Questions and Answers


Story Summary:
What happens when the past collides with the present and threatens to cast the Potters' and Weasleys' lives into disarray...

Chapter 02 - Ordinary Or a Hero


Rose impatiently slammed the cover of her copy of Hogwarts, A History closed. The most recent event was some thirty years ago, ages before her parents had started school. She scrambled off the sofa in the Gryffindor common room and headed for the portrait hole. 'Rosie, where are you going? Curfew soon,' warned Isabella.

'Library. I'll be back in time,' Rose replied over her shoulder, as the Fat Lady's portrait swung shut. Rose jogged to the library and headed for the history section, slightly out of breath. She search for a book she had seen a book a few days ago that looked promising. There it was. Famous Witches and Wizards of the Twentieth Century. She opened it to the index, her finger racing down the page. And there was a treasure trove of information. An entry of Weasley, and under it the names of Arthur, Molly, Bill, Charlie, Percy, George, Fred, Ron and Ginny. Frowning, she turned a few pages and found an entry for Potter and saw three names under it: James, Lily, and Harry. Rose held her breath and turned a few more pages, until she found Granger, Hermione.

Rose rushed to the counter with the book and checked it out with only a small 'Hmmmph,' from Madam Pence. It was getting close to nine and curfew for the first and second years, so Rose sprinted back to the common room, clutching the heavy book to her chest.

She stood in front of the Fat Lady panting, 'Felix Felicis.' Rose climbed through the portrait hole, struggling with the unwieldy book and dropped it on the table where Victoire and Madeline were doing their homework. 'Have you seen this?' she asked. 'They're all in it! All of them.'

'Really?' Victoire turned the book around and glanced at the title. 'I must have seen that a million times and never bothered to look inside it...'

'What does it say?' asked Madeline eagerly.

'Not much. It says that the Weasleys were in an organization called the Order of the Phoenix in the second war with some Dark wizard called Voldemort, and Dad, Mum, and Uncle Harry were instrumental in helping defeat Voldemort and end the war. It does say when they updated the book, the family refused any and all interviews.' Rose paused to take a breath, and her gaze zeroed on James and Al. 'Did you know your dad survived the Killing curse? That's how he got that scar on his forehead.'

Al's mouth dropped open. 'B-b-but nobody survives a Killing curse,' he said weakly. 'That's why it's called a Killing curse...'

'Apparently Uncle Harry did,' said Rose smugly. 'When he was barely a year old. After that Voldemort sort of disappeared for thirteen years. He came back in June of nineteen ninety-five. And three years later, he was dead.'

'Who killed him, then?' asked Fred.

'Uncle Harry,' said Rose promptly. 'Well, he didn't really kill him. Voldemort sort of killed himself. His curse bounced off a Disarming charm Uncle Harry cast, and it went back to hit Voldemort.' Rose paused long enough to draw breath. 'At least that's what it says in the book.'

'Victoire, how did you not know any of this?' asked Jacob in amazement.

'Why do I have to know everything?'

'You're the oldest,' said Fred matter-of-factly, as if that explained everything.

Victoire shrugged. 'Dad never said anything about it. He won't talk about anything regarding the war. Maybe they all just wanted to move on with their lives. And N.E.W.T. -level History of Magic never manages to get past the nineteenth century. At least not while Binns was teaching it. And history's not my favorite subject.'

'I still don't see how they could just go on for almost twenty years, and keep it to themselves like that,' Jacob said mulishly.

'Jacob, would you look at Uncle Harry differently now that you know even this much?' asked Victoire. 'Or even your own dad?'

'Well, yeah, I mean, he's a hero!'

'That's exactly why I think they've kept this to themselves,' Victoire replied gently.

Jacob's brow furrowed in confusion. 'I guess I just don't understand,' he began. 'Why wouldn't they want us to know all of this? It's brilliant!'

'Well,' Victoire said slowly, 'Would you rather have a hero or a real person for a family member? Just think about it for a bit, eh?' With that, she went up to the seventh-year girls' dormitory. The rest of the cousins soon headed for their beds, except for Al and James. Al took more time than usual in packing his things in his bag, lost in his thoughts until he noticed James staring sightlessly at his hands.

'You okay, James?'

'Yeah. I don't know whether to be angry that they kept this from us, or to try and see it from Victoire's standpoint.'



'Do you think we would have treated Dad differently?'

'I dunno, Al,' James said dully. 'Maybe.'

'Kind of hard to match the person in that book with Dad, isn't it?' commented Al.

'Yeah. Dad's just so...'


'Yeah... Ordinary,' agreed James. He pushed his chair back, yawning. 'Going to bed?'

'In a little bit. I've got an essay for Defense to finish.' James nodded and went upstairs, making a conscious effort to not comment on the fact Al had just packed all his books and notes away. Al picked up the book Rose abandoned on the table and opened it to the entry about Harry.

Potter, Harry James - (31 July 1980-present) The only known survivor of the Killing curse - October 31, 1981, marked him with a lightening bolt-shaped scar on his forehead; winner of the Triwizard Tournament in 1995; leader of student group known at Dumbledore's Army in 1995-96; battle at the Department of Mysteries in 1996; First Battle of Hogwarts in 1997; defeated Lord Voldemort at the Second Battle of Hogwarts in 1998 with a Disarming charm that caused Voldemort's Killing Curse to rebound against him; youngest Auror in history; currently Head of the Auror Department; married Ginevra Weasley in 2000. (refused to participated in an interview for newest update)

Al closed the heavy book and leaned back in the chair. He felt the sting of tears in his eyes and pressed the heels of his palms into them. Crying wasn't going to answer anything. Albus felt something simmering in his stomach. Guilt, for feeling as if they were going behind their parents' backs, and something akin to betrayal.

Al went up to his dormitory and went to bed. He picked up a framed photograph of his parents, James, himself, and Lily and studied his father's face.

Just who was his father anyway? The hero in that book downstairs; or, the man who took them for surreptitious rides on his racing broom or motorbike when Ginny wasn't home and made sure he and James washed up before dinner? He thought about the time he had drawn a lightening bolt on his forehead with Mum's lipstick when he was nine, so he could be like his father. He remembered how shocked Harry had been when he ran into the shed that housed the old motorbike. Harry had been tinkering with the bike's engine, and when he looked up and saw Al standing in the doorway, crowing, 'Look, Dad, I can be just like you!' Harry had dropped the heavy spanner on his foot. After a few muffled curses about crushed toes, Harry forced a laugh and wiped the lipstick off his forehead.

'You don't want to be like me,' Harry had said. 'I got into way too much trouble in school.'

Al gently placed the photograph back on its place on his night table. He lay awake far into the night, eyes burning, staring at the canopy of his four-poster.


The next morning, found Al sitting in the empty Potions classroom. It wasn't that Al was overly fond of Potions. Not that Professor Williams frightened him, but he was intimidating with that deep voice and tall stature. Besides, the room smelled funny. He had skipped breakfast and the pervasive odor of herbs and potions gone wrong made him nauseated. He was early to his class because Al wasn't in the mood to deal with his cousins and their endless speculations about their parents. The door creaked open and Scorpius sidled in the room. 'Can I sit here?' he asked, tentatively, indicating the vacant chair next to Al.

'Sure.' The empty classroom was filled with the soft sounds of Scorpius setting up his cauldron and potions kit for class. 'Have you heard from your parents yet?' Al asked.

'No. I thought...' Scorpius shook himself. 'It doesn't matter.'

'Why don't you come sit with us at lunch today?' The question flew out of Albus' mouth, quite without thought.


'Yeah. Me, my brother, my cousins. Well, except for Parker. He's in Hufflepuff.' Al stated, matter-of-factly.

'Did he get a Howler?'

'What? No! You only get Howlers in my family when you do something stupid. Like throw potions ingredients at other people.' Al swore he heard something like a laugh come from the vicinity Professor Williams' desk, but he dismissed it.

'Oh.' Scorpius studied the boy next to him from the corner of his eyes for a moment before asking, 'So it's not a bad thing to be in a different House than the one in which your family has traditionally been Sorted?'

'Nope. I guess it can be difficult when you're in a family that doesn't like it when you're different...'


'Yeah, well take Teddy, my dad's godson. His dad was a werewolf and his mum was a Metamorphmagus. Different isn't enough to describe Teddy. My aunt Fleur is part Veela. Aunt Hermione, Rosie's mum, is a Muggle-born. Uncle George is missing an ear. Granddad is nutters about Muggles.' Al shrugged. 'We're all different.'

'Your family is weird,' Scorpius corrected.

'You don't know the half of it,' muttered Al.

Their conversation came to an end when the rest of the class scrambled in from breakfast. Al waved Rose over to their table, introducing his cousin to their yearmate. The easy banter between Rose and Al made Scorpius smile for the first time since he got onto the train last week.


The book still lay on the table in the common room after dinner, a silent beacon calling to Al. He opened it gingerly, like it was printed on Exploding Snap cards and might blow up at any moment. He turned directly to the entry for Ginny.

Weasley, Ginevra Molly - (11 August 1981 - present) Member of student group Dumbledore's Army 1995-1996; 1997-1998 (leader of group 1997-1998); Battle at the Department of Mysteries in 1996, First Battle of Hogwarts in 1997; Second Battle of Hogwarts in 1998; Chaser for the Holyhead Harpies from 1999-2003; currently senior Quidditch reporter and columnist of The Daily Prophet; married to Harry Potter in 2000. (refused to participated in an interview for newest update)

'Rosie?' he called across the room.

'Yeah?' She didn't look up from her Transfiguration textbook.

'Add the Triwizard Tournament to our list.' Al's eyes went back to the book. 'And the Department of Mysteries, something called Dumbledore's Army, and both of the battles at Hogwarts.'

Rose nodded and pulled a piece of parchment from her schoolbag, added the items to their ongoing list, and looked back at Al. 'Anything else?'

'Not right now.' Al sighed and pulled out his Transfiguration notes. He was sure Professor Trentham was going to give them a test tomorrow. He had managed to Transfigure his matchstick to a needle, but it gave him splinters. The only ones in the class that had achieved transforming the matchstick into a workable needle were Rose and Scorpius.


At breakfast the following morning, Scorpius sleepily piled eggs and potatoes on his plate. The daily rush of owls bringing mail caught his attention, and he automatically looked up. If he could have grown any paler, he would have. His mother's small tawny owl landed in front of him. Scorpius took the letter, gave the owl a few crusts from his toast, and held the letter for several long moments before deciding to rip it open quickly. Like pulling off a plaster...

Dear Scorpius,

I won't try to hide it from you. Your father was rather... upset to receive your news that you have been Sorted into Gryffindor.

I, however, am delighted. I hope that Gryffindor will help you grow up into the kind of man you were meant to be. You were never meant to be in Slytherin, my son. I knew that when you were only a small child. It is no matter to me if you've broken family tradition. Some traditions are meant to be broken. And sometimes, it's a good thing.

If you need anything, dear, just owl me directly. Write as often as you can. I want to hear all about your classes and friends.



Scorpius slumped a little in relief. He scowled a little at his mother's characterization of his father's reaction as merely "upset". He was certain Draco had been angry. Angry enough to not speak to him, it seemed. Scorpius slowly released the breath he didn't realize he had been holding, and tucked the letter in his schoolbag. He's write a reply to his mother later. 'Is it okay?' Al's voice broke into Scorpius' thoughts.

'My mother wrote back to me.'

'And?' Al prodded.

'She's fine with it,' Scorpius said carefully. 'My father...' he trailed off and shrugged.

'I'm sorry.'

'It's all right. I'm used to it.' Scorpius pushed his eggs around on his plate a bit. He shook himself a bit. This was not his problem. It was Draco's. There was no use in trying to be something he wasn't, and he was never going to be what his father wanted or expected. He looked wistfully down the table at the Potter/Weasley clan. He didn't have anything like that. They were good-naturedly arguing about something.

'Oi! Parker!' called Jacob. Or was it Fred? Scorpius couldn't tell them apart yet. He was amazed anyone could at all. Parker looked up from his book at the Hufflepuff table, and grinned. He all but skipped to the Gryffindor table. 'What are you doing Saturday afternoon?'

'Just a Charms essay for homework, but it'll keep until Sunday.'

'Brilliant! Up for a friendly family Quidditch game?' Fred asked with a smirk that suggested while the game might be familial, it was going to be as cutthroat as a school game.

Parker frowned, counting. 'There's only nine of us. We'll be uneven.'

'We can ask Scorpius to play,' Al interjected. 'That'll make ten. Then we can have a Seeker, a Keeper, two Chasers and two Beaters.' Al turned to Scorpius. 'What do you say? Want to play with us? It gets kind of intense,' he said apologetically. 'Most of our parents played for Gryffindor. Fred and Jacob's dad played Beater, so did his twin brother and their mum was a Chaser. Isabella's dad was a Seeker. My mum was a Chaser, Dad was a Seeker. Rosie's dad was a Keeper. My Granddad Potter was a Chaser when he was in school... And I think that's it.' He frowned, trying to sort his various family members. 'Yep,' his face cleared. 'That's all of them.'

All Scorpius could do was stare in dumbfounded and the mass of information Al rattled off. 'Scorpius?'


'Quidditch? Saturday? With us?' Al gestured at the rest of the cousins, waiting with expectant looks on their faces.

Something welled up in Scorpius. It was entirely an unfamiliar and not unwelcome emotion. He grinned. 'I'd love to!' A cheer went up from the nine Weasley/Potter students. Their end of the table emptied as they headed off to their first classes. Al, Rose, and Scorpius had Herbology that morning.

As they repotted fluxweed and asphodel in the greenhouse, Scorpius looked at Al, trying to figure out how to ask him something and not come off as offensive. 'Erm... Al?'

'Yeah?' Al measured dragon dung fertilizer into a pot.

'Your cousin?'

'Which one?' Al's eyebrow quirked upward and he grinned.

'Oh, right. The sort of posh-looking one... Victoire?'

'What about her?'

'Can she really play Quidditch?' Scorpius asked in a rush.

Al smirked. 'Don't let the outside fool you. She's a bloody good Beater. Nearly took Jacob's head off at the last family game we played.'

'So you weren't joking when you said it got intense?'

'Let me put it to you this way... Victoire, Madeline, Parker, and Isabella are all really good with the Episkey spell. Usually it's just bloody noses and black eyes,' he said hastily when Scorpius' eyes widened. 'No broken bones. Well, there was only the one time at Grandmum's, and Izzy's mum is a Healer, so Parker was back to normal by the next day...'

'Oh, right...' Scorpius gulped and returned to his potting tray. 'Back to... normal...'


James sat next to Al, grudgingly looking over an essay Al had written for Charms, because Al had just as grudgingly asked James to do so, as James was one of the best in his class in Charms. 'Looks okay. You might want to redo that bit about correct pronunciation, though.'

'Thanks.' Al read that section of his essay, and crossed out a few words, and added a couple of others. He rolled up his parchment, and took out his DADA notes. 'James?'

'Yeah?' James was busily scribbling an essay for History of Magic, muttering the unpleasant things he would do to Professor Binns, if he weren't a ghost.

'Do you think we're lucky?'

James stopped writing and dropped his quill. 'Why do you ask?'

Al looked over his shoulder, eyes darting around the room. Scorpius wasn't in the common room. 'Scorpius. His dad got really mad at him for being Sorted into Gryffindor.'

'How mad?'

'Too mad to send a Howler,' Al whispered as if it were a terrible secret. James whistled softly in astonishment. 'Do you think Dad meant it? Not caring where we're Sorted?' Al asked fretfully.

James ran a hand through his disordered hair, ruffling it even further. 'Yes, I do. When has he ever given us a reason to not believe him? Aside from not telling us about a good chunk of his time at school, but I've been thinking about what Victoire said the other day.'


'I think she's right. Now, hear me out, before you start getting all fussed. Who do you want for a father? Dad, or some encyclopedia entry?'

Al was making a series of dots with his quill on a scrap of parchment. He thoughtfully connected them into a pattern before answering, 'Dad.'

'That book doesn't change anything you know.' James pulled his feet into the seat of the chair, and wrapped his arms around his knees. 'When I was eight, you and Lily both got dragon pox at the same time. Dad stayed up all night with the two of you, so Mum could get some sleep. Knowing he won some swotty tournament doesn't change that. Just keep that in mind, shrimp.' James cuffed Al on the back of the head, and gathered his books and went upstairs to bed.

Al soon followed James up the stairs to his dormitory. He climbed into his bed, and picked up the photograph next to his bed. Heroes didn't bring you pumpkin juice when you were sick or play endless games of Exploding Snap to keep you from scratching the dragon pox hives. Al replaced the photograph, arranging it just so. James was right. Whatever Harry had to tell them, it wouldn't change a thing about who he was right now. Having an ordinary father was just fine for Al.

But he still wanted to find out just what the Triwizard tournament really was. And what in Merlin's name was Dumbledore's Army?


The rest of the term passed pleasantly enough. James and the twins were usually up to their eyebrows in some sort of mischief or another. Although James did talk the twins out of spiking Professor Williams' pumpkin juice with flobberworm mucus by telling them it would work better on a git like Robert Nott. James had far too much respect for Professor Williams to prank him. The last thing James wanted to do was earn his ire.

The cousins were making plans to go home for the Christmas holiday, when Scorpius received an owl from his mother. He eagerly tore open the letter. It had been written last night.

Dear Scorpius,

Your grandfather Malfoy is very ill. Your father and I are leaving for Nice first thing in the morning. We might be abroad for some time. I'm afraid you will need to stay at school for the holidays.



Scorpius crumpled the parchment and tossed it into the fire of the common room. He came back to sit by the cousins, who had rather adopted him into their ranks.

'What was that about?' asked Isabella.

'Parents won't be home, so I'll have to stay here for the holiday,' he said sullenly. Al went to check the list on the bulletin board. There weren't any other first-years staying.

'Maybe you could come stay with us?' Al suggested.

'Doubtful. If you thought my father went out of his tree over me being a Gryffindor, he'll go absolutely nutters over me spending my holiday in the company of - what do you lot call it? - the worst blood-traitors and a group of half-bloods in Britain.' Scorpius sighed, and leaned back into the squashy cushions of the sofa. He gave them a half-shrug. 'No matter. I'll just stay here. Get some homework done.'

Al and James exchanged a look. There was no way he was staying here by himself. Not if they could help it.