"Hey Lily, how was your summer?" a deep voice from behind me asks. I turn and find a cute sixth year Huflepuff, Derek Malimus. He has shaggy blonde hair and bright blue eyes. He's not freakishly tall like that one seventh Ravenclaw, but he is way up there compared to my diminutive frame. He's also not the most memorable or brightest light bulb.
I flash a slightly flirty smile at him, "Except for this one really creepy stalker day, great. How about yours?" I ask as manners require.
"It was a bit boring. You see," his smile grows slightly larger, enhancing the delicate crinkles around his dull brown eyes eyes, "I have a distinct lack of hot girls like you living near me." Ew. That just really disturbs me.
I giggle fakely, like he was expecting, and state, "Isn't that a shame? Well, I'll be off to class then, bye," I wave and turn around then walk off. Crap, what if he's being all pervy and looking at my butt? Ewewewewewew. I forgot how gross Derek is. Funny how summer does that to a person. Normally, a comment like that from just a normal guy wouldn't set me off or anything, but just remembering last year makes me want to shudder. In one potions class, he managed to grope me three times and grab my bum twice. He wasn't even my partner. Potter and Black were both livid... Maybe Black likes Malimus. They'd go well together, they're both really pervy...no, they like girls waaaay too much.
I walk into the NEWT Charms class and take a seat next to Emily.
"What crawled up your skirt and died?" she asks.
"It's not what crawled up, it's what wanted to crawl up." Seriously, how could I forget that Malimus is the creepiest git of them all. I'd take Black over him any day without a second of hesitation, that's how disgusting he is.
"Did Potter ask you out again?" she asks sympathetically, "You realize he's not just in it for the baby making, right?"
"Yes I realize he's not just in it for the baby making, but it wasn't him. Derek Malimus came up to me and said he had a distinct lack of hot girls like me living near him. You know all of the hideous fantasies he must have when he talks about cute girls. Ugh."
"Whoa Evans," I swivel in my seat to find all four Marauders sitting behind me and Em. Potter smirks at me as he continues talking, "You thought I was egotistic, did you just hear that sentence? 'He has a distinct lack of hot girls like me living near him.' Really?"
I roll my eyes at him, "I was just repeating the very pervy phrase Malimus said to me earlier."
His gaze hardens slightly, "He called you hot?" I nod my head and turn back around when Flitwick calls the class to order .
"We all know this will be a very important year for you," he starts, standing on the stack of books on his chair, "if you do not pass your Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests, or, as they are more commonly referred to, NEWTs, then you will not easily get a well respected job within the wizarding community." Oh great, we get to listen to NEWT speeches all day today. Just what I wanted to do.
When Charms is over I leave my friends who are going up to the common room and head off to double Potions. Em and Cassy barely got an A on their Potions OWLs and Courtney actually got a T. She thought it was right funny but I was irritated. I don't think I could even count the hours I've spent torturing her in potions and she thinks it's funny that she got a T. Sometimes I really don't know why I'm friends with those girls...
I walk into potions and Slughorn greets me with a warm smile. "Miss Evans, how nice to see you! How was your summer?"
I smile politely at the slightly creepy professor, "Lovely, how was yours?"
He nods his head and says, "I spent it traveling, getting ready for retirement in five years and all."
I keep my smile plastered to my face because no matter how creepy he may be, he still has connections that could very well be useful to me in the future. I go and sit in one of the chairs in the middle of the classroom. A few seconds later Potter struts into the room and sweeps himself over to the other seat at my table.
"Oi, Prongs!" Black shouts from behind us, "Do you just hate me?"
"No Sirius, I love you more than life itself," he glances swiftly at me before continuing his declaration of love. "I just happen to love Evans more than you."
"It's okay Black, you can have him back. Potter, you wanna leave?"
“I don't think Horace would like that much, now would you?" he finishes with his question as Professor Slughorn comes around to our table and places a small cauldron with a potion in it. I didn't mean it that way you dunce.
"I do not want you to leave Mr. Potter, and I must add that I very much approve of your choice in partners!" he exclaims before moving on to the next table.
I suppress my gag reflex and look closer at the potion. "Dude," Potter so eloquently whispers to me, leaning over the table towards the potion with me, "That was sick. He must be fifty years older than you!"
"I know, but that's the price of the Slug Club," I mutter back.
"He doesn't flirt with me and I'm in the Slug Club."
"Potter, regardless of how you swing, Sluggy isn't that light in the loafers."
"I resent that."
"Then you shouldn't have sat by me." To be completely honest, I’m almost glad he did sit by me because I probably would have been partnerless being the social butterfly that I am not.
"Okay then everyone," Slughorn says addressing the class from the front of the room, “I passed out a different potion to each of you that will be on your NEWTs. I expect you to work with your partner to figure out what it is, how it is made, and what alteration I made to it that was not in the textbook. Good luck; you have half of the period."
"Get out your textbook," I command, opening my bag and pulling out my own.
“No need, I can already tell you what it is.”
I look at him, “Already? What is it then?”
“It’s the Ineptio potion.”
“You really think Slughorn would hand out the babbling potion with you and your friends in the room?” Even Slughorn must know that it is not a good idea to mix the five together.
“Well that’s what it is. The reason it doesn’t have the characteristic purple swirls on the surface is because he added two unicorn hairs instead of one. That makes the taste sweeter and the babbling more innocent and pure. See, if you completely leave out the hairs, then what is babbled is normally inappropriate the most you can put in is three hairs before it changes the whole potion. I think it’s on page 115 if you want to write down how to make it.” I am completely dumbfounded. I mean, I know he’s smart, but come on! How on earth does he know all this? “You okay?” he asks with a smile as he waves his hand in front of my face. Maybe I was quiet too long.
I slap his hand away in a very not violent way. “I’m fine, how do you know all that?”
He crosses his arms over his chest and says, “I have my ways. Now aren’t you glad I was your partner. You know, we should do this every potions class.”
“No,” I say bluntly. I open my text book to page 115 and, lo and behold, it’s the Ineptio potion. How creepy is that? “I didn’t even know you opened your textbooks, never the less memorized them.” I pull out a quill, ink, and a piece of parchment.
“You’d be surprised by what you don’t know about me,” he says while spinning himself around on the chair like a four year old with an energy drink habit.
“Oh yes, the surprising intellect that is James Potter,” I retort dryly as I start writing down the procedures.
About halfway through writing it down, Professor Slughorn comes jiggling up to our table. “Mr. Potter, Ms. Evans, I see you have figured out your potion, good job. Ten points to Gryffindor.” I look up from the piece of parchment when he doesn’t move on, “You work very well together.” I put on a small smile and hope he leaves. No such luck seeing how he continues, “How would you two like to be partners all year?”
“Are you serious Professor?” we ask in unison. Me in repulsion and him in hope.
"Professor," I start calmly, "Unless you feel like explaining to Dumbledore why Potter was murdered, I would advise against it."
Slughorn laughs like it was a jolly old joke (he seems to like using phrases like that) and Potter looks confused. Does he really not get that I'm not overly fond of him?
“Lovely, Ms. Evans. I feel the need to assign partners since this is the beginning of a very important part of your lives. We cannot have our students distracted, now can we? On the other hand I want to keep both of your opinions in mind since you are two of my star pupils," Slughorn rambles on for what must be at least five more minutes about NEWTs and decisions and the such before finally concluding with, "So you two will be partners for the rest of the year!" With this terrifying closing statement he leaves our table to go talk somebody else's ear off.
I put my quill back to the parchment, but before I can continue writing, Potter starts cracking up. I swear he is mentally unstable with this cackling evil laugh. I give him a weird look but he keeps on laughing. After two whole minutes of this, his face slowly starts turning purple from lack of oxygen. "Potter," I say, tapping his shoulder to get him to stop laughing. I don't think Azkaban would look good on my record. I have no doubts that I'll be charged either since I just told Slughorn I might kill him. He doesn't notice the touch, so I poke him in the side. By now the whole class has noticed and everybody is looking at me quizzically. I keep on poking him in the hopes that it'll distract him from the laugh attack.
"What'd you do to him Evans?" Black calls out to me from the back of the room.
"I don't know, but I'm not sure he's going to make it out alive," I say adding a few pokes. "Potter. Potter. Potter, seriously, come on." I look at Black who just bursted into spontaneous giggles too. I focus my eyes instead in Lupin who's sitting behind us as opposed to Black. You'd think that with them being best friends and all that they'd at least want to sit next to each other in class, but I guess that’s what Charms is for. "Lupin, what's wrong with him?"
"A whole lot of things," he replies with an amused smile, "But I think this time... actually, I have no clue." He looks at me slightly apologetic but still very amused and not the least bit concerned. Seriously, I would be freaked if Cassy or Emma turned like blueberry purple, but nope, not boys. I now see why they are waffles. Lupin then goes back to his text book to figure out the potion.
Slughorn maneuvers himself over to our table to see what's wrong with Potter. "Ms. Evans, is this how you plan to kill him?" he asks with complete confusion written all over his fat face.
I flash him a sweet smile and say in an angelic voice, "I was just joking about that Professor! You know how great of friends Potter and I are! I'm not sure what happened to him, maybe he got a whiff of a Rideo potion. You know, I think you may want to tell someone to take him to the nurse." I finish holding the smile. Yes I know I'm laying it on thick, but I really don't want to go to Azkaban.... like if he dies or something.
"That is an excellent idea Ms. Evans, why don't you take him?"
"'Fraid I can't. You see, Professor, I really want to make sure I start my NEWT year off right and not completing an assignment wouldn't be very constructive."
"I appreciate your dedication to your work, but it seems as if everyone else is still trying to figure out their potions, and I would hate to deprive a student of their partner. Please take him up there Ms. Evans."
"Yes, Professor," I weakly murmur. I really don't feel like trekking across the castle just because Potter can't breathe.
He smiles at me before loudly exclaiming, "No Ms. Jorkins! Do not try any of that potion!"
I weakly try to grab Potter's arm and pull him up off the floor where he fell while Slughorn was talking to me. This doesn't work, so instead I pull out my wand and levitate him. After grabbing our bags, I walk out of the classroom and hear Bertha reply to Slughorn, "But professor, it's supposed to help my hair."
"This isn't a hair enhancing potion! It's a Swelling Solution!" I'll bet everything in my pocket (a paperclip) that Black and his partner (Jorkins) knew it wasn't a hair thing and just wanted him to tell them what it is. It seems like that's how those two work.
I firmly close the door behind us and Potter immediately stops his very weird laughing. "Oi, Evans, want to put me down?"
I stare at him for a second (he is so weird) before removing my charm. "What was with the random insane laughter?" I ask, following him down the hall. What else do I have to do? Go back to Slughorn, no thank you.
"Had to get out of there, didn't I?" he rejoinders.
"'Cause his flirting with you was making me very nauseous and I have to complete stage four of our beginning of the year pranks." Why did he just tell me that? He knows I don't like all their stupid little pranks.
"Potter, why would you tell a Prefect that you're about to pull a prank?" I ask with my hands on my hips as I roll my eyes.
"Evans," he begins with a sigh, "it's quite obvious that I'm in love with you, it's also quite obvious that you hate me. I would now like to point out the mythological adultery of Aphrodite and Ares, or Venus and Mars, if you prefer. Goddess of love and god of war. Let's think this one over, shall we, just with a gender switch?" How is that an answer? He talked about mythology to reason as to why he told me about a prank.
"I'm glad that you know all about the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, but what on earth does that have to do with you telling me about a prank?"
"Ever heard, 'There's a fine line between love and hate' or 'All's fair in love and war'? Both have to do with the romance of Aphrodite and Ares. It also means that from passionate hate springs passionate love. And if you hate me, then it's only a matter of time before you love me." This boy is making no sense at all. We're almost to the great hall when he stops me and looks me directly in the eyes in a mock serious manner, "You see, if you know that someday you will love me just because you hate me so much, you know that you'll feel bad for stopping the prank that would make your husband a legend, ergo, you won't stop me because of the possibility of that reputation carrying on to our children." The poor sap looks so convinced of the fact that I’ll marry him and bear his children. All I can say to that is ew.
"Don't you think you're getting a little ahead of yourself?" I ask skeptically. "I'm never going to agree to go on a date with you, so isn't it a waste of time to plan out your future with me?"
He looks confused for a second, but smiles a second later and waves goodbye as he pushes me up the main staircase. The joys of being around Potter; I now am the accessory to a... rule breaking, lovely.