VIII. FELICITY HATES PORCUPINE QUILLS

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      "Porcupine quills, Opal? Why would you put porcupine quills in this? What possessed you to think that was even a remotely good idea?"

      Felicity swore she was going to Avada Kedavra Severus Snape. At this point, life in Azkaban seemed worth it. She could understand why he was upset. Slughorn was letting them use his Potions classroom for tutoring so they actually had all the equipment, and Felicity had made the cauldron explode, but still. Snape could be nicer about it. 

      "I've seen people fail Potions, but this is ridiculous. You are absolutely unteachable."

      Felicity tried her best to not let frustrated tears come to her eyes. It wasn't even that his words were hurting her feelings (she'd be stupid to ever let someone like Snape hurt her feelings), but she was getting more and more angry with him. 

      "A first year has more skill than this."

      "Shut up!" she finally yelled, all of her anger and frustration snapping like an elastic. "Merlin, just shut up! We get it, I'm awful at Potions, but guess what? You were supposed to know that. You were told by Slughorn that you had to tutor me. Do you know what tutor means? It means someone is having trouble with a subject, and they need help. Not that they know how to make every single potion known to the wizarding world. If you didn't grasp this fact, you shouldn't have agreed to help me. You're great at Potions, that's wonderful. You aren't the only one. I'm sure Slughorn would be plenty happy to have someone else tutor me if you would rather sit here and ridicule me, but for the love of everything good, shut. The. Bloody. Hell. Up."

      The room around them was silent. Snape was staring at her in disbelief, his eyes wide as she took in a few deep breaths to try and calm herself down. She didn't know what it was (that was a lie, she definitely knew) about Snape that annoyed her so much, but he was like an ever-present rain cloud that showered negativity. It was tiring. She wasn't sure she had ever realized how much someone could hate until she met Severus Snape.

      "You use crushed lavender," Snape said after a few more moments of silence. She wished it would have lasted longer.

      "What?" she sighed out, exasperated. 

      "You don't use porcupine quills," he replied, and his voice was still sarcastic, but significantly less so. "You use crushed lavender. It's why the potion exploded."

      Felicity latched onto this piece of information and looked at the Potions book in front of her. Sure enough, it was written there on the page. Two teaspoons of crushed lavender. As her eyes scanned upwards, she realized she had been looking at an entirely different potion when she had read about the two porcupine quills. 

      It was silent as she stirred in the crushed lavender instead of the porcupine quills. The potion turned a light frothy pink color, which meant she was doing it right. 

      "I'm sorry," she said after a few moments of silence. "I don't know what came over me. I've never reacted that way, and I don't plan to start now."

      He didn't say anything until the lesson was over. "We'll meet again next week," he said lowly, and with that, he was off. Felicity sighed. As much of a git as Snape was, he was still helping her with Potions (after he stopped criticizing her, of course). 

      When Felicity got back to the Hufflepuff common room, she almost didn't notice the additional three boys sitting on the yellow couch. She was halfway to the stairs to walk up to her dorm when she turned, eyeing the three as they chatted with Lanelle.

      "Oh!" Lanelle said, as if she hadn't seen Felicity walk in. "How was Potions?"

      "I want to die."

      "That well, huh?"

      Felicity plopped down on the couch next to Lanelle, accepting the Bertie Bott's bean that the dark-skinned Hufflepuff offered. She promptly spit it out two seconds later when the taste of blood filled her mouth.

      "Sorry," Lanelle said with a grimace, "thought it was black cherry."

      "What're you lot doing here?" Felicity asked Sirius, James, and Peter. She wished she didn't know that Remus was on his prefect patrol round, but she did. "Prank everyone in Gryffindor and have come to torture us Hufflepuffs?"

      "Actually, we're trying to get Remus a love life. He mentioned you offered to help him out, so we've come to collect information."

      Felicity groaned. "And it's imperative that we do this tonight?"

      When they all three responded "yes" at the same time, she wondered if they had rehearsed it.

      "Okay, so according to you, a female," James started, crossing one leg over the other, "what is the best way for Remus to approach said girl?"

      Remus could walk up to her with an owl on his head and she'd still be stupid not to like him, is what she wanted to say. What she actually said wasn't even remotely close. "I told him already, be himself. Remus is incredibly nice and sweet. She'll be thrilled, especially if she's dealt with the likes of you three."

      "I resent that, but point taken. How should he start a conversation with this girl?"

      Felicity closed her eyes, letting out a sigh. The last thing she wanted to be discussing was Remus Lupin's love life, especially because it wasn't going to include her. "Tell her an interesting fact."

      "An interesting fact?"

      "About himself, yes. Say hello and get through the pleasantries and stuff first, but then hit her with an interesting fact. He's got a secret tattoo, he was born on Christmas, whatever interesting fact comes to mind. It'll leave her feeling confused, yes, but also intrigued."

      I know he doesn't have a secret tattoo, Felicity thought bitterly. And I know he wasn't born on Christmas.

      "Right. We'll relay the message. And that's it?"

      Felicity looked over to Sirius with a menacing glare. "I'm tired. I just dealt with Snape for two hours. Yes, for tonight, that's it."

      "Alright, then. We'll see you lovely ladies in the morning," Sirius said happily, standing from the couch. James and Peter followed. "Goodnight!"

      When the door swung shut behind them, Felicity leaned onto Lanelle's shoulder. "Please kill me."

      "Oh, honey. You aren't worth the years in Azkaban."

      "I hate you."

lanelle is my fave okay

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