The fact that I am in no way ashamed for writing this does not mean that I know what I'm doing -I struggled with Montparnasse and Éponine's relationship in order for it to be consensual and Brick accurate, and any sort of help or feedback would be more than welcome. Also yes, pointless and stupid but I guess I did it for fun so I'm sorry
Plus under no circumstances would I ship Feuilly and Bahorel together, we've talked about it several times and I find it completely stupid, but I could picture them having some fun with their wands.
Any criticism concerning the characterizations would be more than welcome.
Most of the time, Grantaire depended on a bottle of firewhiskey to prevent himself from collapsing in the lack of meaning he tended to find in most of the things, and waking up in the Slytherin dungeon did very little to help with his general mood the rest of the day. It was true that fake magical windows had been added to lighten the dark grey granite with the hints of green, but the idea behind the whole decision did quite repulse him (as well as many other). Magical windows were fake and pointless in a way which reminded him of several behaviours his Slytherin classmates seemed to often sport over the years.
It wasn’t that he didn’t feel pride, or at least acceptance towards the house the sorting hat had put him in, no. After all he highly doubted whether he’d fit in any other Hogwarts house. It was just that he’d grown to not really care for earning or losing points for Slytherin, he viewed Quidditch as nothing but a form of personal relief and through the past six years, he’d never lost a chance to show Montparnasse (after the short friendship they’d shared during their first year) and his disgusting gang, his opinion of them, through some very effective curses.
He was the drunkard who religiously ran behind the Gryffindors’ robes, he already knew what was said for him behind his back and he truly didn’t care. Even though most of the time he could be seen with two sixth years, Éponine, the Slytherin girl with the eternal dark circles under her eyes, and Jehan, the romantic metamorphmagus from Ravenclaw everyone tended to raise an eyebrow –and occasionally, a wand- at, it was a truth universally acknowledged that the three of them didn’t lose a single meeting of the A.B.Ai.S.S.E.s, (Activist Brotherhood Aiming for Sustenance of Social Equality) the student organization run generally by a bunch of seventh year Gryffindors, including the head boy and the head girl, with a leader whom Grantaire would rather not think about that morning.
He took a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror, which sarcastically said to him “Hangovers suit you well¸ you look as dashing as ever”, not really caring about the dark circles under his eyes and the unshaven state of his cheeks –which would do a perfect job to piss Professor Javert off-, he just threw on his uniform without bothering to knot the tie or to tuck his shirt into his pants, and with his robes swishing behind him, he rushed to the Great Hall in order to manage to grab something before classes would start.
He found Éponine sitting on the wrong table as usual, surrounded by all the annoyed Ravenclaws for whom she didn’t give a damn, chatting vividly with Jehan who was today sporting his hair short and aquamarine. They immediately spotted him and waved their hands, smiling. (Actually Éponine waved her hand as Jehan’s one were rather preoccupied with a pair of knitting needles, and Jehan smiled, as you knew when a thunder was about to come when Éponine smiled better than the clouds on the sky of the Great Hall would warn you).
They made space and he collapsed between them. “You look crap, man,” stated Éponine hoarsely, patting his back before taking a bite of her pumpkin pie.
“Thank you, you know how to flatter a man,” he said bitterly, reaching for a piece chocolate cake. “Knitting for the house-elves again?” he asked Jehan, whose face lit up.
“Yes but my needles seem too attached to me to work on their own, apparently,” he smiled behind a mess of yellow, purple and shimmering silver wool. It had become a trend after the Second Wizarding World, elves now had salaries and summer vacations, and could walk around dressed in the most clashing patterns and colors of mismatched woollen pieces. This year, the fashion seemed to ordain polka dot ponchos in colors of famous Quidditch teams –and nothing else. “Do you think Pinky will like this color coordination?”
Éponine cleared her throat, trying to hide a smirk. “Absolutely. I mean, it’s something you would wear…”
“…Which says a lot…”
“…Both about house elves’ taste and your own.”
Jehan grinned affectionately at what he received as a compliment and turned to Grantaire. “Tea?”
“Some coffee would be great, thank you very much,” he groaned quietly, massaging his temple.
“Full moon in a week, right?” Jehan asked sympathetically.
“That,” said Éponine in a tender manner she only saved up for her best friends and Gavroche, “and a nasty hangover.”
Jehan whistled. “Please tell me you both didn’t finish that bottle of firewhiskey in less than thirty minutes.”
She shrugged her shoulders. “We did. With a little help from Gavroche whom we met in the corridors.”
Jehan choked on his tea. Éponine’s brother most definitely wasn’t your average Gryffindor first year.
“Do you have enough Wolfsbane in your stash?” Jehan asked, lowering his voice, “or do we need to tell Joly?”
“If a seventh year in this castle was capable of brewing Grantaire his Wolfsbane, then that wouldn’t be Joly, but Grantaire himself,” snorted Éponine.
It was true that Grantaire was excellent in Potions –Éponine jokingly blamed it on his familiarity with alcoholic spirits of both magical and muggle origin. However, no matter how much he used to boast for the girls that fell at his robes in the past (even though his friends hardly ever believed him), he always remained quiet about that talent and all his Gryffindor friends knew came from the Professor’s enthusiastic remarks and points he granted to Slytherin during double Potions every Wednesday. Apparently Bahorel, Joly, Bossuet and Cosette tended to congratulate him more on his achievements than the actual Slytherins did.
He had been bitten the year before going to Hogwarts. It had cost him his first year, which he’d spent in St. Mungo’s hospital, and he’d started school a year later, being now a seventh year of eighteen going to nineteen. Transformations had been very harsh for him, and had granted him with several scars on his torso and cheeks, but now with the common use of the potion, he had at least learned not to dread it. Somewhere between his fourth and fifth year he had discovered that physical –and emotional- pain after the transformations could be numbed on a fair extent with the consumption of generous amounts of alcohol.
However it wasn’t the up and coming full moon which was troubling him that morning, no. After all the support of all of his friends with it had always been immense and in the eyes of the Gryffindors, he had found the acceptance he had always lacked between the ranks of the Slytherins. Maybe it was because his classmates were similar to him. Most of the time he felt like a typical Slytherin and that probably caused his personality to clash with the others’. Maybe that was the reason the leader of the organization who was the Gryffindor’s Quidditch captain and the head boy’s best friend seemed to despise him.
That was Grantaire’s main problem, most of the time. And, seeking for oblivion after the deadly glares and the annoyed snorts, after hearing his passionate voice and seeing the conviction in that beautiful face, he drank even more.
He had noticed his head in the Gryffindor table: it was impossible for that halo of golden locks –the jokes with Éponine about him using Sleekeazy’s hair potion- were pretty frequent- and those burning eyes to ever go unnoticed. When he didn’t shout for merpeoples and werewolves’ rights, -making Grantaire feel like a cause, a part of a victimized mass instead of an individual-, his face was serene even though one could occasionally notice a slight frown or a nervous twitch of his eyebrows, when he tried to concentrate on some thoughts. His beauty was almost feminine, his lips red and his cheeks rosy, he seemed like he’d never look older than seventeen years old. He went everywhere with his two best friends whom Grantaire was rather fond of, but many times secretly found himself being caused jealousy by as well.
Éponine noticed but she didn’t need to nudge him on the ribs for him to stop staring, as a handsome boy with a long, curvy neck and shiny black hair soon blocked their vision. “The Slytherin table does not seem good enough for you, does it now?” the voice is polished and sweet, and it makes Grantaire shudder in disgust. Ignoring him, he turns to Éponine. “What would your parents say if they knew?”
“They won’t know, ‘Parnasse,” she said calmly, with a voice she only seemed to use when talking to him.
The boy shrugged his shoulders. “Of course,” he said casually. “You can depend
Keeping surprisingly calm, especially for Éponine’s standards, she said “leave us alone please, go away.”
“That’s not what you were saying yesterday at the dungeons, was it?”
Éponine’s face flushed violently and Jehan shot him a death glare. “I can send my needles after him, you know.”
“You don’t need to,” Éponine eyed him cautiously.
A smile which didn’t quite reach his eyes appeared on Montparnasse’s face. “That’s right,” he said slowly. “You don’t need to
Grantaire gritted his teeth, his hand reaching for his wand.
Montparnasse took a theatrical bow and shot a last smirk to Grantaire before turning and disappearing with a swish of his black robes.
“I honestly can’t believe why you keep being nice to him,” Grantaire said grumpily to Éponine, sitting back on the bench and nursing his cup of coffee.
“I have to. I know he occasionally sends owls to my father, they recently did some business together.” Grantaire rolled his eyes at the sound of the word business
which most clearly involved goblins and gold. “Besides, he’s being nice too. To me and my family. I mean, not many people are, not to a decadent old pureblood family which followed the dark side during the Second Wizarding War to gain power.”
“That wasn’t exactly being nice,” noted Jehan quietly before returning to his knitting. “Seemed more to me like blackmailing.”
“They’re so awful with you, why do you even care for your shit family in first place?” groaned Grantaire.
Éponine turned her face away, slowly shrugging her shoulders. “You don’t understand,” her voice suddenly grew distant. “I’m finishing school next year. I know I’ll fail most of my NEWTs, and then what? There’s nowhere I belong, really. I was stigmatized from the moment I was born in that family, in a post-war society. I mean… I could forgive our Gryffindor friends to be ashamed to even walk around Hogsmeade with a girl like me, yet they try to be so nice… But I can sense their hostility behind their manners. We’re outcasts, R.”
“We aren’t,” grinned Jehan. “But even if you feel like you are, you both are always welcome in the Room of Requirement with me, and we can have a blast in our own, kickass imaginary world.”
Jehan’s words reminded Grantaire of the times he’d joked with Éponine –and of those they didn’t really say those things jokingly- of running away together on a thestral, with nothing but a wireless tuned on Weird Sisters
and a bunch of cats surrounding their miserable lives, and never go back. Now he didn’t bother to answer, he just let her fingers wrap around his own. He hadn’t received an owl from home in what seemed like months anyway. He wasn’t one to give family advice. After all, Pontmercy had just burst running into the Great Hall, his hair ruffled from sleep and his face confused as ever, only to find his precious Cosette and lean forward to be fed with a pancake. Grantaire knew that even if he tried to comfort her, she wouldn’t be listening at him anymore.
At least they were together.
Enjolras didn’t like herbology. At all. He’d never faced a problem towards earning a decent mark but the greenhouses hardly ever achieved to stir his interest.
It was one of the rare occurrences when he’d feel so different from his two best friends. Combeferre found himself fascinated by all the different magical plants. Nature deeply intrigued him, as did philosophy, ancient runes, astronomy, muggle science and almost everything else they could find written in a book, really. He was the only one who could make Enjolras reconsider and possibly even change his opinions. He was an excellent head boy and a very bad Quidditch player –he’d never even tried to get into the team. He would eye his friends behind his spectacles and press his lips together disapprovingly when they’d earn a detention, yet he’d smile proudly when any of them made an achievement and always help them with their homework, bewitching his pen to imitate their own handwriting.
As for Courfeyrac, he had recently expressed a considerable fondness for herbology too, but for a completely different reason.
“He loves herbology!” he exclaimed enthusiastically while feeding his venomous tentacula with his dragon leather gloves. “He writes poetry and he is so intellectual, he is the only student the Grey Lady is so fond of after Luna Lovegood left the school and his hair today was aquamarine
! Isn’t that delightful?”
Combeferre tried to hide a smile while summoning his watering can with a wave of his wand. “Jehan is a great young man, with so much potential in several fields and many fascinating interests.”
Enjolras shot Courfeyrac a sarcastic look. “That’s why it would be rather unfortunate if he lost his focus on our cause what with occupying his head with dates at Mme Puddifoot’s!”
“Don’t worry, he won’t,” Courfeyrac’s voice turned mournful, “because guess what: there is no date!
” he left a wrecked moan.
“There, there, Courf,” Combeferre couldn’t pat his friend’s shoulder as his gloves were probably covered in venomous poison, but if he could they all knew he would. “We all know your excellent dating skills and irresistible charms will thrive again, don’t we?”
“With no amortentia this time, I hope,” shuddered Enjolras.
“Ah, amortentia,” sighed Courfeyrac dreamily. “Those were the days.”
“No,” said Combeferre seriously, “they weren’t.”
“Suze Scamander will always be traumatized after you tried to serenade Celestina Warbeck to her!”
“That wasn’t funny,” said Combeferre grumpily, his cheeks flushing until their tone resembled of the bed sheets in the Gryffindor dormitories.
“It was, a little,” chuckled Courfeyrac. “But I promise I’ll obey to the rules, papa ‘Ferre. No love potions involved. Just my irresistible charms, as you correctly stated.”
Enjolras rolled his eyes. “Can the universe stop turning around Courfeyrac’s love life for a minute so that we can discuss the newest Ministry legislation concerning the vampires and the size of their coffins? We can’t turn our backs to freedom of coffins so easily!”
“Yes, but my heart aches
!” moaned Courfeyrac. “Don’t listen to him, ‘Ferre, he’s downright cruel!”
“I don’t see how I can help you…”
“I need to owl him something… a sonnet, or whatever. I don’t know, you are the master of muggle poetry!”
“Courfeyrac, I’m afraid you should find this on your own…”
Courfeyrac did a small pleading dance around his friend and ended up bewitching his tentacula so that it’d flutter its eyelashes to Combeferre. “Come on, Feeerre!”
“What will I get in return?”
“Um… a new Holyhead Harpies cap?”
Combeferre raised an eyebrow. “Not tempted enough.”
“What about my glorious body?” Courfeyrac winked, curving his waist underneath his wizard robes before leaning over their working bench seductively.
“I’d rather go for the cap.”
,” Enjolras’ sharp voice tried to bring them back to reality, “Vampire oppression, doesn’t wait around, you know!”
Combeferre sighed, already looking tired behind his spectacles. He opened his mouth, probably to say something reassuring to Enjolras, when a shriek was heard from the bench opposite them.
Before they even turned their heads to look, they knew it was Joly and that poor Bossuet was the root of evil again.
A rather irritable plant of doubtable identity had wrapped its tentacles around poor Bossuet’s face and, in his effort to be helpful, Joly had started hyperventilating while trying to recall numerous treatments, symptoms and side effects from his huge, dusty, beloved healing books. Somewhere between their screams and the other students’ laughter, Combeferre waved his wand lazily and freed a breathless Bossuet, before Professor Longbottom even realized a thing.
Darling Joly then pulled Bossuet into an affectionate hug, only to be sent in another fit as his friend’s face started getting covered in big, greenish pimples.
From the other corner of the woodhouse, they could see Feuilly and Bahorel, playing duelling as always. No matter how mature Feuilly was, after growing up orphaned and alone, helping at the Leaky Cauldron ever since he was a little boy, he still needed to act like that boy sometimes, and Bahorel never lost a chance for a brawl, even when it was a mocking one. After one of their meetings, Bahorel had witnessed some Slytherins laughing at Jehan –with whom they were very good friends- and calling him names, because he loved flowers and muggle poetry, and because his hair had been rather unusual that morning. Jehan was perfectly capable of performing a pretty badass Bat-Bogey Hex, but before he could even take his wand out of his pocket, Bahorel had sent them all to the infirmary, with celery grown out of their nostrils and certain other hollows of their bodies.
At the moment Feuilly’s teeth were growing uncontrollably out of his mouth and Bahorel was being chased by a Fanged Frisbee. Both of them were incredibly skilled wizards in order to be able to deal with any damage afterwards, but for now they had immense fun that way.
“I hope they don’t kill each other off before the upcoming Quidditch match next week,” sighed Enjolras.
“Oh of course, because after the match it’ll be totally acceptable to feed them both to a basilisk,” joked Courfeyrac’ only to receive a playful punch on his ribs.
The other lesson Enjolras wasn’t very fond of, was Potions, and especially Double Potions which Gryffindor shared with Slytherin every Wednesday. In all his seven years in Hogwarts, he barely ever found interest in brewing a few dry leaves together with toad’s saliva and turn the scoop three times clockwise and four counter clockwise. What fascinated him was every lesson which dealt with living creatures, -humans or not-, their personalities, their way of living and the kinds of society they tended to form. In potions, he hardly found any of those things. He hated the uncertainty of the drafty, cold dungeons, and the fact that this very uncertainty made it difficult for him to concentrate on other thoughts which truly bothered him.
Much to his luck, most of the time throughout the years, he’d managed to pair with Combeferre, Feuilly or Joly, all three of them were considerably better than him in Potions.
What he least expected to happen that day, a month before he’d become an adult, was the absurdity of Professor Slughorn to decide for the pairs himself, now, in their seventh year.
“It would do you good to work with someone else than Combeferre,” he said with a smile.
He most definitely wasn’t ready for the pair of icy blue eyes which got fixed on him behind dark, wild curls. Eyes full of the same look of sarcasm every single time, preparing him for the bitter, pessimistic remarks those chapped lips would always leave and drive him out of his mind during every meeting.
The cynical Slytherin always sat in the corners of the classroom every time they met, with a mocking expression on his face, nursing a bottle of butterbeer or, occasionally, firewhiskey. He usually remained quiet, Enjolras often found himself wondering whether the man was paying attention to a single word he was saying, and then got angry to himself for even caring.
When Grantaire chose to speak though, his words were harsh and sour, driven solely by cynicism. Enjolras knew he was a werewolf, and every time he didn’t cease to show how much he cared for the half-breed minorities’ rights, but for some inexplicable reason, that tended to make Grantaire even more mocking and sarcastic.
The man terribly confused Enjolras.
They took their seats around the fire their cauldron was on and Grantaire leaned forward, cutting some roots with delicate, long fingers, without a single word.
“Aren’t you going to share your steps with me?” asked Enjolras rather impatiently.
Grantaire slowly raised his blue eyes and smirked. The deep, pink scars across his face made Enjolras’ heart clench uncomfortably in his chest. “Of course, o fearless leader,” he said slowly, “you certainly seem terribly interested in cutting dittany roots!”
“As a matter of fact I am not, but despite your Potions genius I would like to pay attention at my education.” Enjolras already looked annoyed.
Grantaire whistled. “We’re witnessing an historical event, ladies and gentlemen! The mighty Apollo finally declared to not be interested and wholly devoted in something!”
Enjolras felt his cheeks burning. “How did you call me?”
“Apollo was the Greek God of Sun,” muttered Grantaire. “Shining and sparkling like your captivating ideas and beliefs…”
“I know who Apollo is,” interrupted Enjolras with a hiss, “and I demand that you’ll never use that nickname again.” Responding to Grantaire’s previous remark, he continued, adopting a quite sarcastic tone himself, “better than finding interest in nothing, than refusing to believe and have faith in any value or idea whatsoever, isn’t it?”
“I beg to differ,” smirked Grantaire, absent-mindedly throwing ingredients in the brewing liquid which was changing colors according to Libatius Borage’s Advanced Potion Making. “Not believing gives me the freedom of choosing to live the way I want instead of sacrificing my life for values which would never worship me in the way I did. I don’t wish to be a hero.” He lowered his hoarse voice dangerously, “There is selfishness in it, don’t you think?”
“That’s not freedom of any kind,” snorted Enjolras. “You are enchained in your own efforts to not show faith in anything, not even to yourself.”
Grantaire chuckled bitterly. “Why would I show faith to myself? On the contrary, you are the one who’s in chains: chains which obligate you to go against a society in recovery which will soon be corrupted again from the beginning. Wizarding history is repeating itself, Apollo. You of all people should know that better than Professor Beans does. You’ll always fight to save the societies which your beloved people will keep corrupting.”
Enjolras ignored the nickname he despised and instead studied the man’s worn face, trying to figure him out. He found it impossible for someone to be so pessimistic towards human nature and wizarding societies, which were in no way similar to the muggle ones. “How can you even say such things?”
Grantaire shrugged his shoulders, pressing his silver blade on a willow leaf. “Easily,” he muttered coldly. “Take a werewolf bite, a history book and modern day society,” he pointed at the cauldron, “brew them together, and here you have it!”
“Why… why do you still keep showing up to our meetings then?” the blond man asked angrily. “You always drink and sit back in the corner and mock every single thing we believe in… Why don’t you just stay at the Slytherin common room with the rest of those… of those similar to you?”
Grantaire grinned teasingly, rocking his chair lazily back and forth. “Because of you, your blind conviction, your captivating naivety, the passion in your voice and the fire in your glance,” he lowered his voice. “You make every minute of my dark immensity of numbness worthy, Apollo.”
“Be serious,” muttered Enjolras furiously, through gritted teeth, feeling his pulse growing faster, throbbing in his head. The man was mocking him shamelessly; he could feel a mixture of shame, anger and pity boiling inside him. He was absolutely impossible.
Grantaire shot him a teasing look, mixed with something unreadable, could it be… tenderness? There was silence for a few seconds, as he leaned over the cauldron. “I’m wild,” he whispered eventually.
Their faces had ended up being close to each other, and Enjolras felt the scent of firewhiskey and that warm wave of breath on his skin. He raised his head to stare into those terribly confusing, icy blue eyes; for an instant he almost forgot how to breathe.
And then Bossuet’s cauldron exploded.