Albus Severus, The Slytherpuff Chronicles

By: C.T. Moon

It was a sunny and hot day when Albus boarded the train to go to his first year of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He said goodbye to his parents and managed to jump on the train right before the doors slammed.

Albus walked through the many compartments of the train and finally found an empty one. It wasn't that he didn't want to sit with the other students it was just that everyone peeked through their doors whispering about the son of Harry Potter. Not needing that bit of awkwardness, he decided solitude was preferable when he was still worried about which house he would be sorted into. His father told him that he could choose if he wanted to, but he was still uneasy.

Albus was wondering if Rose, his cousin, would turn up and sit with him. He wouldn't mind her company since she was just as nervous as he was. Just then the compartment door opened and Albus looked up expecting to see Rose, but instead a boy with blond hair and pale skin stepped in asking, "Mind if I sit here?"

Albus was thinking about saying, no, but he knew that was pretty rude of him. "Umm, sure, take a seat, mate."

"Thank you." He walked into the compartment and sat across from Albus. They looked at each other for a while. The boy now seemed nervous as if Albus would bite him, and then he asked, "Are… are you pureblood?"

Albus was taken aback. No one had ever asked him that before and he wasn't quite sure what to say. He finally settled on, "Umm, I think so?"

"Good," said the boy, appearing pleased for unknown reasons. They stared at each other for a while again, before he shrugged. "Do you like Quidditch?"

Albus enjoyed watching and following Quidditch, but had never taken to flying. He much preferred having both feet on the ground. James, his brother, always taunted him about it because both Albus' parents had been Quidditch players and from what he knew so were the rest of his family.

Still, Albus was a great fan of the sport and nodded enthusiastically. "Yeah, I like to watch Quidditch."

So the two boys finally found something to talk about. They discussed their favorite Quidditch teams and if the Chudley Cannons would ever win the World Cup. However, this got old after about a half hour and they went back to staring at each other. An uncomfortable silence filled the train compartment until Rose walked in with her red hair, bright and vibrant, flowing behind her

"Albus, there you are. I've been looking for you everywhere." Rose sat down and then looked at the boy. "Hey, I know you. You're that Malfoy boy."

Albus, who was glancing out the window, did a double take and then gaped at him like a fish out of water. "You're a Malfoy?"

"Yes, and if I am?" asked the boy defensively, his shoulders suddenly stiff, his back straight as he narrowed light eyes at both Rose and Albus.

"Oh… I was just," Albus trailed away, he wasn't quite sure what to say. He had heard a lot about the Malfoys and none of it was very good. "I was, um… Yeah."

Albus put his hands in his lap, and turned to stare out the window once more, feeling his cheeks flame in embarrassment. Even if Albus' family positively loathed the Malfoys, it was no reason to be rude to a boy who had never done anything to him personally.

"So," said Rose, siting up, obviously trying to break the silence. "You still planning on being in Gryffindor, Al?"

Before Albus had a chance to answer Malfoy broke in, "My father says they put all the prats and airheads in Gryffindor-"

"Well, then you'd fit right in, Malfoy," said Rose, now glaring at Malfoy. "Wouldn't you?"

"Hmm," hummed Malfoy, his gaze running over Rose critically. "Let me guess, freckles, red hair, you must be a Weasley. My father told me the school would be infested with them."

"Well, I heard about you too. Everyone knows half your family is in jail or dead. There's no need to guess what house you're going to be in… Slytherin!"

Albus was shocked. He rarely saw Rose get so angry. She was always kind hearted and kept to herself most of the time. However, he didn't quite blame her, even if she was being almost cruel in her taunting.

Malfoy looked like he was going to yell when the candy cart came by. Albus didn't want to get into the fight so he stepped up and ordered half the cart. He pushed the candy into both their laps. Malfoy looked like he wasn't going to take it, but then shrugged and obviously decided to eat it.

"Thank you," said Rose primly to Albus, before she turned and glared at Malfoy once more. "What? You're not even going to thank him?"

Malfoy grit his teeth for one long moment before he surprised them both by whispering, "Thanks."

It started to get dark and Albus knew they were getting close because they had left the city behind. Now all he could see was trees and farms as the sky was painted in shades of pink and dark purple beneath a wide, yellow full moon. Although they didn't really like Malfoy they managed to find topics that didn't start a fight. Albus knew Rose better than just about anyone and he could see she was still angry. It was a testament to her gentle nature that she was trying to be cordial despite the tension.

During a conversation where Rose talked about her latest visit to their uncle's joke shop, one of Albus' cousins showed up. Molly, who was a third year Ravenclaw was told by her father Percy to check on them. It was a minor miracle she'd left them be until now.

"We're almost there. You'd better get your robes on," Molly said, looking pressed and polished in her robes. She flipped long red hair behind her and turned to leave the compartment. "Don't dilly dally. You want to be put together nicely on your first day."

They struggled with their robes, Rose taking extra care to smooth out hers and then much to Albus' horror, worked at smoothing out his as well. She got twitchy when she was nervous and obviously was using him as an outlet. He pushed her away, avoiding Malfoy's eyes as he took over the task of straightening his own robes and then worked at storing away the extra treats he hadn't eaten.

They bid goodbye to Malfoy once the train arrived and honestly, he looked as happy to be rid of them as they were to be done with him.

The bustle to get off the train was hectic and claustrophobic. The bodies pushing in on him didn't help Albus' nerves. Rose seemed to have the same problem, even going so far as to clutch his hand until they hopped off the train, breathing in the crisp Scottish nighttime air.

"First years over here."

It was Rubeus Hagrid, who Albus had only met a few times. Even still, he left a lasting impression. He could never forget the large man with the big heart who stood over seven feet tall.

Albus walked up to him, Rose close at his heels as the first smile of the evening tugged at his lips. "Hagrid, it's me Albus, remember?"

"'Course I didn't forget yeh." A broad smile appeared beneath the bushy beard. He pated him on the head and Albus had to widen his stance to keep from falling over. "Yer the spitting image of yer father."

Somehow, being reminded his father and how closely he resembled him brought Albus' nerves right back to the surface. He felt like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders as they all climbed into boats. Rose sat by his side and Albus tried to forget his nervousness and enjoy his first arrival at Hogwarts as a student. They broke through the fog and Albus' breath caught as he stared up at the castle cutting a powerful image in the night sky, lights twinkling in the windows warm and welcoming in a way that was surprising. He could have stared at it forever if the boat didn't move strangely, forcing Albus to glance into the murky blackness of the lake hesitantly.

"Hagrid, I think there's something under us," Albus said, speaking loud over the excited chatter of the other first years.

"Oh, don't worry about that. That'll be the giant squid, won't it?" said Hagrid dismissively.

"Great," said Rose tensely. "We're gonna get eaten by a quaint squid before we get there. I've never heard of a giant squid. Did you hear about it, Al? I guess I should have read that Hogwarts A History Mum gave me, but I was trying to get caught up on other core reading, like charms and-"

Albus ignored his cousin's rambling, finally recovering from his shock and asking, "There's a squid in the lake? But how on earth can it live in the cold?"

"Oh, you'd be discovering a lot more then that, you wait and see," said Hagrid, turning around to give them a broad smile, his face bathed in light and shadows from the lantern resting next to him.

After a long boat ride and a view of Hogwarts, which looked amazing, they'd dried off and entered the school. This wasn't Albus' first time at Hogwarts. He had come once with his father for work during the summer, but now that he was there to learn it felt very overwhelming and intimidating.

They entered a large room with a massive staircase and Albus saw someone walking down the stairs, another brown haired first year at his side. Desperate for the comfort of friends, Albus yelled without thinking, "Neville!"

After a moment he remembered that this man wasn't Neville any longer, but Professor Longbottom.

With a wince, Albus backtracked, "I'm sorry. I mean. . . umm. . . Professor Longbottom." Feeling his face heat, he gave a lame wave at the man who was over at Albus' house so much he felt like family. "Hey."

Neville didn't get angry, but just smiled as he walked up to the group of nervous first years, pushing his son towards the group to blend in with the others who had come on the train.

"Hello, everyone and welcome to Hogwarts. I, as Mr. Potter so kindly put it, am Professor Longbottom." Neville winked at Albus, before he turned his attention back to the entire group. "And if you'd all please follow me it's time for the sorting. Each of you will be put in one of our four esteemed houses here at the school."

Albus heard Malfoy in the background saying, "Potter? You're a Potter?"

He turned around and glared at Malfoy and then said smartly, "Yes, and if I am?"

Malfoy didn't respond, but his look said it all.

Albus didn't have the time or the desire to worry about what Malfoy thought about him. They were walking into the Great Hall, a sea of older, bigger students all looking at them. Albus thought he might throw up. Even the waves from cousins and a rare thumbs up from James couldn't help him feel better as the Sorting Hat was brought out and started singing its song. The words were muted behind the thrum of his heartbeat in his ears. James thumbs up turned into a rude hand gesture as he pulled a face at Albus before their cousin Fred reached over and smacked the back of James' head.

Then they started calling the first years up one by one. For some reason they were out of order, there was no rhyme or reason to the order the students went up and that made Albus even more nervous. He held his breath each time Neville went to call another first year up to be sorted.

"Rose Weasley."

Albus turned to look at Rose, who was pale under her freckles, but she straightened her shoulders and walked up showing a brave face in very Weasley like fashion. She sat on the stool, looking ahead as the hat was place on her head. It didn't rest there long before it shouted-

"Ravenclaw."

"What! Ravenclaw?" yelled James, his voice echoing over the enthusiastic clapping from the Ravenclaw table.

Their cousin Molly even stood up at the Ravenclaw table, looking beyond excited to no longer be the sole Weasley NOT in Gryffindor. Several of Molly's friends stood up as well, the table now appearing extremely enthused to have another Weasley in their house.

Albus may feel like his was going to throw up, but Rose actually looked it as she got off the stool and made her way to the Ravenclaw table. Molly hugged Rose, rubbing her back as if understanding her shock and whispering in her ear as they sat. Albus saw other Ravenclaws reach over to pat Rose's back enthusiastically.

Neville was now yelling other names and more people were sorted, Frank Longbottom became a Gryffindor, and Jason Flint because a Slytherin. Albus was so nervous now that he looked around at the few remaining students.

Finding Malfoy from the train and realizing he was the only first year left that he actually knew Albus leaned into the blond boy and asked, "I never got your first name."

"Scorpius," he answered, looking just as nervous. "And yours?"

"Albus Potter!" yelled Neville before he could answer Scorpius.

Please don't let me faint. Please don't let me faint.

Albus repeated the chant as he made his way to the stool, trying to ignore the large crowd and trying even harder not to think about the cousins and family friends out there who were all waiting to hear what house Albus would be put into.

"Hmm. . . a Potter, interesting," said the hat, interrupting Albus' panicked thoughts. "You know you'd do very well in Hufflepuff."

HUFFLEPUFF!

"Not Hufflepuff!" Albus thought, feeling his blood run icy at just the thought of being in Hufflepuff. "Anything but Hufflepuff!"

God, please, no. . . Not Hufflepuff!

He'd have to run away from home and learn a trade rather than face living in the same house with James as a Hufflepuff.

"Not Hufflepuff. . . Hmmm. . .Well. . . " The hat went silent. And after what felt like several days it yelled, "Slytherin!"

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Author's Note: Well, here it is. . . My first very unique HP fan fiction. Please let me know what you think! I'm nearly done with the next chapter and reviews are like cookies for my muse.