The Secret of the Forest
Chapter 14: Detention with Hagrid
Albus believed Scorpius to be quite angry, and so he was. Albus awoke the next morning, Friday, with nothing to look forward to except detention with Hagrid. When he looked over at Scorpius’ bed, intending to talk him out of confronting Rose, he didn’t see him. He wasn’t in his bed. It was empty, so there was only one thing he could be doing. He woke up early, ‘specially to find and attack Rose.
Albus got out of bed immediately, and walked out of the dormitory. If Scorpius wasn’t at breakfast… Albus walked into the Entrance Hall, and what a sight he saw. There was a small circle of onlookers, students who also woke up early. Among the students were Daniel Dagger, his younger brother Gabriel, Walter, James, Adrianna Longbottom, and Samuel Redgrow.
In the middle of the circle was Scorpius and Rose, and they were having a yelling match. Albus sighed heavily as he took a place beside the boy Scorpius apparently convinced to come into Slytherin, Gabriel Dagger.
“If you hate detention so much, why were you such an”-
“Regardless, you tattled on your friend!” Scorpius yelled back, eyes showing a mixture of anger and bitterness, not unlike what was present the previous night.
“You were warned, don’t blame me!” Rose shot back. “It was your mistake, pay the price!”
Albus watched as the two battled it out for the umpteenth time. He looked down at the small boy, Gabriel. “What happened? When did Scorpius run into her?”
“He came down at around seven, and waited here,” Gabriel shrugged. “I think he wanted that girl especially.”
“What about the red-head, she seems pretty mad,” Adrianna commented quietly. Albus was surprised she was speaking after he got the best of her last Quidditch match. “She’s always curt in the common room.”
Before the fight could evolve further, the doors from the Great Hall opened, and out walked Professor Redgrow. Adrianna rushed away and into the doors to the Great Hall before she could get reprimanded. Professor Redgrow rushed forward and stood in between the glaring enemies. “What is going on here that requires you all to skip breakfast? All of you will proceed into the Great Hall or back to your dormitories. Now!”
Scorpius’ face was nasty-looking as he watched Rose walk away with Redgrow. Albus guessed she was with her Head of House to avoid a confrontation with Scorpius. She hurried to the Gryffindor table, and remained there. Albus stood where he was, uncertain. Scorpius followed into the Great Hall, undoubtedly to the Slytherin table.
Albus stood with Gabriel a bit longer. He didn’t know if he wanted to stick with Scorpius at that moment or not. He didn’t like Scorpius much when he was angry. As if he read his mind, Gabriel looked up, “You can sit with me if you like. None of my friends are up yet and Nate’s in the forest still.”
Albus walked with Gabriel to a spot not far from Scorpius. He was two seats down, and he had a sour look on his face. Albus felt kind of guilty, but he knew that Scorpius knew that no one liked being around an angry Scorpius.
Breakfast with Gabriel wasn’t too bad. He was good company, and a big laugh. It was because of his laughter that he often had a red face. Albus found himself liking Gabriel more and more as time went on.
“So, when Daniel tells me I have to be a Half-blood to join the Half-blood club, I tell him we’re brothers, Dan. If you’re Half, so am I.”
Albus laughed. It was one of the jokes that were funny at that particular time, and you had to be there to laugh, because when he thought back, it didn’t sound too funny. He could tell Gabriel liked to make people laugh though.
Albus looked around. Scorpius was red-faced and furious, and so was Daniel, who seemed to have walked up to make more problems. Gabriel raised his eyebrows bemusedly as Daniel walked off. “Is my brother that mad?” When Albus nodded, Gabriel smirked, “I personally like Slytherin.”
“Tell him that, and stop him then,” Albus said, rolling his eyes. “Pissing me off.”
“Right!” Gabriel said happily, and careless to all watching and hearing, yelled, “OI, Danny! I love this house!”
Albus laughed, and he laughed harder when he saw Daniel’s face, contorted with fury and anger. He shook his head, a small premature vein in his forehead throbbing. Albus was pleased to hear Gabriel laugh along at his own joke, and say, “That guy is so having a heart attack.”
But Gabriel seemed to be prone to laughter. There was one point when he dared to run up to the Ravenclaw table and steal some food that seemed exclusive to them, and as the Ravenclaws yelled after him, he looked back happily, and not paying attention to his front, he tripped over the bench leg, and dropped the plate.
Instead of being laughed with, he was laughed at, Albus joining in. “Smart, Gabe. Very smart.”
“Well,” he said, to Albus’ astonishment laughing with everyone else at himself. Laughing so much in fact, Gabriel had tears of laughter in his eyes. He honestly did find it funny. Could he honestly acknowledge his own stupidity? This was strange. Albus never met anyone who laughed at himself with everyone else before. Usually, people were very embarrassed if they made a fool of themselves. Gabriel accepted his stupidity, and laughed with everyone else as if it wasn’t him. He just shrugged, still laughing, and wiped his own eyes, saying, “Always tomorrow.”
After breakfast, Albus bade goodbye to Gabriel, and went up to the Owlery. He put down a roll of parchment on a stool, and wrote:
It’s been a while, and I usually write once a week. Things have taken quite a nasty turn here. Scorpius and Rose have been having rows since the beginning of the year. I’m not sure why, but they can’t seem to live with each other anymore, and we’re usually good friends. Any idea? I was wondering if you could probably pop up and talk to me face-to-face at one tomorrow night?
Let me know,
Albus and Scorpius went down to Hagrid’s hut at night to find the Scamander twins already waiting. They waved as Albus and Scorpius arrived. Scorpius was still sour, but he was safe to talk to now.
“Hagrid is in his hut,” Lysander said casually, alone looking as if he was made for this detention. In fact, he seemed almost glad he was in detention.
As he said this, the door of Hagrid’s hut opened, and Hagrid walked out, crossbow in hand. He stared around gruffly. After seeing all four of them were there, he raised his crossbow, and said, “You wanted the forest. So, yer comin’ with me. Don’ think yer being treated either. We got business. Yer gonna see a side of the forest yeh will come to hate. A troll has gone astray, and started killin’ Bugbears. To keep the balance in the forest, we need teh get rid of the troll.”
“What, murder it?” Scorpius asked innocently to laughter from Albus and Lorcan.
“If any murder is done tonight, it’ll be me,” Hagrid said dangerously. Scorpius stepped back, and Hagrid faced them all. “Ev’ry now and then, something goes wrong in the forest. Many creatures live there, and not all of them in peace. Trolls are the main causes. This time, one has gone off their usual territory and killed many a Bugbear. It’s our job teh stop the troll and maintain a balance in the forest.”
Lorcan and Lysander took their wands from their pockets, and placed them behind their ears for quick reach. Scorpius took his wand out, and held it loosely to his side like Albus. Hagrid looked around, “Alrigh’, we’re all ready.”
Hagrid led them into the dark forest. They walked on into the trees, and Hagrid raised his crossbow. They weren’t following anywhere near the silvery line that was still present. They took a path opposite. Now that they were in with Hagrid on an actual dangerous mission, Albus found himself wishing he was back in bed. Hagrid looked back at them after fifteen minutes of walking. “Now, it’s too dangerous for us to split and Fang’s sick, so we’ll be stickin’ together. I have a good idea where the troll may be anyway.”
They went on following Hagrid through the dark forest, stopping only at trees with gouges in them. The trees were getting thicker, and at that rate, give fifteen more minutes, they’d be too thick to go any further. Was this the end? It couldn’t be. They weren’t walking for that long.
“Valus Flavus,” Lysander said aloud suddenly, making Scorpius jump. “Hagrid, the hole there. It was made by a Flavus. We’re in danger here.”
Hagrid followed Lysander’s finger and spotted a large gouge in a tree. Now he looked around, there were many on other tress as well. Confused as to what Lysander could be talking about, wondering if it was another of those random statements he made, Albus looked at Hagrid.
Hagrid pointed to a particularly large gouge, and lectured like it was another class, “Alrigh’ yeh see the gouges in the trees, yeh can tell a troll has been there. Yeh see the deep hole through the tree? Only a troll can do that. They’re very strong. Now, before we go further, we discuss our strategy. We don’t want any deaths, so yeh lot will follow my lead. Yeh all stay back, and try to deprive it of it’s club. Usually made from trees, shortened and cut down teh size for them. I’ll hold him off. My giant’s blood will keep me strong against him.”
He led them further in. The tree thickness stayed the same. It seemed like the forest continued on for miles, and Albus couldn’t see any sign of an opening or exit ahead. Then, Hagrid took them by the shirt and went a sharp turn left. Gouges were everywhere, more apparent than ever. A deep growling was heard.
Albus was filled with a sensation of fear and worry. He looked at Scorpius. Scorpius seemed to be feeling the same way. He bit his lip, and then voiced the worry through a shaky voice, “H-Hagrid. If I die, I just wanna let you know I’m coming back as a ghost, especially to haunt you and Rosie.”
“Yer not gonna die,” Hagrid insisted. “And Rosie did what she did on’y because she cares.”
“Death kind of contrasts with that, doesn’t it? Don’t try to save yourself. I’m gonna haunt you if I die.”
“Or you could haunt the forest,” Lysander suggested. “I think there are some parts that are filled with ghosts and ghouls. That’s why students keep out. Because some tried walking through, but”-
Scorpius interrupted Lysander by turning to Albus, a small grin on his face, and saying, “Hey, Al. Maybe that’s the prediction. I’ll kill a troll only to be killed by a… Werewolf or something.”
Albus could not help himself. He burst out laughing to Lorcan’s amusement and Hagrid seemed about to go beside himself. “Now keep quie’” Hagrid whispered, and he led them down a steep path through an ivy-made archway. “If yeh’d liketeh die, it can be arranged. I’ll leave yeh here and yeh can fend fer yerselves. Now, be sure not the touch the ivy. It’s poison.”
Scorpius went pale as they walked through. He ducked, even though the ivy was three feet above him. The Scamander twins were right behind Hagrid, knowing more about creatures than Albus and Scorpius. A dead Bugbear was hanging from the ivy ceiling. Scorpius stuck his tongue out in disgust as he saw it. Just then, a foul stench entered their nostrils, and a deep snoring entered their ears.