Chapter 2 : Astoria Greengrass
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The small boat glided across the water smoothly, sending ripples through the black waters. Astoria, leaning on the side of it, looked down eagerly at the lake, her eyes glinting with curiosity. She had always been fascinated by water for some mysterious reason and she enjoyed the sensation of sailing on it.
“Hey, look! That’s Hogwarts! Magnificent isn’t it?” A petite round-faced black-haired girl sitting next to her in the boat whispered softly as she nudged her shoulder. Astoria tore her gaze away from the water and looked up in the direction the girl was pointing.
“Merlin”, she murmured, struck in awe at the beauty and the grandeur of the Castle that had come in view. This was going to be her home for the coming seven years. This was the place where she’d acquire her magical education, where she’d make friends, where she’d learn to live life. This was Hogwarts.
She kept staring at the Hogwarts castle in admiration, her dark-brown eyes shining with joy and her face beaming in excitement, until the boats rocked to a halt.
The big man who had introduced himself as Hagrid gestured them to step out of their boats and even helped some of the shaky ones. Astoria gently hopped on to the land with a smile. She was about to join the line of first years slowly forming when she noticed that a little girl was not able to step out of her boat – she looked extremely scared and was shivering. Hagrid was on the other side helping someone else so Astoria walked carefully to the edge of the water again where the girl’s boat stood.
“Here, give me your hand and then jump out. It’s very simple.” She told the girl sweetly extending her hand.
The girl shook her head. “W-What if I fall? I’m scared.”
“You won’t fall silly. The water is shallow here anyway. Don’t be so scared.” When the girl still looked doubtful, she added, “Did I fall? I didn’t. Come on now, almost everyone is out and in the line. We’ll be late for the Sorting if you don’t hurry up!” She threw a frantic look at the line. She didn’t want to miss her sorting, what if they sent her back because she missed it? But she shook her head; she couldn’t abandon the poor girl either. Besides, they would make it in time. She was sure of that.
“I promise I’ll hold on to you tight. Come on.” She encouraged her and the girl finally consented, putting her hand in hers slowly and hopping out. Astoria pulled the girl quickly and they both slightly stumbled backwards, but otherwise were safe.
“See, it didn’t even take a second. You’re all safe.” She smiled brightly at the girl and she smiled back shyly before the two made their way to the line.
A tall bespectacled woman with a pointy hat on her head was giving them instructions.
“When I call out your name, you’ll come and sit on the stool after which the Sorting Hat will be placed upon your head to assign your house. Now, follow me.” Astoria followed in the line and gasped as the doors to what she assumed was the Entrance Hall opened. She immediately searched for the stool she was supposed to sit on and saw that it had a tattered old hat placed on it. Her eyes then searched the Hall for her sister, Daphne, who was two years older than her. She found her sitting at what was obviously the Slytherin Table and grinned at her.
Astoria was excited, very excited, to know where she’d be sorted. She had never really fancied herself as a Slytherin – neither was she that ambitious nor cunning – though she knew her parents would have wanted that. But she also knew that her parents wouldn’t mind if she was sorted into any other house, they were not complete maniacs like the Malfoys – the strange family she had met on several pureblood occasions. She shuddered as she remembered the tall intimidating Mr. Malfoy, he seemed so cruel, and she pitied his son who was in her sister’s year that he had to live with such a man. She was glad her father was warm and sweet, always treating her like his little princess.
“The letter G has started, Astoria!” The girl she had ‘rescued’ whispered from behind her. They had exchanged introductions on the way to the line.
Astoria sucked in a deep breath and her heartbeat accelerated. She couldn’t wait to find out which house did she fit in. She wasn’t exactly nervous, because like her father had told her the Hat made wise decisions, she was just impatient – unlike many of the others around her who were pale and looked ready to bolt.
“Aren’t you scared?” The girl asked and she giggled.
“Why would I be scared silly? The Hat is not going to eat me up. Besides Father says the Hat will make the right decision. I am just eager.” She grinned at the girl who looked at her admiringly.
“I wish I was as brave as you.”
Astoria didn’t get a chance to respond to that as the Professor in the pointy hat called out her name next.
She beamed and walked up to the stool, and she was all but bouncing on her feet. She giggled slightly as the Hat was put on her head and her vision got partially blurred by its rim. Her father had also told her that the Hat actually talked to you and responded to your thoughts, and she was excited to test if he had just been entertaining her or if it was the truth.
“Hi,” she thought, feeling slightly silly.
“Ah, what is this I sense? A student is greeting me? That is something I’ve never encountered before.” The Hat mused, sounding slightly taken aback.
Astoria smiled. So her Father was right.
“Dear girl, you are quite attached to your Father. Hmm.”
“Oh yes, I love my Father very much.”
“Will you sort me now?” She thought eagerly and could have sworn she heard the Hat chuckle.
“You’re one of those rare enthusiastic kids, I see. Very well, let me probe the depths of your mind.”
Astoria had absolutely no clue what ‘probing the depths of mind’ meant, but nevertheless she sat patiently. Only a few seconds had passed when the Hat spoke to her again.
“A brave demeanour, a loyal soul; could be a Gryffindor. But there’s something else, something stronger. Hmm. A kind heart and a helpful spirit, hard-working too. I think I know just the right house for you.”
The eleven-year-old Greengrass waited with bated breath. She was going to take her first step to begin her life in Hogwarts.
“Hufflepuff!” The Hat bellowed and there was polite applause all around. She breathed a sigh of relief and a broad smile lit her face.
The Hat was removed from her head and she got up, her face shining with excitement. She made her way to the Hufflepuff table, skipping with happiness. So this was where she belonged, she wondered, grinning. Her grin was momentarily wiped off when she noticed Daphne’s disapproving expression thrown towards her but she shrugged it off. Her sister was and could never be happy with her. After all, Astoria was as different from Daphne as chalk from cheese. Nevertheless she decided to talk to her later and try to cheer her up. Even though Daphne was a little bit mean to her, she was still her elder sister and she knew how to mend things between them. She had always been the peacemaker and this time was nothing different.
As the Headmaster Dumbledore stood up and told them to “Tuck In” she sighed happily and relished the food appearing on her plates. She couldn’t wait to head to her new dormitory and send an owl to Father, telling him she had been sorted into Hufflepuff, and the Hat had deemed her as 'kind, helpful and hardworking'.
A/N: Hello again people, I hope you liked this one :) It is never mentioned in canon (though generally assumed) that Astoria was sorted into Slytherin, so I decided to give my own identity to her. I hope this made a good read and you liked it. Please do leave your thoughts in the little review box below. Thank you for reading & (if you do) reviewing!
Coming up next: Scorpius Malfoy
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