AN: Anon/RiddleLover - However, in perspective, Platform 9 and 10 did not exist in 1938, there were only 8. Bizarrely enough the platforms at Kings Cross grew in number after World War Two, from 1 to 8 to 1 to 11, yet - weirdly - skipping the number nine until they were renumbered in 1970 up to ten. Currently there are 12 platforms at Kings Cross 0 to 11. So to stay true to the facts of the Muggle world and how the Wizarding world adapts around it I changed the platform to 3 and ¼ because no Harry Potter fan would make such a stupid mistake. Thanks for reading and allowing me to convey my reasoning behind them not departing from platform 9 and 3/4 :) Thanks for reading everyone who did - I saw y'all on traffic stats :D I'd just like to mention I am a Beta so if you're looking take a look at my Beta Profile.
Cookies-And-Ink - As always I look forward to your reviews. When is anything plain sailing for me, there is always something ;) I'm glad you appreciate my thinking on the platform number. In terms of the nitty gritty... This will the final chapter before I time skip... Kind of... You'll see next chapter :) Love x
Anon/RiddleLover -Being fairly knowledgeable in the Harry Potter Universe, I am perfectly aware that Harry departs from platform 9 and ¾ . I hate facts being wrong, people should ALWAYS get their facts right.
However, in perspective, Platform 9 and 10 did not exist in 1938, there were only 8. Bizarrely enough the platforms at Kings Cross grew in number after World War Two, from 1 to 8 to 1 to 11, yet - weirdly - skipping the number nine until they were renumbered in 1970 up to ten. Currently there are 12 platforms at Kings Cross 0 to 11.
So to stay true to the facts of the Muggle world and how the Wizarding world adapts around it I changed the platform to 3 and ¼ because no Harry Potter fan would make such a stupid mistake.
Thanks for reading and allowing me to convey my reasoning behind them not departing from platform 9 and 3/4 :)
Thanks for reading everyone who did - I saw y'all on traffic stats :D I'd just like to mention I am a Beta so if you're looking take a look at my Beta Profile.
Chapter 2 - Snakes Don't Bite (Too Much)
The Old Professor finally let us inside and a warming feeling passed over me as we crossed under Dumbledore's outstretched wand. I suddenly didn't have that ghastly feeling of being absolutely drenched from head to foot and my blonde hair, which was much shorter than that of the other girls, was no longer plastered to the top of my head. It did however stick out in several directions now and as I ran a hand through it I caught a reflection of myself in a mirror on the wall. How elegant. I rolled my eyes as Professor Dumbledore stopped the group in front of some large wooden doors.
"In a few moments each and every one of you will be sorted into a house: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff. Once you are sorted into a house, that is where you will remain for the next seven years and you will attend classes, share common rooms and eat with your fellow house mates" he told us, I had a feeling Dumbledore didn't appreciate friendships between houses and it seemed as if he was adding fuel to the house competition fire. Of course I was assuming that there was already house rivalry already, I can't imagine there not being.
I stopped concentrating a little even though I had tried to listen because, suddenly, I was aware of a presence behind me. Slowly I turned around, slapping my hand across my mouth to prevent a yelp of surprise escaping my mouth as I saw that directly behind me was a large rather ominous ghost whom was covered in shiny silver bloodstains. They scared the living daylights out of me but I tried not to let my nervousness show any more than I had. Another ghost floated through the wall behind us, the second ghost was at least not covered in bloodstains and wearing chains.
"Oh see here Baron, I daresay you've frightened the poor girl" the second ghost chuckled.
"I'm not scared" I denied, "You startled me" I hissed back at them.
"See Nick" the blood-stained ghost croaked, "She is fine, come let us join the feast" he floated away followed by the ghost who was named Nick. No one had heard my exchange but in the mean time I had missed everything the Professor had said.
"...Alas they are now ready for us, follow me" he commanded, gracefully turning with a swish of his cloak and pushing open the doors. The group moved forward forming two lines between the two middle tables. I paired up with Sarah but I noticed she was staring up at the ceiling. I followed her gaze, noticing that the ceiling seemed to open out to the sky above. I'd read in a book called Hogwarts: A History that the ceiling of the great hall was bewitched to mirror the outside sky but now I could see it for real it was far better than I imagined, much more interesting.
The four house table's occupants had their eyes glued to us like they were vaguely interested. I fixed my eyes forward to the front, flickering across the Professors table and taking in the appearances of my new Professors. The first Professor who caught my eye was the man sat at the centre of the Professors table, I assumed him to be Headmaster Dippet, he was much older than Professor Dumbledore with a curly white hair and a matching beard. Although he had a rather thin face it was clear that under his navy blue robes he was probably a large man and the crinkles to the side of his eyes suggested that he was probably a very jolly man too. Automatically I moved on taking in the appearances of my other Professors but then I noticed a very worn looking hat sat on a stool at the front of the hall and it seemed to move. Curiously I peered forward as the seam of the hat burst open.
'You may not think I'm handsome, Many years ago four people came I'll take a rummage round up there You might belong in Gryffindor, You might belong in Hufflepuff, Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw, Or perhaps in Slytherin So put me on! Don't be afraid!
But don't judge on what you see,
I'll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.
Built every door and wall,
They made me too the Sorting Hat
The best creation of them all.
Yet you shouldn't be afraid of me
It's painless (mostly) and you'll find out
My decision on where you'll be
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;
If you've a steady mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends.
And don't get all unnerved
All your worries will soon be gone
Because I will keep them curbed.'*
As startled as I was, I frowned. I wasn't exactly very impressed that the Sorting Hat was going to read my mind; in fact I was almost tempted to say it was nonsense. How could an inanimate object seemingly have a mind of its own? Beginning to think that this was all a well organised ploy, I inconspicuously judged my chances on escaping but my thoughts were interrupted by a name being called out.
Many years ago four people came
I'll take a rummage round up there
You might belong in Gryffindor,
You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
Or perhaps in Slytherin
So put me on! Don't be afraid!
"Clara Antigone" Professor Dumbledore called out. Living on the south west coast and with the family I had meant that I was lucky enough to have acquired the skill of being fluent in French and also knowing a lot about France too. I knew that the girl's last name denoted that she probably of French origin. Her long blonde hair flowed behind her as she approached the stool and sat down gracefully.
"HUFFLEPUFF" the hat screamed making half the group around me jump. She smiled and gratefully joined her respective table.
"Alphard Black" one of the brown haired twins that had been stood with Tom Riddle outside stepped forward, trying to seem like he wasn't anxious. The old man placed the sorting hat on his head and we waited. As Alphard Black remained seated I tried to remember back to reading 'Hogwarts: A History' so I could figure out what the general consensus was for what was commonly known as a hat stall. Apparently someone who had the sorting hat on for a long time had strong traits from two or more houses making them harder to place in a house. At this point a student's opinion is often taken into account.
"SLYTHERIN" the hat shouted, drawing my attention back to the sorting where Alphard was scurrying away to the Slytherin table. His brother Cygnus was called up next, the hat barely touched his head before announcing to the hall that he was a Slytherin too. A short boy named Percy Brown became the first Ravenclaw and a nervous looking curly haired girl called Augusta Denning was the first person to be sorted into Gryffindor. Throughout the sorting a few people stuck out: Caroline, another hatstall, became a Slytherin, as did a white blonde boy named Abraxas. A boy with the amusing last name Longbottom was sorted very quickly into Gryffindor whereas Jessica Parkinson joined Caroline in Slytherin. A bespectacled boy called William Potter was sorted into Gryffindor, which he very arrogantly joined after handing the hat back to Dumbledore.
"Tom Riddle" Professor Dumbledore called, I tried to look disinterested but I was somewhat drawn to knowing where Riddle would be placed after our bizarre train journey together. The dark haired boy swiftly detached himself from the remaining first years and sat on the stool. His face was unreadable but after 10 seconds he was sorted straight into Slytherin. The Slytherin table started to applause and I inwardly scoffed as he strode down to take a seat at the Slytherin table.
"Persephone Simmons" Dumbledore called, I reluctantly approached the stool and sat down crossing my right leg over the other. Suddenly the hall was blocked from sight and all my hearing went fuzzy.
"Ah I see we may have a problem, or rather you have..." a voice said.
"How so?" I retorted keeping my face unchanged.
"Well you are a perfect candidate for Slytherin..." the hat mused, "but it's just you may..."
"Well if I'm such a perfect candidate then why don't you just be done with it" I interrupted.
"As you wish, maybe one day you will heed advice given to you... SLYTHERIN" it shouted, I rolled my eyes and stood up to make my way to the Slytherin table. I sat next to Caroline who smiled at me as we watched the final few people get sorted. There were only four people left now, the first of which was a red headed boy named Kevin Weasley, who tripped over his own two feet and almost straight into Dumbledore. He almost turned the same colour as his hair and across from me Jess snorted as he was sorted into Gryffindor. She muttered something across the table about Weasley's to me but because I didn't detect a very amicable tone from her remark I simply nodded and smirked.
It suddenly struck me, right there, that this was the house that I'd read so much about. This was the house with the bad reputation, this was the house with the prejudice against people such as myself. This was the house that I would have to lie to to get through the next seven years unscathed. But that was okay because I was a good liar and with my apt personality which made me somewhat hostile I slipped right into the foundations of Slytherin House. Anyway I'm pretty sure, as a muggleborn, there wasn't anything that made me distinguishable as one. My train of thought was interrupted by the final name being called up to be sorted.
"Last but not least, Sarah Zabini" Professor Dumbledore called out, Sarah was certainly not unnerved by being last to be sorted. Unless of course she was very good at hiding it as she strode up to the stool to be sorted. After the longest Hatstall of the night I was happy to welcome her with the rest of Slytherin table in a shower of applause. The noise died down as Headmaster Dippet rose to his feet, his arms spread wide like a child waiting for a hug.
"Let the feast commence" his voice boomed across the hall bouncing off the walls as an feast large enough each child could have seven courses spread instantly across the table. I covered my face with a look of indifference despite the fact that magic still astounded me even though I'd been aware of it most of my life. I helped myself to lamb chops and mash potatoes but being disturbed by Abraxas Malfoy's startled yelp across the table. I smirked as I saw the blood-stained ghost sat or rather floating next to him. Sarah snorted and rolled her eyes. The ghost spotted me opposite him and looked across the hall smugly.
"Ah I knew you would make this house, Sir Nicolas had himself convinced you'd be in Gryffindor... I can smell a true Slytherin" he said.
"Imagine, not being in Slytherin" I scoffed, praying that the blood-stained ghost had saved me any awkward conversations about my heritage. Although, I was quite sure that conversation would arise at some point.
"Quite" the ghost responded, "I am Baron Boudiore, the ghost of Slytherin House" he told those who were listening, "Congratulations on being sorted into the finest house at Hogwarts" he said in a very dull voice before floating down the table to greet other students.
"I wonder why he's covered in blood?" Jessica observed watching him float off before taking another bite of her food.
"I certainly won't be asking" Sarah interjected pushing a piece of broccoli around her plate nonchalantly.
"It seems like a rather personal question, besides there's probably other ways to find out" I said, skewering a carrot with some mash and popped it into my mouth. Caroline, who'd been vaguely listening to our conversation, helped herself to a pudding before piping up.
"My brother says the his friend told him that the Bloody Baron killed his lover before killing himself"
I almost choked on the food I was eating as she spoke, that's gruesome. Love was beyond me, I thought people had more self-preservation than to get trapped in a downward spiral that eventually led to death like that. I scrunched my face up momentarily in disgust.
"He committed murder then suicide?" I said after I'd swallowed my mouthful of food, "Pleasant" I added distastefully pushing away the last few bites of my meal and opting to finish off with an apple whilst waiting for the feast to finish.
After about ten more minutes the feast disappeared and Headmaster Dippet rose from his seat once more.
"Welcome back students and welcome to those who are joining us for the first time. Just a final few notices before you all retire to your common rooms for the night, firstly, Quidditch Try-outs will be posted on common room boards for those in second year and above who wish to try out, secondly, the forbidden forest is out of bounds for everyone as is the Village of Hogsmeade to those who are not in third year and above or are without a signed permission form. Finally, inappropriate spell casting in the corridors is punishable by a point deduction and/or a detention" Professor Dippet informed the hall, "Right that will be all, prefects please lead your first years to their respective common rooms, Goodnight" he called. The Great Hall immediately broke into excitable chatter of students discussing their recent summers and the upcoming school year whilst leaving for their common rooms. As first years we all banded up awaiting the arrival of our house Prefects, who would be showing us to our dorms. Of course, they appeared almost instantly, Malcolm Flint and Myra Malfoy were our fifth year prefects. Malcolm was a stocky build with wavy black hair and an almost dashing white smile. Myra had Malfoy blonde hair - apparently it ran in the family - and bright blue eyes which hinted she was a mysterious and devious person.
"Good evening first years, congratulations on making it into Slytherin" Flint said but before he could go on a rather large man came hurrying towards us.
"Professor Slughorn, what can we help you with?" Myra asked, "Professor Slughorn is the Head of Slytherin house and is potions master here at Hogwarts" she added addressing the group of first years.
"Ah yes Miss Malfoy, welcome welcome" he beamed down on us, "Miss Simmons, if I could perhaps borrow a moment of your time, we have some urgent matters to deal with" the professor eyed me as my head turned to him.
"Of course Professor" I replied, bowing my head just out of respect, stepping out of the line of first years trying to avoid the suspicious looks of my new housemates without equally trying to seem as guilty as I was. He quickly led me away from the group and I found myself sat in his office. Whilst he shuffled around I vaguely found an interest in what seemed to look like an hourglass except for the fact that the sand seemed to spiral upwards instead of simply falling downwards.
"Right Miss Simmons just couple of matters shouldn't take long really" he said still half smiling, "Firstly the matter of your disinheritance..." he began, my eyes narrowed slightly, how on earth did they already know?
"Professor, that's not really common knowledge..." I informed him.
"Right-o, let me explain the school has records that change accordingly as student information changes, therefore the appropriate Hogwarts staff, in this case the deputy headmaster and myself, will make arrangements in order to protect the welfare of students in your position" he explained, pulling a file from his cupboard with my name on it.
"Of course, I understand Professor" I answered, allowing him to carry on.
"In light of this development, you are now eligible for Ministry of Magic funding and also the school will also provide you with a fund for your school equipment, books and whatnot" he began as he started jotting things down in the file he'd pulled from the cupboard, "Also we have already found some appropriate accommodation for the summer and for the other holidays if you wish to go there during the Christmas and Easter holidays too" the Professor spoke quickly pulling the collar of his shirt which clung to his neck unhealthily.
"I doubt that sir but I really appreciate the sentiment" I responded with what I counted to be a smile before quickly moving on, "Surely I'm too old now to be adopted" I spoke, already knowing that I was.
"I'm sorry to say Miss Simmons..." he began.
"Persephone, call me Persephone please" I interrupted calmly.
"Persephone, I'm not going to lie, adoption happens so rarely anyway, the chances of it happening are remote" he said sadly, I nodded understandingly, "Now one more thing before you leave, about your placement in Slytherin House..." I frowned.
"Sir?" I pressed.
"Your heritage Persephone puts you in a vulnerable position" he began, I rolled my eyes.
"The hat said that" I smiled, "I will certainly not be telling my housemates of my true heritage and it is not my wish for you to make it known" I tried not to make it sound like a warning.
"I hate to say this but I do agree, currently only Professor's Dippet, Dumbeldore and I know of your predicament and it shall stay that way at your wishes" he spoke, closing the folder and sitting back in his chair.
"I appreciate it sir" I responded.
"I hope that these issues are not raised as I am sure that you will do well Persephone"
"My father raised me to work hard and be the best I could, one doesn't change their attitude so suddenly" I said, Professor Slughorn raised an eyebrow looking vaguely shocked but quickly recovered with a smile.
"What fine logic" he beamed down on me before he looked at his watch his eyes widening, "Goodness me, is that the time, I think we should get you to the common room" Professor Slughorn said. I allowed the Professor to lead me to the common room and occasionally I would supply a short appropriate answer to any question he asked me but apart from that I was lost amongst my own thoughts.
Maybe, just maybe I could work this little predicament to my advantage.
It had been such a long time since I was able to change the way that I expressed myself. Here there were no restraints and a different kind of prejudice than I was used to experiencing, one that could avoided, one that could be twisted so I never had to face it. Suddenly Hogwarts didn't feel the same, instead of feeling like a joke, it felt real. It felt new. It offered me something so much better than I ever had previous to this. The Slytherin Professor and I came to a halt at a brick wall.
"The current password is Alchemy" he told me, as soon as the word left his mouth the wall we had stopped by started to fold in on itself – much like it had in Diagon Alley – revealing the entrance to the Common Room. As we stepped inside, I just managed to catch myself before my mouth opened in amazement.
The Slytherin Common Room was a luxury beyond I was used to. Despite its location in the dungeons of Hogwarts castle, the common room was not as cold as the outside corridor; in fact the temperature was quite pleasant. I imagined, of course, that this was aided by the by the torches and fireplace. The room contained several soft-looking yet elegant arm chairs for students to sit in, some were situated on their own whilst the others were in clusters of two's or three's. There were also a few dark mahogany tables which looked like they'd fit about four people round plus whatever they were working on. The back wall had four matching bookshelves that were filled with a collection of mainly books but pots of ink and quills too. I was impressed, very impressed.
I bid goodnight to Professor Slughorn and made my way to the back of the common room which split onto two corridors that stretch back a long way. On the wall of the right hand corridor a sign that read Girls Dormitories so naturally I followed that corridor until I reached a room that said Persephone Simmons & Sarah Zabini on the door in silver. I found Sarah inside still awake, awaiting my return. No doubt she was curious as to why Professor Slughorn had requested my presence. On my entrance to our Dorm, she didn't even look up from the Charms book nestled between her legs but she did, however, pass comment.
"Do you mind being called Persy or do you prefer Persephone?" she asked, I stopped in deliberation for a moment. I'd never really had a nickname so to speak.
"Persy is fine" I responded, kneeling at the foot of my bed where my trunk was stored to search for some pyjamas, which I had stupidly packed near the bottom of it. I searched in silence for a moment, finding them exactly where I expected, before I dropped them on the bed. I turned to look round at the room. There were two desks opposite the beds with sufficient space to store books above, which I was glad about, since I had a lot of books. The two beds had green velvet curtains around them which matched the blanket and sheets of the bed as well as the cushions. It was then that I decided that green was a pretty good colour if not the best one. Overall the room was cosy but there wasn't much to see through the seating window between the two beds.
"Persy?" Sarah interrupted my thought process, I made a noise that told her I was listening, "Is everything okay?" she asked, my head snapped to her. I hadn't expected had, I was usually so aware of what people were like, what they were thinking but Sarah Zabini was something else.
"Yes, why?" I eyed her suspiciously for a moment before turning away once again.
"Because, if we are going to share a room for seven years, I'd like to think that you can tell me if you're okay and that you and I can trust each other" she retorted. Sarah Zabini really has a point, although the trust I have for people has to be earned, I knew that something inside of me was telling me that Sarah was fairly trustworthy despite her placement in this house.
"My parents died two weeks ago – they were the only family I have left. Professor Slughorn was making sure that I was aware of the arrangements I had for the summer" I told her, "I do agree, if we are going to share a room, trust is an essential"
"Oh I 'm sorry about your parents Persy" she said, blushing ever so slightly.
"Don't be, they weren't the greatest parents – believe me" I said, "Is that a charms book?"
Over the next hour, I learnt a lot about Sarah Zabini. She was one of three full sisters, the youngest one, yet she had a younger half-brother as her mother remarried. Her family were mainly Slytherins yet the odd few have been in all three of the other houses, favouring Gryffindor. That shocked me a little since I got the impression that Gryffindors and Slytherins were great enemies. She was half-Italian, although, I had guessed as such due to her looks and she was fluent in both English and Italian. I took this opportunity to tell her a little bit more about my fake pureblood family, that they were Canadian and that's why I was fluent in French.
I was surprised at how at ease I was lying about my heritage but it was a must right now.
After Sarah had fallen asleep, I lay awake for a long while, slowly piecing together the thoughts in my head. I could do this, get through Hogwarts that was and move quickly into the world of Wizarding work. I had no doubt about that. The only problem would be someone getting in my way; I don't think that would happen, that I was sure about.
Or so I thought.
*Changed slightly from the original Sorting Song
After talking to a few people, I decided that I would time-skip to the fifth year, however, not before I did a chapter with a collocation of memories from now until just before fifth year. Chapter Three will be the mentioned collocation.