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Harry Potter and the Time of Second Chances by Neville James
Chapter 9: The Sorting Hat's New Story
The next morning proved to be much like any he might have had at the Burrow. Mrs. Weasley woke them up for breakfast, and when Harry and Ron entered the Hogwarts-like kitchen they found one of the largest meals she had ever made splayed across the table.
Just as the morning before, the two boys were the last to descend and found the rest of the wedding party already eating and conversing animatedly. Harry plopped down next to Ginny and watched as Ron stared over at Hermione, who once again had a textbook in front of her but was plainly ignoring it in lieu of conversing with Hogwarts’ Head Boy.
Noting Hermione’s hair was back to its usual bushy self, Harry took in the rest of the girls’ appearances and found they too had gone back to jogging bottoms, pajamas and t-shirts. Angelina, having guessed what it was he was looking at, leaned over the table and told him loudly that she had used the reducto curse on her gown and that it was now lying in pieces up in her room where it could never cause anyone to suffer again. Everyone laughed loudly, despite the obvious insult to the bride’s choice of gowns, and looking around Harry saw why.
‘Where are Percy and Penelope?’ he asked curiously, craning his neck and scanning the large kitchen in case they were hiding just out of view.
‘They’re gone on their honeymoon, Harry. Where do you think married couples go?’ Hermione said plainly, clearly used to explaining everything to him and Ron. She looked up at Roger Davies who smiled back at her and she reddened significantly.
‘Where’d they go?’ Ron asked, knowing nothing of his brother’s plans.
‘Penelope said they were going to Bulga- Ouch!’ one of the blond bridesmaids started to say from her spot at the end of the table before being cut off by the other one and leaning over to rub her foot that had so obviously been stomped on.
‘Paris. She said they were going to see Paris for the rest of the summer,’ the other girl said smiling
broadly at the whole table while her friend looked away sheepishly.
‘This is a delicious breakfast Molly!’ Lupin said loudly, interrupting the awkward silence from everyone at the table and changing the topic of discussion quite obviously.
‘Thank you, Remus,’ she replied, narrowing her eyes at the first blond girl and then again at Lupin, clearly unsure of whatever was going on.
Over the course of the day, people were slowly starting to pack up and leave the Nest, saying their goodbyes and reassuring Mrs. Weasley that they would without a doubt return in December. By four o’clock the large group had been whittled down significantly to leave only the Weasley family, Harry, Hermione and the other inhabitants of the vast home.
Harry and Ron lay on their backs in the newly undecorated back garden, day dreaming in the sun’s warm rays while Hermione sat facing them with her back against a large tree. The sunlight punched through bits of the green canopy and Crookshanks lay, purring peacefully, in the hollow created by Hermione’s crossed legs while she read Harry’s copy of Defend, Don’t Die with intense curiosity.
‘You did say Lupin gave you this, right?’ she asked without lifting her eyes from the book and continuing to scan from left to right across the page, unwilling to miss a single detail.
‘That’s what I said. Thinks it would be helpful,’ Harry replied.
‘He’s right. Have you read any of this? It’s very dark and it sounds extremely dangerous, but it really would give you the upper hand against, well, you know.’
‘That’s why he said he gave it to me,’ Harry sat up now and lifted his hand to his brow so that he could see Hermione. ‘I’ve only started reading it, but there are some curses I’ve read about that sound as bad if not worse than the Unforgivables.’
‘What could be worse than Avada Kadavra?’ Ron said plainly, not bothering to sit up or even open his eyes.
‘Ron!’ Hermione hissed at him, ‘Don’t ever say that! Even if you’re not holding a wand.’
Ron continued to lay there and gave his shoulders a slight shrug, indifferent to Hermione’s scolding. Crookshanks, deciding he was tired of laying on Hermione’s lap, got up and trudged over to where Ron was laying and curled up by his side.
‘Traitor,’ Hermione hissed at the ginger-coloured cat, who ignored her completely like Ron.
The pair continued to talk for the next hour while Ron, who was seemingly napping, would interject and argue the opposite of whatever Hermione said. Harry loved it; it was like being back at Hogwarts and now he really was with his two best friends. He laughed openly when Ron sat up to argue that the inventor of Chocolate Frogs was, in fact, a genius.
Their conversation stopped when the back door flew open and all of the inhabitants of the house piled out into the yard with broomsticks, Ginny carrying her Cleansweep and Harry’s Firebolt.
‘Up for a match?’ Fred asked Harry. ‘We’ve been dying to see you play again.’
‘Yeah sounds great!’ Harry grinned, jumping up toward Ginny and grabbing the Firebolt as Ron dashed toward Bill to get his Cleansweep.
Harry asked George why there was a chain link attached to the end of his broom with an iron peg and the whole group roared with laughter when he told them that it was reminiscent of their escape from Umbridge the year before.
Harry threw his leg over the edge of his broomstick and kicked off hard, feeling the wind rush through his hair as he soared upward toward the clear blue sky. It had been so long since the last time he had been allowed to ride his broom, making this feel even better. He whipped around the perimeter of the Nest a few times, looking over the town of Hogsmeade and toward the welcoming castle in the distance, before rejoining his teammates for their match.
For the next two hours the group played quidditch, managing unbelievably to finish six matches while Lee Jordan commentated and Hermione watched from beside him, flipping her interest back and forth between the game and her text.
Of the six matches, Harry only managed to catch the snitch four times, narrowly missing it twice as Ginny swooped in and caught it, much to the pleasure of her teammates. The matches were finally called to a halt when Mrs. Weasley bustled outside to tell the hungry group dinner was ready.
The following ten days were the most relaxed Harry had seen this summer, filled with nothing but rest and quidditch. As it turned out, Ginny was a much better chaser than seeker, and that was saying something. Hermione continued to read all of her new textbooks and Ron continued to do absolutely nothing school related while she nagged him about it. Harry had not once had a nightmare related to either Voldemort or his parents and was finally glad to put the entire ordeal out of his mind. On the whole, Harry felt that this was the perfect way to end his summer holidays.
The morning of September first dawned bright and early, the sun slowly creeping in through the uncovered window of the boys’ bedroom, and Harry once again found himself in a heap on the floor next to Ron.
‘Get up! You’ll miss breakfast if you don’t hurry,’ Mrs. Weasley warned the pair, having once more flipped their beds onto the ceiling.
‘What time is it?’ Ron asked through bleary eyes as he tried to read Harry’s small alarm clock on the bureau across the room. ‘Blimey! It’s half past eleven Harry. We’ve missed it again!’
Ron and Harry were both off the floor and scuttling around the room in a frantic hurry, throwing on their robes and stuffing their school things into their trunks the best they could. Dragging their things behind them, they rushed out onto the third floor landing where they ran full into Ginny, who was also lugging her trunk behind her and was now sprawled on her back over top of it.
‘What’s your hurry?’ Ginny asked as she accepted Harry’s hand up. ‘Wait. Let me guess. Ron’s forgotten we’re already in Hogsmeade right?’ she said , arching an eyebrow at her brother.
‘What? Of course not!’ Ron spluttered. ‘What do you take us for! We just don’t want to miss mum’s cooking on our last day before term,’ he tried to explain, unconvincingly. ‘Right, Harry?’
‘Uh, yeah…’ Harry rubbed the back of his neck and smiled awkwardly at Ginny, who just shook her head and carried on down the stairs, her trunk thumping on each step as she went.
Harry and Ron both collapsed onto the landing and took deep breaths, both of them relieved that they had not missed the train, but also embarrassed that they had made such fools of themselves.
‘That was close,’ Ron grinned at Harry. ‘Good job I had that breakfast comment ready.’
Harry snorted and stood up to follow Ginny, Ron close behind him.
Breakfast this morning was different from the last week’s as this would be the last time all of the group would be together until Christmas. Fred and George spent the first two hours of their time telling them all about hidden passages that Filch had not found yet and about the professors’ daily routines so that they could be easily avoided. Harry and Ron listened intently to all of this useful information, while Hermione rolled her eyes constantly and tried her best to change the subject at every pause in the twins report.
When Fred and George felt satisfied with what they had given to the boys that they expected to fill their shoes, Angelina instantly pulled Harry and Ron’s attention away. For the next hour the four members of the Gryffindor quidditch team were given every helpful pointer they did and didn’t need to win the house cup. Even Lee Jordan, who had never played quidditch due to his fear of flying, seemed to have pointers for the remaining members of the team.
‘I think we’ll manage, Angelina,’ Katie responded, leaning back slightly in case she decided to retaliate.
‘You had better!’ Alicia said, ‘because we’ll be at every match, and if you lose, well the other team’s taunting won’t be all you have to put up with.’
Harry and Ron exchanged semi-terrified looks before excusing themselves with Ginny, Katie and Hermione and walking into the back garden, leaving the five ex-Gryffindors to argue tactics amongst themselves.
‘There’s nothing like pressure to make you play like a pro,’ Ron said sarcastically, kicking a pile of leaves out of the way as the small group walked toward the edge of the garden.
‘Oh don’t even think on it, Ron,’ Hermione said, placing a hand on his shoulder, ‘I’ve been watching you play all week. You’re really good! I don’t think the other houses will stand a chance.’
‘We’ll see,’ Ron said quietly, but Harry noted his neck had gone a shade of red that matched his fiery hair.
Katie and Hermione discussed her upcoming N.E.W.T’s while Ginny griped about her O.W.L’s.
‘They’re really not that bad, Gin. There’s nothing to worry about,’ Ron told her, ‘If Harry can pull off eight- Oi!’ he yelped as Harry punched him hard in the ribs and the two began to wrestle.
After an early supper, the time to leave the Nest rushed toward the returning students and they began to say their goodbyes. One by one they all got hugged by Mrs. Weasley, and then surprisingly by either Fred or George.
Once out on the road with their things, Hermione sighed and shook her head at a small roll of parchment in her hand. ‘Can you believe those two?’
‘What do you mean?’ Harry asked her, wondering what she was holding.
‘Check your pockets, I’m sure everyone has one.’
Sure enough all four of the others emptied their robe pockets and found identical rolls of parchment. Unrolling hers, Ginny read aloud:
Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes
Come and see our newly redone Skiving Snackboxes, now with more than eight ways to appear seriously ill, ensuring your immediate removal from undesirable lessons. Many new items aswell, including the Anti- Umbridge Fireworks and Portable Swamps.
Newly located at 123 Hogs Road, directly across from the Shrieking Shack
‘So that’s why they hugged us,’ Ginny said rolling her eyes stupidly. ‘I wondered what was going on. They’ve never hugged me in my life.’
‘Well, hand them over. We’ll have to dispose of them before they get out around the school,’ Hermione said holding an outstretched hand toward the others.
‘Are you mad!’ Ron said to her, holding his far out of her reach and watching as the others placed theirs back in their pockets. ‘We have to hand them out so that the twins get some business,’ he added as though it was the right thing to do.
‘Besides, I wouldn’t mind seeing Filch scramble a little after the way he acted last year with Umbridge,’ Harry said, smirking as he imagined the look on the caretaker’s face when the twins’ products invade the castle.
‘Fine! Do what you want, but I for one will take no part in creating mayhem. I am a Prefect after all,’ Hermione said stiffly, staring pointedly at Ron and Ginny, both of whom pretended not to notice.
For the next few minutes Hermione did not talk to any of them, but rather stared ahead of her and led the way. Ron waved at the old couple who owned Honeydukes Sweet Shop as they passed and received a half-hearted hello in return. They all waved at the owner of Zonko’s who was out sweeping his walk and Ron and Ginny were confused when he only said hello to Harry, Hermione and Katie.
‘What was that about?’ Ron said to Ginny, who shrugged her shoulders and was just as clueless.
The five friends climbed the steps to the station platform and took a seat on their trunks to wait for their friends’ arrival. Barely five minutes had passed when they heard the first high-pitched whistle in the distance, signalling the train. Slowly the whistle got louder and the screeching of the braking wheels filled the air as the Hogwart’s Express pulled up to the platform and expelled a large puff of billowing white steam. The doors slid open and the once silent platform was riddled with laughing voices from the students and the odd hooting, meowing, or croaking from their pets as they unloaded their baggage.
Harry watched as Dean Thomas came running over to give Ginny a hug before swiftly backing up at the threatening look in Ron’s eyes.
‘How are you, Harry?’ a voice said from behind him, and he spun to see who it was.
‘Neville! Good to see you!’ Harry said clapping a hand on the tall boy’s shoulder. ‘Grown a bit, have you?’ he said noticing the remarkable change in his normally short, stout friend.
Neville had to have grown at least five inches over the summer and had lost almost all of his baby fat. He seemed, like Harry and Ron, to have done some sort of training in the summer and no longer looked quite so unfit. This change did not go unnoticed by any of the girls on the platform. They all seemed to be looking over at the three boys, all having grown significantly over the holidays, and none of them gangly or chubby any longer.
‘Good holidays boys?’ Parvati Patil said, walking up to them with Lavender Brown following closely behind her.
‘Yes. Thank you Parvati,’ Neville said kindly, looking at her and then at Lavender. ‘And how about the two of you?’ The girls giggled and exchanged funny looks.
‘Oh very good holidays indeed. Lavender and her parents came with my family on holidays to Italy. It was beautiful!’
Harry noticed that both the girls had very dark tans, something odd for Lavender who was normally as white as cotton.
‘Well, we’ll see you at the feast,’ Parvati said, and pulled Lavender along behind her through the throngs of excited students.
‘Well, come on Ron. You too, Ginny,’ Hermione said, grabbing both their sleeves and pulling them toward a carriage at the front of the long row of Hogwarts carriages. ‘We have our duties to perform.’
‘See you inside,’ Ron called to Harry and Neville before disappearing inside one of the large black carriages being pulled along by the eerie looking Thestrals.
‘Shall we?’ Neville said to Harry and the boys made their way toward the row of carriages, stopping when they heard their names called aloud.
‘Harry, Neville, we’ve got an empty one over here,’ Seamus Finnigan’s thick accent cut through the air.
The boys looked over to where Seamus stood on a carriage’s wooden step, beckoning for them to come over. Neville and Harry made their way over and hopped in, finding Seamus and Dean already seated and waiting for them. Just as the carriage started to pull forward, another hand threw itself inside and Harry smiled as Luna Lovegood pulled herself onto the seat next to him.
‘Hello Harry,’ she said in her usual dreamy voice, her bright orange turnip earrings dangling from her earlobes. ‘You don’t mind, do you? All the other carriages are full.’
‘Not at all. How are you, Luna?’
‘Oh, I’m quite well, thank you Harry. I had a very good summer. Dad and I went on holiday to Alaska. He set up an expedition to try and find the Scampled Tilberbeast, and I dare say got some excellent photographs for the magazine. They’re all sort of fuzzy, but it’s the best evidence anyone’s found so far.’
Dean snorted from his seat and Luna showed no signs of noticing. She simply leaned back and pulled the latest copy of the Quibbler out of her robes and began to read it upside down quietly. Harry just smiled to himself.
‘Do you know what’s happened to Hagrid, Harry?’ Seamus asked him suddenly. ‘I noticed some young man calling all of the first years on the platform.’
‘Oh right!’ Harry said, remembering Hagrid’s letter telling him that he might not be back by the start of term. ‘He’s fine. He’s just visiting with Madame Maxime up at Beauxbatons.’
‘So I guess they’ve worked things out between them then, have they?’ Seamus said smiling at everyone.
As the carriage pulled up to the front doors, they all stepped out one by one and climbed the stone steps to the enormous entrance hall. Remembering last year’s start of term feast, many of the students were covering their heads in case Peeves decided to welcome them all with water balloons again. Oddly enough, Peeves was nowhere in sight so the students filed into the Great Hall and took their seats at their respective House tables to wait for the first years to finish their journey across the lake. The hundreds of burning candles hovering above their heads lit the magnificent room and made it glow warmly under the enchanted ceiling. The night sky was darkening and the stars beginning to shine by the time all of the students and professors were finally seated.
‘I can’t wait to see our new Defence professor,’ Hermione said eagerly from between Ron and Ginny, all three of them plopping down across from Harry and Neville.
‘Anyone would be better than Umbridge at least,’ Seamus said from down the table, receiving a more than hearty cheer from all those around him who had heard and agreed.
Harry scanned the staff table and noted that Hagrid’s seat was empty, but knew that the substitute professor would occupy it as soon as he arrived with the first years. Then he saw that the two seats between Snape and Dumbledore were empty. One he knew was Professor McGonagall’s and the other was the mystery professor’s.
The doors to the Great Hall opened then to reveal a shivering row of tiny first years following a very familiar red-haired man. Charlie Weasley led the children toward the staff table, waving at the Gryffindor table as he passed it. Ron and Ginny exchanged surprised looks, as they clearly knew nothing of his being at Hogwarts. Several of the first years were sopping wet, probably owing to the choppy water of the lake. The giant squid could also have leant to the problem. The children walked down the center of the hall quickly, some avoiding eye contact with the older students as they passed them and others looking around the room in astonishment.
Dumbledore then stood and raised a hand to the chattering students. Silence fell immediately, and everyone including the Slytherins watched the Headmaster intently, unsure of what exciting or possibly preposterous message would be delivered this year.
‘Welcome back to all of our returning students, and welcome to all of the first years. I only have a couple of announcements to make before the Sorting ceremony and then the feast may commence.’
Ron’s stomach made a sick gurgling noise that made Ginny slide a little away from him.
‘As always, I must warn the students that the Forbidden Forest is indeed out of bounds as its name might indicate,’ he stared pointedly at the Gryffindor table. ‘The caretaker, Mr. Filch, has asked me to let you all know that he has once again extended the list of items that are forbidden in the castle, and if anyone would care to see it, they should stop by his office on the first floor. Unfortunately, I must inform you that found on that list is the entire inventory of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, a new and, dare I say, exciting new Joke Shop freshly opened in Hogsmeade Village by our very own Fred and George Weasley.’
A silent snicker rose from all of the tables and Harry saw that even most of the professors were chuckling at the ingeniousness of their former students.
‘With that out of the way, I may now inform you that Professor Charlie Weasley will be substituting for Professor Hagrid in Care of Magical Creatures until he returns to us later this week, and then will be staying on for the rest of the school year to share Care of Magical Creatures with him.’
Charlie stood behind the staff table and smiled at the Great Hall as the students clapped loudly, welcoming him to the castle.
‘Now, I must introduce you to the newest member of our faculty, and new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Professor Black.’
Harry’s heart almost jumped out of his chest, and Ron, Hermione, Neville and Ginny all gasped loudly. Black? How could that be? Harry was told that when Sirius died, he had been the last living member of the Black family. He looked up and found that Snape did not look malicious this year like all the others before it, but instead smiled slightly and began to clap along with the other professors as a door behind the staff table opened. The door to the antechamber in which Harry had met with the other Tri-Wizard champions two years before opened and Professor McGonagall stepped out with something grey in her hands, closely followed by a short blond woman. Now it was Harry’s turn to gasp.
The short blond woman with high cheekbones and icy blue eyes walked down the table and took a seat next to Snape, who smiled at her respectfully. Dumbledore continued as the students’ clapping died down and they all inspected their new professor, many of them wondering what fate she would come to in that cursed position.
‘Professor Hyacinth Black will be with us for the rest of this new school year, and I know that you will all treat her kindly,’ his sparkling blue eyes swept the hall and everyone remained silent as he took his seat once more.
Professor McGonagall stepped forward and placed the old worn Sorting Hat on a three-legged stool and stepped back toward the staff table. All of the students leaned in closely to hear what the Hat would say this year, wondering if it would try and give a warning like that of the year before. Then the rip near the hat’s brim opened wide like a mouth and the Sorting hat burst into song:
So instead I’ll tell a new tale, so listen or be sorry.
Strong Gryffindor, who taught the brave, befriended Slytherin we know.
But why did friendship fall apart and best friends become foes?
I was there and so can tell what no other person knows.
I will tell you, one and all, the way the scene was played.
While cold and strict, our Slythrerin, ‘twas Gryffindor who betrayed.
Salazar was cold and crude, but not in the beginning.
It took a friend’s knife in the back to start his life of sinning.
He was smart and oh so cunning, his skills he taught to all.
Bloodlines did not mean a thing, and for a Muggle did he fall.
Slytherin then wed his bride and for years they loved each other.
And he and Godric Gryffindor continued on as brothers.
With Helga and Rowena, for ten years Hogwarts was grand,
Until it changed one stormy night. I saw it all first hand.
The Muggle wife changed suddenly, and darkened was her heart.
She turned on all four founders and tore the friends apart.
She told Rowena Ravenclaw, cleverest of the four,
The other founders thought her dim and would have her out the door.
To Helga, sweet Miss Hufflepuff, she lied and fed her fears,
But she would not believe such lies after all these years.
Losing patience, the woman fled to Godric Gryffindor,
And told him she wed Salazar but loved him so much more.
Here Gryffindor made his mistake as he too declared his love,
For just as his wife had arranged, Salazar watched from above.
Slytherin then drew his wand and turned it on his friend.
He told him that his days on Earth were just about to end.
A duel ensued between the men, for what seemed like hours,
Until the other founders came and drained them of their powers.
Good Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw had hung their heads in shame,
For after talking to each other, they knew exactly who to blame.
Together the four friends were strong and the wife had no more game,
But even though they weren’t at fault, things never were the same.
When Salazar learned of his wife’s betrayal he was changed.
His views from that day forward became more and more deranged.
He only taught the Purebloods and lost his kindly way.
He refused to speak to Godric and soon after went away.
When he left, he left a beast, in a secret room they say,
To be opened by his one true heir, for the monster to obey.
That I’m sure you all have heard, but what you all know not,
Is that Gryffindor, too, had an heir, so that one day they could have fought.
I’ve seen inside each of you heads, I’ve searched for many years.
You cannot hide a thing from me, not secrets nor your fears.
And to my shock I found them both, in Hogwart’s year: the same!
But as Fate is oft’ a mystery, I cannot give a name.
With history to guide them the heirs are meant to fight,
But curses can be broken and things can be made right.
Outside the castle evil waits, you all know of whom I speak.
HE grows strong as you divide. Such havoc he will wreak!
Now I have given warning and you must all beware,
For even though I split you up, there’s one thing you all share.
A thumping just beneath your robes, in each house just the same.
Your rivalry’s a vicious beast that you must now all tame.
Each house possesses qualities for which you’re sorted one by one,
But please remember history: Four hearts bested one.
The hat fell silent and the brim closed up once more. The students in the hall looked around at one another and slowly they clapped half-heartedly while whispering to one another about what they had just learned. The Slytherins, Harry noticed, were looking quite smugly toward the Gryffindors, who were shocked and angry at what they had learned of their founder. It seemed that the other houses felt unsure of what to believe as well and avoided meeting any Gryffindor’s eyes.
‘Gets better every year, doesn’t it?’ Ron said sarcastically, shaking his head.
‘Now, I will call out your name and you will sit on the stool and place the Sorting Hat on your head,’ McGonagall told the nervous looking first years as she stepped forward once more.
‘Appleton, Jenny,’ she called out from a long roll of parchment, and tried to smile reassuringly as a tiny blond haired girl walked slowly to the stool and placed the hat on her head.
A few moments passed and the tear in the hat opened wide again to shout ‘RAVENCLAW’.
The Ravenclaw table burst into cheers and the small girl rushed over to her new house to sit next to Luna Lovegood, who seemed to be staring off in the other direction.
Two more girls were sorted into Ravenclaw and three boys into Slytherin and Hufflepuff each. As the sorting continued, it appeared that Gryffindor would have quite a shortage of first years until McGonagall called ‘Evans, Marcus’.
A rather tall first year boy, who looked much older than eleven, stepped forward without hesitation and sat on the stool. He lifted the hat over his dark curly hair and before it even touched his ears it shouted with conviction ‘GRYFFINDOR!’
The whole table erupted in cheers and the new boy walked over and sat down between Dennis Creevey and Seamus.
Before continuing, McGonagall uncharacteristically spoke in the middle of the ceremony.
‘Mr. Evans is joining us this year as a fifth year student. He has just come from Durmstrang Academy and I am certain that all of the students will do their best to make him feel comfortable with the large change.’
The entire hall was filled with whispers again as the students craned their necks to get a better look at the new Durmstrang-Gryffindor! The Gryffindors were all just as interested, for all they knew, it was mostly dark wizards that came out of that school.
The rest of the sorting went well, except that of the thirty odd first years, only four of them were sorted into Gryffindor. Other than Marcus there were no new boys but there were four new girls: Sarah Abbot, Parmander Sclereli, Dorothy Jenkins, and Deidre Whethers.
Dumbledore stood once more at the end of the sorting and sent a gold stream into the air to get the students attention. ‘One last thing before we begin the feast. Please give a round of applause for your new Hogwarts Head Boy and Head Girl, Roger Davies of Ravenclaw and Katie Bell of Gryffindor.’
The entire hall broke into applause again and nobody heard Dumbledore shout ‘Tuck in’ before the tables were covered in one of the most delicious looking feasts they had had yet.
Several times during the evening Harry looked over and found that Marcus had been staring over in his direction, but looked away every time Harry noticed. Putting it to the back of his mind, he looked around and found that all of the other tables kept looking over at him and some of the students were even openly pointing.
‘What’s their problem?’ he finally blurted, annoyed by all the constant attention.
‘The first years are probably trying to get a look at the famous Harry Potter. I thought you’d be used to it by now,’ Ron said plainly to him through a mouthful of mashed potatoes and minced meat pie.
‘I don’t think so,’ Hermione said quietly from next to Ron, placing her goblet of pumpkin juice back onto the table and staring hard at Harry.
‘Oh you don’t? Then what is it?’ Ron asked waiting for her long-winded explanation, and piling another load of lamb chops onto his plate.
She looked at Harry for another second and sighed before saying what she thought.
‘Maybe they’re looking at Harry because they think he might be the heir of Gryffindor.'