The Great Hall grows hushed as the last of the students become quiet. Soon footsteps can be heard as the whole student body turns to face the front as the sharp, prim figure of Professor McGonagall can be seen. A line of nervous 1st years follow as they gape and glance around in utter shock. With calm and precision, Professor McGonagall leads them to the front of the hall and has the first years properly line up to face them.
Some of the first years begin to look awfully queasy but manage to not make themselves sick despite being a tinge of green. Recalling how the seated student's faces seemed so ominous, Rowan feels a trace of pity for the 1st years.
Professor McGonagall moves her wand as a four-legged stool appears before the stunned first years with a single raggedy hat on top of it. Everyone's eyes become glued to the hat as Rowan mentally zones out when the hat begins to sing. She only came to herself when the crowd began to clap. A bit slow, Rowan politely did the same, before the hall once more fell silent.
McGonagall steps forth with a lambskin parchment in hand. "When I call out your name, please put on the sorting hat and take a seat on the stool to be properly sorted," Professor McGonagall instructed, before calling the first name, "Adler, Henry!"
A freckled tan boy with a nervous face walks up and puts on the hat, before taking a seat. After a minute, the hat shouts, "Ravenclaw!" The entire table explodes in loud cheering as a quiet, timid female ghost nods her head at Henry.
Rowan half listens to the following names as she only reflexively claps until she hears, "Black, Regulus!" The entire Slytherin table rather intently watches as does Sirius and his friends. "Slytherin!" The hat screamed as the entire table clapped. Sirius seemed to be a bit disappointed, but he didn't' seem to out of sorts by the expected sorting.
Regulus glances about nervously until he sees a familiar figure subtly motion at them with their heads. Regulus scurries over as Rowan pats the empty seat beside her. Rowan's dormmates all smile at Regulus causing him to flush as Terry and Severus both nod their heads at him. Feeling much better, Regulus stares back up at the sorting hat waiting to hear where his friends would be placed.
The sorting hat calls out two more names before "Bones, Letitia." After a moment, the hat yells out, "Gryffindor!" Rowan lets out a small sigh of relief at having guessed right as she watches Letitia happily rush off to the Gryffindor table.
The sorting hat calls out three names more until it says, "Cresswell, Dirk!" Rowan doesn't react as she knows for certain the boy is a Ravenclaw. And sure enough, within moments the hat said, "Ravenclaw!"
Within seconds, the next name is called, "Crouch, Barty!" Rowan eyes the hat as she curiously waits for fate to be decided. The hat thinks for a moment or two, before shouting, "Hufflepuff! With a pleased expression, Barty rushes over but not before casting a nod in Rowan's direction.
"I guess he chooses Hufflepuff," Regulus whispered with mixed feelings.
"Would you rather he be unhappy?" Rowan softly retorted.
Regulus subtly shakes his head. "No, but still, it would have been nice to have been in the same house."
"Maybe, you never know. He could snore or have terrible foot odor," Rowan suggested. Regulus almost chokes but is unable to reply as the next name is called.
The rest of the names are called until at last the sorting is done and the hat is taken away until next year's use. At the head of the table stands Albus Dumbledore with gleaming white hair and beard. As usual, he wears quite exorbitant colored robes with his long silvery hair and beard both neatly tucked into his belt.
"Welcome!" Dumbledore warmly said while childlike blue eyes sparkle with delight behind half-moon spectacles. "Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! And before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. As you have no doubt heard, Professor Stricken passed away rather unexpectedly during the summer. Please join me in welcoming, Professor Adric."
Everyone politely applauds as they turn to stare at the newest Defense Against the Dark Art's Professor. Professor Adric was a slightly olive, lean man with cold eyes and lips pressed together as though in permanent displeasure.
Dumbledore motions at Professor Adric to be seated as he does not even attempt to hide his sneer. Turning towards the children, Dumbledore says, "Let us feast!" The students cheer wildly and eagerly turn to face forward.
"Is that normal?" Regulus leaned over to whisper.
"It's usually worse," Rowan drily replied as the other three girls and two boys nodded their heads in agreement.
Regulus eyes dim with dread until the empty plates before them begin to fill up with all sorts of food including ones that he'd never seen before. Looking a bit warily at some of the food, Regulus says, "Some of this isn't wizarding food."
"Who cares, it's delicious," Tiffany interjected as she happily served herself some mu shu pork.
Seeing everyone digging in, Regulus does the same and to his delight finds the meal quite an utter delight. He wasn't the only one as Rowan was quite pleased to see the new additions including that of a simple vegetable salad and roasted vegetable kebab. The meal passes rather quickly and soon desserts are being served.
Glancing around, Regulus fidgets causing them to all turn to gaze at him. "Um, will the first years be shown to the Slytherin quarters?" Regulus quietly asked.
"This year's Prefect will show you, I'm not really sure who it is, but they'll lead you," Terry chimed in with a mouthful of food.
Regulus nods his head in thanks, before Terry adds, "I suppose while we have the chance, we better all introduce ourselves."
Clearing her throat, Tiffany proudly points at herself. "I am the ever so lovely, Tiffany Topsy at your service, a second year."
Silvia rolls her eyes and nods her head at Regulus. "Silvia Flint, a second year as well." Regulus wryly nods back no doubt recalling his own father's intense dislike for that of her fathers.
Silvia's lips twitch in amus.e.m.e.nt as she knowingly adds, "It's okay, I won't hold your father against you either." Causing Regulus to sigh privately in relief.
"I'm Bethanie Fawley, a second year," Bethanie gently said with a warm smile setting Regulus very much at ease.
"As for me, I am the ever-charming mastermind among this commonly bunch," Terry said earning a glare from everyone else. "Terry Greenwood, a second year." Regulus dubiously eyes Terry as Terry playfully winks back causing Regulus to hastily avert his eyes.
"You've already met me," Rowan simply said as she nodded her head at her brother.
Severus sighs and says, "Severus Prince, a second year, and the unfortunate twin brother of Rowan here." Rowan smacks Severus on the head earning his ire, but she doesn't mind as Severus was quite rude.
Seeing Regulus still a tad nervous, Terry sagely says, "As for the boy's dorms, you'll be put in with other 1st years, there's nothing to worry about. And given that it's your first night, I'll send Alchemy over to keep an eye out for overly inquisitive 1st years."
"Alchemy?" Regulus asked in confusion.
Terry proudly puffs out his thin chest. "My cat, he's our house mascot. Which is rather ironic now that I think about it?"
"Because cats eat snakes?" Regulus innocently remarked.
"Exactly," Terry darkly chuckled as the girls rolled their eyes and Severus merely sighed at Terry's delusions of grandeur.
The rest of the desserts are quickly eaten, and the table is magically cleared away. With supper over, Dumbledore rises to his feet once more as the entire hall grows silent. "Now that we've eaten, I've a few words and gentle reminders to say. First years take extra notice of the Forbidden Forest as they are forbidden grounds and no student is allowed therein," Dumbledore said with some emphasis.
"And please be wary of last year's newly planted Whomping Willow. It is now forbidden approach the Whomping Willow whatsoever as is quite territorial and will in effect attack swiftly and most violently. You are all duly advised to remain a good distance away from its moving branches. And if caught will receive a swift punishment!" Quite a few older students' winced at having failed to heed the said warning and had been taken to the infirmary with no small injuries. But most of all, Davey Gudgeon who nearly lost an eye.
"And as per usual our caretaker, Mr. Filch, has asked me to remind you all to not use magic between classes in the corridors. And that Quidditch trials will be held in the second week of the term. Anyone interested in playing for their house teams should contact Madam Hooch." The last part as usual causes a spring of excited whispers to fill the Great Hall.
"And now, lets us sing, before we head for bed!" Some of the Professors wryly sigh, while some of the other professor's faces go blank and devoid of any emotion. With a flick of Dumbledore's wand, a golden ribbon flies forth from the tip as it begins to twist and form words above. "Now, off we go!"
The entire student begins to sing, but Regulus glances about to note that hardly anyone in the Slytherin table was really actually singing mostly just humming by mouthing the words. Quickly and rather wisely, he copies their actions until the song ends.
Dumbledore claps the loudest as the rest of the students clap in following. "Ah, wonderous music-," Dumbledore said with moist eyes. "And now, bedtime, off you go!"
Regulus glances at the six-second years who rise to their feet. "Don't worry, this year's Prefect will bring you down to the Slytherin quarters," Rowan calmly said as Regulus gave her a grateful nod and listened for the Prefect's calls.
The six of them headed to the common room area as Silvia says, "So, I take it, that we've adopted Regulus Black into our group?" Rowan doesn't really say anything other than glance back at her in response.
"Well, I think he's adorable," Tiffany exclaimed as she curled her hair around her finger. "He'll be so much to tease."
"Tiffany," Bethany warningly said only to only have Tiffany playfully stick her tongue at her.
"Well, I certainly don't mind," Terry loudly said. "He seems to be quite the interesting chap unlike that brother of his."
Severus snickers at the response. "You're not still angry about the hair changing spell, are you?"
"My hair was bright pink for three straight days!" Terry hissed. "All the girls giggled, while the boys snickered. How would you like it if I did the same thing?"
Severus pales as Rowan adds fuel to the flames. "Oh, I don't know, I think lilac is more of Sev's taste." Severus glowers even further as they all add up chuckling in amus.e.m.e.nt at trying to picture Severus with bright lilac-colored hair.
The six of them stop in front of the group before them as the 5th year female Prefect says, "The password is Serpents. Now please hurry inside, the 1st years will be coming soon." The group quickly heads into the Slytherin room area as the girls and boys separate into their respective dorms.
In the girl's dorms, the four girls undress as Tiffany says, "Hmm, it looks like yours are starting to grow, Rowan."
Rowan freezes and glances down at her chest where small nubs are beginning to poke out. "It's nothing new," Rowan stiffly said as she removed her training-bra from underneath her undershirt and changed into her pajama top.
"What I can't help but notice," Tiffany complained as she looked at her own gr.a.p.e-sized chest. "It's not fair that Bethanie's already blooming," glancing over at the already small plum-sized chest.
"Tiffany!" Bethanie exclaimed in embarrassment struggling not to cover herself.
"They'll grow in time, Tiffany," Silvia said with a roll of her eyes. "In fact, I'm still as flat a washboard so I'm even worse off than all of you. And I doubt that I'm going to have much of a chest to speak of as my mother said, she didn't have much of a bosom until after she had my eldest brother."
"It's not as though large b.r.e.a.s.ts are any good!" Bethanie protested. "My cousin is quite endowed, and not only does she have terrible backaches, but she always complains about their weight! It's really hard to jump or move about with those ridiculous getting in the way of everything."
"Tch," Tiffany clicked her tongue, before pulling on a warm lilac-colored nightdress. The chocked snickers make Tiffany furrow her brows. "What?!" Until she notices the color of her nightdress. "Ha, ha, it's so very funny."
Still chuckling the girls get into bed and dose the lights. They quickly grow still even Rowan who had not been sleeping as of late. Soon only their soft snores or in Rowan's case her soft whistled breath fills the dorm as the girls begin to dream.