Chapter 2: The Encounter

The Forgotten Memory 

Chapter 2: Encounter

 

The train arrived not half an hour after Rose stated it was getting late. Albus sighed. He started to ignore Scorpius’ snide comments on being sorted into Slytherin. It sure seemed everyone around him thought he belonged there. But why should he listen to a prankster and a young destined Slytherin like Scorpius? Scorpius picked Ursa up, and held him in his arms. Rose had the bags and James was responsible for the owl cage, so Albus left empty-handed.

They arrived in the rain. Albus didn’t notice it was raining till the train stopped. He was too busy defending himself against a teasing Scorpius, and a bickering Rose.

“For goodness’ sake, Scorpius Malfoy!” Rose burst out as they walked out. “You accuse Gryffindor of teasing others for no apparent reason… and you seem to be enjoying yourself with Albus.”

“Firs’ years, over here, firs’ years to me,” a gruff voice called over the rain before Scorpius could respond. Albus grinned. He knew it. It was Hagrid. He ran over to the giant mass, Scorpius and Rose at his heels. One look at the giant, and Scorpius gaped, “Whoa! Do you have a giantess for a mother, or did you fail a bad Engorgement charm?”

“Mind yer business,” Hagrid said gruffly. He shook his head violently, sending droplets of water raining down on Scorpius, much to Albus’ amusement. Scorpius scowled, and followed Hagrid and the other first years to a boat. A small boy with flat brown hair, tufting up at the front took a seat next to Scorpius. Beside Albus was a skinny black haired boy.

The boats made their way across a large black lake. As they passed under some vines hanging down, the turrets of Hogwarts Castle came into view. The entire castle was lit up and it was magnificent. Albus saw it only once in his life and he was too young to remember. They rode into what seemed like a dungeon of a great castle, and was still a magnificent view. Many turrets hung over them, all lit and inviting. As they arrived inside the dungeon, now very wet, Hagrid led them off, and turned to face them, “Alrigh’. The Deputy Headmistress will be with you shortly to explain the rules and everythin’, and then we’ll sort you.”

Hagrid left them through a set of double doors. Behind the doors, a lot of babble could be heard. Albus was sure James was among the babble. As they arranged themselves into a group to stand before the Headmistress, Albus tripped over someone’s feet in front of him. As he fell back, he grabbed someone’s shirt for support. He toppled back into Scorpius, Rose, and a second year behind them. There was quite a commotion, and the second year walked over despite the line, and confronted the fallen Albus, “Idiot. Watch where you’re going.”

The boy Albus had grabbed onto for support was another second year. He was small, and had short brown hair. He took Albus’ hand, and helped him up. “Sorry about that,” Albus muttered thankfully.

“Don’t do it again, maggot!” a voice said angrily from behind Scorpius. He pushed his way past Scorpius, earning a hiss from Ursa, and faced Albus angrily. This one was also blonde like Scorpius, but unlike the latter, he had a mean streak in him. He eyed the small boy who helped Albus, and breathed, “Samuel Redgrow.”

“Shove off Malcolm,” James said angrily. Now James was there. Why were older students there anyway? They glared at each other. Malcolm eyed the party against him, and then nodded, and said, “Easy Potter.” He straightened himself up, and faced Albus again, “Sorry for the rude introduction. Malcolm Mold, Slytherin. Hope to see you in my house.”

He left. James sniffed angrily, and whispered to his little brother, “Hey, Al. How about you do make Slytherin. I could sure use inside information on the ass. Me and my friends would pay big.”

“What are you doing here?” Albus whispered.

“I saw Malcolm deviate from our course, and he likes bullying kids, so we thought we’d follow,” James answered simply. “Anyways, Louis and I have a bet going. He thinks you’ll make Gryffindor. I disagree,” he smirked widely. “What are you banking on?”

Giving a last smirk with that last comment, James left, Samuel behind him without a backward glance. Albus turned to Scorpius angrily, “That’s why I don’t want Slytherin you… you…” Albus was lost for words. What Scorpius was, he couldn’t bring himself to express.

“I wasn’t aware of that,” Scorpius muttered. “But who cares,” he said, recovering instantly. “Not all people in Slytherin are mean y’know. It’s not good to generalize.”

“Of course you defend Slytherin, you’re a”-

“Al, I’m a Malfoy and you, a Potter are talking to me,” Scorpius interrupted. “Come on. Are you gonna judge based on house label and not who you met. Merlin, Al, I’m Scorpius not anyone else but Scorpius and I’m better than anyone in my family!”

Scorpius’ declaration did not do much for Albus yet. He opened his mouth to retort, but the Headmistress had appeared. Albus knew that McGonagall left the school the year before, so this woman had to be new. She was a tall woman with flowing black hair. She had white skin and her nail polish black, Albus might’ve thought she was a vampire if he hadn’t told himself this was Hogwarts. She had the sense of power from her. She was not the woman you wanted to stand up to.

“Welcome to Hogwarts,” she announced in a strong and clear voice. “I am Professor Era, deputy Headmistress of the school. Now, when you pass through these doors, you’ll be sorted into your houses. Your houses will be like family to you all. When you do something good, such as answering questions right, or doing ambitious homework reports, you gain house points. When you break rules, you will lose house points. The house with the most at the end is rewarded the house cup. Each house has its own common room, each year group has its own dormitories, and each gender, male or female, has its own dormitory. Now, everyone is seated and ready. Follow me. If you will leave your pets here.”

In the Great Hall, in which they appeared when passing through the doors, the babble was apparent. All the students were there waiting for them. The staff table was full too. The hall was a magnificently large one with four long tables lining it, one for each house. The staff table was also long, with one high chair in the middle where a large blonde man sat. He had blonde facial hair growing down his cheeks into a beard and moustache, covering his face like a mane. He reminded Albus of a lion.

Above the hall was a ceiling was what looked like the night sky. Albus awed up at it. Seeing him gazing, Rose looked up, smirked and said, “It’s enchanted to reflect the sky according to Hogwarts: A History. Isn’t it amazing?”

“No,” Scorpius groaned sarcastically as they took their places facing the students of the school. “I thought it was reflecting the ground.”

Before Rose could respond, a door from a side-chamber opened and Era came out of it holding a three-legged stool. In front of the high table, the first years stood in a group, waiting.

Albus was so nervous. He knew that James was part of the crowd watching and he knew what house James was betting on. Albus looked to the stool Era brought in. A hat sat upon the three-legged stool, facing them all, and taking them all by surprise, burst into song,

Listen up first years; listen close to this song,

Students passed, students went, but never quite like this throng.

Every boy and girl who passed wore a look of fear

Yes, I mean it, they’re all thinking, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Looking at you all staring makes me think you’re scared.

It’s not shameful; it’s human, when you’re in the world that’s marred.

But which house will you go, well there are four,

The brave, the good, the chivalrous go in Gryffindor.

The clever, just and those, those that follow law,

They go into the witty house of good old Ravenclaw.

The loyal, just and friendly, those that aren’t rough,

They go into none other than justly Hufflepuff.

The determined, and the cunning, those that have ambition.

They belong in none other than the snaky Slytherin.

So get ready to meet your houses, seven years you’ll spend there,

So when you’re out, to tackle the world, you’ll be with better care.

“When I call your name, you will come forth, and be sorted into your house,” Era explained. She read from a long piece of parchment. “Starting alphabetically with the surname, Abel, Joan.”

A small trembling girl with pigtails walked forward. The minute the hat touched her head, it yelled, “Ravenclaw.”

That was it. The sorting had begun and the moment of truth, after all the arguing Albus had to endure throughout the day, had arrived. The hat was declaring one house after another, with every name coming closer to Albus’. Wouldn’t it be great if Scorpius and I both made Gryffindor?

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