Harry and his friends got into a carriage that was pulled by a thestral. Of course, Harry knew of all his friends only he could see it but they knew they were there. Luna Lovegood had somehow managed to track them down and joined them in the carriage. Luna looked at Jenny suspiciously.
“You never come by train.” Luna said. Jenny gave a slight smile.
“Well, I did this time.” Jenny said, Luna nodded and opened the Quibbler magazine. Harry heard Hermione mutter something about the magazine though Harry knew that Secretly she liked the Magazine after it had published his interview the previous year. No one had said much about Harry’s dream or about Voldemort over the past week and Harry was desperate to get back onto the Quidditch pitch. He had to wonder if Katie Bell was captain or whether he was. Hermione and Ron were Prefects again and Ginny had also become a prefect. Harry thought this would annoy Jenny but she didn’t care much. No one said anything until they got up to the castle. They all went into the hall and said bye to Luna who went to the Ravenclaw table. Jenny sat with the others and for once she actually had someone to talk to.
“I am absolutely starving, do we have to watch the sorting?” Ron complained.
“Yes,” Hermione said, “Do you ever think of anything but your stomach?” Ron thought for a moment.
“Yes.” Ron said.
“Like what?” Jenny asked. Ron’s face went red and he stared at his empty plate. “Oh, sorry.” Jenny said uncertainly.
“Don’t worry.” Hermione said, “He’ll tell us eventually.” She glanced at Ron with a smirk. Harry smiled and looked up at the Teachers table.
“I wonder who’s the new Defence teacher.” Harry said. Jenny and Ginny looked up as well. All the usual teachers were there and April sat at the end of the table next to Snape. It was clear from April’s face she hated him as much as Sirius or Harry did. Sitting next to McGonagall was a man with dark brown hair that was slicked back. He had slightly pale skin and he looked quite old. His eyes were a piercing brown and he looked, to Harry, to be quite evil.
“Who’s that?” Hermione asked noticing the new teacher. The sorting took place quicker then Harry and the other’s thought it would and directly after, to Ron’s delight. The tables filled with food. The jugs and glasses filled with drinks and the students began to fill themselves with the delicious food. At the end Harry was feeling slightly tired but he wanted to listen to what Dumbledore had to say. When everyone had finished filling themselves Dumbledore stood up.
“I would like to welcome you to yet another year at this wonderful school of Hogwarts, or if you’re in the first year, welcome. I hope you had an enjoyable summer and your brains are ready to take in yet another year of pointless work.” The students all laughed.
“That’s not funny” Hermione muttered.
“Now I would like to welcome back Professor Grout, who had retired from this school many years ago but has agreed to return to help train all of you to defend yourselves against the dark forces in this world. I would also like to welcome April Mardsen,” There was a mutter of excitement, “Who is here to ensure the school is safe so I should warn that you not only have Mr. Filch to look out for.” Dumbledore smirked, “Now, would Prefects please escort the houses to their dormitories.” Harry got up with Jenny and they headed up to their dorm. As they weren’t prefects they didn’t have to escort all the tiny first years, well they seemed tiny to Harry.
“I swear they get smaller every year.” Jenny said as if she was thinking along the same lines as Harry. Harry smiled,
“I was just thinking that.” Harry said. “Well, they get smaller or we get taller, but I think it’s the first one.” Jenny smiled and flicked her hair behind her shoulder.
“Do you think I’ll be able to try out for the Gryffindor Quidditch team?” Jenny asked.
“Of course you can try out but will your mum let you?” Harry said. Jenny shrugged.
“I don’t know but after spending three weeks with you and your friends I think I’m willing to disobey a few of my mum’s orders.” Jenny said with a grin. Harry laughed,
“That’s my girl,” he said as a joke. Jenny blushed slightly as they came to the portrait of the fat lady. “Um…” Harry looked at Jenny, neither knew the new password.
“Hippocampus” said Hermione coming up behind them. The Fat Lady swung open and the three climbed in through the hole. “I was looking for you.” Hermione said. “Katie Bell wants to talk to you.” Hermione said to Harry.
“Ok, is she around?” Harry’s question was answered when he heard Katie bell shouting out his name. Harry saw her by the fire and excuse himself from the girls.
“Hi Katie.” Harry said.
“Hi Harry, I made Quidditch Captain.” Katie said with a slight scowl.
“That’s great” Harry said but then looked at her uncertainly. “It is great isn’t it?”
“Yeah but I don’t really want to be captain, we need two chasers our seeker is a bit, you know, not as good as you.”
“Oh, I’m back on the team. My ban has been lifted and I think I found you two chasers but we’ll need to test one out first.” Harry said. Katie’s face lit up and she hugged him. She let go quickly.
“I don’t know why I was made captain.” She said, “Thank you so much Harry, who are the Chasers?”
“Well, one is Ginny Weasley. She said she’d rather be a chaser and Jenny Marsden, she’s supposed to be really good at-”
“Jenny who?” Katie asked.
“The girl I came in with.”
“Hermione?” Katie asked,
“No, the other girl.” Katie nodded slowly and tried to think who it was,
“Long blond hair, brown eyes?” Katie asked. Harry smiled,
“That’s her, well she said she wants to try out but she’s a little nervous.” Harry said.
“Oh, that would be great.” Katie said, “Do you maybe want to share the captaincy this year? After Angelina and Oliver I think it would be better if the two of us shared it.” Katie said with a smirk. Harry grinned.
“Of course, I think it was a bit much for them to handle on their own.” Katie giggled.
“Ok, that’s great. See you soon.” Katie said heading towards the dorm.
“What was that about?” Ron said coming to sit down next to Harry with Ginny.
“Oh, Katie and I are sharing the captaincy, Ginny, you’re a chaser now.” Harry told them.
“Yes!” Ginny said with a smile. “What about the other chaser.”
“Jenny but we have to try her out first.” Harry said to them.
“Cool.” Ron said. “When’s the first practice?” Harry shrugged
* * * *
Harry, Ron and Hermione sat at breakfast the next day when Professor McGonagall went down the Gryffindor table giving out the new timetables.
“What have you got first thing?” Ron asked Harry.
“Double Transfiguration.” Harry said frowning.
“Same,” Ron said. He picked up a slice of toast and stuffed it in his mouth.
“Well at least we don’t have potions until Wednesday,” Hermione said.
“Defence against the dark arts after lunch. I wonder if Grout is any worse then Umbridge.” Ron pointed out.
“No one can be worse then Umbridge.” Harry said. He looked at the back of his hand where there were still very faint scars of the lines that Umbridge had forced him to write the previous year.
“I assure you that Proffessor Grout can be as bad.” Said April coming up behind them. “Harry may I have a word with you.” She said. Many students watched curiously and Harry nodded and left the hall with April. They walked through the castle to a ground floor classroom next to Firenze’s divination classroom.
“Where are we going?” Harry asked curiously as they walked into a fairly large classroom.
“This is where I will be staying while I’m at Hogwarts. Dumbledore has said that I can turn this room into a lounge or help with the Defence classes or maybe even the DA.” Harry looked slightly surprised at this. April conjured a few chairs and sat in one. Harry sat in the other. “I was told by Dumbledore that you started studying Occlumency last year.”
“Yeah, I did but it didn’t really work. It seemed to make my mind weaker.” Harry grumbled,
“That is because Snivellus is a bit of a prick.” April said. Harry looked at as she said this. “He may have been trying to help but he didn’t go about it the right way. Dumbledore has asked me to teach you Occlumency. You don’t mind do you?” Harry smiled,
“Do you really not like Snape either?” He asked amused. April gave him a small smile.
“We have our issues, mostly his existence. Of course I was being constantly told off for my views.” April smiled at whatever memory she was reliving in her head. Harry recognised that view, it had been his fathers. He had heard his dad say it in Snape’s penseive last year.
“Anyone is better then Snape at teaching me Occlumency.” Harry said with a smile.
“Good, we can have our first lesson tomorrow evening.” April said. “I think you have some classes to get to.” She said. Harry got up and picked up his bag. He was about to leave when April added, “Congratulations on making joint quidditch captain, I heard miss. Bell talking about it to her friends.” Harry looked at her amazed and left the room.
“Hey Harry!” Dean Thomas shouted to him from across the hall. Dean came over to Harry with Seamus. “Are you going to carry on the DA?” Dean asked in a hushed voice.
“Yeah, I might. I’ve been given the go ahead by April.” Dean and Seamus looked at him confused. “The auror. She’s a friend of my parents.” Harry said. Seamus and Dean looked even more confused. Harry just smiled and headed towards his Transfiguration lesson.
“Hi Harry.” Jenny said joining him as he went up the main staircase.
“Hi Jenny.” Harry said happily.
“Have you talked to the quidditch captain about me joining the team?” she asked.
“Yes I have and we’ve decided to let you on the team. But we’re going to have to test you out first.” Harry said. Jenny beamed.
“Oh thanks.” She said. She gave him a quick hug before walking into her Charms classroom. Harry stood still.
“Well well, Potter’s got himself a new girlfriend.” Sneered Draco Malfoy behind him. Harry turned to see a boy, his age with blond hair that was slicked back and pasty skin. He was a little scrawny and behind him were two boys who looked a bit like leaner looking Dudleys.
“Malfoy.” Harry said. “What do you want now?”
“Oh nothing. Maybe you’ve heard that my father has gotten out of Azkaban along with all those deatheaters that you helped set free?” He sneered
“Yeah, I heard and you know I’m going to put them all back.” Harry said casually.
“Oh I don’t think so.” Malfoy said back.
“Well I have the help of the head auror now don’t I?” Harry said, “And in case your father forgot to tell you, she’s my godmother.” Malfoy’s face suddenly twisted up in annoyance and anger and he pushed past Harry angrily. Harry thought that confrontation went quite well. As Harry went to Transfiguration he couldn’t help feeling quite happy, not even Peeves yelling insulting riddles in his ear could dampen his mood.