Finally getting back to schedule now! Because it took so long to get chapter two up, I'm putting two chapters up this week.
Hope you enjoy and please let me know what you think! (Good or bad! I'm dying for some comments :) )
Grabbing her glasses and putting them on, Devoney glanced over at the clock on her nightstand and resisted the urge to groan out loud. Her mind knew that it was far too early to be awake, but evidently it had forgotten to pass the message down to her body. Sitting up, Devoney looked around the room at the three other sleeping girls and wondered what she could while she waited for breakfast to start. The taunting hands of her clock pointing to the twelve and the six did little to quell her desire to sleep. With a sigh, Devoney got out of bed and not for the first time, cursed her innate early-morning-person gene that had certainly not been inherited from her adoptive parents.
After getting dressed as quietly as she could, checking to make sure her watch band was securing in place, Devoney grabbed her brand new leather satchel and tucked in what she could only guess to what may be useful for the day. As an afterthought, Devoney also included a thick white envelope in her packing. Tip-toeing to the door, shoes in hand, Devoney was high impressed with the lack of squeaking that occurred as she inched the door open.
Once in the hall, the door safely shut behind her once more, Devoney struck a victory pose before skipping down the stairs to the common room. She'd have to find an easier way of getting in and out of the dormitories. She didn't relish the idea of sneaking out like a mouse every morning while the other girls slept.
Choosing a large wing-backed chair next to a window in the empty common room, Devoney sat down and curled her legs around herself. Taking out the white envelope, Devoney placed the rest of the satchel on the floor next to the chair.
Opening the envelope, Devoney smiled as she pulled out the large stack of photographs. The minute Emily had found out that Devoney was going to be leaving in five months, she had made it her mission to capture everything on film for Devoney to take with her. The end result was over three hundred photographs separated into five envelopes. This one was the first one. Emily was going to surprise her with the rest at random times during the year.
A voice asked from behind her suddenly, surprising her and causing her shoulders to jump up. Urging them down, Devoney looked up to see the smiling face of Alec; apparently also a morning person, judging by his already neat and tidy appearance.
Sitting down on the armrest, Alec held out a hand. "May I?"
Grinning, Devoney handed him the stack of pictures and moved to a kneel on the chair so she could point out special features. "That's my Mum," She pointed to the tall blond woman with happy azure eyes. "My Dad," a taller thin man with shaggy sand coloured hair was smiling at her from behind a pair of wire framed glasses. "And lastly, my little baby brother Noah." The toddler was reaching for the camera eagerly. Devoney beamed proudly at the picture. "He'll be one next month."
Alec smiled down at her as he handed back the picture. "They look wonderful. You have your mother's smile." He decided after examining the picture for a few more seconds.
Devoney let out a chuckle and shook her head as she smiled down at the photograph. "It's hard to say based off of that picture." Alec's face took on a rather confused look, so Devoney decided to explain. "I was adopted at birth." She answered his unasked question. "Though I wasn't born a blood Callaghan, I've been one since the beginning."
Alec's smile took a slightly different shape as he went silent for a moment in thought. Devoney started to fidget. She hadn't meant to make things awkward. Alec must have noticed her distress, because he covered his momentary change in character by reaching over and ruffling her hair and giving her a large grin. "You clearly all love each other very much."
Devoney smiled shyly as she patted back down her wild hair. "We do. The next picture is of my house!" She urged him on excitedly, eager to show off her home.
They spent the next hour or so looking through Devoney's pictures and sharing stories about their childhoods until the next early risers started to stumble down the stairs. When Emmett finally came down the stairs, very close to 7:30, Alec immediately bounded towards his sleepy brother to question him as to how his first night was. Devoney watched the two brothers with a smile. There were worse ways to spend a morning.
Sitting down at the long Gryffindor house table, Devoney clapped her hands together twice as a sort of charm. "I've decided!" She declared, directing her attention towards Emmett who sat down next to her and immediately reached for one of the steaming muffins in the basket before them. "Today is going to be a good day."
Emmett gave her an odd look. "Why wouldn't it be?" He asked as he took a bite out of his muffin.
Devoney shrugged her shoulders as she reached for a muffin as well. Taking a bite of it, she was happy to discover that it was a banana-walnut one. "I've just never had a good 'first day' at school before. So, I've decided that today is going to be it."
Emmett danced his head around in a strange sort of nod, completely accepting her statement and not pressing the issue further. "Okay, sounds fair." He flashed her a smile, muffin crumbs still on his lips. "I'll do whatever I can do to help, alright?"
Devoney laughed a bit as he hurryingly brushed the crumbs away. "That sounds nice." She looked around the bustling hall. "Do you know how we find out what class we have first?"
"Mphfrymntn." Emmett answered, a new muffin clamped between his teeth as he dug in his bag for a moment, pulling out victoriously a piece of stiff paper approximately the size of a card. Taking the muffin from his mouth, Emmett chewed and swallowed before he continued on. "We have Transfiguration first." He passed the timetable to Devoney. "I got my schedule from Alec yesterday, but I'm sure someone will be passing them around this morning."
Examining the schedule, Devoney felt as if she was going to be learning Greek instead of magic. Every class was oddly abbreviated with no key on the side. If Emmett hadn't just said that Transfiguration was first, she would have had no idea what TFN stood for.
She looked up sheepishly from the card to Emmett. "I'm afraid I'm going to need a translator."
Leaning over while munching on his third muffin, Emmett pointed to the next class of the day. "CAM stands for Charms, HOM means History of Magic, DADA is Defense against the Dark Arts, and our last class of the day is Potions-Prep. He pointed to the second column. "When you see PTN it means it's an actual Potions class, but when it's pPTN that means it's a preparation class." He looked at the schedule a little closer and sighed. "I can't believe that we have two history classes on the first day."
Devoney smiled happily at the card. She was happy to see that they would also have charms that morning. Charms was perhaps the class she was most looking forward to. The morning classes were an hour and a half each while the afternoon classes were only an hour. "What does HER and M/WS stand for?"
"HER is Herbology, and M/WS is Muggle/Wizardry Studies." Emmett explained. "That'll be the only class we don't have together. They separated us up by whether we grew up in a magical home or not. Magical people take the Muggle Studies portion, and muggle-borns take the Wizardry Studies section. We're allowed to drop it once we get to third year. I guess it was a tolerance creating class to try and get both sides to understand each other better after the war."
Devoney nodded along without any actual understanding. She remembered the moment of silence for the Great War from yesterday's feast, but other than that she didn't know any of the details. She was excited to actually start the classes. Despite the problems at her old schools, she had always really loved the actual learning part of school. Today they had transfiguration and charms in the morning, and in the afternoon it went history, double defense, another history, and finally a potions prep class. Devoney decided that they put the potions prep as the last class on the day before double potions.
Friday afternoons were left empty, but it was clear as to what was supposed to happen on those days based off of Emmett's card. He had drawn several multicoloured broomsticks all over the space and several strangely shaped balls. Devoney handed him back the card and looked up at the clock hopefully, willing the hands to hurry towards nine. She couldn't wait to start.
Sometime little before eight thirty, the last of the scragglers came shuffling into the hall, of which included the petite blonde from Devoney's room. Emmett waved to her, ushering her towards them.
"That's Tavi. She's the youngest of my half-French cousins." He re-informed Devoney as she sat down next to them and instantly rested her head against the table. "She's also not what you would call a morning person, if you couldn't tell." He added teasingly as he poked at Tavi's head with a set of the wooden tongs that were supposed to be used to pick up muffins, though most of the students had opted for using their hands. Tavi feebly batted it away, never bothering to lift up her head.
Waiting for the doors to shut and for the large clock resting above them to read exactly eight- thirty on the dot, Headmistress McGonagall stood up and drew everyone's attention towards her without even saying a word.
"Good morning students. I hope you all had a good first night's sleep." She addressed them as she put her hands inside of her large sleeves. Devoney thought she looked very Sage-like and wonderful despite the serious look her eyes gave off. "Very soon your house's Prefect will be coming around and handing out your class schedules for the year. Classes will commence at nine o'clock sharp. Tardiness will not be allowed. Today is the only exception for all first years, Prefects, and the Head Boy and Girl. The Prefects of every house will lead the first years in a tour of the school grounds until noon with the Heads patrolling and keeping watch. First years, make note of where you are and are not allowed on campus. After the tour you will have no excuse if you're found in one of the forbidden areas and will be punished accordingly."
McGonagall's eyes made a sweep of the students, pausing momentarily on a few students whom Devoney assumed were repeat offenders. Nodding her head, McGonagall addressed a different group of students. "Seventh years, those of you that have opted to take my Complex Transfiguration for Elevated Spell-Enhancement course, it is your first class this morning in Wing E. That means Ravenclaws, you have just enough to make it back to your dorms and get the required materials and still make it in time for class if you leave immediately." A small smile came to McGonagall's lips as seven students from the Ravenclaw table jumped up and sprinted out of the hall. One Slytherin and two Gryffindors followed behind at a slower pace. Not one Hufflepuff got up to leave. Turning her attention back to the rest of the student body, McGonagall's smile dropped and was replaced with a calm look of control. "To everyone else, you know what you need to do. Have a good day." With that, she turned and left the head table and walked out the staff entrance. Stopping at the door, she turned around once more. "Mister Danford and Miss Koren, I require a moment of your time if you could come with me."
Devoney watched as the boy she recognized as Robert the Head Boy and a girl she had never seen before got up from the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw tables and crossed the hall and followed McGonagle out. Turning her attention back to the Hall, Devoney watched as one boy and girl from each table now stood up and had started to hand out the little cards that held the year's timetable. She shared a smile with Alec as she took a card from him and giggled a little when he rested Tavi's timetable on top of her head which was still resting on the table.
Emmett laughed as he took the card off of her head. "I'm actually surprised she managed to get down here by herself." He confided in Devoney. "Travet, her brother, told me that their mum usually had physically drag her out of bed every morning."
After ten minutes, all of the second years and up had filtered out of the hall, leaving only a smattering of fifty or so first years and the eight Prefects from the four houses. The time tables had all been handed out. Alec kept checking this watch and casting looks towards the side door where the Head Boy and Girl had disappeared through. Nashly was currently busy talking with the Prefect from the Hufflepuff table. Every so often she would throw her head back and laugh loudly at something Deacon had said. She would then lean in close and whisper something that would make him blush profusely. The female Hufflepuff Prefect was clearly annoyed by this act and kept her arms crossed and would occasionally roll her eyes and scoff at the act. A small girl with beautiful Asian almond eyes and thick black-blue hair that had bangs that cut across her forehead in a straight line approached Alec and tugged at his sleeve to draw his attention. She was wearing a cloak with blue lining that signified Ravenclaw. "Mistress Rachel wanted me to tell you that you're looking wonderful this morning." She whispered in a soft voice, keeping her eyes downcast.
Alec's eyes flickered to the Ravenclaw table where a stunningly pretty girl with tanned skin, and perfect ringlets set into her ebony hair was waiting to catch his eye. She coyly smiled and gave him a wave of her fingers. Turning away from her eyes, Alec couched down so that he was eyelevel with the little girl. He smiled at her and ruffled her hair a tad to alleviate her embarrassment. "You did a good job." He complimented her as he pulled a lolly out of his cloak pocket. She accepted the plastic wrapped sweet with a look of astonishment. "But tell Mistress Rachel that the next time she wants to talk to me, to do it herself." He jerked his head towards the far table. "Go on now Eun Bi."
Devoney, who had witnessed the whole event, didn't know if it was because Alec had known the first year's name, or if he had given her a sweet, but as the Asian girl ran back to her friends, she had a look of utter glee. She also thought that she heard Alec mutter"Bloody girl." Under his breath, but she couldn't be sure. Before she could open her mouth to ask Alec what that was all about, the side doors opened up again and Danford and Koren walked in swiftly. Devoney thought that for a moment that their eyes fell on her, but she brushed it off as first-day paranoia.
"Prefects!" Danford's strong voice resonated through the whole hall. "Get your groups in order. Hufflepuff and Gryffindor will take the outside tour first, Ravenclaw and Slytherin will do the castle. We'll be switching out in an hour and half. I don't want to see any time being wasting. We have a tight schedule and I intend to have all four groups get the full tours." He gave Koren a nod as she moved towards the large doors leading out of the hall. "Koren will supervise the inside tours and I will be making rounds outside."
Alec gave the Head Boy a mock salute, which he returned with a glare. Softening his expression, Danford looked down at all the small faces looking up at him in expectations. "I am your Head Boy, you may all call me Danford. I am not going to tell you my first name, and I don't expect you to use it. You need to respect myself and Koren and we'll all get along very well." He raised his eyes back to the Prefects. "Hufflepuffs, you're starting by the greenhouses, Gryffindor, I want you to start on the opposite end of the grounds. Likewise, Slytherin, you'll take the towers first and Ravenclaws will do the dungeons." He gave a nod of his head and turned on his heel and left the hall to the Prefects and first years.
From what Devoney could tell of the Head Boy and Girl it was that they were very serious. Even Koren, who was taller than any girl Devoney had ever seen, appeared to be quite no-nonsense. She had short auburn hair and horn rimmed glasses that gave her a wonderfully bookish look. Devoney was shocked when she later learned that she was the captain as well as one of the beaters for the Hufflepuff team.
Waiting their turn to leave, the Gryffindor first years once again took the pose of ducklings and followed behind Alec in a more or less single file. Only Devoney and Emmett walked side by side. Tavi trailed behind, too tired to keep up. Nashly, after Alec had to physically drag her away from the Hufflepuff group, took up the rear and made sure Tavi wasn't left behind.
Devoney's eyes went wide for the umpteenth time since she had started her journey as they toured the area outside the castle walls. The school grounds were much different in the daylight as opposed to their eerie appeal the moonlight had cast upon it last night. There were rolling plains to the south, and a large lake that took up the majority of the perimeter to the east. Some of the things Alec was talking about on the tour made perfect sense to her. She couldn't understand why anybody would ever want to go into the frankly terrifying forest that consumed the west portion of the grounds. And the properly named Whomping Willow, well, Devoney couldn't imagine why anyone would even try to touch the knots. When she went to share her thoughts on it with Emmett, she saw his wide eyes and realized that she had forgotten about boy's stupidity. Other areas however, such as the empty fenced off pasture or the area that appeared to be some sort of sports ground with stands, she wasn't quite sure why they were off limits.
Moving across what looked to be the sports field with elevated hoops, Devoney went to ask Emmett what they were, but her question was lost on deaf ears as he and the other six boys in their group had their eyes fixated on the field. Alec simply chuckled and pushed them along, stating that they would all get their chance in a week or so. Devoney rolled her eyes and wished that just one thing in the whole magical world would be easily defined.
Alec waved happily to the Hufflepuff group as they passed each other at the mid-point. Devoney kept her watch on Nashly and Deacon. She wasn't sure if they were dating or not, but her Prefect was making it very clear that she was interested. Devoney couldn't quite figure out where the female Hufflepuff Prefect fit into the triangle. She kept a mixed look of both jealously, indifference, and aggravation at the flirting. Deacon just kept his head on the task of leading the twelve first years in his group and avoided both girl's stares.
"The last spot on our outside tour is the greenhouses, run by no other then the head of our house, the highly talented Professor Longbottom." Alec directed their gazes to the rows of large glass buildings and the introduced the gentleman carrying a large tree.
Putting down the planter, Professor Longbottom expertly blocked the branch that went to swipe off his gardening hat before turning his attention to the new group of students. "Welcome students! I really look forward to teaching you all." He beamed down at them all like a man who really enjoyed what he did for a living. When his gaze met Devoney's eager grin, his own smile flickered off momentarily. Devoney stared back at him quizzically. He hurriedly brushed it off and moved his eyes to the next student in the line. "Don't let me keep you!" He insisted as he gave the group a 'shoo-ing' motion. "You'll all get the long speech in your first class." Hoisting the planter back up, he jerked his head towards the greenhouse with a large '5' on it. "If you'll excuse me, I have to get Wilbur back into the ground before he gets too angry." He smiled at them all again. "Have a great first day!"
Devoney smiled as the professor started to walk away. He was of average height with hair that had stuck up in impossible directions after he had taken off the large floppy sunhat. Years of lifting large and highly unwilling foliage had also given him muscles that Devoney would have never associated with a professor before this. Emmett gave Longbottom a small wave as the group started to move away, which the professor returned with a smile before he kicked open the door to the greenhouse and disappeared from view.
"He was in the same year as my Uncle Ron." Emmett explained as they headed towards the main entrance of the school. "I was given specific instructions from my Mum and uncles that I needed to be extra good in his class." He leaned over closer to Devoney when Alec gave his brother a stern look. "The next part of the tour isn't as good." He informed her. "Alec told me that they're not allowed to take us through any of the secret tunnels."
Devoney's jaw dropped slightly. "There are really secret passages?" Emmett gave her a tight lipped grin as Alec looked their way again. She kept her mouth shut as they re-entered the school for the rest of the tour.
The towers and dungeons tour was harder for Devoney to get her head around compared to the school grounds tour. The nasty habit of the stairs moving on their own, and doors spontaneously vanishing did nothing to help her with her orientation problem. Alec grinned at her and reassured her that she would get used to it sooner then she thought. In what seemed like no time at all, the tours were all finished and they were back in the hall eating lunch and getting ready for their first class of their magical lives.
No sooner did Devoney and Emmett take their seats in the third row of the great theatre, did a ghost appear from out of no-where.
"Welcome to your first History of Magic class." The transparent ghost droned in a steady monotone. "Before any of you even ask, we will not be covering the Great War in this semester." The slightly emphasised on 'not' beckoned the sudden onset of groans from the class. Of which the professor paid little heed too as he turned and floated to the center of the front stage. "Before you can even begin to fathom the extreme details that took place in the War, you must first know the events that took place before any of what occurred was even imaginable."
With that, he gave a nod, his dead eyes scanning the classroom, lingering only a second longer on Devoney before moving to the next face. "That being said," he continued. "Turn to page six of your History of Magic text." Devoney eagerly turned to page six and had a quill poised over a piece of parchment, waiting to take notes. Now she might finally have a clue about this confounding world!
…Unfortunately, soon the novelty and amazement of having a ghost as a professor wore off. And much to Devoney's disappointment, history classes here was no more interesting than the history classes she had to take back in primary. She just couldn't seem to make herself care about what war was started by which ruler or how the goblin's gained their freedom, any more then she could have made herself to care about Britain conquering whatever country in eighteen thirty three on a full moon.
It was all she could do to take the notes and not fall asleep throughout the lecture. Thoughts of the potions and transfigurations classes that were to follow were all that kept her going. Well, that and the occasional Wakey-Wakey-Lite sweet from Emmett, which had the convincing taste of a steaming cup of hot chocolate and the feeling of having two little sprites prying her eyelids open. According to Emmett, when his Uncles had been creating the Wakey-Wakey treat it had tasted like a cup of black coffee and you couldn't blink for two whole days. Now those treats were on reserve for the upper year students studying for their O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s.
At first Devoney was positive he was joking, but with that strange twinkle in his eye that she was starting to associate with the Weasley family, she couldn't quite tell if he was actually joking or not.
The ghost professor paid little heed to whether the students actually listened to what he was lecturing on. Devoney held back a chuckle and instead opted for a hidden grin when she saw Tavi's head nod back and forth a few times before she conceded defeat and laid her head against the desk. Emmett gave her a wink as he reached over and poked his cousin in the side a few times. Smiling, Devoney tried to focus a little harder on the lesson. After all, this was only the first of many lectures she would be taken here at Hogwarts.
Little did she know, however, that very soon the lessons would be the least of her worry.
Till next week!