Chapter 10 : Trouble Is Brewing
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Chapter Ten: Trouble is Brewing
The next few days seemed to fly for Hermione. Though it galled her to have to head into the First Year dormitories every night, she comforted herself with the fact that she’d gotten three very sound nights’ sleep out of it. The little eleven year olds didn’t have much to say to her, but they didn’t dare touch her things, and they wouldn’t have dreamt of pulling any pranks on her. The Seventh Year girls wouldn’t have been caught dead in the First Year dorms—that was the whole point of placing Hermione there—so she didn’t have to worry about them, either.
So in reality, all the move had done was make Hermione feel safer. She decided that she actually preferred the Slytherin class of 1978 to the vicious nature of Pansy Parkinson and Draco Malfoy. Their acts of ill-will actually had some sort of long-lasting effect.
She wondered if the step up in nastiness had anything to do with Severus Snape’s addition to the faculty.
Her classes weren’t anywhere near as repetitive as she’d expected; lesson plans changed a lot in twenty years, and though she was well ahead of everyone due to having taken the first half of her Seventh Year already, she wasn’t so far that she was bored. It turned out that she also had N.E.W.T. Potions with Lily, as well as History of Magic—which all students had to take, no matter what they got on their O.W.L.s. She didn’t get to sit with Lily in Potions, however.
Lily had a close friend in Ravenclaw (luckily for James, it was a girl—Lily joked that James was incredibly jealous, but not in a bad way) that she’d partnered with throughout their years at Hogwarts. Hermione was disappointed, having heard much from Professor Slughorn in the future about Lily’s potions prowess, but Hermione had every confidence in her own ability, and thus wasn’t too upset. She sat next to a timid looking Hufflepuff whose name turned out to be Lorelei, and they got along nicely. Their Tuesday class had turned out quite well, and when Hermione walked into Potions on Thursday, she found she was actually looking forward to it.
Potions, she decided, was much more fun when it wasn’t being taught by Severus Snape.
“Today,” Professor Horace Slughorn said pleasantly, “I’m going to teach you about power.” His gaze swept the room as he gauged the reaction of each of his students. Fully half of them had confused looks on their faces, their bewilderment finally voiced by the girl to Hermione’s left.
“Sir,” Lorelei Carew spoke up hesitantly. “What does a potion have to do with power?” As Slughorn nodded at her reassuringly, Hermione could hear Severus Snape at the table beside her.
“Idiot,” he muttered derisively. She hoped her partner hadn’t heard Snape’s comment; Lorelei was not the most confident person she’d ever met. In fact, she thought even Neville Longbottom might be able to teach her a few things about confidence. Hermione shoved that thought aside and redirected her attention to the front of the room.
“…excellent question!” Slughorn was saying. “Power, my dear, is quite a bit about control. If you control someone or something, you have power over them.”
Hermione couldn’t help thinking that it was singularly appropriate to have the Head of Slytherin giving a lecture about power.
“Can anyone name a few potions that control the people that drink them?” The question brought a familiar rush of potential answers to Hermione’s mind, and she thrust her hand in the air in response to the internal and external stimuli. Slughorn beamed with pride and pointed in her direction, causing Hermione to feel a little guilty, as she felt no affinity with Slytherin House whatsoever.
“One example would be Veritaserum, sir,” she offered.
“Ah, yes!” Slughorn flicked his wand over his shoulder and the word appeared on one side of the blackboard behind him. “Veritaserum is, as the Latin suggests, truth serum. One who imbibes even a small amount of it will be compelled to answer any question truthfully, no matter what their personal feelings are about divulging the answer.” He crossed his arms over his barrel-like chest and nodded soberly. “A very subtle kind of power, information. Not everyone grasps that about Veritaserum—particularly not as the first suggestion! Well done, Miss James. Five points to Slytherin.”
Hermione forced a smile. She hadn’t realized what was likely to happen if she answered questions truthfully in class. I just earned Slytherin HOUSE POINTS?! The worst part about it was that she couldn’t imagine not trying to contribute to class; she’d probably earn more if she had to be here for the better part of four months. She looked back up at the professor just as he added ‘Befuddlement Potion’ to the list under Veritaserum.
The next suggestion made her jump in her seat—not for the suggestion itself, but the voice belonging to the one whose suggestion it was.
“Gregory’s Unctuous Unction?” Sirius Black suggested with the barest hint of a laugh in his voice. The sound of it made Hermione simultaneously blush, grin stupidly, and feel as if she wanted to cry. She could only understand the latter reaction, but was saved from being questioned about her behavior as the room erupted in laughter, Slughorn included.
“Quite clever, my boy—quite clever. I’ll give you three points for Gryffindor for that one. Makes you feel as if the giver is your dearest friend, that. Another unique suggestion.”
The professor went on, but Hermione was focused on the sounds behind her, as Sirius and Remus Lupin were whispering excitedly. Almost against her will, she turned to look, and caught Black looking in her direction. He winked, and Hermione turned beet red and whipped her head to face front so quickly she almost hurt herself. WHY did I do that? She had no idea. Hermione missed about ten more minutes of the lesson examining why it was she would have such a reaction to someone she’d known for years. She ignored the fact that the Sirius she’d known was as close to broken as anyone she had ever met, and this Sirius was handsome, intelligent, and charismatic.
“Love potions!” Slughorn boomed, smiling at Hermione and causing an icy wave of panic to course through her veins—did he somehow hear her thoughts? She shook her head firmly and ordered herself to pay bloody attention to the lesson.
“One of the most powerful of mind-altering potions that exists! The strongest of these would be the Amortentia potion.”
Hermione smiled. She recognized the potion name, and guessed where the lesson was headed at this point. She found it very curious that the introduction Professor Slughorn used was so vastly different than the one he’d used in her class in the future. Then she recalled something that Harry had said about Slughorn—that he had an intense fear of Lord Voldemort. It was entirely possible that his change of lesson plan had to do with this. After all, you hardly want to be encouraging your students to pursue power if you might have had a hand in increasing the power of wizardkind’s greatest enemy.
With a broad smile and an expansive hand gesture, Professor Slughorn was calling his students over to a simmering cauldron near his desk. Hermione recognized the potion as Amortentia. As the students crowded around to sniff the mixture—the aroma was different for each person, according to what attracted them the most—Hermione found herself quite close to the stand it rested on, surrounded by her classmates.
Sirius had every intention of remaining at his table and avoiding the crush of students at the front of the class, but Remus scratched that idea by making the chair he was sitting on disappear. He’d managed to stand up, somehow—mostly owing to the fact that he’d been resting his head and arms on the table in front of him, and thus had maintained a good enough grip that he hadn’t toppled over and looked like a fool. Sirius didn’t say anything to Lupin, deciding instead to get him back some time later in the day when the other boy had forgotten. Besides, doing something malicious to one’s lab partner generally meant that one’s assignment would be ruined—not that Remus seemed to subscribe to that same way of thinking.
The cauldron was already surrounded by students, so he hung back and watched the reactions as each self-consciously took a whiff of the concoction inside. Sirius had heard of the potion before, and thought the whole idea of it smelling attractive was a little far-fetched, even for something magical. After all, even he didn’t yet know what he found the most appealing, so how could an inert mixture of ingredients? Sirius was prepared to be proven wrong, however, and given that no one seemed inclined to leave the general area, he had to admit that there must have been a reason.
The ‘line’ of people waiting had turned into an oval, with the students who had already been nearest the potion rejoining at the end after taking their sniff. A couple had gotten trapped inside the procession, and one of them was the new girl, whose name he’d discovered earlier that week—Hermia James. She was wearing a plain black school robe, her hair in a very dubious looking bun that threatened to loose itself at any moment. For some reason, he found that incredibly endearing: the fact that her hair seemed to have a mind of its own, when its owner had (from what he’d observed so far) such organized study habits.
As he neared the cauldron and Miss James, he saw that she’d managed to play off her inability to return to her seat by attempting to categorize the odors she would experience in the fumes of the potion. When she set her quill down to adjust the angle of her parchment, he noticed that her quill hand sported an ink stain—a sure sign that she spent quite a bit of her day writing. He smiled as he took another step closer to her; the girl must take notes about everything.
Sirius Black was a typical teenage boy. The natural conclusion of a thought like that…naturally had him grinning. At that precise moment, the brown knot of hair at the object of his scrutiny’s neck let loose, and a soft scent of wisteria wafted to his nostrils just as he leaned over to smell the pot of Amortentia.
The gentle aroma was maddening, seeming to dissipate just when he attempted to get a stronger impression of it. It was mixed with the tangy odor of quill ink, along with a brisk smell that he identified immediately—fresh parchment.
Sirius was disappointed. Everything he could smell in this ‘magical’ potion was easily explainable—and nearby. So much for figuring out what my ‘true love’ smells like, he thought to himself.
“Move along, Mr. Black,” said a teasing feminine voice behind him. He turned to grin at Lily Evans.
“Why? You already know what James smells like,” he said in a voice rich with innuendo. She swatted him with the sleeve of her robe in reply. On the way back to his seat, Sirius turned to look at the front of the room, not really sure why. He caught the eye of Hermia James, who was staring at him with an oddly vulnerable look of confusion on her face, the parchment and quill forgotten on the floor.
Hermione’s table was quite close to the stand on which the potion sat, and so she managed to get there ahead of the group. Unfortunately, everyone formed a sort of ring around her, trapping her inside—and she was disinclined to try pushing her way through to get out. The ‘line’ to experience the potion’s effects had formed up beside her, so she felt like she would be cutting in to lean over and smell the fumes from where she was. Out of habit, she’d brought a piece of parchment and her quill with her, and so rather than look like she really was trapped beside the cauldron, she began to make a list that she could fill out when she got the chance to sniff at the mixture.
What she hadn’t bargained on was the fact that she knew a couple of the students in the class. Even though they were now all the same age, she still felt self-conscious standing in the middle of a group of people she knew as adults. Severus Snape brushed past her with a sneer, barely bothering to sniff the potion before he stalked back to his table. Hermione saw Lily and her Ravenclaw friend near Professor Slughorn’s desk, waiting for their turn. They smiled at each other warmly before Hermione turned back to her paper; Remus Lupin was standing behind Lily, and as much as she wanted to look at him and categorize the things that were different about him in this time, Hermione knew she shouldn’t stare.
As Hermione leaned back over her parchment, however, she nearly groaned in frustration. Her wretched hair! Before she had a chance to rewrap it, the whole mass let go from the bun and ghosted around her face like a tangled halo. She bent over, meaning to twist it back into shape, but her position granted her a faceful of Amortentia fumes.
It was actually quite lovely, like a spicy kind of aftershave, but nothing she’d ever experienced before. The prevailing scent almost made her blush…it was so—manly, and not at all like what she would have expected. The quill drifted from her fingers as she allowed herself another inhale, trying to identify the components as if it were some kind of experiment instead of a sensory description of her perfect man. The other odor she’d been trying to identify finally came to her—leather. Leather mixed with evergreen, she decided, finally standing up and almost running into the back of Sirius Black.
The parchment fell to the floor, completely unnoticed by Hermione, who was in a state of almost shock.
She recognized him completely, even as his younger self and faced away from her. That in itself wasn’t what was so shocking, however. She’d come close enough to him that she could smell a very subtle scent on his clothes—evergreen.
She was still trying to process the meaning of this as he shot a grin over his shoulder at Lily and moved to take his seat again. Just at that moment he caught her staring in his direction and she was treated to a very delightful view of his rich grey eyes as the sun dropped through a window in the room and over his face.
Hermione collected herself and wormed her way through the remaining students to settle back at her table, just about convincing herself that the evergreen had been a fluke, a remnant of her proximity to Sirius.
She conveniently forgot that she knew he had liked to dress full in leather when he went out on his flying motorbike. It probably didn’t have anything to do with the potion, anyway.
Sirius Black had an idea.
A very tempting idea.
During the time the rest of the class took to take their seats again, he had been searching for the best way to punish Lupin for the chair prank. Once everyone had been settled, however, Professor Slughorn explained what they were going to spend the remainder of the class time doing—and that gave Sirius a very interesting idea.
The professor told them that he wanted every member of his NEWT-level Potions class to understand what it was like to be controlled by a potion, even for a short time. Therefore, they were each to concoct their own version of a much milder love potion, to be traded with their lab partner and ingested. Since the class ended an hour before suppertime, Slughorn didn’t anticipate this interfering with anything important, merely an experience he wanted them all to undergo.
Sirius thought that being in love with Moony for even a half hour would be incredibly boring. However, there was a room full of people to choose from—and he knew an incantation that transferred flask contents.
While the room was busy with the sounds of people bustling around retrieving the more rare ingredients from Slughorn’s private storeroom, Sirius took out his wand and pointed it at two similarly shaped containers on his desk.
“Transfunde te ipsum!” he said, quietly. To his intense satisfaction, the contents of the two glass vessels switched neatly.
“Excellent,” he said, pleased.
“What did you say?” asked Remus, handing him the frozen Ashwinder eggs required for the potion.
Hermione beamed with pride. Her potion was simmering busily, the exact color and consistency that the recipe called for. Not only that, but it turned out that though Lorelei was of a nervous constitution, she was in no way a bad student, and her mixture was only a step behind Hermione’s. That was a great comfort to Hermione, considering that it wasn’t her own potion she’d have to drink.
Two minutes passed, and the little whistle that she’d transfigured into an alarm clock let out a tiny hoot, telling her that it was time to tip some into the flask that the Professor had provided. Rather than allowing them to ‘imprint’ the whole cauldron—thus providing large amounts of personalized Love Potion—they were to pull out one hair after pouring a measured dose into their flasks, and insert the hairs before placing the stopper. She did so, feeling more than a little pleased when her potion immediately turned a deep gold color. I guess there’s more than one way to display House pride, she thought to herself, warmed by the thought that she was Gryffindor to the roots of her hair. A few short minutes later, and Lorelei shyly handed her a flask filled with a powder blue potion.
Hermione looked over her shoulder to Lily’s table, grinning as the redhead gestured to the flask in her partner’s hand, which held a deep crimson-colored liquid. Lily looked away before Hermione could point to her own gold one, which was just as well. As she looked around the room, she noticed that most of the students had seemed to follow the current trend; potions of green, blue, gold, and silver were being handed ‘round.
Then, she heard it.
A very quiet spell, but Hermione recognized the words as an incantation the second she heard them. She looked around surreptitiously, trying to find the culprit without tipping him to the fact that she’d heard anything. It had definitely been a male voice, of that she was certain. The second circuit of the room her eyes made caught a discrepancy. The potion on the corner of the desk beside hers wasn’t the same color as it had been. In place of Snape’s black-colored potion on Harold Ryan-Marks’ desk was a pearly-white potion in an identical container.
Hermione knew she didn’t have a photographic memory, but there was simply no way that Severus Snape’s potion would be pristine white in color. That coupled with the fact that she was sure she’d heard an incantation—
There it was again.
The sound had come from behind her, but this time when she’d checked Harold’s desk, the potion there was brown. Hermione leaned forward in a way she hoped didn’t look suspicious, trying to see what color potion Snape had at his desk. It was the white one. Something was definitely going on. Right in front of her, Snape’s and Ryan-Marks’ potions had been switched. She grabbed her quill and marked down the colors of the potions she’d seen, and whom she guessed they might belong to. While her head was down, she heard the voice again, this time a bit louder…and it sounded vaguely familiar. Hard to tell though, from a whisper—
Her potion was different.
Instead of the powder blue potion that Lorelei had handed her, she had…Snape’s potion. A terrible suspicion formed in her head, and rested her head on her hand in order to prevent herself from looking behind her. Hermione listened so hard that she expected to feel her ears growing, and sure enough, she heard it again.
“Transfunde te ipsum!”
This time she knew it was Sirius, and his whisper was barely a whisper at all; he was laughing too hard. She reached up and untwisted her hair from the bun she’d forced it into, and then carefully fussed with it in a way that enabled her to look over her shoulder at Lupin and Sirius’ table. In front of Sirius was a red potion, and in front of Remus sat the powder blue potion that had been filched from her desk.
If he expects me to drink the Essence of Severus Snape, she thought to herself furiously, he’s got another thing coming.
The way she’d phrased it in her own head gave her an idea. The more she thought about it, the more she liked it. Picking her wand up from her table, she turned her head slightly to look at Sirius again. He was faced away from her, talking to Lupin.
“Transfunde te ipsum!” she said, trying to aim her wand in a nonchalant manner. It would be too ironic if she were the one caught switching potions, after all. No one noticed, however, and silently the potion in front of Hermione turned red. Without allowing herself to think about what she was doing, she turned to look at the table next to hers—and couldn’t believe her good luck. Harold Ryan-Marks was out of his seat, replacing the excess ingredients he and Snape hadn’t used during class. In another minute, Harold’s potion was back to the pearly-white one that she’d noticed at first, and Snape’s was brown. Harold sort of struck Hermione as a brown kind of person—more so than Lupin or Sirius had, anyway—so she breathed a sigh of relief that Snape wouldn’t be involving himself in this mess.
Now came a problem. They only had about five more minutes left before they were expected to drink their potions, and Hermione could only see two more switches to make. That meant that Harold would end up with Lorelei’s…oh, sod it, she thought, and switched Harold’s pearl-colored potion with Remus’s. The werewolf was also up returning ingredients, and Sirius was out of his seat as well, crouched behind Lily’s table whispering to her. Hermione couldn’t imagine her friend condoning a prank like this, and figured that wasn’t what their conversation was about.
Just as Professor Slughorn was preparing to stand up, she cast the spell one last time, transferring the red-colored potion that she was sure had come from Sirius into an empty container that she tucked into her bag.
Her heart was pounding a mile a minute. She could hardly believe what she’d done—even if she had done it to prevent an unholy mess. The pearly liquid finally made sense to her as Lupin seated himself once more—it was the color of the moon. That meant that Sirius’ original intent was for Snape to drink it… Even Hermione knew that Snape was terrified of Lupin in school; Harry had told her of the prank that had been pulled on their professor, during which he’d seen what Remus looked like completely transformed. Hermione guessed that she’d underestimated just how much the Marauders hated Snape—it was a dirty trick, what Sirius had just tried to do. She tried not to stare at the black potion waiting for Sirius to come back from his chat with Lily. Hermione thought it was poetic justice, actually.
Remus shook his head as he walked back from the storeroom. Sirius had muttered something about switching potions, and the werewolf really did not want to have to deal with his friend’s childishness today. When he reached his seat, however, the potion sitting on his desk was his own. He recognized it immediately, the ache at the pit of his stomach returning as he looked at the shimmering white color of the liquid. It was incredibly depressing to him: the thought that his very essence was corrupted by his affliction. A thought came to him just then—there really was no amusing reason why Sirius would have given him his own potion.
Lupin’s eyebrows furrowed as he looked up, seeing the brown flask on the edge of Snape’s desk. Now he was really confused, as the only two people he’d imagine Sirius playing tricks on would be himself or Snape—and he had watched the Ryan-Marks boy’s potion turn brown the instant he placed a hair in his container. What was even more puzzling was the fact that the potion sitting on Marks’ desk was light blue.
“If the essence of Severus Snape is light blue, I’m the Minister of Magic,” Remus said, under his breath. A movement at the front of the room caught his eye, and he looked over to the left a bit to see the Slytherin transfer student, Miss James; she was doing something odd with her hair. The new girl placed her flask in her lap—Remus couldn’t see what color it was—and formed her hair into a tight knot at the base of her neck. She shot a glance over her shoulder and started in shock at finding him looking at her. He raised his eyebrows at her, playing on a hunch. She shrugged at him, picking up the container from her lap in a way that still concealed the color of the liquid inside. Then she tipped her head in a gesture that pointed to the other corner of the room.
Sirius was there, whispering something to Lily.
Lupin’s mouth dropped open. He shook his head at the girl, who lifted the hand holding her potion and shook it, confirming his suspicions.
She seemed to be implying that she’d meddled with Sirius’ potion switch…
“Something wrong, Moony?” Sirius said, dropping into his chair like a natural disaster. Remus shook his head dumbly as Professor Slughorn called for them all to drink their potions. He was still trying to process the information he’d just gotten.
“Bottoms up!” Sirius picked up the potion on his desk without even looking at it, apparently waiting for Snape to down his first. A sick dread crept up on Lupin. She was right! The second that Snape had tipped the contents of his flask to his lips, Sirius unstoppered his bottle. Remus looked at it and reached out to stop him—he was almost too late.
“What’s wrong? You should drink yours, Moony,” Sirius said with a naughty grin that did nothing for Lupin’s confidence in him. I should have let him drink it—Merlin only knows whose potion I had originally…
“Look at it, Sirius,” he said, instead.
“What are you—” Sirius fell silent when he saw the rich blackness of the flask in his hand. “How in the -?”
“Your little plan backfired, it seems,” Lupin said dryly. Sirius looked intently at the table in front of them, seeming to assume that Snape had discovered his antics. Meanwhile, Hermia James was glaring in his own direction. He shrugged at her, and, unexpectedly—she grinned. Very carefully, she opened her hand to show that the flask inside was empty. Then, she reached into her bag and pulled another one out—a red one—and placed it ostentatiously on the edge of her desk.
Remus couldn’t stop himself from issuing a low whistle. This girl was good. He wondered if the Sorting Hat hadn’t had some sort of off day. Her scheme was worthy of the utmost of Gryffindorish thinking.
Hermione couldn’t remember the last time she’d had so much fun. The danger of the moment only added to the euphoria of it all, and finally she understood what made the Weasley Twins tick. She just hoped it wasn’t going to be addictive.
Seeing Remus Lupin stop Sirius from drinking Snape’s potion was disappointing, but when he didn’t immediately point in her direction, Lupin became a co-conspirator instead of an enemy. Thinking quickly, she showed him that the container in her hand was empty, and pulled Sirius’ from her bag and placed it very deliberately on the edge of her desk. Then she winked at Remus.
His look of sheer admiration mixed with shock was quite gratifying.
Hermione turned away, not wanting to tip her hand to Sirius just yet. She felt a little guilty as she looked over at Harold, whose eyes had glazed over somewhat as he looked almost through her at Lorelei. She comforted herself with the secure knowledge that Mr. Ryan-Marks would rather not have to feel anything warm and fuzzy for Snape.
A loud, Lupin-like cough from behind her had her peeking over her shoulder quickly. Sirius was staring at the bottle on her desk, his mouth slightly open and an almost…hopeful…expression on his face. She told herself she was imagining that last bit.
With the empty bottle still in her right hand, she picked up the flask from the table and took out the cork, the eyes of the two Gryffindors behind her feeling as though they were boring through her. With her thumb firmly over the open tip of the full bottle, she tipped her head back as though drinking deeply from it, completing the charade by setting the empty bottle down afterwards.
Hermione had been planning to throw herself at Sirius as she left the classroom, just to see what his reaction was. Now, however, she felt almost unbearably shy. Most of the other students had begun filing out in groups of two, the typical boisterous laughter and loud conversations having shifted this afternoon to soft whispers and giggling. Hermione herself was nearly lifted off her feet by a hug from Lorelei, who was herself being attended to by a hovering Harold Ryan-Marks. Snape was nowhere to be seen. For a long moment, she was consumed by indecisiveness, and then it hit her. What would be more annoying to Sirius Black—unwanted advances from a girl after drinking his potion? Or his potion appearing to have no effect at all..
Then, hefting her bag to her shoulder, the full red potion bottle still in her hand, she turned to leave the room.
“Good evening, Mr. Black!” she said cheerfully as she crossed out into the hall.
Sirius was thoroughly confused. Not only had his prank gone woefully wrong, he wasn’t even sure how. He’d ended up with Snape’s potion, but the greasy git didn’t even appear to be upset with him. Severus would have surely taken extreme pleasure from spoiling his clever attempt, so he was ruled out immediately. Remus would have been a lot more upset at him if he’d known the full extent of what Sirius had planned, so he was out as well. That Marks kid was too busy fawning over Lorelei from Hufflepuff, and besides—he didn’t have the depth of conniving to have thwarted the plan, and neither did she.
That left…Hermia James.
Except, she’d drunk his potion without a single pause, and he was sure that if she’d managed to somehow switch all those potions around again, she wouldn’t have put herself in a subservient position to him by drinking his potion. When he’d seen it there on her desk, he’d been strangely excited at the thought of what she might do under its influence. He did think she was rather pretty…
She hadn’t done a thing.
He’d seen her drink it, but all she’d done was waltz right past him cheerfully, heading to the library or the Great Hall or who knows where. Definitely NOT into his arms.
Had he mixed it wrong? Surely it wouldn’t have ended up a pure red color, a Gryffindor color, if he’d done something wrong…
Sirius shrugged, and picked up the black flask full of Snape’s love potion. He shuddered, pocketing it carefully for some later prank. Everyone was gone now, Lupin having gone ahead with Lily to find James, and Professor Slughorn into the depths of his storeroom. The Amortentia potion was still beside his desk, bubbling merrily. He decided that there was one last thing he had to check—he hadn’t gotten a correct sniff out of the thing earlier, after all.
Before he could stop himself with the thought that it was all nonsense, Sirius Black marched up to the cauldron of mother-of-pearl liquid and inhaled deeply.
It smelled very faintly of wisteria.
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