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Staying Afloat by nednedned
Chapter 4 : Potion Mishaps, Chocolate Frogs, and Perfect Likenesses
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 3

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Amazing chapter image thanks to loveatfirstview@TDA!


Hello there! Chapter Four is here (finally), hope you enjoy it. It’s a bit shorter than the other ones and is a slight bit filler, but the plot thickens soon, I promise :) Also,  new chapter images have been added for 1-3, so go check them out! 


“I just don’t know what to do, you know? I mean, we really don’t have a set plan or anything.” Maya was in her thinking mode; deliberating her relationship, if you will, with James.


“Mhmm. Continue.” I gestured for her to carry on while slicing snakeskin. We were in Potions, and I was partnered with Maya – a potential recipe for disaster. Grace and Rose had partnered up at the table beside us, while Al was partnered with Scorpius.


We were making the Draught of Peace potion, a particularly difficult one without a mad pal giving distractions. To survive the lesson, I focused on keeping her away from the cauldron, even if it meant I had to listen to her ramble on about James.


“What if he decides that we’re not mutually exclusive and goes out with some blond bimbo?” Maya swung her arms around wildly, nearing my chopping knife and the bubbling potion. I reached for her closer arm, diverted it far from our project, and breathed a sigh of relief. So far, so good.


“I mean, I wouldn’t be able to stand it if he went that far. So alright, we don’t have a label – but that doesn’t mean that he should stoop as low as to fraternize with another girl!” Sighing as she dropped her hands on the table, she looked at me expectantly for some expertise.


I grabbed her shoulders and manoeuvred her so that she was at the edge of the table and turned to her. “Maya, didn’t you start going out with Sam-what’s-his-name last year while you were with James? Isn’t that the same thing?”


Maya scrunched up her face. Alright, maybe not the best idea to mention something of that nature. “Liiiaaa” she whined, “It most certainly is not! It’s just… different.”


“Very convincing argument.” I smirked, as I scooped up some porcupine quills and dropped them in the cauldron. The potion turned a bluish hue.


“All going well, ladies? Miss Vasquez, are you working on your share of the potion?” Professor Silsbury came striding up to us, looking through his square glasses at Maya.

I gulped. I didn’t exactly want her to jump in and help yet. “Er, she is actually, Professor, she’s just chopping up… those roots!” The roots in question which I was pointing at were on the other side of the table.



“I almost believed that, Miss Finnegan. And Miss Vasquez, next time you are preparing ingredients, it would help to have a closer proximity to them. I find that it aids in the chopping.” Silsbury winked at us and moved on to the next group.


Well, not such a bad guy after all.


I tuned back in with Maya and continued with the potion. “I really don’t know what will happen with him…” Maya was lamenting at the moment. Thankfully, this stage of her rant contained no violent hand gestures.


I added the gurdyroots. Brilliant! Only one more step before completion and no mishaps yet! Maybe there would be no explosions!


“And I just really want to fix it!” Maya finished with a flourish, sighed loudly, and dropped down to the table again, head in her hands. It appeared as if everything was well before I noticed the cauldron leaning slightly to the left…




My yell was in vain. The potion tipped towards the ground and fell towards me, splattering everywhere. As the potion wasn’t completed, you can imagine what this led to…






“I’m really, really, sorry Lia.”




“I should’ve been paying attention!”


“No problem.”


“I was just focused on James.”


“S’ok. Quite understandable.”


“I didn’t mean to land you in the Hospital Wing – though it was quite astounding how it only landed on you.”


“Nah. I’m fine, quite peaceful, actually…”




Maya looked at me in concern. For having an uncompleted potion fall all over me, I was feeling quite content. I was lying in a bed in the Hospital Wing, smiling to myself. Thank goodness it was the Draught of Peace we were making – it had no negative effects.


The only difference from a completed potion that ours had was that it was undiluted, and therefore much more concentrated and stronger. As such, I was hit with a very heavy dose of it – I felt like I was high.


Madame Pomfrey declared my excessive zen state “a threat to society”. Uptight lady.


 Just because I ended up spewing “make love, not war” crap to every passing student did not mean I had to be “contained”.


I looked up at Maya again dreamily and patted the highest part of her I could reach while lying down, her elbow. “It’s not your fault Maya; now go back to the remaining class like a good girl. It’s not becoming for a girl to skip Potions.”


With one more weird/sympathetic look, Maya started to head back to Potions. However, when she reached the Hospital Wing corridors, the bell rang and students started streaming everywhere. Class was over.


Maya did a little happy dance and turned back to me. “Oi, mad one!”


“Yes, young padawan?”


“I’m going to go look for Rose and Al, alright? They have a spare now and will entertain you.” She waved at me and then disappeared.


 Pssh. I did not need any entertaining. The flying flowers and smiley butterflies above my head were all the pals I needed! Though seeing Al would be tip top. Ooh, his dreamy, soft hair. I wonder what it would look like purple… daydreaming is fun!


“Lia, I think the correct term is hallucinations…”


Oops. Did I say that out loud?


Rose and Al were standing above me, having replaced my nature friends. Rose had uttered this comment and was looking wary, while Al was trying not to laugh.


I beamed at them. “Hello, you two! Today is a stupendous day. Don’t you just feel great? I feel wonderful! Quite peaceful, if you know what I mean.” I snuggled into the sheets and started humming “for he’s a jolly good fellow”.


Rose giggled and Al laughed outright. Not very polite at all.


I pouted at them. “Go away. You two are disrupting my aura. My nature pals are much better than you.”


Rose clapped a hand to her head. “Oh, I almost forgot! For you. Chocolate. Get well soon present!” She pulled out a giant box of chocolate frogs from her tiny robe pocket. How did she do that?


“Undetectable extension charm, silly.” Rose flicked my forehead.


Must have been thinking out loud again. Whoops.


Any way, doesn’t matter. Chocolate to be devoured!


I snatched the box from Rose, ripped it open, grabbed a chocolate frog package and sighed contentedly. I found the card and snorted. “Look Rose, it’s your dad!”


Albus smirked while Rose rolled her eyes. They both had a running joke of who could find more chocolate frog cards of their parents than the other.


It was always a bit funny, though, to see your best friend’s dad on a chocolate frog card. The same parent who always drank too much eggnog at Christmas dinner and started singing the theme song to “Doctor Who” when our family came to visit every year.


Needless to say, Ron Weasley was kind of awesome.


I flicked the card towards Rosie and finished my chocolate before pulling out another one. Both Al and Rose looked at me in concern.


“Listen Lia, the key word here is moderation; we all know what happens when you eat too much chocolate…” Rose trailed off when she saw my scary smile.


“It’s alright, silly, the fact that there is still concentrated Draught of Peace on my skin practically means that I’ll be fine!”


2 hours later, still in the Hospital Wing…




“Miss Finnegan, please! Control yourself before I give you even more Draught of Peace!”


I was supremely hyper, singing at the top of my lungs on my Hospital Wing bed. Needless to say, I was getting slightly stir-crazy. Rose and Albus had been bustled out by Madame Pomfrey, and I was bored being all alone.


“But Madame Pomfrey, I love chocolate!” The old bat just didn’t understand the awesomeness that a little hyperness can bring to a boring hospital wing.


Yes, I can see that, but now you’re getting a heavy dose to sedate you. Good night.”


“Noo!” Hyperness could not be abolished!


1 hour later, yes; still confined in the Hospital Wing…


“Lia? Are you awake?”




A gentle hand was shaking me slightly. I opened my eyes blearily and saw a blonde tree in front of me. Huh? I shook the sleep out of my eyes and saw that it was Cole.


Makes much more sense than the tree.


He smiled at me, mouth twitching with amusement. “I heard you had quite an interesting day today.”


“Bit of an understatement, actually.” I giggled. “Though I feel relatively normal now, thank Merlin.” I sat up and stretched.


Cole pulled something out of his bag. “Here, Rose forcefully shoved these papers in my hands when I said I was going to visit you.” He passed me my work that I missed from the last few periods of the day and laughed when I groaned and flopped back onto the bed.


“You got off easy, Lia; you only have DADA and Care of Magical Creatures work. I’ll help you out, I had this last year.” Cole sent me a smile and got out two quills.


Well, procrastination was out of the question now.




Five pieces of parchment, three broken quills (from me), eight chocolate frogs, and two hours later, we were done the work. I whooped (which Madame Pomfrey came to yell at me for) and high fived Cole. He gave me a genuine smile.


Maybe it was the remnants of the potions in my system, but Cole was being much more than his indifferent-I’m-the-top-of-the-Hogwarts-food-chain persona today. I found it quite enjoyable, actually.


We even had a nice time just talking. It was cool, acting like this with him. He had to go after a bit though, as he had his own work.


“Today was fun, Lia. Almost as fun as snogging.” He winked at my expression, kissed me lightly, and then turned to go. “I really hope you feel better soon.”


He was almost through the doors before he turned around again. “Oh yeah, Lia, James told me to remind you that Quidditch practice is in a few days – almost forgot. He would have ripped my head off if I did.”


With that, Cole was gone.


Eh. Quidditch soon! I just hope that James won’t kick our lazy bums when he goes into dictator-captain mode. 


I snuggled back into the bed contentedly as I watched Madame Pomfrey roll in some Hufflepuff 3rd year with green tentacles. Yikes.


Evening was coming, and people were starting to head back from dinner. I wondered if I would be forced to stay here overnight, or if my release from the Hospital Wing was coming soon?


This one ray of hope wasn’t enough to distract from my own creeping thoughts, though.


Cole was actually a decent person today. If this was last year, he would be all aloof and probably wouldn’t acknowledge me until after I was out of the Hospital Wing. The fact that he stayed for so long was like something Al would do… if he wasn’t thrown out by Madame Pomfrey during my sugar high.


Damn you, chocolate frogs.


I guess maybe Cole was actually trying to make our relationship work better than last time. This thought was slightly comforting.


I felt bad though. The change in demeanor from Cole was unexpected, and wasn’t reassuring in the fact that I was slightly using the bloke.


Besides, what difference would it make that Al would see me with Cole in front of him? Would it actually make him jealous? Or would he just look passively at us, thinking Oh, it’s just that slightly mad Lia with Cole. Meh. I wonder what’s for dinner?


Would it really affect him at all?


Before I could let all the wayward thoughts get to me, I pulled out my sketchbook from under the rest of my schoolbooks that Cole had brought. Rosie had been thoughtful enough to include it for me; she probably predicted that I would need it during Madame Pomfrey’s long imprisonment.


I pulled out a piece of charcoal and started sketching abstractedly, focusing on the lines rather than the entire picture.


It was actually nice for a bit to sit in the quiet Hospital Wing absorbed in my art. It was a change from the hustle and bustle of the daily Hogwarts life. For a long time, the only noise that could be heard was the sound of charcoal against paper.


I didn’t actually focus on what I was drawing until half an hour later. When I took in the page, I gulped.


Obsessed much?


Miss Stalker McStalker here had drawn a near perfect profile of the back of Al’s head and shoulders. The pieces of hair on the back of his head which always refused to sit down, and the way that his shoulders were slumped when forced to focus in class were all captured in the sketch.


Yep, needless to say, I win the creepy award. Who does this kind of stuff? I didn’t even mean to draw it! I just let my subconscious side take over.


Apparently Al is a frequent visitor there.


Still, the drawing wasn’t bad at all. Heh. Almost a perfect likeness of the back of his head; my view in Charms.


I was sitting while admiring/staring horrifiedly at my drawing when my thoughts were interrupted by a rather loud yell.




Oh dear. The ace gang barged in – everyone from Caleb to Grace to Al. Maya and Luke had managed to yell collectively at me, though quieted down when they saw Madame Pomfrey glaring daggers.


I was happy to see them when I realized that my sketchbook was still out.


AHHHHH, NO WAY. If they saw the picture of Al that I drew, they would tease me for years and years to come! They would probably end up even mentioning it in a speech at my wedding (to Al?), and would gossip with my relatives and tell the story of Lia being a creep.


Not gonna happen.


Also, if Al himself saw it, I would be dead meat. Deader-than-dead meat. The creepy girl who draws him when he least expects it.




I shoved the sketchbook under my pillow just before Maya dived-bombed the bed, followed by the rest of the group sitting like normal human beings.


Nothing to hide here! Nothing at all.


Thankfully, the sketchbook stayed in place for the rest of the evening while everyone was visiting. Madame Pomfrey kicked them out half an hour before curfew – she wouldn’t listen to me when I begged to leave with them.


I was fine now, honestly!


But she wouldn’t hear it. So here I was, stuck overnight in the Hospital Wing all alone – aside from creepy Hufflepuff tentacle guy.


It was going to be a long night.


Thanks for reading! Please please review, it really makes my day :D




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