***New Note (September 2013) - I am going to SLOWLY go through this fic and make some changes, then, with any hope, get back to writing it. I can't really guarantee anything, because times are rough right now, but it makes me sick that I started this OVER two years ago and haven't finished it (or at least updated in a long bloody time). I hope you, my lovely readers, will return if/when I do. Thank you for being so understanding.
Author's Note (original notes)
Okay...starting ANOTHER fic, but...I don't really know where this is going, so I hope you will please bear with me. And, since I always start my stories with an author's notes from hell...here you go!
First...I'm giving this an M rating, if for no other reason than to cover my ass...just in case, you know? There will most definitely be some profanity and...well...there might be sex...somewhere within...maybe!
***WARNING*** To be completely honest, I read soooo much slash (boy/boy) that I've been wanting to write one myself...so...this it might could go there...maybe...so, beware! However, in saying that, I'm not going to promise that it will. I'm writing this in what I call "seat of my pants" (which means there's no friggin' plan or outline, I'm just writing whatever comes to mind at the time I'm sitting down to write), so whatever comes out of my brain is what you get! So...if your tender sensibilities can't take slash, then DON'T read this (and don't complain if you choose to read and it does turn out to have slash)! And if you want for-sure slash, go somewhere else (because I ain't promisin' it)! So there! Either way...you've been warned! (note: I am setting this up to be Harry/Draco.) Pairing: to start off...just Harry and the gang...later...IDK...we'll see. :p
Second...for this story, most of the characters you will see will be familiar. Of course they will...this is FAN FICTION! *grin* But there will be some characters that I make up (or pull from other places)...because that's what I do. In one of the other fics I'm writing, people have complained that I've made up too many of my own characters, but...well...I did give fair warning (in my A.N.). In this one, however, most will be ones you know (like I said).
And finally...I do apologize for my American vernacular...as much as I try, I just can't seem to write in British English. Please note that I am quite aware that this story takes place in Great Britain (in London where King's Cross Station is and up north to Scotland where Hogwarts is supposed to be) and that, because I've never been there, it's really hard to duplicate the tone and/or atmosphere. I've never been very good at accents and cannot, for the life of me, reproduce a British one...let alone write one. *sigh*
Okay...so...here's chapter one!
Posted: 5 May, 2011
Class of Ninety-nine
The journey from platform nine and three-quarters to Hogsmeade, and then up to the castle, was interesting, to say the least—more subdued and less confrontational than years past—but now the twenty returning "seventh years" climbed silently from their Thestral-drawn carriages—most of them seeing the huge, winged, horse-like creatures for the first time—and filed through the oak front door and into the familiar entrance hall of Hogwarts castle—just as they'd done every year previous.
As the huge doors swung open, they came face to face with a tall, black-haired witch in emerald-green tartan robes—her usual attire. It was Headmistress Minerva McGonagall and, though she looked as stern as she ever did, she still looked very much pleased to see them—the Gryffindor students could see this anyway. And, if truth be told, she was more than relieved that half of last year's seventh-years had chosen to return; it was more than she'd expected.
Without a speaking a word, however, the witch beckoned them forward, then turned and started up the magnificent marble staircase that led to the upper floors.
Frowning, several students glanced nervously at one another—because they'd expected to be led into the Great Hall for a meal, as was customary—but none of them said a word. Instead, they followed the old woman without question—she was, after all, their headmistress now.
On the second floor, the old witch pushed aside a sliding panel—that none of them seemed to remember noticing before—revealing a small antechamber with a single door on the opposite wall. Passing through the small room, Headmistress McGonagall opened the door, then walked through it and into a wide hallway that was furnished with a few comfortable-looking sitting places. At the end of the hall, she turned left, then stopped in front of a monstrous tapestry. Taking out her wand, she said, "Watch closely, please," then tapped the tapestry in several places and waited while it rolled itself up.
"Make haste," the woman ordered as she continued on. "It won't stay up for long."
After several more sets of stairs, and a few more twists and turns down long, narrow, stone-walled corridors lit only by flaming torches—that not one student in attendance had known about—the woman stopped at...a portrait? Nothing, aside from two empty, over-stuffed chairs separated by a small, round table, seemed to be in the painting at the moment, which let all present know that the subject—or subjects—of this particular painting had more than one portrait and was/were currently in another one.
"There is no entrance password memorize, or riddles to unravel, like some of you are used to. All each one of you must do is say your name, in full, and you will be admitted," she explained, then turned. "Minerva Athena McGonagall."
"Fabulous," mumbled one of the students as the painting swung open.
After the empty painting had fully revealed an opening, the woman moved quickly through it, down a short arched hallway that had two doors on the left and one on the right, and into a room that was quite large—monstrous, really—and lavishly decorated and furnished.
"What is this?" asked the same student who'd just grumbled at the entrance painting after a quick glance around the room.
"This, Mr. Malfoy," she said, once she had everyone's full attention, "will be your home for the term."
Most students were frowning with confusion and whispering, but some looked quite distressed. Returning to Hogwarts just four months after the war ended was hard enough. Some hadn't planned on coming back at all, but for one reason or another had decided to—or were forced to return. And now they were being expected to live with...their long-time rivals?
"You mean we're not going to stay in our regular Houses?" a black-haired boy asked from his position—that was not far from Draco Malfoy.
"That is correct, Mr. Potter," said the old witch. "Being that a new set of first years is due to arrive this time tomorrow evening with the rest of the returning students, there simply isn't room for you in your original Houses any longer."
"We're to stay here...mixed with them?" a dark-haired girl sputtered, her lip curled up with disgust as she pointed at those who'd not been in her House.
"Yes, Miss Parkinson, you are," Headmistress McGonagall said with a clipped nod.
Then to the group, the old woman went on. "This is to be your new home and all here are now your housemates. Please look around. From this point forward, all in this room are to be considered your family...your brothers and sisters, if you will. So...get used to it!" she said, her terse tone making it obvious that she'd brook no argument.
"Now, there will be two to a room and I will give you your room assignments in just a moment. But first, because you are all of age, you will be given much more freedom than you've been allowed in previous years. But please don't be fooled by this. You are still expected in attend your classes and do well. I will not tolerate any slacking off."
At this McGonagall eyed the group and didn't continue until she'd received a nod of understanding from each and every student.
"You will be required to attend a few meals in the Great Hall—breakfast, two days a week, Wednesday and Friday; lunch, one day a week, Monday; and supper two nights a week, Tuesday and Thursday. On weekends you may do whatever you wish as long as you are back in the castle by nightfall on Sunday. Your weekend begins as soon as your Friday classes conclude, and that will be at approximately half past eleven, as you will only have two classes on Fridays. For all other meals, save one, it will be your choice to join us in the Great Hall, or not."
"Yes, Miss Granger," McGonagall said with a nod. "This House is equipped with a fully stocked kitchen, just through that door there."
Everyone leaned to look around the woman as she held up a hand in the direction of said kitchen.
"And...that unmentioned meal?" Hermione pressed.
"For that meal, every Wednesday evening, while the rest of us dine in the Great Hall, the twenty of you will eat together, in your House dining room. It is just there," she said as she turned slightly and raised a hand to direct everyone's eyes to the large dining room—also behind her.
"What's with all the purple?" another student asked.
"I'm glad you asked, Mr. Zabini." Raising her wand, the old witch gave it a wave, then looked at everyone. "As you are no longer a part of your old Houses, your old House-colors no longer belong to you," she said, then stood there waiting for them to notice the change she'd made.
"Purple and...orange!" Ron Weasley burst. "Great!"
"Purple and copper, Mr. Weasley, are fine colors."
"Not with hair like mine," the redhead grumbled.
There were snickers from a few, but most looked equally unhappy about the color change. Draco Malfoy scowled—as did several others, but no one else said anything further about color.
"What about Quidditch?" Harry asked, equally disturbed by the changes and needing the comfort of something familiar—and so did several others, it would seem, because most perked up at the mention of their favorite extra-curricular activity.
"If you'd still like to play, and we hope that you do, you'll have to form your own House team."
With a glance over at Malfoy, Harry noticed that the blond had crossed his arms over his chest and was frowning—it was clear that his rival wasn't happy with the changes either, and this somehow pleased Harry even though he was in the same predicament.
"Who's our Head of House?" Malfoy suddenly asked.
Pursing her lips, McGonagall narrowed her eyes at the tall, blond-haired boy whose return to Hogwarts quite frankly surprised her. "You will not have one. As I said before, now that you're all of age, we'd like to think that we can trust you all to take care of yourselves."
At this Ron snorted. "I'd sooner trust an Acromantula," he mumbled.
"Is this going to be a problem, Mr. Weasley?" she asked, turning on the red-haired young man.
"Er...no." Then glancing at his new housemates, he frowned. "I mean...you do know that some of us aren't...friends?"
Headmistress McGonagall looked at the group—many were nodding, some with distress, others with concern—then back at the boy who'd commented. "Yes, Mr. Weasley, I am fully aware of that, but past rivalries end today! The war is over, so there is no longer a reason to be to be divided. As of today you all are housemates and you will behave as such. I want no displays of immaturity. You twenty will live here, together, in your new House, and you will get along.
"Now, though you won't have a Head of House, one boy and girl from each of your former houses has been chosen as...Heads of House, for lack of a better term, and will be responsible for maintaining order. If there is some kind of dispute, you are to take it to one of your House Heads, so that he or she can discuss it with the rest of the House Heads and solve the problem. I do not want any quarrels brought to me or any disruptions within my school. I want you all to behave like the adults you now are. Is that understood?"
Everyone nodded—all but Hermione, whose hand shot up in the air.
"Yes, Miss Granger?"
"And how do these...House Heads rank within the school?"
"Similar to that of a Head Boy or Girl, except that neither of you shall override the other. Your House Heads will be above Prefects, but will be more or less equal to the Head Boy and Girl. Your House Heads will be allowed to discipline the younger students, including the seventh-years, and that means both awarding and taking away House-points when necessary. However, as I said, the main purpose of your House Heads will be to maintain order within your own House, so I don't want to see them taking excessive interest in the goings on of the other years."
Hermione frowned. "And, how will the House Heads do that...maintain order, if they should, say...disagree?"
"Well, Miss Granger, they will have to figure that out, now won't they?"
Chewing on her lip, Hermione nodded—then she asked, "Will we also gain and lose points?"
Headmistress McGonagall nodded. "I am still considering the details on this. Obviously, this is completely unprecedented, so we are figuring this out as we go. I hope you can all bear with me."
Some students nodded, others shrugged noncommittally.
"Now. Before we get to room assignments, I want to say that though you are all officially adults, there are still some rules. First, I don't care what you do on the weekends, as long as you don't drink yourself dead, but there is to be no alcohol consumption on school nights. And further, if you do have a drink or two, on non-school nights, please drink responsibly. No wandering about the castle in a drunken state; this would set a poor example for the younger students."
Several eyes widened at the prospect of actually being officially allowed to drink on school grounds. Most of them drank here and there—mostly on trips to Hogsmeade or during House parties—but they weren't really supposed to.
"Second. In the past, the girls' rooms were off-limits to the boys, and vice versa," the headmistress went on, "but that is no longer so. You are now allowed to enter each others' private space, but that does not mean that any funny business is acceptable. Everyone must sleep in his/her assigned room.
"And third, I must insist that you always respect your roommate. If he or she wants or needs sleep and you do not, then the non-sleepy party should relocate to the common room until he or she is ready to bed down.
"Finally, aside from being required to be inside the castle by sunset on Sundays, you do not have a curfew. If you choose to stay up all night studying...or doing whatever else you choose to do...that is allowed. But there are to be no excuses about being tired. And, you may wander about the castle as well, if you choose, but please do not go into the other Houses after their curfews."
Smiling slightly, everyone nodded—the rules seemed fair to them. The year would certainly be different.
"Now. Room assignments," the headmistress said as she lifted her wand and gave it a wave, "have been done alphabetically. Downstairs rooms are for the House Heads." Instantly, the list of assignments appeared in mid air, but the woman called them out aloud anyway. "Downstairs rooms: Abbott and Brocklehurst, Granger and Greenhouse, Corner and Finch-Flechley, and Malfoy and Potter. Upstairs: Brown and Bulstrode, MacDougal and Malone, Parkinson and Roper, Longbottom and MacMillan, Rivers and Smith, and Weasley and Zabini. For both up and downstairs, girls are on the left and boys on the right. Any questions?"
Most students were frowning—most pointedly were Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, who were scowling viciously at one another—but all shook their heads.
"Good then. Your belongings should already be in your rooms. You have approximately twenty-four hours to get settled. Further, I will expect to see you all in the Great Hall come evening tomorrow, for our traditional first meal...tomorrow is Tuesday, after all, so you will eat with everyone else."
The old witch eyed the ogling students—they looked to be on overload—then she went on. "You are, however, welcome to skip the sorting ceremony...if you wish. But, should you choose to attend, I expect the twenty of you to enter as one. If you come for the sorting, there should be no stragglers. If you do not wish to attend the sorting...and again, that is fine...not one of you is the come for it. It should be a group decision, as you are now of one House." Pausing again, McGonagall looked at them worriedly; they looked horrified. "Now, is that understood?"
Each and every student nodded—and with that the headmistress swept through the twenty returning seventh-years, parting them like the Red Sea, leaving them all staring after her with looks of shock and confusion—and fury.
Questions/comments - I will answer, if I can! =) However, I will not beg for reviews (because I think that's weird), but that doesn't mean I don't want them, because I most definitely DO want them...they help me know if I should bother continuing (though, I mostly write because there's so much shite going on in my head)...anyone? =)
ETA: Names you may not recognize (Malone, Roper, and Rivers) in this chapter will be explained later (I currently have eleven chapters completed, but want to see if there's any interest before posting them all)...I did NOT make them up (but they may or may not canon).
Name: Minerva Athena McGonagall - anyone notice that I essentially gave Headmistress McGonagall the same first and middle name? *giggle*
Minerva was the Roman goddess whom Hellenizing Romans from the 2nd century BC onwards equated with the Greek goddess Athena. She was the virgin goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, magic, and the inventor of music. She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl, which symbolizes her ties to wisdom.
Athena is the goddess of wisdom, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, female arts, crafts, justice and skill. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is also a shrewd companion of heroes and the goddess of heroic endeavour. She is the virgin patron of Athens. The Athenians built the Parthenon on the Acropolis of her namesake city, Athens, in her honour (Athena Parthenos).
So, let's just give another WARNING! While this story is epilogue compliant, there will be NO Harry/Ginny! There will be scenes with both of them in it, but they are NOT paired together in this fic.