The Hogwarts Hurricane
Chapter 21 The Hogwarts Hurricane
Albus had not expected such a scene to commence so soon but it had. Malcolm’s twins Herald and Gerald tripped Mark suddenly with two older Slytherin sixth year students Albus had honestly never met before in his life jumped Mark. Now, Albus was forced to appreciate Malcolm’s influence within Slytherin house. Alas, the ringleader was not present.
Out of instinct toward their newfound friendship, Albus withdrew his wand and raised it. Scorpius looked on the verge of doing the same when a yell from Walter made them all stop. “Stop!” Finally, he had arrived. Malcolm Mold and his followers Gordon and Jared were walking out from the Great hall, having finished eating. Walter and Samantha were scurrying along behind him, Walter with his hand up in halting motion. “Leave him! Potter is our enemy. He’s the King in this game we’re playing.”
The older students released Mark at once and just then, a loud, obnoxious and familiar voice rang out from the main stairs. “Oi, someone calling me out?”
Malcolm raised his wand threateningly as James walked down the main steps alone and unarmed. Mark froze and slowly went red as Malcolm confronted him. “You’re the puppet master behind this, Potter. Admit it!”
“What are you talking about?” James asked cheekily.
“Don’t play dumb,” Malcolm said in a quiet, threatening voice. “You know full well what happened yesterday and you’ve been using everyone in Hogwarts as your pawns since the beginning of the year. TALK LION SCUM!”
“Jumping to the wrong conclusion again, Mold?” James taunted. “As usual. You tried this in first year thinking I had it in for your life only to find yourself detained for half the semester.”
“No, this is the right one,” Malcolm breathed. “You know the bat assaulted your fat lady portrait… attempting an attack on your own foster brother. Through all of this, you’ve been unusually silent on this. Where did your own brother fit into this? Huh? You knew, I know you knew.”
Then, Mark surprised everyone by speaking up and thus revealing what James had planned from the beginning. “You got it wrong, Mold. I told James a long time ago. I trusted you, James. You told me clearly you wanted a prank. Is this what you wanted?”
James shook his head solemnly, “No, I swear. I didn’t ask for garlic. It wasn’t supposed to happen. It was meant to stay between Adam and Riley. Stir up the trouble. You told me about Riley and”-
“James wasn’t planning an assault on Slytherin,” Mark defended. “But… he did tell me to stop Walter from revealing him because”-
Then, to Albus’ immense surprise James released a wide grin and he seemed to be suppressing a laugh. “I was so close, too. Understand, Mark? Huh? All this time, you’ve been playing the role of King. I allowed you too, really. The one whose friendship is so beneficial and whose enmity is so disadvantageous. What you fail to realize is that I am the eyes and ears of the castle. I spent my entire first year discovering every last secret there was… why, that first Christmas back I really had to work on my own father to discover every last secret for real.”
Albus knew he was referring to a magical map of the school detailing where each student was in the castle and where all the passages were. Both Malcolm and Mark were ignorant to this though. “What did you want then?” Mark demanded. “You forbade me from letting Walter have his way. Why?”
“Because… I wanted to expose Riley!” James said madly. “Exposing him through some orchestration of mine… a grand scheme and the teachers would be so grateful, my next four years here would be a breeze. The teachers would turn a blind eye over everything I do. I was so close too. Why, Mark? What would you have done? Allowed Walter to expose him and put him in danger?”
Mark said nothing. He himself allowed James to do this. He knew it was not James’ fault because James was truly about to tell Redgrow and gain his hero status and perhaps an Award for Special Services to the School. Malcolm was beside himself. “Spare me your theatrics. You were about to let innocent Slytherins in the crossfire for your selfish gains!”
“No one would have died,” James corrected. “There was nothing wrong with”-
Malcolm had heard enough. He sent a jet of red light at James and it came so close to hitting that James dove to the side and rolled on his side on the floor to avoid another spell. Mark yelled for Malcolm to stop in unison with Walter. From the floor, James blasted a jet of orange light at Malcolm. It was a direct aim but Malcolm parried and before the duel could progress any further, entrants had intervened.
Nigel Creevey, Samuel Redgrow, Michael Finnigan, Daniel Dagger, Jimmy Kat, and Louis and Fred Weasley backed James up from the stairs, taking positions as if readying for war. Malcolm was not fazed but simply grinned and Albus could honestly not tell whose side was he on. From the dungeons walked Gordon, Jared and the twins Herald and Gerald. The elder Slytherin students were still there too, evening the odds and by age alone, tipping the odds in Malcolm’s favor.
From the Great hall, either having finished eating or simply wondering where their cousin was, Alex and Eric Wallaby trotted out and one look at the scene withdrew their wands as well.
Mark, Albus and Scorpius gaped open-mouthed at the situation and Albus was weighing his options. Mark looked at Albus from the corner of his eye and said, “If you wanna back out, I’ll totally understand.”
“What’s been happening this whole year?” Albus asked quietly.
“Potter, your game ends here!” Malcolm declared.
“Ah, go and boil your head, Mold,” Daniel shooed away.
“Don’t say something you’ll regret, Dagger,” Malcolm breathed.
“Al, behind me,” James ordered, wand on Malcolm readily. Though James put on a brave face, Albus could tell this time he was frightened and he needed all the help he could muster now. Malcolm had him on the run.
“No, Potter was in as much danger as the rest of us thanks to your selfish game!” Malcolm said loudly, glaring at James with revulsion and hatred in every last corner of his face, eyes filled with fire. “Stay out of it, Albus Potter otherwise stay behind me.”
Then, Albus did exactly what Mark did not want him to do. He pointed his wand at James, ready to defend his house. James , though innocent in all truthfulness, had still gotten the exchange student Jimmy Kat involved in this. Seeing him aiming a wand at Malcolm along with the rest of the dormitory showed Albus just how involved he was. Nonetheless, this sparked a protest as Scorpius backed slowly off. Mark spoke up, “Al, what the bloody hell? He stuck his nose out for you all year!”
“Al, you know Malcolm is exaggerating!” James said angrily, hand shaking a little bit as he eyed Malcolm. “I would never have put anyone in danger. You’re my brother. He doesn’t get it!”
“Don’t I?” Malcolm raged. “My little brother was endangered.”
“He wouldn’t have been if he just did as Mark told him!” James yelled back. “I was just about to tell Redgrow and achieve what I wanted. It would have been easy. You and Mark exaggerated this whole thing! Al, behind me!”
Before Albus could even regret his decision, a scampering of feet from the main stairs had them all staring. Carl McCormack and Ben Franken had arrived and behind them was Adam Musa. Adam had told Carl and Ben of the previous night and that meant that Jimmy or no Jimmy, James was not at fault.
“He stuck his nose out for you, Al!” Mark yelled angrily.
In the blink of an eye, Albus pointed his wand on Malcolm instead, pleasing James. Malcolm’s next words solidified Albus’ resolve against him. “No neutral observers, Potter. How dare you go against me?”
“Al, don’t make me have to defend you again!” Scorpius called out to Eric’s surprise as Malcolm turned on Albus and walked towards him threateningly. Albus backed away to the great oak doors to the courtyard outside. As his back touched the doors, he knew he was cornered and he pointed his wand at Malcolm despite knowing he was going to get hurt. Albus was far outnumbered and he did not expect James to defend him this time.
Then, the unthinkable happened. It must have happened quickly but to Albus, it was slow motion. As Malcolm raised his wand and opened his mouth, Scorpius rushed up beside him as Alex and Eric pushed the doors open, allowing Albus to back up more. Malcolm’s gang backed Malcolm up, raising their own wands threateningly as the twins pointed theirs. Mark took a place beside Albus too as the twins joined their ranks. Then, it had seemed Walter too had taken sides. He and Samantha took places beside Albus readily and Malcolm halted.
It was one thing fighting five younger students but when one of the younger ones was the younger brother Malcolm was defending, he could go no further. He closed his mouth but his wand was still raised. He had eyes for Walter, probably telling him to back off. His gang was evened with Albus’ gang and James was taking advantage of the temporary halt in violence to pull the Great hall doors open. It was time his plan came to fruition. Adam and Ben were right beside him and then it dawned on Albus what was happening.
Carl had worked it out with James. The exchange students were sucked right into it but were about to become heroes themselves. Albus could see the future already. He knew what would happen if James won over. James was in the right. He was about to prove the whole world wrong by portraying the exchange students as heroes and save their reputation from Incommodo.
“RILEY IS A VAMPIRE!” James and Adam yelled in unison. Ben pushed past them both and disappeared into the hall to emphasize. The hall was still full of people and Albus wished he was one of them. Malcolm was still threatening him. Alas, as Adam and Ben did their part with James leading them, Daniel Dagger turned to Malcolm.
“Oh, cowardly now, are we?” Daniel called, running up as his gang fired spells on Malcolm’s group. “Internal division in Slytherin house and you can’t even deal with that!”
Malcolm and his group bore the brunt of the spells as Mark took Albus’ arm and dragged him away eagerly, narrowly avoiding jets of red light. They ducked away from the battle and nearer to Hagrid’s hut, leaving James’ gang to deal with Malcolm. Albus knew James too well and was confident he’d show up to rally his group later against Malcolm. Having fired from behind, James had the upper hand and did not need help.
Mark dragged Albus and his friends over to Hagrid’s hut, banging on the door eagerly. The trees were rustling slightly but Albus passed it off as a Bugbear or a Bowtruckle. He was more attentive to the hut. Now, if ever, was the time to tell a teacher, especially if the teacher was their friend. Alas, no one answered. Mark slapped his thigh in frustration as Alex said, “He’s at breakfast Mark. We’re stuck out here until the battle wears off.”
“Knowing James that’ll take months!” Mark complained.
“Yeah, and Malcolm isn’t the type to let things go,” Scorpius put in. “He holds a grudge, that one.”
“What do you propose, Malfoy?” Alex retorted.
“Look, James just showed up,” Alex pointed.
Sure enough, Albus could see James walking down the steps. He had a wide smile on his face that told Albus his plan was a success. The hall had heard and was probably making a riot. Beside James was Adam, the boy also looking quite pleased with himself. Ben Franken was absent and so he must have been the one leading whatever riot James had caused.
“All I know is I’m not getting involved in a battle the teachers will break up anyway,” Eric said sourly.
“Ah, but you’ve just gotten yourselves involved in a much bigger battle, young man,” a voice from beyond the trees said ominously.