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Amalia Mayer

You Could Set Yourself on Fire

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Amalia Mayer

"Calorissimo!" Amalia aggressively flicked her wand at the small flame underneath her cauldron. If she was going to be good at potions, she was going to have to get good at the spells related to it as well. And that required practice. So, Amalia had set up her cauldron and a little station in some unused classroom, and set to work. Just getting the flame to ignite with the incendio spell had been difficult enough, but Amalia managed it in the end. And now she was desperately trying to use calorissimo to make the flames grow and bring her cauldron of water to a faster boil. The flame flickered as if it was laughing at Amalia, refusing to grow.

 

Amalia leaned over the table, pulling her notes towards her to see what she had scribbled down about making the spell work. Trying one more time, she cried, "Calorissimo!" with perhaps more gusto than needed. The flame finally decided to react and swelled suddenly, lapping dramatically around the cauldron.

 

Desperate not to get burned, Amalia stumbled backwards and fell onto the floor. She watched in mild horror as the flame caught her paper notes and the wooden table, and both started to burn. She gripped her wand - there was a spell to turn down the flames! Oh. It was written on the blazing paper. She hadn't memorized it yet.

 

Amalia threw open the door and peeked her head out into the corridor. "Help?" she called, as loud as she could, her voice tight with fear.

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Edward Borage

A panicky call for help got Edward’s attention fast and shoving the letter he was reading into his satchel, he hurried down the corridor and was just in time to see a head go back into a classroom. He called out, “What’s wrong,” but he didn’t hand around waiting for a reply and charged into the room only to come to a skidding halt as his question was answered without words.

 

Edward’s mouth dropped open to gape at the fiery mess...Amalia, that was her name...had made of the room. All the while the blaze spread and he watched in fascinated horror as the flames juts got bigger. “Flacking hell!” He scowled as he finally moved into action, reaching blindly in his satchel for his wand and brining it round to point at the table. A small part of his brain was hoping that he’d actually manage to cast the right spell because his brain was seeing fire and it would be terrible if he managed to burn the school down only weeks in. “Frigussimo!” 

 

The fact that it worked was nothing short of amazing and the flames magically lowered but the damage was already done, the table was charred and it was probably going to be a good idea if they put the fire out before it went wrong again. “You really can’t help yourself can you?” Edward asked with a wry smile. “It was the forest they were petitioning to destroy, not the school...that they wanted closed but I think it’s only because they’d get a good price for the land and we’re probably wanting to open a hotel or something.” He grinned wider and chuckled, “Since you don’t strike me as the type to be a hotel mogul, what were you working on, Amalia?”

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Amalia Mayer

Amalia breathed in relief when a boy - wait, was that Edward? - ran in and quickly cast the spell to turn the down the flames. He had performed the spell beautifully, and did in one try what Amalia couldn't.

 

As Edward cracked a couple jokes, Amalia smiled faintly at him. He was funny, and she was glad that he wasn't yelling at her. Not that she particularly expected him to yell, but she kind of figured that anyone might yell. Well, if he was going to be nice about it, than Amalia ought to buck up. As her father once told her, failure is a step on the path to success. And he was a chemist, so he would know. Amalia stood up.

 

"I - " She started to answer Edward, but faltered. I was trying to cast a simple spell, but failed. Looking at the charred table and her destroyed notes, this didn't feel like a step on the path to success. It felt like a failure, consistent with the many she'd had since coming to Hogwarts. 

 

"Actually, I am the hotel mogul type. Looks can be deceiving." She almost delivered it with perfect humorous candor, but her voice cracked at the end and tears pricked in her eyes, and she looked down so Edward wouldn't see her crying.

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Edward Borage

“My mistake,” he laughed, “Clearly a home renovator gutting each offending room is much more your thing and understandable. This room is very drab...hey now....”

 

Okay so he wasn’t an expert on girls but he did have two older sisters, an older niece and, in case that wasn’t enough, a younger sister to boot, so he wasn’t a complete dunce. One thing he did know was that it would be a fatal mistake to actually draw attention to the tears. In his limited experience it seemed the best policy was to acknowledge it as little as possible and act like nothing was happening...unless they were flung face down on a bed and sobbing into a pillow surrounded by empty chocolate wrappers and a shredded picture of a boy - then it was permissible to agree that said boy was a beast and to refill the chocolate supply.

 

Wordlessly he dug once more into his satchel and handed over a spotlessly clean hankie with his former alma mater’s crest in a corner. “Here pet...”

 

The ignoring of tears started now and he went over to poke at the cauldron, “So, if not a hotel mogul or home renovator perhaps a budding potioneer? “What potion are you trying?” It was at this point he wondered if she’d connect the name but it wasn’t going to be something he actually bragged about. “Polyjuice? Draught of Living Death? Pepperup?”

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Amalia Mayer

Oh Merlin, what was Amalia doing? Crying? What happened to smiling and working hard and getting through it? But honestly, Hogwarts was harder than muggle primary school. No matter how hard she studied, there was just something in her that seemed to resist casting spells. These fire spells were supposed to be simple, but just look at that table.

 

At least Edward wasn't awful to cry in front of. Apparently. He was still friendly, but didn't take an overly pitying tone and didn't even mention her tears. And he was comforting. She was a little surprised when he called her "pet", but it reminded her of her dad. She took the hankie and dabbed at her face, getting a slight hold over herself. "Thanks," she said in a watery voice.

 

When Edward asked what she was making, her face became red with shame. Well, redder. Inside the pot was just plain water. This was about the spell, not the potion. But she could be okay. Amalia threw up a shaky smile that she hoped was a little mischievous. "Why don't you taste it and see?" 

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Edward Borage

Okay so he had miscalculated there a bit of the sudden flush of red was anything to go by; Amalia might be a hotel mogul, a whizz at home reno’s and a genius at making really big fires but she wasn’t a prodigy at potions... and she was beating herself up about it too...needlessly.

 

Edward made a show of going nearer to the cauldron as slowly as he dared, making it look good because he’d already figured it out that there probably wasn’t anything in there that would harm him. “Hmmmm,” he muttered contemplatively. He closed his eyes and sniffed the air but all he got was a nose full of charred wood as a scent and the astringent heat of steam. He sneezed into his elbow and grimaced. “Gods I hate inhaling steam like that...it itches!” A wicked grin lit up his face as he found something to dip into the cauldron.

 

He held it up and half lifted it to his mouth, hesitating a few inches away, his grin falling to become more serious, “My dad’s right, you Gryffindor lasses do make guys do reckless things that go against everything you thought you were...and break every rule...”

 

There was no more pausing, no hesitation at all. He lifted the container, threw his head back and downed the cooled contents in one gulp. The container fell from his hand as he clutched his throat, eyes popping wide open as he gasped, not wasting the opportunity to tease the lioness. He came up smirking, “He was also right in saying us Borage guys could hack it in Gryffindor.”

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Amalia Mayer

Amalia forgot her embarrassment and tears as she watched Edward hover over the cauldron, her eyes wide. Was he really going to try it? Okay, it was just water in that cauldron, but he didn't know that. Was he really going to try some mystery potion? One that was made by Amalia and probably wrong? For the first time...ever?..she was at a loss for words when Edward sniffed the steam and sneezed. 

 

She also didn't have time to respond when he claimed that Gryffindor lasses made guys do reckless things. "Edward!" Amalia squeaked when he dropped the container and clutched his throat. Was the water still boiling?! Had Amalia just succeeded in burning a kid she was really starting to like?!

 

She was halfway to his side when he popped up and smirked. Relief flooding her chest, she broke into loud giggles. "I think your dad knows what he's talking about," she laughed. Then she delivered a light punch to Edward's arm. "I thought you'd just swallowed boiling water! I was really worried!" The smile wavered a little as she realized she'd admitted that it was just water. Would Edward think she was stupid?

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Edward Borage

“Gotcha!” he laughed, “And I suppose I deserved that too for scaring you...but there was never any risk of dying or scalding...it was all in the timing, sweet...and the smelling. Did you really think I’d gulp an unknown liquid down like that if there was any chance it could be an unknown potion?” His grin didn’t fade as he lightly rubbed his arm, more for show than for any other reason.

 

”Not sure I’d have dared if it had been this time last year but after surviving a year of increasingly difficult tests dealing with plants and identifying them by sight and smell, I was pretty sure it was a really safe risk. Your boiling water held no trace of anything scented. But we should really fix that. Why waste some perfectly good boiling water?”

 

Edward dumped his satchel down and rummaged through it, pulling out all sorts of odds and ends. His grin faded into a frown of concentration, “It’s in here somewhere..,” a large handwritten book on plants got dumped onto the ground, “...that’s the problem with an undetectable extension charm...” gobstones followed, “...you can never,” quills and ink, “...find...” the letter from his dad, “...anything!...” parchment, “...slightly illegal too...” a pair of dice, “...blame my dad...ah! Got it!”

 

Finally he got what he had been searching for and his grin returned as he shoved everything back in his bag until all that was left out was a black canister, the dice and the first book. Edward nudged the book and shrugged, “That’s what told me I was safe from your potion...a year’s worth of Herbology notes. I don’t suppose you had to write one of these did you? Sorry it’s mostly in Portuguese and some of the more common native dialects...only the Whomping Willow entry is in English.” He gave the book a loving stroke before moving to indicate the canister. “You up for brewing some tea? And maybe a game of dice?...if you’re game to try.”

 

 

 

 

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