And now, ladies and gentlemen, the first chapter of ASPOF written in 2011. Featuring an impromptu trip to the Ministry of Magic, the first mention of the Pyramids of Furmat, and a strange budding bromance, this chapter may go on in history as the best thing since sliced bread. Or it may not. Either way….
Enjoy, mon choux.
The sun rose outside the window of the inn room. The pile of boys stirred as the beams of sunlight hit their sleeping faces, and got up groggily. Wigglesworth was fast asleep on the floor in front of the fireplace, which still crackled away. The boys were slightly puzzled by the fact that their teacher friend was on the floor, as well as the fact that he was nearly naked on a cold, stone floor. All Wigglesworth was wearing was a ivory linen towel wrap around his waist to preserve his modesty.
"What happened to him last night?" asked Albus, voice rather tired.
"Dunno," muttered Scorpius, "but whatever it was, it must have been quite the party."
"I bet it was a sexy party," joked James, "and all his werewolf boyfriends came over and had a shag –"
"Shut up, James," snapped Albus, annoyed at James' comic timing. "He's been sleeping for a while, that's all."
"Maybe we should wake him up," suggested James, "and we can ask him what happened while we were asleep."
"You guys go do that," said Albus. "I want to catch up on reading."
"Whatever," sighed Scorpius, and together he and James went over to Wigglesworth and began casting spells to wake him up.
As his friends did that, Albus sat on the edge of the bed, pulled his copy of Magical Ritual Objects out of his satchel, and flipped it open. He hadn't read in a while, so he guessed that it would be better late than never to start his required reading. He read for a while – he looked over at James and Scorpius, who must have realized that waking a sleeping lycanthrope is hard work: Wigglesworth still snored away on the floor.
The book was very interesting. One chapter dealt with the Philosophers' Stone; another with the amusingly named Mystic Kettle of Nackledirk. After getting about a quarter of the way through the book, he finally heard success on the waking-up-Wigglesworth front. Bookmarking his place on a chapter entitled 'The Pyramids of Furmat,' he stuffed the book back into his satchel – but not before Wigglesworth, who had at least pulled on some boxer briefs, snatched it right up.
"Aah, the Pyramids of Furmat! Very interesting, they are," said Thaddeus. "Take a look, why don't you?"
He turned the page to where the chapter truly began, then left to go to the loo to finish getting dressed. Albus saw a photograph the likes of which he had never seen before: it was moving, like all Wizarding photographs, but this one seemed to radiate an aura of another world. Three pyramids, made out of some sort of rock (or gemstone, perhaps) stood surrounded by a desert. Albus supposed this was just another picture of the Pyramids in Egypt, but a closer look revealed they were not surrounded by sand. The pyramids were surrounded by shallow water! Atop, each pyramid shot out a flare of energy, like magic crystals were inside the tips. Albus was intrigued by all this.
"Hey, James! Scorpius! Take a look at this!" he shouted to his friends. They scuttled over to see what the commotion was about.
"These are the Pyramids of Furmat," explained Albus, showing them the photograph.
"Huh," muttered James, "these look like they're in another dimension."
"Indeed, they do," said Scorpius, nodding.
"Indeed, they are," said Wigglesworth.
Wigglesworth, now fully dressed in a professional-looking sports coat, black jeans, a button-down shirt, and a bowtie, emerged from the loo, buzuq strapped to his back. He joined the boys on the edge of the bed.
"What do you mean, 'Indeed they are'?" asked Scorpius. He fidgeted with his charred Gryffindor tie nervously.
"They're in another dimension," replied Wigglesworth.
"I'm so confused right now," said James. He quickly changed the subject. "Why are you dressed like that?"
"Well, I want to look my best if I'm taking you boys to the Ministry."
"Will we get to see Dad?" asked Albus and James hopefully.
"We'll see, we'll see." Smiling, Wigglesworth lifted the boys off of the bed and led them toward the fireplace. He handed them a clump of Floo powder each, and stepped into the fireplace himself.
"Follow my lead," ordered Wigglesworth, who promptly dropped his handful of powder into the enchanted flames. "The Ministry of Magic, Auror Department!" With a flash of green fire, he was gone.
"I've never traveled by Floo before," whispered Albus nervously.
"Neither have I," admitted Scorpius.
"Aw, come on you two! I've done it. It's actually kinda fun!" James patted both of them on the backs, then stepped into the fire. Dropping his powder into the flames, he shouted "Ministry of Magic, Auror Department!" and he too was gone in a flash.
"Well, Albi, I'll meet you there!" said Scorpius with a sneaky sort of smile, and before Albus could say "you too," Scorpius pulled Albus to his lips and kssed him lightly. He let go after two seconds, and with a giggle, stepped into the fireplace. Albus was left in a dazed state of post-kiss catatonia as Scorpius plopped his Floo powder into the fire, announced "Ministry of Magic, Auror Department!" and disappeared.
Did Scorpius just kiss me? wondered Albus, or was that all just a daydream? I'm so confused… did he just KISS me?
He didn't have time to ask questions now. Floo now, questions later. Albus stepped warily into the fire, dropped the powder, said the words, and began to fly through FlooSpace. The whole time, Albus was thinking about how it didn't burn his feet when he stepped in the fire. He figured it wouldn't hurt. It was magic, after all…