Chapter 2 : Scorpius - Chapter 2
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The castle was bigger, brighter and more wonderful than Scorpius could ever have imagined. Completely overwhelmed, he waited impatiently before a pair of great oak doors, Rose and Albus at his side.
Having just made the trek over the lake, the first years were windswept and anxious; nervous chatter broke out as the last of the new students clambered into the antechamber.
“Hello, hello!” came an altogether affable voice. The first years turned in unison towards an archway leading onto another corridor. Striding toward them was a jovial-looking, middle-aged man in a brown tweed suit with elbow patches. He sported horn-rimmed glasses and a decidedly side-parted hairstyle. “Welcome to Hogwarts! How excited you all must be - simply bursting with enthusiasm, I am sure.” He grinned happily down at the children, clasping his hands together. “My name is Professor Penrose and I’m Deputy Head, not to mention professor of Muggle Studies. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait ‘til third year to enjoy that wonderful subject!”
Scorpius caught Albus’ eye and had to suppress a laugh at Albus’ single raised eyebrow.
“Well, any second now we’ll bring you into the Great Hall to be sorted into your houses. Your house at Hogwarts will become like your family here. But not to worry!” Professor Penrose exclaimed, obviously in response to the many grimacing students, “Nothing too tricky! I’ll call out your name, one by one, plop the Sorting Hat your head and abracadabra – you’re sorted!”
Both Scorpius and Albus were now chewing their lips in an attempt to stop the giggles welling up in their throats from escaping. Rose shot them a scornful look, but frowned. She had good reason; they were seconds away from sorting now. Scorpius suddenly remembered he had reason to be anxious too – the grin slipped from his face.
“Alrighty then! Let’s get a move on!” Professor Penrose announced, barely able to contain his own excitement. Rather reluctantly, the first years followed him through the oak doors and into the magnificent, cavernous Great Hall. There was so much to take in that Scorpius barely noticed the rows and rows of students, unabashedly staring them down as they passed.
They soon came to a halt before the long High Table. At the centre sat an elegant woman with shining, long black hair under a bedazzled black witches’ hat, dressed in equally shiny black robes that shimmered in the light. She surveyed the group with keen interest. To her right sat a smiling, round-faced man who waved fervently at Rose and Albus, who solemnly returned the favour.
Sitting on a stool in front of the High Table was a mangy brown hat. The moment the first years had properly assembled themselves, a tear in the hat opened and it began to sing in a harsh voice…
Another year, another bunch,
Of minds to kindly mould…
But Scorpius was not listening. A hot panic seemed to break out in his chest, spreading quickly to his head and fingers. He had to be in Slytherin, he had no choice. But the more he thought about it, Gryffindor wasn’t looking so bad. Rose and Albus were born Gryffindors, there was no doubt about it – they were friendly and nice and helpful. Would they still be his friends if he were a Slytherin – since he was definitely going to be a Slytherin? He had to be a Slytherin. He just had to.
Scorpius came back to reality as the hat came to the end of its song.
“Well, let’s begin shall we?” Professor Penrose bounced on the balls of his feet, grinning as he unrolled up a long scroll of parchment with a flourish. “Let’s begin with… Adam Ainsley,”
A short, sandy haired boy pushed his way to the front of the group and shuffled over to the stool. He pulled the hat cautiously onto his head and in a matter of seconds, the hat cried, “RAVENCLAW!”
Well, at least it didn’t look painful.
The sorting continued. Already, a haughty looking girl with dark brown pigtails and a tall boy with a closely shaved head had already been sorted into Slytherin. Scorpius concentrated on his breathing. Glancing beside him, he saw Rose and Albus appeared to be struggling with the basic concept of breathing as well.
Scorpius’ heart skipped a beat as he heard Professor Penrose call out, “Shirley Mack,”
Scorpius watched in horror as the tiny Shirley skipped over to the cheering Hufflepuff table.
All eyes were on Scorpius now. He dared not look in any one particular direction for too long, trying to block out all the staring as he took his place on the stool. He couldn’t avoid, however, seeing the pensive faces of Rose and Albus directly in front of him. From the worried looks on their faces, Scorpius considered that perhaps they feared he would get his wish. It was a thought that both pleased and horrified him at the same time.
Warily, Scorpius pulled the aged hat onto his head.
“Malfoy, eh? Only one place for Malfoys…” Came the sinister voice. Scorpius was sure his heart would burst through his chest at any moment. “But difficult… there’s pride here, ambition, clever too… but kinder than expected. Could this Malfoy be a Gryffindor perhaps?” Scorpius winced at the mention of Gryffindor. Slytherin, he chanted, Slytherin – for his dad. “There it is, pride… no, better make it SLYTHERIN!”
Scorpius was momentarily too stunned to move, but the eruption of cheering from the Slytherin table pulled him out of his shock. Tearing off the hat, he quickly staggered over to the table, but not without catching the look on both Rose and Albus’ faces. A sort of devastated frown had appeared there as they both watched him cross the platform.
Scorpius was too confused to fully enjoy neither the welcoming cheers from his new housemates nor the sense of relief that washed over him. He was a Slytherin. He wouldn’t be disowned, Grandfather wouldn’t have him killed, his dad would be so proud - but the look on Rose’s face, Albus’ face… Had he already lost his first friends?
Scorpius was pulled from his thoughts immediately by the words “Albus Potter,”
Albus swallowed hard, glanced anxiously at his cousin and marched towards the stool with surprising determination. He yanked the hat onto his head and barely a second passed before the hat cried triumphantly, “GRYFFINDOR!”
Albus slumped with relief, grinning from ear to ear before he bounded over to the Gryffindor table, where his brother James was standing on his seat, making loud whooping noises. The whole table applauded and whistled as Albus took his seat.
That left Rose. Scorpius sought her out amongst the remaining first years. She looked even more petrified than ever, chewing her thumbnail nervously.
In the mean time, Georgiana Price and Demetrius Smith joined the Slytherin table. Scorpius waited patiently for Rose to be sorted, wondering if she would become a Gryffindor like she so hoped. She did seem to read a lot, so maybe she would be sorted into Ravenclaw. She was friendly too, so maybe Hufflepuff. Foolishly, Scorpius momentarily wondered if she too were to become a Slytherin. He quickly pushed that thought aside. She was too nice.
Growing impatient, Scorpius began to only bother looking up when he heard a change in letter.
“Portia Stefano,” called Professor Penrose. Another Ravenclaw.
“Edgar Thornton,” Gryffindor.
“Henry Urville,” Ravenclaw.
“Beatrice Vanderberg,” Hufflepuff.
Scorpius’ head snapped up. Distracted, he failed to hear the Sorting Hat’s announcement and only mumbled a quiet welcome to Valentina, who took her seat beside him.
Rose simultaneously paled, frowned and sighed at the same time. Not unlike Albus, she appeared to steel herself before marching directly towards the stool. The hat had barely touched the top of her head before it roared, “GRYFFINDOR!”
Beaming, Rose leapt from the stool, red braids swinging, and bounded towards the Gryffindor table where she was met by Albus, James and a whole host of other people who she obviously knew.
Rose’s sorting left three first years to be sorted. Boadicea Wisp, a petite girl with a brown bob, immediately joined Rose at the Gryffindor table while Jonathon Young joined the Hufflepuff table and Julius Zabini joined Slytherin. The sorting was completed.
The stately witch at the centre of the staff table rose gracefully. “Good evening,” she said, her voice low and rich.
“Who’s that?” whispered Valentina from beside Scorpius. His father had mentioned the Headmistress at Hogwarts a few times, but her name had slipped his mind altogether.
“Headmistress Sinistra,” Julius murmured in an undertone, before Scorpius could respond. The boy kept his focus on Professor Sinistra, barely moving a muscle as he answered Valentina.
“Welcome to Hogwarts,” Professor Sinistra greeted them. “It pleases me to see you all returned refreshed and eager to begin your studies. I pray this year sees great growth and improvement in all your endeavours. Mr Filch would like me to remind you that all Weasley products are strictly forbidden,” she smiled coyly at that, which was met with much sniggering from the Gryffindor table. “And of course many thanks to Professor Penrose for his assistance with the sorting. So, without any further ado, let the feast begin!” She waved a lithe hand and the tables filled with a vast array of mouth-watering food.
“So,” Julius began. There was something about the boy that was slightly intimidating; he was tall for his age and seemed to have a permanently distrustful look in his slanted, dark eyes. “You’re Scorpius Malfoy. My father said you’d be starting this year.”
“Who’s your father?” Scorpius asked, mildly interested. He couldn’t help himself from glancing over to the Gryffindor table, where Rose and Albus were having a great time, surrounded by family and newly made friends.
“Blaise Zabini.” Julius replied, with the air that this should mean something to Scorpius. It did, but not in the way Scorpius was sure Julius meant it to. Scorpius recognised the name, and thought he might even be able to put a face to it – dark and slant-eyed, just like Julius.
“He manages the Italian Quidditch team.” Julius didn’t attempt to disguise his boasting.
“I think he was friends with my dad at school.” Scorpius replied.
Julius looked slightly affronted that he hadn’t gotten the response from Scorpius that he had hoped for and immediately turned his attention to Demetrius Smith.
Scorpius ate in silence for a while, before he heard his name murmured close beside him.
“Malfoy…” Valentina was musing, twirling a strand of her long black hair in her fingers. “It sounds familiar. Hmm… that’s right! Astoria Greengrass – well Malfoy,” she corrected herself, “She’s your mother!”
“Greengrass,” Valentina enthused, “As in Daphne Greengrass! She’s wonderful!”
Scorpius looked at Valentina in confusion. His aunt was nice enough, but he didn’t think he’d go so far as to call her wonderful – especially to a complete stranger.
Valentina noticed the bemused and slightly concerned look on Scorpius’ face and heaved a small sigh, explaining, “I read in an interview with her in Witch Weekly once about her sister Astoria, Astoria Malfoy. I remember these things. Daphne Greengrass, she teaches at W.A.D.A, doesn’t she?”
That she did, but Scorpius had never found that to be particularly exciting. But the way Valentina’s eyes glazed over, reverently murmuring her name, “Daphne Greengrass…”
This girl had quite obviously lost her marbles.
Valentina finally picked up on the confused, slightly disgusted look on Scorpius’ face, putting it quite simply, “She has the most wonderful voice. I can’t wait until I get to W.A.D.A. – of course, I don’t see how any of the classes here will assist me much. I don’t see why they can’t offer Dramatic Arts related subjects, when we have to put up with Care of Magical Creatures and – worse – Muggle Studies. Really, how is that going to help me in the real world?” She looked pointedly to Scorpius, expecting an answer. He gave a non-committal shrug.
She may have been completely mad, but at least she was mildly entertaining and didn’t look like she would hex him into oblivion, as a great number of Slytherins along the table did.
Valentina continued to babble about W.A.D.A-this and W.A.D.A-that, giving Scorpius the chance to glance over to the Gryffindor table again.
To his complete surprise, Rose Weasley was staring right back at him, a kind of mournful look in her eyes. When their eyes met, she went pink in the cheeks, grimaced a small smile and turned back to Albus, who was chatting excitedly with another boy.
Maybe they could still be friends. Slytherin was going to be hard, he could see that now, but perhaps, if it was at all possible, Scorpius could manage to endure Slytherin – if it meant he could befriend even two Gryffindors.
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