Chapter 1 : Prologue
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‘Well, well, well ladies’ came Sirius’ arrogant tones from the corner of the train compartment. ‘Just couldn’t keep away from us any longer?’
‘Sirius? Can you do us all a huge favour?’
‘Anything for you my dear Doracas.’
‘Grow up’ she replied. This earned a snort from Peter which in turn earned him a punch on the arm from Sirius.
‘So are you just here to insult poor Sirius? Not that I’m complaining or anything’ Peter asked the girls as they entered the compartment. There were three of them. Marlene McKinnon a pretty blonde with green eyes and a slightly too big nose; Doracas Meadows a short brunette whose clothes were so neat they looked new and Kathy Goldstein who was quite unremarkable but for her piercing blue eyes.
‘Everywhere else is full. Besides, we wanted to get our first encounter with Sirius out of the way as soon as possible’ replied Marlene with a grin. She promptly went and sat next him sitting a little bit closer than was really proper. Doracas and Kathy sat together next to Peter, Kathy blushing slightly as she did so. ‘So how were everyone’s summers?’ she asked the compartment.
‘Rubbish’ replied Peter. ‘Mum wouldn’t even let me out the house. Apparently You Know Who is going to recruit me on the way to the shops.’
‘I know! My mum’s the exact same’ sighed Kathy. ‘As a half-blood you are just as at risk’ she imitated.
‘Mine don’t know anything about it’ added Doracas. ‘But I wasn’t taking any chances. God knows exactly what’s going on out there.’ She sounded genuinely scared. And none of the rest of them blamed her. Everything felt different. Something was starting. And it was clear to them all that it wasn’t something they wanted to get caught up in.
‘Well all my lovely family have been going on about how it was time something happened’ said Sirius bitterly. Marlene gave him a sad little smile and squeezed his hand. Eager to change the subject she told them about her summer.
‘My mum and dad have been helping Dumbledore with some secret mission. Even Nell’s helping out when she can. Mum and dad weren’t keen but now she’s of age there’s nothing they can do to stop her. So me, Celia and Lola just spent the summer doing precisely nothing.’
‘Oh Lola’s starting this year, isn’t she?’ asked Peter. ‘Is she excited?’
‘She’s not stopped going on about it all summer’ Marlene replied with a smile.
‘Is she any good at quidditch? Lucinda Wood’s leaving next year so we’ll need a new chaser.’ Now they were talking about something a bit less serious, Sirius was back to his usual self.
‘Nah she’s more into books. She didn’t even have to look at any of her stuff this year cos she read all mine when I started.’
‘Shame. Hopefully some of our other new housemates will be up to scratch then.’
The bunch of terrified looking first years walked along between the Slytherin and Hufflepuff tables. Some nudged each other and pointed up at the enchanted ceiling filled with stars. Some nervously waved and brothers and sisters.
'Looking at me a frayed old hat,
You may think – what’s it’s use.
But I can sort the this from that,
Your house I will deduce.
In Gryffindor, if you belong,
You’ll make friends with the brave.
Or Hufflepuff, hard workers go,
They strive and try and slave.
Ravenclaw may be your home,
If great wit you possess.
Or Slytherin if you aim for,
The best and never less.
There is no better way to tell,
Where you will spend your years.
I am the one who can decide,
So put me on your ears!'
The Great Hall was filled with claps and cheers as the hat finished its song. One by one the new first years walked up to the stool and placed the hat on their head.
‘Bored. Bored. Bored as Stubby Boardman.’ moaned Sirius. He was sitting with his head on his hand staring at his plate as if this would make some food appear.
‘Your wit continues to amaze me on a daily basis.’ James turned away from the sorting to Sirius.
‘I’m a genius I know. So did you manage to convince Evans to go out with you then?’ James had spent the train ride up with her. She’s made the mistake of asking Remus for help with her charms homework when James was in the vicinity.
‘Sadly no. But I reckon I’m close. I mean she’s not hexed me in weeks!’
‘That’s because you’ve not seen her in weeks, you prat. So you abandoned me on the train for no good reason? McKinnon couldn’t keep her hands off me. Nightmare.’ He said the last part in a way which made it clear it was most definitely not, a nightmare. Any attention from any girl was good news in Sirius’ books whether he liked them back or not.
Nell McKinnon, head girl, turned to stare and Sirius and shushed him. It was probably because she’d heard him insulting her sister. Or because her other sister was about to be sorted and he was talking too loudly. Either way he had to shut up and watch the sorting.
‘McKinnon, Lola.’ A small blonde girl bounced up to the stool.
‘This one will be a real surprise’ whispered Peter. The McKinnons had been in Gryffindor for almost as long as the Blacks had been in Slytherin.
‘Ravenclaw!’ proclaimed the hat to a stunned room. The Gryffindors in particular were surprised. Almost everyone knew either Nell, Celia or Marlene and there was never any doubt that Lola would be continuing the legacy. Lola jumped of the stool, gave the hat to the next student and made her way towards to Ravenclaw table. Before she sat down she turned and gave the gaping Gryffindors a sarcastic little wave.
‘Well, well, well’ Remus muttered. ‘That is indeed a turn up for the books.’
A/N: Hope you enojyed the first ever chapter of my first everr fanfiction! I really debated about putting this in but it gives quite a few important wee bits of information. The title comes from the poem 'Stop All the Clocks' by W. H. Auden, my favourite ever poet. I'd really appreciate a review or two as I'm still trying to find my style. Hope you enjoed!
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