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Chapter 3 : Albus's Prediction
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He imagined reaching the gleaming silver trophy and being carried toward the common room hoisted on the shoulders of his other classmates. “Our Hero!” they would shout, but Albus was only a fifth year, and surely the Goblet would pick older students.
Albus started to brush his dark hair down as he slipped on the black robe. He woke up his best fifth year Gryffindor friend named Kyle Underwood. Albus talked to him the most out of the other Gryffindors in his grade, but it still was not often. Kyle was a light skinned American boy that moved to London when he was seven. His brown hair was very rumpled from a hard sleep.
He then woke up the only other sleeping fifth year Gryffindor boy, Garrett Humber, a fairly lazy and blonde pacifist in the four poster bed next to his. The other three fifth years who Albus shared a room with had already gone down to the Common Room.
"Get ready Garrett and Kyle," Albus told them. "We've got double Herbology with Ravenclaw in an hour."
Garrett muttered something but it was drowned out in his sleep. Albus laced his black leather shoes, grabbed his yellow Herbology textbook, and walked down the spiral staircase where he met Rose and three other fifth year girls. One of them was packing up her bag with the books she needed for the day. He name was Cora Jackson. Albus talked to her every now and then, but she always seemed somewhat nervous around him, despite being one of the more popular girls in Gryffindor.
"Good morning, Al," Rose told him, her hair extra bushy today. "Lucky we got Cedric with us for the first class huh? What do you reckon Longbottom's first lesson will be?" Albus shrugged in return and went to watch James and Fred playing a game of Exploding Snap near the hearth.
Once it was a quarter of an hour until the start of Herbology, the Gryffindor fifth years swung open the portrait of the Fat Lady and began to walk to the greenhouse. They arrived just after the Ravenclaw fifth years had, who had just taken their seats.
"Ah, Gryffindor!" Professor Longbottom announced with outstretched arms welcoming them to his classroom, "Come, sit anywhere." The professor was holding a pair of pink fuzzy earmuffs and a glass ball with a white cloud inside. Professor Longbottom carried this ball everywhere; it was called a Remembrall. His memory was not the best, so it came in very handy to him. Last year, he bought three different Remembralls throughout the school year because he managed to drop and break two of them. He eventually visualized a plan to get Professor Flitwick to charm the ball to where it would not break. It only took him nine purchases to think of it.
"Okay class. Welcome to the first day. This course is to help prepare you for your O.W.L.s as I’m sure you are aware of. But for this class only, I will stray away from this. I know that you learned about Mandrakes your second year, but never actually got to harvest them because they arrived on campus too late," he paused a second. "Rose, stop talking to mister Krum and pay attention," Longbottom told Albus’s cousin with a glare, but Albus could feel a sense of nervousness.
Rose and Cedric smiled and turned their attention back on the young teacher. "We are in need of Mandrakes this year, as a er... Backup for er.. The future." Professor Longbottom was obviously hindering himself from saying something he was not supposed to say.
“Just a quick review, who can tell me the purpose of mandrakes?” Longbottom interrogated the class as almost every hand shot into the air.
“They help revive petrified people,” a Cora Jackson answered, sitting across the table from Albus.
“Correct! A point to Ravenclaw. Mandrakes are used to heal petrifications, as Rose’s mother would know.” Every visage shot a glance to the bushy haired girl to the right of him. He could see her face flushed with embarrassment.
"Now I want you to go over to one of those pots next to you. Grasp the leaves firmly with your hands like so," Professor Longbottom demonstrated in front of the class. His Remembrall suddenly turned a crimson red and one of the Ravenclaw boys yelled to stop him.
When he realized his mistake, his face turned to the color of the Remembrall. "Right, put on your earmuffs, their scream is enough to kill you." Professor Longbottom scanned the class, and to his surprise, realized they were already wearing their pink fuzzy earmuffs to block out the noise. He took the pair on the table next to him and put them on himself.
"My apologies. Now, grasp the leaves like this, and pull!" He shouted as a little fetus looking plant was squealing and squirming around in Nevilles hand. He threw the mandrake into the bucket next to him, taking a deep breath of satisfaction.
Professor Longbottom gestured for the class to do the same. Albus curled his fingers to get ready as he concentrated on the Mandrake plant in front of him. He slid his hands to a firm spot on the leaves and yanked it hard out of the pot. The body was smaller than the one the professor had pulled, and Albus could see the mandrake squealing at the top of its lungs. Rose pulled her mandrake without much trouble at all, and Cedric was so strong he nearly flung it across the room.
They spent the rest of the class freshening up their mandrakes- washing and cutting them. When the class was ending, they put all of the mandrake pieces in a bucket at the front of the room.
Albus and Rose were forced to depart from their Ravenclaw friend after Herbology and head to the highest tower of the school for the first Divination class.
Once the trek of the spiral staircase was completed, Albus's dad's Yule Ball date awaited them at the door. A small, pretty Indian woman named Professor Patil handed each Gryffindor student a small telescope.
Albus took a seat next to Rose and Kyle in the back left side of the classroom. He put the telescope on the desk along with his textbook of the planets and their alignments. "Class," professor Patil said. She, too, gave a short speech about the class preparing them for O.W.L.s, but then she continued to say, “But more importantly, I want you all to achieve the Eye by the end of the year."
"We shall begin this pleasant year with astronomic alignments. Please flip to page eleven, and study the positions of Mars and Venus to the Earth, as they are currently both visible in the sky." Rose nearly put her nose in the textbook, studying more intently than Albus, and he knew how studious her mother had been.
"Now," Professor Patil said after ten minutes of silence, "use your telescope and look out of the window next to you and tell me what you see."
Albus positioned the telescope into the bright sky through the window behind him and picked out a little red dot that was Mars. “Do you know where Venus is? I can’t find it,” Albus asked Rose.
“Yeah its over to the right more,” Rose answered while pointing out of his window.
Thanks to his cousin’s help, he was able to spot the pesky dot, but determining a prediction proved fruitless. "This is complete rubbish. I never see anything in this class," he told Rose.
"I've only made up my predictions ever since I started this class in third year. Patil just believes everything I say.”
“And if it weren’t for that,” Albus murmured with a smile, “I would be taking another class.”
Rose nodded her head in agreement. “My mom tried to convince me to take Ancient Runes instead, but my dad let me take this because he thought it would be a little break towards the time of O.W.L.s.”
Albus looked down into his book once again, searching hopelessly for a prediction that matched the triangle shape he saw of Mars and Venus. And to his surprise, a he discovered a perfect match for the first time since enrolling in Divination. He checked his telescope again to see if he was not seeing it incorrectly. When he read the description, next to it was the interpretation which meant, "I will gain a bigger triumph than I imagined," he said aloud with a swiveling head of Rose. "I actually found one."
Rose, in shock, read over his description to see if he had it right. With a look of disappointment, she looked through her telescope, concentrating even harder.
For the rest of class, that prediction stuck in his head. I will gain a bigger triumph than I imagined. What could this mean?
The next day, the class that Albus and Rose waited two days for finally arrived: Defense against the Dark Arts with Teddy Lupin.
Albus opened the door to the classroom to see his god brother in teaching robes messing with some kind of wooden chest behind the desk. "Ted- er, Professor Lupin?" Albus questioned.
Teddy spun around and smiled at him. "Hey, Al, how was your first day?"
"Great," he replied truthfully. "But why didn't you tell us you were getting this job? Last time I checked you were working for my dad."
"I wanted it to be a surprise of course! There is a lack of dark wizards that we aurors need to capture, so I wanted to earn a little extra money. I will admit, Victoire wasn't too excited at first, but eventually she gave in."
“Why wasn’t she excited about it?” Rose asked him with a raised eyebrow.
Teddy laughed. “Cause she can’t live without me!” Albus laughed too, he always looked up to Teddy growing up. Rose, on the other hand, sighed in annoyance, probably thinking, “Boys.”
Teddy went back to the chest behind his desk and dragged it out towards the center of the room with a struggle. Albus wondered why Teddy didn’t just use magic to move the chest, but the thought was dismissed when Teddy called out to him. "Just cause I know you too does not mean I'm going to go easy on you," he beamed.
Albus and Rose smiled as the rest of the Gryffindor fifth years walked in, along with, to their surprise, Scorpius Malfoy leading the Slytherin fifth years. "I didn't know we had this class with Slytherin!" Rose whispered to him. "I guess I was too excited about Lupin's class I didn't ask!"
Scorpius Malfoy wore a very sinister smile to complement his cold blue eyes. His yes-man, Vincent Goyle, accompanied him. "So little Teddy knows a little about defense, eh? If only he'd known it when he was a baby, so he could've saved his parents."
Albus was about to curse Malfoy, but Rose had grabbed his wand before he did. "That's too far Malfoy," Albus said. "You better watch your back."
Scorpius turned around and sarcastically turned his head over his shoulder, as to be watching his back. Goyle laughed loudly causing the fat in his cheeks to shake. Malfoy and Goyle turned their attention to Professor Lupin for the start of class.
"Attention on me everyone," Lupin announced. "Since this is my first year at Hogwarts, I'll tell you a little about myself. My name is Teddy Lupin. I graduated Hogwarts seven years ago and studied to be an Auror like my godfather, Harry Potter. But with the lack of dark wizards after the fall of Lord Voldemort, I chose to make some money by teaching here. Also, I felt I should know defense against the dark arts well in order to prove that just because I am the son of a werewolf, that I am not incompetent.”
Albus was impressed at Teddy’s confidence. He remembered him as the boy that took school seriously, but joked around and made a fool of himself in front of girls. The sentence about his father being a werewolf surprised him, as he never heard Teddy talk about it.
“Now, we will begin the lesson. In this chest I have captured a creature that most of you have never seen before, and probably not even heard of. But if you have seen one, it is very possible that you did not realize what exactly you were seeing," Lupin explained with a glint in his eye. "It is called a shapeshifter.
"It does not have one form that you would see it as, it changes the way it looks whenever it feels. Watch." Lupin stepped back and flung open the chest with an "alohamora" and a giant raccoon jumped out. But before Albus could get three seconds to look at it, it transformed into a giant grizzly bear.
Several students shrieked as the horrifying beast snarled and bared its teeth, its brown fur was very visible in contrast to the gray room. It hastily started to walk, then Professor Lupin pushed the students behind them in protection.
Teddy raised his wooden wand and flicked it towards the ferocious animal, which now was bound in metal chains attached to the ground. The bear growled louder than ever, obviously angry. Albus was sure that Cedric could hear these growls all the way from the Potions dungeon.
"Now before it changes again," Teddy spoke very quickly, "Think of what its strengths are."
But just as the students started to think, the bear magically turned into a small parakeet. Its stick-like legs were now too small for the chains that bound it, so it escaped and flew away, landing on top of a shelf in the back corner of the room.
Just as the answer to the question struck Albus, many other hands shot into the air. Lupin called on the airborne hand of Kyle who replied, "Its strength is that it can change forms, so it can escape from almost anything."
"Correct!" Lupin shouted back just as the parakeet flew into the air, transforming into a large wolf, and landing on the ground with a thud. The wolf's silver coat gleamed from the light coming from the candles, and the golden eyes had the same hungry and angry look as the bear.
Once again, Teddy shot chains at the legs of the wolf, which was again immobilized. "This shapeshifter is quite dumb, if you ask me."
"This one is dumb?" Malfoy asked back clearly dumbfounded.
"Smarter ones do not get chained this easily," the teacher replied matter-of-factly. "Quickly now, knowing its greatest strength is its ability to change itself, what do you think is its weakness?"
Albus pondered over this. Rose stood next to him staring absentmindedly at the wolf, which turned into a bird again, this time a hawk. It flew up, leaving a second pair of chains lying on the ground. The hawk flew right over the students' heads and pecked Vincent Goyle on the head before retreating back to Teddy’s desk.. Albus could actually get used to seeing Goyle pecked ferociously by hawks.
Teddy saw that Goyle was uninjured; he put his attention back onto the shapeshifter.
"Well its strength is changing," Rose said. "So its weakness is..."
"Not being able to change!" Albus interrupted, shouting to Teddy so his professor could hear him above the high pitched caws of the hawk.
"Right you are, Al!" Lupin shouted back to him, beaming. "Five points to Gryffindor!"
The hawk now transformed into a lion, looking just like the one on the Gryffindor emblem. The lion prowled stealthily towards half of the Hogwarts fifth years, picking out its prey as the mane swayed slightly.
"So now, we use a spell which will make it not be able to change, or immobilize it," Lupin said the last word slower to emphasize its importance. Obviously, a lion about to pounce was not a huge worry for his godbrother.
Lupin pushed back Garrett Humber just as the lion leaped towards him, baring its fangs. "Immobulus!" he shouted flicking the wand towards the lion, which was now frozen without any ice. Its muscles had no more affect anymore, and its mouth hung open from being stopped in mid roar.
"Once you do that class, your job is easy. You have just a short amount of time, depending on the size of the current animal. So this lion will probably only be frozen for a minute, while the parakeet would probably have been frozen for half an hour.
"All that's left is to use a spell that will defeat it," Lupin explained. "In the real world a good reducto would do, but we want to keep it here to give each of you practice."
Teddy, whom Albus now saw as a much more mature and brave man compared to the kid that hung around Grimmauld Place, shouted one last spell with a flick of the wand. "Stupefy!"
The lion, basically already stunned, just fell on its side onto the floor, unconscious. Teddy walked over to the defeated shapeshifter and waved his wand, getting the lion to somehow fly back into the chest.
"We'll practice later this week. But for now, turn to page seven in your textbook and begin taking notes on shapeshifters. I want six inches of parchment by the next class. You should get most of it done by the end of this class, though."
Albus sat next to Rose and Kyle and while opening his textbook, realized how impressed he was at Teddy's first Defense Against the Dark Arts class.
The next week went by fairly quickly. Albus struggled at Potions like he always had, they began to work on flesh eating plants in Herbology, continued with the stars and constellations in Divination, History of Magic was still boring, Rose continued to excel at Transfiguration faster than Albus could, Hagrid's lessons were getting better and better every year as this year they started to mother a baby unicorn (which apparently Bucky named Pony), Flitwick began to teach Summoning Charms, and he managed to defeat the shapeshifter in Defense Against the Dark Arts in a matter of a few minutes.
The time had arrived that people were anxiously waiting for- the opening of the Goblet of Fire. Albus, accompanied by Rose, James, and Fred, walked over to the Great Hall after the last period. A large goblet with white flames erupting from the brim was perched on a podium in the middle of the room.
Albus saw Patrick Fisher throw a scrap of paper into the fire, his prefect badge gleaming as brightly as the teeth in his smile. The Head Girl, Laura Connolly, put in her piece of paper along with a few of her followers. The last people they saw enter their names were three second year Slytherins; James and Fred laughed at their confidence.
Rose pulled out a scroll of parchment along with a quill and ink from her robes. She set it down on the table that would be Hufflepuff's at feasts, and tore off pieces for the four of cousins.
"Woah, I told you! I don't want one!" James told her, handing back the piece of paper.
"C'mon, James you can do the Tournament and Cannons quidditch," Fred told him.
James shook his head which forced his black bangs to slighlty sway. "All of the tasks are dangerous and I don't want to get hurt. Plus, some of them may be on Saturday and I have practice then."
They were interrupted when Cedric came sprinting towards them through the hall huffing and panting. "Sorry I'm late. I had to come all the way from Care of Magical Creatures."
"You putting your name in Cedric?" Fred Weasley asked him. Cedric replied with a nod and Albus realized how little his other relatives besides Rose has actually talked to Cedric, probably due to the fact he was in Ravenclaw.
Rose gave Cedric the piece that would have belonged to James and handed the other pieces to Fred and Albus. Albus took the quill and scribbled "Albus Potter, Gryffindor." All the others wrote their names and houses and folded them into fourths.
"Together?" Rose asked, being the only girl of the group because Dominique was busy doing homework for her N.E.W.T.S. courses.
"I guess we can go together..." Fred muttered. Then, like a racing broom, he sprinted ahead of them yelling, "Just kidding! I'm first!"
Before everyone could protest, Fred threw his name into the flames. The others were disappointed at Fred running ahead of them.
James cheered happily for his cousin and ran towards the Goblet to be with Fred. But Albus thought something was funny about the way they were cheering. James and Fred were laughing at them. Albus quickly realized the whole thing went to the seventh years' plan: Fred run ahead to distract everyone while James put their plan into action. The duplicity was very stinky, literally.
"Smelly stickers!" Albus, Rose, and Cedric all screamed as a horrible stench spread throughout their area of the Great Hall. James and Fred were already out of the room, the door closing behind them, presumably heading towards the common room.
Albus guessed that James put the sticker on the Hufflepuff table next to them, so he, along with his two best friends, hurriedly threw their names into the flames for consideration. Albus was planning on making a good memory out of this, but now all he cared about was getting out of the Great Hall as soon as possible.
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