Chapter 1 : Prefects
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Yet there it was, clutched in his hands, with his name at the top— a letter informing him of his prefect status. It contained instructions to report to the prefects’ compartment on the Hogwarts Express in a month’s time. Albus, having quite a few cousins who were prefects, he already knew the basic job description— patrol the train, the castle, and be available to students who need someone to talk to.
“What was in your letter, Al?” Ginny asked. “It seemed a bit thicker than usual.”
Albus looked up from his letter and remembered that he was still sitting at the breakfast table with his parents and Lily, the latter of whom was focused on her own letter.
“Is that what I think it is?” Harry asked.
“Neville, er, made me a prefect,” Albus mumbled. “Haven’t got a clue why.”
Harry and Ginny grinned at each other. “Brilliant,” Harry said, clapping his son on the back. “First prefect of the family! Not counting the cousins.”
“That’s wonderful, Albus,” Ginny said as she gave him a hug.
“The only prefect, I’ll bet,” Lily said, smirking. “I doubt I’ll be one.”
“I didn’t think I’d be one either,” Albus replied, still thoroughly shocked. “You don’t think it’s a mistake, do you, Dad?”
Harry laughed. “No, Albus, it’s not a mistake. Remember, Al, your uncle Ron was a prefect, too, and none of us saw that coming.”
“But still, me, a prefect?” Albus shook his head at the thought. He’d have to try and get fewer this year.
“Who’s a prefect?” James asked as he thundered down the stairs and into the kitchen. “Did the book lists arrive?”
“Yes, here’s yours, James,” Ginny said as she handed James an envelope.
“Albus is a prefect,” Harry explained.
James burst out laughing. “But he nearly gets himself killed at the end of every year! He went into the Chamber of Secrets last year. Why would Neville choose him? No offense, Al.”
“None taken. I’m wondering the same thing.”
“Never mind that. It doesn’t matter,” Ginny said as she set a cup of pumpkin juice in front of James. “Point is, Albus, you’re a prefect now. Do try and behave yourself this year.”
“Bet Rose is the other prefect,” James said. “I’d bet my entire life’s savings on that.”
“Me, too,” Albus agreed. Rose was a shoe-in for the other prefect spot.
James opened his own envelope and pulled out a lone piece of parchment containing a very short book list. “Not much for me this year. Can’t wait for all the free time.”
Harry laughed. “The reason you do fewer N.E.W.T.s than O.W.L.s is that they require more studying. You won’t have as much free time as you’re expecting.”
“What N.E.W.T.s are you doing again?” Lily asked.
“Charms, Defense, Transfiguration, and Herbology,” James answered.
As far as Albus knew, James still didn’t know what he wanted to do after Hogwarts, so he had chosen what he thought would be the easiest N.E.W.T.s.
“Albus and Lily, do you think you’ll go to Diagon Alley while you’re staying at the Brickstons’?” Ginny asked.
Albus shrugged. “Dunno.”
“I’ll give you each money in case you do,” she said as she dug a handful of Galleons out of her purse. She dropped a few in Albus’s and Lily’s hands.
Albus pocketed the Galleons, grabbed his envelope of letters, and ran upstairs to finish packing. He’d been waiting all summer to visit his friend John Brickston and the beginning of August had been the first week they’d all had free. Matt and Kaden would be visiting as well and it would be the first time since the end of the previous school year that he’d see Matt and John. Lily was going with him since John’s little sister, Ashtyn, was her best friend. Albus hoped they’d stay out of the boys’ way, though. Usually one of the reasons he liked visiting his friends was to get away from James and Lily.
Once he returned to his bedroom he sat down on the floor and stared at the envelope from Hogwarts once more. He reached inside and pulled out the stack of parchment, setting the first two down on the floor and holding the third one in his hands. The envelope had not only contained a book list and a prefect letter, but he hadn’t wanted to look at the third letter in front of his entire family, just in case it did not contain the news he expected it to contain.
All summer Albus had been awaiting this particular letter, but no one had told him when to expect it. He unfolded the parchment with shaky hands and read its contents.
Dear Albus S. Potter,
It is my pleasure to offer you a place on Gryffindor’s
Dueling Team for the 2020-2021 school year. Please
send your answer via return owl immediately, and we
hope to see you at the first Dueling Team meeting on
Saturday, September 5th.
Gryffindor Dueling Team
Albus grinned to himself. This was the letter he’d been waiting for all summer, and it excited him far more than the one informing him of his prefect status. Joining the Dueling Team was something he’d been anticipating since second year, when Hogwarts reinstated the Junior Dueling Club, and now it had finally happened. The Dueling Teams didn’t work like the Quidditch teams, in that there were no official try-outs. Instead, the captains and professors watched the younger students duel in the Junior Dueling Club and picked one boy and one girl from each house to join their house teams in their fifth year. The letter didn’t tell him which girl he’d be joining the team with, but he had a feeling it wasn’t Rose or Amanda. Neither of them were the greatest duelers. It would probably be one of the Jordan-Bell sisters, since he didn’t remember Janie Creevey being the best dueler, either.
Albus carefully slid all the letters back into the envelope and slipped it into the bag he was taking to John’s house before running back downstairs to tell his parents, James, and Lily about his place on the Dueling Team. For him, this was a far greater achievement than becoming a prefect.
John lived in a neighborhood very similar to Kaden’s. The houses were nearly identical, the bushes trimmed perfectly, and the lawns mowed. A play park containing a variety of young children and their parents and nannies was situated just down the street from John’s house. Harry, Albus, and Lily had Apparated to the nearest deserted alleyway, but it required a short walk afterward.
As they walked Albus wondered why John’s parents had chosen to move into a Muggle neighborhood where the houses were so close to each other. Most pureblooded wizards chose to live far away from others or in mostly magical towns. Either that or they hide their dwellings from Muggles using charms, such as Number 12 Grimmauld Place, where the Potters currently resided. But John’s house wasn’t hidden at all. In fact, as they walked up to the door, Albus noticed a few boys, around age eight or so, hiding in their front bushes, clearly in the midst of a game of hide and seek.
Albus ignored the kids and knocked on John’s door. It flew open ten seconds later, revealing Ashtyn with a large, white, fluffy cat in her arms.
“Lily!” she exclaimed.
“Oh my God, you got a cat! Bye, Dad!” she shouted as she and Ashtyn disappeared into the house.
John appeared as soon as Lily and Ashtyn left. “Hey, mate.”
Albus grinned. “Hey. Am I the first here?”
John nodded. “Matt and Kaden aren’t getting here until tonight.”
“I’ll see you in a week, Al,” Harry said.
“See you then, Dad,” Albus replied.
Albus followed John into the house, carefully stepping over the toys strewn all over the floor. They went into the living room, which was decorated with a hodgepodge of furniture in varying degrees of wear. It reminded Albus of the Burrow. The entire floor was covered by an elaborate set up of My Little Hippogriffs and a pile of stuffed dragons of varying breeds.
“Gemma and Amelia,” John said, gesturing to the mess. “Gemma is ten and Amelia is nine. They’re outside playing with the other kids in the neighborhood, but they set this up earlier and will probably leave it here for days. Usually it’s worse since my mum watches my little cousins during the week. There are four of them. All younger than Amelia.”
Albus laughed. “That’s nothing. My nana and grandpa used to watch a bunch of us when we were little. Do you just have the four cousins? Those three and Isabelle?”
Now it was John’s turn to laugh. “No, I’ve got ten. The rest just don’t need watching during the day since some of their parents are home. In a few years Hogwarts is going to be filled with more of us than Weasleys.”
“That would be weird,” Albus commented. “Are your parents home?”
“Nope. Dad’s at work and Mum’s shopping. C’mon, I’ll show you my room. It’s in the basement.”
Albus followed John through the kitchen and down a set of stairs leading to a finished basement containing three rooms and a large storage area. John opened the second door on their right, revealing a fairly large bedroom decorated in more Quidditch memorabilia than Albus had ever seen. Every single wall was covered in team posters of Puddlemere United and England’s team, quite a few of them autographed. In between the posters were two small windows, a wardrobe, a bookcase, and a bed.
“Wow,” Albus said as he dropped his bag on the floor. “You’ve got more Quidditch stuff than Georgia.”
“Georgia’s so lucky, getting to play professionally,” John said as he sat down on the bed. “Bradley and Ryan are in seventh year now, right?”
Albus nodded. Bradley Weasley and Ryan O’Malley were Gryffindor’s Beaters, and had been since Albus’s first year.
“One more year,” John said, sighing. “Then I’ll try out.”
“Bradley got captain,” Albus said. “He’s thrilled.”
“I’m not surprised. Who do you think got prefect besides Rose?”
Albus felt his cheeks redden. John, of course, wouldn’t have expected Albus to be made prefect. “Er, I know who got it.”
“Who? Matt? But even he’s gotten into a fair bit of trouble. It must’ve been Bilius or Ethan.”
“I did,” Albus muttered, not meeting his friend’s eyes. “It’s me and Rose.” Rose had Flooed shortly after breakfast and confirmed the fact that she’d gotten prefect. She’d been just as shocked as everyone else that Albus also was made a prefect.
John burst out laughing. “No way.”
Albus nodded. “Got the letter this morning. I also made the Dueling Team.”
“Well, that’s no surprise. Congratulations. But, prefect? I wonder why. Bilius and Ethan get into much less trouble.”
“I don’t know. It’s weird, though, isn’t it?”
“Very,” John agreed. “Especially since you and Rose are cousins. I bet some people will think it’s unfair.”
“Well, I’d be perfectly willing to give it to someone else.”
John laughed. “Come on. I told my mum I’d stay outside and watch Gemma and Amelia. If she comes back and I’m in here she’ll be livid.”
“Is Gemma going to Hogwarts this year?” Albus asked as they walked back upstairs.
“No, she just turned ten a few months ago,” John explained. “She’ll start next year, and Amelia the year after that.”
“So you’ll have one year with all of them at Hogwarts.”
John groaned. “Don’t remind me. At least when it’s just Ashtyn I can go a day or two without seeing her.”
“Maybe one of them will be in Hufflepuff like Isabelle,” Albus suggested as they left the house.
“I’d be surprised,” John said. He pointed to the next yard over, where a little girl had tackled a boy twice her size to the ground while another laughed and pointed. “Case in point. The one beating up that bloke? That’s Amelia. The one watching is Gemma.”
Albus laughed while John ran next door and shouted at Amelia to let him go. The boy ran away as soon as Amelia got up, but she and Gemma chased after him. John returned a few moments later.
“This is why Mum makes me watch them,” John explained. “Not because she fears for their safety, but because she fears for the safety of the other neighborhood kids.”
“Do you think it’s their magic?” Albus asked. “I mean, does anyone ever get suspicious?”
“Because we live near so many Muggles? No, nothing weird enough to warrant attention has ever happened. My parents wanted us to grow up with lots of other kids around. I always liked it because I don’t have any brothers, but as soon as I went to Hogwarts I stopped hanging out with them. Most of the kids here go to the local secondary school, so hardly anyone goes away, except us.”
Albus nodded. “It’s not weird, hiding it?”
“No weirder than hiding it from other Muggles,” John said. “But enough about that. Have you heard anything about what’s going to happen at Hogwarts this year? I keep reading the Prophet to try and find out, but nothing yet.”
Albus took a deep breath. He’d been using Extendable Ears all summer to listen in on his parents’, aunts’, and uncles’ conversations about the Ministry and Hogwarts. “Yeah, I’ve heard stuff, but I want to wait until Matt and Kaden get here to tell you. No point in explaining twice.”
John groaned. “I’ve been waiting all summer.”
“So you can wait a few more hours. Now tell me how you got so many autographed Quidditch posters. Even I don’t have that many and my mum was on the Holyhead Harpies.”
By the time dinner time arrived, John’s house was twice as crowded. With the addition of his parents, Matt, and Kaden there were ten people inside, all vying to grab a few slices of pizza from the boxes set out on the kitchen table. It reminded Albus of dinner at the Burrow, only with fewer people and less home-cooked food.
“Come on,” John said after all the boys had plates stacked high with pizza. “Let’s go eat in my room.”
Lily and Ashtyn had already done the same in order to get away from Gemma and Amelia, who had been following them around ever since they came inside from hide and seek. The younger girls didn’t have any desire to follow Albus and the other boys to John’s room, but it was still nice to escape the chaos of the rest of the house.
John shut the door after they were all inside and sat down on the floor to eat. Albus, Matt, and Kaden followed suit. “So, how have everyone’s summers been?” John asked in between bites.
“Boring,” Matt replied. “Amy is taking a bunch of courses this summer so I hardly ever see her. It’s basically just my parents and me. We went to Australia last month, but spending two weeks with my grandparents isn’t exactly exciting. Had a few Healer appointments. Other than that, not much.”
“Healer appointments?” Albus asked.
“They’re putting me on a new potion,” Matt explained before shoving half a slice of pizza into his mouth. He chewed and then swallowed. “Started last month.”
“I’m assuming it doesn’t work?” Kaden replied.
Matt shook his head. “All it does is make me hungry. It’s not supposed to work like Wolfsbane, but it’s supposed to lessen the transformation pain. It doesn’t.”
“That sucks,” Kaden said. Albus and John nodded.
Matt shrugged. “Yeah, but I wasn’t expecting it to do much. What about you three? Have your summers been as boring as mine?”
“Al’s hasn’t,” John said immediately.
Albus felt his cheeks redden. “I, er, Longbottom made me a prefect.”
“What?” Kaden exclaimed before he started laughing.
“No!” Matt said.
Albus nodded. “Still haven’t figured out why. I thought he would’ve picked you, Matt. Or Bilius or Ethan.”
“Not me.” Matt shook his head. “I wouldn’t want it. Too much responsibility.”
“You’ll be able to tell off Malfoy,” John said in awe. “I just realized that.”
“Unless he’s a prefect,” Kaden pointed out.
“No way would Malfoy be made a prefect. I get in trouble, but Malfoy housed escaped convicts in the Chamber of Secrets. He might’ve escaped punishment, but he’ll be a prefect the day Gryffindor gets a Quidditch captain who isn’t fanatical,” Albus explained. “It doesn’t matter that his dad pressured him to do it.”
“Maybe there are new prefect qualifications,” Matt mused. “Who knows what other changes are going to happen this year.”
Albus hadn’t thought of that, but it made sense. “But what do I have that none of you lot have?”
“Besides the fact that you don’t wind up in detention once a week?” John prompted.
“Neither does Matt,” Albus pointed out. “There’s got to be something, though. When my grandfather, my dad’s dad, was at Hogwarts, Dumbledore made him Head Boy for the sole reason that he was very outspoken about being against the Dark Arts. He got into all sorts of trouble, but still got made Head Boy.”
“Maybe Kendrick wants to send a message to Laurentis,” Matt suggested. “Even if she won and is going to try and change Hogwarts, Hogwarts is still influenced by Potters and Weasleys.”
“The Heads of House pick the prefects,” Albus said. “But I could see Longbottom doing that, I suppose.”
It made sense. It made a lot of sense. But were Neville and Kendrick really that worried about the changes Laurentis was planning on doing? So much that they’d purposely pick a Potter and a Weasley to be Gryffindor’s fifth year prefects as a way to send the Minister some sort of message? Albus had to admit that he was no longer as worried about the changes to Hogwarts; now that he’d had a summer to process the definite possibility of them, they didn’t seem as scary. He was far more worried about the changes to the Ministry. The dementors in Azkaban had already had repercussions and the prison had only been back in their command for a few months.
The door to John’s room opened, jolting Albus out of his thoughts. He turned and saw Gemma and Amelia in the doorway. Gemma was scowling and had her arms crossed over her chest. Amelia seemed to be trying to stifle a laugh.
“What do you two want?” John asked, annoyed.
“Ashtyn locked us out of her room. With magic,” Gemma said incredulously.
“So? It’s not my problem.”
“Come unlock her door!” Gemma whined.
“No,” John said. “Ask Mum.”
“She said no.” Amelia giggled, no longer able to stifle her laugh.
Gemma groaned. “It’s not funny, Amelia. And Mum said there’s pudding, if you lot want.”
“Pudding!” Kaden shouted, standing up. “Yes, please!”
Gemma and Amelia disappeared as Albus and the other boys stood up. Kaden ran out the door, not looking back to see if the others were following. Albus laughed.
“When are you going to tell us what you overheard?” John asked quietly.
“Tell us what?” Matt said, furrowing his brow at Albus.
“Some stuff about the Ministry and what’s happening at Hogwarts,” Albus whispered. “After everyone else goes to bed. I don’t want your sisters walking in and hearing something.”
John nodded. “Okay. Might as well get pudding, then.”
“Unless Kaden’s eaten it all,” Matt said with a laugh.
Albus followed John and Matt out of the room and back up to the kitchen. As he ate his pudding he tried to figure out how to work the snippets of conversation he’d been overhearing all summer into some sort of story, but they remained just snippets. He’d been thinking them over all summer and had yet to make much sense of them. Hopefully John, Matt, and Kaden would have insights that he hadn’t yet figured out.
A/N: Welcome to the fifth installment of Albus's Hogwarts career! I hope you enjoyed the first chapter. If you haven't read the earlier novels, I highly recommend doing so. They're all on my author page. Thank you so much for all the reviews left on previous stories! I am not sure if Fridays will be the official update day for this fic, but the next chapter should be up in approximately a week. I have eleven chapters written so far, so hopefully I won't get too behind.
And, as always, here is the Weasley-Potter family tree.
Victoire - 21
Gabriella - 19
Ben - 6th year
Stanley - 20
Heather - 18
Mark - 7th year
Eddie - 9
Georgia - 19
Bradley - 7th year
Cedric - 6th year
Samantha & Lindy - 10
Fred - 18
Angie - 2nd year
Rose - 5th year
Hugo - 3rd year
James - 6th year
Albus - 5th year
Lily - 3rd year