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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, todays lesson will be about -‘ he tried to continue, but failed to, being that quiet whispers were travelling around the class. ‘-would you all just be quiet for once?!’ he bellowed. No one payed much attention in 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 recon, 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 to 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 their 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 question, 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...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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