A/N : Heya, peeps! Well, the idea for this story came to me one day, during a particularly boring History lesson in school. I guess my teacher will never know just how much she's taught me. (If only I could be this enthusiastic learning about how the British conquered Penang, Singapore and Malacca.) I don't think I have to ask you guys what EVERY single other author out there asks for – reviews!!! So please, please, PLEASE R&R – at least so I know there are people out there who like my story, and also so I can improve the story. Just a warning : some extremely mild sexual references up ahead. This is basically because the story is told in Katie Bell's POV – and you can't stop a girl from thinking, right? Alright, that's it for now – please review!!
Disclaimer : Everything and everyone in this story belongs to JKR, except for Adelene Sullivan, and Katie's kick-ass attitude.
Lessons In Potions, History, Love Or Otherwise
Chapter One : Mr Midget Extraordinaire
I walked into the Great Hall and practically started salivating on the spot. Seven whole years in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and I still hadn't managed to figure out exactly who cooked the food for the entire school. It was certainly no mean feat, but whoever it was completely deserved a big, wet kiss right about then.
"Oh, Katie," Adelene moaned, "I'm going to put on SO much weight." I turned to her and whacked her lightly on the shoulder.
Adelene Sullivan is one of my best friends. She's Irish, like me, and we've known each other since the Dark Ages. Well, since we were six, anyway. Same diff. So it turns out my mom and her mom used to go to school together (I'm half and half, and Lene is a hundred percent witchified), and now Lene and I do, too, ever since Lene transferred from her American school during our second year. She's passed on a lot of her American-type slang on to me ever since then...it's kind of like a catching disease. Lene is supermodel-thin, but she's still always worrying, no, obsessing about watching her weight.
My OTHER best friend, Angelina Johnson, is more of a tomboy. She's a Chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team, like me, and is one of those lucky ones who can eat all she wants and never gain a bloody pound. Not that she even cares.
"So not the drama, Lene," I declared, admiring her body enviously.
Do you have any idea how small the skirts that she can wear are?
"Oi! Will the two of you hurry up?" Angelina yelled. She was already seated at the long Gryffindor table – trust her to be one of the first. "Coming, Angie!" Lene called back and continued with her "too much fat in the Hogwarts food" speech. Which I had been hearing three times a day for the past five years.
I sighed and pulled on Lene's arm to hurry her up.
I was about to sit down when a small boy (who looked about five, mind you) ran up to me and actually squeaked, "Beggin' your pardon, ma'am, but are you Katie Bell?"
"Yes, I am," I replied, noticing that Lene had stopped mid-rant and had a very familiar look on her face, that I had grown very accustomed to in all the years that I had known her. Oh, no.
The midget, which is how he shall be known from now on (am I clever or am I clever?), exhaled a long sigh of relief.
"The deputy would like to see you in her office right after the feast, ma'am."
"The deputy?" I repeated, frowning. "Oh! You mean McGonagall?"
The midget nodded. "That'd be about right, ma'am," he replied.
"Alright. Thanks," I told Mr Midget Extraordinaire, who immediately ran away to join his friends (all of whom towered over him) gratefully. Right on cue, as I had expected her to, Lene exploded in laughter.
"Ma'am?" she shrieked. "Did he just call you ma'am?"
I rolled my eyes and we sat down on either side of Angelina, who was already halfway through her yearly beginning-of-term ritual which consisted of her chanting, "Feed me feed me feed me," continuously and banging on the table.
"Hullo, ladies," two very familiar voices chimed in unison.
I smiled back at Fred and George, the Weasley twins, as they sat down across from Angelina and I. I mumbled a "Hey" and waited for one of them to inquire about Lene's current table-banging, tear-streaming condition.
I didn't have to wait for very long.
"What's she going on about THIS time?" George asked, jerking his thumb at Lene, who was still finding my encounter with the midget extremely amusing.
"This little git called me ma'am, and Lene seems to find it hilarious," I replied, giving them a "go figure" look.
"Nothing new there," Fred remarked, and I nodded in agreement, while George just smiled fondly at Lene.
I should probably take this opportunity to explain what the hell Fred and I were talking about. Basically, Lene is a famed laugher – if there even is such a word. If there isn't, then Lene created it the second she was born into this world. The slightest little thing sets her off, and once she starts laughing she can't stop. May woe betide anyone who stands in her way. This proved to be very unfortunate once, when we were in our third year and were studying Cheering Charms (it took her seven whole hours to calm down and she hasn't stopped since). It's lucky she has these really cute dimples that are to die for; it draws the boys in like magnets – namely, one Mr George Weasley.
"Hey...I've got an idea," George suddenly said, and he had a very familiar twinkle in his eyes.
Fred grinned. "I'm right behind you, Forge," he laughed.
And then he stopped laughing.
And the both of them stared at Lene straight in the eye, looking very serious indeed.
In fact, the two looked so intensely – morbid, for lack of a better word, that Lene immediately quietened down, mainly because the twins looked dead serious, which happened, like, never.
Lene was now looking at the twins with a slightly perplexed expression, completely attentive to whatever they were about to say.
George cleared his throat and Lene's violet eyes flew to his brown ones. The three were eerily quiet.
Then George broke the silence by simply saying, "Tissue."
That was it.
And Lene's eyes widened and she just burst into peals and peals of fresh, ringing laughter. She quietened down enough for Fred to say, "Spoon," with an extremely serious (of course) look on his freckled face and that started her off aaaaalllllllllllll ooooovvvveeeeeerrrrr again.
I turned away from the twins, who were having a lot of fun with their new game, to talk to Angelina – since it appeared that Lene would be indisposed for quite a while.
"So, Angie, why do you think McGonagall wants to see me?" I asked, raising my voice slightly to be heard over the racket the twins were making.
She paused mid-'feed me'-ritual to look at me with raised eyebrows. "Minervie wants to see you?? What on earth for?"
I chuckled at the look on Angelina's face. Really, I totally understood why a guy like Fred could go crazy over her.
"That's what I'm asking you. I wouldn't be asking, if I didn't know, would I?" I replied.
Angelina shrugged. "I suppose. Maybe Minervie's just sexually frustrated and wants to do the dirty deed with you in her office," she said, giving her usual twisted point of view of things.
I scrunched my nose up in disgust. "Angie! That's disgusting!" I cried.
That immediately got the twins' attention.
disgusting?" they both quickly asked.
Angelina and I rolled our eyes.
By the time I reached the door of Professor McGonagall's office, slightly out of breath, I was feeling very full and extremely contented. You couldn't really blame me, either, because all the dishes we had been served for dessert that night had been absolutely delicious. So I was just completely at peace when I opened that door and stepped into McGonagall's office.
You can imagine my utter surprise when the first person I saw in there was not Professor Minerva McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but Oliver Wood – the captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team which I was on, and fellow seventh year.
The surprise on my face must have shown, because Oliver calmly said, "I know I don't look a whole lot like McGonagall, but I'd like to think I'm a whole lot...prettier." He nodded towards a chair next to his. "Sit down," he invited in his thick, Scottish brogue, "I think she'll be a while."
I accepted his invitation and sat down, feeling a little awkward and definitely more than a little nervous – the two of us were now sitting next to each other, facing Professor McGonagall's desk; and this did not look good.
"So how was your summer?" I asked him.
Oliver shrugged. "Went to visit my grandparents back in Scotland. Played some Quidditch with me boys, nothing much," he replied indifferently. "How was yours?"
My eyes lit up in excitement.
"Lene's parents took the both of us to America. Can you believe it?? The shopping there was amazing." I then launched into a lengthy explanation of my shopping escapades, to poor Oliver's dismay, judging by the look on his face. Really, every single boy does that whenever I start to talk about clothes, and I don't have the faintest idea why.
A sudden clearing of throat interrupted me as I began to start on Gap's FABULOUS summer collection, and Oliver looked up and said, "Professor," with great relief.
See if I get him a Christmas present this year.
The butterflies in my stomach began to flutter again as Professor McGonagall sat down in front of us.
"Er...good evening, professor," I gulped nervously.
McGonagall nodded her head in acknowledgement.
"Miss Bell, Mr Wood."
She paused, as if to survey the expressions on our faces.
Then she turned to me and I had a sudden thought, "I am doomed."
"Miss Bell, I assume you do not know why I have asked you to see me."
"A few days ago, Mr Wood here and his parents had the liberty to come in to the school to meet me, due to his...unsatisfactory examination results."
"They weren't that bad, professor, honestly," Oliver interrupted weakly.
McGonagall glared at him for a second. "Silence, Wood." She turned back to me. "Mr Wood's final examination results last year were far below the school's standard and expectations. As the both of you shall be sitting for your Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests this year, I am very worried about your academic prowess, Wood – and if I may so, especially in your two worst subjects, Potions and History of Magic, in which you scored six and thirteen percent respectively last year."
I looked at Oliver in surprise.
Ooooh. That sucked.
So I said so.
"Dude. That sucks," I told Oliver, who just narrowed his eyes and made a face at me.
McGonagall decided to be smart for once and ignored us.
Children being children and all, right?
"I have decided, Wood," McGonagall continued, now addressing Oliver, "that you will need a tutor to help you in those two subjects. And who better to tutor you than the smartest witch in your year?"
My eyes widened. Whoa. Who was that?
"Wow, Oliver," I commented, "you'd better not give her a hard time. The poor girl probably won't like it if you don't stop prattling about Quidditch. I wish you, and her, the best of luck."
McGonagall and Oliver looked at me as if I were insane.
"What?" I asked.
"She's talking about you, Katie," Oliver explained as if he was talking to a four-year-old.
The sudden reality check hit me with the impact of a nuclear missile. "What?" I blurted out. "You can't be serious." I looked at McGonagall with pleading eyes. "You can't be serious!"
"I assure you, Miss Bell, that I am quite serious," she responded, giving me a tight smile.
"What's wrong, Katie?" Oliver asked.
"I – I can't TEACH! That's just so...so..."
"Your new job as Mr Wood's new tutor."
"No, actually, I was searching more for the word 'teachy'."
"'Teachy'?" Oliver looked at me strangely. "That isn't even a real word."
"Exactly!" I declared, "You see? I'm making up words! That isn't something the smartest girl in seventh year would do! And...and...Oliver doesn't even need a tutor! Did you not hear him, professor? He totally knew the word 'teachy' was a hundred percent made up. Well, ninety-nine percent anyway, 'teach' is a word but the letter 'y' after it –"
"Miss Bell," McGonagall interrupted. "If you go on like this, I am going to very much doubt the capacity of your brainpower."
"I can go on if you'd like," I quickly replied. "Please don't, Katie," Oliver cut in.
I ignored him and promised McGonagall, "Oh, there's MUCH more where that came from, professor."
"That really isn't necessary, Miss Bell," she replied, looking rather pissy about something. It could have been me, but...nah. Please. Everyone loves me. Right? Right??
"Both of you can arrange a tutoring schedule together. Mr Wood must have a minimum tutoring time of five hours per week, per subject," McGonagall said firmly.
Oh, easy for her to say! All SHE had to do was sit around, look constipated and say, "I am woman, hear me roar!"
Or something to that extent, anyway.
McGonagall turned to look at Oliver. "I hope you will work hard and co-operate with Miss Bell, and that you will take your N.E.W.T.S. very seriously."
I nearly snorted then and there. She 'hoped' my ass. If Oliver didn't work hard enough, she'd send him packing before you could say, "Quidditch."
"Of course, professor," Oliver replied politely and smiled at her.
McGonagall nodded to the two of us before rising from her seat, signalling the end of our little congregation.
"You may return to your common room. The new password is 'Pookiebear'."
"Pookiebear?" I asked incredulously.
"Er...yes. We put a house-elf in charge of house security this year. I believe its name was Winky." McGonagall didn't look too pleased about this.
"Why on earth was a house-elf put in charge of something as important as house security?" Oliver asked.
"Way to go, Oliver!" I silently cheered. My thoughts exactly.
"Headmaster Dumbledore insisted on it," McGonagall replied, definitely looking more than a little uncomfortable now.
Maybe she wasn't used to being in such close terms with students. You wouldn't have guessed it, judging by her years of experience. Her MANY years of experience, might I add. Have you seen her wrinkles?! Or maybe she and Professor Dumbledore are having a secret, sordid, torrid love affair. And she is secretly pregnant with Dumbledore's baby and will break the big news to him tonight, when he visits her bedchamber ready for some sweet monkey love. As you can tell, I am a HUGE fan of romance novels. Angelina says they're trashy. I can't imagine why.
Of course, I didn't say all this out loud. Oliver and I just stood and exited McGonagall's office with a brief, "Thank you, professor." We both stood in the empty corridor outside McGonagall's office for a second, pausing to recollect our thoughts.
"Are you really happy about this arrangement, then?" I finally asked him.
He looked at me, with a slightly surprised expression on his face. "Well, I don't see what the big fuss is all about. After all, we ARE already spending time together during Quidditch practice. What difference would this make?"
"For one thing, this time I'll be your tutor. You're not going to be ordering me about any more," I pointed out.
"That's true," he commented, looking slightly amused.
How could he be AMUSED at a time like this?!
"You are going to be my teacher now, aren't you?" he continued.
Now THAT snapped me out of my thoughts.
"Don't call me that!" I snapped.
"Call you what?" he asked, looking completely mystified.
I didn't really blame him. I wasn't making a whole lot of sense right then.
"Your teacher!" I exclaimed.
There was that oh-I'm-so-amused-bow-to-me-greater-than-thou look on his face again.
It would have been almost cute if it hadn't been for the screwed-up situation I was currently in.
"What's wrong with that?" he said – clever look ahoy!
"It's just so...old," I replied composedly, trying my very hardest to ignore The Look.
"Old?" Oliver laughed.
"Yes, old," I said placidly.
The Look The Look The Look!
"You're daft," Oliver grinned.
"Not as much as you," I shot back.
"Right now I'm wondering why you, of all people, are my teacher, Katie Bell," Oliver remarked.
"Tutor!" I exclaimed.
The two of us began to walk in the direction of the Gryffindor common room.
"Same thing," Oliver said, with The Look written all over his face. "Oliver..." I whined. "Fine, fine. Right now I'm wondering why you, of all people, are my tutor," he sighed, dragging out the word 'tutor' into five syllables. I groaned.
"So am I, Oliver. So am I."
A/N : So, how was it? R&R! Oh, and if you liked this story, please check out my other story, Under Your Spell. It's a Hermione/Draco romance fic that desperately needs guidance (in my opinion). Ciao for now!