September 1, 2010

I finally made it. I am officially a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

I mean, I've been here loads of times, with Dad and Uncle Neville both being teachers. But it's different to be coming here as a student. I'll be staying in the dorms and everything. That's going to be weird, when Dad goes home at night and I don't, but at least I won't be totally alone. I've got Blaise, my twin brother. Well, he's not really my twin brother, he's actually my cousin, but he's lived with us forever and calls my parents mum and dad. Everyone just presumes we're twins, and it's easier to just let them go with it than to correct them and have to explain it all. And my cousin Teddy is here too, but he's a year older.

So tonight's Sorting Ceremony is going to be a bit different. The past few years, my dad and Uncle Neville have done it. This year, Headmistress McGonagall is going to do it. Dad says it's one more time for old time's sake, because she's retiring at the end of the year. She's the one who used to do the ceremony when he was a kid. Uncle Neville laughed and told him to give it up, the only reason the old woman stuck around this long was because she wanted to be the one to put the hat on my head.

The ceremony is moving right along. This is a relatively small class this year, but dad says there will be twice as many next year, since there was a baby boom right after the war.

"Kensington, Elizabeth!"

A dark haired girl walks toward the platform. All of the heads of houses are standing there, and my dad helps her up onto the stool, because she's very short. Dad is the head of Slytherin and Uncle Neville is the head of Gryffindor. There's rivalry between the houses, but nothing like it was when they were kids. I think Dad and Uncle Neville had a lot to do with that because they've been best friends ever since the war. People look at them and think well, if a branded Death Eater and the guy who pulled the sword of Gryffindor out of the Hat can overcome their differences, what excuse has anyone else got?

The hat pauses a moment and shouts "Ravenclaw!"

Everyone politely cheers. Professor Flitwick shakes her hand, and she goes to the Ravenclaw table.

"Malfoy, Blaise!"

I watch as Blaise walks to the front of the Great Hall like he owns the place. Everyone knows where he's going, just like everyone knows that my sister Cassie is going to marry Al Potter one day. It's just a fact, and there's no use arguing. Blaise is such a Slytherin that Dad even specifically told him this morning that he was not allowed to open the Chamber of Secrets. Everyone thinks it's funny. Blaise isn't really my dad's son, but they all say he's so much like my dad when he was a kid. Blaise thinks up the mischief and cons the rest of us kids into doing it. Well, except for Lyra. She's only a year old. My parents have six kids, which is a lot for a pureblood family. After Lyra was born, Dad announced that he and Mum were both going to get spayed, whatever that means, because if they had any more kids they would catch up with the Weasleys. Mum just laughed at him. She does that a lot.

I don't think the hat even touched Blaise's head.


Dad whooped and grabbed him up in a hug. Uncle Neville ruffled his hair and smiled at him. Uncle Neville loves Blaise, but they've never been close like Uncle Neville and I are. Uncle Neville is not really my uncle, he's my godfather.

"Malfoy, Orion!"

Here we go, it's show time, as my grandmother would say. There's been considerable debate as to what house I'm going to end up in. Uncle Harry says that I remind him a lot of Sirius Black, who was my grandmother's cousin and Uncle Harry's godfather. Uncle Harry's not really my uncle either. My family claims a lot of people who aren't *actually* related to us, but that's a whole other story.

Anyway, Uncle Harry says I'm Sirius all over again except for the blonde hair and my dad just rolls his eyes.

Uncle Neville settles me on the stool, and then looks over my head at my dad and grins. "You know where this one is going." he says.

Dad frowns at him. "Every Malfoy since the founding of this school has been a Slytherin."

The Headmistress puts the hat on my head.

"Two Malfoys in one year," I hear the Hat say in my head. I've been warned about this so I don't freak out like a little Hufflepuff. "But you're not like the other boy, are you? You believe in fairness, and you're right brilliant, but those aren't your strongest qualities. You're idealistic, loyal, and brave. You know where you belong, don't you?"

"If you put me in Gryffindor, my dad will die." I tell the hat.

"Yes, but we're here for you, Young Malfoy, not your father or grandfather or any of those long dead Malfoys. It is my duty to put you in the place that will make you the best wizard you can be."

I look up at Dad. He's shaking his head, whispering "No, no, no, no..."

"Please, pleeeeeeeeeeeease put me in Slytherin." I beg the hat.


Headmistress McGonagall bursts into laughter.

My dad reaches to hug me, but Uncle Neville grabs me up and swings me around first.

He looks over my head at my dad again and laughs. "That's my boy!"

A/N - *sob!* It's all over. I feel like one of my children has grown up and moved out or something. Thank you so much to all of my readers who have stayed with this story, which I never imagined would turn out this long. I have two more full length Druna stories that I've just started. Dragon's Song is lighter, a friendship turns romance without all the killer Death Eater drama. The Prisoner is darker, more angsty. If you'd like to follow one or both of those, I would be thrilled to have you. ;) Links in my profile.