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Who: Montague and male!Angelina, plus npced Tracey Davis and Stephen Cornfoot
Where: Potions Classroom
When: Friday Night [backdated]
Rating: PG-13 for post-RST UST

* *

It had taken several hours of research and several more of work, but the antidote he'd made for the sex change chocolates was effective and didn't have any adverse side effects. Montague sat in the Potions lab and dispensed one of many vials of a silvery blue liquid to a rather amused-looking blond boy whose features were unfamiliar but whose smirk was recognisable as Tracey Davis'. He acknowledged Tracey's thanks with a cool nod, and watched as his housemate knocked back the potion, height diminishing and features softening gradually back into those of a girl.

"Thank you, sweeting," Tracey said graciously. "Being a bloke was fun, I must say. Pansy ogled me for a whole three minutes before she realised whom I was and then turned the same shade of green as her uniform tie. Quite coordinating, really. If it weren't for the fact that my mum would murder me slowly and painfully, I would've gladly stayed that way for another day or two." Giving him a cheery wave, she flounced out the door.

The cute, rather pixie-ish blonde had no sooner turned the corner when she spotted a broad-shouldered black boy, bigger than most other students and stalking through the halls as if he owned them. Despite his scowl he was rather attractively composed, and it was that same scowl that made other female students hastily avert their eyes when they had been caught in the act of checking him out. Tracey was made of sterner stuff than most other fifth year girls, however. The fellow was unfamiliar, which led her to surmise that he was normally a she, but still, scenery was scenery. As the student drew near, she drew her lips into a pout and whistled, calling out, “Looking good, sweeting!”

Angelina deepened her scowl in answer and was rewarded with a smirk. Shaking her head and muttering, she shoved her hands deeper into the pockets of her borrowed jeans and stomped onwards.
Montague glanced up when the door opened again, about ready to launch into a now-familiar, bored schpiel about how yes, the antidote worked, and no, it wasn't poisoned, but paused at the sight of who it was. Technically, even without the added weirdness of the gender switch, it was... well, something of the past. He had not spoken to Angelina Johnson either face to face or via the written word since the aftermath of the Quidditch game, and though there was too much left unsaid, it seemed as though neither knew where to start.

Or perhaps it was just a matter of her coming to her senses. Most people did, after all. Wordlessly, he pushed a vial of antidote across the table where he sat.

“Hi.” It was one thing to be prepared in theory. She at least was expecting his presence. But face-to-face and her throat was suddenly dry. She had needed to wet her lips and swallow before speaking, the first gesture feeling all-too sexual. Her only consolation was that in this form, there was no way Montague could ever be having those sorts of thoughts about her. Stepping across the room, she misjudged both her lengthier strides and widened girth and, unused to both, graised her hip against the edge of a table. Biting down on an angry obscenity, she finally reached him. “Thanks for that.” Any raspiness in her voice, she hoped, would be put down to its unusual depth.

"You're welcome," he answered. The expected words, and there wasn't anything else that needed to be said for this exchange, and yet, it seemed so stilted. He wasn't by any means a man of many words, but he felt as though he had to say something, ANYTHING, if only so that no awkward silences developed. "The effects are instantaneous," he said, indicating the potion.

“Yeah, I gathered that.” She paused. “I saw…Davis as I came in.” A vague hand movement towards the door, a bemused smile. “Well, since the effects are instantaneous, I think I’ll leave drinking this until I’m back in Gryffindor Tower, or else Lee Jordan’s jeans won’t fit me quite as well as they do now.”

She needed to say something, she felt, other than the more banal side of the switch the sweets had caused, and while being in her present form didn’t seem like the right time, with their respective situations and roles taken into account, it didn’t seem like there was any such thing to begin with. “I’ll understand if you think that I’m a hypocrite for coming here,” she said finally. “But I’m a Muggleborn. If I’d gone home like this, particularly with my 18th birthday celebration on Boxing Day, there just would have been too many questions asked. And then beyond the friends and neighbours, there’s the whole Statute of Secrecy to take into account. Fred and George, you see, have got a bloody lot to answer for.” Though it wasn’t expressed as such, it was almost a plea for him to understand, to not completely hate her for coming.

She made no mention of that evening, and that was her prerogative. Following the cue, he nodded slightly, and kept his expression neutral. "I understand that," he said in response. "Well, I can guarantee that you'll be back to your normal self after you take the potion, and you'll not need to worry about your family or friends' reactions."

“Good,” she said with a nod. For some reason that didn’t seem to be the best response she could have made, though currently she couldn’t think of any other. Another empty silence, both outside and inside of her head. She scrambled for something to say. “I’m hoping to get into the Aurors’ training program providing my NEWTs are up to scratch. If I’d caused any sort of disturbance involving Muggles, the chances of that happening would be nil.”

It was no good. She couldn’t, wouldn’t, leave things at a lose end like that. And while she hadn’t been the slightest bit interested in Divination or believe in any of that mumbo-jumbo that she sometimes heard Parvati and Lavender rambling on about, maybe this whole debacle had happened for a reason? Maybe she was meant to come here, to attempt to…she didn’t really know what she was attempting, if she was completely honest with herself. She just wanted to find an end, whatever that end would have been. “Listen,” she began, “about…about the-”

“Ah, so that’s where you are,” someone sung out from the doorway. Guiltily Angelina spun around, but it was only to see a tallish dark-haired Ravenclaw fifth year she recognized vaguely as being the Keeper for their reserve team. “Someone said you were in the Slytherin common room and I’d spent ages trying to persuade Harmonia Nutcombe to let me in. Anyway, I’m here for my mate Michael Corner. He’s holed himself away in our dorm, even though I told him that I haven’t seen his girlfriend or any of her brothers about since Wednesday evening. Ginny left early, didn’t she?” he said, suddenly turning to Angelina.

“Y-yes, she did,” Angelina agreed quickly, feeling both nonplussed by the question and annoyed by its content. It would have been nice if her friends Fred and George had given her some warning about their premature departure, especially when they were dragging her Seeker and Keeper along with them. “And you are?” she prompted, not out of any real desire to know, but more to distract. “And how did you know who I was?”

“Stephen Cornfoot,” the boy said, proffering a hand which Angelina shook dazedly. “You’re about Lee Jordan’s height though you don’t have the dreadlocks, so I take it you must be the Gryffindor Quidditch captain post-chocolate consumption. I think I preferred you before.” He gave her a wink which took the intent out of what could have been interpreted as a flirtatious remark. Angelina smiled wanly. “Well, if you see Ginny over the holidays, tell her I said to wish her a Merry Christmas,” Stephen continued. “And to you too, of course.”

“Yes, same to you,” she murmured vaguely. She realized with a dull sinking sensation in the pit of her stomach that she was giving up, a novel concept to her. So this was the ending she had sought out. Well, life went on. “Montague, I suppose I’ll see you in class sometime.” Giving him a nod, she left.

He wasn't sure whether he was grateful or resentful of Stephen Cornfoot's interruption. On the one hand, her exit from the room would be final. It would be, in effect, closing a very unplanned chapter that possibly should never have been written.

On the other hand, she had seemed on the verge of saying something about that night. Without a word, he handed Stephen the antidote, and stared at the door after the fifth year had left, scant moments after Angelina had. It was not the first time that he'd watched in silence as she'd walked out of a door away from him in unexpected circumstances.

In all likelihood, it would be the last, though. Mechanically, he counted how many vials of potion he had left, and waited for more afflicted people to arrive.

Maybe it was best that he DIDN'T have to listen to her give whatever sort of excuse or explanation or (worse) apology for that evening. Best to spare the both of them.


Order of the Phoenix NEWTs

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