Chapter 5 : Mashed Potatoes
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His hatred for Sally Creevey lasted for nearly the rest of the day but he forgave her once she walked up to him and explained.
“Well, I had to do it! We’re already way behind in the running for the House Cup! Doesn’t that mean anything to anyone around here? I swear; I’ll personally hex that Malfoy and you, if you don’t get your act together!” she cried vehemently before she’d stomped off.
Albus wondered why he hadn’t had anything clever to say.
Scorpious on the other hand called her something rather nasty when she walked off but both of them were too exhausted to argue over it. The horrors of the day had worn them both out.
And plus, not only had they received a detention with Zabini the Vampire for the entire next week. But Albus was also worried about the fact that Scorpious had to take those dueling lessons with the rest of the Death Eater kids.
Goyle, on his way to the Great Hall for dinner was one of the first to point out evilly with a few other Slytherin students. “Scared, Malfoy? Can’t wait to have you all to myself soon! Teach your dad about getting involved with Mudbloods—”
“Goyle!” Professor Chang, who was their Transfiguration teacher cried as she was walking past. “Twenty points from Slytherin! In my office right now!” she commanded, grabbing him by the ear and dragging him off.
Scorpious laughed at this and then sobered once they entered the Great Hall, all eyes turning to them. “Great,” he muttered.
Albus groaned and they walked towards the Gryffindor table but had barely even gotten there before Rose ran up to them, looking furious again. Scorpious rolled his eyes, “Would you give it a rest? I’m tired, I’m hungry and I think Smith might have punched me in the ba—”
“I want to do it tonight!” Rose cried.
Scorpious’s face turned a little pink and Albus gave him a warning look but it was too late. “Without asking me out first? You sure do move fast, Weasley.”
Rose turned beet red and turned her chin up at him. “Not in your life, Malfoy!” she stammered and Albus tried hard not to laugh. “I want to steal the Hat tonight while everyone is at dinner,” she whispered fiercely and Albus gaped at her.
“Who are you and what have you done to my cousin?” Albus asked wearily.
Scorpious snorted. “I see the same bushy red hair and freckles as always,” he said while she glared at him.
Rose said, “And I see the same blonde haired prat!”
Scorpious flushed, “Well, no one asked for you to be coming up here, asking for dates—”
“I never said anything like that! Honestly, Malfoy, you wouldn’t know anything about dates, girls don’t go out with ferrets,” Rose started.
Albus held up his hands and gave them both a look that had them shutting up immediately.“Merlin, Rose, what’s wrong with you? We’re already going to be in enough trouble with our parents and then Zabini,” he said with a low moan of despair, “what else do you want to happen? Dumped in the Black Lake and served to the giant squid’s babies?”
Rose folded her arms and tapped her foot. “It won’t matter if we get into any more trouble! No one will find out about it, I just have to do this!” she said and Albus knew that she had inherited this temper and recklessness from her father.
Scorpious gave her a dull stare. “Why does this matter so much to you anyway?”
“Why did it matter to you not to be in Slytherin?” Rose shot back, now looking at them both.
“Well, we didn’t want to get poisoned,” Albus said amicably.
“Or beaten up—”
“Or asked about our dads, that’s why.” Scorpious finished dryly. “What’s your excuse, Weasley?”
Albus was curious about this too. “You’ve been grouchy and mean all week and you won’t even talk to me or James.”
Rose laughed dryly. “You did not even just say that, Al.”
Albus grinned. “Well, I can understand why you wouldn’t want to talk to James, but I’d listen to you. At least I’d try,” he said, knowing that listening to a girl complaining could take hours, days and years that he didn’t want to waste.
“I know that I belong in Gryffindor, I just know it! James and everyone has been making fun of me for not being one of them,” Rose started and she seemed to explode a little and he was reminded of a bright red apple. “Freddie and Louis,”
“You’re related to Louis the Prefect?” Scorpious asked. “Figures.”
Rose interrupted him hotly. “I said Louis, as in Louie, pronounced in the French way, dummy.” She turned to Albus, “Even Teddy made fun of me!”
Albus shrugged. “They make fun of everyone. Teddy and Fred were in Gryffindor but Louis’s in Hufflepuff,” he pointed out.
Rose ignored all of this. “I want to be a Gryffindor!” she sniffled, “I hate it up at Ravenclaw Tower, I don’t have anyone to talk to besides Sue!” she said. “Aunt Luna’s sons are so weird. I can’t get a straight answer out of either of them!”
“Who?” Scorpious asked.
“Lysander and Lorcan are our Aunt Luna’s sons.” Albus said.
“Loony Luna that owns the Quibbler?”
“She’s not loony and she’s not really our aunt but she’s just as is,” Albus said with a shrug, “she’s the Divination teacher here.”
Scorpious merely shrugged his shoulders, looking bored already. Albus could see him growing crankier and crankier, “Anyways, but I thought only one of them was in Ravenclaw?” Albus asked Rose curiously.
“Lorcan comes to visit, he’s a Slytherin.” She said distastefully. “I hate it there, I don’t have any friends, most people think that just cause our parents are famous that I expect things and—”
Albus stared at her sympathetically, “Well, why didn’t you say anything sooner, Rose? We’re going through the same thing!” he said with a relieved sigh. “How do you think I feel? I look just like my dad, and Scorpious looks just like his dad!”
Rose sniffled and wiped at her eyes. “I want to be in Gryffindor with people I know!” she cried.
Scorpious narrowed his eyes on her in revulsion. “Oh, don’t be such a baby. We’ll help you get the bloody Sorting Hat.”
“Right now?” Rose asked.
Albus looked around at the House ghosts that were floating between tables and at the many students that were staring at the three of them. “Uh,” he said, “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“So do you even have an idea?” Scorpious asked irritably.
Rose did. “Albus, you know what to do.”
Albus bowed his head. “Fine, but I wasn’t going to use it for this.”
Scorpious raised his eyebrow. “What are you talking about?”
Rose smiled suddenly and she looked like the girl that he knew instead of the raving banshee that she’d been for the last few days. “I know where they keep it too!” she said with a grin.
“Since when?” Albus asked her.
She turned away from them, “Honestly, Albus, don’t you ever pay attention?” she asked and then when Albus was growing rather annoyed with her she looked back. “I’ll send a sign at the right time!”
Albus rolled his eyes and led Scorpious back over to the Gryffindor table and heard Chris Finnigan say, “Your cousin is amazing, Al! I’ve never seen anyone do a Shield Charm so young, not even my dad!”
“I can produce a Shield Charm stronger than that!” Sally Creevey said loudly before Albus could even reply to Chris’s sudden interest in Rose’s fighting ability.
“Who asked you?” Scorpious shouted furiously as he dumped food on his plate, obviously in one of his moods.
Sally Creevey narrowed her eyes on him and turned to Lavender Patil, “Really, Lav, some people just have no class. You’d think he’d be a little nicer when he’s going to be killed by a vampire soon!”
The table fell silent with a hush and even James and Mason, who were laughing at some stupid joke, took notice. Scorpious gripped his steak knife and glanced at Sally Creevey thoughtfully and Albus cried, “Don’t even think about it!”
“Would you stop defending her?!” Scorpious shouted angrily.
Lavender Patil was the one who actually said something to Sally Creevey.
She was bending over a Charms book and flicking her wand aimlessly around, making snow fall over everyone around her and since Albus was sitting beside her, Scorpious on his right and Chris Finnigan and Elliot Thomas across from him, they were coated in seconds.
He had never really heard her utter a word, other than yes or no but she said to her friend, “If you really were so talented you wouldn’t need to brag about it. Give us all a rest and shut up for a change, Sally,” she muttered.
Albus grinned widely and then took in the hurt look on Sally’s face. “It’s not like all of us want you to shut up.”
“Speak for yourself mate,” Elliot Thomas said dryly and Scorpious nodded fervently.
Chris Finnigan was wiping snow off of his shoulders. “She does have a point, Sally, you never really seem to stop talking.”
“I have a lot to say!” she said hotly. There were sparkling tears in her eyes, “but no one wants to listen to anything, they’re all really happy that a Death Eater is a Gryffindor and is losing us House points!”
That had everyone looking at Albus and Scorpious accusingly. “If you two hadn’t have tried to beat up Professor Smith we wouldn’t have lost so many points today!” Sally Creevey cried. “And has no one remembered that Malfoy is a Death Eater kid and that a vampire is going to kill him?”
Scorpious glowered at her and Albus told her to do something with her opinion that he would have never dared to say in front of his parents, which made James crow with laughter.
“You make it sound like he’s the only one here, Hogwarts is filled with Death Eater grandchildren,” Lavender Patil said pleasantly.
“Almost all of them are in Slytherin, Lav, not Gryffindor!” Sally Creevey protested angrily. “And that’s exactly where he needs to be! He probably already has a Dark Mark!”
Everyone was looking uncomfortable and even James said, “That’s enough, okay? Can we all just eat and let it go?”
But Sally was going on in a rant that seemed to poison the entire table and Albus wondered if they were sharpening pitch forks and lighting torches under the table by the time she finally inhaled to take a breath.
It had been nothing he hadn’t heard before about Scorpious this past week but to hear it said so loudly and with so much venom made his stomach squirm with irritation and hot anger.
He knew that plenty of Death Eaters had given his father, mother and other relatives a hard time after the War and had heard a lot of awful things that they had tried to do to each of them but he wondered how Scorpious must feel with dealing with this every day.
Not only had his father been a Death Eater, but his father had changed his entire life around and was against this sort of hatred. Ironically that only caused more problems for his son, who had to deal with the offspring of his enemies for another six years.
Right then, Albus really wanted to punch a girl and he wasn’t sure if he would feel sorry about it if he did, no matter if it was Sally Creevey or not. No one should run their mouth the way she did and get away with it.
Suddenly, Scorpious stood and Albus was about to go with him but he said. “No, you stay.” His voice sounded oddly calm and his eyes were tinted with a red ring, Albus hadn’t known that anyone could get that angry. “I know when I’m not wanted.”
“You don’t have to—”
James interrupted. “Are you going to eat that drumstick Malfoy?”
Scorpious handed him his plate. “It’s not poisoned, don’t look at me like that Potter.” He sneered and then, taking a bowl of potatoes, he said, “I’m going back up to the dorm.”
Albus had a feeling that he was going to be sitting in the dark and pulling the wings off of butterflies when he wandered up there later. “All right, I’ll see you later.” He reminded pointedly and Scorpious rolled his eyes.
Casually, he got out of his seat, refusing to look at anyone though Albus noted that no one dared to look him in the face and he had to roll his eyes, it wasn’t as if he would kill them from a single look.
As far as he knew, his father had closed off the Chamber of Secrets several years ago so there was no threat of a blonde haired basilisk that he knew of.
There was a tense moment as Scorpious walked past Sally Creevey, humming to himself. “I knew that he was just all talk,” she said. “Not really as scary as he—yeek!” she screamed as Scorpious came back around and dumped the bowl of potatoes on her pretty blonde head.
The entire table roared with laughter and even Albus burst into a wide grin as Scorpious placed his hands in the deep pockets of his robes and walked out of the Great Hall.
Luckily for him most of the teachers were eating and engaged in conversation (Zabini of course looked like he was doing neither of these things) and Albus tried to keep his eyes averted from Hagrid, who had spotted Scorpious leaving with a curious expression on his whiskery face.
It wouldn’t do to get into trouble again tonight, Albus really wanted Scorpious and Rose to get along better and the last thing he needed was for him to get landed in detention for the night.
Sally Creevey meanwhile was standing up, dripping with mashed potatoes and flinging her hair everywhere.
“T-that—” she couldn’t even get the words out as she darted out of the Great Hall too, apparently to the dorm but Albus had a feeling that she was going to the girl’s bathroom or to Madame Brown, the assistant school nurse.
James and Mason were still choking as they tried to regain their breathing. “You know what? Death Eater kid or not, that kid’s all right with me, Al,” he said as he wiped tears from his eyes.
Albus glowed with triumph, “So you’ll be his friend too, right?”
“Of course not! I’m not having Mum and Dad on my case, they do that enough already. And by the way, I’m looking forward to your Howler. Even I’ve never beaten up a teacher before!” James said, nodding in approval. “I think I might say I know you now, Albus.”
Albus rolled his eyes. “You should have seen that guy though! He was gonna shoot a spell at Rose because he got mad that she was right! I wish that I had beaten him up, what a git,” he said sourly.
Mason tapped James on the shoulder. “That reminds me that we have to put nifflers in Louis the Prefects dorm tomorrow. His mum just sent him a shiny new watch that you know he’s going to brag about.”
Albus glanced down at Louis the Prefect, who was trying to chat up a pretty black girl that looked as if she were rotting on the inside. “Why does he hate you so much anyway?” he asked, turning back to his brother.
“Who knows? It might have had something to do with him trying to hook up with Victoire,” James said in reference to their pretty part veela cousin that was in Gryffindor House also.
Albus hadn’t had a chance to really pay attention to the rest of his cousins because he had been having such a horrible time, but Victoire was focusing on her NEWTS so she didn’t have much time for him either.
Mason nodded as he rubbed his chin. “And I think it’s mainly because you figured out how to Stun and dragged him out onto the Quidditch pitch in his underwear, covered in Butbutuber pus last year.”
Albus was laughing and could understand why Headmistress McGonagall had given him such stern looks over her evening speeches.
His brother was a menace and Louis the Prefect was going to get one more Potter on his hate list, it would have to be him because he wasn’t sure if he had it in him to bully Sally Creevey, even if she did deserve it.
No one tried to apologize about what Sally had said, though Elliot Thomas and Chris Finnigan tried to get him involved in conversations about Quidditch and how they were going to get through all of their History of Magic homework.
It wasn’t the same without Scorpious and he found himself talking to Lavender Patil, “You know, I’ve never heard you talk before.”
“Sally Creevey is annoying,” Lavender Patil said softly. Albus could see that she was being very sincere and thought her serious face was a little cute, “she goes on and on about how great her father is, how he’s going to change things.”
Albus watched James trying to stuff as many grapes into his mouth as possible as Mason counted before turning away; he knew that wasn’t going to end well. “What do you mean?”
“I don’t know what she means,” Lavender corrected while avoiding his eyes.
Albus wondered if Sally might have been bragging but didn’t outwardly say this because the two of them were friends. “Anyways, thanks for sticking up for Scorpious earlier, no one else would have done it.”
Lavender flushed pink, looking very pleased and waved her wand around in a nervous flick that made an entire slush of snow fall on them.
She apologized profusely, “I didn’t mean to do it!” she cried but Albus was laughing and wiping it out of his hair and robes, “sometimes I just get a little too overexcited.”
“Don’t worry about it!” Albus said as they walked out of the Great Hall together, dinner now over and the teachers expecting them to all climb into bed.
Too bad that he was going to be busy breaking about a thousand school rules.
Lavender smiled up at him, her smile genuine and sweet. “I could if you want, Potter.” She said as her cheeks continued to glow red, like twin suns.
Albus stopped just as they were in the corridor, students milling sleepily past them and said with a smile. “Call me Albus, but please don’t call me Potter Jr.” He said with an eye roll.
“O-okay,” Lavender blushed.
He wasn’t sure what she was blushing so much about but shrugged it off and walked towards Gryffindor Tower with her, “Do you and Sally hang out all the time?” he asked her.
Lavender frowned a little. “For some reason she latched onto me but I don’t mind, I don’t have a lot of friends. I just wish she would shut up sometimes,” she sighed.
Albus felt his lips twitching. “She can’t be that bad.”
“You have no idea. You don’t have to share a dorm with her.” Lavender murmured, but then her dark eyes narrowed. “Though, I noticed you wouldn’t mind.”
Albus flushed bright red and stammered. “T-that’s really not—”
“I don’t care,” Lavender said tightly. “No one notices me and I’m not really all that pretty,” she said without looking at him. “And I’m not really brave either; just smart and I don’t know how I wound up in Gryffindor.”
Albus had a keening image of Rose saying something similar earlier and found himself frowning. Why did it really matter anyway? He knew he couldn’t talk, seeing as he had gotten what he’d wanted but he hadn’t noticed how much the others around him had been just as concerned.
“The Sorting Hat doesn’t make mistakes. You just need to grow into yourself,” he said lamely, thinking of what Professor Longbottom had told him earlier that day.
Lavender stared at him thoughtfully for a moment. “But I don’t know if I’ll ever belong in this House. If I even see a giant squid I think I might faint,” her cheeks turned slightly green.
“I heard it doesn’t eat the students though.” Albus tried to reassure, though he wouldn’t be taking a dip in the Black Lake anytime soon, just to be certain.
Her cheeks turned greener and they had to stop for a moment as she collected her breathing. “I hate water.” She said in a low whisper, “I almost drowned once, you know.”
Albus could imagine that swimming was difficult for her. “I heard. Why’d your family think you were gonna be all Muggle anyway?”
Lavender paused, hand over her mouth and he hoped she wouldn’t throw up.
Eventually she said, “My Mum doesn’t have any idea who my dad is. It was more of a p-passion sort of thing,” she said hastily, flushing. “They wanted her to marry a pureblood boy but she ran off with my dad and he left her.”
Albus frowned. “Who is your mum? My dad might know her.”
“Parvati Patil,” Lavender said shortly.
His dad had mentioned her once or twice. “I think they were in the same House together.”
That made her smile. “And we’re in the same House together now,” this seemed to cheer her up a lot. “I’m happier now, you’re very nice.”
Albus couldn’t say anything to that, feeling a little embarrassed as he walked the rest of the way with her. She kept her dark head bent, smiling and once they reached the Fat Lady he finally noticed something. “Oh, wait a minute.” He said, touching her arm.
Lavender nearly jumped out of her skin. “I-is something wrong?”
“No, it’s nothing like that.” Albus said, thinking of vampires for a second as he reached out and wiped the melting snow off of her red cheeks, “You had snow right here.”
“T-thanks,” Lavender said, sounding like she’d been strangled.
“No problem,” he said as he wiped the remainder from the top of her head. “I can’t believe I was talking to you the entire time and didn’t notice.”
Lavender looked as if he had Stunned her and could barely get a word out to reply, merely stuttering and blushing the entire time while Albus tried to remember what the password was. “Ignorance!” she suddenly said.
“What?” Albus asked her.
The Fat Lady sighed annoyingly. “Finally, I thought you two were going to make me wait up all night!” and she swung open the portrait hole to let them inside.
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