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Wow, This is Weird!
Walking into the Hall, the four came to a standstill behind the rapidly dwindling line of first years waiting to be sorted. Dumbledore took his seat at the front as Minerva continued to call out names. The Hall was already full of students, who were watching the new arrivals with curiosity. The four shifted uncomfortable under such close scrutiny. Looking around at the sea of faces, they spotted some very familiar looking people. At the Gryffindor table the Marauders were easily visible. Harry felt a deep sadness come over his as he watched a beautiful redheaded fifth year with sparkling emerald green eyes talking animatedly with a weary seeming boy with a tired looking face and haunted eyes. Next to them, two dark haired boys, both sporting cheeky grins, were deep in conversation. It was obvious they were discussing who to prank next by the way they were eyeing up the Slytherin table. Across from them, a short tubby boy with dirty blond hair was trying to join in their conversation with little success. Harry's eyes narrowed as he spotted the rat who betrayed his parents.
Following the gaze of the younger version of his godfather, Harry glanced at some of the people sitting at the Slytherin table. A lot of them looked familiar as Death Eaters who had been at Voldemort's resurrection at the end of the Triwizard Tournament. Harry suppressed a shudder as his eyes locked onto the cruel gaze of a platinum blond seventh year. With a start, the Boy-Who-Lived realised he was looking at a younger version of Lucius Malfoy. Upon closer inspection, he could see the seventh year boy looked almost exactly like Caligula had at that age, and he knew Draco would be the same. The Malfoys all seemed to look the same, despite their mothers' genes. Lucius broke the gaze first, turning to speak to a younger boy next to him, who Harry realised with a start was a younger Severus Snape. Quickly averting his eyes, he continued to peruse the Great Hall.
Looking over to the Hufflepuff table, Harry spotted a few people who looked vaguely familiar. Someone who looked a little like Cedric Diggory was sitting with a group of younger students. Must be his older brother, Harry thought. He was talking to a group of students, some of which looked like other members of the Hufflepuff House in Harry's time. There were also a few who reminded him of some of his Housemates the year before.
The Ravenclaw table, like the Hufflepuffs, showed a few people with passing resemblances to people he had met before, in the future or the past. He spotted a couple of seventh years holding hands, who looked like they could be Cho Chang's parents. When he thought of Cho, he realised he no longer felt anything for her. The only person he felt like that about was `Tea. Thoughts of the Ravenclaw daughter made him seek her out. She should be floating around her House table, after all. After a few moments he spotted her sitting with a group of older students, having what seemed like a very involved conversation. It was obvious she hadn't spotted the time travellers entering. Harry sent a quick mental nudge in her direction, knowing her telepathic ability would allow her to pick it up. He watched amused as she started in surprise, before looking around the Great Hall frantically, trying to find the source. When she finally spotted him, their eyes met and held for what seemed like an age. Harry watched as a broad smile broke out on her face. She looked really happy to see him. Finishing her conversation with the Ravenclaws, she floated over inconspicuously, keeping an eye on the rapidly shortening line of first years. When she got to the group, she greeted her old friends in her mother tongue, surprising the few first years at the end of the line who were close enough to hear.
Hello, you four. Long time no see.
Well, it hasn't been as long as it was last time. And at least this time you weren't trapped in a stone.
That's true, Harry. How have you all been?
We're fine. `Tea, Ron told her, We were a bit surprised when we got here and realised we were in a time when Harry's parents are alive. It's a bit of a shock for him.
Oh, dear. I'd never thought of that. Are you alright, love? Gallatea asked the boy she loved, laying an insubstantial hand on his arm.
I'll be alright, `Tea. I think the biggest problem will be the House rivalry. I'm in Slytherin this year, and they're in Gryffindor. We know from my godfather Sirius that the Marauders hated all Slytherins.
Well, maybe you can show them that not all Slytherins are bad. I mean, Ron's your best friend, and he's a Gryffindor. Ron, just make sure you tell them that Harry isn't evil, and introduce them. I'm sure they'll look past House rivalries if you show them you're a good person.
Well, I hope so, `Tea. Hey, can you come to my room tomorrow night? We have some catching up to do. We'll have been to Diagon Alley by then, as well. We're going with some of the Order members. We had a meeting before, and they agreed to come.
Sure, I'll bring Peeves as well.
Thanks, `Tea. Hey, I have a question. One of the Order members I asked to come tomorrow is called Heather Evans. Do you know if she's related to my mother?
Lily Evans? Yes, she's Heather's younger sister.
Strange, I've never heard of her.
At that moment, the last person in the line of first years was called forward by Minerva.
The four time travellers started at the name and looked at the young redheaded boy they hadn't noticed before. While they were distracted, Gallatea floated back to the Ravenclaw table, sending them a quick mental `goodbye'. The four hardly noticed as they watched Bill Weasley place the sorting hat on his head. After a moment, it made its decision.
He took the hat off his head and headed for the cheering table. It was now time for the new students to be introduced. They were nervous about meeting so many people they knew as adults in the future. They were also unsure about their new names. This time, they were all to be given new names, even Hermione. She had wanted to keep her own name, but Dumbledore pointed out that she had it in the last time, and she would be having it in the future. Some people may recognise the name and become a little suspicious. They had all picked new names for the occasion, although they knew it would take a while for them to get used to being called by them. They had chosen things that they thought appropriate, and would hopefully not be too hard for them to remember. Ginny and Ron, thinking back to the Quidditch World Cup, had chosen the perfect name. The only problem was that they started giggling in remembrance whenever they heard it. Harry had chosen a Latin name appropriate for the time. It was snake related, which went well with his new House, as well as his love for Simbi and Nirah. Hermione had also chosen a Latin name, which translated as `clever'. Everyone thought it suited her well. At that moment, Dumbledore stood up to address the curious students.
If I could just have your attention for a minute, I will let you fill your bellies all the more quickly. I have a rather unusual announcement to make. This year we are to be joined by four exchange students from one of the smaller British wizarding schools. They will be staying for one year only, so I ask that you make them all welcome. They are all the best of friends, but have each been placed in a different House, so I ask that House rivalries do not get in the way of their friendships. Now, please welcome Harry Anguifer, Hermione Sollers, Ronald Weatherby, and his sister Virginia Weatherby.
The four looked at each other briefly before heading off to their respective tables. Before they parted, Harry sent a quick mental message to Ron.
~Hey, mate, I have an idea~
~What's that, mate?~
~I feel like a prank~
~Shouldn't we leave that to the Marauders? I don't think they'll appreciate the competition~
~That's the thing. We probably won't get in trouble. The teachers will pin it on the Marauders~
~Good idea. What should we do?~
Their conversation continued as they sat at their respective House tables and were greeted by the occupants.
Hermione sat down at the Hufflepuff table and looked at the watching students a little uncomfortably. She didn't feel very good about joining the ranks of the Hufflepuffs. She had been perfectly comfortable with the Gryffindors and the Ravenclaws, but the Hufflepuffs weren't her type of people. She got on fine with them individually; especially Minh, but she didn't know how long she could spend in a House full of them. They weren't as bad as the Slytherins, which made Hermione look over to her friend in Slytherin in sympathy. After a few minutes watching Harry talk to some of the future Death Eaters, she turned her attention back to the rest of her table, offering them a small smile. The ones nearest to her smiled back and offered her their hands, and introduced themselves.
Hi, I'm Joseph Abbott.
And I'm Alistair Bones, and this is my sister Gwyn.
I'm Andrew Diggory, it's nice to meet you.
Welcome to Hufflepuff, my name's Ernest Macmillan, and this is my friend Electra McKinnon.
Hello everyone, I'm Hermione Sollers.
Looking around at the friendly faces around her, Hermione couldn't help but think that while Hufflepuff wasn't the best place for her, it wouldn't be too bad. At least I'm not in Slytherin, she thought, as she chatted to her new friends.
Sitting down at the table, Ginny looked at the Ravenclaws she was next to. They all greeted her politely enough, but soon went back to their conversations. Ginny tried to join in a few times, but she couldn't always keep up with some of the complex theories about magic they were throwing around. While not exactly unintelligent, Ginny didn't really feel she was up to the Ravenclaw standard. Thinking about it, she remembered that Harry didn't think he would fit in there, but he ended up in love with one of them. Thinking of Harry and `Tea made the young redhead a little depressed, so she started tucking into her meal, pretty much ignoring everyone else around her. That was, of course, until the Grey Lady herself settled down in the seat next to her, starting a conversation in Anglo-Saxon, much to the consternation of the other Ravenclaws. When they saw Ginny respond in the same language, they weren't impressed that their new Housemate knew more than them.
Ginny, what's wrong? `Tea asked the younger girl.
Nothing, I'm fine.
No, you're not, tell me. You know you can always talk to me about anything.
Sorry, `Tea. This is the one thing I can't talk to you about.
It's about Harry, isn't it?
Ginny looked at the ghost in shock. She didn't think she was being so transparent. She decided to try and distract the Ravenclaw heir and persuade her it had nothing to do with her ex-boyfriend.
What makes you say that?
Honey, I've been around a long time, and I've seen a lot of sixteen year olds. I can tell you're in love, and my guess would be Harry.
What makes you think it's him?
Simple process of elimination. If it was anyone from my time, you would have been depressed last year. The only people you were close to last year were your friends from the future, Minh, Eustace and Peeves. It can't be Peeves, because he's a poltergeist. You wouldn't have fallen for Eustace because when you left he was only twelve. I highly doubt it was Caligula Malfoy or Satanus Snape, because they did nothing but torment you. That leaves Ron and Harry. Ron, apart from having a girlfriend already, is your brother. You don't seem the type to be into incest, so that leaves Harry.
How can I dispute logic like that? Ginny asked with a watery smile.
You can't, which is how I know I'm right.
So, what if it is Harry? I can never have him anyway
Because he's still in love with you, and he always will be. You know, I told him how I felt last year when we were being held captive by Grindelwald. He told me then that you were the love of his life, and that he still wasn't over you.
Well, I think I'll have to have a chat with him about this .
NO! `Tea, it's alright. I respect his feelings, it's just .
You love him, don't you? Gallatea asked, hesitantly. All she got in response was Ginny miserably nodding her head. Making a decision, Gallatea told her friend exactly what she was going to do.
Gin? I think we need to meet up with Harry at some point and have a little chat. I suggest tomorrow we stay behind after the others leave so we can discuss this. I'm sure we can come to some arrangement.
No buts. I've made my mind up. Yes, I still love Harry, and I always will, but I've been around a long time. I've had time to mourn and come to terms with our situation. Even for Harry it's been a year. I'm dead now, and I can't do anything about a relationship, but he still has his whole life ahead of him. From what I've seen so far it's going to be pretty hard on him. He needs to move on and be happy. I'm not going to stand in the way. I think you two would be perfect for each other, and I'm going to convince you both of that fact even if it kills me. Well again or oh, you get the idea.
No arguments Ginny.
Alright, the youngest Weasley said quietly, while her head started spinning, full of thoughts about what could possibly happen if Gallatea talked Harry around.
As soon as they four were allowed to sit down at their tables, Ron headed over to the end of the Gryffindor table where the Marauders were seated. He knew that if Harry was to ever have a chance at getting to know his parents, it was up to him to show them that not all Slytherins were bad. It would be easier if he made friends with them straight away. When he got to where they were seated, he noticed the only empty space was next to Peter Pettigrew. Ron didn't much like the idea of being friends with the rat, but he gritted his teeth and forced a smile onto his face, before coughing politely to gain the attention of the conspiring Marauders.
Um hi, can I sit here? he asked when they looked up.
Sure. You're Ron, right? Hi, I'm Sirius Black, and these are my idiot friends James Potter, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew.
Ahem, came from the redheaded girl who had been talking to Remus at the sorting.
Oh, sorry, that's Lily Evans.
Nice to meet you all, Ron said as he shook all of their hands, wincing a bit when he came to Peter.
So, what year are you in, Ron? Remus asked him.
I'm a sixth year.
Really? We're fifth years. What are the OWLs like?
Um I'm not sure what to tell you, Sirius. They're not that bad, I suppose. I mean, I missed two months of school last year and I still passed them all.
Wow, what was wrong? James asked.
Well I can't tell you. I've been sworn to secrecy. It's Dark Lord related, though. They don't have to know which Dark Lord, Ron thought to himself.
Really? That sounds kind of dangerous, Lily commented.
It was, but I'd rather not talk about it, please.
Sure, whatever you say, mate. So what are these friends of yours like? It seems weird, four best friends being in all different Houses. I can't imagine being friends with a slimy Slytherin, Sirius was saying.
Oh, they're all good people, really. We weren't really sorted, you see. We were all placed in different Houses to um meet different people, so we can report back easier when we go back to our other school, Ron explained, trying to make it sound convincing.
Oh, right. That's not too bad then. You'll have to introduce us.
I will. My sister, Ginny, is in Ravenclaw. My girlfriend, Hermione, she's in Hufflepuff. And Harry's my best mate, he got stuck with Slytherin. Mind you, he may be a good influence on them
I doubt that, James pointed out, We all know they're mostly You-Know-Who's supporters.
Well, you don't need to worry about Harry going Dark, Ron said, thinking to himself that Harry was already Dark, so there was no danger of him becoming so, He'd never support Voldemort in a month of Sundays.
You said his name! Peter squeaked, and Ron noticed he was slightly rubbing his left arm.
Of course I did, Ron said, I never used to, but it was Harry who made all three of us start saying his name. He said fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.
That makes sense.
Yeah, Lily's right. Anyway, what makes you so sure your friend won't turn Death Eater? I mean, he is in You-Know-Who's old House, which is now full of his supporters.
James, Voldemort killed Harry's parents, Ron said a little uncomfortably, He's been wanting revenge ever since. Harry's a very strong wizard, and he's not one to cross. Voldemort tried to recruit him once, but he turned him down flat. And lived to tell the tale. If anyone can finally defeat him, it'll be Harry.
Really? I thought you said you were sixth years, Sirius butted in.
We are. But Harry wants revenge, and he's been training for a battle for years. It'll come, eventually, when Harry's prepared. I'm sure of it.
Well, it think it's time to change the subject, this conversation's getting a bit depressing.
I agree, Remus. Ron, do you like pranks?
Do I ever, Sirius!
Well, we were planning one for the Slytherins, what do you think ?
Harry didn't feel at all comfortable as he took his seat at the Slytherin table. Unfortunately for him, the only place free apart from with the first years was opposite Lucius Malfoy. As soon as he sat down, the blond boy smirked at him, and introduced himself, holding his hand out to the green eyed boy. Harry took it tentatively, not keen on making enemies unless provoked.
Hello, I'm Lucius Malfoy. Welcome to Slytherin.
Thank you, Harry said, You would be Caligula's son, then?
Yes, that's right. Have you met him?
Yes, a long time ago. I doubt he'd remember me.
Indeed. Let me ask, are you a pureblood?
Harry had been expecting this question, and was suitably prepared with a reasonable sounding response.
But of course. My parents were a witch and a wizard, if that's what you mean. I can trace my family back to the time of the founders.
Very impressive. What did you say your name was again?
Anguifer? I don't recall hearing of that family
We're from France, originally.
I see. Latin name as well. Means `snake bearing' if I'm not mistaken.
That's true. I have a particular affinity to snakes.
*You can say that again, Harry*
~Not now, Simbi~
Lucius was looking at the new boy in curiosity when he seemed to space out for a minute.
Harry? Are you still with us?
Oh, yes. Now, why don't you introduce me to the rest of your House, Lucius?
Oh yes, of course. To my right we have Nott, Avery, MacNair and Lestrange. These to my left are Crabbe and Goyle, he said, pointing to the two goons sitting next to him. Harry was strongly reminded of Draco, constantly being followed by these boys' sons.
Hello, Harry greeted reluctantly.
And this is Severus Snape. He's a fifth year, and rather useful. If you ever need anything doing. And I mean, anything, just tell him to do it. That's what I do.
Isn't that a bit unfair?
What do you mean, unfair?
Him having to do everything you say.
Well, I'm a Malfoy. If you know what's good for you, you'll learn that I run this House. Everyone answers to me. I'll let you off today, seeing as you're new, but don't expect me to be so lenient in the future.
What, you expect me to obey you?
Yes, because if you don't, I have some friends in very high places who will soon change your mind.
I'm sure you do, Lucius, but I'm warning you. Don't mess with me. I can be very dangerous if I want to be.
As Harry sat back in his chair, he shifted slightly; moving his robes in such a way that everyone in the vicinity could see he was wearing an assortment of weapons about his person.
Well, Harry, I'm impressed. But I have to ask. Just who do you work for? You look like a trained assassin to me. Are you one of the old fool's lapdogs?
If you are referring to the headmaster, then no, I don't work for him. I work with him, he silently added.
Then you are one of us?
Loyal to the Dark Lord, the older boy whispered. Harry just sneered in return.
Let me make one thing clear, Malfoy, I don't bow down to anyone, especially whiney little half-bloods with delusions of grandeur. Did you know your Master was a half blood? And you bow down to him? And you call yourself a Malfoy?
Lucius couldn't take any more and was on his feet in an instant, wand pointed at Harry's chest. The other boy simply raised an eyebrow at the fuming Malfoy.
Do you think you can scare me, Malfoy? If you do, you're gravely mistaken. I suggest you put your wand away and sit down, before I do to you the same think that happened to your grandfather Tiberius.
How do you know about that?!
Oh, I have my ways. Now this is your last warning. Don't. Mess. With. Me.
The seventh year reluctantly took his seat and started a conversation with Goyle. Harry turned to the wide eyed Snape and smiled.
Don't let him push you around. He's nothing but a bully.
Snape simply nodded in gratitude and turned back to his meal. Harry took the opportunity to think up a good prank. When he thought of something, he sent a quick mental message to Ron, Hermione and Ginny asking them to play along, to keep suspicion away from them. He then discreetly waved his hands under the table, casting a strong silencing charm on everyone in the room except for the Marauders, the Headmaster, and the Heads of Houses. When the whole room fell silent except for the four plotting Gryffindors, everyone's attention turned to them. They soon trailed off when they realised everyone was looking at them with varying degrees of malice. They glanced around confused, until Minerva stood up to yell at them.
POTTER! BLACK! DETENTION!
What did we do? Sirius asked James.
I really don't know.