51 – Bests

Aria and Katsumi nodded before diving in to tackle the vines. After three pods has been successfully extracted Aria gave each of them a high five. “That was awesome! For a second I was scared we were going to be end having one as bad as the Gryffindors.” She glanced over at the state of Draghi and idly wondered if she realized how beat up she looked. Katsumi nodded. “I think it came down to teamwork.” He admitted as if to emphasize how in any grouping where one person was extremely worse for wear the other two usually weren’t. “Oh, right.” Aria gave Chadwick a smile, “Well I’ll package these up and hand them over. Be back in two ticks.” She collected the pods and began conferring with Professor Sprout. Chadwick in the meantime started cleaning up. “Thanks for the help. I know we have to handle a few more aggressive plants- we should partner up.” He offered while collecting the loose soil back into a pot. “Did you sign up for Arithmancy?” He asked, dusting off his robes. “Aria didn’t take it this year, so we don’t have to wait for her or anything. She’ll catch up in the class after.” He cast a brief wave at Aria. “Come on.”

William hadn’t heard a single thing Mina said. Instead he’d shoved the empty pot in her hands before dragging her along in the direction of Amara. He was walking with such determination Mina barely had time to react when he suddenly stopped. “…What’s going on?” Mina was beginning to grow a bit concerned. William on the other hand looked completely deflated. “She has Arithmancy.” He stared off into space for a moment. “Why didn’t I take Arithmancy!” It came out as a whisper yell mainly aimed at himself, but that didn’t mean Mina didn’t hear it. “Uh…because you don’t like it…?” She offered with a hesitant shrug. William sighed and gave her head a pat. “You’re right. If only I tried harder.” After a moment’s thought he sprung back up. “Wait a second.” Turning to Mina he took her by the shoulders. “You’re a girl, Draghi.” He stated. “Thank you?” Mina was completely lost. “And you’re in Gryffindor.” He added. “Two for two. We’re on a roll.” Mina tapped her nails against the clay pot. “You can help me with Amara!” William whisper-yelled again, a smile forming, “I don’t know why I didn’t think of that earlier!” He gave her a light shake. “Wait. Wait. Wait.” Mina held up a finger. “I’m not closer with Amara or any of the exchanges for that matter.” She tried to remind him. William waved it off. “So, you’re a girl. Just do what you girls do: Have a laugh.” He said as if it were such an easy solution. “Ah, yes. The age old craft of havin’ a laugh.” Mina rolled her eyes and moved to put the pot away. “You will help me though, won’t you?” William gave her the most pitiful expression, “There’s no way I’m going to be able to get in with the likes of Matheus buzzing around.” He pointed out. Mina sighed. As much as she didn’t want to get involved…seeing him this down and awkwardly self aware of ten times worse considering no one else was paying attention. “Okay, fine.” She finally agreed. “You’re a right one! Thanks, Draghi.” He gave her a hard pat on the shoulder before starting off towards Russell. He stopped in his tracks though and turned back to her. “Oh if you need some help with Landon or any of the lads just give me a shout- I’ve been keeping an ear to the ground.” He gave her a wink before shooting off. Mina stood there stunned for a moment. “…I feel like I just had an out of body experience.” She mumbled.

Jen had spent the class in a less than thrilled mood. Who the hell was Angelica to get pick by BOTH of the twins?! Considering her group was only Hufflepuffs it didn’t take them very long to get control and extract more than enough pods. With a sideways glance at Angelica she decided to visit her favorite Gryffindor. “Hi Draghi. I see you’re spending time with William again. Is something romantic in the works?” She smirked. “Maybe.” Mina answered honestly. The way Jen’s mouth feel open made her laugh. “Not-not between me and him.” She added, “Just to be clear.” Mina didn’t bother giving Jen any more details for fear she might insert herself into what she was sure was already a pretty shotty plan to begin with. “Did you sign up for Arithmancy this year?” She switched over the subjection. Jen rolled her eyes. “Not a chance. Not after last year.” Jen answered knowing Mina didn’t need an explanation. They were both well aware of the incident from last year. “Yeah, that’s fair.” Mina nodded.

Landon’s brows perked up at her response. “Oh, no. I didn’t mean your gender.” He shook his hands try and emphasize. “I meant based off the position you play.” He explained before pulling Russell into a headlock. “This one only has stamina on a broom and barely any on that.” He chuckled. “Mr. Eccles.” Sprouts disapproving tone carried across the greenhouse. “Sorry, Professor Sprout.” Landon released Russell and pushed him off with ease. He gave Sprout a boyish smile earning a motherly shake of the head before turning back to Larissa. “It’s definitely free for me. I didn’t take Arithmancy this year.” Just the word was enough to bring on a migraine. “The Quidditch field is open or we can go up to the common room. No one’s ever there this early in the morning.” He offered before catching his wife trying to slip by. Gripping her by the back of her cloak he dragged her backwards a bit. “You look like shite.” He eyed the scratches on her face and neck. “What can I say? It was a old fashioned rumble.” Mina replied while trying to maneuver her way out of getting caught in one of his vice like grips. “You should visit the nurse.” Landon’s concern was clear in his voice. “Oi, I’m fine. Nothing to fuss over- ow!” Mina smacked his hand away just as he pulled a thorn out of her neck. “You’re a real mess. I can’t have the manager gettin’ mauled by plants.” Landon finally let her go while flicking the thorn into a nearby pot. Mina wanted to shoot him a sign, but she knew Sprout was watching, so she turned to Larissa. “Hi Larissa. You were great this morning.” Mina went to say more, but Jen gave her sleeve a tug. “Don’t want to be late.” Jen didn’t even pretend to make her voice peppy as she evaluated Larissa. “Right.” Mina gave them a wave and stepped out with Jen. “Lots of pretty exchanges this year, huh.” Jen sounded displeased. Mina pressed her fingers to her neck to see if she was bleeding. “Yeah. I know the boys in Gryffindor are loving it.” Mina joked only to see her enthusiasm was blatantly not returned. “Mhm. Have fun in class.” Jen left her at the door and went on her way.

Landon focused his attention back on Larissa. “So what do you say?” He gave his natural boyish smile.

A smirk crossed Jen’s lips when she saw Chadwick walking with Katsumi. Chadwick tensed when his eyes met Jen’s, any words dying on his tongue when she approached them. “Morning Chadwick. Sleeping well these days?” The smirk couldn’t of left Jen’s features even if she tried. Chadwick’s jaw clenched imperceptibly. “Yes.” He answered quietly. “Good. I know if can be hard for you sometimes.” Jen turned her attention to Katsumi. “Enjoy Arithmancy. Chadwick is one of the best in our year. Isn’t that right?” She ran her fingers up his chest to straighten his tie a bit. “We’re running late.” Chadwick stated flatly. Stepping around Jen he brought Katsumi along. It wasn’t until they were in their seats that he released a breath he hadn’t realized he’d even been holding. “Sorry about all that.” He rubbed the back of his neck with an embarrassed chuckle. “It’s always something at Hogwarts, right?”

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