The Fantastic Foursome spent the rest of the afternoon under that tree, which they dubbed the Marauder Tree. Though it was odd, they didn't believe that the carving of "James and Lily Potter" was just coincidence. Their time that day under the tree was entirely dedicated to the prank that they knew had to succeed. They went into the castle at one point to get lunch, but the food was eaten under the tree as the four friends prepared for their first ever prank. Rose must have had the plan drilled into her mind from the number of times they had gone over it. Scorpius was so sure of his part that he could recite it in 30 seconds flat without stopping for air or unsure pauses. Lorcan was ready to go after the first time they went over it. Albus was jittery but ready to go at a moments' notice.
"So, do we need to go over it one more time?" Albus asked for the fifteenth time in fifteen minutes. His friends chorused back a solid "NO!" and Albus dropped it. A few minutes after the outburst, the four headed back to the boys' dormitory to collect the supplies they had moved earlier.
It was a nice day and as they went inside and walked up to the Common Room, the castle seemed deserted. They picked up the boxes and hurried them down to the Great Hall, placing them under the seats that had been claimed as theirs. As dinner was starting in a few minutes, platters of food were slowly appearing on the tables. Many of the candles were lighting as well, as the days had been getting shorter, and the four hurriedly lit all of their own Mood Candles from earlier. They were all the color of orange (thankfully) for anticipation.
After the tasks inside were done, they walked back outside and waited. Once dinner was about to start, they ran back inside and sat at the spots with their Deflagration Deluxes. The four didn't talk much as they waited, their candles flickering dangerously between anticipation orange and excited blue, but communicated with looks, winks, and grins. A few people found this odd, but most failed to notice. After all, they were just stupid first years.
At a well-timed look at the watch and wink from Rose, Scorpius and Lorcan slipped off, Scorpius to set off Decoy Detonators on every floor, sending all of the students and teachers to the refuge that was the Great Hall. Lorcan to put Skiving Snackbox candy into the teachers' candy bowls, so that they would become to weary and broken down after dinner to punish them. When Scorpius and Lorcan got back, they scarfed down their food as their friends had already finished. It seemed that the four couldn't handle the anticipation much longer, and it seemed that the entire student body was there, they decided they'd need to start the plan now.
Rose began with the Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder. She threw a large handful of it from the bag into the air, engulfing the Great Hall in darkness but for the Mood Candles the four had set up and the crescent moon. At the same time, Scorpius, Lorcan and Albus reached under the bench and pulled out the four Deflagration Deluxes. While the teachers hurried to pull out their wands to restore order, each of the four knelt beside one of the boxes. "One…" said Rose.
"Two…" Scorpius said with a grin that looked wicked in the enchanted candlelight.
"THREE!" Lorcan and Albus shouted together. On their count, all four of them set off their Deflagration Deluxes. Rose's Uncle George had said that they were custom made and he meant it. The Great Hall was almost instantly engulfed in multi-colored light.
One firework said "Welcome baaaaaaaaack!"Another one said, "Respect the Red!" Yet another said, "Watch your Bottom!" Every single one said something hilarious that only Uncle George could have thought of, but only Rose and her friends could pull off saying.
The teachers were trying everything in their power, but their efforts were for naught. Every spell that hit the fireworks multiplied them. It was what George Weasley called, "Our best invention since Canary Creams." By now, the students were roaring with laughter at all the Weasley's Wizard Whiz-bangs, as the fireworks were called. Many of the Muggle-borns were mesmerized, as Muggle fireworks could come nowhere near the amazement that these provided.
After a while, the teachers were able to restore light to the candles of the Great Hall and began to look for the guilty party. Now, this proved harder than they thought as everyone, including the Fantastic Foursome, was smiling up at the sky in awe at the Whiz-Bangs. Eventually, the teachers gave up their scathing search of the student body and their attempts to remove the Whiz-bangs. Professor Flitwick smiled up at the Whiz-Bangs, remembering the first time they were employed in pranking by the Weasley Twins themselves. Looking over at Professor Sprout, he saw she was doing the same.
Professor Chimer stepped up to the podium unexpectedly. "Alright, enough of this nonsense everyone. 'Respect the Red,' which Weasley did this?" He spoke with a grin but everyone knew he wasn't joking around. "Now, whoever did it should confess or the entire Weasley clan will receive detentions."
When James heard this, he looked directly down the table at Rose and Albus. Technically speaking, he and Albus were part of that group. Professor Chimer's face grew less and less happy with every passing second. Scorpius felt like Chimer was staring right at himself and his friends and could not take the pressure.
"Professor, it wasn't the Weasleys who did it. I did. It seemed like a good idea and…" Scorpius was cut off by Chimer.
"Thank you for turning yourself in. Professor Longbottom, please take your student and punish him. Now, everyone else, let's finish our meals in the light of the fireworks." Professor Chimer then returned to his seat and began to eat his treacle tart. Scorpius gulped and walked over to where Professor Longbottom was beckoning him at the door. As he walked over though, he noticed Longbottom looking at his friends too, who were following.
His friends joined him with Longbottom and showed that they had no intention of going anywhere without Scorpius. Professor Longbottom gave a sigh, and said, "Well, I suppose it's fitting that you all should be the culprits. Come now, my office if you please."
Longbottom led the four first years to his office and shut the door. "Now, whose grand master plan was this?" inquired the Professor.
Rose looked at her feet and said, "My Uncle George. He sent us the plans and the stuff we used in it." The others were also looking at their feet, though they had no remorse for what they had done. It was innocent fun. Obviously the Professor thought so too, as he started laughing as soon as he heard George's name.
"Figures," Laughed the professor. "Well, I do not see what the big problem is, but Chimer obviously sees something wrong with your little fun. I believe 5 points each from Gryffindor will be enough to satisfy our Headmaster." The children, who had hopefully turned to face their Head of House, hung their heads in shame. But, the professor wasn't finished. "And, I award 25 points to Gryffindor in the light of recent events that everyone needs a bit of a laugh."
The four children looked up at his smiling face in surprise. None of them had expected this. Albus was the most confused and spoke the question that was echoing in all of their minds. "Professor, what do you mean 'in light of recent events'?"
The smile was quickly gone from Professor Longbottom's face. When he looked at the children and saw that they were all wondering the same thing, he sighed. "That is not something that I have the power to inform you of. Now, off to bed with you. I've kept you much too long. However, back to your punishment, I will be sending a letter to George and your parents about this. Not that George will pay it any attention."
Scurrying out of the office and off to the common room, the four were worried and confused and Scorpius kept muttering obscenities about the letter that was probably going to get him another Howler. They got back to the common room, said a hurried goodnight, and headed up to their dormitories. Rose automatically showered, dressed in pajamas, and pretended to sleep to avoid her roommates. The boys did the same, only after talking about how amazing the prank was. Nobody wanted to talk about the new uprising.
If you could believe it, none of the four friends got a good night's rest, worried about what would be coming in the mail. They all woke from their restless slumbers at different times and met in the Great Hall at breakfast. The Hall was alight with the tale of the fireworks, how cool they were and how unlikely it was that first years had pulled it off without help. As the four were eating their waffles, four owls flew into the Great Hall with the post and landed in front of them. Before touching the owls, they all checked to see that the envelopes weren't red or smoking. After sharing a worried glance, they took their letters from the birds and the birds flew away.
"Well, no need to wait to read my dad's disproval," Scorpius said, resigned. He opened his letter first, and was surprised to see that it was not from his father. The letter was written in the scrawling, graceful print of him mother.
You are extremely lucky that Professor Longbottom sent me a letter about this antic of yours and not your father. I'm terribly sorry about the Howler that he sent you. Your father is an awfully impulsive man. However, I do agree with him now after this antic on your invitation home. You are not invited home for Christmas or Easter. You are grounded for the entirety of your time home this summer. And most importantly you need to clean up your act. I will not be telling your father of the friendships you are striking with Weasleys and Potters, but if you put another toe out of line I will.
As Scorpius was reading his letter, Rose opened hers. Her jaw dropped when she saw the sheer length of it, written in three different hands, that was a combination punishment and "how ya doing" letter.
Your father and I are deeply disappointed in you. Setting off fireworks in the Great Hall during dinner? Even your Uncle had the audacity to perform his similar prank in the Entrance hall. It is greatly disappointing to see that you truly have been taking after your father more than me; I hope you are doing your homework.
Rosie, ignore your mother's rant about your Uncle. He did it during the O.W.L.'s and I can tell that he sent you the plans. Now, as for your friendship with the Malfoy boy… I can't say I'm proud of that but even if he's in Gryffindor keep on your toes. Malfoys are no good, no matter what house.
Hey Rose! I heard Mum and Dad talking about the prank you pulled and it sounded awesome! Do ya think that next time you could blow up a bathroom and send me a toilet seat so I'll have my very own piece of Hogwarts? Mum is shaking her head. Mum, don't take the quill! Bye Rose, love Hugo!
Anyway, we all want to wish you luck in your classes. We hope all is going well. Your brother I'm sure isn't serious about the toilet seat and I do not want to see that coming home.
Try your best Rosie, we love you. No more pranks, as your mother would say.
Love, Mum and Dad
Rose was unused to letters from home. Her mother had said that with work they wouldn't be able to write. Well, she thought, at least I know Hugo will write. Looking around she noticed Lorcan poring over a rather short note with a grin on his face.
Lorcan, dear, next time don't get caught. Good job for getting in Gryffindor. Many of my best friends were in Gryffindor. Don't listen to your brother, I don't. I'm just as proud of you as I am of Lysander. Have fun at Hogwarts! ~Mother~
Lorcan, Scorpius, and Rose all looked at their one remaining friend. Albus had yet to open his letter from home. "Come on, Albus," Said Lorcan, "They aren't that bad." Scorpius gave him a contradictory look. Taking a deep breath, Albus opened his letter and began reading. It was from his father.
Listen to me when I say to choose your battles wisely. Some you will want to fight, others you shouldn't. Watch out for your friend, he is a battle worth fighting. I can imagine how much hurt the Slytherins are putting him through. Keep your friends close, Albus.
On the other hand, about this prank. It was a noble thing you did, not letting the Malfoy boy take all of the blame. However, next time you use fireworks do so outside. Even if they are your Uncle's Whiz-Bangs, someone could still get hurt. I'm sure they're still running about the castle, so watch out. We don't want Madame Pomfrey on your case. Lily says "Hi" and that she and Hugo want matching toilet seats from your next prank. I'm putting a solid no on it, so write so they won't get their hopes up. I have no qualms about your continued pranking, just next time don't get caught.
Now, on a final note, get your homework done, do well in school, only listen to Trelawney if she's spewing a prophecy, no toilets being blown up, and above all, keep your friends close. Heaven above knows what will happen to you without them.
They had all finished their letters and were glad to have it out of the way. That is, until they saw a Howler come in and head for them. Scorpius turned white with fear and shock. Professor Longbottom also saw this and was up from his seat faster than anyone thought possible. He pointed his wand at the letter and said calmly, "Incendio." The letter burst into flames in the talons of Scorpius's father's owl and crumbled to ashes in the middle of the Gryffindor table. After taking a look to see that nobody was hurt by the falling ashes, Professor Longbottom returned to his seat and resumed conversation with Professor Flitwick.
Scorpius sat in utter bewilderment, but wasn't as bewildered as his poor family owl. The bird was hovering in the air above Scorpius's head, looking at its talons where a letter had been but a moment before. With a loud, indignant squawk it soared back out of the Hall. All of this happened rather quickly, and most of the people in the Hall hadn't noticed.
Rose was the first to notice that their friend was almost fainting. "Here, eat this. Our cousin Teddy says that chocolate always helps." She waved a piece of chocolate under Scorpius's nose, which he took gratefully. "I don't know why he says it. My uncle Harry says it's genetic but never goes further."
"Thanks Rose. I do feel kind of better," Scorpius said in a small voice.
"It's a good thing that we have Professor Longbottom here," Albus began an impromptu monologue. "You won't have to worry about any more Howlers coming to you, Scorpius. You're in good hands. And as for any Slytherins who want to voice your father's words, they'll have to answer to us. My mum always said that you should treasure your friends, and I believe her. We're here for you no matter what, Scorp…" Because he was so into his speech of comfort to his friend, Albus failed to notice that Rose and Lorcan were mimicking him and Scorpius was losing a battle with his laughter. "I'll look out for you- HEY I DO NOT LOOK LIKE THAT WHEN I TALK, ROSE!" Well, okay, so he noticed at the end. At that point, all four of them fell over laughing. This earned them a bunch of odd looks from up and down the Gryffindor table.
After breakfast, the four spent the morning outside. While Albus and Scorpius played a game of Exploding Snap in the shade of the Marauder tree, Rose and Lorcan did their homework. After all, it was Sunday and they had classes the next day. It didn't seem that their friends thought the same way, as nothing penetrated their skulls except who was winning the game. By lunch time, two were done with all homework for the beginning of the week and two knew that the score of their game was 436-572.
While on their way into the Great Hall for lunch, a group of Slytherin 4th years stood in their way. "Well if it isn't the little blood traitor and his group of misfits," jibed the biggest of the group. "Care to tell us why you're breaking family tradition, Malfoy?"
Scorpius turned white. "Matilda, please leave me alone. I'm sure it was you who wrote my father about the sorting and I'm not pleased with you." He then turned to his friends. "This is my cousin, Matilda Greengrass."
"Isn't her mother married?" Rose asked, ever the innocent one.
Matilda turned her glare on Rose. "Why do you ask, Weasley? At least my mother is a pureblood. When my mother divorced my father, I took on her maiden name. It appears even half-bloods have the brains of their Mudblood parents," Matilda sneered at Rose, then turned her attention back on her cousin. "And for the record, I told my mother. It was she who happily wrote Uncle Draco about how the family bloodline has been besmirched."
By now all four of the Gryffindor first years were steaming, even calm Lorcan. Albus was ready to throw a punch at the fourth year Slytherin girl. Scorpius sneered back at her, "Don't lie to Rose. Aren't you proud of your lineage from Vincent Crabbe? Even if your parents never married, shouldn't you be proving your pureblooded-ness?" If there was one thing Scorpius had learned from his father, it was how to throw someone's words back into their face.
Just as a fight was about to break between the two groups, Dominique Weasley walked out of the Great Hall, prefect badge gleaming as if she had just shined it. "Rose, Albus, what's going on here? I heard shouting." She then wheeled around to look at her cousins' antagonist. "Matilda, don't you have better things to do than to be intimidating first-year Gryffindors? Five points from Slytherin, for discouraging house unity."
The gang of Slytherins flinched in the light of their loss of house points and walked away. "Now, do you want to tell me why you were almost in a fight with them?" Dominique inquired. "I thought Victoire had done her job as Head Girl and told you the no-fighting rule."
"We didn't try to get into a fight with them. It was just…" Rose answered unwavering until she reached the part about Scorpius's cousin's jibes. She cast a sidelong glance at her friend.
"It's just that my cousin was being a pureblood prat, mad at my insolence of becoming a Gryffindor instead of being a good boy and being sorted into Slytherin. Because I have so much control over the Sorting Hat," Scorpius picked up explaining where Rose had stopped. "You guys go ahead. I'm not hungry anymore. I'll catch up with you in the common room. Homework won't do itself."
Dominique simply said, "Stay out of trouble, you four. Oh, and Scorpius," He turned to face her, worried that the Weasley would say something scathing to him. "Welcome to Gryffindor. I'm glad you don't have to put up with her." Dominique then returned to her friends who were waiting in the hall. Lorcan and Albus scurried into the Great Hall after her, eager to get their hands on something to eat, but Rose stayed behind, facing off to Scorpius.
"You are going to come with me and get some lunch if I have to drag you kicking and screaming. You hardly ate anything for breakfast and you must be starving." Rose told Scorpius, arms folded and meaning every bit of what she said.
"I'm not really hungry anymore, Rose," Scorpius said somberly.
"It's what your cousin said, isn't it? Don't listen to her. I'm glad you're in Gryffindor. I'm sure Lorcan and Albus are too, but they're showing the hunger I know you are hiding." She offered a smile, which was returned by her friend, then held out her hand.
"Fine, I'll come and eat." He then shook her outstretched hand and they walked into the Great Hall, side by side.
A.N. Please review! I love hearing your feedback, even if it's just an "I like it!" Thank you for reading and I'm sorry for the time between chapters. I've got a lot of things to do this summer between work, writing, swim team, summer homework, and sleeping. :) Thanks for your patience. I'll try and get another chapter up soon, I'm working on another story now too.