Chapter 3 : The Unforgettable Potions Class
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The Unforgettable Potions Class
“You’re what?” I sputtered, shocked the words that were coming out of Dorcas’s mouth.
Dorcas jumped up in down in her seat, obviously overjoyed. “I’m going on a date with Sirius Black!” she squealed.
I shook my head in dismay. “Dor, haven’t we always hated him?”
Sirius Black? Was she crazy? Sure, he was extremely good-looking, star Quidditch player for Gryffindor, and the most popular boy in school, next to James Potter, but he was also arrogant, selfish, and a well-known heartbreaker. For as long as I could remember, Lily, Dorcas, Emmeline, and I had always seen past the Marauders’s facades.
“No, that would be you and Lily.” Dorcas said a matter-of-factly. She turned and raised an eyebrow, daring me to object. As much as I didn’t want to admit it, she was right. Lily and I were the main instigators of criticism.
“Have you told her yet? I’m sure she’ll be thrilled.” I countered sarcastically.
Dorcas smiled mischievously and continued, her hands rubbing together. “No, but Em seemed very supportive.”
I slammed down my fork in frustration. “We just got back from summer vacation. We haven’t even started classes yet! When did you see him?” I started interrogating.
“During the feast.” Dorcas’s blue eyes went wide in confusion and in surprise at my outburst. “Where is this coming from Madysen? I’ve never seen you this worked up about anything.”
I furrowed my eyebrows, ignoring her accusation, and moved the conversation in the a different direction. “Where? I don’t remember seeing Black anywhere.”
She nudged me in the ribs and sighed deeply. “You never notice anyone.”
“Not true,” I said incredulous. But I knew she was right again. “Anyway, that’s not the point. What happened?”
Dorcas scanned our surroundings, making sure no other Gryffindors were near us to hear our conversation, before telling me her story in a loud whisper. “Well, I went to remind Remus that the prefects had to help the first years for Lily, she didn’t want to talk to James,” Dorcas added, “And I don’t know, we just started talking--”
“Flirting.” I corrected, knowing Dorcas.
“Whatever,” Dorcas laughed lightly. “It just… happened and before I knew it, I was back at my seat eating.”
I bit my lip and looked at her worriedly.
Dorcas hit my arm and kept laughing. “Lighten up!”
“I just… don’t want you to see you get hurt.” I sighed and looked at her apathetically. Dorcas didn’t understand that people always leave and people always hurt you.
“Don’t worry,” Dorcas reassured while giving me a side hug. “I will be. Besides, it’s just one date.”
I glanced over at my best friend, her blonde curly hair spilled over her shoulders and her blue eyes danced with happiness. If she was happy, then I could be happy too.
After much kicking and screaming Lily finally decided that like me, if it made Dorcas happy then it would be okay. Dorcas deserved that much.
It was the first day of classes for sixth years.
I barely had any classes with my friends since we were all aspiring to be different things and it was the beginning of NEWT level classes. Lily’s dream was to be a healer, Dorcas had always wanted to work somewhere in the Ministry, Emmeline a lawyer, and as for me, it had been my life-long dream to an auror. But there was one class we all had in common: Potions.
“Welcome to the first day of Potions!” Slughorn boomed as he walked into class, his belly jiggling slightly as he started to pace the front. His face was red from exertion. Slughorn did have some trouble with Hogwarts’ large size. “I’m looking forward to this year very much.”
I rolled my eyes at Emmeline, who was having trouble keeping a straight face. Lily, of course, was looking at him with eager eyes.
Slughorn glanced down at the paper in his hands. “Now we all have to get you partners,” I automatically took a step towards Lily. I would have failed potion last year if it wasn’t for Lily. “but before we get too hasty, I’ve chosen partners for you this year and I’ll be doing alphabetically.”
I froze. Alphabetically? Slughorn had done this before to be “strict” but it had only lasted for about a week. I would always end up stuck with Narcissa Black. As my eyes darted around the room I noticed there were no Slytherins. No Narcissa. My heart sped up faster. That means I would have to be with--
Slughorn cleared his throat. “Madysen Adams and Sirius Black.”
“Lucky.” Dorcas muttered under her breath to me as Slughorn continued down the list of names. I hoped Dorcas didn’t notice my face was going white.
People started moving towards their designated partners but I stayed where I was. Either because I was letting him to come to me or because my feet were glued to the ground, I didn’t know. I felt I presence come up beside me.
“Where do you want to sit?” Black asked nicely.
I kept my brown eyes forward. “Over here.” I muttered.
I wondered if Black had even heard me as I moved forward between the desks. I chose the second to last row, the desk on the far side. As I sat my books in the seat nearest the wall, I could see James and Peter take the one next to us. Through my peripheral, I saw Black casually take the seat next to me and begin chatting animatedly with James.
No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t help but look at Black. His dark brown hair laid elegantly across his forehead and I could see his steel grey eyes dance as he and James discussed something funny. Black’s features were aristocratic and perfectly proportioned. There was something else about him I couldn’t quite pinpoint. I had barely talked to him in five years. What could I say? Of course there would be the occasional ‘hello’, but the most we had ever spoken was when he sat behind me in Charms last year and he would ask me sometimes for some parchment. Could I ask about him and Dorcas or would that seem too much? They hadn’t even gone out yet. What about Quidditch? Quidditch. My mind flashed back to that summer. The one I hadn’t thought about in so long. I tried to brush off all the emotion that was threatening to flood back. I had to think of something. We were two people forced together. Oil and water. Was he feeling the same way? I felt Black turn to face me.
“So… did you have a good summer?” He asked conversationally. The politeness of the conversation seemed forced. I knew what he really thought of me.
I shrugged indifferently.
He nodded slowly. More tension. Black continued talking when he realized I wasn’t going to say anything. “Mine was okay.” For some reason, I could tell there was more beneath the surface of those words.
There was a long pause. My mind was going 100 miles an hour. Why was he trying to be nice?
I shrugged indifferently again. He was using sarcasm to be funny but I didn’t want to see it that way. Sarcasm always had truth, truth people didn’t want to hear or truth people wanted to speak in a way that didn’t make them look bad.
“We’re going to have to get along, whether you like it or not.” Black casually stated as he rolled his chair onto its hind legs.
I turned to look him in the eyes for the first time. “And why is that?”
Black pretended to be deep in thought and looked down at me with a fake, contemplative stare. “I am going out with your best friend.”
“True.” I reluctantly sighed and turned away.
I could feel his eyes on me. “We had a few classes together last year, right?”
I paused shortly, only remembering him in Charms, but for dignity’s sake, I played it off. “Yeah.”
“Did we ever talk?” Black asked curiously. His eyes were now burning a hole in the side of my face. He knew I was lying and that I didn’t remember any classes with him. I could just tell from his voice. It frustrated me beyond comprehension. I had thought I was a good liar.
“Nope.” I replied, shaking my head slowly.
His chair made a loud bang as it plopped down on all four legs again. “Why don’t we start over?” Sirius suggested, encouragement lining his deep voice. He held out his hand. “Sirius Black. Pleased to meet you.”
“Madysen Adams.” I replied, lightly taking his rough hand and then pulling mine quickly away. “And…likewise.”
Sirius smiled crookedly. “See, that wasn’t so bad.”
“If you say so.” I smirked. He was right, it did feel good to start over. We had a clean slate and I was beginning to like it. “But I think you have a twin who’s an ass.”
He tried to hide a smile. “So I’ve heard.” Black looked up at the board. “Where do we start?”
I looked down at my opened text-book. “I think we just start with one of these simple potions today. ‘To get us warmed up for the year.’”
He started to stand up. “Choose one while I go get the ingredients?”
I nodded and he walked away. I let out a long breath that I didn’t know I had been holding. This could work. Black wasn’t as bad I remember. Clean slate. Good.
“Got all the basics,” Black announced as he spilled ingredients and vials over the desk, “Which one did you choose?”
“Excellent choice.” Black grinned enthusiastically, which made me raise an eyebrow in suspicion.
“Hey Padfoot,” Potter’s voice came loud and commanding from the other table. “Come here for a sec, will you?”
Black looked down at me hesitantly, almost like he was afraid our progress would be lost if he was away from any amount of time. “Do you mind?”
I shook my head. “No, go ahead.”
While they talked, I decided to get started on the potion. I put in all the ingredients, not really noticing what I was doing. Why him? Why the one person that would bring up things that didn’t need to be touched? And I wasn’t acting… I didn’t know how I was acting. I was never sarcastic or witty, but now I was throwing comments at him. I even had the nerve to call him an ass. There was so much going through my head, I was finding it hard to concentrate on anything. Glancing around the room, I saw Lily arguing with Amos Diggory over what to do next, Dorcas was with Lupin, they seemed to be getting along, and Emmeline was with someone I really didn’t recognize from the back. Who was that? I leaned forward trying to get a better look. With my nose right over the potion, I smelled the harsh odor coming from the cauldron. I looked down to see it start to bubble along the edges. Panic started washing furiously through me.
“Black…” I called shakily while flipping through the text book, trying to figure out what I did wrong. I was so terrible at Potions…
He appeared at my side in a flash. “What is it?”
“I, the potion--” I scrambled, trying to explain and indicated the bubbling potion.
“Here, I got this.” Black calmly started to wave his wand and I moved out of his way. With relief flooding through me, I didn’t notice what he did to fix the potion.
“All fixed.” Black told me as he sat down his seat. His grey eyes became amused. “What did you do?
“I don’t know,” I shook my head, exasperated, “I couldn’t figure out who that was with Emmeline.” I said, nodding at her spot in the far top right corner.
Black looked over and grinned wickedly. “That’s Michael Williams.”
“Oh.” He was about as equivalent to Snape, according to the Marauders.
Black turned toward me and raised a suspicious eyebrow. “Why, do you have a crush on him?”
“No.” I said quickly, my self consciousness that appeared around Sirius setting in. Improvising, I added with a sarcastic smirk, “Do you?”
He just gave me an impish glare and enunciated his syllables. “Ha ha”
“Just making sure you’re not into that kind of thing,” I continued. Panic washed through me when it occurred to me that he could take my statement the wrong way. I quickly added, “For Dorcas’ sake.”
Black looked down at his book and continued to add ingredients to our potion. “I’m sure Dorcas can decide that for herself.”
I gave him somewhat of a patronizing look, “You don’t know Dorcas like I do.”
“Does she know you?” Black asked suddenly. His grey eyes flashed up to mine and didn’t move.
Shocked, it was my turn to look down at my book and fiddle with the cauldron. “Of course,” I told him hesitantly, “She’s one of my best friends.”
Black just shrugged. A long silence enveloped between us but I really didn’t notice, too busy wondering why that question got to me. “Why did you ask that?” I blurted out.
“You seem to put your friends first.” Black explained in a quiet tone as he stirred the potion with his wand. “I was just curious to see if they would do they same for you.”
I didn’t say anything. This potions class was becoming more than I expected. Sirius Black was actually acting like a person with intelligence and feeling. He was even being philosophical! And it also was becoming way too personal and it scared the hell out of me.
“What’s your favorite color?” Black asked me in a lighter tone, trying to fill the silence that was becoming awkward.
I bit my lip as I tried to decide. “Violet.”
“Really?” He eyed me speculatively.
My voice was hard as I turned to glare at him. “Yes.”
“Aren’t you going to ask me what’s mine?” Black asked innocently when I didn’t continue.
I inwardly rolled my eyes. I’ll play along. I turned to him with an innocent look on my face too. “Why? I don‘t want to know what yours is.”
He furrowed his eyebrows before coming up with a decent reply. “Well, that’s what you’re supposed to do.”
I shrugged indifferently. Wow, I don’t think I’ve shrugged this much in one hour before.
Black just kept staring at me, giving me a puppy dog face. Caving, I sighed deeply. “Fine, what’s your favorite color?”
He grinned triumphantly. “Red.”
I just rolled my eyes. As the bell rang, Black grabbed his books and turned to me. “You know, maybe this year won’t be so bad.” Then he added, smirking, “For Dorcas’ sake.”
“Maybe.” I agreed, but I soon realized he was mocking me. Tipping my mouth in a speculative smile, I countered. “But you don’t know Dorcas like I do.”
Maybe he was right. Maybe this year could be good. Maybe Black and Dorcas would be right for each other and she wouldn’t get her heart broken. Maybe Black didn’t have to bring out the ghosts of my past. Maybe it was the end of everything.
But it was only the beginning.
A/N: Yay! This is a revision of the first draft. Hoped you liked it!!! Please review, i would love alll of your opinions! :D
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