"He stares at her as though he's enchanted." sighed the woman, somewhat sadly, as she took a sip out of a steaming cup of tea. Her soft grey wrinkles deepened considerably as she heaved another great sigh. The woman's back was turned on her companions as she stared out of the large window at the bright grassy playing fields that stretched for as far as the eye could see. As it was the beginning of the new year, it was still fairly good weather and the students were enjoying it for as long as they possibly could; many students were sat on benches, eating lunch or talking, whilst others sunbathed on the grass or wandered aimlessly about the field, chatting avidly in relatively small groups of two or three. The students whom the professor was focussing on, and briefly mentioned, were sitting and lying on the grass, talking and laughing casually. They were a group of five 4th years: Matthew Wilkins; Gwendolyn Tailor; Meg Socrates; Ryan Almond and Harry Fisher. Matthew – a tall blonde boy, with a cheeky grin – lay on the grass on top of his school blazer and he was casually pulling petals off a daisy and throwing them at Gwendolyn. She had long, straight, blonde hair which fell sleekly behind her shoulders and vibrant blue eyes that glittered mischievously as she threw the petals back at Matthew. Sitting beside her was Meg, smiling slightly and shaking her head at the idiocy of her friends, her mane of brown curls dancing on her shoulders as she did so. Ryan was lying on his back, attempting to pick a small ladybird out of his short brown hair, without hurting it in any way. Next to him was Harry, who was staring soulfully at Gwendolyn with deep chocolate brown eyes, running a distracted hand through his incredibly untidy brown hair.
"I wouldn't be surprised if he was." sneered Professor Malkin disdainfully, looking in the direction of the window with an expression that looked like he had a bad smell underneath his nose. It was no secret to neither staff nor alumni that Granville Malkin loathed Gwendolyn Tailor. The feeling was mutual, for Gwendolyn hated him back. Her eloquent charm and her undeniable elementary talents made her the swift favourite of many professors, but these qualities seemed to be among the top reasons of why Professor Malkin hated the student with such passion.
"Whatever do you mean, Granville?" asked the woman suspiciously, turning around and fixing the Potioneering professor with an icy glare. She didn't approve of any callous comments about the students from any of the teachers. Professor Malkin raised an eyebrow at his colleague, not at all unnerved by the look that she was giving him, and began to examine his quill pen with extreme fascination.
"Well, Pandora, surely Miss Tailor is adept enough at Potioneering to whip up a simple love potion at will?" replied Granville Malkin, with a snide tone to his voice, as he continued to stare at his quill pen. Pandora Paddock glowered at the other professor, blood boiling in her veins. She couldn't quite believe that the other man had just accused one of the cleverest students in 4th year of breaking the rules quite so blatantly. She had been certain that Granville, at least, knew better than that.
Trying to keep her voice level, Professor Paddock retorted coolly "I trust that you are making this claim with sufficient evidence, my dear Granville, otherwise it could land you in severe trouble." The man looked rather flustered, and put his quill down on the table with such force that it almost jumped straight back up again. His ears turning quite red, he turned back around to face Professor Paddock.
"Well, I wouldn't say that I have evidence, so what do you say that we don't report this matter to Headmaster Biggins?" Professor Malkin gabbled, seeming suddenly embarrassed. A grim smile spread across Pandora Paddock's thin lips. It pleased her to see this rather unpleasant man writhe before her. She pretended to consider the matter for as long as she possibly could, without laughing even the slightest bit. Then she nodded, and Professor Malkin became the same cold and composed man that he had been before.
"Very well, Granville. Just this once, I won't report this to the Headmaster. But won't you make sure that you have proof before you accuse students of breaking rules in future?" she replied, in a sickly sweet voice, hoping that her colleague was receiving the message loudly and clearly. He cringed slightly beneath her frosty stare, and nodded meekly. Professor Paddock smiled, before turning on her heel and walking proudly out of the door of the staff room. How she loved to get the better of such obnoxious people as Granville Malkin. Professor Malkin got up from his seat, and shuffled over to the window to get a better look at the students outside. His beady black eyes immediately honed in on his least favourite student and her friends. He could see that the five of them were roaring with laughter – Gwendolyn actually had tears of laughter streaming down her rosy cheeks. Granville fiercely scrunched up the piece of paper in his hand, for he had no doubt at all that the students were laughing at a joke made at his expense. His face slowly turning beetroot, he reflected on how much he hated children in general, but Gwendolyn Tailor more than any other. A bell rang, and Granville realised that if he didn't hurry up, then he would be late for his first class of the afternoon, which would be very unprofessional indeed. Hobbling back over to the desk in the centre of the room, he held up his timetable, only to find that he was teaching his 4th year class next. He swore quietly under his breath at his misfortune, for the last face that he wanted to see was Gwendolyn's, and yet now he would be teaching her. Oh well, he thought, at least he could cheer himself up by deducting as many house points as possible from Dawn house, and perhaps he could even land Miss Tailor in detention if he was lucky. With these thoughts in mind and a gleeful smile on his face, Granville Malkin left the staffroom, practically dancing as he went.