|The Serpent's Tongue
Author: Animagus Sugar Glider PM
Albus and James are back for another year at Hogwarts but suddenly everything changes due to a strange and mysterious series of events. Without warning the two brothers find themselves forced to work together to unearth an incredible secret. Sequel to The Secret Treasure of Hogwarts, previous reading of which is recommended but not necessary.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Friendship - James S. P. & Albus S. P. - Chapters: 23 - Words: 56,617 - Reviews: 91 - Favs: 21 - Follows: 28 - Updated: 04-28-13 - Published: 06-30-12 - id: 8271268
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This chapter is dedicated to LilDevyl, my amazing beta-reader! It is thanks to her that you are no longer plagued by grammatical nonsense and silly typos! Thank you so much LilDevyl for being such an amazing beta-reader for this story and my mentor and guide since I joined fanfiction almost two years ago.
Animagus Sugar Glider
The Sorting Hat's Surprises
James, Alex and Blue tumbled into their seats at the Gryffindor table opposite Albus and Philip, who were now joined by Rose and abandoned by the other girl.
"Where's 'Tetia?" Alex asked peering around the Great Hall as if expecting their friend Letitia to burst through a wall at any moment, as they had grown accustomed to over the past year.
James looked around too. Letitia had spent the first half of the summer with James in London but instead of joining them at the Burrow she had decided to revisit her old home. James and his parents had agreed that this was probably for the best, mostly because it might alarm Will to be staying with a ghost so soon after discovering that he could perform magic.
James had gone with Letitia to her old house, the alleged haunted house on the corner of an old street in London. The house was boarded up, it hadn't been occupied for decades and Letitia had abandoned it for an adventure at Hogwarts a year ago. Saying his goodbyes here and promising to meet her again back at Hogwarts, James had proceeded to visit his father's godson, Teddy Lupin, where he was studying to become a Healer. James had always viewed Teddy almost as an older brother. As an orphan, Teddy had grown up with his grandmother but was a frequent visiter to the Potter's during the weekends and holidays. Teddy had always been a lot more sensible than James and he had a 'don't want to know attitude' to James's pranks and troublemaking. Even still, Teddy and James always got along exceptionally well despite their differences in character.
Letitia had died before getting a chance to attend Hogwarts but after a year of debate with the Ghost Council, she had been given the status of student at Hogwarts by the Headmistress, Professor McGonagall and this year she would be commencing her magical education along with the other first years despite her... condition.
However, James, Alex and Blue had failed to find her on the Hogwarts Express. Eventually they had to go ahead with their plan to prank Tybalt Tyne and the other Slytherins without her. James began to worry a little as he considered the possibility that perhaps she hadn't been able to get on the Hogwarts Express without being noticed by Muggles.
James spotted Sir Nicholas, better known as Nearly Headless Nick, floating through a wall and waved to him. Nearly Headless Nick made his way over, silvery white and floating several feet off the ground but turning no heads as he went. The students of Hogwarts were well adjusted to seeing ghosts flying around.
"Good evening James Potter. I'm afraid myself and the other ghosts are just after giving the new first years quite a fright. Though having your friend Miss Darling with them seems to have softened the shock."
"You've seen Leetitia?" James asked at once as Nick settled himself next to him.
"Oh yes. She looks very excited to finally be starting school." He smiled fondly.
James was relieved, now that he knew Letitia was okay he was perfectly relaxed again.
"What's happening with her Sorting, Sir Nick?" Blue asked politely.
"Ah yes! A very interesting matter. Professor McGonagall has oragnised it so that, as the Sorting Hat cannot be placed on Letitia's head in the usual fashion, she is instead to have a long interview with him before the rest of the students are sorted. She is, of course, to be completely honest and answer any question the Hat puts to her." Nick informed them importantly, "I believe that's where she is at the moment."
"Cool!" Enthused Alex.
"Indeed." Agreed Nick, "I myself, have little doubt that she'll be joining us here at any moment."
James silently agreed. He knew Letitia well after their adventures together last year and definitely thought she belonged in Gryffindor.
They chatted with Sir Nicholas for a few minutes longer, discussing the holidays and then, as expected, Letitia burst through a wall and flew over barely containing her excitement.
"I'm in Gryffindor!" She squealed as the boys cheered, "The Sorting Hat asked me all kinds of questions. He did consider Hufflepuff for a while but in the end he picked Gryffindor. Thank you so much Sir Nicholas for all your help last year! And thank you James, Alex and Blue! I never would have been allowed stay if it weren't for all of you!"
"My pleasure." Replied Nick as the three others nodded happily.
They made room for her at the table and she joined them.
"Where were you on the train?" Asked Alex curiously.
"Oh! It was so much fun!" Letitia smiled, "I met some other new first years! I thought they'd be scared but they were fine - after a minute or two. Anyway, I decided to travel with them. I hope you didn't mind."
James shook his head. He was just glad that Letitia had enjoyed herself. She had dreamed of starting Hogwarts for over one hundred years.
"Oh look! Here they come now!" Letitia said pointing towards the great big door connecting the Entrance Hall to the Great Hall.
The small and tentative first years were following Professor Longbottom, the Herbology teacher, into the hall. They were all soaking wet from the rain outside and some of them were shivering. James was sure he couldn't have looked that small when he was starting school.
"Oh," Letitia mused, "They do look wet. You know, I think I've forgotten what 'wet' feels like."
"It gets that way..." Nick said sadly.
James couldn't see what Nick was so sad about. Personally, he wasn't too fond of getting wet.
The first years formed a line along the top table where the teachers sat. A stool with the tired old Sorting Hat on it stood in front of them. James paid little attention as the Hat sang a song and the first years were given instructions. His mind was on the feast that would soon follow. He was starving.
"Here it is, the moment of truth, where will Willard be placed?" Whispered Philip mysteriously across the table.
James glanced up and down the line spotting Will, who looked nervous, as well as Sora Wood and his cousin Dmitriy. James had never had much time for Dmitriy. He was the kind of kid who kept his nose clean and did what his parents told him to do and he was also a complete Know-It-All. He was Fred and Molly's younger brother and luckily for James it was usually Albus who got paired up with him over the holidays as they were closer in age.
James and the other Gryffindors watched as the first years made their way, alphabetically to the Hat to be Sorted. He clapped and cheered as new Gryffindors joined their table but most of the time he watched Will who was managing to look grumpy despite his nerves.
"Dursley, Willard." Called Professor Longbottom.
Will stepped forward and James glanced at his brother and his friends quickly. He could see that they were thinking the same thing as he was, except maybe Letitia who was humming quietly to herself; 'there's no way he'll go anywhere but Slytherin'. Even still, he remembered what the girl on the train had said and it made him curious. 'Was Willard about to become the first ever Muggle-born Slytherin?'
Will sat on the stool and gave the scruffy Hat a slightly disgusted look as Professor Longbottom lowered it onto his head. James grinned, he bet Will never had to wear anything that wasn't brand new and unquestionably clean while at home, even just for a minute. For a long time they waited, James knew that the Sorting Hat was inevitably whispering in Will's ear as it thought but James could only guess at what it might be saying.
After two or three long minutes, the rip near the brim of the old wizards hat opened and the Hat finally shouted,
James mouth fell open, Philip looked startled and Albus let out an alarmed, "What?"
James had been thinking the exact same thing. Even if Will hadn't been sorted into Slytherin he couldn't understand how he'd be put in Gryffindor! James was in Gryffindor. He didn't want Will in Gryffindor. He gaped across the table at Rose who was seated directly opposite him and was glancing around at their stunned faces calmly,
"Well? What did you expect? Muggle-borns can't be Sorted into Slytherin." She said in a matter-of-fact tone of voice.
James couldn't believe it, he didn't understand how Muggle-borns could still be barred from Slytherin even after all these years. Rose went on to explain that Salazar Slytherin had never wanted any Muggle-borns at Hogwarts and that was why he had left. James let her prattle on but he wasn't listening. At the top of the table Will was seated with a couple of other new Gryffindors looking confused. James sighed, if he started following James around again asking for Flying lessons he had another thing coming.
James went back to impatiently waiting for the start of the feast but before the end of the Sorting there was another bombshell.
"Weasley, Dmitriy." Called Professor Longottom and Dmitriy stepped up to the stool, pushing his glasses further up his nose towards his red hair.
After less than fifteen seconds of sitting on Dmitriy's head the Sorting Hat suddenly cried out,
"What did it say?" James asked suddenly paying attention. Albus and Rose also looked shocked.
James didn't know why he was so surprised. It made perfect sense that Dimitriy would belong in Ranvenclaw and yet...
"He must be the first Weasley not in Gryffindor since..." gushed Rose, "Well, since... For generations!"
"Guess all traditions have to be broken eventually." Murmured Albus glancing up the table at the girl from the train.
Sora Wood was the final first year to be sorted and she joined them at Gryffindor table looking very pleased with herself.
Then, finally, platters of food materialized along the table. James piled his plate high and began to eat ravenously. Around him the other students were doing the same and conversations burst noisily up and down the table. Philip was laughing as he told Albus and Rose a story and Blue was once again chatting with Sir Nicholas and Letitia. Alex, like James, was too busy eating to stop and chat.
After dinner, followed by rich deserts, the Headmistress, Professor McGonagall made a quick speech and sent them all to bed. Professor McGonagall was a strict old witch and though James was grateful that she'd allowed Letitia to join the school, he couldn't help remembering that she had taken away his Hogsmeade visiting rights at the end of last year, even if he had deserved it.
After quickly getting the password off Molly, who was a Prefect, James, Alex, Blue and Letitia, headed up to the Gryffindor tower ahead of the rest of the crowds. Over the past two years they had learned all the shortcuts and secret stairways and it didn't take them long to reach the common room. It was a circular room with comfortable armchairs gathered around in groups and a bright fire already burning in the grate.
James was tired after the journey and the feast and though reluctant to turn in already, classes began in the morning and he agreed to an early night. The boys bid Letitia goodnight and tramped up the spiral staircase to their dorm.
Hope you enjoyed this chapter! Please let me know what you thought of the Sorting. Thank you so much to everyone who has reviewed this story so far! Especially to those of you who I haven't been able to reply to by PM.