Chapter 2 : First Night
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The boat made ripples in the water as it propelled forward into the black mist of the night. In front of my boat I could make out the bright lanterns and figures of the other small ships ahead of us, but not easily. I sat next to Rose and in front of us were two fellow first year boys, who were shaking. Not out of the cold, I don’t think. More like out of fear, and I understand. I’m not as nervous as I was on the train, though, because I’m confident in myself that I will make Gryffindor, where I want to be.
Rose turned to me while I was thinking and said “Al, what house do you think I’ll be sorted into?”
I laughed at the irony. “Now, you’re nervous? Blimey Rose, we’ve switched places.”
She did not laugh or even smile. She just looked scared. “Al…I kinda know that you’re going to make it into Gryffindor. I don’t even think you notice, but your incredibly brave, Al. You really are! But me…I mean, I don’t think I’ll end up in Slytherin, but I wouldn’t be surprised if was sorted into Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff. And….I couldn’t stand being in a different house from you!” With that, a tear ran down her cheek and she threw herself into my arms. Surprised, my eyes widened, but quickly they filled with sadness, and I put my arms around her, too.
Rose means a lot to me, but I really did not know the feeling was this mutual. It felt good in a way, but it also gave me heavy sadness to know Rose has been in this much pain this entire time, and apparently disguising it by getting after me about being nervous, and helping me instead of herself.
“You won’t, Rose,” I whispered. “I promise you won’t. You’re always standing up for what you believe in, and protecting others. You just won’t.”
Slowly and shakily, she let go of me and pulled away. The two boys in front of us were looking back at us wide-eyed. “Are you two in love?” said the boy on the right. Honestly, I could smack that kid across the face. “No, kid,” I replied as calmly as possible. “We’re best friends and cousins. Get it? C-O-U-S-I-N-S, yeah?”
“Alright, alright, if you say so,” the boy replied, shrugging. The boy had long brown hair, a bit like my dad’s (before he had gotten a crew-cut a few years back, saying that he needed to look professional and not look like he was just in a hurricane all the time) but this boy had more of a trendy, skater-style haircut, though.
The boy on the left had blond hair, cut to about two inches, I’d say. But, the boy had multi-colored eyes. By that I mean, his left eye (from where I was looking) was baby blue, but his right eye was-and no, I’m not joking- bright red. And while this boy was turned around, he was staring directly at me. I don’t mean he was trying to hide it; he was just sort of…looking right into my eyes, with no shame at all. After what seemed like hours, he turned around.
“Don’t mind him,” said the boy on the right. “He doesn’t have the most…erm…social skills. I’m Davy,” he said, holding out his hand. “And this is Knox, he’s been my best friend sense childhood. We were next-door neighbors, and we came from the only two wizarding families in the area, not to mention he hasn’t got any siblings. I do, though, a big brother and big sister, both in Gryffindor. And I know who you two are.”
Davy was grinning, and I groaned. “Are introductions even necessary?” I sighed. “I’m Albus Potter, and this is my cousin, Rose Weasley.”
“Nice to meet you, Rose and Albus. I didn’t recognize you two at first, I admit, but I’m sure everyone at school will almost straight away.”
I grimaced. “That’s what I was hoping wouldn’t happen, really.”
Davy laughed. “Of course, of course, you’re probably sick of all the attention. I would be, too. Sorry about all that, mate!” He slapped my shoulder playfully and continued laughing.
I looked at Rose, and we shared a look. Davy was one of the most laid-back blokes I’ve ever met, and that’s saying something (I mean, have you met Jeremy?). If what Davy said was true, that he and Knox are childhood friends, they must have been forced together or something, because they seemed to be complete opposites.
The rest of the journey was silent, until of course, after what seemed like ages, the mist finally cleared, and there it was. Hogwarts castle was absolutely beautiful. Through the light mist, the candles of the castle gleamed with an inviting, warm, yet mysterious air about it. The size of it took me (and Rose, as I noticed her mouth agape next to me) by shock. I mean, I knew it was supposed to be big, but big is an understatement, where it stood proudly on a small cliff overlooking the lake.
Everyone sat in awe, as Hagrid told us a few basic rules and a basic history of Hogwarts, all things I already knew. So I zoned out, staring at the castle, and before I knew it, we were landing ashore and heading through a large door into the castle. It all happened very fast, most likely because, even though I was determined to be in Gryffindor, I was still nervous about the sorting ceremony.
As soon as we entered the castle, a wave of warmth rushed over us. It was like when you are out in the snow for a few hours, your ears are burning from the cold and your face is as freezing as the artic wastes, and you go back inside and eat something warm by the fire. Yeah, that kind of warm, but even better. The kind of good, safe feeling that only magic could bring.
The Hogwarts interior was lined with paintings (some dating back to the dark ages, no doubt) and an incredible stone architecture, the likes of which I’d never seen in my life. The whole place sort of reminded me of the Ministry of Magic, except with a less modern feel to it.
As we walked across what I assumed was the entrance hall, I noticed huge double-doors at the other side, which was probably the way in to the Great Hall, where our sorting would take place. In front of these doors was a bald man, who wore black robes and had a scar that ran from his forehead straight down his (closed, thankfully) left eye. Immediately, I knew who this was from James’ descriptions of people at Hogwarts.
“Good evening,” he said, as the group came to a halt in front of him. He spoke with a strict, but somehow friendly voice. “My name is Professor Blanc, teacher of Defense Against the Dark Arts and head of Gryffindor house.”
Yep, Professor Aegis Blanc. Jeremy wouldn’t stop talking about him over the summer, and if his stories are true, he has every right to. Blanc is an ex-auror; he was actually only on the force for only two years. But, a dark wizard had gotten the jump on him while on him while on mission, and he had gotten a deep cut on his leg and nearly gotten his eye taken out of his socket. Nasty, I know. So, without having a properly working leg and not having the precise vision an auror needs to have, he decided that, instead of doing desk-work in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement all his life, he would give back and teach. Dad had also worked with him, and said that he was one of the greatest duelers he had ever met. So, interesting bloke, and for the record, dad told me all that stuff about him, there’s no way James could handle all that information at one time.
“When you walk through these doors,” Blanc continued. “The sorting ceremony will commence, and you will become part of one of four houses. The four houses are…”
At this point, I drifted off. I knew everything he was about to say, and I really wasn’t in the mood to listen to all of it again. I looked around at all the fellow firsties, and noticed some interesting-looking people. A boy with sleek black hair, a girl with long blonde hair in a ponytail with a little lip gloss (Rose wouldn’t be caught dead with that on her face she hates make-up). I also noticed a small boy with very short, dirty blonde hair and dark brown eyes. After a few seconds, I realized that this was the boy Uncle Ron told Rose to beat in every test, Scorpius Malfoy.
“So,” said Professor Blanc, apparently rapping up his little Hogwarts introductory speech. “Is everyone ready?” He paused, and there was silence. “Good. Now, we will all walk through these doors in an orderly fashion. Please keep your voices at a whisper for the duration of the ceremony.”
With that, Blanc turned around and flicked his wand in the direction of the doors. They opened slowly, and everyone in the group followed Blanc’s limping figure into the huge room in front of us.
The Great Hall truly was great. Floating candles lined the starry ceiling, creating a beautiful combined glow of fire and starlight that lit the entire room. Four incredibly long tables stood in the center, taking up the most room. I figured that there was one for each house, while a staff table overlooked the room.
The group moved to the front of the room until finally, we made it through. Awkward silence filled the air as Blanc limped over to a stool where a very battered old at sat. That must be the Sorting Hat my dad was on about. Blanc conjured a fancy-looking scroll that was lined with gold and was made with an expensive looking, thin cloth.
Professor Blanc cleared his throat. “When I say your name, please take a seat on the stool, where you will be sorted.” He paused, looking at the list. “Atroth, Charles.” A tall, skinny boy with dark hair walked up to the stool, and quickly took a seat. And I mean he was tall. He may even be bigger than Fred, whose a fourth year.
Blanc put the Sorting Hat on his head, and after a few moments, the hat shouted “Slytherin!” The boy grinned, and the table to the far left erupted in applause and cheers. So that’s how it worked. I was simple enough; I think I can handle it. Rose, who was, as usual, right next to me, seemed at ease, knowing that was all she had to do.
For some time, Blanc called names I’d never heard. The sleek-haired boy I’d noticed in the entrance hall turned out to be named Gregory Malum, who was sorted into Slytherin as soon as the hat had touched his head. I bet he’s a cunning bloke, being sorted into Slytherin that quickly.
Right after this, Blanc called “Malfoy, Scorpius,” up to the stool. Scorpius hurried to the stool, and there was a tense silence throughout the hall. Everyone knew the Malfoy’s had a history of using the Dark Arts, and even being affiliated with Lord Voldemort. Even though Draco had done his best to clear his family’s name, it was still pretty common knowledge that, of course, all Malfoy’s would definitely be sorted into-
There was a gasping noise that came from almost everyone in the Great Hall. Lots of students (and teachers, for that matter) shared looks with each other. I could hardly believe it. Had the hat made a mistake? No, no, that couldn’t be it; the hat doesn’t ever make mistakes, from what Dad told me about it. I guess that Scorpius is just the exact opposite as the rest of his family. I guess I’m open-minded enough to except it, I’m just worried about the rest of my family…
The silence that followed was a long one, as Scorpius walked towards the Gryffindor table, his head down and his footsteps echoing throughout the hall. He sat down at the Gryffindor table, head still down and he didn’t move a single muscle.
Blanc, aware that all attention was on the poor boy, cleared his throat yet again, and everyone looked back to the front of the Great Hall. “Well, on with the ceremony. Norton, Oliver.” And so, a few more names were called, until the inevitable happened. “Potter, Albus.”
Well, here we go, I guess. Bombs away, and and all that. I walked up to the front of the group, aware of all eyes on me, and I sat diligently on the stool. Blanc put the Sorting Hat on my head, and it began.
“Oh, ho ho,” said the Sorting Hat. “Yet another Potter. Let’s see here…There is quite a bit of love and loyalty for your family, especially to your cousin, am I right? Yes, quite enough to put you into Hufflepuff. But, the knowledge of a Ravenclaw also resides in your head. Also, you have the instinct to do whatever it takes to succeed, much like a Slytherin.”
I grimaced, and thought “Yeah, but could you please not put me in that house, I would appreciate both Rose and I getting into Gryffindor, thanks.”
The Sorting Hat chuckled. “Asking like your father, are we? Well then, above all your emotions, you have the want to protect your loved ones at any cost. So, even if you hadn’t asked, it would still be…Gryffindor!”
Cheers erupted from the Gryffindor table, and I grinned bigger than I ever had before. I ran right to the table, high-fiving Fred, Jeremy, Trish, Georgia, and Kent. I sat down right next to Trish and an empty space, hoping that Rose would fill that gap when she was sorted.
There were a few more that were sorted, including the blonde girl I saw in the entrance hall. Her name was Faye Valentine, and she was sorted into Gryffindor. Finally, Professor Blanc called “Weasley, Rose.” And I watched a very nervous-looking best friend walk slowly to the front of the room and take a seat. After just a few moments of sitting on the stool, the Sorting Hat called out exactly what I hoped it would say.
I breathed a sigh of relief as Rose running to the table smiling and laughing as the clapping and whooping from the Gryffindor table sounded throughout the hall. Rose sat right next to me when she got there, and gave me yet another great big hug. We both smiled and I punched her shoulder playfully.
“Settle down, settle down!” A voice sounded from the front of the room, where a man was standing at the center of the staff table. “As usual, I would like to welcome you to a brand new year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. If you are in first year, then I would like to welcome you and wish you good luck on your Hogwarts carrier. I would also like to mention that the Forbidden Forest is out of bounds to all, no exceptions.” He seemed to be looking at my cousins when he stated the last sentence.
“Now, I would like to introduce new staff members to you all. For those of you who don’t know, I am Headmaster Grant. Now, as most of you know, we have two important staff members leaving us last year. Professor Binns, who has been teaching here for almost 100 years, has wondered off somewhere, and his spirit now haunts the Forbidden Forest. To fill his position of History of Magic teacher, we have Professor John Smith, and his assistant Ms. Amy Pond.”
I realized that these were the two strange people from the train. They had both sense changed into wizarding robes, and now actually seemed to fit in. A little.
Professor Smith may be in wizarding robes, but for some reason, he wore a bright red bow tie that peaked out of his collar. As he stood to wave he wobbled (there’s no other adjective to explain it) about and reached over Professor Longbottom to grab some celery off of his plate. Ms. Pond, as she was apparently called, slapped Smith’s hand away, and he cringed like a small child. Realizing all attention was on them, they waved and smiled, and sat back down. Let me just say that, for the record, I am going to greatly enjoy History of Magic this year.
“Um, yes” said Grant, who actually seemed to be at a loss for words, as a small wave of laughter erupted from all over the Great Hall. “Last year, another staff member also left us to retire, after some time. That man was Potion’s Master here, and dear Professor Slughorn will be missed. So, please help me in welcoming our new Potions Master, Professor Allison Hendrix.”
A small woman with long brown hair stood up, giving a huge, bright smile to Great Hall at large. She seemed extremely nice and friendly, so no doubt potions will be a fun class, too.
“I know you must be hungry from the long journey, so, without further ado, so please, enjoy the feast!”
Food appeared in front of us, and it looked like Jeremy was about to jump all over it. He did the next best thing, and began cramming every morsel of food into his mouth, but food appeared even faster than Jeremy could eat it. Trish glared at Jeremy while he was doing this, and tried to stop him a couple times. But, it was a vain attempt, as Jeremy just shook her off. I laughed at the scene, and began eating food of my own.
Dinner past quickly and, before I knew it, prefects were guiding us first-years to our respective common room. Our group led by my cousin Georgia and a burly-looking fifth-year prefect, climbed for about two minutes up to the seventh floor of the castle, teaching us short-cuts to get to the Great Hall quicker along the way. Soon, we made it to the portrait of the fat lady, and Georgia gave the password, which was “Salamander” for the rest of September.
I soon as we entered the common room, which was decked out with scarlet everything, the prefects told us to go straight to bed and get some rest for our first real day tomorrow. We obliged, and went right to our dorms on the first floor. I said goodbye to Rose, and I climbed up the stairs to the first floor of the dorms.
As I entered the room, I found that I would be sharing it with Davy, Knox…and Scorpius Malfoy. Of course I would. Well, I suppose that would be all right. If he was sorted into Gryffindor, than he must be a nice bloke (Well, some of my cousins aren’t nice, and they’re all in Gryffindor, but that’s because we’re related, and we aren’t supposed to get along).
Davy made conversation with Scorpius and started talking and laughing loudly as I slipped into my pajamas and clambered into bed. The conversation didn’t last long, because Scorpius said he was too tired to chat. Eventually, the lights went off, and we all fell asleep. Well, not me.
I lie awake for a little while, imagining what the day ahead would be like. Realizing this wasn’t helping me fall asleep at all, I thought of more peaceful things, like the fact that Rose and I were in the same house, and that house was Gryffindor. I smiled as my head found a comfortable place on my pillow, and soon enough, I drifted off to sleep.
A/N: So that's Chappy 2! I hope you enjoyed, please, please, please review, it really does encourage me to keep on writing this! Sorry about the rushed ending to the chapter, I hope you don't mind. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't think of a good way to end the chapter without Al falling asleep, so please forgive those last few paragraphs. Also sorry about the late update, my schedule did not allow for much writing the past week.
Thanks for reading!
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