Shawn sat in a posture that many who knew him would have been shocked to see. Shoulder’s hunched, face pensive, chin in hand and elbows on knees as he seemed to engage Major in a staring contest, he was sunk deep in thought.
“I think you were trying to kill me…”
“You reckon he was just trying to get me to shut up old man?” he asked the owl. Major just glared at him, perched on the armrest of the seat opposite him. “Right, he’s not the sort to go in for shock treatment, so to speak.” He chuckled weakly at his own joke, but it was forced, even to his ears.
“I think you were trying to kill me…”
He felt more than saw Major bristle, puffing up in agitation as his head swiveled to look out the compartment door’s window. The bird and the teen both made disgusted sounding noises in the backs of their throats as they saw Rufus Wolfstead stalking past, the red neck and stiff walk giving clues to how high his ire had risen.
“Now there’s a chap I wouldn’t mind taking a few potshots at, eh old man? He’d likely deserve every bleedin’ one of em too.” Major, however, remained fixated on the door, which slid open a few seconds later. Shawn had enough time to see the prefect badge and that the owner was female, before Major launched himself at the intruder with a raucous “WHO-HOO!”
“Blimey, get him off me!” screamed a shrill voice Shawn recognized in a moment as Sam’s. “OFF, Sir Talonsorth!”
“It’s Major,” Shawn corrected, laughing.
“I DON’T CARE WHAT HIS BLEEDING NAME IS, GET HIM OFF ME!”
With deft movements from long pratice, Shawn moved in and untangled the owl’s talons from the Hufflepuff’s hair. “I do believe that this is payback for you calling him a “cute little featherhead” at the end of term last year. You know that the old man holds a grudge like you wouldn’t believe!”
“…mad fowl…” Sam muttered bitterly. “This is like the worst trainride ever.”
“Why? What happened?”
Sam blew a strand of hair out of her eyes, exasperated. “Fooze is being a complete prat, and we think Rufus Wolfstead has a stash of Polyjuice Potion.”
“A stash of whatnow?”
“Yeah, I’d never heard of it either. It turns you into someone else. He used it to pull a prank on some first years, but he was using Lando’s face to do it.”
Shawn scowled, and Sam frowned at him, blowing her hair again. “Don’t do anything stupid, Shawn, we handled it–”
“Well if I kill the bastard you don’t have to worry about him anymore…”
Sam glared at her own hair, looking supremely annoyed. “Let the prefects handle it, Shawn… besides, RJ’s only got a year left.”
Getting annoyed himself, Shawn reached out and tucked the hair behind Sam’s ear. “But still, I… uh…”he trailed off, suddenly forgetting what it was he was about to say as he traced Sam’s jawline while removing his hand.
“Anything off the trolley, dears?” a loud voice called suddenly, pulling them back to reality. The two teenagers leapt a meter apart, regarding the candy-cart witch.
“I… er… no thanks.”
“Um…” Shawn snapped his fingers as his stomach reminded him that the tank was empty right now.”Twenty chocolate Frogs, three bags of Ice Mice, and a couple of Fizzing Whizbees. Oh, and some brownies too.” Shawn shrugged at Sam’s incredulous look. “What, I’m a growing boy.” He smirked.
Sam made a face, which was upgraded by a few degrees of disgust as the Sanderford twins came into the car. Shawn noticed her gaze wandering and looked over, before jumping back and holding up his hands in a warding gesture. “Major, defend!” he yelled theatrically. The owl merely tightened his grip on his master’s shoulder to keep from being thrown off, and hissed in annoyance at the two vapid witches, who both raised their noses in the air and stalked past.
Major remembered these two well. Tried to put bows in his plumage like some ruddy peacock they did! And when he’d retaliated by shredding their expensive robes they’d tried to hex him! Luckily that Monkshood gal had shown up and given them a tongue lashing that got through even the dead air space that blanketed the cells they called brains. If it wasn’t for that “feather head” remark, and the vague sense of uneasiness he always had around her, he’d have no problem with his charge’s affections for her, even if the thickheaded dunce could barely see that he had affections for the witch.
“The bravado was unnecessary,” Sam chuckled, “but I appreciate the sentiment.”
“No problem. I can’t stand those girls; I’d rather hang out with you any day.”
Sam wiped an imaginary tear from her cheek. “I’m touched.”
“…You’re just as annoying,” Shawn continued, “but you’re way better looking.”
His face fell.
“You know,” Sam muttered, sounding very upset, “I admire you. That was impressive. You must be quite the contortionist to be able to put your foot in your mouth when your head’s up your arse.”
Frustrated and disappointed, Sam fled from the cabin, leaving Shawn to kick the bench in a fit of anger.
Desperate to get away from hormones and romance and her feminine wiles (an experiment which appeared to have failed spectacularly), Sam went to find Laun.