“So what do we do now?” Scorpius asked while looking at his head boy badge. It was gold rimmed with the Hogwarts seal in the centre. But unlike the uniforms that the other students wore, the badge had two H's on it which he assumed meant Hogwarts Head.
“I don't know, head shit up I spos',” Al shrugged clipping his badge to his belt.
“Dish out detention, take long lunches...”
“Forget to wear our uniforms, call the professors by their first names...”
“I don't think we're allowed to do that.”
“We don't know until we try,” Al grinned.
They made their way back down to the first floor and joined the rest of the students in the great hall. They took their usual seats at the Slytherin and Gryffindore tables again getting a couple of curious looks from the others in the hall. They saw a few new faces sitting at different tables and realised that they had missed the sorting.
Neither Scorpius or Albus really fit the criteria of Gryffindore and Slytherin, or rather they didn't any more. During the first two years they they were stereotypical to the point of being boring. It wasn't until the third year that everything changed and people started to wonder whether or not they should create fifth house called 'Insanerin' or 'Crazydore'.
After a few minutes of chatting with Lily, Hugo and Rose, Headmaster Garrick arrived in the great hall and made his way to the podium. The student's banter stopped instantly and all eyes turned to him.
“Welcome and welcome back ladies and gentlemen. For those of you sitting here for the first time, myself and the other teachers wish you the very best of luck with your first year and hope that this is the start of a very prosperous future for all of you. To the returnees, you know the drill,” he said without smile.
The students let out a quiet chuckle. Garrick never sugar coated anything unless he had to. He told it the way it was and the way he felt about it. Sometimes that was a wonderful thing, other times is was horrifying.
“First, allow me to confirm the rumours that I'm sure many of you have heard. Yes, the Tri-wizard tournament will indeed be taking place this year.”
The hall erupted into cheers and applause but stopped the moment Garrick raised his hand.
“However, the tournament will be very different this year. In accordance with the new International wizarding decrees that have been passed, the Tri-Wizard tournament will be including two schools that have never competed before. Salem Witches Institute in America and the Hokkaido Academy of Magic in Japan. Hokkaido is also where the tournament will be taking place this year.”
Gasps and excited chatter began to build but again Garrick silenced it with a single movement. He was very good at that.
“Forty-five Hogwarts seventh years will travel to Hokkaido on the thirtieth of October and stay there for the remainder of the year.”
This time the chatter that started wasn't excited. It was a low moaning sound from all the under-age students.
“I understand that you would love to be able to go and support Hogwarts and have your chance to compete during the tournament but as Hokkaido Academy is still a relatively new school, it simply doesn't have the space or facilities to accommodate three hundred students. I can promise that you will get updates from the tournament as they happen and the tasks will be broadcast live for all of you to watch. For those of you that do go, classes and resources are already being set up so that you can continue with your Newt studies and exams while there.”
This cheered the students up a bit but it was nowhere near as good as actually being there.
“I don't just expect, I demand that all students that do go to Japan will not only represent this school with dignity but will also be on their best behaviour,” Garrick said sternly and like clockwork, his eyes turned to Albus then Scorpius.
“Yeah,”Albus agreed. “Best behaviour, we'll be watching all of you.”
Half the school snorted at that remark.
“That,” Garrick continued, “brings me to another first time and...somewhat unnerving announcement. This year, due to...unexpected circumstances,” he was looking at Al again, “the head boy and girl positions have been done a bit differently. This year, there won't be a head girl, instead there will be two head boys and they are...” he sighed deeply, “Albus Severus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy.”
There were no cheers or applause or even comments. Instead the entire school looked back and forth from Garrick to Al and Scorpius wondering if they had actually heard that correctly.
“Thank you, thank you,” Scorpius grinned and bowed.
“Don't worry, we won't let this go to our heads,” Al laughed.
“That was a good one,” Scorpius clapped.
“I could do this all day.”
“Sit down, the both of you,” Garrick growled. He looked up to speak to the rest of the school. “Trust me, I was thinking the same thing when I heard about this but it's the way it goes. As heads, Potter and Malfoy will be responsible for the forty-five students that go to Japan...don't worry, I'll be there as well.”
A few students actually let out a sigh of relief. Garrick was probably the only person in the world that could keep those two under control.
“Details of how to apply for the tournament placement will be available tomorrow...Now, a few standard announcements...”
The rest of Garrick's words were ignored by Al once he saw Rose. She looked like she had just eaten molten lava because she was turning bright red and seemed ready to blow her top. Then he remembered that she had been pining and working for the head girl position for the better part of her sixth year, now it had been handed to the most dangerous and irresponsible pair in the history of Hogwarts. She was never going to forgive them for this.
“This wasn't our idea...” Al said innocently holding up his hands. He turned around to see Scorpius mouthing the words “I'm sorry,” to Rose.
As expected, Rose refused to speak to either of them for the rest of the night and disappeared off to bed at the earliest possible moment. Scorpius spent the evening looking extremely glum.
This, however, was quite a good sigh. Al had been wondering if their relationship had just been a result of a build up of sexual tension caused by a few years of hostility towards each other but judging by the way they were acting now, it was looking like they actually liked each other.
The next morning, Scorpius was waiting outside the Fat Lady portrait hoping to catch Rose as she left for breakfast but she had been expecting it and left even earlier than usual. Al came out a few moments later.
“Stalking her isn't going to work, you know,” Al said. “Just give her some time to cool off, then talk to her.”
“We should have told her before it was announced. It just slipped my mind.”
“Cheer up mate. Come on, I'll buy you a bagel.”
“The foods free,” Scorpius said looking confused.
“I know, you think I'd offer if I had to pay for it.”
The great hall was alive with chatter about the Tri-wizard tournament. Most of the talk was about the other two schools since not much was known about them. Some students were already taking bets on who was going to get picked as a champion and which school would win.
The Tri-wizard tournament was a breeding ground for gambling. In fact, it was probably the biggest gambling event in the entire wizarding world.
Since they didn't have lessons until after lunch, Al and Scorpius hung around the corridors for a bit, making a feeble attempt to at least seem like they were doing their duties as heads.
“How do I make this up to her?”
“I don't know, write her a love letter, sing 'my heart will go on' or something,” Al groaned. He getting annoyed since Scorpius hadn't stopped whining about her since he had woken up.
“Could get her some chocolates...flowers...no, a new book!”
“Get her a pet, you know she loves animals.”
“Her mum won't let her have any more...” Scorpius sighed. “I hate it when she's angry with me.”
“I hate it too.”
“Why do you hate it?”
“Cos' I gotta listen to you bitch about it!” Al growled.
“Listen to me?! You should have told her before they announced it!” Scorpius yelled back.
“Why have I gotta tell her?! She's your girlfriend!”
“I know she's my girlfriend, I'm in love with her!”
Albus took a step back looking shocked.
“In love with her...”
Scorpius was now looking very uncomfortable and slightly desperate. “Well...I haven't actually said that to her...you know, the L word...but...yeah, I think I am,” he sighed.
Al smiled. It actually made him happy to hear Scorpius say that. “I'm happy for you,” he said patting his friend on the back.
“Be happy for me after we patch things up.”
“I will – HEY YOU!” Albus roared.
Down the corridor a very annoyed fifth year stopped in his tracks and grumpily wondered over to them.
“Where you going?” Al asked angrily.
“To my lesson,” the fifth year mumbled.
“Lessons started twenty minutes ago. It's against school rules to be running around the corridors when you should be in class, I'm gonna have to mark you for it,” Al said.
“What?! That's not against the rules!” the fifth year yelped.
“We're heads, your not so shut up!” Al shot back.
In honesty, he had no idea whether it was or wasn't against school rules but he had to do something that at least made it look like he was doing his job. Scorpius just went along with it.
“You need to fill out one of these,” Scorpius said handing Al a small pit of parchment with boxes and official notes on it.
“I'm gonna be even later now that you're doing this so can we hurry this up please!” the fifth year whined.
“No we can't so shut your trap!” Al barked.
“How many points are we supposed to take?” Scorpius asked.
“How many do you usually loose for being late?”
“You should know, your the one that's always late,” Scorpius remarked.
“Don't say that in front of him,” Al snapped.
“The only reason I'm late now is because you two won't let me go!” the fifth year yelled.
Albus suddenly snarled, threw the parchment on the floor and pulled out his wand.
“Ah screw it, lets just shoot him!” he roared pointing his wand at the fifth year's head who immediately crapped himself and jumped behind Scorpius for protection.
“Don't do it, Al!”
Albus had the most deranged, psychotic look he could muster all over his face. It was actually quite terrifying. “Get out of the way Scorpius, I'm gonna kill him! We can make it look like suicide or an accident!”
“It's broad daylight!” Scorpius warned.
“I don't care, I'm still gonna splatter him over the wall! Get out of the way!”
“Get out of here before my friend kills you!” Scorpius yelled and the petrified fifth year took off at high speed down the corridor.
A few seconds later, they burst into fits of laughter.
“I could get used to this,” Al chuckled, tucking his wand away.
“I bet he'll never be late for another class in his life,” Scorpius grinned.
His smile faded as he saw a fuming red head staring at them. She had seen the whole thing. Before either of them could say a word, Rose turned around and stormed off.
“Wait, wait, Rose!” Scorpius went after.
“Vaya con dios,” Al mumbled, silently wishing him luck.
“Rose, please, wait up!” Scorpius begged as he caught up to her.
“I don't want to talk to you,” she hissed.
“I know your angry about the head thing but please just let me explain!”
“I don't need an explanation!”
Scorpius, out of desperation, jumped in front of her and held her by the arms so she couldn't move. It might not have been such a good idea because she was starting to look like Mount St. Helens again.
“This is a punishment, not a promotion!” Scorpius announced.
“Oh, really?! Being made head boy and getting to spend the year in Japan is a punishment?!” her voice was dripping with high-pitched sarcasm.
“I know it sounds pretty sweet but no, what happens after is the punishment,” he said grimly.
Scorpius had his opening. Rose wasn't quite sure where he was going with this but her temper seemed to have stopped boiling for a second.
“The head boy thing is just so they can get rid of us for a year and the tournament in Japan is probably the last bit of life the wizarding world is ever going to give us,” he couldn't hide the sadness in his voice.
“Oh come on, Rose. You know as well as I do that even if my and Al got the greatest Newt results in the history of Hogwarts, they still wouldn't let us become Auror's. Not after Smuggler's Cove...and Hogsmead...”
This was an ugly truth that the three of them had been keeping out of their minds as much as possible. After the amount of mass destruction they had caused, the wizarding world would never trust them with anything bigger than being heads of Hogwarts and they probably didn't even trust them to do that.
Although they were only trying to do the right thing, Al and Scorpius had ruined any chance at getting the careers they truly wanted. After this year, it was all over for them and they knew it. They just didn't want to accept it.
“The only job they'll give us is working in a tiny room at the ministry, sorting through backlogs and paperwork from the nineteen sixties.”
Rose was looking upset from having the truth spelled out to her. Still, her resolve was shaken but not destroyed.
“Well, I'm sorry, Scorpius but you two brought that on yourselves. You shouldn't have gotten involved! We have laws and officers that uphold them for a reason, but you two don't seem to care about that! You think you can just do whatever you want but it doesn't work that way!” he voice was cracking.
“I know,” he sadly admitted. “We've screwed up every time we've tried to help, but what's done is done. This year is all I have left...I want it to be a good one. I want to spend it with you...”
She was struggling. Whenever he started talking like this, some how she always became putty in his hands. Those soft words and penetrating eyes could get through her armour in a heartbeat. She dropped her head, looking at her feet and trying to hold back tears.
“I've ruin my future with the Ministry, Rose. I don't want to ruin my future with you,” he lightly pushed her chin up so he could look into her eyes. “I love you.”
That did it.
“Come to Japan.”
That undid it.
“What?!” she shrieked.
“Come with us. Please.”
“I-I can't! I...have my Newts to prepare for!”
“You can do that in Japan and besides, we both know you could have passed your Newts in the fourth year if the had let you take them then. You're the smartest girl in this school and I haven't spent nearly as much time with you as I should have. Come, it'll be great and we can finally spend real time together. No more sneaking around...I can actually take you out to dinner and stuff...over there, we can actually be a real couple,” he smiled.
“Scorpius...” she was failing again.
“Don't make me do the baby raccoon,” he warned.
“It won't work!” she stated.
Scorpius, very slowly, started to cover his eyes with his hands and make the most innocent and frightened look he possibly could.
This was the baby raccoon. It had come about while Rose was looking through a muggle textbook about animals and stumbled upon a picture of a frightened baby raccoon. Apparently, a baby raccoon will use the survival tactic of covering it's eyes when it's scared and hope that “If I can't see you, you can't see me,” actually worked.
Rose found it so adorable that she actually started crying. Now Scorpius used it to win her over on just about everything.
“Stop it!” she demanded.
He didn't. Instead he started making a quite whimpering noise. “Japan...” he mumbled.
“Ahh! You're impossible! Fine, I'll go!” she yelled.
Scorpius broke out of the baby raccoon routine and hugged her tightly. Then he planted a slow, passionate kiss on her lips, not caring if anyone could see them.
“You're the best!” he said.
“Well, you're lucky. Japan has a pretty fascinating host of magical creatures so I was hoping to go at some point anyway, but you have to promise me something,” she said firmly.
“Don't put your name in the Goblet of Fire.”
“Scorpius, those tasks kill people! It's bad enough when I hear you two have just survived a near-death experience, I can't actually watch it happening! Promise me you won't enter the tournament!” she was scared and deadly serious.
He thought for a second, juggling what was more important. Rose was the clear winner.
“All right. I promise,” he said before kissing her again.
'My heart will go on' is the title a Celine Dion song.
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