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May 18, 2021 4:43 AM
yer a wizard joey
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"It does sound exciting, doesn't it? Wizarding Culture is useful, so's Herbology, and... you saw how I took Flying... but I'm really looking forward to actually doing magic, you know?"

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"Exactly. Come on, let's... well, it's another hour before Flying's over and after that we don't even have anything, want to go exploring?"

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"...I'd kind of rather read? But maybe we can read in one of the courtyards so Thalia can fly around?"

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"Sounds like a plan!"

They head back to the dorm and fetch Thalia, then head out to read together in the nearest courtyard until dinner.

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At dinner, Aaron informs them that they are to return to the dorm after they eat, for a fun surprise.

The surprise turns out to be a start-of-term party, attended by nearly every Hufflepuff and much of the rest of the student body. There are games! There are recreational potions! There are spaces with bubbles of dampened sound around them for people who do not want to be participating in a party!

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"I'm probably going to end up in one of the bubbles," Leo confesses. "Care to join me, or would you rather try to party first?"

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Joey is already wincing at the sound level, but he shakes his head. "I wanna try a recreational potion. I have no idea what that even means but it sounds great."

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There are many potions available! They are labeled with their name, effect, and brewer! Some of them have an Age Line requiring that you be sixteen or older to get them!

Potions that Joey can try include Cheering Concoction (a mild, nonaddictive upper), Bubbleblower Brew (which will let him exhale clouds of iridescent bubbles of various sizes for ten minutes), and Synaesthetic Solution (this batch of which is specified to let you taste colors). Potions that Joey cannot try include Glee Tea (a much less mild upper), Psychedel (a hallucinogen), and Sweet-Sweat (which makes your bodily fluids taste and smell delicious - "yes, that too," it notes mysteriously).

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Joey grabs a vial each of the listed potions that he is permitted and retreats to the quiet area in which Leo has sequestered himself.

"Hi," he says.

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"We last spoke under a minute ago," Leo says.

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"I'm aware of that," Joey sniffs. "-I forgot to ask if you wanted a recreational potion. When we spoke under a minute ago."

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Leo shrugs. "Most of them aren't that fun after the first couple of times. Especially the kiddie potions that people will actually give to minors."

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"Well, I haven't had them before. So I'm going to try them."

He downs the potions in sequence. The Cheering Concoction tastes remarkably like a Shirley Temple, the Bubbleblower is simple-syrup-sweet, and the Synaesthetic Solution tastes like purple.

The difference between potions and drugs is that potions can and usually do hit immediately. Joey's pupils dilate, and he looks around in awe.

"Wow," he says.

He hiccups a cloud of tiny iridescent bubbles and makes a delighted little squeaking noise.

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"Okay, that particular combination does look like fun," Leo admits.

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Joey is checked out right now. He stares at the bubbles, tasting the tiny rainbow on each one.

Then he wrenches himself away from the pure enjoyment he's feeling, because he has science to do. What happens if he purses his lips and tries to whistle? (Thin stream of teeny-tiny bubbles!) If he exhales slowly? (Large bubble!) If he breathes in as much air as he possibly can and exhales slowly for as long as he can manage??? (He gets very dizzy, but gosh that sure is a big bubble!)

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(Meanwhile, that angry boy from Intro to Wizarding Culture has inserted himself into their quiet area and is chatting up his poor neglected roommate.)

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Joey might, under other circumstances, be worried that he's being rude. Right now, though, he's in Bubble Mode.

 

Ten minutes pass entirely too quickly. He's bemused, at first, when the bubbles stop; then he's disappointed. But he doesn't want to take another Brew, because then there'll be less for other kids who want it. This is a conundrum.

He elects to crawl up into the big overstuffed armchair that Leo is in and snuggle his friend about it.

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"-which is great until you - uh? Hi Joey, what're you doing?"

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Joey makes a noise at him which could not reasonably be characterized as a word.

Words are hard. Snuggles are better.

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"...Cheering Concoction isn't supposed to do... whatever's going on here. Xan, you up for a trip to the Hospital Wing?"

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Xan shrugs. "Sure, long as neither of us has to carry him. Also, if he throws up, or anything else in that vein, I'm leaving. Those are my conditions."

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"Cool, great, let's go. Upsies, Joey."

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Aw, but he just started snuggles.

Fine, fine, upsies. He wobbles precipitously on his feet.

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Leo catches him under the shoulder and makes a face. "Xan, I know you just said no carrying but I weigh fifty pounds, can you -"

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"Fine, fine, let me -"

He takes Joey's other side. In this formation they stagger out of the Hufflepuff common room and off towards the Hospital Wing.

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