"I think we'd better get changed into our robes now," Hermione said, anxious that they were nearly at Hogwarts.
"Good idea," Jade agreed. "Where?" Jade picked up her robes from her suitcase and looked around the carriage.
"In here, please," Ron begged her. Harry laughed.
"Why are you so desperate?" he asked.
"Are you blind?" Ron stared at Harry, whilst Jade blushed.
"Jade, he luuuves you, he wants to huuug you, he wants to kiiiss you -" Harry's song was ended by a loud thump on the arm that came from Ron.
"Hey, what was that for?" Harry grinned.
"You know exactly what it was for," Ron muttered angrily as the girls left to find a toilet to change in. They sat in silence until the girls came back, then they went to change too.
"I don't get it," Hermione said, which Jade thought, if it was true, must have been a first.
"Don't get what?" Jade put her hat on and posed. "Whadda ya think?"
"I think that you aren't listening," Hermione hissed angrily. "What did I just say?"
"Ahh, a test," Jade didn't know Hermione all that well, but she knew her enough to know just how to push her buttons and wind her up. And so far it was working.
"Stop mucking around!"
"I'm not mucking around," Jade said casually.
"I'm not in the mood to argue. It's those sweets. I told you not to eat so many,"
"I'm not complaining, and I'm not arguing either," Jade smiled. Hermione sighed.
"All the boys like you," Hermione said.
"Ahh, jealous, are we?" Jade laughed.
"You are really getting on my nerves," Hermione crossed her legs and folded her arms.
"Don't worry, you'll find a nice girl someday," Jade pushed yet another button. And what was Hermione talking about?
"Jade, you're so immature,"
"I know," Jade smiled. She knew she could be annoying when she wanted to be. "Hey, look! A castle!" she pointed out of the window. It was quite hard to see as it was almost dark, but you could make out the outline of a huge castle.
"That must be Hogwarts," Hermione gasped, with her nose pressed against the window.
"Wow," Harry said, also looking out of the window.
"It's just how they described it," Ron said. His brothers had told him so much, but having brothers like Fred and George, Ron didn't know what was true and what had come straight out of the twins' wild imaginations. "How d'you reckon they'll sort us into houses? Fred told me it had something to do with wrestling trolls,"
"That's complete and utter rubbish. They use the sorting hat," Hermione had learnt this in one of the many books she had bought in Diagon Alley. She sat back down on the seat, and the others followed.
"Which is…?"Jade asked sarcastically.
"A hat that sorts us," Ron suggested.
"Yes. It's placed on your head and then the hat shouts out the house that you will be in,"
Jade nearly questioned Hermione about a talking hat, but then she realised in the wizarding world this was quite possible and probably normal. Jade wondered how it must work. Did it see into your brain? Or did it see into the future? Was it completely random? She'd soon find out.
The train soon slowed down and eventually grounded to a halt. The train had stopped in a small station, and Jade watched as Hogwarts' students poured into the platform. Soon the four first years joined them, and they followed the older pupils in leaving their luggage on the train. Jade assumed it would be taken in by someone else. Jade could hear a voice shouting.
"First years over 'ere!" Jade soon saw that it came from a large man carrying a lantern. Now that she remembered, she had seen this man before, in Diagon Alley. She'd been too busy conversing with Ron about Quidditch at the time, but she had seen him. And now that she remembered, she had glimpsed a boy with him too.
"Hagrid!" Harry greeted the huge man by running up to him with a big grin on his face.
"Harry! How ya doin?" it was hard to tell, but Jade thought Hagrid was smiling; his eyes looked crinkled and she thought that she saw his mass of black hair twitch.
"Good. Er…this is Jade. Ron and Hermione," Harry introduced his new friends. Jade nodded and said "Hi,", and Ron and Hermione nodded and smiled.
"Nice to meet ya all," Hagrid yelled again, "First years, follow me!" Once all the older students had disappeared, Jade couldn't see where, Hagrid started walking to some boats.
"C'mon," Hagrid gestured to the boats. "Get in! Four to a boat!" The first years got in carefully, and sailed across the lake to Hogwarts Castle.
"Its so big," Hermione was, like all the other new students, staring at the castle in awe.
"Which house do you want to be in?" Harry asked no one in particular.
"Anyone that doesn't have Malfoy or his friends in it," Jade said.
"Well, that and I don't want to be in Slytherin," Ron said it like he knew something they didn't.
"What's wrong with Slytherin?" Jade asked.
"Well, nothing official, its just that there were some dodgy wizards that were in Slytherin. Some say loads of You-Know-Who's followers were in Slytherin. But, hopefully, I'll end up in Gryffindor because all my brothers are in Gryffindor," Ron explained.
"All outta the boats!" Hagrid shouted. The first years did as they were told and followed Hagrid up several stone steps to a huge oak door, which Hagrid knocked on three times. It opened and the first years and Hagrid went in. The entrance hall was enormous - a whole house probably could have fitted comfortably in it. A stern looking woman with grey hair tied back in a tight bun stood by another set of oak doors.
"Welcome to Hogwarts," the woman said proudly. "My name is Professor McGonagall, and I am one of the teachers here. When we are ready I will call you so that I can place the sorting hat on your head. The hat will shout the name of the house you will be in. You may like a few moments to tidy yourselves up a bit as the whole school will be watching. I will call your name in alphabetical order, so Miss Abbot," she looked around to see the girl she had just mentioned, "you will be first." Then she smiled walked through the oak door, but the first years couldn't see what was behind it. Hannah Abbot, a girl that Jade had seen in the toilets on the train suddenly looked very nervous. The girls started to fiddle with their hair and the boys adjusted their robes. One or two students wiped their mouths. A few minutes later, Professor McGonagall entered the entrance hall again.
"We're ready for you now," Professor McGonagall pushed the large oak doors open and strode briskly down what Jade could now see was a hall. And not just any hall. The whole school was sat at four long tables that stretched the length of the hall. The tables were laden with goblets, plates, and cutlery, but there was no food. The students followed Hagrid who was following Professor McGonagall up the hall, through two of the tables. Opposite the door was a table that was horizontal to the students' tables. In the centre was a man who had long grey hair and a long grey beard. His eyes were hidden behind half-moon shaped glasses, and as he surveyed the new students Jade could see that his eyes were blue. Jade guessed that he was Professor Dumbledore, the headmaster, and the other people sitting at the table were teachers. Hagrid took his place at the table, but McGonagall stopped at a stool with a dirty old hat on it. After Professor Dumbledore gave a little opening speech about a new year at Hogwarts, Professor McGonagall started to read out some names from a list.
"Abbot, Hannah," she called out, and a fairly short girl with pigtails stepped forward. She gingerly sat down on the stool while Professor McGonagall placed the hat on her head. A few seconds later the hat shouted, "Hufflepuff," from a little rip that formed a mouth, and Hannah went to join the table on the far left (each table, Professor McGonagall had explained, seated a different house) as the school clapped and cheered, especially Hufflepuff. The hat sorted several students, including Hermione, who ended up in Gryffindor, and Draco Malfoy, who ended up in Slytherin with his friends Crabbe and Goyle. Jade knew her name was coming.
Jade stepped forward nervously, aware that all eyes were on her. She closed her eyes as she sat on the stool, as if this would help people look away.
"Ahh," a voice said in Jade's ear, and it was a while before Jade realised it was the hat talking. "A little bit tricky. Very clever, and a little mischievous but you are brave and confident. Which house shall I put you in? I know. Gryffindor!" the hat yelled the last word so the whole room could hear it, but Jade had a funny feeling that only she could hear the rest. She was happy, and went to sit by Hermione.
"Potter, Harry," professor McGonagall called, and the room went silent. Jade could hear questions like, "Did she say Harry Potter? The Harry Potter?" all over the hall. Harry sat down on the stool looking very nervous. Everyone was staring at Harry, the tension high. It was Harry's turn for the hat to talk to him."Harry Potter. Interesting. Very interesting. Where shall I put you? Slytherin? You could do great things in Slytherin." Harry thought, "Not Slytherin, not Slytherin," and the hat just replied, "Not Slytherin? I think it'll have to be Gryffindor then," but the hat didn't shout anything. Instead, it continued. "Think about your family, Harry. Gryffindor!" the hat shouted it this time. The Gryffindor table erupted in claps and cheers, louder and harder than for anyone else. Harry walked over to the Gryffindor table, a little confused over the Hat's advice. His family? Was he supposed to research it? Maybe he'd ask Hagrid later on in the week.
Ron was the last one to be sorted, and he also joined the Gryffindor table. The tables were soon filled with food of all kind; potatoes, pasta, rice; chicken, lamb, beef, pork, more food than Jade had ever seen in her life. It was like every restaurant had come together to make this feast, because it was no cafeteria food; it was good.
"Peas?" Ron asked Jade after putting several spoonfuls onto his own plate.
"Er, no thanks, I'm allergic," Jade said.
"Harry? Peas?" Ron offered. Harry turned to Ron as he'd been talking to a boy called Seamus about the Dursley's.
"No, thanks, I'm allergic," Harry replied and went back to his conversation as Jade frowned.
"Bit odd," Ron said, and offered the peas to Hermione. Suddenly a hand appeared in the middle of the plate of chicken legs. It was a translucent hand which soon grew into an arm. Then a whole body emerged. Jade gasped.
"A ghost!" Hermione squeaked. "I've read about them, there are loads of ghosts that roam the halls of Hogwarts," Hermione explained, once she'd gotten over her shock.
"Yeah, aren't you Nearly Headless Nick?" Ron asked.
"I prefer Sir Nicholas, if you don't mind,"
"But are you really nearly headless?" Ron questioned.
"You mean like this?" Sir Nicholas said casually, then gave his right ear a good pull and his head came of, though it was still attached by a little bit of skin. To Jade, it looked like someone had tried to cut his head of but not quite finished the job. He pushed it back on again. "I'm the Gryffindor ghost. Good to have you in Gryffindor!" with that he wandered off to talk to someone else down the at other end of the table.
"Hermione?" Harry asked politely.
"Is there anything you haven't read?"
Hermione looked at him furiously. "Actually, I went back to Diagon Alley and did some research on some famous people in the wizarding world, and you were one of them." Hermione put a forkful of potato in her mouth.
"What did you find out then?" Harry couldn't stop his curiosity.
"Well, I found out a lot, but the most interesting thing was that you were rumoured to have a twin sister. ,"
Harry raised an eyebrow.
"Unfortunately she was supposed to have died in hospital the night…the night you…got your scar," Hermione said dramatically. She now had Harry's, Ron's and Jade's full attention.
"That's rubbish. Harry doesn't have a twin," Ron snorted.
"Did you find out her name?" Jade asked.
"No, but I can probably use the school library to find out more," Hermione said.
"The first day at a new school and she's wondering where the library is! How do you even know there is a library?" Ron laughed.
"'Coz she read it in a book!" Harry said and then burst into fits of laughter.
"Well? Did you?" Jade asked. The fact that Hermione went bright red said it all. This just caused the other three to laugh even harder. When everyone had finished eating, there was desert. There was as much variety as there was with the main course; there was so much food that was delicious that Ron thought he was going to be sick afterwards. He'd not only had a bit of everything but he'd had second and third helpings. But the amount of food in the students' bellies seemed to have a strange effect on their eyelids; they all went back to their house common rooms and retired to bed after a long day of travelling. Jade had thought that wasn't that tired, but as soon as her head touched her pillow she was asleep. She would have a strange day ahead of her, she'd looked at her timetable when Professor McGonagall had handed them out and seen that she had a charms class, a transfiguration class, a flying lesson and a potions lesson the next day.
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