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Chapter 3 : The sound of Dripping Poison
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“Are you sure you added enough salamander skin?”
“Yes of course” Miranda snapped at her best friend, as sweat pearls slowly slid down her neck.
“Because I wouldn’t like to get poisoned you know and it looks a bit dark” Eileen added. The potion that stood in front of them had a dark red colour, almost the one of blood.
“Yes, I though so too, maybe we should add something else but salamander skin though?” Miranda said thoughtfully…
“I don’t know if we should add anything really, try three times anti-clockwise and I think it will be perfect for the rat’s tail…”
“Ok, are you sure?”
“Yes of course I’m sure Miranda, I feel that’s the thing needed, trust me” Eileen answered and sounded annoyed that she had to repeat herself.
“Well… I just don’t want it to be ruined after three days of work,” Miranda replied sounding very doubtful of Eileen’s advice.
“Stop fussing! You’re not the one taking the risk are you?” upset that her advice wasn’t taken Eileen dropped her knife which she had used to cut up the rat’s tail, took the ladle and made three turns anti-clockwise herself. The potion lost the darkness as a dark fume rose and the liquid looked bright and hopeful. “Now add the two inches of rats tail that I’ve hacked” she said sounding very smug about being right. Miranda scooped up the parts of the tail and put them into the potion which turned even brighter, an almost silvery colour.
“Are you sure that this is how it’s supposed to look?” she then asked, the silver surface looking just as the sea on a misty day… dangerous water ready to swallow ships.
“How could I be? No-one’s made it before Silly. Stop worrying, it’ll be fine. I promise” Eileen words came out sounding comforting and very determined. Miranda could not let her worries sink and she was sure that there must be something wrong… yet she couldn’t put her finger on just exactly what it was…
“There just five turns clockwise and two anti-clockwise and it will be all done!” Eileen said happily, “maybe this will be it Miranda and we’ll never have to make another potion,” a small smile dared to appear on her face.
“Or maybe it will be dangerous like the last one and make it all worse…” Miranda added “, seriously Eie I think we ought to stop, we don’t know what we’re meddling with. Last time you were lucky, maybe you won’t be this time? Has that idea ever occurred to you?”
“Maybe you just want it to be dangerous! Maybe you want it to be poison!” Eileen replied heatedly, she knew that it might be dangerous but she was willing to take the risk. Miranda couldn’t understand. She had never seen what Eileen had…
“Seriously Eie, you know that I’d never risk your health!” Eileen gave a cold snort at this, wasn’t that just what they did every time the made a new potion? It could just as well turn out to be poison… “If you don’t want to risk my health you should help me to get better,” Eileen sounded exasperated, she had to do this why couldn’t Miranda see that? What had changed her mind?
“I really want to… but I’m not sure that you ever will be. It’s just that you know… I’ve started thinking and I mean how many potions will we have to make? How full will our book be?” Miranda said pointing at the black notebook sitting next to them waiting to have yet another recipe for a potential cure written down in Eileen’s cramped handwriting.
“I know…” Eileen answered “,but we can’t stop, if I don’t get a cure I don’t know what will happen I just feel that a life filled with nightmares is not one worth living. Please Miranda, you have to help me” the last words were barely more than a whisper…
“Ok” and Miranda took the ladle from Eileen and gave the last two turns.
Alyssa hurried out from the common room, she was already late. She knew better than to end up in a discussion with Ella but she had. Again. Ella must be the thickest of all Slytherins, she seriously believed that a nod from the Great Lord meant that he wanted her… she couldn’t have been more mistaken. Alyssa thought that she was the only one that really knew him; everyone else was just manipulated by his charm and silk-honey words… but not Alyssa. She knew what he really wanted. Because she wanted it as well.
Her thoughts of Tom were interrupted as she drew closer and saw the friendly hoops and the green grass again, how she had missed it. She really hoped that they would accept her this year. She knew that she was a far better flyer than any of the others and she could score from a far greater distance. She strode out into the middle of the field and took a place next to some very nervous-looking third years.
“OK so everyone trying out for the Slytherin team, get into groups of seven!” she heard a very familiar voice shout. It took her some time to place it but then she realised who it belonged to. Apparently they had picked William as the leader this year, interesting and all the better for me Alyssa thought. William was fair, had a big built and his lopsided smile made most of the younger girls fall for him instantly, he also happened to have had a crush on Alyssa by the end of last term and she really hoped it had lasted ‘til now. She got into a group of seven together with Keenan.
“I’m going to start each group off, you’ll make a lap around the pitch and land neatly at your starting position, understand?” a murmur of understanding came from the group and William blew his whistle. The first group was horrible, on the time of the landing one of them even crashed into the ground.
“Seriously, can you believe this? Who do they think they are?” Alyssa whispered to Keenan and they both sniggered.
William blew his whistle again and group two took off. This time some of the flyers were actually quite good…
And then as William blew the whistle a third time Alyssa finally got to shoot through the air and soar around the pitch… the feeling was indescribable. Flying was the best thing on earth, even though it was in the air.
Flying. Tilting. Making the broom obey your smallest turn… Alyssa loved it. She was in full control and nothing could stop her, not even bludgers. She had to be picked this year and she had a pretty good idea of how to make sure that she was. As soon as she had seen William a plan had formed in her mind, she knew how she would make him notice her.
When the lap came to an end she tilted her broom down and flew straight towards the ground looking just like a predator of the sky. She waited until the very last minute before she brought the broom up towards her and landed just a few inches away from William. He looked surprised to the extent of almost being chocked.
She took the chance, leaned a bit close and whispered a “Hello” in his ear but nothing more. Then she gave him a flashy smile and walked back to her group that had landed on their starting place a few metres away. Alyssa was sure that the show was bound to get Williams old emotions back stirring.
“Very mature Al,” Keenan said as she came back.
“A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, you know” she replied and winked.
“I won’t have a chance against you now” he said sounding upset but she knew it was only a play. The both of them were bound to be picked.
The try-outs continued and so did Alyssa’s flirting; Keenan found it very amusing and the rest of the girls found it very annoying.
When the try-outs ended Alyssa felt very satisfied with herself and went back to dinner with Keenan and weirdly enough, William accompanied them. During the walk they didn’t have much of a conversation and Alyssa enjoyed it better that way, though she made sure to send William a few glances every now and then, to give him the idea that he actually had a quite good chance of getting her.
They came back to the castle just as the dinner was served but the beauty of the serving was completely lost on them all seeing as they came from full-blood families. They sat down at the middle of the table and Alyssa decided to start the conversation going.
“So William, did you see anything that you liked out on the pitch?” Alyssa asked
“I definitely did, some of you weren’t that bad actually” he replied, his dark voice would to some have been very pleasurable but to Alyssa it didn’t matter, she didn’t want him for anything more than a place in the team.
“Do you know who you want?” she continued… and then she made sure to quickly add “, for the team I meant… not anything else” with an embarrassed voice and a blush she brought her gaze down to the food. When she looked up through her eyelashes William was still looking at her. It was clearly working and she was sure that he’d be asking her out sooner than you could say Scrumple Horned Snorcacks.
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