The Hogwarts Hurricane
Chapter 1: Godric’s Hollow
The sweet aroma of the nearby river mixed with the Potter garden entered Albus’ nostrils as he woke up from his slumber. He woke with a jolt to Mark’s alarm clock ringing a loud shrill and annoying ring. Annoyance was Mark’s way of forcing himself and Albus up at the right time. The loud ring gave cue for a miniature lion on the bedside to start roaring, snapping Albus awake. He wanted to destroy the lion but he didn’t try, knowing Ginny would wage a Hurricane if he did so, (and her Hurricanes were feared by all in the family.)
A usual day, a usual summer, and a usual way of waking up to the roar of the miniature lion beside Mark’s bed set to do so at six. Or at least as usual as it can be for a boy who claims Slytherin as his house in a family full of Gryffindors. Ever since his first year at Hogwarts, Albus felt a little left out. At first, he wanted to make Gryffindor like his brother and family before him. After meeting the son of his family rival, he decided differently. The hat agreed and he made Slytherin.
Yawning and very cranky when woken against his will, for the umpteenth time that summer, Albus found himself saying in a tone mixed with anger and drowsiness, “Can’t you set it later?”
“Shut up,” was all Mark responded with and it usually infuriated Albus. Since he moved in though, Ginny made it her personal mission to make him as happy as possible and if that meant waking up early, so be it. Albus was forced to shut his mouth and repress his anger to possibly be taken out on someone else later.
The once empty room was full of posters. The half that belonged to Mark was full of pictures of different things representing Gryffindor. It had lions, bore the colors of red and gold, and a large picture of his cousins Alex and Eric, who were also orphaned and lived with Albus’ cousin Rose.
The half that belonged to Albus, for he was quite territorial toward his roommate, was full of green and silver posters baring all kinds of snakes. Among these posters was what his good friend Scorpius gave him last Christmas. It was what looked like a skinny box with two snakes on the front entwining to form the initials A.S.P., Albus’ initials.
The son of Draco Malfoy, Scorpius promised him he would not regret making Slytherin. Albus said it once, and he said it before, and he’d say it again a million times; as far as he was concerned, the promise was kept. Slytherin had great friends for him, and Albus loved it for that reason.
The son of a Ministry worker, and the grandson of a Senior Assistant to the Minister, Scorpius Malfoy was a Pure-blood Wizard, quite prejudiced, but a good friend all around. The son of a School Governor, Walter Mold was an ok guy, but his brother Malcolm was a terrible pain. The son of the Head of Department of International Magical Cooperation, Riley Blackberry was one cool Wizard.
Or at least, Albus thought so. His foster brother, Mark, his all-time rival, had crazy theories about Riley, and hurtful, damaging theories about Scorpius and Walter. According to recently orphaned Mark, Scorpius was a traitor, (meaning he’d abandon Albus later in life), and Walter was secretly on Malcolm’s side.
Malcolm was the school bully, and what you could call James’ nemesis. As Albus’ brother, and in Gryffindor, James was the opposite of Albus. James was a prankster, Albus was not; James was in Gryffindor, Albus was in Slytherin; James was outgoing, Albus was quiet and thoughtful. Albus had a close relationship with his brother, but in Hogwarts they too were rivals. It was just the year before James had declared Albus a ‘social enemy.’
But when Malcolm was in the picture, things got complicated. Albus and James were indifferent towards each other at school, James and Malcolm hated each other, Albus didn’t like Malcolm and Malcolm had no beef with Albus, Walter was Malcolm’s brother and heavily influenced by him, Walter was Albus’ friend, and he recently established friendship with Mark few months ago. Ultimately, this added up to Albus deciding to stay out of it, but out of moral values, he had a desire to keep Walter independent of Malcolm.
Not for the first time that summer before Albus’ second year at Hogwarts, he woke up on a hot August day. He yawned, and looked over at Mark’s bed. He also just woke up. Mark was recently orphaned, and for that Albus felt sorry for him. Once an enemy, Albus felt a brotherly relationship toward Mark, even though the latter didn’t feel the same way.
Mark’s usually straight blonde hair was messy from sleep, and his eyes groggy. He looked tiredly over at Albus, and yawned. Albus got up from bed, and went to the bathroom to wash his tired face. It was still quite early; six at the earliest. James would be up soon. Home was one place James could not do a hostile takeover of the room, especially because it was two first year graduates against a second year graduate.
Mark and James usually didn’t get along. James was a bully to Mark, who was a mere happy-child to James. But Mark was good. In dueling and spells and even stealth, Mark was almost expert. Albus could clearly see Mark as an assassin, or a Hit Wizard, but he didn’t voice that aloud. He knew Harry would lose it over that suggestion, and it would make the rift between the foster brothers deeper.
Albus and Mark stayed in the room a bit. As usual, there was a severe lack of conversation as Mark would read a book of his, and Albus would go through the letters that arrived overnight.
Scorpius wrote to him, and it was a while since Albus wrote back. He decided he’d better.
It’s Al. Sorry it’s been a while. Been busy. I happened to wake up earlier than usual today thanks to Mark’s stupid alarm clock. I’ll complain over breakfast. How’s your parents? Is your granddad enacting new laws against Muggle-born’s? My dad seems to think he will, but I’m not exactly what you’d call in touch with the Wizarding world this summer. My dad thinks it’s better.
Mark’s been annoying lately, but at least we’re not fighting as much. I still don’t get his problem and he still pushes me away. The influence the twins have on him runs deep. To think I’d hate the days when Rosie comes to visit. The twins come too, and I’m surrounded by Gryffindors. You’re lucky staying with your traditional house. Still, at least my young cousin Hugo shares my interest in Quidditch.
I’m going to Diagon Alley today. Hope to see you there.
He also got a letter from Hagrid and one from Rose. He ignored the one from Rose, as he’d be seeing her at Diagon Alley anyway. He focused instead on Hagrid’s letter.
Jus’ checkin’ up on ya. How is yer summer going? I’ve been taking a few trips into the forest lately because some small creatures are being bullied by trolls. I’m thinkin of adopting a Bugbear.
Got a real treat fer yeh this year, but I won’t tell yeh till yeh get teh Hogwarts. A real unique year is in store for yeh. Anyways, have work teh do. Tell yer dad I said hi. I know he’s busy.
Before sending his letter to Scorpius, he wrote a short reply to Hagrid, just saying he was good, updated him on Mark, and gave it to Archimedes. “Bring Scorpius’ letter first,” he instructed. “Then go to Hagrid’s. Go back to the Malfoy’s for Scorpius’ reply, and bring it here.
Scorpius was usually quick to reply. Albus was too lazy. He sighed as he sent the letter off with Archimedes. The owl used to reside in James’ room, but when Mark moved in, he insisted on an owl he had free access to. Mark and James refused this request, threatening a Hurricane from Ginny. After a lot of fighting that resulted in a couple of broken noses and a grounding of two weeks on James’ part, Archimedes was split between Albus and Mark. James was going to get a new owl at Diagon Alley.
When it was seven, Albus stopped with the letters and Mark looked aside, “Where’s the album that Alex gave you?”
Albus reached under his pillow for the album that Mark’s friend Alex gave him the year before as repayment for at least trying to be a good friend. The cover had a picture of moving snakes forming A.S.P. Mark held his hand out for it. Albus, wondering what Mark wanted with it, walked over to Mark’s side of the room, and handed it over.
Mark looked through it. Albus didn’t know why he wanted to look at it. It was full of Slytherin pictures, except one. After the picture of Albus and Scorpius arm in arm with the lake behind them, there was a picture that interested Mark. He knew where it came from. Harry had it taken when Mark moved in. It was of Albus and Mark. The two kept throwing glances at each other, no mistake that both wanted to get away.
“Why’d you put that in?”
Albus shrugged, taking it back. “Because- well…” Albus hesitated. “I wanted something different, and- well I thought I’d put one of me and a Gryffindor.”
Mark muttered something Albus couldn’t quite catch, and handed the album back. He got up, stretched, and walked away. Mark was still a small boy. Though twelve, he was easily smaller than Albus by a shoulder. But Albus couldn’t exactly talk. His voice had yet to develop.
The Potter family had breakfast outside by the river, so that was where Albus and Mark were going. The riverbank smelt of wet plants and fresh water. Harry, Ginny, James and Lily were already sitting there waiting for them both.
Mark sighed, and took his first helping, a pumpkin pasty. They took their helpings, and ate quietly. There was usually a lack of conversation at breakfast due to the family being drowsy but that did not stop Ginny giving demands out to keep the family stable.
“Albus, I told you Mark has the right to wake up as early as he likes and it’s much healthier for you to do the same,” Ginny yawned.
“If I just had some anti-sound Charm on my half,” Albus pleaded, voice rising.
“The Charm is for a whole area, not half,” Harry shook his head. “Al, give it a rest. You have three months together and nine months in Hogwarts.”
“This idiot hounds me all year long last year and I’m stuck with his alarm clock!” Albus said angrily.
“Albus Potter, you hold your tongue!” Ginny said close to a shriek. “We have to accommodate each other!”
“Accommodate?” Albus said sarcastically, failing to do as told. “More like give up every last little luxury I have for a kid who made my life a living hell. You’re a slave to his- sorry,” Albus quieted down under Ginny’s glare.
“If you thought last year as hell, Al, this year will finish you off,” Mark smirked.
Albus gestured towards Mark, eye on Ginny as if proving his point. Ginny rolled her eyes and returned to her porridge as Harry shook his head in dissatisfaction that Albus and Mark were not doing as he hoped and just getting along.
This morning was no different. Teddy recently announced his engagement to their cousin Victorie. It was to take place next summer. A whole year to go till then, the family didn’t spend all day talking about it, though Albus thought they would. Not that he was looking forward to it. He knew the summer would be in chaos. From where he was, a dark future seemed to loom over Albus. This summer, he spent it with Mark in the same room, forced to share it with him. The next summer was a wedding. He knew that Lily was a bridesmaid, and he just knew he would be picked to be ring bearer.
“James, Albus, I want to talk to you before you go up,” Harry said as they finished their last bite of their bacon.
Ginny shooed Mark away from the scene as Harry beckoned them closer. Usually, Harry asked the two together if either of them had done something wrong. As Albus was positive he did nothing, he was dumbfounded that Harry would ask him alone with James.
“This year at Hogwarts will be a little different than last year,” Harry told them quietly. “I want you to listen carefully. Exchange students will be coming to Hogwarts this year and I must ask”-
James interrupted with a look of awe and excitement. Harry shook his head warningly. “James, don’t you dare. They’re there for a reason. The Aurors are putting together this program with the International Department to protect those who need it. Right now, these students are in danger in their home countries. So…”
“You want us to look after them?” Albus guessed.
“Exactly. They’ll be staying in some dormitories and I believe two of them happen to be around your ages. If you can, try your best to keep them in your dormitories. The best protection is to be associated with anyone from the Auror Department. I let Phoenix know as well, so you shouldn’t have trouble.””
“Wait, dad, what’s going on?” James asked seriously.
“Nothing of importance, it’s Auror business,” Harry wove aside.
“Dad, we tell you about school problems”-
“This is quite different,” Harry interrupted seriously. “Just do as I tell you.”
“No,” James said cheekily. Albus gaped at him. James was known for cheek but to Harry… Harry widened his eyes in surprise as James smirked. “I can’t do something without knowing why.”
Sensing James would need some help, Albus decided to step in. “If you just told us the gist of it. We won’t tell anyone if it’s secret. Just… trust us.”
Harry surveyed them carefully as if looking for something and then smiled. “Ok, I’ll tell you. During the massacre of Muggle-born’s during the second war, many fled from the country to different destinations. We’re making arrangements to bring them and their children back. There’s a complication though. They are refugees but became members of the respective countries’ Wizarding worlds. If their children do come back, it makes them exchange students at best. Plus, we’re getting wind of something… suspicious going on. Those who killed Mark’s parents may be behind this. Their plans, whatever they are may involve these students. The return of Muggle-born’s and their children represents the final defeat of extremists and those still at large won’t allow it. You two are conveniently placed.”
“But, what would they want?”
“Think, Al, you know my history,” Harry urged him. “I of all people, Head of Aurors, am being asked to look into this personally. Why else unless I have the experience and the knowhow. I think it’s another Pure-blood thing. That would explain their danger overseas in any case, since they would be hunted as British Muggle-born’s. It- it sort of has the logic that the closer they are to the enemy, the least likely they are to get hurt, particularly the children.”
“Enough, James,” Harry interrupted, hand up. “I’ve told you enough. Can I trust you both?”
Albus didn’t need to think twice. He nodded and James’ consent followed. Albus and James didn’t talk much as they walked back to the house to get ready for Diagon Alley.
Harry usually left for work early in the morning, and Ginny left later than that. Lily would then be babysat by a family friend Luna and her husband and children. However, this time Harry was staying home to take his kids to Diagon Alley. Only this time Ginny and their friend Teddy Lupin would be joining them.