Chapter 22

Rose's POV

Rose was initially pissed that Scorpius had tied with her on their final grades, but after breakfast, she realized she was happy for him. Albus had disappeared, so Rose went with Scorpius, Alice, and Beatrice to the courtyard to play games for the rest of the morning. Rose was enjoying these last few hours with her friends before they would leave Hogwarts for two months.

Beatrice was telling them how she was excited for her performance at the Leaving Feast tonight. She had joined the Hogwarts Choir at the beginning of the year, and they would be finally be performing songs they'd been practicing since Christmas. Rose loved hearing the choir; sometimes, she would sit in the back of the rehearsal room just to listen. She didn't want to join, though, she felt that her singing voice sounded like a frog. Often, she caught Scorpius humming and singing something under his breath and told him he should join the choir, but he always said he was too busy with studying or flying practice. She felt that he probably just didn't want to be called weird by other students that were already looking for ways to make fun of him, so she didn't say any more about it.

The day passed quickly as more of their friends joined them from rounds of Exploding Snap and Wizarding Chess. Before Rose knew it, it was time to head back into the castle and make their way to the Great Hall. Beatrice was elated and rushed ahead of them to join her choir friends in the rehearsal room to get ready.

The Great Hall was fully packed this evening. Rose and Scorpius went to find empty seats at the Ravenclaw table.

"Do you see Al?" Rose asked Scorpius.

"I don't see him yet - I wonder where he's been all day," Scorpius said, looking perplexed.

They found two seats next to each other and sat down. Just then, the choir entered through the massive oak door singing. The hall quieted and turned towards the enchanting sound of music. When the choir made it to the front of the hall, they turned to face all the students and finished the song. Everyone in the hall burst out in applause. The choir began their second song.

After the performance, Beatrice ran over to the Ravenclaw table and was greeted with smiles, small hugs, and words of congratulations. Rose waved to her, and Beatrice made her way over. Another student scooted down the bench to make room for her next to Rose.

"Bee, that was brilliant!" exclaimed Rose.

"It was like everyone was under a spell," added Scorpius with a crooked grin.

"You both should join next year, it's even more fun to be in the middle of the music," insisted Beatrice. "Anyone can join, no audition required!"

They heard tapping from the front of the room. Headmistress McGonagall was standing up to make a speech.

"First of all, I would like to thank the Hogwarts Choir for sharing their beautiful voices with us this year. I am forever grateful that this club has become an integral part of Hogwarts since Professor Flitwick, may he rest in peace, founded it twenty-odd years ago. As the former Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore said on many an occasion that, 'Music is magic beyond all we do here.' Let's give another round of applause to the choir. And we want to give a special acknowledgment to the graduating Seventh-Years, and we wish you all the best of luck as you enter the workforce and start your adult lives...Now this year has been a good year for all of the houses. I want to congratulate Gryffindor on winning the Quidditch Cup this year." McGonagall looked smug for a moment before continuing with her speech.

"However, when it comes to the House Cup, the results were extremely close this year. Gryffindor received many points for winning the cup, but Hufflepuff was able to find points in numerous other ways. So let us congratulate Hufflepuff on winning the House Cup!" McGonagall called her hands together once, and the banners above all of the table turned yellow and black.

Rose smiled and looked for Alice. She saw her friend standing up on the bench arm in arm with her friends to either side. Rose was hoping Ravenclaw would win, but Gryffindor and Hufflepuff had been winning most of their quidditch matches. She was hopeful that Ravenclaw would win more quidditch games with Scorpius on the team next year (if he made it on the team, that is).

As Rose was prone to deep thought and reflection, she took in the scene before her. Her friends surrounded her, there was amazing food magically appearing before them, everyone was happy. Scorpius said something, and she snapped out of her daydream.

Scorpius was pointing to Albus. Al was walking towards them.

"There you are!" said Scorpius.

"We were wondering where you've been all day," exclaimed Rose.

"It's a long story," said Albus. "Meet me outside the Great Hall by the bottom of the stair after the feast. I have to go back to the Slytherin table. My housemates told me to come back."

Albus turned about, went back to his spot at the other end of the Slytherin table, and sat by his other friends.

"I wonder what he got up to today," mused Rose.

"There's no telling at this point," said Scorpius.

After they finished eating and McGonagall had bid everyone goodnight and a safe journey home, Rose and Scorpius got up and filed out of the Great Hall in search of Albus. They spotted him by the stairs and ran over to him.

"Al, where were you today after breakfast?" asked Rose. "You kind of disappeared."

"We need to find a quieter spot," said Albus. "There a nook off of the second-floor corridor that I noticed earlier today, it's close."

They took off up the stairs. When they reached the nook, Albus launched into his conversation with his cousin Joseph Durley (Scorpius wanted to know why Albus never mentioned him) and told them about his connection with the Giant Squid. Albus was scared that they would think he was a freak for feeling like he could understand the Giant Squid.

"I've seen the squid be friendly before with students, but I've never heard if it communicating with anyone before," stated Rose.

"I don't think you're a freak," added Scorpius. "But it is a strange situation. You know?"

"Have you talked to your dad about it?" asked Rose.

"No! Don't tell him. Don't tell anyone," said Albus.

"He might be the only one who could understand what you're feeling, though…" added Rose.

"What do you mean?" asked Scorpius.

"My uncle can speak with snakes," Rose said plainly. Albus inhaled sharply, looking angry.

"Oh, wow," said Scorpius, sounding stunned. "He a true parseltongue?"

"Yes…" admitted Albus.

"Maybe that why you have this connection with the squid! What do they call people who can speak with squids?" Scorpius asked. Rose could see the wheels turning in

Scorpius's brain; having this new idea spark his imagination and curiosity.

"Just forget about it for right now, I almost got into serious trouble with Professor Longbottom," said Albus.

"Okay," said Rose, sensing Albus was upset about what had happened today.

Suddenly, they heard footsteps approaching. They froze. It was too late to run. Without warning, a light emanating from a wand was shining in their faces.

"You three should be on your way to your common rooms. You can talk on the train back to King's Cross Station in the morning," came the voice of Professor Patil. "Up, up! Get on your way."

"Sorry, Professor," said Rose, hanging her head down and she walked past her Head of House.

"Sorry," muttered Scorpius and Albus.

They agreed to meet again in the Great Hall first thing in the morning, and Rose and Scorpius said goodnight to Albus as he turned towards the dungeons.

Rose was sad when she woke up. Two months away would feel way longer than two weeks. She slowly packed her belongings, then went down into the common room. Scorpius was there with his friend Magnus.

"Hi Magnus, Hi Scorp," said Rose, yawning. "Are you ready for breakfast?"

"You two go on without me," said Magnus. "I'm not hungry yet. And I am supposed to meet some friends in a little while."

Rose and Scorpius went and had breakfast with Albus, Alice, and Frankie. They talked of the amazing first year that they'd shared at Hogwarts and imagined what Year

Two would be like when they got back. Rose and Albus made a bet on which house Hugo and Lily would get into. Albus thought they'd both go into Gryffindor like the rest of the family, but Rose thought that they would be sorted into other houses. Which ones, she couldn't guess, but not Gryffindor.

Before they knew it, the Heads of Houses and prefects were shepherding the students out of the castle and onto the Hogwarts Express. Rose, Albus, and Scorpius found an empty compartment and claimed it. James passed by, then doubled back to join them.

"The train seems extra full, I'm going to sit with you lot," declared James. Albus huffed but didn't argue. Not long after, Fred and Roxanne saw them and opened the door to let themselves in too.

These Gryffindors entertained everyone for the rest of the journey home. As the train slowed, Roxanne and Fred got up.

"We're going to find some friends to say goodbye," announced Roxanne. "See ya losers later!"

James got up and took his leave as well.

"Will you write to me?" Rose asked Scorpius.

"Of course! I will tell you all about how boring my summer will be," said Scorpius.

"You'll have fun a the England vs. Ireland quidditch match!" exclaimed Albus. "And I might be going with you too, so that will be extra fun."

Rose decided she would hug Scorpius. She leaned over and put her arms around his chest. Rose could tell she surprised him, but he hugged her back. The Albus joined in the hug and said he was going to miss everyone. Scorpius laughed. They broke apart and left the train to meet their parents.

End of Book 1