Author's Note: So sorry for the long wait, but I've been pretty busy with classes and homework. Well, here it is! The first chapter! Hope you enjoy!
Chapter 1: To Hogwarts
Platform 9¾ was packed full of bright, young witches and wizards and their parents, patiently waiting to see them off. For some, it was to be their first time aboard the wonderful Hogwarts Express, the first time at the famed school of Witchcraft and Wizardy, but for most it was not. Yet, the excitement and expectations were the same for all. The first year students were looking forward to go to Hogwarts and were eagerly waiting to see what it would be like, while the older students were all excited to be going back. Students of every age chattered happily with their friends while their parents looked on, smiles on their faces as they recalled their own school days. Everyone was happy.
Well, almost everyone. Standing a little ways apart from everyone else, doing their best to observe without being observed, were a thirties-something witched and her daughter. They stood, hand in hand watching the crowd before them.
"You'll like Hogwarts," said the mother, though she didn't sound so certain. "It's different. You'll make new friends."
"Friends I'll have to lie to," the daughter stated matter-of-factly, though there was an edge of steel to her voice. Her mother flinched. "Just like everyone else in my life."
"It's for the best," her mother said softly.
"For the best," the girl repeated bitterly. "I know."
Tears sprang to her mother's eyes and she turned to look at her daughter. "I didn't want this for you…any of it. If I could change anything…"
"I know," the girl said, softening. She squeezed her mother's hand. "It's not your fault. None of this is. It just is. I'm a demigod as well as a witch. I just wish I didn't have to leave already. I just got back from Camp Half-Blood."
"I know, Shiloh," her mother smiled sadly, "but you have to go. If you don't it will look suspicious and the Ministry of Magic will start sniffing around and that would be dangerous, for everyone."
"I know," whispered Shiloh sadly. "I'm just tired of hiding who I am. First, at Camp Half-Blood, now Hogwarts." She turned to her mother. "Do you have any idea how hard it's been trying not to use magic at Camp Half-Blood? I've had several close calls."
"I can only imagine," her mother answered sympathetically. "At least at Hogwarts, you'll finally learn how to control your magic. So when you go back to Camp next summer, it should be easier."
Shiloh shrugged. "I guess so."
Students were now beginning to file onto the train. Shiloh gave him mother a quick hug and kiss goodbye before making sure her trunk and her white and golden brown owl were secure. "Come on, Phoebus."
"I still wish you hadn't named him that."
Shiloh turned and gave her mother her first genuine smile of the day. "Why? Are you afraid that someone will realize that I named him after my father? I seriously doubt anyone will make the connection, Mum."
Her mother smiled back. "I guess I'm just being silly." She waved as Shiloh boarded the train, which was quickly filling up with students and their pets.
Shiloh found a free seat in a compartment with three other kids, two boys who looked like they were brothers and a girl with bright red hair. All three of them were waving goodbye out the window when Shiloh silently joined them and sat down.
It wasn't until the train had left the station that they noticed that they had company. "Oh, hello!" said the girl. "What's your name?"
"Shiloh Chang," she answered promptly. "And yours?" she asked, knowing that it was expected of her rather than because she actually wanted to know.
"Rose Weasley," the girl said. Then she gestured to the two boys, "And these are my cousins, James and Albus Potter."
Shiloh started in surprise. "Potter?" She glanced from one boy to the other. "As in Harry Potter?" They nodded. "The Harry Potter?" They nodded again. "He's your dad?" They nodded a third time. "Wow!"
Shiloh suddenly felt overwhelmed. She was sitting in the presence of celebrities. As if her journey wasn't already nerve wracking enough without being in the presence of the sons of the most famous wizard ever.
"So, is it your first time at Hogwarts, Shiloh?" Rose asked, no doubt sensing the other girl's unease. Shiloh quickly nodded, grateful for the distraction. "Mine too!" said Rose. "And Albus's. It's James's third year."
The older boy, James, smirked. "Best place in the world, Hogwarts. So what House do you think you'll be sorted into, Shiloh?"
"I've never really thought about it," she admitted, "but I guess Ravenclaw. My mum was in Ravenclaw."
"What about your dad?" Albus asked.
"He's a Muggle," Shiloh said quickly, giving her standard response to any questions as to her father's identity. "What about you? What House are you in, James?"
"I'm in Gryffindor," stated James proudly, "just like my dad."
"And mum," added Albus.
"And mum," repeated James. "Rose will probably be in Gryffindor as well. Though, poor Al will probably end up in Slytherin." It was obvious that he was only teasing. Albus ignored him and did not rise to the jab, though Shiloh thought that he didn't look too pleased at the idea of ending up in Slytherin.
"It doesn't really matter what Houses we're put into," said Shiloh, "just as long as we do our best." Rose and Albus smiled, while James just shrugged.
"If you say so," he said, though it was obvious he didn't really believe it.
"Hang on," said Rose as if she just realized something. "My mother once mentioned a Cho Chang that she had gone to school with that was in Ravenclaw. Is she your mum?" Shiloh nodded. "But if she married then why are you going by her maiden name?"
Shiloh inwardly cursed. This Rose seemed a little too smart for her own good. "It's an Asian custom," said Shiloh, thinking quickly. "The men take the women's last names." Shiloh prayed that they would believe her.
Thankfully, they seemed to, for none of them brought up the subject again and the rest of the train ride passed in friendly conversation. Before they reached Hogsmead Station, Shiloh learned a lot about her new friends. She learned that Rose had a younger brother named Hugo and that James and Albus had a younger sister named Lily and that Hugo and Lily wouldn't be going to Hogwarts for another two years. Shiloh had had to lie and say that she was an only child, though she tried to convince herself that it wasn't exactly a lie as she didn't have any full blooded siblings, only the half-siblings from her father's side back at Camp-Half Blood. After that Rose had suggested that they all changing into their school robes, for which Shiloh was silently grateful.
After they changed, she learned that Rose's father was the older brother of James and Albus's mother and that their fathers were best friends as well as being brothers-in-law. She learned that James was intending to try out for Seeker for the Gryffindor team as the try outs, that Albus preferred to play Chaser but was going to wait until he was older before trying out and that Rose didn't play at all.
And James had just finished recounting to Shiloh how he had caught an older cousin, Victoire, snogging Teddy Lupin, their father's godson at Platform 9 ¾ earlier that morning, when the train pulled into Hogsmead Station.
"Honestly, James," said Rose, as they began to disembark, "I don't know why you think it is such a big deal. So they were snogging. Who cares?"
"Who cares?" said James, staring at Rose in disbelief. "They've known each other for years; practically grew up together! They're like brother and sister!"
"They're not brother and sister," Rose reminded him. "Besides, my parents knew each other for years…so did yours, James!"
"That's different," said James as they all descended onto the platform.
"How?" Rose challenged.
"Well, my parents and yours ended up getting married, didn't they?"
"Who's to say that Teddy and Victoire won't get married?" asked Albus.
Before James could answer, the biggest man Shiloh had ever seen came moving through the crowd of students. "First years!" he called. "First years, this way!"
"You three better go," said James. "See you at the feast!"
Albus, Rose, and Shiloh waved goodbye to James before hurrying over to the big man. As they got closer, Shiloh could see that his beard and his hair were both completely white and that his face was covered with laugh lines. He seemed completely harmless on second glance so Shiloh relaxed.
"Hello, Albus! Hello, Rose!" he boomed, greeting the two students. "Who's this?" he asked looking at Shiloh.
"This is Shiloh, Hagrid," said Rose, "Shiloh Chang."
"Nice to meet you, Shiloh," said Hagrid, beaming down at her.
"Thanks," said Shiloh giving him her best smile. "Nice to meet you too."
A crowed of students had gathered around Hagrid and once it was clear that no more were coming, he gestured for the students to follow him. "To the boats!"
Shiloh stayed close to Albus and Rose as the group of first years follow Hagrid from the platform. They hadn't gone far when they came to a lake with several boats lying in wait for them. "Four to a boat," Hagrid instructed.
Shiloh, Albus, and Rose shared a boat with a pale, sickly looking girl with thin , curly brown hair, and wide grey eyes. Once all the boats were full, they set off across the lake, the boats seeming to move of their own accord.
No one spoke on their journey across the lake. It was if by some unspoken agreement everyone had decided to keep quiet and focus on their surroundings instead of each other.
The sun was just setting when Shiloh caught her first glimpse of the castle. She let out a gasp, which was quickly echoed by Albus, Rose, and the other girl. Shiloh had thought she had seen plenty of impressive sights as Camp Half-Blood, but Hogwarts was something entirely.
She didn't know what she had been expecting, but nothing her mother had told her about the school had prepared her for just how massive and how beautiful Hogwarts truly was.
Shiloh turned slightly and caught the looks on her companions' faces. Apparently, Albus and Rose were just as surprised and just as impressed as she was. The other girl's mouth was hanging open in amazement.
The boats came to a slow stop at the shore, where Hagrid quickly helped everyone to disembark. In silence, they followed the giant from the lake to the castle hall where they were greeted what Shiloh guessed was one of their teachers.
"Welcome to Hogwarts!" He said and Shiloh thought she saw him wink at Albus and Rose. "I'm Professor Longbottom, and I'm the Herbology teacher here at Hogwarts. In a moment, I will lead you to the Great Hall where you will be sorted into your houses."
The professor quickly went on to describe the four houses and their importance. He also explained about the earning and losing of points. "Now, if you will please follow me," he turned and Shiloh and the rest of the first years followed him to the Great Hall.
If Hogwarts had looked impressive from the outside, the inside was even more so and Shiloh caught herself taking everything in. Even though she had promised herself that she would not grow attached to the place, she found herself doing just that.
Once all the first years were in front of the house tables, a very old and stately looking woman greeted them. "Welcome to Hogwarts! I am Headmistress Minerva McGonagall. Professor Longbottom, please begin the Sorting."
A very old and worn looking hat was brought out and placed on a stool in front of the students. A seam opened up and the hat began to sing.
Shiloh paid little attention to what it actually sang, preferring instead to let her mind wonder. It wasn't until Professor Longbottom called, "Alcott, Morgan," that Shiloh's thoughts returned to the Sorting as a short boy with blond hair, hurried forward. The hat was placed on his head. A few seconds later the hat spoke again.
"Gryffindor!" The students that the Gryffindor table began to cheer and Morgan quickly took the hat off and hurried to join them. Shiloh watched and waited as more students were sorted.
"Bennet, Eloise." The girl from the boat stepped forward and took a seat.
Time seemed to slow down. Shiloh slowly took one step forward and then another. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught Albus and Rose smilingly at her. She saw the hat, just lying there in Professor Longbottom's hand and suddenly Shiloh felt lightheaded. What if it knew? What if it found out what she was? What if it announced it to the whole school?
She should run, right now. It was the only way, but her feet refused to cooperate. Instead, they continued to carry her forward, until she was next to the stool. Then she felt herself sit down and felt the hat being placed on her head. No, no, no! she thought, trying to force herself to get up, but nothing happened.
Then…silence. Then she heard the hat speak, not out loud, but inside her head. "Hmmm…interesting…"
"What?" Shiloh thought at it, trying to not let it sense her fear and dread.
"You don't care where you go. Most non-Muggle born students have at least an idea of which House they want to be sorted into, but you…you honestly couldn't care less."
"What's wrong with that?" Shiloh demanded of the hat.
"Oh, nothing. Nothing at all. It shows that you are free of the prejudices that wizard born students suffer from. Very interesting. But it all shows that you don't feel connected to anyone or anything. You're a loner."
"Being a loner isn't necessarily a bad thing," Shiloh thought.
"True, but I often find that those who prefer their own company to others have the most to hide."
Shiloh was careful to keep her thoughts from the hat. She couldn't risk letting it see the truth. "Are you going to sort me or not?"
"Of course. I'll be interested to see what becomes of you, Shiloh Chang."
"Ravenclaw!" shouted the hat.
Suddenly, it was gone from her head and before she had even registered what had happened, she found herself at the Ravenclaw table, older students shaking her hand and slapping her on the back.
In a daze, Shiloh barely noticed as the next few names were called. After a few minutes, however, she was able to shake herself out of her stupor just in time to hear Professor Longbottom call, "Malfoy, Scorpius."
A boy with pale skin and white blond hair stepped forwards. Shiloh watched as the hat was placed on his hat. It had barely been on his head more than a second before it shouted, "Slytherin!" The Slytherin table broke into cheers. Over the noise, Shiloh heard James Potter over at the Gryffindor table say to a friend, "No surprise there." He spoke loudly, so there were many who heard him, Scorpius Malfoy included. He turned and gave James Potter a mean look before turning to join his fellow Slytherins. James seems nonplussed and continued chattering amiably with his friends.
As Julianna sat down on the stool and faced everyone, Shiloh couldn't help staring at her in fascination. Julianna had auburn hair and hazel eyes. Her skin looked a little pale, but not sickly like Eloise Bennet's. The girl was not beautiful, but there was a certain glow about her that seemed to lend beauty to her features. Perhaps it was the wide smile on her face, or perhaps it was the dancing, happy look in eyes. Whatever it was, Shiloh had thought she had never seen a prettier looking girl.
The people around Shiloh and at the other tables seemed to think so too, for no one could take their eyes off of her and most of the boys, Shiloh noted, were staring at her as if in a dream. The hat was placed on Julianna's head.
A second passed. Then another. Then…
The cheer from the Hufflepuff table was louder than ever, but the students at the other three tables were groaning in disappointment, Shiloh included. She had been hoping to get to know this smilingly, glowing girl.
Julianna almost seemed to bounce as she handed the hat back to Professor Longbottom and ran to join her fellow Hufflepuffs.
More names were called, but Shiloh didn't really pay much attention, preferring instead to watch Julianna who was being introduced to everyone around her. The girl's smile never wavered.
Shiloh turned back to face the front and watched as her new friend made his way to the stool where Professor Longbottom placed the hat on top of his head.
"Gryffindor!" The hat announced a minute later. The Gryffindor table broke into another round of cheering.
After Albus came two more Slytherins, a few Ravenclaws, and another Hufflepuff. Then finally, "Weasley, Rose."
Shiloh sighed. She had been hoping that either Albus and Rose would end up in Ravenclaw with her, but as she watched them interact with their fellow Gryffindors, she had to admit that they were probably better off and happier where they were.
The rest of the night passed in a blur and by the time Shiloh and her fellow Ravenclaws were led to their common room, she was more than ready to go to bed. As she climbed the steps to her new room, Shiloh thought happily of sleep, but when her head finally hit the pillow, all she could think about was how many lies she had told and how many more she would have to tell before the year was out.
Author's Note: Please, please, please, review!