He sank onto the cool grass, Viola Porter’s shrieking laughter still ringing in his ears. It wasn’t his fault he’d never ridden a broomstick before, but it fault or no, the entire Slytherin House now saw him as the stupidest of any First Year to ever stumble the halls of Hogwarts.
There was a muffled noise. Severus leaped up and aimed his wand at whoever had disturbed him in his misery. To his surprise, he found another wand pointing directly at his own large nose. He’d lost one advantage, but he snarled with all the menace that he’d learned over eleven years of self-protection, “What are you doing?”
The Black boy, one of Severus’s roommates, lowered his wand, though he kept a tight grip on it. “Forgot my cloak.” He scooped up a finely cut garment, adding, “I’m supposed to be writing lines for ol’ I-Shampoo-My-Hair-Twice-a-Day Malfoy.”
Severus caught them both off guard by letting out a grunt of laughter. Sirius, never one to reject an audience, continued, “He’s so proud of his hair, he should be a girl. Always touching it up. Glances in every window just to check his hair. Won’t kiss any girl whose hair is prettier than his.”
“You’re making that up.”
The other boy grinned. “Maybe.”
They stood there for a few moments, then Sirius said tentatively, “Look…I could show you some flying tips.”
Severus stiffened, his mind already screaming, Don’t do it! He’ll just have a laugh on you later! He opened his mouth to say so, but found that, to his surprise, he was tired of hating everyone. Instead, he took a chance, nodded stiffly, and extended his hand. “Okay.”
Sirius shook his hand with all the pompous enthusiasm of an eleven-year-old who owns the world. “Great! Let’s start now.”
Severus had just succeeded in getting onto the broom (with a lot of “Not like that! Ease up. No wonder the other one threw you!”) when anther voice was heard.
“Sev, are you out here?” Severus promptly fell off the broom. Sirius swallowed a guffaw and began to cough as Lily Evans appeared around the corner.
Sirius’s eyes narrowed. “You were on the train!”
With beautiful eleven-year-old scorn, she ignored him completely, addressing her friend. “Don’t worry about Voila Porter anymore. She won’t be laughing at anything for a while.”
“What’d you do?” Sirius asked eagerly, forgetting his antagonism.
Lily smirked at him. “Sponge-Knees curse. It might take her a while to get to the Hospital Wing.”
Sirius looked at her with respect. “Bloody brilliant! I tried to Vanish her hair last year, but Mum got in the way.”
Lily snorted; Sirius shrugged. Severus looked from one to the other and said, “Lily, this is Sirius. He’s a Slytherin too. Sirius, this is my best friend Lily.”
“Nice to meet you,” said Sirius. “What’s the incantation for that Sponge-Knees Curse?”