By the time Luna and Harry and Sue had finished getting the crews together, they looked motley indeed, as if the groups joined together had created Cloaks of Many Colors.
Harry took his seat, beside Nott and Zacharias and Luna. "Alright, I know Luna you weren't in class, so maybe we should let... Nott start?"
"I didn't even catch one cat," Nott said languidly, "Why would you want to start with me?"
Luna spoke up instead of Harry, "Even a loss is something to be learned from. Let's begin with losses, and then look at victories."
Nott frowned at the comment, and Harry punched in, "I'll start first, then. I failed to capture Crookshanks."
Zach laughed, "What kind of a name for a cat is that?"
"Hermione's." Harry Potter responded, all traces of good humor gone. Zach's face stilled, and he tried to make a conciliatory gesture, as he said, "Oh," which when you thought about it made him sound stupid.
Nott was looking at Harry carefully, as if he was some sort of color-changing potion, and Nott wanted to catch him in the middle of the change, when he was all green and red at once, and looked purple.
Luna giggled, slightly, and said lightly and reproachfully, "Harry! Pulling the wrackspurts into a ball in your belly isn't the way to be rid of them." As everyone turned towards Luna, she continued lightly, "Plus it leads to indigestion."
"You mean ulcers," Harry said, smiling. She was right about that, as Luna often was, if you had the patience to listen.
"What's an ulcer?" The entire group asked him, and Harry - who really didn't know - gave a little sigh, "Ask Hermione," he said, in a resigned tone of voice.
"You don't know." Nott said, his voice so low that Harry was pretty sure that Zach, on the other side of the circle they'd made, couldn't hear. Of course, Harry rather suspected that was the point.
Harry nodded back, acknowledging the point Nott had scored.
[a/n: Upon further reflection, this story involves Chekhov's Toad. As such, I'm putting my first warning down here that this story is going to go very, very dark. I will warn again just before it heads in that direction, as some people may wish to read up till then. If there's anyone who might want to just skip the dark parts, tell me in a review at that time, and I can clue you in when I'm done writing "Snape Acts Evil. A Lot."
In the meantime, leave a review!
The worst part about writing stories that include slice-of-life, is that I have to go count days. My plots are moving at the scales of weeks, years, and decades, but the story gets written based on days. Much headache.]