The first time Bitty noticed the love potions was when Jack abruptly spat out his pumpkin juice all over the breakfast table one morning.
‘Good gracious!’ he exclaimed as Shitty pounded a spluttering Jack on the back.
‘Damn potions’ growled Jack reaching for a glass of water to swill his mouth out with.
‘Bit early this year aren’t they?’ asked Holster as he sat down the other side of Bitty who was across the table from Jack.
‘Yeah dude, it’s like two weeks out from Valentine’s Day,’ added Ransom around a rasher of bacon he was chewing.
‘Bro, someone’s keen,’ said Lardo with a smirk.
‘Yeah what were they hoping to do? Get in early before the real competition starts?’ said Holster which set both him and Ransom off laughing. ‘Bro! Remember that Ravenclaw who hid one in a batch of caramel cobwebs and then put them everywhere in the hope that Jack would walk into them-‘
‘in the hope that one of them would just happen to fall into his mouth-‘
‘-because we all walk around with our mouths open-’
‘-well, just the first years-‘
‘Dude! I’d forgotten that! What was his name? The little squeaky one who then suddenly developed a huge crush on a seventh year-‘
‘Okay, okay, you can all stop that’ said Jack, wiping his mouth carefully on a napkin. ‘Merlin’s beard, I can’t believe I have to put up with this again.’
By now Bitty was really confused, ‘Can someone tell me what’s going on?’ he asked tentatively.
‘Oh Bits I forgot, you missed all the fun last year because you were in the hospital wing with mumblemumps’ said Ransom.
‘That was rough dude’ said Lardo, her mouth full of pancake.
‘Basically, this time last year, a load of girls-‘
‘There were definitely some guys too, Pius Derwent looked far too fucking shifty when I asked him about it-‘
‘No! The Slytherin goalie?’
‘The very same’ Shitty nodded sagely.
‘Jack! You’re pulling them in from everywhere!’ said Holster reaching over the table to give Jack a congratulatory smack on the shoulder.
‘Guys seriously, it’s bad enough that I have to deal with this,’ groaned Jack.
‘No Jackie boy, this is a once-a-year treat for the rest of us, you can’t deny us our fun!’ said Shitty grabbing Jack into a headlock.
‘ANYWAY GUYS, back to the story,’ continued Ransom trying his best to be heard over Jack and Shitty’s impromptu wrestling at the Hufflepuff breakfast table, ‘So Bitty, to cut a long story short, loads of people kept trying to sneak Jack love potions for Valentine’s day so he’d go with them to Hogsmeade or whatever.’
‘Or whatever’ snorted Lardo into her own un-spiked pumpkin juice.
‘Yeah, well love potions have a limited time period of effect which would probably run out around the time they got back to Hogwarts after the sappy date at Madame Puddifoot’s,’ said Ransom, ‘therefore limiting the amount of shenanigans the students could get up to.’
‘Well I don’t know about you bro, but I’ve gotten up to plenty at Madame Puddifoot’s,’ snickered Holster.
‘So last year people were trying to spike everything you ate?’ Bitty asked Jack, horrified.
‘We had to taste test everything for him Bits’ said Shitty, finally releasing Jack ‘I think I actually built up a tolerance to them after a while.’
‘Yeah and people got less keen when they realised that instead of Jack professing his love for them, they got Shitty instead,’ snorted Holster.
‘Shitty does have flair for the dramatic’ said Lardo appreciatively.
‘But how do you know if your food has been spiked?’ asked Bitty, ‘Wouldn’t a love potion be tasteless?’
‘It’s not the taste which warns you’ said Jack, ‘It’s the swooping sensation you get just before the whole thing kicks in, like your stomach has dropped.’
Ransom nodded, ‘Yep it’s that feeling you get when you dive on a broom, or-‘
‘or when you have a puking pastille’ chipped in Holster.
‘-or when you look at your crush’ finished Jack, and Bitty must have imagined the way Jack’s eyes flicked to look at him for a miniscule second.
Because oh yes, Bitty knew that feeling very well. And he didn’t even have to look at his crush to get that feeling of butterflies in his stomach…even just thinking of Jack….
It wasn’t even that much of a surprise really, that people were trying to slip him love potions, Hufflepuff Quidditch Captain, record chaser scorer for a hundred years and history of magic nerd Jack Zimmermann was what could be accurately called a Hogwarts celebrity.
Still, surprise or not, Bitty was really not sure he approved of slipping love potions into people’s drinks.
‘How did someone spike your juice though?’ he asked aloud. ‘I’ve been here the whole time and I didn’t see anyone.’
‘Oh they don’t do it here’ explained Shitty, ‘They get the house-elves to do it in the kitchens.’
To say Bitty was beyond horrified was the understatement of the century.
‘They….what?’ he was so angry he could hardly get his words out.
‘I mean, normally the house-elves would tell the students to fuck off, but they look the other way around Valentine’s Day. They think it’s romantic or some shit’ said Shitty shrugging.
‘Right. That’s it,’ said Bitty standing and pushing his sleeves up, ‘I’m going to have a word with Ninsy down in the kitchens. Excuse me.’
And as he strode off in the direction of the kitchens he could hear Ransom say ‘Bro! I don’t think I’ve seen Bitty that angry since Amanda Bagnet accused him of putting a cheering charm in his cherry pie recipe.’
So it turns out, as Bitty discovered a short while later, that the house-elves have very different ideas of what constitutes as romantic.
‘But it’s cheating!’ he cried at Ninsy, the head elf in the kitchen, ‘You can’t trick someone into loving you!’
‘It’s being a bit of fun, Master Bitty. No harm from a love potion. Besides, it’s being Valentine’s day soon.’
‘So if I asked you to not put the love potions in Jack’s food would you listen to me?’ Bitty asked with a feeling he knew the answer already.
‘Ahhh Master Bitty, no offense Master Bitty but if they comes with a love potion and asks to put it in Jack Zimmermann’s food, then we can’t refuse.’
‘Right.’ said Bitty around gritted teeth.
‘Does Master Bitty want to put a love potion in Jack Zimmermann’s maple pie this afternoon?’
‘Ninsy…that’s…that’s my recipe!’ spluttered Bitty, ‘and no I do not want to spike Jack with a love potion!’
‘I was only suggesting, Master Bitty, as I know how fond you are of Master Jack-‘
‘IM NOT IN LOVE WITH JACK ZIMMERMAN!’ yelled Bitty, before clamping two hands over his mouth.
Ninsy just gave him a look which clearly said right okay, you keep saying that if it makes you happy.
Bitty managed to draw himself together and said, in the politest tone he could manage ‘Okay, Ninsy, if you won’t do anything about the love potions then I will.’
So that’s how Bitty ended up sitting outside of the passage to the Hogwarts kitchens, jinxing any student who tried to come down and slip a love potion into Jack’s food.
The other members of the Hufflepuff Quidditch Team came down at various points to try and dissuade him.
‘Bitty you can’t stay here all the time, you do actually have classes you know.’
‘Bitty Brah, I will just eat all of Jack’s food for him, easy, sorted.’
‘Bitty, nice jinx on that Gryffindor fourth year, but seriously bro, would it be so bad if Jack got a bit of action? You know what he’s like, maybe getting some will bring his stress levels down.’
‘Oh I’m sorry Holster’ said Bitty acidly, ‘I didn’t know love potions were a substitute for consensual sex.’
‘Bitty, that’s not what I meant, come on.’
But Bitty remained where he was and resolutely refused to move.
He even roped the frogs into helping: Chowder came every now and then with his homework which he completed in between jinxing what seemed to be a steady stream of students armed with love potions. And on the rare moments where Bitty was forced to leave his post, to get a shower and change clothes (he wasn’t a barbarian) he left either Dex or Nursey there guarding the post.
Eventually, on the fourth day of this Jack himself came down to see Bitty.
‘Bittle’ he said and it startled Bitty out of a light snooze. Jack was leaning on the passage wall, arms folded across his chest. The Quidditch Captain badge was catching the light from where it was pinned to his robes.
‘Oh! Jack….um hi, hello’ and Bitty felt that swooping sensation, but knew it wasn’t down to any love potion. He could feel his face warming up. Curse his fair complexion.
‘Bittle this has got to stop.’
‘Oh but Jack, this is important. People have got to realise that they can’t just spike your food with love potions.’
‘Bittle-‘ Jack tried to interrupt but Bitty carried on, the words tumbling out of his mouth.
‘-You would not believe how many students have tried to come down here Jack, and it’s just not on! You can’t trick someone into loving you! That’s not how love works. You have to be free to love whoever you want.’
And Bitty did.
‘Look,’ said Jack, reaching a hand up to rub at the back of his neck, ‘I don’t like the idea of you down here all the time. Not to mention you’re going to end up jinxing half the school at this rate-‘
‘-they all deserve it’ muttered Bitty.
‘And-‘ carried on Jack firmly, ‘you’re missing classes, and what about Quidditch practice?’
Dammit. Bitty hadn’t thought about that…who was not on the Hufflepuff Quidditch team that could take over a shift guarding the kitchens?
But Bitty was interrupted in his thoughts by Jack actually hauling him to his feet. ‘Come on Bittle, let’s go. We’ve got some pre-practice bludger dodging to do.’
‘But, but, but what about the love potions in your food!’ protested Bitty, and Good Lord! Jack was strong. Bitty was dragging his feet but Jack was just pulling him along the corridor as though it was nothing. His grip on Bitty’s upper arm was unrelenting and Bitty could feel his touch burning through to his skin through the layers of school uniform.
‘Look, I’m not going to pretend it’s not annoying,’ said Jack, ‘but there’s worse things in life than having to avoid the occasional kissing concoction. Besides, the guys have all said they’d taste test everything and you know I could always have some of your pie. I know you’d never put anything suspicious in one of those.’
‘Of course not!’ exclaimed Bitty, offended at the mere idea that he’d ruin one of his pies with anything magical. They were perfect on their own thank you very much, no wizarding assistance needed.
Jack just smiled at him.
Word got around pretty quickly that Bitty was no longer guarding the entrance to the kitchens and so the love potion spiking resumed to heightened levels.
The Hufflepuff Quidditch team took it all in their stride and made sure to sample every item of food in the near vicinity to Jack at every meal time. All except Bitty who kept himself busy by whipping up batch after batch of baked goods for Jack to eat.
‘Ah yes Master Bitty, show Master Jack your love by baking for him, much better than love potions,’ said Ninsy one afternoon and Bitty thought he showed great restraint by not dumping an entire bag of flour over the house-elf.
He wasn’t baking to show Jack he loved him. He was baking so the poor boy had something to eat. Practically everything at the food table was now spiked and Bitty was starting to worry that Jack was going to end up malnourished.
Yes, he was in love with Jack, but that was not the point. He would never stoop so low as to slip him a love potion in the hope that he would return Bitty’s affections. No. He was quite prepared to put up with his unrequited feelings, he just wished half the school felt the same.
As he rolled out the pastry for the base of his cherry mini-pies, he popped a fresh cherry into his mouth and chewed it carefully around the pip.
At once a strange sensation came over him. Like the feeling you get on a rollercoaster as it tips over the edge and starts the descent. And then one name came into his mind. Stanley Burgess. He needed to find Stanley right now and tell him how he felt. Right now, or he might die.
He looked around quickly. No, Stanley wasn’t here, not in the kitchens. Where was he? Where could he be?
Spitting out the cherry stone onto the floor he turned to Ninsy, ‘Stanley’ he said, his voice sounding a little strange but he didn’t know where, ‘Ninsy, where is Stanley?’
‘Master Bitty?’ asked Ninsy, confusion clear on her little face.
‘I need to find Stanley right now and tell him I love him’ said Bitty quickly, why was this taking so long? Didn’t she know who Stanley was? He knew who Stanley was. Stanley was the love of his life.
‘Oh dear, Master Bitty,’ said Ninsy in a trembling voice.
‘I need to find Stanley!’ yelled Bitty as he dashed out of the kitchens.
Stanley wouldn’t be in the common room, he wasn’t a Hufflepuff, so where might he be? Bitty took a right in the passage to the kitchens and headed towards the Great Hall. That was a good place to start.
On his way he passed Nursey and Dex, ‘Hey Bitty! Where are you going?’ yelled Dex after him.
‘I need to find Stanley!’ Bitty shouted back, but he’d already turned a corner and missed their puzzled looks behind him.
As he raced into the entrance hall he ran slap bang into someone. Was it Stanley?
No it was Jack. Bitty felt a twinge of disappointment, he didn’t want Jack, he wanted Stanley.
But maybe Jack knew where Stanley was!
‘Bittle watch where you’re going’ said Jack, but he was smiling as Bitty stumbled away from him a little. His smile faltered a little though once he saw how breathless Bitty was from running up from the kitchens.
‘Oh Jack! Can you help me?’ asked Bitty, panting.
‘Sure, what’s up?’
‘I need to find Stanley.’
‘Stanley who?’ asked Jack quizzically.
Was Jack stupid or something?
‘To tell him I love him of course!’ Bitty cried, frustrated that no-one seemed to know why it was so important that he see Stanley. They should know that he was the love of Bitty’s life.
Jack’s face went from confused to a frown in less than a second. ‘Bitty, did you eat something down in the kitchens?’ he asked.
‘Jack, it’s the kitchens what do you think?’ said Bitty rolling his eyes. But enough of this, ‘Look do you know where Stanley is or not? I really need to find him.’ He made to push past Jack but Jack stopped him with a hand on his chest.
‘Right, Bitty, hold on, I know where Stanley is.’
‘Oh you do?’ asked Bitty eagerly. He could feel his heart rise in his chest, Jack was going to help him
find Stanley and he finally could tell him how much he loved him!
‘SHITTY!’ yelled Jack over his shoulder, and no sooner had the words left his mouth than a wild Shitty appeared strolling out of the Great Hall.
‘What’s up bro?’ he asked coming over to where Jack and Bitty were stood. ‘Bitty! How’re you doing?’
‘Shitty I need to find Stanley. Do you know where he is?’ asked Bitty before Jack could get a word in.
Jack’s hand moved from Bitty’s chest to grip his shoulder.
‘Shitty, I think Bitty’s accidentally eaten something that was meant for me,’ said Jack giving Shitty a long look.
‘Right,’ said Shitty, his expression turning flinty.
‘Exactly,’ said Jack, mirroring that expression.
‘Burgess’ said Bitty breathlessly, ‘Shitty tell me where he is!’ They were wasting time, if Jack and Shitty weren’t going to help him then he would find Stanley himself. He tried to take a step forwards in the direction of the Great Hall but Jack yanked him back with that hand on his shoulder still. Bitty tried again to move but Jack was too strong.
‘Jack! Let me go!’
‘Bitty, listen, Shitty is going to go and find Stanley and bring him here okay?’ said Jack.
Bitty stopped struggling at once. That was a great plan.
‘Oh I’ll find that little shit alright,’ growled Shitty and he strode off towards the Gryffindor Tower.
‘Do you think he’ll be long?’ Bitty asked Jack.
‘No, somehow, I don’t think he’ll be long at all’ replied Jack, he was staring in the direction Shitty had gone. His hand was still on Bitty’s shoulder.
‘Do I look okay?’
Jack’s head swung back to look at Bitty, ‘Sorry?’ he said.
‘Do I look nice? For Stanley? Do you think he’ll like me?’ Bitty stepped back and Jack let him, he pulled at his robes
‘Um, you look… very nice Bittle’ stammered Jack, going slightly pink.
‘Do you think he’ll mind that I’m a Hufflepuff?’
‘Um...I…look, if someone doesn’t like you because of what House you are in then they are an idiot,’ said Jack fiercely.
‘Are you saying Stanley is an idiot?’ asked Bitty crossly.
Jack seemed to notice that he was on dangerous territory, ‘No, no I didn’t say that.’
‘Good because I won’t hear a word against Stanley, he is perfect Jack okay?’
‘If you say so’ grumbled Jack, but before Bitty could say anything, Jack switched topics ‘Hey, why don’t we go and sit on the steps whilst we wait?’
‘Sure!’ said Bitty brightly. He hoped Stanley would be here soon.
‘Oh boy, I love Stanley so much,’ said Bitty once he was seated next to Jack.
‘I can see that,’
‘Like, I really love him Jack,’
‘I know, you already said that’ said Jack and he sounded quite grumpy to Bitty, so Bitty stayed quiet for a minute, before saying: ‘He’ll like me back right?’
There was a pause, Jack looked down at Bitty who was crossing his hands over and over in his lap.
‘I love him you know, but how do I know he loves me back?’ Bitty bit his lip. Now he was quite scared. What if Stanley didn’t love him back? He loved Stanley so much.
There was another long pause before Jack finally said, ‘Anyone would be lucky to have you Bittle’
‘Really?’ Bitty turned to Jack, breathless and wide eyed.
‘Yeah…of course’ Jack ducked his head and looked away.
Bitty just sat there, feeling very happy. Of course Stanley would love him back, Bitty loved him so, so much. It was going to be perfect. Or course it was. He smiled to himself and sighed wistfully. He wished he knew what Stanley looked like.
But then, suddenly there was a clattering sound behind them on the stairs.
‘Get down there you motherfucking piece of shit!’ came a yell and Bitty and Jack turned around simultaneously to see a Gryffindor fifth year tumbling down the stairs, evidently just been pushed by a yelling Shitty following in his wake.
The guy rolled over and over until he came to land heavily on the landing just up from where Jack and Bitty were sitting.
It was Stanley. Bitty felt a great feeling of joy swell up from within him.
‘Stanley!’ he cried.
‘What the fuck man?’ protested the guy on the floor, getting to his knees and looking back up at Shitty who was descending down the stairs in righteous fury, flanked either side by Ransom and Holster.
Bitty couldn’t take it any longer. He couldn’t bear to be separated from Stanley any more. He need to be in Stanley’s arms right now, telling him how much he loved him. But before he could even get to his feet, Jack was hauling Stanley Burgess up from the floor and slamming him into the stone wall of the castle.
‘Ow fuck!’ yelled Stanley in what was probably a considerable amount of pain.
‘Jack don’t hurt him!’ cried Bitty moving forward to try and get closer to Stanley, but Ransom and Holster were suddenly there holding him back.
‘Seriously man! What in Merlin’s name is your problem?’ exclaimed Stanley, eyes flicking between each of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team members.
‘My problem,’ growled Jack menacingly, ‘is that my Seeker has accidentally ingested your love potion.’
Stanley’s already wide eyes, widened further still in absolute horror. He looked down at Bitty, still restrained by the two Beaters. And when his eyes met Bitty’s….well it was like all of Bitty’s insides turned to mush, he sighed deeply and wistfully.
‘Oh Stanley, I lo-‘but Holster clamped a hand over Bitty’s mouth before he could finish his sentence.
Okay Bitty was really annoyed now. First Jack was manhandling Stanley, then Bitty was stopped from embracing his true love by Ransom and Holster and now he couldn’t even tell Stanley how much he loved him? This was not fair! He struggled harder to try and free himself from the Beaters’ grasp. And at one point he tried to bite Holster’s hand covering his mouth.
But as soon as Stanley spoke, Bitty stilled, he had to listen to what his true love was saying.
‘Look dude, I really didn’t mean for this to happen-‘ said Stanley, still gazing at Bitty in horror.
‘No, you meant for me to have it’ said Jack angrily, ‘It’s one thing going after me, but messing with one of my teammates? Not on.’
‘Not cool bro,’ said Shitty shaking his head and moving closer, menacingly.
‘Look, I’m really sorry okay, I didn’t really think this through,’ said Stanley flushing red.
‘Why’d you do it then fuckwit?’ asked Shitty.
‘Look it’s really embarrassing…’ but Stanley’s admission was met with stony silence apart from Bitty’s continued struggles against Ransom and Holster. Jack just glared at Stanley until he continued.
‘Oh fuck….dude, I had such a crush on you, I thought if I slipped you a love potion then I’d finally have a date for Valentine’s day. And just….everyone else was sneaking them into the kitchens!’
‘Well I want it known’ said Jack in a very threatening tone, ‘That if anyone else even thinks about slipping any more love potions into the kitchens then I will hex them so hard they won’t be out of the hospital wing until next Valentine’s day. Alright?’
Stanley just nodded, clearly terrified. Jack glared at him for several long moments before releasing him. The Gryffindor fifth year slumped down the wall a little bit until he managed to gather his feet under him. With one last frightened look between Bitty, Jack and Shitty he ran away, tripping up the stairs slightly in his haste to get away from the terrifying being that was Jack Zimmermann.
Bitty tried yelling after Stanley but they only noise that he managed was a muffled squeak from behind Holster’s hand. Once Stanley was out of sight Ransom and Holster loosened their grip on Bitty a little bit and Holster removed his hand.
‘Where….where’s Stanley?’ cried Bitty. Why would Stanley run away? Was it because he didn’t love Bitty? Bitty felt like everything within him was crumbling. He could feel tears welling up in his eyes and before he knew it he was sobbing, great big heaving sobs, where he could hardly catch his breath.
Jack had turned around when Bitty spoke, his face all hard and chiselled, but as soon as he saw Bitty breaking down into tears his face changed to one of extreme concern.
‘Bitty-‘ Jack started, rushing forward with outstretched arms, but before he was able to reach Bitty a shout came from across the Entrance Hall.
‘Yo! Boys! I’ve got the antidote!’ It was Lardo, dashing across the stone floor and waving a small green bottle in her hand.
‘Oh thank fuck,’ said Ransom.
‘I think Madame Pomfrey ordered them in bulk this year’ said Lardo grinning, but she stopped when she saw that Bitty was pretty much bawling his eyes out ‘Oh no, Bits what’s up?’
‘I….I don’t think Stanley loves me’ wailed Bitty as tears streaked down his face, hot and salty, stinging his skin.
‘Here Bitty, drink this,’ said Jack practically snatching the bottle of antidote from Lardo’s hand and thrusting it into Bitty’s.
‘What…what’s this?’ asked Bitty wetly between sobs.
‘It’ll help, I promise,’ said Jack, ‘You won’t feel like this anymore.’
‘I feel like my heart has been broken into a million pieces’ sniffed Bitty. He stared down at the little green bottle. Jack said it would help and he trusted Jack.
Unstoppering the bottle, he brought it to his lips and poured the clear liquid into his mouth. All at once he felt very strange. Stanley, who had been at the forefront of his mind now faded away into the background and he was suddenly much more aware of what was going on around him. He shook his head a little, hoping to clear the fog from his brain. He screwed his eyes up and then blinked a couple of times.
Then slowly, like a wave breaking on the shore, he felt true and utter horror wash over him.
‘Oh dear Lord’ he said squeakily.
‘I think it’s coming back to him’ said Holster, smirking.
‘I think he’s remembering’ said Ransom, barely supressing a laugh.
‘OH NO!’ cried Bitty and he turned and ran.
That was the thing with love potions, you remembered everything. Bitty ran, head down, hardly knowing where he was going. Oh how could he have been so stupid?
He felt mortified. Imagine falling in love with Stanley Burgess. Bitty grimaced, it did not bear thinking about. But it was all he could think about. Everything he’d said flashed through his mind. How he had said he was in love with Stanley, how desperate he was to find Stanley, to be in his arms……oh fuck.
And even worse, he had said those things in front of Jack. He had actually asked Jack if he thought Stanley would like him back, and if Jack thought he looked okay for Stanley. Oh the shame.
Without realising, his feet had carried him to the greenhouses. He came to a halt round the back of Greenhouse 4 and walked slowly over to a low wall to sit down and catch his breath.
He couldn’t believe what had happened. How could he have thought he was in love with someone else? He was already hopelessly, painfully, despairingly in love with…
For Bitty had looked up and from around the side of the greenhouse the Hufflepuff Quidditch Captain had appeared. He was breathing heavily too, he’d clearly taken off shortly after Bitty and followed him here.
‘Look Jack I’m really sorry, okay? I didn’t mean any of those things I said, you have to know that!’
‘And really, I’m not in love with Stanley Burgess.’
‘I know,’ repeated Jack moving forward to come and sit down next to Bitty. Bitty turned so he was facing Jack on the wall.
‘And the antidote worked, I’m not under any spell or potion anymore.’
Jack just nodded, then said ‘And you know, the only thing I’ve eaten this afternoon were those cookies you made for me, and I know you don’t put anything magical in them so-‘
‘Of course I don’t, but why are you telling me this?’ asked Bitty, confused.
‘So that you’ll believe me when I do this,’ said Jack, before leaning down and kissing Bitty promptly on the mouth.
Bitty was so shocked he kept his eyes open during the kiss, like he couldn’t really believe what was happening. Jack Zimmermann was kissing him. Kissing him. Jack Zimmermann was kissing…him…Bitty.
After a long moment Jack pulled back slightly.
‘What…what was that?’ stuttered Bitty. His brain had officially shut down, gone on holiday, left the country.
‘Well, there’s nothing that makes you realise you love someone more, than seeing them in love with someone else,’ explained Jack.
‘Oh’ said Bitty, and that was all he could manage.
Jack smiled and kissed him again and this time Bitty closed his eyes.
Sometime later, when they both came up for air, Bitty said ‘Jack I love you, you know that right? And it’s not because of some dumb love potion.’
‘I know,’ said Jack with a smile. ‘I’ve got the real thing.’