Chapter 7 : The Potions Master
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“My husband had been threatened and forced to obey Dark Lord without question. Our Manor House was occupied by Dark Lord and other Death Eaters against our will. I lied to Dark Lord to save Harry Potter’s life. I didn’t want to let him die. He was the same age as my son, Draco.”
Narcissa Malfoy played the role of mother of a son very well.
She even sobbed in the Wizengamot court. And Dumbledore in the portrait proved her testimony.
“I, witness for the defence, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, testify Draco Malfoy didn’t attempt murder me, nor Harry Potter. No harm had been done. Draco Malfoy was also the victim of Lord Voldemort.”
Thanks to Dumbledore he was now studying at Hogwarts. He recalled the words of Dumbledore at the tower of Hogwarts two years ago.
“Draco, you are not a killer. I don’t think you will kill me, Draco. You have hurt nobody. I can help you.”
And Severus Snape. Snape played the role of murderer. He was loyal to Dumbledore until he died. Draco knew the truth about Snape from Kingsley at his funeral. How brave he was. And Narcissa told Draco about the Unbreakable Vow between her and Snape. Snape was Gryffindor rather than Slytherin.
And Harry Potter. Draco was watching now Harry talking with Ronald and Ginerva Weasley at the long Gryffindor table. Harry Potter, he had always created a dramatic effect Draco was eager for. He had had a pang of envy against Harry Potter since their first year at Hogwarts. He was perfect. He had defeated Dark Lord in the end. And he didn’t abandon Draco and rescued him from Fiendfyre Crabbe created. Yes, he admitted that, but he didn’t want to give up. He wanted to show Malfoy’s pride. He wanted to gain the respect of people of this Wizarding World with his own ability.
Draco was now looking down at his toast on the plate, and he sighed and took it with his right hand.
“Eh, excuse me.” Head Girl was standing by him. It was Granger, Mud…oh, the word was a taboo. Alright, he told that he would accept the new rule that nobody could use the words ‘Mud-blood’ nor ‘Pure-blood’ in Hogwarts at the meeting among Prefects , Head Girl , and Professors last night.
“Good morning, Granger. What is your business?” said Draco coolly.
“Good morning, Mal..eh well how about calling each other, first name, Draco?” said Granger.
Draco breathed a big sigh.
“I accepted the new rule. Wasn’t it enough for you?” huffed Draco.
“O.K. please calm down, I won’t force you to call my first name. Any way I heard from Professor Slughorn, that you wanted to earn pocket money by making potions.”
Yes, she was ‘A Girl Who Knew All About’.
“I want to say none of your business but yes, I want to earn Galleons. What’s your special option?” said Draco.
“Well. George Weasley is looking for a specialist on Dark Artifacts, who is good at making potions. I would like to recommend you. What do you think?” said Granger.
Draco raised an eyebrow and said,
“No ulterior intentions?”
“No, I swear to Merlin,” answered Granger.
“All right, I’m in,” Draco accepted her offer.
Ron was the first who notice Hermione didn’t sit at the Gryffindor table in the morning.
“Where’s Hermione?” Ron looked around.
“Over there,” Harry pointed the spot where Hermione and Malfoy were talking.
“Bloody hell! Why was she talking with a filthy Pure-Blood follower?” fumed Ron.
“’Cause I reckon she is a Head Girl, and he is a Head Boy. They are talking about school rules or something. Ron, you can’t use the word about your blood status in Hogwarts. They made new rule. Nobody can use the word implies blood status, ” said Ginny and she bit into an apple.
Hermione came back to the Gryffindor table and said,
“Good morning. How was the tryout?”
Ron ignored her question and said,
“Why were you talking with Malfoy at the Slytherin table?”
“I found a Potions Master! He will help George.” Hermione took the edge of Ron’s question.
“What do you mean?” asked Harry.
“I mean George’s joke shop. Don’t you remember?” Hermione sat down and she began to eat a toast.
“Who is a Potions Master?” Harry asked her.
“Draco Malfoy.” she said.
“What?” Ron huffed.
“Do you really think Malfoy is a Potions Master?” Harry said.
“Yes, I do. His skill is a real one. At advanced potion class yesterday, I found out his works were accurate, his moves were considerable. And he always focuses his attention on a new experimentation,” said Hermione.
“Well, if you say so, he might be a Potions Master,” said Harry giving Ron a quick glance.
Ron’s face was red with anger.
“Remember it was Malfoy who tried to bring Harry to Voldemort! He was a Death Eater!” Ron stood up with his both hands pounded on the table, clattering about forks and spoons. The chatter and the bustle of the Great Hall subsided. The students of other table and teachers at the platform table were looking at them. Then Hestia and Dedalus stood up and walked down to them from the Slytherin table.
“Good morning, Harry. It’s time to change shifts. We will leave now. Please take up your positions,” she smiled.
“Well, two of you, are you ready?” said Dedalus.
“Yes, we are. Ron, let’s go,” said Harry patting Ron’s shoulder.
“Well, we were always with him. When he attends his class, when he eats, and when he sleeps. Of course break time except his going to the bathroom. Dedalus was waiting outside.” explained Hestia.
“Here, his timetable,” Dedalus handed a parchment to Harry.
: Timetable Friday classes
1 Advanced Potions class
2 Magical Business Management
3 Magical Laws
4 Self-study in Library or in Head Boy’s room
Prefects meeting at Head Boy’s Room
Hestia and Didalus were leaving. Then Hestia halted and turned to come back to Harry and Ron.
“Oh, I forgot to tell you. I have charmed beds cleaning charm in Head Boy’s room. So two of you, don’t worry, and of course on next Monday morning, please don’t forget casting cleaning charm on your beds. We will use the same beds from next Monday. House-elves can’t enter. We are afraid the remaining Death Eaters use house-elves to abduct him away.” she said, and they left the Great Hall.
It had been almost two years since they were there, the dungeon. The dungeon was full of odd smells, vapours. Harry and Ron in red robes, passed large, bubbling cauldrons, and stood at the corner inside the dungeon. Luna Lovegood, Padma and two Ravenclaws took a table together. Hermione, Ernie and Draco shared a table. Ron who had been quiet, frowned at Hermione and Draco at the same table. Luna noticed them and said,
“Hi, Harry. Hi, Ron. You are very handsome in your Auror robes. ”
Padma and Ernie were also beaming at them.
“Oh, Harry. I’m very delighted to see you again. Please sit next to Granger,” said Slughorn.
“Eh, thank you, professors, but I’m on duty, you know,” said Harry.
“Not to worry, my dear boy. You’ll be interested in. We’ll make Wolfsbane Potion today,” said Slughorn.
“Will you?” Harry strode to the seat and sat down next to Hermione.
Hermione grinned at Harry. Harry glanced back to Ron. Ron nodded towards Malfoy like “Don’t take your eyes off Malfoy.”
“They are short of Wolfsbane Potion at St. Mungo. It is a pity quite a few children were bitten by werewolves last year,” said Slughorn.
“Oh, were they?” Hermione said.
“Yes, they were. So you need to succeed in making Wolfsbain Potion as much as you can.”
Padma was whispering something to Hermione from the next table. Hermione gasped to hear what Padma said.
“What did she say?” Harry asked Hermione.
“Padma heard from her sister, Parvati who is now a trainee healer at St. Mungo's, that Lavender Brown comes to St. Mungo's once a month to take Wolfsbain Potion.”
Now Harry understood. Lavender had been bitten by Fenrir Greyback at the Battle of Hogwarts. That’s why Parvati had not come back to Hogwarts and gone to be a trainee healer. Lavender was her best friend.
“Without Wolfsbane, you can’t brew Wolfsbane Potion, Granger,” Malfoy wagged a tuft of Wolfsbane at Hermione.
“You’re right.” Hermione stood up and strode off the table to the Slughorn’s desk to take ingredients.
Harry observed Malfoy brewing potion. Hermione was right. Malfoy’s handwork was accurate and considerable. His movement reminded Harry of someone …Severs Snape. Harry glanced back to Ron again. Ron was also watching Malfoy with his intense look. In the end of the class Slughorn moved through between the tables to check their potions.
“Well, I am very impressed. All of you did it! I’ll continue to brew them for two days and send them to St. Mungo's. Thank you everyone! ” said Slughorn contentedly.
Then Malfoy murmured,
“Only Slughorn will get Galleons from St. Mungo's. We worked without payments.”
Harry and Ron sat down on back seats of the Magical Business Management class.
Harry nearly fell asleep listening to a lecture of professor Bletchley. He gave a lecture on fluctuation about properties in Diagon Alley and other Wizarding villages. The lecture about enumerations of numbers induced a light sleep.
“Harry, wake up! Malfoy’s leaving,” Ron patted Harry’s shoulder.
During lunch time, three of them didn’t talk at all. They ate in silence at the long Slytherin table. Then a black big owl soared down and dropped a parcel in front of Harry. Harry picked up bacon to the beak of the owl. The black owl pecked it and fluttered and soared up again. As Harry tried to open a parcel, Malfoy opened his mouth,
“Potter, are you sure it’s safe to open with your bare hand?” Malfoy halted Harry from unwrapping.
“What do you know, Malfoy?” Ron asked Malfoy with his dubious look.
Malfoy shrugged and said,
“A celebrity like him should be careful. It’s a common sense, Weasley. Don’t you carry protective gloves with you?”
“Eh, no,” said Harry embarrassed a little.
“Pathetic,” said Malfoy.
“Oh, I remembered George had invented protective gloves this summer. Charlie gave him the idea,” said Ron.
“Do you have one?” said Harry in expectation.
“No, I’m sorry,” said Ron.
Malfoy gave a big sigh and shoved his right hand in his pocket and took out dragon skin gloves that had a mark ‘W.W.W’ on the table.
“Eh, thanks.” Harry took them and shoved his hands into them. Then he unwrapped the parcel carefully, then the something popped with small flame and burned down, left a piece of parchment. Other Slytherin students shrieked out with fear. Harry picked up the parchment and skimmed the sentences once and read it again carefully:
Cancel the writ of attachment upon Malfoy vault
Use Daily prophet to let us know.
Then Bertie Higgs will be released.
“I have to report this to Gawin,”Harry stood up.
“Go on, mate. I’ll stay here with him,” Ron nodded towards Malfoy.
Harry strode over to the platform where McGonagall was sitting, and showed her the parchment and they hurried up to her office. Gawin’s face in the hearth told Harry,
“They seemed to find out Terence Higgs was under the protection of Auror Headquarters. I will tell Kingsley about canceling the writ of attachment upon Malfoy vault temporary. Then we will inform the chief editor of Daily prophet about it.”
“Sir, what, do you think, is their aim?” asked Harry.
“Perhaps they want to exploit Lusius or Draco with withdrawing Galleons themselves. Keep watching Draco Malfoy,” said Gawin.
“Yes, sir. But who are watching Lucius now?” said Harry.
“Blaise Zabini and Hit Wizards. They are assigned to guard Malfoy Manor.”
“Zabini is a trainee. Why is he assigned to guard Mafoy Manor?” asked Harry.
“You’re also a trainee, right? You, Weasley and Zabini had come through all kinds of hardships last year. Not only Zabini’s mother but also Zabini was our side secretly. And we rely on you and Weasley. And yes, we don’t forget, Hermione Granger at Hogwarts,” grinned Gawin in the Hearth.
“She’s very reliable. I wish we could gain her as a trainee Auror instead of …O.K. I won’t mention,” said Gawin.
Harry guessed Gawin was going to refer to Romilda Vain.
“But sir, I have a question. I thought Zabini was obsessed with Pure-blood status. Why was he on our side?” asked Harry.
“The Zabini family just hated Death Eaters. Mrs. Zabini’s blood line was Pure-blood. Blaise’s father was Pure-blood, perhaps. But her other deceased husbands were not all Pure-blood. She told me.”
Harry descended down the marble staircase and entered the classroom where Mr.Vance lectured Magical Law. Ron was standing at the corner of the class. Hermione also attended the class. Harry reckoned the subject was important for Hermione who was eager for house-elf right. At fourth period Malfoy went back to the Head Boy’s Room with Harry and Ron. It was the first time for them to enter the room. The room has a large built-in bookshelf.
“Blimey. It looks like a library. So many books,” said Ron.
“Yeah. Is the Head Girl’s room like this? Hermione might be delighted to read many books,” said Harry.
“I don’t think so. These books belonged to professor Snape. They were carried from Spinner’s End,” said Malfoy. And he opened the drapes of the window, thought Harry, but it was not the window. It was a portrait of Severs Snape.
“Potter.” The dark black pair of eyes were staring at the green of Harry’s.
“Professor Snape, I.,” Harry tried to say some words to express his gratitude but Snape cut him short by raising his hand.
“Don’t say a word, Potter. I can foresee your intention. Do your duty. Close the drapes, Draco,” said Snape and he closed his eyes. Malfoy closed the drapes and strode off to the door of the bathroom. Harry and Ron followed him.
“Blimey, it’s large!” Ron murmured.
It was just like a Prefects’ bathroom, though the size of the bath was not so large as the Prefects’. The bathroom was full of vapors and odd smells. Harry noticed three brass cauldrons were set on the side of the bath.
“Malfoy, what are you brewing, these?” asked Harry.
“I don’t know,” said Malfoy.
“You don’t know?” said Harry.
“These are still in the experimental stage,” said Malfoy.
“What the hell are you up to?” asked Ron with dubious look.
“I’m just doing my job. Here,”Malfoy handed a parchment to Ron.
Harry also peeped over. There was a handwritten order form, and signature at the bottom: George Weasley , Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes
“How did you get this?” Ron asked.
“Granger gave me this morning at Great Hall,” said Malfoy.
Harry and Ron exchanged their glances. Harry took the parchment and read it again:
We need Detection Powder to detect the cursed parcels delivered by owls. We need to meet the demand. This is an urgent need to develop this product. Please send us samples of new product as soon as possible.
“We? Us?” Harry asked Ron.
“Well, George uses ‘we’ and ‘us’ meaning Fred, of course, you know,” said Ron.
“Oh, I see.” said Harry. Harry reckoned if the Head Boy room had a portrait of Snape, George might have a portrait of Fred in the shop. Malfoy was now setting on fire and cutting ingredients on the side table next to a wash stand.
“Harry, I want to .., but.,” Ron nodded towards toilet.
“I’ll watch him,” whispered back Harry.
“Thanks, I’ll be right back,” Ron left the Head Boy’s room and went to the boy’s bathroom outside.
“Eh, Malfoy, can I help?” said Harry. But Malfoy didn’t answer. Now Harry noticed Mafoy was wearing shabby secondhand robes. Harry remembered a threatening owl mail mentioning about the writ of attachment upon Malfoy vault.
“Eh, are you making potions every day, here in this bathroom?” asked Harry.
“Potter, don’t talk! I can’t concentrate,” said Malfoy.
“Sorry,” said Harry.
Malfoy stirred counter-clockwise three times carefully and strode off and passed by Harry to in front of the drapes. Malfoy opened the drapes and said,
“Professor, I have a question, please wake up.”
Snape in the portrait opened his eyes and spoke listlessly,
“Did you think very carefully about the method before waking me up, Draco?”
“Yes, I did. So am I here,” said Malfoy irritated.
“I’m wondering if I could use Wartcap Powder mixed with dittany.”
“Dittany is a powerful healing herb. Its use makes fresh skin grow over a wound. Wartcap Powder is a pulverized substance but it causes the skin to form a thick hard crust…,” then Snape halted and opened his mouth,
“Have you already tried to mix them?”
“No, I haven’t. The ingredients are ready. I got them from professor Slughorn in the morning. But I want to make sure if it’s not dangerous to mix them up,” said Draco.
“I remembered the book which mentioned about cautions when you mix ingredients. You can find the book in the shelf of this room.”
“What’s the title?”
“Meditoranian Anti-Venoms,” said Snape and noticed Harry and stared at him,
“Potter will help you to look for,” Then he closed his eyes.
“What? Eh, yes, I will, professor,” said Harry but Malfoy had already shut the drapes.
Malfoy strode off to the enormous bookshelf , the top of which reached to the ceiling.
“I need a ladder,” Malfoy muttered and he turned around and said,
“Potter, don’t take your eyes off the cauldron I was brewing while I bring the ladder in. Keep an even temperature,” And he strode to the exit.
Just then Ron came in.
“Oi! Ron follow Malfoy. He’s leaving,” shouted Harry.
“What? Oh, yeah,” Ron left following Malfoy.
Harry went back in the bathroom. Harry bent over the cauldron Malfoy set. There were bubbles on the water. Harry suppressed an urge to stir the liquid randomly and watched. Then he walked to the side table. There lied cut herbs, a box of Wartcap powder and a bottle of Ice potion. Harry read the label of the bottle: Ice potion provides protection for going through the flames. Harry glanced back the surface of the water and made sure the bubbles were the same as before, then went outside the bathroom. He looked around the room. There were three four-poster beds by the window, a wardrobe and a desk. Harry walked to the desk. There stood a picture frame. He took it up. Young Draco, in new Slytherin robes, Narcissa and Lucius were smiling at Harry. Harry was staring at it for a while and put it back. Just then Malfoy and Ron came back carrying a long ladder.
“Can’t believe it. Shrinking Charm didn’t work,” grumbled Malfoy.
“You’re not good at Transfiguration spells,” Ron smirked.
“Shut up, Weasley!” huffed Malfoy.
They put the ladder over the bookshelf.
“Potter, search the upper section, Weasley, you, the middle section. I’ll search the low section,”Malfoy said and began to search.
Harry climbed up a ladder. He searched the upper section.
“Eh, Malfoy, these books are about Magical Creatures,” said Harry.
But Malfoy didn’t reply.
“What’s the title?” Ron on the middle of a ladder said.
“Meditoranian Anti-Venoms!” shouted Malfoy.
Harry searched the second from the top. They were all about Dark Arts. There were some books Harry knew: ‘The Dark Arts Outsmarted’, ‘Curses and Counter Curses’. And he took two books out of the shelf ‘Guide to Advanced Occlumency’ and ‘Guide to Advanced Legilimency’.
“Eh, Malfoy, can I borrow these books?”
“Which books?” Malfoy looked up and said.
“Guide to Occlumency and Legilimency,”said Harry.
“Due date, next Friday,” said Malfoy and he grabbed a book out of the low section and went to the bathroom.
“Malfoy seemed to find the book,” said Ron.
Harry came down the ladder and went to the bathroom with Ron. Malfoy was now flipping through the pages. Then he cut the rest of herbs and added the ingredients in the cauldron and added three clockwise stir and drew the wand and swished and chanted incantation.
“I think everything’s going well. On Sunday night I’ll be able to hand you a sample for your brother, Weasley,” said Malfoy and he put out a fire.
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