Chapter 1 : Chapter One
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Hermione sat up even straighter in her seat, the wood warm beneath her, her spine ramrod-straight. She raised her hand in the air and looked pleadingly at Professor Slughorn. His eyes ran around the classroom and then focused on her again with a slightly weary smile.
‘’You need half a lizard’s leg to make a proper concealment balm. Preferably a chameleon’s leg.’’
‘’Can you tell us why?’’ Slughorn reflected that it might as well have been a rhetorical question – there was no way that Hermione Granger wouldn’t have known the answer.
‘’Because the chameleon’s adaptation qualities transfer to the balm, meaning that when it is smeared on the user’s skin, they are able to adapt to their surroundings.’’
‘’Correct. Ten points for Gryffindor. Now, if you will just all get your ingredients and begin to make the balm – remember that we are aiming for a waxy kind of substance rather than a liquid, as is the normal case.’’
Slughorn retreated to his desk as the students all stood up, with a mass scraping of chairs on the cold, tiled floor. Draco Malfoy’s head jerked up from his desk and he looked at the rest of the class, wondering exactly what they were meant to be doing. He had been up late the night before, working on Quidditch plays, and he was paying the price this morning. His face was slightly paler than usual, and grey shadows hung beneath his eyes.
‘’Come on Mr Malfoy, time is of the essence here.’’ Slughorn chided him, and Malfoy dragged himself to his feet, praying that he wouldn’t mess up the class too much. The ingredients were written up on the board, but not the instructions. Lining the ingredients up on his desk, he stared balefully at them, and wondered what he should do first. Everyone else already seemed to be several steps ahead of him, and he had no idea where to start. Well, it was a potion, wasn’t it? That meant it needed to be a liquid. He poured a jug of water into his cauldron and began chopping ingredients, throwing them into his cauldron in any random order.
Finally, Professor Slughorn raised his hand, calling a halt to the proceedings. He moved around the class, nodding in approval. Finally he stopped before Hermione’s cauldron and Draco watched in horror as the teacher dug out a small sample of a balm and smeared it on his skin, turning it the same colour as the wooden desk beneath. ‘’Excellent work Miss Granger – wonderful effect and a perfect consistency.’’
Hermione blushed slightly. No matter how many times she heard that her work was brilliant, it never got old. She could feel eyes on her though, almost boring a hole in the side of her neck with the intensity of the stare. She looked around and saw Draco Malfoy looking at her, with an expression of panic. No, wait a minute…he was staring at her cauldron. Why? Just as Hermione was wondering what was wrong, he noticed her looking and turned his caustic glower on her. She raised her eyebrows and turned back to her desk, as Professor Slughorn moved on.
Eventually, he arrived at Draco’s desk, looking into the cauldron in anticipation. Then he drew back in bemusement. ‘’But Malfoy, this is a liquid! Did you not hear me say that this is a balm?’’
‘’I…’’ Draco tailed off, wondering what he could say.
‘’This will have none of the qualities that the Concealing Balm needs. Please get rid of it. Now.’’ Slughorn moved away, resuming his position at the front of the class. Draco picked up the small cauldron and began moving it over to the side of the class, intending to pour it into the small drain provided for such incidents. However, his co-ordination was no at its usual standard, given the lack of sleep, and the weight of the cauldron, along with its constantly shifting contents, was more than he could quite manage. He staggered across the classroom, and had gotten half way before he noticed that he wasn’t entirely in control of what he was carrying any more. Rather than slow down, he decided to pick up speed, hoping to get to the drain before he made a fool of himself.
So, hurrying through the classroom, clasping a large object, it is perhaps unsurprising that he failed to see the strap of the schoolbag lying in his path. It is entirely unsurprising that once he became entangled, he was unable to keep his balance and his hold on the cauldron. And it is unsurprising that, despite all of his attempts to keep it in the cauldron, the potion flew out and splashed itself all over one of his classmates.
Hermione leapt to her feet, shrieking as she felt the gelatinous potion pour over her. It was freezing cold against her skin, and seemed to be soaking into her.
Slughorn looked up. ‘’Miss Granger, what is the prob…’’ He trailed off, his mouth open.
‘’Professor! He spilt his potion over me – do something!’’ Hermione shouted, her eyebrows furrowed, wondering why Slughorn was just staring at her. She looked down at herself and her eyes widened.
‘’Hermione?’’ Harry looked around. ‘’Hermione, you’re not there.’’
‘’I didn’t need you to point that out Harry!’’ Hermione’s voice was rising in pitch. All that she could see when she looked down was a puddle of the potion on the floor. Her robes, and her entire body had completely vanished. She spun around and stared at Malfoy. ‘’You did this to me! Is this your idea of some stupid joke?’’
He looked around, trying to work out where exactly her voice was coming from. ‘’Shut up Granger, it’s an improvement as far as I’m concerned.’’
‘’Oh for Merlin’s sake,’’ Hermione growled, and snatched up her wand, only momentarily distracted when it too became invisible on contact with her skin. Raising her wand, she paused for a second, deciding exactly what she would do. Then sparks were flashing from a seemingly empty space and Draco was flying backwards through the air, sparks adorning the air around him.
‘’Miss Granger! Kindly control yourself!’’
‘’Professor, he’s turned me invisible! That pathetic little ferret ignored you, and now I’m covered in gloop and no one can see me!’’ Hermione’s disembodied voice rang through the dungeon.
‘’Exactly…Mr Malfoy has managed to succeed in making an Invisibility Draught – something no one has ever done before!’’ Slughorn’s round face was glowing with excitement, and Hermione ground her teeth in frustration.
‘’I’m thrilled for him. Now for his next trick, perhaps Malfoy would like to give me the antidote?’’ Slughorn’s face fell, and Hermione stepped forward, a quaver in her voice. ‘’There is an antidote?’’
‘’Well…like I said, no one has ever managed to make an Invisibility Draught before…so no. And these kind of potions generally don’t work on the common principles of antidote-making – they aren’t a poison so logically, there is no remedy.’’
‘’Well what do I do then?’’ Hermione shrieked.
‘’Just wait for it to wear off, I suppose.’’ Slughorn rubbed his chin pensively.
‘’I’ve had a whole cauldron poured over me! It isn’t going to wear off any time soon!’’
Harry stood up and moved around tentatively, finding Hermione’s invisible form and putting an arm around her shoulder, hoping that he wasn’t inadvertently doing something inappropriate. He felt Hermione turn towards him and rest her head on his shoulder. ‘’It’ll be ok.’’
‘’You don’t know that.’’ Hermione muttered, scratching at her skin, hoping to wear off the potion.
Harry looked down. ‘’How come I’m not turning invisible? Your wand did. And your robes have.’’
‘’I think we should probably go and see the Headmaster.’’ Slughorn moved towards the door, beckoning Draco and Hermione. Harry and Ron jumped up and followed them out of the class as well, intending to wait outside the office for Hermione.
Dumbledore looked over his steepled fingers at Draco and at the chair where he presumed Hermione was sitting. ‘’And you say people don’t turn invisible when they come into contact with you Miss Granger?’’
‘’No.’’ Hermione crossed her arms sullenly, and glared at Draco.
‘’Well, I would imagine your wand does because of the intimate connection you have with it. Obviously your robes were covered in the potion, but I wouldn’t be surprised if new robes vanished as well – they will be in such close contact with your skin.’’
‘’That’s all very well Professor, but it doesn’t solve the problem.’’ Hermione looked down at her invisible form and nearly burst into tears, wondering if there was actually a solution for what Draco had done to her.
‘’Well, there isn’t an antidote at the moment, but as Mr Malfoy caused the problem, he can be the one to solve it. He will make your antidote.’’
‘’But Professor, I can barely remember what I put in and what order I did it! I don’t even know where to start.’’ Draco looked at Dumbledore with panicked eyes.
‘’Well you’d better work it out because I don’t want to be invisible forever!’’ Hermione cried.
‘’Obviously, the pair of you are going to have to work in very close proximity in order to make sure you find the right solution.’’ Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled almost merrily, and Hermione made a muted sound of rage.
‘’So he does something wrong and we’re both punished?’’
‘’Miss Granger, I presume you want this antidote? Well, if you do, you’re going to have to work with Mr Malfoy.’’ Dumbledore bowed his head slightly, indicating that the interview was at an end. They muttered their thanks and left the room.
Draco looked around, wondering where Hermione was. ‘’Right Mudblood, when shall we meet up?’’
‘’Don’t you dare call her that!’’ Ron leapt up from the floor where he had been sitting, his wand aimed.
‘’Oh really, and what the hell are you going to do to stop me Weasley?’’ Draco sneered, ready for a fight.
‘’I don’t know what he’s going to do but I’ll join in.’’ Harry pulled his wand out.
‘’Oh, will you just SHUT UP!’’ A shout came out of midair, and as Harry, Ron and Draco turned towards it, a pointy finger jabbed each of them in turn in the chest. ‘’That doesn’t solve anything, and in case it had escaped your notice, I don’t particularly like being invisible! So just shut up!’’
‘’Hermione…’’ Ron began, but a choked sob came out of mid-air and then all that could be heard were light footsteps running away.
AN: Well, that was the first chapter - if you could leave me a review, letting me know what you thought of it, and where you think this story could go - I would really appreciate it. Petitesorciere xxx