Amazingly, Scorpius did actually manage to get about three hours of sleep in the end. He still woke up pretty quickly and before his alarm clock was set to go off. He was actually quite glad, it meant that he could go and get some breakfast before the great hall filled up with people that would do nothing but stare and whisper.
He couldn’t really blame them. Heaven and Hell had just entered the wizarding world which wasn’t exactly an everyday occurrence. He was dreading to see what the headlines of the Daily Prophet held.
After getting dressed, he made his way through the empty corridors towards the great hall. He hadn’t even bothered trying to control his hair which was sticking up all over the place. On his way, he saw some of Cassandra’s handy work.
Symbols, similar to the one she’d burnt into his arm were carved into the walls at various parts of the castle. A huge one was on the floor directly in front of the main entrance to the school.
As he approached the great hall he sighed to himself. He could hear the voices of several people already in there meaning that his breakfast wouldn’t be quite as private as he’d hoped. His spirits lifted slightly as he walked in and saw that the voices came from Albus, Dominique and Rose who were sitting at the Gryffindor table. A huge pile of books and a few empty plates lay next to them.
“I’m pretty sure that the teachers will let you guys off your homework given that, you know, the apocalypse is about to arrive,” Scorpius mumbled as he approached them.
“Oh, good, you’re here. This isn’t homework, its research,” Rose said very quickly. She looked like she hadn’t slept a wink and instead had resorted to drinking massive amounts of coffee and was now riding a caffeine buzz.
“After you left last night, I went to the library to see if we had anything on this sort of thing. I only found one book by a wizard that postulated the possibility of the existence of Heaven and Hell back in the nineteenth century,” she explained.
“I’m sure that’ll be loads of help,” Scorpius smiled sarcastically.
“Not really, it was just a bunch of theories so I asked mum to look into the muggle side of things when it came to the subject. She had these sent here by emergency owl post last night.”
It must have taken every owl in Hogwarts to deliver that many books.
“Did you guys even go to sleep last night?” Scorpius asked rubbing his eye.
“Nope,” Dom said.
“Okay, so what have you found?”
“Tonnes!” Rose exclaimed. “You wouldn’t believe how much stuff there is. Some of its biblical, pre-biblical, Chinese, Hindu, some of it’s even in Cuneiform! The Koran, the Hebrew bible, the King James, they all make reference to angels and demons in one form of another.”
“Oh, and get this,” Al said. “Lucifer’s name actually means ‘The Light Bringer’.”
“Okay...that’s a little too cute and fluffy for my liking,” Scorpius said before flopping down on the bench.
“Actually, it seems to fit. A lot of this says that Lucifer was the most beautiful of all the angels and he inspired the others in ways you can’t imagine. They all looked up to him and his closest brother, Michael,” Rose said with her face still buried in a book. “Lucifer, Michael and Gabriel command the Heavenly host, the armies of Heaven. When Lucifer turned against God, Michael was the one that defeated him and banished him to Hell. But it wasn’t just Lucifer. He took a third of the host with him.”
“Wait, so it’s not just Lucifer? He’s still got an army of angels on his team?!” Scorpius said wide-eyed.
“I think so. That would certainly explain why this war is going to be so bad,” Dominique shrugged.
“Well, this just keeps getting better and better doesn’t it,” he groaned.
“How are you feeling?”
Scorpius jumped in fright and almost fell off the bench. Cassandra had appeared out of nowhere.
“Don’t do that!” he growled.
“I apologise,” she said.
“Where have you been?”
“Putting up protection around the school,” she said.
“Thanks,” he said as his stomach started rumbling.
“You require nourishment,” she said pointing out the obvious.
“Yeah. I’d kill for a spicy Italian sub with jalapeños right now but I’d setting for -”
He stopped when he realized that Cassandra was already gone.
“Was it something I said?” he asked the others. They just shrugged.
A moment later she back and holding the exact sandwich that he had asked for. For a moment he just looked amazed and then reached out and took it from her. He bit a mouthful of it and practically had an orgasm. It was the greatest sandwich ever!
“Oh, my God! That is amazing!” he said with his mouth still full. “Did you get this from Heaven?”
“No, from the Subway on Van Ness avenue in San Francisco,” she said simply.
“Scorpius!” Rose hissed. “You can’t ask an archangel to be your waitress!”
“I didn’t ask anything,” he said before taking another bite. “Ohh, iss is so bootiful.”
“You eat like a pig,” Dominique mumbled in annoyance.
“You’re just jealous because you don’t get a sandwich,” Scorpius smirked. “So...you find anything that suggests how Lucifer is gonna jack in the box?”
“Not yet,” Al sighed. “The story just kinda ends after he gets the big boot. I mean there’s stuff about him trying to influence Christ and another’s through the years but that’s about it. Nothing that says he’s going to escape.”
“And you don’t know how he managed it?” Scorpius asked Cassandra.
“No, Lucifer covered his tracks very well. It was the first thing he did upon his arrival.”
“Of course,” Rose nodded. “Otherwise you guys could just travel back in time and stop him.”
“Exactly,” the angel agreed.
“There’s gotta be something,” Scorpius huffed.
“Maybe...there is sufficient evidence to suggest that it was in fact a human that summoned him to Earth,” she said causing all their faces to drop.
“A human?! Are you serious?!”
“Scorpius, this is good,” Rose said excitedly. “A human we can deal with. If we can find the person that does it and stop them, we win!”
“Come on, a human with the juice to summon the devil has got to be way out of our league,” Scorpius said.
“Have you noticed the archangel standing next to you?” she said condescendingly. “No human can stand up to an angel, right?”
“Scorpius will stand up to Lucifer,” Cassandra corrected.
“Yeah, but...he’s the chosen one...” she sounded a little too convinced by that and it made Scorpius feel uncomfortable.
“Thanks for your support,” he scathed before taking another munch of his sandwich.
“Cassandra, in the future you came from, when did Lucifer’s attack begin?” Dominique asked.
“The twenty-fifth of December, twenty-twenty three.”
“Christ’s birthday, how ironic,” Albus tutted.
“Christ was not born on Christmas day,” Cassandra informed. “That was an arranged festival date to coincide with the winter solstice.”
“Oh...okay, so he must have busted out a little while before that, right. He spent a while covering his tracks and then kick-starts the end of days. That’s just a guess of course but it gives up some kind of time frame to work with. I’d suggest that we try and figure this stuff out before say...the first of December to be on the safe side,” he said logically.
“There’s a safe-side to this?” Dom asked with raised eyebrows.
Scorpius stopped eating for a second and looked at them with confusion.
“Did something happen last night that I missed? I mean, you guys seemed to have jumped on the band wagon pretty quickly given the fact that you looked like you were about to die from shock not too long ago,” he said suspiciously.
Dom, Al and Rose looked at each other awkwardly.
“Well...it’s like you said...this stuff isn’t going away if we ignore it so...” Al’s explanation didn’t convince him.
“Really?” he said dubiously. His eyes settled on Dominique and his teeth gritted together. Anger began to bubble up inside him.
“What?” she snapped defensively.
“You told them didn’t you?!”
She looked away uncomfortably not being able to meet his eyes. Finally she gave in. “I’m sorry alright! It’s just what you said about...about the surviving the abortion...It kinda seemed like...providence...a miracle...” her tone was full of guilt. “I was trying to get them to help you and it made for a pretty convincing argument...”
“It kinda reminded us of my dad and...well, he turned out to be the chosen one so we just...” Al said trying to support his cousin.
“Scorpius,” Dom said softly looking him in the eye, “I’m sorry...but, if this is really happening then you need all the help you can get. And if we’ve only got about five weeks before this all goes down, we can’t spend that time trying to convince people that you’re the...messiah.”
Messiah...it sounded crazier every time he heard it.
“Well, thanks Dom! Feel free to spill my life story to anyone else that thinks the archangel is full of crap!” he barked in anger.
“I’m sorry...I just...”
“It was by Heaven’s will that you survived,” Cassandra confirmed. It didn’t make Scorpius any less pissed off though.
They all turned to see Hugo Weasley standing by the entrance to the great hall still looking very sleepy. Obviously they hadn’t told him or maybe they just hadn’t had the chance to.
Scorpius turned away and looked at his sandwich but he had lost his appetite. He stared at it for a few more seconds and then it came back. That sandwich was just too tempting to pass up.
“Ahh, I was really hoping that you were just a dream,” Hugo said lazily looking at Cassandra. “No offence.”
“None taken,” she replied.
“Has the world ended yet?”
“Not yet, we think we’ve got until about Christmas,” Al said sardonically.
“So, no presents this year?” Hugo groaned. “The apocalypse sucks!”
“You don’t say,” Dom snorted. “You on board with this Hugo?”
“Do I have a choice?”
“Not really,” she shrugged.
“Then I guess I’m in,” he said sitting down at the bench. He looked at Scorpius and the Sub in his hand. “Where’d you get the sandwich?”
“San Francisco. Angels do home delivery,” he said still chewing.
“Awesome,” he said turning to Cass, “Can I get a foot long Barbeque Rib with -”
“Hugo!” Rose and Dom shrieked.
Luckily the light screech of an Owl sounded before Hugo had to answer. The large brown bird flapped through the hall and dropped a rolled up newspaper on the table in front of the group.
It was the Daily Prophet. Rose quickly grabbed the paper and unrolled it. The headline practically jumped on her face.
Reports are rolling in that an ‘Angel’ has shown itself to wizarding kind at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and has brought news of the coming apocalypse.
There was just a slightly moving picture of Hogwarts behind the headlines. Obviously the press hadn’t managed to snap a photo of Cassandra yet since they were still pretty strict on letting reporters into the school.
Rose turned to the second page to see the so-called ‘full story’.
The wizarding world has never really opened up to the idea of a supreme being or a realm that exist after life but it seems they are both on our doorstep now. Dozens of reports of a beautiful woman with ‘gigantic white wings’ have been reported in the last few hours. She apparently fell out of the sky and is now bringing news that Armageddon is upon us all. According to our sources, several Hogwarts students, including the children of Harry James Potter may be involved in this.
“Wow, they’re always so optimistic,” Rose snorted.
“I’m just amazed that they actually got the story right for a change,” Al said leaning over Rose’s shoulder and reading the same article. “Especially the part about you being beautiful, Cassandra,” he looked at her and smiled with obvious innuendo.
The angel didn’t seem to know how to take that. In addition to pop culture references, she clearly wasn’t used to compliments either. Still, she managed to smile and nod at him while a very faint flash of red developed in her cheeks. For some reason, Scorpius felt a jolt of annoyance at her response. She was supposed to be his guardian, not off flirting with one of the Potters!
A mouthful of sandwich when down his throat hard as he had forgotten to chew enough.
Was he actually jealous?
Their attention was pulled away by several voices approaching from the entrance to the great hall. They saw Harry, Ron and at least a dozen other aurors walk past with Sinistra and Neville Longbottom in toe. Judging by the elevated tones, something was wrong.
“Well, that doesn’t look good,” Al said stating the obvious.
Scorpius got to his feet and started walk towards the entrance. He stopped, spun around and grabbed what was left of his sandwich before following after the group of aurors. A moment later Hugo, Dom, Al and Rose were walking with him to catch them up.
Cassandra just teleported straight in front of the group causing them to stop in alarm. One of the aurors, a young woman that could potentially be very attractive if it weren’t for her huge goggle-like glasses and hideous flower earrings actually shrieked in horror at the sight of the angel and almost fainted. Luckily Ron caught her before she could fall.
“What’s goin’ on?” Scorpius asked approaching from behind the group.
“Malfoy, go back to your dorm,” Harry ordered. His face was full of fear. Something was seriously wrong.
“How about no. What’s happening?” he asked more sternly.
Harry took a breath before speaking. “Hagrid’s missing.”
“Hagrid?!” Rose and Al gasped. The Potters were very close to the big friendly giant so their panic was understandable.
“He was in the grounds last night at approximately two-twenty three,” Cassandra informed. She must have seen him when she was putting up protection around the school.
“We found Fang barking like crazy on the edge of the forest. We’re going in to look for him,” Ron said.
“I’ll go with,” Scorpius said instantly.
“No you won’t!” Harry snapped.
“I agree,” Cassandra said sounding a little more forceful than usual.
“Harry, if I go with you, Cassandra comes too,” he said pointing out the obvious benefits.
Harry thought to himself for a moment then nodded. “Fine, just you. The rest of you are staying in the castle!” he ordered.
The group of aurors continued to walk down the corridor while Cassandra stayed behind and walked up to Scorpius.
“You are placing yourself in unnecessary danger,” she actually sounded angry.
“Unnecessary?! It’s Hagrid! It’s more than necessary!” he snapped back. Hagrid had always been nice to him. Despite his constant praising of the Golden Trio, he had nevertheless been one of the few people at that school that hadn’t judged Scorpius by his father’s actions. “And I’m really not likin’ the fact that you seem to think that everyone else is expendable!”
Scorpius looked at her with a mixture of anger and disgust. She was an angel, how could she say something like that?
“What?! No one is expendable! I thought angels were supposed to be all righteous and loving...you know, like guardians!”
“I’m a soldier; my mission is to protect you. Hugo and Dominique are secondary concerns, everyone else is not a priority,” she stated without any compassion whatsoever.
“Yeah, well you damn well better start making them a priority! Otherwise, when the time comes and you need something from me...don’t bother knocking coz’ I won’t answer!” he hissed through gritted teeth before storming past her.
“Scorpius, none of them can do what you will,” she said as he walked away.
“THEY’RE STILL PEOPLE, ARENT THEY?!” he yelled at the top of his lungs. It was loud enough to cause all of the aurors to turn and see what was happening. Al, Rose, Hugo and Dom watched quietly from behind. All of them seemed pretty amazed that Scorpius would actually bark at his own guardian angel like this but he just couldn’t believe her disregard for the lives of innocent people. “I thought your God was supposed to cherish life! All life!”
“The Lord works in myste -”
“If you say ‘mysterious ways’ I swear to Merlin I will stab you in your face!” he scowled and squared up to her. She wasn’t the slightest bit intimidated. “You brought this crap to our doorstep because you couldn’t keep your own house in line! Okay, dark wizards, evil dictators, fanatical lunatics, screwed up environment, those are humans problems and we’ll deal with them but this...this is Heaven’s problem and yet you’re dumping it on us!”
“It wasn’t our intention. We wanted to keep him from this world!” she said clearly holding back her anger.
“And what is it they say paves the way to Hell?” She seemed to know the answer but she didn’t say it. “You don’t save the world by dividing up the population into who should survive and who’s gonna be cannon fodder! You save as many as you can! No matter how dangerous it gets or how impossible it seems, you don’t stop trying! YOU NEVER STOP TRYING!”
It was as if he had been possessed. These words that were coming out of his mouth weren’t coming from his brain; they were coming from somewhere else. Wherever it was, he believed them.
Silence floated through the halls for a second as Scorpius and Cassandra stared each other down.
Then, from behind them, Professor Holmes, a chubby woman with curly blond hair came rushing up out of breath.
“The centaurs found him...” she cried.
There were tears in her eyes.
None of them needed to ask if he was okay. They already knew that he wasn’t.