The Secret of the Forest
Chapter 8: A Day at Hagrid’s
Most students would’ve felt down and depressed after hearing what Scorpius heard in Divination. Wondrously though, he seemed indifferent. Albus frequently gaped at his collected attitude toward the whole thing particularly when he was within earshot of Mark, who wasted no time in doing a mimic of Trelawney’s voice predicting Scorpius’ untimely death.
“Will die…” Mark finished dramatically.
Eric laughed in an unkind way, but Alex seemed to find it funnier than a source of ridicule.
“Not that I care, Scorps, but I wouldn’t worry,” Alex said, grinning. “She seemed a real fraud.”
“Yeah,” Eric agreed. Albus could sense a make-fun-of-Scorpius tone of voice however, and sure enough, “On the future scale of one to ten, she is about… seven. So I’ll give Scorpius a seventy percent chance of death. But we should remember he must kill someone first.”
Scorpius rolled his eyes, and confronted the red-head, “Keep this up, carrot-top, and I really will kill someone.”
That shut Eric up. He touched a nerve, and even Mark, who was on friendly terms with Scorpius, widened his eyes. Eric was stepping towards Scorpius when Albus made to step in front. Before he could, Professor Redgrow appeared, “Really. What has gotten into you all? Why aren’t you in classes?”
“Scorpy here just had a bad day,” Eric sneered at Scorpius.
“Yeah, he found out he’s gonna die after killing someone,” Alex breathed.
Cora Redgrow peered at Alex, Eric, Mark, Albus, and then rested her eyes on Scorpius. “Die,” she repeated. When Scorpius nodded, she rolled her eyes, “Divination?” Scorpius nodded. “Trelawney?” He nodded again. “Tea-leaves?” Scorpius nodded once more, finding this quite hilarious. “My predecessor warned me about this. If you die, I shall send your family two owls and fifty points to Slytherin.”
She walked off. Scorpius was even more puzzled, and commented when she was out of earshot, “Well, I’m happy to know I’m worth about fifty points and a couple of owls.”
“Well, from Redgrow, that’s quite a bit,” Albus sniggered.
For a minute, Mark and the twins seemed to have forgotten Scorpius’ comment, and before it could come back to them, another red-headed figure appeared. “What’s going on?” Rose asked. “I heard yelling. I do hope you aren’t in trouble already.”
“Not really,” Scorpius said happily. “I just found out I’m gonna die.”
Rose looked puzzled. She looked at Albus for enlightenment, who mouthed, ‘tell you later.’ Rose then apparently remembered what she came for, because she waved the trouble aside, and said, “Lily, Hugo and I are going down to Hagrid’s this weekend. You up for it?”
“I’d best stay away from civilization,” Scorpius rolled his eyes sarcastically. “I might accidentally kill someone, and that’s my half my fate.”
“Are you nuts?” Rose asked almost pitifully.
“HI MARK!” a voice yelled from the other side of the corridor. Out of the doorway ran the small, blonde figure of Laura Creevey. She embraced her idol around the waist, and looked up like a small child, “I saw a heart in our tea-leaves.”
“I saw a mouse in mine,” Mark commented, rolling his eyes desperately.
“Well, we’re going to Potions class,” Eric said slowly. “Good luck.”
Mark stared incredulously at the spot where the twins vanished, “Nice dogs you turned out to be!”
“Mark, Mark, can you look over my Boggart essay?” Laura asked pleadingly. “I think I got the incantation wrong, but I’m not sure. I need help and I wanted to ask you to”-
“Alright, alright, tonight I will,” Mark said, nodding desperately.
“I’ll see you around,” and she left around the corner.
Scorpius, catching a chance, ran after her. It was a while before Albus realized he was in the hall with Mark. Mark was leaning against the wall, breathing a great sigh of relief.
“I think she’s got the hots for you, Mark,” Albus commented.
“Took you that long to notice?”
“No, but it’s stronger this year, watch out,” Albus said. ‘“I saw a heart in our tea-leaves.’” he repeated in a mocking of Laura’s voice as a reminder to Mark. Smiling, he put a hand on Mark’s shoulder as he passed to follow Scorpius and Laura out, though at a much slower pace.
“Oi, Potter!” Mark called back. “Tell your friend that if he values his life, he’ll leave Creevey alone.” Albus gaped. Did Mark mean what he thought he meant. But then Mark walked up closer to Albus, and clarified in a lower voice, “She can be very, very annoying.”
Albus had Potions class so he walked off leaving Mark standing in the corridor. Then again, Mark had it too and unlike Albus, he was in Gryffindor which meant Era could be biased against him if he was late. But Mark did not seem to notice the time and just stood there. Albus took a seat with barely a peep from Era who was explaining about the Strengthening Solution. Albus was never so interested, and he might’ve liked to try, but Era had warned them at the end of class, “Too much of it is bad, however. Watch out.”
Then, Mark walked in fifteen minutes late, earning him a warning look from Era, “Five points from Gryffindor Wallader. Now write me an essay on the solution to be handed in to me by the end of class. Start!”
The rest of the lesson was dull and soon enough, it was a short break which Albus thought he would use to visit Hagrid as Rose had suggested. Hagrid’s hut was crowded when Albus, Scorpius, and Rose arrived in Hagrid’s hut on Saturday. Scorpius endured more predictions from Trelawney. But the more predictions that came, the better Albus felt. He pointed out that if it was really going to come true, Trelawney would not have paraded that fact all lesson. It had to be a ploy designed to impress.
Laura was on the bed, cuddled up like a cat in the corner. Lily, Hugo, and the Scamander twins were sitting around the table. Riley was by the back door with his brother, Nate. Roxanne and Lucy were also there, talking excitedly. Albus didn’t see Lily and Hugo much, so it was good to see them in the hut for once.
“Hi. We were just making snacks. My home made rock cakes should do you some good.”
“No thanks, we’re not hungry,” Rose said politely.
“They are a little fudgy though ‘cause the spell didn’ work properly,” he added.
“Starving,” Scorpius said immediately.
Scorpius left Albus and Rose, and sat on the bed next to Laura. It looked like he was trying to be casual, but it awoke her with a start. Albus and Rose took a seat next to Hugo and Lily.
“So, looks like we’re all gathered here,” Hagrid said happily. “Howz lessons so far.”
“Well, Trelawney predicted Scorpius’ untimely death,” Albus recapped. Scorpius grinned, and shifted in his seat. Laura sat up, and looked at Scorpius in interest.
“I found out that Muggles can obliterate Diagon Alley,” Scorpius muttered, faking a shudder.
“I told you that years ago, if you just paid attention,” Rose said to him.
“Well, Professor Creevey has a way with words,” Scorpius said back. He chanced half a glance at Laura, but she was fiddling with her sneakers.
“What about you, Nate?” Hagrid asked, gazing through his black eyes into Nate’s equally dark eyes.
Nate was also pale white, and he too had black hair. Yet, there was a distinctive characteristic that differentiated Riley from Nate. Nate was plumper, and looked more outgoing, more enthusiastic, and more humor-oriented than his ingoing brother. But he too was half vampire.
“Defense Against the Dark Arts rocks,” Nate said enthusiastically. “But I’m pretty good at Transfiguration.”
“Can you turn into a bat?” Hugo inquired.
As Riley answered Hugo, Hagrid turned to Roxanne and Lucy for their impressions. “I was s’rprised the see yeh all in Slytherin. Howz yer lessons?”
“I made Slytherin because Scorpy said it was good, and then the hat confirmed it,” Lucy recalled. “I like lessons so far, but Redgrow is scary. I prefer Ackerly.”
“Ackerly is a pain with the homework he gives,” Roxanne pointed out. “Now Era, she’s our teacher.”
There was a roar of approval following her words from the Slytherins in the room, except from Scorpius, who was muttering conversationally to Laura. It didn’t seem he had any business in the conversation any longer. Albus noticed, but he didn’t spare too many glances in their direction and no one else seemed to care.
“Oi, anyone seen the headlines today?” Nate asked, holding up a folded clipping of the Daily Prophet he kept in his pocket. Goblins attacked the Quality Quidditch Supplies shop!”
“WHAT?” Albus yelped in horror, seizing it from him. It was enough to even get Scorpius off the bed with Laura tailing him to read the article. Hagrid remained where he was, choosing to listen to Albus reading it aloud, well aware of all eyes on him.
Bank Under Siege- Quidditch Shop Attacked
Late last night, Head of Education Mors Incommodo and his small newly formed squad of personal guards arrived at Diagon Alley in a symbolic response to Headmaster Phoenix of Hogwarts. Incommodo stated he was going to remain at the bank until he got a signed, binding contract from the Goblins that they would not give in to Phoenix’s demands. Goblin spokesman said no promises were made.
The Goblins were furious; however, that their bank was under siege and in response shut their doors, worsening the banking crisis started last year over the origin of exchange students in Hogwarts. That previous crisis was settled when Phoenix was discovered to have been hiding truths concerning Harry Potter and Otto Blackberry.
Phoenix is believed to be pressuring the Goblins for a peek into Incommodo’s vault to repay him, but has failed thus far to give a reason other than “showing Incommodo that it works both ways.”
Otto has stated; however, that he believed Incommodo might’ve stolen something from the Goblins and suggested the Goblins look for whatever they might be missing. He did not say what the stolen item might be but Goblins kept their doors shut and it remains unclear whether they took the advice or not.
A small squad of Goblins did attack Quality Quidditch Supplies later in the night though. The shop was vandalized though no one was hurt. Broomsticks fragments, including what once was a Comet 1800 littered the floor and the owner frantically worrying about stolen broomsticks.
“This crisis has gone far enough!” the leading Goblin attacker said in a statement. “The Quidditch shop will only be the first in a long line of attacks if the Ministry fails to stop harassing the Goblins. We have no care about the personal qualms between one politician and another. If Incommodo fails to leave Gringotts, we will fight back against his guards and the shops around this alleyway.”
Incommodo flatly refused to leave; however, blaming this crisis on Phoenix and Otto, both of whom try to defend themselves from undeniable revelations concerning exchange students in the Skeeter Scandal months ago.
Hagrid grunted in response to the article but soon it all returned to normal. Scorpius was back with Laura on the bed and Albus was with Rose at the table, Roxanne and Lucy went to the floor and Nate was between them, asking them questions as Hugo and Lily retreated to a corner.
“What do you see in Mark anyway?” Scorpius asked in attempted casually.
“He’s so cool,” Laura muttered dreamily.
Scorpius put up a laugh, “No he’s not. I’m cooler than him by far.”
“You are not,” Laura said, folding her arms.
“What can he do that I can’t?” Scorpius demanded.
Before Laura could answer, it seemed Rose noticed them talking, for she didn’t respond to Albus’ question. She looked at Laura and Scorpius interestedly, and said aloud, “Oh, liking girls now, are we, Scorps? I thought girls were ‘out of touch.’ Weren’t you saying they didn’t understand Quidditch?”
Scorpius went red, and Lily and Laura glared at him. Albus froze in his spot. Not wanting to be near anyone involved in the brewing fight, he moved away nearer to Lysander Scamander.
“What?” Lily demanded.
“Meanie,” Lucy wailed angrily.
“That was mean!” Laura said angrily, and she jumped off the bed and moved to sit in Albus’ now vacant seat by Rose. “My mother is a player for the Tornadoes. And she won them so many games.”
“Sexist,” Lysander commented aloud, and Albus looked down. He moved over nearer to Hagrid, hoping he would stay quiet and allow them to assault Scorpius freely.
“Well, if you’re a Quidditch fan, you should know that Rosie, with her angelic radiance, hates Quidditch!” he said back to Laura.
Laura shut up. She folded her arms miserably. Rose sensed that Laura was in a bad mood with her too now, so she moved before Laura could, and took a seat by Albus. Albus shook his head in annoyance. It seemed like Rose and Scorpius had become two warring people going for each other weekly. He got up, “Well, I got no business here.”
Rose and Scorpius ignored him, instead glaring at each other. Even after Albus walked outside and shut the door with an apologetic look at Hagrid, he could hear the arguing. He was considering walking back inside when he heard Lorcan’s angry voice, “Why don’t you two take this outside. You’re so annoying!”
The door swung open, and Scorpius walked out. Rose was right behind him. Albus hurried up to walk beside Scorpius, but his friend had eyes, ears, and voice only for Rose.
“Well, that was completely unnecessary,” Scorpius muttered to her.
“No, what you said before tryouts, that was unnecessary,” Rose corrected.
“Oh, and you bash me randomly in Hagrid’s hut to get me back, a whole week after the incident,” Scorpius said, rolling his eyes angrily. “You just woke up, and decided, ‘oh, what a brilliant day. I think I’m going to do some Scorpius-bashing.’”
“Don’t mock me, please,” Rose said heatedly.
“You mocked me in front of everyone,” Scorpius said, near yelling. “How’s that for a reputation?”
“Reputation?” Rose laughed, and she stalked off, red in the face with a mixture of anger and laughter.
“In front of everyone… you deliberately made me look like a piece of”-
“Scorps, she can’t hear you,” Albus said quickly.
Scorpius and Albus stayed there, half way from Hagrid’s hut. Scorpius looked genuinely miserable, so that in an effort to cheer him up, Albus suggested they go back to Hagrid’s hut.
“What’s the point now?” Scorpius challenged.
Albus kept his cool, choosing not to ignore him as he usually did when he was in this mood. “Well, you could do some damage repair. Fix what Rose did. You know she won’t do it for you.”
“You’re on my side, aren’t you?” Scorpius asked as they changed course and walked back to Hagrid’s hut.
The truth was, Albus saw both points. He couldn’t see why Rose would bring it up a whole week after the original fight, and they were getting along fine earlier. Yet, why did Scorpius have to make such a stupid comment in the first place? He found himself answering, “I don’t wanna get involved,” clearly and unmistakably echoing Alexis’ advice.