Chapter 2 : The Sorting
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Albus held his breath the whole time the boat crossed the great lake towards Hogwarts castle. Though the rest of the students were filled with excitement, and exclaimed so when they saw the castle, he felt nothing but nervousness. Though he remembered the brief conversation he had had with his father at the train station, when he told him he did not care if he was placed in Slytherin or not, Albus could not stop fearing the idea. He knew that Olivia, Rose, and Damien would all probably get into Gryffindor, or in Hufflepuff as Damien had said. What would happen to their friendships if he was placed into Slytherin? He knew for sure he would never speak to Damien again if that happened, and he was the only other boy first year he had met.
“Albus, what’s wrong? You’re as pale as ghost!” Rose exclaimed looking close into his face.
Albus released the air as the boats sailed into a dark cave. “Nothing is wrong,” he told her.
Rose looked skeptical, but turned back around in her seat to talk to Olivia. Albus glanced over at Damien and he had the same look of fear on his face, though he seemed to be enjoying their trip a bit more than he was.
“I hate boats,” Albus admitted to him. Damien looked over at him surprised that he was speaking.
“Oh,” was all he said. “Well, my Dad has a boat at our cottage, I can drive it if I want too.”
Albus nodded. “I’ve only been on one once, with my sister. It was a row-boat, and we tipped it.”
Damien shrugged. “Boats aren’t for everyone,” he said simply.
Albus was surprised that Damien hadn’t made fun of him. He knew it would be the first thing any of his cousins would do. Albus smiled; maybe he had just found a new friend. He looked forward in time to see that the boats had arrived to an underground dock; a great oak door was set into the stone walls.
Hagrid was the first to get out of the boats, and he slowly all the students on to the stone dock. Albus was the last one to get on the dock, and he smiled gratefully at Hagrid.
“Alright there Albus?” Hagrid asked.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” Albus hurriedly said. Hagrid gave him an encouraging smile and walked over to the door and knocked.
Albus moved to where Damien, Rose, and Olivia stood. Olivia looked at him and gave him a dazzling smile, and turned back to look where Hagrid stood, her deep blue eyes shining brightly. Albus had to admit, when he and the Weasley’s went to watch the Quidditch world cup and he had seen Olivia again after two years, that he had nursed a small crush on her.
“Come in Hagrid,” an assertive voice said from the other side of the door, and a tall woman with graying hair stepped into the cave. Looking at the students for only a moment she turned back into the school. “Follow students,” she said without stopping. Quickly, Albus and the other first years followed after the woman.
“I am Suzanne Sinistra, Deputy Headmistress, and professor of Astronomy here at Hogwarts.” She told them as they walked into the school.
Albus’ mouth hung open as he looked around the new scene. High ceiling hang above him as he walked won the corridor, portraits lined the walls. He looked around in awe as the man who had told them to enter led them to the Entrance hall. They stopped in front of tall oak doors, and the group became silent. Albus, too distracted to listen to what the man was saying from some where in front, turned in circles to look around the massive school.
A marble staircase led upwards, and a smaller corridor leading down to where he assumed the dungeons to be. The ceilings were high every where, and a large chandelier hung above lighting the entrance hall. As he continued to scan the hall, he felt Rosie’s tough tug on his sleeve and he turned to follow the other first years as they entered the Great Hall.
It was strange how silent the room was as we entered, and Albus felt his cheeks warm slightly from having so much attention turned on him even if it was not directly. Faces every where seemed to be looking at them. He searched for the familiar face of his brother and cousin but couldn’t find them any where.
The group came to a halt at the end of the hall where a long table was set where Albus assumed that all the Professor’s sat. They too seemed daunting and Albus’ head spun as he tried to take in the face of every single one, wondering which ones would soon have the pleasure or displeasure of teaching him.
A high voice came again as the little man who had led the first years to the Great Hall cleared his throat. He placed a stool, and an old hat on top, and Albus’ eyes transfixed on the place. To his amazement and bewilderment a seam broke in the hat and a deep baritone voice filtered into the hall as the hat began to sing.
In a rhyming song it told the first years and other students, who had heard it so many times before, about the four founders of the school and how the houses came to be. First Gryffindor, than Ravenclaw, than Slytherin, and lastly Hufflepuff. All houses had their good qualities, and Albus’ head swirled as he thought of the words his father had told him.
“You were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One was from Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.”
So, it would be okay if he was placed in Slytherin. And it would be okay if he went to Gryffindor like the rest of his family. He had a choice; his father had told him so. He knew it was either house for him, though as he looked at his friends around him he knew they weren’t thinking about Slytherin. He knew all of them wanted to be in Gryffindor, and he didn’t think he could ruin what could possibly be waiting for him with them. Yes, Gryffindor was where he wanted and was where he belonged.
The hat had finished, and the Deputy Headmaster, Professor Flitwick had already finished explaining what would happen in order to be placed. He pulled a scroll from his robes, cleared his throat once again and read the first name: Ackerley, David.
Albus watched in great anticipation as a blond boy who was of average height and size single himself from the group and sit on the stool with the hat placed on his head. The boy looked frightened, a small gasp escaped his mouth and before Albus could even blink the seam of that opened and shouted, “Hufflepuff!” The table on the right cheered loudly as the boy rushed over to join them.
Professor Flitwick glanced at the scroll again and half squeaked half shouted, “Andrews, Shane!” A black haired boy with a thin face and long legs separated from the other first years, and looked even more nervous than the other boy had. He sat on the stool putting the hat on his head for only a few seconds before being sorted into Gryffindor.
The next person to be called was “Baddock, Amber,” a pretty girl with blonde hair and big blue eyes. She sat on the chair for three minutes before the hat placed her in Slytherin.
“Beamish, Hayden” was the first Ravenclaw and “Bones, Edgar” was sorted into Ravenclaw. Through this Albus had clapped meekly, only paying attention when the name was called.
“Collins, Damien!” was the next one, and Albus almost dazed off again before he realized that it was the Damien he had become acquainted with was leaving his side to go sit on the stool.
“Good luck,” he heard Rose muttered in Damien’s ear as he passed.
Damien looked back at her and gave a weak smile before proceeding to the stool and sitting down. His face was pale as a ghost, and his eyes were fixed on a spot on the ceiling as if pretending he wasn’t in fact at the center of attention. He sat there for nearly ten minutes before the hat cried, “Gryffindor!”
Albus clapped along with everyone else smiling at his friend. He felt his stomach sink a little as he thought about not getting into Gryffindor. That would mean not having Damien as a friend. Albus glanced at the one girl who had been put in Slytherin and doubted whether he would do good there. No, he would get into Gryffindor, no matter what he would.
A few more first years were sorted into their houses including the boy his father and uncle spoke about ‘Malfoy, Scorpius’ who was sorted into Slytherin. Only one more boy and three girls had been placed in Gryffindor, and finally Albus’ name was called. He stood frozen, his brain unable to think. It wasn’t until he received to sharp jabs in the side from Olivia and Rose before he moved his feet towards the stool.
He ignored the hot glare that fell on his back as he made his way. He felt his cheeks burn slightly, and he turned to face the school sitting on the stool. It did not take long for the hat’s baritone voice to fill his head.
“Hmmmm…another Potter.” The hat said in his head. “Lots of courage I see, and a need to be great. But where to put you? Smart to, would do fine in Ravenclaw. But of course I see no great love of knowledge… you would do good in Slytherin-”
“My father said I had a choice,” Albus interjected the hat thinking hard. He wanted a say, just like his father had.
“Did he now?” The hat seemed to smile. “Than what is your choice?”
“To be in Gryffindor,” Albus tried to sound brave through his thoughts just to show further that he belonged in Gryffindor.
“Is that so? Hmmmm…. Well if that is your choice, than Gryffindor!” The hat finally decided.
It took Albus a minute to realize that the hat’s last proclamation had been shared with the rest of the school. Albus sighed a great relief, pulled the hat off his head and with one last glance at Rose and Olivia he ran over to where he saw Damien sitting next to James. Down the table he could see many of his older cousins who had been sorted in Gryffindor. As he neared he saw his older cousin Victoire lean over from the Hufflepuff table and drop a few galleons in James’ hand. She looked at Albus for a moment and smiled but said nothing. Turning to James Albus gave him a questionable look.
“I bet that you would get into Gryffindor, and she thought you would go to Hufflepuff.” James smirked as he slipped the money into his pocket and slapped his brother on the shoulder. “Thanks for the extra money.”
“You said I wouldn’t-” Albus started to protest but was quickly cut off by an older girl on the other side of James.
Albus looked at Damien who shrugged and turned his attention to the front. They watched as more students got sorted, mostly in Ravenclaw and Slytherin, but no Gryffindor’s. Finally Rose’s name was called, and Albus leaned a little closer. Just as when he had been sitting on the stool, everyone was staring intently. Here was another child of the famous trio and they were eager to have the child in their house.
The hat sat on her head for only a millisecond before it called out, “Gryffindor!”
Albus nearly fell down from jumping up so quickly to cheer. Damien stood next to him and when Rose came to the table she sat across from them, briefly hugging the girl next to James over the table. It was then that Albus recognized her as Angela Longbottom – James’ best friend and daughter of the Herbology Professor. Many times she had come to the Potter house with her father, mother and her brother and sister. They were both too young to attend Hogwarts yet.
“Olivia’s next,” Rose said to Albus just as ‘Long, Justin’ was sorted into Hufflepuff. Olivia looked calm as she sat on the stool, almost oblivious to the fact that hundreds of eyes were on her. She didn’t seem to care. Albus envied her confidence and admired it at the same time. He didn’t even have to think about it, he knew she would be made Gryffindor just like her father. Though her sorting took longer than Rose’s, the hat finally called out Gryffindor.
For the second time Albus jumped up to welcome his friend. She paused for a moment at the Hufflepuff table to be congratulated by her older sister, Anna. When she reached the Gryffindor table she sat next to Rose, just as the last girl, ‘Zabini, Patricia’ was sorted into Slytherin.
“She’s cruel, she was hissing the rudest things in my ear.” Rose told the other three before a short man with graying hair stood up at the Professor’s table.
It took a few minutes for Albus to realize that this was professor Flitwick, Headmaster at Hogwarts. He cleared his throat and smiled at everyone. “Welcome all, to another year at Hogwarts!” His high squeaky voice exclaimed in it’s top volume. “I am sure you are all hungry, so let’s eat!” He cheered and sat down.
Instantaneously food began to appear on the table, and Albus stared in amazement while Damien uttered loudly, “Bloody brilliant this place is!”
“Yeah,” James cut in looking at Damien, “Wait until you see the moving staircases.” He grinned and piled some mash on to his plate which was already full of food.
“This stuff is great,” Rose told them as she started to put almost the equal amount of food on her plate as James had.
“I can’t believe your going to eat all that.” A girl next to Damien said. Albus remembered her name, Sharon Davies. She had a heart-shaped face, and a blond bob. Her eyes were a strange cat yellow colour, and she had the most perfect teeth he had ever seen.
“Of course I am,” Rose grinned, “This isn’t even half the amount of food my dad eats.”
“Well, that is definitely something to be proud of.” Sharon sneered, and another first year girl next to her, Amanda Lennon sniggered loudly.
“Well I would be,” Angela interjected staring down the girl. “I’m rather jealous that she can eat that much and stay so thin.” Angela smirked.
Rose beamed, and the girl seemed to learn her lesson. Albus decided to put all this aside, and started putting food on his own plate. After her short put down, Rose babbled on with James about the Quidditch team, and if they were looking for any new members.
“I think there’s a chaser position open,” Angela told her. “But they don’t normally let first years in.”
“Not since my Dad,” Albus input, feeling his chest swell a little when Olivia’s brows rose in astonishment.
“I think I remember my Da talking about that.” Olivia said looking at Albus. “No other First Year had made the school Quidditch team in a century. That is so cool.” She grinned.
Albus nodded, and watched her for a moment in a dazed expression as she returned to her food. Her soft brown hair fell in her face, and he watched as her delicate hand reached up and pushed it behind her ear.
“What’s the seeker do again?” Damien had leaned over, to whisper the question in Albus’ ear.
Albus went to laugh, but caught himself as he remembered that Damien was a Muggle and had only learned of Quidditch earlier that morning. Muttering quickly back he told him, “The one who catches the snitch.” He told Damien, and hoped that it satisfied him.
Glad that Albus hadn’t laughed at him, Damien smiled his thanks and returned to his food. Albus spent the rest of the evening, silently watching Olivia as she talked to Rose and occasionally offered his input. Damien kept relatively silent the night, only speaking when spoken to.
Soon after the desert was served and most of the students of Hogwarts were yawning and stretching and thinking of sleep did Headmaster Flitwick stand up to address them all. Though he was a small man, and his voice high it managed to fill the hall.
“Well, now that we have eaten it is time for me to give you a few short notices. The Forbidden forest is off limits to all students, and magic if forbidden to be used in the halls in between classes. Madam Hooch has reminded me that Quidditch try-outs will be held in the third week of term. If you are interested, speak to her.” Flitwick paused for a moment to smile wildly at the students. “And now you may all retire to your beds, Prefects, take care of the First years.” Flitwick finished gleefully and the hall was quickly full of shouts and laughter as students got up to leave.
Rose turned to Damien who was looking very nervous all of a sudden. “Don’t worry, my cousin is Prefect. She’s a lot nicer then my cousin.” She added as Damien’s eyes drifted to James.
Albus spotted his cousin Molly Weasley just a few meters down, her frizzy red hair pulled into a bun, as she ordered a few first years to gather close to her. She was short, and her frame petite. Freckles adorned her face, but they were barely visible against her tanned complexion. A few feet from her he saw a tall boy with brown hair doing the same. Looking back at Rose, Olivia, and Damien he nodded his head towards his cousin.
“Molly's just over there.” He told them, and led the way to his cousin, dodging James as he did so. To his surprise his friends listened, Damien walking next to him.
“How many cousins do you have?” he asked glancing at every redhead he saw. He had picked up the connection, and Albus smiled.
“I have eight in total. Victoire is the oldest, and Hugo – that’s Rose’s little brother – isn’t old enough to come yet; same with my little sister, Lily.” Albus told him.
“Albus, Rose!” Molly chirped rushing over to them, giving them both tight hugs. “I’m so glad you both got into Gryffindor!”
“She says that just because she has someone else to boss around.” James scoffed, passing by, Angela at his side while two boys followed them.
Molly turned sharply on her cousin. “Move along James, or I will take points.” She snapped. James, not looking scared at all merely smirked but was pulled away by Angela before he could do anything else.
“Don’t pay attention to James, he likes a laugh.” Molly told Albus pointedly.
“Everyone keeps telling me that today,” Albus murmured under his breath. He caught the eye of Damien, who had heard what he said and shrugged.
“Well, everyone,” Molly said loudly to the first years. “My name is Molly Weasley and this is Collin Cawdor. We are the Gryffindor Prefects, and that means you listen to us. Stay close, and we will show you to the Gryffindor Tower; your home away from home for the next seven years.” She smiled widely before turning around, walking towards the double doors. Like sheep, the first years followed, Collin taking up the rear.
“I hope that other first year girl, Elizabeth Eden is nicer than the others.” Rose was saying quietly to Olivia.
“Oh, she is. I spoke to her for a few minutes, and she was really nice; Muggle-born.” Olivia commented in her musical voice. “Al,” she said suddenly, and Albus nearly fell over turning his head to look at her. “You’ve got something in your hair,” she said reaching and pulling a piece of treacle tart that had been served for dinner. “How on Earth did that get there?” she asked, flicking it to the ground.
“Probably was James,” Damien said laughing. “Why would he do something like that?”
“Because it’s James,” Rose said dryly, looking around the corridor. “These paintings are so cool. Wouldn’t it be so cool if all the picture’s at home could talk?”
“Yeah, it would be cool if I was called a ‘miscreant’ every two seconds because my hair won’t lay flat.” Albus grumbled, still embarrassed from the treacle tart incident.
“Doesn’t Gran already take care of that?” Rose laughed, followed by Damien.
“I think his hair looks cool,” Olivia interrupted, winking at Albus.
Albus quickly felt his cheeks burn, and he looked away from his friends running up the last flight of stairs before coming to a halt with the rest of the First Years. He saw Molly and Collin standing at the front of the crowd, both smiling happily. Albus rolled his eyes, and looked to Damien who now stood next to him.
“She can be dramatic sometimes – like my Aunt Hermione.” He told Damien. He didn’t seem to be paying attention, now watching Molly and Collin very closely, and Albus decided to pay attention as well.
“This is the entrance to the Common Room,” his cousin was saying. “The passed changes, but for now we’ve made it an easy one.” She turned around to face the Fat Lady, and said, “Rubies.”
The Fat Lady smiled, and nodded her head. The door swung open, and with Molly and Collin in the lead the group of Gryffindor’s entered the Portrait hole and entered the Gryffindor Common Room.
When Albus entered, the air caught in his throat. It was more than he has imagined. The large round room was filled with a healthy glow from the large fireplace to his right. The floor was stone covered in a dark red rug that spread throughout the room. On top were study tables and worn, but comfy looking chairs and sofas. Tall picture’s were hung in the space where there were no windows that let in the little starlight there was.
“It’s wonderful,” Rose exclaimed in an awed whisper behind Albus.
“To the left are the boy’s dormitories, and to the right are the girls.” Collin told them. “You will find your belongings and new house colours there. It’s been a long night, so go to bed. Classes start at nine o’clock sharp tomorrow morning.” He finished, and he and Molly turned to one of the study tables. First Years made their way to the dormitories, while Albus and Damien turned to their two friends.
“See you in the morning,” Albus said to his cousin and Olivia.
“Oh, I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight.” Rose said excitedly.
Olivia rolled her eyes, linking arms with Rose. “Come on Rose.” She said, pulling her towards the girl’s dormitory staircase. “Good night Albus, Damien,” she said looking back at the boy’s.
Albus smiled, waving as he watched the two disappear up the stairs. Behind him he heard the Portrait Hole door open and older students entered, talking loudly. He looked over at Damien who was looking between him and the staircase to the boy’s dormitories. Knowing what Damien was thinking, he shrugged. “I guess we should go to bed.”
Damien hid his agreement, and shrugged back. “If you want.”
Albus gave a thin smile, and turned to the stairs. In truth, now all he wanted was to crawl into his new bed, and sleep for eternity. It has been such a long day, and now that the fear of getting into Slytherin was over – it didn’t matter that his father had told it would be all right if he did – he just wanted to go to bed.
“Yeah, let’s go.” Albus finally said and took a step forward. They climbed the stone steps for a few minutes, passing three landing’s before coming to the door that had the sign reading, “First Year’s.”
Upon entering he heard the excited and loud voices of his roommates, and when he opened the door he found the three other boys in his house, Shane Andrews, Thomas Green, and Rufus Gold laughing and talking as they put their things away.
“There they are!” Shane exclaimed seeing the two enter. “Those beds are yours.” He told them pointing to two beds next to each other on the other side of the room.
Albus smiled his thanks, and began to walk toward it, but Shane put his hand on his chest. “You dad is Harry Potter, the Great Dark Wizard Catcher, right?” he asked excitedly.
“Yeah it is.” Albus said a little annoyed.
“That’s cool! Do you know any spells you could teach us?” Shane seemed to bounce as he spoke, and Albus stared bewildered.
“No,” Albus said looking from Shane to the other boys who were trying not to look as interested. “I got my wand a month ago, and I didn’t get to actually hold it after that until two days ago.”
Shane didn’t seem to believe him, while the other boys turned back to their things knowing that they wouldn’t get to see anything interesting. “You’re lying, you must know something.”
Albus went to retort, angry now, but Damien stepped in. “If he says he doesn’t know anything, than he doesn’t know anything. If his father is some great Dark Wizard Catcher, than I doubt he would allow his son to use magic when he isn’t even of age.” Damien said unsure if he had done right.
Shane immediately backed off, though he looked a little annoyed. He quickly turned to what he had been doing before, leaving Albus and Damien alone. Looking at Damien, Albus didn’t know what to say. There had been only a few times when Albus had to deal with people like Shane, and his parents had always been there to help.
“Thanks,” Albus mumbled, feeling a little embarrassed again.
“Don’t worry about it.” Damien said, and walked over to his bed. Opening his trunk he pulled out a pair of pajama’s and laid them on bed. Then he pulled out a rolled up paper and Sellotape. Albus watched as he walked over to wall beside his bed and unrolled it revealing a poster of a band that Albus faintly recognized.
“Is that Odd Man Out?” Albus knew the face of the man who stood in the middle holding a guitar.
“Yeah, it’s my favourite band. That’s Teddy Edison, he’s a friend of my parents – yours too I think.” Damien explained. It was the most he had said about himself all night.
“That’s what I thought.” Albus said looking at Damien and smiling. “So you like music like your parents too?”
Damien shrugged. “I guess.” He quickly turned away from Albus and started putting on his pajamas.
Albus felt bad; what had he said wrong? Knowing it was no use in bothering Damien about it, he went to his own trunk and got out his pajamas and changed. The other boys were still talking excitedly, the little scene beforehand forgotten. He wished that they hadn’t asked about his father, or anything to do with him. He had hoped that they would see him as his own person rather than the son of great people. It wasn’t that he was ashamed of his parents and Aunt’s and Uncle’s, it was quite the opposite. But he always felt so invisible with them around him. Couldn’t he choose his identity?
Feeling quite old, and tired, Albus sat on the end of his bed and looked at Damien who was still putting his thing’s away. “I’m tired, I’m going to bed.” He told him.
Damien looked up from the dark red jumper he was holding and smiled. “Okay, Goodnight.”
“Good night,” Albus replied and pulled his hanging’s shut.
Pulling the covers over him, he paused to take his wand from his waist band, and tucked it under the pillow, where his father said to keep it. Getting comfortable on his side, he stared from the small opening in the hangings around his bed and out the window. From there he could see the half moon and the twinkling stars. It was a clear night; the clearest he had seen in a long time. He thought of his home back in London, and how his parents and sister were probably sitting in the den listening to the radio show on the wireless like they always did. Even though he had dreamed of going to Hogwarts since he could remember, he wished he could be home, with his loving family and familiar smell.
Yawning widely, Albus turned on to his other side, and closed his eyes. It didn’t matter if he wanted to be home; he was at Hogwarts now, and it was going to be his new home. Besides, it had to be something wonderful if his father had loved it so much.
A/N: Did you like the change in point-of-view? It will be like that throughout the story, as I have said before. As you can tell my portrayal of Albus is that he is eager to be someone in his own right but does not resent his father, and some what idolizes him. It’s a strange and complicated mix, I know, but life never truly makes sense now does it? Any how, I would love if you could review and give me your opinion; I always love hearing a different view on things. Thanks for reading!
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