Really sorry about only updating now.

My excuses or at the bottom - you can skip them or read them.


Updated: 15 October 2013

Edited: 20 November 2013 (Noticed all my spelling mistake I made due to exhaustion.)

Total Words: 9 316 (including Author note)

UNBETA'd


Harry slowly woke up, his eyes blinking slowly while his mind tried to process where he was. After regaining his senses his brain slowly processed that he had just had the best sleep in a long time, but what caused him to have a peaceful sleep for the first time in three years he didn't know...

Until he felt something warm snuggle closer to him. Craning his head downwards to see what had just made his whole body become warm from the inside out he was shocked to find long black tresses of someone's hair splayed over his chest. A delicate tanned hand had a strong grip on his grey sweatshirt. A lithe body was curled up into his left side.

Slowly he moved his right hand and with feather like touches he moved strands of hair out of the fore mentioned snuggler's face. His eyes drank in the image before him making sure to commit everything he saw to memory.

His eyes traced the contours of her heart-shaped face before trailing the slope that led to her cute button nose and then proceeded to inspect her pink lips that surely were softer than rose petals.

And he knew that if his Sleeping Beauty's eyes were open he would have drowned in the depths of mint green and crystal clear blue eyes.

Oh yes, Nyx or Nikki as she told him to call her, could be the only reason for his peaceful rest.

Reluctantly he pulled his eyes away from her face to survey the room that he had woken up to. It had changed during their nap. No longer did it look like an old abandoned gym. It was smaller now, more intimate. The only thing occupying the room was the couch - which had gotten bigger to accommodate them better while they slept.

After laying next to Nikki for what Harry would guess was roughly half an hour he decided to wake her up because he started to feel like a creep and was scared she woke up with him watching her or worse if someone else walked into the room.

After having a difficult time at waking Nikki up Harry had to resort to tickling her awake. After rousing his future wife from her deep sleep and watching how she stretched in the most adorable and sexy way, they both decided to head down which was solidified by the rumbling of Harry's stomach causing a blush to cover his cheeks and a chuckle to escape Nikki.


The group of remaining reader's lunch time meal was very subdue except the two Weasley women making sure that the youngest of the Weasley brood had enough to eat for their thanks for him sitting next to the only available seat next to Harry earlier that morning when they had started reading.

The Weasley matriarch was still silently fuming about what had occurred during the reading, but she would get her revenge. Oh yes, she would.

As the dishes that had been used and washed were put away in silence, laughter could be heard coming from the living room and making its way towards the kitchen. When the kitchen door swung open everyone was treated to the sight of a very red Harry and a gasping for breath Nyx, who at the moment was wiping tears away.

"It's not funny." Mumbled Harry.

"It so is funny, but you just won't admit it." Countered Nyx between laughter.

Nyx's laughter turned to chuckles before dying down completely and Harry regained his normal colouring due to the tense atmosphere in the kitchen which was broken by Molly after a few minutes.

"Oh Harry dear, you missed lunch but I saved you a plate." She told him while completely ignoring Nyx. She turned to get a plate that had sausages, chips and hash browns - all of which was lying in a pool of oil which must have been from the ridiculous amount of butter and oil used to cook them.

Having grown up in the Dursley's house Harry was not used to consuming very fatty things and even when he did get some of the more greasier foods it was made with the minimum amount of oil. Vernon and Dudley were fat because of the amounts they consumed not because of the fat content of the food they were being served. Therefore his stomach would not be able to handle the food she had made him, but he didn't know what to do.

Nyx looked at the plate of food with disgust. The English made everything they ate 'heavy' where as the french enjoyed 'light' meals before having a bigger dinner. She instinctively looked at Fleur who had a green tinge on her normally flawless pale features.

She gave her friend a grim smile before turning back to Harry and asking as if Molly had not said anything, "Would you like something to eat Harry? Perhaps a sandwich?" She asked him while giving him her special charming smile that bigger men had melted to.

All Harry could do was nod at her and let her lead him to the table. She has a pretty smile, He thought goofily.

The rest of the room's facial expressions changed accordingly. Being irked when Molly ignored Nyx and only offered Harry a plate of food, surprise when Nyx ignored Molly all together and amusement after seeing how Harry was effected by Nyx's smile. Many choked down their laughter or hid their chuckles with a cough but some - Sirius - had no restraint and - Sirius - burst into laughter.

Remus, ever the kind soul, ushered everyone out. He did have trouble with Molly who did not want to leave the two dark-haired teenagers alone together - forgetting that they had been alone many times before, the last being very recent, but he eventually got her to leave.

After Nyx and Harry had eaten their delicious sandwiches they headed to the living room to join the others. When they entered the room they saw that there was only one seat open next to Ginny and one arm-chair was available - it was obvious that this was planned.

"Harry, I saved you a se-" but Ginny didn't get a chance to finish her sentence because Nyx grabbed Harry's hand and dragged him to the arm-chair before pushing him down in the chair and then settling herself on the floor with her back resting against his legs.

"So who is reading next?" She questioned in fake-obliviousness to the fuming Weasley.

"I am." Answered Bill. He grabbed the book off of the table and opened it at the bookmark.

CHAPTER SEVEN - THE SORTING HAT. Bill began.

The door swung open at once. A tall, black-haired witch in emerald-green robes stood there. She had a very stern face and Harry's first thought was that this was not someone to cross.

"Then why do you do it Potter?" McGonagall sighed

"I don't mean to." He offered half-heartedly knowing that his defense would fall on deaf ears. Well all except for Nikki who squeeze his calve affectionately in agreement. She never meant to get in trouble - it just sort of happens.

"The firs' years, Professor McGonagall," said Hagrid.

"No, really?" Twin one asked in mock surprise

"I wouldn't have have guessed it!" Twin two continued in faux astonishment.

"Thank you, Hagrid. I will take them from here."

She pulled the door wide. The entrance hall was so big you could have fit the whole of the Dursleys' house in it. The stone walls were lit with flaming torches like the ones at Gringotts, the ceiling was too high to make out, and a magnificent marble staircase facing them led to the upper floors.

"It's beautiful. Your descriptions are incredible." Nyx told him quietly with a glazed look trying to imagining everything described.

"Thank you." Harry told her sincerely with a small shy smile.

They followed Professor McGonagall across the flagged stone floor. Harry could hear the drone of hundreds of voices from a doorway to the right — the rest of the school must already be here — but Professor McGonagall showed the first years into a small, empty chamber off the hall. They crowded in, standing rather closer together than they would usually have done, peering about nervously.

"Welcome to Hogwarts," said Professor McGonagall. "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 within Hogwarts. You will have classes with the rest of your house, sleep in your house dormitory, and spend free time in your house common room.

"Free time." Fred and George started

"How we miss you." Alicia and Angelina called

"You were a good friend." Katie and Harry responded

"Rest in peace." They finished in unison with their heads bowed in remembrance.

"The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each house has its own noble history and each 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 is awarded the house cup, a great honour.

"It does seem like an honour." Commented Nyx with a contemplated look on her face "But the cons far out way the pros."

Many people in the room had a confused look up on their faces where as the professors raised an eyebrow each which was really creepy in an eery way.

Taking the silence as a go ahead Nyx continued.

"Well I would think that students would be ridiculed if they lost a lot of points." At hearing this the Golden Trio nodded their heads in agreement. "And even students who receive points regularly due to excelling in class and other students being jealous. If anything it could be one of the mayor contributors to the house rivalries that Katie was telling me about. There are many other things too, but I'm really getting uncomfortable..." Nyx finished her little speech by squirming a little and few could see the darker dusting colour on her cheeks.

"We'll said Miss De Lamer, you have certainly given us some food for thought." Dumbledore told her with his ever-present twinkling eyes and a thoughtful look upon his aged face.

I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours.

"The Sorting Ceremony will take place in a few minutes in front of the rest of the school. I suggest you all smarten yourselves up as much as you can while you are waiting."

Her eyes lingered for a moment on Neville's cloak, which was fastened under his left ear, and on Ron's smudged nose.

Ron groaned and the twins snickered.

"Really, Harry?" Ron asked before the twins could get up and try to clean the now none existent dirt of off of his nose.

"Hey, I didn't know my thoughts were going to be published! I'm sorry they're not more complimentary!" replied Harry, all the while grinning at his friend's discomfort.

"What I want to know is how did Neville get his cloak fastened under his ear?" asked a bewildered Tonks. Many people paused to think it over before becoming confused themselves and eventually giving up.

Harry nervously tried to flatten his hair.

"Good luck with that!" Exclaimed Sirius.

"James could never tame his hair and I think that your hair might actually be worse than his." stated Remus

Harry smiled at his dad's two best friends in thanks.

The twins grinned happily. They were going to win their bet against Nyx because there was no way that she would be able to tame his hair.

"A lost battle before it even started." Hermione told Harry with a grin. Her only reply was Harry sticking his tongue out good-naturedly.

Nyx's smile dropped a little, 'How am I going to win this bet if not one person thinks that his hair can be tamed. Hmm, this calls for desperate measures...'

"I shall return when we are ready for you," said Professor McGonagall. "Please wait quietly."

She left the chamber. Harry swallowed.

"How exactly do they sort us into houses?" he asked Ron.

"Some sort of test, I think. Fred said it hurts a lot, but I think he was joking."

Some people snickered at the youngest Weasley boy's gullibility.

Harry's heart gave a horrible jolt. A test? In front of the whole school? But he didn't know any magic yet —what on earth would he have to do? He hadn't expected something like this the moment they arrived. He looked around anxiously and saw that everyone else looked terrified, too. No one was talking much except Hermione Granger, who was whispering very fast about all the spells she'd learned and wondering which one she'd need.

"That didn't help any of us, Hermione." moaned Ron.

"Sorry." muttered the bushy hair witch with a faint blush on her cheeks.

Harry tried hard not to listen to her. He'd never been more nervous, never, not even when he'd had to take a school report home to the Dursleys saying that he'd somehow turned his teacher's wig blue.

The room's occupants laughed all except for Harry, who was reminiscing his punishment, and Nyx, who had her head tilted backwards to look at Harry in concern.

He kept his eyes fixed on the door. Any second now, Professor McGonagall would come back and lead him to his doom.

Sirius snorted, "A tad dramatic, don't you think, Harry?"

Harry huffed, crossed his arms over his chest and turned slighty so his back was towards Sirius. If it weren't for his pout and the occasional twitch of his lip his display would have been very believable.

Then something happened that made him jump about a foot in the air — several people behind him screamed.

The non-Hogwarts people sat up a little straighter - curious about what caused such a reaction. The Hogwart graduates listened in disbelief as the exact same thing that happened various years ago at their own sorting.

"What the —?"

He gasped. So did the people around him. About twenty ghosts had just streamed through the back wall.

The non-hogwarts people relaxed and the rest of the room had found smiles upon their faces.

Pearly-white and slightly transparent, they glided across the room talking to one another and hardly glancing at the first years. They seemed to be arguing. What looked like a fat little monk was saying: "Forgive and forget, I say, we ought to give him a second chance —"

"Do they do that every year?" Hermione asked, having notice the reactions of the previous and current students.

"Yes, Ms Granger, it's a Hogwarts tradition." said McGonagall with a small smile aimed at one of her favourite students.

"My dear Friar, haven't we given Peeves all the chances he deserves?

He gives us all a bad name and you know, he's not really even a ghost — I say, what are you all doing here?"

A ghost wearing a ruff and tights had suddenly noticed the first years.

"Liar!" The twins shouted.

"You know twin of mine, I think -"

"- they knew all along and were-"

"- only pretending!" They finished together and turned back to the rest of the room to be greeted with blank unimpressed stares except for Nyx's small smile.

"Now that you idiots have pointed out the obvious can we get this book over and done with. I want to get as far away as possible from the mutt as soon as possible to check that I don't have fleas." Sneered Snape.

Before Sirius could make a comment about Snape's greasy hair fumes Bill decided that it was best to start reading again.

Nobody answered.

"New students!" said the Fat Friar, smiling around at them. "About to be Sorted, I suppose?"

"It's part of tradition as Professor McGonagall explained earlier but it is also done so that the first years can get used to the ghosts. They are all already very nervous and don't need new experiences added in an unfamiliar place." Dumbledore explained.

A few people nodded mutely.

"Hope to see you in Hufflepuff!" said the Friar. "My old house, you know."

"Move along now," said a sharp voice. "The Sorting Ceremony's about to start."

Professor McGonagall had returned. One by one, the ghosts floated away through the opposite wall.

"Now, form a line," Professor McGonagall told the first years, "and follow me."

Feeling oddly as though his legs had turned to lead, Harry got into line behind a boy with sandy hair, with Ron behind him, and they walked out of the chamber, back across the hall, and through a pair of double doors into the Great Hall.

"It's kind of ominous." Someone muttered.

Harry had never even imagined such a strange and splendid place. It was lit by thousands and thousands of candles that were floating in midair over four long tables, where the rest of the students were sitting. These tables were laid with glittering golden plates and goblets.

"It's sounds amazing." Nyx breathed quietly.

Only Harry heard her, he leaned forward without jostling Nyx, who was still leaning against his legs, he leaned forward so tha he was closed to her ear and whispered, "It really is and I'll be happy to show sometime, if you want to?" He started off confident but near the end he was quite nervous until he noticed that he could see goose bumps on her neck.

Nyx seeing Harry's smirked turned her head and 'accidentally' lightly skimmed, barely touching, her nose along his jaw before whispering softly to him and seeing as she hadn't spoken much above a whisper for a while her voice came out slightly scratchy, "I look forward to it." Before turning back around as if nothing had happened except for the curve of her lips which twitched a little as she fought a full-blown smile.

Harry on the other hand was red-faced and would not be able to form a coherent sentence until he could calm himself.

The exchange lasted less than a minute and went unnoticed by everyone except for Tonks, who winked at Nyx, when she caught the French witch's eye.

At the top of the hall was another long table where the teachers were sitting. Professor McGonagall led the first years up here, so that they came to a halt in a line facing the other students, with the teachers behind them. The hundreds of faces staring at them looked like pale lanterns in the flickering candlelight. Dotted here and there among the students, the ghosts shone misty silver.

"I'm sure the ghosts would be more than pleased with your description of them." Dumbledore told Harry with his ever-present twinkle.

Harry, who was feeling uncomfortable and confused about how to feel about the man who he has come to look up to, just nodded in thanks.

Mainly to avoid all the staring eyes, Harry looked upward and saw a velvety black ceiling dotted with stars. He heard Hermione whisper, "Its bewitched to look like the sky outside. I read about it in Hogwarts, A History."

"I will get you to read it." Hermione grumbled. Ron grumbled something that sounded a lot like 'No chance' while Harry laughed because even though he never told Hermione or commented on it he had in fact read the book before coming to Hogwarts and enjoyed being clueless sometimes because Hermione reacted quite comically and h knew she liked knowing and answering questions so he figured - why not.

It was hard to believe there was a ceiling there at all, and that the Great Hall didn't simply open on to the heavens.

"Harry, your attention to detail is incredible." Harry went a new shade of scarlet at Nyx's words.

Harry quickly looked down again as Professor McGonagall silently placed a four-legged stool in front of the first years. On top of the stool she put a pointed wizard's hat. This hat was patched and frayed and extremely dirty. Aunt Petunia wouldn't have let it in the house.

The twins muttered something about making a copy and making it say rude words.

Harry was about to ask if he could but the first hat they made but was cut of by the Weasley Matriarch, aka The Tyrant, ranting about the. Doing no such thing.

When the Weasley mother had shouted her voice hoarse and turned away from the twins, Nyx threw a bag of galleons at the twins who caught it in confusion and were about to inquire as to why she would give them money for their dream that no one except a small handful supported. Nyx inclined her hear to Harry who was talking to Ron, winked and put her index finger to her lips.

The twins grinned l, saluted her and then mimed locking their lips and throwing the key away.

Maybe they had to try and get a rabbit out of it, Harry thought wildly, that seemed the sort of thing —

"Muggle trick." Harry stated when he saw numerous mouths open in question.

The wizards shut their mouths but were all very confused and thought that the muggles were an odd bunch.

noticing that everyone in the hall was now staring at the hat, he stared at it, too. For a few seconds, there was complete silence. Then the hat twitched. A rip near the brim opened wide like a mouth — and the hat began to sing:

"Sing, Sing." People chanted hut before Bill could do anything all the Weasley children yelled, "NO!"

"What's wrong with my singing?" Asked Bill with a hurt look on his face.

"Well... Uh... You see..." The siblings stuttered.

"You could give a banshee a run for their money." Charlie told him in a deadpanned voice.

Bill pouted but instantly smiled when he heard Fleur's giggle that she had tried to stifle but lost the battle when the oldest Weasley child started pouting.

With his spirits lifted Bill started to read, thankfully, again.

"Oh, you may not think I'm pretty,

But don't judge on what you see,
I'll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.
You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all.
There's nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can't see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.
You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;
You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
if you've a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends.
So put me on! Don't be afraid!
And don't get in a flap!
You're in safe hands (though I have none)
For I'm a Thinking Cap!"

The whole hall burst into applause as the hat finished its song. It bowed to each of the four tables and then became quite still again.

"So we've just got to try on the hat!" Ron whispered to Harry. "I'll kill Fred, he was going on about wrestling a troll."

The trio snorted, gaining confused looks from everyone which they waved away. Well except for Nyx's confused face which Harry quickly placated her with a 'You'll see soon.'.

Harry smiled weakly. Yes, trying on the hat was a lot better than having to do a spell, but he did wish they could have tried it on without everyone watching. The hat seemed to be asking rather a lot; Harry didn't feel brave or quick-witted or any of it at the moment. If only the hat had mentioned a house for people who felt a bit queasy, that would have been the one for him.

That made a few snort.

"I believe that would be for everyone." Tonks smiled at all the current students gaining smiles in return except for her so-called cousin who sneered, 'As if a Malfoy would be nervous or anywhere else than Slytherin.'

Professor McGonagall now stepped forward holding a long roll of parchment.

"When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted," she said. "Abbott, Hannah!"

A pink-faced girl with blonde pigtails stumbled out of line, put on the hat, which fell right down over her eyes, and sat down. A moments pause —

"HUFFLEPUFF!"

Tonks made enough noise that you'd swear you were in the great hall watching the sorting yourself.

shouted the hat.

The table on the right cheered and clapped as Hannah went to sit down at the Hufflepuff table. Harry saw the ghost of the Fat Friar waving merrily at her.

"Bones, Susan!"

"HUFFLEPUFF!"

This Sirius and the twins joined in because they felt that Tonks' enthusiasm was contagious.

shouted the hat again, and Susan scuttled off to sit next to Hannah.

"Boot, Terry!"

"RAVENCLAW!"

The table second from the left clapped this time; several Ravenclaws stood up to shake hands with Terry as he joined them.

"Brocklehurst, Mandy" went to Ravenclaw too, but "Brown, Lavender" became the first new Gryffindor,

The whole room shook with cheers and whoops.

and the table on the far left exploded with cheers; Harry could see Ron's twin brothers catcalling.

"Bulstrode, Millicent" then became a Slytherin.

Everyone turned to the two Slytherins in the room.

Snape sneered and Malfoy looked unblinkingly back at them, but if they had looked ten seconds earlier they would have seen Malfoy opening his mouth to cheer but being cut off my his godfather's glare.

Perhaps it was Harry's imagination, after all he'd heard about Slytherin, but he thought they looked like an unpleasant lot.

Harry coughed and looked very interested in a strand of Nikki's hair, all the while ignoring the two glares he was receiving.

He was starting to feel definitely sick now. He remembered being picked for teams during gym at his old school. He had always been last to be chosen, not because he was no good, but because no one wanted Dudley to think they liked him.

People scowled, growled or snarled at this.

"Finch-Fletchley, Justin!"

"HUFFLEPUFF!"

Whistles were added to the cheers.

Sometimes, Harry noticed, the hat shouted out the house at once, but at others it took a little while to decide. "Finnigan, Seamus," the sandy-haired boy next to Harry in the line, sat on the stool for almost a whole minute before the hat declared him a Gryffindor.

"Granger, Hermione!"

Hermione almost ran to the stool and jammed the hat eagerly on her head.

"Do you have to notice everything?" Hermione groaned with reddening cheeks.

"GRYFFINDOR!"

The walls were shaking and some of the adults, you could see, where almost to their limits.

shouted the hat. Ron groaned.

"OI!" Hermione laughed and hit him.

"Ouch, woman!" He groaned and clutched his arm, "It was five years ago!"

A horrible thought struck Harry, as horrible thoughts always do when you're very nervous. What if he wasn't chosen at all? What if he just sat there with the hat over his eyes for ages, until Professor McGonagall jerked it off his head and said there had obviously been a mistake and he'd better get back on the train?

"Never happened." McGongall smiled at him reassuringly.

When Neville Longbottom, the boy who kept losing his toad, was called, he fell over on his way to the stool. The hat took a long time to decide with Neville. When it finally shouted, "GRYFFINDOR,"

The adults were about to interfere but then they remembered who they were cheering for and knew that shouldn't stop them because they should show their support of the shy boy And that maybe if he found out about it he would gain some self-esteem.

Neville ran off still wearing it, and had to jog back amid gales of laughter to give it to "MacDougal, Morag."

"Ravenclaw!" Tonks shouted, having decided that there was no one to cheer for the other house that she would to but just not as energeticly as she did for her own house. She was a Hufflepuff through and through!

Malfoy swaggered forward when his name was called and got his wish at once: the hat had barely touched his head when it screamed, "SLYTHERIN!"

With a sneer that made him look constipated Malfoy declared, "Naturally."

Malfoy went to join his friends Crabbe and Goyle, looking pleased with himself.

There weren't many people left now. "Moon"…, "Nott"…, "Parkinson"…, then a pair of twin girls, "Patil" and "Patil"…, then "Perks, Sally-Anne"…, and then, at last —

"Potter, Harry!"

Finally the noise stopped and people leaned forward in their seats. Harry started to shift nervously which alerted Nyx to something being wrong - she reached behind her and intertwined their hands together before giving his hand a squeeze which was quickly recuperated.

As Harry stepped forward, whispers suddenly broke out like little hissing fires all over the hall.

"Potter, did she say?"

"The Harry Potter?"

The last thing Harry saw before the hat dropped over his eyes was the hall full of people craning to get a good look at him.

"That was annoying." He grumbled weakly.

Next second he was looking at the black inside of the hat. He waited.

"Hmm," said a small voice in his ear. "Difficult. Very difficult. Plenty of courage, I see. Not a bad mind either. There's talent, A my goodness, yes — and a nice thirst to prove yourself, now that's interesting…So where shall I put you?"

People gaped, he could have been in any house?

Harry gripped the edges of the stool and thought, Not Slytherin, not Slytherin.

"Not Slytherin, eh?" said the small voice. "Are you sure? You could be great, you know, it's all here in your head, and Slytherin will help you on the way to greatness, no doubt about that —no? Well, if you're sure — better be GRYFFINDOR!"

The room burst into shout from all over the room.

Nyx saw how this was escalating and had seen people be prejudice over something so irrelevant and decided to put a stop to it quickly.

A sharp whistle was heard around the room, a whistle akin to someone calling a horse or animal. Everyone quieted down and stared at the petite black-haired young woman in shock.

"I don't get this." She started in her quiet, calm accent laced voice, "You are all behaving like barbarians. You are yelling and going crazy because a hat wanted to sort an innocent eleven year old in to a house because he was ambitious and cunning."

"All Slytherins are evil!" Yelled Ron before being slapped by Hermione.

"No, they aren't! How can an eleven year old kid be evil?" She spoke, never raising her voice which made it a lot scarier, "I'd bet that the only reason they all become so bitter, angry towards others and maybe sometimes evil is because of the way you people discriminated against them and isolate them.

I'm not saying that all of them are sweet, naïve children but it's not just the Slytherins. Dark Lords and Ladies could come out of any house, from any background! It's by chance because of the way they were treated by others that they wanted their revenge. To avenge themselves."

It was quiet for a while and everyone sunk back into their seats feeling suitably chastised by the young woman.

Snape and Malfoy were staring at her with respect and a bit of awe that they would later deny.

Harry not knowing what to do but thank her in someway for standing up for him and all the other kids, he slowly leaned forward and pulled the small standing body towards him until her knees hit the edge of his armchair and she fell back gently into his lap. He wound his one arm around her waist and his other around her shoulders whilst twisting her to face him.

He buried his face into her hair and whispered his thanks. He could feel her body relax into him and her head on his shoulder.

Everyone in the room watched them for a while before looking away feeling as if they were intruding on something.

Bill cleared his throat and started reading again.

Harry heard the hat shout the last word to the whole hall. He took off the hat and walked shakily toward the Gryffindor table. He was so relieved to have been chosen and not put in Slytherin, he hardly noticed that he was getting the loudest cheer yet. Percy the Prefect got up and shook his hand vigorously, while the Weasley twins yelled, "We got Potter! We got Potter!"

Forge and Greg thought about repeating it again but looking at their honorary little brother and their to-be-future-sister-in-law, they decided that now was not the time.

Harry sat down opposite the ghost in the ruff he'd seen earlier. The ghost patted his arm, giving Harry the sudden, horrible feeling he'd just plunged it into a bucket of ice-cold water.

People shivered

He could see the High Table properly now. At the end nearest him sat Hagrid, who caught his eye and gave him the thumbs up. Harry grinned back. And there, in the centre of the High Table, in a large gold chair, sat Albus Dumbledore.

There were some weak and less enthusiastic cheers around the room.

Harry recognized him at once from the card he'd gotten out of the Chocolate Frog on the train. Dumbledore's silver hair was the only thing in the whole hall that shone as brightly as the ghosts.

People laughed knowing it was true, the tension not being broken quite yet but definitely cracked or fractured.

Harry spotted Professor Quirrell, too, the nervous young man from the Leaky Cauldron. He was looking very peculiar in a large purple turban.

The fashion obsessed shuddered while Harry, who had peeked out from the nice raspberry smelling black tresses, and the two remaining of the Golden trio smirked, Wait till they find out what's underneath.

And now there were only three people left to be sorted. "Thomas, Dean," a Black boy even taller than Ron, joined Harry at the Gryffindor table.

"Turpin, Lisa," became a Ravenclaw

and then it was Ron's turn. He was pale green by now. Harry crossed his fingers under the table and a second later the hat had shouted, "GRYFFINDOR!"

The twins groaned dramatically and cried that it was so unfair that they had to see ickle Ronniekins and home and in the same house at school all the while being reprimanded by their mother.

Harry clapped loudly with the rest as Ron collapsed into the chair next to him.

"Well done, Ron, excellent," said Percy Weasley pompously across Harry as "Zabini, Blaise," was made a Slytherin.

Professor McGonagall rolled up her scroll and took the Sorting Hat away.

Harry looked down at his empty gold plate. He had only just realized how hungry he was. The pumpkin pasties seemed ages ago.

"They where." Ron groaned whilst rubbing his growling stomach.

Albus Dumbledore had gotten to his feet. He was beaming at the students, his arms opened wide, as if nothing could have pleased him more than to see them all there.

"That's because nothing could." Dumbledore told them all with a twinkly smile to match his eyes.

"Welcome," he said. "Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you!"

Chuckling went through the room.

"We corrupted you." Sirius cheered.

"He was like that long before you came along, Mr Black." McGonagall told him while silently enjoying the man I front of her start pouting.

He sat back down. Everybody clapped and cheered. Harry didn't know whether to laugh or not.

"Is he — a bit mad?" he asked Percy uncertainly.

"Of course." Remus grinned "But that's what makes him so good." People laughed along.

"Mad?" said Percy airily. "He's a genius! Best wizard in the world! But he is a bit mad, yes. Potatoes, Harry?"

Harry's mouth fell open. The dishes in front of him were now piled with food. He had never seen so many things he liked to eat on one table: roast beef, roast chicken, pork chops and lamb chops, sausages, bacon and steak, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, fries, Yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, gravy, ketchup, and, for some strange reason, peppermint humbugs.

The Dursleys had never exactly starved Harry, but he'd never been allowed to eat as much as he liked.

"We need to redefine that definition of yours." Nikki grumbled quietly so that only he could hear. He just smiled at het and squeezed her a little tighter.

Dudley had always taken anything that Harry really wanted, even if it made him sick. Harry piled his plate with a bit of everything except the peppermints and began to eat.

It was all delicious.

"That does look good," said the ghost in the ruff sadly, watching Harry cut up his steak.

"Can't you —?"

"So caring." Molly coed, while sneering at the French witch (in a bad way) that was sitting on who was supposed to be her son-in-law in the future.

"I haven't eaten for nearly five hundred years," said the ghost. "I don't need to, of course, but one does miss it. I don't think I've introduced myself? Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington at your service. Resident ghost of Gryffindor Tower."

"I know who you are!" said Ron suddenly. "My brothers told me about you — you're Nearly Headless Nick!"

"I would prefer you to call me Sir Nicholas de Mimsy —" the ghost began stiffly, but sandy-haired Seamus Finnigan interrupted.

"Nearly Headless? How can you be nearly headless?"

Sir Nicholas looked extremely miffed, as if their little chat wasn't going at all the way he wanted.

"Oh it is." Arthur chuckled.

"He told James, he does that every year so someone will ask." Remus finished.

"Might as well get some enjoyment out of it, I guess." Katie stated with Alicia nodding in agreement.

"That's what Lily and James said." Sirius told them while giving Harry a thumbs up and a goofy grin when he caught his godson's eyes.

"Like this," he said irritably. He seized his left ear and pulled. His whole head swung off his neck and fell onto his shoulder as if it was on a hinge. Someone had obviously tried to behead him, but not done it properly. Looking pleased at the stunned looks on their faces,

Nearly Headless Nick flipped his head back onto his neck, coughed, and said, "So — new Gryffindors! I hope you're going to help us win the house championship this year? Gryffindors have never gone so long without winning. Slytherins have got the cup six years in a row!

"Not anymore!" Sung the Gryffindor team including Harry, who had released his tight hold on Nikki but he still held onto her but they had repositioned themselves. He had his chin resting on her head, which was tucked into his neck while she played with the buttons on his shirt.

The Bloody Baron's becoming almost unbearable — he's the Slytherin ghost."

Harry looked over at the Slytherin table and saw a horrible ghost sitting there, with blank staring eyes, a gaunt face, and robes stained with silver blood. He was right next to Malfoy who, Harry was pleased to see, didn't look too pleased with the seating arrangements.

Draco grumbled something under his breath that sounded suspiciously like 'You have no idea.'

"How did he get covered in blood?" asked Seamus with great interest.

"I've never asked," said Nearly Headless Nick delicately.

When everyone had eaten as much as they could, the remains of the food faded from the plates, leaving them sparkling clean as before. A moment later the desserts appeared. Blocks of ice cream in every flavour you could think of, apple pies, treacle tarts, chocolate éclairs and jam doughnuts, trifle, strawberries, Jell-O, rice pudding…

Ron's stomach rumbles echoed around the room causing a few people to chuckle.

As Harry helped himself to a treacle tart,

"Your mum's favourite." Harry beamed at his honorary uncle.

the talk turned to their families.

"I'm half-and-half," said Seamus. "Me dad's a Muggle. Mum didn't tell him she was a witch 'til after they were married. Bit of a nasty shock for him." The others laughed.

"That's not funny!" Harry and Snape snapped simultaneously before staring at each other in horror.

"What about you, Neville?" said Ron.

"Well, my gran brought me up and she's a witch," said Neville, "but the family thought I was all-Muggle for ages.

"Squib."

My Great Uncle Algie kept trying to catch me off my guard and force some magic out of me he pushed me off the end of Blackpool pier once, I nearly drowned

"What?!" The three chasers, who had come to care for the shy boy, snapped.

Bill being honestly frightened by the three started reading louder so that he could drown out their threats all the while Fleur's giggled at his wide-eyed stare.

but nothing happened until I was eight. Great Uncle Algie came round for dinner, and he was hanging me out of an upstairs window by the ankles when my Great Auntie Enid offered him a meringue and he accidentally let go.

"He shouldn't have been out the window in the first place." Muttered McGonagall, "I'm going to be having a serious talk with his gran!"

But I bounced all the way down the garden and into the road. They were all really pleased, Gran was crying, she was so happy. And you should have seen their faces when I got in here they thought I might not be magic enough to come, you see. Great Uncle Algie was so pleased he bought me my toad."

On Harry's other side, Percy Weasley and Hermione were talking about lessons

"There's the Hermione we know and love." The twins joked.

("I do hope they start right away, there's so much to learn, I'm particularly interested in Transfiguration, you know, turning something into something else, of course, it's supposed to be very difficult —";

"Unless you have a natural talent for it." Minerva commented. Like James Potter, she silently added.

"You'll be starting small, just matches into needles and that sort of thing — ").

Harry, who was starting to feel warm and sleepy, looked up at the High Table again. Hagrid was drinking deeply from his goblet. Professor McGonagall was talking to Professor Dumbledore. Professor Quirrell, in his absurd turban, was talking to a teacher with greasy black hair, a hooked nose, and sallow skin.

It happened very suddenly. The hook-nosed teacher looked past Quirrell's turban straight into Harry's eyes — and a sharp, hot pain shot across the scar on Harry's forehead.

"Ouch!" Harry clapped a hand to his head.

"What is it?" asked Percy.

"N-nothing."

"Lies!" The twins called in an impression of Umbridge, which had the students laughing like crazy.

The pain had gone as quickly as it had come. Harder to shake off was the feeling Harry had gotten from the teacher's look — a feeling that he didn't like Harry at all.

"Who's that teacher talking to Professor Quirrell?" he asked Percy.

"Oh, you know Quirrell already, do you? No wonder he's looking so nervous, that's Professor Snape. He teaches Potions, but he doesn't want to — everyone knows he's after Quirrell's job. Knows an awful lot about the Dark Arts, Snape."

Snape huffed and most who we're looking thought that if he was standing he would have stomped his foot on the ground.

Harry watched Snape for a while, but Snape didn't look at him again.

At last, the desserts too disappeared, and Professor Dumbledore got to his feet again.

The hall fell silent.

"Ahem — just a few more words now that we are all fed and watered. I have a few start-of-term notices to give you. First years should note that the forest on the grounds is forbidden to all pupils. And a few of our older students would do well to remember that as well."

Dumbledore's twinkling eyes flashed in the direction of the Weasley twins.

"I remember when that was us." Remus laughed.

"Didn't stop you." Harry muttered. "Or us." He added to the laughter of the room.

"I have also been asked by Mr. Filch, the caretaker, to remind you all that no magic should be used between classes in the corridors.

People snorted. No one listened to that rule.

"Quidditch trials will be held in the second week of the term. Anyone interested in playing for their house teams should contact Madam Hooch.

"Or catch a rememberball." The chasers grinned.

"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 does not wish to die a very painful death."

Harry laughed, but he was one of the few who did.

"He's not serious?" he muttered to Percy.

"Must be," said Percy, frowning at Dumbledore. "It's odd, because he usually gives us a reason why we're not allowed to go somewhere — the forest's full of dangerous beasts, everyone knows that. I do think he might have told us prefects, at least."

"Prat." The above mentioned redhead's siblings muttered while his parents sighed in sadness at their third oldest child.

"And now, before we go to bed, let us sing the school song!" cried Dumbledore. Harry noticed that the other teachers' smiles had become rather fixed.

All teachers present face palmed.

"Sorry." Harry smiled as Dumbledore looked at them as if they all had some rare illness that he couldn't comprehend.

Dumbledore gave his wand a little flick, as if he was trying to get a fly off the end, and a long golden ribbon flew out of it, which rose high above the tables and twisted itself, snakelike, into words.

"Everyone pick their favourite tune," said Dumbledore, "and off we go!"

And the school bellowed:

"Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts,
Teach us something please,
Whether we be old and bald
Or young with scabby knees,
Our heads could do with filling
With some interesting stuff,
For now they're bare and full of air,
Dead flies and bits of fluff,
So teach us things worth knowing,
Bring back what we've forgot,
Just do your best, we'll do the rest,
And learn until our brains all rot."

Everybody finished the song at different times. At last, only the Weasley twins were left singing along to a very slow funeral march.

The twins doing just so.

Dumbledore conducted their last few lines with his wand and when they had finished, he was one of those who clapped loudest.

As he did now with the twins, Sirius, Remus and Tonks as well as the unwilling teachers participating.

"Ah, music," he said, wiping his eyes. "A magic beyond all we do here! And now, bedtime. Off you trot!"

"Are we horses?" The twins asked as one and everyone laughed at their honestly confused faces.

The Gryffindor first years followed Percy through the chattering crowds, out of the Great Hall, and up the marble staircase. Harry's legs were like lead again, but only because he was so tired and full of food. He was too sleepy even to be surprised that the people in the portraits along the corridors whispered and pointed as they passed, or that twice Percy led them through doorways hidden behind sliding panels and hanging tapestries.

"And that's why everyone gets lost." McGonagall mumbled.

"James didn't, his dad told him how to get to and from the great hall to the Gryffindor Common Room."

"So that's how the Gryffindor boys managed it that year."

They climbed more staircases, yawning and dragging their feet, and Harry was just wondering how much farther they had to go when they came to a sudden halt.

A bundle of walking sticks was floating in midair ahead of them, and as Percy took a step toward them they started throwing themselves at him.

"Peeves," Percy whispered to the first years. "A poltergeist." He raised his voice, "Peeves — show yourself."

A loud, rude sound, like the air being let out of a balloon, answered.

"Do you want me to go to the Bloody Baron?"

"Don't pull the Baron card that early or he won't care." Remus sighed at the amateur mistake.

There was a pop, and a little man with wicked, dark eyes and a wide mouth appeared, floating cross-legged in the air, clutching the walking sticks.

"Oooooooh!" he said, with an evil cackle. "Ickle Firsties! What fun!"

He swooped suddenly at them. They all ducked.

"Go away, Peeves, or the Baron'll hear about this, I mean it!" barked Percy.

Peeves stuck out his tongue and vanished, dropping the walking sticks on Neville's head. They heard him zooming away, rattling coats of armour as he passed.

"You want to watch out for Peeves," said Percy, as they set off again. "The Bloody Baron's the only one who can control him, he won't even listen to us prefects. Here we are."

At the very end of the corridor hung a portrait of a very fat woman in a pink silk dress.

"She looked so beautiful the last time I saw her." Grinned Sirius.

"You mean when you tried to break into the tower?" Asked Remus, "besides," he added, "We've been over this no matter what you do or say she will only ever have eyes for James."

"That explains so much!" Grumbled Ron, seeing the inquistry looks he elaborated, "She's never mean to him and always asks how he is."

"And the plot thickens..." The twins tried to say mysterious such failed spectacularly.

"Password?" she said.

"Caput Draconis," said Percy, and the portrait swung forward to reveal a round hole in the wall. They all scrambled through it — Neville needed a leg up — and found themselves in the Gryffindor common room, a cozy, round room full of squashy armchairs.

Percy directed the girls through one door to their dormitory and the boys through another. At the top of a spiral staircase — they were obviously in one of the towers — they found their beds at last: five four-posters hung with deep red, velvet curtains.

"They sound so comfy." A few people sighed.

Their trunks had already been brought up. Too tired to talk much, they pulled on their pyjamas and fell into bed.

"Great food, isn't it?" Ron muttered to Harry through the hangings. "Get off, Scabbers! He's chewing my sheets."

Harry was going to ask Ron if he'd had any of the treacle tart, but he fell asleep almost at once.

Perhaps Harry had eaten a bit too much, because he had a very strange dream. He was wearing Professor Quirrell's turban, which kept talking to him, telling him he must transfer to Slytherin at once, because it was his destiny. Harry told the turban he didn't want to be in Slytherin; it got heavier and heavier; he tried to pull it off but it tightened painfully — and there was Malfoy, laughing at him as he struggled with it — then Malfoy turned into the hook-nosed teacher, Snape, whose laugh became high and cold — there was a burst of green light and Harry woke, sweating and shaking.

"Unfortunately that's common." The Gryffindors muttered having seen Harry after his dreams several times.

He rolled over and fell asleep again, and when he woke next day, he didn't remember thee dream at all.

"The end whose ne..." Bill checked the title of the next chapter. He chucked the book, non to gently, to Severus who had no choice but to accept. He read the title. The students had never seen his nose flare that bg before.


Month of May's reasons:

1. Been very hectic.

2. I had exams.

3. compulsory extra classes for exams that all grade 12's had to attend.

Month of June's reasons:

1. My Gran got really sick all of sudden and was admitted into hospital and a few days later they phoned us at 06:30 AM in the morning and told us that she wasn't going to make it. We arrived at her bed in the ICU at 06:54 and she died at 06:55. To say it was a shock would be an understatement.

2. My Gran's funeral.

3. The first week of school holiday was winter school for all matric students (really stupid - we had an hour for each elective and another hour for maths everyday for a week. I have four electives and I have maths.)

4. I'm working this vacation to save money.

5. My Aunt that I haven't seen in four years is visiting from The Netherlands.

6. Busy with University applications and all that.

7. Had to make an appointment at the Licensing Department for my Learner's license and that took forever.

July's Reason:

1. Studing for pre-lims and cycle test (al l of which start in August)

2. Dumbass teachers are all giving their own assignments, thinking that only their subject matters. Pfft none of theirs matter to me!

3. Have to learn for my learner's license test that I will be writing the 12th of August - the same day I write Accounting and two days before my chemistry test and three days before my Afrikaans test. Yay! (That was sarcasm)

August excuses:

1. Six of my friends celebrated their 18th birthdays and there were a lot of parties.

September excuses:

1. Exams are starting soon again

2. My grandfather that lives in the Netherlands is on his death bed and we are very busy trying to stay posted but between six separate families that are all scattered around the world it's a hard process.

(Line break)

I'll try my very best to update sooner than before but I can't promise anything.

PLEASE REVIEW! IT WAS ALL OF YOU GUYS PM'S AND REVIEWS THAT MADE ME FIND TIME TO UPDATE AND A BIG THANKS TO Luke4444 (Go read their story Flame of the West)