Albus Potter's first day at Hogwarts was a disaster. And it wasn't just because he was Sorted into Slytherin, or because he had failed to make a single friend (although those two things alone are enough to make a guy feel down in the dumps). His first day was awful because of a certain Elizabeth Nicole Silver, Lizzie for short. And that was exactly how she introduced herself on the Hogwats Express: "My name is Elizabeth Nicole Silver, but you can call me Lizzie for short."
But did Lizzie stop at that one sentence? Oh no, of course not. She plunked herslf in between Albus and Rose in their compartment and chattered away. She talked...and talked...and talked. The girl just wouldn't stop. At one point, Albus was afraid she was going to choke on her food. He was actually afraid for her life...at first. But the longer Albus was in her presence, the worse things got. Soon, Lizzie was making googly eyes at him and batting her eyelashes and laughing at everything he said - and honestly, he wasn't trying to be funny at all. And meanwhile, Rose was sitting on the other side of The Nightmare, not even bothering to hide her smirk.
So, Albus just slumped down in his seat and tried to ignore Lizzie, who was giving him this "I'm interested in you" smile, and prayed that they would get to Hogwarts soon. Surely, he and Rose would be able to shake off The Nightmare once they got to school.
The Nightmare followed them onto their boat and stood too close to him while they waited to be Sorted. (While they were waiting, he accidentally brushed her hand with his, and then plunged both hands into the pockets of his robes so she wouldn't get the wrong idea.) As much as he would have liked to tell her how incredibly annoying she was, and to leave him alone, he didn't want to hurt her feelings. Besides, she would probably start crying and he couldn't stand it when girls cried.
So he was sorted into Slytherin, Rose into Gryffindor, and The Nightmare into Ravenclaw. He was grateful for this. Perhaps if they were in different Houses, that would put enough distance between them to make her forget all about him. Albus lay awake that night, thinking about all this and suddenly felt very alone. Why hadn't he tried to make friends, or at least bother to introduce himself to a few people? He had been too irritated by The Nightmare and bitterly disappointed about being put into Slytherin, that's why.
The oy in the bed next to him was snoring so loud that he was barely able to hear himself think, which was fine by him. He didn't want to think about how lonely and homesick he was. He flopped over on his stomach with a sigh and eventually fell asleep.
The next morning, Albus woke up to an argument:
" - can't! I don't even have a broomstick!" one voice cried.
"So borrow one from the school!" a second voice urged.
"No! The school broomsticks are crap!"
"So, what's the matter? You should be used to it! Everythin you own is a pile of dragon dung, anyway!"
There was a thump and the second voice cried out, "Ow! Vincent, you poor piece of crap! What was that for?" and Albus assumed that the first boy had slugged him.
"God, Scorpius, you're such a spoiled brat. Why don't I ride your Thunderbolt 5000, and you borrow a broomstick from the school?"
"No way! The Thunderbolt is mine!"
"Sharing is caring."
"Screw you," Scorpius said, and they both laughed a little.
Albus stared at the ceiling. The two boys could only be Scorpius Malfoy and Vincent Mendoza, both purebloods and proud of it - according to the rumors, anyway. He knew that his family wouldn't be too thriled that he was associating with them, but the lure of friends was too strong. He threw open the curtains on his four-poster bed and asked,
"Are you talking about Quidditch?"
Both boys looked surprised at the outburst. Scorpius, his skin looking especially pale and his once slicked back blonde hair now messy and sticking up in wild directions, said, "Yeah. I'm trying to convince Vincent," he jabbed his thumb at a Puerto boy whose black hair was darker than Albus's. "to try out for the Slytherin Quidditch team with me this Friday but the prat's being stubborn."
"I'm lousy at Quidditch! I'm afraid of heights!" Vincent protested, angrily.
"Well, we're just going to have to change that, now won't we?" Albus asked and Scorpius grinned like a fool, but Vincent only glared at him.
"And who are you?" he demanded.
Vincent's jaw dropped and all irritation was wiped from his face. "Albus Potter? As in, Harry Potter's son? You're joking!"
It took another five minutes for Albus to convince him that he was, indeed, not joking and by that time, Scorpius looked very irritated so Albus tried to cheer him up.
"Hey, Scorp, I'll try out with you. What position are you going out for?"
Scorpius shrugged. "The only open positions are for Seeker or Chaser. Either one would be fine, I suppose."
The three of them walked down to breakfast, discussing Quidditch and the new types of broomsticks that had recently come out, and all was well. Albus was sure that things were going to get better. Until...
"ALBUS!" an annoying voice squealed and an annoying girl flung herself in his arms. "Oh my Gosh, Hogwarts is even more amazing than I hoped! Don't you just love it here?" The Nightmare gushed as she squeezed the life out of him.
"Hey, Al, who's your friend?" Vincent asked, smirking, and The Nightmare turned to face him and Scorpius.
"I'm Lizzie!" she chirped. "And you are?"
"Vincent. And this is Scorpius."
The Nightmare clapped her hands together in delight. "Well, aren't you two just the cutest things?" Both Vincent and Scorpius looked extremely pleased with themselves afte this. "Well, what are we talking about?" Albus cringed when she said 'we'. He hated the wa she could just insert herself into his conversations...into his life!
"Quidditch," both Vincent and Scorpius answered.
"Ooh, what's that? It sounds fun!"
"It's only the greatest sport in the world!" Scorpius cried. "I'm trying out for the Slytherin team this Friday and so is Albus. Rght, Al?"
"Er - yeah."
The Nightmare's entire face lit up at this. "You are? Why didn't you tell me? Can I come watch you try out?"
"No!" Albus cried at the same times as Scorpius said, "Sure!" The two boys looked at each other strangely.
"I apologize for Albus's rude behavior, Liz," Vincent comforted her. "He's just never had such a pretty girl like you lusting after him before so he doesn't quite know how to handle it."
Albus groaned while Scorpius roared with laughter. Thanks to these two, he was going to have Lizzie latched on for life!
At that exact moment, Rose came strolling up to them, as did James. Rose opened her mouth to say something but James cut her off. "I can't believe you're in Slytherin, Al. I truly can't believe it."
"What? What about in the car when you were so sure that this was where I would end up?" Albus asked.
"I was just giving you a hard time! I didn't think you'd actually..." he trailed off, and thew a disgusted look in the direction of the Slyherin table.
Vincent looked furious and was glaring at James with such hatred that it looked like he was trying to set him on fire with his mind. Scorpius was being unusually quiet, Albus noticed, for Scorpius was staring at his cousin, Rose, with his mouth hanging open and his cheeks burning red.
"What's wrong with being in Slytherin?" Vincent asked James.
"Everything! There isn't a Dark Wizard out there who hasn't been in Slytherin!"
"Not all Slytherins turn out to be Dark Wizards!"
"Most of them do! And all it takes is most!"
"James, don't be a prat," Rose snapped and Scorpius reddened even further at the sound of her voice. James opened his mouth to argue but Rose's glare silenced him and he stormed away. "Sorry about that," she said.
"'S okay," Scorpius grumbled, now staring at his feet.
"I'm Lizzie!" The Nightmare chirped. "Want to watch the boys try out for the Slytherin Kwiffich team with me this Friday?"
Rose stared. "You mean Quidditch? Yeah, sure, I suppose."
The first week had been hectic for all of them. with new classes to get used to and, in Albus's case, new people to avoid. Not to mention Albus and Scorpius going down to the Quidditch field to practice every night, and the girls trying to make friends within their House. By the time Friday rolled around, all five of them were glad the week was over.
"You ready?" Scorpius asked Albus, clapping him on the back as they walked onto the Quidditch field Friday afternoon. They had their broomsticks slung over their shoulders and the warm breeze rustling their shorts.
"I guess so," Albus sighed, glancing up at Rose, Vincent, and The Nightmare waving at him from the stands.
"We'll be fine," Scorpius reassured him but even his blonde-haired friend looked uneasy as older, more experienced looking Slytherins started to show up for tryouts.
"Alright, we'll start with tryouts for a Chaser," the Captain, a tall athletic girl, announced.
Scorpius stepped forward with a few other intimidating candidates. After practicing all week, Scorpius decided that this was the position he would try out for when he found out he was especially good at scoring goals. Some of the older kids jeered at him, but Scorpius ignored them as he waited for his turn to try to get the Quaffle past the Keeper.
Albus watched as his friend kicked off the ground and into the air when his turn came. The Captain tossed him the Quaffle, which he caught easily. Albus felt a little better - the boy who tried out before Scorpius had nearly dropped it. Scorpius sped off in the direction of the hoops when the whistle sounded and launched the Quaffle through the hoop, the Keeper's fingers just brushing the ball as it flew past. He made four out of the five goals and flew excellently, but a cocky fifth year got the spot. But Albus thought that the Captain looked rather impressed with Scorpius.
The tryouts for Seeker were much simpler. Whoever caught the Snitch in the least amount of time got the spot, and Albus achieved this easily. Suddenly, he was thankful for all those practice games of Quidditch played at the Burrow with his cousins.
The Captain, whose name was Angela Rockford, told him that this was the first time she let a first year on her team so he had better not disappoint her. Then she lowered her voice and said, "And tell your friend that if McCormick," she gestured to the fifth year who got Scorpius's spot. "ever can't play, not even to ask. Just come on down for practice."
Excitedly, Albus ran to tell Scorpius the news, who was now sitting in the stands with Rose, Vincent, and The Nightmare.
"Wicked!" Scorpius cried, delighted, and then the five of them sat under the large tree next to the lake that Harry, Ron and Hermione had sat under a generation before, and James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew had sat under even before that.
"Oh my God, Rosie, just look at him!" Lizzie moaned and Albus had to suppress a groan: he wasn't in the mood to be drooled over. But Lizzie wasn't talking about him. She was pointing to a blonde boy (who slightly resembled Scorpius) who was skippinh rocks on the lake's surface.
"Who is he?" Rose asked.
"His name is Luke Cunningham and he is the cutest, sweetest, funniest, cutest boy I've ever met," Lizzie gushed and then laid on her back, both hands over her heart. "I am in love with him."
"I thought you were in love with Albus!" Vincent cried.
"Hey, there's enough of me to go around!" she said, and they all laughed.
At that moment, all the stress from the week melted away. At that moment, something clicked and they all became friends. Even Albus and Lizzie.