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Chapter 7 : Marshwood Downs
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“See you after the holidays.”
“Yeah, see you.”
Albus was standing in the entrance hall with Scorpius, who was waiting with the rest of the students going home for Christmas on the train.
Albus, James and Rose were Flooing home but way of Neville’s office. Being their parents’ children, they were afforded special treatment, the kind that he hated, James loved, and that Rose was indifferent towards.
A sour-looking filch was waiting at the oak front doors to take Scorpius and the other students to the carriages that would take Hogsmeade station for the ride back to London.
The doors opened, bringing great deal of wind and snow into the hall and causing Filch to yell, “Hurry up, I ain’t got all day!”
“Well,” Scorpius said, “say bye to Rose for me.”
“Will do,” Albus said, watching as Scorpius turned up his long cloak and fall the other students out into the wintry air to the line of old carriages that appeared to be pulling themselves – though Albus knew that there were strange, skeletal winged horses, visible only to those who had seen death, shivering between the stocks.
He returned Scorpius’ final wave as the doors close with a loud bang. Stuffing his hands in his pockets, he dragged his feet all the way up to the fourth floor where Neville’s office was. He glanced down the Charms corridor as he passed it, remembering what had happened there so many weeks ago.
Emily had barely spoken him in the past months. She had a constant, sickly look about her that Rose attributed to “overworking.” Of course, between classes and Prefect duties, the theory didn’t really surprise Albus.
The door was open to Neville’s office when he reached it and he could hear laughter coming from within. Pushing the door the rest of the way open, he saw James and Rose standing around Neville’s desk laughing as the Herbology professor sat back in his chair, grinning.
“Oh, hey, Al,” Neville said, spotting Albus.
Albus nodded, though he was still getting over the initial shock of the office’s décor. There were plants on every surface, squat bushes with poisonously green leaves and large purple fruit, a shriveled old stump with a large “Do Not Touch!” sign beside it, and a massive Mimbulus Mimbletonia crooning in the corner. Even the walls were covered in paintings and diagrams of all types of both magical and mundane plants.
“It’s about time,” Rose said, “We were starting to wonder where you were.”
“Seeing Scorp off,” Albus muttered, trying hard to ignore James’ smirking face.
Neville stood and moved towards the fireplace, where a small fire dance merrily, “I was just telling James and Rosie about the first time your dad flew in first year. Thought he was going to get flogged and ended up Seeker!”
He lifted a small wooden box from the mantle and held it out to them. “I sent your trunks and things already. Tell your parents hello for me. Have a happy Christmas!”
James took a pinch of the glittering powder from the box and threw it onto the low flames, which immediately turned green and leapt. He stepped over the grate into the flames.
“Marshwood Downs!” He cried, and with the whoosh, he was gone.
Rose moved forward and followed suit, crying, “Weasley Way,” before disappearing with another whoosh.
Albus made to take a pinch of Floo Powder but Neville laid a hand on his shoulder.
“I know James can be bigheaded, Al,” he said, “but don’t let him get to you, okay? You’re his brother. I know it’s difficult to be the bigger man but your father always was and I see more of him and you every day.”
Albus stared, unsure of what to say, and merely nodded.
Neville smiled and held out the box of Floo Powder again. Albus took a small pinch and threw it into the flames, which again erupted in green. He stepped into them savoring the feeling of breezy warmth that enveloped him before shouting, “Marshwood Downs!”
He was spinning very fast, his arms crossed over his chest and his eyes clamped shut against the rushing wind and occasional soot. When he began to slow, he opened his eyes and threw out his arms upon spotting his own den.
He stumbled slightly as his feet hit the stonework of the fireplace. No matter how many times he Flooed, he would never get over the feeling of sudden sickness it gave him. However, he had little time to compose himself before a small figure with flaming red hair nearly knocked him over again.
“Al!” Lily squealed, hugging him tightly.
Albus coughed and his father laughed and said, “Give him a chance to breathe, Lily.”
She broke away and he straightened his glasses and looked around the familiar room. It was large and brightly lit, with several plush armchairs and a long sofa grouped around the fireplace. The large bay window to his right showed him the snow-covered hills stretching to the grey horizon.
He turned back to look at his parents and sister, who were all beaming at him.
“Welcome home,” his mother said, pulling him into a warm embrace that clearly said she at least momentarily forgotten her anger at his fighting. His father hugged him as well, tousling his hair as he always did and scattering dust and ashes so that Albus coughed.
“Sorry,” his father said, pulling out his wand and cleaning Albus and his robes with a casual flick.
Lily grabbed Albus’ hand and pulled him into the hall, insisting the Albus tell her everything about his year so far. Albus grinned and let her lead him to the upstairs hall. They passed the door to James’ room, which was closed, the sound of music coming from within. Directly across the hall from James’ room with Lily‘s. Albus followed her in, blinking hard as his eyes adjusted to the violently purple walls. Everything in the room was such a bright shade of lavender that Albus often thought it should be illegal.
Lily’s eyes lit up with a fervored excitement as Albus spoke of Hogwarts, of his classes and Professors and of Quidditch. She, most of all, was excited about going. It pained Albus to think that she would be in Gryffindor with James.
The sun was low in the sky outside Lily’s window when they stop talking. Albus went to her other window, which overlooked the back garden and the marshes beyond for which the house was named. Two gnomes were in a scuffle over a worm at the edge of the wood.
Lily left to talk to James and Albus followed her out to the hall and went to his own room next door.
The calm, moss green walls were a welcome change from the purple of Lily’s room. Driscoll was sitting on his trunk at the end of the bed. The owl hooted in welcome and Albus stroked his wings before opening the window to let him outside.
He tossed his wand on the bedside table. Both his windows looked out over the rolling hills, now covered in glittering white snow. He knew over one of the distant hills with the sea, where his parents often took them during the summer.
Laying down on his bed, he let the coolness of the blankets and pillow press against his skin. Suddenly feeling relaxed and tired, he was soon asleep, and when his mother knocked on his door to call him for dinner, he merely rolled over onto his stomach and slept on.
Albus spent the next week playing Quidditch with James in the backyard while Lily watched, and having raucous snowball fights in the front yard until they had to retreat inside, panting, where their mother had hot chocolate.
On Christmas eve, Albus’ father left work early only to retreat to his office when an owl from the Ministry came zooming in through the kitchen window.
“That man,” Albus’ mother said, closing the window behind the owl as it left. “Just doesn’t know how to say no to that place.” She sat back down and resumed dictating to the quill resting on the parchment stretched across the breakfast table. As the quill raced across the parchment, writing out the report for the Prophet on Puddlemere United’s new star Chaser, Albus stood, muttering something about not being hungry, and moved out into the hall. He was determined to ask his father about the strange things that he had seen happening on the grounds of Hogwarts.
He went upstairs and down the hall past his parents’ bedroom to his father’s office at the end, where the door was slightly ajar. There were urgent voices coming from within.
“– haven’t seen this much activity in years,” his father was saying.
“It’s probably nothing,” a voice Aldus recognize as his uncle Ron said. “There’s no proof that any of His were involved. No one follows Him anymore. He’s dead and his followers are in Azkaban.”
“Not all of them,” his father said. “We couldn’t catch all them. Lucius Malfoy –”
“I don’t like the Malfoys either, Harry,” Ron said, “but they’ve lost all their power and influence over the years. Besides, I don’t think any of them would be willing to risk their immunity for bit of Muggle torture.”
Albus leaned closer to the crack in the door, heart hammering.
“I know,” his father said, sighing. “I guess I’ll just never get over what they’ve done. Did you know Al’s friends with Malfoy‘s kid, Scorpius?”
“Yeah,” Ron said, sounding suddenly angry, “Rosie’s mentioned him. I swear, if that son of a ferret touches her, I’ll –”
Having heard enough, Albus opened the door wide and walked into the office. His father looked up at him in surprise from where he was crouched by the fireplace. His uncle Ron’s head sat in the dancing flames; he looked shocked and rather embarrassed.
“Al,” his father said, standing hurriedly and taking a step towards him.
“I’ll sort this out, Harry, and talk to Kingsley for you,” Ron said awkwardly, “see you tomorrow, Al.” He vanished with the pop and the flames were again red and gold, causing the dark paneling on the walls to gleam.
“What’s up?” His father said, leaning against the desk.
“There’s nothing wrong with him,” Albus said a little louder than he’d intended.
“What?” His father said, frowning.
“Scorpius,” Albus said, clenching his fist. “There’s nothing wrong with him. He’s not his grandparents and he's not his father.”
“I know, Al,” his father said, “I’m sorry. Your Uncle – you have to understand that a lot of things happened between us and them back when I was younger. Things you don’t understand I hope you never have to.”
“And that makes him evil?” Alba said. “Well I guess I am, too, since I’m in Slytherin. At least that’s what James says. I didn’t hit him because of Quidditch, I hit him because he’s an idiot and I’m sick of him insulting me and my House and my–my best friend.”
His father stared at him, looking shocked but, somehow, vaguely proud.
“You know,” he said, smiling slightly and moving across the room toward Albus. “If there was one thing that always stayed constant in my life, especially at Hogwarts, it was your Aunt and Uncle. They’ve been my best friends since I was your age and no matter what anyone said about me, they always defended me. They were and are true friends. I can see you’re one, too. I’m proud of you, Al. You have the ability to see the good in everyone, no matter what.
“I once knew another man who did just that and I always thought he was crazy for it. But I was wrong. He was an amazing person. Just like you.” He chuckled and ruffled Albus’ hair. “Everyday I see you living up to your name.”
The conversation with his father had pushed all thoughts of the mysterious figures from out of his mind and he went to bed that night feeling excited and nervous for the next day.
On Christmas morning, Albus woke suddenly as something hard and heavy hit his stomach and knocked the wind from him. Lily giggled and leapt off the bed as Albus gasped, trying to catch his breath.
“Wake up, sleepy!” she sang, disappearing into the hall.
He heard her running downstairs and squealing as he shoved his glasses on. Still rubbing his stomach ruefully, he made his way downstairs into the den where Lily was sitting beside the twinkling Christmas tree surrounded by sea of brightly colored wrapping paper. His parents were sitting by the fire, looking tired but smiling just the same.
“Go ahead, Al,” his mother said, nodding to a pile of presents as his father yawned and ran his fingers through his untidy black hair.
Grinning at Lily’s squeals of delight, Albus knelt down next to his own pile of gifts and unwrapped new boots and pajamas, a pair of Seeker’s goggles made specially for him to be worn without his glasses, an assortment of Weasley’s products, a massive box of Every Flavor Beans, a book about dragons from Hagrid with realistic looking and sounding moving photographs, a copy of the book Quidditch in the 21st Century, and a hand knitted sweater from his grandmother – emerald with a large silver A on the front.
Lily, who was already wearing her purple and white jumper, was excitedly examining her new gobstone set. James had just entered, yawning and stretching but grinning as he spotted his own pile of presents.
“Al,” his father said, standing from his chair. “Can I talk to you in the kitchen?”
I was looked up from his box of Weasley’s Wildfire Whizz-bangs and nodded. Setting the fireworks down, he followed his father across the hall to the kitchen curiously.
There was a card open on the table holding a picture of a large, blond man and a thin, mousy-haired woman holding a pouting girl of about four, who Albus recognized as his father’s cousin, Dudley, and his family. He always found it odd, those pictures, for they merely sat there smiling blandly, refusing to move.
“Did I do something wrong?” Albus said nervously.
“No,” his father said, smiling as he pulled a wrapped package from the cupboard.
“What’s that?” Albus asked, staring at the bundle in his father’s arms.
“It’s for you,” his father said, passing the package. “After what you said yesterday, I can see you’re more than ready. I’ll just tell you what the man who gave it to me said. Use it wisely.”
The wrapping paper fell away and silvery fabric cascaded over out of his hands. It shimmering gleam like water and seemed to glide between his fingers. The Invisibility Cloak.
“Dad,” he croaked, glancing between his father and the Cloak. “W-why are you giving this to me?”
“Because I trust you to know how to use it,” his father said, his eyes bright as he watched Albus marvel at the cloak. “I don’t need it anymore and you showed me yesterday that you’ll know when to use it. Just stay out of trouble, okay?”
Albus nodded mutely, still gazing in awe at the fabled object.
“What the hell?!”
They both turned to see James standing in the doorway, clutching his crimson jumper in one hand and a Chocolate Frog in the other and looking furious.
“Why are you giving it to him?” James shouted.
“James,” their father said calmly, “you know as well as I that you wouldn’t use the cloak like Al. You’d be sneaking out and playing pranks. If you didn’t get into so much trouble I’d –”
“But I’m the oldest!” James roared, taking a step toward Albus, who stood his ground.
“That doesn’t make you more responsible,” Harry said, raising his voice. “You already took the map from my office. Don’t think I don’t know. If you’re going to steal, how can I trust you to use the cloak properly?”
“He doesn’t deserve it,” James spat, glowering at Albus, “the little Slytherin git!”
James looked angrier than Albus had ever seen him, though the look that their father was giving him clearly stated that the conversation was over.
Making a noise of anger and disgust, James threw down his jumper and frog and stormed out of the kitchen. His furious footsteps shook the stairs and when he slammed the door to his room, there was the tinkle of breaking china as the cupboard popped open and a single teacup fell to the floor and shattered.
Sighing heavily, Albus’s father repaired the cup with a flick of his wand and replace in the cupboard. He gave Albus a small smile.
“It’s yours now, Al,” he said softly.
They moved back into the den. Lily looked nervous and scared. Albus’ mother went to his father and squeezed his hand.
“I’ll talk to him,” she said, kissing him on the cheek.
Nodding, he collapsed in his chair and rubbed his eyes and a tired sort of way.
Albus stared at the cloak in his hands, hoping that he would fulfill his father’s request to use it wisely.
Later that morning, they all Flooed over to the Burrow for Christmas lunch. James immediately moved towards Fred and they were soon talking in low voices and casting Albus angry looks. Albus, who had carefully stowed the cloak in his trunk before they left, ignored them and allowed his grandmother to give him a crushing hug.
Even with only half the family there, the Burrow was still rather cramped and noisy, granted, most of the noise was coming from Albus’ Uncle George, who was telling a story to his father and brother while his wife, Angelina, rolled her eyes. Everyone was wearing Weasley sweaters and Albus wondered vaguely when his grandmother found the time.
“Happy Christmas, Al!”
Albus turned to Rose, who was grinning at him and clutching a thick, leather-bound book entitled The Founders’ Legacy: An In-depth Look at the Lives of the Hogwarts Creators.
“Happy Christmas,” Albus replied. “Nice book.”
“Oh, Al, it’s amazing,” she said excitedly, “What did you get?”
Albus glanced at James before muttering. “My Dad’s cloak.”
Rose frowned. “Er, why did you get your Dad’s cloak? Don’t you--”
“Not that one,” Albus interrupted. “The other one. The special one.”
Rose stared at him for a moment before her eyes widened with realization.
“The Invisibility Cloak? Al, I don’t believe it!” she whispered, eyes shining with envy. “You have to let me see it when we go back to Hogwarts! There’s so much history in it, I--”
“Okay, Rose,” Albus said, suppressing a grin as he cut across her and her face fell in disappointment. “I promise as soon as we’re back at school you’ll be the first to see it. Or, I guess, not see it.”
Rose beamed at him. Her smiled faded as she spotted James and Fred glaring at Albus from the other side of the room.
“James doesn’t look too chuffed about it, does he?” she said nervously.
“Why do you think I locked it in my trunk?” Albus muttered darkly.
“Come now, enough chatter, lunch is ready!” Albus grandmother called to the room at large. She beamed at them all as they crowded into the kitchen, where the long table sagged under the weight of a massive roast turkey, and a dozen other delicious things.
They all sat around the table, Albus managing to get a seat far from James between Rose and his Uncle George. For a few minutes, everyone was talking at once as food was passed and plates were filled. Albus’ father was immersed in deep conversation with Rose’s father and their grandfather, who looked concerned and didn’t seem to notice that he was spooning potatoes onto the tablecloth.
Jumping at the sound of his wife’s voice, he pulled out his wand, looking flustered.
“Sorry, Molly, dear,” he muttered, flicking his wand as his wife tutted disapprovingly. The potatoes vanished and he tucked his wand back in his robes.
Albus watched him glance up at his wife to see that she was busy serving Hugo before leaning back in to talk to Harry and Ron.
“Lucius Malfoy is getting on in years, just like me, boys,” he said in a low voice. “He retired about the same time I did. The time he spent in Azkaban is slowing him up. And I don’t think even he would be crazy enough to risk his freedom. He knows Voldemort’s dead.”
“That’s what I said,” Ron muttered.
“Okay, so it wasn’t Lucius,” Harry said, frowning and buttering a roll. “And we all know he’s dead. But there are still wizards out there who agreed with what he was trying to do. Who’s to say there aren’t still Death Eaters out there waiting for their new leader? Or something worse? I just feel like something’s brewing out there.”
“You’re being paranoid, dear,” Ginny said, kissing Harry on the cheek and filling his goblet with butterbeer.
“This doesn’t concern you, Ginny,” Ron said, “This is Auror business.”
Ginny gave him a look that Albus knew all too well and Ron quickly turned back to his turkey. Hermione laughed and Albus even saw his father give a reluctant grin.
Further conversation was blocked out as the door to the kitchen swung open and a tall young man with bright turquoise hair strode in, grinning and brushing snow from his cloak.
“Starting without me?” he said, hanging up his cloak.
Lily squealed with delight and ran to the man, nearly knocking him over as she threw her arms around his waist.
Teddy laughed and ruffled her red hair playfully before allowing her to lead him to the seat next to her. Reaching down the table, Teddy shook Harry and Ron’s hands.
“Sorry, I’m late,” he said as Albus’ grandmother gave him a brief hug, “Wanted to make sure Gran was settled before I came.”
“How is Andromeda these days?” Grandma Weasley said as she piled Teddy’s plate with food.
“Still having problems with that cough,” Teddy said, frowning slightly. “I keep trying to get her to go to St. Mungo’s but she’ll have none of it.” He adopted a high, scolding voice, “’Teddy Lupin, I survived two Wizarding Wars and raising you, I think I can handle a little cough!’”
Everyone laughed, though in the back of his mind, Albus was still thinking about what his father had said.
Full to the bursting with Grandma Waesley’s good cooking, they all spent the rest of the day lounging around the Burrow, playing Exploding Snap and laughing at George’s stories about his and his brother Fred’s Hogwarts days.
Lily was asleep on the floor with her head against Teddy’s knees. Rose was curled up in a chair with her book, though every few minutes her eyelids would droop sleepily and she would blink hard and go back to reading.
It was not until Roxanne fell asleep in the middle of one of her father’s storied that her mother declared that it was time for them to leave.
“Potter’s, too,” Albus mother called as his father lifted Lily from the floor gently.
Everyone received another crushing hug from Grandma Weasley as they queued up at the fireplace. As stepped into the emerald flames after watching a still yawning Lily disappear, he saw Rose waving to him from beside her mother. He waved back as he shouted “Marshwood Downs” and was swept away in a whirl of flame and color.
They returned to the Burrow the following morning, where a weak sun persisted throughout the day. Albus spent most of the morning playing Quidditch on the hill behind the house with James, Teddy, Fred and his father and Uncle Ron until Rose’s mother came trudging up the hill, a letter clutched in her gloved hand.
“For Teddy,” she said, panting slightly. “It just came from the Ministry.”
Teddy shouldered his broom and tore open the letter. His expression turned stoney as he scanned the parchment. He reached the end of the letter as Albus’ father and Uncle landed, laughing, though they fell silent as Teddy turned to them.
“What’s wrong?” Ron said, throwing his arm around his wife’s shoulders.
“I have to gom” Teddy said, handing the letter to Albus’ father, who read it quickly and handed it to Ron.
“Do you want me to come?’ Harry said.
“No,” Teddy said, shaking his head. “I can handle it. This isn’t big enough for you to get involved. Besides, you’re on vacation. No rest for the intern, right?” He gave them a grim sort of smile and allowed them each a brief hug.
“Good seeing you all, I’ll try to come by for Easter,” he said before turning on the spot and Disapparating with a loud pop.
“Why did he have to leave, Dad?” James asked as they all walked back to the house.
“Someone was bitten,” Harry said, looking somber.
“By a werewolf?” Fred said, eyes wide with disbelief.
“Of course by a werewolf, stupid,” James said, shoving Fred into a snow bank, “he works in Werewolf Support Services, doesn’t he? Who was it, Dad?”
“No one you know,” Harry said sternly as Fred struggled upright, “And you ought not to joke about it, it’s very serious.”
James shrugged and pushed Fred back into the snow before running into the house for lunch. Fred, his face and clothes covered in snow, ran after him, muttering angrily.
“So, how’s school been, Al?” his Aunt asked, smiling at him.
“Alright,” Albus said, shrugging. “Everything’s good except History of Magic. It’s dead boring.”
Ron snorted, but fell silent at the look his wife gave him.
They tramped into the house, stomping snow from their boots and hanging their soaked things by the fire.
After a lunch of turkey sandwiches, they sat around the fire with hot chocolate. Rose began telling Albus all about her new book, though he wasn’t really hearing her as the warmth of the fire and hot chocolate seeped through him.
“There’s so much I never knew about the Founders,” she said excitedly. Did you know that after Slytherin left the school, they never found him? No body or grave site or anything. He just, disappeared.”
Albus yawned. “You know, if I cared about history, I’d just pay attention to Binns, Rose.”
“Oh, haha,” she said, scowling.
Albus grinned just as there was a knock at the door.
“Now, who could that be?” Grandma Weasley said, frowning and getting up.
Albus heard her answer the door and say something to whoever was there. There was a muttered reply and Albus’ grandmother came back into the room, looking conflicted.
“Albus, dear, you have a visitor,” she said.
“A what? Who--Scorpius!”
Scorpius appeared in the doorway, a thick cloak around his neck and a new broomstick slung over his shoulder.
The room went silent.
“Er, hey, Al,” Scorpius said in a small voice. “Um, Quidditch?”
Albus looked to his parents, who glanced at each other.
His mother nodded and said, “Don’t be out too long. And be careful.”
Scorpius smiled and waved at Rose, who turned faintly pink and buried her nose in her book again. Rose’s father looked as though he very much wanted to throw his mug of hot chocolate at Scorpius’ face, but he didn’t seem to be able to move.
“I’ll just, er, wait outside, shall I?” Scorpius said, looking relieved to go back out into the cold.
Albus hurried to pull on his boots and cloak. He grabbed his broom and, with a brief wave to his parents, followed Scorpius outside.
“What are you doing here?” Albus said, fighting back the urge to laugh at the mortified look on Scorpius’ face.
“I was at my Aunt’s house,” Scorpius said, looking as though he was sincerely glad to be leaving the Burrow. “It’s dead quiet there and you said you were here a lot so I thought I’d see if you wanted a game. My parents bought me a new Falcon 450 for Christmas.”
“No way,” Albus said with a groan of jealousy. “How’s it fly?”
They strode over the hills talking of Quidditch and Scorpius’ new broom. When they reached the top of the third hill, Albus saw the river winding through the valley below, a small, cozy looking cottage visible amongst the trees.
“That’s my Aunt Daphne’s house,” Scorpius said, setting off through the snow towards the cottage. Albus followed him and as they walked through the glittering garden to the porch, the front door swung open to reveal a smiling witch with short black hair and bright eyes.
“Come in out of the cold, you two, before you freeze,” she said, beckoning them inside. She beamed at Albus as he walked past her. “My dear boy, you’re like Scorpius is to Draco! You look just like your father.”
Albus returned her smile and followed Scorpius into the tiny sitting room, where a large black dog lay stretched across the hearth-rug.
“Oh, that’s just Duchess,” Scorpius’ Aunt said. “She won’t hurt you, dear.” She handed Albus a cup of tea.
“Thank you miss--”
“Call my Daphne, dear,” she cut across him, smiling.
Albus nodded and sat down next to Scorpius, who was scratching Duchess behind the ear so her back leg kicked in her sleep.
When Albus had drained his tea, he followed Scorpius back into the snow, where they flew around the back yard, taking turns Keeping while the other tried to score through a fork in a large tree and later having a snowball fight while Duchess romped around the yard after them, barking at birds and rolling in the snow. When the sun hung low in the sky and the cold began to creep through their cloaks, they began walking back to the Burrow, Scorpius’ Aunt waving to them from the back door and Duchess trotting between them.
When they crested the hill where the Burrow lay below them, Scorpius stopped. “I should probably head back,” he said, glancing nervously towards the Burrow. “I don’t want to cause any problems and my parents said they would pick me up after dark.”
“Right,” Albus said, patting Duchess on the head. “I’ll see you in a week then.”
“Yeah, then you can let me see that Cloak,” Scorpius said excitedly.
As they were walking back to the Burrow, Albus had told him all about the Invisibility Cloak. Scorpius was in disbelief that Albus should be given something so rare, though he had laughed rather hard at James’ reaction.
“See you later,” Albus shouted as he began his descent down into the valley.
“Bye,” he heard Scorpius shout.
When Albus turned back to wave, Scorpius and Duchess had already disappeared over the hill and Albus pulled his cloak more tightly around him, grinning to himself in spite of the cold. It wasn’t all that bad, he thought, being a Slytherin.
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