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Note: Chapter 2 is here!! The story is moving a little slowly, but I don't even think anyone is reading at this point except for me so slow is okay ;) If you happen do be a person besides me reading this story thank you - and I know it's starting out slow but I just want to have everything set up and everything introduced hope you like it!

 “Let’s welcome our guests who travelled all the way from the United States of America, these are the studnets of Ilvermony School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,” I heard a female voice announce.

The large oak doors to the Hogwarts great hall bursted open, revealing four long tables filled with students - and every student was looking at us. The sound of applause echoed through the hall, along with the muttering and whispering of the Hogwarts studnets to each other. 

I walked through the middle aisle with the rest of the Ilvermorny students in single file led by Professor Thisbon, feeling every single person in the room looking at me. So naturally, I was trying to avoid the attention by looking at the floor.

I was very easily intimidated, especially by large groups of new people. 

Come on, show some confidence, first impressions are everything remember? These are students just like you, there’s no reason to be intimidated.

I lift my head up and try to walk as confidently as I can in a situation where I felt so exposed. I look around the room taking in the atmosphere and the people I was stuck with for the next school year. Most of the students are sizing us up, eyes jumping from one student to the next down the line. 

There was one boy who wasn’t looking at anybody else though, the boy with the messy auburn hair and Gryffindor robes has his gaze fixed on me. I make eye contact with him, raising my eyebrows challengingly. He only narrowed his eyes at me. Before I could think anything of it, or respond it any way, I felt the line stop, and the room went silent. 

The same voice from before spoke to us, “Students, thank you for joining us for this school year, we are very much looking forward to having you be a part of our community. And Professor Thisbon, thank you for brining them here and joining us as well,” the voice belonged to a very old looking witch in bright sapphire robes, with a thin lipped mouth, and did not look like somebody I would want to cross. I assumed this was the Hogwarts headmistress. 

Before she spoke again she conjured a similar, but much smaller version of one of the house tables with a flourish of her wand, placing it down gently in the middle of the hall  tables, with two house tables on each side of it. 

“Please have a seat,” she instructed us. After the few moments it took us to settle in, I looked back to the front of the hall where Professor Thisbon now joined the headmistress. 

“It’s definitely too late to turn back now,” Katie whispered in my ear, I could only grunt in agreement. This was the most intimidated I had ever felt; thrown into a room on complete strangers in a  foreign country, all eyes on us.

“Now that we’ve all settled in,” the headmistress continued, “I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Professor McGonagall, and I am the headmistress of Hogwarts.” I was right in my assumption.

Professor Thisbon took his turn, “I am Professor Thisbon, and I am the headmaster of Ilvermorny - thank you so much for having us.” He gave the room a warm smile, which I saw a few students return. I smiled appreciatively back at my headmaster as well, a middle aged man with waist length jet black hair, wearing sparking turquoise robes. 

Professor Thisbon radiated warmth, and people could just tell he was a genuinely nice person. I really admired the way he always found a way to relate back to the students. He was the type of authority figure who never really got angry with us, and even better, he really cared about our learning. He was known throughout the castle for popping into our lessons at random and trying to make them more “creative” and in his words, “less boring”. 

The results of his meddling included, but are not limited to, entire classes acting out historical scenes in full costume, throwing random ingredients into a cauldron just “to see what happens”, and we once even had a “creature race” where students each chose one magical creature and raced them around the grounds.

“Now that we’re all friends,” McGonagall nods at Thisbon with a hint of a smile, “ we can get down to business.”

David mutters under his breath, “Finally, some details about what we’re doing here.” I nod in agreement. 

She went on, “I know you all must be very curious about the event we have introduced this year. All you know is what we have told you; that this year there will be a competition between the students of Ilvermorny and Hogwarts.”

She was right, that was all the information we had received before agreeing to spend our entire year here. We knew some students from our school would be selected to compete in a some type of tournament against Hogwarts, and I guess we were finally going to get some answers as to what this competition would be.

“This competition has been named the Valor Championship. Six contenders will be selected, three from each school. There will be five tasks throughout the year for our contenders,” she paused, “but after each event one student will be eliminated from the competition, leaving only one winner.” 

This realization caused the hall to break out in whispers conversations. It did seem harsh, eliminating someone because they may have just messed up one event?

Thisbon held up his hand to the students, effectively quieting them down, “students entering must be in their seventh year of school, and must commit to participating throughout the entire competition.” More whispers followed, but this requirement seemed more reasonable. 

McGonagall picked up, “There will be no need for students to submit themselves beforehand to be selected to compete. They must only show up and be ready to participate in the selection ceremony in one weeks time, on October first,” She paused, but this time nobody spoke, we could tell the next bit would be more serious.

“As you all well know, before the Great War, the Triwizard Tournament was held here, and only led to disaster, chaos, and death.” I noticed the Gryffindor from before tense up at these words, but I didn’t think anything of it. 

Of course everybody in this room knew about what happened at the triwizard tournament years previously, even in the United States we were taught about the rise and fall of the most dangerous dark wizard in wizarding history. The room stayed silent.

“Beaxbatons and Durmstrang have refused to participate in such an event again, as to why there are now only two competing schools. However, we believe that we have learned from the mistakes made last time.” She turned to Thisbon, signaling him to take over. 

“We want to integrate our students as much as possible into the Hogwarts way of life,” he explained, shifting the tone from serious to informational. I knew what was coming, Thisbon already explained the cooperative measures they were taking to promote camaraderie between the schools.

“This means that the Ilvermorny students will be joining their fellow seventh year Hogwarts students in lessons, at meals, and in each others’ social lives,” the Hogwarts students seemed confused, as they were all looking back and forth from our table to their own peers. 

“The Ilvermorny students will move in to the Hogwarts dorms after deciding which house they want to live with - this decision will occur after the first challenge, after they get to know the Hogwarts students and houses better.”

This statement was met by shouts of protest from the Hogwarts students. I heard different variations of, “They get to choose their house?” and “I don’t want strangers living in my room!” echo around the hall. 

I sighed, I guess the Hogwarts students thought we were crazy foreigners or something. I was hoping they would be excited to have us here, but I guess I was too optimistic.

I cold tell this long-winded duet of a speech was coming to an end. “We have very high hopes for the Valor Championship, and we hope that you, as students will help us to meet these expectations. Goodnight everyone, and remember, we are stronger together,” McGonagall finished. 

The Hogwarts students made their way out of the great hall, but our table stayed in our seats. I knew we would be moving in with the specific houses after the first challenge, but where were we supposed to go now? The rest of the table seemed to be thinking along these same lines - everybody looked confused. 

I nudge Katie, “Are we supposed to know where we’re supposed to go right now?”

She shrugged, “Maybe someone will show us the way?” 

I looked around for anyone from Hogwarts still around, but the great hall looked completely empty except for the ten of us, even Professor Thisbon had left us. Everyone was wondering the same thing, we all had no idea where to go. 

“What an amazing start to the year,” I say sarcastically, “I feel so welcome here.” 

Katie giggles at my comment. I’m about to continue my frustrated rant, but I stop when we I see a redhead sprint into the great hall. We all watch her approach us. She stopped when she got closer. She tried to talk to us while trying to catch her breath.

“So - sorry - forgot - supposed - to - show - where - staying,” she panted. We all just kind of stared at her, waiting for her to say something else. She didn’t seem bothered by the stares and took a few breaths, seeming to regain her voice. 

“Hi everyone, my name is Rose Weasley and I am a fifth year Gryffindor prefect,” So this was one of the famous Weasleys. I was fascinated by historical dark wizards, and read everything I could get my hands on about Voldemort and the British wizarding wars. I felt somewhat starstruck seeing the daughter of two of the most heroic wizards in history.

She continued with more confidence now, “I’m here to show you where you’ll be staying for the next few weeks.”

“Took you long enough to get here,” David muttered. Her face reddened at the comment and she threw a dangerous look towards David before continuing.

“Follow me to the southeast tower, and please try to remember the way to get there, this castle is really confusing and I don’t want you lot wandering around like first years.”

And I did feel like we were first years again. As Rose led us through the castle she pointed out various classrooms, (“That’’s the staircase you’ll go down to reach the Potions dungeon classroom”), who the paintings were, (“Don’t mind Sir Cadogen, he’ll always try to get you to hang around and ‘fight’ or go on an ‘adventure’”), until eventually we stopped at a painting of a unicorn.

“This is the hidden entrance to your temporary dormitories,” Rose explained, “The password is ‘Viatorem’, you will not be let in without the password. It would be a shame,” she looked pointedly at David as he said this, “if someone got locked out and had to sleep in the corridor.” His eyes widened, but he had enough sense to keep quiet.

She addressed us as a group again, “McGonagall wanted me to pass on the message that you will receive your course schedules tomorrow at breakfast,” She smiled warmly at us and said, “welcome to Hogwarts,” I felt like she actually meant it. 

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