Chapter 2 : When the Unexpected Happens
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Finally. It was September 1st. The day Lily Potter had been waiting for what seemed to be her whole life. The day she could finally go to Hogwarts and join her brothers and cousins. The past two years at home had been very dull for Lily… she was the second to youngest Weasley grandchild, so everyone else had been at Hogwarts for at least a year. Everyone except Hugo and Lucy, that is.
Lily found it a lot easier to connect with Hugo than it was Lucy. That was probably because their parents were closer than any other adults she knew. Of course, considering what her Dad, Uncle and Aunt had been through together, it made sense that they would want to keep together in this time of peace. But that said, it meant that Lily spent a lot of time around her cousins Hugo and Rose.
Lucy, on the other hand, was one of the cousins she saw the least. Percy had re-established his relationship with his family after the war, but he had never really fit into the fun-loving Weasley atmosphere to begin with, so he and his family were not often spotted at family reunions.
But now, she could see Lucy and Hugo as often or infrequently as she wanted, because she was going to Hogwarts, where she’d make new friends and have so many new experiences. Plus, she could finally start recycling pranks; everyone at home automatically suspected her whenever something went amiss, so it would be nice to have a new audience.
While Lily was on cloud nine on this pleasantly warm September day, Ginny was not handling the impending loss of her daughter with quite as much enthusiasm. She loved James and Al, she really did, but having Lily at home by herself these past two years had really strengthened the relationship between mother and daughter.
Harry was also going to miss his youngest child. He wasn’t worried about her (he knew she had no problem meeting new people), but he couldn’t help but feel that now that all three of his children were away at Hogwarts, his life was going to be so much different.
The family made their way through Kings Cross, attracting some attention from unsuspecting muggles who were not used to seeing parades of trunks, owls, and cats at a train station. When they got to the barrier between platforms 9 and 10, Lily grinned at her parents and started running straight at the wall.
“Lily! Wait for your father or I to escort you through!” exclaimed Ginny. But Lily pretended as if she had not heard her mother and continued on. When she emerged on the other side of the brick wall and saw the scarlet steam engine that would soon take her to Hogwarts, Lily could hardly contain her excitement. She waited for her brothers and parents to join her on the platform, and then peered through the crowd in search of other family members.
“Mum, there’s Hugo and Rose!” shouted Lily, then ran over to her favourite cousins. The Potters and Weasley-Grangers greeted each other (as if they hadn’t just had dinner together last night…) and continued searching the crowd for their many relatives.
They were joined shortly by Bill, George and Percy’s families, all of whom had children going off to Hogwarts.
George had married Angelina Johnson, and they had two children together: Fred, who was in his 5th year, and Roxanne, who was in her 2nd year. Bill and Fleur’s daughter Victoire had finished Hogwarts a year and a half ago, but their younger daughter Dominique was in her 6th year and their son Louis was in his 4th year. Percy married a woman named Audrey, and together they had Molly (2nd year) and Lucy (1st year). So far, the entire bunch had been sorted into Gryffindor.
“James, Al, I want you to look after your sister,” Harry told his two sons. Lily rolled her eyes- like she needed looking after. She was perfectly capable of handling her own, and she was about to tell her father so when he engulfed her in a big hug.
“Lil, I know you are a strong, smart, independent person, but I hope you will learn how to accept help. One of my biggest problems at school was that I wouldn’t let others help me, even when I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. I didn’t want anyone to get hurt for me. But you won’t have those problems, and I hope you will learn to let others care for you.”
“Dad, don’t worry. I’ll have so many cousins around- not to mention James and Al- that it will be impossible for me not to let them in. I’m so excited, Dad! But I’ll miss you and Mum so much,” said Lily. At this last statement, Harry hugged her again, his eyes slowly filling with tears. He relinquished his daughter to Ginny, who had her turn hugging the beautiful girl.
“Promise you’ll write,” said Ginny, “now that you’re not around, I need to hear about all your new adventures. You’ll be brilliant, sweetheart.”
Lily nodded at her mother and father, let James and Al have their turn saying goodbye, and all three of them joined their cousins on the train.
The large group managed to find a compartment big enough to hold all of them. The Potter-Weasley clan (or as some had come to call them, the “Wotters”) were famous around school for their family’s contribution to the war. Being related to the Boy who Lived can really make you well-known in the wizarding community.
As Lily waved to her parents from the window of the now departing train, she felt a little sad that she was leaving them behind. When the train rounded the corner, however, the sadness was quickly replaced by eager anticipation.
The journey to Hogwarts was filled with chatting, laughter, and mounds of sweets. The cousins relished in the fact that they were now away from their parents and could do and eat what they wanted—at least until they got to school. Everyone was merry and excited. Everyone except Lucy and Hugo, that was.
“You two have nothing to worry about. It doesn’t take a genius to see that you’ll be sorted into Gryffindor just like everyone else here. Honestly, don’t be nervous,” scolded Rose softly. She always told it like it was, just like her mother. This did not seem to comfort the two first years, however.
“Guys, I’m going to be sorted tonight too, and I’m not worried about it!” said Lily. She remembered how nervous Albus was about being sorted into Slytherin, and how that night the hat put him in Gryffindor as soon as it had touched his head. She felt sure that the same was going to happen to her.
“But Lily, you’re so brave! I’ve never done anything brave in my life,” squeaked Lucy. She was the quietest of the bunch on a normal day, but these were the first words she had uttered all day.
“Being a Gryffindor is more than just being brave,” said James, “there’s also nerve and chivalry.”
“Yeah, and Lucy, you’re so generous and courteous! Not to mention kind- you’ll have no problem,” supplied Molly.
“What about me?” asked Hugo. He wasn’t as anxious as Lucy, but he still worried what his father would say if he was sorted into any other house.
“Hugo, you’ve got more nerve than anyone here, I swear,” said Fred. It was true- while Rose told it like it was, she at least knew when to hold her tongue. Hugo lacked all sense of propriety, and wasn’t afraid to tell people exactly how he felt, no matter the consequences.
“Honestly, can we talk about something else? I feel like we have this conversation every time anyone is starting Hogwarts, and that’s practically every year!” said an exasperated Dominique.
“Good idea,” said Al, “let’s talk about what foods we’re excited to eat at the feast tonight!”
The rest of the train ride went by quickly. Hugo and Lucy cheered up significantly, and Lily was just happy to be in the company of her family. Sometimes they could be rather annoying, but they were always there for her, just as she would be for them.
When the train came to a stop, the group hopped off the train and went to greet Hagrid. Lily, Hugo and Lucy followed him to the boats that would take them across the lake, while the others went to the carriages that they all knew were pulled by thestrals (luckily, none of them could see the skeleton-like horses).
As the boats glided across the lake, the first years got their first glimpse at Hogwarts. Well, for Lily it wasn’t exactly her first; she was there every May for the annual ceremony to commemorate the Battle of Hogwarts, and to honor those who were lost. Though it had occurred over twenty years ago, the wizarding world still celebrated the outcome of the war and mourned those who were lost to it, and they probably always would.
When they pulled into the underground lake, the deputy headmaster, Professor Mutatio, escorted them into the Great Hall to be sorted. The sorting hat sang its song, and Professor Mutatio called the students’ names off a list. Lily caught Albus’ eye and he winked at her and gave her the thumbs up. She grinned back and turned her attention back to the front of the room. Professor McGonagall sat in the Headmistress’ chair, observing the newest batch of students as they were sorted into their houses.
Finally, Lily’s name was called. She bounded to the front of the room, sat on the stool, and allowed Professor Mutatio to place the hat on her head.
When nothing happened straight away, Lily began to get nervous. Suddenly, a voice in her head was speaking to her.
“So, another Potter has entered Hogwarts. Though this Potter is a mystery. No doubt you have talent, but it is not the sort of talent that would allow you to do well in Gryffindor. Strange… your brothers and cousins were so much easier…”
Hat, it’s obvious where I’m supposed to be! Don’t be stupid, put me in Gryffindor where I belong, thought Lily.
“Well, you certainly have spirit. But the question is, where would that spirit do you best? I have made my decision.”
Lily gripped the edge of her stool and waited to hear her fate. She opened her eyes and caught sight of her family looking at her nervously from the Gryffindor table. Why did they always have to worry about her so much? She could handler her own…
“Slytherin!” shouted the hat.
A/N: So yeah. Don’t get mad. I know it’s weird for a Wotter to be sorted into Slytherin, but times have changed and the house is no longer full of muggle-haters and snobbish purebloods, I promise. Sorry about the cliffhanger, I always hate it when authors use this plot device too frequently, but it just felt right to finish the chapter. The next chapter will be up soon, but if you have anything to say in the meantime, feel free to leave a review!
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