PHILOLOGUS by: P.P.V.V
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is not mine, but the wonderful J.K.R.'s. I am merely borrowing the characters for this story. There is a similarity to the anime Meine Liebe, though it will NOT follow its storyline. This is a standard disclaim.
Summary: A place where Nobility and the rich reside – that's where Lily finds herself. Spun in a web of courtesies, status and wealth, she struggles to become a Philogus. But when she meets James, things change. Perhaps academics are not all you learn in school, and James is about to find out that there are some things money can't buy.
Unlike most Altered Universe stories, this one takes a Major twist in that it does not follow J.K.R's time line or setting. In a sense it still does, but Hogwarts has suddenly changed into an academy for the high-bred and the society has become aristocratic. So, the language, Houses and ranking systems have changed drastically.
Academics at H.W Academy
LOGICS BRANCH - House Ravenclaw
ARTS AND ATHLETICS BRANCH - House Gryffindor
SOCIAL SCIENCES BRANCH - House Slytherin
HUMANITIES - House Hufflepuff
The term Philologus is Latin for "scholar". It is one that is learned and a top student, a very high position in the academy.
- Philologus -
Lily stared up at the gates before her, craning her neck to see where it ended. They were so tall and impressive that she could hardly imagine herself beyond them. The building right behind it was even more imposing, and the sight of it took her breath away.
She could hardly believe she was to attend…she had heard all about the Academy of course: it was for the nobles and the wealthy.
"Lily? Are you all right?"
She turned, clutching her cloak closer to herself. "I'm fine, Dad…" She glanced back at the gates, not really seeing them, and feeling her heart ache.
Her father let out a breath of relief. "Oh that's good, darling. Do you like it?"
Forcing a smile to her lips, Lily nodded. "Yes, it's beautiful."
She hated this place. She had read further about this school and she wasn't sure if she could take the aristocratic society. Still, she did not want to disappoint him, so she lied.
This time her father positively beamed. "I'm sure you'll like it. It's a renown place – many young girls like yourself attend. And when you graduate…you will be happily married off."
"To someone I don't love. Yes, I know." She said, rather curtly. She did not turn to face him again, so she did not see his disappointed look. She had almost forgotten that he was a nobleman.
"Lily…" He began.
She glanced down at the luggage she had by her feet. All her things were there – whatever she could carry, anyway. "I'm being sent away." She still hadn't gotten used to the idea. She had just gotten back with her father, and yet…
"…It will only be for a little while…" He whispered.
This time, she did face him, and her green eyes were unforgiving. "Yes. I know that, too. Only for as long as it takes for you to somehow shape me into something Mom never was!"
Now he was frowning. "Don't be like that." He said.
Lily held her head high. "I'm sorry, Dad."
He leaned forward and hugged her. "You take care now, Lily. I'll see you during the holidays. Do your best, okay?"
She stood stiffly in his arms. "I will."
He kissed her forehead. "Good. I know you'll make me proud. I love you."
"I love you too." She said. Her heart ached with the words. But there was nothing more to say.
Her father seemed to understand as he let her go and moved back
She watched as he got back into the car and the driver drove away. She kept watching until the vehicle disappeared around the bend.
Long after the car had gone, she could still feel the kiss that her father had left her.
It was like her soul had left too, and the burden of responsibility threatened to crush her.
Gathering her bearing, she took a deep breath and pushed open the gates.
"Ah, Miss Evans, am I correct?" A man asked after she had taken a few steps toward the edifice.
Surprised, Lily turned to see someone leaning casually against the brick wall. His blue eyes twinkled at her from behind their half-moon spectacles and by the way he carried himself, she knew he was the Headmaster. He was wearing a beautiful purple robe, which looked to be made of spun silk. "Albus Dumbledore." He said, upon introduction. "I came out to meet you personally." He held out his hand.
She reached out and shook it. "I'm pleased to meet you, sir." She said, nervously.
His smile was genuine, almost hidden completely by his full white beard. "Come then. I'm sure you are tired." He swept aside and gestured for her to move ahead, and he followed, his hands clasped behind his back.
"Your father requested that you be put under the Arts and Athletics Branch." Dumbledore said, by way of conversation. "I'm surprised: seeing grades like yours you should be under the Logics Branch."
Lily shrugged. "Beauxbatons Seminary didn't bother to teach the Arts in detail. They focused mainly on the Logics but my father believes that learning to refine ones skills in the area will allow her to make a suitable…bride."
Dumbledore made a sound deep within his throat, and they climbed the winding staircase up the marble steps. "And what are your goals at H.W Academy?"
Here, she hesitated. "I plan…I plan to be the best, Mr. Dumbledore. In everything I do. I want to be a Philologus Elite."
The Headmaster's eyebrows lifted in surprise. "Why, that is a very coveted title, my lady. We have only 8 places to fill and two vacancies left." Seeing her determined face, he laughed jovially. "But I have no doubts at all that you will succeed. A woman on the ring is not a bad idea. I'm sure it will rattle some bones."
Lily decided that she liked him immensely. "I will do my best." She said again for the second time that day.
"Merit your Branch some House Points, keep your grades high and make friends." Dumbledore told her, as they strolled past closed doorways. They were grand, arching toward the ceiling, the setting sun's rays peeking in through the tall roman pillars that were positioned in a neat row just outside the hallway. "Social standing, status and grades are what are looked for in a Philologus. Once you've attained your goal, it's not easy to maintain it."
She knew. She had heard of it.
H.W Academy was known for the Philologi. They became government officials, and people of importance to the nation. It was such a high honor that most people could not even imagine reaching for the goal.
The hallway seemed to stretch for ages, and when they finally entered the building, Lily found herself standing in the largest foyer she had ever seen. The ceiling was so high up and the walls surrounding it were painted a deep, rich red, circling the room in a welcoming manner.
The sound of footsteps coming toward them echoed and they turned to see who it was. An austere woman, dressed in robes similar to those of Dumbledore's, only instead of purple, they were made a deep emerald color, made her way from one of the staircases. "Master Dumbledore." She greeted, primly.
"Ah, Lady Minerva. I'd like you to meet our newest addition to this Academy. This is Lady Lily Evans. She will be under your branch of the Arts. Do teach her well."
The woman nodded and trained her gray eyes on Lily who dipped her head upon introduction. "Come along then, Lady Lily." She said, her voice sounding as thin as a reed. "I shall show you to your dorm rooms. You may leave your luggage here – I shall have Rosetta and Argus bring them up later." Obediently, Lily followed her, clutching her cloak to herself again, as they began to climb the stairs.
"It is fortunate," the woman – Lady Minerva, Lily remembered - was saying, "that you came to this institute so close to the beginning of the school year."
Lily did not respond to that. She kept the thought that she would not have come to this school at all had she not been forced to.
They passed numerous hallways and wonderful sculptures and paintings on their way. H.W Academy had been an old castle that had been made into a school for the noble-birthed and those wealthy enough to send their children to learn there. There was so much to see that she found herself turning her head every which way to take in all the sights.
They passed a few students who were gathered in little groups, chatting. As they passed, the men gave smart bows and the ladies curtsied before returning to their chatter. Lily thought they were just as beautiful too, in their crisp black uniforms.
Soon, they came upon a doorway and beyond that, a series of more stairs and hallways. "This is the Arts and Athletics Branch." She said. "It is also known as Gryffindor Tower. Students who are not Gryffindors may not enter. Now, whilst you live in this Institute, Miss Evans, I encourage you to make friends as these people will be like family for the remainder of your years spent at this school. Note that you are not allowed to leave this Tower after curfew hours."
"Yes ma'am." Said Lily.
Satisfied with the answer, Minerva began to lead her up another set of stairs and down a hall. "This will be your residence." She said, opening a door leading into a room. It was wonderfully furnished with a four poster bed, a beautiful oak desk and by one of the windows stood a table and two chairs. The curtains were a gold and scarlet color and on top of the table sat a tea set of the same colors.
The Lady watched her before asking, "Is everything to your taste?"
"It is wonderful, ma'am." Lily responded, unable to keep the touch of awe from her voice. Her eye caught sight of a bookshelf by the wall, only half filled with books.
"If you need anything else, Rosetta will be at your service." The Lady said. "Your uniform should arrive soon. In the meantime, have a nice rest."
The older woman nodded and swept from the room, closing the door behind her.
And with that, Lily was left alone in her prison.
A little while later, her uniform and luggage arrived. Rosetta, a tall, slim girl delivered them and made herself known. She had brought with her a light dinner on a tray, which she left on the table by the window. She had dark skin and a beautiful smile. "If my Lady needs anything else…" she began.
"No, thank you, Rosetta. You've done more than enough." Lily said, pushing herself away from her perch by the window. There was a splendid view of the gardens and the school grounds from where she sat. She could see the neighboring town from there, too.
Rosetta left, and while Lily was about to tuck into her late meal, a knock sounded at the door. She turned her head toward it, puzzled. Visitors? Already? She hadn't been expecting anything else… "Come in." She called standing and straightening her clothing. She wondered if Lady Minerva was back to tell her something else.
Instead, a group of girls entered, five in total, all dressed down in their white sleeping garbs. For a moment they stared at each other and then they curtsied generously to her. Perplexed but not wanting to seem rude, Lily curtsied back, awkwardly. "Come on in," Lily invited them, and the girls glanced at each other for a moment before folding their legs beneath them and sitting comfortably on the gold and red carpeted floor.
"We're sorry to intrude." One of the girls said breaking the uncomfortable silence. She had the face of a porcelain figure, with rosy cheeks and bright blue eyes. Her hair was a fine blond, curled into tight ringlets around her head. "We were curious to see the newest member of our hallway. I am known as Kalyn Anderson. And you?"
"Ah, Lady Lily. It sounds beautiful." The girl sitting next to Kalyn sighed eagerly. "I am Marie Selkinov." She was deeply tanned, her brown hair streaked with gold, most probably from the hours spent under the sun. The others introduced themselves as Patricia Nines, Alice Bailey and Florence DeBurceau.
"Nice to meet you." Said Lily.
The girls murmured agreements and Kalyn addressed her again after they had shared another look. "Have you received your assessment yet?" At Lily's blank look, Kalyn took the opportunity to explain. "Depending on your merits and achievements, you receive stripes in your House Colors. The more stripes you get the higher up in status you become. Ten stripes are the most, likewise, one is the least."
"And the Philologus Elites? How many stripes do they achieve?" Lily asked curiously.
"They receive a pendant, and are allowed a cape. You will see them from time to time." Said Kalyn. "The Philologus Elites share few classes with the other students."
Lily absently stroked the curtain of the windows. "And during the assessment?"
"You will be given stripes depending on how well you do."
"I see. I haven't had one yet."
Patricia shrugged in a delicate manner, her skin pale in contrast to her ebony locks. "Perhaps you shall be evaluated tomorrow. It's usually held in the drawing room."
"Then you guys have got to show me around. I didn't even know there was a drawing room! Everything is so confusing…one tour wasn't nearly enough."
The girls giggled. "We'd love to, Lady Lily." Said Florence. "We are going to be like family now. Do come visit us in our respective chambers throughout the course of the weeks ahead."
"Tea is always a good time." Alice put in. "I'd love the company."
For the first time that day, Lily smiled genuinely. Her heart felt lighter all ready. "I thank you guys so much. You're so kind."
The five of them rose to their feet. "The pleasure is ours. And now, if you will excuse us – the acquaintances have been made. We shall see you tomorrow during breakfast."
They departed after bidding her goodnight and Lily stood by her door watching them leave. She didn't know what to feel - forlorn because she didn't quite fit in, or happy knowing that she had made friends already. She wished she were back in France with her mother and she couldn't help but miss her old friends.
So far, all she felt knew was that this place was too polite for her liking.
By the time she sat down to her meal, it was no longer warm. She ate it quickly, and changed into her own night gown, the same white material as the ones the other girls wore. On the right breast the symbol of H.W Academy was embroidered in gold and red. It seemed, to her, that these must be the House Colors that Kalyn had spoken of.
The material felt good against her skin and she undid her hair, combing out the stubborn auburn strands. She realized she was so tired and that she had been putting it off resting for far too long. Despite the fact that she was in an unfamiliar place with an unfamiliar ceiling, she fell fast asleep.
The next morning dawned just as clear and bright as the day before had except that this time, Lily woke feeling refreshed and resigned. She was here now, and the hollow feeling in her chest that had formed over the past few weeks had lodged itself permanently there. She did not intend to let it rest though. She would fill the void with her achievements as she had in the past.
She glanced in the mirror one last time as she made to leave. She had placed a picture of her mother on her dresser and she spoke to it, feeling a tremendous longing to be home fall on her shoulders. "I'm going to go now, Mom." She whispered. "I don't know how I will do here, when everything seems so proper and cold, but I will get through this, I promise you."
With that, she fixed her tie one last time and smoothed her dress out, before leaving.
If only her mother wasn't sick….
Making her way out, she encountered Patricia and Florence who seemed to be waiting just for her. "Good morning." She greeted, nodding her head. She noticed that both of them had five gold and red stripes each.
"Are you ready, Lady Lily?" Patricia asked. "Breakfast will start soon, but Lady Minerva says they must evaluate you first before it. Will you follow us please?"
"Of course." Lily said, hoping she didn't sound as nervous as she felt. "May I ask where all the others are?"
"They have gathered down stairs for the morning assembly." Florence announced. "When you have finished with your assessment, Professor McGonogall told us that she would be the one to accompany you to your classes."
They exited the Tower and made their way down the staircase. "Who is Professor McGonogall?"
"The Lady Minerva – our Head of House." Was the reply. "She teaches us too, so during the day, we call her Professor."
Lily nodded, filing the name away for future reference. "I see."
A few more words were exchanged, most of them pieces of advice, such as to be wary of those with higher stripes as they seemed to take advantage of those with lower stripes, and to be very polite during the assessment. Apparently, the Academy took manners just as seriously as studying and did not approve of students' failure to comply with proper courtesies or falling behind on their studies, no matter the reason.
"Also, be wary of what you say to those who are Philologus Elites: if they don't like you, they may speak lowly of you so that you don't make a good impression on the superiors. Being Philologus Elites, they have strong influences on everyone."
Lily lifted her skirts so that they did not snag on the way down the steps. As they passed the auditorium, she caught a glimpse of a sea of black, where the students were gathering for the said assembly that Florence had mentioned. Instead of entering in there, her two companions steered her toward another hallway, away from the crowd. After passing a few rooms, Lily lost track of how to get back. When she voiced this, Florence pat her shoulder. "Don't fret – after a while you will learn how to make your way around here. But look now, we have arrived."
They stopped outside a door finally and the two turned to face her expectantly. "You'll do fine, Lady Lily. We shall see you at breakfast."
"Thank you." Lily said, clasping her hands in front of her. Without further ado, she pushed her way into the room.
To her surprise, there was a student within, sitting propped up against the window sill, a book open in his lap, one leg dangling down in a lazy manner. He looked up upon her entrance. Their eyes met for a moment, green locked with blue. He was a handsome figure, ruggedly so. He sized her up and down before turning indifferently and burying his nose back inside his book.
A bit miffed with his blatant rudeness, Lily ventured to speak. "Excuse me, but…I'm here to have an assessment?"
The boy did not answer, but just turned a page.
Feeling her cheeks start to heat, Lily continued, "I just got in yesterday so I'm not quite sure what to do. Do you think..."
"…Could you keep it down, please? I'm trying to study." The boy snapped.
Now really confused, Lily backed a step away. "I'm sorry." She said, but then feeling foolish for apologizing to someone so rude, she placed her hands on her hips. " But I would have expected that you would have at least been courteous enough to tell me the right place to go?"
The boy slammed the book closed and glared. He had a mop of unruly hair on his head, and he swiped a hand through the dark curls exasperatedly. "You really don't know when you're not wanted, do you?"
Taken aback, Lily felt her anger spark. "Excuse me!" She huffed. "I refuse to move until you tell me where I am to be evaluated and the reason why you are not in the assembly with the rest of the students."
He smirked then, and she blushed at the sight. "My reasons are my own." He answered, idly. He rose from his perch, and she saw that he too, had no stripes on his shirt.
"Are you here for an evaluation too?" She asked, wondering if she was not the only person who was new and who had been accepted into the Academy.
"What makes you say so?" He asked, coolly.
"You have no stripes." She pointed out, matter-of-factly.
"What is your name?" He asked ignoring her comment all together and placing his book down on the table nearby. She trained her eyes on the cover. History.
So, he was probably in the Social Science branch.
"Lily Evans." She said, meeting his eyes again.
"Ah, Lady Lily." He mocked, and she dearly wished to kick him. For some reason, it sounded positively horrid coming out of his mouth. "If you ask me, you would not deserve any stripes as of yet."
Now she was livid. "What? How dare you?"
"-Is that what you would say, Sir James?" Dumbledore asked, coming out from the shadows of the corner of the room. With him stood Professor McGonogall.
James bowed reverently. "Yes, Master."
"I hardly think that a fair assessment, with the way you provoked her." McGonogall said.
James shot Lily a witty look. "If anything, she intrigues me at most."
Lily curtsied quickly and shot James a glare. "And just who do you think you are, sir?" She let the last word fall venomously from her lips.
He grinned then, showing her two rows of perfect teeth. "I am James Potter, Philologus Elite. Please be sure to remember me, Lady Lily." He said, haughtily. As he turned, she saw that by his collar he wore a pendant, and she felt her knees weaken.
"Also, be wary of what you say to those who are Philologus Elites: if they don't like you, they may speak lowly of you so that you don't make a good impression on the superiors. That may affect your stripes. Being Philologus Elites, they have strong influences on everyone…"
"Thank you for your opinion." The Headmaster said cheerfully, and Lily wondered when her tongue had tied itself. Bowing again, James raised his hand in farewell. "I'm off then, to my lessons." He said and he left. She swore she saw his shoulders shaking with laughter.
She turned to face the two elders who had taken seats and were looking at her intently. She found she did not know what to say and wondered what they had thought of her outburst at one of their top achievers in the school.
"Lady Lily, we have observed you and you have passed our preliminary test." Dumbledore said, not unkindly. "I must admit that you possess a certain spark that none other who has encountered Sir James was able to express. Most usually fold at his first word. Or," He added teasingly, "they stare at him. Perhaps for his good looks?"
Swallowing, Lily held her tongue, not wanting to answer. She made her face impassive and waited to be told that she would be receiving no stripes after hearing what a Philologus Elite had recommended. She would have to work her way to the top from the very bottom – suddenly her road seemed very long. "We will evaluate you now."
They spoke quietly with one another, going through her files. Lily felt like she were a piece of meat that was being inspected and ready to be sold. Finally, McGonogall said, "3 stripes should do, I think," after what seemed an eternity. "I see that she was a top student at Beauxbatons. That must be awarded some credit. I'm sure that if she works hard, she will gain more stripes as time goes by."
Dumbledore seemed to want to object to that, but then, he paused. "Well, as opposed to having none, I would think that 3 will suffice, too."
Lily let out her breath. 3 stripes were better than none, she supposed, but she could not help but wonder how many stripes she would have received had James not opened his big mouth.
Knowing that now was not the time to argue about it lest it all be taken away from her, Lily curtsied. "Thank you for the honor." She said, quietly.
"No." McGonogall snapped. "The honor shall be yours when you achieve your ten stripes. For the time being, be grateful that you started with stripes when most do not see their first until they have been here for months."
Lily nodded. "Yes ma'am. Thank you." She smiled nervously at Dumbledore who stood and gave her his own special smile.
Like a real gentleman, he offered her his arm and she took it. "Now we're going to the assembly." He told her once they'd exited. "You did well, my Lady. I look forward to the day when you receive your pendant."
"Thank you, sir." She whispered.
She'd have to work harder.
As they made their way to the auditorium, James watched from behind a pillar.
A woman? Become a Philologus? It was unheard of! Not if he could help it…
He moved away and hurried toward his classroom.
To Be Continued….
Thank you for reading. I hope you liked it. I know it's different from the AUs that are currently out there, but I thank you for giving it a chance. Please do review for me as it will help me to continue the story.