The Forgotten Memory
Chapter 8: A Wizarding Nation At War
Albus felt embarrassed as Scorpius left Hagrid’s hut. He didn’t understand his motivations. Why take what Hagrid said so personally? He made a mental note to himself to write to his dad, and demand the truth the next break he got. Perhaps he should get Rose and James in on it too. What did Harry do that Albus didn’t know about? What did he do that was controversial enough to spark a fierce argument between Scorpius and Hagrid?
Albus went through the rest of the day without talking to Scorpius at all. At first, he promised himself he’d talk to him at night, but that didn’t work out as planned. Albus was approached by Mark in the evening to be told that they were using the talon of a Hippogriff. Mark seemed very reluctant to even talk to Albus, and Albus chose to ignore him as much as possible. When he went to the dormitory to talk to Scorpius, Walter Mold stepped in to talk to Albus energetically, asking questions about homework assignments until around eleven when Scorpius fell asleep.
The rest of the lessons went by slowly. With no Scorpius to talk to, Albus was for the most part bored. Scorpius seemed to be ok. Albus thought their rift would heal immediately, but Scorpius had other friends, it seemed. By the afternoon, Albus was savagely wishing that he never visited Hagrid. He was starting to miss Malfoy. Riley wasn’t a lot of fun either. He was usually quiet, and stayed responsive the entire time. He wouldn’t even say what Harry did that was so amazing. What was so secretive? Did he kill someone without authorization?
The strictest teacher was Redgrow. She was Samuel’s mother, and very strict to those not in Gryffindor. Professor Redgrow was brown haired like her son, but it was long, and she had a girlish voice. She was tough and strict. She had taken ten points from Slytherin just because Albus was talking with an unresponsive Riley at the back.
In the evening, Albus skipped dinner, and dragged James and Rose off to ask Harry. They were also going to make a copy for Ron to put more pressure. Albus felt guilty for sending another letter so quickly before he even got a response from the first one, but it had to be done.
It’s Albus. I heard something amazing at Hogwarts. I heard that you were famous. Is that right? I keep hearing different stories about Muggles and Muggle-born’s, and I don’t know what to say. Dad, I never asked you this before, but what was your Hogwarts years like?
Wednesday came, and Defense Against the Dark Arts was first. Macmillan was not the best teacher, but it was Albus’ favorite subject. The lesson was introductory, but he noticed Macmillan was a little complacent, quite pompous.
Macmillan was a stout man, late thirties, with almost no facial hair except small amounts of blonde on his cheek. He looked quite likable in Albus’ opinion, but Albus could tell Scorpius didn’t like him too much. He was resting his head on the table.
“I will teach you how to defend yourselves against the cruelest of Arts. However, you will have to be matured and grown before you are able to conjure shields. I don’t think children can do it just yet. But to give you an idea of what to look forward to… he conjured without words a silver shield, and had it remain there for half a minute before vanishing it.
Ernie sighed, and looked around uncertainly. Clearly, this was his first time teaching. First week on the job. “You may recall me as Head of Department of Law Enforcement, specifically Hit Wizard Department, so I will keep a wary eye here, and I do expect homework to be turned in on time.”
“Wait, are you still Head?” Walter asked. “Surely you can’t have one job over the other.”
Ernie smiled as a couple of students laughed. Mark and the twins exchanged glances and grinned, and Laura moved out of resting position. “Yes, I am. I direct my employees from Hogwarts. Someone of my capabilities can do so.”
“What’s that, sir?” a Slytherin girl asked, pointing to what looked like a gold galleon attached to a silver string hanging on Professor Macmillan’s neck like a necklace.
He looked rather pleased at the question, though Albus thought the class was asking quite personal questions. He raised his galleon up, and showed it off, “Medal of Honor. Used for communication back then. Fought in the second war, and triumphed. Helped make the world and Hogwarts safe for you all.” His eyes wandered off into the distant past before finally settling again and eyed the class. “Ok, first thing you remember is one very important lesson. A lesson I will continue reminding you of during your seven years here. The Wizarding world of the Dark Arts is a circle. Every curse has a Counter-curse. That curse which is placed on you can and will be broken with either time or a counter-curse…”
Albus rolled his eyes, and ended up mimicking Scorpius in resting his head as Macmillan was explaining the different spells they’d learn.
The rest of the week passed uneventfully. Harry didn’t respond as soon as Albus hoped and Scorpius stayed away from Albus. Albus was growing tired. He was going to demand a talk-out if he didn’t come round by the weekend.
But when the weekend came, Saturday afternoon, Albus was able to look for Scorpius and he ended up finding him on the fifth floor. He had a run in with Cantharis. Apparently, Ursa had gotten into a fight with his pooch dog, Mr. Jabber.
Master Cantharis was yelling at a bemused Scorpius, who grinned as Cantharis finished yelling, and said, back, “It’s not my fault your dog’s an idiot! It picked a fight with Ursa. That’s unheard of!”
“That’s IT!” Cantharis raged. “Follow me to my office. You’re going to be punished!”
“Punish me for what my genius cat did?” Scorpius laughed. “Put Ursa in detention! Why me?” And Cantharis actually attempted to pick Ursa up, ignoring Scorpius’ warning, “I wouldn’t try that.”
But the second he tried, Ursa pounced up on his arm, and bit Cantharis’ ear. Howling in pain, Ursa jumped off, and scratched his face as he fell. Scorpius laughed as Ursa landed on fours, and took a place behind its master’s legs. Then, Peeves swooped in. Taking cue, Scorpius vanished from sight amidst cackles and bangs as Peeves threw ornaments and candles at Mr. Jabber. Albus couldn’t talk to him.
By the end of Saturday, Mark was around. Albus soon learned he could not ignore the kid. Mark appeared everywhere to dictate what he found. Mark was saying a possible trip to the library would help. Albus hadn’t been to the library before, and didn’t plan to go before the month was over.
Sunday, a talk with Scorpius was driven from his mind because Harry replied to both letters in one. Albus spent half the day looking for James, who he ultimately found chasing Mr. Jabber, an angry Cantharis after him. Rose was easily found in the library.
I decided to reply to both of you at once, and to both letters. Al, I promised I wouldn’t think any less of you if you made Slytherin. Your mother and I are very proud of you, and hope you do well. I was surprised for the most part to hear you made friends with Scorpius Malfoy. If he’s nice to you, don’t fret. I’m sure he’s better than his father was. We had a history, the two of us. That brings me to the other question.
Read the book The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts. It should tell you what you need to know. There is something more important than my history. Something involving the present as well as the past and while I cannot put in a letter my entire story, I can direct you to a book. My concern is a favor I must ask of you both.
I am aware of a boy in your year by the name of Mark Wallader. Keep an eye on him for me and if anything out of the ordinary happens involving him, I want you to inform me at once. I have Professor Longbottom and Hagrid keeping eyes open too, but if you know my history, you’ll also know that you can never have too many eyes open. We’ll just say it’s Auror work.
Can’t say anything else here, but I’ll write again soon. Write to me when you’ve found the time. Read my story and I’ll fill the blanks come Christmas.
All the best,
This went too far. Albus finally decided he could ignore the library no longer, and walked there with Rose and Mark. The librarian was Madam Jane Wolf, who took the resemblance of her name. Her green eyes were just visible under her grey-white hair falling down from her head over her ears and to the back down to the shoulders. Her teeth were yellowish that gave the impression of staying on small amounts of nature food like grass or dandelions and even her clothes bore the colors of white or black.
Rose asked her politely where the Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts was, and it was fetched right away. They took it to a faraway table, and sat down, pouring over it. Or rather, Rose was pouring over it. Albus was sitting back, waiting, until Riley tapped him on the back, “Scorps is outside. He wants to talk to you.”
Was it just Al, or was Riley looking pale? Albus followed Riley outside, and met Scorpius leaning against a suit of armor, folding his arms. He looked up at Albus’ arrival, but with no hint of an apology on his face, “I’d have thought you’d check with your dad before rushing to the library.”
“I did, and he told me to check the book out,” Albus responded, with no expression on his face.
“He may full well have a good reason for keeping things from you,” Scorpius said back, keeping his arms folded. “So, don’t crowd him.”
“Who’re you to tell me how to treat my dad?” Albus challenged.
“A Pure-blood, who knows more about Wizardry than you,” Scorpius said before he could stop himself.
It touched a nerve. Albus so wanted to Jinx him, but he found himself pushing him physically instead. The push turned out to be more than what was expected. Scorpius was pushed back into a suit of armor. It clanged, and then fell against the wall. Scorpius was moving in slight pain, and staggered back up, gazing, with a surprised face, at Albus. Riley stood open-mouthed at the confrontation. Albus still had his wand on Scorpius, and he was yelling, “First, you insult Hagrid, and now you go on about blood purity! You’re so arrogant!”
Albus would’ve loved to challenge him to a duel, but he knew Scorpius would probably win and he decided otherwise. Albus walked off back into the library, and Riley walked over to help Scorpius up. As Scorpius was brushing the dust off his clothes, Riley asked, “What’s up with you two?”
Scorpius didn’t answer immediately. He stared at the spot where Albus turned to disappear into the library. He gulped, and turned away, “He’s got me all wrong.”
Albus sat back down with Rose, who was now pouring over another book. She looked up at Albus, and grinned, “Found something amazing. It explains a lot.”
She showed him the Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts. See here, ‘Harry Potter, as a baby boy, stopped You-Know-Who mysteriously. No one knows what happened, except that the Killing Curse, rebounded upon the caster, and took away his life, but only for the most part.’
“It’s said that the reign of terror by the Dark Lord was known as the first Wizarding War. I figured there cannot be a first without a second, so I asked for a book titled the Second Wizard War. Well, it didn’t exist, but Wolf did give me a book called A Wizarding Nation At War. Harry has a lot to play in this book.”
Albus, fully interested now, looked in. He and Rose had their heads together almost the rest of the afternoon. Albus had a feeling Scorpius was spying on them, but he couldn’t care less.
“That’s a lot to read, Rose,” Albus said, flipping the pages.
“If you want to find out about your dad, I think we’d better check it out,” Rose replied. “Or, you know what. You check it out.” When Albus opened his mouth to protest, Rose spoke over him, “He’s your dad, and you’re the confused one. For all I know, my dad may not even be part of it. Just read it during your free time, and tell me what you discover. Ok?”
Before Albus could say anything, Mark came up, and banged a book on the table in front of him. “I found this book. I know Hippogriff Talons can be used in potions of flight, but I know there’re more. Tell me when you find them.”
Albus banged his head on the book, moaning in stress. “Oh, Merlin!”
In sympathy, Rose took it, and looked through the contents. She opened it to a specific page, and moved it back in front of Albus. “There. Somewhere in this chapter.”
Albus found himself looking blindly through a chapter, vaguely forgetting what it was he was looking for. He turned the pages absent-mindedly, eyes half closed, resting his head on his left palm. Then, slowly, the reason for his search came back, and he found himself staring at the same spot of the page for fifteen minutes. The right spot. His eyes lit up. “Oi, Mark! Here it is!”
“SHHHH!” Wolf looked over at him with wild wolf eyes threateningly.
Mark, half laughing, came over, and looked at it. “Great. Now check the book out and read what Potions it is used in. Let me know next class. Bye.”
Albus would’ve liked to refuse with the pretext of already checking out a book, but he didn’t want Mark guessing that Albus was ignorant to Harry’s doings. It was bad enough dealing with Scorpius and if he was supposed to keep an eye on him, he’d better maintain a good relationship. That did not stop him yelling “Slave driver” after him though, nearly getting him kicked out.
As far as Rose’s book went, Albus had no choice but to let Rose overrule him. He checked both books out, and walked out, passing a leaning Scorpius again. He ignored the boy as he walked straight past, and did not throw a backward glance.