(1938-10-21) Seventh Year Potions: Model Students
Details for Seventh Year Potions: Model Students
Summary: Douglas and Medusa manage to produce a decent potion and hand in their homework.
Date: 21 October 1938
Location: Potions Classroom, Hogwarts

It is clearly a parallel universe, as it's first thing on a Monday morning and Douglas James Macmillan is actually early for Potions class. What's more, he's got his book out ready, has settled himself at the stained and battered desk which usually suffers from his and Malfoy's attempts to work, and may even be… gasp… studying.

Not much happens in the dungeons without Medusa hearing about it sooner or later; all those hissing snakes. So it is with curiosity she saunters her way into the potions classroom, books and all, to see for herself if the news in the maze is true. "Will you ever cease to surprise me, Douglas?" Dropping her books unceremoniously onto her half of the workbench she lowers herself onto her seat and leans over to peer at his book.

Douglas flips the book shut immediately, clearing his throat and giving an awkward smile. "Hey, boss. You're early, aren't you?" He looks her over, grinning hopefully, "Don't suppose you picked up any breakfast, did you?"

Medusa reins in her suspicious nature. For now. "I wasn't sure if it really was you. Hold on, I'll be right back." She gets to her feet again and crosses to the door, pausing before leaving to say, "I am sorry if I lost you the bet. I was in a piss poor mood. I apologise." With that the blond slips away into the recesses of the maze, footsteps echoing. Several minutes pass before she returns and sets a small handkerchief wrapped bundle down in front of Douglas. Inside are some of the pastries which were clearly laid out in the Slytherin common room judging by the house colours used when making them.

The book is flipped shut once more as Medusa re-enters, and the handkerchief hurriedly unwrapped. "Ahhh, Malfoy, this is why I love you," he decides, picking an almond from the top of one of the pastries and holding it out by her mouth. "So… uh… what was all that about, then? At the Broomsticks?"

She opens her mouth and accepts the almond then bites down, chewing the nut before answering. "Kaiden has agreed to tutor me in advanced NEWT defense, completely take over for Alphard as well but his price is proving too high." Medusa leans forward, resting her bent elbow on the workbench and her chin on her upturned hand as she watches Douglas. "He wants me to tell Soleil how great a guy he is in the hopes she will go out with him, be his latest conquest. Only problem - Soleil is Gerald's girlfriend."

"So tell him to stick it," Douglas suggests, taking a bite of his Slytherin-flavoured breakfast and sitting back on his stool. "Get Proudmore or somebody to teach you instead. You know he's still sweet on you, and you can just wrap him round your finger."

"I got into a fight with Gerald about it. He moans about Sunny all the time so I asked if he'd mind. He's decided this is a test of my loyalty." She sighs and then wrinkles her nose. "Lucian is not sweet on me. He barely tolerates me and works me like a servant during our sessions. But you're right I need to tell Kaiden no. I was hoping if I threw another girl in his direction that might work but I think he sees Soleil as a challenge." Medusa reaches up to tuck her hair behind her ear. "To make it even more of a pain, standing up in the rain on those sodding ramparts gave me a bit of a cold, thankfully the potion seems to have knocked it back."

"Next time be a bit more subtle about it," Douglas requests, rolling his eyes at her. "I got charged for you 'bringing your own alcohol in'. Five sickles! Of course I couldn't say it wasn't booze, could I?"

"Of course you could have. I don't care what some old woman that runs a pub thinks of me," says Medusa. She fishes in her pocket and brings out her coin purse, taking five sickles from inside she sets them down in a stack between them. "Here. I was Thad's wingman on his date with Weasley. I would have got more but my fight with Gerald distracted me and he had to fend for himself for the last part of it."

Douglas raises a brow, sliding the coins back towards her. "Not the old biddy," he clarifies. "You totally gained points for being cool by having a flask of booze. I wasn't about to rat you out to Gus." He flicks a genuine smile, leaning back to watch her. "And how did Thad get on? Maybe he can stop eyeing me up now."

"Gus was shocked that I actually like you. He kept repeating it as if I didn't know myself. He's lucky I didn't kick him." Medusa puts the coins away again, tidying her coin purse into the pocket of her over robes. "At least I feel confident in the knowledge that you know how much I like you even if your best friend is caught offside with it." She grins broadly, "Thad still has to take his little sister to the feast, must be hard having ugly relations, but I hear there are plans for him to meet up with Weasley towards the end of the night so it must have gone well." Medusa reaches over and using her finger swipes some of the icing from one of the pastries, holds her finger up Douglas' mouth. "I bet if you ask he'd meet with you instead."

Douglas leans forward to capture her finger between his lips, licking off the icing slowly and raising a brow. "Are you pimping me out now? I'd better get a cut of whatever you intend to make on it." He flashes her a quick grin, shaking his head. "And I don't know how much you like me, Malfoy. I think you ought to make it clearer. Often."

It had seemed like a clever idea but watching him her eyes widen and there is a flicker of something heated before Medusa looks away, shifting on her stool a little. "Publicly claiming you in the Three Broomsticks wasn't enough?" Her hands busy themselves tidying up the workbench. "I suppose I could suffer a snogging session in that hideous tea shop. That's the real reason I made Thaddeus pay me. Hazard pay for sitting amidst the tacky decor."

"He probably likes it," Douglas notes amiably, straightening his books and giving a bright smile to the curious students beginning to pile in to the class. There are mutterings, and more than a little pointing. After all, it's a rare thing to see Douglas early, and to see the pair of them here early for class? Clearly an ulterior motive, and there's a rumour that's going to go around school, no doubt. He lowers his voice considerably, leaning in to whisper, "I'm not waiting two more weeks for a snog."

Medusa's head bows as she tries to smother the snigger that the idea of their friend liking the chintz and lace decor of the Hogsmeade tea shop inspires. "Maybe he does." She returns a few nods of recognition from some of the other arriving seventh years and turns her head towards Douglas, lowering her voice to respond with, "What, here? Now? I thought you were trying to stop costing your house points?" Laughing she says, "Oh, you meant later." With a nod she picks up her book and takes a couple of pieces of parchment out, setting them on the workbench. One is rather crumpled as if it had been balled up then smoothed out, the other pristinely folded in half. "You left your homework in the library. I picked it up for you."

Douglas gives Medusa an appreciative look, collecting up both sets of homework and ambling towards the front to place it with the rest on the professor's desk. This, of course, gains him even more looks of incredulity from the rest of the class. "What?" he insists innocently. "I'm a good student! Setting the example!" Grinning cheerfully, he heads back towards his desk, subtly reaching to squeeze Medusa's arse as he slides past her and into his seat.

Medusa maintains her composure as people are watching them but the signs are there, the faintest of starts as he touches her unexpectedly and a slight pinkening of the cheeks, the ones on her face. With a cough, maybe that cold hasn't shifted, she flips through the pages of her book as the professor comes in from the corridor. Chiming in a "Good Morning," along with everyone else she locates the page for the potion they are working on today. "Flint will be so proud and Pringle so frustrated," she tells Douglas.

"Pringle just wants me for my body, too," Douglas insists, hushing up rapidly as the professor begins to drone on. He takes up a pencil, absently doodling a Kilroy into the textbook, peeking out over the diagram of the cauldron.

Because she knows herself well enough Medusa uses her own shorthand to note down what Slughorn wants them to do in the lesson today, the adaptations to the potion recipe on the page in the book. Several minutes pass before she muses, "I must be at the head of a very long line of people then. Me, Thad, Pringle, that old woman in the bar with the droppy breasts and the rather nice diamonds." Determined to not have this potion explode on either of them she annotates her book with the changes she made in her notes and even raises her hand to ask for a clarification.

"Janette Abbott, Briar Crocker," Douglas supplies, picking up the ladle and carefully trying to balance it on one finger, that being the entire sum of what he intends to bring academically to this potion attempt. "And pretty much most of the fourth year Hufflepuffs. I showed them my head-flipping trick, and they thought it was hilarious, at least."

"Fourth year Hufflepuffs find anything hilarious, it's all that sugar they inhale." Medusa checks over the common ingredients already on the workbench, ticking them off on the list of required items. "Janette and Briar would be like some kind of unholy alliance. The one who wants to kill me and the one who hates me because her ex-boyfriend liked snogging me." Her head turns towards Douglas, "Are you going up the ladder or am I?"

Douglas pulls himself to his feet. "Yeah, yeah, I'll do it. And is that why Crocker was getting on my back about you?" He shakes his head in amusement, sliding the ladder over to him and heading up a couple of rungs. "What do we need?"

Medusa rattles off the list of ingredients they are still missing. It will require him fetching a fair few bottles. As he does that she prepares the type of wood needed for the cauldron's flame. "The Sykes' twin's father was cracking down last year. It probably sticks in her craw that despite how much she might detest me, to the Sykes family I will always be the type of girl they expect Kaiden to be with and she will never be invited to stand at the wrought iron gates let alone walk through them."

"Speaking of which, I sent my mum a letter," Douglas explains, setting down two of the necessary ingredients and retreating to the ladder to get the next. "To tell her you're coming over for Hogmanay. I should warn you, though, she'll probably take you to one side and show you baby pictures and have the wedding arranged by morning."

Looking up from where she is leaning over and blowing on the flame to get it to grow, Medusa arches a brow. "Baby pictures? Are there any identifying moles or oddly shaped birthmarks which I will learn about?" She grins and blows gently on the flame, giving him another brief glance to make sure he is on task. If she is going to have to pull this off for both of them so be it.

Douglas returns to the desk with two final jars, does a quick check nobody is looking, then pulls a crumpled, MM monogrammed handkerchief from his back pocket, and tips a little of the powder from one jar into it. Folding the handkerchief and tucking it back in his pocket, he presents both jars to Medusa. "Nothing about me is oddly shaped," he insists. "But if you really want to check me over for moles and birthmarks, come with me after class." He waggles his brows, settling back onto his stool beside her.

"What, no desk sanding or chair gluing today?" Now that the pink and green hued flames are properly licking the bottom of the copper cauldron Medusa double checks the bottles Douglas fetched. A glance goes to his pocket where her, yes she noticed that, handkerchief now has some kind of contraband. She lifts up the bottle and peers at the label curiously.

The bottle does contain something required for this lesson, which is a good start, but it's not anything usually traded on the Hogwarts black market, being a relatively cheap, easy thing to acquire. Ground moth wings. "I can postpone my exciting free period of varnishing furniture for you," Douglas tells her solemnly, sliding a hand to rest just above her knee, at the hem of her skirt. "It'll be tough, though. You know my deep seated love of carpentry."

Medusa places the bottle back on the workbench and picks up the scales, bringing them closer so she can weigh up the ingredients. "I'll do the work if you read me the instructions," she suggests. Douglas is given another sidelong glance along with her witty retort, "It is true that your growing passion for handling wood is becoming well known."

"You should try it some time," Douglas tells her, grinning crookedly as he runs a finger down the list of instructions, other hand doing its very best to distract her by tickling her thigh lightly. "Right, step one… done that, done that… step three, bring the cauldron up to 300 degrees. Is it hot enough yet?" He glances to her. "You look hot, so it must be, right?"

"I have to give you something for Christmas." While Medusa is trying her best to behave and ignore the teasing jibes that one was too good to pass up on. She leans over to peer at the flames. "It must be hot enough because the flames are only green now, no more pink. And I always look hot." With a smirk she sets an empty vial onto one side of the scales and weights on the other. "How much silkworm thread do we need?"

"You do always look hot," Douglas admits honestly, then returns his attention to the book. "Uh… hang on, which? Silkworm thread? Um… two spoonfuls, it says." He looks dubious. "How do you spoon it?"

Medusa sits up and leans over to peer at the instructions. "Two spoonfuls? Are you sure?" She eyes the jar of the delicately fine thread, wondering the same thing. "Maybe it is like spaghetti and you twirl it with your wand?" She looks at Douglas, "Go ask. I want to do one potion right this week at least."

"I'm assuming that's what the 's' means," Douglas admits, reluctantly withdrawing his hand from her leg to raise in the air. "Sir?" he calls out, taking the book and heading over to Slughorn to query it, before returning a few moments later, wrinkling his nose. "Apparently it's two spans of thread. And we learnt that last year and 'should really know that by now'."

Spans? Medusa tries to remember what it is they are spanning. She looks around to see what the good students are doing and realises what must be done. "Yes you really should," she teases Douglas, "but I know you'd rather try to sneak your hand up my leg." The topper is removed from the bottle of silkworm thread and the spans measured out. Let's hope the students she was watching did it right because Medusa drops the thread into the hot cauldron and it can be heard faintly sizzling now.

"I'd rather sneak my hand up your shirt," Douglas tells her cheerfully, restoppering the bottle of thread and moving it to one side, "but I think I might get spotted." He runs his finger down the instructions in the book again. "Four ounces of powdered moth wing, stirring anticlockwise."

She pauses, her hand on the bottle of mothwing, uncertain that she heard Douglas right. Did he just say he didn't want to get up her skirt but rather down her shirt? A bright flush crosses her pale face, "Four ounces, right." Medusa bows her head, letting her hair obscure her bright cheeks as she carefully weighs out the powdered moth wing and tips it into the cauldron. "How much purified water do we need to add and doesn't that come before the stirring?"

"Isn't that already in there?" Douglas asks, leaning forward to check, and getting a faceful of smoke instead.

"No. You didn't tell me to put it in yet." Medusa peers into the cauldron and frowns as it looks like everything has been cooking far too long already. "Oh bloody hell Douglas. I can't ever do anything right." She presses the heels of her hands against the sockets of her eyes. "I can make and barter dozens of stupid potions but in class I can never do it right.""

Douglas presses his lips together, then pauses. "Don't say a word," he tells her quietly, tipping a quantity of water into the cauldron until it hisses. "Wait… wait, no, do. Go cause a fuss over in the corner, would you? Accuse somebody of trying to steal your broom or something. It doesn't matter. Just get everyone looking over there for… fifteen seconds, tops." He wraps his robes around his hands, casting a quick murmured charm on them, then gives her the nod.

Trusting him she gets to her feet a little dejectedly and nods. Medusa makes her way over to the other side of the room, purposefully finding that loose bit of stone which she tripped on when making her silencing potion. Her stumble is a think of clumsy precision. She falls into her cousin Beatrice who is paired with a handsome blonde Hufflepuff and ends up careening into him. Like dominoes the effect goes on. The boy knocks over the scales on their workbench. The clattering sound the weights make when they hit the floor startles another girl who's shriek makes her partner jump and cause their cauldron to tilt precariously enough for them to shout, "Professor Slughorn!"

It's enough. Douglas double checks left and right, then picks up their cauldron and staggers to the next desk with it, switching it out for the one there and bringing it back over to set down on his flame. As though nothing had happened at all, he sits back on his stool, and cranes his neck to see what Medusa's up to. "You all right?" he calls over, firmly cementing his alibi of having been at his desk all the time.

Bless her dippy cousin Beatrice, the poor girl and her partner help Medusa get to her feet and dust her off. "I just wanted to double check the changes to the recipe with you," Medusa tells the pair as she helps them pick up their weights and put them on the workbench. Her head turns towards Douglas and she smiles, nodding, "I am fine." Seemingly forgetting all about the double-checking she walks over to sit next to him, only then able to see the chaos she created as she watches Slughorn use his kind but slightly creepy looking smile and genial nature to soothe ruffled feathers and right cauldrons. "What did you do," she whispers to Douglas out of the corner of her mouth.

Douglas gives his best, innocent look. "Nothing?" He nods to the cauldron, adding very softly, "I think they're up to step 6. Carry on from there."

Medusa peers into their cauldron and smiles. "You do love me," she says quietly, reaching for the instructions she reads up to step six and begins to stir the potion with the ladle. Her other hand moves Douglas' back onto her knee. "Stirring constantly at a slow measured pace for three minutes. Surely that is what magic is for?" And those poor other students who got stuck with their smouldering cauldron?

Douglas gives her knee a squeeze. "Did you ever doubt me?" he insists, glancing briefly aside to the other students as they stir what is rapidly becoming a black, sticky miss. "I want you to pass this class, you know. Well, I sort of want to pass, too, but I've got my emergency plan in place for it."

Using her wand to set the ladle stirring Medusa is now able to keep half her attention on the cauldron and half on Douglas. "Thank you." She squeezes his knee, withdrawing her hand only as Slughorn makes his way through the room checking on the progress of each potion. "If you want to go to the workshop with your free later I can bring my things and study in there."

"How about you drop by and we don't study?" Douglas suggests sotto voce, giving Slughorn a smile as he passes. "Sir, is this right?" he asks eagerly. "I don't want to blow up again."

Medusa smiles up at Professor Slughorn, her head of house. "You can tell we have been studying." Plus they have both been handing in their homework on-time and fully completed, even if her's is of a better quality than Douglas'. The professor nods, smiling at them both, "Well done. Splendid. I knew putting you two together was an excellent idea." Because putting them together had nothing to do with him avoiding complaints from other students or their parents. Patting Medusa on the hand he walks off to look at the next workbench. "My, my, what happened here?"

Douglas flashes a grin at Medusa, hand creeping up her leg even as he casts a look over to the poor students at the next table, and their unfortunate accident of a potion. "I think they must have been distracted by something," he decides, nodding solemnly. "And missed a step or stirred the wrong way. Tell you what," he offers the boy there, "I'll let you have half of ours, if you like?"

"Yes," agrees Medusa, "you can have half. We have more than enough." She reaches over and picks up a rack of vials then ladles out some of the potion into them. "Why don't you give them these." Medusa slides the rack over to Douglas and then proceeds to bottle up the rest so Slughorn can grade them.

Douglas elbows Medusa, giving her a Look and a hurriedly whispered, "Easy! Don't be nice or they'll suspect something!" Still, he offers over the vials to the next boy over. "I don't know how good it'll be. I mean, we made it. But it's worth a try, eh?"

"Of course it will be good," she says just loud enough for the other two to hear. "It isn't like mudbloods can make anything decent when it involves using magic." That final element to any potion, the use of magic being what separates potion making from muggle subjects like chemistry. Medusa uses the cover of inspecting her nails to watch the muggleborn seventh years they stole the cauldron from.

Douglas shrugs amiably, gathering his robes around himself and offering Medusa his hand. "Study time, then?" he notes as the class winds up and students begin filing out. "I just need to go check on the owlets first, but I'll meet you… uh… somewhere?"

With a sigh she nods and gets to her feet. "Sure. I'm going to go drop this stuff off in my room." Medusa squeezes his hand then pulls her own away so she can gather up her books and stationery. "When you figure out where somewhere is, let me know." She smirks and makes for the door then.

Douglas waggles his brows. "Just ask around, Malfoy. Somebody will be able to tell you where the hottest bloke in the school just went."

Medusa looks around, "Hmm, yes, Lucian is pretty easy to spot with all that hair." She laughs and leaves then, never quite figuring out just what Douglas planned to do with her handkerchief.

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