Chapter 9 Serpents and Lions

The Forgotten Memory

Chapter 9: Serpents an Lions

Albus went straight to his dormitory, and stayed there for the rest of the day. He didn’t see Scorpius again until the boy came through the snake hole a little later into the night, at around nine, and started messing with his bag. Albus was bent over his bed, reading the book. By nine, Albus finished six chapters. When Scorpius came up, Albus stopped reading, expecting something from his former friend, but Scorpius just swept his cat off the floor, and started scratching its belly.

Just when Albus was starting to think nothing would happen, Scorpius spoke, “Hey, Al,” Scorpius said. It didn’t sound a greeting. More of a line to get Albus’ attention. Al didn’t answer with words. He just turned his head in acknowledgement. Scorpius took a deep breath, as if about to make a dive, and said, “I wanted to apologize for- well, for the way I acted.”

“Great, took you long enough,” Albus scowled.

“I just don’t think we should end our friendship because of what happened in Hagrid’s hut,” Scorpius said regretfully.

“You insulted Hagrid, insulted me, and insulted my father,” Albus said, near angrily. “I’m in a bad mood with you, and that’s that.”

“But you got me all wrong mate,” Scorpius said slowly. “Let me explain. I won’t tell you what your father did. He might well wanna keep it to himself. But I’ll tell you he is very famous, and well liked by everyone. Even father holds respect toward your dad, and they were rivals at school.”

“What’s it to you if”-

“Whatever you find out about your dad, let me tell you,” Scorpius began. “I am not, in any way, shape, or form, for killing Muggles and Muggle-born’s. That policy is outdated, and we don’t need it anymore. You’re my best friend, and a Half-blood. You’re probably the coolest guy I know in Hogwarts. Just so you don’t misunderstand me.”

Did Albus hear right? Killing Muggles? Surely not. Harry Potter did not kill Muggles did he? Albus couldn’t see that happening. Harry had always made a point to speak well of them.

“You’re prejudiced, aren’t you?” Albus asked, eyeing Scorpius fully now. He marked the page of his book, and faced Scorpius. “So you’re against killing the ‘lesser people’, but you think yourself above them. You- you think yourself above me.”

Scorpius shook his head, “No, not above you. Just the Muggle-born’s, and the Muggles. Wizards are better than Muggles, Al. Look at what we can achieve with wands and brooms. Muggles can’t surpass that even in their wildest dreams. And where did the Muggle-born’s get their magic from anyway? I mean, it’s a trait, isn’t it. So, they must’ve gotten it from a Wizard. But they’re all Muggle. Where did they get it? That’s what I wanna know. Answer me that, and I’ll respect the Muggle-born’s as much as the Half-bloods, like you.”

“And what were youi saying about your grandmother?” Albus asked.

“Not saying anything,” Scorpius said, tightlipped. “But if you want to be fair, Al, I’m not expecting some reward or anything. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for your father. He saved my dad’s life.”

“What?”

“Just find out what all this was about, and tell me what you think,” Scorpius shrugged. He sighed. “Al, when I was on the train, I thought I’d never make a friend because of the standing my family has,” Scorpius said sadly. “Sure we’re high up, but that’s only out of forgiveness, mercy, and pity. We’re not taken seriously. We’re near trash, and I meet you. I make a friend as easily as anyone else, quicker than some.”

“Just answer me this. Did my dad kill Muggle-born’s?” Albus asked. He knew Scorpius wasn’t going to tell what Harry did, but Albus had to know this. Scorpius considered him for a minute, and then shook his head, saying, “No, he didn’t. He did the opposite, and that’s the only clue I’m giving you.”

Albus decided not to let differences of opinion get in the way, and he knew Hagrid attempted to get Albus down in his hut again, so he decided to end his isolation, and accept the apology. He nodded, and held his hand out, “Fine. Apology accepted.”

Albus and Scorpius stayed up talking for a bit longer until Riley and Walter walked in. Riley looked from Albus to Scorpius, with a questioning look on his face. But he nodded in understanding when he saw Scorpius’ look. Scorpius nodded slowly, eyeing Albus. Then, he sighed, and lay against his pillow. He stared ahead for a bit, thoughtfully. His thoughts were interrupted by a loud cough from Walter.

Scorpius looked over at Albus. The boy was still staring at him. Scorpius shrugged in question, and Albus cleared his throat, and said thoughtfully, “Any idea why my brother doesn’t like you? He’s not answering or talking to you directly.”

“Oh, he hates me,” Scorpius said happily. “Because I’m a Slytherin. Cool, huh?”

“But, you like Rose, don’t you?” Albus asked. “She’s Gryffindor. But you seem to enjoy practicing hexes with her in Defense Against the Dark Arts.”

“I had to train with someone,” Scorpius shrugged, but then his face lit up, and he said, “Plus, I mean, I’m not that prejudiced. But… ok, Mark doesn’t seem to like you at all. I thought Mark was aiming to kill you last lesson. And did you see the look on the Wallaby’s faces. They loathe you. They hate you from the inside out so much, you have no clue.”

“How can you tell?” Albus asked, slightly hurt.

“Because of the way they look at you,” Scorpius said. “And because you’re a Slytherin.”

“So what?”

“Well, that’s self-righteousness for you,” Scorpius shrugged. “Al, one thing you have to learn about Gryffindors and Slytherins is that they hate each other on principle. If you had made Gryffindor, and you hated me- for no reason… Did you hear James? He pushed Malcolm in the lake, just because he was pure blood.”

“Just because you’re prejudiced doesn’t mean everyone else is, or that it’s right,” Albus muttered so only Scorpius could hear. Something Scorpius was grateful for. If Walter knew Scorpius was prejudiced, he’d tell Malcolm, and Malcolm would immediately try befriending Scorpius. Something Scorpius didn’t want.

Albus stared down at his bare feet. “The twins hate me, just because I’m a Slytherin? Why?”

“Ask Rose, she’ll know,” Scorpius shrugged. “And while you’re at it, ask her why she’s so academically competitive. So excited to know she outperformed me last lesson. I’m starting to think she’s out to get me.”

“Ok, so outperform her,” Albus said as if it was that simple. “And while you’re at it, I’m gonna outperform that Mark kid. He’s not that talented andf for some reason, we got the cute blondie fawning all over him.”

Scorpius grinned, “Yeah, then why did he hit you on every turn? Why did he block all your attempts? Why”-

“Oh shut up.”

Scorpius laughed. “Ok, Al, we got ourselves a mission. Let’s show Mark and Rose that Slytherins are better. Agreed?”

Much to Walter’s amusement, they shook hands on it. He looked over at Scorpius and Albus, grinned, and said, “Do you have any idea what a bunch of nerds you’re sounding?”

*~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~*

While the Slytherins were chatting amongst themselves; or three of them anyway, the Gryffindors were up to their own games. James was the type to stay up till eleven, trying to convince the first years to join him in Exploding Snap. It would work if the Gryffindor prefects weren’t so annoying. James, giving up, retired to bed, but not to sleep.

Mark and the twins Alex and Eric were among the first years being terrorized by James. After James was scared away by the prefects, Mark and his friends too retired up to bed. Like James, they did not go to sleep.

“Where does he get that insane popularity level?” Alex questioned in an annoyed tone when they got up.

Just three Gryffindor first year boys was very convenient for them. It meant that they had a dormitory all to themselves. No one was there to bother them. Mark laid back against his pillow, and stared up at the ceiling.

“He’s a second year,” Mark yawned. “I don’t care about him, really.”

“I like him” Eric shrugged.

Mark looked at Eric thoughtfully, and then asked, “Here’s an interesting question though. What do you think of his brother, Albus, and that Scorpius kid? They seem to pop up everywhere.”

To his surprise, Alex and Eric laughed. “Slytherin scum?” Eric said. “C’mon, you can do better than that.”

“You seemed to enjoy yourself with Riley,” Alex accused.

“I did not,” Eric denied vehemently. “Besides, better Riley than Albus, eh?”

“No, Eric, and you know full well why not,” Mark laughed. “No, I’m curious about Albus Potter. What’s the son of Harry Potter doing in Slytherin?”

The twins only shrugged, Eric saying, “You never know what is happening with other families. James seems fine but he never talks about Albus. Maybe he’s the black sheep in the family.”

Alex looked skeptical, “I dunno, Eric. Remember when our dad took us to work and we actually met Harry Potter. He talked about his family and he told us that his son would be in our year. Remember? He also guessed we’d be friends.”

“So, we should befriend him?” Mark asked skeptically. “He’s friends with Scorpius. Potter may have guessed this before but what about now. He didn’t know what house Albus would make asnd we all know that Slytherin has a high Dark Wizard turnout, even after the war. He has history against him and Potter knows this. I still think he’s a black sheep.”

“I know, I’m just pointing it out,” Alex said defensively.

“You want evidence that Albus is a bad seed?” Mark smirked. “He’s friends with not only a Malfoy, but a Mold, especially a boy like Walter. Walter is Malcolm’s brother.”

“The Mold family gives hell to whoever defends the Ministry,” Alex said knowledgably. “Malcolm and Walter would be no different.”

“Then we’ve got a creature like Blackberry in”-

“Quiet, Eric!” Alex shut him up. “Not so loud in Gryffindor tower.”

“He’s right though, we all know how Riley’s father acts in the Ministry,” Mark speculated. “Plus, he’s Pure-blood and sided with the Dark Lord in the first war. That dormitory is filled of people with bad backgrounds. Birds of a feather flock together, and Potter hangs with that kind of crowd. What do you expect? One heroic Albus Potter fighting a Malfoy, a Blackberry and a Mold at once?”

The twins followed him in laughter, and for a bit it seemed that they would laugh themselves to sleep until the door banged open. Bewilderment was replaced with shock and surprise as James, backed by a number of Second-year boys took over. Honestly, how large was their dormitory?

James was flanked by Samuel Redgrow and Nigel Creevey, who were in turn backed by Fred and Louis Weasley and bringing up the rear was a mousy-brown haired boy, almost blonde, a little of which was visible thanks to his sports hat worn backwards, named Daniel Dagger. Michael Finnigan. Michael and Daniel were known to be on Fred’s side, while James claimed Louis, Nigel, and Samuel.

“Invade and seize,” James ordered. Alex and Eric watched in helplessness as James and his friends took over. Daniel, Fred, Louis, and Samuel took the twin’s beds, and Michael took Mark’s with James. “We’re here for one thing and one thing only.”

“If you want us to join one of your prank schemes, forget it,” Mark said tiredly. “Now leave us alone and let us sleep.”

“Yeah, you need to sleep too,” Alex pointed out.

Daniel only grinned, “Well, yeah, but we do have full rights over this room until you choose one over the other.”

“Is this how you got the other year groups to join you?” Eric asked.

“No, the seventh and sixth years are unwilling, stronger, and way too mature to deal with us?” James said regretfully.

“Yeah, so are we,” Mark said, laying back. “So get out, please.”

“For now, yeah, but watch us tomorrow,” James laughed. “Then the real torture begins.” And with that, they left the dormitory with cries similar to that of wild animals.

“Remember when I said I liked James?” Eric said angrily. “Forget about it.”

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