Chapter 4 : September 7th
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Hogwarts Memorial destroyed as a result of vandalism.
I grimaced as I read the headline in this morning’s Prophet. It was old news to me, of course. Yesterday morning, a weedy third year had come running into the Great Hall, yelling about how the Hogwarts Memorial had crumbled. Naturally, no one had believed him at first. One of the Slytherins had yelled out something about the kid drinking too much butterbeer, while most of the other students just laughed. The Memorial had been standing perfectly fine the night before. It couldn’t be destroyed in just a few hours.
Professor Longbottom, being the nicest Professor in the school, had come down from the High Table and led the student out of the hall and to the Hospital Wing for a Calming Draught, and two Gryffindors had taken the liberty to run down to the Memorial and see for themselves.
When they came back, the girl was in tears, while the boy looked positively furious. Their expressions contained everything we needed to know.
After that, it was like a stampede. There was no stopping us, and the teachers made no attempt to. Toast was left half eaten on plates, goblets of pumpkin juice were overturned, and even the High Table was a complete mess.
Almost as soon as we left the Castle, we could tell that something was wrong. Instead of the top of the dome of the Memorial visible on the horizon, there was nothing save for a faint cloud of smoke. In a strange display of unity, we ran together towards the ruins, wondering how the hell this could have happened.
The Memorial was completely destroyed. The white marble had lost its gleam, instead covered by a fine layer of dust. There was one large piece still standing, but it appeared as though the rest of it had been blown away. Large chunks of marble were scattered around the Memorial, but some of the stone had been crushed to nothing more than pebbles, or even just dust.
And even on the bit of the Memorial that was still standing, the magic that made the images move was no longer working. It seemed strangely barren without that magical touch.
One thing was clear. No force of nature could do this. Even a drunk Hagrid wouldn’t be able to wreak such havoc. No, this was a deliberate act. Someone had wanted to destroy the memorial, and whoever it was had been powerful. That marble had been imbued with the strongest of spells, designed so that no wind or storm could damage it. Only a very strong witch or wizard would be able to destroy those.
And then, even as we stood in shocked silence, Headmaster Stan took the lead. He walked to the front of the crowd, stepping around the pieces of fallen stone, and let off a loud bang with his wand to get everyone’s attention.
“Back to the castle, all of you!” he said loudly, motioning us away with his hands. “I will be blocking off this area for staff investigation. Prefects, if you could find your Houses and lead them away, please. Everyone to your first class. We will have a normal school day. I repeat, a normal day. Oh, and if the Head Boy and Girl could stay here , I’d like to talk to the two of you.” He waited, but no one moved. “Well, off you go then!”
The students began to turn away, whispering among themselves.
Vaguely, I could just make out Hugo’s voice as he called for the Ravenclaws, and I automatically began to move towards it. My ears seemed to be filled with a strange buzzing. I couldn’t believe this.
And really, I still couldn’t. Who would destroy that Memorial? It had to have been a kid, or I suppose a member of the staff. No one else could get in to Hogwarts. But why would anyone want to destroy it? It was a blatant act of disrespect and to be completely honest, an act to show support for Voldemort, or at the very least against Dad and the others that fought in that battle. Who could even think of doing such a thing, now that the conflict had been over for more than twenty years?
I almost felt like people weren’t making a big enough deal out of this. The teachers were talking quietly in the corridors more than usual, and the prefects seemed to know something the rest of us didn’t. I had asked both Albus and Hugo to tell me what that was, but both of them had refused. But most of the students had put the incident out of their minds. The conversation at breakfast today was much the same as usual.
I skimmed the article in the Daily Prophet about the incident. They didn’t know anything more than we did, really. A picture of the ruins of the memorial accompanied the article, and I wondered how the media was able to get into Hogwarts so easily. I wondered…but no, it couldn’t be... Had this entire thing been a media stunt? They had precious little to cover since the Memorial was finished, with the Ministry being so painfully slow, and maybe they wanted to stir things up. I honestly wouldn’t put it past the Prophet to pull such a trick, but I didn’t want to believe it. Even they couldn’t destroy something so meaningful so people would buy the newspaper, right?
I shook my head. It was all so confusing.
Hattie looked at me knowingly. “Let me guess,” she said with a small smirk. “Do you still have the Memorial on your mind?”
I nodded glumly.
“Hey, there’s nothing you can do about it,” she said softly. “The Professors are great at these things. They’ll find whoever did it in no time.”
I tried to give her a small smile. It wasn’t that I was worried about whoever did it. No, I just wanted to figure out why they did it. What goal did they have in mind? Whoever did it would probably be expelled though, so it was unlikely that my questions would be answered.
But as much as I loved her, I knew Hattie wouldn’t understand my curiosity. She just wasn’t that type of a person. So instead, I pretended to agree.
“Yeah, you’re probably right. We should head to class, anyways.”
She nodded, stuffing her quill and ink from the essay she had been finishing into her bag.
As we walked out, I noticed one of the Scamander twins hurrying towards the High Table and looking absolutely terrified.
After all the strange things I had seen in this school, however, that was the least of my worries.
If there is one thing I will never understand, it’s why the female body cannot hope to function without chocolate. I hate saying I rely on anything. But I must have my chocolate.
Still, it had been almost a week since I had eaten pure chocolate, and my mood was showing it that Friday afternoon.
Me, Hattie, and the other girls in our dormitory (Ellie, Madison, and Beth) were stretched out on the floor between our beds, trying to work on our potions essays, but I could not concentrate. The floor was too hard. There was a glare on my parchment so I couldn’t see what I was writing. Not to mention that I was writing a potions essay. Out of all the classes, I could live without potions the most. It was too tedious, making sure ingredients went into the cauldron in exactly the right amounts and at exactly the right temperatures.
After three failed attempts to spell “bubotuber puss” correctly, I growled, throwing my quill against the ground. Hattie looked up at me with a wry smile. My mood was not improved when I saw her parchment was already half filled, and her writing was tiny.
“I give up,” I said sullenly. Who needed potions, anyways?
To my surprise, Ellie followed suit. She rolled her parchment up and closed her ink.
“It is a bit of a pain to work on this the first week back,” she agreed. “Shall we take a break?”
Though both Hattie and Beth looked slightly saddened by this comment, they too began to put their things away. Sometimes, I wondered why I had been sorted into Ravenclaw. I hated studying. There were few things worse than spending hours writing essays and perfecting charms. I loved the people in my House, yes, but there were times when I wanted to strangle them all. Like when Hattie got a one hundred and ten percent on her Charms exam last year. That isn’t bloody normal.
Today, though, I could sense that I wasn’t the only one frustrated by this essay. To my greatest delight, Ellie fumbled through her trunk and found a slab of Honeydukes chocolate, breaking it into five pieces and handing it out.
I made a mental note to stock up on the stuff during our first Hogsmeade visit. I swear there’s some sort of charm on it to make it more addicting.
“So,” Beth began, “it’s O.W.L. year. Personally, I’m hoping for at least-”
I groaned, cutting her off.
“Can we please not talk about O.W.L.s? I really don’t want to think about them any more than I have to.”
She looked surprised, but nodded. “What do you want to talk about then, Lily?”
I faltered for a moment, then grinned. “Have you all seen the notices for the newspaper I’m starting?”
Madison rolled her eyes. “How could we not? You’ve covered every other notice on the board!”
I blushed. “I wanted it to be visible. But anyways, would you all be interested in writing for it?”
Ellie smiled. “I can’t write, honestly. I can’t write to save my life. But you’re looking for a photographer, too, aren’t you?”
Her smile widened. From her trunk, she pulled out a deep red velvet box and opened it. Inside was an old fashioned camera, gold and
studded with crystals.
I gasped. “Um, wow.”
“My dad gave it to me for my birthday, over the summer. Isn’t it gorgeous? I’d love to take pictures for you, if you’re willing, Lily.”
“Yeah. Yeah, definitely!” I would have written an article praising her as my lord and master if it meant she would take pictures for me with that beauty. I didn’t just want it-I mean, her-on my staff. I needed her. And her camera. Especially her camera.
“If it’s not too much to ask, can I take photos of the Ravenclaw Quidditch tryouts?” I couldn’t help but notice that she blushed as she asked the question.
“And any particular reason for that?” I asked with a knowing smile.
“She’s in love with Ben Tooke,” Beth blurted. Ellie’s face got even redder, and she hid it in her hands.
I giggled. “Of course you can!”
This was coming together. I had two people on staff of my newspaper now. I knew it would be a success.
And hey, if it involved talking to extremely fit Quidditch blokes with their shirts off? That was just a bonus.
“Did you hear about the Scamander kid?”
I shook my head at Ben’s question, spooning mashed potatoes into my mouth. It had been an entirely uneventful day, and the stress on the teachers had only served to make them more unreasonable. I had three essays to write after dinner, and I had to practice a Switching Spell for Transfiguration. I was ready to eat as quickly as I possibly could and get to work. I could already see a sleepless night in my future, so I barely heard Ben as he spoke.
“Oh, really? Well, apparently he confessed to damaging the Memorial.”
I nodded absently, hearing the words but not listening. Then, as they
began to sink in, my head shot up.
Ben looked only mildly surprised at my delayed reaction. “Yeah, apparently he asked to talk to Professor Stan right after breakfast.
Confessed to the whole thing.”
I was shocked. Completely and totally shocked. Ben had to be joking. I mean, there was no way Luna Scamander’s son could have damaged the very thing she had spent so much of her time working towards.
“That’s crazy,” I muttered. “Wait, which twin was it?”
Ben shrugged. “The Hufflepuff. I honestly don’t know which is which.”
It was Lorcan, then. But that made even less sense. Even though Mum had been telling me for years that the Hufflepuffs were just as important as the other Houses, everyone knew they were a bunch of softies. No anger in those Puffs. None of them could possibly even dream of destroying a Memorial.
“Did he say why?” I asked, dreading the answer.
“Yeah, he said he was drunk. He found some old firewhiskey in his dorm and drank it for fun, but he never expected to get so drunk. He didn’t realize what he was doing.”
I wrinkled my eyebrows. “And…and they believed him?”
I couldn’t imagine the Professors would believe there was an ancient bottle of firewhiskey just sitting around in the dorms. That was the crap someone would invent to get themself out of trouble.
“Well, he seemed pretty hung over and there was an abnormal alcohol content in his blood, so yes, they believed him. They have all the proof they need.”
“So is he going to be expelled?”
As much as I knew he deserved to be punished, I couldn’t help but hope they would let him off easy. Mum and Dad had always treated Luna like family, and though I had never been as close to Lorcan or Lysander as I was with the rest of my cousins, I didn’t want to see either of them be punished, much like I wouldn’t want to see my brother be punished. No, wait, that’s a lie. I’d love to see perfect little Albus have to swot it out in detention. But I felt slightly protective over the twins. Maybe it was because they were younger than me. I was so used to being the baby of the family. It was nice when the twins were there, because then I’d be older than somebody.
To my disappointment, Ben shrugged once more. “I really don’t know. I would think so, but Stan’s got a soft spot in him. Scamander might get lucky.”
I nodded thoughtfully, glancing over to the Hufflepuff table, but I didn’t see Lorcan.
“Oh, he’s not here right now,” Ben said, noticing where I was looking. “They’ve put him in one of the teacher offices while they decide what to do with him.”
I sighed, even though I had guessed that would be true. I instead shifted my attention to our own table, where I saw a mop of golden blond hair close to the end. I stood up, pushing my half eaten plate of food away.
“Where are you going?” Ben asked, looking confused.
“To talk to his brother.”
The Scamander twins had been one of the few cases in Hogwarts history where twins were put into different Houses. Lysander had ended up in Ravenclaw like his mum, while Lorcan was put into Hufflepuff. The two of them were incredibly close, yet the separation had only served to make them closer.
As I got closer to where Lysander was sitting, I could tell that he was most certainly distraught. He looked close to tears, and the people sitting around him were trying to comfort him, but their efforts went almost unnoticed by Lysander.
I cleared my throat loudly as I approached him, and he turned his head to look at me.
“Hi, Lysander,” I said softly.
“Hey,” he answered, his voice barely above a whisper. My heart went out to him.
“Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?” I asked. He grimaced, and I quickly spoke again. “Only if you’re up for it, of course.” I lowered my voice and bent down so the others sitting around him wouldn’t be able to hear. “I’m starting a newspaper, you see, and I want to get your side of the story.”
At this, his ears perked up slightly. I hid the grin that came automatically to my lips and motioned to the door that led out of the Great Hall.
Lysander said nothing, but stood quickly and followed me out.
We walked through the corridors until we were a safe distance from the Great Hall, whereupon I stopped and pulled out my notebook and quill. I opened my mouth to ask a question, a surge of pride welling through me when I realized I was conducting my first interview, but Lysander had already begun to speak.
“I don’t know why he did it. I don’t even think he did it. Lorcan would never drink, and he would be smart enough to stay in the Castle if he did. I don’t know why he admitted to it, Lily, because I swear he didn’t do it. No one believes me. But he didn’t do it! I promise!”
His voice began to rise hysterically, and I put a hand out to stop him.
“That’s okay,” I said softly. “I…” I hesitated. I wanted to believe him, I really did, but all the evidence was pointing against Lorcan at this point. “I’m sure you’re telling the truth,” I said finally, deciding that was less of a lie.
He seemed slightly mollified by my response, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I couldn’t help but feel like I was being insensitive. I did feel sorry for Lysander, I really did. But at the same time, this was my big break. I’d be getting insider information! What could be better?
“Do you have a theory as to who did it if Lorcan didn’t?” I asked him. He shook his head. “It just wasn’t him. And now he’s to be suspended!
I suppose it’s lucky he wasn’t expelled, but still. Lorcan’s never been the kind to get into trouble. And Mum is all worked up about it too. She believes that he didn’t do it, we all do. But he won’t stop saying that he did!”
I scribbled furiously in my notebook, a surge of relief washing through my entire body. Lorcan wasn’t going to be expelled. It was just a suspension. Considering the circumstances, I knew that he was very lucky, and I wondered why Stan had been so kind. But this also meant that I would be able to talk to Lorcan when he returned!
“How long is he suspended for?”
“A week. He’ll be staying here at the Castle, though. I’m not entirely sure where. He just won’t be allowed to see anyone or attend classes, and they’re taking his wand away for that week. And then he has detentions when he gets back. A lot of them, too. Three times a week until Easter.”
I continued to write as fast as I could, ignoring the cramp in my hand. I knew that Lysander was probably very worried, which is why he was telling me all of this. It seemed as though he wasn’t able to stop himself. But I really wasn’t going to complain. This could be the first headline of my newspaper, when it came out. I would start things off with a bang.
I pondered for a moment, wondering if there was anything else I could ask Lysander. Probably not. I really needed to talk to Lorcan. Instead, I closed my notebook and pocketed it, giving Lysander a smile.
“Thank you for talking to me,” I said kindly. “I really am sorry for you. Let me know if I can do anything.”
He returned my smile, though it didn’t reach his eyes. “Thank you. I mean it. Hey, you’re starting a newspaper, aren’t you? I saw your signs on the notice board.”
“Here’s something you can do for me, then,” he said, his voice calm for the first time all evening. “Write an article about my brother. Say that he didn’t commit any crimes. Let the school read it. I just want them to know.”
“I’ll see what I can do,” I said, nodding my head. “I promise.”
A/N: WE FINALLY MET HIM! :D He’s Lorcan, not Lysander, by the way :P And the plot finally shows up! Only took me three chapters *whistles* And I promiiisse it’ll get more humorous. Maybe. Never mind, I can’t promise anything :P But you all are lovely to me and reviews make me feel special ♥
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