It was just another ordinary day at Hogwarts. Amelia Duncan was standing outside the Gryffindor common room, waiting on Hermione Granger to walk with her to class.
"Come on, Hermione! We haven't all day," Amy said, as Hermione tumbled out of the common room, looking quite frazzled.
"Sorry, Amy. It's just that we've got that big Potions exam today, and I don't want to fail it. I've literally spent the entire last week studying for it, day and night and.." Hermione began to babble, but Amy stopped her.
"I know, Hermione. You've actually coerced me into studying for it, too. But don't worry. I'm sure you could get away with not even showing up, and still pass with flying colors," Amy assured her.
"Oh, but it's supposed to be rather challenging, and I'm very nervous," Hermione said quickly, shifting her books around in her arms.
"YOU, of all people, shouldn't be worried. However, I feel that I'm not going to do so well," Amy admitted.
"Amy, you're a natural at potion-making," Hermione interjected.
"Yeah, but factor in that our Potions Professor happens to loathe me," Amy said with a shrug.
"Oh, not even Snape would fail you from spite," Hermione insisted, making a casual wave of her wand.
"We shall see," Amy sighed, as the two began to walk down to the dungeons where Potions were held.
"You know, if it was held in a more cheery atmosphere and it didn't feel like a walk to the gallows, maybe more of us would do well." Amy said.
Hermione chuckled slightly. "Yes, this isn't exactly roses and daisies," Hermione said.
Amy grinned. "Yeah, more like pitchforks, torches, and stakes."
Due to the small chat, they were exactly one minute late for Potions.
They entered quickly, breathing somewhat heavily.
"You are late," Snape's cold voice resounded through the dungeon.
"Professor, we.." Amy began, looking down.
"There is no need for foolish arguments, Miss Duncan. 20 points from Gryffindor," Snape said proudly.
"But.." Amy began. Hermione was silent, and looked thoroughly abashed.
"Each." Snape hissed.
Amy's face burned with shame, and Hermione had turned an unnatural white.
Amy quickly took her seat, as did Hermione.
Amy did her best to ignore Draco Malfoy's smirk and snickering, which was quite hard, since she sat right beside him.
Snape paced about the room as usual, reviewing the subject matter on today's exam.
"So, if it isn't the two Golden Girls," Malfoy snickered quietly. Crabbe, Goyle, and Pansy Parkinson also laughed nefariously.
It bothered Amy greatly that she had this class with the Slytherins. Like Hermione said, she's a natural at Potions. But Snape always treats the Gryffindor's like dirt when Slytherin is around.
"So, Duncan, hanging around with Mudblood now? I thought even a Blood Traitor like you was above such things." Malfoy said snidely. "It's quite amusing, really. To see a person, who is so above the rest of those scumbags, brought back down," Malfoy laughed along with the rest of his crew.
Amy was getting angrier by the second. "Stop it, Amy. That's what he wants. Don't give him what he wants." She heard herself whisper. She shook it off.
She couldn't stand it a moment longer. Malfoy was about to get what he deserved.
"I think likewise for you, Malfoy. Need I remind you of the 50 points docked from Slytherin for being insufferably rude today in Transfiguration?" Amy said curtly, and Ron and Harry stifled laughs.
Malfoy stopped taunting her briefly, and Amy thought he was slightly embarrassed. However, the speechlessness from the grey-eyed prat was short-lived.
"Hope you know that Snape gave them right back to me," He said coolly, and Amy rolled her caramel-colored eyes.
"Hope you know McGonagall will give me back those 40 back by the end of the day when I explain what happened." Amy said, mocking his snarky tone perfectly.
"Because, of course, you'll go crying to her and tell her what an awful person I am, and she'll surely give you the triple points you actually lost," Malfoy said cuttingly.
Amy clasped a hand over her mouth, and pretended to be shocked at this accusation.
"Why, Malfoy, you actually used the pea-brain you have to figure that out? I, for one, am shocked," she said, causing a giggle from Hermione.
"Excuse me," Snape's voice cut in, and everyone turned to face the front.
After a brief, cold stare, Snape continued his lecturing.
"Stupid Gryffindor's think they run the place," Malfoy hissed to Pansy, just loud enough so Amy could hear him.
"Stupid Slytherins think they're bad, when they're really just sniveling babies," Amy retorted.
Parkinson's nostrils flared, and Amy fought back laughter. She had the ugliest nose Amy had ever laid eyes on.
"God, Parkinson, you'd think that pug-shaped nose of yours had a mind of its own," Amy said, chuckling quietly at her own wit.
Parkinson blushed slightly, and looked furious.
"There is nothing wrong with Pansy's nose! Unlike your face, which would take the entirety in Gringotts to bring up from 'disgustingly awful' to 'troll'," Malfoy said, and Amy shrugged. Parkinson however, looked quite gleeful.
"At least I don't look like I've smelled something rotten all the time. Like YOU." Amy snapped.
"Ah, Duncan, first-year insults. Those were the days, weren't they? Talk to me when you can manage something worthy of a 5th year," Malfoy snickered.
"Oh, I'll manage something of a 5th year." Amy snarled, her fingers curling around her wand that resided in her pocket.
"Going to hex me, are you? Go ahead, try it." Malfoy smirked. He knew she was too scared.
Amy released her wand, and said a very flat, "No,"
"What? Scared of getting expelled?" Malfoy goaded.
"No," Amy said again, with a few chuckles from Crabbe. She snapped her head to look at him. "What are you looking at, fatty? I'm not dessert." She growled, and Crabbe looked away from her.
"He can lose weight. You, however, need about 5 million to fix your face." Malfoy snapped, and Crabbe nodded self-righteously.
Amy's jaw tightened. She was unusually skinny for her age. This comment hurt her a bit, for he didn't know her secret. But she refused to give up.
"At least I don't look at people like they're cupcakes." Amy said coolly.
"At least I don't pal around with the school rejects!" Malfoy said, indicating to what he thought was a classy entourage.
"I think we have different definitions about what makes one an outcast," Amy said.
"Clearly," grunted Malfoy as he turned away, hissing something into Parkinson's ear.
"Quills out," Snape sighed, and Malfoy's face quickly went from one of amusement to one of uncertainty.
"What, Malfoy? Didn't study?" Amy said victoriously.
"Of course not! Potion-making comes quite easily to me," Malfoy said hatefully.
"Okay, we'll see.." Amy smirked, drawing her quill, ink, and cauldron from her bag.
Amy breezed through the written part of the exam perfectly, and had ample time to go back and dot her i's and cross her t's.
Amy noticed that Malfoy was on question 5 or 6, and there were about 20 questions.
Amy began to meticulously crush snake fangs, and add them to her cauldron.
Malfoy desperately gazed at Amy's written work, and began to scrawl down answers feverishly on his own paper.
Amy noticed, and slapped him in the back of the head abruptly.
"Nice try, Malfoy. But not today. And tomorrow isn't looking too good for you, either."Amy said quietly, her eyes not leaving her potion.
Malfoy cursed under his breath, and took his eyes off her paper.
Amy continued to add ingredients to her cauldron, as Malfoy struggled to even get to that point.
After she finished, she waved her wand over the brew, filled a flask with it, and placed both that and the written work on Snape's desk.
Malfoy was looking around the dungeon, as if he were expecting the answers to be on the walls or the ceiling.
"Duncan," He hissed. Amy ignored him.
"Leave me alone," she snarled quietly.
"Duncan, if you don't help me, I will make your life miserable," he threatened.
"Now, is that any way to ask me, Malfoy?" she asked.
"Help. Me. Now." He said through clenched teeth.
"I'll help you when it starts to snow in hell," she said sardonically, turning away from him.
What was he on about? Did he really think she'd help him cheat after what he'd done to her for the past 5 years?
"Duncan, I'm warning you." He glared.
"What are you going to do, Malfoy? I mean, are you going to say mean things to try and hurt my feelings?" she snapped.
"You think I'm awful to you now? You either give me the answers, or face the consequences." He smirked.
"I'll take the consequences."Amy turned away from him briskly.
"It's your funeral." Malfoy hissed.
Amy, however, was thoroughly unconcerned and cared less either way.
He couldn't cheat without her work, which was now on Snape's desk. Well, unless she told him the answers, which she wasn't going to do. It was his own problem that he didn't study. Not hers.
Amy couldn't help but feel a bit sorry for him when she saw the worry in his eyes.
Amy, snap out of it! He wouldn't do it for you. She told herself.
Why was she feeling sorry for Malfoy? This disturbed her.
She tried to ignore him and continued to fiddle with a small slip of parchment that was on her desk.
"Duncan, please?" he asked once more, more kindly than he'd ever been to her, and her eyes widened.
She had never heard him say 'please' to anyone, much less saying it to her.
"Malfoy, no!" she insisted.
"Miss Duncan," Snape's voice cut in, and everyone's eyes seemed to float back to her seat.
"Yes?" Amy's voice trembled.
"Are you attempting to cheat from Mr. Malfoy on this exam?" Snape asked, ignoring the shocked look on her face.
"Quite the opposite, Professor. As you can see, both my written work AND my potion are already on your desk and out of my reach." Amy said coolly.
"I'd suggest you be quiet, so I do not make that mistake again, Miss Duncan," He hissed, turning back to grading essays.
Why was it getting harder for her to tell Malfoy now?
Then, a ridiculous idea popped into her head.
Did she FANCY him?
Amy scoffed at the very idea. Her? Fancy Malfoy? Ludicrous. She'd rather fancy a Dementor. Absolutely and positively and wholeheartedly not!