In the beginning, there was silence. Then came the faint, but unmistakably sound of a male voice. He was singing, "Rubber ducky, you're the one. You make bathtime lots of fun."
When the last traces of music floated off, there was a sound that could only be described as a mixture of a squeak and a quack, and with that noise, a yellow, rubber ducky appeared . . .
Lily was the first one to enter the bathroom that night. She had gone early because she wanted a nice, long, undisturbed hot bath, and knew the only way to get it was to go either really early or really late. Because it had been a long and stressful week, she opted for early.
She drew up a steaming hot foamy bubble bath. When the tub was nearly full, after testing the water first with her toes, she sank into the delightfully warm water. With a contended sigh, she closed her eyes and relaxed.
When she opened her eyes again, she caught sight of the rubber ducky.
"Oh, hey there," she said. "I didn't notice you before. Sorry. But it's been a long week.
Wanting someone, anyone, to pour out her troubles to, she decided to speak to the rubber duck. "It started out all right. There was a Quidditch match on Saturday, Ravenclaw verses Slytherin. Slytherin won, but just barely. It was an intense game. We, we being the Gryffindors, I mean, were all pretty upset with the Slytherin victory. Not just because Slytherin's our rivals, but because it means we have to beat Hufflepuff by at least one hundred and sixty points to even be in the running for the championship.
"Of course, that's what probably started the entire thing. We were all feeling pretty dejected and the Slytherins were going around, acting as if they had already won the cup, so Sirius, being Sirius, decided that he had to take them down a notch or two." She considered it for a minute and changed her mind. "Or ten," she revised.
"I still haven't figured out how he managed to talk me, Mercedes and Marie into helping him. When that boy puts his mind to it, he can move mountains, I swear.
"Anyway, he managed to come up with a plan that involved Magical Maddie's Forever Glue, an opera, a few charms that we shouldn't know of, and quite likely are illegal, a whole mess of feathers from every kind of creature imaginable and a helluva lot of rule breaking." At the duck's puzzled look, Lily just shook her head. Massaging her temples, she said, "Don't ask. Believe me, you don't want to know." She rolled her eyes. "Actually, I don't even know the whole of it. How Sirius manages to come up with these things, I don't know.
"So where was I? Oh yeah, so we pulled the prank and it went successfully. A few choice Slytherins, and no brownie points for guessing which Slytherins they were, were completely humiliated.
"Everyone knew who did it, of course. If Sirius only put half the effort into keeping his name clean as he puts into the pranks themselves . . . " Lily trailed off and sighed. "But that's the problem, I think. Sirius takes some perverse pleasure in showing off his work. He takes credit for everything he does, no matter how much trouble it gets him in.
"Unfortunately, this time, we all managed to get caught. Sirius tried to take all the blame, but it didn't work out that way, unfortunately. None of the teachers would believe James, Remus and Peter weren't involved in something Sirius did, and somehow word got out that Mercedes, Marie and I helped the fabulous foursome.
"McGonagall angry is a sight no one wants to see. We were assigned a night in the Forbidden Forest.
"James, Sirius and Remus are the only people I know other than Hagrid, who aren't petrified of the Forest. Even James and Remus are a bit nervous, but Sirius never seems to be afraid of anything. Peter and Marie are scared senseless of the place and Mercedes and I aren't too far behind. The place gives me the creeps. No one in their right mind would voluntarily go there.
"Anyway, we split up into two groups of four - Mercedes, Remus, James and I in one and Peter, Sirius, Marie and Hagrid in the other. We were supposed to gather up a list of plants to help replenish the stocks for Potions and Madam Pomfrey. Professor McGonagall said something about us using up more than our fair share, so we should help them replace the stuff we used. I think she was aiming the comment more at the boys than us. They're in the hospital wing every second day for one thing or another it sometimes seems.
"It wasn't too bad. I mean, we didn't come across anything too terrifying. It took about three hours to collect all the plants. The boys were on pretty good behaviour, but I suppose it helped that Hagrid split them up. But then, I suppose Hagrid knew exactly what he was doing. It's not as if it was their first venture into the Forbidden Forest. More like their first one this month. Officially, I mean. I'm convinced they sneak into there fairly regularly. Why, I don't know. I don't see why anyone would want to spend any more time than necessary in that awful place.
"So, as I was saying, our detention lasted about three hours, so I didn't get to bed until late. When I woke up the next morning, my room was empty. Looking at the clock, I discovered that my first class was already half over.
"I jumped out of bed, and what did I find? Blood on my sheets. I had started my period," Lily said in disgust. "So I got to deal with that, lucky me.
"I got in trouble for skipping first period, even though I didn't exactly skip it. Luckily, it was just History of Magic, and all Professor Binns ever does is assign lines. I still can't believe he hasn't noticed by now that every student for the last fifty years has handed their detention work in the exact same handwriting. I mean, really. They taught us the carbon copying charm back in second year. Really," she shook her head in disgust.
"Of course, Sirius wouldn't leave me alone about skipping first period, although he didn't show up himself. He teased me all morning, until at lunch, I finally blew up at him. That just caused him and James to 'whisper' some not-so-under-their-breath comments about how I was PMSing. The fact that I was PMSing just made me angrier.
"By the time Care of Magical Creatures rolled around, I was ready to murder them. Even Peter had joined in. Remus hadn't, but I think the only reason was because he knew I was actually PMSing. Remus is the only guy I know who actually pays attention to what time of month it is. Somehow, even though James and Sirius' grades are higher, I think Remus is the smartest of them.
"You know, for supposedly smart guys, you'd think they would learn when it was a good idea to keep their mouths shut.
"Normally Mercedes and Marie would be there for moral support, but I'd managed to alienate them earlier on by yelling at them for letting me sleep in. They said they had tried to wake me up, but it hadn't worked, so they had let me be.
"When classes were over, I couldn't stand it anymore. I had the worst cramps imaginable. So I went to the hospital wing and had to spend the night. Madam Pomfrey's medicine is horrible, but it gets rid of the cramps, so I'm not about to complain. I only wish I didn't find it necessary to take so often . . .
"Remus was the only whom I hadn't made completely furious at me, and consequently, was the only one who came to visit me. He brought me chocolate. I could've kissed him.
"You know, with a start like that, I should've guessed how crappy my week was going to turn out.
"A combination of detention and PMS had given me no time for my homework. I had this huge Arithmancy project due on Wednesday that I was only half done. So I was up all Tuesday night, trying to finish it. Needless to say, the end result was utter crap. I really do not want to get that project back next week.
"Then, yesterday, guess what I found out? We had an essay due in History in Magic that no one bothered to tell me about. And I did ask what we had missed. Everyone said, 'Nothing, we never do anything in that class.' " Lily growled softly. "I hate it when people do that.
"And on top of all that, we had a test today in Defence Against the Dark Arts that I completely forgot about." Lily sighed and sunk back into the suds. "It's really been a bad week."
There was silence for a few minutes, while neither Lily nor the rubber ducky said anything. Then Lily sat up. "I hate James Potter. I do. I mean it this time. He's been such a pain in the ass this week.
"You know how I was saying I was mad at him for bugging me on Monday about PMSing?" She didn't wait for a reply before going on. "Well, it just got worse as the week went on.
"Yeah, I know it's partially my fault," she admitted. "It's just that I have a redhead's temper. I find it hard to forgive and forget. Not that James was making it any easier. He could've at least met me halfway, but no, not James Potter. Far be it for he to stoop so low as to apologize to his girlfriend.
"We were horrible to each other all through Tuesday and Wednesday. Then, Wednesday night, I realized that I was being unreasonable and went to apologize to him.
"I found him flirting with that tramp Polly from Hufflepuff. I don't think I've ever screamed so loud. Of course he tried to convince me it wasn't what it looked like, but that's what they all say. I have two eyes; I can see.
"So I'm currently not talking to James Potter. At least he has the decency to try and apologize after I caught him. He's practically been following me around for the last few days on his hands and his knees, begging for forgiveness."
There was something about the duck that made Lily defensive. "What?" she demanded self-consciously. "He deserves it. So what if I haven't heard his side of the story. What can he possibly say that will convince me to forgive him?"
She was starting to feel uncomfortable with the way the duck was staring at
her. "This is ridiculous," she said out loud, hoping that saying it
would actually convince her it was indeed silly. "I'm talking to a rubber
The duck continued to regard her with unblinking eyes until she finally had to look away. "Fine," she conceded. "I'll talk to James."
Just then there was a harsh knock at the door. "Open up!" a voice called. "You've been in there forever. There are other people who need to use the bathroom!"
"All right, all right," she yelled. "I'm hurrying. Jeez," she added under her breath. "There's no reason to get your knickers in a knot."
She got out of the tub and pulled the plug. After drying herself off, she put on a big, white, fluffy bathrobe and wrapped up her wet hair in a towel. The person on the other side of the door rapped again impatiently.
"I'm coming," she screeched. She flung open the door angrily. Severus Snape was standing there, his hand posed, ready to knock again.
"You," she accused.
Snape sneered at her. "Took you long enough. Now get out."
"I'm only too happy to oblige," Lily said with a scowl, leaving.
"Fine." Snape slammed the door behind her.
End of Lily's Part
Monday, June 4, 2001
This is the first part of a group of stories, more like monologues, one for each of the MWPP characters plus Lily and Snape. It is a response to rubber duck challenge found on the HP Fanfic Challenge Page. To be honest, it isn't my best work, but I thought I'd post it anyway.
As always, the characters and the HP universe do not belong to me, but rather the lovely, talented J.K. Rowling.
Oh, I should add that I have taken several liberties in the writing of this fic. Chances are slim to nil, in my opinion, that all six of them would share the same washroom. However, luckily for me, this is fanfic, so who really cares?
And one final thing. The lyrics at the beginning do not belong to me, but rather to Ernie from Sesame Street. *grin*