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“You know, I really wish Slughorn would have just given us detention instead,” Silver said, carefully curling her eyelashes.

“Come off it,” Katherine answered. “You know how he is- he'd have made us clean the toilets instead.”

“Better than this, I bet.”

Katherine laughed and slipped on a pair of black Mary Janes. “You know, it's your fault we have to do this anyway. You realize that, right?”

Silver “hmph”d and zipped up her dress. They were readying themselves to go to one of Professor Slughorn's get-togethers, what Katherine thought to be a fair trade. Instead of receiving detentions for talking during class, they'd simply had to promise to go to the next Slug Club meeting.

“The only reason you're so alright with this is because you get to see perfect Prefect Riddle,” Silver said with a smirk.

“Do tell if he's a good kisser, O'Hara,” Vera Clearwater, one of Katherine's roommates, called with a wicked smile. “I hear he's not kissed any of the girls at this school. Not good enough for him, I suppose.”

Katherine's face suddenly resembled a tomato. “Nobody said anything about kissing anyone!” She actually greatly regretted asking him to Hogsmeade at all.

Vera giggled. “Alright, relax! Just letting you know, in case it happens!”

“Correction: when it happens,” Silver interrupted.

Katherine shot a glare at her friend. “There shall be no kissing of Tom Riddle tonight, or ever. And hurry it up, Silver, it's almost eight.”

“Alright, alright, I'm coming.”

~ ~ ~

It was exactly eight o'clock when the girls arrived at Professor Slughorn's door. Katherine was beginning to wonder why on earth Slughorn had even invited her when he opened the door, beaming upon seeing them.

“Oho! I'd begun to think you'd forgotten about my little request. Come in, come in, your seats are still empty at the table,” Professor Slughorn called as he rather violently ushered the girls in.

Katherine caught Silver's eye and had to bite her lip to keep from laughing at the look of fear on Silver's face. Professor Slughorn sat them down beside a Gryffindor girl and boy who were top seventh-year students, and Katherine recognized Silver's sister, Celeste, sitting ramrod straight in her chair with a smile plastered to her face. She looked very uncomfortable.

“Welcome! These are two of our newcomers, Miss Silver Ardova, lovely Celeste's little sister, and transfer student, Miss Katherine O'Hara. I'm glad you could make it here tonight. Now, dig in! There's enough food to go around for everyone,” Professor Slughorn said, his walrus mustache twitching with his chortles.

Katherine cut into a sliver of ham with pineapple, her mouth watering. She hadn't even noticed how hungry she was. She looked back at Celeste, who was taking miniscule bites and looking proper, then looked at Silver, who was shoveling mashed potatoes into her mouth with speed rivaling that of lightning. For the second time, Katherine tried very hard not to burst into laughter, and she pinched Silver's leg. Silver yelped, but began to actually chew her food like a normal human being. Katherine bit her lip and glanced up at the person seated before her, who just so happened to be Tom Riddle.

He wore clean and crisp robes of a midnight blue color, and his hair was parted and seemed neater than usual. Katherine felt her face turn twenty different shades of crimson and was, for once, grateful for the boisterous conversation around her that served as a distraction. She quickly lowered her eyes and focused on the pineapple caught in her fork.

“Come now, Miss O'Hara, do not be like that. Why so shy all of a sudden?” Riddle drawled.

Katherine glanced around, saw everyone involved in their own conversations, and looked back at him. “I'm not drunk tonight.”

Riddle smirked. “Well, good for you. Sober decisions are probably a smarter choice.”

Katherine nodded. “As a matter of fact, I was thinking that you ought to go to Hogsmeade with someone, er, 'smarter,' and more proper. Celeste Ardova, per chance?”

“I do hope you are not implying that you have changed your mind about me?” Riddle asked, feigning a simper.

“I'm not sure I know what you mean.”

“You said you wanted to go to Hogsmeade with me because you liked me-”

“I did no such thing.”

Riddle chuckled. “Not so drunk, then, were we?”

Katherine rolled her eyes. “Please don't patronize me, Mister Riddle. It is probably in your best interest to go with someone more... fitting.”

“Oh, Miss O'Hara, you are too modest,” Riddle answered charmingly, smiling and cutting into his ham. “I'm beginning to think you really are, what's the phrase... blowing me off.”

She smiled sweetly. “I would never. If you really were so thrilled at my proposal, then I'll keep it that way.”

“Thrilled,” he murmured, sounding as though he were tasting the word for the first time. “Sure. I would hate to miss out on taking a lovely part-Veela out to Hogsmeade,” Riddle continued, the signature smirk returning to his lips.

“Now, boys and girls, I've asked a few, erm, renowned people to drop by today. They should be arriving in about ten minutes, so if you would all please help in cleaning up and setting up the decorations. The buffet will be open to all,” Professor Slughorn continued as there was a flourish of chairs scraping the floor and students standing.

As the group dispersed, Silver and Katherine lingered behind and helped clear the table.

“Saw you and Riddle talking,” Silver said, holding up a bowl of fruit salad that teetered in her palms. “You two are the strangest couple I've seen.”

“Probably because we are not a couple, thank you very much,” Katherine responded, snatching the fruit salad from Silver. “Besides, I was trying to get Riddle and your sister together-”

“I meant that you guys will be a couple, but that you both interact like a pair of acroma... hang on, what?”

“You heard me.”

“Why in the name of Merlin would you do that for?! Anyone with eyes and reason would run over their grannies five times in a row for a date with... are you mad, Kat?” Silver asked, her voice becoming more and more shrill.

Katherine rolled her eyes. “He's kind of a git.”

“Kind of a... Merlin's beard, O'Hara, you really have gone mad.”

Katherine cleaned a stain on the table cloth with a flick of her wand and turned back to Silver. “Look, if he's really that important to you, I could just tell him to go with you instead. I mean-”

“Don't be that way,” Silver moaned. “You and I both know that, unfortunate as it is, I'm hung up on that filthy Malfoy, and I really-”

Silver's phrase was cut off as a man riding a sparkling white unicorn entered the room. A beautiful witch and an old wizard followed behind, unable to match the splendor of the first man.

“Oho, look who we have here! Sir Capoultic the Second, wonderful unicorn-rider! And of course, the beautiful Griselda Mahaltor, editor of the famed Witch Weekly, and ah! Bartholomew Francis, I haven't seen you in decades!” Slughorn gushed. Katherine didn't recognize any of them.

“Merlin, what time can we leave?” Silver asked quietly as soon as the rest of the people were engaged in conversation.

“I told you we have to stay till the end,” Katherine replied, slinking toward the buffet.

“You ever tried snails?”

“Eurgh, no, actually," Katherine grimaced.

“Well, I think I will. I've always wanted to go to France and try those cargos or however you say it. I can't believe you were there and you didn't even-”

“Escargots, you mean?”

“Oui, oui. Oi, they're not so bad! They've got-”

“It's of bad taste to be a woman and constantly eating,” a voice came from behind the girls.

Katherine turned to look at a moderately unattractive girl in a short, emerald green dress. She wore heels much too high for her, and her blonde hair was riled.

“Oh my! Excuuuuse me. Didn't know eating was reserved for the male specimen. I'll remember that when I'm on my deathbed, dying of malnutrition,” Silver replied acerbically.

Katherine's eyes widened. “Er, sorry, she... er...”

“Oh, no, it's quite alright. I suppose I expected that from you, not from anyone belonging to the Ardova name. But, I suppose the people are right: this one is a bit... bizarre,” the girl said simply.

“Excuse me?" Katherine asked in a low voice.

“Well, you are that Frenchie orphan girl, are you not? Supposedly part Veela, eh? Though, looking at you closely... you don't even look it. Tom Riddle's girlfriend, eh? Well-”

“You'd better close your bloody mouth, girl,” Katherine said sharply. “I have absolutely nothing to explain to you, or anyone of your kind.”

The girl smirked. “I'd say orphan children have no class, but it seems Tom is the odd one out. Turned out fine, didn't he? Very fine, I'd say. Well, then, so long, girls,” she called over her shoulder before letting out a noise that sounded as evil as a giggle could possibly be and pranced away, shaking her hips and advancing on the group of Slytherin boys across the room.

Katherine was stunned. “Who in the bloody hell was that?” She asked, grinding her teeth together. If she were a dragon, everyone in the room would have the misfortune of being charred black.

“Marianna Hornby,” Silver spat. “Dirty, evil cow. Nicked Abraxas, fucked him while he was with that batty Black girl, I forget her name. I'd be careful if I were you. If you're even considering Riddle, she's the one to look out for.”

Katherine laughed. “Did you just say 'fuck'?”

“Look, I've been holding it in for a while now. I think we've been friends long enough, don't you? We only sleep in the same room!”
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I apologize, it's been a very long time since I last updated. My iPod deleted all of the notes where my plot and chapters were planned, and I've been so busy with college applications and school and failed relationships. Haha. Anyway, thank you so much for commenting and subscribing! You guys are great. Keep tuned these next few days; I'll try and update soon! Thanks for your patience :)