Part 4- Sorting, New Friends, and Feather Beds
The wait to be sorted was very nerve-wracking for nearly everyone standing in line. They had heard about the houses from older siblings or students on the train (or from brainiacs like Venus Needle,) and now a lot of first years were in a panic. Were they going to become something as nerdy as a Ravenclaw, as evil as a Slytherin, as goody-two-shoes as a Hufflepuff, or as troublemaking as a Gryffindor?
Now, don't get me wrong- there is absolutely nothing wrong with any house at Hogwarts. But it was hard to maintain a bad reputation if you were a Hufflepuff, and people would wig if you flunked a test after becoming a Ravenclaw. And you very well couldn't be a coward-like Gryffindor, or a friendly Slytherin. So, you can imagine how worried everybody was. Their houses were going to help shape who they would become and what everybody would think of them during their seven years at the grand castle.
But then you had people who were so sure it was scary- Snape and Malfoy had been parading all over the train about how they were going to be Slytherins. James was positive that he was going to be a Gryffindor (his whole family had been Gryffindors since Hogwarts had opened.) Howard Arcle had, in a very depressing manner, admitted that he was going to be a Hufflepuff because everybody in his family and everyone they had ever known were Hufflepuffs, and that he was probably going to an outcast that would talk to his shoes for company.
Until Tianna Bert reminded him that there were going to be other Hufflepuffs.
Remus had sat in the corner during that conversation, trying to remain hidden from their eyes, knowing the question that would be thrown at him inevitably. And the truth was. he wasn't sure.
He wasn't even sure how he'd gotten to be in Hogwarts anyway. It had been the day that his father had been explaining to him that going to a school just wasn't a possibility that his mother had dashed in, and with a large smile on her face, declared that Albus Dumbledore was simply the most wonderful man on earth. All sorts of rules had been bent so that Remus could attend, and he was nervous that somehow somebody was going to figure him out and those rules would be un-bent.
Then he'd be like the man in Bristol who was always asking for money.
Remus was so wound up in his worries that he missed the first few people to be sorted. It wasn't until somebody accidentally nudged him that he came out of his trance.
A slightly lanky boy with medium length light brown hair, a smirk painted on his features. Remus remembered his name being mentioned in Diagon Alley, but he'd never seen him before. The hat took a small while before it made its final decision.
A dirty blond boy with bright hazel eyes stepped forward.
Sirius began humming to himself. It was a muggle song he'd heard on a radio somewhere, and he found the tune amusing. The girl behind him stared at him with her mouth agape, and Sirius turned to her with a shrug. He grinned in his most charming manner, and she just blinked at him.
Raven and Sirius exchanged a quick glance before they both tried to stifle their laughter. Somewhere in the back of the line, James caught sight of them and shook his head.
Sirius walked jauntily over to the stool, now whistling his tune. He sat down carefully on the three-legged chair, hoping not to tip over. He still whistled as he pulled the hat on, smiling occasionally at what the hat said, and then, finally, the hat called out-
Sirius took off the hat and went towards the Gryffindor table. He smiled as he was pat on the back by the Head Boy, who possessed bright red hair and introduced himself as Arthur Weasley.
Raven stepped forward nervously and sat on the three-legged stool, careful not to tip it over and embarrass herself. She placed the hat on her head and watched as the people around her faded when it slipped over her eyes.
Raven smiled and hurried toward the Gryffindor table. She plopped down next to Sirius, and turned to see who was on the other side of her. She had to do a double take before she extended her greetings to the Gryffindor ghost.
"Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, here to welcome you to Gryffindor! I hope you'll help earn points for Gryffindor this year so we can beat those foul Slytherins again."
"Sure will, Nick. So. um. how are you?" Sirius asked casually as he could while "BONES, GLORIA!" joined the table.
"Best as can be expected when you're dead." He replied. ("CAMLET, SHAWN!" joined Slytherin)
"It happens all the time, don't worry."
Names were shouted in the background as Sirius and the ghost continued to talk (there were quite a few Slytherins, they noted.) Raven looked over at Sirius with raised brows and shook her head. Sirius shrugged in reply and smirked before starting to tell her a joke about a bartender while "EVANS, LILY!" came over to the Gryffindor table.
"Uh-oh." Raven muttered.
"What?" Sirius asked, looking around. "This joke's not that predictable, is it?"("GOYLE, WALTER!""SLYTHERIN!")
"No, a fiery redhead we accidentally hexed on the train is coming this way." Raven looked a little worried. "Think she'll harm us?"
"I don't know. She seemed nice in Diagon Alley."
"You mean before we hexed her?"
"KNOTTS, SARAH!" McGonagall called.
"GRYFFINDOR!" the Hat shouted.
Trying their best to hide behind Arthur, Sirius and Raven looked up at the line to see if any of their friends were close to being sorted. Sure enough, Remus was next in line.
"Remus is about to be sorted!" Sirius exclaimed, bouncing lightly in his chair, watching anxiously.
Remus stumbled over to the chair and flung the hat on his head. The hat stayed on his head for a short while before it shouted-
Remus hurried over to the Gryffindor table, sitting on the other side of Sirius. "This is great! I hope James gets in here too!"
"Ah, don't worry, he will. Whole Potter family's been in there." Raven reassured him before she looked back at the stage. Her upper lip curled in disgust as the next boy in line made his way towards the small stool, a stupid smirk (that she imagined he stood in front of a mirror to practice, as to get the proper amount of nastiness) on his face.
"MALFOY, LUCIOUS!" the hat had no more than touched his head before it shouted its reply.
Sirius, Raven, and Remus pulled faces at him as he walked to the Slytherin table.
The list went on and on for what seemed to be hours. This can be like an eternity to people of the bright age of eleven, and so, still trying to avoid Lily Evans, Raven, Sirius, and Remus began to whisper to each other despite the glares from the older students who were intent on watching the Sorting.
There was a long wait. A very long wait, if you wanted to be closer to the truth. Some people were starting to wonder if he even belonged at Hogwarts, especially since he was talking to himself. But, finally, at long last.
The Gryffindor table went up in cheers and shouts. Soon the line had dwindled down to only a few people. "PREWITT, NATALIE!" joined the Ravenclaw table, and Sirius, Raven, and Remus were now ending the long awaited moment to find out where James would be sorted.
James hurried over to the table, rubbing his ears because the hat had shouted so loud. He slid into the chair next to Remus and across from Sirius, a large, smug grin playing his features. Raven reached across the table and gave him a high five before they all turned back to watching the sorting.
Truth be told, the sorting was rather boring if you didn't know much of anyone in line. So, the conversation turned to plans for the coming year, until their attention was deterred by a certain name being called through the hall.
"I never would have guessed." Sirius said sarcastically as he watched the greasy haired boy slink off to the Slytherin table, which had went up in cheers and shouts when he had been declared their fellow (as the Gryffindors called it) "evil-doer."
"Who'd have thought, eh?" James said tartly.
The last first year went to Hufflepuff and the older Gryffindors were now chatting away merrily with the new additions to the table. The Great Hall was filled with busy talking while everyone got to know each other or just caught up with old friends.
The plates all over the table had filled with food, and almost all the first years who were muggle-borns had taken a sudden, sharp intake of air. Peter and Lily Evans seemed to be the only ones amazed at the Gryffindor table, as they were the only first year muggle-borns in Gryffindor house. It was nothing new to the others at the table.
Sirius said nothing and immediately went for the glazed ham.
"Roast chicken anyone?" Raven asked, looking at everyone from Remus, who was shaking his head 'No' and drinking pumpkin juice from his goblet, to James, who was too busy chewing on what appeared to be a leg of something rather large. "Hmm, alright." Raven said, placing a chicken wing on her plate.
Everyone was starting to get full and very sleepy after an hour. Sirius was half-asleep on his chair, though James thought he would have been snoozing had his chair been softer. Slowly but surely, Sirius began to snore.
A loud clinking echoed through the Hall, silencing all the students and causing them to look toward the professor table. There stood Professor Dumbledore, who had become the Headmaster only ten years before.
"I'd like to welcome all of the new students to their first year at Hogwarts and welcome all of the older students back for another year at this wonderful school. I would like to make a few announcements before you all go off to your dorms.
"Please note that there is a new tree planted outside the school. The Whomping Willow, as it is called, is not to be fooled with. If you do have a run-in with the tree please see Madame Pierre right away to get your wounds cleaned up.
"Older students: do not venture into the Forbidden Forest. You are not proving your bravery, but rather your stupidity. After that unfortunate incident when young Mr. Ladson was attacked by goblins last year, the professors and myself have agreed that you all are only permitted in the Forest when with a professor or are on detention.
"First years, please follow the prefects up to your common rooms. They will get you familiar with the castle until you can manage on your own.
"Goodnight and enjoy your year."
"Gryffindors! Follow me!" Arthur Weasley instructed, standing up and beckoning all of them to follow his lead.
Moments later, they were climbing a staircase up to Gryffindor Tower. Raven wondered to herself just which tower was Gryffindor Tower and if you could pick it out when standing outside and looking at the castle. Judging form all the turrets she'd seen, she decided against that notion and continued to climb up the steps.
"Wow!" Remus breathed as he looked up and saw the staircase above them switch in midair to lead a different way. They traveled two corridors and came to a portrait of a fat lady in pink. The line came to a halt.
"Can you see what's going on?" Raven asked, hopping up and down, trying to see over a fourth year, who seemed to refuse moving.
"You're the tallest!" Sirius exclaimed in disbelief. "Here, let me climb on your shoulders so I can see."
"You must be joking." Raven answered, exasperated. "You'd break my back!"
"Then get these two to help you!" Sirius said, motioning to Remus and James, who weren't paying attention. "I said, 'get these two to help you!'" he elbowed James in the ribs.
"Oof! What was that for??"
"Help me up to sit on Raven's shoulders."
"Just. Do. It."
Remus and James shrugged and moved toward Raven, who was still protesting, but got ready to boost Sirius anyway. Sirius climbed onto her shoulders and tried to keep her legs from buckling. Remus and James tried to steady them as Sirius listened to Arthur, who was explaining something of dire importance to Gryffindors.
Or something like that.
Sirius shook his head to free his eyes from his rather long bangs, and perked up so he could hear Arthur. He nodded occasionally and went, "Mmhmm.", making James roll his eyes and groan.
"Sirius, hurry up, I can't hold you much longer!" Raven squealed, her knees beginning to buckle from exhaustion.
"Just another second, he's almost finished- AHH!"
Raven's knees had buckled, and as best as they tried, Remus and James didn't catch Sirius, but instead went toppling to the ground. Sirius landed on top of them all, grinning stupidly. James whacked him, and as Sirius got off, James curled into a ball, rubbing his stomach where Sirius had landed.
"We seem to have fallen a lot today." Remus wheezed from where he lay on the stone floor. "I, personally, have had enough."
"I saw you fall! Are you okay?" a girl with sandy blond hair asked, helping them all up. "Would you like help to the door or something?"
"We'll be fine." James said, clutching his stomach as he walked towards the portrait. "Are you sure?" he nodded. "My name's Sarah Knotts." She smiled.
"James Potter. That's Raven Blake, Remus Lupin, and that idiot over there who made us all fall is Sirius Black." James said weakly, motioning to all of his friends as he said their names.
"Hey!" Sirius replied defensively.
"So what did the prefect say?" James wheezed.
"Arthur said that the painting of the Fat Lady in pink is the door to our common room, and this week's password is 'strawberry jam'." Sirius said, brushing his robes off.
"Oh, is that all?" Remus asked sarcastically, dusting off his sleeves as they followed the flood of students into the common room.
The common room was a large room decorated in scarlet and gold. There were tables here and there to do homework or just to chat, and a few students were doing just that at the moment. There was a fireplace with furniture surrounding it, shadows of the flames dancing across the fabric of the chairs. It was a nice, cozy place, big enough to cram all the Gryffindor and Ravenclaw first years in there together. The carpets were swirls of maroon and gold, gently illuminated by the starlight flowing in through the window and the flames in the fireplace.
"First year girls, your dorms are on the left. First year boys, your dorms are on the right. First room on the left girls, first room on the right boys." Arthur said, directing them to their dorms. "Your things are already in your rooms. You must sort out whose beds are who's for the rest of the year before you go to sleep. Go. Goodnight."
"Well, goodnight guys. I'll see you tomorrow." Raven said to the boys, and Sarah paused to wait for her by the staircase.
"G'night Raven." The three boys chorused before nearly being knocked down by Peter, who dashed over to them after realizing they were the only ones not hiding from him.
Raven joined Sarah and the two began to chat a little as they made their way up the staircase toward their dorm. It was Raven who pushed the door open to reveal an empty room. Apparently the other girls were yet to make it up to the room. They stepped in and raised their brows.
"I take it we sleep where our trunks are?" Sarah asked, noticing her own battered trunk lay at the foot of a bed farthest from the window.
"Guess so." Raven answered with a shrug, a shirt in her grasp as she began unpacking her trunk dutifully; admiring her new Gryffindor patch on a cloak that lay on a chair next to her bed.
The door burst open just then, and a girl with messy brown hair piled on top of her head came through the opening, jaw agape in amazement at the room. She was chewing Drooble's Best-Blowing Gum and was popping it loudly with her teeth. Her blue eyes took in the sights of the room, which she must have thought fabulous, and her eyes came to rest on Raven and Sarah, who stood there with their clothes in their arms, blinking.
"Hi!" the girl said in a very friendly tone, strolling right over to them. "Gloria Bones." She smiled at them. "What're your names?"
"Sarah Knotts." Sarah answered, grinning widely as if she had just met her new best friend.
Gloria turned to Raven. "And you are?"
"Raven Blake." Raven smiled- she liked this girl.
"Cool! I've heard of the Blakes!" Gloria said, popping her gum again. She walked over to where her trunk sat, her arms on her sides. "Well, I guess this is my bed then." She looked over on the two sides of the bed. Raven was on one side, and an empty bed sat on her other side. She smiled. "Hmm."
The door creaked open again, revealing Lily Evans. Raven's eyes went wide- she'd forgotten Evans had become a Gryffindor. She turned back to packing, not making a move of greeting or anything of the like.
"Lily! Hi! This is Sarah and Raven," Gloria said, motioning to Sarah and Raven in turn. "They're really nice."
"Hi!" Lily answered in a bouncy tone, but her eyes turned dark when she saw Raven.
Sarah and Gloria gave each other sideways glances. "Great."
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~ Meanwhile, over in the Boys' dorm ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~
"Well, this is nice." Remus observed as he entered the dorm.
Sirius gaped at the room, dropping his bags at his sides (for some reason they'd been in the common room- probably because there were no names on them, just a simple tag that said "GRYFFINDOR BOY"), effectively smashing James's toe.
"I get this bed!" Sirius exclaimed, jumping onto the bed closest to the window. He bounced on it a little and smiled at the others.
"But your trunk is over here." James said, pointing to the brown trunk that sat at the foot of the bed two away from the one Sirius was bouncing on.
"Yeah? So? I can move it." Sirius smiled, then flung himself backwards and sprawled himself across the bed. "As if I can't move a trunk. I bet even Shy Remus could."
"Oh shut up." Remus snapped.
James slumped down onto the bed next to Sirius's and sank into the mattress. He wiggled around a little bit before he smiled. "Soft." He yawned as he finished this, and his eyes began to close.
"Oh no you don't!" Sirius declared, picking up a pillow and nailing James in the head.
"ARGH! I'm trying to sleep!" James huffed, burying his head under his pillow.
"Well, you're no fun." Sirius told James, folding his arms in front of him and sticking his tongue out at James even though he wasn't looking- not that he would have cared anyway.
Peter came stumbling into the room just then, his hands full of paper. He closed the door behind him and began to sort through the papers. He licked his fingers and pulled one from the messy pile in his hand and gave it to Remus.
"Class schedules." Peter stated. "Arthur gave them to me."
"Oh." James said, lazily getting up, heading over to his trunk, and stuffing it into the pocket of the robes he planned to wear the next day. He dove back onto his bed and sank into the mattress again. "I love this bed." He declared, breathing in the scent of his pillow.
"Really?" Sirius asked, and ran towards James's bed. He flung himself onto it and laid there for a moment, which was clearly irritating James. "Yes, I quite agree. You get that half, I get this half." He smiled, and got under the covers.
"I don't think so!"
Remus, who was yet to sit on his own bed, sunk fairly deep into the mattress. "Oh, mine's made of goose down!" he said, pushing his fingers into the mattress.
"Really? Mine's a regular mattress." Sirius said, getting up and pushing his fingers onto Remus's mattress. "No fair! You got the softest one! Trade ya."
"No." Remus said, snuggling himself onto the bed and mashing his head into the pillow. When he looked back up at Sirius, his hair was all over the place.
"Spoilsport." Sirius said, getting up and going to the bed next to James, lying down and slamming his head down onto the pillow. "I can't wait until Transfiguration, I'll transfigure this stupid thing into a feather bed, oh yes, just you wait and see." Sirius muttered to himself.
Peter sighed and took the last bed available, which was next to James. He was exhausted. All that hot food had been delightful and made him very sleepy.
"Goodnight Sirius..." James trailed off softly, yawning. Soon after, he was breathing softly and tossing around a bit- asleep.
"G'night Hogwarts- you've been a great audience! I'll be here all year!" Sirius replied.
Remus rolled his eyes and changed into his pajamas before he climbed into bed. "Goodnight everyone." He said before instantly falling asleep.
Peter said nothing. He'd been asleep since he'd sat on his bed. It was rather disturbing to see an eleven-year-old boy sitting up with his mouth open, sleeping. So disturbing, in fact, that Sirius got up, pushed Peter over, and then went back to his own bed to sleep. He didn't fall asleep for a long time, and instead drew in his sketchbook.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~ A Few Months Later ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~
"Did you see the look on Malfoy's face?" Sirius howled with laughter, books under his arm as he walked down the hall to Transfiguration class with his three cohorts... and Peter, who seemed to like tagging along behind them.
Raven was wiping tears of laughter from her eyes, and James was heavily leaning on Sirius's shoulder to keep from falling over. Remus was pretty much composed, but was still having the occasional outburst of uncontrollable laughter. Peter was still struggling to find out what had happened, as he hadn't been present at the time of whatever had happened had, well, happened.
"That was a good idea, Remus- putting glue on his toothbrush and all- you should have ideas more often!" Raven smiled.
"Yeah, ol' Shy Remus here could be a real daredevil if he wanted to be." Sirius said, wiping at his eyes and still chuckling. "Malfoy's face when he found out he couldn't get his teeth apart! I wish I had a camera! It was even better after we put that coloring potion in his toothpaste- smile like a rainbow!"
"They're so stupid." Lily said under her breath as they walked past. Venus Needle of Ravenclaw, who Lily, Gloria, and Sarah were walking with to Transfiguration, nodded off-handedly as she dug through her notes.
"I like them. They're nice." Gloria put in. "You like everybody." Lily muttered.
"They are funny, Lily." Sarah said.
Lessons so far that year had been anything but dull. Something was always being blown up or caught on fire- especially in the dungeons under the supervision of Professor Darius Niles. He seemed to enjoy the jokes as much as the students, and if any points were deducted, it was a small amount that nobody cared to notice because he'd give them back for one reason or another before class ended.
Professor Niles was a tall man of about 6'3", with shaggy black hair and dark brown eyes that twinkled a lot in the candlelight. He was very accident prone, and so his motto had became "If anything is going to happen, it's going to happen to me. So if the dungeon explodes, I'll be the only one on fire afterwards." He didn't give much homework, but what he did give was very brain wracking and tiring.
So at least she was learning something in there, she supposed. But the other day. well. she was still planning the perfect revenge.
The potion had been a simple one that was a gnome repellent (people poured it around a garden, and when a gnome got any on it, a green bubble would surround them and carry them far away so that they could not bother you again. it was a recent discovery.) She had been brewing her potion beside Remus Lupin, who was miserable at the subject, and whom her Niles had forced her to partner with. Remus wasn't as bad as his friends, but he still was annoying and he had been the one who had spilt ink all over her robes a week before.
A hissing sound had caught her attention, and she had looked all around for it until a sudden shout of "DUCK!" had went echoing through the room. She hadn't been able to act fast enough. James Potter pushed past her at the last moment, shouting as he rolled his ankle and fell under the desk next to Remus.
The explosion was nearly deafening, and it knocked her to the floor. She only had time to see the cauldron she and Remus had shared start smoking before a chain reaction began, and all the cauldrons in the room started to blow up around her.
A shower of lime green liquid came raining down on her, and she immediately felt queasy. An awful burning came to her throat and before she had blinked, green bubbles had started popping out of her mouth. When the liquid stopped raining down, the other kids had gotten out from under their desks and had began to laugh their heads off.
Professor Niles had rushed her off to the Hospital Wing immediately, everyone laughing as he took her out the door went out the door. Through the corner of Lily's eye, she could see those idiotic jokers doubled over in laughter before Niles turned and told them to start cleaning up the mess with some cleaning solution under one of the sinks in the back of the classroom.
Oh how she hated them! She hated them all! Remus, Sirius, James, Raven, Niles, and even that little Peter! That had been the moment she had sworn revenge on them.
Flying Lessons were now taking a turn on the wizard sport quidditch, and their professor in that subject was now teaching them the positions and fundamentals of the game. Raven, Sirius, and James had been all for it and were by far the most anxious to play the game. They knew all the rules by heart and Lily nearly flipped out every time James answered a question- he was always right when it came to quidditch. It was pathetic to see the professor's eyes well up with joy and admiration whenever he answered a question. Lily knew they were waiting to show off. She'd overheard them telling Remus and Peter they'd been practicing for a long time before school had started, and they wanted to be on the team more than anything else. Lily didn't even see what the big deal was. Flying was dull in her opinion, and she'd rather keep her feet on the ground. She chuckled to herself every time she thought of the one thing that would keep them off that stupid quidditch team- first years couldn't play, and they didn't know that.
Transfiguration was always dull. Well, aside from what that stupid Potter and his friends did, it was very dull indeed. Lily took her usual seat in the fourth row, in between Kevin Mass and Venus. She pulled out her book and set it on her desk as McGonagall began to take roll.
McGongall began to list off names, and stopped after 'Black, Sirius'. "Sirius Black!" she called out, and was met by a loud snore coming from a lanky boy with black hair in the fifth row. A small wave of giggles swept through the room.
McGonagall smiled and picked up her meter stick. She walked over to the desk with the snoring boy behind it. "Oh Mr. Black?" she whispered softly to the sleeping Sirius. "It is time for CLASS!" she shouted, and brought her meter stick down so hard on his desk that it broke.
"AH!" he shouted, falling out of his chair and landing under his desk. "Will you stop doing that??" "Only when you stop falling asleep in here, Mr. Black." McGonagall leaned down and looked at him as he lay on the floor. "How very thoughtful of you to join us today... Now, please state that you're here."
"I'm here!" Sirius replied sourly, rubbing his head.
"Thank you." She got up and walked back to the front of the class. "Now, you will be moving to the front row so I can keep a better watch on you." She ordered, pointing what was left of her meter stick to the front row. "Ms. Malone, you will be moving to Mr. Black's previous seat."
A girl got up and went to where Sirius was, gathering his things up. He slid past her and smiled brightly, sitting down in his designated chair. He was very cheery for a person who'd just been yelled at. He turned the boy beside him.
"Violent thing, isn't she?" Sirius asked.
Lily shook her head. That Sirius Black would surely be kicked out of school someday. She was positive his friends would be right behind him, and she could hear them giggling in the rows behind her. They weren't allowed to sit together in any of the classes they took because they caused so much trouble. Yes, they would all be kicked out of school soon.
Maybe it was because she was muggle-born, or maybe not, but she felt a strongly about passing all of her classes and leaving school with good grades. She wasn't obsessed or anything, but she did study every night- these subjects were much more interesting than that she'd studied in her first school. Besides, Transfiguration was definitely more interesting than Literature.
Chapter 3: It Was An Accident- Honest!
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