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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hogwarts

“Father what are the four houses?”
“The four houses are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. I was in Slytherin house. Gryffindor values bravery, daring, nerve, and chivalry. The house ghost is Nearly Headless Nick and the colors are red and gold. Hufflepuff values hard work, patience, loyalty, and fair play. The house ghost is the Fat Friar and the colors are yellow and black.   Ravenclaw values intelligence, knowledge, and wit.  Ravenclaw’s house ghost is the Grey Lady who is the daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw and Ravenclaw’s colors are blue and bronze. The last house is Slytherin and they value ambition, cunning, and resourcefulness. The Slytherin ghost is the Bloody Baron.  I admit he’s a bit creepy.  The Slytherin colors are emerald green and silver. The animals are lion for Gryffindor, eagle for Ravenclaw, badger for Hufflepuff, and serpent for Slytherin. Each house also corresponds to an element-Fire is Gryffindor, Earth is Hufflepuff, Air is Ravenclaw and Water is Slytherin.
“The four founders are Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin. Slytherin himself was a parslemouth.  They came together sometime in the Middle Ages to found Hogwarts and for a time they worked together and were happy.  But then a rift developed between Slytherin and the other houses.  Slytherin believed only purebloods, those are magical families like the Malfoys who think they’re superior to everyone else and that only purebloods should be able to attend Hogwarts, and as a result of their fighting Slytherin left the school. Nobody knows why and I expect it will always remain a mystery.  I think you would do well in any house. You certainly have traits of all four houses. Dumbledore will try to get you into Gryffindor no doubt Ares but the hat takes suggestions. I’d be happy if you were in Slytherin or Ravenclaw.”
“Do you think that Draco would do well in Ravenclaw?”
“Draco is sly and cunning. He’d do anything to achieve his ends like a true Slytherin and I know he doesn’t hold true to his father’s pureblood bigotry.  However he is also intelligent which is a trait of Ravenclaw as I mentioned before.  I think he would do well in either of those houses.  I’m not sure how Lucius and Narcissa would feel about their son in any house other than Slytherin though.”
Ares was waiting eagerly for his acceptance letter to Hogwarts as was Draco. He was ten years old while Draco was eleven as Draco had been born in June and Ares had been born at the end of July.  An owl flew in the window and landed in front of Ares holding out its leg.  Ares could see the envelope attached to the owl’s leg and hurriedly removed it. He gave the owl a pat and it flew back to Hogwarts.
“Is that your Hogwarts letter?” Tom asked looking at the envelop in Ares’s hand.
Ares looked at the words on the envelope that said Ares Salazar Riddle Second Master Suite Riddle Manor Unplottable.  “Yes it is.”
“Well then open it.”
Ares turned the envelope over and saw the Hogwarts crest on the back. He tore the envelope open and pulled out the two pieces of parchment before unfolding the first and reading aloud:
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confederation of Wizards)
Dear Mr. Riddle,
We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment. 
Term begins 1 September. We await your owl no later than 31 July.
Sincerely,
Minerva McGonagall
Deputy Headmistress
Ares handed the letter to his father who read it and smiled.  “We’ll have to frame this and put it in your room.”
“Can I fire call Draco and ask if he got his acceptance letter? Then we can go shopping together in Diagon Alley.”
Tom nodded giving his permission and Harry jumped up.  Excited Harry?
Yes.  I’ve been waiting to go to Hogwarts my entire life. Or at least since Father blood adopted me.
At Malfoy Manor Draco had just received his acceptance letter to Hogwarts as well.  He knew his parents would want him in Ravenclaw. They spouted blood purity and how he was better than Muggles, half-bloods and squibs. Well maybe it was true that he was better than a squib but all wizards and witches were better than squibs. 
“Draco!” Draco went to the fire in the living room and saw Ares’s head floating in the flames.
“Hi Ares.”
“What’s wrong Draco? Did you get your acceptance letter to Hogwarts? I just got mine.  Father’s going to frame it for me and put it in my room.”
“Yeah I got my acceptance letter just now.”
“So why are you gloomy Draco?”
“Ares you know I’m supposed to go into Slytherin right? It’s expected of me. I don’t know if father will approve of me being in any other house.”
“Draco you have intelligence. You have loyalty. You have bravery.  You have traits of all four houses so I’m sure you would do well in any house. You shouldn’t worry about what Lucius thinks.”
“But the Malfoys have always been in Slytherin.”
“So be the first one to break tradition.”
“I don’t know Ares.  I don’t think mother would mind but you know how wizard families are. The mother gets no say in the lives of her children.”
Ares nodded. Lucius had told him the same when he had been studying under him and Bella.  It made him furious and if he ever gained some type of political power he would work to change that law.  “Do you think Lucius would disown you if you got into another house besides Slytherin?”
“I wouldn’t put it past him to do just that.”
“Let me talk to Lucius.”
A flash of fear flitted across Draco’s face before he went to do as Ares said.  Lucius came in shortly later and bowed to Ares.  “My Prince?”
“Lucius is it important that Draco gets into Slytherin?”
“Of course.  All the Malfoys have been in Slytherin.”
“Even though Draco has talents from all four houses you would punish him for not getting into Slytherin?”
Lucius was no fool. He understood what Ares was saying.  “Prince if it pleases you then I will not punish Draco if he gets into Ravenclaw. But I would prefer him in Slytherin.”
“And if he gets into Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff or Gryffindor would you disown your only son and heir?”
Lucius was silent.  “I see. You would disown your son and heir if he didn’t get into Slytherin.  No matter that the Malfoy line would end with you.  How despicable and cruel to shun and disown a child because of the house they got placed in at Hogwarts.  Tell me Lucius did you want to be in Slytherin when you were at Hogwarts or was there a house you wanted to be in?”
“I wanted to be in Ravenclaw. But it was important to my father that I be in Slytherin.”
“So in other words you would force your child to go into a house that he may have no interest in going into in the first place just because you want to keep up some ancient legacy of only being in one house?  Why would you make Draco resent you for the rest of his life and let him be miserable?”
“If he is in your house Prince then I will be fine with that and I will not disown him.”
“You should let Draco be in the house that he wants to be in and not because of me.  If you really cared and loved your son you would let him be happy.  I’ll leave you to think on this conversation Lucius but I will be displeased and I’m sure father would also be displeased if one of his potential Death Eaters was thrust into a house against his will.”
Lucius nodded at Ares’s order and Ares ended the fire call.  He went to go talk to Draco.  “Draco, Ares informed me that you thought about going into Ravenclaw. Is that true?”
“I do have intelligence father and you know how well I studied under you with Ares.  I want to be in whatever house Ares is in. We’re best friends you know.”
“Yes I do know that.  You two are as thick as thieves.  If you want to be in Ravenclaw instead of Slytherin then I’ll support you.  Ares is right.  If I were to disown you then the Malfoy name and line would die with me.”
“Thank you father!  When can we go to Diagon Alley?”
“I’ll speak with the Dark Lord and set up a day to go.”
Four days later the Malfoys and the Riddles went to Knockturn Alley to get their wands.  They stepped into “Night Death Wands,” and were greeted by the wand maker Ajax Hunt.  “Good morning.  Are you two Hogwarts students?”
“Yes. We’re here to get our wands,” Ares said. 
“Follow me then.”  Ajax led the two families into a back room that had two tables. One table was lined with cores and one with wand woods.  “Do either of you know about Ollivanders in Diagon Alley?”
“Yes Ollivanders makes wands consisting of three cores: Phoenix Feather, Unicorn Hair and Dragon Heartstring,” Ares said.
“That’s true but there are also other cores. These other cores are Kelpie Hair, Dementor Ash, Troll Whisker and Thestral Tail Hair.  Phoenix Feather, Unicorn Hair, and Dragon Heartstring are the three main cores used in all wands at Ollivanders and are already bonded in the wand.  But the best way for a wizard or witch to achieve their full potential is to choose the core and wand wood separately and then make the custom wand for each witch or wizard.  Usually only children of dark wizards and witches shop here. Most Hogwarts students get their wands at Ollivanders and are in fact not properly matched.  Also a wand will not easily pass from one person to the next with the exception of the Elder Wand but even that is tricky to master.  Phoenix Feather and Dragon Heartstring are more easily prone to the dark arts while unicorn hair is always for the light.
“Now the table on the left holds the wand woods and the table on the right holds the cores.  Now what I want you to do is pass your hand over the cores and look for a magical pull. When you feel a strong magical pull over a core pick it up and then pass the core over the wand woods and when you feel a strong magical pull pick up the wand wood and place the feather on it. Then tie it together with this piece of string and hand it to me.”
Ares stepped forward and waved his hand over the cores. He felt some slight magical sensations but passed them by before his hand stopped over a red and gold phoenix feather.  Picking up the feather he walked to the left table and passed the phoenix feather over the wand woods until he felt a powerful pull over Blackthorn.  He picked up the wand wood and tied the core to the wood before handing it to Mr. Hunt.
Draco then stepped forward and got Dragon Heartstring core with Aspen wand wood.  He also tied and handed his wand to Mr. Hunt.  “The wands will be ready in an hour.”
“Good then we’ll go get the rest of your school supplies while we wait for the wand to be created,” Voldemort said.
They got their uniforms and school supplies and then went to Eeylops Owl Emporium to get a couple of owls. Ares got a snowy white owl he named Hedwig and Draco got a black eagle owl that he named Mordor. They stopped at the Leaky Cauldron for lunch before going back to Knockturn Alley to pick up their wands.  Then they apparated to their respective homes.
September 1st dawned bright and sunny as Tom and Ares made their way to Kings Cross Station.  They went through the magical barrier between Platforms 9 and 10 to find themselves at Platform 9 ¾.  Lucius, Narcissa and Draco walked over to meet them. “Well you two are finally going off to Hogwarts.  Be good my little snake and dragon,” Narcissa said hugging both Ares and Draco before letting them go.  Ares hugged his father and Draco nodded to Lucius before they got on the Hogwarts Express and began looking for a compartment. 
Ares had Shadow safely in his trunk and Iris, Hedwig and Mordor were safely tucked in the animal compartment.  The wolf bond was an ancient magical bond and as such Dumbledore couldn’t prevent Iris from coming to Hogwarts with Ares.  A few minutes later they were joined by a bushy brown haired girl with large front teeth, a girl with freckles and a boy with a wolf pendant hanging from his neck.
“Hi. My name is Hermione Granger,” the girl with bushy hair said holding out her hand and shaking hands with everyone.  “I’m a muggle born. My parents are dentists.”
“What’s a dentist?” Draco asked.
“They take care of peoples’ teeth.”
“My name is Indigo Wildflower,” the girl with freckles said.
“I’m Ares Riddle and this is Draco Malfoy,” Ares said pointing to himself and then Draco who was sitting by the window.  “We’ve been friends since we were six and seven right Dray?
“Yeah that’s right.”
“Who are you?” Hermione asked the boy with the wolf pendant.
“Orion Frost.”
“That’s an interesting pendant,” Ares said looking at the pendant hanging from Orion’s neck on a gold chain. The wolf was constructed out of gold and had ruby eyes.
“Thanks.”
“What house are you hoping to get in? I want to be in Ravenclaw,” Hermione said. 
“Ravenclaw,” Ares and Draco said together.  
“Ravenclaw,” Indigo said.
“I think Ravenclaw would be good for me,” Orion said softly. He appeared nervous sitting with them.
The five friends talked about their families and what they hoped to learn at Hogwarts. When the trolley came Ares and Draco got enough food to share among themselves and three hours later they were changed into their robes and getting off the train at Hogsmeade Station.
“First years over here.  First years follow me,” a voice called out. 
The first year students followed the voice until they saw a giant of man standing near the train holding a lantern up.  “My name’s Rubeus Hagird.  Keeper of Keys an’ grounds at Hogwarts. Follow me and we’ll sail across the Black Lake to Hogwarts. Really pretty at night.”
The first years, about forty of them, followed Hagrid down to the Black Lake.  “No more ‘n four to a boat now.”
Ares, Draco, Hermione and Orion got in one boat while Indigo got in a second boat and was joined by three others.  “Everyone in?” Hagrid asked getting into his own boat.  At once the little fleet of boats set off across the Black Lake.  The children marveled and stared in wonder the many towers and turrets of Hogwarts as the castle came into view. They passed under an ivy hanging rock caver and Hagrid led them up several flights of stairs until they got to a set of double oak doors.  He raised his hand, knocked and the doors swung open revealing a stern looking witch with glasses.
“First years Professor McGonagall.”
“Thank you Hagrid. I’ll take them from here.”
Hagrid smiled at the students before vanishing through a set of double doors that led to the Great Hall.  “Attention please! Welcome to Hogwarts.  The four houses are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. While here your house will be like your family. You will sleep in your house dorms, relax in your house common rooms, eat with and attend classes with your house.  Any good deed will earn you house points while any rule breaking will lose you house points.  Now you will wait here while I get things ready. I expect you all to be presentable.”
Albus was at a loss.  There had been no sign of Harry or his relatives in years.  The blood wards around 4 Privet Drive had fallen years ago and there had been no sign of his weapon or the Dursleys.  He supposed they may have gone to another country but he couldn’t picture the Dursleys taking Harry anywhere.  Perhaps they had killed the boy and there was something wrong with the instruments he had keyed into Harry’s magical signature. 
He had checked the Potter Family Vault and Harry’s personal vault in Gringotts.  If a child was dead the vaults would go on permanent lockdown.  Strangely the vaults had automatically locked themselves against Goblin and his magic. It appeared the vaults were in habitation so he hoped that meant that Harry was alive but he had no idea where to begin looking for him.  The doors to the Great Hall opened and Dumbledore looked up as Professor McGonagall led the first year students to stand in front of the staff table and face the entire school who had gone quiet.  He searched each face but found no sign of Harry.
“Good evening.  When I call your name come forward, sit on the stool and I’ll place the sorting hat on your head.  When your house is called please go to your house table.
“Amy Pearl!”
A girl with olive skin and long black hair walked forward and sat on the stool. “HUFFLEPUFF!”
Amy went to go sit at the house table that had a badger banner flying over it. “Vincent Ashworth!”
“SLYTHERIN!” The Slytherin house cheered as Vincent went to go sit at the far left table.
The names progressed and suddenly Orion was sitting on the stool.
“RAVENCLAW!”
A girl named Emerald Fuher went to Gryffindor.  The names continued into the G’s and at least it was Hermione’s turn.  “RAVENCLAW!”
Hermione went to go sit beside Orion.  Draco went into Ravenclaw.  Ares breathed a sigh of relief for his friend and uncrossed his fingers.  Hannah Incant went to go sit at Slytherin.  “Ares Riddle!”
Ares walked forward and sat on the stool.  Hello Ares Riddle or should I say Harry Potter? I see that your father is now Tom Riddle, the Dark Lord.  You have cunning, bravery, a disregard for rules, are loyal, and a ready mind. Any preference?
Ravenclaw with my friends.
That suits you well and don’t worry. I can’t reveal who you really are.  “RAVENCLAW!”
Ares smiled as the hat was lifted off his head and walked over to the Ravenclaw table.  A red haired boy with freckles on his nose went to Gryffindor and Indigo came to Ravenclaw.  The last two students, a girl by the name of Harmony went to Hufflepuff and a boy named Timothy went to Gryffindor.  Ares smiled at his friends. Draco also looked relieved to not be in Slytherin.
Albus stood up and the hall instantly went quiet.  “Welcome!  Welcome to our new students and welcome back to our returning students.  The Forbidden Forest is out of bounds. No magic is to be used in the corridors between classes. Dig in!”
The Great Hall was filled with the murmur of voices and the clatter of knives and forks.  Ares enjoyed the food and when dinner was done the first year Ravenclaws followed a boy named Harold Diggle up five flights of stairs to stop by a door that had an enchanted eagle knocker on it.
“Welcome to Ravenclaw Tower.  Unlike Hufflepuff and Gryffindor that have paintings concealing their entrances and Slytherin that has a blank stone wall, Ravenclaw has an enchanted eagle knocker that asks riddles which is why you see no door knob. You must solve the riddle in order to gain entry into Ravenclaw Tower. This has kept non-Ravenclaws out of our home for thousands of years.  It isn’t unusual for first to seventh years to stand outside all day when not in classes or in the Great Hall for meals trying to figure out the riddle to gain entrance to the tower.  It allows us to get to know each other.”
“I am the black child of a white father, a wingless bird, flying even to the clouds of heaven. I give birth to tears of mourning in pupils that meet me, even though there is no cause for grief, and at once on my birth I am dissolved into air. What am I?”
“Smoke!” Hermione shouted.
“Very good.”
The door opened and the students walked into a wide circular room with midnight blue carpet, arched windows hung with blue and bronze silks, and a domed ceiling painted with stars.  “Ravenclaw students have an excellent view of the Hogwarts grounds, including the Quidditch Pitch, Forbidden Forest, Black Lake, Herbology gardens, and surrounding mountains during the day,” Harold said. “Girl dorms are on the right and boy dorms are on the left. Your trunks will already be in your rooms. Be up tomorrow at 7AM because Penny and I are going to take you down to the Great Hall for breakfast and then show you to your first class.”
Ares, Draco, and Orion said goodbye to Indigo and Hermione and walked up the stairs to the first year dorm.  They entered a wide circular room with five four poster beds that were covered in sky blue silk eiderdowns with blue silk drapes that had gold tassels.  A tan carpet with circling leaves covered the floor.  The other two boys in their dorm were Edward Turpin and Jason Entwhistle.  Iris was lying on the floor next to Ares’s bed. She looked up and wagged her tail when she saw Ares.  Ares took out Shadow from his trunk and laid him on his bed.  “These are my familiars. I also have an owl named Hedwig,” Ares said.  “Iris is allowed to be here because of the wolf bond but nobody except Draco knows of Shadow.  Do you mind keeping this a secret?” Everyone nodded.  The five boys crawled into their beds and drifted off to sleep, lulled by the sound of the wind.

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