Author's Notes: Wow, it's been a long time since I updated this, huh? But to be fair, I've still been involved in the "Magical Total Drama" world through "Yule Brawl." Anyway, someone wanted to know how Team Escope met in this universe. Enjoy!
"So you use actual brooms. How original."
Noah's fellow first-year Slytherins gave him a look as the instructor, Groundskeeper/Chef Hatchet, marched up to the group, grumbling to himself.
"Don't know how I let him talk me into this, like I ain't got enough to do—alright, runts, Professor McLean is makin' me teach you how to fly. Now—"
"I don't need to learn nothin'!" said Lightning, puffing out his chest. "I bet I can fly circles around anyone in this school!"
"Yeah, yeah, just about any of you who ain't a Muggle-born can probably do this in your sleep."
Great, thought Noah, who was, in fact, the only Muggle-born Slytherin in his year. He heard someone snickering and glared behind him; Alejandro quickly arranged his face into an angelic mask, but Noah could still see a certain smugness in his smile.
For once, however, Noah didn't seem to be the only one. "You," Hatchet said, pointing. "You're the youngest Burromuerto kid, right?"
Alejandro's unctuous smile quickly faltered. "Yes."
"Both your older brothers are on the Slytherin Quidditch team, ain't they?"
"Yes," Alejandro said, with a definite note of bitterness now. Scott and Heather both looked amused at his discomfort.
"Well, why don't you demonstrate to the class how it's done, then? Get on your broom and give me a lap around the goal posts."
"...Alright," Alejandro said. He held his hand out over his broom, cleared his throat and said "Up!"
The broom twitched before lying still on the grass.
It took Alejandro two more tries to get the broom to jump into his hand, at which point he mounted it in a way that looked awkward even to Noah's untrained eye. He kicked off from the ground, rose about fifteen feet into the air, making a perfect arch...
...which kept arching downward, even as Alejandro screamed, trying to pull up and before he CRASHed into the ground.
Lightning, Heather and Scott all started laughing, while Noah smirked. Courtney gave them a stern look. "It wasn't that funny," she said, as Alejandro picked him off the ground, straightening out his robes and looking red in the face.
"Yeah, yeah, laugh it up. Let's see if any of you runts can do better. Now everybody—"
"Uh, excuse me?" said Heather, who had simply picked her broom up from the ground. "Are these Cleansweep Sevens?"
"That's what they say on the handle."
"Sevens? These were made before I was born!" Scott protested. All of the Slytherins were now picking up and examining their brooms. Noah wasn't sure what it was supposed to look like, but his certainly seemed splintery and old, with half its bristles missing.
"Cleansweeps? EW!" said Dakota, casting hers away as if it had the plague.
"Aw, don't be such a bunch of babies! Lightning can fly anything!" said Lightning, who wasted no time in mounting his broom. "Sha-BAM!"
He took off. Noah and the others watched as he began to fly in an upward spiral, whooping like an idiot. However, once he got too high his whoops turned into cries of protests, and he spiraled back to the ground, crash-landing in a way that, while it left him face-down in the dirt, still looked graceful compared to Alejandro's performance.
"What the heck?! These brooms are all jacked up! They go crazy if you fly higher than twenty feet!"
Chef looked sour, but shrugged. "Yeah, well, that's the equipment you got to work with."
"Isn't there anything in this school that doesn't suck?!"
"I can't use cheap things! I'm allergic! They give me hives!"
"I could crash and break my beautiful face!"
"QUIET!" Chef snapped. "Now everybody pick up your brooms and get flyin'!"
There was a lot of mutinous grumbling, but all the other students, including a nervous-looking Alejandro, picked up their brooms and took off, looking shaky even when they tried to stay low and slow. Noah, however, simply stared at his broomstick's handle, wincing slightly as he heard Anne Maria crash a few feet away.
"Well, what you waiting for, Kumar?"
"Um...I think I'll just stick to taking the bus."
Chef Hatchet glowered. Noah rolled his eyes and decided on a different tactic. "Okay," he said, making like he was trying to mount his broom. "But I've never done this before, so I hope that I—agh!"
He gave a colorless cry as he "accidentally" tripped himself with his own broom, falling back onto the grass. "Ow. My leg, it hurts," he said unconvincingly. "I'll just go watch from the bleachers, okay?"
Chef Hatchet suddenly snatched the broom away from him, his face apoplectic. "Alright! And while we're at it, why don't you take fifty points from Slytherin and a detention tomorrow night?!"
Scott had just crashed into the ground in front of them, but he immediately looked up. "Fifty points?!"
"Detention?! Okay, fine, I'll try the stupid thing." Noah held out his hands to take back the broom.
"Too late! Your lazy butt is gonna learn not to waste any more of my precious time! Now go!" he said, pointing at the stands.
Noah now noticed that the rest of the House, both in the air and on the ground, were all watching the exchange, and all of them were glaring at him. He tried to think of a witty comeback for the idiot instructor, but instead just marched off to the bleachers, grumbling to himself.
Noah spent the next fifty minutes getting started on his Transfiguration homework, glancing up occasionally to see one of his Housemates crash into the ground. When it was finally time to go back up to the castle he got up to join them, but as soon as he did he found several of them glaring at him again, and to his surprise Lightning actually reached out and smacked him in the back of the head.
"Way to go, brainiac! You lost our House fifty points!"
"Me? It was that moron who decided to throw a tantrum. Probably because he's Head of Gryffindor, incidentally."
If Noah expected shifting the blame to work, he was sorely disappointed. "But he wouldn't have taken those points if you hadn't been such a lazy slacker," Heather scoffed.
"Yeah!" said Scott.
Noah glared at him. "Please. You've probably lost more than fifty points by now just from all the times you've dropped stinks-bombs in hallways."
"They're called Dungbombs," Alejandro said with a maddeningly pretentious air.
"Oh, excuse me."
He stomped ahead toward the castle, listening to the others grumble behind him.
Noah grumbled as he made his way out of the first-years' dorm. "Making me do this at night? Yeah, maybe I'll be more proactive if I don't get any sleep, that makes a whole lot of—"
"Wingardium leviosa," somebody whispered behind him.
Noah's shoes suddenly lifted off the ground, with him in them, then fell, causing him to topple face-first onto the floor. He glared behind him just in time to see Scott sitting in bed with his wand out. "Have a nice detention," he said, sticking his tongue out.
Noah glared, picked himself up and stomped out into the common room. "I hate these people," he muttered, making his way out into the dungeons. "People at my old school weren't this stupid. Grr..."
That line of thought gave him pause, however. Back at his Muggle primary school, he had actually been quite popular; he'd always known how to charm people to get what he wanted. Why wasn't that working here? Probably just because it's a new set of people, he realized after a moment. He had tricked his gym teachers into letting him sit out of sports for so long that they stopped expecting him to participate; he went out of his way to make friends with bullies so that they would defend him against other bullies. Now he had a fresh start with these people—which isn't necessarily a good thing, he thought with a scowl.
How was he going to deal with that problem, then? Help people with their homework? Would that even work? Aside from the fact that he was just now learning about magic himself, he was already universally hated in Slytherin. Maybe he should try to find students who weren't such uppity boneheads in the other Houses.
He was walking while he thought, and soon found himself in the entrance hall, where Chef Hatchet was already waiting. To his surprise, so were two girls whom he vaguely recognized.
"Finally, our last maggot is here," said Hatchet.
"Good. Can we go now?" asked the stocky Gryffindor with a black ponytail.
The other girl, a Ravenclaw with wild red hair, suddenly grabbed Noah's arm and pulled him toward the group. "Yeah, let's go! Over the river and through the woods—"
"What is this girl babbling about?"
"We're going into the Forbidden Forest," said the Gryffindor girl.
"And I'm not 'this girl!' I mean, I'm a girl, but my name is Escope! Short for Kaleidoscope."
Noah stared. "Please tell me that you're joking."
"Nope! Well, actually, yeah. I'm Izzy."
"We're going into the forest? The one we were specifically told not to go into because it was filled with monsters?"
"Headmaster McLean needs us to collect bowtruckles for the Care of Magical Creatures class. You little brats are gonna help me get 'em," said Hatchet, throwing an empty sack over his shoulder.
"What are we supposed to be, the bait?!"
"Bowtruckles are about six inches tall and eat wood lice," the Gryffindor girl said, rolling her eyes.
"Aw, really?! What a rip-off."
"If y'all didn't want to put yourselves in danger, you shouldn't have gotten in trouble in the first place! And besides, there ain't anything in this forest that I can't handle. Now, come on."
Noah was going to object again, but to his surprise Izzy grabbed both him and the Gryffindor girl by the hands. "YEAH, LET'S GO!" she said, and, ignoring their objections, pulled them along with her out the door.
Ten minutes later Noah was walking through the forest; Izzy had released him by this point, and he and the Gryffindor girl were trailing behind her, his arms crossed defiantly over his chest.
"So what's your name, fellow inmate?"
"Eva," she growled.
"I'm Noah. So what are you in for?"
"She punched someone!" Izzy called cheerfully.
"He deserved it!" Eva said with sudden fury. "That stupid Ezekiel kid went on some spiel about how girls were too weak to play Quidditch! So I decided to show him who's weak!"
"Ezekiel. Isn't his dad a professor or something?"
Eva looked annoyed. "Well, yeah. I know that now."
"Professor Bouctouche was so mad," Izzy said happily. "He was all 'GRR, DETENTION FOR ANYONE WHO HURTS MY SON, EH!' Ha-ha, it was awesome."
"And what crime did you somehow fail to plead insanity for?" Noah asked.
"I blew up a toilet!"
"And who do you think had to clean that up?!" Chef snapped. "Now be quiet back there!"
The three were quiet for a moment, except for Izzy's rather loud humming. "So, what'd you do?" Eva asked under her breath.
"Refused to make a fool of myself in Flying class. I'm a Muggle-born, and even the kids who know how to fly kept crashing into the ground every ten seconds."
"That's weird. What kind of brooms are they?"
"I don't remember the name, but everybody in my class made it sound like the headmaster stole them from an archaeological expedition. I take it your House hasn't gone flying yet?"
"No, but I'll be ticked if I have to do it on some old Cleansweep Twelve or something."
"That's weird, Chef was just telling me about you today!" Izzy said. "We had Flying and he said that if I didn't participate I'd end up 'like that scrawny Slytherin maggot' and get another detention!"
Noah glared as Chef grunted. "Yeah, well, I regret that. Crazy Girl spent the whole lesson screamin' and crashin' into every other student."
"I told you that I was afraid of heights."
"Yeah, yeah...just be quiet! We should be safe as long as we stick to the path, but—"
Just then there came a scream from far away, making all of them jump.
"...What was that?"
"You kids stay here," said Chef, before taking off into the forest.
"What?!" Noah called after him. "'Stay here?!' Alone, in the forest that we've already established is filled with monsters?!"
Eva looked worried. "What, do you want to run towards whatever caused that scream?"
"I'd rather stay with the seven-foot, adult wizard who could fight whatever caused it, yes!"
"Don't worry, Noah!" Izzy said, taking out her wand and waving it around like a sword. "I'll protect you! I've slain like, a hundred dragons before!"
"Aren't you a Muggle-born?"
Noah looked at Eva. "That's the part of her story that you find suspicious?" Noah was used to sarcasm, so he found it oddly comforting in their current situation. He looked around the forest. "So what do we do if a monster does try to kill us?"
Eva looked a bit nervous, but she set her jaw and held up her wand. "We fight it."
"Oh, wonderful. I'm sure you and your Gryffindor bravado will serve us well."
"Shut up! My dad was a professional duelist, I know enough spells to break every bone in your body!"
"But do you know enough to do that to a dragon?"
"There are no dragons in Canada! That's stupid!"
"Well, excuse me, I must have been sick the day that my Muggle primary school went over the geography of Middle-earth!"
"Hey, guys?" Izzy asked suddenly. "What's that noise?"
Noah and Eva both froze and listened. They heard the sound of rustling leaves and branches snapping.
"Maybe it's Chef coming back," Eva said nervously.
The brush in front of them parted.
It wasn't Chef.
It was something ten feet tall, greenish-gray, and with arms as thick as Noah's whole body.
"What is that?!" he cried in horror as he and Eva both backed up against a tree.
"A forest troll!"
The troll blinked its tiny eyes and turned its head, regarding the two children. For a long moment it didn't seem to know what it should do about their presence, but then it lifted up its club, which looked like it had once been the trunk of a small tree, and swung it at them.
In her haste to get away Eva pushed Noah to the ground and landed on top of him; the club hit the tree behind them with such force that it cracked its trunk.
"AAAGGGHHH!" they both screamed together, trying to untangle themselves and doing the exact opposite.
Suddenly Noah heard a Tarzan yell, turned his head, and saw Izzy swinging on a vine. She crashed into the troll's head with a big "OOF!," clinging to its neck to keep from falling. The troll was so surprised that it dropped its club, then tried to grab her—Izzy seemed to move at superhuman speed, however, and had already clambered on top of the troll's head by the time it confusedly grabbed at the space where she had previously been.
"WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING?!" Eva cried as she finally managed to extricate herself from Noah and stand.
"Distractin' it!" Izzy cried cheerfully, jumping down to the troll's shoulder as it reached for the top of its head. "Quick, use your leet magikal skillz!"
"SHOOT SPELLS AT IT!" Noah said, finally getting up from the dirt.
Eva fumbled with her wand for a moment, but then pointed it directly at the thrashing troll, her face set in snarl. "Izzy, get down or I'm gonna hit you!"
Izzy, who was now clinging to the troll's right arm, jumped off and landed as easily as a cat. "STUPEFY!" screamed Eva, and a blast of red light hit the troll in its shoulder. It let out a roar and turned to Eva, its tiny eyes murderous.
Eva blanched. "That was supposed to knock it out."
"Well, it didn't—AGH!"
The troll was running towards them now—Noah and Eva jumped in opposite directions. The troll swung its arms, or tried to—the arm that Eva didn't seem to be moving right. This was good news for Noah, who only avoided the limp appendage by an inch.
The troll ran into a tree and let out another cry of pain. Noah looked around in a panic, saw Izzy trying to lift the troll's club (which was longer than she was tall), and had a desperate idea.
He whipped out his wand. "Wingardium leviosa!"
"Hey, I'm doing it! I'm—HEY!"
The club lifted into the air and then out of Izzy's hands. Noah waved his wand at the troll (with some effort—the thin stick suddenly felt as heavy as a baseball bat), and the club went flying, colliding with the troll just as it was getting to its feet.
It let out a cry of pain, collapsed onto its backside and then fell to the ground.
For a long moment nobody moved. "Oh...you killed it," Izzy said finally.
"GOOD!" Noah and Eva screamed.
"What's all this racket?!"
They all jumped as Chef came in through the branches, clutching the arm of a rather scratched-up Hufflepuff boy named Owen. Chef's other hand was clutching a squirming sack.
"Look who I found sneakin' around the woods! Walked right into a nest of bowtruckles, the little—huh. What happened here?" he said, spotting the unconscious troll.
"What happened?! You abandoned us in the woods and THAT THING almost ate us, that's what happened!" Noah screamed, feeling his face turning red.
He wasn't sure if he expected Chef to be sheepish or angry at his comments, but either way he was disappointed. "Hmm. Well, I'm impressed. Ain't a lot of kids your age who could take down a forest troll by yourselves. Anyway, I got enough bowtruckles for us to call it a night," he said, raising the bag. "Now let's go back to the castle, so I can figure out what tomorrow's detention will be for this little hooligan!"
"But I told you! I was sleepwalking!" Owen whined.
"HEY! CAN WE GET BACK TO THE US-NEARLY-DYING THING! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW—"
"He's not listening," Izzy said casually as she followed Chef back down the path toward the castle.
Noah glared as the others walked away. "I know," he groused, glaring at them.
Suddenly the troll growled and turned in its sleep. Noah jumped, saw that it hadn't woken up, and then marched after the others, his hands balled into fists.
There was quiet for a minute, aside from Owen's soft sniffles; Eva gave Noah an awkward sideways look. "That was a smart idea," she muttered sheepishly. "Knocking it out with its own club."
Though his body was still stiff with anger, Noah shrugged. "Yeah, well...that thing would have probably knocked my head off if you hadn't paralyzed its arm first."
"And she only did that because I managed to distract it!" Izzy said, suddenly throwing her arms around their shoulders. "YAY FOR TEAMWORK! Team Escope saves the day!"
She pulled them into a hug so tight that it knocked their heads together. Noah and Eva both rolled their eyes in unison, but when those eyes met, Noah couldn't help but feel himself smile.
All things considered, these girls were more tolerable than anyone he had met in his own House.
And besides, you couldn't help liking someone after helping them knock out a ten-foot forest troll.
A few days later, Noah sat down at the Slythern table to eat breakfast (or at least poke his food in disgust). Almost instantly Scott and Lightning appeared on either side of him.
"Hey, smarty-pants. You better actually fly when we go out today."
"Yeah! We've lost enough points because of you already, you—"
Lightning was cut off when Izzy suddenly appeared on his back, giggling like a madwoman.
"HEY! Get off me, crazy girl!"
He got up and tried to shake her off, running around the table; she just kept laughing. The fifth-year prefect, José, got up and began to chase them.
As Scott watched them lap the table, he was suddenly shoved aside as Eva inserted herself between him and Noah. "Excuse me," she said gruffly.
"Hey, this is the Slytherin table! Go sit with the Gryffindors, you mangy li—AAAGGGHHH!"
Eva had casually taken his hand and pulled it backwards towards his arm; there was a cracking sound, and Scott jumped up, crying as he ran off for the Hospital Wing.
"Crap. I didn't mean to do it so hard," she mumbled. "I better not get another detention for this." She glanced at Noah. "You don't mind if I sit here, do you?"
Noah glanced past her to where Scott had disappeared out the door, and watched as José pulled at Izzy, unable to dislodge her from Lightning's back.
"As far as I'm concerned? You and Izzy can sit here anytime you like," he said.