Harry Potter Wizard Chess Sets
Harry Potter Sorcerer's Stone Final Challenge Chess Set
Let the wizarding games begin! Incredibly detailed chess set from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Includes 32 chess pieces and a beautiful playing board. Do you have what it takes, like Harry, Ron, and Hermione? Harry Potter to queen's rook four! A remarkable recreation of the Final Challenge Chess Set seen in the film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the 32 chess pieces are crafted to exact detail of cold-cast zinc and heavy injection molding. They stand from 2 1/2 to 5 1/2-inches tall. This stunning set from The Noble Collection is made of die-cast zinc with a beautiful Plexiglas playing-board top. It measures 20-inches wide x 20-inches tall, with squares measuring 1 3/4-inches on a side. Do you have what it takes, like Harry, Ron, and Hermione? Ages 15 and up.
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Joined: 11 September 2002
Location: Pretending to be a sea slug with 'go faster' stripes...
Posted: Friday 26 August 2011 11 40 09 am Post subject: Re: Ok, come on...did everyone forget about the chess? in topic:Ok, come on...did everyone forget about the chess?
Hahaha! I managed to find my password, I'm back in the chess!
Joined: 11 September 2002
Location: Pretending to be a sea slug with 'go faster' stripes...
Posted: Friday 26 August 2011 11 27 04 am Post subject: Re: Introductions and FAQ's in topic:Introductions and FAQ's
Come on new people! Don't be afraid to post. Your posts will not immediately appear, I do have to check the 1st 8. We decided it was better to have your posts moderated to begin with than to risk missing you in the floods of spam bots. I am checking the forum daily as much as possible, your posts will appear quickly.
After 8 your posts will appear instantly and then, after 25 you can ask the Sorting Hat to sort you and gain access to one of our common rooms. I think he is a bit dusty though, I'm going to have to get my allergy tablets and venture into the Headmaster's office if you make it that far... *aaaaaachooo!* Deary me, sneezing just thinking about it!
You can also take part in our RPG section, or for more chickens and less rules you can join us in Zonko's Joke shop.
We also have wizards chess [url=http://www.broomsticksandowls.com/games/chess/login.php]http://www.broomsticksandowls.com/games/chess/login.php
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Wednesday 31 March 2010 01 59 35 pm Post subject: Re: Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden in topic:Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden
Chapter 29: Increasing Tension
Albus and John burst into the Marauder's Den a little while later to find that Matt and Kaden were the only ones there. Matt's face was covered in ash and Kaden was grinning. They were in the middle of a game of Exploding Snap.
“And that makes four wins for me and none for you,” Kaden announced as he collected the cards, “Oh, Albus, John! How was your detention? Want to play?”
“Not now,” Albus said hurriedly as he sat down next to Matt, “Matt, did you know your dad was just here?”
“Yeah,” Matt nodded, “When he got my owl, he wanted to go talk to Kendrick. I went with him.”
“Well, do you know where he went after?” John asked.
“Home, I guess,” Matt shrugged, “Why?”
“He and Kendrick turned up in our detention,” John said.
“He what?” Matt replied.
“Yeah, it was really odd,” Albus said, “He came in with Kendrick and Kendrick introduced him to Balladanis. Only Balladanis said 'we've met'. You never told us your dad knew Balladanis.”
“I never knew,” Matt shrugged, “Then what happened?”
“Your dad was really angry,” Albus continued, “He thinks Balladanis taught us too much about how to figure out if someone's a werewolf and that's why Malfoy found out. Then he told him how dangerous it was for him to use that anamatek in class-”
“Oh, yeah,” Matt said, “I told my dad about the anamatek and that's one of the reasons he came here, to tell Kendrick about it. Kendrick's making him get rid of it.”
“Yeah, that's what your dad said,” Albus replied, “He's coming back to inspect Balladanis's room tomorrow to make sure he got rid of it. He also said that if any of Balladanis's teaching puts you in danger again, the Ministry's going to investigate him.”
“It's really not a good idea to get on my dad's bad side,” Matt said, “What did Balladanis do during this?”
“He kept saying that he was going to teach however he wanted,” Albus explained, “Honestly, he did not look happy that your dad was there. I think something happened between the two of them.”
“But what?” Matt asked, “Dad's never mentioned him before.”
“Think he'd tell you if you asked?” John wondered.
“Probably,” Matt said, “I'll owl him about it.”
“Oh, and then your dad told Malfoy he'd better not tell anyone you're a werewolf,” John said, “He looked pretty scary, too. I don't think Malfoy's going to tell anyone.”
It did not take very long for word to spread that Balladanis had gotten in trouble for having an anamatek. Galleons exchanged hands the next morning at breakfast, as a few older students had bet on how long he would have it. Somehow everyone knew that Matt's dad had showed up at Hogwarts the previous night and informed Kendrick about it.
Kaden had Defense that morning and reported to Albus at lunch that Balladanis was even stricter than usual and seemed incredibly angry. That did not bode well for Albus's detention that evening.
“He's downright scary,” Kaden said as he piled steak and kidney pie onto his plate, “Yelled at one of the Ravenclaws in my class for spilling her ink. She was nearly in tears. But I'd hate to be in your class, Albus, he's going to be brutal. I mean, it's pretty much because of Matt that he got in trouble.”
Matt had gone up to the Marauder's Den after they got out of Herbology since he felt ill and wasn't in lunch. Albus knew that Kaden was right. Balladanis was going to take this out on Matt, and possibly Malfoy as well.
“I don't know why he cares so much,” John shrugged, “I mean, the Ministry could have just taken that thing away. He's lucky he just had to take it back to his house or whatever.”
“I don't think he likes the government,” Albus said, “That's the feeling I got after listening to him talk about what he did before teaching here. I think that's why he did that, instead of becoming an Auror.”
“Well, I think it's a good idea for the Ministry to make him take that thing home,” John said.
“Me, too,” Albus agreed, “I mean, he could've turned it into a manticore next.”
Kaden went to class after lunch while Albus and John went up to the Marauder's Den with Rose and Amanda.
“Think he's owled his dad yet?” John asked as he gestured to Matt, who was asleep in his bed.
“Doubt it,” Albus said, “He's probably been asleep since he got up here.”
“Merlin, I just want to know what happened between his dad and Balladanis,” John groaned.
“You're so impatient,” Rose commented, “Just let him sleep.”
“I wasn't going to wake him up,” John muttered.
The remainder of the afternoon passed by quickly. Albus was dreading his detention later and John complained loudly about how he had to go to the extra help session about werewolves when he already knew so much about them.
Albus woke Matt up shortly before dinner and he looked much worse than he usually did the day of full moons. They all escorted him to the hospital wing, where Madam Pomfrey rushed him into bed.
Just as they were about to leave the hospital wing, the doors opened and in walked Matt's dad. Albus assumed he was there to check if Balladanis had gotten rid of his anamatek.
John nudged Albus. “We should ask him about Balladanis,” John whispered.
“He's not going to tell us now,” Albus muttered back, “Look at him.”
Mr. Eckerton looked tired out and incredibly worried. He nodded to Albus and the others before rushing over to Matt's bed and talking to Madam Pomfrey in hushed whispers.
As it turned out, Albus had been worrying about the detention for nothing. He entered the room before Malfoy and John was already doing his lines. Balladanis said absolutely nothing to Albus as he handed him parchment. Malfoy arrived a little while later and still Balladanis said nothing.
Malfoy did not talk either. He did not ask anything about Matt and didn't even comment that the full moon was that night.
Balladanis let them leave at half past ten. Albus and John found Kaden in the Marauder's Den and spent the remaining time left until Astronomy playing Exploding Snap and Wizard's Chess.
“Why, why do we have to have this class with the Slytherins?” John groaned as they made their way to the Astronomy Tower, “If Malfoy doesn't make a single comment about the full moon, I'll eat an entire cauldron.”
“I'm going to hold you to that,” Albus laughed, “But I don't think you'll have to.”
Malfoy went so far as to actually set his telescope up next to Albus's. Professor Polo spent ten minutes telling them that they were to plot the position of Mars, Venus, the moon, and a handful of stars before turning them lose to actually do so.
“The moon is so bright,” Malfoy whispered, “And big and...full....”
Albus looked at John. “Looks like I won't be eating my cauldron tonight,” John muttered.
“Just shut it, Malfoy,” Albus said.
“Isn't his dad the Head of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures? Yeah, he must be, because he's the one who made Balladanis get rid of the anamatek. Can't say I'm really upset about that,” Malfoy said quietly, “But how ironic.”
“Just stop talking about it,” Albus muttered.
“Oh, come on, Potter. Even you have to appreciate the irony,” Malfoy said.
“Will you just shut up,” Albus seethed.
“Quiet over there,” Polo said.
Malfoy smirked at Albus one more time before going back to his telescope. The rest of the lesson passed without anymore commentary from Malfoy and Albus was quite happy when he was able to return to his dormitory.
“It's like back in first year,” Albus sighed, “Remember when Madam Pomfrey locked the hospital wing?”
“That's why this is bad!” Rose said.
“Well, she didn't lock us out this time,” John pointed out.
“She didn't exactly let us in either,” Kaden said.
Albus and his friends had slept late on Saturday morning and after grabbing a quick bite to eat, had gone to visit Matt in the hospital wing. Madam Pomfrey hadn't let them in. They were currently in the Marauder's Den, trying to figure out why.
“She always lets us in,” John groaned.
“He obviously had a really bad night,” Albus said quietly.
“Yeah, but why?” Rose wondered.
“Haven't you noticed that the full moons have been worse the past few months?” Albus asked, “He's been taking longer to recover.”
“I wish he'd just let us become Animagi,” John muttered.
“John, I honestly don't think you could become an Animagus,” Rose replied, “You'd wind up with a permanent tail affixed to your arse.”
“That wouldn't be that bad,” John grinned, “Always thought it would be cool to have a tail.”
“You're not helping,” Albus sighed, “What are we going to do?”
“I think all we can do is just keep going back to the hospital wing,” John shrugged, “Until Madam Pomfrey lets us in.”
Their efforts proved fruitless, though. They went to the hospital wing twice that afternoon and then right before Albus and John had to go to detention. Madam Pomfrey told them 'no' each time.
Sunday, the last day of Albus and John's detention, was the same. Madam Pomfrey was quite livid when they showed up for the third time that day.
“Nothing's changed!” she shouted, “Come back tomorrow evening! I'll give the lot of you detention if you come back any earlier than that!”
With that, she strode back into the ward and slammed the door. “Can she even give detention?” Kaden asked.
“I dunno,” Albus shrugged, “I wouldn't put it past her.”
Albus and John broke away from the group to complete their last detention. Balladanis gave them lines, just like he had the past three nights. Albus sat quietly completing them, very grateful for the fact that Malfoy hadn't said two words to him since Astronomy.
“You may stop,” Balladanis said quietly after they'd been writing for about an hour and a half.
Albus threw his quill down and leaned back in his chair. Finally, it was over.
“I hope you learned something,” Balladanis said, which shocked Albus. He had been expecting Balladanis to continue his silence. “If I catch any of you dueling in the corridors again, the consequences will be much more severe than detention and lost points.
“Mr. Potter and Mr. Malfoy, I have given great thought to whether I should continue giving you extra lessons. I have decided to give you one more chance. Lessons will continue this Friday at their normal time. However, if either of you disregard my rules again, I will no longer hold them. You may go. I'll see all three of you in class on Tuesday.”
“Merlin, I'm glad that's over,” John muttered to Albus once they were on their way to Gryffindor Tower.
“Me too,” Albus agreed, “He's going to be awful in class, though.”
“Yeah, can't say I'm looking forward to that,” John said.
Albus couldn't concentrate at all in his classes the next day. All he wanted to do was go to the hospital wing and find out how Matt was, but Madam Pomfrey insisted that they wait until evening.
Rose and Amanda ate dinner with Linda, but they met Albus, John, and Kaden near the hospital wing afterwards. They had all eaten a very rushed dinner due to Albus's Quidditch practice at seven.
Albus cautiously opened the door to the hospital wing, half expecting Madam Pomfrey to yell at them again. He walked quietly inside, followed the the others. Madam Pomfrey was sitting at her desk and she visibly sighed when she noticed them.
“Go ahead,” she gestured to the only occupied bed, which had the curtains pulled around it.
Albus rushed over to the bed and yanked the curtains back. Matt looked exhausted and there was a rather large bandage wrapped around his head.
“I was wondering when you'd come visit me,” Matt gave them a half smile.
“We've been trying!” John said, “Madam Pomfrey hasn't let us!”
“I know,” Matt smirked, “I've heard her yell at you. It's kind of amusing.”
“Well, we're here now,” Albus said, “How are you? Why didn't Madam Pomfrey let us come visit?”
“Because I didn't wake up until yesterday afternoon,” Matt answered.
“But that was-” John began.
“Nearly two days later?” Matt cut him off, “I know.”
“But why?” Rose asked.
“A bunch of things, really,” Matt sighed, “First, I was worried about Malfoy telling everyone and it's always worse when I'm worried about something. Second, I hit my head really hard at some point that night. It still hurts. Third, the transformations in general are getting worse, because I'm getting older.”
That thought certainly hadn't crossed Albus's mind. Albus and all his friends were obviously getting older and that brought plenty of changes, but he hadn't even thought about how the wolf would change when Matt got older.
“So, are all of the full moons going to be this bad now?” Kaden asked.
“No,” Matt shook his head and then winced, “I mean, I don't really know what'll happen in the future, but this one was just a combination of bad things.”
“That's good, I guess,” Albus shrugged, “When do you get to leave?”
“Tomorrow night at the earliest,” Matt sighed, “Although that means I'll miss Defense.”
“Wish I could miss Defense,” John muttered, “Speaking of Defense, did you owl your dad yet?”
“John, he just woke up yesterday,” Rose pointed out.
“I didn't owl him,” Matt said, “But he came to see me earlier and I asked him.”
“Brilliant,” John grinned, “And?”
“And,” Matt said, “He told me all about it. He told me Balladanis was a Presuler and was really surprised that I already knew.
“Apparently, back when my dad had just been appointed Head of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures in Australia, he hired Balladanis to catch a band of vampires who were attacking Muggles on the outback. Balladanis caught them, but he thought Dad went too easy on them.”
“What did he do to them?” John asked.
“Sent them to prison. I think they got 20 years. Balladanis thought they should have gotten life sentences. Dad and Balladanis got into this huge argument at the Ministry about it and Balladanis stormed out. The Australian Ministry didn't hire him after that,” Matt explained, “Although, I'll bet Balladanis and Lubar would agree on punishments. I wonder if he's hired Balladanis.”
“That explains a lot,” Albus said, “Did your dad say anything else about him?”
“No, not really,” Matt replied, “Just that he's got a lot of issues. Oh, and he wanted me to warn you not to listen to everything Balladanis says during those dueling lessons you've got.”
“I'm not going to,” Albus assured him, “I think we've all seen a different side of Balladanis during the past week.”
Tuesday morning dawned quickly and Albus trudged to Defense with John. Neither of them really knew what class would be like, but judging from what he heard about recent Defense classes in the common room, it wouldn't be fun.
Malfoy was back to his smug self now that detention was over. He sat next to Goyle wearing a smirk on his face. Albus ignored him and went to his usual table.
Balladanis stormed into the room a few minutes later. He waved his wand at the door and it slammed shut with a bang loud enough that it caused the Jordan-Bell twins, who had been sitting closest to it, to jump.
“Pass your homework questions forward,” he growled.
Albus handed his homework to the table in front of him and waited for Balladanis to collect it. He paused in front of the table in front of Albus's.
“Potter,” he began, “You can tell Eckerton that his homework is late and therefore I will not accept it. If he wished to get credit for it, he could have graced us with his presence.”
Malfoy snorted at this, earning him glares from both Albus and Balladanis. Balaldanis tossed the homework unceremoniously onto his desk and then turned back to his students.
“Wolfsbane potion,” he barked, “Was created by a man by the name of Oliver Belby. He finished the creation in 1991. For most werewolves, the potion was a lifesaver. Who can explain what it does?”
Nobody, not even Rose and Linda, raised their hands. Albus stared down at his desk, hoping that Balladanis wouldn't call on him.
“Nobody?” he said, “Pity. Wolfsbane potion renders a werewolf harmless during full moons. The lycanthrope turns into a wolf, but a harmless one. One that will just sleep until the moon sets and will not have the urge to bite and kill.
“The potion is a lifesaver to those plagued with lycanthropy. I had been hoping to show you what a werewolf would look like on Wolfsbane potion, but my anamatek has been banned from the castle,” Balladanis said with malice, “Therefore you will have to go without the visual. It seems that certain parents, Ministry officials, and the headmaster do not approve of my methods of teaching. Unfortunately, it is all of you who are suffering for it.”
“I wouldn't call it suffering,” John muttered.
“Quiet, Brickston!” Balladanis shouted, “Unless you have something to contribute to the class.”
“No, sir,” John replied.
“Good,” Balladanis muttered, “Anyway, the anamatek will not be making anymore appearances in this classroom and your education is going to suffer for it. Nothing, and I repeat nothing can replace hands on training.”
Albus usually agreed with that, but he drew the line at having what was in essence a live manticore in front of him. There were some times when reading sufficed.
The lesson continued with Balladanis talking about Wolfsbane. He spoke about how the potion doesn't work for all werewolves and Albus found his mind drifting. All in all, the lesson hadn't been as bad as he'd been expecting. Besides his brief rant about his anamatek being banned from the castle, he had been pretty normal. Normal for Balladanis, that is.
“Next lesson will be the last on werewolves,” Balladanis announced at the end of class, “We will learn about lycanthropy's effect on children.”
Albus groaned inwardly. Matt would be out of the hospital wing by then. Why couldn't Balladanis just finish the werewolf unit already?
“He won't be back next year,” John muttered as they walked to Herbology.
“I don't doubt that,” Albus replied, “I just wonder who we're going to get instead.”
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Wednesday 3 February 2010 08 12 53 am Post subject: Re: Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden in topic:Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden
Chapter 21: A Christmas Blizzard
Albus spent most of the days preceding Christmas at Rose's house. James was determined to use all of his spare time for Quidditch practice, and he had to go to Rose's house for that. Albus usually went with him and he and Hugo would help James practice while Rose read.
Harry had to practically separate James from his broom by magic on Christmas Eve so they could go to Godric's Hollow. James wanted to stay at Rose's house and keep practicing, but Harry refused to let him. The trip was quiet since James was rather sullen the entire time.
“Professor Patil says I'm a natural at Transfiguration,” Lily bragged to Albus as they walked towards the Burrow afterwards.
“That's good,” Albus replied.
“Yeah, so I'm going to become an Animagus eventually. I want to be a cat.”
“You don't get to choose what kind of animal you transform into,” Albus told her.
“Oh,” Lily said, “But I think I'll become a cat.”
Albus nodded as Lily began to describe in great detail what kind of cat she would transform into.
Everyone else was already at the Burrow and Albus felt an immediate warmth come over him as he stepped inside. It had nothing to do with the fact that it was so cold and snowy outside, either. There was something so comforting about being at the Burrow surrounded by all his family. He was able to forget all the issues with the Quidditch tournament and Professor Killigan. All he could think about was how ravenous he was and how good some of his grandmother's cooking would be right about then.
Rose sat down next to Albus as he tucked into a large bowl of onion soup with a side of homemade bread.
“Uncle Charlie and Aunt Katherine are going back to Romania this summer,” Rose announced.
“To tame more dragons?” Albus asked. His uncle and aunt hadn't done that since Stanley started Hogwarts, but they often talked about how they wanted to go back.
“Yeah,” Rose nodded, “They might stay even after the summer's over, but Heather and Mark will come back to go to Hogwarts.”
“They get to go, too?”
“Yup. Stanley and Eddie are going, too. Stanley's quitting his job for it. He's definitely staying in Romania after the summer's over. He wants to get into dragon training.”
“Wow,” Albus replied, “They're lucky. I guess it's good that Stanley decided what he wants to do.”
Stanley had been working at the Magical Menagerie since he finished Hogwarts, but knew he didn't want to do that his whole life. He just didn't know what he did want to do.
“I wish our parents would take us to some other country,” Albus sighed.
“Me, too,” Rose agreed, “Imagine the history we could learn.”
Albus personally had enough of History from Professor Binns, but he supposed learning history by traveling would be fun.
“Christmas Quidditch tomorrow?” Teddy asked as he sat down next to Rose.
“Definitely,” Albus grinned.
“I wouldn't count on it, Teddy,” Molly said as she handed Albus another hunk of bread, “We're supposed to get the snowstorm of the decade tomorrow. The Muggle electricity is already out in town.”
“Is it really?” Arthur popped his head into the room, “Fascinating! I may have to go see it tomorrow!”
“You'll do no such thing!” Molly shouted, “It's near impossible to Appparate during such a storm. Not to mention the fact that it's Christmas and you should be here.”
“We don't need electricity to play Quidditch!” Teddy exclaimed, “It'll be perfect training conditions! If you can catch a Snitch in the middle of a blizzard, you can catch one in any weather. It's not like Kendrick ever calls off Quidditch because of snow.”
“We'll see tomorrow, Teddy,” Molly sighed.
Albus finished his soup and he and Rose went into the den, where they were greeted by a loud chorus of 'Odo the Hero', sung by George, Alicia, Charlie, and Ron. Bill and Fleur were laughing while Hermione shook her head. Albus had a feeling the only reason why Fleur approved was because the singing was drowning out Celestina Warbeck.
“So then I said, I'm not paying seven Sickles for that!” Percy said to Katherine, who was only sort of paying attention, “And the bloke looked at me like I was mad. I say he's mad, charging that much for a tour of a questionably historic old building. There really should be regulations on such things. It's one thing I'll change if I'm ever Minister.”
Albus stifled a laugh. His Uncle Percy had been talking about running for Minister for the past ten years, but still hadn't done it. Most of his uncles and aunts got sick of hearing him talk about what he would and would not change.
“Hey, Albus, Rose,” Victoire waved at him from across the room.
“Hi Victoire,” Albus made his way over to her, “How is Healer training?”
“Exhausting,” Victoire sighed, “And I have to figure out which part of the hospital I want to do the rest of my training in by September. We've been rotating throughout all the floors, but now we have to pick one. I'm nowhere near decided.”
“You have until September,” Albus shrugged. It seemed like a long time to him.
“I know,” Victoire replied, “But Amy's known where she wants to finish training since we were in fourth year.”
“You're not in Amy's situation,” Teddy appeared and put his arm around her, “And I think you'll do great anyplace you decide.”
“Thanks, Teddy,” Victoire smiled, “I'm thinking either the Maternity ward or Spell Damage.”
“There's a busy ward,” Teddy grinned, “Spell Damage. You'll get all the funny injuries there.”
“That's not a good reason to pick a specialization,” Victoire groaned.
“Good a reason as any,” Teddy shrugged.
The time grew later and after Albus played numerous rounds of Exploding Snap with his cousins, his grandmother announced that it was time for bed. Everyone argued, but there was really no point. Everyone, including the other adults, knew that arguing with Molly Weasley was useless.
Albus trudged up the stairs to the highest bedroom that he shared with James, Ben, and Cedric. He climbed into bed and then realized just how big this impending blizzard was. The wind was howling louder than he'd ever heard before.
The wind was so powerful that Albus could feel it through the gaps in the window. Every once in a while, the house would creak and shake. Albus sighed and put his pillow over his ears to try and drown out the howling.
Albus didn't manage to drift off to sleep until after Cedric got out of bed, swore loudly, and disregarded the no magic outside of school rule to put a silencing charm on the room.
Albus was awoken by his annual Christmas wake-up call, Lily. She breezed through the door shouting about how they all needed to wake up and open their presents.
“And there's three feet of snow outside,” Lily said as she left the room, “I checked.”
“Merlin!” James jumped off the top bunk and looked out the window, “There is! And it's still coming!”
“Whoa, you can't see anything!” Cedric added.
“We could build the world's biggest snow wizard later,” Ben suggested.
“We could build an entire snow wizard army,” Albus said.
“Presents first,” James said as he located his pile of presents.
Albus descended upon his own pile of presents and began opening them. There were the usual sweets and Weasleys' products from his aunts and uncles. Another Weasley sweater, this one scarlet and gold striped. He pulled it on over his pajamas and opened the rest of the presents from his aunts and uncles. His Aunt Hermione had gotten him a few books he'd probably never read, including one about the history of house elves at Hogwarts.
Albus saved his parents' present for last, although he doubted they could top last year's. There really wasn't anything in the world that was better than the Invisibility Cloak.
“Al, did you open Mum and Dad's yet?” James shouted.
“I'm opening it now,” Albus said as he ripped the paper off the small box.
“You'll never guess what they got us!”
Albus opened the box and saw two tickets. Two tickets for the Quidditch World Cup that was taking place this summer!
“Whoa!” Albus shouted, “World Cup tickets!”
“I didn't even know they were on sale this early!” James said.
“You two get the best presents,” Cedric said.
“Hey, I got two tickets,” James replied.
“Yeah, two,” Ben sighed, “You can only pick one of us to go.”
Albus suddenly realized he had the same problem. Two tickets. Five friends he would want to take. Who was he going to choose? Not Rose. They may have been friends since they were babies, but she just didn't have a passion for Quidditch. Neither did Kaden. He was another to cross off the list. John and Matt were the Quidditch fans. He'd have to choose between them. Amanda liked Quidditch well enough, but she didn't follow a team or anything.
“Those are limited edition tickets,” Ben said, “They don't know who's playing yet, so they don't sell very many tickets ahead of time.”
“They're for the top box, too,” James said in awe.
Lily burst into the room with a big grin on her face. She was holding two tickets as well. “Did you get Quidditch tickets?”
“Yeah,” Albus and James said at the same time.
“This is going to be brilliant,” Lily said and then ran out of the room.
Albus's parents were already in the kitchen by the time Albus went downstairs. They were sitting at the table eating breakfast. Albus gave them each a huge hug and then sat down.
“How did you get the tickets?” he asked.
“They were a gift from the Minister,” Harry replied, “The Cup is in Canada this year and he's good friends with their president. Got him a lot of free tickets.”
Albus grinned as he began to eat breakfast. Somehow his parents had come close to topping last year's present. Now not only was he going to get to see the World Cup, he would get to travel to a different country.
Rose came downstairs a little while later and was impressed with the tickets. She had no desire to go to the Cup and had no suggestions on how Albus was going to choose between John and Matt.
“Anyone up for Quidditch later?” Teddy announced as he sauntered into the kitchen.
“Not under my watch!” Molly shouted, “You can't see a foot in front of you out there! And it must be close to 15 below!”
“Maybe after lunch, then,” Teddy shrugged.
Molly shook her head and sighed as she set a few more platters of eggs and toast onto the table.
There was a knock on the door that could only just be heard over the howling wind. Molly glanced at Arthur, who shrugged and got up to see who it was. Albus followed, very curious to see who would visit on Christmas morning in the middle of a huge blizzard.
“Xeno, is that you?” Arthur shouted outside.
“Yes!” Xenophilius Lovegood shouted back. Arthur stood aside as the man walked in and then shut the door behind him. “Quite the storm we're having! Just thought I'd stop by and see if this place was still standing.”
“Quite the storm, yes,” Arthur agreed, “I heard the Muggles lost electricity. Fascinating. I wonder what they do without it. But yes, the house is still standing.”
“Good, but if you feel it's too rickety, just let me know and I'll go get some of my Jutispy Plants. The leaves do wonders on old buildings. Makes them like new. I just put a bunch into my place and it's a good thing, too. Of course, they tend to attract Nargles...” Xenophilius's voice trailed off.
“I'll keep that in mind,” Arthur smiled, “Are you spending the holiday alone?”
“Yes, yes,” he replied, “Luna and Rolf are with his family this Christmas.”
“Then you must stay here a while. Molly's cooked far too much food, like usual,” Arthur lead Xeno into the kitchen.
Albus followed them. He always found Xenophilius Lovegood to be an interesting wizard, if not a little mad. Always going on about Nargles or Nom-Noms or something.
Molly was more than happy to provide Xenophilius with a large platter of breakfast and he settled down to discuss the storm with the adults.
Albus spent most of the morning playing Exploding Snap, Wizard's Chess, and Gobstones with his cousins. They tried to play hide and go seek, but the house was too crowded to play it properly.
Teddy and James kept looking out the window, willing it to stop snowing. Both of them were just itching to go play Quidditch. Albus would have gladly gone and played if it would stop snowing so much. He was dedicated to the game, but not enough to play in this storm.
Lunchtime came and the snow was still falling. George went outside to measure it and came back with the news that it was three and a half feet.
Teddy went upstairs after lunch and came back decked out in three jumpers, a thick cloak, and a pair of boots. Under one arm was his broom and under the other was a box of Quidditch balls. James was right behind him, dressed the same.
“Theodore Remus Lupin!” Molly shouted, “I suppose I can't stop you from going out there and catching death of a cold, but I will not let you drag James with you!”
“He's not dragging me, Grandma,” James rolled his eyes, “I want to go!”
“Just let them, Molly,” Harry said, “They'll get cold soon enough and come back inside.”
“Fine,” Molly replied and went back into the kitchen.
“Excellent,” Teddy grinned, “Anyone care to join us?”
Georgia, Fred, and Heather suited up in warm clothes and joined Teddy and James. Albus decided against it. Quidditch was fun, but he didn't want to freeze when he could stay inside and be warm.
The Christmas Quidditch lasted a half an hour. Teddy, James, Georgia, Heather, and Fred all stumbled back into the house shivering with their faces red and covered in snow and ice. Molly immediately descended upon them with mugs of hot chocolate and dry clothes.
“Told you, Molly,” Harry grinned.
“C-can't find the Sn-Snitch,” Teddy muttered.
Harry laughed. “That doesn't surprise me. You'll find it when the storm calms down. You put the charm on it to stay in the yard, right?”
“Y-yeah,” Teddy replied.
Christmas dinner came and went in its usual chaos. Xenophilius stayed for it and James snuck sneezing powder into his soup, which he found incredibly funny. Molly was not as impressed and gave James quite the scolding. How she found out it was James was beyond Albus.
The storm continued throughout the night and Cedric had to put the silencing charm back on their room in order for any of them to get any sleep.
Nobody left the Burrow until two days after Christmas. That was when the snow finally let up. It topped out at around four and a half feet, which was a new record for Albus's lifetime. The Burrow's yard had been decorated by dozens of snow witches and wizards, along with hippogriffs, owls, and a variety of other magical creatures.
When Albus found out what his family was doing after they left the Burrow, he wished the snow would have kept coming. They were going shopping for dress robes for the New Year's party.
“Why can't I just wear my old dress robes?” James whined as they walked down Diagon Alley towards Madam Malkin's.
“Because they're five inches too short,” Ginny replied, “They're even too small for Al.”
“Yeah, Hugo's the lucky one,” James muttered. Hugo was wearing James's old dress robes to the party and therefore did not have to go shopping.
“Mummy, I want purple robes,” Lily announced.
“If they have any,” Ginny replied.
Albus wanted to buy the first pair of dress robes he found, so long as they weren't pink or purple. The sooner they were done robes shopping the better.
Rose and Lily made a beeline for the girls dress robes as soon as they walked in the door. Albus stood awkwardly next to James while their mother found various robes for them.
“Here, try these on, Al,” Ginny handed him a pair of emerald green robes.
“Very Slytherin,” James snickered.
“Shut it, James,” Albus muttered.
“They'll bring out your eyes, Al,” Ginny told him, “Now go try them on.”
Albus reluctantly tried on the Slytherin colored robes and then left the dressing room for his mother to see.
“Too short,” she announced, “But the color is perfect. I'll find a bigger size.”
James wound up with a navy blue pair of robes, which Albus would have preferred. Lily found her purple robes and Rose got a sky blue pair.
“Next time you're getting green robes,” Albus muttered to James, who was still making fun of the color of Albus's robes.
“No I won't. I don't have green eyes,” James grinned.
“Then we'll get you a nice red set,” Ginny said, “They'll clash horribly with your hair.”
“I don't care. They'd be Gryffindor colored,” James laughed.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Wednesday 2 December 2009 09 17 01 am Post subject: Re: Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden in topic:Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden
Chapter 12: Dueling and Fighting
Albus was amazed at how much extra time he had now that he did not have to go to Gryffindor Quidditch practice. During the next week, he got all his homework done on time and got a decent amount of sleep. Plus, he made fewer trips to the hospital wing, which he attributed to having more sleep.
Classes were going well. Albus was very glad they had moved onto more exciting creatures in Care of Magical Creatures. They weren't up to hippogriffs or thestrals, but nifflers were certainly entertaining. Despite the rather boring start, Care of Magical Creatures was quickly becoming one of Albus's favorite classes. He seemed to have an affinity for the variety of animals they learned about; something Hagrid was quick to notice.
Arithmancy was turning out to be kind of dry, but Albus was just happy he wasn't taking Divination. Even John was beginning to get tired of making up fake predictions for Trelawney. 'What's the point?' he had shouted out angrily one night as they were working on homework. Albus wasn't able to suppress his grin at that, which earned him a Divination book to the head when John saw Albus's smirk.
Defense Against the Dark Arts continued to be the strangest class Albus had ever attended. He was beginning to think he was enjoying it, but still wasn't sure. He liked the class, but wasn't sure if he liked Balladanis himself.
The professor continued to be a mystery to students of all years. Hours were spent debating his background in the common room. He seemed to take points away equally from each house, which either meant he was extremely fair or had never attended Hogwarts himself. Quite a few students had asked their parents if they'd ever heard of Balladanis (namely, had they gone to school with him), but so far none of the parents had.
Balladanis's teaching methods were certainly unique. Albus could count on one hand the number of actual lectures he had had in that class. Most all the lessons were practical, but not in the same way Harry had done them. Harry's method had been very caring and all about trying. Balladanis's methods were more harsh and focused on success. He insisted that everyone succeed and refused to let anyone stop until they did, even if it meant coming in for extra help.
The amount of students going in for extra help was increasing quickly. Matt was no longer seen as weak or odd for having to go in for extra help. Nearly half of Albus's class was spending extra time with Balladanis at least once a week. The professor still hadn't let Matt stop going.
"Stand up!" Balladanis barked at Albus's class.
These two words were frequently spoken by the professor. Albus wondered why he didn't just do away with the desks all together instead of having to move them at the beginning of each class.
"Get a move on!" he shouted, "Unless you think your books will attack you. Books can only get you so far. You need to practice!"
The class spent nearly an hour practicing the spell to repel grindylows and once the bell rang, Balladanis announced that they'd be practicing on real grindylows in the next class.
"Brickston!" Balladanis announced, "You'll be coming in for extra help tomorrow night. You may come the same time Eckerton does."
Albus didn't think John had done that bad with the spell. It had taken him a while, but by the end of the class he had managed it. Albus was beginning to think that by the end of the year, everyone would be going in for extra help.
"He's certifiably insane," John muttered as they walked to potions after they left the Defense classroom.
"Well, I'm kind of glad you're going in for help," Matt said, "You can keep Amanda and I company."
"That's nearly all of us going in for help," Rose commented, "Just Al and Linda and I."
Kaden had been going for help nearly as long as Matt had. Amanda had started a few days ago.
"Albus won't ever have to go," Matt said, "He's too good at Defense."
"I'm not that great at it," Albus muttered quietly. Sure, he managed all the spells, but it's not like they were very advanced.
"What do you think Balladanis did before he taught here?" Kaden mused late the next day.
"Dunno," Albus shrugged.
"I think he was an Auror," John said, "I mean, he obviously hates the dark arts."
"No," Albus shook his head, "My dad would have mentioned that."
"Maybe he was a foreign Auror," John suggested.
"But he sounds British," Matt pointed out.
"So do you, for the most part, but you're from Australia," John countered.
"Really? I always thought I sounded Australian."
"You do a bit. But your parents sound more Australian than you do. Same with Amy," Albus told him.
"Oh," Matt shrugged, "So I guess he could be foreign."
"Why did he come teach here, then?" Albus asked.
No one had an answer to that. Albus was really curious to what the answer was, but it's not like he could actually ask the professor. In fact, the idea of being alone with Balladanis kind of scared him. He was really glad he didn't have to see the professor outside of class.
The first Inter-School Dueling Tournament was scheduled to take place the next day. The entire school was buzzing about it. It was the first big competition between the three schools. Albus didn't know a whole lot of people who were on the Hogwarts Dueling Team. Just his cousin, Fred. Despite this, he was still excited. Albus absolutely loved dueling and wished he was old enough to be on the school team.
The tournament was taking place in the Great Hall, since the dueling chamber was much too small to accommodate the entire school. Albus walked with his friends into the room and saw that all the tables had disappeared. They were replaced with raised stands, sort of like the Quidditch pitch. Albus found seats towards the front and waited impatiently for the tournament to begin.
The dueling area was a raised platform in front of the stands. On the other side of it was a smaller set of stands, in which all the teachers were filing into. The mysterious wizard who had been seen talking to Killigan, but never introduced, was sitting next to the Australian headmaster, but neither of them were talking. Both wore identical looks of determination mingled with fascination. A witch Albus didn't recognize was seated next to Roberts and the two of them were talking. Albus assumed she was from New York. The Auror who had been assigned to patrol Hogwarts that week was talking with Albus's Uncle Percy, who had came to represent the Ministry. Neither Albus's dad nor his Uncle Ron were there, so Albus assumed they were busy with work.
Once all the students, teachers, and various other spectators were seated, Professor Kendrick stood up and everyone quieted down.
"Welcome, students, staff, and visitors to the first Dueling Tournament between Hogwarts, the Australian School of Sorcery, and the Adirondack Academy of Magic. All three schools will duel this afternoon. Each school's team has five students and each student will participate in two duels. Whichever student wins the duel gets a point for their school. The school with the most points will win. But keep in mind that this is just the first of many tournaments that will take place during this year. Now, here are the teams." Kendrick gestured to a door on the side of the room.
The door opened and Professor Longbottom led the Hogwarts team into the room. The other two schools' teams followed and Albus didn't recognize either of their professors. He hadn't really thought about the other teams' captains before. He kind of figured they had them, but hadn't seen them before. He guessed they just came to Hogwarts for practices. They must have set up some kind of special floo connection with the school.
The tournament commenced in much the same way the Junior Dueling Club had, except only one duel took place at a time. The spells used were much more advanced, too. The spell that Slytherin had used on Matt during the previous years paled in comparison to the ones being used by the older students. Albus was absolutely fascinated. He paid rapt attention and wished that he could learn such advanced spells.
The tournament took nearly two hours, but Albus wasn't bored at all. In fact, he was kind of disappointed when the last duel was over.
Professor Kendrick tallied the points and then rose once again. "Thank you everyone. Each and every student performed well today. However, this is a tournament and I must declare a winner. And that winner is the Adirondack Academy of Magic. Congratulations to them!"
There was a small amount of loud applause from the New Yorkers who were in the audience, as well as some polite applause from everyone else. Albus sighed and clapped politely along with most of his fellow students.
"Well, it's only the first tournament," Matt said.
"Yeah," Albus agreed, "Plus there's Quidditch."
"And we've got a brilliant Quidditch team!" John grinned as he stood up, "Now we've just got to hope that one of those other Chasers breaks something so Albus can play next week."
"John!" Rose scolded.
"I'm only kidding," John shrugged, "Sort of."
"We could just give one of them the orange end of a puking pastille," Kaden suggested, "And not give them the purple half."
"Wouldn't work," John sighed, "Madam Pomfrey recognizes those things now."
"I know I probably won't get to play," Albus said as they left the room, "You don't need to land yourselves in detention to get me a place on the team."
"We know," Kaden said, "We're just joking."
Albus figured they were, but when it came to those two, one just never knew.
Albus stowed his broom in his dormitory late Tuesday evening following a particularly tiring Quidditch practice. Wood's focus during this particular practice had been goal scoring, so Albus had worked hard the entire two hours. At least the focus hadn't been on dodging Bludgers. He yawned, grabbed his bag and headed out of the common room. He walked slowly to the Marauder's Den, thinking he could squeeze a bit of homework in before bed.
"Albus!" someone shouted as Albus reached the suits of armor in front of the room.
Albus turned around and saw Rose, red hair flying behind her, running down the corridor towards him. "Rose?"
"Albus!" Rose panted, "I saw you leave the common room."
"Er, yeah," Albus shrugged. He usually did his homework in the Marauder's Den since it was quieter and easier to concentrate.
"I wanted to talk to you," Rose said.
"Ok," Albus said as he located the paw prints on the opposite wall, "We can talk in here."
"Actually," Rose said, "I kind of wanted to talk to you alone. Are Matt, John, and Kaden in there?"
"Probably," Albus replied. What did Rose want to talk about that she didn't want their other friends to hear? "I didn't see them in the common room."
"Well, I'd rather talk to you alone, first," Rose shifted nervously from foot to foot.
Albus looked at her strangely. Rose rarely ever looked nervous, especially when she was talking to Albus. What could she possibly have to tell him?
"Er, all right," Albus said slowly, "I guess we could find an empty classroom or something...."
"Good," Rose nodded and took off down the corridor. Albus ran after her and she found an empty classroom. Albus followed her into it and shut the door behind him. "What is it?"
Rose paced around the room for a bit, wringing her hands together, before letting out a loud sigh and leaning up against one of the desks. "It's about Linda."
Albus blinked. Linda? He barely knew her. What could Rose possibly have to say about Linda? "Linda?"
"Yes, Linda," Rose sighed, "You know Amanda and I are sort of becoming friends with her. Well, we are friends with her now. She talks to us. I think she misses Australia. Anyway, I was sort of thinking it would be good if she started to make friends here. You know, like you. And maybe Matt, John, and Kaden."
Albus still had no idea why Rose felt the need to talk to him alone about this. She wanted Albus to befriend Linda. How was he going to do that if Linda didn't say a word around him? Not to mention the fact that Matt didn't seem to like her.
"Er, why exactly didn't you want Matt, John, and Kaden to hear this?" Albus asked, "You can't really expect them to become friends with Linda unless you tell them you want them to."
"I know that," Rose groaned, "But the four of you are always holing up in the Marauder's Den, so I hardly see any of you anymore. What I wanted to know was whether Linda could come into the Marauder's Den with us."
Albus stared at his cousin. So that was what she wanted to talk about. "You want Linda to come into the Marauder's Den?"
"Yes," Rose nodded, "She's in the common room with Amanda. Can she? I'll go get them right now if you say yes."
"Wait, wait," Albus shook his head, "It's not up to me."
"Yes it is!" Rose replied, "You found that map. It's yours, so the room is yours."
"No it's not," Albus said, "It's Matt, John, and Kaden's, too. All four of us had to work to get that map to show up and to find the room. If it weren't for them, it would still be a blank piece of parchment."
"No, Rose," Albus said irritably, "I can't just let you bring random people into the room without asking everyone."
Albus and his friends hadn't really thought much about whether they'd let other people into the room, but Albus knew he couldn't do it without talking to them. Letting Rose and Amanda in had been a given, since they helped with it, but Linda certainly hadn't helped.
"I have to talk to Matt, John, and Kaden," Albus told her, "I can talk to them now, if you want."
"All right," Rose sighed and stood up.
Neither of the cousins said a word to each other as they walked back to the Marauder's Den. Albus was still rather bewildered by this whole thing. First, he had never really talked to his friends about letting other people into the Marauder's Den. He always assumed it would be their secret. He wasn't entirely sure he wanted anyone else in it, no matter what his friends thought. Second, it was rather out of character for Rose to be this spontaneous and demanding. Whether this was due to the increased work load, the sudden competition in class brought on by Linda, or something else entirely, Albus didn't know.
Albus took a deep breath as he opened the door to the room and glanced at Rose. She was looking more nervous than before. Albus walked into the room and paused. John and Kaden were lounging on the floor, playing a rather rowdy game of chess (the two of them could turn any board game into something physical), while their neglected homework sat haphazardly on the table. Matt was paying vague attention to the game while stretched out on the couch. It didn't surprise Albus that he wasn't doing much, since the full moon was the next night. John and Kaden looked up when they heard the door open.
"Albus!" Kaden shouted, "How was practice?"
"Rose!" John grinned, "I was beginning to think you'd forgotten about this place. I don't think I've seen you here in over a month."
"Hey, John, Kaden," Albus smiled, "Practice was good. What have you lot been up to?"
"Beating Kaden at chess," John explained.
"Hey, I beat you once!" Kaden countered.
"Only once," John repeated, "I've won four games."
"I'm surprised neither of you have detention tonight," Albus smirked.
"They almost did," Matt announced, "Professor Longbottom caught them sneaking into the girl's toilet-"
"What were you doing in there?" Albus raised his eyebrows.
"We were going to put dung bombs in there," Kaden explained.
"Anyway," Matt continued, "Longbottom took pity on them since they're already doing so many detentions and only took away points."
"Professor Longbottom is great," John grinned.
"I wouldn't expect him to let you off again," Matt pointed out.
"Want to play chess, Rose?" John asked, "I could use with some real competition."
"Hey!" Kaden crossed his arms across his chest, "I'm real competition."
Albus glanced at Rose. "Er, Rose has something she wanted to ask us," Albus said quietly.
Rose glared at Albus. Clearly she wanted him to bring up the topic. Albus gave her a quick shake of his head. There was no way he was going to ask. She was the one who wanted Linda there.
"Well, what is it?" John asked, "If it's about homework, I'll have you know that I've already finished most of it."
"It's not about homework," Rose sighed and sat down on the end of the couch that Matt wasn't occupying.
Albus settled himself into an armchair opposite the couch and waited for his cousin to continue.
Rose took a deep breath. "You lot know Amanda and I have sort of become friends with Linda, right?"
"Yeah," John said and Kaden nodded.
"Well, since then Amanda and I have been spending more time in the common room with her. But you lot still hang out here all the time...." her voice trailed off.
"Well, yeah, because this room is so much better than the common room," Kaden pointed out.
"I know," Rose sighed, "And I do miss being with all of you, but at the same time, Linda's my friend now, too."
"So spend time with all of us," John said, "I'm sure Linda would be fine by herself for a few hours a day so you can be here with us."
Rose groaned. "That wasn't what I had in mind. What I want is for all of us to spend time together. As in you lot can become friends with Linda, too. She needs more friends."
"She doesn't talk," Kaden said.
"She does when she gets to know you," Rose explained.
"So what you're saying," John began, "Is that you want us to stop hanging out in this brilliant room and go back to the boring common room?"
"No, of course not," Rose replied, "I want all of us to hang out here. Linda, too."
The room was completely silent. Albus watched his friends' reactions with great interest. Both John and Kaden gaped at Rose and then turned to look at Albus. They then turned their heads back to Rose, but didn't say anything. Matt suddenly sat up, eyes wide open, and stared at Rose with an incredulous look on his face.
Nobody said a word for what must have been nearly five minutes. Albus kept looking from Rose to his friends and back. Rose was looking nervously at everybody in turn and then sending pleading glances at Albus. Albus was about to open his mouth, when Matt finally broke the stony silence.
"No," he said. It was hardly more than a whisper, but was very forceful.
"We haven't let anyone else in," John pointed out, "Why should Linda be the first?"
Kaden turned to Albus. "What do you think, Albus?"
"Er-" Albus began.
"Why not?" Rose demanded, "She's mine and Amanda's friend."
"But she's not our friend," John said.
"But she could be!" Rose insisted.
"Then we'll become friends with her before we let her in the room!" John replied, "It's still our secret. We haven't even told Teddy about it yet."
Albus turned and looked at John. He hadn't even thought about that. John had a point. They hadn't told Teddy about the room yet. Or his dad. Shouldn't they see it before other people did?
"If anyone has the right to know about this room, it's Teddy and my dad," Albus said quietly.
"Yes, but they aren't here," Rose pointed out, "Come on, why won't you let her in?"
"We don't know her," John said.
"She's got no connections to it," Albus said.
"I like keeping it a secret," Kaden said.
"You could know her!" Rose shouted, "Then she would have connections to it. And it would still be a secret."
"Look, Rose," Matt said loudly, "We're not going to let her in! You can't convince us otherwise!"
Albus, John, and Kaden turned to look at each other. Albus had never heard Matt raise his voice like that, and certainly not with Rose.
"And what's your reason why she can't?" Rose asked icily.
Matt glared at her. "They're the same as Albus, John, and Kaden's!"
"You just don't like her!" Rose shouted.
"So what if I don't?" Matt asked hotly.
"You don't even know her! You haven't said one word to her the whole time she's been here!"
"Neither has she!" Matt yelled.
"You lot are so stubborn!" Rose huffed, "I just don't get why you won't let her-"
"Do you really want to know why?" Matt raised his voice even louder, "I honestly wouldn't think I'd have to tell you! You're smart! This is the one place in the castle that nobody else knows about! It's the only place I can go and get some peace and quiet and not have to worry about anyone else barging in! The only people who know about it already know what I am, so I can actually relax! If you let Linda in here, it won't be like that anymore! I like the quiet of this place. And it was quiet before you came in here demanding that we let a witch we hardly know into it!"
Matt leaned back against the arm of the couch and squeezed his eyes shut as he rubbed his temple.
Albus stared in shock at John and Kaden. Albus had never seen Matt shout at someone like that. Sure, he got a bit short with people around the full moon, but had never had a full-blown row like this.
"Well, maybe if you become friends with Linda, you'll tell her what you are," Rose said. She looked quite taken aback that Matt had shouted at her like that.
"Are you bloody insane?!" Matt yelled, causing him to wince even more. Albus had a feeling he was giving himself a headache.
"You told us," Rose said.
"That's different," Matt shook his head, "You figured it out on your own."
"What if we hadn't?"
"I wouldn't have told you," Matt muttered, "And Linda's going back to Australia after this year, so there really wouldn't be a point."
"You know, since she's from Australia, she might already know," Rose pointed out, "You did say that the entire country found out shortly before you moved."
That was the wrong thing to say. Albus knew she was going to say it just moments before she finished and he tried to shake his head to tell her to stop, but she either didn't notice or didn't want to stop.
All the color drained from Matt's face and with it most of the anger. He merely looked a little scared now.
"You think I haven't thought about that?" he asked quietly, "Why do you think I wasn't thrilled about this whole tournament thing? Why do you think I try to avoid anyone from Australia? I mean, it was five years ago, so I really hope most people have forgotten about it, but all it would take was one of them to remember and soon the whole school would know."
"I doubt Linda would tell anyone, if she did know," Rose said.
"Yeah, because she doesn't talk," Kaden laughed.
Leave it to Kaden to find humor in this situation, Albus thought. He couldn't help but grin at his cousin's statement himself.
"Could you at least think about it?" Rose asked.
"No," Matt raised his voice again, "Don't you get it? I don't want to risk anyone else finding out. I don't want this to be a repeat of what happened in Australia. I like it here. I don't want to move again. So I'm not going to change my mind. I'm going to bed."
Matt got up off the couch and walked slowly over to his bed and rammed the curtains shut behind him.
Albus exchanged glances with John and Kaden, completely at a loss as to what to say. Rose got up off the couch a moment later and left the room without another word. Albus, John, and Kaden quietly began to work on their homework, but the remainder of the evening was very subdued. Albus stared at his Herbology book, but couldn't possibly concentrate on it after the row his cousin and best friend had just had.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Wednesday 18 November 2009 02 31 27 pm Post subject: Re: Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden in topic:Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden
Chapter 10: Threats
Rose handed in her unedited essay to Balladanis the next morning. Albus did notice her scribbling some last minute sentences onto it as Balladanis collected the essays.
Defense Against the Dark Arts continued to be the strangest class in Albus's schedule. Balladanis expressed such a strong dislike for the dark arts that he started nearly every class with a stern lecture about why they were learning defensive spells and why the dark arts were bad. His eyes tended to rest on Matt and for some odd reason, Linda, whenever he gave these talks and Albus got the feeling it made Matt extremely uncomfortable. Albus couldn't blame him. He certainly wouldn't want to be under the teacher's eye like that.
Albus couldn't really say whether he enjoyed Balladanis's class or not. It had been nearly a month since the term started, but Albus still didn't know whether he liked the class or not. It was definitely different than when his dad taught. Balladanis was strict, but a good teacher.
The rest of the day went by quickly. Albus listened to John tease Rose during Herbology since she was fretting about her Defense essay. Ancient Runes was rather boring and Albus doodled idly on his notes while Matt fell asleep on his. Charms was rather fun since they worked on Cheering Charms and Albus left the room grinning profusely, along with most of the other class. Matt in particular looked strange with a huge grin across his pale fatigued face.
Matt left for the Shrieking Shack shortly after dinner and Albus went to the Marauder's Den with his friends where they distracted Rose from her studying by playing Wizard's Chess.
The next day Albus truly began to realize how busy his third year schedule was. For the past two years, he and his friends almost always had time to visit Matt in the Hospital Wing in between classes. This year, however, they didn't have time until after dinner. Albus was positively exhausted by that point, as he had stayed up late working on homework the night before, and still had Dueling Club practice afterwards. Lynley Anderson, the fourth year Hufflepuff who had replaced Kate as captain, had insisted that the whole team attend that meeting, as it was the first one and there were new second years on the team. Kaden wasn't put on Albus's team, but he was put on John's team, much to the delight of both boys.
Hectic was really the only way to describe Albus's life at Hogwarts. As September turned into October, it only got busier. Gryffindor Quidditch team practices picked up again and along with Hogwarts Quidditch practices and Dueling Club practices, Albus hardly had anytime to rest.
The Hogwarts Quidditch team was shaping up nicely after Wood's stern warning during the second practice. That and the fact that they now practiced on both Tuesdays and Saturdays. Even the Slytherin team members were beginning to work together. They didn't really acknowledge their teammates outside of practice, but Albus didn't care as long as they got along with everyone during practice.
Albus was really starting to enjoy the Hogwarts Quidditch team. He was actually beginning to wish he could play in the first match, which would be taking place towards the end of October.
"First Hogsmeade weekend!" John said excitedly to Albus one Friday evening as Albus was trying to catch up on his homework. Kaden was standing next to him. Albus guessed they had just returned from Dueling Club practice.
"When?" Albus asked without looking up.
"October 27th," John grinned, "Can't wait!"
"Yeah, it'll be brilliant," Albus agreed, hoping he wouldn't have too much homework to go.
"That's not all, either," John went on, "There's a Halloween party that night."
"You mean the Halloween feast?" Albus asked.
"No, there's an actual party!" John said, "But it's not on Halloween, it's on the 27th. It's because of the Tournament. So we can mingle with the foreign students. Or at least that's what the poster on the notice board says."
Albus nodded. He really hadn't had that much contact with the foreign students. Sure, he'd seen them in the corridors and the common room and stuff, but that was about it. The only one who was around his age was Linda and she still didn't seem to talk to anyone.
"And," John continued, "Costumes are encouraged."
"Costumes?" Albus asked, finally looking up.
"Yeah, costumes," John grinned, "We get to dress up! This is going to be brilliant!"
"What should we dress up as?" Kaden asked.
"Dunno," Albus shrugged.
"We'll figure it out later," John said, "Where's everyone else?"
"Rose and Amanda are at the library," Albus told him, "And Matt's with Balladanis."
"Merlin, is he ever going to give up about that boggart?" John asked.
"Knowing Balladanis, probably not," Albus said.
"Well, let's go to the library," John announced, "We've got to tell Rose and Amanda about Hogsmeade."
Albus was all too eager to agree to this. He was thoroughly sick of trying to catch up on all his homework. It was good to take a break every now and then anyway.
Albus pushed open the door to the library a little while later, fully expecting to see Rose up to her elbows in books furiously scribbling away on a roll of parchment that was nearly used up. He gazed around the library and he spotted Rose's bushy red hair and walked towards her table.
Rose was up to her elbows in homework. In fact, there were so many books on Rose and Amanda's table that you could no longer see the actual table. What Albus wasn't expecting to see was a third person at their table. Linda Morales
Albus stopped short a few feet from the table. He turned to look at John, who looked equally shocked.
"Is that-" John began.
"Linda Morales?" Albus gaped. He blinked twice to make sure he wasn't seeing things. After all, he was quite tired. But even after he blinked, Linda was still sitting across from Rose and Amanda.
All three of the girls were working quietly. In fact, none of them even seemed to notice the others.
Albus slowly walked towards the table and John followed. Albus wasn't entirely sure what to say. He hadn't had much interaction with Linda. Albus had hardly said hello to her since she arrived at Hogwarts. He wasn't trying to ignore her or anything; it had just ended up that way. Linda hadn't shown any real interest in making friends with Albus or any of his friends. Yet here she was, doing homework at the same table as Rose of all people. Albus hadn't the slightest idea why either.
"Rose," Albus whispered once they arrived at the table.
Rose startled and then looked up at Albus. "What? I'm trying to study!"
"Can I talk to you?" Albus glanced at Linda, "Alone?"
Rose sighed loudly. "Fine, but make it quick."
Albus led his cousin over to a deserted area of the library. John took Rose's vacated seat and began to whisper to Amanda about the Hogsmeade visit.
"All right, what is it?" Rose asked once they were alone.
"Couldn't help but notice that you were studying with Linda..." Albus's voice trailed off. He really didn't know what he wanted to say to Rose about it.
"Oh, well..." Rose began, "I guess I just realized I was being stupid in trying to compete with her."
Albus smirked, "Yeah, you were. But I told you that loads of times and you didn't listen."
Rose sighed. "I know. Amanda's the one who convinced me to stop trying to compete with her. She said Linda would know a lot about Australian wizarding history and I could learn a lot from her if I stopped with the competition thing."
Of course, Albus thought. Appealing to Rose's love of learning would definitely work. Although he hadn't really been trying to have Rose and Linda become friends. He just wanted Rose to ease up on the studying.
"I guess, if you can't beat 'em, you might as well join 'em," Rose shrugged.
"So now you're friends with her?" Albus asked.
"That's where it gets complicated," Rose sighed, "You see, she still doesn't really talk to us."
"How did you wind up studying with her then?" Albus was still thoroughly confused.
"Amanda and I came in and she was sitting alone at the table, so I asked if we could join her. She just nodded and moved her books over. She hasn't said anything yet."
Albus nodded. "I don't think I've heard her say anything outside of class."
"Neither have I," Rose said, "Amanda and I figure we'll just be nice to her and maybe she'll start talking to us."
Albus thought that was probably a good idea. She was the competition, but even if they played against each other on the Quidditch team, that didn't mean they couldn't be friends off of it. Linda seemed nice enough. Of course it was hard to tell since she hadn't said much. And she certainly was pretty. Albus couldn't deny that. Linda wasn't surrounded by half the male population of Gryffindor every evening for nothing.
"Oh, the first Hogsmeade visit's on October 27th," Albus said, suddenly remembering the reason he had gone to see Rose in the first place, "Followed by a Halloween party in the Great Hall."
"That sounds like fun," Rose grinned, "And maybe Linda will want to go with us."
"And it's a costume party," Albus told her.
"This could get interesting," Rose said.
Albus didn't have a clue as to when he'd actually have time to figure out his costume for the Halloween party. John thought it would be cool if their group's costumes coordinated, but that was the last thing on Albus's mind.
The weekend seemed to literally fly by for Albus, meaning he was on the Quidditch pitch more than he was off it. He had heard stories about Wood's ruthlessness when it comes to practice from his dad and similar stories about Teddy from his older cousins. Having the two of them captain one team seemed to create practices that lasted nearly five hours, with short breaks every so often. Albus would never again complain about Georgia's length of practices.
Albus had a fleeting thought that since he was a reserve player, he wouldn't have to practice as much as everyone else, but Wood shot that down during that Saturday's practice. He said he saw no reason for the reserve players to be any less prepared for the upcoming match than the regular players.
It wasn't that Albus didn't enjoy Quidditch practice. He did, and very much so. He loved Quidditch, but too much of anything could run a person down.
Albus spent a lot of his Sunday on the Quidditch pitch as well, in the middle of a drenching rain. Georgia had scheduled Gryffindor Quidditch practice that day and she flat out refused to cancel due to rain. James had asked. He was even more run down than Albus, since either Teddy or Tyler were constantly training the two Seekers during Hogwarts Quidditch practice.
Albus returned to Gryffindor tower after eating a late dinner with the Gryffindor team Sunday evening, realizing he had no idea what his friends had spent the weekend doing. He had seen them on occasion, but most of his free time had been spent doing homework or sleeping. Two things he still had to do.
Albus grabbed his bag from his dormitory and walked down to the crowded common room. He saw Rose, Amanda, and Linda at one table, but his other friends were no where in sight. The girls looked very absorbed in their homework, so Albus decided to go check the Marauder's Den for his other friends.
By the time Albus made it to the Marauder's Den, he felt ready for a good twelve hour sleep. Unfortunately, he still had plenty of homework to do. Albus sighed to himself and opened the door to the room. He paused in the entryway, surprised to see that Matt was the only one there.
"Hey, Matt," Albus said as he sat down at the table.
"Oh, hi Albus," Matt looked up and smiled, "I was wondering when you'd show up."
"Me, too," Albus said wryly, "I never thought Georgia would end practice."
"Makes me glad I'm not on the Quidditch team," Matt commented.
"Where are John and Kaden?"
"Detention, again," Matt smirked.
"What did they do this time?" Albus groaned. John and Kaden had been earning quite a few detentions every week. Albus was quite glad they weren't involving him in their pranks, since he had no available time in his schedule for detention.
"They were levitating rolls of toilet paper around the corridors and charming them to hit people in the head yesterday," Matt explained, "I think you were at Quidditch practice."
"Probably," Albus laughed, "Wonder what they're in for this time."
"No idea," Matt said.
"What are you doing here? Rose and Amanda are in the common room."
"Yeah, I know. But they're with Linda," Matt muttered.
"Oh, ok," Albus replied, a little confused. He still didn't quite understand why Matt didn't seem to like Linda. Sure, she was from Australia, but Matt wasn't avoiding anyone else from Australia. Of course, the rest of the Australian students were older and Matt wouldn't really have to avoid them.
"John said Rose is actually trying to become friends with Linda."
"She is," Albus confirmed, "She's finally realized that it's pointless to try and compete with Linda."
"I guess that's good," Matt shrugged.
John and Kaden burst into the room a short while later, successfully ending the conversation about Rose and Linda. Both of them were freely cursing Filch, who had made them clean the Entrance Hall without magic. Once they finally seemed to run out of curses, all four boys settled into doing their homework and no one brought up the topic of Linda again. Albus still thought it was odd how Matt seemed to have taken a dislike to her, although Linda herself was rather odd, in Albus's opinion.
Rose and Amanda joined Linda at her table during Transfiguration the next day. Linda had arrived before them, as always, and didn't seem to notice or care that Rose and Amanda sat on either side of her.
The same thing happened in double Potions after lunch. Rose, Amanda, and Linda even worked together on that day's potion. Slughorn had decided to give up on the inter-house pairs idea of the previous year, which Albus was very grateful for. Linda had previously worked alone on her potions because there was an odd number of people in the class, but Slughorn didn't object to all three girls working together. In fact, he seemed thrilled that the two smartest people in the class were now working with each other.
"Ah, yes!" Slughorn exclaimed excitedly as he peered into their cauldron, "Your potion is turning just the right shade of green."
Albus looked up from his and Matt's slightly brown potion and saw Slughorn gently stirring the girls' cauldron.
"Ours is better," Malfoy muttered from behind Albus. He was working with Jackson Limbert, Albus's partner from the previous year. Malfoy and Limbert were easily the two best Slytherin potion-brewers in the class.
Albus turned around and looked at Malfoy's cauldron. It was indeed the correct shade of green.
"And what are you looking at, Potter?" Malfoy asked, "Jealous that I'm Limbert's partner now? I doubt your potions grade will be be that good with Eckerton as your partner."
"At least I'm partnering with him for a reason other than trying to get a decent grade," Albus glowered at him.
"Yeah, well..." Malfoy's voice trailed off.
Albus smirked to himself and turned back around, happy that Malfoy couldn't come up with a good comeback.
At the end of the class, Slughorn announced that Rose, Amanda, and Linda's potion had been the best, much to Malfoy's dismay.
"You'd better watch out at the Dueling Tournament," Malfoy seethed as they left the room.
"We're on the same team, Malfoy," Albus pointed out.
"I wasn't talking to you," Malfoy turned and glared at Rose, Amanda, and Linda.
"Is that a threat, Malfoy?" John asked loudly.
"I think you can figure that out for yourself, Brickston," Malfoy said as he turned in the direction of the Slytherin common room, flanked by Limbert and Goyle.
"He's just jealous," Rose muttered as they made their way out of the dungeons.
"Probably," Albus agreed, "But he's a good dueler, much as I hate to admit it."
"Chances are, I won't even duel him, Albus," Rose sighed, "And even if I do, there's only so many spells he's allowed to use."
Albus didn't bother reminding Rose about the Slytherin who used a forbidden curse on Matt last year. Albus was kind of worried about one of his friends having to duel Malfoy. Malfoy was the only one Albus had ever dueled and didn't manage to beat. And Albus had beaten students who were two years older than he was.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Sunday 6 September 2009 11 24 22 am Post subject: Re: In Moonlight's Shadow in topic:In Moonlight's Shadow
Chapter 60: Cannons Quidditch
The next day reminded me of the previous summer. Dad was at work and the rest of us spent the day at home, basically being lazy. I brewed potions and then Mum reluctantly let Matt go exploring in the bush with me. She didn't really need to worry. I knew my way around that bush and it was a warm day with hardly a cloud in the sky. Very strange for Britain. It reminded me of Australia.
Uncle Jack flew in very early on Saturday morning. By very early I mean that his plane arrived in London at 5:30. I went with Dad to meet him, but Mum and Matt stayed home. They were both asleep.
Mum was awake by the time we got back home around 6:30. We stopped in Diagon Alley to pick up muffins for brekkie. I had never seen Diagon Alley so empty before. It seemed like the ideal time to go grocery shopping.
“Now this is a house!” Jack announced as soon as he walked inside. He stood in the doorway looking around with a big grin on his face.
“I thought of you as soon as we first saw it,” Dad smirked.
“It's my kind of place,” Jack said as he walked into the living room.
“Jack,” Mum walked into the room, “How was your flight?”
“Same as usual,” Jack replied, “How have you been?”
Mum and Dad updated Jack on their lives as we walked into the kitchen. Dad set the muffins down on the table and we all settled down to eat.
“Are you liking Hogwarts any better now, Amy?” Uncle Jack asked me.
“Yeah,” I shrugged, “It's nothing like Australia, but I'm getting used to it. But I don't think I'll ever get used to watching Quidditch matches in the middle of blizzards. I don't know why Professor Kendrick doesn't just postpone them.”
“Probably because there just aren't enough Saturdays with good weather here during the Quidditch season,” Uncle Jack explained.
“I just hope it's warm when we go to that Cannons match this week,” I said.
We saved a few muffins for Matt and then gave Uncle Jack the grand tour of the house. He absolutely loved my new potions room and the big library upstairs. We stayed in there for a while because Uncle Jack wanted to browse through Dad's books.
“I didn't know you had half of these,” Jack said as he picked up one of the numerous books on lycanthropy.
“Feel free to borrow any of them,” Dad said, “I've read all of them anyway.”
“All of them?” Jack raised his eyebrows.
“All of the ones on lycanthropy,” Dad said quietly.
“You should write a book on lycanthropy,” Jack replied.
“I probably could,” Dad said.
Once we finished giving Uncle Jack the tour of the house, I played chess against him in the living room. He won every single match. That was one thing I liked about Uncle Jack; he never let me win anything. When I was younger, my parents always let me win games. Uncle Jack never did. He never let Matt win anything either.
“Uncle Jack!” Matt came running down the stairs a little while later. He promptly tripped over Uncle Jack's suitcase and landed on top of our chess board, much to the dismay of the chessmen.
“Careful,” Jack said as he pulled Matt onto his lap, “You all right?”
“Fine,” Matt shrugged, “When did you get here?”
“About three hours ago,” Uncle Jack replied.
“You should've woken me up,” Matt said.
“Your parents don't like it when people wake you up,” Uncle Jack told him.
“Want to go explore the bush?” Matt asked him, “Amy, do you want to?”
“Of course,” I grinned.
“You have to eat brekkie first,” Mum told Matt, “There's muffins in the kitchen.”
Matt decided to just eat his muffins as we were walking to the bush. The hours flew by while we were out there and we didn't return home until it began to sprinkle and it was time for lunch. I could've stayed out longer, though.
Uncle Jack is probably my favorite person to go exploring with. He knows so much random stuff about wildlife. Even in England, a place he has only visited and never lived before, he had so much to tell us about the plants and animals we saw.
One thing that I found really interesting was that you could brew a potion to negate the effects of poisonous snake venom with dandelion roots, maple leaves, and bark from a pine tree.
The whole weekend and beginning of the following week passed much like that day had. Matt, Uncle Jack, and I would go exploring everyday. Mum and Dad would occasionally join us. Jack introduced himself to the farmer who lived next door and they talked for quite a while about growing vegetables.
Matt was the first one up the day of the Chudley Cannons match. I couldn't remember the last time he had been the first one to wake up in the morning. I guess there was something about the anticipation of seeing Quidditch players clad in orange robes lose spectacularly to another team that caused one to not need a full night's sleep.
“Amy, wake up!”
“Huh?” I blinked and saw Matt, clad in his oversized Cannons jersey, with a big grin on his face. “What time is it?”
“Seven o'clock,” he replied.
“You're up,” I yawned, “Really early.”
“The match isn't until two,” I groaned.
“I know,” he said and then ran out of the room.
Despite the earliness, I was very happy to see him so excited. I honestly couldn't remember the last time I had seen him this excited about something and that was kind of sad. Maybe I didn't like Quidditch that much. Maybe the idea of watching Matt's new favorite team get their arses kicked didn't interest me. But I was going to pretend to be excited for Matt's sake.
Going back to bed was a fruitless effort, so I went downstairs and found that Mum and Dad were awake as well. They were both drinking cups of coffee while Matt rattled off Chudley Cannons statistics.
“And in 1972 they changed their motto to 'Let's just cross our fingers and hope for the best',” Matt said, “It used to be 'We shall conquer', but they hadn't won the league since 1892, and they still haven't.”
“Morning, Amy,” Dad said.
“Morning,” I replied as I dug through the cabinets for some cereal, “Uncle Jack still asleep?”
“Yeah, I couldn't get him up,” Matt shrugged.
“You get your ability to sleep through anything from him,” Dad smirked, “I used to shave off his eyebrows in his sleep when we were kids. He never once woke up while I did it.”
“Did you know that Dragomir Gorgovitch holds the record for most Quaffle drops in one season?” Matt asked, “He used to play for the Cannons.”
“That's not something to be proud of,” Dad laughed.
“I don't think he is,” Matt replied, “But he's famous for it.”
By the time afternoon arrived and it was time for the match, I knew more Chudley Cannons trivia than I ever cared to. Matt was still reading the trivia book out loud as we left the house and walked to the end of our property to Apparate. The only reprieve I got from his trivia reading was during the side-along Apparition. I went with Dad and Matt went with Uncle Jack.
The Quidditch pitch was located in Exmoor National Park, which I had never heard of before we got there. There were a lot of people Apparating nearby the pitch and most of them were clad in blue and gold. A very small, but boisterous, group was wearing bright orange. It appeared that there were far more Puddlemere United fans than Cudley Cannons fans.
There was a wizard taking tickets near the door to the pitch and Dad handed him all of ours. We followed the signs to the top level of stands and located our seats. They were very good. With Quidditch, it's best to be higher up in the stands. Then you don't have to crane your neck to see what's going on.
We were surrounded by Puddlemere United fans. A fair few of them had painted their faces blue and gold and all of them were wearing jerseys. My family looked quite out of place. Matt because of his Cannons jersey and the rest of us because of our lack of jerseys.
“Welcome to the Puddlemere United versus Chudley Cannons match at the Exmoor pitch!” a wizard announced, “The match will commence shortly. Please find your seats.”
Five minutes later, the wizard was back to commentating. “The teams have walked out onto the pitch! Captain Spencer Wilson of Puddlemere United is shaking hands with Captain Francis Piedmont of the Chudley Cannons. The teams mount their brooms, and they're off!”
I watched as all fourteen players flew into the air. One of the Puddlemere players took immediate possession of the Quaffle and scored a goal within two minutes.
The Puddlemere fans sitting near us jumped up and started shouting and high-fiving each other. Puddlemere scored three goals shortly after and they performed the same ritual after each goal.
“Damorofitz of the Cannons is in possession!” the commentator shouted, “Oh, and he dropped it.”
I glanced over at Matt and saw that he was paying rapt attention. He didn't look that disappointed for someone whose team was losing 0-50.
This Quidditch match was unlike any I had seen before. Most of the Quidditch matches I'd been to had been at school. The main difference was that I was pretty sure the Chudley Cannons were worse than any of the teams at Hogwarts or Australia. I had never seen such an awful Quidditch team before. It was kind of weird that any of the players had made it to professional Quidditch, due to their apparent lack of skill.
“Damorofitz has hold of the Quaffle again!” the commentator said, “And he's flying down the pitch. And he's still flying down the pitch! Merlin, he's done it! Damorofitz of the Chudley Cannons has scored their first goal of the match.”
Matt started jumping up and down and cheering. The Puddlemere fans looked at him and smiled. I overheard the one who was sitting next to me say how adorable he was. I could sort of see why. He was the only one in our general vicinity rooting for the Cannons (well, the rest of my family was, but not nearly as vigorously as Matt was) and he was wearing a very oversized jersey. Plus, before the match started, he had asked Uncle Jack to write 'Go Cannons' on his forehead in orange marker.
“If they catch the Snitch, they'll win!” Matt said excitedly.
The Puddlemere fans stifled their laughs and we all got back to watching the match.
“Puddlemere is in possession,” the commentator went on, “They are passing the Quaffle faster than the Cannons can keep up. And, oh! Beater Loyd of the Cannons has somehow managed to hit a Bludger at himself. Seeker Biner has managed to catch him as he fell off his broom. Well, now we know Biner can catch something, even if it's not the Snitch. Medi-wizards have ran onto the field to assist Loyd. Looks like the Cannons will have to bring in a reserve beater.”
It soon became apparent that the Cannons' reserve beater couldn't hit Bludgers at anything, not even himself. Every time he swung his bat, he would nearly fall off his broom.
The Cannons did manage to score a few more goals during the first half hour of the match, bringing the score to 100-30 Puddlemere. Matt cheered loudly every time the Cannons scored, earning him more of those grins adults give children when they're being cute from the Puddlemere fans.
“Seeker Avon of Puddlemere is now flying straight towards the middle of the Cannons goal posts!” the commentator said, “And Seeker Biner did some sort of turn around move, not sure what that was, and is now trying to follow Avon. Ouch! Bludger to the stomach for Biner. That must hurt.”
Avon made it to the goal posts and pulled up with his hand clamped around what must have been the Snitch. All the Puddlemere fans stood up and started cheering. I stood up just to see what was going on. Uncle Jack lifted Matt up to see what was going on.
“Avon has caught the Snitch! Puddlmere wins 260-30!”
Medi-wizards were once again flocking the pitch and I saw them carry Biner away on a stretcher. Two of the Cannons' players had been injured in one match.
“So, you're a Cannons fan?” the witch sitting next to me asked Matt.
“Yeah,” he nodded.
“Well, better luck next time,” she smiled and then went back to cheering with everyone else.
It took us a while to leave the stands, but eventually we found our way back into the park.
“How did you like the match?” Dad asked Matt.
“It was brilliant!” Matt said, “I mean, it's not brilliant that the Cannons lost, but it was still fun. I didn't really expect them to win. They just need some new players. They would've won if their Seeker was better.”
And their Keeper, Beaters, and Chasers, I thought. It was nice that Matt was so optimistic about it. He could have been their spokesperson for their motto. If there was anyone who was crossing his fingers and hoping for the best, it was Matt.
We went to Diagon Alley because my parents needed to do some shopping and then we had dinner at the Leaky Cauldron because Uncle Jack really liked that place. I did, too, and we didn't eat there nearly as often as I would've liked. Hannah Longbottom, makes the best sandwiches I've ever had in my life.
“How much more school do you have?” Matt asked me as he ate his bacon sandwich.
“A little less than two months, I think,” I replied.
“I hope it goes by fast because Mum never lets me go exploring in the bush by myself,” Matt said.
“We can go exploring all the time in the summer,” I told him, “What are we going to do this summer anyway? Can we go on a holiday?”
“Possibly,” Dad shrugged, “We haven't really been on a proper holiday in a few years.”
That was for sure. The only times we had traveled recently was to look at houses.
After we went back home we played a few rounds of Gobstones before Matt went to bed. Then I read in the living room while listening to Mum, Dad, and Uncle Jack's conversation.
“We should go to more Quidditch matches,” Mum said, “I haven't seen Matt that happy in months.”
“It was definitely a success,” Dad agreed, “If we had done that nine months ago, he would've spent the whole time too scared to watch.”
“He's changed so much since I last saw him,” Uncle Jack commented.
“We owe it all to Healer Norlam,” Dad said, “The man can work miracles.”
“It's you two as well,” Jack said, “You never give yourselves enough credit.”
“Perhaps,” Dad mused, “But we really couldn't have done it without Norlam.”
I hadn't really thought about it until my parents brought it up, but Matt really was a lot different. He hadn't been afraid of anyone at that Quidditch match and it had been very crowded.
“He'll never get completely over it, though,” Dad said quietly, “He'll never be the same.”
“Of course not,” Uncle Jack agreed, “People never stay the same. None of us are the same as we were when we were eight. Our experiences change us.”
“He's had experiences I wish he'd never had,” Dad sighed.
“I wish he hadn't, either, but we can't change the past. I'm not entirely convinced horrible experiences are bad for us, either. They make us appreciate the good times. Of course, I'd give anything to change the past so that Matt didn't have to go through all of that.”
“You've always been the optimist,” Dad said, “You see the good in everything.”
“I try,” Uncle Jack shrugged.
The room lapsed into comfortable silence and I got absorbed in my book once again. I went to bed a little while later and dreamt that Matt was the Chudley Cannons Seeker. And that his clumsy self was the best player on the team.
The remainder of the holiday went by fast. I brewed potions with Uncle Jack while Matt begged my parents to let him join us. That was one thing they were still very overprotective with, him brewing potions. They refused to let him brew with me before he had potions class at Hogwarts. I was kind of happy about that because as much as I liked spending time with Matt now, I liked being able to brew alone.
Mum, Dad, and Uncle Jack went out to dinner one evening without Matt and I because they needed 'adult time'. That was a sign that Mum thought I was mature because she had never let Matt stay home alone with me in the evenings before.
Uncle Jack flew back to New York on Saturday, the day before I went back to Hogwarts. We all went to the airport to see him off. His visit had gone by fast and I was sad to see him leave. He didn't know when he'd next be able to visit.
Everyone went with me to King's Cross the next day s well. I wasn't really that sad about going back to Hogwarts. I would miss my family, but there was less than two months of school left and I was looking forward to seeing Victoire again.
I spent the entire train ride doing the homework I had neglected to do over the holiday. One thing I wasn't looking forward to about going back to school was the fact that exams were coming up. I had yet to hear anything good about Hogwarts end of the year exams.
It was already dark by the time the train pulled into Hogsmeade. I climbed into one of the four carriages along with three students I didn't know. We arrived at the castle just in time for dinner and I squeezed in between Victoire and Landon at the Gryffindor table.
“How was your holiday?” Victoire asked.
“Fun,” I grinned, “My uncle was there for a week and we went to a Chudley Cannons match.”
Teddy and Landon burst out laughing. Teddy started coughing and turned red as he caught his breath. Then they both looked at each other and laughed some more.
“What?” I asked.
“How badly did they lose?” Teddy smirked.
“50-260,” I replied.
“Not so bad, then,” Teddy said, “50 points in a match, that's not bad for the Cannons. But why in the name of Merlin did you go to one of their matches? Do you support them? I know you're new to British Quidditch and all, but there are so much better teams out there.”
“Matt supports them,” I answered, “I got him a Cannons jersey for Christmas and he's been obsessed with them ever since.”
“Why a Cannons jersey?” Landon asked.
“They're the underdog,” I shrugged, “And my brother's always kind of been an underdog. I thought it was appropriate.”
“Wow, another Cannons fan,” Victoire sighed, “My Uncle Ron will be excited about this. He's the world's biggest Cannons fan.”
The rest of dinner was spent with Teddy and Landon explaining the details of all the British Quidditch teams, which to be honest, was not that interesting. The only interesting bit of information they told me was that one of the Montrose Magpies' current Chasers played for the Cannons for a year before joining the Magpies. Apparently she was the best player the Cannons had had in decades.
Victoire and I stayed up late talking about everything except Quidditch. By the time I crawled into my four-poster bed I was very content. I realized that it was the first time I went to bed completely happy and calm at Hogwarts. And that was a nice feeling.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Friday 24 July 2009 10 21 20 am Post subject: Re: In Moonlight's Shadow in topic:In Moonlight's Shadow
Thanks Fawkes, hprocks, and Obladi! Here's an early update since I'm going on vacation tomorrow.
Chapter 55: Christmas in Australia
Healer Norlam was still at the house when we returned. Mum told me to go up to my room and stay there until she said I could leave. This didn't surprise me in the slightest.
What did surprise me was the amount of time I had to stay up there. An hour passed and Mum still hadn't told me I could come out. I was beginning to think they just forgot. How long could it possibly take for Mum to talk with Norlam?
I was contemplating using the Extendable Ear and finding out what they were talking about, when Mum knocked on my door. I told her to come in and she walked inside, looking much more worn out than she had earlier.
"Dad and I have decided to see Healer Norlam on a regular basis," Mum said as she sat down on my bed.
I sat down next to her. "What do you mean? Like what Matt did over the summer?"
"Sort of," Mum said, "We have some issues to work through and we think Norlam can help."
"Wait, you're not having marriage issues, are you?" I asked anxiously. I had seen sitcoms on the television at Kenzie's house and married couples who were thinking of divorce went to see psychologists.
"No, nothing like that," she assured me, "Don't worry. Dad and I are perfectly happy together. Mainly, we want to work on our parenting techniques."
"Oh," I breathed a sigh of relief. This was about what they talked about the previous night. But they weren't to know that I knew about that.
"We just wanted you to know," Mum said as she stood up, "And if you could pack for the trip soon, I'd appreciate it."
I nodded as she left. Mum and Dad in therapy. I wasn't sure what I thought about that. What sort of parenting techniques were they going to learn? Were they just going to change the way they parented Matt, or would it affect me too?
The remainder of the day was very quiet. We ate dinner in silence and it was hard to tell whether Matt was still mad at Mum and Dad. Although, I'm not sure mad was the right term. Matt just sort of sat in a stunned silence throughout the meal. He methodically at his food, but never said a word or moved much. In fact, it reminded me of what he was like after Lubar kidnapped him.
I didn't get much sleep that night. I tossed and turned the whole night, no longer that excited about going to Australia. It was almost like Matt's fear was haunting me. I couldn't muster an ounce of excitement after seeing how scared he still was.
The next morning was just a duplicate of the previous night. Silence, fatigue, and going through the motions. I wondered how long it would go on. I had been expecting the Christmas holiday to be exciting and a nice break from school, but so far it hadn't been that.
We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare before our flight left. Going through security had become so much of a habit that it no longer fazed me. It just took a very long time. Mum and Dad whispered to each other the whole time and Matt clung to Mum like she was going to side-along Apparate with him at any moment.
It was almost a relief to get on the plane. Matt refused to sit anywhere besides next to Mum, so I sat with Dad behind them. He let me have the aisle seat.
"Are Richard and Cinda picking us up?" Dad leaned forward and asked Mum.
"Yes," Mum said.
That was the only amount of discussion between them throughout the entire flight. It didn't seem like they were mad at each other, more like they were worried. I couldn't really blame them. Matt had yet to say anything the entire day.
I slept most of the flight. Luckily it was a very smooth trip without much turbulence. We arrived in Australia only a half hour later than scheduled.
It was very strange to be back in Australia. I got this weird feeling in my stomach as soon as we left the plane that had nothing to do with the flight. Nearly six months had passed since I was last in Australia. I swallowed hard as we went through security. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea. I wasn't going to want to leave.
"Julie!" Cinda, dressed in a sky blue pants suit, ran as fast as her spiky heels could carry her towards us, "You're here!"
"We're here," Mum smiled wearily. Cinda threw her arms around her in a very un-Cinda like manner. This looked kind of awkward since Mum was carrying Matt.
"Walter," Richard stuck out his hand.
"Richard," Dad shook it.
"It was all right," Dad replied.
"Amy!" Cinda let go of Mum and flung her arms around me, "How is your new school? How are the kids there?"
"School's all right," I shrugged.
The one good thing about Cinda's personality was that short, ambiguous answers satisfied her. She asked nothing else about school and began to fill Mum in on all the gossip as we walked to the car. It was like nothing had changed since we moved. If I tried really hard, I could pretend we hadn't even moved in the first place and were just returning from a long holiday.
"I just couldn't believe it!" Cinda exclaimed as we drove back to their house, "Pregnant! At her age!"
"How are Breanne and Carmine taking it?" Mum asked.
Cinda had just explained that Breanne's mum was pregnant. I was surprised, but didn't really care. Breanne's mum wasn't that nice of a person.
"They don't care," Cinda replied, "Apparently when she told them about it, Breanne just asked if the new baby would get her own nanny or if Carmine's nanny would take care of the baby."
Classic Breanne, I thought. I just hoped I wouldn't have to see her while I was in Australia.
The gossip continued until we reached the house. It may have went on longer than that, but I escaped to my pink bedroom.
It looked exactly the same as it had before I left. I doubted Richard and Cinda had even gone in it. I was sure they would leave it that way forever, since they had so many other rooms. Matt's room probably looked the same, too, although I had my doubts as to whether he would use it while we were there.
Cinda informed me that Kenzie was spending Christmas at her grandparents' house and wouldn't be back until after. I didn't dare bring up the possibility of visiting Olivia. Maybe over the summer, if my parents had worked through their parenting issues by then.
The Christmas holiday at Richard and Cinda's wasn't much different than it had been at home. The only difference was that Cinda filled in the silence with gossip and the occasional question about England.
Matt hardly ever left Mum's side. It seemed that being in Australia wasn't doing anything to ebb his fears. I would have thought that after two days of being there would give him a bit of reassurance that nothing was going to happen, but it didn't.
Christmas Eve came and I realized that we hadn't even gotten a Christmas tree. Everyone seemed to have forgotten about it.
"Where are we getting the tree from?" I asked at lunch.
"Er, I'm not sure," Dad glanced at Richard.
"There's a tree farm a few miles away," Richard told him, "We always used to get trees there when Julie was little."
"A tree farm?" I sighed. That wasn't nearly as fun as going into the bush and cutting one down yourself.
"They have cut your own trees," Richard said, "It's like a bush, only the trees are all in rows and were planted by people."
"All right," I said resignedly. It was better than nothing.
"We'll go as soon as we're done eating. It'll be fun," Richard said.
"I don't want to go," Matt mumbled. He had been picking at his food and not really eating. It was strange since he could usually eat a hippogriff when it wasn't around the full moon.
"You'll be safe," Mum assured him, "It's a Muggle place. Nobody will know you."
"No, I don't feel good," he said.
Mum immediately put her hand on his forehead. "You don't feel warm."
"He's probably just overly tired," Dad said quietly, "I don't think he's slept more than ten hours since we got here."
"You're right," Mum sighed.
"Can't you just give him that potion that makes you fall asleep?" Cinda asked.
"Couldn't bring it on the plane," Mum explained, "Couldn't transfigure it into something normal either. Transfiguration of potions changes their effectiveness."
"We're going to have to go buy some," Dad said.
"No place is open on Christmas Eve," Mum pointed out, "You guys just go get the tree. I'll stay here with him."
A little while later, Richard, Dad, and I were riding in Richard's huge SUV to go get the tree. Cinda had decided to stay home in order to spend 'quality time with her daughter and grandson', but everyone knew she just didn't want to go to the tree farm. She had never liked getting Christmas trees.
The tree farm was really crowded. Richard had to circle the parking lot twice just to find a spot. Then we walked up a small dirt road until we reached the farthest spot of the farm, which was relatively empty.
"A year ago we were doing this in the bush behind your old house," Richard said as we began looking at trees, "Things sure do change."
"That they do," Dad mused, "But change is good."
"Is Matt ok?" Richard asked, "He hasn't seemed well over the past few days. Has something happened?"
"He's afraid to be here," Dad sighed, "Because of what happened before we moved. The psychologist we've been seeing thought it would be a good idea for him to confront the fear, but so far all its done is made him sleep deprived."
"I'm surprised Julie allowed that."
"She's the one who originally suggested it," Dad told him, "But the psychologist agreed and here we are."
"That's possibly the most surprising thing I've heard since you told me you were moving. Julie has babied that boy ever since he was born."
"We both have," Dad said a bit louder, "It's part of the problem and it's taken us nearly nine years to realize it. We're not doing it anymore. We've stopped giving in to everything. We've spoiled him."
"I've been telling you that since he was three," Richard chuckled, "I tell you, the best thing for a boy is to fall down and get a few bumps and bruises. Then he picks himself up and gets on with life."
"Believe me, he's had more bumps and bruises than the average kid. And half the time he can't just pick himself up and get on with life. I guess that's the issue. Julie and I have to learn when he really needs us and when he doesn't."
"You'll figure it out. And you know how I know that?" Richard put his arm around me and smiled, "Because you did something right with this one."
I couldn't help but grin. Richard was usually very quiet. He rarely said more than a sentence or two within a fifteen minute time frame. People said he had to be like that in order to be married to Cinda, the queen of talking. Richard never commented on how my parents raised me. He said plenty about how they raised Matt, but never me. I guess that was a good thing.
Mum always said I took after Cinda, but I liked Richard more. Cinda's constant jabbering was irritating and she always tried to get what she wanted. Whenever I complained to Mum about her, she just smiled and laughed and said I didn't like Cinda because I was so much like her.
"You'd think we would have gotten better with the second one, not worse," Dad muttered.
"Don't think too much about it now. It's Christmas," Richard said, "And we've got a tree to find."
We wound up finding a tree that was about half the size of one we had last year. Richard refused to get a twelve-foot tree since he was sure Cinda would have a hippogriff if he did so. Well, he used the term, 'have a cow'. It was funny to watch Dad help him tie it to the roof of the car, though. Dad had obviously never done such a thing before and he muttered something about how much easier it would be to just use a sticking charm.
Getting the tree off the car once we drove back to Richard and Cinda's house was much easier. Dad just used magic since no one else was around. He levitated it through the double doors in the back of the house and stood it up in the corner of the living room.
Cinda and Mum were talking on the couch in the living room. Well, Cinda was talking and Mum was nodding and muttering 'mm-hmm' every so often. I doubted she was really listening. One of her hands was holding an open book and the other was rubbing Matt's back, who was lying next to her.
"Have fun?" Mum set down her book.
Dad nodded. "When should we decorate?"
Decorate. I suddenly realized that we left all our decorations at home. "Er, we don't have any decorations."
Richard laughed. "Yes we do. Haven't used them in years, but we've got them. Your mum made some of them."
"Oh, right," I said. Of course they had decorations.
"Let's do it after dinner," Cinda said as she stood up, "There's a lovely lasagna in the oven."
"Had it delivered while we were gone?" Richard smirked.
"Yes," Cinda grinned.
"What is this supposed to be?" I asked as I pulled a misshapen piece of wood with a string attached out of the box of ornaments.
"It's a dog," Mum laughed, "I made it when I was five."
I turned the dog around in my hand and squinted. "Erm, I sort of see it."
It was actually really fun to use Richard and Cinda's ornaments. There was a story behind every single one. The crystal husband and wife one that they had gotten at their wedding, the little set of golf clubs Richard had had since he was a teenager, the witch's hat and broom Mum had gotten after she found out she was a witch, and of course all the homemade ornaments.
Even Matt seemed to perk up as we looked through the ornaments. He loved Mum's homemade ornaments. It even seemed like he wasn't sleep deprived.
Mum, Dad, Richard, and Cinda sat on the couch and let us decorate the tree. They told stories about the ornaments, but the decorating was up to us. Matt decorated the bottom half and I decorated the top. I had to use a ladder for the very top and Mum forbade Matt from getting on it.
Eventually we got the tree completely decorated. My parents and grandparents loved it and Richard took a bunch of pictures. Even though the tree had no theme whatsoever, I liked it. It was different, but nothing about this holiday was normal, so it fit well.
I fell asleep quickly that night since I had gotten used to Australian time. I had also gotten used to my pink bedroom again. In fact, I slept late and didn't wake up until nearly ten o'clock. It marked the second year in a row that Matt hadn't woken me up on Christmas.
The sun was shining into my window, but I didn't pay much attention to it. It was almost ten and nobody else seemed to be up. I ran out of my room and down the corridor to my parents'.
They were sitting up in bed whispering to each other, but stopped as soon as I walked in.
"Happy Christmas," Mum smiled.
"Happy Christmas," I said as I sat down on the bed, "Is anyone else up?"
"I don't think so," Dad replied, "We're going to wait for presents until Matt's up. He's been sound asleep since three in the morning."
I looked down and saw that Matt was sound asleep in the middle of the bed. I sighed. It would be a while until he got up. He'd probably sleep until dinner time. At least he finally fell asleep, though.
It was strange not to open presents right away. I went downstairs and saw that Ellie must have Apparated to the house at some point because she was making brekkie in Richard and Cinda's kitchen.
Richard and Cinda woke up a little while later and we all ate brekkie while Matt slept. No one really knew what to do after that since Christmas morning was usually spent opening and admiring gifts.
I sat in the living room staring at the presents while Richard read the paper and Mum and Cinda talked. There was one huge present that was addressed to me and I really wanted to open it.
After a few more hours of boredom, Matt finally walked sleepily into the room. He looked like he could use another day's worth of sleep, but I was glad he got up.
"Can we open presents now?" I asked as he climbed onto Mum's lap.
"Yes," Mum grinned, "You can go first."
I leaped off the chair and grabbed the big present I had been gazing at. It was from Mum and Dad and weighed a ton. Did they get me a box of bricks or something?
I ripped the paper off and tore open the plain brown box that was underneath. There was a bunch of crumpled up newspaper in the box and I threw it all over the room as I dug around in the box.
When all the newspaper was finally on the floor and not in the box, I pulled out a silver cauldron that was slightly bigger than the one I already had.
"You've already got one of those," Matt announced.
"This one's self-stirring," I grinned as I noticed the self-stirring symbol etched onto the side. I set it down and ran over to Mum and Dad, giving them each a huge hug. "Thank you so much!"
Self-stirring cauldrons open up a wealth of brewing opportunities. Some potions require constant stirring, which makes it difficult to prepare ingredients as you brew. Some ingredients had to be prepared right before you added them. So you either needed another person or a self-stirring cauldron.
I was surprised they got me another silver cauldron. They had been reluctant enough to get me the first one. It was a good sign; they were trusting me more.
Matt went next and he picked the present from me. His eyes got huge when he saw the box of chocolate frogs and Mum laughed. Then he held up the Chudley Cannons jersey and Cinda's eyes got huge with disgust. I giggled. She probably wouldn't have let me bring that into the house if she had known about it. She claims orange looks good on nobody.
"What is that?" she asked.
"A Quidditch jersey!" Matt said excitedly, "Chudley Cannons? Who are they?"
"A team in the British league," I explained, "The store in Hogsmeade didn't have any Australian jerseys, so I picked another team. Apparently they're not very good, but they need support."
"I like it," Matt said as he pulled it on. It went reached halfway down his thighs and was wide enough to fit three of him into it, but he had a big grin on his face.
The present opening continued for the rest of the afternoon. Mum and Dad both loved what I got them. I think Dad wished I had gotten him a Gryffindor scarf as well, though. Hell, Matt seemed to want one, too. I could get him one for his birthday.
Cinda got me a bag, which I thought was kind of funny since Mum got her one, too. This one was tiny and pink with silver dangly things attached to the zipper. It was something I would never use. I had no use for girly bags. Pockets worked just as well for holding stuff and I carried my school bag around Hogwarts. Not even one book would fit in this pink bag.
Cinda liked her bag much more than I liked mine. She said she had about ten different outfits to go with it and I was sure all of them were pants suits. Richard was thrilled with his golf club and said he'd have to go golfing soon.
Mum and Ellie prepared dinner afterwards. Cinda sat in the kitchen with them, but didn't help with the cooking. It was just as well since the only thing she could do was heat stuff up in the microwave.
Dad and Richard talked quietly in the den and I wanted to listen in on what they were saying, but Matt kept me occupied playing with his new Quidditch game with him in the living room. It was a model game that you could tell the players where to fly to, sort of like Wizard's Chess.
Matt seemed completely different than he had been the previous day. I mentioned this to Mum and she told me that a good night's sleep could do wonders. Maybe the sleep helped him realize that nothing would happen to him in Australia anymore.
Dinner was delicious and fun. Mum and Dad seemed so much happier now that Matt wasn't as scared. I think we were all relieved about that. Nobody said a word about anything related to Lubar or the Australian Ministry or wizarding Australia in general.
Ellie Apparated back to England after we finished dessert. She had to take my cauldron back to our house, since there would be no explaining that to airport security. Come to think of it, she had probably brought it that morning. Mum also wanted it in my potions room as soon as possible. She may be trusting me more, but she was still worried about Matt being around it.
I was really glad we had gone to Australia for Christmas. It had been a really good day. I don't think it would have been all that enjoyable if Matt hadn't gotten any sleep, but he did so it turned out well. Having Christmas in England would have just been too strange. I hoped we'd go to Australia for every Christmas.
Joined: 13 April 2008
Posted: Tuesday 9 December 2008 12 06 07 am Post subject: Re: Ok, come on...did everyone forget about the chess? in topic:Ok, come on...did everyone forget about the chess?
No buddy how can i forget chess. Well u forgot, i had beaten you last weak. hmmmm.. lols kidding
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Wednesday 19 November 2008 02 15 05 pm Post subject: Re: Albus Potter and the Tracks They Left Behind in topic:Albus Potter and the Tracks They Left Behind
All right, here it is! The last chapter! What can I say? I spent 6 months on this story and loved every minute of it. I love it even more than the first Albus story. New characters, plot points, everything I like!
I am working on a sequel. So far I only have the prologue, which I have to rewrite anyway. I decided not to really start working on it until winter break, which is only 3 weeks away! I have plot ideas, plenty of them. And new characters.
So, to my devoted readers of my Albus series, I highly suggest you read In Moonlight's Shadow while you wait for the next Albus story. There are characters from In Moonlight's Shadow in the sequel, so you'll understand more if you read In Moonlight's Shadow. The two stories are very interconnected.
All right, I'll stop the long Author's Notes and get on with the last chapter!
New page, new disclaimer- I have not acquired the rights to Harry Potter since I last posted a disclaimer. Harry Potter still isn't mine.
Chapter 37: Possibilities
There was a page long article on the front of the Prophet the next morning that detailed every aspect of the previous night's incident in Hogsmeade. Well, it did not explain what exactly Willinson was after, but everything else was mentioned. Kaden became an instant celebrity as soon as he left the Hospital Wing after breakfast. Almost the entire school, including a few Slytherins, wanted a first hand account of how he got kidnapped. Kaden didn't show any of the fears he had the previous night as he greatly embellished what went on in the old abandoned house.
Harry still hadn't returned from the Ministry. Albus figured he was still busy with sentencing Willinson to Azkaban. Albus didn't have long to dwell on it, though, because they had the last of their examinations that day.
"I am so glad those are over!" John exclaimed at dinner that night, "I say we party in the common room tonight!"
"Some of us," Gabriella leaned over the table, "Still have O.W.L.s to take."
"Oh, er, right," John muttered, "Never mind."
"We can still party," Albus whispered, "Just not in the common room."
"Oh, yeah," John grinned.
"And then I tried to kick his wand out of his hand, but he grabbed my leg instead," Kaden explained to a few over-excited Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs who had wandered over, "So, I bit him. He shrieked like a little girl."
Albus rolled his eyes. "This just gets crazier and crazier."
"Aw, come on, Albus. You've gotta admit that he's making it sound better," John said.
"But biting Willinson?" Albus raised his eyebrow, "That's disgusting."
"You've got an owl, Albus," Rose pointed to an owl that was soaring down towards Albus. It was Harry's.
Albus took the letter and opened it. John and Matt read it over his shoulder.
Things are pretty much taken care of at
the Ministry. I'll be back around seven.
Meet me in the Entrance Hall then. Bring
Rose, Kaden, Matt, John, and Amanda. I'd
like to talk to you about last night.
Matt looked at his watch. "That's in a half hour."
"Half hour to drag Kaden away from his fans," John smirked.
A half hour later Albus and his friends were standing around the Entrance Hall, waiting for Harry. Kaden had reluctantly left his gaggle of girls, only after Albus had told him that Harry was going to explain about the Cloak.
"Well, well, what have we here?" a wheezy voice said from behind them.
Albus spun around and saw Filch limping towards them with a smirk on his face.
"Loitering in the Entrance Hall," Filch muttered, "What are you up to, I wonder...."
"Er," Albus said.
"Another detention, before the year's up...."
"They're with me, Filch," Harry shouted from the doorway, "And it's not curfew yet."
"Right, right..." Filch muttered and shuffled off in the opposite direction.
"So, Room of Requirement sound good?" Harry asked.
Everyone nodded and followed Harry up the stairs. They were stopped no less than three times by various students wanting to talk to Kaden. Albus and John broke out in hysterical laughter after the third person asked for his autograph. Eventually, they did manage to make it to the Room.
Everybody settled themselves onto the various comfy armchairs and couches that were in the room.
"Are you going to tell me why Willinson wanted Albus's cloak?" Kaden asked immediately.
Harry laughed, "Yes, don't worry, Kaden. I'm going to explain everything."
"Excellent," Kaden grinned.
Harry launched into the long story about the Hallows, beginning with how he, Ron, and Hermione first learned about the Hallows, including [i]The Tale of the Three Brothers[/i], and ending with the incident that happened the last spring. By the time he finished, Kaden was staring at him open mouthed and a look of awe on his face.
"Blimey, that's amazing," Kaden grinned.
"I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't tell anyone about this, Kaden," Harry said seriously.
Albus tried to stifle his laughter as he turned to look at Rose.
"What's so funny?" Kaden asked.
"You. Keeping a secret," John grinned.
"Oh, shut it. I've kept secrets."
"I'm sure Kaden will be able to keep it a secret," Harry said.
"So," Albus began, changing the subject, "What's going to happen to Willinson?"
"He's in Azkaban right now," Harry explained, "He has a minimum ten years sentence, maximum twenty years. He's not too happy about it, but too bad for him."
"Good," Albus said, "What about Felix Willinson?"
"Well, all he really did was hex Kaden, which happens all the time here. I've assigned him a few detentions."
"What about those other blokes?" Kaden asked, "Washburn and Willinson's dad?"
"They're still on the run," Harry sighed, "But we're looking for them. Quinton wouldn't give us any information when we questioned him."
"Hope you find them soon," Kaden replied.
"Me, too," Harry said and turned to Albus, "Now, Al, could you explain about this new map you showed me last night?"
Albus looked at his dad and then slowly got the map out of his bag. He unfolded it and held it up. "Er, yeah."
"Where did you find it?" Harry asked quietly.
"Attic of the house. It was hidden in an old photo album of the Marauders."
"Do you still have the album?"
"Yeah, it's up in my trunk."
"I'd like to see it over the summer," Harry said, "But what I'd like now is for you to explain exactly how this map works. I promise you won't get in trouble."
"All right," Albus glanced at his friends and then back at his dad, "At first, we had no idea what to do with it. So we tried random stuff like spells and the phrase for the Marauder's Map. Eventually we figured it out, but it turns out this map was more complicated than the Marauder's Map.
"For it to work, four Gryffindors have to be 'the next Marauders."
"Wait, what?" Harry asked.
"The Marauders somehow made it so you could only get the map to reveal itself if you were one of four boys who are like the Marauders."
"That is impressive magic," Harry said quietly.
"So, somehow the map recognized that I was related to one of the Marauders and thought I might be one of the new Marauders," Albus explained, "And, it's true. I am the new Prongs."
Harry stared at Albus. "Merlin. That is incredible, Albus."
Albus smiled. "And Matt, John, and Kaden are the other new Marauders. It wouldn't have worked without them."
"Want to guess who's who?" John grinned.
Harry smirked, "You're Padfoot."
"Is it that obvious?"
"Yes," Harry, Albus, and Rose said at the same time.
"Well, guess who Matt and Kaden are," John said.
"I think I'm even more obvious than you are," Matt muttered from the couch he was laying on.
"You're Moony," Harry said, "Which leaves Kaden to be Wormtail. You kind of got the worst end of the deal."
Kaden shrugged, "I don't have to be exactly like him."
"Of course not," Harry agreed. "So, how did you prove to the map that you were the new Marauders?"
"Er," Albus shrugged, "We had to do some, well, some stuff."
"What kind of stuff, Al?" Harry smiled, "I promise you won't get in trouble."
Albus sighed and quickly explained what they had spent the entire year doing. Harry was shaking his head and laughing by the time Albus had finished.
"I can't say I'm happy that you snuck out of the castle and spent the night in the Shrieking Shack or that you stunned deer in the forest near Rose's house, but nothing bad happened. Just don't do anything like that again."
"All right," Albus shrugged.
"Ok, now I want to see this map of Hogsmeade."
"Sure," Albus pulled out his wand, "Only the four of us can get it to show up, though."
Albus revealed the map and handed it to his dad. He only hoped that Harry wouldn't notice the third page. Albus didn't want to tell his dad about the secret room yet.
Harry spent about ten minutes looking at the map and then handed it back to Albus. "Al, I'm really glad you managed to find that. It means a lot that the four of you can be the next generation of Marauders. Now, I've got to go speak with the headmaster. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Night, Dad," Albus got up.
"Night, Al," Harry stood up and gave his son a hug, "Love you."
"Love you, too."
John stood up as soon as Harry left. "Ok, you lot, let's go celebrate the end of exams!"
Albus, Rose, and Amanda got up as well. "Good idea!" Albus grinned.
"Are you sleeping?" John poked Matt.
"I was," Matt groaned.
"Aw, come on, we want to go celebrate in the other room."
"Ugh, all right, I'm coming," Matt sat up, "Aren't you lot tired? We got almost no sleep last night and then had to be up early for exams."
"Not really," John shrugged, "But I know you are. I saw you fall asleep on your History of Magic exam."
"It would be hard not to," Matt yawned, "The class is bad enough, but a test?"
"I agree with you there," John said.
Albus, Matt, John, and Kaden wound up spending the night in the Marauder's Den. Matt fell asleep in his bed as soon as they got there, and no one had the heart to wake him up. Well, John did, but Rose convinced him not to. The girls left shortly before curfew, after a few rounds of Exploding Snap and Wizard's chess, as well as the eating of numerous Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott's Beans.
The remaining week of school went by incredibly fast. Albus and his friends spent most of it outside, once Matt was out of the hospital wing that is, playing Quidditch and goofing off. Kaden's many admirers slowly trickled away and soon Kaden was just a regular student again. Ravenclaw won the House Cup yet again. Albus and Rose went to yet another Hogwarts graduation, this time for their cousin Stanley. Albus had a feeling he'd be going to every single Hogwarts graduation for at least the next ten years. He would probably be so sick of them by the time he graduated that he wouldn't even want to attend. Stanley's graduation was much the same as Victoire's had been, and Teddy's the year before.
"I can't believe my first year is over," Kaden sighed as they were riding the train back to London, "It's definitely been the best year of school ever."
"Never a dull moment at Hogwarts, that's for sure," Albus laughed.
"I'll say. Wonder what'll happen next spring?"
"Hopefully, nothing," Albus replied. He had had enough of the duels with Willinson. All Albus wanted was a school year that did not involve anything Kaden would consider exciting.
"I think I'm going to be bored this summer," Kaden announced, "Not being able to do magic."
"Oh, I forgot to tell you," Matt began, "My mum said you lot could come spend a few days at my house this summer, if you want."
"Yeah!" Kaden shouted excitedly, "Your house has got to be more exciting than mine."
"If you want exciting, you ought to see my Uncle Jack's house," Matt said, "You want to come over, Albus and John?"
"Definitely," Albus grinned.
"Count me in," John said, "I'll be up for getting away from my sisters. Ashtyn's going to be unbearable this summer, what with her going to Hogwarts in the fall."
"Lily, too," Albus said.
"And Hugo," Rose added.
"Well, I haven't got any younger siblings, so we'll have the house to ourselves. Besides my parents, that is," Matt pointed out.
"Excellent," John grinned. "So, anyone doing anything exciting this summer? Anymore cool trips, Amanda?"
"I don't think so," Amanda said, "I wish we'd go back to Ireland, though."
"My parents said we might to to the States to see my uncle," Matt said, "Depends on their work schedules, though. And Amy's."
"Nothing exciting for me," Albus said.
"Me either," Rose said.
"Neither am I," John laughed, "We're pretty boring, aren't we? We'll just have to raise the ruckus at Matt's house."
"Good luck with that with my mum around," Matt smirked, "I swear she's got eyes on the back of her head."
"I think all mums do," John shook his head, "So, when did your parents say we could come over?"
"Dunno," Matt shrugged, "Depends on when we're visiting Uncle Jack, I suppose. I'll owl you."
The remainder of the train ride passed quickly. Albus dozed off towards the end of it, only to be shaken awake by Rose. Albus sat up and looked around the compartment. Matt and Amanda were yawning and sitting up as well. John and Kaden were both completely covered in soot and were cleaning up what looked to be a rather vicious round of Exploding Snap.
"You two ought to practice that over the summer," Rose said cheerfully, "And perhaps learn a cleaning charm or two." She pointed her wand at each of their faces in turn and restored them to their usual clean state.
"Yeah, yeah," John muttered.
"Just you wait," Kaden grinned as he opened the door and walked out into the corridor, "Come September, we'll wipe the floor with you."
"I'll believe it when I see it," Rose smiled.
Albus laughed to himself as he followed his friends out into the corridor. He joined the throngs of students emerging onto the platform. Albus spotted his parents and Lily, standing next to Rose's parents and Hugo. He pushed through the crowd of students and made his way over to them. Albus was happy to be going home, but at the same time he was excited about the next school year. He would be a third year, which meant he could visit Hogsmeade. Albus grinned to himself as he thought about all the possibilities that Hogsmeade would hold with the new Marauder's Map in his pocket.
I hope you liked it! Comments, questions, and general reviews are appreciated!
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