The Goblin’s Amulet
Chapter 5: The Outer and Inner Eye
“You know what it is I ask for, Potter,” the hooded man said wispily. Albus’ screams did nothing to alleviate the situation he was in. The man was holding Lily in a headlock, calmly assessing Albus’ movements. “Where is the Amulet?”
“I swear, I don’t know,” Albus swore desperately.
“You know,” the figure said wispily.”And you will give it to me or risk… your sister’s blood!”
“Take mine!” Albus offered dramatically. Lily, strangely was silent. She was not even struggling, as if she had accepted the outcome a long time ago. An outcome Albus was unwilling to even think about.
“NEVER!” a stronger rough voice came from the hood. “You are a relevant piece in this war. You alone can hand me the amulet, you alone can put this whole war to rest forever. All I require is the Goblin-forged amulet! Give it to me!”
“I don’t have it!” Albus yelled back.
The man would not hear any more of this. He pointed his wand at Lily’s temple and opened his mouth. Albus opened his mouth to scream, a jet of green light brightened the room…
Albus snapped awake silently. His breathing was heavy but for a change, he did not scream himself awake. He just awoke, silently accepting that what he saw was just a dream. He turned over on his bed and faced the snake mouth leading to the Common room. It had just shut itself, signaling Walter, Riley or Scorpius going down an hour early to breakfast. Albus was too tense to stand at that moment though.
It was an hour before Albus summed up the courage to walk again. The Great Hall was already filled and Heads of Houses were handing timetables, one having been saved for Albus by Scorpius. Their first class that day gave Albus a rather pleasant surprise though. Their first class of the day, right after Breakfast was none other than Care of Magical Creatures and a small note next to it detailing which house they’d be taking it with. Ravenclaw.
“And Transfiguration with the Gryffindors,” Scorpius muttered to himself. “But we gotta sit through Divination and my untimely demise first. Alas, they must kill me before I can flirt with…” his voice trailed off to himself, Albus grinning silently to himself. He knew Scorpius still had a small crush on Laura and he justified his own smile by throwing a wave at a random person in the hall. Hagrid returned it heartily and gave a signal that he would see him later that day.
Scorpius’ head jerked up and Albus saw what he was looking at. The girl who rushed Mark the day before claimed him again and she seemed to be sitting very unusually close to him as she piled French toast on his plate for him. Scorpius shrugged again to signal he still had no idea as to where this new girl came from and returned to his own plate.
As they finished breakfast, Scorpius looked over at Albus, “Tell you what. I’ll give you time with Alexis in Magical Creatures if you leave me with Laura in Transfiguration. Cool?”
Albus jerked his head up and spluttered quickly, “Why would I want to talk to Alexis, I don’t want to talk to Alexis.”
“Oh, ok,” Scorpius shrugged. “Guess I’ll stay in your way then. And every time she talks to you, I’ll respond on your behalf, shall I?”
“Please don’t,” Albus muttered, spacing out as they got up and walked out and across the lawn to Hagrid’s hut. Albus tried acting casual when Alexis was around or even brought up. She was easily the only person he could truly trust for anything when all else failed him. And it was her face, of all faces, that burst into his mind when he made the first, most successful Patronus in his life only weeks ago. He wondered how she would feel about that if he ever told her. Alexis alone was very special to him.
The only issue was that they had previously dated the year before. One date was enough to make Albus question his relationship with her not because it went badly but because afterwards, they were still normal, like nothing had changed from before the date. She simply gave him a good time and left it at that. He many times denied he had feelings for her but he sometimes wondered whether Alexis herself had feelings for him, especially when she was always friendly with him. Never, in living memory was there any tension between the two.
The class was already grouped outside the hut waiting for Hagrid. Hagrid was hardly late either. He showed up right on time and nodded in greetings, “Alrigh’, firs’ lesson this year will be ‘bout Fire crabs.”
Scorpius widened his eyes in shock and even a few Ravenclaws shifted uncomfortably as he led them around his hut and a small way into the forest. In small crates sat what appeared to be six-legged turtles with different colored shells. Hagrid started lecturing on them, Albus one of the very few paying utmost attention, “Now, these here Fire crabs were bred overseas but who here can tell me where they come from?”
Usually, it was Rose who had her hand raised but once Albus started taking the lesson with Ravenclaw students, it was Alexis Ackerly. Albus could catch a glimpse of her once more. She appeared very poised and calm, raising her hand casually, as if it hardly mattered whether Hagrid picked on her or not. When he did, she looked up and shrugged as if taking a guess, “Fiji.”
“Correct, take five points teh Ravenclaw,” Hagrid beamed. “Now, if yeh’ll split yerselves inter pairs, we’ll see exactly what makes these creatures unique is tha’”-As Hagrid started explaining about Fire crabs, the class split into pairs. As Scorpius agreed, he stayed well out of Albus’ way and paired with Walter instead. Albus moved in close to Alexis and sensed a small smile on her face as he came up.
Alexis was different from the years before. She still had the same smile and the same face but her hair, instead of being worn in pigtails as was the case in her first two years, or in a ponytail like the last year, she wore her hair so it all flowed to her right side where it was tied in a small tail. She gave him a small pat on the back as they bent down to throw in some wooden sticks left beside the crate. “How was your summer?” she asked lowly.
“Can’t complain,” Albus muttered back.
“Are you sure?” she asked, stoking a small ember with her wand before charming it into the crate. “You seem kind of… tense to me. And… I heard about what happened at Diagon Alley.”
Albus cast a small flame spell inside the crate and watched the crab chew on it before sighing. Alexis knew him too well for him to hide any emotion other than what he was feeling. “I’ll tell you later,” he muttered, only half meaning to. He still did not know if he wanted to tell anyone about what Soto told him, or his dream or anything. Something told him that this time, however much she may have wanted to, Alexis would not be able to help him this time around. She would be powerless and he did not want to see her like that.
For once, Albus could make light conversation without having to worry about anything. No Soto worrying his mind, no dream bothering him during his waking hours, no pestering questions from Harry or Scorpius regarding the incident at Diagon Alley. They spent the rest of the lesson talking about anything else. Her Quidditch team, (she liked the Ballycastle Bats), her own summer, (and was Albus mistaken or was she keeping something to herself too?) and the upcoming year and how glad both were to be back at Hogwarts.
When the lesson ended, Alexis had Herbology to attend and Albus and Scorpius met Rose at the entrance hall. She would accompany them upstairs to her Charms class. No sooner had they taken three steps when a loud voice filled the fall.
“Crisis starts again!” a voice yelled for attention, making Albus and Rose turn around. Rose widened her eyes and went red as Daniel Dagger waved the Daily Prophet around. “Goblins pissed as hell! Read all about it given a small fee.”
Rose looked startled that he was demanding a price and asked uncertainly, “How much?”
“For free, Rosie,” Daniel said in an unmistakably and very un-Daniel-like gentlemanly manner. “Five Galleons for all those wussies.”
“I shall,” Gabriel’s voice was heard from the other side of the hall. “If I didn’t already have a subscription which I pay two knuts for!”
Daniel went red and might have caused a scene if Rose had not been there. She was holding the Prophet reading as Albus and Scorpius read over her shoulder at the interesting piece.
Goblins Launch Search
Head Goblin Grimlock’s calls for an investigation yesterday were answered when three Goblins walked out of Gringotts and announced they were going to search for an object they believed was missing on tip from Head of Education Mors Incommodo whom many now accuse, led by resigned Auror Harry Potter of fabricating or even being the mastermind.
Mors denied stealing anything, pointing out that Goblins were watching his every move the last time he entered the bank. He did point to the fact that Phoenix, longtime opponent of Mors and Headmaster of Hogwarts, was the last to enter the bank before the crisis started again.
Soto Lean, Head of the newly formed Arsenal of Education pointed out that Phoenix had indeed tried peeking into Incommodo’s vault and found nothing. “Remember though, both peeks had a reason. We all know Mors’ reasons but what were Phoenix’s reasons? That remains to be seen for he knew Incommodo was hiding nothing.”
A reaction from Phoenix did not reach public ears yet; however, Goblins launched their search for whatever object they may be missing and vowed that if they found out someone stole it, they would pay with their lives regardless of their political protection, status, or otherwise.
“We’ll find what we lost and we will punish whoever is responsible, be it Ministry official, man, woman child, beast, even Harry Potter will be held accountable,” Grimlock said in a fierce statement. The Goblins assured the press that this search would not effect the deposit or withdrawal in any way but cautioned against anyone changing accounts. “We will also reserve the right to search vaults for our object. The owner of the vault it is found in will of course be punished accordingly.”
Albus sighed and shook his head. “Oi, Scorps, we have Divination. Let’s go.”
Albus and Scorpius had Divination with Professor Trelawney in the North Tower which was set off from the rest of the castle. At least, that was how it looked to Albus. Why he insisted on taking the lesson, he couldn’t remember. The bug-like image of Trelawney drove it from his mind every time he stepped foot in the room.
“Greetings dears,” a misty voice said from the heavily perfumed darkness that ruled the corners of the Divination classroom.
The skinny woman stepped out, as bug-like as ever. On the other side of the classroom, Alex covered his mouth to hide his laugh, and Mark looked away. Eric lay his head down on his palms, and rested there.
“This term we will begin with fire omens, and then… if we are- DEAR!”
Scorpius woke up from what seemed like a trance, and Eric was wide-eyed. Trelawney was on to him immediately, “I see a cloud in your future. You are a very uncertain child whose mind is troubled with”-
Scorpius shook his head in annoyance, yawned greatly, and rested his head on the table to go to sleep. Albus was on the point of advising against it when Trelawney slammed a copy of the book Unfogging the Future on their desk.
“Find the meaning of a cloud, quick!”
“What’s the rush?” Scorpius asked tiredly. “It’s Eric’s future, not mine.”
“Don’t you want to see the future of your unfortunate red-head friend?” Trelawney asked rhetorically. “A future told by one who is the same age as another is more likely to come true.”
“You saw the cloud,” Scorpius excused tiredly.
“Uh, Scorpius,” Albus said slowly, pointing behind Scorpius.
Scorpius looked behind him to see a lone puffy white cloud out the window. Scorpius grinned, and slowly, he laughed. The class joined in, and Mark was pounding his fist on the table in laughter. Even Laura had laughed out loud so hard, she emerged from below the table, red in the face. Alex and Eric grinned, and Walter clapped Riley’s still-tired hand in hilarity. Riley merely gave a small grin.
“That was awesome mate!” Walter called from across the room.
Trelawney looked impatient; however, she strode over to the window, and pulled the curtains shut. When she turned back, she saw Albus and Scorpius who were hurriedly pouring their heads over the book, muttering nonstop to each other. She strode over there at the same pace she strode away from, so that she was over there within seconds.
She arrived at their tables just as Albus called out over the laughter of the class, “Obscurity! Hidden! How’re we supposed to know what”-
Trelawney snapped the book shut, and picked it up. She closed her eyes, and started muttering, sounding like some foreign language, and opened the book at random. Scorpius started to roll his eyes, but a thud on the floor froze them, and Trelawney drew close to him. She stared at Scorpius through her misty eyes. They were so close, even Albus could tell she was getting very, very creepy.
“My dear, I see the scythe in your future,” she whispered dramatically.
“Professor, if it makes you feel better, I’m sorry I mocked the cloud,” Scorpius said tiredly.
“My dear, this is no laughing matter,” Trelawney said seriously. “There! The grim! In unison with the scythe, it can only represent”-
“Can I ask a question, Professor?” Scorpius asked innocently. “If I’m gonna die, why do you keep reminding me of it? It’s like you’re happy about it. It’s not helping me feel better.”
For once, Trelawney was lost for words and her silence only caused more laughter from the class. It took a while for the din to calm down, and when it finally did, the bell rang from afar. The class got up to leave, and Trelawney stood in front of the door for last words, and her eyes widened in madness, “Everyone read Chapter 6 next time on fire omens, and write an essay summarizing it and why you found it interesting! No excuses!”
“What if you don’t find it interesting?” Scorpius muttered to Albus, who grinned widely, and stuffed his hand in his mouth to stop himself laughing out loud again.
Albus and Scorpius made to follow them out when Trelawney took Albus’ shoulder, and whispered, “You must stay here. There’s something you must understand.”
Albus and Scorpius stood in front of her, curious to hear what she had to say. Albus at first thought that Trelawney wanted to reprimand them for making fun in class, but her graveness told him that wasn’t it. She even consented for Scorpius to come along and she led them further into her classroom, and stepped inside her office. She turned to face them as they stepped in after her. “My dear,” she said to Albus. “Is your sister quite well?”
Albus’ face went from puzzlement to uncertainty, “Professor, what about my sister? She never signed up for Divination?”
“The eye has told me of the existence of a younger sibling,” Trelawney said mysteriously. “I am afraid dear, that her aura, however dim it may be from my tower, is ever fading.”
“And my dear,” she added to Scorpius. “Do not take the Inner eye lightly.”
“Professor, how many times have you predicted the death of a student, and how”-
“I admit I predicted deaths falsely, but that’s a show my dear, a show!” Trelawney insisted. “Do you think I’d ask you into the privacy of my office if it wasn’t for telling you- advising you… to watch your back. And the back of your own family,” she said in reference to a deeply disturbed Albus. “My prediction from last year stands. You will kill and be killed. The scythe and the grim. You, my dear are the bringer of death. So long as you hold thy scythe, you remain in danger. My dear, please listen to me. I never lost a student before. I don’t want to start now.”
“Professor, why would I kill someone?” Scorpius asked, getting a little more serious. Slowly, Trelawney’s message was sinking in. “I have no one I want to kill.”
“Take this as my last dire warning to you both… before it is too late,” she said dramatically, opening the door. “Please leave now for my third years to enter.”