Disclaimer: I do not own Sailor Moon or Harry Potter.

Shifts in Destiny

Chapter 16

Study Partners

"Wait, you want us to do what?" demanded Raye.

Serena and her friends were sitting in the room of requirement. She had just told them about studying with Draco.

"Oh, come on guys, what's the problem?" Serena said. "We each take forty minutes a day to study with him, right after dinner."

"How long are we supposed to do this?" Ami inquired.

"McGonagall didn't say," Serena shrugged. "I guess until his grades improve. I'll help Draco with transfiguration, Lydia, if you take History of Magic."

"He failed his OWL though," Raye chimed in.

"Well he told his mother insisted he continue with the class," Serena said.

"Binns really doesn't care about OWL grades anyway," Lydia said. "He'll teach history to a cat if he had the chance. Either the guy's bored being dead or likes history too much."

"You're okay studying with him then?" Serena asked.

"Sure, I'll do it," Lydia said. "Draco doesn't scare me."

"He could be a Death Eater though," Ami pointed out. "His behavior has been suspicious."

"Which why McGonagall wants us to study with him!" Serena exclaimed. "She first asked me but I didn't want to do this all by myself."

"And you shouldn't," said Mina. "Right what subject should I take?"

"I told McGonagall Herbology and you can probably help him with exercise too."

"Oh, this will be fun," Mina grinned. "He might be puny now but when I'm done with him, he'll be one buff dude." She nudged Raye and winked at her. "You'll take him back in an instant then, won't you Raye?"

"Oh, come off it!" Raye shouted. "Well what does McGonagall want me to tutor him in?"

"Runes," said Serena.

"Fine," Raye groaned.

"Lita, you can do potions," said Serena. "I know you are helping Harry too but might not be a good idea to do it at the same time."

Lita laughed. "I don't know. It might be kind of entertaining."

"What would you like me to tutor him in, Serena?" Ami asked.

"Charms," said Serena.

Ami nodded. "Should be simple enough."

"That leaves out Defense Against the Dark Arts," said Serena.

"I know, maybe Harry should study with him," Lita joked and the others groaned. "Speaking of which, have you spoke to him about this?"

Serena gasped, realizing she hadn't. "Oh no, after speaking with Professor McGonagall I thought it was best I speak to you guys right away. Harry's not going to like this."

"Well, in that case, you'd better go speak to him," said Lydia, pushing Serena to the exit. "We'll talk to Professor McGonagall and tell her we're in. I guess she'll make a schedule for us or something."

"But who's going to help him with Defense?" Serena inquired.

"Grampa can do it," said Raye.

Harry was waiting for Serena in the common room.

"Harry, didn't you have a lesson with Dumbledore?" Serena said in surprise.

"Yeah," he replied. "Dumbledore showed me the memories of this house elf that worked for some old witch that owned a lot of stuff. She showed Voldemort a locket that supposedly belonged to Slytherin and a cup that belonged to Hufflepuff."

"Wow!" Serena exclaimed.

"Sometime later after Tom's visit though," said Harry, "Voldemort killed her, stole the locket and cup and somehow pinned the blame on the house elf."

"That's terrible!" Serena gasped.

"After that Dumbledore showed me one of his own. Voldemort came to the school to apply for the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher."

"I bet that went well," Serena said wryly.

"Dumbledore refused to give it to him," Harry said. "I guess we know how the job's cursed. If Voldemort can't have it, I guess no one can." He smiled at Serena. "I guess you were right, saying that Voldemort had something to do with it."

Serena chuckled rubbing her head. "Lucky guess."

"So, what did McGonagall want to talk to you and Malfoy about?"
Serena lowered her head and groaned. "You're not going to like it."

"What is it?" Harry asked.

"She wants me to study with Draco."

"Unbelievable!" Harry exclaimed. "You can't do that! Tell me you said you wouldn't!"

"I wanted to," said Serena. "But you see, Draco has detention and part of his detention is studying with me. I asked Professor McGonagall if my friends could study with him too. I didn't want to study with him by myself. I just got back from seeing the others. They agreed to it."

"I can't believe this," Harry said. "I hope it won't be for too long."

"I think it's just until his grades improve," Serena said.

"Like that will happen."

"Are you saying my friends and I won't make good study partners?" Serena demanded, crossing her arms.

"You guys know your stuff," said Harry. "But Draco's dangerous. You don't know what will happen."

"I just have to meet with him for forty minutes," she explained.

"Plenty of time for something to go wrong," said Harry.

"Well would you want to study with him in something then?" said Serena. "Lita said you could help him with Defense Against the Dark Arts."

"No way!" said Harry.

"Yeah, didn't think so," Serena said with a wry smile. "Look, I'm sorry but I haven't much choice."

"Who studies with him first?" Harry asked.

"Me," Serena replied. "I want to get it over with."

"You should bring a dark detector with you or something," said Harry.

Serena laughed and shook her head. "I'll be fine."

Yet Serena wasn't fine. She wasn't sure what to think being a study partner for Draco Malfoy. He was totally uninterested in learning a thing. He complained about having to be tutored by a "mudblood" and he badmouthed Harry and his friends. Not caring if Madame Pince or anyone else would hear, she let him have it.

Serena stood up, slammed her hands on the table and got in his face so that his pointed nose was touching hers.

"Look, you little jerk!" she hissed. "I don't like this either but apparently your grades are so horrible that my friends and I have to help you. That is the detention McGonagall gave you. Believe me; I have other things I'd rather be doing. You are irresponsible and stubborn and mean. Dang, and I thought I have trouble in school!"

Draco pulled his head back but he continued glaring at her. "What are you going to do about it?"

"I am going to help you even if it's the last thing I do!" Serena exclaimed. "Not only did you break Raye's heart, but you act like you don't even care! You're not even trying to be a better person. If you don't want to continue studying with me or my friends then for heaven's sake, put some effort in and stop messing around!"

"Fine," said Draco and Serena sat back down.

"All right, we were talking about Gamp's law of transfiguration. You remember the five principles from McGonagall's class?"

Draco shook his head.

"Really? I helped you in that lesson conjuring water," said Serena. "You don't remember that? Well, you can't conjure food, shelter, clothes, life, or money."

Draco smirked. "It's no problem for me. I already have plenty of that."

"Only because your family's stinking rich," Serena muttered, looking at the study sheet from McGonagall. "Looks like we need to practice switching spells. We'll start with these"

They began switching rocks into seashells. Serena managed to do it and on the fourth try, Draco was able to do the same. Serena got the feeling he already knew how to do this but it was like Draco didn't care about how to do simple magical spells anymore. They tried switching spells with a few more objects until Serena's hour was up.

The next person to study with Draco was Raye. She debated about studying with him last but decided to work with Draco just to get it over with. Before Draco could say anything, she slammed her book bag down and glared at him.

"Heard how your session went with Serena," she told him. "Don't think you can try any of that with me. You're not going to waste my time. I am going to go over the material with you and you're going to listen. No stupid remarks. Got it?"

Draco smiled. "Of course, Raye."

Raye sat down and took a stack of cars secured with a rubber band. "I decided to go easy on you—"

"How sweet," said Draco and Raye glared at him.

"So I made these flash cards," she finished. "I want to see if you remember the runes and what they mean. We will start with the Elder Futhark."

She showed him a card that resembled the letter F with the prongs in an upright angle to the right.

"It means wealth," said Draco. "We have this rune engraved in a lockbox at home."

"Also means cattle. What's its name?" Raye asked.

"Er, um," Draco mumbled. "Fehu, I think?"

"Good," Raye sat it down and showed him the next card, but Draco continued to talk.

"You know, now that Dad's gone, maybe you should visit sometime," said Draco. "I can show you the other runes we've got carved at home. You can see the dogs."

"What is this rune?" Raye asked him, keeping to business. It looked similar to the letter N.

Draco glanced at it. "Oh, we don't have that one at home."

"Uruz," said Raye. "Ox, stands for speed and strength." She continued showing him the flash cards and he could only recall a few, those that he saw at his home and in previous lessons. He never really liked runes he only took it because it was common for purebloods to study it and engrave them on their possessions and places in their homes.

"Remind me why you take Ancient Runes, Raye?" said Draco.

"Ancient writing's always been my favorite subject," Raye replied.

"You've studied others than just runes?"

"Of course," said Raye, putting the rubber band back around the stack and sliding it to him. "Here, I want you to study these. Next time when we meet, I expect you to have them memorized, all right?"

"We're done already?" he looked at his watch. They had five minutes left.

"You seriously want to continue?" said Raye.

"What if Professor McGonagall learns you finished five minutes early?" He asked her.

Raye didn't' think it would matter but she didn't it want to come back on her. "All right, five more minutes. I'm going to show you some engravings and we're going to translate the messages." She took out her runes book. "You can use your flashcards as a guide."

She showed him pictures with engravings on wood, metal, stone and bone. By using the flash cards and Raye's assistance, he was able to translate them. He found it actually enjoyable. He somehow wished he did pay attention to runes more since it was after all tradition for purebloods. He usually did, but his 6th year was different. There were a lot of things on his mind more pressing than his grades. He missed how things were before the return of the Dark Lord. He was just your normal rich pureblood, picking on the weak and muggleborns. Showing off his money and his status. Now things were a lot different.

"Now, time really is up," said Raye.

"Thanks Raye, you think you can sit with me in Runes from now on?" he asked her.

"I think that can be arranged," she answered, a little taken back. It was unusual for her to see this side of Draco. He was actually pleasant. "I'll speak to Professor Babbling."

Following Raye was Ami. Like the other two girls, she wanted to get her tutoring session with Draco quickly so she could focus on her own studies, but she wanted to take some time to prepare a lesson with him. She met with Professor Flitwick to see what charms he was struggling with a d he recommended her help him with his essays as he was neglecting do those. When Draco did manage to turn in an essay, there were plenty of grammar and spelling errors. As he needed help in both practical and written work, she met with Draco in an empty classroom.

"All right, Professor Flitwick said you needed to work on the Cheering Charm, Silencing Charm, Color change charms and the Growth charm," Ami told him. "We'll practice with each of these and I'll help you with an essay for them."

"Flitwick wants essays?" Draco said in surprise.

"Yes, you'll get extra credit for it," she said. "They're only two rolls of parchment each. Let's start with the Cheering Charm."

"What will I need that for?" Draco said.

"It is more important to cheer someone up," said Ami, "than to push them down. In these times, we can all use a little more cheering up." Ami raised her wand, moved her arm in a downward arc and then up in a horizontal line, much like a laughing mouth. "Hilaritudo!"

Draco dropped his wand to put his arms around his stomach to try to control his laughter. He laughed so hard that his face hurt and he almost couldn't breath. The charm ended and he took a moment to compose himself before picking his wand up.

"I bet you feel a little better, don't you?" said Ami. "When was the last time you had a good laugh?"

Draco smirked. "Does it count when it's at someone else's expense, like Potter's?"

"Probably not," said Ami. "All right, you try. Don't forget the arm movement."

He copied the movement but it wasn't as fluid. "Hilaritudo!"

Amy felt a small amount of cheer but not enough to make her laugh or even smile.

"Let's try that again," she told him.

He did it again, two more times and there wasn't much difference. When Draco seemed irritated, she skipped to the Silencing Charm. She led him to a tank of croaking toads.

"If we accidentally perform this wrong," she said, "these things will swell up too big and make even more noise. Better take one out in case it grows and breaks the tank."

She reached inside and took out the fattest one. She placed it on the floor and it stared at her, croaking. From the right, Ami moved her arm in an arc and then straight down. "Silenco!"

Luckily the toad didn't grow and croak. It went silent immediately. The spell only held for five seconds before it went back to croaking.

"Hmm," she said. "Guess I have to work on it myself. Of course, the silencing spell is temporary but shouldn't wear off that quickly. You give it a go, Draco."

Thinking he wanted to silence Ami, Harry and his pals and even some of the teachers at Hogwarts instead of a stupid harmless toad, Draco sighed and took a step closer to the toad. He tried to copy the wand movement as she did but he was completely off.


Just as she had warned, the toad became the size of a dog and its croaking was booming throughout the room and perhaps down the hall.

"Oh Merlin, make it stop!" Draco put his hands on his ears.

Acting quickly, Ami shrank the toad back to size and silenced it before putting it back in the tank.

"We'll wait on that I think," she said. "All right then, the Color Change Charm. She took out a blank piece of parchment and sat it on a desk.

She pointed her wand at it and said, "Contingo!" The parchment turned to blue.

"You try. Think of your favorite color as you cast it." She placed down another piece of parchment.

As a Slytherin, Draco's favorite color was green. He pointed his wand at the parchment as Ami had done and said, "Contingo!"

From the middle of the parchment, it slowly turned green and stopped at the edges.

"If it helps," said Ami, "you can name the color. For green it is Virido. One more time." She gave him a blank sheet of parchment and he did as she instructed. He managed to turn the parchment completely green and faster than his previous attempt.

"Good job," she said. "We're going to try the growth charm now."

She placed a grape on a desk and moved her arm in an upward motion. "Assurgo!" The blueberry grew to the size of an apple before she flicked her wand down, stopping the process. "As far as I know, there is no limit to how big you can make an item grow. So, it is important to stop the spell before the item gets too big."

Draco smirked again. "Like your boyfriend Weasley's head?"

Ami went slightly pink at his remark then cleared her throat. "Also, I find it is easier to grow things that are inanimate. Animals move too much and if the spell backfires-well we might have a twenty-foot animal running lose in the school. An important thing to remember is aim. You want to make sure you are aiming at the thing you want to grow. If you need to, get closer." She waved him over so he was next to her. She set down another grape.

"Give it a try."

Draco brought his wand close to the grape so it was almost touching it. "Assurgo!" The grape did indeed grow, right into Draco's wand. He gasped and pulled his wand away, swinging the now orange size grape at Ami, making it burst on her robes.

"No harm done," she said, using the cleaning charm on herself. "Just a little more practice." She put down another grape and encouraged him to go again. He managed to grow it to the right size and move his wand out of the way in time.

"Excellent," said Ami, conjuring a pitcher and putting the enlarged grapes inside. "Pressing Charm—Comprimo!" The grapes were pressed into grape juice and conjuring two small glasses, she poured the liquid for her and Draco. He waited a while before drinking his. He had been around magic his whole life but he hadn't seen it this way before. His parents never enlarged grapes and then squeezed them into fresh grape juice for him. The teachers weren't like this either. Why were Serena and the others bothering to help him? Were they being paid? Was McGonagall giving them a hundred points each? Draco had no friends. He was a spoiled rich brat and he knew it.

"Our textbook has more information about the charms we just practiced," Ami said, jotting down the names and pages on a piece of parchment for him. "You'll find them here on this note. Try practicing the movement by drawing it on parchment first before we meet again. You can write those essays on your own too or we can write them-,"

"I can do it myself," he said.

"All right, good," Ami said and she finished her glass of grape juice. "I can proofread it for you when we meet next week. Have a good night."

Draco met with Lydia in a large room with pictures of famous witches and wizards on the walls. The was a dressing frame in a corner of the room. Lydia was sorting through a trunk when he came in. She a was dressed in a medieval aged green robe and hood with a purple wrap around her shoulders. Hearing his footsteps, she turned around.

"Oh, you're early!" she gasped. "Or maybe I'm late. Oh well, have a seat."

"Why are you dressed like that?" he inquired.

Lydia laughed. "It's a costume of course! Since Professor Binns makes history so boring, I thought I'd try to liven things up by dressing like famous witches or wizards and have you guessed who they are. Ha ha…liven things up."

Draco frowned and Lydia put her hands on her hips. "Oh, come on, this will be fun. I'll state a few things the person was famous for. Should be simple if you collect chocolate frog cards."

Draco snorted. "That's for children."

"Oh really?" she said. "Well let's see if your knowledge is good enough without them, or we just might have to start trading chocolate frog cards."

Draco sighed and shook his head. He couldn't believe this.

Lydia cleared her throat and spoke in a mystic voice. "I am the eldest daughter of the last druid of Ireland. I have three magical birds that cure the ill with their songs. I can turn into a wave or take on the form of a seabird. I discovered the properties of Moondew. Who am I?"

"A fool," he muttered.

"Hey!" Lydia exclaimed, hitting his desk. "You're the fool 6th year that needs tutors in all your classes! Now answer the question! Who was the eldest daughter of the last druid of Ireland?"

"Er, ah…."

"You don't know do you?" said Lydia, shaking her head and slamming down the famous wizard card of Clidona along with a book of druidism. "Look up information on her. She did many great things."

Lydia jumped behind the frame to change her costume. She emerged with her red hair down and wearing tiara and holding a gold staff. "I am a bird Animagus and I am skilled at healing magic. I am queen of the island Avalon. Who am I?'

Draco paused. "Morgana?

"Lucky guess," said Lydia and she went behind the frame to change into another costume. She emerged with a long white beard and blue robes.

"Merlin," he said lazily.

"That's right. Do you know he went to Hogwarts?"

"'Course I do," he said. "He was in Slytherin in fact. Established the Order of Merlin. It's an award people get."

"Maybe nowadays," said Lydia, 'but actually the Order of Merlin was supposed to help muggles."

"That can't be true!" he exclaimed. "He was a Slytherin!"

"Read up on it," and she dropped a book entitled Merlin, Prince of Enchanters on his desk and hopped back to change into another costume. He was skimming through it when she came back as a wizard with a beard and a jellyfish hat. She spoke like a man that lost his marbles.

"I was born in 982. I attended Hogwarts in 994 and was sorted into Ravenclaw house. I slept in a room with fifty Augurys. I tried to prove that a fwooper's song was beneficial to one's health so I listened to a fwooper for three months straight. Unfortunately, the council didn't believe me only because I was wearing nothing but a dead badger for a toupee at the time. Who am I?"

He glanced up at her from the book. "Emeric the Evil."

"Are you serious?" she demanded in her normal voice. "Does this look like the get up of an evil wizard to you?"

"Oh no, I mean," Draco squinted trying remember. "Damn, what's his name? I keep mixing the two up….Uric the Oddball. That's it."

"Good," said Lydia, heading to the frame. "All right, we got one more."

"Thank Merlin," Draco muttered under his breath.

Lydia came out in a blond wig and a sunhat and a swimsuit from the 1930s. "I was born in 1903. In 1932 while holidaying with my family in Ilfracombe, Devon, a rogue Common Welsh green landed on the beach and attacked the muggles. We managed to send the beast away and performed the Mass Memory Charm of the century. I was awarded Order of Merlin, first class. Who am I?
"Saved the muggles?" Draco said with a sneer. "I would have let the dragon eat them all. Ha-ha."

Lydia put her hands on her hips and glared at Draco. "Perhaps, since you'd be running away instead of doing anything."

Draco gasped and leaned back.

"So, which family was famous for the Ilfracombe Incident?"

Draco paused and shook his head.

"Yeah, guess you wouldn't remember something about wizards saving muggles, would you?" said Lydia. "It was Tilly Toke and her family that saved those muggles. Hmm, I think next week I'll focus our lesson on wizards and witches that saved muggles."

"Are you serious?"

"Oh yeah," said Lydia. "Wizards don't get on chocolate frogs for being bigoted bullies, you know. Have fun with Lita in Potions tomorrow. You're in a real treat."

Instead of following Serena's suggestion of tutoring Draco separate from Harry, Lita taught them at the same time.

"This isn't cool, Lita," he muttered to her.

"Oh, I know how busy we all are," she said casually. "This way I'm able to kill two birds with one stone. All right, Harry you remember how we were going over ingredients? We're going to continue."

"Ingredients, really?" Draco rolled his eyes.

"Yes, really," said Lita. "Your potions are only as good as your ingredients. It's a lot like cooking. Instead of covering what I covered with Harry thus far, here is a guide of what we went over." She placed a list next to him. "It's just things from A to B. Now we're going to cover ingredients from C. But I expect you to copy this down." She hooked up a projector and slid a picture of a cat on the surface. "I know it sounds silly, but cat hair is a standard ingredient in many potions. Depending on the other ingredients you use, they can be used in Alarm or Fright potions. I'm sure you've noticed cats when their hair sticks up when they're frightened or angry? Can also increase someone's agility. But they wouldn't do you much good in a Polyjuice potion unless you do want to look like a human cat hybrid. You can use the cat's claws, brains or eyes in potions too. Eyes can be uses in Night Eye Potions. Oh yeah, and just in case you guys aren't cat people, don't go capturing peoples' pet cats for their eyes and stuff. Including Mrs. Norris!"

"Whatever made you think I'd-," began Harry then he glanced at Draco. "Oh."

"I wouldn't do that either!" Draco exclaimed. "Well… might have hexed her once in my third year…"

Lita removed the picture of a cat and put down a picture of a chamomile flower. "Ever noticed one of these? Dried chamomile flowers and oils are great for anxiety, anything relating to the liver or intestines, skin, nails and hair, and skin. You can put them in herb pillows. Oh yeah, I made these for you guys." She tossed two soft cotton drawstring bags to them. "A mixture of Chamomile, hops, lavender, mug wort and rose. Slip these into your pillow cases at night. They'll help you sleep."

"Wow, thanks Lita!" said Harry, looking it over and taking a whiff.

"Looks like some muggle trinket," Draco said distastefully.

"Well, you're right, muggles use these things. But that doesn't mean they're not useful," Lita said, totally not the least bit offended by Draco's remark. "Believe it or not, Muggles come up with some of the neatest things. And even though the chamomile flower is a mundane plant, it has is uses. The oil can be tricky to extract though, so the petals are dried and used in potions, such as the Draught of Peace Potions don't have to come from magical plants and magical animals to be useful. If you use all the magical ingredients in a potion, the potion will become unstable. We'll experiment with that sometime…Hopefully Slughorn will let me." She tapped her chin and removed the picture of the chamomile flower and replaced it with that of a caterpillar. "All right, what do you think these little guys are used for?"

"Shrinking potions," Draco answered. He remembered Professor Snape using Longbottom's toad as a test subject.

"That's right," said Lita, tossing him a candy. He was surprised by it that he didn't think to catch it. It landed right in his cauldron. He paused before reaching into it. "Now which is the best way to add them? Alive? Dead? Dried?"

Both Harry and Draco could not answer. She laughed.

"Since you have to slice them for Shrinking Potion, I find it is best to add them when they're still alive. Easier to cut that way. Though I feel kind of bad of cutting them up. But keeping them in a preservation potion after they die keeps them plump—like they're still alive." She switched the picture of the caterpillar with a picture of a cabbage with a large mouth and started to mimic a voice of a monster. "Look, a man-eating cabbage! This is what happens when you don't eat your veggies, they eat you!"

When neither Harry nor Draco looked amused, she frowned and put her hands on her hips. "Have no sense of humor, do you guys?" she cleared her throat. "Chinese chomping cabbage. It eats other vegetables. I don't know what the Chinese were thinking when they created this thing, but apparently it is an ingredient in the Skele-gro potion. They can be hard to catch but use a cage, bait it with a carrot or a freezing charm would work fine too."

She switched the picture of the Chomping Cabbage with a small crablike creature with fangs. "Ever seen one of these?"

"Chizpurfle," said Draco quickly. "I've seen them on my crups before."

"Wow, right again, Draco!" Lita tossed him another candy, which he managed to catch. "Chizpurfles are about a twentieth of an inch long. They're attracted to magic, so they will infest crups and auguries and kneazels. Remember to clean your cauldrons thoroughly after using them or it will attract these nasty bugs. They also feed off electricity if they can't find magic. Even these things are a nuisance, their carapace can be used in antidotes. The hard part is getting their carapace off. Often the best way is to lure it with a spell and have a venomous tentactuala eat it, then it will spit out the carapace for you. The carapace is most often used in antidotes."

She took off the picture of the parasite and replaced it with a picture of sticks and powder. Harry recognized it from seeing his Aunt Petunia cooking.

"Cinnamon," he said.

"Exactly!" Lita tossed Harry a candy. "Cinnamon is a staple food and potion ingredient. It has antioxidants—which prevents your cells from damage. "She added quickly when Draco had a bewildered look on his face. "Helps fight infections, good for your heart and help you lose weight." She put up a picture of a heart but neither of them could guess from what animal. "Crocodile heart," she said. "Used in strength and speed potions. If you've ever seen these guys ambush animals in nature shows, you'd understand why."

She put up another picture of coconuts. Harry was able to guess it.

"Yes, coconuts are used for many things; bruises, beauty, burns, skin, hair—I love coconut, great stuff. In cooking I use the flakes but in potions I notice it in oil form."

She placed a picture of a bug on the projector. Both boys said the answer at the same time. "Cockroach!"

They looked at each other as if they were competing for who said it first and earned the treat. Nevertheless, Lita both threw them a candy.

"Yep," said Lita. "These gross little bugs are used in potion making. And if you ever got a cockroach cluster at honeydukes, I guess you would say they're used in cooking. Cockroaches are hardy and withstand almost anything—decapitation, radiation, starvation. That is why they are used in longevity potions. But honestly, I think it would just be easier to eat healthy and have a cup of tea every day."

Lita then put a picture of blue flowers. Harry was certain he had seen them before but he couldn't remember the name.

"Cornflower," said Lita when neither of them responded. "The petals are used to heal cuts and wounds, and help with your vision." She put another flower that was yellow, similar to a poppy. Again, the boys didn't know the answer.

"Corydalis," Lita said. "The tube and bulb are used in sleeping potions. It also promotes heart health, pain relief and helps with headaches."

Lita turned off the projector. "All right, we're going to end with my favorite ingredient." She looked excited. "Can either of you boys tell me what this is?" she held up a cocoa bean between her finger and thumb.

"A seed?" guessed Draco.

"Close," said Lita. "Harry, do you recognize it?"

Harry squinted. He was certain he saw a picture of it on a container of something in his aunt's kitchen. "Cocoa bean?

"That's right!" Lita picked up a bell and rang it. A couple of house elves appeared with a large cart draped with a fancy cloth. Lita pulled the cloth to reveal chocolate cakes, cookies, truffles and candies a chocolate fountain with fresh fruit and wafers. There was chocolate with varying degrees of cocoa: White, milk, and several types of dark chocolate. There were mugs next to different types of hot chocolate mixes along with marshmallows. Both boys' eyes widened. Neither have seen so much chocolate before. Harry was convinced that this amount of chocolate would make him immune to dementor attacks.

"Chocolate!" Lita exclaimed. "It has tons of benefits. It is a remedy to the feeling you get when you are exposed to dementors. It is very nutritious. Lots of vitamins—well, dark chocolate at least." Lita held up a bar of dark chocolate. "It has antioxidants and is anti-flamoritory. Good for you heart, brain and skin and your overall health. You can make all sorts of potions with it, or you can put potions in it if you don't want to drink a yucky potion straight up." She pointed at signs next to chocolate indicating what kind of potion she put in them, sleeping potion, focus potions, calming potions and the like.

"Well guys," said Lita. "Lesson's done, let's have a snack."

"That's way too much chocolate for the three of us," said Harry.

"You can take some with you to your dormitories," Lita told him. She looked at the house elves. "Think you can help them?"

"Of course, Miss Lita!" they chimed.

Lita picked some plates and handed them to Draco and Harry. She started putting goodies on her plate and Harry followed suit. Draco paused. This was too unreal. He had never held a conversation with Lita before but here she was offering him more goodies at once than his mother did in his first year of Hogwarts. How could Lita be so nice?

"Why did you make all this?" Draco asked her.

"Simple," said Lita. "I love to cook and cooking with potions makes it more fun for me. Don't' be shy, Draco. Help yourself. And don't worry about gaining too much weight or anything from it. Tomorrow you'll be with Mina studying biology and doing some sports. Better indulge while you can." Lita winked at him while she stuck a strawberry in the chocolate fountain.

Draco hesitantly walked to the cart and got a slice of cake along with some chocolate covered nuts. After having a bite, he was hooked and ended up having almost a little of everything. It was the best chocolate he ever had, and he had quite a bit of chocolate.

"Did you really make all this?" he asked.

"Yeah, mostly," said Lita. "Though the house elves gave me a hand."
"Miss Lita gave us new recipes to try," said one of the house elves. "We will add them to the dessert menu at dinner next week."

Lita, Harry and Draco stayed in the room gorging themselves and chocolate and talking about random things for nearly a half hour when they became too full. A house elf followed each boy to their dormitories while Lita summoned one to take some to Ravenclaw and another followed her to Hufflepuff to share the rest with her housemates.

"Wow, this is excellent, Lita," said Ernie as he bit into a piece of cake. "Maybe I should start going to this potions club."

There were a few others that agreed with him.

"Giving the guy sweets the day before I make him run five miles in the forest," Mina smirked. "Not bad."

Draco arrived at the quidditch pitch wearing loose fitting clothes. Instead of studying with him after dinner, Mina wanted to do it after lunch for more daylight and warmth.

"Oh good, you made it," said Mina. She was wearing her gym outfit; a white shirt with her name and the number eight on the front and short black shorts. She held a shovel on her shoulders and she was standing next to a wheelbarrow with several pots, bags of soil and other necessities for the average green thumb.

"What in Merlin's name are you wearing?" Draco exclaimed pointing at her.

Mina laughed. "Think I look good, eh? But I should remind you that I've got a boyfriend."

"That's not what I meant," said Draco in surprise. "Are you insane? In this weather? Isn't something like that against school rules? I should report you."

"It's only April," said Mina. "This is the gym uniform we wore in Japan."

"You're not in Japan anymore! This is England. We have proper rules here! Didn't you live here before?"

"Oh yes, I did," Mina told him. "And I didn't care much for the 'proper rules. All right, let's head to the forest."

"The forest?" said Draco. "I thought we'd be going to the greenhouses or something."

"There's some plants in the forest that we need to collect," Mina explained. "Don't worry. We should be safe during the daytime. Before we start, let's do a warm up."

Draco frowned but did the stretches, toe touches and jumping jacks like she demonstrated. After their warmup, she told him to push the wheelbarrow to the forest. Draco remembered the last time he entered the forest. It was for his detention in his first year. He hated it, other than the time he scared Neville Longbottom. A smirk went across his face at the memory.

Mina paused stopped at a shrub but jogged in place.

"So, what do we call this plant?" she asked him.

"Dunno," said Draco.

"Alihosty," she told him. "Eating the leaves causes hysteria but Professor Sprout wants to study the rest of the plant to see what else it can do." She handed him the shovel. "Start digging."


"Dig the plant out silly," Mina said. "Mind the roots. Here, I'll get started for you." She carved a circle a good distance from the plant but not too deep.

Grunting, Draco pushed the shovel into the crack Mina made and popped the plant out. It took him more than five minutes.

"Wow, you're pathetic," Mina said under her breath.

"What was that?" Draco demanded.

Mina pretended to be cheerful. "Oh, that—that was pretty good, Draco. Good effort." She took a pot from the wheelbarrow and had him help put the shrub into it. They gathered potting soil around it and then they were off to find the next plant.

As they got deeper into the forest, they came to a bog with many depressions and moss. "Oh, the round leaf sundew likes to live in places like this," Mina said excitedly.

"This place looks disgusting," Draco muttered.

Mina eye the ground carefully and found a patch of the plant in question. They looked rather alien, bright green with pink needles at the top of it. "Found it! These things eat insects, like the Venus fly trap!" She picked up another pot and had him shovel the sundew out of the ground and into the clay pot. Mina looked around. "There's another one like it around here…. ah there it is!"

Mina hurried to a group of tall purple flowers with a green starshaped base. "The common butterwort, also known as the bog violet. We're going take these things to the greenhouses and enlarge them!"

"Enlarge them?" Draco asked, looking shocked. "Then they'll eat us!"

"Only if you get too close to them," Mina said as they potted the bog violet. "Professor Sprout wanted to see if we can find plants similar to the venomous tentantcula."

Mina glanced around for any other alien looking insect eating plants and then they left the bog. They harvested more plants: dittany, a silvery green herb used to heal wounds, flitterbloom, a plant that closely resembled devils snare but was nonviolent. Mina had to prove to him it was safe by lying in it.

"This is insane," Draco said as they loaded the devil's snare lookalike into the wheelbarrow. "Wait until my father hears about this!"

"Your daddy's in prison, punk!" Mina spat at him. "What's he going to do from there?"

Draco glared at her and said nothing. He knew she was right.

Mina cleared her throat. "Okay, there's one last thing we should get. A Casablanca lily."

"What's that for?" he demanded.

"Extra credit," she answered with a smirk. "It's Raye's favorite flower." She lifted up the wheelbarrow and started walking. Draco paused for a moment as his mind wander to Raye. What would she say if he gave her one or maybe a handful of her favorite flower?

"Hey, you coming?" Mina called. "You don't want to be in the forest when the sun sets, do you?"

Draco gasped and started following her. "All right, let's go."

They found the beautiful white lilies in a field Draco cut enough to build a bouquet and tied it with a red ribbon Mina provided. They walked out of the forest with the wheelbarrow full of mundane and magical plants.

"Not too bad," said Mina. "I guess you are a green thumb after all but I'd say you still got to work on your muscles."

Draco frowned at her and shook his head. He didn't need strength. That's why he had Crabbe and Goyle. They had the brawns and he had the brains. Although they have become more trouble than usual since the year has started.

"So where do we put all this?" Draco asked.

"I'll take care of that," Mina answered and pushed the Casablanca lilies in his hands. "Why don't you get these Raye while they're still freshly cut?"

Draco paused. "I don't know…she's probably busy."

"Oh, I'm sure she could use a break," said Mina. "I'd better go get these to the greenhouses."

Mina went to the direction of the greenhouses and Draco went into the castle. As he walked to the dungeons, he wondered what he was going to say to her. Would she even accept the flowers? She did meet with him to teach him runes and she wasn't so angry with him. But things were difficult. The days had changed since Voldemort had come to power and the wizarding world was aware of it. Before Voldemort returned, Draco heard stories of all the great things he did from his father. How he hunted muggles and muggleborns, rallying the true wizards together. Now that he was a death Eater and was s working for The Dark Lord, he saw what he really was. He wasn't a hero like he believed him to be. He was a monster. But he couldn't admit it. It was too late. He bore the dark mark. The Dark Lord owned him.

As he hoped, Raye was in the common room talking with Daphne Greengrass. He was glad he didn't have to track her down. He was surprised to see the two talking. Raye was usually a hermit. But he knew the Greengrass family. They were probably the most polite and classy family he knew that were Slytherins. They kept to wizarding traditions but they were in no way supportive of The Dark Lord like Malfoy and his buddies.

"Hi Raye," he said as he approached her. "Er, hello Daphne."

"Hello Draco," Daphne replied, smiling when she saw the flowers. She looked at Raye and winked. "Thank you for your insight, Raye. I think I'll get to dinner."

Raye nodded. "Yes, you're welcome."

Daphne got up and left the common room. Draco glanced at her and then at Raye, wondering if he should ask what they were talking about. Instead Raye broke the silence.

"With the way Mina talked," said Raye, "I thought you would be limping on your way back. Guess she didn't work you as hard as she made us think."

"Well, I suppose not," said Draco. "But she did have me push a wheelbarrow all the forest and dig up some plants. Had me do these infernal muggle exercises too"

"Oh, that must've been strenuous," she said sarcastically. "You probably won't be able to get out of bed in the morning. What's with the flowers anyhow?"

"They're for you," said Draco, holding them out to her. "Casablanca lilies. Mina said they were your favorite."

"Casablanca lilies?" Raye leaned forward to reached for them and got a closer look and smell of them. She spoke excitedly when she recognized them as real Casablanca lilies. "They are! How'd you find these? I haven't seen Casablanca lilies in... oh…thank you Draco." She cleared her throat. "I'm just going to go put these in some water. Tomorrow my grandfather will be training you in Defense Against the Dark Arts. If he does something stilly, I apologize for him in advance."

Raye turned for the girls' dormitories. Draco stood there almost expecting more, like a hug or something. Then he reminded himself that they weren't together anymore. He went to the boys' dormitories and grabbed a change of clothes. After his excursion in the forest he needed a bath. He soaked in the bath and pondered his study sessions with Serena and the others. This had to be the strangest sort of detentions he ever had. After his bath he had a quick bite to eat in the Great Hall. He felt the soreness creeping in and so he retired to bed. He hoped Professor Hino wouldn't be as hard on him as the girls were.