Feast

"Nelson Emma."

I gulp, my feet suddenly jelly as I walk towards the hat, trying and failing miserably to ignore the thousands of eyes on me. Taking a seat on the stool, I place the musty hat on my head, thankfully hiding the stares.

'Another from the future then, hmm?' The hat asks as I settle on the seat. Not another instantaneous answer then, I think wryly.

'Yeah, suppose it looks that way, huh?' I reply.

'Two houses would suit you well,' I am then informed, 'Slytherin or Gryffindor.'

'Why those two? Why not the other two?' I immediately ask.

'You are not... Lets say docile enough for Hufflepuff and not nearly studious enough for Ravenclaw.'

'Fair enough,' I agree with a shrug.

'But you do have a curious mind, a very unique way of thinking,' He tells me slowly, thinking it through.

'In other words, clean and simple insanity,' I answer dryly, grinning.

'I think it's decided.'

"Gryffindor."

I take the hat of and glare at it, "that wasn't exactly a unanimous decision, was it?" I mutter before handing the hat back to McGonagall whom is trying to contain a smile. I walk over to the Gryffindors and stand behind Steph and Hermionie.

"Budge up." I tell Hermione who, looking affronted, does so.

"I assume you didn't find anyone to summon the toad for you?" I ask Hermione who shakes her head before turning back to the table.

"What did you say to the hat?" Steph asks in a whisper.

"That this was not an agreed decision." I tell her, a playful glare on my face. Steph smirks, trying to mantain a snort and Hermionie rolls her eyes before telling me to shush.

I glance up at the hat, Micheal Moon gets sorted into Ravenclaw and Theodore Nott is called up.

"Bet he makes-" I begin, but the hat interrupts me.

"Slytherin."

"That," I finish with a frown, Hermionie glares at me.

Pansy was called next, a smug smile in her face as she puts the hat on. The Patil twins are after, Padma in Ravenclaw and Parvati joining us, taking a seat next to Hermionie. Harry is after, the roar coming from our table is deafening as he walks over to us.

Peter Perks then makes Ravenclaw before Mary-Sally Anne became a Hufflepuff.

"Seaton Adam." I jerk at the name of my boyfriend, watching as the minuscule guy swaggers up to the stool.

"What's he doing here? He doesn't like Harry Potter! Not scientific enough for him," I blink, eyes not moving from the immature guy. Out of the side of my eye, I see Steph trying to cover a laugh with her hand.

"Don't you start!" I glare at her, "what am I supposed to do? Continue being his girlfriend!? We're 11 years old we can't kiss or anything! It's the nineteen hundreds now!"

"Ravenclaw." The hat decides.

"That'll make things slightly easier." I say slowly, tracking him as he walks over to sit next to the tall form of Gregor.

"Well, I didn't doubt that for a second." Steph tells me with a grin. "Look at Gregor!" She then snorts, her eyes on the Ravenclaw table. I glance over to see a furious Gregor, glaring daggers at the smaller, smirking form next to him.

"Uh, this isn't gonna end well," I mutter, suddenly fearing for the sanity of the other Ravenclaws.

Lisa Turpin, third last student goes to Ravenclaw.

Only two were left. Ron Weasley and Blaise Zagini. Once sorted, McGonagall takes the stool and the hat away and Dumbledore gets up. I stare at his pure white, super long beard in fascination.

"Welcome!" He says, a beaming smile just visible through the humongous beard. He had to have used magic to get it that big! "Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words-" I say the next words along with him, having watched the movies far to many times. "Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!" I then laugh as he sits down and grab some food from the banquet.

"Is he - a bit mad?" I hear Harry ask Percy. I grin and answer him.

"Nothing wrong with a bit of madness!" I then stuff a chip in my mouth before reaching for a Yorkshire pudding. Nicholas, sitting opposite me, next to Harry, sadly watches us.

"That does look good." He says, eying Harry's steak. I smile apologetically at him.

"Can't you-" Harry begins, a frown on his face.

"Harry!" I scold, "you can't just ask someone if there able to eat or not!"

"No, no, it's no bother." Nicholas answers sadly, " I haven't eaten for nearly four hundred years," he tells us, "I don't need to, of course, but one does miss it. I don't think I've introduced myself!" He then exclaims, looking slightly angry at himself. "Sir Nicholas de Mimsy- porting ton at your service. Resident ghost of Gryffindor Tower."

"I know who you are!" Ron suddenly buts in, from the other side of Harry.  "my brothers told me about you - your Nearly Headless Nick!"

I tune out of the conversation, knowing Sir Nick showing us his neck will make me spew. I turn to Steph instead who is sitting back, watching them, her eyes focused on Nick.

"Steph," I warn quietly.

"What?" He asks turning to look at me.

"I wouldn't look at Nick-" yet Stephs eyes had already traveled back to Nick and I see them widen before she pales dramatically. "He's gonna show his neck.," I finish pathetically as Steph turns away, a greenish tint on her face.

"That is the most revolting thing I have ever seen." She informs me as Nick replaces his head.

"So- new Gryffindors!" Nick continues as if nothing had happened, "I hope your going to help us win the house championship this year? Gryffindor have never gone so long without winning. Slytherin have got the cup six years in a row! The Bloody Barron's becoming almost unbearable- he's the Slytherin ghost."

I look over to the see a very unhappy Draco sitting between a large, blood stained ghost and one of his bodyguards.

Puddings appear right at that moment and immediately I grab a ton of strawberrys and a jam donught. I put a deliciously soft, juicy strawberry in my mouth, savoring the flavor and turn to Steph.

She has a full plate. Two apple pies, Ice cream - I take a guess it is vanilla flavored - a handful of strawberries and some jelly. Everyone starts to talk about families. Seamus goes first.

"I'm half and half, me dads a Muggle. Man didn't tell him she was a witch 'till after they were married. Bit of a nasty shock for him." We laugh and Ron turns to Steph and me.

"I'm half." Steph says, looking at me, "my mums a witch.

"I'm also half, my mum is a witch, Stephs mums sister." I add in with a smile.

"What about you, Neville?" Ron continues, turning to him.

"We'll, my gran brought me up and she's a witch, but the family thought I was all Muggle for ages. 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 - but nothing happened till I was eight. Great - Uncle Algie came round for tea and was hanging me out of the upstairs window by the ankles when my Great - auntie Enid offered him a meringue and he accidentally let go. But I bounced all the way down the garden and into the road. They were all really please. 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 bough me my toad."

"That's bloody child abuse!" I burst out as Neville finishes. He shrugs, looking down at the table sadly.

"It was just to make my magic come out." He defends his family.

"I don't give a crap!" I snap, glaring at him, Neville cowers, Ron stares at me wide eyed. Steph whispers to me to calm down. "I won't bloody calm down! That's child abuse and he has been brought up to think it was all okay! That's wrong" I rant. I notice Harry look down, avoiding my eyes as he eats a treacle tart.

"Emma, there is nothing you can do about it now. It's all in the past." Steph says quietly, putting a hand on my shoulder in an attempt to calm me down.

"Oh I think there is something I can do!" I Say, glaring at the head table.

"Not now though. Later." Steph pleads.

"Fine." I reply, breathing hard through my nose in anger.

"Good." She says, releasing her grip on my shoulder and turning back to the food. I eat in silence, fuming.

"Ouch!" Harry suddenly shoots out, I glance towards him, his hand is on his scar.

"What is it?" Percy asks.

"N-nothing." Harry tells him.

"If it happens again, tell someone." I tell him, narrow eyed.

"Okay." Harry says, but I can tell he's lying.

Pudding suddenly vanishes and I turn to the head table.

"Ahem - just a few more words now we are all fed and watered. I have a few start-of-term notices to give you.

"First years should note that the forest in the grounds is forbidden to all pupils. And a few of our older students would do well to remember that as well." Dumbledore glances over at the Weasely twins.
"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.

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

"And finally, I must tell you that this year, the third-floor corridor on the right-hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a very painful death."

Harry laughs but I remain grim. I know that if I do befriend Harry, I will have to face the dog and, no matter how much I love dogs, I somehow don't find myself looking forward to that particular meeting.

"And now, before we go to bed, let us sing the school song!" Cried Dumbledore giving  his wand a flick and a long, golden ribbon shot out, twisting itself into words.

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

I chose a happy, bouncy tune as I sung along.

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,
Being back what we forgot,
Just do your best, well do the rest,
And learn until our brains all rot.

The last to finish we're the Weasley twins, sounding sad and morose as they sang, the polar opposite of how I sung it.

"Ah, music," Dumbledore says after the clapping had stopped, "A magic beyond all we do here! And now, bedtime. Off you trot!"

The End

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