The Enchanter’s Princess
Chapter 1: The Summer War
Albus did not wake up to what he usually woke up to. He woke up to a loud bang. It was quite sudden. His eyes flew open, and he jumped out of bed. He sat up, rubbing his eyes tiredly. The bang came from outside, but when he looked out the window curiously, he saw nothing. It was dark. Probably past midnight judging by the stillness in the house. Albus had been sleeping all day, failing to even have lunch with his family. Still, though it was dark, he could almost smell the smoke rising from over the river, but he couldn’t see the source of it.
Not seeing the source did not mean Albus did not know the source though. The Goblins were waging a new rebellion against the Wizards for stealing an amulet of theirs even though they had it back before it disappeared from their grasp once again. The thief of it was an old enemy of Albus’ Soto Lean, but Albus always had it. The Goblins did not know this yet, and they wanted it back. The new reality was a Goblin rebellion until the Amulet was back in their hands. Albus would’ve considered handing it to them but Harry warned him not to do so.
Albus found himself breathing heavily. He looked over at Mark’s bed. His adopted brother had woken up too and he rubbed his weary eyes before blinking continuously. “Go back to bed, Al,” he whispered sleepily. “We need to be up tomorrow.”
“Goblins or Purifiers?” Albus asked tiredly.
“Does it matter?” Mark yawned. Another distant bang sounded, but this one closer. Mark groaned in half annoyance and got up, crossed to Albus’ side of the room and peered out the window. “Merlin, can’t see anything. It’s all dark.”
“’M going back to bed”-
“No, you’re not!” Mark interrupted. “If the house is attacked, we’re the only ones up.” Albus groaned angrily and sat up. Mark just scoffed though, “So immature. This is important, Al.”
“I’m going to get a drink,” Albus muttered and got up, stretching. Mark got up too and the two crossed the dark room and opened the door.
The bangs were distant now, as if from a separate land entirely. As they walked through the dark house, the stillness was almost eerie. Nothing moved. No hint of sound or movement, not even the family cat was heard meowing. It was all silent. Mark and Albus still made their way to the top of the stairs and felt their way down. Albus groaned again, “Times like this I wish we could use magic.”
Mark opened his mouth to respond but stopped. He held his hand out for Albus to stop. Silence. Through the darkness, Albus could sense Mark signaling for him to be quiet. Albus strained his ears to listen and then he heard it. A faint whispering downstairs. Someone was inside. Someone who obviously wanted to keep quiet. But the entire house was asleep, from Albus’ mom and dad to his older brother James, younger sister Lily, and his young cousin Hugo who frequently stayed the night. Who could be up?
A jet of light shot from the darkness and Albus yelped in fright as the light barely missed him. Mark dragged Albus and flew down the stairs to the bottom. Both Albus and Mark were without their wands. They had been destroyed mere months ago and they had yet to go to Diagon Alley for new ones. Albus felt naked without it, as if a bulls eye was imprinted on him. He made to run to his parent’s room when he heard a small squeal. Mark gasped but Albus was relieved, “Wait a sec”-
“What is it?”
Albus knew that squeal. There was something familiar about it. He seized Mark’s arm and turned a corner into the kitchen only to run headfirst into a smaller figure. Three people collapsed onto each other. It turned out that Albus ran into none other than Hugo and Lily and the three were on the floor, not bothering to get up. The three were breathing heavily as Hugo’s wand light shone on all of them. The blonde boy over them was shaking his head.
Finally, they disentangled themselves and sat up. “What’re you two doing up?” Albus panted.
“Gonna- ask- you- the- same- question,” Hugo panted with each word.
“Albus was thirsty and with the bangs I thought I’d guard him,” Mark shrugged.
“Cause Albus needs guarding,” Albus muttered making Hugo grin.
“We’re house patrol tonight,” Hugo said excitedly.
“House patrol,” Mark repeated disbelievingly. “Harry let you patrol the house alone?”
“Nope,” Hugo said happily. “That’s why you’re gonna thank us when we have a hostage!”
Albus was about to laugh aloud but Mark was not amused, “Lily doesn’t have a wand either!”
“I nicked mum’s”-
Mark shushed them all and ordered Hugo to turn his wand light to the door. They quieted down once again. Albus fixed his eyes on the doorknob. It was turning. Hearts beating frantically, Hugo raised his wand but Albus pulled him back. “You’ll get yourself killed. Count of three,” Albus whispered. “Stunners.”
“So they can hear the countdown?” Mark scoffed. “Second they pass the kitchen.”
“Right,” Hugo muttered.
They stayed silent as Mark turned his wand off. They could see that the visitors were not human. Goblins had entered the house. They lit their own way through with objects glowing in their hands, making Albus, Mark, Hugo and Lily hide themselves in the darkened kitchen. Then…
Hugo, evidently had decided that was the time to strike. Scratchy yells sounded from the house, making all parties wing it from there. Hugo had disarmed them just as Mark and Albus threw themselves at all of them. Lily had decided to cast a Bat-bogey Hex and the lights upstairs turned on. Hugo, it seemed has Disarmed all the Goblins at once, one was unconscious and one was being attacked by his own bogeys in the shape of bats.
Mark stared at the Goblins and turned to Hugo, “You disarmed them all?”
“Remember, Al?” Hugo asked brightly. “Rose taught me to disarm many people at once!”
Albus was half way through congratulating Hugo when James appeared in front of them, glasses on and hair disheveled as if he had hastily got out of bed. He laughed when he saw them all though, “Brilliant! Midnight party?”
“Shut it, James,” Albus grunted.
“What’s going on here- Goblins!” Harry and Ginny had arrived downstairs too, Ginny in her nightgown and Harry with a white undershirt on.
Albus, wide awake now due to the events of that night, started explaining slowly, hoping they weren’t in too much trouble. Harry rounded all the Goblins up and tied them as Albus explained how he meant to get a drink and how Hugo and Lily heard him from their rooms and came out to see what the noise was and how the Goblins came in and how they all fired at them to keep them at bay. Albus did not tell them that Hugo and Lily hoped to guard the house at night, not wanting to get them in trouble.
Then, Ginny snatched her wand from Lily’s hand and surmised the truth for herself. Hugo looked guiltily at his own feet as he said quietly, “Nice try, Al.”
Ginny looked beside herself with anger and might have started yelling if Harry did not speak first, “Well done!” he said happily. “Who knocked this guy out?”
“Erm…” Mark and Albus looked at each other. “Both of us. We sort of leapt on him.”
“I cast the Disarmer,” Hugo said hopefully.
“Yay,” Harry mumbled, gazing around at them all. “Now your mother gets to kill me.”
The next morning, the Potter family sat down to breakfast in the garden as they always did, discussing the events of the previous night. Or at least, all of them but James. The Goblins had been locked up in a spare room and bound by Jinxes and protection. Harry spent most of the revious night with them, trying to glean some information but ultimately leaving them.
James was more to himself, as if in careful thought. Sometimes, Albus even thought he saw him draw a diagram to himself in midair or even mutter something to himself but he asked nothing of it. For the majority of that summer, James had been silent. He insisted he did not hold it against Albus for having destroyed the map but if Albus did not know better, the loss of the Marauder’s Map seemed to have been taken as a personal insult. He shut himself up in his room and stayed there all day.
That morning, James was quiet but he was a little more open this time. It started with James turning to Harry and asking him something Albus never thought he would ask. “Dad, you told me once that you could communicate with your parents when you were young.” Harry, momentarily surprised at the question and a little taken-aback, recovered himself and nodded. James went on, “How?”
“Erm…” Harry was flustered but noticing the eyes of Albus, Ginny, and even Hugo and Lily on him, he shrugged, “Resurrection Stone. Don’t think about using it though. I lost it in the forbidden forest. Don’t know where it is now.”
As Harry and James started muttering and Hugo took Lily aside to talk to her about something, (Albus was very used to this by now) and Albus returned to his breakfast. It was not until five minutes later when James finally turned to Albus, “Thought you’d like to know. Scorpius and Laura broke up.”
Lily turned from Hugo to look interestedly at James. Of all the things James would tell him, Albus did not expect this. “How’d you”-
“I told you before, Al…” James grinned. “I’m the eyes and ears of the castle.”
“We’re not in the castle,” Mark said pointedly.
“No, but the relationship began there,” James shrugged. “Besides, Nigel told me last night. I’m surprised you even ask how I found out. I expect Scorps will tell you soon enough too.”
Then, Lily spoke up with a nervous hope in her voice, “H-How did they break up?”
Albus was on the point of asking himself why Lily even cared when he remembered with a jolt what James had told him mere months ago, on the train ride back home. It had shocked Albus then too and now, as Albus remembered, he realized fully now just what it meant. “Our Lily Luna Potter of Gryffindor house… has a crush on Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy of Slytherin house. Enough said.”
James on the other hand had a mischievous glint in his eyes, Hugo went a little red but said nothing of it and Lily just looked innocently at James, as if she was just asking a simple question out of curiosity. James asked, “Why? Do you know him?”
Lily went red and muttered a no and returned to staring at the grass, looking considerably more miserable. James shrugged off the guilt but Hugo just stared at him half angrily and said, “Shut it, James!”
James widened his eyes in half surprise as Hugo took Lily away and started talking to her again, this time in privacy. James gaped at him and shrugged his shoulders in a what-did-I-do-wrong motion. Mark scoffed and said, “You know full well what you did.”
“It’s not my fault Hugo’s being so defensive about it,” James shrugged and took his pancakes off with him inside the house and up to his room. Albus and Mark exchanged looks before returning to the conversation.
“-don’t know what he expects to achieve,” Harry was saying.
“It’s obvious he still wants a job at Hogwarts,” Ginny said simply. “And after last year…” she stopped, eyes resting on Albus and Mark.
Mark rolled his eyes and motioned for Albus to come along. Clearly, their time sitting in the garden was up. He caught Hugo showing Lily some tricks in the air with a broom, grinning widely when she threw an apple and he caught it, threw it up and used his broom to smash it into applesauce. Lily laughed out loud, apparently having forgotten all about Scorpius and Laura, delighted even to have apple all over her hair. Hugo landed, red with pride but putting a modest expression all the same.
Mark grinned widely on the other hand, “So, it’s clear you’re all in big trouble this year. Hugo trounces you, we’ve seen that much. What’re you gonna do?”
“Whatever Jennifer wants,” Albus sighed, remembering Hugo’s monstrous Chasing skills. He doubted even Slytherin’s most aggressive tactics could keep Hugo off the field.
They got up to their room and looked around. Mark looked up, “Ah, look, you got letters. Bet one of them is from Scorpy. Let’s see… Yup, one from Scorpy and one from Hogwarts. Hey, Al, you might’ve been made Prefect! Let’s see…”
“They’re mine!” Albus said loudly as Mark snatched them from Albus’ bedside.
“What’re you gonna do, summon them from me?” Mark teased playfully. “Oh, wait, I forgot, you don’t have a wand!”
“Neither do you!” Albus said, leaping on Mark. They struggled for a minute until Mark finally let the letters go. Albus lay on the floor, catching his breath before finally sitting on the bed to read. He read Scorpius’ letter first.
Well, I’m sure James already told you. Laura broke up with me last night. I was sort of bummed but I’m actually okay with it now. I was already getting sort of bored with her by the end of last year too, especially because she kept commenting on Lysander Scamander. Seriously, you’re dating a guy and you keep talking about how cute Lysander is. Not sure what I expected after that.
So, it was nothing too big. She was real honest and just told me that she dated me so she wouldn’t be alone or out of place because the only crowd she stuck with was Mark and Aries makes her uncomfortable. She just asked if we could still be friends, which I said yes of course. She’s still a friendly face. So we won’t have any tension. Merlin knows we’ve had enough of that in Hogwarts, eh?
Did you get your new wand yet? Dad says he’ll be getting my books himself because the Ministry’s in shambles and Diagon might be dangerous. What about your end? Hogwarts ought to be different this year cause we got OWL’s. Plus, I was made Prefect! I’m ecstatic! First thing I’m gonna do is put Mold in detention for being too Moldy and Hugo for being too good on the Quidditch pitch. I’m serious, if you like, I can punish him and keep him off Quidditch.
I also wanted to ask if you could visit the Malfoy Manor for the Christmas holidays? Father said I might invite you if your parents aren’t too uncomfortable and I really wanted to show you the yard we added when my father bought an extra piece of land. We can play Quidditch now so if we can get Rose and Hugo and even your brother and sister to come that’ll be great and we can have a Christmas party. Let me know
Ps. My cousins are starting Hogwarts this year and if you like them, they can join us for Christmas too. I really want to do something big this year so let me know. See ya, Al.
Albus stared. “Huh? Prefect. Erm… then…”
“What’s this for?” Mark asked, holding up the Hogwarts letter. Albus examined the envelope, hoping to see a hint as to what was inside. But nothing. Mark looked at Scorpius’ letter and shrugged, “We already got our booklists.” Then, Mark sighed, “I’ll bet Alex gets the badge on my end. And Rosie come to think of it.”
“Let’s see,” Albus shrugged, opening the Hogwarts envelope by the seal. Inside was a short letter compared to the one from Scorpius but a badge fell out all the same. Albus was puzzled and so was Mark. “A second Prefec- no!”
“What is it?”
Dear Mr. Potter,
We regret to inform you of an immediate and premature change in the Slytherin Quidditch team. Due to five different players demanding her immediate resignation from the post of captaincy, Jennifer Salsty is no longer Captain of the team. As such, she has recommended you to fill her place. Tryouts take place at your leisure but please be aware that the pitch is subject to booking. It is your duty and responsibility to negotiate booking times with Quidditch Captains of other teams and let me know of your decision.
Hoping you are well,
Head of Slytherin House,
Mistress Forma Era.
“Sweet!” Mark whooped. “Now we get to whoop your behind, and blame you! This’ll be brilliant!”
It took Albus a while to register what he had read. But it dawned on him eventually. “Scorpius is Prefect but I’m Captain of the team. Huh, Phoenix really knows how to keep the balance, doesn’t he? Well, I got a letter to write so leave me alone.” And Albus set to work. Captain. Quidditch Captain. After two years on the team. This had to be a record, especially since Lorcan himself was a better Chaser than Albus. And speaking of him, he was apparently one of the players who protested Jennifer. How would she take it, then?