The Forgotten Memory
Chapter 12: Halloween
Halloween dawned over Hogwarts and the first class for them was Defense Against the Dark Arts. The class held a surprise for Albus when he walked in with Scorpius and Rose though. Standing at the front with Professor Macmillan was Harry Potter. Albus was amazed to see his dad waiting for them and his mind started to wander.
A woman named Trelawney made some prediction. Whoever Trelawney was, it concerned Harry a great deal and so was called up by Professor Ackerly on Phoenix’s orders. Then, Harry expected Albus to keep an eye on Mark Wallader. Albus didn’t know if that meant Mark was with or against whatever mission Harry was obviously on but he did know that for some reason, Mark was involved, by extension the twins, and Albus was supposed to keep an eye on him woth James. Was James doing his part? How was Albus supposed to keep an eye on Mark when Mark kept pushing him away?
A point had to be made. Before Albus could think further of how to show his father in an inconspicuous way that he could not befriend Mark, Macmillan showed up a medallion. There, from his dad, Albus picked up another clue regarding Harry’s past.
“These medals prove many things,” Professor Macmillan was explaining, showing off the same gold coin Longbottom had. Harry also had one as well, and Albus had eyes only for that. “These coins represent the old group called Dumbledore’s Army. It was a rebellion within the wall of this very castle. It was founded by- Harry Potter. At random points throughout your educational career, Potter will come for an odd talk… a lecture of sorts on the Dark Arts.”
Albus clapped with the rest of the class, but gaped at the coin. Harry and Albus’ eyes met for a fraction of a second before turning away. Harry raised a rebellion? Would the book he was reading even mention the rebellion?
“It was when a tyrannical teacher was in charge,” Harry reminisced. “Ah, the good old days.”
“It was in the midst of a great Wizard War,” Macmillan was saying to the class.
Albus had gotten emphasis from Scorpius regarding Macmillan. Scorpius found him, (and Albus was inclined to agree a little) plain and an enormous show-off. Still, Albus found him likable, and he taught in an interesting way.
“I can refer you all to a textbook for further reading on the subject, but some of you may have to order it,” Harry said, and this time he met Albus’ eyes. “A Wizarding Nation at War by late author Elphias Doge will tell you all you need to know.”
Albus shifted in his seat. Scorpius smirked, and nodded to himself. He certainly didn’t disagree with rebelling against teachers. That was cool if Harry led a rebellion once.
Albus’ thoughts were somewhere else. So, Harry was definitely mentioned. But what on earth was so special about that? Rebelling against teachers was something almost everyone did. What did Harry himself do that was so unique and awesome that he managed to gain enough fame to be known by almost all of the kids in the school?
Macmillan was teaching them the Curse of the Bogies. Splitting the class into pairs, he set their wands up. Albus was teamed with Mark as usual, but this was Albus’ purpose. He wanted to give Mark the chance to duel with him using that one curse and by dueling in a controlled environment, Harry could see firsthand how hard Albus’ mission was. Readying himself to duck, he held his wand up high.
“It gives a nasty cold to the victim. You point your wand at the nose of your victim, directly at the nose, and repeat after me. Mucus ad Nauseam. Remember, every curse has a counter-curse, so you may lift it off if you can. I will clean up the mess at the end. 3… 2… 1… START!”
Mark was swift with his wand before Albus could even think. He pointed his wand directly at Albus’ nose, and yelled, “Mucus ad Nauseam.”
Albus threw his head down, and took aim from the floor. The curse missed by several inches, and Mark aimed again. With Albus rolling to the side, Macmillan started rushing in to split the teams before damage could be done. “Allow yourself to get hit. We’re not dueling.”
Apparently, many students were already under the impression of a duel. Albus fired without warning, “Nasus Inundo.” Mark doubled back, clutching his nose. Albus grinned as Mark took his hand off. His nose was overflowing with exactly what Albus wanted to see. Boogers were flowing out of Mark’s nose at alarming speed. Professor Macmillan performed the counter curse, and Mark took his own aim. However, Albus wasn’t willing to give him that satisfaction. He was wondering how Macmillan would react if he ducked again when Mark yelled “Cruento.”
Albus barely had time to duck. It was more out of instinct than realization, otherwise he might’ve been hit. Thankfully, Ernie ran in, “Five points from Gryffindor. Are you trying to make blood or something?”
“Al made my nose overflow with a load of”-
“That was a lower-class version of the curse we’re learning,” Ernie recalled.
Laura was watching, keeping herself open to her partner, Scorpius. But Scorpius looked unwilling to hit her with anything. They must’ve been the most inactive pair.
“He won’t stay put,” Mark complained angrily. “Mucus ad Nauseam.”
Albus noticed that Laura looked as if she was purely on Mark’s side, but that was surely because she was in the same house as him, and she admired him for reasons unknown. Albus forced himself to remain where he was. He felt a liquid like substance slap his nose, and before he knew it, he was sniffling badly. A great sneeze sent mucus flying out into Albus’ hand. Mark laughed. Macmillan performed the counter curse, leaving both shaken.
Albus, eyes on Scorpius and Rose, pointed his wand at Mark’s back, and whispered, “Flipendo.”
Mark was knocked down, face flat on the ground. Ernie turned to Mark, and looked around for the caster. Albus was busy looking at the other partners. Too busy. And the look on his face was that of badly concealed guilt. Albus felt safe to turn his head again when Ernie took him by the shoulder, and forced him around to face him and Mark. “I am giving detention to both of you. Tonight. My office. After lessons. Clear?”
Mark scowled at Albus, but Albus didn’t return. He looked away again, determined not to meet his father’s disappointed stare. He could already feel it weighing down on the back of his neck.
“What made you continue?” Scorpius asked as they walked out.
“He tried making me bleed in case you didn’t notice,” Albus complained. “And all he got was five points taken. I get detention.”
“You both get detention,” Rose corrected. “Well, I’m off to class. See ya, Al.” Rose walked off, leaving Albus and Scorpius to walk to their next class themselves.
A hand on Albus’ shoulder made him stop though. Harry stopped him. Scorpius went red in embarrassment and scurried away as Albus walked with Harry in an empty classroom. “Honestly, Al, what was that?”
“The duel, cool right?” Albus said cheekily. He couldn’t help himself. The feeling he got from the duel and how he felt afterwards was exhilarating. Why didn’t he accept Mark’s challenge before?
“Well, good back shot,” Harry ceded. “But Al, I asked you to keep an eye on Wallader, not a wand.”
“He asked for it,” Albus shrugged. “Literally,” he said as skepticism made itself known on Harry’s face. “He challenged me to a duel before and I refused. This time, he was going for me like a cat on a mouse. I had to defend myself.”
“Why does he hate you so much?” Harry asked.
“I have no clue, but he seems dying to push me away,” Albus shrugged. “How do you expect me to keep an eye on him without befriending him?”
“Befriending him would be preferable, but an eye is all I need,” Harry shrugged.
“Impossible, and he’s trying to push me away,” Albus insisted. “I can’t keep an eye on him.”
“James seems to be sending information every other day,” Harry shrugged disappointedly. “He’s very close to the twins, very secretive, withdrawn a lot, and does very well in school work. He’s clever, bright, and very proud and easily threatened. Impressive, even for one in the same house.”
“How does he know?” Albus asked, ignorant to the fact that James had moved in on Mark forcefully a while ago. “What did he do that I didn’t?”
Albus thought Harry knew what James’ methods were, so he was surprised to hear as a response, “If I knew, I’d tell you.” Slowly, Albus recalled the words James gave him the first day in Hogwarts. I am the eyes and ears of the castle. If you need help, come to me.
Yes, James had his ways however mysterious they were. He always was the joker. This time, it was coming in handy. All James needed was one night and he could discern exactly who Mark was. They’re very, very hyper. Mark’s like a happy child, and Alex and Eric are so identical, you cannot tell the difference easily. Mark seems to know though. They were so loud, and their dorm is right under mine, we couldn’t sleep!
“Is he evil, dad?” Albus asked directly. “Is that it? Why is it I’m after him exactly? Is he worth that much trouble?”
Harry seemed then to be on the spot and he went red in pressure and said reluctantly, “Well, he- yes, he is worth it Al, but don’t think he’s… I mean, if he was dangerous, I’d never ask you to keep an eye on him. I don’t care what he does, he’d never hurt you.”
“Ok,” Albus said, coming to a decision. “I’ll talk to James.”
The evening arrived, and the Halloween feast started. Scorpius walked down to the feast, having just had a nap after the exhausting day. Albus met him down there, having arrived from his detention with Ernie and Mark. He had to write lines. “I will not hit my opponent when his back is turned.”
They sat down, and Albus’ eyes scanned the high table. Harry was sitting there beside Professors Longbottom and Redgrow. He previously heard Professor Ackerly invited Harry up, but for what reason? Before he could speculate on the matter, Rose had come up once again, “Al. I checked the book out, and researched. I found that the Dark Lord committed most of the tortuous acts against Muggles and Muggle-born’s. Uncle Harry was only mentioned once, but it didn’t give details. Do you think if we”-
Scorpius turned his head to stare at Rose. The girl stopped in midsentence, and looked back at Scorpius, “Something wrong?”
“Well, yeah. Every time I sit with Al here, you come up and talk books. It does get a little boring after a while.”
“Well, if it was a problem, Al would’ve complained by now,” Rose said back.
“Speak for yourself, Rosie” Albus muttered. “I’m only reading to find out what dad did, and then I’m taking a break from books for as long as possible. Reading isn’t my thing.”
Rose, taken-aback, shrugged, and walked off. Before Albus could start feeling guilty, Scorpius turned to him almost desperately. “Look, Al, if I just tell you what your dad did, will you drop the book?”
Albus considered. Scorpius would tell him everything in exchange for dropping the book? At first, Albus might’ve taken him up on that offer, but now he wasn’t so sure. “Probably not. I’m enjoying the details rather mildly.”
Scorpius groaned, “C’mon, Al. You’re boring me.”
“I only read at night,” Albus defended. “Plus, I want an unbiased version from a book, not from someone who is prejudiced against Muggles. I’m not like Rose, and she’s the one annoying you. I’ll just fix it up so she talks to me during lessons or something. Not when you’re around.”
Scorpius did look thoroughly miserable, and quite annoyed. He didn’t talk to Albus for much of the feast and instead, he engaged with Riley. When he wasn’t talking to Albus, Rose saw the opportunity to continue her conversation with Albus, so she seized a steak, and walked back to the Slytherin table. Albus groaned as Rose started talking again.
He tried to listen politely, but Scorpius’ pause in conversation irritated him. He didn’t know why he did it, or what brought him to it. He just took a stand, “Look, Rosie,” he interrupted. She stopped, looking annoyed, but Albus ploughed on. “Not that I don’t care, but I’m trying to talk with Scorpius here, and when we keep being interrupted, it kind of repels what few friends I got. Can’t we talk when we’re alone or something?”
Rose looked half taken-aback, and half hurt, but she nodded all the same, sighed, and said, “Well, ok, fine. But we hardly have time. We’re in different houses. You’re going to have to meet me in the library after lessons, say, every day? Scorps can come too,” she added hastily.
Scorpius let a false cough out, the word “Scorpius” vaguely audible. He eyed them both from the corner of his eyes, and muttered so only Albus could hear, “Fat chance.”
“Every other day,” Albus said preferably. “Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Not the weekends.”
Rose sighed again, shrugged, and then nodded, “Ok, fine. Deal.” She pat Albus on the shoulder, and walked back to her own table.
A sigh escaped both Albus’ and Scorpius’ mouths. Scorpius turned back to his plate, and continued his pudding. After about a minute of silence, Scorpius took a deep breath, and said, “Thanks. I owe you for that.”