Chapter 1 : Welcome Aboard
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Welcome aboard the Hogwarts Express! I donít believe weíve ever had the pleasure of making acquaintance, so let me introduce myself. My name is Lawrence Wellington and I am the conductor of this grand train that takes you to and from Hogwarts each year. Through the years, I have been carefully observing each and every one of you, watching you grow and change, mature and develop your powers. I have never been more proud of any group of students, and I would like to share some memories, very special memories, with you that have never been told before.
My story begins at over a millennia ago, when four very eager and very gifted wizards founded the illustrious Hogwarts castle. Godric Gryffindor, Rowena Ravenclaw, Helga Hufflepuff and Salazar Slytherin each gave something special to this school; a little piece of themselves.
Behind the battle of wills and testimonies of time, the underlying theme that the founders wished to recognize was unity. And with unity came a landmine of decisions. Decisions were not something the founders saw eye to eye on all the time. However, while Godric and Salazar had their differences, Rowena and Helga had kept the ideals of the educational system in tact. Over time, the four founders had proven that with the unity of their distinct backgrounds, Hogwarts could become a goldmine of knowledge, learning and power. No matter what tales of abandonment and hostility have been told, the founders remain a part of history, well past their dying days.
Speaking of dying, you know that with each house, there is a ghost attributed to it? Yes, well, we shall explore into their lives and deaths as well. Each were eager to give the stories that most people were often too afraid to ask.
The Bloody Baron is the official ghost of Slytherin's house. He's known to take to towers, letting his booming voice echo off of the walls. And though not many know what killed him, there is a story to tell that is historically plausible. The Grey Lady is perhaps one of the smartest students to graduate from Hogwarts. She was named the official ghost for Ravenclaw. She watches over her students and is rumored to have a special student to follow each year. Sir Nicolas De Mimsy Porpington, a ghost who braved an axe to the neck multiple times, is officially named as the spirit of Gryffindor. We shall share stories of his fabled life, and the love that resided in it. And finally, the loyal Fat Friar. He serves as the humble ghost of Hufflepuff. Not much is known about how a Wizarding man had become a friar, but there is speculation that will point us in the right direction. Separately from the houses dwells a spirit of sorts. Peeves the Poltergeist, whom some call the devil inside the walls, has such a hidden tale, that it had taken me years to find those who have best searched his past. In laughs and horrors, he is the prankster of the school.
Not much is known of their lives. I, however, have an inside scoop for you, provided by those who researched them the best. Through fables and follies I shall show you what is known, what is guessed and what is presumed of your favorite and most frightening inhabitants of Hogwarts.
Thrilling tales do not lie only with the ghosts that haunt the castle. A many number of stories have been spun about the great leaders of Hogwarts. The Headmasters and Headmistresses throughout the years have all had amazing and enchanting stories to tell. Being on such good terms with the staff, as I am, leaves me with the ability to find those who are most knowledgeable about the Heads. My skills with charm are very advanced and I have convinced them to bring you more fascinating tales of the journeys of the Hogwarts leaders.
Probably the most noted female Headmistress was none other than Dilys Derwent. Not only was she known for her tender care of Hogwarts' most prestigious position, but also for the charitable donations of time and funds to St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. Her portrait hangs on the wall merrily next to another well-known Headmaster, Phineas Nigellus-Black.
Phineas was most known for his ability to keep himself distanced with any of his students within Hogwarts. Though, there is a tale from a reliable source that says Phineas had his reasons for watching from the sidelines. Hung on the infamous Headmaster wall, lye both Fortesque and Everard, whose tales have been lost in time at the hands of generations that have come and gone.
While very little is known about Everard's short time as Headmaster, one can tell an awful lot by looking deeper at his portrait in the Headmaster's office. Within his frame is a story that is harvested by very few people, but should be taught to everyone who walks through the doors of the castle. Fortesque is a harder one to gain knowledge about. His time as Headmaster was short lived, but at the same time a stunning adventure had taken place. An adventure deeming him worthy of the title that was bestowed upon him.
More recently was the reign of Armando Dippet. Though he notably held office while He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was a student, there is more than meets the eye with this humble and adored Headmaster. Serving the magical school immediately after Dippet was the man who was called by most, the only Wizard that You-Know-Who feared, Albus Dumbledore. His recent demise has only fueled the fire that burns within the walls of Hogwarts, each teacher now determined to prove the former Headmaster's name - the man who had once rid the world of the Darkest Wizard of the age.
Newly appointed Headmistress, Minerva McGonagall, succeeds her former Headmaster and confidante. With a background in firm and fair discipline, mixed wonderfully with a profession as Transfiguration instructor, there is no doubt in any Wizard's mind that Hogwarts will remain a grand place in her ruling. Minerva's strong background in teaching will be a hard suit to follow. But, her fellow colleagues are more than up to the task.
You were not foolish enough to think that the Headmasters and mistresses could support a school all by themselves, were you? No, its staff has supported each Headmaster marvelously. Each had a different life before Hogwarts- from fame and fortune to poverty and disregard. No two stories are the same, and yet they all came to Hogwarts, blended together, and formed the best staff around for a millennia of learning.
Directly supporting the Heads through time have been the carefully selected professors. Though their subjects and education varied, each felt a calling to the school and served it to the best of their ability.
Charms professor, Filius Flitwick, has held his post for one of the longest period of times of any of the present staff. He has had his adventures, of which you'll hear more of later. But it contrasts the best with those subjects that have been filled multiple times over the years. Hogwarts has had its slew of Potions Masters, including Horace Slughorn who, after a long leave of absence, came back to teach on behalf of Severus Snape. Severus Snape, Hogwarts own double agent, served the school as Potions Master before finally getting his wish to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts.
The Defense Against the Dark Arts class what a hard position to fill due to the curse that was rumored to be placed on those who took the post. Just after the retiring professor Merrythought left, a disastrous curse was placed; rumor has it, by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Brave enough to enter the service of Hogwarts, under such title, was Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, who was best known as the mad ex-Auror whom was held hostage by Barty Crouch, Jr. It was thus that he never got the chance to actually teach a class, instead stayed locked up in a chest.
Not all the stories of the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts are bad, though. Both Dolores Umbridge and Gilderoy Lockhart left the post of their own doing. It is said that Dolores was setting herself up for doom once she entered the position and was driven out by three of Hogwarts own heroes. Gilderoy, much the same, with his dazzling smile and charm, ended up in the incurable ward in St. Mungo's after turning his wand on himself and obliviating all of his memories.
Sad are the stories of innocence turned awry, like those of Remus Lupin and Quirenius Quirrel. While Quirrel turned to the dark for the power and infamy, Remus Lupin had no choice. His werewolf instincts were directly linked to his past friends and, in a fight to save lives, he had single handedly doomed himself to be evicted from Hogwarts. This was his decision, unlike Quirrel who perished at the hand of another.
There are those who have attempted to tell the future of the school and those who tell fortunes within it. Professor Sybill Trelawney, though seemingly mental, has had her share of divine epiphanies. And, a new addition founded by the late Headmaster Dumbledore, is Firenze, a centaur from the Forbidden Forest. Along side of them in a divinatory atmosphere is Professor Vector, who teaches Arithmancy.
Closely related to them as well is Professor Sinistra, teaching Astronomy. While she spends most of her classes outdoors showing the students the positions of the stars, she is not the only one. A good number of Hogwarts Professors teach outside the restrictive walls of the castle. Pamona Sprout, the Herbology professor and head of Hufflepuff, takes the students into the greenhouse and shows them all she knows about magical plants and herbs.
Near the greenhouses you will find a menagerie of outdoor creatures, which inhabit the dark forest on the grounds. Taking care of these creatures and those who dwell on the land is Rubeus Hagrid, keeper of keys and grounds at Hogwarts, once the position of the man known as Ogg. And, very recently, he has taken over for Professor Kettleburn as the Care of Magical Creatures instructor. Because of the rough nature of the job, or missions that are a mystery to most everyone, Hagrid leaves the position in the hands of Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank. This jolly woman has covered Hagrid's position a number of times and without a doubt knows her magical creatures.
Also outside, on the Quidditch Pitch, Rolanda Hooch holds her classes for flying. Not only does she instruct the students how to fly, but she is also the referee for the Hogwarts Quidditch season. Because of the reckless nature of Quidditch, Madam Hooch has spent countless days in the hospital wing, filling in the nurse, Poppy Pomfrey, on the goings-on with the fallen players. Poppy has done an excellent job in keeping the staff and students at their best. There was one teacher in which she missed: Professor Binns, History of Magic Professor.
While she takes care of the people within the school, there are others in positions to take care of the school itself. Past and present caretakers, Pringle and Filch, have all done a splendid job with the upkeep. Each had their own reasons to concierge a monstrous school, and none of them care for the belittled respect they receive from the students. Hopefully their stories will aid them in getting the glory they deserve.
And if those tales were simply not enough to satisfy the knowledge that you crave to quench, there is more. While the staff try their hardest to keep all toes inside the line at every minute of the day, 'tis not always possible. Each year there are chosen ones who, with the help of their Head Boy and Girl, try to keep the school in line to the best of their abilities. To get the feel for their jobs well done, we'll explore what each Prefect and Head Boy and Girl have accomplished, suffered and thrived in.
Most Head Boys and Girls have gone on to much bigger and better things. There are a few who get lost along the way, pointed in the wrong direction by either outside forces or internal battles. A prime example is Tom Riddle, or as very few know him, Lord Voldemort. At school he had everything, charm, knowledge and skill. But soon after, he went down in history as the Darkest of all Wizards.
One horrible experience though, was not enough to scare some from the position. Lost by the hand of the mentioned Head were both Lily Evans and James Potter, the man and woman who spawned the boy who has been called to rid the world of the darkest wizard. While they were mostly known for their work against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, there is so much more to their lives. The stories within will explain how they fell in love and triumphed when life couldn't possibly get any worse.
It seems that families have a knack for falling in line with one another, getting the position of Head Boy or Prefect. The Weasley family, thus far, has procured three of the positions. Bill Weasley was their first Head Boy, followed by Percy Weasley who now works for the Ministry. Ronald Weasley, the youngest son has achieved the spot of Prefect in just the last couple of years.
A lot of the time, those who are ept to make Prefect are a close bunch, chummy with one another through their length of school. Ron Weasley, for example was close with one Hermione Granger. Hermione has been known to be the brightest witch of her age. From a source, revealed later on, I have gained knowledge that the two are involved romantically.
And they are not the only two to have been said to be more involved than a platonic relationship. Ernie Macmillian and Hannah Abbott were also known to be close knitted. Their stories of love and loss have been passed down from the recent generation and will be told to you today.
Above-mentioned Percy Weasley was involved with a Ravenclaw Prefect named Penelope Clearwater. It is said that they have remained together, but some sources indicate otherwise. What really happened with these two, you ask? You'll just have to keep listening to find out!
Nothing can be more dramatic than losing a classmate at such a young age. Thus was the story of Cedric Diggory. It was from his death, however, that a very special group was found. Dumbledore's Army, which started off as a silly idea by a lost and angered girl, sprouted new wings as it took off and enveloped more of the students and offered them a chance to fight for their future. Members included Prefects such as Padma Patil and Terry Boot. Neither were so keen to join, sources tell me, but both flourished under the hand of their leader.
Some Prefects, as it was with the Heads, chose a more destructive path. Family legacy and out-aged tradition lured Draco Malfoy into the clutches of the frightening Dark Lord. His whereabouts are still unknown, but there are theories floating around everywhere. One source tells us that his girlfriend, Pansy Parkinson is hiding him. Though, she has denied such a claim. Where is it that he has gone and what is he doing? One can only guess. But, Pansy offers different answers than most have given. She sticks by his side, even as I tell you their tales and even indulges in the passion behind their relationship.
I have barely scratched the surface on each and every one of these individuals. So now is where we leave the present and venture into the past, where lives and times collide to form the foundation of the greatest of all Wizarding schools. Join me on an adventure that will show you exactly where you come from and why you are here. Sit and hear the tales of the Fantastic Staff and Where to Find Them.
A/N -The staff of WPSS would like to take this opportunity to thank a few people who made this great idea possible; JaxGranger, Scarhead, and PropMaster - for helping with the validation process; All of the members of WPSS - the contributors of the stories, graphics and beta reading you will find within this fiction. And, while the staff had a large hand in planning and organizing to keep this secret, we would also like to thank those of you who knew what we were doing and kept it a secret from the staff.
WPSSers -Kick back and relax. It's been a fun six months - now it's time to shine!