possibly go wrong?