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Albus Potter and the Professor's Secret by Nafsika Christopoulou

Format: Novella
Chapters: 26
Word Count: 51,520
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 12+
Warnings: No Warnings

Genres: Fluff, Action/Adventure
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, McGonagall, James, Lucius, Narcissa, Ginny, Neville, Albus, Hugo, James (II), Lily (II), Rose, OC
Pairings: Other Pairing

First Published: 11/30/2020
Last Chapter: 04/08/2021
Last Updated: 04/08/2021

Summary:

When a letter with a red seal, parchment, and the Hogwarts symbol arrives at the Potter’s house one morning, Albus finally knows that he can go to Hogwarts. But when things take a turn for the worse, will Albus be able to save the day like his father? 

Albus Severus Potter has never heard of anything about You - Know - Who, Death Eaters, or the Dark Mark. It isn’t until with the help of Hagrid, the Gamekeeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts, that Albus finally knows the truth.  However, when Albus witnesses something peculiar in the sky one night, he knows that with the help of his cousins and new best friends, that an incredible adventure is about to begin!

 

 



Chapter 1: Prologue
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Prologue

 

Lakefield Lane

 

660914 Title Photography Rain Road Night Light Wallpaper - Rain Background  Night - 1920x1080 - Download HD Wallpaper - WallpaperTip

 

 

              It was the rainy, damp morning of the first of November. The dull muggle street known as ‘Lakefield Lane,’ sat unnervingly, dimly lit by few working streetlights. The slightly tilted street displayed two, tidy rows of houses, all of which looked exactly the same and had identical front lawns. In the past minute or so, the monsoon had gone from sprinkling to pouring, creating thrashing streams of water, and were flowing rapidly down the road.

Considering the hour, chances were high that nothing or no one would be there to interrupt their meeting.

The rain seemed to halt as a rather short, pygmy man appeared in the weak, flickering light. He was wearing a long moleskin coat, which stretched all the way to his ankles. The strange man checked his watch and tutted, seeming quite irritated, and then proceeded to visibly mutter something to himself.

It was five minutes later that another man appeared. He had a troubled look on his face, as if he had realized that coming late to this ‘meeting’, was going to be much worse than he had predicted.                                                                               Neville Longbottom picked up his lingering walk to a jog.

‘Perhaps we should move out of the light?’ Harry suggested as he indicated to a spot of bushes immersed in darkness. Neville nodded.

Lumos.’

Harry’s wand illuminated enough space for the two of them to be able to see each other.

‘So, any big news since we last saw each other?’ Neville asked. 

‘Neville, we haven’t time to talk about this.’ Harry began. ‘I have something much more important on my mind.’                

‘Which is?’

‘Albus.’ Harry began. ‘I need to ask you the biggest favor I have in my life.’

Neville considered it for a moment and told Harry to go on.

‘Seeing as you are going to be one of Albus’ professors at Hogwarts, I need you to do something for him. You are one of the friends I’ve had since childhood, and you know all about my life at Hogwarts and the adventures I went on. What I ask from you, is that you don’t tell Albus anything about my backstory, what happened to me, and why.’

‘Are you sure this is a job for me?’ Neville asked, feeling as if he was shrinking under the pressure. Harry stared back at him for a moment before he continued.

‘You know every single detail of my years at Hogwarts, each one of them!’ Harry began, lowering his voice. ‘So, listen carefully,’

Neville nodded obediently.

 ‘You, as ordered by me, are forbidden to say anything about me regarding childhood, especially Hogwarts. The time will come when he gets to learn about it. Am I clear?’ he breathed. Neville did not say anything; he nodded again. It was as if the power to speak had been taken away from him, so he had proceeded to communicate in ushered nods and frightened expressions. Silence fell between the two of them.

‘Now that we have that sorted, perhaps we go back onto the  street?’ Harry offered in a much more pleasant tone.

The two of them walked back into the feeble light.

Neville had mixed feelings after what Harry had told him. He didn’t know what to think about it. Wasn’t it quite odd that the son of the ‘Boy Who Lived’ himself be so blind and unheeding to the story that formed and saved their generation?

 

‘I think we will leave it here,’ Harry suggested, checking his watch, mindful of the rain, which was now slowly ceasing.

 

‘Excellent.’ Neville replied in a dubious tone, before exchanging a hearty handshake with Harry before they both departed into the night. 

 

 

 

 

 



Chapter 2: Chapter One
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Chapter One

The Best Birthday

 

Albus Severus Potter had dark brown hair, bright blue eyes, and a fair skin tone. His parents, Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley, were very fond of him. He had two siblings, James, whose full name was James Sirius Potter, and his sister Lily, who had golden ginger hair and dark hazel eyes, whose full name was Lily Luna Potter. His family lived in a suburban house in London, where things got loud sometimes, but they were used to it. They lived their lives in an orderly routine, like normal people, except they kept a secret, a secret that no one could find out about; the Potter family were wizards, and every one of them had come from a wizarding family. Harry Potter, Albus’ father, had lived one incredible childhood full of adventures. Ginny Weasley, his mother, had a kind-hearted soul and put others in front of her first. She met Harry when they were at school together at Hogwarts, the finest school of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the world. Ginny rarely joined him on his adventures, but they got closer towards the end of their school years.

Life here was calm, and soon, Albus would be old enough to join his brother, James at Hogwarts. At Hogwarts, James was known as ‘The Troublemaker’, he was always plotting ways to displease his teachers. But despite multiple detentions and being loathed by Professors, James got high marks in almost every exam, making himself one of the top students in his classes. However frustrated his parents would become, his exam results almost always covered for him. Harry, Albus’ father, had always desired to have a family where he could be accepted as a wizard. In the house he grew up in, number four, Privet Drive, Harry was never allowed almost anything. All his clothes had been dirty, second-handed, and passed from his greedy cousin, Dudley Dursley, who was now greatly oversized. After Harry’s parents’ deaths, (in which were both assassinated by the terrifying Lord Voldemort, one of the most dangerous and powerful Wizards back then,) Harry was rushed to his only living relatives, his Aunt Petunia, and Uncle, Vernon, both of which were Harry’s worst nightmares. Aunt Petunia, whose sister was Harry’s mother, was very critical and disapproving of her sister’s type.

 

***

 

Our story begins on a particular day when the sun was scorching. Albus was lying on his bed fast asleep, his duvet cover strewn on the floor. He then woke up with a jolt, as a thought came to his head.

It was his birthday! He shot out of bed and skidded downstairs, shaking. He hadn’t done so in a prolonged amount of time. You see, Albus was the sort of person who always awaited something from people. He was used to it, after all. As a child, if there was one thing that Albus had learned, it was that he could always be expectant from his parents. That must have been the reason that he had then expected to find multiple presents laid out for him in the living room. All he found was James, not a clue as to what was happening on his face, making this a lot more difficult.

‘Where are my presents?’ He asked, in a state of disbelief. ‘It- It’s my birthday, isn’t it?’

‘Last time I checked.’ James said, not taking his eyes off the cereal box that he was carefully reading the contents of. If he knew anything, Albus was sure that he knew James well enough as to be able to know that look on his face when he was lying. And he did. This wasn’t one of the times he was lying; James was being serious. Albus, still completely and utterly confused, headed back up the stairs, the previous feeling of excitement and rushes of adrenalin now completely gone, and instead, there, the feeling of despair, confusion, and disappointment. He could feel his heart plummet to his stomach even more for every single step he took back up the stairs. Had his own family really forgotten his own birthday? No, it’s not possible, he kept reassuring himself over and over, as he sat, mulling his thoughts over in his mind. Perhaps his parents were just working, and would be back later in the day? Or, on a better note, was it possible that they would be preparing a surprise for him someplace else? Despite thinking of excuses, Albus still felt that there was something missing about the whole thing. Heaving a deep sigh, he sat down on his bed and pulled out a book. Albus didn’t usually read, but on this occasion, he had nothing better to do. He seemed down at the pages. Lifeless. Meaningless. He didn’t want to read, especially if it was going to be on his birthday. He shut the book once more and turned to face his pillow. Perhaps he was just dreaming? Albus considered pinching himself for a moment. It was then he felt his stomach rumble. He slumped out of his room and took down the stairs, heading for the kitchen.

‘Surprise!’

That was the moment that Albus felt all of the weight on his shoulders lift up and disappear. He felt his heart lift back up and back into its original place. The thing that attracted him the most, however, were the presents that each one of them was holding in their hands. He hurried to hug them all. They each took a seat at the breakfast table and began talking busily about the special day. ‘Perhaps we should begin unwrapping the presents then?’ Ginny began, striding over to one of the presents. ‘This one.’ She said first, handing it to him, a beaming smile on her face. He pulled out a jersey. Not any jersey. (To Albus at least) The name ‘Oliver Wood’ was sewn on the back, displayed with a large number one. You see, Albus was a big fan of Quidditch, and had always admired his dad for his achievements as a Gryffindor Seeker. As a matter of fact, he had hoped to be one himself.

‘Well, try it on, then!’ Ginny urged him. ‘It was quite expensive, you know!’ she added. Albus pulled the jersey on over his pajama shirt, and, despite the unnatural look from the shirt underneath, he looked fine. They then proceeded to unwrap five more presents, two of which had been gifted from his aunt and uncle, Ron and Hermione, as well as their two children, Hugo and Rose, and another of which had been given by his sister, Lily. Silence had fallen in the room as the five of them ate the food eagerly. They were then interrupted by Harry, who had seemed as if he had just been struck by an idea or a thought. He jolted out of his seat and sprinted over to the telephone. He then began entering some numbers, muttering madly under his breath, as if he were trying to remember something. Albus and James exchanged looks as the two of them, along with Ginny and Lily, watched curiously as Harry sat waiting for whoever was on the other side of the line to pick up. They couldn’t hear much of their conversation, as it was happening in another room, but they were able to make out small fragments and morsels of what was happening.

‘… That would be fantastic!’ was one of which they heard Harry say.

‘… I’ll make sure to give them my best…’

‘… I’ll check!’

It took a while for Harry to finally put down the phone, but once he did, he seemed to have something very exciting on his mind, because he was smiling with both his mouth and his eyes.

‘ – Harry?’

‘ Yes!’

‘What’re you doing, exactly?’

‘You’ll see!’

A pause followed.

‘ – Is there anything in particular that you are looking for?’ Ginny cried from the kitchen to the hall. Harry didn’t answer, but instead, came back into the room where the rest of them were waiting. ‘What’s he holding in his hands?’ James whispered, as he and his younger brother watched as their father came back into the kitchen. Albus looked back at James and shrugged. ‘I believe this is for you.’ Harry said, handing Albus a letter, beaming. ‘Isn’t that – ‘ Lily said, cutting off and running over to her brother. ‘Yep.’ Ginny got up from her chair and ran over to where they were standing and peered over Albus’ shoulder. Albus turned over the Hogwarts letter in his hands. It was parchment, sealed with a scarlet stamp. ‘Open it up, then!’ James said. He could feel his hands trembling. The hairs on the back of his neck prickling a little more with every given moment. He pulled out the letter.

 

Dear Albus Severus Potter

,We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.

Term begins on 1st September. We await your owl no later than 31 July.

Yours Sincerely,

Minerva McGonagall

Headmistress

 

Albus was flushed. He could feel Harry, Ginny, Lily, and James glance at each other and smile behind him.

‘Your letter came too, James.’ Harry told him, reaching for another envelope that had been left on the counter. ‘I think it’s just the list for what you need.’

The family went on about Hogwarts for a while, until Lily brought up Diagon Alley.

‘- And when exactly will we be going to get me and James’ new things?’ Albus asked.

‘Hm… Well, it must be soon, because we don’t have much time.’ Harry told them. ‘Perhaps tomorrow?’

‘Tomorrow?’ Ginny sprung. ‘That’s on short notice, don't you think?’

‘Ah, well, what do we have to lose?’

It was confirmed. The family was going to go to Diagon Alley the next day.

It was half an hour later when Albus had tucked his letter in his pocket and headed up to his bedroom. He was now lying, facing upwards, on his bed, mulling over thoughts about Hogwarts. He didn’t quite know what to expect. What were Quidditch games going to be like? Professors? Homework? Friends?

James would come back every year with a new story or adventure including some sort of mysterious creature, (that Albus had the strange instinct that his brother should have never even been near to) or at least breaking a few dozens of school rules. This was one of the main reasons that made him feel so excited to go to Hogwarts, he didn’t want to hear about the stories; he wanted to be in them.

That afternoon, the Potter house sat in silence. Albus was strewn on his bed for what felt like hours, thinking, and thinking and thinking. He would have usually gone outside to play with James, but this time he chose to do this instead. It was quite strange to him. This all felt quite sudden. He was going to Hogwarts in just a few days, and he was going to get his materials the very next day. Not only did it feel sudden, but quite too good to be true. Albus couldn’t help but fight a smile every time he thought about what was happening.

 

***

Subsequently, the next day, Harry, Ginny, James, Albus, and Lily were all lined up in front of the mantlepiece. Ginny was clutching what seemed like a flowerpot in her hand.

‘ – Right, James, you go first.’ She directed, pointing to the fireplace.

James stepped over to the fireplace. In fact, a way to go to Diagon Alley was through a fireplace and Floo powder. Another way was through the Leaky Cauldron in London, but in terms of recent years, it looked as if there was a growing ‘trend’ with going to Diagon Alley using Floo Powder.

James stepped into the hearth, seizing a handful of the dust like material. The next moment, after he had yelled ‘Diagon Alley!’ all that was left in the fireplace was a pile of scattered dust.

Ginny looked over at Albus, who, despite having done this for the past two years, (in order to go to Diagon Alley for James) seemed to have an anxious look on his face. He stepped in and shifted from foot to foot, unnecessarily feeling uneasy.

 

‘Diagon Alley!’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Chapter 3: Chapter Two
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Diagon Alley

 

Although very close to the school year, Diagon Alley was packed with wizard families, rushing to get school supplies for the year. There were shops upon shops, cafes holding wonders of foods, displays holding owls, signs that read, ‘Quality Quidditch Items, New Lightning Bolt Three-thousands in Store!’ ‘Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions!’ ‘New Sales and Discounts!’ the list could go on and on.

The Potters went to Ollivanders to meet Hermione and Ron, and Hugo and Rose. After everybody had greeted each other, they went to Flourish and Botts, Ginny and Hermione giggling together, and Hugo and Albus talking about Hogwarts with James.

‘You can smuggle food from the kitchens, there’s a corridor you can go through and at the end, there’s a painting, where you simply tickle the pear and it turns into a doorknob, that’s your secret to entering the kitchen.’ he whispered; Harry turned to him, grinning. ‘I did that too… how did you come by that?’ he breathed into his ear. James looked at him cheekily, ‘Just some help from Uncle George, he’s told me so much stuff, it’s crazy…’

Harry looked down at his footwear and chuckled in a manner that advised James that this information was no surprise. Ron introduced to everybody that they had to pay a trip to Gringotts, the Wizarding Bank, claimed to be the ‘safest’ place in the Wizarding world, heavily covered by guards.

Gringotts was at the quit of Diagon Alley. The institution of nine walked collectively merrily; At the sight of Gringotts, Hugo made awe of admiration. It was truly massive and gold. Fantasized with the aid of the sight of the stylish bank, they walked down the carpeted ground to the front desk, assembled by a grumpy goblin, busy writing something on his desk; it was long until he noticed they had been there… Ron cleared his throat and Harry kicked his leg on the ground loudly. The goblin still seemed oblivious to what was happening around him.

‘Hello?’ interrupted Hermione. Startled, the goblin dropped his Quill, spreading ink all over the carpet under him.

‘Yes?’ stated the goblin, whose voice turned into exasperated and squeaky, as if he hadn’t spoken in a protracted time.

‘Sorry about the carpet…’ Hermione started, ‘we didn’t mean to startle you or anything…’ By now, the goblin had reached another ink pot from the shelf under his desk and had all started writing. Hermione let out an enormous sigh, watching for the goblin to talk to them. She had never had a lot of liking for them, ignorant and rude.

 

Soon after, they had split up into groups, Hermione, Ron, Rose, and Hugo had gone to Hermione’s vault to get some money, and Harry, Ginny, and their three kids had gone to Harry’s vault to do the same. They met to begin their shopping.

‘First up,’ announced Ron, pulling Hugo’s scruffy letter from his pocket, ‘er- Madam Malkin’s Robes.’

Ron, who was more familiar with Diagon Alley than anyone, led everyone down a few shops to Madam Malkin’s.

 

After a few hours, Rose, James Hugo, and Albus were fully stocked with school necessities, from robes to wands, and endless stacks of Quills and parchment.

After saying goodbye, the two families split up back to their homes, enthusiastic to meet each other again.

In the house of the Potters, it was tense and quiet for the next two days. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, were silent and awkward, Albus and James over-excited for Hogwarts. Lily had obviously been dreading the past few days, she was un-keen for her brothers to leave; they were usually her top company.

Finally, the day came, September the First, Albus and James holding their trunks in their hands, legs weakening by the weight, ready for Hogwarts.

‘Are you ready?’ Ginny asked Albus, who had given herself the job of organizing everyone…

‘Yeah,’ Albus replied, running his fingers into his pocket for the third time to check whether his hidden Cockroach Clusters were still there.

‘Perfect,’ Ginny said, ‘James, are you sure you’ve got everything?’ she queried him sternly, ‘you usually ought to be untidy and un-organized!’

James shrugged and said that he had gotten everything.

‘Dad?’ asked Albus, shrinking under the weight of his trunk, ‘What’s the point of going by car if Wizards can easily transport to one place or another?’

Harry gave a chuckle in return.

‘I think you’re talking about Apparition. First, you’re way too young to Apparate, and if we traveled by Floo powder, it would practically be impossible, especially with all this luggage!’ Harry said hopelessly. ‘Now help me lift your trunk, Albus, we need to put it in the back of the car. Be carefu-‘ CRASH! (A few days ago, when the family went to Diagon Alley, Harry had given Albus a beautiful, orange barn owl; Albus was very bad at handling it…)

Sighing loudly, Harry released Albus’ trunk and bent down to get the petrified owl, who was now fluttering furiously in her cage.

Lily and Ginny. Were scavenging James and Albus’ rooms for any sign of forgotten items; they had already found James’ Transfiguration book, tucked away beneath boundless stacks of paper lying on his desk.

Soon enough, it was time to leave. The two girls had searched like nifflers, desperate for gold. Albus and Harry had prepared the car, meaning that everyone was ready.

‘Come on! Inside the car, now!’ instructed Ginny, easing Lily into the car. Eventually, everyone was inside the car, buckled and comfortable, ready for the drive. When all was said and done, the car disappeared down the road to King’s Cross, where they met Ron, Hermione, Rose, and Hugo, who were also towered underneath their trunks and owl cages.

‘Hello!’ cried Albus, running towards Hugo, struggling to steer his cart.

‘Hello?’ asked Hugo, his head emerging behind the stacks of suitcases.

‘Albus!’ he said, when their eyes finally met, ‘Fancy meeting you here!’

Once the children gathered, their parents took them in between stations nine and ten, lined them up, and showed how to get to platform nine and three quarters.

Just as she had shown them to enter Diagon Alley, Ginny told everybody to line up before the barrier and run through.

Platform nine and three quarters was magnificent; the scarlet Hogwarts Express, now slightly worn, was puffing out white smoke, throwing a blanket of white clouds over the damp ceiling.

After Ron, Hermione, Rose, and Hugo appeared through the barrier, the two families went towards the train.

‘Neville, Harry’s here with Ron, Ginny and Hermione!’ cried a familiar voice.

It was Seamus Finnegan, one of Harry and Ron’s old dorm-mates. They were friends in their times at Hogwarts.

‘Blimey! Harry!’ cried another familiar voice, it was Neville Longbottom.

‘Fancy meeting you here!’

‘I know! I surely wasn’t expecting it…’ added Seamus.

Their discussion came to a close as a large bell sounded, warning everybody that the train would leave soon.

 

There was a knock on the door. It was a tall, bitter-looking boy. He had dark brown, neatly combed hair, and plain brown eyes. His name was Arthur Paxton. He opened the door and introduced himself, and his two chubby sidekicks, one of which was Conor Dyson, a short, chubby boy with long hair and large blue eyes. On the other side stood a tall boy, just about the size of Arthur, with blonde, messy hair, and brown eyes. His name was Emmanuel Gifford. The three of them stood in the presence of the other four as if they were of some sort of high status; they had only come here to spark trouble, and it was clearer that neither of the three boys had no interest whatsoever in Albus, Rose, Hugo, and James. 

'What is it you want then?' 

'Nothing.' Arthur clarified, only to the annoyance of Rose. 

'Well, then why are you here?' 

'To tell you that you not as famous as you think you are, Potter. You're just as important as the rest of us here.' 

This came as much confusion to the four. Why would Albus be important, and on top of all, famous? He hadn't seen himself on the television at any point in time, similarly for newspapers and school, so what quite was Arthur going on about?

'Get lost.' James muttered, standing up and ushering the three boys outside of their compartment. 

Emmanuel and Conor, followed by Arthur, who had a rather shriveled expression on his face, left in a rather rushed manner. 



Chapter 4: Chapter Three
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Chapter Three

The Sorting Hat

 

The long train ride finally came to a halt. The sky dark sky had turned a navy shade of blue, and smoke was beginning to fill the air. Albus, Rose, and Hugo clung to each other as the students for Hogwarts began pouring out of the train.

Over the cacophonic voices of all of the people, a rather deep, loud voice was bellowing.

‘First years, this way! Form a huddle!’

Suddenly, a chunk of the students split and followed the man (who seemed to be at least a meter or two taller than everyone), picking up Albus, Rose, and Hugo with them. They were led to a littoral, where they split up onto boats.

The only source of light was the lantern of which the man that met them there had raised in his arm, which was unfortunately only enough to illuminate the area around him for a few meters.

From a distance, and undoubtedly from up close, Hogwarts was beautiful. It was lined with turrets and towers, and the windows shined bright yellow from the inside.

Although he was far away, and shivering from the cold at that, Albus could feel the warmth surrounding him from the castle. The fact that it was built around a lake that looked so dark in the night it was similar to a black void, made it even more magical than it possibly could have been. On the whole, the genuine landscape in the area was to marvel at, and, let alone the lake, there were mountains and forests, which all contributed to the fascinating illusion of Hogwarts.

They were dropped off at the other end of the bay, to the gates of the building.

‘Thank you, Hagrid, I’ll take care of them from here.’ A woman, who was wearing emerald green robes, and had her hair packed tightly into a bun, said.

The man waddled off into the distance, leaving the, rather frightened group of First-Years in her presence.

Without a word of greeting, nor of welcome, she led them down a muddy path, which, inevitably entered the castle.

She stopped her stride in front of a pair of large, wooden doors. Her face was wrinkled, her lips ever so slightly pursed, and her robe falling just below her feet.

‘Hello everybody. My name is Professor McGonagall, and I am the Headmaster of this school. Before we enter the Great Hall for the Sorting Ceremony-‘

The Sorting Ceremony? Albus hadn’t heard of such a thing, though it would have been only silly to assume that he would learn his house the moment he got there, otherwise it wouldn’t have been that important to him. He turned to Rose and Hugo, who had the same expressions on their faces.

‘Sorting Ceremony?’ Hugo mouthed; his face troubled.

Albus shrugged.

‘Hogwarts is split up into four houses: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin. Each house is known for the traits it possesses. In a moment, I shall take you through these doors, to where the rest of the school is sat, waiting for the start of year feast to commence, as well as for the Sorting Ceremony.’

Then, a gush of tension and pressure cascaded through him. In front of the whole school? Not only did he have to go through the process of the ceremony, he had to do it in front of the whole school, which was undoubtedly a number of students in the thousands.

‘Once I open these doors, you are to follow me up to the platform, where the ceremony is to begin.

The group of students, which all mirrored the exact look on Albus’ face; confusion and panic- nodded their heads.

Then, the doors flung open and they entered the Great Hall.

If possible, it was more stunning than it had seemed on the outside. The stained windows were reflecting the moonlight, the walls were bordered with flaming torches, but on top of all, the most enchanting aspect of it all was the ceiling. As it was rumored, it had been ‘bewitched’ to replicate the sky above, which, in this case, displayed a gloomy sky, dotted with grey clouds.

Albus, Rose, and Hugo stayed as close together as they could, whilst they felt hundreds of pairs of eyes follow them down the path to the front.

Though, the eyes that were staring at him weren’t Albus’ only concern. He still had the Sorting Ceremony to go through, and he didn’t quite understand what to expect. He searched frantically for James among the students that were seated but failed because of the fact that Professor McGonagall had stopped walking and had instead pulled out a scroll of parchment, a stool, and what looked like a very battered and greying hat.

‘Greetings to all the students.’ She began. ‘I would like to welcome you to another year at Hogwarts, which will bring new friends, classes, and Professors. Now, before you all begin on the start of year feast, the Sorting Ceremony for the new students is to occur.’

She cracked a smile down at the group.

Then, silence lingered in the air of the hall. And as the tension grew by the second, the most unexpected thing happened; the Sorting Hat broke into song.

-… This new year before us has come.

Bringing learning, adventures, and much fun.

And we all have nothing to shun,

For once all is said and done,

This year will not even have begun.

 

Gryffindor, of braveness and courageousness,

Ravenclaw, of wit and wisdom,

Hufflepuff, of kindness and hearts of a kingdom,

Slytherin, of pride and ambition… -

 

The Great Hall broke into applause. Albus exchanged looks with Hugo and Rose, both of whom seemed as bewildered and puzzled as he did. (Along with the rest of the First-Years)

 

‘Right, starting off, we have Lucy Adromedon, please walk up to the stage.’

A frightened young girl walked towards Professor McGonagall; her hands folded together nervously.

She walked up to the stage, and when the hat was placed on her head it dipped just below her eyes.

‘Ravenclaw!’

A group of the students in the Great Hall rose in applause, as Lucy went over to sit down at the table.

After that, came Madeline Lawyson, a rather chubby girl whose eyes were sunken and grey. When she sat down on the stool, she didn’t turn away from staring at her feet. 

After she was announced a Hufflepuff, Arthur Paxton was called.

‘-Slytherin!’

‘Weasley, Hugo.’ The Headmistress said, peering at the parchment through her spectacles.

He felt the hall go silent. His legs tremble as he walked up to the platform. Although, on a brighter note, he, along with Albus and Rose, had been delighted to find out that the Sorting Ceremony wasn’t as frightening as they had assumed it to be-and instead was just the procedure of the hat being placed on your head until it selected a house for you to be in. But that fact still didn’t stop him from being rather flustered at having to do it in front of the whole school. 

The Sorting Hat fell a mere few centimeters over Hugo’s eyes once he sat down on the stool. And it seemed as if luck as on his side because, unlike it was for some other students, the Sorting Hat barely even took a moment to decide what house to put Hugo in, before bellowing ‘Gryffindor!”

A rather pleasant feeling of ecstasy, as well as the burden off of his shoulders, gushed through Hugo as the Hat was lifted off his head and he approached the Gryffindor table (which had risen in cheers).

Then, finally, after what had seemed like an eternity of waiting, Albus’ name was called out, and, it seemed as if he was a topic of interest, because once hiss name was declared by Professor McGonagall, it indeed seemed as if some of the teachers leaned forward for a better a look, and the students fell quieter than they had for the other First-Years when they were about to get sorted. Nonetheless, having seen Hugo walk up to the stage prior, it was much easier for him to feel relaxed. After all, what were the chances of him becoming a Slytherin?

Albus found his legs carrying him to the stage. The piercing eyes of the rest of his peers pinching his back. He sat down on the stool. The moment of truth.

Then came the worst. Unlike it had been for many of the other students, Albus found that the Sorting Hat was taking a considerable amount of time to find him a house. Another thing, however, that he found as he was sitting on that platform, was that perhaps it wasn’t as easy for the Sorting Hat to select a house for him. Though, it should have been evident that something that would affect the rest of his ‘career’ at Hogwarts was going to be a decision that was going to take some more responsibility than to give one of a bewitched hat. (That had rather an attitude at that.)

Then his mind went blank.

For a few moments, all he could hear was the deafening silence that rang in his ears, and, undoubtedly inside Rose and Hugo’s too.

Gryffindor!’

With those words, the weight upon Albus’ shoulders lifted. The burden that had been bothering him ever since the beginning of Summer had finally gone, and in the best way possible, at that. Albus felt an overwhelming, yet comfortable feeling of fleeting happiness as he took off the hat and strode to the Gryffindor table.

The crowd arose in cheers. Albus managed to single out Rose and Hugo, who were also seated there waiting for him, out of the mob of cheering students. They were smiling.

As a matter of fact, even Professor McGonagall, along with the man who had led them from Hogsmeade station and across the river were smiling.

Fighting the grin on her face, the Headmistress walked back up to the podium.

‘Now that the sorting has been completed, behold, the anticipated, Start of Year Feast!’

As she said those words, plates, goblets, and cutlery began filling the tables, and it all had happened in the blink of an eye. Lavishing smells filled the air. And dishes that Albus, Rose, and Hugo could have only imagined were spawning themselves aloft the tables. Truly, it was palatial and glorious and was nothing but appealing to the students who lucky enough to be in its presence.

It was just sort of two hours later that all of the students were instructed to go to their dormitories. Gryffindor’s Head Boy, George Shelton, had led them up to the Gryffindor common room, and, as Albus had picked up from other students, the place immediately felt like home.

‘Just to recap,’ He begun, ‘The boys’ dormitories are to the left of the staircase and the girls’ are on the right.’

 

George pointed out two separate winding staircases, followed by Albus and Hugo, who had proceeded to run up to their dormitory in order to capture the top bunk; they were very soon later accompanied by the rest of the students.

 



Chapter 5: Chapter Four
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A New Member on the Quidditch Team

 

Just as they began lunch, Albus’ orange, furry owl swooped in alone holding a large, broom-shaped parcel. Everybody's eyes followed the owl as it flew towards the Gryffindor table. The hall suddenly fell silent. It fell on top of Albus’ food, which knocked down three goblets full of water. Albus smiled, and although everybody was looking at him he squealed with excitement as he opened the new broom. The whole hall gasped as he held it up, the students behind him gazing at it with awe. 

‘It’s the new Lightning Bolt Three-thousand!’ shouted a fourth-year boy from the opposite side of the table.

 

‘Everybody! It has just come to my attention that a student has received a new present, however, please get back to your lunch and I shall sort out everything, thank you…’ Professor McGonagall insisted, trying her best to calm down the situation. 

Everybody sighed, an item like this could cost almost two-thousand whole golden galleons! It was crazy, who could afford to give this to him? It was definitely not a teacher because they weren’t allowed to gift expensive things to students, so it only could’ve been a student, but who? Homer Shelton of the Quidditch team discreetly approached Albus as everyone settled down. 

‘Hey, that’s for Quidditch practice today, d’you like it?’ Were the first words that he whispered into his ear. 

 A million questions entered Albus’ head at the sound of those words. He had brought the present for him, hadn’t he, and since when was he on the Quidditch team? Homer told them to go outside so that no one could hear them.

‘So you mean that you bought this for me?’ he asked.

‘Yeah I did, and, congrats, you're on the Gryffindor Quidditch team!’ 

Albus' jaw dropped open, and only when he realized it he closed it back shut. He didn't have the experience, nor any actual knowledge of the actual game. All he had heard was that his father had been incredibly skilled at it when he was his age.

‘I think I worked that out, but, I’ve only ever seen one Quidditch match, and I was only in the audience, so why me?'

‘Listen up, we all know that you did the best in that flying lesson than anyone else, and you saw us nodding our heads, I’m surprised that you haven’t understood yet!' Homer said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world and only assumed that Albus was stupid enough to have ignored it.  

'Listen, I can't miss lunch, but we have practice later today, so make sure not to be late the first time!'

It was without another word that Homer ran off and left Albus alone outside. He was now in the Quidditch team, he was just like his father, he was going to send a letter to his father tonight. Before he managed to go back inside Professor McGonagall came storming out,

‘What is this?’ she cried madly. James wanted to disappear, he was already in trouble on the second day, he was going to get expelled, never come back to school and spend the rest of his life admiring his siblings, knowing magic. He didn’t know what to say, how was he going to explain this?

‘I, uh, um, eh...’ McGonagall laughed,

‘You thought that I would expel you for getting a gift, although you really do owe Homer now, don’t you?’ Albus finally relaxed, he wasn’t going to get expelled and his father wouldn’t tell him off as he had thought… He got an excuse slip from Professor McGonagall to miss the next potions lesson with Professor Baron to go to Quidditch practice one on one with Homer. He ran as fast as he could, holding his new Lightning Bolt Three-thousand without telling Hugo or Rose that he would be missing the next lesson for Quidditch practice. He met Homer outside the Gryffindor common room holding a large wooden crate and they walked together towards the Quidditch Pitch. They stopped and Homer opened the crate carefully, four were balls. He said that although the rules in Quidditch were simple, it was hard to play.

‘Now, each team has seven players on each side, there are three Chasers, two Beaters, one Keeper, and one Seeker. The chasers’ aim is to get the Quaffle (which is one of the balls) in one of the three hoops of the opposing team and try to score a point, which is valid to ten points. They can pass the ball to each other, however, only one chaser is allowed in the scoring area at a time. You still with me?’ Albus nervously nodded his head.

‘OK, so the beaters’ job is to use their bats and keep the Bludgers away from their team and at the same time try and aim the Bludgers towards the opposite team. Then there is the keeper, whose job is to guard the three hoops on their team to prevent the opposing team from scoring, and finally is the seeker, who has the most important job, their job is the try and catches the golden snitch,’ Homer opened up a little compartment to show what looked like a golden ball with wings on each side.

‘The Golden Snitch has to be caught to end the game, and usually, whenever the Snitch is caught that team wins because it's worth one-hundred and fifty points, I think that once there was a Quidditch match that lasted for three whole months, they had to bring on random substitutes so that the players could sleep! Albus was overwhelmed, how would he be able to play this?

‘I gave you the fastest broom in the world, and you’re going to use it well,’

‘The fastest?!’

‘Yep, and that’s why you're our seeker, we have practice three times a week, on Mondays, Fridays, and Sundays, sometimes we change the dates in case we have a match coming up,’

Albus looked at Homer, this was too much to take in…. He opened his mouth but no words came out, so he closed it again.

‘Oh well, see you on Friday!’ he reached out his hand and the boys shook their hands, Albus thanked him for the opportunity and he left back to the castle. Albus went up the stairs to the Gryffindor common room to see his cousins and best friends, Rose and Hugo waiting for him. Where've you been? Hugo asked like a teacher. Albus looked down at his hands and his broomstick, and then up at them. ‘I wanted to tell…. you that...um… I’m on the Quidditch team…!’ Rose and Hugo both shook their heads, they were in disbelief when they learned that he had known from before and not told them. It was getting dark and the lessons were finished, they entered the Common room and headed up to their bedrooms, they had to do their homework, but Albus’ head was too busy with Homer, Quidditch, his new Lightning Bolt Three-thousand, the fastest broom in the world…

To him, it was just too good to be true, and he didn't quite understand everything yet. There were many things that made him anxious about the thing as a whole, the main factor being that he was the youngest on the team. All of the other players had, unquestioningly, much more comprehension and grasp on the sport. Then, was when he chose would be a good time to send a letter home and tell his parents everything. He hadn't talked to them in some time, so it was only logical. 

 He grabbed some parchment and a quill and sat on his desk, proceeding to write: 

 

 

Dear Dad, Mom, and Lily,

So far life at Hogwarts has been fun, and I’m perfectly safe, so don’t worry. Hugo, Rose and I are having lots of classes and homework so we’re usually quite busy. But I wanted to send you a letter because I just learned some fantastic news, that I’m sure Dad will love, I’m officially the Seeker of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, (Rose and Hugo also made it to Gryffindor) this morning, one of my fellow classmate, Homer Shelton gifted me the one and only, Lightning Bolt Three-thousand! He is a seventh-year boy who is the captain of our team. I hope that this news will bring you happiness and excitement, I can’t wait to go to my first practice and my first match!

Miss you loads, Albus

He closed the ink cap and folded his parchment carefully, trying not to smudge any of the remaining wet ink. He walked up to his owl, Ronnie, and told him to go to number thirty-seven, Court-Way Street. He let Ronnie out of his cage and Hugo, Albus and Rose gazed towards him as his figure got smaller, and smaller, and smaller in the distance. They resumed their homework until they had to go to bed.

 

 

They woke up the next day, put their robes on, and headed down to the hall for breakfast. The Great Hall was ruled by marvelous smells. They sat down, and although Hugo was still mad at him for not telling them that he was in Quidditch sooner, they still sat together. An owl scooped towards them for the second time, except that this time he wasn’t holding a large broom-like shaped parcel, it was holding a letter. Albus had gotten a reply! He opened it eagerly, as Hugo and Rose both peered down his shoulder, excited to take a look at it too. 

 

Hello Albus,

We’re so happy to hear what you’ve accomplished! We want to come and see you, but we can’t, send thanks to Homer Shelton, we really owe him… We wish you luck for your first match, hopefully, it’s not against Slytherin! Your Dad almost swallowed the Snitch on his first match! (Please don’t do the same…) We know you’re going to surprise us all!

We miss you loads, Dad, Mom, and Lily

 

 

Albus closed the letter and looked up at Rose and Hugo.

As they began talking about the lessons they had, Homer and the team'skio90 keeper, Yvonne McLark came running towards him, they were panting.

‘Albus, we’ve, got, a match, against, Slytherin, on, Sunday!’ Homer wheezed, wiping the sweat off his forehead as he said so. 

Rose told them to catch their breath before they continued the conversation. Albus looked surprised, in the first week they were having a Quidditch match?! He hadn’t even gone to his first Quidditch practice yet, how was this going to happen!? They needed to have practice straight away, but they had a full day of classes ahead of them. The only choice was to have a long practice, every day after lessons until the match on Sunday, would this be enough for Albus to get used to the pitch? There was no telling, the next moment they saw themselves heading to Professor Loconte’s lesson on History of Magic. An hour of notes, lectures, and many detentions passed by very slowly. As the day passed, Albus' concern for the next Quidditch match grew, he couldn’t help but feel anxious. Next, they had Transfiguration with Professor Binding, they learned how to turn a feather into a golden goblet, and as usual, Rose had mastered the skill on the first try, and Hugo was having problems…

Forty-five minutes passed and Albus was beginning to feel sick. News had gotten around somehow, that Albus was Seeker for the Gryffindor team, the worst case was that Arthur Paxton and his silly sidekicks taunted him through the whole lesson, Rose tried to comfort him by saying that people like Arthur could only dream of having his position. Hugo told him the same as they were heading over to their Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson with none other than Professor Malfoy. They entered the classroom and sat on their desks without a sound. These were the lessons that everyone feared. Today they were going to learn which spells were deadly and dangerous. The whole lesson passed in agony for Albus; Arthur and his pals were really getting onto his nerves… Time passed slowly, and it was time for lunch, and although the match against Slytherin was on Sunday, he couldn’t touch his food. All he wanted to do was go to his first Quidditch practice and get the weight off his shoulders. He checked his watch, and it was only one o’clock, if the practice was from five until seven, then he still had a long time to go. He ate a bit of his roast chicken and left straight for the next lesson. Next, they had Charms with Professor Baron, and then Potions with Professor Flitwick. As Professor Flitwick was congratulating Rose for completing the simple potion of Shrinking Solution, in which she successfully tested on Lace Jawk, Albus was staring at the clock, four fifty-three, four fifty-four, four fifty-five, four fifty-six, four fifty-seven, four fifty-eight, four fifty-nine, and….. Five! However, the lesson was in its pace, and he wasn’t allowed to leave. Professor Flitwick forced him back into his chair, and he had to watch Rose be congratulated for what seemed like an eternity. He couldn’t believe it, he was going to be late for his first Quidditch practice, he would have a bad reputation with all the team… He waited for a few more minutes until everybody was allowed to leave from the lesson, he told Rose and Hugo that he was going to Quidditch practice so that he could prevent what happened last time, and he sped up to the Gryffindor Common room to grab his Lighting Bolt Three-thousand, and then boarded it to go to the Quidditch pitch as fast as possible, he didn’t want to appear out of anywhere, but he knew he would, he would just have to deal with it… He lowered his broom and went down to the Quidditch pitch, but, no one was there, first he had thought that practice got canceled, but he hadn’t been told, or maybe it had finished, he checked his watch, it was only one past five, just then his train of thoughts got interrupted by a group of people holding brooms, it was the team! He wasn’t late, he was just early, (sort of) he walked up to them and introduced himself to anybody who didn’t know him a and they began to practice, they split up the team and they played an improvisation game, Albus caught the snitch, and although it was fast, his broom helped him, and it was obvious that he was the fastest on the team. Almost two hours had passed, and Albus was feeling very positive about Quidditch, he knew that it would be easy for him if he had the ‘fastest’ broom in the world, he knew he was the only one in the school with it, so the other team's seeker had no chance against him. The practice was now over, he went up to the Common Room, up to his bedroom, and put his broom in a cupboard that he saved for it, he treated the broom like a Royal. He went to get some parchment and Quill and sat on his desk, he was going to write another letter to home, he wanted to tell them how his first Quidditch practice had gone, he flattened out the parchment, dipped his quill in his ink, and wrote:

 

Dear Dad, Mom, and Lily,

I have lots of news to fill you in with! First of all, I went to my first Quidditch practice, and with the help of my awesome new broom, I caught the snitch very fast. My next thing for you is rather unfortunate, I learned this morning, that my first Quidditch match will be against Slytherin, on SUNDAY! I hope that the three practice sessions that I have left will be enough for me to get used to riding on a broom because it still is only my second time! However, the fact that I have the fastest broom in the world helps me think that I’ll be able to out-ride the Slytherin seeker… Before we say bye, wish me luck for my Charms exam on Tuesday…

Miss you loads, Albus

 

He waved the parchment in the air, aiming to dry the ink as fast as possible, he folded the paper, approached Ronnie and sent him to thirty-nine, Court-Way. He went downstairs to see Rose and Hugo, who had stolen the two best seats; the ones in front of the fire. He sat down on the carpet beneath them, and began retelling his first-ever Quidditch practice,

‘When practice began, which was at five, I was still at Professor Flitwicks’s Potions lesson, and I was terrified that everybody would be sitting there, waiting for me, so when the lesson finished, I ran as fast as my little legs could carry me, got my broom from the dormitory, and then rode it towards the Quidditch pitch, and I’m still dumbfounded that I wasn’t caught, especially because lessons were finished, and teachers were beginning to exit their classrooms. I arrived at the Quidditch pitch, and to my surprise, no one was there!’

Both Hugo and Rose gasped in terror and urged him to continue.

‘At that point, something like a million questions entered my head, I thought that I had missed practice, even though I knew that that couldn’t be true, but I was in luck, just as I was considering my fate with the team, I could hear a group of people approaching me, and to my luck, it was the team, they were holding their brooms and discussing the upcoming match. I went up to them and introduced myself. After that we began practice, and personally, I think that it went successfully, I caught the snitch really fast and the game ended, so I think that my chances are high of winning the next Quidditch match against Slytherin,’

Although what Albus had told them was positive, Hugo and Rose were looked troubled, Albus asked them what was wrong, and they said that they were fine, but he wasn’t going to be, then they regretfully revealed to him that he wasn’t the only person in the school who owned a Lightning bolt three-thousand… Albus was shocked, and even though he had one, he felt jealous, jealousy in a way that he was mad, he loved being the boy with the fastest broom in the world. Now that someone also had one, he felt that it wasn’t that special anymore, however, that wasn’t the biggest of problems, the biggest of problems was the person that owned it, how did Albus not see it from before, it was Arthur Paxton, he would’ve been jealous of him, so he had forced his parents to buy him one. But what would he use the broom for if he wasn’t on the Quidditch team, that was the thing, he was, Arthur Paxton bought his way into the Slytherin Quidditch team, as none other than a seeker! Albus couldn’t believe it, now his chances were decreased by a large number, would he fail for his team on his first match? Hugo woke him up from his thoughts and told him not to worry, he had it in pure talent, but Arthur didn’t. He agreed with him.

‘Does anyone want to go to the library? I really need to get my mind off things, and since we have the Charms exam coming up, I thought that it would be an opportunity,’ Rose and Hugo agreed to tag along with him, so they exited the common room, went down the steps, (Hugo almost fell!...) and walked towards the library. They had to study, the exam was only a few days ago, and this would be eighty-percent of their grade… They went over to the Charms section, and they noticed that it was oddly quiet for this sort of hour, usually, there would be heaps of students, battling over books that would help them for the exam. They browsed the area, looking for books regarding necessary first-year skills in Charms, they found a book called, all must-know spells for first-year students. Rose leaped towards the book, ran towards the table, (with Hugo and Albus hesitatingly strolling behind her) she propped the book open to page sixty-seven and read:

 

First-year Charms exams have troubled all, and however much we try sometimes, we can never grasp the subject, there are millions of Charms we don’t know out there, but here are the ones that are necessary for all first-year students.

 

● The Body-Binding Spell, (Petrificus Totalus)

● The Counterspell, (Finite Incantatem)

● The Hair loss Charm, (Calvario)

● The Hot-air Charm, (Non-Verbal)

● The Leg-Locking Curse, (Locomotor Mortis)

● The Simple Levitation Charm, (Wingardium Leviosa)

● Lumos Charm, (Lumos)

 

To pass the exam students must have mastered and know these spells off by heart when they were made, (if accessible) and what they do.

 

Rose looked up at them, beaming,

‘This is exactly what we need! Come on, we need to take this up to the Common room so no one else takes it!’

Hugo and Albus exchanged looks as Rose disappeared in the distance. They had to sprint to try and catch up to her, and as soon as they did, she was already inside the Common room. They said the password, Balderdash, walked past the old, fat lady on the portrait, to see Rose crouching on the floor with the book propped open in front of her, muttering spells under her breath. Hugo and Albus went over to her,

‘Why are you studying so hard? If there’s anyone who’s going to pass that exam, it’s going to be you! If there is anybody who needs to study, it's me!’ Hugo encouraged with a tone of laughter in his voice. Rose thanked him and they headed to their bedrooms for the night, Rose clutching the book in her hands. Hugo and Albus walked up the steps, talking about the upcoming exam, if Hugo didn’t start revising any time soon, he wouldn’t have a chance on the exam… They opened the door to their room, to see their three other roommates, Paul Wilson, Joseph Cox, and Ed Laurence, fast asleep, all you could hear was the snoring, coming from all angles. Hugo and Albus headed towards their bunks, wished each other goodnight, and fell to sleep.

The next morning they woke up, Albus feeling pumped and excited for whatever reason. They put their robes on, met Rose down at the Common room, and headed to the Great Hall for breakfast. As always, the smell of delicious food filled the air. The trio went over to sit on the Gryffindor table, and weirdly, everyone seemed to be whispering… The Hall was loud though, and the boys tried to enjoy their breakfast. This proved to be a hard action, everyone was huddling around Arthur Paxton, he seemed to be showing off his new Lightning Bolt three-thousand. This was the moment that Albus couldn’t help but feel mad, he stormed over to the Slytherin table, Rose sprang up, attempting to stop him, but it was no use, he was already there, causing a scene,

‘Jealous are you, Potter?’ he provoked, with a humble look on his face.

Albus stared at him in the eye, and repeated what Rose had told him,

‘At least I’ve got it in pure talent, but for you…?’ Rose and Hugo looked at each other with uneasy looks on their faces.

‘Let’s see who’s going to win on Sunday…’ Arthur said, with a threatening, sharp look in his eye. Rose bit her lip and grabbed Arthur from the scruff of his neck and told him to stay out of it.

‘How can I stay out of it? He literally got the same broom as mine, bought his way in the Slytherin Quidditch team, and now he’s...!’

Rose interrupted him,

‘Because that’s what he wants you to do, he wants you to think that you have no chance now that he has the same broom as you, he wants your nerves to overcome you so that you won’t want to play!’

Albus looked up at her, his eyes wide open, she had found the answer for him! Just like last time, everybody was eyeing the broom with a look of desire. Albus had just realized that he had a letter. He lowered it under the table, opened it, and read,

 

Dear Albus,

We are very happy that you enjoyed your first Quidditch session, if you caught that snitch, then you are unbeatable! (your Dad says that the key is to keep your eyes wide open if you hesitate for one second, you’ve lost your chance) Also, isn’t it quite odd, that you have an exam so soon? Anyhow, we wish you the best of luck, try to study, will you? We’re sure that you will bring the win to your team! We wish we could be with you,

Mom, Dad, and Lily.

 

Albus closed the letter and stuffed it into his pocket. He scoffed the remaining of his breakfast and discreetly left to go to the next lesson. He couldn’t stand to be here longer…

He checked his timetable, first up he had History of Magic with Professor Loconte. Albus loathed these lessons, he found them so boring that he couldn’t even process any of the things that the Professor would say. He went to the class, sat down on his desk, took his textbook out of his bag, and sat there waiting. He couldn’t let Arthur do this to him, it wasn’t fair, he had to straighten up, only he could fix his chances. He checked his watch, the lesson would be starting in one minute, where was everybody? Suddenly, Professor Loconte busted in, he was tucking in his shirt,

‘Oh, Albus, where is everybody?’ he asked in confusion. Albus replied that he didn’t know, at that Professor Loconte sat on his desk, looking disappointed. To interrupt

The silence came Arthur Paxton, with his broomstick in hand, as well as a group of students behind him, which consisted of the rest of the class. Professor Loconte jumped up, and immediately confiscated the broom,

‘What is this?!’ he cried. ‘Who told you that you could bring this into the lesson, you will get it back once we finish, now can everybody please locate their desks so we can start?'

Everybody sighed and sat on their desks, just as the Professor began instructing everyone to open their textbooks to page fifty-two, Rose and Hugo ran in, they were panting,

‘Albus! We’ve been looking everywhere for you!’ Rose quipped. Hugo nudged her to the teacher, she went red at the sight of him, she couldn’t help but feel embarrassed. She said sorry and went to sit down on her desk beside Albus, Hugo followed her as she went. Professor Loconte gave them a disapproving look and continued his lecture. The only thing Albus ever looked forward to was Quidditch practice, it took him through his lessons, without them he didn’t know where he would be.

Eventually, the lesson ended, and they had Defence Against the Dark Arts with none other than Professor Malfoy. Rose and Hugo walked together towards the class, Rose kept apologizing for the scenario from before, she said that not only did she embarrass herself, but him as well. Albus was fine with it, he told her that it was alright. They entered the lesson and sat down on their desks. For the next hour, they studied centaurs and their bodies. After that, they had Transfiguration, Potions, and finally Charms. Rose, Albus, and Hugo loved Charms, with their book, they didn’t need to work on anything other than the few spells listed in there. Finally, the lessons finished, and Albus could go to Quidditch practice. He sprinted up to his Common room as always, grabbed his broom from the cupboard, and went down to the Quidditch pitch. There he met the rest of the team who had just arrived as well, and they began. He alerted Homer about Arthur and his broom, strangely, Homer was more concerned about it than Albus was… Practice went smoothly, the Chasers, Isabella, Iliana, and Kate scored many hoops, but the Keeper, Tom easily caught at least half. Luckily Albus caught the snitch quickly and they had time to start another game. As always, the Chasers impressively scored eight hoops in a pocket amount of time, and Albus caught the snitch. Arthur had a Lightning Bolt three-thousand generated madness for Albus, he worked harder and harder for the snitch, and soon enough he had gained back his confidence to beat him. At one point, the practice ended, and Albus left proudly. He entered back into the school gates, sped carefully up the moving staircases, said the password, ‘Balderdash’, and went into the Common room to see Hugo and Rose, practicing the Counterspell. They stopped and invited him to sit and say how his practice went. He grabbed a blanket from the shelf next to the entrance and sat down on the chair beside them, he began retelling,

‘Today’s practice was one of the best, first of all, we fit two games into one session, and I caught the snitch early into the games, so I can say that I’m pretty proud of myself!’

Hugo and Rose nodded their heads approvingly. He continued,

‘Rose was right, I do have it in pure talent, and that’s what is going to help me, we never know, Arthur could be trash at Quidditch, and I’m not scared of him!’

Hugo told him that that was the spirit, all he needed was confidence. Rose insisted that Albus urgently needed to revise for Charms, so they headed to the library together so they could study in peace. Before they began, they checked if anyone was there, and they sat on a table and opened their book, ‘All must know spells for the First-Year Charms Exam.’ They opened to their bookmarked page, and they began working. Rose had mastered all of the spells already, so she was browsing the Charms section for history books that would help her find the dates for the spells. Hugo had mastered five out of seven spells, he still needed the Counterspell and the Body-Binding curse, and Albus only needed to conquer The Hot-air curse and then he would be fine. They spent the next hour looking for books, muttering spells, and trying very hard. By the end of the session, Albus had mastered all the spells, and Hugo was only the Counterspell away. Rose had found two books in which she thought would help them, a ‘History of First-Year Charms’, and ‘A Guide of the simple spells.’ They needed to know how to master the spell, know when it was invented, and what its purpose is. They left the library as it started to close with a jovial look on their faces. There was no way that they wouldn’t ace this exam. They headed back up the moving staircases, to the entrance of the Gryffindor Common room, said the password, ‘Balderdash’, and went inside. Joseph, Ed, and Paul were playing Wizard’s Chess, and Paul had just ‘Checkmated’ Ed, he was cheering loudly. Albus, Hugo, and Rose said good-bye for the night, and they split up to go back to their rooms. Rose went up the stairs, this time cautiously holding the three books in her robes. Albus and Hugo raced up the stairs, with their energy on max. They had the whole bedroom to themselves, for once it was quiet, Laurence was always laughing loudly and Ed would always laugh back at him. Albus and Hugo changed into their pajamas, Albus went to his desk to write a reply to his parents, and Hugo went to join Laurence, Ed, and Paul in their game of Chess. As usual, Albus grabbed a piece of leftover parchment, took his Quill and Ink bottle, and sat on his desk. He looked at the letter his parents had sent him, this gave him inspiration. He unscrewed the Ink bottle cap, dipped his Quill in, and wrote,

 

Dear Mom, Dad, and Lily,

Today was a great day at Quidditch, but a bad day at lessons. Before I continue, I want to thank you for replying to all my letters, it really makes my day. Today I learned that Arthur Paxton (a mean Slytherin Boy) got a Lightning Bolt three-thousand to annoy me, and then even worse, he bought his way into the Slytherin Quidditch team, as a Seeker. All-day I felt bad and thought that my chances of winning the match on Sunday were ruined, but then I went to practice, and I did really well, we managed to get two games in one practice, the next one better than the last! I caught the snitch in both of them, and that’s when I realized that I was better than Arthur. Next, I’m not sure why we have an exam so soon into the year, maybe it is to check if we have grasped the subject, you’re right, it is odd.

I hope you can get back to me as soon as possible.

Miss you all loads, Albus.

 

He put his Quill into the inkpot, waved his parchment to dry the ink, and carefully folded it to send it. He approached Ronnie and gave him the letter and gave him the address as always. He looked towards the window, set him free, and watched him as he soared into the distance. He put the inkpot and Quill back and went downstairs to watch Hugo’s game of Wizard’s Chess. In Rose’s bedroom, it was silent as usual. She sat on her bed, taking notes and revising the years in which the spells were invented. Her four other roommates, Olivia, Marina and Natalie, and Ana. Olivia and Anna were making a handshake on the carpet, and Natalie and Marina were studying for the Charms exam on their beds. As it got late, Hugo, Albus, Joseph, Ed, and Paul went up to their bedroom for the night, they went upstairs, proposing whether Laurence or Hugo should have won. After concluding that it was obviously Laurence who claimed the win, they went to bed. The girls closed their books and finished their handshake, blew out the torches, and went to sleep.

 

The next day had arrived, and Albus hoped that nothing else bad would reveal itself today… The boys put their robes on and went down to The Great Hall for breakfast, as always, it smelt of scrumptious food, a muggle could only dream of. Luckily, Arthur didn’t have a new broom, and Homer didn’t come running to him to say that they had a Quidditch match with Slytherin. Instead, he had two letters. The Hall was normal for once, everyone was eating breakfast in a generic order, nevertheless, today was Saturday, Albus had Quidditch practice from one o’clock to four forty-five, and Rose had the full day booked for studying. Hugo thought that she was being foolish, wasting a full day for something she knew well, he was going to watch Albus at Quidditch practice for an hour, and then play some wizard’s Chess with Laurence, Ed, and Paul, he was considering doing some revision at the end of the day. Albus grasped his letters, he had a reply from his parents and Lily, and then an anonymous one. He took the letter from his parents and opened it. He read,

 

Dear Albus,

We want to see you too! Remember that you are good at Quidditch, and nothing can stop you. If Arthur Paxton did actually buy himself into the Slytherin Quidditch team, then he definitely did it just because he was jealous. Also, you’re right, you probably do have the exam to check if you’ve grasped the subject so far, We wish you the best of luck for your Quidditch match, and your Quidditch match.

We miss you loads,

Mom, Dad, and Lily

 

Albus smiled as he tucked the letter back into its envelope. Hugo and Rose, as always, were peering over his shoulder. He opened the next letter, it was from Hagrid, Albus knew that he had heard the name before, but he wasn’t sure where.

‘Hagrid silly, the guy who serves as the Keeper of Keys and Grounds, Gamekeeper! Haven’t you heard of him?’ Rose hinted, perplexed. Albus shook his head. Rose took the letter from his hands and opened it, almost unreadable, scruffy writing was laid out on the piece of parchment, it said,

 

Hello, Albus,

if you haven’t heard of me, I am Hagrid, your father and I were very close when eh was your age, so I think it's a pity if we don’t get to know each other, come and fill me in with your news outside my hut whenever you can, how about today?

I Can't wait to meet you,

Hagrid

 

‘Are you sure this is safe, I mean, what if it’s not Hagrid?’ Albus queried. Rose replied that it was most likely safe, it was outside of the castle, if anything happened to them, help was close. They agreed on heading over after Albus’ Quidditch practice. They finished the rest of their breakfast and headed back up to the Gryffindor Common Room. Albus and Hugo went to get Albus’ broom, and Rose went to grab her books to go to the library. The only problem was that Albus' broom wasn’t there anymore. Hugo and Albus searched everywhere in the bedroom, under the beds, in anyone’s suitcase, under the carpet, it was nowhere to be found, where could it have gone? It was only possible that someone stole it. This was a nightmare, they had the game tomorrow and he didn’t even have his broom, how was he meant to beat Arthur if he didn’t have his broomstick? They both started panicking, what was going to happen now?! They had to tell someone, someone who could help them, they could only go to a teacher, they chose to find it out themselves. The boys headed to the library, they had to ask somebody, oddly, Earl Wadfogal was there, he was sitting in the corner reading a book. Earl never read books! They went over to him, and since he was in Gryffindor, they could ask him if he had been in their room, or if he had seen Albus’ broom. Of course, he hadn’t and they had to go find someone else. They went over to Rose, who was sitting on the table, reading the extract,

The Levitation spell of the first-year was accidentally invented in 1544, by Jaleth Hobart, in which he was trying to invent a flying spell.

 

The boys sped over to her and told her the unfortunate news. Incredibly, she shut the book and offered to help them. They spent the next hour asking people for any sign of the broom, but they all shook their heads. They left empty-handed and highly disappointed, now what were they going to do? They went outside and sat down when they were seen by Professor McGonagall. She went over to them and asked what was wrong. They told her with heavy hearts that Albus’ broom had been stolen. She went a shade of white no one had ever seen before.

‘Potter, you’re telling me that your broom has been stolen?!’

Albus shamefully nodded his head, Professor McGonagall looked like she would have fainted.

‘How do you lose a broom Potter! Your game is tomorrow, and there’s no way that a school broom can beat a Lightning bolt three-thousand!’ she admitted. She told them that they were going to come with her and search all of the house Common Rooms and bedrooms. Hugo was very excited, he’d always wanted to see what the other Common Rooms were like. They went up the moving staircases, past the Gryffindor Common room, through the hallways, and found themselves in front of a large, entrance like painting, the entrance for the Ravenclaw Common Room, it was similar to the Gryffindor one. Professor McGonagall whispered the password against the painting so that Albus, Hugo, and Rose wouldn’t hear. The knight inside the painting let them in. The Ravenclaw Common Room was fascinating, possibly cozier than the Gryffindor one. There were dim lights dotted around the room. There was a fireplace in the corner, and blankets laid out everywhere. Professor McGonagall went to search in the girls’ bedroom with Rose, and Albus and Hugo went to the boys’. Inside the girls’ bedroom, there were revision notes and cards everywhere, other than that, the whole room was perfectly organized, what else would you expect from Ravenclaw girls? There were scarves hanging from each bunk, and trunks neatly placed underneath each bed. Rose and McGonagall were lucky, this time of day, everybody was either in the library or playing outside, so they had the freedom to search for everything. Rose checked underneath beds and in cupboards, and McGonagall searched on desks, inside suitcases, and anywhere else. They left empty-handed. Hugo and Albus were searching much harder than the girls, they had turned the place upside down. The boys’ Room for Ravenclaw was quite alike to the girls' one. Strangely, they were all organized, they had their trunks underneath their beds, Quidditch merch displayed on the walls, (Ravenclaw had an impressive Quidditch team,) and beautifully made beds. Well, they used to be, the room was looking like a dumpster once Albus and Hugo left their touch… However, still no luck. They had to go check out the Hufflepuff Common room, though Albus was confident that it was hidden somewhere in the Slytherin Common by Arthur. They went back up the corridor, to the moving stairs, and through another corridor. They went to a different painting, that was shaped more like a dome than a door. Once again, Professor McGonagall whispered the password against the painting and they entered the common room. Unlike the Ravenclaw Common room, this place was a mess. There were potions and wands trashed everywhere, and the shelf between the two staircases was broken and rusty. Professor McGonagall and Rose’s eyes expanded to the size of golf balls as they looked around the room. McGonagall ushered them forward into the room. They attempted to walk forward, they had to mind their steps everywhere they went. As before, Professor McGonagall and Rose went to the girls’ bedrooms which were mildly tidy and searched. They looked underneath beds, inside trunks, behind cupboards on bunks, next to bunks, on desks, and everywhere else, of course, they couldn’t find Albus’ broom. In the boys’ bedroom, Hugo and Albus were searching their hardest, the boys’ room was already so messy that Albus and Hugo didn’t do much. They searched everywhere, but there was still no broom to be found. Albus checked his watch, beginning to sweat, what if they didn’t find his broom? What was going to happen? Would he just have to get a school one like everyone else? They had to find it, he looked under mattresses, behind cupboards, everywhere he would hide a broom if he stole one. No luck here. Albus sped down to the Common Room, looked under couches, around the table, behind the broken shelf, under carpets, and in chairs. It wasn’t here, for once, his hope was in Slytherin. McGonagall, Rose, Albus, and Hugo left empty-handed for a second time. They went down the moving staircases and across some corridors and arrived at the Slytherin Common room. Usually, students weren’t allowed in other houses’ Common Rooms, let alone bedrooms, only teachers were allowed. Professor McGonagall whispered the password and they entered the Common room. It was large and unwelcoming. All you could see was grey furniture and a flaming fire. This was notably, much larger than any of the other Common Rooms. Remarkably, the place was in a good state, like the other Common rooms, the place was deserted, no one was there. They started looking around together, underneath couches, around the fire, behind bookshelves, still no luck… Rose and McGonagall went up to the girls’ bedrooms, and Albus and Hugo cautiously went up to the boys’ bedrooms. Rose and McGonagall went up to the girls’ bedrooms, they were neat and tidy, like the Ravenclaw rooms. Everybody’s beds were made and decorated with green, striped pillows. Their trunks were neatly tucked away under their beds, and there were Quidditch Jerseys displayed in frames on the walls. Rose and McGonagall searched everywhere possible. There was still no luck. Albus and Hugo on the other hand, couldn't even enter the boys’ rooms. Arthur Paxton and Earl Wadfogal were inside, with Albus’ broom! They were talking together about how Albus deserved his ‘revenge’ from when he got accepted into the Gryffindor Quidditch team as Seeker. Hugo and Albus were peeking around the corner with their mouths open. They went back down to the Common Room, where they met Professor McGonagall and Rose, saying that they couldn’t find anything. Hugo and Albus were jumping, they were thrilled.

‘Earl Wadfogal and Arthur Paxton are in there! With my broom!’ whispered Albus, sensing sweet vengeance.

‘Earl Wadfogal, from Gryffindor, is inside the Slytherin Common Room, with your broom, without a teacher? 'asked Professor McGonagall in shock. She stormed up without a second thought, you had to see the looks on their faces. Arthur tried to tuck the broom behind his back, but he was unsuccessful. Professor McGonagall turned to Earl, they both had a lot of explaining to do. She took Arthur and Earl to her office and gave Albus his broom after dismissing Hugo and Rose. Albus checked his watch, practice was starting in ten minutes, they just managed to be on time! The boys said good-bye to Rose, and Albus took Hugo by the hand so that they could go to his Quidditch practice together. Albus let Hugo ride his broom because they were early,

‘This is so cool, I wish I could be on the Quidditch team like you, you’ve got the fastest broom in the world!’ Hugo cried. The boys were interrupted as the rest of the group came together. Hugo went back down to Albus and gave him his broom back. Albus introduced him and they began to practice. As always, the three Chasers, Isabella, Iliana, and Alyssia. Then everybody raised into the air, and Homer released the snitch into the air. Albus dived down and followed the snitch. He had Hugo’s eyes fixed on him. The snitch turned left, then right, then up, and down, and around.

In Professor McGonagall’s office, Arthur and Earl were sitting down in front of her, with red faces. Professor McGonagall walked slowly around their chairs and looked at them with a frightening, stern face. She didn’t know where to begin. She looked down at Arthur,

‘Arthur Paxton, what were you thinking! You know very well, that students from separate houses are not allowed to enter other houses' Common Rooms as well as bedrooms!’

Arthur looked down at his legs, what was he going to say now? Nothing. McGonagall looked down towards Earl, she stared at him.

‘So? You thought that it would be smart to go with him?! I’m in disbelief, and I’m absolutely appalled!’ She gave them both detention for a week, and even better, Arthur was suspended from the Slytherin Quidditch team for the next three matches. Arthur was left with his mouth open.

‘I’m going to tell my father about this!’

Professor McGonagall chuckled as she raised an eyebrow.

‘You’d want to tell your father that you stole a Lightning Bolt three-thousand from a fellow classmate and then you were caught?!’ McGonagall glared at them, with fire in her eyes.

‘Fifty points shall be taken from each house,’ she stated generically. The boys cried a what of shock and they sunk down into their chairs.

At Albus’ Quidditch practice, they were having lots of fun. They were already on their second practice game, and Albus was chasing after the snitch. Hugo was admittedly getting bored. He checked his watch, it was one-forty-five, time was seeming to pass very slowly.

Arthur was in the Slytherin Common Room, with his two sidekicks, Emmanuel Gifford and Conor Dyson. He had forced them inside on a wonderful day. They were talking about the scenario from before. Arthur was confident that it was somehow unfair. How did he have to get detention? After all, Earl was the one that came into the Slytherin Common Room, not him; he had been allowed there in the first place.

 

 The hours passed, and Albus’ Quidditch practice was over. Hugo and Albus went to the library together after Quidditch practice to meet Rose, who was still studying in the same position that the boys left her in. She was writing down all the years and purposes of the spells recommended in the book they found. 



Chapter 6: Chapter Five
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Hello Everybody, I hope you're enjoying the story so far; this is a short chapter! If you like something a lot or want to point something out I would love if you maybe wrote a review! I can accept critisism! (But not lots of it...) 


Hagrid

 

They exited the castle and went to Hagrid’s, a small, two-room hut located outside of Hogwarts with a pumpkin patch. They knocked on the door and took a step back. A few seconds later, a large, hairy, half-giant man opened the door, with a cheerful smile on his face,

‘Albus! It’s such an honor to meet you!’ he jumped towards Albus.

‘Guess he’s a celebrity now…’ whispered Hugo into Rose’s ear. Hagrid welcomed them into his hut. It was a cozy place, partly like the Gryffindor Common room. There was a fireplace in the corner, a table in the middle, a stove in the suite-like room, and a carpet on the floor. Hagrid smiled and told them to sit down.

‘Alrigh’ is there anythin’ I can offer ya? A cup o’ tea, somethin’ to eat’ Hagrid asked in a strong British accent. Hugo’s eyes drew to a jar of odd-looking cookies in the corner, he asked if he could taste one. Hagrid immediately grabbed the jar, opened the lid, and gave him one. Hugo cautiously licked the cookie, it tasted like rock.

‘My gourmet rock cookies!’ observed Hagrid proudly,

‘Aren’t they masterpieces?’ he asked. Hugo took a brave bite into the rock-solid desert. Indeed, he asked himself what he was eating, it was as if it were a rock, most likely it was. Hugo cringed for a moment as he thought that he had heard his back teeth break. He thanked Hagrid for the ‘snack’, and they began a conversation…

‘So, Albus, how has your experience at Hogwarts been so far?’ queried Hagrid. Albus shrugged and said that it was lots of fun. He also told them that it was like an adventure. Hagrid seemed very interested to learn about Albus’ routines at Hogwarts. Rose and Hugo also got to tell Hagrid about their time at Hogwarts, and what a ride it had been. It was slowly getting dark, the children and Hagrid had worn all their time away, having fun and getting to know each other. Rose, Hugo and Albus needed to head back to their dormitories for the evening, so they said goodbye. Hagrid promised that he would come to watch Albus’ Quidditch match the next day, so the children were not disappointed to leave him. The three went back into the castle, Hagrid seemed like a sweet, caring person, and although some people found him ‘frightening’ Albus, Rose, and Hugo considered him as one of their best friends. Once they entered the castle, they went past the Great Hall, up the moving staircases, and into the Gryffindor Common Room. They found Laurence, Ed, and Paul playing Wizard’s Chess once again. Hugo, Rose, and Albus said goodnight for the evening and headed off to their bedrooms. Hugo and Albus took their robes off and put their pajamas on, how good it felt to change into comfortable clothes after a busy day… Surely, Hugo dove into his bed, ready for a comfortable and peaceful night’s sleep, as always, Albus went to his desk to write a letter to his parents. He seized the ink bottle and Quill from the drawer and a small roll of parchment from the shelf. He sat down on his chair, as Hugo started snoozing off. Albus dipped his Quill in the ink and began transcribing,

 

Dear Dad, Mom, and Lily,

I’m writing to you the day before my first Quidditch match, against Slytherin, (Saturday) so wish me luck for tomorrow, also, my exam is in three days, and Rose has been helping me and Hugo get our revision done. She found us a book with recommended first-year spells and another for when they were invented. Although she really doesn’t need to, Rose spent almost four hours revising and studying for the exam before Hugo and I went to her!

That reminds me, today was a frantic day, we met the Gamekeeper, Hagrid, he sent me a letter through an owl that he would be honored to be able to get to know me, so we went and met him after my Quidditch Practice. He is very sweet. Just before that, we had a very fun adventure, because this morning after breakfast, I went to get my broom with Hugo so we could have some fun before my practice began, the only problem though, was that it wasn’t there. Hugo and I went straight to the library to ask if anyone had seen the broom, but no one had. Hugo and I were starting to get really anxious, so Professor McGonagall found out, she was way more shocked than we were, she literally went white! Together with Rose, we searched all the Common Rooms for the broom, but we didn’t have any luck until we finally saw Earl Wadfogal, (a guy in Gryffindor) and Arthur Paxton (the boy from Slytherin) talking together that I deserved my ‘revenge’. Anyways, they both got into lots of trouble, and Earl lost us fifty points as well as getting detention (Arthur also lost fifty house points, and got detention, it was hilarious…) I miss you loads, have fun at home,

Albus.

 

He put the Quill in the inkpot and blew on the letter. Once he thought that it had dried, he folded it and advanced towards Ronnie, his owl. He told Ronnie to go to his house address, number thirty-seven, Court Way Street. He opened up the cage and let the owl free. Albus watched Ronnie soar in the air until he just became a dot in the distance and then went to his bed. He was quite agitated after the wild day. As time passed, he slowly drifted away into a deep sleep.

 



Chapter 7: Chapter Six
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The Quidditch Match

 

They woke up the next morning. Albus with a sick but excited feeling in his stomach. Hugo and Albus put their robes on and they met Rose down in the Common Room, the three were all jumping of exhilaration and ecstasy. Albus grasped his broom from the cupboard; how good it felt for it to finally be there again. Fast as lightning, they sprinted down to The Great Hall and sat on their seats on the Gryffindor table. This morning the hall was loud, everyone was excited for the first Quidditch match of the season. The whole of the Slytherin table was on their feet, they couldn’t wait to ‘beat’ Gryffindor. Professor McGonagall attempted to hush everyone, but she failed. After getting mad, she shouted that everyone needed to be silent, immediately. Professor McGonagall, was a kind, sweet sport, but you never knew what to expect from her… The Slytherin table hushed and everyone sat down orderly.

‘Now, today, I suspect that everyone is enthusiastic for our first Quidditch match, Gryffindor against Slytherin!’

A long round of applause erupted from the crowd.

‘But, please may everybody eat their breakfast, so we can get to it, as soon as possible, thank you,’ she told everyone.

The crown of dissatisfied witches and wizards continued eating their breakfast. Fifteen minutes later, everybody had finished, and everybody had to get to the Quidditch stadium. The Slytherins rushed up to their Common Room to wear their Jerseys, and the Gryffindors went to get scarves and paint their faces. All the corridors were full of students and teachers who were racing to get to the Quidditch stadium. Albus met Alyssia, Iliana, Isabella, Tom, Homer and Alfred outside of the Common Room, they all had their broomsticks and were ready to go. They stuck close to each other as they walked across the hallways, full to the brim with excited students and teachers. Quidditch was the most popular sport in the wizarding world. So, no one could wait for the match to begin. Once the team arrived outside the Quidditch stadium, they went into the changing room to put their uniforms on, violet shirts with four dark yellow stripes on each side. Once they finished changing, they grabbed their brooms and opened the curtains, to reveal a stadium, full of cheering fans dressed in maroon and red shirts. The lack of Slytherin fans was obvious, and hilarious. They Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs had taken Gryffindor’s side, they always did, no one very wanted to take Slytherin’s side, for whatever reason. Looking at the stadium full of excited students, Albus whispered into Homer’s ear if he were going to be alright, he replied that it would be better than fine, it would be ‘awesome’. That made Albus feel partly better, he told himself to focus on the aim, catching the snitch. They boarded their brooms, everybody began clapping, the Slytherin side fell silent, Albus had never felt so important before.

They went down to the bottom of the field, where Professor Woullard was.

‘Good luck, please don’t get hurt…’ she whispered into Albus’ ear. He grinned at her and thanked her as he rose back into the air, to join the circle in which all the players were formed. Albus looked at the crowd, he could see Hagrid’s large, body standing out of the crowd like a sore thumb. Next to him stood Hugo and Rose, one of them on each side. He smiled as he saw Hugo point at him through his binoculars.

‘Ready, set…Go!’ Professor Woullard shouted. She released the Quaffle, and the three Chasers from each side flew up, as well as the Keepers. The Gryffindor fans exploded, next up Woullard released the Bludgers the stadium got rebellious as the Beaters rose into the air. Albus kept his open for when Professor Woullard would free the snitch. Eventually, she let out the snitch, Albus dashed towards it, this was intense, he had been waiting for this to happen since his first day at Hogwarts. Albus just realized how important this would be to him, his friends, and family. He looked towards the Slytherin Seeker, Oliver Banks, who still had not caught eye with the snitch yet.

Whilst attempting to catch the snitch, Albus tried to remain unseen, he knew that if he got caught chasing the snitch, he would give away its location, which would be difficult for Oliver to lose sight of, again. Although Albus had the fastest broom in the world, catching this snitch wasn’t a stroll in the park for him. He tried to blend in with the other players. The commentator, Max Finnigan, a fourth-year boy in Gryffindor, who kept ‘accidentally’ cursing the Slytherin players. Professor McGonagall almost gave him detention. The game was still happening, Gryffindor and Slytherin were tied, ten to ten, and the crown was getting more and more wild at the second. Albus had full confidence, he needed to catch that snitch, this match could not go on forever. By the time that he was about to catch the snitch, Oliver had seen him. However, with his Lightning Bolt three thousand, Albus could easily out-race Oliver. Iliana had just scored a hoop, bringing the score up to twenty to ten. The Slytherins sighed as Max Finnigan began to cheer. Professor McGonagall gave him a death stare from the chair next to him.

‘Max, you're meant to commentate, not take sides, honestly, I should have chosen someone else!’ she began. Max quickly apologized and continued,

‘Gryffindor’s Alyssia takes the Quaffle, passes it to Isabella, Iliana takes it from there, aiming to score, and… Miss! Blocked by William Martlow, Keeper of the Slytherin team. Back in the crowd, Hugo clenched his fists,

‘That could’ve been the coolest shoot!’ he complained to Rose and Hagrid. Albus was still on the run after the tedious snitch. Unfortunately, Slytherin scored again and for the second time, Gryffindor and Slytherin were tied in this match. Tension was building, Albus needed to catch that snitch, one moment of hesitation could cost him and his team the whole game. He had just lost sight of the snitch. He began panicking, he looked frantically around the air, in the crowd, in the grass. Where was the snitch? After a few, long daring seconds, he saw the small, winged, golden ball flying around the grass. Making sure that Oliver wasn’t looking, Albus dove down to the grass and chased the snitch, his hair flying in the wind, his uniform flapping like a bird, and his broom soaring at the speed of light. .

‘Yes!’ Albus cried. He flew back into the air for everyone to see, he had caught the snitch! Feeling glorious, he shouted into the air,

‘The snitch, I’ve caught the snitch!’

If you were there, your ear drums would have broken by the sound of the screaming of happiness and cheers. The game had finished, the score, one-hundred and seventy to twenty. Albus wanted to cry, he was so thrilled!

‘Gryffindor takes the win! Congratulations to first-year, Albus Severus Potter for catching the snitch!’ cried Max on the microphone.

Professor Woullard blew her whistle, and the annoyed and upset Slytherins came down, and after seeking the crowd's attention, the Gryffindor team came down as well.

‘You all played fantastically, and I must admit, I am impressed at all of you,’ stated Professor Woullard.

‘Clearly not well enough to win…’ muttered the captain of the Slytherin team, Ian Patterson under his breath to his team's seeker. Oliver went red. Professor Woullard sent the teams back to their changing rooms, so that everyone could get back to their Common Rooms easier. Inside the Gryffindor Changing rooms, there was a situation similar to a party. Albus was being lifted in the air by the rest of his teammates, they were all shouting, go Albus. He had never felt so good before, people were praising him like a King for the glorious accomplishment. Now he felt the most important he ever had. Unlike the Gryffindor Changing rooms, the Slytherin Changing room was silent. Everybody quietly put their robes on, if Arthur was Seeker in this scenario, he would have complained to his Dad and told him that it was ‘unfair’. Once both teams were dressed, they went back into the castle. The halls were eerily silent… Once the Gryffindor team crossed the Great Hall and went up the stairs, Albus told the portrait of the fat lady the password, ‘Balderdash’ and they entered. Unexpectedly, waiting for them was a fully decorated Common Room, celebrating the Quidditch win. The dim-lit living room had turned into a small party. There were maroon, violet and red balloons dotted around the walls, banners writing Gryffindor, a table full of food, Butterbeer, Pumpkin Juice, chocolate frogs, licorice wands, Bertie’s and Bott’s every flavour beans, and many other delicious treats. Confused, Alubs asked how anyone had time to prepare everything. He got his reply from a second-year boy, Matthew Strane, who had been eavesdropping.

‘It was that guy,’ Matthew told them, pointing at a boy in the corner, he was obviously much older than everybody else there.

‘That’s Alex Douglass, he’s a sixth year boy, who interestingly, isn’t a fan of Quidditch, he finds it rather boring actually…’ he explained.

‘When we arrived back from the match, we had no clue that he had prepared a party. Albus, Hugo and Rose gazed up at him, awestruck and confused.

‘But how did he know that we would win?’ Albus asked Matthew.

‘Divination, apparently he saw it in his crystal ball that we were going to win, they say that he has that gift of being a Seer. ‘Says that he didn’t care much, however, he didn’t tell us anything because he hated to ruin the surprise for us. He claims that the moment we left for the game that he went to Hogsmeade to get balloons, banners and lots of food. Once he had finished decorating the Common Room, we came in, full of energy from the win. Surprised, we sat and had some fun, waiting for you to arrive.

‘Divination? Never heard of it, what is it?’ questioned Hugo with a tone of confusion in his voice. Rose looked at him as if he was one of the stupidest people she had ever met.

‘Silly! Divination is a class we start in our third year that's taught by old Professor Trelawney, they say that she’s psycho…’ Rose explained. Hugo looked at her with a bigger look of puzzlement in his face, he looked up at her with a perplexed gaze in his eyes.

‘Divination?’ Hugo hinted. Rose shot a look at him,

‘You don’t know what Divination is?’ said Rose. For the next few moments she muttered disapprovingly under her breath. Hugo and Albus looked at her and raised their eyebrows. At that very moment, Homer nudged into their conversation, he began by apologising for eavesdropping on their discussion, and then he finally explained what Divination was.

‘Divination, as your friend here tried to explain,’ he looked towards Rose, who was looking at the boys skeptically through her eyes.

‘ is a class that you begin after your third-year, taught by Professor Trelawney, it’s the kind of class you look at crystal balls, trying to see the future, see, that’s how Alex Douglass knew we would win and prepared the party,’

Hugo looked impressed.

Without the stress of school work, the Gryffindors had fun until sundown, when Professor McGonagall ushered them all to bed. As everyone went to their beds, they yawned tiredly. Professor McGonagall gathered the Quidditch team.

‘I’m so very proud of all of you, you have no clue!’ she congratulated them.

‘Now, you’re no exception, go to your beds, goodnight!’ she said. The Professor pointed towards the winding staircases leading to the boys’ bedrooms. They went up the stairs, talking about the Quidditch match. Homer claimed it was one of the best wins the teams had ever had.Albus met Hugo at the top of the stairs, who was pretending that he hadn’t heard anything, and that he had just arrived. Albus, who looked very tired and unpleasantly sweaty, walked up to his bedroom, together with Hugo, who, instead of feeling tired, was feeling enthusiastic. Once everybody was back in their rooms, no one could sleep. Everybody kept talking about the Quidditch match, only Albus was tired, obviously because he played.

‘The moment when Albus caught the snitch was awesome!’ said Paul, laughing. Albus was starting to drift into sleep when Hugo shook him awake,

‘Albus! It’s not that late, I know you played and you're tired, but, I hate having to be quiet for someone who is sleeping, sorry…’ he grunted. Albus looked up at him with a faint grin, he just wanted to go to bed forever. He jumped at the thought of writing a letter to his parents and Lily, how did he forget! He sprang up to his desk, grabbed a Quill, parchment, and an inkpot, the rest of his roommates looking at him wide-eyed and bewildered. He sat on his desk and scribbled a small text.

The boys sat in silence as Albus wrote the letter, it was as if his nose was touching the paper.

‘And … Done!’ Albus sprang out of his chair and opened the window, his dorm mates still looking at him, perplexed. Soon after, Ronnie was disappearing, a small roll of parchment dangling from his leg.

Yawning, Albus went straight to bed, he needed some rest after such a victorious day…

 

 



Chapter 8: Chapter Seven
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The Great Story

 

Albus, Albus, wake up, we have breakfast in five minutes!’ it was Lawrence, he was shaking his shoulder rapidly.

‘OK, OK, I’m coming,’ Albus rolled out of bed, still half-asleep. Hugo, Paul, Ed and Lawrence were already fully dressed in their robes, waiting for him anxiously.

‘What took you so long?’ asked Rose, fifteen minutes later as Albus and Hugo sat to join her. ‘Breakfast started ten minutes ago!’

Ignoring her question, Albus slouched onto the table, narrowly missing a goblet full of pumpkin juice. The rain was pouring heavily outside, making Albus thankful for the fact that the weather had been clear for Quidditch the day before. Through the corner of his eye, Albus saw Rose and Hugo exchanging looks.

As the bell rang, dismissing everyone for a morning break time, Rose, Albus and Hugo walked over to the courtyard. The wild rain was beginning to calm down, now simply dropping small pellets of rain.

‘That Transfiguration lesson was never going to end, we were sitting there for how long, two hours?’ complained Hugo as the trio found themselves a place to sit that wasn’t already drenched.

‘Oh, it was fine!’ said Rose, giving him a I-know-better look as she pulled a book out of her bag and buried herself in it.

‘You two better get ready,’ Rose told them, not looking away from her book.

‘Ready? For what?’ said Hugo.

‘Defence Against the Dark Arts, of course!’

Albus and Hugo groaned loudly, then sunk to the floor, devasted. Rose clicked her tongue three times and laughted to herself.

‘It’s an important subject, really, you guys should try harder…’ she told them, sounding like a teacher herself.

Hugo let out a defeaning chortle: ‘Harder?! If we tried harder our brains would twist!’’

Rose, finally letting her head emerge from the book, looked at the boys and raised her eyebrows.

‘I’m heading to class, I want to get there early so I can continue my reading in silence…’ she picked up her bags and went into the castle. Ten minutes later, Albus and Hugo were doing the same.

‘Settle down,’ Professor Malfoy told them, staring at the class sternly without blinking. ‘Today we shall be looking at-‘ he cleared his voice. Albus was deeply focused on a piece of parchment, scribbling away. Malfoy cleared his voice again. Nudged by Hermione, Albus finally looked up.

‘Potter, how would you like to share your piece of parchment with us?’ Malfoy said, ‘I’m certain that it will help us with the lesson, don’t you?’ The usual group of Slytherins in the back corner roared with laughter. He cleared his throat again, this time more serious and stern than before.

‘Potter, give me the parchment… now…’

Suddenly being extensively interested in his shoe choice, Albus handed the parchment, not looking up.

Professor Malfoy read what Albus had written: Please save me… , and then raised his eyebrows, higher than he had ever seen Rose’s go. After infinite seconds of an awkward silence, Malfoy’s eyes still fixed upon the paper, he talked.

‘Detetion,  a month’s detention,’ he said.

‘A months! Are you wild!’ 

The shock came seconds later when Albus found that he had said that out loud; the class had gone silent again.

Malfoy didn’t move nor speak, instead, he sat down on his desk and, like Albus, began writing on a parchment. A minute or so later, he called Albus up to his desk. With a whip of his wand, the writing that had been scribbled onto the parchment disappeared.

‘Headmaster’s office- no need to talk…’ Malfoy thrust the parchment to Albus’ chest, cueing him to leave with a hand gesture. Knowing that everyone in the class was watching him, holding their giggles for once he left, he sighed and le1ft the classroom. Once he arrived at Professor McGonagall’s office a while later, all she told him was that he was to go to Professor Malfoy’s Office everyday for a week each evening after lessons, and expect an hours detention doing who knows what.

 

‘Detention!’ cried Albus, ‘This is so unnecessary! I never did do anything!’ he told them as they returned to the Common Room that evening. Once again, Rose was in her book, mastering the skill of doing two things at once; listening to the conversation and moans about Albus’ detention, as well as her book.

‘Honestly,’ she started, still staring at her book, ‘I kind of think Albus deserved what he got, I mean-‘ She was interrupted by a loud sigh as Albus sunk lower into his chair beside the fire.

‘Blimey!’ said Hugo, who had just sprung from his chair next to Albus; not a peek had been heard from him for the whole discussion. ‘You have detention, in Malfoy’s Office, now, he’s gonna kill you!’ Albus jumped out of his chair as if one of the springs from the chair had boosted him. He began cursing himself under his breath, this wasn’t the best way to start a week’s worth of detention: being late. He seized a half-closed ink-pot and a Quill and threw them into his bag absent-mindendly.

‘Wish me luck, see ya in an hour!’ and the portrait hole swung open, and Albus raced down the moving staircases.

‘Your late, Potter…’ Professor Malfoy said, swinging the door open just as Albus arrived.

‘Yes,’ he said, scratching the back of his head, ‘I… er… forgot.

Malfoy screwed up his face until he looked like a raisin, and then, by the scruff, he threw Albus into his office. The room was almost in complete darkness; there were two candles laid between both sides of the desk, highlighting strange artefacts that Professor Malfoy had, and a golden plate reading ‘Professor Lucious Malfoy’

‘Sit, Potter,’ he said, indicating a seat opposite to his desk.

‘Do you know why you are here today?’

‘Erm… well… no…’ Albus lied. Malfoy changed from having his fist on his shoulder to crossing his arms on his desk.

‘OK, I do, but-‘

‘There is no but Potter!’ he cried, almost leaping out of his chair.

‘You came here, because you don’t have one drop of discipline in your blood!’

Albus wondered whether teachers were allowed to say things like that to students, but he took it as a no.

‘You’re exactly as your father, and your grandfather; arrogant and power-thirsty!’

Albus clenched his fists, he knew almost nothing about his father, all he knew was that he had a wild childhood, nothing else.

‘Now, Potter,’ Albus wished that he would stop emphasizing his surname like that,

‘Now, you have two choices, in which you shall be grateful for, you can either, study for your charms exam, which is tomorrow,’

Albus had forgotten all about his exam, how was it possible? He had done some revision, but not enough to know everything, did Rose forget as well?

‘Or,’ he continued, ‘you can write some lines for me, you know, old style, so, what do you say?’ Malfoy looked him deep in the eyes.

‘I… er…’ he pondered, ‘Charms’ he mumbled ‘I’ll study for the exam…’

Professor Malfoy, if it was possible, focused on his eyes harder and saltier.

‘Well, Mr. Potter, how do you plan, to revise, without any books, eh?’

Albus hadn’t thought about this, now he would have lost an hour worths of revision.

‘I… er… can’t revise without my books…’

Professor Malfoy gave him a parchment and a Quill without speaking and then finally told him to write ‘I must respect my superiors’ ten times.

 

‘He made you write lines? That’s an old punishment!’ Rose confirmed around an hour later when Albus returned. However he was more busy worrying about about tomorrow.

‘Rose, I hate to make you anxious and all, but we totally forgot about the Charms exam tomorrow…’

Rose went a scary shade of white, she looked as if she was going to faint.

‘We have Charms tomorrow?! What are we going to do? I’m going to get the books we had from my dormitory, I’ll be back!’ and she sped off.

‘Blimey, we have Charms tomorrow, I mean, it’s not that much a surprise that we forgot, but Rose, that’s just mental! Hey, how did you suddenly remember?’ Hugo asked.

Albus told him how Malfoy gave him a false choice between revision and lines, leaving Hugo open-mouthed for no particular reason at all.

Soon after, Rose, with her arms carrying two books, swung through the portrait hole, panting.

‘I got- the- books- for- revision,’ she gasped, and she sunk to the floor, trying to catch her breath. Albus got the book that outlined which spells were vital for first-years, and flipped the pages, hoping to find answers.

‘Here,’ he said, once reaching page sixty-seven.

‘We’ll need to learn some of these, he ran his finger along the page to the Hair Loss Charm and they began practicing.

It was long past midnight when Albus, Rose and Hugo went back to bed for the evening.

‘Night…’ yawned Albus as Rose departed for her dormitory, clutching her books.

 

‘We have the Charms Exam today!’

‘We do?! I completely forgot, Paul what are we going to do?’

This was the dialogue that Albus and Hugo woke up to the following morning.

‘Morning?’ said Hugo, emerging from the thick sheets of blankets on his bed.

‘Can you believe it?’ cried Lawrence, ‘Paul forgot that tody we had the Charms exam!”

‘Oh, sorry,’ began Paul, his temper rising, ‘Is it my fault that you couldn’t remember you had an exam?’

The two began arguing agitatedly, one pointing a finger at the other.

‘Will you guys stop, it’s like,’ Albus checked his watch, ‘ten past eight!?’

Albus leapt out of bed and got his robes on in a matter of seconds, he couldn’t be late for his exam today. Without waiting for Hugo and the others, he sped downstairs to the Great Hall to meet Rose, who was already eating her breakfast whilst reding a book.

‘You are incredibly tardy,’ she told him, still not taking her eyes off the pages.

‘Tardy?’

‘You don’t know what tardy means?’ she said, finally looking at Albus.

‘I know what tardy means as much as you do!’ Albus lied, he then proceeded to the breakfast that had just appeared on his plate. Moments later, Hugo, Paul, Ed and Lawrence came rushing in, finding a seat opposite Rose and Albus.

  1. hours later, Albus and Hugo were miserably dragging their bags towards the Charms class, Rose almost skipping behind them. ‘I think that we’re going to get very good marks in this test, I want to get at least an E!’ (E was for excellent) There were few students in the class, all of them as much last-minute revision as possible, it was clear that Albus, Rose and Hugo were not the only people who had forgotten about the exam completely in the last few weeks.

‘Welcome!’ came Professor Baron’s swueky voice.

‘Take a seat, we will begin soon,’ he pointed a finger towards three free tables around the center of the classroom, which, thankfully, were all very close together. Rose. Who was. Fine and happy moments before, now had gallons of sweat dripping down her face. The three sat down on the desks they had been assigned and waited there until the rest of the first-years arrived.

‘Right, we are finally here,’ said Professor Baron, five minutes later as Grace Auristela finally settled into her seat. With a whip of his wand, sixty or so examination papers flew into the air.

‘There will be two parts to your examination, as you should know, the theory and written paper, and the practical paper,’ he announced. He once again flipped his wand graciously, and the papers began scattering across the room; for a tiny second everything looked chaotic. To the right side of the desks, quills and ink pots appeared.

‘You may begin!’ he told them. Albus looked around him, everyone was suddenly emersed in their paper, scratching away. Albus looked at his first question anxiously.

In which year was the Levitiation Charm, Wingardium Leviosa, invented and by whom? He thought for moment and looked around at the rest of the classroom blankly. Looking around won’t help you find the answer, Albus, he told himself. He looked to his right, Rose was buried in her paper, as he had thought, and Hugo, who was on his left, was looking as clueless as Albus. He forced back a smile as he looked at him.

‘It was a piece of cake!’ Rose told them, once they were back in the Common Room that evening. , ‘I found it easy, what about you guys?’ she looked at the two boys, who were miserably recovering from the exam. At the sign of no reply, Rose looked at her feet. The three gazed into the cackling flames in the fire place.

‘Well, we better start our homework,’ said Hugo, sounding confusingly unlike himself. He picked up his bag, rose from his chair, and went to sit down at the table. Rose and Albus soon joined him.

‘Hello everybody!’ came a familiar voice twenty minutes later. The portrait hile had swung open, it was James. He skipped over to the table where Albus, Rose and Hugo were doing their History of Magic homework.

‘Ah, I see, occupied with homework, eh?’

‘What is it?’ said Albus, turning around to face James, who was standing behind him.

‘Me, oh, I was waiting for you to ask,’ by now, Rose and Hugo had turned around as well, all keeping impatient looks on their faces.

‘Well,’ he began, his face beaming, ‘I, have just set off, a crate-full of Dung bombs outside Professor Malfoy’s office!’

‘You what!’’ Rose leaped off of the bench.

‘How- where- why- ?’ she mumbled.

‘I know, I know, me and my smart ideas…’

‘Smart?’ Rose gave up talking about the subject, she knew that, even if she talked about it, it wouldn’t change. Distracted from their homework, Albus and Hugo went to sit beside the fire with James, they were eager to hear everything. Rose, was choosing to ignore them, returned to writing the essay about The Gargoyle Strike of nineteen-eleven.

 

It was not until that weekend that Albus, Hugo and Rose went to visit Hagrid.

‘Why, hello there, strangers, where yeh’ all been this week?’ Hagrid asked, as the three arrived on his doorstep. None of them answered and entered the small hut. It was the same as it had been last time.

‘Tea, anybody?’ offered Hagrid, ‘some of my new rock cookies, perhaps?’

Having learnt their lesson from the previous time, they all said no.

‘What brings you here?’ Hagrid started, as he began pouring himself some tea.

‘We- er – wanted to say hi, you know,’

‘Righ’ , nice…’ replied Hagrid’s deep voice.

‘Yeh much more -er- calmer and quieter than your father, Albus,’ said Hagrid, trying to keep the conversation flowing.

‘Yeah, I hear that quite often…’ said Albus.

‘It must be tedious, eh, getting’ all the talk about yeh father?’ said Hagrid, trying to sound relatable.

‘Well, not really.’

‘Oh, well, yeh father did us all a great thing, he saved us, he did. You know, getting rid of You-Know-Who and stuff…’

‘You-Know-Who?’ asked Rose

‘Yeah, er, Vol-‘Hagrid couldn’t bring himself to say the name, ‘Vold- Voldemort…’ Hagrid twitched greatly and seized his grey beard tightly.

‘Sorry,’ Rose said, ‘you said something about Albus’ father getting rid of Voldemort?’ Once again, Hagrid twitched.

‘I’ve read all about Voldemort in books, apparently he was one of the most evil wizards in history!’ It must be so cool that you’re father killed him!’

Whilst Rose had been talking, Albus had been staring upon her, confused.

‘Who is Voldemort?’ he asked.

Hagrid burst out of his chair, finally freeing his hand of his beard.

Albus Potter, not knowing who You – Know – Who is?!’ Hagrid began pacing around the hut.

‘I have a lot to tell you,’ Hagrid told him. He sat down, twiddling his thumbs.

‘It began, Albus, all those years ago, when, Vol - Volde – Voldemort, craved power, they were dark times, they were. Anyway, when young Harry was the age of one, Vol – Volde, You – Know – Who, arrived at your grandparents’ house to kill them and infant, Harry. Shortly after their deaths, You – Know – Who, turned to kill Harry. Bu’, Harry’s mother, Lily, had given him a power that Vol – Voldemort didn’t have: love. The curse rebounded off him, and took all of his powers away. It was thirteen years until he returned to full power again, each year, edging closer to Harry’s death.

Hagrid beamed at them. ‘Yeh kids alrigh’ ?’

Albus, Rose and Hugo were staring at him, the mouths open in awe. So that was the reason why everyone admired him after Harry! Hagrid checked his watch:

‘Is tha’ the time? Yeh better get going yeh three, yeh don’ wanna be outta bed late!’

He eased the three children out of the cabin and bid them goodnight. The three exchanged looks blankly, they weren’t going to sleep any time soon…

‘It’s – It’s wild!’ said Hugo once they had all gained their voices back again.

‘Oh, Hugo, that’s your reply to everything!’ Rose told him, they were walking back from Hagrid’s to the common room. The was a ringing silence as the three walked back up in silence. Rose gave the password to the lady in the painting, and they entered.



Chapter 9: Chapter Eight
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Gryffindor versus Hufflepuff

 

 

Albus had mixed feelings about the new announcement on the noticeboard of the Gryffindor common room: there was going to be a match against Hufflepuff in two weeks’ time. Ever since he had heard Hagrid’s retelling of his father’s life, he felt useless. Albus, against his father, Harry Potter, was nothing. But worst of all, Albus did not know why his father hadn’t told him, he was his son after all! Purposely being early for breakfast to not be caught by the crowd, Albus hurried to the Great Hall. Rose and Hugo joined him fifteen minutes later.

‘How long have you been here?’ asked Rose, glancing at her watch.

‘Oh, not long, maybe, five minutes?’ Albus lied. Hugo eyed him suspiciously before turning to his recently appeared breakfast of bacon and toast, accompanied by some pumpkin juice. The three had had an odd air between them since Hagrid’s visit from the weekend. Albus preferred to be quiet when he had the opportunity. All that could be heard for the next few minutes was the sound of the clanking utensils working at the food.

‘Albus!’ It was a tall, skinny boy: Homer Shelton, Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Panting frantically, he leaned onto the table.

‘We have… practice, tonight at five, don’t be late,’

‘OK, I’ll be there,’ nodded Albus. Homer waved a hand at Rose and Hugo and then proceeded to speed to the other end of the Gryffindor table to tell the other members of the team. At least I have Quidditch today, thought Albus. He then began to eat his breakfast.

 

They were in the courtyard a few hours later once the lessons had finished; Albus was waiting desperately for Quidditch practice, he was in his uniform and holding his Lighting Bolt three thousand, grasping the awe of the surrounding students.

‘Why looking so glum, Potter?’ came a familiar, boasting voice. Albus, Rose, and Hugo turned around. It was Arthur Paxton and his two clumsy sidekicks behind him, they approached slowly, like superiors. Arthur gave a disapproving look, now attracting many of the other pupil’s attention.

Glancing around him to ensure that he was the center of everybody’s attention, he bent down.

‘Watch out Potter…’ he said with a low voice as if the trees were also listening in.

‘You and your friends as weak as - ‘

‘Yes?’ Hugo had risen out of his slumped position beside Albus, he had drawn his wand out of his pocket. Arthur backed away in return, fumbling around his pockets for his wand as well.

‘You don’t want to go there, Weasley…’ breathed Arthur, ‘You really don- ‘

‘PETRIFICUS TOTALUS!’ A shot of blue light flew out of Hugo’s wand and wrapped itself around Arthur.                                                                                          Milliseconds later, Arthur’s frozen body thumped to the ground. Agitated, Connor and Emmanuel dragged Arthur out of the courtyard. Rose tugged Hugo by the shoulder irritably.                                                                                        ‘You’re extremely lucky that no teachers were there, Hugo!’ she told him.

‘Watch the time, Albus, you’ve got to go to Quidditch practice, see you in the common room, come, Hugo.’

The two marched back up to the castle together, leaving Albus to Quidditch practice.

Practice went horribly, Kate caught a bludger in the head, cutting the team short of a Chaser and Andrew failed to haul every Quaffle aimed at him.

‘It went hideously!’ sniggered Albus in the common room an hour and a half later.

‘Was it really that bad?’ Rose asked. Albus explained the unfortunate event that had taken place, causing Rose to fall into a fit of giggles. Hugo, however, wasn’t appearing to feel the same way.

‘How’re we gonna win the House Cup if our team plays like that?’ Hugo slumped into his cozy armchair, looking troubled.

‘Well, thanks for your kind words of wisdom, Hugo!’ Rose chuckled.

‘Yeah, but - ‘ he stopped at the sight of Rose’s disapproving face, it truly was quite intimidating.

‘Anyway…’ Albus began, trying to break the tension, ‘What were you guys doing whilst I was gone?’

‘I was studying, something in which proves to be far from Hugo’s ability!’ Rose turned to Hugo and flared her nostrils. Hugo opened his mouth to speak but was unsuccessful in doing so, giving Rose the chance to move on. She chose to start mocking him shamefully;

‘Oh, yes, I can do anything in this world, other than homework!’

She went on and on, some of the other students in the common room began staring. Sensing himself flushed, Albus aggressively hushed her down.

‘What was that all about?’ said Albus. ‘What happened?’

A pure look of loathing and hatred filled Hugo, and, with what looked like incredible difficulty, Hugo lowered his voice to a whisper and said, with quite a hushed voice:

‘Rose can't be a child! Who wants to sit and work all day! And the worst thing is, she wants me to do it too! ’ Hugo wheezed, furious. Rose reacted, well, not so well, she shot up and out of her seat, tears welling up in her eyes. Seeing that a first-year dispute was not going to be of interest, occupants of the common room left for the dormitories, leaving their half-finished Wizard’s Chess by the fire. Albus tried to reckon between Rose and Hugo, but before he could start, Rose had already stormed off. Hugo squinted at her through his eyes and muttered something between ‘mental’ and ‘unbelievable’. After that, Hugo also left as well. Well, that couldn’t have gone better, Albus thought to himself. Alone in the common room, he drowsily slumped up the winding staircase for the night.

 

For the next few days, Albus had to battle between Rose and Hugo, who were still refusing to be friends again. He usually had to save them from a beckoning match in public. As scheduled, every Wednesday, Albus attended dreadful detention with Professor Malfoy. During their practices every Monday, Thursday, and Friday, the Gryffindor Quidditch team slowly began showing some form of improvement, however, Homer Shelton had extended their practice time by half an hour, in hope that the team would show worthy of winning just like previous years.

 

As the Sunday of the match was slowly starting to approach, and, as usual, the tension had risen by double, the team players escaped from the busy hallways, showing up in the Entrance Hall for breakfast in early hours so as to not get noticed. Albus did not understand the reason for this: Was he meant to be worried?

Eventually, game day arrived: ‘Lucky we have good weather today!’ Hugo encouraged as they were heading towards the pitch. Hugo wanted to accompany Albus before the game. The grass shuffled gracefully as the two walked up to the changing rooms. ‘Albus swapped his school robes for his Quidditch robes, and the other players were slowly drifting in as well. Knowing that he wasn't allowed there at this time before the match, he bid goodbye to Albus,‘’ See ya!’’ and he departed for the stands which were now filling with vibrant yellow and red colors. Checking his watch, Homer gathered the team for a pre-match speech.

‘- I want your best game, alright, so try your best!’ he finished. Homer glanced at his watch once more and the team trooped out of the doors to reveal themselves to a roaring crowd. The group mounted their brooms and soared down to Professor Woullard (the flying lesson coach) who was waiting for them impatiently by the center of the pitch, the chest containing the balls at her feet.

‘Now, boys and girls, I want a good game,’ she started, once the Hufflepuff team had landed in the circle. ‘From all of you,’ she particularly emphasized the words ‘all’ When looking at Homer, and a short, plump Hufflepuff girl. It was strange, Albus the thought of Homer being an aggressive player had never once occurred to him. Lost in his thoughts, Albus heard the shrill, high-pitched whistle blow and felt the players surrounding him shoot up into the air. Hastily, he firmed the grip on his broom and followed behind them, frantically searching for the pip–sized golden ball which would now be zooming around as if it were teleporting from one place to another.

‘And our players are in the air!’ started the new commentator: Alyssia Coleman

‘We’ve got the Quaffle, in possession by Shelton of Gryffindor, only to be taken by Lawyson of Hufflepuff, she passes to- ‘ Albus woke up, he had to improve his game, the Hufflepuff Seeker would’ve gotten a head start!

‘- Passed to Kate of Gryffindor, she dodges and – ‘ Albus had lost himself for a second time within the commentators’ speech.

‘ – She scores!’

The sea of students embedded in red and yellow exploded with cheers and applause. Albus could make out Hagrid’s large body standing out of the crowd like a statue.

‘And it’s ten to zero for Gryffindor!’ Alyssia informed the crowd through the megaphone. Albus, who was now completely unfocused grasped a look at the small, glimmering ball in the distance. He had found the Snitch! Careful not to attract the attention of the Hufflepuff Seeker, he flew towards the winged ball which was fluttering beside the Commentators’ box.

‘Oh, my, Potter’s lost control of his broom, and he’s headed towards us!’ Alyssia ducked behind her chair.

‘Oh, you, silly girl!’ Professor McGonagall pulled the megaphone towards herself and began speaking.

‘Mr. Potter, it is orders of the Headmistress that you control your broom and head the other way, please!’

But Albus wasn’t listening to her one bit. He was not going to miss a chance to prove himself against his father. He was moments away from seizing the Snitch when he felt a rough nudge by the side. It was the Seeker of the Hufflepuff team! (Richard Murrey) Richard was edging closer to the Snitch than Albus was. Determined to beat him, Albus went as fast as possible, but then, he felt a pounding pain in his head, he felt himself falling, he could hear the stands roar with screams. His broom was far out of reach, what was he going to do?



Chapter 10: Chapter Nine
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Two Boys and One Bludger

 

Albus woke up to the feeling of soft, silk pillows and blankets propped on him. He was in the hospital wing.

‘Rose, look, Albus is awake!’

Rose, who had been reading a book in the corner, scurried over to the foot of Albus’ bed.

‘Oh, Albus!’ she clasped her hand over her mouth and her eyes watered, tears welling in her eyes. Albus had never seen a girl cry before. (Unless you counted his sister when she was younger) ‘You’re alright! We thought something horrible had happened to you, thank goodness! Quidditch is honestly such a hazardous game, getting hit by a Bludger… look where we are now! It could’ve been fatal!’

‘I got hit by a Bludg-?‘Rose let out a chortle. 

'Why do you boys care about Quidditch so much? Sure, it's a well-known sport in the wizarding world, but-'

 ‘Well known? Well, perhaps, Rose, if you ever played Quidditch, you would understand why we obsess over it!’ Hugo told Rose. ‘Oh, yes, for once, you are correct, Weasley,’ it was Arthur Paxton, and, as always, accompanied by his two sidekicks (Connor and Emmanuel). Albus caught Hugo pull out his wand, still staring earnestly into Arthur’s eyes. To his great surprise, Rose did the same.

‘What do you want, Arthur?’ Albus asked.

‘Oh, me? I just wanted to see whether, after your incident during Quidditch, you were OK,’ he sniggered.

‘Hufflepuff won, you know, Hufflepuff! I’ve heard they haven’t won a game in ages!’

Albus couldn’t believe it, not only was he the cause of Gryffindor’s loss, but he had made the team look incapable of beating the simplest house! Albus knew that it would have been best to contain himself and keep his tongue still, yet he couldn’t do so in this situation.

‘They did? Hufflepuff won?’ Albus shot up and felt a throbbing pain in his head. 

‘Lie down, Albus!’ Rose ordered. Powerless and obedient, he threw himself back against his pillow.

Don't worry, Potter,’ Arthur assured him, he was also holding out his wand, ‘You and your mates aren’t the only losers here, that kid Murrey couldn’t stay untouched either, look,’ Arthur signaled towards a bed three places away from Albus. Indeed, three beds away slept a skinny, blond-haired boy. Albus noticed the Snitch fluttering frantically inside a large glass jar beside Richard’s bed; he felt his heart sink as he watched the small ball bumping itself aimlessly against the jar trying to free itself.

‘Hmph, very amateur for you to get knocked out by a Bludger, Potter, don’t you think?’ Arthur said. Hugo had heard enough. He turned around and drew his wand out of his pocket once more and placed it upon Arthur’s nose. Arthur whimpered helplessly in return. However, one thing that Arthur did not know was that Hugo was absolutely useless with spells, giving him a good chance of not getting hurt at all.

‘Hugo, you could seriously hurt him!’ Rose told him, as she tugged the back of Hugo’s robes and pulled him back. Arthur took his chance.

‘Incendio!’

Rose’s eyes widened in alarm.

‘Aguamenti!’ Suddenly, the fire that had just landed beside Hugo sizzled into a puddle of water.

‘Are you mad!?’ Rose asked Arthur, sounding utterly nonplussed and bewildered.

‘You could’ve set fire to the place and seriously injured all of us!’ Rose cried.

However, Arthur wasn’t listening, and neither was anyone else, the two boys began shooting harmless spells at each other, missing by centimeters. One of Hugo’s spells ricocheted off the walls and hit Richard’s bed. He sprung up and flung his hands over his shoulder in agony.

‘What – who – why?’ he stuttered.

Rose, Albus, Connor, Emanuel, and the recently woken Richard watched as Arthur and Hugo battled endlessly.

‘Stop, stop!’

A plump, middle-aged woman ran into the room, panting madly.

‘In all my years of being here, I have never seen a situation like this one, I am lost for words!’ she shook her head and looked at Albus and Richard with an expression as if she had forgotten that they were there.

‘Richard, Albus dear, are you two alright?’

‘Yes,’ the two lied in unison. Arthur and Rose had hidden their wands back in their cloak pockets and were looking at the woman with blank expressions on their faces. Hugo, however, was flushed and still clutching his wand in his hand.

‘You two,’ she pointed at Arthur and Hugo, ‘come with me,’

Hastily, the two followed after her, casting anxious looks at the people remaining in the room.

Well, move!’ she told them, before leaving. Rose retreated to her book in the corner and Albus and Richard began a conversation. ‘We won! I don’t remember the last time we won!’ Richard revealed. Much to his dislike, Albus felt his heart sink horribly again. A few minutes later, the woman came stumbling into the room, this time, no one was by her side. ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t introduce myself, I’m Mrs. Hisspell. Oh, sorry, dear,’ she looked at Rose in the corner, ‘But Mr. Potter and Mr. Murrey aren’t really allowed to have guests at the moment, so I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to leave,’ And with that, Rose got up. ‘I’ll meet you in the common room!’ she mouthed. Mrs. Hisspell hurried over to Albus’s bed and started rummaging through the drawers on his bedside table. ‘Oh, no, don’t eat that, it won’t do you much good,’ Mrs. Hisspell told Albus. Albus had just found a series of treats piled on his table and had begun eating them: some chocolate frogs from Hugo, a licorice wand from Rose, and an anonymous carton of Acid Pops that he suspected were from Professor McGonagall. Disappointed, Albus lowered the box from his mouth and placed it back onto his bedside table. ‘Now, how’re you feeling?’ she asked. ‘I’m feeling fine,’ Albus lied. He wanted to get out of the hospital wing as soon as possible, so as to confront the person who had landed him there. (At least before Hugo did…) ‘Good, good,’ Mrs. Hisspell was still searching through the drawers. ‘Ah, here it is!’ she pulled out a small bottle of gleaming blue liquid. Without warning, she uncorked the bottle and fed it to Albus. Albus belched. The medicine that had just touched his lips was one of the worst he had ever tasted. Mrs. Hisspell ignored his reaction and said: ‘A day or two in here will do you just the trick, and don’t touch the candy!’’ Albus watched as Mrs. Hisspell walked over to Richard’s bed and started looking through the drawers for what would most likely be the same drink that she had given to him. How would everyone react to it when he went back? Albus thought. Were they going to feel sorrowful just as he hoped that they would, or would they accuse him as the reason that Gryffindor had lost to the easiest team of all? He wondered. But then it struck him: it wasn’t all bad that he would be stuck in the hospital wing over the next few days, he would be missing that evening’s detention with Professor Malfoy! Albus shot up and for the second time, felt a beating pound on the side of his head. ‘Sit down!’ shrieked Mrs. Hisspell, ‘You’ll only hurt yourself more!’ Albus lied back down. Wednesday night detention with Professor Malfoy was the only thing that Albus loathed doing at Hogwarts, (except perhaps, History of Magic lessons) Knowing that he could miss only one session seemed too good to be true.

Mrs. Hisspell had let visitors back in after the incident from before, Rose was the first one in to see Albus. ‘Oh, Albus, I’m extremely sorry for the scene earlier,’ Rose told him once she had sat by Albus’ bed. ‘ Hugo was being very immature. I hope none of the spells hit you, Hugo was horrendously risky, not even to mention, that foolish Arthur boy was prepared to set fire to the place! Can you believe it?’ Rose said this all very fast, it was like listening to a normal lecture, except that the speed had been doubled. ‘Yeah, yeah, I’m fine. Where’s Hugo? Rose looked as if she was being asked to recall one of her worst nightmares. ‘Hugo’s landed himself in detention, it’s unbelievable, I actually thought that he would be capable of keeping a low profile in Hogwarts, apparently not!’ she said this all with a seething expression on her face. Failing to respond to what Rose had just said, Albus changed the subject. ‘Thanks for the, er, licorice wand…’ Albus told her. He held it up. ‘I haven’t actually been able to eat it yet, Mrs. Hisspell’s doing. She says it won’t do me any good…’ ‘And I was quite correct, Mr. Potter!’ she cried across the room. ‘Anyways, I’ll get to it as soon as she’s not looking…’ Albus caught Mrs. Hisspell’s eye and immediately looked away. ‘I mean that I’ll eat it when I’ve got Mrs. Hisspell’s permission!’ he said loudly.

'Hello, dear brother!’ it was James. ‘I assume you haven’t forgotten who I am, I’m ‘James Potter, your broth – ‘ ‘I know who you are!’ Albus said with an irritated tone ‘Now, what do you want?’ James looked Offended,’ Me! Let's think, shall we? My brother just got hit by a Bludger, in the head, maybe I would want to see him, and check if he is alright?'

 ‘Oh, well, thanks then…’ Rose and Albus saw as James discreetly pulled multiple sweets out of his pockets. Acid Pops, Cockroach Clusters, Fizzing Whizbees, another packet of Chocolate Frogs, Bertie, and Botts Every Flavor Beans! Albus’s eyes twinkled. He reached out to grab one when he heard Mrs. Hisspell unwanted voice say: No! How many times do I have to tell you dear child, no eating sweets! Please, young man, take those back! Startled by surprise, James dropped the candy onto the floor and pretended to stuff them back into the pockets, instead, he kicked them underneath the bed. He nodded to Albus. ‘Well then,’ James announced, ‘As an unwanted guest, I will leave now…’ he winked at Albus and then went through the large, oak doors. The room sat in silence, Rose and Albus staring at the floor, Richard still suffering from the medicine, and Mrs, Hisspell patting him on the back. The silence was broken when a brown, furry owl (recognizable as a school owl) came flying through the window and onto the window sill. Tied to its left leg, was a short letter. Mrs. Hisspell approached the owl, untied the letter, and skimmed through. ‘Oh, no, dearie, dearie no, that’s not going to work very well now, is it?’ she shook her head and handed the letter to Albus. Rose and Albus exchanged concerned looks as they leaned closer to see.

Dear Genevieve Hisspell and Mr. Albus Potter,

I would like to inform you both that Mr. Potter, as agreed, must attend his weekly detention at six o’clock in my office as scheduled. It is his duty to fulfill the action of his wrongdoing, the Quidditch incident, as we all know, has nothing to do with his academic responsibilities.

Thank you for your understanding,   Professor Lucius Malfoy

Albus was left open-mouthed. Had Professor Malfoy not understood that it was on orders of Mrs. Hispell that he couldn’t leave the hospital wing? And it had been an hour before that Albus had felt like the luckiest boy in the world. Mrs. Hisspell was fumbling angrily in the corner until she finally came to a conclusion. ‘Mr. Potter,’ she glanced at the clock in the center, ‘With minimal time left before your detention, I ask you to change into your school robes, and Rose, take him up to the castle just in case, don’t wave your head around please, Albus. And you are to return to the hospital wing once you’ve finished, Albus!’ she snapped. Disappointed yet happy that he could leave the hospital wing, Albus cautiously (so as to not feel unbearable pain in his head) walked up to the castle with Rose. The Sun was very slowly beginning to set, and the sky had turned a faint color pink. ‘Nearly late, Potter,’ Professor Malfoy told Albus as he arrived at the door of his office. ‘However,’ he continued, ‘It is an improvement from last time, I see that these detentions are helping you make your way up...’ Albus merely nodded. ‘So you remember how you arrived late to my detention because you simply forgot? Professor Malfoy told him. He did forget! Albus clenched his fists underneath the chair and glared into Professor Malfoy’s eyes angrily. This was when he saw a round, silhouetted shadow in the corner. Albus debated whether he should have asked who was there, but he chose not to. However, Professor Malfoy must have noticed, because the next thing he said was: ‘Ah, I see you have noticed our guest, Potter. Mrs. Lawyson, why don’t you come and say hello?’ And with that, a plump, golden-haired girl, who Albus remembered as the captain of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team stepped out into the dim-lit space. ‘You see, Mr. Potter, once I heard that you wouldn’t be able to attend our lovely session today, I went looking for someone else to keep me company, but then I thought: why should you not come to your quite well–earned detention? After all, as I mentioned in my message, Quidditch isn’t academic-related, is it?’ Albus shook his head. ‘Let’s continue from last time, shall we?’ In silence, Madeline and Albus, who was now used to the endless, tedious line – writing, took out their quills and their parchment, and began writing:

‘’I must respect my superiors.’’

 Albus and Madeline didn’t exchange any words during the one-and-a-half-hour detention, instead, they signaled blunt nods. ‘So,’ Albus said once the two had happily exited the dark office, ‘How did you get yourself stuck with Professor Malfoy, then?’ ‘He caught me snooping around in the Potions cupboard…’ Madeline explained, she actually looked ashamed when mentioning it. The sight of this made Albus think about how he had landed in detention: He had slipped an insult or two in the lesson; for all the class to hear. But then he thought: if he had done so in another lesson, all the teachers would have done was add extra homework to his already overdue lot; a month’s worth of dull and miserable detentions was too much. ‘Mrs. Lawyson, can I have you in my office for a moment?’ Professor Malfoy’s unwanted face popped into the torch-lit hallways, casting a shine on his face that Albus wasn’t used to. Madeline dug her hands deeper into her robe sleeves and walked into the office. ‘I don’t see a reason that you should stay, Potter, get going…’ Albus stumbled a few steps further into the corridor. But there was no way Albus was going to leave. Once he heard the door close and the lock click, he ran towards the door and pressed his ear against it. ‘ Saturday… do… Hogsmeade…’ Albus recognized this voice as Madeline’s, he found it strange how she would resist speaking to him as much as possible, yet she had the nerve to whine to Professor Malfoy. Albus realized that he wasn’t hearing anything; he pressed his ear harder against the wall and heard a deep, distant voice. ‘Yet… find… hide…’ Albus’ stomach clenched as he heard footsteps approaching the door. He ran as fast as his legs could carry him; from the sides of his eyes, he could see the walls blurring behind him. He turned around the corner and backed against a wall. The silence that had been ringing in his ears was interrupted by small, frantic footsteps. Madeline was speed walking down the corridor, her eyes welling with tears. She crossed around the corner where Albus was and didn’t even notice Albus. When Professor Malfoy’s door slammed shut and Madeline’s footsteps went from distant to non-existent, he moved. He desperately wanted not to return to the hospital wing, but he wasn’t allowed anywhere else these hours.

 

 



Chapter 11: Chapter Ten
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Empty – Handed

 

Christmas felt late, but when it came, Albus wasn’t the only one who was happy. Rose and Hugo were looking forward to getting letters and gifts from their family, and Albus was grateful to spend some time away from lessons. The castle grounds looked much more enchanting in the winter with coats of snow and constant joy.

 

‘Mornin’ !’

 

Hagrid was carrying the traditional, twelve-foot Christmas tree for the Entrance Hall. His big, grey beard was full of snowflakes.

 

‘How great to see you three today! Enjoying the snow?’

 

The three nodded, over the past few days, whenever they had free time, they would escape to the warmth of Hagrid’s cabin where they would talk about all of Albus’s father’s achievements and adventures. Thankfully, Albus’s phase of jealousy had long finished, instead, hearing about his adventures encouraged him to do the same. With the end-of-term feast arriving, Hogwarts was bustled with people packing their bags. Only a few people were staying, and one of them was Madeline Lawyson. Albus knew that Madeline wasn’t staying at Hogwarts simply because she had nothing better to do at home, but instead, she was pursuing her plan with Professor Malfoy, yet he couldn’t conquer it; all he knew was that something would happen at Hogsmeade on Saturday, and Madeline and Professor Malfoy had something to do with it. Dumbfounded, he didn’t know whether to tell Rose and Hugo about it; would they contribute? ‘You seem… lost in your thoughts, Albus,’ Rose told him one morning. ‘Yeah, what’s wrong?’ said Hugo. The three were sitting in the Entrance Hall for breakfast, which was now showing off its decorated Christmas tree. ‘I’m fine, why?’ ‘Oh, nothing…’ For the last five minutes, Madeline had been strutting from side to side behind Albus, Rose, and Hugo, repeatedly checking the ceiling. ‘Sorry,’ observed Rose, ‘Is there something you need?’ She had a tone of irritation in her voice. ‘Madeline,’ Albus said. He had been staring at his plate, still contemplating what he thought would happen on Saturday ( Which would be in two days’ time ) ‘You know her?’ Rose laughed. ‘Yeah, we met in detention!’                                                                                                                         Immediately, a frown formed upon Rose’s face. ‘Albus, can I have a word’ Madeline asked. Albus nodded and stood up. ‘I’ll see you in a bit!’ he mouthed to Rose and Hugo. Albus wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to follow Madeline, she sounded much more confident than she had sounded the previous day. ‘Where are we going?’ Albus asked once the two had left the Entrance Hall. ‘Down the corridor, this is a very private subject…’ Albus’ heart leaped; he would finally know what it was that was Madeline and Professor Malfoy were doing! Albus and Madeline were walking down a path that was vaguely familiar to Albus. They stopped at the end of the corridor, to a stack of barrels. ‘Hang on a sec, that'll take a minute,’ she told him. Madeline pointed her wand between two barrels and began tapping to a rhythm in which Albus had never heard of before.

‘What’s this?’ Hugo asked. Rose and Hugo had just unwrapped a present from their parents in the Great Hall. ‘I think it’s a… map?’ Rose said, confused. ‘Well, I don’t see anything on it, it looks more like a bit a parchment…’ ‘Yes, Hugo, our parents would send us a bit a parchment for Christmas?’ She snatched the odd present from Hugo’s hand and examined it for a while. Rose pointed her wand at the parchment and said: ‘Aparecium!’ Slowly appearing on the parchment, formed letters. ‘What’s that?’ Rose asked, completely confounded. The two stared at the parchment which their parents had sent them and watched as the words on the page began forming. Hugo read out:

‘’Messrs, Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs, are proud the present: The Marauders Map’

'' The Marauders Map? Hasn’t dad said something about it?’ Rose asked Hugo.                                                                                             ‘You think?’ Hugo asked.                                       ‘Yes, Marauders Map, it sounds familiar…’ ‘Well, open it, then!’ ‘OK, fine,’ Rose said, anxiously unfolding the map. The two gasped as they looked down at the parchment. It showcased all of Hogwarts, along with tiny dots of people moving around the castle. ‘It’s moving!’ ‘Well, yes, Rose, it’s a magical map!’ Hugo snatched the gift from her hands and looked at it. ‘Look,’ Rose pointed at the basement area, ‘Albus is there!’ ‘Yes, I realized…’ lied Hugo. ‘Yes, but, what would he be doing there?’ ‘I don’t know…’ Hugo said. Rose pointed her finger at the map again: ‘He just went into the Hufflepuff common room?’ Rose clasped her hand against her mouth. People from other houses weren’t allowed to go into the other common rooms! Thinking that Albus was purposely breaking the rules, Rose shot out of her chair and marched out of the Great Hall, most likely not knowing where she was going. Hugo looked at Ed and Lawrence (two of his dorm mates) and went after Rose, still clutching the Marauders Map in his hand. When he finally caught up with her, she was striding around the moving staircases, narrowly missing gaps. ‘Rose!’ cried Hugo, ‘You’re going to fall if you don’t watch out! The Hufflepuff common room; if that’s where you want to go, is in the basement!’ Rose, who hadn’t stopped dodging gaps on the staircases, halted. ‘Basement?’ Rose asked, sounding offended herself. ‘How did I not see it on the map?’ Rose crossed and ran down some stairs, sped past Hugo, and ran through the corridor behind him. Hugo sighed, knowing that he would have to follow her. Pulling out his wand, ( in case the situation turned to the worse…) Hugo ran after her, not minding the looks that he attracted from the student eating in the Great Hall as he ran past the large, oak doors. Hugo checked the Marauders Map and saw Rose leaping down the staircases the basements.

Back in the Hufflepuff common room, Madeline and Albus were sitting on the couch. ‘Now, Albus,’ Madeline said, straightening up, ‘This is for your own good, and I hope you understand…’ she stood up and walked over to the exit of the common room. Before departing she said: ‘I don’t think you’ll be seeing anyone anytime soon, not if you’re locked in here…’ With a nasty look on her face, Madeline climbed out of the small passageway. Albus was beyond words, for Madeline had tricked him, saying that she would tell him what he had hoped he would tell her, instead, she had locked him in the common room, for a reason in which he didn’t know. This thought made him feel worried; if she had locked him up for a reason, (which was most likely) Madeline would have wanted to do something. Albus would have been in her way. He couldn’t hesitate. He ran to the exit (which was also in the shape of a barrel) and tried to nudge it open. Of course, Albus thought. If you weren’t a Hufflepuff, you wouldn’t be able to enter or exit the common room. (Meaning that without Madeline he couldn’t be able to leave the common room…) Albus kept pulling and pulling, in hope that the barrel door would move, but it didn’t. He gave up; there was now hope. Suddenly thinking of the consequences if he wasn’t found, Albus looked at the Hufflepuff common room. It was decorated with flowers and plants, (most likely Professor Longbottom’s idea) and even though there were smaller windows than in other common rooms ,( too small for Albus to climb through ) the area was much lighter than all the other common rooms. The guilty thought of his friends helplessly searching for him through the school daunted him. He threw himself down onto one of the couches and propped some pillows against his head. If I’m going to be here long, I might as well get comfortable, he thought. Without anything to keep him busy, he started thinking about what was going to happen if a miracle was performed and he was able to find his way out. What was Madeline trying to do that Albus would ruin her chances of? Was she going to take Rose and Hugo and hide them somewhere else where he couldn’t find him? Albus turned over. After breakfast, all the students would head to their lessons, meaning that it would be hours before anyone returned to the Hufflepuff common room to find him. He felt sick. As Albus began telling himself off for foolishly following Madeline even when he knew that she and Professor Malfoy were plotting something bad. The intense silence ringing in the lonely Hufflepuff common room was interrupted as the sound of footsteps filled the air. Someone was walking down the staircases form the boys’ dormitories! Albus shot up from his previous position and searched frantically for a sign of a person to get him out. ‘Oh, hi, Albus, I’m a bit late for breakfast so we can’t formally talk for once, but I’ll see you another time,’ Richard Murrey, a sling supporting the shoulder and arm in which he had hurt during Quidditch a few days ago – was walking towards the exit hole when he halted dramatically and looked back at Albus, looking as though he had witnessed the strangest scene. ‘Albus? I thought you were a- ‘ ‘Gryffindor, yes. But that Madeline girl locked me in here and I’ve got no way out…’ ‘Ah… yes, Lawyson always had a sketchy scent about her…’ he tutted and turned to the door. ‘Well, you’d want to leave this place, I assume?’ he said, pointing towards the large barrel marking the exit of the common room. ‘Oh, yes, thanks so much Richard, you don’t know how much you’ve just helped me!’ Albus threw himself off the couch, and ran towards the barrel. ‘ Do you need help with your-‘ ‘Shoulder?’ Richard guessed, ‘No, I can do it, I’ve done it before, thanks,’ Richard said.

In desperate attempt to find Albus, Rose was sprinting down the corridors and hallways. But Hugo couldn’t chase after her anymore. He threw himself back against the wall to rest himself and slumped to the floor. Raising the Marauders Map in his hand, he saw that Rose was now far, far away. He let out a large, hopeless sigh. ‘Albus!’ she was furious. Rose had just arrived outside the Hufflepuff common room to see Richard and Albus climbing through the hole, dusting themselves over. ‘How dare you! Leaving breakfast, and then breaking the rules! You’re not meant to go inside other common rooms, Albus!’ She sounded speechless even though she spoke. Rose ran her fingers through her straight, ginger hair. Richard, who had not understood Rose’s big problem, was dotting his eyes between the two as they continued their discussion.                                                                                                            ‘I – I, it’s not my fault!’ Albus didn’t know where to start; Was now a good time to tell her about what he had heard about Madeline and Professor Malfoy?

  • ‘Albus!’ this voice wasn’t Rose’s, it was Hugo’s. There was a silent pause as Hugo caught hold of his breath ‘What’s that you’re holding?’ Albus pointed at Hugo’s left hand, which was clutching the Marauders Map. ‘That can wait for later!’ Rose snapped. ‘So,’ Rose addressed Richard, ‘Why, may I ask, were you late for breakfast?’ It seemed strange that Rose felt that confident to question Richard (A third – year ) like that. ‘I was having some trouble with my sling…’ Richard winced as he raised his supported hand. ‘Yes… right,’ Rose hesitated for a moment as she glanced at the three boys disapprovingly. ‘Well, we’ve got to return to breakfast, let’s go,’ she pulled Hugo by the sleeve and Richard jogged behind them. It wasn’t until Rose, Hugo and Richard walked off that he trailed behind them. For Albus had not been listening to the conversation since the moment that he had not needed to explain himself for ‘rule-breaking’.

  • All he wanted to do was find Madeline and confront her. The three had arrived in the Great Hall and had left Richard to go to the Hufflepuff table, where he was greeted with great respect. ‘What are you three doing here? I thought you had disappeared ten minutes ago!’ The three turned around to see Arthur Paxton, as well as his two mates, Connor and Emmanuel, who were displaying themselves by Rose, Hugo, and Albus’ seats at the Gryffindor table. ‘What now?’ sighed Rose, flinging her arms in the air. Arthur raised his eyebrows, apparently mocking Rose because Connor and Emmanuel began roaring with laughter. Embarrassed, Rose looked like she wanted to retreat into her school robes, disappearing from everyone, but to her disappointment, nothing happened. Enraged that someone had hurt his sister like that, Hugo stepped forward and thrust his wand at Arthur. ‘You!’ ‘No!’ Rose cried in a shaky voice. She stretched her arm out to set a distance between Hugo and Arthur. She lowered her voice to a whisper: ‘We’re in the Great Hall, there are teachers here, Hugo!’ Arthur, who had just taken his wand out as well, tucked it into his back pocket, Hugo didn’t. ‘Hugo! Don’t not now, Rose is right!’ Albus breathed into Hugo’s ear. Students from the surrounding tables began turning their heads. Albus felt more than fifteen eager eyes landing on Hugo, and another few landing on Arthur. Noticing his audience, Hugo quickly replaced his wand back into its back pocket. Arthur scoffed. Hugo leaped forward and was halfway through taking his wand out of his pocket when he heard Rose gasp. Knowing that this wasn’t usually good, he immediately halted, ‘What are you two doing?’ came an old, rusted voice behind Arthur. Professor McGonagall stepped into the center between Hugo and Rose, her hair pressed into a tight, black bun, and her hands crossed with an intimidating force. ‘That is quite correct!’ suggested Professor McGonagall, glimpsing the looks of guiltiness and embarrassment coming from the two boys. ‘You two have been causing quite the scene, over the past few months, don’t you think?’ she asked them. The two boys, who had now caught sudden interest in their fingernails and shoelaces, did not speak. ‘You three,’ she pointed at Arthur, Connor, and Emmanuel, ‘Get back to the Slytherin table, now, then!’ The three boys shrugged and walked away, and then burst into laughter. Albus sourly wished that Professor McGonagall had realized to have a reason to tell them off. ‘Well, there’s no reason for us to stand here, sit, children,’ she insisted. Albus, Rose, and Hugo took their seats at the Gryffindor table. Rose had calmed down, but Hugo and Albus felt as though they had steam coming out of their ears. ‘Did you two see that Madeline girl again after she chose to lock me up in her house common room?’ Albus whispered to Hugo. Hugo didn’t even turn to speak to him, he just shook his head and took turns looking from his half-eaten treacle tart and his almost finished toast. ‘Oh!’ Rose remembered, making the two boys jump, ‘Let’s tell Albus about the Marauders Map, he wanted to know anyway, didn’t he?’ Excited to finally see what the parchment known as the ‘Marauders Map’ was, Albus sat upright, something he didn’t usually do. ‘Yep, let’s tell him!’ squealed Hugo, finally getting excited and energetic from the moment that they had entered the Great Hall.      ‘I’ll tell him first!’ they both said in unison. ‘So,’ began Hugo, he lowered his voice to a whisper and Rose and Albus bent close intensely. ‘Me and Rose’s parents sent us this map, and at first, we had no clue what it could be, because the writing wasn’t visible! But then Rose did this advanced spell, and it all appeared. Look!’ Hugo unfolded the map once more and pointed towards the Great Hall, and the three looked at their tiny dots, squished with all the other ones, sitting by the Gryffindor table. ‘It’s us! It shows where everybody’s going, it literally had copies of their footsteps!’ Hugo pointed out. ‘It- it's, well, I’m speechless, it's amazing!’ Albus said, as he gazed at the Map longingly and wished ever so much that it was his. Of course, ( he hoped ) Rose and Hugo would let him use it; this was the key to finding out what Madeline and Professor Malfoy were planning! And then, Albus thought, why shouldn’t he tell Rose and Hugo what he had heard, they were the only people that would actually think he was talking sense! ( again, he hoped ) After all, Madeline and Malfoy were nearing their little ‘experiment’, or whatever it was they were doing; Albus was getting desperate for answers. And so he told them. Hugo,’ he addressed. ‘Yes?’ they both replied. ‘I have something extremely important to tell you,’ he said. ‘Go ahead, then!’ Rose assured. ‘Well,’ Albus began, ‘You two remember, of course, the night where I hurt myself in Quidditch and I still had to go to detention?’ Hugo nodded, and Rose frowned as if she thought that Albus going to detention was a phenomenally bad idea.

  • ‘Well, that was where I met Madeline Lawyson, apparently Malfoy,’ ‘ Professor, Malfoy…’ Rose corrected.

  • ‘- apparently, Professor Malfoy, is planning something with Madeline, something bad…’ Hugo looked hooked into the story, however, Rose didn’t seem to believe a word that Albus was saying.

  • 'So, you’re saying that you think that Professor Malfoy has an evil plot, to put it that way, and he needs Madeline to help him pursue it?’ asked Rose, sounding utterly dumbfound.

  • ‘Yes, oh, and also, it’s Saturday, meaning it's in two days’ time…’ Albus added. The two yelped of despair at this news. ‘If you’d have told us earlier, Albus, we could have made a plan, we could have figured out what they were doing!’ Rose suddenly seemed much more interested in the subject than she was before.

‘Look!’ Rose thrust her finger against the map. ‘There’s Madeline Lawyson she’s in- Hogsmeade?’ ‘Why’s she there? You reckon she’s doing something bad there?’ Hugo told them.

 

‘Certain…’  Hugo said, as he approached Rose, where they followed Madeline's label traveling around Hogsmeade. She was in the Hog’s Head, which Hugo claimed to be one of the most rudimentary shops in the whole village. But Rose, as usual, was on a highly different page.                                                                                 ‘First years aren’t allowed to go to Hogsmeade! That’s strictly against the rules!’

‘I know it is!’ Hugo said. ‘But we can’t just sit here and talk about rules as we usually do, we’ve got to get there and catch her red-handed!’

Rose’s eyes widened.

‘Go to Hogsmeade?! When do we know that we’re not allowed to go? Are you absolutely wild?’                                   ‘No, I’m not! When will I ever be able to do what I want without you there to tell me whether or not I can do it!?’                                            ‘That answer is never! I wouldn’t have ever told you not to do those things if you didn’t choose to say them in the first place!’

Albus couldn’t take it anymore; it seemed as everything they talked about, turned into an argument.  

  • Can you two stop!’ Albus shrieked. At that, Rose and Hugo ceased.                                                                                      Yes, but - ‘                                                                                                                                                                                            For God’s sake! There is no but! I can never enjoy a quiet day around the both of you without a fight. So- for me, can you guys go one day without fighting?’

  •                                                                      Silence fell between the three of them once more.                                               Fine…’ Hugo mumbled. Rose said the same. Albus knew that what he was asking for shouldn’t have actually happened in the first place, but it still wasn’t his job to interfere with their sibling disputes. He turned to his right, which was where Hugo sat.                                                                                                                                                                Have you, by any chance, seen Madeline anywhere?’ he whispered, careful to make sure that Rose wouldn’t hear. Hugo shook his head, making Albus’s heart sink a little of hope. He thought that she had returned to the Great Hall for breakfast, but she hadn’t; if she had, he would've made a scene bigger than the one that Hugo could make if trapped in a room with Arthur for a day... Once it was confirmed that there was certainly no puzzle piece missing, Albus sorrowfully looked down to his treacle tart.

 

It wasn’t until that evening, cozy by the warm, crackling fire, accompanied by Rose and Hugo that Albus realized his parents hadn’t given him anything for Christmas. All his other gifts, ( Candy, as always, from Hugo, a pile of Quidditch-related books from Rose, and some hideously wrapped rock cookies from Hagrid) As the three of them sat in silence, Albus’ head was buzzing with questions. It was just then that Albus realized he hadn’t given Rose, nor Hugo any gifts for Christmas; perhaps that was why they were so silent...                                                           Despite recent events, Albus had been dreading the last few days; he knew that once Rose and Hugo were gone and off to their families for Christmas, Hogwarts would lose most of its magic. (Albus was staying at Hogwarts for Christmas because Lily had won a trip to Spain for three people from a ‘Christmas Raffle’ at her muggle school. Harry, Ginny, and Lily were going there together for Christmas); this made him feel like the loneliest child in the world; an outcast to his family... Is this what James felt like when Albus and his parents would go on holiday without him in the previous years?

 

With Saturday slowly closing in, Albus, Rose, and Hugo set off for one final dose of their daily descriptions of Harry’s childhood adventures. The three took off to Hagrid’s cabin heavily armed with scarves and warm, wooly coats.                                                                                       ‘Oh! What a pleasant surprise!’ Hagrid said once he had opened the door, letting in Albus, Rose, and Hugo, who had been shivering in the wind. Today was certainly the peak of coldness that they had endured. ‘Did yeh’ three get me presents? Finest rock cookies aroun’, I reckon!’ Hagrid beamed proudly. The three children nodded guiltily, knowing that they weren’t going anywhere near the poison- like plastic. They all took a seat by the rounded table in the middle of the crammed cobble- -stoned room.                                                                                                           ‘Tea, anyone?’ Hagrid offered, rising from his chair.                     ‘Yes, please!’ the children said in unison. Hagrid disappeared to the ‘kitchen’. ‘It really is such a shame Hugo and Rose won’t be staying here for the Christmas holidays, mark my words, you two: Hogwarts is truly at its best this time o’ year. And the students that do stay here manage to make the coolest stuff out of snow!’ Hagrid bellowed from the kitchen. A few minutes later, Hagrid was walking into the room carrying a tray of four mugs, rock cookies, and some napkins. He set the tray onto the table, and all of them raced to get the cup that was almost filled to the brim, ignoring the jar of rock cookies that Hagrid had also put out.                                              ‘So,’ Hagrid began after everyone had all taken sips from their tea. ‘Where did we drop off last time?’                                                                              ‘Albus’ dad was running from Death Eaters in the Department of Mysteries in the Ministry of Magic!’ she said eagerly.                       ‘Ah! Yes, right’ yeh are!’                                                                           Hagrid hesitated for a moment as his memory took a moment to trigger. ‘So, Harry and the DA members were fightin’ the Death Eaters, when-’ One exciting, adrenaline-pumping story later, Albus, Rose, and Hugo sat awed in their seats, clutching empty mugs that were previously filled with tea. Hugo fantasized about Harry’s ability to everyone, wishing that he could go on just one adventure, just like his parents and Harry had done at their age.                                                                                             ‘Yes, it is!’ Rose and Albus agreed together. Hagrid almost jumped out of his seat once he had checked the clock in the corner.                               ‘Oh my! Yeh three better get out o’ here and back up to the castle! Rose and Hugo, yeh two ought to start packing!’                                             ‘I’ve already finished packing my things!’ Rose gloated, visibly getting comfortable in her chair.                                                                   ‘Eh, alrigh’ then, Hugo’ll pack! Albus, yeh should probably help ‘im, it can be a tedious job, yeh know…’ out another word, Hagrid eased the three children out of his cabin, and out into the chilly, spiky, Winter wind.



Chapter 12: Chapter Eleven
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Chapter Eleven

 

Professor Neville Longbottom



Neither Rose, Albus or Hugo were particularly skilled in Herbology, Rose of course, was better than the other two, having read just less than half the books in the library regarding Herbology itself, yet still, unlike other classes, she could not master the top of the class.               Later that day, Albus, Rose and Hugo were making their way to Herbology, where they then sat down in their seats.                                                                                                     ‘Come on everyone, settle down, please!’ Professor Longbottom yelled to the class. It was halfway through November; he couldn’t take this class anymore. Having never heard Professor Longbottom shout like that, the class almost immediately became silent as tigers stalking prey.                                                                                                      ‘So, today's lesson will be about -‘ he tried to continue, but failed to, being that quiet whispers were traveling around the class. ‘-would you all just be quiet for once?!’ he bellowed. No one paid much attention to his lessons anymore, this was probably because they weren’t interested. (Well, they weren’t quite interested in History of Magic, but that teacher was much more intimidating and menacing. The class had now quietened down. Professor Longbottom, when he was ill-tempered, could be utterly unpredictable. So began the lesson, which was about litterbrose seeds and what they created. He went on and on about these, until his words would become so dull and exhausting, that they went in one ear and out the other. Once the long lecture on the subject had finished, Albus, Rose and Hugo began planting their litterbrose seeds in the pots that they had been assigned. This was when a ‘genius’ idea popped into Albus’ head. He turned and looked at Hugo, who was helplessly fumbling with the litterbrose seed in his hands looked up. ‘Yep?’                                                                                                             ‘So, you know how Professor Longbottom was a friend of my dad’s?’                                                                             Hugo nodded, resting the seed onto the soil.                                                                                                                    ‘You reckon, because of that, he knows anything more than Hagrid does about Death Eaters? I mean, he even fought on his side, against the Death-Eaters, at the Ministry, when Hagrid told us!’

‘Yes! You’re right! It’ll be so much cooler listening about it from him!’ Hugo answered.

The two continued patting their seeds into their soil for a few moments before anyone spoke again. This time it was Hugo.                                                                                                                                                                                               ‘We could always ask Professor Longbottom about his time at Hogwarts, you know, I bet it would be pretty cool!’                                                     Albus agreed with him but didn’t respond until he thought of another question.                                                                                                                          ‘Wait, Hugo? How could you recognize a Death Eater? The only thing Hagrid told us was that they were followers of You-Know-Who, well, Voldemort.’                                                                                                                  ‘You’re asking me? I don’t know, perhaps you don’t at all, maybe ask Rose, she knows everything.’ Hugo finished his sentence with a glint of sinfulness in his eyes as he glanced at Rose, who was across the room, as usual, focusing on her work.

Once the lesson had ended, the two boys along with Rose, strode out to the courtyard. The litterbrose seeds had something about them that made the smell of the air unbearable in the greenhouse; a breath of fresh air was truly wonderful. The three, as usual found their places underneath a shady tree and threw their bags in a pile. They slumped against the tree. Albus’ mind flooded with thought as he questioned himself more and more about Death Eaters and how he could tell them apart from simple witches and wizards.  Did they show a specific trait? He wondered. Or maybe it had something to do with their appearance, or characteristics, like blue eyes, then, would that mean anyone he had ever seen with blue eyes was a Death Eater? No, that is surely wrong, he thought. Then he decided that he needed an answer.                                               ‘I’m going to see Hagrid.’ He announced. ‘And I’d prefer to go alone…’ Albus told them, once he saw that Rose and Hugo automatically thought that they were going with him and had stood up.                                    ‘Oh, alright then..’ Rose looked partly taken back. ‘Just be back before recess ends, you’re not being late, and that’s an order from me.’ Rose finished. Without another word, Albus walked off alone to Hagrid’s Hut.; he knew that there was a piece missing in the puzzle, yet he didn’t quite know what.         ‘I feel like he’s going to do something foolish.’ Rose told Hugo.                                    ‘Well, Rose, you think that about everyone…’ Hugo slyly replied.                        ‘ I think we should go after him, tell him to stop, or at least go with him!’ Rose said as she tugged on Hugo’s school robe. But he had chosen not to pay any attention to her, instead, he took a comic out of his bag and began flipping through the pages.                                                                                           ‘Hugo!’ Rose stood up and towered over Hugo, ‘Your best friend is-‘                       ‘-is going to learn more about History, Magic history, might I add.’ Hugo finished her sentence for her.                                                                      ‘Yes, but,’                                                                                                                              ‘Come on, Rose, there is no ‘but’, just leave the kid alone!’   Hugo told her.            Having nothing else to contribute to this argument, Rose sat down, only to shoot back up again and say, ‘Well, I’m going to go help him out, if your best friend isn’t your concern at the current moment, you can lazily just sit there!’           Not bearing (for the millionth time) the looks of the students around him (that they had on their faces every time they watched Hugo and Rose have a dispute in public…)      he picked up his bag, thrust it over his shoulder, and followed, more like, jogged to catch up with her, to Albus.  Albus was marching down the graveled path to Hagrid’s hut when he changed his mind. Why bother Hagrid at this time of day for something he has nothing to do with ? Albus thought to himself.  Rose, who was now watching him from behind a tree was pondering at what Albus’ next move was going to be. Albus turned around and started walking back up the path as if nothing had just happened, the dirty snow crunching underneath his feet. Perhaps he wants to be early to our next class? Rose explained to herself. She didn’t have the time on her, but was sure that they had at least ten minutes left. And Rose knew Albus, he wasn’t the one to sit in an empty class for ten minutes alone and with a Professor; she was. So, what and where was Albus going? Rose shoved the old, spiky branches that had been poking her cheeks for the past few moments out of the way and began chasing after Albus again.          For what he found himself doing for the second time that day, Hugo was chasing after Rose, who, was chasing after Albus. A running figure, who was most likely Rose, caught his eye as he scanned the grounds of Hogwarts that were in his eye length. She was running down to the greenhouses. That’s probably where they're going. Hugo murmured to himself. He jogged towards them. Today was not the day for exercise, well, that was what Hugo thought, as he did for every other day, to be exact. 

‘Rose! Rose! Get back here!’ Hugo hoarsely wheezed as he paused to catch his breath. He kept repeating her name but it seemed she was too focused on catching Albus and giving him a telling off… He was too late though, they both were, Albus was already in the greenhouse. He entered to find Professor Longbottom. (he enjoyed spending his free periods examining students work and planting things himself). Rose threw herself into the snow surrounding the greenhouses and pressed her cold, red ear against the glass, which was freezing too. Unfortunately, due to the thickness of the walls, Rose could only pick up a few vague points of their conversation.                               

  ‘Professor?’                                                                                                                   ‘Oh! Albus! How are you? What would you like?’ Professor Longbottom asked him.                                                                                   

      ‘Well, I was just wondering, how could you recognize a Death Eater?’      

   The Professor looked dumbfound.                                                                         

‘Well, you wouldn’t need to! Uh, they don’t exist anymore so you don’t need to worry anymore…’ he said, with an odd worried tone.                                            ‘But, Professor, still, could you just, answer my question?’ Albus asked.                                                                                                                          ‘Well, it’s an interesting one, how come you came across it?’                          

‘History of Magic.’ Albus lied.                                                                   

‘Ah, really? I didn’t know that they teach that topic to first-years, but, you recognize Death Eaters by a horrific mark on their inner left arm, is that all you needed?’ he asked.                                                                                                

‘Yes, thank you!’ he said, as he left the greenhouse.                                      

When Hugo caught up with Rose, although he knew he would have to run back up to the courtyard, he pulled Rose by the scruff back into the floor.                                                                                                                           ‘What are we going to do?’ Rose said.                                                                            ‘Rose, we have to have a plan; a tactic!’ he whispered in a hush.                    ‘Could you perhaps repeat what you just said?’ Rose asked him, seeming perplexed at what she had just heard from her brother.                                          ‘Rose, you know what I said, but we’ve no time for these shenanigans! Albus could be at the courtyard right now, seeing that we’re not there, and because I know him, he is going to believe that we don’t trust him, and, Rose, if you think about it, you’re the one that doesn’t actually trust him in this situation! And that means that he will think you’re not a good friend, especially after what happened and that will lead to a fight!’ Hugo babbled this all very fast. Not waiting for Rose to respond, he tugged her by the scruff, again, checked the coast was clear, and dragged her as they ran back up to the castle.                                                                                                                   ‘Hugo! Stop! Let- me- go!’ she snapped. ‘Where are we going, aren’t we meant to get to the courtyard?’                                                                                       ‘Dunno. Haven’t quite worked that part out yet…’                                                 ‘You haven’t?’ Rose exclaimed in panic. She knew that they couldn’t just be running around the school with Hugo. Oh, this year was not what she expected, nothing of the kind! Running around the school, getting in fights? Thank goodness her mother didn’t know...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              



Chapter 13: Chapter Twelve
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Chapter Twelve

Christmas, Alone...

 

Albus sat laying on his bed one morning. It was only two days into the Christmas Holidays and Albus hadn’t anything to do. He turned over to the opposite side of his bed and began rummaging through his bedside drawers looking for something to use to entertain himself- all he found were some dirty socks, some quills, and letter replies from his parents. He decided that he was too bored to reread any of them, so he returned to the dull boredom of lying flat on his bed, the silence, lonely in his dorm bellowing in his ears. You see, Albus was already late for breakfast, but he didn’t care much; there were only around fifteen students who were staying at Hogwarts for Christmas time- and one of them was Madeline Lawyson. Albus hoped that he would find Rose and Hugo’s Marauder’s Map, right now, with nothing to do he would really fancy spying on the few students and staff that were stuck in the place together, but there was no luck so far… For a few moments, Albus’s mind just went blank, blank of boredom, but that was when he shot up and stretched his arms. This is it, Albus told himself. I am most certainly not going to spend the rest of my Christmas mourning over the absence of my friends, I can survive a few weeks without them! He reassured himself. Albus got up and put his robes on, once again, the unusual silence of the dormitory ringing in his ears. He would have worn his own clothes of choice, however, they were all dirty and abandoned under his bed; they had been since he could remember…                           

  The Great Hall had never looked duller. There were only three students sitting together at the Ravenclaw table, seven at the Hufflepuff, one lonely student at the Slytherin table, and four at the Gryffindor table, including Homer Shelton. Albus took his seat on the bench and felt an odd sensation when he didn’t see nor feel Hugo or Rose sitting down next to him. After a delicious breakfast of toast and scrambled eggs, Albus went for a walk around the grounds, that was all he could do after all. He first took a trip to the courtyard, where Hugo and Rose and he had spent their breaktimes. Then it hit him how miserable he was. Albus really knew how to exaggerate things. Albus was battling the horrible lump rising in his throat when he saw something peculiar. Madeline Lawyson was sneaking past the school gates towards the direction of Hogsmeade. He felt that this was the lost piece of the puzzle: what was Professor Malfoy and Madeline Lawyson scheming? Albus ducked and hid behind the tree as fast as possible and, for the only moment since Hugo and Rose left, he didn’t picture them standing right next to him. He checked that the coast was clear, he didn’t want to get in trouble for following her. Albus was about to set after her when another figure appeared in the falling snow.                                       ‘You,’ Albus breathed. As the person who looked quite short for an adult (which Albus had originally thought it was) walked closer.                        Albus pressed his arms together to blend in with the tree as much as possible, cursing the snow beneath his feet for crunching, as he did so. Arthur Paxton checked his watch and hurriedly looked around in the surrounding area, luckily, he didn’t see Albus. Perhaps the reason Arthur was there was that he had suspected the same thing that Albus did; Madeline Lawyson was up to something- something bad. Arthur grabbed the gate and rattled it, creating the loud cacophony of a lifetime. He began climbing above the gate. He struggled at the metal bars but eventually made it up and, with a cowardly attempt, jumped over the gate. Albus wasn’t quite sure what was happening around him. However, after the unpleasant sound of the shaking gate, he was almost certain that he was the only person left in the courtyard. Albus peeked from behind the tree. No one was there. Oh, thank god, Albus thought. Now, most of the students left at Hogwarts for the holidays would spend their hours in the common rooms, reading or talking to their friends if they were lucky enough. The homework they had all been assigned was usually pushed to the end of the holidays, ergo, when it was due…           Albus was now officially exposed in the snow, standing cluelessly beside a tree, debating with himself whether to follow Arthur and Madeline. Suddenly, he remembered that every second he wasted was a second in which he could be following them. Shivering and shaking, he ran over to the gate and climbed up and over the gate. Arthur didn’t need to stress the jump… Albus told himself as he landed with a small thud on the ground behind the gate. There’s no way out now, I don’t have a choice, starting from now and Run! Don’t get caught! Were only a few of the thoughts that rushed into Albus’s head as he found himself facing the school. Albus began running through the snow, all this getting in trouble was starting to get him into good shape; the chasing and the holding of impossible positions when he wanted to hide were surely helping! He ran but did not take his eyes off the two merely visible characters in the distance, they had had some time to get ahead, after all. Madeline, who, after all the things that had happened, seemed careless about everything and anything didn’t bother to glance behind herself to try and see if anyone was following. She just kept running, this time advancing to the hills above. Albus had the strange, uneasy instinct that Arthur knew that he was following him, because, unlike Madeline, took to glancing behind his shoulder every few minutes. Albus hadn’t been caught, yet, which he found a miracle. The three of them continued running upwards and upwards, eventually reaching the outskirts of Hogsmeade. Once more, Albus’s head was racing with questions, but he didn’t have time to think up answers to them. Suddenly, he began losing his breath and halted to stop, even Madeline had slowed down now. The distance from Hogwarts to Hogsmeade was certainly not a short one… As he approached closer, Albus could see the small village up close, he never had before, it was filled with witches and wizards of all ages and from all over the world! Even though he hadn’t seen it in other seasons, Hogsmeade was just like Hogwarts, enhanced and much more eye-catching (in Albus’ opinion) during the wintertime, in which everything would be covered with a beautiful layer of snow. The village was booming with holiday happiness, hymns, and tradition. Just as it did in the Great Hall, the main square of the small village was showing off a beautiful, large Christmas tree. This is going to be easy! Albus muttered to himself. There were so many villagers and visitors there that, even if Madeline caught Albus by the corner of her eye she wouldn’t recognize him through the crowds that were scattered all over the place, browsing outside shops, fantasizing, and taking pictures of the large tree and admiring groups of young adults merrily singing Christmas carols. Finally, Madeline stopped in front of the ‘Couples Teashop for Two,’ checked that no one was looking, even though more people were gathered there than Albus felt that he had seen gathered in his lifetime. She put her hands in her pocket and pulled out a plain, grey notebook, and began flipping through the pages. A few moments later, she stopped at a specific page. She skimmed to the bottom and once she finished reading something, she closed it and put the notebook back in her pocket, giving off the expression that she was quite proud of herself. She then entered the shop, and the door rang behind her. Albus was wondering what Arthur’s next move was going to be; he most likely had no clue, just like Albus. Not only was Albus frustrated because he didn’t know what to do, but he also had to blend in with the crowds of people. What would three eleven-year-olds be doing, chasing each other into teashops? Once he had mustered up the strength, Albus entered the teashop, his plan only based upon Madeline’s reaction. As he closed the door, the wild racket outside suddenly cut off. The shop was not very busy, not even half of the tables were occupied, which was strange when there were more than one hundred people outside. However, now it was almost impossible to remain undercover, let alone keep un-noticed. But she hadn’t seen him yet because she was marching to the restroom, leaving Arthur and Albus standing in the entrance of a couples Teashop! So, had Madeline come all the way from Hogwarts, carrying Albus and Arthur (even if she didn’t know so) on her tail just to use the bathroom in this shop? No, it doesn’t even make a trace of sense! Albus told himself. Something was wrong here, (as everything else in this situation had been) why was Madeline in the bathroom, what had she been doing there for so long? Whatever it was, why did she have to take the ‘notebook’ there with her? This was the moment when Albus had understood that coming here was a mistake, before Madeline stepped into the bathroom, Albus had kept reassuring himself that following her and coming to Hogsmeade was somehow going to help him add pieces to the puzzle, but it most certainly hadn’t. He sat down at one of the tables. Madeline was still in the bathroom, Arthur had taken a spot at a table across the shop and he was thinking about Hugo and Rose, who, most likely, were having the time of their lives, enjoying the holidays, surrounded by loved ones, sitting by the fire, or making snow-men with one of their many uncles. He sat there for what felt like hours on end but in reality, were only five minutes. He felt like he was about to snooze off (the holiday sleep schedules were settling on him too much...) when he heard footsteps, Madeline had come back from the bathroom! Jumping at the thought of sprinting back into action, Albus shot up from his seat. Seconds later, he remembered how he didn't want Madeline to know that he was there, so, instead, he sat down and tried to locate her through the corner of his eyes. Cautiously, Albus tried to turn around his head and, instead of seeing Madeline back in her seat, as he had expected, she was having a heated argument with one of the waitresses. 

'But everyone is a customer!' she snapped to the woman. 

'No! You little foolish girl! I will tell you this one last time, the restroom is for customers only, and it is a very strict rule! The waitress remarked. 

'That people can't go to the bathroom?' Madeline answered furiously.  

'Yes! Do you know what a customer is? Well, a customer is a person who sits at a table at said restaurant and orders something! And so, you, dear girl, do not meet any criteria to be a customer!' she shrieked. 

Madeline looked completely and utterly nonplussed, it seemed as if no one had ever spoken, well, screamed at her that way. 

'Fine, then!' Madeline hollered as she took a seat at the closest table to her... which happened to be facing Albus. 

'I am sure you are aware of the fact that this is a Couples Teashop!' The waitress gawked. 'If you are old enough to be able to read the sign in very bold and large letters outside...' she added quietly. Without another word, Madeline got up and sat down with Albus; she didn't even realize who she had just sat down with... The waitress tutted angrily and left, leaving them by saying, 'I will be at your service as soon as possible...' sounding more irritated than she was before.

'Oh! Albus!' Madeline yelped. 'I didn't see it was you! What're you doing here?' she continued. 'Aren't you staying at Hogwarts? I feel like I've seen you around?' she added, this time with a more perplexed tone on her voice. Albus realized that he had just been bombarded with a bunch of questions that, no matter what he answered, he ends up in trouble one way or another. Albus muttered a few words but nothing that made sense came out. It had also just hit him that this was the first (well, second if you were to count his best friend, Rose) girl of his age that he had to make conversation with. 

Seeing as Albus didn't really have a clear answer, she continued talking. 

'Oh, sorry! I must be getting quite annoying... Anyways, I'm staying at Hogwarts, and I've got the Care of Magical Creatures Professor outside of the shop waiting for me to finish here. Look,' she said, pointing to a wrinkly old woman who was reading the Daily Prophet outside. Albus looked at the woman but then he felt everything go blank as he began losing himself in a train of thoughts. He was plotting what to do next. Should he tell her the truth, or just ask mere, vague questions so as to get what he came to Hogsmeade for; to get answers. Once silence fell between them, Albus chose to get down to asking questions straight away because he knew that, even if he hesitated, even just for a moment, the strength that he had originally mustered up to ask the question would dissolve into dust and fly away in the wind.

‘So, why are we here then?’ He asked a tone of intensity in his voice. Suddenly, Madeline’s face flinched with a setback expression.

‘I-I asked first! Why are you here?’Madeline demanded. However, Albus knew that whatever he answered (of what he could think of then and there), would get him in trouble. 

Albus chose not to say anything, which brought a dreaded silence to fall between the two of them. Luckily, a sweet-looking, middle-aged woman with a bright face came to take their order. 

'Morning, dearies.' she grimaced. 'Welcome to the 'Couples Teashop for Two'. '' she said, a dull flavor in her voice, which neither Albus nor Madeline has suspected because her face was beaming and kind-looking. 

Well, thank goodness it's not that weird waitress from before... Madeline thought. Madeline, being the self-indulgent person she was, have the woman a filthy, dirty look, which gave her the impression that she would have to leave as fast as possible. That was when Albus understood the monstrosity of the person which he was sitting with.  It was odd because due to the fact that she had welcomed him with such a sweet manner, and then treated the lady as she had just done, Albus was frenzied. The lady hurried away as fast as she could without running. 

'Why would you-' Albus began.

'I asked the question first, why are you here?' Madeline shrieked, interrupting the general serenity of the shop. Albus was left speechless, he didn't know what to do next as people started turning to look at them, two eleven-year-olds having a debacle in a Couple Teashop... 

'Madeline! Seriously? Calm down, please, and I'll tell you everything!' Albus blankly lied. 

'No!' she wailed, louder this time. 

 

'Albus!' a new, yet familiar voice cried. 

The shop door had flung open and two people stood there, one of them with their hands tightly cross, looking absolutley and utterly appalled, and the other one fighting back laughter. Rose and Hugo had just entered the teashop, quite dramatically... He and Madeline stood, staring at them, completely confused and perplexed at the sight before their eyes; what were they doing here?

'My goodness!' she muttered, as she marched over to Albus and whispered in his ear, 'What do you think you're doing here?' she whispered furiously. She was a person that he wouldn't have a problem answering that question to, well, Hugo was, Rose, at that moment wasn't his first choice. 'You broke out of Hogwarts, you ought to be expelled!' she continued. 'I don't see anyone outside, waiting for you!'  

Albus really wondered how he was the only person that didn't know that rule... He frantically searched with his eyes outside the shop to try and find the Professor that was there minutes ago but had disappeared. If she was there, it would have been a great lie. Albus thought. Rose chose to continue insulting him, and the worst part about that was that people he had never even seen before would have to witness it. 

'Can't we just please do this outside?' Albus begged in a low whisper, 'You can be as mean as you want to when we're there!' 

'No,' she simply stated. Albus had never heard nor watched her be so intimidating before. 'You are to stand here, in this very shop for me to tell you off, because do you know why?' she asked. Albus shook his head helplessly. 
‘Because what you did is much worse than public humiliation, which is what you consider the most important at this moment!’ she snapped.

Albus didn’t know what to do next, so he left it up to Rose, which was only one of the big mistakes he had made that day. 

'You and Hugo are the most irresponsible people I have ever met!' Rose yelled. 'Sneaking out of Hogwarts, not even having permission!' she added furiously. 'I can't be friends with you two, you've already given off a horrible impression!' she ended. 

Rose stormed out and all of the eyes in the shop followed her until the door slammed shut. 

'I'm so sorry about her, I just thought that she wanted to say hi to you, and then leave you to, M-Madeline?' 

'No, no,' Albus protested, 'It was just a coincidence- I came, saw her in here and, well, look where we are all together now!' 

Albus didn't have a problem with Hugo, not even one, it was Rose that caused the most worry. Goodness knows what she was going to do now. Tell Ron and Hermione? Send a letter to his parents? She was giving off much of a Professor like an attitude...  Every time that she crossed his mind, he felt rising anger take over him but felt that he could not afford to become any more embarrassed than he already was.

‘Listen, mate, it’s fine, I mean I kinda feel like there’s a burden off my back...’ Hugo reassured Albus. However, for Albus, it wasn't a burden off his back, all it did was make him feel guilty- he had always thought of Rose not only as a friend but as someone who guided him and only wanted the best for him. That was why she broke: because she had to consider herself before Albus and Hugo. The fact that she called him irresponsible told him something. 

'Well, I-I better get going,' Hugo informed Albus as he checked the clock displayed in the shop. 'Mum wants to be back in the square at eleven o'clock, it's only three minutes 'till then and I have to get through the crowds!' 

'Oh, OK then, I'll see you at school after the holidays.' Albus told him. 

'Yeah, then.' Hugo said as he exchanged a hug with Hugo. Albus wished Hugo a Merry Christmas as he longingly watched his best friend depart into the snow. 

Twenty minutes later, Albus found himself back inside the warm, sheltered Gryffindor Common Room and, for the first time ever, he wanted the moving paintings to shut up, the large, patterned Gryffindor banners didn't give him more of an urge to beat Slytherin and win the House Cup, and the fire didn't give him a sense of happiness, as it always had when he would sit there with Rose and Hugo. Rose, Albus thought, as he shivered for a moment. And then, as he had never wanted to feel, he sensed the uncomfortable feeling that he wasn't good enough for Hogwarts; good for its pride and tradition. But he was The Boy Who Lived's son... which just made it all worse. 

 

 

 

 



Chapter 14: Chapter Thirteen
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Chapter Thirteen

The Sabotage

 

From what Albus thought, the last week of the Christmas Holidays that happened so very recently had seemed like a simple, dull month. It seemed that all he had been doing was waiting for the return of Hugo, (not Rose, considering what had happened two weeks ago in Hogsmeade...) and the students coming back to Hogwarts, the halls and the common rooms lighting up with noise, something that Albus had missed. The guiltiness of what happened with Rose was sitting on his shoulders, weighing down his every step. Additionally, it wasn’t very helpful that Hugo thought of it as a whole new level for his freedom, but he was all Albus had at the current moment.

The morning when Hugo, Lawrence, Ed, and Paul had arrived was magical. The hall was full of laughter and chatter, students greeting each other after not having seen each other for three weeks!

Hugo and Albus went down to the Great Hall, and after a breakfast of mouth-watering beans on toast with boiled eggs, fully ignoring Rose, who had chosen to sit on the very far edge of the Gryffindor table with Anthia Feathers, another first year in Hufflepuff.                             Hugo and Albus’s first class was Defense Against the Dark Arts with Professor Malfoy. (much to everyone’s dislike…) and were lucky enough not to even see Rose on the way there, although it was highly likely that she was there five minutes before they had even left the Hall. It was correct; Rose was already sitting there, pulling unnecessary textbooks and rolls of parchment from her bag along with a few other students, Nancy Hallman, Bill Fredericks, and Professor Malfoy. Nancy, of which, was leaning on her desk, looking half asleep. But, as usual, Rose was sitting, looking ready and alert, it was funny how she seemed to show more interest in the subject than the actual Professor did.  Albus and Hugo glanced at each other as they caught sight of her and went to sit down at their usual spot in the back of the class, as silently as possible, wanting to stay as unnoticed as possible, especially by Rose. 

'I can't believe we have to suffer through Defence Against the Dark Arts on a Monday morning!' Hugo complained. Unlike in the past, these Defence Against the Dark Arts classes were very much disliked, by students varying from their first-year until children in their seventh. The fact that they had to sit in a dimmed room at the bottom of the school, afraid of an old, intimidating Professor, learning to protect themselves from 'The Dark Arts' that didn't even exist anymore seemed almost as dull as 'History of Magic classes... On another note, the fact that Rose wasn't friends with them anymore wasn't one hundred percent negative. They did enjoy the freedom of sitting in the back of the class, because, Rose used to make them sit in the front row with her. Whereas in the back they were much more protected and sheltered away from Professor Malfoy. 

'I know!' Albus whispered. 'Thank goodness we have Charms after this...' 

 

You see, just as Defence Against the Dark Arts was loathed, a decade or two ago it was loved. This was the same case for potions classes, but then again, the tables had flipped. 

 

Hugo nodded in agreement with Albus's statement. Sooner or later, the remaining students filed into the classroom and sat down on their desks. Once they had quietened down, (there wasn't really a large one...) Professor Malfoy drew a pile of heavy books from his desk and as he handed them out told everyone to turn to page sixty. Once everyone had a textbook, Malfoy strode to the front of the class. 

'Today we shall be looking at Pimbotts, I shall read a short passage and you are all to read along, otherwise... detention.' 

His words, as usual, were as dull enough to be able to bore Albus into a skeleton. But as he sat there, helpless and horrified of his own teacher, a genius idea came to mind. (Well, not quite so genius) Unfortunately, he would have to sacrifice his best and only friend to Professor Malfoy. Completely ignoring the thoughts in his head telling him that it was not only a despicable plan but a stupid one, Albus seized a piece of parchment from his battered notebook and scribbled something with his quill onto it. Moments later, Hugo, who was seated beside Albus saw a piece of parchment roll onto his desk. Scrunched up and bound to cause trouble (yet Hugo was curious) he opened it. 

 

                                                                                                                        'Pass to Madeline.' 

 

 

Hugo, now quite confused, scrunched the ball back to its original, spherical shape and prepared to throw it across the room when, 

'Hugo Weasley!' Professor Malfoy yelled as he unexpectedly halted his lecture. He glared at Hugo. Although his best friend was in severe trouble by (un-arguably) the scariest Professor in Hogwarts, Albus was pleased; his plan was working, quite well, to be exact. Hugo sat motionless in his seat, looking terrified as he sank deeper and deeper into his seat. 

'Give me the note- now!' he bellowed. Hugo wearily handed the letter to his Professor. As the classroom full of students stared in the direction of Hugo and Professor Malfoy, the deafening silence grew louder and louder. Professor Malfoy opened the piece of parchment and read the note. He raised his eyebrows.  

'I recognize this handwriting...' he announced, a few moments later. Suddenly, his consistently pale, unkind face turned furious and scarlet and wrinkled. Hugo, now realizing his fate. 

'Potter, Weasely, and Lawyson are to stay behind after the lesson.' he sternly declared to the class. Madeline, of course, had no idea as to why she was being called upon by Professor Malfoy after the class.

 

One dull, rather long hour later, as the rest of the class began packing up their things, Albus, Madeline, and an exceedingly grumpy Hugo sat in their seats like today was their last. When a final, chattering trio of students left the room, (stalling, it seemed), the ordeal began. It had looked as Arthur, Connor, and Emmanuel were leaving all their things 'forgotten' on their desks, as Arthur, smirking, hoped into the classroom for the second time in five minutes to pick up a textbook. Malfoy contained his frustration, but when he slowed onto a lingering walk... 

'Paxton! Get out of my sight this second, otherwise,' he didn't need to continue, as Arthur was already nowhere to be seen. 

'So, Albus Potter,' he began,' So very much like your father you are, let alone your grandfather,' he added. This triggered a thought in Albus's head, and, as usual, his Professor's words slipped away into thin air. He had never really heard anything about his grandfather, or seen him. He didn't even know his name! 

'Passing notes in my lesson!' Malfoy clamored. 'Do you really 

 

 

 

 



Chapter 15: Chapter Fourteen
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Chapter Fourteen 

 

The File 

 

‘There’s nothing!’ Alubs cried in frustration, shoving a book back onto its shelf. 

 

‘Well, what’d you expect we would find in a school library about our Professor Malfoy’s strange tattoo?’ Hugo said. 

 

The two of them had been spending their Saturday morning foraging around the place trying to find anything that would, at least, hint something towards what the man was so quick to hide. However, it was an utterly useless case. Albus was about to give up himself, and Hugo was slumped on a table, twiddling his hair around his fingers. 

 

‘I wonder how you’re going to survive Quidditch practice though.’ Hugo continued. ‘Neither of us will be able to hide from the rest of our house. I’d say that losing one-hundred points for Gryffindor isn’t exactly ideal…’ 

 

A gasp was heard. ‘Oh, what is it that you’ve done now?’ exclaimed a voice behind the shelf. The next thing that they saw was Rose, of which they hadn’t laid eyes on since the incident at Hogsmeade. 

 

‘Rose?’ Albus started. ‘Hi, how have you been?’ 

 

Hugo took it a different way. ‘How dare you?’ he shrieked, forgetting the vital fact that he was in a library. ‘You haven’t spoken to us in weeks, but when you hear this you have to step in! What a nerve you have!’ 

 

Then another unexpected thing happened. Rose burst into tears, which made Hugo realize that he should’ve taken the same approach that Albus had; things usually worked better that way. 

 

‘I-I’m sorry!’ she wheezed, hiccuping. ‘It’s been horrible without you two for the past few weeks; I’ve had to hang out with Ella Feathers! 

 

Hugo’s disapproving and stunned frown turned into a warming and comforting smile instead, as he threw her into a hug. 

 

That evening, the three were sitting by the fire in the Gryfifndor common room, Albus and Hugo explaining what they had seen that day before they were sent to Professor McGonagall. 

 

‘The real question is, why was he in such a rush to hide it?’ said Hugo. Rose had been silent for the whole discussion, taking a moment to absorb what she was being told. 

 

‘Perhaps he thought that the tattoo was a bad influence?’ Albus suggested, however knowing that this way obviously not the case, it being that they were talking about Professor Malfoy. 

For the second time that day, Rose gasped. She had realized exactly what they needed if they were going to want to find out more. She had realized what they needed to do. 

 

‘Guys. We need to get his file.’ 

 

‘What do you mean by his file?’ Albus asked. 

 

‘His file. The one which contains all his information, birthdate, family, everything. It’s what Professor McGonagall uses to see whether who she’s hiring is qualified or not.’ 

 

Once Albus had understood what she meant, he was left wide-eyed, and Hugo was too. Had Rose, one who had thrown a tantrum because her friends were ‘too ill-mannered’ for her- just say that? 

 

‘Are you sure you’re alright, Rose?’ Hugo asked her. 

 

‘Of course I’m fine!’ she answered, smirking. ‘It’s you two that think I’m not capable of thinking up things like this.’ 

 

‘I don’t think anyone is capable of thinking up something like that!’ Hugo protested. 

 

‘Well, here we are!’ 



 

The slightest hint of warm weather came as they entered February. The thick, crunchy layer of snow that had been surrounding Hogwarts for the past two month or so had begun melting; getting thinner and thinner until there was really nothing left. 

Albus, Rose, and Hugo, had just been ‘released’ from a lengthy, (and quite complex) Transfiguration lesson. They were heading outside to the courtyard, cautiously, yet excitedly talking over their plans for retrieving the file from the Headmistresses office, of which they were taking very seriously. 

 

‘The only problem, Hugo is that Professor McGonagall is the Headmistress of the whole school, meaning that she’s hardly out of her office all day!’ Rose replied to him, once he proposed that the plan wasn’t going to be difficult to put into place. ‘She’s usually out of her office during meals and Quidditch matches.’ 

 

‘She’s right.’ Albus added. ‘We’re going to need a foolproof plan.’ 

 

‘Wait!’ said Hugo. ‘Rose, what did you say about Quidditch matches?’ 

 

‘I said that Professor McGonagall can be found out of her office when there’s a Quidditch match taking place?’ 

 

‘Exactly! When is the next match coming up?’ 

 

Albus thought to himself for a moment. ‘There won’t be one for the next few weeks or so.’ 

‘It would be worthless to wait for that long, right? We have to come up with something else.’ 

 

They arrived at the courtyard, and, as usual, sat down next to their tree and flung their bags to the side. Each of them perched many ideas for the plan, but none of them would work perfectly once they further discussed them. 

 

‘Hang on a moment.’ Rose began. ‘We said that Professor McGonagall never misses meals, which means that we can just get the file whilst she’s at the Great Hall with the rest of the school!’ 

 

‘Meaning that we would miss lunch? I think not.’ Hugo protested. 

 

‘Come on, Hugo! You’ll be fine with a big breakfast and dinner for a day!’ Albus explained. 

 

Having nothing else to point out in his defense, Hugo gave up and irritably crossed his arms, looking away. 

 

‘Fine.’ 

 

‘Perfect! We’ll put it into motion, and we’ll have all the information we need on our hands!’ 

 

‘You think that the file will tell us about the emblem on his arm, though?’ Albus asked Rose. 

 

‘Well, at least there’s the chance that we’ll find things about his past, because it’s most likely from there.’ 

 

It was time for action.



Chapter 16: Chapter Fifteen
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‘Eat up!’ Albus ordered as Hugo stuffed his face with as much food as he could. They were preparing for having to miss lunch that afternoon in order to execute the plan.

Hugo halted for a moment. ‘Perhaps,’ he began, ‘We should just think up another plan! We both know how much you despise the thought of getting in trouble…’ Hugo glanced at Albus, who nodded in agreement.

‘Stop talking and eat, if you will, before you persuade me.’ Rose answered.

As Hugo picked up his third piece of toast, Albus and Rose went over the plan for one final time.

‘To begin with, Hugo will temporarily stay in the hall, just to check whether or not McGonagall is-‘

Rose cleared her throat and glared at him. ‘Professor McGonagall.’ She corrected.

‘Right. Hugo will check Professor McGonagall and alert us if she is on the move, whilst we open up her office and he meets us back there so we can find the file.’ Albus finished.

Until lunch that sunny Saturday, Albus, Rose, and Hugo were in the Gryffindor common room. Unsurprisingly, Rose had attended to her homework. (Of which the two boys were slightly behind) as Hugo and Albus engaged themselves in a lengthy and rather competitive game of Wizard’s Chess.

And, despite the fact that they had all enjoyed a pastime activity for the last few hours, no one could get their mind off the plan. Their stomachs clenched with fear, and, indeed, it was uncertain how the plan was going to unfold when the time came.

But when it did, it was twelve-forty in the afternoon, of which Albus, Rose, and Hugo had gathered outside the steps of the Gryffindor common room. It was moments later that they were skidding down the stairs for what was supposed to be their lunch.

Through a signal, Albus and Rose left the Great Hall for the Headmistress’s office, as Hugo checked the Professor’s table. The spine of the plan was on him, and if he didn’t do his job properly everything could go wrong…

Thankfully, Professor McGonagall was seated there among the other teachers, in what seemed to be a deep conversation with Professor Baron. Hugo let out a sigh of relief. The plan was going smoothly on his side, so there was nothing to worry about. He crept over beside Paul at the Gryffindor table, thinking to himself that it wouldn’t be a problem if he was late for a minute or two.’

It was then he plopped two spoonful’s of mashed potatoes on his plate. A serving of steak and one Yorkshire pudding later, Hugo sat in a slumped position, his hands clasped over his stomach. Lawrence looked over.

‘Perhaps that’s enough, eh?’ He observed before letting out a chuckle.

It was then that it struck him. ‘How long have I been here for?’

‘About ten, maybe, fifteen minutes? Why?’

At that moment, guilt flooded through his veins, and he felt the insides of him feel more churning and emptier than full. He was left wide-eyed, and let his mouth take the shape of a clean ‘o’. He got up and ran as fast as he could. He could have interrupted the whole plan. He could have gotten them caught. He could have Albus and Rose and himself expelled.

The fact that he was lost in his troubled thoughts wasn’t helping him navigate himself, though, because when he stopped he found himself in an completely unfamiliar place. Although it was lined with paintings just like any other hallway, this one was just different. There was no screeching lady in the painting that was supposed to be on the top left, as it usually was outside the Hall, and there was no posing knight next to the window, either.

Fantastic. Hugo thought. I’m helplessly lost.

‘This couldn’t be going worse. Where am I now?’ he said, frustrated.

‘You’re on the third floor, Hugo.’

His heart skipped a beat; this was very odd. Who knew his name? And, who was with him in the strange hidden hall only his stressed, running legs could have found?

‘Who’s there?’ he cried, drawing his wand from his inner robe pocket. For a few moments, all he heard was the echo of his voice bouncing off the walls.

‘Look to your right.’

A man with sparkling blue eyes, a persisting cheeky smile, and long, grey hair, gazed upon Hugo as he turned to witness him.

At the sight that the voice was coming from a painting, Hugo slowly retreated his wand. ‘How do you know my name?’

 ‘You look like your parents. Hermione and Ron?’

Hugo nodded. The man grinned.

‘Apologies. I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Professor Dumbledore. The former Headmaster of this school. And may I ask, why do you look as if you are out of breath?’

He ignored Professor Dumbledore’s Question. ‘Then, why are you in a painting?’

The former Headmaster’s smile faded with those words, and his eyes looked heavy.

‘The procedure is that the late Headmaster of Hogwarts remains at school, so, here I am.’

The fact that Albus and Rose would have been furiously waiting for him on the other side of the castle had completely slipped his mind. ‘But, there are countless painting in the school! There can’t have been that many Headmasters!’

‘Of course not! Some are knights, others are princesses… Anyways, you’re in a hurry, aren’t you? I would hate to stop you.’

Hugo began descending down the hall when Dumbledore’s voice was heard again.

‘Also,’ Dumbledore said before finishing, ‘Third floor, and it’s Sherbet Lemon, it never changed.’

Hugo set off. It was certain that he didn’t want to talk to any other painting, nor ones that knew more about him than he did…

Eventually, he found himself in front of the Headmistress’s office, as his heart plummeted at the sight of Albus and Rose, perching by the side of the locked entrance.

‘Why aren’t you inside already?’

‘Albus insisted that we should wait for you!’ Rose snapped. ‘Though, we have larger problems on hand. We were short minded enough to pass the thought that the Professor McGonagall’s office would be locked.’

It was then that Hugo thought, ‘Sherbet Lemons.’

He pushed aside Rose and Hugo, as he took a step close to the extravagant entrance of  the office. A large, golden statue in the formation of a griffin.

He began skimming through the surface of the sculpture, repeatedly muttering the words ‘Sherbet Lemon.’

Albus and Rose anxiously glanced at each other. Though, without a doubt, the golden griffin began turning to reveal a large, bronze staircase.

‘Come on; we don’t want to get caught!’ Hugo said.

‘Sherbet Lemon?’ Albus asked, dumbfound, as he and Rose followed after Hugo.

‘I’ll explain later!’

 

 

 

 



Chapter 17: Chapter Sixteen
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The Search and the Chase

 

 

Realizing that they didn't have much time left, seeing as they had been waiting on Hugo for such a long time, the trio searched the Office as fast as possible. Then again, he was the person that actually helped them get inside, otherwise, they would be fumbling on the golden Griffin forever. 

 

Once the three of them arrived at the top of the staircase, they got to feast their eyes upon the magnificent office. It was filled with artifacts, paintings, and more, and it was much larger and fancier than any of the other Professors' offices. (Especially Professor Malfoy's) 

'This is huge!' Hugo cried as he let his voice echo through the walls and into the room's air. 'It's incredible!' 

'Malfoy's Office could fit into that corner!' Albus said as he gestured to a side of the room. 

'OK, Albus, Hugo, we need to get moving, we've already lost time!' Rose said as she ran up to Professor McGonagall's large, oak desk. 'We would be in a lot of trouble if we were to get caught, and we all know that that is the last thing that I would ever want...' 

As Albus heard those words, he felt his stomach churn; she was right, they had to get moving. Hugo joined Rose and Albus started looking around the office as the two siblings rummaged through her drawers. It was funny how Professor McGonagall left the entrance to her office as secured as possible when she was to leave her drawers unlocked, yet it did seem to have some type of logical sense to it, seeing as the drawers were in a locked office. Luckily, as files weren't the most top secret and confidential documents and objects that the Headmistress kept in her office, they weren't hidden anywhere; they found all of the Professors' files in one of the bottom cabinets by her desk. 

'Yes!' Rose cried, as she held up the file in the air. 'This is it!' Albus and Hugo looked over to see her, indeed, holding up a file named: Lucious Malfoy, in the air. 

'She's got it!' said Hugo. 'We need to leave, as fast as possible! Rose, hand that to me!' he said, as he walked over to her. 

'Here,' she remarked, as she gave Hugo the file. 

'Great.' he thanked, as he tucked the file behind his school robes, I'll keep them here until we find somewhere safe where we will be completely hidden.' 

The three of them looked at the office one last time, it was truly incredible. With that, they then found themselves sprinting through the corridors hurriedly in order to get to the Gryffindor Common Room. 

 

Since the Common Room was quite full that afternoon, Albus, Rose, and Hugo chose to gather at eleven o'clock so that no one would be in the room. But, before then, Hugo dropped off the file underneath his trunk in his dormitory. 

'I was smart to take up that 'lookout' job for you guys, you know.' Hugo told Rose and Albus in the common room. 

'And what would that mean?' she asked him as she looked up from her book, shooting him an irritated look, as always. 

'Nothing.' he automatically replied. 

Suddenly, busy chatter from the distance entered the room with them. The rest of the house had finished their lunch and they were ready for a nice afternoon with their friends. 

'Hey, guys!' Albus waved. 

'Hi, Albus! You coming up for a game of Wizards' Chess with Ed and Paul?' Lawerence asked. 'Oh, and Hugo, why were you in such a rush before?' 

'Oh, I had somewhere to be...' Hugo mumbled to him. 

'OK, then, Hugo, if you can, you come on up too, I have to redeem myself in the tournament by beating you!' 

'Not likely!' Hugo answered confidently as he got up and chased Lawrence up to their dormitory for a competitive game. 

'I'm coming too!' Albus shouted, as he followed them up to their dormitory. 

Hugo didn't play quite well in that round of Chess, because his mind was someplace else. He couldn't stop thinking about Professor Dumbledore. 

'Hugo, hello?'  A tap on his shoulder was enough to halt his train of thought.  

'Are you gonna come with us?' Albus asked. 

It was strange how his mind had completely blanked out before. He had no clue where they were going, nor did he the time. 

'Yes, yes, I'm coming.' Hugo said. And with a pull on Albus's arm, Hugo was up and they were heading outside to the courtyard, where they were going to play football. 

'Hugo, Albus,' Rose yelled, she was still sitting in the common room with her nose inside her book. 

'What?' the two of them asked together, as they got down from the stairs. 'What about, you know?'

'Later!' the two of them chimed in unison, as they left the room to go outside. Rose sighed, annoyed; the only reason that they had actually got the file was to read it, and that was all they hadn't done yet. 

An hour later, Home Shelton, Head Boy, and Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team entered the Gryffindor Common room, clutching a piece of parchment in his hand excitedly. , He pulled a yellow pin from the jar and displayed the parchment upon the notice board, proudly. He then walked up to the boy's dormitories. 

A few hours later, Albus Rose and Hugo had eaten their dinner and were going up to the common rooms. Once Albus passed the entrance, he ran up straight to the notice board, to see a new announcement on it; the one that Homer had left behind. He began squealing with excitement.   

'What is it?' Hugo asked as he stepped in. 

'A match- against Ravenclaw!' Albus responded. 

'No way!' Hugo said, as he ran up and peered over his shoulder to take a look. 

'What is it?' Rose asked, having heard the two of them. 

'Match against Ravenclaw!' Albus repeated. 

'Oh, OK, then, no need to hassle!' 

The two boys exchanged looks and chose to ignore what had just been said. 

A few hours later, once all of the students had left to go to bed for the night, Albus, Rose, Hugo gathered in the common room to finally see what they had all been waiting for. 

They were sitting in a circle around the mantlepiece and the roaring fire, which was enough to keep them warm.

'Alright, I have the file here.' Hugo said as he pulled it from his robes. 

'Great!' she answered, 'Give it here and we'll take a look!' she whispered. None of them wanted to risk getting caught being awake when they were meant to be well into a deep sleep! 

Rose opened the file and laid it out on the fuzzy carpet for them all to see. 

 

Lucius Malfoy

Birthdate:6th September 18954

Hired To Teach: Defense Against the Dark Arts

Age: 66

Address: Malfoy Manor, Wiltshire.

Previous Jobs: None

School: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Slytherin/Prefect.

Spouse/ Family: Son, Draco Malfoy. Wife, Narcissa Black, Father, Abraxas Malfoy. 

Appearance Description: White-Blonde hair, pale, grey eyes. 

Status: British Pure-Blood 

 

 

'Malfoy Manor?' Hugo said. 'His own house is named after him? Someone is quite fond of themselves...' 

'You think it's because he's rich?' Albus asked. 

'But, it says here he's never been 'occupied' with a job before; where would he find the money?' Rose pointed out.

'Then, logically it would be ancestors.' Albus said. 

Twenty minutes after a lengthy conversation, Albus and Hugo went up to the boys' dormitories, and Hugo hid the file underneath his bed again. They had all made a plan to put the file back the next day in the morning. They wouldn't have any need of it after. As well as the fact that the longer that they had it inside Hugo's dormitory the larger the chance that one of his roommates would find it; and that would be bad...

 

Once came the dawn of the new day, Albus, Rose, and Hugo got up as early as they possibly could because sleeping at eleven-thirty wasn't the best time to go to bed. The two boys found Rose in the half-empty Great Hall, skimming through an article of The Daily Prophet, humming through her lips. 

'Anything?' Albus asked, as he and Hugo sat down across from her. 

'No.' Rose told him, 'Same old things, boring information about how the ministry's doing.' 

'So nothing interesting?' 

Once the three of them had finished their breakfast. (Which they had rushed after their discussion), the trio ran up to the dormitories, got the file, and returned it the same way that they stole it. 

'Technically, that's not stealing,' Albus told Hugo and Rose, 'We took it, but then we put it back, so we did no harm to anyone!' 

They both agreed. 

A few hours later, Albus was heading to Quidditch practice, clutching the Lightning Bolt Three-Thousand in his hands and his pockets filled to the brim with snack bars; he had prepared himself, knowing that sometime between the next two-hour span he would be craving something to eat. 

'Good morning everyone!' Homer said as all of the players gathered around him. He stifled a yawn. It seemed that first thing in the morning Quidditch practices wasn't his thing, nor anyone else's. At nine o'clock, when the practice began, at least half of Hogwarts hadn't woken up yet. 

'Sorry, guys, I know this isn't ideal, but 'desperate times call for desperate measures, right?' he apologized. We have another, shorter practice tomorrow from five to six-thirty.' 

Albus noticed how Himer had emphasized the words 'shorter' but he was right, they had to get up and running after the holidays, especially if there was going to be a match against Ravenclaw...' he added. 

A quiet mumble of agreement came from the group. 

'Fantastic!' Homer replied, looking relieved. 

Homer gave out some more instructions before eleven players shot into the air and the long practice began. At that same moment, inside the Gryffindor Common Room, Rose, with the fire of the room cackling in front of her, lost in her thoughts; not paying attention to anything or anyone around her. Rose was wondering about the file from yesterday. 

If there is a house that he lives in, legally named after him? If his descendants were that famous, then why isn't he known better?  

That was the question that annoyed her most, well, to be exact, anything that she hadn't the answer to, would erupt her. Her brother, Hugo, was outstretched out on the only sofa in the entire common room, in a strange way that no one else could sit at all; it generally was something that he specialized in if you asked Rose.

She suddenly stood up and ran over to Hugo. She started shaking him, with the aim to get him to wake up. She had an idea. 

'What?' he mumbled, his eyes still closed, although it was approximately nine in the morning. 

'We need to go to Malfoy Manor, Hugo, that's what! We can do it next week, on Wednesday, next week during the match! How perfect!' 



Chapter 18: Chapter Seventeen
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'The Pros and Cons'

 

 

Hugo, whose eyes were below half-open a moment ago, were now wide open in shock. 

'Rose! Have you gone mental? Are you okay? I'm not just in a dream, am I? Here, pinch me,' he said, as he laid out his arm. 

'Oh, don't be silly, Hugo!' as she pushed back his arm, tutting. 'If you think about it, it's actually a great plan! You see, Albus knows that Professor Malfoy is manipulating Madeline Lawyson in someway, and had a strange mark on his arm! We don't know anything yet, but it'll definitely all add up later!' 

'Hang on,' Hugo said, as he got up from his lain-down position. 'And, what do you want us to do there?' 

'We can find out more, by asking his wife, or kid!' 

'About what?' 

'Anything, and since when have you been interested in being organized?' 

'Fine, but whatever Albus says, I swear, not even Earl Wadfogal could think up such a despicable plan... And, is it just going to be the two of us, because, you know, it's an important game and Albus is playing, as the seeker, if you weren't told! And, I want to watch it, you know!' Hugo fought back. 

'Listen, Hugo, have you heard of the common saying: You Only Live Once? Because in this case, it makes a lot of sense!' 

He raised his eyebrows, Hugo had to admit that Rose was quite persuasive. 

'And,' she added, 'If we do get caught, which we definitely won't, we're first-years, would they really expel us? Oh, and even if they take to sending a letter to our parents, by the time we get back to them in September, which, let me remind you, is in many months!' 

In the end, they both agreed that they would let Albus decide, but things weren't looking good for Hugo, after all, Rose did have some very reasonable points, as well as the fact that Albus was actually a pinch scared of her... 

Having woken up, Hugo chose to do something with the rest of his Sunday. Noisily in the courtyard, students from first-year to seventh were submerged in a game of muggle football. You see, for Hogwarts, in its past decade or two, had much more adapted to some muggle-like 'traditions' and 'cultures', over the years, very much unlike they were in the past years. 

 

Hugo ran up to the boys' dormitories, popped on some sportswear, and ran down, left the common room, with Rose, whom, of course, was reading, and ran down to moving staircases to the courtyard, something of which he had done multiple times. As he was passing the moving staircases, (which had caused him danger multiple times) he stepped over his shoelaces and found himself tripping on the stairs for the next fifteen meters until he managed to catch hold of himself. Once he came to a halt, he sat frozen in shock. Hugo shuddered at the thought of it happening again and ran (very cautiously) to where the other children were playing, at least he wasn't hurt. 

 

A while later, the trio had gathered again in the common room. Albus and Hugo sweaty from sports and Rose, well, the opposite. 

They had already discussed how Albus' Quidditch practice had gone; tiring and repetitive, and Rose was ready to reveal her idea! 

 

She explained how all of it was on point, how the timing would be perfect, and used her signature, You Only Live Once, on him. 

'You-you can't agree with that!' Hugo desperately denied. 'It-it's diabolical, and could get us expelled!' 

'I think it's not bad, Hugo, I mean, she's not wrong, we do only live once, and I know how you have always wanted some adventure during your time at Hogwarts!' 

Hugo seemed disoriented; he had never said anything of the such. 

'Come on! I've seen how you gaze at awe when Hagrid tells us about my Father's time at Hogwarts, all the adventures, chases-' 

'-Well,' Hugo interrupted, 'I think that we can all agree that we've had too many of those...' Hugo remarked, relating to the fact that they had already been through a chase twice. 

'Seriously?' Albus nagged. 'You know you want it!' he continued. 

'HA! I win!' Rose beamed proudly. 

Hugo sighed, it was clear that he had lost the argument. Although, he was disappointed in himself for being the 'logical' and 'responsible' one for once. 

'You know, Albus, I think we have had enough excitement this school year so far, and it's only January! Do you want me to list them? Well, you're lucky, because, as matter of fact, I don't think if I'll be able to remember them all!' Hugo blurted.  'Albus, you've already escaped Hogwarts without being caught, we don't want to play with our chances, and if there's anyone here that has gotten to endure the most adrenaline out of us, it's you!' 

Hugo was undoubtedly trying very hard to defend himself in this case. 

'Hugo, calm down, it's two against one, and if Madeline can do it, we can!' 

'But-but Albus, what about the game, what're you going to do then? We all know you can't just disappear!' 

'Oh, it's fine! I can just fake an injury, it'll be easy!' 

At that moment, Hugo chose to stop discussing the subject and wasting his voice on it. It was all just a hopeless case. Again, it was two against one and it seemed obvious that none of them would budge. 

'Fine...' he finally admitted in defeat. 

 



Chapter 19: Chapter Eighteen
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The Plot

 

 

It was Monday afternoon that they chose to begin executing their plan. It consisted of three parts, firstly, Albus had to fake his injury so that he could be 'excused' from the Quidditch match, and secondly, they just had to break the new to Homer, (which they hoped would be the easiest part), and thirdly, the actual 'escape', which was planned for the following Thursday, which was when the match was going to commence.  The trio had only planned out the basic points of the plan, but they didn't have the simplest clue as to how they were going to fake Albus's injury and get anyone to believe them. It was that afternoon, after all of their classes, that Albus and Rose sat down in the Common Room to finished their homework. Hugo and Lawrence had come down from their dormitory prepared to go out for another game. They left the room. 

'So, Albus,' Rose said, as he lifted her head from her Defence Against the Dark Arts Essay. 'What's with all the football? I mean, you're making such a big deal out of it. You're obsessed with Quidditch too! All it really is is a muggle game!' 

'Well, first of all,' Albus began, 'I wouldn't classify Hugo and I as 'obsessed' with Quidditch, but moving on, I actually agree, I've been down to play with him before, but I just find it quite repetitive, you know?'

'Wait!' Rose gasped, 'If it's such a risky sport,' she lowered her voice to continue, 'You can fake your injury 'playing'!' 

Albus didn't disagree with her but wasn't quite enthusiastic to go out there and play... 

'So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead, change and get out there!' 

'But-but I don't know how to play!' he denied. 

'Oh, it's probably self-explanatory!' Rose exclaimed as she nudged him out of his seat. 

A few minutes later, Albus was earnestly going down to the courtyard to join the rest of the students. Hugo seemed surprised once he came up to him. He was panting to a great extent and sweat was pouring from his forehead as if it were a waterfall.  

'Wanna play?' he asked Albus. 

'Oh, no, don't get your hopes up! Rose just sent me here to get hurt for, you know.

Hugo looked quite discombobulated for a moment until it got to him. 

'Oh, OK then.' Hugo responded, the excitement in his face settling for a moment. 

 

'Oi!' Lawrence yelled from the other side of the courtyard, 'Come and join our team!' 

'Sure?' Albus mumbled to himself. 

 

'Professor! Professor!' a second-year began shouting. 'Someone's hurt!' 

Professor Malfoy marched over to Albus, who was lying down on the floor, clutching his wrist, and as usual, an irritated expression was sewn on his face. 

'Take him to the Hospital Wing.' He ordered. 

'From here, Professor?' a fourth-year stepped in. 'They can't carry that weight across the castle!' he continued in protest. 'I don't mean it as a bad thing!' he whispered into Albus's ear.

'Alright, then, seeing as you're so concerned about them, you get to go too.' Malfoy instructed. The fourth year sighed in exasperation and took Albus's arms to pick him up and let Lawrence and Hugo take his legs. 

As they departed to the Hospital Wing, with Albus 'squinting' in pain, they left the rest of the students and Professor Malfoy in the courtyard. 
'No one is to play until March.' Malfoy simply announced. A whine from the students filled the air. 
'Am I clear?' he finished, bellowing. Seeing that he was irritating a crowd, he smirked to himself, visibly seeming quite pleased with the fact that he seemed to be causing much annoyance, 

When the four students arrived outside the Hospital Wing, the door was opened by Miss Hisspell. 
'Oh! Albus, dearie me! What have you done to yourself this time?'  she exclaimed as she led them to the nearest bed. 
'Well, we were playing football and I accidentally tripped him over and he landed on his wrist...' Hugo tried to explain. He and Albus had tried to think up a decent and logical story on the way without Lawrence or the very much aggravated fourth-year listening into their plans. They laid him down onto the bed and Miss Hisspell lifted up his arm. 
'Hm, I can't see anything severe at the moment, but it looks as if you are in pain?" 
'Yes..' Albus wheezed. 
'OK, then. We'll keep you here until tomorrow morning and I'll send a note to your Professors. Which ones do you have?' she asked, as she summoned a piece of parchment to herself. 
Though, Albus didn't have a clue. 
'We have Professors Longbottom, Malfoy, and Baron in the morning.' Hugo answered. Albus looked at him, confused. 
'Rose made me memorize our schedule...' he mumbled. 
Miss Hisspell finished her note, and, with the flick of her wand, the piece of parchment dissolved into thin air. 
'They'll all get that tomorrow.' she informed them. 'The rest of you can go. I want Albus to rest for now.' she told them. 
Lawrence, the fourth-year, and Hugo left (with a wink.) Albus smiled to himself and silence rang in the air once Miss Hisspell told him to try and fall asleep before she left for her office. 

The next afternoon, Miss Hisspell let him leave the Hospital Wing and met Rose and Hugo, who were ready to commence the next part of their plan; Breaking the news to Homer. At lunch, they approached Homer, who was sitting by the Gryffindor table with some friends. 

'Hi, Homer!' Albus started. 

'Hiya, Albus, how are you?' he asked. 

'I'm fine, but the thing is I have to break some news to you...' 

'Some unfortunate news...' Rose added awkwardly. 

'What?' he asked immediately, a tone of worry spreading on his face. 

'Well, you know how I hurt my wrist yesterday playing football...' he said. 

And then, it appeared as the Quidditch Captain had understood what was happening. Apparently, they were making a scene, because some of the students had peered around to take a look at what was happening. Was the Gryffindor Seeker not going to play for the team against Ravenclaw?  It seemed that Homer had understood what was going on around him because he took to put on a straight face as fast as possible. 

'Listen, Albus,' he said, lowering his voice to a whisper. 'I don't know if you acknowledge the fact that we need you to win and that this match is important, so I don't see why you need to be going around, doing all of these shenanigans and hurting yourself!' he hissed angrily. Albus had never seen Homer crack up and look so furious before, so it made him feel quite uncomfortable. If this was meant to be the easiest part of their plan, then what was the dramatic 'escape' to Malfoy Manor going to be like?

 



Chapter 20: Chapter Nineteen
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They had planned the escape to happen the next Saturday, due to the fact that a Thursday would be out of suggestion because they had lessons, and lessons had registrations, and they couldn't have gone missing out of the blue. So, the next Saturday morning, after breakfast, the pupils and Professor filed to the Quidditch Pitch for the match.  Rose and Albus were waiting in their separate dormitories, waiting for the match to commence, where they would gather together in the Gryffindor Common room, and then, once everyone's attention was embedded in the match, they would leave. The trio had suspected that it would be easy, because of the fact that Albus had found it easy when he was following Madeline to Hogsmeade. 

At the Quidditch Pitch, cheers were filling the air, flags were enthusiastically being flapped proudly, and a scent of competitivity was blowing in the air. 

Back inside the Common Room, Hugo and Rose were waiting for Albus to come and meet them, and then the action would begin. The trio thought that the actual escape would be easy, considering the fact that Albus, when he followed Madeline to Hogsmeade, had no problem or difficulty climbing over the gate, or generally getting caught, because he didn't. 

Albus was hiding (however, quite unnecessarily) in the Great Hall because you couldn't deny the fact that he wasn't in the best situation at the current moment; giving Gryffindor a big chance of losing in an important match wasn't exactly making all his house-mates love him. But that didn't matter very much at the moment, because he had two friends and a mission on his mind. 

Behind the curtains in the Gryffindor Team changing rooms, the players were preparing, (quite so half-heartedly) and getting ready. 

'Alright, everyone, come here.' Homer announced, as the group of students rested their brooms down and formed a circle in front of him. 'So, I know that there is a high chance of us losing in this game, but no one said that there is a one-hundred percent possibly, we just don't want Ravenclaw's Seeker, Linda Salvodal getting close to the Snitch...' 

'But how do we win then?' queried one of the newer players. 

'Well, we have to score dozens and dozens of times, of course!' Homer explained. 'Which means that we really are relying on our Keepers and Chasers this time, OK? No pressure...' 

 

The spirits of the team had slightly raised, once they reviewed the fact that there was a chance that this match could end in their victory, but Albus usually ended up bringing the team to their final win at the end of a game, so even though their hopes had been raised, it was very that, at no point in the match, would one of the players cut back or relax for a moment. Homer had even set one of his players, Tim Roberts to try and watch out as well as mark the other team's Seeker;  that was how important that they were taking it. 

The next thing that they all heard, was the loud screech of the whistle, and they were jolted as they heard the screams, cheers, and boos from the crowd when they stepped outside. 

 

Albus had never found himself panicking like this before, other than during the Sorting on his first day; that was a nervous moment. He was running from the Great Hall to the Gryffindor Common Rooms and could hear the chaos that was going on outside. (A chaos, if he were, to be honest, that he really wanted to be a part of. 

'Aren't you meant to be playing?' the fat old lady of the Gryffindor Painting asked him. 

'Just let me in.' Albus stated as he kept repeating the password. 

Eventually, she gave up and swung open the door for him, her arms crossed. Albus sprinted up to the girls' dormitories and knocked on Rose's door. Once she came out, they went up the opposite staircase to he and Hugo's dorm, where he followed them out back to the Common Room. 

'So,' Rose began, 'Here's what we need to do. We sneak to the courtyard, although everyone will have their attention brought onto the game, we never know who may be lurking around the corner or passing by, so Hugo, you will check if the coast is clear, OK?'

'Yep.' he replied certainly. 

'Great. So, Albus, because you've already done it once, you'll be the first person to climb over the gate, whilst I wait for you and climb over too, and then, followed by Hugo.' she finished. 'And, Albus, we agreed on the fact that we'll be getting there on your broom? Don't forget to bring the cloak.'

'Yep, I don't think much can go wrong, we have it all perfectly planned, thanks, Rose, let's do this.'

 

They all marched down from the Common Room, and Hugo was the first to step out onto the courtyard. 

'It's all good here.' he informed the other two, as they ran to the gate. He stood alert and waited for Albus to climb over before he ran over there himself. 

'God, our parents would kill us if they saw this, just imagine.' Rose muttered under her breath as she landed outside the gate, onto the slippery, yet damp stone floor. She was outside Hogwarts. On the other side of the gate. To be honest, it felt quite weird that way for once. 

Hugo ran over to them and jumped over too. As he landed, they heard a cheer from the crowd. Someone had scored, which only triggered the thought that Hugo and Albus were the only students missing out on what was happening. (You wouldn't really count Rose, because she didn't really care.) 

When they all realized what they were doing, it was one of those moments where the adrenaline is running so fast throughout you, that times flash before your eyes. That was what was happening now. 

Albus pulled his broom and cloak from underneath his robes and boarded his broom on the front, Rose nervously took a position behind him, and Hugo, squealing with excitement due to the fact that he would be sitting on a Lighting-Bolt three-thousand, sat in the back. Rose had never taken on a long journey on a broom, (to be exact, she never had sat to ride on a broom) so they put her in the middle, in order for her to feel safe, and, well, not to fall downwards and into the air... 

As they advanced to the chilly air, the three of them began shouting in order to communicate, because the air was so loud. 

'Open the map!' Albus yelled behind him. 

'I did, if we want to get to Malfoy Manor, then we need to fly forward for about, two kilometers!' she shouted. 

The ride was going to take a very long time. Wiltshire was almost on the other side of Britain, and they only had until the next day if they wanted to not be late nor disappear, much to everyone's confusion. 

The winds they faced the chances for their fate, not only at school but in this situation, life or death. They were flying more than one-hundred meters into the air, with such a distance away from the school that it had merely faded away into the vague fog. 

Back at the Quidditch Pitch, the score was tied to thirty-thirty. Although it was only early into the game, things were not going so well for Gryffindor. They were always considering the fact that at any moment, the Snitch would be caught by Linda and they would find themselves in third place in the House Cup, just in front of Hufflepuff. On a nicer note, Albus, Rose, and Hugo were quite enjoying their broom ride to Wiltshire. Well, to be exact, Albus and Hugo were having the time of their lives; Rose was nervously clutching the body of the broomstick and leaning onto Albus. 

'How long are we going to be here for?' Rose cried. Hugo passed her the map and Hugo pointed to the current route that they were on. until she realized that they had more than half of it left. 

'Rose, you don't need to complain, you know, you have the best seat. We put you in the middle.' 

'Yes, I know, but I've never been on a broom before, and sitting cramped in between you two on a broom for one, isn't quite the best time to start.'  she called back to him. 

'Sure, but I think Albus has it worst right now, I mean he has to get us there for the next few hours, doesn't he?' Hugo bellowed, taking a gulp of the air. 

 'True, you good there, Albus?' she howled. 

'Yes! We will be up here for a while, so did anyone get food or, well, anything?' he hollered to the two of them behind him. 

'Well, of course, I have food!' Hugo shouted. 'I always have some on me!' he cried, as he pulled out four snack bars from his robe pockets. 

Rose looked confused for a moment, as Hugo passed her one of the bars.

‘How long have you had these for?’ she asked, as she unnecessarily took a sniff of the bar.

‘I restock every week or so, so you don’t need to worry.’ He informed her.

Something must have happened that day, because it seemed that Ravenclaw weren’t playing their best in the match. It must have been the fact that they had gotten a bit too confident, especially once they learnt that Gryffindor wasn’t going to play with a Seeker. You see, you were allowed to play without a Team Seeker, but everyone chose to do opposite and just score on overall points. However, on average, most Teams wouldn’t win when the opponent would be playing with a Seeker and they would not be doing so.

‘-And… she scores!’ Alisha, the commentator cried into the megaphone. ‘Another ten points to Gryffindor, coming from Katie McMillan!’

All of the Gryffindors jolted up into the air together and celebrated, it was their one-hundred and fiftieth point, meaning that they just had to get a few more points in order to win. (If, saying, that Linda, the Ravenclaw Seeker would catch the Snitch too early on.)

‘Alex!’ Homer yelled. ‘Catch!’

One of the Quaffles was flung into the air and Alex caught it by a centimeter.

‘Give it!’ Theo bellowed across the field, who was standing right by the hoops. Alex threw the ball until it reached Theo. 

'We're going for another score...- Taken, by Melissa T from Ravenclaw!' 

The game landed on a tie; it was one-hundred and ninety to one-hundred and ninety, and that was because the Snitch had been caught. Overall, it had been a short game, as most games would land in the two-hundreds. Both teams had agreed, that instead of a tie-breaker, they would leave the score as it was, and leave the House Cup to depend on House Points, which meant that left Gryffindor and Ravenclaw, tied in first place, Slytherin in second, and Hufflepuff... in last. The match ended at exactly eleven o'clock, and the crowd left, all slightly dis-hearted, but thought themselves lucky enough not to have lost. Usually, no lessons happened during Quidditch days, and it was the same in this case. Which only meant luck for Albus  , Rose and Hugo, who were approximately flying a few kilometres away from the school. They had been in the air for around two hours, and the whole situation was seeming completely and utterly unrealistic. They had planned to make some stops, of course, maybe just a place to calm down for a while, and experience land. It was their Saturday, of course, they had to enjoy it. They did have until the next day. 



Chapter 21: Chapter Twenty
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'It's here.' Rose said as she showed him a point on their map. 

Malfoy Manor.  A large, grey house, with stone paths and withered plants, stood in front of the three children, five hours and two stops later. It was unlike any 'house' either of them had ever seen before, well, it didn't give off the effect of a house, more like an old building with vines and dirty windows. It couldn't make sense that someone would live there, but they were going to find that out in just a moment. 

'Are you sure this is safe?' Hugo asked as Albus left his broom hidden inside one of the bushes. 

'Hugo, the whole thing hasn't been safe since the second we all first got on my broom.' Albus answered. Rose agreed. 

'So, what now?' Hugo asked. 'Do we just go up to the door and what excuse will we have? As a fact, I know that whoever is going to answer that door, the first thing they're going to be asking is why three eleven-year-olds are out of school.' 

'True. This is an interview then. We just knock on the door, someone answers, and then we say we've been sent from someone to interview their family and family history.' Rose told them. 

'Great, but, who've we been sent from?' Albus asked, feeling that they were forming the perfect last-minute idea. 

'Um, how about, it's a school project, with the aim to find out more about the Professor?' Hugo suggested. 

'A project that sends children on the other side of the country? I don't think so.' Rose rejected. 

'Maybe a newspaper? Though, who would send three kids to do their work?' Albus said. 

'I honestly think it's the best we've got, Rose.' Hugo told her. 

'Yep, let's do this then.' 

 

She took the Lion Head door knocker, and gave it a knock; she then took a nervous step backward... with Hugo and Albus standing behind her. 

'Hello?' a middle-aged woman in a Maid's uniform said, as the door slowly opened a crack. 

'Um, hello.' Rose responded as she glanced sidewards, trying to prompt her brother or Albus to step up and talk, but they didn't get the message. 

'What do you want?' that Maid asked dully. 'I have to finish my dusting. I can't wait on you three.' 

It was obvious that they were off to a bad start. 

'We-we would like to speak to Ms. Narcissa Malfoy, if it's possible, please.' 

'She's busy.' the woman told them. 

'It's very important, she's been expecting us.' Rose lied. 

'OK, then? She hasn't told me anything, but follow me.' the woman said, as she opened the door for the three of them to enter. 

The house was surely much more magnificent on the inside. The walls were decorated with stone designs, pillars, paintings, yet the inside did reflect on the negative vibe it was giving off on the outside. And, if there was anyone that they knew that would live in that house, it would be Professor Malfoy. 

'This way.' the woman instructed, as she proceeded down a few corridors, and then stopped at a door and gave it a knock. 

'Ms. Malfoy? Some children are here to see you.' she said from the other side of the door. 

They heard a distant voice, quite confused, thanking the woman and asking them to come in. The maid opened the door to reveal a dark-haired, wrinkly woman was sitting by a large door at the other end of the room. 

'Thank you. You can go now, Nicole.' 

Once the lady left, it was only Narcissa, Albus, Rose, and Hugo. 

'Come in. What did you want me for?' she asked. 'I haven't heard anything about visitors?' 

'Yes, sorry about that.' Hugo began. 'We've come to learn more about you and your family history; are you okay with that?' 

'If you don't want lots about it, then, yes, I guess so. Please, come, sit down.' she said, as she indicated a spot in front of her desk.
The room sat in awkward silence as Narcissa finished scratching something with her quill. So far, everything was fine, but the worst was to come. 

'So, if-if it's alright with you, we can start?' Albus asked, clutching the sides of the armchair he was sitting on, nervously. 

'Yes, yes.' she said, as she glanced up at them. 

'Perfect, alright then.' Rose began. 'So, we were just thinking to learn more about your family history, if they have taken on any important roles, generally, what kind of work goes around the family, things like that.' 

Narcissa looked up to the three children, as she quickly turned away, seeming as if she had just thought of something she did not want to recall. 

'I-I,' she began, not making eye-contact.

'If there's something you don't want to tell us, it's fine, anything you can.' Hugo pleased, trying to get anything out of this woman as possible. 

'It was the Imperius Curse! OK?' Narcissa shouted. 'You're another one of them, aren't you? He's innocent!' she cried. 

What was happening? Albus, Rose, and Hugo all looked at each other, utterly and completely bewildered. 

'-But-but, we don't-no.' 

'Nicole!' Narcissa yelled, furiously. The exasperated maid appeared in front of the door seconds later. 

'Yes, madam?' she calmly asked, not aware of the situation. 

'Get these filthy liars out of here, now! I don't care where you put them, just not in my sight!' 

'I-I, immediately, Ms. Narcissa.' she stuttered as she grabbed the three of them by the scruff of their sweatshirts, and pulled them out of the room. Nicole gave them a nasty look, as she pulled them, (with a rather fast speed, at that,) back down the hallways, they had come from, where she threw them outside.                                                                                                    



Chapter 22: Chapter Twenty-One
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Albus, Rose, and Hugo found themselves thrown on the floor, shaking, with nothing to do next. It was clear that whatever they had gone there for, was going to stay secret. Narcissa hadn't admitted a thing, but that did not leave them with nothing to work on. 

'Great. What are we going to do now?' Hugo sighed.

'Well,' Rose began, dusting off the dirt from her jeans, 'I got more than I wanted.' 

Albus and Hugo looked at her, confused, for what would have been the millionth time. 

'What? But, we came here for her to tell us about her family, and she didn't answer our question!' he refused.

'If you think about it, Hugo when we asked her, the first thing she took to was defending herself, and her family history. Do you not get it?' 

'No?' Albus said, still very discombobulated. 

Rose sighed, exasperated, these two were definitely too short-minded for her.  'If we had come here and asked her about her family, -which we did-, if she answered properly and told us, we wouldn't know that she wanted to hide something about them, because, logically, she would have skipped that part out, so, by doing what she just did, panicking and throwing us out of there, we know that there's something, something big that she wants to hide from us. So, we know more than what we came for.' 

Actually, that was true, Narcissa had told the three of them more than what they came there for. Finally, this was getting somewhere; at least it had a head-start. 

'So, what's the plan? Do we just head back to Hogwarts and pretend nothing happened?' Albus asked as he ran over to the bushes to get his broom. 

'Well, we just need to get back to school, and I believe we'll have enough sources there to finish this.' 

'Sources?' Hugo asked. 

'Hagrid, he'll tell us what we need.' 

'Then why didn't we go to him in the first place?' Hugo continued. 

'Because she would've been the most reliable. Hagrid wouldn't have told us what she just did, right?' Rose asked as she jolted her head back to the house, most likely indicating to Narcissa. 

'Guys. We have a little problem.' Albus informed them. 'My broom isn't here.' 

'What do you mean?' Hugo said, running over, a hint of alarm in his voice. 

'I-I left it here, in these exact bushes, and it's not here now!' Albus said, his voice cracking as he said so. 

'Maybe it's just in another bush? This place does look perfectly symmetrical?' 

'No, Rose!' Albus cried. 'I left it right here, I remember, I took a mental note that I could see that other house from across the road!' 

'Well, then, search!' Rose ordered, seeing that too much talk was happening. 'Personally, I wouldn't like it if we were stuck here until we found a way to leave.' she said, as she took another look at the exterior of Malfoy Manor. 

The three of them continued searching on for the next ten minutes, until Rose, having searched in all the places she had thought of, went to the same bushes as before. 

'Oh! Come on Albus, you had scared me half to death, it's not funny!' Rose snapped. 

'What?' Albus asked, as he ran over to where she was. 

'What do you mean, what, your broom is right here, Albus, right where you said it had gone!'

'No-no it's not.' Albus confidently tried to confirm, as he nudged Rose to the side to take a closer look at the bushes he had -so surely-, checked before. 

'But-but, it wasn't there before!' Albus refused to picture. 'Don't tell me off, you came here too and didn't see anything, did you?' he continued. It was true. But they chose to ignore what had just happened and get out of there. Every second not only the tension, but the suspense would rise, so they wanted to get out of there as fast as possible. 

'Okay, in the same order as we were last time. Me first, Rose, you next, and then Hugo in the back.' Albus told them, as he pulled out the broom and took a seat at the front. Luckily, the Lightning-Bolt three-thousand, being one of the newest broom designed by Wizards, had a long, fine style to it, and could hold, (At the most) about two adults; which they had calculated would work for three children. 

'If things go well, we should be there in seven hours.' Rose informed Albus and Hugo. 'If we want to be there by dawn, we have to get moving.' 

'Everyone holding on tight?' Albus asked. 

'Yes!' the two siblings replied in unison. 

The only bad thing about transportation using a broom was that you had to hold on extremely tight until at one point, you won't even understand you are; if that makes sense. Albus's broom soared into the air, and seconds later, the three could see Malfoy Manor as a tiny speck which they couldn't tell apart from the rest of the large houses from that area.

They had planned their next stop to be Leicester, where they would grab some quick water when they had expected to run out. They only had half a bottle left, and you didn't know Hugo if you didn't know that he drank too much water for his own good. 

They were just underneath the clouds now, because they absolutely couldn't risk any muggles seeing them. 



Chapter 23: Chapter Twenty-Two
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Hagrid. For One Final Time

 

Their adventure was finished, even though it had technically just begun. Albus, Rose, and Hugo all drowsily got off Albus's broom once they landed just outside where they had departed many hours ago. In the end, the only thing that had made this journey difficult was the amount of time it took to travel from one place to get to another. If they had eliminated the traveling time, the whole thing would have just been half an hour. But, they couldn't disagree, flying in the clouds with your friends, packed on a broom together wasn't something that anyone would refuse to do. 

'What time is it?' Hugo said as he yawned, his cheeks glowing with a hint of pink. 

'It's certainly not past seven in the morning, for sure.' Albus answered as he stretched his back by extending his arms into the air. 

'Come on, guys, it's not that early, it's only six forty-five, that's when we wake up in the morning!' Rose claimed. 

Hugo and Albus exchanged glances; how was it possible for three people to be such diverse? Well, in this case, it was Albus and Hugo being different from Rose. 

They headed back up to the castle, and they thought it incredible that they hadn't thought about how welcoming the walls and corridors and banners all over the place were. The Gryffindor common room was tranquil and warm, as usual, and the fire was crackling by itself by the mantlepiece, as it always did. The only thing that Albus could smell was how familiar this room was. And he was happy to be in it, especially after what had just happened. 

'I'm going to go get some sleep, well, whatever I can of it, at least.' Rose informed the two of them. We'll catch up on what we learned tomorrow. And we're going to Hagrid!' she finished, before disappearing to the winding staircase. 

'Woah. We just flew on your broom, thousands of feet in the air, escaped school and got thrown, with rage, I might add, from a stranger's house.' Hugo said, all of what had just happened going into his mind with a process. 

'Yep. But at least we weren't caught and got something out of it.' Albus responded, making a point. They both went up to the dormitories, got into their pajamas, and fell asleep almost immediately in their comfortable beds. It was almost like sleeping in a pile of warm feathers, after sitting on a broom for at least six hours straight. 

 

The next morning it was raining quite heavily. It wasn't one of those situations where you were cold, there was just rain spitting from the clouds. Albus, Rose, and Hugo got up from their beds quite early in the morning for breakfast. The Great Hall was much less than half full. 

'Alright. Today is the day we find out the truth.' Rose whispered to Albus and  Hugo in a low voice. 'We just need to go to Hagrid and find out why Malfoy claimed he was under the Imperius Curse for whatever reason, and then this is done.' 

The three looked at each other, smiling; this really was the perfect year at Hogwarts. Well, if you were to take out the detentions, Professor Malfoy, Madeline Lawyson, (even though they were the two that actually brought the action.), and losing to Hufflepuff, there wouldn't be anything you would need to ask for. Straight after breakfast, the three sped to Hagrid's Hut, it wasn't worth waiting any longer. 

There was a knock on the door. 

'Comin'!' they heard Hagrid yell from inside. The door flung open and Hagrid appeared, despite his fuzzy beard and dirty, ragged, clothes, he was beaming at the sight of the trio. 

'Oh! What a lovely surprise!' He told them, as he led them into the Hut and sat them down by the table. Although they really didn't want to admit it, the room stunk, and the worst thing was that they could think of what. But in the end, it was great seeing Hagrid again. 

'So, what brings you three here?' Hagrid asked as he walked over to his 'kitchen'. 

'Well, we wanted to talk to you about a subject that we've been wondering about for a long time.' Rose began. 

'Tell me more.' Hagrid said as he walked back to them, holding a tray of 'tea' and his signature rock cookies. 

Rose reluctantly took one of the cookies and nibbled on it, smiling sorrowfully at the half-giant as she did so. 

'Well, Hagrid, we want to talk about Professor Malfoy, our Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher.' Hugo explained. Hagrid's face suddenly filled with an expression of pure hatred, a look that they had never seen him put on before, and quite scary at that. 

'He should have nothing to do with this school, he is a danger to all of us, you know, someone that you shouldn't have ever known about, yet here we are...' 

After tossing her rock cookie in a corner, which must've been overloading with them now, Rose chose to go ahead and ask the question then and there, at that very moment, because she wasn't going to wait for the conversation build up. So, without a prompt...

'Why the Imperius Curse?' 

Hagrid, Albus, and Hugo all brought their attention to her, bewildered. Hagrid looked quite set back. 

'Oh, you know about that, do you?' he tried to begin with. 

'Yes, I do, and I want to know what about and why.' Rose lied. 

'I-I don't know if you're old enough to know yet...' 

'We are! Please, Hagrid! Don't you find it wrong that the son of The Chosen One should be so oblivious to what is happening around him and why?' Albus said, glaring. That line seemed to work because Hagrid stopped hesitating and chose to tell them the truth. 

'You see, Malfoy was a-a Death Eater, and, a really bad one at that.' he stuttered nervously. 'He's a danger to this school and all of us here. I'll never forgive McGonagall. She just says that that was what Dumbledore would've done, given him a second chance. But not in this case. Definitely not in this case.' 

'What do you mean Hagrid?' Rose asked him, urging Hagrid to go further. 

'Listen, if there's any family that you need to stay away from, it's the Malfoy's, they've got a whole line of... I just can't find words to describe them. But one thing I can say is that they're liars.' 

'What do you mean by that?' 

'Well, you all know how Death-Eaters were the followers of... You-Know-Who, but after the Wizarding War, almost all of them were rounded up and sent to Azkaban for life, but Lucious Malfoy claimed that he was under the Imperius Curse, and was never willingly a Death Eater. And so that's why he's been able to roam around like he's normal.' 

'So is it true, or not?' Rose asked.

'Very few people believe it, being the Ministry, at that, but I think it's all a fib. He was one of his most noble followers, he even let You-Know-Who use his house for meetings.' 

Albus, Rose, and Hugo anxiously glanced at each other.

'So, he's a Death Eater, on the loose, at Hogwarts?' Hugo spat. 

Hagrid glared at him. 'Yes.'

All of it was suddenly coming together. They discussed the subject further for a while over rock cookies and tea that tasted like metal and left around half an hour later. That Sunday wasn't one for productivity, that was for sure. Hugo didn't even go out for football, as he usually did. Instead, he, Albus   and Rose  joined up the final pieces of the puzzle. They had everything that they needed now. 

'So, just to make it clear, Professor Malfoy is a Death Eater, who cheated Azkaban by saying that he was under the Imperius Curse?' Rose said in complete disbelief. 

Hugo swallowed. 'Yes, if Hagrid was right.' 

They had all he information, everything was 'proven', but then, there was the question that they had been avoiding for the whole thing: What to do after?

 



Chapter 24: Chapter Twenty-Three
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The Forbidden Forest 

 

That question bothered the three of them for a while. They knew so much but had no one to tell. They couldn't alert Professor McGonagall, because she wanted to give him a second chance, and not a single soul from the rest of the students would believe them. Yet you couldn't blame them. Who would believe that their Professor was a Death Eater who got the entire Ministry of Magic to bow at his every word? If they actually knew what Death Eaters were, of course. 

For the next few weeks, a sort of awkwardness on the subject hung in the air, neither of them knew what to do next, and it irritated them. 

 The days passed quite dull, grey, and didn’t stand out like those that they would plan the escape to Malfoy Manor or the File from McGonagall’s Office, but there was nothing that they could do about it.

It was the eighteenth of March when Albus, Rose, and Hugo went to bed. It was quite late, around eleven, when they went up to their dormitories after multiple games of Wizards Chess, in which Rose participated too.

‘You think that we’ll ever be able to tell our parents about Malfoy?’ Hugo whispered to Albus, as he tossed his day clothes back into his suitcase, as he usually did.

‘No. If we were to explain it properly to them, we’d be kicked out of our houses with packed trunks by the end of the week…’ Albus told him, quite regretfully so, yet adding a pained chuckle at the end, trying to brighten up the situation. Hugo sighed and then dove onto his bed. ‘Goodnight, Albus.’  

‘Goodnight, Hugo.’

Albus couldn’t sleep, however late it was. Hugo was fast asleep now, but all he could do was toss and turn around on his bed, going over the events that had happened in the previous months. It was nice to adventure, after all, Rose was right, you only do live once. As he turned around once more, something caught his eye. Something bright green. Something familiar-looking. He raised his eyebrows and got out of bed, trying to be as quiet as possible. Albus peered through the foggy window, to see something coming out of the Forbidden Forest, just like the ‘emblem’ he had seen on Professor Malfoy’s arm. Seizing his chance, Albus got up, put some robes on top of his pajamas, and left the dormitory, without alerting Hugo.

 

Rose couldn’t sleep either. She just sat staring at the bunk on top of hers. The only thing that she could think about was how blank her mind was, bored when she remembered…

‘The map!’ she said under her breath, as she rolled out of her bed, and began rummaging through some things underneath her bed, which, unlike Albus and Hugo, was organized. She patted around the place until she felt some parchment, the Marauder’s Map! It must have been a coincidence because Albus happened to be wandering around the place. The adventure’s over, though, what else could he be searching for? She thought to herself, as she followed the small speck labeled Albus Potter. He was outside now, in the dead of night. Rose ran across the room and looked out of the window, just as Albus had done, to see the Mark in the sky. It was time to move, but cautiously, because the only person that was wandering the halls at that time, was Filch, the school caretaker, he wasn’t going to let them get away with whatever was about to happen if he was to find them. Rose ran out of her dormitory and skidded down the winding staircases to the Common Room, panting. This wasn’t going to happen without Hugo, so she ran up the opposite way to the boys’ dormitories, even though she knew that it was strictly restricted for the girls to go up the boys’ dormitories without permission. She creaked the door open, and tip-toed into the room, to Hugo, who was snoring in his bed, with drool dripping from his mouth.

‘Hugo! Hugo!’ she hissed. ‘Wake up! It’s Albus!’ she said, as she shook him on the shoulder.

‘What?’ Hugo mumbled without opening his eyes. ‘Who needs me?’

‘Albus, now get up!’ Rose whispered as she took him by the sleeve as quietly as possible. They needed to move fast, otherwise, this wouldn’t work.

‘I’m coming, I’m coming, Rose. What time is it?’

‘Late, and time you need to get up because our best friend is probably in danger!’

Those words woke him up properly. Hugo jolted upwards and looked at Rose furiously as if she hadn’t told him fast enough.

‘Where’s he going to?’ he asked, as they found themselves outside of the common room, racing down the steps, without a second thought.

Rose checked the map. ‘It shows that he’s going to… the Forbidden Forest?’

‘This way.’

The halls were silent and every step they took would echo. Which was bad enough for them, but good enough for Filch. They kept running, only thinking about Albus, and where he was going, when they were stopped by someone. Well, something. A ghost, to be exact.

‘Well… Howdy! What are you two doing wondering my halls at this time of night? Eh?’ The ghost asked them, quite loudly at that.

‘We’re going nowhere, no you can leave, please.’ Hugo said, confidently. The ghost rolled his eyes. If he wasn’t going to annoy them, he was going to get them into trouble. The next thing that they heard was a destructive screech, that was sure to send Filch coming right after them.

‘Run!’ Hugo instructed, panicking, as he grabbed Rose’s arm and they ran as fast as they could.

‘Ha-ha!’ The ghost cried across the hall. ‘Don’t think he won’t find you!’ he threatened.

The two siblings ran to the back entrance of the school, the one that the third years and such would use once they returned from Hogsmeade trips.

‘What’s that thing in the sky?’ Hugo observed.

‘I’m not sure, but for one thing, it does look like the mark you saw on Professor Malfoy’s arm that day, right?’

The Forbidden Forest quite suited its name. There were twigs and tree roots coming out from the ground. The air was misty, and much colder here than inside the warm walls of Hogwarts. The trees were thawed at, it was no question that the forest would be full of dangerous creatures. No doubt. They wondered through the trees for a while, using the Mark in the sky to guide them, as they clutched each other’s hands. Slowly, they could hear some distinct words.

‘And now what? Do we go in?’ A low voice bellowed.

‘I expect so. The boy should be fast asleep now.’ Another said.

‘The boy as in his son?’ a rather cowardly sounding voice added.

‘Yes, exactly.’

This time, a familiar voice spoke. Lucious Malfoy. Rose and Hugo saw Albus hiding behind a tree, watching what was happening.

‘What? Who are they?’ Hugo asked Rose, who was watching, open-mouthed and with widened eyes at the conversation between the men.

‘Death Eaters.’ She stated, without taking her frozen eyes from them.

‘You mean, all of them? So close to school?’ Hugo asked as he lowered himself to the ground.

‘Logically. Now, we have to stay silent. It’s really dangerous, especially if one of them sees us.’

‘I would rather be found by Filch than by them!’ Hugo whimpered.

‘I know, and so does Albus, he thinks that he’s alone here.’

They looked up at Albus, who was quite close to them, staring at what was happening too. His legs were shaking, so much that they could see from meters away. Then the worst of the worst happened. A twig snapped beneath his feet. The ongoing conversation suddenly came to a halt.

‘Who’s there?’ Malfoy said, drawing out his wand, as he looked around himself.

‘Whoever you are, step out now.’ Malfoy continued, as he approached closer and closer to Albus. Then, Malfoy began checking behind trees. Until he found Albus.

‘Ah.’ He said, smiling horribly, only to display an atrocious row of yellow teeth. ‘A student.’ He announced as if someone had asked him who was there.

‘Come out, Albus.’ Malfoy sniggered.

Hugo and Rose looked at each other, unsure of what was going to happen next. Albus stepped out from behind the tree, his head facing downwards.

‘I don’t believe that you were eavesdropping, Potter?’ Lucious told him, as he tutted. The rest of the men there suddenly glanced at each other. Malfoy pointed his wand to Albus.

‘Hm. Shouldn’t you be in bed?’ Malfoy laughed. ‘I say, twenty points to Gryffindor. How about that?’

The rest of the men snorted with laughter. But it didn’t matter, how many points were to be taken off because it was clear that this day was going to be someone’s last.

‘Take your hands off him!’ Rose yelled, as he ran up to Albus and stood next to him with uncertainty.

‘Ah, we’ve more than one here! It’s a shame that many had to come to an end.’

Hugo wasn’t going to take this. He ran up to Rose and Albus, who was standing in front of Professor Malfoy. Albus looked absolutely discombobulated. If it weren’t for his two best friends, Malfoy’s words would have been the last that he heard.

‘Lucious! Step away from the boy, now!’ A shaky voice cried. It wasn’t Rose’s, nor Hugo’s, but Professor McGonagall’s. Then, quite pleasingly for the three children, Malfoy’s face filled with fear.

‘I trusted you!’ she said, pulling out her wand. ‘Just like Dumbledore would’ve. But you just wanted to finish off what he started.’

‘Very much so! How’d you guess?’ Malfoy joked. ‘You see, if we can’t get the father, we get the son!’ Malfoy laughed. ‘You know?’

But then, the Headmistress seemed to not be listening to Malfoy. She was looking at something else.

‘Is that-‘ McGonagall began before she clasped her hand over her mouth. ‘You. You’re going straight to Azkaban until you rot in a cell alone!’ she shouted at him furiously. Albus, Rose, and Hugo looked at what she had been peering over at a few moments ago, to find Madeline Lawyson, white-faced and pale on the floor. She was…dead.

‘No. It’s not going to work that way, Minerva.’ Malfoy said. ‘You aren’t going to tell anyone about this, otherwise, you’ll find this foolish little girl’s life won’t be the only one I’ve taken tonight.’ He finished proudly. McGonagall jumped in front of Albus, Rose, and Hugo.

‘That’s not going to happen anyway.’ She stated surely.

‘What’s all this noise I hear from my cabin?’ someone else began. The three children looked over their shoulders. It was Hagrid!

‘Malfoy. I knew tha’ it would come to an end like this.’ Hagrid said as he took out a rather rusty pink umbrella. ‘If you’re threatening these three, I’m threatening you.’ Hagrid said as he pointed it at Malfoy.

‘What? With that thing?’ Lucious sniggered again.

‘Hagrid.’ McGonagall warned. ‘This is up to me. It’s my fault, I wanted to avenge Dumbledore, in a way.’ She said, sounding disappointed. ‘I-I wanted to give him a second chance, Lucious, like Dumbledore would’ve. Yet here we are.’ She sighed. McGonagall muttered a few words under her breath and more people appeared.

‘Dad?’ Albus said in disbelief as he turned around to see him.

‘Ha! Harry Potter, we meet once more…’ Malfoy said, as he turned his attention to him.

Harry frowned, and didn't hesitate to draw out his wand too.

‘Everyone stay back. I started this; I’m finishing it.’ McGonagall told everyone, as she stepped before Malfoy and uttered a spell.

‘Petrificus Totalus!’ she cried. Malfoy’s legs and arms locked together, as his expression froze, and he fell with a thump onto the floor. But he wasn’t the only one she had to get rid of. Three other Death Eaters were standing before them.

‘How did you get into the school?’ Hagrid asked them, pointing his pink umbrella at them.

‘Oh, it was easy! You see, the master sent Madeline into Hogsmeade to help us get into the school.’

So that was the reason she went to Hogsmeade! Albus thought. Now everything made sense.

‘How did she do that?’ McGonagall asked.

‘You see, she would keep one of the students captive and get a Death Eater to drink a Polyjuice Potion, simple!’

‘Madeline did this while just being told to?’ McGonagall asked.

'No! Of course not! She was obviously under the Imperious Curse!' one of them chortled. Professor McGonagall's jaw dropped. Had she really let all of this happen right under her nose? The Headmistress cast Petrificus Totalus three more times and ran over to Madeline, trying to feel her pulse. But she was too late. She had let an innocent student (Well, partly innocent...) get killed by one of the Professors she hired. 

'Hagrid, take these three to your cabin. I'll see if we can do anything at Genevieve's.' she instructed, as she jolted her head to Madeline, even though she knew very well that there was a high chance there wasn't. 

Hagrid bowed his head and turned to Albus, Rose, and Hugo, who half-heartedly walked back up to the half-giants cabin, as they kept peering over their shoulders, trying to see what was happening behind them with McGonagall and Madeline. Hagrid opened the door for them and they all entered, silently. 

'Take a seat...' Hagrid told them, as he grabbed a jar of rock cookies and began nibbling at them. 

'You know, it's been decades since someone's died at Hogwarts, and they thought that after the period of... You-Know-Who, that the school and everyone in it was going to be perfectly safe...' he told them, as he sat down with them, tears welling in his eyes. 'It's been really difficult for Minerva... Professor McGonagall, it's hard tackling Dumbledore's death, then having to become the Headmistress of the school, and now having to deal with this. I just can't imagine her parents' reaction...' He told them. 'And in her first year, too!' 

'Yeah.' Hugo mumbled. 'She really was innocent in the end...' He said as he glanced up to Rose and Albus. 



Chapter 25: Chapter Twenty-Four
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The End Of Year Feast

 

It was quite a few months later, and Albus and Hugo had just finished packing up all their things.

Hugo sighed as he threw himself onto his bed, his hands flung in the air. 

'No one said that it would be that hard to pack up my trunk...' Hugo told Albus, Lawrence, Ed, and Paul, the rest of his dorm-mates. 

'It's not!' Paul laughed. 'But when you're clothes are in a state like yours are, it's nearly impossible!' 

'Oh, shut up, will you?' Hugo said as he got up from his bed and checked underneath it, just in case anything was left there. 

The group erupted in laughter. 

 

Two hours later, the five of them were engaged in a game of Wizard's Chess on the floor, their trunks tossed to one side on the wall. That lunch would be a special one because it was going to be the End of Year Feast. It was going to be Hugo's favorite, for sure, seeing as he enjoyed the start of year one, too. 

 

In her dormitory, Rose and the rest of the students in the dorm were scrawled on the floor, having a rather interesting discussion about the year that had just passed by. 

'Wasn't Professor Malfoy quite a strange teacher?' Mary noted. 

'Very. Why would he resign halfway through the year?' 

Eve chortled. 'Resigned? I heard that he was fired?' 

Rose felt a lump rising in her throat. 'Well, they didn't tell us much, so we shouldn't assume anything.' She said, trying her best to end that topic of conversation. 'Though, you must say that Professor Borne is a much better improvement...' 

 

 

The clock struck one o'clock in the afternoon. By then, the students were merrily filling into the Great Hall, chatter amongst them claiming that it was only certain that Gryffindor was going to win the house cup. News had spread that Hufflepuff was (undoubtedly) going to come in the last place. Seated at the head table of the grand hall where each of the Professors, as the HEad Grils and Boys of each house led the students in. 

They followed in awe as they laid their eyes upon the variety of beverages and meals that were on the tables. From Pumpkin Juice to Yorkshire Pudding, there wasn't anything that you could think of that wasn't there. 

 

Once everyone was seated down at their tables, their eyes shining as they stared longingly at the steaks, chicken, and bread, and many more in front of them, McGonagall stood up. 

'Settle down all!' She said, clearing her voice. 'Thank you all for a wonderful year,' she began, partly glancing her view at Albus, Rose, and Hugo. 'Now, before we begin, the very much awaited results for the House Cup of the year...' McGonagall said as she pulled an envelope from her table.

'In fourth place, with 265 points, is Hufflepuff!' she said, hinting for a round of applause.

The Hufflepuff table sat down-hearted, as weak applause dotted around them. 

'Third-place is taken by Ravenclaw, with 298 points!' 

After another weak round of applause, the tension in the Hall grew more and more by the second, having left just Slytherin and Gryffindor for first and second place. 

Albus's heart skipped as he thought of the look on Arthur's face when it was announced that Gryffindor had come first.

'In the second place, with 352 points, is Slytherin, which leaves Gryffindor in the first place, with 386 points!' 

McGonagall tried her best (though wasn't successful) to hide a wide grin. Albus felt euphoric and elated as he and all of the Gryffindor table rose in cheer. And, through the crowd of Gryffindor and cacophonic cheers, Albus was able to tell apart Arthur Paxton, with Emmanuel and Connor by his side, as they slumped onto their table, their expressions crushed.  

 

'Right!' McGonagall yelled, as she tucked the piece of parchment back into the envelope and rest it down onto the table. 'Let the feast begin!' 

Hugo was the first to dive in and seized a portion of everything within arm's length and put it onto his plate, from a steak to a handful of chips and spaghetti. 

'Wow!' Albus cried. 'We won!' 

'Yes, it's incredible!' Rose said, peering over Hugo's shoulder, her face beaming ever so brightly that it could be compared to a light bulb.

Hugo turned around to face his two best friends. 'Yeah, what a year.' 

 

THE END 

 



Chapter 26: What Do You Think?
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Madeline Lawyson: Write in the reviews what you think about her.

Albus, Hugo, or Rose, who's your favorite? 

Is there any character that you really hate or really like?

Do you think the story had a major plot hole or a side thing that I forgot to finish or mention again?



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