Hogwarts is the greatest place on earth as far as Stiles is concerned. Though, if there were one thing he could change, it would be the location of the potions classroom. He’d put it somewhere above ground and sunny, with a view of the lake. It’d make his walks to detention more pleasant at least.
The fact that he even has detention is ridiculous; he was in potions class, making potions. Granted, they were assigned draught of living death, but he could make that in his sleep. He was more interested in experimenting; besides, Danny’s hair will grow back.
He hefts his bag up higher on his shoulder and prepares for several hours of cauldron scrubbing and vial sorting. When he enters, there is a big, surly and generally terrifying looking guy leaning against one of the work benches. Stiles doesn’t scream— not much, anyway.
Tall, dark and creepy raises an eyebrow.
“Hey,” Stiles’ hands immediately begin fiddling with the strap on his bag.
“Have you seen Professor Harris?”
Stiles shrugs, “Not since he gave me detention, he’ll show up eventually though. Guy’s surprisingly lax about monitoring delinquents like me.” Stiles sets his bag on a bench and starts washing out the sink.
TD&C just sits there. For like an hour.
“What exactly do you need?” Stiles asks, getting thoroughly unnerved about this random stranger watching him sort herbs. “Maybe I can help?”
“I need a potion.”
“Perfect, I make potions.” Great potions as a matter of fact, but Stiles doesn’t think this guy would tolerate him bragging, even if it is true.
TD&C looks unimpressed.
“Seriously, what potion? Worst case scenario it blows up in my face and you get to laugh.” Though, Stiles can’t imagine this guy laughing at anything that didn’t involve drowning kittens.
Oh. Oh. “Cool.” Stiles says, going over to the bookshelf and definitely not freaking out about the fact that he’s five feet away from a werewolf in a dark dungeon where no one can hear him scream (except the Slytherins maybe, but he doubts they’d come to his rescue). He finds the book he’s looking for and flips to the back. He frowns at the directions, “shouldn’t be too hard.”
TD&C actually looks surprised.
Stiles grabs all the ingredients he needs and gets to work. Half an hour later he gets bombarded with a cloud of thick blue smoke, so he figures it worked.
“Well?” He says, spreading his arms toward the cauldron.
TD&C leans over the cauldron gives the concoction a suspicious sniff, “It smells right, at least.”
Stiles smirks, “What horrible? It must suck drinking this stuff.”
“Even worse if I don’t.” and guess who just made this awkward.
Stiles winces, “My bad, I’m just gonna—” he gestures at the cabinet with the vials in it and tries not to trip as he scrambles toward it.
“Thank you,” the man says, like he doesn’t have to do it often.
“No worries,” Stiles ladles the dark blue liquid into a crystal bottle, “This is only enough for one dose, but I could make you more if you stop by next month. I mean, if you need me to.”
The man takes the potion and nods, “I’ll be around.”
Two days later when the headmaster introduces Derek Hale, the new assistant groundskeeper, Stiles tries to keep his jaw from dropping when a very familiar werewolf stands to the applause of the Great Hall.
One day, Stiles was going to stop getting detention. Granted that would probably be the day he graduated, but still, one day. How can you punish someone for blowing up their cauldron if that was what they were trying to do? Granted it wasn't what had been assigned and the explosion had been much bigger than expected, but seriously, Danny could buy a wig.
And because Professor Harris could somehow see into his soul and realize his deepest fears, he's been assigned to brew Hale's wolfsbane potion for the rest of the year (“to make up for all current and future infractions, Mr. Stilinski”). On the plus side, no more cauldron scrubbing, the downside? Interacting with a guy that looks like he could rip Stiles apart even without the lycanthropy.
That’s how Stiles finds himself trudging down to the small shack Hale calls home to give him the good news.
"Yo, Hale, you here?" He calls out, hoping desperately he doesn't get an answer.
"Back here." And no such luck.
Stiles heads around to the other side of the building where the voice came from. Hale's there chopping wood shirtless, like he's the guy on the paper towels package or something.
"Uh," Stiles does his best not to look directly into Hale's abs, lest he go blind, "Professor Harris told me to tell you that I'd be making your potion for you from now on."
Hale drops his axe, and Stiles is more than a little bit thankful, "Why isn't he making it?" Clearly, manners aren't something they teach you in werewolf school.
"He said it's always given him trouble, and he'd rather not risk it. Also, I may have blown up a cauldron and this is my detention."
"You blew up your cauldron, and he wants you to make it?"
"Hey, I was trying to blow it up."
Derek raises his eyebrows, and really, where did you get eyebrows like that? Was it a werewolf thing?
"So, do I call you Professor Hale or...?"
"Derek." He gives a small smile and okay, it's kind of charming in a stubbley, kittens and sunshine sort of way. If you're into that sort of thing.