The Forgotten Memory
Chapter 4: The First Night
The sorting ended with a large and hearty round of applause from the hall. Albus determinedly kept his eyes off James and Rose and on the table where the empty plates sat. Full-scale babble broke out as the students got acquainted or in the case of the older students, reacquainted. Albus already knew Scorpius and Joel Herbert was talking with a girl across from him.
“Oi, Potter, try the tarts, they’re amazing,” Joel said happily, and Albus stared. Scorpius licked his lips hungrily as the plates filled themselves with delicious-looking food.
Before anyone could have anything though, Albus and Scorpius jumped and stared up as fireworks banged from a wand. The blonde man at the high chair stood up, and faced them all. It seemed he was about to make a speech. Albus chanced a glance at the Gryffindor table. James caught Albus’ eye, and grinned. Albus tried not to grin back, and saved himself by looking up at the Headmaster.
“Do you know his name?” he asked Joel.
“Yeah, Professor Galadral Phoenix,” Joel whispered back. “Kinda scary really, but he favors Slytherin. You know, he made Slytherin himself?”
Joel Herbert could only nod as the Headmaster spoke. He spoke with a hard, clear voice and seemed to have a talent for speaking publicly. “Welcome everyone. Welcome to Hogwarts. Now, before we become immersed in the feast we’re about to have, I have start of term notices to give. Firstly and foremost, the forest on the boundaries of the castle is forbidden. The village of Hogsmeade is forbidden to those below third year.” His eyes stopped at James. “Master Cantharis, our caretaker and flying instructor, also desires for me to tell you all that all items are forbidden from Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, Fillibuster, and Zonko’s.”
Albus looked to the far right of the hall where a man stood. Cantharis had sandy hair spiked up in random ends. He was tall and robust, looking around at all students, young and old, with a tough glare. Beside him was a small dog, a Cocker Spaniel by the looks of it. Albus had a feeling he wouldn’t like this teacher, and having been looking forward to Flying lessons, started rethinking that desire.
“I would also like to welcome a new teacher. We’ll be doing a change of staff this year. Professor Dennis Creevey, our Study-supervisor has moved up, and will take the post of Muggle Studies. Professor Cattle of Defense Against the Dark Arts, last year retired, so I am pleased to welcome Head of the Department of Hit Wizards, Professor Ernie Macmillan.”
The hall applauded, and Galadral went on, “Quidditch tryouts will be held on Saturday. If anyone wishes to do tryouts for Quidditch they should consult their Head of House, who will turn you to the Captain of your respective house team. Remember, first years use school brooms. Now, let the feast start!”
The plates in the hall had already filled magically with food. Now, snacks had appeared and the feast had started. It was food of all types, only half of which Albus might’ve had before. Scorpius took some of everything, and dug in. Mouth full, Scorpius looked over at Albus’ plate, “C’mon, mate. Try the steak. Bacon. Treacle Tart. Mmm, Pumpkin Juice.” He passed Albus the food as he named them.
Albus still didn’t eat. Scorpius swallowed, and hung his head back, “Ah, come on. You’re not that upset about Slytherin are you?”
“No, not really,” Albus shrugged. “Just… more worried about what my family would think. The first Potter to make Slytherin.”
“I can sympathize,” Scorpius muttered. Scorpius clicked his tongue. “Well, you asked for it. What’s done is done. Write to your dad tomorrow, and tell him the good news, and try the steak,” Scorpius said, waving the trouble aside. “It’s excellent.”
Albus shrugged, and then took a piece. Scorpius was right. It was good. He ate through the steak, and the tart when full scale talk broke out among the section of the table Albus was sitting at.
Herbert looked aside, apparently having listened to his conversation with Scorpius. “I felt the same way myself. My family was all Ravenclaw. Thought they’d kill me. Mum still sends me books hoping to convert me.”
Malcolm Mold laughed aloud two seats away, “Well,” he grinned. “Walt and I are all Slytherin. No hope of converting us, huh Walt?”
“None at all,” the brown-haired boy Walter said proudly.
“What about you, kid?” a girl across from Joel asked the black-haired boy Albus remembered vaguely in the sorting as being Blackberry, Riley. “What house are you mainly?”
Riley did not answer immediately. He kept his head down and tight-lipped as he weighed his next words carefully and hesitatingly. “Well, dad was in Slytherin but I- I’m not sure about my mum really, and”-
“You don’t know your own mother’s house?” Malcolm asked. “If you’re a Mudblood, just tell us.”
“I’m not a Mud- Muggle-born,” Riley yawned.
“He’s new,” Joel said warningly to Malcolm. “Maybe the subject simply doesn’t come up very often. What’s up, Al?”
“I am all Slytherin,” Scorpius said highly. “Mum and dad were banking on me making Slytherin too and I must say I can write tomorrow with good news. I was quite worried.”
“I am all Gryffindor,” Albus said uncertainly. “But I was given a Slytherin name and a certain pride to go with it,” he felt a little more confident speaking now he talked of some pride. That should please Malcolm. “My name is Albus Severus Potter,” he said to some woos of interest. “So… perhaps I had a little Slytherin in me after all. Still not sure what mum and dad will say though.”
Albus was still staring down, listening to the conversation when he stretched his hand out to take more tarts. The food then disappeared and the Headmaster stood up again, “Now that we are all fed up,” (‘that’s what you think’ Albus muttered as he only got the steak and tart), “We must all go up to our beds. If prefects could lead their houses upstairs, we will say goodnight. Sweet dreams.”
Albus and Scorpius got up and stretched. Albus didn’t notice before, but he was tired. They both stretched, and turned in the direction of the calling prefect, who had a clear, broken voice. “First years, to me. All first years to me. I am Joel Herbert. I will direct you to the Slytherin common room. This way please.”
Herbert had a rough, brown face. He was skinny, but it was overlapped with muscles. Herbert led them off the Great Hall into the dungeons. The dungeons were off the entrance hall, spiraling downward into a dark, cold hall lit by blue-flamed torches. Herbert stopped in front of a wall lacking any torch. Above it were green snake eyes. It marked the common room. “Python.”
The wall rose up, like a great mouth. Herbert smirked, and walked in. “That’s the password unless our Head changes it, in which time I will notify you. Now, the dormitories are deeper inside. The boys are on the left, girls on the right. All your belongings have been brought up. I advise you to get rest before your lessons tomorrow. Goodnight.” He waved, and left down the left walkway.
Albus, Scorpius, and two other boys followed him down, but stopped at the first flight. “First years,” Scorpius read. “Well, let’s go in.”
They walked in. Albus widened his eyes. Four beds lined the dorm. Two windows were in between. But weren’t they underground? How were there windows? Scorpius’ face lit up as they entered. Waiting for him on one bed was his black cat, Ursa.
“Ursa!” he exclaimed, and he ran over to resume stroking.
“It’s not even cold down here,” the black haired boy, Riley, commented in a bored, lazy voice.
“I guess it’s enchanted, so we don’t freeze to death,” Scorpius guessed.
Walter remained quiet. He followed them into the dorm, which was a lot cooler. The beds were toasty warm, and the banisters seemed to be made of metal snakes. Walter looked out a window, and had a puzzled expression, “Aren’t we underground?”
“Obviously, they’re enchanted,” Riley said tiredly. Albus couldn’t tell if this was his natural voice, or if he chose to make it so. “I’ve been with my dad to the Ministry. They’ve got loads of them. That said,” he walked up to one, and opened it. It let out a gust of warm air on a bed. “So, we don’t have to worry about freezing,” he said, taking the bed that was just warmed. “Enchanted windows. Enchanted weather.” He still spoke lazily, as if he was tired, and always has been.
The plump brown-haired boy Walter took a bed across from Albus and laid back, yawning. Scorpius widened his eyes at how quick everyone was to bed. “What, no talking? Oi, kid, why’re you sleeping so late? It’s only ten.”
Walter forced himself up and looked over at Scorpius. He scowled, “The name’s Walter. Get used to it. Oi, you, boy, what’re you doing?”
Albus was sitting on the floor, hunched over his bed as if knelt in prayer. He didn’t answer. Scorpius looked over his shoulder at a parchment. Albus was writing a letter. Albus looked over at Scorpius, and then at Walter. He grinned at the chance to talk back to him, “The name’s Albus. Get used to it.”
“Dear daddy,” Walter read off, having just followed Scorpius.
“Nose off, Walt,” Scorpius pushed him away. “Oi, Al. Finish this tomorrow, and let’s chat. C’mon.”
“I’m almost done,” Albus replied.
Scorpius shrugged, and took the bed to Albus’ left. Riley was on his right. Walter took one across from him. Scorpius sighed, “Well, we got the beds established. Oi, Al!”
“Done,” Albus announced, satisfied.
“Ok, ok, we’ll introduce ourselves,” Scorpius yawned ideally. “Scorpius Malfoy,” Scorpius said lastly. He was carrying Ursa like a baby now, scratching its neck. He said it with an air of pride. “I’m completely Pure blood, and father and grandfather work with the Minister. I’m an only child, but still cool.”
“I’m Albus Potter,” Albus said second. “Dad’s Head of the Auror Department. I’m the first Slytherin in my family, and a Half blood. I have two siblings. An older brother a year above me in Gryffindor, and a younger sister who will also start two years from now.”
“I’m Walter Mold,” Walt said, raising his head. “One older brother, but looks nothing like it. I live in his shadow. One little sister starting next year. I’m Pure blood. My father is School Governor.”
“I’m Riley Blackberry. I have one younger brother. He’ll start two years from now. I’m a Half blood, and dad’s the Head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation. Quite cool really.”
Albus sighed, “Great. Well, I will see you all tomorrow. Good night.” Despite the abrupt end, the other boys bade goodnight too, and no more talked ensued, except for the occasional word between Scorpius and Riley, who spoke with such tiredness, his words were barely audible.
Dear Mum and Dad,
It’s Albus. Well, James won. I made Slytherin. I guess I’m the first Slytherin in the family. Kinda depressed, but I think I’ll manage. I made a pretty good friend. His name’s Scorpius. He’s that boy we saw with the man at the platform. I think you know. The first night’s been good, and our Headmaster Galadral Phoenix was also Slytherin. I didn’t get much to eat the first night, but that’s mainly because I fell into thought again. If it wasn’t for Scorpius, I might’ve starved without the steak and treacle tart.
My dorm is kinda gloomy, but I’ll get used to it. I hope I get used to Slytherin house. I’ve already seen too many snakes around the place to last me a lifetime. I’ll let you know how my first week is when I’m finished. Rose made Gryffindor by the way. Tell Uncle Ron I said hi, and I’ll write again soon. Give my love to Lily,