“Mummy, why can’t I go to Hogwarts? James and Albus are going and it’s not fair!”
“You’re too young, Lily. You’re only nine; you’ve still got another two years to go. Now, how about you go and get ready because we’re leaving in an hour. Oh, and please wake James up as well,” Ginny asked.
With that request in mind, Lily ran up the stairs to her eldest brother’s bedroom and jumped on the bed.
“Ow, Lily! Get off!” James yelled. “It’s only nine o’clock. Let me sleep!”
Albus, who was in the next room, just rolled his eyes. He had been awake for several hours now because he couldn’t sleep. He was about to leave home for the first time. Go to Hogwarts and be without his parents for the first time. Looking around his bedroom he noticed all the little things that made that room his. The scribbles at the bottom of the wall that hadn’t been painted over; the posters he had stuck up lopsided; reading and writing certificates from the Muggle school he had gone to. Even the painted swirls on the ceiling were vivid in his mind after years of tracing them with his eyes. He felt a little homesick already and he hadn’t left yet. But that would soon change, James had told him, because there was always something going on at Hogwarts so it was impossible to feel homesick for long. Glancing back to check he hadn’t forgotten anything, he dragged his trunk out of his room, down the stairs, and left it outside the front door where his Dad would put it in the car.
“Morning, Al. Ready for school?” his mother asked.
“Yeah,” he replied half heartedly while eating his toast.
“Oh, baby. You don’t need to worry about where you’ll be Sorted. You know James is only winding you up.”
“But what if I do get put in Slytherin?”
“Then we’ll be pleased for you. Honestly, it doesn’t matter to us which house you’re in as long as it’s where you belong. Okay?” she answered, kissing him on top of his head. At that moment, James stumbled into the kitchen.
“Ready to be Sorted into Slytherin, Albus?” he asked teasingly.
“James! If you mention that to Albus one more time, I will make sure you stay at home this year! Do you understand?” Ginny threatened him.
“Yes Mum,” he replied meekly, but when he walked past Albus he hissed quietly like a snake.
At 10 o’clock the Potters left their house; the car filled with trunks, two owl cages and Harry, Ginny, James, Albus and Lily. As usual, they had to rush to Platform 9¾ to make sure James and Albus wouldn’t miss the train. It was busier than Albus had seen it before. Cries and shouts of reunited friends and the whistling of the steam train filled his ears. The air was thick with steam and he had to wait until his eyes adjusted before he could see anything.
“James! There you are! Hurry up! I’ve got some brilliant new products to show you.” Fred was their cousin, son of George Weasley, and took after his father more than most would have liked. Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes was doing brilliantly and Fred had access to all the latest and unreleased products.
“Give me a minute, Fred! Bye Mum! Bye Dad! I’ll see you at Christmas.” James hugged his parents and ruffled Lily’s hair as he ran off.
“Look after Albus,” Ginny yelled.
“Don’t get in too much trouble,” Harry shouted after Ginny. James simply waved in reply.
“Right, son. You’d better get on the train before it leaves.”
“Dad? What if... what if I’m in Slytherin?” Albus stopped walking, looking up at his father in concern
“Listen to me, Al.” Harry bent down in front of his son. “I’m certain you’ll be a Gryffindor. I have confidence in that. But if you’re still uncertain, talk to the hat.”
“What?” Albus looked very confused now.
“I know it sounds strange, but I’m not going to tell you how you will be Sorted. Just talk to the hat. It might surprise you.”
Albus agreed and after saying goodbye to his parents and sister, he ran onto the train. He leaned out of the window and spotted his Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione standing next to his parents. He waved to them as the train sped up around a corner but felt a bit choked when he realised this was it. No going back now.
He had little time to feel sorry though, because he heard a very familiar and welcome voice behind him.
“Albus! I’m so glad I’ve found you. I thought I’d have to go and sit with the rest of the family.”
“I know what you mean, Rose. I love them all but I’ve had enough of James and Fred over the summer.” Albus hugged his cousin tightly. She was his closest friend and also the same age as him so they would be entering Hogwarts together.
“Come on. Let’s find a compartment,” she said.
Rose and Albus walked down the train looking in all the compartments to find an empty one. They came across a few carriages filled with either Weasley or Potter family who wished them luck for the Sorting and to express how certain they were that they would be put in Gryffindor. This did nothing to help Albus’ nerves. Eventually Albus and Rose found a carriage at the end of the train. There was a solitary figure in there, reading a book.
“May we sit here?” Rose asked hesitantly.
“No-one else is. Go ahead,” the boy replied. Albus and Rose sat opposite this young student. He was thin with a slightly pointed face where blonde hair fell over his eyes.
“I’m Albus Potter and this is my cousin, Rose Weasley.” Albus thought it was time someone broke the awkward silence. The pale faced boy simply studied the pair for a few seconds.
“I know. Everyone knows who you are. I’m Scorpius Malfoy.”
Rose and Albus stared. “Oh.”
“Yeah. Bet you’re shocked. Well, you should probably find somewhere else to sit then. You wouldn’t want your parents to find out you’re talking to the wrong sort of people, would you?” Scorpius looked back down at his book and ignored his companions. Rose and Albus just sat there, with the scenery rushing by, looking at each other. They were communicating with their eyes, debating on what they should do.
“Actually, we don’t think you’re a bad person. And if it’s okay, we’d like to stay here,” Rose said finally.
“Look, we know what it’s like to be judged before anyone knows us. My dad’s Harry Potter for goodness sake! And we’re willing to get to know you if you’re interested,” Albus said in response to Scorpius’ disbelieving stare. “Of course, if you turn out to be a complete idiot then probably not.”
“Albus!” Rose smacked his arm. He just shrugged.
“Thanks,” Scorpius replied shyly. “I guess I didn’t expect anyone to take the time to get to know me. Most of my life I’ve had people looking down at me and my family. It’s hard to imagine that at one time the Malfoy name was respected and now... now no-one cares for it.”
“Well then, shall we start again? Hi. My name’s Albus Potter.”
“Scorpius Malfoy. Pleased to meet you both.” They shook hands and looked a little more at ease with each other.
Scorpius and Albus spent most of the train journey talking about Quidditch. Scorpius was a Seeker and wished he could try out for the Quidditch House teams in first year. Albus played Chaser and told him about the limited edition Firebolt broom that his Dad owned. Rose was bored of the topic within five minutes and soon resorted to re-reading one of her new textbooks. The only interruption they had was when the trolley lady came by with the legendary chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans and they bought as many as they could eat.
The hours sped by with the three new companions talking easily about everything and nothing. The awkwardness had dissipated quite quickly but neither mentioned their respective families again. The train arrived at Hogsmeade Station shortly before dusk and the hoards of students chatting and moving about was more than enough to scare Albus, Rose and Scorpius.
“Firs’ years over ‘ere! Firs’ years! Oh, ‘ello Albus, Rose.”
“Hi Hagrid!” they both shouted.
“Who’s this? A new friend?” Scorpius was looking warily at Hagrid, visibly scared by the half-giant looming over him.
“This is Scorpius Malfoy, Hagrid. We met him on the train.”
“Malfoy, eh? I ’ope you’re a better one than your father was.” Rose looked apologetically at Scorpius as Hagrid continued his calling of the first years.
“I’m sorry, Scorpius. He doesn’t like your Dad very much.”
“It’s alright; I’m used to it,” he muttered.
James had managed to find Albus amongst the students. “What’s this, little brother? Fraternising with the enemy?”
“We’ve not been Sorted yet, James, so shut up!” Albus said annoyed. Scorpius started to walk away. Obviously a friendship between a Potter and a Malfoy would not be allowed.
“Hey, come back.” Rose caught his arm and dragged him back.
“And Rose!” Fred exclaimed. “Weasleys and Malfoys do not mix. Ever. What would your dad say if he knew his precious, only daughter was making friends with a Malfoy?”
“I’m not my dad, Fred. It’s my choice who my friends are. Come on, guys.” The trio walked away from a shocked James and Fred towards the lake.
Several boats lay stationary at the side of the water. As Albus stepped in, he felt it rock a little under his feet and held onto Rose for support. Once he was safely seated, he took a look around him. The sun was setting and the moon peeked out from behind the clouds. Whistling wind shook the boats gently but Albus wasn’t worried. The many trees around the lake swayed softly in the breeze. There was no sign of autumn around the corner; the air was pleasantly warm and there was a sweet fragrance of flowers in the air.
“Excuse me! Sorry, do you mind if I sit here?” A pretty blonde haired girl, quite unlike Rose, stopped breathlessly in front of them.
“No, go ahead,” Albus said. “I’m Albus Potter; this is Scorpius Malfoy and my cousin Rose Weasley.”
“Hi, I’m Annie Law. Oh my gosh, I’m so excited, aren’t you? I can hardly believe I’m actually here!”
Rose liked her enthusiasm. “Well, we’ve been waiting eleven years. The time was bound to come eventually.”
“Oh, I’m a muggleborn. I never thought magic was real! Oh! I’m rambling on, sorry. I’m just nervous.”
Albus smiled at Annie. “It’s okay. We’re all nervous. Which house do you want to be in?”
“I don’t know. Probably Hufflepuff. I mean, I’m not particularly brave or smart or ambitious so Hufflepuff is the remaining one. What about you three?” By now, the boats were crossing the lake at a fast speed.
“Well, mine and Rose’s parents were in Gryffindor; practically our whole family has been in Gryffindor, so we’ll probably be there.”
“I’m the opposite,” Scorpius spoke up. “My family has pretty much always been in Slytherin and they definitely expect me to be Sorted there too.”
In the rapidly fading sunlight, Hogwarts drew into view. Albus gasped, along with most of the other students, as he saw the castle for the first time. His father had never allowed him to come to Hogwarts when he visited. Apparently, he wanted Albus’ first view of it to be when they crossed the lake and saw it in all its glory. And it was worth it. Still partially blocked by the trees, Albus could see the tops of towers and turrets with house flags flying from them. The building itself was relatively new as the majority was rebuilt after the second war but it still looked like the majestic castle that was first built many, many years ago.
Once he’d ensured all the newest students had safely arrived, Hagrid led the large group of first years up to the castle and banged heavily on the door. After a few seconds it opened and a professor emerged.
“Welcome to Hogwarts,” he said. “Please follow me.” He turned back into the castle, the first years hurrying after him. There was a marble staircase in front of them so large that it took up most of the space in Albus’ eye line and the childrens’ footsteps echoed.
“I am Professor Longbottom, the Deputy Headmaster at this school. You’ll be called in to be Sorted in a few minutes so I would suggest you tidy yourselves up.” When he caught Albus’ eye, he winked at him and smiled at Rose. Annie was looking around at everything. As a muggleborn, she had never seen talking portraits or moving staircases and was fascinated. Scorpius, meanwhile, was waiting in silence, his eyes darting about nervously.
“Come along, now. The school awaits you.”
The first years entered the Great Hall in awed silence. The ceiling of the hall reflected the darkness outside and there were thousands of candles lighting up the hall. Adorning the walls were the banners of the four houses. Four long tables ran from one end of the hall to the other. At the far end, was the staff table raised above the others and in the centre was the Headmaster, Professor Flitwick. He smiled widely as the terrified students came to a stop before the Sorting Hat which opened at the brim and began to sing a song.
When it had finished, Professor Longbottom held out a long scroll of parchment. “When I read your name out, please come up to the stool and the Sorting Hat will decide which house you belong to. Boyd, Callum.” A chubby boy walked up slowly to the stool and lowered the hat onto his head.
“SLYTHERIN!” The table at the end burst into a loud applause as Callum Boyd ran over to them.
“RAVENCLAW!” And again a different table erupted with applause. This carried on until Albus heard “Finnegan, Joshua.” He vaguely recognised the name as the son of one of his father’s friends and he watched as a scrawny, ginger-haired boy ran up to the stool. Before he had put the hat on it screamed “GRYFFINDOR!” Not long after, he heard the name of the girl who shared their boat on the way here, Annie Law. The hat spent far longer on her head than it had done for any of the other students. Even Professor Longbottom looked slightly worried but eventually it shouted “GRYFFINDOR!” The applause was a bit slow to start as most students were unsettled by the long wait but the students at Gryffindor table welcomed Annie happily.
Shortly afterwards, Scorpius’ name was called. Albus gave him a reassuring smile. He could understand how nervous Scorpius was. He himself was terrified. Albus didn’t think he belonged in Slytherin; he wanted to join his family in Gryffindor but James had made him worried. While he had been thinking of these thoughts, he missed the Sorting Hat announce Scorpius’ new house. Looking from side to side, he saw Scorpius walking toward the green clad table, smiling.
As “Moffatt, Percy”, “Nixon, Ruth”, and “Noble, Richard” were called up, Albus inched further and further back so that he was in the middle of the dwindling crowd. Eventually he heard his own name and Rose pushed him forward slightly. Looking down, he slowly walked up towards the hat, being careful not to trip over his new robes and sat on the stool. He could hear the whispers from the students so he forced himself to focus on the Gryffindor table. He could recognise most of his family from their red hair or the way they were jumping up and down and waving at him. When the hat was placed on his head, he heard a voice.
“Don’t be so surprised. I’m here to decide which of our esteemed houses you should be in. Albus, I’ve been waiting a long time to read you. Your brother was an easy choice, but you’re a very different person. You see, you’ve got the courage and ambition to do well in Slytherin or Gryffindor. Harry Potter was much like that but he chose Gryffindor.” Finally Albus realised what his Dad had meant by ‘talk to the hat’.
“I do too. I want to be in Gryffindor,” he stated.
“Are you sure? You could do very well in Slytherin.”
“Put me in Gryffindor.”
“As you wish. GRYFFINDOR!” roared the hat. The Gryffindor table erupted in the biggest cheers that evening as Albus ran over to sit next to Annie. She smiled happily at him as the other Weasleys and Potters congratulated him.
When there were only three people left in the queue, Rose’s name was called. Like several of the other students, as soon as the hat touched her head it shouted “GRYFFINDOR!” She was stopped several times and clapped on the back by members of her family.
“That was inevitable, I suppose,” she said. “I was always destined for Gryffindor.”
“Now that the Sorting is over, the feast may begin. Enjoy!” Professor Flitwick had to magically raise his voice so that he could be heard by all.
Later that evening after being properly welcomed to Gryffindor, Albus was laying in his bed reflecting on the day. Who’d have thought that he would become friends with Scorpius Malfoy? Well, he wasn’t sure if they were friends but he’d certainly try. And as much as he would deny it if asked, Albus really had been scared he would be put into Slytherin. He remembered what the Sorting Hat had told him: he would do well in Slytherin. Is that what it said to my Dad?, he wondered. What was done was done now though and Albus had a whole seven years ahead of him at Hogwarts. He was going to enjoy it.
A/N: Thank you for reading. A lot of thanks for this story go to LiveLaughLoveHarryPotter and Miss for beta’ing and their helpful suggestions. Please review below! :)
27/04/2012 – Thank you for all the reviews! I really appreciate them. Chapter has been edited to improve grammar, sentence structure and to take readers’ opinions into account.
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