The Hogwarts Hurricane
Chapter 5: Slytherin Newcomers
This year, Albus and Scorpius took the carriages to the school. The carriages were horseless apparently. At first puzzled, Albus looked intently for something that might’ve pulled them, but he didn’t see anything. Thankfully. He knew from james that the Thestrals were invisible to those who have ot witnessed death and therefore, neither he nor his brother could see them.
Not all are so lucky though to lack witness of death and so Scorpius nudged him on the side, and pointed to where a horse would’ve been. Albus nodded, giving only a strained smile, trying to hide surprise or curiosity.
“No horses, I saw,” Albus nodded.
Albus of course knew that this was where the Thestrals were but thankfully, they were invisible until he himself had seen death occur. He hoped he’d never have to see them. He chose to conceal this from Scorpius for his own benefit though. It was best not to ask such a personal question as to who died?
Scorpius looked at Albus with a bewildered expression on his face. “What are you talking about? There are ginormous black horses standing there staring straight at you and me.”
“You can see them?” Albus questioned in a small whisper.
Scorpius stared intently at some invisible beast. He stared at the blank space for some time. Albus was on the point of telling him to forget about it, but before long, Lysander and Lorcan walked up and looked directly at Scorpius for the first time. It was as if they first met despite the fact that the two were talking a mere hour ago.
“Who did you see die?” Lorcan asked timidly, teeth chattering in the cold night air. Scorpius jumped, and looked in surprise at Lorcan. The boy grinned a childish grin, “Only one who saw death can see them. They’re Thestrals, Scorps.”
Albus coughed once as Lysander looked up with a dream-like look in his young eyes. “The death thing is a misperception, only those passive aggressive with possible horrible futures can see them and their mission in life becomes to save their own skins,” Lysander said sadly, staring at the horse.
Albus’ face lit up with familiarity. He remembered his brother talking about them but Lysander’s information was new though unusual. He was debating with himself whether to ignore it or take note of it. But Scorpius did not notice. He had other things, like black horses on his mind, “What did I say about calling me”-
“I saw my granddad die,” Lorcan said sadly. “Lysander and I were about five. Grandpa Xenophilius got sick and passed away.” Lorcan shrugged. He sighed, and said, “Who did you see die?”
Albus looked at Scorpius in interest. He always wondered about Scorpius’ family. Scorpius grew serious then, and looked up in the sky and sighed, “My grandma. It was- something- a Muggle sickness. We had no clue and- well, we couldn’t save her. I prefer not to talk about it,” and Scorpius shuddered in a way that suggested it wasn’t just the death that haunted him.
Albus looked from Lorcan to Scorpius. Lysander was staring at his own shoes. Just then, a gruff voice had called “Firs’ years over here, here by the boats.” The children were hurried away to the boats with Hagrid, and Albus took a seat with Scorpius and Rose. Mark and the twins went for another carriage, and they didn’t see them for the rest of the night.
“Honestly, Malfoy you make a habit over swaying young minds into Slytherin and we’re gonna have a problem,” Rose scoffed. Albus looked in interest and shock. Rose arguing straight out with Scorpius was not a good thing considering the fact they had very different ideas.
“Aw, come on, Rosie, it’s their choice really, I’m just floating ideas,” Scorpius shrugged.
“Don’t even think about sorting my brother,” she warned. “I swear, I’ll never forgive you if you do.”
Scorpius looked at her as if she was mad, as if the very idea was absurd and to her half relief said “Your brother, Rosie? Not likely. He’s a Weasley.”
Sensing the potential argument going personal and Albus’ own family probably being insulted, Albus chimed in quickly “Guys, we’re here.”
The carriages, horseless or not, took them up to the school. The castle loomed over them once more, and Albus grinned, a feeling overtaking him. Throughout all his pains last year, he never realized how much of a home Hogwarts was. It was a second home, a place away from mum and dad to be with friends; friends who he could never get tired of and a place with so many rooms, it was easy to hide from Mark.
Scorpius and Rose had resumed arguing but this time over Scorpius’ choice of name. “Scorps is just a nickname and you’re not gonna”-
“Hi, Albus!” a voice roared through the darkness. “Hi Scorpius!”
He recognized that voice and so did Scorpius who grinned widely and said, “Finally, someone gets my name right! Hi Hagrid!”
“Got a real treat this year,” Hagrid said excitedly. “But I ‘spect Phoenix will tell yeh.”
Scorpius pat his back as they stopped near the entrance. Albus and Scorpius took the head with Rose, and led the rest of the school into the castle. Together, Albus and Rose opened the great oak doors leading into the great well-lit entrance hall. The smell of food wafted from the Great Hall to the side, and that was where the second-years made to.
The teachers sat waiting for them at the high table. The Headmaster Galadral Phoenix eyed them all as they took their seats at their respective tables. Sitting beside Galadral on one side was a vaguely familiar tall pale man with long black hair hanging down on either side. He was familiar and Albus knew he saw the face before. Who had dreadlocks over pale skin?
Albus and Scorpius took a seat beside each other. Rose split from them for the Gryffindor table with Mark, and sat between Alex and Laura. James took a seat by his friends Nigel and Samuel. Cousins Fred and Louis bent over and whispered to him across the table.
“Al,” Scorpius poked him. Albus jumped up and spun round. To his surprise and shock, Hogwarts Headmaster Galadral Phoenix stood over him. He looked down through his mane of golden hair and nodded for him to follow. Without a word, Albus left with him. Phoenix led him to the very small chamber off the Great Hall. Once the door was properly shut, Phoenix turned and cleared his throat.
“Well, Potter, I suspect you remember well the conversation I had with your father mere weeks ago?” Phoenix asked. “I wanted to assure you- and with hope you pass this on- that I do indeed have the school’s best interests at heart. Your father is playing quite the noble game; however, a game that could cost a lot of us dearly if cards are not played right and wisely. To do my part, I am expected to inform you that you will be taking an exchange student to your dormitory as your guest. Make absolutely sure that this student does not get involved in any kind of conflict no matter what. I am aware your father expects your elder brother to do the same and I must be honest, I don’t trust him. His student is bound to end up in some trouble so the best we can do under your father’s… questionable actions is to make sure yours keeps out of trouble and you yourself keep everything in check. If your student does in fact get mired in some kind if controversy, it can evolve out of control and shake not only your family, but the school and the Wizarding world. You be careful. Can I trust you?”
“Yes, sir,” Albus said in a small voice.
“Now, I suspect you may manage to see the end of the sorting ceremony if you hurry,” Phoenix said with a tone of finality, and opened the door.
As Albus walked back to his own table, the sorting hat yelled <i.“Hufflepuff!” Albus looked around to the crowd of first years. Lorcan and his twin were easily visible behind a sandy-colored boy claiming a very small size.
The Deputy Headmistress Era called out, “Courtney, Jacob.”
If Era was still at the C’s, the S’s weren’t coming for a while. Albus sighed and sat back down beside Scorpius. He sighed, and looked tiredly at Scorpius. He seemed awake but not the least bit interested at what Phoenix had wanted. He watched the first years with vague interest. Albus was wondering what was interesting about the sorting to his friend when Era started with the F’s, skipped the G’s, and went to the H’s.
Albus clapped politely as Helga took a seat a few seats away from where Scorpius was sitting. Albus was just starting to wonder how much longer this would take when someone tapped him on the shoulder. He was far too used to shoulder taps last year to jump or exclaim in surprise. He looked around, and saw Riley was sitting beside him. Riley was motioning his head toward the newcomer. “Tired, Al? I’ll tell you, from my dad, we’re getting an interesting year.”
Albus then remembered who the man was. It was Riley’s dad he saw a few months ago when the summer started. Before Riley could emphasize, Walter, who was sitting beside his sour brother across from Scorpius, jumped excitedly, “Our sister. Albus, shut up. Riley, budge up.”
Era just called, “Mold, Samantha.”
The sorting hat gazed into her head. Albus was now as interested as Scorpius was. Vaguely. But the hat called “Slytherin.”
Samantha took a seat beside Walter. From afar, Albus was sure he got it wrong but there was no other word for Samantha’s appearance. She was grotesque. Samantha had brown hair like Walter, but her face and stature was like Malcolm’s. She had a sour face, but skinniness was exaggerated. She was anorexic, adding to her grotesque appearance. In fact, if only she had been fuller and better fed, she might’ve been pretty.
Malcolm Mold, Samantha’s older brother was another familiar face. He was whispering to his friends Gordon and Jared, two large and muscular third years. Malcolm was easily the smallest out of his group, unless you counted the additional tag-along kids, Herald and Gerald Anchor, two second year twins.
Era went on through the sorting, and Albus rested his head on the table again. Soon enough however, Scorpius tapped his back again. About to exclaim how good this had better be as he had quite enough shoulder-tapping for the first night, Era called “Scamander, Lorcan,”
Albus stared intently, now wide awake at the prospect of Lorcan or Lysander making Slytherin house like Albus and ending the era if Albus being the only one of the family (though the Scamanders were not family) who made Slytherin. He found himself rooting for Scorpius over Rose. The hat took a while. If Albus was right, they were conversing mentally about the houses as Albus had done. After a whole minute, the brim of the hat opened wide. Albus’ heart started beating frantically.
“YES!” Albus and Scorpius gave each other high five as Lorcan, grinning rather guiltily took a seat beside Albus, separating him from Riley. Albus pat his back happily. Finally, someone else made Slytherin. Lorcan wasn’t exactly in the family but it was the next best thing. He and a red-with-delight Scorpius crossed their fingers as Lysander was called.
Please make Slytherin, Scorpius was desperately thinking and as if Lorcan could read minds, he said, “He won’t” just as the hat yelled, “Gryffindor!”
Albus groaned, and Scorpius muttered something about having at least one of them when “Stumbleway, Joey,” was called up. The sandy colored boy who was beside the twins ran up, and placed the hat on his head.
Scorpius was off making the same promises he made to Albus to Lorcan, Lorcan nodding at his empty plate. Albus had to shut his friend up, and assure Lorcan that if his family assaulted him for Slytherin, they had to answer to Albus. Even the rest of the Potter family. If Lorcan made Slytherin, and Lysander made Gryffindor, the Ravenclaw tradition came to a halt, and Albus was confident that there was more than one Slytherin in the support system he had. There couldn’t possibly be resentment now.
Now what were the odds that his cousins Molly and Roxanne who were starting that ear would make Slytherin? Not high but he could hope. He cleared his throat to shut Scorpius and Lorcan up just as Molly was called. Percy’s daughter. Ambition. If any, she’d make Slytherin.
Albus cheered and whopped loudly with Scorpius as Roxanne, grinning all over her freckly face, joined the Slytherin table across from Albus. Galadral stood up to address them all, and Albus, finally wide-awake, stared at his headmaster intently, grinning widely from the sorting that had started out boring but had ended with a bang.
The Headmaster spoke in his usual tough but clear and enthusiastic voice, “Welcome! Welcome everyone to Hogwarts. Young and old; teachers and students. Welcome back! As usual, I have a few words to say before the feast.”
There was only one occasion when the Headmaster spoke to Albus directly, and he and Mark had been in trouble for dueling that time. Since then, Albus had not spoken to him, or been spoken to.
“The blanket ban of items from Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, Zonko’s and Fillibuster’s remains. Master Cantharis has told me to warn you all that he takes a very tough- er… stance, against any practical jokes from anyone. Staff remains the same this year, and the forbidden forest remains strictly forbidden to all students, and the village of Hogsmeade is forbidden to those under third year.
“Quidditch tryouts will be held immediately. Contact your Head of House or your team’s Captain for details. Also,” Galadral said rather loudly. It seemed he had been waiting to announce this. Everything else he said was said in a monotonous tone in comparison. “It gives me great pleasure to announce that Hogwarts, on behalf of the Head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation, Otto Blackberry, will host up to… five foreign exchange students this year.”
Where an applause would’ve fit in nicely, there was silence and confusion. Hogwarts had never done this type of thing before, and some were confused as to what an exchange student even was.
Otto stood up, ready to make a speech. He spoke in a cold, clear, wintry voice. “In place of what is called the Triwizard Tournament, my department is instead organizing a foreign exchange student program to promote cultural understandings between different Wizarding worlds. They will remain with you for the year starting around Sunday this weekend. Until then, we will seek out anyone who may be able to play a role of translator. I will pay frequent visits to Hogwarts for this reason.” Bowing, he finished the speech to applause.
Albus clapped, but looked in confusion at Scorpius, who had his mouth half open. Exchange students? That was a surprise, but it was too soon to say whether or not Albus was pleased about it or not. He in fact already knew it. Harry had told him and he was also asked to take one of them as a friend. Just like the year before, Slytherin prefect Joel Herbert was shaking hands with newcomers, particularly Samantha, Roxanne and Lorcan.
Joel was a sixth year who changed quite a bit from the previous year. He was no longer skinny and had more meat on his bones, and the muscles were more pronounced. He had grown burlier though his skin color remained as if he had just gotten a tan from the beach and his dark hair fell over his ears.
“Joel Herbert, Slytherin house, prefect, any problems, come straight to me,” he assured them all in his half-Irish accent as he shook their hands happily.
Beside Joel was a girl, fifth year by the looks of her who watched him intently. She had blonde hair ending in a ponytail and very fair skin complete with green eyes and a full facial complexion. Joel cleared his throat, “My friends, this is Kelly Barret. She’s fifth year and new to this. I’ll be showing her how we perform Prefect duties so feel free to come to her with any of your problems as well.
“Anyways, how was the sorting for you all?” he asked interestedly.
“Well,” Samantha cleared her throat with a kind of nasally sound that almost sent Albus’ dinner up. “I knew I’d make Slytherin. My family has been in for centuries. Too much of a tradition to break.”
“Well, it can happen, I for one should have made Ravenclaw,” Herbert laughed. Apparently, he did not mind Samantha’s nasal noises or her grotesque appearance. Maybe you have it wrong. She’s Walter’s sister. She could be very nice.
“Hey, same here,” Lorcan said, grinning all over now that he found someone he could relate to. “Ravenclaw was for me but the hat decided on Slytherin. Still can’t see how we could combine the two though.”
“You know what I always say, is that Ravenclaw and Slytherin is the best combination,” Joel told Lorcan sagely. “With their smarts and our wits, we could surely rule the school, let alone the world. Both of us are all about wits and cunning. I call for a merger.”
“Let’s beat them at Quidditch first,” Roxanne shrugged, trying to find some way in to the conversation. “My whole family are Quidditch players.”
“Oh really, which positions?” Joel asked.
As Roxanne answered his questions, Albus turned to Walter and Scorpius who were discussing the exchange students. Walter seemed very interested next to his brother who did not look very happy. “Don’t disappoint me again, Walt. They’re here from Mudbloods abroad. We have nothing to do with them.”
“I’m interested to see which countries they’d be coming from,” Scorpius wondered aloud.
“Mudland,” Malcolm joked.
“Yes, because that’s a real country, right?” Roxanne said sarcastically, sending Albus’ head turning to watch her confront Malcolm for the first time. “Pity how that nonexistent country managed to do in your forces from the last two wars, huh?”
Malcolm sat frozen as those around Malcolm, including Riley, Walter, and Albus was pleased to see Samantha, started laughing at him. Joel grinned widely and turned to Samantha and Roxanne. “You’ll get used to his sarcasm. Nice going though, Weasley, where’d you get that sarcasm from?”
“Well, my family are also a bunch of practical jokers,” Roxanne blushed. “My father runs Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes in Diagon Alley.”
“Ooooh,” went the table to Albus’ pleasure. He got those same oooh’s when he told them of his namesake Severus Snape.
“And it’s strike two for Malcolm,” Scorpius muttered happily. “Remember our fight last year?”
How could Albus forget? He grinned at the thought of the distant memory of Scorpius outshining Malcolm in terms of family status and sending Malcolm away under the cold eyes of Slytherin Head Professor Era. Roxanne just lashed out at him in a different way and Albus had to approve of both. Then, there was what Scorpius asked about the exchange students. One thing was for sure. This year would be nothing like last year.