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Professor Dumbledore stood up at the front of the Great Hall, and even though the room filled with a couple hundred students had just been nearly deafeningly loud, silence fell at once.

“Ah!” he said looking at all the students, old and new, with his twinkling blue eyes, examining each of the first years, as if he were trying to memorize them all. “Welcome to another year at Hogwarts. I’m sure you’re all starving so I’ll save the speech for after our marvelous feast!”

Then, suddenly all of the golden plates were filled with different kinds of food. James Potter and Sirius Black immediately started shoveling food onto their plates.

Lily Evans looked at the two of them with a disgusted face. “When was the last time you two ate?”

“The train,” said James with a full mouth.

“Yeah. You and Sirius ate about half the trolley,” said Remus Lupin, their fellow first year.

“But that was hours ago!” whined Sirius.

Lily turned away and started to talk to her friend Cassie Landry. Cassie was explaining some of the different things magical families did to pass the time, which were a lot different from muggle forms of amusement, like watching television.

Soon enough, the dinner was replaced by desserts. Even though James and Sirius had already ate what seemed like half the food, they didn’t restrain themselves from eating half the desserts.

Once the last bits of pudding vanished Dumbledore stood up again, and the hall fell silent once more.

“Now that you are all filled with food I have some announcements. First, as many of you already know, there have been a lot of deaths and disappearances lately. “I would like to assure you that while you are at Hogwarts you are completely safe. But even so, no student shall be allowed out of their common room past curfew and no one is allowed on the grounds after the sun has set. Now, our caretaker would like me to remind you…”

James and Sirius were no longer listening. They were whispering about how to get past all the rules.

Lily was listening to Dumbledore intently and so was Remus. Peter Pettigrew was staring into space and Cassie was quite obviously daydreaming, judging by the faraway look on her face.

“So off to bed with all of you!” finished Dumbledore.

With the ear-piercing screech of benches being pushed back, everyone got up from the tables and started to move.

“Um… anyone know where to go?” asked James.

“First years over here please!” called a prefect.

“First years this way!” called another.

All the first year Gryffindors turned to face each other, communicating silently. “I guess we follow them,” said Lily at last.

“Everyone here?” asked the boy. “Okay I’m Frank and this is Alice and we’re two of the Gryffindor prefects. We will lead you to the common room tonight so follow us.”

All of the first years were amazed by the castle, but Lily was the most excited. She had never seen moving pictures before. And the secret passageways and moving staircases were simply amazing.

Frank and Alice came to a stop in front of a painting of a fat lady in a pink dress.

“Terrible Toadstool Tales,” said Alice and the painting swung open to reveal a large cozy room. There were squashy red armchairs grouped by the fireplace with a roaring fire, and tables scattered around the room, along with a couple of bookcases.

“Okay,” said Alice, “Girls go up this staircase and boys go up that one.”

So the first years walked up the staircases to their dormitories, excited to see the rooms they would be living in while they stayed at Hogwarts.

Up in the girls’ dormitory, they all unpacked their trunks and started to change into pajamas. The four girls in the room were Lily Evans, Cassie Landry, Naomi Mallory, and Aurora Daley. Cassie and Aurora already knew each other from their old primary school and were catching up on what had happened over the summer while they were with their families. “Well, it was really weird in France,” Cassie was saying. “since I couldn’t understand much of what everyone was saying. It’s strange how someone could be talking about you, and you wouldn’t even know it.”

“Wait, did you just say you went to France?” asked Lily with interest.

Cassie shrugged, as if it were no big deal. “Yeah, my dad had some stuff he needed to do for work there.”

“That is so cool!” Lily exclaimed.

Naomi nodded her head in agreement. “Yeah, that’s awesome! What did the Eiffel Tower look like?”

The girls went on talking for some time, before finally giving in to the exhaustion the day had brought, and falling asleep.

The boys’ dormitory was alive with action as they played exploding snap and wizard’s chess. Remus was the last to sleep, even though he looked much too tired for a boy his age. He looked out the window at the almost full moon with a worried look, before finally closing his eyes.

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