Vivid blue eyes scanned across the texts in front of them, darting back and forth from page to page, book to book. Hestia knew that the best way to do research was checking various resources, but the simple fact was she found it utterly exhausting, not to mention boring. Well, at least when it concerned a subject she was not tremendously interested in. Had it been Herbology, this essay probably would have been done nights ago. She liked going down to the Greenhouses, plucking leaves and making cuttings to experiment with. It was a more precise science, something tangible, something she could feel and smell and taste. The same was true of Potions. Things like Transfiguration and Charms had their place, she knew that, but they just seemed so…false, in a way. A bit of wand swishing and fancy words. It just wasn’t as real
as the things she really enjoyed. There was a reason she’d never opted to take Divination. But, unfortunately, with the career path she wanted Transfiguration was a necessity, and she had to get a decent grade in it, so here she was.
The Hufflepuff certainly hadn’t expected anyone else to be around. Sure, there were a few couples that snuck off around the castle at night, but they usually went somewhere more private than the Great Hall. She’d figured this would be a pretty safe place. A couple of ghosts occasionally hung around, but she didn’t mind speaking to most of them. The Baron gave her the creeps at times, and Peeves was always a pain in the proverbial when he showed up, but the Friar and Nick were both perfectly pleasant, as were most of the others. She knew the Prefects would be on their rounds, but Hufflepuff were generally very easy on people of their own House and others as long as they went straight back to their Common Rooms, and she was good enough friends with the Gryffindor lot she didn’t worry about them. Ravenclaw she hoped would go easy on her on account of her studying, so it was just the Slytherin lot she had to keep an eye out for.
Hearing footsteps approach, the seventeen year old looked away from her work (which wasn’t terribly difficult to make herself do) and up to the figure coming closer to her. Oh, great,
she thought to herself seeing the green and silver, just my luck
. It took a couple of moments for her to register just how unlucky she was, however. It couldn’t have been just any snake, oh no. It had to be the ‘Pureblood Pride’ brother of one of her best friends. Sirius wasn’t the biggest fan of his family, and made no attempt to hide the matter, so Hestia couldn’t help but be just a tad prejudiced against them. To be fair, they didn’t exactly endear themselves to the rest of the school population either. Bellatrix had made a nasty habit of cursing younger, half- or Muggle blooded students during her days in Hogwarts, and Narcissa was vanity personified. The Blacks had a reputation that preceded them, and it wasn’t a pleasant one.
She’d been expecting a harsh insult, a sly smirk, perhaps some biting wit. Instead, she heard an almost unsure question, and she frowned a little, curious. To hear a Black ask
a house elf for anything was practically unheard of. Even Sirius ordered them around as if it was their job to be at his every beck and call, even if they were technically belonging to the Headmaster of Hogwarts. She made a small ‘hmm’ mutter of interest, before turning her eyes back to her work, dipping her quill into the ink as she started scratching a sentence onto the parchment spread out on the table.
“If you plan on taking points or something, just go ahead and get it done, will you?” she asked without even glancing up, “I’ve got enough to do tonight and don’t plan on adding begging a Slytherin to let me off to my to-do list.”
Sure, Hufflepuffs had sarcasm in them. They weren’t the soft, plain, boring doormats everyone seemed to think. However, Hestia was a pleasant person at her core, and didn’t like being harsh. The school had enough bitches from his House that the other three didn’t need to join in. She paused mid-word, looking up to actually acknowledge him fully this time. It struck her now how similar he and Sirius were. The same hair, the same eyes. But there were the odd few differences, and not only in appearance. Sirius was a joker, fun loving, someone she never got bored of spending time around. He put you instantly at ease in his presence. She got a completely different vibe from Regulus, and didn’t like feeling uncomfortable.
“However, if you simply came to sample the delights of the school kitchen, don’t let me stop you. I’d recommend you use some sugar though; the night duty house elves brew the beans a little too long. Unless you like bitterness, that is?”
Her lips curved into a little half-smile at the double meaning in her question, and she popped the quill back to rest in her ink as she folded her arms on the table top, waiting for his reply. This would be an interesting little story for her friends come the morning.