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Chapter 5 A Sorted Affair “I’ll meet you guys at the carraiges. I have to see the first-years off to Hagrid.” Remus straightened his Prefect badge and walked from the compartment. The others soon followed, weaving around excited students as they made their way out of the train and onto the chilly platform. James, Sirius, and Peter led the girls over to the line of black, horseless carriages awaiting the oncoming students. From across the bustling crowd of students, the girls caught Malfoy’s eye. He stopped and gaped. “Who let you two onto the train?” he called over the heads of the other kids. “Well I seem to recall someone trying to stop us but then I think he may have wet himself!” Ande called back with a mischievous smile. Before Lucius could put together what she meant, they vanished amongst the crowd. They were about to get in when James glanced over and nearly choked. Remus was talking casually to Lily Evans and she was smiling! With a small wave good-bye, she tossed her red hair behind her and was quickly absorbed by a group of her own friends. Remus saw James’ face in the window and leapt into the carriage just as it began to make its way down the road. He squeezed in next to Ande and Claire. But when he met the cold eyes of James, he shrugged in confusion. “What was that?!” James shouted furiously. “What? Oh, you mean Lily? She was just telling me about a Prefect meeting next week,” replied Remus, “She always keeps me updated.” “Lily Evans?” said Ande, “Yeah, we met her on the train. She’s really nice.” “And she’s helped me with my Divination homework last year,” added Peter. James sat there, thunderstruck. “So everyone’s on speaking terms with Evans except me? What is this world coming to?” Sirius patted his depressed friend on the shoulder. “Don’t fret, I think she still hates me, although she did smile at me when she passed me the mustard at dinner last year...” “Ugh!” cried James. Just as they were going to leave, Sirius realized that the carraige was only fit for four. “Er, there isn’t really enough room for all of us,” he said. The girls’ faces dropped. They understood that James wanted ot sit with his friends after having not seen them all summer. Without him, they felt suddenly alone. It was their first day of school and they were now faced with being separated from the only people they knew. James saw their anxious expressions. “We can split up if you want,” he offered. “No, we’re supposed to meet new people,” Claire replied. “After all, we can’t stay with you guys all of the time.” Just then, Lily showed up. She was clearly avoiding looking at James, but smiled at Remus. She held out her hand, “Here, you dropped your wand,” she said casually. Remus blushed red as she began to walked away. Before she could get far, Ande called after her. “Hey, wait up! Could we ride with you? We were going to ride with James but his carraige is full.” “I’d love it if you would join me and you wouldn’t want to get stuck with James anyway,” Lily said. James gaped as the girls walked away laughing. The other boys entered their carriage while he continued to stare after Lily. Finally, right before they left, Sirius grabbed him by the arm. “Come on, mate. She’s gone.” The bumpy ride up to the castle came to a halt and all of the students were forced into the icy air once more. Claire and Ande met up with their cousin once more let out a gasp when they looked up and got their first glance at their new school. The towers loomed ominously in the gloom, but every window was aglow with light. The girls would have probably stayed a little longer to gawk at the castle, but one look at the shivering boys and their chattering teeth told them that they should move along. Their choice did not disappoint them, however, because their eyes only got wider once they stepped over the threshold. Torches flickered on the walls and illuminated the high ceiling and stone columns and floors. Thick carpets lined the entryway and lush tapestries decorated the walls. The warmth from the castle removed the outdoor chill and allowed the students to remove their cloaks and scarves. James turned around to lead his cousins into the Great Hall and was met with a nasty shock. They were no longer behind him and other students were giving them angry glares for blocking the doorway. “Where did they go?” he asked his friends. “Who?” Remus asked. “My cousins, they have disappeared again,” James answered. “I wonder if I can hand in my Prefect badge,” Remus mused jokingly. “With you and Sirius as well as those two I’m going to have my hands full.” “Are you implying that we are trouble-makers?” Sirius asked, sounding falsely offended. “We were so innocent until you lured us to evil, Moony. I bet you’re all ready planning to lead us into another dubious situation at the coming of the next full moon,” said James, acting scandalized. “Maybe they went in the Great Hall all ready,” said Sirius, refering back to the girls, “But let’s move along too. I’m starving!” . Succumbing to the flow of traffic, the four friends were ushered into the hall and made their way over to the Gryffindor table. Likewise, the other students found their house tables and sat quickly, anxious for the feast. Sirius spotted Lucius and Bellatrix and nudged his friends. Lucius was following her slowly, sporting a red hand mark across his face. They enjoyed a hearty laugh. When all four houses had settled, the tradition continued with the arrival of the new first-years. As always, the tiny wizards and witches were huddled together like a herd of sheep, looking about them nervously as they were lead to the front of the room. The Transfiguration teacher, Professor McGonagall, left and returned with a wooden stool and the Sorting Hat, wrinkled and patched. She placed the ragged hat on the stool and then stepped back. The hat cleared its imaginary throat, and much to the surprise of the first years, it burst into a new song: “Gryffindor was great- there was no braver man. Ravenclaw was ready-witted- she always had a plan. Slytherin was sly- and had a passion for power. Hufflepuff was happy- you’d never find her sour. Now I am here, in their place so I can help you into yours. We’ll gather you together From the mountains to the moors. This year you will be tested to reveal your true heart, to stand strong together or slowly break apart. So place me there upon your head I’ll tell you where you belong. I’ll place you in the proper house for I am never wrong!” At the conclusion of the song, Professor McGonagall stepped forward. “When I call your name, you will put on the hat to be sorted into your appropriate house,” she said. Unrolling a large piece of parchment, she called out the first name on her list. “Adams, Robert!” A short boy with brown hair left the line of first-years and put the hat on. He sat for a moment, waiting for the Sorting Hat’s judgment. Then it called out, “RAVENCLAW!” He took the hat off and sat down at his new house’s table, where they were welcoming him politely. McGonagall called for the next first-year, “Durand, Joseph!” This curly, blond-haired boy became a new Gryffindor and James clapped along with the rest of his house. After he had been seated, the next student was called up. “Gaskin, Malinda!” She was a snobby-looking gril who strutted forward. She put on the Sorting Hat and a second later- “SLYTHERIN!” The sorting continued on and Vandermolen, Vela and Wagner, each went to different houses. The last two students, “Wanjiku, Mary” and “Younkin, Dale” were put in Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw respectively. With the sorting seemingly over, everyone looked eagerly to their plates, expecting the see food. When nothing appeared, they looked up to the teachers for an explanation. It was apparent that they were waiting for someone because the Sorting Hat was still out and Professor McGonogall was still standing. She had been handed a new parchment which she promptly unrolled. Before she could speak, the Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, rose and beamed at the students before him. He was wearing heavy robes of a startling blue with gold trim and, as ever, they were shimmering in the dim light and he appeared to be far younger than the old man that he was. James, along with nearly everyone else in the hall, idolized Dumbledore and hung on his every word. “Welcome! Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! I imagine that everyone here had a wonderful summer and are anxious to hit the books once again. Okay, so maybe everyone is a little more anxious for our opening feast.” A great cheer rose among the students but they were silenced again with a raise of his hand. “Very well, our excellent feast will begin momentarily. However, there are a few announcements that must be addressed.” Some of the students groaned and put down their utensils. “I can see you are all wondering why the Sorting Hat has not been put away yet. This year, Hogwarts will be host to two exchange students from America, Filiae Nocti Academy for Witches. As they are in need of a house to support, they too will be sorted even though they are sixth years and will only be with us for the year. I am sure everyone will treat our new students with respect and make them feel as if they never left home. Please join me in welcoming our new American sixth years. Miss Moon and Miss Moon, will you please show yourselves so that you may be sorted.” Polite clapping rose among the school body as anticipation ran high for a glimpse of the newcomers. A loud gasped halted the clapping as an enormous horse and dainty blonde fox materialized before the staff table, two invisibility cloaks pooling at their feet. The fox pawed the air, surveying its audience with it’s large, dark eyes, while the auburn horse stamped its feet and tossed its mane. James silently noted that the tattoos he had seen on Ande’s arm was now branded onto her front leg. They must be registered animagi, he thought, since they had recognizable markings. Dumbledore had continued to clap and Professor McGonogall was looked thoroughly impressed. James and the others, however, looked like the rest of the students, dumfounded and doing double-takes. Some students made jokes about America allowing animals into their schools. Sirius leaned over to James and whispered, “You never told me your cousins were animagi, mate.” “Hey, no one told me!” James shot back. Dumbledore looked out at the sea of stunned faces and said, “I give you our new pupils, Andrea and Claire Moon.” Now that the immediate shock had passed, hesitant clapping could be heard. “Girls, if you would be so kind as to try on the Sorting Hat. Although, I do recommend that you return to your human form because I fear it might not fit you in this state.” Before everyone’s eyes, the fur, ears, and tails melted away, leaving two attractive girls standing where the animals had once been. Claire and Ande posed to the now thunderous applause of the Hogwarts students(although a few Slytherins were muttering, “Show-offs.”). “If we are all ready now,” McGonagall said, sounding irritated, “Moon, Andrea.” “Hmmm,” Ande heard the Sorting Hat say inside her head, “Very interesting. You could do quite well in Slytherin, but no, that’s no place for you. Hufflepuff is not quite right either. You’ve definetely got guts, but I sense you don’t belong in Gryffindor. Ah, now I see. Bright, yes, very clever. So I suppose you’ll join... RAVENCLAW!” Ande beamed with pride and ran to meet the Ravenclaws who greeted her enthusiastically into their house. Then, Claire was called forward. The students noticed some difference in appearance, including knee-high combat boots. But the Sorting Hat also noticed some differences that weren’t quite so obvious. “Not quite the same as your sister I see,” the hat said, “Well now, I think you would do best with your cousin in... GRYFFINDOR!” The Gryffindor table clapped even harder as she walked down the steps, found James, and filled a seat they had made for her at his side. With a whisp of Dumbledore’s wand, the sorting hat and stool vanished. “My second annoucement is this: I order you to dig in!” A clap, and every plate and table was filled to the brim with suclulent food. The Headmaster didn’t have to tell them twice. The Hall buzzed excitedly over the appearance of the new students, and the apprehension of the starting term. Claire and Ande were quickly making friends between bites, and the four boys were busy catching up with old ones in their house. Remus was just about to ask the seventh year Gryffindor Beater, Sam Flitchen, if he had been practicing his moves during the summer, when Claire gagged loudly and spit the contents of her goblet back into the cup. “Ugh! What is this stuff? Are you trying to poison me?” James inspected his own goblect for poison and gave her a confused look. “It’s pumpkin juice, what’s wrong with that?” Claire looked like she was going to be sick. “Pumpkin juice?! Don’t you have any soda?” Most of the Gryffindors shrugged and shook their heads slowly. She stared at the goblet with a look of revulsion and then pulled out her wand. Everybody at the Gryffindor table stared to see what she would do and a few people at other tables stood up to watch. “Disgordo Sodame!” she said, pointing her wand at her goblet. The orange liquid bubbled and splattered until it was transformed into a fizzing clear drink. Picking up her goblet once more, Claire took a long, deep drink of her goblet and then sighed contently. “That’s better. Hey Ande! Don’t drink the orange stuff, trust me!” she yelled over to her sister. Ande had become quick friends with a few Ravenclaw girls and was talking to them about America. Claire listened attentively to James as he gave a play-by-play of his winning game of the Quidditch Cup last year. The other three boys, being sick of this story by now, were discussing other matters. In particular, the moon. Though they kept hushed voices, they also made sure to be vague in case anyone overheard. “Do you think you’re going to be able to make it to all of your classes? You’re not looking too good,” Sirius said to Remus. “Well I can’t miss the first day of school,” Remus said. “You should take advantage of this,” laughed Sirius, “I’m sure the teachers will understand if you miss a few days.” Several courses later, everyone began to slow the food intake and were yawning between swallows. When most of the feast had been consumed, the plates were waved clean, and Dumbldore rose again. “At the beginning of this new year, I must remind you once again to stay out of the Forbidden Forest. Madame Hooch would also like me to remind you of the Quidditch trials which will take place in the second week of the term. She urges as many people to try out as possible since many team members graduated last year. If you’re interested, there will be sign-up sheets in the common rooms, but you must be at least in your second year. I would also like to tell you that Claire and Andrea will be joining the fifth, sixth, and seventh-years of both Gryffindor and Ravenclaw for their classes. This is due to the American education curriculum which has given the girls varied levels of understanding. Now that we have all been well fed, I bid you good evening and we will see you all tomorrow morning! Prefects, please show the students to their dorms.” Authors\' notes: Oooh! Feelin\' the burn yet? No? Well then you better keep reading!!! Don\'t forget to review us though! It\'s much appreciated!!!

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