J.K. Rowling owns any characters and places you recognise. I'm just a humble writer trying to make part of the wonderful world she's creating my own.
The party goes under way, and Albus has to choose between two important people in his life. The school also begins to take action -- but can the threat of Harry Potter quell the punishments?
Title of this chapter and the lyrics used are from the song The Headmaster Ritual by The Smiths.
Yay! Chapter two! I hope you all like it, and please tell me what you think. I got such a lovely response to the last chapter -- thanks to all who read and reviewed. You all keep me motivated. Also, thank you to my good friend Gina -- she's so lovely to me, and so I had to throw her name in there. Hope you like the results, dear. ;D
[Professor Creek, an apprehensive headmistress]
credit to the almighty SaphiraLupin at TDA!
Chapter Two - The Headmaster Ritual
I wanna go home, I don't wanna stay.
Give up education as a bad mistake.
Dear Mum and Dad,
I know what you’re thinking, since when does James write you without being written to first? Well, I think there’s a call for it this time. I promise you it won’t happen again.
You’ve both probably seen the newspapers recently, and that article about Albus and the way he acts at school. Especially with that Scorpius Malfoy. Now, I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if the Malfoy boy did take drugs all the time, but I can promise you that Albus isn’t involved in it, at all.
Paris Monroe, the stupid woman who wrote it, has a daughter in fifth year called Elizabeth Monroe, I believe. Lily tells me she thinks herself a budding journalist herself and she’s just trying to get gossip out of the school. It’s not true, so don’t worry.
Albus isn’t like that. I don’t know about Malfoy, but I still think it’s a bad idea, the two of them being friends. I won’t go into that though, you know my opinion.
Lots of love,
(P.S. I already have two detentions!)
A startled Scorpius soon realised that there was no need for the screaming, really. There was just an annoyingly young third year (he wondered who on earth
had invited him), who was high on something or other and evidently hallucinating. The boy was laid out across the floor, yelling at something nobody else could see. Scorpius simply stepped over him in search of friends.
The room was wildly decorated in greens, yellows, pinks and reds, clashing terribly but providing a vibrant atmosphere. Around thirty or forty people were there, some dancing to the music blaring out from Wizard’s Wireless that was propped up on a table in the corner, some in another corner smoking, some in yet another corner sniffing up drugs, and some talking in the huddle of chairs.
The room was soundproof, of course, much to everybody’s relief. They would have been caught long ago if not, and so far they hadn’t been found once. Scorpius wound around the dancers, smiling and trailing his fingers around the odd person’s hips, and went over to the chairs, where he could see Albus’s mess of black hair.
He reached the chairs in no time, raised a hand to those who were greeting him, and dropped himself down onto Albus’s lap. “Where’s Crazy Ava?”
Albus, who shifted obligingly to make them both more comfortable, shrugged. “She went off crying, I think. She’d drank so much Firewhisky she could barely stand, so I don’t think it’s anything too bad. You’re lucky she’s not here, too, or she’d hex you into next week for calling her that again.”
“She’s crazy and she’s called Ava, what is there to get offended about?” Scorpius asked, eyes wide and innocent. He messed up Albus’s hair fondly, and then looked around. “Haven’t started getting drunk yourself, then? Why not?”
“I was waiting for you, of course,” Albus replied, with a longing glance at the table of alcohol. “It’s no fun getting smashed without you, and you bloody well know it.”
“Aw, I never knew you cared that much,” Scorpius winked, standing up. “Come on then. Let’s get pissed and take our shirts off. It has to happen sometime this year, three days without it has been far too long.”
“Hear, hear,” Albus laughed, jumping to his feet and heading towards the alcohol. “Drinking competition, or casual shots?”
“Casual shots,” Scorpius replied, wrinkling his nose. “I want some fairy dust, too. I just hope Dexter’s managed to bring enough to quench my thirst. I’ve spent all summer with barely any.”
“Poor thing,” Albus sighed, sympathetically. He poured out two large glasses of vodka, which they both preferred to Firewhisky, and diluted it with a some orange juice that was next to the bottle. He held out Scorpius’s glass, which Scorpius took with a smile of thanks. “Anyway, any conquests for you tonight? I’m sure you’ve been starved of snogging this summer, too.”
“Hardly,” Scorpius said, lowering his glass and looking wistful. “There was a new family in the village, and they had two beautiful children. By children, I mean two seventeen year olds, of course. I wasn’t starved of kisses, believe me.”
“Nice,” Albus smiled, taking a swig of his drink. When he’d finished, he smacked his lips, and looked around. “Wonder where Ava got off to. Think I should go look for her?”
“No,” Scorpius said, simply, taking Albus’s arm and leading him towards the group of those with the fairy dust. “She’ll be fine, she’s a tough girl. Now, come and get high with me.”
“As you wish,” Albus obliged, smiling at one of the female dancers who caught his eye. “I wish I’d been starved of fairy dust over the summer. Lily walked in on me taking some at one point. I quickly hid it, but I think she knew what I was up to.”
“Why don’t you invite her to a party someday?” Scorpius asked, taking two of the sachets of fairy dust and a packet of pills from the pocket of an unconscious Dexter Forest. “She’s quite a pretty kid, she’d fit in well.”
“Now, now,” Albus frowned, plonking himself down on a chair next to Dexter, and accepting the sachet from Scorpius. “I’ve told you enough times that Lily is off limit. Stop talking about her. She’s only fourteen.”
“Don’t worry, I’m not going to touch her,” Scorpius winked again, sitting by his best friend. “God, I’ve missed this stuff. The parties, the drugs, and you. Summer’s been so boring.”
“I love how I come last in the list of things you’ve missed,” Albus said, sounding amused. Scorpius glanced up from where he was tipping out the white powder onto the wooden table, lifted a hand and ran a finger down Albus’s jaw. Albus smiled, softly, and let a throaty chuckle escape him.
“You know I missed you most, Allie,” Scorpius murmured, wearing half a smirk. He tapped Albus’s jaw with his finger and withdrew it, looking pleased with himself. “Now, get that cute little nose of yours ready for the high of it’s life.”
Edward Belby leant against the wall, biting his lip. The party was raging behind him, he knew it. Even though it was in his imagination, he was sure he could feel the reverberations of the music beneath his fingers as they rested against the stone.
He had never specifically been invited to one of the parties, however much he had wanted to be. Rose had told him where they took place and how to get in, scorn heavy in her voice. He couldn’t understand why she turned the invitations down. Yet, despite the rejections, Albus kept inviting his cousin. Everybody loved Rose. Next to her, Edward was invisible.
He scuffed his shoes against the floor, turning over what to do in his mind. If he simply went back to the Gryffindor common room now, he’d be safe but he’d regret backing out. If he went in, he was at risk of being rejected, but at least he’d know - at last - if he’d be accepted into the parties.
After all, Scorpius would be in there. Scorpius, who had never even spoken to Edward before, but who haunted the dreams of the Gryffindor. Svelte, beautiful Scorpius who Edward knew, deep down, he loved. He didn’t care that everyone seemed to ‘love’ the Slytherin - what he felt was real
, he knew.
With this drive pumping in his blood, he grit his teeth and set out, walking past the stretch of wall three times. When the door materialised, he took a deep breath, opened it, and strode in. The party was madness, more mad than he’d imagined.
People were kissing everywhere he looked, and a string of dancers threaded across the room, groping and laughing. A table of empty bottles towered over the room, and on some surfaces were the familiar signs of fairy dust. The air was heavy with the scent of Screechsnap. It was a sweet smell, but a telltale one of drugs.
Edward pushed through the room, in search of Scorpius. He wasn’t entirely sure what he’d do when he found him, but he had to try, at least. Nobody spared him a second glance, which he found half a relief and half an insult. Finally, he emerged at the back of the room, and his heart seemed to stop for a moment as he saw the mop of startlingly blonde hair.
But Scorpius wasn’t alone. He was kissing a girl that Edward knew was a sixth year Ravenclaw called Gina Knox. He paused, watching the two of them kiss, and felt a rush of horror inside of him. Of course, he knew that Scorpius kissed anybody and everybody but Edward, but actually seeing it seemed to deaden something inside of him.
Scorpius paused the kiss for a moment, and their eyes met. Edward tried to smile, but the muscles in his face seemed to have stopped working. Scorpius raised an eyebrow, smirked and waved. Edward, feeling numb, raised a hand and waved back.
And then, again, Scorpius was kissing the girl, leaving Edward to turn away and go to the drinks table. He wanted to get as drunk as hell, and try to forget the love that devoured him.
“Ava, calm down, won’t you?” Albus begged, casting a wary glance around. He didn’t make a habit of visiting girls’ toilets, and now he was here he realised that if they were caught, there could be serious consequences. What with the noise Ava was making, he was surprised that there weren’t teachers running in already. “Ava, stop it. You’re being silly. What’s wrong?”
“I’m not being silly,” she sobbed, make-up in stark streaks down her face. “You don’t love me, do you?”
“Oh, stop it, it’s the alcohol talking,” Albus snapped, irritated at her frivolity. He sank to the stone floor, shaking his head. How was he
supposed to know if he was in love? She did this every time she got drunk, and it annoyed the hell out of him. “I’m not answering you when you’re pissed.”
“Stop dismissing me!” she cried, wiping her tears away and swatting him on the arm. “I want to know if you love me. Tell me, now. Can you go ten minutes without thinking of me?”
“No,” Albus lied, bored. He wanted to get back to the party and catch up with Scorpius; the summer had been long and tiresome without his best friend. “Ava, you either come with me back to the party, or I’m off myself. It’s stupid hanging around in a toilet.”
“I suppose you’re right,” Ava mumbled, and then lurched towards the toilet. “I think I’m going to be --”
“I’ll go fetch Rebecca to help you.” Albus rolled his eyes, getting to his feet. “Come and find me when you’ve finished throwing up, yeah?”
Without waiting for an answer, he left the girls toilets and made his way back up to the seventh floor. He was fond of Ava, yes, and it tipped over sometimes to love. But he had never felt in love
, like people often said they were. He’d be the first to admit it was more of a lustful relationship than a loving one, even if he sometimes felt guilty for lying to Ava and saying he loved her.
Going up the stairs from the sixth floor, Albus ran a hand through his dark hair. There were going to be repercussions for the article in the newspaper, he knew, but he couldn’t seriously believe it would be anything bad. After all, nobody would do anything bad to a Potter. His dad’s authority was far too great for that.
With these positive thoughts in his mind, he headed over to the party once more. As he opened the door to go in, somebody pushed past him, coming out. It was Edward Belby, Rose’s best friend. He looked thoroughly forlorn, though sober, and walked past Albus without looking up. Albus frowned, but carried on into the party. He didn’t know Edward, and it wasn’t his business to know what was the matter with him.
The party was dwindling down now, with only around ten occupants left. Scorpius was dropping off on one of the sofas, alone for once, and so Albus made a beeline straight for him. Rebecca wasn’t in the room, so he guessed Ava would just have to sort herself out.
“Party over?” Albus asked, sitting on the sofa, and nudging Scorpius’s legs out of the way. Scorpius opened his grey eyes, and shrugged. His blonde hair was messed up now, and in his eyes, whilst lipstick was smeared across his mouth. Albus noted, with a smile, that there were at least four shades mixed together. “Kissed a lot of girls, then?”
“Yeah,” Scorpius murmured, yawning. He sat up and shuffled around, instead nestling his head against Albus’s chest. “Don’t move. Comfy.”
“I’m glad you
are,” Albus grumbled, without any heart. “Ava asked the question again, you know. It’s awful, she won’t shut up about it.”
“Hmm. Tell her the truth.”
“I dunno what the truth is myself, though.”
“Split up with her? Or tell her you’re in love with me. That’ll stop her asking.”
“Yeah, and that’ll just get the both of us murdered,” Albus snorted, shaking his head. “I won’t split up with her or anything drastic. She’ll just believe me when I say I love her soon enough, and hopefully stop asking.”
“Fair enough,” Scorpius yawned, squirming to get more comfortable. “Stop moving, Allie, I want to go to sleep. The fairy dust is wearing off, and you know it always makes me sleepy. Hush.”
“Oh no you don’t,” Albus said, sharply, pushing his friend away. “The last time this happened you fell asleep and were impossible to wake up. Let’s get back to the dormitory before I end up stuck underneath you, yeah?”
“You always get stuck underneath me,” Scorpius smirked, but obligingly stood up. “Come on then, love, if we must go to bed, we shall.”
“Glad you see sense,” Albus smiled, leading the way out of the room. They emerged in the empty corridor, shutting the door behind them, and began their descent through the castle in silence. It was, according to Albus’s watch, nearing one in the morning. Luckily, Saturday was upon the two of them, so they could sleep in and not worry about missing any lessons.
The corridors of Hogwarts were still, thankfully, deserted. The main problem the boys encountered on the way back from the parties were the ghosts, Peeves especially. If they bumped into one of them (or, more precisely, walked through
one of them), all hell could break loose. The Bloody Baron was inclined to ignore them, but most of the others were disapproving and, in the case of Peeves, likely to call the caretaker.
The caretaker was a kindly, middle aged wizard known as Radcliff. He was nice to the students in general, and was helpful and friendly, but in the case of Albus and Scorpius - well, he wasn’t inclined to be very nice to them. He had caught them one too many times, high on whatever substance they’d procured that night, and his threats of telling their parents were beginning to get closer to being carried out every time.
“I can’t make it,” Scorpius moaned. Albus thought his best friend was being ridiculously dramatic, and turned to push him onwards, but to his alarm Scorpius was being deadly serious. The boy had gone pale and he was swaying dangerously on his feet. As Albus made to support him, he slumped forward, completely unconscious.
Albus had played Quidditch long enough to get good reflexes, and so he moved forward quickly and managed to catch Scorpius, grimacing slightly at holding all of his weight. The fact that Scorpius had knocked himself out because of drugs didn’t surprise him - in fact, in was quite a common occurrence - but it always worried him. There was always a chance he’d never wake up.
“Wake up, you arse,” Albus muttered, laying his friend on the floor. He checked his pulse - which was fine - and smoothed the blonde hair from the pale forehead. “Wake up
, you arse!”
Scorpius stirred slightly, and his grey eyes flicked open. Their eyes locked and Scorpius smiled, sleepily, and murmured, “Night night, Allie.”
With that, the blonde boy turned over, nestled against the floor, and began to snore. Albus gaped at him for a full minute, before scowling and kicking the wall in frustration. They were still on the fifth floor, and seeing as their beds were in the dungeons, he knew he had quite a bit of carrying to do.
Resigned, he hoisted Scorpius up, shuffled the unconscious body around in order to be more comfortable, and carefully made his way down to the fourth floor. He was grateful, once again, for the empty corridors - he was carrying Scorpius rather like a groom might carry a bride, and it wasn’t as though there weren’t already suspicions as to the nature of their friendship.
Not wishing to dwell upon the subject himself, Albus hummed quietly himself as he passed the bathrooms on the fourth floor. However, his humming, and his movement, came to a halt as he nearly collided by somebody staggering out of the girl’s toilets.
It was Ava, and she looked up when she realised she had nearly banged into someone. Her eyes were smudged with make-up, and her cheeks were slightly green with nausea. However, despite her drunken state, she managed to focus upon the pair in front of her.
Her brown eyes narrowed instantly.
“Oh, so this is where you’ve been!” she shouted, her voice slurred. Albus winced, shaking his head to try and shut her up. She paid no attention to him, however, and instead pointed at Scorpius. “I wanted you to help me! All you ever do is help Scorpius. I’m
“I know you are,” Albus said, in what he hoped was a calming voice. “I’ll help you in a minute. I’m just going to get Scorpius to the dungeons, and then I’ll come back and -”
“No!” she protested, folding her arms over her chest. “Put Scorpius down and - and carry me. I need you more than he does.”
“Well, look, no.” Albus shifted Scorpius again, his arms aching a little. “Can’t you just let me go? I’ll be back in a second.”
“If you like Scorpius more than me, then go ahead!” she yelled, swaying slightly. The green of her cheeks had faded to a pure white now, and she swayed unsteadily. A little more feebly, she murmured, “Carry me like you’re carrying him.”
“Ava, are you okay?” Albus asked, but it was a moment too late.
She had slumped to the floor in a drunken faint.
Albus raised his eyebrows and his mouth fell open from shock, his eyes moving from his unconscious girlfriend, to his unconscious best friend. Then, feeling very much hard done to, he kicked the wall again and shouted, “Shit
Then, of course, came the decision of what to do. He looked between them again, clicking his tongue against the roof of his mouth. Who should he help to the dungeons first? Ava or Scorpius? His girlfriend, or his best friend?
After a moment more of deliberation, Albus shrugged, hoisted Scorpius over his shoulder, and muttered, “Sorry, Ava. See you in a minute.”
The sunlight washed over Scorpius, turning his pale hair golden and causing his pale skin to shine. He stirred at the sudden warmth, arching his back like a cat and unfolding his limbs. His grey eyes flickered open, and then narrowed, blinded by the light. He sat up, clutching at his forehead, and blinked a couple of times.
Saturday. The sacred day of rest and hangovers.
a bad hangover, too, he realised, as he climbed out of bed. His head felt as though it had been smashed against a wall, his limbs were shaky and tender, and his stomach was churning unpleasantly. He was still dressed in last night’s clothes - his Sex Kitten t-shirt crumpled with sleep - and so he quickly slipped them off and pulled on a dressing gown.
The other boys were all asleep, their low, steady breaths filling the room like appalling music, and Scorpius glanced at them as he made his way to the bathroom. Albus lay face down on his bed, still in his clothes as well. Wrinkling his nose, Scorpius tried to remember what exactly had happened the night before.
He remembered being ushered down the stairs by a concerned Albus, but halfway through the journey his memory hit a blank. He guessed he’d passed out and that Albus had to carry him, but that was just how things went. He wasn’t particularly concerned. Turning on the tap in the bathroom, he looked up blearily into the mirror. His blonde hair was messy and there were dark shadows underneath his eyes, but otherwise he looked in good health.
It was a good job, too. He wouldn’t take a step out of the dormitory if he looked anything less than beautiful.
He splashed his face with cold water and ran a brush through his hair, hoping to feel a little better. It worked, to some extent. Some of the dizziness had faded and he felt almost chirpy, and so strolled back into the dormitory to get changed. Still, the other boys slept on.
Scorpius pulled off his dressing gown and threw it carelessly on the bed. He set about getting changed for the day, after a glance outside to see that it looked rather windy, making as little noise as possible. Until he was dressed, he hardly wanted anyone else awake in the room. He dressed casually, for once, his jeans only a little
However, as he knelt down to tie up the laces on his red boots, there was a tentative knock on the door. Raising an eyebrow - nobody had ever knocked before - he called, “Come in!”. The door swung open, to reveal a nervous looking second year boy. Surprised, Scorpius stood up straight and went over to talk to him.
“I’ve got a - a message from Professor Creek,” the boy squeaked, fidgeting with the frayed edge of his cardigan. “He wants to see you and - and Albus Potter as soon as possible.”
“Professor Creek?” Scorpius asked, mildly interested. “I was wondering when our first trip to see the lovely headmistress would be. Thanks for letting us know.”
“It’s - it’s okay,” the boy stuttered, already turning away and scurrying down the stairs. Scorpius shook his head in bemusement - little children always confused him. He had never been that
shy when he was younger. He didn’t think he ever had been shy in any sense of the word, come to think of it.
Softly padding across the room, he made straight for Albus’s bed. If the headmaster wanted to see them, it must be pretty serious. Albus was snoring, his face down on his pillow, but Scorpius was merciless - he leant close to his friends, and shook his shoulders, whispering in his ear, “Albus, Albus, wake up, we have to go somewhere”.
Albus swatted him away, sleepily, but Scorpius persisted. Finally, after about five minutes of pestering, the work was complete. Albus lurched out of bed, hair tousled and in his eyes, and blinked groggily at his friend. “What d’you want, you git? I was dreaming about something really good.”
“Was it me, by any chance?” Scorpius asked, lightly. As Albus made to reply, he quickly interjected, “Get dressed into something respectable. Creek wants to see us.”
“Creek?” Albus asked, sharply, all signs of tiredness gone. “As in the headmistress?”
“Who else by the name would want to see us?” Scorpius smirked, and then stretched, his jumper riding up to reveal his hairless stomach. “Get changed. She’ll be in a right mood if we don’t get there soon.”
“She’s always in a right mood,” Albus muttered, but consented and went off to hunt for clothes for the day.
“Now,” Professor Creek sighed, leaning back in her chair and staring alternatively between the two boys. Albus shifted uncomfortably in his seat, trying not to meet the headmistress’s eye. She was usually a genial woman, but she wasn’t too fond of them and their troublemaking ways. “Boys, what am I to do with you?”
“You could slap our wrists and let us leave,” Scorpius suggested, slumped back in his seat and looking thoroughly bored. “This is just as much a chore for you as it is for us, Professor. We all know that.”
“I would do that, normally, Malfoy,” Creek nodded, looking unmoved by his attempt at charming her. “The thing is, I haven’t got you here for a specific wrongdoing. I have got you here for this
In time with the last word she threw a newspaper onto her desk, pointing at an article on page four. It was, just as Albus feared, the article that had emerged the previous day, featuring the picture of the two of them high on some illegal substance or other. Albus licked his lips nervously, and glanced at Scorpius. Scorpius looked completely composed, casting a disdainful look at the paper.
“Professor Creek, really, you don’t believe The Prophet
, do you?” he sniffed, sounding scornful. “I thought you were above such things. Everybody knows it prints complete lies. I’m sure my father will be suing for libel.”
“The governors have been in contact,” Creek snapped, snatching the paper back from the table, as though it had been abused somehow. “There will be an investigation; they’ve demanded we have one. The Ministry is sending a specialist around sometime in the next week to ensure you are both drug free. This is a serious matter, and I’m thoroughly ashamed of the both of you.”
“But none of it’s true!” Albus insisted, desperately trying to prove their innocence. “The governors can do what they want. My dad will put a stop to all this. It’s ridiculous.”
Creek stiffened, her mouth forming a tight line. She was fairly young, only in her late twenties, and she’d been bought up in the generation that respected Harry Potter and his defeat of Lord Voldemort. Quietly, in a restrained voice, she murmured, “I don’t think there is any point in involving your father.”
“He’ll want to be involved without me asking,” Albus noted, rather relieved inside that she was getting worried. “Do you really think he won’t come into school, when the national newspaper has accused me of being a drug user? He’ll probably come today, especially if there has to be an inquiry.”
“Well, nobody said there had
to be an inquiry,” Creek muttered, looking suddenly uncomfortable.
“I thought the governors said there had to be,” Scorpius said, sounding surprised. “The Ministry, too.”
“They didn’t say there had
to be, exactly,” she said, in a sheepish voice. “I thought it would be fitting, however, to show them we are doing something. I was going to suggest a drug specialist come in from the Ministry and -”
“I’ll have to go and write to my dad, then,” Albus sighed, and out of the corner of his eye saw Scorpius wink at him. “He’ll want to be present, and he’ll want to talk to you about how you’re handling it, Professor. I dunno if he’ll be happy, though.”
“I won’t run my school how Mr Potter wants it,” the headmistress protested, but she didn’t sound certain. “He is just another parent. If he has any concerns about the way things go, he can make an appointment.”
“I’ll go and tell him that for you,” Albus offered, standing up. “I mean, we’re completely clean, so it will just look bad on the school - but if you’d rather go through all the bother for nothing, go ahead. We’ll look forward to it, won’t we, Scorpius?”
“We will indeed,” Scorpius nodded as well, getting to his feet. “It should be fun, meeting some dashing Ministry official who is intent on sending us to Azkaban when we‘ve done nothing wrong.”
“Off we go then!” Albus said, cheerily, sharing a smirk with Scorpius. “I’m sure we’ll see you later, with my dad, Professor Creek.”
“Wait!” she called, as they headed for the door. They turned, innocent, curious expressions on their faces. She looked miserable and torn, but drew herself up to her full height and glared at the two of them. “Are you really telling the truth about being clean?”
“Of course we are!” Scorpius lied, sounding offended at the doubt. “We wouldn’t lie, or we’d only be exposed.”
“Well, then, I see no point in an inquiry,” Creek said, with an attempt at a stern voice. “However, if there is one more hint of any kind of illicit activities from either of you, the Ministry is going to be contacted. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Professor,” Albus beamed, relief flooding him. “Thanks very much.”
With that, the two boys left the office. Once they were out of earshot of their headmistress, they began to laugh at their own cleverness, and pat each other on the back.
“Jesus, mate,” Scorpius snorted, running a hand through his light hair. “I wish my
dad had that sort of power. Did you see the look on her face when you mentioned him?”
“It was great, wasn’t it?” Albus laughed, admiringly. They emerged into a corridor near the Entrance Hall, and Scorpius sniffed the air, hopefully. Albus cast him a strange look, rather alarmed at the behaviour. “What’s the matter? Someone smell bad?”
“I smell food, Allie,” Scorpius said, pouting slightly as he looked at his best friend. “Let’s go eat, shall we?”
Albus grinned again, and slung an easy arm around his friend’s shoulders. “’Course we can. All that lying has made me starving.”
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