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Albus Potter and the Fountain of Youth



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Old July 25th, 2007, 2:14 pm
GinnyRules  Female.gif GinnyRules is offline
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Albus Potter and the Fountain of Youth

This is a next generation fanfic, just so you know. I had another one started, but it just doesn't feel right now that I know the real new gen characters. I hope you enjoy it. It tells the tale of Albus Potter and his struggles with life as a young wizard and the unfortunate attempt by a new evil wizard to rise as a dark lord.

Albus Potter and the Fountain of Youth


Table of Contents:    


  
Table of Contents:

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Chapter 1: A New Beginning
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Chapter 2: Care of Magical Creatures
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Chapter 3: Dumbledore's Army
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Chapter 4: The Message
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Chapter 5: Quidditch Tryouts
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Chapter 6: The Prank
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Chapter 7: Crystal Cave
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Chapter 8: Godric's Hollow
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Chapter 9: The Ministry Ball
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Chapter 10: The Letter
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Chapter 11: The Break-In
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Chapter 12: Saint Mungo's
  



Chapter 1:

Albus Potter was awoken on the morning of the first of september, not by the usual blow on the head administered by his eldest brother, but by a rather unpleasant smell which had drifted in through his bedroom door. Rising slowly from his warm bed and rubbing his eyes, Albus wrinkled his nose in distatste, recognising the aroma of dungbombs. Apparently, James had decided to go all out on Albus' first day at Hogwarts.

"Albus Severus, get your sleepy head down here right now," a frantic voice Albus recognized as his mother's screeched impatiently. Albus sighed as a dropping from his cousin Rose's extremely old and tiny owl Pigwidgeon landed on his head.

Once he had managed to cram each and every one of his textbooks (some of which, in Albus' opinion, seemed uneccesarily large) into his school trunk, along with the invisibility cloak that had been his eleventh birthday present, Albus made his way downstairs, prompted by his mother's continuous screaming.

The kitchen of Potter Manor usually appeared quite large. This morning, however, it felt tiny and cramped, having been invaded by seemingly every living relative the Potters had- no small feat, when you counted the Weasley family in. Tiny children clung, frightened, to their mothers' ankles while cloaks and trunks lay unguarded on the floor, their owners having rushed to the table to grab a quick bite before departure time. Angry cats and irritated owls added to the cacaphony as they pounced and swooped around, trying to dodge jinxes and hexes, most of which were aimed at James and his dungbombs. It was all Albus could do not to get crushed as he flattened himself against a wall and attempted to make his way out the door unnoticed with his things in order to wait for the rest of the family to be ready. This task securely completed, he barely had time to sit down and rest before a familiar voice made him turn around.

"Hey, Al!"

Frank Longbottom, one of Albus' two best friends, was running full tilt down the lane that led to Potter Manor. He had a friendly round face, dirty-blond hair and protuberant eyes. Frank was holding a long, thin parcel wrapped in brown paper in his hands and, judging by the reverant and cautious way he was handling it, Albus could guess what was inside.

Panting and clutching at a stitch in his chest, Frank skidded to a stop in front of Albus and said, "Took a portkey. I had to show you this, it's amazing."

The two boys unwrapped the package with great haste and extracted a dazzling new broom, which Albus held up to the light, nodding appreciatively. Granted, it was only a Firebolt, not quite up to Albus' own Blaze 3000, but everything about it seemed to indicate speed and agility, down to the meticulously carved gold letters at the end.

"It was a birthday present," Frank exclaimed, barely holding in his trepidation. With a look bearing enough resemblance to veneration to make Albus laugh, he began to enumerate the Firebolt's many special functions. He was, however, interrupted almost imemdiately by Rose, who looked distinctly dishevelled and was carrying two trunks at once, all the while screaming over her shoulder at James, who was laughing in the background.

"Bloody git," she grumbled, dumping one of the trunks without invitation into Albus' arms and gulping down the remains of a bottle of butterbeer. No sooner had she finished than Albus' parents erupted into the yard, beckoning their children into a delapidated old Muggle car which had been vastly expanded on the inside by magic. After waving goodbye to frank, who would be travelling with Rose, Albus entered the car, taking care to sit as far away from James as possible so as not to risk having his hair turned blue again. This left poor little Lily to sit in the middle of the back seat between Albus himself and James, something she appreciated very little and which caused her the shout irritably at them the whole way to King's Cross. By the time they had arrived, Albus' head was hurting and he longed to get on the train.

The usual chaos and confusion set in as soon as the car doors opened, releasing the children into King's Cross. Albus contested his brother's allegations that he would be in Slytherin and, once James was out of earshot, reminded his parents to write to him.

One after the other, they all crossed a deceptively solid brick wall onto platform nine and three quarters, where Harry and Ginny proceeded to look around for Albus' aunt and uncle, Hermione and Ron. The two always arrived first with Rose and Hugo, even when they left last, thanks to Grandad Weasley's old but convenient Ford Anglia.

Albus hugged his father goodbye one last time and, after checking again to make sure no one was around, asked, "What if I'm in Slytherin?"

This fear had been growing increasingly worrisome in Albus' mind ever since his Hogwarts letter had arrived and he had learned about the houses. But Harry bent down until his face was just a little lower than Albus' own and told him something so wonderful and relieving that Albus felt almost lightheaded.

"-then Slytherin house will have gained an excellent student, won't it? It doesn't matter to us, Al. But if it matters to you, you'll be able to choose Gryffindor over Slytherin. The Sorting Hat takes your choice into account."

"Really?"

"It did for me," said Harry.

Feeling immensely grateful towards his father, Albus boarded the Hogwarts express and waved goodbye one last time. This was it. He was off to Hogwarts, after so many years of waiting!

Albus had to wander up and down the train a few times before finding Frank, who was being heckled by some second year girls because his father was, in their words, "so dreamy". Albus grabbed hold of his left arm firmly and marched his confused friend over to Rose's compartment, where both of them dropped into a seat and sighed contentedly. Albus knew the two others were feeling the same way he did. They could hardly wait to get to Hogwarts and start having their own adventures, as Teddy, Vicoire, Isabelle and James had. They wanted to explore secret passageways and sneak into the grounds at night, and maybe even the forbidden forest. Such thoughts were at once exciting and daunting to Albus.

"Chuck me a frog, will you?" Rose said, pointing at the pile of sweets Albus had brought along. Albus obliged and the three of them passed a few minutes chatting merrily away about houses and ghosts and other such things.

Then, just as they were beginning to feel comfortable, the compartment door banged open and in walked Scorpius Malfoy, wand in hand.

Albus reached for his own wand almost automatically, remembering something his father had said long ago about always, always having your wand ready. But what he had at first mistaken as a sign of aggression from Scorpius Malfoy turned out to be something quite different. The pale faced boy with a pointed chin and white blond hair was actually staggering into the compartment with his wand pointed at jeering figures outside, in the hallway.

Albus exchanged an astonished look with Frank and Rose, both of whom had risen from their seats and drawn their own wands. Before any of them could do anything more than feel astonished, however, one of the jeering students sent a trip-jinx at Scorpius, which caused him to fall backwards into the compartment onto Frank's cat, Nemo. He scrambled to pick up his dropped wand, barely noticing Albus, Frank and Rose staring at him.

"You may 'ave found yourself a little hidey hole just like your father, Malfoy," said a large boy with a brutish face and a Slytherin prefect's badge marked 'Goyle, Darius', "But you can't run forever. We'll come back and make you admit what a filthy piece of scum you are." And he and his jeering friends departed.

Scorpius, who was shaking his head and looking scared and bewildered, got to his feet slowly and ginerly. He had a nasty cut under one eye and his robes were ripped.

"Are you alright? What happened?" Rose asked kindly, though her eyes were narrowed and she looked questioningly at Albus, who shrugged. Scorpius' only response was to mutter something along the lines of, "Said... father... betrayed the Dark Lord..." Then he looked up and, as his eyes became more focused, caught sight of Albus' jet black hair and almond-shaped green eyes. He gave an alarmed yelp and backed away from him.

"I c- can't be seen with you," Scorpius stammered, his eyes darting wildly around as though he were a trapped animal looking to escape. "Blood traitors, the lot of you. It'll make things worse. I'm s- sorry."

Without another word, he fled from the compartment at top speed.

"Well that was interesting, to say the least," Rose said after a bewildered silence that lasted for almost a minute. She fell back down into her seat, stroking Frank's angry cat on the head, and frowned. "Why were they so horrible to him?" she asked, looking from Albus to Frank and back again.

"Well," Albus said tentatively, and both of his friends looked at him, eager for an explanation. "We've all heard the stories, haven't we? According to my dad, and yours too, Rose, Draco Malfoy wasn't exactly Voldemort's most loyal supporter near the end. I reckon they're trying to get revenge."

"But that's ancient history," cried Frank. "All the Death Eaters have either been sent to Azkaban or gone into hiding. Barely anyone supports Voldemort's views anymore."

Albus watched the scenery grow wilder and change from green meadows to dark forests outside the train's window, contemplating this point. It was true that very few supported Voldemort's ideals nowadays, or at least dared to admit that they did. But he had heard whispers, rumors Harry and Ginny did not know he had heard them discuss. Apparently an anonymous letter had been sent to the Auror office at the ministry, where Harry worked, claiming that those who had opposed Voldemort were to 'watch their step' and beware of the 'new order, which is at hand'. The letter had been pronounced the work of an old and possibly crazy ex-Death Eater by both of Albus' parents, and so he had not bothered to tell his friends about it, but now it worried him.

"You know," Rose said, breaking the silence once again, "I thought the same thing as you, Frank. But lately..." Albus looked at her and saw something in her eyes that made him feel oddly apprehensive. He remembered that her father, too, worked at the auror office.

The conversation was cut short by the arrival of the trolley. So laden was it with treats and sweet things that worries about Malfoys and Voldemort were swept out of their heads. Soon the sky outside darkened and a sense of anticipation and excitment filled the compartment, almost palpable. Shortly before they arrived, Rose bade farewll to Albus and Frank so that they could change into their robes, promising to find them in the Great Hall.

At long last the Hogwarts Express slowed to a stop in Hogsmead station and the doors opened. A flood of students immediately began to exit the train into the night, and over the considerable noise this produced Albus could hear a loud and familiar voice call, "Firs' years over here. This way please, firs' years."

"Hagrid!"

Albus and Frank rushed over to where Hagrid, his grey beard shining in the moonlight, stood herding first year students into a small, muddy trail so they could reach a set of boats. He turned around, gave a roar of joy and gave both of them his usual bone crushing hug.

"Blimey Albus, how've you been? And you, Frank! I 'avent't seen the two of you in almost a month." He beamed at them, his bettle-black eyes crinkled and full of good-natured kindness. Then, looking around, he said, "And where's young Miss Rose? I've been meanin' to ask her 'bout that book on house elves her mum wrote."

"I'm here!" a joyful voice cried, and Rose appeared behind Hagrid, dragging a small and rather scared looking boy with black hair and a pointed nose boy behind her. "Hi Hagrid. I'd like you to meet Nicholas Corner. I think he's Muggle-born," she added in an undertone to Albus and Frank, holding the new boy in front of her like a shield to avoid a hug from Hagrid. "I found him sitting all alone in a compartment. Didn't really understand what was going on, I think."

Albus smiled and shook Nicholas' hand. Then he proceeded to follow Hagrid and the other first years into the boats, where he settled comfortably and was, for the first time, able to admire Hogwarts in all its beauty. It was better than anything he had ever imagined. James' explanations really did not do it justice at all.

The journey across the lake was fairly uneventful, unless you counted Nemo jumping on Nicholas and clawing at his face, with the result that the two of them fell into the water. Albus, who had heard similar stories from his father, was nevertheless surprised to see a giant tentacle reach out of the water and safely deposite the soaking boy and cat into the boat again. It was several minutes before Rose could stop laughing, and eventually the others, even Nicholas, joined in.

Hogwarts loomed over them, even larger than before, once they had reached the shore. Hagrid led them to the oak front doors, which opened after a loud and resounding knock to reveal Neville. The Professor winked at Frank before leading them all into the entrance Hall, where he explained about the Hogwarts houses and their significance. Albus, Frank and Rose, who had heard volumes about this subject many times already, barely listened. Instead, they amused themselves by throwing little balls of paper at Peeves, who was waiting in a corner for Neville to depart and about whom they had also heard many stories.

When at last the doors to the Great Hall opened, there was a collective gasp of admiration from the first years. In the place where there ought to have been a ceiling, instead there shone what appeared to be hundreds of glittering stars in the night sky. Four long tables illuminated with floating candles, stood in the center of the hall, while the staff table stood majestically perpendicular to them at the end. Albus could feel hundreds of eyes boring into him as he walked for what seemed like ages to the front of the hall to await his sorting.

Albus had to crane his neck to see over the tops of the other students' heads. Neville was brining out a stool on which rested and incredibly old and burned looking hat with a large rip on its brim. Then he extracted a long list of names from the inside of his robes, almost knocking over the hat in the process, and began to read. The hat seemed to have no song.

"Alder, Amelia."

A tiny girl with blonde pigtails advanced in the crowd and made her way to the stool. The Sorting Hat, much too big for her head, fell to the girls shoulders when Nevilled put it on her.

"What house do you think you'll be in, then?" Frank whispered. There was a short pause, during which the hat contemplated its options, and then Albus, Rose and Frank all whispered "Gryffindor" in unison. Seconds later, the hat made its decision.

"RAVENCLAW!"

The Ravenclaw table cheered loudly, and several other people were sorted while Albus and the others quietly discussed the advantages of being placed in Gryffindor house as opposed to any other. Nicholas soon left them and was sorted into Gryffindor. Albus gave him the thumbs up and received a smile in return. Albus decided against revealing his fear of being sorted into Slytherin, knowing now that he had a choice.

"Longbottom, Frank."

Frank was sorted almost instantly into Gryffindor

"Malfoy, Scorpius."

The boy they had met in their compartment earlier turned a faint shade of green, but walked determinedly up to the hat. Albus watched with interest, and thought he saw the boy's lips form the words 'Slytherin, please, Slytherin' while the hat talked in his head. Finally, the hat made a decision.

"SLYTHERIN!"

Albus noticed several people elbowing each other at the Slytherin table, looking less than content, but Scorpius received a reasonable amount of cheers and hurried to his table, looking as though he would like to sink into the ground.

And then the moment came. The next name on Neville's list was, "Potter, Albus."

Albus nearly tripped on his robes in his haste to get to the stool and be sorted. He was determined, above all things, to tell the hat to put him in Gryffindor. but to his surprise, the hat had barely been shoved onto his head before it shouted the name of Albus' house, failing to give him any time to negotiate.

"GRYFFINDOR!"

An immense wave of relief left Albus feeling positively extatic, and he floated all the way to Gryffindor table as soon as the hat had been taken off. He noticed James, along with several other older students, pounding their fists on the table and whistling.

Before long Rose had joined them, and Albus spent one of the best nights of his life so far eating triple helpings of steak and pudding.

Near the end of the feast, when all the plates had been wiped clean of leftover bits of food and the Headmistress, a tall woman with black hair and a stern but kind demeanor, had made a speech about school rules, the hall suddenly went silent. It seemed the Sorting Hat was about to make a speech after all.

So long ago the trouble was
I can hardly remember
But please hear this and know that
Justice did find the offender
Lord Voldemort, as was his name
Attempted such a crime
To rid the world of magic
Of all but his own kind
So now I ask one favor
And beg that you do listen
Do not repeat this man's mistakes
I really see no reason
House unity is as important
As it ever has been
Uphold the honor of our school
And all will work together


"Sings the same song every year now," Helen Thomas, a second year with brown hair and large, blue eyes told Albus. "I reckon it's too old to make a new one up all the time now. And besides, it's message is very clear."

Albus grinned at her, but could not help noticing that a few of the older Slytherins were laughing outright at the Sorting Hat and showing each other something on their chests that Albus could not see. He felt slightly uneasy.




Hehehehe... What do you think? Please leave me some feedback here: http://www.cosforums.com/showthread....79#post4648079. I'd love to hear from you.


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  #2  
Old July 26th, 2007, 4:38 pm
GinnyRules  Female.gif GinnyRules is offline
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Re: Albus Potter and the Fountain of Youth

Sorry, there was a mix-up with the posts. I don't know what happened. The entire first chapter is in the first post now. Mods, you can delete this post if you see it.


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Last edited by GinnyRules; July 27th, 2007 at 2:52 pm.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 7:28 pm
GinnyRules  Female.gif GinnyRules is offline
Fourth Year
 
Joined: 5621 days
Location: Canada
Age: 28
Posts: 647
Re: Albus Potter and the Fountain of Youth

Here's the next chapter! I edited both parts of chapter one into one post, just to clarify. I also made a few changes to the names and descriptions of characters (Frank Longbottom, Nicholas Corner and Helen-Previously Helena- Thomas). The reason for this is that I really want to be as canon-compliant as possible, and JKR keeps releasing new information in interviews. I suggest you go back a re-read those parts if you really want to understand.

Chapter 2:

"Right there, see him?"

"Where?"

"Next to the tall girl with freckles."

"They say he looks exactly like his father. Exactly!"

Leaving his common room in favor of the Great Hall the next morning was a rather embarassing affair for Albus. He tried to appear casual and give non-commital nods to those students who were blatantly staring at him as he passed by, but he could feel his cheeks turning red. Why, why did they all have to stare and point and whisper?

"Well we know why," Rose said between mouthfuls of buttered toast when they had found the Great Hall and sat down at Gryffindor table and Albus had expressed this thought out loud. "You're famous, Albus, really bloody famous. Or at least your dad is."

"Yeah, Rose, I think I knew that already, thanks." Albus could feel irritation mounting inside of him, and decided to focus his attention on something else. Sliding over in his seat so that he was directly in front of Nicholas Corner, Albus bade him good morning and asked to look at his copy of the Daily Prophet.

"Sure," Nicholas said, tossing him the newspaper and looking at the enchanted ceiling in appreciation. It was bright blue and littered with clouds this morning.

Albus thanked him and turned to the front page, where an article about none other than Rose's mother took up most of the space.

"Hey Rose look at this!" Albus cried, pointing to a photo of a beaming Hermione. "Hermione Jean Granger, 37, a high-ranking member of the Department of magical Law enforcement, gave an exclusive interview yesterday with Daily Prophet reporter Lavander Brown. The interview, which concerns her new bestselling book, entitled 'Pride and Prejudice: A Wizarding Standard', has been avidly anticipated by fans for some time now. Granger is known for her blunt and revealing style in her writing as much as her career in lawmaking. A long-time militant for the rights of-

Continued p. 2, 6, 7...
"

"Blimey," Nicholas said softly. He had begun to listen to Albus read after noticing Rose and Frank's enthusiasm, and now sounded both awed and a little confused. "Rose, is that your mum?"

"Where've you been living, a hole?" Rose asked. "Of course that's my mum. Haven't you ever heard of her?"

"Sort of," Nicholas muttered mysteriously. Then, with much prodding from Rose, he added, "I don't get out much."

"What do you mean?" Albus asked, frowning. He did not want to sound arrogant about his parents and relatives' past exploits, but did not see how it was possible that anyone had not heard the tales of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, the golden trio. Then he remembered what Rose had said about Nicholas being Muggle-born. "Are your parents Muggles?" he asked, trying not to sound too tactless.

"No," Nicholas answered slowly, sounding like he wanted to choose his words very carefully. "But, well... My father disappeared a few years ago, and we never found him. Didn't leave behind any signs of a struggle or- or a note, or anything."

Frank made a grimace which was evidently supposed to indicate how sorry he was. Rose clapped her hands to her mouth and gasped. Albus, however, merely watched Nicholas and listened to him intently. He had a funny feeling he should know what happened next in the story, and that he had heard Nicholas' name before.

"It was a big blow to my mum," Nicholas continued, "Because nothing like that-weird disappearances I mean-had happened in a long time. She got kind of... funny after that. Stayed shut up in the house all the time, you know. Mostly I would stay with her and try to make her feel better, and wait to see if dad would come home, so I didn't really pay much attention to the news. And my mum wasn't up to to telling me bedtime stories about famous people or anything."

"That's awful," Rose said, turning pink. "I'm sorry I asked if you'd been living in a hole."

But something had just clicked in Albus' head. He now remembered why Nicholas' name had sounded so familiar. Feeling rather proud of himself, he asked, "What was your father's name?"

The question seemed to startle Nicholas, who had been looking at the enchanted ceiling so as to avoid betraying any sign of emotion while recounting his story. After a small pause, he said, "Michael Corner. Why do you ask?"

"I knew it!" Albus cried triumphantly. "I've met your father before, mate. He was a friend of my parents'. He used to date my mum! I heard about his dissapearance, and my dad said it was odd because there hadn't been any disappearances since Vol-"

Albus was interrupted by the arrival of Neville (Albus had to keep reminding himself to call him Professor Longbottom), who was handing out timetables. He hastened to collect his, eager to see what classes he was to attend on his first day, leaving Nicholas looking more bewildered than ever.

The first class of the day, it transpired, was Care of Magical Creatures with the Slytherins. Albus, Frank, Rose and Nicholas wolfed down the rest of their breakfast and practically ran out into the grounds and all the way to Hagrid's cabin in order to arrive first and get in a quick word with the Professor. Hagrid greeted them warmly, inadvertantly knocking over three chairs in his haste to hug them. Once all four students were settled comfortably on Hagrid's oversized sofa and armed with more caramels than they could stick into their mouths, Hagrid sat down before them and, after a few instants, grinned widely.

"Yeh've got no idea how much you lot remind me of yer parents," he said fondly, pouring steaming tea into mugs the size of large bowls. "So, tell me what yer plans are for the firs' week back!"

Rose glanced sideways at the other three before saying, "We, er, well I was thinking of trying out for the Gryffindor Quidditch team and- and the duelling club." She looked almost scared, as though Hagrid was going to tell her not to be stupid, that they had no chance.

"There's no need to be embarassed!" Hagrid reassured her. "Tha's an excellent idea, that is. I'm sure ye'll do jus' fine. You know your father," he added to Albus, "was the youngest Seeker the Gryffindor Quidditch team had had in-"

"A century, yeah," Albus finished for him. He heard this so often that he was beginning to feel rather inadequate. He feared that his Quidditch skills would not quite live up to his father's.

"I'm sure you'll do just as well as he did," Frank said, perhaps noticing Albus' less than cheerful expression. Albus smiled gratefully at him.

"Personally, I don't think flying's really my thing," Nicholas piped up, speaking for the first time since they had arrived. The impressively large size of everything Hagrid owned seemed to have rendered him speechless for at least a few minutes. Now, however, his feeling of being intimidated had obviously vanished, thanks to Hagrid's friendly disposition.

"Yeah, me neither. I do fancy duelling, though" Frank said, and Nicholas nodded fervently.

A loud knock resounded throughout the cabin. The other students had begun to arrive, ready for their lesson. Hagrid winked at Albus and the others before letting them out of his cabin and exiting himself. He then turned to adress the class.

"Good morning," he called happily. "I've got a right treat prepared for yeh for yer first class. Follow me, please."

Hagrid led them to a cleared area in his pumpkin patch, where a number of excited billywigs had been tied to fence posts.

The lesson was very enjoyable. Albus' favorite part was an unfortunate incident during which Frank was stung by an angry billywig and forced to float through the air for several minutes. By the end, all of the students, with the exception of a few determinedly bad-tempered Slytherins, were in a pleasant and almost giddy mood. Albus himself felt that his first day at Hogwarts was off to a favorable starts, until, that was, he was shoved roughly to the ground on his way back up to the castle after the lesson.

Stars exploded in front of Albus, eyes as his head hit the ground. He heard his friends' indignant shouts, mingled with snide laughing and jokes, and knew at once who his attacker was.

"What do you want?" he asked the same Slytherin who had been bullying Scorpius on the train. His hands were balled into fists inside his robes, but he struggled to appear calm and cool. It would not do to lose his temper when he was face-to-face with multiple angry Slytherins, all of whom were twice his size and brandishing wands.

"Oh we were just passing by and thought we'd welcome some of our fine new students to Hogwarts," Goyle said, his low, grumbling voice dripping with sarcasm, leering at Albus.

"Shove off, will you," Rose said, scowling at Goyle. Apparently this was a bad decision. His face contorted with disgust and anger at being adressed by such an insignificant person, he raised his wand high above his head and was about to utter an incantation when it was blasted out of his hand.

"You coward!" someone shrieked from behind them, and Albus turned to see none other than Victoire Weasley come sprinting down the hill with her wand in her hand, accompanied by several other seventh years. "Attacking first years now, are we Goyle? You complete a-"

"All right, all right, lay off," Goyle muttered, signaling to his cronies that it was time to go. "I wasn't attacking them, Weasley, just-"

"Get away!" was Victoire only response.

As he scurried off, Goyle managed to stuff something into Albus' hands unnoticed. After assuring Victoire that they were all right and seeing her off with many thanks, Albus opened his fist and saw a note bearing a single line:

The duelling club, tomorrow.



I hope you liked that chapter. And by the way, I do know that ComC was only offered after third year in the books. But hey, things change, right? Anyway, pelase leave me some feedback here: http://www.cosforums.com/showthread....79#post4648079


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Last edited by GinnyRules; August 8th, 2007 at 4:56 pm.
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  #4  
Old July 28th, 2007, 6:13 pm
GinnyRules  Female.gif GinnyRules is offline
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Re: Albus Potter and the Fountain of Youth

Here's the next chapter. It's my favorite so far, I hope you find it interesting. There's going to be a lot more action from now on, I think. And I just want to take a minute to thank everyone who's reviewed so far. It really means a lot, guys.

Chapter 3:

After Care of Magical Creatures, the rest of Monday's classes were considerably more restful for Albus. History of Magic, a notoriously boring subject taught by a grumpy old ghost named Mr. Binns, passed in a haze of note-taking and duelling discreetly under his desk with Frank and Rose. Nicholas, on the other hand, seemed determind to take in every scrap of information given by the Professor. He sat quite still during the whole class, listening with the utmost attention and taking notes feverishly. Rose could hardly contain her laughter at the hilarity of someone paying attention in such a class.

In Charms class, which followed History of Magic, they were taught to levitate a feather, something which none but Albus and Rose were delighted to find that they could do. Professor Edgecomb, a surly and bitter witch with curly red hair and distinct pimples covering her face, prowled the classroom continually, pausing here and there to give snappy instructions.

When the lunch break finally arrived, Victoire joined Albus and the others at the end of Gryffindor table, and Albus remembered the unfortunate encounter he had had with Goyle earlier in the day. His heart sank.

"How are you, Albus?" she asked. Her voice carried only the faintest trace of her mother's french accent, which, along with the slight silvery glow that emanated from her, had caused a great number of boys to look over as she approached, as usual. Ignoring this fact completely, she continued. "I 'ave reported Goyle to the Headmistress. I don't think you need to worry about him anymore." Albus tried to return her smile, feeling grateful for her attempt to help, however unsucessful it had been.

"What's wrong with this sorry looking lot, then?" asked an all too familiar voice, and James took the seat next to Victoire, who looked at him with veiled annoyance. "Did you get expelled on your first day or something?"

"We... Er, we were worried about trying out for the duelling club," Albus lied, not wanting to admit that he had indeed attracted trouble, albeit of a different kind, on his first day. Rose kicked him under the table.

"I know the feeling, little bro," James said knowingly, siezing a piece of rhubarb pie and a plate. Victoire shook her head and walked away, once again turning more than a few heads. "I have a proposition for you, though, if you're really worried," James added more seriously.

"What? What is it?" Rose asked, looking up. There was a sparkle in her eyes that Albus knew well, and which meant that she was up for some mischief.

James stood up and prepared to walk away with his plate of rhubarb pie. "Meet me on the third floor corridor at eight oclock," he said, grinning. "You'll see."

"Wait, where are you going now?" Albus said, startled by his brother's sudden departure.

"Oh I've got things to do," James said vaguely. The he walked away and was joined by his friend Nathaniel Jordan. The two began whispering animatedly together.

Frank turned a troubled face towards Albus and said, "But we're first years. We're not allowed out past eight. What if we get caught?"

Rose waved his argument away as though she were swatting at a fly. "We've got the invisibility cloak," she said impatiently. "Besides, it'll be loads of fun. What do you think, Nick?"

Nicholas looked quite alarmed at being asked to take part in a decision, and quickly mumbled, "Er, I don't know. Whatever Albus wants to do, I suppose. It's his cloak."

Albus had shown Nicholas, with whom he shared a dormitory, that he posessed an invisibility cloak that morning.

So it was decided between them, despite Frank's reluctance, that they would meet James at eight oclock as they had said. When seven thirty arrived, Albus, Frank and Nicholas were lounging in their dormitory. Albus withdrew his cloak discreetly from his trunk, beckoned to Frank and Nicholas to follow him, and proceeded down to the common room with them to meet Rose. The four of them fit just perfectly under the cloak so that it hid them completely.

As they passed large windows adorned with various snakes, lions, eagles and badgers in the hallways on their way up to the third floor, Albus saw that the sun was setting outside. It was a gorgeous sunset, which painted the sky a thousand colors and cast beautiful rays of light into tha castle, but it also served as a warning that night was about to fall. If they were caught by Filch, the aged caretaker, they would be severely punished for being out of bounds.

At long last Albus pushed open a creaking door and entered the third floor corridor, where he caught sight of James and Nathaniel standing inconspicuoulsy in front of a blank stretch of wall.

"Erm, what exactly are we doing?" Albus asked as he approached the spot where his elder brother stood.

James did not even jump when Albus, who had failed to take off the cloak and so was speaking out of seemingly nowhere, asked this question. Instead he rolled his eyes and withdrew a piece of parchment from underneath his robes.

"Right," he said. "What we're about to show you is top secret. Absolutely no prefects, teachers or Slytherins are allowed to see it or enter it, so I'm giving you a fair warning. You ever talk about this to anyone you shouldn't, and you'll never be allowed back."

Albus came out from under the cloak and stared at the piece of parchemnt, confused. "What's that for?"

"So impatient, these young ones," James told Nathaniel knowingly, and both boys snickered. Albus sighed impatiently. "This," Nathaniel said majestically, "Is to ensure that you won't go off and be a dirty rotten little snitch. It's a cursed parchment. If you sign your name on here and then betray us, you'll end up like-"

"Let's just say you'll look a lot more like Professor Edgecomb than you'd normally want to," James finished for him, grinning. "Your mum taught me how to do it, Rose, although I don't think she knew I was going to put it to a use like this. Signing is mandatory if you want to enter."

Albus had listened to this whole speech with an increasing sense that James was pulling his leg. Nonetheless, his curiosity got the best of him and, giving James a suspicious look, he took the quill Nathaniel was offering him and signed his name. Rose, Nicholas and Frank immitated him (Frank looking quite uneasy).

"Excellent," Nathaniel exclaimed.

"Let's get down to business, then, shall we?" James said. Then he began to pace back and forth in front of the stretch of blank wall. Albus' sense of being made fun of grew stronger still. But, amazingly, after James had walked past the wall three times, a handsome wooden door appeared out of nowhere in the wall.

"Gentlemen," James said, winking at Rose, opening the door and letting them in, "I give you, the Room of Requirement."

Albus stepped into a room that vaguely resembled the Gryffindor common room, except that it was larger and decorated with the house colors of Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff as well as Gryffindor. A number of hammocks had been tied to the walls, surrounded by small tables and chairs, platters of food and wooden wireless radio sets. A large fireplace dominated the opposing wall, and several students were doing homework while sitting comfortably around it. A small area to their right had been cleared in order to allow others to practise duelling, which they were doing quite enthusiastically. Finally, a banner hung high up above the door and bewitched to flash multiple messages and pictures, proclaimed: "Headquarters of Dumbledore's Army... The Best Hideout for Troublemakers Anywhere... Come Join Dumbledore's Army- We Have Cookies..."

"What is this place?" Albus asked softly, unable to cover up how impressed he was

"Currently it's the Headquarters of Dumbledore's Army," James said loftily, settling into a nearby hammock, "Founded by Harry James Potter, Hermione Jean Granger and Ronald Bilius Weasley in 1995 and continued by Ginevra Weasley, Luna Lovegood, Michael Corner, Dennis Creevy, Jimmy Peakes and many others after them to this day. But it can be anything you want, really... It's the Room of Requirement. Gives you anything you require."

"Professor Longbottom was the first one to use the room to its full potential, I believe," Nathaniel supplied when Albus continued to look speechless. "The trick is being really specific, you know. You've got to tell it exactly what you want. That's how we managed to get that bathroom over there-" Nathaniel pointed at something that looked like a broom cupboard to their left, "It's been extended by magic on the inside, and it looks almost exactly like the Prefect's bathroom."

"We've got people in here almost twenty-four hours a day," James said. He snapped his fingers and tiny house elf appeared carrying a drink which he handed to him, bowing reapeatedly. "That way, nobody else can get in and stop us from accessing the place. And we all have jobs."

"The really clever students take it in shifts to do everyone's homework," Nathaniel explained. "The older students have to teach the younger ones all the spells and jinxes and hexes they know, and the younger ones are supposed to get the food from the Hog's Head. Lee Jordan-he's the barman there, as well as my dad-provides us with food. And we even have Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes products delivered straight to this room."

"It's brilliant," breathed Rose. "But, where do the house elves come from?"

"Ah, those are Kreacher's descendants," Nathaniel told her. "They seem to venerate all of us for some reason, so they come up and clean and do odd jobs whenever we ask them to."

"You lot are the first batch of first years we've brought here this year," James told Albus, Rose, Frank and Nicholas. "You had better make us proud." Then he jumped to his feet, drew his wand and said, "Ready to practise?"



Feedback is greatly appreciated.


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  #5  
Old July 29th, 2007, 3:28 pm
GinnyRules  Female.gif GinnyRules is offline
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Re: Albus Potter and the Fountain of Youth

Here we go, chapter 4 is up. Methinks it's not quite as good as the last one, but you can be the judges.

Chapter 4:

"Attention please, everyone!"

Neville's cry rang over the tumult which dominated the room, caused, for the most part, by students practising last-minute spells. Wands were lowered, heads turned, as each student who had come to try out for this year's duelling club focused on what Neville had to say.

"Let's get started then," Neville said, smiling at the assembled students. What we're going to do for tryouts is separate into teams of four, because that's the number of people in the real teams. Then each group will come up in front with me and demonstrate what they can do. I'll need a volunteer and-"

Bang. There was a loud and resounding thud as the back door opened and Goyle, accompanied by a few cronies, entered the room. They strode confidently up to the rest of the crowd, either oblivious to the attention they were drawing or aware and glad of it. Neville, whom Albus had been expecting to reprimand Goyle for disturbing the whole group, merely smiled.

"Thank you for volunteering, Darius," he said. "Now, if you and three friends could kindly come up to the front and help me demonstrate..."

"What?" Goyle asked stupidly, evidently caught off guard. But he seemed to take Neville's pleasant smile as a challenge, and so squared his shoulders and stepped up to the podium on which the Professor was standing. He was reluctantly followed by Medusa Yaxley, Zachary McClaggan and Lloyd Thackery. Together the four drew their wands, stood back to back in the center of the podium, marched stiffly to their respective spots and waited for Neville to indicate when they could begin.

Stepping off the podium, Neville cried, "On my count. One, two-"

"Impedimenta," Goyle bellowed, without bothering to wait for three. McClaggan was blasted off his feet and nearly fell into the crowd. The spell prevented him from moving, but after a few minutes of painful struggling, he stood up to the sound of his friends' laughter, red faced and furious.

McClaggan raised his wand and, with a casual flick, cast the Levicorpus jinx in Goyle's direction. He missed and hit Medusa instead, causing her to retaliate by sending off a stunning spell wildly into the crowd. The unfortunate Laura Creevy was hit, and an angry buzz began to rise up from the area where her friends stood. Albus tensed up and closed his fingers around the handle of his wand inside his robe pocket as more spells were cast and a stack of parchment caught fire directly behind his left ear.

Neville, perhaps sensing danger as Albus had, quickly cast a shield between the duelling Slytherins on the podium and raised his hands to ask for silence. The crowd gradually obliged, with the Slytherins being the last to do so.

"Right," said Neville, frowning at Goyle but refraining from making any comment. "That didn't go quite as I had planned. Let's be very clear. I am asking you to show me what you can do with some mild duelling, not blast each other into walls. I think we'll try with someone else. How about you, Nicholas?"

Nick glanced at Albus, who nodded and pulled out his wand like a sword. He felt a certain degree of confidence, after having practised late into the night yesterday, but he knew he duelling skills were still shaky at best. Helped along by James, Nicholas, Victoire (who, it transpired, was also part of Dumbledore's Army, as were all the Weasleys in Hogwarts) and many others who had dropped by to see 'the new first years', he had mastered disarming and stunning his opponent as well as the Tarantellegra and Impedimenta jinxes, but was still unable to use Levicorpus due to the fact that it was non-verbal.

Neville smiled encouragingly at Nick and gestured towards the podium. Albus followed Nick, Frank and Rose onto it with gritted teeth. He kept reviewing everything he and James had been over in his head, as well as the motto Nicholas had kept repeating: "In these times of peace and calm, we're here to ensure that troublemakers do not become an extinct breed of students." ("But if Slytherins are giving trouble or if there ever is any real fighting to do, we're on it as well," James had added.)

"On my count. One, two," Neville raised his hand, "Three!"

"Expelliarmus!" Albus cried, pointing his wand at the person in front of him, who just happened to be Rose. She blocked his spell with that clever shield charm Victoire had taught her and aimed her wand at Nicholas, who looked terrified and toppled over backwards while yelling, "Stupefy!" His spell hit the ceiling and rebounded, hitting Frank square in the face before he had the chance to protect himself. It was down to Albus and Rose. The two faced each other and shouted their incantations at the same moment.

"Tarantellegra!"

"Impedimenta!"


Albus felt his legs begin an uncontrollable jig while he watched Rose fall to the ground and struggle angainst his impediment jinx. Then he was suddenly released of the curse as Neville cried "Finite!" and all four friends got to their feet, Nicholas a little red in the face, Frank grimacing and Rose grinning.

"Excellent, really excellent," Neville said, beaming at them. "You four are much more advanced than I would expect to find first years."

He proceeded to watch all the other students tryout while Albus led the others to a back corner. He saw Goyle glare malevolently at him and returned his dirty look before dropping into a chair and wiping his brow.

"Blimey, that was intense," Nick said. He was still slightly pink in the face, and Albus could tell that he was embarrassed at having lost his head back on the podium. Frank shook his head, still rubbing his cheek gingerly where the spell had hit him. After a moment's silence he asked, "What are we going to do about Goyle?"

"I was thinking about that," Nick said before Albus could speak. "I don't think he'd attack you openly in here, Albus, so why don't we just go back to the common room now before he sees us and avoid a whole bunch of trouble?"

"I think-" Albus began, but Rose cut across him.

"No way!" she protested. "We can't run from him like a bunch of cowards. Besides-"

"Excuse me," Albus interrupted, "But it seems to me that since I'm the one they want to attack maybe you might let me decide." He could feel Goyle glaring at him and was eager to make a decision as soon as possible. He took a deep breath and then said, "I think we should wait and meet him after the tryouts. I want to see everyone else anyway."

"That's decided then," Rose said happily, giving Nick a superior look. Before the latter could utter an angry retort, Goyle broke apart from the throng of onlookers who were watching James, Nathaniel, Helen and one of Victoire's younger sisters duel and began to walk towards Albus, who panicked and dove into his pocket once more for his wand. Goyle, however, did not make any kind of offensive move. Instead he stopped in front of Albus with his arms crossed and growled, "I've got a message for your father."

"From who?" Albus asked, his voice betraying the surprise he felt both at not being attack and at what Goyle had just told him.

"None of your bloody business," Goyle said in a tone that suggested he would rip Albus limb from limb if he dared ask such a question again. "And you had better deliver it, soon, if you want your head to stay attached to your neck. Understood?"

"What's the message then?" Albus asked, his tone as testy as he dared to make it.

"Enemies of the heir, beware."

Albus was becoming more and more confused by the second. "What?" he asked, disregarding Goyle's air of impatience.

"Enemies of the heir, beware," Goyle repeated. "He'll know what it means."

And Goyle departed, leaving Albus feeling utterly puzzled and frightened.

* * *

Wednesday arrived at long last, the day Albus had been waiting for. The Gryffindors had double Defense Against the Dark Arts with the Hufflepuffs first thing in the morning. So ardent was Albus' desire to finally learn defense, after so many years of hearing about it and waiting, that he even temporarily forgot to worry about Goyle's supposed message and its cryptic meaning.

"C'mon," he kept telling Nick at breakfast. "Hurry up or we'll be late."

"We've got an hour, mate," Nick reminded him irritably after Albus nearly knocked over his pumpkin juice in trepidation. "Give it a rest, won't you?"

The hour felt more like a year to Albus, who jumped up from his seat as soon as the others were done eating and dragged them off to the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom without a second glance for his unfinished bacon and eggs. But the wait did not end there, for it seemed that a source of some considerable commotion had entered the room when they arrived. A thick and almost impenetrable cluster of extatic first years, joined by various older students who had dropped by during their free periods to see what was going on, were grouped around someone not even Frank, who was tallest out of the four, could see. It took Rose several minutes to fight her way to the center, after which she came back with a broad grin on her face.

"What?" Albus asked her impatiently. "What is it?"

Rose paused for effect and, Albus suspected, simply to annoy him before saying, "Your dad's here, Albus."

"What? But why didn't he- What's he doing here?" Albus exclaimed. Without waiting for an answer he dove into the crowd of admirers and elbowed his way to the center, where he found his father conversing happily with James and trying to avoid signing autographs for a few frantic first years. He looked up and beamed when he noticed Albus.

"Surprise," Harry said, hugging each of Albus' friends and Albus himself multiple times.

"What are you doing here?" Albus demanded, laughing and hugging his father back.

"Oh I always come back to give the odd talk on defense here and there. They always ask me to talk to the first years, and I thought I'd surprise you."

A few short minutes later the older students had left and Albus, Rose, Frank and Nick were settled in front row seats, waiting for Harry to begin talking. Albus was glad not to have all eyes on him, for once.

"Well hello," Harry said, standing up. Silence fell at once. "I'm here, as you probably know, to talk to you about Defense Against the Dark Arts."

"Now, who among you have been in an actual wizarding duel before? Not at school but with a real dark wizard. Raise your hands."

No one did.

"That's good," Harry said, smiling encouragingly at those students who seemed petrified to be in the presence of someone so famous. "You shouldn't have been. Voldemort's gone, after all, and there aren't that many dark wizards left. They've all gone into hiding."

There were a few sharp intakes of breath, mostly from the Hufflepuffs, but the majority of the students seemed unsurprised to hear Voldemort's name thrown casually into a conversation. This appeared to satisfy Harry, who paused to grin at Albus before continuing on.

"But just because there's less dark magic these days doesn't mean you shouldn't be on your guard. Far from wanting to sound melodramatic, I have to warn you that evil is eternal. A very brave man once told me, even though I wasn't paying him any attention at the time, that dark magic is like a many-headed beast. Every time you cut off one of its heads, it sprouts three more that are more fearsome than before. You have to excercise constant vigilance."

Harry began to pace up and down rows of desks. All eyes followed him. All students waited for him to speak with bated breath.

"Real evil, real dark magic, real danger," Harry said, "Will never be taught or shown to you in a classroom or textbook. You won't understand it until you've seen it. Until you've seen people you love get killed or tortured and feared that the same would happen to you."

Harry made a sudden movement and took out his wand so fast that Albus barely saw him do it. More as a reflex than anything else Albus withdrew his own wand; he did not actually believe his father was going to attack anyone. Harry rounded on him. For a second Albus thought he was going to be reprimanded, but then he saw that Harry was smiling proudly.

"Did you see that?" he asked the rest of the class, looking around. "His first reflex was to take out his wand. That's exactly what you all should have done. If I can give you one piece of advice, it is to always be ready to defend yourselves. I say defend, because there's no need to go attacking people just because they've attacked you."

Harry stopped at the front of the room again and his piercing gaze swept across the class.

"Do you know how I defeated Voldemort?" he said quietly. "Which spell I used, I mean."

Nick, who did not appear to have grasped the fact that this was more of a rhetorical question, raised his hand high in the air. For a split-second Harry's eyes got a far away look to them, as though he were remembering something or someone from long ago. Then he pointed at Nick and said, "Yes."

"Expelliarmus," Nick breathed.

"That's right." Harry nodded. "The most basic defensive spell in the book, so to say. Some of you probably know it already. So you see, it's not necessary to be a brilliant and talented witch or wizard to accomplish anything. I definitely wasn't. You just have to- to be prepared."

Applause broke out at what was clearly the end of Harry's speech.

"Thanks," said Harry. "Your Headmistress has informed me that for today you can have the rest off the class off. Go do something that's against the rules, won't you?"

There was an outbreak of appreciative laughter at this, after which students began to leave, stopping only at the door to shake Harry's hand and get one last, furtive look at his scar. Albus lagged behind on purpose to be able to get a word in with his father before he departed.

"That was brilliant, dad," Albus told him once almost everyone had gone. "I've never heard you talk about exactly how you defeated, you know... Voldemort."

"Well it's not exactly my favorite conversation starter," Harry told him while packing up his things.

Albus felt Rose nudge him in the side and understood that she wanted him to tell Harry about Goyle's message. The problem was, he was not altogether sure he wanted to.

"I'm sorry to run out like this, kids," Harry said, his tone sincerely regretful, when he had finished gathering his belongings. "But I've got to get back to the Ministry." He muttered something about exploding interdepartmental memos, hugged Albus and his friends again and headed out the door.

"Are you mad?" Rose burst out as soon as Harry was out of earshot. "Why didn't you tell him? What if it's something important?"

"He's head of the Auror office, he'd know if there was something big going on," Albus reasoned with her. "I don't want to worry him with this. Goyle's probably just messing with us."

Rose looked thoroughly unconvinced but did not press the subject, for which Albus was grateful.

"Come on," Albus said, wanting to break the silence. "Let's go practise for Quidditch tryouts. Then we can go to the Room of Requirement and see what the DA's up to."



There you go, another chapter over already. I hope you liked it. Please leave me some feedback


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Last edited by GinnyRules; July 31st, 2007 at 12:46 am.
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  #6  
Old July 30th, 2007, 3:02 pm
GinnyRules  Female.gif GinnyRules is offline
Fourth Year
 
Joined: 5621 days
Location: Canada
Age: 28
Posts: 647
Re: Albus Potter and the Fountain of Youth

Here's another chapter, as promised! I don't know when you'll be getting another update, though, because I might not have access to a computer for a while. It'll probably be either today or in 1 week.

Chapter 5:

The weekend arrived all too soon for Albus. His first week of school, which had seemed so filled with excitment, had passed in the blink of an eye, leaving nothing but the daunting Quidditch tryouts ahead. Albus considered his Quidditch skills utterly useless, despite the tips James had grudgingly consented to give him, and was growing more and more certain that he would never match up to the great Harry Potter.

Saturday morning found him sitting cross-legged on the floor in the Room of Requirement, going over the Wronski Feint with Helen Thomas while Frank stood before him with his arms crossed, wearing an expression of utmost determination.

"But I don't understand," Albus cried in frustration. "Why don't you want to try out? You love Quidditch. You've got a Firebolt!"

"Yeah, and I wasn't allowed to bring it to school, was I?" Frank replied, reminding Albus of the rule barring first years from owning broomsticks. "Besides, I told you back at Hagrid's the other day: I don't fancy flying."

"Yes you do, you love it," Albus argued. "You're always coming round my house to play."

"That was different. We were just having fun. This would be in front of the whole school."

Albus was about to retort when an angry, huffy noise issued from behind him and Rose appeared, her cheeks flushed, her hair flying. She had been running around all morning asking people if they could lend her a broom ever since James had told her that it was custom for older students in the DA to lend brooms to first years whenever they could.

"But I've had absolutely no luck so far," Rose lamented. "Nearly everyone in the DA is trying out for their house team and need their own brooms." She bent down and grabbed hold of the front of Albus' robes. There was a note of supplication in her voice as she said, "I can't try out on one of the school brooms, Albus, I just can't. They use Nimbuses, for heaven's sake!"

"All right calm down," Albus said soothingly. "We'll find you one, don't worry. I just have to finish reviewing this one move-"

"Rose!" Nick came running through the door looking excited but out of breath. "I found one, Rose. A fourth year named Macmillan. He's in the DA too. Says he can't try out this year because he's in Gobstones."

Rose jumped up, punching her fist in the air and whooping. She and Nick hurried off to find the generous Macmillan, and Albus was left to fret over the Wronski Feint and glare at Frank.

The tryouts were to begin directly after lunch. Albus forced himself to eat a sandwhich, though he had never felt less hungy in his life, and was attempting to make Rose do the same when the Gryffindor captain, Adrian Finnigan, appeared in the doorway of the Great Hall and signalled that it was time to begin. Albus swallowed hard but rose from his seat and, accompanied by Rose as well as Frank and Nick, who were coming for moral support, followed the captain out into the grounds.

It was a bright, clear day, and the Quidditch pitch appeared in front of them as they approached, magnificent and green. With a sharp blow of his whistle Adrian instructed the new team hopefuls to change into their equipment and then line up against the stands on the pitch. Albus fumbled with the catch of his gloves for at least five minutes before Helen took pity on him and made him realised he had been trying to put his left boot on his right hand. Feeling hopeless in the extreem, Albus marched onto the pitch holding on tight to Nathaniel's spare broom.

Once everyone had settled down Adrian began to give directions.

"I'd like you to separate into groups of three," he said loudly. "Then you can practise passing the Quaffle around. Once you're done I'll select a few groups to go on and we can separate you into seekers, keepers, beaters and chasers."

Albus and Rose paired up with Mark Williamson, one of the other boys in their year, and mounted their brooms. Albus brushed one hand through his windswept hair and relished the familiar feeling of being perfectly free while he was on a broomstick. To his delight, he caught Mark's first pass with ease and threw it to Rose with spotless aim. His elation increased when he saw that Adrian had been watching and nodding approvingly. Rose passed the Quaffle back to him quickly, and Albus nearly missed it because he had been paying attention to the captain. Cursing himself and vowing to concentrate more next time, Albus made the Quaffle soar srtaight into Mark's grip.

Approximately fifteen minutes into this excercise Adrian blew his whistle again and all the team hopefuls landed, some quite awkwardly. Adrian walked among them for a few minutes, appearing to consider his options, and then began to call out names. Albus' stomach tightened into a painful knot of apprehension.

"Would the following people please step over here with me," Adrian said. "James Potter!"

James grinned at his friends and strode over to Adrian's side, looking quite pleased with himself.

"Robyn Weasley!"

Albus recognized his cousin Robyn, who was in her fifth year and had moved with her family from Romania to come to Hogwarts.

"Nathaniel Jordan!"

Nathaniel joined James and the two of them immediately began to crack jokes quietly.

"Helen Thomas!"

Albus was beginning to feel nervous again. What if he had been terrible. What if he had only imagined that he was doing well. Perhaps Adrian was busy thinking what an idiot this insignificant first year was to have even shown up. The knot in his stomach clenched painfully as more names were called.

"Ian McCormac!"

A tall, brown-haired boy with broad shoulders strutted up to stand near Adrian. Albus and Rose exchanged a quick glance. No first years had been selected yet.

"Albus Potter!"

Albus heart leapt into his throat. He could hardly believe his ears, and had to wait a few seconds to convince hismelf that he had heard correctly. He smiled quickly at Rose and joined James and the others in front.

"Rose Weasley!"

Albus felt immensely relieved. He could not imagine being selected while Rose was not and seeing the disappointment in her face. As it was, she walked up to stand next to Albus while Adrian said, "Everyone else, thank you very much for tryng out but I think that's all. Please come back next year." He then turned to the remaining hopefuls. "I'll have you go stand over there if you're trying out for seeker. Keepers, over here..."

The rest of the tryouts went fairly smoothly, apart from a few tears and much anger which always came when Adrian told someone to leave the pitch after they had failed part of the tryouts. It was several hours later, when the sun began to set, that only six people remained. Adrian beamed at them but his smile faltered slightly when his eyes fell upon Albus and Rose.

"Potter and Weasley, isn't it?" he asked them. Albus nodded, a hint of his nervousness returning.

"Well you've certainly outflown all your competition," Adrian said slowly, considering them with his brow furrowed. "On the other hand, we've never had two first years on the team before. I mean, I don't think it's ever been done."

"I'll take you both on one condition. You'll have to come in and train a few extra hours every week, and we'll have reserves ready just in case. What do you say?"

Albus and Rose both agreed wholeheartedly and shook Adrian's hand, thanking him over and over again. Albus felt better than he had all week. This had definitely been worth it.

* * *

The weeks passed, extinguishing the last warm, sunny days of September and replacing them with October's harsh winds and cold rain. The teachers seemed determined to give the first years as much homework as possible before Halloween and, taking his extra Quidditch sessions and duelling club practise into account, Albus felt positively exhausted. He received letters from home every other weekend informing him that all was quite well and asking if the same was true for him. He wished he could respond truthfully, but the fact that he had not yet spoken to Harry about Goyle's 'message' weighed heavily on Albus' heart.

"But you said he was just messing with us!" Nick said when Albus confided in him one chilly morning the week before Halloween. They had just left Herbology class, and Frank and Rose had stayed behind to help Neville clean up the mess they had accidentally made by knocking over a flutterby bush while discreetly practising a new spell they had learned at the DA.

"Yeah I did," Albus admitted grudgingly. "But it still worries me. Who could possibly want to give my father a message like that and why would they do it through Goyle?"

"I've been doing a bit of research," Nick said, making Albus smile. It seemed that every time a problem came up Nick had this exact same thing to say. He uncovered more secrets every day than Rita Skeeter.

"About what?" Albus asked him.

"Enemies of the heir, beware," Nick replied with a shudder. Albus, too, felt a chill go up his spine. The message semmed to be filled with mystery and darkness, even though he had no idea what it meant. "According to Rose's mum's new, revised edition of Hogwarts: A History, that message was written in blood on a wall in Hogwarts by the memory of Tom Riddle nearly twenty-five years ago when the Chamber of Secrets was opened for the second time."

The pace of Albus' heartbeat quickened. This did not bode well by any account.

"According to the book," Nick continued, "It was written there to serve as a warning to those who opposed Voldemort as well as all the muggle-borns in the school."

Albus felt confused. Was someone trying to warn his father not to oppose Voldemort? That didn't make a bit of sense, seeing as Voldemort had been defeated almost two decades in the past by Harry himself.

They reached their destination, Hagrid's cabin, in silence, both absorbed by their thoughts. The Care of Magical Creatures Professor was most pleased to see them, and immediately stuffed an assortment of rock cakes and sweets into their hands while his ancient boarhound, fang, sat lazily in front of a roaring fire. They discussed Quidditch for a while until Hagrid startled Albus enormously by saying, "So how's yer little defense group going? What do yeh call it again? Oh righ', the DA!"

"What?" exclaimed Nick. "You know about the DA?"

"Oh sure," Hagrid told him, nodding wisely. "Been going on for more'en twenty years, hasn' it? Someone was bound ter find out at some point. Just count yerselves lucky it was me, otherwise yeh might 'ave been reported."

Albus shook his head, bemused. All this time they had thought they were being so secretive. However his train of thought was soon interrupted by a tapping at the window. Hagrid pulled back the curtains to reveal a tawny owl banging its beak against the glass to get their attention. He unlatched the window with his large fingers and deposited a knut in the owl's leather pouch after removing his letter. Albus and Nick watched him read it in silence until Albus saw, to his alarm, that a fat tear was rolling down Hagrid's cheek and that his face had gone red.

"Hagrid what's wrong?" Albus asked in concern.

"Nuthin'," Hagrid said in a choked voice, wiping the tear away. "This is great news. Really fantastic, in fact." He took a deep breath and sat down on a nearby sofa, making its springs creak loudly.

"Olympe's going ter have a baby," he announced.



Ooh, I couldn't wait to write that one! I'm fairly pleased with it, and I'd love to know what you think. Please leave me some feedback


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Old July 30th, 2007, 7:04 pm
GinnyRules  Female.gif GinnyRules is offline
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Re: Albus Potter and the Fountain of Youth

It occured to me while I was reading the Meredith Vieira interview with JK Rowling that I was going to have to make a few subtle changes to my plot again. But don't worry, it won't affect anything you've already read. It did oblige me to write this chapter though. I hope you like it. It's quite a bit longer than I'd expected...

Chapter 6:

"Hagrid's going to be a daddy?" Rose exclaimed with a squeal of excitment. "That's great!"

"Yeah," Frank agreed, chewing thoughtfully on his quill. "Do you think it'll be the size of a dinosaur or bigger?"

Rose threw a ball of parchment at him and Nick sighed, slamming a book shut for the hundreth time that evening. The four of them were sitting in front of a nice warm fire in the Room of Requirement, attempting to finish a particularly difficult piece of transfiguration homework set by the very nearly senile Professor Diggle.

"Didn't James say the clever kids were supposed to do our homework for us?" Rose asked irritably, temporarily forgetting about Hagrid when she saw how much longer Nick's essay stretched on than hers.

Frank scratched his nose absently with the end of his quill, leaving a blotchy black mark. "Yeah," he said, sighing. "But they're always busy with the fifth years' homework. I'm sure not looking forward to OWL's."

Albus nodded earnestly and decided to give up his essay on the various methods of transfiguring metal into wood. He turned instead to his equally long and gruelling Potions essay, with which he made a paper aeroplane that ended up hitting Frank in the eye. Rose and Nick's uncontrollable laughter was well worth the dirty look he received.

"You know," Frank said, rubbing his eye, "I've been thinking. Next week is Halloween, isn't it? So what if we did something, you know, fun?"

"What do you mean," Rose asked suspiciously. It was clear that she did not believe Frank's idea of fun to be quite the same as her own.

Frank looked down at his hands for a moment before saying, in a barely audible voice, "Well, maybe some kind of prank or something."

Albus, who had been about to suggest the same thing himself, was surprised. Frank was usually quieter and less inclined to cause trouble than the others, and so hearing that he wanted to prepare a prank was enough to make both Albus and Rose exchange a befuddled but proud look. Predictably, Rose began to offer a variety of ideas almost at once.

"We could enchant a hundred bats to swoop in, right in the middle of classes, and carry off a Professor. Or- No listen to this, Albus- We could find a vampire and invite him over and set up a concert outside in the middle of the night. No wait, I have a better idea! Let's get a bunch of fireworks from Uncle George's shop and set them off from inside the Forbidden Forest!"

Albus, who had always opted for a more realistic view of these things, decided that it was time to interrupt before Rose got too carried away.

"How about something to do with the feast?" he said loudly. "Everyone always attends, so we could do something really good."

"Wait, wait, wait!" cried Nick, who had been observing them with a growing frown. "What are you talking about?"

"Well we have to do something for Halloween," Rose told him, looking like he was insane not to have grasped this concept on his own. "It's like a tradition. Every year at the Potter's Halloween party we plan a prank. Only James and his friends always outdo us. But not this year!" she added, her eyes twinkling with mischeif. "This year we're at Hogwarts, and our prank will be the best of all. I like your idea with the feast, Albus, but what, exactly,were you thinking of doing?"

"Well," Albus said, a small grin forming on his lips, "I was thinking we could use potions, this time, if you know what I mean..."

"Oooh!" Rose said, flushing with excitment. "Yes I do."

Halloween morning dawned dark and stormy, which suited Albus just fine. It would provide a perfect spooky setting for their prank. He, Frank and Nick snuck down at the break of dawn to meet Rose in the Great Hall. They happened upon James and Nathaniel on the way, both of whom gave them innocent grins and hid a number of indescernible objects behind their backs. Albus returned his brother's wave, feeling great pleasure at the idea that he would soon have outdone him, the master of all troublemakers.

Rose ran towards them as soon as they entered the Great Hall, where a few early rising Professors were giving her strange looks. She was carrying a bit of parchment covered in what looked like instructions in her hand and was beaming from ear to ear.

"I was up half the night thinking about it," she whispered to them when they were within earshot. "I know how to get that potion. All we have to do is go into Hogsmead! Don't give me that look, Frank," she told him sternly as Frank opened his mouth to protest. "It'll be really simple. All we have to do is hide under the cloak- You do have it, don't you Albus?- and follow the older students. There's always a trip to Hogsmead on Halloween. Then we buy the potion, come back here and slip into the kitchens to put a drop in all the goblets before they're sent up. It's completely foolproof," she finished proudly.

Albus had some serious doubts regarding this last pronouncement, but thought that on the whole it was a relatively good plan. He was not, in any case, scared of getting caught. The cloak had always proved itself an unbeatable disguise in the past. Nick and Frank looked rather less convinced of the plan's merits, however, and were busy enumerating its many loopholes when Hagrid stepped through the oak doors behind them.

"Hello there Albus," he said cheerfully. "Frank, Miss Rose, Nick."

They waved at him and congratulated him once again on the happy news.

"Ah, thank yeh. I hope yeh'll all come to the party we're having in honor of the little tyke when the Easter holidays come 'round. It'll be at yer mum and dad's house, Rose."

Rose assured him that she would be there before turning back to Albus, Frank and Nick and giving them a pleading look. "Please, we have to do it. It's the only way the prank will work!"

"Well I'm in," Albus said, staring down the other two. He knew that Frank would eventually agree if he and Rose nagged him enough, and enjoy himself a whole lot more than he would have done sitting and doing nothing in the common room. As for Nick, Albus doubted very much that he would be able to resist if his three friends were doing it.

"Fine," they said in unison a minute later, unable, as Albus had predicted, to resist his and Rose's persistent staring and nagging.

"Excellent. Shall we get going then," Rose asked joyfully.

"Now?" Frank squeaked in a high-pitched voice.

"Yes, now," Rose said, her voice betraying great impatience. "The third years and up are leaving in an hour, so we have to hurry up and eat breakfast if we want to be ready in time."

After a few rushed helpings of kippers and apple custard, Albus, Rose and Nick were ready to go. Frank kept fussing over the cloak's positionment, clearly hoping to delay their departure, but Rose simply sighed and dragged him along under it when she saw the older students begin to leave.

The walk to Hogsmead village was long and cold. Albus' invisible feet hit the earthen path which was covered in dry leaves and made crunching sounds which nobody, if they came near, would be able to distinguish the source of. Old, blackened and twisted trees lined the path, giving Albus the impression that he was in an abandoned graveyard. It was not an altogether pleasant feeling. A cold drizzle began to fall when they were halfway to their destination, and by the time they arrived it had turned into icy rain that stung their exposed faces. It was a relief to finally reach the village and to enter the Three Broomsticks, a nearby pub. The place was warm and dry, packed with students and travellers alike who had come for a quick drink while on their way to other places. A comfortable level of noise which came mostly in the form of talking and chattering filled Albus' ears as he sat down at a small round table.

Nick took off to buy drinks and Rose, much to Frank's discontent, immediately began going over the plan.

"So we go to Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes," she said for what seemed like the millionth time, still with an air of someone explaining a complex mathematical formula to a rapt audience. "We buy the Identity Scrambling Elixir. Then we hurry back to Hogwarts and head for the kitchens. A third year bloke from the DA gave me these instructions on how to find them. It'll be mid-afternoon by then, I think, so the perfect time."

"Yes and then," Albus said in a bored voice, more to shut Rose up than because he thought they needed reminding, "We put a drop of the Elixir in each goblet, especially the Slytherin ones. After that we have to head for our dormitories and spread the word that we've been working hard in the library all day so we'll have an alibi if they get suspicious."

"Exactly!" Rose declared feverishly. Albus sighed in resignation. She always got like this when they were preparing pranks. He had hoped that it would stop once they got older, but things appeared to have become worse instead of better.

Nick reappeared, holding four bottles of butterbeer and providing a convenient distraction. He looked nervous but excited nonetheless. The four of them sipped their butterbeers in a silence broken only by Rose, who was whispering nonsensical words to herself. Albus caught bits and pieces here and there, and had to fight a desire to grin the whole time.

"Bloody James... Thinks he's so good... better, he'll see... more fun than we've ever had on Halloween."

"Let's go," Rose cried, leaping to her feet as soon as Frank, who had deliberately finished last, had pushed aside his bottle.

They made their way to George's shop, which was more of a gigantic warehouse these days. The aisles were crammed with merchandise from floor to ceiling, and it was a contortionists' nightmare to walk around under the cloak without getting jostled by anyone. They looked for the potion, sometimes having to crane their necks to see all the way to the top of some pyramid of products. Albus wished Uncle George himself were there to assist them. He was one of the funniest people Albus knew, always up for a prank or a laugh, although something in his eyes always seemed, unexplainably, to be missing. But the owner and creator of Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes was nowhere in sight. Undoubtedly he was in his Diagon Alley shop, skillfully attending to all his customers at once while a small army of employees did the same here.

"There it is," Albus exclaimed, catching sight of a large blue bottle emblazoned with the words: "Identity Scrambling Elixir."

Rose managed to slip the bottle into an elderly witch's shopping bag and extract it again after she had paid, throwing in a few sickles in exchange. Pleased with themselves and ready to put the next part of the plan into action, the four troublemakers rushed off to the castle again, where it took them a matter of minutes to find the kitchens thanks to Rose's helpful instructions.

"It says to tickle the pear," Rose said, squinting at her piece of parchment. As it turned out, doing so allowed them entrance into the kitchens, where they were immediately mobbed by a horde of overly helpful house-elves. Kreacher's descendants were among them.

"We just need to, er, examine the food and make sure it's not, er poisoned," Frank told the elves, glancing nervously around as though scared someone would jump out from behind a dish and accuse him of lying. "We've got orders from the, er, prefects."

The house-elves bowed reverently out of the room. Rose chuckled fondly as she began pouring drops of the precious elixir into each polished golden goblet at the Slytherin table. When she was done she handed the goblet to Frank.

"Here, you do the Ravenclaws."

"What?" Frank spluttered. "Why do I have to- You were doing just fine- I-"

"There's four of us and four tables," Rose said, her tone implying that she would not tolerate any funny business. "We each have to do one, it's more fun that way!"

Frank hurriedly finished the Ravenclaw table, sweating slightly as he did so, and passed the bottle to Nick, who did the Hufflepuffs. Only Albus was left.

"I don't see why I'm the one who has to do Gryffindor," he grumbled, watching a drop fall to the bottom of every pumpkin juice filled goblet. He was careful not to miss his own glass, nor Rose, Frank or Nick's, as it would look rather suspicious if they were the only ones whom the prank did not affect.

"Done!" Albus said triumphantly when the last drop had been poured. "Let's go."

They threw the cloak around themselves and sprinted up to Gryffindor tower, where they hastened to take it off while no one was looking and sit inconspicuously in their favorite spots by the fireplace. Barely five minutes had passed before they were joined by Giselle, one of Rose's nice but gossipy roomates.

"Where've you been all day?" she asked, eyeing them beadily and lingering on Nick, whom she apparently did not trust.

"We've been doing Diggle's homework in the library." Nick recited their well rehearsed story.

"Funny," Giselle said suspiciously. "I've been in the library all day as well, doing Longbottom's essay. I never saw you lot once."

"Yeah well, we had a note to get into the restricted section," Albus told her hastily, because Nick looked terrified at this snag in the plan. They had forgotten to consider that other students would be in the library as well, and that they would not be seen there.

Giselle looked taken aback. "The restricted section? Why would you need to go in there for transfiguration?"

"We're doing extra credit work," Rose said firmly. She stood up, uttered a hasty, "We've got to go, see you later," and frogmarched the others away.

"It's fine," she told Albus in an undertone. "She's the biggest gossip in the school. In a few minutes everyone will think we were in the restricted section. Let's just hope none of the teachers find out."

The Halloween feast began at seven oclock. Albus had never seen anything quite like it in his life, despite living with Harry Potter and having seen some rather odd things. The Great Hall had been filled with hundreds of tiny bats which swooped low over the four house tables in fancy formations. A mutlitude of beautifully carved jack-o-lanterns sat in clusters all over the hall, accompanied by elaborate spider webs and black candles that cast an eerie light over the surroundings. The tables themselves were covered in too many sweets to count, from treacle tarts to chocolate frogs to cauldron cakes. In front of these stood the goblets Albus knew were filled with their elixir. To top this all off, the enchanted ceiling was still a cloudy, stormy purple.

The Headmistress refrained from making any speeches, but instead allowed the students to tuck in immediately, for which they were very grateful. Albus waited until everyone around them was safely chatting with friends and then withdrew four fat gold galleons from his pocket.

"Remember," he told the other three, handing them out, "We have to use these to communicate, because we won't be able to tell each other apart from anyone else."

Out of the corner of his eye, Albus saw one student raise his goblet to his lips and drink. It would soon begin.

Boom!

A loud distraction exploded right behind Frank. Everyone in the vicinity turned and craned their necks to see a nearby cluster of jack-o-lanterns suddenly expand and rise into the air. The carvings they bore were changing and distorting themselves to form a mixture of familiar faces and swear words. Albus recognized a comic version of Professor Edgecomb's face on the lantern nearest him, looking surly and angry as usual. Laughter erupted from every corner. Neville had already gotten up and was heading towards the source of the disturbance to investigate. Albus could have sworn he saw the corners of the Professor's mouth twitch into a smile for a mere second before he waved his wand in one long, fluid motion and returned the lantern to normal. But it was too late. All around other clusters were acting up, depicting the exagerated faces of teachers and prefects and swears alike.

Albus laughed along with everyone else at what was clearly James and Nathaniel's prank, knowing that the effects of his own would begin to appear any second now.

Then it happened. A dark cloud of some foreign substance began forming around all of the students. It somewhat resembled the stuff in Albus' father's pensive, but it was black and compeltely opaque. It could not in any way harm them, Albus knew, however it made them all unidentifiable and would last almost an hour. Already students were rising from their tables and screaming, though it did them little good as the envelope now surrounding them distorted their voices, making them even further unrecognizable. Trapped inside his own envelope, Albus lit the tip of his wand and raised his golden coin. A message appeared on it instantly, marked in Rose's handwriting: "Meet in the common room."

Albus nodded and began feeling his way towards the oak doors, unable to see much of anything. But he was unable to go more than a few steps before he tripped on something large protruding in front of him. A snide laugh, however much distorted, told him that it was Goyle, accompanied by Yaxley.

"Bloody hell, what do you want now?" Albus asked in exasperation. He was not at all in the mood for a confrontation with an angry Slytherin at the moment. His head hurt from hitting the ground when he had been tripped, and the chaos that currently reigned in the Great Hall was increasing. Albus could hear, distantly, the voice of Neville longbottom calling to the Headmistress for help.

"Professor Corinth. Professor Corinth! I could use some assistace over here!"

"First," Goyle grunted, "I want you to actually pass on the message to your father like I told you to do. Second," he gave Albus a small kick in the arm, causing pain to explode there, "I have a second message, and this one's for you."

Albus suddenly felt the tip of Goyle's wand poke through the billowing substance wrapped around him and touch his temple. A string of what appeared to be silvery cloud-like material actually entered Albus' head. All the noise and chaos that surrounded him were replaced at once. He could no longer hear students screaming for their friends or stampeding towardes the doors. Instead he found himself standing on a dark island in the middle of a raging storm. A large stone building stood in front of him, with the words 'For the Greater Good' inscribed on an archway topping the entrance.

Albus' feet moved of their own accord, carrying him into the building. The inside looked vaguely like a cross between a prison and a torture chamber, what with the dangerous looking instruments sticking out of the walls of cell blocks.

Albus took a right turn at the end of a long, dimly lit hallway and continued through the deserted prison. He entered one particular cell to find an old, mouldy skeleton still chained to the wall. It looked thouroughly unthreatening, but to its right lay a long, rolled up sheet of parchment tied neatly with a black velvet ribbon. Albus wanted very much to reach the parchement and see what was written on it, but at the very moment his fingers reached out, about to touch it, he was back in the Great Hall.

"That oughtta give you something to mull over," Goyle's rough voice whispered, and he walked away.

Albus lay on his stomach in the middle of the Great Hall for quite some time before getting up and walking slowly to his common room.



This might seem really cryptic to you right now, but please bear with me as questions will be answered... eventually... *laughs evilly* Ahem... anyway, please leave me some feedback, as always I love to read it and I will answer you, even if it takes a while.


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Last edited by GinnyRules; July 31st, 2007 at 1:19 am.
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  #8  
Old July 31st, 2007, 3:27 pm
GinnyRules  Female.gif GinnyRules is offline
Fourth Year
 
Joined: 5621 days
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Age: 28
Posts: 647
Re: Albus Potter and the Fountain of Youth

I couldn't resist writing another little bit before leaving for a week, so I got up super early and typed up this chapter. Hope you enjoy it!

Chapter 7:

"... Absolutely unacceptable, do you have any idea of the dammage caused?"

James stared feebly up at the Headmistress and tried once more to explain hismelf. "It wasn't us," he told her. "We just did the pumpkins, the whole potion thing was done by someone else."

"Oh, and do you have any idea who this someone else is?" Professor Corinth asked, her expression threatening.

James' eyes flickered towards Albus, who was sulking in a corner, but after a few seconds he looked back up and gave the Headmistress a determined, "No."

"Very well," she sighed. "Then I have no choice but to give you a week's worth of detentions with Filch. Good day to you, Mr. Potter."

James turned and walked swiftly out of the Head's office, pausing only to give Albus a look that was one part frustration and two parts admiration. Albus grimaced.

"Ah, Mr. Albus Potter," the headmistress said when James had gone, turning a rather kinder expression on Albus. "I have had you brought here because Madame Pomfrey informs me that you have been attacked."

"Er, well no, not really," Albus lied, suddenly becoming very interested in the floor.

"Mr. Potter please do not insult my intelligence," Professor Corinth said dangerously. "You have sustained a nasty bruise to your arm as well as being confused and complaining of a headache. Not to mention the fact that your head is covered in signs of recent use of magic."

"I-" Albus did not know what to say.

"I would like you, Mr. Potter, to tell me who has inflicted this dammage upon you, so that they may be accordingly punished."

"I- It, er... Well it was nothing."

The Headmistress shook her head and rolled her eyes before whispering, more to herself than anyone else, "You're all the same, you Gryffindors."

As soon as Albus had been let out of the office he took his cloak out from his bag and covered himself with it. He wanted to get back to Gryffindor tower immediately and without any more distractions. It was bad enough to have been intercepted by Madame Pomfrey, the matron, on his way up after the feast, but to actually have been sent up to see Corinth! Albus could hardly believe that he had gotten away without any further investigation. His arm was indeed badly hurt, and his head was throbbing horribly. He had seen his father's pensive and had known certain wizards to extract their own thoughts and memories to deposit them inside, but to have a memory forced upon him was an entirely different matter. It made him feel like vomiting, not to mention like he had been violated in some way.

His heart racing uncontrollably, Albus sped up even more as questions bounced around in his head, each as unanswerable as the next, Why, for instance, was someone using Goyle to pass on cryptic messages to him, of all people? Or was it all some sick joke of Goyle's own invention? And where exactly had he gone when he was in that prison& What had been written on that rolled up piece of parchment? Albus felt sure that if he knew the answer to this last one everything else would become much more clear. At the moment, though, he was compeltely flummoxed.

"Mandrake roots," Albus told the slumbering fat lady upon arriving in front of the entrance to his common room. She was rather reluctant to wake up, and gave Albus a nasty look before swivelling and allowing him passage.

There was a high-pitched squeal as soon as Albus appeared in the portrait hole, and all else was obscured from view as Rose jumped on him to give him a hug, nearly causing him to fall over. Frank and Nick were also standing behind her, looking anxious and relieved all at once.

"Where were you mate?" Frank asked after Rose had calmed down enough to release Albus. "We waited around for ages and you didn't show up. We thought they'd caught you.

Albus sat down with a groan and, clutching his arm, slowly recounted the story of his evening's adventures. By the end all of them were looking horrified.

"Blimey," Rose breathed, "What was all that about?"

"Well it's abvious, isn't it?" Nick said. "He'd probably been waiting for an opportunity to do that for a while now, and we gave him the perfect opening. This is bad, Albus. If he knew you hadn't delivered the message, it must mean he's having you watched."

"You reckon?" Albus said absentmindedly. He was trying to focus on the conversastion, but his head kept wandering off to that dark, prison-like place with the skeleton and the parchment. Nemo, Frank's cat, came purring up to him and he scratched it behind the ears, staring out a dark window.

"Yeah, I do," Nick continued. "And I really think you should tell your dad about this." The others nodded in a greement. Albus felt a twinge of irritation. Had they all been discussing him and talking behind his back?

"You know what? I think I'm going to go to bed," Albus said, standing up very brusquely and suddenly. Nemo hissed and ran away with his tail in the air.

The beginning of the Quidditch season coincided, annoyingly enough, with that of the duelling club season. Albus had gained a great deal of confidence in both areas, thanks to the DA, and felt reasonably optimistic about his chances. His skills as a seeker were made even greater by the fact that he was so small, being a first year. Adrian, who had at first been very tentative about taking on two first years, now positively beamed every time he layed eyes on Albus and Rose, whose skills as a beater were rumored to be unrivaled by any others besides the legendary Weasley twins in Harry Potter's time. The duelling club, too, was going quite well. Although Nick still needed to gain a bit of confidence and stamina, he had stopped shrieking and tripping over himself when a spell was aimed at him. Frank kept surprising everyone with spells that had never even been heard of before, and which Albus suspected his mother had taught him. Rose was in her element, becoming a more and more accomplished dueller every day, and Albus had finally mastered Levicorpus.

November twelfth marked the day of the first duelling club tournament meet. Albus was up at the crack of dawn that morning to do a bit of last minute practising with Frank before the competition began. At breakfast he was unable to eat more tan a few bites of toast, unlike Rose, who looked like she was going to eat herself into oblivion. They had to drag her away from the table when eight oclock arrived and the bell rang. Albus thought gleefully of the fact that they would get to miss their entire Charms class for this.

When they arrived at the classroom where the tournament would be held, however, they found a large ring of students all standing around the door and whispering. Rose managed to peek through it and withdrew her ehad looking dejected.

"There's a huge sign on the door that says the competition's been cancelled," she exclaimed angrily. At that moment Helen Thomas came running up to them.

"Did you hear? The captain of the Ravenclaw team that was supposed to compete today just got a letter from home. Her mother disappeared without a trace yesterday. She went home. That's why it's been cancelled."

Albus, Frank and Rose exchanged uneasy looks.

* * *

Generally, school spirit and house pride tended to reach their peak in the week preceding the first Quidditch match of the season. Unfortunately, a bit of a damper had been thrown on the excitement when the girl from Ravenclaw's mother had disappeared. Indeed with the match, which was between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw, so near in the future, animosity between the two houses would normally have manifested itself more than usual. Now, however, it seemed the Gryffindors felt guilty. Even James was proving himself unwilling to throw decoy detonators onto the Quidditch pitch while the Ravenclaw team was practicing. Albus heard him confide in Nathaniel that he was not, in fact, going soft, but that he merely did not see a need to pull pranks when it was so evident that Gryffindor was going to pummel the opposing team anyhow. On this occasion Nathaniel had snorted loudly and had only just managed to pass it of as a hacking cough.

Albus wished he could share James' confidence, but felt it would be unreasonably optimistic to do so. He knew he had greatly improved since being appointed to the team, but on the other hand a few short sessions of watching the Ravenclaw seeker, Calliope Armani, speed after the snitch like a bullet during practice had been enough to make him feel very insecure.

"You'll be fine," Rose reassured him after Albus had thrown this fear nonchalantly into a conversation, hoping to appear casual. He found her distracted tone less than soothing.

Albus knew it was unwise, but he got very little sleep on the night before the match. He stayed in the Room of Requirement for hours with Rose and Frank (Nick having gone to bed repeating over and over again that it would really be much better to be rested on a day like tomorrow), listening to Potterwatch and poring through his borrowed copy of Quidditch Through the Ages.

Breakfast the next morning was an extravagant affair. Students cheered when members of each team entered the Great Hall, while a group of unpleasant sixth year Slytherins jeered and booed loudly at the Gryffindors. Albus could tell, even without the presence of a mirror anywhere in the vicinity, that he was rather whiter than usual, as were some of the other team members. Only Rose and James seemed perfectly at ease.

"Are you telling me you're not nervous at all?" Albus asked Rose incredulously. She was layering generous amounts of butter onto a crumpet, and took a few moments to reply.

"No," she said finally. "I was nervous for the tryouts, because I didn't know if I was any good, but this is nothing."

Albus was saved from making an incredulous reply by the arrival of Frank, who was brandishing a copy of the Quibbler.

"Look at this!" he exclaimed, waving the brightly colored magazine beneath Albus' nose. Nick shook his head.

"Are you trying to tell us you actually read that thing?" Nick asked. "I heard it's completely bonkers. Publishes stories about Cripple-Headed-Snorkelers and things..."

"Hey, my grandad is the editor!" Frank said defensively, holding the magazine to his chest as though Nick had threatened to take it from him and burn it. "Besides, I don't pay attention to most articles, it's just a good laugh, really. And the Crumple-Horned-Snorckacks, haven't been mentioned in here for a decade. Even my mum's admitted they don't exist."

"Yeah all right," Nick said, though he looked unconvinced. Frank turned again towards Albus and pointed to a tiny article on page seventeen.

"It's the weekly Quidditch section. They talk about Hogwarts teams sometimes, and you're mentioned. Look!"

Albus squinted to read the minuscule writing at the bottom of the page. One of the lines caught his eye: ... among the team's players is the son of Harry Potter, Albus Severus Potter, 11, one of the few first years ever to be admitted into a team at Hogwarts. Sources suspect...

"Perfect, there it is again," Albus grumbled. "The son of Harry Potter. That's all I am..."

Rose, who, it appeared, had not listened to a word of their conversation but had chosen instead to stuff herself with crumpets, now stood up suddenly and took hold of Albus' arm. "It's nine o'clock," she said softly, her voice filled with anticipation. "Time to go get ready."

Albus stood up alongside her and stepped towards the oak front doors to head for the pitch. Frank mouthed good luck at him and Albus tried to smile. It was not easy.

They entered the changing rooms down at the pitch a few minutes later, breathless from running through the grounds but still filled to the brim with energy. Most of the rest of the team was already present. Helen Thomas and Robyn Weasley smiled warmly at Albus and Rose when they caught sight of them. Their fellow chaser, Nathaniel, was standing over in a corner, examining what looked suspiciously like the Marauder's map with James. Albus knew that his father had not given his prized map to James, and therefore deduced that it must have been stolen from his desk while he was not looking. Albus was diverted from his thoughts by the voice of Adrian Finnigan, who entered, fully changed, behind him.

"Right, let's make this short and simple," he said, grinning nervously at his team. "We're going to go out there, and we're going to show them what we're made of. We've got the better team. We're going to win."

There was a smattering of applause from around the room which Albus joined in with enthusiastically, remembering Harry's tales of his own captain's long-winded and emotional speeches.

A defeaning roar of applause greeted the arrival onto the pitch of the players, who rose simultaneously as one into the air on the blow of the whistle. Albus felt a sense of exhilaration settle in almost immediately and push aside his anxiety. All was perfect in the world. The only thing he needed to worry about was catching the snitch. Unfortunately this particular little golden ball proved more elusive than ever it had been during practises. After circling the stadium numerous times and catching sight of nothing but a few glints coming from wristwatches, Albus rose higher still into the air, listening to the commentary with one ear but focusing most of his attention on the missing snitch. A few dozen feet behind him, Calliope Armani was doing the same.

"And the players are off," a familiar voice cried excitedly, and Albus realized that the commentator was in fact Victoire Weasley. "It seems that each captain has put together an impressive, albeit rather controversial team. On Finnigan's side it appears the captain's unprecedented decision to take on two first years is proving a wise one. Just look at Albus Potter and Rose Weasley fly!"

A bludger passed so close to Albus' head that he felt wind whoosh through his hair. Resolving to prevent other such close calls, Albus pushed his broom even further so that it took only a matter of seconds to cross the entire pitch. The Ravenclaw seeker, Calliope, was riding a very powerful broomstick as well, and sped up to keep pace with him. Out of the corner of his eye Albus saw Rose aim a bludger at her and miss only by a few inches.

"And on Davies' team we have another first year, Calliope Armani, who is clearly determined to prove herself as another fantastic player. Among the other team members we can mentione Leah Boot, who seems to be in posession of the Quaffle. She makes a pass to Andrew Davies, who dodges a well aimed bludger from Nathaniel Jordan. Davies- Ah, no, he's dropped the Quaffle. Finnigan is now in posession of the Quaffle and heading for the Ravenclaw goalposts."

Albus, who had just pulled out of a dive after realizing the object he was after was in fact an old chocolate frog box, was forced to swoop low over the crowd by another bludger. It was then that he noticed a stranger in the stands. A dark figure who did not quite appear to belong was seated on the end of a Slytherin bench, quite along and with his or her face covered by a black hood. A group of Slytherin first years were regarding him with distinct suspicion.

"Potter, what are you doing?"

Adrian Finnigan had just sped past Albus and shouted a call to bring him back to earth. Albus panicked upon realizing that he had been stationary in mid-air, staring almost transfixed at the newcome in the audience, for almost half a minute. He hastened to put the strange hooded figure out of his head and keep a closer lookout for the golden snitch.

There it was! All of a sudden a bright sparkle of gold came to Albus' attention and he saw it. The snitch was hovering just a few feet below him. Albus immediately dove straight down to catch it, causing the crowd to gasp and the spectators to rise in their seats. But something was wrong. As Albus neared the tiny golden ball, as he extended his arm to reach for it, it leapt forward with unnatural speed and soared straight out of the boundaries of the pitch. Albus' attention was momentarily diverted from this odd occurence when he noticed the concealed stranger he had observed beforehand wave his wand discreetly. He was evidently causing the snitch to act as it had.

A fraction of a second's hesitation later, Albus was pursuing the bewitched snitch past the stands and over the treetops of the Forbidden Forest, leaving the bewildered Ravenclaw seeker behind. The snitch refused, stubbornly and enfuriatingly, to give up the chase. Had he been mounted on his own Blaze 3000, Albus knew he could have easily caught up with it even at this head-spinning speed, but as it was he continued to venture ever deeper into the top of the forest. Eventually, the pitch became an insignificant dot behind him. What mattered, here and now, was to catch that snitch, win the game, and then find out what the bloody hell was going on.

Then, as abruptly as if it had neer been soaring at high speed over the forest, the snitch stopped dead in front of Albus and dropped like a stone. The obvious thing to do, Albus knew, would be to turn back, return to the pitch and explain to the most likely worried crowd and professors what had happened. Entering the heart of the Forbidden Forest, alone and defenseless, seemed like pure folly. Yet it also seemed like the much more attractive choice to Albus at the moment. After all, he had always been the curious type.

Without sparing another thought for how unwise a decision he was making, or how dangerous a situation he was putting himself in, Albus slowly lowered himself to the bottom of the forest floor. A canopy of pine needles covered the ground, and the trees blocked out almost all sunlight, considerably obscuring the day and denying passage to rays of light which might otherwise have made more friendly plants grow. In their place, Albus saw vegetation occupying the forest which he had never before set eyes upon. It was stunning and terrifying, all at once. Sinuous black vines crept up the trunks of incredibly old and immense trees. Dangerous and poisonous-looking blue blossoms and scuttling insects crawled across every inch of earth. And there was the snitch, lying casually on the ground at the entrance of what appeared to be a cave of some kind.

Having already come so far, Albus reasoned, why stop now. He lit his wand tip and ventured recklessly into the dark cavern.

No sooner had he walked ten feet than a brilliant pinkish glow appeared ahead of him. Closer investigation revelaed the source of this glow to be a million tiny diamonds lining the walls of the cave's entrance. They shone like rose-coloured fire, bright enough to burn Albus' eyes if he stared for too long. Intrigued beyond resistance, Albus continued deeper into the cave. At the end of an interminably long, tortuous passage, he came to a place in the tunnel where the top suddenly became a hundred feet high. Amazed, Albus entered what appeared to be a natural underground chamber. A waterfall cascaded down the wall at the far end while still more of those tiny diamonds lined much of the walls on the entrance side. little pools of spring water were scattered all around, surrounded by flowering bushes and fireflies. It was simply beautiful.

"Is anyone in here?" Albus asked loudly, wondering if he was the first ever student to stumble upon this magnificent place. "Hello? Is any-"

Albus broke off. On the ground in front of him was a piece of parchment he had not noticed until he nearly stepped on it. On it a message had been written in diluted black ink.

Deliver the message.

Please leave some feedback in the feedback thread



Last edited by GinnyRules; August 6th, 2007 at 6:53 pm.
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  #9  
Old August 3rd, 2007, 2:33 am
GinnyRules  Female.gif GinnyRules is offline
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Re: Albus Potter and the Fountain of Youth

I edited the two parts of chapter seven into one post again. Mods you can delete this post if you want to.


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  #10  
Old August 3rd, 2007, 6:53 pm
GinnyRules  Female.gif GinnyRules is offline
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Re: Albus Potter and the Fountain of Youth

My apologies for such a random ending last chapter. But it had been planned for quite a while, and as you'll see it's all necessary. So here's the next installment (Christmas spirit is in the air in this one!)

Chapter 8:


"Tell us one more time, now, the snitch led you into a cave?"

Albus sighed. Rose and Frank had been questioning him relentlessly on what had happened during the Quidditch game for hours, so much so that he felt rather like a criminal being interrogated on murder charges.

"That's more or less what happened," Albus told them. "It was just lying there in front of the cave, so it was pretty clear someone wanted me to go in there."

"And you did?" Rose squeaked. "Albus, how thick can you get? It could have been a trap, or- or something similar to a trap!"

Albus had to bite back a laugh at how dramatic they were acting. Yes, he had acted rather foolishly, but no harm had befallen him, had it?

"Look," he said, rolling his eyes, "Nothing happened, did it? I just came back and told the teachers it had swooped around and I had caught it, without including the part about the cave. And if-" but he broke off. Nick had just emitted an audible gasp.

"I've got it!" he cried, pointing to a page of Quidditch Through the Ages. He had been poring over old books ever since Albus had told them his story. "It says snitches are supposed to be bewitched so they don't leave their assigned pitch. That snitch shouldn't have lead you into the forest. And that means-"

"Someone was making it act that way," Rose finished for him. "Yeah, it makes sense."

"Yes but who?" Frank asked, his face filled with concern.

"I did see a- well a person who didn't look like they should have been there," Albus said tentatively. "In the Slytherin stands."

"Ooh, who was it?" Rose asked.

"I couldn't tell," Albus told her regretfully. "They were wearing a kind of big black cloak..."

"I'll bet it's in one of these books," Nick exclaimed, diving into his old volumes with renewed fervor. Albus knew he would not find answers there, but made no comment.

The rest of the month passed in relative normality. Duelling club sessions had been postponed until further notice, Gryffindor was in the lead for the Quidditch Cup as well as the House Cup, and the DA was helping more students break rules than ever. James came to Albus the week before Christmas holidays to inform him that he wanted to bring a new first year into the DA.

"Who?" Albus asked with interest while Rose, Frank and Nick turned to hear about the newcomer as well.

"Calliope Armani," James said.

"WHAT?" Albus dropped the books he had been carrying. He had not much spoken to the Ravenclaw seeker since the last Quidditch game, but somehow felt that she was his enemy. This sentiment was redoubled by the fact that she could fly almost as well as he could, and had only refrained from pursuing the snitch out of the pitch, as he had later learned, because a teacher had gotten up and ordered everyone to stop.

"Come off it, she's one hell of a flier," James said, concealing a grin. "And she's also not bad to look at. What do you think, Albus?"

James ran away shouting at Albus a few seconds later, chased down by bewitched inkpots and quills which were all attempting to hit him over the head.

Albus was one of the many students to sign up for the train ride home over the holidays. He was eager to see his family again, and to attend the Potter Christmas party, which was always a great deal of fun. Frank and Rose immitated Albus and signed their names when Neville came aroudn with the list, but Nick seemed reluctant to do so.

"I don't really want to go home," he admitted in a hushed voice, looking directly at his feet. "Mum never does anything for Christmas, and I heard that here the celebrations are brilliant. Besides, I'd just be alone for two weeks. Nobody comes round to visit us anymore."

Albus felt a pang of pity which immediately motivated him to invite Nick to stay with him over the holidays. The disbelieving and grateful smile his friend gave him made it well worth it.

"Are you sure?" Nick kept asking, as though Albus was going to turn around one day and declare that he hated Nick and never wanted to see him at his house.

"As long as your mum's okay with it," Albus said, smiling. "I'll send an owl home just to warn my parents, but they won't have a problem."

The ride on the Hogwarts Express to head home once the holidays arrived was a pleasant one. Albus' parents lived in Godric's Hollow, as did Rose's, and Frank was always coming over for meals and once in a while to sleep there, therefore they knew they would all be together most of the time.

Albus barely had time to disembark from the bright red train after reaching Platform Nine and Three-Quarters before he was smothered by a hug from his mother. Ginny swung him around with joy and greeted all the other children warmly. Harry, Luna and Teddy were there as well, and took it in turns to hug everyone within reach. There was a loud squeal from Victoire as she left the train and, abandoning her usually dignified posture, threw herself into Theodore Lupin's arms. Albus was careful to avoid looking at Rose.

"Where are my parents?" Rose asked, standing on tiptoe and scanning the platform.

"They're both still at work," Ginny told her, showing everyone off of the platform and into King's Kross. "George ran into a bit of trouble with the extendable hands and Ron decided to stay and help."

"Yeah, and Hermione ran into a bit of trouble with Dolores Umbridge," Harry said darkly, now heaving trunks into the family car, the inside of which had been so expanded by magic that it resebled that of a limousine.

"What?" yelped Ginny.

"She keeps asking for an appeal," Harry sighed. "And Hermione keeps telling her she's got no chance of getting out of Azkaban. Not after we all gave personal statements against her."

Ginny shook her head incredulously and settled into the driver's seat while Harry took the spot next to her and turned aroudn to face his children and their friends, all of whom were stretched out comfortably in the back.

"So, how were your first few months of school?" he asked Albus, Frank and Rose, which resulted in a great confusion of noise as all three attempted to talk over each other. Harry laughed and then noticed Nick.

"Oh, you must be Nicholas Corner," Harry said, holding out his hand. "I'm Harry Potter, Albus' dad."

Nick looked frightened but shook Harry's hand.

"Yes, I remember your father used to know Ginny quite well," Harry said, glancing at Ginny with a sly grin.

"Oh yes, he did," Ginny said unabashedly. "I heard he married Cho Chang, who used to know Harry quite well too."

Harry blushed and hurriedly changed the subject, effectively skirting over the fact of Nick's father's disappearance, for which Albus was grateful. He did not wish to discuss any morbid subjects on the first day of the holidays. They talked Quidditch for the rest of the ride, and of Albus' thrilling first capture of the snitch as Gryffindor seeker. Rose, helped along by many kicks from Albus, did not even mention the cave Albus had discovered when he had found the snitch or the dark stranger Albus had seen, leaving the others to ponder over why the snitch had acted in such a peculiar fashion. Ginny joined in to the conversation enthusiastically, being a retired member of the Holyhead Harpies herself.

Soon they entered the village of Godric's Hollow, a pleasant little place filled with colorful shops, large gardens and beautiful houses. As they approached a gorgeous neighborhood which was home to most Weasleys and Potters, Albus' home, a handsome red brick manor surrounded by tall Willows and including a vast backyard appeared before tham and Nick looked amazed.

"Well, this is it," Albus said, jumping out fo the car and avoiding Lily, who had been pelting towards him, by a second. "And they wonder where I get seeker reflexes," he grumbled.

"Come inside!" called a voice. Albus turned and saw Grandmum and Grandad Weasley waving from the window. They were accompanied by Andromeda Tonks, Teddy's grandmother, as well as Neville, who had apparated, and Lee Jordan, whose son, Nathaniel, had come home with James. Hugo Weasley was sitting on Lee's lap and talking animatedly about the geraniums he was growing. On the whole, Albus thought that if Uncle George, Ron and Hermione joined them this would make for a very interesting evening.

* * *

"C'mon, just one more game. You'll see, I'll win this time!"

Rose sighed but nodded and Albus began setting up a new game. She had been infuriating him by winning every chess game they played without even paying attention to what she was doing ever since they had finished dinner.

"Give it up, Albus," James cried from across the room, where he was examining a copy of the Daily Prophet with Nathaniel.

All of them were sitting in Albus' favorite room in the house. It was on the top floor, so that they had a fantastic view of the entire village and surroundings. An old stained glass window stretched across the entire West wall, which made for a stunning and colorful effect when the sun was setting, as it was now. What was more, the entire room was furnished with worn, antique furniture of the most comfortable kind, which, when combined with the secret passageway leading from the room to the library, made it the best place to be. Albus had spent hours of enjoyment when he was growing up, sitting in this room and watching the sun set as he read books or planned pranks with Rose.

There was a knock at the door and Albus halted the new chess game, in which Rose had already taken his queen and both rooks anyhow, to see the adults enter, carrying trays of drinks.

"Why didn't you just get the house elves to bring those up?" Rose asked incredulously as Harry set a dozen butterbeer bottles on the ground in front of the children and took some mulled mead for himself.

"Rose!" Hugo said solemnly. "You musn't promote the enslavement of-"

"Shut up sounding like uncle Percy, Hugo," Rose snapped impatiently. "Mum said herself in that book that it's okay to have hosue elves to help around the house as long as they're free, happy and you pay them, all of which are true about Mitzy and Dobby Junior."

Hugo looked affronted and one of Rose's pawns crushed another of Albus' pieces.

"Kids, please don't argue," a tired voice said, and Hermione entered the room along with Ron, George, Bill and Fleur.

"Aw, mum, you're no fun," Rose said, though she jumped up to hug her mother and father happily as soon as they were near. Victoire greeted her parents warmly and baby Fred slunk in as well, clutching his father's ankles in fright.

"Right, we've got an announcement to make," Harry said, standing up and holding Ginny's hand. Heads turned to look up at him. "I've been offered the position of Minister for Magic, again, which I've turned down, of course. However Ginny and I have agreed to host the Ministry Christmas Ball at our house this year."

An excited hush fell over the children, who had attended the annual Ministry ball in the past and had greatly enjoyed it.

"That means," Ginny said, smiling at them all, "As you all must know, that the house will have to be cleaned up and down and inside out. You're all going to have to help. You should all try to find partners, too. Invite people from school if you want. There's going to be a banquet before the ball and you all need to be in formal dress robes. This ball was started as a tradition to honour Harry and the poeple who died helping him during the second war. Let's all help get ready for it."



Please leave me some feedback. I love to read and answer it


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  #11  
Old August 4th, 2007, 8:35 pm
GinnyRules  Female.gif GinnyRules is offline
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Re: Albus Potter and the Fountain of Youth

I added just a touch of romance in this chapter, but nothing too excessive. They're only elven-twelve-ish, after all. I hope you like it...

Chapter 9:

Albus crouched low in the garden hedges and waited in absolute silence for the gnome to come out of its hole. After several minutes it appeared, its bald head fat like a potato, and tried to make a run for it towards an overturned flowerpot. But Albus was faster. With one swift move he caught the gnome by the the scruff of the neck and began swinging it around and around until he deemed it dizzy enough to let go. The gnome landed about twenty feet away, got up and slowly ambled down the lane without the slightest idea of where he was going, all the while screaming insults Albus had never even heard.

"Good one, Al!"

Lily was standing a few feet away and taking great pleasure in helping Albus de-gnome the garden. Albus, who did not see any point in this excercise as the gnomes were all going to return in a few hours, gave her the thumbs up but decided to take a break. He wandered back into the house to grab some refreshments and met Frank and Nick along the way. They were scrubbing the floor under Hermione's watch and looking very bad-tempered.

"I don't see why we couldn't just do this with magic," Frank told Albus under his breath when his friend sat down and took a brush to help. "It'd take about a second."

"Beacuse you lot can't do magic outside of school yet," Hermione said crossly, overhearing Frank. "And I promised Ginny everyone would help. You've got to do your part."

Nick looked scared that an argument would break out and opted for a change of subject. "So Albus, what exactly is this ball thing anyway?"

"The Ministry throws a party in the form of a formal ball every year in honor of my dad and all the people who died to help him defeat Voldemort," Albus explained. "There are usually lots of speeches and boring dances, although that's up to the host, but the banquet is a lot of fun. You get to meet loads of interesting people, because the host will generally issue an open invitation for anyone in the wizarding community to come."

"Why on Christmas, though?" Nick asked. "Your dad defeated Voldemort in the beginning of the summer!"

"Just the best time for parties, I suppose," Albus said, scratching his head. "If you haven't ever been to a wizarding Christmas party you wouldn't understand, but you'll see. These days..."

At that moment Rose came skipping down the stairs that lead to the entrance Albus and the others were scrubbing. Frank looked up and dropped his sponge, his mouth slightly open. Rose was wearing her new dress robes, bought by her mother especially for the ball. Hermione gave her daughter an uncertain look, as though forseeing an untimely end for the dress. Knowing Rose, Albus himself sensed a certain degree of danger, and sure enough when she arrived at the bottom of the stairs she tripped over a bucket full of water and went flying through the air. She landed three feet away, soaking wet and grimacing with pain but laughing at the same time. Albus had to admire her spirit.

"Well, what do you think?" she asked them, standing up with difficulty and ignoring Hermione's pointed glares. Even with the hem at the bottom of the dress ripped and one side covered in soap suds, the effect was quite nice. Albus did not think he had ever seen his cousin in a dress before, even at weddings. Albus was about to express this tought aloud when he noticed that Frank and Nick were both gaping at Rose stupidly and blinking rapidly. Shaking his head in desperation, he uttered a quick "You look very nice" and changed the subject.

"So do you lot have guests yet?" Albus asked. "Dad said we were supposed to try to bring three people each, including a dance partner."

"Oh that's easy," Rose said casually. "We can all just bring each other. There's four of us, so we'd each be bringing three."

"But we can't all dance with you at the same time!" Albus reasoned with her. "And we'd look like bloody idiots dancing alone or with each other!"

Rose giggled for almost a full minute at this idea before recovering and saying, "Well you boys had better think fast because guests start arriving tomorrow and you're all going to have to invite one of them."

She walked away, whistling merrily, a perfectly ruined dress trailing behind her. Albus had the distinct impression his two friends were still staring.

* * *

Five days of relentless cleaning, scrubbing, polishing and decorating had finally taken its toll on the Potter house, and it was with the impression of being in a stranger's home that Albus woke on the morning of the ball. For one thing, he was sleeping in the living room while an army of guests had taken over his sleeping quarters. The aroma of a hundred different meals also assaulted his nostrils as he got up and got dressed. Albus did not want to leave this room.

Once he had given a resigned sigh and had left the living room to wander the house, it became clear just how many people would be attending this ball, which was to say more than ever before. A cacaphony of the most confusing kind had set in to the Manor, making it impossible to find anyone by any other means than bumping into them in a crowded room or hallway. Three quarters of the Hogwarts students were in attendance with their families or their friends, on top of the already frightening amount of old witches and wizards ambling around trying to get a word in with the famous Harry Potter. Old friends of Harry's from his time at school had also resurfaced, along with a horde of Ministry officials, reporters, foreign wizards and other famous people.

All in all Albus felt invaded by an absurd amount of people, a feeling made worse when he extricated hismelf from the hallway and stepped outside to see the entire garden overrun with small children. They were climbing trees, uprooting flowers, jumping into ponds and generally wreaking havoc. Albus was on the verge of telling them to stop it and go somewhere else when he saw, to his consternation, that Rose was actually playing with them. Her hair was flying all around her face and her robes were liberally streaked with mud. She noticed Albus as Fred climbed onto her back, requesting a pony ride, and ran over to see him.

"Albus!" she said excitedly, "Al, what did the man you saw at the Quidditch game look like?"

"I told you already," Albus said, surprised by this question. "I didn't see his face. He was tall and wearing this old black cloak with a hood that covered his face-"

"I've seen him, I've seen him!" Rose cried triumphantly. "He's here. He passed by just a few minutes before you did!"

Albus gaped at her for a second and then ran off in the opposite direction, looking all over for the mystery person Rose had described. Was it possible?

"Al, where are you going?"

Albus stopped reluctantly and backtracked to join his fahter, who was conversing with a very old witch with a tight bun and a stern demeanor.

"Ah, Mr. Albus Potter," she said, squinting at him over a pair of spectacles. "Harry was just telling me about the spectacular catch you made as the new Gryffindor seeker. I hope you'll continue to make my old house proud."

"Prof- I mean, Minerva McGonagall is my old Headmistress and Transfiguration teacher, Al. She retired just a few years before you started school and Professor Corinth took her place."

"That's great," Albus said distractedly. "Listen, dad, did you see a tall bloke in a black cloak and hood walk by?"

"No, Al, sorry," Harry said, looking intrigued.

Albus ran off again, nodding politely but hurriedly in Minerva McGonagall's direction. As he sped away Albus heard her say, not without a sniff of approval, "He reminds me of you."

Albus' fruitless search for the cloaked stranger offered him something to do all the way until four oclock, when he was forced to admit defeat and retire to his now vacant room in order to get ready. His old dress robes still fit him, so he threw them on without really paying attention and went downstairs again to wait for his friends. His memory, traitor as it was, chose that moment to remind him that he had yet to find a dance partner for the night.

"Oh damn," he whispered. Albus began to pace back and forth in front of the flight of stairs, cursing himself for being such an idiot. What would he look like in front of all those Ministry officials, partnerless and alone while everyone else danced?

"Excuse me, but you're blocking my way," a voice said, bringing Albus back to reality.

"Oh, sorry," he grunted, stepping aside to allow the person to pass. A quick look up revealed this person to be Calliope Armani. Albus was startled into a look which he realized a second too late probably appeared rather rude.

"Well there's no need to get angry!" Calliope said, clearly offended. "I just wanted to get by, and to congratulate you on catching the snitch the other day since I never got the chance."

"I'm not angry," Albus lied, feeling irritated at being taken off guard. Calliope snorted and walked away with her nose in the air, leaving Albus to feel rather stupid, which increased his anger. All things considered, she really was an annoying girl.

Albus felt a hand on his shoulder, announcing the presence of Rose, who was accompanied by Nick and Frank. She had opted for an older but less ripped set of dress robes and had linked arms with Nick, who looked dumbfounded.

"We're going together," Rose told Albus. "It's much simpler, this way we don't have to waste time finding partners."

Frank was eyeing the pair with his eyes narrowed but remained silent, and Albus lead the way into the ballroom, in which at least a hundred small round tables had been set up, each surrounded by floating candles and topped by a shining white tablecloth. Dozens of generously decorated Christmas trees were scattered everywhere, bearing everything from live fairies to tiny golden owls. A humongous crystal chandelier dominated the room from it's spot at the center of the ceiling, and a small stage had been erected in a corner, on which stood the three remaining members of the Weird Sisters.

Sometimes alone, sometimes in large groups or pairs, the rest of the guests filed in and took their seats at various tables. This was, Albus knew, the boring part where everyone caught up with old friends and then listened to speeches for hours on end.

"Excuse me, can I take this seat?"

Remus Weasley, Victoire's youngest sibling who was in his second year at Hogwarts and a Ravenclaw, was pointing at two empty spots next to Albus.

"Yeah sure," Albus said. He had not seen Remus for more than a few minutes at a time for several months due to the fact that they had been sorted into different houses. "How've you been?"

"Great," Remus said brightly. Then, to Albus' horror, he reached into the crowd and brought out none other than Calliope Armani again, saying, "C'mon Callie, I found us a spot."

It was too late ofr her to protest, so Calliope grudgingly took the seat next to Albus and stared pointedly in the opposite direction. This suited Albus just fine, and he turned instead to talk to James and Helen, who had taken the seats next to Rose and Nick.

Then, quite suddenly, Albus saw him. A tall man in a worn black travelling cloak whose face was concealed by a hood was sitting alone at a table on the far end of the ballroom. Albus jumped to his feet, intending to go after him, but just then Harry climbed up onto the stage and requested the assmebly's attention. Albus sat down again only very regretfully. But there would be more time, later on, to pursue the stranger, he was sure of it.

"Hello everyone," Harry said, causing a tidal wave of applause to rise from the crowd. He grinned and raised his hands to silence them. "I'm not going to make any long speeches tonight, because I think it would be a waste of time to put off eating the excellent food prepared for us by the house elves. Let's give them a round of applause, shall we?"

The crowd obliged.

"I hope you enjoy yourselves tonight, and meet some old friends again. I'm only going to ask one thing of you, and that is to take a moment to remember those who died in the fight against Voldemort. I know that most of you, if not all of you, were personally connected to at least one of these people, and that you'll agree with me when I say they more than deserve it."

There was a loud murmur of ascent and the guests raised their glasses in approval. Albus wondered where his father had learned to give speeches like that.

The rest of the speakers after Harry took considerably more time. They talked and talked and made complicated, emotional statements that Albus did not care to listen to. He just wanted the dancing to start so that he could track down the man in the cloak.

Once the last speech was over, Aunt Hermione stood up and waved her wand, causing a number of tables to slide over and clear a large dancing space. The lights were dimmed and the first song began to renewed applause. It was a fast, frenzied song filled with electric guitar and some strange instruments Albus had never seen before. The elusive cloaked man had gotten to his feet and was heading for the door. Albus saw his chance and boudned after him. But just as he was getting close enough to reach for the man's shoulder, he found his way blocked by Remus and Calliope, who were dancing. By the time he was able to look around again, the man had disappeared.

Frustrated beyond belief, Albus sat down and joined Frank in glaring at the dancing couples.



Please leave some feedback, I'd always love to know what you think.


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Last edited by GinnyRules; August 6th, 2007 at 6:34 pm.
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  #12  
Old August 6th, 2007, 4:53 pm
GinnyRules  Female.gif GinnyRules is offline
Fourth Year
 
Joined: 5621 days
Location: Canada
Age: 28
Posts: 647
Re: Albus Potter and the Fountain of Youth

In this chapter you finally find out a bit about the Fountain of Youth! And I'll have you all know that I did some research and that most of the information in there is genuine.

Chapter 10:

"Bloody hell dad, he was right there!"

"Watch your language," Ginny said sharply. Then her tone softened and she looked at Albus fondly. "Look, Al, you can't expect your father and I to keep track of every guest who was there. There must have been hundreds of people, and half of them we barely even knew!"

Albus gave a frustrated sigh and continued pacing back and forth in front of his parents. They were all standing on Platform Nine and Three-Quarters, waiting for the Hogwarts Express to leave and bring them back to school. Albus could see several families waiting in the distance, as well as some students on their own. Teddy and Victoire were standing a little apart from their families and exchanging a less than verbal farewell. A few feet farther still was Scorpius Malfoy, alone and looking rather small. He was clutching something in his hand very tightly, as though he were holding on to it for dear life. Albus felt a small twinge of pity, knowing that the boy was going back to Hogwarts to face more bullying and harrassment.

"Poor bloke," Unlce Ron said. He was looking in the same direction as Albus, but then he turned to face Harry. "You know I heard his father was there yesterday? I didn't see him at all, the git."

Hermione gave Ron a reproachful look while she hugged Rose tightly and made her promise to be good. Hugo attempted to do the same but was dragged away by Lily, who wanted to sneak onto the train.

A loud whistle announced the imminent departure of the bright red steam engine, and Albus made to board it. Before he could drag his trunk all the way, however, he was halted by a hand on his shoulder which turned out to be his dad's. Harry crouched down next to Albus and looked directly into his face, as he had done a few month earlier when Albus had expressed concerns about being sorted into Slytherin.

"I want you to be careful," he said in such a low voice that Albus had to lean forward to understand. "There have been a lot of strange stories circulating at the Ministry lately, not to mention a couple weird disappearances. Hermione doesn't want Rose to know, but we're all guessing it's some old supporter of Voldemort's trying to cause a bit of trouble. We'll have him sorted out soon, but in the meantime I'd rather you didn't... wander too much. Okay?"

Albus nodded, his eyes wide. Judging from his father's expression, Albus guessed that Harry had perhaps deduced a bit more than what had been revealed about the day the snitch had escaped during the Quidditch match.

It was dark by the time the Hogwarts Express stopped to drop the students off at Hogsmead station. Faithful to Aunt Hermione's wishes, Albus had not told Rose about his father's concerns, although he felt his restraint might not hold all that long. There were few people whom he told almost everything to, but Rose was one of them. She seemed, however, completely oblivious to the sense of inexplicable dread that had lain dormant inside Albus since the start of the year and which had now been awoken by Harry's warning. She laughed happily when Nick accidentally pushed her out of the boat during the ride across the lake, and her trusting assumption that all around her was going well made Albus feel compeltely alone.

Albus' mind was far away during the whole of dinner. He did not catch a word of what the people around him were saying and, whilst they all ate with gusto, he found that he had little to no apetite. Rose seemed to notice this and fretted vaguely over the lack of food in Albus' plate for a few minutes before giving up on him and resorting to making comical immitations of the Slytherin prefects to amuse anyone and everyone in the vicinity. The trip back up to Gryffindor tower passed in a blur, and Albus allowed his thoughts of dark wizards and hooded strangers and disappearances carry him off to bed. He was about to drift off into an extremely restless sleep when a strange sound made him look up.

Tap tap tap.

Albus started. Was it that annoying poltergeist again, who seemed to take pleasure in disturbing students in their sleep? A quick look in the direction of the window showed Albus something compeltely different. A majestic looking owl was trying to be let in.

Albus rushed to the window and opened it, allowing the owl to land on his arm. He untied the letter attached to its leg and unfurled it hastily, reading the short message inside with growing uncertainty.

Albus Potter:

You know me, I am Scorpius Malfoy. I want to help you, because you are in GRAVE danger. But you must promise not to reveal to ANYONE that we have communicated. Send this owl back with your answer and I will explain what Goyle wants with you.


It could just as easily be a joke or trap as it could be authentic. Harry's plea to be careful floated through Albus' head, but he pushed it away with only a small pang of guilt. He was not wandering, after all, and he was not about to reveal any crucial information about himself to someone who may or may not be Scorpius Malfoy. All he wanted was to know what Goyle was up to, which was a perfectly reasonable thing to want. Albus scribbled his promise to keep quiet on the back of the letter with a quill he found lying on the ground, sent the owl off with it and waited. If it was indeed Scorpius Malfoy, and he was inside his dormitory where he should be, then it should only take a few minutes.

The seconds crawled by at a snail's pace until Albus spotted an owl speeding towards him in the distacne. His heart leapt into his throat as he unlatched the window and opened it again. This time the letter tied to the owl's leg was considerably longer.

Albus Potter:

Thank you for answering quickly. Now I will tell you what Darius Goyle wants with you. This is VERY important so you must read carefully. You might know of the
Ponce de Léon family, whose members currently live in France, although they have long been extinct in the male line. They are a very old family whose roots date as far back as 1535. My Grandfather used to be a very well connected man who travelled around the world and met important people. He met one of them and gathered much information.

The family originated from Spain, and branched off into many countries. One of their descendants was GELLERT GRINDELWALD. Grindelwald is said to have inherited all the family's old manuscripts while he was imprisoned in Nurmengard. The manuscripts were not confiscated because nobody thought they were dangerous. So Grindelwald had them and he learned about the FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH. This fountain was believed by the Aztecs (an old Muggle tribe) to give eternal youth. Unlike the Philosopher's stone, it does not only make you live forever but makes you young forever.

Grindelwald was killed, supposedly by You-Know-Who, before he could break out and find the fountain, but he had time to write a load of complicated instructions in his will. He made a sort of QUEST to be completed by the person who found the will first, which would lead them to the founatain of youth but also make them continue Grindelwald's work which he had stopped when he was defeated by Albus Dumbledore (you share the same name but I do not know if this is a coincidence).

If the guards had found the will it would have been alright but instead the will fell into the WRONG HANDS. One of the descendants of the family who lived in France discovered that Grindelwald was their relative and so they travelled to Nurmengard and took the will. I am not allowed to know who this person is. However they are now trying to complete Grindelwald's quest. This is the reason for the disappearances that have taken place in recent weeks and it is the reason Goyle is hunting you down. Goyle is this person's ASSOCIATE inside of Hogwarts, because his father was loyal to You-Know-Who so he can be trusted by the dark side.

They are trying to get at your father through you because they know you have the closest connection to Harry Potter and you are easy to attain while you are in Hgowarts. This is why you must DELIVER THE MESSAGE. If Harry Potter discovers the plot that is being made he will perhaps be able to stop it. However I cannot warn Harry Potter myself because of how my entire family is being watched. My father was not loyal to You-Know-Who in the end. You are also being watched to see if you deliver the message, so you must NOT deliver the message by owl. It will be read.

You must tell your father this, it is the MOST IMPORTANT part. Together your family may be able to stop what is being done.


Albus stared at the abrupt end of the letter for several minutes, dumbfoudned.

* * *

Secret plots and letters in the dead of night. Messages and hooded stangers. Albus did not know what to make of any of it. All morning he had sat silently in History of Magic, ignoring Nick's pointed glares and scribbling idly on a loose piece of parchment. If only he could be sure the letter had really come from Scorpius Malfoy. He had been trying to catch Scorpius' eye all class as well, but to no avail. The boy simply stared straight down at his textbook as if transfixed.

Suddenly, a small piece of what Professor Binns was lecturing about caught Albus' attention.

"... many centurie ago that a cave of impressive dimensions had been discovered within the Forbidden Forest. According to legend, this cave was filled with millions of small pink diamonds and cascades of fresh water."

Albus saw three heads snap to attention along with his, as Rose, Frank and Nick caught on. Fighting to resist the soporific power of Binns' voice, they listened to the rest of the tale.

"... been found by Helga Hufflepuff, and she named it Unicorn cavern. This was in accordance to her belief that the cave was a safe haven used by Unicorns in the event of storms or other such events which they found threatening. The water in the cave was, of course pure enough to render her belief credible. However Helga Hufflepuff did not share her discovery with the other three foudners of Hogwarts school, and upon her death the secret of the cave was lost for many years. It was not until much later, while sorting through transcripts of her ancestor's personal journals, that Agatha Smith discovered tales of this legendary cave. It was not, however, found, and to this day its existence remains a question."

Albus raised his hand, startling Professor Binns so much that he nearly sent all his notes flying.

"Yes, Mr. er-"

"Albus Potter, sir," Albus said. "I was just wondering if the approximate location of the-er-Unicorn Cave is known."

Professor Binns cleared his throat, looking most disgruntled by this disruption of his usually uninterupted and rarely listened to lecture. He sorted nervously through his notes and said, "Well, as I have stated, the cave was never found, although it's location was rumored to be near the outermost part of the school grounds. The forest stretches on much farther, which goes without saying, but the grounds only reach a few miles into it. now, let us move on..."

Albus slumped back in his chair, disappointed. He had not really spared much thought for the cave he had discovered during the Quidditch match since the Christmas holidays. Indeed his attention had been mainly focused on the man in the cloak who had bewitched the snitch. Now, however, it occured to him that Binns' description matched it perfectly. Could it be that he had found Helga Hufflepuff's legendary cave?

Albus sighed. Why was it that all these mysteries appeared at the same time?




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Last edited by GinnyRules; August 6th, 2007 at 6:47 pm.
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  #13  
Old August 7th, 2007, 4:16 pm
GinnyRules  Female.gif GinnyRules is offline
Fourth Year
 
Joined: 5621 days
Location: Canada
Age: 28
Posts: 647
Re: Albus Potter and the Fountain of Youth

It's getting more mysterious by the second in this chapter! I hope you enjoy it, and you don't begrudge me too much for leaving you without answers for so long...

Chapter 11:

The end of January was marked by a steady and comforting decrease in snowstorms and freezing weather. Albus continued to correspond with Scorpius Malfoy occasionally through February, although he still had no idea whether or not his new pen pal was an impostor. Every now and then Scorpius dropped hints about the activities of faceless dark wizards while they tried to complete their quest, and in exchange Albus provided him with tips on how to defend himself from Goyle and his cronies. The fact that, in continuing this secret exchange of letters, neither of them were actually doing anything wrong was not quite enough to assuage Albus' conscience, but he had other things to worry about that eclipsed his feelings of guilt. The duelling club meetings had started up again, and Albus' team was scheduled to compete for the first time with the first year Ravenclaws. Much to Albus' displeasure, their group included none other than Calliope Armani.

"I reckon you fancy her," Rose said one night while the two of them were listening to Potterwatch in the Room of Requirement. The look Albus gave her was so fierce that she recoiled and hastily changed the subject. "I was thinking that sometime we should go exploring to try to find that cave Binns mentioned. What do you say?"

"I- No, I don't think we should," Albus said shiftily, wanting to avoid the subject.

"Come on, why not?" Rose asked, looking disappointed.

"Because..." Albus hesitated. He did not see any way to tell her the real reason behind his fear of going, which was Harry's warning, without disobeying Hermione and telling Rose what was going on. Under his cousin's intense gaze, however, he gave in. "Well because my dad said we shouldn't wander."

"Oh please," Rose said, waving his argument away like a faintly annoying mosquito, "We all know your dad did his fair share of wandering in his day. Who's he to tell us not to have a bit of fun?"

"No, it's not- Look, he had a reason, all right?"

"What reason?"

"He... he and your parents think one of Voldemort's old supporters is trying to cause trouble again, and that's what's behind these disappearance we've been having lately," Albus whispered.

"I still don't see why that should stop us," Rose said stubbornly, and Albus sighed. "It's not like Death Eaters are going to storm into the Hogwarts grounds and take us captive, is it? So let's do it anyway."

"No, we can't," Albus said flatly, surprised by the degree of authority he heard in his own voice.

"Why not? If-" Rose began, but Albus cut across her.

"Think for a minute," he exclaimed in a low voice, so that Rose had to lean in, all the while looking frustrated. "We're not kids sitting at home and sneaking into the backyard at night to play anymore. We're talking about real danger here. Death Eaters and maybe even other-" But he stopped short, realizing his mistake a second too late. His temper had gotten the best of him and he had let slip something which he now knew Rose would bug him to the death about if he did not explain everything.

The angry colour that had been rising in Rose's cheeks subsided, replaced by a burning curiosity in her eyes Albus knew did not bode well. She smiled and said, "Maybe even what?"

"It's nothing," Albus lied, suddenly becoming fascinated by his fingernails and refusing to look up at her. He really did not want to betray Scorpius' secret after the latter had helped him so much.

"Oh Albus, you know you're no good at hiding stuff like this from me."

"Fine!" Albus cried, caving in once again. "I've been getting letters from Scorpius Malfoy, and he says..."

He told her everything, from the main points of the letters to the fine details. Her expression changed from skepticism to suprise and finally to concentration as he finished his tale.

"Agua de Vida," she muttered distractedly.

"Sorry?"

"Just something Nick said," Rose explained, and when Albus continued to look enquiringly at her she added, "He was reading a massive book about ancient Muggle cultures, Lord knows why, and he said that was the name the Aztecs had given the Fountain of Youth. Agua de Vida. Apparently the Muggles think it's in Florida, but according to the author it's actually somewhere here in Great Britain!"

"Yeah, but I don't see how that helps," Albus replied. "There's still the problem of the Death Eaters..."

But Rose did not appear to be lsitening. She had adopted a dreamy, far-off look that Albus did not like to see.

"Blimey," she said. "A fountain that'll make you young forever. No wonder this Grindelwald bloke wanted to find it."

"I think you're missing the main point here!" Albus cried, exasperated. "Our parents reckon Death Eaters are stirring up trouble again, I got a letter saying my family's being watched and an old dark lord is trying to get evil wizards to 'finish his work', whatever that means, and you don't find that kind of bad?"

"Grindelwald wanted the same things as Voldemort. Rule the Muggles, purify the wizarding race and conquer death," Rose enumerated. Albus threw his hand into the air.

"But what does it matter?" he asked, trying not to sound angry at her failure to grasp the gravity of the situation.

"I'm just saying," Rose said calmly, "I feel like it all ties in together somehow, but I just don't see where."

She was interrupted by the voice of Lee Jordan, the host of Potterwatch, who said, "Thank you, Ben. And that was our weekly Quidditch report!"

"Oh damn, we missed it," Rose said, disappointed.

Lee Jordan's voice suddenly took on a graver tone as he continued. "Now we have some more serious news to share with you, our listeners. This morning Potterwatch received a request from the man himself, Harry James Potter, asking us to put out a warning to the wizarding community. He wishes us to inform you all that, over the past few months, the Ministry of Magic's Auror office has received several anonymous letters claiming that a 'new order is at hand' and that those who opposed Lord Mouldy-Shorts-" Lee cleared his voice, "Sorry, Lord Voldemort, should 'beware'. Therefore the Auror office asks the wizarding community to be as vigilant as possible.

"Interestingly enough, this warning coincided with the delivery of a letter making much the same claims to us here at Potterwatch. The unnamed author of the letter demanded that we 'cease dishonouring the wizarding name at once' and shut down the station, along with a whole cartload of other rubbish I won't bore you with. If the author of the letter is listening now, we'd like to thank him for the sentiment and tell him to go crawl into a hole somewhere."

The program ended with an old song entitled "You Charmed the Heart Right Out of Me", and Albus and Rose looked at each other uneasily.

Albus' sleep that night was filled with disconnected dreams of letters that turned into his father, who turned into Scorpius Malfoy, who turned into a chocolate frog. By morning he was feeling distinctly unrested and in no way ready for the duelling club meet, which was to take place that day. He attempted to pull his Charms textbook onto his head for a few minutes, after which he tried with his sock, and ambled down to the Great Hall while he was still half asleep.

"Morning," Frank said, yawning and dumping eggs unceremoniously onto his plate. He looked not much less rested that Albus felt.

"How are you feeling? Ready for the big duel?"

Albus looked up to see Giselle, Rose's gossipy roommate, take the seat opposite Frank. He did not answer, but glared instead at Calliope's back. She had entered the Great Hall just a few seconds earlier looking in perfect shape.

"Fine," Rose told Giselle. "We didn't-"

"You know I heard Lyra Coote, from the other team, say she doesn't think you stand a chance," Giselle interrupted, exchanging what she clearly believed to be a conspirator's look with Rose, who appeared revolted. "Personally, I think she's full of herself. I mean, Armani's not bad, but Carlisle is simply terrible at defensive magic and-"

"Yes thank you," Rose said, rather fiercely. Giselle pursed her lips, got up and walked over to where Lyra Coote was sitting, where she proceeded to put an arm around her and whisper something in her ear.

"That girl is like a bloody plague," Rose said. She picked up her things and added, "Are we ready to go then?"

Albus nodded and tried to give Frank and Nick an encouraging look, though from their expressions he had a feeling he failed miserably.

This time when the four friends approached the duelling classroom they found it open and filled with excited students who had come to watch. Albus reflected sadly that he would be missing Defense Against the Dark Arts instead of Charms this time, but decided to try to be more positive. He wanted to win, partly to prove himself and partly to make Calliope look bad.

She and her team climbed on to the podium in the center of the room at the same time as Albus and his team did. She had a look of determination that scared Albus slightly, though he would rather have spent the rest of the year in detention with Filch than admit it. He looked at his team and silently communicated by a few choice looks which spells he thought they should start with.

One by one the team members lined up to face each other, trying to ignore the various cheers and jeers issuing from the crowd. Remus Weasley was there, along with James, Nathaniel, Helen, Victoire, Mark Williamson, Giselle and a multitude of other students. Albus had lined up so that he was directly across from Calliope. Rose was paired up with Bertram Carlisle, Frank with Lyra Coote and Nick with Thadeus Mitchel.

Neville, who had just entered the room and would be supervising the duel, looked at all the players one after the other before crying, "One, two, three!"

"Dimodeo!" Albus bellowed at once, casting a spell that would make his opponent unable to see him. He would simply appear as a diffuse shadow to her. Calliope looked taken off guard, but she retaliated by sending Levicorpus at him. Albus' shield charm came just a second too late, and he found himself hoisted into the air by his ankle while Lyra Coote yelled "Finite!" and freed Calliope from Albus' original jinx. This, however, was a bad move for her. While she was helping her partner and had her back turned, Rose hit her with a petrifying jinx. Meanwhile Bertram Carlisle had cast Impedimenta on Frank, who was struggling to get up, and had turned to face Nick so that the latter was cornered by his own opponent and Frank's all at once. From his position in the air Albus aimed a stunner at Thadeus Mitchel, who produced a shield charm just in time. The curse rebounded off of him and hit Lyra Coote, who had just been un-petrified by Calliope, right in the nose. She keeled over as Bertram dodged a tickling hex from Rose, who was now having to defend herself against two people at once while Albus tried in vain to free himself from the spell that bound him in the air.

At last Frank managed to get up and point his wand in Albus' direction, making him fall in a heap on the floor. Albus was immediately hit by another Impedimenta, this one from Calliope. She then turned towards Rose and, Albus saw in the midst of his own struggle to move and get out his wand, shouted "Tarantellegra!". Rose began a ridiculous but uncontrollable jig which rendered her unable to defend Nick, who was trying to protect himself against Thadeus' constant stunners and failing dismally. Calliope and Frank managed to disarm each other at the exact same moment, and so it was down to Nick and Bertram. It did not take much time for Bertram to disarm Nick, and to stand up, victorious, to the tumultuous applause of his fellow Ravenclaws.

Neville waved his wand and Albus was able to get up, however gingerly, and shake the hands of his opponents. Nick looked ashamed, Frank dejected and Rose angry, but Albus thought they managed to maintain a minimum of dignity as they stepped off the podium. That was, until Frank tripped and fell on the stairs, causing the Slytherins to laugh loudly and unpleasantly. Albus shook his head and walked away to gather his things as quickly as possible. As he was placing his wand in an inner pocket of his robes, he noticed that Calliope's bag was sitting next to his. Sticking out of the top of it was Rita Skeeter's latest book, Kingsley Shacklebolt: King or Kook?. With an irritated sigh Albus removed the book from the bag without thinking and began to look through it. It was really deplorable that peope still read this kind of rubbish.

"All you have to do is ask and you can borrow it," Calliope said from behind him. Albus turned and hastily stuffed the book back into its place.

"I wouldn't recommend reading it, though," she continued, striding over to her bag and tidying up the things inside. "It's all a load of hogswash, if you ask me. That Skeeter woman has no talent whatsoever."

At least they agreed on one thing, Albus reflected. Then, feeling his cheeks turn red as she stared at him, he muttered, "Yeah, er, I've got to go now..."

How did she always manage to make him look like an idiot? It was irritating beyond anything even Rose had managed in the past. But Albus knew he would gain the upper hand once they were on the Quidditch pitch. If everything went as planned and Gryffindor beat Slytherin, while Slytherin beat Hufflepuff, then Gryffindor and Ravenclaw would face each other once again when it came time for the final match of the season. Albus could not wait to see the expression on her face when he waved the Quidditch Cup in the air.

Albus, Rose, Frank and Nick made their way to the Great Hall with their heads down, but their fellow Gryffindors were good enough not to comment on their loss. Albus tried to manage a smile when Victoire told him he had played really well, and was not sure it had been a success.

"Well, that's done," Rose said, feigning indifference. "The good thing is, we'll beat them worse at Quidditch than they beat us today." Albus nodded and was pouring himself some pumkin juice when Nick said, "Someone broke into the Ministry, look!"

Albus nearly choked on his first gulp of pumpkin juice. Nick was pointing at the front page article of the Daily Prophet, which was topped by a large black and white photo depicting scenes of confusion in the Atrium at the Ministry for Magic.

"Whoa, what happened?" Frank asked.

Nick passed the article to Albus, who read it out loud.

"Earlier today, a group of miscreants claiming themselves to be supporters of the Dark Lord entered the Ministry of Magic and tried to force their way into several departments, including the Auror Office and the Department of Mysteries. One member of the group, who appeared to be the leader, also attempted to inflict considerable dammage on the Fountain of Magical Brethren. All members of the group, with the exception of this leader, were captured and identified as foreign. It appears quite a few of them were of French origin. No reason has yet been uncovered as to the justification of these attempted crimes..."

"And it goes on to quote a bunch of people," Albus finished, looking up in astonishment.

"So a bunch of Death Eaters tried to steal stuff from the Ministry?" Frank said, looking bewildered.

"Not necessarily Death Eaters," Rose said. She was looking directly at Albus, who thought he could see, dimly, where she was going. "The article only said 'Supporters of the Dark Lord'."

"Well what other Dark Lord do you expect there to be?" Nick asked incredulously.

But Albus knew what Rose meant. If this group was indeed in support of Grindelwald as opposed to Voldemort, what had they been after?



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  #14  
Old August 8th, 2007, 4:55 pm
GinnyRules  Female.gif GinnyRules is offline
Fourth Year
 
Joined: 5621 days
Location: Canada
Age: 28
Posts: 647
Re: Albus Potter and the Fountain of Youth

Here's another chapter for you! In case anyone gets confused during Ginny's story, I should mention that JKR said in an interview that Ginny had taken up a post as senior Quidditch Correspondant with the Daily Prophet...

Chapter 12:

As the days wore on and February made way for March, Albus tried to put his duelling club loss out of his mind. There were a number of reasons for this, not the least of which was the memory of the triumphant look on Calliope's face, but mainly Albus just had other things on his mind. Encouraged by Ravenclaw's victory over Slytherin and Slytherin's defeat of Hufflepuff, The Gryffindor Quidditch team had acquired an even stronger desire to win the Quidditch Cup. Adrian had upped the number of practices to four a week, and each session seemed to last longer than the previous one. Lessons, particularly Defense Against the Dark Arts, were going quite well, but Albus had to constantly remind himself to stay focused. He lingered on thoughts of Scorpius Malfoy, whose letters were growing fewer and farther in between as Goyle's bullying grew more aggressive. Albus was also always on the lookout for information and answers regarding dark wizards, their attempt to cause trouble at the ministry, and the Fountain of Youth. Where was it, who was looking for it and how could they be stopped?

One windy morning near the end of March, Albus and Rose were engrossed in their usual argument concerning whether they should go find Hufflepuff's Unicorn Cavern in the Gryffindor Common Room, having finished breakfast early, when Frank came stumbling in through the portrait hole, looking quite distressed.

"What's the matter?" Rose asked, eyeing the letter Frank was clutching in his hand with apprehension.

"Came this- this m-morning," Frank said between staggered breaths, clutcing at a stitch in his side. "Letter from h-home. Says your mum- your mum, Albus, she's been- been injured."

Albus snatched the letter from Frank at once, fear clawing at his insides. He nearly ripped the letter in half in the process of unfolding it and Rose, who had gone as white as a ghost herself, had to put her hand on his to calm him down.

The letter was not lengthy. It contained only three sentences, which Albus read through five times fast. His breath caught in his throat as the words scrawled onto the parchment in Aunt Hermione's neat but tear-stained writing sunk in.

Kids. Ginny's in Saint Mungo's and she's rather badly hurt. We're sending someone along to get you, please go to the Headmistress' office now.

Albus fell into a chair, completely unaware of his surroundings. His head was spinning with burning questions and his heart was racing. Was it bad? Was his mum going to be all right? Would she-

Albus slapped himself mentally. Of course she was going to be fine, he would not even allow that thought to enter his mind. Dimly, he registered Rose's insistant tugs at his sleeve as she tried to get him up. Her voice seemed to come from far away, and he had to focus all his attention to hear her say, "... Headmistress' office, Albus, we've got to go right now."

Albus reluctantly rose to his feet and let himself be dragged up to the Head's office. Everything around him felt like a dream. It could not be true, he would not let it be true. How could his dear, infaillable, unbeatable mum have been harmed. And who (white-hot anger rose up in Albus as he thought it) had done it?

A whole host of people were sitting in Proessor Corinth's office, and Albus had trouble taking them all in as the Headmistress let him, along with Rose and Frank, into her circular room, her expression one of the utmost gravity. Victoire and her three younger siblings, Isabelle, Renée and Remus were sitting in a huddle in one corner, while Robyn Weasley stood in the shadows with a few friends. James was also present, although he no longer looked like James at all. His face was stony and he was staring directly at the floor without making a single sound. Nathaniel sat next to him, looking at a complete loss for what to say. Albus floated through the room, glancing here and there but saying nothing, and finally took a seat in the most secluded, darkest spot he could find. Rose joined him and Frank hovered a few feet away, clearly uncomfortable.

A few minustes passed, although they could have been a few years to Albus, and then, quite suddenly, green flames erupted in the fireplace and Luna stepped out. She looked sadder and graver than Albus had ever seen her, and the dreamy look had faded a little from her face. She beckoned the children into the fire and, one after the other, they disappeared with a shout of, "Saint Mungo's!" Albus went last after Frank, who had been allowed to join the family. He grabbed a handful of Floo powder, stepped into the fireplace and shouted his destination without looking back. Only one thing mattered now, and it was finding out if his mother was all right.

The next thing Albus knew he was spinning wildly through the Floo system, catching fragmented glimpses of homes through their fireplaces. At last he came out in the middle of the Saint Mungo's waiting room, coughing and feeling slightly queasy. He stood up at once and, with a quick look around, got his bearings. The rest of the family was now all crowded around Harry, whose face was streaked with tears. Ron and Hermione were at his side, both also crying, and Bill, Fleur, Grandmum and Grandad Weasley, Uncle George and his wife, Uncle Percy, Uncle Charlie and Luna were all there as well. Albus walked straight towards his father, who looked up at him and, with a visible effort, opened hsi mouth to speak.

"She was attacked," he said in a cracked, hoarse voice, and there was a general angry murmur from the assembled family. "While- while leaving her office at the Daily Prophet, she was ambushed by the same group that attacked the Ministry. She fought her way out, but-"

He was unable to go on. Albus felt a conflicting mixture of empathy and impatience. His eagerness to know what had happened, to know every tiny detail, was almost unbearable, as was his fury towards the people who had attacked his mother.

The waiting was agony. In silence they waited as the minutes stretched on and on, seemingly with no end. At one point Neville burst out of the fire and joined their group. Albus could not remember ever feeling worse in his life. Many people around him were crying, including Isabelle, Renée, Robyn and Lily, whom Albus had not noticed at first. Albus' stomach rumbled with hunger after a little while, but he ignored it compeltely. Then, at long last, a friendly looking healer Albus thought he might have seen before burst into the room and adressed Harry with a smile. Albus' heart leapt at once.

"She's going to be just fine!" the healer exclaimed, beaming at them all. "She'll make a full recovery in no time. She's tough, that woman."

Harry stood up and hugged his children. Ron gave a shaky laugh and Hermione sighed with relief. Albus felt lightheaded. He had not realized how much dread had filled him before it left him, and he now felt like a soap bubble that had popped. All the tension, all the uncertainty that had gnawed at him, making him feel almost sick, was erased and forgotten. Harry strode over to the healer and shook her hand, beaming.

"Thank you so much, Alicia," he said, hugging her. The healer looked taken aback but after a second she laughed and said, "You can see her if you want."

Albus sprang to his feet and looked questioningly at his father, who nodded and lead the way to Ginny's ward. It was a dark sort of place, filled with sick and mourning people, but the presence of almost the entire Weasley and Potter family brightened the place up considerably. The moment he caught sight of his mother Albus sprinted in her direction, eager to make quite sure she was indeed fine.

Ginny looked very weak, but she offered Albus a radiant smile when she saw him and remained relatively alert throughout everyone's condolences and concerned hugs. Her face had a greenish tint that Albus did not like to see, and she had sustained several deep gashes on her arms and her right cheek. Part of her hair appeared to have been burned, and a large section of her robes had been torn off. It made Albus feel like screaming.

"So what happened mum?" James asked in a low voice. The relief in his strained tone was evident, as was the anger.

Ginny's face darkened, but she launched into a tale that made Albus' blood run cold.

"As you know I was leaving my office. It was a little later than usual, because everyone was in such an uproar about the Felix Felicis scandal with the Canons, but I didn't think... Well anyway, I was walking around the corner to the point where I would be able to apparate, and all of a sudden I heard footsteps behind me so I- I walked faster. There was really nothing else I could do. And then half a dozen people jumped out from the bushes and blocked my way. I couldn't see who they were, they were wearing masks. I tried to run, but they were faster, so I had to defend myself. But there were so many of them, you know. Anyway, I managed to stun two of them but the others were closing in so I summoned my broomstick all the way from home. It took almost five minutes to come, and in the meantime they had all started to- to torture me and one of them was saying something about a message. I couldn't really understand..."

Albus felt as though he had been doused in cold water. Rose had been right, it was all connected somehow. The time to act had come. He would not have people attacking his family.

"Dad, can I talk to you for a second, er," Albus pointed towards a shadowy corner, "Over there?"

Harry gave Albus a confused but intrigued look and, with one last squeeze of his wife's hand he followed his son into the darkness.

"Dad, there's something I- I should have told you a long time ago, only I didn't think it was important and I didn't want to worry you."

Albus paused, afraid to go on, but Harry gave him an encouraging look and he took a deep breath.

"At school there are these Slytherin blockheads who are always pushing everyone around. They attacked Scorpius Malfoy on the train. Then one day they came and told me-"

"Did they hurt you?" Harry interrupted sharply. There was a dangerous edge in his voice that Albus had never heard there before.

"No- Well, not really," Albus said shiftily. "Anyway, the point is they... Well Goyle, the boy's name is Goyle, he said he wanted me to deliver a message to you, but he wouldn't say who it was from."

"What was the message?" Harry asked, his voice barely more than a whisper.

"Enemies of the heir, beware."

There was a long, dreadful silence in which something in Harry's eyes seemed to change and he looked furtively over at Ginny. His breathing had intensified so that Albus could hear it, and his jaw was set.

"But dad there's more," Albus said tentatively, and Harry made a jerky move of the head as though he had been roused from a deep and uneasy sleep. "After that I started to get letters in the middle of the night from Scorpius Malfoy-or at least someone who said they were him- and the letters said..."

"Yes?" Harry prompted him.

"The letters talked about Grindelwald, and that he had left a quest in his will so that poeple would finish his work and find something called the Fountain of Youth."

Albus waited, but instead of providing him with appeasing answers and making him feel better, as Albus had expected him to, Harry thanked his son and then hurried off in the opposite direction.

"Wait, where are you going?" Albus cried.

"To talk to Hermione," Harry replied over his shoulder.

* * *

During the few days it took Ginny to recover, the family was nearly always in Saint Mungo's. Occasionally they drifted off to their houses through the floo network to get a couple of hours of sleep in, or to get a change of clothes, but for the most part they stayed at her side. Albus in particular refused to desert his mother, and had everything from his food to his toothbrush brought to him while he sat next to her and attempted to keep her cheered up at all times. He felt, somehow, that he was responsible for her predicament. If he had delivered the message earlier, would she even have been attacked? This thought always made Albus' stomach twist into a painful knot which would not go away for hours.

It was decided among the adults (and the decision was strongly encouraged by Rose, who did not think herself above bribery and took every occasion to bring parents, aunts and uncles over to her side) that, given how near they were to the Easter Holidays, there would be no point in sending the children back to Hogwarts for such a short time. Therefore about a week before Easter break began, the entire family set off for Potter Manor in order to prepare for Hagrid's party. The half-giant would be arriving about a week later with his wife and his newborn son.

On the morning after his arrival at Potter Manor, Albus got up unusually early and made his way downstairs. His head had never been so filled with thoughts and ideas, some good and some bad. He had not given up on finding the cloaked man, but now a new desire, one to find his mother's attackers and make them pay, had been born inside him. He was also eager to see Hagrid's baby and to spend a few minutes alone with his father in order to finally understand what was going on with the Fountain of Youth.

Mindful not to wake anyone, Albus crept through the hallway towards the kitchen with vague plans to make bacon formulating in his mind. When he reached the kitchen door, however, he heard hushed voices that sounded suspiciously like his parents'.

"... talked to Hermione. She says this whole Foutnain of Youth business is legitimate. According to her, the real fountain isn't in Florida, it's somewhere here, in Great Britain," Harry was telling Ginny.

"So you think," Ginny began, "That these dark wizards we've been having trouble with are trying to find this Fountain of Youth?"

"Yeah," Harry agreed. "Maybe they were trying to find, I dunno, information on it when they tried to break into the Department of Mysteries."

"That still doesn't explain the whole Grindelwald thing," Ginny reminded him.

"Well we don't even know if this is the real Scorpius Malfoy who's been sending Albus letters. He could be working for the enemy and trying to lay a false trail..."

Albus had heard enough. With an unnecessary amount of noise he opened the door and walked in, rubbing his eyes and pretending he had just arrived. Harry and Ginny stopped talking at once.

"Morning," Albus said loftily, opening the fridge and reaching in to find orange juice.

"What are you doing up so early?" Albus' mother asked, looking surprised.

"Oh I, er, just wanted to send an owl to Nick," Albus invented. "Make sure he knows what happened and that we're all right, you know."

"I thought Frank did that three days ago!" Ginny insisted.

"Yeah, well, it never hurts to be sure," Albus said. He could feel his cheeks burning and hastened to finish pouring his orange juice so he could head for the door again. "Owls get lost sometimes, or attacked or whatever." And he ran out of the kitchen, throwing himself into the hallway, where he promptly ran into Rose and spilt half his juice down his front.

"You need to work on your deception tactics," she said with an ill-disguised giggle.

"Rose! That was not funny," Albus said sternly. "They're trying to hid stuff from us and now they know we know."

"Interesting," Rose said. "Now watch this."

She suddenly adopted a tired, grumpy expression, complete with droopy eyelids and rumpled hair. Then she approached the kitchen, opened the door and slunk in, calling, "Quit being so bloody noisy, will you Al?"

To his consternation, Albus heard his father's voice say, "Morning Rose. Would you like some bacon?"

"No thanks," Rose said in a perfect immitation of grogginess. "Not hungry. I had a nightmare, so I couldn't sleep."

"Oh no, what was it about?" Ginny asked in concern.

There was a pause, and when Albus risked a look through the crack in the door he saw Rose looking at the floor, pretending to be embarassed.

"Well..." Rose began, looking up. "I was just sort of afraid, you know, about everything that's happened. I mean," she added, and there was a new hopefullness in her voice that seemed so genuine Albus almost burst out laughing, "It's all so confusing, isn't it?"

Harry and Ginny looked at each other, and something seemed to pass between them that Albus could not quite decipher.

"I guess it was a nightmare about all of the strange things that have happened this year. If I at least knew what was going on I might feel better, but..." she trailed off delicately.

"I see," Harry said. Then he stood up and, to Albus' surprise, a grin appeared on his face. "So if I checked behind that door, I wouldn't find Albus waiting and listening, would I?"

Rose seemed to loose all her momentum at once. "I- no, it's- I mean," she spluttered.

Albus flattened himself against the wall, but it was too late. His father had reached the door and, pulling it back, revealed Albus' guilty face.

"Nice try," Harry said. "Now go back to bed, both of you."



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