Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. Sadly.
OHMYGOD: My first competition of the year (marching band) is TODAY! Wish me luck, guys. I think we might actually have a chance at winning. :)
All real ladies will scheme when it’s appropriate, and they try their hardest to say out of the business of others, even their younger siblings and close family members.
I stare at the bubbling cauldron in front of me. It’s full of a strangely colored liquid, that’s supposed to be Amortentia, the incredibly potent love potion. However, something tells me that the concoction James and I have created together is not Amortentia. I don’t smell grass, broomstick oil, and that musty boy smell that fills all of Lorcan’s clothes whenever I lean towards the cauldron; all I smell is the very blandly-scented potions classroom. It would figure that even though I’m paired with one of the best Potions students in our NEWT-level class, I can still completely ruin a potion within ten minutes.
I will never understand how I managed to get an Exceeds Expectations on my exam last year. I can’t even make a proper potion with someone who isn’t an idiot sitting right next to me. I even managed to ruin a Draught of Living Death earlier this week when Delilah Clearwater, who is almost better at Potions than Penelope, was my partner; I accidentally doubled the amount of asphodel I added to the potion, which resulted in a minor explosion in Delilah’s face when she leaned down close to examine what I’d done to our assignment. She was knocked out for three hours, and I received a four-hour detention that night, alphabetizing the vials and jars of ingredients lined up in the storage cupboard. Not my worst detention yet, but as my first of the year, it was a fair effort.
“Professor Malfoy,” I look up from the cauldron timidly towards the petite woman in the back of the classroom. She’s practically an exact opposite of my favorite teacher, Professor Elladora Divinity, with dark eyes and even darker curls, and she, to be honest, scares the bloody fuck out of me. She scares everyone, but me, especially. Her dark eyes are always glaring at me, her lips always pursed just so as she watches me ruin potion after potion in her class. To make it even worse, she despises me and the majority of my family. Yippee. “Erm, I think there’s something wrong with our potion.”
Astoria Malfoy lifts her head from where she’s studying the way one of her Slytherin students is cutting up an ingredient for his potion, raising her eyebrows and looking skeptically in my direction like she almost always does. It’s a well-known fact that while James, Penelope, and Lorcan are absolutely wonderful Potions students, I am not; if Penelope didn’t cover for me every single time I exploded a cauldron in Malfoy’s class, I would be dead right now. Very, very, very dead.
“Potter,” Malfoy glances at James, her tone dry and irritable. “Did you let Weasley assist you in preparing the ingredients for your assignment?”
James bites his lip for a second. “Erm. Yes, Professor, I did.”
She wrinkles her nose in disgust. I’m used to that look. Professor Malfoy really cannot stand me. Luckily, I’m not too fond of her, either. It’s a mutual hatred. “Five points from Gryffindor for Potter’s stupidity, and ten for Weasley’s incompetence.”
Our fellow Gryffindors groaned and glared at James and I- especially me. They’re used to this, though. James, Fred, and I are usually singlehandedly responsible for all of the major points lost to the Gryffindor house; however, once a Quidditch match comes around, we manage to gain them all back. That’s what keeps me alive, really. My ability to play Quidditch keeps the other Gryffindors from murdering me because of how many points I lose our house every single day in class. Thank Merlin for Quidditch skills.
“What are we going to do about this Finnegan situation?” James asks in a low tone, leaning over the row of vials and jars lined up on the table we’re sharing to be able to whisper into my ear. He’s not concerned that our potion isn’t even partially correct. It’s currently an emerald green shade, when it’s supposed to look like mother-of-pearl. “I mean, we surely need to explain to him that it’s entirely unacceptable for him to even consider dating Lily.”
I sniff the air around the cauldron. “Did we forget to add something?”
James waves his hand dismissively at me. “That’s not that important right now, Dommie,” he rolls his brown eyes at me, as if focusing on school work is this strange concept to him. Well, it might be a strange concept to him; it is James we’re talking about. “We’re trying to decide how to handle Owen Finnegan trying to date my little sister.”
“No, you’re trying to decide how to handle Owen Finnegan trying to date Lily. I’m trying to discover what the hell we did wrong to our potion.”
“You really need to sort out your priorities.”
“No, James, I really need to pass this bloody class.”
“You aren’t going to help me at all?”
“Not during Potions!” I snap-whisper, exasperated. Glancing over at Penelope, I note that she and Lorcan, a pair that have a very unfair advantage over James and I, are smugly awaiting Professor Malfoy’s stamp of approval on the contents of Lorcan’s dingy old cauldron. In fact, most of our classmates are waiting for Malfoy, having already finished their potion. My favorite scents are filling the air, and if I wasn’t too frustrated to focus on them, I would be intoxicated by the smells. “James Sirius Potter, help me figure out what’s wrong with our potion, or so help me Merlin…”
“He needs to be informed that he is not good enough for my sister!”
I sigh, slamming my palm against my forehead. This conversation is obviously not getting anywhere. And neither is our potion. James and I have this habit of talking to each other without either of us listening to what the other is saying. It makes things very unproductive. Especially right now. He only wants to talk about Owen Finnegan dating his little sister, which he’s really not doing since all he did was bring her along to Hogsmeade once, and I only want to figure out what the fuck we’ve- I’ve- done to ruin this cauldron full of Amortentia. I really need to drop this class, Lorcan or no Lorcan. Professor Malfoy won’t let us pair up, anyway. Which is probably a bad thing, since all I do is swoon and stare at him, not actually doing anything that involves the potion we’re creating during the class period. Whenever she pairs me with Lorcan, that’s one less exploding cauldron in the classroom. I guess she prefers whenever I explode cauldrons.
“Maybe we can slip Finnegan a bit of our Amortentia, push him off on that Blair bint Albus is all over, and then he’ll be off Lily,” James proposes, apparently thinking this is a really bright idea.
Well, I’m afraid to say, it’s definitely not. One, our Amortentia and any Amortentia I can produce is quite possibly fucked up enough to kill Finnegan with one sip. Two, there’s no way we could smuggle any of it out of the classroom without Malfoy noticing. Three, we could never make the potion on our own if we can’t even do it in class, and Mister and Miss Perfect Potion-Maker in front of us are definitely not going to help us. And four, if we used a love potion to make Finnegan fall in love with Blair, Albus might actually murder him.
“Oh! That’ll work. That’ll be perfect.”
Congratulations, Professor Malfoy. This might be the stupidest potion you chose for us to produce in a class period. Yes, it was a brilliant idea to have a class full of seventeen year olds stir up Amortentia, the most potent love potion in the entire world. Now James is going to fucking poison Owen with the eco-hazard bubbling and boiling away next to our table. You must be very proud of yourself.
“James, please shut up. Will you just tell me what I did to our potion? We get a grade for this.” I ask James.
I haven’t added anything to the Amortentia in our cauldron for a while, but it’s getting darker and darker. Something tells me that’s not supposed to happen. Well, I’m pretty damn sure, anyway. To be honest, the only sure sign that I’ve done something seriously wrong is when the potion explodes. Everything in between the first ingredient and the combustion is just a bunch of unknown.
“I really don’t think it’s supposed to be turning black. Did I burn it?”
Lorcan turns around from where he sits at the table in front of mine and James’. He’s grinning rather smugly at me, and if I didn’t love him, I’d hit him. Or jinx him, since I’m kind of crappy with physical violence. Oh, well. It doesn’t matter. I love him. I want to marry him. I think that means I can’t punch him in the face or shoot him with a Jelly-Legs Jinx whenever he grins smugly at me for screwing up a potion in Potions class. Damn. What a shame.
“Love, no,” Lorcan shakes his head in mock disappointment, even though he’s still grinning at me. Ugh. Stupid arsehole I just so happen to be in love with. “You can’t burn potions.”
Penelope turns around too, her smooth black curls swinging over her shoulders. She wrinkles her nose. “No, Lorc. If anyone can burn a potion, Dom could.”
I scowl. “Fuck you- both of you.”
“Ten points from Gryffindor!” Professor Malfoy hisses, coming to a sudden halt beside me as she looks down into my cauldron. A horrified look crosses her face, like I just killed a cat or stepped on a puffskein. To Malfoy, a ruined potion is almost equally as terrible as a feline homicide or a smashed puffskein. Actually, it might be more terrible. Despite being an evil bitch who passionately despises me, she’s simply the biggest nerd when it comes to the subject she teaches. “What did you do, Weasley?”
I turn my head towards Professor Malfoy, whose brow is furrowed. She’s glaring at me with pursed lips now, seeing as I’ve ruined a hundred Sickles worth of potion ingredients. For the fourth time this week.
“I killed it,” I say innocently.
Professor Malfoy throws her hands up into the air, turning away from me and stomping in the opposite direction. She’s like a pouting five year old whenever I ruin a potion. I’m shocked I didn’t get a frustrated scream, complete with arms crossed over her chest and eyes filling up with tears. She only stomped away today. She must be in a good mood.
Penelope chuckles. She’s amused, of course, the same way she is whenever my psychotic owl, Vesper, is ruining my life during Transfiguration. Penelope has a cruel sense of humor, if I do say so myself. She crosses her arms over her chest. “Meet Dom Weasley, the vicious potions-killer.”
“So, Owen, I think we need to have a conversation about you asking Lily to Hogsmeade,” James says at complete random, leaning towards poor little Finnegan, who is sitting, innocent and unaware, across from the raven-haired psychopath.
You see, everyone else has already gotten over the Owen-Lily fiasco from last Saturday at Hogsmeade, moving on to find something else to make a major deal out of. James, on the other hand, refuses to move on. He absolutely hates the idea. The words “She’s my little sister!” leave his mouth more often now than Penelope’s name does, and his only real excuse for being so angered by this idea is because Lily is fourteen- even though she’s more mature than any of us are, by a long shot. James just won’t leave Finnegan alone, even though he seems to have no intention of giving up and moving on to some other girl.
Owen is quite persistent in the idea of being with little Lily, and I’ve never seen him so enamored with another person. He stares at her constantly, offers to carry her books whenever he encounters her in the corridors between classes or in the mornings, and sits next to her during all of our meals, unless James yanks him by his collar to a different seat- like he’s done today. He’s as stubborn as James is, to be honest. He really likes Lily. (I respect him for that, of course, and I don’t see why he wouldn’t like Lily. Every bloke at Hogwarts should like Lily. Except, you know, her family members.)
James is being truly aggravating, as usual; the poor boy is going to transfer to Durmstrang if James doesn’t shut the fuck up and leave him be. If I were in Owen’s shoes, I’d be gone already. Either to another school, or Askaban for killing James. All he wants is to date Lily, poor bloke. Even I have no interest in convincing the bloke otherwise. If he wants to date a fourteen-year-old, he can go right ahead; it’s when the relationship goes sour that I’ll begin to worry. Fred has come to the same conclusion.
“No, you don’t!” Lily screams. She’s one person away from Owen and facing Fred, stabbing and poking at her pumpkin pasty, as if it has done something to personally offend her. She forcefully smashes the pasty flat against her plate before lifting her eyes to glower at her brother. They have the same exact chocolate brown eyes, but Lily’s eyes are so much more threatening and vicious. “James, will you please just shut the hell up!?”
“Stay out of this, Lils,” James waves in his sister’s direction, as if he thinks this is going to silence her. He looks at Finnegan somberly. “You see, Owen, I just don’t think you and Lily are going to work out together. You understand what I mean?”
Owen doesn’t say a single word. He opens his mouth nervously, and then he closes it, thinking better of making a response. His big blue eyes dart from Lily to James to me; I’m sitting on James’ right side, and I’m rolling my eyes towards the ceiling at the moment. There’s not much I can do for Finny, even when he looks at me with those pleading eyes of his. James is such an arsehole-slash-complete-prat. Poor, poor, poor Finnegan.
“James fucking Potter,” Lily threatens.
I watch Lily as her hand flies into her robes to find her wand. James misses the movement, but I don’t. Fred, who is on the other side of me, reaches up to pinch my elbow. He didn’t miss it either. A thumping noise on James’ other side implies that Penelope is the third to notice that James’ younger sister has gone straight for her wand. James, however, has not noticed, and not one of us plans on telling him. The entire table full of Gryffindors could notice Lily going after her wand, but no one will say a single word. This is brother versus sister. Not even James’ girlfriend will interfere in this situation. We’re all just going to watch.
James ignores Lily, probably not understanding that his life is at stake. “Lily, please,” he sighs, exasperated with his younger sister. “You really need to stop trying to interrupt. I’m trying to explain something to Owen. Don’t concern yourself with it.”
Within seconds, Lily’s wand is pointed at James across the table, and a jet of light shoots out of her wand, striking her brother without a single word from her. Wordless magic. She just jinxed James, without a single word. I didn’t learn wordless jinxes until my fifth year. I didn’t learn wordless anything until my fifth year! And Lily is only fourteen. My cousin’s a bloody genius.
Her raven-haired brother is throwing his arms up in the air and making muffled, aggravated noises at Lily, trying his hardest to force words out of his mouth. However, his tongue is attached to the roof of his mouth, and no real words are able to exit it. I recognize the magic immediately. Langlock. Very nice. Very, very nice. I’ve used that once or twice. I learned it from Uncle Harry a year or so ago, who actually cast the jinx on his own son when he wouldn’t clamp his lips shut for one single second. Very effective bit of magic, really.
“Lily, you are an amazing witch,” Lorcan compliments. He’s sitting across from me, and in the midst of the chaos, I’d almost forgotten he was there. Almost. He smiles at me over the table, and I look down at my lap to keep myself from noticeably swooning. It doesn’t matter how many years it’s been now. A smile from him will always make me swoon. Even when we’re an old married couple- if I ever bring up marriage, of course. “Almost as amazing as your cousin over here.”
Oh, I can’t prevent a swoon from that one. Come on.
Lily doesn’t express a single bit of gratitude to Lorcan for the compliment. She tucks her wand away in her robes, wrinkles her nose at James one last time, and stands up. She momentarily presses her hand against Owen’s shoulder before rushing out of the Great Hall, disappearing in the direction of the Gryffindor common room. From the speedy way she’s moving, I can tell she’s furious. Absolutely furious.
“One of us should probably go talk to her,” I suggest to the girls in my general vicinity. I look at Penelope, then farther down the table to Roxanne and Rose.
I grimace. The cauldron cake on my plate is still half-finished. I’d really like to finish it, but it looks like none of them are going after Lily anytime soon. I can’t blame them. She’s angry. And she’s a redhead. And she’s Ginny Weasley’s daughter. For all of the Weasleys and anyone who has met Ginny Weasley, following her irate spawn is not an option. Not in the least. Except, of course, for me. Because I’m entirely off my nutter.
“Yeah, I didn’t think so.”