Behati Gadot

I can't help this awful energy

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Her body felt warm and her fingers curled, fingernails meeting deeply into palmed flesh as she thought back to that day in the Great Hall when Emmett had called her that awful slurmudblood: a disparaging name for those without magical blood. The word, though new in her vocabulary of terrible words one must never say to another person, struck her deep to her core. It ripped her at her edges and stripped her of her fundamental understanding of what it meant to be a human being worthy of the most basic levels of respect. But, she thought, that was the intention of slurs, was it not? To make their victim feel belittled and less than—to tear them apart from their very understanding of self, leaving them afloat with nothing to anchor them? That was how every other slur she’d ever heard used against her made her feel.

 

And that was precisely why she couldn’t shrug off Emmett’s words.

 

Had he said anything else—though she’d still be hurt—Behati would’ve been able to let the issue go. It wouldn’t have made her fingers curl inward, made her palms bleed crescent-shaped blood, made her heart beat faster, made her body heat up, and her skin hum with barely suppressed rage. Bee hated this, she hated feeling like this—hated the tell-tale signs of a heart too affected by the ill-words of an emotionally void human, and hated the subsequent anger that followed. Anyone who knew Behati knew that she hatred retribution and anything that made her angry. Her mind was usually filled with thoughts of happiness and kind words. She liked that for herself—she wanted that for herself. Blokes like Emmett and Atlas brought out the negative thoughts and angry feelings she knew thrummed below the surface, but she preferred to keep at bay.

 

Emmett especially.

 

So, when she’d heard about Isobel Blake and the Gryffindor girl’s...talents, so to speak, with potions Behati jumped at the opportunity to have her potions skills improved. If her plans to get revenge on Emmett were to be seen to succession, she’d need all the knowledge she could acquire. That night during dinner, as Emmett sat in the Great Hall after the detention Professor Qin had assigned him, Behati thought back to that day in the Great Hall and earlier that day in the corridors when Emmett had shown he felt no remorse for what he’d called her. Then, her eyes moved over to Isobel’s body sat at the Gryffindor house table. Though her hands shook slightly with nerves, and her legs felt like they would betray her, Behati moved forward with her plan. Walking as quickly as she possibly could, she steered her body toward Isobel, and when she’d approached the girl, she’d slammed the folded up piece of parchment right down on the table in front of the girl.

 

She gave the girl a small smile, then left the Great Hall to go to the girls’ toilets on the second floor she’d heard was allegedly haunted.

 

Ghost or no ghost, she’d finally go through with her plans.


Edited by Behati Gadot

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Isobel looked down at the scribbled note on the table in front of her with poorly veiled confusion.

 

 

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She recognized the Hufflepuff girl as the one who'd been dragging the other Hufflepuff girl off Emmett Blaze on the lawn the previous day, during the Great Sableplume Fiasco of 2038. Still, the glittery text (that somehow managed to be both cheerful and vaguely threatening) completely threw her. She stared after the girl as she scurried out of the Great Hall, completely at a loss. What talents, exactly? Not that Isobel wasn't extremely talented, because she was, but really, which of her manifold talents was this even talking about? Her ability to find the worst in people no matter what? Her charming inability to be happy for someone else's success? There were so many to choose from! At least no one around her seemed to be in on a joke, or anything -- she didn't see anyone staring, or hiding smiles... Nothing. It was suspicious.

 

Isobel did not like not knowing something. 

 

Her meal forgotten before her, Isobel took one last swig of pumpkin juice, delicately wiped her mouth with a napkin, and abandoned the Great Hall with the note carefully folded in her pocket. It was several more minutes before she arrived at the entrance to Myrtle's bathroom, and she hesitated outside the door. Pure instinct had her looking around to see if anyone had followed her (she was fairly certain they hadn't, but one could never be too sure), since everything seemed so secretive. Why hadn't the Hufflepuff just spoken to her? Honestly, if Isobel ended up getting mugged in the bathroom, she would never forgive herself.

 

She knocked, since it felt like right thing to do.

 

"Come in," a voice called. 

 

Isobel winced, sighed, shook her head, then wiped her features blank before opening the door to the bathroom.

 

Well -- one question answered.

 

There was the Hufflepuff girl, and she seemed to be alone. Isobel raised an eyebrow and didn't move too far into the room, just to be safe. She crossed her arms.

 

"Well? What do you want?" It wasn't the friendliest she'd ever been, but then, it wasn't the unfriendliest either. The girl had complimented her, after all, which had put her in a better mood than usual.


Edited by Isobel Blake

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The knock, seemingly, reverberated.

 

It sounded loud enough to alert anyone walking nearby. Or was that just the beating of her too loud heart? Behati didn't dwell on it for too long. With an attempt at a calm “come in” Bee stood, arms at her sides and fingers continuing to curl, across from Isobel in the girls’ toilet. To be honest, she hadn't really thought Isobel would even pay any attention to the note—she’d thought the Gryffindor girl would discard it without reading it, like a speck of dust not worth more attention in the mind than a brief thought of cleaning it away, then go back to her dinner as though she hadn’t received anything.

 

Behati was, to say the least, pleasantly surprised.

 

However surprised she was to even see Isobel stood before her, she quickly remembered that she was a woman on a mission. Unsure of how to start off this little meeting, Bee curtseyed, teeth bared in a polite smile, fingernails now trying to stop their assault on her palms, and air thick with anticipation. Her next words would determine the outcome of the evening, so she picked them carefully. “Hi, I’m Behati.” Well, duh. That much was obvious. “Word around the corridors is that you're quite brilliant at potions.” Flattery. Everyone took kindly to that. “And I—I need your help. ‘M Muggleborn, so I dunno about all the ingredients that you wizarding lot put in your potions. To be honest, I never believed that potions were even real before I got my Hogwarts letter. Can you believe that?” ‘You’re getting off topic’ her mind reminded her, then she pushed on and said, “So, yeah. I wanna be great at potions and stuff. The best, in fact. So I’ll need all the help I can get and...yeah.”

 

Behati stopped there, nerves starting to get the best of her and a fear that she'd say something utterly idiotic and have Isobel running in the other direction gripping at her throat.

 

“So...will you help me?” She asked, finally.

 

She was careful to leave out the bits about how she wanted to slip Emmett Blaze a sleeping draught and then drag his unconscious body into the Forbidden Forest without his shoes for the creatures that lurked in the depths of the forest to have him as their dinner.

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The Hufflepuff girl curtsied. In her robes. Like -- actually curtsied. Isobel would've had trouble holding back a smirk if she wasn't so wary. First a compliment in the note, now a curtsy? 

 

She was definitely being buttered up.

 

Oh -- and tack on 'quite brilliant at potions,' too. Isobel fought the urge to preen a little (she was rather brilliant, wasn't she?) and forced herself not to drop her guard. This Behati girl clearly wanted something -- badly enough for all this secretive fanfare and flattery. 

 

“So, yeah. I wanna be great at potions and stuff. The best, in fact. So I’ll need all the help I can get and...yeah.”

 

Isobel narrowed her eyes slightly, but felt torn. What was it with muggleborns? First she'd gotten into that awkward sort of fight with Tamsin over her condescension to the muggleborns in the dormitory, and then she was trying to defend Emmett from... himself? After he'd been calling muggleborns.... Well. That word. And now she was being asked to help Behati for the sole reason that she was a muggleborn and felt behind. It was just... unlikely. Someone's blood status had barely ever been a topic of conversation for her growing up, and now it seemed like she was always getting put in the position where she had to defend them. 

 

And so, to spite Emmett, and because it was the right thing to do, and because she was, admittedly, very flattered.. Isobel felt like she had to help Behati.

 

Well, she ought to, anyway. She just didn't trust her. Isobel was far from stupid, and even someone far less suspicious than her would still probably pick up on the fact that there was obviously more that Behati wasn't saying. Even someone as stupid as Atlas. Otherwise, why not just ask her for help in the Great Hall? Why drag her here?

 

"You know," Isobel said slowly, trying to keep her face as unreadable as possible. "You probably shouldn't tell your classmate you want to be better at potions than them if you actually want their help." Who would actually help someone get better than they were themselves, at a competitive school? Certainly not Isobel.

 

She gave Behati what she hoped was an unnervingly piercing stare. A long pause, and then, "No. I won't help. You're not telling me something, and I don't like it." 

 

She gestured around her, silently denoting the suspicious context like it was obvious (considering they were in Myrtle's bathroom, it was), and turned to walk out the door.

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Isobel looked as though she was suspicious of Behati. The Hufflepuff girl had no idea what she would do if Isobel called her out on her half-truth directly. Lie, perhaps? But she’d never been particularly good at lying—the act of it always filled her with a deep pit of dread. But, in her desire to keep her revenge plans under wraps, Bee figured that if she was challenged on her words she would have to bite the bullet and come up with a mostly believable lie. One that would make Isobel slightly too uncomfortable to ask for further details.

 

That, or she’d just start crying and hope that that gave her some believability.

 

“Yeah, I completely understand where you’re coming from,” she responded after Isobel had told her it’d be best for Behati to not tell Isobel that Bee hoped to be better than her at potions. The voice in her mind reminded her ‘there’ll always be somebody better than you’ but Bee decided against speaking those words out loud to Isobel because she knew that telling the Gryffindor girl that there would always be someone better than her at potions would get her the opposite of her desired effect.

 

The crushing blow came when Isobel declared that she would not, in fact, be helping Behati, and the short Hufflepuff girl quickly saw her opportunity at revenge slipping out of her fingers. She hadn’t the faintest idea who else she could ask besides Isobel and she didn’t want to waste another second. She needed to put her plans into action as soon as possible. “Wait!” Behati called out, shifting from one foot to the other and quickly considering her options.

 

Mostly believable lie or slight omission of the truth? She went with slight omission of the truth.

 

“You—you’re right. I haven’t been completely honest with you,” her eyes looked at the floor and she began wringing her fingers together, trying to look as guilty as possible. Then, her eyes moved up and connected with Isobel’s. “I—em. I don’t only want to be good at potions for lessons. I also want to, um, be good at lessons because there’s this...person, so to speak. They did something to me and I’m not very strong so I can’t beat them up, so I want to use magic to help me get stronger. At least so I don’t feel completely useless whenever I see them. I’ve been taking up dueling too, yeah.”


Behati blew a stray piece of curly hair out of her eyes, hating how she’d ended up losing most of her hair ties all within the first week of school, and gave Isobel another smile. “So? Will you change your mind? Please?”

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Isobel allowed herself a smirk as Behati called out for her to stop. She hadn't actually thought that would work as well as it did, but then, the girl was a Hufflepuff. She made herself look suspicious and annoyed again before turning back around, but as Behati continued to speak, her expression darkened, her lips pursing tightly. This was not what she had been expecting, to say the very least.

 

"Someone did something to you?" she asked carefully. She wasn't sure how reliable a narrator Behati was, considering she didn't know any of the circumstances, but... why would she have specifically chosen that be her lie, if it wasn't true? It was so far outside of the box that Isobel was inclined to believe it. And to throw in the bit about dueling...

 

Once again, that familiar anger rose in her.

 

There was no more decision to be made after that, really. And if Behati was lying, well... she'd deal with that later.

 

"I'll help you," she said, her voice and rage quiet. 

 

She liked that Behati wanted to fight back. Isobel would help her, even if she didn't think getting better at potions would contribute anything other than a false sense of security. You couldn't defend yourself with potions, could you?

 

Although... if the person was in their year, she could beat them in marks. Isobel filed this thought away for later, too.

 

She asked solemnly, "Where would you like to begin?" 

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“Yeah,” Behati confirmed to Isobel, nodding. “Somebody did something to me.” Behati didn’t want to be open about the details of the matter, but even if she did, she couldn’t—she couldn’t risk her secret plans getting out to Emmett. Even if, on the off-chance, Emmett wouldn’t find out through Isobel, once Bee spoke the words she was afraid that they’d travel through the air and magically land themselves in Emmett’s ears. This was a magical school, after all. There wasn’t much that could reassure her that that wouldn’t happen.

 

Really? You’ll help? That’s brilliant!” She wanted to give the Gryffindor girl a hug, but stopped herself before her body could make any motion to move. If Isobel had been anyone else—perhaps Molly Stone—Behati would’ve closed the distance between them. However, since Isobel was very much not Molly Stone, Bee stayed planted firmly in her spot, a wide smile on her face the only indication that she was happy with Isobel’s news. “Em...for starters, how about you teach me about how I can go about obtaining all of the ingredients for different potions? Like, the difficulty levels, and how I may be able to look for Flobberworm Mucus, or whatever that is, for example.”

 

In order to prevent her question from sounding too on-the-nose, Behati quickly added, “And just mixing and stuff. I mean, our potions book teaches us that we should smash instead of stir, stir instead of toss—what in the world does all of that even mean, anyway?”


Edited by Behati Gadot

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Isobel felt a twinge of guilt when she saw how happy Behati was. She didn't want her to be that grateful -- she'd almost said no, for Merlin's sake. It... didn't feel right. It wasn't like she was going out on a limb for her, or anything. And had Isobel known that Behati had ignored her urge to hug her, she would have been the grateful one. Isobel was big on personal space.

 

She was surprised Behati didn't want to go to the potions classroom or even the library for their discussion, though. Myrtle's bathroom seemed a little... distasteful.

 

"Well, normally there are places called apothecaries. My... father actually owns one in Scotland." Calling Ciaran by his biological title was always uncomfortable, but she didn't need to give anyone any insight into her personal life; not calling him father was more trouble than it was worth. "And you probably saw one in Diagon Alley -- Slug & Jigger's? Anyway, you can buy most ingredients you'd need there. As for at Hogwarts, well, the potions professor usually supplies what we need to brew. I'd suppose they have a stock room of ingredients somewhere."

 

Flobberworm Mucus.... that was specific. Another thing to file away.

 

"So... a lot of questions, wow. Okay. How would you like to go to the potions classroom, or maybe the library, and I can teach you? This isn't really the most..." She paused. "Appropriate environment."

 

It was gross. And she needed time to think.

 

Continued.


Edited by Isobel Blake

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