Part 7 - Journal date: 13th of October, 1993
I need to talk to Professor Lupin. Not that I believe he could do anything about the rumours and the sideways glances, but maybe he would be able to tell me how I'm supposed to face them. It's those three Slytherins' fault, of course. They started by telling their housemates, and by the end of the week the whole school had heard how, according to them, they had witnessed a "very compromising scene" between the Ravenclaw Quidditch Captain and his "girly best friend" in the middle of a corridor that morning. Roger managed to convince Bryan and Lance that it was nothing more than the usual insults Flint and co. always throw at members of the other Quidditch teams, but people of all four Houses still look at us curiously when we pass them by. It certainly doesn't help that I avoid their gaze and turn as red as a Quaffle, but I can't help it. Plus, even if they don't believe it (or don't mind?), our classmates' comments can be awfully embarrassing.
- - -
(5th of October)
"Just ignore them," Roger tells Leander for the umpteenth time in two weeks as a group of fourth-years stare at them from across the common room. "When they realise it's ridiculous, they'll stop bothering us."
Leander wonders whether Roger is "blind" – as Arius Burke affirmed – or only pretends not to notice anything weird in his "best fan." But, of course, he carefully avoids asking.
Actually, he's been avoiding talking to Roger or staying alone with him. For now, they're sitting with all the other Ravenclaw fifth-years.
"Either then or when they find another piece of malicious gossip to spread," Lancelot Fawcett adds to Roger's remark.
Which gives an idea to his girlfriend, Felicia Murray.
"We could set something up... Girls, who wants to go to Madam Puddifoot's with me on the pre-Halloween Hogsmeade day?" she asks with a mischievous smile, turning to her friends, Mona Bloom and Iris Leighton.
"You're joking!" Lancelot exclaims, looking even more shocked than the two implicated girls. "You're going with me!"
"And everybody knows you two are together, anyway," Bryan intervenes.
Felicia gives another smile and shrugs.
"We won't stay there all day and, as far as people know, I could cheat on him shamelessly. The scandal would erase the suspicion about Roger and Leander in a flash."
"But think of our reputation!" Mona squeaks, horrified.
"And mine!" Lancelot moans, much to the others' amusement.
This time, Felicia rolls her eyes, exaggerating her consternation at seeing them so uncooperative.
"It's to save Roger's and Leander's, sweetie," she insists playfully. "You know, it would be chivalrous... Be true to your name, noble knight! Then I swear your lady will manage to let everyone know it was just a joke."
Lancelot has probably never cursed his parents' name choice more than now, and it shows clearly as he replies, in a highly annoyed tone, that being chivalrous is a Gryffindor thing, so he's not good at it.
"And, speaking of Gryffindors, if you like jokes that much, you should go to the Weasley twins," he concludes grumpily.
"Ah, yes, dating both of them at the same time would make a nice little scandal too!" Felicia comments, with a burst of laughter at the sight of her boyfriend choking with indignation.
"Personally, I would find it more interesting if you kissed Mona," Roger says in a hopeful tone that makes Felicia laugh louder, incurs him a dark look from Lancelot, and causes Mona to prudently move away from her friend.
"Obviously, she doesn't agree," Felicia states with a disappointed pout. "Iris?"
"Oh, please, don't ask! It's disgusting! And Roger, you're a pervert!"
Felicia laughs again, and Roger joins in. Even Leander can't help chuckling at the hearing of the word "pervert." But the others still don't seem to find it very amusing. Felicia briefly looks at them, sighing to show how desperately not funny she thinks they are, then decides to ignore them.
"If that idea makes you a pervert, then I am too," she tells Roger in a low voice. "I would love to see you kissing Len."
Even more appalled than the others – but for a different reason - Leander concentrates on pretending he hasn't heard, hoping Felicia can't guess he'd quite like Roger to do that.
- - -
The only good thing about that stupid rumour is that seeing peoples' reactions helps me learn about their views on the subject. If I wasn't involved, I would find it fascinating (and Ali would say again I'm sounding like Spock, but well, that word is kind of a favourite for Ravenclaws as well as for Vulcans). In the present circumstances, though, it's hard to take it as an occasion to know who's fine with the thought of two people of the same gender being "a little too close" and who considers it shocking – or, as Iris said, disgusting (let's hope it was only because Felicia was talking about kissing her or Mona, but I have some doubts).
Roger really seemed not to mind at all. Otherwise, when Felicia said she would like to see him kissing me (honestly, how could she dare say that?), he wouldn't have kept laughing nor replied in that perfectly unperturbed tone that it surely wouldn't be the best way to make the rumours stop (I do agree on that).
Felicia's weird. I can't tell whether she's trying to help us because she seriously thinks we're victims of slander or because she believes we're together and want to keep it secret. Well, at least, she's on our side. I can add her to the very short list of people I don't hate. Not that I really hate everyone else, but I'm very wary of those "friends" who might talk to us only because they don't know that the Slytherins were not completely wrong... What would Lance, Bryan, Iris, and Mona say if they knew about me? I don't think I want to find out.
There are also people I hate for good, and both of the lists include a teacher. I've never liked Professor Snape very much, anyway (he's so scary!) but now, after what he said last week, it's ten times worse. Seriously, a person like that should never be allowed to teach.
- - -
(6th of October)
Potions has always been Leander's least favourite class. He could like it if it was taught by someone less scary, but with Professor Snape being so unfair and nastily sarcastic, he just can't fully appreciate the subtlety of the art that potion-making is supposed to be. The worst thing is that Professor Snape enjoys terrifying his students, so he never misses an occasion to make the most impressionable of them feel uncomfortable by positioning himself right behind them. When he does so, Leander inevitably goes to pieces and knocks down some container or messes up some measurement.
"What colour is the Strengthening Solution supposed to be, Mister Griffin?" the ice-cold voice of the Potions master asks suddenly.
"Turquoise," Leander answers in a hardly audible tone.
Alas, his is rather blue, as the teacher forces him to acknowledge.
"One would think that a Ravenclaw should be intelligent enough to read the instructions correctly and add the exact weight of powdered griffin claw," Snape snorts then (and a few students giggle at the hearing of the words "griffin claw" used in a sentence that's addressed to a Ravenclaw named Griffin). "Clearly, not everyone in your House has as much brains as one would expect... Or is it that you got distracted? It's probably not a good idea to let you work beside Mister Davies. You'll switch place with Mister Fawcett next time, so we'll kill two birds with one stone and stop Miss Murray from being perturbed by the proximity of her dearest friend as well."
The whole class (seven Ravenclaws and nine Gryffindors) stares at the teacher in disbelief. The innuendo must have been unintentional. He can't have said that on purpose, can he? But, having once reprimanded Felicia for drawing a heart in Lancelot's cauldron with some plant leaves, Snape can't ignore the exact nature of their relationship. And he did emphasize the words "dearest friend" in a very suspicious way.
- - -
It may seem incredible for a teacher to allude to student gossip in class and yet, in that case, it wasn't that surprising. Professor Snape just despises those who fear him, and he doesn't shrink from anything that can help humiliating them. Plus, he's always siding with the Slytherins, so, if he heard they had a detention with Filch when mine and Roger's were only with Professor Lupin (whom he doesn't like either, by the way)... Actually, that stupid comparison of me and Roger to Felicia and Lance was almost predictable. He was bound to do something to show his support to the students of his House.
And now there's another thing that worries me – what are Fred and George planning to do, exactly? They said we couldn't let Snape mock us without reacting and that they had an idea to ridicule him...
- - -
(Same day, later)
"Even if I manage to get an O on the OWL, there's no way I'm taking Potions in sixth year," Leander grumbles as soon as the class door is shut behind the last student. "I hate him."
From a short distance, Angelina Johnson and Alicia Spinnet exchange a meaningful look. If even the boy most closely involved is convinced it was intentional, they have no doubt left.
"He really was horrible," Roger agrees. "I bet Flint went straight to him after he got the detention."
"And you can bet he claimed you started the fight, too," adds Fred Weasley, taking a few big steps to join the two Ravenclaws.
George immediately imitates his brother and, as usual, continues the reasoning as if it were his own.
"In his version, Burke, he and Stuart saw you two doing 'something shocking' and you threatened them in the hope they would keep quiet..."
"...but they refused to let themselves be impressed and you tried to Obliviate them," Fred carries on.
"That's what they told everyone," George concludes. "But, of course, nobody believes them."
Roger gives George a sceptical look, and Fred clarifies, "Except for the Slytherins, I mean," which makes Leander smile, amused to hear him say "I mean" when it was actually his brother who had spoken before. It's the kind of thing he and Ali did too when they were younger and always together.
"It's not the point, anyway," George resumes. "Even if it was true, it wouldn't give him the right to mock you in front of the whole class..."
"...and since Ravenclaws are too serious to make pranks, we'll be glad to help," Fred announces with a wide grin.
"I'm not sure..." Roger begins, looking worried (although much less so than Leander).
But the twins cut his protest short.
"We'll take care of everything."
"You won't know anything."
"It'll be safe..."
- - -
Of course, it's very nice of them – and they definitely deserve to have their names on my good list too – but I seriously doubt we can trust them to think of something safe. I really wish I could find a way to talk them into giving up that idea.
And I'd like to have them as friends, too (if they swear not to make any jokes about me, ever). I'd like to start a kind of comparative study about twins (identical or not) and brothers (or sisters) with little difference of age, to sort out what's really typical of twins and what's only due to education. It would be...fascinating.
I also like red hair a lot but that, I should NOT tell them.