NEW CHAPTER is posted below, but first:
I was recently uploading files to a new computer, and I found my old drafts for this story. Touched by nostalgia, and curious about whether anyone was still reading this story-I haven't written fan fiction since 2008, and reviews and messages still went to my old .edu college email address-I went back on this website and found out that, wow, people still are.
Basically, why I'm here today: there were four additional chapters that I had written in "Hogwarts 2024," but never got around to publishing on here. I last updated this story on July 18, 2009, and it's more than five years later-August 20, 2014-but I figured I'd do so now.
Over the next few weeks, I'll upload them one at a time, and then cap off this series with the notes I wrote back in 2008 on plot points for Years 6 and 7-how the story ultimately ends. Not as good as the real thing-I don't plan on restarting this story-but will at least take the narrative arc full circle.
I also wanted to thank all of you for the kind words, wonderful encouragement, and great reviews over the years.
But anyway, without further ado, five years later, here's the next chapter of "Hogwarts 2024":
Hogwarts, Class of 2024
It was the first Friday in November, and the Quidditch pitch was empty—James and Marina weren't there, even though the rest of the Gryffindor team was, sitting in the stands in silence, looking over towards the castle every few minutes to see if their captain was coming. Their first game was less than eighteen hours away, on Saturday morning.
And then, there they were, coming down the hill dressed in their school uniforms still, holding hands and giggling at each other.
"Where were you guys?" Albus called, as they came into earshot.
"We were a little busy," James hollered back, still laughing, as he kissed Marina on the cheek, and they stumbled down the hill towards the pitch.
"You're forty minutes late," Albus scolded, hopping down the stands. "What the hell were you doing?"
James pointed at Marina. "Her." She suddenly stopped her incessant giggling, looked embarrassed, and then burrowed her head into James's shoulder. He grinned at her, still laughing heartily.
"Relax, baby brother," he replied, tousling Albus's hair gingerly. "I'm here now, and the sun doesn't set for hours. We've got plenty of time; we'll be fine."
They weren't. Marina Bruxaria was not working out. Everyone knew it, and soon even James did. She wasn't bad or anything—but she was no Ogden, the beater from last year that she had replaced. Edgecombe was touchy, a little bitter that he had to work quite a bit harder than when he was paired with Ogden.
"She needs a little more work," James told to Albus, his voice wrought with nervousness, as they watched from the sidelines as she and Ogden practiced hitting bludgers. "She'll be all right—we only have to play Hufflepuff on Saturday, anyway. They'll be a pushover."
"And what about when we hit Ravenclaw?" Albus asked. "They're supposed to be the team to beat."
"We hit Ravenclaw last," James answered. "That's not until March. Do you know how good she could get by March?" He shrugged. "Remember when you told me you were going to try out last year? And I had to keep from laughing?"
"That's different," Albus said. "You only thought I was bad. It turned out I was pretty damn good." He motioned towards Marina, who took a hearty swing but decisively missed the bludger. "But her? Not so much. It's November. She's not going to get much better."
"You are pretty damn good," James said. "But you need to get a sense of humor."
Albus said nothing; he just continued to watch Marina, until James finally called them in and let everyone go home. James and Marina went off to the lockers—and everyone else avoided the locker room as a result, choosing instead to walk up the hill still wearing their Quidditch robes.
At the top of the hill, Albus could see a person standing there—and she saw them too, and began walking down to meet them. It was Cassie.
"Albus, I want to talk to you," she said slowly, as she met them.
Albus quickly excused himself from his teammates. They continued, and he watched them go, and waited until they were barely visible until he finally turned to Cassie.
"What," he muttered plainly.
"I wanted to talk to you," she replied. "I—I hadn't seen you around. And I wanted to talk to you, you know? Like we used to. I miss that."
"Scorpius would be pissed if he saw you talking to me," Albus replied monotonously. "Why don't you go and find him?"
"You're still on that—oh, Albus! He's my brother. What if you had to pick between me or James? He's family, Al—and we'd only been dating six months."
"You said you loved me," he replied. "I thought that meant something, too. But I guess not."
"It did mean something," she said. "I told you not to tell him—and what did you do? You told him. I told you he'd act that way—why couldn't you just listen? We'd be able to tell him eventually—just, oh I don't know. It doesn't matter now, does it? Now, who even cares? We're broken up."
"We are," Albus replied. "And I'm still wondering why the hell you wanted to talk to me."
"I wanted to see if we were okay," she said. "But I guess we're not."
"No, of course we're not."
"I thought we could be friends."
"I don't want to be your friend," he replied. "I want to be your boyfriend." He paused. "Wanted, I mean. I don't want to be anymore."
"Why? Do you want me back?"
"No," she said. "I mean, I'm—I'm seeing someone else."
"Does Scorpius know?"
"Of course not." She grinned a bit ironically. "You've seen how he is."
"First hand," he replied. He sighed. "I think you should go, Cassie."
She looked at him, then nodded. Without another word, she turned around and walked back up the hill. Albus watched her go, and once she was out of sight, he fell to the ground, sitting with his arms wrapped around his knees, telling himself that he should stay stoic, and that he shouldn't cry. What they had was over—it was fine. Time to move on; Teddy was right. That was the closure he needed, and now he just needed another girl.
Another one came over the hill at that very moment—Marina, holding two broomsticks in her outstretched arms.
"Albus!" she called, picking up speed as she saw him. "You left your broom."
He was suddenly aware he wasn't holding one. "Thanks." He looked behind her. "Where's James?"
"He ran into Professor Longbottom," she said. "They had to talk about the Hufflepuff game." She grinned rather attractively, and winked. "And I didn't want to wait. But he told me to bring your broom up—so I did."
"Thank you for that," Albus said again.
"How do you think I did?" she suddenly asked. "James said I did great—but the fact that I shagged him before we came down to the pitch might have had something to do with it."
"How do you think you did?"
She shook her head, avoided the question. "I want to know what you think. You'll be honest, won't you?"
He said nothing, he fiddled with the handle of his broomstick, tossing it back and forth between his two hands. "There's—there's always room for improvement, I guess."
"I figured," she said slowly. "I can be better; I'm just out of practice." She grinned. "At least I'm hot."
"You are," he replied. "James knows how to pick them."
"I picked him," she said. "I was watching him before he came over to me. I was giving him the eyes."
"The flirty eyes." She stood on her toes, and leaned into Albus's face, then demonstrated. "Hard to resist those, isn't it?"
"I'm a ten, aren't I?"
He looked at her, a bit quizzically, but she didn't wait for a response, just kept talking.
"You look just like James," she continued, "except you have nicer eyes. And you're skinnier." She gripped his bicep, squeezed it once, and then added, "You should really work out with him. You could be an eight like him, if you tried."
He pulled his arm away. "Gee—thanks."
"I didn't mean it like that," she said. "I think you're cute. Just like your brother." She looked over at the hill. "So that's your girlfriend?"
"Sorry," she said. "What happened?" He raised his eyebrows, and she turned a little red. "Sorry. Forget I asked. I'm awfully inappropriate"
She motioned back up towards the castle. "Want to walk back?"
"All right," he said. They began to walk, in silence, until Albus asked, "So—how are things with James?"
"They're okay," she said. "He has limited interests though."
"Like Quidditch," she said, "And joking around. And sex. My ex-boyfriend, back in Brazil—he was the son of the English ambassador, and he loved to talk. About politics, and art, and life—about everything. It was wonderful."
"It sounds it. Why break up with him at all?"
"Things didn't work out." She grinned. "But that's not the point." She paused, stopping to study Albus's expression. "Oh—no, don't get me wrong, James is great."
"He is. And he likes you a lot."
"Yeah, he's great." She paused. "Have you ever heard of Henrique Pintor?"
Albus thought for a minute. "Brazilian painter, right?"
She looked extremely excited; she grabbed his arm, spun him towards her, and said, "Yes! I can't believe you know that-no one I've talked to here did. He's one of my favorites, and there's a special exhibition of his work at the Hogsmeade Museum, and I wanted James to take me, but he has detention tonight. And I asked him if he knew how I could sneak into Hogsmeade for the night, and he told me that you'd probably know. Something about you having a map of school, and an invisibility cloak?"
Ah. The real reason why she wanted to talk to him. He didn't say anything for a few seconds; he just looked down at the grass. And then he shrugged, said, "Yeah, I guess I could help you. I've snuck off campus loads of times."
"Not your first time sneaking off campus," she replied. "I misjudged you. I thought you'd be some stickler for the rules and all."
"Because I'm a geek."
She opened her mouth, then closed it, and then grinned uncomfortably, and said, "Not a geek. I wouldn't say that. You're just more uptight than James." The conversation effectively died there, and both of them kept walking. They were almost at the castle when she stopped walking, turned to him, and said, "You'll come with me tonight, won't you? To the exhibition?"
He had a paper due the next day-twenty inches on the Bubble-Head Charm—but he couldn't resist her affectionate smile, so he just grinned goofily and let out an uncomfortable sort of giggle—what the hell are you doing, Albus? he scolded himself silently-and then he nodded, and said, "Sure. It's not like I'm doing anything."
"It's one of the biggest exhibitions of the year. Everyone who's anyone will be there. You'll love it."
"I—I think I'm already starting to."
"You seem deep." And she turned to look at him—and Albus suddenly recognized those eyes.
"Don't," he said slowly, raising a finger up towards her face, as if that would stop her gaze. It didn't, so he put it back down to his side. "I mean—you're flirting with me, aren't you?"
She looked at him for a bit, studying his face. "You do look just like him. It's uncanny."
He grinned. "Don't get any ideas."
"Oh, I won't," she said. "You look like him, but you're so different, really. Same hair, same nose-different eyes, of course, but the same mouth, the same lips. I don't know why they call him the 'Hotter Potter.'"
Albus frowned. "I didn't know they called him that.
She grinned. "It's probably because he's a better kisser though. Do you think he's a better kisser?"
"I don't doubt it," Albus said. "He's kissed—well, a lot of women."
"You must have too, though."
"Just one?" she repeated. "Not—not that girl I just saw."
"And you still like her, don't you?"
He shook his head.
"You do!" she accused. "You so do, Albus."
"It's complicated," he replied. "Why don't we get back to the castle?"
Brendan bit his fingernail. "The full moon's on Saturday," he said suddenly.
Rose closed her book. "You've been taking—you know. Right?"
He shuddered. "Yeah. It's awful." He bit his fingernail again. "I guess I'm lucky, though. To have it in the first place." He paused. "Hey, do you want to go to Hogsmeade this weekend?"
"We go to Hogsmeade every weekend."
"On a date, maybe."
"You're asking me out on a date."
There were several seconds of silence.
"Yeah," he said. "Yeah, I guess so."
There was more silence.
"Wow," she said. "Brendan, I never knew—I never knew you felt like that."
"I did," he said. "I have." He was turning red. "You don't have to say yes, or anything. I probably shouldn't have said anything—forget it."
"It's okay," he said. "I mean, you're going to say no, right?"
She didn't say anything. "I'm going through a lot right now. A lot a lot."
"You mean about Katie?"
Rose sighed. "She's part of it. She's a big part of it, I guess. I just feel really alone a lot now, you know? It's kind of sad—I know I have you, and Al, and Oliver, and everyone, but it's just not the same. To see her like that—I don't know." She shrugged. "I don't want to talk about it, really."
"Well," he said. "I'm here if you do."
She grinned at him. "I know you are, Bren. And I appreciate it—I just don't want a boyfriend right now."
"No hard feelings," he slowly replied. "No—none at all."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, I'm sure." He paused. "Is it me? Like, if someone else asked you out would you say yes?" He paused again, scratched his nose. "I mean, someone like Oliver?"
She felt her face turning red, herself averting his piercing gaze. "It would be a no to anyone," she said slowly.
"You're getting lemon water," Neville said, as Teddy got a pair of drinks from the bar at the Three Broomsticks. "I have to say, Ted, I'm proud of you."
"As you should be," Teddy replied, sipping his water, then handing Neville a firewhisky. "I've been sober for three hundred and four days, and it's going to stay that way."
"Changed man," Neville said. "That's good for you. You and Gabrielle both have your problems—and you're both solving them." He paused. "She's solving it, right?"
Teddy nodded. "Slowly but surely. She knows that it's not me—it wasn't me that night, you know? That sex is different when it's between us, when we're in love. It took a few times—it was weird at first, but I think she's okay now."
"I'll say," Neville said. "The pictures fall off my wall every night at nine." He paused. "And then again at eleven. Awfully thin for castle walls, aren't they?"
Teddy smiled, looked away. "Damn, lunch is taking awfully long though, isn't it?"
"New management," Neville replied lazily. "The Rosmertas sold it last month-hell, I thought you would've known that."
"My extensive bar knowledge has slipped in the last year or so," Teddy answered, sipping his water again. "Who'd they sell it to?"
"A big corporation bought it out," Neville said. "The same one that owns the Leaky Cauldron now. They sent Hannah Abbott to run the bar-I went to school with her." He shuddered a bit. "Her bosses want to franchise. A Three Broomsticks on every block."
The kitchen door swung open, and a rather perturbed barmaid in rather tight robes came out of the kitchen holding a tray, with Hannah Abbott hovering over her shoulder, whispering directions into the barmaid's ear.
"We have a Grindylow caesar with Gillyweed vinaigrette, and a dragon-and-swiss on rye, no crust," the barmaid said boredly, plopping down the plates in front of Teddy and Neville, respectively, and then she scurried away to take the order for another table.
Hannah Abbott pushed a smile onto her face and said, "Is everything tasting okay, gentlemen?" She looked at them a little closer. "Neville Longbottom?" She grinned. "Dragon-and-swiss, rye, no crust. I should've known."
He grinned back. "Congratulations on the bar, Hannah."
"It's all part of the business model," she answered, rather factually. "Unfortunately, I'm stuck out here, and I don't know anyone in the town." She gave a bit of a sly smile, then said, "Would you like to get together for tea or something?"
"I'll—I'll have to check my schedule," Neville said, turning red. And she gave him a smile as she left—then Neville turned back to his sandwich, diverting his eyes from Teddy's. "I know what you're going to say—"
"Really," Teddy deadpanned. "So why don't you just ask her out, and I won't have to say anything?"
"It's—too soon," Neville replied. "I'm sorry. I have to go; I have a class in an hour." He stood up, leaving his sandwich untouched, and quickly stumbled out of the bar, knocking over a few chairs as he went.
The door closed, and Hannah Abbott came immediately back to Teddy's table. "Say—is everything okay with him?"
"He's just nervous," Teddy replied. "But—he wanted me to tell you that he'd love to have dinner with you tonight, if you're available."
She smiled a bit, nodded, and said, "That sounds good. I have a work thing at nine, though—he could come along, if you think he wouldn't mind."
"He'd go just about anywhere with you, I think."
"Perfect," she said. "I'll come up to Hogwarts at around seven, then."