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This article, Ted Morgan and the Silver Sphere - Chapter Two, is strictly property of Dark Seeker Kotsu.

Ted Morgan Book 1
The great oak door swung open at once. Before them stood a tall older woman in regal emerald robes with eyes like those of a hawk. She had a stern look on her face and wore regal emerald robes. She did not look like the sort of person one would cross. Ted bowed his head and tried to look as polite as possible.

"The new firs' years, Professor McGonagall." Hagrid said. McGonagall regarded him for a moment as she peered at the nervous group of eleven year old children before her. 

"Thank you, Hagrid. I will attend to them from here." she replied back smoothly. She pushed the door wide and everyone gaped. The entrance hall was huge enough to hold a full-sized house in it, with flickering light from torches hung on the stone walls. Their shoes clicked against a shining flagged-stone floor and they all gaped next at a great white marble staircase that led to the upper levels. Ted cast a wayward glance to the left of the staircase at what looked like a darkly descending chamber as McGonagall led them to the right. Here was a set of great double-doors that they could hear many voices behind. But McGonagall did not lead them through these doors. She instead opened a door and allowed them into an empty chamber. They were content to pack into it like sardines in a can, stopping to look expectantly at her.

"Welcome to Hogwarts," began Professor McGonagall. "The start-of-term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats, you shall be sorted into your Houses. Sorting is a crucial beginning to your seven terms at Hogwarts. While you are here, your House will serve as your family. You will have classes with others in your House, sleep in your House dormitory, and eat meals at your House's table in the Great Hall."

The explanation sounded routine, but not a single pair of eyes diverted from her. Ted was too excited about the school to be bored by the speech and continued to listen, captivated by the wonders of the castle that Professor McGonagall explained to them. It was better than reading, where Ted had "mind-movies" to satisfy his wonder as he pictured the vast worlds explored by his storybook protagonists. This was a very real world that McGonagall was exposing and introducing them to, and Ted was eager to dive into it wholly.

“Hogwarts has four Houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each House bears its own noble and rich history and has produced some of the finest witches and wizards. Hogwarts also functions on a points system. Triumphs will earn you points that are dropped into your House's hourglass in the entry hall. Any rule-breaking will result in a loss of points. At the end of the year, the points are tallied up and the house with the most points is awarded the House Cup, a great honor for any class to bear. I hope each of you will prove to be an asset to whichever House it is you will soon belong to."

“The Sorting Ceremony will take place in five minutes' time in front of the entire school, student body and faculty alike. I suggest you all smarten yourselves up as much as you can while you are waiting.” she said, her eyes lingering on LT’s crooked robe and the tie of the Filipino boy that had fought the weedy boy at the harbor. Ted self-consciously patted his unruly hair down and Callan fiddled with the collar of his shirt. 

“I shall return when we are ready for you.” she added. “Please wait quietly.”

And so she left. Callan turned to fix Clifford's tie as Ted crouched to fix the laces of his new black school trainers. While he was at it, he fixed the laces on Barku's trainers as well before getting up amid gales of whispers like wildfire from the nervous first years.  

"How exactly do they sort us?" Ted asked curiously to Barku, who shrugged.

"Well...my older brother Christopher said we would have to fight a troll. But he was probably joking." Clifford confessed nervously, and several of the students nearest to him paled.

“What the bloody hell is that?” a boy suddenly cried out. No less than twenty pearly ghosts came soaring through the back wall and into the chamber. Some of the students shrieked and fell against the opposite wall with wide eyes. Others - like Ted - merely gaped. The ghosts eyed the students with just as much surprise as what was thrown at them.

"Well, what are you lot doing here? Shouldn't you be in the Great Hall?" a ghost in a ruff and tights asked, looking at them with a perplexed look as though he had never seen children in this room of the castle before, or as though they weren't supposed to be here.

“We forget this every year, Sir Nicholas. New first years!" cried a fat little monk with an amiable smile upon his face. A few of the students calmed visibly upon discovering these ghosts were friendly, but many were still quite uneasy.

“Ah, that's quite right, dear Friar. It is the first day of the new term." the ghost in the ruff replied, beaming at the lot of them.

“Sorry to give you all such a shock. About to be sorted, I suppose?” the Fat Friar asked genially. Some of the students nodded, but without a trace of confidence. Others still seemed to be perfectly petrified. Ted noticed Barku was grinning broadly.

“Hope to see you lot in Hufflepuff, my old House.” the Friar cried merrily, waving at them.

"Move along." Professor McGonagall commanded from out of nowhere. The ghosts apologetically drifted through the other wall, leaving the incoming first years alone with her. McGonagall eyed them all sharply as though judging whether they had smartened up or not before beckoning them.

"Form a line and follow me." Professor McGonagall demanded. Without argument, the first years shuffled into a line and followed her out of the chamber and right to the set of double-doors, which she flung open. Ted gulped and wanted to screw his eyes closed as the Great Hall was revealed to them and as they were revealed to everyone else.

First years gaped at once as the Great Hall began to fall quiet. It was lit by thousands upon thousands of floating candles that hung over four huge tables spread vertically before them. Hundreds of students sat at each, chattering quietly to their old friends and classmates. Ted was staring at the horizontal table at the head of the room, where the teachers sat, when someone pointed up and everyone gasped some more. There was no visible roof, but the room seemed to melt right into the nighttime sky, which was inky-black and dappled with thousands of glowing stars. McGonagall led them to the front before having them halt at a set of small steps leading up to the teachers' table. In the space between the steps and the table sat a single wooden stool with a tattered hat on it. The hat's brim opened like a mouth, and much to their shock, it began to sing: “Oh you may not think I'm pretty,

But don't judge on what you see,

I'll eat myself if you can find

A smarter hat than me. 

You can keep your bowlers black,

Your top hats sleek and tall,

For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat

And I can cap them all. 

There's nothing hidden in your head

The Sorting Hat can't see,

So try me on and I will tell you

Where you ought to be. 

You might belong in Gryffindor,

Where dwell the brave at heart,

Their daring, nerve, and chivalry

Set Gryffindors apart; 

You might belong in Hufflepuff,

Where they are just and loyal,

Those patient Hufflepuffs are true

And unafraid of toil; 

Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,

if you've a ready mind,

Where those of wit and learning,

Will always find their kind; 

Or perhaps in Slytherin

You'll make your real friends,

Those cunning folks use any means

To achieve their ends. 

So put me on! Don't be afraid!

And don't get in a flap!

You're in safe hands (though I have none)

For I'm a Thinking Cap!” 

The entirety of the massive hall burst into applause and the hat bowed to each of the four tables. Professor McGonagall stepped forward with a long roll of parchment in her hands. Ted gulped, a great excitement bounding about his inside, like a hyperactive rabbit. He could see the others around him growing tense as well. The Sorting was surely about to begin.

“When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted.” McGonagall said, looking around at them. No one in the hall spoke, but they could see students of each table craning to get a good look at the newcomers. Barku clapped Ted on the back reassuringly.

"Aarons, Jake!" McGonagall called out, clearly enough for the entire hall to hear.

A boy with shaggy golden hair stumbled up to the stool, going a pale green color as he very shakily sat down on the stool, screwing his eyes shut long before McGonagall dropped the Sorting Hat down over his head. The hat completely obscured his eyes, but his mouth was contorted in fear. He sat up there, trembling for a full minute, but then....

"SLYTHERIN!" shrieked the Sorting Hat. The table on the far left burst into wild applause as the boy gingerly took the hat off and placed it back down on the school, shuffling nervously over to his new peers and looking like he very much wanted to shrink as everyone in the hall watched his passage.

"Adams, Josephine!" McGonagall called.

A girl with short chocolate-colored hair was the next to walk up to the hat, doing so nervously but with more confidence than Jake did. She sat down on the stool and the Sorting Hat was dropped over her for only ten seconds before deciding.

"RAVENCLAW!" the hat shouted, and the table to their immediate left let out cheers as Josephine smiled and skipped down to them happily. Ted noticed an older student with a badge with a "P" on it that came over and tapped Josephine's robes. Blue and bronze suddenly joined her robes along with the black, and the Hogwarts crest on the breast had become a Ravenclaw crest, bearing an eagle. He turned and saw Jake's robes now had green and silver on them, with a Slytherin badge that contained a snake. 

"Allen, Piper!"

A girl with pale skin and dark brown hair and eyes walked up next, nervous as she sat on the stool. Her wait was only five seconds long, but she squirmed nervously on the stool as all watched her.

"HUFFLEPUFF!" the hat cried, and the table to their immediate right burst into applause this time, with some of them getting up to give her a standing ovation. Piper grinned and strode over to her table with newfound confidence. She found a place near a few kind-looking older girls, accepting new robes of yellow and black with a badger in the crest.

"Altair, Barku!"

Ted felt Barku's apprehension as his new best friend jostled his way through the crowd of first years and walked nervously up to the stool. Halfway through his nervous walk, he picked himself up suddenly and stood tall, plopping himself on that stool with about as much confidence as anyone could muster. Some of the older kids whispered, amused, and Ted could see the red-and-gold clad table on the far right whispering and pointing at him. The hat was dropped over the young Australian wizard's thick hair, but had barely touched his head when it screamed out:

"GRYFFINDOR!"

It was that bold-looking table on their far right that burst into applause this time. Several of the boys from this table jumped up and whooped and whistled loudly as Barku grinned at them and strode over to them to sit. A beaming prefect met him and tapped his uniform. Reds and golds burst across it, and the plain Hogwarts crest became a lovely Gryffindor crest with a lion in it. 

"Banks, Siena!"

A girl with short black hair pushed her way through them and strode up to the stool next. She had green eyes and a very devious look on her face. She was pretty, but Ted wasn't sure that he liked her, though this could be attributed to the fact that she had elbowed him in the ribs as she pushed her way to the front. To Ted, she simply looked somewhat too confident and arrogant about it all. The hat sat on her head for five seconds.

"SLYTHERIN!" it screamed loudly. Siena smirked and tossed the hat back on the stool carelessly as she went to the cheering Slytherins. She chose a seat just across from Jake Aarons, who looked slightly less shaky and somewhat captivated by her.

"Broderick, Tristan!"

A somewhat tallish boy (who was still nowhere near Barku's height) made his way forward. He had black hair too, and his was medium-length and actually combed. He looked solemn as he made his way up and had the Sorting Hat dropped over his head.

"SLYTHERIN!" the hat shrieked again after half a minute. The Slytherin table was going wild by now, but Tristan looked as though he had not a care in the world as he walked over to their ranks. Siena Banks seemingly lost interest in Jake as Tristan arrived, and she enthusiastically offered the seat beside her. Still without a care in the world, Tristan took her up on her offer.

"Bulger, Lucy!"

This girl did not look like a prospective Slytherin to Ted. She had short brown hair that was combed very neatly and with a pink clip in it. Her blue eyes were wide with curiosity and wonder. To Ted, she had a kind expression. Though nervous, she was smiling at everyone shakily as the hat was dropped over her head.

"HUFFLEPUFF!" the hat cried at once. Lucy was beaming brightly when the hat was pulled off of her. She half-ran and half-skipped to the Hufflepuff table, sitting beside Piper. The two girls began to talk at once. As their backs were turned, a prefect tapped her robes and changed them as he went by.

They watched as "Canterbury, Cole" was sorted into Ravenclaw, and as "Colbert, Lindsay" was made a Gryffindor. Ted thought fair-haired Lindsay was rather beautiful, and couldn't help but admire her a bit. "Curtis, Gwendolyn" also entered Gryffindor, and seemed happy to join Lindsay, and "David, Cyrus" was sent off to Ravenclaw to join Cole.

"Dorsey, Clifford!"

Clifford paled and stumbled forward, his brown hair windswept. He was slow in getting up there, his face a mask of unease as he sat down on the stool. The hat fell over his head and stayed there for sixteen seconds when it made the decision on where to place him.

“HUFFLEPUFF!” roared the hat. Clifford smiled weakly, a look of relief on his face as he was accepted by a rank of smiling and laughing Hufflepuffs that clapped him on the back warmly. Ted knew Callan was beginning to feel torn like he was. Both of their friends had been split up. 

"Eamon, Lane!"

A boy with short dark hair was the next to walk up, trying to look casual. It was an attempt made in vain, as he was just as nervous-looking as everyone before him. He turned to face them, drawing in a deep breath before sitting down on the stool gently. His eyes screwed shut as McGonagall dropped the Sorting Hat over his head. The entirety of the hall fell silent and the hat stayed there for almost two-and-a-half minutes. His ears, which had caught the hat, were going bright red when the hat decided.

"GRYFFINDOR!" the hat roared. Lane was so overjoyed and relieved that he threw himself off the stool and raced halfway to Gryffindor table still wearing the Sorting Hat. He had to double back apologetically to McGonagall and hand the hat to her, amid gales of laughter. 

"Ford, Jeyne" was sorted after Lane, and she made Hufflepuff house, while "Gate, Agatha" made Ravenclaw and went to sit with the other Ravenclaws. "Hedgewick, Anna" joined the girls sorted into Hufflepuff and "Hennessy, Rose" was placed in Slytherin, while "Jones, Jennifer" was put in Gryffindor.

"Keppeler, Ross!"

The black-haired and bulky friend of the rude boy from the station stepped forward with near-arrogance. His walk was sure and lacking stiffness. He already knew where he was going and embraced it. Everyone else found out where he was destined to be a few moments later.

"SLYTHERIN!" 

Ross grinned and he and Dyllan shared grins before he strode over to the Slytherin table, sitting near Jake, who seemed intimidated. He began bantering openly to his new house.

"Latcher, Veronica!"

A girl with wavy caramel-colored hair was next to step forward to the hat. She wore a pouty and bratty sort of look and disdainfully scowled at the hat and the stool as though it were unclean. McGonagall seemed annoyed by the girl's attitude as she dropped the Sorting Hat over her head. The hat touched her for two seconds.

"SLYTHERIN!" it screamed again, and she happily went to join the roaring Slytherins, who were pleased to get yet another student. 

"Madden, Marshall!"

It was a big boy who walked up next, with black hair and brown eyes. He was big in the sense that he was taller than Ted, but certainly not so with Barku, so somewhere around the lines of the kind of height that Tristan Broderick possessed. He was looking as though he had just been asked to fight a swordsman to the death with nothing but a spoon and his eyes darted around frantically as the hat was dropped on his head. 

"HUFFLEPUFF!" the hat cried. Marshall slipped off the stool, red-faced, and hurried over to sit with Clifford and the others in Hufflepuff House. Ted knew his own sorting was looming too close for comfort now that McGonagall reached "M". As "Martins, Tayler" was being sorted, Ted nervously tried wondering what his fate might be. What if he and Callan were split up, or worse - if he ended up in Slytherin with no friends and only prospective enemies.

"Morgan, Callan!"l

The time had come. Ted's heart flip-flopped weakly in his chest as Callan strode forward carefully, trembling a little. Whispers shot through the hall and speculations rose if the other Morgan twin was here as well, or if they simply had the wrong Morgan. Ted could feel their eyes scanning through the unsorted first year crowd before turning back up to his brother. Many knew of the incident in which Death Eaters had killed Ted and Callan's Auror parents, but managed to miss the boys. Ted had only heard of it two weeks ago from Hagrid and had gone to Hogwarts unknowing of how significant such an event could be. Callan sat nervously on the stool and the hat was dropped over his ginger hair. Ted bit on his lip and silence overtook the Great Hall. They all waited a minute...two...three...and then after eight more seconds.

“HUFFLEPUFF!” the hat cried. The entire Hufflepuff House burst with fresh peals of applause. Clifford's entusiastic cheers were heard by Ted and by Callan too, who smiled as he handed the hat politely to McGonagall before racing to Hufflepuff to be clapped on the back and beamed at. He looked incredulous as the tap of a prefect's wand set him in brand new black and yellow robes with a badger in the crest.

"Morgan, Tedrick!"

The whispering was deafening now as Ted felt his ears go a bit red. He stepped forward slowly, feeling thousands of eyes on him as he stumbled to the stool, both excited and petrified with fear. He sat down firmy on the stool and gripped the sides of it with his hands. The last thing he saw before the darkness of the hat fell over his eyes were of Callan at the front of Hufflepuff table with a curious expression as the entirety of the student body all craned to get a good look at him. The hat then fell over his eyes. He could see no more.

"Hmm, another difficult one," a  familiar voice spoke into his mind. '"But not quite in the way your brother was. More difficult than he was, in fact. You have a great mind, Ted Morgan, but you aren't a rule-abider. Though intelligent, you are not so in the cerebral way. There is no genuine thirst for knowledge on all fronts within you."

"Who are you?" Ted thought back to the voice, then mentally slapped himself as he recalled the Sorting Hat's song and knew where the voice was from at once.

"The Sorting Hat, of course. Now...you are kind and fair like your brother...but you are more fiery than him, I suspect. You would only play fairly if the other side honored fairness as well. That seemed your brother's perfect fit to me. He had that in him - that he would play fairly regardless of his opponent's stance. You are different there. And yet, you posess something he does not that makes this all the more difficult."

"How so?" Ted asked, wondering what it was that set him apart from Callan in such contrast.

"Callan doesn't have a desire to prove himself. The way he sees himself is that he doesn't need to prove what he is or what he can do for anybody. You possess that desire. You want to prove yourself to others. You have a lot of courage, which is a trait favored by Gryffindor. But you also have the workings of an incredible Slytherin within you."

"Please don't put me in Slytherin." Ted begged. '"I don't want to be a Slytherin." He was completely against the idea of being one at this point. The Slytherins he had seen were not the most pleasant-looking lot. If he became one of them, those are the people he would be made to spend time with. He was also averse to the idea of sharing a dorm with Dyllan, who seemed dead-set on being a Slytherin with Ross.

"Not Slytherin?'" the hat asked as though it couldn't understand why Ted was averse to the suggestion. '"Are you sure? You have the cunning and ambition of a true Slytherin lurking within you. If put in Slytherin, those traits could be nurtured. Slytherin will help you up the ranks faster than Gryffindor could. Still no? Well...if you think you're better off without Slytherin...GRYFFINDOR!"

The last word was shouted aloud to the entire school. Ted was stunned at first, but couldn't help but to burst into a delighted grin as the hat was taken off his head. Perhaps he had been mistaken, but it looked as though McGonagall had smiled at him as she took the Sorting Hat back. Applause exploded from Gryffindor table. He could see Barku leading the applause with his own excited cries. Ted turned then to regard Callan, who sat near Clifford. The twins locked eyes for a moment before Callan nodded Ted along and both twins beamed as Ted turned and ran to the Gryffindor table, right into a waiting throng of older boys that clapped him on the back and shook his hand and tousled his hair. Barku slung his arm proudly around Ted's shoulders, proud that his best friend had made it into Gryffindor with him. A beaming prefect with wavy brown hair found him and tapped his robes.

Red and gold danced across his uniform, coloring the blander parts of it. He admired his Gryffindor lion in the crest and smiled at it before sitting beside Barku on the side of the table that faced the rest of the hall. Lane gave him a friendly smile from across the table. On Lane's one side was a girl who was maybe a year their senior, a beautiful girl with brown hair that smiled warmly at Ted. 

"Welcome to Gryffindor." she said in a tone just as warm as her smile. Ted smiled back nervously and thanked her as Barku turned him with a broad grin.

"Morris, Dyllan!"

They turned their heads to see the rude brown-haired boy from earlier as he smirked and swaggered up to the Sorting Hat. He too, knew exactly where he was going. The hat made a verdict upon immediate contact.

"SLYTHERIN!" the hat roared and Dyllan smirked arrogantly before striding over to Ross at the Slytherin table. The two of them smirked at one another and sat down together. Veronica Latcher dropped her pout for a moment and batted her eyelashes at Dyllan, who was probably the handsomest first year Slytherin considering a lot of girls from other tables had been eyeing him too, up until this point. She went unnoticed by Dyllan, who turned to say something to Tristan Broderick.

"Nixon, Harriet!"

A girl with mousy hair and green-brown eyes was the very next to walk up, peering at the hall with interest. She took a seat and was sorted in seconds.

"RAVENCLAW!" the hat cried. Harriet got off the stool slowly and walked in the politest of manners to the Ravenclaw table, who accepted her in their quiet and polite way, each one taking the time to shake her hand.

"Peterson, Raistlin!"

The tall red-haired boy from before walked up nervously. He was definitely on par with Barku for being a very tall first year. He sat down on the stool, but was strangely calm when he did this. He smiled pleasantly as though unbothered by any of the anxiety of being sorted.

"HUFFLEPUFF!" the hat screamed. LT - or Raistlin, Ted wasn't sure - got off the stool with that calm look on his face and made his way down to Hufflepuff, where he exchanged high-fives and claps on the back with his new House. They watched "Phillips, Lauren" go to Ravenclaw, and "Phillock, Christiana" go to Hufflepuff. "Posey, Ibbe" had been sent to Ravenclaw and "Race, Kylie" had just been sent to Slytherin. In the most recent sorting, a somewhat tall black boy named "Raleigh, William" was sent to Ravenclaw.

"Reaper, Joshua!"

Ted watched as a boy with neat brown hair emerged from the small group of remaining unsorted first years. His blue-green eyes were wide and his pale skin paled even further with anxiety as he slowly made his way up and sat on the stool, eyes screwed shut. McGonagall dropped the Sorting Hat over his head it stayed there for half a minute, then a full minute, then a minute and a half...

"GRYFFINDOR!" shouted the hat clearly. Joshua visibly sighed with relief and let McGonagall take the hat off before half-springting over to Gryffindor table amid applause. Ted got to applaud this time too, and was one of the first to welcome Joshua. Ted offered the boy the open space beside him and the boy smiled and took the offer warmly. Only a few students were left to be sorted. "Senters, Britney" was placed in Slytherin as a girl with short brown hair and glasses named "Smith, Bianca" ended up in Ravenclaw.

"Tregidgo, Jerry!"

Ted immediately recognized Jerry as the Filipino boy that had fought the weedy boy in the underground harbor. He strode forward, blushing a bit as he saw Hagrid's reproachful look and recalled the scuffle that had taken place not even an hour ago. He bowed his head and strode at a quick pace to the rest of the way and sat down on the stool with great purpose. The hat made a decision in a matter of seconds.

"GRYFFINDOR!" it screamed and Jerry beamed and jogged over to their table, sliding in beside Lane without even waiting to be asked. They all grinned and shook hands with him, welcoming him just as they had been welcomed. Ted was content at the idea of having new people to befriend.

They watched "Turner, Ian" be sent to Hufflepuff with a great applause from Josh, who had befriended the boy on the Hogwarts Express. A very sharp-looking boy with glasses named "Wise, Shakhan" ended up in Ravenclaw and seemed content to be there. With only two sortings left, they watched restlessly as a girl named "York, Rowena" ended up in Gryffindor with smiles and a warm welcome from the Gryffindor girls. The final sorting was "Zimmerman, Ezekiel", the weedy-faced boy that had picked a fight with Jerry. He was predictably a Slytherin and rushed over to the table to bother his new friends.

Professor McGonagall rolled up the scroll and took the Sorting Hat and the stool it sat on. Ted's stomach was now grumbling. It seemed all the sweets he had eaten with the others on the train had long vacated his stomach, which growled angrily at him. They now noticed Professor McGonagall sitting at the head seat at the teacher's table and realized that she was the headmistress.

"Who reckoned she was head all along?" Barku asked Ted in a low and excited whisper. Ted nodded and grinned at him. Both boys suddenly sprang back, along with the other first years. Food had suddenly appeared on the empty dishes before them as the empty pitchers and glasses were now full of beverages.

Ted had never seen so many of his favorite foods at once. There were warm plates of roast beef, roast chicken, pork chops, lamb chops, sausages, bacon, steak, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, and baked potatoes which came with butter or sour cream. There were large clear bowls of spaghetti that came with meatballs, meat sauce, or no meat at all. In other clear bowls were stews, pot roasts, and soups from every nation of the world. There were baskets with bread from every possible background. There were even warm sides of every variety, from piping-hot french fries and Yorkshire pudding to vegetable sides, gravy, and stuffing. For some odd reason, there were even peppermint humbugs.

Ted was so hungry that he immediately served himself a hot bowl of the spaghetti and meatballs and took a steak and a piece of lambchop, accompanied by a buttered baked potato. The pitcher rose all on its own as he reached for it and poured ice-cold pumpkin juice into the glass, much to his surprise. The pumpkin juice was wonderful on his throat.

He noticed the older boy that had helped LT find his owl earlier. He had short dark hair and brown eyes and was presently taking in a mouthful of baked potato with sour cream and talking to the pretty girl that had welcomed Ted to Gryffindor. With them was a third student, a boy who looked as old as thirteen with thick brown hair.

"Excited to go to Hogsmeade this year, Vic?" the boy from the train asked. He was grinning.

"Definitely. I'm so glad to finally be a third year, Ivan. Got my new electives as well." The brown-haired boy said as he took in a spoonful of the French Onion soup. "I've chosen Care of Magical Creatures and Divination. They sound easy enough to sit, and the Magical Creatures class actually sounds pretty fun."

"I'm so jealous, Victor." the girl said to him. "I've got to wait until next year to buy sweets from Hogsmeade."

"Perhaps I can sneak you in, Ambrosette?" Victor suggested, grinning. Ted watched them and began cutting up his steak first as conversation broke out among the pack of first year boys.

"What kind of families do you lot come from?" Barku asked. 

"I was raised my my aunt and uncle, who are Muggles. Dreaful ones at that." Ted explained, before eating a piece of steak. "I've got a fraternal twin brother named Callan, he's in Hufflepuff now."

"I'm half and half." said Jerry through a mouthful of lamb chop. "My dad's a Muggle and my mum's a witch. She didn't tell him until after they had me, and that was a right shock to him. But he's used to it now...rather likes it, in fact. I've got one little sister named Marie. She's only eight, so she won't be here for a while, but she's got magic in her."

"I'm all wizard, but my uncle Philip could swear I was a Squib." Lane admitted. "You see, then one day I set a scarf my nan was knitting on fire. That changed his mind. I've got a little sister and a brother." He bit into his sausage.

"I'm all wizard." Josh began as he nibbled on french fries. "Brought up by two wizarding parents in the English countryside. They've always known I had magic in me. I've levitated once on accident in my youth while playing with the neighbor's son, and that scared him right off. It's just me and my younger brother Lenny, who'll be starting here next year."

"Same for me." Barku said. "Only I was brought up in Australia. In fact, I still live there. Instead of going to the Australian school though, my parents wanted me here. They were always firm believers of Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter. Even my grandfather was in the Order of the Phoenix. My mum and I commuted to London by Floo."

When the boys had put away as much dinner as they could possibly manage to, all the dinner foods faded. Ted expected it to be the end of the feast, but almost immediately after all the dishes were replaced by wonderful desserts. There were blocks of ice cream in every flavor imaginable that refused to melt, with a tureen of hot fudge and scoops of chopped nuts, cherries, and whipped cream that one could add on to their liking. There were also freshly baked pies, treacle tarts, chocolate eclairs, jam doughnuts, trifle, strawberries, rice pudding, cheesecakes, cookies, and miniature cupcakes. Accompanying dessert in the stead of pumpkin juice were large goblets of milk, and even milk alternatives for those with allergies.

Ted ladled vanilla ice cream into his bowl and topped it with a molten layer of hot fudge and an accompaniment of whipped cream, but was soon tasting the other desserts with his new peers. Barku easily put away a first slice of apple pie and was now starting in on a vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting. Jerry had instead decided on a treacle tart, while Josh was digging into his trifle. Lane however, favored the jam doughnuts most of all. All of them went on about the wonderful food and listened politely to Victor's explanation of Hogsmeade while a jealous Ambrosette looked on.

Ted began to presently feel quite tired and warm and rather full. The food had filled him up and he now felt rather groggy. The desserts soon disappeared as everyone began to fill. Professor McGonagall stood before the hall and they all fell silent.

“First years should note that the forest on the grounds is forbidden to all pupils.” she announced. “Mr. Filch would also like me to remind you that magic should not be used between classes in the corridors. Any student found using a Skiving Snackbox or other Weasley product to get out of class will lose their house twenty points and be given a detention. Before we go turn in, let us sing the school song.” she said smoothly. 

A man clad in black with thick brown hair beside her stood up. A golden ribbon shot out of his wand, turning into a loud banner the whole school could read. They all began to sing: 

“Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts,

Teach us something please,

Whether we be old and bald,

Or young with scabby knees,

Our heads could do with filling,

With some interesting stuff,

For now they're bare and full of air,

Dead flies and bits of fluff,

So teach us things worth knowing,

Bring back what we've forgot,

Just do your best, we'll do the rest,

And learn until our brains all rot.” 


They all sang at their own pace and with their own tune until finally only Jerry and some older Gryffindors were left singing slower pieces. When they had finished, McGonagall spoke a final time to them.

"Now off to bed. Prefects, show your first year students to the dormitories."

"Hey there first-years. I'll lead the lot of you up to the dorm." said a kind-looking Filipino boy. They soon gathered from his appearance and from what Rowena said that he was her older brother, Elias. Elias led them out of the hall. There, they waited politely for the passing crowd of Hufflepuff first years. Ted found Callan as he was going by and the twins high-fived before Callan and the others were led - not up the stairs, like Ted expected, but into another chamber on this level. As they waited, Elias briefly explained how his mother had always dreamed of sending her children to Hogwarts in the stead of the Filipino school, because she'd heard wonderful things about Hogwarts.

They headed up the marble staircase and up to another set of stairs that was moving, much to their shock. Elias calmly explained that the Great Staircase liked to move around and that none of the staircases were as they seemed. He said it was likely they would run into a few trick staircases in their day and to be wary of them. They then trooped up the seventh floor and up to a portrait of a large woman in a pink silk dress.

"Password?" she asked them.

"Bowtruckle." Elias said smoothly. The portrait swung open like a door, revealing a large square hole in the wall, which Elias explained would expand to the needs of the Gryffindor student or that wished entrance and would even become a simple opening in the wall for teachers. Elias helped them each climb through it and Ted was one of the first to crawl through on hands and knees. They waited until all were in a hall, then followed Elias down it and into a spacious room. There were tables here to study and play games at together, windows to provide a lovely nighttime view of the grounds, a notice board with only a few things plastered on it and a roaring fireplace with squashy red armchairs placed around it. Two sets of double doors existed here, one leading to the left and the other to the right. They were in the Gryffindor Common Room at last.

"First year girls, this way!" cried Ambrosette. The boys watched as Lindsay, Gwen, Jennifer, Rowena, and Tayler headed to the double doors on the left behind Ambrosette. The girls trooped through the doors, leaving the boys behind.

"Alright, first year boys, over here!" Victor shouted then. They followed him without protest through the double doors on the right and up a spiral staircase lit only by the light of the moon outside of the windows they peeked out, awestruck. They passed many doors until the spiral staircase came to an end, right by a final door that Victor pushed open. They gasped.

There were five beds lined up inside the room, lovely four-posters with scarlet curtains that looked as though they were made of something soft like silk. Their trunks were already packed in front of the beds, each with their name stamped on it finely. Ted immediately found his crimson trunk by the bed in the center of the five and at what looked like the head of the room (unbeknownst to him, a bed once occupied by Harry Potter). Barku was claiming his own blue trunk at the bed to the left of Ted's, while Josh was on Ted's other side. The last two beds were taken by Jerry and Lane, with Lane on Barku's other side and Jerry beside Josh. 

Victor left them to get comfortable, and the boys slowly changed into their pajamas. Jerry reunited with Frost, a pure white young cat that was perched on the end of his bed. It reminded Ted, who thought of Callan reuniting with Chief in the Hufflepuff dorm right now. Ted missed Callan but knew his brother was fine with Clifford. He peered around for Ares and Brutus, but Josh told them the owls would all be up in the Owlery. As Ted slid into bed, he tried to ask Barku if he had tried the steak but then fell fast asleep.

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