Chapter 24 : Mischief Managed

I‌ was exhausted. Surely, a system of overtime had to be sorted out. There was an absurd increase in the amount of work I am doing. All I‌ wanted now was to go to bed. I‌ deserved to go to bed.

Sadly, as soon as I‌ found myself back in my common room Albus Potter was waiting for me. He grabbed my arm and pulled me aside. What was it with Potters and grabbing people’s arms? “What did James really want?” I was really tired. Too tired for his family problems. “Why do you care?”  He seemed embarrassed and annoyed. “They’re mad but they’re my family.” Whatever. I‌ just want to go to bed.

I pulled out the piece of parchment. His eyes lit up in shock. “How did you…” I shook my head no. “You were such an idiot you hadn’t noticed Tir and Li knicked it off of you.” Albus looked confused. “How did they…” I‌ could only shrug. “How would I‌ know? I‌ was offered it for that date. I‌ was going to give it back to you so you would leave me alone but now I‌ have to give it to James.”

Albus shook his head no. “You can’t give it to James.” I sighed and pat his shoulder. “Relax, whatever adventure you went on this past summer I told him it was lost through some dark and nefarious means. He thinks I‌ got it back from some Pure Blood auction through Borgin & Burke.” He looked annoyed. “He told you about that?” Did he? I’m too tired to recall.

I sighed and held out the map. “As I‌ see it there are two options outside of me just handing it to James. You hand it over to him yourself or you hand it over to Slytherin for brownie points and the end of your ‘tests’.” Albus seemed shocked. What? I’m tired. Just pick something and let me leave.

I shook my head in exhaustion. My whole body felt like it was giving out. “I’ll shorten this thought process for you so I‌ can leave. If I‌ give it to James you and Scorpius are thrown under the bus. If you give it to James you and Scorpius and Ravenclaw are thrown under the bus. If you give it Slytherin you and Scorpius are fine and earn reputation and trust. Since they probably already know the Gryffindor families pass it down. You tell them to make a house copy first. Everyone loves you.”

Albus looked down at the parchment in my hands. “Do you know what this does?” Do I care? I nod my head yes. “Yea, I‌ do. Maybe I‌ should go give it to Slytherin myself. Tell them you kept it a secret for your family.” He quickly grabbed the map from me. “No. I’ll.” I sighed. “You’ll do what?” Albus looked away awkwardly. “I’ll hand it over now.” I pat his head. “Good job, Albus.” Ignoring his weird look I‌ walked away.

Sitting around the fire were the people waiting up for me. I collapsed in one of the chairs. It felt amazing. Rob looking over at me. “So, your reward?” I saw Albus walking over so I tiredly smiled. “Albus has it.” They turned to look over at him. It seems he picked up Scorpius on the way. He had been reading something. Albus looking over at everyone. “Here. This is what the deal was for.”

Rob took the piece of parchment. “It’s blank?” Albus shook his head no and pointed his wand down. “I‌ solemnly swear I am up to no good.” Red ink spread over the parchment. Names and locations and… footprints revealing themselves? He looked away awkwardly. “It was made by my grandparent’s lot. It has been passed through the related Gryffindor families.” Cyst looked down and scoffed. “The Marauder’s Map. What an awful name.” Serpens leaned away to glare at Albus. “Why are you going against your family now?”

Albus looked over at me. “It might be more fair for everyone in the castle if Slytherin House had their own.”‌ They all looked shocked. Sulli briefly looking up from her book to glance at me. I had just gotten more comfortable in my chair. Cena leaned forward to get a good look at it. “So this is what they have been using against all of us.” Albus nodded his head. “James uses it more than most.” Rob turned to Sulli. “Can you find a way to make a copy?” She nodded her head. I’ll throw Tir a bone. “Li and Tir have already started trying. You can go to them for notes.”

At the mention of Ravenclaw having their own prototype Rob looked even scarier. Sulli nodded her head. Ethel looking tired as well. “How does it go blank again?” Scorpius pointed his wand at the parchment. Was he riding on Albus’ coattails this time? “Mischief Managed.” The ink faded away.

Cyst shook her head in disgust. “Obviously, Sulli will make our ink a beautiful green.” Everyone one nodded except Scorpius and Albus. Scorpius seemed to be looking a bit tense. While, Albus unsure of himself and the actions he took. He needed to learn how to commit to his choices. I looked over at Sulli. “I have to give it James by the end of the week.” She nodded her head and put her notebook down. Sulli studying the map. It would be her only project for the next few days.

Albus and Scorpius finally sat down within our area. A small smirk from Serpens but no comment was made. Ailean leaned over to check on me. “You have a fever.” I nodded my head. “I’ve been a bit over worked these last few days.” Wibert shook his head no. “That is what you call overworked?” Ethel agreeing. “Pitiful.”

I ignored them to look at Rob. He seemed to be thinking. That was like a blaring warning sign. Rob was way too scary for a student. “Edde pulled me aside on my way back.” He looked up at me. “Did he?” I‌ nodded my head. “He said to tell you he’s on board.” Rob nodded his head happily. Do I‌ even want to know what that means? Serpens excited smile made the desire to know even less.

Rob turned to Scorpius and Albus. “Since you two have taken the first step would you like to know more about how your own house works?” The two nodded their heads awkwardly. Karl was brought from the other side of the room. The two looking very uncomfortable. I wonder what he would reveal. Rob looked at Karl. “Karl, it seems there is no longer a reason to allow your public misbehavior.”

Karl turned to glare at Albus and Scorpius. “Are you kidding me? These two can’t ever be part of this house.” Rob lifted his wand. Would he do that in front of them? “Imperio.” Yellow light flickered from his wand and Karl was forcibly made to kneel in apology to the two. Scorpius stood up anxiously. “You can’t be using that! Stop that!” Albus turned to look at me. I shrugged.

Ailean shook his head in disappointment. “You don’t get what you now know do you?” The two turned to look at my brother. “How do you think a muggle born like Rob became the first Head Boy? Keeps order and control? It’s not just understanding. It is respect, talent and intimidation.” Scorpius shook his head. “This is cruel! How can none of you object to this.” My brother sighed into his chair. “Because how do you think this even happening right now?”

Albus glared at him. “He has permission, doesn’t he?” Rob lifted his wand and Karl was set free. “With in reason. Being taught the spells meant I‌ had a responsibility to not abuse them or use them for my own enjoyment.” Scopius moved to help Karl up but found him pushed away. Karl returning to stand as if nothing happened. Scorpius looked completely upset. “Still to be allowed to do such things. To another student!”

I‌ sighed. “This is my problem with you two. You don’t understand the world you live in.” Scorpius turned to look at me. “You are fine with this?” I‌ shook my head. “I neither approve or disapprove of it. I just understand why he does it and is allowed.” Scorpius started to shake. “I don’t. I‌ don’t understand why anything so cruel is allowed.”

Rob sighed. “Scorpius, you wanted to know what you were missing correct?” He nodded his head silently. “Let me tell you then. My first day in Slytherin do you know what happened?” He shook his head no. An eerie smile on Rob’s face. “The transition phase within the Ministry wasn’t as far along. The house fighting between Gryffindor and Slytherin was even worse. We all know which was side was being favored. And a horrible tragedy occurred because of it.”

The two turned to look at him. Cyst took his hand. Rob continuing. “I was the only muggle born in Slytherin at the time. No one was a fan of me. You could say I also was being tested. Just like you two… worse actually.” The two boys looked down awkwardly. It was hard to remember sometimes that Rob was born to muggles. He just fit in so naturally. “And then one night, a pure blood had gone too far. He attacked me with crucio. His father had taught him.” The two looked shocked. “What.” “How could that…”

Rob awkwardly smiled. “We are more straightforward to what we want aren’t we? These sort of things happen.” The two looked at each other awkwardly. Rob turned to look at the fire. “A Hufflepuff boy intervened. When I‌ was free I had tried my best to save the boy. A passing Gryffindor student assumed the situation was different. He attacked me. The Hufflepuff boy in trying to clear the misunderstanding was almost killed. His injuries will never completely recover.”

Albus looked awful. “What happened?” Rob turned to look at him.  “The Gryffindor student said the pure blood and I‌ attacked the Hufflepuff student. He was just trying to save him. The pure blood student was going to be expelled and I‌ was to be pardoned if I said that I was acting under force. But I didn’t lie. I‌ told the truth.” Scorpius leaning forward, shaking. “And…” Rob looked down wearily. “And the pure blood student stayed because of his family. The Gryffindor student was praised and earned house points. The Hufflepuff student could never come back and I… I was abandoned by my house.”

The two boys looked at each other. Rob stood up. “Magic isn’t good or bad. It is how you use it. A person gets judged not by the magic they use but whether or not they look good or bad. When that Pure Blood graduated our Professor pulled me aside and said to me that she would give me a way to survive. As long as I‌ never abused it.” Scorpius seemed to regain some confidence. “But this is wrong, Rob. Using these spells on people.”

He shook his head. “You don’t have to use them. You don’t have to like them. But Scorpius you need to one day be able to face them. This is reality. Most people will not go their entire lives free of bad events.” Scorpius started to shake again. Albus moved over to hug him. The two of them really were a couple. Albus looking over at Rob. “Is this what you kept from us? What really was our house?” Serpens scoffed. “What does it matter if you know? Neither of you can handle the fact that Gryffindor and some families are favored and treated special. You benefit from it.”

He glared at Albus. “Even my soft hearted weak cousin gets judged unfairly.” Albus suddenly looked very spooked. Did he not realize he also was extremely biased? That most people are… Rob turned to look at Cyst. “I have an anchor. A person who loves me and would never let me go too far.” His eyes looked up at the Slytherin banner. “I have restraints in case I fail.” Rob returning to look at the boys. “And the self control to not force this on others. But the reality of the situation is that things are still not pretty.”

Cyst stood up to hug him. “There is no need to waste time explaining things to these children.” Rob shook his head no. “They want to know and they want to be a part of our house. They should know.” Albus looked unsure. “There’s more?” Cyst turned to glare at him. “Of course there is. There’s always more with you lot.” Albus turned to look at me. I‌ shrugged. “Your families reform is aimed at dismantling the power of old and pure blood families. It isn’t the nicest.”

Serpens nodding his head. “Family vaults raided and checked. Homes forced into. Relatives who have ever could of committed crimes sent to Azakaban on possibilities. Forced into lower positions within the Ministry. Attacks on old business or family promises. Sites vandalized for entertainment. Family members confined for owning Dark Objects that had already existed within the family for generations. Children attacked.”

The two boys looked at each other. Rob looking at both of them in their eyes. “Your families created the opposite of a solution. All they did was push the old problems onto the other group instead of create ties between them.” Karl glared at Scorpius. “Your father got my father fired at the Ministry. Do you know that?” Scorpius shook his head no. I sighed. “This is why everyone treats you like a child. A spoiled annoying child. You complain about your circumstances but live in the bubble away from reality.” The two of them looked at each other.

Rob walked over and put his hand on Scorpius. “As an individual, I’m glad you find what I just did as wrong. It means you won’t just give in so easily.” Scorpius smiled a bit. Rob sighing. “But I am also the Head Boy of this house. I‌ have to keep order between the different students within this house and outside of it. And people are mad right now. People are doing unjust things.” He turned to look at Albus. “What you see is just another form of fighting.”

Serpens stood up to leave. “Don’t worry though. Even knowing this we wouldn’t ask you to participate.” Cyst nodded her head. “Rob is too kind to let you do what needs to be done.” Sulli stood up. “I’m going to go over this in my room.”‌ She was the first to leave. Ethel glaring at Scorpius as the others trickled out. I remained in my chair.

The two sat down across from me. Scorpius seemed very unsure. “What do you think about this?” I shrugged. “My brother and I‌ spent the majority of our lives having to survive. A tool is a tool. A person is useful or they aren’t. I don’t think it is something great to watch but it is understandable.” Scorpius shook his head no. “There has to be another way.” I nodded my head. “I’m sure there is. But you have to not only find it but create the situation where it would thrive.” He clasped his hands together and looked down at the ground.

Albus looking over at me. “When you gave me the map did you know he would do this?” I shook my head no. “How was I suppose to know what he would decide to show you? Rob is private.” Calculating more like it. I took a deep breath and looked at the two of them. “Let me ask you, what did you feel when Karl bowed in front of you?” Scorpius shook his head no. “Uncomfortable.” Albus looked conflicted. “Happy. I felt happy.”

Scorpius turned to look up at Albus shocked. I stood up from the chair. “Well, there you have it. Albus is the one to make hard choices and Scorpius is the one to remind him when things are going too far. The brain and the heart.” The two looked up at me. Both seemed unsure how to process everything. I shook my head no. “Goodnight Scorpius. Albus.”

I‌ left the two alone to their thoughts.


Marauder’s Map

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