Those one and a half months between the end of the tournament and the start of the exams went really fast.
I had a lot of help from Professor Weasley who showed me her old quizzes she used to use when she was taking her N.E.W.T.s. We spent a lot of time going over historical events as well which was really fun.
Professor Longbottom helped me as well, but not as much. He just recommended some books and what was likely to come up in my exam.
The part I was most frightened of were the practical exams. DADA was okay, I could deal with spells. But Potions, well that was another matter. I normally had Rich prompting me on what I should do, but this time I would be on my own.
The practical exam was the day after our written exam and it frightened me.
I rushed out of the Great Hall, up the stairs and along the corridor. There was one portrait I had to see before the end of the day. I ran along the corridor to the end of it.
“Professor Snape!” I shouted, well not really but said loudly.
“What do you want Edgley?” he asked sullenly as he came into view in his second portrait.
“My Potions practical exam is tomorrow and I wanted your advice. I know that you were amazing at potions, so I came to you.” I said hopefully,
“Why did you not consult Grimly?” he asked,
I looked at him for a moment to see if he was being serious.
“You know what he’s like,”
“Very well, if you are asked to make a reviving potion: make a pepper up potion. There is one easy way to remember the order of the ingredients-” then he launched into a long speech about how to remember each potion and which order to add the ingredients and what colour it should turn out.
“And if you have done it correctly, it should end up a pale green colour, have you got that?” he said calmly.
After his second sentence I had pulled a sheet of parchment out of my bag and started to scribble down what he was telling me.
“Thank you so much, I owe you one.” I said smiling and tucking my notes into my bag.
“No, you don’t now get on are revise what I have told you.” He snapped and then disappeared from his frame.
I smiled, at heart Snape was alright. Most people saw that now, especially with the added extra of hindsight. In reality Snape was misunderstood and liked to dabble in a little bullying and the dark arts now and then to prove that he was better than the rest. Which in some respects he was.
I checked my watch and swore under my breath. I had lost so much time thinking about Snape. So, breaking my own rules, I ran back down the corridor and up to the Gryffindor common room.
That night I sat up re-reading everything Snape had told me and the memorising it.
“Rach,” someone whispered,
“Hu?” I said sitting up, “ugh.” I groaned realising that I must have fallen asleep at the desk.
“You might want to go wash your face, the ink has transferred onto your forehead. But thanks for reminding me that a Befuddlement Draft has lovage in it.” It was Rich.
I rubbed my eyes, and smiled weakly.
“Where did you get this information?” he asked, picking up my note pages.
“Professor Snape.” I said yawning.
Rich smiled and nodded his head in approval.
“I always said that you talking to the portraits was a good thing.”
“You have been given a question to answer with your chosen potion. There will be no talking during the exam and no form of communication. If you need anything please raise your hand.” The Ministry examiner said.
“You may begin.”
I turned over the page in front of me.
Choose one question and chose a potion which will solve or in some way help the sufferer.
01) Amigo has been seriously injured and has a wound to an artery, this has been healed. Brew a potion that may help any problems that may arise from this injury.
02) Patrick has been feeling listless of recent. Chose and brew a potion to aid his problem.
03) Your friend Jasmine has knocked her head and this has caused amnesia. Chose and brew a potion which will recover Jasmine’s memory.
I knew potions for each, but I didn’t want to over complicate things. The potion which I was most confident in was the Euphoria Elixir. Snape had reassured me that this was easy as long as I did things how he did them.
1 oz of Wormwood
2 medium Shrivelfigs
½ oz of Porcupine Quills
12 Castor Beans
1 ½ oz of Dandelion root
3 Fairy wings
2 pints of Distilled Water
3 drops of Lemon juice
2 leaves of Peppermint
The peppermint was not the norm, Snape had assured me that the examiners would love it and that it counteracted excessive singing and nose twitching.
I put up my hand.
“Can I get my ingredients?” I asked feeling all the eyes in the room look at me.
The examiner nodded and I moved briskly to the store cupboard, list in hand.
Once inside I began to search for my ingredients. This was made a whole lot easier by the fact that Grimly had put the supplies in alphabetical order (for some strange reason).
Soon I returned to my seat and began my work; lighting the fire under the cauldron.
First of all I measured out the distilled water and sloshed that into the cauldron. Snape had told me that I then needed to quickly add the Castor Beans to allow them time to soften.
It was an arduous task which involved pealing, prodding, pouring, pulping and pounding. But after an hour and a half I was almost ready. All I had left to do was wait for the potion to boil, add the lemon juice (which would hopefully turn it bright yellow, it was a dull beige colour at that moment) and then add the Peppermint. After that I just had to stir it once anti-clockwise and twice clock-wise with a sliver ladle.
I sprinted out of the room, up several flights of stairs, along the corridor and right to the end.
“SNAPE!” I called happily.
“Yes, what is it now!” he said angry.
“Thank you so much, the examiner said that it was good that I had taken some tutoring from you. He asked me why I had added the mint and I explained why.” I said grinning.
“If I could kiss you, oh Snape thanks so much.” I was euphoric.
“Now run a long Edgley.” He said half smiling at me.
It was strange; I had never seen him smile before. Normally he was all sour face and sallow.
All I had left were DADA written and Practical. They would be a piece of cake.
“James, James!” I called running down to the end of the line of waiting students.
“What?” he asked looking really pale.
“I cast a Patronus, well kind of. You could see its legs.” I said, over the moon at how well my DADA practical exam had gone.
“What was it? Could you see?” he asked, sounding interested.
“I think it was a horse or something, it definitely had four long-ish legs.” I said smiling.
“Oh anyway, good luck and blow them away.” I said before bending down and kissing James.
I was finished with my exams; they were over forever and ever and ever and ever and ever. Yes!!!
I made my way back to the Gryffindor common room where Sam was sitting casually on one of the sofas.
“Hey Sam.” I said smiling, “how did it go?”
“Aced it.” He said looking pleased with himself,
I threw myself down next to him and we started to chat. For the first time ever I was having a civil chat with Samuel Blake. And do you know something, it was lovely.
We talked about next year, life in the future, love, James, Shia, food and other stuff.