The Forgotten Memory
Chapter 10: On the Move
Before starting lessons on Monday, Albus had a letter to send. He wrote to his dad to tell him what he found out, and then how his week went. Of course, Albus was honest. The first week was not a good one. Scorpius smiled guiltily as Albus wrote that line. Archimedes was off on a delivery service for James, so Albus had to use Walter’s owl, which was a large ominous-looking black one called Major.
“Hope you don’t mind, he’ll make a stop at my dad’s first,” Scorpius said as he tied his letter.
“It’s the best I’ve got,” Albus shrugged.
The first week’s been terrible. Scorpius and I had a small problem, but we patched it up over the weekend. I’ve found the book you asked me to look in, and it directed me to a book called A Wizarding Nation at War. I’m reading that book as light reading because Rosie told me to. I just wish you told me what you did so I wouldn’t have to read it in a book. You know I hate reading, and I have a Potions project to do with someone who thinks I’m about to do all the reading. It happens to be that Mark kid you’re telling me to befriend which is something I’m finding extremely difficult at the moment.
“Monday; Herbology, Charms, Double Transfiguration… Potions. What the bloody hell?” Scorpius cursed as they headed down the stairs after sending Major off. “Redgrow, Ackerly, and Longbottom all in one day!”
“I think you’re exaggerating,” Albus shrugged. “I like Longbottom, and Redgrow isn’t too bad.”
“Both of them are Gryffindor,” Scorpius complained. “And Ackerly is a pain. He gives the most homework out of any of them.”
“Era gives three times that much, and we have her after break,” Albus laughed. “What’re you talking about?”
The greenhouses were on the side of the castle, and smelt strongly of fertilizer. Albus wrinkled his nose when they got there, as it smelled strongly of plants, and Albus didn’t hold a fondness toward them.
The first years usually spent time in Greenhouse One, and the second week was no different. Professor Longbottom was waiting for the first years there. Neville was a plump man, quite tall but with black hair combed back. Despite his youth, he had grey hairs on the sides by his ears. He had a stubble chin, and his eyes were almost swallowed into his face. Around his neck, worn as a necklace, was a fake gold coin.
It was common knowledge, as he told them in their first lesson the week before, that this was a medal of honor for fighting the Battle of Hogwarts in the Second War over nineteen years ago. Professor Macmillan had the same thing and never failed to point to it complacently every session.
The memorial stood by the lake, where the fifty-four Wizards and witches who died that day rested. At the head, as the fifty-fifth, was the late Headmaster for whom Albus himself was named.
Galadral Phoenix was outside the greenhouses with Longbottom when they arrived. It seemed Galadral only had a few words to say, “You don’t mind if Mr. Wallader is late this lesson, do you?”
Albus liked Professor Longbottom and all, and knew him quite well, but he found the lectures and the idea of the class even, a little boring. He and Scorpius took seats at the back, and rested their heads on their hands. How they couldn’t wait until the next year when they’d be allowed to work with actual plants.
Longbottom was explaining about live trees. Live in the sense that they practically had minds of their own. Albus perked his head up in interest when he mentioned the possibility of a trip to a tree dubbed the Whomping Willow if they behaved this week. Albus was fully awake when Professor Phoenix returned with Mark, who took a seat by Alex and Eric, who weren’t sitting far from Albus and Scorpius.
“Longbottom, I need a private word with you for a minute,” Galadral said, taking Neville out. Neville was gone for five minutes, and during the five minutes, babble broke out.
To Albus’ left, Mark and the twins were speaking with their heads together. They seemed to be secretive, but what really mystified Albus was not that they were talking closely together, but that Mark was actually pulled back from the lesson, and kept for so long before returning, only to have Longbottom leave too.
Before Albus could speculate further, Neville walked back in, and continued the lecture, calling an end to the babble. Albus returned to his position of resting on his hands for the next twenty minutes until the bell rang, and he thankfully got up. He couldn’t get that talk out of his mind.
But Albus had other things on his mind though. Of all things to spur his desire to read and find out what his father did that was so great, he and Rose overheard Headmaster Phoenix talking to Professor Ackerly right outside the Charms classroom. “If Trelawney finally made the prediction, you summon Harry Potter up here right away.”
“Sir, what does this mean?” Ackerly asked.
“Something that may actually concern you a great deal,” Galadral sighed. “I want a force protecting the North Tower immediately,” Phoenix ordered.
“Sir, isn’t that extreme?” Ackerly asked hurriedly. “We hardly know what this means, and”-
“That is why we’ll summon Potter up here,” Phoenix interrupted. “He’ll have the information and if not, he has a very knowledgeable friend who does. Either way, we must get this. Just summon him up here right away. He may find himself staying here for the weekend. Make sleeping arrangements for him, so he may find himself comfortable in the staff room.”
Albus was now very curious. What made his dad so important to be called to Hogwarts? What prophecy was Galadral talking about? Who was Trelawney? Suddenly, an urge overtook Albus. An urge to know.
Mark was called out early and Longbottom was called too, disrupting the class for half the session and next thing he knows, someone named Trelawney is involved in the same day and Harry Potter is for some reason called up. Albus would be very surprised if all this was not somehow connected and if Harry Potter was involved in any way, he, Albus must be too by extension. Things were on the move.
Charms passed without much happening, except a brief lecture by Professor Ackerly on the Levitating Charm. They were to revise the notes before attempting the Charm next lesson. Mark, it seemed, already had them by heart, prompting Albus to pay full attention to Professor Ackerly. Albus found he could already do the Levitating Charm effectively. Wouldn’t Mark be surprised? Albus was partnered with him in Charms as well as Potions.
That night, he was sitting up in bed, wondering aloud about Mark. Little did he know that Mark was discussing the same thing with the Wallaby twins at the same moment? The three too were sitting up on Mark’s bed, laughing about Albus’ reaction.
Lunch arrived, during which a low flutter of wings was heard, and looking up, Albus saw that the mail had arrived. Major and Archimedes dropped by his plate of food, prompting him to open both letters. Or at least one was a letter. The other was the Daily Prophet. Something Scorpius took no trouble to read. Major had his reply though.
I’m sorry if you have to learn from a book. You know me. When you find out, think from my point of view why I thought to try to conceal from you and James the truth, and why Uncle Ron kept it from Rose and Hugo. I’m sure your problems will go away. Just give it time. Everyone starts out a little rough at the beginning. As for Mark, I did not say befriend him but keep an eye on him. The fact you’re doing a project together should ease it up a little and the fact that James is in the same house and Hagrid and Longbottom are keeping their eyes open should provide me with enough eyes to keep a tab. I’ll tell you more later.
Albus smirked a little, and allowed Scorpius, who was peering over his shoulder, to read it himself before turning it over and writing a reply. Albus just told him that things were better, and that he didn’t know what Harry did yet that was so great, but was working on it. He was fully immersed in his food when a tap on the shoulder made him look back, and see Rose. Scorpius gave a loud cough. Rose seemed to have startled him.
“What did you read, Al?” Rose asked promptly, without a hello to Albus’ mate.
Albus looked incredulously at Scorpius, who shrugged. He looked at Rose again, “What is this, extra homework. It’s enough memorizing Charms notes, now I have to memorize History of Magic as well. That’s not even a subject.”
“Not now, Scorp.”
“I thought you cared,” Rose said back, growing angry. “It’s your dad you’re wondering about, and he’s not saying anything. My dad claims he has no clue. So either you wanna know, or give it back to me and I’ll return it to the library.”
“Can we talk about this later please?” Albus pleaded. Rose shrugged, a hint of annoyance on her face, and walked away. Albus was left to finish his lunch in peace, or at least he thought so when Scorpius called his name again. “What?” he demanded.
“Just, look at tomorrow, after lunch,” Scorpius directed.
Albus complied, but he didn’t like what he saw. “History of Magic at one? For the love of Merlin! I despise history, and they drop it on me like that? What’s the use of it, I ask you?”
He finished lunch in very low, dampened spirits, and they weren’t lifted when Rose cornered him before classes again to ask what he read. Albus, at least filled up, replied in what he tried to make a normal tone, “The first five chapters were on some guy called Grindelwald. Dad’s not mentioned once in that part. Chapter six started with the Dark Lord. The Dark Lord returned to Britain after extensive dark magical research. He remade contact with his old school friends, and raised an army with them. The army would later declare war on the Ministry, and prosecute Muggle and Muggle-born’s. I didn’t read much further.”
“Prosecution of Muggles and Muggle-born’s?” Rose repeated, scratching her hair. Scorpius was behind her, doing a cruel yet hilarious imitation of Rose thinking, and scratching her head. “Do you think if I looked in Prosecutions of the Twentieth Century, it’ll give me information on that?”
Scorpius was now having his hands imitate Rose talking, nearly making Albus laugh. Rose seemed oblivious, and Albus replied, trying to keep a straight face. “I can’t read two books and study lessons.”
“I’ll read it,” She waved aside. “As long as you continue reading your part. I wanna find out as much as you do. I’m dying to know if dad has anything to do with it. Lying to us tells me he did.”
Albus nodded, “I got Transfiguration now, but I’ll let you know next week. Ok?”
Rose nodded an ok, and left. Scorpius imitated her walking away, and added a trip to add to comedy. That earned him another punch from Albus, but he kept laughing on their way to class.
Albus was horrible at Transfiguration. When he first heard of it, he thought it would be his favorite subject, but he couldn’t seem to get the hang of it. He waved his wand again, but his needle still wouldn’t turn into a match like he wanted it to.
“What am I missing?” he declared angrily as he failed once again for the umpteenth time.
“The mind,” Scorpius, who was a little further than him, but his needle still possessed the ability to burn.
Cora Redgrow walked around the room, correcting those who had it wrong. When she reached Albus, she peered through her spectacles at his match. Only the tip was sharp. She left with only the words, “Try harder, Potter.”
Albus groaned as she walked away to look at Rose’s. Rose, Alex, Riley, and Mark were the only students who managed to get so far in lessons easily compared to their classmates. It pushed Albus to try to do even better than Mark, but it seemed quite a feat. Mark was too good.
Not unlike other lessons, Mark was sitting beside Albus. He had already transformed his match into a perfect needle. Redgrow held up Rose’s needle. It was exactly like Mark’s. It was a perfect needle with a point probably a little sharper than Mark’s. Laura was red in the face, which made her look almost strange. Mark seemed oblivious as she complained loudly, perhaps hoping to get some help from Mark, who was looking determinedly away from her.
Before she could think to ask Mark directly for some help, Redgrow came up to correct it. She sighed as it was transfigured correctly. Albus looked away at his own match. He raised his wand, almost hopelessly, to try again. Upon muttering the incantation, the sharp match became metal, and colorless, and the point was also quite sharp. He looked incredulously at it. He was aware of Mark’s eyes on it.
Thankfully, Laura, who was sitting beside him tapped Mark on the shoulder, and said, “What do you think of my nail, Mark?”
Redgrow was up in a heartbeat. She picked it up, and examined it. She moved her eyes to Albus, and then to Mark, and then back to Albus. “Very good, Potter. What changed it? Was your mind on the missing components of the match?”
“Err… I suppose.”
“Well, let’s see it again,” Redgrow challenged, and to Albus’ disappointment, she changed it back to a match. “Now, I want you to change it on your first try. No flukes, and I will award Slytherin twenty points.”
The whole class was watching now. Albus was nervous. If he could get this right, he would beat Mark, and claim a fine hour in Transfiguration Class. But then, Redgrow would expect better from Albus, and he didn’t think he could live up to that. He took a deep breath, and concentrated with all his might on a single match.
He raised his wand, and thought, “Here goes nothing.”
“Acus,” he whispered, mind completely on the nail. Slowly, it transformed. It went colorless, metal, and sharp. Or at least, he thought it was sharp. Scorpius had his fingers crossed.
Redgrow picked it up, and picked the point. “Hmm, it’s a blunt nail. I asked for a sharp one.” She considered him and then said, “One point to Slytherin.”
Perhaps it was because Mark was laughing, but Redgrow was on him next. Albus was hardly paying attention to Mark, accepting congratulations from Scorpius and Riley instead. But then Redgrow then said aloud, “Twenty points to Gryffindor.”
“What was the difference?” Scorpius wondered aloud.
Albus could see the needle was sharp, but still the same color as the match, only faded. Redgrow ignored him, “Now, for homework, read up on the theory for this spell, and be ready to transform your needle back into a match next time. Class dismissed.”