Other Evils In This World
The Triwizard TournamentLilia wrinkled her nose in distaste as she picked up yet another rotten flobberworm. She didn't think that she could possibly have gotten herself a worse detention than this one. Not only were they foul creatures to smell and look at, but Snape had denied her the privilege of using any protective gloves to avoid touching the mucus let alone the ugly bugs themselves, with her bare hands.
"Be grateful, Miss. Gunner. I could have had you cleaning out the bedpans in the hospital wing tonight," Snape said from up at his desk.
She glanced up at him and narrowed her eyes slightly in irritation at him, picking up another flobberworm.
By the time she was finished, any hunger she might have normally developed for dinner that evening was diminished by the disgusting mucus coating her small hands.
She stood once finished and looked at Snape, hoping he would atleast be courteous enough to turn on the tap so she could rinse off her hands.
Of course he merely ignored her little problem and continued marking his students papers.
She looked at him and then went to the basin, reaching for the tap and turned it, making sure to get the mucus well onto the tap knob and washed off her hands. She then grabbed what part wasn't coated with mucus and turned it as much as she could so the water would stop flowing and turned to leave.
"Clean it up, Miss. Gunner. I will not stand to have you soiling any area of my classroom," said Snape, without even looking in her direction.
She stopped and sighed, reluctantly going back to the sink basin and washed off the tap knobs, then brought over the sorted flobberworms, putting them onto Snape's desk and looked at him calmly. "I've finished my punishment for tonight. Goodnight Professor Snape," she said, turning to go.
He watched her exit the classroom and then glanced at the flobberworms placed in separate buckets upon his desk. How foul.
Lilia left the potions dungeon feeling somewhat at ease now that she was finished, and found that somehow hunger had snuck up on her again. She headed to the Great Hall and found a seat near the end of the table by herself and was ready for tonight's dinner, which as always, would be delicious.
When the food appeared, Lilia reached for several of her favourite items, such as the gravy chips and chicken leg. This was one thing she, among everyone else always adored about Hogwarts of course; the food was divine in itself.
About halfway through dinner, Albus Dumbledore stood from his chair and tilted his head in an expectant way while he raised a hand to gather everyone's attention, while Professor McGonagall chimed a fork against her now empty glass.
In a matter of moments, the dining students had quieted down and turned to look up at the teachers desks. Lilia didn't fail to notice that Snape was already seated there.
Dumbledore moved to stand at the podium near the front of the hall and began to speak. "I'd like to make an announcement. This castle will not only be your home this year, but home to some very special guests as well," he stated.
That was when Filch came in and began to run in an odd manner towards Dumbledore.
Lilia, among the other students wondered why he was in such a hurry to reach their headmaster and several students began whispering and muttering amongst themselves in curiosity.
"You see Hogwarts has been chosen," he continued, cut off when Filch met him at his side and whispered something to the Headmaster.
Lilia's green eyes looked around at the other students as they spoke, then up at Dumbledore again when Filch moved away and ran back to the entrance after Dumbledore whispered back with something else.
He then resumed his post at the small podium and continued. "So, Hogwarts has been chosen to host a legendary event. The Triwizard Tournament."
Immediately, there was an excited murmur among the students over this news. Lilia curiously remained listening, wanting to know just what this event was.
Dumbledore continued his speech. "Now for those of you who don't know, The Triwizard Tournament brings together three schools for a series of magical contests. From each school a student is selected to compete. Let me be clear, if chosen.. You stand alone," he said seriously, several students piping down at this and looking curiously at Dumbledore as well. "And trust me when I say, these contests are not for the faint heart. But more on that later," he added. "For now, please join me in welcoming the lovely ladies ofBeauxbatons Academy of Magic, and their Headmistress, Madame Maxime," he said proudly just as the doors to the Great Hall opened to let in a flock of tall, well built young women who seemed to flutter gracefully to the front of the hall with a gracious sigh here and there for effect.
Lilia, among several other girls no doubt, rolled her eyes and rested her chin in her palm upon the table, watching those perfect girls make their way to the front of the hall in a perfectly poise and practiced manner. With a bow, the girls stood together at the front while boys all over the hall exploded with applause, cheers and whistles at the newcomers and their tall Headmistress.
Dumbledore then assumed his position at the front of the hall yet again and raised his arms, inviting silence among the students. "And now our friends from the North. Please greet the proud sons of Durmstrang and their High Master Igor Karkaroff."
With that, the doors opened yet again to let in a strong looking group of young men who carried large staffs which they used to tap forcefully against the ground, sparks emanating from the bases of each one while they headed towards the front of the hall, doing their own sort of chant and acrobatics while their High Master powerfully strode to the front of the hall to unite Victor Krum and himself with the rest of their selected students.
Lilia watched as they assumed their designated spot at the front, not noticing the distasteful look upon Snape's face while they moved to position; much more interested in the strong and handsome appearance of the male guests as they filed in order at the front of the hall near the females.
"Albus," came Karkaroff's voice as he strode to embrace his old friend, or so it looked that ay to the student population as they applauded the second group to have arrived.
With that, dinner was finished and the students sat expectantly to hear more as Dumbledore made his way to the front of the podium again. "Your attention please!" he called out over the excited conversations amongst the students in their houses. When everyone had quieted down, Dumbledore continued. "I would like to say a few words. Eternal glory; that is what awaits the student who wins The Triwizard Tournament," he said powerfully, holding the Hogwarts students at full attention. "But to do this, that student must survive three tasks. Three, extremely dangerous tasks," he said, his tone enforcing these were not tasks to be taken lightly by those who entered of course. "For this reason, the Ministry have seen fit to impose a new rule. To explain all this, we have the head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation, Mr. Bartemius Crouch."
Lilia noticed there was movement to the left of the teacher's tables when suddenly there was an alarming flash of lightning and thunder crashing around them, alarming the students since it came from the bewitched ceiling of the Great Hall.
Suddenly, students were screaming, but Lilia was watching the man who suddenly pulled out his wand and shot some sort of spell into the false sky and calmed it, causing quite the stirrup amongst the students as they all began to notice him and his odd appearance.
Everyone watched as he approached the front of the hall and reached out to shake hands with Dumbledore who seemed to welcome him with relief.
Lilia watched curiously while he drank something from a flask of sorts he had on him, turning away as he did so for a moment. She frowned, finding that a bit odd behaviour.
Suddenly, Mr. Crouch stood before the Hogwarts students and began to speak in a loud clear voice. "After due consideration, the Ministry has concluded that for their own safety, no student under the age of seventeen shall be allowed to put forth their name for The Triwizard Tournament. This decision is final!" he said firmly over the loud outraged exclamations from the students.
Lilia watched quietly while the other students expressed their outrage at this while Mr. Crouch looked on uncomfortably in her opinion. Luckily, Dumbledore stepped forward and demanded silence from the school.
Once everyone was quieted again, he moved to reveal the Goblet of Fire, which in fact stood tall and proud, a blue flame atop its rim.
"The Goblet of Fire," Dumbledore said in a loud voice, clarifying what many of the students were thinking. "Anyone wishing to submit themselves for the tournament, merely write their name upon a piece of parchment, and throw it in the flame before this hour on Thursday night. Do not do so lightly," he said, eyeing the students carefully. "If chosen, there's no turning back," he said ominously, sending a chill up Lilia's spine.
She only wondered what sorts of tasks the students chosen would have to do.
"As from this moment," Dumbledore continued, "The Triwizard Tournament has begun."
Lilia looked on in awe of that brilliant blue flame while the students began to talk amongst themselves of who would be competing. She too found herself caught up in the excitement of it all, wondering who would be selected out of all of Hogwarts to compete in representation of their school.
That night, Snape lay in bed, scratching the dark mark upon his forearm absentmindedly as he thought about the upcoming Triward Tournament. The moment those boys from Durmstrang had entered the hall his gaze had involuntarily gone to that… girl. Lilia. He frowned at the brief memory of interest on her face when those infernal boys had come in, doing some ridiculous showy routine.
Of course Lilia was like most girls in that sense. She saw a muscular handsome man and instantly grew interested. He knew that. So why did he despise those boys simply because she had looked at them in that way? Why was her interest in them making him so… irritated?
He glanced down and scowled seeing he'd scratched through the skin upon his forearm which was now raw and just beginning to bleed a little. He scowled as he got up from his bed and went to wash his fingers in his sink, then the scratch to stop any irritation that might render him unable to sleep right now.
He climbed into bed and lay there, staring at the ceiling in the dark finally and frowned. Thoughts of that infernal child kept creeping up in his mind and he didn't like it one bit. He was a fool to be interested in what she did or thought. She was nothing to him. Nothing but a student.
Snape stood at the front of the class, drumming his fingers along his desk the following morning, his stone cold face watching the class silently. She was late. Five minutes late already, coming up on six very quickly.
"Professor, class has begun," said one of the students from somewhere in the middle of the dungeon which doubled as their potions classroom.
"Quiet, boy. I will begin class when I see fit," he snapped coldly.
The students looked at Snape unsure of what was stopping him from teaching and whispered amongst themselves, feeling a bit uncertain about how to go about in front of their potions professor.
At last Snape somewhat reluctantly gave up waiting for a certain someone to come to class and began his lesson, not failing to notice that a certain Mr. Prewett was not present either.
About twenty minutes into the class, Quinn cautiously opened the door, peeking in and closing it behind him while Snape was turned slightly away, giving a lecture on the importance of how to properly handle a flobberworm when making potions. He quietly pulled out a chair and sat down in it, nodding to a few of his comrades while he opened up his book and got out his ink and quill.
"How nice of you to join us, Mr. Prewett," Snape said almost venomously as he turned to look at the young boy who now looked petrified to have been caught sneaking in. "And just where, might I ask is your little girlfriend, this morning?" he continued, his dark stare boring venomously into him.
"Er… Miss. Gunner is not quite herself today. She said she will try to make it for detention this evening and apologizes for missing class today," he said, feeling very uncomfortable with everyone watching him while Snape stared him down.
"Is that so..?" Snape asked coldly. Somewhere deep down he'd half hoped Quinn would deny being Lilia's boyfriend, however this didn't seem to be the case, much to his involuntary annoyance.
"Tell Miss. Gunner I expect her to be here tonight for detention even if her head has swelled to two sizes its usual appearance and she has slugs crawling out of her ears," he said.
Quinn swallowed and then nodded, too stumped to say anything as everyone returned to paying attention to their darkly clad Potions Professor.
That evening, Lilia knocked on the dungeon door and moved to open the door to find it locked. She looked up at it in confusion, wondering if perhaps she was unfortunate enough to get it stuck so she tried it again. When there was no luck she looked at the door again and sighed, turned around to go back to her room, still feeling rather ill when she gasped, startled to see Professor Snape lurking right behind her.
She stepped back into the door, looking up at him wide eyed and clutched her chest. "You startled me, Professor," she said.
Snape rolled his eyes and moved to unlock the door. "Clearly…" he muttered and went inside, not even holding the door for her as he strode over to his desk. "Tonight, I will be having you disembowel a bucket of horned toads for my upper year class to use in their potions class tomorrow," he said firmly.
Lilia looked extremely unenthused by this idea, subconsciously reaching for her stomach area and rubbing it slightly.
Snape looked at her and then down at her small pale hand upon her abdomen, raising a brow. "Something wrong. Miss. Gunner. You don't agree with my method of punishment?" he said, daring her to say something about it.
She looked up at him almost helplessly and there was a moment for Snape when he nearly let down his cold demeanour, wondering if there really was something wrong. "No sir…" she said quietly, walking quietly past him towards the bucket. He watched her silently, then nodded and went to do something else while she served her detention there.
Lilia assumed her usual seat at the front of the classroom and began her work, slowly and without any enthusiasm. After all, what normal student could possibly take pleasure from disembowelling a bucket of horned toads? Or any creature for that matter.
After Lilia finished disembowelling them, she stood, looking paler than usual as she brought her work to Snape, silently setting it down upon the counter to the side of the class.
"Miss. Gunner, your boyfriend, Mr. Pewett informed me today that you were too ill to attend class. Is this the case? Or did you merely think you were entitled to a day off whenever you felt like it?" he asked her.
She looked over her shoulder at him while she washed the knife she'd used as well as her hands. "He is not my boyfriend, sir," she informed him before anything else, causing a foreign feeling of mild relief to coarse through Snape's body. "And I was in fact ill. My stomach was being… disagreeable this morning and I could barely bring myself to get out of bed. I haven't eaten anything yet today except for a small handful of 'Bertie Mott's Every Flavour Beans'," she explained. "I know you would only give me more detentions if I did not come to this one, so I forced myself to arrive. If that is all the questions you have for me Professor then I would please like to go lay down," she said.
Snape looked at her curiously, his eyes narrowing suspiciously as he watched her go. "I expect you to attend class tomorrow, Miss. Gunner. Detention as well," he said seriously.
She looked over at him as she opened the door and nodded. "Yes sir. I will try to make it for tomorrow," she said, turning to go, the heavy wooden door closing behind her.