Chapter Four

The weeks went past, and eventually the new students were nearly forgotten in the excitement. The two schools, Bauxbatons and Durmstrang had arrived, and one task was already completed. Everything seemed to go back to normal, until:

'A dance!? Like, dress robes and everything!? Oh my wizard god!'

It seemed that Lizzie couldn't go anywhere without hearing people squee-ing over the Yule Ball announced weeks ago. Sure, she was looking forward to it, but some people were getting slightly over-excited. She carried on down the corridor, ignoring the clumps of third years who had yet to realise they were unlikely to go, worrying about Jane. She had received a message (the parchments were proving quite useful for when they were all in different classes) saying that Jane had hurt he ankle on the fifth floor, and needed some help. Jane would have to be in quite a lot of pain to ask for help- she didn't want to 'inconvenience' anyone- so Lizzie had nearly run up from the grounds where she had been walking to see how bad it was.'

What was Jane even doing up on the fifth floor? Maybe she was meeting somebody... Lizzie's mind whirled in a way that she felt her mother would have been proud of. She had been spending a lot of time with Charles Bingley. To her imagined mother's dismay, Lizzie decided not to start asking Jane when the wedding would be. She hoped she was meeting Bing, as Charlotte and herself had named him. He had followed her around for the past few weeks, and knowing that Jane really liked him, (they had finally got a straight answer out of the unusually deceptive Jane last week) Lizzie wasn't surprised to see Bingley in the classroom. Her heart sank when she saw that both Caroline and Darcy were also in the room. Great, now I have to be civil.

'Hi.' There we go, perfectly civil and acceptable, addressed to the room in general. I'm proud of you, Elizabeth. I feel weird congratulating myself.

'Hey Lizzie, it's okay, I think Jane's sprained her ankle. She's just over here.'

Deciding she should never talk/congratulate herself again, Lizzie followed Bingley over to the corner with a feeling of relief; she'd been worrying about Jane hobbling off on her own if there was no-one there.

'Hey Lizzie.' Jane echoed with a smile, fooling nobody. Her ankle was huge, and it was obvious that she was in pain.

'Wow, I'm almost impressed.' said Lizzie, admiring the lump on the end of Jane's leg. 'What did you do?'

'Twisted it on the stairs. Can you help me get to my common room? I'm not in a tower; I can go to my dormitory from there.'

'Sure. Rest a bit more first.'

'Y'know, we could have helped you get to your room. It's no trouble.' said Bingley.

'No, no, it's not that bad, really. I just need someone to lean on a bit. There's no point dragging you all down to the kitchens.' Bingley and Lizzie grimaced. Lean on a bit? There was no way she'd be able to walk on that. And there were definitely faults in Jane's logic, as Bingley was in the same house as her. Seeing Jane's slightly green face, Lizzie decided not to mention it.

'Can you help me get her to the hospital wing instead?' Lizzie tried to whisper so Jane couldn't hear.

'I can still hear you, it's only my ankle that's been affected', said Jane amusedly.

'Hang on a second.' Lizzie rummaged around in her bag. 'Jane isn't very good with pain; she goes a bit faint usually.' she explained to Bingley. 'I had a cold yesterday and I think I've still got a potion in my bag... yep, here it is. Drink all of this.' she commanded, handing Jane a small purple bottle. 'Now we just wait a bit for it to work.

On the other side of the room, Caroline was taking advantage of nearly alone time with her future fiancé.

'Ridiculous. She's only sprained her ankle. We could have helped her, there's no need for her sister to trample across the entire school, I swear, she has the worst manners. I believe she lives in a little country village. Do you not find country manners vulgar Mr. Darcy? And did you see her robes? She must have been outside; they're all muddy and torn.'

'Jane didn't want to inconvenience us.' he said, ignoring most of her monologue.

'Would you want your sister running around in robes like that?'

'Of course not, bu-' his sister would be judged by others, unlike Elizabeth but Caroline steamrollered on.

'I would imagine that this had made you think slightly less of her 'fine eyes'? In light of her other… traits?'

Darcy had regretted letting that opinion slip the moment he said it. He's been falling asleep in divination class, half watching Elizabeth laughing with Colin Forster about the Yule Bale when Caroline interrupted his thoughts with a speech about the class.

'I can guess what you're thinking about.'

'Really.' he had long since discovered this was the safest answer if he hadn't been listening.

'You're thinking how ridiculous it is that we are stuck in classes full of uncivilised imbeciles, when we could be learning this is in the comfort of our own home.'

'I'm sorry, but you are incorrect. My mind was on much happier things than that. I was thinking about how nice to is to look at a pair of beautiful eyes on a pretty girl's face.'

Why in Merlin's name had he said that? It was true, but there was no point in giving Caroline ammunition. It's not as if she needed another attack route.

Caroline had looked around the classroom, probably mentally weighing all the girls up. Apparently satisfied with her conclusion, she batted her eyes at him, looking ridiculous.

'Oh? And who might that lucky girl be?' she asked, smiling.

It might be better to get it out the way, it was better to give her another angle of attack than her think that he was encouraging her 'subtle advances'.

'Elizabeth Bennet.' He had made the right decision; the look on Caroline's face had almost made it worth it.

'Oh, Fitzwilliam, I- what? Eliza Bennet? May I ask when the wedding will happen?'

'This isn't the Regency period, Caroline, I'm allowed to look at a pretty girl without marrying her. Anyway, I merely said she was pretty, not that I had any interest in her.' That had assuaged Caroline's anger slightly, but the fact that he would look at another girl with the shining light of all that is beautiful and perfect in front of him was insufferable. At least that's what it looked like to Darcy. She may have simply been constipated. Ever since she had taken it upon herself to either insult Elizabeth, pay extravagant compliments to him or inquire as to the wedding plans and Darcy's opinion on 'uncivilised country manners'.

The present Caroline nudged him, still waiting for his disapproval.

'No, they are exceptionally bright today.' Yes. I totally said that to annoy her. It's obviously not because for some unknown reason I can't stop looking at her. At all. Although she does look pretty today. After noticing her eyes, he had been rather more inclined to look at her in an appraising way, rather than with a critical eye, and had noticed many more attractive things about Elizabeth Bennet, although he had strenuously denied that to Caroline and Charles.

'She's as beautiful as Marcus Flint is intelligent' he had said at t

Chapter Four

The weeks went past, and eventually the new students were nearly forgotten in the excitement. The two schools, Bauxbatons and Durmstrang had arrived, and one task was already completed. Everything seemed to go back to normal, until:

'A dance!? Like, dress robes and everything!? Oh my wizard god!'

It seemed that Lizzie couldn't go anywhere without hearing people squee-ing over the Yule Ball announced weeks ago. Sure, she was looking forward to it, but some people were getting slightly over-excited. She carried on down the corridor, ignoring the clumps of third years that had yet to realise they were unlikely to go, worrying about Jane. She had received a message (the parchments were proving quite useful for when they were all in different classes) saying that Jane had hurt he ankle on the fifth floor, and needed some help. Jane would have to be in quite a lot of pain to ask for help- she didn't want to 'inconvenience' anyone- so Lizzie had nearly run up from the grounds where she had been walking to see how bad it was.

What was Jane even doing up on the fifth floor? Maybe she was meeting somebody... Lizzie's mind whirled in a way that she felt her mother would have been proud of. She had been spending a lot of time with Charles Bingley. To her imagined mother's dismay, Lizzie decided not to start asking Jane when the wedding would be. She hoped she was meeting Bing, as Charlotte and herself had named him. He had followed her around for the past few weeks, and knowing that Jane really liked him, (they had finally got a straight answer out of the unusually deceptive Jane last week) Lizzie wasn't surprised to see Bingley in the classroom. Her heart sank when she saw that both Caroline and Darcy were also in the room. Great, now I have to be civil.

'Hi.' There we go, perfectly civil and acceptable addressed to the room in general. I'm proud of you, Elizabeth. I feel weird congratulating myself.

'Hey Lizzie, it's okay, I think Jane's sprained her ankle. She's just over here.'

Deciding she should never talk/congratulate herself again, Lizzie followed Bingley over to the corner with a feeling of relief; she'd been worrying about Jane hobbling off on her own if there was no-one there.

'Hey Lizzie.' Jane echoed with a smile, fooling nobody. Her ankle was huge, and it was obvious that she was in pain.

'Wow, I'm almost impressed.' said Lizzie, admiring the lump on the end of Jane's leg. 'What did you do?'

'Twisted it on the stairs. Can you help me get to my common room? I'm not in a tower; I can go to my dormitory from there.'

'Sure. Rest a bit more first.'

'Y'know, we could have helped you get to your room. It's no trouble.' said Bingley.

'No, no, it's not that bad, really. I just need someone to lean on a bit. There's no point dragging you all down to the kitchens.' Bingley and Lizzie grimaced. Lean on a bit? There was no way she'd be able to walk on that. And there were definitely faults in Jane's logic, as Bingley was in the same house as her he would be going to the same common room anyway. Seeing Jane's slightly green face, Lizzie realised that Jane wasn't exactly thinking straight.

'Can you help me get her to the hospital wing instead?' Lizzie tried to whisper so Jane couldn't hear.

'I can still hear you, it's only my ankle that's been affected', said Jane amusedly.

'Hang on a second.' Lizzie rummaged around in her bag. 'Jane isn't very good with pain; she goes a bit faint usually.' she explained to Bingley. 'I had a cold yesterday and I think I've still got a potion in my bag... yep, here it is. Drink all of this.' she commanded, handing Jane a small purple bottle. 'Now we just wait a bit for it to work.

On the other side of the room, Caroline was taking advantage of nearly alone time with her future fiancé.

'Absolutely ridiculous. She's only sprained her ankle. We could have helped her, there's no need for her sister to trample across the entire school, I swear, she has the worst manners. I believe she lives in a little country village. Do you not find country manners vulgar Mr. Darcy? And did you see her robes? She must have been outside; they're all muddy and torn.'

'Jane didn't want to inconvenience us.' he said, ignoring most of her monologue.

'Would you want your sister running around in robes like that?'

'Of course not, bu-' his sister would be judged by others, unlike Elizabeth but Caroline steamrollered on.

'I would imagine that this had made you think slightly less of her 'fine eyes'? In light of her other… traits?'

Darcy had regretted letting that opinion slip the moment he said it. He's been falling asleep in divination class, half watching Elizabeth laughing with Colin Forster about the Yule Bale when Caroline interrupted his thoughts with a speech about the class.

'I can guess what you're thinking about.'

'Really.' he had long since discovered this was the safest answer if he hadn't been listening.

'You're thinking how ridiculous it is that we are stuck in classes full of uncivilised imbeciles, when we could be learning this is in the comfort of our own home.'

'I'm sorry, but you are incorrect. My mind was on much happier things than that. I was thinking about how nice to is to look at a pair of beautiful eyes on a pretty girl's face.'

Why in Merlin's name had he said that? It was true, but there was no point in giving Caroline ammunition. It's not as if she needed it.

Caroline had looked around the classroom, probably mentally weighing all the girls up. Apparently satisfied with her conclusion, she batted her eyes at him, looking ridiculous.

'Oh? And who might that lucky girl be?' she asked, smiling.

It might be better to get it out the way, it was better to give her another angle of attack than her think that he was encouraging her 'subtle advances'.

'Elizabeth Bennet.' He had made the right decision; the look on Caroline's face had almost made it worth giving her an attack route.

'Oh, Fitzwilliam, I- what? Eliza Bennet? May I ask when the wedding will happen?'

'This isn't the Regency period, Caroline; I'm allowed to look at a pretty girl without marrying her. Anyway, I merely said she was pretty, not that I had any interest in her.' That had assuaged Caroline's anger slightly, but the fact that he would look at another girl with the shining light of all that is beautiful and perfect in front of him was insufferable. At least that's what it looked like to Darcy. She may have simply been constipated. Ever since she had taken it upon herself to either insult Elizabeth, pay extravagant compliments to him or inquire as to the wedding plans and Darcy's opinion on 'uncivilised country manners'.

The present Caroline nudged him, still waiting for his disapproval.

'No, they are exceptionally bright today.' Yes. I totally said that to annoy her. It's obviously not because for some unknown reason I can't stop looking at her. At all. Although she does look pretty today. After noticing her eyes, he had been rather more inclined to look at her in an appraising way, rather than with a critical eye, and had noticed many more attractive things about Elizabeth Bennet, although he had strenuously denied that to Caroline and Charles.

'She's as beautiful as Marcus Flint is intelligent' he had said at the time, which had seemed to amuse Caroline no end, although Bingley had merely huffed at him.

Caroline, now more than slightly pissed off, changed the subject quickly onto the many delights and accomplishments of Georgiana who, as far as Darcy could remember, she had met once, and sycophantically monologued at her the whole time.

Meanwhile, the potion had started to take effect, and a significantly more lucid Jane had allowed Bingley and Lizzie to get her on her feet to go to the hospital wing.

'Thanks for the help, Charles,' said Elizabeth. 'I couldn't have moved her on my own- whoa!'

They were forced to duck as a dark grey shape whizzed into the room, cackling manically and slamming the door. Lizzie recognised the Hogwarts resident poltergeist, a small bundle of ectoplasm and chaos in the shape of a small man. He hadn't been seen since the start of term and his reappearance was disappointing. There were rumours going round that he had eloped with Moaning Myrtle. She hoped it wasn't true for two reasons- one, she really didn't want to think about what that would involve between the two most avoided spirits in Hogwarts (the Bloody Baron came a close third) and two, she really didn't want Myrtle to have anything else to moan about.

'Ooh, ickle students! What are we doing up here then? Getting into trouble, are we?' grinned Peeves, spinning around the room like a miniature tornado.

'Crap,' said Lizzie, before seeing Caroline's outraged face, presumably at being called an 'ickle student'. 'Don't worry, Peeves is only a poltergeist.'

'Only!?' said Peeves, outraged.

'How could they allow that... that thing into the school?' Caroline shuddered.

'Thing!?' insulted, Peeves pointed a finger at the door before swooping out of the window with another cackle.

Bingley tried the handle despite hearing what all the others had. The click as Peeves locked them in.