“Samalander, A kinnae lie to ye, hen.” She was moving with enough speed that when he stopped it almost pulled her back off her feet. MacFoozle took a deep breath and, gripping her square by the shoulders, looked deep into her eyes. They were a soft green, like perfectly worn picnic grass. “Sam…” His voice was tender and sincere.
His nose was so close to hers. Sam swallowed hard, realizing for a moment how dry her throat was.”Yeah?”
“A would totally lie to ye.” He winked and started walking again. “But Ah’mno lying tae ye now.”
Sam’s face tightened up toward her nose. Gone was the soft picnic grass, replaced by sharp green blades that would have stabbed him in the back time and time again, if only they could. “I hate you.”
“Ye love me.”
Forster looked back over his shoulder. “You’re really not helping your case, Fooze.”
“What case, mate?” Foozle asked with honest incredulity. “Ye are already onta Rufus. What makes ye think Ah’d be lying, eh?”
“Well, two years ago you did Stuff Tommy Williams in the baggage car.” Sam still scowled a little.
“Aye,” Foozle nodded, “but that Slytherin was a well documented prat and two years older then us.”
Forster stopped and turned on them. “Still, precedent is precedent, Orlando.” He started to slide open the door to the car they were dropping him into. “We’ve got to do the job and look around. We find another you and Dan, you guys are in the free and clear.” He held the door.
“Fine.” Foozle moved past him and took up the empty seat across from Tom, Nic and Aeryn.
“Oh, don’t look like we just killed your puppy, Lando,” Sam snapped, still sore from the trick he’d pulled.”Grow a set, would you?”
“With another none of my trousers would fit.” He gave her a cockeyed glance. “An besides, we both know A suck at herbology.”
Ignoring him, she turned to Forster and winked. “Keep using big words like ‘precedent,’ it suits you.” She grinned, kissing him on the cheek. “I’d love to do the prefectly thing with you but I have someone I really need to talk to.”
And with that, she was gone.
Aeryn looked endlessly amused. “Ladies and gents, Sam Monkshood has finally learned how to use her feminine wiles.”
“Keep an eye on him, would you guys?” Forster smiled weakly.
Tom gave Foozle a confused look then turned it to Forster. “What’s going on?”
“Her brother set me an Danny up,” he said, nodding in Aeryn’s direction.
“Rufus?” The disgust in the blonde Gryffindor’s voice was more then apparent.
“Bloody hell mate, how do you know?”
“Cause he’s an airse?” Tom snickered. “An he accosted me an Danny on our wey to the trolly. Which reminds me…” Foozle dug back into his robes and pulled out some of the treasures he and Dan had purchased. He tossed Tom a couple boxed frogs, a tied off bag of Bertie Bott’s and a liquorice wand.”Have at.”
The Gryffindor’s smile widened. “Thanks, mate.” He went to hand one of the chocolate frogs to Aeryn, but she jumped to her feet.
She made a guttural grunt of annoyance punctuated by kicking the bench on Foozle’s side. “Why is he such a… a…”
Fooze’s eyes casually looked from his attacked seat back up to her. “Prat,” he responded.
“PRAT!” She screamed, kicking his bench once again. Foozle moved a few cheeks away from the area of attack. Instead Aeryn made one of those throaty frustrating sounds.
“You’re not your brother’s keeper, Aeyrn,” Tom said, reaching his arm to hers in hopes to calm her a bit,”The prefects will take care of it.” He looked to Forster for support, who gave a slight nod. Aeryn, instead, pulled her arm free and stormed past Forster. Tom looked at his hand for half a moment before running it back through his hair. “Man…”
“Young love, eh”
Tom stared back at him flat faced. “Not you too?”
“Sorry, brither,” Fooze said as Tom pulled himself up and somewhat begrudgingly followed after her.
“Um…” Forster watched Tom and Aeryn trail a moment and then turned an uncomfortable expression as he looked back into Foozle and Nicolette, now sitting alone. “Um…” He looked at Foozle, who had a licorice wand dangling out one end of his maw, being reeled in by his teeth. He looked at Nicolette, turning somewhat paler. “Would you, um, keep an eye on Fooze, Nicolette?” He tried to smile and failed rather miserably.
“You cannot be serious.”
“A winnae bite ye, lass,” Foozle said, a mouth full of red wand packed into his cheek.
Nicolette sneered at him. “For your own sake, I wouldn’t.” Her arms folded across her chest. “I’m not so certain you’ve had your shots.”
Foozle turned to Forster. “We’ll be alright, Barclay.” He tossed the Hufflepuff prefect a chocolate frog.
“Thanks,” he said, catching it against his chest. Forster Barclay nodded and closed the car door, leaving the pair be and hoping that they wouldn’t somehow derail the Hogwarts Express completely.
Silence settled in rather swiftly, except for MacFoozle’s rather exaggerated chewing. Fooze mostly looked at Nicolette and Nicolette only looked out the window. By now the light had faded from the horizon and darkness had fallen upon the English countryside.
“Licorice wand?” he offered, holding one up.
Foozle lowered the wand and held up a squirming chocolate frog. “Chocolate frog?”
She still didn’t look over. “No. Thank. You.” Her tone was curt and most decidedly not as polite as the words would normally imply.
Still it was a good thing, as the frog managed to wiggle it’s way to freedom and jump up to the back of the bench and slip into the narrow space between it and the wall. Foozle continued unfazed, holding up the red bag. “Bean?”
“No.” She said, finally locking her cold gaze on him.
“Ye Sure?” Foozle’s brow arced in its trademark fashion. “A hear there’s a brimstone flavour.”
Nicolette fumed. “I do not want anything you have to give.” Would that it could, smoke, might have billowed from her ears. Foozle knew a spell for it, but thought better of trying it out.
“Suit yuirsel.” He leaned back and pulled his rucksack over, flipping the flap back. “Wolfwood?” A small rounded pair of dark furred ears popped up in from the dark, followed by the black beady eyes and short little muzzle punctuated by a dark nose. The ferret pushed up on its hind legs, shaking the kerchief from it’s back and hopped free of the bag onto Orlando’s lap. “A last me a frog behind the seat. Why don’cha catch the deserter?”
Wolfwood was already climbing up his robe and onto his shoulder, sniffing at the crawlspace. He walked back and forth along the back of bench a few times, occasionally sticking his head down between the wall and the bench. Fooze caught the slightest thaw in Nicolette Ainscough as she watched the critter and for the first time he noticed the small ball of gray fur she was almost absentmindedly stroking with her thumbs. He heard a familiar *THUMP* and knew that Wolfwood had decided to squeeze through and dropped down to the ground behind his seat.
“Brownie?” Holding up the small packaged baked good, he could tell that she was actually close to almost possibly thinking about maybe considering it when he caught something in his peripheral. “Oi!” He shouted, dropping the treat and leaping to his feet for the door. Wolfwood’s head popped out from a corner at the noise.
Orlando tore through the car door into the aisle. Nicolette gripped her wand and called after him, her voice returning to its original state of irritation. “MacFoozle!”
Fooze grabbed hold of the student walking by’s robe and pulled him around. “What the hell?” The boy’s arm flew up, pulling him free. With his other hand he gave Foozle a hard push back.
“That’s whit Ah’d lie tae ken?” Foozle had his wand at the ready, aimed right square on on his chest. There he was, in the flesh. His own flesh, to be specific. Rufus Wolfstead Junior, head to toe. “Whit’s the big idea ye gaun aroond whearin’ my an face lockin kids places?”
A sly grin played across Rufus’s face. “What’s he going on about?”
“How would I know. . .” Nicolette sighed.
Rufus’ companion Markus made his presence known, leaning forward. “Be smart, gent,” Markus said, grinning wickedly, “you’re out gunned.”
Foozle took a deep breath as the Hogwarts express whistle blew, indicating the nearing end of their journey. He slipped his wand back into his robe and his expression returned from anger to his usual smirk. “Where’d ye get it, Rufus?”
“The polyjuice potion.”
Rufus with a knowing look of innocence. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“C’mon,” his eyes narrowing sharply, “we both know yuir nae smairt enough tae cook it up on yuir own.”
For a moment Rufus’s hand tightened on his wand, more a fist then a tool for wielding magic. Behind him, Markus maneuvered, clearly prepared for impending violence, but the punch never came. Rufus’s wand snapped up against his shoulder holding him back. “You’ll get yours, mudblood,” he said to Foozle, the seething anger still apparent in his voice as the car jerked slightly with the stopping of the train.
Foozle smirked, and muttered under his breath. “Airse.” He started back towards their car.
At the other end of the aisle, the door linking train cars opened up before Rufus and Markus got there and a pair of prefects came through it. “Rufus?” Forster said, somewhat surprised to see him.
“What?” Rufus sneered not stopping as he continued through between Forster and Cee.