The Unexpected Ally

[6th year told from a different POV] A new addition to the Hogwarts family comes from North America. After being home-schooled, it's time to be reunited this visitor's last surviving family member and finish their schooling. A bond between the two family members causes havoc and unlikely friendships. This unexpected ally aids in the quest to rid the world of Lord Voldemort once and for all.

(All characters and ideas are by the talented J.K. Rowling, I own nothing.
Some aspects of this book aren't the same as the novels or movies, I tweaked a few things here or there)


4. Remedial Potions

When Holly opened her eyes the next morning, she was a little taken back to find herself in a comfortable bed surrounded by four other sleeping girls. Everything that happened last night suddenly came rushing back to her. She was at Hogwarts, a School for Magical Witchcraft and Wizardry, sleeping in the Gryffindor tower in a four poster bed. Oh and she had a long lost twin, Harry Potter; The Boy Who Lived, and he hated her. Shaking the sleep off, Holly rose from her bed and looked into the empty chest at the foot of her bed. Inside was a note that read:

Dear Ms. Holly Jane Peters,

Unfortunately your school robes have not arrived in time. They are expected to be delivered within the next week so until then you are allowed to wear your casual clothing or Muggle wear. I have notified the staff and students so you will not get in trouble for not wearing school robes during classes. 

Wishing you a good first day,

Professor McGonagall, Head of Gryffindor House  

Holly put the letter back in her trunk and changed into a clean royal blue t-shirt and a black leather bomber-style jacket, wearing the same jeans and boots as the day before. Living on the run meant that very little possessions were allowed to be kept. As Arthur Abbott used to say, the more stuff you have, the more weight you have to carry.  

A voice from behind Holly snapped her out of her musings, "Erm Hi, I'm Hermione Granger. I was just about to go down for breakfast, are you hungry?"

Holly turned around to see a girl about her height with bushy brown hair that was tied back in a modest pony tail. Holly smiled slightly and followed Hermionie down to the Gryffindor common room. The room contained comfy couches and arm chairs, a roaring fireplace, and assorted desks and paintings. Hermione led Holly to where two boys and a girl were standing, waiting for them. The tall red-haired boy was introduced as Ron Weasley and the girl with the same flaming red hair was his sister Ginny Weasley who was in the year behind them. Standing beside the siblings was none other than Holly's twin Harry Potter. When he saw Holly his grin changed to a grimace and immediately turned away from her, walking towards the portrait hole out of the common room. With an apologetic smile at Holly, Ginny quickly followed Harry with Ron close at her heels. 

As the group reached the Great Hall, the awkwardness elevated at least ten times. As soon as Holly set foot in the hall, every student stopped what they were doing and stared at her. The worst part was that as soon as she walked past someone, they would turn and start whispering fiercely to their neighbour. Holly was very easy to spot among the sea of black robes.

"Guess it wasn't the best day to wear royal blue and leather," Holly thought to herself.

Breakfast wasn't very exciting as Harry did his best to exclude Holly from the conversation, getting the group to talk about their adventures last summer, what happened last year and a few other things in undertone so Holly couldn't hear. Professor McGonagall started handing out timetables and Harry groaned slightly when he saw that his and Holly's timetables matched perfectly. Potions and Charms with the Slytherins first thing in the morning just added to his annoyance.  Holly was halfway through her pancakes when Harry decided it was time to go to class. To avoid being left behind and to fend for herself finding the Potions classroom, Holly abandoned her breakfast despite being half full. When they reached the Entrance Hall, Ginny headed up the stairs to her History of Magic class while Harry, Ron and Hermione turned to the passageways to the dungeons. After winding their way through an assortment of hallways, they finally reached their classroom. The trio took their seats as Holly approached an elderly man, who was bald and had an enormous belly. 

"Professor Slughorn, hi, uhm, my name is Holly Peters, I'm not sure if Professor McGonagall told you yet but I'm very behind in Potions, like never-made-one-in-my-life behind." 

Before Professor Slughorn had a chance to answer, Holly heard a comment made from behind her back.

"Pfft never made a potion before? What is she, a Squib?"

Without turning her back Holly immediately threw a comment right back, "Well when you're living on the run you don't really have time to make trivial things like a 'Beautiful Hair Potion"' or 'Love Potion' now do you?" 

After hearing about thirty seconds of silence, Holly turned her attention back to the professor.

"Right well, ah I guess Ms. Potter, I mean Peters, you can spend the first part of the class reading your textbook. Professor McGonagall told me you just received your books today so that will be a good start. Please take your seat in the back table while I figure out how I'm going to plan your teaching."

Holly turned on her heels and walked to the lonely table in the back of the room. She noticed that Seamus Finnigan had taken the only empty seat next to Ron and that the whole table adverted their eyes from Holly's. Sighing slightly Holly took her seat and immersed herself in her new textbook. Taking a breather when her head started spinning with all the new terminology and instructions on proper heating and stirring, Holly briefly heard the professor talking about a Felix Felicis potion and how the brewer of the best Draught of the Living Dead would win it. Holly shook her head at the thought of competition being the best motivator for students and tried to study the common ingredients of potions. She was interrupted however by an arrival of a very late student. Holly looked up as a boy with bright blonde hair, a prefects badge and Slytherin robes entered the class and was promptly chastised by Professor Slughorn.

"Mr. Malfoy! Very late I see, let's not make this a habit. There is no point in starting your potion for today so your mark is a zero for today's work. Please have a seat by Ms. Peters and read your textbook for the rest of the class."

Draco Malfoy whispered something urgently to the professor while the class half looked on, half immersed in their potions, many of which were emitting odd smelling odours and colours. Professor Slughorn nodded and gestured for Malfoy to take his seat while the professor turned to his desk and started rooting through paperwork. Holly kept her head down and tried to get back into her reading as Draco Malfoy sat beside her with a huff. The rest of the class consisted of silent reading by the two of them and the occasional bang and puff of smoke from the working students. At the end of class Professor Slughorn awarded Harry with the Felix Felicis potion. He had the best potion out of the entire class, even beating out Hermione who was supposed to be the best in their year. While the students were packing their belongings Professor Slughorn called Holly and Draco to his desk.

"I have figured out how I'm going to teach you Ms. Peters. Since Mr. Malfoy seems intent on coming late to this class, he will be your tutor. I've looked at your marks from last year Mr. Malfoy and it looks like you are very talented at potions. However, what you have in smarts you lack in motivation and persistence as you fail to hand in assignments and are constantly late. 

Because of this I have decided you will make an excellent tutor for Ms. Peters here. You're assignment will be to get her to produce the last and hardest potion in her textbook in before the winter break. You will both be awarded the same mark so I suggest you spend some time together outside of class to ensure a good mark. That is all, see you next lesson." With that, Professor Slughorn edged his way around the desks and into his office, shutting the door behind him.

Neither Holly or Draco said anything for a few seconds while the information sank in. Holly numbly flipped through her textbook to the last page. She let out a small groan and she looked over the potion and it's instructions. None of it made sense and the preparation alone was an hour and a half. Holly looked at Draco and saw that he too paled slightly when he saw the required potion. 

Holly looked down at the desk, "Sorry. I didn't know he was going to drag you into this as well. This isn't very fair to you."

Draco was quiet for a second then said bitterly, "This is what I get for being late. Professor Snape never would have given me this assignment." He sighed, "Oh well, we can't get out of it now so we'd better get a good mark on this. How much do you know about potions?"

Holly laughed, "I guess you missed my snippy remark at the beginning of class. I've never made a potion before."

Draco paled again then recovered quickly, "Alllright then we have a lot of work ahead of us. Read over your textbook tonight and we'll see how quickly you've picked it up by the next class and take it up from there."

After a nod of agreement from Holly, they both packed up their things and followed the rest of the class out of the classroom and up the corridor. Holly saw Harry, Ron and Hermione a few steps ahead of her in the hallway and hastened to catch up. She was just about to tap Hermione on the shoulder when she heard Harry talk.

"Did you hear Slughorn back there? Malfoy has to tutor her in potions. I don't know who I hate more of that pair; her or Malfoy."

Holly's steps faltered as she heard what Harry had said. Her face went beat red as she realized how close she had come to embarrassing herself if she had got the trio's attention. Holly slowed her pace to give some distance between herself and the group. Breathing slowly to check her blood pressure she found herself walking beside Draco Malfoy. Holly kept her head straight, praying that he hadn't heard Harry's comment. 

"Well he's a prat isn't he?"

Holly swore silently in her head; so he had heard. She composed herself then turned to Malfoy, "Yes I guess he is a...prat? I'm not quite sure what the means but your tone matches the way I'm feeling." she said with a quiet laugh. 

Draco was slightly uncomfortable when he replied, "Oh, erm, you don't know what a prat is? Uhm well it's like a...backside? Does that make sense?"

Holly laughed again, "Oh! So like an ass! The yes, Harry is indeed a prat." 

They both shared an awkward smile and Holly was about the turn away when Draco asked, "So what class do you have next?"

Holly, slightly taken aback replied, “Well I have every class with Harry so we can ‘bond’ more.” She rolled her eyes, “I have Charms next.”

“Oh so do I,” Malfoy replied, “I see no point to Charms but my mother made me tak-‘’ His sentence was cut off by a low greasy voice from beside them.

“Mr. Malfoy, a quick word.” The voice came from a man with black hair that curtained his long pale face. Professor Snape had a slight sneer on his face as he looked at the pair.

Malfoy looked at Professor Snape, “Ah, yes sir one moment,” to Holly he whispered to save a seat for him in Charms class. “I’ll be a bit late, sorry.”

With that, and a nod of dismissal from Professor Snape, Holly hurried up the corridor desperately trying to find Harry, Ron, and Hermione so they could show her where their classroom was. After a few failed attempts, Holly found the right corridor and entered the Charms classroom. Sitting near the door, Holly listened while Professor Flitwick, a very short man with a squeaky voice explained the day’s lesson. The spell to produce water, Aguamenti, was the spell of the day. The students were asked to copy notes on the specifics of the spell and then practice it afterwards. Halfway through the written part of the lesson, Draco slipped quietly through the door of the classroom and sat in the empty seat next to Holly. She quietly passed her notes on Aguamenti to him as Professor Flitwick started to explain the practical portion of the class.

Draco looked at Holly, “Don’t you need these notes?”

She whispered back to him, “No, I’ve been doing this spell for about two years now, had to learn it quickly when an orphanage caught fire across the road from me.”

Draco was slightly taken aback, “What? Was it magically set? Who were you-“ His sentence was cut off by a slight cough of Professor Flitwick, drawing their attention back to the lesson.

“As I was saying, you will each take turns aiming at this target. The point of the spell is to have perfect aim and power. The gauge will measure how accurate your spell is. Off you go!” Professor Flitwick hopped off his tower of books he had arranged at the front of the class to teach.

He walked back to Holly’s desk and explained how he would grade her knowledge of the class. He first asked her to demonstrate a number of charms, the last few of which were included in the N.E.W.T examinations. Having passed those with flying colours, he gave Holly a written test on various aspects of the course, including seventh year material. Holly finished this in record timing, and after manoeuvering her way between desks, handed it to the professor to be graded. This took no time at all as Holly received perfect marks.

Professor Flitwick thought for a moment then decided how Holly would be graded. “Ms. Peters, since you’ve demonstrated an advanced learning of Charms in both sixth and seventh year, in this class I’ll use you as a sort of teaching assistant. You will be graded on how well you can teach other students charms. Go around the room and observe who needs a helping hand for this particular spell.”

Satisfied but apprehensive, Holly started to slowly walk around the room. The students were all practicing individually the water producing spell. The majority had average accuracy and power but some including Ron, Seamus Finnegan, and a Slytherin boy were having difficulty. Deciding the Slytherin would be the most harmless Holly approached him and asked him to perform the spell again. Holly noticed his trajectory was a bit off so she suggested he aim above the target slightly, not at the target itself. The effect was immediate and Holly moved on to the next student. Seamus was an easy fix as he wasn’t performing the arm motion properly. When Holly suggested he do it the proper way, she received a silent nod and a grunt of disapproval.

'Oh well, Professor Flitwick said I could help the students, the choice to take my suggestions is up to them' She thought to herself. Before Holly could come to Ron, Professor Flitwick called her to the front of the class.

“Now students, it’s almost time to be tested on today’s spell. I have asked Ms. Peters here to perform the spell so you may see how powerful it can be.” Holly raised her want, pointed it at the target and said with a clear and purposeful voice, “Aguamenti”. The bar on the spell gauge rose to very top and rang with a satisfying DING. Professor Flitwick clapped merrily and said, “Wonderful! This is what you will be aiming for students, good luck!”

Before the professor started the grading Holly spoke up, “I just wanted to point out that I’ve been performing this spell for about two years now. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get this high, I’d be very shocked if anyone reached this when you’ve only practiced this spell for about an hour and a half.” Holly was very happy to see the looks of shock and dismay on the students faces lessened at her words. She walked over to Ron as he was rummaging through his bag at the back of the class. She realized that Harry wouldn’t like it if he saw Ron talking to her so she whispered under her breath while looking away from him. “You’re saying the spell wrong, that’s why you haven’t been getting results. You’re pronouncing it Aguaaamenti when it should be said AugaMenti.” With that Holly quickly walked away and stood near her old desk.

As the first few students started to be graded on their attempts, Draco Malfoy turned to Holly. “Any tips for me?” He asked. Holly had been watching his attempts and knew exactly what he was doing wrong.

“You don’t put enough power and force into the spell. If you feel and want the spell to work it will. You get what you put into a spell.” Holly smiled slightly, “Keep that in mind when you perform the spell.”

Holly watched from the back of the classroom. Many of the students had reached the middle of the gauge as was the norm for first timers. She watched as Seamus also reached that mark, better than any attempts he had made prior. Holly smiled to herself, he obviously used her help. She watched as Ron, to his great surprise, reached above the middle of the gauge. He had the power right it was just the pronunciation he got wrong. It was time for Malfoy’s attempt. Holly and the rest of the class watched as he point his wand and said very forcefully Augamenti!. The bar rating the gauge shot up, almost to the very top where Holly’s attempt stood. His was the highest in the class, bypassing Hermione’s by a few inches.

“Marvelous! Marvelous Mr. Malfoy! I believe that was your best attempt of your school career! Keep up the good work!” Professor Fitwick exclaimed, “And that concludes our first class of the year, see you next lesson students.”

The students packed their belongings and filled past Holly on their way out. She received a few smiles from some of them, a quick nod from Seamus and a slight jerk of a head by Ron. 'Oh well, I’ll take what I can get' Holly thought.

Draco walked up to Holly, “It worked! Your advice worked amazingly! I’ve never been much good at charms because my spells never work properly.”

“Right you are Mr. Malfoy. I wondered where your sudden burst of brilliance came from” Professor Flitwick squeaked from behind them, “Ms. Peters you have started your career of a teaching assistance very nicely. Mr. Malfoy, if you have trouble with any spells I suggest you go to Ms. Peters here.”

Draco and Holly walked out of the room and started down the corridor. Turning to Holly, Draco said, “So if I make you a potions master, can you help me get a good mark in Charms with year?”

Holly laughed, “Sounds like a plan! See you later?” Draco nodded and started down to his dormitory. As Holly walked to hers she smiled slightly to herself, “Maybe Hogwarts isn’t too bad after all.”

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