Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling. The title of this story is from a Richard LeGallienne poem about someone who meant to do their work, but didn't because they got distracted by something much better and more precious (in the poet's case, nature).
Challenge: The Quidditch European Cup Competition at the Harry Potter Fanfiction Challenges Forum. One week to write a Next Generation story with the genres of friendship, adventure or tragedy and the prompts guilt, trap and thread. The first I used thrice, the second twice and the last once. thread also inspired two plot elements of the story: Lily's occupation and the letters - 'thread' as in 'thread of a conversation'.
A/N of DOOM: This is the longest oneshot I've ever written! I've also never written a story entirely told through things that are written down, and I don't usually 'worldbuild', either. I tried to go for as much internal consistency and faithfulness to the books as possible, as well as make up something realistic. I hope that I succeeded!
As this story was written by the characters so to speak, there will be some grammatical and spelling errors here and there, but it shouldn't be anything too painful. So if you see any, it's not (well, I hope it's not) because I've been sloppy: it's because they have. ;)
I hope that you enjoy this fic. Huge thanks must be extended to my wonderful teammates for this competition, imagined-experiences, the lola and magic doors, for all their help and support. GO PUDDLEMERE UNITED!
EDIT: IF THERE ARE MISSING LINE BREAKS, this is not me, it is because this website sucks. So. Much.
And they wonder why we don't want to use the line break they provide... maybe if it worked, we would!
21st December, 2012 edit: I've altered a few things I didn't like in the first version, but had no time to correct originally. Most things remain unchanged, however. Also, we won. :D
I Meant to Do My Work Today
12th August, 2027, 12.36 P.M.
I got back from lunch and a Technicolour moose is trapped in my office. It's also raining. No one admits to being the culprit and it wasn't me. Will need this sorted out ASAP.
- Scorpius Malfoy, Experimental Charms
12th August, 2027, 12.38 P.M.
Have you tried Finite Incantatem?
- Albus Potter, Magical Maintenance
12th August, 2027, 12.43 P.M.
First: of course I have - along with more than two dozen other spells. Why do you people ask that every single time? Do you even read the first messages you're sent?
Second: you're a funny one, aren't you? You should change jobs, you should. I'd like that.
Meanwhile the moose is mauling all my files and looking very wet and very angry. Get over here and do what you're paid to do please.
12th August, 2027, 12.46 P.M.
This is my second day and I can already say you wouldn't believe the number of people who just panic/are lazy/stupid and call for us without trying that. There are some real idiots out there.
You think I'm funny? Why? Didn't think you paid me any attention at school...
Shouldn't mooses be dealt with by the Magical Creatures guys? And, being in Experimental Charms, surely you know how to deal with a bit of rain. What are you, scared of getting wet?
12th August, 2027, 12.50 P.M.
Don't play innocent. Harry Potter's son doesn't even WORK here. He's been the Charms Professor at Hogwarts since last year.
Though I'm starting to wonder whether you even work here.
Accusing me of being scared when you're cowering in a cupboard and hiding behind a fake name so I can't report you. Very brave of you "AP".
"The Magical Creatures guys" said it's not a real moose and therefore isn't their problem. The Department of Magical Accidents and Catstrophes told me to "suck it up" because there are "worse things in this world", and anyway, that it also wasn't their problem. Both then said to "go whine" to your department. Obviously I wouldn't be talking to you if I could deal with the rain.
P.S. It's "meese", idiot.
12th August, 2027, 12.53 P.M.
I wasn't cowering, I was planning! I'm coming up now.
And my name is Albus, not "Harry Potter's son" or "idiot". I'm filling in for a couple of weeks whilst Walters is ill.
P.S. Actually, it's just "moose". I don't know where that s came from, sorry... If only they hadn't banned the Spell-Checking Quills because that one bloke almost died after his friend sent him a spell to try that the quill corrected wrongly when its enchantment broke down... I mean, poor him, but way to ruin it for the rest of us.
P.P.S. And sorry, that scared thing was just a joke. I guess it didn't come across well.
P.P.P.S. Would you really report me?
12th August, 2027, 3.09 P.M.
You're a lot more snarky than I remember you being, yknow, Malfoy.
12th August, 2027, 3.12 P.M.
12th August, 2027, 3.19 P.M.
You were quiet and barely smiled at school, always doing schoolwork instead of socialising. You didn't say much when I came to vanquish the Technicolour Moose and stop the Storm either. But in your letters you said stuff. Sarcastic stuff.
12th August, 2027, 3.27 P.M.
Don't you have work to do Potter?
12th August, 2027, 3.30 P.M.
Meh. Not really. Most of the jobs go to the people with the training, even if I am a Charms Master. So I'm stuck in here. It's boring.
You didn't answer my question btw.
12th August, 2027, 3.38 P.M.
Why are you even here then?
What does "btw" mean?
Those are all questions, as is this: what kind of teacher are you if you don't even know that?
And this: out of all your no-doubt gigantic group of friends in the Ministry, why are you bothering me?
12th August, 2027, 3.47 P.M.
Because I get bored when I don't work and I owed Walters a favour.
You really are a lot snarkier.
"You were quiet at school and barely smiled, always doing schoolwork instead of socialising? You didn't really say much when I came to vanquish the Technicolour Moose and stop the Storm either? But in your letters you said stuff? Sarcastic stuff? What's changed?"
It's a Muggle thingy. Means "by the way". Or that's what my Muggle-obsesed cousin Hugo told me anyways.
I'm a good one! You should stop by some time, watch the lessons. Maybe you'll learn something...
So we're friends now? This is sudden. Not sure what to think about this. I don't actually have that many friends - or, well, my family are my friends. But I'm not in the mood to talk to any of them. They gossip with each other, it's annoying.
P.S. You know what? I've decided. We're going to be great friends.
12th August, 2027, 3.53 P.M.
Yet you're working and you're bored. You make so much sense it's amazing you can even communicate.
Well... you annoyed me, and I always find it easier to write than to talk. Obviously you have the opposite problem.
Besides, what did you want me to say? "Oh thank you so much Potter! You saved me! Let's talk for hours!"?
How would you know I didn't smile much? We spent the whole seven years of Hogwarts both ignoring each other and I've not seen you once since we left.
I'm not surprised you don't have many friends.
I'm not even going to dignify the rest of that with a reply. Now leave me alone please, not all of us have the luxury of being the saviour's son. We actually have to work to keep our jobs.
12th August, 2027, 4.02 P.M.
But I'm not working! They've just left me in here to fend for myself! There's no food, water, oxygen! I won't live through the day if I can't bother you! You wouldn't want to be the death of your new friend, would you?
No. No, I know what you mean. Saying things aloud can be hard - especially when you're always being watched and judged because of your last name, like we are. But maybe if you let people get to know you - by making a friend, for example - you wouldn't be judged anymore. Yes? No? Maybe? Say yes.
I'm just saying I've never seen you do it. And I didn't ignore you, you ignored me.
For the second time, my name's Albus Potter. Write it with me. Albus Potter.
And don't be bitter. I worked hard to be made a Professor, and without my hard work today, you'd probably be running through the halls of the Ministry of Magic screaming, "The moose is coming! The moose is coming and it's going to eat meeee!"
And come on! You are so just doing paperwork! You wouldn't be replying this fast if you were doing anything important.
12th August, 2027, 4.24 P.M.
At least it's positive for you. I'm constantly judged because of bad things my family did before I was even born, and I don't have the choice of fighting back because that would comfirm everything people say. I don't need friends to prove myself though, actually. I can do it myself.
I don't understand you. If you haven't been judging me by my last name all this time, you've done a brilliant job of showing it.
You hid from me in the library once in fifth year. And never did explain why. Have you forgotten that?
Okay. Here's a picture of me smiling then:
20 minutes. Do you agree that my job is more fun and important than yours now?
12th August, 2027, 4.28 P.M.
You cruel person. You'd feel no guilt at all if I died down here, would you?
Not always. I'm judged too, everyone expecting me to "live up to" my father - as if I could, he saved the world after all. Your life hasn't been fair but you aren't the only one in that kind of position. Besides, not everyone is stupid enough to not see past your last name! And you can't assume someone is just because they don't say otherwise!
Okay, that came out wrong and all. I know you don't need a friend to prove yourself, you're a brilliant wizard. I've always thought that. But what would be so bad about having me as one just for the hell of it?
...I wasn't hiding. I'm a Gryffindor, I don't hide. I was just... exploring.
XD? So you know emoticans but not btw?
20 minutes of paperwork? Sounds enjoyable to me. And you did that on purpose. It did give me time to plot against you, though. ;)
12th August, 2027, 4.31 P.M.
Look... Potter. I am going to work now... and you are going to stop bothering me.
Don't be immature.
12th August, 2027, 4.34 P.M.
You are? I am? I promise I won't be - if you'll be my friend.
P.S. Still plotting.
12th August, 2027, 6.20 P.M.
See you tomorrow, Malfoy!
13th August, 2027, 8.06 A.M.
Good morning, Malfoy! How's it going? Did you read today's edition of the Charms Chronicle?
13th August, 2027, 12.04 P.M.
Hey again Malfoy, I'm bored again and it's lunchtime! Want me to bring you something? A cheese and pickle sandwich? I remember you liked those.
We could talk about Charms.
13th August, 2027, 4.00 P.M.
The Tutshill Tornados are the worst Quidditch team in the league and anyone who supports them wouldn't know a snitch if it flew right in their face - much like their Seeker, Zachary Zeller.
13th August, 2027, 4.49 P.M.
Still there? There's a Charm that's gone wrong and we need you down here.
13th August, 2027, 5.28 P.M.
Okay, now I'm back in my cupboard and covered in glue and feathers and you can write it down, tell me: you did that on purpose, didn't you?
13th August, 2027, 5.35 P.M.
What is this accusation? As if I would do such a thing. Even if you are completely deluded about Quidditch. But I shouldn't have expected anything else from a Cannons supporter.
You're the one who plotted against me while I was slaving away over not-paperwork yesterday.
13th August, 2027, 5.38 P.M.
13th August, 2027, 5:40 P.M.
13th August, 2027, 5:43 P.M.
13th August, 2027, 5:46 P.M.
13th August, 2027, 5:50 P.M.
13th August, 2027, 5:54 P.M.
Son of a saviour!
13th August, 2027, 6.03 P.M.
MY NEW BEST FRIEND FOREVER!
13th August, 2027, 6.15 P.M.
Don't be such a girl.
And piss off. We aren't friends. I don't even know you, but what I do know of you, for the record, I find very annoying... so go away.
I'm going home now.
Don't talk to me tomorrow please.
14th August, 2027, 8.05 A.M.
So it seems itll be a busy morning but I just wanted to say hi, Mr Scorpius "Moose Fancier" Malfoy!
14th August, 2027, 8.10 A.M.
Who is this? Is this supposed to be for Malfoy? He's got time off til the 17th.
- Alice Byron, Experimental Charms
14th August, 2027, 11.27 A.M.
Oh. Right. sorry. Never mind. Just... ignore that message.
14th August, 2027, 11.30 A.M.
Isn't Malfoy gay?
- Alice Byron
14th August, 2027, 11.35 A.M.
Wait, what? What makes you think that?
14th August, 2027, 11.38 A.M.
He's never said it, and it's not exactly common gossip, but... his hair. And he dresses a little too well. He always rebuffed anyone who came onto him at school, if I remember right, and there are rumours he's cut off all engagements his parents tried to arrange for him... so, gay.
Who are you?
- Alice Byron
14th August, 2027, 11.42 A.M.
It doesn't matter, I'm just someone who knows him. Anyways. I've got to dash. Work to do.
Please just ignore the first message.
14th August, 2027, 12.00 P.M.
Fancy eating lunch?
14th August, 2027, 12.04 P.M.
Albus! You know these aren't supposed to be used for private messages, don't you? I can't believe you!
I can't do lunch, either, I'm taking it up here and you won't be allowed near the archives.
Promise me you won't use the memos again unless it's for work - later, that is, when we're face-to-face.
- Rose Weasley
14th August, 2027, 12.07 P.M.
Hey Lucy, do you want to get lunch with me today? I'm in the dinner hall and feeling very lonely. :(
14th August, 2027, 12.11 P.M.
Hugo! Please come and save me!
Sent messages to Rose and Lucy asking them if they wanted to have lunch. Rose told me off and Lucy hasn't responded. I know you're caught up saving the Muggles/us from the Muggles, and that's important and all, but will you come? I was looking forward to spending some time with you all whilst I was here but you're always busy.
I think I'm dying of boredom.
14th August, 2027, 12.15 P.M.
Yeah, sorry but I can't. The Muggles/we can't save them/ourselves. I'll read something touching at your funeral though, no worries.
That's if I'm not off Obliviating another Muggle Who Knows Too Much. And if I'm not on a date with Siobhan Finnegan, cause she's fit and def into me. You understand, right?
Can't believe you messaged my sister and Lucy. Rosie will have your head later. Lucy probably burnt your message as soon as she realised it wasn't a letter telling her she's made that commitee thing, or whatever new thing she's trying to climb the career ladder onto now. I dunno. I lose track with her.
Oh yeah, something else unbelievable: have you heard the rumours about Malfoy? Siobhan just told me them and I figured you of all people would be interested.
14th August, 2027, 12.18 P.M.
14th August, 2027, 12.22 P.M.
They're saying he has a thing for animals.
14th August, 2027, 12.27 P.M.
Al? You okay mate?
14th August, 2027, 12.37 P.M.
I was honoured to be your cousin.
17th August, 2027, 8.21 A.M.
You know I'm going to kill you Potter, right?
17th August, 2027, 9.00 A.M.
Oh hi Scor! Welcome back to the working world! How's it going?
No. Why would you want to do that?
17th August, 2027, 9.03 A.M.
How's it going? How is it going?! I've had seven people stop me in the hallways today asking me about my "unusual fetish"!
You're dead, Potter.
Don't call me 'Scor'. Just die.
17th August, 2027, 9.06 A.M.
Um. Yeah. I'm sorry about that. It was a total accident - I meant to send a message about you fancying moose to you, but you weren't here and Alice Byron picked it up instead. But if you'd just told me about your time off, this wouldn't have happened.
17th August, 2027, 9.09 A.M.
Why haven't you told people it was a joke then? They'd listen if it was you.
I'm so sorry that I didn't feel the need to tell you the ins and outs of my schedule. I did tell you not to talk to me though.
Is this how you treat all your mates?
17th August, 2027, 9.12 A.M.
How about this: I'll tell everyone I made this up if you admit you caused the Glue and Feathers Incident.
Buying me a drink to apologise wouldn't go amiss, either.
As mates, I mean. Which you admit we are.
Ah, but that was practically an invitation! But it's fine. I forgive you. Just don't make the same mistake again in future. :)
17th August, 2027, 9.15 A.M.
I get why your family are your only friends now... they're the only ones who won't leave when you spread rumours about them and then refuse to retract them even when they aren't true.
17th August, 2027, 9.19 A.M.
Tell you what. Admit you caused the Glue and Feathers Incident and buy me a drink, and I'll retract the rumours and buy you a drink. That way, we're even!
It's more just that most people who've tried to befriend me over the years were just interested in my "fame".
17th August, 2027, 9.23 A.M.
Do you promise you'll stop the rumours if I admit I caused the Glue and Feathers Incident and get you drunk?
17th August, 2027, 9.26 A.M.
You have my word.
17th August, 2027, 9.29 A.M.
Comforting. Okay, I caused it. By accident.
Where do you live?
17th August, 2027, 9.32 A.M.
That wasn't what I asked! I want you to admit you did it on purpose, Malfoy!
And woah, I'm not telling you that! Not after you just threatened me a bunch of times.
17th August, 2027, 9.35 A.M.
Really? I don't remember you specifying that. The deal's already been made though, what a shame. Not that I could admit to something I've not done anyway.
Its so I can pick you up tomorrow at 8 P.M. for our drinks as not-friends. Idiot.
17th August, 2027, 9.38 A.M.
Oh. Well. I live in Hogsmeade. But I still won't tell you where, let's just meet at The Three Broomsticks.
You're infuriating. It better be a big drink. And you better dress up.
17th August, 2027, 9.42 A.M.
That sounds like a plan. Now would you go stop the rumours please? And then work instead of bother me. I'm actually on a project today instead of doing paperwork about the last one. Not that I ever do paperwork, mind.
Why is dressing up important? The 'sticks is hardly high end.
The person you're forcing to buy you drinks,
17th August, 2027, 9.45 A.M.
Yes, sir, no sir, three bags of Leprechaun Gold, sir.
Oh. Well, I just meant that I don't want to walk around with someone dressed in rags, you know?
17th August, 2027, 9.47 A.M.
Rags? What do you take me for?
17th August, 2027, 9.49 A.M.
I'd take you any way you want me to.
17th August, 2027, 9.59 A.M.
17th August, 2027, 10.03 A.M.
I mean I want to get you know you as you, not as the way Scorpius Malfoy's seen by others.
What did you think I meant?
17th August, 2027, 10.08 A.M.
Ugh. I've got to go - aparently the toilet entrances have EXPLODED and of course they've asked me to fix them. Itll probably take ages. The apparition points are screwing up as well.
Good luck with your project thingy.
17th August, 2027, 4.19 P.M.
I've heard you're still there. Having fun?
Thanks. My "project thingy" is grateful.
17th August, 2027, 4.26 P.M.
I'm having a wonderful time, you sadist. Just... wonderful.
You make it sound like it's some kind of pet. Is your department secretly a zoo or something?
17th August, 2027, 4.31 P.M.
Good! Maybe you should switch professions?
Well... Alice Byron does look a bit like a horse.
17th August, 2027, 4.36 P.M.
You mean to say you want me around more?
I'll tell her you said that.
17th August, 2027, 4.40 P.M.
Oh piss off and fix the loos.
I'm busy again now.
18th August, 2027, 9.04 A.M.
My boss is so annoying.
18th August, 2027, 9.29 A.M.
Yeah? How so?
18th August, 2027, 9.38 A.M.
She's still making inappropriate comments about moose, despite the fact that she knows the stupid rumour wasn't true. She also wants me to hurry up with the project... because inventing spells isn't dangerous or anything like that, and there's definitely not research that has to be done first.
18th August, 2027, 12.04 P.M.
Sorry. Had a few emergencies back-to-back. Am eating lunch in the dining hall now.
What is this project you're working on? Anything I can help with?
And have you told - it's Padma Patil, right? Have you told her that?
18th August, 2027, 12.11 P.M.
Everything's fine now, I take it? I'm taking my break now too. I brought a packed lunch instead of leaving my office to eat though, because last time I ate elsewhere, I came back and the Technicolor Moose Incident began. I really don't want that to happen again.
It's probably nothing you can help with, though I expect you've heard all about the recent Muggle fiascos in the tabloids. It's been everywhere. We're trying to come up with another way to send letters. Muggles are just too observant these days and the wizarding population is now so big now that owls are too noticeable.
She already knows of course - she just mistrusts me and is always harsh on me because of, well, you know. She was in our father's year. Anyway.
18th August, 2027, 12.16 P.M.
Yeah, once we'd managed to convince the floor that it didn't want to Kill Us All, everything was fine.
But the Technicolour Moose Incident was how we started talking! How can you not want it to happen again? All those good memories! Granted this is sudden but... there's no rule says we can't talk, right?
I have heard about that, and not just in the tabloids. As you say, it's everywhere. My cousin Hugo worked on some of the Obliviations.
Why d'you think I can't help? Do you doubt my ability? I came second to you in Charms at Hogwarts, you know. And my second was still beating the previous record that had lasted - what was it? 125 years?
Ah. Well, cheer up Malfoy. Not everyone is so stupid; besides, she'll retire eventually. Sooner, if you set a moose on her.
18th August, 2027, 12.22 P.M.
The horrible thing is that I don't think your joking. What floor was this?
Who says you'd be the one to help? You might be doing something else. The last thing I need is another letter-stalker.
It's very sudden; I comfort myself with the knowledge that you won't be here soon. Actually there is a rule that we can't talk - technicaly we're abusing the memo system. Everyone does that though.
I've been meaning to ask, how is it that they were okay with you filling in for Walters without the formal training? I know you're Albus Potter, but they're usually pretty strict about this.
I remember. Still, no offence but you're more... technically excellent, whereas experimental charms needs creativity. We're both damn good at charms. But it's different. I create spells, whilst you know the established ones so well you can teach them to people with different levels of skill.
Setting a moose on people isn't a good solution to any problem I can think of.
No, poison's much more elegant.
18th August, 2027, 12.28 P.M.
The 8th, actually - right above you! We think it was some kind of spill-over Thing from all the weird magic you and the Department of Mysteries do below. Of course, they're denying it.
True. I couldn't have you making any other friends, now.
You say that, but I bet you'll be crying of loneliness in your office when I'm gone. You'll want the moose back then, I bet.
Yeah, my cousin Rose told me all about it being against the rules. She made me promise not to do it again.
I'm qualified in Charms, technically, and that's pretty much all this job involves. They've been giving me some on the job training and I'm watched for new tasks. A lot of the work is just mundane checks of the system that don't take long.
I still know Charms inside and out. I'm no inventor, not as good a one as you anyway, but I couldn't teach Charms if I didn't have near-perfect grasp on the theory - which is basically what you need - and I've not stopped learning just cause I'm qualified. If nothing else, I can work as a sounding board for you.
Should I be worried?
18th August, 2027, 12.32 P.M.
Ahhh, so that's what all that noise was.
Did you just compare yourself to a moose?
So it's because you're Albus Potter then.
I see you have zero respect for the rules. What kind of professor are you? You definitely don't write like one.
Fine. How about we discuss it tonight?
Nah. I'll be sending her to a better place.
I should go, there's a lot of not-paperwork and not-research to be done and I've finished my lunch. See you at eight.
18th August, 2027, 12.37 P.M.
You heard all that and didn't come running...? O_O
Um... well, crap, yes, I think I did. In my defence, though, it was a pretty fabulous moose. Would have made a great mascot for your department, I don't know why you wanted rid of it really.
You're a prick, you know that?
I just don't like being told what to do! I'm fine with telling other people. And meh. If I want to write like I'm marking essays, I'll mark essays. There's no point to that in a letter.
Yes. Yes, we will.
Shit, lost track of the time. I should get back too.
Til eight it is, Malfoy!
18th August, 2027, 10.23 P.M.
SM & AP's Amzing Charms Plan
18th August, 2027, 10.30 P.M.
if we had the AC insted of BC and swaped the 1st layer of the compulson charms with the 3rd vector and added in a few more wand movements
18th August, 2027, 10.31 P.M.
id be interested in seing your wand movements Sco
but what will we charm
18th August, 2027, 10.38 P.M.
giv mm th quillill drawww it
...I cant draw a swallow either I dont now what the fuck one looks like just imagin it for yourself and imagine youre trying to cach one
18th August, 2027, 10.51 P.M.
ok so fine well use your parents as post owls since theyre the best at flying in the whole world aparently
19th August, 2027, 8.34 A.M.
Why in the bloody hell did we go drinking when we had work the next day? I kind of hate you right now.
19th August, 2027, 8.40 A.M.
I never drink to excess. If the barmaids hadn't kept giving you free drinks, we wouldn't have had nearly so many. It's your fault. Completely your fault.
Me and my hangover kind of hate you now too.
19th August, 2027, 8.45 A.M.
You could have refused them!
Fucking typical. The one day I'm hungover is the one day the coffee machines decide to BREAK DOWN.
19th August, 2027, 8.48 A.M.
But that would have been rude.
Have they really? How strange, the one in my office seems to be making more coffee than I actually need. If someone were to come along and, say, take it off my hands, I wouldn't mind at all.
19th August, 2027, 8.51 A.M.
I'm supposed to be fixing these machines with a couple of other guys right now... Glue and feathers?
19th August, 2027, 8.53 A.M.
19th August, 2027, 9.17 A.M.
SM & AP's | Amzing Charms Plan
if we had the AC insted of BC and swaped the 1st layer of the compulson charms with the 3rd vector and added in a few more wand movements we would explode and die. Merlin, no wonder we're both so damn hungover right now. Let's never drink and think again.
19th August, 2027, 12.10 P.M.
I can't eat. I feel too sick.
19th August, 2027, 12.14 P.M.
What do you want me to do about it? I'm on the same flying carpet.
19th August, 2027, 12.17 P.M.
Hmm... You could always nurse me back to health?
19th August, 2027, 12.20 P.M.
Not my department.
19th August, 2027, 12.22 P.M.
19th August, 2027, 12.25 P.M.
19th August, 2027, 12.28 P.M.
I think you're working in the wrong department.
19th August, 2027, 12.35 P.M.
Mr Malfoy won't be working here anymore at all if you continue to distract him from his work. Nor will you.
His lunch break has ended now. I suggest you let him get on.
Padma Patil, Head of Experimental Charms
19th August, 2027, 3.03 P.M.
Patil's in a meeting for an hour or so. I just want to let you know that I'm sorry about the message she sent you - she's noticed the extra planes and made me show her a few. As if she doesn't gossip with her girlfriends all day! Women are so hypocritical.
I suppose we won't be able to correspond anymore.
So... Bye... It was - interesting getting to know you. Shame we didn't do this at school when we had the time.
19th August, 2027, 3.12 P.M.
Scorpius! Are you okay?! She hasn't fired you, then, has she?
I felt like my mum had just caught me doing something I didn't want her to catch me doing. Is Patil always that scary?
I have to agree with you about women. I mean - well I have a lot of female family members and they're great and everything, but ugh. As a gender, women are just... ugh. Scary, too.
No! We'll just have to figure out how to do it without her noticing! Maybe we could charm the messages invisible? Or make them look like something else?
We won't give up. Just reply when you can, I won't message you unless you do it first.
P.S. I always kind of wanted to know more about you. But you're so unaproachable in person that I couldn't figure out how to talk to you.
Well, except when you're drunk. Turns out you talk a lot then. Swear a lot, too.
19th August, 2027, 3.17 P.M.
I'm fine, and no not yet.
Happened often did it? Yes, Patil is always like that around me.
Yeah... 'Ugh' is definitely the word...
We'd have to charm the paper I think - that would be simplest. It would also have to make no sound, pass through objects and not set off any known detection spells as well as be invisible - invisible to everyone but us anyway. And there'd have to be some kind of layered-in lock that meant only we would be able to undo the charms.
So, it would have to be impossible.
I think we'll have to.
P.S. You did? Why?
Didn't you wonder why I don't drink much?
19th August, 2027, 3.21 P.M.
Let's just say I was pretty anxious to leave home.
You need a moose.
Look, Malfoy, are we damn good at Charms or aren't we? Yeah, I've only got a few days left here before I have to get back to Hogwarts and teaching children how to make feathers fly and charm the thread through the needle, but if we work hard... how about we go for drinks again to discuss it?
Non-alcoholic ones, I mean. And maybe you should come over mine, so we aren't guilted into making ourselves feel even more sick by annoying barmaids.
P.S. Yes. Everyone said that Slytherins and Malfoys were evil, but then my father said he wouldn't mind me being in Slytherin, and then you didn't seem evil at all, and then Lily was made a Slytherin and... well, actually, she is evil, but she's also my little sister so I have to forgive her. Besides, you rarely spoke or smiled. I used to imagine what was going through your head when I got bored.
P.P.S My sofas are extremely comfortable.
19th August, 2027, 3.29 P.M.
I'll just go to Moose-R-Us then, shall I?
Good? Yes. That good? No.
P.S. I don't even know what to say to that. What kind of things did you have me thinking?
I didn't smile because it was school and I hated not being legally allowed to blow things up.
P.P.S. I'm... sure they are. Relevence?
19th August, 2027, 3.34 P.M.
Don't you mean "Meese-R-Us"?
Well you won't know until you try, will you? Just say you'll meet me in Hogsmeade Square tonight!
P.S. Er, well, just pretend world domination plans and stuff like that. Oh, and "Albus Potter's hair is so much more stylish than mine." But that one kind of goes without saying.
Fair point, considering the kind of weird crap that's obviously going on in your department. Your dream job is overflowing with explosions, evil floors and Suddenly Occurring Meese. You aren't normal. But it's okay, I like you anyway.
P.P.S. I meant that my house is a more comfortable place than the 'sticks of course. But you still have to dress up.
19th August, 2027, 3.39 P.M.
Fine. Not tonight though, I feel like shit and the Evil One will probably ask me to stay late anyway. Tomorrow?
P.S. I'm sure that Gryffindors are just as obsessed with world domination as Slytherins. Case in point: what you just wrote. Your hair couldn't be better than mine if it tried, which it doesn't, because it's much too busy sticking up ridiculously at the back. You mussing it up like you always did only made it worse.
If you haven't pissed off yet, do it now.
P.P.S. I'll come dressed as a scarecrow. That's one step up from rags.
19th August, 2027, 3.44 P.M.
Eh, true. I'd like to go to bed early, to be honest. Tomorrow it is! Eight again?
P.S. What? We are not! We have never tried to take over the world, unlike you Slytherins! I am also, again, not the one who went for the freaky weird job. But I can tell, from this, that you have noticed my hair. Nice to know.
How about I don't? :)
P.P.S. You shouldn't, all the crows would fly away, scared by your stony expression. And we might need them to help the postal owls since swallows are out.
Though I think I would pay to see you dressed as a scarecrow.
P.P.S. I always say that, if you're struggling over what to wear, you should just come naked...
19th August, 2027, 3.48 P.M.
Tomorrow at eight it is. I'll bring some books over.
You may not have tried to take it over, but you have been pretty invested in keeping control of it. From how hard Gryffindor fought in the last two wars, it's obvious they wanted to dominate the world just as much as the Slytherins fighting them did.
Anyway I have to go, get some work done before the Evil One gets back.
19th August, 2027, 3.51 P.M.
I see from what you didn't write that you're considering the naked option, then.
19th August, 2027, 4.01 P.M.
Not until the third date.
19th August, 2027, 4.03 P.M.
20th August, 2027, 7.34 A.M.
-Albus's To-Do List-
1. Go to work
2. Flirt with SM!
3. Come back
5. Clean the house!
7. Look good and dress up and DO HAIR!
8. Hide this list before SM gets here
20th August, 2027, 8.09 A.M.
20th August, 2027, 8.34 A.M.
Sorry cant talk today. See you tonight.
20th August, 2027, 8.36 A.M.
Damn. I'll think about the aeroplanes then, maybe pick Rose's brains some.
21st August, 2027, 7.35 A.M.
MALFOYS IN THE MINISTRY:
APPOINTMENTS IN BAD FAITH?
We've been monitoring them. We've been preparing. For centuries, wizards have been embroiled in a battle for secrecy from the Muggle world; for centuries, we've been winning. Eight days ago marked a turning point in this vital battle, however: Muggles discovering the location of one of our most well-kept and explosive secrets, the hidden magical streets of London. Just two days prior, a Muggle naturist showed the world messages sent by witches and wizards she had managed to intercept.
By the collective efforts of magical governments worldwide, spreading misinformation and performing mass Obliviations, these dangerous events were brought to a conclusion many say we should be happy with.
"Muggles aren't able to see through our enchantments," claims Penelope Goldstein, forty-nine, Head of the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes. "They simply detected that there's more to the area containing the hidden streets than they can see and went to investigate. We've stopped their research in its tracks, but even if they were to keep searching, their technology, no matter how sophisticated it's become, would not find Diagon Alley."
This is all very well, but is it the truth? This reporter has heard otherwise from several Ministry insiders.
"There's a real sense of panic," confides one. "You can't speak to anyone without this coming up, and behind closed doors, even the higher-ups admit they're afraid."
"We'd all like to think that magic is superior to Muggle technology," says another. "We'd all like to think that. It doesn't make it true."
Moreover, what of the woman who intercepted the letters? Whom have the ministry appointed to ensure this does not happen again? Surely, it is someone we, the members of the public they have sworn to serve, can truly have faith in?
Not so. Investigation has revealed that the one the wizarding world's hands has been left in is none other than Scorpius Malfoy, twenty-one, youngest member of the infamous Death Eater family, who housed He Who Must Not Be Named during Britain's last wizarding war. The Malfoys have a history of practising the Dark Arts, and if reports of Scorpius are to be believed, it has continued into the next generation.
"He was always a weird one," remembers Bernadette Flint, an old schoolmate of Malfoy's. "He always kept to himself, not making any friends, always reading books with names in other languages. And he was powerful. He could cast spells I've never seen anyone else cast before. We were all a bit afraid of him."
A tall, unsmiling individual, Malfoy is certainly menacing. Despite his family's Dark reputation and young age, he has already been given several high-profile assignments by the Ministry over more experienced workers; and early this year, the funding for a highly secretive project he was, in fact, in charge of, was cut in mysterious circumstances.
"Our whole department is working on it," insists Padma Patil, forty-six, Head of the Department of Experimental Charms, her arms crossed defensively and a scowl twisting her face, "not just Malfoy."
The Department of Experimental Charms shares a floor with the furtive - many say unsafe - Department of Mysteries. Formerly a mere committee and only recently granted department status, it consists of only five people. "Not just Malfoy" indeed.
As always, with each new crisis magical Britain faces, the Ministry's official position is one of certainty and calm; and as always, the unofficial position speaks of anything but. The question on everyone's lips, now, is whether or not the soldiers we have fighting this invisible war are the ones we should be putting our faith in... and if they aren't, what dark future is in store for the stability and the secrecy of our world?
21st August, 2027, 8.05 A.M.
Scorpius, is everything okay?
I saw that bullshit article this morning, and I get it if you're busy... just reply when you can?
P.S. I am seriously sorry about last night.
21st August, 2027, 8.06 A.M.
Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy's In-Tray
1 - Ministry of Magic memo x 1
2 - Orders #312-322 from Flourish and Blott's
3 - Stupid letters from members of the public x 48
21st August, 2027, 9.00 A.M.
So. You and Malfoy.
21st August, 2027, 9.04 A.M.
Actually, forget it, I don't wanna know. Rose got it out of me, though, so by lunchtime Lily will have sent you an owl. Don't whine I didn't warn you.
Sorry about this mate, I know I swore I wouldn't tell but that woman has more blackmail on me than anyone else. Even you.
21st August, 2027, 9.12 A.M.
In my response to the owl that Lily will no doubt be sending me, I'll be tellng her who it was that dyed her hair green that time. Don't whine I didn't warn you.
21st August, 2027, 9.15 A.M.
21st August, 2027, 9.19 A.M.
Look, I'm sorry, okay? Please don't tell her, she'll castrate me!
21st August, 2027, 12.09 P.M.
Dearest brother number two,
Isn't it hot right now? If I weren't so perfect and beautiful, I'd be sweating like mad. As it is, I'm enjoying the excuse to eat lots of lemon-and-eye-of-newt sorbet at Fortescues. My apprenticeship is going swimmingly, thank you for not asking.
How goes the Ministry? A little bird tells me you're having more fun than you thought you would...
Lily, that sister you never write to or come see.
21st August, 2027, 12.26 P.M.
How is your apprenticeship going? Is it hot today? I wouldn't know. There's air con here after all. For me, today is the best temperature. So cool and refreshing...
You know your choice of sorbet is disgusting, don't you?
The Ministry's fine. My life's fine. Stop trying to guilt me into telling you more, that only worked when we were kids. Do you and Rose and Hugo really have nothing better to talk about than me?
P.S. Speaking of Rose and Hugo, do you remember the time your hair was mysteriously turned alternating shades of green for a week? Well, those two had more to do with that than you've been led to believe.
21st August, 2027, 5.30 P.M.
Scorpius. Respond or I'm coming over.
21st August, 2027, 5.32 P.M.
Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy's In-Tray
1. Ministry of Magic memo x 1
2. Stupid letters from members of the public x 206
21st August, 2027, 5.39 P.M.
Was that supposed to be a threat? Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic. I've been getting the most unoriginal hatemail you can think of all day but the threats in it were all still better than that.
Sorry about the delay, as you can imagine I've been working. I'm not having much luck though - still, for once I'm glad about those mandatory Muggle Studies lessons we had. They were so boring at the time but if I hadn't paid attention then, I'd have much more research to do now. No matter that my family might scoff, their technology's pretty amazing.
The article... I already knew Skeeter would never ask me to marry her.
It's okay, it's not your fault your cousin decided to floo in without warning. Why not put up warning charms though?
Maybe you should, for next time...? I mean, if you want there to be a next time anyway. Just... forget it if you don't.
21st August, 2027, 5.46 P.M.
SCoRPiUs mALfoY You aRE A GeNiUs aT ChaRmS STOP BeINg OnE oR THe caT YOu Don'T OwN WiLl gET iT.
You actually paid attention to those lessons? I didn't hear a word. Except 'blah'. Charms was the only subject that didn't bore me to manly tears; then again, Professor Davies's teaching techniques were world class.
Not my fault, but that didn't stop it from being embarassing. I've never seen you so flustered before... actually, I didn't mind that part.
I don't put up any warning charms because my evil sister always finds a way to sneak past them anyway. The Charms talent runs in the family, unfortunately - from our grandmother, Lily, and our mum, I think. Skipped our brother, though - James got the Transfiguration and Defence Against the Dark Arts talent from our dad's side. And for some weird reason Lily and James both love Astronomy. Don't ask me why. That was my worst subject... that was the worst subject.
Who's pathetic now? Bring wine tonight around seven. I'll cook. You like chicken, right? And apple crumble for dessert?
Also, come naked if you want to live.
21st August, 2027, 5.52 P.M.
You really don't have anything to do do you?
Yes, I unlike you cared about school work. It's how I knew about emoticons. What did you do in the lessons - were those the times you stared at me and imagined my thoughts? I never could space out - got that from my mother.
By that I'm sure you mean that he taught well, not that you secretly loved it when he moved your arm into a better position. I hope you aren't doing that with your own students.
I wasn't flustered.
I know a few spells that would stop her - from the project Skeeter brought up in that article. There's a type of magic, dubbed "smart spells", that I started to develop in January that adapts and sneaks past things - it didn't catch on and I lost the funding because it's so difficult to get the precise amount of magic needed right, has a pretty small area-effective limit and has to be updated and reapplied fairly often, but I'm sure I could do a fireplace for you and then show you how to update and apply it in future. Lily would notice the charms if she scanned your fireplace for them, but they'd look like something else. You'd get your warning. She'd get the frustration of always finding you innocently reading books or eating.
I remember. Didn't you almost fall off the Astronomy Tower once when you fell asleep up there?
Not tonight, I have to work overtime again. Tomorrow?
Yes, those foods are my favourite. By this point I'm not even surprised you know that random stuff about me you shouldn't. It is getting a bit creepy though.
I should hope I'll be coming and naked.
21st August, 2027, 5.59 P.M.
You can't end messages like that then say you aren't coming over!
21st August, 2027, 6.02 P.M.
I can and I will and I have.
21st August, 2027, 6.05 P.M.
21st August, 2027, 6.08 P.M.
21st August, 2027, 6.11 P.M.
21st August, 2027, 6.14 P.M.
I'm not the one who feels up students.
21st August, 2027, 6.17 P.M.
I don't. But I bet you would if you had them.
21st August, 2027, 6.20 P.M.
Nah. I prefer sex over the desk in my office with co-workers.
21st August, 2027, 6.25 P.M.
I hate you so much.
I'm going home. I'm going to have a long, hot, steamy shower and you know where to find me if you feel like joining me.
21st August, 2027, 6.28 P.M.
I hate you too. It's not my fault my work is vitally important and I can only skive off it a bit instead of constantly.
See you tomorrow bastard.
22nd August, 2027, 7.41 A.M.
Dearest brother number two,
I told you it was going swimmingly in my first letter. It's nice to see you love me and care about me so much you don't read a word I'm saying, Alby.
Oh, I know about the air con. You wouldn't shut up about it for weeks when you first read about it - one of Scorpius Malfoy's Charms, wasn't it? "A spell that affects a whole area but fluctuates according to individual will! It identifies people by their magical signatures! Amazing parameters blah blah blah hopeless weird super secret crush, blah, blah, blah, Scorpius Malfoy is soooo talented blah why did he never notice me blah blah."
Come on Al, I don't want gross details but I do want to know how it was that you finally got his attention. Rose didn't know and if Hugo does, he's not telling.
You wouldn't know about the sorbet, since you're too much of a wuss to try it.
Lily, that sister who tells you everything and never asks for anything in return.
P.S. I will have my revenge then. On you, too, since you've been covering it up all this time. Why was I cursed with such a cruel family? What did I do to deserve all these lies and manipulations?
P.P.S. Owlie the Owl II will wait for a response, and I charmed this parchment to trap your hand if you try to leave without answering.
22nd August, 2027, 7.50 A.M.
What the hell did you do to the parchment? I can't get it off!
I will tell you nothing, you've annoyed me. Give it up.
And I don't talk like that... do I?
- Albus, that brother you take advantage of all the time.
22nd August, 2027, 11.28 A.M.
Will you be able to have lunch with me today?
22nd August, 2027, 11.45 A.M.
No sorry, I've got too much work. Still researching. Still thinking. Still blowing things up when I try anything out. Besides, Patil's the one in charge of my paycheck, not you.
Good job on making your plane soundlessly fly through the wall without having it destabilise. You'll teach me how when I see you later.
Now we need to work on selective invisibility, the locks and not setting off detection spells and devices.
22nd August, 2027, 11.50 A.M.
You can't conveniently come into an empty lift at the same time as I do like you did this morning? I want to illicitly kiss you again.
I will, will I?
Yeah, I will. If you kiss me.
22nd August, 2027, 11.53 A.M.
No. Later. Yes. Later. Goodbye.
22nd August, 2027, 12.07 P.M.
Hugo, I'm bored again. Are you or Rose or Lucy available for lunch?
22nd August, 2027, 12.12 P.M.
Piss off, Al.
22nd August, 2027, 12.16 P.M.
Lily got to you, too, did she?
22nd August 2027, 12.26 P.M.
Brother number two,
I am hurt by your refusal. James would never do this to me. He's my favourite brother now, even if he talks to me even less than you do. But I can forgive him, because he's a decent person.
You do talk like that, Alby. You're a bit like Dad - your mind gets stuck on things and then you can't think about or talk about anything else. "I won't be in Slytherin! I won't! Nooo I don't want to be in Slytherin who would go there!"
If you tell me about your little romance, I'll forgive you, call off my planned revenge and tell you how to remove the parchment. :)
Lily, that sister with so much forgiveness in her heart.
22nd August, 2027, 12.31 P.M.
How can you like James more than me? I am definitely a better person than he is!
Lily: "I want to go to Hogwarts can I go to Hogwarts I want to go I want to go can I go I want to can I go to Hogwarts I really really really want to! Now!"
Too late, Scorpius vanquished that evil thing this morning. He didn't even know which spells were on it, specifically - he's just better than you.
- Albus, that brother who is convinced that your career choice had nothing to do with your interest in fashion, and everything to do with your love of poking people with pins when you fit them for dresses/robes.
23rd August, 2027, 11.18 A.M.
Brother number two,
Oh, I don't know. He always gets me more for my birthday. And he'd have cracked by now, unlike you.
You were the same, Alby. Always so jealous of James for getting there before you.
Albus, I want to know how you finally made him aware of your existance (outside of how much it annoyed him when you beat him in Charms at school, because you might not have seen it, but I was in the same house as him and I could tell) and what he's like. I don't, however, want to know anything about what he has and hasn't been removing. Though I do want to know how, exactly, he got past my spells.
How about this: I tell you what they were and swear not to take my revenge on you for covering up the ones behind the Green Hair Incident, and you tell me about Scorpius and what he did to the parchment to make it let go of you.
It would make me happy, Al.
Lily, that sister who just knows what the perks of her job are.
23rd August, 2027, 11.29 A.M.
This is Scorpius Malfoy. I don't usually read other people's mail, but Albus is in the shower and your owl kept pecking me until I opened the letter. Then I saw my name...
...I'll tell you how I took the spells down and suggest improvements for yours if you tell me how long Albus wanted me to notice him. (Was it from fifth year?) Oh and you won't tell him about this message either.
Is that acceptable?
23rd August, 2027, 3.17 P.M.
I hope you and Owlie the Owl II are happy. Scorpius almost saw your letter this morning.
James doesn't get you more for your birthday! Since when has James got you more for your birthday?
...Fine. Something weird was going down in his office, and being in Magical Maintenance, I was tasked to sort it. And no, before you ask, I didn't cause the weirdness. We sort of just got talking through the message system... He says way more when he's writing, and it was nice, you know? Even if he was reluctant at first and I thought then that we cold only be friends.
And then I might have accidentally started a bad rumour about him, which he then messaged me about, and then I bribed him to go out to drinks with me. And during all that I guess I sent him so many messages he grew used to it.
Aguamenti then a modified Bubble-Head Charm then a De-Sticking Charm. You didn't tie in all the elements, so water didn't turn my hand into water, it just softened the parchment. Made it easier to work with. Then the Bubble-Head Charm, which as you'd know only works on skin and repulses water, came between the skin and the water. After he just needed to de-stick the evil parchment from the bubble and, once the bubble had started to burn with the acid mix you added into the hex, it was gone. Then he got rid of the bubble, the acid with it. Though I'm highly disturbed about that acid. That burning the parchment would have meant setting my hand alight as well - trying to cut it off hurt enough.
Are you happy now? It'll be all your fault if I get nightmares from this.
- Albus, that brother who is very annoyed by you interrupting his day off.
23rd August, 2027, 7.12 P.M.
Why hello there, Scorpius Malfoy! Long time no see. How's life after Hogwarts treating you? Aside from the poison quill article about you, anyway. Though I'd be impressed if you really were using Dark Magic to manipulate people into letting you invent nefarious things such as magical air conditioning right under the Aurors' noses, as Skeeter was implying.
You don't read other people's mail? Why not? You should try it, I've found out so many interesting things over the years.
And people said you should have been in Ravenclaw. That's a Slytherin bargain if I ever saw one!
But no can do, sorry. Alby already told me what you did and I wouldn't get enough out of that deal. The improvements I want, but in exchange for my silence, I'll require this piece of information: how long did you want my brother to notice you?
23rd August, 2027, 7.30 P.M.
Brother number two,
Welcome back to being the best big brother I could ask for! Of course James has never got me more for my birthday than you, you absolutely spoil me, what made you think otherwise?
A rumour? What was it? I'm proud of you for the bribery! Well done! Also, if you've managed to break his icy exterior, I'd even say you should give Gryffindor five points when you get back to Hogwarts.
I warned you the parchment would trap your hand if you left without answering my letter. As a Professor, you should know the consequences of ignoring warnings like that.
And my apprenticeship is going great. Thanks for not asking again. :)
How's the Ministry? Has it collapsed around your ears yet?
Lily, that sister who is so sorry for caring about her favourite brother.
23rd August, 2027, 9.02 P.M.
It's fine thanks.
No and I won't make a habit of it either. Though you've confirmed that owl post has been a bad idea all along.
The improvements you'll have from Albus. Ask him about his multi-layered Anti-Destabilisation Charms. If you do it nicely - try your hardest and maybe you'll manage it - he might just teach you them.
I don't know what you're talking about.
P.S. You and Albus are definitely related.
23rd August, 2027, 10.11 P.M.
Good. It's fine for me, too! Thanks for asking!
I suppose you're trying to figure out a way to make it so that only the recipient can read the letters or even know they're there?
Ahh, so I could account for all the elements without having the fragile parchment disintegrate from too much magic. Mkay. But why can't you teach me? We could set up a time and place to meet.
Yes, you do. And if you don't tell me, our deal is void and I'm telling Albus about these letters.
P.S. Are you sure? I had some concerns about the milkman... well, never mind. So long as you're sure, I can be, too.
23rd August, 2027, 10.56 P.M.
Well... yes, basically.
Also yes. But I can't teach you because I can't teach. In our fourth year we had that tutoring the younger students program; do you remember it? Albus and I both did spectacularly, only he passed and I failed.
Now are you going to honour your end of that deal?
Maybe I'll consider honouring our other one if you do.
23rd August, 2027, 11.39 P.M.
Albus has liked you forever. Before fifth year - but what happened in fifth year? Do tell - or I do!
You see, he's competetive, like our mother, and curious, like our father. You were his competition at the one subject he loved, and he couldn't find out anything much about you. But he couldn't just say so, either, because he's an idiot and was worried you'd reject him for being a Potter, a Gryffindor and for what would have been obvious if you'd got close - that he fancied you rotten. I suppose letters made him less tongue-tied around you.
You were interested in him too, weren't you! That's why you ignored him at school, but didn't ignore his no-doubt annoying messages at the Ministry. You tried, but you couldn't help yourself when it was what you'd wanted all along - when you were talking and it seemed like he might actually be interested.
Don't worry, I won't tell him if you don't. Just don't hurt him or I'll send you a hex you won't be able to undo. 'K?
24th August, 2027, 12.06 A.M.
One day in fifth year I was working in the dusty part of the library no one liked. I didn't think anyone else was around until I heard books falling down from a bookstand right in front of me; when I got up to look I saw Albus struggling to get up from under the books. When he saw me, he pretty much... ran away. Into an alcove. And didn't come back out. He obviously didn't want to speak to me, I figured he'd been there to pull some prank or something, and I had no idea how to say anything myself. We'd never spoken. I assumed he hated me like his brother did and just hadn't deigned to tell me. I fancied him and was paranoid he'd notice.
So I put the books back and left.
...We wasted a lot of time, didn't we?
I still barely know him, but I wouldn't mind knowing him more. Hurting him would be stupid - though I doubt you could make such a hex. I'd find a counter.
Goodnight. Goodbye. My owl needs to hunt and I need to sleep.
24th August, 2027, 5.28 P.M.
It seems your apprenticeship is going great. That's great. The ministry could be collapsing - under its massive collective ego maybe - but I wouldn't know, I have the weekend off. Then Monday is my last day there (!) before I'm shipped off to Hogwarts!
I'm not telling you the rumour, you'll only spread it again!
It's not so much broken as it is... relaxed. Around me, that is. But Lily, the house point system doesn't work like that - I'll have to give myself at least ten.
That's still a barbaric thing to do to your own brother.
Well. If it was James, though, that wouldn't be my problem. Not exactly.
- Al, that brother who accepts the apology in the same spirit it was meant.
24th August, 2027, 7.01 P.M.
You wouldn't find a counter, I can assure you.
But is that anything to say to your new friend? We should be supporting each other, not fighting!
24th August, 2027, 7.59 P.M.
I would, I can assure you.
We aren't friends. What is it with you Potters and your quick friendships?
24th August, 2027, 9.05 P.M.
We need to talk tomorrow, Scorpius.
25th August, 2027, 8.36 A.M.
25th August, 2027, 8.50 A.M.
Dammit Albus, no you aren't.
25th August, 2027, 9.54 A.M.
No, I wasn't. But I figured that would grab your attention.
I had an epiphany last night, about the lock we'd need to make the aeroplanes respond only to us, when I was thinking of a magical map of Hogwarts invented by my grandfather. We've been trying to come up with complicated Latin roots and just the right sounds to put with them, but the reason the map has lasted decades is because the magic used to unlock it is just a simple command in English. Latin has power but that's not what we need here, we need focused intent that will leave the least magical wear on the paper. And the less powerful the magic, the less visible it'll be to detection devices.
Obviously the advantage we'd have over a map is that our paper would only need to last one trip. But this is worth a try, don't you think?
25th August, 2027, 10.11 A.M.
That's brilliant! A simple lock and a simple key... "Only [name] can see and open this" for the lock?
I have to go, but if you've got time at lunch you can come have it here with me and we can talk this over.
Not that it really matters, since this is your last day here. But I can't say this isn't an interesting diversion.
25th August, 2027, 10.15 A.M.
Thanks. Not really my idea, though. I think that would work for the lock, now we just need the key.
I'll make time.
Meh. You're working on a new type of magical post, if anything this might at least give you some ideas.
It'd be interesting to see whether we could use the memos over long distances, too. Say, between Scotland and London. Surely we could make paper aeroplanes faster than owls.
See you later. I look forward to using your desk.
25th August, 2027, 12.18 P.M.
Dearest brother number two,
You know how to listen, now, too! That's wonderful. Are you sad about leaving? You're going to miss Scorpius, right?
I would never do that! Come on, Al, what was it?
Hmm... I'd say one point, then. Slytherin will still win the House Cup, though, obviously.
I'll tell Jamesie you said that. :)
Lily, that sister who would never ever spread bad rumours.
25th August, 2027, 12.18 P.M.
The more you say that, the more I want to hex you just to prove you couldn't.
It's called "having a friendly disposition". Anyway, if we aren't friends now, I'd like to be your friend at some point. If you're going to stick with Albus, anyway.
Do you like Quidditch? What about sorbet? And fashion? I design and fit men's robes as well... if you ever need to dress to impress on a date, I'd love to design something for you.
If it's with Albus, anyway.
25th August, 2027, 12.31 P.M.
Next time you want to message Scorpius behind my back, you might like to use different owls. I'd be pissed off at him too, if I hadn't felt the pain of Owlie the Owl II's beak more than once. Owlie the Owl I's as well. He was just as persuasive. And by that I mean vicious.
If you tell James, I'll tell him you said I was your favourite brother. Just because he's too thick to have caught on that you tell us both that doesn't mean I am.
Now leave me alone and go back to designing those robes and eating disgusting sorbet and making your own friends, k? We're both going to Mum and Dad's for lunch tomorrow, so I'll see you then.
- Al, that brother who you aren't fooling.
P.S. Hexing isn't something someone with a friendly disposition does.
25th August, 2027, 8.04 P.M.
Okay, they've all left. Get up here in my office. Now.
28th August, 2027, 7.32 A.M.
Testing, testing... paper aeroplane to Hogwarts...
29th August, 2027, 7.40 A.M.
Testing, testing. Smart spells have been updated.
30th August, 2027, 8.09 A.M.
Testing, testing... Do they work now?
31st August, 2027, 9.12 A.M.
Testing, testing... I miss having you at the Ministry a lot... but I'm only admitting that because I know this will probably burst into flames like the last three.
31st August, 2027, 11.45 A.M.
Testing, testing, testing, testing.
1st September, 2027, 1.09 P.M.
Testing, testing. Still missing you.
2nd September, 2027, 2.08 P.M.
Testing. Test. Ing.
3rd September, 2027, 7.00 A.M.
Has this got through the wards, Professor Potter? I tried a different tack...
3rd September, 2027, 2.23 P.M.
Yes! Hello, London! Whatever you did, it got through! No spontaneous combustion, no noise, and it didn't tip off a single spell! Not one of the students noticed it come in, either... I think we've done it! :D
I think - Scorpius, I think we're AWESOME!
I'm afraid I'm going to have to give you detention and take 5 points from Slytherin for passing notes in class, however, Mr Malfoy. Tonight, my rooms, eight-ish. Floo in.
P.S. I couldn't give a damn what clothes you wear. I'll just be taking them off anyway.
4th September, 2027, 7.03 A.M.
Albus, I've gone to work. Didn't want to wake you up before your alarm went off.
Don't worry, I remember what we discussed last night. Good luck with teaching and see you soon.
4th September, 2027, 8.34 A.M.
Scorpius, did you have to stick that note to my forehead this morning? Writing the counter - the choice of which, btw, wasn't funny - where I couldn't see it doesn't count as giving me a way out you know.
How soon is soon? If it's very soon, you'll be thoroughly rewarded...
Good to hear you'll be keeping it in mind. I'll agree again that you should just show the Evil One what we've done with the aeroplanes instead of going along with that ridiculous Ministry Postal Service idea Byron came up with and practically everyone else is championing. Like we need even more of a centralised government.
As you said, if the planes are lasting long-distance and don't show on magic OR technology detection devices, as we've tested them on, why aren't they good enough? They also can't be intercepted and are pretty fast. And:
1. My Uncle George said he'd sell the paper with all but the locks already on them if we could prove they work, so we already have a manufactaurer and seller.
2. As Rose tells me, if it would mean the Muggles won't find us, the Ministry'd relax the laws on underage magic for the locks and keys faster than you can say "Albus, you're right!"
3. I was thinking about the international testing thing this morning. James is off living it up in America and I'm sure he'll help us test them along with everyone else, even if he is a prat.
You know all that, you just need to tell them. They'll listen more than you think they will, because you, Scorpius Malfoy, don't need anyone to prove your talent except you.
Anyways, I've got to go. Breakfast time, and then I've got the second years who think they can start working on the cool stuff already for first period. Bye for now.
4th September, 2027, 4.08 P.M.
I just wanted to make sure you got it Albus. Out of interest, how many spells was it before you tried Finite Incantatem?
As for the planes, I'll be answering the rest of your note - and claiming that reward - in person. You should get this message before I floo over...
21st July, 2028, 10.00 A.M.
Dear Mr Potter and Mr Malfoy,
It is with great honour that I send you this letter confirming that you have received a joint Order of Merlin, First Class for your immense contribution to both wizarding communication and the continued secrecy of the magical community.
You will receive all pertinent documents at a later date, as well as the date and time of the presentation ceremony.
Lucy Weasley, representing the Grand Chancellor of the Order of Merlin Institution
22nd July, 2028, 1.24 P.M.
The planes are still flying in. You know they're saying we saved the world, don't you?
They've really changed their charm about you. There's another one who wants to jump your bones that just come in, and Rita Skeeter has asked for an interview... AGAIN. Should I be worried?
- AP, OOM1C
22nd July, 2028, 2.03 P.M.
Yes, I was there this morning when they started invading our kitchen. You've nothing to be worried about Albus - unlike you, they only want me for my fame.
Saviour or not, I still have to work though.
And don't keep doing that with our names. It looks ridiculous.
22nd July, 2028, 2.58 P.M.
It's funny you should say that, since we only got our Order of Merlins because we invented something to help us skive off work. Anyways, I'm bored. There's no work to not-do, the sky has forgotten that it's summer and the only book I haven't read in this house is that one about the mating habits of meese Lily bought us.
No, SM, OOM1C, it looks awesome.
- AP, OOM1C
22nd July, 2028, 3.56 P.M.
Most of history's greatest discoveries that weren't accidental, magic and Muggle, were made by people who wanted to get out of work.
I tell you what. Look amzing tonight and we'll go out to celebrate as just us - without all the awkward family tensions and Malfoy and Potter rivalry and so on that we had last night.
Dress up, shut up, and we'll do that.
22nd July, 2028, 4.40 P.M.
Oh? Where do you plan on taking me?
- AP, OOM1C
22nd July, 2028, 5.10 P.M.
Wherever you want.