Chapter 8 : Potions Class
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The class, as usual, was a combination of rowdy, loud students and lazy, tired students. He sighed to himself and then shot a few sparks out of his wand. “Settle down everyone! We need to begin!”
Eventually, the noise in the class died down to soft whispers amongst some students. Professor Slughorn took out his quill and parchment and placed it on top of the desk. “Today, ladies and gentleman,” Slughorn began. “We are going to be brewing a rather complicated potion so I expect you all to pay attention.”
Slughorn cracked his knuckles and braced himself for another morning of smelly potions, loud explosions and stupid accidents. “Everyone! Grab yourselves a partner and turn to page nine hunr- Ah gentlemen!” Slughorn said suddenly as three, dishevelled boys walked into the classroom.
“Thank you for joining us, Mr. Potter, Mr. Black and…I’m surprised to say this, Mr. Lupin.” Slughorn shot Lupin a disappointed look as the three of them settled into their seats. “Waltzing into class this late is not the kind of behaviour one should see coming from a prefect.”
“Yes, sir,” Remus said sombrely. “Terribly sorry.”
“Ah, Mr. Black and Mr. Potter,” Slughorn said, turning to Sirius and James. “This is probably the hundredth time you’ve come in late.”
“We’re sorry, sir,” the both of them said in unison.
“That sounds familiar,” Slughorn began, clearly irritable. “I heard that exact same thing last week when you came in late and yet here you are again. I think it-”
Slughorn stopped talking as the classroom door creaked open again, this time with Lily entering. Calling her “dishevelled” would have probably been an understatement. Her hair was tied up in a messy ponytail that would probably have made Snape’s hair look good and James’ hair look kempt. Her face was pale and there were huge bags under her beautiful green eyes.
“Oh dear, Ms. Evans! Not you too!” Slughorn cried.
“I’m sorry, sir,” Lily said quickly, her voice was tired and raspy.
“Another prefect coming in at this hour! And what, prêt ell, is your excuse for your tardiness?”
Lily looked shiftily around the class and then back at Slughorn. “I slept in,” she said. “I’m awfully sorry about this.”
“I expect this kind of behaviour from Mr. Potter and Mr. Black, but you two,” Slughorn said, referring to Remus and Lily, “have really surprised me.”
The two mumbled apologies incoherently while James and Sirius looked amused. “Very well,” Slughorn said, waving his arms in the air. “We will continue this discussion after class but for now, take your seats. Get a partner and turn to page nine hundred and forty two.”
Immediately Sirius turned to James when Slughorn suddenly spoke again. “Mr. Black! Mr. Potter! You two will not be working together today, perhaps as a punishment for your tardiness. Mr. Lupin, you will work with Mr. Black and Ms. Evans, you will work with Mr. Potter.”
“What?” Lily said. Remus and Sirius seemed to be content while a momentary smile flashed on James’ face.
“Let’s go, Evans,” James said happily as the both of them sat down near the back of the class.
“Now, we’re going to start off brewing a simple sleeping draught but with a few modifications, as you can see on the page before you, we’re going to strengthen it to a level where it can knock anyone who smells it unconscious.”
There were gasps of excitement and amazement throughout the class as students began to take out their ingredients. Slughorn began to recite the different ways to effectively grind beetles when James tuned him out and turned to Lily.
“Slept well?” he asked her playfully.
“Oh shove it,” Lily replied bluntly.
“So why are you really late?” James asked her, knowing the answer very well. He wanted to see if she remembered anything from last night but judging by the cold stare she gave him, he guessed not.
“I already said, I slept in,” she replied quickly.
“That’s a word for hangover I haven’t heard before,” James joked.
Lily gasped loudly, causing a few girls beside them to turn. She had a very angry expression on her face as she leaned in to whisper to James. “How on earth do you know?”
James smiled sadly. “I guess you really don’t remember then.”
“Are you stalking me now? Is that it?”
“Relax, Lily,” James said.
“Lily? Since when do you call me Lily now?”
James smirked. “Since last night when you asked me to before we made out.”
Lily had got the attention of everyone in the classroom. Everyone from Slughorn to Sirius had looked up and was staring at the shocked girl.
“Miss Evans,” Slughorn said after a while. “If you are going to be so disruptive, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you and Mr. Potter to leave the classroom.”
“We did not make out!” Lily hissed to James after muttering a quick apology to Slughorn.
“I was just kidding,” James said. “It was only a light kiss.”
“Stop kidding yourself, Potter,” Lily said. “All that happened last night was I had one too many firewhiskeys and passed out in my dormitory.”
“Is that all you remember?”
“That is all that needs to be remembered because that’s all that happened.”
“How do you think you got to your dormitory?”
“I…I…” Lily stumbled. “I…walked back…I think.”
“Mr. Potter, this is the second interruption this morning!” Slughorn mumbled as he came over to their table. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to see the headmaster. Perhaps he can give you a better punishment for your constant distractions and lateness.”
James rolled his eyes. “Yes, sir,” he said as he gathered his things and made his way out the classroom. He winked to Sirius and Remus before he left and shut the large wooden door behind him.
James stood in front of Dumbledore’s magnanimous office door which he became increasingly nervous to knock on. He raised his hand and knocked on the door twice before a very cool, familiar voice replied from inside.
James opened the door and entered the very recognizable office of the headmaster. The large portraits of previous headmasters towered over the various objects in the room, making them seem small and insignificant. Sitting in the middle of the room, at his desk, Dumbledore was writing something and suddenly looked up.
“Ah Mr. Potter,” he smiled. “Yes, Professor Slughorn has alerted me of your…disruptions in class this morning.”
“Yes sir,” James said.
“Well, I trust that this will not happen again,” Dumbledore said, his eyes twinkling behind his half moon spectacles.
“Absolutely not,” James said quickly.
“Very well, you may go then.”
James looked up at Dumbledore with an utmost perplexed expression on his face. “That’s it?” he asked.
“I beg your pardon?” Dumbledore replied, slightly smiling.
“I’m not going to get punished?”
Dumbledore paused for a second and then replied. “Would like me to punish you?”
“Well, no, sir. But I…I just thought that Slug- I mean Professor Slughorn sent me here to get punished.”
“I think two hours of sleep and a chase throughout the castle is punishment enough,” Dumbledore mused.
James jaw dropped. “How…how…”
“You did something very noble last night, Mr. Potter,” Dumbledore continued, looking highly amused. “Here at Hogwarts, we do not punish noble deeds but rather, we reward them.”
James still couldn’t get any words out of his mouth. Dumbledore reached down into one of the drawers of his desk as he spoke. “As a reward for your help last night, I will return this to you.”
He pulled out the invisibility cloak from the drawer and handed it to a very dumbfounded James, who finally gathered up the energy to say something. “How…how did you know what happened?”
Dumbledore smiled. “It’s like Mr. Black said, this old man knows everything about everyone.”
Dumbledore had a tone of finality in his voice that clearly indicated to James that it was time to leave. “Good day, Mr. Potter,” he said as James turned around to leave.
“Good day, sir,” he said, as he left the office.
He stepped out from behind the gargoyle and, to his amazement, saw Lily waiting for him there.
“Are you in trouble?” she asked, her voice was genuinely concerned.
“No,” James said. “How come you’re here?”
“Class is over,” she said.
They stood there for about two seconds without uttering a word when James spoke. “Can I ask you something?”
“Yes,” Lily responded.
“Will you go out with me?”
Lily rolled her eyes but instead of disgusted, her expression was amused. “Will you never stop trying?”
“No,” James replied with a grin. “And if memory serves me, this is your cue to threaten to hex me and then storm down the hallway.”
Lily smiled and her green eyes seemed brighter than ever. “Let’s go to Charms,” she said.
A/N: Alright guys! This is the end of this story! Thank you to all my readers and all my reviewers for the support and encouragement