Chapter 1 : Eleven isn't just any age
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Wulfric MacDougal hadn’t slept at all. Sure his eyes had gotten tired around two in the morning but he fought with all his might to keep them open and last through the night. When the old grandfather clock in the living room sung the first of twelve chimes signaling midnight and the arrival of June 23rd, Wulfric sat down in front of his open bedroom window, scanning the dark skies. He was well aware that the owl carrying his Hogwarts letter would not arrive until much later in the day but it didn’t matter to him; he felt a strange need to take in the first breath of fresh air the day of his eleventh birthday would bring.
He had heard so many stories about Hogwarts; from his parents, his aunts and uncles but the best ones came from his older sister Morag who was currently in her 5th year in Ravenclaw – the very house Wulfric wanted to get into. She talked of crazy Headmasters and evil teachers; of dangerous books and life-saving plants. She told him of famous people she had seen there and even of those brutal quidditch matches she sat through although she wasn’t a big fan of the sport. Anything to feed his thirst for information about the school he would be going to when his time came. His time had come now; he would join his sister soon and make adventures of his own because at Hogwarts, Morag said, everything becomes an adventure.
Lately, his parents had been quiet about his going to school but Wulfric wasn’t worried; he figured they were simply coming to term with the fact that he would be leaving them soon. After all, he was their baby and once he’d be gone, they wouldn’t see him for four long months. If things went like they did for his sister, they might not even recognize him so much that he would have changed!
At seven o’clock, the boy heard his father get up for work. Sadly, that reminded him he had to get ready for school because his parents had refused to let him stay home as a birthday present. Slowly, Wulfric took off his pajamas and got into his school clothes thinking that in roughly two months, he would be putting on his Hogwarts’ robes in the morning and hopefully, they would sport a bright blue eagle straight over his heart. He then went to the bathroom and took his time to comb his blond hair and make the perfect do with his hair gel before letting his magical senses (or so he liked to call them) guide him to the kitchen.
‘And here is the birthday boy!’ His mother said, giving him a big hug when he walked in the kitchen. ‘Don’t you look dashing this morning, if I didn’t know any better, I would think you wanted to impress a special lady?’
‘Mom!’ Wulfric laughed as he sits at the table. ‘It smells good this morning.’
‘Well you see, I think we have a different vision as to what a birthday needs. You seem to think it needs a perfect do, I think it deserves French chocolate chips pancakes,’ Jenny MacDougal declared, turning back to the stove. Wulfric smiled, his mouth watering at the thought of his favorite breakfast.
‘I see that some people are luckier than other in this house,’ the boy’s father said as he walks in the kitchen. Dornius MacDougal grabbed his son into big bear hug, shaking him from side to side, ‘happy birthday Cub! Or should it be “Wolf” from now on?’
‘I think I’m closer to being a Wolf now since I’m about to leave the pack soon,’ Wulfric answered after giving the question a good thought. His father gave a small smile and shared a look with his wife but did not comment on Wulfric’s answer. For a couple minutes, the family ate in silence; Wulfric enjoying his breakfast but also keeping an eye on the window and Jenny and Dornius sharing long, meaningful looks.
‘Has the post arrived?’ Wulfric suddenly asked his mother in what he believes to be an offhand manner. After all, he did practice how to give his question a subtle edge form four to five that morning! His mother licked her lips and his father cleared his throat before answering in the negative.
‘Don’t worry Wulfy; you know it usually arrives only after you’ve left for school.’
‘Right, I was just curious,’ the boy nodded. His mother tried to take his mind away from the letter by putting a pile of warm pancakes in his plate and, after thanking her, Wulfric hungrily eat them, not talking about the letter but certainly not forgetting about it either.
By eight o’clock, the chocolate chips pancakes had disappeared, the skies were free of owls but Wulfric MacDougal still had to go to school and what a long day it was for the birthday boy. All he could think about was that in this very moment, there might be an owl tapping in the kitchen window to deliver the precious Hogwarts letter. And only adding to the day’s torture was the fact that Wulfric had no one to talk to about this important piece of information. The muggle school attended had no other wizard child with whom he could talk of his Hogwarts’ dreams and expectations. So even with this subject burning his tongue and overtaking his brains, Wulfric wasn’t very concentrated on his studies. He still had to try and pretend to listen to his teacher while his mind was on the letter and his concentration was on his pillow.
Why yes, by two in the afternoon, Wulfric began to regret spending the night awake because his eyelids seemed to run out of energy and easily fall over his eyes… And then, finally, classes were over and Wulfric was allowed to go back home. Forgetting half of his books behind and even leaving his almost empty lunch bag in his locker, he dug through his last resources of energy and ran home to see if his dream had come true.
Entering the kitchen, Wulfric instantly saw it. The rectangular envelope of yellow parchment addressed to him was there, on the kitchen table. With a sudden nervousness, the boy went to take it when he realized both his parents were sitting at the table, something highly unusual considering they both worked at the ministry and normally arrived later than this.
‘What are you doing here?’ he bluntly asked, his mind suddenly filled with worries.
‘Well good afternoon to you too Wulfy,’ his mother smiled slightly.
‘Good afternoon,’ the boy replied automatically, ‘So, why are you home so early?’
‘Well isn’t this an important moment?’ his father asked, pointing at the letter.
Wulfric nodded and sat at the table, taking in his hands the precious letter. In silence he read through it and gave a contented sigh. For any child coming from a Wizarding family, getting the letter was like receiving confirmation that you are like the rest of your family and you would get to follow in their tracks. For children like Wulfric who went to muggle elementary schools, this letter was considered a welcoming ticket into the Wizarding world; an authorization to take your place where you belong. So necessarily, a certain anxiety always came with the eleventh birthday because the absence of the much awaited letter signed the beginning of a new and different path for the child; one marked with shame and rejection.
‘I’ve been accepted!’ he sang happily.
‘Well done Wulfy, we’re very proud of you,’ his father told him with a smile although Wulfric could see it didn’t reach his eyes.
‘Thanks dad but I see you are not really that happy; what’s going on?’
‘We have some sad news to tell you Wulfy,’ Jenny MacDougal quietly said after sharing a heavy look with her husband.
‘Something happened to Morag?’
‘No, your sister is doing well and we are going to go get her in two days so, you’ll see for yourself,’ his father answered when he saw the less than convinced look in Wulfric’s eyes.
‘But something bad has happened in the Wizarding world, something that will change our lives for a while,’ his mother said softly. ‘Wulfy, do you remember us telling you of the bad wizard that used to hurt and kill people when your father and I were younger?’
‘You-Know-Who?’ Wulfric asked after a second of reflection; he couldn’t remember the evil man’s real name or if he’d ever known it for that matter.
‘Yes, him,’ his mother nodded calmly. ‘Well that evil man had gone away for a long time, so long that he had already left before you were born. But you see, we knew he wouldn’t be gone forever and, a couple days ago, the evil man came back.’
‘What does it mean?’ Wulfric asked, trying to suppress the shiver that had come over him.
‘It means that the Wizarding world isn’t as safe as it used to be. We don’t know yet what the man’s actions will be but one thing is for sure; families need to stay close,’ Dornius explained.
‘But, that’s not a problem for us, we’re close enough, aren’t we,’ the boy frowned when a horrible thought crossed his mind. What if his father meant for them to be close forever? Close even after the summer ends?
‘We will be when we go and get Morag,’ his father answered. The man licked his lips nervously before going on, ‘we will see how the summer goes Wulfric but, right now, your mother and I are seriously considering keeping both you and your sister at home with us next year.’
‘No!’ Wulfric naively answered. ‘I’m going to Hogwarts next year; I’ll be sorted and study magic there! What would I do here?’
‘We would teach you what you need to learn Wulfy; Morag still has her books and I will quit my job to be with the both of you all the time,’ his mother said in a sad voice.
‘But, but still, Morag and I aren’t allowed to do magic at home; we’re still underage.’ The boy was trying very hard to find loopholes in his parents’ decision. There was no way he would stay home on September 1st when he should be going to Hogwarts!
‘I already contacted some people I know at the Ministry and my good friend, Thicknesse, he will make sure the ward is lifted from our house. We know you certainly don’t like our decision Wulfy but –‘
‘Don’t like your decision?’ Wulfric shouted, angry tears spilling out of his blue eyes, ‘I hate it! How can you do this when you know how long I’ve been waiting to go to Hogwarts?’
‘Calm down Wulfric, please,’ Jenny MacDougal tried to say, but her son’s angry sobs covered her voice.
‘I’m not going along with this you know? Comes September 1st I’ll be on the train whether you like it or not. Just because there’s a mad man on the loose doesn’t mean I have to pay!’
Grabbing his letter, Wulfric stormed out of the kitchen under his parents’ disbelieving looks; their quiet cub had suddenly turned into an angry wolf. Jenny and Dornius MacDougal knew their son wouldn’t take it well, just like they knew their daughter would have a hard time accepting it but both parents were fully convinced that this was the best way to protect their family. They believed that the best shield against hatred and evil was the love and closeness of one’s family. As much as they considered Hogwarts a safe place for their children, Jenny and Dornius couldn’t imagine not seeing their children every day, making sure they were whole and alive. They preferred having angry but alive children instead of knowing they are happy but endangered.
More so, Dornius and Jenny were both employees of the Ministry and were very much aware that they could be targets for the Death Eater considering their respective positions. As much as they hated to think about it, both adults feared they might not make it out of the coming war and they wanted to spend as much time as possible with their kids. With that in mind, the two of them were ready to face their kids’ wrath; it would at least mean they were together.
Up in his room, Wulfric MacDougal lay on his bed, eyes fixed on the ceiling, tears leaking out from time to time. He felt betrayed by his parents. Everything was clear to him now; how they had suddenly stopped talking about his upcoming birthday and the letter coming with it; the sideway looks they shared and the sad sighs that filled the silences. Wulfric didn’t feel any fear toward You-Know-Who, only anger. How could this madman wreck his life just days after coming back into action? Why was he, Wulfric MacDougal a victim of this wizard’s power? Because he had to be very powerful if only with his presence, he was able to scare Dornius MacDougal.
About an hour later, Jenny MacDougal knocked at her son’s door, inviting him to have diner but Wulfric had fallen asleep. Even as he slept, his eyes were wet and tears had left their tracks on his red cheeks. The sleepless night and all the emotions that he had known during the day had been too much and so, Wulfric MacDougal’s eleventh birthday ended without a cake or gifts of any sort if not for the revelation that because of an evil man, he would not be allowed to become a proper wizard. His parents chose for him to be a forced Squib; a mere muggle.
Two days later, Wulfric was in shock as he stood next to his parents on the Platform 9 ¾. He could only respect the silence and shares the surrounding families’ anxiety even though he really wanted to scream and make a scene in order to convince his parents to let him come back here. When the train appeared at the end of the rail and gave a loud whistle, the boy couldn’t hold it in anymore and promptly burst into tears, overwhelmed by the thought that he would never get to ride this beautiful and dream worthy train. His father tried to put a comforting hand on his shoulder but Wulfric shook him off; he was responsible for the boy’s sadness so how could he expect to bring any kind of comfort? Actually, Wulfric thought, it would be quite an easy thing to do; he only had to change his mind and allow his son to go to Hogwarts!
As the students quietly made their way out of the train and reunited with their families after a long separation Wulfric tried not to look at them and their happy Hogwartian auras. He did not realize his sister Morag, quiet as always, had joined them but she noticed her little brother’s display of emotion and immediately tried to bring back the usual grin his small face held.
‘Ah, did you miss me that much Wulfy?’ she asked him sweetly but the boy couldn’t answer and only gave stronger sobs.
‘We’ll talk about it at home princess,’ his father said, kissing the top of her head. Morag nodded, confused and made to follow her parents out of the platform but noticed Wulfric hadn’t moved; his red watery eyes still fixed on the train.
‘Wulfy?’ she asked, worried as she took his small hand in hers. The boy strongly held onto his big sister’s hand and with one last look at the bright red engine, Wulfric followed her away from the Platform and its wonderful dream.
As soon as the MacDougal family Apparated in the house, Dornius MacDougal called a family meeting in the living room. Trailing behind his parents and sister, Wulfric only wanted to run to his room. He didn’t want to put up with his parents after what they’d done. Did they really expect he would be okay with it and that he would forgive them instantly for taking away his greatest dream? And then bringing him there just to torture him a little? Wulfric was surprised to find that he felt a great surge of rage toward his parents. It seemed like, after crying for two days straight, his sadness was finally replaced by anger and that made the boy wish he could go to his room even more. He might only be eleven but Wulfric wasn’t stupid. He knew that lashing out at his parents would not help in changing their minds!
‘We’re waiting for you sweetheart,’ his mother’s voice broke through his thoughts. He hadn’t realized he was still standing in the hall.
‘I don’t want to talk,’ he said, gritting his teeth so he wouldn’t sound too angry.
‘I know Wulfy but we have to get it over with,’ she quietly answered, ‘you need to understand why we came to that decision.’
She raised her arm, wanting to brush her baby’s hair but Wulfric moved away angrily. He preferred getting in the living room as opposed to having his mother touch him. With a pained sigh, Jenny MacDougal followed her son and went to sit next to her husband, facing their two beautiful children. Wulfric sat with his arms crossed and his face hard, looking at the floor and next to him, Morag looked from her mother to her father, completely lost about what was happening.
‘Well,’ she said quietly, ‘I’ve had happier homecomings. What happened here?’
‘Morag, we are very happy to see you again, safe and sound,’ her father began, ‘as much as we can’t wait to hear all about your year, I think it’s better we get this out of the way so you hear it from us and not from your brother.’
‘Hear what?’ she asked, worried as she looked at her angry little brother. It was so out of character for him to be like that. He usually was a quite calm and even tempered boy; never letting his emotions get the best of him but today, in the past hour, she had seen more sadness and anger from him than she ever had before.
‘The Wizarding world is getting more dangerous by the day, Morag, surely you’ve noticed that?’ her mother asked.
‘Yeah, of course; we all know there’s a war coming,’ Morag answered, surprising both her parents. They hadn’t expected for their daughter to be so aware and blunt about the situation.
‘Yes well, after many, many hours of discussion, your mother and I decided that we do not want to put you in any danger. We wish to protect you both from You-Know-Who and keep you safe,’ her father said before taking a deep breath. He looked into his daughter’s dark grey eyes and finally told her the conclusion they had come to. ‘You and Wulfric will not be going to Hogwarts next year. You will stay home, with us so we can protect you.’
‘Pardon me?’ Morag asked with a derisive laugh.
‘Look,’ her mother tried to explain, ‘we hear horror stories at work of families being torn apart and Death Eaters recruiting ferociously. You kids are everything to us; we only wish to be there for you and do our job as parents.’
‘And exactly why is school such a dangerous place? Might I remind you that the only thing that made Hogwarts a dangerous place last year was the presence of the ministry; nothing to do with You-Know-Who!’
‘This isn’t a question of keeping you away from Hogwarts, Morag, it’s a question of having you with us,’ her father explained.
‘Well I disagree,’ Morag stated firmly, ‘sorry to say this but we are way safer at Hogwarts; that’s where the army is. That’s where I am needed.’
‘Sorry?’ both her parents asked, confused. Even Wulfric raised his eyes to look at his sister.
‘I understand what you guys want to do in protecting us from evil but I have chosen my side already. I am a member of Dumbledore’s Army and I have decided to take my place and fight against evil, not just stand there and look afraid. And so should Wulfric. Harry says that being afraid is the best way to get killed and I agree; better be prepared and confident in what you can do.’
‘Who’s Harry?’ Dornius asked, confused but Morag either chose to ignore the question or didn’t catch it because Wulfric asked something else in the same time.
‘Could I be a member of the army too?’ Wulfric asked, hopeful. He had never heard his sister talk back to his parents and he could only agree with her about it.
‘Maybe a junior member,’ she smiled, ‘but that shouldn’t be a priority right now. Because first, you’ve got to learn the basics and you can only learn that at school. Now that’s the only way you can protect yourself efficiently.’
‘Are you suggesting that we, your parents, are not capable of taking care of you?’ her father growled.
‘No dad, nothing of the sort. I simply believe that this isn’t a good solution. Hogwarts is a safe environment, as safe as home can be.’
‘And I don’t want to miss on Hogwarts,’ Wulfric piped up, encouraged by his sister’s opposition to their parents. ‘I want to make friends like me and learn to control my magic in a normal way. Why should You-Know-Who stop me from having a normal scholarship?’
‘You know we understand that, Wulfric and we hate the idea of you missing out on Hogwarts but we are afraid to lose you,’ their mother said.
‘I get that mom but in a way, I have to agree with Wulfric; why should You-Know-Who scare us into hiding, why should he bring us to stop living? Because that’s what you’re planning isn’t it? If we stay here next year, that means you guys stop going to work to home school us.’
‘That’s the part you, Morag, do not get. There is nothing more important to us than you. We would gladly give our lives so that you and Wulfric can keep yours.’
‘And what good is that going to be?’ Wulfric asked, ‘if you give your life and we end up alone, with no education and no way to protect ourselves?’
‘Plus, we know the war is on its way; it’s not here yet. You-Know-Who needs time to prepare his troops so isn’t it best to use this time to get ready as well?’ Morag questioned her parents. ‘In the past war, our loses were high partly because we waited too long before accepting that this threat was real and didn’t have enough time to ready ourselves for battle but this time, we actually do. Shouldn’t we learn from the past and understand that most of the people that died were actually in hiding? I refuse to put my education behind and I wish to fight with Dumbledore. I wish to fight for Harry.’
‘Oh Morag, you’re going on about this like it’s a fictional war, we seriously need to talk this through during the summer,’ her father said discouraged.
‘Fine, we’ll have all summer to talk about it, now can I go to my room please?’ Wulfric asks his parents who finally agree to let him get away from the tension.
If Wulfric thought the last three days were bad, it was nothing compared to how the summer in the MacDougal house turned out. Nights of silence followed nights of fighting and although much discussion was done about the war, its consequences and the part everyone should play in it; not many conclusions were reached either. Everybody stayed on their positions; Jenny wishing to keep her babies close to her and make sure they are safe; Dornius still wanting to keep his children at home but now, mostly, it was to prevent them from becoming cannon fodder; Morag wishing for her parents to let her make her own choices and finally Wulfric, only wishing to understand how all of this had happened.
It was a mystery to Wulfric how a man such as You-Know-Who was able to bring out new sides of people’s personalities just by existing. Like any child in the world, Wulfric had always seen his parents as strong and brave people that nothing could scare but right now, he didn’t feel so proud of the way they acted; all afraid and hidden. It was the opposite for his sister though; the girl who had always been so quiet and withdrawn was now facing danger with a brave and confident attitude that Wulfric could only look up too. He now felt that, even if things didn’t turn for him and he couldn’t go to Hogwarts after all, well the only important thing was that he would be with Morag so he could learn from her.
And it’s with this in mind that he approached his parents on the night of August 22nd. Jenny and Dornius MacDougal sat in silence in the living room; Jenny finishing a report for work and Dornius reading the paper.
‘Can I come in?’ Wulfric quietly asked his parents when he walked in. They nodded and put down their respective work to welcome their son and listen to him.
‘What is going on Wulfy?’ Dornius asked although he clearly knew what his son wanted to talk about.
‘Well,’ the boy began nervously, ‘you are certainly aware that we are getting very close to September 1st, right? Only a couple days and I still don’t know what’s going to happen to me.’
‘We know Wulfy and, here’s what you have to understand,’ his mother said with a forced smile, ‘your father and I are working very hard on ourselves and accepting to let you go at the moment.’
‘Is there anything I can do to help you decide?’ the boy asked, hopeful.
‘Sorry Wulfy, this is something that only concerns us. But we want to assure you that you will go to Hogwarts one day, maybe not this year but when the war ends, you’ll go for sure.’
‘Yeah,’ Wulfric whispered, ‘I just don’t want to be known as the only 25 years old first year to attend Hogwarts.’
‘Don’t be so dramatic,’ his mother laughed. ‘It’ll be over and decided in a couple of days Wulfy, just be patient with us, this is hard for us too you know?’
‘I guess,’ he nodded. ‘Just so you know, I’ve given it a lot of thoughts too and maybe it’s because you don’t let me in on everything that’s going on but, the way I see it, things aren’t so that much worst now compared to how they were in the beginning of the summer. It’ll probably go bad eventually and, if you were to ask me to come home when it does, I would, no questions asked. I would trust that if you want me with you, there’s got to be a good reason. I don’t know really, I know I probably understand it all wrong but it’s how I understand it anyway.’
‘You’re not all that wrong Wulfric,’ his father calmly answered him.
‘Anyway,’ Wulfric went on, ‘I also thought that even if you wish to keep me home schooled, I’ll need a wand to work and I don’t have it yet.’
‘Right, we’ll keep that in mind,’ Jenny laughed as Wulfric got up, a sad grin on his face. He wished them good night and left them to their work. When he walked out of the room, Wulfric found his sister waiting for him on the other side of the door, a sly smile on her face. Silently, both kids went upstairs and into the boy’s room to talk privately.
‘Well, that was a nice little speech Wulfy, a bit too Slytherin-like for my liking but still.’
‘Slytherin-like? I merely told them what I understand of this situation,’ Wulfric smiled.
‘Right,’ Morag rolled her eyes, ‘and you used this sweet, vulnerable attitude; pretending to have given up already in a natural manner? Nah, don’t worry; it was great, I’m sure it got to them. Honest.’
‘Thanks, I hope it did. And I hope I get my wand!’
‘Right, nice touch with this!’ Morag laughed as she crossed the room to let her brother sleep. ‘As long as you’re on Diagon Alley, might as well get school robes right? Sweet dreams Wulfy.’
‘Yeah, you too,’ Wulfric answered as he got under his blanket, getting ready to let his mind run freely to a castle he wished to see some day soon.
The next morning, no one went back on the discussion and so, Wulfric considered his last try hadn’t had the desired effect. It was only three days later that Dornius cleared his throat when Wulfric and Morag walked in, and declared he had something to tell them.
‘Your mother and I have come to a decision regarding your education for the year to come,’ he began with a very serious tone. ‘Now, there are things we need to clarify and that you both need to agree to if you want to go to Hogwarts.’
‘Yes!’ Wulfric shouted happily.
‘It’s not official yet Wulfy,’ his mother smiled.
‘First thing,’ Dornius began, ‘I want you to promise that you will look out for each other. That you will make sure to speak to each other every day and let us know if you believe there is something wrong with your sister Wulfric or your brother, Morag.’
‘I don’t understand why you make us promise that; of course we’ll look out for each other, you don’t even need to ask for it.’
‘We know you will but it’s important for you to remember that, in a time of war, your family is all you can count on. Also, we expect at least two letters a week from each of you, ok?’
‘Of course,’ Wulfric shrugged, ‘and you’ll write back twice too, right? Because we want to know what’s going on at home too.’
‘We will, Wulfy, promise,’ Jenny said. ‘Ok, second, you are going to school to study in your classes; that means no extra-curricular activities such as defense associations or war strategies, is that ok?’
‘Yeah, no problem,’ Morag nodded. Under her parents’ unconvinced looks, she went on. ‘Going back to school, to my friends and classes is more important that the rest. I want to prepare for my NEWTs and that’s what comes first, don’t worry.’
‘Ok, we trust you Morag,’ her mother agreed, ‘don’t disappoint though.’
‘Finally, and this is the hardest thing you need to agree to,’ Dornius said. ‘We want you both to promise that if, at any moment in time, we ask you to come home for your own protection, you will not discuss and will comply with our demand.’
‘Well,’ Wulfric began, looking at his sister, ‘I already said I would.’
‘I will too,’ Morag agreed, ‘I can only expect that, if you ever decide to take us home, you will have a good reason for it so, yeah, I’ll comply, no questions asked.’
‘So we can go?’ Wulfric asked enthusiastically.
‘Yes, you can go.’
‘Yeah!’ the boy screamed, doing a happy dance on his seat. His day only got better when his mother told him she had taken the day off and they were going to get his school things.
The days that followed were everything Wulfric had dreamed of; preparing his trunk, folding his brand new black robes and reading his superb books. Most of all, he finally had a wand. It had been a bit complicated to get it considering Ollivanders’ wandshop was now closed down and only Holster and Son had quality wands but they didn’t have many of them so the boy had to settle for a wand that might not be as perfect for him as could be. Wulfric refrained himself to tell his parents that if they had come to their decision earlier, maybe he could have gone to Ollivanders for his wand.
When the morning of September 1st arrived, Wulfric MacDougal couldn’t hold his joy. He was up with the sun; washed and dressed before the rest of his family was even awake and managed to drag his trunk downstairs in the living room in a loud enough manner that finally woke up his sleeping relatives.
The wait on the Platform was tensed and heavy. Wulfric couldn’t believe this was real and he was still anxious his parents might change their minds and decide to take the dream away. Morag had gone back to her quiet persona and tried to disappear from her parents’ showers of love; a bit embarrassed by it and also sharing her brother’s fear that they might after all change their minds.
Promising for the hundredth time to write before going to bed and to look out for her brother, Morag dragged Wulfric to the train and found a compartment for them to share with Morag’s friends. Soon, girls and boys were sitting with the MacDougal siblings and Wulfric couldn’t be happier in this environment. He simply couldn’t imagine how horrible it would have been for him if his parents hadn’t changed their mind. He mused he would probably on his bed at this moment, crying out his anger toward his parents. And then he would have only had Morag for company all year long; no one his age to play with. Right now, he didn’t mind being with his big sister and her friends because he knew he’d make friends his age soon enough. Plus it was comforting to be around those Ravenclaw students who sounded so interesting and genuine.
When they reached the Platform, Wulfric jumped up on his seat. Already wearing his brand new robes and sporting a grin that almost looked painful, he jumped in line behind a giant and he finally saw it; the great, big and fantastically magical castle he thought he would never get to see. Looking around him, Wulfric could only conclude that his parents had not been the only ones scared to send their precious children at Hogwarts this year. According to Morag, there were approximately forty students in every year but as he walked through the castle, he could only count 25 other eleven years old following the tall, stern looking lady that guided them. For the tenth time since he woke up that morning, Wulfric silently thanked anyone and everyone who could possibly be responsible for allowing him to come to Hogwarts that year.
After a short verbal introduction to the Houses of Hogwarts, the 25 new students walked in the buzzing Great Hall. Once again, Wulfric was surprised to notice that the tables were far from being filled to capacity. One by one the students were Sorted and the buzzing in the hall only got stronger; it was a bit obvious that something wasn’t right. Among the ten first students to be Sorted, six went to Slytherin. There was either a very strong occurrence of Slytherin traits in the new students or the kids representing the other houses hadn’t shown for the Sorting. Wulfric was still pondering the question when his name was called and it was his turn to chat with the hat.
“Well, well; what an interesting boy we have here. A mind more constructed and organized than one could expect considering your age. I see you fought like a Gryffindor to be here, using intelligence worthy of Ravenclaw in ways that would make the Slytherin house proud.”
“Thanks you mister Hat; I don’t know how you know all that but thanks.”
“You are welcome young man, make your house proud and keep fighting like a lion even though you’re going to Ravenclaw!” the hat said, shouting the last word.
Wulfric ran to the table to join his sister, so proud he had been sent to the same house as hers. Now he could finally relax; he had arrived at school and had been Sorted. He didn’t have any control anymore on his parents’ eventual decision to bring him back home. So he decided to enjoy himself as much as possible in case it only lasted until tomorrow.