The Potions Master

26 1 0

"There, look."

"Where?"

"Next to the tall kid with the red hair."

"Wearing the glasses?"

"Did you see her face?"

"Did you see her scar?"

Whispers followed Rain from the moment she woke up the next day. She even had an argument with Lavender and Parvati, where she pulled her hair back and shoved her forehead in their faces and screamed at them to get over it — though it was a lot easier when Amity slithered our from under the blankets and they were shocked into silence. People lined up outside classrooms stood on tiptoe to get a look at her, or doubled back to pass her in the corridors again, staring. Rain walked through the corridors with her head held high, trying not to let the stares get to her. It did make it easy to get to class when a path was automatically cleared for her.

They had to study the night skies through their telescopes every Wednesday at midnight and learn the names of different stars and the movements of the planets. Three times a week they went out to the greenhouses behind the castle to study Herbology, with a dumpy little witch called Professor Sprout, where they learned how to take care of all the strange plants and fungi, and found out what they were used for. Easily the most boring class was History of Magic, which was the only one taught by a ghost. Professor Binns had been very old indeed when he had fallen asleep in front of the staff room fire and got up next morning to teach, leaving his body behind him. Binns droned on and on while they scribbled down names and dates, and got Emetic the Evil and Uric the Oddball mixed up. Rain typically used the class as an attempt to either get homework done, or study independently (history or wizarding culture).

Professor Flitwick, the Charms teacher, was a tiny little wizard who had to stand on a pile of books to see over his desk. At the start of their first class he took the roll call, and when he reached Rain's name he gave an excited squeak and toppled out of sight.

Professor McGonagall was again different. Rain had been quite right to think she wasn't a teacher to cross. Strict and clever, she gave them a talking-to the moment they sat down in her first class.

"Transfiguration is some of the most complex and dangerous magic you will learn at Hogwarts," She said. "Anyone messing around in my class will leave and not come back. You have been warned."

Then she changed her desk into a pig and back again. They were all very impressed and couldn't wait to get started, but soon realized they weren't going to be changing the furniture into animals for a long time. After taking a lot of complicated notes, they were each given a match and started trying to turn it into a needle. By the end of the lesson, only Hermione Granger had made any difference to her match; Professor McGonagall showed the class how it had gone all silver and pointy and gave Hermione a rare smile.

The class everyone had really been looking forward to was Defense Against the Dark Arts, but Quirrell's lessons turned out to be a bit of a joke. His classroom smelled strongly of garlic, which everyone said was to ward off a vampire he'd met in Romania and was afraid would be coming back to get him one of these days. His turban, he told them, had been given to him by an African prince as a thank-you for getting rid of a troublesome zombie, but they weren't sure they believed this story. For one thing, when Seamus Finnigan asked eagerly to hear how Quirrell had fought off the zombie, Quirrell went pink and started talking about the weather; for another, they had noticed that a funny smell hung around the turban, and the Weasley twins insisted that it was stuffed full of garlic as well, so that Quirrell was protected wherever he went.

Rain was very relieved to find out that she wasn't miles behind everyone else. Lots of people had come from muggle families and, like her, hadn't had any idea that they were witches and wizards. There was so much to learn that even people like Ron didn't have much of a head start.

Thunder and Lightning || Fred WeasleyWhere stories live. Discover now