The rest of the week passed quickly for Sherlock and John. John had a habit of moving Sherlock more quickly through the halls when he saw Moriarty or Moran approaching, something that amused Sherlock greatly.
'If he wanted to attack me, he would've done so by now,' Sherlock sighed. 'As it is, I haven't even done anything to merit his attentions-or he mine.'
'I just don't want to see you hurt this year,' john said defensively.
Sherlock smiled. 'John, regardless, it will probably happen. I've got a big nose that I like to poke in places.'
John started making a habit of leaving Sherlock a little while after dinner to take his broom out to the practice pitch and work on his flying. Soon, he'd brought out a bludger. He wanted to try out for the Quidditch team next year, but didn't want to ask for help practicing. Especially from Sherlock. Although the boy was good at flying, Sherlock hated sport. John'd been keeping his practice sessions a secret from his friend, knowing Sherlock wouldn't approve. But John was getting little sleep as a result of having to do his homework during break and later at night.
He'd also noticed Sherlock gone a few nights when he came back. Sherlock seemed to disappear more than John did.
'People with problems,' Sherlock had replied at 3.00, when he'd come in late to find John up still studying. 'Apparently, no one's beyond a little pettiness to get a good mark, or a bit of money. Criminal underground at Hogwarts is still going strong.'
'As long as you won't get hurt by anyone for helping,' John said, 'Since I'm not—' he bit his lip. It was his fault Sherlock was alone.
But Sherlock ignored him. 'You have to study. I'm fine on my own.'
And Defence Against the Dark Arts was continuing horribly, thanks to Professor Tesseract. He was openly rude to every student in his classes. And his name for Sherlock had stuck-there were gleeful shouts of 'Bleeding Boy' outside the classroom, and nasty calls of it in his room.
'Why do you care what people say about me?' Sherlock asked quietly. John had just gotten detention for shouting at Tesseract who'd been abusing Sherlock verbally in class, filling it with shouts of laughter.
It'd been too much for John, seeing Sherlock's hurt face, and he'd stood, swearing at Tesseract. The detention had been worth it. The class had stopped laughing.
'Because I just-' John started, trying to answer Sherlock, but he sighed. He didn't want to tell Sherlock that he'd seen how hurt he was-Sherlock would just be angry at himself. 'I just do, alright?'
'And you don't think I care that you're in detention?' Sherlock looked at John piercingly. 'Don't stick up for me, John, I'm not worth it.'
John sighed, biting his lip. It was bad enough that other people hurt Sherlock; John couldn't stand it when the boy demeaned himself. And he couldn't shout at Sherlock for hurting himself.
Sherlock was quiet that night, absorbed in a book. Despite John not wanting to leave the boy to any possible taunts of the common room's occupants, he looked unlikely to here them, so John headed out for his nightly fly.
He wished he could get Sherlock out at night as well; it might help the boy-being physically active on days like these. But John didn't want to ask. Sherlock could be deeply cutting and hurtful when he wanted to and John wasn't sure what Sherlock would say about Quidditch practice.