The Forgotten Memory
Chapter 22: Unwanted Library Time
The Christmas holidays ended with cheer for the children. Albus couldn’t wait to get back to Hogwarts. He gave Hugo a tight hug and Lily an extra kiss on the cheek as they raced into the brick wall to platform 9 ¾.
Term started immediately. Alas, even at the beginning, Albus found himself preoccupied with thought of who Mark was during Charms class with Professor Ackerly, who started to work with them on a leg-growing Charm. Albus and Scorpius teamed up and got to work on their cup.
The cup smashed for the fifth time when Scorpius sighed and said, “I’ll make you a deal. I’ll go to the library with you again if you just buck up and do the Charm. I don’t want homework.”
Shrugging, Albus readied his wand, and flicked it, saying the incantation. Scorpius widened his eyes as it seemed to work. Four skinny brown legs protruded out of the base of the cup, and it started picking itself up to stand. Alas, the legs were too weak and it fell back down, shattering for the sixth time.
“Well, I was close enough,” Albus mumbled.
Scorpius had to keep his promise though, so when Saturday morning arrived, they went up to the library and sat themselves down at a table. It was bad enough having to go to the library again, because Madam Wolf wasn’t the best of librarians. Not that she didn’t know her books, because she did; she was just pressing, annoying, and never left her precious books out of their shelves without her yellow-eyed watch for more than two seconds.
“Ok, so how do we use libraries?” Scorpius wondered aloud.
“I think we ask the librarian,” Albus shrugged. “That’s what Rosie does.”
“Oi, Madam Wolf,” Scorpius called loudly, earning himself a loud shush.
Madam Jane Wolf strode up, fixing Scorpius with a wolfish glare. The blonde boy recoiled and stuttered, “W-well, we-we’re looking f-for information on the Wallader family.”
“Are you by any chance using my library for prying on other students’ lives?” Wolf demanded quietly. “I don’t appreciate”-
“No, Miss, we’re just”-
“Madam,” she corrected. “I don’t appreciate my books being used for spying purposes!”
“We’re not spying!” Scorpius argued incredulously. Madam Wolf looked taken-aback, as if she had never been challenged before. But Scorpius looked surprised at himself, because he recoiled more.
At Scorpius’ fright of pursuing the subject, Albus had to take the lead, and he told her, “We’re trying to understand him better, and I heard they’re a famous family. If everyone knows… what’s the secret?”
Madam Wolf just stared down at him for a while, considering the story, and then walked off. They gaped after her as she stopped at a far-off bookshelf and scanned. Two seconds, and she withdrew a book. She didn’t walk it back to them; however, but Charmed it to fly towards them and land on their desk, open, with a loud thud, earning them a louder shush.
“Well, not the way I planned, but”-
Albus scanned the page it opened at. Was it just by luck, or did Madam Wolf purposely set it to open on that page for them? The caption at the top of the page informed them the book was called Unsung Heroes of the First and Second War. The very book they had looked in before.
“Chapter 4, the Wallader family,” Scorpius muttered. “Ok, I guess we found it. Good going on the storytelling.”
Albus scanned the book quickly, looking for the name Wallader. If he could find it, they could discover what made the Wallader’s such a famous family and what made Mark an arrogant jerk.
They scanned for three pages, finding nothing on any Wallader until they came across the name Harriet, underlined with a thick black line.
…Harriet Wallader, an instrumental person in both Wizarding wars.
Scorpius smirked as he pointed to the bottom of the page. Albus looked and widened his eyes, disbelieving what he read:
An original Death Eater, Harriet Wallader held off the Order and infiltrated the Ministry, giving away plans and developments to the Death Eaters. However, he was caught by then Co-Head of the Auror Department Barbara Wallaby. The Daily Prophet was never allowed to press and all that is known is that Harriet came out completely reformed.
A further meeting with Head of the Order Albus Dumbledore solidified this change, and Harriet was as reformed as Severus Snape. Working closely with Albus and Barbara, he gave away all the plans the Death Eaters had set up, forcing them to retract many, and ultimately bringing about the retreat of the giants and decreased Dementor attacks.
There were seven assassination attempts against him, but all were unsuccessful. Harriet, being a very clever man, knew of their methods, and used them against the Death Eaters. All seven times, the Death Eaters involved were killed or arrested and handed over to Head of Law Enforcement Squad Barty Crouch.
During the second war, Harriet was less instrumental, but increased his methods. He didn’t do much fighting himself, for fear of attack on him or his family, but he demonstrated at that time the use of living like a Muggle, which he theorized would increase a Wizard’s power through greater appreciation. This was originally a theory of his father, a theory Harriet rejected during his dark days. Some speculate he intended to show himself reformed by living like a Muggle.
As a Muggle throughout the two years of warfare, he had limited contact with the Wizarding world. He headed an underground group called Servant of the Order, worked closely with Dumbledore, and ordered currently unknown actions by his group and Order members which ultimately kept the Goblins out of the war, and decreased the amount of giant participants. He once again held off Dementor attacks, using a Patronus Charm to ward them off.
Some argue therefore, that living as a Muggle was ineffective, because he occasionally used the Patronus Charm and the Protean Charm to keep himself hidden and keep Muggles in London safe from Dementors…
Albus and Scorpius stared at each other in amusement, especially Scorpius. How euphoric he looked and must’ve felt when he read that Mr. Harriet Wallader, Mark’s father and a Gryffindor to the core, was a Death Eater originally.
Albus could sense Scorpius’ glee; therefore, when he brightened up, grinning so arrogantly over his pale face, grey eyes so wide Albus was sure he could not have been happier. “Al! We got so much on him! He’s nothing! What he thinks doesn’t matter! All this crap about Gryffindors having a clean record… Al, we could- we could probably make him cry!”
“Let’s not,” Albus muttered.
“If he tries anything against us again… he’s gonna pay dearly,” Scorpius said happily. “Al, you must keep this book in mind. We want to remember this.”
“But something still doesn’t fit,” Albus told Scorpius, still unsatisfied. “Why was he called out of class before the holidays?”
“Who cares?” Scorpius shrugged. “Students are called out all the time.”
“You were there,” Albus pressed. “Even Longbottom needed to be out, remember?”
“Well, we can’t do anything either way,” Scorpius responded, changing tact. Albus could tell he hardly wanted anything further to do with this. He had what he wanted. “Just drop it, and whatever happens will happen.”
“I’m gonna ask Professor Longbottom,” Albus concluded. “Herbology lesson.”
But if Albus planned to ask him next Herbology lesson, it obviously did not work out. Albus was too preoccupied when Professor Longbottom surprised them all with his promised visit to the Whomping Willow.
“So, if we’ll line up, boys in one, girls in the other,” Neville organized. He scooted the boys in one line, and even had to widen the gap between lines when one Slytherin girl threatened to hit a Gryffindor boy.
The trip was uneventful for the most part. Longbottom explained to them the nature of the Whomping Willow and how it was a tree that always hit back. “This kind of rare plant does not distinguish between an accident and an attempt to harm. That is why it is best dealt with by experts and its planting is strictly controlled by the Ministry of Magic.”
The lesson nonetheless got flavor added to it a bit nearer to the end, because Scorpius pushed Mark into the trunk, which provoked the Willow to start smashing about. Mark screamed in a high-pitched voice, almost girly, further provoking laughter from the Slytherin end and angry looks and threats from the twins.
Scorpius stamped his feet on the ground in laughter and even Albus couldn’t help but grinning at it. Longbottom immobilized the dangerously moving tree, and turned on Scorpius, unmistakably angry. “How dare you! I brought you here on condition you behave and you failed. Everyone, back to Greenhouse One. Malfoy, Potter, remain here with me. Potter, Malfoy, detention this Saturday.”
“Why me?” Albus challenged to claps from the Gryffindors. “Neville, ple”-
“Professor Longbottom,” Neville corrected. “Sorry, I have to be fair. You knew of his plans, did nothing to prevent it, watching and allowing it to happen. Plus, you’ve instigated many fights against Mark.”
“He started it! Ask Professor Phoenix,” Albus pleaded, Scorpius nodding at his side. “Mark challenged us to a duel, did the shooting and offending”-
“Al,” Neville interrupted. “I have reasons for defending the boy. You two will be at my office Saturday night at eight and that’s final.”
On Saturday, Albus begrudgingly walked with Scorpius to Neville’s office, not bothering to speak to him. They knocked. Neville’s voice sounded, “Enter,” and they did so. They sat themselves down at a seat in front of Neville. The office was filled with moving plants, and vines were growing on the chair legs. It was dimly lit, a lone candelabra in the center of the table being their only source of light.
Neville didn’t set them lines as Albus expected though. He leant forward across the desk, and began, “I wanna explain something to you two. I’m not against your friendship. I think it’s good you two have managed to get along despite differences between families. But I want to point something out. What you two are getting yourself into with Mark will only do more harm than good.”
“Mark started it with us,” Scorpius defended.
“I’m not denying that,” Neville interrupted. “But, Malfoy, Mark, as a boy in a large family like yours, faces problems at home and doesn’t need additional ones to worry about.”
“He shouldn’t have started it then!” Scorpius seethed angrily. “Why give him better treatment? Why not give him detention? Powerful family? Is it because he’s in Gryffindor?”
“No, he has his reasons,” Neville answered simply. “Understand I cannot say much, but”-
“We know Professor,” Albus mumbled, interrupted Neville apologetically. “We know the history concerning his father. We’re not stupid. We know he was a Death Eater, we know he kept the first and second wars quieter than they otherwise would’ve been, and we know he’s a great guy who lived as a Muggle and”-
“How did you find this out?” Neville asked calmly.
“Hogwarts library,” Scorpius smirked.
“And dad has Auror work involving them,” Albus recalled, remembering Harry mentioning them in his Auror work during their solo talk. It wasn’t till then when Albus thought too much of it though. “What’s with them? And how does it involve you?”
“It doesn’t concern you, Al, I’m sorry”-
“Well, you’re taking it out by detaining us and sparing poor Mark,” Scorpius said back challengingly. “So, I think it does concern us now. How are you involved in this?”
“Doesn’t matter. I was given a mission here and I’m seeing it through. You may leave. Just stop causing trouble for him. You never know how kids have it in their personal lives, and you must stop judging people based only on their social lives.”
It was no use staying mad at Scorpius, especially since he got enough information from Longbottom to keep him guessing. When Walter was asleep and Riley was sitting up in bed, eyes half closed but still awake, Scorpius and Albus remained up and talking actively.
“So, your father has Auror work with Harriet,” Scorpius got straight. “Aurors are for fighting Dark wizards; otherwise to provide protection from dark Wizards. Longbottom was asked by your dad to look after Mark. But why take Mark out?”
“I dunno,” Albus shrugged.
“Maybe Harriet is still suspected!” Scorpius said idealistically. “It seems just like the Ministry to still crack down on Death Eaters… not that- that there’s a problem…” he stuttered at Albus’ face. “So maybe they suspect him, and Harry is keeping an eye on him. That would explain Mark’s hatred towards you.”
“Well, then why is Neville guarding Mark?” Albus asked.
“He’s against your dad,” Scorpius shrugged.
“He’s Dumbledore’s Army and a family friend,” Albus said defensively, not sure why he was defending Neville when he got an unfair detention hours ago.
“People betray each other, Al,” Scorpius rolled his eyes.
“Harriet orchestrated the defeat of two wars anyhow, so”-
“Oh, Al, don’t go rushing to his defense now, just because he”-
“I’m not rushing, I’m just”-
“You’re both stupid,” Riley yawned. He sighed in tiredness, and stretched before he continued as Albus and Scorpius expected him to. It wasn’t like him to get involved in conversations unless they had merit. Albus and Scorpius both knew Riley to be clever, and only liked doing clever puzzles.
“Harriet is not a bad guy, because there’s nothing to be a bad guy for,” Riley said lazily. “Plus, your explanation solves the entire mystery, Scorps, which is completely unlikely. Mysteries are not that easily solved. Harriet orchestrated the defeat of the Death Eaters twice and has no reason to go bad. Plus, Barbara converted him, and he married her. So as long as he’s with her…”
“Barbara betrayed us too then! Or maybe they divorced. That would explain Mark’s ass attitude!”
“Now, we’re going into conspiracy theories,” Riley shrugged. “And if they divorced, we’d know.”
“How do you know about Mark and his”-
“More than you,” Riley smirked lazily. “Aurors are also for providing protection for people against Dark Wizards. Harriet is just the guy who’d need protection against people who’d want revenge. Even after the second war, there are still people who look down on Muggles. If it’s proven that living as a Muggle for a time would increase power… it’s dangerous to ideologies. So, Mr. Potter organizes a protection for Harriet and his child. So, who is threatening the Walladers? For what reason? What will it gain?”
Albus and Scorpius looked thoughtful for a few seconds and Riley continued on. “Well, here’s a theory you can work on. Wallader proved to be clever and resourceful in two wars, keeping everything back in favor of his side. In another, it would happen again. So, he could be targeted for assassination to keep him silent in anticipation of another war. That is of course… a little far-fetched. It could just be an angry psycho.”
And to Albus’ surprise and to the indignation of Scorpius’ insulted ego, Riley yawned once more, stretched, and then tiredly announced bed, in which he fell asleep almost immediately.