The Hogwarts Hurricane
Chapter 11: Two Fierce Rivals
Scorpius had finally done as Albus had begged and stopped arguing with Riley. He left the boy well alone in fact and though Adam was for some reason afraid of him, Riley kept to himself. With the absence of the problem between Scorpius and Adam too, it gave Albus time to communicate with Adam more and worry less about problems. Indeed, his only issue was with Mark and as long as Mark stayed quiet as he had been doing for the past week, Albus could forget about that too.
Adam, it turned out, was interested in Quidditch when the hype of the first game of the season started. Albus would have loved to try out for the team, but with all the problems he was facing, and the complicated dynamics of Hogwarts, he had almost forgotten. When he had asked the Quidditch captain about it, she told him that Era had personally told her to keep him off the team lest the exchange students lose his way.
Honestly, this volunteering cost more trouble than it was worth. Surely James was enough.
Still, Albus would once again be in the stands, watching and the commentary once more done by Alex Wallaby. “Ever been to a Quidditch game, Adam?” Albus asked happily as he ate down the porridge provided for them at breakfast.
Adam looked up, gulped his remaining porridge, and looked around, “Ah. In Egypt. We have game with Russia.”
“Oh, who won?” Albus asked, still trying to make conversation. If Adam liked Quidditch, Albus could get him into British teams and really integrate him into the Wizarding world.
“Egypt win, by eh… 230-30,” Adam recalled.
Albus widened his eyes as he finished his last spoonful. The game was later that day. And goodness knew Albus needed a breather after the lessons. Professor Era, the pale Potions witch, and Professor Macmillan worked them dead almost every day. Albus was happy he knew more spells, and could brew a minor one-hour working Love potion quite effectively. Still, he wasn’t better than Mark, who knew how to brew a two-hour strong Love potion in his sleep.
Walter benefited from hanging out with Mark, because he too managed to brew a two-hour love potion, something he jokingly advised Mark not to teach Laura to do or she would have lots of ideas.
Saturday then dawned and with it a new notice that appeared on the doors to the Great Hall from Nigel Creevey, despite being reprimanded before by Professor Phoenix. This one specified who the enemy was.
This dormitory has nothing against the rest of the school. Our enemy is none other than Mark Wallader. Mark has been acting like a bastard to all who are different from him. We all know this. Whoever is seen befriending Mark Wallader will be punished for collaborating with the enemy. This battle goes to him until he apologizes to everyone the trouble he causes. Just so we have the record clear, whenever a problem pops up, it’s Mark’s fault. If you find yourself involved in this war, it is obviously because you have collaborated in some way with Mark and will be punished accordingly.
Honestly, Albus could not understand. Nigel got detained the last time. Did he want to be suspended? “It just isn’t grounds for suspension, though,” Rose told him on their way to the pitch. “Think about it. James and his gang have been bullying others for two years now and have only gotten detention. This is far from the worst they’ve done. They can only get detention.”
“Now, I need to talk to Mark,” Rose interrupted. “Come to think of it, if you want to know why he hates you so much, you might as well eavesdrop. Follow at a slow pace, ok?” With that, she walked off from where Albus stood. Mark was on his way to the changing rooms when Rose caught him. Shrugging, Albus snuck over and hid behind a suit of armor and crouched. Was Rose seriously asking him to eavesdrop? What could he possibly want to hear from Mark?
“-still don’t understand your logic, Mark,” Rose was saying. “I still do not understand why, after three months together and him reaching out to you, you still have to hate your own foster brother. He loves you and you hate him.”
“I love Al,” Mark shot back, folding his arms like an angry child eyeing a domineering superior. “That’s why I’m doing this. Rose, he doesn’t get it. His friends are not friends.”
“They certainly seem to be”-
“They aren’t,” Mark interrupted.
“They are,” Rose retaliated. “Look at how they stick up for each other? You’re just jealous, Mark, admit it.”
“What do I have to be jealous of?” Mark smirked. “Al comes into Gryffindor after a whole bunch of crap with these so-called friends, learning that they’ll save their own skins over a little something called unity. He begs for a change, resorting, and soon, he will be Gryffindor. It can be done, you know.”
Albus could sense Rose’s smirk as she stated her next words. “Well conceived plan, Mark. One problem though. What makes you think Al will actually want to change to Gryffindor and be with the boy who made his life hell? No, you’ll only ruin him.”
“Hah! So, it’s blessed if I do and blessed if I don’t, huh?” Mark laughed. “Alright then, consider him ruined.”
“You’re a snake,” Rose said quietly to him.
Her words did nothing to strike Mark; however, as he only came back with the same attitude he came back to Albus with the previous summer. He smirked and said with a look of glee, “Oh, I’m a frigging Spit Viper. It takes a snake to deal with a snake.” Then, he turned to Rose and looked her straight into the eyes with a threatening look he had never before given to a Gryffindor. “Come between two warring snakes and you’ll only get poisoned.”
Albus stayed crouched behind the suit or armor as Rose left with her face unfathomable. He was deep in thought and might have come to a conclusion of what Mark meant when suddenly, he felt a clanging, heavy weight on top of him, nearly crushing his rib cage. He yelled in pain and through blurry vision could see Mark standing over him, laughing, howling, rolling on the floor, clutching his heart in glee.
“Oh, Al, you amuse me so much,” he cackled. “Oh, Merlin, you’ll be the death of me. Did you really think you could eavesdrop on me? Honestly, I won’t flatter you though. I could see it in Rosie’s eyes. Always shifting over to your hiding place. So bad at lying, she is.” He cackled some more. “Ok, so you failed here. You can add spying to the overly long list of things you need work on, right below picking the right friends.”
Mark took a deep breath and with a final bow, walked off. Albus was struggling to get the heavy armor off him but it wouldn’t budge. He could feel it weighing down more so he had to stay still. Surely someone would see him before the game. What was up with Mark too? His actions were severely contradiction his words. He claimed he loved Albus and when he knew Albus heard him, he hit back with words contradicting anything like that; he claimed he wanted Albus in Gryffindor, but he only made Albus want to stay in Slytherin even more.
What is your angle?
Before Albus could reflect more, he felt the weight move off him. Letting in a great rush of air, he looked up as a female hand helped him up. He took it gratefully and saw in front of him a very pretty face. Hai Piaoliang stood over him. “You ok?” she asked, and it was amazing, her English was perfect despite being from China. She must have been taught at home because anyone seeing her could guess she was British.
“Er… yeah, thank you,” Albus gasped. “Erm… good English.”
“Chinese is a very difficult language to learn,” she said, taking his arm and almost leading him on to the pitch despite being new. “I decided on English. It’s my language after all. Anyways, watch yourself next time.”
She walked off and feeling immensely grateful to Hai, (and he had to admit she was extremely pretty), he rejoined his house and caught Adam sitting by an empty seat he had gracefully saved. The weather reflected Albus’ mood though. Last year, the threat of rain loomed over the pitch. Now, it delivered the threat and gave a new one. While it was raining, the clouds were so thick and low that they promised heavier rainfall later in the day.
Albus’ thoughts brought him back to present as drops hit his head, and he shielded his face. Rose appeared beside him, and charmed his face. “Impervious.” It helped for the most part, but he felt for Scorpius, playing out there in the rain. They took seats in a sheltered part of the stands. It wasn’t every day a Slytherin and a Gryffindor sat on the same end, especially during a match between the two. But Albus and Rose were cousins. Even, as Scorpius called him, the self-righteous aggressive scumbag, Eric thought it was justified.
Speaking of Eric. His twin was once again commentating the match. “Alex Wallaby, hear once again to relay to you all a game between two fierce rivals, Slytherin and Gryffindor. Master Cantharis, cold and unrelenting as usual, brings the box of balls out to begin the game!”
Master Cantharis yelled something up at Alex through the megaphone. Albus couldn’t hear him, and nor it seemed, could Alex. “The commentator cannot hear a word over the roar of the rain. No matter, he is about to open the box it seems. The team players take their positions and the game is going to start as soon as the Master gives the go-ahead. Whilst we are waiting however, I will turn your attention. Exchange students in Hogwarts have given us the pleasure of sleeping in our host school. One is going to be playing in this match, demonstrating skill seen in the Australian National Quidditch team, which shows promise in this year’s Quidditch World Cup. Ellie Marina of France is up here with your truly, watching the game.”
Roxanne sat next to Albus and with her was Lorcan, holding a flag of green and silver stripes, grinning broadly. “I would’ve liked to Charm them to make them glow over all the others, but I couldn’t get an older student to do it for me.”
“Mum sent me a lion hat,” Lysander said happily from behind him.
Albus widened his eyes at the large hat on Lysander’s blonde head. Before he could comment, Cantharis released the Bludgers and the snitch, and took the Quaffle. He looked up, staring all players down. “The game begins!” Alex yelled excitedly. “Here we go! It’s Slytherin in possession. Joseph Farret with the Quaffle. He passes it to Gregory Gregton. Gregory soars up the pitch and- OH! Bashed by a bludger. He drops the Quaffle and Jimmy Kat takes it. Gryffindor in possession. He shows Australian skill as he dodges through enemy lines. Gryffindor in possession… he shoots… he misses. Blocked by Slytherin keeper.”
Hagrid came pushing his way through the crowd. Roxanne moved aside, waving her flag happily as Slytherin made a goal. “’Ow’s Scorpius doin’?” Hagrid asked as he sat next to Albus and Rose.
“He hasn’t seen the snitch,” Albus said loudly over the rain as Slytherin made another goal.
Roxanne jumped up in excitement and whooped loudly, similar to her father George’s rare whoops. She was put back down to Earth when Gryffindor made their first shot though and Alex made an announcement contrary to Albus’ previous statement.
“He’s seen the snitch!” Alex yelled. “With Gryffindor in the lead 20-10, Scorpius Malfoy has seen the snitch. This is the next of many rivalries between Mark Wallader and Scorpius Malfoy as the latter bested him last year in a duel. However the race for the snitch may prove different. Mark Wallader is riding the racing broom choice of the year. The Lightning 1000 against Scorpius’ Firebolt 800 won’t have a huge margin, so it is all up to the most skillful. The race is tense. OH! Wait a sec. Slytherin scores! With our demonic equalizer, it’s an even tie with Gryffindor. Scorpius feints! Mark has lost the snitch, and the game continues!”
Albus groaned with the rest of the Slytherin crowd. Slytherin was picking up again. They scored two goals against Gryffindor, and Scorpius circled the pitch, keeping on Mark’s tail. The Gryffindors picked up in five minutes, gaining two goals and Alex yelled “DEMONIC EQUALIZER! Awesome! Gryffindor picked up in five minutes.”
The Slytherin team had their moments; however, and picked up too. When the score was 80-50, Mark dove down.
“The snitch again! Mark’s seen the snitch! Wallader is racing toward the ground, hand outstretched. Scorpius chases after him. A tense race once more as all players turn to watch. Is Scorpius diverting?” Alex was quiet as he too witnessed the events that took place next. Scorpius, apparently, saw something Mark didn’t. He diverted from Mark’s tail, and outstretched his hand forward.
“It becomes a battle of eyesight as they both claim to have seen the snitch- unless… OH! OH GALLOPING GARGOYLES! Scorpius has seen the snitch. It’s floating right there. Mark has pulled out of his dive. It can be concluded that Mark was attempting a feint, but realized the mistake. If the snitch hadn’t appeared within Scorpius’ line of sight, Mark might’ve made an easier catch. He’s still racing. The fight isn’t given up. What will Mark do? Will Malfoy catch the- NO!” Scorpius had nearly caught the snitch, but Mark knocked his arm out of the way, and the snitch disappeared before Mark could turn his attention to it.
“Wallaby, unbiased or I take the megaphone,” Cora Redgrow’s voice was heard as Mark raised up from below Scorpius. Scorpius was blocked, and the snitch disappeared again.
“Sorry, Professor,” Alex apologized. “I’m his cousin.”
“Well, shall I fetch Albus Potter to commentate next match?” Redgrow threatened. Albus went red as Hagrid and Rose laughed. Albus was nearly smacked out of his seat as Hagrid clapped his back.
“No, Professor, NO!” Alex said almost pleadingly. “Oh look. Look at that everyone. Done especially to divert attention from a teacher’s untimely attack on a hilarious commentating student, James Potter scores a goal. 80-60 for Slytherin. This match is promising to be very exciting. ANOTHER SNITCH SIGHTING! This particular snitch is very taunting.”
Albus laughed aloud as Scorpius started toward it first. Mark was on his tail. Very close on his tail. As Mark drew level with Scorpius, the snitch sped away at top speed. Alex was yelling something over the roar of the wind, but Albus couldn’t hear. He had eyes only for the game, and his ears were dead. They were level. Mark inched a little ahead, but Scorpius was still capable of winning the game, and then…
Mark leapt from the broom at the same time Scorpius did. Both swiped their hands for the snitch as they tumbled to the ground. Mark and Scorpius were both fighting and attacking each other over the snitch. Whoever had the snitch wasn’t going to get away with it easily. The crowd yelled and jumped up and down for their seeker.
Cantharis blew his whistle angrily, face red as he raised his wand to split the two up. Scorpius looked furious and beaten as Mark held up the snitch in his hand happily for the crowd to see.
“210-80!” Alex yelled happily, stamping his feet with the rest of the Gryffindors. Rose jumped up and cheered. Laura Creevey was shouting wildly in excite to the amusement of those around her. Alex was still yelling, “Mark Wallader catches the snitch! Gryffindor wins the game and crowd goes nuts. How was this game for five foreign exchange students? Let’s hear from our friends from the west, Ben Franken of the U.S. of A.”
A voice blared over Alex’s. It was Ben’s voice, and it said, “Yeah. Americans can do better.”
Silence. The entire stands were filled with it, and then Alex recovered, “Ok, that was an unnecessary, somewhat condescending remark. Let’s hear it from the south. Ellie Marina of France.”
A softer voice took over Alex’s, “C’est… very wow. Remarquable!”
Albus grinned. He looked over at Adam, who he forgot was sitting beside him throughout the game. Adam was clapping, eyes half closed. Scorpius had accused Mark of taking the snitch from him during the scuffle once Scorpius caught it.
“Whoa, what’s going on here?” Cantharis demanded angrily.
“He stole the snitch from me!” Scorpius yelled angrily, eyeing Mark with unmistakable anger. “I caught it first.”
“NONE!” Mark yelled back. “He’s just looking for excuses.”
“Excuses my ass, he’s being a pompous cheater!”
A loud bang erupted and next thing anyone knew and Scorpius had spun around, wand withdrawn. Before he could slash back though, Cantharis raised his own wand and froze them both, yelling at Mark, Alex taking cautious amusement. “It seems we’re seeing a rather bitter argument on the field. It is unclear what Master Cantharis’ judgment will be concerning the controversial catch.”
His judgment became clear after Alex had expressed this. He was yelling at Mark for attacking first. “One hundred a fifty points from Gryffindor!” he screamed. “Is this how you show sportsmanship? I am disgusted with you! If you two cannot agree on a catch it’s negated. A further fifty points from each of you and don’t you dare do this again!”
Albus would never forget the look on Mark’s face that day or the horror on James’ face. It was clear Cantharis’ anger was unprecedented with even Alex silent for fear more points would be taken. Mark had shot Scorpius a murderous look that if Albus had been on the receiving end, he would have fled for life. However, the points were something else. Boos were being hollered at the Master who ignored it all and Slytherins were cheering wildly at Mark’s punishment, especially those who knew of his games lately. The game was practically negated thanks to the points being taken and it took Phoenix hollering with an enchanted voice to quiet everyone down.
Two hundred points from Gryffindor? Two hundred? Is that even legal?