Rose was a wealth of information, and she was eager to introduce Cleo to as many people as she knew. The first-year girls were at one end of the Gryffindor table, followed by the boys, and then the table had sort of arranged itself by year, more or less. At the other end of the table were the seventh year students, plus a few eight year students. Thorin the goblin was sitting between the first and second year students, and while he was eating a number of older Gryffindor students went over to talk to him. The eight year students did not live in the Gryffindor dormitory. Any students older than seventh year students were in more adult housing. There were other tables the graduates of Gryffindor could eat at, but they frequently ate with the people they had been with the previous seven years.
When dinner was done Victoire Weasley stood up and went over to the first-year end of the table. She said, “I am Victoire Weasley, and I am the one of the seventh-year prefects for Gryffindor, and the school’s Head Girl. Robert Coote is the other seventh-year prefect. You first-year students need to follow Robert and me to the Gryffindor dormitory. We will give you the password to get into the dorm, and introduce you to the other prefects. Then Robert will show the boys to their rooms, and I will show the girls to their rooms.”
Once the students were all in the Gryffindor common room Victoire said, “Welcome, first-year Gryffindor students. We do try to be your family away from home. I want to introduce the other prefects. If you have any questions or concerns, please ask one of us. The sixth year prefects are Ginny Jones and Mark Lionheart. The fifth year prefects are Jimmy Peakes Jr. and Dolly Longbottom.
“This is the Gryffindor common room. It is the biggest room in the Gryffindor dorm. Since some of your parents were here Gryffindor has grown. We have thirteen first-year girls, and eleven first-year boys, so there are two dorm rooms for the girls and two for the boys.
“In addition to the common room there are a couple of floors below this one, for study or just visiting. Boys are not allowed in the girl’s dorm rooms, and girls are strongly discouraged from spending much time in the boy’s dorm rooms.”
Cleo raised her hand. Victoire said, “Please introduce yourself, and then ask your question.”
Cleo said, “I’m Cleopatra Desiree Smith, but people call me Cleo. Can you, may you, invite someone from another house to visit with you, study with you, here in the Gryffindor dorm?”
Victoire said, “Before curfew you are allowed to have students from other houses in our dorm. They must leave before curfew. I believe the rules are the same for Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. I am not sure what the rules are for Slytherin, but it doesn’t matter, because after curfew no one can be out of the dormitories.”
Robert Coote said, “Males and females are not to be in bed together. Visit in the common room.”
There was a lot of giggling, and someone, not from the first year students, said, “Even if you are a prefect, and you are with Fabianne?”
Robert’s face turned red, and he obviously looked embarrassed, but he did not say anything.
Victoire said, “We have a lot more to talk about, but right now we will take you to your dorm rooms. Mark Lionheart and Robert Coote will read off boys’ names, and then Ginny and I will read off girls’ names. Go with the prefect who calls your name.”
Victoire went last, and she called out, “Patty Finnigan, Chloe Koizumi, Hanna McGonagall, Christy Shook, Cleopatra Smith, Rose Weasley, Olivia Wood.”
The girls climbed up a set of stairs, and kept climbing until they reached the top level. Hanna McGonagall said, “Are we always going to have to climb up eight sets of stairs?”
Victoire said, “You will keep your same room, but every year, as you advance, the room will move lower. As seventh year students we only have to climb up the first set of steps.
“The two dorm rooms on this floor share the same bathroom. Find your bed; it is the one that has your trunk. If you need to, go to the loo, and then come back here.”
When all the girls were back together Victoire said, “I am Victoire Weasley, daughter of Bill and Fleur Weasley. I am studying to become a healer. My father was Head Boy, and my mother was something like Head Girl at Beauxbatons in France, so I had a lot to live up to when I came to Hogwarts. I have a younger sister that was going to be in fourth year here, but she transferred to Beauxbatons to finish her schooling. I also have a younger brother, Louis, who is in third year.
“Please tell us a little about yourselves.”
Rose started, “I am Rose Weasley. My mother is Vice-Minister of Magic, and my father is a partner in Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. I have a little brother, Hugo, who is two years younger. My mother was Head Girl the year after the Battle of Hogwarts.
“I intend to study just as hard as my mother, and be the best in my class.”
Chloe said, “My name is Chloe Koizumi. My father and his family own apartment buildings, and he takes care of them. My Mum, Cho Chang, was a DA member, fought in the Battle of Hogwarts, and is a BRAVE AUROR now. I want to learn how to battle bad wizards and ZAP them.” At this Chloe waved her wand in an aggressive manner.
Patty Finnigan said, “My name is Patty Finnigan. My father is Seamus Finnigan, and he is also an Auror and fought in the Battle of Hogwarts. My mother mostly raises kids. She argues with my father, and then they make up, and then my mother says there is another child on the way. My oldest sister, Fabianne, is Robert’s girlfriend, and I know they have been caught in bed together. I don’t think they were naked, but no one will tell me too much. I have a brother, Macario, in fourth year, a brother, Baird, who is three years younger than me, and a brother, Cadoc, who is six years younger. Mum and Dad must have had another fight and made up, because she is expecting another baby the end of this year.”
Olivia Wood said, “I’m Olivia Woods. My dad Oliver just plays Quidditch, although he did fight at the Battle of Hogwarts. I do not have any brothers or sisters.”
Hanna McGonagall said, “I’m Hanna McGonagall. Everybody always asks, so I might as well admit that I am related to Professor McGonagall. She is a great-aunt twice removed or something. I’ve been told that she is NOT Aunt Minerva here. I have to call her Professor McGonagall.
“My dad and mum and our family build houses and things, and work with wood to make furniture and stuff. I have much older brothers and sisters and cousins. I guess I was sort of an accident.”
Christy Shook said, “I’m Christy Shook. My parents came over from North America after the Battle of Hogwarts to help guard the Potter family, and we live in a house on another street with a garden area between. Our back door looks into the Potter’s back door, and Rose’s house is right next door to the Potters. I have an older sister, Sheryl, who plays guitar in our band, and I play drums. We have another guitar player, Cal Glenbell, who also plays guitar, and was sorted into Hufflepuff. Albus Potter plays guitar, but he mostly plays the bass.
“I also have a younger brother, Marvin, who is a couple of years younger than me.”
Everybody looked at Cleo, who said, “My name is Cleopatra Desiree Smith, and I don’t know who my parents are, or if I have any brothers or sisters. I was left at Malfoy Manor when I was five, and my memory was wiped. Some of the people at the Manor want me to marry Scorpius Malfoy, but we are not going to marry each other!”
Patty said, “I saw you holding Albus Potter’s hand. Are you planning on marrying him?”
Cleo got the biggest smile and said, “The Sorting Hat said we ARE soulmates, so I’m sure I AM going to marry Albus, and have LOTS of his babies.” Cleo proceeded to giggle.
Victoire gave Cleo a funny look. She thought that she should probably tell Professor McGonagall about Cleo’s infatuation with Albus, and probably Uncle Harry, too. She then said, “I want to introduce you to the Elf who will be taking care of your room. If you are ever in a desperate situation and need to be rescued you just have to call on your Elf, and she will come to your aid. Juliet, please come here.”
The Elf appeared, and went around shaking everybody’s hand and introducing herself.
Another Elf also appeared. She said, “My name is Dis, and I am a guard for the Malfoy family, but especially for Cleo. I am here in the female dorm because I am a female, so I will be helping Juliet.”
Patty Finnigan asked, “Where is your Romeo, Juliet?”
Juliet said, “In one of the first year boys’ rooms right now. I am glad Cleo’s Elf is also here, because I go on maternity leave for a couple of months December and January.”
Patty asked, “Do you have any other children?”
Juliet said, “Three. No tragedy with this Romeo and Juliet.” She had the biggest smile.
Victoire left the seven girls and two Elves, and they all got to know each other.
Harry and Ginny had just finished talking about the sorting when Ginny’s mobile rang. Ginny looked at the phone; it was Victoire. All the seventh year prefects had a mobile, and Victoire’s was able to call out to the wider phone network.
“Victoire, greetings,” Ginny said. “Why this call?”
“Albus was sorted into Slytherin, but that’s not really why I am calling,” Victoire said. “It’s this girl that was with Albus. They were holding hands before the Sorting, and, well, she was sorted into Gryffindor, and I’ve met her, and I want to talk to you about her.”
“You’ve met Cleopatra?” Ginny asked.
“You KNOW about her?” Victoire asked.
“Sort of,” Ginny said. “What’s your impression of her?”
“She’s not shy,” Victoire said. “She seems very excited to be at Hogwarts. Patty Finnigan asked Cleo if she and Albus were, I don’t remember how she put it, but Cleo said that the Sorting Hat called her and Albus soulmates, and she expected that she would marry Albus and have lots of his babies. Aunt Ginny, that’s crazy!”
Ginny said, “I agree, it’s crazy.”
Victoire said, “What should I do about it?”
Ginny said, “I don’t think there is anything you should do about it, at least not right now. Call me if you want to talk about anything. Our advice, Uncle Harry’s and mine, when we have asked about it, was to watch and wait.”
“Are they soulmates?” Victoire asked.
Ginny sighed a great big sigh, and said, “Yes.”
“Caca,” said Victoire, “Merde, Oh Sh… It’s not like they are married or anything. They just, Aunt Ginny, how serious is this?”
“They are soulmates, Victoire. Don’t say anything about this to anyone,” Ginny said.
“Oh, well, it is going to be an interesting year,” Victoire said. “I will let you know what I see going on between those two.”
“Thank you,” Ginny said.
Albus sat next to Scorpius and John Nott eating dinner. “I hope we will get a list of who is in Slytherin,” Al said at one point.
Abraham Sanford, who was sitting next to them, heard him, and said, “The prefects and their favourites have a list of all the students in the house, but they will not show it to anyone. I have a list that my sister Ruth put together, and I added everyone in my year, but it is not complete. The Pure-blood fanatics will not even speak to anyone other than their favourites, except to order people around.”
“I’ll get a list,” Albus said.
“You will get the Prefects mad at you, and that is not a good idea,” Abraham said.
“I can defend myself,” Albus said. “I hate to fight, but I’m not going to be intimidated either.”
“Good luck,” Abraham said.
Albus and the rest of the first-year students followed the Slytherin prefects into the Slytherin dorm. They were led to a seating area and told to stand against a wall. A fair size contingent of students sat. The prefect who led the students to the Slytherin are spoke.
“My name is Tom Riddle Hanley, and I am one of the seventh-year prefects,” the boy with a prefects’ badge said. “Prefects run Slytherin. There is a well-defined hierarchy here, and you go against it at your peril. The other seventh-year prefect is Dorea Cowley.”
An unpleasant looking female stood up.
“Sixth year prefects are Tom Higgy and Archana Lucy. Fifth year prefects are Bellatrix Hanley and Orion Cowley.” At the mention of their name each prefect stood.
“After the prefects come the true pure-blooded among us.”
A large group either stood up or raised their hands. A smaller group stayed sitting down, some defiant, others looking afraid.
“There are some Mudblood members of Slytherin, unfortunately.
“Well, who do we have here? Tell us who you are, and tell us a little about your families. Are you all pure-blood, or are any of you Mudbloods?”
John Nott spoke first. “My name is John Nott. My father is an Auror, and has been since the Battle of Hogwarts. As far as I know we are pure-blood, although I don’t think that makes any difference. The Notts have always been in Slytherin.”
Mack Goyle was next. “I am Mack Goyle, pure-blood from pure-blood. Dad said they are letting MUDBLOOD TRASH into Slytherin. It is disgusting!”
A fair number of people applauded, but others looked disgusted. Mack went to sit down with someone.
A first-year girl said “My name is Xenia Avery. My uncle was one of the people defending pure-bloods against polluting our blood with Mudbloods.”
Xenia was also waived into the group.
They looked to Scorpius Malfoy. “I am Scorpius Malfoy. My grandfather is in Azkaban for all sorts of horrible crimes against our world, especially against Muggles and good witches and wizards who have Muggle …”
Scorpius didn’t get any further before there were shouts of, “Traitor!” and, “Betrayer!”
Scorpius stayed next to Albus, saying, “I don’t think this is a friendly place at all.”
Albus stood out from the wall and said, “My name is Albus Severus Potter. My father is Harry Potter, the son of a mother with Muggle parents who beat that other half-breed, Tom Riddle, in a duel.”
There were shouts of, “Half-Breed,” and, “Mudblood.”
Albus stayed standing, his face firm. Finally, he turned to the prefects and said, “I expected the prefects to keep order.”
Tanya Gudgeon said, a sneer in her face, “They don’t like you, Mudblood.”
Albus put his wand to his throat and said “Soronus.” Then he said, “YOU WILL LISTEN TO ME. YES, I AM DECENDENT FROM A MUGGLE GRANDMOTHER. THERE ARE A LARGE NUMBER OF BRILLIANT WITCHES AND WIZARDS WHO ARE MUGGLE BORN, INCLUDING THE VICE-MINISTER OF MAGIC, AND MY AUNT, HERMIONE WEASLEY. I KNOW IT IS AGAINST HOGWART RULES TO CALL ANYONE A MUDBLOOD. I WILL NOT STAND FOR THAT TYPE OF LANGUAGE USED IN FRONT OF ME. IT IS WRONG!”
Albus put his wand down.
Tanya Gudgeon stood up and yelled at Albus, “DON’T YOU TRY TO ORDER US AROUND, FILTHY MUDBLOOD.”
Tom said, “MUDBLOOD, keep your mouth shut.”
“I see you are named after a half-breed, Tom Riddle,” Albus said. “I am more pure-blood than your namesake, who was also in Slytherin.”
“We have ways of dealing with your kind, Potter,” Tom said. He and Dorea pointed their wands at Albus. Albus immediately Summoned the wands. Frerin appeared with a CRACK beside him. The Elf took a quick look around, as the other four prefects were holding on to their wands, pointing them at the floor. He silently said ‘Dobedo’ and Harry’s Elf appeared with another loud CRACK. Other Elves started to appeared.
Finally, an older Elf appeared, and said, “There has been too much use of magic to intimidate other students in Slytherin. The Elves of Hogwarts want it to stop.”
Everybody slowly put away their wands, while the Elves looked on. After all the wands were put away the Elves, except Frerin, disappeared.
There was a lot of murmuring as people quietly talked. Finally, Bill Bletchley said, “Al, did you really kill someone? That must have been exciting. How many people did your father have to kill?”
Albus looked at the questioner. “My father tried, even at the end, to defeat Riddle with a Disarming Spell, but Riddle’s Killing Curse backfired on him. When I accidently killed someone who attack me I felt sick. My father and I have talked a lot about killing. Killing is wrong! Even when we have to kill, in a war, in self-defence, it is wrong to like to do it.
“Other than Riddle, my father has never killed anyone. He is trying to make an Auror Department where neither Auror nor criminal dies.”
Bill said, “Wimp. Girly boy.”
Albus said, “Thank you for your intelligent and well-reasoned argument.”
A number of the students snickered, and someone said, “Bill Bletchley is hit by a Bludger again!” Bill Bletchley looked like he was going to start a fight, but he was restrained, as were several others who apparently wanted to fight.
John Nott said, “My father fought in the Battle of Hogwarts, against some of the nastiest killers and thugs you could imagine. He thinks he may have killed someone, and the thought of the battle, and all the death and destruction, makes him sick. He is very glad that he has never had to kill anyone in his years as an Auror.
“I too am going to report anyone using the term Mudblood in front of me. This type of talk HAS TO STOP!”
Goyle looked right at Albus and said, “Filthy Mudblood.” He then proceeded to get back up and spit at Albus.
Scorpius looked at Goyle and said, “I am going to report Goyle right now. I don’t want to share a room with an idiot who insults a roommate.” He turned to leave.
Tanya Gudgeon said, “You cannot leave! It is against the rules.”
“Calling people Mudblood is against the rules too,” Scorpius said.
Hansel VanDer Raaltee said, “Calling someone a Mudblood IS against the rules. Let us be a little careful about what we say. We could lose a lot of house points for using that word, so just don’t use it.
“My name is Hansel VanDer Raaltee. My mother was raped by pure-bloods. My father, not the man who raped my mother, is from the Netherlands, and there they do not pay any attention to this blood purity dragon dung. I’m pretty sure at least one of my great-grandparents was a Muggle.”
Victor Vasey stoodup, and said, “I am as pure-blooded as they come, and my parents are very upset that Slytherin has students in it who are not pure-blooded. The world has changed. Albus Potter here is a powerful enough wizard that he has already defeated adult wizards, and his father defeated Voldemort.”
Victor turned to Albus and said, “May I call you Al?”
“Please, most people do,” Al replied.
Victor said, “Al’s aunt Hermione Weasley is Muggle-born, and she is Vice-Minister of Magic. We all expect her to become Minister someday. Slytherin has been at the bottom of the houses for too long. With Al here, and some of his friends, maybe we can turn this house around and make it the best again. I say we welcome all the Muggle-born who have been sorted into Slytherin.”
A girl spoke up. “I’m Cassiopeia Starkey. I have a lot of pure blood, some of it Potter or Lionheart, both good names. I’m almost sure there is a little Muggle blood in my family. I support Albus.” She turned to Albus and with a big smile said, “You can call me Cassie, Al. I’ll be your friend.”
Blaise Urquhart said. “My name is Blaise Urquhart. My mother is Eloise Urquhart. She was in Slytherin, which is why I am here.”
Rosie Rosier, a fifth year, asked, “Who is your father?”
“I don’t know,” she answered.
“Was he a pure-blooded wizard?” Rosie asked.
Albus said, “WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE! Blaise is already a little embarrassed. Stop talking about this pure-blooded dragon dung.”
Blaise said, “Thank you, Albus.”
No one else spoke up, and the meeting began to disburse. Tom and Dorea walked over to where Albus was, and Tom said, “The wands, Potter.”
Albus had the two wands in his pocket, along with his wand. He looked down at the wands and said, “What about your wands.”
“Give us back our wands, Potter,” Tom said.
“How do you ask?” Albus asked.
“Give us back our wands, or we will beat the living daylight out of you, you Mudblooded filth,” Tom said.
John Nott said, “I have been at the Potters. Teddy Lupin says that they have tried to award him the Order of Merlin two or three times, because of what he has done. I’d be real careful before challenging Albus.”
Frerin was suddenly standing next to Albus.
“House-elf taking care of you now?” Tom asked.
“The last time I was guarding Albus, and there was an attack, Albus had everything under control before I could Apparate away with him,” Frerin said. “He is a very powerful Magi.”
Albus said, “Frerin is an ELF, not a house-elf, and a friend as well as a guard. When you call an Elf an Elf, with a capital E, you are treating them with respect.
“It looks to me like Slytherin could use some lessons in manners. You ought to treat Elves and your fellow students with more respect. Ask nicely and I will gladly give you back your wands.”
“PLEASE, give us back our wands,” said Tom, gritting his teeth.
Albus handed back the wands.
Shortly after the meeting an older student walked over to Albus and Scorpius, and said, “I am Miles Urquhart, Blaise’s half-brother. We are almost sure our mother had brief marriages to a couple of Muggle men, or maybe just affairs. She won’t tell us. Thank you for standing up for witches and wizards who have Muggle ancestry.
“What do you call a witch who has Muggle ancestry?”
Albus said, “A witch.”
Several other students came over to thank Albus. He tried to gage the support for the prefects. It appeared that many of the students were very upset with how prefects were apparently appointed. The prefects were all fanatical supporters of the pure-blood agenda, and not nice people.
Al knew that he was going to have to take Puff up to the Owlery and not let him stay in the room, but felt he had to write a letter to his parents first. This was going to be a very difficult letter to write.
“Dear Mum and Dad,
Rose and I rode to Hogwarts with Scorpius Malfoy and Cleopatra Desiree Smith. Scorpius says the nicest things about both of you. He really wants to make up for all the bad things his dad and grandfather did. Cleo was in tears because several people did not want to sit with them. She became immediate friends with us, and so wanted to be in Gryffindor with Rose. Scorpius wanted me to join him in Slytherin in the world’s worst way. I told him that if we could get Cleo into Gryffindor with Rose I would go into Slytherin with Scorpius.
The hat said that I was the first student he had ever had that tried to bargain with him for someone else, but said that although choosing Slytherin was a very hard choice it would be best for me and the best for Slytherin in the long run.
Mum, Dad, I’m a little scared. I think I did the right thing. I hope it is not a problem for you.
John Nott is also in our dorm, and I think Scorpe and I will like him. I think we will get along with Hansel VanDer Raaltee as well. There is also a Mack Goyle. He called me a Mudblood. I made a scene, telling everybody in Slytherin that I would report anyone who used the term Mudblood. Some people are mad at me, and some support me. I think it is going to be a very difficult year.
When Al was coming back from the Owlery he decided to see if he could meet with Professor McGonagall and talk to her about Slytherin. Al took a rather substantial detour to get to the Headmistress’ office. He looked up at the gargoyle guarding the office, and said, “Hi, Mr. Gargoyle. May I go up and see Professor McGonagall?”
“Just a moment, Mr. Potter,” the gargoyle said. A moment later the door opened, and Al ran up the rotating stairs and knocked on the door.”
“Come in, Albus,” Professor McGonagall said.
Al opened the door and looked in.
McGonagall said, “You wanted to see me about something, Albus?”
“People shouldn’t be using the word ‘Mudblood,’ should they?” Al asked.
“It’s not exactly forbidden, but we are trying to stamp out the use of that term,” Professor McGonagall said. “Why are you asking?”
“John Nott and I told the Prefects that it was illegal to use that term,” Albus said.
“Tell me what happened, Albus,” Professor McGonagall said. “Start at the beginning.”
Al said, “The prefects said there was a hierarchy in Slytherin, with the prefects at the top, then the pure-bloods, and at the bottom the Mudbloods and those they don’t agree with. Well, they didn’t exactly say that those they disagreed with were on the outside, but they made it pretty clear.
“I got into an argument with them right away. It’s pretty obvious that there are factions in Slytherin, and that a lot of people don’t agree with what the Prefects are doing. They, Tom Riddle Hanley and the other Prefects, well, the oldest girl anyway, tried to hex me or something, but I Summoned their wands before they could get a spell away, and then Frerin, an Elf that guards me, and Dobedo, and Hogwarts Elves, appeared, and then an old Elf said something about not hexing members of Slytherin. Maybe they didn’t want the Slytherin students hexing anyone. I don’t know.
“And I know from talking to some of the other students that some of them, the Sanfords, John Nott, Scorpius Malfoy, and others, that they disagree.”
“Other than walking you back to your dorm, so you are not in trouble for being out after curfew, how can I help you?” Professor McGonagall asked.
“I’d like a list of all the students in Slytherin, because we’ve been told that the prefects have a list but will not give it to you if they don’t like you. They obviously don’t like me. And I can make copies for anyone who wants it.”
“You can already duplicate something?” Minerva asked.
“I can duplicate a parchment in parchment or paper. I think I’ll give most people a paper copy. If a few of us want to share notes, that’s magical, and I only know how to do that on parchment,” Albus said.
Minerva McGonagall said, “Making a paper copy from parchment is a seventh-year spell! How many seventh-year spells do you know?”
“Not all of them,” Albus said, getting a little embarrasses. “I’m sure I don’t do some of them right, either.”
McGonagall handed Albus a parchment with all the Slytherin students’ names on it. Al took his wand, did some tricky wand work that ended at the edge of the parchment, murmuring under his breath while he was doing it. Then he pulled off a perfect paper copy of the information visible on the parchment.
Professor McGonagall stood up, saying, “We had better walk you back to your dormitory. It is well past ten, your curfew.
“You are tackling the politics of Slytherin, Albus. You are going to have enemies, and not only among the students. The head of Slytherin is a sister of the man who sold you your wand, Olivia Ollivander. She doesn’t think wands should be sold to anyone who is not a pure-blood. She is an excellent Charms teacher, and teaches all students even the Muggle born. She will not be an ally in your quest to change Slytherin.
“Your Charms teacher this year, Urban Umbridge, was also in Slytherin, and will not be an ally.
“Your History teacher, Henry Slughorn, and his grandfather Horace Slughorn, were in Slytherin, and Horace was head of house for a number of years. They may not fight you, but I doubt if they will be much help, unless you can somehow make what they do to help you also help them. They are both proud, vain, and more than a little selfish.
“Be careful who you share information with. Not everybody who acts friendly is a friend. And Albus, the less you share of what I tell you the better. I can give you advice, but only in confidence.”
“I know how to keep a secret,” Albus said. “Maybe that’s why I am in Slytherin.”
When Al arrived at the Slytherin dorm and said the password an alarm rang. After about ten minutes Tom R. Handley opened the door, and said, “Potter, you Mudblood scum, you are confined to the dorm until Monday for being out after curfew.”
Professor McGonagall was standing just out of sight, and she came into view and said, “Albus was talking to me in my office, and has my permission to be out. The confinement is not appropriate.”
“Yes, Professor,” said Tom.
“It is also not appropriate to use the term Mudblood, or discriminate against students with Muggle ancestry, Tom,” Minerva said.
Tom glared at Albus. He took Albus into the Slytherin dorm without another word, not acknowledging the Headmistress’ comments about Muggle-born.
Once the door was closed Tom said, “You will pay for this, Potter. You will pay!”
Frerin was immediately at Albus’ side.
Albus walked into his dorm room. People were getting ready for bed, or reading quietly in their beds. Albus sat on his bed and worried.
Among the elf students that started at Hogwarts that fall were the elves, Martin, who had been raised with Albus and Rose, and Rosa, who had been raised with Scorpius and Cleopatra. They were being taught in the house-elf area, and few in the student body were aware how many house-elf students there were at Hogwarts.
Cleopatra had been given a piece of parchment that she could write on, and a copy would appear on the Elf Rosa’s parchment. Rosa could erase both parchments and write something back to Cleo. Just before she went to sleep but when she was alone in her bed, Cleo set to writing to Rosa.
The most amazing thing happened today. Scorpius and I met Albus Potter and Rose Weasley. They rode with us on the train, and we became friends! Albus helped me get sorted into Gryffindor so I could be with Rose, and Al got sorted into Slytherin so he could room with Scorpius. I think Albus is the nicest, bravest person I have ever met. He was scared about being sorted into Slytherin but he did it anyway. Rose knows so many people. I have been so lonely at the Malfoy house. They are such cold people, and they never took me anywhere. Albus lets me touch him! I hope you have a friend as well.
Your friend Cleo.”
Rose had been given a similar parchment by Martin, and she wrote
“I’m in Gryffindor, but Al is in Slytherin! We met Scorpius Malfoy on the train, plus a girl, Cleo, who had been living at Scorpius’ house. I know my dad hates the Malfoys, but Scorpius seems to be such a nice enough. I’ve never met anyone I could talk to like Scorpius, except my mum and grandma Granger. I do not care what Dad says, I am going to study with Scorpius, and Al and Cleo. I hope you have a friend too, and are not alone.
Martin and Rosa were together when writing appeared on their letters. They wrote the same letter back. “I have a good friend here. See you soon.”
Harry and Ginny received Al’s letter late that evening. James Sirius Potter was an open book, easy to understand. There were depths to Albus Severus, and he was not at all easy to understand. Harry said thoughtfully to Ginny and himself, “I asked the hat to put me in Gryffindor, but Al bargained with the hat for someone else. He is one strange child sometimes.” Harry wrote back a quick letter saying
Always do what is right, not what is easy. If the hat approves of your choice, your mother and I also approve. The hat would never have put you in Slytherin if it thought that would be a bad choice. We are very proud of you.
Your loving father,
I am so proud of you! We will always love you.
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