Where we are so far...
Chapter One: Albus takes a walk in Diagon and finds out something about his wand.
Chapter Two: Albus overhears a meeting and finally tells his dad what has been going on.
Chapter Three: Albus meets the cousin no one talks about.
Chapter Four: Scorpius's birthday party, and the beginning of trouble in the trio.
Chapter Five: Trip to Hogwart's and meeting the new DADA professor.
Chapter Six: The Sorting, new professors and the first prank against Hufflepuff.
Chapter Seven: Albus has one of the worst first days in history!
Chapter Eight: Conversation with Orion, Kublai takes a stroll and the second big prank against Hufflepuff.
Chapter Nine: Scorpius lives up to his nickname and Dom gets hurt.
Chapter Ten: Scorpius gets suspended for one game, Albus finally gives him his birthday present and gets some unwelcome news!
Chapter Eleven: A midnight conversation and a new friend.
Chapter Twelve: Sometimes the help is worse than the challenge, Albus decides on a plan.
Chapter Thirteen: Quidditch flying against James, the final straw between brothers, and the hole in the orchard.*
Chapter Fourteen: While coming to grips about the revelations of the day, Albus is informed of a theft and the truth about Gryffindor.
Chapter Fifteen: A plan for a new broom, a conversation with Professor Flint, brotherly advice from JAMES!
Chapter Sixteen: Potions class finally gets on the right track, a revelation about Uncle Ron
Chapter Seventeen: Uncle Ron explains and the broom arrives!
*For those of you that have yet to read "The Day that Changed Everything" shame on you, get over there! LOL! Kidding, it's your choice but I think you're missing something if you don't.
Chapter Notes: Long time no see. My excuse...don't have one...sorry just trying to get back on the horse.
Since has removed the links option and I don't know when it will come back, so all my cool banners and content are no longer available. This distresses me because I have some really talented people's work listed there and it kills me that it won't be available until they get things back up. If I could Hex the crap out of whomever put the tainted content up that caused this ban I would! (Worse I would sic my Rose on them!)
Anyway, I'm back, no promises but I'm still here and plugging away.
All characters and this universe belong to JK and her SCARY LAWYERS!
Albus Potter and the Black Badger Society
Chapter 18: The Last Firebolt...
The broomstick was leaned against the wall in the chilly, abandoned classroom of Professor Binns, twigs already attached using the Twigger88 attachment spell "acquired" from Draco Malfoy's sources. The tall dour elf, Lunker, was mumbling as his fingers waggled pointed at the stick, breath coming out in vaporous plums, his eyes closed and ears flat, head canted in concentration dictating to Rose.
It now was the Saturday morning before the test in front of the Ministry at noon and time was running out. After two hurried postponements they had reached the end of their abilities.
They had been at this for nearly an hour after starting back this morning and the list that Rose was furiously adding to was continued from the late hours the night before.
The still growing length was not encouraging.
Gas was seated in a window sill his feet drumming showing his nerves, it was his connections in the Ministry of Underage Magic that made this possible, and his honorary aunt's reputation was on the line. Rose had hissed at him twice to stop so she could concentrate but he was unable to for more than a minute or so.
Scorpius was staring at his broomstick with trepidation, possessiveness and an expression akin to awe.
The lines that Dinky had planned were all there, but the reality was even better than they had hoped, not the least was that Chrys had painted it a bright Hufflepuff yellow with black accents which caused the lines to stand out.
The Icarus appeared to vibrate with its own energy. The quality of her work was flawless, Albus had held the broom up to his nose and could not find a brush stroke that was apparent to the eye in the porcelain smooth finish, there was a reason Chrys Euryale was a world renowned artist, if her painting, not something she was not known for, was this wondrous, he could not wait to see her carvings!
She's beautiful isn't she?" Scorpius murmured for the seventh time that hour through chattering teeth.
Albus and Cormac exchanged a bemused glance, the half-Leprechaun with his Uncle Pat napping on his shoulder.
"I thought your grandfather said that Malfoys don't do yellow?" Albus needled through his shivers.
Scorpius shrugged, "Wouldn't be the first time grandfather and I've disagreed on things Malfoys don't do, yeah?"
Their sniggers were cut off by another indignant hiss from Rose.
Cormac's Uncle Pat made a croaking noise in his sleep, clearly bored with the proceedings. Unlike the rest of them, Cormac and his amphibious uncle seemed unaffected by the cold.
"Is he going to help us?" Scorpius inquired with a nod in the fat bullfrog's direction.
"He owes me one," Cormac replied in the uninformative way of his mother's people.
Scorpius and Albus exchanged a glance.
"You didn't make a deal with him!" Albus stridently demanded.
Cormac answered with an impatient glare as Rose stated loud enough for them to hear, "Repeat that last one Lunker, some people are being rude."
In unison Cormac, Scorpius and Albus stuck out their tongues, she went back to work with an offended sniff.
"This is going to work, right Albus?" Gas murmured, clearly cowed by Rose's ire.
"If it doesn't, we'll know soon enough," Albus remarked.
Gas blinked in confusion. "How?"
Albus grinned when he replied, "Well, it'll start raining Malfoys for one!"
Scorpius glowered while the other two laughed, Rose let out a snicker herself before bending back to the task.
They stood there fidgeting for a few more moments when Rose straightened up. "That's it, but I think this might be a bit of impossible," she remarked with a weary sigh dropping the parchment and quill on a nearby desk.
Albus glanced at the list and his stomach gave a lurch, she had covered nearly an entire scroll with hasty but legible scribbles.
"All of that went into a Firebolt?" he stated trying to keep the despair out of his voice.
"That's all that poor Lunker could find, Master Potter, I'm sure he missed other spells that were more subtle still and the young boy will fall to his death and it will all be Lunker's fault," stated the dour Elf with a drooping ear.
Rose patted him on his shoulder, "I've no doubt you read it perfectly, Lunker, no ones going to die because of you," she gave him a kiss on his left ear, a custom of deepest affection among elves. The solemn old boy tried to smile for her but it looked even more ghastly then his customary frown.
"I think we're done…I can't even pronounce some of these! If we cast any of these spells awry, she won't fly right, we just can't take the chance it will fail at the wrong moment," Scorpius replied with a sigh as he read the parchment.
Silence descended as Gas ground his teeth. "What will I tell my Aunt? She'll be down at the Pitch with a contingent from the Ministry on her word alone, her career will be finished!"
Albus saw something out of the corner of his eye, Cormac's spring grass green eyes lit up for a moment, and his uncle opened his bulging eyes and winked.
"Lunker suggests, and he is probably wrong mind you…that you could just wake it up," the elf stated in his usual ominous tones.
"Wake what up?" Albus inquired, his heart leaping in his chest.
Lunker's watery eyes were actually twinkling as he replied. "There is a big spell tying all the other ones together; Lunker has only sensed it in wands before, reenergize that spell the other ones will be activated as well and pull the others together as easily as an elf putting on shoes…if Lunker wore shoes that is," he added with a nose crinkle at the thought.
Rose brightened up immediately. "If Firebolts all have a wand core…"
"He coupled the speed of a racing broom with the partial intelligence of a wand, Fireston Pratt was brilliant," Albus agreed feeling the presence of his own wand in his robe pocket, "I wonder why no one has figured it out before us?"
"You know us arrogant Wizards, no one has ever thought to ask an elf, right Lunker?" Rose replied giving the old elf an affectionate squeeze, causing him to blush as dourly as possible.
Scorpius let out a whoop that shocked them all. "I knew something was different!" he crowed, "When I flew your dad's Firebolt last year, It didn't feel comfortable at first, but I thought it was just my nerves, but once I made that first climb, it began obeying my commands almost before I made them."
"The wand is an extension of the wizard that holds it, it is not merely tool, but a partnership," Gas recited.
They all stared at him until he looked up and immediately blushed, "I've wanted to be a Wandsmith since I was little, I've read every book on the subject I could find, I practically memorized the English translation of Gregorovitch's book, "The Wand Majestique," I love everything about them, probably why I'm so good with one."
Albus turned to Cormac, "So all of a sudden we get the revelation of the secret of the Firebolt that no one has suspected for decades, and there just happens to be a well read expert in our midst…how lucky is that?"
Cormac gave him a look like he was daft. "Albus…Ya know, there's na such thing as luck, right?"
Gas gaped at Albus in alarm. "W-wait a minute! Back up Albus, w-what do you mean expert…I'm no expert!"
"Closest thing we've got, mate," Scorpius stated with a slap on the pudgy boy's back.
Rose was scanning the list furiously trying to disprove Lunker's information but then she saw something near the bottom of the list. "There it is, the Locomotor Icantatum, a spell always found in wands!I've seen it in my reading." She turned to Gas. "Do you know the Restoratum Incatatum?"
"Sure…you have to know that spell when you fix a wand. After the damage is repaired you have to reawaken the consciousness, it's like they go into a coma until they can be repaired," Gas replied.
Rose and Albus locked eyes; suddenly she gave him her patented nose crinkle with a sly smile that all Weasley's knew from birth.
He nodded back. "Let's do it."
"B-but…what if I goof it up?" Gas stammered wiping his cherry red runny nose on a sleeve.
Albus turned to him. "You always say we underestimate you, well this is your moment to shine. What you've got to decide is if you believe what you've been telling us the last few months, because we're all convinced."
Gas closed his eyes, let out a breath. "Harry Potter…surrounded and trapped in the graveyard….time to find out what I'm made of."
He opened them and a new determination touched his features as he let out a long sighing breath and stated, "Stand back, please"
Albus and the others gave him room as he pushed up his sleeves and with that perfect flourish that only he possessed out of the entire class, he produced his wand and waved it in a counter clockwise turn, the turn indicating the reversal of something, and then called out, "Conscientia Excitanda" they all felt a change in the room as the magic took hold, suddenly the broom began to float on its own before settling back against the wall.
"I think it worked," Gas stated with a weary sigh.
"Only one way to find out," Scorpius replied as he strode to the broom.
Albus stopped him with a hand on his arm. "We have a test pilot coming, "One who can apparate from midair to the ground if he needs to."
"But, most likely, he'll ride it all the way down, if I know him," Rose replied with a snigger.
Lunker winced. "Tell Dinky, Lunker said hello."
The day had that cusp of near winter chill about it, the dirty cotton clouds carpeting the sky promised that the ground would soon know the grace of white.
Everyone around the Pitch was bundled and huddling together in gaggles of conversation.
Gas was not happy to find that his mum was among the onlookers when the ministry arrived, he made his way over for a scolding by the scowl on her face.
To Albus's chagrin he also saw Krystolph Kerry, Kian's dad, with the contingent, he was tall and handsome but pale skinned and dark headed like his son, in a flown back style only available with persons with more knutes than sense.
He gave Albus and company a dismissive look that was far from companionable.
The message was clear, if anything went awry with this test in the slightest, he would be looking for any excuse to deny the petition. Scorpius was an obstacle keeping his son from being a star, and Kian's success would mean political success for him, which Albus had no doubt that was his chief concern, certainly not his son's sense of well being.
He saw his dad, Harry Potter, escorting an elderly woman, her eyes were on the broom that was currently being examined out on the Pitch by Victor Krum and the supposed Ministry specialist on broom safety, a cheerful little wizard so rotund that Albus doubted there was a broom with charms with a strong enough lift to get him off the ground, so he found the man's qualifications dubious at best.
"There's your dad, where's mine?" Scorpius grumbled.
He and his group were well away from the proceedings so that they could not influence the decision one way or another.
His Uncle George suddenly sidled up to his nephew wearing a black fur-lined robe with the tails still attached and moving.
"We need to talk…" he began.
"We can't put the stamp of Tri-Twigger on the broom because of certain patents that are still on the Firebolt," Albus concluded having realized the snag in their plans as they were making their way down.
His Uncle stared at him mouth agape. "How did you know?"
"I'd need the Widow Pratt's permission to tell you," he replied indicating the elderly woman on his father's arm, whose identity he guessed.
"Why even do the test then?" his uncle grumbled.
"Because if it doesn't fly then the point is moot, but if it does, we'll have to figure something out," Rose interjected.
"Which we will, or at least Albus will," Scorpius interjected with more confidence then he was probably feeling.
Uncle George eyed the three students with trepidation, and amusement with unmistakable fondness beneath. "You three remind me of me and Fred when we were your age, there was never any obstacle we couldn't wheedle our way out of."
"We have to see if she'll fly first," Albus murmured nervously, trying to keep his stomach calm.
"We're about to find out," George stated and pointed.
Krum and the rotund Ministry official were waving the pilot to the broom. The little singed elf looked excited as he popped his goggles on over his eyes and pulled his customary rubber gloves up to his bony elbows; he gave them a salute and mounted. He was wearing a fur lined bomber jacket with "Crash Test Elf" written on the back in bold caution yellow letters with a grotesque bandaged dead elf head depicted, tongue protruding.
"You did tell Dinky that the idea is for this broom to fly, not crash, right?" Rose inquired with a nervous quaver.
Her Uncle George shrugged as he answered, "He's supposed to push it as far as it will go to be sure, because I doubt The "Mad-Man" over there will be taking it easy."
Scorpius grinned at the nick name as Rose remarked, "Good point."
Albus felt another presence and turned to see that Diana and Corny had strolled up with Icky and the Sisters in tow. They settled in a few bleachers up and watched the Pitch. Albus was not sure they were there to support or kill them if they failed from the serious expressions on all their faces, particularly scary since the Sisters were wearing game makeup. A quick glance around the Pitch stands revealed that all the Quidditch teams had turned out to watch.
Over with the Slytherins, Kian did not appear happy his father was participating in the proceedings glowering at his pater with an anger black as his robes.
Elanor Ferraro in her bunch of Ravenclaws watched with a bemusement that caused a part of Albus to stir that he had not felt since that day with James. His eyes found Diana's dark ones, also focused on the blue trimmed bunch and they exchanged a nod that if the broom flew, there would be a reckoning later that day.
The entire Gryffindor team turned out, since they were mostly Weasleys anyway, cheering on Dinky who was just as much a family member as any one of them.
In that demented little fellow, George found a muse for his own madness, they fed off of one another and the products produced were the most popular in the Isle.
Anything bought from Tri-W could succeed brilliantly or put you into St. Mungos just as easily, and that extra possibility added to the appeal. Why settle for normal everyday products when you could feel that surge of excitement…and worry for one's own safety?
With no preamble Dinky kicked off and for the next fifteen minutes he pushed the yellow broom in ways that Albus had never contemplated. Albus could barely watch as the elf tried every trick in his arsenal to fatally hit the ground with no success. While he was flinching Scorpius was taking notes.
"Wow that was an inverted loop with a Bellwinder twist right into a half Coaster, never seen that before," he noted.
Rose glowered at him. "Might I remind you of the physics, that crazy little elf weighs at least six stone less than you, and is much smaller so can generate more centripetal force, if you tried that maneuver we'd be visiting you in St. Mungo's after you bashed yourself into unrecognizable paste on the Pitch floor!"
"Wait a moment…" Scorpius glanced around, "I thought I heard someone expressing concern for my welfare, yes, I think that's what I heard! But, that can't be right!"
Rose just crossed her arms and glowered.
Albus realized with a start that the plan had worked! Deep down he thought they would fail, but he saw Dinky finally land and throw his goggles off in frustration confirming that they had a new problem to overcome.
There was cheering from Fred, James and the girls, and they all went out to the Pitch to comfort Dinky who was walking away dejected. Albus shook his head ruefully at the nutty little creature's despondency that he was not on his way to St. Mungos.
The council all walked out to Krum and the Ministry official as they examined the broom post flight, the decision would be made soon, but the issue of manufacturer would be brought up sooner than later.
Albus wished that he had brought the Extendable Ears because the discussion became heated between the perspective members and that did not bode well.
It was then that Albus noticed his father was walking out with Firestone Pratt's widow.
The council saw him approaching and made way for the great Harry Potter, even those who were political rivals and had not respect for the changes his presence had wrought in the Wizard world and acknowledged his status, of course Krystolph Kerry's respect was begrudged from his glower.
Rose tugged Albus's sleeve. "What's Uncle Harry up to?"
"He's Harry Potter," Gas interjected breathlessly, "whatever it is, you know it's gonna be brilliant!"
Scorpius nudged Gas. "Why Gaspar, I had no idea you were a Harry Potter fan!"
Gas gave him a glower which made him smile.
Then to their surprise Harry took the broom from Krum's hand with an exchanged nod of respect and mounted up.
There was a collective gasp as the most recognizable figure in their world took flight and showed why he was still a legend at Hogwarts at Seeker.
The broom responded effortlessly as Albus got a view of his father as a younger man soaring through the blue, swooping so low the grass parted in his wake, weaving through the pennants lining the pitch with a dazzling grace, Albus glanced at Scorpius and saw his friend staring at his distant father with a reverent awe.
"Harry Potter is flying at Hogwarts, and I'm here!" Gaspar murmured before Albus heard the thump of his body striking the turf, they were all so mesmerized that they just let him lie.
With a noticeable reluctance Harry Potter landed and handed the broom back to Krum his eyes bright emeralds and cheeks wind-burned pink.
His display seemed to remove any lingering doubts as the council and the expert they brought began to disperse, Krystolph and a couple others with a dejected look on their faces. Gaspar's mum glanced over and frowned with satisfaction that Gas was not in sight before she disappeared with the rest.
Albus's dad waved them over with a smile which wrung one from his son's lips.
"Sorted," he announced in a sing song voice as they arrived with a woozy recently revived Gaspar in tow. Albus noticed the widow examining the broom with a wistful smile.
"How did she fly?" Scorpius demanded rudely pushing his way to the front, his face happier than Albus had ever seen him.
"See for yourself," Albus's dad responded tossing the broom to the younger Malfoy.
In his eagerness Scorpius almost seemed to mount the broom in mid air and was soon soaring above them with joyful abandon that Albus knew he would always remember.
"How did you get past the problem with the manufacturer, Uncle Harry," Rose inquired while the others watched Scorpios soar, being practical as always.
"Lady Pratt here has given her consent as the sole remaining stockholder of The Firebolt Corporation. Lady and gentlemen, you are looking at the Firebolt Icarus, a recently discovered prototype, originated initially on a Fireston Pratt design, at least that is all the council needed to know," Harry announced with a grin to make Uncle George envious.
"But…but that…that's a lie, Uncle Harry," Rose sputtered scandalized.
Her uncle looked nonplussed as he replied, "Fireston Pratt created the original broom, his handiwork is still in every step of the creation, as far as I see it, you and your lot just replaced the bristles and changed the aesthetics, but it's still recognizably a Firebolt, the alterations make just enough difference to call it a prototype…I never said anything about the changes being Fireston's."
"You all did such a wonderful job; Fireston would have given his wholehearted approval, I have no doubts," Widow Pratt said in a still youthful soprano accompanied with a wistful sigh, "the fact that a Firebolt is going to be flown in competition and not gathering dust on a shelf would have pleased him greatly. That's all he ever wanted. I know the current "protected" state of his creations would have made him miserable. I am, however, curious to hear how the different bristle and shape will affect the performance, you will send me an owl?" she inquired of Harry and a newly arrived breathless Scorpius who had landed a few steps away, with a smile that would have to be spelled off.
Harry Potter and Scorpius both nodded after exchanging a smile that only men of a shared experience know. "Your dad sent an owl, couldn't be involved, but he's got eyes here," he told the young man with a wink. "Figures," Scorpius replied with a smirk, but the little grin showed he was relieved.
The widow grew quiet and leaned in to Harry Potter's ear; he nodded to Albus and his group and walked a discreet distance away to give Uncle George the specifics.
Mrs. Pratt waited until he was a safe distance away before she leaned in. "You figured it out? You must have if the broom is flying. I need to know how you guessed it when no one else ever has."
"An elf helped us with reading the spells," Albus admitted.
She smiled and winked. "Elves are the only ones who can decipher Elvish magic, who do you think we used as a work force to make the brooms in the first place? Using an elf was a lucky happenstance on your part."
"No such thing as luck, Mrs. Pratt, right Cormac?" Albus replied.
Cormac shook his head adamantly causing Mrs. Pratt to chuckle. "Well be that as it may, good luck to you all; you have my and Fireston's blessing. Please allow me to do the honor…"
With an expert flourish and a wave of her wand the Tri-Twigger logo changed to perfect Firebolt lettering that seeped up from under the paint.
"No Firebolt lettering is ever lost, there is an indelible charm that prevents it," she explained with a smile.
"Welcome to the Firebolt legacy."
She left them in a flash of apparition, as they studied the Firebolt logo which had changed to black to match the paint, they all exchanged incredulous glances, Scorpius now had his own Firebolt.
Scorpius cradled the broom protectively as they made their way over to where the Hufflepuff Quidditch team was gathered.
Diana looked grim. "It flies, yeah?"
"Ready for action," Scorpius crowed.
She nodded as if speaking to herself, "It's time I do something I swore I would never do, this is by far the worst thing I have ever done, but they drove me to it, even if we all get suspended it's time to cross a line."
She turned to Violet and Valencia. "Girls, this next game only…feel free to do your worst…no restrictions. Merlin have mercy on Ravenclaw's souls."
Violet translated for her sister and she lit up like it was Christmas morn and she got everything she ever wanted.
It was the single most terrifying thing that Albus had ever seen.
Thought of the Day: I watched the last Harry Potter with a friend of mine who knows my work with the the Next Generation, oddly, she thought just from the brief glance we have of Scorpius and Draco that in that fleeting glimpse we have the entirety of what I have attempted to do with our favorite tow-headed boy. She told me that she saw the pain, wounded pride, and fear for the future that I have imprinted in my Malfoy family in that exchanged nod between Malfoy and Potter. I think she reads a lot into things myself LOL! I have to say that Tom Felton and Daniel Radcliffe managed to exchange a lot in that pregnant glance, feel free to comment. Is she onto something or being nutty as usual?