A.N.: I know the idea sound silly, but came up from nowhere in this quarantine. Thanks for clicking by the way.

Charms class.

Despite Professor Flitwick, on the top of his stool, was still having the lecture of the Silencing Charm, most of Ravenclaw fifth-year students were too excited to pay attention.

For five long years, they had seen the same faces at school, not counting the new eleven-year-old children annual arrival.

Mark Chandar practiced a wand movement while James Porter, on his right, had begun to distract the professor, asking him about Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, and any other questions that occurred to him in order to avoid class.

Mark couldn't understand what excited them so much. They simply were ordinary fellows like them who studied magic and nothing else.

However, hormonal boys like James might be excited to see new and exotic girls, attractive to the eye. It wasn't assured, but he hoped eagerly.

The silent boy glanced at the book again. Apparently he was doing the wrist movement wrong.

He had to master this spell. Apart from being an O.W.L. level charm, he liked the effects it had on other people if casted correctly.

The professor didn't bring the animals, clarifying from the beginning that this would only be a theory class, and time wasn't enough anyway.

Nonetheless, some advantage over the rest never hurt.

He glanced over the seats up front. The Slytherins whispered among themselves, without much regard for the professor, who talked animatedly with the members of his house, after James' question.

This had distracted the tiny Charms Master so bad that even one of Slytherins had fallen asleep.

Mark's gaze shifted to one girl, unwittingly. She talked with her friend beside.

"Swish, swish, and flick."

He couldn't help it. His pupils refused the command of his brain.

He stopped his hand movement. It seemed like a better idea to go back to practicing the levitation charm before something went wrong.

Too many explosions had happened in this class due to badly done spells.

He looked at each side of his row of seats. His Ravenclaw classmates were there, next to each other.

James, the one closer to the professor, was attentive to his explanation about what the Triwizard Tournament. Even though he already knew the concept, he was curious how much danger it truly meant.

He was an adrenaline and money addict, and many more particularities.

He had heard from the Headmaster of the age restriction, but he didn't care. No problem was hard enough for a worthy Ravenclaw.

Mark had already gotten bored of telling him that anything would trick Albus Dumbledore, so his plan now consisted to laugh at his certain failure.

He didn't know why James ended up in this house, if his ambitions were worthy of a Slytherin member. Maybe the Sorting Hat made a mistake, or if he asked for it. Perhaps the Hat even had trouble, because it took him a minute and a half, unable to decide.

Instead, when it barely touched Mark's hair, it instantly exclaimed the bronze raven's house.

However, he was the first friend he made, despite his shy and rude attitude. James always treated him as younger and immature, despite being the same age, so Mark had never managed to offend him.

Their friendship was also useful because they both shared a work table in Potions. Porter hid a fantastic skill in the cauldron.

Professor Snape always made a snide comment when he saw him doing things right, and as soon as he finished the Potions Master didn't even bother to check his work. He just dismissed James, without giving him a miserable point to his house.

If he had the same dexterity on the other subjects, Ravenclaw would win the House Cup every year with no problems.

Mark stayed at the top scores, but the first was always occupied by any of his Ravenclaw fellows.

Sometimes he scored a few points from McGonagall or professor Vector, by pure effort. Library time paying off.

"You excited too?" James turned and gazed at Mark. Flitwick had stopped talking and many conversations swarmed the classroom.

Maybe class was already ending.

Mark put his wand down on the table and shook his head.

"Come on, Marky. Perhaps one of these girls catches your eye!"

He narrowed his eyes at James. The latter had noticed the different attitude Mark had towards one Slytherin girl, from a long time ago.

Though he annoyed him occasionally, James knew how far-fetched that might sound, so he had scarcely encouraged Mark to make any move.

Would it be different if she was from another House? Who knows? A Ravenclaw with a Slytherin didn't sound so bad.

"Yes, they will, my friend." James finished, and started gathering all his belongings in his bag.

The bell rang throughout the castle.

"Class dismissed. See you at the entrance in half an hour. Don't be late." With that said, the teacher jumped off his stool.

Mark imitated James, and they waited for his other three companions to slide out from the long seat.

"Come on guys! I need to get ready!" James hastened them, slowly pushing Mark towards the left.

"Dream on, Porter. None of those girls will notice you." Masaru Enatsu turned to him and snorted.

"It means I have a chance, right? Then move, Masaru."

The Japanese boy advanced and left, joining Yumiko, who had recently gotten out of the seat behind them. Mark finally stood up, and went out to the right, giving room for James to come out.

A small traffic jam occurred at the door, with the Slytherins and Ravenclaws wishing to leave at the same time.

Mark always used the same card, waiting for everyone to leave, to avoid any physical unneeded contact.

When he realized, James had vanished.

He put his backpack on his shoulder, hoping to find him outside. However, when he looked up, she was on the way, talking to her friend. The two walked to the exit and left.

She apparently didn't even notice, though her pupils focused on him for a microsecond. But that had a lot of effect on Mark, making him freeze in place.

"Ehem". Professor Flitwick cleared his throat. "Do you need something here, Mr. Chandar?"

Mark, alarmed, turned to the teacher. It was annoying to deal with him because to do so, he had to look down to maintain eye contact.

"No sir, excuse me. I was leaving." He answered hastily, and left through the door in two hops.

James waited for him outside beside a torch, wearing his irritating smile.

"So? How did it go?"

Mark raised an eyebrow, as he didn't get the question.

"Oh come on, you know what I'm talking about, Marky!"

He glanced everywhere. Fortunately, the second-floor corridor was empty. If not, he would practice many fourth year hexes he learned in DADA, with James as a target.

Mark still didn't understand why Remus Lupin left his job last year, but didn't complain about the arrival of professor Moody. The Unforgivable curses were amazing.

"Don't worry, I doubt anyone knows yet about her. You're not easy to read, mate."

Mark waved a hand at him up and down. Then, they headed to the Ravenclaw Tower, on the fifth floor.

As they climbed the moving stairwell, they saw agitation on every inhabitant of the castle, probably caused by the oncoming foreigners.

Students move from here to there, and teachers wore the formal robes they only used in the beginning and end of course ceremonies.

When they arrived to the entrance, James answered the riddle without even listening to the eagle knocker. He had figured it out earlier in the morning, as he had to enter to retrieve his forgotten quill.

The Common Room was packed. So much concurrence hadn't happened since the Chamber of Secrets incident, which was saying a lot.

Both boys slipped through the crowd and went up the stairs to the fifth-grade boys' bedrooms.

The room consisted of three bunk beds and a large window, along with the bunch of trunks and belongings of the resident students. It also had a bathroom inside, closed, with some light escaping through the cramped gap it had with the floor.

Masaru lied face down on his bed. He hadn't even bothered to take off his robes.

"So, you're not going?" James said as soon as he saw him.

"What for? Are they bringing a new type of magic I don't know?"

"Well, it's dinner included."

"I'll just go at dinner then. See ya."

"I doubt any professor would let you eat without lowering points to all of us. Get moving, man."

Masaru groaned. He seemed like he was about to get up, but he dropped himself again on the bed.

"If I tell Flitwick he may have mercy and put you alone in detention."

"Meh, he is not that cruel. Writing lines is not as bad as it sounds."

"So you think it's a better idea to stand up writing for a couple of hours than twenty minutes and with food guaranteed?"

Masaru, turned his neck towards Porter. Yes, he had a point.

Mark had already changed his robes, with a sweater underneath. Autumn showed signs of getting colder alarmingly and he wanted to be safe.

Although Madame Pomfrey was super reliable, he had a bad feeling about going to the infirmary for just a flu.

He now waited to get in the bathroom for a quick clean, but the one occupying it still didn't come out.

James had also changed his robes, and had taken out a small pot with a transparent substance and put it on his brown hair.

Reflecting himself in a square mirror he had retrieved from his trunk, he combed his hair.

Mark, though he watched the whole process, saw his friend exactly the same, only his hair was slightly brighter. He preferred not to say anything, and knocked on the bathroom door.

"Just a moment." A voice came out from inside, panting.

"Hey Marius, hurry up! I'm going to use the restroom too!" James said out loud, giving his hair a few final touches. "Do you want some?" He showed the pot to Mark.

The latter shook his head in reaction, but since James couldn't see him, he had to use the other option.


"So that's your word of the day, huh? Surprising." James smirked, peering into the mirror and finding Mark's reflection.

The silent boy rolled his eyes.

"Oi, Marius, I don't mind dragging you out even if you're having a bath, eh?"

The door burst open. Marius Streicher was toweling off his head. He had pants and shoes on, but his torso was bare.

"Isn't Erik missing here?"

"He left as soon as he arrived. I think he was excited like the rest."

Mark entered. He left the door open, because he was only going to wash his face and teeth. Porter then joined him, doing the same.

"We should hurry. It's five to six." Marius commented, as he pulled on the robe with the raven insignia.

"What? Oh, for Merlin's sake."

James, Mark, Marius and Masaru dashed out into the common room like lightning. From how full it was, everyone had disappeared.

They ran from the Ravenclaw tower to the castle entrance. The robe greatly limited sudden movements, but at least they didn't find Filch, with a chance of getting into trouble.

They found the four heads of the Houses ordering their students in rows. Even Professor Sprout looked different, in an apparently new green robe.

Snape retained the black robe that characterized him, with the same grim expression. He didn't even have to open his mouth to maintain the order between the Slytherins.

Being the last ones they slipped in, where Professor Flitwick ordered them.

At least he tried, because not many could manage to see him in the crowd.

The Charms Master didn't notice them arrive, so they decided to join the row where Erik stood, as he talked to another Ravenclaw girl.

"Do you think we will get to see something? We're nearly the last ones." James asked, regarding at Mark.

He raised his eyebrows briefly, curving up a snicker, then tiptoed.

Although they hadn't stopped growing in height yet, this gap of several inches was noticeable from miles away.

"I'm going to lean on you then." James shrugged. "Thanks in advance, Marky."

Actually, he exaggerated, no one from the lower grades was particularly tall.

However, they had a classmate, which genes didn't help her at all.

"Need a little help, Iana?" James made his way to the Ravenclaw girls' row, where the fifth years were all lined up together.

A blonde girl with short hair turned to him. She was quite short for her age, but she could hit hard.

"Huhu, very funny, Porter. I'd prefer Mark's help than yours, by far."

Mark looked at Iana. Of course she wasn't serious. They used to study together for Transfiguration, Charms and D.A.D.A., and she knew he hated contact.

He had never said it out loud, but his attitude towards everyone didn't change. Keeping up his personal space whenever he could. Unfortunately, dragging James away was tedious enough.

"Good choice, but he already has me."

"Misconceived in many ways. I doubt Mark likes boys." Iana smiled at him, similar expression when he helped her with a spell or a homework essay.

Although Mark's stoic face looked like he could handle it, his hormones said otherwise. Luckily those weren't visible to the bare sight.

In any case, he only lost control of his body for a single girl, who stood a little further away, in the Slytherin lines.

Mark returned a slight smile to Iana, and punched James on the shoulder.

"Ah! Hey!"

"Miss Patil, take that ridiculous thing out of your hair." The three heard professor McGonagall's voice from Gryffindor's side.

Professor Flitwick hadn't even bothered to inspect through the higher grades. There wasn't much to tell them either, no one looked any different than they used to.

Except for James, of course.

Suddenly, the Gryffindors stepped forward and exited through the door, led by the Transfiguration teacher. The whispers continued between them as they advanced.

When the last of Hufflepuff's seventh years got out of the castle, Professor Flitwick called both of the prefects, Erik and Monika, and the three led the group.

They all left in order, and realized they were also lined up outside.

Even if some brave fellow wanted to do any mischief, the teachers had divided well to control the students.

However, they seemed to have lowered their guard over the rear rows. But then Dumbledore came out, and stationed there next to Professor Sinistra.

Mark positioned himself between James and Iana, in the fifth row from the front.

Despite the cold weathered evening, being with so many people minimized the effect.

The same couldn't be said of the first years, who were shivering.

James was already gazing at the sky, convinced that the foreigners would come flying. It was the most logical explanation, unless they bothered to use the awkward train.

Mark didn't know much about transport, other than the Flu network, apparition, and brooms, so he guessed they'd come by water.

Several minutes passed and nothing moved. The moon looked beautiful over the forest trees.

"I didn't know the French characterized themselves as unpunctual." James muttered, adjusting the robe over him.

"Maybe the time difference affected them." Iana answered from the other side.

"It's a little chill, isn't it?"

The two approached Mark, whose sweater apparently emitted a warming aura. He didn't know if they were both teaming up to annoy him, but he got ready to move forward, escaping.

"Aha! Unless I am very much mistaken, the delegation from Beauxbatons approaches!"

The headmaster's voice alarmed the three of them and they looked up at the sky again.

"Where?" James asked, along with several other students.

Mark noticed a strange object move across the sky, above the forest. He tapped James on the shoulder and pointed it.

After several and silly names they gave him, Mark finally saw what it was about. A carriage, giant compared to a normal one, pulled forward by a flock of winged horses.

Mark snorted. It looked like Santa's sleigh.

Ten minutes passed until it landed. Either the driver was looking for a dramatic entrance, or couldn't find the proper landing position.

Not realizing it, James and Iana had gotten beside him again. Unfortunately, almost the entire school had been grouped together, leaving no space to breathing.

He sighed and waited for everyone to calm down.

The carriage door, with various golden wands and stars on it, probably the emblem of the French school, opened.

A boy dressed in blue leaped out of there. He wore fancy clothes, so he had to do a perfect landing to not to get dirty.

He looked for something under the carriage, and then unfolded a set of golden steps that reached the ground. After making sure everything was in order, he stood next to the last step, facing to the giant carriage's door.

"Blimey. Didn't know some kind of royalty would visit today." Iana said, tiptoeing and boosting herself with Mark's shoulder.

A brief eyelid twitch manifested his discomfort, but he bit his tongue. Iana wasn't being mean and all she wanted was to see what was going on.

From the time Mark had been distracted, he didn't notice that a massive woman, dressed in black, was coming down the steps, being helped by the boy in blue.

Her hands and his were very different in size, but kept up the appearances.

"Whoa. She looks nice, doesn't she?" James poke his friend with his elbow.

Mark tilted his head to the right, looking at him. If he managed to control his own hormones, James was the complete opposite.

They heard several applauses from the back. The rest of the students followed, and split the formation in half. The headmaster passed by, wearing a broad smile.

He was tall, but the tip of his pointed hat barely reached the big woman's chin.

Taking advantage of the commotion, Mark tried to get away from the imprisonment of people, but he couldn't move much. Moreover, Iana had a firm grip on his shoulder, and moved with him.

Dumbledore greeted Madame Maxime, which was apparently the woman's name. Mark wanted to hear more what they said, but James wouldn't let him.

"Hey, Mute! The carriage!"

His eyes changed direction. Several girls and boys, in their late teens, were going down the golden steps. The boy was still standing there, helping the girls exclusively.

They were all dressed in fine blue silk, but they had no capes on top, or anything to keep them warm.

Mark's lips curved slightly. Hypothermia was around the corner.

A cold breeze passed through the front of the castle, causing the girls to start trembling, and reached the ground even quicker.

"That blonde is beautiful!" James exclaimed, but only Mark could hear him. He hoped so, because if not professor Snape would slap both of them on the head, by the time they return to the castle.

Despite the several blondes in the Beauxbatons group, he didn't notice any impressive in particular. One of them stood out, but for having a muffler, covering part of her face.

Mark felt something strange when looking at her. He couldn't blame himself either, in his beauty standards, that girl had a pretty high level.

However, his mind thought of her, and hurt afterwards. Like a throbbing pain.

He glanced everywhere. He found her quickly, because she had her sight fixed at him from before.

Mark's heart skipped a beat. He wanted to run away, but couldn't move. He gulped, because pretending to do anything meant attracting attention, and that was the least he wished at the moment.

Iana had started jumping again, having grown tired of just seeing Madame Maxime.

"The boys aren't that bad either, huh?"

"Nah, they don't have anything my Marky doesn't have." James replied at Iana and put a hand on Mark's other shoulder, leaning on him. "Do they sweetie?"

Another stuff he wanted to avoid was happening now. At least this kind of discomfort nullified his will to flee.

"If I didn't know you I'd think you really look like a couple, Smoke." Lera, from Iana's right, giggled.

Mark created that nickname for him, long ago, in a clandestine potions practice. It had been easy anyway, because he was the only one who found pleasure near a steaming cauldron without sensing intoxication.

As Mark didn't use to speak much, habit kept until now, the rest of the boys took it to heart and James stuck with the nickname.

It didn't bother him, and he certainly knew that one day he would be an auror and his potions were going to serve as a weapon, somehow. Or a Dark Lord, whichever came first.

"Nah, Mark would have to woo me first for that."

Before the misconception continued, Mark pushed James away, enough to be considered personal space again.

Again his eyes went to the Beauxbatons girls. He understood why the male population at Hogwarts was super attentive and excited now. James' expectations were reality.

Each in thin robes, short skirts, and although most wore long dark-colored stockings, their well-shaped legs could be seen.

Mark gave James a couple of nudges. When the latter turned, he raised his eyebrows quickly a couple of times and glanced sideways to French.

"You finally gave up and entered your teen ages, huh? You make me proud."

Mark shrugged. If being attracted to a girl meant accepting adolescence, he had already done so years ago. He just hoped she had already looked away from him.

"Come." He heard Madame Maxime say, drawing the attention of all her pupils.

In the same gap that Dumbledore had gone through, the group of Beauxbatons, led by their headmaster, also passed, but in the opposite direction.

James kept any comments he had to make on hold, now that everyone was silent. Neither seemed to be paying attention to any Hogwarts student, who were still staring at them, stunned.

The French students wanted to hurry their pace, but none dared say anything to the giant woman. After another cold breeze, they entered the castle.

The whispering started. The teachers didn't bother to silence them, they just detained a couple of bold idiots that tried to follow them.

"This is my lucky year! I'm sure Mute boy!"

At first, he disliked that nickname, but James was so insistent that it stuck with him and the rest of the fifth years. He had eventually gotten bored saying it, but sometimes when he was excited or upset he would use it again.

"I told you they wouldn't even notice you, Porter." Masaru said to James from the left.

"I have an entire year, Masaru. I bet you I can do it."

"How many galleons do you wanna lose, huh?"

"Make it five." James smiled, frowning slightly.

"So much? You are on. " Masaru and James shook hands, battling each other in a brief contest of strength.

"Now he won't stop until our entire points are taken from us." Yumiko complained, to Masaru's left. "Well done, dumbass." He concluded, slapping him on the back of the neck.

"Don't worry, Yumi. I'll be as subtle as a ninja." James winked at her.

Mark knew that statement wasn't true. He merely hoped that Snape didn't witness him doing something stupid and decreasing two hundred points in one go.

Amongst so many events, people were already waiting for Durmstrang's students. Mark supposed they would also come by air, so he looked up at the sky, searching for stuff out of the ordinary.

"The lake!" exclaimed one of the Gryffindor boys.

Again everyone crowded together, and his personal space got breached.

"What's-going-on? Come on, I can't see!" Iana said, while jumping.

"I see bubbles, so I suppose it could be a submarine."

"That's a Muggle invention, Porter. It must be a ship."

"Unless it's the giant squid, mate."

Masaru's theory was true. After so many bubbles floated up like preparing a geyser, the tip of a ship's mast came out.

After a couple of minutes, and many sounds of amazement, a huge ship with a ghostly aura emerged on the surface of the lake, approaching.

Several boys worked on top of the deck. They were divided between throwing a huge anchor into the water, and lining up a long plank on the shore where the Hogwarts boys waited.

Mark felt pity for Iana. He was about to let her hop on his back, but the boys from Durmstrang automatically started to disembark, led by a tall man, almost the same height as the headmaster, with black hair, and a black goatee, that ended in a curl.

His robe was dark like Madame Maxime's.

"Dumbledore!" he called excitedly with open arms, while the old man came towards him.

Not paying much attention to their meeting, Mark kept looking at the ship. The Durmstrang boys walked on the plank and formed a group when they arrived to the shore.

They wore thick cloaks and furred hats, apparently ready for the cold in Scotland. All the boys looked muscular, and none of the girls wore a skirt, unlike the French.

Everyone was thrilled, glancing around like first-time tourists, except for the one behind the goatee man, who had a sulky face.

"Oi, Mark, isn't he Viktor Krum?"

He raised an eyebrow to James, not catching his words.

"The Bulgarian seeker? Is he? Mark, please let me hop on your back. I swear I'll pay you somehow." Iana was practically begging him, interlocking the fingers of her hands.

Mark moved his index finger from side to side at her. As quick as that feeling of pity came, it vanished.

"Last chance, I'm here to help you, honey." James smirked at the short girl.

She growled, but accepted and jumped on his back, after making room for her, pushing back the Ravenclaws behind.

"Don't get your hopes up high, Porter." She clarified, as she felt James grab her legs to help himself with the extra weight.

"Yes, yes, It's my good deed of the month. Is he Krum or not?"

"Of course! It was obvious and I didn't think about it. He's only eighteen years old!"

Mark dropped his eyelids. So much fuss over a mere seeker?

Apparently yes, because most had started to comment on quidditch, of a second place in some tournament, and a possible autograph.

From the latter, he saw the Gryffindor girls had started to fight over a lipstick.

Mark figured if they fought so much over a minimal object for an autograph, this Krum had to be a famous lad.

Not letting the Hogwarts students much time to see them, McGonagall called everyone back to the castle. Iana quickly dropped to the ground, waiting for no one to notice what she had done.

Arriving at the Great Hall, she saw the boys and girls from Beauxbatons sitting at their table, on the front edge, near the table of honor.

Although it was relatively warmer than outside, the blonde girl in the muffler still clutched with it on, covering her face.

As soon as he noticed her, Porter wanted to run and sit next to the French group, but Mark grabbed her by the sleeve, and shook his head.

"Oh, come on! It's written in fate, mate!"

Despite all this, those who sat near them were the first years, and twenty inches away, because they were too shy to engage a conversation with them.

The silent boy couldn't blame them. They sported an unpleasant aura of superiority.

"Tch. Even if you have taken away this possibility, remember that I have the whole year."

Mark raised both hands in defeat, sitting between James and Iana, away from the Beauxbatons cohort, with their backs to the Slytherin table.

Durmstrang students then entered, positioning themselves parallel to the French, at the table in the house of the silver serpent.

After positioning all the students at the tables, Dumbledore began to speak, welcoming the foreigners.

"... I hope and trust that your stay here will be both comfortable and enjoyable."

Some of the French chuckled, but that didn't interrupt the headmaster.

"At least we already know they aren't polite." Yumiko whispered in front of Mark.

"Maxime looks like she's going to kill them when dinner is over. Haha!" Iana giggled.

"... Now onto the feast!"

"Did he mention something about the Triwizard… Oh! Cake!" James was apparently going to talk about the tournament, but got plainly distracted by the food.

Many special dishes, in addition to the ones they served every day, appeared in front of them.

Mark didn't much about foreign foods, but the only French dish he had ever tasted in his life was now before him. Ratatouille.

After twenty minutes of eating and chit-chat among the Ravenclaw fifth years, Mark noticed one of the Beauxbatons girls stood up.

She was astonishingly beautiful. Blonde, with a white complexion and deep blue eyes.

He blinked various times and felt his cheeks getting warmer. This feeling was exclusive when thinking of her.

His mind began to make circles. This wasn't normal.

When he wanted to avert his eyes, he felt extreme pain in his mind, like resisting to the Imperius curse. Professor Moody had already taught them the unforgivable curses and their effects.

Not in practice, but Mark had read how the practitioners of Occlumency felt when beginners.

However, he managed to divert his gaze, dropping his forehead onto the table from the effort, and took a deep breath.

"Whoa. Are you okay, Mark?" he heard Iana ask.

Mark dropped the fork he was grabbing on the table, and raised his right thumb towards her.

"Oh, ok. What are you looking at, Porter? Ah…"

Mark raised his head. The Beauxbatons girl stood at the Gryffindor table, talking to Potter and his two little friends, Weasley and Granger. The redhead had his face the same colour as his hair.

The silent boy forced a blink. The urge to gazing at her wasn't so great now, but it lingered somewhere in his mind.

"You too, Mark?" Iana tapped him on the shoulder, interrupting his breathing and making him cough.

He turned to the short girl. Many Ravenclaw students had stopped their dinner just to stare at the French. Even Marius seemed to be gaping at her.

Mark shook his head repeatedly, to prove his innocence.

Although Iana didn't know, he already had someone he liked and he wouldn't forget about her for an exotic beauty with a perfectly shaped body and the most symmetrical face he had ever seen in his life, right?

No, that girl was totally out of his league. Seriously.

"Uh huh." Iana turned away to see her and Mark followed, taking advantage of the confusion.

She returned to her seat, with a bowl containing something resembling a shellfish stew. Her platinum hair danced with her graceful steps.

As Mark turned his neck, he noticed that James was like Marius, watching her go by, dumbstruck.

To avoid some drool falling from his mouth, Mark leaned onto his left and hit his friend's forehead with his palm.

"Ah! Mark? What happened?" James closed his mouth immediately.

Mark looked at him with sleepy eyes. He had never believed in James' presumed innocence and wasn't going to start now.

The Great Hall gradually returned to its normal state. Apparently only the male population had been alerted, as if they had never seen a woman before in their lives.

"Damn, we had bouillabaise here! Why didn't she come?" James reproached to Mark.

The dish the noisy boy had been eaten was the shellfish stew. The silent had just noticed.

"Maybe she wanted a full and untouched one." Iana answered him. "Are you going to finish it?"

Mark reached out and pushed the half-finished bowl towards her.

"Of course, she didn't want to blow away her chance to meet Harry Potter." Masaru mused from the front seat. He neither had lost his opportunity to glance at the French beauty. "He's a worldwide celebrity."

"Meh. He just defeated You-Know-Who, what's so special about that?"

They laughed, interrupting the silence of the usual quiet Ravenclaw table.

"Well, Mark, what do you think? I saw you staring at her too!"

Uh-oh. Busted. In any case, he had no reason to lie to James. He raised his left hand, all fingers together and palm down, and tilted it from left to right.

"Aw, only that? Oh, I almost forgot you already have a sweetheart in here, buddy."

Mark pursed his lips. James was an unpredictable idiot.

"Mark has a sweetheart? Who?" Iana hopped out of nowhere into conversation.

A cold sweat fell on his forehead.

He saw James grab one of the free forks no one had used and skewered a tiny slice of meat with it.

"Me! Say Ahhh~."

Mark let out some air he had left in his lungs. Without much more to say, he took the fork from James' hand and ate its content.

"They get worse every day, huh?" Lera remarked, near the seat in front of Iana.

A.N.: Thanks for reading. Constructive criticism is always welcome. Don't judge me so much, I just got out of a writer's block.