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The next morning, Hermione and I head to the potions classroom for Professor Slughorns class. As soon as we arrive, his face lights up when he sees me.

"Ah! Amelia Potter! When I saw your name on the list, I couldn't help but jump for joy! Metaphorically of course. Come, come, find a seat!"

I do as he says and Hermione follows. We take our seats.

"He certainly seems happy to see you in this class." Hermione whispers. I scoff.

"That's only because he wants to collect me." She gives me a confused look. "Professor Slughorn picks out a few students each year to join his little club. Students that are meant for great things or are famous or smart. He just wants to reap the rewards once they've graduated and gotten these amazing jobs."

"That's awful. He's just using them for his own personal gain."

"He's not a bad guy, he just knows when to snatch up an opportunity." I tell her. She rolls her eyes. "And something tells me he'll want both of us for his club."

Then, Harry drags Ron inside, the other students turn in unison. Hermione frowns. Lavender, seeing Ron, beams.

"Harry m'boy! I was beginning to worry! And I see we've brought someone with us..." Slughorn lights up again.

"Ron Weasley, sir. But I'm dead awful at Potions, a menace actually, so I probably should just be going..." Ron introduces himself and tries to make a speedy exit.

"Nonsense, we'll sort you out. Any friend of Harry's is a friend of mine. Right then, books out..."

"Um, sorry, sir, but I haven't got my book yet, nor's Ron. You see, until this morning..." my brother begins.

"Not to worry. You can get what you need from the cupboard."

As Harry and Ron step to the cupboard, Slughorn resumes, gesturing to the cauldrons bubbling before him.

"Now, as I was saying, I've prepared a few concoctions this morning. Any ideas what these might be?" Hermione and I's hands shoot up. He looks to Hermione. "Yes, Miss...?"

"Granger, sir. That one there is Veritaserum. And that would be Polyjuice Potion. And that is Amortentia! The most powerful love potion in the world. It's rumored to smell differently to each person, according to what attracts them. For example, I smell freshly mown grass and new parchment and spearmint toothpaste..." Hermione blushes, stops herself. Slughorn regards her.

"Now Amortentia doesn't create actual love, of course. That's impossible. But it does cause a powerful infatuation or obsession. For that reason, it is probably the most dangerous potion in this room." Slughorn turns, finds a sea of dreamy faces leaning into the vapors. Instantly, he clangs a cover onto the cauldron, bringing them round. As Ron blinks, he finds Lavender still staring dreamily at him. Noticing, Hermione's eyes narrow.

"Sir, you haven't told us what's in that one." I say, pointing at a small cauldron.

"Ah yes..." Slughorn steps to it. Then begins to ladle a bit of golden liquid into a tiny vial. "What you see before you, ladies and gentlemen, is a curious little potion known as Felix Felicis. But it is more commonly referred to as-"

"Liquid luck." I finish for him.

A buzz runs through the class. Even Malfoy perks up.

"Yes, Miss Potter. Desperately tricky to make. Disastrous should you get it wrong. But brewed correctly, as this has been, it has remarkable powers. One sip and you will find that all your endeavors succeed... at least until the effects wear off."

"But then why don't people drink it all the time?" Ron asks.

"Because taken in excess it causes giddiness, recklessness and dangerous overconfidence." I answer him. Then look to Professor Slughorn. "Have you ever taken it, sir?"

"Twice. Once when I was twenty-four. Once when I was fifty- seven. Two tablespoons taken at breakfast. Two perfect days..." Slughorn eyes the vial dreamily, adrift. Finally he blinks. "So. This is what I offer each of you today. One tiny vial of liquid luck... to the student who, in the hour that remains, manages to brew an acceptable Draught of Living Death, the recipe for which can be found on page ten of your textbook." Excitement seizes the class. Slughorn smiles knowingly. "You should know that in all the years of my previous tenure at Hogwarts, not once did a student brew a potion of sufficient quality to claim this prize. In any event, good luck."

Slughorn sets the vial upon his desk, where it shimmers in a shaft of sunlight. Harry and I open our books. He frowns. The margins of the page before him are black with the tight scribbling of a previous owner. The same creepy graffiti fills the next page as well, on and on throughout the book. Shaking his head, Harry runs his finger under the first printed instructions: "Cut up one Sopophorous bean."

Harry takes the silver dagger upon his desk, poises it over the bean when... Ron's bean shoots across the room and bounces off Katie Bell's head. Harry surveys the rest of the room: everyone is struggling to cut the resistant legume, even I am finding it difficult. He glances back to his book, considers the instruction again.

An arrow has been drawn from the word "Cut" to the margin, where a modification has been written in the tight scrawl: "Crush with blade -- releases juice better."

Harry considers the dagger in his hand, then places the flat of the blade against the bean and presses. Instantly, the protective parchment covering the desk runs red with juice.

"How did you do that?" Hermione asks as he drops the juice into the cauldron.

"Crush it. Don't cut it."

"No. The instructions specifically say to cut."

"No. Really." He says. I try it and it proves to work better than cutting.

My classmates continue to struggle, even Hermione. I look at my instructions in the book and then glance at Harry's. Almost every line is modified by the previous owner. I try to follow my brother as much as I can, because his potion is looking a lot better than anyone else's.

My didn't turn out perfect, but it was better than most of the others.

Slughorn wends his way amongst the cauldrons, nodding with sympathy at the fiascos before him. He comes to mine.

"Yours is the best so far, Mia. You're in the lead." His smile gleams. I nod. Then... he stops, staring in disbelief at the pearly sheen of one bubbling potion. My brothers. "Merlin's Beard! But it's perfect. So perfect I daresay one sip would kill us all! Your mother was a dab hand at potions, but this... My, my, what can't you do, m'boy? Perhaps you and your sister will save us all in the end..." All eyes turn to Harry and I. His smile falters. "Here you are then, as promised. One bottle of Felix Felicis. Use it well."

Slowly, Harry reaches out, taking the glittering vial.

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