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Chapter 1: First Train Ride And The Sorting
Disclaimer: Everyone writes one, so I thought I'd follow the trend and assure everyone that I'm not JKR. ;-)
'You'll be able to choose Gryffindor over Slytherin. The Sorting Hat takes your choice into account.'
Those words swirled in Al's mind as he watched his parents glide away. He wouldn't have thought that his dad was nearly sorted into Slytherin, the house of evil witches and wizards.
“Earth to Al!” A bossy voice that belonged to his cousin Rose snapped him back to reality. “We need to find somewhere to sit!”
“Oh! Umm... yeah,” he muttered and followed her, still feeling numb and lost in thoughts.
They passed many compartments with people laughing and catching up on what they have missed over the summer. Albus wondered if any of those normal looking and casual people could be in Slytherin...
'I WON'T be in Slytherin,' he fiercely told himself ignoring the unpleasant flip in his stomach.
Rose stopped so suddenly that Al nearly walked into her.
“I think we could just squeeze into this one,” her voice seemed to shake a little at the prospect of talking to strangers, however she made a good point of not showing this. She straightened her back and raised her chin up before sliding the door open.
“Hello, mind if we join you?” She asked with pretend confidence.
They made no signs of protest. Al followed his cousin into the half full compartment. He noticed three boys and two girls.
The smallest of the boys with very large front teeth and a mousy brown fringe that nearly covered his eyes spoke up.
“My name's Gordon!” He was excitedly fidgeting in his seat. “Who are you? It's good to meet new people before we get to school!”
The other boy, a dark skinned with tight curls growing out of his head like little snakes who sat closest to the door glared at him and hissed. Poor Gordon blushed and hung his head down.
“Hi Gordon, I'm Rose,” she said smiling shyly as she settled down.
“Weasley?” A girl with frizzy white blond hair perked up. “I'm Arethusa Hext,” she shook Rose's hand and turned to the dark skinned boy.
“Are you finally going to tell us who you are?” She confronted him with a sour look on her face. He must have been unpleasant to her before Rose and Al joined the group.
He looked at her and sneered. “Luc DeLuca, my family is one of the oldest Italian pure-blood families-”
“Pure-blood?” Cut in another pale, black haired girl with bright blue eyes. She sounded confused, but her face showed only boredom. Luc glanced at her looking positively revolted.
“A wizard family with purely magical heritage,” drawled in a boy with a pale, pointed face and nearly white hair that matched Arethusa's in colour, but it was straight rather than frizzy like hers. He was sat next to a window, opposite Al, and seemed weary about talking to others.
“Clearly not you then!” sniggered Luc looking at the black haired girl.
She huffed and flicked her black hair off her shoulder but remained silent.
“Heritage doesn't really matter,” said Rose in an attempt to comfort her.
“Unless you're an arrogant asshole,” Arethusa added, making it obvious who she was talking about. Then she turned her attention to the blonde boy by the window.
“So who are you then?”
He hesitated then said, “Scorpius.”
Albus could see why Scorpius avoided to tell them his last name. He too disliked being judged by the fact that he had a famous surname. It didn't mean that he was embarrassed to be a part of the family, just that he would rather be his own person.
Luc snorted. Scorpius turned sharply towards him and narrowed his eyes.
“Find something funny, Luc?”
“Oh, nothing, Scorpius”
“My name is Albus Severus,” said Al in Scorpius' defence, knowing too well what it's like to have a slightly odd name. He was beginning to like Luc less and less.
“You could say I have it worse” he added grinning at Scorpius who seemed unsure of how to respond. He settled for an awkward half-smile.
“I know who you are,” Luc spat glaring at Al.
“Yeah, and it's probably something much better than you,” said Scorpius spitefully.
Luc laughed, “And your father as well, Malfoy?”
The girls gasped and Gordon muttered, “Guys...”
“No one is forcing you to sit with us, so if you have a problem you can always leave!” said Al glaring at DeLuca.
“You know what, I think you're right Potter,” he sprung to his feet sticking his chest out. “I best not associate with mudbloods,” he paused, looking at the black haired girl. “Or Malfoys.”
Scorpius and Al stood up but Luc already disappeared with a cold laugh.
“Honestly, what a nasty person!” Huffed Rose appalled by Luc's behaviour.
“I'm guessing that a mudblood would be the opposite of pure-blood.” The girl, whose name they still didn't know, spoke up in a matter-of-fact manner.
“It's much more offensive,” said Gordon quietly. “He was out of order.”
“Oh well,” she waved her hand dismissively. “I'm Edge, by the way. It's from EJ, because my name is Emma-Jane but I was always called Edge at school so it stuck really.”
Arethusa sighed, “I wish I had a nickname.”
At this everyone started coming up with suggestions, willing to forget the incident that took place a minute ago. Scorpius was the only one who didn't join in and blankly stared out the window.
“Let's face it,” she said in a dramatic tone, gripping the bridge of her nose. “I can't have a nickname.”
“Don't worry, I don't have a nickname either,” smiled Rose.
This caused Al to shout in outrage. “Like hell you don't Rosie Posie!”
“Shut up, Albie!” She said savagely.
Everyone laughed apart from Scorpius who still had a blank look on his face and Edge who barely smiled.
Albus didn't know much about the boy sat in front of him. All he remembered was that their parents didn't get on at school and his family was extremely rich. He also found out from James who eavesdropped on mum and dad's conversation that the Malfoys had done some nasty things in the past. Luc must have known about this.
The time flew by as the girls and Gordon engaged themselves in the conversation about what they expect of Hogwarts. Rose, having read Hogwarts: A History back to front seven times could tell them quite a bit about the topic.
“'- and each house has a point system where points are given or taken if the pupil is good or bad,” she spoke really fast when she was excited. Her eyes were gleaming.
“I hope I earn lots of points for my house,” said Arethusa solemnly. Albus shifted in his seat. He knew where this conversation was heading.
“Me too,” Gordon agreed. “Where do you think you'll end up?”
“I'd love to be in Gryffindor!” She exclaimed, “You?”
“I don't know...” he said shrinking in his seat slightly. “I suppose that's for them to decide. Rose?”
“The whole family was in Griffindor.” Rose seemed a little paler. Arethusa smiled at her sympathetically.
“Then that's where you'll probably end up. Families are usually in the same house.”
Al watched Rose return the smile. It was always easier for her to make friends.
“You'll probably end up in Gryffindor too Al” Arethusa assured him. She must have noticed his slightly green face. He shrugged and looked at Scorpius.
“Where do you think you'll be, Scorpius?”
He snapped out of his daydream at the sound of his name.
“He asked you which house you think you'll be in,” Rose chipped in.
He seemed to have a habit of hesitating before he said anything. He looked at her in silence then spoke,
“Slytherin,” his voice full of confidence and certainty. “That's where my family was. I can't imagine it being different for me.”
Al was slightly surprised by his attitude. Why would anyone want to be in Slytherin?
“Do you wish you were sorted into different house though?” He asked before he could stop himself. Scorpius frowned.
Gordon who was intimidated by Scorpius just as he was by Luc DeLuca shyly murmured.
“But that's where a lot of bad wizards and witches come from.”
“Oh, Gordon!” Arethusa scolded him like a naughty child. “Not every wizard in Slytherin ended up bad!”
“Exactly,” Rose agreed casting a worried look in Scorpius' direction in case he was offended by Gordon's words. “There tend to be more dark wizards from that house than any other but it doesn't mean that every one is like that!”
This conversation probably meant more to Al than Scorpius. It gave him a little more confidence. If this was where Scorpius was headed then maybe it wouldn't be that bad. Besides not everyone there ended up bad! Scorpius certainly seemed okay...
“I won't be in Slytherin!” he tried to convince himself with very little effect.
The sound of compartment door sliding open snapped Albus out of his thoughts. An old witch pulling a trolley full of magical sweets was smiling at them.
“Anything from the trolley, dears?”
“Oh yes please!” Gordon shouted and got up with lots of enthusiasm searching his pockets for money. He was followed by Arethusa and Rose who dragged Edge outside. She looked like she tried not to show too much interest in magical sweets. This left Al and Scorpius in the compartment.
“Favourite Quidditch team?” Al asked him wanting break the awkward silence and to distract him from his probably rather gloomy thoughts.
“Tornadoes.” He drawled proudly, “Third in the league last year!”
“Only just! Puddlemere were so close to crushing them.”
“As if!” He exclaimed distastefully, “They could barely keep up.”
“They won't be so lucky this year now that Kovacs has left.”
The rest returned with tons of sweets. Rose threw some at Al and Scorpius. Gordon and Arethusa followed her example. Scorpius seemed quite shocked.
“Thanks” he muttered looking at his knees.
This little gesture seemed to have lightened him up a bit because when Al resumed their conversation about Quidditch Scorpius was much more talkative. He even suggested that Al should come to see the Tornadoes with him. They didn't even notice when it got dark outside until Rose informed them that they should put their school robes on because they'd be arriving soon.
Albus was very excited but he still couldn't fight the anxiety. The train was coming to a halt and he felt like he had millions of pixies swirling in his stomach. He wasn't the only one scared, though. Gordon started shaking as they got off the train and Rose fiddled with her plaits whilst biting her lip. Even Scorpius seemed a little paler.
“Firs' years over here!” Al felt a tiny bit better at the sound of Hagrid's voice. The five of them pushed though the crowd towards the tall figure.
“Alrigh' Al? Rose?” The giant greeted them with a warm smile and returned to calling the remaining first years.”Firs' years gather 'round!”
“You know him?” Asked Scorpius quietly, looking slightly weary. Al responded with a nod.
“He's my dad's friend. Cool guy,” he informed him. “He invited me for tea on Friday. I'm sure he won't mind if you come.”
“Any more firs' years?” Hagrid's voice boomed. “Firs' years follow me! C'mon now! Watch yer feet.”
They clumsily followed him down a narrow, slippery path. Excited murmur could be heard here and there as they made their way. When they came around a bend everybody gasped.
Hagrid laughed. “Tha' would be Hogwarts ye lot!”
A great lake with a black smooth surface stretched out in front of them. Far ahead a magnificent castle with many towers was perched on top of a cliff. Its warm orange light coming from numerous windows contrasted with the black sky.
“Three or four to the boat!”
Albus and Scorpius climbed into a little boat by the shore followed by Gordon. The girls took the boat next to them. Hagrid scanned the crowd to see if everybody was settled and ready to go.
“All righ' then! FORWARD!”
As they smoothly sailed across the water watching the castle in awe, Albus was imagining the look on people's faces as the Sorting Hat announced that he was in Slytherin.
'It might not!'
Would his parents really not mind if he wasn't in Griffindor? James surely would never forgive him. But Scorpius didn't mind being in Slytherin and it wouldn't be half bad to share a dorm with someone he already knew...
They reached the shore and made their way towards the magnificent castle. Hagrid banged his large fist on the front door which swung open and everyone gathered in the Entrance Hall. There was a smiling wizard of average height dressed in blue and silver robes standing in front of them. He dismissed Hagrid and turned to the shaking crowd.
“Welcome!” He outstretched his arms and grinned whilst scanning the crowd. “I'm Professor Benjamin, Head of Hufflepuff house. It is most pleasing to see new faces! I'm hoping that you will work hard to make good use of the time at Hogwarts. Most of - ...”
Al was distracted by the worm on Rose's shoulder. He flicked it at the back of Luc DeLuca's head. Scorpius sniggered and gave him a discrete low five. Professor Benjamin drone on.
“... - into your houses. They are called Ravenclaw, Slytherin, Griffindor and Hufflepuff. You should think of your house as your new family, new brothers and sisters. But it doesn't mean you can't be friends with people from other houses! They're like cousins. It's all about the house unity” He was not only grinning like a madman but also talking like one.
There was a snort coming from DeLuca.
“Points will be given or taken depending on your behaviour and academic progress. Any questions?Good, I shall be back when we are ready for you.”
As soon as he bounced off back to the rest of the school everyone burst into nervous chatter. Rose was comforting Edge about the Sorting, but it looked like she was really assuring herself rather than the unfazed brunette. Luc turned around to face Albus.
“I feel like we have started this year on a bad note.”
The worm was making its way through his hair and was now wiggling above his right ear. Al suppressed an urge to laugh.
“I've decided to give you another chance.” He announced with a tone of authority. “You're a bit misguided, so I'll help you establish who is worth your time,” he stuck out his chest and raised his chin.
“And who isn't.”
He glared at Scorpius who sneered in return.
“I'm flattered,” said Al trying to sound indifferent. “But I reckon I'll do just fine establishing things on my own, thanks.”
“So basically, sod off you dimwit!” Arethusa added.
Luc looked like someone just slapped him round the face with a large, smelly fish. He tried to regain his confidence.
“Associating with mudbloods and Mafoys,” he said with his voice full of pity and shook his head. “Merlin help you, Potter.” He turned on his heel and stormed off.
“Merlin help your balls if you don't shut up!” Arethusa shouted after him.
“Keep your girlfriend on the leash, Potter, she's barking again!” He shouted back.
“I really don't understand,” began Edge looking at Scorpius. “What exactly is so bad about you?”
But before he had the chance to answer the door to the Great Hall swung open and they were once again facing Professor Benjamin and his cheery manner.
“Well, are ready for you! Follow me now!”
“Here goes nothing,” muttered Al as his stomach plunged into chaos.
The old, patchy hat was waiting for Harry in Neville's, or Professor Longbottom's as Al would have to call him from now on, hand. Small boy approached the stool uncertainly. The Sorting Hat fell onto his his head and a moment later screamed,
“Where do you think you'll end up then?” Scorpius whispered.
Al shrugged, “Dunno.”
He was beginning to feel slightly sick. Scorpius awkwardly patted him on the back. They watched few people get sorted in silence until Neville read,
Edge made her way through the crowd. She didn't look one bit bothered about the whole ceremony. She sat on the stool with a straight back, crossed her legs and waited for the Sorting Hat to be lowered on her head.
“Oh!” Scorpius voice was drowned by the claps and screams of the Slytherin table.
“What?” Albus whispered.
“Dad says muggleborns don't usually get sorted into Slytherin.”
Albus suddenly wished to be a muggleborn. Rose turned to Scorpius with narrow eyes,
“Does it bother you that she's there?” Her tone was slightly confrontational.
'Trust Rose to start being like this after making some friends' thought Al.
“Not really,” he said.
He looked far from being displeased. In fact he seemed a little less pale.
The moment the Hat touched his head, it announced,
Scorpius, whose face regained some colour a moment ago, was white as a sheet now. He looked at Al purely mortified.
“How am I going to share a dorm with that for seven years?” He cried. His wide eyes watched DeLuca settling down on the Slytherin bench and shuffling away from Edge as if she smelt of rotten eggs.
“I'm sure there will be some nicer people joining Slytherin shortly,” said Rose observing Luc.
Scorpius snorted, “Nice people in Slytherin? Think it through!”
Albus and Rose laughed.
“You're nice, though,” stated Arethusa.
“Yeah, maybe you'll end up somewhere else!” Rose added enthusiastically.
“Ask the Hat to not put you in Slytherin!” chipped in Al. He was suddenly excited at the idea of being in Gryffindor with Scorpius. Clearly Scorpius wasn't sharing the same vision.
“And risk being disowned, by my dad? No, thanks!” He scoffed.
“I'm sure he wouldn't do that!”
“Okay, maybe he wouldn't disown me but-”
“It's okay,” whispered Rose. “Mine threatened me with the same thing.”
Rose was terrified at the thought of not being in Gryffindor. The memory of Uncle Ron's words made Al feel nervous and he wasn't even his son. Uncle Ron might have made it seem like a joke but he was probably serious deep down.
“Yeah, my brother wouldn't leave me alone about not being in Gryffindor either,” added Al lamely.
“Mm,” agreed Rose.”He was bullying Al about being in Slytherin all summer but I think- ...” She stopped her blabbering after Al threw her 'shut-up-now-before-I-kill-you' glare. Scorpius frowned.
“Why don't you want to be in Slytherin?”
The answer was sat at the Gryffindor table. It was currently whooping and dancing to no music as Dan Harvey sat down next to him. His parents were so proud when James got sorted into Gryffindor. Will they be like that if they find out their second son is in Slytherin?
Then he remembered his dad's words. He also had a sudden thought; he never liked red.
“Good luck” Rose whispered. He nearly jumped out of his skin, thinking the Hat has called his name, but then realised that it was Arethusa's turn.
Just like with Luc, the Hat didn't take long to make the decision where to put her.
“Well, that wasn't obvious,” muttered Scorpius.
A millennium seems to have passed until Neville reached the letter M.
Once again the colour was drained from his face, and he swallowed loudly. Al gave him a pat on the back. As his new friend was making his way towards the stool, Albus noticed that a lot of people were whispering and pointing at the pale boy. Their facial expressions mirrored Luc's when he was confronting Scorpius.
Scorpius took the hat off and started marching towards the cheering table. He shrugged at Al with a hint of an apologetic look on his face.
“See, Al?” said Rose smirking. “You'll have a friend in Slytherin now.”
His cousin's slightly sardonic nature always managed to resurface at most appropriate moments when her parents weren't around. Albus didn't want to give her the reaction she wanted.
“Yeah, I guess I will,” he grinned widely.
Rose's eyes widened but she hasn't said another word. If time was going slow before Scorpius' Sorting, then it certainly made up the delay before Al's, because in no time it was his turn.
Neville smiled at him trying to give his some confidence as he walked towards him. His eyes met James' for a brief second before the Hat covered his eyes and he found himself in complete darkness.
“Ahh, another Potter!” Said the small voice somewhere in Al's head. “I had some troubles with your brother last year! He would achieve so much in Sytherin!”
James was meant to be in Slytherin?!
“Yes, indeed, but he chose a different path... Now, let's see... Smart and very loyal, very loyal indeed, but... hmm... It's a tough choice. You want to prove yourself, you want people to recognise you for who you are, yes... There is plenty of courage, you are very brave boy.
Albus was surprised. Did the Hat want to put him in Gryffindor without a hassle?
“Not in Gryffindor? Red is not your colour, eh?”
He felt his heart drop. 'Wait! No, that's not what I-'
“The other Potters begged not to be in Slytherin but you... ”
'What do you know? You're just a hat!'
“Just a hat hmm? Well, you certainly have a Slytherin mind...”
'No I don't'
“-to put you...”
The Sorting Hat was removed from Al's head to reveal all the pairs of eyes in the Great Hall staring right at him. There were no claps, just silence full of disbelief. Albus felt himself going red.
“But he's a Potter!” People whispered.
“Harry Potter's son in Slytherin?”
Al raised his chin up and started walking towards his new house. Dad said he would be proud no matter what... right? Right?
After his new 'family' managed to come to terms with the fact that they had a Potter in Slytherin they started cheering. Even Scorpius was grinning as he patted the seat next to him indicating Al to sit down. Edge gave him a thin, delighted smile. Luc DeLuca ignored him completely but who cared about him?
Then Albus realised that Slytherin wouldn't be so bad, people welcomed him. He shouldn't be ashamed.
He scanned the Hall for James who looked speechless. He was sat amongst other shocked Gryffindors who still couldn't come to terms with the fact that the younger Potter wasn't sat amongst them.
Al grinned at him as widely as he possibly could. If the hat hasn't told him that James was meant to be in Slytherin too, he'd probably be mortified of the next few months at this school. James wouldn't let him hear the end of it but with that little piece of information Al was certain he was in the winning position. He smirked to himself, if James got a bit annoying, he had something to blackmail him with.
Scorpius nudged him and nodded towards Neville who just called 'Reynolds, Gordon' to come forward.
Little Gordon shakily made his way, Albus was suddenly glad that he didn't have to wait any longer for his Sorting.
Albus clapped along with the Ravenclaw table. Scorpius looked at him for a moment and joined in as well.
“Thank Merlin,” said Luc. “I was beginning to worry that Slytherin would gain another cretin.”
“Nah, he wouldn't dare to take your spot,” sniggered Scorpius.
Luc shot him a murderous glare. Scorpius was forced to break the eye contact first, only because it was Rose's turn to get sorted. She was sat on the stool for a minute before the Hat announced that she was a Gryffindor.
'At least Uncle Ron won't disown her,' Albus thought, as she took place next to Arethusa.
Then his head turned on its own accord and faced Scorpius. Al felt himself grinning at him. He realised that he was fine where he was, and if he had an option to switch houses he wouldn't do it.
Gryffindor was overrated. It wasn't the only house to produce good witches and wizards, and it certainly wasn't the best. He shouldn't have been a coward and avoid Slytherin only because people expected him to be in Gryffindor and his brother would give him hell. He was going to prove that Slytherin has gained 'an excellent student.'
His parents would be proud, no matter what. And James? He can go to hell.
A/N: I hope I managed to show some of Al's Slytherin personality traits. I was thinking of putting Luc in Gryffindor for a while, but I feel that if he wasn't placed in Slytherin then Albus wouldn't be so determined to keep Scorpius company in that house. So what do you think? Any good points? Anything you disliked or imagined differently? Please let me know! :)