Chapter 18 Sorting Revelations The great hall was filled with stunned silence as the whole school stared at the girl with the Hat in confusion. Joséphine opened her eyes and looked around. Dumbledore stood and walked around the head table then stood next to the girl with the Hat. “Sorting Hat, I am afraid you have made a mistake… you must sort this student in order for her to be in a house,” Dumbledore spoke amused. The Hat looked deeply lost in thought. “Yes, yes… I know Albus… but… may I have a word with you, in private?” The school began to murmur excitedly. They had never, ever heard the Sorting Hat utter any other words besides the names of each house, or the song he sang at the beginning of each year. Of course, every one of them knew the inner voice they’d heard in their own heads. It was just as shocking to see this turn of events. “Certainly,” Dumbledore replied and took the Hat from Joséphine, placing it on his own head. The students watched as both the Hat and Dumbledore seemed lost in thought. “What do you think is going on?” Ron queried, feeling a little irritated. He was ravenous and they were holding up the feast. “I don’t know,” Harry shrugged, but he too was wondering. The girl was looking around at the different houses in each of their tables. “Well, this has never happened before,” Hermione chimed in confidently. “How do you kno… wait,” Ron put up his hands, “I know…” he said then mimicked Hermione, “Honestly Ron! You need to read Hogwarts: a History!” Harry chuckled at this, and Hermione fumed while she crossed her arms. “It’s true, you would know, if only you read the damn book,” she replied sounding quite annoyed. “I don’t have to as long as I have you around,” Ron piped up as he looked back at the table with longing. Harry thought that he was willing food to appear in front oh him. The trio turned to look at the headmaster with the Sorting Hat still on his head. “I must say you are causing quite the stir,” Dumbledore began. “I am aware of that,” the Hat replied inside the headmaster’s head, “but I was not created to sort her kind. Witches and Wizards, Warlocks and Sorcerers I will sort, but I have never before been able to sort a Mage of her kind,” the Hat replied. “A Mage?” Dumbledore exclaimed, startled. Dumbledore was never caught off guard easily and he chuckled at his own surprise. “Ah, of course. Hogwarts has never in its life been home to a Mage before,” he added. “You misunderstand me, Headmaster. I was not created to sort Mages, but I have sorted many Elemental Mages before, and did so recently dare I say. I said I have never met a Mage of her kind. She is a Daiteran Mage. Her kind is believed a myth since the days of old. Harry on the other hand is an Elemental Mage, and it was easy to see which houses he would do best in,” the Hat replied. The whole school watched as Dumbledore opened his eyes, full of surprise, then his features turned to a smile and his eyes sparkled brightly. His eyes flickered to Harry for a moment. Harry felt that somehow something had been said that involved him. The whole school had seen where Dumbledore looked and now they stared at him. Great! Harry thought, just what he needed: Another reason for the wizarding world to stare at him. But what was it this time? Harry turned his head to look back defiantly at those who stared. The temperature in the room seemed to suddenly heat up when Harry noticed that mostly the female population was looking at him: some giving him the once over. Was it just him, or were girls waving at him and giggling wherever he looked. Harry quickly turned to face Dumbledore, but now more than ever he could feel loads of eyes on him, and he had a vague idea that most of them were still girls. “You will never cease to amaze me, Sorting Hat,” Dumbledore said aloud driving the attention away from Harry, although several people could not stop staring at him. “Is there no chance of sorting this young lady then?” Dumbledore asked. “Our choices are what define us,” the Hat replied. “Very well…” “Miss Bellou, take a moment to finish the sorting,” Dumbledore said as he pulled the Hat from his head, and placed it onto hers. Make your choice. Joséphine looked to the tables with the four different houses. She definitely didn’t want to be in Slytherin, seeing that idiot with the blonde hair–what was his name? Malfoy?—he was glaring at her, and others in that house as well. The hat chuckled. Hufflepuff? The Hat questioned. The Hufflepuff table seemed friendly enough and she smiled at them. Anne waved at her enthusiastically. It would be nice to have someone around who spoke her language. Joséphine glanced at the Ravenclaws. She had read about each of the houses and Ravenclaw had struck her as too intellectual for her. She had thought about being in Slytherin, but not anymore with Malfoy there. What about Gryffindor? the Hat murmured. Gryffindor… well, Gryffindors were well known for their knack of getting into real trouble, having the most fun, being the bravest of them all and, above all, it was the house of Harry Potter. “Mmmh, your mind is quite tricky, and it wouldn’t hurt to really let me in… no? You could do great things in Ravenclaw as well... Ah, I see. In that case…” Joséphine closed her eyes as the hat screamed “GRYFFINDOR”. Cheers erupted from the table as they realized she was to be in their house. Joséphine stood up, gingerly took off the Sorting Hat then handed it to Professor McGonagall. She turned and began to walk towards the cheering table. She smiled; it was a broad, genuine smile of pleasure that really lit up her features. Her smile dazzled some of the older boys and Harry felt a knot in his stomach as he watched her walking towards the table. He had to fight this urge to go to her and hug her. He didn’t know why she caused these weird sensations in him. Fred shoved George to make room for Joséphine and motioned her over. George glared at Fred as Fred moved over, leaving room between him and some little first year. Joséphine smiled looking at both of the twins. She sat down between Fred and the little new first year student. The boy blushed when she looked at him and turned to stare at his plate. Fred began to introduce himself. At the head Table, Dumbledore spoke. “Well, I will not keep you long,” he said as he cleared his throat. “I just have a few announcements…” Several people groaned. “Come on get on with it!” Ron mumbled under his breath. “…The forest on the grounds is forbidden to all. Please remember that magic is not allowed in the hallways, and Mr Filch has posted the new list of the 745 items that will be confiscated if found on a student in his office …” “Why couldn’t he wait to say that after the!feast?” Ron now growled as his stomach joined in the complaint. Harry laughed, while Hermione rolled her eyes. Dumbledore continued… “Fourth years and up may remember Professor Remus Lupin who taught Defence Against the Dark Arts several years before…” Harry’s head whirled to look at the head table. He hadn’t seen Lupin sitting there before, although he had noticed that Professor Flitwick had been missing, and that there had been an additional two empty spaces at the table. He now saw Remus sitting in the space where Professor Flitwick should have been. Remus had just walked into Great Hall from a door behind the head table while Harry had been busy staring at Joséphine as she walked to sit next to Fred. “…has returned to our staff to substitute for Professor Flitwick who will be absent during the first part of this year. Please make him welcome once again,” Dumbledore introduced Lupin again and the school erupted in cheers as he stood up and nodded towards the student population. Slytherin was the only house not cheering, of course. “Also, we have two new Defence Against the Dark Arts Professors for this year; unfortunately neither of them will be able to join us until tomorrow morning. They have been detained with Ministry business, but you will meet them during your first class of the school year. Now, let’s enjoy this feast. Tuck in!” Dumbledore finished his speech and the students began to eat. Ron dived into his food the moment it appeared, and Hermione rolled her eyes. “Honestly!” Just then, Dumbledore appeared next to the group. “Miss Bellou, would you please come into my office after the feast? I would like a word with you.” “Oui Professeur,” she replied and Dumbledore turned to Harry. “Harry, would you be able to stop by my office before breakfast tomorrow morning?” “Certainly Professor,” Harry answered, intrigued as to why Dumbledore wished to speak with him. Dumbledore nodded and turned to leave. “Oh, the password is ‘Ton-Tongue Toffees’,” he said with a twinkle in his eyes and walked away. They all turned to look at the twins. They grinned and shrugged. “—he has been one of our best customers—” “—yes, loves the Canary Creams, and the Chicken Puffs—” “—and is absolutely delighted with the toy wands, the rubber chicken is his favourite—” After the meal was over, Ginny and Derek Finnelas, the other 5th year prefect, began to gather the first year Gryffindors in order to guide them to Gryffindor tower. Fred offered to show Joséphine her way to the headmaster’s office. Harry watched them go, and began to walk back to the common room. Ron and Hermione had gone somewhere for Prefects’ duty. “Harry,” a voice called as Harry headed towards the doors of the Great Hall. He turned around to see Remus Lupin walking towards him with a grin. “Remus… erm… I mean, Professor Lupin…” Harry said with a pleased smile and somewhat excited that Remus was back to school. “Why didn’t you tell me before that you were coming back to Hogwarts?” “Well, it wasn’t really certain. Flitwick informed Dumbledore that he needed to leave to visit his mother, who’s suffering the last of a terminal illness. Dumbledore had someone else lined up to substitute for him, but at the last minute she had to withdraw. Dumbledore asked the advisory board about his decision to appoint me. There was, as you can imagine, quite the uproar about the whole issue. They naturally denied my appointment, but just this morning they seemed to have changed their minds. That’s why I arrived a little bit late,” Lupin explained. “What would have caused them to change their minds?” Harry asked with incredulity. Remus smirked. “You know your friend? Rita Skeeter?” Harry scowled. “What’s that old cow having anything to do with it?” “She wrote this nice little article in The Quibbler about Werewolves. It appears that ever since she wrote that article about you last year, her skill has been sought after. Most of her articles are now believed without question, even more than before, since everything you told in your interview turned out to be true. You gave her career quite a jolt! I heard she just got hired as a free-lance writer for The New Daily Prophet.” “WHAT?” “She has actually cleaned up her act.” “I doubt that,” Harry said scornfully. “No, really! Seems like Dumbledore has made some sort of deal with her…” “You must be joking, right?! How could he?” Harry said, feeling rather betrayed. “I’m not. It seems that word leaked out to the Ministry that she was an unregistered Animagus. They almost hauled her out to Azkaban, but Dumbledore intervened. She’s registered now, and owes her freedom to Dumbledore,” Lupin explained as the pair began to make their way out of the Great Hall. Lupin continued, “Rita Skeeter is resourceful and Dumbledore believes that she may be of invaluable help in …” Lupin stopped walking as he seemed to focus on several people standing in the Entrance Hall. Harry looked towards where Remus was looking. Professor Dumbledore was by the great oak doors and greeting two people covered with heavy travelling cloaks, hoods covering their faces. One was slightly taller than the other, and was wearing a long black cloak; the other one’s cloak was a vivid yellow in colour and it contrasted strongly against the black. To add to the display of colour were Dumbledore’s bright purple Wizarding robes. Filch seemed to be trying to lift one of many heavy crates onto a large floating trolley which was loaded with other trunks and some covered owl cages. He was apparently to show the newcomers their accommodations. “Are those the new Defence Against the Dark Arts Professors?” Harry asked with curiosity. Remus didn’t seem to hear him as he stared with narrowed eyes at the pair, and sniffed as if he had caught a whiff of their scent. At that moment, Filch dropped the heavy crate, and it split open. Several of the students that had been lingering around watching the new people gasped. Harry’s eyes opened wide. An unbelievable amount of dangerous looking weapons had spilled from the crate. A long, thin rod of shiny metal slid its way towards them. Harry heard Lupin’s barely audible gasp, and he was shocked to notice the flicker of terror that crossed Remus’ face. Lupin seemed to pale. Harry had also noticed the involuntary shudder that passed through his new Charms professor. Harry looked back towards Filch, whose face seemed like someone who had won the lottery upon seeing so many weapons, and he recognised the object of Lupin’s terror. Glinting with the reflection of the firelight from the many torches that lined up the wall, the slim silver arrow seemed to be glaring threateningly at them. “Is that…?” “Silver,” Remus whispered, unable to hide a trickle of fear that seemed to be mixed in his word. Harry watched as Professor Dumbledore righted everything with the flick of his wand, the silver arrow slowly floated back to the crate. Professor Dumbledore motioned the two new Professors onward. The tall man in the black cloak walked next to Professor Dumbledore. The one in the yellow cloak seemed bombarded by questions from Filch. As they neared the stairs, Harry could hear Filch boasting about several of the contraptions that he had in his own dungeon office. Harry saw the one in the yellow cloak nod to Filch, and then the yellow hooded face turned towards Harry and Remus. The obscure face seemed to gaze at them forever as Remus and Harry watched the person reach the bottom of the grand staircase. Dumbledore and the man in black were already halfway up the staircase. Harry noticed the visible chin, and lips of the one looking at them. They seemed quite delicate; the white porcelain skin was glowing with red lips contrasting against the fair skin. Harry was startled to realize that the person was a woman. His thoughts were confirmed when he noticed the woman place a foot on the bottom step, and he could clearly see a bright yellow high heeled boot. The woman nodded to them, and proceeded to walk up the stairs. Filch was trailing behind her, pulling the cord to guide the floating trolley. “Remus? Are you all right?” Harry asked now that the new people had gone. Lupin seemed to sigh. “Yes, I’m fine. It’s always a shock to see silver, and it is quite disconcerting to actually see a silver arrow.” He involuntarily shuddered again. “Are you worried that the Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor has silver arrows?” Harry asked with unease. He was wondering why that crate was full of so many weapons, some of which, Harry thought, seemed more Muggle-ish than magical. It also didn’t seem like a coincidence. Remus seemed to think for a moment. “Dumbledore didn’t appear to be worried about it.” “Maybe he didn’t notice?” Harry asked, smiling a little at Remus’ evasive answer. “He noticed, he righted the crate himself and took the arrows that Filch had picked up,” Remus answered, “but anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I am looking forward to teaching you and your friends again. You better head back to the common room and get settled in. I still have to unpack, and I am already behind on some notes for my first class tomorrow. Good night, Harry.” “Good night, Remus,” Harry waved and Lupin smiled. “It’ll have to go back to Professor again.” Harry grinned. “Good night, Professor,” he said and turned to go. He hesitated for a moment, and turned back to Professor Lupin. “I am really happy to have you back…” Remus nodded and smiled sadly. He knew that Harry still struggled sometimes with the loss of Sirius, and that Lupin was now the only Marauder, the only true Marauder, left. He placed a hand on Harry’s shoulder. “I’m here whenever you need me. I know I will never be able to replace Sirius, and even though the Ministry denied me the right to be your guardian, I still take that responsibility. Sirius did me a great honour and I won’t disappoint him.” Harry couldn’t answer because of the huge lump in his throat; he only nodded and turned to go. Remus watched Harry walk up the staircase; Remus also struggled. Before, when Sirius had been sent to Azkaban, Remus had long ago made his piece with his loss. But it was much worse now to have got his best friend back, only to have him taken forever. This time there was no hope of redemption.
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