What is it with me and AUs? I don't even know. They just eat me alive and then digest me in the form of poorly written fanfiction. Yes, I am the fanfiction in this scenario. Don't question me.
Not that anyone cares, but I'll say it anyway: Don't worry; Auld Acquaintance is still always my top priority. That aside, let's talk about how all of this is gonna go down.
This is a Hogwarts AU. Not a Harry Potter one. That would just be silly! The Harry Potter characters have got that covered. This is the YJ characters at Hogwarts, plain and simple. Wow, that sounds really dumb out loud!
This thing doesn't have any particular plot or direction. It's just going to be a collection of snippets that take place in this little Hogwarts "universe." Quidditch games! Class shenanigans! More Quidditch! Kaldur being a Prefect! Etc. Kaldur being a Prefect is the only enjoyable part.
I'm just going to work on this as it comes to me. It's going to be a fun way for me to relax and kick back and do something that's purely for my own enjoyment once in a while, when I need a break from other things, or when I need to practice a little. This is a super super informal thing. The update schedule will be irregular, but it'll probably update once a month at the least.
Last, but certainly not least: The title, Ferte in Noctem, comes from the song "In Noctem" off of the Half-Blood Prince soundtrack. The more you know!
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership to nor affiliation with Young Justice or Harry Potter.
Ferte in Noctem
A Young Justice AU
written by Brella
Wally West had always hated trains.
They had a rather unfortunate tendency to feel more sluggish than any other method of travel he had ever encountered, although that could be due to the fact that he had been steering around various Cleansweep models since he was five, or perhaps that he was impatient by nature, and hardly saw the point of watching assorted landscapes flitting by when Apparation was an entirely plausible option.
The Hogwarts Express was no different. Even when he was a first year, Wally had despised the waiting, the fidgeting, the seemingly endless anxiety of checking the window every few seconds to attempt to sight upon the silhouette of Hogwarts in the distance, its turrets stark and beckoning beyond the hills. The notion that it was so agonizingly far, but just close enough that he had no choice but to sit like a lump in a train car for several hours before he could reach it, drove him all sorts of mad.
It did not help matters that, during the train ride of his first year, he had been trapped in the caboose with a pimply Hufflepuff girl who smelled of shrivelfig and stole a large number of his Chocolate Frogs. He had been convinced since that point that each of his journeys to Hogwarts in the ensuing years would be torturous and unbearable, but miraculously, they had gotten better, company and all.
Beaming, he gathered all he could procure from the trolley into his arms and dropped two Sickles into its cheery pusher's arms, winking at her as she continued down the corridor. A group of Gryffindor third-year girls went dashing by, and a short blonde one with wide brown eyes halted when she spotted Wally, her face brightening. He winked, she flushed and giggled, and her twitter-paited companions grabbed her by each of her wrists to drag her along, chattering and blushing as Wally raised his hand to wave after them.
"I wish you'd quit doing that," one of his compartment-mates grunted, a barrel-chested boy with black hair and an omnipresent scowl whose robes always had a tendency to look slightly too short on him.
"You can't just switch it on and off, Con," Wally riposted with a tortured sigh.
"Oh, please," Conner grumbled.
Conner Kent was a sixth-year who was borderline misanthropic in his aversion to socialization, but that disagreeable nature had done little to deter Wally when he had been a first year and Conner had been a second and Wally had witnessed him snap a Slytherin's wand in half after it had cast a hex on an unsuspecting Gryffindor first-year. Wally, star-struck by the boy's bravery, had made it his mission in life to follow him mercilessly around and pepper him with questions until he acquiesced into not shoving him into whichever wall happened to be nearby.
"I don't know why you're complaining," the third member of the trio in the compartment piped up, cocking a skeptical eyebrow. "You've got a few – fans yourself."
"Just like you've got the Nguyen girl, right, Roy?" Wally teased, elbowing the speaker with a suggestive smirk.
Roy's face reddened, igniting his blue eyes into a rather murderous mode, and he punched Wally in the arm with a growl.
Roy Harper was a seventh-year, held back from graduating the term before due to an altercation he had with a Slytherin student by the name of Jade Nguyen, whom he had given a black eye and whom had given him the need for a Blood-Replenishing Potion in the hospital wing. His untidy red hair had a tendency to stand on end as though he was constantly plugging himself in to an electrical outlet, and he and Conner were easily tied for the most intimidating scowl in the entire school. Wally could hardly complain that Roy had been held back – if it meant receiving another year of having him as Quidditch captain, there was nothing to squabble about.
All three boys were on the Quidditch team, and that was perhaps what made the lot of them so well known among those of the giggling female variety – especially Wally, who, with his status as Seeker, had garnered the largest amount of attention from said sect of students. Conner was scrutinized for his brooding nature, and Roy was well liked by the Slytherin girls, for some peculiar reason, if Jade Nguyen was any indication. Roy and Conner were Gryffindor's cherished Beaters, both able to take out their inexplicable rage toward the world on the rogue bludgers during a game. Roy had been the Gryffindor team captain since his third year, but Wally had only known him in such a position since his fourth – this year would mark Wally's second season on the Gryffindor Quidditch team, Conner's third, and Roy's fifth. Clearly, a large selection of their audience was looking forward to it, if the herd of first-year Hufflepuff girls who had spoken in hushed tones when they had spotted Wally boarding the train was any indication.
"Get your robes on," Roy barked, cuffing Wally behind the head. Wally batted him away in exasperation.
"Yes, Mum," he sang back. "As soon as I get through these Pumpkin Pasties."
"Pumpkin Pasties again?" Conner grimaced. "You already had ten!"
"Those were from home! They were an exception," Wally explained slowly as though it was perfectly obvious. He glanced down at the pile of treats in his lap. "You want anything? I've got some Ice Mice, I think…"
"I'll take a box of Bertie's," Roy said decisively, snatching a colorful box from the mountainous collection and popping it open, pouring six of the beans into his open palm.
"Oh, I think I spot an earwax," Wally observed, craning his neck over.
"Stuff it; I like earwax," Roy snapped back, flicking one of the candies into his mouth. "You were wrong. It's booger."
Wally made a face, tossing a Cauldron Cake to Conner, who caught it roughly. "Be careful with that, Conner, don't bloody crush it."
"It won't make any difference what it tastes like," Conner muttered, sounding hurt at Wally's outburst.
"I think I saw Grayson a few compartments down," Roy interjected boredly, squinting at a dirt-colored bean before shrugging and eating it. "Urk—cow dung."
"You're having excellent luck with those," Wally cackled. "And Grayson, really? He's in fourth year now, yeah?"
"Think so," Conner huffed, carefully peeling apart the wrapping on the Cauldron Cake. "He's sitting with that new Hufflepuff girl. The one who watches all the Muggle television. And—"
"Megan? Megan Morse? The transfer?" Wally supplied hurriedly, sounding far too excited.
The image of the pretty sixth-year girl with auburn hair and freckles who had transferred to Hogwarts the previous year from Beauxbatons, whose voice held its delicate r's and h's in the back of her throat, was presented with colorful clarity to him the moment Conner hinted at her existence, and Wally wasn't entirely afraid to admit it. Then again, when he had first spotted her in his Herbology class the previous year, he had all but collapsed forward into his unpotted dittany in an attempt to start conversation with her, which had immediately been taken over by Conner, even though Conner hadn't actually said anything.
Megan, despite her sixth-year status, was in a great deal of her classes with Wally because of her transfer, and even in a few with Conner due to his crippling ineptitude at Divination (which Wally shared – the very thought of the subject tempted him to repeatedly smash his head against a wall). The three boys had come to know the girl well in the previous year through their shared classes and her effervescent desire to be friends with anyone who so much as breathed in her general direction.
In point of fact, they were well acquainted with all of her friends as well, particularly the ever-snickering Dick Grayson, a fourth-year Ravenclaw whose tiny stature and general devotion to mischief defined him as the resident prankster, a horribly evil cretin who derived no greater pleasure in life than causing Wally's books to transfigure into rats or wind-up teeth or generally ink-soaked messes. In spite of the innumerable number of hours he undoubtedly spent on concocting various schemes, he still managed to find time to be at the top of his year and quite possibly the two ahead of him; he did not waste his Ravenclaw status, flaunting it in everything from his acerbic contributions in everyday conversation to his habitual dissection and rearrangement of the English language to his frequent habitation in the library to the fact that he ought not to have even been a fourth-year in the first place – the boy was thirteen, but he had skipped his third year, having apparently mastered all of the material over the summer.
Wally had not made it known to Conner and Roy, but if asked whom his closest friend was, he would say Dick without a moment's hesitation. Although the boy was a year behind him and largely enjoyed making his life miserable from time to time, they had grown extraordinarily close from the time Dick was a first year and Wally had taken him under his wing. Dick had made a name for himself since then, but the two boys still wrote constant letters to each other over the summer and spent a great deal of time together at Hogwarts – in fact, Wally had spent a week of the past holiday at Dick's home… or, well, his manor (the only thing that the place had been missing was a moat, for Merlin's sake). It wasn't as though he kept his kinship with Dick a secret from Roy and Conner, precisely, and honestly, once the train pulled in to Hogwarts, the four of them as well as their other friends would very likely begin spending every waking moment together as they always did, but Dick's tendency to get on Roy and Conner's nerves often kept Wally from confessing that he and Dick had formed a bond.
A bond that largely consisted of Dick mortifying him whenever possible, or at least mutilating his pride in some scarcely reparable way.
"You want to go drop in on them?" Roy mumbled, chewing carefully on another bean, his eyes narrowed. "We've still got a good hour before we get to the school."
"Don't say that, Roy," Wally groaned, throwing his head back lamentably. "You'll make it all worse."
"Where's Kaldur?" Conner inquired abruptly. "I thought I saw him at the platform—"
"He'll be around," Wally replied. "I hear he made prefect again this year."
"No surprise," Roy muttered, getting to his feet. "I'm going to go say hullo to the rest. Coming or not?"
"Not much else to do," Wally admitted with a shrug, carefully dumping the candy onto the space beside him and standing. Conner silently followed suit. "Lock the door; I don't want the first-years coming in here and nicking my candy."
"Now that would be a tragedy," Roy sneered as the three exited the compartment. When the door closed behind them, he pulled his wand from the pocket of his trousers (chestnut, dragon heartstring, 8½"), pointed it at the door, and muttered, "Colloportus."
With that, he began to lead the way down the narrow corridor, past several compartments that contained various assortments of students – Wally sent a pointed sneer at a group of Slytherins in one, who were busy burning holes in the carpet – and sidling by a gaggle of passing second-years who all whispered Wally's name among themselves after they had gone past. Wally beamed winningly when Roy and Conner both scowled at him over their shoulders.
"There they are," Roy muttered, halting at the glass door of compartment 27.
Inside sat Dick Grayson, his loose black hair shifting as he cackled into his open palm, doubled-over in his seat; Megan Morse, whose locks were in a braid and who seemed to be sharing Robin's amusement; and in the corner, leaning against the window—
"Who is that?" Wally blinked, astonished, in utter confusion – the third member of Dick's party was, to his indescribable shock, a stranger to him.
"I saw her on the platform," Conner grunted.
"You see everyone on the bloody platform," Roy snapped back, huffing.
"No, really!" Wally elbowed the two of them respectively with both of his arms. "Who is she? I've never seen her before."
"She can't be a first-year; she's too tall," Roy mused.
"Too angry-looking, too," Conner muttered. Wally snorted.
"That never stopped you."
The girl on whom their attentions were focused was of weathered skin and uncannily long blonde hair that was tied back with a navy blue scrunchie, whose expression was deadpan and uncomfortable as she stared out the window with dark gray eyes, and whose tie was black, sporting the Hogwarts coat of arms. Her knees were knobbly and spread apart, and her arms were crossed defiantly.
"Who is that?" Wally reiterated in frustration.
Roy shoved him aside and opened the door, causing Dick and Megan to jump.
"Hey, quick, who are you?" he barked at the stranger, who didn't even flinch. She did not respond for a moment, but she finally seemed to catch on to the fact that he was talking to her and lifted her head away from the glass, turning it to glare at him. Wally blinked at her, bemused.
"Will this quiz be graded?" she snapped, eyes flicking to Wally and narrowing. He frowned back, not appreciating the expression.
"Just a simple question," Roy told her.
Dick let out a loud snort, his mouth curling into a leer.
"Don't mind the killjoy, Crock," he told the girl, nudging her. "He gets flustered around pretty girls."
"That's not the situation here, Grayson!" Roy bellowed, causing Dick to cackle madly into his fist. The girl whose last name was apparently Crock didn't look quite as amused.
"I'm guessing you're all acquainted?" she demanded, eyes still jerking in Wally's direction from time to time.
"Allow me," Dick declared with a flourish, standing. Megan was grinning at him, and gave Wally a small wave that he returned dazedly. "Gentlemen, meet Artemis Crock. She just arrived here from – where was it?"
"Home," Artemis Crock muttered.
"So she is a first year," Conner mused. Artemis bristled.
"Fifth," she snapped back curtly. "Thank you very much." Her cheeks were slightly flushed, which Wally decided was an excellent cue for him to smooth down his hair and step forward, raising an eyebrow in greeting, smirking.
"Then I'm sure you've heard of me," he interjected, extending a hand. Artemis stared skeptically at it as though frightened that it carried some sort of disease before frowning up at him.
"Nope," she replied coolly.
Wally twitched. Conner frowned behind him.
"But everybody's heard of this idiot," he explained plainly. Artemis shrugged.
"I haven't," she said. "Is he important?"
"I'm right here!" Wally snapped indignantly. Megan chose that moment to step in.
"Artemis, this is Wally," she explained gently as though she were talking to a child. "He's—"
"If I'm going to be introduced to him, he can do it himself," Artemis grunted. Wally opened his mouth to retort, but Roy beat him to it.
"Okay, then. I'll start off. Roy Harper. Seventh year. I keep these two out of trouble." He jerked his head at Wally and Conner. "Got into a fight last year so they held me back."
"Yeah, I heard," Artemis mumbled, swiveling her hard gaze to Conner. "What about you?"
Conner looked painfully reluctant to provide her with that information.
"Conner," he said bluntly. "Kent. Sixth year. I'm – Beater on the Quidditch team. Like Roy."
"Oh, Quidditch players." Artemis seemed mildly impressed. She finally returned her attention to the stiff-shouldered Wally. "Your turn, Idiot-Who-Everybody's-Heard-Of."
Wally spluttered wordlessly for a moment before composing himself.
"Wally West," he eked out. "Gryffindor Seeker. I brought the team back into the top slot at Hogwarts last year and I'm going to keep it there."
"And you're, what, another seventh year?" Artemis drawled, staring at the wall.
"Fifth," Wally growled tersely. Artemis's eyebrows went up.
"Then you've got two more years to keep the Gryffindor team on its toes, I suppose," she muttered back. "Pleasure." She nodded to each of them in turn, not looking pleased at all.
"So you haven't been sorted yet, then?" Conner asked, still looking mildly annoyed by the situation.
Artemis sniffed, wiping her nose with the back of her hand.
"No," she answered dully. "That's the first thing on my to-do list, though."
"Sorting's the best part," Megan exclaimed gleefully, clapping her hands together. "The Hat sings a song, and then it talks to you, and tells you where it thinks you belong, and—"
"Hey. Odd question here," Artemis interrupted her apologetically, glancing at the compartment-dwellers hesitantly. "But – does it take into account what… I mean, where you think you belong?"
"Yeah," Conner replied immediately. All heads turned to him and he shrugged tightly, rolling his eyes. "Well, it does. It's a nice hat."
"Charming," Wally muttered sarcastically.
"Maybe you won't get Sorted at all," Dick teased her ominously, leaning forward and grinning with wicked relish. "Maybe they won't know what to do with you, so you'll have to go work with the House Elves in the kitchen! Or maybe you'll have to clean out the toilets!"
Artemis made a very rude gesture at him and snarled something about Bat-Bogey Hexing him to the ends of the earth and back, which caused Wally to guffaw behind one hand. Dick shrugged apathetically.
"Such a lovely, sweet-tempered girl," he mused. Artemis scoffed at him and shook her head, brushing a strand of hair out of her face as though it had done her some enormous wrong. Dick turned his attentions to Wally and smiled widely, eyes tightly closed with glee. "She's going to fit right in. You seen Zatanna about, by the way?"
Wally shrugged incredulously.
"Of course not! I've barely talked to her, stupid," he exclaimed. "That's more your area."
"Zatanna?" Artemis asked cautiously, not sounding as if she wanted to be asking in the first place. "Not – not the Zatanna. The Zatanna Zatara, Zatanna?"
"Oh, so you've heard of Zatanna, but you haven't heard of me," Wally grumbled. Artemis ignored him, watching Dick attentively for a reply.
"Yep, that one," Dick confirmed, sounding absurdly pleased about it. "You'd do well to make a good first impression with her. Though it isn't all that hard not to."
"It really isn't," Megan agreed conspiratorially. "The first time she met Conner was when he accidentally whacked his Bludger into her dormitory during practice last term."
"I was testing her," Conner grunted.
"Completely shattered her window," Dick expounded, nodding solemnly.
"Ruined her trunk," Megan added.
"Frightened her owl terribly," Dick said before perking up. "You have a pet, right? Do you want to see my owl?"
"N-No thanks," Artemis declined, looking rather overwhelmed. "We're – allowed pets?"
"Didn't you read your letter?" Wally said loudly, eyes wide. Artemis scowled at him.
"My mum opened it before I could," she told him harshly. "I threw it out."
Wally opened his mouth in shock to interrogate her as to why she would choose to do something so marvelously stupid, but Megan perked up suddenly, craning her neck to look out the window.
"There it is!" she cried, pointing. Everyone immediately crowded up to the glass pane, pressing their foreheads to it to catch a glimpse of the silhouette of the castle, finally appearing past the rolling golden hills, hard and dark against the setting sun.
Wally whooped enthusiastically and bounded out the door, sprinting down the corridor to his earlier compartment to put on his robes. He fumbled into them, accidentally putting his trousers on backwards twice, endeavoring in vain to tie his tie correctly but eventually giving up and leaving it in a loose untidy knot as usual. He swept up the candy and stuffed it all into his trunk, checked over the area to ensure that everything had been packed, and, when satisfied, zipped back to compartment 27.
"Twenty-eight seconds," Roy drawled. "You're losing your touch."
Wally made a face at him, straightening his robes. Dick was in the process of explaining to Artemis what would happen when they disembarked in fifteen minutes.
"So since it's your first year here, and you're due for your Sorting, they're going to take you to the school in the boats," he was telling her.
"Boats?" Artemis rasped. "With first years?"
"Well, yes, but I promise that they're mostly housebroken—"
"And what are all…" Artemis shook her head as though dazed. "What are each of the houses – like? I mean…"
"Well, there's Ravenclaw," Roy expounded gruffly, jabbing his thumb in Dick's direction. "For the smartasses. And Hufflepuff, for the nice ones." Megan beamed proudly. "Gryffindor, for the—"
"Loud ones," Artemis supplied as if she knew. Roy snorted.
"Right. And Slytherin, for the—"
"Purely evil ones," Wally interpolated with gusto. Artemis's cheeks reddened peculiarly and she shrugged.
"Right. I feel so much more enlightened now that I know I might get labeled as purely evil," she muttered, and Wally instantly felt a surge of guilt, but he didn't have time to do much about it before the train began to slow, and the Hogwarts platform began to crawl into view.
"Look, look, there's Professor Logan!" A group of first-years went dashing by, gesticulating at the weary-looking woman who stood on the platform with a lantern in one hand and a walking stick in the other. Megan, when in her field of vision, waved, and Professor Logan nodded with a wan smile.
"Professor who?" Artemis asked hesitantly.
"Logan. Care of Magical Creatures," Dick provided. "Wait'll you meet Gar."
Artemis squinted. "Gar?"
"Don't ruin all the surprises before you've even gotten off the train!" Dick scolded her, whacking her arm playfully. She bristled.
The train at last came to a halt, and Wally was the first one out of the compartment the moment its wheels stopped turning. He supposed it would be in good taste to at least try to fight the grin on his face, but he didn't bother. Roy and Conner were behind him in an instant, followed by the rest, and they were among the first off the train, preceded by the eager first-years from the next car down.
"All right!" Professor Logan bellowed, her voice shockingly clear and audible above the excited din of the students. "First-years, come with me!"
Without waiting for any confirmation that anyone had heard her, she turned sharply around and marched down the platform toward a wooded path. The first-years, after a moment's hesitation, surged forward to follow, and the entire herd of them was beginning to trail down the path and into the trees. Artemis fidgeted in her place.
"Go on," Roy told her, nudging her forward. She stumbled a bit and whirled on them.
"Aren't you all coming?" she exclaimed.
"First years," Wally drew out the word. "Wow. Rude and deaf."
"Good luck," Dick told her with both sincerity and apology, rolling his eyes at Wally. "We'll all be at our tables, all right? Don't fret. Go on."
Artemis gave them all one last skeptical, somewhat terrified, look before spinning around and jogging after the crowd of the first-years.
"Watch out for the squid!" Wally shouted after her, and Dick elbowed him in the ribs.