Chapter 18 The Unlikely Friendship

The Forgotten Memory

Chapter 18: The Unlikely Friendship

All in all, the weekend was quite eventful for Mark and Albus. Both collapsed in the chaos before the teachers put a swift end to it. Albus woke up in the hospital wing. He still felt a small tickling feeling somewhere on his body, but it wasn’t so much he’d laugh. He could bare. He looked to his left, and saw Mark laying in bed, staring up. His eyes were feeling heavy, so he closed them tightly, wondering if he’d ever open them again. Then, he heard…

“HEY AL!”

Albus gasped, but relaxed when he heard what sounded like three pairs of feet running towards him. It could only be Scorpius, Riley, and Walter. Albus smiled uncertainly as Riley pat his back. Albus opened his eyes again, and looked to Mark’s bed.

Mark was looking right at him, but his face was expressionless. Alex and Eric were beside his bed, hands tight on Mark’s shoulders. There was no mistake. Albus could tell, self-righteous or not, Alex and Eric cared very, very deeply for Mark. Albus wondered why, for he never sensed such deep love between friends before. It wasn’t like Mark was a bad guy with cronies and followers. The twins were truly his friends. On top of that, they were quite protective of him.

For Eric’s slipup didn’t go unnoticed. You don’t know who Mark is. Well, who was Mark, who was his father, and who were the twins to him? What made them so protective since day one of school? Who was Laura to him? Why did Laura admire him so much? And where did he get those reflexes? Laura was the next to run up. She ran past Albus’ bed as if there was no one sitting there, and knelt at Mark’s, as if he was dying. “Out of it for hours, mate,” Scorpius said happily.

“I was starting to think you were dead or something,” Riley said casually, as if he’d be fine with it either way. Albus laughed. He could see the twins whispering with Mark, seemingly oblivious to Laura’s attempts to hear them. But their interest wasn’t Albus only, they spared unusual glances at Riley.

“After you fainted, we dueled with Alex and Eric,” Walter said proudly. “Riley, Scorpius and I.”

“Who won?” was Albus’ first question. Numbers told him they had won, but the way Alex and Eric always acted…

“Well, Malcolm got involved in the fighting,” Walter shifted uncomfortably. “And James returned outside with his gang, so… we lost. Alex and Eric won. Seems there’s one good thing having James controlling them. Seems James is trying to get on their good side but he was suspended until after the Christmas holidays.”

“What?”

“Era and Redgrow took their own students before Phoenix and he issued a suspension for James,” Scorpius shrugged.

“But Malcolm is no better,” Albus blurted out before biting his lip as if he let loose something offensive. “Sorry, Walt.”

“Never mind, what’s done is done,” Walter shrugged and Albus couldn’t tell if the tone was with or against Malcolm. “Phoenix was Slytherin remember? He’s biased. So we got off easy.”

Albus couldn’t help feeling sorry for James though. Suspended. He was so grounded from Ginny. A little bit of Albus wondered longingly if he missed the Hurricane. Ginny was known to wage them when angry.

The reunion was only short-lived; however, as Madam Pomfrey rushed into the room, and stared around at all of them before demanding, “Out! Everyone get out! These two need rest.”

“We’re fine,” Mark protested in a girly manner.

“Under my command, no you’re not,” another voice said from the doorway. There, standing there, looking like a leading Lion of the pack, stood Galadral Phoenix. He stared through his thick blond hair at them all, nodded, and said, “Miss Weasley told the Slytherin prefect, and I caught wind of it as your little duel happened. You’re lucky not to be given detention. Dueling, twice, unauthorized, on school grounds. Potter was suspended and you… you will stay here for the remainder of the day, and leave for lessons tomorrow. So no, you’re not fine.”

Scorpius, Riley, and Walter were the first to leave. They were followed by Alex and Eric, Laura tailing everyone. Albus never talked to the Headmaster before, so this was a first. He wondered if he was strict. Now, he was getting his question answered. Headmaster Phoenix eyed them both, and said gruffly, “Magic in the corridors are not to be used in school, but magic outside is permitted, provided it is safe magic. The result of the duel proves to say it was precisely contrary to what I’d expect in a school duel.”

“If Albus wasn’t such a”-

“I don’t care what Albus was and was not,” Galadral interrupted with a hint of anger and disappointment on his face. “You will remain here until tomorrow as I command. That’s what I wish, and it will be carried out.”

“Any why expel, Potter, huh?” Mark challenged suddenly. “What about Malcolm? He fired stunners at us. He was more dangerous and he”-

-“has good grades unlike Potter and therefore got off easy. I must warn you not to question who I punish and who I do not. I’m taking fifty points from each of you. I already took fifty from James for provoking this! Good day.” And he left.

“A hundred points from Gryffindor,” Mark gaped, staring angrily at the door Galadral disappeared through, as if it was the door that had offended Mark’s ego so much. “Fifty points from the snakes and a hundred points from the courageous on top of a suspension. So unfair. Slytherin scum!”

The room was completely empty but for Mark and Albus. Albus could tell it was only the early afternoon, so they had a while before bed would come. Or that’s what he thought before a loud knock sounded on the door. A knock too loud to be anyone. It had to be him. And as expected, when Madam Pomfrey opened the door, it was Hagrid. “I insis’” he said before Pomfrey could protest, and he walked in.

Mark looked up at Hagrid, as if expecting the giant to visit him, but he stopped by Albus’ bed. “Duelin’ huh? Yeh really are differen’ than yer dad.”

“I have my own issues,” Albus mumbled.

Hagrid ruffled Albus’ hair, and reached into his bag. He pulled what looked like three cards. He hid their contents with his giant hand, and said, “I remember around twenty-five years ago, I was here giving a book to yer dad. Now, I give notes to yeh. Yer father told me ta give yeh this. Yeh’ll see who wrote it.”

He revealed the front note, and allowed Albus to take it. The Importance of Love by Harry Potter. Albus stopped himself laughing, but Hagrid caught the look, “If yeh think it’s too lame, you’ll see when you grow older. But I’m givin’ this to you.”

“My dad writes?”

“No, he wrote his thoughts,” Hagrid corrected. “He doesn’t write.” He laughed gruffly, and sat down. “According to yer father, there are different types of love. I thought you would read up on those different types this year, and he’ll give you the rest of his notes as you grow.”

Albus, aware of Mark’s eyes resting on him, took the notes, and read. They were fairly short really. He couldn’t think it would take over fifteen minutes. He started reading aloud.

“Love is not the malevolent aggressive leader. It is the force that can make or destroy a person based on his respect for it.”

“Friendship Love: This kind of love is perhaps the most common. It is the simple liking between one person and another. While the most simple and most common, it is still rare and complex. It is also useful. Under true friendship love, your friends are there for you when you need them. When you’re in trouble, your friends stick by you even in the toughest of times. A true friend is very rare, and if one can claim merely one, he or she is very lucky.”

“Like my feelings for the twins and vice versa,” Mark put in, talking more to Hagrid than to Albus.

“Romantic Love: This is one of the more complicated types of love. It varies between each gender as well. Romantic love is the deep affection and attraction toward another being. This sort of love is long-reaching and has long-term effects. A young boy’s feelings toward a girl is usually that based on physical attraction, and doesn’t always produce desired results of intimacy. However, a girl’s love toward a boy is sometimes based on admiration, and can evolve into that of deep respect and love toward the boy. It usually produces results, just as it did with me and so many others. In other cases, even the girl’s love is a simple crush, and gotten over with.”

“I certainly hope so,” Mark muttered. He must’ve been talking about Laura’s feelings towards him.

“Tough Love: Tough love is employed in a different way. While it usually strengthens both parties, it is tougher. Tough love is when one or both parties are tough and hard on one another in an attempt to force growth in a slow, painful, yet effective way. Sometimes, tough love may be concealing itself within supposed hatred. When two parties dislike and bully one another, the weaker one is encouraged to become stronger in an attempt to overpower the other. If used correctly, tough love, whether used intentionally or unknowingly, can produce excellent results.”

“I love you, Al,” Mark said sarcastically.

Albus smirked as he read this. He found Tough love the most interesting. That was what was happening between him and Mark and James. Their triangle of fire. The Romantic love reminded him forcibly of Laura’s feelings toward Mark, and the friendship love was in plain sight all the time. Alex and Eric loved Mark deeply. However, all sides hated him, Albus. They employed the aggressive tough love Harry talked about, just unknowingly.

“Hey, Hagrid,” Mark called. “If love is so powerful, how come it doesn’t rule?”

“Love is not the malevolent aggressive leader, it is the force that can make or destroy a person based on his respect for it,” Hagrid said, quoting the first note. Nodding at the both of them, he walked out.

The two boys lay in quietness for a time again, and then Mark spoke unexpectedly. “Your dad’s notes on love were deep. My love for Alex and Eric, and their love towards me, is friendship. Deep friendship. And there’s a load of love there. We’d die for each other. We stick together every step of the way. We’ve been friends since we were babies. We’re first cousins.”

That was interesting. Mark and the twins were cousins. That gave some insight into who they were. But cousins? That was all it took for them to be protective of him? There had to be a reason. “I have that with”-

“No one,” Mark interrupted. “Scorpius would never defend you, Al. That’s what you’re not getting, and what you’re blind to. I don’t care what house you’re in. Scorpius would never, ever risk his life for you.”

“Of course he”-

“You’re not listening to yourself,” Mark pressed. “Think! If you had the relationship with me that the twins have with me, who do you think is more likely to save your life if you were in danger? Scorpius, or yours truly?”

“I don’t only have Scorpius,” Albus mumbled.

“You know that Walter is very influenced by his brother,” Mark warned. “He may be your friend now, but wait. And as for Riley, well, he’s nuts. Lazy and uncaring toward everything. Unreliable. Need I say more?”

Albus took a minute to contain himself. The attack Mark was making on the Slytherin boys in Albus’ dormitories was unfair. While Riley was lazy, he wasn’t uncaring. If he was uncaring, he couldn’t be human. Mark was staring up again. He seemed to be quite thoughtful, and very agile. He proved himself more than once, and Albus wasn’t looking forward to the next duel any time soon. “C’mon, you don’t really hate me, do you Mark?”

Mark took a while to answer. He mulled it over in his mind, and then said slowly, “I don’t hate anybody. It’s not proper for me to hate you, Scorpy, or anybody else. The twins despise you, though.”

“Why do you hang out with them then?” Albus challenged. “If they’re so judgmental”-

“They’re my best friends,” Mark said simply. “Always were and always will be. Besides, they have a history with those of Slytherin house, and I don’t blame them.”

Albus shrugged. He stared ahead at the door, expecting it to open once more for Scorpius or some other visitor. For the first time, Mark had spoken to him willingly and openly. Maybe he wasn’t lying. Maybe the first duel did gain him some respect. Albus sighed, and said, “Thanks.”

Mark looked over at him, “For what?” he asked, an almost demanding expression on his face.

“For opening up,” Albus answered. “I understand you a little better now.”

Mark shrugged, but his look turned from indifference to happiness. As Albus was curious about Mark, Mark was curious about Albus. Of course he heard about the Potters, and who else to talk to about them than Albus? He smirked a little, and then looked straight into Albus’ eyes and said, “Now, you owe me. I have a few questions for you, and I want them answered.”

Mark asked much to Albus, and the questions he asked were personal. Yet, Albus found himself being quite truthful. Mark basically just wanted to know Albus’ personal life, and his relationships. Mark seemed to be all about relationships, but Albus found he couldn’t blame him exactly. Just, bare with him tonight, and then ignore him.

“So, what kind of relationship do you have with your dad?” Mark asked.

Albus shrugged, “We’re quite close. I tell him ev- well, almost everything.”

“Mum?”

“She’s good,” Albus smiled at the thought of his loving mother. “She’s always funny, and the main laugh at the dinner table. Except when mum is angry. Then it’s a hurricane.”

“Do you have a good relationship with the Weasley’s? Good family?”

“Of course,” Albus answered. He was surprised this was being asked. What was the point of all this? Why did Mark want to know about the life of someone he hardly liked? “My dad and Rose’s dad were best friends at school.”

“So, you’ve inherited both families,” Mark got straight. Albus could feel Mark was getting closer to the main point. But what was it? “Both were at extreme rivalry with the Malfoy family. Why are you such good friends with Scorpius?”

Albus was taken-aback. At first, he wanted to challenge Mark. To ask why he was good friends with Alex and Eric, but that was already answered. They were cousins and friends since babyhood. Albus was cousins with Rose and Hugo, and he loved both of them. He just never saw such deep bonding between cousins before Mark and the twins. Even though a possible contender would be Hugo and Lily. They were still children, but they were like brother and sister.

Albus hesitated on saying what was on his mind. He wasn’t sure if he was supposed to say anything about how he met Scorpius on the train and reveal how he wanted Gryffindor originally. But as he looked at Mark’s curious face, all of a sudden Albus was overcome with a rush of trust. Something told him that if he told Mark this; somehow, for some reason, Mark wouldn’t judge him.

“We met on the train. We argued about Slytherin and Gryffindor. To be honest, I wanted to make Gryffindor like my dad, and my older brother. But my reasons were for proving my brother wrong. The Sorting hat explained to me why I belonged in Slytherin and Scorps promised me I wouldn’t regret it.”

“And, has the promise been kept?”

Albus didn’t even have to think. He nodded, “So far, yes.”

“So, if he abandons you”-

“He won’t,” Albus said confidently.

“He almost did earlier, easily,” Mark smirked. “How do you know?”

“Scorps is my friend,” Albus said firmly. “He cursed you when he knew full well that the twins may hit back. That’s bravery.”

“Self-preservation,” Mark clarified. “It was nothing life-threatening. Would- would you kill yourself for Scorpy?” At Mark’s question, Albus hesitated, and Mark smirked, and said, “He’d hesitate the same way. I rest my case.”

Mark turned back to stare up, but Albus was struck with a sudden idea. There he was talking to Mark. He could find out what it was about him then and there. “Wait a sec, who are you?”

Mark almost laughed at that question, smirking in a pretentious way, “Mark Wallader. Your nemesis.”

“I mean, who is Mark Wallader?” Albus pressed. “I’m not an idiot, I heard what Eric said before you silenced him. During the duel. Who is Mark?” There. Albus had hit home. It was plain on Mark’s face. He was taken-aback, flustered, and went red. He bit his index finger in nervousness as Albus stared straight at him. “I know you’re hiding something.”

Albus expected Mark to look down in defeat, maybe admit few things about himself or his father, or brag about what his father did and open a controversy so Albus would understand him better. If ever, then was Mark’s chance to let out all his anger and feelings of pride and arrogance towards Albus, revealing what his dad did before. If Mark was truly full of himself, he’d brag.

What Albus didn’t expect was Mark going red in anger, face going dirty and scowling at Albus despite their moments of talking and say, “None of your business. Stay out of it, Potter.”

“You know my history, why can’t I kno”-

“You’re not the only famous family here, you know,” Mark blurt out. “So shut up and stay out of it. Don’t try to compare us!”

Completely taken-aback, Albus spent the rest of the afternoon reading the Wizarding Nation at War book that Rose took the liberty to giving while he was to stay there. Albus had nothing better to do, so he read quite a bit. He discovered that nearly fifteen years had passed between the two wars, but shots were fired throughout the intermission.

Death Eaters were being tracked down and arrested. As time wore on, people started feeling more secure. However, in 1994, Death Eaters were spotted again, starting with Peter Pettigrew. Peter was exposed to the old Order, and as the year progressed, more Death Eaters appeared in what was known as the 1994 Quidditch World Cup Riot. Barty Crouch Sr., a man who Albus knew as an extremist Ministry employee who despised the Dark Arts, died at the hands of his own son. Finally, Voldemort came back, killing a sixth year student as his first victim.

Albus understood now why he was named. He was named for Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape, two Headmasters his dad had told him about. He wondered if Mark and Scorpius knew this, but decided against asking Mark at that time. He’d have to remember later.

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