"Would you stop grinning like a bloody troll."
"Well maybe if you would learn to not step on my foot-"
"Shut up, both of you!"
Albus groaned, flicking his wand with the muttered words of 'Lumos'. He was laying face down in dirt as his cousin and Malfoy attempted to scramble to their feet. There was a dull ache forming in the back of his head which he credited Malfoy for, stupid bugger. Who goes and throws books on werewolves at people anyway? With another groan Albus slowly rose to his feet, dusting off his own school robes.
Rose had pulled out her wand too, the tip lit with light. Al didn't care he just wanted to get this over with. He didn't fancy having to sneak out from the dungeons in the middle of the night and then having to find Rose by the Hufflepuff common room in the dark. Not to mention he couldn't even count the number of times they had almost been caught by professors as they tried to leave the castle.
He almost had a panic attack once they got to the whomping willow. Bloody trees should not be able to move on their own accord or at all. He'd almost felt bad for having Rose crawl on the ground to push the knot at the base of the tree to still its movements. He held his breath the entire time and it took Malfoy's tripping on a branch that sent them tumbling down the passage to shake him out of it.
"I'm going to kill him," Malfoy hissed under his breath. Al had to roll his eyes. "It's the middle of the bloody night and he wants us to do what? Go out an get expelled!"
Rose tittered, grabbing Malfoy by the arm and dragging him along. "You didn't have to come, Scorpius," she sighed. Al agreed with this statement. "You could have just said no. It's only James after all."
"What's that say about you, then?" Albus threw out as they begun the accent up the steps that would take them to the Shrieking Shack. Rose leered at him and he turned his head the other way, flushed. He was trying not to think of where they were and how late it was. Or the fact that there were spiders crawling around them and Merlin knows what else. He shuddered at the thought and bumped into Malfoy, flushing furiously.
He held up his wand, trying to get a good indication of how much further they had to go. He sighed this was not something that normal fifteen year olds did on Halloween night. Malfoy and himself could have been all nice and cozied up in the common room exchanging horror stories with Scamander twins while Gerard Nott and Jun Chang fought over the better pro Quidditch team. That was how a normal Halloween night should have been - not tracking James down in the middle of the night while risking getting expelled.
He didn't know why he did this to himself. He should have just listened to Malfoy when he had told him not to go. But of course he insisted that he was going and Rose had also decided to go. James had better have something stupidly brilliant to show them or he would have his older brothers bollocks pinned to a golden frame to hang in the Slytherin common room.
Albus groaned, dropping his head into his free hand.
"Are we there yet?" Malfoy grouched, holding up his own wand in the dark. And Albus would be going back to bed later that night with him. He sighed.
Rose rolled her eyes. "Does it look like we're there yet? I don't even see the landing."
"Really, we haven't even been walking that long-"
All three of them stopped. Rose glanced at the two of them and Albus shared a look with Malfoy.
"That's not funny, Al," she hissed, spinning around on the spot, waving around her wand, trying to see past the darkness. He gawked at her, as if he'd it. And then Malfoy pushed them onward.
Albus shuddered and looked around their surroundings. They were in a very, very tightly enclosed space - there should have been no way that someone, or something, could be behind them without them knowing. He didn't even want to begin thinking about what could possibly be so interesting at the Shrieking Shack that they just had to go see so late at night.
He glanced at Rose and Malfoy, they were in a heated conversation about the upcoming Quidditch match, Slytherin verses Gryffindor when Rose decided it was time to talk about their Charms homework. It made Al think of his Potions homework and how he had yet to start on it. He glanced at his cousin and housemate. Yeah, there was no way he would be asking either of them for help; he would never hear the end of it. It was an essay that they had had over a week to write.
But he had been busy with Quidditch and apparently falling for several of James' pranks. He really should have known better - it happened every time.
"Oh, finally," sighed Malfoy as they pushed through the trap door of an entrance. Albus lowered his wand and looked around. The Shrieking Shack wasn't nearly as dark as the passage had been, at least now they could see three feet in front of themselves with out the need of the wands. He shuddered, it wasn't as dark but it was creepier than hell.
He stepped closer to Rose and Malfoy, gripping his wand tightly in his hand. There was beaten up furniture lying about the place, most of the flooring was coming up, wall paper peeling and cracking and Albus just did not have a good feeling about this.
"I don't have a good feeling about this," He whispered, shifting his gaze around.
Malfoy snorted. "It was your idea to come."
They moved around, careful of where they stepped. Rose wandered off into what Albus guessed was once a kitchen and Malfoy went to examine an old dusty and probably out of tune piano, and Al - well, he just stood there, wondering where James could be. And then he looked at the stairs and groaned inwardly. There was absolutely no way on Merlin's great beard that he would be flouncing up those bloody stairs in the middle or the night or at any time of day for that matter.
Something was moving upstairs and Albus nearly had a panic attack. At first it was just a muffled shuffling sound and then it sounded like some one had dropped a bowling ball on the ground or possibly let loose a bludger upstairs. Then there was nothing and before Albus could even breath out a sigh of relief something was being dragged around upstairs and it was getting closer to the stairway landing and stopped.
He had taken two steps toward the stairs and raised his wand as something begun to roll down. He jumped backward, only vaguely aware that Rose had reentered the room and Malfoy had finally stepped away from the piano. The thing that had been rolling had finally come to a stop on the third to last step and Albus cringed, whatever it was was loosely wrapped in parchment paper and tied with twine and dripping with - was that blood?
Oh god. It was blood.
Albus took a few steps backward before his foot caught a loose floorboard and he tripped, falling back on his rear with a loud groan, eyes squeezed shut and glasses askew. He refused to open his eyes - he wanted to make a bloody run for it, but he couldn't because he could already picture that smug look on James' face the next morning because somehow he would know. His brother always knew.
"Oh my God," Rose breathed, her voice hitching. Albus opened his eyes and saw that she was standing at the base of the stairs standing over the wrapped - well, now the unwrapped thing - and was prodding it with her wand. How had she not been sorted into Gryffindor? "It's a brain. It's a human brain!"
Albus blanched suddenly feeling very, very not well. Even Malfoy had stepped closer to the damned thing! Was he really the only one in his right mind? Why would you ever just walk up to a bloody brain that just rolled down the stairs? What, was it Give A Brain Friday? He shuddered as he pushed himself to his feet and stood behind the two, not daring to look anywhere else but the back of their robes. He felt ill.
"That's brilliant, I mean really," He said, shuddering and gripping his wand tighter than he probably ever had in his life. "I think we should go. Now. It's late and we've got homework to work on in the morning and Quidditch pract-"
"Braaaains," moaned the very voice they head earlier, only now they heard it clearly from the top landing. "I want braaains. Give me braaains."
Rose squeaked, jumping back, her elbow hitting Al square in the ribs. He hissed against it and panicked. Even Malfoy was wide eyed and slack jawed. He was pretty sure that he was about to drop his wand at any moment and run. Merlin knows that is what Albus was getting ready to do.
And then the trap door sprung shut and Rose screamed at the sudden noise. They all turned around, eyes wide. Al was sure that he had even heard Malfoy whimper. Rose had a sudden grip on both their robes and pulled them with a sudden jerk and let go, pointing up the stairs with a shaky finger, her face sheet white and brown eyes as wide as they possibly could be.
"Give me back my braaaains." Moaned the voice again as something began descending down the stairs, the voice grew louder. "I want your braaaains. Braaaaains."
That was when they saw it. A ghastly figure, white as a skeleton and dripping with blood, clothes tattered and torn, contorting in a most disturbing fashion down the stairs. It hissed and Albus was sure he was hearing the sounds of bones snapping or popping in and out of their sockets. He was going to be ill at any moment. And then it stopped moving and swayed for a moment before dropping and tumbling the rest of the way down the stairs.
"Oh my pigfarts!" Malfoy had nearly shouted as he turned an arm, tripping over a different floor board, sending himself reeling to the floor in a pile of dusty clothes.
Rose had screamed and ran behind the beaten up old couch and Albus, well, in his attempt to run he had unwontedly tripped over his own two feet and went crashing down only two feet from where he had stood. This was it, they were completely done for. James was no where to be found and there was some contorted zombie dead thing about to kill them all and he hadn't even finished his Potions homework. He squeezed his eyes shut, feeling his heart pounding painfully in his chest.
They were going to die at any moment. Albus groaned pitifully into the floor. And then someone was laughing - laughing rather hard.
"Y-you should have seen your faces!" Wheezed a voice that Albus recognized at once. "It was bloody priceless!"
"Potter," snarled Malfoy. "I don't give a damn if you are a girl. I'm going to kill you."
Albus sat up on his elbows and pushed up his glasses, heart still beating a mile a minute, and looked around. The zombie figure was standing on the stairs now - laughing. He stared unable to believe what he was seeing - no, what he was hearing! He groaned and buried his head in his hands. He was going to murder James, if not do something extremely horrible to his brother. And Lily. He would have to find away to get them both back for this.
As he was standing up his ginger of a git of a brother came bounding the down the stairs, grinning from ear to ear. Albus was very tempted to roll his eyes and curse the stupid grin right off of his stupid face.
"Surprise!" James bellowed, throwing an arm around Lily who was still trying to catch her breath. "Happy Halloween you lot, glad to see that you've finally made it. Well done! Splendid, even!"
By now Rose had stood up from behind the couch, her hair frazzled and her face as red as a beet. Albus cringed
"James Sirius Potter," she screamed, pointing her wand at him. "Have you gone completely mental? You're lucky I don't blast your bollocks into next week, never mind the rest of you!"
Still, James continued his grinning and still Al wanted to curse it off his bloody face. "Can't a guy have some fun, Rose? This is Halloween after all!"
"I hate you," Albus said with a scowl, moving to help Malfoy up. "So bloody much right now."
"Aw, I love you too, Al!"
A/N: Happy Late Halloween everyone!