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Chapter 3: Chapter Three
Mildred’s pillow felt firmer than usual, uncomfortably firm and her blankets weren’t quite as fluffy as she remembered them to be. In fact, the blankets felt fairly crisp and cool, and very, very different to those she thought her bed usually had. Mildred opened her eyes, much to quickly and was momentarily blinded by the bright white light that was surrounding her. Squeezing her eyes shut, she counted to ten and tentatively opened her eyes again, allowing them to adjust to the harsh light. As she took in her surroundings, she realised exactly where she was – The Hospital Wing. The white walls seemed to glow from the sunlight that entered through one of the many windows and the beds sat evenly spread apart along each wall. The air smelt of an unrecognisable potion and the only sound Mildred could currently hear was her own breath.
Mildred had only been admitted to the Hospital Wing a few times during her schooling years. Once was in her first year when she had forgotten all about one of the trick steps, and injured herself trying to get unstuck from it. The second time was in her fourth year after one of Sirius Black’s pranks, meant for Severus Snape of course, went a little off course and she had ended up covered in boils and this time, this time was her third.
She tried to think back to how she had gotten herself here, hadn’t it only been the first day of school yesterday? Glancing down at her body she could see no obvious injuries. Nothing was bandaged up, there was no Skele-grow on the bedside table nor were there any other strange concoctions sitting there, so what was the reason she was there? She thought back to the night before. She’d had dinner alone at the Ravenclaw table and felt ill when she noticed Oliver and Alexis canoodling. After that she’d gone to the Prefects meeting where she discovered she would be patrolling with Remus Lupin, and then she had started to head back to Ravenclaw tower. But yes, of course, Claire had let her know about a meeting with Professor Dumbledore and she had gone to his office instead. His office, where she rediscovered the Sorting Hat.
The Sorting Hat, oh Merlin. She remembered trying it on again last night to prove that it wasn’t scary – but she discovered that, apparently, the Sorting Hat believed her to be a true Gryffindor. She snorted at the thought of that because she knew that she was a Ravenclaw through and through. She was smart and she loved her books. She definitely wasn’t brave or courageous, so how could she possibly be a Gryffindor?
Apparently her snort had alerted the matron to the fact that she was now awake. A young blonde lady came from behind Mildred’s curtains, scurrying over to her.
“Good morning Miss Finlay. It seems you had a bit of a shock last night, you fainted in Professor Dumbledore’s office and he brought you in. I gave you a sleeping potion so you’d sleep through the night, how are you feeling now?” she asked in a rush, while waving her wand around Mildred doing some checks.
“Uh, yes fine, a little hungry, but fine. I’d really love to just go back to Ravenclaw tower and get ready for todays classes.” Mildred replied, figuring that you really couldn’t switch houses, especially after spending five years in one.
With that, the matron looked a little shocked and muttering under her breath, she scurried out of site just as quickly as she came in leaving Mildred to continue laying in her bed wondering what was happening. No more than ten minutes later, she heard the doors to the Hospital Wing swing open. Due to the curtains around her bed she was unable to see who had entered, but briefly saw the matron rush past and could hear hushed voices. No matter how hard she strained her ears, she was unable to hear a single word. When the conversation was over, Mildred heard footsteps heading towards her, and that was when Professor Dumbledore came into view.
“Ah, good morning Miss Finlay! It seems our meeting last night went a little unexpectedly” he chuckled. That man always seemed too happy, she observed as he continued. “It seems that you have been re-sorted, as such. Myself and the other professors did not know that this could happen, however there are many things about Hogwarts that we still do not know about. Only the other day did I discover a room full of socks on the seventh floor, however it seems to have disappeared since. But, back to the matter on hand – you have indeed been resorted. I have spoken to Professor Flitwick and Professor McGonagall about this, and as of now you will be moving to the Gryffindor tower. You are an official Gryffindor student now. You will report to Professor McGonagall as your Head of House, your robes will now be Gryffindor colours, you will eat your meals at the Gryffindor table and well, no, you can still support the Ravenclaw Quidditch team if you desire. One of your new dorm mates will be here once she finishes her breakfast, and she will show you to the tower and your new dorm. All of your stuff will also be there already for you to unpack which we will allow you to do this morning and you will return to classes after lunch today. I do hope you enjoy your new house Miss Finlay.” With that, his eyes gleamed mischievously and he left the room, leaving Mildred all alone to think about what he had just said.
He hadn’t even given her a chance to say anything! How could she be moved from her house of five years, to Gryffindor? It seemed ridiculous that it was even allowed, and she scolded herself from trying the damn hat on. She couldn’t believe how stupid she had been, because honestly, when was there ever anything about anyone wearing that hat twice? She should’ve expected something bad to happen!
The matron returned and handed her some fresh robes to change into, unfortunately they were Gryffindor colours. Grumbling, Mildred got out of bed to change but was disrupted by the mediwitch.
“Change is hard and scary, but change is also a good thing. Don’t be afraid of what could go wrong; be excited for the things that could go right. Look at me, I finished learning how to become a healer ten years ago and loved work until a nasty boss started where I worked last year, and now I’ve ended up here – at one of the greatest places in the Wizarding World, working under Albus Dumbledore! While it’ll be challenging and there will be some negative things, it’ll also be rewarding and full of positive surprises,” she cheerfully told Mildred.
She showed Mildred to the bathroom and, finally, introduced herself as Madam Poppy Pomfrey. As Mildred changed into her newly coloured robes she thought about what the woman said and tried to look at the situation positively, however those thoughts quickly diminished as she heard she stern voice of Lily Evans through the bathroom door.
“Finlay, I’ve been told to show you to Gryffindor tower as it seems you’re joining us. No idea why, but could you please hurry up, as not all of us are skipping our classes this morning,” she ended with a huff.
Mildred could just imagine Lily standing there rolling her eyes and glancing down at her watching, counting the minutes until her first class. She finished getting dressed and glanced in the mirror. She looked ridiculous in Gryffindor robes, and only hoped that she didn’t run into many people on the way to wherever the entrance Gryffindor tower was. Smoothing down her robes, she exited the room.
She followed Lily silently as she walked briskly in the direction she assumed Gryffindor tower to be in. They walked up to the seventh floor without saying a word to each other and stopped outside a portrait of a rather fat lady dressed in a pink dress that appeared to made of silk. The fat lady said a cheerful hello to Lily, briefly glanced as Mildred, and swung open when Lily said “broomsticks”. Mildred climbed through the portrait behind Lily, noting that the portrait closed behind them, and took a look around the, thankfully empty, common room.
It was similar to Ravenclaws, but obviously different in colour as it was all red and gold. There were very squishy, plush looking armchairs in front of a large fireplace that was still slightly smouldering, more armchairs were scattered around the room as well as a few tables. There were quite a few windows that overlooked the grounds and Mildred thought it was strange to be looking at a different view of Hogwarts, and there were two staircases leading off from the common room, one on each side.
Lily obviously wasn’t very happy about Mildred’s curiosity and kept looking at her watch and huffing.
“Look Mildred, I have a class in ten minutes. This is the common room. The notice board is near the entrance on the left, the boys’ staircase is on the left and the girls’ staircase is on the right. The girls’ staircase is charmed, so no boy is able to go up them. I’ll show you to my, err our, dorm now” and Lily started heading up the right staircase. Mildred followed, noting that it seemed every second floor had a different year. She realised that there must be a level of the boys dormitories in between each of the girls, which made logical sense. They reached the door that said “Sixth Years” and Mildred followed Lily in.
The room was circular and had four beds evenly spread around the room, very much the same as Ravenclaws. Three were clearly occupied, and one sat freshly made with Mildred’s trunk neatly next to it. Mildred almost laughed as she thought how convenient it was that she hadn't unpacked. Lily headed to the bed next to hers, picked up a few books and was ready to leave before Mildred had even taken four steps into the room.
“That’s my bed next to yours” Lily said and Mildred swore she sounded rather mad “and then Mary Macdonald’s is opposite mine and next to hers is Susan Matheson’s. Mary and Susan spend the longest in the bathroom” she said, nodding at a door across the room “so you need to get in early, or you won’t get in at all. Don’t touch anyone’s stuff without asking and don’t spread your stuff all around the room. Everyone will be back here just before lunch. If you need anything else, find another Gryffindor or see me when I actually have time,” and with that, Lily Evans turned on her heel, flicked her hair over her shoulders and marched out of the room leaving Mildred all alone in her new dorm.
Breathing deeply, she walked over to her new bed and sat down. The bed seemed fairly soft and was probably going to be the same as her one in Ravenclaw, but it just wouldn’t be hers. She wouldn’t be asked a riddle to get into the common room anymore, something she loved, and she wouldn’t be surrounded by gorgeous shades of blue, one of her favourite colours, and she would now be in a room with a girl who hated her since second year. Before she knew it, she was crying. It was only the second day of the year and Mildred hated it already. She hated seeing Alexis and Oliver, she hated seeing people that she once thought were her friends and she hated change.
Suddenly, the door to the dormitories swung open and red hair came flying through. Mildred could hear Lily muttering something about the wrong book, and she sniffed and tried to wipe her eyes before the redhead noticed. Lily switched books and turned to leave without even acknowledging Mildred. However, when she reached the door she looked directly at her and informed her that “it’ll get better” and with a small smile, Lily Evans was gone again.
With another deep breath Mildred pulled herself together, put on a small smile and made her way towards the bathroom to shower. Today was going to be a tough day, but maybe it wouldn’t be as bad as she thought.
A/N: I can't believe this took so long. I'm so sorry. I was struggling with this chapter, I just couldn't get it right, y'know? I hope you like it though, and I hope I can get the next chapter up a lot quicker. Thank-you for reading :)