The Forgotten Memory
Chapter 23: The Secret Death Eater
Was it just Albus, or did he see Mark a lot more lately? When he looked back at how often he saw Mark before, he wondered. The only times he saw Mark was in classes and in the corridors. Now, he saw Mark almost everywhere. It must’ve been his mind playing tricks on him. He thought of Mark so much and how his parents were, that he ended up seeing Mark all the time.
Albus found himself spacing out on Mark, who bent down to write a note in Transfiguration. Redgrow was explaining about the magic of transforming animals, but stated clearly they wouldn’t be able to do so until fifth year.
Scorpius snorted at the comment, muttering, “If we’re not gonna do it, why get our hopes up?”
“Malfoy, voice down when I’m talking,” Redgrow said strictly. “Five points from Slytherin. Would you like to share what you were saying with the class?”
“No, sorry,” Scorpius muttered, going pink.
“Well, I think the class is anticipating a hilarious comment from you,” Redgrow pressed. “So, why don’t you share with us your little treat, and then pipe down and allow the lesson to continue?”
Albus had to feel sorry for Scorpius. He didn’t count on this, and Redgrow must’ve been doing this because of the intense ideological differences between houses. Even Era wouldn’t have taken points at the same comment.
“Why get our hopes up if we’re not doing it till fifth year,” he said aloud, his face transitioning from pink to red.
A couple of the students laughed, and Mark threw him an incredulous look. Some Gryffindors looked rather impressed, and most raised their eyebrows. The Slytherins threw threatening looks at the Gryffindors, warning them not to bully anyone.
Redgrow’s mouth thinned as Albus braced himself for her reaction. “Fifteen points from Slytherin.” Redgrow continued without any further courageous interruptions from anyone, explaining the difference between animals with spinal columns, and animals without.
The bell rang for end of period, and they got up to leave. Scorpius was complaining loudly of Redgrow’s unfairness, citing reasons such as Era’s willingness to be quiet over small comments like this and Ackerly’s knack for laughing at such jokes.
Mark turned to them, stopping both in their tracks, and smirked widely, “You really like causing trouble don’t you, Malfoy?”
“Shove off, Wallader!” Scorpius seethed angrily.
“You’re the one making trouble,” Albus told him.
“Stay off, Potter!” Eric said bitterly. “You all claim to be fair and open-minded, but you attack Redgrow, make trouble, and defend Era. Well, she is quite unfair to us Gryffindos.”
Scorpius had a reply ready at the second Eric finished, “Yeah, well Redgrow claims to be fair, but she leaves you all alone. Haven’t heard her take a point from Gryffindor once. At least Era is open about favoritism. So unless Gryffindors are dishonest”-
“Don’t call Gryffindors dishonest, Malfoy!” Mark said angrily, going red. “You’ve no right, especially as a grandson of a dishonest, Muggle-massacring Death Eater!”
Before Albus could stop him, Scorpius lashed back in just the way Albus feared. “Oh, that’s rich, coming from someone who has a Death Eater for a father anyhow! Is that why some weirdos are after him, to”-
Albus had no choice but to force his hand over Scorpius’ mouth and point his wand threateningly at Alex and Eric who withdrew theirs for a duel. Walter, who was just passing by, stopped at Scorpius’ comment and widened his eyes. He looked nervously from one side to the other. Scorpius and Mark were eyeing each other hatefully, leering, glaring, and sneering at each other. Walter had his hand in his pocket, ready to withdraw his wand if it came to a fight.
Albus half expected a full-fledged fight to break out. One which would undoubtedly involve Walter, and by extension, Malcolm and his gang, which would lure James’ group right in. Sometimes, a problem with Mark could evolve into a war between houses. But alas, nothing happened. Miraculously, Mark stepped back, face screwed against what looked like tears of shock, and walked away, doing his best to ignore Scorpius’ chiding comments of ‘coward’ and ‘weakling.’
Alex followed Mark off, but Eric stayed behind. Usually Eric stayed behind to confront those who attacked his cousin, and this time was no different. His wand was already out, and pointed at Scorpius. All it took was one word…
“You sick little basta”-
“He asked for it,” Scorpius said bitterly, kicking the ground in anger and walking away.
Albus felt Scorpius perhaps felt guilty of his outburst. After all, Lucius still held his aristocratic views. At least Harriet had changed and acted upon it. At least Harriet married the woman who had changed him, and had a son. But Scorpius was right. This was why someone was after Harriet. Revenge perhaps. Did Mark agree with such policies? So suddenly, Albus realized that Mark’s secret was indeed better left kept just that. Something as serious as this had the potential to evolve out of control.
Albus also felt Scorpius might’ve been a little too mean, especially when he called a hurt Mark a coward. That night in the dormitory, Scorpius was sitting up against his pillow in bed, red-faced and arms folded. Walter had just told Riley what happened and Riley didn’t even yell. He chastised Scorpius and called him a vicious snake which provoked Scorpius to yell, even though Riley was so calm and tired.
Riley was laying down in bed, staring up at the ceiling thoughtfully. Walter looked close to arguing too, and Albus knew he would. Walter was looking for the right things to say.
As expected, “That was jerky, Scorpius.”
“Shut up, Mold,” Scorpius grunted.
“You’re being a jerk!” Walter pressed. “What the bloody hell.”
“In case you haven’t realized, he started it!” Scorpius said bitterly. “He called my grandfather a Death Eater.”
“He was a Death Eater, Scorps, look in the history books!” Walter said back.
“Well, the war is over, and people can stop looking at me as some kind of bad guy,” Scorpius said angrily. “That’s why Mark hated me. That’s why Al hated me at the beginning. First Al, now you? I’m NOT my grandfather! My name is Scorpius Malfoy and I’m a better person than my father and my grandfather! I am a proud Pure-blooded Wizard and don’t need anyone telling me how to live and act!”
Walter was quiet, fiddling with a thread from his blanket, but now as red as Scorpius. “Well, at least Harriet changed his views. Your grandfather didn’t, and he passed them on to you. You may be against prosecution, but you’re still an aristocrat… and that’s one step away.”
“You’re one to talk, Mold, you”-
“DON’T insult my father, Malfoy!” Walter yelled. “He was never a Death Eater. Face is, in terms of family, you’re the worst of us!”
“Oh, really? Your father wasn’t a Death Eater, but he certainly holds views similar to my granddad! Who spawned Malcolm?”
“Malcolm is my brother!”
“I rest my case!” Scorpius raged. “He starts fights all over the place, and you- you’re influenced from him anyways. You said it yourself! You’re more likely than anyone to adopt those views!”
Walter withdrew his wand once again and pointed it at Scorpius’ neck threateningly. “Threaten my family once more Malfoy, and I’ll make you regret it. Maybe you’re ego needs humbling a little.”
“SHUT UP!” went a loud, deathly familiar voice. Albus looked wildly around, refusing to believe it was who his mind said it was. Riley was sitting up in bed, wide awake, staring at both of them. “You’re both just… stupid!” he finished lamely. “Quit fighting and just get to bed!” And after Riley said this, he threw himself back in bed, and surprisingly was asleep within seconds.
The next day dawned with Scorpius grumbling an apology to both Walter and Riley, who smiled tiredly, despite being so refreshed, and accepted. As for Walter, both apologized to each other. Walter was solemn, and tried to go further into assuring Scorpius that while he did look up to his brother, he, Walter, was still an individual.
He didn’t say anything, Albus doubted very much; however, that Walter would deviate from his brother if Malcolm was killing Muggles. Still, for now, Walter was a cool person and a good friend. Perhaps he was trying to show difference though, because he even good-naturedly helped a Muggle-born first year girl up when she tripped on a vanishing step, and the act was done in front of a disapproving Malcolm.
The term passed by normally. As normal as for any Hogwarts student. No more dueling took place, yet James retained control of the first year dormitory. Albus tried to help every now and then, sometimes with Mark watching, but to no avail. Dueling James was simply not worth it.
Mark simply didn’t even speak to Albus, and refused to look at Scorpius. As far as they were all concerned, they weren’t friends and weren’t meant to be friends, and didn’t want to be friends. As fate had it, they would forever be enemies. Harry’s idea of Albus becoming friends with Mark looked like it was going to fail.
Winter passed into Spring, and March brought love. The reading of Romantic Love came back to haunt Mark as Laura started to follow Mark around so much, he and the twins had to maneuver around, finding excuse after excuse, using secret passage after secret passage to get away from her. Albus believed that Mark was taking advantage of James’ control, and borrowed a certain ‘map’ to use these passages, because he was dodging Laura so well at times.
April came with showers, and passed into May. But May meant only one thing. The dreaded exams were finally upon them. Albus and Scorpius studied from books as hard as possible, Albus paying too many visits to the library to get the concept of the subjects he studied.
Peace ended eventually though. A loud knock sounded on the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom one May day for flying teacher Cantharis to solemnly look in. “Mr. Wallader. We need you. You too, Wallaby twins. This is urgent.”
Macmillan was as confused as everyone else, so no one thought to look at him questioningly. Mark and the twins walked out, equally confused. The door closed, and Macmillan continued the revision. Albus found himself partnering with Laura since Mark was out, but Laura was really bad. She was fidgety and almost erratic. The lesson ended for next period, but Mark and the twins weren’t there. After the final lesson, Albus returned to the Common Room with Scorpius, Walter and Riley for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. The weekend arrived.
Saturday dawned with both of them waking earlier than they would’ve liked. Albus promised Scorpius a trip with the invisibility cloak that weekend, so they sat under a beech tree with Rose, planning their excursion. Rose pursed her lips, but didn’t complain or threaten to tell them off.
“Red alert, Riley,” Scorpius muttered as Albus opened his mouth to speak on. They didn’t want Riley to know about the cloak yet. But Riley wasn’t there to hang out. He looked as solemn as Cantharis looked when he called Mark and the twins out. Walter was with him.
“Did you guys see Mark lately?”
Rose shrugged, and Scorpius looked up, “Come to think of it, I haven’t seen him since yesterday afternoon. Rose, was he in the Common Room?”
“James told me that his dormitory was empty at night,” Rose said. “So he didn’t sleep.”
“He didn’t leave, did he?” Albus asked.
Riley shook his head, eyes half closed, “He’s here. It’s just- well- I heard a rumor that someone in his family died.”
In a heartbeat, Albus remembered what he and Scorpius read together when they arrived after the Christmas holidays. He exchanged a nervous glance with Scorpius, and looked at Riley. He too knew what they read. “Did they get him?”
“Did who get who?” Rose challenged.
“Maybe the secret people killed Harriet,” Scorpius suggested, realizing just how childish that suggestion must’ve sounded.
Rose gaped at him in amazement and disbelief, ‘“Secret people?’ Are you nuts or something?”
“Let’s ask Hagrid,” Albus said, quelling the argument.
“I’ll go,” Walter spoke up.
He got up, and walked off toward Hagrid’s hut. He was seen knocking on the door. He didn’t walk in, but he was talking. He looked behind him a way away, and then looked back at the door. He nodded in thanks, and left. The door closed shut. Walter didn’t even return. He walked toward the lake, and out of sight behind a large bush.
Albus could only watch from afar and he saw that Walter looked solemn now too, and Albus found himself wondering if this was some secret that everyone was keeping. But Walter came back after ten minutes, tight-lipped, looked at Riley and nodded. He was right. “Mr. and Mrs. Wallader were both killed last night.”