Izzy Heart, Potions Extraordinaire

So I’ve been reading Harry Potter and I was going to write a post about those books mean to me and my life, but instead I just wrote a story about some original characters of mine in the Harry Potter universe, from a prompt I saw on Tumblr. Heh.

As a disclaimer, Izzy, Patrick and the few extra random students are mine, all professors and potions and literally everything else are from the mind and books of J.K. Rowling. Additionally, the premise of this story comes from the mind of a Tumblr user I haven’t been able to find the original post for, but it’s their prompt idea. In all, this is just a story for fun :^)

Izzy Heart, Potions Extraordinaire 

Izzy skidded before the stairway leading down the dungeons, torches lit along the dark walls. It was quite rainy outside, and the already dim hallway to the potions classroom had the appearance of nighttime, when it was hardly afternoon.

The cold, dreary rain had been the reason her bed had looked so very warm and appealing when she’d stopped in her dormitory after lunch, full and drowsy. She’d meant to grab her Advanced Potion Making book so she could finish the essay due in class today. She did not mean to fall asleep and wake up, groggy and confused, ten minutes after class had already started. Now she raced to class, essay unfinished and fifteen minutes late.

She stopped outside the doorway for the briefest second to catch her breath and straighten her robes, then pushed the dungeon door open as quietly as she could, hoping Professor Slughorn might not notice her lateness, or, indeed, to collect her essay.

“Ah, Miss Heart!”

No such luck.

“Late because you lost track of time studying, no doubt,” Professor Slughorn said, giving her a wink. Izzy gave him a weak smile and let out a sigh of relief as she slunk to her seat. He wasn’t mad, at least, not that she had really expected him to be. She wasn’t one of his prized students, but he’d always liked her well enough; Izzy had the impression that she amused him.

She dumped her bag onto her usual stool, glancing around at the cauldrons of her classmates bubbling cheerfully around her. They carried an interesting scent. Her eyes fell on neck of the boy in front of her.

“What’s it today, McCloud?” she said without thinking, pulling her book out of her bag. She realized what the room smelled like, which was vaguely odd; it had to be wafting from his cauldron. “Brewing your own cologne? Plan on giving it to yourself for Valentine’s Day?” she snickered.

Izzy didn’t immediately notice how the Patrick McCloud’s shoulders went rigid, and when she looked up again she found the eyes of everyone in the class looking at her, gaping.

She glanced around, suddenly self-conscience. Was she missing something? Slowly, Patrick turned around to look at her, eyes wide.

Professor Slughorn’s booming laugh broke the silence. “Oh ho! Five points to Hufflepuff for a potion well brewed, Mr. McCloud.” He clapped his hands together, grinning. “Now carry on, class, and Miss Heart, turn to page 161.”

As the class turned back to their cauldrons, several girls dissolving into giggles as they glanced between her and Patrick, Izzy felt her cheeks burn without any apparent idea why. Ducking her head, she quickly flipped to page 161.

“Amortentia is the most powerful love potion in the world. It is distinctive for its mother-of-pearl sheen, and steam rises from the potion in spirals. Amortentia smells different to each person, according to what attracts them.”

Izzy felt the bottom drop out of her stomach, her cheeks heating so fiercely she felt in danger of actually catching on fire. The text blurred in front of her eyes.

She looked up, embarrassment scorching to her core. Patrick had turned back around, but if she wasn’t imagining things, he sat a bit taller, his shoulders a bit straighter.

Oh no.

Oh no oh no.

Izzy wished she had slept right through class. She shouldn’t even have bothered coming at all. It was Friday, anyway, she should have just given herself a nice start to the weekend. Cheeks still burning, she got up and crossed the room to gather supplies, eyes on the floor. Why had she said that? In front of the entire class, too!

She was going to hex Patrick to Saturn.

Hands shaking with a mixture of embarrassment and fury, she began to chop her ingredients, following the steps in her book.

Halfway done, and her potion looked nothing like the description said it was supposed to.

“Ten minutes left! A goblet on my desk by the end of class, please!”

Izzy glanced down at her potion, forehead glazed with sweat. It smelled like something burning, like fuel from the Hogwarts Express. What did that mean?

Patrick hopped off his stool, holding a goblet of glistening, pearly liquid. He glanced around at her, eyes flickering to her own potion, a bubbling, murky yellow.

“What are you looking at?” she snapped.

He simply rolled his eyes and walked with his potion to the front of the class and placed it carefully on Professor Slughorn’s desk with the rest of their classmate’s potions, all varying in their degrees of shimmer and white sheen.

Ten minutes later and the only student left in the class, Izzy brought her potion to the head of the classroom, perhaps a shade less mucky than it had been, a faint glimmer of white.  Izzy looked at it gloomily beside the rest of the potions, miles ahead of hers.

She looked up and met Slughorn’s smiling eyes, shining with poorly concealed amusement.

“Ah, I wouldn’t worry too much about that,” he said, gesturing to her goblet. “Amortentia can throw off even the cleverest of wizards and witches.” He paused, raising his eyebrows. “Besides, I don’t think you’ll ever have to worry about needing to brew this particular sort of potion.”

With a massive wink, he dismissed her, and Izzy stumbled out of the classroom with a face burning scarlet.

* * *

The short answer was, Izzy and Patrick hated one another was because their birthdays happened to reside on the same day.

They had been friends, perhaps best friends, a general rarity for two students who came from different houses. Patrick, a particularly bright Hufflepuff, and Izzy, the fiery Gryffindor were stuck together like glue during their first year at Hogwarts.

They’d met on Platform 9 ¾, when Izzy came barreling through the barrier and crashed right into a skinny boy with fair hair and pale eyes on a face that had not quite grown into its handsomeness yet. She caught him right in the side, and their heads banged together so hard her eyes watered.

“Oops- sorry!” she squeaked, rubbing the painful lump forming beneath her blonde hair, face flaming red. She’d been so excited, so nervous about finally going to Hogwarts and she’d gone and mucked it up already.

“It’s okay,” he said, wincing and rubbing the spot on his own head. Izzy’s parents came strolling through the barrier then, grinning and reminiscing old times from their own school days, and whisked her off to get her on the train.

Once she’d found herself in a compartment by herself and brain rattling with about a million nerves (most of all at the fact that she didn’t have any friends, when everyone else seemed frighteningly chummy with each other), her door slid open.

In walked the fair haired boy, looking about as nervous as she felt. “Mind if I sit here?” he asked her, pointing to the seat opposite her. “I don’t know anyone else, and all the other compartments are full.”

She should have just said yes, but instead she heard herself say, “You don’t know me either.”

The boy shrugged. “You crashed into me at the barrier.”

At least she had one connection, Izzy thought to herself as the boy sat down. “Are you Muggleborn?” she asked him.

“No,” he said. He blushed slightly. “Just don’t know anyone else from Hogwarts.”

Okay, someone Izzy could relate to.

It wasn’t hard, becoming friends with Patrick on that first ride to Hogwarts. They got along easily over the strawberry tarts Izzy bought from the trolley (her favorite), even if their discussion on which Hogwarts house was best did get a little heated. (“Gryffindor, obviously.” “What’s bravery if you’re not clever, through? Ravenclaw is definitely the best.”)

By the time they got off the train, however, both were rattling with a fresh wave of nerves and neither were at all sure they were good enough for the houses they so hoped to get into. Both of Izzy’s parents had been Gryffindors, and Patrick had come from generations of Ravenclaws.

Izzy hoped desperately to get into Gryffindor, but there was another new, small part of her that simply wanted to be in the same house as her new friend, no matter which one it was.

As it turned out “Heart, Isadora!” got into “GRYFFINDOR!” and with a massive wave of relief Izzy hopped off the sorting hat stool and joined her new fellow Gryffindors at their table. Slowly, her nerves crept back up on her as she waited for Patrick’s name to be called.

“McCloud, Patrick!” finally walked up to the stool on shaky legs and McGonagall placed the hat on him, where it sat for one long minute before it called out, “HUFFLEPUFF!”

Izzy sat, stunned as Patrick looked on the sorting stool, before he got up and walked not to the Ravenclaw table he had expressed so much hope for on the train, but to the crowd of smiling, cheering Hufflepuffs that now awaited him.

After the feast and a desert of more strawberry  tarts (some of which she may have smuggled into her robes), Izzy broke away from some of her new Gryffindor friends and found Patrick along the edge of the Hufflepuff crowd making their way out of the Great Hall.

“Patrick!”

He turned and smiled upon seeing her, looking a bit calmer now.

“Sorry about- you know,” she said once she was close enough to talk to him, voice lowered. Patrick chewed on his lip.

“It’s alright,” he said. “I was just surprised because- well, there’s only two other Hufflepuffs in my family, two distant cousins, but-” He paused, glancing back at his new housemates. “These lot are friendly, and I think I always knew I wasn’t clever enough to be a Ravenclaw, anyway.”

“Wish you could have at least got Gryffindor,” Izzy said gloomily.

Patrick grinned at her. “Doesn’t mean we still can’t be friends, does it?”

Friends they were that year, despite their different houses. Izzy would always remember her first year fondly, even if it all came to a halt at the very end, in June.

Their birthdays, they had come to discover in a conversation that convinced them they were always “destined to be friends,” happened to fall on the exact same day. The fifth of June.

The plan had to been to have a massive, joint birthday party with all of their Gryffindor and Hufflepuff friends, and even a few of their Ravenclaw and Slytherin ones (“Even Slytherin?” “Yes, Izzy. Todd Spincell is my friend!” “But… ”“Come on, we’ll unite the houses!”).

This grand party of united forces was the only good thing Izzy could foresee about the year coming to a close, as she wasn’t looking forward to going home at all now that she’d grown to love her life at Hogwarts.

On the night of June fourth, too excited for sleep, Izzy stayed up in the Gryffindor Common Room, watching the ancient grandfather clock tick away the minutes until midnight. When it did, with a jolt of excitement much too big to bear, she decided there seemed like nothing better to do than to go wake up Patrick. That was, if he too wasn’t already awake from the prospect of turning twelve years old.

Quietly, she snuck out of Gryffindor Tower and made her way down near the kitchens, where she knew the entrance to the Hufflepuff Common Room was hidden behind a pile of barrels. It was easy enough to enter; all one had to do was tap the rhythm of ‘Helga Hufflepuff’ on one of the barrels, and voila- anyone could get in.

Of course, it was a general rule among Hufflepuffs not to tell their classmates from other houses how to get into their common room, but of course Patrick had told Izzy before he’d realized that, and even if he hadn’t Izzy liked to think she’d have gotten it out of him anyway. By now, Hufflepuffs were so used to seeing her they greeted her as if she was just another member of their house.

However, instead of walking to a quiet, empty common room, Izzy found herself in the midst of a celebration.

The Hufflepuff basement glowed merrily, plates of food on every surface. Laughing students ate cake and took swigs of butterbeer and whatever else the elves next door had seemed fit to supply.

Finally, someone noticed her, a third year girl named Dawn with frizzy blonde hair, and waved her over. “Did Pat tell you we were having a celebration for his birthday, Izzy?” she said, handing her a piece of cake.

Izzy looked around, surprised, and finally found him, in the midst of a small pile of gifts, laughing with the other first year Hufflepuffs and several older students.

His eyes lit up when he noticed her, and he waved her over to enjoy the party. When he told everyone it was Izzy’s birthday as well, everyone cheered for her, came around to clap her on the shoulder, and she even received a few gifts as well.

By the end of the night (or beginning of the morning, seeing as it was 2 am), Izzy was full of strawberry tart the elves had brought in upon her birthday request, and in a drowsy state of content. Most of the Hufflepuffs had since retired to their beds, and Izzy found herself beginning to long for her own, especially if she wanted to be rested for their real party the next day.

Until Patrick said, “Dunno if we need to have our party tomorrow, hm?”

Izzy looked at him.

“What?”

“Like- we’ve had a party tonight, right? And everyone’s going to be sleeping in tomorrow and then they all have to study for the rest of exams.”

“But,” Izzy said, staring at him, “we’ve already planned it all.”

Patrick bit his lip, beginning to look a bit uncomfortable. “Just, you see, Iz, er- Hufflepuff has tradition of throwing parties for birthdays at midnight, the kitchens being so near and all, and, I dunno, I didn’t expect one since I’m just a first year, but-”

Izzy narrowed her eyes. “But you’ve had your party? What about my friends?”

Patrick’s eyes widened. “I wasn’t saying that- just, Hufflepuff might not be there now we’ve had this and I didn’t want you to be-”

“Disappointed?” Izzy finished for him. “Well you’re too late. I just didn’t realize that your house and your friends and your birthday were the only things that mattered to you.”

“Izzy, you know that’s not true-”

She did, didn’t she, but she was mad, and upset, and tired, and she turned right around and marched straight out of the Hufflepuff common room.

The thing was, Izzy possessed one of the most frustrating of Gryffindor traits; stubbornness. The next day at lunch (Izzy skipped breakfast) Patrick tried to approach her, but she turned to one of her Gryffindor friends and began a conversation until she saw him walk away.

There was no party that night.

“What’d you mean, no party?” her fellow Gryffindors said disappointedly, most of them first years who had never been to a Hogwarts party before. Izzy gave a resolute “no” and hoped that Slytherin Todd Spincell hadn’t been alerted to the change of plans and showed up to an empty room.

Patrick tried to talk to her until he didn’t anymore, and soon the year was over and Izzy went home in a compartment on the Hogwarts Express full of Gryffindors, very different from her ride to Hogwarts at the start of the year.

It was a petty, dumb fight, but Izzy couldn’t admit that.

And so the summer came and went, second year came and Izzy and Patrick began to forget what they’d fallen out over but the animosity remained, like the beginning of most Hogwarts rivalries.

Third year, they both made their respective Quidditch teams, and Beater Heart sent most of her time aiming bludgers toward Hufflepuff Keeper McCloud’s head.

Fourth year, an unfortunate partnership in Herbology ended with undiluted bubotuber pus on both of their faces that kept them in the hospital wing for three long days.

Fifth year, Patrick’s Valentines Day trip to Hogsmead with Ravenclaw Lily Hansley ended with Lily’s cloak mysteriously catching  on fire, and Izzy’s name somehow ended up in the ensuing argument, as if her soot covered hands had anything to do with it.

Sixth year, Izzy was ready to commit murder over the Amortentia blunder.

* * *

The Slytherin table burst into laughter the minute Izzy walked into the Great Hall for dinner that night. Obviously, the entire school had learned about it. Izzy grasped her wand tightly in her robes, cheeks flaming as she made her way to her table, resolute on not walking back out like some pathetic flobberworm, even if she felt like one.

“Heard about Potions, Heart!” a Slythern girl Izzy had particularly never gotten on with, Jamie Sleeny, shouted to the Gryffindor table. “Are you that desperate, or really just that stupid?”

Slytherin laughter rang out again, and Izzy ground her teeth together, temper flaring dangerously as she stared down the beef stew she’d just ladled into a bowl. She wasn’t hungry at all, but once the laughter died down, she began to shove tasteless spoonfuls  into her mouth.

“Er- Hey Izzy?”

What do you want?” she growled, rounding on whoever had spoken behind her.

Patrick McCloud, eyes wide and gripping the bookbag slung over his shoulder, stood behind her.

“You!” she said, and several students eating dinner looked around at her. Izzy jumped out of her seat and poked him right in the chest. “You are the cause of all my problems, you know that?”

Patrick’s eyes widened. “Me? Just because I know how to brew a potion and you can never keep your little mocking mouth shut?”

“Not my fault you’re so mockable-”

“That’s not even a word.”

“What, are you still hoping Ravenclaw will let you in?”

Patrick’s eyes narrowed. “Do you ever let go of anything, Izzy? Are you just going to hold grudges for the rest of your life?”

Izzy glowered, something deep in her chest shriveling. “You’re a jerk.”

“I’m not,” Patrick said. “You’re always so defensive. Doesn’t it ever get tiring, being so angry all the time? Or is it just when I’m around?”

Izzy curled her hands into fists. His words were making her feel very small, suddenly, and she hated it.

He glared for another moment, then dropped his shoulders, looking resigned. “Look, Izzy, I didn’t come here to fight with you. That’s rarely my intention, you know.”

Izzy felt the urge to say, could have fooled me, but his previous words make her bite her tongue, chest clenching.

Patrick sighed. “Listen, I know I’ve said this already, but in case you didn’t actually hear me five years ago, I’m sorry about your birthday.”

Izzy felt her chest shrivel further, feeling very small, and nearly as stupid as Jamie Sleeny called her just minutes ago.

It was dumb, that Patrick felt he had to apologize for something that wasn’t his fault, for something she shouldn’t have been so mad about in the first place. Something that happened when they were twelve years old.

She said nothing, sinking into her thoughts, and Patrick began to fidget, eyes still on her face.

“Right- so, that’s all I wanted to say,” he said, straightening his bag on his shoulder. “I’ll see you around, then.”

He walked away, back to the Hufflepuff table on the other side of the hall. Izzy was left standing there,  her stew left cold on the table behind her. Not very hungry at all, she scooped up her bag and decided to head back to her common room. (Not without grabbing a few strawberry tarts and stuffing them in her cloak first, because she didn’t need the added regret of hunger from not eating dinner).

* * *

Izzy slunk into Potions class the next Monday after a weekend trapped in thoughts and the realization that perhaps it was time to own up to her own stubbornness.

It was a painful process, coming to terms with the fact that she’d have to own up to her mistakes, her own grudges. And she’d had a lot of them. That, and slaving over the rest of that essay she’d never finished last week.

She was early, earlier than she usually got to class, and much earlier than she’d arrived on Friday. Ignoring the eyes of the few other students in the classroom, she slid into a seat she didn’t normally sit in.

Izzy busied herself taking out her books and cauldron as the rest of the class filed in. Finally, the stool beside her creaked as a weight sat on top of it, and Izzy felt her cheeks begin to warm before she even looked up.

When she did, it was to meet two curious, pale brown eyes. The yellow stripes on his tie complemented his them in a beautifully odd way.

Oh no. This was a bad idea.

“Curious change of seating,” Professor Slughorn said as he strode into the room, and Izzy felt her face burn like the sun. Honestly, if it wasn’t rude to tell a Professor to shut up-

“Anyway,” Slughorn clapped his hands together and looked at the class from the front of the room. “Splendid job, I must say, a number of top marks from last lesson. I’ve got them here,” he said, holding up his hand, a fistful of parchment, and Izzy felt her heart drop. She, most certainly, was not one of the top marks.

“Now, should I give them out now, or wait for end of class…” he said, a wry smile on his face. End of class, Izzy hoped silently as the rest of the class began to object, asking for them now. “Ah, okay, here you go now, no need to complain…” He pulled out his wand and sent the respective parchments zooming to each student.

Patrick’s parchment slid neatly into his waiting hands, one of the top marks, Izzy assumed. Izzy let her own flutter into her empty cauldron. Reluctantly, she reached in and picked it up.

E. E?

Stunned, Izzy turned her parchment over, as if it might hold an explanation for an Exceeds Expectations on her Amortentia potion. Finding nothing, she looked up. Surely Slughorn must have made a mistake.

Despite her amazement, the lesson started and Izzy stuffed the grade into her robes. If she got an E on her last potion, she thought to herself as she turned to the page for hiccoughing solution, surely she’d be able to get an O no problem.

She and Patrick worked side by side, silently, for the entire class, which was perhaps a feat in of itself. Painfully aware of his presence, Izzy trained several times to say something, but the words got stuck in her throat. By the time they’d begun to clean up their supplies, Izzy felt rather foolish, sitting beside him and saying none of the things she’d planned. She wasn’t nearly as brave a Gryffindor as she liked to believe she was.

“What’d you get, then?”

Izzy looked up. Patrick’s cauldron was entirely clean and he had his bag slung over his shoulder. She blinked at him.

“On the Amortentia. What was your grade?”

It was her first impulse to narrow her eyes, accuse him of some sort of competition, to mind his own business.

“I saw the look on your face when you got it, I’m just curious,” he said, shrugging.

Oh. Well. Silently, Izzy pulled the parchment out of her robes and handed it to him.

Before he’d hardly had a chance to glance at it, she heard herself saying. “Do you- I mean, you saw my potion. Do you think Professor Slughorn made a mistake?”

Patrick looked at it for a long moment, then looked back up at her and met her eyes. “No,” he said slowly. “I don’t think he made a mistake.”

“You don’t?” she said, shocked all over again. “But then- how?”

Patrick looked down, folding the parchment back up. “Well, it couldn’t have been that ineffective,” he said. “I did smell the particularly strong scent of strawberry tart wafting from your cauldron.”

He handed her grade back to her, raised his eyebrows, and with the tiniest smirk on his lips, headed for the door.

Izzy stared, mouth hanging open, as the reality of his words washed over her. It was a funny sensation, like drowning and coming back to life all at once.

“Ah, I do love the Amortentia lesson,” Professor Slughorn said as Izzy was, yet again, the last to finish cleaning her supplies. His eyes sparkled with amusement. “Don’t you?”

 

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