Slytherin Second Year Symposium

It didn’t feel like the cacophony in their compartment was dying down anytime soon so Lawrence carefully closed his copy of Bathilda Bagshot’s History of Magic and stuffed it into his bag. This was exactly what he’d been hoping to avoid during this train ride back to Hogwarts; students and all their talk about this and that. It was too bad Hogwarts didn’t offer a stay at home program with traveling tutors. That would have been superb.

“Xander, I think you meant to say your mother showed you some new curses over the summer. She can’t have taught them to you because you can’t have learned them because you can’t have practiced them. Had you, you’d have been arrested for clear violation of the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery.” As it turns out this is not actually true; there are many exceptions and within a magical family it’s up to the adult(s) to make sure the children are not practicing magic outside of the school, but Larry Rucker was a bit of a book smart know-it-all who often forgot he was only twelve years old so the finer points of magical law were beyond his grasp as they’d be for all children.

Lawrence stared out the window and tried not to breath in the white cat hair that Hotaru kept stirring up with her infernal petting of Banger. Maybe it was just that he’d never had a furry pet and stroking a slimy toad was not intrinsically pleasant, but he didn’t get the mommy/daughter connection so many students had with their pets. He looked down at the dead and mangled body of Mudd. He was a worthless toad and didn’t see how anyone could disagree with that. Doubly worthless now that he was dead. Without thinking much about it he scooped up the body and tossed it out the open window of the speeding train. He stuck his head out and peered down the length of the train to see if he’d get lucky and smack some unfortunate student in the face. Or to clear the train all together and land in the peaceful countryside; that would make a fine final resting place. However, the world was ever out to get Larry and took every opportunity to prove it. He’d no sooner turned around to pull his head back in the train when a chocolate frog from somewhere nearer the front of the train came flying towards his head, landing with one last ribbit against his face. Lawrence had the prudence to grab it before it slid free and he ducked back inside with a chocolate frog in hand. “Look what some schmuck further up the train let get away?” He took a big bite and felt that satisfying sweet tooth quelled at last.

“No one pets a dragon, Luna. Maybe you get lucky and touch one without losing your hand, but that’s not the same thing. And anyways I’d rather be able to fly like a dragon than need some stupid broom. Everyone says so, that’s why we don’t have to take some lame ol’ flying class after first year.” Larry was on a roll, finally something he was good at, poking holes in everyone’s good time and sucking the life out of everything.

“Casey, you can’t curse a profession or even a subject. Those are just concepts. You can only curse people and objects and places. Hmm, maybe the Dark Arts classroom is cursed, though. I can’t wait to get our schedules and see when we have Dark Arts, then we can find out for sure if it’s cursed. But how will we know?”

“Are you seriously arranging a study session before we’ve even made it to school? Better watch out or Jianna will be along to take over and then we’ll all be forced into another one of those damn affairs; during the Feast this time! Can you believe she actually enjoys those things?” On cue, Jianna and her squad sauntered by full of themselves as always. They called themselves The Allures, but really they were just a bunch of fifth year Slytherin witches who knew everybody’s business and showed up to every activity to cheer on Slytherins. It was actually kind of nice to know there would be someone to root for Slytherins when the rest of the school was looking down their noses, but Jianna only had one setting and that was full speed ahead, one hundred percent of the time. She’d appropriate any project she came across and do it better than anyone, at least where organization and showmanship were concerned. Her brand of magic was geared towards fluff and window dressings, not life changing displays of power. Be that as it may, her squad of Allures had their hands in everything and aside from the annoyance that can come with the busy bee type, they were relatively well received.

Those fifth year girls had just passed by our Slytherin’s compartment when one of them stopped and popped her head back to peer inside the window. She shouted something ahead to the others and a moment later five made-up faces were squeezed around to ogle at the second years. Jianna was easy to pick out, being one of the taller girls in school and quite possibly in possession of the fullest head of brown curls ever seen. Unlike the young buck tooth girl who’d peered in earlier, Jianna’s mane looked intentional and manicured, but it could still be unruly. She jiggled the handle then looked down at it in frustration. One of the other girls tried their hand at the door with the same luck. They whispered to each other and giggled as they gave the boys and girls a knowing look, blew a kiss in unison and wandered up the hallway.

“What was that all about?” Larry asked the others as he positioned his glasses on his face.

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