Natasha sat down, a chill running down her spine. She didn’t like the dungeons, but this was only second period, and hopefully time would pass quickly before it came. She wanted to be with the Gryffindors, with Lily and McKay. Suddenly, a thought brightened her. Clint would most likely be here!
She looked around the potions room quite nervously as she sat there alone. There was a faint smell of chalk which brought back memories of her early childhood. Back when things were normal and her parents enlisted her into a toddler gym, where she learned gymnastics. And surprisingly, she caught the faint scent of Clint’s cologne. She smiled lightly at those thoughts, her face in a dreamy trance, but didn’t notice a walrus figured man had crept up behind her.
"Having a decent first day, dear?” The man asked kindly, laying a meaty hand on her shoulder. Natasha jumped. Her adult self would’ve slammed a punch in a second, but she remembered she wasn’t exactly working as an S.H.E.I.L.D. agent at the moment. She had to respect authority. Turning to her professor, she smiled tiredly.
“I’ve had better first days, sir.” She replied. Her professor chuckled knowingly.
“I have it that you still don’t believe you’re in Slytherin?” He asked, and Natasha nodded, easing to the man’s gentle understanding. A few of her housemates began to pile in, but all of them ignored Natasha’s presence. They probably thought of her as a blood-traitor and didn’t want to mingle with her and her mindset. Of course, technically she was a muggle, but that was something they didn’t need to know. Her life didn’t need any more complications as it was.
“I’ll get used to it eventually.” She said softly. “I just suppose I need to give it time.” She looked up at her professor who lightly smiled upon her.
“For a Slytherin, you remind me much about another pupil of mine. She’s soft spoken, and intelligent. She’s part of the Slug Club, a club of my personal favorites. Your friend Sirius, his brother, Regulus, is part of it too.” Natasha had a feeling he was talking about Lily. And favoritism? Well that made her even more confident.
“Dumbledore told the whole staff about you and your friends. It’s a pleasure to know that I will be working with each and every one of you.” The man said, and stuck out his hand. “Professor Slughorn, my dear.” And Natasha shook it with a smile.
Her professor then slouched off; talking to a few more students, who forcefully smiled in his presence, then grimaced as he waddled away. Natasha didn’t understand. Slughorn seemed like a likable man, even though he picked favorites.
A few minutes passed and soon more students piled in. Many of them were of Slytherin and Hufflepuff, with a few exceptions of Ravenclaws, none of them being of Tony and Bruce. Natasha sighed. This class wasn’t going to be fun without Stark and his witty, sarcastic humor. She snorted at the thoughts of her and Tony arguing over a steamy, hot cauldron.
“The crowding in the hallways is so damn awful!” said a voice that came beside her. Natasha jumped at the voice and spun in her seat eagerly to find that Clint had dropped his schoolbag on the table and collapsed into a seat of his own.
“I thought we’d eventually have a class together.” Natasha said, prodding him with a poking finger. Clint rolled his eyes, but none the less, he allowed himself to smile.
“It’s only second period, Tasha. We still have four more subjects to go.” He added, sarcasm dripping obviously from his false joyous tone. Natasha sniffed and looked around the classroom. Four more classes to go…
Suddenly, a figure with greasy, hanging, curtains of black hair swooped into a seat in front of Clint and Natasha. It didn’t take a second to figure out who this mysterious person was, for his hooked nose pointing out of his hair gave him away. It was Severus Snape.
Natasha squirmed uncomfortably in her seat. This Snape bloke was one of Regulus and Loki’s friends. And she noticed quite a lot that Regulus, Loki, and Severus were huddled up together whenever possible, and for the many times she looked over, they were snickering about her.
Clint seemed to sense her tensing at Snape’s presence, and he felt his jaws clench. Looking over he asked, “You alright there, Natasha? You don’t look so good.” Natasha looked over to her best friend and caught the worry in his eyes. What she really saw him trying to say however was, ‘If he bothers you, we can go sit somewhere else, okay? And he can take an arrow to the knees…’ Natasha shook her head. This Snape boy wasn’t going to scare her away. She was a big girl, seventeen. Even back then, when she remembered truly being seventeen, she wasn’t one the kids at school messed with. She was and is the Black Widow.
“Alright, if you say so, but just tell me, okay?” Clint murmured underneath his breath. Slughorn was now making his way in front of the classroom to direct class and everyone began to cease their conversations.
“Alright, but honestly I can fend for myself.” Natasha muttered softly back, focusing all attention to her professor. “And I don’t want to see Legolas chucked in detention either for the use of banned weapons.” She heard Clint chuckle softly at this, and she couldn’t help but smile herself.
“You guys’ Legolas references are getting old. Why not try something underrated for once, like Robin Hood?” he whispered so softly she could barely hear. Natasha shrugged, biting her lip to stop her smile from getting any wider.
“Ahem,” Slughorn coughed, clearing his throat. “Another year has seemed to pass, and as unbelievable as it may seem, this is our final year together! You have achieved and passed through all trials of your previous academics, but be warned, your seventh year isn’t exactly an end to it all.” Turning around to the blackboard, he elaborately flicked his wand. It was clear he had a flair for dramatics.
“This year is perhaps the most excruciating curriculum of potions you will encounter. Either you float or drown; your abilities will prove your outcome of this term.” Slughorn eyed all his students seriously. As warm and welcoming Slughorn was, Natasha sensed that his class wasn’t based on leniency and warmth; perhaps slight favoritism, but not leniency.
“You will learn how to brew your own liquid luck and see how precise and lucky your Felix Felicis really is. You will show me your abilities in concocting the Polyjuice Potion which can be problematic if done wrong. You will learn to brew the strongest of all Veritaserum. Now, before we begin, does anyone not have a textbook?”
Natasha and Clint’s hands shot up in the air, and Slughorn turned to face them, a smile breaking on his face. It seemed as if they were in his good books already.
“Oh yes, Miss Romanoff and Mr. Barton, of course.” Taking two battered books from his desk, Slughorn waddled over and presented the new students with their new, leather bounded, tattered resources.
“Feel free to keep them for the rest of the year. I ought to have given you the books in the first place.” Slughorn chuckled, waddling back to his desk after Natasha bid her thanks and Clint echoing after her.
“Now class, as I roam around the classroom, I would like you all to perform a simple warm up task for me. With bright students like you, it must not be such a challenge to recreate the Draught of Peace. It will be on page 297 on your textbook.” There was a sudden shuffling of students taking out their textbooks and pages being turned, as well as students conversing with one another.
“The Draught of Peace, what the heck?” Clint asked as he flipped through the pages. “Well I be damned, these look complicated as hell.” Natasha only nodded in agreement as she briefly analyzed the detailed pictures and diagrams for the Polyjuice Potion. Briefly skimming through the introduction, she learned that the Polyjuice Potion took almost a month to properly brew and its use was to help one turn to an imitation of another.
“It’s like chemistry class all over again. Shit, I failed so badly with all my exams, this class isn’t going to be any better. This is Bruce and Tony’s forte, though definitely not mine.” Clint continued, flipping the pages more slowly and analyzing its contents.
“This one looks like a pain in the ass. Unsucculated leeches, that’s disgusting!” Natasha whispered grimacing, ignoring Clint’s blabbing about misuse of a Bunsen burner. Clint stopped flipping pages and peered over Natasha’s shoulder to see what she was reading. His curious expression turned into one of disgust.
“That’s revolting! And you’re supposed to drink that?” Clint asked mortified. Natasha only shook her head and began to read out loud.
“Before applying the final ingredient, the Polyjuice Potion is supposed to be mud like in appearance and bubbling slowly. (Clint flinched) Once the extracted piece of the imitated person is added, usually a sample of hair or fingernail clippings, (Again, Clint flinched) the color will change to the imitated person’s essence. Thus, all potions will vary in colors and tastes. Vile tastes and unattractive colors will reflect on negative personae, while attractive colors and a more appealing taste will reflect upon one with likable personae.” Natasha concluded. She looked up at Clint who wiggled his furrowed eyebrows at her.
“Well,” Clint began, an impish smile playing at his lips. “I bet if I plucked some of your hair, my potion would taste really good!” Natasha slammed her book shut and playfully whacked Clint hard in the head with it, both grinning stupidly like children. “I bet it will taste like wild cherries!” Clint choked daringly, grinning at Natasha’s hair, and his remark rewarded him another playful blow to the head.
“Oh, and if I plucked your hair, my potion would taste like boogers.” Natasha teased, smirking smugly at Clint’s mock-shocked face. But the look didn’t dwell long, because Clint shrugged it off and continued to turn pages in his book.
“Ah, but that’s where your argument becomes invalid. See, boogers are more appealing than what Fury’s would be. His would taste like shit.” Clint said with a straight face. Natasha belted out laughing and jabbed a finger crudely into Clint’s arm who gently smiled.
“That was rude!” Natasha said, pulling herself together. “If the Director ever heard you say that, I could imagine the things he would say to you, besides, he isn’t that bad.” But Clint shrugged as he began to prepare his moonstone manually.
“I was only joking. Besides, it’s not like Fury has any hair, therefore smuggling his fingernail clippings is just as hard. I can picture it all right now.” Clint said, and put on his best Fury face. “Agent Barton, if you don’t mind me asking, but why the hell are you digging in the trashcan for my fingernail clippings?” Natasha giggled at Clint’s impression of Fury.
“I guess we’ll never know what Fury would taste like, huh?” She mused. Thoughts of trying to pluck some of their Director’s hair made her giggle harder. What has gotten into me?! Natasha thought to herself. Sobering up quickly, she hastily flipped the pages to 297.
You like him….Her conscious hissed loudly.
No, I do not! She thought sternly to herself. Love is for children!
Looking up, she found that Snape’s Draught had turned turquoise blue already, indicating that it was finished, and was emitting a silvery vapor.
“How did you do that?” Natasha whispered, her eyebrows knitting as Snape pride fully stared down at his potion. Clint too, glanced up and his jaw dropped in awe.
“But it’s only been ten minutes! You finished it in ten minutes! How the hell is that possible?” Clint demanded. “It says here that you have to let it simmer for fifteen minutes!” Snape looked up at his two tablemates and smirked tauntingly.
“I worked while you two sat there acting like children. I believe those that work harder and remain in focus achieve more.” Snape replied silkily as Natasha and Clint flushed. If only blowing their cover wasn’t such a problem, Natasha could’ve socked him a punch. She usually wasn’t bad with patience, but something about this Snape made her tick underneath her skin.
“At least we have a sense of humor and can laugh and smile.” Natasha countered coolly, gritting her teeth. Snape merely shrugged and took his cauldron over to Slughorn for the professor to examine. Clint and Natasha watched as Slughorn nodded his head in acceptance and Snape walked back to the table, smugly pleased with himself.
“I can see why James and Sirius don’t like him.” Clint muttered and returned to his book.
“Yeah, I see it too.” Natasha softly replied as she went on with her potion, Snape sniggering at them as they worked in silence.
“You know, Tasha,” Clint whispered, only for the two of them to hear. “I wonder if anyone at Stark Tower has noticed by now.”
Author’s Notes: All characters belong to their respectful owners, Marvel and Rowling There ya’ll go, some Natasha and Clint bonding there that I’ve been aiming to make. I’m aware that Clint hasn’t exactly said much throughout the story so far, so in this chapter I decided to let him shine a bit with Natasha. And then there’s Snape being a troll like usual. Why Snape, must you be trolling? Oh well, we love you, Snape anyway! The next two chapters will take place with Fury, so we’ll be jumping to “Next Generation” for a bit before returning to the “Marauder Era”. I figured that Fury won’t be completely oblivious to their absence for the whole year, so Fury and Maria Hill are coming up next. Kingsley, The Golden Trio and their kids will appear in chapter ten, so stay tuned ya’ll. Fast-forward to the present!
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