Chapter 9: All the way to Halloween
Chapter Warnings: Sibling squabbles.
Chapter Summary: Harry at Hogwarts, all the way to Halloween.
I got here safely. I made a friend on the train. His name is Ron Weasley, and he's been sorted into Gryffindor, like me. I had a run in with that prat Malfoy too. He's an obnoxious jerk, and he's in Slytherin. After we were sorted we had dinner. It was awesome! There was everything there. Everything was like you read to me from Hogwarts, A History.
The other boys in my dorm are Dean Thomas, Seamus Finnigan and Neville Longbottom. Thomas is muggleborn, Finnegan is half, and Longbottom is Pureblood. They all seem nice.
I will send my schedule tomorrow.
Write back soon,
P.S - Followed your plan too. It wasn't that hard to find one. I had a look around. It was a bit dusty when I sneezed, and it felt like I would disappear! I got lost, and had to retrace my steps. So I went back again. This time, I made sure to use a hanky when I sneezed, and got back to familiar ground. From there I had two choices. I went back to bed. This exploring thing is going to be a bit more complicated than we thought, I think. It will need some revision.
Leon read the note, written in Japanese and on the type of parchment he had admired the most of all the kinds Harry got, and then burned it. Harry had been vague enough that he didn't think anyone else who might have read it would understand the postscript that would have gotten them into trouble if anyone else knew about, but he hadn't been subtle either. The fact that it was in Japanese didn't comfort him that much either. He was pretty sure wizards had spells that would help them understand what had been written. It had been a long night. The shadow clone hadn't come until the early hours of the morning. And when it had, it hadn't been happy. Harry had managed to make a clone at the train station. He'd found a house to sneak into that had a fireplace, and a fire that was burning nicely. He'd put a pinch of floo powder in the fireplace, stated his destination, and stepped in. And never came out the other end. The clones weren't strong enough to travel using floo. Harry had known as soon as the clone vanished. He'd already been inside and at the feast before his clone had been destroyed though. That meant that he had to wait until everyone went to sleep, sneak out of his dorm room, common room, and out of Hogwarts himself, floo to London, and then send a clone on the muggle train to the Dursleys. Then he'd had to get back. Finding a secret passage had been harder than Harry expected. In the end he'd simply found an open window and walked down the wall and off Hogwarts grounds and down to Hogsmeade to the house he'd found earlier. Harry didn't get much sleep. The clone didn't either. Leon wasn't much better off. The clone complained to him all day when he could. It took a bit more willpower than Leon liked to control himself enough not to dispel the clone. However, he restrained himself, and the clone made it safely home with him. While Leon did their chores, the clone did the work and study he needed for the next day. It ate dinner with the family, and then retired to their room. Leon met it reluctantly. It ranted, he sulked, and in the end Leon had an argument with his brother through a shadow clone that cheated and destroyed itself. It left Leon feeling unhappy and angry and worried. And he still had to do his own studying and work. After he'd finished, he wrote a letter to his brother.
Congratulations on your sorting. I hope you enjoy Gryffindor, and your new friendships very much. Don't forget to send me your timetable. I never found Malfoy as offensive as you. Perhaps you're a bit sensitive. I'm glad you found the extra reading helpful. Perhaps you will continue to do more on your own.
Sorry about our plans not working out as well as we'd hoped. Still, all is not yet lost. Keep searching for what we're looking for, I'm sure you'll find it soon. Remember to pace yourself. Also, sneaking around after dark is quite dangerous. You should be careful. I don't want you to get caught and have house points deducted!
I shall try to push forward the purchase as quickly as possible, because I know you are as eager as I am about it. I shall continue to update you about how it progresses.
Send my regards to Hagrid.
P.S – I met a Mrs. Molly Weasley and her daughter Ginny at the train station. She encouraged me to write to her at any time. I think I will send her a thank you note, and mention you and Ron Weasley are friends.
Leon and Harry continued their written letters, and Leon wrote weekly to Molly Weasley. He also kept himself updated on how Gringotts was handling the purchase of the cottage in Hogsmeade, and finding a London property. He kept up with school work and did a few neighborhood chores on the weekends.
On the next page is my time table. Sorry it took me all week to remember. Also, the ghosts here are mostly not very helpful. And the caretaker is really mean! Ron and me got lost and were trying to open a door that wouldn't open and he thought we were trying to break into the forbidden third floor when we weren't. Luckily, Professor Quirrel, the one you met when we went with Hagrid to Diagon Alley (remember?) saved us.
I don't like looking at the stars for class on Wednesday nights. It's cold and everyone bumps into you and sometimes I can't hear the teacher because of the wind. But she's ok. All the teachers are really, except for the ghost who teaches History of Magic. He's so boring. Also, he mostly drones on about the goblin wars. If you read the chapter before class, then you don't have to pay attention. I mostly play games with Ron in that class.
Also, Professor Snape doesn't seem to like me much. He doesn't pick on me any more than the other Gryffindors much, and because I've studied for this class, and you made me read the book and study for it before hand, I was prepared for his questions. Apart from me, the only one who knew any of the answers seemed to be Hermione Granger. She reminds me of you, a bit. She's really smart too. He's not as bad as Uncle Vernon was, but I don't know why he doesn't like me! Most of the other teachers do.
Also, Friday was the first day I didn't get lost once on the way down to the Great hall for breakfast! I had afternoon tea with Hagrid this afternoon too, which was nice. He has a huge dog called Fang, but he's really friendly. I took Ron down to meet him too, and told him you said hi. He says hi back. I told him about Snape, and he was hiding something, I think. Also, I found a copy of the Daily Prophet, and have sent you a clipping I think you'll find interesting. Hagrid had this cut out on his table.
Flying is next Wednesday with the Slytherins. I'm looking forward to flying, but I wish it wasn't with them!
I'm glad you're having such a good time. It all sounds very interesting. You're right, I did find the clipping interesting. Also, I have started getting a paper to read, to keep me up to date. Keep looking for interesting things! Also, the purchase will be ready by the end of the month.
Tell me how your flying lessons go.
I miss you.
I made seeker! Also, I still hate Malfoy. He's a gigantic git. Classes are getting easier, now that I'm getting used to them. Also, thanks for the planning charts you sent. They've been useful. Keeping up with my homework is easier this way. Ron thinks it's a bit crazy, but he follows it too. Granger has a plan like it too, I think, because we usually see her in the library and common room too.
I'm glad you're settling in. I know you like Ron, but you haven't mentioned many others. Just because you've made one new friend doesn't mean that you should ignore everyone else. Are there any sort of clubs or hobby groups there?
Purchase should be through by the end of the month, I'm sure you will be pleased to know. I've thought about it, and the second one is also going through. Hopefully it will all be finalized by the end of the year. That should make things easier.
I made Seeker! Also, I found that secret I was looking for. I am now on the team. Dad played Quidditch too. I am not interested in any of the clubs around. I don't have the time, especially with all the Quidditch training I have to do now.
Malfoy challenged me to a Wizards Duel, and Ron and I accepted, and Granger got involved because she's worried about school rules. She doesn't remind me of you so much any more. She's more like me. I was a bit harsh with her actually. Anyway, Longbottom, who was injured during the flying lesson, was outside because he forgot the password, and we all ended up left outside because the lady in the painting left. So we went to the duel, and Malfoy wasn't there because he's an evil little git. We ended up finding something interesting. I'll tell you more when we see each other.
You're an idiot. I don't want to write to you right now.
Also, I wrote your Professor Snape, introducing myself. Did you know he went to school with our parents? He knew mum. I think you should invite him to light a candle with you.
You did what! He doesn't even like me. I don't want to write to you now.
P.S – He asked me about our candle tradition. Then he told me he'd be my escort to the lake, because mum really liked it there. He scowled a lot, and I thought he'd give me a detention, but he didn't.
On Halloween day Leon turned up in the afternoon after classes were over. He said Professor Snape had owled him and told him he should be there too, for lighting the candles. Professor Snape had arranged it all. Harry, Leon and the Professor all stood by the lake at dusk and put small candles the Professor had charmed to float into the water. They watched them for a while, Leon and Harry standing side by side, their shoulders touching. The Professor hovered awkwardly by them. After the candles had floated away, he ushered them back inside to have dinner. Harry had just started to eat some potato when Professor Quirrell burst in and made his dramatic announcement about a troll. Leon stayed by Harry's side as he and Ron set off to rescue Hermione.
In the end it was mostly due to luck, as Professor McGonagall said, that Harry and Ron survived. Leon had kept the coolest head, but he'd been too busy trying to make sure Hermione remained alive to watch Harry as he should have.
Afterwards, in the hospital ward Leon had insisted they all go to as a precaution, Harry and Leon fought while Hermione and Ron stayed awkwardly silent, and the Professors pretended not to notice. Harry thought Professor Snape had acted suspiciously. Leon thought that Professor Quirrell was more suspicious, and that if Harry was going to be so stupid, why wasn't he looking at Dumbledore and asking why half the school had been sent towards the dungeons where the troll supposedly was, instead of everyone remaining calmly in the Great Hall, which had extra protections on it? They'd started their argument in whispers, but at the end they were both yelling. Harry was so stumped by Leon's last point that he didn't say anything else. Leon left with Professor Snape as his escort, and didn't look back. Harry, seething furiously, yet unable to articulate his feelings into words, stared at his back until they left, and then stubbornly crossed his arms and refused to talk to anyone for the rest of the night.