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And Capers Ensue by justonemorefic
Chapter 15 : Choose Wisely
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 34


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15. CHOOSE WISELY
Take-backs were non-redeemable.


The room was once large, but certainly not now, when it was crowded with towers of boxes and impossible amounts of parchment. The shelves extended two stories up and paper fluttered down every time the room shook from the outside stands. It was baffling that anything stayed in place at all.

Bea ran her fingers across the plaques on the wall, and looked for Mum's name to no avail. Amongst the awards, the name Diggory stuck out (something about being dead or undead) as well as James Potter. It wasn't the one she knew, however; the date underneath clearly read May 1975. It was astounding that Hogwarts ever survived one of them, let alone two.

Hogwarts had also survived her. So far.

Breaking into Hooch's office was heist number thirty-three of her Hogwarts career, excluding any biscuit runs, and she had a grand total of twenty-seven and a half explosions (the half was for accidentally popping all of Rose's birthday balloons once). Adding in her extraordinary ability to set things aflame—three times to her hair and twice to Fred's eyebrows—the castle deserved a medal for not burning down yet.

Fred had always been there to cancel out both her and James. It felt a tad wrong that Scorpius was here in his stead. Scorpius was in the process of opening every container in the room for fun, chronic Touching-Everything-in-Sightus at its worst.

Bea put a hand on her hip. "I thought we were going to be quick about this."

"Yeah but have a look around. It's not every day you get to break into a professor's office." He grinned as he picked the lock on a chest. Even if Scorpius acted like he owned the place, at least he didn't make a half-bad point man.

Inside the chest was the standard set of Quidditch equipment. Scorpius took the Snitch from its casing and let its wings unfold.

Albus gasped and ran up, snatching it just as it was about to take flight. "Don't touch those! Hooch'll know. They've got flesh memory."

"Ah, don't worry, it's an old one." Scorpius squinted at it. "I think. Anyway, she's got like, what, twenty chests of these lying around?"

Bea took the Bludger from the chest and turned it over in her hand. The grade of lead marked this one as a newer model with a mechanical core, not the kind they were looking for. The metal underneath her fingertips spun a whole history. Sometime in 1902, in a dingy old room like her own, a frenzied team of enchanters had been arguing over what charms to make these cores The looming ban on Runespoor hunting would cripple the Quidditch industry if they didn't work fast enough.

"They still haven't been able to match the strength of the old ones," she said when Albus crouched next to her. "Runespoor eggs can harness and expel an extraordinary force when enchanted correctly. That's why they made such good Bludger cores. They must've drove themselves crazy enough trying to figure out how to mimic the right movements and calibrate the speed."

Albus patted the Bludger on its crown, nodding with awe. Scorpius, however, was not impressed. "Nah, how hard could it be? Simple Reflecting charm or something."

"Easy when it's already invented for you," she said snippily.

He already had his hands up to defend himself. "I don't mean to put down what you do. I just think Bludger cores..." He shrugged. "Meh."

She'll meh him. Bea put the Bludger back and slammed the lid down, Albus yelping as his fingertips were barely able to escape execution.

"Oi!" Scorpius jumped back. "I mean it, don't get all spunky and offended!"

"Spunky and offended?"

"You know, your nose gets all crinkly"—she let out a small gasp as her fingers darted to her nose, ridged with wrinkles—"and you've got all this pride and, you can only get away with that because you pull out your I'm-so-disadvantaged card."

"I'd never use being poor as an excuse!"

"No, but you like to blame me for not being poor, don't you?"

Bea glanced over at Albus, who made a sort-of gesture with his hand, and she acquiesced though her glare lingered.

With a clear of his throat, Scorpius slapped Albus' back, pushing him toward the far end of the room. "We should get to what we came here for, I suppose," he said, at least wise enough to move on. He jiggled the handle of a worn door that was practically unnoticeable beside the towering bookcase.

"Finally, an easy one." Scorpius took out his wand. "Alohomora."

A click sounded. Hogwarts security at its finest.

But when he turned the knob, it didn't budge, even after he slammed his shoulder against the door.

"A little help here?"

Bea and Albus shrugged at each other and the two ran against it, one thump following the other.

Scorpius rolled his eyes. "Collaboratively, shall we? On the count of three. One... two... three!"

Squashing against each other, they threw themselves against the door. With a loud crack, it swung open.

They stepped into the dusty gap of darkness. "Lumos," said Scorpius. The few candle stubs in the chandelier sprang to life, lighting the room with a paltry glow.

The piles of rubbish were so thick that it was impossible to discern any one object. Bea could make out a few overturned trunks and discarded team banners jutting out from underneath a large wooden statue or possibly some furniture child of a table and a wardrobe.

The room seemed to have everything imaginable except organization, as if Hooch only ever opened the door to throw something in. Searching for a Bludger was going to be finding a needle in a needlestack.

"Accio Bludger!" Bea shouted.

A scrape sounded from her left. Something atop a stack of tables shifted forward. The whole structure creaked, teetering a bit too much for Bea to be comfortable with casting that spell again.

Moving closer, she peered up as dust settled on her face and saw the edge of a chest. "Well, there must be some in there."

She pushed off an overturned bucket for the closest handhold, but the flimsy wood promptly broke underneath her. Albus yelped and Scorpius followed with a loud snickering snort. On the ground, she had stirred up a century's worth of filth and she could barely make out the latter's hand.

"Are you all right?" Scorpius pulled her to her feet. "Lay off the desserts, nutcase."

Coughing, Bea flattened her gaze. "Don't you—"

"Joking." Scorpius moved to help Albus haul in a proper chair. "I didn't think you were the type to care about that."

"Well, I don't but—" Bea grumbled, secretly pinching the side of her waist. Curse her morning waffles. "How would you feel if I said your—your hair looked funny?"

He paused, on foot on the chair. "What's wrong with my hair?"

She opened her mouth, prepared to reply, but truth of the matter was that Scorpius had very nice hair. It was like a plush golden field of grass and was probably fun to run her fingers through, not that she ever thought about such things.

"Fine, that was a bad example."

He brushed back his locks. "Damn straight." Pushing off his other foot, Scorpius gave the chair a good stomp and began his precarious climb.

Bea and Albus cleared the area as Scorpius pushed off the excess junk and yanked the trunk out. It fell to the floor with a splintering crash, Quaffles and Bludgers rolling everywhere.

Scorpius jumped down, stealing a sack from the second shelf. "Find Bludgers and toss them in. We'll check to see if they're old enough outside where there's proper lighting."

Albus saluted, flopped down on the floor, and got to work. Bea and Scorpius each took a seat on the other ends of the chest.

A few minutes into the sorting, Bea felt a looming presence to her right, and sure enough, it was Scorpius scooting closer. He probably thought he was being clever, having a small pile of balls in front of him to make it look like he was working when he wasn't.

"So, nutcase. Potterpuff. How goes it?"

"Missing more of Fred's game by the second, thank you very much." Though Bea could hear muffled cheering from the main section of Hooch's office, the small closet was void of sound except for themselves and the settling dust.

Scorpius raised a finger. "That reminds me. Tell ol' Freddie to keep his eyes off my girl. I'm not being overprotective or anything." He narrowed his eyes thoughtfully. "I'm pretty sure he's stalking her."

"Yeah, he is." Albus nodded.

Bea threw another Quaffle over her shoulder. "If I knew how, I would have a long time ago." Of all the Achilles Heels Fred could have chosen, he had to choose the leggiest.

"It can't be that hard," said Scorpius. "You practically already have him on a leash."

"What?"

"Come on. You know what I'm talking about." Scorpius had that nudging sort of tone. "He follows you wherever you go."

It didn't take a genius to know where he was going with this. "We're just friends," Bea stated firmly. "Our interests just happen to collide. I mostly just help Uncle George."

"But it's not always like that. This prototype—that's not for his dad. He has better things to do than to be at your beck and call." He winked. "Friends don't deal with, no offense, trouble like you."

"Excuse me?" she sputtered.

"You ever take a look at what you ask of him sometimes? I'd never do that for anyone," he said, his smug expression practically dripping off his face. "You don't realize 'cause he spoils you."

"Oi, I would do just as much for him," she retorted. "Or for Albus. Or Lucy. Or even Rose. Just because you don't have real friends—"

The words left her mouth before she could stop them, and she shut up as fast as she could, but she had already careened across the line.

The shock on Scorpius' face was but a flash, a shadow of surprise that melted into a wide-eyed chuckle. "Well. Talk about defensive."

Her cheeks throbbed with heat. "Sorry, I didn't mean—"

"So what did you mean?"

Jovial as his tone was, the sudden grimness at the corners of his mouth told her he was quite serious. The few times she was privy to this side of him, she'd remember those days in detention with him in Teddy's classroom, removed from the rest of the castle, where Scorpius had been just a lonely boy in a blazer.

Albus spoke up hesitantly. "Well, I think what Bea means is—"

"What I mean is," Bea interrupted before she lost her chance. The words felt awkward on her tongue as they spilled out in fragments. "You've got shiny clothes and big words. But I wonder—I wonder if that's just you trying to convince yourself that maybe if people pay attention to you, it's enough. It's not, is it?"

Not a moment after she finished speaking, she shut her eyes and berated herself. She didn't even know him; what was she saying? "Never mind. Just ignore me—"

"You're not wrong," said Scorpius.

The lines on his face that usually held up his grin were no longer taut, and his whole body seemed to have sighed and lost its confident rigidity. Despite the conversation's bitter flavor, a slight smile remained. It almost felt as if it were something Bea was not supposed to see, like she had intruded upon a side of Scorpius meant for someone else. She wanted to shield her eyes, apologize some more, escape the unhinging sensation on her skin that seemed to crumple her from the outside in.

Guilt. She had forgotten that he could be hurt.

"You've got friends. You've got us," Albus said, a cheery spring in his shoulders as he made two tiny fist pumps in the air. "Right, Bea?"

"Yeah," she whispered, looking away at last. Her hands, anxious to move, held up the half-filled sack. "Albus, why don't we uh—why don't we just—" She gestured to continue sorting the Bludgers, never finishing the sentence.

It was her curse. She was too used to being silly, little Bea, not a care in the world; no one took her seriously enough to be offended, and she could always shove what she didn't like under a carpet and pretend the bumps weren't there. Even if she wanted to straighten it out, she didn't know how, and it was only a matter of time before she tripped.

She wasn't like Albus, who had stumbled so many times that getting up and brushing himself off was routine. She wasn't like Fred, who watched where he walked so he wouldn't stumble in the first place. She was the one who, when she fell, sunk as far as she could into the thick of the fibers and hope no one noticed.

It was what people expected of her, anyhow. Except for a few hiccups like the contract discussion, her friends didn't complain much. That was the perk of expectations; they already knew what was coming. Then here was Scorpius. He had done such a fine job of meeting her expectations until then.

A murmuring in the background eased her out of her rumination. Albus was saying something about Bludgers.

"Sorry, what?" she asked, waving a hand at him. Perhaps he was talking to the Bludger in his hand instead; he was certainly staring at it intently.

"I said that they've been cooped up in here too long, lost their spirit." Albus held the Bludger to the light and one of the dents almost looked like a frown. "It's not right. Quaffles get by, but not Bludgers. They're meant to be played with. It's cruel to stick them in a dusty closet."

Bea nodded half-heartedly as she dug underneath the chest. Albus had gone through a phase where he treated every object as if it were a kitten. It was a result of Lucy's influence—her neo-Buddhism lectures, to be precise. Suddenly, everything had a soul and Albus would see expressions in the woodwork. When he tripped, he'd say 'Excuse me' to the ground. It was just a phase but old habits died hard. It was probably for the best that he had forgotten why she needed a Bludger in the first place.

"Look. Look, Bea." Albus was still trying to shove the thing in her face a minute later. "It wants to be your friend."

And she was going to gut it like a fish. "It's a ball," she said, taking it and throwing it in the sack.

He picked up another one. "Inside every one of these, there's an egg. A soul," Albus said, with a vehemence that made Bea cringe. "If you listen, you can hear it. They're restless, don't you see?" As he jiggled it like an eight-ball, it slipped out of his grip and rolled into a nearby pile.

"Ah, bloody—" Albus felt for his wand. "Accio Bludger!" It returned to his hands.

At the same time, a strange rumbling grew from underneath them, far too strong to have come from the Quidditch match. It was almost as if a parade were marching past the room, but Hogwarts hadn't had one since one of the first years got stuck in their fly-trap tuba.

Bea frowned. The Bludger in her hands had started vibrating on its own accord. "Uh..."

A sudden whump interrupted her, followed by another loud crash.

Scorpius bolted to his feet, wand out. "What the bloody—?"

A Bludger knocked straight into his chest, throwing him back on the floor with a thud. Bea dropped the one in her hands and ducked, arms flailing above her head as another hurtled toward her.

The sack stretched this way and that. The room was suddenly filled with active Bludgers by the dozens, ricocheting against the walls like animals rattling their cages.

With a hand clutching the bruised spot, Scorpius staggered upwards. "What did you do, Potterpuff?"

"I don't—I—" Albus whimpered and stared at the wand in his hand. "I must've been thinking about too many of them when I cast that."

"This still isn't normal!"

"I don't know! They must have heard me, thought I'm setting them free!"

"What are you, a Bludger whisperer?!"

The towers of junk shuddered dangerously under the onslaught. Even Bea's refuge behind the chest wasn't safe anymore. She crawled out of her hiding space just as Scorpius raised his arm and shouted, "Immobulus!" One Bludger fell from the air, but the rest continued on their destructive path.

Scorpius pushed Albus toward the glaring light of the open door. "Go, go, go!" He turned around, doing a double take when he caught sight of her cowering on the ground. "Hurry up, Bea!"

Heart pounding, Bea knew the only way she'd make it across the room was if she didn't think about running into direct fire. Glass shattered somewhere above her and she felt the cold trickle of glass down her shirt. The shelf behind her groaned, an ominous creak heralding its fall. With a hard swallow, she pushed off and ran. Cold lead grazed her ear. Any moment now, she would be struck in her head. Her legs would buckle. She wouldn't make it.

A hand wrapped around her wrist; Scorpius was pulling her forward. Together, they dashed out of the room as the walls of junk caved in behind them. Albus slammed the door shut as soon as they were out.

Dizzy and hyper-aware all at once, Bea barely caught sight of an escaped Bludger at the edge of her vision. It skidded across a shelf, knocking down boxes and a Snitch off its perch. The golden wings sprouted just before the it hit the ground.

"Watch out!" she called, lunging toward Albus, who leapt out of the way as a box of files crashed down.

Scorpius' grip held her back. Whirling around, she found his eyes round with panic. A second passed before he let go, leaving behind three red welts where his fingers had dug into her skin.

Albus spread his arms, running in the Bludger's direction. "I've got it!" He nearly toppled over Hooch's desk as the hurtling ball slammed him backwards.

"There, there," Albus whispered. He cradled the Bludger tight in his arms until it quieted.

A golden streak whizzed past Bea, and she grasped at the air. "The Snitch!"

It went right past Scorpius' nose and then swooped in an arc around the room. Albus' arm shot out and caught it with one clean snatch.

"Phew," he panted. "That could've been very bad."

Bea and Scorpius' jaws dropped at the same time. "Holy—" Scorpius glanced quickly at Bea as if to confirm that they had seen the same thing. "How did you—? What position do you play?"

Albus blinked. "...reserve reserve Chaser?"

Before Bea could have her face meet palm, she heard a loud creak of wood and paled. The door to the closet was bulging at its frame and the sound of the Bludgers had yet to stop; if anything, it seemed to have gotten louder.

Scorpius ran up and held it closed. "Shit. Shit."

Bea and Albus joined him. Even with three of them standing against the door, it was a losing battle. Bea clutched her wand tightly, whispering spells under her breath to find anything that could possibly calm the Bludgers down. Immobulus. Petrificus. Impedimenta.

When she searched Scorpius' face for a little bit of hope, she came up with nothing. Turning to her left, she found the same dread in Albus. Behind Albus—

"Anj?"

At the doorway stood the perfect dichotomy to the chaos. Wand out, Anjali was as calm as a salt desert, taking in the scene with a wry smile.

"Anj—?" Scorpius cursed under his breath. "You said half an hour!"

Anjali cocked her head to the side. "I lied."

"What's going on?" Bea glanced between them. "She’s going to help us, right?"

"Not exactly," he muttered.

Anjali took one step into the room. "It's time I make a little offer of my own."

Scorpius began slipping across the floor as he struggled to keep a firm hold. "A bit busy here, darling. Can this wait?" He chuckled, each note tense and sour.

"I've made my decision. It's time for yours. Walk away from this right now and no one needs to know about this. Don't, and I'll call the professors down and when the letters get sent home, you can deal with daddy instead."

His shoulder blade scraped against the hard grain of the wood and he winced. "It's kind of already too late, darling, with the contract and all."

"Ninety-nine percent loophole proof contract. Of course." Anjali walked closer, giving a sidelong look at the mess on the floor, before training her eyes on them again. Bea could sense the room closing in with her every step, and she finally understood what Fred meant when he described her as predatory.

"She's so out of Fred's league," Albus whispered.

Bea would've laughed if she wasn't overcome with a sense of foreboding, and not only from the clamor behind their back. There was something wrong about the prefect's presence. It was as if Anjali and Scorpius were having a completely separate conversation between the lines.

Anjali slid onto Hooch's desk, crossing one leg over the other. "Ninety-nine percent. Very confident number. But you know well enough to find that one percent before you sign it. In fact, your father's fairly notorious for that, isn't he?"

Bea furrowed her brows, heart pounding faster than ever. Did that mean—? But why would she say that?

"I don't know what she's talking about," Scorpius said hastily. "I really don't."

The door jumped out of its frame, and Bea and Albus nearly toppled to the floor. Scorpius slammed it closed a split-second later, holding the entire span of his arms against the wall.

Meanwhile, Anjali smirked from her perch. No matter the mayhem, even her tiniest action demanded notice. "Of course he knows what I'm talking about. And I think you deserve to know the truth, Bea."

At the mention of her name, Bea turned to face her, lips parted in question.

"No, don't listen to her. She's—you can't—" Scorpius panted, but the pull of Anjali's words was too strong for Bea to look away.

"I assure you, there's no chance that your invention will ever reach a single person." The prefect took to her feet again and her slow, deliberate pace around the room seemed to mock them. She played with her wand like a dagger. "His father doesn't even know about it."

"Anjali." Bea could almost feel his hope warp and sink. "Please don't do this."

"His father despises it. Would probably destroy it on sight."

"I—it's not what it looks like," he gritted. "I've got things to explain, but really, this is not the time."

"Selling your invention to a Muggle-hater. What could you expect?"

Bea stared at him, barely able to grasp the conversation. "Is it true?"

From the flash of regret that crossed Scorpius' face, she knew that it was, and all the blood in her veins stopped cold at once. He shut his eyes, nothing to say.

"Well, well." Anjali's voice cut through again, but this time, Bea didn't tear her gaze away to look at her. "I don't think there's any reason for either of you to uphold the contract at this point. May as well void it. You're welcome."

Bea let Anjali's words fade in the background. Scorpius was too resigned, too dumbfounded himself to be the villain—something she would have never noticed before. The wisp of vulnerability she had seen was unfurled across his face. His greatest weakness was sitting in the room.

"If your father doesn't want it, then what's this all about?" Bea whispered.

Perhaps it was all in her head, but there followed a moment of pure deafening silence. Albus' labored breathing behind her quieted and even the Bludgers seemed to stop moving. It was as if her question had given Scorpius a second of hope.

"Look," he said, sweat dripping down his brow. "You know how I said it was a 'personal project'? I might have taken that to an extreme."

Her mind was working on a feverish overdrive, connecting the pieces. "It's not for your father; it's for you."

Scorpius nodded with the closest thing to a smile he could have at a moment like this. "Your invention's the best idea I've ever seen, even if he doesn't think so. He's passing up something brilliant."

"Empty words. If he lied about this, how much has he lied about?" Anjali's voice interposed, but her confidence seemed lacking.

“And Anjali’s not a fan of my plans.”

The past month zipped through Bea's mind, and Scorpius strut right through with his persistence and wheedling. He had offered her so much to—what? Impress her? He had been so busy acting the part of the assertive businessman that he never bothered to consider that he had been going about it all wrong.

Bea was almost inclined to turn around and hit her head on the door. "Scorpius, you're an idiot!"

"What?"

"I mean, I don't care about the money, if that's what you thought." She only hoped she hadn't completely misinterpreted him. "If you mean what you say, then we can still do this. We can sell it on our own. You want to prove your father wrong, don't you?"

Before Scorpius could answer, Anjali cut in, "Remember, darling: me or the invention. You can't have both."

A lump grew in Bea's throat, and the newfound awe in Scorpius' eyes turned dark. His gaze traveled from Bea to Anjali. "You already know my answer."

Scorpius was choosing Anjali. Of course, how could she even think—? But Bea couldn't believe it when she saw disappointment in Anjali's frown instead.

"I'm sorry," Scorpius murmured.

"Don't apologize to me. You're digging your own grave," Anjali sneered, raising her wand arm. "Petrificus Totalus!"

A thread of light shot toward the three at the door and before Bea could so much as gasp, Scorpius shoved her and Albus to the floor.

Without their barricade, the door burst open. Bea scraped her cheek from the ground. She could hardly tell which way was up as the Bludger swarm blackened the ceiling. Anjali had staggered backwards, face painted with surprise, her shield spell full of holes. She ran for the door.

As the spots in Bea's vision cleared, she saw Scorpius hovering over her, the folds of his blazer draping on either side of her head.

"Why?" she rasped, as he pulled her to her feet.

He coughed—or was it a chuckle? "It's complicated."

With Scorpius here with her instead of Anjali and her arm wrapped around his to steady herself, this was not how Bea imagined their 'quick fifteen-minute heist' would end. What surprised her most of all was the utter lack of regret in his expression.

"Where's Albus?" she cried. He had been right next to her.

"I don't know." Scorpius scanned around, skirting to the right to dodge another Bludger. "But we need to go." He started toward the entrance.

"I'm not leaving without him. Albus!"

A muffled shout responded, "Don't worry about me!"

Suddenly, the missing boy flew out of the closet on a broomstick, leading a pack of Bludgers behind him. "For the Bludgers!" Albus whooped, thrusting a Quaffle in the air.

Like bees to honey, the whizzing balls in the room curved toward him. Bea and Scorpius ducked in the nick of time as they swarmed overhead.

Albus straightened his path toward the door where Anjali stood with the most baffled expression of all. Shrieking, she dodged out of the way as Albus led the throng out, hollering another war cry, "They can take my lunch hour but they cannot take our freeeedooom!"

Even as the Bludgers continued to pelt through the door, Bea and Scorpius could hardly do anything but stare.

"...that is one helluva Hufflepuff you've got there."

"He's special, for sure."

With the room emptying, the tiny office door had become a bottleneck. Bea and Scorpius were only a few feet away from the entrance when Anjali slid into view—and slammed the door closed. The onslaught of Bludgers rebounded, and Scorpius yanked Bea out of the way and they tumbled against the wall. The door shone with the bright flare of a spell.

"No!" Scorpius scrambled to pull the handle.

Bea peered around him, limbs weak. "Are we—?"

"Anjali!" He banged the door and kicked it, then once more with frustrated grunt. "She's charmed it shut." He muttered spells under his breath, but the door did not flash again.

Don't panic, Bea told herself as the remaining Bludgers zipped across the room. Don't panic, because they were only going to be expelled for breaking and trashing a Professor's office, if they don't die first by a renegade Bludger. It could have been worse; they could have been locked in the room that was incriminating them.

Oh, wait.

But she was not alone. When Scorpius circled around to face her, she knew that the stakes had changed and their shared resolve now bound them together more than any contract could. A new-found courage bloomed in her chest. They had chosen each other, and by Merlin, they were going to bust out of there together.

Bea spun on her heel, eyes locking on an open window at the top of the office. She pointed. "Up there."

Assessing the strewn boxes on the floor, she stacked them up, one by one, pushing them against the wall. Scorpius had gone into the closet to find anything that could help. But what about the drop down outside? Bea's heart sank as she looked up at the window. It was at least twenty feet off the ground.

Scorpius ran out of the closet holding up a broom, grinning like a maniac. "I've got it."

She blanched. Unlike Albus' Cleansweep, this broom must have come from the Dark Ages. It was as skinny as a twig and was missing half its tail. She wouldn't trust it to clean the floor, let alone challenge gravity.

"You're kidding me," she said as he put one leg over it.

"I'm not." He extended a hand to her, and Bea was a bit perturbed at how genuinely eager he was to try an idea that led to certain demise. "Come on, just trust me."

"No!" She stared between Scorpius and the broom and then to his hand. "I mean, I do, but waaah—!"

Without waiting for her to finish, Scorpius grabbed her and she flopped over the broom, her upper half dangling over the side.

"I suggest you sit properly before we take flight," he called over his shoulder.

Before Bea could let out an indignant huff, the floor began moving away and she squawked as she found a handhold. Tossing her hair back, she pushed herself up to a sitting position. The broom lurched forward, and she flung her two flailing arms around Scorpius as she held on for dear life.

"Do you know how to control this thing?" she shrieked.

"Not a clue!"

Their mouths opened wide, yelling as loudly as the cheers outside, as they hurtled toward the tiny opening in the wall. A bright sunlight blinded Bea's eyes, and for a split second, she thought she was heading down the last tunnel of life until her lungs filled with fresh air and she could hear the clear boom of Creevey's announcing.

"And Ravenclaw scores—blimey, are those Bludgers?"




Albus' freedom warcry adapted from the famous line in Braveheart.

A/N Things that I've been finally able to do: ALBUS GETS HIS TRIUMPH AND BOY DOES HE GET IT :D Silly reserve reserve Chaser. Woobie Scorpius bb. Alll the entanglements. ALL THE FEELS.

So yesterday, when I wrote the latter half of this chapter. I was freaking out. I was like homg this is such an important chapter, I cannot screw this up. What if this doesn't make sense? What if I forget something? But I think I'm happy with it now. Please tell me what you think ^__^ It gets really tough to get feedback at this point of the story, so I'd really appreciate it. Thank you, everyone who's stuck around with the story for so long; it's really kept me going. Snapdragons, ToujourPadfoots, forsakenphoenix, Witnesstoitall, PetrificusTotalus, DetectiveMenace, peppersweet, hdawg, TallestTower, aiedail, Loony_Scorpy, Rumbleroar goes roar, prettywishes, and everyone else (sorry if I missed you! you can prod me xD).

Coming up: the erm, epic? conclusion to the adventure!
"Hold on—" Scorpius' yell stopped short as all four of her limbs latched on like a Kneazle to a post. "Nevermindletgoletgo!" he sputtered, grasping at the arm choking his neck.

The broom refused to angle upwards, and the height she had been so concerned about was rapidly plummeting. Glancing over the top of the blond's head, she spied the fast-incoming thatch of Hagrid's hut. "Watch out!"


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