Chapter 9

Fight or Flight

Several months passed; midterm came and went; and finally, finally, finally the first days of spring shone through the winter gloom.

Hogwarts had been through a lot this year, more than a lot. But with spring came the promise of change, and the pall that had hung over the school lifted. Students began to act like students again, running and playing rather than whispering and darting glances over their shoulders.

Hogwarts was itself once more; yet danger aside, teenage drama still pervaded the school, as perhaps it always would. None of these thoughts were on Vivienne Moor’s mind as she trotted out onto the Quidditch pitch, having spotted the very familiar figure of a tall second year on the field.

Avery was someone easy to pick out from a distance, a blessing as it meant she had been able to see him from a window in one of the towers. This also meant that finding him in the Great Hall was much easier than it should have been for a short first year.

She slung her temperamental, if faithful, broom over her shoulder, yelling, “Hi’ya Avery.” Waving a little, she hopped onto the broom, skimming low to the ground. Reaching him Vivi stopped, simply hovering in the air.

“What’cha up ta?”

“Nothing,” he said, smiling at the midget girl.

“Just admiring the atmosphere… By the way, how on earth did you find me out here?”

Very nosy girl, that Vivi.

Vivi raised her eyebrows, carefully keeping a straight face. “Oh, don’t ya know Avery? I’m a stalker. That’s not too weird compared ta freak dancing with Brian though, is it?” she grinned then, unable to stay serious for long.

“Oh! Kinky!” Avery burst into fits of laughter at that comment, wondering to himself how a stalker—which Vivi was not (nor was Avery, though her Evilness #2 Aiko used to think so)—was more kinky than freak dancing with a boy, who’s half your size and your best friend.

Vivi too burst into a fit of laughing, nearly falling off of the broom. Deciding to be cautious rather than unconscious, she jumped off of it, sitting in the grass with Avery towering over her. “Hey, your tallness, sit. It hurts looking up at ya.”

“Why, your shortness? Poor little Vivi can’t see my face.” He laughed again, and then plopped down on the ground next to her. “That is too funny!”

“Grrr.” Vivi said, glaring up at him until he, thankfully, sat. “You’re too tall…it’s seriously inflatin’ your ego. She tilted her head, considering.

“I suppose I could just go thirty feet above your head on my broom. Then I’d be higher,” she laughed, expecting that would not work since most likely Avery would follow her. But then a thought occurred to her.

“Hey Avery, actually I’ve never seen ya on a broom. Explain.”

“Um, well.” he began, “Er, I just dun wanna, that’s all.”

“A lie if I ever heard one.” Vivi accused, now more curious than ever. “Have you ever even been on a broom?” she grinned, now too interested to let Avery off without a full explanation.

“You’re too nosy, you know that?” Avery asked, shaking his head, more as a response to her question.

“Ya really can’t fly.” Vivi exclaimed, suddenly realizing that he wasn’t just being difficult. “Gosh Avery, it’s not that hard…here, I’ll teach you.” She stood up again, brushing the grass off of her robes.

“Erm, that’s really not necessary.” he muttered.

“Yeah, uh-huh, whatever, Avery Berke.” Vivi said, grabbing his hands and pulling him up, which was really quite a feat considering there was so much more of him than her.

“You can’t seriously expect to go through all the rest of your years at Hogwarts and not learn how to ride a broom, can ya? Anyone can learn ta, I did, and ya know I clumsy I am.” She grinned, remembering a particular incident where she had fallen off of a sofa, knocking piles of paper everywhere.

“Sure I can!” he said, shaking his head. “You could ’cause you wanted to. I don’t ’cause I don’t wanna.”

“Oh come off it Avery, you have ta learn how ta ride a broom. It’s like…like tying your shoe laces. A life skill.” She laid her broom on the ground, sending quiet thoughts to it and hoping it would understand the simple phrase Be good.

Hey, it couldn’t hurt could it?

“Now, all you have to do is reach out your hand and command ‘Up.’ The broom’ll jump into your hand. Easy enough to start?” she questioned, once more looking up.

“Okay, whenever you’re ready.”

“Go away…” he said, shooing the broom with his hand.

“Vivi, it is not a necessity. And who said I was gonna learn? Not me!”

“Tell ya what Avery,” Vivi gulped, wondering what she could say to convince him. “If you’ll let me show you how ta fly a broom, then I’ll let you…”

Let him what?

“Practice nonlethal curses on me for an hour,” she breathed hesitantly, thinking he would agree simply because his own recent duels had not exactly gone in his favor.


I hope I haven’t gotten myself in over my head. Of course, it would figure.

“The only way you’d ever get me up there is if I could kill Aiko with Avada Kedavra and send you to Azkaban in my name,” he smirked, then began walking in the other direction.

Dang! How could I pass that up? Oh well. I can always take her up on that offer later.

Vivi grinned widely, looking like she’s just been promised a new top-of-the line broom. If there was one thing having so many cousins had taught her, it was that people simply could not be as mean if you stayed smiling like an idiot. Sure, it got you the weird glare or so, but really that was better than completely losing an argument.

“Alrighty Avery. I’ll just have ta tell Agatha aboutyour duel with Alex. I’m sure she’ll be entertained.” Vivi called out before innocently starting to walk in the direction of the castle, humming to herself.

So what if he kills me? I’ll die happy.

“Petrificus Totalus!” Avery exclaimed, sending the spell at the irritating Hufflepuff firstie. “You know, I could leave you like that forever,” he threatened, walking past her towards the castle.

“Oh how I would enjoy the silence.” He raised his eyebrows and smiled.

“Now, I trust you’d never tell Her Evilness? And might I add, I’m a second year and you’re just… small.” He couldn’t resist. “So I can hex you anytime I want, as I just did.”

“What do ya take me for Avery?” Vivi managed to gasp out, struggling against the curse. She could move a little, a by-product of Avery’s hasty casting no doubt, but she still lay bound and nearly gagged at his feet.

“Let up so I can speak in my defense!”

He’s even taller from down here.

“No way!” he said, prodding her with his foot. “It’s fun to see you squirm. I must remember to do this to her other Evilness.”

Jerk, Vivi thought, still unable to reach her wand. And I’ll remember to do this to you too.

Rather than comment, however, Vivi smiled widely. “Actually Avery, this is rather comfortable, and in case ya haven’t noticed, I can’t squirm.”

“Stop being smart,” he said, smirking. “That’s obvious. Well, I’m sure that’s very uncomfortable and I’m about to make it more so. Aquis Olemus!” He smiled as freezing water poured on her.

“Having fun?”

Silently Vivienne thanked her stars that formerly she had performed a water-proofing charm upon her robes, which at least saved her from getting as wet as she might have.

She about had her little finger around her wand now, and finally she grasped it, though it was behind her back so Avery couldn’t see.

Deleterius,” she cried, and as soon as the body bind lifted she shouted another spell.

Expelliarmus!” she grinned as the second year flew back and she caught his wand. “Never underestimate the powers of a first year. Now shall I ask ya, having fun?”

The late nights of studying spells had really paid off, though she would not be able to fight down an armed and ready Avery. Besides, it was only luck that allowed her to free herself of the body bind curse.

Vivi tossed Avery back his wand, setting hers in front of her in case she needed to shield.

“Call it quits Avery? I’m not gonna tell Her Evilness, less you curse me again,” she smiled to show that bringing Agatha into the argument had been meant mostly as a joke, but still kept a sharp eye on him. From the beginning it had been a bluff, or at least an empty threat. Vivi did not hold much with black mail.

Avery is taking this really seriously, she thought, a bit miffed by that. She had not planned for him to get so upset when she made the threat.

“Though I still think ya need to learn to ride a broom, and the reason you won’t must be because you hate heights or something. Though I know that’s not your biggest fear.”

“Vivienne Moor! You will not tell Agatha anything!”

He wanted to hex her and toss her in the lake, but then she would tell Aggie. Vivi was an idiot and seldom bluffed.

“And no, I’m not learning to ride a broom. I care little for brooms and never want anyone trying to get me on one!”

Avery walked past Vivi and into the castle, purposely bumping into her, causing her to fall to the ground.

“Oops. Sorry,” he said, continuing to walk.

Vivi stumbled and fell, annoyed almost more with herself than with Avery. She watched him go, considering whether or not to follow, then decided against it and fled in the opposition direction.

Dang it Avery…you know I wouldn’t do that to you. I know you hate Aggie. Jerk.

She blushed scarlet, mad at herself for being inconsiderate about the broom thing, and embarrassed by what she assumed was Avery’s now very bad opinion of her.

The round-about way to the Hufflepuff commonroom took much longer than cutting straight through the Great Hall, but it was better than immediately running into Avery.

I’ll patch it up later…give him some time to come off his mood…but he did hex me first, grrr...

She stopped for a moment, blinking furiously and biting her lip, before vanishing into the commonroom.

Avery entered the Common Room in search of Donal. After his fight with Vivi, he had finally decided to have someone teach him how to fly.

Donal had better say no, he thought, hoping he would not find Donal.

But he was there, sitting in a chair, studying, of all things.

“Erm, Donal.” Avery muttered, peering over the top of the chair.

Donal looked up from his book. It was silly, seeing Avery upside down, and Donal smiled.

“What’s up Avery?” he asked, in a way too cheery voice, the voice that normally meant he had had some more ideas.

“I, erm, well.” Avery began, scratching his head nervously.

“I need to learn how to fly. I wanted to know if you’d teach me.”

Avery paused and frowned. “But, if you don’t want to, I’ll understand perfectly. And why the heck are you so happy?”

Donal looked a little surprised at Avery’s words.

“You don’t know how to fly?” he asked in a slightly astonished voice, “I thought everyone knew.”

Seeing the other boy’s nervousness he shrugged his shoulders, “Yeah, sure I’ll teach you. It’s not actually that hard, and once you’ve got the basics sorted out, it’s really great fun. When do you want to start?”

He thought for a moment, he could use his own broom, but did Avery have one? Probably not, so he could use one of the school’s…but the Quidditch hut had burnt down.

“Wait a minute, do you have your own broom, because I think all the school ones were destroyed in the Quidditch Hut fire.” .

“Erm, no. So I guess I can’t learn. Too bad.” Avery said, rather sarcastically.

“I’m soo upset. Well, see ya!”

Donal looked at Avery, frustrated.

“Look Avery, I’m quite happy to teach you, and I’m sure we can get a broom for you from somewhere. Don’t be so negative all the time!” he admonished.

Avery rounded on Donal, glaring. “Actually, I’d think you’d realize that I don’t wanna learn! Why else would I be so happy that there aren’t any school brooms available?”

“And negative, am I? Thanks Donal. Thanks for the wonderful compliment.” Avery smiled sarcastically, then turned and walked up the stairs to his dorm.

Donal slowly and gently beat his head with his book. Why couldn’t he talk to Avery about this kind of thing without the other boy going off in a temper? He was only trying to help! Well dammit! Avery was going to learn to fly!

He, Donal, would get a broom from somewhere, and he would get Avery on it! Just to prove that Avery could learn to fly, even if he didn’t want to!


Wait a minute, why did Avery not want to learn, even though he had asked?

Donal waited a few minutes to calm down and also to let Avery cool off, and then stood up and followed his friend.

Avery flopped down on his bed and buried his head under his pillow.

“Talmorra’s an idiot…”

Sure enough, as he said that, Donal came prancing through the door.

“What do you want?” Avery asked.

Donal sat down on his own bed, and sighed. “Avery, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to sound like I was having a go at you. But there’s a couple of things that I really don’t understand about you. Why, when you have made the decision to ask me to teach you to fly, do you then take the first option to back out of it? What is it that’s so bad, that you know you should do it, but you won’t? And what ever it is, no matter how silly it sounds, I promise I won’t laugh, or go spreading gossip. So what is it?” Donal clasped his hands together and learned forward slightly, concerned about his friend.

“Stuff it Talmorra.” Avery said, turning his back on the boy.

“I’d think you’d realize that, though I asked, I don’t want to learn. If you’re too dumb to figure out what’s going on, ask someone who cares to talk to you.”

Avery stood up and left, but Donal sat in the dorm, puzzled over Avery’s words. Despite Donal’s plans, schemes, and general craftiness, this was something that he could not work out. It just didn’t make sense, to want to do something, but not to want it.

A tall Gryffindor Third Year entered the Great Hall, surprisingly in a somewhat agreeable mood. Despite not having spoken to Vivi for a number of weeks after their argument, he had yet to set eyes upon either Aiko or Agatha. That alone was enough to cheer him up. Not having to worry about that stupid prep or the minion of the dark lord…

As he took a seat at the Gryffindor table, a few first years (probably frightened by Agatha and her “hex-happy” stories of him) scooted away, hiding their faces behind their hands.

Just don’t annoy me and I won’t hex you.

It annoyed him to no-end when people hid from him, thinking he was in one of his infamous moods and would curse anyone who breathed in his presence.

It was stupid, really… He wouldn’t hex someone just for the heck of it…

..oh, wait… Yes he would… He’d done it before.

…But that’s beside the point.

Confused by the firsties, Avery shrugged, grabbed a baked potato, plopped it onto his plate, and began to mash it with his fork.

I’m not evil, he thought, still slightly miffed, though not enough to hex anyone.

Oh wait… yes, yes I am.

Thank goodness Vivi was no where in sight, or she would most likely have hexed him for existing.

But just because Vivi was not in sight did not mean she was not in the Great Hall. As a matter of fact, she was walking right past the Gryffindor table, staggering under the weight of a stack of books. They hid her face, all except for her eyes and the top of her head. That is, they hid her face until she tripped over Avery’s outstretched foot and went sprawling, books and papers flying everywhere. Suddenly she was very visible, looking up at Avery from the floor.

She blinked. It had been a while since Vivi had run across Avery, as he avoided the Quidditch Pitch at all costs. This was a surprise, and she noted with interest that the first years near him acted as though he was toxic waste. Aggie had done her job well.

Vivi stayed on the floor undecided, before realizing that she might actually want to get up and not present such a helpless target. Standing, she glanced at Avery, finding that her anger had by now drifted away. She still resented his stubbornness, and hated that he was so dang curse-happy, but…

She didn’t want to lose one of her friends.

“Hi’ya Avery,” she finally said, bending to pick up her books and various supplies. “Turned your wand on any first years recently?”

She grabbed the last book, straightening, and looking at him with questioning gray eyes. They lacked the trace of maliciousness that normally crept in when she was angry. Instead Vivi simply looked as she always did: curious.

He was sitting, minding his own business, when there was an odd weight on his ankle…

Then a loud crash…

Then a girl lying atop a pile of books and papers…

Vivi had obviously fallen. It was ironic, the fact that Vivi had tripped over Avery’s foot (most likely because she was too short to properly see over the large pile of books she had been carrying), when they had not seen each other for weeks.

And it was funny, the sight of Vivi on the floor with all of her books strewn about; but Avery dared not laugh, lest he anger her yet again.

“I resent that.” He said, trying very hard to hold back the mad fits of laughter about to erupt from his throat. “As neither of the evil people have been around, I’ve been quite pleasant indeed.”

But if I do see the evil peoples, I won’t be so nice.

Brushing away the negative comments and thoughts about Aiko and Agatha, he smiled, surprising the firsties by his display of anti-evilness.

Vivi grinned suddenly, setting the books down on the table and taking a seat beside him. If this startled bird-brain Berke, well, that was his problem.

“In a good mood, Avery?” She asked, sighing as she realized that sitting she was once more shorter than him. So was everyone though.

Little presumptuous? Avery wondered.

“I won’t say good, just not bad.” He shrugged, realizing that him not being in a bad mood would technically place him in a good mood, as it was seldom he was not angry at someone and willing to lob off anyone’s head to vent his anger.

“Seeing as all of my body parts are still here and I’m not frozen on the floor, seems ya are. Guess I don’t count as ‘evil people.'” She laughed, brushing stray bits of hair out of her eyes.

“I resent that. Keep it up and you will be missing an appendage,” he sniggered, hoping she knew he was kidding, but also hoping she would take a hint and take care not to irritate him.

He looked back at the firsties and almost died. They were once again freaking out, most likely over the ‘appendage’ comment.

Oh come off it. Not like I’d take off an appendage, just kinda break it.

Vivi sighed again, looking at Avery out of the corner of her eye as she turned to the table and ordered some cranberry juice. “Still on the power trip, Avery?” she asked, also joking, but serious enough for him to know that if he cursed her he would probably lose her friendship once and for all. “Eventually you’re gonna get smart and take some anger management courses or something.”

Okay, so she was being slightly annoying, but that was her personality. Being curious, sarcastic, and uncontrolled with comments was a dangerous combination. Right now she was only making conversation. Had she really wanted to annoy him she would have mentioned either a) Agatha or b) Aiko. Or better, both of them in the same sentence. And if she really wanted to go all out, she would have brought Lys into the conversation too. So, evidently, she was trying to stay on good terms.

While Vivi and Avery chatted, Agatha, at the Slytherin table, scowled and lowered her expressive green eyes to the laden plates and goblets.

She did not really understand why, but there was something about that Moor girl, which annoyed her excessively. It perhaps should not have surprised her— after all the sniveling brat was a Huthleputh and really was not that enough said? But no, it was more than that. That evil, cruel boy whom was always so rude to her.

But that Moor brat hung around him, sucked up to him, seemed like a piece of glue stuck to his side. It was really too pathetic. Agatha looked under her long eyelashes at the pair. She was tiny, scrawny, insignificant. Too beneath Agatha’s notice for her to even notice.

And yet she did.


She flicked her glance to Avery Berke and glowered. He had not yet been made to pay. But he would. Oh yes. Agatha Swales would see to that.

Vivi, suddenly feeling the gaze of someone’s eyes upon her, glanced up. Her eyes locked on the hateful green ones of none other that Agatha Swales, and she was suddenly reminded of a Black Widow descending upon its prey. There was something about that look that left no doubt in her mind that Aggie did not like her at all.

It was a strange realization, as she had always had the distinct feeling that Agatha rarely noticed her. Actually, Agatha never seemed to notice her. It probably had something to do with being muggleborn, in Hufflepuff, and younger.

Pretending nothing had happened, Vivi turned back to the juice she had ordered and Avery. After three weeks of not speaking to him, she wasn’t about to let Agatha chase her into the common room. It was fun to be talking to him again, even if she was still wary of his temper. Not that she could blame him, exactly, the argument had been more her fault than his.

Now, besides all of this, she had the fury of that conniving pureblood Slytherin to worry about. And if Vivi’s suspicions were correct, Agatha felt the rules, and general integrity, to be below her.

And I thought life was getting easier.


Meet me in the library. Please.


That was all the letter had said. But she had wanted to meet him, so he decided to come- not that he knew if Vivi would even show up.

Not like he had anything better to do though.

Sighing and grabbing a random book from the nearest shelf, the second year sat down and laid his head on the table.

“Stupid, stupid, stupid.” Anyone to walk by his table would swear him insane, as he was bashing his head on the book he’d picked up

“Why on earth do I have to talk to her? I feel like an idiot as it is,” Avery grumbled.

He came, Vivi thought, noticing Avery as soon as she entered the library. She wondered at that, tip-toeing between the book shelves. She had posted her letter, and then decided to try the library, not really thinking that Avery would be there. On any account, she had wanted to check out a book of charms—preferably one for charms to mend clothing. Quidditch was hard on robes.

Swinging into the chair across from Avery, Vivi asked mildly, “So who’s stupid, you or me? Both of us probably.”

Avery’s head snapped up when he heard Vivi next to him.

“Hi,” he muttered, continuing to bash his head on the book entitled, Herbology for Dummies – The Idiot’s Guide to Magical Plants.

“I’m stupid, not you. You’re not the skitsofrantic one.” Sighing, he picked up the book and hit himself in the head with it as it was more painful that way.

“So, why did you wanna talk to me?”

“I doubt that you’re…skits-so-frantic, as ya put it.” Vivi said with a laugh, pulling the book out of his hands.

“Save your skull for exams, they’ll be coming up soon enough. Then you’ll need Herbology for dummies.” She grinned; it was common knowledge that Avery hated Herbology, and Vivi herself was not really all that fond of it. Too many plants, to begin with. DADA was better.

“No reason, just putting off doing everything I ought ta do, and I can’t let you spend too long feeling sorry for yourself.”

Ignoring the comment about exams, as he wanted to forget about them, he shrugged. “No. You can let me feel sorry for myself. I deserve it, don’t I? Now, give me back my book.” He grabbed it out of her hands and continued hitting his head with it, wincing with each blow.

Vivi sighed. “Well you’re no fun when ya feel sorry for yourself Avery Berke.” She said, standing to stare down at him, something that rarely ever happened.

Snatching the book away from Avery yet again she tossed it across the library, winning a disapproving stare from the librarian. “Don’t make me tackle you.” she warned, though it was an empty threat, as Avery could easily pick her up and throw her if he wanted too. Sometimes being small had definite disadvantages.

Changing the subject, she asked, “So, going home over the summer? Or staying here at our ever joyful castle of magic?”

Agatha swung open the swing doors into the main section of the library.

She was wearing what was, for her, a more casual outfit today. Armarni blue wash jeans which faded to white at the flared bootleg ends, tan fur lined boots and a slashed sleeve DKNY gypsy top.

She was looking for some peace to study, but what she found was something rather different.

She found Avery Berke.

He was talking to the little firstie brat.

“Hello Avery,” she said with a smile and sat down right next to him.

“Leave…” he muttered, grabbing his wand and pointing it at her. “Eronia exo-

Donal will kill me if I try it… Best not suffer his wrath.

“Forget that…So, here to bug me, are you?” he asked, moving so as to have a seat between them.

Best not be within strangling range.

“How could you think that?” Agatha said a puzzled expression on her face. She looked at him under her devious almond eyes. “Just came to see you Ave, that’s all.”

She moved up a seat closer to him and put one diamond ringed hand on his arm.

Her expression did not waver and Avery could be forgiven for being slightly, well, alarmed? surprised? disorientated? by this most bizarre development.

Ave? I’ve got to call him that from now on. Vivi thought, amused.

She watched from her seat across the table, trying not to laugh. Agatha, with her diamonds, Gucci cloths, and perfect nails could be somewhat trying, yet often she was interesting too. Not that Vivi had ever really spoken with her. As Vivi was a muggleborn with no fashion sense, Agatha hardly gave her the time of day. Yet few people did not at least know of Agatha Swales for, after all, it was hard to miss her perfectly cultured voice ringing out in class to sound some objection or another.

Right now, however, Agatha was acting strange. Very strange, as Vivi was under the impression that Avery and her had declared war upon each other for, well, eternity.

Rather than speak—this was far too interesting to interrupt—Vivi just concentrated on not laughing, and waited for the explosion she felt would come.

Avery pulled his arm from Aggie’s grip in fear of it being torn to shreds by her retractable talons.

“What do you want?” he asked cautiously, confused as to why Agatha Swales, her perfect pureblood, rich, snobbish self, would ever converse with a Gryffindor other than Donal, her beloved boyfriend. With any muggleborn at that.

“I assume this is some kind of sick joke concocted in your twisted head?” He asked, cautiously.

“A sick joke?” said Agatha, all wide eyes and innocent expression on her face, which was made up naturally, with just a hint of blush and lip gloss. “I can’t believe that you could conceive that of me Ave.”

She lowered her head and was silent a moment, although if you had been able to look under her blonde hair then you may just have seen her eyes dance and the beginnings of a very small smile forming on her face.

Then, seriously, she looked up, her insolent green cat’s eyes, staring straight into his, at very close range.

“I am sure we can be very close friends Ave,” she murmured, “Just like you and Donal are, wouldn’t that be divine?”

“Possibly…” he said slowly, not entirely sure of how to conduct himself in front of a kind, seemingly friendly Agatha Swales. She was acting quite uncharacteristic and he wasn’t sure what to make of it.

What’s she gettin’ at?

He looked at Vivi for help, but she just shrugged, obviously as confused as he was.

“Thanks…” he mouthed, turning back to Agatha with an unreadable expression on his face.

“But why the sudden change?” he asked the girl, who was so perfectly put together she seemed to have been made in a factory. “And why would you dare carry on a civil conversation with any Gryffindor other than Donal? And an immature muggle-born one at that?”

Agatha fluttered her eyelashes in a demure manner; meanwhile, she thought swiftly.

That was a piece of information she had not bargained on. She was aware of the inferiority of his Gryffindor background. But then again Donal, although clearly misplaced, was also in the lesser house. But muggle-born… that was a hurdle which may be too much to overleap. Agatha had not, as far as she could recall, ever stooped so low as to voluntarily have a conversation with a mudblood.

She forced a smile onto her face and succeeded in the representation of real emotion. She was, after all, well-versed in such a process.

“I think,” she said sweetly, “That I have been in denial over you Ave, that’s all.”

She leaned over to him, a delicate citrus, slightly overpowering, scent in her wake. Softly she planted a kiss on his cheek, and then with a smile and a brief wave of her bejeweled hand and the briefest of haughty nods to the ickle firstie, she moved off down the library to the Transfiguration section.

Agatha smirked. It was all most diverting. True, it had not exactly all gone to plan, yet it was in its own way— well, interesting. Agatha hated to be bored.

Vivi’s mouth dropped open, as unaware, she stared. Agatha Swales, The Agatha Swales had just kissed Avery. Suddenly she felt uneasy, although she covered it with a grin. Still…there was something sinister about this.

“Vivi…” Avery muttered, turning to the girl next to him. ”Please burn my cheek off. Agatha Swales, actually talking to me and not freaking out that I’m a ‘mudblood’? Dang… She was most likely frontin’… And that kiss? Blech!”

Avery mindlessly wiped his cheek, disgusted that her Evilness, the spawn of Satan, has kissed him, even though it was on his cheek.

“Do I even need my cheek?”

Shaking his head, he stood up and began walking in the opposite direction of Agatha without as much as a word to Vivi.

Closing her mouth and standing up, Vivi followed.

“No, I won’t do ya the inconvenience. Besides, without it you’d lop-sided.” She told him, and then shivered, happy at least that Avery had not enjoyed the kiss. That would have been far too, too…abnormal.

What will Donal think? And he will find out…either Avery will tell him or Aggie may share the joke-assuming it was a joke. Which it had to be, she mused, as confused as Avery.

Avery slowed his pace to accommodate the shorter girl.

“It would not be an inconvenience,” he muttered, facing away from her.

“I would rather have that venom off than look normal…The poisonous saliva will eat away at my face anyway.”

“All I know is, that was weird,” Vivi muttered, a step behind Avery, looking forward with a raised eyebrow.

“You really think so?” he asked sarcastically, turning to face Vivi. “Never could have guessed.”

Rolling his eyes, Avery began rubbing his cheek with the corner of his sleeve, trying to rid himself of that icky feeling—a feeling much like when stupid a five year old girl kisses you and you’re afraid of the cooties.

But poison, or the Essence of Agatha, is much worse than “cooties”.

Suddenly Vivi laughed, looking up at him as he slowed his pace. “Thanks…and come here.” Pulling out her wand, she looked up, and up, and up.

“Hold still. Sapis.”

Lime green soap bubbles formed on his cheek. After a minute or so of scrubbing they evaporated. “There, better? No poison, and if there is, well, I doubt even Danuliete can combat Aggie’s perfume.”

She grinned again, suddenly happier. Avery’s dismay was obvious, funny, and reassuring.

“So Avery, what do ya think that was about? Cruel amusement for Aggie? Or an actual attempt at friendship?”

“Thanks,” Avery muttered, but continued rubbing as if it would ever get clean. The spot was becoming red, but maybe if he rubbed off enough layers he’d feel better.

“Cruel amusement…I am, after all, a disgusting mudblood…Why would a rich pureblood Slytherin such as herself ever truly want to befriend the likes of me?”

“You’re asking the wrong person, Avery.” Vivi said, cocking her head to one side. “Muggle born and bred, that’s me. I think you’re right though. She’s just doing it for entertainment.” A shrug said that Vivi really expected nothing different, as Agatha just seemed the type to assume that others were there to be her doormats. Unless they happened to have Gucci cloths and a pureblood pedigree: then they were her friends.

It was not that Vivi hated Agatha, though she agreed with Avery for the sake of not trying to argue with him about it. Agatha was very good for dismissing the impossible; that was something Vivi liked about her, as living on a farm had pounded most notions of impossible out of Vivienne herself. People with them often annoyed her. Agatha also retained the position of being something akin to Queen of the World (or at least of Hogwarts) though, and that in itself was highly irritating. Giving this, Vivi had mixed emotions about Agatha, but her most predominate instinct was to stay as far away as possible.

“O’course, Ave.” Vivi drawled, grinning under his glare. “She might favor you.”

Avery gagged.


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