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Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Wednesday 5 May 2010 10 04 55 am Post subject: Re: Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden in topic:Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden
Sorry, again I forgot to update last week. But that just means two chapters this week!
Chapter 33: In Dervish and Banges
The atmosphere in the Great Hall the next morning was unlike anything Albus had seen before. The Hogwarts team was sitting together at the Ravenclaw table, surrounded by students from all four houses. Teddy and Tyler seemed to be in the thick of it and were loudly discussing tactics.
The Australian team was sitting together at the Hufflepuff table, with a large distance between them and the Hufflepuffs. A small crowd of Australians had congregated around them.
Albus decided not to join the rest of the Hogwarts team at the Ravenclaw table. Nobody was unable to play that day, so Albus's days on the team were pretty much over. To be honest, he was kind of relieved. There was just so much pressure.
“I think this tournament has been good for Hogwarts,” Rose mused, “Look at everyone. Nobody seems to care who's in what house.”
“It'll all go back to normal once the match is over,” Albus pointed out.
“Maybe not,” Rose shrugged, “You never know.”
“I don't know, Rose,” Matt said, “I don't think one year can change centuries of tradition.”
“It's worth a try,” Rose said, “I think we should all try and get along.”
“I don't think this has helped international magical cooperation,” John gestured to the Australian team. The Hufflepuffs sitting nearby were glaring at them.
“Competition rarely does that,” Rose muttered.
“Well, they'll all be going home soon,” Matt said cheerfully.
Rose shot him a dirty look and then looked up at the staff table. Albus's gaze followed. The staff table was quite overcrowded that morning. There were scouts from Quidditch teams, Ministry officials including Albus's Uncle Percy, and a variety of people from Australia and New York.
“Look at that witch,” John pointed to a very tall, beautiful witch with pale white skin and long dark hair.
“She's Linda's mother,” Rose told them.
“Is she-” John began.
“Yes,” Rose whispered, “She's one, too.”
“I thought so,” John said without taking his eyes off the witch.
There was a loud cheer from the Ravenclaw table and the Hogwarts team began to leave the Hall. Their entourage followed until they reached the door and then they went to sit back down at various tables.
The Australian team followed shortly. The excitement only seemed to increase now that the teams had gone down to the changing rooms.
A few minutes later people began to leave for the pitch. The crowd at the staff table left first and the students followed.
“Albus,” John said as they got up from the table, “I've got a few pairs of omnioculars in my trunk. I want to see it up close when Linda catches that Snitch.”
“Let's go get them, then,” Albus replied.
Rose rolled her eyes. “Meet us down at the pitch.” She and Amanda turned towards the door as the boys ran up the grand staircase.
“Why didn't you just bring them to breakfast?” Matt asked.
“Forgot,” John said.
The castle was absolutely deserted as they made their way back to Gryffindor Tower. Albus hadn't seen it that empty during the day. It was almost disconcerting.
John had to empty out his entire trunk in order to find the omnioculars. He had four pairs and handed one to each of the boys.
“Let's go,” Albus said, “We're going to miss the start of the match.”
Albus completely ignored the no running in the corridors rule as he made his way through the castle. There wasn't anyone to scold him anyway. The footsteps behind him told him his friends weren't far behind.
Albus turned a corner and ran smack into something. He fell down onto his back and looked up, only to see that it was someone. Not just anyone either. Albus had collided with Matt's boggart.
Only, it couldn't be a boggart because if it had been a boggart, it would have manifested itself into what Albus was most afraid of. At that moment, it probably would have been Willinson.
The man sneered down at Albus and then smiled creepily. Albus scrambled up and turned back to look at his friends.
Matt had turned white and looked far more afraid than Albus had ever seen him before, including when he had faced the boggart and when Malfoy had found out about his lycanthropy. John was looking from Matt to the man, an obvious horror on his face. Kaden was looking extremely confused.
Albus turned and grabbed all three of his friends, pulling them into the nearest classroom. He slammed the door and pulled out his wand, putting every locking charm he knew onto the knob.
Matt collapsed onto the nearest chair and put his head in his hands. “Th-th-that's-”
“We know,” Albus whispered.
“What the hell is he doing here?” John ranted, “He's got no business here!”
“Why's he in the castle anyway?” Albus began to pace around the room, “If he's here to watch the Quidditch match, then why isn't he down there?”
“What if he's not here to watch the Quidditch?” John said darkly.
“Who the bloody hell is he?” Kaden asked loudly.
Albus glanced at Matt before looking at Kaden. Matt didn't seem to have heard Kaden's question.
“His name's Lubar. He's the Head of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures in Australia,” Albus explained, “He's the reason why Matt had to move here, amongst other things.”
“He's a sick and twisted evil git,” John muttered, “What are we going to do?”
Albus walked over to the door and peered out the small window at the top. Lubar was no longer in sight.
“I've g-got to go to the Ministry,” Matt said, “I've got to t-tell my dad. L-Lubar, he can't be here.”
Albus paced back and forth in front of the door. The Ministry. How would they get there? Brooms? No, that would take too long. They'd have to use the Floo Network, but none of the fireplaces at Hogwarts were hooked up, as far as Albus knew.
“We're going to have to get to Hogsmeade,” Albus said, “You wait here. I'll get my Cloak and the map. Then we'll sneak into Hogsmeade and Floo to the Ministry.”
Matt nodded. “You guys don't have to come. You can go to the match.”
“Are you mental?” John exclaimed, “That bloke out there is probably worse than Willinson. We're not letting you do this alone.”
Albus nodded in agreement before waving his wand and undoing the locking charms. He cautiously looked out into the corridor before leaving. It was empty.
Much to Albus's relief, both the Cloak and the map were right where he'd left them. He shoved them into his robes and ran back to the classroom. Matt, John, and Kaden were all talking quietly. Matt didn't look any less scared, but at least he didn't seem to be in shock anymore.
“We're not all going to fit underneath it,” Albus said as he unfolded the cloak.
“You three get under it,” John said immediately, “I'm tallest so I'll take up the most room anyway. Plus, if we meet up with Lubar again, I'm the best liar.”
Albus couldn't argue there. Both he and Matt were horrible liars and Kaden still hadn't gotten over his inability to keep secrets.
“You take the map, then,” Albus handed the map to John, “We've got to get to the one-eyed witch statue on the third floor.
Albus threw the Cloak over himself, Matt, and Kaden, and the three of them followed John out of the room. The corridor was still empty, much to Albus's relief.
John set a very fast pace and he was soon quite a bit ahead of Albus and the others. Albus couldn't say anything, though, as it would give away his presence. Instead he tried to run as fast as he could while making the least amount of noise possible.
The boys made it down the two flights of stairs necessary to get to the third floor and arrived at the statue without seeing anyone. Albus pulled the Cloak off of them and stuffed it into his pocket. With a quick tap of his wand, he statue's hump opened and the boys climbed inside.
Albus lit his wand and took off down the small passageway. Matt, John, and Kaden followed suit.
“Why did Kendrick let him in?” John asked as they ran, “Doesn't he know what he did?”
“Yes,” Matt answered, “I don't think Kendrick knows he's here.”
“What did he do?” Kaden asked.
“You don't think he came here to see you?” Albus asked Matt, “I mean, remember when Killigan saw us that one time and he seemed so interested in finding you?”
“Of course I do,” Matt muttered, “And it really wouldn't surprise me if that's why he's here. But I'm betting there's another reason.”
“What did he do?” Kaden repeated, a bit louder.
“Why else would he be here?” Albus asked, “The match?”
“Maybe, but I'm betting it's got something to do with Linda,” Matt replied, “I don't know for sure, but it seems too coincidental for him to be here just to see me.”
“What did he do?” Kaden shouted, “Why would he want to see you?”
Matt stopped running and wheeled around to look at Kaden. “It's a long story. Lubar's got a grudge against my dad, one that he obviously still has even though we haven't lived in Australia for six years,” Matt paused, “He passed a bunch of laws against werewolves and I wound up having to transform with a bunch of other werewolves. It was bad.”
Matt resumed walking and didn't elaborate on the subject. Kaden didn't ask him to.
“What's your dad going to do about it?” Kaden asked.
“I dunno,” Matt shrugged, “Maybe talk to Kendrick or something.”
There was no doubt in Albus's mind that Matt's dad would be able to get Lubar to leave Hogwarts, possibly even leave the country. Albus had known little about Mr. Eckerton prior to this year, but now he knew that you did not want to be on his bad side. When it came down to it, Mr. Eckerton was the one who had Balladanis sacked.
The passage finally began to rise until it came to an abrupt stop at a knotty wooden door. Albus pressed his ear to the door, but heard nothing. He carefully pushed it open, wincing as it creaked.
Seeing nobody in the storage room beyond, Albus beckoned his friends forward. The room was dimly lit, enough for Albus to see a huge amount of boxes littering the floor. On the far wall he could see a fireplace.
The boys climbed over the various boxes and stood in front of the fireplace. Albus located a small sack of Floo Powder and then lit a fire. He turned to his friends.
“You can't Floo directly into someone's study at the Ministry. We're going to have to go to the Atrium,” Albus told them, “I'll go first, you follow.” Albus took a handful of powder and then handed the bag to Matt.
He tossed the powder into the fire and stepped inside, shouting “The Ministry of Magic!”
Albus stumbled out of a different fireplace seconds later. The Atrium was nearly deserted, save for a few wizards striding towards the lifts, clearly too busy to notice Albus.
Matt landed rather ungracefully on the floor. He picked himself up, brushing stray ash off his robes.
“Place is deserted,” Matt said as he looked around.
“It's a Saturday,” Albus pointed out, “Does your dad work Saturdays?”
“Yeah,” Matt nodded, “At least mornings.”
John was next to step out of the fire, doing so more elegantly than Matt had. He stood in front of the fire, staring around at the Atrium. His eyes rested on the Fountain of Magical Brethren.
“This is more fancy than I imagined,” John said.
“Bloody hell!” Kaden shouted as he fell out of the fire, “This is the Ministry?”
“Yes,” Matt said quickly, “But we haven't got time to explore. Let's go.”
Albus followed Matt towards the desk in the front of the Atrium. There was an old wizard leafing through a copy of the Quibbler, oblivious to his surroundings. Albus almost thought they'd be able to sneak around him, but he looked up just as they were about to pass.
“Where do you think you're going?” he asked and then his eyes rested on Albus, “Albus Severus Potter. Why aren't you in school?”
“Er,” Albus began, a little unnerved that the man knew who he was.
Matt stepped in front of Albus. “We need to go see my dad. He's the Head of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. It's kind of an emergency.”
“Very well,” the man looked at them oddly, “Put your wands up here.”
Albus did as he was told and the others followed suit. They waited impatiently as the old wizard tested their wands and then handed them back. He waved them on towards the lifts.
“What's the point of that?” Kaden asked as they waited for a lift.
“So if you murder anyone, they can tell whose wand did it,” Albus said bluntly.
“That's cheerful,” Kaden replied.
Once the lift arrived, the boys piled in and Matt pushed the number four. Nobody said anything as the lift creaked its way to the fourth floor.
Matt took off at a run down the corridor after they left the lift. Albus had never been to this particular floor. It looked rather similar to the Magical Law Enforcement's floor, with nondescript sets of double doors on one side.
Matt skidded to a halt in front of the only door that was single and banged his hand loudly on it. When there was no answer after a few seconds, he banged again.
“Hold your hippogriffs!” called a voice from the inside, “I'm coming, I'm-” Matt's dad said as he opened the door.
Mr. Eckerton seemed to freeze at the sight of his son and the other three boys. He gaped at them for a second before shaking his head.
“Matt?” he asked and rubbed his eyes, as if he thought he was seeing a hallucination, “But, why aren't you in school? How did you get here? Why are you here? Albus? What are you- and John, Kaden?”
His eyes rested on Matt again. “Matt? What's wrong?”
Mr. Eckerton stepped aside and let the boys into his study. He shut the door quietly behind them.
The study reminded Albus of his dad's. There were large windows on the side opposite the door, although the scene outside was not real, nor was the gentle rain that was pattering onto it.
There was a large leather covered chair behind the huge oak desk and a few smaller chairs in front of it. Along the other two walls were shelves with loads of books. Most of them were about various magical creatures.
Albus, Matt, and John took the seats that were in front of the desk while Kaden wandered around the study looking at things. Mr. Eckerton leaned against the front of his desk and looked at his son.
“What's happened?” he asked quietly.
“L-Lubar,” Matt said in barely more than a whisper, “He-he's at Hogwarts.”
“What?!” Mr. Eckerton exclaimed.
“We were on our way to the Quidditch final,” Matt said, “A-and we saw him.”
“Bloody hell!” Mr. Eckerton stood up and slammed his fist loudly against his desk, “Did Professor Kendrick allow this?”
“I don't know,” Matt replied, “B-but everyone else was at the match and he was just lurking about the castle.”
Mr. Eckerton's face hardened. He looked just like he had when he talked with Professor Balladanis earlier in the term. “Let's go, boys,” he said darkly, “I've got to have a word with Professor Kendrick.”
Albus followed Mr. Eckerton out of his study and down towards the lifts. John's walking speed was nothing compared to Matt's dad's. The boys had to run to keep up.
“Where did you Floo from?” Mr. Eckerton asked once they were in the lift.
“Honeyduke's,” Albus answered.
“We'll Floo there now,” Mr. Eckerton replied.
The wizard at the welcome desk looked at them curiously as they rushed towards the fireplaces, but didn't say anything.
Mr. Eckerton handed Albus a bit of Floo Powder and gestured for him to go first. Albus stepped into the fire and shouted, “Honeyduke's!”
Albus began to spin faster and faster. He saw glimpses of people's houses, shops in Diagon Alley, and a variety of other places he did not recognize. Then, out of one of the fireplaces, came a hand. Everything seemed to slow down, but Albus wasn't sure if it actually did or not.
The hand grabbed him. Albus fought against it, but it was too strong. All of a sudden he was laying on a dusty wooden floor, one that was not at all like the one in Honeyduke's.
Albus coughed and stood up. His heart was beating fast. What had happened? Why wasn't he in Honeyduke's? Where was he? Whose hand was that?
Albus grappled for his wand and shakily held it up. He lit it and looked around the room, seeing no one.
“Nice to see you, Potter,” a cold voice said from behind him.
Albus jumped and turned around. There, crouching next to the fireplace with his hand inside of it, was Lubar. He looked even more creepy in the dank room than he did in Hogwarts.
The fireplace glowed green and Lubar yanked his arm out of it. John came tumbling out of the fire and scrambled too his feet, looking about.
Lubar muttered something underneath his breath and stuck his hand in the fire again.
“What the?” John whispered to Albus, “Where are we? Is that? Bloody Hell!”
“Shut up!” Lubar shouted.
Albus gazed around the room. It looked vaguely familiar, but Albus couldn't put his finger on it. The windows were boarded up, but it was definitely not the Shrieking Shack. Albus doubted that was connected to the Floo Network anyway.
The fireplace glowed green yet again, this time sending Kaden onto the floor. This earned another shout from Lubar, who stuck his hand in the fire again.
Kaden gaped and then got to his feet and stood next to Albus. He looked absolutely terrified, even before he laid eyes on Lubar.
Albus wanted nothing more than to run from the room, but he did not know where the building was even located. Plus, Lubar would probably stun him or something.
Green light filled the room as the fireplace glowed once more. Albus knew even before it happened that Matt would be the one to next fall out of the flames. Mere seconds later, that suspicion was confirmed.
Matt coughed and scrambled to his feet. He gasped when he saw Lubar and ran over to Albus.
Lubar, finally satisfied, doused the fire and lit his wand, which illuminated his sinister face. He began to pace slowly in front of them.
“Well, well, you went crying to Daddy just as I expected,” Lubar grinned manically, “I do love when things work out the way I expect them to.”
Albus could feel Matt shaking next to him. He gripped his wand hard, debating whether to try and disarm Lubar.
“Any idea where you are?” Lubar asked, “Dervish and Banges. Lovely shop, pity about the owner. Yes, a real shame.”
Lubar didn't seem at all upset about what happened to the shop owner. Albus looked around the shop again and now he recognized it.
“Well, let's not waste our time here,” Lubar said, “There's a few people who've been dying to see you.” Lubar snapped his fingers three times and Albus heard footsteps on the stairs.
Three wizards descended the stairs and strode into the room. They lit their wands at the same time and Albus gasped when the light showed their faces. Jarrett and Quinton Willinson, along with Washburn. Three people Albus hoped never to see again.
Albus swallowed hard. He could see no way out of this. As good a dueler he was, he was up against four fully qualified wizards. Three of them did not possess the skills to duel, but Albus had no idea what Lubar was capable of.
“Ah, yes,” Lubar smirked, “What a lovely reunion. Unfortunately we haven't got time to chat.”
Before Albus knew it, Washburn had him in a headlock with his wand pointed at his neck. Quinton Willinson had Kaden and his father had John. Matt, seeing his friends restrained, made a run for the nearest window.
“Not so fast, young werewolf,” Lubar caught him by the back of his robes and wrapped one of his arms around his middle.
Lubar reached into his robes with his free hand and pulled out an old tea kettle. He held it out to the other three men and each one put a free hand on it. Albus knew what was going to happen right before it did. He shared a frightened glance with Matt before feeling a jerk behind his belly button.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Wednesday 3 March 2010 10 03 26 am Post subject: Re: Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden in topic:Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden
Chapter 25: The Memory
Ten minutes into the match, Albus decided there were four types of Quidditch in the world. Casual Quidditch, like what he played with his cousins; school Quidditch; professional Quidditch; and then there was the type of Quidditch he was playing now.
It was a combination of school Quidditch and professional Quidditch. The crowd was louder, the players more determined, and the stakes were higher than a normal school Quidditch match.
Albus dodged one of the New York Chasers and flew up to catch the Quaffle, which had been dropped by Waverly as he had been hit by a bludger. As soon as Albus had the Quaffle, he was flanked by the other two New York Chasers.
Albus pushed his broom to fly faster and held the Quaffle tighter to his chest. Then he plunged down to the ground, where nobody else was flying. He was back up high two minutes later when he had reached the New York goal posts. After dodging a Bludger, he threw the Quaffle into the left goal post. The Keeper was too slow and the Quaffle soared through.
“Potter of Hogwarts has scored!” Todd Smith shouted, “40-30 Hogwarts!”
James grinned at Albus as he flew past. Albus smiled to himself and joined Waverly and Reilly, who were waiting for New York's Keeper to throw the Quaffle out. That had been his first goal of the match.
The Quaffle continued to exchange hands quickly as the match went on. An hour later there was still no sign of the Snitch and both teams were neck in neck as far as points went. New York was up by ten.
Albus scored a few more goals and he began to relax a little. The match began to feel more like a school match and less like a professional match, even though the stakes were still high.
Wood had repeated over and over again that they had to be up by at least fifty points when James caught the Snitch, or they wouldn't be able to overtake New York as far as overall points went.
“New York's Seeker has seen the Snitch!” Smith announced.
Albus, who had been following one of New York's Chasers (the one who had the Quaffle), turned around and saw that their Seeker was making a beeline for the top of Hogwarts' middle goal.
James noticed as well and flew straight at the hoop. He had been significantly closer than New York's Seeker and flew away from the hoop with the struggling Snitch in his hand.
The crowd roared and James held the Snitch high above his head. Both teams flew to the ground and Albus saw the pained look on Wood's face. They hadn't won by enough to be in second place overall.
“I had no choice!” James shouted to him, “She was going to get it!”
Wood nodded in agreement, but he still looked disappointed. Albus chose to ignore this and helped the rest of the team to hoist James onto all of their shoulders.
“To update everyone on the points, the Australian School of Sorcery is in first place. New York and Hogwarts are currently tied for second. The next match will take place at the end of February!” Smith told the crowd.
Albus didn't meet up with his friends until they were back in the common room. Teddy had gone to Hogsmeade and a party was currently underway in the Gryffindor common room. Teddy informed everyone that the three other houses were hosting parties as well. The students from New York who had been sorted into Gryffindor, including their Seeker, were sulking in a corner.
“I think that was your best match yet,” John said to Albus as they settled down at their usual table.
“I think so, too,” Albus agreed, “I kind of wish I could play in the next match.”
“Maybe Fielding will still be sick,” John said.
“Doubt it,” Albus replied, “Plus, I'm sure O'delle will get first dibs on the next match if any of the other Chasers get sick.”
“At least you got to play in one match,” Rose pointed out.
“Anyway, the next match you'll probably be playing Australia,” Matt said.
“Yeah,” Albus nodded, “If we win that one, it'll be a miracle. But we're not even playing in the next one. Next match is New York versus Australia.”
The party continued until dinner time, when people began to leave as nobody had snuck down to the kitchens to get food. Harry came in to congratulate Albus and James shortly before Albus and his friends left for dinner. He was also scheduled to patrol the school for the remainder of the weekend and wanted to let his kids know.
Life at Hogwarts returned to normal shortly after the Quidditch match. The [i]Prophet[/i] printed fewer and fewer articles about Wisander until there were none at all. Everyone seemed to forget about his death. Everyone except Matt, that is, who was still worried about his dad.
However, the students at Hogwarts were reminded again of the unsolved murder when the next Hogsmeade trip arrived two days after Valentine's Day. A portion of the students were too lovesick to notice the boarded up shop of Dervish and Banges as they made their way to Madam Puddifoot's.
Neither Albus, John, or Matt were too preoccupied to notice the abandoned building, though. The three of them stopped to look at it for a while despite the biting wind. Rose and Amanda were spending the day with Linda.
“Who owns it now?” John asked as they looked at the empty building.
“Dunno,” Albus shrugged, “The Prophet never mentioned any family.”
“It's probably still part of the investigation,” Matt pointed out, “Plus, who would want a building that someone was killed in? I don't even want to go in it.”
Albus didn't think it was a good time to remind Matt that Severus Snape had been murdered inside of the Shrieking Shack.
“Good point,” Albus said, “But so far they haven't found anything.”
“They won't find who it was,” John said quietly, “They never found out who killed Torro.”
“I really hope they find who it was,” Matt replied.
“They will,” Albus said, “They're still focused on it.”
Albus, Matt, and John went to the Three Broomsticks a little while later because all three of them were frozen. They warmed up with Butterbeer and were just thinking about heading back to the castle when Albus heard someone whisper his name behind him.
“Albus,” they said again.
Albus turned around, but no one was there. The voice sounded familiar, though. Albus slowly reached his hand out and it touched something solid, but it looked like no one was there.
“Kaden,” Albus groaned, “Is that you?”
“Yeah,” Kaden whispered back, “I stole your cloak.”
Albus immediately stood up and motioned for Matt and John, who were both looking confused, to follow him. He assumed Kaden would follow as well. Albus lead them up High Street until they reached the Shrieking Shack. Nobody was hanging around it that day.
“Kaden!” Albus seethed, “You do realize how stupid this was.”
“Yes,” Kaden replied as he took off the cloak.
“Bloody Hell!” John shouted.
“You stole the cloak?” Matt asked.
“Kaden, you idiot!” Albus shouted, “I know I first told you this would be a good time, but there was a reason I changed my mind and told you not to sneak in today. Most of the teachers come to Hogsmeade for the February trip. My cousins told me. They want to make sure no one does anything stupid because they're in love or whatever.”
“Er,” Kaden muttered.
“How did you get in?” Matt asked.
“One-eyed witch statue,” Kaden replied, “Leads right into Honeyduke's.”
“Kaden, do you know how difficult it's going to be to get you back unnoticed?”
Kaden's face turned white and his mouth dropped open. Albus turned around to see what he was looking at and was met face to face with Professor Balladanis.
“Quite difficult, I'd expect,” Balladanis replied, “Come with me, all of you.”
Albus groaned inwardly as he followed Balladanis down the street. They had gone all year without Kaden getting them into trouble, but Albus should have known better than to think they could go the whole year.
Nobody spoke until they were shut in Balladanis's study. Balladanis sat down in his chair and looked at Kaden.
“Explain,” Balladanis said.
“They had nothing to do with it,” Kaden said quickly, “Albus was just telling me how stupid I was.”
“Then it would seem that Mr. Potter and I agree on something,” Balladanis replied, “Where'd you get that cloak?”
“It's Albus's,” Kaden said quietly, “I took it. He didn't give it to me to sneak in or anything.”
“Very well,” Balladanis said, “Mr. Potter, Mr. Eckerton, and Mr. Brickston, you may return to your common room. Mr. Dursley will join you after I arrange his detention.”
Albus, Matt, and John could not get out of there quick enough. They walked straight back to the common room, talking about how lucky they had been. It must have looked like all three of them had helped Kaden sneak into Hogsmeade. Good thing Balladanis believed Kaden.
Kaden returned fifteen minutes later, looking quite unhappy. He collapsed onto a chair and stared mutinously at the table.
“Detention every Saturday for the next month,” Kaden muttered, “Plus he gave me a lecture about how dangerous it was for me to sneak out and if I did it again I'd get a worse punishment than detention. Didn't elaborate on that, though.”
“He'd probably get you kicked out,” John commented.
“Did he say what you have to do for detention?” Albus asked.
“No,” Kaden said, “Guess it'll be a surprise.”
Kaden discovered what his detention was that night. Balladanis decided to have him alphabetize his private library, which was quite extensive. Kaden returned to the Marauder's Den ranting about the amount of books Balladanis had.
“He's got more books on dark creatures than your dad's got,” Kaden said to Matt.
“That's impressive,” Matt replied.
“Wish he had less,” Kaden muttered.
Kaden spent all four of his detentions alphabetizing those books. He almost didn't manage to finish and if that had been the case, Balladanis would have given him a fifth detention.
The next full moon came and went, as did the next Quidditch match. Albus was beginning to suspect that the full moons were becoming worse for Matt, although he didn't know why.
New York lost miserably to Australia in the Quidditch match. They had been doing pretty well until Linda caught the Snitch a half hour in. Wood insisted that this was a good thing, though. It meant that if Hogwarts managed to score a good amount of goals before Linda caught the Snitch in their next match, they would have more overall points than New York. Wood seemed to have lost any hope that James could beat Linda in Seeking, something James fumed about on a near daily basis.
March arrived and with it a three day rain storm that left the grounds completely flooded. Both Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures had to take place inside, which resulted in incredibly boring lessons. Wood continued to hold Quiditch practice and Albus returned to the castle completely soaked and covered in mud after each one.
All of the teachers were piling on the homework and Professor Patil had even gone so far as to mention the O.W.L.s even though they were a whole two years away. The only teacher who wasn't talking about the end of term exams was Professor Balladanis.
Balladanis conducted his lessons as if end of term exams did not exist. He changed nothing about his lessons except the dark creature they were learning about.
“We're starting vampires next week,” Balladanis announced at the end of class on Thursday, “Please read the chapter on them by Monday.”
Albus couldn't help but look at Linda before he began packing up his things. He wondered if Balladanis would be teaching them enough about identifying vampires for anyone to figure out that Linda was one.
“So,” John said as he flipped through his Defense book the following evening. Albus, Matt, John, and Kaden were in the Marauder's Den and John was just finishing the chapter on vampires. “Look what's after vampires.
Albus looked through his own book. “Werewolves,” he said quietly and then looked at Matt.
“Yeah,” Matt muttered, “It was bound to happen eventually.”
“I wonder if Balladanis is going to make you go in for extra help during that unit,” John grinned, “I'm sure you'll need loads of extra help in identifying werewolves.”
Matt rolled his eyes. “He better. It'll look suspicious if I don't go in for extra help. Speaking of extra help, we're due to go in for it in fifteen minutes.”
“We'd better go then,” John said, “See you two later.”
Albus managed to finish his Herbology homework while John and Matt were gone. Then it was time for him to go in for his dueling lessons.
The desks weren't pushed to the sides of the classroom when Albus entered. Balladanis was seated behind his desk and there was a stone basin sitting on it. Balladanis was pulling silvery strings of something out of his head and placing them in the basin.
It was a pensieve and the strings were memories, Albus realized. For a moment, he thought that maybe Balladanis had cancelled dueling and neglected to tell him.
“Sir?” Albus asked hesitantly.
“Mr. Potter,” Balladanis said quietly, “Come in.”
Albus stood awkwardly next to one of the front tables while he waited for Malfoy. Balladanis stared into the pensieve and acted like Albus wasn't there. When Malfoy arrived, he looked up and stared at the two boys for a few minutes before speaking.
“We're not dueling today,” he said, “Instead, I am going to show you something.” He motioned for them to join him at his desk.
Albus glanced nervously at Malfoy. Balladanis wasn't one for explanations, but Albus would have appreciated one right then.
“This is a pensieve,” Balladanis said, “It is used to explore memories. That is exactly what we're going to do. Albus, lean forward and put your head into the pensieve. Your body will follow. Scorpius, you will follow. I will come after you.”
Albus's pulse sped up a little bit as he leaned over the pensieve. Was this a stupid idea? He didn't even know what he was getting into. But it was just a memory. Nothing could hurt him in a memory, right?
Albus took a deep breath and plunged his face into the pensieve. He had never been in one before. He landed on the hard grass and looked around.
It was dusk and very quiet. There was a small house in the distance, atop of a rocky hill. In fact, the whole area was mostly rocky. Albus had landed on the one lone piece of grass in the whole place. It didn't look like any place in Britain.
He stood up as Malfoy landed next to him, followed quickly by Balladanis. Balladanis landed on his feet and they waited for Malfoy to get up.
“Follow me,” Balladanis said quietly.
Albus did so, but he still felt like he deserved an explanation. Where were they? Why were they there? Whose memory was this? What did it have to do with dueling?
“Excuse me, Sir,” Malfoy said, “Where are we?”
“Greece,” Balladanis replied.
This did nothing but increase Albus's curiosity. Why were they in Greece of all places? But he didn't ask. It didn't seem like Balladanis was in an explaining mood, judging by his short, one word answer to Malfoy.
They walked quietly towards the small house. The only noise was their footsteps. There weren't even any owls hooting or dogs barking. It struck Albus as very odd.
The house must have been their destination. Balladanis stopped when they arrived at the broken down wooden fence surrounding it. The house reminded Albus of the Shrieking Shack, only smaller. It was kind of broken down and didn't look like a place that would be good to live in.
Someone lived there, though. A light was on upstairs. It remained on for a few more minutes and then someone turned it off.
Balladanis made no move towards the house. Instead, he seemed focused on the forest that lay just beyond it. Albus decided the forest was as good a place as any to watch.
They watched the forest for a half an hour before anything happened. Then five hooded figures practically flew out of the forest. They were at the house before Albus even realized it. He looked at Balladanis. His face was hardened.
All was quiet for two minutes. The figures entered the house, but did not turn on any lights. Then the screams started. Albus jumped at the sound of the first one.
They were agonizing, long screams. Albus wanted nothing more than to go in and help whoever was screaming, but he knew he couldn't. It was nothing more than a memory. Instead, he looked again at Balladanis.
His professor's face showed nothing. Nothing but the same hardened look he had seen on it so many times. Malfoy on the other hand, looked horrified. He looked exactly how Albus felt.
The screaming was coming from two different people. There was a high-pitched one that must have been coming from a woman, and a lower one that must have been coming from a man.
Then, they stopped. First the woman, then the man. The hooded figures left the house as quickly as they had entered and returned to the forest.
Balladanis, however, made no move to leave. Instead he stared at the house. Two minutes later, someone fled from it.
They ran from the house, towards Albus, Malfoy, and Balladanis. As they drew closer, Albus could see that the person was a boy who looked no older than Albus himself. His face was etched with a sadness Albus had never seen before. It was too dark to tell, but Albus was sure there were tears running down his face.
The boy obviously didn't notice the three people watching him. He ran right past them, up the rocky hill in the distance. It occurred to Albus after he passed that the boy looked somewhat familiar. There was something about his face that Albus recognized, but he couldn't quite place it.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Wednesday 28 October 2009 03 20 39 pm Post subject: Re: Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden in topic:Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden
Chapter 7: Nightmare
After lunch, Albus, Rose, and Matt headed to Ancient Runes while John and Amanda went to Divination. Albus didn't really know what to expect from Ancient Runes, nor did he know anything about the teacher. Matt had told them that Amy said the teacher was nice enough.
Albus, Rose, and Matt sat down at one of the tables in the middle of the room and waited for the teacher. Linda Morales was already seated at one of the front tables. Albus wondered how she always seemed to be the first to arrive to any class. There was also an assortment of Hufflepuffs in the room. Albus, Rose, Matt, and Linda appeared to be the only Gryffindors taking the class, though.
The professor walked in a few minutes later. She was a short woman with curly grey hair and a patient look on her face.
"Hello," she smiled, "I'm Professor Sturly."
She took attendance and then gave a lengthy lecture about what the study of Ancient Runes was. Albus kind of thought she could have condensed it and he found himself zoning out about halfway through. Rose was paying rapt attention and Albus had a feeling this would become one of her favorite classes.
Towards the end of the class, Sturly gave an overview of the first chapter in their book and then assigned the remainder of the chapter for homework. The chapter covered a variety of basic runes that Albus and the rest of the students would have to memorize.
Charms consisted of Rose and Linda alternatively answering every question Cedonia threw at them. Albus had a feeling it would become a regular occurrence in all the classes he had with both Rose and Linda.
"How was Divination?" Albus asked his friends after dinner as they were sitting around the Marauder's Den.
"Entertaining," John laughed, "I think it'll be my easiest class."
"So, who did Trelawney say would die this year?" Rose asked.
"What?!" Kaden exclaimed, "Someone's going to die?"
"No," Rose sighed, "Trelawney just predicts someone's death every year. The student in question has never actually died during that year."
"Oh," Kaden shrugged, "So she's not a real psychic?"
"You mean a Seer?" Rose asked, "Well, she has made a few real predictions. She's the one who spoke the prophecy about Albus's dad. But can she really predict the future with crystal balls and such? I doubt it. I really doubt anyone can do that. I'm sure there are real Seers out there, but they're extremely rare. Divination is a very obscure branch of magic that is difficult to interpret. My mum says we shouldn't put much faith in it."
"I still think it would be brilliant to know the future, though," Kaden grinned.
"I don't know," Matt shrugged, "I've always thought the future was best left unknown."
"I've always thought so, too," Albus agreed.
"So, who's going to snuff it?" Kaden asked.
"Carter Eubert," John replied, "That Ravenclaw we shared a boat with when we crossed the lake in first year. I have to say that I'm relieved it wasn't me."
"Me, too," Amanda agreed.
Rose groaned. "I've told you that it's not real! Trelawney has never accurately predicted a student's death. She predicted my Uncle Harry's death and he's still alive!"
"Yeah, but didn't he nearly die at the end of his third year?" John asked.
"Key word, nearly," Rose replied, "Plus, he faced death pretty much every year."
"Ok, ok," John said, "But I'm still glad she didn't predict my death, even if it's not a real prediction."
"So how was Ancient Runes?" Amanda asked.
"Really interesting!" Rose said excitedly and proceeded to give a commentary on how the class had went. However, Kaden seemed to be the only one really intrigued by it.
Albus and his friends spent the remainder of the evening in the Marauder's Den. Once they had exhausted the topic of their first two days of classes, they moved on to the Quidditch competition and Albus's chances of making the Hogwarts team. Everyone thought Albus had a good chance of making it, except Albus. Then they talked a bit about their upcoming Hogsmeade trips, although that topic kind of made Kaden jealous. John brought up the topic of Linda Morales, but both Rose and Matt didn't want to talk about her at all.
Eventually, they had to return to Gryffindor tower in order not to break curfew. On his way up to his dormitory, Albus noticed that Linda once again was surrounded by a group of admirers, but appeared not to be enjoying it at all.
"No! I don't want to go! Dad, don't make me go!"
Albus's eyes snapped open. He peered at the clock and saw that it was just after two in the morning. He could hear someone tossing and turning and mumbling in their sleep in the bed next to him.
"Please, I don't want to. Just let me go home."
Albus was wide awake now. The talking was coming from Matt's bed and Albus knew he was having a nightmare. Albus had been woken up by Matt's nightmares on numerous occasions, especially during first year. They always seemed to come around the full moon. Although, Albus was pretty sure that the full moon wasn't for a few weeks. This nightmare sounded worse anyway.
The mumbling continued for another few minutes and then stopped all of a sudden. Albus heard the bed creak and footsteps crossing the room until they disappeared altogether. Albus sat up and waited a few minutes before quietly getting out of bed. He stepped into his slippers and padded across the room and carefully shut the door behind him. None of the other boys had woken up.
The common room was dark and empty when Albus got there. The fire had long since died out and Albus shivered slightly as he stumbled around the room. There was faint wand light coming from one of the corners. Albus walked slowly towards it and saw Matt sitting curled up in one of the chairs, staring at the floor.
Matt startled when he saw Albus. "Oh, Albus," he sighed, "What are you doing up?"
Albus shrugged and sat down in the chair next to Matt's. "Followed you down here."
"Oh, did I wake you up?"
"Sort of," Albus replied, "But it's ok. I just came to see if you were all right. I mean, first the boggart and then that nightmare-"
"How do you know I had a nightmare?" Matt asked.
"I sort of heard you mumbling," Albus answered, "You were talking in your sleep."
"Listen," Albus paused, "You don't have to tell me, but I was sort of wondering who that bloke was that your boggart was. I mean, I kind of thought it would be a full moon."
"So did I," Matt said quietly, "Which is part of why I freaked out so much."
Albus nodded, wondering if Matt was going to continue or not.
"I know I haven't told you much about what happened when I lived in Australia," Matt began.
Albus nodded again. All he really knew about Matt's life in Australia was that he had lived in a mansion and his dad had been the Head of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.
"That bloke the boggart turned into is the current Head of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures," Matt continued, "He replaced my dad. But before that, he was the Head of the Werewolf Control Unit."
Albus was still a bit confused about why he was Matt's boggart, but he figured it would be best to just not say anything.
"While my parents were in the process of finding out where to move, a law was passed that all werewolves had to transform in a Ministry approved center if their place of transformation failed an inspection. Mine failed."
"What?!" Albus gaped at him, "But your dad was-"
"The head of the department, I know. They passed the law while we were visiting New York. My parents refused to let me transform at one of the Ministry centers, so they broke the law and were fined. The first time that happened, my dad was fired over it.
"But that bloke, Ralph Lubar is his name, wouldn't give up until I transformed in one of the centers. My parents said it was because he hated my dad so much. The two of them had some sort of long term row going on or something. I don't know the details. But anyway," Matt paused, "Eventually, Lubar was able to pass a law that made it legal for the Ministry to take werewolves by force to one of the transformation centers. He flooed to our house, grabbed me, and flooed to the Ministry approved center before my parents had a chance to stop him."
Albus stared at Matt. He could hardly believe what he was hearing. What was even more unbelievable, was that it had been legal. How could it be legal to basically kidnap a kid for a night?
"I don't remember any of it," Matt said quietly, "Except for what happens in the nightmares I have. It was horrible, though. The other werewolves were all adults and they all sort of ganged up on me. I spent a day or so at the hospital in Australia and then my parents had me transferred to St. Mungo's because they wanted Healer Sterling to take care of me. I spent three weeks there."
"Well, it makes sense that you were so scared of that boggart," Albus said, "Lubar is one of the most horrible wizards I've ever heard of."
Matt nodded and shifted slightly. "I thought I was over it. I mean, it was over five years ago. I really thought that boggart would turn into a full moon. But I guess having Killigan here brought everything back. I thought all that stuff that happened in Australia was behind me, but I guess not."
"Nothing like that is going to happen here," Albus said quietly, "Lubar has no control over our Ministry. He's in Australia."
"I guess you're right," Matt sighed, "I think I'll go see if Madam Pomfrey will give me any dreamless sleep potion. Could I use the Invisibility Cloak?"
"Yeah, of course," Albus said as he stood up. He had a feeling that Madam Pomfrey would definitely give him the dreamless sleep and probably try and convince him to spend the night in the Hospital Wing as well.
Albus and Matt quietly walked back to the dormitory and Albus dug out the Cloak, as well as the second edition Marauder's Map, and handed them to Matt. Once Matt had left the room, Albus climbed back into bed.
Albus lay awake thinking about what Matt had told him for a while. His own boggart of not making the Hogwarts Quidditch team seemed very insignificant now that he knew the details about Matt's boggart. That didn't make Albus any less nervous about the try-outs, though.
Albus and the other Gryffindor third years, as well as the Ravenclaws, started out the next day with History of Magic. All Albus learned during the hour was that third year History of Magic was equally as boring as second year. Transfiguration consisted of another lecture on Animagi and Albus noticed that John paid a considerably more amount of attention than he usually did. Albus thought this was pointless, though, since they had already established the previous year that they would not become Animagi.
Care of Magical Creatures was after lunch and the class moved on to the slightly more interesting bowtruckles. Albus was very thankful for the break they had afterwards, when Rose went to Muggle Studies.
"It's only the third day and I'm already sick of homework," Albus muttered as they entered the Marauder's Den.
"So don't do it," John said as he pulled a Chocolate Frog out of his bag.
"You should do that Divination homework," Amanda said, "You know, the one where we predict what happens to us next Wednesday."
"Already did it," John announced.
Albus, Matt, and Amanda all stared in shock at John. John never ever did homework early. He was always the one finishing the last lines of an essay as the teacher took attendance.
"What?" John shrugged, "I occasionally do stuff before it's due."
"No, actually, you don't," Matt smirked.
"Divination's different. It's fun to make up fake predictions."
"So what's happening to you next Wednesday?" Amanda asked.
"I'm going to break my neck when I fall off my broom."
"John, you don't even play Quidditch," Albus pointed out.
"Trelawney won't care."
Albus personally thought it was a waste of time to come up with fake predictions for Divination, but that was probably why he hadn't signed up for the class.
"Oh, did we ever tell you what Balladanis's boggart was?" John asked Albus and Matt.
"Nope," Matt said.
Amanda burst out laughing. "You're going to love this."
"Yeah," John grinned, "When the two of you left, the boggart got a bit confused because no one was standing that close to it. Everyone was whispering and not paying an ounce of attention to it, so Balladanis stepped in front of it and you'll never guess what it turned into!"
"A werewolf?" Matt asked.
"No, but that would have been funny, too," John laughed, "Anyway, it turned into a woman."
"A woman?" Albus raised his eyebrows.
"Yeah," John said, "A tall, skinny, pale faced woman. Her skin was as pale as Linda's. Her hair was a bit lighter, but still a dark brown. The woman just sort of walked over to Balladanis with a smile on her face. She was kind of pretty in an odd sort of way."
"Now that is weird," Albus replied, "Why in the name of Merlin would he be afraid of women?"
"Maybe it was a specific woman," Matt pointed out.
That would make more sense. After all, Matt wasn't afraid of all men. His boggart had turned into a specific man. But Albus did think it was kind of odd that Balladanis, the stern man who hated Dark Arts, would be afraid of a witch. Albus would have thought he'd be afraid of some sort of scary dark creature.
"Who do you think she was?" Matt asked.
John shrugged. "His wife?"
Albus smirked. "Well, that would be funny."
"My dad jokes that he's afraid of my mum at times," John replied, "But I doubt his boggart would turn into her."
"Maybe she's some sort of dark witch that he's faced in the past," Amanda suggested.
"Good thinking!" Matt agreed, "Maybe she was a Death Eater."
"I don't know if he fought in the War or not, though," Albus said, "My dad's never mentioned his name before and he doesn't really seem like the kind of bloke to just stay in the background, does he?"
"I guess not," Matt replied, "She could still be an evil witch, though."
"That does make the most sense," John said, "She must be really evil. I mean, Balladanis doesn't seem like he'd be afraid of anything."
"Everyone's afraid of something," Albus pointed out, "But yeah, she must be evil."
"What did Balladanis do to make her funny?" Matt asked.
"Turned her into some sort of statue," John answered, "It was strange, like she was petrified. She just froze in place. And then Balladanis banished it to the trunk."
"How is that funny?" Albus asked.
"No idea," John shrugged, "Just adds to the mystery that is Balladanis."
"I'm still not sure I like him," Matt commented.
"Me, neither," Albus agreed.
"But hey, at least he didn't give us any homework on the first day," John pointed out.
The next day Albus found himself yet again sitting in the back of the Defense classroom in between Matt and John. Malfoy kept turning around in his seat and smirking at Matt. Albus was glaring at him, silently daring him to say anything about Matt's experience with the boggart.
Balladanis stormed into the room a few minutes later in a way that reminded Albus of Washburn. The class immediately quieted down and Malfoy faced forward in his seat. Balladanis quickly ran through attendance and then stared at his students.
"Well, some of you were successful with last class's boggart," Balladanis began, "However, there were quite a few of you who weren't."
Malfoy yet again turned around and looked at Matt, this time unable to stifle his laughter.
"Quiet, Mr. Malfoy," Balladanis growled, "Five points from Slytherin."
Albus couldn't help but grin at that. At least Balladanis wasn't favoring Slytherin.
"Therefore, we will continue battling the boggart until you all have success with the spell," Balldanis continued, "I do not want any of you to slip through the cracks and skate through this class on the tails of more successful students. That may work while at Hogwarts, but the moment you get out into the real world, it will abruptly end. Without a basic knowledge of defensive spells, you will meet an untimely end at the hands of dark wizards."
This teacher was making it seem like they were in the midst of a war. Albus knew it was important to be able to defend yourself, but he thought Balladanis was acting like everyone was out to get you. It kind of reminded him of what his parents, aunts, and uncles had said about Mad-Eye Moody.
"Dark wizards love finding victims with little knowledge of defensive spells. The students who skirt by with acceptable marks and just barely pass each exam, without really understanding anything. They also love people who read book after book and pretend to understand everything. And while these people may have a full knowledge of defensive spells, they may not possess the skills necessary to perform them," Balldanis's eyes rested on Rose and Linda.
"I want everyone in this room to have more than the basic skills needed to perform defensive skills. I want everyone to be able to come off better in a duel. I want everyone to be able to defend themselves against dark creatures and wizards alike.
"Starting with the boggart, I will not rest until every student is capable of performing every spell we learn in this class. I will assign extra lessons to those I deem it necessary. You will come in for extra help. I do not care if it interferes with clubs or Quidditch practice. Quidditch will be of little help when you are facing a dark wizard or creature.
"Stand up!" Balladanis ordered. The class scrambled to their feet and Balladanis moved the desks aside.
"Sir!" Malfoy called out, "What if we've already had success with the boggart?"
"Then you'll do it again," Balladanis replied, "Practice makes perfect."
The class lined up in front of the trunk. Albus and his friends wound up being in the back, and Albus didn't think Matt minded this in the least. He looked very nervous at the prospect of seeing the Lubar boggart again and Albus couldn't blame him.
The line moved much faster this time than the last class. Everyone who had had problems with the boggart during the previous class seemed to do a better job this time.
Albus stepped forward once it was his turn and the boggart once again turned into Oteski, who told him he did not make the team. Albus vaguely wondered what the boggart would turn into after the try-out, if they battled it after that. He shouted the spell and moved to the side to stand next to Rose and Amanda.
John was next and battled his clown boggart in the same way he had the other day. He stepped to the side and Matt walked slowly towards the boggart.
"Two Galleons says he runs again," Malfoy whispered in Albus's ear.
"Shut it, Malfoy," Albus and John said at the same time.
The boggart once again turned into Lubar and Matt slowly raised his wand, which was shaking.
"R-R-Ridikkulus," Matt whispered. Nothing happened and the boggart advanced towards Matt.
"Louder," Balladanis told him.
"R-Ridikkulus!" Matt shouted. Still nothing. His wand arm was shaking even harder.
"R-Ridikkulus!" he shouted once again.
This time, the boggart spun around and when it stopped, Lubar was decked out in a black and white striped prison outfit with a ball and chain attached to his right leg.
"Looks like you owe us two Galleons," John smirked at Malfoy.
"Not a chance, Brickston," Malfoy growled.
"Good job," Albus grinned as Matt joined the group.
Balladanis already had the boggart shut in the trunk when Albus looked back at his teacher.
"That's enough for today," Balladanis announced. "You," he pointed at Matt, "Come see me."
Matt glanced at Albus and then walked slowly towards Balldanis as the rest of the class left the room. Albus and his friends lingered near the doorway, but Balladanis gestured for them to leave. They reluctantly left, but waited just outside the doorway.
"What did he want?" Albus asked once Matt exited the room.
"I have to go in for extra help," Matt groaned, "Until I can face the boggart successfully."
"But you were successful," John pointed out.
"Not successful enough for Balladanis."
"Somehow, I don't think anyone would be successful enough for him," Rose muttered.
"Yeah," Albus agreed, "That was some speech he gave at the beginning of class."
Albus still didn't know what to think of their new Defense professor. He seemed very strict and Albus didn't really feel comfortable with him, but on the other hand, he seemed very knowledgeable in defensive spells. Albus had a feeling they'd learn a lot from him, and even though they weren't involved in a war at the moment, Albus knew defense skills were always important to have. That's what his father had told him ever since he could remember. Albus had grown up knowing the need for defense against the dark arts. He just had never had it taught to him in such a forceful strict way.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Wednesday 16 September 2009 09 10 32 pm Post subject: Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden in topic:Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden
Here's the third story in my Albus series! I had previously posted part of it, but deleted that topic because I had to do a lot of editing. Now I'll be posting the edited version.
Thanks to FawkesthePhoenix for her help on this, including coming up with the title.
Disclaimer- I don't own Harry Potter.
Chapter 1: Prologue
A mother kangaroo stood absolutely still in the moonlit forest, watching her child play in the bushes in front of her. The mother would gently pull the roo back every time he got too far away. She was watching him carefully when a loud pop startled her. The roo hopped back over to his mother and jumped into her pouch. They hopped away quickly, not noticing the man who had just appeared a few meters away.
The man swore under his breath as his face contorted. His round face was elongating and his black hair lightened to a brownish shade. He stumbled around and kicked off his shoes as his feet grew too large for them. It was not only his feet that were growing, but his entire body. The man was now six inches taller than he had been when he first Apparated into the forest. Finally, it stopped. The man now looked completely different and kind of strange in Muggle clothing that was far too small for him.
He opened his bag and pulled out a set of black wizard robes, changing into them quickly. He tossed the Muggle clothing into the bag and set off at a brisk pace.
"Bloody Muggle airplanes," he muttered to himself, "Ministry ought to just allow international Flooing."
It was a very quiet night, with only the occasional owl hooting in the distance. The moon was not full enough to provide enough light to illuminate the path, but the man did not want to draw attention to himself by lighting his wand. He merely stumbled along, swearing every time he tripped over a rock or a tree root.
The tall man was not entirely sure how far he would have to walk to find the place he was looking for. In fact, the man he was going to visit did not even know he was coming. Nevertheless, he kept walking through the forest, until he finally came to the edge.
A short distance away stood a rather large house. It was not big enough to be considered a mansion, but substantially larger than most houses. The man glanced at his watch before continuing towards the house.
"Damn," he muttered as he noticed that his watch was still set for British time. He pulled out his wand and pointed it at his wrist. The hands on the watch swirled until coming to a stop. It was nearly midnight.
There was one lone light on in the house. Other than that, the place seemed either deserted or its occupants asleep. The man did not care if everyone was asleep; he would merely wake them up. He picked up his pace as he crossed the yard and ascended the steps up to the front door.
The man knocked three times and stood waiting for someone to let him in. A short while later, the door opened a crack. However, it did not appear that anyone had actually answered it.
"Is you needing something, sir?" a squeaky voice asked.
The man looked down and saw a house elf peeking his head around the door. "Why yes," the man replied, "Is Lubar in?"
"Master Lubar?" the elf asked, "He is."
"I need to speak to him," the man said.
"Come in," the elf replied, "Is you wanting a drink?"
"No," the man muttered as he entered the house, "Just show me to Lubar."
"Yes, sir. This way."
The man followed the elf through the extravagant house. He always wondered how Lubar managed to afford everything. It's not like he made much money at his job. There were statues, works of art, gold encrusted tables, oriental rugs, and the fanciest furniture in all of the rooms he passed.
The elf led him to a room with the door halfway open. Light was streaming out of it, but the man couldn't hear any voices. Lubar must be alone, he thought. That would be best anyway.
The man pushed past the elf and into the room without knocking. He didn't see the need. Lubar was family. Sure, the man hadn't seen him in years, but he was family nonetheless. Lubar was the man's wife's cousin, to be specific.
Lubar was sitting at his desk, perusing a book. His untidy brown hair was dangling over his face. He looked up when the man stepped into the room. He looked momentarily shocked, but regained his composure and stood up. Lubar was quite a bit shorter than the man in the doorway and was wearing similar black robes.
"Jarrett," Lubar gestured for him to come in, "What an, unusual, surprise."
The man, Jarrett, walked in and took a seat in the red leather chair in front of the desk. Lubar resumed his position behind the desk.
"To what do I owe the pleasure?" Lubar asked, folding his hands in front of him. "It's been a long time, Jarrett."
"I know, Ralph, it has indeed," Jarrett mused.
"I have half a mind to throw you out of this house after what your brother-in-law did to my brother," Lubar growled.
"And I assure you that I understand," Jarrett replied, "I do not approve of what my brother-in-law did. I have not spoken to the man since."
Lubar raised his eyebrow. "Interesting. And has your wife been in contact with him?"
"She has," Jarrett sighed, "But that is just one of the many things we have different opinions on. I am well aware that you have no plans to forgive her brother, which is why I am here unbeknownst to her. I would like to put that issue behind us and rekindle our friendship, Lubar."
"I will have to think about that," Lubar said.
"I understand," Jarrett said, "That's all I can ask you to do."
"I am quite curious as to how you managed to get here. Isn't your entire ministry after you? I pay attention to magical news all around the world, you know. I have been following your story for the past year," Lubar changed the subject.
Jarrett smiled. It had been surprisingly easy to get to Australia with Muggle transportation. It took a while and was rather annoying, but easy.
"Yes, the Ministry is after me. However, I took the liberty of using Muggle transportation to arrive here. I simply took some Polyjuice Potion, bought an airplane ticket, and now I'm here."
"Impressive," Lubar replied, "You used the new 24 hour Polyjuice?"
"Obviously," Jarrett smirked, "Otherwise I would have turned back into myself in the middle of an airport."
"True. Now, what can I do for you? What could you possibly need that would cause you to take Muggle transportation to get here? Somehow, I don't think you would go through such extreme measures to rekindle a friendship that died a decade ago."
"Do you know why the Ministry wants me?"
"Something about dueling Harry Potter?" Lubar smirked, "That might be the stupidest thing you have ever done."
"That's the gist of it," Jarrett muttered, "But we had reasons for doing it."
"Yes. Myself, my son, and one of my friends."
"Ah," Lubar leaned back in his chair, "Do you care to enlighten me about your reasons?"
"We want to unite the Deathly Hallows in order to help our mission to continue the plans of Lord Voldemort," Jarrett explained, "Harry Potter knows the location of all three of the Deathly Hallows and currently possesses two of them. Have you heard of the Hallows?"
"Of course I have," Lubar snapped, "Mind you, I thought it was just a children's story."
"I assure you, it's not," Jarrett said, "I myself saw the Invisibility Cloak. They exist and had something to do with Voldemort's downfall."
"Lord Voldemort," Lubar mused, "I understand. I myself agree with his ideas about the wizarding world. Especially when it comes to half-breeds."
"I was hoping you'd say that. Now, we have been on the run for over a year. After our first unsuccessful attempt at obtaining the Hallows, we chose to lay low for a while."
"You know where all of the Hallows are? You said Potter's got them?"
"Two of them," Jarrett corrected him, "We thought we knew where all three were, but we were wrong about the Elder Wand. Well, Potter could be lying to us. That's entirely possible. But even if he does not currently have it in his possession, I am sure he knows where it is. The Invisibility Cloak is currently in possession of Harry Potter's middle child, Albus. The Resurrection Stone is residing in the forest next to Hogwarts, although I am not sure where."
"Interesting," Lubar mused, "But what do you need me to do?"
"I'm getting to that. Recently, my son and I came up with a plan to obtain the Invisibility Cloak. My son was to lure Albus Potter out of school by capturing his cousin. To make a long story short, it ended in a duel between my son and Harry Potter. Potter captured him and he now resides in Azkaban," Jarrett seethed.
"That sounds like an absolutely abysmal plan. Did you actually believe Potter's kid wouldn't tell him his cousin was captured?"
"We kind of hoped so-"
"Shut up. The point is, that was a horrible plan, and now your son is in prison."
"Yes," Jarrett sighed, "And I was kind of hoping you could help get him out."
Lubar stared at him and then smirked. "Me? Help get your son out of prison? How in the name of Merlin do you suppose I'll be able to do that?"
"Well, you're a high ranking Ministry official, you must have a lot of influence in these kinds of things," Jarrett stammered.
"I am a high ranking Ministry official in Australia, not Britain," Lubar laughed, "Why do you think I have any influence over there?"
"But don't you keep in contact with Britain's Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures?" Jarrett asked.
Lubar laughed. "I do not contact Britain's Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. My opinions are vastly different from those in Britain. I would not want to associate myself with the blokes there. Plus, my name is mud with the British Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures."
Jarrett looked curiously at Lubar. "That is hard to believe. What did you possibly do to make them dislike you?"
"That, is a very long story," Lubar replied, "The old head of my department was a very liberal man. He sympathized with werewolves and disliked any sort of strict legislation dealing with them. His reason for this was because his own son is a werewolf."
"Yes. Anyway, he was fired after he broke one of the werewolf laws. Then I became head of the department and passed more laws. He hated me. He moved his family to Britain, where he got a job in Werewolf Support Services. Turns out, he was planning on moving anyway, even before he got fired. He wanted his werewolf kid to attend school. The headmaster of the Australian School of Sorcery obviously did not let him attend. The Hogwarts headmaster did. As far as I know, he's there now. Once there, he made sure everyone in his department knew my name and what I believed. They do not speak kindly of me."
Jarrett rubbed his chin. "Interesting. So there's a werewolf at Hogwarts? Quinton never told me anything about that."
"He probably doesn't know," Lubar smirked, "I tend to doubt that the werewolf would announce it to the whole school."
"Do you know the werewolf's name?" Jarrett asked.
"Don't remember his first name. Last name's Eckerton."
Jarrett thought for a moment and then his eyes popped out of his head. "Eckerton?! Quinton's mentioned that kid. He's one of the ones we dueled with last year! He's friends with Potter's kid."
"Really?" Lubar smirked, "How interesting."
"Yes, extremely interesting," Jarrett rolled his eyes, "Potter's kid befriended a werewolf. Thrilling, really. Now, can you help get Quinton out of Azkaban or not."
"Talk like that and I won't help you," Lubar muttered.
Jarrett's eyes lit up. "So you can help?"
"Possibly," Lubar said, "But I could most certainly help you get the Hallows."
"And how would you do that?"
"First, I give you advice," Lubar began, "You're going about this all wrong. Your first priority should have been the Resurrection Stone, not that Invisibility Cloak. Yes, the Stone will be difficult to find, but nobody currently owns it. It's sitting in the bush. You've got to search that bush and get that Stone. Then, you use the Stone."
"Yes, use it!" Lubar shouted, "Honestly, I don't know what my cousin sees in you. But anyway, use it to talk to Voldemort!"
"Then, you ask Voldemort what happened to the Elder Wand!" Lubar continued, "That thing is the best Hallow. The Cloak is the least useful. Anyone can make themselves invisible with a Disillusionment Charm. You've got to get that wand and stone first."
"Oh, I'll get looking for the Stone," Jarrett muttered.
"Good," Lubar replied, "And I'll go to Britain and help you."
"Yes. I'll make sure you do it properly. And I can check up on that werewolf kid," Lubar sneered.
"What about the Ministry? I thought they hated you."
"They do," Lubar said, "But I can come up with a good reason to be at Hogwarts this year."
"What might that be?"
"I cannot explain in detail. There is an event happening at Hogwarts this year. Students from Australia are participating. I have reasons to be there."
"Shall I wait for you to search for the Stone?"
"Yes," Lubar said, "I'll make sure you don't screw it up. And perhaps, while I'm there, we can work out some way to break your idiot son out of Azkaban."
"Thanks," Jarrett muttered.
"Just remember, you owe me for this."
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Sunday 10 May 2009 08 57 02 pm Post subject: Re: In Moonlight's Shadow in topic:In Moonlight's Shadow
This chapter is named after the song by Rascal Flatts, Here Comes Goodbye. Some of the lyrics go along with this chapter nicely, if you care to Google them. I don't own that song, nor do I own Harry Potter.
Chapter 46: Here Comes Goodbye
I woke up to Pollux nipping my hand. I groggily lifted my head off my book and groaned. This was it. September first. I fed Pollux and slowly changed into jeans and a t-shirt.
My parents and Matt were already eating brekkie when I went downstairs. Mum and Dad gave me half-hearted smiles as I sat down with a bowl of Fruit Loops. I doubted they'd have those at Hogwarts, but I was too nervous to eat very much.
"Are you all packed?" Mum asked.
I nodded. "Yeah, I just have to shut Pollux in his cage."
"Good. We'll leave in an hour or so," Mum replied.
I nodded again and finished my cereal. Once I was done, I got up and went outside. It was a warm sunny day, but I really had no idea what the weather was supposed to be like in England in September. The weather seemed to be the opposite of my mood. It would have been more appropriate for it to be rainy and cold.
I wandered around the property, not really wanting to settle in one spot. I watched the farmer's cows chewing grass in the nearby field and watched a few birds fly around.
"Hi, Amy," someone said from behind me.
I turned around and saw Matt walking towards me. I sighed. I couldn't really believe it, but I was actually going to miss him. This whole thing was his fault, but I just couldn't be as angry with him as I used to be. Not after he went through so much in the last few months.
"Hi, Matt," I said quietly as I sat down on the low fence that surrounded the property. Matt started to climb up after me. "Be careful," I said as I helped him up. I put my arm around his back so he couldn't fall off.
"I will," he said, "I don't want you to go."
Neither do I, I thought. "I have to," I replied.
"I'm going to miss you," he said.
"Me, too," I swallowed hard. Why did this seem worse than when I went away to school in first year?
"It's going to be boring without you here," Matt announced.
I giggled. "It'll be like it was when I was at school in Australia."
"It was boring then, too. There's nothing to do when you're not here."
He really needed some friends. Mum and Dad should just let him go to Muggle school. That would never happen, though.
"I'll be back over Christmas," I told him, trying to reassure myself as much as him.
Matt nodded. "Yeah, but that's a long time away."
"I know it is," I said quietly.
"Amy! Matt! Are you out here?" Mum shouted from the window.
"Yeah!" I shouted back.
"It's time to go!" she told us.
I took a deep breath and jumped off the fence. I looked at Matt and his eyes were tearing up. Just seeing that made me want to cry. He really was going to miss me.
"Want me to carry you?" I asked.
He nodded and held out his arms. I lifted him up and we walked slowly back to the house, neither of us saying a word.
"Did he hurt himself again?" Mum asked as we entered the house.
"No," I whispered, "We were just...saying goodbye...and stuff."
Mum nodded as I set Matt down on the floor. I looked up and saw Dad standing a few yards away with my trunk propped up on its side. Pollux's cage was sitting on the table and he was hooting inside of it.
"Ready?" Dad asked.
I nodded as I grabbed Pollux. "I guess," I muttered.
Mum grabbed Matt's hand and I followed them out the door. Dad followed with my trunk. We walked silently until we reached the end of the anti-Apparition wards. Dad wrapped me in a one-armed hug and the four of us Disapparated.
We appeared in a back alley that I assumed was near the King's Cross station. We followed Dad down the street until we reached the station. Dad found a trolley and heaved my trunk onto it. I placed Pollux on top.
The station was crowded. Muggles were bustling everywhere. A few glanced at Pollux, but none of them really paid much attention. Matt stepped closer to Mum as a few men brushed past us.
"Nine and three-quarters, right?" Mum whispered to Dad.
"Right," Dad muttered.
I followed my parents through the crowded station until we got to the brick wall between platforms nine and ten. I figured we would have to run straight at the brick wall, since that's what we had to do in Australia, too.
"I'll go first with the trolley," Dad said. He glanced around to make sure no Muggles were paying attention and slipped through the wall.
Mum gestured for me to go next. I held my breath and closed my eyes even though I knew I wouldn't actually hit the wall. I opened my eyes a few seconds later and saw Platform 9 3/4.
Students and families alike were running around. Students were reuniting with each other and shrieking about what they did over the holiday. Parents were loading trunks onto the train. Owls were hooting, cats were meowing, little kids were shouting. I felt horribly out of place. Everyone knew each other. Everyone except the first years, that is. I felt like a first year as I stood with my parents and Matt.
Dad went to load my trunk and Pollux onto the train and returned a few minutes later. He grinned at me, but I didn't grin back.
"Well, this is it," he said, "This feels like your first year all over again."
"You have no idea," I muttered.
"You'll do fine, Amy," Mum assured me, "We've been through so much this past nine months. You can get through anything." She gave me a hug.
"I know, I know," I sighed and bit my lip.
"You're bound to make new friends," Mum said.
Yeah, friends I'd have to keep secrets from. I was dreading explaining to people why I transferred to Hogwarts for my fourth year.
We stood there not saying anything for a few more minutes. I watched as students said goodbye to their parents and ran onto the train. A few first years were sharing tearful goodbyes.
"I think you're going to have to get on the train," Dad said quietly.
I nodded. "Yeah. I love you guys."
"We love you, too," Dad squeezed me and kissed the top of my head.
"We'll miss you," Mum gave me another hug.
"I'll miss you, too," my voice cracked and I could feel tears welling up in my eyes. What was wrong with me? I hardly cried when I left for my first year.
"We'll owl all the time," Dad said.
"Bye, Amy," Matt gave me a big hug.
I picked him up. "Bye, Matt. I love you. I'm going to miss you."
"Me, too," he sniffled.
I set him down as the train whistled. I wiped my eyes and waved as I ran towards the train. I jumped on just as it was starting to move. I stood in the doorway and waved as my eyes filled up with more tears. I kept waving until the train turned a corner and I could no longer see my family.
I wiped my eyes again and started down the corridor, looking for an empty compartment. The last thing I wanted was to meet anyone new right then. Eventually I found an empty one towards the back of the train. I ran right into it and shut the door behind me.
I sat down next to the window and watched the scenery fly by. It was kind of mesmerizing. I just let my eyes glaze over and everything blurred together. The time sort of flew by faster then. I wasn't even thinking about anything in particular.
I think I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I knew, the compartment door creaked open. I jerked up and winced as my neck cracked. Falling asleep against a glass window wasn't the smartest of ideas.
"Oh, sorry. Were you sleeping?" a girl asked.
I looked up and saw two kids standing timidly in the doorway. The girl had a round face framed by messy long brown hair. She wore glasses and was already dressed in Hogwarts robes. A boy, who was a few inches taller than her, stood aside her. He was skinny with lighter brown hair and a few freckles on his pale face. They looked to be first or second years.
"Er, I was," I muttered.
"Can we sit here?" the boy asked, "There's no room anyplace else."
"Go ahead," I gestured to the empty seat across from me.
The two of them walked inside and the boy shut the door behind them. They both sat down on the bench across from me. The girl stared at me while the boy fidgeted next to her.
"I'm Jessie Briggs," the girl announced, "What's your name?"
"Amy Eckerton," I replied.
"And I'm Timothy Porter," the boy said.
I nodded. Well, now I knew a few Hogwarts students. Too bad they were probably closer to my brother's age than mine.
"What house are you in?" Jessie asked.
"Gryffindor," I told her, happier than ever that I had decided to be sorted over the summer.
"I want to be in Ravenclaw," Jessie said.
"Ravenclaw?" Timothy raised his eyebrows, "You must be smart. I don't want to be in Ravenclaw. All they do is study all the time."
They were definitely first years. Although, when I thought about it, sitting with first years was a good thing. Neither of them had any idea this was my first year at Hogwarts, too. They wouldn't ask me why I moved here.
"My mother was in Ravenclaw," Jessie huffed, "And she didn't study all the time."
"What about your dad?" Timothy asked.
"He's a Muggle," Jessie answered, "What about you? Where do you want to be?"
"Slytherin," Timothy smirked, "Where all the best wizards go."
"Slytherin?" Jessie looked taken aback, "Why would you want to be there?"
"It's where my parents were. All of my family has been in Slytherin. I'm not going to break that tradition," Timothy boasted.
Slytherin, I thought. That's where that Willinson bloke I had met in Diagon Alley was.
"And it's where all the evil wizards came from," Jessie told him, "Voldemort was in Slytherin."
"So was Severus Snape," Timothy countered.
I just sat there listening to them. I had no idea who Voldemort or Severus Snape were. The names sounded vaguely familiar, but I couldn't place them. I assumed they were famous wizards from Britain. They don't teach World History of Magic until fourth year in Australia.
"True," Jessie nodded, "But no evil wizards came from Ravenclaw."
"None that you know of," Timothy said.
"I would know," Jessie replied, "I've been learning about magical history for years."
"Well, aren't you Miss Smarty Pants," Timothy muttered.
"Thank you," Jessie smirked.
Jessie and Timothy argued about the houses for the next half an hour or so. It was actually kind of interesting since I didn't know a thing about most of the houses. Apparently Slytherins had the reputation of being evil, Ravenclaws of being annoyingly smart, Hufflepuffs of being kind of dense, and Gryffindors of being brave to the point of stupidity. I had to stifle a laugh at the last one. I didn't think I was brave to the point of stupidity.
I got the idea that there was a lot of house rivalry going on at Hogwarts. From the sound of it, there was more there than in Australia. I was kind of grateful for everything I was learning from the two first years. I now knew to mainly stick with Gryffindors and definitely not mingle with too many Slytherins. Hopefully that would help me blend in better.
The compartment door opened once again and an old witch popped her head in. "Anything from the trolley, dears?"
The two first years jumped up and ran out the door. I followed more slowly as I dug a few Galleons out of my pocket. There were a few people standing around the trolley buying various sweets.
"Amy?" someone shouted as I reached for a Cauldron Cake.
I looked up and saw none other than turquoise-haired Ted Lupin grinning at me. He actually remembered my name? I hadn't seen him in months.
"Hi, Ted," I replied.
"So, your family decided to move here?" he asked, "Excellent choice."
"Yeah," I said as I paid for my food.
"You been sorted yet?"
"Yup, Gryffindor," I smiled, remembering that he was a Gryffindor as well.
"Brilliant," he grinned, "Guess I'll see you at the feast."
I nodded. "Yeah, see you then."
I followed Jessie and Timothy (who both had armfuls of sweets) back into the compartment.
"So," Timothy began as he opened up a Chocolate Frog, "You just moved here?"
I groaned inwardly. He had heard what Ted said. Oh, well, I sighed. Might as well practice my story on a few first years before telling it to people I would actually spend a lot of time with.
"Yeah," I sighed.
"Where from?" Jessie asked.
"And you've never been to Hogwarts before?" Timothy asked at the same time.
"Australia and I've visited Hogwarts," I answered.
"Whoa, Australia?" Jessie looked impressed, "Why'd you move here?"
"My dad's job," I told her.
"Where does he work?" she asked.
"How do you know you're in Gryffindor already?" Timothy asked.
"The Ministry. And I got sorted over the summer," I said as I opened my Cauldron Cake.
"I've never heard of anyone transferring to Hogwarts," Timothy announced.
"Yeah, well..." my voice trailed off, "Stuff happens."
"You sound Australian," Timothy mentioned.
"Duh," Jessie rolled her eyes, "She's from Australia."
"I was just saying..." he muttered.
"Well, I wouldn't say to you, 'You sound British,'" Jessie groaned, "It's just kind of a stupid thing to say."
"We can't all be Ravenclaws," Timothy sighed loudly.
"Even Slytherins have to have some brains," Jessie told him.
I breathed a sigh of relief as they resumed their bickering. That hadn't been too bad. Luckily they didn't ask for details about Dad's job. I just had to hope that no one else asked for details.
The rest of the train ride passed relatively quickly. I fell asleep again and didn't wake up until Jessie prodded me.
"We're almost there," she said, "You should change into your robes."
I yawned and got up. I rummaged around in my trunk and pulled out a pair of new robes. I hastily put them on over my clothes and waited for the train to stop.
I followed Jessie and Timothy into the corridor as the train began to slow. Once it stopped, I joined the sea of black-clad Hogwarts students onto the platform of Hogsmeade station. I actually recognized it from our trip to Hogwarts.
I soon lost track of Jessie and Timothy. I heard someone shouting 'First years, over here!', so they must have been going some place different anyway. I had no idea where I was going, so I just followed the rest of the students.
I ended up near a line of what appeared to be horseless carriages. I guessed they were just pulled by thestrals. Dad had mentioned that Hogwarts had a herd. Everyone was climbing into them, so I did the same.
My carriage was empty when I got inside, but I was soon joined by three girls who looked a tad bit older than Timothy and Jessie. One had long, brilliant red hair, the second had curly pale blonde hair that rivaled my own, and the other had long, thick black hair.
"The carriages must be pulled by magic," the black-haired girl said.
"Yeah, I think they are," the red-haired girl agreed.
"They're pulled by thestrals," I told them.
"Told you," the blonde girl smirked, "Teddy said they were pulled by thestrals."
"Yeah, well, Teddy likes a joke, doesn't he?" the red head pointed out.
I wondered if they were talking about Ted Lupin. Maybe they were related or something.
The three girls quickly started talking about their summers and I let my attention wander. I did find out that the red head and the blonde were cousins and all three were second year Gryffindors.
The carriage lurched to a stop and I followed the younger students out into the warm air and into the castle. I had been in it before, but the size of it still amazed me. I looked around as people jostled me in their haste to get into the Great Hall.
I stopped in the doorway and realized that I had no idea where to sit. There were four long tables and then the staff table at the opposite end of the room. Were we supposed to sit with our houses? Or wherever we wanted? I glanced around the room and spotted Ted's hair at the table to the right. It couldn't hurt to sit at his table.
I made my way through the crowd and found an empty seat at the table. The golden plates were empty. Everyone around me was chatting happily. I leaned my head on my hand and stared down at my reflection in the shining plate. I felt so out of place.
A few minutes later, everyone quieted down. I looked up and saw a tall witch leading a group of kids into the room. I assumed they were the first years. They all crowded around each other near the staff table.
The witch reached around the staff table and came out with a three-legged stool and the Sorting Hat. She placed the stool on the ground and the hat on the stool.
The rim of the hat opened and it burst out in song. My eyes widened in shock, but nobody else seemed fazed. A few of the first years looked taken aback, but that was about it. I guessed this was a normal occurrence. I don't know why it surprised me since I knew the hat could talk, but singing was just even stranger.
The hat sung about the different houses and everyone clapped once it finished.
"When I call your name, come sit on the stool and the hat will tell you which house you are in. Then go sit at the appropriate table," the witch announced.
I guess we were supposed to sit with our houses. I was glad I wound up sitting at the Gryffindor table.
Everyone was quiet during the sorting ceremony. I watched, but to be honest, I was kind of eager to just go to bed. I just wanted to be alone.
Jessie was one of the first kids to be sorted and she was sorted into Ravenclaw. She grinned as she ran towards the Ravenclaw table. I smiled as she sat down amongst the other Ravenclaws.
My attention wandered after that until I heard Timothy's name announced. I watched as he was sorted into Slytherin. I wondered if he and Jessie would ever really become friends, now that they were officially in other houses.
The Gryffindor table clapped loudly for every new Gryffindor, but two of the last students sorted got the loudest applause of all. They were two red-heads named Fred and Heather Weasley. I didn't know if they were brother and sister or cousins. I think they were related to the red-head and blonde girls I shared a carriage with, though. The two of them were roaring with excitement when Fred and Heather were sorted. There were a few other red-heads who stood up and roared along with them. I guessed they were all related somehow. They must have a huge family.
Professor Kendrick stood up once the sorting was finished. "I have a few announcements, but as usual, they can wait until after dinner." He waved his wand and huge amounts of food appeared on all the tables.
I served myself some chicken, potatoes, and carrots and began to pick at it. Everyone around me began talking again and I tried to remain inconspicuous. I had been hoping to just blend in with everyone else. I happened to be sitting near a few of the new Gryffindor first years, so nobody really paid much attention to me.
Desserts appeared once people stopped eating dinner. I wasn't that hungry, so I just waited for Kendrick to make the announcements he said he was going to make.
After what seemed like forever, the dessert vanished and the golden plates returned to their clean state. I looked up at the staff table and saw Kendrick rise to his feet.
"I hope everyone is feeling a bit better now that we've eaten," Kendrick smiled, "Please be aware that the Forbidden Forest is out of bounds, hence its name. Please stay away from the Whomping Willow as well."
I could feel my cheeks reddening at the name 'Whomping Willow'. I was probably the only student in the room who knew what that tree concealed.
"If you wish to try out for your house Quidditch team, please give your name to your head of house," Kendrick continued.
That wasn't something I'd be doing, I thought. Come to think of it, I didn't even know who my head of house was. I guess I'd figure it out soon enough.
"I suggest you all turn in early, as classes start tomorrow," Kendrick said, "Prefects, please lead the first years up to your common rooms. Everyone have a good night."
Common room. It would help if I knew where the Gryffindor common room was. I sighed and got up from the table. I decided to just follow the first years at a distance.
I couldn't help but gaze around as I followed the group of chattering first years to the common room. The walls were adorned with all sorts of portraits. There was hardly any wall space left. Every few feet there was a statue or suit of armor.
We walked up flight after flight of stairs (which like to move, I soon discovered) until I didn't think we could get any higher. It was taking forever. The castle was even larger on the inside than it looked on the outside.
The group of first years finally stopped in front of a portrait of a very large woman.
"This is the Fat Lady," one of the Prefects announced, "The password is 'Niffler'."
The portrait swung open and I followed everyone into the common room. I stopped as soon as I got in. The room was round and decorated almost exclusively in scarlet and gold. Various arm chairs, couches, tables, and chairs were scattered about the room. A fire was crackling in the large fireplace. Two doors were side by side in the back of the room. Every few seconds, someone would go through one of them.
"Dormitories are through the doors," the prefect said, "Girls to the right, boys to the left."
I swallowed and walked slowly towards the doors. This was it. Time to meet my new roommate. I hoped the doors were labeled, since nobody had shown me where my new dormitory was.
The door to the girls' dormitories revealed a spiral staircase that I followed to the top. At the top of the staircase were seven doors. Only seven. How many roommates was I going to have?
I walked down the short corridor until I reached the door labeled 'Fourth Years'. That must be it, I thought. I took a deep breath and entered the room.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Monday 30 March 2009 12 16 34 pm Post subject: Re: In Moonlight's Shadow in topic:In Moonlight's Shadow
Thanks Obladi and hprocks!
Chapter 40: The Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures
We spent hours unpacking and setting up the house. I was completely knackered by the time the sun rose. I had helped Mum and Ellie with the kitchen and dining room and we got them set up. There were a few paintings that needed to be hung, but that was it. Dishes, silverware, and cooking implements were put away in drawers. I knew it would take a while to figure out where we put everything. The kitchen was equipped with state of the art Muggle appliances. There was even a microwave and a dishwasher, neither of which we had in Australia.
The entire house was equipped for Muggles, actually, which made sense since it was a Muggle house. Electric lighting was in all the rooms and there were electric sockets everywhere. In our house in Australia, we had a few plugs (mostly in the kitchen), but now they were everywhere. I had no idea what my parents were going to do with them.
Mum and Dad had a few arguments about where to put things. They both had different ideas about how to arrange the furniture in the living room and in the den. And about which furniture to put in both of the rooms. Eventually, Mum got to organize the living room and Dad got to take care of the den. Mum put the fancier furniture in the den while Dad put the more comfortable homey stuff in the den.
The study of course became Dad's study and was filled with all the books he had acquired over the years. Despite the fact that his study was being set up for the first time in this house, it still looked in disarray after he finished. Mum sighed and shook her head when she saw it.
Apparently one thing Mum and Dad had been thinking about was what to do with the big room upstairs. They had no plans as to turning into a playroom as the real estate agent had labeled it, since there weren't any really little kids in the house. Instead, they decided to turn it into a library and study area. They put all of the bookcases that used to be scattered throughout the Australian house in it and added a few tables and couches and desks. All in all, it looked like a very nice room when they finished.
We all collapsed at the kitchen table when we finally finished the library. Mum dug around in the bag she brought and tossed a few sandwiches and bottles of juice onto the table. I wordlessly grabbed a sandwich and some juice and started eating. I was so tired I felt like I'd fall asleep as soon as I'd finished eating. I had no idea how I'd stay awake until the evening. It was only around nine in the morning. Twelve more hours until I could sleep.
"I suppose," Dad yawned, "That it wouldn't hurt to take a quick nap before we visit the Ministry."
"It probably would have been a good idea to set up the bedrooms first," Mum replied.
I smirked. We hadn't set up any of the bedrooms yet. Mine wouldn't be set up until I painted it, but the rest of them could have been set up.
"Lack of a bed didn't stop him from sleeping," I pointed to Matt, who had fallen asleep on the table.
"I call the living room couch," Mum said as she stood up.
Dad took the couch in the den and I went up to the library and curled up in a huge armchair. Mum and Dad left Matt at the table, since they didn't want to disturb him.
When I woke up it took me a little while to remember where I was. I gazed around the library, forgetting that we had moved. I yawned and groaned. I was still tired. I knew I couldn't sleep any longer, though. I had to get used to England time.
I rubbed my eyes and stumbled out of the room. I walked slowly down the stairs and into the living room. Mum and Dad were both sitting on the couch talking. They stopped when they heard me come in.
"Morning," Dad said.
"Morning," I mumbled, "What time is it?"
"Just after noon," Dad replied, "Now that you're up, we'll go to the Ministry."
"Oh, is Matt up?" I asked as I sat down on a chair.
"No," Mum answered, "But he'd sleep all day, so we're just going to have to wake him up."
I nodded as Dad went into the kitchen. He returned a moment later with Matt, still asleep, in his arms.
"He'll wake up on the way," Dad replied and handed Mum the crutches.
"We should stop by St. Mungo's as well," Mum said.
"We're Apparating to an alley near the visitor's entrance to the Ministry," Dad said to Mum, "Put your hand on my arm and I'll guide you there."
"Are you sure?" Mum asked skeptically, "You know it's hard to Apparate with someone while guiding another person who is also side along Apparating another person!"
"It'll be fine, Julie," Dad assured her, "Just hold onto my arm."
Mum sighed and motioned for me to go into her arms. I did so and we all disappeared with an exceptionally loud crack.
We reappeared in a dank alley that reminded me of the pub we flooed from in New York City. It was dark and there was a stinky dumpster next to us.
"Dad?" Matt yawned and looked around, "Er, where are we?"
"We have to go to the British Ministry," Dad told him.
"The Ministry?" Matt squeaked.
"Yes, but the Ministry here isn't like the one in Australia," Dad assured him, "You'll be fine."
We followed Dad out of the alley and down the street. I had no idea where we were going, but the area looked a lot like where St. Mungo's was.
"We're using the visitor's entrance," Dad said, "Since the three of you are technically visitors."
Mum nodded. We kept walking until Dad stopped in front of what looked like a standard Muggle phone booth. I had a feeling it wasn't that, though. Dad wordlessly opened the door and gestured for us to follow. Mum and I squeezed our way inside and I thought about how odd it would look to any passing Muggles to see all four of us inside one tiny phone booth.
"This is the entrance?" Mum asked.
"Yeah," Dad muttered.
I have been to the Australian Ministry numerous times. Most of them were before Matt was bitten, but even after we'd occasionally visit Dad at work. Not often, though, since the entire Werewolf Control Unit would stare at us as we went by. It made all of us extremely uncomfortable.
Dad picked up the receiver and punched in a few numbers. I couldn't see what they were, but they must have worked since we soon heard a cool voice in the booth. Dad put the receiver up to his ear and talked into it, despite the fact that the lady's voice was in the entire booth. I supposed he was trying to make it look believable to the Muggles.
"Welcome to the Ministry of Magic," the voice said, "Please state your names and business at the Ministry."
"Walter, Julie, Amy, and Matt Eckerton," Dad said, "We just moved here and need to complete a few registration things."
"Thank you," the voice replied, "Please take the badges and proceed to the welcome desk when you descend into the Ministry."
Four silver badges fell out of the coin return and Dad took them. He pinned one to his shirt, handed one to Mum, and handed one to me. It said 'Amy Eckerton- Various Registrations'. Dad glanced at Mum and then shoved Matt's badge in his pocket. Hopefully no one would ask as to why he wasn't actually wearing his badge. That would surely raise questions.
I was about to ask Dad how we were going to 'descend into the Ministry' when I felt the phone booth lurch. I jumped and stared out the window as I saw the ground rising. Well, it looked like the ground was rising. Actually, we were literally 'descending' into the Ministry. The British Ministry was underground! That was the strangest thing ever.
The phone booth settled into a large atrium. Dad opened the door and it disappeared once we left it. I looked around the huge place and saw fireplaces lining the sides. Every once in a while, a witch or wizard would floo into one of them or floo out. There were a few people walking through the foyer, but none of them so much as looked at us. They all looked rather busy.
Dad led us through the room towards a desk that was sitting at one end. We walked past a huge gold statue of a wizard, witch, house elf, centaur, and goblin. I stared at it, but Dad hurried me along.
"Excuse me," Dad greeted the old man who was sleeping at the desk.
"Huh, what?" the man sat up quickly and looked at Dad, "Oh, er, visitors?"
"The three of them are," Dad gestured to Mum, Matt, and I, "I work here."
That was strange to think about. Dad would be working in this odd Ministry from now on.
The man leaned over the table and peered at us each in turn. He eyed Matt's crutches suspiciously and I got the feeling he was just itching to ask about them. After all, crutches weren't exactly common in the wizarding world.
"You work here?" the man asked Dad, "Never seen you here before."
"I start in a week," Dad said, "Could we get on with it? We're kind of in a hurry."
"Right, right," the man shook his head and looked at Mum, "I need your wand," then he looked at Matt and I, "And yours, if you've got one."
Mum and I handed the man our wands. He examined them, used some sort of machine to find out the information about them, verified the information, and then handed us our wands back.
Dad nodded to the man and we walked through a set of gold gates towards the lifts.
"Oi!" the man called as we stopped in front of the lifts.
Dad turned around, "Do you need something else?"
"Just wondering," the man said, "Er, you're not from around here, are you? Can't quite place the accent, though."
Dad sighed, "We just moved here from Australia."
The man stared curiously at us. "Interesting. What made you move here of all places?"
"Listen," Dad replied, "We're in a bit of a hurry. I'd rather not discuss our reasons."
The old man shrugged. "All right...."
One of the lifts clanged and opened and we hurried inside. I wondered how often that would happen. I really didn't want random people asking why we moved here.
Dad punched the number 'four' and we waited as the lift started to move. A few minutes later, the doors opened and we followed Dad out into the corridor. As we left, a man wearing navy blue robes hurried past us muttering something about 'bloody weather charms'. His hair had a dusting of snow on it. I hid my laughter as he disappeared into the lift.
The corridor was quiet. I glanced down the corridor and saw three sets of double doors that were all open. I followed Dad and we passed two of the doors, which were labeled 'Spirit Division' and 'Being Division'. Next was a single door that had a sign affixed to it that stated 'Head of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures'. So that was where Dad would have been working if he had gotten the equivalent job. Dad led us through the third set of double doors that was labeled 'Beast Division'.
Inside of this room were six desks all situated in front of six doors that appeared to lead to other rooms. There was a witch or wizard sitting at each desk working away at one thing or the other. All in all, it seemed to be a very quiet office.
Dad led us straight to the back of the room, where two doors were leading to other rooms. One was labeled 'Werewolf Registry' and the other said 'Werewolf Support Services', where Dad would be working. I didn't see any door labeled 'Werewolf Control Unit'. They must organize things differently in Britain. I did see a door labeled 'Werewolf Capture Unit' adjacent to the Control Unit, but that was it.
"Well, this is where I'll be working," Dad said as we walked towards the Werewolf Support Services room.
"Seems like a nice place," Mum replied.
The witch who was working at the desk in front of that particular room looked up at us. "Oh, hello!" she smiled, "Mr. Eckerton, I didn't know you'd be in today."
"I'm not starting work until next week, Miss Lane," Dad replied, "I'm here on family business today." He gestured to Mum, Matt and I. "This is my wife, Julie, and my kids, Amy and Matt."
Miss Lane got up from her chair and walked to the front of her desk. She shook Mum's hand. "Nice to meet you."
"You, too," Mum said.
"Well," Dad said, "I'll show you my office."
We followed him through the door and into the Werewolf Support Services room. It was completely different from his office in Australia. In Australia, he had his own office that was the size of the entire Werewolf Support Services room. Here, there were three desks crammed into the room along with multiple filing cabinets.
Two of the desks were already occupied. One of them was cluttered beyond any possibility of organization and the other was as neat as could be. The third desk was bare.
Both of the other occupants looked up when we stepped into the room. The messy desk was occupied by a middle aged woman who was wearing a set of scarlet robes. Her greying hair was piled into a messy bun and she was wearing a tiny pair of rectangular eyeglasses. The neat desk was occupied by a tall skinny man wearing a set of plain black robes. His dark hair was perfectly combed.
"Walter," the man stuck his hand out, "We're looking forward to having you start next week. I even made Yolanda clear her clutter off of your desk."
Yolanda threw the man a furtive look. "He's not starting until next week! I had plenty of time to do that."
"Thanks," Dad smiled, "I'm looking forward to starting."
"We're glad to have you," the man continued, "That job's been available for almost a year. The two of us have been swamped ever since the last bloke quit. Nobody seems to want this job."
"Believe me," Dad said, "I plan on staying."
"Good," Yolanda grinned, "Is this your family?"
"That's them," Dad gestured to Mum, "My wife Julie, and my kids Amy and Matt."
"Yolanda Jenson," Yolanda shook Mum's hand.
"Carter Dimorio," the man did the same.
"Nice to meet you," Mum replied.
Mum and Dad talked with Jenson and Dimorio for a few more minutes. I stood near the wall and tried to peer at the parchment that was littering Jenson's desk, but I couldn't make out her writing. Matt stood behind Dad looking scared. Neither Jenson or Dimorio seemed to be staring at him like the man at the desk had. Both of them seemed very nice.
"Well," Dad said, "We'd best be off. I'll see both of you in a week."
"Take care, Walter," Dimorio replied.
"Bye!" Jenson said.
We stepped out of the office just as a large beefy man came barging into the main room. Matt stared at him and grabbed Dad's arm. The rest of us stopped as Mum put her arm around Matt.
"I'll need that Doxy Report by Wednesday, Miller!" the man barked into a room labeled 'Pest Advisory Board'.
"Yes, sir!" a voice shouted from inside the room.
The beefy man turned away from the room and grinned broadly as he saw us. He walked swiftly towards us and Matt hid completely behind Dad.
"Walter!" the man exclaimed, "Wasn't expecting you until next week!"
"Mr. McVicar!" Dad shook his hand, "I'm actually here on personal business, but it's great to see you."
"And you, too," Mr. McVicar replied, "And please, call me Rob."
"All right, Rob, then," Dad said, "I'd like you to meet my wife, Julie."
Mum shook his hand. "Nice to meet you."
"Rob is the head of the department," Dad explained.
"Although I sure am looking forward to hearing Walter's ideas about running the department," McVicar said, "He's certainly got a bit of experience himself."
"Not as much as you," Dad pointed out.
"Ah, but we're always looking for new ideas," he smiled and turned to me, "Is this your daughter?"
"Yes, that's Amy," Dad said.
McVicar practically crushed my hand as he shook it, but he seemed like a nice bloke. Definitely energetic.
"Is your son here?" McVicar asked, peering around the room.
Matt slowly peeked his head from around Dad.
"Ah, there you are, son!" McVicar exclaimed. Matt quickly retreated again.
"Shy one, eh?" McVicar said to Dad.
"Er, yes," Dad whispered, "We've had certain, er, issues in Australia. I'd rather not get into it."
McVicar nodded. "Well, I'll let you get on with your business. See you in a week!"
McVicar barked something else into the Pest Advisory Board room and then left. Dad sighed and turned around. Matt was still staring at the main door and was ghostly white. Dad picked him up and Mum took the crutches.
"He's a bit energetic," Mum muttered, "But he seems nice."
"He's plenty nice," Dad replied, "Doesn't have a mean bone in his body, as far as I can tell. He's just, well, boisterous."
"That's a good way to sum it up," Mum said.
I would gladly take his loud and boisterous personality if it meant he was the complete opposite of Lubar. It would be a nice change of pace for Dad to work with people who didn't hate werewolves. Judging from the way McVicar treated Matt, he did not hate werewolves.
"Well, let's go get this over with," Dad muttered as he turned towards the Werewolf Registry room.
Mum nodded. "Never thought we'd be doing this again."
Dad knocked on the door even thought it was open. Someone from inside shouted for us to come in and I followed Mum and Dad into the cramped room.
This room was quite a bit smaller than the room Dad was going to work in. There were two desks sitting alongside two of the walls and a man was sitting behind each one. There was another door on the back wall, but it was closed.
One of the men looked up as we walked in. He put down his quill and got up from the desk. He was a bit on the chubby side, but nowhere near as large as McVicar. There was a pair of round spectacles perched atop his bald shiny head.
"Can I help you?" he looked curiously at us.
"Yes, my name is Walter Eckerton," Dad shifted Matt in order to shake the man's hand.
"Darian Kadmiel," the man replied, "Aren't you the bloke McVicar just hired for Werewolf Support Services?"
"Yes," Dad said, "I'm starting in a week."
"Ah," Kadmiel smiled, "Then what brings you in today?"
"I have business with your department," Dad muttered quietly, "Could we speak in private?"
Kadmiel glanced around nervously. "Er, of course, right this way."
Kadmiel gestured for us to follow him towards the door in the back of the room. We followed him inside. The room was tiny, furnished only with a small desk and two chairs. Kadmiel took the chair behind the desk while Dad motioned Mum into the other. Dad set Matt in Mum's lap and turned to Kadmiel.
"What can I do for you?" Kadmiel asked.
"Well, my son is a werewolf, so I need to register him with your department," Dad stated.
Kadmiel visibly relaxed. I stared at him curiously. I had never seen anyone relax when they found out that Matt was a werewolf.
"Oh!" Kadmiel sighed, "When you said you had business with my department, I thought you had some sort of issue with us. Good to know it's just routine stuff."
"Sorry," Dad said, "I didn't want to state explicitly what it was out there. I'd rather let as few people know about this as possible."
"Right, right, understandable," Kadmiel said as he pulled a piece of parchment and a quill out of the desk drawer. "I just have some paperwork to fill out. First, do you have his birth certificate?"
"Right here," Dad pulled a few pieces of parchment out of his robe and handed it to Kadmiel. "And visas."
"Visas?" Kadmiel asked as he looked at the birth certificate, "Oh, you're from Australia?"
"Just moved here today," Dad answered.
I was thinking the same thing Kadmiel was. Visas? I hadn't even thought about visas. Dad must have acquired them when he was interviewing for his job.
Kadmiel nodded and copied some information from the birth certificate onto the paperwork. "All right. Looks good. Date and approximate place he was bitten?"
"December 30, 2010. Outside of Brisbane, Australia."
Kadmiel jotted down the information and looked up. "Is he on Wolfsbane?"
"No," Dad sighed, "It doesn't work for him. No one has been able to figure out why yet, but he's signed up to participate in a study of the potion starting in January."
"Morris Sterling's study?"
"That's the one."
"I'm assuming you haven't set up a place for him to transform yet?" Kadmiel asked.
"Not yet," Dad replied, "But I have plans to do so shortly. I will renovate the basement of our new house and set up a safe room down there with the appropriate spells and charms."
"Sounds good," Kadmiel scribbled something else and put down his quill, "I'm also assuming he's already got a registration number from Australia?"
Dad nodded. "Yes."
"We should be able to use the same one here. I'll just have to see it," Kadmiel stood up.
Dad glanced nervously at Mum. Matt saw Kadmiel stand up and buried his head in Mum's shoulder.
"Actually," Dad stepped in front of Kadmiel, "Could I perform the viewing charm and just tell you what the number is? He had a very traumatic transformation in May that I'd rather not get into. But the gist of it is, is that he's afraid of strangers."
Kadmiel looked curiously at Matt. I could see a bit of concern and sympathy in his face that I had rarely seen in Dad's old colleagues' faces.
"Well, it's not normally done that way, but I don't see anything wrong with it. You know the spell? What was it you said you did in Australia?"
"I didn't," Dad muttered, "I was the head of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures."
Kadmiel gaped at Dad. "Was? And you decided to come work for Werewolf Support Services here? That's a bit of a step down."
"I was fired," Dad said, "And I don't think of it as a step down. I'm rather looking forward to working here."
"Oh, er, right," Kadmiel stuttered, "You know, I vaguely remember reading about you getting fired. Just didn't put two and two together."
"Well, I'm hoping most people won't. And I'd appreciate it if you didn't spread it around."
"No problem. Anything said in this room is always confidential."
"Good to hear," Dad replied, "I'll get you that number."
Dad turned to Matt and pulled out his wand. "Matt," he nudged him.
Matt turned to Dad. "What?"
"I need to get the number from your arm," Dad pulled up the sleeve of Matt's shirt.
Matt nodded and held out his arm. Dad muttered an incantation and a tiny row of numbers and letters appeared on Matt's wrist.
"64XF2J3847," Dad rattled off.
Kadmiel picked up his quill and wrote the number on the paperwork. "Got it."
Dad waved his wand and the numbers and letters disappeared. "Is that everything?"
"That's it," Kadmiel picked up the parchment and put the quill back in the drawer, "I'll see you in a week."
"See you then," Dad shook his hand.
Kadmiel opened the door and gestured for us to leave before him. I followed my parents and Matt out of the tiny room and through the Werewolf Registry into the main room.
A few of the secretaries glanced up at us as we left, but nobody said anything.
"That went well," Dad said as we walked towards the lifts.
"Yes," Mum agreed, "I like it here already."
"We've got to go register our place of residency now," Dad said as we got into one of the lifts, "Level five, I believe."
I punched the number five and the lift rattled shut. The doors opened again on a similar looking corridor. There was a sign that said 'Department of International Magical Cooperation.' We followed Dad down it and he stopped in front of a door labeled 'International Relocation'. Dad knocked on the door.
"Come in," a voice said.
We entered the small room and there was a young woman with long brown hair sitting behind a desk. "May I help you?" she asked.
"Yes. We just moved here from Australia," Dad pulled the visas out of his robes, "I've already got the visas, but I just need to officially change our place of residence."
The woman pulled out a piece of parchment. She took the visas and copied down some information. "All right. I just need to know your current address."
Dad rattled off our new address. I made a mental note of it. It would be a good thing to know.
The woman waved her wand over the visas and then handed them to Dad. "You'll need to go register with the Department of Magical Transportation in order to have your house registered as a wizard's dwelling. They'll get you hooked up to the Floo Network."
Dad pocketed the visas. "Actually, we'd rather not be connected to the network."
The woman raised her eyebrow. "Can I ask why?"
"I'd rather not say," Dad replied, "But I will stop by the department and let them know myself."
The woman nodded and stared at us as we left. Well, not everyone was going to not pay attention to Matt's crutches. It had been nice while it lasted.
"Mum, I'm tired," Matt sighed as we started down the corridor.
"I think this next floor is our last stop, honey," Mum replied.
"Yeah," Dad agreed, "Then we'll get out of here."
I was definitely ready to get out of there. It was rather boring to follow Dad around while he did all these errands. I wanted to go shop for the stuff to decorate my room.
We went back into the lift and Dad hit the button for level six. I leaned against the wall as the lift moved. Matt wasn't the only one who was tired. That nap I had taken earlier had long since worn off and I wanted to go to bed. Not before I got supplies to decorate my room, though.
The next floor again looked exactly like the others. I was surprised Dad seemed to know where he was going. He led us to a room that was labeled 'Floo Network'. It was a large room filled with cubicles and various witches and wizards walking around.
Dad went up to the first cubicle we got to. The woman inside was smacking her gum loudly and doodling on a piece of parchment.
"Excuse me," Dad said.
The woman looked up. "Yeah?"
"I need to talk to whomever is in charge of connecting houses to the Floo Network," Dad answered.
"Oh, you'll want Chuck," she pointed to another cubicle, "Chuck!"
A man popped his head out of the cubicle. "What is it, Nadine?"
"This bloke needs to talk to you!" Nadine shouted back.
Chuck beckoned for us to go to his cubicle. There wasn't nearly enough room for all of us in there, so Matt and I waited outside while Mum and Dad went in. We could see and hear everything, though.
"We just moved to England and bought a house that was previously owned by Muggles," Dad began, "But we do not want to be connected to the Floo Network."
Chuck looked at Dad oddly. "Er, all right. We won't connect you, then."
"The witch in the International Relocation office said we had to talk to you about getting our house registered as a wizard dwelling," Dad went on.
Chuck groaned. "She's always doing that. You actually have to go to Magical Law Enforcement to do that. There's a bloke there who deals with this sort of thing. Second floor. I'll have to talk to International Magical Cooperation again. I don't know why that witch always sends people here for registering their houses...."
Great, I thought, another place. We'd have gone to every department in the entire bloody Ministry by the time we were done! This was getting ridiculous.
Mum and Dad left the cubicle and we followed them out of the room. Dad let out a loud sigh as we proceeded to the lifts once again.
"This better be the last place," he muttered as he pushed the number two.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Wednesday 5 November 2008 05 12 48 pm Post subject: Re: Albus Potter and the Tracks They Left Behind in topic:Albus Potter and the Tracks They Left Behind
Chapter 33: May 2, 2018
Much to Albus's dismay, there wasn't a convenient time to continue following the clues of the map the entire weekend. Quidditch practice took the entire afternoon, because Georgia was beginning her ruthless pre-Quidditch final practices. There was only one match left before the final, and it would determine who would play Gryffindor in the last match. Georgia stressed the need for extra practices and encouraged everyone to practice by themselves whenever they had a free moment. She had somehow seen a glimpse of Albus, John, and Matt flying around the pitch looking for clues and thought Albus had been practicing. Albus had to hide his smirk as she praised him in front of the entire team.
Professor Kendrick canceled all afternoon classes on Wednesday of that week. Since Albus never had classes on Wednesday afternoons, it was no different than usual. The reason for the cancellation was that this particular Wednesday was May 2nd, the twentieth anniversary of the Final Battle at Hogwarts, which lead to Voldemort's downfall.
Fifteen years prior to the twentieth anniversary, five years after the actual battle took place, a memorial had been erected on the Hogwarts grounds, in the precise place where Professor Longbottom had beheaded Voldemort's snake, Nagini. The statue was made of marble and depicted a phoenix spreading its wings atop a large square pedestal. The names of every person who had given their lives during both wars against Voldemort were etched into the pedestal.
Professor Kendrick, along with the Minister, had organized a memorial service that was to take place near the monument. It was to take place at one o'clock in the afternoon and witches and wizards from all over Britain came to attend.
The chairs that had been set up earlier in the day were already filling up when Albus and his friends walked towards them. John's parents had already found seats and he went to sit with them.
"Albus! Matt!" a voice called out over the crowd.
Albus gazed around and his eyes fell upon Victoire, Amy, and Teddy, who were sitting in the second row.
"Hey, Victoire," Albus greeted her once they had walked over, "Happy Birthday."
"Thanks," Victoire sighed, "You know, it kind of sucks to have my birthday today. Everyone's so depressed."
"Not everyone," Albus said, "I mean, it is the day Voldemort was defeated."
"Yeah, but so many people died," Victoire pointed out.
"Are you parents coming, Matt?" Albus asked.
"Dunno," Matt shrugged, "They didn't even live here when Voldemort was around, so I've no idea."
"I think they are," Amy said.
The rest of the Weasleys and the Potters soon filed into the rows near Albus and his friends. His entire family took up quite a bit of space. Albus's parents wound up sitting in the front row, along with Lily, Rose's parents, Hugo, his grandparents, and a few of his other aunts, uncles, and younger cousins. Matt and Amy's parents did come and the four of them sat together in the second row. Albus sat next to Teddy and Rose, with Kaden and Amanda on the other side of Rose.
The rows of chairs were soon all filled up, and some people were even standing or had conjured their own chairs that didn't quite match the others. Professor Kendrick stepped up to the podium that had been placed next to the monument. The crowd quieted down quickly once he got up there.
"Welcome," Kendrick said somberly, "And thank you all for coming. I welcome you to Hogwarts.
"May 2nd, 1998. A day that was both joyful and full of sorrow at the same time. It may seem odd to some that May 2nd is a day we celebrate, when they are mourning the loss of loved ones. We celebrate with feasts, and parties, and days off of work or school; but for so many, today is a day when we remember those who gave their lives for our freedom.
"That is why so many died. They died for us. So that we may live happy and peaceful lives with each other. In our sadness, we must remember that our loved ones knowingly gave their lives for us. There are many of us here today who fought that battle and survived. And I am sure that all of them were prepared to die for the cause.
"I still remember that battle. I was a few years out of Hogwarts. Well, more than a few, but I was still young. I had not settled down. I did not even have a regular job. I was not fully active in the anti-Voldemort movement, but when I got word of the battle, I was there.
"But we must not only focus on the actual battle. I have decided to speak today about the aftermath. About what happened after Voldemort was defeated, after we were free from his oppression. What happened after the battle is what made me decide to settle down and begin teaching.
"I admired the way everyone came together. The way we leaned on each other amongst the grief and happiness. The way Kingsley Shacklebolt stepped up to the plate and organized the Ministry. The way Minerva McGonagall stepped up and organized the rebuilding of Hogwarts.
"We were unified at that moment. Unified by our grief and our happiness. It is this unity that makes us strong, made us able to defeat Voldemort, and makes us able to continue to fight the evil in our lives. We must remember to keep ourselves unified, today, tomorrow, and forever.
"As we remember those who gave their lives twenty years ago, we must also remember that they would not want us to dwell on the past. We should always remember the past, so as not to make the same mistakes, but we shouldn't dwell on it. We should live our lives to the fullest, for that is what they would want us to do."
Albus clapped along with everybody else. Kendrick's speech had been short, but meaningful. Albus noticed that Teddy's eyes were tearing up, and Victoire had put her arm around him.
The Minister gave a speech next. His speech was longer and drawn out. Albus found his attention waning as the man droned on and on. Once he was finally done, Kingsley and McGonagall each gave short speeches.
"And now," Kendrick announced, "We shall hear from Harry Potter."
Albus jerked his head up and watched as his dad slowly got up to the podium. He had no idea his dad was making a speech. The crowd was clapping as Harry got up to the podium.
"Thank you all for coming," Harry began quietly, "Um, well, anyone who knows me really well knows I don't really enjoy making big speeches like this. I'm sure my students can attest to this, given how few actual lectures I give in class. When it comes to teaching, I'd rather take a practical approach. But, when Fabius asked me to speak today, I couldn't turn him down.
"So, I'm going to keep this short. I suppose I'll begin at the beginning. My parents gave their lives to protect me, and to protect all of us. They died in order to help defeat Voldemort.
"Of course, I had to go live with my aunt and uncle after this and grew up without a single bit of knowledge of the wizarding world. If you had told me when I was nine that I would grow up to defeat the most evil wizard of all time, I would have laughed.
"But to say that I defeated Voldemort would be an overstatement. I could never have done it without help from those who died and those who are here today. Without Albus Dumbledore, Severus Snape, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Tonks Lupin, I would never have survived. Where would I have been without Hermione and Ron Weasley, or any of the Weasleys, really? I couldn't have done it. It would be inaccurate to say that I defeated Voldemort twenty years ago. What should be said is that we defeated Voldemort twenty years ago.
"With that, I would like to repeat what Fabius said. We must always remember those who lost their lives, but we shouldn't dwell on the past. We should live in the moment, and think about the future. Because we don't know what the future holds. We make our own future and we should make the most of it. That is what those who gave their lives would want us to do."
Harry left the podium and sat back down amongst loud applause. Albus thought his dad's speech was very good, despite him not wanting to make it in the first place.
Kendrick stood up once again. "I would like to thank you all for coming today. Feel free to explore the castle and grounds. You are welcome to join us for dinner as well. We will be serving it outside, as the Great Hall is not nearly great enough to house you all."
People slowly began to get up from their chairs and most of them migrated towards the memorial. Albus's parents did this as well, but Albus didn't really want to join the big throngs of people. He followed Teddy out of the aisle and stood off to the side with Matt, Rose, Kaden, and Amy while Teddy and Victoire went over to the memorial. The two of them joined Teddy's grandmother and Teddy put his arm around her as they walked to the memorial.
Albus saw John with his family. John's aunts, uncles, and cousins must have come as well, because there were a whole lot of little kids with them. The whole group headed back towards the castle and Albus figured that John and Isabelle were showing their family the school. As far as Albus knew, John's parents weren't really involved with the battle because they were too young to fight when it happened.
Once Teddy and Victoire rejoined the group, they started to walk back towards the castle. Nobody really said much. Even Kaden seemed to know that it was a time for silence. Albus noticed that Teddy's face was streaked with tears.
They walked through the castle, somehow all going to the Room of Requirement without anyone ever stating that as their destination. Matt paced in front of the empty wall and once the door appeared, everyone filed in.
"That was a nice service," Rose commented once they had all sat down.
Everyone nodded without saying anything.
"So," Amy began a few minutes later, "How has the year been?" She turned to Kaden, "I don't believe I've ever met you. I'm Amy Eckerton."
"Kaden Dursley," Kaden replied, "At your service."
"Oh, you're Kaden," Amy said. "Nice to meet you."
"You, too," Kaden said.
Amy turned to her brother, "And how are," she glanced at Kaden, "Your you-know-whats?"
"It's ok," Matt sighed, "He knows."
"What?!" Amy shouted, "I thought he was the kid who got into the Whomping Willow?"
"He is," Matt confirmed.
"Then why would you tell him?" Amy asked, then turned to Kaden, "You know?"
"Know what?" Kaden asked, "Oh, that Matt is a-"
Albus broke out into a grin as he saw Kaden's mouth clamp shut. The charm was still working.
"What's wrong with you?" Amy asked, "And how did you find out?"
"Er-" Kaden stammered.
"We charmed him not to tell anyone," Matt explained, "The Sileo Altus charm. Rose performed it. Kaden can't talk about it in front of you or Victoire or Teddy or anybody who isn't me, Albus, John, Rose, or Amanda."
"You performed a Sileo Altus charm?" Amy asked Rose.
"Yeah," Rose blushed, "It wasn't that difficult once I figured it out."
"Wow," Amy let out a low whistle, "That's impressive."
"I'll say," Victoire agreed, "You've definitely got your mother's brains."
"Good to know the charm's working," Amy said.
The mood in the room became increasingly livelier after that. Albus and his friends told Teddy, Victoire, and Amy all about what had been going on in school and what classes they were going to take the following year. Teddy, Victoire, and Amy talked about Auror and Healer training. Teddy shared that Auror training was very intense and he spent all his spare time sleeping since it was so draining.
Once evening arrived, Albus and the rest of the group headed back outside for dinner. Somebody had conjured loads of long tables and chairs and had placed them throughout the grounds. Albus saw his family taking over a couple of tables near the lake and led his group over to them. Matt's parents were there as well, talking with Victoire's parents.
Albus sat down at a table, across from his parents, with Rose and Matt on either side of him.
"Hey, Al," Harry greeted him.
"Hi, Dad," Albus grinned.
Food soon appeared on the tables and everybody loaded up their plates. Albus ate in silence and listened to the conversations around him. He liked having his whole family at school together. It reminded him of Christmas at the Burrow.
Lily and Hugo were talking animatedly about what they were going to do when they got to Hogwarts the following year. Hugo insisted he would be the next star of the Quidditch team and Lily was telling him that he couldn't try-out until second year.
"But that's not fair," Hugo whined.
"Nobody's leaving this year anyway," James pointed out, "Georgia's the oldest on the team and she'll be a seventh year next year."
"Fine. I'll join then," Hugo huffed.
"Unless of course you're not in Gryffindor," Lily smirked, "I could see you in Hufflepuff."
"I'll be in Gryffindor!" Hugo shouted, "Like the rest of us."
Georgia, Fred, and Heather were deep in discussion about strategy for the Quidditch final. The three of them had always been the most ruthless players on the team. Albus preferred not to get involved in the tactics and fine points of the team. He just liked to play. He could never see himself as captain.
Albus reached over and grabbed a roll from the basket near his dad. Harry was deep in conversation with Ron, and Albus strained his ears to listen in.
"It's kind of disconcerting that we haven't gotten any leads in a while," Harry whispered. "We were getting sightings a few times a month for a while. And now, nothing."
"Do you think they're laying low?" Ron asked.
"Not sure," Harry muttered, "I have a bad feeling about it. Almost like they're luring us into a false sense of security."
"I was thinking that, too," Ron agreed, "But nobody's seen anything. I've got people patrolling Hogsmeade, but they're getting bored. People are saying we need to decrease security. They think it's blown over."
"I don't like that," Harry said darkly, "I'm not decreasing security. Not until we've got them caught. I don't care how bored they get."
"I agree," Ron said, "If word gets out that we've decreased security, they're likely to return to the school."
"I think Al wants to know what we're talking about," Ron grinned, looking up at Albus.
Albus quickly looked down at his plate and shoved a piece of roll in his mouth, blushing.
"I think you're right," Harry laughed, "It's ok, Al. If we talk about work stuff at the table, it's our own fault if you overhear it."
Albus nodded and swallowed the roll. "I wasn't, er, listening in, or anything...."
"It's ok," Ron laughed, "We'd have done the same thing in your place."
Albus nodded and continued eating. He had once again almost forgotten about Washburn and the Willinsons. Now they were fresh on his mind once again. What did it mean that nobody had sighed any of them in months? Albus hadn't even known that there had been frequent sightings before. The Prophet must not have published articles about all the sightings. Albus supposed if they became frequent enough, they would become old news. But where were Washburn and the Willinsons now? Albus doubted they had given up on finding the Hallows. He was more inclined to believe that they were trying to lull his dad into a false sense of security.
Neither Harry or Ron mentioned anything further on the subject. Albus tried to forget about it, but he couldn't. The thought of Washburn or the Willinsons returning for the Hallows was too frightening, especially now that Albus himself had the Invisibility Cloak.
By the time the weekend arrived, Albus had nearly forgotten about the conversation he overheard about Washburn and the Willinsons. The reason for this was that there was finally time for Albus and his friends to locate the final clue for the map.
"What was the clue again?" John asked as they entered the Room of Requirement.
"'Go to the place where we learn to fight the dark, it is there that we've left our final mark,'" Albus recited. He had been thinking about the clue all week, trying to figure out what it meant.
"How do you fight the dark?" Amanda asked.
"Lumos?" John shrugged, "Where did we learn that?"
"I learned it at home," Albus commented.
"I don't think it literally means darkness," Rose sighed, "You lot take things way too literally. Think about it. Dark as in evil."
"Oh!" Albus smacked his forehead. "The Defense classroom!"
"Exactly," Rose grinned, "Let's go."
The classroom was empty when they arrived. Albus quickly shut the door and stared out at the room. Where would the Marauders have put the mark?
"We'd better spread out and start looking," Albus announced.
Everyone agreed and began to search the classroom. Albus inspected all the desks, but found nothing. He sighed and walked over to the bookcase. It was taking a very long time to find this particular print. Longer than it had taken to find any of the others. They had been there for nearly a half hour.
"Found it!" Matt shouted.
Albus looked up from the bookcase and saw Matt crouching in one of the back corners of the room. Albus quickly ran to the back along with the rest of his friends.
"It's right there," Matt pointed to the corner.
"You're going to have to read us what it says," Albus told him.
Matt nodded and touched the carving. It disappeared and a much longer string of words appeared than had appeared from the other marks.
"'Congratulations,'" Matt read, "'You have successfully followed the clues. Either that or you somehow stumbled upon the last one before finding the others. In that case, we suggest you enter the lottery.
"'Anyway, we shall now reveal the directions to find the secret room. We can't vouch for what kind of state it will be in when you arrive, since we're not sure what year it will be when you discover it. In which case, we suggest you learn some good cleaning spells, as Muggle cleaning is miserable.'"
"'You'd know, wouldn't you, Padfoot?'"
"'Shut up, Moony.'"
"'Just get on with the directions.'"
"'All right. You'll need to go to the north end of the sixth floor corridor. There should be an army of suits of armor on one side. Face them. Find the one that's fifth from your left. Lift its right arm up to its head and then put it down again. Turn around. On the opposite wall, there will be a small carving of the four paw prints. Tap it with your wand and say 'I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.' You'll know what to do next.
"'And, keep in mind that only the four of you will be able to open up the Room. So, if you ever want to take a girl there, make sure you arrive first.
"'With that, we wish you luck in all your future mischievous adventures. And as always, mischief managed.'"
Matt glanced up from the wall as the writing slowly disappeared. "That's it."
Albus grinned, "Well, anyone want to go check it out?"
"Yeah!" everyone shouted.
"Let's go, then," Albus led them all out of the classroom.
Albus couldn't believe that they had managed to figure out all the clues and were on their way to the room his grandfather had discovered when he was in school. Everything they had done that year with the map seemed to have led up to this. Albus was extremely excited about this room. It would be solely theirs. The Room of Requirement seemed like their own private common room whenever they were in it, but it really wasn't. The Marauders' room would be their own private common room. Nobody else would know about it. Nobody else would even be able to get in it.
Albus and his friends tried to get to the sixth floor corridor as fast as they could without drawing attention to themselves. Albus hoped the corridor would be empty when they got there. They couldn't exactly get into the room if there was anyone hanging around.
There was one kid walking around near the northern end of the corridor when Albus and his friends got there. He must have been a first year because he was even shorter than Matt. Albus didn't recognize him, but Kaden did.
"Hi, Leonard," Kaden said once they got closer to him.
The kid jumped and turned around. "Oh, hi, Kaden. Thought you were a bunch of Slytherins."
"Nope, no Slytherins here," Kaden replied, "But we're going to let off some dung bombs here, so you'd better get going."
"Oh, ok. See you later," Leonard said and quickly ran down the corridor.
"Nice one," Albus laughed, "But what if he tells Filch we're setting off dung bombs?"
"He won't," Kaden assured them, "He's kind of afraid of Filch. Plus, he hardly talks to anyone."
"Ok," Albus shrugged, "That's good, I guess."
Albus walked a few more feet down the corridor and stood in front of the suits of armor. His friends joined him. Albus silently counted the suits of armor and found the fifth one from the left. He wordlessly walked over to it and lifted up its right arm.
"It'll be somewhere on that wall," Albus pointed to the wall opposite the suits of armor.
Everybody spread out along the wall and began to look for the paw prints. Albus assumed they would be small like the clues throughout the school and he was right. Anyone who walked by would never be able to spot them.
"There they are," Albus pointed to a spot that was about level with his nose. "Ready?"
Everyone nodded. Albus took a deep breath and tapped the paw prints with his wand. "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."
The paw prints sunk into the stone and a small stone doorknob appeared just where they had been. Albus turned to glance at his friends before grasping it. They all wore looks of excitement. Albus turned back to the wall, took a deep breath, and turned the doorknob.
Joined: 4 September 2008
Posted: Tuesday 23 September 2008 08 07 16 pm Post subject: Re: A Gaunt Tale in topic:A Gaunt Tale
No one's replied in quite a while, but I figure I'll put up the rest of the prologue really quick.
It's 3,771 words long - longer than what I've been posting - but I'm up to chapter 8 already in my rewrite so I'm just going to go ahead and post the rest.
(Prologue, last part)
Katalina waited until the last minute of the train ride to change into her Hogwarts uniform. She was dreading the sorting ceremony. She didn’t care at that point in time how she was to be sorted. All she knew was that she didn’t want to be sorted at all. Slytherin was the last thing she wanted, but at the same time, she wanted it more than anything. She hadn’t waited eleven years to get away from her father just so she could be taken back home for being sorted in a house he considered to be wrong.
However, she didn’t want to be in the same house as Lucius Malfoy or Narcissa Black or even her own brother. They repulsed her in a way that words could even begin to describe. Her father often spoke of how they had propper beliefs of their kind, how they knew what sort of witches and wizards they should associate with and which sort they shouldn’t. Her own father made her sick with his constant preaching of the old ways. She never would have told him so to his face, but he really did aggravate her.
She felt her stomach turn in apprehension as she followed an extremely tall man, along with the rest of the first years, to a fleet of small boats fit to seat four people. She joined the girl that had been in the compartment with her earlier, along with the boy she had left with, and found out they were Lily Evans and Severus Snape, who both already seemed to loathe James Potter, who was the boy in the round glasses. They seemed nice enough, so she decided to keep close to them as they got off of the boats after a long ride and were ushered into the castle.
“Come on, firs’ years!” the tall man was saying to the few who were straying off. Katalina was starting to wonder if maybe he was a giant, or at least part giant. “This way! Come on!”
They followed him to a halt as the doors opened. Katalina, Lily, and Severus all craned their necks to see over the crowd in front of them. An old witch in green robes with her hair in a tight, neat black bun stood at the door. Katalina decided immediately that should she stay here, she wouldn’t even think about crossing this witch, as she didn’t look particularly tolerant. After the tall man introduced her as Professor McGonagall, they followed her down a hallway and into an empty classroom, and they stopped inside. She shut the door behind her and turned to face the crowd.
“Welcome to Hogwarts,” she said. “You will all be sorted into your houses very soon. The Sorting Ceremony is very important – while you are here, your house will be like your family. You will have classes with the rest of your house, sleep in the same dormitory as those in your year in the same house, and spend free time in the house common room.
“The four houses are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Your triumphs at Hogwarts will earn you points for your house. Rule-breaking will lose house points. These points will be counted at the end of the year, and the house with the most points is awarded with the house cup. I hope each of you will be a good addition to the house you are sorted into.
“The Sorting Ceremony will take place in front of the rest of the students in a few short moments. I shall return when we are ready for you,” she concluded, her hand on the doorknob. “Please wait here quietly.”
Katalina’s stomach churned even more as excited whispers broke out when McGonagall left. Lily looked almost as nervous, though Severus didn’t quite as much.
“What do they do to sort us, exactly?” she asked Katalina quietly.
“I don’t know, my brother wouldn’t tell me.”
“D’you know what they do?” Lily asked Severus.
“My mother said something about a hat,” he said.
“Th… that’s all?” Lily asked, sounding surprised, but still relieved. “Oh, good. I was worried we were going to have to do actual magic. I’ve practiced some, but I didn’t know if it was enough or not. Have either of you practiced anything?”
“Only a bit,” Severus said.
“My dad made me learn a few things,” said Katalina, looking around the empty classroom. “Not much though, since I didn’t have a wand until a few weeks ago.”
“What sort of things?” Lily asked curiously.
Katalina was thankful that McGonagall came back before she had the chance to answer. She didn’t feel like telling anyone she had been forced to learn about dark magic before she even entered school. McGonagall guided them away to the Great Hall, where there were four tables of students. She saw her brother at one and assumed it to be the Slytherin table. Her suspicions were confirmed when she spotted Lucius Malfoy, a prefect with platinum blond hair.
They all stopped at the Great Hall, where a hat sat upon a stool up near the teacher’s table. McGonagall stood next to the hat. They stood through a song sung by the hat, but Katalina was too busy trying to hold down the sweets she had eaten on the train to listen to it. She almost hoped it would sort her into Slytherin just for being a Gaunt, but there was really no telling. She didn’t want to go home.
The first Slytherin to be sorted was Bellatrix Black. Katalina gave a slight grimace when that name was called, having come into contact with this girl before. The hat shouted Slytherin after having barely touched her hair and, looking rather smug, she hurried over to sit at the Slytherin table next to a girl that Katalina assumed was her sister, Narcissa Black. The next to be sorted was Sirius Black, one of the boys that had been in the same compartment as her and James Potter. He was sorted into Gryffindor.
A few more names later was Lily, who was also sorted into Gryffindor. Shortly after was Katalina. Katalina walked slowly up to the hat, wondering what would happen. She picked it up and put it on her head as she sat upon the wooden stool in front of the Great Hall. She couldn’t see the faces looking up at her, as the hat covered her eyes. She heard a voice in her ear, and she assumed it had to be the hat.
“Gaunt, eh? Doesn’t seem like the lot of them…. Witty, yes, definitely, but not prejudiced. No, definitely not…”
Put me in Slytherin, please, I need to stay here… she thought.
“Slytherin?” Her heart jumped when she comprehended that the hat could read her mind. “No, definitely not Slytherin, you don’t belong there. I’d say… GRYFFINDOR!”
She flinched slightly, though the Gryffindor table seemed to be cheering and clapping. She took the hat off of her head and walked slowly over to the table Lily had joined. She sat between Sirius Black and Lily, as Lily had been glaring at Sirius upon accidently sitting down next to him.
“Sev’ll probably be in Slytherin like he wanted,” Lily said. “Where were you hoping to go?”
“Slytherin,” she said quietly. “I really didn’t want to, but I… my dad told me he’d pull me out to be homeschooled if I was sorted anywhere – ow!”
She rubbed the back of her head when she felt something hit it. She looked behind her and saw the culprit – a balled up piece of parchment. She picked it up and unfolded it, and immediately recognized the handwriting to be her brother’s. There were only five words written upon it:
Dad’s going to kill you.
“… said he’d pull me out if I was sorted anywhere other than Slytherin…” she finished with a sigh, staring at the paper. She looked behind her at the Slytherin table, where her brother was looking quite smug. She glared at him for a moment before turning back around.
“My brother…” she grumbled, crumbling the paper back up and putting it in a pocket in her robes. “Not important.”
“Your brother’s here too?”
“Yeah, Slytherin. He’d be home if he were in any other house.” She bit the side of her fist, staring up at the front of the Great Hall for a moment, then she looked back at Lily. “My dad’s going to kill me.”
“I don’t think he’d actually kill you,” Lily said comfortingly. “I mean, he’s your dad, after all, right?”
“My dad is the root of all evil,” she said, shaking her head. “You have no idea what he’s like.”
After a week at the school, Katalina started to become confident that maybe her father would let her be, let her stay at Hogwarts as a Gryffindor. However, on one weekend when she was sitting outside on the grounds with Lily and Severus, the three of them attempting to look up things for the Potions essay they had been assigned, her hopes were shattered. She flinched as she felt someone poke her sharply in the shoulder, at which she looked up.
“What do you want?” she asked her brother. “I thought you didn’t know me?” Despite her bored tone, she was absolutely horrified at the look on his face.
“Oh, I know you,” he said happily. “You’re my sister who’s going to be leaving tomorrow.”
At once, her heart stopped for a moment, her stomach turned to lead, and breathing became a very hard task. She blinked at him, silently praying he was lying.
“Y– you’re – you’re not – you’re lying,” she managed to stammer, shutting her Potions book and standing up. He handed her a piece of parchment.
“McGonagall told me. She didn’t look very happy about it. You’re supposed to go see the headmaster, it should all be there. Hope you have a nice first year.”
He walked back towards the castle. Katalina sat back down on the grass near the lake with Lily and Severus, unfolding the parchment and reading:
Headmaster Dumbledore requires that you come to his office at once. Please see me in my office immediately and I will take you there.
Katalina looked up, her mouth hanging open a little. Lily and Severus stared back apprehensively. At lack of words, she swallowed and handed Lily the letter. Severus also read it over her shoulder.
“B– but that could mean anything, couldn’t it?” Lily asked. “It might be about something else entirely!”
Katalina shook her head, taking the letter back and putting it in her pocket. “I’ll let you know…” she said, picking up her Potions book. She stood. Lily stood up as well, and so did Severus.
“I’m coming with you,” she said.
“McGonagall probably won’t let you –”
“Then we’ll follow you to her office, if it is true you might get rushed off too fast to tell us anything so we should go with you.”
Katalina looked between the two of them. Even though it had only been a week, they had been good friends so far. Keeping them in the dark would have been wrong. Slowly, she nodded.
“You can follow me there, but don’t try to sneak around McGonagall if she tells you not to follow her to Dumbledore’s office.”
“Of course not,” Lily said, shaking her head, “that would loose house points for Gryffindor, I wouldn’t do that!”
“All right… come on, then.”
They hurried to the castle doors. Katalina stopped once inside and looked from Lily to Severus, who stopped in front of her.
“Why –?” began Lily.
“If I’m being sent home,” Katalina said quietly, looking around the entrance hall, “then I will come back. I don’t know when, it might not be next year, but I’ll come back before our seventh year.”
“How’re you planning to talk your father into it?” Severus asked. “My mum knows him because of Voldemort, says he’s really stubborn.”
“V– Voldemort?” Lily said, looking between them. “He’s real? I heard people saying there were rumors.”
Katalina nodded, her head stooping to look at her feet. “And my dad’s his number one supporter. He’s been around for quite a while now, he’s only just let people that aren’t on his side start to know that he exists.”
“I… is he powerful?” asked Lily nervously as they began walking again.
“From what I’ve heard, he is,” said Severus. “He’s openly said that he believes himself to be more powerful than Dumbledore.”
“More powerful than Dumbledore?” Lily repeated incredulously. “That’s mad, Dumbledore’s supposed to be one of the greatest sorcerers to have ever lived, according to our History of Magic textbook.”
“Voldemort’s extremely pompous,” said Katalina quietly as Bellatrix and Narcissa Black passed them on their way outside – if either of them heard her say that, she would have been on the floor, there was no doubt in that. “He’s under the impression that he’s the most powerful sorcerer to have ever walked the earth, and so he thinks he’s better than Dumbledore.”
They hurried on to Professor McGonagall’s office, and she looked somewhere between frustrated and very tired when they got there. She looked at the three of them, particularly at Lily and Severus.
“I do apologize,” she said, “but I need to speak with Miss Gaunt in private, if you don’t mind.”
Lily looked most disappointed. “Yes, professor…” she said quietly, turning to walk out of the office along with Severus.
As the door shut behind them, Professor McGonagall sat behind her desk and motioned for Katalina to sit in the chair across from it. She did as instructed and stared at her knees, waiting for McGonagall to say the words she was absolutely dreading to hear.
“Miss Gaunt,” she began, “it is to my understanding that your family has been sorted into Slytherin for generations, is that true?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Katalina said, not bothering to look up. She was just waiting for it to come. She heard a sigh.
“That is what your father told us…. He seems to believe you… aren’t ready to come to Hogwarts yet, for whatever reasons.’” Katalina was happy to hear skepticism in McGonagall’s words at this, but not entirely sure she was happy to hear the words themselves. “If Hogwarts had any say in it, you would be staying, but your own father has more of one than we do. He… he has written to us asking that you be removed from Hogwarts to be homeschooled.”
Katalina nodded gravely – there was no point in protesting it. “The letter said I had to speak with Professor Dumbledore?”
“Yes,” said McGonagall, standing. “He will give you more details pertaining to… to the situation.”
Katalina stood and followed Professor McGonagall, wondering what else need be explained. She already knew the details – her father wanted her in Slytherin, and she ended up in Gryffindor. In a family like the Gaunts, that was utter blasphemy.
She did her best to memorize as much of the hallways as she could in her last minutes here, on her way to Dumbledore’s office. She had never imagined Hogwarts would be so amazing, since she avoided asking her brother questions about anything as often as possible.
After a few flights of stairs and a walk down a corridor on the second floor, Professor McGonagall stopped in front of a statue of a gargoyle.
The statue of the gargoyle leapt aside. Katalina tilted her head slightly, contemplating both the rotating spiral staircase in the opening of the wall and the headmaster’s strange choice of passwords. She stepped onto the stairway with Professor McGonagall. The gargoyle moved back into place behind them as the stairs took them up, much like an escalator in a Muggle shopping mall – she had always found those rather fascinating. It stopped in front of a door, behind which Katalina could hear not one, but two voices. Her heart sank – one belonged to her father.
“… just don’t think she is ready to work with other witches and wizards her age yet, Dumbledore,” she heard him saying as they approached the door. “Much the same was the situation with my aunt, Merope Gaunt. I’ve heard her parents withdrew her for the same reason.”
“Not so much,” said a second voice calmly; Katalina assumed this was Dumbledore. “Marvolo Gaunt withdrew Merope from Hogwarts because he was infuriated she wasn’t sorted into Slytherin, I remember it quite well as I was working here at the time as a Transfiguration teacher. I suppose you didn’t know about this?”
“That was the situation?” he asked curiously. He could be a good actor when he needed to be…. “My, I never knew, my father told me his sister just had problems working around other students. I’m merely worried that my daughter may have that very problem, I wouldn’t ever take her from as fine a school as Hogwarts just because she was sorted into the ‘wrong’ house.”
Professor McGonagall knocked on the door as they approached it, her lips thin. She obviously trusted Timothy Gaunt about as far as she could have thrown him. Katalina couldn’t blame her at all for this. She opened the door when a voice from inside told her it was fine to do so, and Katalina followed her into the office.
If it weren’t for the situation in play at the moment, Katalina would have taken a moment to look around at the place. It was rather interesting, really. It was definitely in one of the towers of the castle, as the room itself was somewhat circular. There were strange little silver instruments strewn about different tables, and portraits of old headmasters on the wall, all snoring – though, Katalina noticed, they would occasionally open their eyes to see what was happening, then quickly shut them and continue snoring. Situated on a perch next to the desk in the room was a large, red bird, about the size of an eagle or a hawk, with long tail feathers. It looked like the descriptions she had heard of phoenixes, so she assumed it was one.
Katalina took a seat in a chair next to her father in the office and did her best not to look him in the eye. She guessed the man sitting behind the desk in the office was Dumbledore. He looked old, even ancient, with long white hair and a white beard past his belt. His nose appeared to have been broken once or twice, with as long and crooked as it was. He didn’t look overly angry about the situation as McGonagall did, but he gave off the impression of being able to hide such things rather well.
“Miss Gaunt,” he said, “I am very regretful to inform you that you will not be able to remain at Hogwarts.”
Katalina nodded, choosing to look at the phoenix next to the desk rather than at any of the other people in the room.
“I’m terribly sorry, dear,” she heard her father saying. She felt like hexing him. “I’m just not sure you’re ready to cooperate with other students.”
“She has done fine so far.” Katalina tried to suppress a grin at Professor McGonagall’s words. “If anything, she’s more advanced than most other first years. Any teacher here will attest to it.”
“Oh, no doubt she’s good with magic itself,” Timothy said calmly. “I taught her a bit myself before she entered school so she would know what to expect. As I said, I’m merely afraid she will have problems getting along with other students.”
“Why?” Katalina managed to keep herself from recoiling at her own words as she looked at her father. “Because I was sorted into a house you don’t think a Gaunt should be in?”
She knew she would regret this later. He wouldn’t do anything with McGonagall and Dumbledore standing by, but he would later. A flash of something like infuriation came across his face for a moment, but he managed to keep calm.
“You know that isn’t the case, Ka –”
“Then why did you tell me that you’d pull me out of Hogwarts if I wasn’t sorted into Slytherin when I got my letter? Al said you told him that your granddad did the same thing to our great aunt, except she was put in Ravenclaw. You’re just upset because things didn’t go the way you wanted them to and I got sorted into Gryffindor!”
Now the flicker of anger stayed burning upon his face as he glared at Katalina. His eyes were narrowed and when he spoke, it was barely in more than a hiss.
“What have I told you about back talking me?”
“I’m not back talking you, I’m telling the truth!”
“They don’t need to know anything about the ‘truth,’” he shot back at her. She realized quite suddenly that his voice seemed like a hiss for the simple reason that it was one.
“They do need to know the truth, and there’s no point speaking in Parseltongue, I’ll just translate everything you say.”
She crossed her arms and glared at him indignantly. He stared back, his eyes cold as ice. Katalina wasn’t sure where her sudden nerve was coming from, but she was sure her father would beat whatever was left of it out of her later. Something kept her going, though, and she absolutely detested whatever it was.
“Even if you pull me out, I’m going to come back,” said Katalina, pointing at him. “I might not be able to for a few more years, but I will.”
He turned from Katalina to look back at Dumbledore. “When will I be taking her home?”
“As soon as she has packed her things,” said Dumbledore.
Professor McGonagall escorted Katalina out of the office and up to the seventh floor, where the Gryffindor common room was located, explaining on the way that they would be leaving by Portkey. She had only traveled by Portkey once before and hadn’t enjoyed it at all, but she wasn’t much in the mood to protest anything else. She was still leaving Hogwarts and was probably going to be in quite a bit of trouble with her father when she arrived home. She was going to be forced to learn about the Dark Arts and the old ways.
As she packed, all she could think of was whether or not there was some way to get out of it. The only conclusion she could come to was to sneak back to Hogwarts – she just wasn’t sure how that was going to work.
Joined: 2 August 2008
Posted: Friday 22 August 2008 06 58 29 pm Post subject: Re: Only for those who have already seen OoTP!!! in topic:Only for those who have already seen OoTP!!!
The movie took a while to grow on me. I will never be able to get over the fact that they did not show that Voldemort sent yet another AK curse at Harry and DD used the main statue in the MoM to block it. I thought that was an extremely important part of the storyline and never thought that they wouldn't show that. I didn't like that they took out Ron and Hermoine's prefect story and Ron's quittich (sp?) but I understand that it doesn't have to do with Harry's story, it just on of JK's side stories.