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Chapter Forty-six: Brewing the Elixir

The rest of the autumn term passed uneventfully, but it was a very enjoyable time. Riddle had swiftly retreated from her life. Eileen felt spent and used. Now that he'd taken what he wanted, he no longer communicated so personally, but strangely enough, Eileen did not miss the company. And she had grown comfortable and accustomed to the delights and privilege of being Head Girl.

At first, Eileen was sure the newfound popularity and interest in her person would create friendships. But all it did make was acquaintances. Rubeus Hagrid remained a one and only true friend, and he was a very loyal and brave one at that.

It was two days before Christmas and Eileen was lost in thought, bearing a look of deep concentration. Inside she debated whether to have hopped on a Hogwarts sleigh and taken the train to mum and Francis. It might be their last Christmas together.

But just to spite Marie Eileen decided obstinately to make a no-show. But perhaps in the New Year, she would later decide to leave the grounds and apparate over!

Eileen clutched at a piece of foiled, gold paper. On it was a declaration that Eileen Prince was fully licensed to apparate and disapparate at will and leisure. Last summer, she had failed, but finally after the third try succeeded beautifully. Third time being the charm wasn't half that bad. A few witches and wizards never mastered it and died without ever having passed.

Eileen hurried through the corridors and made it to the secluded bathroom where complete privacy was to be sure. But despite this ideal location, somebody did show up. So it was with irritation that Myrtle was received.

Eileen quickly dispelled the annoying girl-ghost. "Hey, Myrtle! I'm still wondering if it's true that you peed in your pantyhose and wet the floor in First year! They say your teacher had to siphon it off the floor cause you hadn't learnt the spell!"

The ghost flew away sobbing and screaming most theatrically. Eileen grimly came to the conclusion it had definitely happened given the speed with which Myrtle soared away.

Now at peace, rid of the ghost, she set rapidly to preparing the ingredients for another batch of Elixir. Everything had to be ready for exactly the right time intervals, but as a master of potions, it was expected to be a success.

The smoke and vapors rose from the cauldron and wafted into the ceiling vents and the young witch worked with back turned from the entrance. Gloves and goggles were donned; as some of the ingredients were lethal enough to kill when inhaled or even touched.

There was a sudden draft. Eileen jumped and was going to hide, but saw it would be an unnecessary move. She was cornered and out maneuvered by Head Boy, Tom Riddle who finally wished to speak alone.

Eileen remained startled, thinking of the fumes.

"So Rookwood no longer makes them for you. You've chosen to do it for yourself I see."

Quickly it was ascertained that he understood exactly why she had come to this particular bathroom and he knew she was working with lethal ingredients.

"My Lord! The smells! Will they not cause you a trip to the hospital wing in the very least?"

He laughed casually and spoke quite airily, not the least threatened by the immediate danger of exposure to deadly chemicals. "I have dropped hints to the Dark Order all term. You are an intelligent witch, haven't you deduced what my words meant?"

"No. Unless you are saying you cannot be damaged or killed through ordinary means," and Eileen boldly confessed, "And that is extraordinary! However, I have no idea how one could possibly do a spell that prevents death!"

Riddle paused momentarily, his dark eyes drifting around the room. And then hurried to offer help, taking mortar and pestle without answering. Keeping so busy, grinding the ingredients, Eileen could see that he had no business divulging whatever his secret was.

"During the holiday, there is another initiation. Alphard Black shall be entering the Dark Order. You will attend."

"Yes, My Lord."

And with that Voldemort glanced once at her and departed.

Eileen left in solitude reflected on what had happened to her in the last two years. Two years ago Riddle had introduced her to his whole world, and his gang. Eileen had at first been swept up in it, adoring Tom Riddle for his charm, his looks and especially for his unrivaled magical powers. Now Eileen felt nothing but cold regret.

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