Title: Mistura d'Amore
Author: Casca Casccara@yahoo.com
Summary: A group of fifth year girls, including Ginny Weasely, make a love potion and the results are disastrous!
Disclaimer: All characters and names used in these fics are the
Legal property and creative work of JK Rowling and/or Warner Bros.
Except for Emma, Rebecca, Lana and my personal favorite, Sarah, —Potion Makers Extraordinaire. :D
A/N—And so, the conclusion! Enjoy!
~ Hogsmeade Weekend, cont… ~
Harry Potter was furious. An odd occurrence, really, since he was known for being an even-tempered sort of person. However, as he marched up the Hogsmeade pathway, through the gates, across the Hogwarts grounds and up the castle steps, Harry knew the nature of cold wrath. He didn't care who was looking at him curiously as he slammed through the huge wooden castle doors and he barely heard Professor McGonagall shout "Slow down, Potter!" as he charged through the corridors up to Gryffindor Tower. He didn't even care what Ron might think about Harry's unusual interest in Ginny's whereabouts when he marched up to him and Hermione and demanded, "Where's Ginny?"
Hermione's eyes darted to Ron. "Uh…Ginny…?"
"Yeah, Ginny Weasley, Ron's sister… you've met her, right?" he snapped at Hermione. "Where is she?"
"Uh…" Hermione apparently couldn't speak.
Harry turned to Ron and lifted a brow expectantly.
"Harry?" said Ron, looking shocked and confused.
"Harry, she's sick," Hermione said dramatically.
Harry nearly laughed out loud. "Sick? Really. How interesting. Let's see, the last time she stood me up she said that she was sick as well. She looked fine to me this morning so try again, Hermione."
"Stood you up?" Ron asked in an exaggerated voice. He reminded Harry of a bad actor performing in a play.
"Yeah, we had a date for Hogsmeade," Harry said impatiently. "Look, sorry I didn't tell you, but she is your sister and all, it was weird." Then he turned to Hermione. "Where is she, Hermione?"
I'm serious! She's very sick!"
"Okay… then I'll just go up to the her dormitory and see if she's still living." He started to walk to the staircase purposefully when Hermione shouted, "No!"
He lifted a brow. "Yes?"
"She's not up there, Harry," Hermione said, panicked. "She's… she went to see Madam Pomfrey."
"She's in the hospital wing?"
"Uh-huh," Hermione said brightly.
Any other time Harry would have thought it funny how transparent Hermione was, but not now. He only had one girl on his
mind and since he'd come to realize that she wasn't leaving his thoughts any time soon, he needed to speak with her. Now.
"Well, perhaps I'll go check the hospital wing, then," Harry said, marching away.
"Madam Pomfrey won't let you in, Harry" Hermione shrieked, running after him.
"Who said I'm going to ask her to go in, Hermione?" he retorted and climbed out of the portrait hole.
Harry stampeded through the corridors to the hospital wing, turning corners sharply and not even bothering to slow down when a teacher passed ("Ten point's from Gryffindor, Mr. Potter!" screeched McGonagall). When he reached the door to the hospital wing, he pushed it open and started to walk towards the beds, when Madam Pomfrey skidded to a halt in front of him.
"Where do you think you're going? Granger and Weasley are not hear," she told him.
Harry wondered angrily if people thought he had any other friends besides Ron and Hermione. "Is Ginny Weasley in there?" he asked, knowing the answer was no.
Madam Pomfrey regarded him suspiciously. "There are no Weasleys here."
"Are you sure?" Harry found himself blurting.
Madam Pomfrey was beside herself. "I know the patients I treat, Potter!"
"Okay, okay," he muttered. "Sorry."
Madam Pomfrey tutted. "That's no tone to use on your elders. Five points from Gryffindor for that!"
It was Harry's turn to look suspicious. He wasn't quite sure the school nurse was allowed to take points from houses, at least he'd never seen Madam Pomfrey do it before. But he couldn't very well argue with her about the matter, so he left, wondering how many points Ginny Weasley would wind up costing Gryffindor today. He didn't have any control over his behavior, so it wasn't his fault.
Harry hadn't had control over his feelings since he'd first looked at Ginny Weasley one morning after breakfast. His world had turned upside down after that and he wasn't having it all. He hadn't been surprised really when his heart had crashed to the floor upon looking at her that morning. It was the oddest feeling—as if he'd always known he would wind up feeling this way about her, but hadn't known until that very minute.
It was also odd that he hadn't pushed the feelings away—as torrid as they were. She was a Weasley. He shouldn't be feeling these things for the Weasley's daughter, Ron's sister, Fred's and George's sister. Really, Ginny was everyone's sister. Except his…
"Sister" was the last thing he thought of when he looked at her.
However, it was quite clear that she did not share his sentiments, he thought to himself as he walked around the castle aimlessly, looking in every classroom and peering down every corridor trying to find her. Obviously she didn't feel the same way and was trying to think of a way to let him down. It didn't take a genius to figure out that when a girl runs away from a boy every time he gets within ten feet of her isn't because she likes him.
Harry tried not to let this bother him. He tried to believe that the reason he was currently on a rampage trying to find her was simply because he didn't like being stood up. Nobody liked being stood up, especially if the girl was- no, nobody liked being stood up, period. It didn't matter who the person doing the standing up was.
So what if she was the only girl he had ever felt this way about it? It was stupid, really that he'd taken to thinking about what he was going to buy her for Christmas in six months? And who cared if she was the prettiest girl he'd ever looked at and was cursing himself for not looking sooner? All of this didn't matter; he was upset that she'd stood him up and made a fool of himself.
After Harry had spent almost three hours searching all the possible places Ginny could have been (and all the incredibly far-fetched places she would have taken to), after loosing five more points from Gryffindor (taken by Snape when Harry had been looking through the dungeons), Harry marched back up to the Gryffindor common room to find Hermione and Ron.
"Did she come back?" he asked them. He'd stopped by Gryffindor Tower several times during his search to inquire if Ginny had returned and Ron had looked more nauseous each time.
"No, Harry I told you, she's sick. Madam Pomfrey only said Ginny wasn't there because she doesn't like when her patients get visitors." Hermione had become more comfortable with her outrageous lie and was now telling it with a strait face, although her eyes darted every which way when she spoke.
Harry ignored her and with a slightly wild look in his eyes, he dragged a chair across the room and set it up facing the portrait hole. "Can't miss her now, can I?" He asked Hermione who looked like she was going to burst into tears. Ron was staring at Harry with an incredulous look on his face. The rest of the Gryffindor's peered his way curiously, shrugged and went back to their various activities.
"Harry, maybe you should go get some dinner," Hermione suggested worriedly after half an hour. "You may not be too late, usually it doesn't disappear until around eight o'clock."
"Hermione, I drank four butterbeers while I sat at that table waiting. I'm not hungry."
"Maybe he's drunk," Harry heard Ron whisper to Hermione who tutted.
"Of course he's not drunk," she hissed back. "Butterbeer isn't as strong as that."
"You sure it was butterbeer you were drinking, mate?" Ron asked him.
Harry ignored Ron and crossed his arms, staring at the portrait hole.
Another thirty minutes passed. It was now nine pm and Harry was just about to round on Hermione to ask her again if Ginny was indeed upstairs, when the portrait creaked. He stared intently, sitting up in his chair, but the painting didn't swing open. He frowned as he heard female whispers. "No, don't open, let me just peek inside!" The next minute, he saw the face of Sarah Murphy staring directly at him.
"Oh!" she yelped upon seeing Harry and then disappeared.
Narrowing his eyes, he got up from his chair and approached the portrait, hearing even more whispers.
"He's right there!"
"What do you mean right there!?"
"He's sitting right in front of-" Sarah broke off as Harry pushed the portrait open and climbed out.
Sure enough, Ginny and Sarah were huddled together in the dark corridor, which was lit by the flaming torches on the walls.
"Hi, Harry, how are you?" Sarah blurted out.
But Harry was looking at Ginny whose eyes were popping out of her head as she backed up against a wall. He turned to Sarah. "Don't you have somewhere to be?" he asked rudely.
Behind him, her heard Ginny cry out indignantly. Sarah looked from Ginny to Harry and back again.
"I suppose," she whispered, sounding close to tears. She gave Ginny a fleeting look as if she were about to feed her to a pack of wolves. "See you later, Ginny."
"Bye, Sarah," Ginny said desperately.
Once the portrait closed, Ginny spoke. "Harry Potter, how dare you treat my best friend like that?"
"Ginny," he began, on edge, but she cut him off.
"Poor Sarah!" Ginny shrieked. "She's the only person on my side and you go and make her leave, well I'll tell you something." She jabbed a finger at his chest. "You are not allowed to do that."
Harry stared at her as if she were crazy. "Ginny! How can you stand there and yell at me?"
To his complete horror, Ginny's eyes filled with tears. "I don't know!" she howled, clapping a hand to her mouth. "I don't know what I'm doing anymore, I feel like I'm under some spell!"
"Look, we need to talk," he said evenly trying to ignore the churning in his stomach as she let out a sob and buried her face in her hands.
"We do," she whispered, nodding her head. "We really do."
This wasn't going the way he'd thought it would. "Ginny, I want to know what's going on with you. Why didn't you meet me this afternoon? And no lying, please," he said with frustration.
"I'm sorry I didn't come," she whispered. "Harry… There's something you need to know."
"What is it?" he asked, bracing himself for the truth.
"The reason… the reason you're asking me to go places and, and feeling certain… things for me… well, it's not…"
"It's not… what?" he asked, his face burning.
"Harry, a few days ago, my friends and I made a potion. It was a really stupid thing to do, and I will never for as long as I live do anything like it again. I hadn't even planned on giving it to anyone. And I didn't! However, Lana Richmond put the potion in your juice without my consent."
"Potion?" he asked slowly, little traces of fear creeping up his spine. "What potion?"
Ginny sighed again. "A potion called Mistura d'Amore."
Harry tried to repeat the words. "What language is that?"
"What does it mean?"
Ginny bit her lip. "Mixture of Love."
He goggled at her. "A–a love potion?!"
"Harry, I'm so sorry!"
He couldn't speak; all he could do was gape at her. "When…?"
She stared at the floor. "The same day as… the willow."
His insides had stopped functioning. "What does this all mean, Ginny? Is there a counter?" She winced and Harry realized how horrible that must have sounded. "I mean-"
"No, there's no counter. It's supposed to wear off…"
"Oh." He paused. "When?"
Ginny swallowed and looked uncomfortable. "Well… it … depends."
"On… the person." She looked as though she wanted to say something else, but she shook her head firmly and stared at the floor.
There was a very long, tense silence as they both looked everywhere but at each other. "Well…"
"Yeah," she whispered.
"Ginny, I'm sorry-"
"Don't. Harry, don't apologize, none of this is your fault. I'm sorry for not telling you sooner, I just… There's no excuse, really. I should have told you right from the start."
"It-it's okay. It isn't your fault, I suppose." Harry didn't know what to feel. This was all just the result of some potion? He was… crushed. He thought about this passed week and Ginny's avoidance of him. He began to see this from her perspective and suddenly, he felt terrible for her. Before he knew what he was doing, Harry reached over and put a hand on her shoulder.
She took a step back and crossed her arms over her chest. At once, Harry realized that these feelings he was having, this urge to hug her and tell her he didn't blame her, none of it was real.
"We should be getting inside," she said flatly. "Filch is usually out prowling around this time, isn't he?" Harry could care less about Filch, but he didn't want to see Ginny get detention. He wondered if these thoughts were caused by the potion as well. He chose not to reflect on it.
They turned to the Fat Lady who swung open with sad eyes. As they stepped inside and Ginny walked to the staircase, Harry felt positively miserable. He didn't want these feeling to be wrong. He wanted…
He glanced over at Ron and Hermione who were trying to look busy, but Harry knew they were wondering what was going on. He was even willing to bet that Hermione knew the entire thing. But Harry found he didn't care much. He muttered goodnight to them and headed up.
As he climbed the stairs and glanced at the door to the fifth year girls' dormitory, his heart gave a lurch and he thought furiously that his own feelings weren't his own anymore. And suddenly all he wanted to do was go to bed and sleep until this stupid potion wore off and he could be sure of what was right.
~ Day of Revelation ~
However, the next morning came and Harry's feelings were so jumbled that he couldn't tell if they were for Ginny or for the fact that he was functioning under the "influence". He felt confused and angry and used and tricked. He felt disappointment, and guilt, and the guilt made him feel angry.
He dressed quietly and went downstairs a bit early and as he descended the spiral staircase, he could hear the mutterings of voices in the common room.
"Ginny must have done something to get him to notice her after the potion wore off because I could see Harry sitting at a table all by himself as she was about to go in."
Harry froze at the base of the stairs and peered into the room. Lana Richmond was talking to another fifth year, (Rebecca-something--?) and they were alone in the room. Harry bit hard on his lip, but stayed where he was, as they continued.
"So she was supposed to meet him there?" Rebecca asked.
"Yeah," Lana said on a sarcastic laugh. "Although what she did to get him to ask her, I've yet to figure out. She's so… immature. I honestly never thought he would go for her, the way she used to snuffle around him like that. Anyway, all this is beside the point—I just don't know why she's being so childish about it all. We did the impossible when we gave him the potion. The potion made Harry have feelings for her, even if they were only for one day. She's the fool for not taking advantage of it."
"I know. I can't believe she wouldn't go to the Quidditch practice—he would have forgotten about it anyway."
"I know, I know. Don't ask me to fathom the mind of Ginny Weasley. The older we get, it seems she stays just as immature. It's pathetic, really, how she—" Lana broke off and stared in horror as Harry entered the common room.
Lifting a brow, he looked directly at Lana while passing her chair, and said nothing to her.
Harry climbed out of the portrait hole. His mouth was dry with anger at Lana's words. He hated the things she said about Ginny—but the words that had stopped him short were said before she'd called Ginny a fool. The potion made Harry have feelings for her.
But it didn't … did it? Hadn't he felt these things before…? It certainly felt as though he had. Although he knew that he'd never looked at Ginny in the… romantic sense (his faced burned at the thought of it), he hadn't thought his feelings to be new just… complete.
Harry stood perfectly still in the middle of the corridor (upon the Fat Lady's curious eyes) trying to think if there was a time he had thought of Ginny the way he was thinking about her now. He thought about all the times he had caught her looking at him… he'd tried to act as though he hadn't seen, but how had he really been feeling? He hadn't felt anything, he thought furiously, he hadn't allowed himself to feel anything—
Harry very nearly gasped out loud. Was that true? Had these feelings always been there and Harry had simply refused to feel them? If that were true, then the potion hadn't given him these feelings, they'd already been there to begin with.
So that meant…
He had no clue whatsoever what that meant. All he knew was that he had done more thinking in the past five minutes than he had all year long in Potions. And he was angry because there wasn't anything he could do about this new information…
And hadn't Lana said it lasted only one day?
"She's gone for a walk."
Harry jumped a mile. "What?" he asked the Fat Lady who had spoken and was now looking at him knowingly.
"Your young lady with the red hair. She left early this morning and when I inquired of her where she was heading so early, she said that she was going for a walk by the lake. She looked quite troubled." The Fat Lady sighed wistfully from her frame.
Harry stared at her with bewilderment. "Oh… thanks… I guess."
Harry stepped into the beautiful spring morning and began to walk towards the willow tree, spotting her immediately. Ginny was laying on the ground, clad in casual clothes. Her head was cushioned on a group of vines that had pooled on the ground and she was humming to herself, restlessly moving her foot this way and that.
She gasped and sat up strait.
Harry rolled his eyes at his stupidity. "Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you-"
"That's okay," she said quickly.
She has leaves in her hair, he thought wildly. The same little leaves from the vines, only now they were mixed with white flower petals from the ends of the willow branches she'd been laying on.
Before she could stand he walked over and sat down next to her on the soft ground. The wind picked up and carried thousands of leaves and tiny white petals through the air. He winced as a huge clump flew right into his face and brushed quickly brushed them away. When he glanced at Ginny, her eyes were full of mirth and she was biting her lip to keep from laughing.
"Dunno what you're laughing at. The entire tree is in your hair."
Her mouth dropped open and she put her hands to her head and messed her hair. Leaves tumbled out. "Oh, no," she muttered and gave her head a hard shake. It didn't help a bit. Then she heaved a huge sigh and let out a helpless laugh. "Oh, well."
"Oh, well," he smirked. It seemed they both thought of the potion at the same time because they looked away, and the air was thick with tension suddenly.
"The Fat Lady said you'd be out here." It was all he could think to say.
"Hmm. That'll trust me to tell her my secrets."
Harry sat up. "I'm not… interrupting anything-"
"No, no. I was just kidding."
"Can I ask you something?" he asked her.
"Sure," she said very quietly.
"About… about the potion…?"
She shrugged and didn't meet his eye.
"What happens when it wears off?"
Ginny hesitated for a long time. "The drinker forgets everything that happened with the other person while he was under the influence of it."
Panic shot through him. He would forget? But… no, it was impossible. He didn't want to forget anything that happened. Harry thought of asking her to Hogsmeade and swinging on the vines … running across the grounds with her and spotting her while she sat in the stands during his Quidditch match. He looked at her now… pretty, pensive eyes and white flower petals dotting her copper hair and Harry found himself etching her face in his memory against the will of the spell.
"I hate this," he whispered, casting his eyes fiercely to the ground.
She said nothing, but gazed out across the lake.
Then he looked up suddenly, remembering something Lana had said. "Was it supposed to wear off after one day?"
Ginny froze, and nodded slowly.
"Mine didn't, though."
She didn't say anything, but Harry could sense that she wanted to.
"Ginny, what if… what if whoever drank the potion, that is to say, already… felt certain things for the other person… before he drank it… but he didn't know he felt those things… er, what would happen?"
"Well…" she said slowly. "If the drinker already had… The potion also causes true feelings to surface, if the feelings are repressed… or couldn't be brought in any other way."
"So… does the potion still wear off after one day…?"
She lifted her brown eyes to his. And slowly, she nodded.
Excitement coursed through him. "So… it's gone. The spell is gone? But I didn't forget anything… how…?"
"You didn't forget anything because you weren't acting under the potion, Harry. You never were, the potion just made the emotions surface, it didn't influence your behavior at all."
He stared at her. "This means it's all real?"
"You could look at it that way, I s'pose," she whispered.
"This changes everything! Ginny-"
"It changes nothing," she said angrily and stood up to walk over to the lake where she crossed her arms and looked out across the sparkling surface.
"I don't get it," Harry said, standing and walking over to her. "If the potion already wore off, all of this is real! It's exactly what happened… I …I did have these feelings before, I just…" he went red and shoved his hands into his pockets. "I just never allowed myself to feel them."
"Why didn't you allow yourself to feel them, Harry?" she demanded.
"I don't know… I guess because I was too wrapped up in other things to-"
"Wrong," she said firmly. "Of course, it's true that you've had so much to deal with these last few years. But that's not the reason you never acknowledged your feelings."
"It's not? Then what is, do you know, because I don't-"
"It's me!" she whispered.
"I am not… noticeable!"
"…What?" he asked, wondering what in the world she was talking about.
"I couldn't bring out your feelings, so you never felt them. You never noticed me, Harry, because… because I wasn't noticeable!"
It hit him, then, what was she trying to say. And he let out a long, much-needed sigh of relief. If the only obstacle he was facing was her insecurity—he was certain that he could fix that. "You weren't?"
"No! Oh, I know it isn't my fault that I'm not very clever with words… or… or exceptionally witty when it comes to talking to you. And I don't play Quidditch so it's not as if we have that in common. And I know that it isn't my fault that I'm not … er… extravagant in my appearance. But still, you know, it makes me furious that if I were any of those things, all of this may have been prevented because perhaps you would have noticed me because of something I did and without the assistance of some stupid—what are you doing?"
He had a view of her panic-stricken eyes as he took a step towards her and gently cupped her face in his hands. "Harry?" she whispered frantically as he leaned forward and very slowly, very softly touched her lips with his.
His mind went blank… the only thing he knew was the smell of flowers in her hair and the tiny little sounds she made as he kissed her. It was strange and brilliant and terrifying.
When it was over, Harry opened his eyes and stood where was. All of a sudden he was very aware that his hands were on Ginny's face and she was gazing at him with open shock.
He took a step back, and stared at her, not quite being able to believe what he had just done. He'd kissed her… he'd actually kissed a girl. And not just any girl, Ginny Weasley, the girl he…well, fancied. He felt terrified.
And he wanted to do it again.
But he couldn't because she was staring at him with wide eyes (they were such a pretty shade of brown, had he ever noticed that before?) and her mouth was slightly open. She looked as terrified as he felt.
"Sorry," he muttered. "I… didn't mean to… I did mean to, but I didn't mean to-" he broke off. Perhaps it would be better if he didn't say anything at all.
She let out a long shaky breath. "Mmm," was all she could manage.
Harry swallowed. "But, really, Ginny. Things you were saying… they're just mad. It not true, any of it. It's stupid, to be quite honest."
She frowned. "Stupid, then, am I?"
He sighed impatiently. "What you said is stupid, about not being noticeable. Ginny, I noticed you! I saw you all the time, and I noticed things. I may not have felt anything… at the time, that is. But I noticed. I saw."
She stared at the ground, her eyes troubled. Then she shook her head. "You didn't see me, Harry." It was barely a whisper.
"Want a bet?" he said quietly.
When she said nothing, Harry took a deep breath. "Two years ago, at that Yule Ball, Neville stepped on your feet when you danced."
She stared at him disbelief, then rolled her eyes. "Is that what you noticed? Because-"
"You wished you hadn't accepted Neville's invitation in the first place," he said quickly. "Because you could have gone with me."
Her brows snapped together. "Are you trying to make me feel like a fool?"
"No! I'm trying to tell you that I noticed those things!"
"Stupid things," she shot back.
"Not stupid. You put your elbow in the butter dish," Harry said suddenly, remembering his first visit to the Burrow.
She looked ready to explode and, remembering the twins once speaking about Ginny's outrageous temper, Harry hastily added. "I know it wasn't extravagant or witty or anything… but, you know… it was… sort of cute." He watched her with trepidation—he'd be able to convince her he was right… wouldn't he?
"You pretended not to notice the elbow thing."
Harry watched her intently. "You noticed, then?"
She bit her lip, then lifted her eyes to meet his. They were smiling. "I noticed everything, Harry."
He felt something very nice seep it's way through him. Something like relief. "I know." Their eyes locked. "Thank you."
She nodded. Then she grinned. "It wasn't anything I could control."
He grinned back. "Well, thanks anyway."
The stood, grinning foolishly at each other for a few seconds, and then Harry thought of something. "Ron's going to flip out."
"Ugh," she said, her face turning to disgust. "Why did you have to say his name?"
"Well… I haven't properly discussed this with him, really. In fact he has no idea that there even was a love potion—what?"
Ginny had clasped her hand to her mouth and dissolved into giggles. "Harry," she panted. "He knew before you did!"
His mouth dropped. Ron? "What?!"
but he figured it out. See, he found
the description of the potion in Hermione's book and-"
"Hermione, too? Some friends I've got."
"They're great friends and you know it. Well, at least Hermione is. My brother… I'll never know what you see in him, Harry."
He half grinned. "It's his charm. Hey, we should get back."
They started to walk back up to the castle and Harry curled his fingers through her hers, wondering if the chance to kiss her would come again.
"If it means anything, Ron was properly outraged at the whole ordeal," Ginny was saying, and Harry wished he'd never mentioned him. "He was… very stressed about the whole thing."
Harry snorted. "He deserves it. He and Hermione are starting to make me crazy."
"I dunno what we're going to do with the two of them," Ginny sighed. "It's so obvious that they're made for each other."
"Ron needs to get a clue," Harry said matter-of-factly and missed Ginny's sarcastic snort. He was busy thinking of the little shivers that were racing up his arm as her fingers flexed against his.
"We should help them along," she sighed.
"Hmm…" he said with a half grin, noting that her hair was still dotted with flower petals. He let go of her hand to play with them. "What did you have in mind…?"
"Don't say it," she warned, her face flushed as he continued to toy with her hair.
"What?" he asked innocently.
"It's much too soon to even start joking about-"
"Perhaps we can give him a love potion!" Harry exclaimed grinning.
"Harry!" she exclaimed and tried to yell at him, but he laughed and seized his chance for that kiss.
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The Hidden Tower