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Chapter 11: Veritaserum

Over the next month all I could think about was what those girls had been talking about, I was hesitant to say anything to him about it because I didn’t want to accuse him of something if he didn’t do it but then again I didn’t think I’d ever feel the same if I didn’t know the truth.  Then one day I was sitting in on a 6th year Potions class where Professor Snape was giving a lecture on a potion I’d never seen before. 

“Now, you’ve probably noticed that this potion is colorless as well as odorless, easily mistaken for water it takes a full lunar cycle to brew.  Three drops of this potion will have you sharing your inner most secrets to everyone.  It is very complex however by the end of your N.E.W.T.s you should be able to brew a near perfect batch of Veritaserum.” 

As the class copied down the notes that Professor Snape had written on the board an idea started to form.  I could brew Veritaserum in secret and use it to find out if Justin really loved me or just my name!  It was brilliant but there were a few problems, where was I going to get a copy of the instructions for the potion, where was I going to get the ingredients and where was I going to brew it?  I left the lesson with a lot of questions and no answers, I was so distracted that I almost ran right into the very person I was thinking about. 

“Whoa Tori.” 

He grabbed me as I tripped and pulled me to him; I couldn’t help but smile as he looked down at me. 

“I’ve barely seen you over the last few days Tor; where have you been?” 

His eyes sought out mine as I tried to think up a lie,

“I…erm…well I’ve been stu…studying and umm…”

I looked at my feet in shame I couldn’t lie to him.  I think he knew there was something bothering me but he didn’t press me on it; he just gave me a hug and a kiss and walked away. 

As hard as it was I avoided Justin over the next week as I tried to come up with answers to my problems with the plan and then as I was sitting with D.J, Rachel, and James one day in the Great Hall during our morning break from classes James mentioned Uncle Harry’s old potion’s book. 

“Yeah he told me that it belonged to the ‘Half-Blood Prince’.”

He went on excitedly,

“He said it was the reason he did so well in potions but he never found out who it belonged to.” 

I jumped up suddenly as I realized that James had just inadvertently answered one of my questions!  I ran to the owlery looking for Gloria and once I spotted her I got out a piece of parchment and a quill and scribbled down a quick note, sealed it, and sent Gloria on her way.

I didn’t have to wait long for a reply, there was one the next morning as I sat down to breakfast; it was stamped with the royal Elvin seal.  My heart started pounding as I broke the wax and read what Uncle Harry had written.

Dear Victoria,

I got your owl late last night, it sounded urgent so I wrote back as quickly as I could and I hope this gets to you before it ends up in the wrong hands.  I understand your concerns about Young Flint’s quick attachment and supposed love for you, however I don’t want you to think that you need a potion to tell you if he really loves you and not just your power.  I hate to think that as young as you are that you’re already going through this and I only hope that my girls don’t get put in the same position so I’m going to help you out.  I’ve sent a parcel with Hedwig; it contains the Half-Blood Prince’s copy of ‘Advanced Potion Making’, the Marauder’s Map (which I think you will find useful), and a note from your mother who unfortunately intercepted your owl to me.  Be careful love, I’ll talk to you soon.

Uncle Harry

I squealed in excitement as I destroyed the letter; no one must know that I have the Prince’s book or the Marauder’s Map. 

I anxiously awaited Uncle Harry’s parcel and it wasn’t until Thursday that it showed up.  I was pacing back and forth in the common room when Professor Snape swooped in with Hedwig on his shoulder. 

“Miss Malfoy, I believe this.  Belongs to you.” 

He smirked at me as he caught my gaze and held it for what seemed like a really long time.  I felt a little strange after but I brushed it off and took the parcel and Hedwig from him and rushed up to my bed.  I gasped softly as I looked over the items I’d requested, fingering the spine of the potions book gently I flipped it open and skimmed the first page. 

It was just as I pictured it; the worn cover, the notations in the margins, the creases that Uncle Harry had made as he was experimenting with the spells written in it, and the smell.  Oh how I loved the smell of old books; there was just something about the dust of an old library, it sent shivers down my spine.  After a bit I put the book down and turned to the Marauder’s Map.  Uncle Harry didn’t tell me how to use it but I was sure that James knew so my next obstacle was to get the information out of him without making him suspicious. 

As I sat there playing absentmindedly with old parchment I remembered that Mum had sent me a letter as well!  I stood up and looked around for it but it wasn’t there, it wasn’t on the bed, or the floor, it wasn’t under the bed, or on the nightstand.  I couldn’t find it!  This was bad.  This was really, really bad.  I tore through everything I had and then turned back to the book; maybe I put it in there on accident? 

The only problem was that I didn’t remember seeing the note to begin with.  I frantically searched every page in the book until I came to one near the very end; at the top of the page was the word, the word I had been thinking about non-stop for the last few days, Veritaserum.  The note was right there, clipped to the side of the page as if waiting for me to discover it.  I took it from the page, slid my finger under the wax seal, and was surprised to see only three words, Moaning Myrtle’s Bathroom written in Mum’s slanted handwriting.  She had just given me the answer to my next question.  The only questions left were, how do I open the Marauder’s Map and where can I get the ingredients for the potion? 

The answers wouldn’t come to me for another week, maybe two but with the finals of the Quidditch Cup fast approaching I barely noticed.  Justin had us practicing 6 nights a week, giving us Sundays to do our homework.  He said there was no way we were going to let Gryffindor win with such a great team.

AN: Sorry this chapter isn't one of my best but I needed to set the scene.

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