rosevalleynb (rosevalleynb) wrote,

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FIC: Beetle Eyes and Bubotuber Pus, Katie/Marcus, rating PG

Beetle Eyes and Bubotuber Pus (3718 words) by RosevalleyNB
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Katie Bell/Marcus Flint
Additional Tags: cauldron poisening, Potions, Alternate Universe - Hogwarts, minimal dialogue, Pre-Relationship, Awkward Crush
Series: Part 3 of One of These Days

‘I wanna lick your face.’

Bell had said it. Marcus was sure she had, Bole and Pucey had heard her too. Girls like her - -well, girls in general, did not say such things to him. Nor did they sniff his neck or stand so close that he could feel their tits pressed against his back. Bell had done all those things. To top it off, she kept staring at him like in the same way his perpetually dieting Aunt Beatrice looked at chocolate cake after a week-long fasting.


Marcus Flint has an admirer and he's being an utter tool about it.

Sequel to Scrubbing Cauldrons.

“Fermented beetle eyes mixed with freshly squeezed bubotuber pus,” Marcus Flint mused aloud as he flicked the pages of his Potions book.

It was nearing midnight, and while his fellow Slytherins' snoring filled the dormitory, he was wide awake. After his detention earlier that night, sleep did come not easily, not when he had a problem to solve. The curtains were drawn around his bed as the tip of his wand glowed brightly. There was just enough light to study the ancient book in his lap, passed down by his father, who in turn had inherited it from his father.

The Flints were an old family of cauldron makers, and whilst Marcus did not particularly look the part of having two brain cells to rub together, he was well-versed in theory of potion making. A must if he wanted to take over the family shop one day. The reason he was repeating his seventh year; to perfect his skill.

It took a certain amount of foresight to know what to brew in what kind of cauldron. His father had begun teaching him the moment Marcus had been old enough to be separated from his mother’s teat. He’d grown up between hot metals, the clang of steel on steel and raw magic, and lectures from his father and grandfather as they’d let him try his hand as soon as he was strong enough to hold a hammer, much to his mother’s protests. And at the age of almost nineteen, he knew what he was talking about when it came to the technicalities of mixing ingredients and how they affected cauldrons.

Most importantly, he knew what happened to the wizards and witches that came in contact with such concoctions. Like Katie Bell.

‘I wanna lick your face.’

Bell had said it. Marcus was sure she had, Bole and Pucey had heard her too. Girls like her - -well, girls in general, did not say such things to him. Nor did they sniff his neck or stand so close that he could feel their tits pressed against his back. Bell had done all those things. To top it off, she kept staring at him like in the same way his perpetually dieting Aunt Beatrice looked at chocolate cake after a week-long fasting.

“Not good, not good at all,” he murmured as he flicked the pages to find the much-needed recipe. If someone got word of it, they'd probably toss him into Azkaban for using a love potion on an underage girl. Bell's father was an Auror according to the rumours, so it was a real possibility. He'd probably rot to death in there because his family was too poor to pay the necessary bribes to get him out.

Marcus was realistic enough not to let Bell’s action get to his head or act on it; he’d learnt that lesson the hard way over the years. Experience had taught him that girls like her preferred Gilderoy Lockhart type of blokes, not the likes of him.

So, considering all the facts, the explanation for her strange behaviour was evident. All her actions pointed in one direction. Something or a combination of things in of the cauldrons had messed with her head, and she needed his help to think straight again. Without knowing what had been in those cauldrons, though, he had one option left to save her from herself.

And it would be like using the Killing Curse to get rid of a pesky gnat.

“Fermented beetle eyes mixed with bubotuber pus,” he recited the two most important ingredient as he tapped the page, in relief this time. He had finally found the complete recipe.

The next step was to find a way to nick the ingredients and brew the potion without Snape noticing, which was the easiest part of his plan. Feeding it to Bell without exposing himself would be the hardest.

Next morning, the usual cacophony in the Great Hall was lost on Marcus, as well as his friends' worried glances and questions. There was just one thing on his mind. Feeling utterly nervous, Marcus nibbled on the skin of his thumb as he kept a close eye on the Gryffindor table. He had hoped that a good night's sleep would have cured Bell of whatever it was that had her under its spell. No such luck, though.

Bell was staring right back at him, blushing, smiling prettily. Earlier, when she first slid into the Great Hall, she had waved as if they’d been life-long friends, and had even swerved off course towards him. If it hadn't been for her friends hastily ushering her back to the Gryffindor table, she probably would have sat with him, doing Merlin knows what.

“Not good, not good at all,” Marcus murmured when Bell bit her lip, rapidly batting her lashes at him. Just yesterday, he would've joked about her having something in her eye like he normally did when one of his friends got lucky with girl who did such things. “Shoo, go on, look away.”

Marcus wasn’t sure if he was instructing Bell or himself. Both probably, and neither listened. He knew why she couldn’t, with her being under the influence of a potion and all, but could not for the life of him understand why he kept staring at her.

“Just worried,” he grumbled, lying to himself.

It had nothing to with Bell's long brown hair, or her lovely dark eyes framed with thick lashes, or everything else about her. The blush on her cheeks was not alluring, for example. Nor was Marcus curious to explore if she blushed all over her body like that. Not at all, he liked women, not fifteen-year-old girls with...with enough curves to make him salivate and wonder if she'd let him undress her one day.

“Not good, not good at all,” Marcus murmured as he rubbed his eyes with the heels of his palms to chase away that particular Azkaban-worthy vision.

Perhaps, he was suffering from the same poison as Bell since he had scrubbed the remaining cauldrons for her. That would explain the fluttering in his belly, his racing heart, and his sweaty hands. And the longer he watched her, the stronger his symptoms grew.

Maybe, it wouldn’t hurt to see if she’d be willing to let him steal a kiss-


Marcus abruptly stood up and marched away, ignoring his friends’ worried calls. He couldn’t stop to answer them if he’d wanted to; there were more pressing matters to attend and no time to waste.

He had classes to skive off, ingredients to steal, and a potion to brew.

To save Bell and...and her plump, red lips that probably tasted like strawberries and liquorice and would look lovely wrapped around his-

“Oh, fuck me! That’s not good at all.”

It took Marcus five days to gather the necessary ingredients and another three to brew the potion. In that week, Bell's symptoms hadn't let up, had only grown stronger in fact. She had even owled him a note with nothing but crosses scratched on it. According to Adrian, it was a girl's way of sending kisses on paper.

None of it made sense since a potion was supposed to wear off over time. Bell should have been acting normal-ish by now. Was someone feeding Bell love potions just for giggles?

Whatever it was, Marcus currently faced the hardest part of his plan; making sure that Bell digested the potion in one way or another. Thankfully, Higgs, who owed him a favour, was willing to sacrifice himself to get the job done, as he had eloquently put it. Or as Pucey later explained to Marcus, it gave Higgs a reason to chat up Spinnet and give him an opening that would help him into her knickers one day.

“Are you sure you want her cured?” asked Higgs for the last time as he studied his reflection in the mirror. He had donned his fanciest clothes and drenched himself in expensive French cologne that didn’t smell any better than toilet freshener in Marcus' opinion. Then there was his hair, charmed to appear as if a soft breeze was flowing through the blond locks. In short, he looked like a younger version of Gilderoy Lockhart.

It was Saturday morning, and in less than ten minutes’ time, a significant portion of Hogwarts student would go on the last Hogsmeade weekend of the term. Higgs was getting ready to take Spinnet to Madam Puddifoot’s for tea, which was his ‘self-sacrifice’. He had convinced her by offering to let Bell and Johnson tag along as her chaperones, at Marcus' suggestion. And it had worked.

Terence Higgs was the first Slytherin in ages to successfully ask a Gryffindor out on a date while still in school. For that alone, Pucey and Bole had written the Ministry last night to nominate him for a medal in the Order of Merlin First Class. No one cared that it had been Marcus' idea to suggest the chaperones, but what else was new.

“Why wouldn’t I?” Marcus asked as he ran his fingers through his short, spiky hair. Maybe, he ought to grow out his hair to get chits to notice him too.

Higgs shrugged as he grinned and winked at his reflection. “It might be your only chance to bag yourself a girl. Get your dick wet for once.”

Marcus couldn’t deny that he hadn’t thought about it, to play along with Bell and make her his. But that wouldn’t be right, would it? He had standards, not many, but he still had them. A girl crawling into his bed because she wanted to, not because some potion made her, was one of them. The idea of Bell being that girl had grown on him the last few days, but he couldn’t justify taking advantage of her like that. Besides, his mum would skin him alive if she ever found out.

“Worry about wetting your own dick, leave mine alone,” Marcus grumbled, silently accepting that it wouldn’t happen anytime soon.

“No worries there, mate. But if you want to know, mine's getting watered on the regular,” Terence shot back. He gave his reflection a last look-over and turned to Marcus. "I'm ready. The gifts?"

Marcus pulled out two boxes of chocolates from underneath his pillow, presents for the chaperones. To put it differently, the only convenient way to feed Bell the potion he had brewed. As Marcus handed over the boxes, one with laced chocolates, he couldn't help but feel embarrassed. They had cost him his monthly allowance, but compared to the giant box of luxury bonbons Terence had bought Spinnet, his chocolates looked like cheap Knockturn Alley knock-offs. Another reason for him not to date; he couldn't afford the proper gifts that were expected of a suitor.

“Remember to give the blue one to Bell.”

Terence glanced at the boxes. His nose crinkled at the mere sight of cheap packaging. Lips pursed. He pocketed them, shaking his head and sighing in disappointment. Although he looked as if he wanted to say something about Marcus' choice in gift, he wisely bit his tongue. “I'll see you later, yeah? Wish me luck.”

Marcus sniggered as his friend left their dorm with his usual grandeur, hair bouncing and cloak sweeping. But as soon as the door closed behind Terence, Marcus' smile faltered. If everything went according to plan, Bell would be cured of whatever it was that made her fancy him before the day was over, and she'd go back to ignoring him. He knew it was ridiculous and that he ought to know better, but he couldn't help but feel utterly sad about that.

After today, he'd be back at hoping that one day, a girl would fancy him.

The way he'd come to fancy Bell.

You know, without the use of potions or spells.

Midday had come and gone when Marcus finally emerged from the dungeons and dragged himself up the stairs to the Great Hall for lunch. He had spent most of his morning studying for his NEWTs, determined to pass them this time around. He had already wasted too much time on other unnecessary madness and worries, time that he could have used studying.

As expected, the Great Hall was as good as deserted. Mostly lowerclassmen were seated at the tables, and like always Marcus ignored them on his way to his regular seat. Just as he passed the Gryffindor table, though, something caught his eyes. Or rather, someone. He stopped dead in his tracks and glanced over his shoulder, just to make sure that he’d imagined things. His eyes widened in disbelief, mouth agape.

"Bell?" It was nothing more than a whisper, an automatic reflex on his part caused by the surprise of seeing her here. Shouldn't she be in Hogsmeade, making sure that Higgs didn't jump Spinnet’s bones at the first chance he got? Better yet, Bell should have been eating the cheap chocolates laced with the potion he’d brewed whilst watching them.

Marcus craned his neck. There, on the table before her, the blue box with chocolates lay open. That was something, at least.

At the same moment, Bell looked up. Her whole face lit up, and before Marcus’s brain could catch up with him to suggest that he’d better slither back to the dungeons before she got the wrong idea, she was by his side. The corners of her mouth were smudged with chocolate, and when she smiled, he could see the brown stain on her teeth.

“Hi,” she tweeted as a blush crept up her cheeks.

“Yes?” croaked Marcus. It didn’t help that took Bell a tentative step closer, then another one, and another one until they stood nose to nose. She was too close for comfort; how was he supposed to stay out of Azkaban now? She was probably going to reiterate that she wanted to lick his face to weaken his defences some more.

Strangely enough, he was quite disappointed when she didn’t.

“I-uhm. So…” Bell sucked her bottom lip between her teeth in contemplation. It must have helped because she suddenly pushed the blue box in Marcus’ face. There was just one heart-shaped chocolate left in it. “They’re delicious. Do you want the last one? I don’t mind.”

Marcus shook his head, mostly to get rid of the illegal fantasies that were slowly taking over his sanity since he hadn’t heard a word of what she’d just said. Then he remembered what was wrong with chocolates she kept pushing in his face. Whilst common sense told him to take a step back to be safe, he stayed rooted to his spot.

“So, uhm, weren’t you supposed to…”

“Chaperone Alicia on her date?” Bell finished for him with a shrug. “I changed my mind.”

“Yes, I’ve noticed? Why?” He was talking to Bell. Why was he talking to Bell when he ought to run, as fast as he could because he knew what was coming soon.


For a minute, Marcus expected her to shrug again or sway from side to side, twirling her skirt, as a little girl would do. What he didn’t expect was for her to glance around before she beckoned him to lean in. Every fibre in his body told him to turn on his heels and run for the dungeons before the anti-potion took effect and everyone blamed him for it. That they’d be right to do so was beside the point. Of course, he didn’t listen to his smarter self but to the flutter in his lower belly and leant in.

Being this close for the first time, he gazed into Bell’s dark brown eyes, wondering if it truly was the mixture of potions that made her act so strange. What if she really did want to lick his face for some unknown reason. What if she really liked how he smelt? It wouldn't be that bad to be devoured by her as if he was a piece of chocolate, would it?

“Was that all?” he squeaked when Bell licked her lips.

Bell opened her mouth, but nothing came out. Her brows furrowed and she shook her head as if she was trying clear her head. Her face twisted in disgust and then, out of nowhere, a loud belch escaped her. The horror on her face caused by the loud noise and foul smell she spread didn’t last too long because soon after, she began gagging. Violently. Her whole body jolted like Kneazle did when passing a hairball.

Marcus knew better than to stand there and proffer his arm in support when Bell reached out, aware of what was about to happen. But it was like a watching roadside accident. He just had to stop and watch. It didn’t help that the other students rushed to their side with Snape hot on their heels, blocking his escape routes.

“Oh, Merlin…” Bell wheezed between gags. "I-I have to..."

Her words were cut short when the breakfast she had that morning and the chocolates she ate for lunch finally found a way out.

Onto Marcus’ trousers and shoes.

Marcus nervously paced up and down the corridor as he tried to muster up enough courage to visit Katie Bell in the infirmary. He felt guilty for putting her in there in the first place, and he wanted to make sure that she was all right. Also, to make sure that the potion had cured her. But that would mean that he’d need to go in and show his face. And in the unfortunate situation that she'd be awake, he would have to talk to her, explain what he was doing there.

Preferably without coming across like a love-sick duffer.

Because, in case you were wondering, he wasn’t.

At all.

“Just go in there already.”

Marcus swallowed the lump in his throat as he halted in front of the door to the infirmary and slowly pushed it open. It wasn’t too hard to figure out where Bell was since there was only one bed occupied. Madam Pomfrey was nowhere to be seen, which eased some of his nerves; the last thing he needed was to be told off for bothering her patient.

As he inched closer to Bell’s bed, his hand tightened around the wild roses he’d plucked off bushes by the lake as a get-well-soon present. It was the least he could do, he reckoned. Thorns cut deep into his palms, but he didn’t feel it, not with the adrenaline coursing through his body.

By the time he reached Katie’s bed, he felt even worse about what he’d done to her. She lay curled up on her side, hugging a small basin close to her chest as if her life depended on it. Her damp hair frizzed in all directions and her skin was a pale green, a known side-effect of the potion, glistening with sweat. She looked miserable, more than he had expected, which weighed heavily on his conscience.

“Bell?” Marcus said quietly, hoping that she was asleep. Or passed out, or in a deep, deep coma she’d awake from as soon as he got back to the Slytherin common room.

No such luck, though.

Katie tiredly lifted her head, and Marcus felt like the world’s biggest arsehole. Somehow, his puny brain confused the sickly grimace on her face for a shy smile. She surely was not as happy to see him as his imagination was trying to make him believe. The glint in her eyes wasn't because he brightened up her day but more likely due to exertion because she was trying not to sick up her insides. It was ridiculous to think that she was trying to get up to chat with him. She probably wanted to hit him over the head with the roses for disturbing her peace before kicking him out on his arse.

“You-you came,” Katie stammered, her voice hoarse, no doubt caused by the endless vomiting. The words had barely left her lips when she started gagging and coughing again.

Perhaps it was the combination of guilt, nerves, and annoyance with himself for thinking such idiotic things. Or he truly was a plain idiot, the troll he was often called behind his back. Whatever the reason, though, it was out before he could stop himself.

A loud, boisterous laughter filled the infirmary, and it took Marcus a few second to realise he was the one laughing. He tried, he really did, clasped his hand over his mouth, bit the inside of his cheeks until they bled even, but it all failed. Bell, in the meanwhile, hid her face deeper in the basin, her shoulders shaking. He wanted to tell her not to cry, that he wasn’t laughing at her but at his own stupidity. Instead, his guffaws grew louder, more hysterical.

There was just one thing he could do, and that was to get out as fast as he could. And that’s what he did. Still chortling like a madman, Marcus turned on his heels and left the infirmary as if he had the Inferi hot on his heels and didn’t stop running or laughing until he was in his bed, the covers pulled over his head.

If the potion he’d fed Katie through the chocolates hadn’t, laughing in her face at her lowest point must have done the trick. There was no way that Katie Bell would still fancy him after today.

He was right.

Of course, he was.

For the remainder of the term, she did not once look in his direction or acknowledged his presence whenever they bumped into each other in and around the castle. And no matter how often he told himself that he did not care if she did or not, he couldn’t quite explain the clenching of his heart when she ignored him like that or got too familiar with other boys.

It wasn't as if he fancied Bell or anything. He had come to like the idea of her fancying him, not her.

No, this was for the best, for him and her. According to Pucey.

It wasn't real to begin with, said Higgs.

So why couldn't Marcus shake off the feeling that he had ruined the best thing that ever happened to him?
Tags: hp fanfiction, katie bell/marcus flint, marcus flint, one-shot, rating: pg
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