Potions was located in the dungeons much to my ‘joy.’ The gloomiest, coldest place in the castle; the dungeons were the least popular spot among the students, except maybe the Slytherins.
‘Cause, you know. Their common room was there.
Gryffindor’s shared this lesson with them and we all queued loudly outside the room, me leaning lazily on the cold wall, James blabbering away about nothing and Dom ecstatically agreeing with him on the whole ‘nothing’ subject. This gets me curious.
“What are you talking about?” I ask.
"Nothing,” James breaks off his long speech to Dom for a second before promptly returning back to her. Well, so much for trying.
“Silence!” A females voice screeches and we all fall silent as she steps out of the potions room, inspecting each pupil closely, occasionally ordering them to do something, before moving on. She’s wearing a tight skirt with a clingy shirt on and her eyelashes were smothered in so much mascara I think she must have to do eye exercises to keep them open. Even though she’s got to be, what? 30 years old? “Phwoar, is that the new potions teacher?!” Geoff says quietly. “She’s hot.”
“Dream on, Rands, she’s old enough to be your mum.” Dom belittles, as the teacher makes her way closer to us.
“Do that top button up, Pert,” she eyes me distastefully. I hate it when teachers know your name. You either get really suspicious they’ve been stalking you or you’ve been a favourite subject for gossip among the teachers who live through students. Geoff grins cheekily at her and she sneers at him. “What are you smiling about, boy?”
“We’ve got a really hot teacher!” he says loudly. A course of whooping and cheering (from the male students, us girls are far too dignified) echo around the corridor until the teacher holds her wand up, making it emit a shrill clanging sound.
“Detention. You. 8 ‘o clock. My office,” she snarls, pointing a threatening finger at Geoff, who looks horrified, before striding to the front of the queue and beckoning for the silent class to follow her inside. Everybody sits down, sharing a desk with their friends. I choose a seat next to Dom and she grins happily at me.
“I am Professor Kent, your new potions teacher,” the professor says. “I expect all potions to be turned in at the end of the lesson, and if they are not up to my standard you will repeat it during a same day detention. Failure to do so will result in being moved to the ‘Less’ Advanced Potions group.” She adds the last bit snidely, turning her nose up at us. “And you will not be sitting in those seats. You will be sitting alphabetically.”
Dom groans, glancing miserably at Freddie who she shares the same surname with. She sticks up her hand. “But, miss, it’s common knowledge that friends work better together.”
"Ms Weasley, is it?” Dom nods at Ms Kent. “I suggest you shut your mouth before more nonsense spills from it and before you are joining your housemate in detention. Five points from Gryffindor for such a pointless question.”
Dom’s mouth drops open in outrage as our ‘fellow’ Gryffindor’s glare at her. Ms Kent reads names out pointing to the allocated seats. Katie is sitting right at the front with the last name ‘Ang.’ She puts her head on the desk as Hally gets seated behind her with the last name Frinks.
“Mollie Pert. Here.” I stumble over the where Ms Kent’s is pointing and sit down lightly on the hard stool. James appears beside me, beaming.
“Pert. Potter,” he says wittily and settles himself on the seat beside me.
Due to my luck, I would have thought I’d be sitting next to that creepy boy in Slytherin. I totally love karma.
“So, I hear you’re quidditch captain this year,” I say conversationally.
He smirks. “Yeah. We are definitely going to win this year.”
“You’re kind of cocky for a guy who’s scared of snails.”
“Hey, I’m not scared of them! They just freak me out a bit.”
It’s my turn to smirk. “James, that’s the same thing.”
“Says the person who’s not captain.” He retorts.
I stare at him, too stunned by his awful comebacks. James runs a hand through his messy hair and quickly drops the subject.
“Me, too.” James grins. “You play well?”
“Of course.” I reply, a little smugly in fact.
“Tryouts are this Saturday,” he leans closer to me. “And, I for one, can’t wait to see you on a broom.”
“You’re definitely too cocky,” I purr.
What has come over me? The crazy-haired, new girl; totally flirting with the definition of ‘hotness,’ not to mention Quidditch star and son of one of the most famous guys in the world. It’s not like I had any practise at this as well, James just seems to bring it out in me. I’m not really sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.
James opens his mouth to reply but Ms Kent’s sharp clap silences everyone. She begins writing down instructions on the board that we have to copy into our exercise books. I’m furiously scribbling down the notes trying to ignore James who’s staring at me with an amused expression on his face.
“Mr Potter,” Ms Kent’s voice rings out and James turns his head to her meekly. “What is so interesting about Ms Pert that stops you from copying down important notes.” The class sniggers and I blush. It’s a rhetorical question, but James, being James, had to stand up and list the ways on his finger as how I’m so ‘interesting’. Ms Kent looks astonished.
“Well, her hair’s so cool- it’s all over the place-,” He begins.
All over the place?
“Cheers, Potter.” I grumble, flaming red.
“And she get’s this adorable, screwed-up look on her face when she concentrates. Like this,” James demonstrated, showing us him with his nose all scrunched up. The class laugh at him encouragingly.
Oh, God, do I really do like that? Not that I’m saying that it didn’t look good on him. But James can pretty much look good doing whatever.
I, on the other hand, look stupid.
“Yeah, and then, when she frowns she looks like a two year old when someone stole their doll, and her laugh is hilarious! It’s kind of like; haw haw haw, HAW HAW HAW,” James guffaws until Ms Kent has finally recovered herself.
Dear God, I must never laugh again.
Ow. I think she broke my eardrum.
James winces, too. Hell, the whole class winces.
“You can join Mr Rands in detention, tonight.”
“Can’t, ms, sorry. I’ve already got one with Professor Howel.”
“When can you attend detention then, Potter?” Ms Kent grinds her teeth together.
James looks thoughtful, putting a finger to his chin. “Never?” The class giggle.
“Two detentions, Potter.”
“But, Ms, I was only trying to be helpful!”
“Three, Mr Potter, and don’t make it a fourth,” Ms Kent snarls.
James sits down, looking defeated and I pat his hand comfortingly. “She’s a moody cow,” I whisper helpfully.
“Ms Pert! You’ll be joining him in detention tomorrow.”
Son of a-
“Miss, that was my fault.” James defends me.
“I’m not blind, Potter. Ms Pert so clearly talked.” Ms Kent snaps before adding nastily. “Now at least you can be with your precious girlfriend.”
My mouth falls open in shock.
Teachers can’t say that, can they?
But, even so, I wish.
James scowls at her, oblivious to my embarrassment. “I don’t think I would have survived if it was just me, Geoff and one hell of a bitch-,”
“Potter! Go to the headteacher’s office. Now!”
James stands up, knocking his stool over in the process. “Gladly,” he says darkly and strolls out of the classroom. Wow, James Potter didn’t even last a week without getting sent to the Head’s office.
The class stare at each other in stunned silence. Ms Kent breathes out deeply and resumes the lesson. “Now you’re to make a Befuddlement Draught. The instructions are on the board.”
I’m not the best with potions. And bloody Potter has abandoned me.
I exhale, before getting the required ingredients and placing them on the chopping board, intent on slicing them into perfect 7 millimetre sections, as it so clearly states on the board. I get bored after a while, and flash sneaky glances at the other couples in the room before resting my eyes on Freddie and Dom. She looks ready to tear his hair out and he’s looking curiously into their cauldron, which is smoking a rather startling shade of green. A few people have actually achieved a near colour of ‘pale yellow,’ and I look at my chopped ingredients fondly.
I don’t mean to blow my own horn or anything but my chopping skills are out of this world.
I gather them up, dropping them slowly, one by one, into the boiling water of the cauldron and give it a stir, every now and again. I must admit; I did get a bit distracted by Freddie’s cool demeanour as he so calmly chucks random ingredients into the frothing cauldron and the way his skin is highlighted by the green fog.
Which makes him look like some kind of ill god.
And that’s probably why, when I look back to my potion, it’s bubbling angrily and trembling; it’s orange contents threatening to spill over. I blow at it in a vain attempt to appease it and a sixth year student knocks sharply on the door.
“Mollie Pert is wanted in the headteacher’s office immediately,” he calls. All heads turn to me.
Saved by the b-, Er... prefect.
Ms Kent smirks as I practically run out of the room, desperate to escape my sorry excuse for a Befuddlement Drought.
She won’t be smirking when she sees my potion. Hahahaha.
“Aren’t you new here?” The prefect turns to me, as he leads me to the headmaster’s office, showing off a slightly unpleasant skin problem. I nod, sourly.
“And you’re in the Head’s office already. Tsk tsk,” he scolds me, flashing his green tie.
Oh crap, he’s right. I’m just as bad as James. And that’s not a pretty thought.
Unlike James face.
I sigh, but otherwise give no sign I heard his question. We arrive at a large, stone gargoyle and the prefect says the password causing for it spring aside, the walls behind it splitting in two. I stare at it, stunned, for a moment until the prefect impatiently motions for me to go in and as I place a foot on the stairs they begin moving. When I reach the top, I stand nervously in front of the big, oak doors and knock timidly.
So what if I’ve never been summoned to the Head’s office.
“Come in.” A voice calls. I take a deep breath and push the door open. A large, circular room greets me, portraits of previous Headmaster’s covering the walls, and a bookshelf of torn and tattered books. James is looking at me, grinning and he winks before letting his smile drop.
I’m about to get a lashing and James Sirius Potter bloody winks.
“Take a seat, Ms Pert.” The Head gestures to the plush chair in front of his desk. I sit, ignoring James. “I’m Professor Alice.”
Wait. Professor Alice.
Alice? Professor Alice.
“James here tells me that he was sent here by Ms Kent. Is that true?” Professor Alice smiles at me, encouragingly. I nod timidly. “Could you tell me why, Ms Pert?”
“Um.” Well for one, he listed off ways I was so interesting to the whole class, he was staring at me instead of taking notes and, oh yeah. He told her she was a grumpy b-.
“Well, he answered back, a bit. But she overreacted.”
Wow, so much for my karma. Lying is so not good.
“See, Professor! That’s what I said!” James whoops, punching the air triumphantly. Professor Alice eyes him, suspiciously and James slowly lowers his arm.
“Hmm. Then I will give you no further punishment than your detentions from her,” Professor Alice smiled at us. “You may return to your common rooms. Although it’s a little early.”
“Thanks, sir.” I smile back.
“You’re welcome, Ms Pert. And Potter?”
“Yes, sir?” James hesitates expectantly.
“The invitation to your parent’s Christmas ball has just arrived. I’ll be seeing you there, I expect.” Professor Alice waves a torn envelope at us.
Oh, right. That makes more sense – James’ parents bribed the headmaster with an invitation to the world famous ball where a 20 page long article about it was in ‘TeenWitch’ including pictures of fantastically clad people.
“Yes, sir,” James salutes and waves at the portrait closest to him. “See ya, Dumbley.”
“Goodbye James. Say hello to your father for me.” The portrait responds, waving a wrinkled hand. I push open the door and skip down the stairs, James trailing after me and once the gargoyle returns to its original position behind us we break into laughter.
“We got out of potions and didn’t even get a punishment!” James does a celebratory dance.
Okay, even James – in all his hotness - cannot pull that off. It does not look cool, I have to admit. I raise my eyebrows.
“You know you’re jealous, Mollie.” James continues dancing. “Let’s dance, baby.”
“James.” I sigh. “You’re a twat. No way in hell am I gonna embarrass myself like that.”
So, of course, I end up dancing with him. Hip waggling, finger pointing, head bobbing. You know, you’re everyday embarrassing dad dance moves.
And, hell yeah, it was fun. I even improvised with a bit of shimmying.
"Let’s go to the common room before you get carried away,” James scoffed, dragging me by the arm.
“Oh yeah, like you can talk. Don’t you think the bum waggling was a bit much?”
"Mollie, the bum waggling is never a 'bit much.'"
We arrived at the deserted common room with ten minutes till the bell went and I settled myself comfortably on the armchair around the blazing fire making idle chit-chat with James.
“Scoot over, Pert,” James towers over me, staring intently at my chair.
“There are plenty of empty chairs around us, Potter,” I frown.
“I know, but I’m cold,” he pouts and I roll my eyes and budge up so that James can squeeze in beside me.
And, you know when you’re about 6 or 7, your cousin, for example, dares you to climb that really big tree in your garden and you reply by saying ‘no way in hell.’ And then the next minute you’re at the top of the tree and can’t get down, and you have no idea how the hell that happened. And then your mother has to call the fire engines to rescue you and when she nags you about how you got up there, you look totally baffled and reply; “I really don’t know.”
Yeah, that just happened to me. Well, metaphorically.
Classes are over and people enter the common room up for an evening of relaxation after the first proper day back and they find me with my legs draped over James’ lap, our heads relatively close together.
And you know; how the bloody hell did that happen?
I jump up, embarrassed, and grin sheepishly at Dom and Freddie. Oh yeah, and Geoff. Because he’s just there, the twat.
“Aww, look at the lovebirds,” Dom says shrewdly and motions for me to follow her up the stairs.
What am I, a dog?
Yes, it turns out, I am. I follow her and meet her in our room and she lies down on her bed. “So. You and James, huh?”
“Er... well, you see-”
“Well, it’s better than Freddie, I guess.”
“W-what?” I stammer as I fiddle with my nails and, if Mollie Pert hovered then that’s what I was doing but I don’t hover.
Dom continues staring moodily at the ceiling, ignoring me. “But, you’ll never guess what.”
“I got an E in potions, even with Fred,” she gloats.
We sit in silence for a few minutes, after I’ve finished glaring at her, me fussing with my crazy hair in the mirror and repeatedly smoothing it down and Dom staring at the ceiling, obviously day-dreaming. I check my watch. “Uh, Dom?”
“It’s dinner time”
“Ooh,” she squeals, her eyes lighting up and is down the stairs in the blink of an eye.
I completely and utterly hate detention. Me, James and Geoff arrived at Kent’s office perfectly on time, as I’d insisted that Geoff and James walk faster while they told me it’s deeply ‘uncool’ to be early to detention and, at one point, I threatened them with my wand, and what does that miserable beast of a teacher do but criticize us with a ‘You’re late.’
I mean, what a stuck up bitch.
“Actually, miss, we’re right on time,” I inform her stiffly as she shuffles her papers on her desk before looking up to glare at me.
“I see you are incapable to read the time, Ms Pert, as well as being rude,” She sneers as I glare right back at her. “Now, Mr Potter and Ms Pert will be finishing your awful attempt at the Befuddlement Draught. Mr Rands, I am ecstatic to say, passed.”
Geoff beams, and raises his eyebrows in an ‘I’m-so-smart-and-you’re not’ way to James, and Kent passes us the cauldrons and the ingredients and indicates for me and James to work on the table in the corner of the roomy office. “You will, instead, be cleaning out the used cauldrons without magic,” Kent continues and Geoff’s face falls while James’ smirks. “In silence.”
James seems happy enough as he saunters to the table carrying the light-weight ingredients as I trail miserably after him, slightly struggling with the weight of the cauldron. We set everything up and I begin to use my uncanny ability to perfectly chop everything to the right amount as James hovers uselessly by my side, trying, and failing might I add, to have a miming conversation with Geoff. Both look equally baffled at what the other is trying to say and when Professor Kent glances up to check on our progress, they look the picture of innocence.
“James?” I whisper and he turns around abruptly nearly sending the boiling pot of water flying. “Can you help?” James nods and flips open the book that has been lain out in front of us, dropping the ingredients in the water with a ‘plop’ as the instructions order. I occasionally stir it when James tells me to and soon enough the broth turns a pale buttercup yellow colour and Kent comes over to inspect the marvel that is our potion.
“I will give that an ‘E,’ I suppose,” She says as she stirs the potion and I grin happily. That has got to be one of the best marks I’ve ever received for a potion. Which, you got to admit, is pretty pathetic seeing as I’m in the top set and am so proud of receiving an ‘E.’ “Potter, you can tidy out the ingredients closet and Pert, you can help Rands till I dismiss you.”
Oh, joy unbounded. Working with the womanizer himself? Totally the cherry on top of my tree.
“’Ullo, Mols,” Geoff says, looking up from a dirty cauldron, once I reach him at my extraordinarily slow pace. Kent glances sharply at us and I close my mouth, biting back the ‘Call me that again and die’ remark I was about to say. I detest that name. Which is kind of a shame seeing as that is possibly the only name short for ‘Mollie’ but the thought of someone calling me the plural of some random brown splodge on your skin, a mole, is enough to make me shudder.
“Oi, Mols,” Geoff hisses and I grind my teeth together and automatically start scrubbing the cauldron harder. “Want to play The Game?”
“The game? What’s the game?” I whisper, turning my back on Kent so she doesn’t notice us talking.
“The objective is to forget that The Game exists.”
“Whaa’?” It’s true; I did ask that rather gormlessly.
“Whenever you think about it, you lose,” He replies, looking at me as if I was the twat for not knowing of this ‘game.’ “And losses must be announced. Go!”
I may just have to have a good old ramble in my head but seriously, what’s the point? Geoff’s looking particularly idiotic; a day dream look on his face as he scrubs the cauldron slowly like a moron. I can totally see why Hally goes for him even though the expression on his face right now looks like he’s just suffered a series of head traumas. But he has that whole blonde look going for him and quite a cute chin dimple. But then again, he did insist on playing this totally annoying game that really-
“Agh, this game sucks!” I complain, shoving a tired arm back and forth over another cauldron.
“Ha! You lost!” Geoff announces triumphantly and places his clean cauldron on the desk. Miss Kent looks up again and sighs heavily before putting her long, feathered quill in her bag even though it’s become totally fashionable to have fancy muggle pens nowadays.
“I suppose you may go,” she sighs. “But another sample of rudeness and you will be right back in this office, is that clear?”
We all nod obediently and shuffle from the office in silence and head back to the common room. I would have been glad to do that in silence as well but Geoff has to go and open his stupid mouth.
“You know, Mollie lost ‘The Game’ after 30 seconds.”
James looks at me in disbelief and I mumble something incoherent, along the lines of ‘Mullnehneh.’
“Mollie, how can you fail ‘The Game?’ It’s so simple!”
“I’m going upstairs,” I grumble, choosing wisely to ignore James, as we enter through the portrait hole and Geoff raises his eyebrows.
“Nighty night, Mols.”
I swear to God, I might just have to kill him.