Bryony Sarah Merton
If seven years at Hogwarts had taught me one thing it was that everyone, at some point in their Hogwarts life would have a Weasley or more commonly a Potter phase. Often both but never neither it was currently an initiation of sorts into the world of wizarding heart-break. Obviously, there are exceptions, the power of the phase did not incite incest (thank Merlin) nor one could suppose, did it occur when there were no “Wotters” as they’re now more commonly called, present. But since the onslaught of offspring from the Potter/Weasley clan had come pouring into Hogwarts so had their power to charm young witches and wizards into a love-struck frenzy. And no one was safe.
Luckily for me I am now immune, my infatuation had occurred in first year back when crushes and cringe-worthy actions because of said crushes, could be blamed on age rather than any trait I still possessed . Clara, however has not been so lucky which was why she was currently recounting to our hufflepuff dorm her latest run in with a certain Mr Potter.
‘So, basically, I stumbled into this charms classroom, face the colour of a tomato, dripping with sweat, probably smelling like the backend of a hippogriff, all to avoid being pelted by Peeves which in hindsight would have been a better option. For who else was in that classroom, other than the God that is James Sirius Potter’
‘Oh, here we go’ I could tell Agatha was trying not to let a look of excitement creep onto her face as she said this but as much as we all empathised with Clara’s plight not to completely embarrass herself in front of the boy she liked, her interactions with them had been too good of late to not look forward to them.
‘So, after nearly falling onto him I began to worry that I smelt of the aforementioned sweat so of course I started to reassure him that I didn’t normally smell like this because obviously I showered regularly. And then I tried to joke about how I bet he didn’t need to reassure people he showered regularly, and that at least I definitely knew he showered regularly, but then I thought it sounded like I’d been watching him in the shower so I started to spout shit like “Not that I watch you or anything, don’t worry I’m not a pervert I
definitely don’t watch you in the shower” which of course just made it seem even more like I watched him in the shower '
A burst of laughter came from the corner of the room where Harriet had been brushing through the dark tangled heap of hair on her head ‘please tell me you didn’t really say that!’
‘Oh yes I really did, which of course made me seem more of a pervert, so obviously I tried to change the subject so I started to talk about stamps you know like postal ones.’
‘Stamps?’ I think now is a good time to mention that Clara, not even excepting Molly who is a Weasley and therefore subject to the paradox, is the best at flirting out of all us Hufflepuffs, this is the kind of power that the Potters can incite. I mean the other four of us don’t exactly brim with allure but talking about stamps really was a low point.
‘Look, it was the only thing I could think of. We’d just been speaking about them in muggle studies and I just rambled on and on. I just couldn’t stop myself I kept going and going, I didn’t even know that there was that much to say about stamps and I could see he was trying not to laugh but I just couldn’t stop speaking’
‘It’s better than saying you watch him in the shower’
‘Yeah but that’s not exactly setting the bar high is it? I mean stamps, really? Why? Anyway, eventually I manage to think of something less embarrassing that we even had in common. You Molly! And I was actually sounding normal but then who turns up but Ofelia bloody Newton who floats in with her hair perfectly groomed and her make up completely on point and started to apologise for being late but that now she was here she was up for some fuuuuun, like when did that even start to happen I thought she was with Ian Davies!’
‘Well I don’t know when her and Ian Davies ended but James has been around her since we got back after summer… And why on earth would you start to talk about me! Half my family already thinks your psychopaths after Harriet’s obsession with Fred’ Molly responded turning the inane grin on Harriet’s face into something slightly sinister.
‘Please do not remind me of that period of my life’
‘It was only 6 months ago!’
‘Bea you’re meant to be on my side!’
‘Cruel to be kind mi amigo, cruel to be …’
‘LADIES LADIES, I believe I was in the middle of a story, thank you. The reason I mentioned you my darling Mollinda was because you were the first thing I could think of I had in common with him or that wasn’t stamp related anyway, but just as I was getting back on track…’
‘Were you ever on the track to begin with?’ I managed to snicker before being silenced with a pillow to the face.
‘Just as I was getting back on track…’ continued Clara ‘Ofelia went and ruined it all and when she noticed me, it got worse and we all just stood there in the most excruciating silence looking at each other. Or rather them both eyeballing me.’
‘Why didn’t you just leave?’
‘I tried to Harry, I really did but I was kind of frozen in awkwardness and shame and then James kind of coughed and did that little hair ruffle thing he does and was like “errr well it was nice to see you again Clare” and was kind of ushering me out, not literally, but pretty much’
‘As long as he’s speaking to me he can call me whatever he wants, I do not care. Though I think I’d prefer it if we were doing something other than speaking’ this statement was accompanied by a waggle of her eyebrows and groans from the rest of us.
‘You repulse me’ Molly said with mock disgust.
‘So go on, what happened next? Please tell me there’s not anymore’ Agatha muffled from behind her hands that were already covering her face in an attempt to shield her from the second hand embarrassment.
‘It’s as if you don’t know me at all, of course my tale continues. So out I go but of course I’ve completely forgotten about Peeves who seemed to have disappeared for precious Ofelia but was kind enough to show up again in time to dump a heap of dung bombs on my head. Which of course made me say some not too pleasant things in a not too quiet voice, which made James and his lady love come out and see me looking and smelling like a pile of shit. It was not pretty. She headed to the common room then and he went to the library. I guess hearing someone screaming at Peeves what a floppy wanded fuck face he is kills the mood a bit.’
‘Oh Clara’ it really was difficult to sound sympathetic when trying to avoid laughing ‘At least he won’t forget you now’
‘It could have gone worse’
‘Really Moll, how?’
‘At least he didn’t catch you sniffing his hair’
‘That was ONE TIME MOLLY!’ Harriet yelled
‘At least you didn’t send him a singing howler professing your undying love’
‘Let me forget that please, I was only thirteen’ Agatha shot at me ‘And you were the one that helped me write the bloody thing!’ I stand by that poem, it’s harder to rhyme Potter with something romantic than you’d think.
‘And I suppose I didn’t use someone as a pole to dance around and slut drop down either’ chuckled Clara as everyone’s head turned to see Molly’s face turn a deep beetroot colour which generated a fit of giggles from us all.
‘I hate you all.’
‘Yeah yeah Mollykins, we know you love us really. Almost as much as you loved Malachy Finnegan when you gave him that lap dance’ I said jumping onto her bed to engulf her in a hug. She pushed me off but failed to suppress her grin.
'Why do we always end up talking about my cousins like this?’
‘Because luckily for you your entire family has been blessed with godly beauty that us mere mortals cannot resist’
‘It’s true, it’s all part of the POTTER PARADOX’ I half yelled whilst flinging myself dramatically back on the bed.
‘What in the hell is that?’
Ahh at last a chance to discuss my hypothesis ‘The proven theory that at some stage in your Hogwarts life if a Potter is within a year’s distance of your age, though that rule is not always applicable, you fall mad-ly in love with one’
‘Seriously Bea, have you been on the fire whiskey?’’
‘Oh har har, just think about it, nearly every single girl in our year and the year above has at some point been obsessed with James and nearly every single girl in Albus’ year has pretty much been in love with him too and if they haven’t then they’re scheduled to be soon’
‘Bullshit.’ Molly was always going to be the hardest to convince.
‘No… that’s all true to be fair, I think you might have something there’
‘And it applies to Weasleys too, to a lesser extent but it still works’
‘This is genius, actual genius’ I knew Agatha would like this theory, if you’d have sent that howler, you would want an excuse for it too.
‘You’ve got to be kidding me’
‘And it’s not just the girls who are effected either’
‘You’re not going to suggest that my cousins have managed to convert the whole male population of Hogwarts into rampant homosexuals, are you? Because that’s a stretch even for you lot’
‘No but look at the girls in your family too, every male in our year has gone after you or Dom with the only exception being Derek Keats who used to like who? James!’
‘Then there’s the way the lads are around Rose too’
‘And have you seen the attention that Lily’s had lately’
‘She’s right you know’
‘Wait but then if you’re saying this theory is true then at some point YOU must have liked James or Albus, right?’
‘First year from September until Christmas, James smiled at me on the train, I was instantly smitten, so I attempted to learn how to fly to impress him which is how I broke my arm’
‘But that’s first year that shouldn’t count’
‘Why not?’ If breaking your own limb for someone isn’t a declaration of love, what is’
‘I thought you didn’t believe in the theory Moll’
‘Well no not really but if I’m going to except it then I reckon first and second year crushes shouldn’t count, people only started dating properly when we could go to Hogsmeade and third year’s when James started getting any attention off girls so you should start from then’
‘Nope, first year counts right Clara?’
‘Erm actually Bea, I’m with Molly’
‘The aye’s have it first and second year don’t count’
‘Woah woah woah, first year does count I’m the creator of this theory so only I can change it especially seeing as you don’t even believe in it Molly’ The Potter Paradox may have only been created in an hour’s procrastination at the library, when I was meant to be doing N.E.W.T revision but was really only watching and accompanying Clara on her latest stake out of James, but it was still my theory.
‘Your scientific evidence has convinced me and theories don’t work like that any way’
‘Yeah and we agreed with you, you skerewt so we should have a say’
‘Yeah, we’re part of the Potter Phase Theory Committee’
‘I liked Potter Paradox.’ This came out slightly sulkier than the situation warranted but I am a sucker for alliteration.
‘Fine, Paradox. But you’ve still been out voted. How long do these phases normally last wise warlock Bryony maybe that painful event has helped shake me out of it?’
‘Normally about two to three months, the longest one on record belongs to Penny Midwinter in the year above whose phase lasted at least a year. But you should be about done Clara, though people have been known to relapse’
‘You’ve sure spent a lot of time analysing James Potters love life’ I didn’t like what that tone was implying.
‘It’s hard not to when it’s basically all the school talks about Molly’ I mumbled, as I felt my cheeks colour slightly. Sliding off my the bed and in the hope I could hide this(though the suspicious smile currently spreading across Molly’s face seemed to suggest otherwise)
I started to make my way across the room towards the bathroom.
‘Where are you going, I want to develop this theory?’ protested Harriet
‘The committee can develop it without me I’m going to jump in the shower for a bit, but could you make sure that perv Clare keeps away, we all know what she’s like’. Shooting a grin in the direction of Clara and avoiding any eye contact with Molly, I backed into the bathroom, closed the door and let out a sigh of relief.
James Sirius Potter
‘Mateeee when were you going to tell me you finally got on Newton, I had to hear it from some group of weeping first years who are probably already plotting Ofelia’s death’ said Fred with a laugh as he wrapped his arm around my neck and scratched my head with his fist.
‘I haven’t “got on her” as you so delicately put it and I didn’t think we were going to tell anyone yet if I’m honest’ I tried to pull away from my cousin. I knew I was acting like a moody get but I wasn’t quite ready for everyone to know about me and Ofelia quite so quickly. Sure, I was expecting the news to spread sooner or later especially after we gave the game away in front of Molly’s slightly eccentric friend Clare but surprisingly, she wasn’t the main source of the spread.
‘Oohhh sorry Jim I just assumed…’ So would I if he had a girlfriend who told everyone they were together even though they’d agreed to wait a while before the Ian situation calmed down. It’s not like I didn’t want people to know about us I really liked Ofelia but I also really liked having my head attached to my body.
‘I know I know, sorry it’s …I’m just a bit pissed off, not with you just with…’ I waved my hands frustratedly in the air as a way of explanation.
‘No! well yeah…I don’t know. I suppose. I just wish there wasn’t this massive fuss over it y’know? I mean even I know I’m just a rebound’
‘Right, hmm but still’
‘And she probably only let it get out to wind up Ian but it’s not her who’s going to have to deal with all that shit it’s going to be me, I’m the one who Ian Davies is going to be out looking for, ready to murder’
‘So basically, you’re pissed because you’re scared of Ian, Jimmy you could totally take him, the muggle or the wizard way stop stressing’
‘Yeah I reckon I could’ Fred could also make me crack a smile even when I didn’t want to ‘but I don’t want to, I shouldn’t need to, I can’t risk being out injured for quidditch not this year, especially if it’s just to make her ex jealous’
‘It’s cool Fred I’m fine, look I promised Dad I’d check in on Hagrid and I haven’t since we got back so...’
‘I’ll come with then’
‘No it’s fine go with Mal and the boys, I think they were looking for you before, go I’ll see you at dinner’
‘If you’re sure’ Fred shouted confusedly but I was already almost out of earshot.
By the time I’d reached the double doors leading onto the grounds I was beginning to feel bad about brushing Fred off so abruptly but I really couldn’t face anymore Ofelia talk today and I really had promised Dad to go visit Hagrid. All I needed was an hour, less even, where there was no mention of her, at all. I’d already had a lecture from Rose and Lily for trying it on so soon after the break up (even though it was her who first instigated things) and then another one from Albus because according to him the only reason I was with Ofelia was to wind up Ian. And then there was the three fourth year girls who decided that it was there duty to tell him that Ofelia wasn’t the one for me and that I needed to open my eyes to the fact that she was really a cold-hearted bitch. Then came the obligatory threats from her friends that seemed to last a lot longer than usual about how they’d kill me if I hurt her. Oh and that’s not forgetting Ofelia herself telling me how she’d already heard how mad Ian was at them both and all the awful things he’d threatened to do to me, all with this inane grin on her face like she was overjoyed at the fact that her ex-boyfriend already had a full-fledged assassination plot ready for me. Fred was just the icing on the cake. Visiting Hagrid had never looked more appealing, at least he wouldn’t know anything about Ofelia, breaking a tooth on a couple of rock cakes was surely worth the break.
While crossing the grounds towards Hagrid’s Hut, debating the best way to avoid acquiring a new filling, a sudden shriek and a clatter
of brooms came from the Quidditch supply cupboard. It was probably just a little first year, no couple could be deluded enough to think they could find somewhere private anywhere in Hogwarts, or at least I hoped not. As much as I didn’t want to risk interrupting, I had to check the brooms were okay. Praying that I wasn’t about to witness a case of un-tempered young love, I marched forward and swung open the door.
Fortunately for James it wasn’t a couple. Unfortunately for Bryony, it was Bryony.