2 September 1991 Monday
Classes! I was worried that I wouldn't see my friends in other houses, but we have Herbology and study hall with the Ravenclaws, Charms with the Hufflepuffs, and then double Transfiguration with Griffindor after lunch. Today, anyway. Wednesday is double History of Magic and Friday is double potions, also with Griffindor, which is great, cos I was really missing Neville, Susan and Hannah. I'm partnered with Hermione in Herbology. She doesn't seem to have spent much time gardening, but at least she's not afraid to get her hands dirty. Draco was being prissy about it, but I told him that anything we're learning in first year is something all wizards with a Hogwarts education will know, so he doesn't want to miss it and look bad. Besides, he can always write to his parents and tell them he forgot he would need a nice pair of gardening gloves.
On the way out of class, Hermione hugged me and thanked me for introducing her to Padma and Morag and Mandy and Lisa and Su, and Lisa is a Muggleborn like her, so they've read most of the same books, and there's a huge bookshelf on one wall of their dorm room where they can pool all their books, and the prefects came by with magical bookplates so we could mark them all. I said that sounds like a lot of fun and she said it is, on the train and the first night, all they talked about were which books they had all read and which they hadn't, and now all three purebloods (Padma and Morag and Su) are reading The Hobbit, and she and Lisa are reading The Tales of Beedle the Bard, which is a little kid book, but everyone else has read it, so they had to catch up. Girls! Who read! And don't care much about clothes! And she'd thought she wanted to go into Griffindor... Padma caught that bit and laughed and said that Parvati and her best friend Lavender are a pair of complete airheads whose idea of heavy reading is Teen Witch Weekly, and Hermione had a lucky escape there, and all the Ravenclaw girls teased us that now Hermione owes me a life debt. I asked why, and they said that by the end of the week either Hermione would have killed Lav and Parv and be on her way to Azkaban, or they would have killed her. Morag said that Fay isn't too bad but Lydia is a total Quiddich jock, and either way, Hermione's well out of it.
And apparently the Ravenclaw common room is also a library, mainly made up of books graduating Ravens have donated to the school, but they've also got some very nice donations from Raven alumni as well, and while there is almost nothing muggle in the Hogwarts library, the Ravenclaw library has one whole section for muggle sciences, and they even check to make sure the books are current, and they have a room set aside for outdated books, with annotations in them as to why they're outdated. They told me that the older students told them that there are some of the older books that have been in and out of the outdated books room a bunch of times, and that the margin notes in them are fascinating.
Since I was talking to them anyway, I made sure that all the Snake Girls and all the Raven girls had been introduced, and while Pansy is inclined to look down her nose at Hermione, she and Morag have known each other forever, and Morag likes Hermione, so Pansy has to be nice or Morag will get mad at her.
None of us bothered studying during our free period, even though a couple of the Raven girls looked a bit twitchy at the idea, but it's the first day, and it's sunny with a nice light breeze, and we've all read ahead already anyway, so we just hung out getting to know each other. The other guys took the piss later, but it was fun hanging out in a huge bunch of girls. I'd never done it before. One of them thought to call a house elf, so we all had lemonade and biscuits while we talked. We got to talking about books again, and Hermione had actually heard of the All-of-a-Kind Family, and she said that she's been to New York and most of it isn't much like that anymore, which is too bad. I told them about Hufflepuff's Milk and Biscuits Nights, so now they're talking about starting one up in Ravenclaw as well. The other Slytherins didn't want to go that far, but we did think maybe asking Professor Snape for a bookshelf and asking Professor Flitwick about those bookplates might be worth trying. Then we had to run off to Charms and they had to run off to DADA.
Charms is going to be pure magical theory until after Halloween. It was really interesting and I took a lot of notes, but the best part was getting to sit with Susan and Hannah. They just had Herbology with the Griffindors, and said Neville says hi.
After that was lunch, and we were starving! Lunch was lots of kinds of bread, and spreads and meat and cheese and veg, so you could make pretty much any kind of sandwich you could think of. I made a lot of half sandwiches so I could try a lot of things and it turns out Chip hates evil beetroot just as much as I do. [AN: Vincent Crabbe, AKA Chip because his family has four living Vincent Crabbes], and all of us thought curried chicken on challah made a brilliant sandwich. I'd never had challah before. Prefect Jones said it's a traditional Jewish festival bread. We've only got two or three Jewish students right now, but we had lots during the Grindelwald War, so the house elves got good at making it and every table has a huge loaf of it every Friday night dinner, still warm from the oven (so you never want to be late for Friday dinner). She cast a warming charm on a couple of pieces for all us firsties, so we'd have an idea what we had to look forward to and we all agreed that punctuality was a very important virtue indeed, and we all would be working hard on practicing it. She also said the elves were great at remembering holidays and they never met a holiday they didn't like, so we always got festival food, like special late dinners during Ramadan (she had to explain that) and Moon Cakes for the Lunar New Year (ditto), and someone even told them about something called Discordianism, so there are always frankfurters with rolls on Fridays as well. The only holiday that's not so good is Yom Kippur, because Jewish tradition is that those who are allowed to eat are only supposed to eat healthy food to assuage hunger, but the Break the Fast meal an hour after sundown is great.
Draco and Pansy protested that those are muggle holidays, and Prefect Jones snorted and said that except for Discordianism, all of these holidays are much older than the statute of secrecy and are just as important for wizards as they are for muggles in the places they come from. The rest of us said, seriously? You want to turn down holiday food? And they allowed as how maybe they hadn't thought it through properly.
Then we went to Transfiguration, and there was a cat sitting on the lectern that looked just like one I've seen hanging out with Mrs. Figg's cats. Draco and Neville though it had to be just one that looked a bit like it, but I pointed out the spectacle marks and said that I've never seen marks like that on any other cat. We're way too far from Surrey for her to just have been lost, but I couldn't think for the life of me how the heck she got here.
And it was class time and we were wondering where PMM was, and the cat jumped down off the lectern and turned into her in midair! Wicked!
The task for class was to turn a matchstick into a needle. Just saying the word and tapping the needle didn't do much, so I wondered if it might be something like preparing potions ingredients, so I slowed my breathing down and tried to think of nothing but needles and tried again. It takes quite a bit of focus, and every time I got mad and thought "Stupid matchstick!" It would turn all the way back. I got it by the end of class, though. Theo and I were the only ones who did, so we tried to help other people do it. It was interesting. We told everyone, it's kind of like preparing potions ingredients, and you could really tell who'd had training in brewing and who hadn't. We ended up explaining meditation and focus to Millie and Chip and Ron and Dean and Seamus, and they all managed to get their needles to change color a bit, and Theo and I got five points each for Slytherin.
After that, we have a three hour chunk every day for extracurriculars with all the rest of the first year. Theo and I both signed up for Magical and Muggle Art (two different groups) and I joined the Astrology group and I joined a bunch of muggleborns in a scouting group led by none other than Professor Dumbledore, who looks interesting in a scout uniform. We sat and talked about which merit badges we wanted to work on, and found out that there are a couple of magical merit badges as well as all the usual ones. When I heard that, I excused myself, and went and dragged Draco off from where he was trying to convince Professor Edevane that she ought to run an Estate Management group for first years and had him come join us. PD looked a little surprised to see him, but very pleased. Draco and I said we wanted to work on the Potioneering merit badge and we all decided that since we were taking Herbology anyway, we'd also work on the one for magical plants. The scouting group took up the entire three-hour slot, and when we were done, we were all signed up for the newest Hogwarts Scouting Patrol. Professor Dumbledore said that we would be doing some of our activities together with the second and third year patrols, but mostly each patrol would be independent.
Hogwarts First Year Scouting Patrol: Terry Boot, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Seamus Finnegan, Draco Malfoy, Lydia Moon, me, Dean Thomas. Lydia's a pureblood too, but she says she saw the pamphlet about scouting and it sounded brilliant, so she had to try it. The Moons aren't anywhere near Draco's social equals, but her being there seemed to make him feel better anyway. (And that left Chip and Greg free to join the Frog Choir with no problems, cos I can watch out for Draco just as well as they can.). Terry's Ravenclaw, Justin's Hufflepuff, Dean, Seamus, and Lydia are Griffindors, and Draco and I are Slytherins, so we've got a good cross-section. Also, Justin is as upper-class as Draco is, just out in the non-magical world. I think I'll be able to get the two of them talking about high society before too long.
Oh, and that was the brilliant thing I forgot to mention from the opening feast: Mr. Tate, our dance mater is now Professor Tate, and all of us first years have Dance after lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Apparently Lady Longbottom talked PD into it, and it was the first thing the school board had agreed unanimously on in decades. The other years are having Dance added to their Extracurriculars Block.
Dinner was pasta, different shapes and different sauces and lots of meats and vegetable and garlic bread. I was too stuffed for pudding, and I had to watch and cheer at the evening football games instead of playing. Draco sat with me and watched, and Greg and Chip went out and played. It was almost as much fun watching as playing, and Greg and Chip got put on different teams, so they were actually competing against each other. They agree with me now that football is brilliant, and Draco said it wasn't bad. And Ron and Greg were on the same team, and worked together to get a really wicked goal past Neville and high-fived each other when it went in and was declared good.
Tango was lying curled up next to the fire with Millie's cat when we came in. We both wished we had a camera, but Theo did a quick sketch and said he'd try painting them later. They did make a great picture. Tango's ginger and huge and Millie's cat, Stradivarius, is little and round and black.
And now I've finished my short essay for Charms, and I didn't have homework for Herbology or Transfiguration, so now I am going to sleep.