Living at Hogwarts
The next day, Harry got up and made his way for breakfast with the other Slytherin first years.
An army of owls flew in dropping letters, newspapers and packages of forgotten items from home left and right. Harry looked out for Hedwig, but was not too surprised that she didn’t show up. After all, who knows how long owl post usually takes.
Harry was excited to have Potions as first lesson. After hearing Professor Snape praise his mother, he swore to have good marks in this subject.
On the way down to the potion labs Daniel and Ron caught up with him.
“Hey Harry, how are you doing? The Gryffindor common room is great, it looks so cosy and the armchairs in front of the fire… I never sat more comfortable! How are your dormitories?” Daniel asked cheerfully.
“Oh hey Daniel, they are all right I guess. I didn’t stay up late last night, I went right to bed. I will have to see how the common room is today.”
Daniel replied: “Ah yes, I was also very tired yesterday, but the excitement kept me up!”
Further conversations were interrupted by Professor Snape coming up behind and opening the door.
A couple of minutes into the lesson Harry realized that Snape was absolutely biased in favour of Slytherin and against anything a Gryffindor does out of principle. Even the brown haired girl from the boat trip, Granger, who seemed to have studied the entire potions book already was not spared nasty comments. But his brother seemed to be chosen as his favourite target while Harry got praise for cutting a Bloodroot correctly.
While Harry didn’t much like Snape’s blatant favouritism, he wasn’t willing to jeopardize his relationship with him. After all, he could tell him about his mother and being the teachers favourite wouldn’t harm.
Next class was History of Magic. Harry and almost the whole rest of the class were unable to concentrate on the ghost’s lecture about the different goblin wars that would be topic of this class. Harry grabbed his history of magic book and started skimming through the pages. While it was certainly not going to be his favourite subject, the book seemed interesting enough to read.
“Anything is better than trying to listen to him,” he thought.
Lunch break came up and Harry found himself eating alone. While he did not dislike his fellow Slytherin’s too much, he didn`t feel like starting a friendship with any of them. Unlike Malfoy, who tried get to know each and every member of the house.
Glancing over to the Gryffindor table, he saw Daniel chatting excitedly with Ron.
“I really should try and make some friends,” Harry thought, but then dismissed it quickly. “Making friends for the sake of making friends is stupid, I am a wizard now, I will never hide again and I won’t change myself just to please or prove someone something!”
Eating up quickly, he decided to use the remaining time until the start of the Charms lesson by exploring Hogwarts a bit more.
He made it to the classroom with barely a minute left before Professor Flitwick came in. The tiny teacher gave an overview on what to expect from the class and showed various charms that made tables dance, chairs fly and brooms clean the floor by themselves.
Harry was ecstatic at seeing how easily the chores at home could be done with magic.
The last lesson for his first school day was Defence against the Dark Arts.
Harry read a couple of books on the subject already, including a book that seemed to focus more on the Dark Arts part. They were joined for this class by the Gryffindors.
Seeing the ever stuttering Professor Quirrell up close gave Harry an unpleasant but somewhat familiar feeling, as if he knew the teacher very well.
The class was overall quite the disappointment. He neither learned much about the practical parts of spell casting nor did Quirrell offer any information about how to combat dark creatures.
In the Great Hall, just as Harry was sitting down for dinner, Hedwig landed on his shoulder. Harry untied the parchment from her leg with excitement but before reading the letter he gave Hedwig some water and bits of meat.
Harry opened the letter, it said:
< em>No worries, your letter arrived well. Your owl is so beautiful and smart, I envy you!
Anyway, thank you so much for writing. Even though you promised me, I didn’t expect you to write this fast, after all I had five brothers in school and they never wrote me. Gits.
I am looking forward to seeing Hogwarts, it sounds like a truly wonderful place.
And the sorting process is just placing a hat on your head? Grr, Fred and George used to tell me that they had to fight a troll.
No worries about you being sorted into Slytherin. I admit, I was surprised at first, but I never really bought the “all Slytherin are evil” my family is often spouting.
You also shouldn`t worry about being a Parselmouth either, many people think it`s a Dark Art, I don`t. Why should talking in another language be evil?
And if you are able to give people a good scare by hissing at them, all the better! I can’t wait to prank my brothers by you scaring them!
I heard your head of house is a bit of a git, but if he is able to tell you about your parents that`s wonderful. I hope it will give you a better idea what kind of people they were.
But seriously Harry, sneaking out after curfew just to send me a letter on your first day of school? I feel honoured!
< p>Again, thank you so much for writing the letter, it is unbelievable boring at home. Last year, at least Ron was with me. While I was never as close to him as I was to the twins, it was better than being alone with my mom.
I am already looking forward to you next letter,
For the rest of the meal, Harry was grinning like an idiot.
“I don’t need to change who I am to make a friend!” He thought.
He stroked Hedwig’s feathers and said: “Come on girl, get some rest. I will have a new letter for you tomorrow. I hope Ginny treated you right.”
She gave an affirmative hoot and flew out of the hall.
Later, Daniel and Ron came over asking: “Hey, what was that letter about? Not trying to pry, but we were wondering who would write you. I mean, not our relatives for sure!”
Harry shrugged and said: “I promised I would write Ginny, that letter was from her.” Looking at Ron he added: “Unlike her brothers, I intent on keeping a promise.”
Ron scowled at him and said: “Don’t get any ideas about my sister, just wait until she hears that you are a Slytherin!”
Just as Harry wanted to open his mouth to set him right he thought. “Why bother?”
He then shrugged again and left the hall thinking bemused about Ginny’s reaction to a letter that will surely come from her brothers.
Tuesday and Wednesday proceeded without anything noteworthy. Harry and Ginny were trying to write as much as possible while still giving Hedwig enough opportunities to rest. The owl seemed to be very eager to deliver letters to Ginny, Harry wondered what the girl was doing with her. Writing the letters took quite a long time as Harry tried to tell Ginny everything he had witnessed in his classes. From the way his schoolmates acted over description of Hogwarts itself to summaries of entire lessons he had.
Thursday afternoon came up and Harry and most of the other first years were to fly on a broom. For many it was the first time in their lives, Harry and Daniel were both fascinated by the prospect of flying freely in the air.
After a short introduction from Madam Hooch they were flying slow circles around the pitch. Both twins seemed to have a natural talent for flying with a broom and they soon tried to go as fast as possible without the teacher calling them to slow down.
The lesson was interrupted when a Gryffindor boy fell from his broom and had to be taken to the hospital wing.
Malfoy took the chance to annoy the Gryffindor’s by stealing a small ball which belonged to the boy. Harry just rolled his eyes at the, in his opinion, rather childish behaviour. But Daniel, the ever be good, leapt at the chance to show his heroic attitude and chased after him.
While Daniel succeeded in taking the ball, he was caught by a teacher. Harry shoock his head and thought: “Serves him right for doing something so stupid. All the trouble for the ball of a boy he barely knows. Then again, he always valued others higher than himself. Stupid.”
The lesson was cancelled due to Madam Hooch not trusting the pupils to be left alone again.
Later this evening Harry wrote to Ginny and told her all about how great flying was and that he will make sure to buy a broom next year, so he could try out for a spot in the Quidditch team. He also asked what Ginny was doing with Hedwig, because she seemed very pleased whenever he send her along to Ginny.
The following day he received another letter from Ginny, he opened it eagerly.
< em>I am glad you enjoy flying so much I do too! My brothers never let me fly with them, but I know how to pick the lock from our broom shed, so I’ve been flying since I was seven years old. I dare say I am rather good!
I won’t tell you about Hedwig, it’s a girls secret. No boys allowed!
I am glad you warned me about getting a letter from my brothers, but instead of writing to me, those gits wrote to my mother. Telling her what a bad influence you were and everything!
But don’t worry, I showed her some of our letters. She especially liked the ones were you taught me about different potions. She never was good at potions, so she appreciates it greatly that you make sure I will perform well in school. I do too, so please don’t stop writing me about your classes!
Anyway, I think mom really likes you because unlike my brothers you can keep a promise. Maybe I can persuade her to let you stay with us over Christmas, only if you want to come of course!
I am already waiting eagerly for your next letter,
Harr y saw a bunch of redheads grinning at him with obvious satisfaction.
He shoock his head and smiled back.
Back in Slytherin common room he began writing his letter back.
Tha nks for standing up for me! Nobody has ever done anything like it, you should have seen the faces of your brothers, I bet they thought it was the most ingenious plan ever invented. I am just glad your twin brothers are not pranking me, from what I’ve heard they are pretty skilled. Anyway, I look forward to be seeing their faces when your next letter arrives.
I would love to come over to your house for Christmas! But I don’t know where you live, how would I get to you? In Diagon Alley, I heard some people talk about a bus, I think it was called the Night’s bus.”
Well, if your mother liked me teaching you, I really should not disappoint her!
I think potions is the subject that I can teach you best without you having a wand.
But Professor Flitwick taught us some concentration exercises and I think I can teach you about all the theoretical parts of spell casting.
I just realized that by doing so, I get to revise every single lesson. My marks will skyrocket!
So let’s get started with the concentration exercises
Some weeks later.
He y Ginny,
< em>I can’t believe it, Daniel and Ron are officially barking mad. Somehow a troll got into Hogwarts, everybody was evacuated but your and my brother seemed to think that they had to play heroes.
Luckily for them, they did survive and saved a kind of annoying know it all. Last I heard, Ron’s wand got destroyed too. I mean I get it, they wanted to save a housemate, but simply using their brains to alert a teacher would not have been heroic enough I suppose?
And now, curfew was tightened even more, I bet that’s because of them too!
Anyway, enough about my ranting. Remember how I told you about keeping your emotions in check at all cost to improve one’s spell work? I guess I should take my own advice more seriously.
How are your studies going, were you able to persuade your mother to buy you a potions book?
I am already counting down the days to Christmas, I can’t wait until I see you again. Conversations via letters are just not the same as talking to you.
Some more weeks later.
He y Ginny,
< em>Sometimes I really wonder how different my live would be if I had that stupid scar instead of my brother.
Instead of being punished by his head of house for breaking rules in his very first broom lesson, she gave him a Nimbus 2000 and gave him a spot as a seeker in the house team.
Why does my brother have to be such an attention seeker? Then again, he never learned when to back down and when to use a situation to his advantage. Seems like a common Gryffindor trait to me.
I can’t wait to meet the ghoul in your house, he (or she?) seems really interesting, but I understand how it can get on your nerves when trying to fall asleep.
Just a couple more weeks until Christmas! I will take all my school stuff and essays with me so you can look through it. I am sure you will be the year’s best next year!
< em>Why would you want to be scarred like your brother? It doesn’t matter that he is the mighty boy-who-lived. I used to hear amazing stories about him, how he defeated You-know-who and that he is an attractive fighter for justice. Well until I met him, I believed those stories. As it turned out he is a prat. Luckily he has a very nice brother, who is an amazing boy that holds onto his promise to a total stranger and even willing to sacrifice his free time to teach her!
Your brother seems like an attention seeker, you on the other hand are smart enough to know when to draw attention and when you should keep your head down. So please Harry, remember that you are so much more than your brother!
You can`t choose your family, hell, look at my brothers! But you can choose your friends and forge your own path in live. There is no need to play hero, I am sure you will become the greatest wizard in your own way!
From your stories it also seems odd that my brothers always whine about Snape preferring Gryffindor’s, while they are fine with your brother getting special treatment by so many teachers. Didn’t you tell me that he seems awfully close to Hagrid? I know he is not a teacher, but it’s still odd.
I found an old ancient runes tome when I was tidying up Bill’s old room. It’s difficult to understand the concept of the language without having anybody to explain, but I think I am starting to figure it out. Maybe we can look over it together over the holidays?
< p>Not much longer until we see each other again!
The day before Christmas holidays
Fin ally holidays! My mum will pick you up at King’s Cross and will take you to my home. Mum said that if you come, we also have to invite your brother.
I guess telling her about your horrible relatives to make sure you are invited back fired a little.
Anyway, if my brothers give you any cheek they will have to deal with me personally.
I am a little bit nervous about you seeing the Burrow, please don’t think any less of us. I love my home, but it’s really not a nice house.
< em>I will keep this letter short, we are going to meet tomorrow after all. Please don’t forget to bring your school notes!