There were few things that struck a smile across the lowly Slytherins face, and the sight of a familiar ash stricken owl crashing through the great hall was all of them.
The owl in question, narrowly slamming into the stained glass windows, crashes down across Albus’s half-finished breakfast, eyes widened comically.
“Hey Asher”, he grins, ruffling the birds feathers soothingly. “Good boy”
“They’re not dogs Al”, Constance Chang chuckles. The quidditch captain rolled her eyes good naturedly, elbowing her friend.
“That doesn’t make him any less of a good boy”, Albus pouts as the table dissolves into laughter. “You guys would never understand”
“Just open it Al”
Sticking out his tongue, Al shoves the sent package under his robe, mock glaring at the curious group.
“Oh come on!”, the quidditch captain yells as the Potter stumble to his feet. “Not even a peak”
“See ya at potions”, he cries over his shoulder, grinning as the team erupts into groans. “Don’t do anything till I get back”
“If Lover Boy sent Chamallows I call dibs”
Al gives her the finger.
“Oi, watch it Potter”
Instinctively he hops over the stuck out feet from the Gryffindor Table, not looking up from the floor.
Shoulders knocked against him and the usual laughing followed in suit as he stumbled to regain his balance. The package remained safely tucked under his cloak.
An arm wraps around his shoulder.
“Hey Rosy Posy”
“Did you hear about the quidditch pitch?” The red head anxiously fiddles with her rainbow specs. “They’ve roped it off, apparently Flitwick put up enchantments to hide whatever’s inside”
“They better not cancel Quidditch this year”, she rambles on, used to her cousin’s silence. “Finnigan would riot”. Her eyes fall on his bulky robe pocket.
“Ooooh, ‘nother package from lover boy I see”
“Don’t forget, practice at 5”, she calls, smirking at her retreating cousin. “Can’t be without my favorite cheerleader”
Rolling his eyes, the Slytherin slips into the closest broom closet, checking for snogging couples before slamming the door closed.
A soft glow erupted from the Hawthorn wand and Al could make out the packages etchings.
“To Al, you absolute bastard, this package encloses some of the muggle world’s greatest treasures and, due to your betrayal, your greatest nightmare. Yours in annoyance, Scor”
Chuckling, Albus tears open the parcel, careful to leave the note intact.
His eyes fall on a stuffed Dragon dressed in a bubble gum pink tutu and matching tiara atop it’s head.
“Oh you little shit”
Attached was a tag proclaiming the toy’s name was Wizbee and he was a very scary dragon indeed.
Apart from the adorable monster, a pack of assorted rainbow quills and Crackling Cakes were tucked within the parcel, a scribbled note tucked in as well.
“You said you were out of quills so here ya go. And you better not have bought some pathetic white ones, these are quality and I expect a full review tonight. We still on for 11?”
The Slytherin bites back a smile, finger tracing over each letter carefully.
He writes back. Immediately the ink dissolves into the paper, mirroring his message to piece of parchment 1,020 miles away tucked into Scorp’s robe pocket.
Sending messages daily to one another had become Albus’s reason to wake up in the morning, knowing he’d wake to the familiar chicken scratch complaining about one thing or another.
That and their weekly phone calls. In the past 20 years, Hogwarts had somewhat adapted new muggle technologies, especially after Muggle Borns started complaining about the lack of WiFi, which included new landlines implemented into each common room.
This decision did little to merge the gap between the blood types nor have much use at all after Mezzage Paper hit the markets, but Muggle-obsessed Al and Scorp reveled in using it.
“Oh shit ”
Time had flown quicker than he thought and by the time he’d stuffed the quills and sweets into his robes, he was tardy for Charms and without his textbook.
Constance was only too smug when he collapsed down next to her, crumpling his detention slip in one hand.
Her smirk only grew as he took out the only quills he had on hand, courtesy of Scorp.
“Not a word”
“Wasn’t gonna gay anything”, she grins.
“I thought so”
“A gift from lover boy, I presume”
Al looks up from his charms essay. Rolling her eyes, his cousin plonks down next to him. Her red locks stood out within the sea of silver and green.
She mischievously eyed his holo rainbow quill before taking out her own, uncolorful, writing utensil.
“You would be correct”, he responds, raising an eyebrow. “Shouldn’t you be off crashing into goal posts”
“Do you ever listen”, the Weasley sighed, “Practice got canceled, they blocked off all the fields, even the practice pitches. They’re planning something”
“Obviously”. He doesn’t look up from his paper.
“But what could it be . It’s not like they’d do the triwizard tournament again, the faculty isn’t that stupid”
“Maybe they finally realised how dangerous quidditch is and would rather put the safety of their students first over long-dead rivalries”
The two meet eyes and dissolve into laughter.
“Ha ha, yeah, when basilisks fly”
“I feel like Hagrid actually tried that”
“Nah”, Constance pops up, the rest of the slytherin quidditch team following in toe, “they were horned serpents. One almost took out Myra’s eye”
“You guys talking bout the quidditch pitch?”
“Yeah”, Rose groans. “Mike said they’re closing it for the whole season. Last I checked, he was crying in the shower screaming to let him drown”
“Talk about drama queen”
“I heard from Ly that they’re setting up for some competition, said she heard McGonagall fire chatting with the headmistress at Beauxbatons”
Albums immediately perks up.
“Bet James flooded the pitch with rats and cacti again”, a fifth year chaser grumbles as the team settles in for dinner. Rose remained seated, having joined the Slytherins in the great hall years ago after the Gryffindor table disowned her.
“2 galleons says it was the seventh year prank”
“Nah, it’s too early”, Constance says, “20 sickles on another ‘house bonding’ event”
“Put me down for a school sport thingy”, Albus pepes up, closing his book as food begins to pop up for dinner
“Anything But house bonding, please”, Eli, a seventh year beater, groans, “Thought they’d be done with that crap after Weasley leveled the astronomy tower”
“Who knows, maybe McGonagall’s got something good up her sleeve”, the quidditch captain adds, shoveling down forkfuls of Shepard’s pie.
“It could be-“
Al cuts off as the Great Hall grows silent. At the head, Headmistress McGonagall adjusted her glasses.
“Students, we have an announcement to make-”
“You’re retiring?!”, James Potter yells from the lions table before being shoved down.
“Sadly, no”, the headmistress sighs, earning a few chuckles, “but, I am happy to announce Hogwarts to host the first Tri-Quidditch Cup-”
“What?”, Rose gapes as the hall erupts into whispers before immediately being shushed once more.
“As I was saying, the Tri-Quidditch shall be a competition including involving four teams from each school, with the three schools competing being our very own Hogwarts, The Durmstrang Institute, and Beauxbatons Academy of Magic”
“The twelve teams will be made up of 7 players each as per Quidditch rules. Note: being apart of your house team is not a requirement to sign up. Any willing participants must gather a group of seven and place their names in the quidditch cup before Halloween eve. The four teams for Hogwarts shall be picked randomly”
“The quidditch cup, however,'' McGonagall smiles, a twinkle in her eyes, “is not your ordinary game of quidditch. Each game will have a unique challenge apart of it, with players having no prior knowledge of the challenge. To all applying, I wish you good luck, and might I say, you’re in for a treat”
Minerva McGonagall looked down at the chaos around her. Rose immediately turned to Constance and the two telepathically seemed to agree.
“So whose in”, the captain grins, turning to her team.
The three fifth years and the only third year of the team decided to partner with their hufflepuffs friends, leaving Constance, Eli, and a fourth year chaser as the remaining Slytherin team members.
“Ok, so we got 4”, Constance reasons, “unless Al learns how to ride a broom in the next month-”
“I can ask Mikey”, Rose adds, “he’s probably screaming in joy right now, and we could use another chaser”.
“So we got a keeper, three chasers, and a beater”
“Not a bad line up”
“What do ya think Al?”
The Slytherin remained frozen, eyes widened in disbelief.
“Yo, AL”. The red head waves her hand furiously in his face. “You there?”
“What’s on with him?”, Rose questions, deciphering her cousins day dream gaze.
“Wait..”, Constance starts to grin, “doesn’t your lover boy go to beauxbatons?”
Albus breaks from his trance.
“I-what, no, I mean yes but that doesn’t- that has nothing to do with it!”
“Your blush says otherwise”, Rose smirks, patting her cuz’s rosy red cheeks. “Oh my god, that means we finally get to meet him”
“I mean we don’t know if he’s...well he might not come”, Albus whispers, “I don’t wanna get my hopes up, there’s so many students at beauxbatons and I just…”
“Al”, Constance sighs, “you can’t be serious. This guy has been in love with you since you sent him that pack of fizzing wizbees, that return letter radiated sexual tension. If Mr. Dreamboat doesn’t come over with a sign saying ‘I love albus potter’, I’ll eat my own foot”
“Besides, you said he’s a quidditch jock, of course he’d sign up for this shit”
“Speaking of which, it’s 5 till 8, sooooo-”
“You really need to get a working watch”
“It’s limited edition”, Al yells tripping over the bench as he gestures to his TMNT watch.
“Let me guess, it’s from Lover Boy?”
Half-running, half-stumbling, Albus sprints down the maze of staircases, hopping from one moving case to another before collapsing onto onto the closest chair. The common room remained empty all for the panting sixth year.
He barely had a second to catch his breath before a long ringing pierced his ear.
“Lost track of time, did we”. Al couldn’t help but grin.
“Your watch is shit”
“I’ll send you another”, the teen smirks, “hello kitty or Puff the Magic Dragon?”
“Got anything rainbow”. Al leans against the green-stained walls, hand cradling the phone.
“You get what you get and you don’t get upset”
“Hypocrite”, the Slytherin slides to the ground, wrapping one arm around his legs. “Didn’t seem pleased with the oh so beautiful spider stationary set I sent you”
“Betrayal”, Scorpius Malfoy mock pouts, “I nearly had a heart attack”
“Alli better have taken a video”
“A video that you’ll never get a hold of Mr”
Chuckling, Albus pulls out his recently received stuffed dragon.
“Well, you got your revenge anyways”
“Did I scare you?”
“I think Wizbee is as far from scary as you can get”
“Damn”, the malfoy sighs dramatically, “guess I’ll have to ship you a live dragon next time”
“I will murder you”
“Fine”, Scorp smirks, “No dragons, no spiders”
“And just so you know,'' Scorpius says, “we have joint custody over Wizbee”
“You’ll be a terrible parent”, Al grins, “you’d spoil him too much”.
“How could I not, he’s too cute”
“You’re a terrible influence”
“Love ya too, babe”
“Stap”, Al blushes, stroking Wizbee “Not in front of the kids”
“Kids? Is there something you’re not telling me Al”, Scorpius grins, but blushing nervously as well. The darkness of the phone closet did nothing to hide his reddening cheeks. From outside, he could hear the chatter of students returning to their dorms.
“Expect a package in the next few days is all I’m saying”
“Nothing with more than 4 legs”
“We’ll see”, Albus smirks. There’s a moment of comfortable silence.
“Did you...did they tell you guys about the Tri-Quidditch cup thing?”
Albus could hear the quiver in his voice.
“Yeah, yeah they did”, the Slytherin whispers, “Everyone’s excited, t-they won’t let us see the fields…”
“Yeah”, Scorpius chuckles. “Well, I...well mean and some friends were gonna sign up to compete and to go to Hogwarts and I get it if you don’t want to be seen around me, it’s okay, I was just wondering-well I hoped- that, I mean if you want-”
The rambling teen immediately shuts up.
“I’d love too”, Al whispers, softly smiling. “The meeting part, I mean”
“Of course”, he lets out a watery chuckle. “Rose and Constance are dying to meet you; expect an interrogation”
“Only if you accept the flood of embarrassing stories Alli’s gonna tell you”
“Well now I can’t wait”, Albus grins.
“You two better not gang up against me or I’m picking Rose as my new best friend”
“How dare”, Al mock gasps. “Fine, you and Rose can go play Quidditch while Alli spills all your secrets to me over a good cup of tea”
“Sounds like a plan”
The common room door slams open, revealing crowds of yelling Slytherins. From the clumps of black and green, Al could make out Constance pushing over towards him.
“I gotta go”, he whispers reluctantly, “talk later?”
“Definitely.” Albus pressed his thumb to his lips. “So… Halloween?”
“Can’t wait”, the Slytherin grins. “Goodnight”
Al hooks the phone back to the wall. He takes a second for his blush to lighten.
“Someones in a good mood”, Constance teases. She tosses him his bag (huh guess he’d forgotten it) before noticing Wizbee tucked into his robe. “What’s that?”
“I’m not gonna ask”, she sighs. “Soooooo...what’d he say?”
“He’s coming”, Albus mumbled into his sleeve.
“Sorry, what was that?”
“He’s coming!”, the Slytherin fumbles, “He’s coming here and we’re gonna meet and shit I can’t take this pressure what if he hates me, what if I spill tea on him, I can’t do this Constance-”
Constance grabs her friend’s chin, lifting it till their eyes meet.
“Al, you’ve been talking for years, you’ve told him shit I probably don’t even know. You’re amazing Al, and he can see that, okay? You two love birds will be just fine”
“We’re not lovers”, Al rolls his eyes, a ghost of a smile appearing upon his lips.
“Yeah, yeah”, the captain gestures offhandedly. “Just let it be known, he breaks your heart, and I break him”
“I’m just saying”, she smirks, “I got a pack of dumbombs upstairs just waiting to be used. Hopefully, it doesn’t come to that”
“I’ll be sure to warn him”, he chuckles softly. “G’night Con”
Constance watches her best friend go, a grin split across his face as he stumbles up the staircase.
“Oh yeah, you two will be just fine”