Description: The Grimoire of Anima is safe, for now¡
Characters: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive WarningsAlbus Severus Potter Scorpius Malfoy Rose Weasley James Sirius Potter Rubeus Hagrid Harry Potter Ron Weasley Hermione Granger Teddy Lupin Victoire Weasley Bill Weasley Fleur Delacour Neville Longbottom Original Hogwarts Professors Original Muggle-born Characters (Harry Potter) Original CharactersWork In Progress Sequel Friendship Action/Adventure School Harry Potter Next Generation Coming of Age
The Grimoire of Anima is safe, for now¡
As Albus begins his second year at Hogwarts, the book has nearly become an obsession. The secrets it contains must be deciphered before desperate hands can rip it from their own¡
Book Two of the Albus Potter Series, please read Book One to have a full understanding of the plot!
(See the end of the work for notes.),Notes:
So here it is at last! The first chapter of book 2, sorry for the wait! I’ve had this opening chapter in mind for ages and ages, so it’s great to finally get it written and published.
Plenty more to come, can’t guarantee how long it’s going to take me to write all of this, but I’m hoping it will be coming out a bit quicker now.
Thanks again for reading!
Chapter 1: The House of Hadham
Chapter One: The House of Hadham
A warm breeze blew through the open window of the bedroom, disturbing some paper that was laying on the desk next to it. The morning air blew in a few dandelion seeds that floated gracefully across the room to land next to a snoring, mousy haired boy, his head resting on the table.
His eyes flickered as one of the dandelion seeds brushed his nose. Beating it away with one hand he sat up and let out a long yawn, rubbing his eyes. Taking a few moments to adjust his eyes to the light, he opened his phone and checked the time, 10:34 AM. At least he’d got some sleep, he thought to himself as he patted a stuck-up tuft of hair back down. He stretched and stood up from his chair, wincing slightly as his back complained about having been bent over all night.
An open book on the table caught his eye; he closed it carefully. He’d had enough of that book for one night. The papers on the desk were covered in sketches and notes, most of them looking completely nonsensical. The boy piled them up and stowed them into a folder that he then hid in his bag, he knew he’d have to summarise what he’d written down before long, but there wasn’t time for that right now.
“Bertie!” came a voice from somewhere outside the room, “Are you up yet? I’ve got to take Louis to his friends”
He turned towards the door and replied, “Yeah, I’m up, I’ll be down in a minute”
There was no answer to this, but he could hear the sound of some commotion as his mother was probably trying in vain to get his little brother to put his shoes on. Taking a deep breath, he pushed the door open and stepped out onto the landing. The sign on his door said, in simple lettering, ‘Bertie’s Room’.
Bertie walked downstairs and into the bright dining room. The fittings were as dazzlingly white as ever, his mother always kept them clean, but a stack of papers on the table illustrated that she was still hard at work. Mrs Hadham was an English teacher; she always spent the summer holidays preparing her lessons for the next term, hence the constant presence of paper and Charles Dickens’ books in the house.
Bertie poured himself a bowl of cereal and sat down at the table to eat. He was interrupted by his mother entering the room, looking slightly haggard with her mousy hair tied up in a messy bun.
“Good afternoon,” she said with a smirk, “Had a nice sleep?”
Bertie, who had his mouth full, could only roll his eyes in response, though he did it with a smile.
It was then that Bertie’s nine-year-old brother, Louis, entered the room. “Mum! Where’s the spare Xbox controller? Sam says that his other one is broken”
Mrs Hadham sighed, “It’s probably in your room, where you left it last time”
Louis pouted, “It’s not” he stated.
“Are you sure?” asked Mrs Hadham, “If I go up there and find it straight away then I’ll be disappointed”
Louis threw his head back and let out a loud groan, before running upstairs and into his room.
“Works every time” chuckled Mrs Hadham, who finished off her cup of tea and put it into the dishwasher, “Can you take Monty for a walk later? I’m going straight to Auntie Clare’s after dropping Louis off”
Bertie shrugged, “Sure, no problem”. Monty was the family dog, a slightly daft, but very friendly, German Shephard. Bertie looked over his mother’s shoulder and into the back garden, where Monty appeared to be jumping around trying to catch a butterfly.
Louis reappeared, Xbox controller in hand, “Let’s go, Mum!” he said.
Mrs Hadham picked up her keys from the table and walked over to him, “You found it then?”
Louis nodded and raced to the front door.
“See you later,” she said back to Bertie, giving him a quick peck on the cheek that Bertie recoiled from slightly. “Don’t be like that” chuckled Mrs Hadham, “There’s five pounds by the door if you want to get yourself a snack from the shop”
“Thanks, Mum,” said Bertie.
She left the house with Louis in tow, leaving Bertie alone in the bright and airy kitchen. He gently chewed on his cereal and gazed around the room with all of its slightly too clean fittings, it somehow felt slightly fake. Rooms shouldn’t be like this, they should look lived in and slightly rough around the edges. He sighed, that was what his parents liked though.
Bertie finished his bowl and put it in the dishwasher, taking care to put it in such a place that his Dad wouldn’t need to rearrange it later on. He wandered into the living room, which was as spotlessly clean as the rest of the house.
Slumping onto the sofa he grabbed the remote from the coffee table and turned the television on. It dawned on him that he hadn’t had much chance to watch the television that summer, he hadn’t really wanted to. They were showing highlights from the previous days’ football World Cup matches, including England letting in a slightly embarrassing equaliser in their game. Bertie had completely forgotten that it was the World Cup that summer, but he’d never really cared about football, his local team was a bit rubbish after all.
Switching the TV off, Bertie looked around the room, his eyes falling on some family photos on the windowsill. He picked up one that had caught his eye. It showed a small, mousy haired boy wearing a navy-blue school uniform that was slightly too big for him, it was himself almost exactly a year ago.
He smiled as he remembered the day. His Mum had just brought him a brand-new school uniform that he was due to wear at his brand-new secondary school. She’d proudly dressed him up and stood him in the living room, taking enough pictures that every member of his family could’ve had their own unique one. Little did any of them know that he’d never wear it again after that day.
Bertie then heard the sound of the letterbox opening, followed by Monty barking away at the front door. He walked into the entranceway and gave Monty a quick scratch behind the ear, his tongue flopping out of his mouth as he sat down to observe what had fallen through the letterbox, hoping that the letter he’d been waiting all summer for would be amongst the pile.
A couple of boring looking letters for his parents, a teaching magazine that his mother was subscribed to, and not much else. The last letter was a postcard from his grandparents, showing an idyllic Mediterranean scene from their holiday. Bertie turned it over and read the message on the back.
Hello David, Julie, Bertie, and Louis,
Hope you’re enjoying your summer holiday. We’re having a wonderful time in Nice, six days of perfect sunshine so far! Looking forward to seeing you all when we get back, and before Bertie heads back to St Everard’s.
Lots of love,
Pippa and Gordon”
Bertie let out a small smile. St Everard’s, that was what he’d been told to call Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in front of his Muggle friends and relatives. He remembered when Hagrid, the gamekeeper at the school, came around to explain all of this to his family. He’d sat them down and said that, when the inevitable questions about his whereabouts came, they should simply explain that Bertie had gained a scholarship to an exclusive boarding school in Scotland.
The day he’d told his friends about this was one that stood out to him. As easy as it was to say where he was going to school, it was quite another to explain what the school actually was, he didn’t even have an address. Bertie used to say that it was ‘somewhere near Glasgow’, and leave it at that. Such was the difficulty in talking about the school, that he’d barely met up with any of his old friends, it was just easier to sit at home by himself.
A soft whimper sounded from behind Bertie, and he turned around to see Monty sitting with his head tilted, an expectant look in his eye.
“Yes, ok, let’s go for a walk,” said Bertie, patting him on the head as he stepped past to pull his lead off the hanger on the wall. After quickly picking up his keys and the money that his Mum had left on the side, Bertie clipped the lead onto Monty’s collar and stepped out into the warm summer air.
Bertie’s crunched his way across the gravel driveway and out onto the treelined path of the quiet cul-de-sac where his house was situated. Monty barked at a nearby cat, who quickly vacated the fence post it was sitting on and dived into an adjacent bush.
“Come on Monty,” said Bertie with a smile, tugging on the lead ever so slightly.
They walked out of the cul-de-sac and turned right onto the main road, a familiar route that led them towards the large park nearby. Monty got more and more excited the closer to the park they got, he was very familiar with this walk. As it was the middle of a weekday, the roads were quiet. The only people out and about were parents with children, older kids loitering around, and old people out for a stroll.
Bertie even recognised some of the older kids he passed, he’d been at Primary school with them. However, they didn’t pay him any attention, it had been some time since they’d spoken after all.
Once they’d reached the park it was safe for Monty to be let off his lead, he never ran that far away from Bertie in any case. He stood looking attentively at Bertie, expecting something to be thrown any second. Bertie smiled and playfully patted his pockets, pretending not to have one. Seeing the disappointment start to grow on Monty’s face, Bertie finally pulled his favourite tennis ball out of his pocket, throwing it up in the air for Monty to expertly catch in his mouth.
Bertie sat down on the grass and continued to throw the ball for Monty to chase, with him dutifully bringing it back every time. After several minutes of this, Bertie laid back on the grass, with Monty laying down next to him, chewing on the ball. Bertie yawned, he was still feeling the effects of his late night. Placing a hand on Monty’s back and giving it a scratch, he closed his eyes and listened to the faint sound of the breezing running through the trees, and the sound of children playing on the equipment nearby.
Just then, Bertie felt his hand hit the ground. He cracked his eyes open and watched as Monty ran towards a nearby hedge, barking incessantly as he did so. Bertie stood up, this was unusual for Monty, this barking sounded aggressive.
“Monty, come here boy!” he called out, but Monty didn’t budge.
He seemed to be sniffing around in the hedge, as if he was following something, paying no attention to Bertie.
Bertie tried again, louder this time, “Monty! Come back now!”
This time, Monty stopped, turning his head towards Bertie. Bertie walked over to him, lead in hand and clipped it onto his collar.
“Come on, let’s get going” he scratched his ear then peered into the hedge, just to see if he could find what he was looking for. There was nothing obvious, so Bertie figured that it was probably just a cat. He guided Monty away and they left the park.
The route back home took them past Bertie’s old primary school, a small but modern building. He looked through the gates at the white walls and thought about all the times he’d spent in there, as well as all the friends he’d made.
A few metres later and they reached the corner shop, a regular trip after school on a Friday afternoon. It was a well-kept shop, popular with the locals if they were ever short of something. The row of cars parked outside wasn’t unusual, Bertie even recognised some of them. Seeing that Mr Dravid, the shops’ owner, had left a fresh bowl of water outside the door, Bertie decided to tie up Monty’s lead to a nearby sign and go in to buy a drink.
“Stay there Monty, I won’t be long”, he said as he tied the lead up.
The buzzer rang as Bertie entered, causing a couple of customers to look around momentarily. It was an elderly couple that Bertie recognised as being from a road near to Bertie’s house, they quickly carried on with their shopping. A portly, bald, middle-aged man was pacing around in front of the door that led to the back of the shop, he ignored Bertie and was browsing some of the newspapers.
“Oh, hello Bertie!” said a high pitched voice.
Bertie turned to his left to see a young girl sitting behind the counter, her attention having been diverted from her magazine. It was Saira, a girl Bertie had gone to school with, her father owned the shop.
“Hi Saira,” said Bertie, politely.
“It’s nice to see you again, it’s been a whole year!” she beamed, the sunlight glinting off her braces.
Bertie smiled back awkwardly, “Yeah, you too”
Saira smiled at him, “I heard you go to some big posh school now”
“Yeah, kind of¡” Bertie glanced around to locate the fridge so he could grab a drink and get out before Saira could ask any difficult questions.
“Where was it? I thought Danny Briggs said it was in Wales, but I-”
“Scotland” Bertie interjected, “It’s in Scotland, near Glasgow. Middle of nowhere really”
Saira’s eyes lit up, “Oooh, I have an Auntie who lives up there. Maybe I could come and visit you if we’re ever there at the same time”
Bertie turned to grab a drink from the fridge and put it on the counter, “Yeah, maybe¡” he said, absentmindedly. He fiddled about in his pocket for his five-pound note.
“Maybe you could give me a tour!” Saira continued.
Putting the money on the counter, Bertie shrugged, “We don’t get that much time off”
Saira frowned, “Oh, ok”, she went to pick up the money but stopped, “Ah, I need the thing to open the till, I’ll be right back!”
She jumped off the stool and ran into the door next to the bald man. A few moments passed and the door swung open, this time revealing the bespectacled face of Mr Dravid, clasping a sellotape bound box.
“Here you go Steve, sorry that took me a while to get”, he said, handing it to the bald man.
“Not a problem mate,” he said, holding it under one arm, “How much do I owe you?”
Mr Dravid stepped behind the counter and pressed a few buttons on the till, “¡ê19.99, don’t worry about the postage”
Steve grinned, revealing a mouth of wonky teeth, “You’re a lifesaver mate” he said as he pulled a debit card out.
Bertie, who had stepped away from the till, was now gazing out of the window at Monty, who was lapping away at the water bowl.
“Is that Bertie Hadham I see?” said Mr Dravid, “Long time no see. How are you?”
Bertie turned away from the window and smiled at Mr Dravid, “I’m good, thanks”
Mr Dravid smiled at him one more time before he finished dealing with Steve and his box. “There you go, all done”
“Thanks again, you have no idea how hard it’s been to get hold of this” Steve said, before looking out of the window and spotting Monty, “Nice dog” he turned to Bertie, “He yours?”
Bertie nodded, “Yeah, he is”
“Love Alsatians, had them when I was a kid”
“Really¡” said Bertie, wanting nothing more than the conversation to end. Mercifully, Saira returned from the back room, looking flustered.
“There you are, Dad!” she said, panting, “I need the thing for the till so Bertie can pay for his drink!”
Mr Dravid chuckled, “There isn’t a ‘thing’, you just need the code. Here¡” he punched a number in on the till, springing the draw open, “All yours, petal!”
“¡ê1.99 please!” Saira said with a grin.
Bertie handed the money over gratefully and waited for his change to come back. Saira had counted out a handful of coins and reached over to hand them to Bertie.
The tingle of coins hitting the floor. A bang as Steve dropped his box. A car alarm blaring out. Monty barking at thin air. It all happened at once.
Steve let out a loud expletive, causing the old lady in the shop to let out a loud tut. The attention of everyone inside the shop turned outside, desperately looking to where the noise came from.
“What the hell was that?!” said the old man, scanning the street outside. The noise had startled some passers-by, as they too were looking around for the source.
“Sounded like a gunshot,” said Steve, “But did you see-”
The old lady shrieked, “A gunshot? I know this town has some wrong sorts in it, I don’t think we’d get shootings around here”
“Probably some louts letting off fireworks again, we hear them every night, don’t we Margaret?” said the old man.
She nodded vigorously, “Yes, that’s it. Honestly, what are the police playing at? I have good mind to write to our MP about it!”
Mr Dravid was waving his hands trying to calm them down, “Now now, it just sounded like a car backfiring to me, nothing to worry about”
“A car backfiring?! There wasn’t even one driving past!”
Steve was ignoring them and staring out of the window, “I could’ve sworn I¡”
The sound of Monty barking was drawing some attention from people outside, and Bertie quickly left the shop to calm him down.
“Hey, come on” he whispered, stroking Monty’s back as his barks turned into a whimper, “Good boy, it’s ok, just ignore the car alarm”.
The shop door opened, and the large figure of Steve stepped onto the path. To Bertie’s surprise, he dropped to his knees and placed his head on the ground. Bertie followed his gaze and saw that he was looking underneath the car that was currently blaring its alarm out to the whole street.
“Are…are you ok?”
Steve didn’t look at Bertie, “Yeah, I’m just sure I¡” he stopped, stood up and shook his head, “You’re just seeing things in this bloody heat¡” he laughed to himself as he returned to the shop.
Bertie didn’t want to stick around for too much longer, the whole episode had left him bewildered, and he had no idea what to make of what Steve was doing. He unwound Monty’s lead and started to walk down the path, heading straight home as fast as he could.
“Hey, Bertie! You forgot your change!” shouted Saira, who had just stepped out onto the street.
Later that evening, Bertie was sat eating dinner with his family. His father was pushing a boiled potato into his mouth with one hand, whilst turning the pages of a newspaper with the other.
“You see this stuff about the Tube strikes? Going to make my journey to the office more difficult next week” he said to no one in particular. He worked a very normal office job for a bank, nothing too exciting.
Bertie was quietly eating his dinner, the strange events of the day still playing on his mind. He glanced at the now calm Monty, happily chewing a toy in the corner of the kitchen next to his bed and with his mood much calmer than earlier.
“Have you had a good day, Bertie?” asked his Dad, looking up from the paper.
Bertie shrugged, “It’s been fine, just me and Monty”
“Walked down to the park again?”
“Yep” nodded Bertie, skewering a segment of sausage, “His favourite place in the world”
Mr Hadham closed the paper, “No letters from school yet?”
Bertie shook his head, “Nothing yet”
“When are you going to show me some magic, Bertie?” asked Louis, spraying half a potato across the table.
Bertie rolled his eyes; he’d been asked that question every day since he’d come back for the summer. “For the last time, I’m not allowed to do magic outside of school”
“But why?” groaned Louis.
“I’m just not allowed to, ok? I don’t make the rules” replied Bertie, “I can’t do it until I’m 17”
Louis threw his hands in the air, “But that’s so long! I don’t want to wait that long!”
Mrs Hadham intervened, “Louis, do you remember what Mr Hagrid said last year?”
Louis shrugged indignantly, trying to make out that he didn’t.
She continued, “Bertie goes to Hogwarts because he can’t control his magic properly yet, so he’s not allowed to do it in front of, um¡us”
Bertie hid a smile, his mum was trying to avoid using the word ‘Muggle’, believing that it sounded a bit insulting to those who couldn’t use magic.
“Why do we have to keep it a secret anyway? It’s so unfair!” Louis pouted and rested his head on the table, waving his fork around in a circle.
“Because otherwise,” Bertie said through gritted teeth, “I’d have the whole town asking me to do fix their problems for them”
Louis glared at him, he’d had a whole summer of hearing similar answers after all. “I don’t think it’s real¡” he mumbled, prompting his parents to snort with suppressed laughter, it didn’t do well to imply that they knew Louis was lying.
Not wanting to continue the conversation any longer, Bertie silently cleaned his plate of food and politely turned down seconds. He stood up to leave the table but was distracted by a tapping sound from somewhere in the room. Despite looking around to find the source, he was unable to pinpoint it.
“Do you hear that?” he asked
“Hear what?” said Mr Hadham, not looking up from the back page of the newspaper.
Mr Hadham looked up and was about to speak when the sound appeared again, “Hmm, very odd. Maybe we’ve got mice?”
Mrs Hadham inhaled sharply, any mention of mice made her blood pressure rise.
“I-I’m sure it’s fine, dear,” said Mr Hadham, attempting his best reassuring tone of voice. He turned to Bertie, “Try and find what it is, just in case¡”
Bertie nodded and listened for the tapping again. It was coming from his left, towards the garden. He turned around and looked at the large French doors that led outside in the back garden, and his eyes scanned the length of the door until they were drawn towards a strange, but familiar sight. Standing in one corner was a graceful barn owl, one that Bertie instantly recognised.
“Nero?” said Bertie, immediately stepping towards the door and opening it. The owl stepped inside, apparently grateful that he wasn’t being ignored any longer. He shook himself down and dropped an envelope on the floor by Bertie’s feet. As he stooped to pick it up, Nero leapt onto the dining room table to snatch a segment of sausage from Louis’ fork before he had a chance to eat it himself.
“Hey, that’s mine!” shouted Louis, “Why’d you let it in?”
Bertie ignored him and stared at the envelope; it was addressed to him in the familiar handwriting of Albus Potter. The letter he’d been waiting for all summer had finally arrived. He went to open the letter but was distracted by the growing commotion from the table. His parents had both leapt from their seats, despite the fact they’d seen an owl before. Louis, on the other hand, was now standing up and backing away from the table, plate in hand.
“Get it away from me!” he sniffed
Bertie snapped into action, “Nero, come here!” he said, holding out his arm. He’d watched Albus and his older brother James do this on several occasions whilst they were in the Gryffindor common room together, and Nero had always obeyed.
Mercifully, he did do so on this occasion too. However, rather than go to Bertie with a single swift flap of his wings, Nero hopped into the floor and strutted over to Bertie, only leaping into the air once he was next to Bertie’s feet and onto his outstretched arm.
It was then that Bertie noticed the slight mark on his leg and the few out of place feathers on his wings. Bertie was no expert on owls, but even he knew this wasn’t normal. He glanced at the envelope in his hand and spotted that there was a slight tear on the opening flap, as if someone had opened the letter and tried to magically close it again in a hurry.
He made his excuses and immediately left the dining room to go back to his room. Nero hopped off his arm and settled on Bertie’s desk, trotting around and inspecting the mess that was on top of it.
“Are you ok, Nero?” he asked, immediately realising that Nero wouldn’t be able to respond in a way he’d understand. Bertie took the slight head tilt he made to mean ‘sort of’.
Bertie nodded and opened up the letter to read it.
Good news! Dad got tickets to the Quidditch World Cup Final! It’s in a week and it’s being held in the Australian outback, so pack a sun hat.
Anyway, Dad says you can come and stay over if you’d like, we’ll pick you up in a couple of days. Hopefully, Nero found you easily, so just give him your reply and send him straight back.
See you soon!
P.S. Can’t wait to see what you found out about the ‘You-know-what'”
Bertie read the letter a couple of times and failed to stop the smile from breaking over his face. He was going to the Quidditch World Cup. Nero was looking at him expectantly, and Bertie gently stroked his head in thanks.
“I want to reply to Albus, but I don’t think you’re up for flying right now, are you?” he said to Nero.
He turned back to the letter and noticed that the parchment was slightly scrunched. All of a sudden, Bertie was filled with a sense of dread. This, along with the torn envelope and bedraggled owl made him think of the possibility that someone that intercepted Nero before he reached Bertie.
And then there was everything that had happened earlier that day. Monty barking at the bush and the explosion he’d heard, and then the man called Steve acting strangely in its aftermath.
Bertie had the awful sinking feeling that someone, somewhere, was watching his every move. He glanced at his bag, the ‘you-know-what’ that Albus was referring to was safely stowed away inside it. All of a sudden, the book didn’t feel as safe as it did just hours ago.
Someone was after the Grimoire of Anima, and they were far too close for comfort.