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Chapter 17 Sorting Surprises The Hogwarts Express pulled to a stop when they reached the Hogsmeade station and the students unloaded from the train with all of their belongings. Harry and the others waved at Hagrid as he retrieved the first years. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Fred, who was back to normal thanks to Hermione, made their way to the carriages. Ginny joined them a few moments later. As they neared the carriages, Harry’s senses began to pick up that presence, the hair on his body began to stand up. He began to look around for the girl. Instead, he saw Malfoy striding towards him with Crabbe and Goyle in tow. Pansy Parkinson was with them as well. “Of course, she would have to run to the Weasel scum and the mudblood lover,” Draco sneered when he noticed the girl, who was actually standing just behind Harry waiting for a carriage, she was trying to talk to Neville asking him where she needed to go now. Harry hadn’t known she was behind him. “Sod off Malfoy!” Harry spat and his hand moved automatically to his wand. “Ooooh, Potter’s got a girlfriend,” Pansy said to him and pointed to the girl, who had noticed Draco and had pulled out her wand. She was walking to get around Harry to get to Malfoy. “So you need Scarface here to defend you huh?” Draco mocked the girl. “Je n’ai pas le besoin de protection. Je peux defend myself,” the blonde girl spoke but before she could do anything, Draco yelled “Accio wands” and the group, caught off-guard, had their wands flying out of their hands. “Give ze back!” Josephine demanded. “Or what?” Draco taunted her. Harry was feeling slightly nauseated with the girl so close to him. “Look, Potter’s about to faint!” Crabbe pointed at Harry. The girl turned to look at Harry, and their eyes met again. Suddenly, the sensation plaguing him almost disappeared, and his head cleared. He could still feel the weirdness, but it was as if someone had turned the volume down. “Someone better carry Potter to the Hospital Wing before he passes out,” Malfoy taunted and pretended to faint. Harry glared at Malfoy and vehemently wished to hex him, but at the moment Malfoy was holding his wand. The blonde girl narrowed her eyes, how this idiot irritated her! She wished she could slap him. Draco began to panic as he realized he was being levitated off the ground. The girl seemed startled to see this happen. “Put me down!” Draco screamed at them trying to see who was levitating him. Only Hermione noticed the girl make a fist, and Malfoy dropped none too gently onto the ground. Draco scurried to get up. He was enraged and humiliated, so he advanced on the first person he focused on with his wand outstretched; the blonde girl lifted her hands in front of her in self defense. “Non!” she said in instinct response and suddenly Draco tripped and landed face first on the still wet ground. It had rained just before they arrived, and now his nice robes were covered in mud. Ginny walked right next to him and picked up the wands he had taken from them, and gave them to their owners. “Clumsy ferret,” she said to him and the whole crowd exploded with laughter. They laughed even louder when Fred began to say with a loud voice “HEEEE HAWWW, HEEEE HAWWW.” Draco glared daggers at the group, and then rushed past completely humiliated. “You will all pay for this!” he spat at them as he passed. “Especially you!” He pointed to the girl. “That was brilliant!” Ron said amidst his laughter. Harry barely paid attention to him because he was staring at the girl. He had felt that surge of power in her, and he knew that she had used magic to levitate Malfoy, and it had been intoxicating. He looked at her beautiful face and was confronted by mixed emotions. Was she part enchantress? He wondered. “You just did wandless magic!” Hermione said astounded to the girl. The girl turned to face Hermione, her blue eyes looking at her with shock. She had noticed. “Zhis ‘as only ‘appened once before, and not like zhis. Zhis time eet felt more powerful,” she replied. Hermione was trying to discern if she was hiding something. “I have read that wandless magic is nearly impossible for a wizard or witch to learn without training. They are very rare, those who have been able to do so in centuries. In fact, it has been so long since anyone has truly wielded wandless magic, that it is considered a myth!” Hermione exclaimed. The girl looked uncomfortable, she frowned “Zhe only time that eet happened was when…” she began but trailed off… “I had no control over eet. Eet just ‘appened, I never was able to make eet ’appen. But now, I felt a bit more in control,” she said and seemed to be thinking about it more deeply. “Miss Bellou?” The group turned around to see Professor McGonagall walking towards them. They had never seen the Professor at the Hogsmeade station before. “Oui?” The girl replied. “Come with me, Professor Dumbledore wishes to see you before the sorting,” Professor McGonagall said arriving near the group. The girl nodded and walked over by Neville where she had set her things down before Malfoy had interrupted her. “Good evening Professor,” Hermione said to the old witch. “Good evening everyone,” Professor McGonagall replied. “We will see you at the feast,” she said as she led the girl to a carriage waiting for them. “We better get a carriage, or there won’t be any left,” Ron reminded the group. Harry stared at the winged creatures dragging the carriages. He closed his eyes and sadly remembered why he could see them in the first place. His stomach gave a pang as he realized that he now could add Sirius’ death to the list of people that he had witnessed die. He noticed then that the new girl was looking at the winged creatures with sadness as well. Professor McGonagall motioned her over to enter the carriage. As if she had felt Harry’s eyes on her, the girl turned to look at Harry. He looked at her and they locked eyes with each other again. Harry had a yearning to reach for her, to touch her, to feel her close. He wanted to protect her. She was so delicate. She smiled at him and entered the carriage. Harry shook his head to dispel his thoughts. Hermione went into the carriage and called to Harry to get his attention. She asked him something. He tried to think the words to respond to her, but he choked on his words, and mumbled something incoherent as he tried to climb into the carriage. Ginny giggled at him, and Harry blushed deeply. Harry sat in the carriage with Ron, Hermione, Fred, and Ginny, who teased him. “Where is George?” Harry asked trying to change the subject. “Oh, he saw this cute Ravenclaw girl and went after her, Jane Lambert I think,” Fred said as he shrugged. “Isn’t he going out with Angelina Johnson?” Ginny asked. “I am not sure if they are anymore, although last time I saw Angelina I had to break the news after we kissed for a while that I was Fred, not George,” He chuckled. “Fred!” Ginny exclaimed in horror. “I am just teasing, she did confuse us, but I set her straight before she kissed me,” he said and laughed. “Wasn’t Angelina your girlfriend?” Harry asked a bit confused. “What? Oh yeah, during fifth year, we dated for a while after we went to the Yule Ball, but nothing serious. We’re just friends now,” Fred said dismissively. Hermione paid no attention to the conversation and watched as Harry looked out of the carriage. She could see where he was looking at. Going around the curve ahead, she could see the carriage that had that new girl and Professor McGonagall in it. Hermione could see the blond head of the girl, and she was staring right back at Harry. Hermione frowned slightly as she noticed them. Hermione didn’t know what to think and turned away to gaze out of the other window. She had her suspicions about this new girl. She was not aware of the hurt in Ron’s face as he had watched her looking at Harry. Why did Harry have to get everything Ron always wanted? Finally, the carriage arrived at Hogwarts and the students ran to get inside. It had started to rain once again, but it wasn’t particularly heavy. The students filled the great hall, and Harry sat at the Gryffindor table and looked around the room. He didn’t see the new girl in there yet, but he began to feel that tingling in his body again. He turned to the door and soon saw the new girl as she walked next to a 7th year Hufflepuff. “Oh, c’est tres jollie!” the girl exclaimed with wonder as she gazed at the enchanted ceiling. Harry heard Anne Guildford reply and they began to speak rapidly in French. Anne guided the blonde girl to the Hufflepuff table and they sat close to front. “Welcome to another year at Hogwarts… let the sorting begin,” Dumbledore said and in came Professor McGonagall guiding the first year students into the Great Hall. The whole school listened to the Sorting hat’s song which was darker than previous years and contained the same message of unity among the houses. The school watched an applauded as a new student was sorted into each house. “Amsel, Jeanine.” Professor McGonagall called the firs student. “Ravenclaw,” the hat screamed after a few seconds. The Ravenclaw table erupted in cheers. Harry was kind of ignoring the sorting when the next name that was shouted caught much attention. “Malfoy, Bianca” The Gryffindors all snapped their attention to see a young girl, with long, light blonde hair make her way nervously to the stool. Harry saw her and thought she was rather pretty; she was tall for her age, and slender. She nervously moved the sheet pale hair behind her shoulders, and looked straight ahead. Harry could see her perfect nose, and he chin. She walked with an air of dignity, yet to Harry she didn’t seem to be carrying herself with the arrogance of her brother. Harry noticed her long, slender fingers fidget as she sat upon the stool. Too bad she was a Malfoy. Bianca shyly blushed as the hat was placed on her head, her face almost disappearing inside of it. Most of the school had begun to not pay attention since she would end up in Slytherin anyway. The hat opened his mouth and the Slytherins began to cheer but only for a split second, then the whole school became silent when the hat screamed: “Gryffindor!” The Gryffindors were staring, gaping, at the girl in front who sat on her stool shocked as Professor McGonagall lifted the hat from her head. “No! No… please...” the girl began to mutter. “I’m a Slytherin… I’m supposed to be in Slytherin… oh Father is going to kill me,” she began to repeat trembling with fear as she stared at her brother, who glared with complete and obvious disbelief. “Miss Malfoy, please take your seat,” McGonagall encouraged. Little Bianca looked at her brother for help. “This is ridiculous!” Draco yelled getting up. “She is a Malfoy! A Slytherin… this is unacceptable!” He stormed up to the front. “Mr Malfoy, you will take your seat unless you want to lose your house some points on your first day here,” Professor McGonagall said to him. “The sorting hat has placed her in Gryffindor, and Gryffindor it shall be. Now, both of you, to your seat!” She said and Bianca scurried in fear towards the Gryffindor table but stopped suddenly as she took in the glaring group. She looked back to see Draco glaring at her from his own house table. The students at Gryffindor didn’t know what to do and for a moment, the hall was filled with tension. Ginny and Hermione felt pity for the poor, young scared girl who was rooted to her spot, Malfoy or no. They looked at each other. Ginny was the first to get up and began to clap, with Hermione following a split second later. Harry smiled at their bravery, and he too stood up and clapped. Soon, most of the table had begun clapping, although not with much enthusiasm. No one really cheered. She was a Malfoy, and Malfoys didn’t belong in Gryffindor. Hermione had to kick Ron in the shins, and he glared at her. He refused to get up, but gave in clapping halfheartedly for the young girl. Ginny motioned for the girl to come and opened the seat next to her, when no one else did. Bianca sat down, her face flushed. She looked down at her hands, and only nodded or shook her head when Ginny tried to engage her in conversation. “Here, let me introduce you to these guys,” Ginny offered. “These are my brothers Fred and George, they are seventh years,” The twins were glaring with hostility at the girl. Ginny glared at them with a warning, and the twins decided to huddle and focus on something else. “And this is my brother Ron, he’s in sixth year.” Ron too had a nasty glare in his eyes. Ginny moved along, “this is Harry Potter…” Ginny pointed to Harry, and Bianca looked up to see him, her eyes wide with amazement, which automatically went to his scar, then she blushed and turned to look back at her hands. “And the smartest witch in school, Hermione Granger.” Hermione blushed. Bianca couldn’t help the words she blurted out “You’re the mudblood!?” She said astonished. Hermione scowled, along with the rest of the group that heard her as well. . “No… I’m sorry… I didn’t mean it like that… I… I just…” Bianca stuttered to apologize. Harry was surprised to see a Malfoy apologizing. Ron was so mad, he was unable to say something at the moment, and settled for giving her a death glare. Bianca blushed and mumbled something. “What did she say?” Hermione asked irritated. “Erm, she said she had just never seen one before,” Ginny said a bit dumbfounded. “Seen a what?” Harry asked Bianca. Bianca looked up terrified… “A mud… uhm, muggle born witch. I… just imagined they looked different,” she said blushing an even deeper shade of red, and turned to observe her hands. “What did you think they look like?” Hermione asked with anger. “I don’t know… my family always says terrible things about muggles, and said that mud… erm… muggle born are worse. I just thought… I don’t know… I thought they all looked horrible or something. I’ve never met a muggle before… and Draco… he doesn’t say nice things about you,” she said to Hermione. “What do you think now?” Hermione asked still irritated. “Have you taken a good look at me?” She crossed her arms. Bianca mumbled something. “What?” “I said I think you are very pretty,” Bianca replied a bit louder and without looking up. The group was silent, stunned, for a moment. They looked at each other. Ginny observed the little girl, maybe she wouldn’t turn out to be like her brother. Ginny decided to leave her be for now and changed the topic. Bianca was grateful for the lack of attention on her, although she could still hear her name in conversations around her. The school was a buzz of conversation and hardly anyone paid attention to the rest of the sorting. All of the first years were sorted and McGonagall called one more. “Josephine Bellou,” McGonagall called for the last student on the list. Joséphine stood up from the Hufflepyff table and walked to the front; she sat on the stool and McGonagall placed the hat on her head. Harry watched with interest. “Mmmmh…” The hat murmured with interest. “Slytherin?” he questioned aloud and the Slytherin table erupted into cheers. But Joséphine didn’t stand, and the hat was still lost in thought. The cheering at the Slytherin table finally subsided, and the school began to murmur. Minerva turned to look at Dumbledore, but Dumbledore just shrugged. “Not a Slytherin, ey? How would you do in Ravenclaw?” the hat pondered aloud. “I can not sort, so I must say, choose not a Ravenclaw, nor a Slytherin, not a Gryffindor, nor a Hufflepuff I will.”

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