“I don’t understand why she put us together.” I could hear Scorpius’ relentless complaints from their desk behind me, failing to make his voice inaudible for the rest of the class.
“If you have any questions about my choices you can talk to me after class Mr. Malfoy.” Professor Gibson didn’t look up from the papers she was grading when her bored, monotonous voice filled the room.
“Actually, I’d rather make a statement now.” I turned around, curious like the rest of the students, just in time to see Scorpius tighten his green tie back in its place. His chin raised in the air and the pulled back blond hair made him look severe.
Quite hot… but severe.
“I do not believe that I am assigned to the right partner. Rose Weasley may be an outstanding student, but so am I. I should be the student that is intellectually stimulating to the other, and not the other way around.”
Who said Slytherins were stuck up brats with an ego that put Voldemort to shame? ‘Cause I certainly can’t see it.
Professor Gibson put her papers down and glanced at Scorpius from over her glasses. He was standing right behind me and for a moment it looked like she was looking at me. I flinched from the scary look in her eyes and took a step closer to Albus, giving her full view of Mister Self-Centered.
“If only your essays were half as eloquent as your speech, Mr. Malfoy, I would consider acknowledging your displeasures however. They are not. You seem to know what you are doing but fail to care. Potions are living things,” this time Gibson took her time to scan the room, directing herself now to the entire class. “Knowing the theory is not enough. Potions feel what you feel. They are not only contained by the ingredients you put in them the way you treat your potion is at least equally as important. Perhaps, Mr. Malfoy, you have a lack of… feelings.” Professor O’Connell concluded.
A few snickers were heard in the classroom, especially the girls enjoyed watching Scorpius getting mocked and I could swear I heard Katia Dan, a girl I believe Scorpius had a quick ‘thing’ with last year, mutter something like; “Amen to that.”
“And that is why I signed you up with Ms. Weasley, someone who perhaps can teach you how to put your humanity on. You will certainly need it to brew Amortentia, the most powerful love potion in existence.”
I made a mental note to never talk back to Gibson.
I heard Scorpius puff behind me and in a tone that was almost impossible for us to hear he leaned down to Rose and said, “We are clearly both the brightest students in this class. This is ridiculous.”
Albus turned around before adding a spoonful of powdered moonstone to our potion, sending his best mate a scowl. “Oi, who was the one who scored an O on his OWLs last year? Not you I can tell you that.”
“Shove it, dickhead.”
Albus blinked a few times fast trying to look cute. “Only if you help me.”
I raised my eyebrows at their little flagrant interaction. “Nice bromance you’ve got there.”
Albus shot his friend and cousin a cheeky smile and turned back around to me, somehow still succeeding in pouring the moonstone powder perfectly in our cauldron, and shrugged his shoulders. “That’s what you get after putting up with each other for almost six years.”
“I’ve known Rose since I was 11 too, but you don’t see me calling her a bint for that matter.” I retorted, searching for the rose thorns I had seen lying around on our table. When I found them, I grabbed a handful of thorns and quickly threw them in the boiling substance, afraid that they would hurt me.
I realized I did something wrong when Albus shrieked and almost looked like he was going to have a stroke. “Are you out of your- what have you done!” He grabbed the closest thing he could find to a scoop and tried to pull out the thorns.
I took a step back and immediately cursed myself to Azkaban for my stupidity. Of course I did something wrong. Crap, crap, crap. “I- I’m sorry, Albus, I thought… it says right here, a handful of rose th-“
“Have you ever paid any attention? Even first years know a handful means 5-6 thorns! Not 11!” He cried desperately.
“Now are you happy you don’t have to work with someone not as intellectually stimulating?” I heard Rose whisper to Scorpius behind me. If I weren’t too busy mentally kicking myself in the chins I probably would have turned around and snapped something back.
“Yes I kind of am, thank you. You know, I meant no offense towards you, personally, I just-“
“No, it’s okay, Scorpius. I understand, really.”
Albus managed to pull three thorns out. Which was still not enough. He claimed that it was already too late, their juices were already absorbed by the rest of our potion.
He dropped his face in his hands and looked with a sad expression to our steaming cauldron. I bit my lip, I felt bad. I felt really bad. Leave it up to me to screw something perfectly fine over. The sad part was that the thorns were literally our last ingredient. I almost made it.
“Albus, I’m-“ I tried apologizing again but he wouldn’t let me.
“Don’t call me that.” He said, and after realizing how rude he sounded, he added; “Please.”
Confused, I blinked. “Then what am I supposed to call you? Severuse? Potter, or Little Potter, just not to confuse you with the other two Potters runnin’ round.”
“No, I prefer Al. nice to know my cousin never mentions me by the way.” Albu- I mean Al, turned around and shot Rose the evil eye. But she was too busy scribbling down the proses of their potion. Which looked nothing like ours, I realized defeated.
“Nope, I’m sticking with Lil’ Potter, your name sounds too much like mine otherwise.” I told him right when I realized the coincidence.
Al smiled, “Al and Ali. Sound like some terrible Muggle TV-show.”
I snorted and leaned back in my seat, “I know right. With Al being the fat cop who claims he’ll never love again until he meets Ali, the woman who works at a random local Spa with the dumb best friend who always seems to give the right advise when absolutely necessary for the show, and otherwise is completely irrelevant to the story line.”
“Well then… you seem to know a lot about Muggle TV-shows.”
“Yeah, well, I live with Muggle parents and I was one too for 11 years as far as I was concerned.”
Al straightened himself in his seat. “Oh right, Muggle born. James mentioned something like it.”
I stiffened at the sound of his brother’s name and hated the kind of (negative) effect it had on me. “He mentioned it?” I didn’t ask because I was interested, I asked because I found it creepy that James was revealing random facts about me to people I had zero relations with. Or that he even knew facts about me he should not know.
“That and a whole lot more about you.” I looked up to look Al in the eye, surprised of how normal the tone of his voice was after stating something so horrifying, and incidentally noticed how green they were, so different from his brother’s.
I raised my eyes to the ceiling and couldn’t help but wail annoyed. “Being creepy is not going to get him in my pants.”
Why did James have to be so annoying? Why did he not understand that a no, meant no? I didn’t care about his pride, I didn’t care about the forbidden fruit, I was not playing hard to get –I was just not that into him. And neither would any other female with a decent amount of brain cells be. I guess 93% of the Hogwarts female population had no functioning brain cells! Surely not every female would fall for a guy just because of his looks, even if they claimed he looked like an offspring of Aphrodite’s grandchild submerged in the ocean of hotness.
Personality wise, he irked me. Badly.
Al stayed quiet for a few seconds and turned back to our… lumpy potion. Oh Merlin how could it change so fast because of one teeny tiny mistake? This was why I hated potions. There were no second chances, no reason –you were either good, or just terrible.
Well, that and because I sucked at it.
“Don’t you think he would’ve given up already if he was just trying to sleep with you? It’s not like he has a hard time finding submissive partners.”
I scrunched my nose at his words, the image of Potter with any girl doing whatever made me sick to my stomach. “Trust me, you’re brother likes the chase more than the game. Once he gets what he wants, he grows tired of it like any other pig.” I shot him a sideways glace, “No offence by the way, I’m sure it’s not genetic.”
Al laughed and scratched the back of his neck, as if he was seriously thinking about it. “No, actually my parents are the biggest douchebags ever, saving the world at age seventeen and shit, pft, how selfish of them?”
“Pulling the savior card now are we.” I nudged his shoulder with mine and realized right away how easy it was to talk to him. There were no awkward silences or embarrassing situations -If you forgot about the potion for a second. He was cool. For a Slytherin.
He smiled, “No but seriously,” and the smile disappeared again, “if that’s really what you think why don’t you just snog him once or twice and get over it. You say he’ll be bored and move on? Trust me, you’re not the only one who finds this… situation annoying.”
“Because one, what kind of person do you think I am, going around snogging anyone? And two, the idea alone of kissing your brother makes me ill. And, oh, three I don’t want to risk catching any STD’s, ‘cause like you said, lots of submissive partners.”
“I didn’t say sleep with him, how are you supposed to catch an STD by just-“
“Hold on,” I raised my hand in front of Al’s face, making him stop talking surprised.
I sniffed. What was that smell? I sniffed again. Apple pie? The sea air… fresh cut wood? And… something else that seemed vaguely familiar but I couldn’t put my finger on. I lowered my hand from Al’s face, suddenly feeling my heartbeat race when I looked him in the eye. I found myself breathing in very slowly and deeply. It was the most seductive scent I ever inhaled. “Wha- what’s happening?”
Before I knew what was going on, Rose’s arm reached out from behind us and quickly closed our cauldron. And just like that, the scent disappeared.
Wait, it worked?
“It worked!” Al started clapping his hands like a little girl who just received her acceptance letter to Hogwarts.
“Pfjuw, that was close.” I heard Rose whisper from behind us. “You have to be more careful around potions like this. The Amortentia is one of the most dangerous out there. It causes for a powerful obsession to exist, those things you smelled, are for everyone different. Based on the things you love most the sent will take its form and try to lure you in. That’s why you have to be extremely careful around it, and certainty not talk about ‘getting in someone’s pants’ or ‘snogging’ right next to it. You morons.”
I couldn’t help but feel my face heat up from the embarrassment. They were listening to our conversation? Al grabbed one of the empty potions bottles from our desk and started pouring some of the liquid in it, leaving the lumpy parts out of course. “Throw this away before she comes over to inspect.” Al whispered and he staggered of to Gibson’s desk with a sample of the potion. I did as he said and made the rest of the potion disappear with a quick wave of my wand.
I turned around, throwing my hand up in the air to share my joy with whoever could see, and preferably my best friend because I felt like I could die of happiness any moment now. I actually succeeded in making the potion!
“HOERAAY ten points for ME- what is happening?” I probably looked like an idiot with my hands frozen above my head right midst a victory dance, but the sight of Scorpius Malfoy fingering one of Rose’s curls with the most dreamy look on his face was too strange to not stop dancing. Rose was peacefully writing things down on her clipboard as if she had handsome Slytherings boys touching her hair every day.
Without looking up from her quill she answered me, “He’s having the same effect to the potion as you had a second ago.”
I blinked, “And you’re immune to the smell?”
“I don’t smell anything, neither did Al. The person under the effect of the potion will only hold an obsession for the person who administered it. Meaning that the person who does not feel anything is technically the one who made the potion.”
“Wha- Rose! So you’re telling me that Lil’ Potter made the potion and not me? I did at least as much as he di-“
“Aah, Rose, you told her… I didn’t want to ruin her moment she was so happy. And she did unfreeze the Ashwinder eggs.” Al came plopping down on his seat, supporting himself on his elbows backwards to look at his cousin.
“So Rose,” Scorpius brushed the single blond lock that managed to fall on his forehead back, and got Rose’s full attention. “If you don’t mind me asking , who would you give a sip of your Amortentia, if you had the opportunity?”
“If you weren’t too busy scowling at professor Gibson for not having it your way you would have heard me say that true love cannot be produced through artificial means, and thus the feelings that Love Potions create are more like obsession than affection.”
Scorpius waited a few more seconds before heedlessly stating; “So no one?” he grabbed two of her curls and twirled them around his fingers, a sight that was too repulsive for Albus to see, so he closed their cauldron just like his cousin did to ours a minute ago.
However, Scorpius’ fingers lingered a second too long after the smell was already gone and I knew my best friend well enough to recognize the disappointed look that flashed quickly in her eyes when he pulled back.
I smiled, maybe potions class was not so bad after all.
Don’t do it. Don’t.
Control yourself. Be cool.
Think about how you don’t want to be thrown into Azkaban for murder.
Fuck freedom; I’ll deal with the Dementors.
“Okay, you know what, that’s it!” I yelled, throwing my book down and sitting up on the couch. I pulled my wand from under my shirt and pointed it towards Potter who was sitting on the floor right next to me. “Silencio!”
The annoyed groans and moans that followed from my friends around us were expected. “Not again.” Louis whined from behind the piece of parchment he was reading. I ignored Rose’s disapproving look from where she was sitting on the windowsill on my right, and Nell’s pretend ‘I don’t care about what’s happening’ look.
James looked up at me, an emotion that I could only describe as bitterness visible in his eyes. “Very clever.” he mouthed.
I only smiled and mouthed back, “I know.”
I happily leaned back in the couch and even propped my legs up in Damian’s lap. Finally, no more annoying Potter buzzing in my ear for my attention. He had been annoying me ever since he decided to sit with us after dinner. No one asked him to entertain us with his presence, but, you know, because he’s James Sirius Potter, he does as he pleases.
But now, there was only silence, sweet, sweet silence.
Life was good again.
-Until it wasn’t.
James jumped in one swift motion from the ground, startling all of us with his sudden move, and pulled his wand out. When he pointed it on himself, nothing happened, not even when he mouthed the counter curse. I smiled when I noticed he was struggling, and the more his frown turned into a scowl, the more I started to laugh.
“Oh please, Ali, make it stop.” Damian grumbled when James started to cause a scene by jumping in his spot, flapping his arms up and down to make people look at us. he knew how much I hated it when people looked. And I knew how much he loved it when people looked.
I still didn’t do anything, I was going to allow myself at least one minute not hearing his aggravating voice. Just when I was about to pick up the book I had thrown to the floor earlier, James started writing letters in the air using his wand.
ALI GIVE ME BACK MY VOICE.
I shook my head no.
COME ONE! ANYONE? He turned to Damian, almost begging his friend, but he only raised his hands and looked at the both of us. “I never want to be a part of your games, you know that.”
James only rolled his eyes, not bothering to ask his cousins because he knew he’d get the same answer from them. So he turned to his last option. A big smile appeared on his face, a full-white-teeth innocent smile, one even I had to admit was not unpleasant to look at.
ORNELLA? WOULD YOU MIND?
I was surprised he spelled her name right. Or even that he knew it.
She too, was sitting on the floor. A spot that only happened to be a few inches away from where James was sitting a second ago –and, oh, yes, look, Louis right behind her on the couch. Of course she was going to give him what he wanted, the color of her cheeks said enough. Poor, poor thing. I couldn’t stop her even if I tried. I sighed, she was never going to change, was she?
Aaaand James could speak again.
“Thank you sweetheart.” Potter smirked and made a rose appear with a wave of his wand and gave it to Nell. I quickly glanced over at Louis right behind her. He was not okay. Fire was spitting from his eyes as he took in the scene in front of him. I could swear he hated James almost as much as I did right this second. I didn’t know whether James knew this but, the thing he just did, that was Louis’s thing. He always gave Nell flowers. Daisies. One Daisy for everyday he saw her for the first time.
He was smitten with her, only she did not notice. Or she did, but she was just too scared to ruin their very strong friendship. I couldn’t stand watching Nell’s face get redder by the second, and Louis’ eyes darker and darker with every breath Potter took so I opened my mouth, again, to make James’ palpable flirt technics stop. “James! Why are you even here? Don’t you have any friends of your own?”
Potter stopped making googly eyes with Nell and focused his attention back on me. Something in his eyes changed, as if they darkened –but not in a bad way. I ignored the strange flutter this caused in my stomach and avoided his stare. “Uhm, excuse me, but Damian is my friend too and it’s not my fault that two of your other friends happen to be my cousins.”
Damian shifted from under my legs, I had already forgotten he was sitting there. It was not usual for Damian to be this quiet. “Your friend who did not ask for you to come sit with him.”
James shot him a look of betrayal. As if to say ‘how could you choose her side over mine?’ Well guess what, Potter, I’ve known Damian longer than you so HAH.
“And besides,” before I knew what was happening, James kneeled down next to the couch I was laying on and moved his face closer to mine. I was shocked at his sudden closeness and couldn’t move when he slowly lifted his hand up to my cheek, very gently touching my face as if he was afraid to hurt me, or perhaps to burn himself. “I like being around you.” he whispered.
The tone of his voice was so warm, and soft no one but me could hear him, and the look in his eyes still had that sincere –dark, eagerness to them. For a split second, he was someone else, a nice guy, saying a nice thing.
But then I felt my legs fall to the floor, and because it happened all so sudden, plus I was too lost staring in a darkness of hazel, I couldn’t hold my upper body on the couch, and thus I fell into Potter’s chest, pushing him down on the floor with me.
“Shit, Ali, I’m sorry. Are you okay? Sorry!”
My face was still buried in potter’s chest when Damian started apologizing expeditiously.
Why Merlin, why must you do this to me? The universe was literally shoving my face into the one thing I hated most. Well, the universe that went by the name Damian bloody Andersons.
I tried pushing myself off of James but seemed not to be able to find something that didn’t belong to the person under me so I just rolled myself off his body instead, proceeding to fall right on top of his right arm.
Damn it. I should have seen this one coming.
I felt –literally felt, because that’s how close we were- James smirk beside me. He quickly pulled his right arm from under my back to push himself up right next to me. But instead of standing and offering me a hand to get me up like a normal human would do –he placed his arms on opposed side of my face and straddled my legs with his own.
“Potter are you kidding!” I hissed, the amusement clearly visible in his eyes, “People are watching! Our friends are literally three feet away!”
“Oh so now they’re my friends too?”
I tried to roll to the right but couldn’t because of course Potter was ten times stronger than me. Damn those weak estrogens in my body.
“If you don’t want a crowd, we can always take this up to my room.”
I stopped squirming under him and looked up at his face. He was serious. He was bloody serious.
He smirked, “No.”
I could feel my face heat up. Not only from this position, or from the embracement –I mean c’mon we were in the MIDDLE OF THE FREAKIN COMMON ROOM- no, it was mostly because of the anger running through my veins, making my blood boil to a point I was hoping it would make potter’s face melt off from being this god damn close to me!
“Uhm, they’re gone. Damian ran off suddenly and your two girlfriends ran away close after. I don’t know why though.”
Wait, what?! Some bloody friends they were! But that meant – “Louis!”
“I’m not here.”
“I’m not gonna stop my ship from sailing!”
“LOUIS I’M GOING TO KILL YOU!”
Potter looked down at me, and for the millionth time reminding me of how close his face –no, sorry, his everything- was to me. “Stop his what from what?” James narrowed his eyebrows confused, something I liked seeing on him but didn’t get to that often –because James Sirius Potter was never confused. Confusing, yes, but confused, no. Life was too easy for him to be confusing.
I closed my eyes and bit my lip to stop a cry from escaping between my lips. “I almost made it one day without being harassed by this idiot.” I whispered to Merlin, hoping he could hear me.
Not noticing anything bad about my statement, James only cocked his head to one side, thinking, “It has been a long time, hasn’t it?”
“The best one day of my life.” I put my hands in his chest and tried to push him off but had no luck. Why did I have no upper body strength damn it?!
"Why don't you make up for lost time by going to Hogsmeade with me."
"Sorry, I already have a date with a pig."
“Get off or so help me god I will hex you so badly you won’t be able to walk tomorrow.”
James lowered his face to my ear, and that’s when I knew he was going to say something disturbing, because usually he had no problem sharing his witty lines with the world.
“I can do something to you, that’ll make you unable to walk for days.”
THAT’S IT! NOPE. NO I’M DONE. SO DONE.
I knew that the only way I could get away from potter was by magic. And I knew I had left my wand on the couch from the spell I used on him only a minute ago. So I had no other choice.
“Listen,” I touched James’ shoulders slightly, traveling my right hand over his muscular chest, making him freeze in his spot. “James, I don’t know how to tell you this but,” his eyes darkened when my hand moved down to his stomach, and even further to the top of his jeans. “I think I’ve been lying to myself for years. About you.” my voice had automatically turned into a sultry tone, making his eyebrows shot up. I reached the front pockets of his jeans and cursed inwardly when I found them empty. Of course this had to be.
“What do you mean?” I was startled for a second when James spoke, pulling me out of my trance and making me want to abort the missing. But I kept my hands on his body, moving up and down, noticing the heat that was radiating from it. He was hot. Literally.
“I mean that….” I had to swallow three times to prevent myself from gaging, “I like you.” and then I moved my hand to his lower back
“Impedimenta!” Potter flew back a few feet until his back crashed with the wall behind him. I got up as quick as I could and threw James’ wand in Louis’s lap -who was sitting there with his jaw practically touching the floor, just like all the other students that had gathered around us. “Give it back to him when I’m gone.”
I grabbed my wand from the couch, trying not to fall down from the blood that was rushing to my head. I could feel the adrenaline pumping through my body and my heartbeat raise.
I just jinxed Potter. After I fell him up.
I shuddered and closed my hands into fists, without turning around to see if James was okay, I made a beeline for my dorm.
Dear Merlin, don’t you ever, ever do that to me again.