Chapter 1- The Sorting
I stared silently outside the window, gazing at the raindrops lightly pattering onto the windowsill. I sighed. With every field we passed, and every city that whizzed by, I felt an even greater emptiness in the pit of my stomach.
Although I had been very excited during the last few weeks since receiving an invitation to Hogwarts, now that I was aboard the express and on my way, I felt unusually reluctant.
At least that's what I think it is. The one thing I know for sure is that it's not homesickness.
I carried on moping and staring at the sky, like a sad rat that lost her cheese, when the apartment doors behind me slid open, startling me.
On the threshold stood a boy who looked my age. Scruffy brown hair was sticking out every which way, and the pink around his cheeks gave him the look of someone who had been running. He smiled.
"I'm so sorry. I don't know anyone here. You don't mind if I sit next to you, do you?" he panted.
"Yeah, sure. Oh! I mean, of course not," I gave him a cautious smile as he seated himself opposite me.
Silence hung heavily on the air, and I feel guilty for this, but I couldn't be bothered to make conversation, and continued to sulk. The fact that his grey eyes followed my every move definitely wasn't helping improve my mood either.
Finally, after a very long while, I couldn't stand his stares any longer and turned around to meet his gaze. He smiled.
"Aren't you just so excited?" he asked.
I shrugged, and returned to gazing outside. Wow. I couldn't believe that many hours passed, but the sky was now a bronzy-orange colour, and despite my foul mood, I couldn't help but be blown away by the view.
Scruffy-hair-grey-eyes looked outside too, and I could see him smile from the corner of my eyes.
Didn't that guy stop smiling? Doesn't he get affected by the moods of surrounding people?
"It's a beautiful view…" he murmured.
Apparently not. Once again I found that I was frowning. People usually avoided me and were affected by whatever mood I was in.
I stood up and turned my back to him to bring down my trunk.
As if on cue, Scruffy-hair spoke with a cheery voice, "Ah. Yes. We should wear our robes now, shouldn't we?"
I pretended I hadn't heard him, and, realizing I was too short, stood on the table separating me and him, reached out for my bag, and dragged it down.
Smiling, Scruffy-hair rested his head on his right hand and looked at me.
"Which house would you like to be in?" he questioned and there was a genuine curiosity in his eyes.
And then I thought about his question.
What house did I want to be in?
Turning around to face him, I though a moment, then answered truthfully.
"I'm not actually sure. My parents want me to be in Slytherin
though, like my brother. He left two years ago," then I thought I
might as well keep the conversation going now that it's started,
"How about you?"
"I'm just like you! I'm not sure," his eyes glinted, "although, unlike you, my parents don't have a preference."
He paused, seeming to consider something, and then continued.
"I'm muggle-born, you see. Everything I know is from what I've read in some books I brought," he nodded at his trunk, "But I have to say, I don't want to be in Slytherin! All the dark wizards were in that house."
I put on my robes, smiling politely, but made a note to avoid this boy. My parents wouldn't e pleased if I became friendly with a mudblood.
Suddenly, and out of nowhere, the department doors opened and a boy also my age entered. He had a pale complexion, and a frown that seemed to be carved into his face. Two curtains of greasy black hair hung limply to the sides of his face, and his hooked, large nose very much gave me the impression of a bird of prey.
His black eyes whizzed around quickly, taking everything in, set eyes on Scruffy-hair and then he left.
Just like that.
I glanced at the sky outside and hastily wore my robes; Scruffy-hair soon followed my lead.
Finally the trains' huffing and puffing started to slow down, and then came to a halt.
"Shall we go then?" Scruffy-hair asked, slowly lifting himself from his comfortable seat. Now that we were standing, I realized that the top of my head reached his eye level.
"Yes, I think we should," I muttered, more to myself than to him. Yet again, Scruffy-hair smiled and offered his hand to shake.
"It was nice meeting you," he said.
I hesitated for a while, wondering whether it was okay to shake the hand of a mudblood, and finally decided against it, throwing an awkward smile his way. His smile wavered a little (but only a little).
"I hope to see you soon and get to know you better," his hand made what looked like a usual journey from his sides to his hair, ruffling it in embarrassment, "My name's Rio Ostell, by the way."
And, with that, he left.
There was a soft murmuring in the great hall as we entered. The next few minutes went y very quickly. A plumpish woman in dark blue robes led us into the hall, carrying an old attered hat.
I wasn't very surprised when it broke into song, as my brother had already told me about it. Most of the first years started though (although I couldn't help but notice Scruffy-hair making no reaction. He probably read about it in a book).
And so the sorting began.
The plump woman called out different first years' names, starting from last names beginning with Z, all the way up to A.
The greasy-haired-hawk-nosed boy, Severus Snape, was placed into Slytherin, and Scruffy- no, Rio was placed into Gryffindor. The line continued to get sparser and sparser, until there were just me and a few other children left.
"Brown, Nadine," cried the plump woman, and I was overtaken by a feat of nervousness. Tripping up twice on the way up, I finally made it to the chair, and realized that I was shaking as the hat was placed onto my head.