Chapter 14 : Research Time
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“Research time,” Rose announced. “Let’s go down to the library and research that potion and Lord Zajecfer.”
“Come on,” David groaned. “That sounds like homework. We just finished our homework.”
“Do you remember when we agreed to research, including you?” Rose retorted. “You willing agreed.”
“Yeah, yeah, I remember,” David groaned. “Okay, let’s go.”
The four of them walked down to the library, where there were lots of students bustling around, doing last-minute homework. They were all older students, and they looked scary to Albus. They were all so much taller than him.
As if he read his mind, Art said, “There are lots of older students here! They’re so tall.”
“Well duh,” Rose said. “Older students use it a lot more since they have more research projects to do.”
“Can we start?” Albus asked. “I’m tired of standing here and talking about it.”
“We need a plan first,” Rose declared. “Two of us should research Lord Zajecfer, and the other two should search the potion.”
“I’ll research Lord Zajecfer in the old Daily Prophets.” David declared. “It will be much easier to scan for a name then to look at the description of a bunch of potions.”
“Well, you could learn valuable things for potion class that way!” Rose exclaimed.
“I don’t really want to.” David replied. “I’ll forget it anyway.”
“I’ll be with David,” Art announced. “I agree; it will be much easier to search for a name.”
“That leaves you and me, Al!” Rose yelled happily, clamping her hand on his back. Albus inwardly groaned. He agreed with David; searching a name was much easier. Plus, David and Art were more enjoyable. When you hung around Rose, things got boring really fast. Sure, he’d been delighted to see her at King Cross Train Station, but that was just because she was a familiar face.
After Rose shouted, a lady with a very stern look said, “Shhh! This is a library!”
“Sorry,” Rose said, looking miserable. She rarely got in trouble.
“What are you four first years doing here anyway?” the lady asked, eyeing each one of them in turn.
“Is that against the law, being in the library?” David asked.
“No,” the lady replied, pursing her lips. “I just rarely get first- years in here. They hardly ever have homework that requires research in the library.”
“We wanted to look in the old daily prophets,” Albus said, feeling that it would be no good to argue. “Do you know where they are?” he asked.
“Of course I know where they are, this is my library, after all.” The lady said fussily. Albus realized that this woman was the librarian. Al felt a bit embarrassed, since he was so dim that he hadn’t realized the lady was the librarian.
“Now, come over here…” the librarian said, walking briskly a few aisles over. Albus, Rose, David, and Art followed her. “Here are all of the old daily prophets, “ she said. Albus peered beyond. They took up two entire aisles. Maybe more, he couldn’t see.
“Thank you Madam Pince,” Rose said sweetly, obviously trying to make up for her yelling. Madam Pince instead, gave them a lecture on how to treat the newspapers.
“Never, ever, bring them out of the library,” she said coldly. “Don’t crinkle, tear, bend, fold, our change them in any way. Don’t put them under any bright light, since the paper is old, it will turn yellow and be unreadable if put under too much light…”
After the librarian left, Albus asked her, “How did you know the lady’s name was Madam Pince?”
“Gosh, Al, you haven’t learned her name yet?” Rose asked.
“Even I know her name,” Art said. “And I don’t even go in here that often.” Art glanced apologetically at Albus. He knew why. Art always hated hurting people’s feelings.
“Have you gone to the library at all, Albus?” Rose asked.
“Yeah,” Al replied. He had gone to the library a few times, but he hadn’t really encountered her. He’d seen her a few times, but Albus didn’t really think about her. Besides, Albus just checked out the book he needed and left. He never stayed long.
“Let’s start researching,” Art suggested, since David was gaping at Albus. He was grateful to be saved from this awkward situation. Albus sent Art a smile, and Art grinned back. Albus and Rose headed towards another aisle.
“Start looking at any book that has to do with potions,” she said. “And look at the descriptions for each one. They should tell you what the potion looks like.”
“Okay,” Albus replied. As Rose went to a different aisle, Albus settled down in the one he was already in and started looking at the books. Albus scanned several titles until he saw one called Advanced Potions for Advanced Brewers. Albus thought this was a good place to start and he started to read.
He was particularly eager to learn how to brew Wit-Sharpening Potion; he hoped it would help on tests. Albus looked at the steps, but it looked way to hard for him. He also eagerly read about Felix Felicis. It would be wonderful to have good luck all day long. Imagine all the things that could happen…
He was forced to laugh at Babbling Beverage though, imagine what would happen then! He would probably act like an idiot. Al would love to give some to James; Albus would love to see James under the influence of that.
He was horrified at Truth Potion, and dearly hoped that nobody ever put him under it. He didn’t have many secrets, but he did have many embarrassing stories. Last year, James pulled his pants down on Christmas during the Weasley gathering. Albus was so horrified, he stayed in his room for an hour before his mum finally managed to convince him to come out.
Most of the potions, however, were fascinating. Albus wished he could become a more advanced brewer so he could brew all of these things. He was already the best in his class, but he still was only a first year. As he was reading, he did look to see if the potions were clear and had red steam, but he didn’t see any that were. Before he knew it, David was wandering in and complaining he was hungry. Art came in behind, looking very sleepy.
“I think my eyesight is going blurry,” Art complained. “I scanned newspaper after newspaper looking for the name. I can barely see anything now.”
“You could try Oculus Potion,” Albus suggested, since he had just read about it. “It restores the sight.”
“Don’t think we have any,” Art replied. “And I’m feeling better now that I’m not staring at newspapers.”
“Let’s go find Rose,” David moaned. “ROSE!” David bellowed.
“I’m here,” Rose said as she walked over from another aisle. “Are we going for lunch?” Before David could reply, to their horror, a very angry Madam Pince came storming up behind them.
“Was that you who yelled?” Pince said rather angrily. “No yelling in the library!”
“Er- well- I kind of forgot-” David began guiltily, but before he could finish, books began tumbling off the shelves and started pelting at them. Albus tried to smack the books off them, but it was no good. There were so many and Al couldn’t wrestle all of the books. Albus felt sorry for David, since more books were hitting him than Rose, Albus, and Art.
“What do we do?” David moaned. He was trying to swat them away like flies.
“I can only think of one think of one thing- RUN!” Rose yelled.
They all started sprinting towards the door, and Albus kept tripping. He heard quite a few older students laughing, and Al knew they must look pretty ridiculous with books swarming around them like a hive of bees. Still, he ignored them as he ran from the library towards the great hall.
By the time they reached the great hall, the charm had finally worn off the books. The four of them stood there for a few minutes, panting.
David finally said, “I knew Madam Pince was strict, but I didn’t think she would be that strict.”
“I’ll have to ask Dad about her,” Albus said. “To see if she was always that strict.”
“Will it get through the mail?” Rose asked. “Filch is watching the mail.”
“True,” Albus replied. “But I think it will. A story of us getting chased away from the library isn’t suspicious. Besides, we’re just curious if Madam Pince was always strict.”
“Can we stop all the discussion?” David groaned. “I just need food. I’m starving! I hate the library.”
“Because you aren’t allowed any food?” Art grinned.
“Okay, that might be part of it,” David admitted, while Rose and Albus both snickered.
“But it’s also because of Madam Pince! And the supply of books. There are waaaay too many books in that place.”
“There is never anything wrong with too many books,” Rose replied fiercely. “Books are great.”
“Yeah, whatever,” David said. “Anyway, let’s eat!”
All four of them dug into their food and started eating. They were all quiet as they all shoveled food into their mouths. Finally, Rose spoke.
“Now, I think after lunch when we go back to the library, you and I should look in the newspapers this time, and David and Art should look for the potion,” Rose told Albus.
“We’re still going back?” David said in surprise. “I was under the impression that we got kicked out of the library.”
“Of course we’re still going back,” Rose replied. “Madam Pince just got a little angry, that’s all. I think you wanted to believe you were kicked out from the library forever.
“It would be nice,” David muttered.
“Anyway, I’m about done,” Rose said. “Are the rest of you done?”
“I’m done,” Art said.
“Me too,” Albus added.
“Well, I’m not,” David said. “I still have to eat my mashed potatoes.” Rose rolled her eyes.
“Of course, you don’t have to eat your mashed potatoes, but I’ll let it slide. I guess we’ll go, and then meet us at the library. Don’t stall too long though.”
“I-I don’t stall!” David sputtered. They then proceeded to have a row whether David stalled so he didn’t have to go to the library.
“Let’s leave,” Art whispered into Albus’s ear. He nodded; he didn’t like being in the middle of Rose’s and David’s rows. They both had a temper, especially Rose. Art and Albus silently swept from the hall. Neither David nor Rose noticed.
“Imagine Rose’s expression on her face when she realizes that we left without her,” Art grinned.
“She’ll throw a fit, for sure,” Albus grinned. “Us leaving her with David by herself. That’s her worst nightmare.”
Once they got to the library, Art showed Albus what newspapers they looked through. Albus started scanning the first issue, from 1966. He doubted the man had been born that early, but as David had pointed out, Zajecfer was loosing hair although he looked like he was in the twenties, so they were looking in earlier newspapers too. Albus scanned the page for Zajecfer’s name. Nothing.
“Did you leave without me?” an angry voice hissed in his ear. Albus turned around and saw a furious Rose staring at him.
“Er, well, Art and I were bored, and it didn’t look like you and David were going to finish soon…” Albus stammered, He was actually a bit scared of Rose when she was angry. Al was surprised that David found pleasure in it.
“Well, you should have brought me!” Rose huffed, looking very angry indeed. “That boy drives me nuts!”
“What about my brilliance?” David asked as he strolled into the aisle they were in.
“I said you were nuts, not that you were brilliant,” Rose replied. David grinned in reply.
“Come on Rose, you secretly know that I’m brilliant, you just don’t want to admit it.”
Albus had to hide a snort. There was no way Rose thought David was brilliant. Even Al didn’t think David was brilliant, just funny.
“I do NOT think you are brilliant!” Rose yelled, while Albus winced. Madam Pince had already kicked them out of the library once today, he didn’t want it to occur again. Al realized he had to step in to stop it.
“Guys, stop it,” Albus said. “I don’t want Madam Pince yelling at us for having a brawl in the library. Why are you here anyway, David?”
“I needed to show you where Art and I left off with the newspapers,” David replied.
“Art already showed me,” Albus said.
“Oh, okay, I’ll go research potions then,” David replied, and then left the aisle.
Albus showed Rose where they should start looking, and then he himself continued looking also. Reading the newspapers, Albus found, was a lot more boring than he liked. He read newspaper after newspaper, scanning for Zajecfer’s name, but there was nothing to be found.
“Zajecfer… Zajecfer…” Albus muttered to himself, but there was not a trace to be found. Obviously Zajecfer was really bad, so wouldn’t he be in the newspaper for a crime at some point? But there was nothing.
After what felt like several hours of surfing through newspapers, Albus checked the clock on the wall. It had only been one hour. Seriously? It felt like three, at least. With a groan, he resumed back to staring at the newspapers. It became boring very quickly. Simply nothing was to be found. He hoped for the time that he could stop and eat dinner.
His eyes went blurry as the hours passed. It was just so boring, searching through the newspapers for one name. When he stared at something for a long time, his eyes got tired very quickly. Well, that was what happening to Albus as he was looking at the newspapers. A little while later, Albus checked the clock again. Several minutes later, he checked it again. Every few minutes he was checking the clock, as though he could make time go faster somehow. Finally, about five minutes before they usually ate dinner, Albus asked Rose if they could stop. Rose looked at the watch on her wrist.
“Oh, silly me!” Rose exclaimed when she saw the time. “I lost track of time! Has it really been several hours?” Albus goggled at Rose. How could she loose track of time? It was the most boring thing ever, especially when they were looking for just one name. They alerted Art and David, who both looked just as relieved as Albus felt. Together, the four of them went down to dinner, and piled food onto their plates.
“Did either of you find anything?” Albus asked David and Art once they were settled around the Gryffindor table.
“Nothing. It was boring. I went through several shelves of books,” Art informed them.
“I went through several shelves too, and it was sooooo boring,” David informed them. “Did you and Rose find anything?”
“I found nothing, but I don’t know about Rose. She probably would have told me if she found something, though. It was so boring. I wish I was back looking at potions,” Albus grumbled. Looking through newspapers had made him cranky and grumpy.
“Well, I found nothing,” Rose said sadly. “It was quite interesting though, seeing all of the articles. Some of them were quite funny, actually.”
“Funny?” Albus said in disbelief.
“Yeah, there was an entire section on who got into St. Mungo’s that day, and all the mishaps that occurred were hilarious.”
“I just scanned, I didn’t read,” Albus said. “Anyway, what’s the plan, since none of us found anything?”
“We keep looking whenever we have time,” Rose said. “We didn’t search all of the newspapers and we didn’t search all of the potion books in the library. I’m actually planning on going back after dinner.”
“Please don’t make us come back with you,” Albus groaned. David and Art nodded in agreement.
“Okay, you don’t have to, since you worked hard all day,” Rose sighed. Albus and David both shouted out and high-fived each other, while Art just sat there and grinned.
“One day of research is over,” Albus exclaimed. He only hoped there wouldn’t be many more.
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