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Chapter 7 : A Trio
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“Where should we go?” Rose asked in a panicky voice as they all scrambled down a hallway, still gripping each other tightly.
Albus bit on his lower lip for a moment, thinking that he might have drawn a bit of blood before saying. “We could try going to Hagrid’s!”
“This late? He might send us straight back here!” Rose said, “He gets enough of that sort of thing from James and we’d never make it all the way out of the school anyway. There has to be somewhere else!”
Scorpious sighed wearily and Albus could practically see him rolling his eyes, “Let’s just go back to Gryffindor Tower and once things calm down, we’ll sneak back out, get rid of the Hat and be on our way to our separate dorms.
Albus thought that was a decent idea, “But how are we going to get the Sorting Hat back to McGonagall?” he asked worriedly, “I don’t think she’s gonna keep the same password now that she knows someone was in there!”
Sue Corner finally pointed out something. “Have all of you forgotten that that portrait saw us? They already know who we are by now! We don’t stand a chance!” she cried. “We’re going to get caught either way!”
“I’d rather be comfy in the Gryffindor common room before then though, if you don’t mind!” Scorpious spat at her.
Albus was still with Scorpious on this one, “He’s right. Even if we do get caught, at least we’ll be cozy when we do.” Rose stiffened, “this was your idea!”
Rose’s voice sounded irritated. “This wasn’t supposed to even happen! If only we hadn’t fell!” she said as they all started back towards Gryffindor Tower, walking as slowly as they could.
“You could stand to lose a few pounds, Weasley,” Scorpious said with a sneer that Albus wished that he could see, just so he could smack it off of him.
Rose’s voice sounded very cross. “And maybe you could stand to get some muscle!” she snapped back.
Albus was about to tell them to shut up when they heard a noise from down the corridor and without having to be told they moved against the wall, the back of his head hitting the window and making him wince.
Filch and the ghost of some horrid cat were walking down the corridor, his lantern held high and a nasty look on his ancient face, “Where do you think those nasty little brats ran off to, my sweet? They won’t be too pleased when I find them, will they?” he asked the ghost cat.
It meowed and Albus wished that it had been alive so he could kick it.
For a second, as they passed by, he thought it paused where they were and looked right at them but he couldn’t be sure. After a moment it passed away, its ghostly white tail flicking this way and that, “I think that thing saw us! Let’s hurry up and get to the Tower!” Albus hissed.
Sue Corner’s grip on his hand was tight, “What a horrible cat! I didn’t know that they could see under Cloaks!”
Albus wished that she wouldn’t hold his hand and didn’t get a chance to say anything because Rose started to lead them towards Gryffindor Tower again and they were soon on their way.
There was no one else around for a very long time but after a while they saw Professor Chang and Finch-Fletchley walking past, deep in conversation and they paused against a wall again, “I don’t know what to think. An actual vampire attacking Death Eater kids is something that makes me worry, Justin. It makes me ill,”
Professor Finch-Fletchley, who taught their History of Magic class nodded his head. “I know how you feel. But there hasn’t been a vampire in Britain in years, why would it suddenly come here after all this time? They were neutral during the War.”
“Yes, but things do change. And children are easy prey,” Professor Chang said with a shudder. “Do you think that it’s such a good idea to have this dueling club for the Death Eater kids? It might be teaching them something to use against the other students.”
Professor Finch-Fletchley sighed and looked at her with a weak smile, “I don’t think it will be a good idea to just have it for them either. I talked to Blaise and Smith earlier and they both agreed that the first and second years should take it while the other, older students are introduced to more advanced Defense Against the Dark Arts.”
Professor Chang nodded in agreement, “The younger students should at least know how to defend themselves until an adult or older student arrives. It won’t do much against a vampire though, but at least they’ll feel safer,”
“It might not be like when the Death Eaters got into Hogwarts, there’s no You-Know-Who anymore,” Professor Finch-Fletchley said, “and we reinforce the spells around the castle daily, there’s no way for anything evil to slip through here.”
Their Transfiguration teacher looked mildly pleased. “You’re right. But this dueling club doesn’t sound all that effective, younger students might not take to it very well.” She worried. “It’s too bad that we don’t have Harry to teach us, like last time when that beast Umbridge had taken over the school,” she said with a fond laugh.
“I heard that she was booted out of the Ministry,” Professor Finch-Fletchley said with a wide smile, “good for her. Things have been dull since then, when we were kids. I would give anything for a D.A. meeting now.”
Albus had had no idea they’d been part of it too! He was rather excited about it, he had only met a handful of the members apparently, “I know what you mean. Luna checks her coin very often,” Professor Chang said with a laugh, “you know how she gets, after what happened a few years ago, she’s the first to fight.”
“Yes, and the first to look for Crumple Horned Snorcklacks as well, or whatever they were called. Do you remember how she talked about fighting Bellatrix Lestrange? She makes it sound so pleasant!” Professor Finch-Fletchley said, “I was up at the Astronomy Tower so I missed it but it sounded horrific!”
Albus wanted to know more but they had already walked away down the hall, still deep in conversation about lost times. “Your dad is way cool,” Scorpious told him as they all started walking again, “we should start our own club, just like he did.”
“You think?” Albus asked excitedly.
Rose interrupted, “We’re almost there. I didn’t know that Aunt Luna was such a good fighter, she doesn’t seem like it, you know?”
Albus nodded, “She really doesn’t. But you can never tell with her, can you?” he asked with a grin, “I can’t wait to see her at Christmas.”
“Oh, you’re just hoping that she’ll buy you something, she spoils you all rotten. Lily especially,” Rose said sourly.
Albus rolled his eyes and reminded, “Mum named her Lily Luna, Rose! And she doesn’t have any daughters of her own so of course she would spoil her more than the rest of us.” He said annoyingly, “you make it sound like you never get anything!”
Rose sounded very annoyed and Scorpious made a gagging noise that Albus had to fight hard not to laugh at. “I don’t get nearly as much as Lily does!”
Albus ticked off a few things, “What about that set of pearl earrings that Aunt Fleur bought you? Or that book about magical beasts that you loved so much from Aunt Luna?” he pointed out shrewdly.
“Shut up, Albus!” Rose cried.
He ignored her and continued on in a louder whisper. “Or that new set of robes that Aunt Audrey and Angie pitched in to buy you? I swear, Rose—”
“Oh, stop rubbing it in,” Rose snapped.
Scorpious sounded very envious. “Your family sounds great, wish I could come over for Christmas.”
“Who says you can’t?” Albus asked him annoyingly.
“Oh, I don’t know. Some girl with bushy red hair?” Scorpious asked dryly.
Rose glowered over at him. “You’re not coming anywhere near my house and don’t you dare invite him, Albus! Uncle Harry isn’t going to be happy about having him anywhere near you if I can help it!”
“Oh, get a life, Rose!” Albus snapped annoyingly. “If I want him to come over, he will and it’s none of your business!”
Sue Corner finally said, from behind him. “What’s the password?” Albus gasped and was surprised to see that they were at the Fat Lady already.
Albus looked up at her dozing, peaceful face and said. “Oi, listen up!” and watched her twitch with annoyance, “hey, listen to me!”
Scorpious’s foot came out from under the Cloak and kicked the portrait as hard as he could and earned a nasty curse for the effort from the Fat Lady. She jerked, looking around, “Who’s there?” she asked angrily.
“Ignorance!” Albus cried.
The Fat Lady hissed, “How dare you wake me up, do you have any idea what time it is right now? I could have you in detention all year for this!” she snapped while opening to admit them in.
Once again, the common room was practically deserted and Albus blew out a sigh of relief as he took off the Cloak and watched Sue Corner wander over to the fireplace and take out her wand. After a moment, she said, “Incendio,” and it burst into raucous, beautiful flames, “there, now it’ll be a bit warmer.”
“You know that spell but nothing that could have helped us get the bloody Hat from the shelf?” Scorpious mocked as he shoved the Cloak off and got away from Rose as fast as he could.
Albus didn’t bother listening to them argue and was about to stretch and head towards a chair to sit in when he spotted Lavender Patil slumped in one already. Her head was buried in her Charms book and he wondered, with an oddly sweet pang if she had waited up for them to come back, “She must have been here all night.” He said with a grin.
Scorpious was taking out a blanket, yawning loudly, “Throw this on her, she looks blue,” he said and Albus took it from him and draped it over her shoulders. “Now let’s get this over with, I’m dead tired.”
Albus was trying to rearrange Lavender’s neck so she wouldn’t wake up with a crook but decided to give up, she was too far gone.
Walking back to them, he sat on one of the couches beside Rose, Sue Corner across from them in a chair with Scorpious, both of them looking disgusted with the other, “Okay, I’ll go first!” Rose said happily while taking out the Hat from the depths of her robes.
Albus sighed and watched Sue taking out a parchment and quill from out of nowhere. “It’s not like we’d lie about it or anything,” he pointed out wearily.
“Oh, I don’t think you would, Potter.” Sue said while looking at Scorpious scathingly, “but your friend might.”
Scorpious ignored her and watched as Rose placed the Hat on her bushy red hair, his face oddly tight. After a moment or two, her gloating smile froze, “Ravenclaw!” the Hat cried again and Albus thought it sounded sort of irritated and he had a crazy thought that it might actually sleep and had things to do.
Scorpious was smirking happily. “Brains all the way, Weasley,”
Rose glared at him hotly and she tore the Hat off and cried, “It has to be wrong!”
“Then try it on again!” Sue Corner said with a confused frown.
Albus saw Rose nod then groaned in aggravation as he watched her try the Sorting Hat on three more times, and each time, despite her efforts to look fierce, it declared her a Ravenclaw.
When it cried the House again, for the sixth time, his cousin slumped and took it off her head with a glum, sad expression on her face. “It still says that I’m more suited for Ravenclaw!”
Albus had a horrible feeling that she might cry or something and moved away from her but it was already too late. Rose was crying into his shoulder and he really had nothing to say to comfort her, “Aw, come on, lighten up, Rosie, it’s not that big of a deal. You’re not giving your House a chance, all you need to do is make new friends, get out a little more—”
“And stop putting your nose in other people’s business,” Scorpious muttered as he snatched the Sorting Hat from her shaking fingers and placed it on his lap.
Sue Corner gave him a warning look but then went back to scratching something with her quill, “So, the terms of the bet say that if Malfoy really belongs in Gryffindor, you owe him whatever he wants, at any time, Rose.”
Rose looked up from Albus’s weak shoulder and cried. “Oh, like I could forget!” she said scathingly, “but the Hat doesn’t make more mistakes, at least, not with someone with a family history—”
Scorpious looked at Rose with a darkly, foreboding look and Albus wondered if it was merely his imagination but his eyes looked red in the light. A moment later they were their normal, stormy grey and he said coldly, “Would you stop it? You haven’t heard me insult your family once.”
Rose opened her mouth to say that he had, at least once or twice but Albus knew that Scorpious hadn’t, if anything, he had given their family nothing but glowing compliments, “…Well.” She said tightly when she couldn’t think of anything to say, “Are you going to put it on or not?”
Sue Corner licked the tip of her quill, her dark eyes focused and sure and Albus wondered why this mattered so much to her anyway. She was probably like Rose and just hated Scorpious for what his father had been, “Okay. I’m ready.”
Albus watched his friend place the Hat on his blonde head and there was a tense, dark silence that was only broken by Lavender Patil’s snoring. After a moment, the Hat cried once again, “Gryffindor!” and Rose, so stunned and furious, demanded that he put it on three more times before she finally bowed her head and clenched her fists.
“So, Weasley,” Scorpious drawled lazily as a relieved expression broke out over his pale, pointed face. “You owe me.”
Albus gave him a weary look and took the Hat from him and felt his fingers shaking a little bit. What if the Hat did tell him that he was a Slytherin? What if he was thrust back into a whole new House, away from Scorpious and under the mercy of people like Goyle, who hated his guts?
Swallowing, he placed the Hat on his head just as the portrait hole burst open and they all jumped up, expecting a monster but were even more horrified when they saw that it was Headmistress McGonagall herself.
“I have never been more furious!” she screamed as she stormed into the room, Zabini behind her, looking quite demented. “You four, you four have stolen the Sorting Hat, been out after hours and have the audacity to be comfortable while you wait for your punishment?”
Scorpious opened his mouth but Albus shot him a look and held out the Hat to the furious older woman as some kind of peace offering. “We’re sorry, we just weren’t sure if we were put in the right House.”
The older woman looked as if she might wring their necks, or worse, expel them and he swallowed hard. “That is not an excuse for misbehavior! The Sorting Hat doesn’t make mistakes, once you’re in your House, you’re in it for the rest of your years at Hogwarts!” she ran a hand over her face. “I’m very disappointed with you all, especially with you, Ms. Weasley and Ms. Corner, you two, I thought had more sense.”
Albus didn’t really appreciate that she had just sort of said that he and Scorpious were born to be reckless. “It was her idea,” Scorpious muttered, looking down at his feet and frowning.
“Whether it was her idea or not doesn’t matter! We have been in a frenzy looking for you all! Do you not understand how dangerous these times are? Especially for you Mr. Malfoy?” McGonagall snapped as she advanced on him. “Your father has written me, worried out of his mind, just like your poor mother who is constantly sending owls to my office!”
Scorpious paled and Albus wasn’t sure what was making him look so ill. “I didn’t know that.” He muttered, “Dad didn’t even tell me what was going on with the other kids that were murdered,”
McGonagall inhaled raggedly to catch her breathing, “And why would he? He wants your first year to be fun, enjoyable but you obviously don’t want that! Detention for a week with Zabini for fighting. And now this!”
“I’m sorry,” Scorpious muttered and Albus was sure that he was apologizing more to her than to his father.
The matron frowned deeply at him and then turned her beady black eyes on Albus. “And you, Mr. Potter, I thought that you were more focused and determined! To throw away a chance to prove yourself over something as silly as where you really belong in Hogwarts? Every student, when the Second War came to Hogwarts fought together, what House they were in hardly mattered.”
“But the Slytherin kids ran!” Scorpious reminded hotly.
Zabini finally spoke and his voice slithered and coiled around the room like smoke, making Albus’s skin break out in a cold sweat. “Not all of us ran and hid. Some of us came back and fought for the right side,”
Scorpious flushed angrily. “You never told me that!"
“You were too busy thinking that I was going to eat you, Mr. Malfoy and I’ve never appreciated how cowardly your father was back then, its why we don’t keep in touch as often as I’d like.” Zabini muttered coldly.
Albus saw shame pass over his friend’s face and said hastily to the dark, imposing man before them. “We were just worried! Everyone’s giving us both a hard time and we thought that the Hat had gotten it wrong!”
“So you steal it?” McGonagall asked sharply. She placed her thumb and forefinger to the bridge of her nose and squeezed, “I’m disappointed in each and every one of you.”
Albus saw Rose shaking and tears brimming in her wide, brown eyes. Even Sue Corner looked a little frightened and he asked the dreaded question, “Are you going to expel us?”
McGonagall frowned deeply. “After your own father flew a car into the Whomping Willow his second year, helped Sirius Black escape Dementors his third year and created an illegal club in his fifth? What you’ve done hardly deserves an expulsion from this school compared to what he did at your age.”
Scorpious was looking rather pleased while Albus wondered if he would ever get noticed for anything that his father hadn’t done better than him.
“Don’t look so glum, Mr. Potter, you will be punished, I assure you.” McGonagall said dryly, her eyes rolling just a bit in annoyance. “I won’t expel you all but I will take fifty points each from your House and you will be serving quite a few detentions to make up for this little mishap.” She said sternly and Albus nearly fainted with relief.
“Fifty?” Scorpious asked angrily, “but we’ve lost so many points already!”
Zabini gave him an icy glare. “You should have thought of that before you went around stealing, Mr. Malfoy and Ms. Weasley, crying won’t save you!” he shouted when Rose started to cry really loudly, “now, whose idea was this really?”
Albus was about to take the fall for Rose when they heard a sleepy, drained voice mumble, “Mine, sir.” And he looked around and saw that Lavender Patil was sitting up and looking at them all, rubbing her eyes, “it was my idea.”
“I hardly believe it was, Ms. Patil,” Zabini drawled doubtfully.
Lavender wiped at her eyes and said with conviction. “I was the one that wanted them to get it for me but I fell asleep waiting for them. Everyone says that I’m really cowardly and don’t belong in this House so I thought that maybe they were right and that I really belonged in Ravenclaw or something,”
Albus could hardly believe his ears.
McGonagall gave Lavender a pitying look but it was slightly kind compared to the look that she had been giving Albus and the others. “Well, Ms. Patil, I do value your bravery to admit your faults now. I’m afraid that you’ll have to be punished more so than the other four here, do you understand that?”
“I understand, Ma’am.” Lavender answered, clutching her Charm book.
Zabini still looked rather doubtful and Albus had a feeling he knew that she was lying for them all. “Are you even prepared to handle the detentions that you’ll be receiving?”
Lavender nodded firmly and bit on her lower lip. “I’ll do whatever it takes. If you want, take a hundred points from me and give Albus and Scorpious back thirty. This was my fault,” she mumbled and Albus was amazed as a little tear rolled dramatically down her round cheek.
McGonagall pursed her lips a little at this bargaining but said with a clip to her voice, “I’ll take ten from Mr. Potter and Mr. Malfoy and seventy from you, Ms. Patil.” She looked around at them all and Albus felt his spine tingling with fear, “now that that’s settled, all of you are to go to bed immediately.”
“When are we going to serve our detentions?” Albus asked her worriedly.
McGonagall was taking the Sorting Hat from him and said with a quirked eyebrow that made him think that she really wanted to spank his behind. “You will be informed when it’s arranged, Mr. Potter.”
His eyes glanced at Zabini fearfully, “Okay,”
The two teachers glared down at them one more time before ushering Rose and Sue Corner out of the Common Room. Rose gave Lavender a weak smile but her friend didn’t even look at her, which made Albus really want to kick her in the back of the knee as the four of them left.
“Why did you do that?” Scorpious asked Lavender the moment they were sure McGonagall and Zabini weren’t coming back.
She slipped out of the armchair and walked over to the two of them with a little smirk on her face that made her look very cunning and secretive. Albus wasn’t really sure if he liked it or not, “Aren’t you going to say thank you?” she asked shyly.
Scorpious grunted irritably, “Thanks, I guess.”
Albus said, “You didn’t have to do that you know. I was gonna take the fall for Rose, you didn’t need to get yourself thrown into a detention with us!”
Lavender shrugged her shoulders and looked at him from the corner of her eye, her cheeks turning very pink. “Well, it was sort of my fault. I mean, I did give Rose my Cloak and you wouldn’t have made it to Headmistress McGonagall’s office without it so it wasn’t really a lie.”
“It sort of is a lie, though.” Scorpious said dryly.
Albus glared at him. “Would you—”
Lavender was smiling at Scorpious with a curiously fond look on her face and Albus wondered how often she’d been watching them. She didn’t seem to find him annoying at all, “He does sort of have a point. I didn’t want you all to get into too much trouble.”
“Thanks a bunch,” Scorpious said happily, his mood shifting like the wind.
“But, why?” Albus asked her, ignoring him.
Lavender was staring at him. “Why, what?”
“Why did you lie, you didn’t want to steal the Hat,” Albus reminded her.
“Not really, you told me that I just needed to grow into myself so I’m willing to try. I sort of owe you for cheering me up so don’t worry,” Lavender said with a vague smile as her cheeks turned redder. “If we’re gonna be in detention together, then that means that I g-get to talk to you more.”
Scorpious made a noise in his throat that sounded suspiciously like a girlish giggle and Albus nearly kicked him as hard as he could in the stomach. “You’re a good friend, Lavender.” He said eventually, because this was surprisingly true.
She blinked owlishly at him and he was reminded severely of his Aunt Luna, but even she didn’t blush so much or make it seem as if he had just offered her a bowl of vomit to eat.
Lavender apparently didn’t get any compliments or if what she had said was true, not many friends either and that made him feel sorry for her a bit. But he couldn’t really talk; his only friend really was Scorpious.
If they were going to keep losing their House points, he would be virtually alone because no one was going to want to hang around a walking jinx except for Scorpious, who had enough on his plate to worry about.
Albus wasn’t really sure why Lavender had done it but it meant a lot, people made fun of her for being scared of her own shadow but what she had lied about took a lot of guts. “I can be your friend?” she asked him eventually in a quiet voice, “You actually want me to be your friend, Albus?”
Scorpious was grinning wildly. “Of course he does!”
Albus sent him a dry look. “Would you shut up for five seconds?”
Lavender smiled and gazed at the two of them very sweetly, as if they were sharing a deep, dark secret and bound for life.
Albus supposed that they were, in their own way but she didn’t seem upset or bothered by their eventual detention, isolation or humiliation as much as Rose or himself did. “So you do want me to be your friend? You’re not joking around with me are you?” she asked warily.
“No,” Albus said, frowning, “why would I?”
Scorpious gave him a grin and then wrapped his arms around Lavender’s shoulders and said loudly and dramatically before Albus could even open his mouth to tell him to leave her alone. “We’re all friends here, all right? You saved our skins so we owe you big time.”
“You want to be my friend too?” Lavender asked him in surprise and Albus was very happy to see that she didn’t recoil and apparently he was too because he didn’t take his arm from around her shoulders.
Albus was starting to like her more and more. “I sure am, Lavender,” Scorpious said with a smirk, “pretty cool, huh?”
She nodded and Albus, shrugging, walked over and wrapped his arm around her other shoulder.
That simple act and the fact that tonight had gone from being terrible to mildly unpleasant thanks to her, caused him to realize that he and Scorpious were now a trio and he couldn’t have wished for a better new friend than shy, odd little Lavender Patil.
And, there you all go! Sorry that this chapter is so short but I couldn't help it, hahaha. And now, you all know my Misfit Trio includes: Albus (Who can't do anything right) Scorpious (Who has an...interesting personality) and Lavender Patil (Who's just plain odd) hope you like them!
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