Chapter 5 : Ghosts and Potions
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WE HAVE A BANNER! Isn't it beautiful? This is the fifth chapter, and five is my lucky number, so this is dedicated to the five people who have favourited this story, everyone who has reviewed, and to the approx. 500 reads this story has so far! It means a lot.
Anyway, read, review, rate, the three R's of HPFF! Hope you like it, and sorry for the wait- writers block and The Mortal Instruments (epic series). It's also taken a while to get all sorted and vaildated- you know how the holidays are! The story's been upped to Mature for language, not because I'm planning any radical sex scenes (yet). Enjoy!
Pushing Al to his seat, I had to glare at practically everyone to stop them staring. Al was gazing up at the teacher- in awe or in confusion I didn't know. And I certainly didn't want to find out.
The teacher was slim, with long legs emphasised by her short skirt. A black top hidden under the skirt by a thick belt, her deep purple cloak thrown over the top, not that it covered the large amount of skin she was showing. Every boy in the class was practically panting at the sight of her, preferring to gaze at her body like it was a hunk of meat than actually learning something. Gross. Maybe she got lost, and somehow ended up in our DADA class. Maybe our teacher had a heart attack at the sight of her, and she's covering it up. No matters were helped when she paced up and down the classroom, firing questions at unsuspecting students while her skirt hitched up with every step.
"Lucy, what's the most common disarming spell?"
"Nathan, what charm is used to get rid of dementors?"
"The Patronus charm, expecto patronum."
"Kasy, name and describe the three Unforgiveable curses."
She stopped in front of my desk, staring at me with knowing eyes. We'd learnt all this stuff by fourth year, so I sighed and answered in the most Granger-worthy voice possible.
"First is the Imperius curse. It gives you full control over the victim, forcing them to do all your bidding, other than kill themselves. Second is the Cruciatus curse. It tortures your opponent, like knifes sticking in their skin, but it doesn't kill them. And the third is the Killing curse. It's job is in the title- you drop dead immediately."
I was congratulated with silence, everyone staring at the teacher. She didn't move on to her next victim from simple questions, but stood, meeting my ice cold gaze.
"You just got yourself off detention Miss Wood. Potter, let's see if you can be as lucky. Write all the uses of dragon blood on the board." She said, handing Al a stick of chalk. The ghost of a smile flickered across her face as she moved back into her path around the room. Five minutes passed, and the old bell clanged through the class, dismissing the class.
"Who was that?" I asked Rose when we left, glancing back to where the teacher stood by her desk, sorting through some files.
"Professor Harmony. Clarissa Harmony. Anyway, what happened?" Rose asked, looking at me with concern.
"Bitch fight, SUPER-AL, cry time, crazy sexy teacher." Al answered, grabbing my book to 'compare' notes.
"Took the words right out of my mouth, Super-Al." I smirked, turning back to retell the days events in a bit more detail to Rose.
"Come on girls. We need to fill up before potions- Merlin knows what horror Slughorn has planned for us today!" Scorpius shouted from ahead, Aidan and Al beside him.
"We're coming!" I laughed, starting to sprint towards them.
"Save us some food. I need to use the loo." Rose called, catching my arm and dragging me to the nearest bathroom. Why my gender felt the need to drag their friend along whenever they needed the toilet was beyond me.
"What's up? I can tell you what happened in the Hall, it's not that much of a secret-"
"Sorry Kat, it's not about that. It's actually about Laura. She looked really upset at breakfast; I didn't really think too much about it though, until before. Me and Scorpius went back to the common room- we knew it was pointless trying to stop you. Or help you for that matter. She was sitting by herself near the fire, crying her eyes out. As soon as she saw us she vanished, but this was left on the chair." Rose said, handing me a crumpled piece of a paper with very little writing on it.
I sighed, feeling guilt crawling up my throat. Last year, Laura had been one of those who freaked about the OWLs. It got so bad Madam Pomfrey sent her to St Mungo's for treatment, our school's medicines not enough to calm her down. Despite this, she seemed happy after the exams, saying that she didn't know what she was so worked up about and she felt she'd done great. From the paper before me, that feeling was incorrect.
"How...Rose, what should we do? She's got, like, three lessons- that's going to get her nothing for NEWTs!" I said, reminding myself that reminising or crying was completely pointless.
"I don't know, I had a few ide-"
"Nothing!" A voice interrupted, dragging both of our attentions to the toilet stalls on our left.
"Myrtle." We both hissed, staring at the pale figure dancing her way towards us.
"Yes, Myrtle. And the answer is that you do nothing about it. I'm sure she feels as terrible as she can at the moment; how will she feel when she discovers that you two know what a failure she is as well? You destroy that table, like she intended, and carry on just as normal. Except if she starts going crazy or mean or suicidal. Those aren't good signs." Myrtle sang in her slightly croaky voice. Me and Rose shared a glance, one of complete and utter confusion. Hidden behind snide comments and Myrtle-ness, the ghost had actually made sense.
"Errr, thanks Myrtle. Come on Rose, I don't want to miss lunch. And the boys will be worrying- even girls shouldn't take this long in the bathroom!"
Quickly, we slipped out the door, leaving Myrtle humming a slow tune that was worthy of a creepy horror movie scene.
"Well? Do we do what she suggested?" I asked when we were a few metres from the Hall, our journey being as swift and silent as possible.
"She spoke some truth Kasy. Laura must hate herself for these results, and it's not helped by her parents. You met them last year on the platform, didn't you? They're strict and high-hoped, things that wouldn't have mixed well with those results. I'll chuck the paper in the bin, where it was meant to be in the first place, and we'll just try and be a little nicer to her. See if she opens up or asks for help or something."
"Right, because she's so going to ask either Rose Weasley, the Queen of nerds, or Kasy Wood, the girl who dyed her hair puke green for nearly two months last year in Charms for help on her schoolwork." I replied, turning to enter the Hall. The smell of food almost grabbed me by the wrist and pulled me right into the room, when the bell rang and lunch was over.
"Save us some food. I need to use the loo." Rose called, dragging Kasy away with her. That seemed to be happening a lot lately.
"So...Kasy alright?" Aidan asked, all of us becoming apparent of the awkward silence settling over us.
"Yeah. She got seriously freaked- couldn't believe what she'd done. It'll take her conscience is going to take forever to clear it up."
"Yeah, she's too Hufflepuff for her own good. What about you?" Aidan asked as we turned the final corner.
"Me? Not a drop of Hufflepuff blood in sight."
"You know that's not true mate. And anyway, I think he meant with the whole attack thing." Scorpius laughed, silently reminding us that he didn't have Hufflepuff blood, unless you count his great-aunt's daughter Tonks, or her son Teddy.
"Oh, right. The only thing I'm feeling guilty about is not letting Rebecca get hexed. Not even a tiny stinging or itching hex, all limbs intact, not even facial hair or a tail when I left!" I replied, striding into the Hall with a big grin on my face.
In front of me was a bunch of Slytherin girls, crowding around a tall, dark haired girl who was parading along the Ravenclaw table. Viola.
"She's a threat to our health! This time it was Slytherins, who's next? She- well, look who it is." Her sly voice drifted across to me, turning everyone's faces my way.
"Where's your precious girlfriend Potter? Off to hex another innocent student?"
Anger bubbled beneath my skin, my hand itching for my wand.
"Viola! What the hell...I told you to leave it. There's no need to drag Albus into this, let alone the whole fucking school!"
My face was one of pure shock, matching every other Slytherin and Gryffindors perfectly. The Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs were unfazed; this was a natural occurence. House Hate and all that.
Rebecca had appeared beside me, her hair scraped back into a high ponytail. Despite all of her and Kasy's differences, you could see the resemblance in the jut of her jaw, the way her shaped nails dug deep into the wood of her wand out of anger.
"But Rebecca! She waltzed into our common room, openly attacked you, and didn't even have the decency to apologise or explain her actions! She deserves to be punished; don't protect her just because she's your sister. House over blood, remember?"
All eyes were on Rebecca, waiting for her reaction. Instead of the explosion that was predicted, her features softened into an empathetic but still ruthless smile. A Slytherin smile.
"You're right Viola. My sister had no right to shout at me in my common room, without leaving a single scar, when I hid a life changing event from her for the past five months in return for concert tickets. Obviously she should be the one who apologies', instead of me, who has already held secrets like this in the past." She was now in front of Viola, standing on the bench so they were the same height.
"Incase you couldn't tell, that last part, that was sarcasm. Maybe, for once in your life, you should realise that not everything is judged upon your view, in black and white, good and bad. Maybe next time I tell you to keep your oversized gob shut, you should do it, because unlike my sister I have no fear in hexing you to next month."
There was no shouting, no fighting. That's what made it so terrifyingly unsettling. Even the Badgers and the Claws were looking at the scene in awe. Rebecca's voice was quiet, calm, making everyone lean in to hear her words. The two teachers on the other side of the Hall didn't move to step in. Professor Sladen was fast asleep in his chair, drool dripping onto his plate stacked with still bloody meat. In the shadows by the small corner door was the tall figure of Professor Harmony, watching the event with curiosity. I couldn't blame her- it wasn't everyday things turned out like this, even on the first day back.
Viola's face was shaking, in fear or anger I didn't know. And didn't get to find out. As her mouth opened, the bell rang through the Hall, bringing each person back into life like a spell being lifted. Me, Aidan and Scorpius lunged for food from the nearest plates as they quivered, beginning to disappear. At this movement, Rebecca lept off the bench and strode out the Hall, not looking back once.
"Right. Potions?" Aidan asked, his mouth full of a chewed subtance that looked suspiciously like a doughnut.
"Yeah. You got some food for Rose?"
Both Scorpius and Aidan nodded, giving each other funny looks. All the food was bulging in our bags, ranging from crushed sandwiches to slips of cooling chicken to thin chocolate eclairs.
"I better find Andrew. Looks like Rose has a new Potions partner for this year, and you're always with Kasy." Aidan sighed, spotting the fair haired Ravenclaw in front of us.
To my right I saw Rose and Kasy, both looking annoyed, hungry and pale.
"Oi, Kasy!" I called, chucking a pizza roll at her. She caught it in one hand, shoving half of it in her mouth within a millisecond.
"What about me?" Rose asked me, looking miffed. She carried on gazing at us in disbelieve while I shared my rushed findings: three apples, one more pizza roll, a couple of caulron cakes and a bottle of water from this morning.
"Scorpius," was all I answered, promptly taking a large bite of an apple and pulling Kasy away to Potions. She was chewing thoughtfully on a cauldron cake, glaring at all the people staring at her. At us.
"I take it something important happened at lunch. Spill."
"What? What in Merlin's beard would give you that idea?" I asked, choking on some of the juice from my apple.
"First of all, don't say Merlin's beard. You sound like your Uncle Ron. Second, this isn't the first time I've been seen eating in the school corridors openly. And third, don't you think it's strange that while all the Slytherins are giving me hackies, everyone else is regarding me like I'm the new Harry Potter?"
We were walking through the dungeons now, the crowd thinning rapidly.
"Okay, fair point. Though I'd say it's more of a 'Neville just killed a snake' or 'Hermione's clever in a cool way' sort of look, not a 'Holy crap, there goes the newest orphan who's going to have to die to save the world, but doesn't actually die and ends up defeating Voldemort in the middle of Hogwarts, actually killing him this time' look."
"Okay, okay! Viola was all like 'she's a threat to the school' and Rebecca was like 'bitch, that's my sister! I told you to keep your oversized gob shut, and unlike Kasy, I ain't afraid of no hex!"
"Was the cheesy American accent necessary?"
"Totally!" I grinned, sliding into my seat next to her. The dungeon was surprisingly warm, mainly due to the two large cauldrons at the front of the room. One was our class assignment, but the other one, despite the lid clamped to the top, had wisps of pink smoke spilling from the lid.
"Children, children, how good it is to see you again!" Slughorn called, his booming voice echoing off the cold, stone walls. His appearance reminded me of a walrus: creased skin; large belly; whiskery mustache; and short fat legs. Not that walrus' have legs.
"This year, since all of you achieved outstanding results in your OWLs, we'll be 'upping the game'. Before we start this lessons potion, I want to introduce you to an old friend of mine here. Very hard to make, and very hard to resist. Oh, and before I forget, Slug Club is back on. All of those who attended last year will be getting the next invitation in a few weeks. Well, let's see...Mr Potter, can you please tell us what this potion is?"
With a flick of his wrist, the lid was removed, filling the air with curls of shimmering steam. I smiled, walking to the front of the classroom. I heard Kasy snorting behind me as every girl turned to admire me, their faces already filled with the effects of the potion.
"This, sir, is Amortentia. The most powerful love potion in the world. It replicates whatever the smeller, drinker, or just 'victim', loves, creating a powerfull and sometimes fatal obsession." I grinned charmingly, hearing more faint laughs from Kasy, covered up as a fit of sneezes.
"Would you like to tell us what you can smell?"
I paused, letting the scent wash over me. My Mum's cooking, the stream near our house, the smell of the garden where me, James and Dad had spent so many days playing quidditch, Those were the things I expected to smell, but I didn't. Reopening my eyes, I grinned again, hiding my shock.
"That, sir, is a private matter." Quickly, I escaped back to my seat, hearing Slughorn snap the lid back on the cauldron.
"What did you smell?" Kasy's voice whispered into my ear, startling me. She was gazing at the remaining wisps in the air, her eyes lit with lost memories and thoughts. I could tell exactly what she'd smelt, the memories as clear in my head as in hers.
"Like I said, that's a private matter, Wood. Now c'mon, what are we making?" I answered, shaking my head clear of the pink fog and watching Slughorn write page numbers and tips and ingredients on the board. Her gaze tried to meet mine, trying to figure me out. We never kept things from each other, and she knew that I knew what she had smelt. But I smiled, laughing as we counted how many sugared pineapples Slughorn ate while we made a simple fifth year potion. It wasn't until we were back in the common room, listening to Aidan recount what happened to his and Andrew's potion last lesson, that the smell drifted back into my mind.
Mimosa and pomegranate. Vanilla perfume. Wind and grass stained hair, fingers, body, clothes.
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