Chapter Ten: What I Was Unaccustomed To
The teachers always had both the Gryffindors and Slytherins take their classes together. I think, that it was in hope that we would suddenly start liking each other and be friends, repairing the wound that Slazar Slytherin made. It didn’t work, and if anything, having classes with them only made things worse.
Hazel and I sat next to each other in every class, just like best friends do. But apparently, according to my brother James, Slytherins and Gryffindors weren’t allowed to be friends.
“It’s absurd!” I told Hazel, throwing a cupful of mistletoe berries into my cauldron. “I can’t believe that us being friends is a problem to everyone in school.”
Hazel pulled herself from her clean book of Magical Drafts and Potions. “How can you not be surprised?” she asked, looking around the classroom. “They’re just whispering about us.”
“Just?” I snorted.
“Albus,” Hazel said. She put a hand on my shoulder. “I’m afraid that you’re going to have to get used to it. They’re always going to whisper about the children of Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, especially when they’re friends with each other.”
She took a bezoar from her table and tossed it into her cauldron, which turned a dark green. Taking her long, flexible wand from her robes, Hazel stirred the cauldron three times clockwise, and then one time counterclockwise. Immediately it changed to a dark blue, which wavered and looked like it could turn into a different color entirely.
My mouth dropped open, worries forgotten. “You did that perfectly!”
Hazel glanced at me. “Oh. Well, I’ve been helping Mum brew her potions when she needs them. Just the usual ones, like doxy repellent, stuff like that.”
The spunky, sarcastic Professor Wong came over to Hazel and leaned over her cauldron.
“Well done, Miss Malfoy,” she said appreciably, nodding. “Ten points to Slytherin.”
Hazel beamed and Professor Wong glanced at my potion, which was inky black and splattered goop all over the rim of my cauldron.
“Mr. Potter,” she said. “What exactly is this supposed to be?” The head of Ravenclaw tilted her head and stared at me.
I looked down into my potion, and tried to think of a good excuse. “It’s, um, supposed to be an antidote to common poisons.”
“Really,” Professor Wong said, voice icy. “You could’ve fooled me. From this standpoint, it sure looks like mud. What do you think, Miss Malfoy?” she turned to her star pupil, who was almost as tall as she.
Hazel smiled at me weakly. “It looks like a, a,” she looked back at Professor Wong. “I don’t really know, professor.”
“Exactly,” said the Professor. She looked at me with a softer glance. “Make sure that you do better when I see you next, or it will be a detention for being unable to follow clear, simple directions.” She turned and walked back to the front of the Potions classroom, which had bookcases of potions and books spilling over.
“And when do we have her next?” I asked rhetorically.
Hazel replied,” Tuesday afternoon. Right before,” her face paled even more, which seemed impossible. “Slytherin Quidditch try-outs.”
I pushed my cauldron aside. Quidditch was more important. “So you’re trying out for Beater, then?”
Hazel shrugged and looked to the side. “I don’t really know. I think that I’d make a fool out of myself.”
“How?” I challenged. “You’re so much better in me and everyone else in pretty much everything!”
“School maybe,” Hazel said, then chuckled. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to say that I am smarter then you.” Her tone darkened. “But, Albus, I’ve never played real Quidditch, or even watched a live game before. What if I don’t know what to do?”
I grinned. “Well, today’s Friday, and there’s still three more days until try-outs. How about you come to the Gryffindor try-outs tomorrow morning, so you can watch the scrimmage we’re going to do.”
“They wouldn’t let me watch,” Hazel said.
“I’ll vouch for you,” I said. “And who can argue with me, the famous Potter?”
“Fine,” Hazel said. She smiled. “I hope that you get on the team, Albus.”
“Why’s that?” I asked, my hand edging towards my book bag. I knew class was almost over, and was eager to leave the dungeons. How the Slytherins could live here, I had no clue.
“So Slytherin can beat Gryffindor,” she replied casually.