A/N: So here's chapter four, and I hope you guys like it. It's the longest chapter so far~
From Dragons to Magic
"That was really weird," said Hiccup.
From beside him, Astrid nodded numbly. Night had fallen, and they sat alone in Dumbledore's office. Dumbledore had offered to let them stay at Hogwarts until they found their way home. However, two Vikings roaming around the castle would elicit many unwanted questions from students and teachers alike, and if that suspicion found its way into the Ministry of Magic, they would no doubt be discovered. Dumbledore assured them that it would be a bad thing for the Ministry to learn about the existence of alternate methods of time-travel—it raise a huge commotion and impede on their search for a way back to Berk. The only way to avoid detection was for Astrid and Hiccup had to become students at Hogwarts.
Dumbledore had explained to them how the school worked and what it taught: magic. Astrid was skeptical at first, but when Dumbledore had turned a mug into a mouse, then back into a mug again, she was much more convinced. He promised to help them search for their ticket home, but he warned them that as Headmaster of the school, he had quite a lot of things to do and would be especially busy this year.
They learned that it was the end of July, which gave them just over one month to learn as much magic as they could before the start of the term. The rest of the school's teachers were away for the summer, so they would be on their own to learn the basics. Dumbledore promised to try to contact an older student who wasn't far away on vacation to help them with Charms, Potions, and Transfiguration, and had left them to send letters to some people he had referred to as "prefects".
The other subjects could wait until the start of the term: History of Magic was fairly straightforward, while Herbology and Astronomy were mostly hands-on, so there was really nothing they could do apart from reading. Defense Against the Dark Arts was a subject that had a lot of varying content due to "unfortunate and frequent staff changes", as Dumbledore had put it, so it was not certain what they would have to study. Dumbledore had decided to place them into the Fourth Year, meaning that there were a couple of other subjects, but they were options, so they would have few weeks to decide what they wanted to do.
In the meantime, they were to stay at a place called the Leaky Cauldron. They would be able to buy their wands and clothes nearby, and have somewhere to stay until they could find a mentor to help them with magic. Dumbledore also told them that along with the school robes, they would have to buy "Muggle clothes", and quickly explained that their Viking clothing did not really blend in well with other young witches and wizards.
When Dumbledore returned from the Owlery, he double-checked that the Short-Term Language Charm he had put on them was working properly. After he was sure that both Hiccup and Astrid were able to speak, hear, read, and write in English, he handed Hiccup a large envelope.
"The school will be giving you second-hand textbooks, but in there is the money that you will need for everything else," he said, "Your wands and your clothes, and a pet. You may choose between a cat, an owl, and a toad."
Hiccup looked down at his feet. "I don't really want a pet," he mumbled.
Astrid glanced sideways at Hiccup. She knew he was thinking about Toothless. She looked up at Dumbledore. "I won't be getting one either, thanks."
Dumbledore gave them an inquisitive glance, but nodded and didn't question them. "I will be telling the rest of the teachers that you are transfer students from a magic school in Scandinavia. Just in case you are still behind on what most Fourth Years should know, I will say that the curriculum at your old school is far behind that of Hogwarts."
The two Viking teens nodded.
"Now, what do you two say about some dinner before heading out to the Leaky Cauldron?"
Hiccup's stomach rumbled loudly. He hadn't realized how hungry he was before now. Dumbledore smiled and led them out of his office and into a large room back on the first floor. Somehow, they could see the sky through the very high ceiling. Four long tables had been pushed against the walls, and one smaller table stood alone in the middle of the room. On it were various dishes piled with different kinds of food. The man that had captured Hiccup and Astrid was already there. He noticed the two Viking teens and looked over to Dumbledore, his bushy black eyebrows raised.
"This is Rubeus Hagrid," said Dumbledore, "He is keeper of the keys and grounds here. Hagrid, these two are transfer students that will be joining us this year."
Hagrid didn't look entirely convinced, but he smiled and waved at them nonetheless. They were mostly silent during the meal: the only conversation was between Hagrid and Dumbledore, a discussion about "the events of the coming term".
As they were finishing dessert, a large bird flew into the room and crash-landed into a plate of pudding. As if this were a completely normal occurrence, Dumbledore chuckled and did his best to help the bird to its feet. He muttered a quick spell and the pudding seemed to fade out of the bird's feathers. After the bird was clean again, it was easy to see that it was a rather elderly-looking Great Grey owl. It hopped closer to Dumbledore and held out its leg. There was a rolled up piece of parchment tied to it, and Astrid and Hiccup watched curiously as Dumbledore took the note off and read it.
"It's from Charlie Weasley," he said, handing the parchment to Hagrid, "Asking where he should have the crates delivered. Would you be able to find time to send him an owl with the location we've arranged for them? I think that he's back from Romania this summer, so he should be at home, in Ottery St. Catchpole."
Hagrid nodded, looking very pleased about something as he left the table. Not long after he was gone, the food and plates vanished. Dumbledore stood up and looked over to the two of them.
"Well, we best be on our way, then," he said, "It's getting late, and the two of you have quite a bit of studying to do in the next few weeks."
Dumbledore led the way out to the front of the school. Waiting by the door were two large trunks, already filled with all of their schoolbooks, as well as some parchment, ink, and quills.
"We'll be Apparating to London," said Dumbledore, "So if you two will just hold on to my arm."
Hiccup wondered what this "Apparating" was, and glanced at Astrid, who shrugged. They both held on to Dumbledore's arm, expecting him to take out his wand and say some other strange words, but he didn't. Hiccup blinked and they were no longer standing outside of Hogwarts.
"Uhhh, what just happened?" asked Hiccup, his gaze darting around at their new surroundings. Astrid was apparently stunned into silence, for she said nothing.
One second they were standing outside Hogwarts' gates, and the next, they were in front of a small, shabby-looking building that looked as though it had been forcibly squished between its neighbors.
"You have both just experienced Apparition," said Dumbledore offhandedly, as if that explained everything. Upon seeing the bewildered looks on their faces, he elaborated, "Apparition is an advanced spell that transports the wizard that cast it to another destination. It's very useful."
Hiccup and Astrid nodded and pretended that it wasn't the most unnatural thing they'd ever experienced. They had already both decided that they never wanted to Apparate ever again. Dumbledore's voice snapped them out of their thoughts.
"Welcome to the Leaky Cauldron," he said.
"… Wow, looks charming," said Hiccup after a moment, "We'll feel right at home here."
Astrid punched his arm, and he could've sworn he heard Dumbledore chuckle. The Headmaster went in first, holding open the door for the two Vikings, who quickly stepped inside right behind him. The main floor of the Leaky Cauldron was a room that looked much larger than it did from outside. It had a bar and many tables, and most of them were occupied.
"Quidditch season," said Dumbledore, as if reading their minds, "Most wizards are stopping here before heading off to see the World Cup."
Seeing their confused faces, he added:
"Don't worry, you'll find out what it is sooner or later. Someone will tell you eventually," he stepped towards the bar and called to a man behind the counter, "Hello, Tom."
The man named Tom grinned and shook Dumbledore's hand. "What brings you to the Leaky Cauldron today, sir?"
Dumbledore smiled and gestured to the two Vikings. "These two are transfer students, and will be needing somewhere to stay until the beginning of the school year," he looked around at the crowded and noisy dining area, "But I see that the Leaky Cauldron is quite full."
Tom shook his head, "Nah, don't worry about it. With the World Cup in a few weeks, the wizards with the cheaper tickets have just left," he said, "I think I may have a few rooms left over for your students."
He disappeared into a back room and came out again moments later, twirling a key between his fingers.
"Room Twelve's free," he said, "Two beds, bathroom, nice view of Diagon Alley. I trust that'll be all right?"
Dumbledore nodded and handed Tom a heavy envelope. "Yes, thank you Tom. I best be going now. Lots of things to prepare for. We've got quite a special year coming up at Hogwarts."
Tom grinned. "Take care of yourself, Dumbledore, 'til we meet again."
Dumbledore nodded and turned back to Astrid and Hiccup.
"I'll send you a letter when I've found a student to help you with your studies," he said, "The Short-Term Language Charm wears off in a week, so I will be seeing you both then. Goodbye, and good luck."
After Dumbledore was gone, Tom brought them up to their room. Room Twelve was on the first floor, the second door on the left. He put down their trunks, which he had been lifting through the air with magic.
"Well, goodnight then, uh…" Tom looked down at the envelope that Dumbledore had given him, "Miss Anastasia and Mister Hazel. Sleep well."
Before they could say anything else, Tom left them and returned to the main floor.
Astrid looked at Hiccup. "What did he just call us?"
Hiccup shrugged. "No idea, he probably couldn't read our names properly."
He put the key in the lock and pulled the door open. Room Twelve was small, with two beds placed on opposite sides of the room. A mirror leaned against the wall between them. Astrid nearly smashed it when she stood in front of it and it started talking to her ("odd fashion sense you've got there, dear," it said). Just as Tom had told them, the window offered them a good view of Diagon Alley, the place where they would be getting their school things. It was night now, so all the shops were closed and the alley was dark.
Hiccup sat on one of the beds and opened the envelope Dumbledore had given them at dinner. He pulled out a small sheet of parchment and looked over it quickly, "Oh, no, never mind, Tom did read our names properly."
"Are you kidding me? Where was I when you changed your name to 'Hazel'?"
He said nothing and just handed the parchment to Astrid, who read it out loud.
"There is one thing that we forgot to discuss. Your names." She wondered what was wrong with their names, but went back to reading. "Let's just say that "Astrid" and "Hiccup" are not exactly common names in this day and age, and it is possible that the students and teachers will figure out that you came from the past, and this knowledge may find its way into the Ministry of Magic. We have already gone over why this would be anything but good. While you are at Hogwarts, it would be best if you used different first names. Astrid, I believe that Anastasia Hofferson will be all right, and for Hiccup, Hazel Haddock. Not very Scandinavian, but it has a nice ring to it, I think. You may not agree with me, but it is for the best. Regards, Professor Dumbledore."
Astrid paused for a moment.
"Seriously? This guy's name is Dumbledore. 'Astrid' is pretty normal, if you ask me." she said. She handed the piece of parchment back to Hiccup before crossing the room to stand by the window.
"Oh, so you're saying that 'Hiccup' is a weird name?"
She pressed her forehead against the glass and chewed on her lip, no longer paying attention to the other Viking. He continued babbling nonetheless.
"…Okay, fine, it is. But 'Hazel'? Really? Isn't 'hazel' a color? And just when I thought this day couldn't get any weirder," said Hiccup. He was quiet for a second, then added, "Although, of all the things that have happened today, I guess this is the least weird."
When Astrid still didn't answer, he frowned.
"Astrid, are you okay?"
"What? Yeah, I'm fine, just… Why didn't you tell Dumbledore about Toothless?"
A heavy stillness fell over the room. Astrid turned to face him, her back against the glass. She stared into his eyes, the look on her face somewhere between worry and confusion. After a long, uncomfortable silence, Hiccup sighed and averted his gaze.
"At first, I was afraid that this place might be like Berk used to be. Y'know, hating dragons and everything. I was scared that if I mentioned Toothless, they'd hunt him down and kill him. I wanted to be sure that it was safe before asking about him. And just as I thought that it was okay, Dumbledore took out the book, with that page from the Dragon Manual in it."
"Dragon Manual…" she trailed off, drifting back into her own thoughts. She blinked and shook her head slightly, focusing again on what her friend was saying, "But Hiccup, he asked us to read what was on there because he couldn't. Just because a piece of the Dragon Manual survived all these years and ended up in Dumbledore's hands doesn't mean that wizards hunt dragons."
"Yeah, I know, but I was talking about the actual book. I could see the title from where I was sitting."
"What was it?"
Hiccup took a deep, shuddering breath. "It was called 'An In-Depth Look at the Twelve Uses of Dragon's Blood'. And Dumbledore wrote it."
There was an awkward pause, then Hiccup spoke again.
"Honestly, I'd rather Toothless be by himself somewhere else and safe than with us and in danger. I think he'll be okay. He's a dragon. He can look after himself."
Astrid tore her gaze away from Hiccup and looked out the window again. She knew he was bluffing, that he was just as worried about Toothless as before, if not more so. She knew he was trying to keep worst-case scenarios out of his head, and that he wasn't actually convinced that Toothless would be fine on his own.
Tired from the day's events, they had decided to go to right to sleep. Being tossed around in a storm, dragged through a seemingly never-ending tunnel, and being whisked off to a different world in a different time took a lot out of a person.
Astrid was up just after sunrise, feeling very well rested. She glanced over to the other side of the room and saw that Hiccup was still sleeping. Careful not to wake him, she tiptoed around her bed over to her trunk. She took out the first book she saw, which was titled "The Muggles of the Modern Day". Even though they might not take Muggle Studies, Dumbledore had recommended that they look over that particular textbook anyway, seeing as they were centuries behind everyone else, wizards or not.
She pushed aside the curtain near the window to give her just enough light to read. She opened the book to the first page. Reading with the Short-Term Language charm was a strange sensation. The words in English that she couldn't read seemed to morph into the Old Norse characters she was used to. Writing was very similar. She would start writing in her language, but English letters would be the ones that ended up on the page. Hearing and speaking were even weirder. When anyone spoke to her, she would hear the strange gibberish coming from people's mouths, but she was somehow able to understand every word of it. When she spoke, it came out in English without her even meaning to.
She continued reading until Hiccup woke up. It was nearly noon.
"I think it's going to rain today," said Hiccup. He yawned.
"Good morning to you too," replied Astrid. She closed the Muggle Studies book and opened the curtain fully. The skies were cloudy, so it still wasn't very bright, but Diagon Alley was bustling with activity. Witches and wizards wandered from shop to shop in their strange (and brightly colored, in some cases) robes. Owls swooped through the air, sometimes landing on windowsills. "I guess we should probably go get our wands today."
Hiccup nodded and rubbed his eyes. As soon as they were ready, they went downstairs. The Leaky Cauldron was just as crowded as the night before. Loud chatter buzzed in their ears, mostly about something called "Quidditch". Whatever that was. They ate quickly and left the noisy inn as soon as they could, heading out the back door where they assumed the entrance to Diagon Alley was. They were met with a brick wall.
They stood there in silence, staring at the wall, half expecting it to do something.
"Are you going to stand there all day?" asked a voice behind them, "Hurry up, will you?"
Astrid and Hiccup turned around. A boy about their age stood behind him. He had short pale blond hair, and his grey eyes were narrowed. His clothes looked very clean and expensive. When they didn't reply, he rolled his eyes and shoved past them. He approached the wall, took out a wand, and tapped one particular brick. He stepped back and put his wand away. The brick wall started to move, splitting down the middle until an opening appeared, revealing the alley. The blond boy took a step forward, then looked at them over his shoulder.
"I suppose you might want to remember that one," he said curtly. He continued into Diagon Alley, muttering something that sounded like "idiots, must be Mudbloods".
"Wow, nice guy," said Hiccup after the boy was out of earshot.
"Yeah, no kidding," said Astrid. She grabbed Hiccup's wrist, "Whatever. Let's get going."
They stepped into the alley. Hiccup wasn't sure where to look first; there was so much to see. Dozens and dozens of shops lined the street, each one more interesting than the last. He looked around for 'Ollivander's', the wand store that Dumbledore told them about. The first shop on their right had a large rusty sign that said "Apothecary", and the one on their left had cauldrons on display out front. Hiccup was about to suggest that they ask someone where Ollivander's was, but before he could say anything, he was distracted by a blaring shout from behind him.
"COME ON COLIN, HURRY UP!"
Before Hiccup even had time to turn around, he was nearly bowled over by someone running past him. When he regained his balance, he saw that it was a young kid with mousy brown hair, not over eleven years old.
"Sorry," he said to Hiccup. He looked past him at another boy, this one slightly older, "COLIN, HURRY UP!"
The other boy, who greatly resembled the younger one, hurried over to them, out of breath.
"We've got to wait for dad, Dennis," said the one called Colin. He looked over to Hiccup and Astrid, "Sorry about that. He has no idea where he's going, really. It's his first time in Diagon Alley, see, and he's a first year. We're Muggle-born, so it's all very exciting to him."
Neither of them had any idea what Colin was talking about, but they nodded anyway.
"I'm Colin Creevey, I'm in Gryffindor, third year. And this is my brother—" he said. He started to gesture towards his brother, but the younger boy was no longer standing there, "—Dennis?"
Without another word, Colin tore off down the alley, yelling his brother's name.
"First one's a jerk, the next two are way too hyper, are we the only normal people here?" asked Hiccup. Something on the cobblestone street glinted in the light and caught his eye, "What is that?"
Astrid picked it up and turned it over in her hand before muttering, "It's film. One of those kids must've dropped it when—"
Hiccup gave her an incredulous look. "Sorry, it's what?"
"Film," she repeated, taking her eyes off the small cylindrical object, "I read about it this morning in that Muggle Studies book Dumbledore lent us."
"Okay… what does it do?"
Astrid bit her lip and frowned. "It's a thing that you need to have in order to use a… uhh… Forget it, I don't remember."
"Very helpful," said Hiccup. Astrid punched his arm.
They decided it would be best for them to find the two kids and return the film. As they wandered down Diagon Alley, Hiccup could feel people's eyes on him. But they weren't looking at his face, or even his out-of-place clothes. No, everyone's attention was on his prosthetic leg. Feeling very self-conscious, he moved to Astrid's other side, so that he was walking closer to the wall. He hoped that this would somewhat hide his leg from the prying eyes of the witches and wizards around him.
"What are you doing?" Astrid asked.
"They're all staring at me," he whispered, "I don't like it. They're acting like they've never seen someone with a missing leg before."
"Maybe they haven't."
Hiccup had a very hard time wrapping his head around this idea. He didn't understand how someone with artificial arms and legs could be considered unusual or strange. On the contrary, missing limbs were usually symbols of a powerful warrior that narrowly escaped death. Gobber was respected as one of the strongest Vikings in Berk, even if he was a blacksmith now. As for Hiccup, his metal leg had been admired by plenty of Viking children, who would whisper excitedly and look at him in awe whenever he passed by.
But these witches and wizards weren't looking at him with high regard. No, the expressions on their faces were completely different. He wasn't sure if it was pity or fear or confusion, but Hiccup felt like he had to hide his leg from them.
Astrid's voice snapped him out of his thoughts. "There they are."
Hiccup looked up. They were now standing in front of a very old-looking shop. Black paint was peeling off the sign above the door, which read "Ollivander's: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC". Colin and Dennis were right inside the door, on their way out. Astrid returned the film to Colin, who thanked her numerous times before being hauled off into another shop by his younger brother. As soon as they were gone, Astrid turned to Hiccup.
"Well, I guess we found the wand place. Let's go."
Astrid pushed open the door, a bell chiming faintly from above. The room was very narrow and dimly-lit. Behind the counter were shelves with rows of thin boxes, piled up all the way to the ceiling. An elderly man stood on a ladder, concentrated on sorting through the boxes. He noticed Astrid and Hiccup and glanced down at them. A small smile crept onto his face as he descended onto the ground and approached them.
"Hello," he said, his large eyes boring into theirs, "I do not recall seeing either of you before, but you are certainly not first years at Hogwarts. No matter. I take it you are here for wands?"
They nodded, and the elderly man continued to gaze at them for a few more minutes. Finally, he disappeared among the shelves, emerging almost ten minutes later with at least ten boxes piled up in his arms. He set them down on the counter. All of the boxes he had brought were extremely dusty and somewhat damaged. They looked like they had been sitting in the shop for quite a number of years. Hiccup wondered why he had taken what seemed like the oldest wands in the store.
"The wand chooses the wizard, you see," said the elderly man, "And no Ollivander has sold a wand to children such as yourselves in quite some time."
Hiccup's gaze snapped away from the boxes up to the wandmaker. It was like he could hear his thoughts.
"What do you mean, 'children such as yourselves'?" asked Astrid.
Ollivander seemed not to hear her as he opened the first box. A thin, dark brown wand lay on a faded blue cushion inside. The elderly man held the box out to Hiccup, who looked at the wand, then at Ollivander, then back at the wand, realizing after a few seconds that he was supposed to take it. He picked it up and held it loosely in his hand.
"Wave it," said Ollivander.
Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Astrid give the wandmaker a very disbelieving stare. Ignoring her, Hiccup focused on the wand in his hand and gave it a small swish. A window shattered, and Ollivander quickly snatched the wand back.
Hiccup gaped at the broken glass. "Uhhhh… That wasn't supposed to happen, was it?"
The only reply he got was: "It would seem that yew is not for you."
He didn't have time to think about the meaning of what Ollivander had just said, as another wand was handed to him. This one was slightly shorter and a different shade of brown. Hiccup glanced sideways at Astrid, who had taken a step back, before waving this wand. The shelves in the back of the store collapsed and all the boxes fell onto the floor. Hiccup's jaw dropped.
Ollivander took back the wand, hardly paying attention to the mess in his store and continued sifting through the old boxes on the counter. He handed Hiccup a third wand, this one longer and paler. The Viking teen closed his eyes and turned his face away from the wand before giving it a very slight flick. This time, an invisible force blasted a hole in the roof. A horrified look of shock etched itself onto Hiccup's face.
"I'm… I'm so sorry, um, well, i-it-it's brighter in here now, I guess?" he stammered.
He expected the elderly man to kick him out of the store, but Ollivander didn't look angry in the least. He was shifting his gaze between Hiccup and the wand, then finally, to Astrid. "Give it to her," he said.
Hiccup handed the destructive wand to Astrid as delicately as he could. He held it with the tips of his fingers, trying to touch it as little as possible.
"Are you sure you want another skylight?" she asked Ollivander.
The wandmaker only told her to wave it. Hiccup prepared himself to duck for cover.
Astrid shrugged. "Whatever you say…"
She swished the wand, expecting a loud explosion akin to what happened when Hiccup held it. Instead, gold sparks shot from the tip and a warm breeze fluttered through the shop.
"Oh, sure, things blow up only when I have it. Of course, why did I expect any different?" said Hiccup.
"Oak, ten inches, phoenix tail feather. Very sturdy, excellent for hexes and jinxes," said Ollivander, looking at Astrid with a satisfied smile on his face, "And it has chosen you."
It had taken another half hour for Hiccup to finally find a wand that chose him (Hiccup would argue that it had only accepted him). They had been through all of the most ancient-looking boxes before finding one that didn't cause some kind of damage to the wandmaker's store. It was made of aspen, twelve inches long, and had a unicorn tail hair as a core. Ollivander had said it was flexible and light, good for Charms. Hiccup wasn't really paying too much attention to that, though: he was just relieved that he wasn't causing any more explosions.
After they paid for their wands, they decided that they would try to find these "Muggle clothes" that Dumbledore had asked them to get. They went to the Second-Hand Robe Shop first, which was only a short distance away from Ollivander's, but no luck. The shopkeeper there directed them to another store right across from Gringotts, the Wizard bank. One of the witches who worked there was more than happy to help them find what she called "the perfect muggle match".
Only, the shelves were all mostly empty.
"Quidditch season," she told them, "Witches and wizards everywhere come here to buy clothes to help them blend in when they go to the World Cup."
There it was again. That weird "Quidditch" thing. Just as Hiccup was about to ask what it was, but the shopkeeper suddenly grabbed their wrists and dragged them towards a clothing rack.
"I'm muggle-born," she explained, sorting through some t-shirts, "And my husband is a muggle too, so naturally, I'm the ideal person for this kind of job."
She thrust a pile of clothes into Hiccup's arms, who stumbled back a bit, then she started looking for things for Astrid.
"He was so surprised when he found out I was a witch," she continued, "But pleasantly surprised, y'know? I'm lucky, to tell you the truth. My friend, see, when her muggle boyfriend caught her using a Levitation Charm to empty the dustbin, he ran out of her apartment screaming. Poor girl, she gave up on dating muggles after that."
Hiccup had no idea how someone could say so many words in so little time.
"When I was young, I wanted to work in the muggle fashion industry. But that was before I received my Hogwarts letter, and naturally, I attended for seven years. So then, I—Oh, you'll both be needing shoes as well, how could I forget?"
She gave another heap of clothing to Astrid, eyed both their boots, then scurried off to sort through the boxes of shoes on the other side of the shop. The two Viking Teens watched her for a moment, then gave each other incredulous stares.
"Astrid, I don't care what anyone else says. We are definitely the only normal people here."
A/N: Aaaaand, that's all for now. Again, if anyone has ideas for muggle clothes for Hiccup and Astrid, please go ahead and leave them in a review, y'know, if you want. Anyway, I probably won't be updating until early March, because I have a really big project to work on that needs to be finished soon. That, and I need to do some more planning. I hope you all enjoyed the chapter (also, idk if some people noticed, but the title implied that there would be a lot of Malfoy in this chapter, but there really isn't. I just couldn't think of another title. Sorry 'bout that.)