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A New Start For The Worst Witch by PendleWizard

Format: Novella
Chapters: 3
Word Count: 5,149
Status: WIP

Rating: 12+
Warnings: No Warnings

Genres: Crossover, Fluff, Humor
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, McGonagall, Hagrid, Snape, Draco, Ginny, OC

First Published: 05/28/2017
Last Chapter: 06/11/2017
Last Updated: 06/11/2017

When Britain's second most famous school of witchcraft closes, Mildred Hubble, her friends, enemies and even a couple of the teachers find themselves transferred to Hogwarts. How will they adapt to a very different school? How will Hogwarts cope with them? And will Mildred still be the worst witch in the school?

This is a crossover with the Worst Witch Books, written by Jill Murphy, but the story should be enjoyable even if you don't know that series.

This story is based on an idea of my daughter and is written by both of us.

Chapter 1: Prologue: Twenty-two years later
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They were in Madam Malkin's, buying James his first school robes. It was crowded with other families doing the same thing and even famous Harry Potter was struggling to attract an assistant's attention. On the other side of the shop, Ginny could see another family in the same predicament. The mother was tall and willowy, her long brown plait showing the first sparse strands of grey. She was dancing impatiently from one foot to another.

“Harry, isn't that Mildred Hubble?” asked Ginny.

Shh!” Harry hid behind a rail of boys' dress robes.


Ginny! No!”

“Too late! She's coming over!”

I'm going to kill you later, Ginevra Potter!”

The witch strode over to them. She had a daughter with her who was perhaps a head taller than James: “Harry! Ginny! Hi! What a blast from the past! And this is your family? I've read all about you of course. Don't worry - I'm not stalking you!” she laughed, “But you're still all over the papers after all these years. James, isn't it? You must be getting your first robes. And this is Albus? Haven't you a daughter as well?”

“Lily. I think she's got bored and is hiding from us somewhere,” said Harry, wishing he was doing the same. “And this must be your daughter?” he added, looking at the tall girl who so resembled her mother and was standing embarrassedly next to her.

“Yes, Amanda. She started Hogwarts last year, but she's already outgrown her robes. They shoot up so quickly at this age, don't they? She's in Ravenclaw, but we don't hold it against her! Oh! I think Madam Malkin's free at last. EXCUSE ME!” And she dashed back across the shop.

“Who was that, Dad?” asked Albus.

“She and a load of other girls joined Hogwarts in my third year when their school closed down.”

She was dad's first girlfriend!” grinned Ginny.

“She wasn't!” Harry looked earnestly at his wife. “Ginny, she really, really wasn't. We were only thirteen! She and her friends used to hang around with Auntie Hermione, Uncle Ron and me, a bit. That's all”

“She seemed nice,” said Albus.

“She was nice!” said Ginny.

“She boggarting nearly got me expelled several times”

“Was she a Slytherin, then?” asked James.

“No! She was Gryffindor, like us. She's about as un-Slytherin as you can get. She'd have probably given us less trouble if she had been!” answered Harry.

“Oh come on! Don't be an old misery-guts.” Ginny put her arms around his waist and fluttered her eyelashes.

“You've changed your tune! I don't remember you being this keen on her when you were twelve.”

“I was very, very jealous. I'd been unsuccessfully trying to get your attention for two years and then she crashes into our lives – literally – and you're all over her!

“Don't exaggerate! Now who's being an old misery-guts? Anyway, who did I marry?”

ME!” she almost sang, kissing him. “I still don't believe how lucky I am!”

“Neither do I!” he replied, kissing her back.

“Yeuch!” said James.

Author's Note

Mildred Hubble is from the Worst Witch Books by Jill Murphy, currently published by Puffin Books.


Chapter 2: Staff Meeting: 31st August 1993
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The Hogwarts staff were gathered in the staffroom for their pre-term meeting. It was one of the few occasions in the year when all of them were in the same place at the same time, so the room was rather crowded and all the chairs were occupied, even the hard wooden one with the wobbly leg. As Sybil Trelawney was always the last to arrive, it was traditional that she sat on this one.

“Now we're all here, let's make a start,” said Professor McGonagall, shuffling her parchment together.

“What about Lupin?” enquired Snape. “Surely, all staff are required to attend this meeting?”

“Remus was indisposed yesterday,” said Dumbledore, pleasantly. “He will be coming on the Express with the children tomorrow.”

“I struggle to see how someone can be an effective teacher if they are going to be..erm... indisposed every twenty eight days.”

Severus!” said Dumbledore sternly. “You made your views of Remus abundantly clear when the appointment was confirmed. The governors are satisfied that he will make an excellent teacher of Defence Against the Dark Arts and that his, erm, affliction will not hinder him excessively. You have agreed to make the Wolfsbane Potion have you not?”

“Yes, Headmaster.”

“Well then.”

“If we could get on?” said Minerva in her clipped Edinburgh tones, “We have a lot to get through.”

“Before we start, Minerva, I am afraid I have a matter of some import to discuss, which will somewhat impact everything you have to say.”

McGonagall sighed: “Albus, term starts tomorrow. Everything is organised! I hope you are not going to affect my plans?”

“Alas, Minerva, I fear I shall, although I am merely the messenger. I have received a letter from our dear friends at the Wizardry Academic National Directorate.”

“We had a WAND inspection relatively recently,” said Severus, “And they were happy, or at least as happy as WAND ever are.”

“Yes indeed, Severus,we got top marks. It would appear however, that this is a double-edged sword. They have recently inspected another school called ...” He waved his wand and a roll of parchment appeared, which he inspected, “...Cackle's Academy. They have been given a Starred A Rating.”

“What does that mean?” Squeaked Professor Flitwick.

“A is for Abysmal,” said McGonagall.”

“And the star?”

“Denotes a word that is not normally employed in polite staff rooms,” interjected Snape.

Dumbledore's eyes twinkled: “The staff room must be a far more civilised place than it was in my day, Severus. The language could be decidedly fruity, especially when you and Remus were students! Fillius, shall we just say that the word translates, more or less, as very? It would appear that when a school receives an A rating, they are given a certain period of time to produce a plan saying how they will improve the school. It seems they have been unable to do so.”

“Fascinating though this is, Headmaster,” interjected Snape, “I fail to see how it affects us.”

“When a school is unable to improve, WAND asks them to merge with a more successful one.”

“No!” Exclaimed Minerva. “Not with us, surely?”

Dumbledore nodded.

“Surely we have some say in this, Headmaster?” asked Snape. “Can't the governors say no?”

“Of course they could, but do we really want to get on the wrong side of WAND? Or Cornelius Fudge, for that matter? You of all people should know we need to play the game, Severus. We can absorb this school comparatively easily and gain some credit with both WAND and the Ministry. There are enough times we have to fight them without making more.”

“But the school is full, Albus!” protested Minerva.

Full is an interesting concept, Minerva. I think the school has been 'full' for the whole of its existence. We have simply added or removed rooms as required.”

“But there is a finite number of classes we can all teach, Albus. Or are you suggesting we should all be issued with time-turners?”

“Fortunately, Minerva a number of the staff are transferring to us, so that won't be a problem. These include...” he examined his parchment again, “...Miss Bat, the Chanting Mistress - “

“We don't teach Chanting.”

“- And I've always thought it a great shame. Music is a greater magic than any other. She will be a great asset, I am sure. Then there is Miss Hardbroom, who teaches Potions and is also Deputy Headmistress.”

“You may not have noticed, Headmaster, but we already have a Potions Master. Or do you feel my work is substandard?” snarled Snape.

“Of course not, Severus, but you are spread very thinly, are you not? You frequently have two Houses to a class. I am sure splitting those groups would be advantageous to everyone concerned, including you.”

“Might I suggest, Headmaster, that this Miss Hardbroom take over Potions and I teach DADA?”

Severus!” said Dumbledore severely, “We have been over this. Remus Lupin is DADA Master and I will entertain no further discussion on the matter.”

“Whatever the situation in Potions, we certainly don't need a second Deputy Head. Or do you feel I am getting too old, Albus?” Minerva McGonagall looked meaningfully at the man who had been her own Transfiguration Master when she was a student, her Edinburgh tones becoming more pronounced as she got more irate.

The headmaster smiled indulgently at his protégé: “I have every faith in you Minerva, as I do in all my staff. I think, however, that during this transition year, the Cackle girls may benefit from having pastoral support from a familiar face. After that, well we are always fine-tuning the staff team. We will have to see if we feel having two deputies is an advantage. Many schools do.”

Girls?” Hissed Snape. “Are you saying this is an all girls' school, Headmaster?”

“Yes, Severus. We do have girls, you know. I am sure we will be able to cope.”

“But will they, Headmaster? Our common rooms are very robust places.”

“And what do you imagine the common rooms at Cackle's are like, Severus?” asked Pomona Sprout. “All-girls' schools can be brutal.”

All eyes were suddenly drawn to the fireplace, where emerald green flames had erupted.

“Ah! This may be Miss Hardbroom now!” said Dumbledore. “I am expecting her.”

A tall, thin witch stepped out of the flames. She could easily have been taken as Minerva's sister. They were of similar age, the newcomer perhaps being slightly younger, and both wore their hair in a bun and a severe expression on their faces. The difference was apparent when she spoke however, for she had the refined Southern English accent that is known as RP.

She quickly took in the scene around her, then bowed low to Dumbledore:

“Your Excellency,” she said and then bowed to Snape and Flitwick, “Your Honours.” She turned to the witches: “Sisters.”

Sprout and McGonagall exchanged horrified looks.

“Ah,” said the Headmaster. “I see that Cackles has a rather, erm, traditional approach to witches' equality. We are all equals here, my dear. Witch or wizard, muggle-born or pure-blood.”

You'll be telling us your girls don't use wands next!” hissed Minerva.

There was an awkward silence.

“Ah!” said Dumbledore.

“No wonder your magic is inferior to wizards' if you don't even use a wand!” exclaimed the Hogwarts' Deputy Head.

“Minerva, as ever you are putting too much emphasis on stick waving,” interjected Snape. “Magic comes from the mind.”

“You seem awfully wedded to your own 'stick', Severus. Are you saying you could do just as well without it?” retorted Minerva.

“Of course not, because I do not come from that tradition. But if Professor Hardbroom's girls have been taught wandless magic from the start, I am sure they will be proficient.”

“Is that why she didn't treat you as an equal, Severus?”

ENOUGH!” roared Dumbledore. “This is a staffroom, not the playground. We will treat our new colleague with respect! We may all come from very different traditions, but I am sure we can meld the two schools into one successful entity. Now, down to practicalities. Firstly may I introduce my colleagues? Minerva McGonagall – Deputy Headmistress and Transfiguration.”

Minerva smiled, somewhat fixedly.

“Severus Snape – Potions.”

Snape gave his formal bow.

“Filius Flitwick – Charms.”

“Delighted!” squeaked Flitwick.

“Pomona Sprout – Herbology.

“Shan't shake your hand – mine's covered in dragon dung!”

“These are our four Heads of House and will take good care of your girls, I am sure. And you are?”

“Constance Hardbroom.”

“We're delighted to have you on board, Constance. Now: Will your girls be coming on the train tomorrow?”

“I have suggested that the First years do, but as it is short notice, we are sticking to normal arrangements for the other years. It is traditional that they arrive at school by broom, so I shall meet them at Cackle's and then come on here.”

“So they will have to fly all the way to your school and then onto here?” queried Minerva. “That seems a lot of flying.”

“They are very proficient fliers, er...Minerva, or most of them are. And our school is not that far from here. I think it will do them good to arrive together.”

“Excellent!” Beamed Dumbledore. “We look forward to welcoming them all to Hogwarts tomorrow! Now, Minerva, I have trespassed on your meeting enough. Back to you!”


Author's Note

Miss Hardbroom is from the Worst Witch books by Jill Murphy, currently published by Puffin Books.


Chapter 3: Cheerio Cackles, Hello Hogwarts
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Not far from Hogwarts, on top of a mountain, surrounded by pine forests, stood the castle which was the home of Miss Cackle's Academy. It being the 1st of September, young witches were arriving for the start of term as they always did, swooping over the walls on their brooms, trunks suspended underneath, black cats sat proudly on the back. The normal winter uniform was a black gymslip, grey shirt, black and grey tie, black stockings and black hobnailed boots. Today, however, they had been asked to wear their best uniform of black robes and a black pointed hat, which of course was indistinguishable from the normal uniform at Hogwarts.

One such witch was Mildred Hubble. She was tall and thin, with two plaits of brown hair that stretched down her back. Mildred was not known for her flying. Indeed, she was known as the worst witch in the school. Things always seemed to happen to Mildred and, if there was any blame to be apportioned, it always seemed to fall on her. Flying had never been her best skill and she had had rather too many dramatic entrances to school. Over the summer, however, she had taken her Broom Proficiency Test and she made a textbook landing into the courtyard, sighing that, as ever, when she did something right, there was no-one around to witness.

Whilst Mildred's flying had improved immeasurably, the same could not be said of her cat, Tabby. Witches at Cackle's were given a black kitten in their first term and taught it to fly on the back of their brooms. The had run out when they got to Mildred, however and she was given a tabby instead. He had never taken to flying. He had got used to it, after a fashion, but enjoy it, he certainly did not. At the present moment, he was spread-eagled along the back of the broom, gripping tightly, his eyes closed.

She looked up at the castle. It looked forbidding at the best of times, with no glass at the windows. Now it looked even more forlorn and unloved, with a large for sale sign attached to the outer wall. She took a rather crumpled piece of parchment out of her pocket. It was the letter that her mum had received yesterday, explaining about the move to Hogwarts. She looked up to see her best friend, Maud Spellbody, coming over the wall. Maud was as different to Mildred as can be: short and dumpy with glasses and her blonde hair in bunches.

“Hi Mil,” said her best friend. “This is a bit of a turn-up for the books isn't it? I think I'm going to miss the old place!”

“I think it will be fun,” countered Mildred. “It can't be worse than here, can it?”

“Of course it can!” said a third girl wandering over. This was Ethel Hallow. She had blonde hair, a snub nose and a very superior manner. She was something of a goody-two-shoes, or at least gave the impression of being one, which had made her very popular with the staff. She, however had quite a mean streak and she and Mildred had been at loggerheads since the first year. Indeed it was often her actions that got Mildred into trouble, although she was seldom found out.

“How can it be worse?” questioned Maud.

“You do know they have boys!” She said the last word like she might say slugs or bubonic plague.

“It might be fun!” said Mildred. “I mean, it's a bit stifling here sometimes, with so few of us.”

“Do you really want to be subsumed into a huge other school and lose all our traditions.”

“It says it's a merger,” said Mildred. “Mum says that's when two things come together and put their best bits into the whole.”

“Do you realise just how big Hogwarts is, Mildred? It will be like when a mouse merges with a cat.”

They all looked down at Ethel's cat, Nightstar. He was in the midst of eating a mouse, just its tail sticking out of his mouth. With one swift swallow, it was gone. Mildred gulped.

A fourth witch joined them, Mildred and Maud's other friend, Enid Nightshade. She was tall and athletic, with her blonde hair in a plait.

“Hi Mil, Hi Maud. What's up with you, Grumpy-guts?” she asked Ethel.

“She's not keen on going to Hogwarts,” said Mildred.

“I bet you're worried you'll no longer the best in the school,” said Enid.

“You don't need to worry, Mildred,” sneered Ethel. “I'm sure you'll still be the worst witch.

“I wonder which teachers are coming with us?” queried Maud.

“As long as it isn't HB!” said Mildred. HB was their name for Miss Hardbroom.

“Sorry to disappoint you, girls” said a voice and their stern Deputy Head materialised in front of them. She continued in a louder voice:

“Girls! Please line up behind your form mistress with your brooms. We will fly together to Hogwarts. Third form behind me, please! Ethel at the front, Mildred at the rear”

“Miss Harbroom?” asked Mildred, tenatively. “Where's the new first form?”

“They have gone directly to Hogwarts, Mildred, on the school train.” She said the last word in much same tone as Ethel had used for Boys.

“Mount your brooms, girls! Miss Bat, please lead the Second Form off first. Third forms, follow me!”

They were off.

“Bye Cackle's” waved Mildred.

“Crikey!” we're in for it now!” said Maud.


At last the castle came into sight. There were excited cries from the girls:

“It's huge!”

“It's even got a lake!”

“At least there's glass in the windows!”

“Help! They're all waiting for us outside. There's hundreds of them!”

“For goodness' sake, Mildred! Don't show us up in front of them!”

This last comment was from Ethel. Mildred hardly heard it. Neither did she take more than a cursory glance at the school. She was desperately trying to stay in control of her broom. Tabby was thoroughly fed up. He had had a double dose of flying. He was cold, wet and terrified and dug his sharp claws into Mildred's back. The Hogwarts children were staring up at them now. Mildred chanced a look down. She could see a whole family of red-headed boys – no, there was one girl – along with a girl with bushy brown hair and a boy with unruly black hair.

They made an impressive sight, as Miss Hardbroom had intended they would. This was their valedictory parade: tomorrow they would be subsumed into Hogwarts and Cackle's would be quickly forgotten, but tonight Hogwarts would see what Cackle's could do – Mildred Hubble or no Mildred Hubble. Each form, all dressed in their best robes and hats; pigtails and plaits flying out behind them, made an orderly line behind their form mistress, their cats sat as erect as they were. Of course, the one pixie in the fairy ring was Mildred, bobbing about trying to cope with the un-black and un-erect Tabby. Mildred half wished she could drop out of line so she could see what they looked like.

They were close enough to hear what the Hogwartians were saying now:

“Look at the cats!” said the bushy haired girl. “Oh, that poor tabby – he looks petrified!”

“Heck! They can fly!” said the boy with the black hair.

“The one with the tabby can't!” exclaimed the smallest of the ginger-headed boys.

“They're doing side-saddle. Perlease!” His sister didn't seem impressed.

“Draco – is that your sister?” asked a black boy, pointing at Ethel. The boy he was talking to did look remarkably like her.

They were coming into land at last. The first few girls landed elegantly and stood in a neat line next to their brooms, waiting for instructions from Miss Hardbroom. Tabby, however, had reached the end of his tether. As usual, he had his eyes tight shut and didn't realise they were landing. He just felt the motion of the broom changing and he didn't like it. With a pitiful yowl, he dug his claws even further into Mildred. She yelped at the pain, spiralled out of control, ricocheted into Enid and (with her eyes shut) finally stopped by bumping into something soft. She opened her eyes and found she was staring straight into the face of the boy she'd seen from the air. Up close, she could see that he was a bit on the scrawny side, with emerald green eyes that were framed by a pair of round, steel-rimmed glasses.

“Are you alright?” he asked, hauling Mildred to her feet.

“Fine. I've had much worse landings,” she said blithely. “Hello - I'm Mildred Hubble. ”

The bushy-haired girl was more interested in Tabby, who had adopted his habitual perch around Mildred's shoulders.

“Your poor cat! He looks terrified! What's his name?”


“Poor Tabby. You're safe now,” she clucked, giving him a furfle.

“Mildred Hubble! Get back into line!” barked Miss Hardbroom.

“Merlin's Pants! Who's the McGonagall lookalike? She looks a bundle of laughs” said one of the twins.

“Do you think they're twins? I've never met any before!” laughed the other one.

Mildred went to stand next to Maud, trying to ignore the furious looks from Ethel. A wizard in midnight blue robes, with a long silver beard and half-moon glasses was coming forward.

“Welcome! Welcome! I am Albus Dumbledore – Headmaster of Hogwarts. I trust you have had a pleasant flight, Professor Hardbroom?”

“Yes, thank you, Headmaster,” she relied, somewhat curtly.

“There is an excellent feast awaiting us, but first you need to be sorted into your new houses. Please follow our Deputy Headmistress, Professor McGonagall.” He pointed to the severe looking woman with a tight bun.

“Does HB have a sister?” mused Mildred.

They filed into the Great Hall. They were lead up to the front and stood next to a four-legged stool on top of which was an ancient and tattered hat.

“At Hogwarts, we have four houses called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin,” said Professor McGonagall. “When I call your name, step forward and put the Sorting Hat on your head. The hat will tell you which house you are in. The first years have already been sorted before you arrived, so we will start with the second years.”

How can a hat tell you which house you're in?” whispered Mildred.

“I'm not putting that disgusting thing on my head!” stated Ethel, earning herself a withering look from McGonagall.

She's worse than HB!” whispered Enid, earning herself a McGonagall Look.

Mildred watched as the second years were sorted. Which house do I want to be in? she wondered. Certainly not Slytherin – they looked rather mean and included the blond boy who so resembled Ethel. Ethel's sister Sybil was sorted into there. The Ravenclaws looked rather serious. The Hufflepuffs seemed very friendly but the most noise and enthusiasm was coming from the Gryffindors. She noticed that the ginger tribe and their friends were all in that house.

At last it was the third years' turn. She watched the first couple of girls go up then McGonagall called:

“Hallow, Ethel.”

Ethel strode arrogantly up to the stool, shuddered fastidiously and put the hat on her head.

“Slytherin!” it shouted, before it had barely touched her head. She went and sat next to the blond boy, who she seemed to know.

“Hubble, Mildred.”

She walked up to the stool, sat down and put the hat on.

Hmmm,” said a voice in her ear,” You're an interesting one and no mistake. Certainly not a Ravenclaw, nor yet Slytherin I should think. But which of the other two? You're brave, chivalrous and fair, like the best Griffindors, yet you're kind, friendly and hardworking too. Hufflepuff or Gryffindor?

The hall was silent, waiting for her to be sorted.

The hat still did not make an announcement.

How long would she have to wait? What if it didn't sort her at all?

Hufflepuff or Gryffindor?” Repeated the hat. “You've done a lot, I see. Saved the school from attack several times; rescued your least favourite teacher. Better be GRYFFINDOR!” The last word was said out loud and elicited a cheer from her new house.

She walked across the room and sat down next to the bushy girl.

“Hi. I'm Hermione,” she said, “And this is Ron and Harry.” She gave her a significant look, which Mildred completely missed. “We're all third years like you. And this is Ron's sister Ginny – she's a second year – and Fred and George, who are fifth years. Percy, who is down the far end is a seventh year and is Head Boy.”

Don't we know it!” muttered Ron.

At this moment, there was a loud cheer indicating that another Gryffindor had been sorted. Mildred looked up to see Enid coming towards her. They waved at each other and Enid sat next to her. She introduced her to her new friends:

“Enid, this is Hilary -”

“Hermione,” corrected that girl.

“- And Ron and Jenny -”

Ginny!” sighed Hermione. Ginny glared at Mildred.

“- And Barry.”


Enid's eyes moved to Harry's forehead.

“Yes – that Harry!” confirmed Hermione

Enid looked exasperatedly at her best friend.

Maud had now been sorted and was coming towards them.

“Thank goodness we're all in the same house” said Mildred.

“Well the hat asked me. Did it you Enid?” asked Maud.

“It said it could see we were all friends, so it would put us together,” said Enid. “Oh, Maud, I'd better introduce you – this is Ron, Hermione and Harry who are in our year.”

Maud's eyes raked Harry's forehead and George winked at her in confirmation.

The sorting was finished and Professor McGonagall was taking the hat and stool away.

Dumbledore stood up, beaming at them:

“I have many things I need to say to you tonight, but the most important is this: Tuck in!”

Mildred looked for the food trolley, but saw that the table was now full of steaming tureens. They all helped themselves and began to eat enthusiastically.

“It's actually hot!” exclaimed Mildred.

“It's edible!” said Enid.

“More than that – it's nice!”

“Of course it is!” said Ron in surprise. “Why wouldn't it be?”

“The food at Cackle's was horrible!” said Mildred, through a mouthful of steak and kidney pudding. “The kitchens were so far from the dining room that the food was always cold when it got to us.”

“So are the kitchens here,” said George, but they use magic to keep it warm. I mean, this was a school for witches, wasn't it?”

“Yes, but HB – Miss Hardbroom – didn't believe in frivolities like decent food or glass in the windows.”

“Merlin's pants!” said Ron. “No wonder it closed!”

“What's with the flying cats?” asked Ginny. “It must make it hard to play quidditch.”

“We don't play Quidditch.” said Maud. “It's school tradition. We were all given a black kitten at the end of our first term. They learn to fly at the same time as we do, so they take to it fairly easily.”

“Why's your cat a tabby, Mildred?” asked Hermione. “He doesn't seem to like flying at all.”

“They ran out of black cats when they got to me. I've always thought it was HB's doing.”

“Yet more cats!” grumbled Ron. “It's bad enough with Crookshanks around!”

“Crookshanks is my cat,” explained Hermione. “He's worried about his pet rat, Scabbers.”

“Oh you don't need to worry about Tabby!” said Mildred. “He's frightened of mice, never mind rats!”


Dinner was over and the three Cackles were being led by their new friends up to the Gryffindor Tower.

“Watch this step – it's a trick one!” said Harry.

They had arrived at a portrait of a fat lady and were all stood there expectantly.

“What's the problem?” asked Mildred.

“This is the entrance to the common room. We just need the password,” said Harry.

“Let me through!” barked Percy. “The password is Fortuna Major.”

“At least Ethel won't be able to get in here and do anything!” Mildred said to her friends.

They had stepped into a circular common room with a roaring fire and lots of squishy armchairs and sofas.

“This just gets better and better!” said Maud. ““Where are our rooms?”

“We have dormitories,” said Hermione. “I'll take you up if you like. I hope there's enough room for you though – there were just the three of us last year.”

“It's alright, Hermione,” said a pretty girl, with a long black plait who had just come down a spiral staircase with another girl. “The room has expanded. It's just right for six, now.”

Hermione introduced them to Parvati Patel and Lavender Brown, then led them upstairs. “I'll leave you to settle in - I just want a quick word with Parvati.”

She went back downstairs.

“Look at this!” said Mildred. “Four Posters! This is so much better than Cackle's. I''m going to miss my bats, though.”

“It'll be a laugh sharing a dorm,” said Enid. “I wonder what Parvati and Lavender are like – we haven't met them properly yet.”

I'm not sure about Ron and Ginny,” mused Mildred, “But Hermione and Barry seem OK, don't they?”

Maud gave her friend an Old-fashioned Look worthy of HB herself:

Barry?! Mil, don't you realise who that is?” she gasped incredulously.

“No! Why should I?” Mildred questioned. “For goodness' sake, Maud, we've only just arrived here. You can't expect me to remember everyone's names straight away!”

“Well, not everyone's names, no, but to tell you the truth I'm surprised you don't know that boy's name,” joined in Enid. “He's about the most famous person in the entire wizarding world.” She turned to her now very confused friend. “That, my dear Mildred, was Harry Potter himself!”

Author's Notes

Thanks to my daughter, Chattox, for considerable help with this chapter.


Description of Cackle's Academy and the Worst Witch characters draws on Chapter 1 of The Worst Witch, by Jill Murphy, currently published by Puffin. Enid first appears in The Worst Witch Strikes again, also by Jill Murphy, currently published by Puffin.


Other details of the arrival at Cackle's are taken from Chapter 1 of The Worst Witch Saves the Day, by Jill Murphy, published by Puffin.


Hogwarts details from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling, published by Bloomsbury.


I have drawn on the written versions of both series, and not the films/TV adaptations.