Split the hairs, dice the vegetable, shave the horn.
Split, dice, shave. Split, dice‒
"Hey, watch where you're going, first year!"
Peter had gotten lost on his way to Potions in which he was supposed to have a quiz when he accidentally ran into an older student. He stared up at the older boy with a shiny prefect's badge. Of course, Peter would be clumsy enough to run into some sixth or seventh year Ravenclaw.
"I- I- Sorry. Um, I-," Peter stumbled all over his words.
The older boy looked down at the first year. The kid was unusually shy for a Gryffindor. "Oh, it's fine. Just be more careful next time."
Peter let out a sigh of relief. The other day, he had bumped into an older Slytherin who proceeded to charm all his books shut. Peter hadn't been able to start his homework that night until he found someone to undo the curse. The lack of bullying gave him the courage to ask the older Ravenclaw, "Do you, um, know how to get to the dungeons?"
The prefect smirked. "Late to Potions? Not a good idea, kid."
"Nevermind, I'll find it myself," Peter mumbled, ducking to get around the older boy.
"Hold on, I didn't say I wouldn't give directions, did I? Besides, you're going the wrong way."
As they started down the nearest staircase, Peter said, "My name's Peter by the way. Peter Parker."
"Nice to meet you, Peter. I'm Tony Stark."
Peter's mouth dropped open, and he turned to look up at the older student once more. Tony Stark. He wasn't raised by magical parents ‒his Aunt May wasn't magical, and he didn't know what his parents were‒ but he had learned about the famous Howard Stark almost immediately. Howard was known for creating all sorts of powerful spells with a range of uses. It was no surprise that Tony Stark was a Ravenclaw at the top of his class.
"What?" Tony asked when he caught the younger boy staring. He wasn't exactly fond of the legacy that surrounded his name due to his father.
Peter snapped his mouth shut. He racked his brain for something to say, ending up with "I bet you don't have to study so much for Potions quizzes."
Tony chuckled and shook his head. "I'm actually not so great at Potions compared to Bruce Banner. He's a sixth year Ravenclaw, and he has already successfully created one or two of his own potions."
Peter sighed again, but this time it was heavy and full of despair. "I'm never going to be good at anything. I can't even memorize how to brew one with three stupid ingredients."
"Don't feel so hopeless. It'll get easier as the year goes on," Tony assured him.
"Yeah, I guess, it's just, like, I feel so behind in this magic stuff," Peter whispered. "And alone."
Just around the corner of the Potions room, Tony stopped and turned to face his younger companion. Putting a hand on the boy's shoulder, he said, "Listen, every great wizard started out as a first year just like you. With training, anyone can achieve greatness." When the young Gryffindor remained doubtful, Tony added, "Hell, I can even tutor you if you need help with this stuff. Just send me an owl if you can't find me in the Great Hall."
The idea of having a supportive older student as smart as Tony Stark made Peter feel a little more hopeful. Maybe he wasn't so alone after all. "Thanks, Tony."
"No problem, kid. Now get in there and kill that quiz, okay?" Tony watched for a moment as Peter ran into the room only a few minutes late. He shook his head. Although he was a Ravenclaw, he wasn't sure if he'd actually be any good at tutoring a first year, but he saw something in that kid's eyes. Yes, Peter Parker definitely had some strong magic within him, and Tony was determined to help him reach his full potential.