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Chapter 2 : A Sorting
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That insufferable train ride was finally over, and Rebecca stumbled out of it wide-eyed and wishing to distance herself from the four boys who were following her with wide grins and smiles. The whole train ride they had been talking, talking, and it had just become too much for her. They were smiling at the girl’s predicament, and the fact that they were finally there. At Hogwarts, their beloved home. Looking at it from the other side of the lake, they felt like they had to be proud of their beautiful castle.
Rebecca was not impressed. She just looked over at it with a hint of disgust, before ditching the four boys as she was supposed to do. She had to meet this person called… What was the name? Professor something, supposedly he’d be standing and calling for the new students and she was to go with him.
Aha, it was Professor Young. And there he was now, holding a sign and shouting above the din of the people disembarking from the train. Forcing herself to smile like she was glad to be here, she approached him. "Professor Young?" She almost shouted, to get herself heard. He did a double take.
"Can I help you?" He asked, as he gathered a few of the first years over to the side.
"I’m Rebecca Johnson, the transfer student. I’m supposed to go with you, since I’m new and all." She smiled again and pretended to be happy to be here some more.
A look of comprehension dawned on his face. "That’s right! Welcome to Hogwarts, though you’ll get the larger welcoming later when you first enter the Great Hall." She nodded, and the Professor turned back to ushering the other new students around and to the side.
Everyone else was gone, except for her, the Professor and the first years. Rebecca felt so out of place and drearily upset. This place was not where she was supposed to be. What happened to her tradition of an all-night sleepover at her place at Beaxbatons, with Leda? That wasn’t here; there was no place for her to practice.
She scowled at a first year who had dared to approach her, and they fell back, intimidated. That’s right, she thought a bit angrily. Get away from me, I will bite your head off. Literally, she was feeling a little like it after she was told they were going to take boats across the lake to get to this damn school. What did they think she was? A… sailor?!
She wasn’t. And Rebecca fully intended to go up to that Dumbledore guy and tell him exactly what she thought of this. As soon as they got to the castle, and to do that, she had to clamber into one of those boats and it would somehow take her to the other side of the lake. She doubted it.
But she got into one anyways and hated every minute, every single second, she was in that boat and how it rocked from side to side as it slowly, too slowly, approached the castle.
At this rate, Rebecca’s going to become seasick. Something which she started to predict and was not looking forward too. How dignified would it appear to these first years if she, someone who already terrified them, threw up as soon as she stumbled out of that stupid boat? It wouldn’t, that’s the answer. She sucked her cheeks in as a dock appeared in close view and breathed deeply, to make sure that the vomit would not rise high enough.
As soon as it was safe too, Rebecca leaped out of the boat and onto the dock. The steady feel of the wooden boards underneath her soothed her, and she quickly scampered to the end, onto real, hard and solid ground. Just by doing that, she bet that she had ruined the small image she had created, but it was oh so worth it. She nearly shouted with glee at the familiarity, and she realized that she was not a water person. It’s not like she could swim very well either.
Professor Young soon stood beside her and placed a hand reassuringly on her shoulder. "Are you okay?" He asked quietly, looking at her with concern as her pale face heaved for just a little more oxygen.
She looked at his hand pointedly and he removed it, slightly bemused. "I’ll be fine," she said shortly as the rest of the first years moved down the dock as well, staring around them with awe.
Quite frankly, Rebecca couldn’t see why. It was just a castle. It’s not one of the Seven Wonders of the World or anything, though it was rather pretty. She had to admit that, and the lights that shone in the windows did reflect well on the lake, she also admitted, as she looked behind her at the dratted lake. At least she hadn’t fallen in, was all she could say about it.
Now they were heading indoors, and Rebecca walked tall and proudly next to Professor Young as he made his entrance to the Great Hall, but not before giving the first years and Rebecca a little pep talk. She ignored it all, and instead took to starting holes through the large wooden doors that led to the Great Hall. What was she to think of this new place? So far, she didn’t like it much, and she hoped that there was something redeeming in the Great Hall.
When the doors opened, her glance, like all the other new students, was drawn immediately to the ceiling. And why wouldn’t it be? It was a stunning sight, the grey-silver clouds moving across the sky while the moon hung like a bright lamp in the middle of the scene. She was impressed, just a little, by the sight. What she didn’t do, is gape at it until she finally realized that they were supposed to be moving down the middle of four, long tables.
Rebecca laughed privately at the first years that did that, which was most of them. She had recovered quickly, and smiled slightly to the majority of the students sitting around the tables, most of whom were staring at her, surprised to see an obviously older student with the first years. She could do nothing to satisfy their curiosity, though they would soon know. She had this foresight thing, though she was just joking around when she said it, and knew the Dumbledore guy would introduce her.
He was strange looking, was all she could say, when he stood up and started talking. Her eyes went slightly unfocussed the whole time he was talking, and then remained that way as a hat sung and the little kiddies were Sorted. All of them were cheered for loudly when they were accepted into their house and they all walked happily over towards their table, which Rebecca soon realized, was separated into houses. How ridiculous. This whole scam of a school was ridiculous, couldn’t they think of anything better?
And now, it’s her turn to be Sorted. Dumbledore stood again, and started talking. "Lucky for us, we have a transfer student this year. She’s in seventh year, and will be joining all of the classes she would be attending if it were her final year at her previous school, Beaxbatons." Whispering broke out amongst the Great Hall that a Frenchie would be attending the school. Rebecca even heard a whisper that said that Dumbledore must be going mad.
She smirked at them and hissed at them, seeing as they were close, "You fools, he’s already insane." They looked at her wide-eyed, before their furious whispering started up again, quieter, but she was pleased to see that they were passing it along to their friends. She felt smug, at least she’s done one thing to make her feel better so far.
"Johnson, Rebecca." Rebecca nearly jumped when she heard her name called out by Professor Young, but very speedily recovered and walked up to that… hat dignified. If she was going to put that ratty thing on her head, at least she could look good doing it. As she sat gingerly down onto the seat, and the hat placed upon her head, she could feel it going through her and talking to itself.
Hmm, interesting, interesting. Very hard to place, you are. Not to mention much older then all the other ones I sort…
She felt herself grow irritated. It had ears, didn’t it? It had a mouth, and had a mind, so it might as well have ears. "Did you not hear Dumbledore?!" She whispered, eyes narrowing into the distance. "I’m a seventh year, I’ve transferred."
Ah, that would be it. Welcome to Hogwarts then, young lady. Now shush, so I can sort you.
She felt her jaw drop a little in shock. Oh no, this hat did not just tell her to shut up. The nerve of this thing. "I will not, thank you very much! I have a right to talk, it’s called freedom of speech you know." All it did was chuckle to itself, if a hat could do even that. She glared at the same particular point she had been looking at before. "I don’t like you," she announced to the hat.
I’ll have to deal with that then, won’t I?
Rebecca let out an exasperated huff. What was with this damn hat?
I still need to Sort you, so can you please keep it down? I have to think and go through your mind, and you’re making it ridiculously hard to do so.
"You didn’t have any problems with the other kids though, did you? I’m sure they were terrified as well. It’s a talking hat!"
You don’t know the meaning of being quiet, I’ve come to that conclusion.
Rebecca detected a slight melancholy, as well as smug, tone to it’s internal voice. "Just sort me already! That’s what you’re supposed to do, right? So do it!" She grumbled, her eyes casting along the rest of the area, taking in the enormous amount of people watching her.
Let me extol your virtues and vices then, eh? You are very outspoken, never afraid to speak your mind, which is bravery in a way. Sadly, no patience comes with that and you have a sharp temper which you throw at anyone who you even have the slightest disagreement with.
She remembered Leda telling her something similar to this. That she didn’t have any patience, but then that problem had been resolved by Leda herself. She had unlimited patience, and Rebecca felt some anger rise at having to leave France again. But she didn’t say anything to the hat, just barely using the little patience she has.
You are strong in the way that you can do anything that needs to be done, even if it may break your heart. It makes you incredibly ambitious, but not in a bad way. Also, it makes you incredibly brave. Not everyone could do what you would make yourself do, and you are very dedicated as well and always keep to your promises. As much as you may deny it deep inside, you are compassionate and hate causing everyone around you harm and hurt, except to those that you absolutely hate. For them, you would go out of your way to cause harm too.
Rebecca nodded, amazed that a hat could do such a deep analysis of her. Everything so far seemed to be just too real to be true.
Even though you might not agree, you are not the sharpest fork in the drawer. Clever comebacks, yes, that’s all good and well. But for intelligence, you do not shine especially. True, everlasting friends you do not make easily, though acquaintances and enemies are easily added to those of who you know. Your sometimes… ah, how shall I put it? Self-preserving nature does ward off many potential friends like that.
It sounded as though he let out a sigh.
You just had to make it hard for me to place you didn’t you?
Now he had a tone of mocking teasing, which Rebecca frowned at. "As much as you might think otherwise, no. I didn’t mean too, but I’m getting kind of tired sitting here in front of everyone, so can you hurry up? How long as it been anyways?"
Not nearly as long as some others I’ve had to Sort before. Like the older Black fellow… Oh, you know him then? He took a while, he’s not at all like his family and I placed him somewhere completely different. Quite a charming fellow, he is…
"The Sorting? Remember, I don’t have all day, seeing as most of it is gone. And," she said, putting hand to her stomach as it chose that moment to growl loudly. "I’m hungry." It let out a chuckle.
Okay, okay. Hold your horses… Quite an amazing phrase, isn’t it? The muggles made it up.
She raised her eyebrow and her eyes went up to look at the brim. "I’m hungry, remember?"
I’ve got just the place for you, Rebecca Johnson. You’ll fit in there better then most of the other houses, though I’m still not sure. It was down between Slytherin and Gryffindor, but I’m afraid you’re not cunning enough for Slytherin, so you just made it into…
The last part was shouted to the whole hall and Rebecca lifted her chin a little as it was taken off her head. That had been one of the most interesting, and most fun, discussions, or just plain talk, she had had with anyone in a long time. Spotting the table that was cheering the loudest, she stood and proudly made her way to the table, and eyed the four boys, otherwise known as the Marauders as they had told her, who were waving enthusiastically at her and clapping just as enthusiastically.
She smirked at them. Of course they wanted her to be with them, everyone should. Rebecca was just that special, and she would soon make sure she was a celebrity. It was in her, and she momentarily lost her train of thought as she realized that the hat hadn’t quite mentioned this. Yes, it had mentioned that she was self-preserving, but what exactly did it mean by that? She was self-obsessed? Her before all others? Almost, but not quite.
Shaking her head, she shot a glance towards the Marauders and noticed their obvious disappointment at the fact that she wasn't going to be sitting with them, before grinning and almost laughing. Oh yeah, this was the way to make friends, wasn’t it? The words of the hat echoed briefly in her mind.
True, everlasting friends you do not make easily…
She bit her lip a little and frowned, before completely zoning out for Dumbledore’s speech. It seems to be a recurring habit, but hey. She can’t help it if all these people bored the living daylights out of her. Which, she figured, they would literally eventually do. As soon as Dumbledore was done, the food appeared, and Rebecca’s eyes sharpened, and brightened, at the sight.
It was a glorious sight, it was. There were heaps of mashed potatoes set in front of her, perfectly cooked steaks were set gloriously in their own juice, and just further down from the steak were some cucumbers. All three combined to make her favorite meal, for all that she may appear too thin to eat so much and so heartily, as common as that seems. Her plate was heaped with the food within seconds, and it was soon to be emptied at the rate she was eating.
A girl slid into the seat next to her, Rebecca kept on chewing a piece of her steak that was in her mouth. She just assumed that the girl was going to talk to the person on the other side of her, not to her. Because of that, she was surprised when she was addressed.
"Hello, I’m Lily Evans." Rebecca tried to hastily swallow and ended up choking and her eyes started to water because of it. Lily, becoming concerned, thumped her on the back. Lightly. It didn’t really help much, but soon Rebecca was fine and stumbling out a breathless introduction.
"Rebecca Johnson." She pounded herself in the chest and her breathing was soon normal. "I take it you already know who I am though," she commented wryly, catching sight of the badge that was pinned proudly onto Lily’s robes. It was a gold badge, with a silver ‘P’ displayed largely in the center of the badge. Even Rebecca understood what it meant, and she couldn’t help but wonder who exactly made the badge up. Obviously they had no creativity.
Lily nodded, looking a little bewildered. "Yes, I did know. I listen to every Sorting. I’d just like to welcome you to Gryffindor," she said, reaching across the table to spoon herself something that looked like… jelly? Rebecca frowned at the sight, must be some strange English food. "I’ll show you around the castle if you would like it."
Rebecca couldn’t help but let out a small snort, and Lily looked hurt at the obvious dismissal of her offer. "Thanks for the welcome and all, but I can find out about Hogwarts on my own. I’m a solitary person, and I need to find a certain place." She shrugged carelessly, eyeing Lily.
"Oh. Okay. If you would like to then," she said, her voice wavering. "I’ll be… going now." Her voice was hesitant, and she shoved the jelly around her plate for a moment, before standing up and leaving Rebecca to herself. She smirked, but did feel a bit lonely. How many people was that today? How many people has she shoved off?
It had been a long day, that’s for sure. The threat, the train ride, the hat and now this. Rebecca took her fork and played with her mashed potatoes as she thought. Squishing her fork down on top of them gave her more satisfaction then the rest of what she was doing, so she just repeated that over an over again, smoothing them after each time.
Dumbledore stood. Again. Rebecca felt a little irritation, how much did this one man need to speak? But she settled back, and watched as the food disappeared all at once, still feeling a little regret at the wasted food. Not that she could have eaten it all herself though.
He was talking and talking, and she wasn’t listening, only watching the people around her and looking at the ceiling and such. Nothing he could say could possibly interest her at- she took that thought back as her ears caught the word ‘tennis’. Finally, something worthwhile in all this talk, she smirked and leaned forward and looked like an attentive student.
"This year there will be no Quidditch Cup." There were groans from all over the Hall, and Dumbledore smiled, his eyes twinkling and easy to see from the far away position Rebecca had. "Instead, it has been decided to get to know a different sport. This year Hogwarts will be holding a tennis tournament."
Rebecca almost chocked on her own spit. Tennis, here? The thought had never entered her mind, but her parents came to mind. They had to threaten her mentally and bodily to come here, even daring to add that it 'would be worth it' and she realized why. They knew and hadn't told her. Oh, they were going down. Way down.
Rebecca stopped listening and concentrated on the fact that there would be at least one thing enjoyable here. At least one.
A/N: The first person to regard Dumbledore as an old fool who talks too much, right? Hah, I'm joking. It's fun to write her. *nodnod* This chapted you learned a bit about her too, didn't you?
I'm sure you guys already know this, but I love reviews. A LOT. So please, R/R?
Thanks to magick_391 for pointing out the mistakes I made in this chapter ^^
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