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Chapter 2: Meeting, greeting and sorting.
When I arrived at Kings Cross Hugo, Hermione and a load of other people were already waiting between platforms 9 and 10. Hugo had told me how we would be getting on to our platform last time. I still didn’t quite believe him.
I mean seriously. Running through a wall? Surely the wizards would have put more thought into protecting their identity than “We’ll shove a fake wall in front of it.” But when I stepped up to the large group of people they did actually start walking through the wall.
“Told you I wasn’t joking” said Hugo. “Good to see you again.”
I smiled at him. It was good to see a friend again, I didn’t have many of those at school. “Same to you. Do we have to do anything special or just run at it?”
“Run at it.” Hugo said “That is if you trust me. I could just be convincing you to run into a brick wall.”
“How about we run together so if you’re lying then you get hit in the face with a fast-moving ton of bricks as well?”
The sensation was an odd one. Like a breath of air passing over your entire body at once. I couldn't see anything but the smiling face of Hugo next to me. Suddenly we were through to a platform filled with owls and people and cat and toads. It was insane all filled with steam and screeching. My owl, a spectacled owl that I had called Gandalf because he was my favourite book character, was hooting at more owls, seeming glad to finally have someone to talk to.
Ten minutes later after many hugs and goodbyes, Me, Hugo and his cousin Lilly were sitting in a compartment together.
Lilly seemed really nice, she was laughing and chatting and was teasing me because I had to have the blind down because of the sun. But she did in a way that I didn’t mind and she had already let me know that she thought being half vampire was awesome.
“I’m so jealous.” She had said, narrowing her eyes in a mock glare. “Everyone’s going to be interested in you. You’ll be so popular without even trying.” Then she leaned back in her seat and smiled. “I guess it’s a good thing I was your friend first. Now if you get popular I will too, not that I care that much. But it would be nice to arrive at school already with something to get ahead.”
“Lilly!” Said Hugo, suddenly looking stern, older. “We are not just going t be friends with Aaron for popularity. You know what that’s like!”
“I know, I know!” Lilly said grinning and waving her hand in Hugo’s direction. Like a flapping fish, said a stupid part of my brain. “I was only joking. We’re going to be friends with him because... Well because he seems nice enough and I can’t currently think of a reason not to.” It didn’t look like Lilly bothered with excuses. Quite a nice trait in a person actually.
At that moment someone slid our door open and said “Can I sit in here? Nowhere else has any free seats.” It was a girl with blonde hair. She was standing nervously in the doorframe, a large trunk with a cat on behind her.
“Sure” Lilly said. “I’m Lilly, This is Hugo and Aaron. We don’t bite. Well Aaron might but...”
“Shut up!” I said, scowling. “Do you want help with your trunk?”
“Thanks” The girl said. “I’m Anna by the way. My mum’s the Headmistress.”
I waved my hand, completely forgetting I had a wand in my pocket, and sent the trunk sailing into the rack above our heads. It wasn’t very precise and nearly landed on our heads. I was sure with a bit of practice and a wand to help I would get better.
“Oh.” Lilly said to Anna, who was staring at me with her mouth hanging open. Again like a fish, muttered my brain. “You’re Anna Clearwater? I've heard nice things about you from Lorcan and Lysander. Where are they by the way?”
As she said this, two boys stepped into the doorway, smiling. “ We've been waiting for someone to say that.” One of them said, glancing around.
“Yeah.” Said the other “I’m glad it didn’t take to long. I was getting bored out there.”
My powers of intuition told me this was Lorcan and Lysander. You see, I was an absolute genius.
“Hey guys.” Hugo said. “You may have heard depending on how long you’ve been waiting but this is Aaron. He’s a muggle born but already seems to be better at magic than any of us.”
“That’s not true” I said blushing a little. “I’ve just had a lot of time to practice stuff what with not being able to leave the house for a lot of my life.”
“I sense something interesting.” Said either Lorcan or Lysander. “What was it that kept you in? Over protective parent?”
“Fear of people?” Chimed in the other.
“Lunatic asylum?” Finished the first.
“Half vampire” I said. Smiling wide to reveal large canines, though nothing too unusual. Normal people sometimes had teeth like this.
“Really?” Said Anna. “Can you do anything special? I think I read somewhere that vampires have all sorts of powers. They are really good at rituals, well good to have in rituals at least.”
“Um.” I said, feeling uncomfortable. “I don’t think so.”
“Where have you read stuff like that?” Said Lilly. “That has to be advanced defence against the dark arts stuff.”
It was Anna’s turn to blush. “I didn’t get out much either.” She whispered, looking down. “And it was interesting.”
“We aren’t blaming you” Hugo interjected “I think it’s cool. I’ve been doing some extra reading on defence against the dark arts as well. I want to be an Auror.”
“I want to work with dangerous animals. But in a medical way.” Said Lilly. “I’ve been curing gnomes since I can remember. It just comes naturally to me.”
“Well I’m not settling for anything less than head of the department of mysteries.” Said Hugo. “Well, I might do when I find out what the job involves.”
“The point of that job is that you aren’t supposed to know.” Said one of the twins.
“I know Lysander. But I’d like to know something.” Said Hugo. “Well what do you want to do? Almost a challenge.
“I want to be a structural charms worker.” He said grinning. “I want to make people’s houses more interesting. I mean we have magic and stuff but the places we live in are so boring. Where are the extra rooms? The halls that look like broom-cupboards? Hogwarts is gonna be great for studying interesting buildings”
“I want to be a teacher.” Said the other twin, Lorcan. “I’m going to teach charms. I like the idea that I’ll be influencing all the best charms workers for a generation or two. They’ll have to give credit for their work to me.”
“I don’t know what I want to be.” Said Anna, looking sad as if she’d let us all down.
“Me neither.” I said. “Although a teacher wouldn’t be bad I suppose.”
Anna shot me a grateful look. Lorcan and Lysander had started an argument about the best way to use your talents if you had them. Lorcan said passing the talents on was the most important ‘duty’ whereas Lysander argued that using the talents was more vital. “Otherwise it’s just a waste.”
The next couple of hours were spent playing exploding snap, gob stones and showing off the little (or in some cases large for us) bits of magic we had already learned.
I impressed people with the way I could easily change my own appearance. Though I wasn’t a Meta... metamorphmagic? Metomirphisis? I still couldn’t say that word they were saying. I was most pleased with Hugo’s display of a misty silver cloud. A patronus, “Though a bit rubbish at the moment” he kept telling us. Apparently he’d challenged himself to learn to conjure one before his third year so he could beat his Uncle’s record.
It took us around twelve hours until the castle was in sight and it was dark enough to pull down the blinds, though I didn’t know anywhere in Britain that was so far away “It’s to do with the charms on the surrounding area” Lysander informed me. The sight of the castle amazed me. I had never seen anything so... so magical in my entire life. “That’s going to be my home for seven years.” I thought.
“Look!” Said Lilly “There’s the lake! It’s got all sorts in, a giant squid, merepeople and grindylow. My Dad’s swum to the bottom of it.” This last was said with more than a little pride.
It must have been for my benefit since everyone else in the compartment must have known everything about Lilly’s famous dad. It was unfortunate then that at the thought of the lake and the creatures in it my knees felt weak and I wanted to be sick. Deep water. Deep water with thinks in. Eurgh! It made me want to run to the tallest tower of the great castle. Where nothing that lived beneath the waves could get me.
“What?” Hugo said, looking at my face and beginning to smile a lopsided smirk. “Is our scary-vampire afraid of water?”
I was too pleased at the “our vampire” to get too angry. So instead I turned one eyebrow blue and made the other one vanish. I don’t think he would have noticed if Lorcan hadn’t burst into laughter.
* * *
Ten minutes later all eyebrows were present and correct and we were all clambering into a boat after Lilly had flung herself at a massive hairy thing that turned out to be Hagrid. As the boats started floating across the lake I closed my eyes and pretended I was flying, which felt quite similar to floating on water when you couldn’t feel the wet. As I was imagining another place, not convincing my stomach in the slightest, I felt a hand creep into mine and squeeze, though I still felt too ill to open my eyes and check who it was.
The hand had vanished from mine by the time we bumped against the shore and began climbing up into the castle itself. We were met by a smiling woman who winked at Anna. I thought that it was probably her mum.
We were led up in to a room and left for about five minutes. Lilly and Hugo both looked disappointed and explained that they had been expecting ghosts.
When we were, at long last, walked into the great hall I was a bunched up pack of nerves. I was too busy staring around me at the floating candles, enchanted ceiling, ghosts, student and teachers to notice a short song that was uttered by a hat. I did catch the last few lines though.
“...and so the houses like long before,
we’ll march forth and hate abhor,
cheer, for now we’ve won.
So let us go, continue to win,
let the sorting now begin.”
The end of the song was met with a round of applause, and then the names started being called. It wasn’t long before my name was called, and I sat down on the chair, with the hat on my head.
“How nice to see someone more than human for a change” a voice muttered in my head. “It’s been quite a while and I thought it was about to become boring. Now let me see. Intelligent, extremely so. Brains like Dumbledore and I don’t say that very often. But there’s a kindness here too. A fantastic sense of what’s right and wrong. Let’s not rule out ambition either, you want to go far and could easily achieve it. Brave, yes, but lacking... something. Perhaps just drawn more strongly elsewhere. Hmm... Well you could go anywhere, but I think the house that will give you the most opportunities is RAVENCLAW!”
The last word was shouted out to the whole hall and a table that wore a lot of blue cheered. My previously plain robes changed to have a crest on, and blue lining. I walked over to the Ravenclaw table, passing my new friends who were still in line. I sat down at the table and was patted on the back at the same time people were shaking my hand and smiling.
The next name to be called was Anna. I waited anxiously as she sat on the stool for about five minutes before the hat shouted “Ravenclaw!” And she came to sit with me, looking relieved and a little surprised. Lorcan was next and went to sit over at the Slytherin table, to my slight disappointment. But Lysander soon joined me and Anna so it was just Lilly and Hugo left. Lilly was first and was sent over to hug Lorcan with the Slytherins. I was suddenly anxious again. Hugo had been the first person I’d met of my age here, what if he was put into a different house then never wanted to talk to me or the others? My worries were set aside fairly quickly as he stumbled over to our table. I made room for him between me and Anna, he sat down heavily, grinning like a fool.
“I thought for a minute that it’d put me in Gryffindor. But it was just a nightmare” He said as I laughed. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. About to start my time at a new school that promised to be fascinating, sitting with three friends and two more in another house. And who knew, maybe I would make even more friends. Anything seemed possible at that moment.
* * *
I sat at my new house table. In shock. I was one step closer to achieving what I’d wanted since I first read about... it. Now all I had to do was find it. It might take me years but I could wait. Anything was worth it. I was going to bring him back. And then I’d be the most powerful. I smiled and began tucking into the feast in front of me. For now all I had to do was act like everything was normal. They’d be too shocked to do anything about it once it happened.
A/N So I hope you like this chapter. I should be uploading again soon but I'd really appreciate a review or two since I want to keep writing but don't kow if anyone wants to read it. This was a fun one to write and EVERYTHING will be revealed. Just not necessarrily soon. Thanks :) Oh and most of this story isn't going to take place in first year. Just thought I'd mention that. Oh and credit to JRR Tolkein for the name Gandalf. I don't own the name. (I probably should point out that I don't own any of the settings or JK Rowling's characters. But if you didn't know that then I'm not sure why you're reading this.)