I didn't feel like writing on An Alternate Path so I decided to write a small little piece of Harry Potter, This takes place in the 'Seventh year', and If I ever feel like it will be apart of a larger story.
Deep in the dungeons of Hogwarts two men stood around a small cauldron, around them the floor was littered with the molten mess of many a mistake. Inside the cauldron between them, a potion was swirling, the liquid was tinted the colour of the brightest silver. From the potion torrents of molten gold burst forth occasionally, only to stream back down into the potion without disturbing the surface.
Blue flames caressed the bottom of the cauldron mesmerising; spreading their warmth into the potion above, often the flames would travel up the sides of the black metal and gift the two men's faces with the smallest flicker of light. One such tongue of flame rose up from the fuel, bathing the older mans face in iridescent light.
The first thing visible was the grey strands of hair composing the person's walrus like moustache. The light would then reach the man's eyes and reveal a lighter shade of blue then the flames, from there the rest of the man's head illuminated for the briefest of moments, showing the man's hair, or rather lack of. The top of the man's head was coloured the same blue as the flames.
Across from him, the blue fire brought light to a pair of emerald green eyes, which reflected only the barest hints of the blue as they stared down at the simmering silver surface of the cauldron. A ghost of a smile made its way onto the man's lips as the potion between him and his accomplice remained tranquil. Without a thought, the man brought his hand up to his head and raked his finger's through the thick black mess of hair upon his head, for the briefest of moments his thumb trailed across a thin slick patch of skin.
The mark he touched was in the shape of a bolt of lightning, classical lightning, a misshaped 'z' as it would be. The shape tingled gently for a few moments afterwards before returning to the back of the man's mind as a flood of joy rushed through his body at the thought of success. Quick as it came, he crushed the feeling, as much as the happiness was welcomed, he did not want the feeling to polar at the chance the potion would not work as he and the potions master across from him had hypothesised.
The potions master was not so quick to downplay his excitement as a loud whoop of joy erupted from underneath his thick moustache. The clink of glass colliding with stone briefly sounded across the room, but the potions master did not pay it any attention at all as his eyes stared at the silver surface of the potion.
"Oho! We've done it Harry!" he exclaimed ecstatically as he watched another torrent of gold burst from the surface of the potion. The silver surface however remained as still as ever.
A frown had appeared on Harry's face moments before the potions master had spoken out, he had thought he had heard someone else in the room, and was waiting for another sign of movements, after a quick glance around the room; he discarded the thought and gifted his friend with a smile.
"You did most the work Professor." Harry admitted.
It was the truth, although Harry had come along way since he followed the directions of the Half-blood Prince. He was still no where near good enough to recreate such a complex potion by himself, there was only so far one could improve over six months. But he had learned enough, and gained enough insight to offer plausible ideas for potions.
The result? Valens Felicitas as Harry had named it before starting, or in plain English, Potent Fortune.
But he still hadn't released his secret to success for his sixth year.
Three weeks prior Harry had stuck into Hogwarts and evaded the student body and staff entirely, no one but Horace Slughorn. For the past three weeks, Harry and Slughorn had pooled together their ideas and knowledge.
He had been sceptical at first of a number of things, such as if it could be done, and more importantly; why had Harry come to him? The question was unexpected, so Harry did the only thing he could have done, he answered truthfully.
"You're the only person I trust with this."
It was true in every aspect; Horace Slughorn was the only person Harry trusted to help with the potion. There was little to no chance that Slughorn would purposely cause the potion to fail. He had nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
Deep inside Harry felt guilty at the reason he had chosen his old professor for. He had known that the idea of the fame and fortune such a powerful potion could give to the creator would appeal to the older man. But what he had said was true none the less; there was no other person in the world Harry would have asked to help him with Valens Felicitas.
Hermione although knowledgeable in every area, only knew what the books said, as much as Harry would like to turn a blind eye to the fact, it remains blindingly bright, Hermione was best at the books. But she knew was hopeless in experimenting. Unless she had definite proof something would work she didn't give it her attention.
"Horace, call me Horace m'boy, you aren't a student any more, so there is no need for such formalities." Slughorn chided lightly as he gripped a thin test tube mounted in a wooden frame on the stone desk to his right.
A light nod was all Slughorn receives for confirmation of his words as Harry started apprehensively at the silver potion.
"Is there any chance we may have made a mistake?" Harry asked worriedly.
Although he had the utmost confidence that they had perfected the potion, in the back of his mind there still lingered a small doubt, nagging at his consciousness. What if they had created a bad luck potion? All hell would break loose. He really didn't want to be discovered in the school. For one thing the Ministry would come running and try to blackmail Harry into supporting them. And another he would no doubt receive a visit from his one time girl friend, Ginny Weasley.
It wasn't that he didn't want to see her; he simply didn't think it would make it any safer for her and the Weasley's is he was seen talking to them. A pang of sadness hit him as his mind turned to the Weasley's. He already missed them.
A chuckle escaped his lips. If Ron or Ginny somehow found him unaware a lot of pain would be heading his way, undoubtedly if they both saw him at the same time.
The thought earned a wince and returned him to the scene in front of him. While he was reminiscing, Horace had filled the vile a quarter of way up. The silver liquid remained as calm as ever. Taking a small time to scrutinise the liquid, Harry watched as a gold ribbon wove around the substance before breaking from the surface and slipping back into the potion.
A sigh escaped his lips moments before he turned his stare back at the bald man across from him.
"Bottoms up." He murmured humourlessly.
Without further wait, Harry tilted his head backwards with the vile upon his lips, sending the potion trickling down his throat in a single gulp. At first a familiar sensation gripped his throat, causing Harry to relax. A second later the sensation changed.
A pleasantly soft burning sensation followed soon after, unlike anything he had ever experienced before. Instantly his mind raking over the volumes of written knowledge he had poured over trying to link the symptom with a potion. Nothing he had read about matched the feeling, and so Harry relaxed again, he had gone over every single type of restorative and malicious potion that was accessible to the public, and half as many that were not.
Harry coughed slightly as the burning sensation subsided. Now in the green, Harry took a moment to swirl his tongue around in his mouth to taste the potion. It was a habit he had kept from his youth, whenever he had tasted something nice he tried to retrieve more of it from the walls of his mouth.
'Tastes like Caramel, sweat and…oh no.'
A memory flashed past Harry's minds eye
"It's the most powerful love potion in the world!" said Hermione
"Quite right! You recognised it, by its distinctive mother-of-pearl sheen?"
"And the steam rising off it in characteristic spirals," said Hermione enthusiastically, "and it's suppose to smell differently to each of us, according to what attracts us, and I can smell freshly mown grass and new parchment and –"
Just as he turned his attention back to the present, the creek of wood caught his attention, causing him to turn around in a split second to the door. The door remained as still as ever, closed completely. A frown appeared on Harry's lips as he turned back to Slughorn, who was staring at him waiting.
"Well, did it work?" he asked with baited breath.
Now that he mentioned it, Harry could not relate what he was feeling to his one off time of taking Felix Felicis. There was no feelings of infinite opportunity, no ideas of ideal places to go, nothing. His frown deepened slightly as he shook his head.
Without anything else to say, Harry's thoughts turned again to Hermione's words, so long ago.
"Horace, love potions, do they also taste like what the person ingesting it likes?" Harry asked curiously.
Slughorn quirked an eyebrow at Harry's less then expected question.
"From what I recall, only the medium to potent draughts have that quality." Slughorn informed honestly.
Without waiting for a further word, Harry brought the test tube up to his nose and inhaled shallowly. A ghost of a smile made its way onto his lips as the sugary smell of the Valens Felicitas reached his nose, only to vanish in the moments after.
There were three schools of potions, Restorative, Malicious and Supplementary. The processes of each type of potion stand in stark difference with each other. When mixing potions a wizard or witch had to be careful. While mixing each school with another of the same school, it allowed for a potion's effects to increase or work in conjunction with each other.
Only the Restorative and Supplementary school's mixed seamlessly with each other. The Malicious branch when mixed with the Restorative branch would simply cancel the effects of both potions out. But when mixing between Malicious and Supplementary it was crucial that the potions effects did not converge at any point.
An example would be mixing a Bone breaking potion with a growing potion. Both potions would converge instantly. While the bones in the person's body were breaking, the shards would continue to expand and burst through a person's skin, resulting in a scene straight from a horror movie.
"I think someone somehow mixed a love potion into the test tube." Harry murmured incredulously.
Across from him, Slughorn's face matched Harry's tone; disbelief was etched into the frown upon his face.
"No one knows you are here Harry, and I doubt anyone would be carrying one around to use on the off chance you were near. Unless you think I did it?" Slughorn's tone began in stern thought and slowly degraded into humour. Despite himself Harry had to laugh at the older mans small joke.
"Well, I don't feel the same as when I ingested Felix." Harry murmured thoughtfully, before coming to a simple conclusion.
"Valens works differently from Felix. Instead of compelling the user to luck it brings luck to them?" Harry said aloud, fully expecting Slughorn to reject the sensationalist idea. Instead however, he was given a mere nod of the head by the walrus like man.
"Take a quite walk around the dungeons, if you are lucky you won't run into anyone." Slughorn's humour remained much to Harry's dismay, but he had to agree with Slughorn's idea. It was a perfect test. If he managed to make it back to the room without meeting anyone the potion would have worked. Although it was a huge if, IF he met someone on the way he wouldn't be able to explain it away.
But luck was on his side, right?