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Chapter 2: The Extraordinary Arrival
The train gave a lurch. Albus Severus Potter dashed into the nearest empty compartment on the Hogwarts Express and gazed out the window. King’s Cross Train Station was distantly there…a speck…gone. He was alone. His stomach dropped, and he wished his Dad could be with him. Several days away from home would be fine, but he wasn’t going to be with them until Christmas. He already felt homesick. He glanced around the compartment. There was his cousin, Rose, who had run up behind Albus. She would be starting her first year too, same as Albus. Both of them sat down.
He was riding Hogwarts Express, the train that transported Albus and his classmates to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Albus was a wizard, as were everyone in his family, and many others.
“Aren’t you excited?” whispered Rose. “We’re off to Hogwarts!” That’s when all his excitement rushed back to him.
“I’ve never been so scared and excited in my life,” he whispered to Rose.
“I hope I’m in Gryffindor.”
It was then that Albus chose to ponder over the words his father said before the train departed. His dad had said that if you were desperate, the sorting hat would consider what he wanted when making the final decision of what Hogwarts house Albus would be in. Or something like that. Al forgot the exact wording. He knew the sorting hat was the hat that sorted you into your school house the first day at Hogwarts. There were four houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Everyone in his family had been in Gryffindor, so naturally, Al wanted to be in there too. But Slytherin was known to turn out mean, nasty, dark wizards. Albus desperately did not want to be in Slytherin.
“Dad said that the sorting hat takes your choice when making the decision,” Albus whispered to Rose.
“That’s what he said.”
“You know, you don’t have to whisper in here. The kids in the compartment next to us are yelling,” smirked James, his older brother, who had just strolled into the compartment. James was much more calm because he would be starting his second year, and was already sorted into Gryffindor. “Plus,” James added, “They announced at the end of last year that they aren’t using the sorting hat this year, because it got damaged. They’re going to have a big test instead, wrestling mountain trolls and that sort of stuff.”
Albus’s heart sank. Now not only did he have to be worried about being away from home so long, and being sorted into Slytherin house, but also he had to worry about whatever test they were doing.
He sighed and looked out the window. Even if he got put in Gryffindor and made the house team in his first year, it wouldn’t be a big deal. He’d just be as good as his father. First year students rarely got on the house team of the most popular wizarding sport, Quidditch. But his Dad had. Albus’s dad was the youngest seeker in a century.
But everyone wouldn’t be as impressed if Albus did it than a normal kid, because he was a Potter. His dad wasn’t just any old dad. He was Harry Potter, the man who managed to kill the darkest wizard of all time, Lord Voldemort. Every person in the wizarding world knew the name of Harry Potter. Why did Dad have to tell people they were similar? Now everyone will expect him to be just as amazing as The Great Harry Potter. But what if Al didn’t live up to their expectations? Albus’s dad wouldn’t be scared on his first day. He’d be excited.
“Does anyone want anything off the trolley?”
He jumped, startled by the sudden movement. He turned and saw an old witch, perhaps a grandma, smiling a very sweet smile.
“I’ll--I’ll have two chocolate frogs,” he stammered. He loved chocolate, and he loved collecting the cards. A picture and a description of a famous wizard were featured on a card in each chocolate frog box.
“I’ll have a pumpkin pasty.” said Rose.
“Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans!” exclaimed James.
Albus groaned. Bertie Botts’s Every Flavor Beans had beans that were completely odd. He was told stories of people who got booger, vomit, earwax, glue, cow tongue, poison ivy, and much, much more. Whenever James got those beans, he would somehow trick Albus into eating one, usually hiding it in some of his food. It always tasted disgusting. One thing Al did not like was trying new foods.
The witch gave them their food, and Albus began to nibble on his chocolate frog, first checking to make sure there wasn’t a bean shoved in there.
“Do you want a bean?” teased James, holding up a lumpy green one.
“No way!” Al exclaimed, and tried to scoot away from James. James laughed, put the bean back in the box, and ate a different bean.
James got up and said, “I’ve got to go see John for a minute. I’ll see you in a million years. By the way Al, your underpants are showing.”
“What? No they aren’t,” he said, checking first. James laughed, put on a nasty grin, and left. Why did James have to leave him on his first day of school?
Albus realized that he hadn’t checked his chocolate frog card yet. He took one glance at it, and he whispered, “Oh, no.”
“What?” asked Rose, swallowing her bite.
“I got Salazar Slytherin,” he said, waving the card in her face. “This means I’m destined to be in Slytherin.” Salazar Slytherin, as you might guess, was the founder of Slytherin house.
Her eyes widened like large Quaffles. “I hope I’m not in Slytherin.”
He named his owl after Godric Gryffindor, the founder of Gryffidor house, but what if he wasn’t in Gryffindor? What test were they going to do? He decided he’d better practice a couple of spells. He pulled a spell book out of his trunk and began practicing a few basic ones. None of them worked.
“No, you do it like this,” said Rose every once in a while. Soon, after pure frustration, he stuffed his wand away. He couldn’t even do a few basic spells. That was pathetic. Everyone was expecting high from him because, well, he was the son of The Great Harry Potter, the man who defeated the great dark wizard, Voldemort. James had it bad too, being his dad’s first-born son, but not as bad as Albus. James had found his own separate path, and everyone knew that. But Albus was said to be alike to great Harry Potter, and was supposed to be a Harry Potter Jr. in a way. He was supposed to be in the next generation of heroes. It was as if he had to follow a certain path, while James got to build his own. It wasn’t fair.
All of a sudden he saw something whip out from the under the seats. “Ahhhh!” Albus screamed, falling onto the compartment floor. James emerged, grinning. He must have snuck in while he was daydreaming.
“You are absolutely blind,” he said, and then he left the compartment again.
“Why does he always do that?” Albus asked Rose.
She shrugged, and she quickly changed the subject to school houses.
Rose went into a lengthy conversation about what each house was known for. She talked on and on, and Al was intrigued on where she learned all this information. He pestered Rose how she knew all of this, until she revealed that in Diagon Alley, she bought a book called The Secrets of Hogwarts Houses: The Characteristics of Each Hogwarts House. She pulled the book out of her robes, and started reading, explaining that she put it in her robes hoping that she could read it on the train. Al scooted over and started to read over Rose’s shoulder.
When they reached the Slytherin section some words seemed to pop out at him. “Slytherin students have been known to bend the rules.” The book said. Al had gotten in trouble a few times for sneaking around the house at night, trying to nick candy. “Slytherin liked to choose students who were resourceful and clever.” He was a bit clever, the way he created objects from scratch with a little help from his parents’ magic.
“I’m going to be in Slytherin,” Albus moaned. “I do sometimes break the rules, and sometimes I’m clever.”
“You’re only reading certain parts,” Rose argued. “Here it says ‘Slytherin’s have known to be prejudiced against muggle- borns, as well as bullies to kids in other houses.’ You’re not prejudiced or a bully. You won’t be in Slytherin. You’re simply too nice.”
Albus sighed and felt a little bit better, but not totally reassured. He still thought he had a decent chance of being a Slytherin. But at least he was not prejudiced toward muggle- borns. That was a good sign. Every wizard knew a muggle was a person who contained no magical power. A muggle- born wizard was a wizard who had no magical parents. Slytherins were very prejudiced towards muggle- borns, as was Salazar Slytherin himself.
He gazed off and caught sight of something small and tan. It looked like an ear. It must be an extendable ear! Uncle George’s joke shop sold ears that had two ends and could go into rooms to eavesdrop on people. Al lunged for it, but it got reeled away. Albus opened the door to the compartment, and there was James, crouched on the floor, with a pair of extendable ears in his hand.
“You guys are so boring to eavesdrop on,” James complained. “I’m going to go eavesdrop on someone interesting.” And James walked away.
Albus stormed angrily back into the compartment, but Rose just looked at Al and said, “It’s about time to change into your robes.”
“Oh, right,” He whispered, and got his robes from his trunk. It was the school dress code, to wear traditional robes. He pulled his robes on, and patted a small Gryffindor pin he bought for good luck.
He had to be in Gryffindor. He would never be able to live with the shame. Was his dad right, in saying the sorting hat would listen when he said he didn’t want to be in Gryffindor? Or was his dad just saying that to make him feel better?
All of a sudden, Albus heard a voice above him yell, “We will be arriving at Hogwarts in five minutes. Please remain calm.”
Rose snorted in laughter. “Please remain calm,” she imitated. “Yeah right, I don’t think James and his friends will ever be calm.”
Albus grabbed his trunk and Godric, and stretched his legs.
When they climbed of the train, Hagrid, who was a half- giant and was a good friend of his parents, called, “Firs' years! Over here! Firs' years!”
Al was so glad to see him, and it made his homesickness wash away. He ran towards Hagrid, dragging Rose along.
“Hullo Albus!” exclaimed Hagrid. “Hullo Rose!”
Rose, Albus, and all the other first years followed Hagrid down a small path, and at the end they saw a black lake with some rowboats. And off in the distance was Hogwarts.
“Everybody in a boat! Climb into groups of three or four!” called Hagrid.
He and Rose climbed into one together, and this scrawny, brown haired boy who looked a bit lonely, climbed in too. There, looming ahead of them, was Hogwarts.
All the rowboats set off, and every single kid was in awe, including Albus. He had never actually seen Hogwarts, other than pictures. But pictures were not the same. It was huge, majestic, like a castle. There were several towers, and they were so high. He knew Gryffindor tower was one of the tallest towers. Was it to the left, or to the right?
As they continued rowing, he got a glimpse of the Quidditch field. He loved watching Quidditch, perhaps in his later years he could play Quidditch too. He couldn’t stop staring at Hogwarts. He, Albus Severus Potter was about to go to school here. Amazing.
They climbed out of the row boats and approached Hogwarts. The inside was even more breath taking. They all walked into the school into this great big hallway. There were some portraits along the walls. Unlike muggle pictures, the portraits moved about.
“Welcome to Hogwarts, first years!” cried a portrait with a small witch.
“I hope you’re in Hufflepuff. That was my house.”
“Ravenclaw is way better, Professor. Hufflepuff had a bunch of old duffers when I was at Hogwarts. Go Ravenclaw!”
As they continued down the hallway, they saw tons of stairs. And the stairs moved. He never saw moving stairs before.
“The stairs move,” he whispered to Rose.
“Amazing,” she whispered back.
All of the other kids were whispering among themselves. They climbed a couple staircases, led by Hagrid, and they stopped in front of these huge double doors. Right in front was a young teacher with his brown hair slicked back and a thin mustache.
“Welcome to Hogwarts.” he said. “I am Professor Fuchs. Soon you will enter the Great Hall for the start of term feast. You will be sorted, and then eat. There are four houses. Their names are Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Gryffindor, and Ravenclaw. You will be doing most of the things with your house, including being in a house dormitory, hang out in your house common room, and have classes with your house. Now, let the sorting ceremony begin!”
Professor Fuchs opened the big double doors to reveal the Great Hall. They walked down the aisle, gazing around. It was huge, there must have been hundreds of students inside. The Great Hall was the place where everyone ate meals, but it was huge.
“The ceiling is bewitched to look like the sky,” whispered Rose.
He finally looked up, and it looked almost as if the Great Hall touched the heavens. As they continued forward he breathed a huge sigh of relief when he saw the sorting hat sitting on the stool, and not some huge obstacle course out in front of them with trolls and other horrible creatures.
“I told you he was lying,” Rose whispered.
He grinned, for Rose was right, and he shouldn’t listen to James. He was quite impressed on how well he lied, even though he had been lying to Albus for years. Everyone just stopped in front of the hat, with everyone staring at it. Albus wondered what they were waiting for. He stared in awe as a rip formed on the sorting hat, and it began to sing:
Hello, I’m the Hogwarts Sorting Hat!
I get to decide where you should be at!
Some people think Ravenclaw is the place to be,
For they are as clever and smart as me!
Others think Gryffindor is the way to go.
Those Gryffindors are brave, you know.
They dive into danger and excitement head first.
Some people believe Slytherin is the worst,
But that is not always the case,
You may find it very easy to brace.
That’s where you’re real friends are,
Slytherins are ready to go far,
For they care about each other.
Hufflepuffs are like brothers,
Very loyal and true.
I don’t think I ever knew,
Someone in that house that lied.
Right now I have lots of pride,
Seeing all of your smiles,
All with different styles,
So try me on!
Everyone began to clap tremendously. It was a very good song. It must have taken a long time to create. But he supposed it just sat around all year.
“I didn’t know it sang a song,” whispered Rose.
Al thought about it, and he realized that he never knew it either. He gazed around, and everyone else was chattering around them too.
“Silence!” boomed Professor Fuchs. “When I say you name, come up and put the sorting hat on your head. It will tell you which house you should be in, and then please go sit at your house table. Then our headmaster, Professor Filius Flitwick, will say a few words.” He pulled out a piece of paper that was sitting next to them.
Then his voice boomed, “Andrews, Patricia!” A small girl shakily walked up and sat down on a stool, and placed the sorting hat on her head.
“HUFFLEPUFF!” yelled the hat. Everyone from Hufflepuff cheered, and shook her hand as she walked to Hufflepuff table.
“Ashton, Jenna!” The rest of the ceremony continued like that, each person being called, and then they sat down, put that hat on the head, got announced which house, then went over to their house table. It was a simple procedure.
Later, he heard a very familiar name being called, “Malfoy, Scorpious!” boomed Fuchs. He knew that Malfoy’s father, Draco Malfoy, was their parents’ childhood enemy when they were growing up. They shared stories all the time about funny things they did to Malfoy. They were surprised when they found out Scorpious was the same age as Rose and Albus. He watched intently as Scorpious put the sorting hat on his head. He looked slightly nervous, although he tried not to show it.
After a few minutes, the hat finally screamed, “SLYTHERIN!” A big smile formed on his face, and he walked confidently over to the Slytherin table. He looked like a jerk to Albus.
“Moyer, Raven!” called Professor Fuchs, and the sorting ceremony continued. He started to wonder what he would do if he was in Slytherin. Perhaps he could beg the sorting hat not to put him in Slytherin, it might work.
After a little while, he finally heard, “Potter, Albus!”
I'm sorry this ends on a cliff hanger, but I love cliff hangers! Believe me, it's worse when a book ends on a cliffhanger, and the next book hasn't come out yet.
I named Albus's owl Godric, and I am aware that Gryffin Duck's Albus (who is my favorite author!) also named his owl Godric. However, I named his owl Godric before I even knew she had.
Please leave a review! I only have one so far, and it would be nice if I got a few more! Thanks!