(1938-10-03) Hate Potion?
Details for Hate Potion?
Summary: The two worst seventh year potions students are made to work together for everyone else's safety. It proves to be a wise decision.
Date: 3 October 1938
Location: Potions Classroom and Labyrinthine Corridor

Potion's Classroom
The Potions classroom is a windowless classroom with stone arches running along its walls holding up a low ceiling. Within each arch are shelves that hold glass jars with pickled animal remains, both Muggle and Magical. Under the shelves are cabinets that stand open during class times to give students access to all of the potion making materials they might need. The room itself is a big square filled with a double row of long tables with enough space for four or five students to have a cauldron set up and books open at each one. At the end of the room is a stone dais with a desk set upon it from which the Potions Master can survey the entirety of the room. During classes the entire room is illuminated by guttering torches and the burners underneath the students cauldron making for a rather gloomy atmosphere.

Seventh Year Potions Class. As there are fewer students taking potions classes the higher up you go the classes get smaller and more mixed. However, one thing has not changed in seven years. For seven years two of the least capable students have been Medusa Malfoy and Douglas Macmillan. The problem is that both of them are so easily distracted. Of the two Medusa is likely the better student but that is not saying much; or perhaps it is since they both managed to pass their OWLs (likely a surprise to many) and were granted permission to carry on with the subject at NEWT level. However, to save others who likely have a greater chance of doing well Professor Slughorn has decided to be kind to everyone (apart from Medusa and Douglas) and pair them together for the remainder of the year and relegate — er give them — the cauldron at the back of the room. That is where Medusa is now, perched on a stool and doing her best to not poke Douglas with something sharp. "Stop it," she hisses.

"Stop what!" Douglas retorts, flicking another piece of unidentifiable, fleshy ingredient at her as soon as Slughorn's back is turned, then backing off a little to avoid the inevitable retaliation. The cauldron? Who even knows what's going on in there.

"I hate you", Medusa mutters under her breath albeit loud enough for Douglas to hear. She flicks the bit of frog — was it a frog? — from her sleeve and onto the floor. "Why did I have to be stuck with you? You are such a miscreant." She tries to make a show of actually working, though that is partly just to annoy her potions partner. The scathing look she sends his way as Medusa adds a few drop of some oil or other to the cauldron makes it clear that she thinks this workbench clearly is not big enough for the both of them! "I bet you do not even know how to spell miscreant. I should think of simpler insults for you."

Douglas half grins as he rocks back on two legs of his stool. "I think I like being a miscreant. It's got a kind of swagger to it. Miscreant. It's a good word. Better than most of the words I tend to get called. If this all blows up, by the way," he adds casually, glancing to the window, "I am totally blaming you."

There are no windows down here so poor Douglas is relegated to staring at bricked up walls which look like they should have windows but alas do not. "Hand me that snackleberry." It is not a request but a command. Medusa is running her fingertip down the list of ingredients checking to see if they have anything. "It is not going to blow up." She lifts her head and looks at Douglas. "Not this time." Because it certainly has happened before.

Douglas hovers his hand over the various ingredients still on the table (that he hasn't yet flicked at his long suffering potions partner), picking out what looks like a berry. He shrugs, flipping it into the cauldron. "Snackleberry's in. How long is this going to take, anyway? Can't we just make something that looks the right colour and call it a day? I've got better things to do with my life than sit in here all day."

Medusa doesn't check to see if Douglas does what he was told. This could be a problem. "What have you possibly got to do? I have known you for…" she lifts her head and looks at him, leveling him with a gaze that makes it clear she finds Douglas wanting "…far too long and not once have I ever thought to myself 'that there is a boy who has important places to go and things to do.'" She turns then and looks at the shelf of bottles behind them. The only perk about being in the back, well aside for being so far from everyone else, is that the ingredients are handy. Pulling a small ladder over Medusa ascends it and looks for a missing ingredient.

To his credit, Douglas doesn't immediately spin on his stool and stoop to try to catch an eyeful, unlike one of his fellow students, that student getting a flicked piece of what might be tongue sent over his way by way of discouragement from the Gryffindor. "Oi!" he chides, waving a finger and rolling his eyes. Turning back to Medusa, he rests his chin on his hand. "I'll have you know I have plenty of important things to do, thank you very much. I've got to fix my boat for one thing."

Medusa steps down from the ladder with a bottle in her hands. "Boat?" She seems curious but does not make it too obvious, instead saying, "I could not find the wigginwart do you think it will matter if I substitute it for Japanese knotwart instead?" Surely one warty weed is the same as another. She places the bottle on the workbench and sits back on her stool. "Why is your boat broken?"

"It hit a rock," Douglas explains, wrinkling his nose as he holds out a hand for the bottle, uncorking it and 'carefully measuring' a random slug of the liquid into the cauldron. There is a faint sizzling noise, nothing too alarming, but Douglas withdraws his hand quickly, giving the cauldron a dubious look. "I want to put more sails on it, too. Make it go faster."

"And you didn't melt when you got wet?" Medusa sounds surprised. She eyes the cauldron dubiously but when nothing untoward happens she carries on, adding the final ingredient. "Boats should always go fast," she says as if agreeing with Douglas. "It says here," she reads from the book, "that we stir it clockwise three times and counterclockwise once." Since the ladle is nearest to him she gives Douglas a pointedly. Hop to it boy.

Far away at the front of the room the potions teacher drones on, teaching those students who have the potential of achieving a proper grade. He does glance back but as it looks like the pair of them are working he carries on.

"I wasn't in it," Douglas points out, then frowns. "Hey! I put the wigginwart in. You get to stir it," he decides firmly, folding his arms. "Tell you what, when I get it fixed again, I'll race you. You got a boat?"

With a sigh, because this work stuff is hard, Medusa takes the ladle and begins to stir the potion. "Possibly. I do not know. I have never asked." She becomes distracted by the idea of Malfoys who might have access to boats and stirs the potion one too many times clockwise before remembering to turn it counterclockwise. "Do you really have a job already?" Medusa looks down at the cauldron and waits to see what happens.

"Yep," Douglas confirms. "Department of in…" He never quite gets to finish his sentence, as the potion brewing suddenly begins to sizzle, the end of the ladle definitely beginning to soften into it, and large bubbles begin to pop, giving off a noxious green gas. "Uhhh…" he backs off, pointing at Medusa with his best innocent look.

Medusa shrieks and leaps back, knocking her stool to the floor. She drops the ladle and it bounces on the stone floor before rolling to the side. A few of the students at the front turn and look, knowing smirks on their faces. And yet the size of the gush of potion is surprising even to them. The vile green goop draws in on itself before spewing forth and hitting both Douglas and Medusa in equal measure large globs of it landing on their heads and upper bodies. Immediately Medusa declares, "I didn't do it!"

"I didn't do it!" Douglas calls out at the exact same moment, blinking his way out of the goop and wiping his face with his sleeve. Immediately, he glances to the exit, debating how far he could get before anyone catches him.

She has much the same thought and Medusa begins pushing and shoving Douglas towards the door because sometimes retreat is the best tactic. "Go, go," she hisses making it clear she intends to follow him out.

Douglas grabs Medusa by the jumper, likewise shoving her. "Go! Go!" he commands, some sort of misplaced sense of chivalry making him hold his ground so she can exit first. "I'll say it was me, run!"

Startled by the offer Medusa blinks in surprise but she doesn't give Douglas a chance to change his mind and makes a quick dash for the exit. If she is lucky she can get out before Slughorn reaches them. Mind you she cannot outrun the old man forever, he is the head of house, but at least she can be cleaner. When she reaches the door she stops and blows Douglas a kiss then disappears.

"I don't know what happened," Douglas can be heard explaining himself as Medusa retreats, followed by the ranting and general bollocking from the recognisable voice of the potions master.

Waiting outside…

The transition between to the above ground world of the school and the dungeons below is striking. The area below Hogwarts might as well belong to a completely different building. Dark Stone makes up the floor, walls, and ceiling, the oily, flickering light provided by torches in the tarnished bronze sconces along the wall seems to be sucked away by the lurking darkness. Some corridors seem to have collapsed some time in the past, dead ending in rubble and dirt. Down others, the torches have gone out for good, forcing any adventurous student to explore by wand light. In contrast, the main corridor is well maintained, the floor slightly worn by the tread of generations of students to and from potions class.

The potions classroom is close to the Slytherin common room. By the time Douglas has talked himself out of detention and been dismissed to go clean up, mainly by the virtue of Slughorn suspecting neither of the students meant to cause the mess, Medusa has taken up a position around a corner from the door and collected a towel. She peeks around the corner, waiting for Douglas but also able to duck out of sight should the professor appear instead.

Douglas finally trudges out of the class, leaving gopping great green footprints behind him and flapping out his robes with a wet crack. On spying Medusa there, he glances back over his shoulder to check he's not being followed, before ducking off to one side. "Now see what you did!" he accuses, although he does give a grateful nod as he snatches up the towel to rub off his hair.

"What I did?" She grabs the front of his jumper and drags Douglas back into one of those shadowy alcoves this hallway has so many of before lambasting him verbally. "I did nothing!" Which is not entirely true. "You put the wrong ingredients in, clearly." Medusa might have cleaned her face up but there are still globy stains on her clothes indicating she didn't take time to properly clean herself up.

"You stirred it," Douglas retorts, thumping back against the stone of the alcove. He gives her a glare. Which lasts about a second. The glare becomes a twitch of his lips, the twitch becomes a grin, and the grin becomes a laugh. "Well, it's one way to get out of class!"

She turns and leans back against the wall, fitting into the space beside Douglas. His humour is infectious because Medusa starts to giggle. She brings her hand up, horrified that she would do something quite so undignified but the is also unable to stop herself as her giggles turn into proper laughs. "That was the biggest mess we have made yet. How much trouble did you get into?"

Douglas peels off his robe, letting it drop to the floor with a soft 'fwop'. "Oh, you know," he tells her with a grin. "I just said I didn't read the instructions right. He went off on one a bit about ruining a perfectly good ladle and staining the textbook, but I think he believed me. Either way, we're free. And not a word about points, either!"

"No points?" Medusa looks somewhat impressed. She raises a brow, "What about detention?" Detentions are even worse than lessons. She half turns, leaning her shoulder into the cold stone wall as she looks up at him. "You missed a bit." She points to a bit of goo still in Douglas' hair.

"I was keeping that bit for later," Douglas tells her solemnly, then breaks into his customary crooked grin. "Oh, come on. Me? Detention? You know I've got them all wrapped around my finger. Besides, none of the teachers want to sit in a classroom with me for an hour either. Not after last time when I managed to hide all those stink bombs."

She snorts a laugh. "And here I thought you wanted the girls chasing you." Medusa holds her hand out for the towel, assuming Douglas is finished. It is clearly her personal towel the letters MM monogrammed on it in silvery thread. "I do not know why you did it but I thank you Douglas. I owe you one." And Medusa doesn't make owing people a habit. "Name your price."

"Just don't tell anyone," Douglas decides after a moment's thought, wiping that last piece of goo from his hair before offering the towel over. "I mean, I've got a reputation to maintain, remember? If anyone asks, you totally pushed me in the way so I couldn't run."

Taking the towel Medusa looks at him oddly. "I don't like owing people Douglas," she says a bit coolly. "Malfoys pay their debts." Not that they ever seem to have many. "Think of something and we can negotiate. I know thinking is hard for you so I will give you time."

Douglas grins once more, watching her. "Maybe I like knowing you owe me a favour, eh? I could get used to it. You look a lot better when you're squirming."

She narrows her eyes leveling that gorgon stare on him. Her hand grips the towel tighter. A sly cool smile turns up the corners of her mouth. "That is twice you have mentioned my appearance in as many days. Finding yourself drawn to me, Douglas? Wanting to know if you can handle me?"

Douglas tucks his thumbs into his belt, raising a brow. "I know I could handle you, Malfoy. And you'd love it."

Medusa leans in closer, shoulder rolling against the wall. The peppery undernotes of her floral perfume and a rather less pleasant more pungent odor of green goo cling to her. She lowers her voice to a breathy hush as she murmurs, "And what makes you so sure of either of those things?"

Douglas watches her for a moment, grin playing at the corner of his lips, before he simply shrugs, slipping a hand to the back of her neck to pull her in to him and goes for the kiss.

As he looms in Medusa whispers in that same tone, not willing to loose any ground with any boy ever, "This makes us even." She doesn't stop Douglas from trying to kiss her if he still plans to but she makes it clear that this is her paying a debt.

Douglas pauses at her lips, amusement clear in his eyes. "This doesn't make us even," he explains in a murmur. "This is just a bonus for you."

Medusa stamps her foot in frustration and if she should happen to stamp on his foot well even better. Her eyes narrow as if the amusement in his gaze irritates her even more.

Douglas shrugs a shoulder, drawing back with a grin. "Seriously. It's the squirming. It's all kinds of good looking. I'm not giving that up."

"Oh you!," Medusa huffs out in annoyance. She lifts her empty hand and gives Douglas' shoulder, that annoying shoulder, a shove.

Douglas brushes his shoulder off with one hand, shaking his head sadly. "You know, you should have just made the most of the moment," he advises. "I mean, now you still owe me, and you missed out on the best kisser in school."

Poking at his chest with her finger to emphasise each word Medusa says, "When I kiss you Douglas Macmillan it will because you begged for it." Clearly he has not had enough of her petrifying glare today because she levels him with another gorgon stare. "Got on your knees and begged and even then it will be out of pity."

Douglas grins broadly, holding up a finger. "Ahh! But you still said when and not if."

"I ha — no I loathe you," hisses Medusa before she starts to stalk off, every inch of her bristling with anger and annoyance aimed at one person: Douglas Macmillan.

Douglas chuckles to himself as he stoops to pick up his sodden robes, shaking his head. "See you tomorrow, Malfoy!"

Medusa stiffens at the sound of his voice and without looking offers him a rather rude hand gesture before disappearing from view.

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