Get a Sorting Hat from the Harry Potter Books and Movies
Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets - Hufflepuff Edition
Let the magic of J.K. Rowling''s classic series take you back to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Issued to mark the 20th anniversary of first publication of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, these irresistible House Editions celebrate the noble character of the four Hogwarts houses. Featuring gorgeous house-themed cover art and interior line illustrations by Kate Greenaway Medal winner Levi Pinfold, each book will also have vibrant sprayed edges in the house livery. Entertaining bonus features exclusive to each house accompany the novel. All seven books in the series will be issued in these highly collectable House Editions. A must-have for anyone who has ever imagined sitting under the Sorting Hat in the Great Hall at Hogwarts waiting to hear the words, ''Better be HUFFLEPUFF!'' You''ll always find a home at Hogwarts! Price 27.99 CAD
Let the magic of J.K. Rowling''s classic series take you back to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Issued to mark the 20th anniversary of first publication of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, these irresistible House Editions celebrate the noble character of the four Hogwarts houses. Featuring gorgeous house-themed cover art and interior line illustrations by Kate Greenaway Medal winner Levi Pinfold, each book will also have vibrant sprayed edges in the house livery. Entertaining bonus features exclusive to each house accompany the novel. All seven books in the series will be issued in these highly collectable House Editions.
A must-have for anyone who has ever imagined sitting under the Sorting Hat in the Great Hall at Hogwarts waiting to hear the words, ''Better be HUFFLEPUFF!''
You''ll always find a home at Hogwarts!
Price 27.99 CAD
Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets - Hufflepuff Edition
Let the magic of J.K. Rowling''s classic series take you back to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Issued to mark the 20th anniversary of first publication of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, these irresistible House Editions celebrate the noble character of the four Hogwarts houses. Featuring gorgeous house-themed cover art and interior line illustrations by Kate Greenaway Medal winner Levi Pinfold, each book will also have vibrant sprayed edges in the house livery. Entertaining bonus features exclusive to each house accompany the novel. All seven books in the series will be issued in these highly collectable House Editions. A must-have for anyone who has ever imagined sitting under the Sorting Hat in the Great Hall at Hogwarts waiting to hear the words, ''Better be HUFFLEPUFF!'' You''ll always find a home at Hogwarts! Price 14.99 CAD
You''ll always find a home at Hogwarts!
Price 14.99 CAD
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban - Slytherin Edition
Let the magic of J.K. Rowling''s classic Harry Potter series take you back to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Issued to mark the 20th anniversary of first publication of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, this irresistible Slytherin House Edition celebrates the noble character of the Hogwarts house famed for its pride, ambition and cunning. Harry''s third year at Hogwarts is packed with thrilling Slytherin moments, including Draco Malfoy''s typically sneaky attempts to sabotage the Gryffindor Seeker . With vibrant sprayed edges in Slytherin house livery, the book features beautiful house-themed cover artwork with intricate gold foiling. With an exciting, bespoke introduction exploring the history of Slytherin House, and exclusive insights into the use of the Patronus Charm by favourite Slytherin characters, the book also boasts a spectacular image by Kate Greenaway winner Levi Pinfold of Severus Snape conjuring his Patronus. All seven books in the series will be issued in these highly collectable, beautifully crafted House Editions, designed to be treasured and read for years to come. A must-have for anyone who has ever imagined sitting under the Sorting Hat in the Great Hall at Hogwarts waiting to hear the words, ''Better be SLYTHERIN!'' Price 27.99 CAD
Let the magic of J.K. Rowling''s classic Harry Potter series take you back to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Issued to mark the 20th anniversary of first publication of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, this irresistible Slytherin House Edition celebrates the noble character of the Hogwarts house famed for its pride, ambition and cunning. Harry''s third year at Hogwarts is packed with thrilling Slytherin moments, including Draco Malfoy''s typically sneaky attempts to sabotage the Gryffindor Seeker .
With vibrant sprayed edges in Slytherin house livery, the book features beautiful house-themed cover artwork with intricate gold foiling. With an exciting, bespoke introduction exploring the history of Slytherin House, and exclusive insights into the use of the Patronus Charm by favourite Slytherin characters, the book also boasts a spectacular image by Kate Greenaway winner Levi Pinfold of Severus Snape conjuring his Patronus. All seven books in the series will be issued in these highly collectable, beautifully crafted House Editions, designed to be treasured and read for years to come.
A must-have for anyone who has ever imagined sitting under the Sorting Hat in the Great Hall at Hogwarts waiting to hear the words, ''Better be SLYTHERIN!''
Price 27.99 CAD
Harry Potter Mystery Minis Series 2 Random 4-Pack
Begin a magical adventure with Harry Potter Mystery Minis Series 2! From the beloved films comes this second wave of mini-figures based on your favorite wizards and magical creatures. Wave 2 includes Harry, Ron, and Hermione wearing the Sorting Hat, Snape, Luna Lovegood, and memorable creatures like the merfolk, a Thestral, and more! Each stylized mini-figure measures approximately 2 1/2-inches tall and comes packaged in a blind box. Ages 3 and up. This Harry Potter Mystery Minis Series 2 Random 4-Pack includes 4 randomly selected and individually packaged mini-figures. Breakdown not available at this time. Please note: This item may have variants randomly inserted throughout the production run. We cannot accept requests for specific variants, nor can we accept returns on opened items. The item you receive may be different from the one pictured. Please note: Item selection is random. Items are in blind packaging. We cannot accept requests for specific items, nor can we accept returns on opened items. You may receive duplicates.
Harry Potter Mystery Minis Series 2 Display Case
Begin a magical adventure with Harry Potter Mystery Minis Series 2! From the beloved films comes this second wave of mini-figures based on your favorite wizards and magical creatures. Wave 2 includes Harry, Ron, and Hermione wearing the Sorting Hat, Snape, Luna Lovegood, and memorable creatures like the merfolk, a Thestral, and more! Each stylized mini-figure measures approximately 2 1/2-inches tall and comes packaged in a blind box. Ages 3 and up. This Harry Potter Mystery Minis Series 2 Display Case includes 12 individually packaged mini-figures. Breakdown not available at this time. Please note: This item may have variants randomly inserted throughout the production run. We cannot accept requests for specific variants, nor can we accept returns on opened items. The item you receive may be different from the one pictured. Please note: Item selection is random. Items are in blind packaging. We cannot accept requests for specific items, nor can we accept returns on opened items. You may receive duplicates.
Pottermore Secrets And Mysteries Revealed: The Unofficial Guide to Pottermore.com
<P style="MARGIN: 0px">Pottermore.com allows you to experience the adventures of Harry Potter in a whole new and exciting way. During your quest, you''ll re-live important and memorable scenes from the Harry Potter books, and take part in your own, unique and interactive adventure that''s chock full of places to explore, characters to interact with, magical or enchanted items to find, creatures to learn about, and mysterious puzzles to solve. Everything you need to know in order to experience and enjoy Pottermore.com is included within this book, such as:<P style="MARGIN: 0px"> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">• An easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide through Book 1 of your Pottermore.com adventure.<P style="MARGIN: 0px">• Put on the Sorting Hat and get placed within Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Slytherin, so you can experience your own, unique adventure and begin earning House Points.<P style="MARGIN: 0px">• Follow in the footsteps of Harry as you re-live memorable scenes fromHarry Potter and the Sorcerer''s Stone, and unlock never-before-revealed details about the characters, creatures, places, and objects from the Harry Potter books.<P style="MARGIN: 0px">• Find all of the hidden items, and solve mysteries throughout your quest.<P style="MARGIN: 0px">• Learn the secrets for becoming an expert at potion brewing.<P style="MARGIN: 0px">• Master the art of Wizard''s Duels and learn how to successfully cast powerful spells.<P style="MARGIN: 0px">• Discover how to unlock the exclusive content within Pottermore written by J.K. Rowling.<P style="MARGIN: 0px"> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">If you''re a fan of the Harry Potter books and movies, you''ll definitely want to experience Pottermore.com. Grab your wand and a copy of this unofficial strategy guide, so you won''t miss out on anything that Pottermore.com has to offer! Your training at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry awaits!<P style="MARGIN: 0px">
Price 20.99 CAD
The Unofficial Guide To Crafting The World Of Harry Potter: 30 Magical Crafts For Witches And Wizards-from Pencil Wands To House C
Charming crafts even Muggles can make!<BR><BR> You won't need alchemy or a magic wand to make these magical projects inspired by the world of Harry Potter. With a little Hogwarts creativity and the step-by-step guidance of this spellbinding book, you'll be able to transfigurate simple supplies and things around the house into everything from Remembrall Rings to Butterbeer Lip Balm to Nargles for your front lawn.<BR><BR> You'll be as busy as Mrs. Weasley knitting her Christmas sweaters as you dive into dozens of Potterific projects. Relive the excitement of Harry's adventures with these genius crafts. Drop some homemade Pgymy Puff Bath Fizzies into the tub and pretend you're Moaning Myrtle. Keep memories of the Quidditch pitch close with your very own Golden Snitch Necklace. Or show off the Sorting Hat's selection with a House Colors Tie-Dye Shirt.<BR><BR> Accio, crafting supplies--it's time for some wonderful wizardly fun!
Price 22.99 CAD
Price 22.99 CAD
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban - Gryffindor Edition
Let the magic of J.K. Rowling''s classic Harry Potter series take you back to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Issued to mark the 20th anniversary of first publication of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, this irresistible Gryffindor House Edition celebrates the noble character of the Hogwarts house famed for its courage, bravery and determination. Harry''s third year at Hogwarts is packed with thrilling Gryffindor moments, including the appearance four of its most memorable alumni, Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs! With vibrant sprayed edges in Gryffindor house livery, the book features beautiful house-themed cover artwork with intricate gold foiling. With an exciting, bespoke introduction exploring the history of Gryffindor House, and exclusive insights into the use of the Patronus Charm by favourite Gryffindor characters, the book also boasts a spectacular image by Kate Greenaway winner Levi Pinfold of Hermione Granger conjuring her Patronus. All seven books in the series will be issued in these highly collectable, beautifully crafted House Editions, designed to be treasured and read for years to come. A must-have for anyone who has ever imagined sitting under the Sorting Hat in the Great Hall at Hogwarts waiting to hear the words, ''Better be GRYFFINDOR!'' Price 27.99 CAD
Let the magic of J.K. Rowling''s classic Harry Potter series take you back to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Issued to mark the 20th anniversary of first publication of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, this irresistible Gryffindor House Edition celebrates the noble character of the Hogwarts house famed for its courage, bravery and determination. Harry''s third year at Hogwarts is packed with thrilling Gryffindor moments, including the appearance four of its most memorable alumni, Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs!
With vibrant sprayed edges in Gryffindor house livery, the book features beautiful house-themed cover artwork with intricate gold foiling. With an exciting, bespoke introduction exploring the history of Gryffindor House, and exclusive insights into the use of the Patronus Charm by favourite Gryffindor characters, the book also boasts a spectacular image by Kate Greenaway winner Levi Pinfold of Hermione Granger conjuring her Patronus. All seven books in the series will be issued in these highly collectable, beautifully crafted House Editions, designed to be treasured and read for years to come.
A must-have for anyone who has ever imagined sitting under the Sorting Hat in the Great Hall at Hogwarts waiting to hear the words, ''Better be GRYFFINDOR!''
Price 27.99 CAD
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban - Gryffindor Edition
Let the magic of J.K. Rowling''s classic Harry Potter series take you back to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Issued to mark the 20th anniversary of first publication of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, this irresistible Gryffindor House Edition celebrates the noble character of the Hogwarts house famed for its courage, bravery and determination. Harry''s third year at Hogwarts is packed with thrilling Gryffindor moments, including the appearance four of its most memorable alumni, Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs! With vibrant sprayed edges in Gryffindor house livery, the book features beautiful house-themed cover artwork with intricate gold foiling. With an exciting, bespoke introduction exploring the history of Gryffindor House, and exclusive insights into the use of the Patronus Charm by favourite Gryffindor characters, the book also boasts a spectacular image by Kate Greenaway winner Levi Pinfold of Hermione Granger conjuring her Patronus. All seven books in the series will be issued in these highly collectable, beautifully crafted House Editions, designed to be treasured and read for years to come. A must-have for anyone who has ever imagined sitting under the Sorting Hat in the Great Hall at Hogwarts waiting to hear the words, ''Better be GRYFFINDOR!'' Price 14.99 CAD
Price 14.99 CAD
Visit our friendly forum, get sorted into your house by The Sorting Hat and join in the talk about the Harry Potter movies and books, like these recent posts:
Joined: 11 September 2002
Location: Pretending to be a sea slug with 'go faster' stripes...
Posted: Friday 26 August 2011 01 27 04 pm Post subject: Re: Introductions and FAQ's in topic:Introductions and FAQ's
Come on new people! Don't be afraid to post. Your posts will not immediately appear, I do have to check the 1st 8. We decided it was better to have your posts moderated to begin with than to risk missing you in the floods of spam bots. I am checking the forum daily as much as possible, your posts will appear quickly.
After 8 your posts will appear instantly and then, after 25 you can ask the Sorting Hat to sort you and gain access to one of our common rooms. I think he is a bit dusty though, I'm going to have to get my allergy tablets and venture into the Headmaster's office if you make it that far... *aaaaaachooo!* Deary me, sneezing just thinking about it!
You can also take part in our RPG section, or for more chickens and less rules you can join us in Zonko's Joke shop.
We also have wizards chess http://www.broomsticksandowls.com/games/chess/login.php
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Sunday 8 August 2010 06 51 20 pm Post subject: Re: Beyond the Shadow in topic:Beyond the Shadow
Joined: 11 September 2002
Location: Pretending to be a sea slug with 'go faster' stripes...
Posted: Saturday 5 June 2010 07 51 20 pm Post subject: Re: Introductions and FAQ's in topic:Introductions and FAQ's
Hello! Welcome to BAO!
*waves wand and makes Sorting Hat shaped confetti fall from the ceiling*
I think I can guess which House you will join when you reach 25 posts...
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Wednesday 12 May 2010 10 51 56 am Post subject: Re: Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden in topic:Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden
Joined: 11 September 2002
Location: Pretending to be a sea slug with 'go faster' stripes...
Posted: Sunday 13 December 2009 01 39 14 pm Post subject: Re: Introductions and FAQ's in topic:Introductions and FAQ's
Hello!! I think I'm slightly late but Welcome to BaO!!
*waves wand and makes Sorting Hat shaped Christmas chocolates fall from the ceiling*
Joined: 13 January 2008
Location: In role play game of course!
Posted: Wednesday 4 November 2009 03 07 13 am Post subject: Re: The Sorting Hat in topic:The Sorting Hat
*makes an appearance at the sorting hat thread*
"Whyyyyyyyy does everyone always either want to be in Gryffindor or Slytherin? Sounds a bit like me in the beginning until I realised the perfect place for me was in HUFFLEPUFF! Now, who wants to buy my Gryffindor uniform, my 2 Gryffindor scarves, my Gryffindor emblem for my shirt, my Gryffindor socks, my I love Gryffindor Poster, and whatever else Gryfindor I might have so I can go out and buy myself something Hufflepuff!"
*moves eyes from the screen to stare at her collection of HP collectables that are far too Gold and red*
Joined: 10 October 2009
Location: Hidding in your closset...
Posted: Friday 30 October 2009 11 37 59 am Post subject: Re: The Sorting Hat in topic:The Sorting Hat
You know...I was looking at one of the other Sorting hat info, and it said 30 posts. I thought, 'Oh crap,' looked at my posts and it said 25. 5 posts later this month, it said 38. ^_^" WTH? I could have been sorted erlier T_T
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Thursday 15 October 2009 09 59 13 pm Post subject: Re: Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden in topic:Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden
Chapter 5: Linda Morales
Professor Kendrick rose to his feet. "May I have your attention!" he shouted and the room quieted down, "Thank you. Now, I have a few rather boring announcements, two somewhat exciting ones, and one really exciting one. I shall start with the boring ones.
"As usual, the forest and Whomping Willow are out of bounds to everyone. If you wish to try-out for your house's Quidditch team, give your name to your head of house. The Dueling Club and Junior's Dueling Club will be starting up again and once meetings have been set up, I shall let you know.
"As for the somewhat exciting announcements, we have a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Please welcome Professor Balladanis."
The stern looking professor stood up for a few seconds and received mediocre applause. He resumed his seat and Professor Kendrick turned back to the students.
"The other somewhat interesting announcement is that Hogwarts will be patrolled by Aurors a few days a week. After last year's incident, the Ministry has deemed this a necessary precaution to take. The Aurors are positive that Jarrett Willinson and Jameson Washburn will try to return to Hogwarts at some point this year. I do not tell you this to scare you, but to make you aware of the situation. If anyone sees any suspicious behavior or has any information regarding the whereabouts of either fugitive, please tell a teacher."
The entire Gryffindor table turned to Albus and his friends at this announcement. Albus felt his face turn red and he stared down at his plate. He really hated all the attention he got from what happened the previous two years.
"And now," Kendrick continued, "I have a very exciting announcement to make."
Albus grinned and turned to his friends, who were all wearing equal faces of excitement, and then turned back to the headmaster.
"First, I would like you all to remember the inter-house dueling from last year."
The entire hall groaned and people started whispering amongst themselves.
"Quiet down," Kendrick said, "There was a reason why I enacted that last year. More than just school unity, that is. I wanted the school to become more united because of an event that is taking place this year. An event that will put us into competition with other magical schools-"
"The Triwizard Tournament?!" Bradley exclaimed, "Is that it?"
"No," Kendrick replied, "This is not the Triwzard Tournament. It is a different competition that will involve more than just one student from each school.
"Tomorrow evening, shortly before dinner, a select group of students from the Adirondack Academy of Magic, which is in New York State, and the Australian School of Sorcery will travel to Hogwarts, where they will live and attend classes for the duration of the year."
Albus turned to look at Matt, who was gaping at Kendrick.
"The students from both schools will be Sorted into the four Hogwarts houses during a special Sorting ceremony tomorrow evening. They will live in whichever house they are Sorted into and attend classes with those in their year. I expect you all to treat them like they are fellow Hogwarts students.
"However, you will also be competing against them. There are two events. The first is Qudditch. Each of the schools has created a Quidditch team comprised of the best Quidditch players in their respective school. We will be doing the same thing here. The three teams will play each other throughout the year and whichever team wins shall receive the Quidditch Cup for Schools.
"The other event will be dueling. Each of the schools has also put together a team of the best duelers in their respective school. Again, we shall do the same. The tournaments will work much like the Dueling Club works here."
The entire school started talking at once. Albus thought the whole thing was brilliant. It was like the Triwizard Tournament, only less dangerous. Maybe he could even participate. He was a decent Chaser and dueler.
"Albus, you've got to try out for the Hogwarts Quidditch team!" John shouted.
"I will!" Albus grinned, "As long as they don't have an age limit or anything."
"I don't think they will," Rose said, "Quidditch isn't that dangerous."
"It kind of is," John laughed.
"Maybe I can duel," Kaden said, "I'm a second year now."
"I think it'll be great just to go to school with kids from Australia and New York!" Rose exclaimed, "Think of all we can learn from them!"
"Yeah," Amanda agreed.
"Quiet!" Kendrick shouted over the chatter and everyone settled down, "The Hogwarts Quidditch team is open to anyone who is currently on a House Quidditch team. I'm sorry if that upsets some of you, but it would be impossible to hold try-outs for the entire school, and I think it would be better if our team were comprised of those who have experience on a Quidditch team. If you have interest in trying out, please tell your head of house.
"Try-outs for the Hogwarts Dueling Team will be open to fifth through seventh years only."
"Crap," Kaden muttered.
"If you want to try out, give your name to your head of house. Try-outs for both teams will most likely be next weekend. I believe that is all I have to say for now. First years, please follow a prefect to your common room. Good night, everyone."
Albus got up from the table and walked to Gryffindor tower with his friends. They talked about the competition the entire time. Albus was incredibly excited about the prospect of playing for the Hogwarts Quidditch team, and a little nervous at the same time. Of course, his chances of getting picked were kind of slim. He was the youngest Chaser eligible to try out.
"Albus!" James pushed his way through the crowd of Gryffindors in the common room, "Are you trying out?"
"Of course!" Albus grinned, "You?"
"Yeah!" James exclaimed, "That's everybody! Everyone on the Gryffindor team is trying out! Wouldn't that be amazing if we were all picked?"
"You won't be," Rose said, "The whole point is to have a Hogwarts team, not a Gryffindor team."
"Albus and James will get picked," Kaden said adamantly, "You two are both great Quidditch players."
"Thanks, Kaden," Albus smiled, "But all the other Chasers are older than me."
"Doesn't matter," John assured him, "They'll be searching for skill, not age."
"Who's picking the team?" Amanda asked.
"Probably Professor Oteski," James said, "And maybe the heads of houses will help."
Albus and his friends talked about the Quidditch competition for another few minutes before retiring to their dormitories for the night. Albus climbed into his familiar four-poster bed, but found that he was too excited to sleep. The more he thought about the Hogwarts Quidditch team, the more he thought he actually had a chance of making it. He was also excited about having the Australian and American students at Hogwarts. He hadn't really met many foreign witches and wizards before, not including his Aunt Fleur's family. Matt and Amy and their parents were the closest he'd come, and they'd been living in England for a while. Matt didn't seem very excited about the whole thing, though. In fact, he had remained rather quiet ever since Kendrick made the announcement.
It was easy to feel the excitement at Hogwarts the next day. Since it was Sunday, classes weren't starting yet. Most people slept late, and the main topic of conversation in the Great Hall at lunchtime was the competition and the students from Australia and New York.
Georgia organized a spur of the moment Quidditch practice for the Gryffindor team in order to prepare for the Hogwarts Team try-outs. Albus and the rest of the team practiced for at least two hours that afternoon.
"You're a shoo-in, James," Albus told his brother as the two of them began to walk off the pitch, "Everyone knows you're the best Seeker in the school."
"Well, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw are the only other houses that are keeping their Seekers from last year," James pointed out, "So I'll only be competing against Lisa Galivant and Miranda Corner."
"And you're better than both of them," Albus said, "I'll be competing against at least six other Chasers."
"Yeah, but you're a good Chaser," James assured him.
Albus nodded and shouldered his broom. He was already nervous about the try-out, and it was almost a week away. What if he was so nervous during the try-out that he completely messed up? He'd just have to be sure to calm down by then. Albus sighed and continued walking off the pitch. Just as he was getting close to the stands, he noticed someone sitting alone in the lower level. It was Matt.
"I'll see you back in the common room," Albus said to his brother as he detoured towards the stands. James nodded and continued back towards the castle.
Matt had hardly said a word the entire day. He was normally quiet, but it was never a good sign when he was completely silent. Albus knew better than to ask why, but he was still curious. He had a feeling it had to do with the Australian students.
"Hey," Albus sat down next to Matt.
"Hi," Matt mumbled.
"Where's everyone else?" Albus asked.
"Rose is in the library researching about the magical schools in Australia and New York," Matt explained, "Amanda is with her."
"Why does that not surprise me," Albus smirked, "I'm assuming John isn't with them?"
"No," Matt gave a half-hearted laugh, "He and Kaden are in the Marauder's Den. I was there with them, but they kept talking about Quidditch and Dueling competitions and I just got sick of it, so I came out here."
Albus nodded. Matt was going to have a hard time finding someplace in the school where no one was talking about the competitions.
"Er, are you ok?" Albus asked tentatively, "I mean, you've been kind of quiet."
Matt sighed. "I," he paused, "I'm just not that excited about the competition thing. Well, it's not that, it's the fact that we're doing it with Australia."
"Oh," Albus said, not sure what to say next.
"I was supposed to go to the Australian School of Sorcery," Matt continued, "That's where Amy went. Then the headmaster told my parents I couldn't. In fact, he said it in a downright cruel way. I never read that letter. I think Mum burned it. But she never told me what it said. She just said it was mean. The headmaster hates, well, people like me."
Albus hadn't even thought about that. He turned to look at Matt. He looked quite upset about the whole thing. Albus had no idea what to say.
"I don't want the headmaster to come here," Matt said quietly, "I know that's stupid, really. I mean, he's never met me. And we moved five years ago. He probably wouldn't even recognize my last name."
"It's not stupid," Albus assured him. Albus couldn't really imagine what this was like for Matt, though. He supposed the only thing close would be if Washburn came back to teach or something. "But I don't think you'll really come into contact with their headmaster much. You can't try out for the Quidditch team or the Dueling Team, so I don't think you'll do much more than pass him in the corridor."
"I guess," Matt sighed, "It's just going to be so weird."
"Yeah," Albus agreed, "But I don't think anything will happen. This is Kendrick's school. Even if the Australian headmaster is here, he can't really do anything. He's got no control over anything here."
Matt nodded. "That's true. I hadn't really thought about that."
Albus stood up. "Come on, let's go find John and Kaden. I'm sure we can convince them not to talk about the competition. We could ask them how their plans for swimming in the Black Lake are coming."
Matt laughed, "They're all ready to do it. They just didn't want to do it today since you were practicing Quidditch and Rose and Amanda were in the library."
The rest of the afternoon went by very quickly. Shortly before dinner, Albus and his friends made their way into the Great Hall. The entire room was buzzing with excitement. Albus noticed that nearly all of the professors were wearing dress robes. The only one who wasn't was Professor Balladanis, who as wearing the same black robes as the previous day.
Albus sat down at the Gryffindor table, where everyone was talking about the foreign schools.
"I heard that the Australian School of Sorcery is underground!" Hugo shouted excitedly.
Matt snorted. "It's not."
"Oh, maybe it was the Adirondack Academy of Magic," Hugo replied.
"That one's not underground either," Matt laughed.
"How do you know they're not?" Hugo asked.
"My sister used to go to the Australian School of Sorcery," Matt explained, "And my uncle lives in New York. I've seen that school, too."
"Well, that's boring," Hugo muttered, "Would have been better if one of them was underground."
"Hey, Hugo," Kaden grinned, "Guess what the initials of Australian School of Sorcery are?"
"A, S, S," Hugo shrugged and then a big grin appeared on his face, "Ass! That's brilliant!"
"Quiet, please!" Kendrick shouted over the crowd, "The students from the Adirondack Academy of Magic shall be arriving at any moment!"
No sooner had Kendrick finished his sentence, people began to whisper and turn their heads towards the door. Albus craned his head up and saw a tall man striding into the Great Hall. He was wearing navy blue robes and had a rather large amount of messy grey hair on his head. Behind him were a dozen or so students wearing identical blue robes. Most of the students looked to be a few years older than Albus. They all stared around at the Great Hall, a couple of them pointing excitedly at the ceiling.
The tall man (who Albus presumed to be their headmaster) led the students to the staff table. Kendrick greeted them and then looked up at his own students.
"Let me introduce Professor Marvin Roberts, headmaster of the Adirondack Academy of Magic, and his students," Kendrick announced, "Welcome to Hogwarts."
Albus and the rest of the Hogwarts student body burst into applause. Once it died down, Kendrick opened his mouth again.
"And now, if I'm not mistaken, the students from the Australian School of Sorcery are arriving at the very moment."
Albus turned back towards the door and saw another man entering the room. He wore emerald green robes and was completely bald. He made up for the lack of hair on his head by sporting a pointy mustache and goatee. He wasn't nearly as tall as Roberts, but not short either. He walked purposefully towards the staff table with his group of students clad in matching emerald green robes following him.
Albus noticed that Matt didn't take his eyes off the man. It was almost like he was frozen in place, except for his eyes, which followed the man to the staff table.
"Now I'll introduce Professor Addair Killigan," Kendrick said, "And the students of the Australian School of Sorcery."
Albus clapped along with everyone else, but it was more subdued. He took an immediate dislike to Killigan just because of what Matt had said. Albus noticed that Matt didn't really clap at all.
"Thank you," Kendrick said once the clapping stopped, "Now, we shall have a special Sorting ceremony in order to find out which house you belong in. The four houses are Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, and Slytherin. While you are here at Hogwarts, you will live in your house dormitories, spend free time in your house common rooms, and attend classes with the other students in your house."
"You know, it'll be interesting to see if they adopt the house prejudices like we have," Rose whispered, "What if two of them are really good friends and then one is sorted into Gryffindor and the other into Slytherin?"
"I dunno," Albus shrugged. Rose had a point, though.
"To be Sorted, all you have to do is put on the Sorting Hat," Kendrick continued, "It will tell you where you should be."
Professor Patil stood up and walked around to the other side of the staff table. She was holding the three-legged stool and the Sorting Hat. She set the hat down on the stool and it burst into song.
There were loud gasps from all of the students from the other two schools. A few of the Hogwarts students giggled at this. All the foreign students stared intently at the hat and whispered amongst themselves.
"When I call your name, come sit on the stool and put on the hat. It will tell you which house you're in and then you can go sit at the appropriate table," Patil said after the hat stopped singing. "Allen, Gregory."
A tall and lanky boy with messy brown hair stepped away from the group and sat down on the stool. He was wearing navy blue robes, so he must have been from New York.
"Slytherin!" the hat shouted. Gregory Allen took the hat off and went to join the Slytherin table.
The Sorting continued and Albus clapped loudly whenever anyone got Sorted into Gryffindor. So far, all the new Gryffindors looked at least two years older than Albus.
"I think that bloke is going to have to lose the green robes," John commented as one of the Australian students was Sorted into Gryffindor, "It's just not normal to wear green robes when you're a Gryffindor."
"I imagine they'll get Gryffindor robes soon," Rose said.
"Do they even have houses at the Australian School of Sorcery?" John wondered aloud, "I mean, all their robes look alike."
"They do," Matt told him, "But those are the plain school robes."
"I'm guessing they wanted to look unified," Rose suggested, "I doubt Albus will wear Gryffindor Quidditch robes when he plays on the house team. They'll probably have special Hogwarts robes."
"If I'm on the team, Rose," Albus sighed. Everyone seemed to think he was going to make the team. What if he didn't? Everyone would be disappointed. Albus didn't really like the pressure.
"Morales, Linda," Patil shouted.
Albus turned back to the Sorting and saw a rather short girl step forward. Albus watched as she walked towards the three-legged stool and he couldn't take his eyes off her. She was beautiful. There wasn't really any other way to describe her. Albus hadn't ever seen a girl as pretty as she was. Her dark brown hair cascaded down her back in soft waves. It didn't quite match her surprisingly pale skin, but it was beautiful nonetheless. Her light skin went well with her emerald green robes. She looked a bit nervous as she sat down and Patil dropped the hat on her head.
Albus turned to look at his friends. Matt, John, and Kaden were all staring at the girl. So was James. In fact, all the boys at the Gryffindor table seemed to be staring at her. The girls were whispering to each other and glancing up at Linda Morales every so often.
The hat seemed to be taking forever to decide. The entire Great Hall had erupted in whispers. Finally, the brim of the hat burst open and shouted out, "Gryffindor!"
Linda Morales took off the hat and walked quickly towards the Gryffindor table.
"Bloody hell," John whispered as she took a seat a few places down from Albus.
Albus nodded and turned to look at the girl. She looked, if possible, even more nervous now that she was sitting down.
"Albus!" Rose seethed, "Don't stare at her!"
Albus shook his head to clear his thoughts and tried to turn his attention back to the Sorting. A little while later, the last student was Sorted into Hufflepuff and Patil and the other headmasters took seats behind the staff table.
Kendrick stood up. "I'm sure you are all quite famished by now, so without further ado, dinner is served." Kendrick waved his wand and the golden plates filled with food.
None of the new students had sat near Albus and his friends, so they didn't get a chance to really get to know any of them. Most of them were older anyway. Albus's cousins struck up conversations with a few of them, though. Albus did notice that Linda wasn't saying much, despite the fact that she had quite a few Gryffindors trying to talk to her.
"Well, I certainly hope everyone enjoyed the feast," Kendrick announced after the plates cleaned themselves of dessert, "I have just a few announcements. The new students need to take note of the fact that the forest and the Whomping Willow are out of bounds. There is also a rather large list of forbidden objects. The entire list can be viewed on the caretaker's door, which is located on this level. Or, you can ask your fellow students. Anyone with the last name of Weasley has a particularly extensive knowledge on the subject."
There was a large amount of laughter at this, mostly from the Gryffindor table.
"Also, try-outs for the Hogwarts Quidditch team will be held this Saturday at one in the afternoon. Dueling Team try-outs will be held a week from today, also at one in the afternoon. And with that, I suggest you all turn in early, as classes start tomorrow."
When Albus and his friends returned to the Gryffindor common room, Linda Morales was already there, surrounded by a rather large group of boys and a couple girls. She didn't appear to be enjoying it, though. She looked as nervous as she had been in the Great Hall and was mostly just nodding.
"I'll bet anything all those blokes have asked her out already," Rose muttered as they watched the group.
"Probably," Amanda agreed.
"They should just leave her alone," Rose went on, "It doesn't look like she wants all that attention. I'll bet she's overwhelmed by everything."
"I wonder how old she is," Albus said. He'd been trying to figure that out all evening.
"Dunno," Rose shrugged, "She looks our age, but older at the same time. It's kind of odd."
"Guess we'll find out tomorrow," Albus said, "She might be in our classes."
"Well, I'm going to bed," Matt turned away from Linda and stood up.
"He's been quiet all evening," John commented as Matt left.
Albus leaned over to John. "That Killigan bloke, the headmaster, is the reason he couldn't go to school in Australia," Albus whispered.
"Oh," John said, "Well, that would explain it."
Albus and his friends stayed up for a few more minutes before turning in for the night. Albus laid awake for a while, though, thinking about Linda Morales.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Friday 9 October 2009 10 20 43 am Post subject: Re: Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden in topic:Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden
Chapter 4: Tipping the Boats
The remainder of the visit at Matt's house went by very fast for Albus. Albus and the other boys spent the next few days playing various games and doing some of the homework they had put off until the last minute. Amy visited for dinner one evening and let Kaden brew something in her potions room. Kaden was thrilled and after he and Amy had finished, he pronounced Amy the best potions brewer he'd met besides Slughorn. Albus, Matt, and John did not participate in the brewing since all three of them got enough of potions at Hogwarts.
Albus threw his bag over his shoulder and went downstairs with Matt, John, and Kaden. Mrs. Eckerton and Amy were waiting by the door.
"Are you boys ready?" Mrs. Eckerton asked.
"Yeah," Matt answered.
Mrs. Eckerton opened the door and Albus followed everyone outside. They walked a few meters away from the house and then Mrs. Eckerton put an arm around Matt and the other around Albus. Amy did the same with John and Kaden and all six of them disappeared with a crack.
They reappeared in the middle of the Leaky Cauldron, which was practically empty. Albus wasn't surprised since it was early afternoon on a weekday. Albus looked around the pub and saw his mum, Uncle Ron, James, Rose, Hugo, and Lily sitting at a nearby table. John's mum and sisters were sitting with them. James looked bored out of his mind and a little annoyed as John's sisters ran around the room.
The adults greeted each other while Lily, Hugo, and John's sister, Ashtyn, flew out of their seats and over to Albus and the other boys. Rose followed them and stood next to Albus.
"We're getting our wands today!" Lily announced.
"Yeah!" Ashtyn grinned, "And books and robes and cauldrons and-"
"We know, Ashtyn," John groaned, "You've been telling me about it since I got home from school."
"Me and Lily are going to be in Gryffindor," Ashtyn said proudly, "But Lily says Hugo is going to be in Hufflepuff."
"Am not," Hugo retorted.
"There's nothing wrong with Hufflepuff," John said, "My cousin is in Hufflepuff."
"Well, anything's better than Slytherin, right Albus?" Lily said.
"Er, right," Albus agreed.
"Kids!" Ginny shouted, "We're going to go to Flourish and Blotts first, then Madam Malkins. Al, you need new robes."
"So do you, Rose," Ron put in.
"As do you, Johnny," Mrs. Brickston said.
"I want my wand!" Lily whined.
"You'll get it," Ginny said, "But you need robes too. And your wand will be useless without books."
Lily pouted and folded her arms across her chest, but followed Ginny out of the pub. Albus and his friends followed the adults, James, and the girls out of the pub and into Diagon Alley.
Diagon Alley was a bit more crowded than the Leaky Cauldron, but still rather deserted. Albus walked with the large group into Flourish and Blotts, where the salesman took one look at them and ran into the back room. He returned with a saleslady.
Ginny walked up to them. "Let's see, I have four Hogwarts book lists."
"And I have two," Ron rummaged around in his robes and pulled out two wrinkled pieces of parchment.
"I've got two as well," Mrs. Brickston said.
"And I have one," Mrs. Eckerton said.
"Ok, if you'll just give us a few minutes, we'll get them for you," the salesman took the lists and gave half the stack to the saleslady.
"So, what did you lot do at Matt's house?" Rose asked as they were waiting.
Albus looked at John and burst out laughing. "John had fun with the microwave," Albus smirked.
Rose groaned. "What did you do?"
"Microwaved an egg," John replied, "It made a nice explosion."
"Bet your mum wasn't happy," Rose said to Matt.
"She just made him clean it up. My dad did the same thing after we moved here. We didn't have a microwave in Australia," Matt said.
"Muggle studies ought to be mandatory," Rose sighed.
Albus spent a few more minutes telling Rose about what they had done at Matt's house, although he left out the part about the padded room. Matt could tell Rose that later if he wanted to.
"Here you go, Al," Ginny dumped a stack of books into Albus's arms.
Once everyone had a stack of books in their arms, the group left the book store. They walked down the street until they reached Madam Malkin's. Luckily, the shop was empty, although they'd have to wait a while until everyone was fitted for robes.
Lily and Ashtyn went first, since they were eager to get their new robes. Hugo was excited about going to Hogwarts, but he couldn't care less about robes.
Albus sat down on a chair as he waited for his turn. Matt and John sat down on either side of him. Albus glanced over and saw that Matt was staring wide eyed at his stack of books. Albus peered down at his own stack of books, but the one on top was [i]Intermediate Transfiguration[/i].
Albus looked over at Matt's stack of books and he gaped when he saw which book was on top. It was the exact same book that Kaden had found at Flourish and Blotts a year ago. The one entitled [i]Dark Creatures: How to Protect Yourself[/i].
"Interesting book choice," Albus muttered.
Matt looked up at Albus. "This doesn't bode well for the new defense teacher."
Albus shrugged. "Well, third year defense does focus on dark creatures."
"It does?" Matt groaned, "Great. That's just what I need, for everyone to learn about you know what."
"I doubt they will," Albus replied, "No one's going to pay that much attention in class. The only one in our year who would've put the clues together after learning it in class is Rose, and she already knows."
"I guess," Matt muttered, "I just hope the teacher is nice."
A half hour later, everyone had new robes who needed them and the large group exited Madam Malkin's. They made their way down the street and towards Olivander's. Lily, Hugo, and Ashtyn arrived before anyone else did and couldn't wait to start trying out wands.
Albus watched as his sister waved numerous wands and subsequently broke everything on Olivander's desk. After she tried a few more, Lily found her wand and proudly held the box as carefully as she could. Hugo and Ashtyn found wands a few minutes later and the group set off to the Apothecary.
After a visit to the Apothecary, Eyelops, and Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, everyone had what they needed for the upcoming school year. Albus was rather tired by the time they finished, but Lily, Hugo, and Ashtyn seemed to have endless energy. They kind of reminded Albus of the way Kaden had been the previous year. Granted, Kaden still had endless energy, but the three eleven-year-olds had surpassed him.
Albus said goodbye to his friends in the Leaky Cauldron and then Flooed back to Grimmauld Place with his mum, Kaden, James, and Lily. He and Kaden watched Lily try to perform spells with her new wand while they waited for Dudley to pick Kaden up. Lily was kind of frustrated that she was unable to do much of anything besides 'Lumos'.
In an effort to try and avoid nearly missing the train like they had the previous year, Ginny insisted that Albus, James, and Lily pack their trunks the night before. Despite this, Albus awoke to the shouts of his mother.
"Albus Severus Potter!" she shrieked, "Get up! We have to leave in ten minutes! I seriously hope you've got your trunk packed!"
Albus slowly got out of bed as he listened to the loud footsteps of his mother in the corridor. "James Sirius Potter! Get out of bed this instant!"
The door to his bedroom opened and Lily came bounding in, already dressed in her Hogwarts robes. "Al! We've got to leave!"
"I know, Lily!" Albus said in an annoyed tone, "Now get out so I can get dressed!"
Albus hurriedly threw on some clothes once his sister left. He grabbed his owl cage and school bag and quickly left the room. He was quite glad his trunk was packed and already downstairs.
Harry was sitting on top of Albus's trunk in the drawing room when Albus walked in. Lily was once again trying to perform spells with her wand.
"Hey, Al," Harry grinned, "Ready?"
"Yeah," Albus nodded, "We leaving soon?"
"As soon as James packs his trunk," Harry smirked.
"James Sirius Potter!" Ginny shouted from upstairs, "I told you to pack that last night! Hurry up!"
"Daddy, why can't you teach Defense this year?" Lily asked.
"Because I have too much work at the Ministry," Harry explained as he pulled her onto his lap.
"But it's not fair," Lily whined, "James and Al got to have you teach them for two years."
"The new teacher is very competent," Harry assured her.
"Is he nice?" Albus asked.
"Well, he's," Harry paused, "He's fair. That's a good way of putting it. He'll treat everyone the same."
At least he didn't sound like Washburn, Albus thought. But on the other hand, he didn't sound like Neville or Cedonia either.
"And just because I'm not teaching, doesn't mean I won't be around," Harry grinned.
"What do you mean?" Albus asked.
"I'm not giving anything away, but Hogwarts will be an exciting place to be this year," Harry said, "Plus, the Ministry decided that Hogwarts needs more protection in the form of Aurors after last year's incident. And the year before's."
That certainly spiked Albus's curiosity. What could be going on that would make Hogwarts more exciting than usual?
"Come on," Albus replied, "Can't you give us a hint?"
"Nope," Harry laughed, "I probably shouldn't have even said that."
Albus groaned. "Aw, just tell us."
"Tell us what?" James asked as he entered the room.
"Dad says something exciting is happening at Hogwarts this year but he won't tell us what."
"Please, Dad?" James whined.
"No," Harry lifted Lily off his lap and stood up, "Now we'd better go or you'll miss the train."
The Potters arrived on Platform 9 3/4 with fifteen minutes to spare, which was actually earlier than they had arrived the previous year. They met Kaden and his family as well as Rose, Hugo and their parents. Harry and Ron loaded all the trunks onto the train and then returned to say goodbye.
"I'll see you soon, Al," Harry said as he gave Albus a hug.
"Be good, Albus," Ginny smiled, "And take care of Lily."
"I will," Albus replied, "Bye, Mum. Bye, Dad."
Once everyone had said goodbye, Albus headed to the train with Rose and Kaden. James immediately left to find his friends, and Lily and Hugo followed Albus and Rose. They climbed on just before the train started moving and waved to their parents until the train left the station.
Albus peered into all the compartments trying to find the one that his friends were in. He eventually found them halfway down the train and pulled the door open.
"Hey," Albus grinned as he sat down next to Matt.
"Hi, Albus, Rose, Kaden," Matt greeted them.
Kaden sat down next to John and Rose sat next to Amanda. Hugo and Lily sat down near Ashtyn and the three of them immediately started talking about the Sorting and the Hogwarts houses. Albus, who had been listening to Lily talk about that all summer, did not want to participate in that conversation.
He turned to Matt. "Guess what?"
"What?" Matt asked.
"My dad says something exciting is happening at Hogwarts this year, but he won't tell me what," Albus said.
"Really? Wish he'd tell you what it was," Matt replied.
"How could he say that and not tell you?" John groaned.
"Any ideas what it is?" Matt asked.
"Nope," Albus shook his head and then turned to Rose, "Has Uncle Ron said anything?"
"Just that it was something exciting," Rose sighed, "The only thing I can think of is the Triwizard Tournament."
"The what?" Matt, Amanda, and Kaden asked at the same time.
"Didn't someone die the last time they had that?" John asked.
Albus nodded. "The Triwizard Tournament is a contest that involves three wizarding schools: Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang. A champion from each school participates in three magical tasks and whichever champion wins gets the Triwizard Cup.
"The last time they had it was in my dad's fourth year and a Death Eater tricked the cup into choosing my dad as a fourth champion. He won, but the other Hogwarts champion, Cedric Diggory, died during the final task."
"Whoa," Matt stared at him, "Do you really think they'd do that again?"
"No," Rose shook her head, "There's no way they'd do that again. At least not for years. Cedric's death is too fresh in a lot of people's minds to have that tournament again. So I have no idea what my dad and Uncle Harry were talking about."
"I wish they'd do the tournament again," John said, "I fancy myself as the Hogwarts champion."
"Me, too," Kaden grinned, "That would be brilliant."
"Not me," Albus shook his head. He hated being in the spotlight. "I bet James would do it, though."
"I wouldn't," Matt said.
"Me, either," Amanda agreed, "What about you, Rose?"
"I'd probably enter," Rose replied, "But last time they did it, you had to be seventeen. So even if that is what was going on this year, none of us would be able to enter."
"I bet Georgia would enter," Albus commented.
"No doubt about that," Rose agreed.
"Oh, and my dad knows who the new Defense teacher is," Albus announced.
"Is he nice?" Matt asked immediately.
"All my dad said was that he was fair," Albus sighed, "He kind of dodged the question when I asked if he was nice."
"That's a bad sign," Matt groaned.
"If he's fair, then he won't be favoring the Slytherins," John pointed out.
"Have you looked at that book yet?" Albus whispered to Matt.
"Nope," Matt replied, "Haven't wanted to."
"Well," John began, "If he's mean to you, we can try and get him sacked before he starts the you-know-what unit. That unit's not until the end of the year."
"And how are you going to do that?" Rose raised her eyebrows.
"Dunno," John shrugged, "We'll think of something."
"That," Rose sighed, "Has got to be the dumbest idea you've come up with. And that includes microwaving the egg."
"Well, have you got any better ideas?" John asked.
"Why don't we just wait and see what the teacher is like before we start thinking about getting him sacked?" Rose suggested.
The rest of the train ride passed quickly. The entire compartment participated in an Exploding Snap contest, which Rose won. Then they bought a large amount of snacks from the trolley. Albus fell asleep shortly after he finished eating and the next thing he knew, Rose was nudging him awake and telling him to change into his robes.
The sky had turned dark and the weather stormy while Albus had been sleeping. Thunder sounded and lightning flashed as he pulled on his robes. He was very glad he wasn't going to be crossing the Black Lake like Lily was. He'd much rather take a thestral-pulled carriage and stay dry.
The train pulled into Hogsmeade station and Albus joined the throngs of students heading out into the rainy weather. He heard Hagrid calling the first years and said goodbye to Lily, Hugo, and Ashtyn. Albus found an empty carriage and led his friends inside.
"The first years are going to get soaked," John said as he wrung out his hat onto the bottom of the carriage.
"Spooky crossing the lake in this weather," Kaden grinned, "Makes me wish I was crossing the lake."
"Maybe the Giant Squid will tip over one of the boats," John grinned mischievously, "I've heard it doesn't like this kind of weather."
Rose rolled her eyes. "The Squid is not going to flip one of the boats."
If the Squid tipped Lily's boat, she would freak out. Albus's sister had always scared easily, a trait that James and Albus always took full advantage of.
"James purposely tipped his boat when he crossed the lake," Albus said. He still remembered his mother receiving an owl telling her about that. She wasted no time in getting a howler off to James.
"That's brilliant!" Kaden exclaimed, "Wish I'd thought of that."
"Me, too!" John agreed.
"I'm glad you didn't," Albus laughed, "We all would have been soaked."
"Yeah," Matt agreed, "That would not have been pleasant."
The remainder of the trip up to the castle was spent discussing the likelihood of one of the boats being tipped over by the Giant Squid. John and Kaden decided that they wanted to find the Giant Squid that year and agreed to take a swim in the Black Lake during the first available weekend.
The entire Entrance Hall was covered in water by the time Albus and his friends entered the castle. Albus was sure Filch would have a hippogriff when he saw it. Albus led his friends to the familiar Gryffindor table and sat down, eager for the feast to start.
Albus scanned the staff table and his eyes rested on the only unfamiliar face. A stern looking man with his black hair cut in a Muggle military style was sitting completely still. His eyes seemed to penetrate every student in the entire room at the same time. Albus did not get the sense that this teacher would be nice, although he lacked the hatred that Washburn had emanated.
"That must be the new Defense teacher," Matt whispered to Albus, "Merlin, he does not look happy."
"Looks like his face is frozen that way," Kaden muttered.
"I wouldn't want to be on his bad side," Albus replied.
"Looks to me like he had a bit too much U-No-Poo," John laughed.
Albus snorted and shook his head. It did kind of look like the professor had a bit too much of that certain Weasley product. His Uncle Percy wore that same look when his Uncle George put U-No-Poo in his tea over the summer.
The Great Hall immediately quieted down as Professor Patil led the first years into the room and towards the staff table. They congregated near the three-legged stool upon which the Sorting Hat sat.
"They look shorter than last year's first years," John whispered as the Sorting Hat began singing.
"They are," Kaden agreed, "I wasn't that short last year."
"Yeah, you actually were," John replied, "Hey, Matt, I think these first years might actually be shorter than you. A few of them, that is."
Matt rolled his eyes. "At least I'm not a giraffe like you."
"Hey, height has its benefits," John retorted.
"And so does lack of height," Matt pointed out, "At least I didn't have to stand still while Madam Malkin poked me with needles like you did."
"Shush!" Rose hissed, "They're starting the Sorting!"
Albus watched as a chubby boy was sorted into Ravenclaw. The next first year became a Slytherin and the next was another Ravenclaw.
"Brickston, Ashtyn!" Patil announced.
John's sister ran forward and jammed the hat onto her head with a big smile on her face. Mere seconds later, the hat exclaimed, "Gryffindor!" Ashtyn practically flew across the room and sat down across from John.
"Congratulations, Ashtyn!" John grinned, "Gryffindor really is the best house."
"Yeah," Ashtyn agreed, "Although Isabelle kept telling me to hope for Hufflepuff."
"Well, she is a Hufflepuff...."
Albus didn't really pay attention to the next few Sortings. He vaguely recognized a few names, but didn't really know any of them. He snapped back into reality when he heard Patil announce, "Potter, Lily!"
Lily ran forward with almost as much excitement as Ashtyn. The hat took a little more time to decide than it had with Ashtyn, but it soon shouted, "Gryffindor!"
The Gryffindor table erupted with cheers as Lily ran towards it. Albus clapped her on the back, as did James and all their cousins, and Lily took a seat next to Ashtyn.
Soon, Hugo was the only first year left standing near the hat. Hugo had already started putting the hat on when Patil called out his name, which caused a few of Albus's cousins to burst out in laughter.
"He may be the only Weasley to ever be in Hufflepuff," Cedric smirked.
"Gryffindor!" the hat announced a minute later.
"Or not," Cedric grinned as he clapped along with everyone else.
Hugo sat across from Lily and Ashtyn. "Told you I'd be in Gryffindor," he said to Lily. Lily shrugged.
Professor Kendrick stood up. "Welcome, students and staff! As usual, I will save all the speech making for after the feast." He waved his wand and sat back down.
Food appeared on all the golden plates and Albus helped himself to some of everything. He was hungry, although this year he had kind of wanted Kendrick to announce what the exciting thing was before the feast.
The topics of discussion varied greatly during the feast, and Albus mostly listened. John and Matt had a heated argument about the Quidditch season, primarily the Chudley Cannons' spectacular loss to the Holyhead Harpies that had taken place a few days previously. Rose chattered non-stop about the new classes she was taking and bombarded her older cousins with questions about them. Albus was amazed she had any questions left, since she had done the same thing during the Weasley Family Dinner prior to the start of term.
Kaden talked to whoever would listen about the prospect of adding Muggle technology to Hogwarts. Albus groaned to himself as he heard Kaden tell one of the first years about his petition to have televisions put into the common rooms. Amanda listened to Kaden, although it didn't seem like she was nearly as excited as Kaden was.
"So, how was the trip across the lake?" John asked Ashtyn as the desserts appeared.
"Wet," Ashtyn replied.
"Any of the boats tip over?" he asked eagerly.
"No," Ashtyn laughed.
"Hagrid said he had anti-tipping charms put on them after James tipped his a few years ago," Hugo announced.
"That's no fun," John sighed.
A little while later, the golden plates became clean once again and Albus looked eagerly up at the staff table.
Joined: 11 September 2002
Location: Pretending to be a sea slug with 'go faster' stripes...
Posted: Tuesday 4 August 2009 06 29 55 pm Post subject: Re: Introductions and FAQ's in topic:Introductions and FAQ's
Hello Wrath, welcome to BaO!
*waves wand and makes Sorting Hat shaped confetti appear*
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Sunday 10 May 2009 10 57 02 pm Post subject: Re: In Moonlight's Shadow in topic:In Moonlight's Shadow
This chapter is named after the song by Rascal Flatts, Here Comes Goodbye. Some of the lyrics go along with this chapter nicely, if you care to Google them. I don't own that song, nor do I own Harry Potter.
Chapter 46: Here Comes Goodbye
I woke up to Pollux nipping my hand. I groggily lifted my head off my book and groaned. This was it. September first. I fed Pollux and slowly changed into jeans and a t-shirt.
My parents and Matt were already eating brekkie when I went downstairs. Mum and Dad gave me half-hearted smiles as I sat down with a bowl of Fruit Loops. I doubted they'd have those at Hogwarts, but I was too nervous to eat very much.
"Are you all packed?" Mum asked.
I nodded. "Yeah, I just have to shut Pollux in his cage."
"Good. We'll leave in an hour or so," Mum replied.
I nodded again and finished my cereal. Once I was done, I got up and went outside. It was a warm sunny day, but I really had no idea what the weather was supposed to be like in England in September. The weather seemed to be the opposite of my mood. It would have been more appropriate for it to be rainy and cold.
I wandered around the property, not really wanting to settle in one spot. I watched the farmer's cows chewing grass in the nearby field and watched a few birds fly around.
"Hi, Amy," someone said from behind me.
I turned around and saw Matt walking towards me. I sighed. I couldn't really believe it, but I was actually going to miss him. This whole thing was his fault, but I just couldn't be as angry with him as I used to be. Not after he went through so much in the last few months.
"Hi, Matt," I said quietly as I sat down on the low fence that surrounded the property. Matt started to climb up after me. "Be careful," I said as I helped him up. I put my arm around his back so he couldn't fall off.
"I will," he said, "I don't want you to go."
Neither do I, I thought. "I have to," I replied.
"I'm going to miss you," he said.
"Me, too," I swallowed hard. Why did this seem worse than when I went away to school in first year?
"It's going to be boring without you here," Matt announced.
I giggled. "It'll be like it was when I was at school in Australia."
"It was boring then, too. There's nothing to do when you're not here."
He really needed some friends. Mum and Dad should just let him go to Muggle school. That would never happen, though.
"I'll be back over Christmas," I told him, trying to reassure myself as much as him.
Matt nodded. "Yeah, but that's a long time away."
"I know it is," I said quietly.
"Amy! Matt! Are you out here?" Mum shouted from the window.
"Yeah!" I shouted back.
"It's time to go!" she told us.
I took a deep breath and jumped off the fence. I looked at Matt and his eyes were tearing up. Just seeing that made me want to cry. He really was going to miss me.
"Want me to carry you?" I asked.
He nodded and held out his arms. I lifted him up and we walked slowly back to the house, neither of us saying a word.
"Did he hurt himself again?" Mum asked as we entered the house.
"No," I whispered, "We were just...saying goodbye...and stuff."
Mum nodded as I set Matt down on the floor. I looked up and saw Dad standing a few yards away with my trunk propped up on its side. Pollux's cage was sitting on the table and he was hooting inside of it.
"Ready?" Dad asked.
I nodded as I grabbed Pollux. "I guess," I muttered.
Mum grabbed Matt's hand and I followed them out the door. Dad followed with my trunk. We walked silently until we reached the end of the anti-Apparition wards. Dad wrapped me in a one-armed hug and the four of us Disapparated.
We appeared in a back alley that I assumed was near the King's Cross station. We followed Dad down the street until we reached the station. Dad found a trolley and heaved my trunk onto it. I placed Pollux on top.
The station was crowded. Muggles were bustling everywhere. A few glanced at Pollux, but none of them really paid much attention. Matt stepped closer to Mum as a few men brushed past us.
"Nine and three-quarters, right?" Mum whispered to Dad.
"Right," Dad muttered.
I followed my parents through the crowded station until we got to the brick wall between platforms nine and ten. I figured we would have to run straight at the brick wall, since that's what we had to do in Australia, too.
"I'll go first with the trolley," Dad said. He glanced around to make sure no Muggles were paying attention and slipped through the wall.
Mum gestured for me to go next. I held my breath and closed my eyes even though I knew I wouldn't actually hit the wall. I opened my eyes a few seconds later and saw Platform 9 3/4.
Students and families alike were running around. Students were reuniting with each other and shrieking about what they did over the holiday. Parents were loading trunks onto the train. Owls were hooting, cats were meowing, little kids were shouting. I felt horribly out of place. Everyone knew each other. Everyone except the first years, that is. I felt like a first year as I stood with my parents and Matt.
Dad went to load my trunk and Pollux onto the train and returned a few minutes later. He grinned at me, but I didn't grin back.
"Well, this is it," he said, "This feels like your first year all over again."
"You have no idea," I muttered.
"You'll do fine, Amy," Mum assured me, "We've been through so much this past nine months. You can get through anything." She gave me a hug.
"I know, I know," I sighed and bit my lip.
"You're bound to make new friends," Mum said.
Yeah, friends I'd have to keep secrets from. I was dreading explaining to people why I transferred to Hogwarts for my fourth year.
We stood there not saying anything for a few more minutes. I watched as students said goodbye to their parents and ran onto the train. A few first years were sharing tearful goodbyes.
"I think you're going to have to get on the train," Dad said quietly.
I nodded. "Yeah. I love you guys."
"We love you, too," Dad squeezed me and kissed the top of my head.
"We'll miss you," Mum gave me another hug.
"I'll miss you, too," my voice cracked and I could feel tears welling up in my eyes. What was wrong with me? I hardly cried when I left for my first year.
"We'll owl all the time," Dad said.
"Bye, Amy," Matt gave me a big hug.
I picked him up. "Bye, Matt. I love you. I'm going to miss you."
"Me, too," he sniffled.
I set him down as the train whistled. I wiped my eyes and waved as I ran towards the train. I jumped on just as it was starting to move. I stood in the doorway and waved as my eyes filled up with more tears. I kept waving until the train turned a corner and I could no longer see my family.
I wiped my eyes again and started down the corridor, looking for an empty compartment. The last thing I wanted was to meet anyone new right then. Eventually I found an empty one towards the back of the train. I ran right into it and shut the door behind me.
I sat down next to the window and watched the scenery fly by. It was kind of mesmerizing. I just let my eyes glaze over and everything blurred together. The time sort of flew by faster then. I wasn't even thinking about anything in particular.
I think I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I knew, the compartment door creaked open. I jerked up and winced as my neck cracked. Falling asleep against a glass window wasn't the smartest of ideas.
"Oh, sorry. Were you sleeping?" a girl asked.
I looked up and saw two kids standing timidly in the doorway. The girl had a round face framed by messy long brown hair. She wore glasses and was already dressed in Hogwarts robes. A boy, who was a few inches taller than her, stood aside her. He was skinny with lighter brown hair and a few freckles on his pale face. They looked to be first or second years.
"Er, I was," I muttered.
"Can we sit here?" the boy asked, "There's no room anyplace else."
"Go ahead," I gestured to the empty seat across from me.
The two of them walked inside and the boy shut the door behind them. They both sat down on the bench across from me. The girl stared at me while the boy fidgeted next to her.
"I'm Jessie Briggs," the girl announced, "What's your name?"
"Amy Eckerton," I replied.
"And I'm Timothy Porter," the boy said.
I nodded. Well, now I knew a few Hogwarts students. Too bad they were probably closer to my brother's age than mine.
"What house are you in?" Jessie asked.
"Gryffindor," I told her, happier than ever that I had decided to be sorted over the summer.
"I want to be in Ravenclaw," Jessie said.
"Ravenclaw?" Timothy raised his eyebrows, "You must be smart. I don't want to be in Ravenclaw. All they do is study all the time."
They were definitely first years. Although, when I thought about it, sitting with first years was a good thing. Neither of them had any idea this was my first year at Hogwarts, too. They wouldn't ask me why I moved here.
"My mother was in Ravenclaw," Jessie huffed, "And she didn't study all the time."
"What about your dad?" Timothy asked.
"He's a Muggle," Jessie answered, "What about you? Where do you want to be?"
"Slytherin," Timothy smirked, "Where all the best wizards go."
"Slytherin?" Jessie looked taken aback, "Why would you want to be there?"
"It's where my parents were. All of my family has been in Slytherin. I'm not going to break that tradition," Timothy boasted.
Slytherin, I thought. That's where that Willinson bloke I had met in Diagon Alley was.
"And it's where all the evil wizards came from," Jessie told him, "Voldemort was in Slytherin."
"So was Severus Snape," Timothy countered.
I just sat there listening to them. I had no idea who Voldemort or Severus Snape were. The names sounded vaguely familiar, but I couldn't place them. I assumed they were famous wizards from Britain. They don't teach World History of Magic until fourth year in Australia.
"True," Jessie nodded, "But no evil wizards came from Ravenclaw."
"None that you know of," Timothy said.
"I would know," Jessie replied, "I've been learning about magical history for years."
"Well, aren't you Miss Smarty Pants," Timothy muttered.
"Thank you," Jessie smirked.
Jessie and Timothy argued about the houses for the next half an hour or so. It was actually kind of interesting since I didn't know a thing about most of the houses. Apparently Slytherins had the reputation of being evil, Ravenclaws of being annoyingly smart, Hufflepuffs of being kind of dense, and Gryffindors of being brave to the point of stupidity. I had to stifle a laugh at the last one. I didn't think I was brave to the point of stupidity.
I got the idea that there was a lot of house rivalry going on at Hogwarts. From the sound of it, there was more there than in Australia. I was kind of grateful for everything I was learning from the two first years. I now knew to mainly stick with Gryffindors and definitely not mingle with too many Slytherins. Hopefully that would help me blend in better.
The compartment door opened once again and an old witch popped her head in. "Anything from the trolley, dears?"
The two first years jumped up and ran out the door. I followed more slowly as I dug a few Galleons out of my pocket. There were a few people standing around the trolley buying various sweets.
"Amy?" someone shouted as I reached for a Cauldron Cake.
I looked up and saw none other than turquoise-haired Ted Lupin grinning at me. He actually remembered my name? I hadn't seen him in months.
"Hi, Ted," I replied.
"So, your family decided to move here?" he asked, "Excellent choice."
"Yeah," I said as I paid for my food.
"You been sorted yet?"
"Yup, Gryffindor," I smiled, remembering that he was a Gryffindor as well.
"Brilliant," he grinned, "Guess I'll see you at the feast."
I nodded. "Yeah, see you then."
I followed Jessie and Timothy (who both had armfuls of sweets) back into the compartment.
"So," Timothy began as he opened up a Chocolate Frog, "You just moved here?"
I groaned inwardly. He had heard what Ted said. Oh, well, I sighed. Might as well practice my story on a few first years before telling it to people I would actually spend a lot of time with.
"Yeah," I sighed.
"Where from?" Jessie asked.
"And you've never been to Hogwarts before?" Timothy asked at the same time.
"Australia and I've visited Hogwarts," I answered.
"Whoa, Australia?" Jessie looked impressed, "Why'd you move here?"
"My dad's job," I told her.
"Where does he work?" she asked.
"How do you know you're in Gryffindor already?" Timothy asked.
"The Ministry. And I got sorted over the summer," I said as I opened my Cauldron Cake.
"I've never heard of anyone transferring to Hogwarts," Timothy announced.
"Yeah, well..." my voice trailed off, "Stuff happens."
"You sound Australian," Timothy mentioned.
"Duh," Jessie rolled her eyes, "She's from Australia."
"I was just saying..." he muttered.
"Well, I wouldn't say to you, 'You sound British,'" Jessie groaned, "It's just kind of a stupid thing to say."
"We can't all be Ravenclaws," Timothy sighed loudly.
"Even Slytherins have to have some brains," Jessie told him.
I breathed a sigh of relief as they resumed their bickering. That hadn't been too bad. Luckily they didn't ask for details about Dad's job. I just had to hope that no one else asked for details.
The rest of the train ride passed relatively quickly. I fell asleep again and didn't wake up until Jessie prodded me.
"We're almost there," she said, "You should change into your robes."
I yawned and got up. I rummaged around in my trunk and pulled out a pair of new robes. I hastily put them on over my clothes and waited for the train to stop.
I followed Jessie and Timothy into the corridor as the train began to slow. Once it stopped, I joined the sea of black-clad Hogwarts students onto the platform of Hogsmeade station. I actually recognized it from our trip to Hogwarts.
I soon lost track of Jessie and Timothy. I heard someone shouting 'First years, over here!', so they must have been going some place different anyway. I had no idea where I was going, so I just followed the rest of the students.
I ended up near a line of what appeared to be horseless carriages. I guessed they were just pulled by thestrals. Dad had mentioned that Hogwarts had a herd. Everyone was climbing into them, so I did the same.
My carriage was empty when I got inside, but I was soon joined by three girls who looked a tad bit older than Timothy and Jessie. One had long, brilliant red hair, the second had curly pale blonde hair that rivaled my own, and the other had long, thick black hair.
"The carriages must be pulled by magic," the black-haired girl said.
"Yeah, I think they are," the red-haired girl agreed.
"They're pulled by thestrals," I told them.
"Told you," the blonde girl smirked, "Teddy said they were pulled by thestrals."
"Yeah, well, Teddy likes a joke, doesn't he?" the red head pointed out.
I wondered if they were talking about Ted Lupin. Maybe they were related or something.
The three girls quickly started talking about their summers and I let my attention wander. I did find out that the red head and the blonde were cousins and all three were second year Gryffindors.
The carriage lurched to a stop and I followed the younger students out into the warm air and into the castle. I had been in it before, but the size of it still amazed me. I looked around as people jostled me in their haste to get into the Great Hall.
I stopped in the doorway and realized that I had no idea where to sit. There were four long tables and then the staff table at the opposite end of the room. Were we supposed to sit with our houses? Or wherever we wanted? I glanced around the room and spotted Ted's hair at the table to the right. It couldn't hurt to sit at his table.
I made my way through the crowd and found an empty seat at the table. The golden plates were empty. Everyone around me was chatting happily. I leaned my head on my hand and stared down at my reflection in the shining plate. I felt so out of place.
A few minutes later, everyone quieted down. I looked up and saw a tall witch leading a group of kids into the room. I assumed they were the first years. They all crowded around each other near the staff table.
The witch reached around the staff table and came out with a three-legged stool and the Sorting Hat. She placed the stool on the ground and the hat on the stool.
The rim of the hat opened and it burst out in song. My eyes widened in shock, but nobody else seemed fazed. A few of the first years looked taken aback, but that was about it. I guessed this was a normal occurrence. I don't know why it surprised me since I knew the hat could talk, but singing was just even stranger.
The hat sung about the different houses and everyone clapped once it finished.
"When I call your name, come sit on the stool and the hat will tell you which house you are in. Then go sit at the appropriate table," the witch announced.
I guess we were supposed to sit with our houses. I was glad I wound up sitting at the Gryffindor table.
Everyone was quiet during the sorting ceremony. I watched, but to be honest, I was kind of eager to just go to bed. I just wanted to be alone.
Jessie was one of the first kids to be sorted and she was sorted into Ravenclaw. She grinned as she ran towards the Ravenclaw table. I smiled as she sat down amongst the other Ravenclaws.
My attention wandered after that until I heard Timothy's name announced. I watched as he was sorted into Slytherin. I wondered if he and Jessie would ever really become friends, now that they were officially in other houses.
The Gryffindor table clapped loudly for every new Gryffindor, but two of the last students sorted got the loudest applause of all. They were two red-heads named Fred and Heather Weasley. I didn't know if they were brother and sister or cousins. I think they were related to the red-head and blonde girls I shared a carriage with, though. The two of them were roaring with excitement when Fred and Heather were sorted. There were a few other red-heads who stood up and roared along with them. I guessed they were all related somehow. They must have a huge family.
Professor Kendrick stood up once the sorting was finished. "I have a few announcements, but as usual, they can wait until after dinner." He waved his wand and huge amounts of food appeared on all the tables.
I served myself some chicken, potatoes, and carrots and began to pick at it. Everyone around me began talking again and I tried to remain inconspicuous. I had been hoping to just blend in with everyone else. I happened to be sitting near a few of the new Gryffindor first years, so nobody really paid much attention to me.
Desserts appeared once people stopped eating dinner. I wasn't that hungry, so I just waited for Kendrick to make the announcements he said he was going to make.
After what seemed like forever, the dessert vanished and the golden plates returned to their clean state. I looked up at the staff table and saw Kendrick rise to his feet.
"I hope everyone is feeling a bit better now that we've eaten," Kendrick smiled, "Please be aware that the Forbidden Forest is out of bounds, hence its name. Please stay away from the Whomping Willow as well."
I could feel my cheeks reddening at the name 'Whomping Willow'. I was probably the only student in the room who knew what that tree concealed.
"If you wish to try out for your house Quidditch team, please give your name to your head of house," Kendrick continued.
That wasn't something I'd be doing, I thought. Come to think of it, I didn't even know who my head of house was. I guess I'd figure it out soon enough.
"I suggest you all turn in early, as classes start tomorrow," Kendrick said, "Prefects, please lead the first years up to your common rooms. Everyone have a good night."
Common room. It would help if I knew where the Gryffindor common room was. I sighed and got up from the table. I decided to just follow the first years at a distance.
I couldn't help but gaze around as I followed the group of chattering first years to the common room. The walls were adorned with all sorts of portraits. There was hardly any wall space left. Every few feet there was a statue or suit of armor.
We walked up flight after flight of stairs (which like to move, I soon discovered) until I didn't think we could get any higher. It was taking forever. The castle was even larger on the inside than it looked on the outside.
The group of first years finally stopped in front of a portrait of a very large woman.
"This is the Fat Lady," one of the Prefects announced, "The password is 'Niffler'."
The portrait swung open and I followed everyone into the common room. I stopped as soon as I got in. The room was round and decorated almost exclusively in scarlet and gold. Various arm chairs, couches, tables, and chairs were scattered about the room. A fire was crackling in the large fireplace. Two doors were side by side in the back of the room. Every few seconds, someone would go through one of them.
"Dormitories are through the doors," the prefect said, "Girls to the right, boys to the left."
I swallowed and walked slowly towards the doors. This was it. Time to meet my new roommate. I hoped the doors were labeled, since nobody had shown me where my new dormitory was.
The door to the girls' dormitories revealed a spiral staircase that I followed to the top. At the top of the staircase were seven doors. Only seven. How many roommates was I going to have?
I walked down the short corridor until I reached the door labeled 'Fourth Years'. That must be it, I thought. I took a deep breath and entered the room.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Sunday 26 April 2009 12 03 01 pm Post subject: Re: In Moonlight's Shadow in topic:In Moonlight's Shadow
Thanks hprocks! I haven't flown first class. I flew when I was 5, but haven't flown since.
Chapter 44: The Sorting
I heard the door open a minute or so later and Mum and I left the kitchen to see which one of my grandparents was arriving. I reached the door to find Cinda setting her bag down on a table and gazing around at the house.
"Mum," Mum greeted Cinda.
"Julie, darling," Cinda smiled and embraced her, "So, this is your new house."
"Yes," Mum nodded, "What do you think?"
Cinda paused. "Small," she said after a while, "And kind of quaint."
"I'll take that as a complement," Mum said wryly.
"It's just so different," Cinda went on, "Your old house was so much grander and fancy..." she trailed off.
"Yes, but honestly, we didn't need all that space, Mum," Mum explained, "We lived there because Walter inherited it and it was his childhood home. Otherwise, we would have stayed at our first house. Remember that one?"
Cinda nodded. "Yes, that one was even smaller than this."
"But we like it," Mum sighed.
"I know, I know," Cinda replied, "It'll just take some getting used to."
We wandered back to the kitchen and Mum continued cooking while Cinda set the table. Richard and Dad arrived a few minutes later and Richard told my parents how much he liked the house. We took them on the grand tour (which didn't take long) and showed them the entire place with the exception of the basement, which was still in partial disrepair.
When we finished showing my grandparents the house, Ellie announced that dinner was ready.
"I'll go see if Matt's up to eating dinner with us," Mum said as we entered the kitchen.
"Let me, Jule," Dad said, "I haven't seen him in a few hours."
I sat down at the table next to Mum, with Matt's empty seat on the other side. Ellie started serving the food, but no one started eating until Dad returned.
"He's sound asleep," Dad said as he sat down at the head of the table.
Mum nodded, "I figured he would be. He's been asleep ever since we got home from St. Mungo's."
"When will he be all recovered?" Richard asked quietly.
"Probably late tomorrow or early Thursday, he'll be feeling back to normal," Dad told him.
The rest of dinner was spent discussing England and what my parents liked and disliked about it. Richard and Cinda had dozens of questions about the house, Dad's job, and England in general.
After dinner, Dad enlarged a bed that had not sold at the estate sale (which actually happened to be the bed my grandparents usually slept in when they stayed at my house)and set it up in the library for them. Everyone went to bed a few hours later, but I stayed up and looked out my telescope.
I woke up late the next morning. Very late. But I figured I needed to in order to adjust to the different time zone. I stumbled down the stairs and to the living room only to find that I was one of the first ones up. Only Mum and Dad got up before I did and were talking quietly to themselves.
Richard and Cinda woke up shortly after I had brekkie (or would lunch have been a more appropriate word?). It wound up being a very quiet day. Matt was in no shape to go anywhere. He spent the day lounging on the couch reading and playing his DS. Cinda gave Mum interior decorating advice about the house and the two of them wound up rearranging the kitchen yet again. Richard, after hearing about Dad's microwave incident, decided to teach Dad the finer points of cooking meals in a microwave. I thought this was rather funny since Richard was certainly not a cook. But, Richard and Dad seemed to enjoy it. They even went out and bought these Muggle things called 'microwave dinners', which are meals you stick in the microwave for a few minutes and then eat. We wound up having them for dinner.
I spent the day wandering from room to room, just looking at what my family members were doing. I realized how very odd it was to have my grandparents in England with us. What was even stranger was that at that moment, no one in my family was in Australia. Well, except for Clarence and his family, but I didn't really consider them family anymore. I played a few rounds of Exploding Snap and Gobstones with Matt, but then he got bored with it and we both read for a while.
Dad had to go back to work the next day, but Mum decided that we could go show Richard and Cinda Diagon Alley. That was fun, especially when we went to Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. Both Richard and Cinda were flabbergasted by the amount of magical pranking items they had. Dad met us for dinner at the Leaky Cauldron, which was nice.
Richard and Cinda left a few days later. Their visit had been surprisingly fun. They said they'd visit again soon, but didn't give an exact date.
The weeks went by quickly after that. The time before I would go to Hogwarts was quickly decreasing and once August arrived, I realized how close it was. I started thinking about it all the time and it was making me nervous. Sure, I was getting used to our new house and living in England, but school would be a different story. I was going to know absolutely no one, except for the headmaster.
Dad finished my potions room and I was very happy with it. It looked a lot like the one I had in Australia, except it had no windows. Dad put some sort of magical ventilation system in, though.
"Amy!" Mum shouted down the stairs one Thursday afternoon.
"What?" I shouted back as I increased the fire under my cauldron.
"You've got a letter!" Mum answered.
I turned off the flame and ran up the stairs. Maybe it was from Olivia. I had owled her the previous week, but she still hadn't gotten back to me.
Mum handed me the letter once I entered the living room. I turned it over and saw that it was from Hogwarts. I slit it open, pulled the letter out, and read it silently.
[i]Dear Miss Eckerton,
Please note that the new term will begin
on September first. The Hogwarts Express
will leave from King's Cross Station,
Platform 9 3/4 at eleven o'clock in the
Also, since you are a new student this term,
you need to arrange to meet with the
headmaster prior to the start of term.
Please owl him with a time that will work,
the sooner the better.
Professor Padma Patil
"What's that about?" Mum asked.
"Telling me when school starts," I mumbled, "September first. But I have to go see the headmaster soon, since I'm new there." I handed her the letter.
Mum's eyes moved along the page and then she set the letter down on the table. "I'll send an owl. I could take you tomorrow, after Matt's appointment with Norlam."
Matt's sessions with Norlam were going well. So well in fact, that Norlam announced the next day that he was going to start the relaxation techniques he had mentioned months ago. Norlam actually had Mum and I do them as well, which was kind of odd. He had us take deep breaths with our eyes closed while we imagined ourselves in relaxed places. I thought about walking through the bush in Australia.
It was actually really relaxing and the hour went by fast. Norlam talked briefly in private to Mum and then left.
"Ready to go?" Mum asked a few minutes later.
"Yeah," I replied.
Kendrick had said he was going to meet us at the Three Broomsticks, so Mum, Matt, and I Apparated to Hogsmeade and walked into the pub. That afternoon it happened to be filled with gossipy old witches and there were a few wizards discussing politics at the bar.
"Just give it a few years," one of them was saying, "And Percy Weasley will be Minister. I'd bet my Gringotts account on it."
"Naw," the other one was saying, "He's softened with age. He's just not Minister material anymore."
"Julie!" Professor Kendrick got up from the bar and greeted us. He had been sitting a few seats down from the politicking wizards.
"Professor Kendrick," Mum smiled and shook his hand.
"Please, call me Fabius."
"All right," Mum said.
"Well, let's go up to the castle," Kendrick replied.
I followed him out of the pub and into Hogsmeade. Hogsmeade in the summer was a lot different than Hogsmeade in the winter. People were congregating outside and talking about anything and everything. Little kids ran around chasing each other and older kids goofed off.
Eventually we made it to the school grounds and then into the castle. The castle was the opposite of Hogsmeade. It seemed completely deserted. In fact, I didn't see a single person on our way to Kendrick's study.
"Is Walter working?" Kendrick asked as we entered his study.
"Yes," Mum answered.
"How is he liking it?"
"Oh, he's enjoying it," Mum said.
"Good," Kendrick smiled and gestured for us to sit down.
I sat down in one of the two chairs in front of Kendrick's desk and Mum sat in the other. Matt sat down on her lap.
"All right," Kendrick folded his hands together, "As you know, the term starts on the first and you will arrive here by train. How did you get to school in Australia?"
"Train," I replied.
Kendrick nodded, "And I'm assuming the platform the train arrived at was hidden from Muggles?"
"Yeah," I said, "You had to run into the barrier separating two platforms."
"Ah, well, it's the same here. You will run through the barrier in between platforms nine and ten at King's Cross to get to Platform 9 3/4."
"Ok," I said.
"And now onto slightly more exciting matters. We need to figure out what classes you're taking. At Hogwarts, there is a core curriculum of classes that everyone must take until the end of fifth year, when the O.W.L. exams are taken. Then, you choose which classes to continue at the N.E.W.T. level for sixth and seventh years. At the end of seventh year, you take your N.E.W.T. exams in those classes."
I nodded. Classes and exams had been similar to that in Australia.
"Therefore, you have to take Transfiguration, Herbology, Potions, History of Magic, Charms, Astronomy, and Defense Against the Dark Arts. Besides those, you can take two or three electives. The choices for electives are Muggle Studies, Divination, Care of Magical Creatures, Arithmancy, Divination, and Ancient Runes. Which would you like to take?"
"Well, I did Care of Magical Creatures and Ancient Runes in Australia," I explained, "I guess I'll just take those."
Kendrick nodded and jotted something down on a piece of parchment. "Very good," he turned to Mum, "At Hogwarts, anyone in third year and above can visit Hogsmeade a couple of times during the year. If you'll let Amy participate, I'll need you to sign this form." He handed Mum a piece of parchment.
"Of course," Mum picked up a quill and quickly signed the parchment.
"Well," Kendrick took the permission slip, "All that remains now is to Sort you into your house, unless you want to be sorted with the first years."
My house. I had completely forgotten that I'd have to be sorted into a house at Hogwarts. "I'll do it now." No way was I going to be sorted in front of the entire school with a bunch of eleven-year-olds.
"All right," Kendrick stood up and then paused, "It's sort of been a tradition at Hogwarts for the first years not to know how the sorting is done." He turned to Matt, "Could I ask you not to mention anything about the sorting when you're on your first train ride to Hogwarts?"
Matt nodded but didn't say anything. I was now thoroughly curious about this sorting thing. Why was it so secretive? What was so special about it?
"All you'll have to do is sit there," Kendrick told me as he pulled a very old looking hat off a shelf near his desk. He held it up in front of him. "This is the Sorting Hat. It will tell you where you will go."
I stared at it. A hat? A hat was going to sort me? Even in the wizarding world, that was a little strange. "But it's a hat," I said.
"A wise hat," Kendrick smiled.
"And I will figure out where to put you," the hat's brim opened suddenly and began talking.
I gaped at it and then turned to Mum and Matt. Both of them were staring at it as well. Not only was it a hat, but it was a talking hat.
Kendrick walked over to me and put the hat on my head. Immediately, the hat's voice appeared in my head. I nearly jumped out of my seat from the shock of it.
'Hmm,' the hat began, 'you're older than most of the kids I sort.'
'Yeah, well, I moved here,' I thought.
'I see that,' the hat replied. I guess it knew everything about me.
'Hmm, you're loyal. Fiercely loyal. You'd do anything for your family,' the hat said more as a statement than a question, 'Good Hufflepuff material.'
'Loyal, that's good. I guess I'm loyal.'
'Very loyal. But that's not all. You've got courage. A rare courage that I don't see every year. The courage you need to remain loyal to your family, especially your brother, no matter what the circumstances are. Yes, indeed, very interesting combination. The loyalty of a Hufflepuff, but the courage of a Gryffindor...'
'Gryffindor! Someone told me that's the best house.'
'Everyone says that about their house. They all have their good qualities. And you happen to possess the qualities of two great houses. Hufflepuff and Gryffindor. But which one. Which one indeed?'
I didn't really care which one. I didn't know anything about either house, except that Ted Lupin and George Weasley said that Gryffindor was the best.
"Gryffindor!" the hat finally shouted.
I breathed a sigh of relief as Kendrick took the hat off my head. It as over. I hadn't even realized how nervous I was about the sorting until after it was over.
"Congratulations," Kendrick said as he put the hat away, "Many great witches and wizards have been in Gryffindor."
"That's where Dumbledore was," Matt announced suddenly.
"Yes, he was," Kendrick replied and turned around to look at Dumbledore's portrait, but it was empty. "Well, I think that's it. Oh, here's a list of supplies you'll need before term starts," Kendrick handed me a piece of parchment, "Most should be the same as what you needed in Australia, but there are a bunch of books you'll need to get as well as robes. Madam Malkin's in Diagon Alley sells Hogwarts robes."
"Thanks," I said.
Kendrick walked us back to the Three Broomsticks. He and Mum talked about Hogwarts the whole way there, but I didn't really pay attention. I just kept thinking about how in less than a month I would be a Hogwarts student. Well, I sort of already was. I had a house. Gryffindor. The house where the brave and courageous students went. The Sorting Hat had said I was courageous, but I didn't think I was. I couldn't think of anything courageous I'd ever done. Loyal, yes, I could see myself as loyal. But not courageous. What had the hat meant anyway? Courage to remain loyal to my family no matter what? Why would I need courage for that? I guess that hat knew more about myself than I did.
"Where do you want to go first?" Mum asked me the next day, as we walked down the steps of Gringotts. My parents had decided to take me shopping for my school stuff, and we had just finished another bumpy ride on a Gringotts cart. It had not been any better than the first one.
"The book store," I said immediately.
We set off to Flourish and Blotts and my stomach started to calm down. I had felt like I was going to chunder on that cart. Matt had actually sort of enjoyed it this time. I figured it was because he wasn't recovering from jet lag this time. Neither was I, but it still made me sick.
Flourish and Blotts was extremely crowded when we arrived. It didn't surprise me since it was a Saturday and only a few weeks before the start of term. Kids were running around and parents were shouting at them not to leave the shop. Mum immediately grabbed Matt's hand as we entered.
There were a few shop assistants scurrying around trying to locate books for people, but I decided to just find my own. I always liked looking around book shops and finding my own books. Dad helped me and it wasn't long before we had bought them all and found Mum and Matt in the children's book section. Mum was looking at a cookbook and Matt was reading a book about a bloke who had decided to fly his broom to the moon.
After we left Flourish and Blotts, we walked to Madam Malkin's, a store I had walked past numerous times but never actually entered. We walked into the cramped shop and started looking through a pile of robes.
"Hogwarts?" an old witch who was busy supervising measuring tapes on two different kids.
I looked up. "Yeah."
"Just give me a few minutes and I'll be right with you."
I nodded and continued to rifle through the pile of robes. I wasn't really interested in any of them, but there was nothing else to do.
"I'm bored," Matt announced after we'd waited two minutes.
"Why don't I take him to the joke shop?" Dad suggested, "Then you can finish up here and go to the Apothecary. We'll meet up with you after that."
"That's a good idea," Mum agreed and Dad and Matt left the shop.
Matt hated going to the Apothecary in Australia because all the smells of the various potions ingredients wafted together to make an almost unbearable scent. It made him feel sick every time he went into the shop. It didn't help that the place had Wolfsbane (the ingredient, not the actual potion) out in the open and that stuff is really dangerous for werewolves when it's undiluted. I figured the Apothecary in Diagon Alley would be no different.
A few minutes later the witch who I assumed was Madam Malkin called me forward to get measured for my robes.
"What house are you in?" she asked as her measuring tape magically measured me.
"Gryffindor," I told her. It was definitely odd saying that.
A little while later, Mum and I left the shop with three sets of Gryffindor robes. Apparently the Gryffindor mascot was a lion, as the crest depicted a lion standing on its hind legs.
The Apothecary was a few buildings down from Madam Malkin's. The Apothecary in Australia was always one of my favorite shops. I could spend hours browsing the different ingredients and cauldrons.
We stepped into the dark shop and sure enough I smelled the familiar sent of Wolfsbane. But I ignored it since Matt wasn't there and made a beeline for a display of solid gold cauldrons. Someday I would own one.
"Amy, you know you're not getting one of those," Mum said.
"I know," I replied, "But I can dream, right?"
Mum sighed, "Of course. Let's just find your ingredients."
"I've got a solid gold cauldron," a voice drawled from behind me.
I turned around and saw a tall and skinny bloke around my age walking towards me. His hair was a mousy brown and his face was plagued with a lot of acne.
"Er, ok," I said, "Is it nice?"
"'Course it's nice. It's solid gold," the boy laughed, "You don't look familiar. Do you go to Hogwarts?"
"Yes," I said.
"Huh," the boy muttered, "Like I said, I don't think I've seen you before. Is this your first year at Hogwarts?"
"Er, yeah," I said quietly.
"That's weird. You look too old to be a first year. What year are you in?"
"Fourth," I answered, "And to answer your next question, I just moved to England."
"From where?" the boy pressed, "And why?"
"Australia, and it's not really any of your business," I said as I tried to move away from him. He was quite nosy and seemed like the kind of person who bragged a lot.
"Well," he said as he followed me, "Hope for Slytherin. It's really the only good house."
"I'm already in Gryffindor, thanks," I said as I picked up a bag of dried beetles.
"Oh," he replied, "That's a shame."
"Not really," I said briskly. If this bloke was in Slytherin, I was glad I wasn't there.
"Maybe we'll share classes. I'm in fourth year, too. What's your name?"
"Amy Eckerton," I answered, figuring he'd find that out soon enough anyway, "And you?"
I nodded. "I'd better go get the rest of my ingredients."
"All right. Good luck in Gryffindor," Quinton said snidely as he sauntered off towards the back of the shop.
I avoided him as I continued collecting my ingredients. I seriously hoped the people in Gryffindor weren't like him. In the ten minutes I'd talked to him, I realized that I really didn't want to talk to him again. I just didn't like the way he demanded to know why I moved to England. I hadn't quite worked out my answer to that yet and didn't want to elaborate on it with anyone.
Mum paid for my ingredients and then we left the shop, thankfully without seeing Quinton again. We meandered down Diagon Alley and found Dad and Matt loitering near the Magical Market. I noticed Mum give Dad a significant look and then the two of them smiled at me.
"Amy," Mum began, "We've got a surprise for you."
I looked at them quizzically. A surprise? For me and just me? Usually whenever they said they had a surprise, it was for both Matt and I.
"What is it?" I asked curiously.
"We've decided to get you an owl," Mum explained, "In order for you to keep in touch with Olivia better while you're in school."
"Really?" I grinned, "Thanks!"
I had wanted an owl when I first started school, but my parents said no since we had Jasper. I begged them for months and then gave up.
"Yes, really," Dad said, "There's a shop down the road, Eyelops Owl Emporium. We'll go right now."
I took off immediately for the shop. I couldn't believe I was actually getting an owl. It was the first good thing to happen since moving to England.
I arrived at Eyelops before my parents did and walked inside to find numerous owls hooting in various cages. I started with the first cage I saw, which housed a snowy owl. However, when I tried to get its attention, the owl completely ignored me. Ok, I thought, not that one.
My parents and Matt showed up when I was at the second owl cage. They began to look around and kept calling me to see different owls. I wanted to pick one, though.
I continued looking at all the owls until I came upon one that was black with white speckles. He was in a cage with a few other owls, but they all seemed to be ignoring him.
"Just got him in the other day," the shopkeeper gestured to the speckled owl, "But none of the other owls are accepting him. I think he's lonely."
Like me, I thought. True, I hadn't actually gone to Hogwarts yet so I didn't know what the other students would think of me. But they had been going to school together for years and I was the new kid.
I stuck my finger in the cage and the owl came over and nibbled at it as I petted him.
"I'll take him," I announced a few minutes later. The owl was exactly like me. An outsider in a new place.
The shopkeeper smiled and opened the cage. I found another cage and the shopkeeper put my new owl in it. Mum and Dad paid for him and I carried him out the door with a huge grin on my face. After nearly fifteen years, I finally had a pet. I never had childhood pets like most kids did. Only Jasper, and he was the family owl. I never had fish or rats or puffskeins.
"I want an owl," Matt whined as we walked towards the Leaky Cauldron.
"When you're older and are going to Hogwarts," Mum told him.
"But that's not fair," he muttered.
I smirked to myself. Finally I was getting something he wasn't. Mum and Dad were finally not giving into his whining. Most times, they gave him what he wanted as if it would somehow make up for the fact that he had to turn into a wolf once a month. Maybe they were finally realizing that it wasn't good to give him whatever he wanted.
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