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Of Butterbeer, and Matchmaking Siblings...

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“So Winn… blown up any more potions lately?” Alex asks with a smirk as she sets the latest round of butterbeers down on the table.

It was their first weekend in Hogsmeade and Alex, Kara, and Winn had started their day off catching up and enjoying some butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks.

“Oh come on Alex! It was one time!!” Winn exclaims indignantly.

“I mean… He and James are in the same house, which means classes together. He can’t help but get distracted.” Kara says, the picture of innocence.

“What??? I…. no… I don’t… but…really, we’re just friends guys” Winn rambles. He starts fidgeting with his hands while a blush creeps up onto his cheeks. “Okay, so maybe he’s not so bad to look at”

Alex grins at Winn’s cute stammering and casts another stealthy glance at the Ravenclaw across the room. She can’t help it, even in her hand me down robes the girl was breathtaking. But also intriguing, because transfer students were rare… but mid-year transfer students were unheard of. And being that Alex hadn’t seen her around, she must be very new. Alex could understand not noticing her in class, because she focused on her work and didn’t have time for much else. She could even see herself not catching sight of her at meal times… because the great hall could get chaotic. But there is no way that they could be this far into the school year and have not run into each other in the common room.

“Speaking of looking at people… Come on Alex. You’ve been watching that Ravenclaw since we got here. Just go over and say hi. You know you want to.” Kara says giving Alex a gentle shove.

“What?? I… I wasn’t… Pfft.. What even. I totally wasn’t watching. And I mean even if I was, which I totally wasn’t. I couldn’t go over. I mean she’d just be mad that I interrupted. She looks busy reading, she’s not going to want to talk to me…” Alex trails off finally running out of steam.

“Well clearly the cute babbling runs in the family, even if you two aren’t related by blood. And on that note I promised James and Vasquez we’d stop by Weasley Wizard Wheezes and see what’s new, I’ll see you guys later!” Quickly straightening his black and yellow tie, he makes a run for the door before Alex could process what he’d said.

“Hey!” She shouts, half raising out of her seat before slumping back down as he was already through the door.

“I promised to meet up with Lena so she can help me with my potions homework, but seriously you should go over and talk to her.” With a quick hug, Kara walks away and Alex goes back to … who is she kidding, Alex goes back to watching the mysterious Ravenclaw.

“Excuse me.” Kara says trying to get the waitress’ attention as she makes her way by the bar on her way out. When the waitress looks up she slips a gold galeon across to her.

“Could you do me a favor? Bring a butterbeer over to the little Ravenclaw in the corner and say it’s from the Ravenclaw at that table over there pretending not to moon over her?”

At the waitress’ nod Kara heads out the door with a smirk… sometimes her sister just needed a helpful shove.

“Excuse me, I just wanted to say thank you for the butterbeer. It was really kind of you to send it over”

Alex looked up to see the Ravenclaw she had been watching all day standing in front of her table. Words...she needed words… she was good at words, why wouldn’t the words come.

“What butterbeer… I didn’t… Kara!” Alex exclaims. The girl looks at them awkwardly and then turns to go. “No, wait! I’m sorry, would you like to join me?” Alex gestures to the chair that Kara had recently vacated.

“Thanks, I’d love to. Maggie Sawyer by the way.” The girl says as she takes a seat.

“Alex Danvers. Sorry about before.” Alex says sheepishly. “I don’t usually make outbursts like that… it’s just the drink must have been my sister Kara’s doing… she’s always meddling… I mean not that there’s anything to meddle in. Nope, nothing to meddle in at all.” As Alex stopped rambling she started blushing.

“Well Danvers, I’m kind of glad your sister meddled. I’ve been meaning to introduce myself since the beginning of the year. But whenever we’re in class you’re always so focused on the work that I didn’t want to interrupt you… and any other time you’re surrounded by Gryffindors, and Hufflepuffs, and Slytherins. It’s a bit intimidating.” Maggie said with a shrug.

“Just a second. You’ve been here since the start of term? But that’s impossible. How have I not run into you in the common room?” Alex asks, getting a crinkle on her forehead and looking like she’s trying to figure out how a very difficult spell works.

“Oh that’s easy. I’m non-binary… and well the castle doesn’t quite know what to do with that. When I came to meet with Headmistress McGonagall before the start of term to be sorted into a house and all of that, we went to the Ravenclaw dorms to see about where to put me. Well we tried the female dorms… and that lead to the stairs becoming all confused and not knowing whether to turn into a slide or stay stairs, the result wasn’t safe to climb. We tried the boys dorms with the same results. It’s happened a time or two with various students and so they have a room or two in another area of the castle with no stairs. I’m not barred from the common room or anything… but I’ve just never had reason to venture over there.” Maggie finishes speaking. Their looking at Alex with a mix of challenge and fear. Daring Alex to say anything negative, but at the same time afraid that she will. As fate would have it this is the moment that Vasquez walks up to Alex.

“Hey Danvers, so I see you’ve met my roomie.” They say gesturing towards Maggie with a grin on their face.

“That I have Vasquez… But I thought you were living in the Gryffindor dorms?” Alex asks confused.

“Nope… Well I mean yeah, I was. Worked great, Lucy and I had a blast hanging out in the common room. Then Kara got sorted into Gryffindor and I mean someone had to keep an eye on her and keep her out of trouble when you couldn’t. But then about halfway through last year I figured out I was genderqueer… and well the castle didn’t quite know what to do with that. Let me tell you it’s not fun never knowing if the stairs will let you up to your room or turn into a slide at any moment. So I talked to Professor M’orzz, and she helped me talk to Headmistress McGonagall. The end result was a room of my own, which was just fine. And now I’ve got an awesome roommate. But speaking of Lucy, I left her with James and Winn while I came back to get more butterbeer… and who knows what kind of trouble they’re getting into, so I better get back there. See you both later!” And with that Vasquez was off and out the door, Alex shaking her head at their constant energy.

“So you room with Vasquez? That’s good. They’re pretty chill most of the time… hopefully their pranks stay away from the dorm though. Oh, what pronouns do you use?” Alex asks, because she had noticed how Maggie seemed to relax when she used Vasquez pronouns.

“I use they/them/theirs, thanks for asking. And rooming with Vasquez has been great. They haven’t let their pranks make it into our dorm at all. But honestly, even if they did it would still be way better than where I was last year. Beauxbatons was great, until a girl I thought was a friend took it upon herself to out me to the whole student body. At first I tried to just ignore it… but by the end of last year it was getting to the point where the pranks and bullying were becoming dangerous. My aunt found out what was going on and we relocated and now here I am at Hogwarts… But enough about all that, what did you think about Professor M’orzz last Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson? What do you think she’ll show us next?”

And just like that they moved on to lighter subjects. Both the conversation and the butterbeer flowed all afternoon, and Alex found herself knowing that she would defend this wonderful person against anyone who would dare try and hurt her.

“Oh well look who we have here.” A voice broke into their conversation, and Alex looked up to see Mon-el trailed by his Slytherin cohorts Maxwell Lord, and Siobhan Smythe. “You know Danvers, you should really watch who you hang around with, you hang around with filthy little mudbloods and it might just rub off on you...and that’d be a shame.”

Siobhan and Maxwell snickered. Maggie made to get up and have a go at all three of them, but calmed momentarily as Alex put a hand on her shoulder and leaned in and whispered “Not now Sawyer, you’re drunk and we’re outnumbered.” Just as Alex was about to have a go at them a voice from behind her made her turn.

“Mon-el, Maxwell, Siobhan… well I can’t say I’m surprised, but you should all be ashamed of yourselves. You should all know better than to use such an ugly word! There was a time when such behaviour would have been expected from someone from our great house, but not anymore. That is not how Slytherins act.” As Sara Lance said this, she stormed up, staring each of them in the eye just daring them to say or do anything. “Now Alex, I know you want nothing more than to teach these three a lesson… but if you go at them here Professor J’onzz is likely to walk in and you don’t want to risk losing points for Ravenclaw or getting yourself suspended from the Quidditch team.”

“I’d actually risk it,” Alex says, staring daggers at the three would-be bullies. “But I have a feeling you have a better idea, so let’s hear it.”

“Oh you know me so well Danvers.” Sara says with a smirk. “While I’d love nothing more than for these three to get caught and finally get what they deserve, in the interest of neither of our houses losing points… I propose a duel. Twenty minutes, in front of the shrieking shack. That way we should avoid the professors. Alex will duel Mon-el, you can choose two people as your seconds to ensure a fair duel as we both know Mon-el will have Smythe and Lord with him.”

“Alex, you don’t have to do this. I can take care of myself.” Maggie says, a little unsteady on their feet as they make their way toward the shrieking shack. Alex reaches out and gently steadies them.

“Sawyer, I have no doubt that you are perfectly capable of taking care of yourself. I also know that you are under the influence of the butterbeer and dueling while drunk is a good way to get hurt, especially with those three. I wouldn’t trust them not to fight dirty. This isn’t the first time these three have tried to pull crap like this, so I’m happy to teach them a lesson. That’s what friends are for.”

It was supposed to be just the eight of them...Sara, Maggie, Mon-el, Max, Siobhan, Alex, Vasquez, and Kara. Winn had wanted to be one of Alex second’s, but Alex had pointed out that he had been having trouble with his wand recently and the last thing they needed was a wayward spell. But at Hogwarts nothing stayed a secret for long, so as they reached the shack they found not only both groups and Sara, but Lucy, Lena, James and a good chunk of the students who had come to Hogsmeade that day.

“Today we will be having a duel,” Sara stepped into the clearing in the middle of the crowd as Alex and Mon-el took up position across from each other. “You will use disarming spells only! On the count of three you will use your spell. The person who disarms the other first wins.”

“Also,” She says as she points her wand at Lord and Smythe. “Any funny business and I’ll make sure you’re coughing up slugs for a week. Now 1...2...3!”

As Alex hears three, she raises her wand and casts Expeliarmus. It hits its mark and Mon-el goes flying. Maggie smiles at her, and the crowd cheers. The professors never find out about what happened at the Shrieking Shack that afternoon….or if they do, they never do anything about it. The story of how Alex Danvers defended Maggie Sawyer against the three Slytherin bullies becomes the stuff of legends… A story told to first years as both a warning and a promise. A warning that bullying will not be tolerated, and a promise that if you find yourself being bullied there will be plenty willing to defend you. If you’re really lucky you might even find the great Auror Alex Danvers showing up to defend you.