For as long as anyone could remember, or read about in Hogwarts; A History (which Vincent knew almost word for word, he had read it that many times), there had been rivalry between the Hogwarts houses, usually due to the perceptions of the houses.
Gryffindors were called the "stupid" ones by the "intelligent" houses of Slytherin and Ravenclaw, while Slytherins were seen as "evil", Ravenclaws were "annoying" and "stuck-up" and Hufflepuffs copped hate from the rest of the school for being "leftovers" and "stupid". Everyone believed these stereotypes were true, and it kept a firm divide between the houses.
And when two members of different houses are forced to co-operate, it usually causes troubles.
"This is ridiculous," Vincent ranted to his friend, Zack, "They expect me to be able to work with a Gryffindor? This is ridiculous."
Zack sighed. "At least you didn't get stuck with a Slytherin."
Vincent ignored him and went on."I can't work with a Gryffindor. Everyone knows that they'd rather go jump off a bloody cliff than do a bit of work. The only way this could've been any worse is if I got stuck with Daisy Wick from Hufflepuff. No, actually, at least she'd do work."
Zack rolled his eyes. He was used to Vincent talking a lot; it had been this way since 1st Year, when Zack got stuck with Vincent sitting down next to him at the Opening Feast when the only chair left at the Ravenclaw table was next to Zack. And due to extreme social awkwardness, Zack had been incapable of making many other friends and it was just easier to stick with Vincent.
"Vincent, I think you're overreacting. Who was it that you ended up with, again?"
"Wendell Bray, from Gryffindor. Never spoken to him but he's in Gryffindor so he's obviously an idiot. He's on the Quidditch team, I think. That says a lot,"
Zack knew that Vincent only had a grudge against Quidditch players because he couldn't even work a broom let alone ride it, after first year flying lessons when he fell on his face.
Vincent frowned, "Bloody new teacher. We're sixth years, can't we be trusted to choose our own partners for these group projects? Then we could've gone together, Zack."
Zack quietly thanked the new teacher for putting him with that Slytherin girl, because really, he couldn't deal with doing another group assignment with Vincent. The last time that they had gone together, they'd gotten an amazing mark, but Zack didn't get any sleep for the whole month before the assignment was due. He wanted to do well in school, but he still wanted sleep.
"You're going to have to talk to him eventually, you know."
"Maybe not… what if I pay him to let me do all the work and then never speak to him again?"
"Not going to work Vincent," Zack said, hoping that Vincent would drop the subject.
That night, Zack struggled to sleep while Vincent was muttering about idiot Gryffindors.
The next morning, Zack was dragged out of the common room (right in the middle of him trying to build up the courage to speak to Temperance Brennan, a beautiful and intelligent seventh year that he'd had a crush on forever, but didn't seem to take any notice of him.), because Vincent wanted to go and find Wendell Bray, and apparently he couldn't do it by himself.
"From the observations I've made, Wendell Bray is attractive and popular and is about to break up with his girlfriend, Angela Montenegro, for reasons I have yet to find out," Vincent said when Zack asked him why he couldn't go and speak to Wendell about the project, just before they entered the Great Hall for breakfast.
"In other words, you're stalking him." Zack said, earning a glare from Vincent.
"I am not stalking him. I'm not a stalker, Zack."
"Whatever you say," Zack ignored Vincent's denial, and went into the Great Hall, because, if they didn't get the whole talking to Wendell thing over with, they'd never get to eat and Zack was already really hungry.
Vincent took a few seconds to look around, before he pointed dramatically to the Gryffindor table. "There he is, let's go."
Zack followed Vincent as he took his time in approaching the table, ignoring Daisy who skipped over from the Hufflepuff table to try and make conversation with him and leaving her feel very rejected.
Vincent stopped and stood behind Wendell at the Gryffindor table, trying to avoid eye contact with Seeley Booth because, like most people who were not in Gryffindor, found him incredibly intimidating.
"Wendell Bray." Vincent said, crossing his arms and waiting for Wendell to respond.
"Hello?" Wendell turned his head and ended up face-to-face with Vincent. "Oh. You're Vincent, right? You're in my Defence Against the Dark Arts class?"
"Yes." Vincent felt a little proud that Wendell remembered him. Yet again, he did talk a lot in class and had a habit of yelling out the answers in to questions even if the teacher had asked someone else.
"So what can I do for you, Vincent?" Wendell asked, smiling at Vincent and making him feel a little less suspicious, or more suspicious, of the Gryffindor boy, he wasn't sure which.
"Um, as you may know that we were put together for the DADA project."
"Yes, I know."
"Well, I came over to ask whether you wanted to set up a time to start the project or… whatever." He felt himself getting very nervous while talking to Wendell, with him and his Gryffindor friends all looking at him. "Did you know that Quidditch was originally played with a Golden Snidget instead of the Golden Snitch but they changed the rules because the Snidget was endangered so they created the Snitch instead?"
"Um, yeah. I knew that." Wendell had no idea why Vincent had told him that. It really had nothing to do with their project. "So, we can go to the library tomorrow morning to do research then?"
"Ok." Vincent was blushing after the Gryffindor boys had started to laugh at his breathless declaration of the random Quidditch fact. "Well okay. Goodbye."
"Bye, then." Wendell said as Vincent had basically run away to the Ravenclaw table, with his friend rushing to keep up with him and ask him what was wrong.
"That kid is weird," Booth said, after he'd finished off his last slice of toast.
Wendell raised an eyebrow. "Yeah. Little bit."