Chapter 9: another day
Merlin grinned. His first flying lesson had been almost a complete disaster.
"Why are you grinning?" Albus said disgruntled. They had had to learn along with the Slytherins and Malfoy had been quick to remind him that his father had been the youngest seeker in nearly a century.
"Or maybe it will be the a-famed Merlin this year? Potter not as good as he made up to be."
"Shut up Malfoy," Grace had been quick to respond as Albus looked like he would like to punch Malfoy.
"I'm useless," he moaned now as they made their way back to Gryffindor tower to collect their books. "I'm not even good at quidditch."
"You can learn," Merlin grinned. "You were better than Grace and I."
"Yeah I suppose so," he began to perk up slightly.
"Why are you so happy anyway?" Grace asked Merlin.
"I'm bad at flying," he replied simply.
"So, I'm not the genius who can do everything," Merlin said bitterly. He had not meant to show how much it annoyed him being brilliant.
"Don't you like being brilliant?" Grace asked incredulously.
"Yeah I'd swap any time," Albus put in.
"No I don't mind being brilliant. It's just I'm always the odd one out ..." he sighed and gave up looking at Albus and Grace's blank expressions.
They arrived at the entrance hall just in time to see James coming down the marble staircase followed by a group of his friends.
"Go James! You can do it!" One of them called as he made his way towards the goblet in the centre of the hall. But before he could reach it a line of students came through the open doors.
The students of Durmstrang looked spectacular in this deep red robes as they made their way towards the goblet of fire on it's stand.
Then one by one they reached up and placed their name into the blue flames.
The last one was a girl, she had short massively curly hair that spiralled out in all directions.
Then it was James's turn. He looked small compared to the students who had just passed.
There was a small smattering of applause as he placed his name in the goblet. Merlin did not join in. He did not understand why everyone was so eager to put their name forward.
Suddenly the applause stopped. Quite abruptly everyone fell silent as a boy with dark skin and dreadlocks came down the stairs. He had the air of someone who knew the eye of every girl was on him as he motioned for James to get out his way and was enjoying all the attention.
James came to stand next to Albus and muttered:
"Why what's he done?" Grace asked innocently.
"Have you seen him," James glared. "I hope he gets what Diggery got."
"Really?" Grace looked shocked.
"Why what happened to Diggery?" Merlin asked turning his gaze from the 7th year as he placed his name into the goblet.
"He was killed in the tournament," James said matter of factly.
"How?" Merlin asked feeling his stomach twist.
"He got killed in the last task. No one really knows who it happened," James said trying to make it sound spooky and mysterious.
"Everyone knows he was killed by you-know-who," Grace said sternly.
"Who says?" James replied sounding as though he knew so much more.
"It says in Voldemort and his downfall by Stanley Shunpike."
"You seriously want to believe a death eater."
"Stan wasn't a death eater James," Albus put in. "Dad says he was under the imperius curse."
"Why should dad know?" James said.
Albus looked horrified.
"But your dad's Harry Potte,r" Grace said unable to keep the ore out of her voice.
"So little first year," James smiled. "Why does that make what he says right,"
"James!" Albus sounded horrified.
James just grinned wickedly down at Albus and ran off to follow his friends.
"We should go too," Grace said. "We don't want to be late for Potions,"
"No definitely not," Albus agreed fertilely.
"Your late Potter," Professor Spill glared as they pushed open the dungeon door. "And you to Coleman and Blain, why are you late?"
"We had herbology."
Spill almost smiled. It was a pretty lame excuse Merlin had to agree.