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°~*◊*~°

I walked into Potions instantly regretting my decision to skip to NEWT-level.  

“You’re already so advanced,” Prof Sluggy told me. “It would be such an injustice for you to take 6th year Potions when you know all the Potions!”  he had declared with a hearty laugh.

Flattery will get you… everywhere.  So I answered, “why, of course Professor!” forgetting the fact that I have no friends in the year above me… unless you count my sister which would just be pathetic and lame.

I sat down in the second row and started biting my lip as I played with the slightly dusty tabletop.  Unfortunately, not even Addie could save me as the Gryffindors took this class with Ravenclaws instead of the Slytherins.  As people started filing in, I expected that Sluggy would have to force someone to sit with me. 

To my utter surprise, I heard someone plop down next to me within five minutes after I sat down. I looked over and Freddie Weasley was looking back at me with a wide grin on his face.

I raised an eyebrow. 

He smirked and nodded his head.

I raised both eyebrows.

He winked and nodded his head.

I frowned. 

He went back to grinning and then nodded his head again.

I sighed. “Did you lose a bet? I’m sorry.”

He gave me a disgusted look.  “Were you not paying attention at all? Do you even listen?”

“Listen…” I stated slowly.

He scoffed.  “We had an entire conversation with our facial expressions and apparently you weren’t even listening.”

So… Frederick Weasley is crazy.

 “Let’s pretend I do not speak facial expression.  What exactly was said?” I asked.

 Freddie rolled his eyes.  “Well, I sat down and said ‘hello’ and you were a little shocked by my beauty…” I scoffed at this while he pretended to flick a piece of hair out of his face. “…but you said ‘I’m so honored but why are you sitting next to me?’” he continued in a high pitch voice. 

“I do not sound like a cartoon character!” I replied in shock.

He ignored me. “And I said ‘because we are such good friends…’” I scoffed again. He once again ignored me and continued. “Then you were all like ‘Oh, Freddie like how I wish we were like the best of friends but like I know this isn’t true, as much as I wish it were like very like true, oh mah gawd.’”

“Do I really sound like an American valley girl to you? Why do I have two different accents?”

He grunted. “I’m not great at doing impressions, okay?! It’s something I’m working on. Can you please stop interrupting me?” he snapped at me.

I crossed my arms and nodded my head.  He continued to stare at me with his eyebrows furrowed.  “Continue,” I snapped impatiently. 

He rolled his eyes.  “Where was I… oh right.  So then I said ‘Look, my mum’s going to kill me if I don’t get a decent grade in Potions this year and you are obviously smart enough to be a Sixth Year in Seventh Year Potions so I sat next to you,’” he finally finished.

I nodded my head in understanding as I pulled out some supplies we would need. 

He stared at me. “You’re okay with this?” he asked incredulously.

I shrugged. “You need a good grade in Potions and I need to avoid the embarrassment of having no one want to be my Potions partner.  I think this works well.” 

Freddie grinned in response as Sluggy walked into the classroom.

Freddie and I did work well together.  He barely knew anything about Potions.  Seriously.  I have no idea how he made it to Seventh Year Potions.  However, he was really good at following instructions and his off-topic conversations were a good distraction and very hilarious.

“Pass the gillyweed, please,” I said while stirring the potion.

He passed me the correct ingredient while I carefully added it to the potion piece by piece.

“I don’t understand your answer,” he said with a sigh.

I shrugged. “It’s rather simple, Frederick.  I think Notorious B.I.G. had a better flow than Tupac.  They were both great rappers of course but that is what I think.”

“You listen to 90’s rap music… at Nott Manor?” he asked with a confused expression on his face.

I laughed.  “I don’t live at Nott Manor… Hand me shredded dandelion root please… Ade and I live with our maman … mum.  She doesn’t mind how much we blast music.  Sometimes, she’ll even join in,” I said with a smirk.

“Hmmm, okay,” Freddie responded. “Who’s your favorite current rapper?”

I sighed happily as the potion turned its current puke green color.  I looked up at Freddie. "Josh tells me he is not the nicest person but I like Kanye West.  His songs are very catchy.”

Freddie’s face split into a wide grin. 

In case you were not aware, Freddie Weasley has absolutely no shame.  No shame at all. In fact, I think he has negative shame.  As in, if he is not doing something embarrassing or shameful, he is ashamed.  So I am not sure why I was so shocked by what happened next…

“NOW I AIN’T SAYING SHE A GOLD DIGGER- UH, BUT SHE AIN’T MESSIN’ WIT NO BROKE BROKE…”

“MR. WEASLEY,” Sluggy roared loudly. “Explain yourself!”

Freddie had the good sense to LOOK ashamed.

Freddie then pointed at me. “Cass asked me to rap her favorite song to lighten up the mood.” 

Sluggy looked at me like I had stolen all the crystallized pineapples in the world.  “I’m surprised at you Ms. Nott.  How’s that potion coming?” he asked while crossing his arms.

This is around the time I noticed that the entire class was looking at me.  Mimi and V snickered while Louis and James looked completely unfazed and unsurprised by Freddie’s antics.  The rest of the class just looked interested in how I was going to get out of this. 

I cleared my throat. “We’re actually done, Professor.”

“Done?” Sluggy responded as he waddled his way where we were sitting.  He peered into our cauldron and “hmmm” -ed and “ha”-ed.  He leaned closer and sniffed our potion. 

He suddenly looked up and a big grin spread across his face.  “This is perfect,” Sluggy said excitedly.  He peered at me over his eyeglasses.  “You did this yourself, didn’t you?”

“No, Professor,” I responded immediately.  “Frederick helped me,” I said pointing at Freddie.  Freddie responded by grinning up at Sluggy.

Sluggy looked at us for a few moments before pulling out a vial and saying, “Very well, you may leave class early.”

I packed up my stuff while Freddie shifted in his chair like a baby that had just tasted sugar for the first time.  As soon as I put the last item in my bag, he grabbed my hand and pulled me toward the door.  

“This is so great!  We have a full hour to snog before our next class,” he yelled.

I gasped and looked around the classroom hoping, wishing, and praying that nobody had heard.  
Of course, everyone had heard. 

Potter and Louis were looking at us with raised eyebrows.  Mimi and V had disgusted looks on their faces.  Most of the class looked open-mouthed and shocked.

Before I could say, “NOOOOO” or “MERLIN NOOO” or “HELL NO” or “EW!”, Freddie had pulled me out of the classroom. 

"Frederick,” I hissed once we were in the hallway a few feet away from class.  He stopped pulling me. 

“What?”  he asked as he turned around to face me. 

I straightened out my school uniform.  “I appreciate you partnering with me in Potions…”

Freddie nodded along with a grin on his face, “I appreciate you lying to the Slug about me helping you with the Potion.”

“I did not lie.  You collected and cut the ingredients … wait, the Slug?”

“Yes, Professor Slughorn. Oh, Merlin don’t tell me you’re one of those nerds who hates calling Professors by nicknames,” he responded while giving me a judgmental look and crossing his arms. 

“No,” I replied while crossing my own arms.  “I just have a much cooler nickname.”

Freddie scoffed.  “What’s your nickname?”

“Sluggy,” I responded like it was the most ingenious name to ever exist in ever.

Freddie looked as if he were pondering the hardest Arithmancy problem in existence.  “Ehhh, I guess that is okay-ish.  Admittedly, it’s better…”

I suddenly remembered that Freddie had told our entire class that we’d be snogging.  “Why did you tell the entire class that we’d be snogging?” I snapped.

Freddie looked taken aback.  He looked at me like I was crazy.

Me. 

Crazy…..

ME?!?

CRAZY?!??

“I did not say that,” Freddie responded slowly, enunciating each word, like I could not comprehend the English language. 

“You said that we had a full hour to snog!”

“Right, I snog some girl who’s into me, fine with snogging in a broom closest, and doesn’t bother me about wanting a relationship.  And you snog… whoever you snog,” he said while shrugging his shoulders. 

I rubbed my temples.  “It sounded like you were saying that we’d be snogging each other,” I said through gritted teeth. 

He frowned.  “Are you into me, fine with snogging in a broom closet, and afterward will you not bother me about a relationship?” he asked seriously while looking me up and down.

“No,” I said exasperated.

“Then why would I snog you?” he asked squinting at me. 

“Why would you say it like that?” I snapped back with a hand on my hip.

“Doesn’t everyone snog when they have unexpected free times throughout the day?”

“What? No!”

He stared at me and tilted his head like I was creature in our Fantastic Beasts book.  

I glared back at him.  

He frowned deeply in response.

“Are we having another ‘conversation’ through facial expressions?”  I asked after a couple of seconds. 

He made a face.  “Of course, not.  I am looking at you like you are crazy because what you are saying is crazy.”

I frowned and huffed.  “See you later, Frederick,” I finally said realizing that this conversation would be a waste of the free time we had just earned.

He grinned.  “See ya, Cass!” he replied back before turning and whistling while he walked away. 

Potions class should be interesting.

°~*◊*~°

 Honey.  

That’s what came to mind when I thought about James’s eyes.  They were the color of honey with moss green on the edges.  Sometimes it looked like the colors were dancing together.

Was I hallucinating?  I could actually see those honey eyes in front of me.

I leaned in closer to get a better look.  Yup, I had officially lost my mind if I could see….

SNAP!

Suddenly, two calloused fingers were in front of my face making a snapping noise. I leapt out of my seat and toppled over. 

Madam Pince shushed me from her desk.  I rolled my eyes.  

Of course.

Kick a girl when she is literally down on the floor.

James Potter came into view holding out a blurry looking hand.  I gulped.  So this was not a hallucination. 

Wait.  

Why was everything so blurry?

Shit.  

My eyeglasses.

I was too lazy to do an eye correction charm this morning.  Ugh.  Mistakes have been made. Grave mistakes.

I started patting the floor like an idiot.

“Looking for these?”  a deep voice said.  I looked up and James’s blurry hand was holding my glasses out in front of my face.  I grabbed them lightly grazing James’s hand in the process.  Such an insignificant contact gave me goosebumps all over my arm.  I felt my face heating up.

I pretended not to see his outstretched hand as I pushed myself off the floor.  I did not need to blush anymore in front of him.

I reclaimed my seat as James dropped down in the seat across from me. 

I swallowed.  James opened his mouth to say something. 

My eyes went wide as I adjusted my glasses.  “So you’re probably wondering why there is a rumor about us hooking up.  I promise I’m not some weirdo that likes to stalk guys and make up ridiculous rumors about hooking up with guys.  I would never do that.  I swear I am not that desperate.  I mean, I look around here and having a boyfriend just seems like a lot of work in general.  Why tie yourself to that?” I declared in one breath. 

James's mouth was slightly parted and he looked like he was having a hard time following. 

So I did the most idiotic thing one could do in this situation:   

I continued.

“My friends may have accidentally started a rumor about us hooking up but I promise they are very well-meaning and a little crazy but crazy in a good way not crazy in a I will start malicious rumors about my friend and a guy I don’t even know way so it was basically completely unintentional and ridiculous and if you want I can like shout during dinner that we are not snogging or shagging or whatever,” I rambled on like an idiot.

James's eyebrows were furrowed by the time I had finally shut up.  “That won’t be necessary,” he responded slowly.  “Do you have my Transfiguration book?  Can I have it back, please?  I need it for, uh, classes.”

My stomach dropped as I could feel my face heating up to 1000 degrees.  This was obviously the reason why he needed to have any contact with me at all.  Refusing to make eye contact again, I pulled the book out of my bag.  I slid the book across the table. 

 “Thanks,” James responded while running a hand through his hair. I quickly leapt up from my chair.  I was so embarrassed and I could not sit another second across from him. 

“Oh,” James stated while raising an eyebrow.  “You don’t have to leave,” he assured me. 

I nodded my head mutely before dashing off.  

Why am I so incredibly awkward? 
°~*◊*~°


A/N:  If you've made it this far -- thank you for reading!!  Would love to know what you-all think?  Ridiculous?  Lame?  Ideas?  Let me know :)  

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