Chapter 5 Friend or Foe

The Forgotten Memory

Chapter 5: Friend or Foe

Albus had a rather usual dream that first night. A bodiless low, hoarse voice in the air was predicting the future and a four-legged creature was listening carefully and solemnly. The creature at second glance looked like a lion but when Albus peered closer, he saw that the lion’s mane covered not a cat’s face but a bird’s face. A red bird’s face tearing slightly as the hoarse voice came to an abrupt halt. A jet of green light engulfed the scene but Albus and the lion-bird stood. Then, Albus looked and saw his father standing tall beside him, looking alert. Another jet of green light, and Scorpius’ voice sounded, saying, Al, Al. Al, get up. Al!”

Albus awoke next morning to Scorpius shaking him awake. Albus was trying in vain to feign sleep for just a bit longer, but Scorpius was too persistent. Eventually, there was nothing to be gained, and Albus got up. Scorpius stepped back, and watched. Albus wiped his eyes, and groggily said, “Alright, alright, M’up.”

“C’mon mate, we’re gonna be late,” Scorpius said hurriedly. “Get dressed and eat breakfast. We got classes at nine.”

“When were you my dad?” Albus asked tiredly, throwing himself in his robes.

“Well, you hardly ate yesterday?” Scorpius complained. “Besides, I need someone to talk to during breakfast.”

“So, talk with Riley or someone,” Albus said tiredly, putting his pajamas on the bed, and making his way to the hall off the dormitory. “I wanna send my letter.”

“Riley is boring,” Scorpius complained almost whiningly. “Talks lazily. I got a letter to send too ya know. Eat breakfast, let’s do our classes, and we’ll send our letters during break. C’mon Al.”

“Ok, ok, stop pouting,” Albus said, annoyed. “I’ll eat, just leave me alone.”

“Wow, someone got off on the wrong side of the”-

“Shut up, and let’s go,” Albus said, already at the opening to the hall. Scorpius shrugged, slightly taken-aback, and followed. They walked out of the snake hole, and up back to the warmth of the castle, Ursa the cat treading along with them.

Scorpius hissed like an angry cat, and shielded himself from the sun as if he was a nocturnal vampire. Albus looked over at him, still groggy, and tired, eyes half closed, and said, “Not funny.”

“If this was yesterday, you’d be laughing,” Scorpius complained.

“You don’t know me too well, do you?”

“Oi, AL!” a youthful voice called across the Entrance Hall. It was James. He, Louis, and the brown-haired boy who helped Albus up during the tripping incident were coming from the staircase to the towers. A blonde boy was with them. The blonde boy they saw pat the first Gryffindor girl during the sorting. The boy had red flecks of hair at random parts with the blonde.

James grinned triumphantly, Albus looked down. “So, Slytherin huh? Told you so.”

“Shut up, James.”

“Oi, is Al always cranky?” Scorpius asked.

For a minute, James was silent. He looked surprised that Scorpius was speaking to him. He looked at Albus, and then at Louis, thinking one of them spoke to him, but then rested his eyes on Scorpius. “Why, what’d he do?”

“He speaks impatiently, and tried avoiding me when I woke him up,” Scorpius answered.

James laughed, “You woke him up? Well, that explains everything. Little advice for living with my brother. Wake him up, and die. You’re lucky. He’s been crankier.”

The blonde cleared his throat so loud, that James looked round. “Oh yeah. This is Nigel. Nigel Creevey. My year. You know Louis. And this is Samuel Redgrow. You met him. Fred’s off being naughty.”

James seemed to be speaking to Albus. As a matter of fact, he ignored Scorpius as if he wasn’t there any longer. He bent lower, and said, “I am the eyes and ears of the castle. If you need help, come to me.”

Scorpius coughed. James turned around, and stared, “Unless Scorpy here thinks he can do better.”

“The name is Scorpius,” Scorpius said, scowling.

James rolled his eyes, “Yeah.” Before Scorpius could respond, there came a yell from behind James, and two red-head blurs raced past them all. Next moment, the blonde boy, Mark, chased after them, laughing. He’d caught them at the doors to the Great Hall, and laughed their way inside.

Scorpius smirked, and said, “Alright, King Jimmy, who’re those two? ‘Cause they’re popping up everywhere.”

“They’re first year,” James answered, sounding annoyed. “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!”

“You’d think a thousand Manticores resided under us,” Nigel commented humorously.

“Was that good for you, Scorpy?” James asked sarcastically, mocking concern for grade.

“Great, what’s with the sarcastic tone?” Scorpius challenged.

“Quit arguing both of you,” Albus snapped at them as James opened his mouth to respond. “Or I’ll personally go up to owlery right now.”

“He’s been crankier,” James muttered to Scorpius as they walked off.

Scorpius turned to Albus. He had an apologetic look on his face, “Sorry about that. I was just joking really. I don’t have anything against your brother, even though he is a self-righteous Gryffindor who”-

“Shut up, Scorps,” Albus muttered angrily. “Give it a rest.”

“Don’t be like that, Al. My name is Scorpius, not Scorps or especially Scorpy. And I was just saying, we’re different, but we don’t have to fight. Who cares if I’m a Malfoy?” Scorpius continued. “So, if he is a little self”- he stopped upon spotting a still angry look on Albus’ face –“I mean, a little- well a little too reckless, I won’t make problems with him. You have my word.”

Albus looked at Scorpius as they made their way to the Slytherin table. When they sat down, Scorpius sighed at his empty plate, and said resignedly, “And if you don’t wanna be my friend, I suppose I can’t force you.”

“Who said I don’t wanna be your friend?” Albus asked, puzzled.

“I know you’re still mad at being in Slytherin, but I promise you, it’ll be awesome,” Scorpius said, piling his plate with treacle tart, and setting some éclair and tarts in Albus’ plate. “Did you see Riley and Walter last night? We’re gonna make an awesome group. We thought Walter would be bad, but he’s actually pretty cool. I talked to him this morning.”

“Will we make a tolerant group?” Albus asked he stuffed his face with an éclair.

“Of course,” Scorpius answered. “And it seems you’re in a better mood. Looks like you just needed to eat.” Albus didn’t answer. He ate his way through breakfast, a lot better than the night before as Scorpius went on babbling. “And remember that Mold character? Well, imagine if we got his brother to join us, and we really did give James information- for money- we’d be rich, Al! That’d be such a great idea.”

Albus went on eating in peace until they were hailed by Riley and Walter. Malcolm Mold also came up to greet them. He was beside his brother. The difference between the two was uncanny; Malcolm was blonde and Walter had brown hair; Walter had a plump face with a mid-sized body and Malcolm had a skinny build and drawling face.

Albus and Scorpius did not pay attention to them though, keeping in conversation instead. Albus, though cranky was paying attention to Scorpius’ conversation with James about that Mark kid in Gryffindor.

You’d think a thousand Manticores resided under us

Loud? Why was Albus so curious? He hardly knew the boy and yet, he felt like the boy was someone he had known a long time ago from another life. If he had the chance to ask his dad about him, he’d take it.

“You know, I share your curiosity about Mark,” Albus muttered quietly so Malcolm could not hear.

“Oh, thank Merlin I’m not alone,” Scorpius breathed. “I thought was becoming obsessed. Yeah, he is kind of weird. I dunno why he keeps coming up. Did you notice how he is always around those red-heads? They look nothing alike, the twin look like they’d fit right into the Weasley’s actually… erm, no offense, Al.”

“I’m half Weasley and I felt offended,” Albus said in a neutral yet sarcastic voice. “I dunno, just because one is blonde and the others are red-head doesn’t mean they’re not related.” Albus was judging by his own cousins. Uncle Bill was after all a red-head and his daughters were blonde except Louis who was the only one of the children with red hair.

“So what, they’re triplets?” Scorpius challenged.

“No, but they could be cousins… or simply really good friends,” Albus shrugged.

“What, that Wallader kid?” Malcolm asked loudly. “One real ass asking to be demoted, huh Walter?”

But if Albus thought once that Walter was going to be like Malcolm, he was about to be proven wrong. He was about to learn that Walter had his own personality and the fact he lived in a Hogwarts dormitory now with other people liberated him.

“We’ve met,” Malcolm said happily, offering his hand to Albus. “Sorry about the rude introduction yesterday. Malcolm Mold. Slytherin. I’ve been hanging around, trying to get a look at the first years, but Potter stopped me. How about you hang out with me, and we teach him a lesson, huh?”

Albus looked at his hand, and looked up at Malcolm. Scorpius watched with an expressionless face as Albus said, “You called me a maggot, and insulted my big brother. Go away.”

“Oh, so you’re influenced by what your brother tells you,” Malcolm smirked.

“No, I’m influenced by what you tell me,” Albus said simply. “And that’s why I’m telling you to go away.”

Malcolm looked at Scorpius hopefully, but Scorpius yawned, and said, “What Al said.”

Malcolm threw them a dirty look, and turned to his brother, “Well, are you coming, Walt?”

Walter was quiet, silent, staring down at his plate, looking quite hurt. He sighed quietly, and looked up at Malcolm, though not directly into his cold eyes, “You have a problem with someone being influenced by his brother?”

“Are you coming?” Malcolm repeated through gritted teeth.

“I wanna sit with them,” Walter answered, without meeting his brother’s eyes.

It was probably just as good Walter didn’t look Malcolm in the eyes. Malcolm looked positively angry. He stamped his foot, and slapped his thigh, yelling, “Traitor!”

People started looking in curiosity at the yell, but they’d have more to look at. Malcolm kicked poor Ursa in anger, who jumped, and screeched loudly. Spitting and hissing, it jumped up, claws protruded and paw extended. Scorpius yelled, “OI!” as Malcolm covered his face. “What the bloody HELL!” Scorpius yelled.

“That feline fool scratched me!”

“You asked for it!” Scorpius said back angrily.

A couple of onlookers started laughing, but a tall witch with long black hair came up and stared at them through black eyes, “What’s going on?” she asked coolly.

“I am Malcolm Mold, son of a School Governor, and I demand this cat persecuted and eradicated!” Malcolm demanded angrily to the black-haired witch towering over him.

“And I am Scorpius Malfoy, Pure-blooded son of a Deputy Undersecretary to the Minister, grandson of an influential aristocratic official and former School Governor, and refute that demand!” Scorpius said highly and proudly to much applause from onlookers and listeners.

Scorpius said so with such intense pride too, that the words, which in Albus’ point of view were nicely chosen, had results. Malcolm, fearing a further feline attack and trouble with a teacher and possibly Ministry officials, walked off angrily. The words, though nicely chosen though, proved to Albus that despite Scorpius’ words, he was still a Malfoy.

Heads of Houses arrived to give the schedules. The woman who arrived to hand Albus and Scorpius their timetables and interrupted Malcolm was a beautiful witch. She was tall, and stocky with black eyes, black robes, and a long black shawl on. Black hair rolled down in locks on either side, and at the back, it fell in a flowing blackness to a little under her shoulders, which were broad enough. Her skin was a pale white, and at first sight, mesmerized Riley.

“Timetable,” she said, slamming it to the table in front of Albus.

“Way to drop it on us the second we get here,” Scorpius muttered as he checked it. “Today; Double Potions with the Gryffindors, Charms with the Ravenclaws, and Transfiguration with the Gryffindors… blimey, they really wanna throw it on us don’t they? We’ve got a day full of a bunch of nerds, and self-righteous idiots.”

“Well, we got a break after Double Potions with… Professor Forma Era,” Albus read off the table. “Hey look at this day. Defense Against the Dark Arts with the Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors with Professor Macmillan. Wednesday at nine. That’s good. Well, we’d better get going. If we’ve got Double Potions.”

Scorpius followed him up without a word. Riley and Walter followed them both to the Entrance Hall, and back down to the dungeons where Albus had a feeling he’d be seeing a lot of this year.

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