Vulnerability

"To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength." Phoenix Lancaster is just as extraordinary as she appears, she is a muggle-born metamorphmagus, and she has never had a quiet life. Thanks to her courageous and troublesome best friends, Fred and George Weasley.

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10. Potions and Dungbombs

The next morning, the enchanted ceiling of the Great Hall was still dark and gloomy, but the storm from last night had seemed to have blown over.

Phoenix, whose hair for the day was bubble-gum blue, and Angelina were the last from their dormitory to arrive at breakfast, for they had been up all night talking about everything and anything. Angelina was one of the only people that Phoenix could completely trust, she did trust Fred and George, but after all they were boys and most of what Phoenix told them went in and then out their ears.

"You too are up bright and early," said Fred as Phoenix piled bacon and sausage onto her plate.

"We're not that late," said Angelina, pouring some honey onto her porridge. "You haven't even been given your timetable yet."

"At least we get free periods now," said Fred brightly, "A whole hour devoted to relaxation."

By relaxation, Fred really meant causing as much mayhem as it was humanely possible.

"The free periods are for studying Fred," said Phoenix, "not to go and break rules."

After they had all eaten, they remained in their seats as they awaited Professor McGonagall. It was taking longer than usual because their class schedules were more complicated, as Professor McGonagall needed to firstly confirm that everybody had achieved their required O.W.L.s. results so as to continue their chosen subjects to N.E.W.T.s.

Alicia and Lee were cleared to continue with their subjects and they soon left for their first period, which was Muggle Studies. Fred and George however took slightly longer.

"Well you both passed excellently in both Defence Against the Dark Arts and Charms," she began sternly as Fred and George grinned.

"We're going for a more business based future," said George airily, "we needed to guarantee that we have little lessons this year," Phoenix kicked his leg from under the table at this statement.

"Fred," Professor McGonagall began, ignoring George's statement as she looked down their applications, and their O.W.L. results. "You can carry on with Transfiguration," Professor McGonagall handed Fred his timetable.

"Excellent," beamed Fred. "Free period first!"

"And George, you can carry on with Herbology." She handed George his timetable too.

"I have a free period too Fred!" he sang happily. "Now how many toilets can we blow up before break?"

"George!" Phoenix said disapprovingly, but her smile gave away her amusement. "You pulled that prank, what, five years ago?"

"You're so naïve Phoenix," said George smugly. "Some jokes just never get old."

Phoenix and Angelina however, didn't have a free period. She and Angelina had been able to continue with their subjects. Phoenix was immediately cleared to continue with Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, Herbology, Ancient Runes, and Potions. Together, she and Angelina bid Fred and George goodbye before they headed to their first lesson of the day, Ancient Runes.

Their lesson was simply an overview of everything they had been through the past few years. Angelina and Phoenix sat at the very back of the class, Futhark Magic: A Study of Ancient Runes, on their desk.

"Runes," said Professor Babbling, "are alphabetic scripts used before the adaptation of the Latin alphabet. It is used as a writing alphabet, and a system of symbol for magic and divination. The primary characteristic of a runic alphabet is that every letter or rune has a meaning. For example "ay ", "bee", "cee" are meaningless sounds that corresponds to the first three letter in our alphabet while, the first three runes are: Fehu which means "wealth" or "cattle". Uruz means "auroch" or "wild ox". þurisaz or Thurisaz which means "the god Thor" or "giant"."

Phoenix let out a sigh and began to doddle with her quill in her blank journal, clearly bored. Their Professor, Bathsheba Babbling, gave this introduction to Ancient Runes almost every single year. Angelina leaned back in her seat and became interested in a butterfly that had fluttered in through the open classroom window.

"Runes also have magical and religious significance as well, thus transforming the simple process of writing into a magical act. They are also used for divinatory readings and to create magical spells. Runes provide a key to understanding the lives beliefs of the ancient people who created them, and have much to teach us about a way of life that was perhaps more intimately connected to the natural world, and to the realm of spirit, than our own. This is the start to your N.E.W.T.s and for the next two years we will be studying the magical properties of runes in further detail and we will also be looking at spell creation. You will learn how to construct simple wards from runes and we will be studying Ancient Greek and Egyptian."

Professor Babbling then gave them four questions to complete, which were the same questions that they had been given on their first lesson back for the past three years.

"Now," said Angelina, fighting back a smile, "What are runes Phoenix?"

Phoenix looked at her in false surprise, "I have absolutely no idea."

"I know," said Angelina, pretending to look frustrated. "I mean I've never heard such a thing before," She and Phoenix both snorted in laughter at this before they both began their work.

But after they finished their questions, Professor Babbling gave them the toughest runes that they had ever had to translate.

Twenty minutes later, Phoenix and Angelina left the Ancient Runes classroom for break, their brains feeling as though they were about to burst at the extensive runes that they were supposed to be translating for homework and the 15 inch essay that they had to complete. It was very clear that their N.E.W.T. years were going to be extremely long and stressful.

They spent their break in one of the courtyards, Fred, George, and Lee were nowhere to be seen so Phoenix and Angelina sat down on a bench and talked about Quidditch and about N.E.W.T.s. until the bell rang then Angelina waved Phoenix goodbye as she went to her History of Magic lesson, and Phoenix made her way to the Gryffindor common to complete her Ancient Runes homework as she had a free period.

As she turned a corner into a new corridor, a body crashed into her.

"Phoenix! I've been looking all over for you!" George cried. He was holding onto her arms so that she did not fall over.

"And why have you been looking for me?" She asked, standing up straight and brushing her robes down and readjusted her bag on her shoulder.

George rolled his eyes, slinking his arm around her shoulders, "Because we need you to help us with our plan."

Phoenix peered suspiciously at him, "This doesn't involve your ideas to trick the impartial judge does it?" she asked.

George looked at Phoenix with an extremely, mock, hurt expression on his face as he guided Phoenix to the Library. "No," he said, in a not so convincing innocent voice. "Why in the name Merlin's pants would you think that I was up to such crimes?"

Phoenix shook her head, but let George drag her towards the Library.

"I never thought I would live to see the day that you two misfits would venter so willingly into the library." Phoenix said as she and George sat down on one of the table's in the library where Fred was already seated.

"Misfits?" said Fred looking highly affronted. "Is that what you think of us?"

"Well you two don't repute do you?" Phoenix said wryly. "What exactly are you two doing here then? Going to turn the library chairs into a goat again?"

"It's flattering how she remembers all of our endeavours," said George smiling idly.

"How could I forget?" she said dryly. "I was sitting on it."

Fred and George grinned at one another.

"So… what are you doing here?" she asked. "Wait, let me guess… are you going to bewitch library books to sing Hit Me With Your Broomstick?"

"We never thought of that!" said Fred looking as though he could kiss her. "Thanks Nix!"

"Don't!" Phoenix said warningly, inclining her head towards Madam Pince, the very irritable and vulture-lie librarian, who was sneering at Fred and George as though she had never seen anything like them.

"We were trying to find a potions book on how to make an Aging Potion," Fred said quietly to Phoenix, grabbing a copy of The Pocket Guide to the Night Sky by Rigel Wilkes, that had been left on their table by a fourth year Hufflepuff, and pretended to read.

"But why am I here?" Phoenix asked, placing her bag onto the table and taking out her Runes Dictionary and her Ancient Runes books, her quill and a piece of parchment.

"Well…" began Fred, "we can't find any books."

"That is most probably because you haven't looked." Phoenix said as she opened the Runes Dictionary and began to pour over it, busying herself with translating the Runes.

"We wondered if you would get us the book," said George tentatively, he knew that although Phoenix did sometimes accompany them on some of their reckless rule breaking, in some cases she was less persuasive. "It's in the restricted section."

Phoenix didn't look up, continuing to translate the Runes. "And why can't you do that?" she said, smirking down at her parchment. "You're big boys now aren't you?"

"Yeah–," began Fred. "But we think if we try to look for the book, it would be suspicious as we don't do potions."

"But Lee is still doing potions?" Phoenix said incredulously.

Fred and George looked at each other before sighing and looking back at her. "But he's not here Nix," said Fred.

Phoenix sighed, placing her quill down beside her piece of parchment and looked up at the twins. They both had pleading looks on their faces. "If I get you the potions book," she said in a hushed voice. "Will you be able to make the potion for yourselves?"

"Of course." Fred and George said in unison.

"Okay," Phoenix sighed, getting to her feet, before turning to them and saying. "If this backfires don't say that I didn't tell you so," and making her way confidently over to the restricted section.

When she returned, Phoenix handed them Moste Potente Potions before she returned to her runes translations.

"We will have to get some of this from Snape's store cupboard," Fred whispered, "Dried Billywig Stings, Rose Oil, Bat Tongue."

"A thank you would be nice," said Phoenix so quietly that Fred and George could pretend not to have heard her.

"I could get the Shrivelfigs easily from Herbology," George whispered back.

"How are you two going to take them from Snape's store cupboard?" Phoenix whispered, looking up from her translations at them.

"Lee." George said simply.

"It's the first day back and you are already planning devising a plan that could get you suspended," Phoenix shook her head, but didn't press the matter. She continued with her runes translations until the bell rang, then, following Fred and George, they went to the Great Hall for lunch.

 

After lunchtime, Fred, George, and Phoenix headed to their double Defence Against the Dark Arts, feeling excited, but slightly anxious. They were one of the first ones there; it was probably one of the first times that Fred and George had been outside a classroom before the bell had even rung.

"What do you think that he's going to do this lesson?" Phoenix asked as Angelina.

"I have no idea," said George. "Just hope it's really interesting."

The bell rang and Phoenix pushed open the classroom door. She and Angelina raced over to two chairs at the very front of the class, Fred and George took the seats beside them and Alicia and Lee sat a few rows down.

"I've never seen you so agitated to be at the front George," said Phoenix as she got her copy of Confronting the Faceless out of her bag and placed it on her desk and the rest of the class filed in.

"Wanted to get the best seats in the house," he replied and Fred nodded.

"This means that you can't prat around them," she smirked. "Moody would see right through you."

At that very moment, the sound of Moody's clunking footsteps echoed through the corridor, and he entered the room, his electric blue eye zooming around and looking at each of the students who stared back at him anxiously.

"You can put the books away," he growled, clunking over to his desk. "We won't be needing them."

Phoenix and Angelina exchanged a look of excitement as they put their books into their bags. Any lesson where books were not needed was always a good lesson. Their last teacher, Professor Lupin, hardly ever asked them to get their books out and he was one of the best Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher that they'd ever had.

Moody picked up a piece of parchment from his desk. "When, I call you name you'll raise your hand, understood." The students all nodded and there a murmur of 'yes Professor.'

He started to call the names on the list in alphabetical order, his magical eye glaring as they raised their hand and mumbled a 'here Professor'.

"Lancaster, Phoenix."

She shot up her hand up into the air and both of Moody's eyes looked at her and her stomach churned uncomfortably. "Lancaster, your brother Will is an Auror I believe?"

Phoenix nodded anxiously, "Step-brother." She corrected him.

Despite her clear discomfort, Moody's magical eye rested upon Phoenix until he had ticked everyone present.

"Now–," Moody began, his magic eye whirling round in its socket. "I am supposed to be teaching you how to use nonverbal spells," he said, pacing down the rows of desks, the clunk, clunk, clunk, of his wooden leg echoed through the silence of the students. "I expect, as you are sixth years, you know already about defensive spells, but the real question is how many of you can hold a nonverbal duel?"

At this, the class was silent. Moody nodded, clearly unimpressed as he reached the very front of the class. "If you cannot perform nonverbal spells then you give your enemy an advantage." He barked, slamming his fist down on Phoenix's and Angelina's table, causing the pair of them to jump in fright and Fred and George to snigger.

"If I am going to teach you anything, it will be the secret to keeping yourselves alive," he said in a low growl. "CONSTANT VILIGALIANCE!" He roared and the class jumped in their seats and Phoenix heard Fred whisper to George something along the lines of 'absolutely barking mad.'

"And if you do not live by those words, then I can guarantee your death." He said darkly.

Phoenix and Angelina shared at each other in mingled shock and alarm.

"Now," Moody said, almost genetically. "As it appears to be one of your first times performing spells non-verbally, I understand that not everybody will get the hang of it as it's very difficult for beginners and it requires a good deal of practice, concentration and mental discipline." He prowled the classroom again, his leg clunking as he went. "CONSTANT VILIGALIANCE!" He barked and some of the students jumped in their seats again. "I would like you to find someone to partner with. One will attempt a stunning spell out loud; the other will attempt to use Protego non-verbally."

It was difficult. By the end of the lesson, half of the class had been stunned, some of them managed to produce a shield charm by murmuring under their breath. Fred, who had of course partnered with George, had knocked over several tables when George had stunned him. Only Phoenix had managed to deflect Angelina's stunning spell without uttering a single word.

"As you are N.E.W.T students, I don't suspect that you aren't strangers to homework," said Moody and Fred and George groaned. "So homework will be twelve inches of parchment on the importance of why non-verbal spells are essential in the present day."

Despite Moody giving them homework, Fred and George had seemed to thoroughly enjoy Moody's lesson as they spoke avidly about it as they made their way to Professor Flitwick's classroom for Charms.

 

After Phoenix's last lesson, Transfiguration, she and the others headed to the Great Hall for dinner. Charms and Transfiguration had both completely drained her brain. Both Flitwick and McGonagall had lectured their class about their N.E.W.T.s and given them homework. Flitwick had asked them all to practise the Aguamenti charm and it's theory and McGonagall had wanted an essay on the dangers of human transfiguration.

As they entered the hall, the room seemed to be buzzing with excited whispers.

"What happened?" Phoenix asked Ginny as she sat down beside her with Angelina.

Ginny giggled before answering, "Professor Moody turned Draco Malfoy into a ferret."

"What?" Phoenix spluttered, "Why?"

"He was taunting Ron about a story in the Daily Prophet about Dad and was saying horrible things about Mum and then Harry said something funny about Malfoy's mother and then Malfoy hit Harry with a spell when his back was turned, then Moody can out of nowhere and turned Malfoy in a ferret!"

"I can't believe we missed that!" Fred said exasperatedly, before he, George, and Lee ran over to where Harry, Ron, and Hermione were sitting, no doubt wanting to hear exactly what happened with Malfoy the ferret.

"I can't believe how much homework we have already," Alicia sighed, as the girls sat down in seats besides Katie. "It's only the first day back and I have homework for every single lesson I've had today."

"I have to write a 12 inch essay on Wizarding Cultures and the effects of them upon Wizarding Britain by tomorrow," Angelina said disgustedly and she dolloped stew onto her plate, "this year is going to be the death of me."

"And it's only the first day," Phoenix said glumly.

Angelina let out a fake sob of grief, "Don't remind me."

"I've had loads of homework too," said Katie miserably, stirring her potato and leek soup looking disgruntled. "O.W.L. year isn't going to be fun."

"And we don't even have Quidditch this year," said Alicia, staring down at her soup, looking as though she wanted to drown herself and Angelina let out another fake sob.

"We have the Triwizard Tournament to look forward to this year though," said Phoenix, reassuringly.

Angelina grinned at this. "I hope that I get picked to be a Champion," she said.

"You'll of course have to compete with me, George, and Lee."

Fred, George, and Lee had returned and sat down beside Phoenix and Alicia and Angelina made a noise that sounded like a – "tchah!".

"What?" said George as he piled no less than four steak and kidney pies onto his plate from beside Phoenix.

"There is no way that any of you will be picked when you're underage, and if by some miracle you do I doubt that you would rise to the challenges," said Angelina. "In fact, I bet you ten Galleons that you are not going to outsmart Dumbledore and get into the tournament."

Fred and George exchanged a quick look; slight frowns on their faces, before they turned back to stare determinately at Angelina and nodded.

"Yeah," said Fred airily. "We're pretty confident."

"Right," said Angelina as she shook both their hands over the table. "Easiest ten Galleons that I'll ever make," She added in an undertone to Phoenix, Katie, and Alicia.

Phoenix and George both traced back to the common room shortly after dinner. The others had stayed at dinner to complain about their homework, apart from Fred and Lee who had rushed off to find Peeves to convince him to topple over several vases because they got bored.

"How is the Bagman situation going?" Phoenix asked as they sat down on one of the loveseats together, her legs draping over George's.

George frowned and began to absentmindedly twirl the laces of Phoenix's shoes. "He's ignored our letters if that's what you mean."

She frowned too, looking at him and noticing how the golden flecks in George's brown eyes danced with the flames from the fire. "Sounds to me like he gave you the leprechaun gold on purpose."

George shrugged at this and looked up at Phoenix. "You're probably right."

She smiled softly at him. "I usually am."

"You're so cocky Pixy," George said, nudging Phoenix's arm playfully.

"Me? Cocky? That's more like you, Fred, and Lee," said Phoenix as George's arm stretched across the back of the loveseat. "I'm just being realistic, I mean, when have I ever been wrong George?"

George looked down at Phoenix, his eyes twinkling as she stared back at him, her oceanic eyes boring into his chestnut brown ones and Phoenix's heart rate seemed to speed up as he whispered, "you've never been wrong Pixy."

The sound of laugher made Phoenix and George jump apart, she didn't realise how they had both seemed to be unconsciously moving closer and closer to one another and Phoenix hadn't even noticed that her hair had turned a shade of vibrant pink. Fred and Lee had just climbed through the portrait hole, howling with laughter.

"What are you two laughing about?" said George, sitting up much straight in his seat.

"Filch is going crazy at Peeves," said Fred through his laughter as he collapsed onto the floor in front of the fire, his hands under his head in clear relaxation.

"We managed to convince Peeves to break loads of vases," said Lee, sitting down on the comfy armchairs as he continued to laugh, "One of them almost hit Mrs. Norris just as Filch came hobbling out."

"He started yelling at Peeves," said Fred, "that one day he was going to make sure that Peeves was kicked out of the school and Peeves dropped a load of dungbombs in the corridor."

George grinned, "Classic."

"What have you two been up to then?" said Lee, looking from George to Phoenix and back again.

"Oh – erm –," said Phoenix, staring at her shoes, "Just been talking about–"

"Quidditch," finished George defiantly and Fred and Lee giggled and Phoenix stared at them. They actually giggled. Lee Jordan and Fred Weasley, two boys who insisted that they were the biggest bunch of manly men, giggled like a pair of third year girls.

"Oh," said Fred, a funny sort of look on his face. "Talking about who's scored and what not?"

"Yeah," said George with no real expression on his face.

"I can tell you who has scored," said Lee, a smug look on his face. "Ava Ashworth was totally checking me out today."

"Ava?" said Phoenix and couldn't contain her look of disbelief. Ava Ashworth was a fellow Gryffindor sixth year, who Phoenix had been sharing a dormitory with for the past six years. She was a quiet girl, very sweet and had shoulder length brown hair and deep brown eyes. She was also a prefect. Phoenix couldn't quite believe that a girl like Ava would ever be interested in Lee, sure he was good looking but being a self-proclaimed ladies' man did mean that girls were less likely to want to be involved with him romantically. "I don't believe you."

"Well believe it babe," said Lee. "She was giving me the look," he said impressively.

"Oh okay," said Phoenix, still not buying it. "You mean the 'stop looking at me you're freaking me out' look? Or the 'let's snog in a broom cupboard for twenty minutes' look?"

Fred and George laughed, but Lee shook his head, still smiling.

"The latter," said Lee dreamily. "Last time somebody gave me that look, I was thirty minutes late for History of Magic."

"Okay then Casanova," Phoenix said, laughing.

"Alicia let something slip to me today too," said Lee, looking extremely mischievous as he spoke.

"And what was that?" said Fred.

"Oh, just that Phoenix has an extremely lacy pair of knickers that she left on the dormitory floor this morning."

"LEE!" Phoenix shouted as Fred and George both roared with laughter. Lee looked at her just in time to miss her Jelly-Leg Jinx, which instead flew straight into the fire and the flames flashed a violent red before it continued to dance merrily. "When will you stop?"

"I'm not doing anything wrong!" Protested Lee, "I'm just appreciating the female body! I find it adorable that you wear lacy knickers."

"I'm going to bed," said Phoenix. "Before Lee says anything else about my choice of underwear."

 

The following morning, Phoenix purposely ignored Lee, even though she had Herbology with him and George first period. She did however work with him and George as they dealt with their Snargaluff plant together. George had also managed to sneak several Shrivelfigs into his bag for the Aging Potion.

"Come on Phoenix, you can't ignore me forever." Lee said as he squeezed one of the pods that they had managed to obtain, it exploded and pale green tubers fell into the bowl that they were collecting the tubers in.

Phoenix grinned as she and George began to wrestle with the Snargaluff plant once again, it's thorn-covered vines danced about dangerously and George grabbed some of them and tied them in a tight knot, a hole opened in the mist of the thrashing vines and Phoenix plunged her arm in.

"Phoenix could quite literally ignore you forever," said George as he and Lee pulled at the vines again, forcing the hole to open so that Phoenix could wrench her arm out. Another small pod was held tightly in her hand. "I have learnt to never underestimate Pixy."

"She's being childish then," said Lee as Phoenix tried to squeeze the pod.

"I'm not being childish!" Phoenix said before she could stop herself. Lee grinned and Phoenix half smiled at him.

"Put some elbow into it! That will get the tubers out!" Professor Sprout bellowed over the loud noises of the students wrestling with the Snargaluff plants.

George grabbed the pod from underneath Phoenix's hand and, with help from Lee, began to squeeze the tubers out of the pod.

After Herbology, Phoenix, George, and Lee headed to Gryffindor common room for break and their free period. Angelina and Fred were already sat in their comfy armchairs.

"Did you get the Shrivelfigs?" Fred immediately asked George as they climbed through the portrait hole.

"Of course," said George, pulling out a handful of golf ball sized purple figs and throwing them at his twin.

"Excellent!" beamed Fred. "All that we need now are Dried Billywig Stings, Rose Oil, and Bat Tongue,"

"I could get them from Snape's store cupboard in Potions!" said Lee.

"And how exactly are you going to do that?" asked Phoenix. "You don't have an invisibility cloak do you Lee?"

"No," said Lee. "But that's where you and Angelina come in,"

"And what exactly are we going to do?" Angelina snapped.

"You are going to be the distraction," said Lee.

"Well thanks for the compliment Lee," Phoenix smirked and everyone laughed.

"You're going to put some dungbombs in some of the Slytherins cauldrons," said Fred.

"And what exactly is in it for us?" Phoenix asked, her eyebrows raised.

"How about a nice snog from each of us?" said Lee, puckering up his lips at the both of them. "Or twenty minutes in a broom cupboard?"

"If that's what we are going to get I would rather not partake in this rule breaking," said Angelina, her arms crossed tightly over her chest.

"How about we buy you as much Butterbeer as you wish on our first trip to Hogsmeade," said Fred.

Phoenix and Angelina looked at one another and nodded slowly, both extending their hands for Fred and George to shake.

 

"Since you are all here in my classroom I can assume that you all passed your O.W.L in Potions with an Outstanding," droned Professor Snape in his cold and sneering face as he prowled around the potions room. "If you thought potions was difficult at O.W.L level, then this class is not for you and I suggest that you leave now while you can," Phoenix and Lee's eyes met and they supressed grimaces. "I am glad to be see that some of the blubber heads in this class last year didn't get the required grades," said Snape and Phoenix knew that he was talking about Fred and George. "But some of them…" he now looked directly at Lee. "…seemed to have gotten lucky… which is most unfortunate."

Lee beamed at Snape.

"By the end of this lesson I will expect every single one of you to make a Calming Draught. This is a potion that is used to calm a person after they have suffered an emotional trauma or outburst. It's much more advanced work than we have ever covered and I don't doubt that most of you may not be able to brew it…" he smiled coldly at Lee, who was still beaming as though Snape had given him a wonderful compliment. "…it can be found in your copies of Advanced Potion-Making."

"How are we supposed to get the dungbombs in the Slytherins potions then?" Angelina whispered as she collected ingredients for the table.

"What exactly are you lot planning?" asked Cedric, who had joined their table because the only Hufflepuffs that were in their class were some giggling girls.

"Nothing to worry about Cedric," said Lee brightly as he stirred his potion enthusiastically one too many times so that it turned a sick green colour instead of a peachy orange.

"No Lee!" Angelina snapped, "You've stirred it too many times!"

Cedric looked at Phoenix and she shrugged, "It's a long story but it's for Fred and George."

"I see," Cedric said, "still causing mayhem are they?"

"When are they not?" laughed Phoenix, "all I am going to tell you is that you should use a bubblehead charm because we're setting off some dungbombs."

"You're setting off dungbombs in a double period of Potions?" Cedric whispered, grinning and Phoenix nodded, "If all goes well, you'll give us a free period too,"

"Cedric you're a prefect," Phoenix giggled, pouring some Horklump Juice into her potion.

Twenty minutes later, their diversion began. They both decided to choose the unfortunate Slytherins whose potion was undoubtedly about to turn incredibly nasty. Angelina levitated a couple of dungbombs into Catriona Carmichael's sickly green coloured potion while she was chatting to Amy Boyd, and Phoenix levitated some dungbombs into David Dayson's foaming maroon potion.

The effects were immediate. Both potions began to boil and bubble, David's potion sounded as though it was screaming. The Slytherins surrounding the table shrieked and back away just in time as the contents of their potions exploded and a horrible smell reached their nostrils. Phoenix, Angelina and Cedric all gagged, before quickly performing bubblehead charms so as to protect their noses from the unpleasant smell. Lee on the other hand, slipping right into Snape's store room cupboard, undetected by Snape who was trying to stop some of the Slytherins robes from burning.

"You're lucky that you brewed the potion incorrectly Boyd, Dayson," Snape sneered at the Slytherins and Phoenix scowled, if a member of any other house did that they'd be given a month's detention and their head would be placed upon sticks on his desks, even if it was an accident. "Next time, don't add too many Sopophorous beans Boyd," Snape, with his back to their table, didn't notice Lee slip silently back into the room, his pockets bulging with ingredients. He gave Phoenix and Angelina the thumbs up as a thank you and hastily stuffed it all into his bag.

Unfortunately, their double lesson did not get cancelled, Snape had vanished the contents of both Amy and David's cauldrons, clearing away the smell. But thankfully he did not suspect that it was purely their potions that caused the explosion.

"I have to hand it to you," Cedric said to Phoenix and Angelina as they washed their cauldrons, "that was superb, virtually undetectable."

"Well," said Phoenix, grinning, "we have learnt from the best."

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