Chapter 5 : Sacks and Glass Jars
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“My Dad said the guy’s very wild,” Scorpius said without thinking as they headed out of the castle. “Apparently he–”
“Hagrid is actually really nice, Scorpius,” Rose interrupted, glaring at him. “He’s a good friend of ours, and he’s not wild.”
“Sorry,” Scorpius mumbled. After that, he didn’t say anything else about Hagrid. The group trudged down to Hagrid’s hut in silence.
“Ah, here’s me favourite people!” the half-giant said after opening the door. All of them mumbled ‘hi’s and went in.
“So, how are yeh all?” Hagrid asked, after they sat down. Scorpius and Andrew were looking all around, curious expressions on their faces. Scorpius raised his eyebrows when his eyes found the pieces of meat hanging from the rafters overhead. Andrew, as usual, seemed simply fascinated by Hagrid’s house, for he swivelled his head around to take in every detail.
“We’re all fine, Hagrid, how are you?” Albus said as Fang scampered over to him. Albus grinned and petted the big dog, which was wagging his tail and drooling all over Albus.
“Me? Oh, I’m jus’ smashin’! Perfectly fine!” Hagrid said, beaming. He then turned to look at Scorpius. “Yer the firs’ Malfoy I know tha’ has not been in Slytherin,” he told. “I hope yeh turn ou’ ter be good.”
Scorpius looked embarrassed. “I’m not like my grandfather,” he said firmly.
“I hope so,” Hagrid told him, looking very stern, as though he’d do something if Scorpius did turn out to be like his grandfather. “Yer father caused a lot of problems fer me when I started teaching. Tried ter get me sacked in me firs’ year teachin’. But I guess he turned out ter be alrigh’ in the end.”
Scorpius looked down, mumbling something that Albus didn’t really catch.
Hagrid offered them some rock-cakes, which Albus and Rose politely refused, but Andrew and Scorpius took out of courtesy. They regretted it immediately, almost breaking their teeth on the very first bite. Andrew excused himself to go out and “eat the cakes in the fresh air,”-- and Scorpius followed suit immediately. Albus suspected they’d gone to chuck the cakes out.
They spent the rest of the lunch hour there. Hagrid was really pleased to meet Andrew and Scorpius, but he didn’t seem to be as friendly with Scorpius as he was with the others. Albus had a strong suspicion that it was due to Scorpius’ family. Soon, lunchtime was over, and they went back to classes.
“Dad never told me anything about trying to get Hagrid sacked,” Scorpius said as they left the hut. “You think he really did that?”
Rose opened her mouth to say something, but Albus grabbed her arm, shaking his head when she frowned at him. “No idea,” he lied. The truth was that his dad had told him everything about Mr Malfoy and what he’d done in school. Albus didn’t want to hurt Scorpius, though, and so he said nothing. Scorpius was still upset about it, though, but he didn’t bring up the subject anymore.
Their next class was Potions, which was held in the dungeons. It was quite easy to find the way from the Great Hall. The air got colder as they made their way down, and by the time they were at the bottom of the stone staircase, Albus could see his breath coming out of nose. They found the class and got inside. There were many wooden tables, each surrounded by four chairs, and the high stone walls were lined with large shelves. On these were glass jars full of eerie-looking things floating inside them. There was very little lighting, and together with the floating things and the chilly temperature, the classroom looked rather intimidating.
“Good afternoon, everyone,” said a voice suddenly.
Albus turned to face the direction the voice came from. A tall man emerged from the shadows cast by the walls, wearing a set of deep-green robes. He was dark-skinned, with shaggy dark hair and a handsome yet intimidating face. His cheeks were slightly sunken, and his eyes were a deep shade of brown. His voice was quite deep. He looked really stern, and Albus couldn’t help thinking that he was someone who shouldn’t be messed with.
“Allow me to introduce myself,” he continued as his eyes swept the entire room. “I am Professor Blaise Zabini, and I am your Potions Master. You will be learning Potions here, and I will tell you one thing clearly; Potions is totally unlike any other magic you will learn at Hogwarts. You will not need your wands, so put them away. All you will need to know is how to mix ingredients in the proper amount.”
He slowly walked towards the front of the class while he gave his speech, and finally came to a rest in front of his desk. “Now, Potions is required for a great deal of situations,” he continued. “There is the Draught of Living Death, which is a very powerful poison that acts as its name suggests. There is the Polyjuice Potion, which transforms you into someone else. Next, you have Felix Felicis, also known as liquid luck. There are also Calming Draughts, Forgetfulness Potions, the Wolfsbane potion, and many others which we shall be learning about in due course. For now, I want you to open your books, and read about all the potions we will be making in Chapter One.”
As the class quietly read their books, Zabini walked over to where Albus and Scorpius were sitting. He bent towards Scorpius and said softly, “Ah, Scorpius. That was a big shock, wasn’t it? I’m sure your father expected better from you! Being a Malfoy, you should’ve been in Slytherin.”
Scorpius glared at the teacher. Zabini was looking straight into his eyes, his lips curved upwards in a sinister way as Scorpius retorted, “Actually, Uncle Blaise, Dad sent me an owl today. He says he’s fine with it.”
“Did he, now?” Zabini sneered, his eyes narrowing. “We’ll see, won’t we? Odd for Draco, don’t you think, to let you mix with the other sort?” He glanced at Albus, Rose and Andrew, who were at the same table with Scorpius. He wrinkled his nose and grimaced, and then strode off without a second glance.
“You know the guy?” Albus asked, looking at Zabini as he glided between the rows.
“He was my dad’s classmate,” Scorpius replied, glowering at the professor. “He was friends with him. He’s really creepy.”
Rose rolled her eyes. “Teachers,” she muttered.
“What did he mean by ‘the other sort’?” Andrew asked, frowning. “Did he mean me?”
“He meant people who like Muggles,” Albus whispered. “You know about the Wizarding War? The one with Voldemort?”
Andrew shook his head. “No, I didn’t bother to read the history book; I thought it’d be boring.”
Albus sighed. “This is gonna be hard, then. Okay, there was this wizard called Lord Voldemort who wanted to get rid of all the Muggles. He thought that only wizards deserved to live. He was killing people everywhere, but my dad stopped him.” Albus looked smug.
“So your dad’s a superhero?” Andrew asked, his mouth falling open. “Like Superman and Spiderman?”
“Who?” Scorpius asked, raising his eyebrows.
“Never mind,” Albus said, waving off Scorpius. “Yeah, so those who supported Voldemort were on one side, and those against him were on another. The Slytherins used to support Voldemort, and Scorpius’ family were one of the biggest supporters of them all.” He glanced at Scorpius, looking apologetic.
“So that’s what he said,” Scorpius whispered, taking over. “Zabini thought Dad wouldn’t want me hanging out with Harry Potter’s kids. Now that he mentioned it, I doubt that Dad really would like it…”
Zabini strode over to them, and they all shut up immediately. “Ten points from Gryffindor for talking when I told you to read,” he said softly. He looked at Scorpius and walked away. But after that, Zabini didn’t ever show that he knew Scorpius outside of school, and Scorpius acted likewise.
Their next class was Herbology. Albus had been looking forward to being in Professor Longbottom’s class a lot. They went down to the greenhouse for this class, which sadly meant walking a really long distance once again. They entered the big glass-house as soon as the bell rang, followed closely by Professor Longbottom.
“Good afternoon, kids,” he said in a friendly voice once everyone had settled down. “I am Professor Neville Longbottom, and I am your Herbology teacher. This is a very interesting subject, although I believe you’ve already heard the sentence from a few of your teachers by this point!”
A few students laughed.
“I wanted to show you lot a few plants that I think will interest you. Come and gather around this table. No pushing, mind you!” he said loudly as everyone rushed forward.
They all went up front, towards where Professor Longbottom was sitting. Once they were all there, he waved his wand and a variety of plants appeared. Some were big, some were small; some did not look like plants at all. Some made weird sounds, and some seemed to have teeth. They all stared in awe.
“These are a few of the interesting plants,” Professor Longbottom said, glad to see the class’s enthusiasm. “This one here is the Mimbulus Mimbletonia –” he pointed towards a cactus that looked as if it had boils all over – “this is the Venomous Tentacula –” he indicated the plant which had fangs – “this is the Bubotuber –” he pointed to the plant that looked like a slug – “and this is a Mandrake.” He pointed towards a normal-looking plant in a pot. “Now, I'd like you to write down a few properties of some plants...”
An hour later, the final bell signalling the end of classes rang. The four packed up their things, said goodbye to Professor Longbottom and went up to the already packed common room.
“Phew!” Andrew exclaimed as he plopped down on one of the chairs. “Finally, all the classes are over!”
“The classes were honestly interesting, weren’t they?” Rose asked, sitting cross-legged on the rug.
“Yeah, especially Herbology! Did you see all those plants? I never knew those even existed!”
“Don’t forget Charms! Even though we only wrote stuff today….” Scorpius piped in.
“Yeah, and DADA wasn’t so bad.”
“Potions was horrible.”
“Yeah, the Zabini guy was creepy….”
They talked about the classes for a few minutes, then decided to explore the castle. They went to the Trophy Room first; it was full of glass case containing various trophies and awards. Some of them had been awarded to their parents. Albus’ dad and Rose’s dad had been awarded trophies for Special Awards for Services to the School twice, and Rose’s mum and Albus’ mum once. Albus’s dad had been Quidditch Captain, and his Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione had been Prefects. Mr Malfoy had been Head Boy. They looked eagerly at the silver trophies, each engraved with their parents’ names. Only Andrew had no family members who had received trophies, so he felt a bit left out as he sullenly watched the others.
They then went to see the rest of the castle. They got lost occasionally, but eventually found their ways back. By evening they were all exhausted, not to mention extremely hungry. Instead of trudging up to the Common Room, they decided to go to the Great Hall. They arrived a few minutes before dinner started.
They plonked down onto the benches and filled their plates with everything they could reach. They gobbled down their dinner silently, too hungry to talk. Suddenly, a ghost glided up through the table in front of Albus. Andrew yelped, dropping his knife onto his plate with a loud clank. The ghost was pearly white, transparent, and was wearing ruffs. He also had a hat on.
“Hello, Sir Nicholas,” Fred greeted him, coming up to Albus and the others and sitting down. He grabbed a chicken’s leg from the plate in front of him.
“Ah hello, Fred!” the ghost boomed, beaming at Fred to show a row of pearly-white teeth. “How are you? Doing your duties well, I hope? I must say that I was quite surprised when you turned out to be a Prefect. Your father and uncle were the greatest rule breakers in their time!” the ghost had a faraway look on his face, as though he was remembering the good times.
“Yeah, tha’s froo,” Fred replied, grinning through a mouthful of chicken. Gulping it down, he continued, “Dad almost disinherited me, but he didn’t actually. He still thinks I’ll come to my senses and quit soon. He expected me to be Quidditch Captain, not Prefect.”
“Yes, that would be like him indeed!”
“Are you Nearly Headless Nick?” Albus asked excitedly. He had heard all about the ghost of Gryffindor tower from his father.
“Yes, and may I ask who you are, young first-year?” Nick asked politely, turning to face Albus and his friends. “We ghosts missed the Sorting due an important meeting.” He puffed out his chest importantly.
“I’m Al Potter,” Albus replied, grinning.
“Oh, good gracious!” Nick exclaimed, his eyes widening. “My dear boy, what a pleasure to meet you! This is just so wonderful. We’ll get along well, trust me. I was one of your father’s closest confidants! And… who are your friends, young Potter?” he asked, his eyes swivelling between Rose, Andrew and Scorpius.
Albus looked at Rose. “This is Rose Weasley –”
“A Weasley? Ronald Weasley’s, I assume, since the other older ones are already here. Hope you are more sensitive and intelligent than your father.” The ghost looked grim as Rose giggled.
“This is Andrew Strathmore –”
“Muggle-born, I believe, since there were no other Strathmores in Hogwarts that I know of.” Andrew beamed as Nick chuckled lightly.
“And this is Scorpius Malfoy,” Albus finished.
“Aha!” Nick cried, looking shocked. He swooped towards Scorpius, his head wobbling dangerously. “So this is the young Malfoy who turned out to be in Gryffindor? My God, this is a year of surprises! I swear all Malfoys have been in Slytherin!” Scorpius smiled tiredly, apparently worn out at hearing the same thing over and over again.
“I hope you have a nice year ahead, now kids,” Nick said, saluting them. “I’ll be off; the ghosts are holding an important meeting down in the dungeons, and it shall not start without me.” He puffed out his transparent chest importantly, looking smug. “Farewell, friends!” He bowed, and glided down through the floor.
Before they could go back to their meal, however, James shuffled up to them, looking serious. “I’m sorry,” he said to Scorpius. Albus gaped; this was the first time he had seen James apologising. “I heard the Howler and what you said. Hagrid says you’re cool, too. I guess you aren’t too bad after all.” He stretched his hand out to Scorpius. Scorpius looked at it, surprised. After a second, however, he took it.
“Thanks,” he mumbled.
“Don’t mention it, kid.” He smirked and added, “Now that you’re a friend of my dear brother, you can expect a lot of trouble from us! Oh,” he added, turning towards Andrew. “Nice to meet you too, Andrew!” He held out his hand and Andrew shook it. “Now that we’re all friends, I’ll get going. See ya! Definitely don’t wanna be ya!” He laughed at his own lame joke and dashed off to his friends.
Soon, they all finished eating and went back to the common room. Albus climbed onto his bed a few minutes later, thinking about the Tournament and his classes tomorrow.
Seconds later, or so it seemed to Albus, he was woken up when a pillow hit him hard in the face. He woke with a start. Squinting open his eyes, he saw Scorpius and Andrew standing over him, grinning. Scorpius had a pillow in his hands.
“Wakey-wakey, sleepy-head!” the blond said, smirking. “Even Andrew’s up. What’s the matter with you?”
“I guess I overslept,” Albus mumbled sheepishly. He got up, got dressed and together he, Andrew and Scorpius went down. They met up with Rose in the Common Room and went to the Great Hall. After breakfast, their first class was Transfiguration.
They took directions from Fred and went to the class, though they almost got lost again. Finally, when they arrived at the door, the bell rang. They quickly hurried inside and sat down. They had just taken their books out when the teacher arrived. She was a tall woman who wore her brown hair down in a long braid. Her hazel eyes were soft, and her lips were drawn into a smile. Albus thought she looked pretty lax.
“Good morning, students,” she said, sitting on top of her desk instead of the chair. “I am your Transfiguration Teacher, Professor Rhonda Shiftree. I am going to teach you how to change one thing into another and how to vanish and conjure things. It won’t be that easy, though,” she smiled, looking at the class. “You will have to learn a lot, and that is where I come in. I shall help you learn all the things and ways to transfigure objects. Now, I hope that all of you are here?” She did a quick head count. “Good. Now, here is the theory for simple Transfiguration. It is written on the board; please copy it down.” She waved her wand once, and all the notes appeared on the board.
“This class is gonna be great,” Andrew told Albus as they rummaged inside their bags. “Next time my brother annoys me, I can turn his baseball into a frog or something.”
“You can’t use magic outside of school, Andrew; how many times do I have to say that?” Rose hissed. Andrew tried to retort, but Albus shut them up as the teacher approached them.
After one hour, they had finished copying, and when the bell rang, they went out of the class quickly. Al checked his routine; they had History of Magic next, which was on the first floor. They hurried over to their class. It was quite large. Their initial shock was when their teacher glided in through the blackboard; Andrew nearly screamed out of fear.
“Dude, these ghosts are gonna kill me,” he whispered faintly, turning around to face Albus, who was sitting behind. Albus snorted.
The next shock came when, without any warning or introduction, their teacher started talking about Goblin Rebellions.
“The Goblin rebellion of the year 1608 was one of the bloodiest and most vicious rebellions of the Wizarding world,” he said, staring at his pearly white notes. He neither looked at the students, nor acknowledged their presence. “Most notable amongst the rebels amongst them were Urg the Unkind and Bordock the Bloody…”
Scorpius turned around. “What, no ‘Hi, I’m Professor Binns, who are you?’? That’s offensive.”
“I’m sleepy,” Andrew said in a drowsy voice. Albus could feel it, too. The moment the ghost started talking, his eyes felt droopy.
Binns’ tone was excessively dull and gravelly, and Albus nearly drifted off to sleep a few times, but Rose always poked him with her quill whenever his head drooped.
At the end of the class, none of the boys had written a single line. Scorpius had tried to write one, but he had fallen forward into his parchment before even writing the date. Since Rose was sitting in front of him and Andrew, she could not wake them up. Albus suspected she was the only one in class who had written something.
“This has got to be the most boring class ever!” Andrew said loudly as they exited the class. Surprisingly, the moment they were out of the room, they felt wide awake. “What were they thinking, letting this guy teach?”
Albus agreed wholeheartedly.
The rest of the day passed smoothly. They had gotten an overall impression of their teachers: Professor Longbottom was nice, friendly, and easy-going. Professor Zabini was creepy and really strict, and a no-nonsense type of person, though he didn’t seem to be biased. Professor Shiftree was also relaxed and pleasant, and she always explained things if they had any difficulty understanding anything. Professor Flitwick was really nice and jolly, and he often seemed to forget what he was talking about after any distraction.
Professor Parkers was stern, though considerably less than Professor Zabini. He was always going on about Defence and the Second Wizarding War. Professor Orion, who took their Astronomy classes, was good, too. He often told them the history of the naming of a few stars, and he was always sharing facts with them; in fact, he was particularly obsessed with Scorpius’ name. The only one who was totally different was Professor Binns. They had learned a few weird facts about him: that he had died during his sleep, and that when he had woken up to teach the next morning, he had left his body behind. He seemed to put anyone in his presence to sleep… with the exception of Rose, of course.
Overall, Albus really loved Hogwarts. He didn’t notice how his time flew by, and soon he had adjusted to Hogwarts perfectly. It was as if he was in his own home.
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