Hi, here is the next chapter and I will finally reveal which house Harry will be sorted into. Have fun.
The train reached Hogsmeade station and the students filed out. Over all the noise the booming voice of Hagrid could be heard.
"Firs' years over here. Firs' years."
"Hey Hedwig, I can't take you with me for the sorting. Why don't you see if you find a few nice mice and go to the owlery? I'll come visit you in the morning." Harry suggested.
Hedwig hooted positively and took flight to some awed expressions of the students. Hedwig's plumage had turned completely silver except on her stomach, there it was a bright white.
"Say, why do you talk to her as if she was human?" Hannah asked.
"As I said, she's my familiar and she understands everything I say. She's very intelligent." Harry answered.
"Hey, Harry, everything okay?" Hagrid called over.
"Yes, thanks, Hagrid." Harry called back.
Once Hagrid had all first-years assembled, he led them towards a steep narrow path. Then they turned around a bend and Harry was startled by the sight of the lit castle in the darkness. Hundreds of windows were lit by the light inside the castle. Then they reached the shore of a lake.
"No more'n four to a boat." Hagrid announced pointing to a small fleet of boats sitting on the dark water.
Harry filled into a boat with Terry, Susan and Hannah. When all first-years were in the boats Hagrid commanded them forward. They sailed over the lake, awed by the experience. Finally they were told to keep their heads down and passed through an archway, hidden by a curtain of ivy, in the cliff. At the end of the archway, a stone staircase was located. They left the boats and followed Hagrid up the stairs until they reached the huge oak front doors of the castle. Hagrid knocked at the door and they waited until the door was opened.
"The firs' years Professor McGonagall." Hagrid said.
"Thank you, Hagrid; I'll take them from here." McGonagall said.
She led the group towards a smaller chamber at the side of the entrance hall. Inside, she turned to them.
"Welcome to Hogwarts." She said. "The start-of-term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your houses. The sorting is a very important ceremony because, while you are here, your house will be something like your family. You will have classes with the rest of your house, sleep in your house's dormitory and spend your free time in your house common room. The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Each house has its own noble history and has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts your triumphs will earn your house points while any rule-breaking will lose house points. At the end of the year the house with the most points will be awarded the House Cup, a great honour. I hope each of you will be a credit to whatever house becomes yours.
"The Sorting Ceremony will take place in a few minutes in front of the rest of the school. I suggest you smarten yourself up as much as you can while you are waiting." She said, looking at Neville, who had managed to fasten his cloak under his left ear and a red haired boy who had a bit of dirt on his nose. "I shall return when we are ready for you."
After a small shock with the Hogwarts ghosts appearing through the walls, McGonagall returned.
"We are ready for you now; line up and follow me." She said.
Harry fell into line in front of Susan and after a boy with black hair and brown skin. They followed McGonagall and Harry looked up to see the ceiling he had read so much about in Hogwarts a History. They walked through the ail between the two tables in the middle. The eyes of all students on the four house tables were on them.
"The ceiling is charmed to look like the sky outside. I read it in Hogwarts a History." He heard Hermione tell another girl.
'Perhaps I should sometime give her the tip to not shove her knowledge upon others in that tone.' Harry pondered.
Then the new first-years spread out in front of the head table and were looking at an old shabby hat on a stool. Before Harry could think what the hat could have to do with the sorting it started singing. (I think it has been put into so many stories that I will skip it). In the song the hat outlined the traits of all the houses. Once it had ended loud applause and cheers erupted. Then McGonagall stepped forward and held out a parchment with names on it.
"When I call your name, you'll step forward and put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted." She informed the first-years. "Abbott, Hannah."
Hannah stumbled forward, nervous to be the first. The hat fell right over her eyes until it shouted out.
Hannah joined the table on the right that cheered when the house was called out.
Again the hat was placed on the head and after a short time it shouted.
Susan joined Hannah at the Hufflepuff table.
This time the table on the left cheered.
So the line went on. Brocklehurst, Mandy became a Ravenclaw too while Brown Lavender became the first new Gryffindor and the table at the far right cheered. Bulstrode Millicent joined Slytherin and the table of the far left applauded.
'From the looks on some of their faces I better not be sorted there. They look like they could tear me apart.' Harry thought. 'Just why does that house attract so many children of Death Eaters?'
Then he saw the girl from the train, Hermione Granger being sorted. The hat took a longer time to sort her and then finally shouted
Hermione took off to the table under the red and gold banner.
To Harry's surprise Neville Longbottom, the boy who had lost his toad also went to Gryffindor. Then Draco Malfoy was called up. The hat didn't even touch his head for a second that it shouted
Obviously Draco was really pleased and strode over to his new table. The P's were called up. Interestingly the twin girls Patil went to different houses. Padma went to Ravenclaw while Parvati was made a Gryffindor. Then Perks, Sally-Anne went to Hufflepuff and it was finally his turn.
"Potter, Harry." McGonagall called out.
Whispers erupted from all sides. Harry had expected it and confidently stepped forward. This was the time to make a good first impression. He was a bit confused though when he heard some girls giggle and say how cute he looked. Hell he was a boy, he wasn't cute. Girls were cute, boys were handsome or good-looking. Then the hat was placed on his head and the images from the Great Hall were blended out.
"Hm, difficult." Said a small voice in his ear. "Very difficult indeed. You didn't have an easy life, but you still managed to keep a pure heart, even if you definitely have taken to looking out for yourself first. You have plenty of courage, but you know when to take risks and when not. Your loyalty though is only to your friends, but if somebody gained your loyalty it's incredibly strong. You have an incredible mind; Rowena would have loved to have you in her house. But what's that? Such ambition and cunning. I think I know where you should go."
"Could you please not put me into Slytherin? I know that's the house where I should go, but I don't think it would be safe for me with all those whose parents followed Voldemort in the last war being there and secondly, I don't want to have to deal with the negative press it would cause. They would call me the next dark lord in training. You said I was intelligent enough that even Lady Ravenclaw would have wanted me in her house, can't I go there instead?" Harry asked in his mind.
"Hm, just for that thinking I should put you into Salazar's house, but you have a point at this making things difficult for you. But consider, you want to get to the top and Slytherin could help you on the path to true greatness." The hat reminded him. "So you are sure, then better be…"
The last part was shouted out loudly. Harry took the hat off and saw that the Ravenclaw table had erupted in tumultuous cheers. He walked over to the table and sat down next to Terry.
"Seems your smarts won out over your cunning." Terry said grinning.
"No, I convinced the hat that it would be safer for me to go here instead to Slytherin." Harry whispered back.
"Good for you." Terry answered and clapped when Turpin, Lisa was also made a Ravenclaw.
Only a few remained now. Weasley, Ron, the red haired boy with the dirt on his nose was made a Gryffindor and greeted by another, older redhead, probably his brother. The last one was Zabini, Blaize and as expected he was sorted into Slytherin. Harry gave him a nod and got one in return.
"You know Zabini?" Terry asked.
"We met at Madam Malkin's when I got my robes." Harry said.
Then McGonagall took the stool and the sorting hat away and Professor Dumbledore stood. All students fell silent.
"Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts. Before we start our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you."
He sat back down. Everybody clapped and cheered. Harry thought he was a bit weird. Then on the table appeared plates with delicious looking food. Harry didn't think he had ever seen so many thing he liked to eat on one table: roast beef, roast chicken, pork chops and lamb chops, sausages, bacon and steak, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, chips, Yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, gravy, ketchup and for some strange reason peppermint humbugs.
He took some steak, chips, peas and carrots, some gravy and ketchup and started eating. Over eating he made light conversation with his new housemates.
The topics were their families, the subjects they were most looking forward to, their hobbies and Quidditch. Harry found out from some older students that sat nearby, that the current captain of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team was sixth year Daniel Barkaim. He would have to talk to him if he would mind if Harry tried out for the team.
"Ah, this year we'll have to do a pretty thorough rebuilding of our team,…" he heard Daniel say "…five of our old players have graduated last year, only Pomarel and I are left. I need a complete set of chasers and two beaters. I'll probably just do a complete tryout. Pomarel also told me he had declined the captaincy to concentrate on his NEWTs and didn't know if he could play the last game, so I'll at least need a reserve keeper. I don't know if we have a real chance at the cup this year, it will depend on the players I can find."
That was great in Harry's eyes. He wanted to try his luck as a chaser. While it was unusual for first-years to get on the house teams, it was not without precedence. When they were at their second taking a female ghost glided over to them and introduced herself as the Grey Lady, the house ghost of Ravenclaw. After having eaten much more than he normally did, but it just tasted too good, Harry saw that the others had similar problems. Just when he thought he was finished and the food disappeared, delicious looking desserts appeared. Ice blocks in all imaginable flavours, apple pies, treacle tarts, chocolate éclairs and jam doughnuts, trifle, strawberries, jelly, rice pudding… Harry couldn't help himself but take some of it. Sweets had always been a weakness of his. The Dursleys forbid him to have any; all sweets were reserved for Dudley. He didn't even get to drink chocolate milk, if he was lucky he got normal milk, otherwise it had been water for him. He had treacle tart and some vanilla ice cream with strawberries.
He looked around a bit and his eyes fell on the head table. Hagrid was smiling at him when he saw him looking. There was also a hooked nosed teacher that looked downright unpleasant but why did he also look calculating? Next to him sat a man with a purple turban. Harry returned to talking with his housemates and eating. Once dessert was done with, he was getting a bit drowsy. He saw Dumbledore standing again.
"Now that we're all fed and watered, I have some announcements to make. First-years should notice that our forest in the grounds is forbidden to all students and some of the older students should also remember this." His eyes flashed over to the middle of the Gryffindor table where a pair of red haired twins looked mock innocent. "I've also been asked by Mr Filch the caretaker to remind you that no magic should be used between classes in the corridors.
"Quidditch trials will be held in the second week of term. Those interested to play for their teams should contact Madam Hooch. And finally I must tell you that this year; the third-floor corridor on the right-hand side is out of bounds to everyone who doesn't want to die a very painful death."
Harry's face contorted into a mask of concentration. Could Dumbledore have really brought the Philosopher's Stone here to Hogwarts? It seemed to be a bit reckless. On the other hand, there had been an attempt to break into a high security vault at Gringotts on his birthday. Just shortly before Dumbledore had been made aware that Voldemort would probably try to steal the Flamels' stone to regain a body by using the elixir of life. Was there a connection?
Some people laughed, but they were a minority.
"That's strange; normally Professor Dumbledore gives reasons why we're forbidden to go somewhere." A girl with brown curly hair and a prefect badge pinned to her robes said to her friend.
"And now, before we go to bed, let us sing the school song." Dumbledore cried.
The teachers faces looked strained at the prospect.
Dumbledore shot the words in the air from his wand and everyone started singing. It was the most chaotic choir Harry had ever heard. Everybody used his favourite melody and ended at different times. He couldn't understand why the song didn't have at least a common melody. The last ones to sing were the twin redheads at the Gryffindor table who sang to a funeral march. They seemed like pranksters if he pegged them right.
"Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here! And now bedtime. Of you trot." He said.
"Does he think we are horses?" Kevin Entwhistle asked.
"Don't know, he seems a bit mad." Lisa Turpin commented.
"Ravenclaw first-years, to me please." The curly haired girl with the prefect badge called out.
Harry and the other first-years assembled around her. He noticed that the other houses already trooped out.
"Hi, I'm Penelope Clearwater, but call me Penny. I'm the fifth year female Ravenclaw prefect. The other fifth year prefect is Marcel Hagion. He had to speak with Professor Flitwick, our head of house, urgently, so I'm going to show you the way to our common room. Each house's common room is in a different part of the castle. I don't really know where they are exactly, only that the Gryffindors are in one of the towers like us, the Slytherins are in the dungeons and the Hufflepuffs are close to the kitchen somewhere. Each house has a certain way to protect their common room. For us Ravenclaws, the house of learning, we have a different riddle each time. Every person will be asked the riddle. If you don't know it, either wait for somebody else to solve it, or go to Professor Flitwick's office. It's on the same corridor as our common room. This is made so you learn constantly. Professor Flitwick will also give a little introductory speech tomorrow morning before breakfast, so make sure you're up early enough. Now follow me and try to look out for significant landmarks." She said and started walking out of the hall.
They walked through several corridors, up a few flights of stairs, which Penny warned them about changing directions all the time, until they finally arrived at a door without a handle or a keyhole, nothing, only with a bronze knocker in the form of an eagle. Penny reached out and knocked once.
"I am hot or cold, but you can't see me,
I'm cherished or cursed, it doesn't care me,
I can cause wars but also bring peace,
I can boil your blood but also freeze."
Penny turned to the first-years.
"Okay, who wants to have a shot at this? It's a bit tricky this one." She said.
Harry thought about the poem. Some others gave it a try, but guessed wrong.
"Love." Harry finally said.
"Correct." The knocker said and the door swung open.
Penny led them into a wide circular room, airier than any room Harry had seen before. Graceful arched windows punctuated the walls, which were hung with blue and bronze silks; Harry guessed by day there would be a spectacular view of the surrounding grounds. The ceiling was domed and painted with stars, which were echoed in the midnight blue carpet. There were tables, chairs and bookcases and in a niche was a statue made of white marble.
"This is a statue of Rowena Ravenclaw, the founder of our house. Many generations of Ravenclaws have tried to find her lost diadem, the crown you see on her head. It's said that it bestows wisdom to its wearer." Penny explained.
Harry had the impression that Rowena Ravenclaw had been a beautiful, but also slightly intimidating person.
"Now, we here in Ravenclaw value the perfect conditions for learning undisturbed, but we are also held to high standards by Professor Flitwick. You will learn about them tomorrow morning. During your first and second year here at Hogwarts you will share your room with one of your classmates. From third year on, you'll get single rooms. To make things a bit more interesting, your rooms are currently in their basic state. You'll be given the tools to improve them, but more about that Professor Flitwick will tell you tomorrow. The meeting will be here in the common room at half past seven, after the meeting I will lead you down to the Great Hall for breakfast. The dorms of the boys are located up the stairs on the left, the dorms for the girls up the other stairs on the right. Your names are on the plaques on the doors. Your luggage has already been brought there for you. Make sure you always get a good night's sleep. Being rested is important to reach good results in your classes." Penny informed them.
The first-years divided into boys and girls and went up the stairs. As there were five boys, Harry deducted that one would either get a single room or three boys would be in one room. When they saw the names on the doors, he saw it was neither. Harry was in a room with a boy who wasn't a first year. He opened the door and saw the boy who would be his roommate for the year, Rick Flannigan. He was a blond boy with some freckles in his face and a bit bigger than Harry.
"Hi, I'm Rick. Seems like we get to room together this year. Last year they also did this, we were seven boys that were sorted here and Thomas Erimmos had to room with a second year. I guess they draw who is put together somehow." He introduced himself.
"Hi, I'm Harry. I don't mind. You surely can tell me one thing or another about the school." Harry said.
"No problem. You really surprised many people today during the sorting. Nearly all students were pretty sure you'd go to Gryffindor with all the stories and the defeat of You-Know-Who." Rick said.
"Well, if they believe the books that Lockhart twit wrote, they're all made up, not one thing in there is true. I only read the first one, because I wondered why there were books about me. I grew up with my muggle aunt and only found out about the wizarding world when I got my letter. And even then I was lucky to have intercepted it before they could see it. Otherwise they would have thrown a fit and tried to prevent me coming here. Thankfully I'm out of there for good." Harry said.
"Ouch, doesn't sound like a good place to grow up. But that will be a punch in the gut for many people, especially some girls." Rick replied.
"Do you mind if my familiar comes to visit us over the day from time to time? At night she'll be out hunting or in the owlery." Harry asked.
"You have an owl familiar? That's unusual, but I don't mind, as long as she doesn't leave her droppings here." Rick answered.
"Thanks, well Hedwig is special. She's a moon owl." Harry said.
Rick dropped his box which he was just putting into the bookcase next to his bed.
"You're kidding me, right?" He asked.
"No, she really is a moon owl. Hagrid told me after I had bought her. I think the shop assistant thought she was a snowy owl. She only had a few silver feathers back then, but now only her stomach is snow white. The rest of her plumage is silver." Harry said grinning and took his pyjamas out of his trunk. He would unpack tomorrow over lunch break. For now he was too tired. He took his toiletries, the pyjama and some towels and got ready to go to the bathroom.
"Damn it, a real moon owl. She'll gain a lot of attention when the mail comes in the mornings." Rick commented.
"Probably, but I hope it will calm down after the other students get used to her. And I think she also likes to be the centre of attention most of the time. She's quite vain. By the way, do we share the bath with the other first-years?" Harry asked.
"No, thankfully each double room has its own basic bath. From third year on also two persons always share a bath. I've heard the prefects get special baths. I've never seen one of them though." Rick answered.
"Okay, well, I'll get ready for bed. I'm tired." Harry said yawning.
Rick nodded and continued unpacking. When Harry returned he had his things for the bathroom out and walked in there. Harry pushed back the blue blanket on his four poster bed with hangings in the Ravenclaw colours. The bed was comfy but only a little broader than a normal single bed. The room itself was divided in two halves, one for each student. Each student had a bed, a wardrobe, a desk with a candle holder on each side and a bookcase on his side. That was it. Harry was curious how they could improve their rooms. He would find out tomorrow. He slipped under the covers and soon fell asleep.
At half past six Harry heard an alarm clock go off. He looked around a bit disorientated until he remembered he was in his room at Hogwarts and the alarm clock was probably Rick's. Soon the alarm was turned off and he could hear Rick climb out of the bed. Harry looked around and saw that the sun was just rising over the mountains he could see from their window. So their window was pointing east. Not a bad thing to get out of bed in the mornings. He heard Rick walking and a door opening. So Rick was probably going to shower. Well, as he was already awake he could use the time to unpack his trunk. He took out his clothes from the wardrobe compartment and placed them in the proper places in his wardrobe. The robes, pants and dress shirts he hung onto a pole on the left side to be sure they didn't wrinkle, it always looked bad on you if you went to classes in untidy clothes.
The wardrobe had seven partitions and two drawers on the right, which were separated from the pole by a plank, where he sorted his shirts, pullovers, jeans, socks, underwear, sportswear, winter equipment and shoes into. He changed the trunk compartment to the library part and took out the books he had and placed them in the bookcase. Last he turned to the storage area compartment and took out his towels and toiletries and placed them in the wardrobe as well. He decided the potion ingredients would stay in the trunk for now until he knew more about properly storing them in his room. Rick could probably give him an idea as he had already been here for a year.
When Rick left the bathroom after fifteen minutes, Harry went inside. He took a shower, brushed his teeth and went to the loo, which was separate from the shower and sink. Obviously space was no issue in a magical castle.
When he went out into the dorm again, he saw that Rick was nearly ready to go down into the common room.
"Morning, Harry, I hope you don't mind me getting up at half past six in the mornings?" Rick asked.
"No, I normally worked out in the afternoons after school, but I can adjust that to the mornings. When do classes start?" Harry asked.
"At nine. Breakfast is served from half past six. I just can't concentrate well late in the evening, so I do some of my homework and studying in the morning." Rick explained.
"Okay, good to know. By the way, those adjustments to the room Penny talked about yesterday; do you have to earn them anew every year? I mean if not you got a bad hand with rooming with me."
"No, you're right. To keep us on our toes, we have to prove that we have earned the improvements every year again. Of course the things we need to do get more advanced the further we are in our studies. But Professor Flitwick will explain it to you firsties." He said. He took his book-bag and walked out of the room.
Harry took out one pair of his black pants, a white dress shirt and a robe and placed them on his bed. He took off the t-shirt he had worn in the bathroom and started dressing. The last thing he did was putting on the blue and bronze tie. Thankfully Mr Miller had shown all the boys on the football team how to properly knot a tie. He had said every boy had to learn it sooner or later and for their secondary schools they would all have to know it. Harry looked at his wristwatch and saw it was a quarter past seven. He went down to the common room and saw that Anthony and Kevin were also already down as were Su Li and Sylveena Esmeraude. Their year of Ravenclaws consisted of six girls and five boys. He knew that Terry and Michael Corner shared their room, so probably Su and Sylveena were also roommates. Now they only needed to wait for Padma Patil, Lisa Turpin, Mandy Brocklehurst and Morag McDougal as he saw Terry and Michael just coming down the stairs.
Once they were all assembled, they only had to wait for a few more minutes for Professor Flitwick to come into the common room.
"Good morning, everybody." The small Professor greeted.
"Good morning, Professor Flitwick." Everybody answered, including the ones working at the tables.
"Ah, good to see all our new Ravenclaws fresh and ready to start their first day of school. I want to tell you a few things that you will need to know to have a successful time here at Hogwarts. Firstly, I'm sure Professor McGonagall informed you about the house point system. I expect all of my Ravenclaws to show proper behaviour towards their teachers. If there is a difference in opinion with one teacher or an argument, you will tell me and we will work on a solution together after the class. I also want to tell you right from the beginning that especially Professor Snape has high demands in his class and as it is a dangerous subject, he doesn't tolerate any foolish behaviour. If you want to avoid problems with him, be polite and respectful and prepare every lesson beforehand. The preparation will help you in all classes, but in that one it is especially important. Professor Snape doesn't hesitate to deduct points if he finds any point to justify it." Professor Flitwick stressed.
"We are the house of the intelligent students that have a love for learning. Over the first four years your grades will be expressed in the percentage you reached on your essays and at the end of the year the exams which will decide if you are moved up a year. From fifth year on the teachers will grade you following the OWL guidelines. OWL means Ordinary Wizarding Level and they are taken at the end of fifth year. The passing grades are A for Acceptable, E for Exceeds Expectations and O for Outstanding. I expect each of you to at least achieve at least an E in all your classes when you take your OWLs. The equivalent to an A is reaching at least sixty per cent. An E you get for at least eighty per cent and an Outstanding for ninety five per cent and above. If any of you wonder how it could be possible to get over hundred per cent, for especially good answers that extend the requested minimum extra credit is given. You have seven subjects this year, Astronomy, Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Herbology, History of Magic, Potions and Transfiguration. After the first month of getting used to the classes, I expect each of you to at least get A's in all classes, after the Christmas break in all but one class E's. I know that you nearly always have a weak class, so as long as you pass it, there won't be problems. If anybody doesn't reach that requirement I will arrange tutoring for the student so he or she can reach that level.
"Additionally to the traditional classes this year we will give you the opportunity to learn muggle subjects as well. Those subjects are voluntary, but the exams you sit in them will fully count in the muggle world if you want to apply for a job there or should you decide to continue your schooling after Hogwarts at a muggle university." This surprised many, especially the older students who listened closely now. "The headmaster and the heads of houses have decided to arrange those extra classes every second Saturday morning for the whole morning. Which means from nine in the morning till two in the afternoon you get the chance to either continue or start on your studies in muggle subjects. The teachers will be two muggleborn witches who have degrees in their subjects from Oxford University as far as I was informed. For those of you who aren't familiar with that name, it is one of the most respected muggle universities in the whole of Britain."
Many whispered what the classes might entail and if it would be beneficial for them to go there.
"As I know that you are all at different levels this won't be strictly divided by years, but you will be given a test to find out your current level and then you will be given fitting topics to study. A lot of the work will be like projects, but some will be like lectures. The classes that will be covered are English Literature, Maths, Science, Politics, History and Economics. You will be able to either do them all or choose those you are interested in. For those interested in taking Arithmancy in third year as an elective might profit from taking the Maths class and I can assure you that muggle literature can be very inspiring." Flitwick said. "The sheets to sign up will be at the notice board after lunch.
"I hold monthly meetings for all the members of my house. Those meetings take half an hour and we can discuss problems, wishes for furthering your studies, your achievements for the house and other things that come up then. Which brings me to the next point. I'm sure Miss Clearwater already informed you about the Ravenclaw incentive program. I don't believe that students should just be given certain things, but that you have to earn them. Therefore each year gets a list with things they have to achieve to improve their rooms. It doesn't matter how fast you do it or if you do it, but you can ask your older housemates and they'll confirm for you that the effort is well awarded. At the beginning of a new year you start at zero again. Those improvements can be carpets in the rooms, curtains, plants, for the higher years more comfortable and bigger beds, in the rooms for the younger years there simply is no space for them, more furniture and so on. And trying to do the improvement spells yourself won't work, the rooms are spelled to only accept house elf magic and the Hogwarts elves will only do those improvements on my instructions.
"I advise you to build study groups, they have proven to help students to easier understand the material and split up the workload so that you all have more time for yourselves. Once you have passed a flying test given by Madam Hooch, you can borrow the school brooms from her and fly in your free time at the Quidditch pitch as long as none of the Quidditch teams is training there. As I know that many of you are Quidditch fans and I hear the question if you can try out for the house team every year, I'll tell you this. If you manage to prove to Madam Hooch that you can handle a broom properly, you can go to the tryout. Daniel Barkaim, our Quidditch captain told me that he will hold the trials in the third week, which means you will have had your first flying lesson already. Normally the older students that try out will be better than you, but I don't want to discourage any of you from trying. If in the improbable case one of you is really chosen for the team, we will have to get permission from the headmaster to get that person a broom which will be held by Madam Hooch outside of your team training to not have you abuse the privilege. But a student making the team in first year hasn't happened in over a hundred years, so please don't get your hopes up too much.
"I will hand out your timetables when we are finished. On the back of the timetable is a basic map which shows you the routes to the classrooms you need to get to. We can't have the prefects escort you, as they have to get to their own classes, but this map will help you find your way. So don't lose your timetables. Always eat enough during the meals. You will spend more energy than you are used to, so you need to replace it. The same goes for getting enough sleep. Only a rested body can help you achieve good results. Okay, now I think I've talked enough, if you ever have problems that need to be solved soon, my office is on this floor, when you leave the common room turn right and then it's the last door before the staircase on the left. Okay, please come here to take your timetables." Professor Flitwick said and started handing out the pieces of parchment.
Every student also got the list of things they were tasked to achieve. There were mainly some spells, an essay about two potions that needed to reach a certain quality, finishing an Astronomy chart and if they managed to reach the O equivalent in a class before Christmas that would also count. Harry thought this list was well manageable. The extent of the muggle classes was also very encouraging. Having the chance to work on project at his own pace would help him a lot. And perhaps he could sway some wizard raised students to at least see what the classes were about. He was sure that the muggleborns would at least choose one or two of the subjects. He waited for the others being done and then they went with Penny, who also had a timetable in her hand down to the Great Hall.
Okay, the winner is Ravenclaw! I decided that for this story using the more common alternative of Slytherin would be boring, but that doesn't mean that Harry will spend all his time learning now. But you will see for yourselves in the next chapters. Till then.