Chapter 24.5 Bonus Flashback

Albus Potter and the Forgotten Memory

Mark/Albus Rivalry

A/N: This is a bonus chapter to help explain their rivalry in flashback form. Here are the scenes this will feature and for those of you who want a refined flashback and think they may need to reread some scenes, I’ll provide the chapter number with the scene.

This will feature the first day at Hogwarts, the argument between Scorpius and James (where Mark was very briefly present in playing a game of catch with the twins and catching Albus and Scorpius’ attention), a letter from Mark’s father concerning Albus, the argument between the two in Potions when Era demanded they talked, and two reflections, one being on Albus’ compliment to Alex after the Quidditch commentary and the other being conclusive taking place after the climax of their rivalry (the duel.)

Part One- The Train: (Ch. 1)

“What’s going on? You’re bothering us.”

These were Mark’s only words to Albus when they met on the train and nothing to Mark was ever such a fateful encounter. To Mark, the boy standing before him had a rush of familiarity. Mark could not explain it just yet, but to him the boy before him was like a lost friend. He was someone Mark had to have known before. Who was this boy and why did he have a sudden rush of interest in him?

When they retreated back to their compartment, Mark turned to the twins, in particular Eric. Eric had stated something Mark personally believed was radical. Well, if you’re scared, that’s why you should go in Slytherin.

“Why say something so radical, Eric?” Mark asked.

“Realize who he’s hanging with?” Eric asked, smirking all over. “Scorpius Malfoy. Remember, the pride and joy of the Malfoy household, the boy to raise the Malfoy name to glory once again, etc… I don’t tend to like people who associate themselves with Malfoys.”

“Uh, Eric, Lucius is dad’s third cousin,” Alex pointed out.

Mark and Alex started laughing and they talked no more of it. That did not mean the end for Mark though. His thoughts remained with the boy he met on the train. Scorpius or no Scorpius, Mark could not shake the feeling that it was a big mistake of theirs non to get involved in their conversation. He heard enough to establish that the boy was afraid of going into Slytherin and Scorpius was trying to erase such fear by saying that Slytherin house was good. Mark would soon find out why they were mistaken.

Part Two- The Snake in the Lion’s Den (Ch. 3)

“Potter, Albus!”

Mark widened his eyes and the twins shared the surprise this time. Even Eric grinned guiltily. Potter. “No way, Eric, we should’ve gotten involved,” Mark whined whisperingly.

“Shh, no use crying over spilt milk,” Alex said quietly. “Just listen.”

Mark was on his toes, listening closely for the decision. Potter. Albus Potter. A boy named for the legendary Dumbledore. Oh, the tales of the Legendary Albus Dumbledore are my favorite stories. Harry Potter named his son after him? What was he doing with a Malfoy? This doesn’t make sense. Only Alex seemed to notice his attention to the sorting this time. The decision was taking a while. The sorting hat seemed to be in conversation with the boy. Then…

“SLYTHERIN!”

Mark gaped open-mouthed as the son of Harry Potter, of all kids made the worse house. This did not make any sense. His father promised him the sorting was full of surprises but Mark did not expect this. He belonged in Gryffindor. “He belongs in Gryffindor,” he whispered to Alex as if it was his fault.

“Shh, our worries are if we will get Gryffindor,” Alex said back. “We want to have a dorm together, don’t we?”

Alas, it was not that simple. Alex and Eric made Gryffindor straight away but Mark… ah, Mark took a while. When he was called up, the sorting hat gazed inside his head and then he said the words Mark would never forget.

“Oh, another difficult one. Once again, the battle between Slytherin and Gryffindor makes itself known. Clever… intelligent. I see Ravenclaw in you my boy, but not for their standards… no I see wit of a Slytherin. Oh, yes, and courage. Courage to surpass the greatest of Wizards. You possess a very straightforward mind. I see loyalty… perseverance… and talent. Plenty of talent. Oh, I would need hours to fully explain your own mind to you. So much hidden potential you’re not aware of. One thing for sure… Slytherin, Wallader. You share a fear similar to a boy I sorted not too many names back. You fear Slytherin. Ah, but for bad reason. You belong in Slytherin. No doubt about it.”

Absolutely not.

“What’s this, I hear? Another feisty one?”

I demand two things of you, Mr. Hat.

“I’m here to serve.”

Firstly, you will inform me of Albus’ true mind straight away. I absolutely must know this. Secondly, I demand to be placed in Gryffindor. My cousins were there and we must have a dorm to ourselves. It would be amazing.”

“Ah, I’m afraid I must refuse on both,” the hat responded. “A hat is confidential and defends the wearer’s mind with his life. I betrayed it once, I will not betray a secret this time.”

This time? Hmm, so what did Potter demand to know about whom?”

“Oh, a sharp lad, very witty,” the hat joked. “Well, Mr. Wallader, I can tell you this and this only. Potter wanted to know Malfoy’s mind. I informed him that it is a good mind and I can tell you this… Potter has a good mind.”

Yet you put him in Slytherin.

“Yes, and you’re about to join him there.”

No way!

“Yes way. Your courage has the potential to serve Slytherin house well. Someone of your courage could work hand in hand with Potter and revolutionize the house for good. Give me one good reason why I should prolong a Serpent’s renaissance.”

I’ll give you more! The twins are my best friends and I’m… rather attached to them.”

“Yes, I see that.”

Well, then if you put me in Slytherin, hear me Mr. Hat, I swear on Merlin’s beard I will break every last school rule in place just to sleep in the Gryffindor dormitory with them. We have a pact to stick together at the cost of anything. If that means risking detention every hour so be it. I won’t rest until I reside in my rightful place. I will not be content with Slytherin… especially not in a room with Malfoy.

“Is that a threat?”

Yes.

“GRYFFINDOR!”

Mark got what he wanted, but it was a close call. What was I thinking? Threatening the very hat whose mercy I am under? He smirked to himself at the thought. Acted recklessly without fear of consequences. I must be a Gryffindor. He hugged the twins in the Hall and took their seats. A dormitory with them… just the three of them. He could not have asked for better.

Part Three- The Black Sheep: (Ch. 5)

“Listen closely, Mark,” Harriet said calmly with a hand on Mark’s young shoulder. Alex and Eric were sitting in the background. “All families have their black sheep. The Blacks have had their black sheep in the man named Sirius Black and so our family might one day sprout its own black sheep, one to make a change. Could it possibly be you?”

All had their black sheep. Mark knew this. As he watched Albus during the first Potions lesson, he realized the obvious. A black sheep. The Potters finally got their own. From a family of all Gryffindors, one went and made Slytherin. Mark had a personality to keep though.

By nature, I’m a traditional person, dad,” Mark responded. “I’ll never be the black sheep.”

The last straw for Mark that sealed his dislike towards Albus was not the idea of him being a black sheep though, but much more. The first day at Hogwarts, just before breakfast, Mark had the luck to overhear something very interesting. An argument between Albus and his older brother James. Just one statement needed to be heard.

“Shut up, James!”

“What’s up, Mark?” Alex asked happily, putting a hand on his back. He watched with him.

“Look at that, friends with a Malfoy,” Eric said pointedly. “When does that happen?”

“Could the Malfoy be a black sheep?” Alex asked calmly.

“Not likely,” Mark shrugged. “If he was, why on earth is the Malfoy a Slytherin? No, Potter is the black sheep. Just like dad said.”

“Unless Scorpy here thinks he can do better!”

“Well, who cares, race you to the Great Hall!” Eric sad quickly, sprinting off with Mark fast on his heels. Alex laughed loudly as he pulled ahead of Mark to the doors but was caught just before he could open the door.

Part Four- Harriet’s Letter: (Off-scene Between Ch. 5 and 10)

Dear Mark,

Interesting how this boy made Slytherin. Harry wouldn’t say when I met him for our protection. I know this though, at Hogwarts Harry was a Parselmouth and it made many, many think he was the Heir of Slytherin. We have serious doubts this is the case though, but if he was Parselmouth, his son might have inherited the trait. That might well be the reason he is in Slytherin, you know.

Anyways, don’t think too much of it. I may be wrong. I’m more concerned about your safety. Stick only with the twins this year and don’t trust anyone till you’ve had a chance to know them better and under safe conditions. I don’t like the idea of someone being after us. Pity it has to mar your first year at Hogwarts but hopefully the second year will be better.

P.s. I’m not against friendship with the boy.

Part Five- The Genius Outsmarted: (Ch. 11)

Albus stuffed the paper in Mark’s hands. “Here, do it, Wallader or I’ll take your little baby game to Era. She’s head of my house, you know. So I got the upper hand.”

“She can’t do anything, I’m a Gryffindor,” Mark said tiredly, still smirking.

“Well, then the Headmaster,” Albus smirked, triumphantly forcing Mark into silence and wiping the wide smile off his face. “Yeah, so you save yourself a lot of trouble and do your part, Mr. Self-righteous Wallader.”

Mark couldn’t help it this time. He had to smile. This one wasn’t arrogant or proud and he could tell this smile had mystified Albus. Albus had outsmarted him. Mark challenged him to a duel and Albus refused. Mark slipped an unfinished paper they were supposed to have done together in hopes Albus would be blamed for not completing his homework and what happens? Albus puts him down. Very good. You’re amusing. Wow, if you only knew how much fun you’re giving me this year… you’re more entertaining than the twins quite frankly. Well… ok maybe not that far. But you’re still entertaining.

Part Six- The Snake: (Ch. 13)

“You won’t believe this,” Alex said quietly as he walked back from a detention with Cantharis. It had taken much longer than he expected and Eric was asleep. His snores filled the room and only Alex was up with Mark. “After the commentary”-

“Good going by the way,” Mark interrupted, grinning. “That was brilliant.”

“Thanks, but… well… Al thinks so too,” Alex said, holding a grin back.

“What do you mean?”

“He stopped me before my detention with Cantharis to give compliments,” Alex shrugged. “Insisted it was good. Pity, I’m worried now. If he thinks I’m good, I obviously sucked.”

“Or, considering who he is, if he thought you were good, you must have been doubly bloody brilliant!” Mark grinned. “Know what I think though. Al isn’t a black sheep after all.”

“Oh really, what is he, a yellow one?” Alex joked.

“No, green,” Mark laughed. “Fits right in with Slytherin house. I’m serious. He’s a good guy by nature but… he misunderstands and he insists he’s right. He’s too proud to admit that the friends he’s got aren’t real. My problem with him isn’t that he’s Slytherin now, it’s that he doesn’t know. He’ll lose his friends… and I’ll prove it to him. If it takes me till the end of next year to do it, so be it.

Part Seven- Conclusion: After the Duel: (Ch. 19 off scene.)

“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 didn’t even know if he was joking. He asked for a duel and he got more. Albus never failed to amaze him and the duel proved it. This proved it. Mark could not hate Albus. Not at all. He could only like him. Actually like the boy who outsmarted him, dueled him and won.

As he walked back to the train with the twins, Alex questioned him on it. “You like him, don’t you?” Alex grinned accusingly as Mark spied Albus get up on the train with Scorpius.

“I most certainly do not,” Mark said airily. “Let’s go.”

“You can’t hide it, Mark!” Eric laughed as he caught up with them.

“I don’t swing that way,” Mark grinned.

“I don’t think you swing any way with that attitude,” Alex poked playfully. “Mark, come on, you like him. You want to be his friend. I know you do.”

“He’s the son of Harry Potter,” Mark told them, emphasizing the last part.

“He’s Slytherin.”

“He’s named after Dumbledore.”

“He’s Slytherin,” Eric said again.

“We heard you the first time,” Mark yawned as they took a seat in a compartment. “Truthfully… he means nothing to me. Believe me.”

“Then…”

“Then what? I hate his guts.”

“Mark, when are you going to stop hiding it?” Alex asked. “Just admit it. You like Albus.”

“I do not!”

Alex and Eric shrugged in a whatever-you-say sort of way. Mark tried to use the silence to contain his outburst but the silence and looks from the twins only made it harder. “What’s he doing in Slytherin anyway?” he burst to Alex’s laughter. “Look at him! A Potter, so much potential, actually intelligent, pretty nice, reaching, and he’s in Slytherin and friends with a Malfoy.”

Yeah, but you don’t care so it’s fine,” Eric shrugged.

“No, it’s not fine! Why’s he there?”

“Who cares?” Eric asked challengingly. “Harry is cool, that much we know. But his children… James is a bully and Albus is a Slytherin. He spawned a dark Wizard, Mark. Who cares?”

It was in vain. However much Mark tried to listen to Eric… it was no use. He had to like him. He no longer had a choice in the matter. I’ll prove it, Al. I’ll prove it to you. Your friends are not in Slytherin. You were swayed there. Your real friends are in Gryffindor… and one day I’ll personally make sure you’re resorted.

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