A/N : Terribly sorry for the long absence! I had to finish my previous story! But now its done, Regular updates shall be back on track! ~ Miia
Potions lessons at Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizardry took place down in one of the many dungeons of the castle. It was colder here than up in the main castle, and would have been quite creepy enough without the pickled animals floating in glass jars all around the walls.
And Blaise Zabini sweeping through the room was the last touch needed to complete the sinister effect of the room. He walked noiselessly, the swishing of his black cloak the only sound made as he reached the front desk.
Turning on his heel, he stood facing the class. The man was tall, his eyes hard and face expressionless and those who didn't know him like Lyra did could never have hoped to pick up the underlying amusement in his eyes.
Knowing how much he was enjoying scaring her fellow classmates only made her want to roll her eyes at her godfathers unexplained love for such theatrics. However since Blaise was looking directly at her and he was technically her professor, Lyra adjusted her expression and gave him a perfectly polite smile instead.
The head of the Slytherin house smirked slightly before turning his attention back to the rest of the class. He noticed that none of them had witnessed the brief exchange, not that he would care or even remotely attempt to be impartial, if anything he was quite annoyed that the Gryffindor's and most of the Ravenclaws were more intent on watching Potter at the door.
"Bones, Patrick" He called and when the boy squeaked and jumped in his seat, the satisfactory smirk was back in place.
The entire class had their attention on him again, except Thomas who was still giving his friend at the door a look of absolute sympathy but that Blaise supposed could be dealt with later and thus he continued with the roll call.
James supposed he should feel offended at the insult he had received but right that minute he was much more focused on the roll call and was straining to hear the softly spoken names. The anticipation grew and he hadn't even realized he was holding his breath until he heard the name he had been waiting for.
"Malfoy, Lyra" Zabini called and if James had paid any attention to his professor, he would have noticed the brief smile that had been exchanged.
Of course none of the class noticed it either for most Gryffindors had reacted rather violently at the said name and were all busy throwing ugly looks towards the uncaring Malfoy girl sitting in the front row.
Their distraction would also explain why none of them noticed how Professor Zabini suddenly seemed colder as he continued reading out the other names, even hissing venomously while addressing Potter and Thomas.
James wasn't a part of the group that was suddenly disgruntled to be in the class room after realizing Lyra's presence; on the contrary he was rather struck by her. She was sitting casually with her legs crossed, her fingers idly twisting her honey blonde hair and she seemed to be smiling.
That alone made James forget entirely that he was stood outside the class and he grinned, his smile widening as he tried out the name in his mind and decided he quite liked the sound of it. Utterly lost in his distraction, it was quite fair to say he was startled when Professor Zabini broke the silence.
"You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion making" he began.
The voice was barely louder than a whisper and yet even James was forced to turn his attention to the head of Slytherin house. It seemed Blaise had inherited Snape's talent of keeping a class silent without any effort.
"As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don't expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses…"
The class was ensnared alright and Lyra's eyes were shining brightly as they caught her Godfather's gaze. She had heard that this speech was tradition and that it had been scripted by none other than Severus Snape himself. After hearing all about her father's godfather, she had been waiting rather eagerly for it.
However neither her father nor her Godfather had budged and no amount of pouting did the job. That by itself was rather shocking, specially considering how neither of them could turn down any of her demands. Even her mother had been quite surprised when both men maintained that it was a special moment that she should wait for and as Blaise continued to speak, she once again caught his eyes.
"I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death — if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach."
Lyra barely managed to stifle her laugh and she could see her godfather's smug smile as he watched her reaction. She didn't disappoint of course and threw him a dazzling smile, wondering internally why her mother despaired in his dramatics so much when it was so amusing.
Just when she was about to declare to herself that she couldn't love him more even if she tried, things got better.
"Potter!" He suddenly barked "What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?"
As one the entire class turned to face James and even Lyra grudgingly turned around, only to catch his eyes and then turn away again.
Powdered root of what to an infusion of what? James wondered, trying hard to focus on the question rather than on the fact that she had looked at him. How he wished he had studied a bit more when Teddy asked him to…
"It seems that one should not simply be judged by one's father Potter" Zabini said, his voice low and dangerous.
Both Lyra and James felt completely opposite feelings stir within them. James who could tolerate anything but an insulting reference to his family clenched his hands angrily while Lyra who knew that the reference was directed more towards her than Potter felt for the first time like she belonged within the castle and newfound admiration for her godfather blossomed within her.
"Let us try again, where would you look if I asked you to find me a bezoar?" Zabini demanded, making James wrack his brains.
When he realized he hadn't a clue, he glared at the professor with utter dislike; a look that Blaise returned whole heartedly.
"Last chance Potter, what is the difference between Monkshood and wolfsbane?" He questioned, but this time James didn't bother listening.
He already knew he wouldn't have a clue and he decided that he didn't just dislike his professor but actually loathed him and that was just within ten minutes of their meeting.
"Thought none of you had to open the book before coming to class?" Zabini asked the class, making them all that much more uncomfortable.
The Ravenclaws were already trying to find the answer in their texts and the Gryffindor's took to glaring at the professor but James only had eyes on one person.
Her hand had punched the air the instant the question had been redirected and his mouth had fallen open. Did she really know?
"Asphodel and wormwood make a sleeping potion so powerful it is known as the Draught of Living Death. A bezoar is a stone taken from the stomach of a goat and it will save you from most poisons. As for monkshood and wolfsbane, they are the same plant, which also goes by the name of aconite." Lyra answered.
So much for impressing her, James thought as he heard her confident reply and he only loathed Zabini more for making him look like an idiot in front of her. Besides was it his fault that he didn't particularly like potions to begin with?
Blaise however was unsurprised and was smiling genuinely. Of course she would know, after all he was the one teaching her potions from the time she turned four and he would gladly vouch for the fact that the girl was going to be even better than her father was, and that was saying something.
"Excellent Miss. Malfoy, fifteen points to Ravenclaw. Also, fifteen points from Gryffindor for Mr. Potter's lack of intellect." Blaise drawled.
Lyra glowed. James seethed.
"Now you can't all be so incredibly idiotic to have not caught Miss. Malfoy's answer? Well then why aren't you copying it down? Potter you will take the seat next to Miss. Malfoy and hope to get some knowledge into that empty head of yours" Was the next instruction and my how the tables turned.
James was delighted. Lyra was horrified.
She stared in disbelief as Potter came over wearing that ridiculous smile of his and it wasn't until he reached for her books did she even blink. Impulsively she swatted his hands away before glancing around the room. However when she realized there was no other seat, she forced herself to move her books enough to give him room to sit.
Of course James didn't care that she put a barricade of books between them, after all they were now paired together and this was going better than he had hoped. In fact James was so delighted that he didn't even dislike his potion's master all that much anymore.
And being rather desperate to prove that he was by no means an idiot, he also paid considerable attention to the instructions given on making their first potion. It was simple enough; just a cure for boils and when they were asked to start James was positive he could do it perfectly and impress her.
Lyra on the other hand was trying her best to ignore him and get started on her work but when he reached for the dried nettles and began to powder them, her hands shot out on their own accord.
James was stunned to see her fingers wrapped around his wrist.
"What do you think you are doing?" She hissed at him.
When he stared dumbly at their hands, she realized she was essentially holding him and immediately let go. James wasn't sure if the color staining her cheeks was anger or if she was blushing…but considering that it was her, he supposed he shouldn't flatter himself so much.
"I asked you a question Potter" She snapped and instantly he realized he had been staring. Cursing himself mentally, he collected himself again.
"We need 10 grams of powdered dry nettles" He said confidently.
"No we do not" She contradicted grabbing her ruined nettles from him.
"It's written on the board Lyra" James said, pointing to the board with more pride than it should entail for a job as simple as reading a few simple words right.
"Its Malfoy to you" She told him irritably, ignoring the damned nettles.
"But Lyra is such a pretty name" James protested before giving her his best smile. She returned it with a withering glare.
"What is your problem exactly?" Lyra demanded. She was too much like her mother to not be annoyed when disturbed in class, besides she was going to do this in an easier way and Potter had just ruined it.
"I love you" James answered plainly. There was no over the top attempt at a flirtatious smile. Just a simply fact stated clear as day.
Anyone else would have been caught off guard but Lyra only felt the anger bubble within her. She would be damned if she believed those words from a Potter, least of all a Potter with a Weasley for a mother.
"Your games won't work with me, now back off before I make you" She threatened, her silver eyes blazing with fury.
James was honestly mystified. Did she think he wasn't being serious? Oh dear Merlin, he needed Teddy! He had no idea what to say to make her believe him and settled for the first thing that came to his mind.
"I'm Serious! That's even my middle name!" James exclaimed suddenly.
Lyra turned on him with a deliberate slowness. She took a deep breath before forcing a sweet smile.
"Is that so?" she asked, her voice giving him no indication of the underlying fury. James nodded enthusiastically and was surprised when her hands reached out.
"If that's really how you want to do this" She told him all too sweetly.
James barely had any time to realize that her hands weren't reaching for his but for the dried nettle that she was now unceremoniously dropping into their potion. The cauldron erupted just a second after she managed to take a step back and before he knew it, he was covered in a slimy green potion.
"POTTER! Fifteen points from Gryffindor and detention this entire week" A voice thundered from somewhere behind him.
James however couldn't have cared less. He was entirely transfixed by the cold fire in her eyes.
"Madam Pomfrey! Madame Pomfrey!" An urgent voice shouted as the doors to the hospital wing were flung open.
The senior matron jumped from her corner office to face the two first year boys, one of them dragging the other inside rather insistently. The medi-witch needed no introductions to know these two - their parents had been in often enough.
Mr. Thomas's was after all known for his visits with his friend Finnegan after the two had miraculously managed to blow something up yet again and Potter of course needed no explanation.
She sighed internally; she was getting too old if she was having a third generation Potter under her care but her eyes scanned the boy all the same. He didn't really seem hurt, but she would have to get the green muck off him to really be able to tell properly and so she waved for the two to move to the nearest bed.
"What happened?" She demanded as she made her way to them.
"Malfoy blew up his cauldron" Thomas raged "And she didn't even get a detention! Or have points docked off and -"
"That will be all Mr. Thomas, you can return to class" Madam Pomfrey instructed as she took her place next to the young Potter.
She flicked her wand once over the boy to notice that there had been absolutely no damage done. The skin had become slightly pink from what she assumed was hot water.
"The water wasn't even really hot" James admitted when asked and she glared at him.
"You are absolutely fine Mr. Potter, no reason you should be here at all" She told him crossly, after all professor Zabini could have taken care of this.
"I know but Derek-" James started to say when he was cut across.
"James Sirius Potter!" A shrill voice called from the doorway.
Madam Pomfrey glanced upwards to see Victoire Weasley standing with her arms crossed against her chest and hiding a couple of steps behind her was Derek Thomas.
"You can take this outside Mr. Potter" Pomfrey dismissed but James's expression had already morphed to his best kicked puppy look.
"But my arm hurts, I think its swelling up" He tried, not particularly wanting to face his cousin yet.
"Outside Mr. Potter. You can come back when that arm looks twice its size" Pomfrey dead panned, she knew only too well how to deal with Potters and he needed to be much better than that if he hoped to get around her.
James too seemed to know defeat when he saw it and with a resigned sigh, he jumped off the bed and turned to take a good look at the pair waiting at the door. Derek looked slightly guilty, so James supposed he hadn't intended to find Vic but had just happened across her. Victoire however looked murderous but that wasn't anything new.
"You better hope for your own sake that Derek is telling the truth" Victoire warned.
"Of course I am! I saw her drop something in the potion!" Derek defended.
"Well that's that! We have ten minutes of potions left! So we should be getting-" James began but Victoire only looked more suspicious.
"What aren't you telling me?" She questioned.
"Really need to get back to class Vic" James said even as he grabbed Derek by the arm and broke into a sprint.
He knew Victoire wouldn't run through the corridors, she was far too dignified for that and sure enough when he looked back, she hadn't moved. Her eyebrows were twitching and her lips had thinned but that was trouble for another time.
"Miss. Malfoy? A word" Blaise called and Lyra groaned internally as she fell back, waiting for the rest of the class to file out.
"I hope she's in trouble" Derek mumbled from where he and James were crouched, right outside the classroom.
"Of course she won't be in any" James defended, not really wanting her to be in trouble. Derek who simply assumed it was a sarcastic response made a disgruntled sound.
"I can hope can't I?" Derek asked annoyed before straightening up and adding "Anyway lets go"
James motioned for him to go on and Derek threw him an odd glance before following after the class. James on the other hand, threw on his father's cloak, crept in the opposite direction, towards where Lyra was waiting for Zabini and snuck under the first desk he could find.
A couple of moments of silence later, he heard the swishing of a cloak just to his right and he could see Zabini walk past him.
"Lyra?" Zabini called but James could hear no malice in the voice.
"Blaise" She responded, her voice much warmer. But James didn't really have time to think of the first name basis address.
"Quite a day huh?" He asked and James managed to peek through the side to catch her grimace.
"You won't tell father will you?" She asked a little nervously.
"No, and for my own sake I am not telling your mother either." Blaise winced as he thought briefly of how Hermione would react.
"I already knew you wouldn't risk that" Lyra responded with a grin.
James for his part couldn't understand a word.
"What were you thinking anyway?" Blaise questioned after a slight pause.
"Threatening to threaten someone if they insulted my father is not really a threat!" Lyra defended but she was smiling and so was Blaise.
James's expression cleared a bit. So someone had insulted her father then. He supposed he couldn't blame her. He would deck anyone who dared say a word against his father…Not that anyone would…But still….
"Be that as it may, there were three teachers in the room" Blaise pointed out and Lyra grinned wickedly.
"I noticed." Lyra told him before adding "And one of them even winked" It was Blaise's turn to grimace.
"It was amusing" He shrugged.
"You would think so" Lyra commented with a snort.
"It is. What are the odds that the one person your father accidentally poisoned has a daughter who ends up as your room mate?" Blaise was grinning.
James frowned. Draco Malfoy was a death eater so he supposed he shouldn't be surprised he had poisoned someone but it still went against everything James believed in.
"I am assuming that isn't all you are amused about?" Lyra asked dryly.
"No, there's also the fact that the trouble makers are left to me or Neville and Flitwick looked so lost trying to handle that sort of thing. There was also the look on Neville's face when he realized you were threatening people in front of a teacher. You are supposed to be quite a model student you know?" Blaise asked.
James was slightly distracted making plans on getting more information from his godfather when Lyra spoke again.
"I am!" Lyra defended instantly "I did manage to get thirty points in the first two classes and another thirty from you"
James was gaping. Sixty points? In just three hours?
"Should I worry about my house losing our name on the cup?" Blaise asked.
"Definitely" Lyra answered happily.
"Well then how about twenty points from Ravenclaw for blowing up a potion in my class?" Blaise questioned.
Lyra's eyes instantly narrowed.
"What did you expect? You put me next to Potter!" She accused and Blaise was grinning again.
"Just helping you follow the tradition dear" Blaise drawled "Though I must say I was rather disappointed, you could have at least done some damage with the beetle wings. The dried nettle wouldn't even scald him and you knew it"
James was listening to a professor admonishing a student for not causing enough damage to another student but he wouldn't be James Potter if he focused on the actual crux of the topic not would he? So no, he decided to be happy over Lyra's response instead.
"I wasn't thinking of doing any damage. But thank you for reminding me to be mad at you" Lyra snapped.
"Me?" Blaise asked in genuine surprise.
"You ruined my favorite lesson by putting me with Potter who if you must know expects me to believe he loves me. So yes it is entirely your fault." Lyra fumed.
Blaise sputtered for a moment, his face going horribly slack as Lyra glared at him.
"The break is almost over! My next class starts in five minutes!" She added before stalking out of the room.
It took James a moment longer than Zabini to recover and when he did manage it, he snuck out of the class undetected, his mind far away.
He had told Neville yesterday that he loved her so he supposed he shouldn't be worried that she had told Zabini, they did seem close…
But there was also the fact that she still didn't seem to believe that he actually loved her…
While he debated which point was more worrisome, he turned the final corner that led away from the dungeons and found his answer.
After all nothing could be more worrisome than Victoire and Lyra standing across each other with their wands drawn!
A/N : Did the long chapter make up for the absence? Do leave a review!