The Hogwarts Hurricane
Chapter 7: Arrival
A/N: Hi. Ok, I feel I had better clear up something important before getting on with the chapter. I anticipate some misunderstandings so here goes. Everyone can rest assured that despite the presence of five foreign exchange students, they will not in any way, shape or form represent any culture whatsoever. Remember that these students, in Harry’s terms, are not exchange students in the traditional sense because they are children of Muggle-born’s who fled during the war. That said, they represent their parents’ views, not the culture, country, continent or whatever they are associated with. So, by where they live, they are foreign but by nationality, culture, continent or whatever, they are all British. I may have made a mistake of Riley appearing to know too much but his dad is the top dog in this affair so he might very well.
Just to be clear before another issue pops up, religion will not in any sense of the word play a role in this; not implicitly and not explicitly. I cannot emphasize enough how individuated these exchange students are meant to be considering who they are. That is why I intend to be extremely careful about the word culture, continent, etc… In fact, I intend to refer to each of the students by their names, not their nationality. The purpose of this program involves Harry and his desire to bring refugees back home. So these students are not really integrated into any country but have strong roots in Britain. That is why Harry and I consider them British.
Now, without further ado, here is the chapter.
If Albus thought he’d wake up on Sunday to a calmer environment than the one he went to sleep with, he was mistaken. The only way to sleep that Albus believed possible was that he was simply too tired to stay awake. What with Scorpius and Riley staring each other down and Walter trying in vain to mediate between them, Albus was surprised to have gotten anywhere near slumber. He fell asleep just as Scorpius was throwing snide insults at Riley from across the room.
When he awoke the next day, it was to a bunch of yelling from both sides of the room. Did they even sleep? Or did they sleep, and then wake up early specially to resume the fight? Either way, it was quite sad. Riley had never yelled before except one outburst the year before. What had gotten Riley so… well there was no other word for it, riled up? Walter looked over at Albus’ bed nervously. Albus was known last year to be cranky if woken up against his own will.
The blankets were moving, and Walter held his breath. A quite mutter was heard from the blankets. Scorpius and Riley were too busy arguing to notice though, and Albus got up into sitting position, and looked from Scorpius to Riley and back with tired eyes glued by eye bogies. He wiped them off tiredly, and continued his staring. Walter kept his breath held he was in danger of going unconscious.
“What the hell?” Albus muttered to himself, getting a bit louder with each word. “Guys shut up!”
“Oh, be quiet,” Riley said in an annoyed tone of voice. “We’re having a discussion here, so butt out.”
Walter kept his mouth preciously sealed shut and Scorpius decided to explain the matter, knowing full well Albus’ potential to get angry if woken up against his will. “Riley’s just ignoring us because of something a- a- a self-righteous Gryffindor scum had to say. Just two minutes with them, and Riley decides not to talk to us anymore!”
“Oh, so we know it was Mark then?” Albus asked snidely. “You’re the one who jumped to that conclusion.”
“Who else?” Scorpius demanded as Walter exhaled and inhaled again for a long period of time. “He talked to Mark, comes back and refuses to talk to anyone. Of course it was Mark!”
“No, they”- Albus stopped. As if from a distant memory, he remembered something he had heard in Diagon Alley. He had originally decided to forget about it for fear of a fight with Mark but that was inevitable now.
“Oi, take a look at what we found out about Otto Blackberry. This is gonna be gold at Hogwarts.”
“We can kill two birds with one stone,” Alex added.
Albus’ mind was running and his wheels turning. Indeed, what had they found out? Well, Otto was behind the whole exchange student program idea. Alex ruminated on how to kill two birds with one stone. Otto was one… then was his son was the other? Did it involve the exchange students? Or did Mark simply have an innocent question for the boy he had never spoken to in his life and left before Riley was held up by someone else? Albus was not there to know the full details. He could only speculate but Albus knew he had a bad feeling about Mark’s plans involving the exchange students. He wanted to stay out of this whole quagmire with Mark and leave him to James but in light of the Riley problem, it was becoming difficult.
“And what about you?” Scorpius demanded to Walter who had seemed determined to stay out of this. “You’ve been silent, Walter. Don’t you care? Or are your Gryffindor friends letting you in on it?”
Walter looked like he was at a loss. Then, thankfully, he smirked, “Yeah, I do care. But if Riley’s gonna let the Gryffindors win, that’s his problem. Only proves he never liked us to begin with. And calm down. I am friends with one or two, but that doesn’t mean I’ve lost loyalty to Slytherin.”
“Exactly, so shut your snake holes. You woke me up on a weekend day,” Albus said angrily. Albus too sounded like he had the potential to start yelling too, and that wasn’t what one who lived with Albus would call a good thing. Contrarily, it would be just the opposite.
Riley shrugged and left the room. He disappeared through the hole, and didn’t come back. Riley had his own business to attend to, and it involved his Gryffindor friends.
The exchange students were due to arrive that day, so Albus had no choice but to stay up and he hated that. Scorpius walked with him down to breakfast, but knew better than to say anything before Albus had a bite to eat.
Scorpius launched into conversation the minute Albus took a bite. Albus sat listening, nodding his head at correct times as Scorpius started talking. Scorpius was saying that he was going to try out for Quidditch Seeker position. Albus only asked if he was any good. Albus was judging by the Flying Lessons. Scorpius was pretty good, but he could’ve only gotten better since last year.
“I’ve been hoping to be Chaser,” Albus told him silently. “Grandfather was one and flying talent is in the family. What do you think?”
Before Scorpius could even open his mouth, Lorcan and Roxanne joined them a bit later when Albus was half done. In relief, Scorpius welcomed Lorcan to the table, “Oi. What’s up? Good week for you?”
“No, Era is a pain,” Lorcan complained miserably. “A large homework assignment.”
“She wants us to work with partners we hardly know and complete some complicated Potion by the end of term,” Roxanne said tiredly. “And my partner is a Ravenclaw grouch. Everything is about witness and what-not. Absolutely no sense of humor.”
“Era is pretty,” Scorpius said thoughtfully. “As for Redgrow… well we’re going to be transforming animals in Transfiguration soon, and that’s gonna be a pain, huh, Al? Al? What’s up?”
Albus wasn’t paying attention. He was looking up at the teacher’s table. Otto Blackberry was sitting there as usual since the beginning of the year. He was in conversation with what looked like a fourth year. The fourth year wore Ravenclaw robes. He had sideburns growing on his cheek, and a rather burly body. He had red-blonde hair coming down over his ears, and fell at the back in a ponytail. He must’ve been the translator, but he didn’t know there would be a Hogwarts student who knew enough languages.
Galadral Phoenix set off fireworks from his wand to silence the crowd, and Scorpius looked up too. Otto Blackberry stood up once again to speak. “The exchange students should know English. However, Carl McCormack here has agreed to translate between you all if the need should call for it.. just in case. Carl here has visited fifteen countries holidaying around the world his whole life. He is fluent in different languages due to his heritages and studies abroad. The languages are perfect for we have just received confirmation who the students are. This brings me to the subject. Within an hour, you will be meeting your exchange students. One is a confirmed Chinese girl from Asia. The other is a confirmed French lady from mainland Europe. An American and an Egyptian will be joining us as well as an Australian.”
The audience clapped politely and the fourth year stood up, as if about to speak. He looked nervous, and frequently patted his hair down. The hall quieted down again to listen, and the fourth year spoke in a clear yet hard voice. “I am a Muggle-born Wizard born British. My father was a Chinese, and he married a British girl. Frequent holidays to France made me able to fluently understand the French and Chinese languages. I plan to go into the International Confederation of Wizards, and so I take a lot of interests in foreign languages, and know common slang of German, Polish, Spanish, Japanese, Yorkshire English, Arabic, and Greek.”
“Do you know Mermish?” James asked loudly from the Gryffindor table.
A few of the students around him sniggered, and Carl grinned nervously, “No. I never anticipated being ambassador to the lake.”
Otto was speaking the truth. An hour later, after much discussion on where he learned each language, (some stories were rather entertaining as one involved taking notes off as wild Greek teenager who went on a cussing rant,) the school filed outside to greet the arrivals. Carl didn’t exactly know all those languages. He only truly knew a couple of them. The rest he was only familiar with the curses in them so he could insult others in ways no one could hit back.
Otto announced that he would go off to Hogsmeade and meet the arrivals, and dashed off. Carl McCormack raced off after him, perhaps to meet them first so they could get an idea.
Rose was beside Albus and Scorpius, muttering her final predictions. “I bet you we’ll have a Chinese. They’re one of the oldest Wizarding civilizations. The Muggles have their history too. One must be French. Do you think they can”-
“Rosie, let’s wait and see, and then we’ll talk about it,” Scorpius muttered impatiently. And as he said this, they returned with five unfamiliar faces behind them.
Carl was in conversation with a yellow, black-haired Chinese girl. She looked very pretty and near Carl’s age. Her face was small enough, and had little meat on her. Yet, she wasn’t what one would call skinny. She was the first to be introduced. Carl introduced her loudly to everyone as Hai Piaoliang.
Otto was talking animatedly to a silent-looking dark-skinned boy around Albus’ age. He had tan skin and spiked up hair but for some reason looked very uncomfortable with the pale man. The sun lit his face to look lighter than tan. It gave it a lighter complexion. Albus was wondering if this one was French or Egyptian when Otto stopped talking, and introduced him as Adam Musa.
The other three were light-skinned. One stood out as an obvious English-speaking American, and Albus was most looking forward to meeting him. The American introduced himself as Ben Franken. Black hair over a pimply face, he had a clear broken voice. Judging by his voice, he had to be around fourteen or fifteen. The other was an obvious French girl. She was the prettiest and the oldest of them all. Around sixteen. She had brown hair coming in pigtails at her sides. She was introduced as Ellie Marina. Finally, the Australian, who was around thirteen, blonde and pale with freckles and a skinny build, introduced himself as Jimmy Kat.
Otto took one last moment to speak to them all, saying, “I’ll be visiting every now and then to see how we are all getting along. I ask that you all stick to tolerance and remain good hosts and hostesses to these exchange students. They do understand English, but if they speak in another language, let the interpreter do his work. The Headmaster will sort the sleeping arrangements in due time. Good day.”
Sleeping arrangements? Albus knew he would be asked to take one in, and judging by ages, the Egyptian was more likely. Well, Albus didn’t mind, that was for sure. If bringing a student from abroad would shut Riley and Scorpius up for fear of making a bad impression, Albus did not have an issue.