The Hogwarts Hurricane
Chapter 19: The Garlic Frenzy Duel
Walter’s yell was heard from the dormitory and when Albus and Scorpius entered the Common room, they saw a circle of people gathering around what seemed to be a confrontation. Though Albus and Scorpius left the dormitory a few seconds after Riley sped off, a confrontation was already brewing and for the first time ever, Riley was beside himself with anger. He appeared to have tried marching at Walter but the boy was saved by Adam Musa, standing in between them and facing Riley fearlessly, albeit with a trembling hand. Riley shook his head violently, and sniffed out violently like an animal, as if trying to get a lingering awful smell out.
“YOU DID IT!” he screamed at Walter. “MARK TOLD YOU! HE TOLD YOU! HE TOLD YOU TO- TO DO IT! TELL ME THE TRUTH!”
“I-I-I-I-I d-d-d-didn’t,” Walter stuttered.
Samantha was being held by another older Slytherin girl, third year by the look of her, but even that girl was shaking. Samantha was watching the confrontation erupting like an exploding volcano, probably thanks to the fact she was Walter’s sister and watching her older brother getting assaulted by a vampire was not what anyone would want to see.
“Who… who asked- who told you? I… I WANT TO KNOW! NEVER TALK TO THAT- THAT GRYFFINDOR SCUM AGAIN!” Riley raged. “I KNOW WHAT HE ASKED, AND IF YOU DON’T TELL THE TRUTH, I’LL, I’LL”-
“Riles, calm down,” a timid fourth year girl said in an attempt to show some kind of bravery as an older being in the Common room. She too was terrified. So was Albus and Scorpius. From calm and allegedly uncaring, Riley transcended into a state of rage and anger.
“NO!” Riley yell shook even the fourth year into hysterics, and she backed down. “MARK KNOWS. He- HE TOLD WALTER TO PLANT THIS. HE’S THE ONLY ONE WHO COULD!”
“How? Just tell us.”
Roxanne usually liked the humorous side of things, but even she couldn’t smile at this. She was huddled with her first year friends, sticking behind a first year boy who looked equally as terrified.
As Riley was beginning to take a hold of himself and stay under control, a sixth year, Joel Herbert the prefect, came up. He was backed by two boys from his dormitory. Estella Elles, a sixth year girl, also a prefect, came backed by two girls from her dormitory. These were the only six students who appeared to be fearless to Riley’s face. But, Albus though, the followers flanking Joel and Estella would probably have not been as fearless if they were not right behind Senior prefects.
Joel put a hand on Riley’s shoulder in an attempt to calm him and said in his thick Irish accent, “Calm down, or we’re gonna have a fight, and we don’t want that. I warned you, Blackberry.”
Riley shuddered, and finally got a hold of himself. He turned slowly and faced Joel, breathing heavily and speaking slowly as if weighing every syllable he uttered. “Walt is the only one who is in my dormitory and actually has a friendship with Mark Wallader, a Gryffindor kid who kept trying to intimidate me since the beginning of this year.”
Joel’s response was, in Albus’ opinion well chosen. “Look around you. Everyone here is with you against Mark. You don’t need him. Just tell us how did he prank you, and we’ll take it to the Gryffindor prefects.” Joel asked calmly. It seemed he was clearly trying to get to the bottom of the matter, and it seemed he was succeeding. Now everyone could see why he was picked as prefect. He was good. No doubt he’d become Head Boy the next year.
“That’s my business,” Riley hissed. “It’s not about a prank, or I’d have dealt with Mark myself. Mark’s been keeping everyone mad at me since the beginning of the year, and now it’s gone too far. Walter waged an indirect attack! But I swear, I’ll- I’m gonna get you, Walter Mold. Adam, back, now!”
“No,” Adam said, attempting bravery, but anyone could see he was shaking.
“Very well,” Riley muttered, and he freed himself from Joel’s grasp, and walked over to the terrified pair. As he got closer, Adam bravely reached into Walter’s pocket, pulled what looked like a garlic clove out and stuffed it up to Riley’s nose. Albus wished he hadn’t done that, but he knew Adam to be rash. Riley seemed to be trying to resist, but the clove was still there. His head started shaking again, then…
Another screech. The Slytherin crowd, including Joel backed away as Riley’d secret slowly dawned on everyone. The garlic and his reaction had given it away and Albus finally understood why Riley was acting this way.
“I- I think I’m a vampire,” Riley said shuddering. “I’m allergic to garlic!”
Of course! Riley was a half vampire and naturally held an allergy to garlic. A very severe and unusual allergy. Being a vampire made it natural to him. It was reaction against his will. It was not Riley doing this.
Of course, this did not stop Walter from bursting into tears of fear and regret. Adam, apparently filled with a new bravery, stepped forward. He still shook, but he held his wand high. Riley was still yelling and screaming and raging. He was stamping his feet hard on the ground successively like a child throwing a temper tantrum. A very bad smell was in his nose, and he couldn’t get it out. At least, that was what Albus and Scorpius knew. Walter and Adam must’ve had a lot of garlic hidden with them.
Before Albus could catch Joel’s reaction to this tantrum, he felt a hand pull himself and Scorpius down and forced behind a chair away from the scene. It was none other than Lorcan Scamander and he had an accusatory look in his face, “Garlic Frenzy? Did you do that?”
“This has nothing to do with me, Scamander,” Scorpius swore, and for a moment, he reminded Albus of Draco when Harry accused him of taking Albus into Knockturn Alley. “I’m as new to this as you are.”
Before Lorcan could respond, a bang went off. A random fifth year yelled “Take cover!” as another bang went off. The crowd dispersed, and the source was clear. Riley was fighting like a madman. The only one standing firm was Joel Herbert, even the other prefects failed to take a stand. Joel was fighting Riley one on one as the others took cover, and yelling orders to Estella and the other kids who flanked them earlier. “Take the entrance and guard the dormitories!”
Sparks were flying, passing furniture and jets of light nearly destroyed them and even grazed some cheeks. Both Joel and Riley avoided the worst of the spells thrown and some students were hit by the crossfire, including a couple of unlucky first years. Lorcan kept Albus and Scorpius down behind a faraway sofa chair and before Albus could exclaim in surprise, his mouth and Scorpius’ mouth were clamped shut by an unseen hand. Slowly, the wielders of those hands were seen. Herald and Gerald, twins Albus rarely saw but knew to be followers of Malcolm appeared. He made to exclaim more, but a fiery orange jet of light zoomed at the very chair and came so close that Herald actually poked his head out and yelled “Protego.”
The light was successfully rebounded and zoomed back at Riley. Albus could not see if it made contact for another explosion rocked the center of the fight. Riley managed to re-angle the spell at Joel who barely dodged the spell.
Where did Herald learn a spell like that? Albus was amazed. He knew from Rose that Shield Charms were fourth year level and yet these second years could do it easily. Then again, where was Malcolm? Surely he cared that his brother was in the middle of all of this. He was not in the original circle of onlookers.
Meanwhile, Ursa was prancing along the Common room, chasing a mouse, when a spell nearly hit Ursa, and the cat screeched angrily, running away and hiding behind an arm chair. The arm chair was reduced to nothing as Joel barely dodged a spell, Ursa fleeing for dear life down the stairs to the dormitory. Joel dove behind a table, but that too met the same fate.
Joel was blasted back, wand flying out of his hand. It landed on the other side of the room, and Riley ran at Walter and Adam. He stopped a distance, and rose his wand. Before an incantation was done, however; a shield charm appeared between them. Albus’ question was being answered.
Albus never thought he’d be so happy to see him. Malcolm Mold was marching down the stairs, his large friends Gordon and Jared behind him. Herald and Gerald quickly scurried to take their places behind them, forming what seemed like a triangle formation. Malcolm looked very, very angry. It seemed, as angry as Malcolm was about Walter being friends with a Gryffindor, threatening a Mold was crossing the line big time.
For the first time, Albus could fully appreciate Malcolm’s presence in Slytherin house. And so, for the first time that whole year, he could appreciate the meaning of being a Slytherin in the first place. Watching Malcolm Mold march down the stairs, without even questioning the motive of the battle and casting a Shield charm to defend his younger brother, filled Albus with such inspiration it was legendary to him. One did not need to be a Slytherin to march in recklessly without knowing the full scope. All you needed was a motive. Malcolm had one even James would appreciate. The older and skinny blonde stepped in between the brown-haired plump boy and the mad black-haired boy, facing the latter fearlessly.
Before Riley could act, he was being pinned against the wall physically. Malcolm was yelling at him at the top of his lungs. The normal Riley may have cowered, but this one was unimpressed. In the middle of the scream, Riley used his wand and an explosion sounded. Malcolm spun around and in a quick movement, the spell rebounded and barely missed Riley.
Malcolm was a third year, and he fought the second-year with amazing skill. It was no kidding. Malcolm was good. Very good. Albus thought he’d like to see Malcolm face off with Mark and see who won. Malcolm knew spells up to fourth year level. He ducked, wove, and dodged around Riley, loathing in his face, jets of light zooming and ricocheting off walls and shattering windows. Students dove aside as stray spells narrowly missed them. As Malcolm ducked around Riley, he kicked him in the back, and sent another spell. Riley dodged it narrowly, and Joel reentered the battle.
Albus spared a glance at Riley next, and he understood. Riley was also good. Being a vampire, he must be. He could hold his own against a sixth year and a third year, but Albus noticed he was only on the defensive, and had Riley been in his normal state, he’d have been overtaken long before Malcolm entered the battle. And if Malcolm fell, Gordon and Jared were likely to take over. Riley only fired the spells he knew as a second-year. It was his frenzy, as Lorcan called it, that made him fast and agile enough to dodge spells well.
Then, the snake hole opened, and in marched Professor Forma Era, pale faced and all. For a reason Albus could at first not explain, a rush of cold overtook Albus’ insides. Era’s presence meant too much now. She would put a stop to it… but why did he not feel safe? Lorcan widened his eyes, and as if answering his mind’s question, whispered urgently, “Just what we need when garlic is present. A full-vampire!”
“Whose idea was this?” Lorcan demanded through gritted teeth to Albus and Scorpius, and he looked positively angry.
Albus looked down, and hesitated, “It wasn’t me, I swear. It looks like Walter planted garlic on his nose while he was sleeping or… something. Maybe under his pillow or… look, it wasn’t me ok, stop looking at me like that!”
Albus was very uncomfortable having Lorcan looking at him in an accusatory and judgmental way as if knowing Albus was lying. Era used a spell to knock Walter and Adam back far enough away from her, and stepped in front of Malcolm and Joel. She motioned to them to put away their wands, and they did so, even Malcolm. Riley was still in a rampage though, and she spun round in lightning speed, and engaged with him. The spar was short-lived. Riley was soon overcame, and blasted back, landing right beside Walter and Adam, both of whom still had garlic with them.
A quick sniff and his already mad rampage was worsened. Another loud screech like a banshee, and he jumped up, almost flew, and blasted his way through the crowd so fiercely that even the guards Joel had at the entrance dove aside. Samantha was screaming into the third-year girl’s chest as Riley fled the Common room, yelling, “MARK! I’M GONNA KILL YOU!”
The Common room was quiet once again. Albus, Scorpius, and Lorcan rose from behind the armchair. Professor Era looked around at them with urgent eyes, and ordered, “Everyone to your dormitories. NOW! I am going to seal the snake hole. No one will leave till nine tomorrow morning. Bedtime! Now!” And, with a swish of her cloak, she chased after Riley.
As the snake hole shut, a barrier was erected over it by Era and Joel on either side. Afterwards, Joel helped Estella up and blew out a sigh. “Phew, well, he came out with a bang, didn’t he?”
Then, a full din broke out among all the students. The majority of the students were hording Malcolm’s gang for thanks for confronting the crazy Riley as Malcolm helped his brother up and tended to his wounds. It seemed he was saving anger for later.
Lorcan turned on Albus and Scorpius, clearly angry. “What happened?”
“Walter and Adam played a prank, apparently,” Scorpius shrugged.
“Oh, Merlin!” Lorcan shook his head. “What the bloody hell? Why’d they go and expose a secret like that so stupidly? We could’ve”-
“I wish I thought about the garlic part,” Scorpius said defensively.
“Lorcs, he is a vampire,” Scorpius said on Albus’ behalf. “That’s dangerous, y’know.”
“Did he bite you?” Lorcan asked testily.
“Did he frighten you in any way before?”
“What gives you the right to”-
“Lorcan, hello, I know you love animals, but a vampire… even you were frightened by Era when she came in. They’re vicious and unrelenting toward humans. Even Rose would agree with me.”
“Well, the more open-minded Lysander might disagree with her,” Lorcan shrugged.
“Lorcan, please, look,” Albus pleaded. “Let’s look at the damage here. He went crazy and nearly killed some people. Seen Walter lately? What excuse is there for that? Plus- plus, he’s been hiding this from us. I mean, if he was safe, wouldn’t he admit it or something like”-
“Like the Werewolf back in the seventies?” Lorcan said grumpily. “Kept secret for the safety of everyone. The fact you compromised his secret, compromised his safety and our safety as well. That was stupid Al! Don’t try to defend Walter. He nearly got himself killed.”
Before Albus or Scorpius could respond, Malcolm’s loud voice sounded. “Don’t EVER try something STUPID like that again! Should’ve told a teacher! A vampire like that in YOUR dorm? Father would sue. We could’ve been heroes or something!”
“Relax, Malcolm, you beat them back,” Walter mumbled miserably.
“You scared me half to DEATH!” Malcolm screamed. “Imagine someone of our caliber being killed by a vampire! The Ministry would go NUTS! As if we didn’t have enough problems ALREADY!” Walter gulped tears down as Malcolm stomped his feet on the ground angrily. “I’m telling Phoenix tomorrow. If he doesn’t expel him, I’m telling father to sue! Phoenix has been an idiot long enough!”
“I’m sorry, Malcolm,” Walter said tearfully. “I s-swear, I d-d-didn’t think he’d b-b-be so horrible. I thought I’d hide here while he was sorted in the dormitory. If I told Era, she-she would’ve killed me. I know it! I don’t wanna die!” He collapsed into tears.
Malcolm sat down beside Walter, blew out an angry sigh, and folded his arms, rolling his eyes at Walter’s misery. He nonetheless said, “You won’t.”