"HARRY JAMES POTTER, SIRIUS ORION BLACK, GET YOUR BUTTS DOWN HERE OR I'LL DRAG YOU OUT BY YOUR EARS!"
Harry bolted upright in his bed, years of ingrained experience forcing him to obey any yelled voices.
"What are you yelling about woman?" Sirius asked yawning still in his pajamas slowly descending the stairs as Harry came running out of his room. An angry Cizzy was already dressed standing by the door holding three year old Felicia in her arms, Cyrus and Benjamin fully clothed also in their red hooded jackets and black jeans were laughing at the sight of Sirius and Harry.
"Oooo… they're going to get it now." Cyrus whispered to Benjamin as he nodded in agreement as what was going on finally dawned on Harry.
"OH MY GOD!" Harry ran back into his room.
"What?" Sirius asked still unsure as Cyrus and Benjamin were trying to hold in their laughter after the glare their mother gave them.
"Do you know what time it is?" Cizzy said angrily pushing him with her free hand. "I told you to come down and eat breakfast and get dressed like an hour ago! You were supposed to wake up Harry! Look! You're not even dressed! Sirius it's 10:15! Go!" Cizzy pushed Sirius again as he raced away back upstairs; Cizzy sighed in annoyance, typical Sirius.
Meanwhile Harry was throwing all his clothes in his trunk. Good thing he had packed everything else the night before.
It had taken Harry, Sirius, and six strong house elves to get his own luggage out of the house, and the help of the cab driver to put it on the trolley. He blushed, looking at his heavy trunk, berating himself for packing so many of his books and his family belongings.
Harry ignored the looks he received from muggles at King's Cross as he pushed his trunk and owl along on the trolley. His Godmother and his Godfather were still arguing about this morning. It was 10:48 now. He looked at his ticket, again, how exactly was he supposed to get there?
"-packed with muggles, of course-"
The green-eyed boy whipped his head around to the origin of the voice, and saw a plump woman walking down the platforms with five redhead children following her, varying in ages. Cizzy and Sirius were to busy talking to notice the redhead group. He stopped when they stopped, and watched with surprise as the eldest took a running start and disappeared through the dividing barrier between platforms nine and ten.
He watched in amusement as the woman became flustered as two of the redhead boys, obviously twins, confused her with their identities and ended getting the last laugh. The last boy and the woman and the last child, a young girl was left.
"That was so cool!" Cyrus exclaimed after watching the family go through the barrier as they came to a stop in front of the platform. Sirius and Cizzy looked round at them to notice they had stopped walking.
"Molly, how are you?" Sirius asked as Molly Weasley looked towards the approaching group.
"Sirius! No time to talk, going to be late!" Molly pushed her son and Ginny through the barrier; she soon followed after disappearing though the platform.
"Always nice to chat." Sirius replied sarcastically. "Go on Harry," Sirius motioned the barrier.
Harry pushed his trolley closer to the barrier he saw the redhead family disappear through, and took a running start towards it. Just before he made it through, he closed his eyes on instinct. When he didn't feel an impact, he opened his eyes and found himself on a busy platform with a red engine waiting and ready to go on its way. Looking back at the barrier, he instead found an iron archway with Platform Nine and Three-Quarters written on a sign over it. He smiled to himself, quite pleased.
"Brilliant! Ouch Benjamin!" Cyrus exclaimed pushing his twin brother whom just came through the platform as Benjamin pushed him back.
"Move next time!"
"Not now boys." Cizzy exclaimed giving Harry one last hug as he and Sirius tried to help to put his things onto the train. The Potter heir sat Hedwig safely in an empty compartment he meant to sit in, and then proceeded to attempt to lift his trunk up with the help of his Godfather. When everything was set and put away Sirius gathered Harry into a tight embrace.
"You will write wont you?" Sirius asked him after finally letting him go.
"Of course Padfoot… everyday!" Harry exclaimed as Sirius laughed.
"Me and Cizzy will try to visit whenever we can. We might even be able to manage Remus to come and visit you from his busy schedule." Sirius exclaimed giving Harry one last hug before leaving his godson.
Harry looked at his empty compartment, before flopping down in the seat. He closed his eyes, relaxing in the silence of the space, until he hard his name being called.
"Harry! You better write us!" Harry smiled out the window towards his twin brothers, but not.
"I'll write don't worry." Harry said to them as they smiled expectantly.
"Be safe sweetheart." Cizzy replied hugging him through the open window.
"I will." Harry said stifled.
"I best be off to the front, mother, with the other prefects," an older boy's voice spoke up passing Sirius as he came up towards Mrs. Weasley.
Mrs. Weasley, turned to the twins, "George, Fred, you two behave yourselves. If I hear you've-you've blown up a toilet or something-"
"Blowing up a toilet, not a bad idea, mum," Fred (or was it George?) responded in a thoughtful tone.
"Don't even attempt it, Fred Weasley," she warned. "And look after Ron."
Fred's voice cackled through the air, "We'll take care of ickle Ronnikins, mum, no fear."
"Shut up," a younger boy's voice piped up.
"I suspect your son will be in the same year as Harry?" Sirius said to Mrs. Weasley.
"Harry who? You don't mean—" Ron started but was interrupted.
"Harry Potter!" the twins spoke together hurrying on into the train.
"Fred! George! Don't you dare bother him!" Mrs. Weasley called after them.
"The train is leaving, you better hurry." Cizzy replied watching as Cyrus and Benjaming waved goodbye to Harry.
Sirius just laughed as Ron ran on to the train, waving goodbye to his godson also.
Harry, grabbed the window and slid it shut with more force than necessary, thus causing the glass to shake. Hedwig gave him a disapproving look from her cage, but then went back to preening her feathers. He really didn't want attention and from what he hard and saw from the Weasley's; The Marauders did say that he would get plenty of attention in the magical world, but if this was just a small taste of it, he idly considered changing his name.
He looked out the window, catching sight of the twins' waving goodbye to him and Mrs. Weasley's daughter, waving good-bye to the train. Once out of the station, he let his eyes open and drift half lidded to the window, watching the scenery and houses pass by at a hasty speed. He felt a ping of homesickness in his stomach; he would miss his loving family time in the wings of the Black manor, and now at school, privacy and fun would be hard to get. Padfoot, Cizzy, the twins, and Felicia, he was truly going to miss. Even his Uncle Remus and his ex-girlfriend Olivia, though, even if he hardly saw them, he knew he would miss them soon enough.
He straightened in his seat, as he heard not far from his compartment a cry of alarm and a loud thud. These noises were quickly followed by a bellowed; "FRED!! GEORGE!!" Three pairs of feet took off running down the train and, thankfully, pass his door. He rather liked the twin's personalities, they reminded him of Padfoot and Cyrus but he didn't need their presence if it was just to gawk.
He heard the slight sound of his compartment door opening minutely, and turned to see a blue eye looking at him with something akin to awe. Seeing the pale freckled face and lock of red hair, he knew it was most likely the younger brother of the twins. He gave the 'spy' a half smile, and a short wave. He earned a wavering smile back, and the door closed to grant him privacy.
With nothing else to do, Harry dug into his trunk and dressed into his school robes, pulling out his charms book to pass the time. He was already to chapter seven when his door was slid open without so much as a knock, and a bushy haired young girl looked around his compartment. Giving her a pointed stare, he closed his book with an audible thud. Her brown eyes immediately swerved to him, "Sorry, but have you seen a toad? Neville's lost his."
"I'm afraid not," Harry answered.
She caught sight of his book and sat down across from him, "Are you a first year, too? I was completely shocked when I received my letter; I'm the only one in my family who has any magic at all it seems. It is ever such an honor to be accepted into Hogwarts, I read that it is the best school for witchcraft and wizardry. I've already read all my course books, know them by heart, I only hope it was enough. By the way, I'm Hermione Granger, and you are?"
Harry blinked slowly, digesting her quick words. Only Sirius spoke that fast and that was when he was put on the spot. "I'm Harry Potter," he introduced himself, then nodded his head to his owl, "And that's Hedwig."
The girl's eyes lit with interest, "Are you really? I've read all about you, of course."
"Fancy that," Harry murmured with no enthusiasm. She paused in her ramblings, looking insulted at his remark. He gave her an apologetic look, which seemed to ease away her indignity. She stood, heading out of the compartment, "Well, I best be off to look for Neville's toad. Perhaps we'll be in the same house." She left, closing the door after herself. Harry let out a sigh, berating himself mentally for letting his barb slip through. Maybe he needed to learn how to control his tongue.
After a half hour of reading, Harry finally put away his book and moved to the seat beside his owl to brush his fingers over her feathers. The owl hooted happily, enjoying the soft caresses from the boy. Harry let a smile come to his lips, and continued his contact while watching out the window. It was peaceful, more quiet again, and he wanted to savor it before he lost his time alone. His expression turned icy as he heard his door slide open once again, and he wondered if anyone in the magical world knocked. He turned to give the intruder a piece of his mind, but the words disappeared from his lips.
Standing between two tall, burly boys was the pale blond boy he had seen in Madam Malkin's robes shop. He tensed, though, seeing the more fearsome looking boys standing guard over the smaller boy. He didn't feel at all safe seeing the unknown boys in such an offensive way. The blond stepped into the compartment, eyes filled with interest as he looked at the Potter heir. "They're saying all down the train that Harry Potter is in this compartment. You don't look like much."
Harry frowned, irritation brought to life. "Clearly rumors aren't everything."
The blond raised one eyebrow in surprise and curiosity as he regarded the dark haired boy. The blond then gave a smirk, thumbing to the two boys in his company, "This is Crabbe, and this is Goyle. I'm Malfoy, Draco Malfoy."
"Nice to meet you," Harry automatically responded.
The Malfoy child seemed to get a kick out of seeing the Boy-Who-Lived nervous in the presence of himself and his two 'bodyguards'. "The news that you're on the train seems to have stemmed from the Weasley twins," Harry didn't miss the disgusted emphasis on the redheads' last name. "Some wizarding families are better than others, Potter. You don't want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there." He extended one pale, long-fingered hand in friendship.
Harry stared at it blankly for a few seconds, before looking into the laughing gray eyes. "I'll keep that in mind." Despite his words, he did not take the offered hand. Draco looked only slightly disappointed, but brushed it aside and sat across from the Potter heir. Harry let his eyes slide from the blondes face to those of Crabbe and Goyle. Draco gave them a wave, and the two shut the door, leaving down the hall. "I have heard of your family, I believe."
Draco allowed a smirk to snake over his lips, "I hope in good standing."
"Actually, mostly from my Godfather's ranting." Harry corrected with humor lighting his eyes. "Your father seems to have a lot of practice when it comes to foiling up a potential raid."
"You know my father was a Death Eater, and yet you have no worries speaking with me?" The blond chuckled under his breath. "Some would call that foolishness."
The dark haired boy waved his hand dismissively, "Chalk it up to naiveté. Besides, having a Death Eater in the family doesn't make the next generation as the same."
The humor bled from Draco's expression to one of grave seriousness, "Perhaps you are foolish."
Harry shrugged, "Time will tell."
The two were interrupted by a light knock on the door and it slid open afterward. "Excuse me, could I..." The redhead from earlier trailed off after spying Draco. Giving the blond a fierce glare, he turned to Harry, "I was wondering if I could sit here since the other compartments are full."
Harry didn't miss the hostility the other two boys felt for each other, "I don't see why not."
Draco turned to face the Boy-Who-Lived, lips thinned into a straight line of disapproval. Harry evenly met the gaze, daring the boy to voice his hate of the redhead. The new boy sat beside Harry, arms crossed over his chest defensively. "I'm Ron Weasley. Are you really Harry Potter?"
"Yes. Nice to meet you."
A tense silence filled the compartment, only the sounds of Hedwig clicking her beak filling the room. After watching the two boys glare at each other for a few minutes, he diverted his eyes to the ceiling before shutting them. 'It's going to be a long train ride.'
The train slowed down and finally came to a stop with a hiss of steam. Students of all ages climbed off of the train in their Hogwarts uniforms, leaving their luggage on the train for Hogwarts staff to take to their dorms. Harry smiled to hear a familiar voice call out; "Firs' years! Firs' years over here!"
"Hello, Hagrid," Harry greeted from the crowd. Hagrid was the one that gave Harry Hedwig on his eleventh birthday.
"All right there, Harry?" The giant of a man gave the boy a smile. "Mind yer step now. Firs' years follow me!"
The sea of students followed the groundskeeper down a steep, narrow path in silence, the nervousness tingeing the air. When the path ended at the edge of a great, black lake, there was a collective gasp of awe as the students caught their first sight of Hogwarts, the castle a beauty in the distance, even at night. Students clamored into the boats docked by the shore, mindful of Hagrid's instructions of four per boat. Harry found himself with Ron, Hermione, and a short young boy, who introduced himself as Neville.
At Hagrid's command, the fleet of boats floated after Hagrid's own boat, the water still as a mirror. The students continued to gaze at the castle in silence, except for some quiet, excited murmuring in the back. The children ducked their heads as they floated into a dark tunnel, that seemed to be under the castle. The boats docked gently against the underground harbor, and while checking the boats, Hagrid came upon Neville's missing toad. The boy looked ecstatic at having him back. Hagrid lead the children up a passage way in the rock, and right to the tall oak doors that lead into the castle.
Hagrid looked over the children, and made sure that Neville still had his toad, before knocking onto the castle doors. After a slight pause, the doors opened to reveal Minerva decked in green and black robes. Hagrid beamed at her, waving his hand over to the children, "The firs' years, Professor McGonagall."
"Thank you, Hagrid," She walked back into the castle, beckoning the children to follow her. The inside of the castle was brightly lit by the torches mounted on the walls, and drapes hung high near the ceiling, signifying the colors of the school houses. They followed Professor McGonagall across the flagged stone floor, to an empty chamber off the hall. Once there, she stopped, and the children seemed to huddle closer together. "Welcome to Hogwarts," she greeted, eyes roaming over each of them. "The start of the term dinner will begin momentarily, but before you take your seats you will be sorted into your houses in front of the rest of the school."
Harry felt the nervousness increase more among the crowd of new students. "The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each house has it's own extensive and noble history, and have produced many outstanding wizards and witches. While attending Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn you house points, while any rule breaking will lose house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points will be awarded the House Cup, a great honor. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house you are sorted in." Letting her eyes run over the students, she deemed them in well enough condition.
"Now, form a line and follow me."
The first years obeyed, walking behind the black haired witch as she lead them into the Great Hall. Harry looked around, surprised by the change from just a month earlier. It was bright and full of chattering students, thousands of candles floating over the four house tables and the teachers' table. The ceiling reflected the star-studded night, Harry vaguely heard Hermione whisper about the bewitched ceiling. They stopped before the teachers' table, in a mass of nervous children. Professor McGonagall produced a four legged stool, setting it before the first years, and then sat an old, worn pointed hat on the stool. She stepped back, holding a rolled up parchment. All was silent for a few seconds before there was a rip at the brim opened wide and the hat began to sing.
"Oh, you may not think I'm pretty, But don't judge on what you see, I'll eat myself if you can find A smarter hat than me. You can keep your bowlers black, Your top hats sleek and tall, For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat And I can cap them all. There's noting hidden in your head The Sorting Hat can't see, So try me on and I will tell you Where you ought to be. You might belong in Gryffindor, Where dwell the brave at heart, Their daring, nerve, and chivalry Set Gryffindors apart. You might belong if Hufflepuff, Where they are just and loyal, Those patient Hufflepuffs are true And unafraid of toil; Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw, If you've a ready mind, Where those of wit and larding, Will always find their kind; Or perhaps in Slytherin You'll make your real friends, Those cunning folk use any means To achieve their ends. So put me on! Don't be afraid! And don't get in a flap! You're in safe hands (though I have none) For I'm a Thinking Cap!"
The hall exploded into applause as the cap finished its song. It bowed to the tables before stilling on the stool again. Harry pondered over which of the original four founders found it humorous enough to use this 'thinking cap' to sort the students.
Professor McGonagall stepped forward, tapping the parchment against the top of the hat, "When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted. Abbott, Hannah!" The pigtailed girl stepped from the crowd and put the hat on. Sitting on the stool, with the hat slumping over her eyes, all was quiet until the hat spoke loudly, "HUFFLEPUFF!"
The Hufflepuff table applauded and welcomed the first year as she got off the stool and headed to the table. Harry frowned, taking a half step away from the hat. It wasn't that he was afraid of it, he was worried about where he would be put. He wanted to be in Gryffindor, his father, mother, and the Marauders were in that house. They would be so disappointed if he didn't get into it! However, he wasn't blind. Harry had seen school pictures of his father as a young boy, and aside from his eyes and subtle differences, Harry looked very similar to him. Harry didn't want to be overshadowed by his father, or mother. If the Potter heir went into Gryffindor, there was no denying that he would have the problem of being compared continuously to his father. Oh, the double edged sword. How Harry despised it.
Harry stepped aside as Hermione was called forth, and the boy shook himself out of his doubts and thoughts. If it already made it to the G's, he really was thinking too hard. He watched as the hat paused for a few seconds, before shouting out, "GRYFFINDOR!" Harry smiled to hear the disappointed groan that left Ron's throat.
Student after student tried on the hat, getting sorted into the various houses that welcomed them warmly. Neville was so nervous that once the hat shouted, "GRYFFINDOR," the boy ran to the table still wearing the hat. He walked back, blushing because of the laughter directed at him, and handed the hat to Morag MacDougal. Feeling sorry for the boy's obvious embarrassment, when he passed by Harry gave him a reassuring pat on the back. Neville gave him a half smile over his shoulder and continued walking.
Malfoy walked with a sure step to the stool when his name was called out, and the hat barely touched his head before shouting, "SLYTHERIN!" The blond boy gave Harry a smirk, which was returned with a nod of acknowledgment. Draco looked proud of himself, and while his arrogance was something to be worked on, who was Harry to rain on someone's parade? The boy already sat between Crabbe and Goyle, looking quite pleased with himself. Harry watched more people be called forth, "Moon," "Nott," "Parkinson," the twin girls "Patil" and "Patil", down the line until his name was called.
Harry blushed to hear the whispers as he stepped up to the hat. He did not like the attention. They were staring at him like he was an animal at the zoo. He was relieved the hat covered his eyes. He didn't want to see the people looking more at him than he had to.
"Hmm, you're difficult," a voice purred into his ear, making him start in surprise.
'Are you talking to me?'
Was the boy's first thought? The hat cackled into his ear, before replying, "So, we find each other interesting. Quite a relationship we've developed. But I believe you wish to be sorted, yes? Let's have a look see."
"Yes, plenty of courage, I see. A fine mind, quite well educated already you are. Self taught mainly, now that's interesting. Oh, my, you have much talent, yes indeed, much like your mother. Thirst to prove yourself, that's interesting... and you don't want to be in your family's shadow, you want to be known for your own knowledge and achievements, yet you aren't fond of being in the spotlight all the time. Strange combination... now where should I put you? Slytherin would be a good choice, they can make you great, it's all in your head..."
Harry was decidedly nervous, and wiped his hands carefully on the sides of his robes. The hat gave another cackle before deciding, "Worried about your Godfather's reaction? You do lack the bite to back up your bark, but that could change in time...? Very well... best be...GRYFFINDOR!"
The green-eyed boy heard the hat shout the last word to the whole hall. He took off the hat and made his way to the clapping Gryffindor table. He didn't care as to how loud the applause came, he just wanted to sit down and calm his frazzled nerves. His first thought after being sorted was, :Sirius's going to be thrilled,: which earned him another cackle from the hat before he removed it from his head. Harry sat on the spot next to Percy Weasley, which was near the end of the table, and looked at the Gryffindor ghost. He gave him a gentle smile, before turning to watch the rest of the Ceremony.
He paid a bit of attention, applauding with his house when he heard them do so, but his attention was mostly at the professors' table. He hadn't met all of the teachers, and it was obvious as he saw two or three he hadn't seen earlier. Hagrid gave Harry a wide smile, which the boy returned. His eyes trailed down the length of the table, mentally naming the faces as he came to them. He felt a little nervous as Professor Dumbledore gave him an acknowledging nod before returning to the remaining students waiting to be sorted.
Harry frowned as he saw a professor with a purple turban talking with Professor Snape, who was near constantly nodding with a look of irritation in his eyes. Harry winced, feeling a sting emanating from his scar. The boy applauded as Lisa Turpin, another Ravenclaw, walked to their table with a wide smile. He smiled to see a pale, nervous Ron Weasley step up to the stool, and put on the hat. After a few moments the hat yelled out, "GRYFFINDOR!" Harry clapped with more attention for his friend, as the boy made his way to his side next to his cheering brothers.
The sorting ended as Blaise Zabini was put into Slytherin. The head of Gryffindor house rolled up the parchment and took away the stool and hat. Albus Dumbledore rose from his seat, beaming widely at the students. "Welcome," he started, "Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!" That said, he sat back down.
Harry shook his head in amusement at the headmaster's spectacle, and clapped with the other students. Looking down to his plate, he found it covered with a variety of foods. He began to eat, finding himself very hungry and sorry that he didn't get a snack when the cart lady on the train offered it. Hearing surprised shrieks, Harry looked up to see the ghost Nearly-Headless Nick, straightening his head.
Once everyone had their fill of the food, the leftovers disappeared, leaving the plates sparkling clean.
Harry, not feeling up to participating in the conversation, looked back up to the head table. Hagrid was drinking deeply from his goblet; Professor McGonagall was talking with Professor Dumbledore. Professor Snape, finally free from talking with the man with the turban, was looking at the Slytherin table. Quite suddenly, he looked at Harry sharply, a questioning look in his eyes.
At last, the desserts disappeared, and Professor Dumbledore was on his feet again.
"Just a few more words now that we are all fed and watered. I have a few start-of-term notices to give you. The forbidden forest is forbidden to all pupils, as it has always been, and yet some of our older students often forget that," he looked purposely at the Gryffindor table.
"Our caretaker, Mr. Filch, has asked that I remind you all that there is to be no magic in the halls or between classes. Quidditch trials will be held in the second week of the term. Anyone interested in playing for his or her house should speak to Madam Hooch," he motioned to the golden eyed witch, "Second years and up only, mind you." His expression became more grave. "And finally, I must tell you that this year, the third-floor corridor on the right side is strictly out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a very painful death."
Some students gave a nervous laughter, but Harry didn't. Threats of death in the magical world the boy took very seriously. At least from those who had the power to cause said death. The mood disappeared and a the professor flicked his wand,
"And now, before we go to bed, let us sing the school song!" The teacher's smiles became more fixed, except for the headmasters. A stream of long golden ribbon flowed from the headmaster's wand and floated high above the tables, forming itself into words. "Pick your favorite tune, everyone, and here we go!"
In short, the school song was helplessly murdered as students and staff finished at different times, the Weasley twins last at a slow funeral march. The headmaster clapped the loudest once everyone was finished.
"Ah, music, a magic beyond all we do here! And now, bedtime! Off you trot!"
Harry laid on his own bed, looking out the window that it was located next to. He fell asleep after a few minutes of star gazing.