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Chapter 1: A Prologue of Sorts
Disclaimer: Gryffindor’s red, Ravenclaw’s blue, I don’t own this, so please don’t sue.
All canon characters belong to Jo and are completely fictitious, and they bear absolutely no resemblance to any person in the real world. Some of the events in the storyline are taken from the original plotline; others are a result of my brilliant creativity.
lovely image by krazeea @ TDA!
Prologue of Sorts
I can’t recall that morning that well, because 1) I was eleven years old at the time, and 2) it was foggy. Whenever I try to remember anything, I only get visions of fog, the great scarlet Hogwarts Express, flashes of my new friends I and running through the corridors acting like hooligans, and the pale, pointy, and totally unattractive face of Scorpius Malfoy. But I’ll try to recall exactly what happened, since I am attempting to make a photo journal –scrapbook-diary-thing of my past seven years at Hogwarts.
Let me start from the beginning then, as much of it as my brain wants to remember. I warn you, some parts may be totally fictional. Like for example, in the course of my narration, if Malfoy randomly goes POOF and turns into a fat exotic dancer, then it is most probably my brain altering my memory to make it more enjoyable. Or it actually happened. One of the two, you can decide.
Remembering my dad’s last minute advice, (“Better to take it at a run, Rosie!”), I had steadied the cart and flew toward the gateway to Platform 9 ¾ without opening my eyes. I knew I had cleared the wall but I kept on running, the trolley half-spinning out of control. I was totally positive that if I quit galloping like a half-wit, I’d slam into the Hogwarts—
“You’re going to crash!”
Someone with firm hands grabbed my shoulders and yanked me back, effectively forcing my eyes open. I glimpsed the railway tracks only a foot or two away from my feet and almost screeched in alarm. My trolley had a different story: It had eventually crashed into the shiny, crimson red, metal exterior of an ENORMOUS train that was billowing out white steam on the tracks.
The Hogwarts Express!
I did a little happy-dance! YES! I WAS GOING TO HOGWARTS!
My trunk wasn’t as happy as I was. It was now lying haphazardly next to the tracks and the trolley was on its side and missing a wheel. My savior was a woman with beautiful blond hair. I don’t remember her face, but I definitely remember her hair. It was like an angel’s, long and flowing down to her waist. She checked me over, clucking about how I could have killed myself.
“What’s your name, redhead?” she cooed, pinching my cheek.
I rubbed my cheek. I liked the woman. She hadn’t given me funny looks when I had started to do my happy-dance. “I’m Rosie, first-year. What about you?”
“Mmm. I don’t go to Hogwarts anymore. Wish I did,” she sighed and stood up. “The boys there were to die for.”
“Don’t like your husband?” I asked. Hey, I was a smart eleven year old.
The lady’s eyes widened. “Hey! How did you know?”
“You said the boys there were to die for. You must be wishing you’d picked another guy.” I shrugged. “I am I right?”
“Yeah, I do wish I’d picked someone else,” she said ruefully. “My husband looks like a balding vicar and I’m pretty sure my son’s going to follow in his footsteps.”
“You have a son?” I asked inquisitively. “What’s his name?”
She looked alarmed. “Um, you don’t need to know that, honey. Not yet. C’mon, let’s go find your mommy, shall we?”
I picked up my truck from the ground, and choosing to leave the broken trolley where it was, I took the lady’s hand and we walked into the mist. A few minutes later, I was with Mum again and she was hugging the blond lady. Daddy, on the other hand, looked super-ultra-mega pissed.
“What were you doing with her?” he hissed to me.
“Who is she?” I said, feeling confused.
Daddy deadpanned at me. "C'mon, sweetheart. That lady had blond hair. Who do you know has blond hair?"
“Ron!” Mum shouted. She glared at Daddy.
Dad looked as if someone had shoved a Bludger down his gullet and started muttering about how I have to beat little Scorpius Malfoy at every test. Scorpius Malfoy? Where did he come from? I knew about the Malfoys… They were bad, bad people.
Then Daddy said that he didn't want me marrying the twerp, either.
Hey, hold up.
WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? MARRIED? MARRIED?
I went into something like a self-induced hyperventilating, spastic fit. I thumped myself on the heart and kept repeating, “Calm, calm, calm…” Why would Daddy say the words Malfoy and married in the same paragraph? How could he betray me? Seems like it’s time for one little redheaded member of the crew to depart.
I briefly hugged Hugo, and then Dad, who looked around covertly, then whispered, “Look, Rosie, you kick that little Malfoy’s ass to China, okay?
Hell, yeah! “Yes! I will! Love you, Daddy!”
I bounded away and jumped aboard the rapidly filling train with trunk in hand. Finally, Al jumped into the carriage and Aunt Ginny slammed the door shut. “So, d’you wanna find a compartment?” Al asked staring at my face with bottle-green eyes.
“Sure.” I shrugged absentmindedly. Plan Number One Formulating Inside Brain: Find Scorpius Malfoy and Kick His Ass Like Daddy Said To.
We dragged our trunks down the corridor. Al peered into compartments here and there. Five to six compartments down, Al pulled one of the doors open and pulled me in. Inside the compartment was a girl, and two identical boys with messy, dirty-blond hair and large disconcertingly silver eyes.
“Lysander! Lorcan! How are you guys?” I said, surprised at seeing the two Scamander twins.
Both of them stood up at the same time and gave me a group hug from both sides and said together: “We're lovely. How are you?”
I wriggled out of being sandwiched by the twins, half-giggling, “I’m great, thanks guys.” Al was in the process of hoisting is trunk up to the rack above his seat. A girl had already occupied one of the window seat. “Can I sit here?”
The girl turned her head, looked at me for a second with a brief smile, then said, “Sure, go ahead, I don’t mind.”
She was very pale and had bangs and straight, sleek dark hair that fell to the middle of her neck. Her legs were crossed and she was wearing a pair of slim, dark blue, hipster jeans, with full flare beneath the knee. The hem of an ultramarine blue T-shirt showed underneath a tight, velveteen, black jacket. Plus, with the thick eyeliner she was wearing, this girl sure looked like a rocker.
I decided to introduce myself. “Hey, my name’s Rose Weasley. I come from a whole clan of Gryffindors. And you?”
“Me? Um… I’m Zelda. I—”
Before she could reply, the compartment door banged open. A girl with long, bronzy-orange hair kicked her trunk into the compartment and threw herself on the seat next to mine, breathing heavily. She gave me a crooked grin. “Hullo! The name’s Xander."
“Xander? That's pretty cool.”
“Thanks! It’s short for Alexandrina, but I hate the name. Makes you think of Egyptian people, right? What’s your name?”
“I’m Rose, that’s Al, those two psychopaths in the corner are Lysander and Lorcan, and that’s Zelda.” I individually pointed everybody out. “But why were you running like you were being chased by Slytherins?”
“That's because I was." She narrowed her eyes angrily. From the corner of my eye, I saw Zelda turn her head almost imperceptibly toward us. “A group of them cornered me in the corridor. They were obviously looking for a first year to pick on, and demanded to know what blood I got. I didn’t say anything and they started hitting me and calling me...stuff. But I ran—but not before giving two of them black eyes and kicking another in the nuts.”
I burst out laughing. “Awesome job! Who were the Slytherins? Did you recognize them at all?”
She shook her head, but briefly described them. “…and the last guy was definitely a first year, just tagging along to cool. He had gravity-defying blond hair."
I grit my teeth and narrowed my eyes menacingly. “Malfoy.”
Xander looked satisfied. “Good. He’s the one I got.
“In the testicles.”
I totally went into hysterics and fell off my seat, ending up on the floor, beating the rough carpet with my fists. I saw Zelda and Xander exchange a slight look.
“Is she okay?” Xander asked cautiously.
“There’s an old blood feud between their families. It goes back several hundred years,” the Scamanders said simultaneously.
Xander and Zelda were confusedly looking from one twin to another. Both girls turned to stare at me for some sort of answer.
“They’re psychic,” Al explained hastily. “So. Why don’t we all introduce ourselves properly?
Xander was the daughter of a Muggle fashion designer. She was cool, fresh, bubbly, and loathed Slytherins. We hit off immediately. Zelda, on the other hand, was a completely different character. She was quiet, but seemed to be a raging fire behind her emotionless eyes. As it turned out, she was the daughter of “two fucking purebloods” and her life’s goal was to “run away as fucking far from them as far as fucking possible”. I had to say, I was awed by her.
A little while after, a smiling, dimpled witch wearing a black, pointy hat, slid back our compartment door, “Anything off the cart, dears?”
“FINALLY!" my friends chorused together. I turned my attention to the cart, which the little witch was already moving away to the next set of compartments. We caught up with her just as she was rapping her knuckles on the glass of one of the compartment doors. Suddenly I felt Xander shuffling closer toward me. She ducked her head, very close to mine and said in a quiet whisper, “Don’t look in front of you.”
And, of course, I had to look in front of me.
A boy was walking down the corridor. His pale, rather angular face was turned away from me, so I saw only his profile. Two things about him leapt up at me immediately: one, he had unruly white-blond hair, and two, he was strutting like his daddy owned Hogwarts.
Yep, there wasn't a doubt about it.
Hello, Scorpius Malfoy.
He looked up and saw me staring at him. I gave into temptation and stuck my tongue out.
Malfoy raised his eyebrows. “Let’s see…red hair, blue eyes, ugly complexion, Muggle clothes, and bad posture. You’re a Weasley, right?”
“No, I’m Celestina Warbeck."
“What’s your problem, Malfoy?” Xander shot at him irritably. “Picking on the first girl you see? Don't tell me that's what your pure-blood Daddy and Mommy taught you to do.”
His silvery eyes darkened angrily. “I don’t know what bullshit you've been hearing, Alexandrina, but you shouldn’t hang out with rip-off like that.” Malfoy spat in my direction and gestured toward the boys behind him. “I hang around with people of my own caliber.”
“That explains a lot,” Xander muttered. "Both of them look like zombies."
Malfoy sneered. “I don’t fraternize with blood-traitor bastards, Voss.”
“Bastard? Who are you calling a bastard?” I shrugged off Xander’s restraining hands, walked over to him, and slapped him hard across the cheek. People poked their heads out of their compartments at the commotion. I saw that Al, who had remained in the compartment, was running toward us, his face alarmed.
“What happened?” Al asked, looking at the scene.
Nobody answered her. We watched as Malfoy got to his feet, a bright pink slap-mark visible on his pale cheek.
“Rose, why’d you hit him?” Al said. “Not that I’m complaining, or anyth—”
“He called me a bastard, Al.”
“He what? The sonofbitch said what?”
Zelda drew her black wand from inside her jacket and jabbed it under Malfoy’s jaw, forcing his head up. “Apologize,” she hissed angrily.
Malfoy forced Zelda’s wand away from his face. “I don’t apologize to part-Mudbloods,” he spat. “And why are you bothering with them? Zelda Nyx, right? You’re a pure-blood, a worthy Slytherin.”
Zelda gave him a look of pure disgust and repositioned her wand beneath Malfoy’s chin. “Ever heard of the phrase ‘blood-traitor’? Yeah, that’s me. Take this, you asshole: Furnunculus!” A jet of light came out of the tip of Zelda’s wand and hit Malfoy. Red, angry boils broke out all over his pale face.
“What’s going on here, peoples?” I heard a familiar voice roar. Victoire came striding into the corridor with one hand fixed tightly on the handle of her wand. She took one look at the scene, Malfoy with his face in his hands, boils visible; Zelda with her wand drawn, seething; her cousin (aka me), still being restrained by Xander, and Al, in the background snickering at Malfoy’s beautiful visage, and said, “Okay, what happened here? Rosie?”
“DRAAAGHHHH!” I let out an animal scream, pointing at Malfoy.
“Okay, Rosie, we get that he did something. What did he do?”
“Motherfuckingassholesonofabtch,” I seethed.
Al explained instead, since my English at the point wasn’t too coherent. Victoire’s face tightened.
“Yeah, then Zelda hexed him for that, which explains the boils.” Xander finished.
“Well,” Victoire said frowning, “Malfoy, I’m going to have to give you one weekend’s worth of detentions. And—”
“Bloody Weasleys,” said Malfoy with an ugly look on his face. Yeah, he still could manage an uglier look, even with all those horrific boils.
“Two weekends, now shut up before I make it three,” Victoire said commandingly. “Zelda—I’ll let you go for the magic in the corridors, because he deserved it.” She tapped her wand on Malfoy’s head and the boils disappeared. “There! Get back in your compartment! Now!” Malfoy joined his friends at his compartment door, but before walking in, he caught my eye again with that cold glare.
“Wow, Zelda that really was some hex!” Xander said, once we were back in the compartment. “I should’ve taken a photo of him covered in boils!”
"I think it’s time to pull our robes on, guys," Zelda said in a subdued voice. "I think we’re almost here.”
I glanced out the windows: it was getting dark and I could see mountains and a forest in the distance under the deep purple sky. “You’re right; I’ll try to chivvy the boys out of here.”
“But why don’t they go somewhere else?” Al whined.
“Because Zelda got the compartment first. We’re going to arrive at Hogwarts pretty—”
My last word was cut off as a disembodied voice echoed throughout the train, “We will be reaching Hogwarts in five minutes' time. Please leave your luggage on the train; it will be taken to the school separately.”
“Told you!” I said to Al. “Get out!”
Two minutes later, everyone had hurriedly scrambled into their robes and was back in the compartment. The train had slowed down, and I was sitting on my seat feeling jittery.
I am going to Hogwarts. I am going to Hogwarts. I am going to Hogwarts! I kept repeating the phrase to keep from completely going bonkers from pressure. I will be Sorted into Gryffindor. I will be Sorted into Gryffindor. I will be Sorted into Gryffindor.
The train slowed right down and finally stopped. One by one we walked out into the crowded corridor. I grabbed onto Xander’s elbow with one hand, and Zelda’s with my other. We lost track of Al and the twins, but I was sure they were close by somewhere. Thankfully, I couldn’t spot Malfoy’s white-blond head anywhere near, either.
We pushed our way out the door and onto a tiny, black platform. A lantern full of light bobbed over the students, and a great voice boomed, “Firs' years! Firs' years! Firs' years over here!”
Hagrid led us down a steep, narrow, cobbled path. I was walking very slowly at the back of the group. Albus and Co. were in front of us. I scanned the small group of people, with narrowed eyes to mark Malfoy’s position, just in case he tried to sneak up on me. Wait, where was he? I looked around again (nope, no stupid, dumb blond in sight), then tapped Xander on the shoulder, and whispered quietly, “Where’s—”
I broke off, because I felt someone brush my hair and breathe quietly in my ear, “Looking for me?”
I was so shocked that I stopped dead in my tracks (bad mistake, Malfoy walked into me, causing me to automatically elbow him in the chest) and gave a shrill shriek. “Malfoy, what the heck?”
“Fiesty,” he smirked.
“May I ask why you were sneaking behind us?” I said to him. He caught my eye again with the customary glare. I refused to look away.
“Eavesdropping of course; girls always whisper about how sleek, cunning, handsome—”
“Not to mention,” I interjected furiously, “How egoistical, dumb, pesky, annoying, stupid, DUMB, selfish, foolish—”
“Xander!” Zelda interrupted loudly, “Do us all a favor and demonstrate some of your penguin ninja skills on dear Mr. Malfoy, here.”
“Sure can do, Zel!” Xander replied grinning.
“Penguin ninja skills?” repeated Malfoy with a deadpan. “And you’re calling me a moron, Rose?”
“It’s ‘Weasley’ to you!” I yelled, before Xander round-house kicked a certain region of Malfoy’s back that I couldn’t see. He fell to the ground, unable to control his spazzing legs.
“Yeah, and it should hurt!” Xander yelled back.
We ran down the cobbled path to join the group. Xander immediately grabbed Al and started filling him in on the encounter. I studied the thick, dense forests on either side of the path and listened for Malfoy’s tale-tale footsteps that would signal to run.
The path suddenly opened out into a great, enormous, black lake. On the other side was a mountain, and perched on it was a vast castle, with uncountable turrets, towers and windows sparkling and glittering with light.
Hagrid pointed to a small fleet of boats sitting in the water by the shore, “No more'n four to a boat!"
Zelda, Xander and I ran to the last boat. While Xander jumped on first, I muttered to Zelda as she jumped on after, “I hope we left Malfoy stranded there. I wonder where he is right now... Do you think he’s dead?”
“Sorry to disappoint, but I’m alive, thanks,” said a cold voice.
“What the—” I whipped around and stumbled backward. There he was, standing directly behind me.
“Malfoy!” Zelda and Xander yelled from the boat.
“We need to get on the boat,” Malfoy yelled, the wind ruffling his white-blond hair.
“We?” I screeched. “We? Get another boat! You’re not coming with us!”
“All the other boats are full, idiot!”
I surveyed around. It was true, all the boats were full— even Al’s. “Fine!” I snapped bad-temperedly. “But—”
“Everyone in?" shouted Hagrid, who had taken up one boat himself. "Right then— FORWARD!”
The boats took off at once, slowly gliding across the smooth surface of the lake.
“NO! STOP!” Malfoy and I screamed together in horror.
I slammed my fist into Malfoy's nose. “JESUS! THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!”
“What was that for!” he moaned, clutching his nose. “Stop calling me names! Who the fuck is Jesus?”
“MALFOOYYY, THE BOATS ARE SAILING AWAY!”
He glanced up sarcastically. “No, really?”
I punched him again, out of pure frustration.
“Fine.” He pulled out his wand and tapped his shiny black shoes. They were, like, fancy shoes, not beaten sneakers like I was wearing.
“Malfoy, this is NOT the time to be polishing your shoes.”
“Levity Charm,” he muttered to himself. “That should do it.”
Malfoy stared at me calculatingly. “Hmm…I wonder if I should just leave you here…”
“I will punch you again.”
“Whatever.” He rolled his eyes and grabbed my wrist. Then he took a running leap across the water. Somehow, somehow we cleared ten feet of black lake and crashed painfully onto the wooden bottom of girls’ boat. I scrambled off the floor.
Xander rubbed my shoulders, “Are you alright, Rosie?”
I didn’t respond.
“You know you just crash-landed in this boat with—”
“Shut up, Xander, I know.” I brought out my wand and drew a thin white line in the tip of the boat, barely enough room for a person, one side to another. “Your side, the girls’ side,” I said to Malfoy.
Ignoring his sneer, I sat down on the wooden deck, my back partially to Malfoy. Zelda put her wand inside her robes and sat down cross-legged in front of me. Xander plopped down on my right. Nobody talked. The silence that stretched was as cold as ice.
Then I whispered, “Xander, kick the boat as hard as you can.”
"Please, do it!"
Giving me and odd look Xander suddenly swung around on the deck and placed a jaw-breaking kick on the inside of the boat. I had time to prepare for the jolt that spread through the boat, but Malfoy didn’t. He gave a yelp and fell head-over-heels into the calm water below. He spluttered and surfaced, bobbing alongside the boat and keeping a hand on it so that he would be pulled along in the water.
“Heeelp!” he screamed, his voice becoming ridiculously high-pitched.
I quickly jabbed my wand at Malfoy. He opened his mouth but no sound came out. Suddenly, a there was a loud thump as something large hit the underside of the boat. A tremor ran through the boat, almost capsizing it.
“Whoa!” Zelda lay down in the bottom as if her life depended on it. Xander looked frightened.
“What was that?”
I had a bad feeling, but I wasn’t going to mouth it, “I dunno—”
The thing hit the bottom of the boat again, causing a tremor that was greater than the last. I was lucky enough to lose my footing and go toppling overboard, the same way Malfoy had gone.
The water was dark and extremely chilly. Freezing cold. I surfaced for a breath. My long hair was sticking to my face and my teeth were chattering uncontrollably. “Brrr,” I swam a few lengths to where our boat was still slowly moving along. “Hey guys!” I called over, “You there?”
But, as soon as those words left my chattering mouth, an enormous tentacle (I couldn’t tell what color, it was getting dark out) almost the size of Hagrid came out of the water and lifted Malfoy out of the water and dropped him back into the boat. I screamed, as did several people in the surrounding boats. Hagrid yelled something, and then the slimly tentacle grasped me around the midsection and threw in the boat, too, with less grace than Malfoy.
“Ouch!” I was lying on my back, dripping a puddle in the boat, “That bleedin’ well hurt!”
“Serves you right for throwing Malfoy in the Lake in the first place,” Xander said fairly. Bad move, Malfoy had heard her words.
“OH! YOU WAIT, WEASLEY, I’LL TELL THE HEADMASTER AND—”
“I’ll get expelled and go to Azkaban, yeah, right. Dream on, man-barbie!” I dizzily sat up and resisted the urge to throw up all over the place. “School technically hasn’t started yet, so I’m really doing nothing wrong!”
We sat in silence. I was completely freezing and I knew Malfoy was too. The cliff that Hogwarts Castle was perched on loomed closer and closer. The towering castle was even more magnificent up close, with large friendly windows ablaze with orange light. We drifted through along a dark tunnel, which seemed to be taking us right underneath the castle, until we reached a kind of underground harbor. We jumped out of the boat onto pebbly sand. I quickly grabbed Xander and Zelda and we lost our selves in the group before Malfoy could follow us. Looking around for Al, I saw him milling around with a dark-haired kid.
We clambered up a passageway in the rock following the light of Hagrid’s lamp. We walked and walked; the lump in my throat seemed to ease a little. Finally we came out at last onto smooth dark, grass right in the shadow of the castle, under the bright starry sky. We walked up a flight of stone steps, and crowded around a large oak door.
“Everyone here? Good!” Hagrid raised an enormous fist and knocked three times on the door.
The door swung open at once. A tall, dark-haired wizard wearing regal crimson robes stood there.
“The firs’ years, Neville,” said Hagrid.
“Thanks very much, Hagrid. I was starting to think that you guys weren’t going to arrive!” Professor Longbottom (Uncle Neville to me!) replied, looking immensely relieved.
I waited as the hustle and bustle at the doors lessened a little and then stepped across the threshold. The entrance hall was so big that you could have fit an average, 2-storey, Muggle house inside it quite comfortably. Everything was made of stone. The beige stone walls were lit with numerous flaming torches, so heavy-looking that they were obviously fastened by magic. The ceiling was way too high to make out, giving the slightest of slightest sense of claustrophobism. Off to the left of the hall was an enormous white marble staircase that most likely leads to the upper floors.
Neville led the whole group of first years across the flagged stone floor. We could hear the droning of hundreds of voices from a doorway to the right where the whole school was probably assembled. He led us into a tiny, little chamber, right off the hall. We crowded in, a large mass of black, rather squished against each other. Neville smiled at us encouragingly, and then left with a sweep of his waves.
“A mind-reading hat’s going to pick our House for us.” I grumbled. “No way.”
Zelda looked especially glum. “What if I get put in Slytherin? Both of my parents were in Slytherin!”
We fell silent. The murmurs of other students seemed reverberatingly loud. Al was conversing with his friends, firmly telling them that Gryffindor was the way to go. Suddenly a voice caught my ear.
“My bloody robes are freezing! Curse that little Weaselette!”
“They’re wet,” observed another boy.
“I know they’re wet, you half-wit!” Malfoy sneered, “I got thrown in the lake! You just watch what I do to that girl!”
“Whoa,” breathed Xander, “You gotta watch out, Rosie. Malfoy sounds ang-ry!”
I wasn’t all that concerned, “So? I can take him on anytime!”
“He’s got three likely-looking Slytherins to help.” Zelda said, looking discouraged.
“He’s got two trolls and a blonde, but I got two mates, one who's a penguin ninja and another who sure knows her hexes! PLUS a horde of Gryffindor cousins.” I tossed my red hair defiantly. “Isn’t that more than fair?”
Footsteps were heard from the doorway. I looked up, Uncle Neville had returned. “The Sorting Ceremony’s about to start. Form a line, and then follow me. And hurry!”
I got into line behind Al, who was nervously flattening his hair. In front of him were the Scamander twins and the dark-haired guy who Al had been talking with earlier. Immediately behind me was Zelda, then Xander, both of whom were looking exceptionally pale. We followed Neville out of the chamber and back into the entrance hall and through the large double doors on the right, into the Great Hall.
Whoa. It was enormous.
A cathedral could’ve comfortably fit in there. There were thousands of lit candles, floating midair over four long tables, on which golden goblets and plates shined. At the tables were seated an enormous quantity of black-robed students. Dotted here and there among the students were shining, white, see-through figures. The only possible explanation was that they were ghosts. I guessed that each table is for a respective House. At the top of the Hall was another long table, facing the students, where the teachers sat. This was where Neville led us. We stood in a line, facing the students, but with our backs to the teachers.
Neville put an old, three-legged stool in front of us, and on it, a dirt-brown, old, ragged, patched and frayed wizard’s hat. The buzz of the Hall quieted down and everyone stared expectantly at the hat. There was complete silence, and then the hat twitched. All of a sudden a rip near the brim of the hat opened like a mouth and it began to...
Oh, freakin' great. It sings.
Everyone burst into applause as the Sorting Hat finished its lengthy song. I was feeling extremely queasy, though; this old ragged, patch-y thing has the decision whether or not to put me in Gryffindor?
Neville now stepped forward, holding a long roll of parchment.
“When I call your name, you will sit on the stool and put on the hat to be sorted.” Neville said. He caught my eye and gave me an encouraging smile before unrolling the parchment.
Soaking wet, Malfoy swaggered up to the stool.
No surprise there.
“Nyx, Zelda!” Neville announced, smiling kindly at Zelda.
Zelda’s face was terrified and bloodless; she didn’t move. Xander put a comforting arm around her shoulders and gently shoved her forward. I whispered after her, “Think Gryffindor and it’s going to be alright!”
Zelda mutely nodded and walked steadily to the stool, with her head held high. She sat down and calmly put the hat on. From where I was standing, I could only see her dark hair. The Sorting Hat did not immediately yell out her house. Finally, the hat opened its brim of a mouth and yelled—
Zelda jumped up and gave the hat back to Neville. For a brief second she turned her head, catching Xander and my eyes, grinning triumphantly, and then she sprinted to the applauding Gryffindor table. I caught many students from Slytherin House leering at her.
Mutters began to spread through the Great Hall at the name of ‘Potter’. Al gulped and stepped forward without meeting anybody’s eyes. Two seconds later, “GRYFFINDOR!”
I cheered hard. Poor Al had thought for some reason that he would be placed in Slytherin.
Predictably, the Scamanders ended up in Ravenclaw. They had a small, immature scuffle over who should’ve been called first, since Lorcan claimed he was older. Minutes later, another familiar name was heard. “Voss, Alexandrina!”
“Oh, no!” Xander muttered, looking at me. “Help, Rosie—”
I sighed and gently pushed Xander toward the stool without saying a word.
Buggers. I didn’t know my name would be called this soon! I mean, the ‘W’s are farther down the alphabet, right? It seemed hard to walk forward to the stool where the Sorting Hat waited for me. But I did, and at the same time, the pit in my stomach seemed to enlarge. I shakily sat down on the hard stool and Neville dropped the floppy hat on me.
Almost immediately, the hat shouted, “GRYFFINDOR!”
“YES!” I screamed triumphantly amid the thunderous applause from the Gryffindor table. I took off the Sorting Hat, and with as much dignity possible, ran to where my friends were sitting. The Slytherins booed as I passed their table. Well, fuck them.
I dropped down in the middle of Xander and Zelda, across from Al and his friend, the dark-haired guy.
“We made it then,” I said beaming.
“Sure did,” Zelda said happily. Al whistled his agreement.
“Al, are you going to introduce your friend then?” Xander asked, nodding at the dark-haired boy.
“Take it away, Jag!” Al said comfortably, with all of us listening.
Everyone looked at the guy. His narrow eyes widened for a moment then, then broke into a wide smile. “Hi, everyone!” he just sat there, maniacally grinning, and furiously moving his right hand back and forth in a wave. “I’m Jag!”
“Your mom must have hated you.” Zelda said. “What kind of name is that?”
“Jag’s short for Jagneaux, which is my last name,” the boy said haughtily.
“Well, what’s your first name?”
“What’s your name, missy?” the boy countered, looking rather pissed.
His eyes widened. “Ohemgee coolio. Your parents are the scary purebloods!”
Zelda looked astonished. “Yes! How did you—?”
She was cut off because strong magically amplified voice floated throughout the Hall, “SILENCE PLEASE!”
I looked up again to the teachers’ table. The Sorting Hat had been taken away, and now the Headmistress, Professor Minerva McGonagall had stood up. Honestly, why hasn't she died yet? She's like a MILLION years old! “Welcome! Welcome to another wonderful year of magical learning!” She waited, while the applause died down. “As I’m sure you all are famished, I will save my proper speech for later. Tuck in, everyone!”
I still kept my eyes on the head table, “Weird, McGonagall’s still here. She taught my grandparents!” I said thinking out loud, expecting some sort of witty reaction from Xander. Nothing. Instead I heard the clattering of plates and utensils. I spun around and my mouth fell open.
FOOD. There were mountains of food OF EVERY SORT piled high on the platters.
“Do close your mouth, Rosie,” Xander said, while shoveling mashed potatoes and peas into her mouth, “It is so unbecoming.”
I rolled my eyes again. Zelda tapped the table in front of her to get the dark-haired boy's attention. “Okay, how in the name of Merlin did you know that my parents were purebloods?”
“I’m a pureblood too. I’ve heard my mum talk about your family.”
“What House was your mum in?” Zelda asked curiously.
“She went to Beauxbatons.”
“So, you’re French?”
“Is your dad French, too?”
“Er, dunno. I dunno who he was.”
“Why don’t you know—”
“Zelda, don’t pester the poor guy,” I said, elbowing her.
He grinned widely. “Don’t worry about that! So you’re Rose Weasley?” He asked me, eyes shining. His eyes were addictively blue, I couldn't stop staring.
I managed to smile. “Yeah, one of the Weasleys. I’m Al’s cousin,”
“Yeah, he mentioned.” The boy turned to Xander. “And your name is—Xander?” he asked, obviously confused by the boy’s name.
“Yep, that’s my nickname. Full name's Alexandrina."
"So, should we call you Jag, then?” Zelda asked the boy.
“Yup. I’m just like a jaguar! RAWRRR!”
And so, to sum it all up, that was how my arrival at Hogwarts went. I met Zelda, the spunky girl with the strange past, Alexandrina, the lively one with the big mouth, watched Al become friends with the strange dark-haired boy who refused to tell us his first name, and most important of all, I met the entity known as Malfoy.
Our story is one that will be remembered forever. Read on!