When we finally reached Hogsmeade the first thing I did was cast a water repelling charm on myself before leaving the train. I saw other students getting soaked and rolled my eyes. ‘Idiots.’
“Firs’ years! Firs’ years an’ transfers o’er here!” a huge man was calling. I sighed while heading that way. “Firs’ years this way!” He looked down at me when I approached. “Transfer?”
“Yeah,” I said keeping my head down. I could see a few older students pointing and nodding in my direction. I really hate attention.
“Firs’ years this way!” the man shouted again over the rain. A group of new students gathered around him and he led us to a dock. About 20 boats were sitting in the water, waiting for us. “No more’n four to a boat,” the large man instructed.
I looked apprehensively at the lake. ‘It’s pouring down rain and we’re going to ride across a lake?’ Thankfully my repelling charm was holding up. I noticed the first years were all soaked. A few of them were looking at my dry clothes in confusion. I shrugged and got into one of the boats.
The large man climbed into one after everybody else and we took off across the lake. “Bit hard to see now, but that’s Hogwarts!” the man shouted over the rain. There was a dark, looming shape ahead, I could make out several windows shinning through the rain and darkness. I assume on clear nights it would be much more impressive. We reached another dock and climbed out of the boats. The large man led us to a castle door and knocked. The door opened but I couldn’t see anyone, I could hear a voice though.
“Oh yes Hagrid, the first years. Thank you.” We started to file inside and I cancelled the repelling charm.
“Professor McGonagall alright?” Hagrid asked.
“Yes, yes, just handling a few things.” Hagrid nodded and left us with this new person. “My name is Professor Flitwick,” he announced. Now that we were inside where the first years could spread out, I could finally see the tiny teacher. “Welcome to Hogwarts. Soon you will be sorted into your houses. These will be like your family for the next seven years. You will attend classes with them, eat meals together, and share a common room. Any rule breaking will loose your house points. You can also earn points for exceeding the expectations of your teachers. Now if you will all line up, we can proceed into the Great Hall.”
The first years lined up and I discreetly took a spot at the end. We followed Professor Flitwick into a huge hall with five tables and hundreds of candles floating in the air. I glanced up at the ceiling and saw a stormy night sky, a reflection of what the actual sky probably looked like outside. I started hearing whispering from the older students already seated. I cringed knowing that I probably stood out since I was at least a head taller than the rest of the students I was lined up with.
We stopped in front of the teachers table, and then were directed to turn and face the rest of the students. I didn’t want to look around the room at the sea of whispering faces. Instead I focused on the floor with my hands in my pockets. A stool with an old looking hat was brought out. I remembered seeing it in Dumbledore’s office during the summer.
That hat started to sing about the different houses and I began to feel nervous. I came from two Slytherin families and had lived with a different Slytherin family for most of my life. Would I be sent there like so many of them had? It had once been my dream to join Ravenclaw, that dream was gone though. It had died when I was eight years old and I didn’t feel right wishing for it now. Hufflepuff was about friendship and hard work. After two years in three different schools I had what, four friends? Only one of which was close to my age and still in school. I didn’t like people most of the time, most were unreliable or wanted something in return for their ‘friendship.’ No, I couldn’t see myself as a Hufflepuff. That only left one option-Gryffindor. Did I really live up those standards though?
The song ended and Professor Flitwick stepped forward. “When I call your name, please step forward so I can place the hat on your head for you to be sorted.” He unrolled a scroll and began. “Audrey, Michael!”
I waited until I heard the L’s start but my name wasn’t called. ‘Great. Dumbledore probably wants me to go at the end.’ A flare of annoyed anger shot through me. I really hated attention.
After the Z’s were done Flitwick turned towards the head table. I glanced around to see Dumbledore rising. “As you can see, we still have a remaining student,” Dumbledore announced to my great displeasure. I don’t need a bloody special welcoming. “She is a transfer student from Salem Institute in her third year. I should hope that the other third years, especially those in her house, will assist her.” Ugh, now he’s encouraging them to befriend me. “I’m certain you all remember how difficult your first month at Hogwarts was.” Dumbledore nodded at Flitwick as he sat back down.
“Lestrange, Jade!” Flitwick called at last. I sighed, stepping over to him. I had to duck for the tiny professor to reach but finally the sorting hat was placed on my head.
“Well this is very unique,” a small voice said after a short pause. “I’ve never had anyone quite like you. Hmm…I suppose ‘both of you’ is a more accurate account. One of you has already been sorted. Do you wish to follow him into the same house?”
I thought about it, really thought about it. Yes, it would be easier overall. And yes, I would have enjoyed being in his house. The idea of following into Slytherin though, I couldn’t get over it. It was the same house as my parents and Lucius. I didn’t want to be anything like them.
“No, no, I suppose you’re right. It’s not really the best fit for you. You have a brilliant mind. One of the brightest I’ve ever seen in fact. You could do well in Ravenclaw.”
Ravenclaw. That had been our dream, years ago. We’d planned it together, talked about it so many times. Then everything had changed. Something about being in there alone made my heart ache.
“If you’re sure,” the hat said. “You’re not exactly the Hufflepuff type,” it added bluntly. I agreed knowing there was only one choice left. “You know the ramifications of this?”
“Are you willing to loose so much?”
‘I never wanted it in the first place,’ I thought bitterly.
“You’re braver than you think,” the hat said knowingly.
The hat laughed. “You don’t see it now, but someday. Someday you’ll know this is where you belonged.” I hoped that was true. “Enjoy your time in GRYFFINDOR!”
I heard the last word being shouted to the whole room and the hat was lifted off my head. I could hear a few teachers behind me whispering. Obviously they hadn’t expected this. The table to the far left was clapping and I headed over there, careful to pick a spot on the side facing the wall.
“Now that we are all seated I have a few announcements before we eat,” Dumbledore said, rising again. I zoned him out, focusing more on my own thoughts.
I wondered how many days I had until the impending letter I was sure to receive would arrive. I could already guess what it was going to say. I felt a heavy weight in my heart. Was I really upset about the letter? No. I wasn’t dreading that. No, the thing that bothered me the most was now that I would be wearing red and gold the likelihood of Draco ever talking to me again was down to zero.
During the feast I ate very little. Thoughts of the Dementors and becoming a Gryffindor kept my mind too busy. Thankfully after giving the people around me short, usually one word answers, they left me alone. I rubbed my shoulder thinking about how this first week of Hogwarts would turn out. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it.
I sighed wondering if tonight, instead of nightmares about Dementors, I would be brought back to one of the few places I did enjoy going to. There’d been nothing for over two months, ever since I left Salem. I was back at school now though. Would I be brought back on the first night or later?
The rest of Gryffindor house, including myself, were making our way up the stairs. An older male student wearing a HB badge had insisted that I follow him with the first years. On the seventh floor we stopped in front of a portrait of a fat woman in a pink dress.
“Fortuna Major,” the HB boy told the painting. The portrait swung open and the students started flowing through. I looked skeptically at this. ‘We have to talk to a painting whenever we want in our room?’ Hogwarts was certainly different than the other schools I had attended. Nevertheless I followed the others through, stepping into the common room. I was rather surprised, everything seemed to have a similar theme-red and gold.
Apparently they take house colors very seriously. I wonder if going into the Hufflepuff common room is like being suffocated by a giant bee. Why have a badger mascot if you’re going to use bee colors? I suppose a bee would look rather measly next to a lion, snake, and raven. Maybe the founders drew straws for house colors and Hufflepuff drew the short one. Were there even straws back then?
“Lestrange?” I focused on the HB boy who was now in front of me.
“I said your room is to the left. It will say ‘Third Years,’” he said sounding annoyed, like me not paying attention was insulting to him.
I bit my tongue instead of pointing out that his information was rather useless. I could clearly see boys going up one side and girls up the other. I gave him a quick nod and went up the left side stairs, quickly finding the right room. I opened the door and saw three girls already there. With an internal sigh I stepped in, closing the door behind me.
A girl with bushy hair spoke first. “Hello, I’m Hermione Granger,” she greeted while holding an orange cat. “Jade Lestrange, right?” I nodded and headed towards the bed with my trunk sitting at the end of it. “Welcome to Hogwarts,” she said warmly. I’d heard about Granger before. She was supposed to be the smartest student in third year.
“Thanks,” I muttered kneeling beside my trunk.
“You’re British,” she said after a short pause. I looked over at her, she seemed a bit confused.
“Yes.” I pulled a silver chain from around my neck, using the attached key to open my trunk.
“I just thought…well Dumbledore said you were from Salem. I thought you might be American.”
“Born and raised in England my whole life, except for a couple of years overseas for school.”
“Oh. How come you didn’t attend Hogwarts before?”
“Testing my other options,” I said offhand, hoping she would drop the subject. I was searching through one of the compartments in my trunk when I felt something brush up against me. I turned to see the orange cat rubbing itself against my leg. I reached out and began petting it. It started purring almost instantly.
“Oh sorry, that’s Crookshanks, my new cat.” Hermione said. I waved a hand showing it didn’t bother me. “He seems to like you quite a bit.” Crookshanks was now lying on his back as I rubbed his belly.
“What’s America like?” a new voice asked. I looked up and saw the other two girls watching me. “I’m Lavender by the way. This is Parvati,” one said, gesturing at the other girl as she introduced her.
“Er…” I assumed saying it was like a prison again wouldn’t go over so well. “I suppose it’s like a muggle boarding school or university. Lots of buildings for different things. Library, cafeteria, class rooms, boys and girls dormitories.”
“Did you see anything else though? I heard New York City is amazing,” Lavender asked.
“I only saw a bit of the Ministry of Magic and Celestial Mall,” I answered honestly.
“What’s Celestial Mall?” Parvati asked.
“Sort of like Diagon Alley, but all in a huge building. Different shops on different floors. Top floor is all food places. Fifth floor is all clothes. Third floor is where most of the school supplies are at. Most of the second floor is books,” I told them.
“What kind of books?” Hermione asked instantly. I saw the other girls roll their eyes.
“Er…quite a bit of everything. Large sections on history, charms, transfiguration, and defensive spells. Foreign language section. Cookbooks, beauty and fashion books, potion books, quidditch ones too. Pretty much everything really.” Narcissa and I hadn’t spent too long in there, mostly getting the items I needed for school and leaving.
“Why does your trunk have thirteen key holes?” Parvati asked, changing the subject.
I looked over my open trunk thinking the answer was rather obvious. “It has thirteen compartments.”
“You only have one key.”
“It’s based on passwords and the key.”
“Why do you need so many compartments?” Lavender asked.
“Why not?” I happened to be very fond of this trunk. It was midnight blue with silver fastenings. It had also been my first gift from someone not related to me or from Snape. I smiled remembering opening it Christmas morning and reading the letter Dimitri had sent. Outside of Snape, Dimitri was probably the person I looked up to and trusted the most.
“Do you really have all thirteen filled?” Lavender asked doubtfully.
“Well, not full. There’s something in all of them though. I suppose the one filled with school supplies is rather full.”
“What else do you have that takes up so much room?” Lavender questioned.
Are they really asking me about what I carry around in my trunk?
“Er…school supplies, books, clothes, things I’ve collected over my life, potions supplies, one is just filled with random items that don’t fit anywhere else, and my violin.”
“You play the violin?” Hermione asked quickly.
“Yes, only for the past 8 months though.” That too had been a gift, though not from Dimitri or the Malfoys.
“Do they teach you that at Salem?”
“There are some music lessons there, but I taught myself.” Teaching myself was usually faster.
“Wow, I’d like to hear you play sometime.” Realizing Hermione was being truthful and not just polite made me a bit relieved. There was at least one person I was sharing a room with that I might actually get along with.
I got ready for bed and closed my hangings around me. With the hope that I would soon be in a familiar place I closed my eyes and drifted to sleep.
It felt as if only a second had passed before I opened my eyes again. There was a brightly lit path lined in cherry blossom trees just beyond the gate in front of me. I stepped through the opened gate, happy to be back. I ducked the next second as a sword passed over my head. I turned right and saw a friendly face with a smile on her lips.
A/N: Wow only 5 chapters and 140 views, I'm impressed. Feel free to leave a review though, feedback is always appreciated (b'-')b
Also for the last line and all future dialogue between characters that's all in italics, that means it's in a different language. It will just be easier this way than me looking up how to actually speak a language then all of you looking for the translation at the bottom of the chapter.