Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Harry Potter Year 1: Slytherin

Meeting the Potions Master

by Cereal_junkie 1 review

Chapter three...

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Warnings: [!!!] - Published: 2010-09-28 - Updated: 2010-09-28 - 5402 words

Ch. 3: Meeting the Potions Master

Harry woke up, disoriented. Looking around, he realized he wasn’t in his horrible cupboard, but somewhere else entirely. Then, it all came rushing back to him and he fought back the urge to thank whatever gods were out there that it wasn’t all a dream. He yawned and looked to the side to see Draco and the other two were still sleeping. He got up quietly and gathered a new pair of robes, a shirt, and a pair of trousers. Then he grabbed a pair of worn out socks and his trainers and headed out to the Slytherin toilets, setting his things down and showering before getting ready for his first class. By the time he got back to the dorm, everyone was waking up. Draco looked at him sleepily and asked where he’d been and Harry told him. Draco scoffed at the idea of getting up so early, but said nothing as he went about getting ready for his own shower.

When the other three were dressed and ready, they all grabbed their school bags and went down to breakfast. Harry chose to focus on talking to Draco in between bites of his breakfast while pointedly ignoring stares and whispers from the other students. He hated the attention, and his skills over the years of verbal abuse from the Dursleys were perfectly honed to allow him to ignore the things around him and focus on one thing. He had dealt with much worse, so he knew he could deal with it. Most insults didn’t affect him anymore, because he had unconsciously unattached himself from the anger he felt at hurtful words, making it all the easier to ignore them, and not let the insulter know that they had gotten to him.

He had learned early on that if he showed anger or sadness in response to the insults, he was giving them what they wanted. This technique had worked especially well on his cousin Dudley, who had the approximate attention span of a thinly sliced piece of lunch meat. After awhile, Dudley would get bored and wander away, letting Harry escape the situation fairly easily. With his uncle, he had to take a slightly different approach. He had to at least respond to some of the questions the man posed, or else it could turn ugly. He’d rather not be on the man’s bad side, but seeing as he was at school at the moment, the first technique was the best approach. Children and teens, as Harry knew, got bored after awhile if he didn’t respond to the insults, so he figured it might work equally well with this situation.

Even though in this situation, the talk was about him and not directed at him, as long as he didn’t do anything to make himself stand out and stuck to his studies, he could ignore them for the most part. He wanted to ask Draco for help, because his name alone, along with his body guards (a.k.a. Vince and Greg), would bring intimidation in as a factor and decrease rumors and whispering around him, but he loathed being indebted to anyone, even if the would-be debtor was quickly becoming a friend. He shook his head. He was putting too much thought into it. It was really just a simple process of ignoring the nonsense around him while allowing just enough of his attention to catch any potentially important information. So, he would use more of the approach he used with his uncle on this one. He almost smiled at the thought.

Draco brought him out of his thoughts by once again including him in the conversation, which happened to be about Quidditch. He speculated which positions each of the four would be good in, though it was obvious by how he said it that Vince and Greg would mostly only be good in the position of beater. He also commented that by Harry’s size, he could do well as a seeker because he would most likely be smaller than the opposing seeker, making him a little faster. Of course, this depended on the broom of course too. Once the subject of brooms was up in the air though, Draco held on to it for the rest of breakfast and even down the hall on the way to their first class, Transfiguration, with the Ravenclaws. He practically sang the praises of the Nimbus 2000, his face glowing as he spoke.

As they took their seats, Harry noticed a cat sitting on the desk in the front of the class. He wondered idly what it was doing there, but said nothing. It really didn’t seem important at the time, so he thought nothing of it. As Draco chatted away, Harry took out his Transfiguration book and started reading the first chapter while waiting for the teacher to show up. He sighed and tuned the blonde out so he could actually absorb the information. When Draco finally noticed he wasn’t listening, he was annoyed but followed suit and took his book out as well. Harry noticed out of the corner of his eye that Draco was almost ten chapters in.

‘Great. If he’s read that far in I really am behind.’ Harry thought unhappily, but kept reading. It wasn’t until someone mentioned the absence of the teacher that he looked up again. He noticed the cat crouching, ready to pounce off the desk. In one fluid movement, she jumped off the desk and transformed into the shape of a human in midair before landing gracefully on her feet. There at the front of the class stood Professor McGonagall. Many students clapped and Harry allowed himself a small smile. That was another thing he just learned about the wizarding world. He wondered if they would ever learn how to transform into animals. It looked like it could be great fun. He noticed however, that she was not smiling. She looked as stern as ever, and it was with this expression that she started addressing the class.

“Transfiguration is some of the most complex and dangerous magic you will learn at Hogwarts. Anyone messing around in my class will leave and not come back. You have been warned.” Professor McGonagall said, and with a wave of her wand she changed her desk into a pig, and with another she changed it back. The class was very impressed, but Harry realized that it was probably more difficult than she made it look. As if to prove him right, she explained that it would be quite awhile before they could do something nearly that difficult. After that, she told them to take out their parchment, quills, and ink to take notes and she started on her lecture. While they took notes, she explained the basic principle and theory of transfiguration.

When she was done with the lecture, she told them to put their things away, set their notes off to the side to dry, and then she gave them each a matchstick. She explained that they were going to attempt to transfigure their matchsticks into needles, gave them the incantation, and set them to work. By the end of the lesson, a few Slytherins, including Harry and Draco, had managed to turn their matchstick, and a few more Ravenclaws had managed to turn theirs. Some others had made a difference at least, but had not fully completed the transfiguration. Harry was pleased with himself as he looked at his needle. He was even more pleased, and embarrassed, when McGonagall came by and praised him, saying that he might even turn out to be as talented in Transfiguration as his father was.

The Slytherins and Ravenclaws each earned 5 points for every matchstick that was successfully transfigured, giving the Slytherins 15 points and the Ravenclaws 20. After the class was dismissed, they all collected their notes while she collected the matchsticks and needles with a wave of her wand. As Harry and Draco left the class, Harry was almost beaming. Maybe he wouldn’t be completely horrible in magic. His happy feeling persisted until they made their way down to the greenhouses and realized that they had this class with the Gryffindors. As usual, they would be more of an annoyance than anyone, but he would deal with it. Maybe he could work next to Granger and get to know her a bit better. With this thought in mind, Harry made his way a bit more happily to the greenhouses, Draco right beside him and Vince and Greg behind them.

He looked around for the Gryffindor girl and noted that the table to her left was indeed open, so he went to it, Draco filling in to his left and Vince and Greg taking a table across from them. Draco scowled at Harry, but he ignored it as he tried to strike up a conversation with the girl. He was happy when she talked back without disdain in her voice. They chatted about their first classes and what they had learned. Granger gushed happily as she told him about Charms class and how she was the first one to make her feather float. Harry smiled and congratulated her, telling her about Transfiguration and what they had had to do. She beamed at him when he told her how he and Draco had successfully transfigured their matchsticks, and confessed that she hoped she could do the same. She said that she had pre-read most of her books for her classes, wanting to be prepared for whatever they may do. Harry was impressed, but he didn’t comment on it. He would have done the same, given the choice.

Of course he hadn’t been, and that started to bring up feelings of resentment toward his relatives, but he let none of this show on his face as the conversation continued. Finally, after a few minutes, class started. They quickly found out that they would not be doing any magic today, but learning about different herbs, plants and fungi and what they could do. They first learned what properties each plant had, and most people, including Harry, Draco, and Granger, had the sense to get out parchment, quills, and ink, and taking notes. After they learned the properties of each plant, they learned what plants would be best to make healing potions, which would be best to make poisons, and which would be best to make helpful potions that weren’t necessarily medical (a.k.a. Wolfsbane, calming draughts, dreamless sleep, ect.).

After setting aside their notes, the class was charged with learning how to take care of specific plants. What they needed to survive, how much sunlight or lack of they needed, how much they needed to be watered, and what kind of environment was best for them. Harry was having so much fun, he almost forgot he was in school. When class ended, he happily rolled up his notes and put them in his bag, ignoring another glare from Draco as he asked Granger if she wanted to walk back up to the castle with them. She happily agreed, staying to the left side of Harry and pointedly away from Draco. He was even happier when she told him he could call her by her first name. After they got back into the castle, she invited him to go study with her in the library. He agreed and asked if Draco could come too.

She said yes, though she did so without much enthusiasm, and Draco intervened before he could be pulled into something that would be unpleasant for not only him, but Hermione too.

“Sorry, Harry. I have to go talk to Professor Snape. I’ll meet you back in the common room later, okay?” he asked, and when Harry nodded, he took off with Vince and Greg while Harry made his way to the library with Hermione, secretly grateful that Draco hadn’t said anything out loud about him hanging out with a muggle-born. Harry hadn’t even noticed Professor Snape coming out of a classroom behind them as they passed and staring at him and Hermione for a moment as they talked and laughed together before smiling a bit before making his way down the hallway in the opposite direction. If Harry would have noticed, he would have thought it to be the end of the world. The surly Potions Master smiling? No one would believe him even if he had seen it.

The rest of the week passed quickly on like this, and very soon it was Friday, and Harry had had plenty of time to read ahead on all of his books now. He had taken every spare moment he had reading his books, and Hermione had let him in lieu of studying together once he confessed that he hadn’t been able to read ahead over the summer and he really wanted to. He didn’t explain why he hadn’t been able to, and she didn’t press when she asked and didn’t get a real answer. Therefore, he still went to the library together, and he read their class books, while she read other books that she was interested when they had spare time. Draco had come with him a few times, for which he was grateful, but he never really spoke to Hermione, and vice versa. Now that it was Friday, Harry was excited. He had been looking forward to Potions. He wanted to know how good he could be in the class.

He had surprised himself throughout the week by doing well in all his classes, and the fact that he now had time to read ahead only helped him. He retained information well, so everything he read stuck in his mind. Now, he was making his way down to the dungeons from breakfast with Draco on his right and Vince and Greg behind them as usual. He couldn’t hide his smile, and when Draco questioned him about it, he gave him a vague answer because he didn’t want the blonde to know that he was happy about school itself. Draco would never understand the fact that he was happy because he could do well in his classes and not be punished for it. He wouldn’t understand Harry’s almost desperate need to learn as much about the wizarding world as possible so that maybe he could get away from the Dursleys sooner rather than later.

As they reached the classroom, Harry and Draco sat together as usual, with Vince and Greg sitting at the table to their right. Harry was almost surprised when Hermione came to sit at the table to his left with a girl Harry didn’t recognize. Harry, in his excitement, had forgotten that they had this class with the Gryffindors. Harry smiled over at her, and though she smiled back, the other girl looked disdainfully at Harry, though there was some hidden interest there too. The class was full of whispers all around, but silence fell instantly as Professor Snape entered the room. Everyone, it seemed, was now familiar with his reputation, and no one wanted to make the man angry. As he started roll call, he paused on Harry’s name.

“Ah, yes,” he said softly, “Harry Potter. Our new…celebrity.”

Some of the Gryffindors snickered and though Harry kept any emotion from his face, he couldn’t help the faint blush of embarrassment that crossed his features. He hated being called on his celebrity status. The Charms professor had done it too, though Harry knew by the way the dark man sounded that this would be a lot more unpleasant. He expected the man to say something else, most likely something humiliating, but when he moved on, Harry almost sighed out loud. He didn’t want any more attention. Why couldn’t people understand that?

“You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion making,” he began. He spoke in barely more than a whisper, but they caught every word. He had a certain gift of keeping a class silent without effort, much like Professor McGonagall, if Harry recalled. “As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don’t expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses…I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death…if you aren’t as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach.”

‘Not a very supportive Professor, is he?’ Harry thought, almost rolling his eyes.

“Potter!” the Professor snapped suddenly.

‘Here we go.’ Harry thought with a barely audible sigh. Somehow, he knew the man hadn’t finished with him.

“What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?” he asked, and by his look, Harry knew he expected him not to know the answer. Harry, however, was willing to break that expectation.

“It would make a powerful sleeping potion called the Draught of Living Death, sir.” Harry answered, and he could tell by the sour look on the man’s face that was quickly covered up that he had been right. The second question was snapped at him.

“Where would you look if I told you to find me a bezoar?” The Professor asked, and once again Harry answered.

“In the stomach of a goat, sir. In addition, it will save one from most poisons.” Harry answered, and he could tell by the way the Professor’s lips curled up in a sneer that the man was even more annoyed with him, but he wouldn’t answer him incorrectly just because the teacher was getting annoyed. The third question was filled with so much disdain that it was almost palpable in the air.

“What is the difference, Potter, between monkshood and wolfsbane?” the Professor asked, and Harry almost smiled at the teacher’s annoyance as he answered.

“There is no difference, sir. They are the same plant, also known as aconite.” Harry answered, and a look of cold fury which was quickly covered greeted him on his Professor’s face. With a sneer, the man turned his gaze away from him, now addressing the whole class.

“Well, why aren’t you all copying this down?” he snapped, and with a rummaging of parchment and quills, everyone set to copying down the information. After that, he had them pair up to brew a simple potion to cure boils. As he worked with Draco, the blonde gave him certain pointers that weren’t in the book, like remembering to clean off his knife after each use so the juices from certain potions ingredients didn’t interact with one another, and other small things of that nature. Harry noticed that the blonde was already very good at it, and so as he worked alongside him quietly for the whole class, listening to his suggestions and adding things to the potion as needed while Draco stirred. Even with the interruption of Neville melting his cauldron, Draco kept at it.

Harry picked up his and Draco’s things and picked up his feet, as did Draco, as the volatile mess spilled across the stone floor. He listened with a detached interest and a pang of sympathy for Neville as he was insulted by Professor Snape and sent to the infirmary with his partner, the potion having spilled all over him. The Professor vanished the mess with a wave of his wand, and glared around the class, daring anyone else to do the same thing. Now, at least, the whole class knew not to add the porcupine quills to a boil cure potion without taking it off the fire. The rest of the class passed without incident. Harry and Draco’s potion was the only perfect one of the lot, and Harry knew it was only because of Draco’s talent. It wasn’t that he couldn’t follow directions, but Draco knew things to make brewing easier that weren’t even in the book.

Even as the Professor looked at their potion and grudgingly pronounced it perfect, they didn’t get any points, and Harry figured he knew why. For some reason or another, Professor Snape really hated him. He didn’t know why he did, but Harry could tell. He saw the same look on the faces of his relatives, and they told him almost constantly how much they hated him. Not that Harry really cared much. It was just one more person who couldn’t stand him and had no reason for it. He didn’t let it faze him as he left the class, not paying attention and missing the fact that Draco hadn’t come out the door with him, though he had waved Greg and Vince out the door and they followed Harry as usual. When they finally arrived at the Great Hall for lunch and sat down, Harry noticed that Draco wasn’t with them and asked the two about it.

“He had to stay after class to talk to Professor Snape. Said he’d meet us here.” Vince grunted, and they took their usual seats, leaving a space next to Harry for Draco when he arrived. Harry frowned. He wanted to suggest that they go back for him, but he apparently had said he would meet them here. Harry shrugged. Oh well. He would wait. It wasn’t like the man would be laying into Draco too badly. He was his godfather, after all. Then again, he didn’t know the man well enough to make that judgment either. It wasn’t like it was his problem, really. He wasn’t going to get along with the Professor even if he did become close friends with Draco, so there wasn’t any point in dwelling on it. If he ignored it, the man would eventually become bored of hating him and he might just leave him alone. Harry waited for quite awhile, but Draco didn’t show up until lunch was halfway over, and he wouldn’t say what he had talked with the Professor about.

After lunch, they went down to the greenhouses out on the grounds to have their Herbology class with the Ravenclaws. Harry didn’t mind the Ravenclaws as much as the other two houses, because most of them were too preoccupied with their work, or other things, to gossip about him too much. He did occasionally hear snippets of conversation that included him in the halls when they passed, but he didn’t get it from them nearly as much as the other houses. In fact, the only time he never heard annoying people whispering about him was when he met with Hermione in the library. Even if there were other students in there, they were mostly Ravenclaws or other Slytherins, and Madam Pince didn’t like talking in her library. After Herbology was over, Harry excused himself from the other tree to go read in the library once again with Hermione.

They had already made the plans before classes had started today, and now that classes were over he went happily to the one place he knew he wouldn’t be disturbed. He liked studying with Hermione because she took it as seriously as he did and she wasn’t annoying. Another plus was that she never brought up the fact that he was the boy-who-lived. He had been afraid at first that she would, and that she would start asking him the same stupid questions that everyone else did, but that fear was quickly quelled when she never brought up the subject throughout the whole time they studied together. In fact, the only time they talked was once the study sessions were over, or if she wanted to review the work they’d been assigned. This time, after they left the library, she brought up something that piqued his interest. Apparently, someone had tried to rob Gringotts, the wizard bank.

As Harry recalled, there was a warning right above the doors that clearly warned against such a thing. He asked to see the article, and she paused to take it out of her bag. She handed it to him after she did, and they continued walking as he started to read. After he was done with it, something stuck out in his mind. The date of the attempted robbery was his birthday. The break-in must have happened just after they left. He thought to bring this up to Hermione, but thought better of it. He handed the paper back to her, thinking intensely. A certain sentence came back to him. The vault that was searched had in fact been emptied earlier that same day. Hagrid had emptied vault seven hundred and thirteen, if you could call it emptying, taking out that grubby little package. Had that been what the thieves were looking for? He decided to write a quick reminder for himself to ask Hagrid about the vault he had emptied that day and stuck it in his potions book.

Harry and Hermione parted ways halfway between their common rooms, heading back by themselves. Harry was still preoccupied once he got back to the common room, therefore he didn’t notice Draco talking to him until he had tapped Harry on the shoulder. When the blonde finally got his attention, he looked extremely annoyed. Harry smirked.

‘Apparently he’s not used to being ignored. I wonder how far I could push him with this?’ Harry thought, amused with the situation. He decided not to push him just yet. He might try it once he knew he had something on the blonde, or until he was irreplaceable. Until then he would stay on his good side. He was smart enough to know he was nothing to the blonde right now. The only reason he had started talking to him was because of his celebrity status, and while he hated that fact, he wasn’t going to shun his only friend. Still smirking, he decided to listen to what the blonde had to say.

“I was saying we start flying lessons next Thursday! It’s going to be wicked! The only bad thing is the fact that we have them with the Gryffindorks.” Draco said, snickering at the nickname.

“We have at least a class a day with them, Draco.” Harry said, rolling his eyes.

“Yes, I realize this Harry. What you don’t seem to realize is that something is bound to happen today. I mean really, the Gryffindorks on broomsticks is just a disaster waiting to happen. Especially with Longbottom there.” Draco said, snickering. Harry laughed too because he knew the blonde was right. Longbottom was a walking disaster. Anywhere he went, chaos followed.

“Point taken. At least we have enough time to make out our wills before we go. We have about a week. Anything you want to bequeath to anyone, Draco?” Harry joked, grabbing a piece of parchment out of his bag and handing it to Draco.

“Very funny Harry. Let’s just do our homework.” Draco said, sitting down and taking his homework out of his bag.

“Mine’s already done. I did it in the library with Hermione.” Harry said, sitting down anyway and taking out his potions book. He was going to finish it before his next potions class, so Professor Snape would have nothing to complain about.

“Ugh, do you really have to spend so much time with a Gryffindork? Especially Granger?” Draco asked, giving Harry a pained look.

“She’s my friend Draco.” Harry said firmly, then added, “And that reminds me. You owe me ten galleons. You bet Hermione would go to Ravenclaw and she ended up in Gryffindor.”

Draco sighed and reached into his bag, taking out a huge sack that jingled. He opened it, put ten galleons on the table, and put it back in his bag.

“Here.” he said, handing the money to Harry. He grinned and pocketed it. Then, he shook his head and decided to ask his friend what he was wondering.

“Do you really think it’s a good idea to carry so much money around, Draco?” Harry asked, wondering why the blonde needed that much with him in the first place. Draco looked at him incredulously.

“Harry, do you really think anyone would steal from me? From a Malfoy?” Draco asked, an eyebrow raised.

“It could happen. If I were you I’d keep it in my trunk and put a locking charm on it.” Harry said, shrugging. Draco studied Harry for a minute, and Harry decided to ask him something that had been bothering him all week. He didn’t care if it caused a rift between them because he was tired of Draco’s attitude toward Hermione.

“Draco…” Harry started, making sure he had the blonde’s attention before continuing. “Why don’t you like me hanging out with Hermione? Do you think it’s making you look bad? Hanging out with a half-blood that likes to hang out with a muggle-born Gryffindor? Is that your problem?” Harry asked, looking up to see the blonde’s reaction. Draco looked stunned that anyone would talk to him like that. He retaliated almost automatically.

“Maybe that is my problem, Potter. If you want to continue hanging around me, you’ll stop talking to a Mudblood and hang out with acceptable people.” Draco said, annoyed that Harry was disagreeing with him.

“Don’t call her a Mudblood, Malfoy! I don’t care who you do or do not find acceptable! I will associate with whomever I wish. Don’t forget that you approached me, not the other way around.” Harry hissed, shoving his book in his bag and picking it up before heading for the common room exit. He left before Draco could say anything else, heading for the library where he knew he wouldn’t be bothered. He didn’t know why he was so angry. Usually, he could let things just slide off him. He hadn’t felt real anger in a long time, so it was a jarring experience for him. He tried to calm himself as he walked, taking deep breaths and letting them out slowly, but the anger wouldn’t fade and he didn’t know why. Insults meant nothing to him, and Draco hadn’t even really insulted him. He had insulted Hermione. An odd thought hit him. He was angry over Draco insulting someone else.

Did that mean he cared for Hermione? He had studied with her, but had she really gotten close enough to him to be his friend? He didn’t even know if she considered him a friend or not, but he wouldn’t put up with the blonde insulting her.

‘Ha, so I guess I really did just lose my first friend, didn’t I? Well, whatever. I don’t need friends then.’ Harry thought bitterly as he made his way down the corridor. He couldn’t keep the anger he felt from showing on his face. Usually, he was a master at hiding his emotions, but he couldn’t seem to think clearly at the moment. As he reached the library, he sat and tried to read his potions book, but he kept reading the same paragraph over and over until he finally gave up. He put his book away and clasped his hands together to keep them from shaking from his persistent anger, but that didn’t stop it entirely. He took a few deep breaths, still attempting to calm himself, but it helped very little. He was able to hide his anger once again, and look calm at least, but that didn’t stop the turmoil within him.

He wanted to hide out in the library until curfew, but Dinner was fast approaching and he was hungry. It didn’t matter. He’d just come back after he ate, and maybe then he’d be calm enough to study. With a sigh, he picked up his bag and headed for the Great Hall alone.

Ch. End
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