Chapter 3 : Sorted?
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“Bye mum” I said, tears were threatening to spill out of my eyes and it took all of my effort to stop them.
“Be safe, be sensible. I love you.” She hugged me and kissed my gently on the cheek.
“Bye” I turned away from her and pushed the luggage trolley towards the platform signs.
It was half nine and the station was buzzing with people going this way and that. Soon I came across a read head family, there were hundreds of them. In the mist of them was James who was positively beaming with the attention his was receiving.
I turned my back on them and sat on the bench waiting to see what they would do.
After about ten minutes the party slowly separated and started to disappear. I watched as finally it was only the Potters left.
“Go on” I heard Ginny mutter to James, who looked around and then at speed ran at the wall between platform nine and ten.
“Bingo,” I whispered.
The rest of the family soon disappeared after James. Quickly I got to my feet and pushed my trolley towards the wall.
I took a few steps back and then hit the wall at a run. I closed my eyes ready for the impact with the wall, but nothing happened.
I opened my eyes and there I was on a different platform, the steam of the train rising in the air.
“First years this way, please” I heard a slightly familiar voice call.
I pushed my luggage further up the platform towards the voice. As I went further up the platform the sound of more goodbyes could be heard, many were emotional like mine.
“First years!” someone called again. This time thought I could see his face. It was Teddy Lupin.
“Hi, I’m a first year. Where do I go?” I asked looking up at his tall form.
“Merlin’s soggy pants! Little Rachael Edgley, is that you?” he looked shocked to see me. I smiled back at him sheepishly.
“I bet James is happy. I never would have guessed that you were a Witch.” He ranted on.
“Yeah me neither...” I trailed off.
“Well just push your trolley down there and put it against the wall. Take your luggage with you and find a compartment,” he smiled friendly at me and then walked off in the other direction.
I did as he said and pulled my trunk towards the train. Suddenly my lode was lightened by someone picking up the dragging end of my trunk.
“James leave me alone!” I said in an angry tone, it would be him that decided that helping would make it up to me.
“Sorry, just wanted...” said another voice that wasn’t James’s.
“Oh, I’m sorry I thought you were James Potter.” I whipped round and smiled guiltily at the boy who had tried to help me.
He had black hair which was slightly messy, though not as much as James’s. He had deep brown eyes at the looked very mischievous and a smile, that I was sure, would beak hearts at one point.
“It’s okay, I’m Samuel Blake. But you can call me Sam.” He smiled at me and offered me his hand.
I blushed slightly and took his hand. It was warm and slightly rough.
“Rachael Edgley, you can call me Rach.” I smiled back at him in a slightly timid manner.
“How about, if you help me with mine, I’ll help you with yours. Deal?” he proposed, smiling at me.
We both took one end of each of our trunks and lifted them onto the train.
“Do you want to sit with me?” he asked casually, when the trunks had been heaved onto the train.
“Okay,” I agreed pulling my trunk after him. It didn’t take long for us to find a compartment that was almost empty.
The only other occupant was a rather skinny, mousey haired boy who was reading a large book.
Sam slid back the door and walked in.
“Can we join you?” he asked.
The boy nodded, not looking up from his book.
I pulled my trunk in after Sam who lifted his up onto the luggage rack. I tried to do the same but failed miserably, instead I pushed it under the bench seat.
“My name is Samuel Blake and this is Rachael Edgley” he said gesturing to me.
The boy put down his book, looked at both of us, and smiled.
“My name is Richard Light, I’m a first year, you?” he said standing up and offering his hand to Sam.
It was strange did everyone shake hands in the Wizarding world?
“So what is Hogwarts like?” I asked after we had all got acquainted and the train started to pull away from the station.
“What’s it like?” Sam asked incredulously.
“Don’t speak to her like that” said someone who I knew would show up at some point.
The door had been slid open by James, and behind him stood a short and rather plump looking boy.
“James, he wasn’t offending me” I said irritated by his mere presence.
“So this is James, the one you shouted at but it was Me.” said Sam who was sizing James up, and smirking slightly.
“Yeah, it is.” I said, shaking my head at the stupidity of boys.
“James Potter, you might have heard of my parents Harry and Ginny Potter.” James said, offering his hand to Sam who took is and shook it in a friendly manner.
“Samuel Blake, call me Sam.” He said, guiding him in and patting him on the shoulder.
“Oh and this is Paul Pauls,” said James, who gestured to the small timid looking boy.
He waved at the four of us and pulled in his trunk after James.
The journey felt like forever and this was added to by James’s constant stupidity.
The scenery changed dramatically as we entered Scotland, the rolling hills of the north soon grew into great mountains and glens. Lochs nestled below them and birds flew over head. The sun soon sank below the weathered peaks and the lights flickered on in the carriages.
“Please start to change in to your uniform, we will be arriving in half an hour. Thank you!” said a voice from over head.
“I’m gunna go to the toilet and change.”I said and pulled my uniform out from my bag.
I darted from the compartment to the toilet at the end of the carriage. There was already a small line, of one person, waiting outside.
“Hi,” she said. She was about a head higher than me and had bright blond hair. “I’m Hannah Mountjoy.” She didn’t offer her hand to me, which was a slight relief.
“Rachael Edgley” I smiled at her.
“So what house do you want to be in?” she asked “I guess that you’re a first year.”
“I don’t really know, I have only read a little on the houses. I guess that I will just have to wait and see,” I said, worried that she would shout at me for not knowing.
“Fair enough, I think I want to be in Ravenclaw. You see all of my family have been in Ravenclaw, well on my mum’s side anyway. My Dad’s a muggle.” She said smiling at me.
The door swung open to reveal a tall girl with an excess of makeup smattered on her face. She glowered at Hannah and me and then walked to her compartment.
“That was a Slytherin, keep away from them. Well I would if I were you.” Hannah said as she walked into the toilet to change.
After about three minutes of waiting Hannah appeared fully clothed in her new uniform.
“Good luck, see you round.” she said skipping off to her compartment.
I slid into the toilet, which she had vacated, and started to change. I made sure that I locked the door.
It was much more difficult to change on a moving train than I had anticipated. I almost ended up in the toilet more than once. After the initial difficulty I found a knack to it, and wedged myself in the small room.
I emerged neatly dressed in my new and crisp uniform and returned to my compartment. The shutters were down; sadly in my strange state of mind I didn’t notice this.
I slid open the door without a thought and walked straight in.
“Augh!” screamed one of the boys, I don’t know which one.
“Sorry, crap!” I shouted. Instantly I covered my eyes.
I had only caught a slight glimpse of pale flesh, nothing more. Carefully I made my way through the compartment, someone’s hands guiding me to a bench.
“Keep your hands over your eyes until I say, okay?” I nodded in response to Sam’s request.
“Okay,” said Sam after a few minutes.
I took my hands from my eyes and smiled, blushing profusely as the same time.
In front of me were four boys, each of varying height and hair colour, but each in a brand new uniform.
“What do you think?” Sam asked. I made a satisfied face and went back to staring out the dark window.
“Hey, Rach do you wanna join us?” James asked hopefully. The whole journey I had ignored James Potter, and that wasn’t going to change.
He soon gave up and went to play snap with the other boys. There were little whoops of joy as the cards exploded.
“What’s with you and her?” I heard Paul ask.
“It’s difficult, I’ll tell you some time.” James said glumly.
“First years this way!” boomed a voice with a thick accent; it was coming from a very large figure at one end of the plat form.
The crowd of first years made their way towards this bulky figure, as they moved closer many cowered in fear; others like James just strolled on wards.
“Hi Hagrid,” I heard him say to the big man.
“Hi James. How’s your dad?” he asked, looking down at the relatively small form of James Potter.
“Okay thanks, he says hi.” James said.
“Is that everyone?....good, follow me.” said the large man called Hargrid. The small stream of first year students followed after the man.
We followed Hagrid towards a black form, which turned out to be a large lake. On the lake were twenty odd small rowing boats, each had a small lantern handing from the bow.
“Four to a boat,” Hagrid said through his thick accent.
I climbed in a boat with Richard and two other girls, it was difficult to make out what they looked like in the small amount of light that the lanterns were producing. But one seemed to have dark brown hair and the other curly blonde hair.
As soon as the boats all had at least one occupant the boats set off by themselves. Hagrid was at the front of the fleet. His boat was dangerously close to the water, and it only had him in it.
The boat trip took longer than I was expecting and about half way through lights started to appear faintly ahead.
“That there is Hogwarts,” Hagrid said his voice booming out over the flat lake.
There were a few sounds of awe and anticipation.
The view that I saw was beautiful. In the night gloom only a faint outline of a huge castle could be distinguished from the sky, the hundreds of windows were illuminated and the biggest were taller than any cathedral’s I had ever seen.
“Blake, Samuel” called a friendly looking man, who had earlier been revealed as Professor Longbottom.
Sam walked up and sat on the stool, the tatty sorting hat was place on his head. It mused for only a few minutes before it bellowed.
Quickly Sam walked casually off the stage and joined the cheering Gryffindors. He was the second to be sorted into Gryffindor, the other was a girl called Leticia Acton.
“Combs, Jayson.” a tall boy walked up to the stage, he had a head of tight blond curls and a rounded face.
The hat was placed on his head and after a few moments it called;
“Cormack, Natalia” a slender girl with ice blonde hair stood up and glided towards the stool, many of the students turned round to watch this graceful girl.
The hat had barely been placed on her head when it called;
“De Griby, Trevor” a tall and elegant boy walked up and sat on the stool. His brown hair was neatly placed in a reasonably functional hairstyle.
“Dorms, Harrison” a rather dark looking boy sat on the stool, his sneaky eyes roaming the crowd.
The hat hadn’t even been place on his head before it called out.
There was a loud cheer from the other end of the hall as he walked to join his new house.
“Edgley, Rachael” I gulped and walked forward.
The butterflies were fluttering madly in my tummy and I was getting increasingly hot in my new uniform.
The hat was place on my head, I almost screamed when I heard someone talking in my head.
“Hum, let see. You have the aptitude for Ravneclaw, the compassion for Hufflepuff...the want to succeed for Slytherin. But there is the overriding devotion to friends and family, even if you aren’t talking to Potter at the moment.” I could almost hear the voice smile.
There was a moment when everyone looked at me, and I looked back slight shock on my face.
“Ah, I know...”
“Gryffindor!” it shouted, there was an instantaneous eruption of cheers from the Gryffindor table.
I hopped of the stool and quickly found a seat on the table next to Sam.
I looked down trying to hide my reddening face, and as I did I saw my tie change from plain black, to red and gold.
The line of first years slowly decreased and the cheers from the tables became more and more unenthusiastic.
Hannah Mountjoy was sorted into Ravenclaw, she got what she wanted.
Soon there were only four people left.
James, two girls with deep tan skin and deep black hair, who I presumed that they were twins as they looked exactly the same, and a short boy with auburn hair.
“Potter, James” called Longbottom
The hall that had been filled with inane chatter instantly fell silent. Everyone turned to watch James as he had the hat placed on his head.
He really must be famous.
The hat had been on his head for a short time when it shouted;
“Gryffindor!” there was a huge explosion of cheers from my table as he joined us, right next to Sam, Richard and Paul who had all been sorted into Gryffindor too.
The hall had descended once again into hushed whispers.
The hat quickly made its mind up;
Then her twin:
Professor Longbottom rolled up the list of students and placed the hat back on the stool. Carefully he moved it back off the stage and towards a side door.
“And that concludes the sorting” said Professor Sprout who had got to her feet. She was in a dark blue dress with matching robes. Her fine flyway hair was under a large pointed hat.
“Now, let’s eat,” she clapped her hands and suddenly the tables were laden with every type of food imaginable.
My first year was hell, I was just only realising what I had landed myself in. The new world of magic and strange things was so different to what I was used to, and it scared me senseless.
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