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Shadowfaze

IC: Hogwarts 1940

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Hal jumped as the Hat started crying. It was the boy who had bumped into her from earlier. What had the Hat seen? She was sure he was part vampire now, he wasn't even trying to hide his teeth now. She watched as the boy Ignotus sat down across from Tom Riddle who smiled as if he had just won a prize. She reddened slightly and adjusted her shoulder bag under her robes, hoping no one else had noticed it. She must look awfully suspicious, not wanting to give up her bag in these troubled times, but she didn't want to leave her mother's prized possessions around carelessly, and there was the Sleeping Draft. No one was allowed to know she made that.

 

Hal focused her attention back to the front table as a boy named Septimus Cowley had just been named a Hufflepuff. The table next to hers cheered. Next up was "Hesledon, Arsenius". He swaggered up to the front where the Hat was waiting. It barely touched his head before it hollered "SLYTHERIN!" Lobelia Redfern became a Ravenclaw when Hal suddenly heard a familiar name.

 

"Dedworth, Jasper," called Dumbledore. Jasper was the boy she had shared a carriage with on the way here. He slowly stepped up and for some reason, Hal was crossing her fingers, hoping he would be put into Ravenclaw. The Hat sat on his head for almost three minutes as if having a big debate. Hal was starting to worry if Jasper wouldn't get Sorted when the Hat called out "RAVENCLAW!" He got down off the stool as Dumbledore took the Hat and made a beeline for the Ravenclaw table as Hal was clapping. He found a seat next to her and they continued to listen as the others from their carriage got Sorted into different Houses.

______________________________________________________________________________

 

Eldon, Cedric, and Hagrid watched on as Ivan Finwick became a Ravenclaw. Fleur Adler (a girl with pretty blond hair) was Sorted into Hufflepuff to which a bigger boy (OOC: Septimus) clapped loudly. Juliana Gifford became a Gryffindor. and Melania Dingle became a Ravenclaw. There were only four students left now (OOC: Archie, Quintius, Timothy and Galatea). Eldon thought back to when the Sorting Hat was crying. In the two other Sortings he had witnessed, his own and last year's, he could not think of the Sorting Hat being that terrified. The boy must have some real horrors up in his head. In fact, he couldn't think of a time that he had heard about that the Sorting Hat had actually cried in the history of the school.

 

"Buckley, Galatea," called Professor Dumbledore, looking at the last remaining girl, waiting for her to walk up...

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The Slytherin table was full of scowling faces to Ignotus, as everyone watched the last girl approach the stool. When Galatea was sorted into Slytherin, she sat on the opposite side from him, looking frightened... All of the Slytherins on the table either looked worried, concerned, or irritated by his presence, but that changed when Tom whispered something to Nott, who passed it on. After that, they smiled nervously, and one of them (the butch prefect girl he'd seen on the train) welcomed him to Slytherin. Sabrina totally ignored him as if he wasn't there, and kept asking Fabian about when the feast would be (but he neither knew nor cared to say) so she folded her arms and sulked. Stupid girl, thought Ignotus. So privileged, and yet so clueless... He listened to Dumbledore finish the sorting as he called for the little boy he'd rode in the boat with, A Timothy Frobisher.

 

Timothy looked extremely nervous, and was visibly shaking whe he was sitting on the stool. The sorting simply said:

"Hmm. You just need to come out of your shell, I see great potential here. Definitely GRYFFINDOR!"

Timothy smiled weakly and went over to join the Gryffindors. Ignotus couldn't help but notice the Slytherins (led by Tom) were booing and hissing whenever a student became a Gryffindor. The next to be sorted was Archibald O'Hare.

 

**

 

Sep watched Archie take the seat, chuckling as he was doing it very gingerly, as if it would break, and he was plainly holding his breath. The hat's brim opened up and smiled, and said:

"Not bad. You'll do well wherever I put you... But where? Maybe Gryffindor? No? How about Hufflepuff? That's settled then. HUFFLEPUFF!"

Archie stopped holding his breath and sighed with relief as he went to sit with Septimus, smiling widely.

"Looks like you're stuck with me" he said, to Sep and Fleur, who had chosen to sit on the other side next to a fifth year girl.

"Lets hope Quint gets in too. Cross your fingers" said Septimus. They all watched with hope as the last student was sorted.

"Tintwhistle, Quintius" said Dumbledore, who seemed to be glad it was coming to an end. Quintius showed the entire hall he wasn't shy in the least, and strode up to the hat, sitting with pride.

"Goodness me" said the hat "Where else could you go but HUFFLEPUFF!"

Quintius looked supremely confident as he went to sit next to Archie.

"Told you. Shame we didn't get Trev, but we're still friends with him, the pact still stands" he said, looking over at Trevor and giving him a thumbs up. It was then Professor Dippet adressed the whole school.

 

"Now we have our new students sorted, it will be time for the feast, after a few words. Firstly, Hogwarts holds an annual cup for good behaviour and outstanding achievement, called the house cup. Do well at something, and a teacher can award you points for your house toward it- any rule breaking will lose you points, which will be tallied up at the end of the year. The fourth and fifth floors are off limits to students, as they have been deemed dangerous. This is because of the damage caused by a muggle air vehicle during the summer holidays, the dark forest is also forbidden, and the cursed greenhouse five, which is still suffering from an accident that happened last year. Now that is out of the way, let the feast begin!" He said, raising his hands and causing food to appear on the tables. It was more food than Septimus had ever seen, and good food too. He politely waited for his friends to start eating (Archie was putting a napkin in his collar as a bib) and they were soon enjoying the spread.

 

"What are these?" Said Septimus to anyone around him not eating long enough to listen.

"Yorkshire puddings. Put gravy in them, eat them with roast beef" said another Hufflepuff, who was quite a bit older.

"Alright then" said Sep, and he did not regret it, it was best thing he'd ever eaten.

"All this Anglish food. So havvy" said Fleur, eating a pile of mashed potato.

"Really good though, warms you up for winter" replied Quintius, with a chicken leg in each hand.

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Hal looked on as the plates magically filled with food. Jasper's eyes widened, but Hal chuckled. She had never seen so much good food. It must be magical because Muggle government would be entirely upset if this much good food wasn't being shared during these trying times. Hal picked a little of everything she knew and a couple she didn't then ate slowly. She was in deep thought when Jasper nudged her. "Hey," he said. "I heard Dumbledore call another name while everyone was talking about the crying Hat. That must be Myrtle. She was Sorted with us." He pointed to a girl at the edge of the table with horn-rimmed glasses. She was already getting nasty looks from the other girls at the table, but there was nothing Hal could do about it at the moment. Her wand was in her trunk. She felt it was safer there than in her bag.

 

"We'll talk to her once the Feast is over," she said. "Let's eat for now."

 

As she ate she overheard a few of the girls talking "Look at her robes, they're all tattered." "Look at those glasses. They're too big for her face." "She looks ready to cry. She looks so mopey."

Jasper had heard enough. He got up from his seat and went over to her. "Hi, Myrtle, right?" he said gently with a smile. "Come sit with us. No need to subject yourself to other people's judgements." He brought Mrytle back with him and sat her on the other side of Hal.

________________________________________________

 

Eldon and Cedric dug in as soon as the food showed up. Hagrid looked at everything, seeming surprised. "Hey, Hagrid, eat some food. Don't worry, it's real. I probably looked that way myself last year," Cedric said grinning, ready to take a bite of potatoes.

 

"Sorry, was thinkin' of me dad and how hard I worked to help him prepare for winter and war," said Hagrid. "Though' it'd be nice fer us to send some food to our families, but that ain't possible, huh?"

 

"I'm not sure, Hagrid," said Eldon. "Most likely not though. We will see how things go. War hasn't started."

Just then a squeaky voice popped up next to them. "Not yet you mean," said a short skinny boy with a bunch of freckles and bright red hair. He seemed surprised that he even spoke, but then continued on timidly. "I'm Timothy Frobisher, but you can call me Tim. Me mum gets the Muggle papers all the time. That's why she was as surprised and happy as I was when Dubbly-door came to introduce himself and tell me that I was wanted here. I'm a Muggle-born see, so mum was excited because it gets me away without having to send me off to my aunt's house. Them Muggle papers er just brewin with talks o' war." Eldon thought that it was funny to hear a Scottish/French accent on one so small.

 

"Well, we haven't had too many Muggle airplanes, Tim," said Eldon. "Let's just see how it goes." The four talked more and gradually Timothy opened up to them. After they seemed as though they couldn't eat any more, the food vanished and all sorts of succulent desserts appeared. Most of which Eldon hadn't seen since last year. As he dug into some treacle tart and pudding, he thought back to what Hagrid had said about sending some of this back to their families...

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Ignotus was thoroughly enjoying the feast, he had eaten well in his past, but never like this. He found the pork chops quickly, and his plate was piled high with meat, although it was too well cooked for his usual taste.

"Hey, We haven't met. I'm Fabian. You're the one who made the hat bawl like a baby" said Fabian to Ignotus, from across the table. The boy appeared to be very vain, and his tone of voice was not altogether friendly.

"I don't know why that happened. I'm Ignotus, nice to meet you" he said, holding out his hand. Fabian looked at him like he just offered him a spoonful of dead baby, and the look on his face made Ignotus withdraw his hand.

"Oh. Sorry. The meat's good, especially the chops" he said, trying to regain the conversation. Sabrina then pushed his shoulder and complained.

"Don't talk about meat, I'm a vegetarian, I'll have you know" she said. This made Tom Riddle laugh loudly and she sniffed, snobbily. Ignotus joined in the laugh, but he had never met a vegetarian...

 

***

 

Septumus had too much foodmin his mouth to be understood, but that didn't stop him. He tried to talk to Fleur, but she had a similar problem, and he got mashed potato on his robes. They laughed happily at the mess, but stopped when a rather portly teacher (OOC: Slughorn) gave them a look. Afterwards they still laughed and joked but at a more respectable volume.

"So when do we start classes then? Said Septimus, trying to get the attention of the older student who had recommended the yorkshire pudding. He was a very wide student with very little hair and a pudgy nose, but seemed friendly enough.

"Tomorrow morning. Your schedules will be waiting for you in your dormitories. Oh, my name's Farley, by the way. Lee Farley. I'm a prefect, sixth year. "

"Im-" started Septimus, but Lee put his hand up to stop him.

"I know your names, I wrote them down during the sorting. I also mentor students, so it helps to take notes on who people are" he said, pointing a friendly and chubby finger at the new students, even though it had gravy on it. He was sitting next to pretty girl with long curly brunette hair, who giggled and whispered in Lee's ear.

"This is Claudette, everyone. She's also a prefect, and my girlfriend. You can ask her about anything related to House activies, like study groups or parties. Oh, here comes the dessert!" Said Lee.

 

The dessert suddenly replaced the dinner plates, and Septimus' eyes widened considerably at the sight of the trifle. He had never felt like such a pig, but seeing as everyone else was doing the same he ignored it and helped himself.

"What's Trev doing over there?" Said Archie, craning his neck to see. Sep saw that someone on the Slytherin table was trying to force Trevor to eat something he clearly didn't want to, but it was quickly stopped by the same portly teacher who was walking around the tables keeping an eye out for bullying.

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OOC: Sorry it took so long Faze. I should be able to keep up now. Been backlogged on homework as it is, but will be caught up tonight.

 

Myrtle did seem a bit mopey, thought Hal to herself as she dug into what Jasper called a "treacle tart". It was really quite sweet. She looked over at Myrtle having finally cleared her mouth using juice. "Hi there," she said. "I'm Halcyone, but you can call me Hal. What is your name? I didn't catch it during the Sorting."

"It's Myrtle," she said, sniffing. She seemed ready to break down and cry again at any moment. Now that Hal could get a closer look at her, she could see that Myrtle was rather squat and had tons of acne. Her glasses were way too big for her face. No wonder the other girls had teased her.

Jasper smiled at Myrtle. "Let's talk about something else," he said. "What about your family?"

"B-both of my parents are M-muggles," she said, still seeming distraught. When she glanced back down the table and saw the other girls making mopey faces at her and laughing at her, Myrtle jumped up and ran out the door crying. She was followed shortly thereafter by a rather portly teacher with a gingery blonde mustache and straw-colored hair.

"I wonder how she's going to handle her studies if things like that set her off so easily," muttered Hal. She had noticed that other students had started making fun of her and laughing at her.

Jasper nodded. "I know what you mean," he said, having caught her mutterings, his voice genuinely concerned for the poor girl.

Finally, the feast ended and the food disappeared magically. Hal looked up at the ceiling. It was bewitched to look like the sky outside and candles floated above them even though the place was bright enough already. The celing was clear and Hal could see several constellations above. She was brought back from her musings as Jasper nudged her, Professor Dippet had just stood up.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Eldon was brought back from his ramblings as a girl ran out wailing from the Great Hall. She was followed shortly by Professor Slughorn, who was both the Slytherin Head of House and the Potions master. He sighed. Before the dessert was gone there was already bullying? He shook his head and dug back into his Cauldron Cakes and pumpkin pie, personal favorites of his as the Gryffindor table turned their talk to Quidditch. The tryouts would be held shortly within the first weeks and the second-years were ready for the chance to prove themselves. Cedric was excited as well: he was trying out for the Seeker position. Eldon could see Cedric's potential. Eldon himself wanted the position again, but knew that Cedric's reflexes were much better than his own. The tryouts would tell. The first years listened in as the older kids talked. The chatter died down as the food vanished and Headmaster Dippet stood up to give his final speech for the night. Eldon knew the school song would follow shortly thereafter...

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(OOC: We aren't "forgotten" as such, just a few students of the hundreds that passed through Hogwarts- If the wiki says she has no friends then leave her be. That, and she would remember anyone like a friend, seeing as how she dies.)

 

The idea of vegetarianism amused Ignotus, as he ripped apart steaks in front of Sabrina, just to see how she'd react. He laughed with the others when she ran out of the hall, probably to be sick. He kept getting looks from up and down the table and across the others, but he was having too much fun to care. When Fabian hadn't taken his hand one of the other bigger boys (a violent looking lad with prominent teeth and a mad stare) deliberately spilled hot gravy on his crotch. Even though it was all in good fun, the teacher that patrolled the rowdy areas put a stop to it, whispering some threat to the lad who stopped immediately and looked at his plate in shame until dessert arrived.

 

The previous meal vanished, and the table became lively again with a riot of colour- pink jellies, bright yellow custards, Huge slabs of tasty pumpkin pie, luxurious looking cauldron cakes and huge bowls of glistening trifle. Ignotus helped himself to the latter as soon as it appeared, hissing and baring his fangs at another boy who reached for it. He noticed Tom smile widely at that, and felt very much part of the gang as he gobbled it down. Once the dessert was gone, the chatter in the great hall reached fever pitch and mad Ignotus' ears buzz. He jumped when Professor Dippet called for quiet...

 

**

 

Septimus was enjoying the company of his new friends- Lee was an avid Quidditch follower and a Chaser for the Hufflepuff team, and Claudette seemed to really like talking about muggles. He had very little to offer on either subject, but Archie spoke to Lee in Length about the Wimbledon Wasps, and Quintius laughed loudly with Claudette over Plugs, rubber ducks, and something about the Germans. He felt a little bit like a fish out of water until Fleur threw a balled up piece of parchment at his head from somewhere else on the table, wherever she was. It said:

Hi Sep, These people are graet but you seem to havin so much fun up there I wish they'd sorted me a bit later talk later yeah?

It was followed by a drawing of a stick wizard which was moving around the bottom of the page. He made a mental note to ask her how to do that, how terrible her spelling was, also where she got the paper and quill from at the dinner table.

 

The hall was talking animatedly and with some enthusiasm when The Headmaster called for quiet.

"Students new and old. I have a final thought for you all before you retire to your beds- This will be a term to remember here at Hogwarts, I am sure. I see great things to come. Now you are fed, You have ten more minutes before your House prefects will lead you to the Dormitories. Oh, and please don't be frightened, our Ghosts have come to see you off. They are quite harmeless though, You will get to know them better throughout the years. Please don't be shy."

 

Ghosts? I hope they aren't scary looking... And just before bed as well, thought Septimus. The ghosts of Hogwarts swooped in through open doors and windows, and some took seats, some sat down. They were tall ones in wigs, one with a moustache and a ruff, and many more, including the Hufflepuff ghost, the Fat Friar, who sat down at the very end of the table. Septimus had never thought a ghost could looks less frightening. He was very wide and jolly, with a smile to match. For the next ten minutes or so, most of the new students asked him question after question, but he was happy to answer one and all. Once finished, The new Hufflepuffs were quite content with the presence of the ghost. In fact it was the Friar himself that reminded Lee to get up and start leading everyone to the dormitories...

 

(OOC: You know the Ghosts Ryu but remember that Professor Binns is alive and I don't think Peeves is dead yet.)

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OOC: Actually Peeves died c. 900s and has been there since almost the beginning of Hogwarts. Professor Binns is still alive yes and I have a way for my characters to get away from Myrtle. It will take them a week or two though.)

 

Hal listened to Professor Dippet's final speech as her eyes tuned in to a pretty woman with waist-length hair and a long cloak drifting almost regally near her and Jasper's end of the table. After the speech ended, Hal turned once again to the pearly white ghost. "Evening, my name is Halcyone Kettletoft, but most call me Hal," she said. "You are the ghost of Ravenclaw, correct? I believe they call you the Grey Lady." Jasper seemed slightly abashed at how brazenly Hal was being to a ghost, but didn't interfere.

 

The Grey Lady nodded her head, never losing her perfect carriage. "That is what you may call me." She spoke softly, yet almost proudly. "I am the ghost of Ravenclaw and you have a sharp tongue, Halcyone Kettletoft. Respect is earned, not given."

 

After she had a short talk with Jasper and the others who dared to speak with her (Hal rather taken aback by the Grey Lady's answer), she told the Prefects Sharon Witticky and Carl Tangermoff that it was time to leave. The Prefects stood up and called for the Ravenclaws to follow them to the dormitories.

 

After a long walk up the staircases, most of them suddenly moving on the group, then up a tight spiral staircase, the Ravenclaws (new and old) found themselves in front of what seemed like a normal lookng door with a big bronze eagle-shaped knocker. As Sharon approached the knocker it came to life, asking a simple riddle, "Which came first: the dragon or the egg?"

 

Sharon thought for a moment before saying calmly, "There is no beginning in the circle of life and death."

 

"Well reasoned," answered the knocker and the door swung open to give everyone admittance into a large circular common room.

 

Once everyone was in, Carl addressed the group. "Boys dorms are on the left, girls are on the right. You have your schedules and if you need any help finding your classrooms, there will be Prefects, ghosts, and teachers stationed throughout the school. Please watch out for Peeves. He is our local poltergeist and he loves to play tricks on everyone whether they are new or old. Make sure you get a good night's rest. Classes begin tomorrow bright and early. Welcome to Hogwarts."

 

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Eldon half-listened to Professor Dippet as he concluded the feast. The chatter started again and Eldon listened as some first-year Devlin Russell, snottily ask Nick how he was "Nearly-headless". Someone always asked that question. Nick obliged by pulling his head apart from his neck, it barely being held on by a sliver of skin. Eldon was used to it, but a couple of the first-years seemed a bit paler and made faces as the almost transparent Sir Nicholas de Mimsey-Porpington's innards were shown inside his neck. The ghost put it back up and said rather disgruntled, "It's Sir Nicholas if you please. Henrietta, Marcus, it's about time these young Gryffindors went to bed. They have classes in the morning. Welcome to Gryffindor everyone." He floated off to join up with the Grey Lady (Ravenclaw's ghost).

 

Henrietta and Marcus stood up. They were the Gryffindor Prefects. "Alright everyone, he is correct. It is high time we show you to your dormitories." They led the Gryffindors (the first-years in the front) ut the Great Hall and up the staircases, remarking on how they like to change so the students must keep their sense of direction about them. Several of the Muggle-borns were wide-eyed as the portraits began to wave at them and talk. A couple of them even said a cheery hello to Eldon and Cedric as they walked by. The ghosts knew about the boys' nighttime wanderings, but they didn't care as long as the boys didn't have the light in their faces.

 

After a few staircases and a couple of turns, the Gryffindors found themselves in front of a portrait of a rather robust yet large-ish lady. The Prefects turned and had the first-years huddle around them in case any other House was listening in. Their voices did echo in the empty tower staircase after all. "This is the Fat Lady. She guards the entrance to the Gryffindor Tower," said Marcus. "Each week the password changes. The new passwords are posted inside the Common Room. Please memorize these. This week's password is Nitwick flibbet. She will ask you for it. If you forget, she will not let you in even if she knows you."

 

He turned around and as if on cue, the well-dressed woman in the portrait, said, "Password?"

Marcus answered, "Nitwick Flibbet." The portrait swung open to reveal a square hole the size of a large door. Eldon noticed that even Hagrid had no difficulties fitting through, however, and stepped inside the room. After all Gryffindors were in, the portrait swung close. The notice board was to the left of the doorway. Marcus addressed the group again with the traditional, work hard and don't hesitate to ask for help speech before telling them that classes started in the morning. Girls dormitories were on the left, Boys on the right. After that, he left them to their own devices.

 

Eldon, Cedric, and Hagrid climbed the right staircase and found their belongings on their beds. Eldon noticed an Engorgement charm was placed on one of the beds so Hagrid could sleep comfortably.

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Talking to the Bloody Baron interested Ignotus very much. He had met ghosts before, although none with such a reputation. Although the Baron himself didn't say a lot, the other students told stories and he nodded, his face unchanged. Tales of swordfighting and dashing revelry captured the imaginations of the first years (except Sabrina, who didn't come back to the table). Tom Riddle sat and smiled, occasionally laughing with the others. Time whiled away quickly, and soon the prefects were ushering them up and out of the great hall in single file. The prefect's name was Paulson or something, Ignotus wasn't paying an awful lot of attention.

 

As the entire student body filed out of the hall all going in different directions, Ignotus almost lost the Slytherins until he spotted Fabian preening himself at the back of the line, leading down. The staircases moved at random, but they were easy to navigate once you realised it was a simple pattern, and waited to be led to the next one. Several paintings smiled at Ignotus, and waved their painted hands. Once the line had reached the bottom floor, lots of the other students were going up into some towers, some into the kitchens, but the Slytherins went furthest away, and once there were no other houses present, down into the dungeons. They were dark and illuminated only by little torches on sconces, but then they went deeper still.

"How far down are we going?" Said Sabrina, as far away from Ignotus as she could get in the stone corridor.

"Almost there. The common room is under the Black Lake" explained Paulson. They reached a large black door, with an ugly gargolyle on the top of it. It spoke:

"Password" it's voice was horrible, like the sound of stone scraping on stone.

"Dragons blood" said Paulson, proudly, as the gargoyle reached down and pulled open the doors, slowly. The effect of the common room was like nothing Ignotus could imagine, the ceiling was enchanted to be clear, so the light of the moon reflected through the lake above and made the room (which was black and green, and ornately carved) shimmer strangely and beautifully.

 

**

 

Septimus went with Lee and the other prefects out of the great hall. Quintius was chatting to a couple of girls, and Archie was talking and walking with Claudette. They reached the staircases and Lee warned them to wait for the right sequence. The line of Gryffindors passed them by and Timothy Frobisher was beaming with pride and not looking where he was going, suddenly looking shocked and running off to find the others again. Sep wondered where the Hufflepuff common room was but thought they were probably somewhere close to the kitchens, as his father had stories of sneaking into the kitchens at night to steal food.

 

Down they went, on this stair, and that stair, criss-crossing across each other and forcing students of different houses to wait together, some more happy about that than others. Fleur was already gaining an entourage of lots of other girls to talk to, and some of them were much older than her (the laughing was quite loud) and she had to hop onto the staircase as she almost missed her chance. Some time later, they reached the ground floor, and saw the Slytherins going down Into the dungeons.The Hufflepuffs however went off to the side, down some old wooden steps, past several large barrels to where the kitchens where. By the last barrel at the very back, was a large painting of a bowl of fruit in front of a door with a badger on it. Lee knocked on the door in the painting and touched the apple, the orange, and the banana in that order, and the massive barrel opened up to reveal it was actually a door, leading to the common room.

 

The Hufflepuff common room looked very comfy, all atumnal colours and soft cushions, with a fire crackling in the hearth, which alone was big enough to fit several people in (probably something to do with the kitchens, thought Sep).

"You have an hour to talk and get ready for bed. Boy's dormitory is to the right, girls to the left" said Lee, who went off to sit on a large chair, with Claudette following him.

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Halcyone talked with Jasper for a little longer and compared schedules; they were in almost every class together except she was taking Care of Magical Creatures and he was taking Broom Training. When they finally said goodnight, Hal went up the stairs to the room and found her stuff on the bed. The only thing missing was her owl which she guessed was in the Owlery. She took her bag from under her robes then unpacked. After she was done unpacking, she wrote a letter to her aunt, uncle and brother telling them that she got there safely and hoped everything was alright. She would send the letter in the morning when she had time for lunch as well. Then she laid down in her pajamas and continued in her spellbook where she left off after setting an alarm clock her aunt had given her. She read late into the night until finally drifting off into an uneasy sleep.

 

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Eldon, Cedric, Hagrid talked for a little while before Eldon realized he still hadn't sent a letter to his mother to let her know he was safe. He quickly wrote a note with the usual "Safe at Hogwarts, didn't get blown up on the way here. I'll see you when I can. Love Eldon" and dashed out up to the Owlery, taking the shortcut he had found one night to avoid Sykes (the Caretaker) and sent Karactus on his way. The owl was happy enough to spread his wings after a cramped day on the train and bus. When he had seen Karactus off, Eldon dashed back to the dormitory and back up the stairs. It was starting to get late. Luckily, no one had seen him. He unpacked and crawled into bed. Tomorrow would be a big day. Cedric and Hagrid were already fast asleep as Eldon calmed his breathing and heart beat, slowly drifting off.

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Ignotus opened his eyes to a new day, and a new challenge, especially as Mr Slash had attached himself to his arm, locking his arm to the sheets with his claws. It took several attempts to remove him and the noise woke up a few other students, including Arsenius, who threw a pillow at him. His new school robes where still in his luggage, but he found it had ink spilled on it in the night (plus cat droppings, and it became obvious who had slept in the luggage).

"I can help with that, give it here" said the voice of a student already dressed and holding out his hand. He recognized him as Fabian, the vain boy he'd seen being sorted. He handed him the inky robe, and watched as Fabian poked it with his wand and muttered. the ink stain drained away, and the robe looked good as new, but when Ignotus tried to take it back, Fabian laughed and tried to walk away with it.

 

Shortly afterwards, now dressed and on his way to class, Ignotus saw Fabian scowling at him with bandages on his face and arms, from some very deep looking slashes from a certain frenzied feline who saw his master being bullied and saw fit to intervene. His first class was herbology, which was outside in the grounds. he followed his fellow Slytherins until they reached the greenhouses, where there was a teacher waiting for them, alongside the Gryffindor students who were to join them.

"Good morning first years! My name is Professor Beery, and today we will be working in greenhouse two. Please follow me in and take a seat. But not just any seat! My policy is inter-house cooperation, so the order will be one Slytherin, one Gryffindor, one Slytherin, one Gryffindor and so on. Go in then" he said. As Ignotus walked past him he noticed he smelled terrible, like compost.

 

***

 

Septimus was already up and waiting for his friends to wake up while he sat in the common room. His morning was potions with the Ravenclaws. and then Charms with the Slytherins. (OOC: That's where Halcyone will be too) He didn't know much about potions except that some of them cleaned clothes (His mothers doing) and the book he had was interesting but not enough to distract him from bugging those who'd just woken up, and first was Fleur, surrounded on both sides by Victoria and Verity. They were talking very seriously about the Muggles war or something, but stopped and went silent when they saw Sep.

"Morning girls. Got your potions books?" he asked them. As it turned out, none of the three had bothered to read the timetable and all had to go back up to retrieve the books, although they were gone for a suspiciously long time. After they left, Quintius and Archie came down, laughing about potions that did silly childish things (like flight via your lower regions) and then Archie playfully hit Quint on the head with his book and ran off laughing. They got told off by a prefect for being noisy after that and went off to the dungeons, and to potions class with the other students going the same way.

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Hal woke up several times during the night. As a result, she was rather cranky the next morning as she got up, dressed and dashed downstairs where Jasper was waiting for her. "Looks like we have Potions with the Hufflepuffs today. I'm not sure what sort of Professor this Slughorn character is, but I guess he was the one talking about bullying last night," said Jasper. Hal yawned and nodded in response, hoping she could stay awake in class today. She had her Potions stuff with her then she was in Care of Magical Creatures with the Gryffindors after that. Jasper would be going to Broom training. They had to split the first years up so after Jasper's lesson Hal would be going to train on the Brooms with the other half of the class. Jasper said he would meet her for lunch which was cool. Hal yawned as they traveled down into the dungeons for Potions. This class would be too easy for her. A couple of the girls made mean faces at Hal, but puppy eyes at Jasper and Hal rolled her eyes. Already they were going after Jasper just because he was cute. Typical girls, thought Hal. She had more important things to worry about than Jasper. She had classes. Ahead of her, she saw a few of the Hufflepuff first years from the feast as they continued their descent into the dungeons. Hal entered the classroom, setting up her cauldron and supplies neatly near the center of the desks, off to the right. She didn't want to sit in front. She knew she was smart, there was no reason to be a teacher's pet and sit in the front of the class. Jasper sat next to her, but didn't take out his things. "This is one class I won't be good at," he laughed. "I couldn't read through the book. All of the others I could manage, but Potions just seemed boring." He dropped his voice as the rotund teacher with the gingery-blonde mustache and straw-colored hair sidled into the room. Jasper reluctantly got out his things muttering something under his breath as Hal waited for the teacher to speak, covering a yawn.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Eldon got up in the morning feeling refreshed. He donned his robes. It was a new school year. Tomorrow would be the tryouts for the Gryffindor team. Cedric was excited, talking about it over breakfast, but was cut off by Karactus dropping a letter onto Eldon's head from his mother. "Dear Eldon, I'm glad you made it safe. They better be feeding you enough at that loony box or I will have some words with the Headmaster. Better find something useful to do with your time than learning magic tricks...." Eldon didn't finish reading. His mind was back on the magical food. Why couldn't they send any of it home? "Earth to Eldon," said Cedric, snapping his fingers. Eldon jerked slightly. "Wha-? Yea I can't wait for tryouts either," said Eldon. "I'll see you later." He got up and headed to Charms with the Slytherins. It seemed like most of his classes would be with them this year. Eldon sighed softly. That means more dealing with that arrogant Tom Riddle, he thought.

.

Hagrid sat down carefully next to a pale boy (OOC: Ignotus), hoping the seat wouldn't buckle under him and smiled at him. "So, yer a vampire?" he asked the boy, not having any tact at all, but did try to keep his voice down. His blue eyes under his bushy eyebrows looked at the boy curiously, but not rudely.

 

(OOC: Sorry it took so long, Faze. Writer's block has pretty much acquiesced so I should be able to respond more..)

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Surrounded by Gryffindors on both sides, Ignotus felt rather boxed in. He had a girl with large eyes on his left and a giant boy on his right. He looked around at the other students, (who were more interested in talking and playing musical chairs than listening) and relaxed a bit until the giant spoke to him.

"Only half. Don't worry, i won't bite. I'm Ignotus, nice to meet you" he said, but the hubbub in the classroom was beginning to subside now. They were learning about plants that grew on the edges of the water, and cried like little children in order to snare passers by. According to professor Beery they were quite harmless when uprooted, and the noises they made where muffled and confused, just like the thing itself. They were tasked to trim them and re-pot them, then describe the process in their workbooks. It was simple work, although the giant boy (who introduced himself as Hagrid, over the trimming) found the delicate trimming difficult with such big hands. Ignotus gave him some help and before long they were chuckling about monsters, a shared interest they quickly discovered.

 

On the other side of the room, Several students had an argument over missing clippers, and ten points were taken from Slytherin, and a further ten points from Gryfffindor when the other party refused to back down and threw some soil. The lesson was certainly interesting, but Ignotus got bored once he had finished his descriptions and began doodling in the margins of his workbook. The lesson came to an abrupt end after that, the books collected, and just before everyone was about to get up and leave, an explosion shook the whole room and blew out two of the windows.

 

**

 

Septimus, Quintius and Archie had been told off twice more for running in the corridors before they caught up with the others outside the dungeons. They had been horsing around on the way, and were the last to arrive, but as the teacher hadn't shown up yet nobody seemed to notice, except for Verity. She sighed and trotted over to them with a frown.

"What took you so long? You could have lost us points!" she spat, even though only Archie was paying attention (Sep and Quint were happily playing a game that involved slapping each others hands as hard as possible) Archie shrugged and didn't answer her in time, as the teacher appeared.

 

He was a heavy set man, with an impressive amount of facial hair but he seemed jolly enough. He unlocked the door, and everyone entered the room in single file and took seats. Being last, there weren't three seats together left, so Sep went to the front (He sat next to Jasper but didn't greet him yet), Quintius intentionally sat between two girls (Melania and Fleur, who made no secret of their disgust.)

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