"As long as you don't kill anything you can still get decent marks, Gabby."
"But that's not the point," I protest, lifting my head and pushing my blonde hair from my face. "I want to know how it's done properly in case I ever need to do it." Mary wrinkles her nose, as if unable to understand my desire to be knowledgable rather than just squeaking by with a passing grade.
"When will you ever need to know how to..." She leans forward to look at the text in my book. "...concoct a Forgetfulness Potion? Who would want to forget things? They have Remembralls, Gabby, not Forgetbralls."
I shrug and lean back in my chair, starting when a large bag comes slamming down on the table next to me. William shoves his tall frame into the chair next to me and reaches into his bag before pulling it out and handing me a chocolate biscuit. "Forgetfulness Potions are used against enemies. You know, say someone you know is suppose to kick your arse after class. Slip a bit of the potion into his Pumpkin juice and you save a trip to Pompfrey's for another day."
"That's completely absurd," Mary tells him, now tapping all of her fingernails that change color into an deep, emerald green. "Isn't that stupid, Gabby?"
I shrug, not wanting to tell William that Mary was right. "I suppose it's one way of looking at it."
"I think a wizard created it for other wizards," she continues, lifting her palm to examine her nails. "For when they cheat on their wives, or girlfriends and they find out about it." She shoots William a look. "That way they cause them to forget and can get away with it. Typical for men, isn't it?"
"Forgetfulness Potions are temporary," he shoots back and I simply shake my head at their bickering and continue to read my book. Conroy Henley ambles up to the table and sits next to Mary, a scowl on his face.
"Did McGonagall go easy on you?" Mary asks. I knew Conroy had been sent to the Headmistress's office yesterday after he got into a fight with a Sixth year Ravenclaw, sending the boy to the hospital wing with a broken nose.
"Detention with Filch for the next three weekends," he complains, pouting like a seven year old. "Not my fault Sullivan is such a pansy arse."
Mary snickers. "He'd probably thank you. I heard him talking about the new hospital wing Matron in Professor Stebbin's class today. I don't think he minded suffering a broken nose since it meant getting pawed at by her." Mary rolls her eyes when Conroy perks up.
"Yeah? Maybe I should hex myself and go check her out."
"Typical," Mary says again in a sing song voice. He glares at her and I drown out their bickering once more while I try to concentrate on the equations of the potion. William leans in toward me, hiw voice lowered.
"If you need help, I'm getting top marks in Potions."
"Oh. I think I'll be okay," I tell him, smiling softly.
"Are you sure?" William presses, flashing me a smile. "I don't mind, Gabs."
"I know, thank you. But Fred is a master at potions. He can help me."
"Yes. He invents things."
"What kind of things?" William asks with a frown. "Like...Muggle things?"
"No. He owns Zonko's and Weasley's Wizard Wheezes in Diagon Alley with his brother."
"Fred and George Weasley? No shite?" Conroy asks, ignoring Mary as he leans forward. "Those stores are wicked." I can't help but beam with pride. "Do you think you could smuggle in a few bottles of Footloose and Fancy Free Fairie Dust?"
I shoot him a look and am about to tell him to buy his own when Mary nudges me with her foot under the table. I look at her and she nods toward the front of the library. "That's Madam Bertrand."
Both boys turn to observe and I peer around William at the petite blonde woman speaking to Madam Pince. "She looks a bit young."
"Apparently Professor Stebbins told Flitwick she was thirty one. That's what I hear anyway. She sort of looks like you, Gabrielle, doesn't she?"
"Nah," William shrugs, leaning back in his chair. "Gabrielle's prettier." Mary rolls her eyes but I feel my cheeks burning as he grins at me. "You have better dimples."
"Yes, but Gabrielle doesn't have that arse," Conroy groans as Madam Bertrand leaves the library. "'Scuse me ladies and wanker, I have a mediwitch to charm." He grabs his books and hurries from the library. Mary shrugs and turns to me.
"Are you staying late again tonight?"
"I don't know." I hesitate. "I haven't been home much lately."
"NEWTs come but once a year," William points out. "You don't want to fail do you? Anything less than seven NEWTs means you'll be serving ale at the Leaky Cauldron for the rest of your life. Is that what you want?"
I wince and my eyes sweep over the complicated potion in my text book. With as busy as Fred was, especially now that he was playing Quidditch again, I felt bad asking him to help me with something that should come so easy to me, considering I had private tutors the last few years. He would probably thank me for getting help elsewhere. "I suppose I can stay, but not too late. I should try to get home before it gets too dark." I didn't want Fred to worry about me walking home in the dark again.
"Brilliant," William exclaims. "We'll make sure you get these potions perfect, I promise."
Smiling weakly, I push aside the uneasy nagging in my stomach. "Thanks."
Mary checks the time and we gather our things to head to Professor Lupin's class. I made a mental note to stop by the owlery after to send a letter informing Fred I would be late tonight. I didn't like spending so much time away, but my studies were important and he would probably be working late anyway. I would just have to make sure his birthday next week extra special to make it up to him.