(1937-09-01) Welcome to Hogwarts - 1937
Details for Welcome to Hogwarts - 1937
Summary: The students arrive in Hogsmeade for the 1937-1938 year at Hogwarts. The First Years takes boats across the lake with the fearsome caretaker, Mr. Pringle, while the returning students travel in horseless carriages up to the castle, where all will gather in the Great Hall for the Sorting Ceremony and the Opening Feast.
Date: September 1, 1937
Location: Various locations related to arrival at school
Related: « Hogwarts Express - 1937

The First Years


Hogsmeade Station

The outskirts of Hogsmeade press up against the station, gray stone and timbers leaning companionably over the narrow platform that leads to the trestle bridge crossing over the tracks. To the northeast, Hogwarts Castle can be seen casting its reflection in the lake. Curving around the edge of the lake, bordered with a low stone wall, the road to Hogwarts follows a c-shaped route until it disappears into the trees and begins its climb upwards. Across the road, grass gives way to sand that leads to the shore where a row of boats have been turned upside down waiting to be used once a year to ferry first year students across the lake.

As all of the students file off of the train the sun is setting behind a high beautiful Scottish Mountain. But waiting on the platform is a man, he's the sort of man that looks like the type of person every child is warned about going some place alone with. But sure enough Apollyon Pringle holding a lantern up is pointing to First Years and in a thick scottish brogue demanding, "Come with me."

Josie's eyes widen a little as she sees the man waiting, but she doesn't hesitate, but follows along. She looks around for Cillian a moment, and when she spots him moves to walk near him.

For a moment Alcimus wonders if he'd gotten in trouble for something on the train, but he quickly realizes that the man is calling away all the first years. He follows along, waving goodbye to his sister.

It took him some time to get situated in his robes and for once Cillian is ever so glad he doesn't have a pet to worry about and he's trusting his belongings will get where they need to be and all but he shuffles along with the others, taking a deep breath and throwing his shoulders back to adapt a more relaxed gait, even if his heart is hammering in his chest, he's putting on a brave face, even as he stares at…the strange man, head tilting to the side and when he sees Josie, he waves a hand and gives her a little chin-up. He even offers his arm with a grin. "Me fathers always say 'dun talk to strangers' or talk about kiddie snatchers…" He eyes Pringle warily. "But…here we are learnin' stuff and we ain't even at the school proper…"

Following along quietly, Cathal doesn't really want to speak. There's just something about the man that makes him want to be silent for the time being. So this being said, he stays close to the rest of the first years. When he hears Cillian speak, he gives the other boy a strange look as if he were a bit crazy.

August Avery (the quiet boy from the Firstie Boys Clubs Compartment) nudges Tom Riddle's side and whispers to the other boy, "I bet that screaming fella from the train wee'd his pants when he saw this guy." He thumbs towards Pringle and Tom snickers a bit and gives August an approving nod at his joke. This is the moment in which August Avery and Tom Riddle became 'chums'.

"Now listen up cause I'm only going to say this once and I won't mourn when your mummies are sobbing over your bloated drown corpses. Anyone been on a boat before?" He doesn't wait for an answer, "Anyone get's stupid and plays a wise ass and starts rocking a boat, I'll cast you into the drink with a flick of my wand and let the Giant Squid eat you fer dessert."

Josie doesn't seem to know what Cillian expects when he offers his arm, giving him a confused look, but she giggles a little at his words. Giggles are silenced right away, though, as Pringle speaks, and she goes very serious.

Alcimus has, in fact, been on a boat once, but he was very young when it happened. He nods, understanding the instructions.

Cillian chuckles softly to Josie and shakes his head, he'll show her later and he nods towards Pringle when he begins speaking and that's…when he tilts his head to the side. Its easy to look thoughtful and he does…very very thoughtful. He didn't even know squid ate people!

Boats don't really bother Cathal much. He's very at home on them, since he does go out on the boats near home to go inland when he's not traveling with his father, or elder sister.

Pringle says, "Good!" At the absolute silence and turns and stalks off towards the East. A little blond hair girl in the back can be hears very softly sobbing. "I want to go home." She is comforted by a little mouse of a girl who is looking just as scared. "Just think of him like a troll, we have to pay his toll to get over the bridge to paradise! We're going to Hogwarts Erica, don't cry. It will be alright…here…" With her hand holding Erica's Akilina approaches Josie, "Excuse me, hi, can we go on the boat with you?" Akilina remembers Josie for her bravery at the Malt Shop on Diagon Alley several days ago. Another blond girl with a french tinged british accent, "I want to go with you too! All the girls in one boat, boys in another!" Jolie LeFolle brings up as the whole gaggle of firsties follow after Caretaker Pringle.

Black Lake Docks

At the southwest shore of the Black Lake right off of the Hogsmeade rail station is a small dock area where the annual first year migration takes place, floating across the lake to the Hogwarts Campus that looms on the northeast shore atop the high cliffs that border the northern side of the lake. The campus and the buildings of the Hogsmeade village can be seen on the northwest shore. The Forbidden forest encompasses the eastern shore of the lake and a few trees even encroach on the docks. The road to the northwest for coaches to take wizards and witches from the Rail station to the Village curves about the west shore of the lake.

Josie, despite being well intimidated by Pringle, still smiles as she recognizes Akilina, "Hi. Sure." She looks to Jolie then and blinks as she suggests splitting up boys and girls. "Why? Cillian's fun."

Cillian looks between the girls and he just hmms softly. "Dun worry lovelies, come..sit in the boat wit' me, I'll keep ye all safe, dun worry. M' a boat captain and Josie 'ere is me commander and we'll keep ya nice and safe."

"I wouldn't hate sitting with a girl," Alcimus notes, "As long as they aren't like the ones that came into my first compartment…"

"It matters little." Cathal says in a serious voice,"We must just make sure the boats are balanced." He doesn't think that the idea of splitting by gender makes the most sense, although to him sitting with anyone is going to be… interesting. The sobbing girl earns a shake of his head. He doesn't bother waiting and just goes about getting into a boat for now. No sense holding things up.

Jolie looks Cillian and Alcimus over when Cillian gets the seal of approval from Josie, "Alright they can come with us." Like she's Master and Commander of the boat she's getting into at a gesture from Pringle for all of them to do so. When Erica climbs into the boat and it rocks in the action she looks in terror over at the 'Caretaker' frozen in place fingers white at the knuckles as she death grips the side of the boat. Pringle's paying no attention at this point and as soon as Cillian and the girls are in the boat he gives it a push off even with Erica not sitting down just yet. She just starts to cry again and quickly moves to group hug the others in the boat as she stretches at the bottom of the boat not even on a bench. "G'ntulmen." Pringle gestures the boys that are left into the remaining boat.

Josie smiles again as everybody agrees, climbing into the boat agilely. The boat rocks, of course, but she doesn't seem to worry, just finding a seat. She says to Erica as they push off, "It's ok. He just meant not to rock it on purpose… I hope. You can get into a seat, I think."

"I'm sure these boats are safe," Alcimus comments as he gets in along with Josie, Jolie, and Erica. "They wouldn't really let us drown while we're around, parents would go mad."


This small, square room off the Entry Hall has been tucked into a corner, out of the way and rarely used. The first years first make it here from their climb up from their boat ride across Black Lake at the beginning of term. The smooth stone walls are lit by a lamp hanging overhead, with two sconces on each wall. There's barely even any furniture here, a few padded chairs and small, polished tables scattered around the edges where students sometimes meet to chat or study out of the way of the castle's bustle. Within the eastern wall of the Ante-chamber is a well fortified door that leads out to a large courtyard that acts as an exit to the eastern portion of the campus grounds.

It's in the Antichamber that Pringle points down. "Stay." It's the last thing the Caretaker says to them and he stalks away. "Thank you Mr. Pringle." Comes the dulcet genteel tones of Albus Dumbledore as he steps into the room after Pringle exits. "Welcome students to Hogwarts! I am glad to see that Mr. Pringle didn't feed any of you to the Giant Squid." He gives them all a wink and then turns, "If you would follow me please…"

Josie smiles back to this new adult, but she doesn't say anything now. While the boat trip across the lake didn't bother her, now she's starting to get nervous, though struggling to hide it. She follows the teacher without a word.

The little pirat-that is the wizard, Cillian he spends the boat ride passing out chocolates and peering at the water curiously, no doubt considering how to get a boat of his own. But for now, he's complying with the instructions given, staying when told and if any other student looks at him he mimics a dog staying, hands up, tongue out and winks, trying to comfort the nerves of others with a grin and shake of his head. Then when its time to follow, he does so, eyeing Dumbledore with respect and interest indeed.

The boat ride was uneventful for Cathal, and he seems to be trying to regulate his breathing as his mind runs over the multitude of things that could be about to happen after the Assistant Headmaster Albus Dumbledore tells them to follow. Falling in line, his fingers tap a little bit on his leg in a rhythm as he tries to relax and get his head back on straight.

Alcimus looks around as he joins the others. He tries not to show it, but he's a bit nervous with the anticipation. He tries to stick close to the people he's gotten familiar with over the train and boat rides.

The marble beginning of the staircases leading upwards into the castle face the heavy oak doors that lead outside across a flagged stone expanse that could fit an average house. Looking up, one can see the staircases shifting from one landing to the next, on up into the shadows making it difficult to tell just how high the Entrance Hall really is. The torches in the walls do little to pierce the dimness overhead, but cast light on the suits of armor flanking the front doors and the many doors spaced at odd intervals leading to the Great Hall, Slytherin Dungeons, Staff quarters, and even a broom closet.

Perhaps the thing of greatest interest in this entry though, at least to the students, are the four large hourglasses housed in niches on one of the walls opposite the doors. One filled with sapphires, one with emeralds, one with rubies, and the last with topaz, these hourglasses keep track of the all important House points. The gems in the bottom half represent the points earned so far by houses Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin.

The Returning Students


Student Wagon Area Hogsmeade

The road here looks more like a grey clover pattern. Four rounding circles bud out of the main road that stretches to the south, to the Hogsmeade Rail road station, and off to the north towards Hogsmeade Village. Parked on the gravel circles are flat bed wagons. Each wagon hitched with a pair of thestrals, invisible to the eye of those lucky enough to have never witnessed a death. Further to the east of the road is a stable and barn, the Black Lake glittering behind the stables further to the east. To the west of the road is pure Scottish wilderness. No artist in all the world in all of time could ever capture the wild purity and majesty of the enchanted Scottish scenery.


Ria files out of the train with the rest of the perfects helping younger kids out of the train and into carriages. For some they will be horse less carriages. For others they'll be thestrals.

The rest of the train ride was mostly uneventful for Est. Well his owl had almost bit a prefect but no blood was drawn so it was mostly okay. At Hogsmeade station he made sure his brother got off the train with the rest of the pack of firsties and was feeling quite the successful older brother.

Liam has been keeping a low profile for the train ride, and makes his way off the train a bit slowly now. Looking a bit unsure of where to go, he follows after the other non-firsties, while looking around a bit thoughtfully.

"Over there," Ria instructs to the lost Liam. "Move along everyone. Come on all to the carriages," she says heading over to climb into her carriage in the most delicate way.

Ambling along beside the crowd of non-first-years, Ajax waves ahead the students he recognizes. "All right, Ravenclaw. Let's avoid traumatizing the delicate sensibilities of the other houses with the trivia we know about how the carriages work! I'm looking at you, Mulciber!" This is said, though, with a large and quite playful grin, taking any possible sharpness out of it.

Liam blinks a few moments as he hears Ria's words, and then starts making his way over to the same carriage as the girl climbed into. "Room for one more here?" he asks, while climbing into that carriage now, offering a bit of a smile.

Despite Ajax's playful tone, Hephaesta looks up at him wide-eyed. How the carriages work? Suddenly it dawns upon her that she doesn't know, and she is crouching down to examine the underside of the vehicle nearest her. She frowns, mumbling, "Where's the mechanism? Don't tell me it's just some boring locomotion charm."

Ria eyes Liam as he joins her and takes mental notes. Red tie. Clearly a Gryffindor since the gold and scarlet was blinding her eyes. "Well you're already in aren't you?" and she gestures to an empty seats. After two more student join the carriage slowly departs into the air. But she sees a younger snake fool around in another carriage also midair. "Hughes! Sit down now or I'll have the carriage - drag- you to the feast."

"That's actually a pretty good question," Est says. He might not be a Ravenclaw, but he's got enough curiosity - some might say nosiness - for one. He takes a knee near Hephaesta. "Can't be something too complicated, there's too many carriages. A simpler mechanism would be more efficient."

Ajax pauses to lean down and tap the two kneelers on the shoulders. "Come on, come on, shake a—well, hurry up, anyway! We've got people waiting on us. I'll tell you that, no, it's not just a charm, but it's also pretty simple. Consider it a personal project to discover more!" He hops into the carriage, beckoning the other two along as well.

Liam offers a bit of a grin to Ria, nodding a little bit. "I believe so, yes," he offers with a bit of a smile, before he takes the seat. Offering a bit of a smile to the girl. "I'm Liam, by the way," he offers, in greeting.

The Black Pack — Lucretia, Walburga, Alphard, and Dorea — commandeer a carriage for themselves, giving dark looks to anyone who seems they'd want to squeeze in with them. Alphard appears more sour than ever, especially when the periodic mocking "eeek, spiders!" is heard from elsewhere among the carriages.

Hephaesta rises at her Prefect's insistance — though with some difficulty, favoring her lame leg. Stepping up to the carriage, she grips the side and lifts herself up the step, but balks as she begins to have difficulty maneuvering into the vehicle. It takes some work, and once her brace catches on the side of the carriage, but she eventually manages to get herself seated.

Est stands up, brushing dirt off the knee of his trousers. He offers a hand of assistance to Hephaesta when he sees she's having trouble. If she declines he does not press the issue but follows her and Ajax in to the carriage they had been inspecting. "You know what it is, then?" Est asks Ajax.

Ajax waves a hand dismissively. "I read about it in a book. Or maybe the groundskeeper told me. I honestly forget, offhand. Either way, it's not just a spell!" He grins, settling back into his seat for the ride, and adds absently, "Maybe someone should invent a better mechanism for getting into the carriages, though. Seems kind of awkward."

Hephaesta does not decline the assistance, giving Est a grateful smile. At Ajax's suggestion, she nods, her brow knitting as her brain immediately goes to work trying to devise a superior boarding system for the carriages. "A retractable ramp would be sufficient…ooooh, or maybe a levitating platform. Then it could be used to help load heavy trunks, too." She taps her chin as she toys with ideas.

Est is more than happy to extrapolate down this path with Phae. "Platform's a good idea. Lots of versatility. You could even float it along behind or off to the side if you had oddly shaped luggage. Though that might be exceeding the necessary scope…" As Est was the last into the carriage he is the first out once they get up to the castle. He extends a hand to help Hephaesta down, like a footman on a chariot.

The Sorting Ceremony


"Evening Professor Slughorn. I hope your summer went well," Ria greets her head of house with a polite smile. Of course she doesn't want to waste his time too much so she sitters off to the snake table. Smirks are thrown to some but there a great many she hardly acknowledges.

The Great Hall is bustling with returning students as they pour in from the carriage rides. Old friends are greeting each other, and stories from the summer are being exchanged. At the northern end of the room, the professors' table is full, seating all of the Hogwarts teachers, except for Professor Dumbledore. At the center chair sits Headmaster Dippet, whose head is bowed, eyes shut. The Heads of House each instruct their students to settle down and be seated: Professor Slughorn for the Slytherins, Professor Beery for Hufflepuff, Professor Mopsus of Ravenclaw, and in Dumbledore's absence, Professor Merrythought gives the orders to Gryffindor.

Hephaesta limps to the Ravenclaw table, clanking and whirring as she goes. If she caught the snickers from some of the crueller Slytherins, she ignored them. She chooses a spot near the end of a bench, to make it easier to swing her leg around it. One of her classmates from the previous year looks up long enough from his book to greet her and scoot over to make a little more room for her.

Valeria Latts is at the Ravenclaw table, and she smiles a bit as Hephaesta arrives before looking toward the door. "I think it's almost time… I certainly hope Alcimus gets into Ravenclaw," she says. "But I'm sure he'll be able to manage no matter where he ends up."

Est takes a seat at the Hufflepuff table near his yearmates. His voice can be clearly heard even within the general chatter of the hall as students file in. He is telling a story about the giant squid. Apparently he finds it very funny, but only one boy seems to be paying any attention.

Ajax seeks out Professor Mopsus to deliver the polite thank-you letter his mother made him write (and swear upon pain of death to personally deliver) following his appointment to prefect, and he adds his own rather lighter greeting of, "Good evening, sir!" Then, Ajax finds a spot at the Ravenclaw table and settles in. He tends to be uncommonly quiet at these big, formal affairs. They're too formal for him to be wholly entertained, yet he accepts that they're rather too important to try to "liven up."

Once the upperclassmen are settled the wide double doors of the Great Hall swing wide open and before a group of eleven year olds Professor Dumbledore leads the way inside and down the central aisle between the Ravenclaw and Gryffindor tables. While awaiting the March of the Firsties the Sorting Hat squirms about at the podium giving them a song to march to…

~Welcome Welcome to Hogwarts~
~Where witches,~
~learn riches~
~and wizards,~
~become hazards,~
~to the obstacles in the way.~

Hephaesta nods to Valeria, "Alcimus is your little brother?" She cranes her neck to look toward door to the Great Hall as the First Years enter, should Valeria happen to point him out.

A head swivels at the Slytherin table, and Ormand Grubble, Fifth year, narrows his eyes to check out the new students. His sleeked dark hair and beady dark eyes make him look something like a seal. A rather shifty looking seal. He leans over, muttering to his best friend, Gordon Dramond, of the Newcastle Dramonds, "Right sorry looking lot, these are." The pair chortle, and there's even something of a seal-ish sound to Ormand's low laughter.

~Let's get to the firsties~
~for this is their day!~
~Come, don't dance like monkeys~
~or fret in dismay!~

~I know I don't look it~
~I can tell my appearance makes you fidgit~
~But my story is worldy~
~I once graced Godric's head so Boldy~

~He built his house~
~with no room for a mouse,~
~only room for the daring and brave~
~then I was stolen by a wicked old knave~

As always Ria brushes off her seat before actually planting herself and as she waits for the first years she arranges everything before her. Napkins, goblets, table settings etc. "What do you expect Grubble? You were pathetic looking when you first got here and you haven't been much of an improvement since," she smirks at the boy showing she didn't mean it…. entirely…

~Salazar did covet me~
~I'm magnificent as you can see!~
~All things great and wondrous~
~makes his house of Slytherin ponderous.~

~But no, he could not have us!~

~A fight did happen, I was torn~
~but Helga mended me, I was re-born.~
~You can see the black patch,~
~for good and caring she had no match.~

~But strife and tension did not slake~
~Until Rowena ever wise four statues did she make~
~Each Founder visage in stone was given a gift~
~A symbol of a peace treaty to heal the rift.~

~A secret in treasure gold,~
~A sword for the bold,~
~A cup to nuture and pleasure,~
~A crown of wit beyond measure.~

~Each gift they give still~
~though hidden for good or ill~
~The Founder's gifts forever hidden way~
~which of these four gifts will you display?~

As Alcimus enters, trying to keep quiet during the song, he gives a brief wave to Valeria, who waves back. "There he is," she says. "I wonder if the Sorting Hat writes its own songs," she adds. "…It didn't talk about these four treasures before, for instance."

Turning about his billowy robe sleeves whisking about dramatically Dumbledore gestures to the First Years. "Gather round First Years, yes, we're all here alive and in one piece? Yes, good! I will be calling you up in alphabetical order. Sit down on the stool at the base of the podium when I call your name. Very good." The Deputy Headmaster whirls about, one sleeve buzzing over the tip of a First Year's hat.


That first year that's still curled up on himself to duck out of the way seems to be the first up. "August Avery." Dumbledore reads off of a parchment scroll he plucks off of the podium. August takes off his pointy black hat and looks rather repulsed at the tattered squirming hat that Dumbledore lifts off of the built in stool to make way for August. There are a few snickers in the great hall as the removal of the hat has created quite the impressive cow lick in his slicked down black hair. Immediately all snickering from the Slytherin Table turns into triumphant cheering when the Sorting Hat takes very little time in announcing, "Slytherin!"

Hephaesta shakes her head, "No, it didn't," she agrees with Valeria. On that note, she digs a small notebook and a pencil from her robes, and starts writing down what she hears the Sorting Hat singing.

Ria claps for every sorted Slytherin but eyes them with great scrutiny for further worthiness.

An explosive snort is followed by a quickly muffled coughing fit, as Gordon reacts to Ria's observation by doing his impression of a pumpkin juice fountain. It's a momentarily glorious sight, spouting from his nose. Grubble casts a withering sneer (is his mind, at least) at the older girl, and vents his frustration by vigorously slapping his friend on the back. 'Helpfully.' Still, both boys join in the cheer for their new house member, as Gordon sniffles and wipes his nose on the sleeve of his robe.

Ria dead pans to the idiot twins clearly unamused by their spectacle. "I love being right," is all she says to the two before turning around. "Merlin I live among brainless pieces of meat."

As August Avery goes to join his table amongst the soft clapping from the other tables some Gryffindor laughs, "No wonder, even his cow lick looks like a forked tongue!" The snearing and tension that comment builds between Gryffindor and Slytherin with poor Ravenclaw trapped between is dispelled immediately by the, "Silence!" from the Deputy Headmaster. In the sudden absolute silence a loud snore comes crystal clear from the High Table. More pointedly, from the Headmaster's Chair and Headmaster Dippet himself! Dumbledore doesn't respond to the snore, simply calls on the next name. "Josephine Alexandra Davies."

Josie's eyes, on entering the hall, go very wide as she looks around, looking to the ceiling and the walls and the tables, all the tables. She spends a few moments looking for Phae, but her attention quickly turns back to the front of the room as August Avery is sorted. In her nervousness and awe, the tension between Gryffindor and Slytherin goes right over her head. Then, it's her turn next and she squeezes her hands into fists to gain control of her nerves before she steps up and sits on the stool.

In a show of social finesse that any common baboon would be proud of, Grubble turns his attention to Ria quickly, crossing his eyes and using his wand to push the tip of his nose up into a piggish snout. Not a very hard push, either, as his nose is naturally quite pug and piggish anyway. Never wanting to be left out, Gordon lifts his hands to pinch the skin at each corner of his mouth and each outer corner of his eyes together, sticking his tongue out. Truly Slytherin's finest.


It is a familiar fuzzy face and sound to Josie by now, that is of a red maned lion letting out a great roar when the hat is placed on her head and the crinkled mouth of the raggedy old sorting hat, the roar nearly drowns out the hat's decisive bellow, "Gryffindor!" The Gryffindor mascot that's on a high golden bench decorated in scarlet pillows for Godric the Lion to lounge on through the feast waves a massive paw and lets out a more friendly greeting when she's sent the way of the Gryffindor table. He even gets up and rushes over to nuzzle at the girl and rasp her face with his thick rough tongue.

There is shocked gasps from most everyone, for a moment afraid that the first year is going to not survive her first hour of being at Hogwarts and consumed by her own House Mascot. "Godric!" There is a crack of a bullwhip that comes from the High Table as the Care of Magical Creatues Professor, Silvanus Kettleburn, commands, "Lay down." Reluctantly the mascot grunts and makes a sad lion sound before he moves away from his friend and lays back down. There is many a feminine soft sigh as Kettleburn nods to the crowd and then offers to Dumbledore, "Apologies Professor Dumbledore."

Hephaesta looks up from writing down the hat's song just in time to miss Josie's gaze. But she watches her go up to the stool, biting her lip. Hoping, hoping. When the hat makes its announcement, there is a flash of disappointment in Phae's eyes. But, in truth, she did expect this. Everything about little Josephine says Gryffindor.

All nervousness is washed out of Josie by the sound of that familiar roar, and she's smiling as the hat announces her house. She stands up, putting the hat back on the stool before she starts towards the Gryffindor table. She stops, laughing, as Godric comes over to her and licks her, petting the lion. She frowns up to the sound of the whip, but then says to the lion, "Better go, I'll see you later." She gives the lion a final pet before she hurries to a seat at the Gryffindor table.

All of the action with the fellow mascot has Sal, the green bellied silver snake that's been Engorgio'd so that the normal garden snake no bigger than a fellow's tie is now the size of twenty volleyballs threaded together, rearing up it's head to give a hiss at the sound of the crack.

At the other end of the hall inside a double pane of glass that's been filled with dirt (sort of like a giant Ant Farm) at the end of the Hufflepuff table the most adorable badger to ever be seen burrows and digs another tunnel in a blink going deeper trying to escape the sound. She soon settles though when she finds a juicy large earthworm to munch on.

Valeria looks with a bit of a frown at the Gryffindors joking about Avery. "Well, there's a reason *they* aren't in Ravenclaw," she says. "They have passion, but they don't have the presence of mind to know when to stay quiet." And it just so happens that the next student becomes a Gryffindor. "Maybe she'll be different though."

Alcimus looks around at the different house mascots. He's not really surprised to see things like that at this point, with the mentions of a giant squid in the lake.

Hephaesta gives Valeria a reassuring nod. "She's a good girl. I know her." She stretches her neck again, looking for an opportunity to catch Josie's eye and wave to her.


Rowena, the beautiful golden eagle upon her bronzed drift wood perch in the center of the Ravenclaw's table doesn't even ruffle a feather, she does however give a joyous cry of welcome as a little waif of a girl with white-blond ringlets that was up after Josie is determined to be, "Oh me, oh my, I could bust a stitch raw, Miss Jolie LaFolle is a RAVENCLAW!"

When Dumbledore plucks the sorting hat off of little Jolie LaFolle's blond ringlet head and she goes bounding happily towards the Ravenclaw Table to the thunderous applause of the rest of the houses, loudest of all being house Ravenclaw of course. They are thrilled to have the daughter of the author of 'Enchanted Encounters' among their ranks.

Josie looks down the Gryffindor table a moment, once she's settled in, looking for anybody who might be familiar. Her attention is caught by the sorting of Jolie, and she joins the clapping to be polite, but it's then that she's looking to the Ravenclaw table and spots Phae, and gives her a wave with a grin.

After the crowd has settled down once more, Dumbledore looks back to his list while the Sorting Hat squirms with anticipation in his other hand. "Read the name, I promise I'll be tame!" Dumbledore looks down at the hat skeptically and reads off the next in line, "Alcimus Latts."

Alcimus wonders if the hat says *everything* in rhyme as he strides toward the hat, giving a brief look toward the different tables before the hat goes on his head, wondering which house he'd end up in and what kind of people were there. He could probably make at least some friends in any of them, but of course he'd spend the most time with his own house.

Ria looks left to right to left to right between both boys and frowns. "You both look better that way. Talk to me later about transfiguring your faces like that permanently," she says. Or maybe she'll do it while they're sleeping. She could sneak in and no one would know any better.


Dumbledore waits for the boy to take his seat and rather casually plops the big thing down on top of Alcimus' head. "Mr. Letts, welcome, yes welcome to Hogwarts." That should perhaps answer his wondering, not everything is rhyme. "A great deal of this and that in this mind of yours, never fear, I'll pick the right House of course. A lot of heart, but only to those of whom you approve, let it be SLYTHERIN, go on slither as you move!"

Unlike with Jolie before him, three out of the four tables golf clap because they must. But it's the silver and green table that erupts into cheering that thunders through the whole castle. Of any table it's Gryffindor that looks the most disappointed, particularly in the boys, they were looking forward to having the son of the comic book writer and artist of "The Golden Seven", the Quidditch Adventure Story sorted in with them. The Hufflepuffs look like they are feeling a bit tricked by the hat, when lots of heart was mentioned they of course assumed that it was going to be House Hufflepuff that Alcimus Latts was sorted into. "Congratulations!" Dumbledore bids in a sort of farewell as he lifts the hat from Alcimus' head, so that he can go join his new House.

Guffaws come this time, but Grubble and Dramond quickly silence themselves under a withering look from the imposing Charms professor. Although they put on such a show of bravado toward their Slytherin Prefect, each boy is wary of pushing her too far. But, saved by the sorting hat, they join their housemates in another cheer, and hope that Ria is so distracted as well, Grubble casting a furtive glance her way with a dart of his beady eyes.

Alcimus nods a bit and smiles as he heads for Slytherin's table. Though he's heard there are a lot of, frankly, jerks in the house, he's sure they can't be all bad. They're the kind that aim for the top, which is a good place to be.

Waiting for the applause to die down Dumbledore looks to Cullaine his blue eyes sparkling and then he calls for the boy and raises the hat that's dancing in his other hand up to make way for the boy to come sit down. "Cullaine McCray."

Cullaine looks around the crowded room, and takes a deep breath, exhaling it noisily through his nostrils. Keeping his eyes forward, and fixed on the chair, he strides forward quickly, turning on his heel at the last moment to sink down into the chair. Tapping his fingers rapidly on his thighs, he takes another deep breath, and stops fidgeting.

Valeria claps for her younger brother. "I didn't expect a Slytherin to pop up in our family," she says. "It's surprising… I mean, he's never bragged much about being the son of the man who writes The Golden Seven. But, I guess that's because he wants to be great in his own right," she explains.

Hephaesta tries not to look too uncomfortable…and fails miserably. "One doesn't need to be a Slytherin to desire greatness," she mutters, then flashing Valeria an apologetic grimace.


After being placed on Cullaine's head the curved tip of the hat curves in a downward bow. Bowing so low that the folds that comprise the 'eyes' of the hat look down under it's brim, "Your mind tells me some, but let's look into your eyes. Windows into the soul, Ah-ha! Yes, mmhmm, I knew that this was wise. It's GRYFFINDOR that is your goal!"

Cullaine blinks, and tilts his head to the side for a moment before nodding his head enthusiastically. "Yeah. Okay. I can see that," he says, standing. He looks over at Dumbledore, realizing the hat is still on his head. He leans his head forward slightly, proferring the headgear to the headmaster. "I guess, I'll uh… go to the Gryffindor table then… Cheers."

Two blonde girls, their hair and features similar enough to suggest that they might be twins, if not at least related, sit across from Josie at the Gryffindor table. They jostle each other as the sortings are called out, tossing jokes back and forth along with some kind of parchment they've been folding together. Spotting Josie taking her place, one offers an all too innocent smile, nudges the other, and the paper quickly disappears beneath the table. The paper, a folded airplane that when unfolded depicts an image of Gryffindor winning the house cup, is tossed in the direction of the Slytherin table as the girls jump up to cheer with their house!

"He'll be fine," Valeria assures Phae. "It sounds like the hat had to think pretty hard about where to put him. So he's not going to be like the worst of them over there," she reasons.


Dumbledore's eyes still sparkle with that glimmer of knowing, perhaps he knew a new member was about to join his house just by the look of Cullaine before the hat even touched his head. The hat is lifted away and Dumbledore nods and gestures towards the Gryffindor Table that's erupted in cheering and Godric gives another proud welcoming roar. But Godric needs no crack of the whip to settle him this time and Dumbledore continues with his list of Firsties, "Akilina Yevpraksiya Moscovitz." When Cullaine makes his way towards the Gryffindor table a little girl with frizzy dark hair and bottle lensed glasses that are too big for her face and slide down her nose and fall into her lap when the sorting hat is plopped on her head. "You don't need those, it's clear as day, it's to RAVENCLAW you go, be on your way!" The very mousey looking girl does as she's told and with a little squeak skitters over to sit down in the vacant space at each table for the first years. Next on the list Dumbledore calls for, "Cathal Liam O'Toole, come forward."

Josie catches the emotion of the sorting quickly, and as someone else is sorted into Gryffindor, she joins the cheering and clapping. She sits back down and looks curiously to the twins across from her as they throw the paper airplane, and she asks softly, "What was on that?"

Hephaesta pulls out of her grim concern for Alcimus when Akilina is sorted into Ravenclaw, and joins the cheers and applause for their new member.

"What was on what? I don't have anything." One blond looks from Josie to the other, who shrugs, "Dunno. She must need spectacles, I don't think she's seeing things properly." Nodding sagely, the other pulls a pair from her pocket and holds them out toward Josie, as though considering how they would look, "Hmmmmm. A little large, maybe. What do you think?"

When Akilina puts her glasses on again finally she realizes that it's rather green instead of blue where she's sat herself down. "Wrong table Mouse!" Calls a 'helpful' Slytherin. Burning a bright blush Akilina leaps up and looks like she would just like to crawl under the Ravenclaw table when she settles down at the right table. A tiny little hand is flapped about at her fellow house members in an embarrassed little greeting.

Ria raises her brows, when Cullaine gets tossed into the lion's den. McCray? Really? She frowns at the idea of the pureblooded lad not being placed into a more proper house. Then the folded airplane glides into her neatly tied chignon and she plucks it out of her hair with disdain. But her frown turns into a vicious scowl when she sees what's written on it. She peers over at the Gryffindor table to see who may have tossed it and though she suspects its the two blondes, she isn't sure. But her eyes never leaving them, she holds the paper over the flame of a candle at her table, letting the airplane burn up a few seconds while she stares. And before it burns her fingers she tosses into a goblet of water. Gryffindor win the house cup? Not on her watch.

Not someone that really shows too much emotion, there's a hint of nervousness about Cathal's features, which may indicate that he's incredibly nervous. Approaching the stool, he settles himself down on the chair trying to relax. This is all new to him and he's not exactly in the top of his game when he's out of sorts. His blue eyes watch the people out there. He takes a nice slow deep breath so as to steady himself.


When the hat is placed on Cathal's head it starts to sing, "Hello, Hello Mr. O'Toole, I can read your mind, and you're no fool! Don't be nervous, don't be shy for it's with RAVENCLAW you will fly!"

Once the hat announces his House, Cathal moves quickly to head towards the Ravenclaw table like a jackrabbit. His blue eyes are filled with relief right now. Finally getting to the table, he quickly gets into a seat and does his best to blend in.

Alcimus watches as Akilina makes it to the right table. Of course he'll be loyal to Slytherin now, but he'll still have a bit of a soft spot for his big sister's house.

They told him this would happen, they talked him through what will possibly be…yes, his fathers told him that the Sorting is nerve wracking but helps define you as a person blah blah blah. Cillian just blinks as he idly scratches above his eyepatch before carefully getting to his feet and making his way towards the stool, offering a little bow and actually blowing a kiss to the table of teachers before he settles down on the stool, hands folded neatly in his lap.

Josie shakes her head to the twins, but she's grinning now, "Nevermind." She's spotted Ria's reaction, apparently. Her attention is soon on Cillian, though, watching closely now as he's sorted.

With a shrug, the glasses are put back in the pocket. The other twin turns and smiles sweetly at Ria, wiggling her fingers in a mocking wave. "Well, if you ever do need spectacles, just let us know. They're good quality, you know." The other nods, "Yes, Professor Beery keeps them in good shape!" And with a nod, the two turn their attention to one another again.

The Teachers all react differently, The Caretaker that is in the corner against the entry wall sneers and looks fit to spit, Apollyon Pringle views the kiss blown as a disrespect to the fine establishment, Cillian Nephy Peele, he'll remember that name and patchy eyed little face. Professor Charles Aczel of Arithmancy actually gives a little bubbly almost giggle laugh into his fist. Professor Cuthbert Binns of Magical History blinks his transparent ghostly eyelids and continues to drone on to Professor Manto Mopsus who's 'looking' in the Ghost's direction. Galatea Merrythought, Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts, does giggle and she claps her hands in joy at such a darling little boy! Galaxia Lunet, is a bit too day dreamy thinking about what she'll teach first day of Astronomy. Gervase Flint's face looks like a pug dog that got a hold of a Lemon. The deep lines of his face look like the Ancient Runes he teaches about.

Ria throws her own sickeningly sweet smile back over to the blonde Gryffindor girl, her freckles making her look even cuter. And her nearly polished fingers wiggle in a wave back. All the while smoke floats upwards from the goblet where she threw in the flaming paper.

One professor in particular perks right up at the flare for dramatic this student has, Professor of Herbology, Herbert Beery who also doubles as the Supervisor for The Arts Club, which includes drama, sits up a little more straight and leans forward perhaps hoping, as he is Head of House for Hufflepuff, would be the one the boy joins. "Mmmhmmhmmm!" Is the tight lipped tight sounding little chuckle that comes from Professor Slughorn, Head of House Slytherin and instructor of Potions. The very blind Divinations Professor and Head of Ravenclaw House, Manto Mopsus, just continues to give a warm charming smile with his ear tilted towards the podium. Silvanus Kettleburn gives an amused little rumble that sounds more like one of his Magical Creatures he introduces to student than it does a human sound.

Uma Patil, the Librarian and the Muggle studies Professor, Paeonia Palancher both blow kisses back to the boy. He is now one of the most envied boys in school. Yellow eyes watch Cillian closely as Madam Rolanda Hooch simply continues to size the boy up, as she's done with every Firstie. Checking them over for any signs of potential for one of her sporting activities as coach and referee at Hogwarts. Just a little twitching smirk comes from Vindictus Viridian, Professor of Charms.


Albus Dumbledore, Professor of Transfiguration and Deputy Headmaster of Hogwarts along with being Head of House Gryffindor gives a light chortle and plops the Sorting Hat down on the boy with bravado's head. "Oh my, no kiss for me? I am hurt, how could it be? Nonono it's quite alright, I can see you'd just put up a lions fight…" At this point the Gryffindor table erupts in welcoming cheers. "Go on, go on, off with you to GRYFFINDOR!" Being cut off by the cheers seems to have thrown off the Sorting Hat's Groove™.

The blondes jump up and cheer with the rest, thumping the table as the Hat calls out their house and the Firstie is allowed to join them. They join many other students in waving and cheering their welcome, the smoke of their prank at Ria /aparently/ already forgotten.

Ever patient, Cillian sits and waits even tapping his foot to a beat that probably only he can hear as the sorting hat goes through its song and makes its decision and when his house is announced, his hands fly to his mouth and his eye widens. He makes sure though when he gets up to turn and blow a kiss to Dumbledore and then skitter towards the table of his new Griffindors, waving his hands and giving little bows before he finds his seat…then he BREATHES, exhaling all the butterfly induced nerves, elbows resting on the table and head in his hands. Whoa…what just happened. That was a rush.

This time, Josie is cheering very loud, not just in the emotion of the moment but in finding out her friend is in her house. Once things calm down she says to Cillian, "Brilliant!"

As the Sorting Ceremony progresses little tummies all through out the hall are starting to rumble and those that didn't eat on the train are getting squirmy, "Starving!" Oddly those complaints and squirmings aren't happening at the Hufflepuff table. Though they are all yawning and patting their open mouths a lot. It's a trained Hufflepuff Technique, passed down through the ages. Under the gold and black decorated table several tins are secretively being passed about. Tiny bite sized cookies that are great for popping into your mouth when you're pretending to yawn or cough or itch your nose.

Hephaesta looks up and down the Ravenclaw table, specifically seeking out faces from last year's Quidditch team. "I wonder who will be playing this year," she mumbles aloud.

"I've been practicing," Valeria says to Hephaesta with a grin. "I hope I can make it this time." She'd tried out for Chaser last year and hadn't made it.


The next boy to step up, without even being called, there are two First Years left and he has a very sharp mind and has deduced which of them is going to be sorted first. As he approaches the dias, his eyes lock with the Sorting Hat's 'eyes' and for the first time all ceremony the hat stops dancing and hangs in Dumbledore's grip completely still. When the hat is placed on Tom Riddle's head a certain black patch upon the hat that made it into his song this year on the Hat trembles and puckers up to the tear under it shrinking in fear of the Heir of the man that tore it when it rests on the boy's head. The sorting hat's voice cracks and breaks after it seems Tom and the hat have whispered discourse. "ss-Ss-SLY—therin!!"

Hephaesta nods to Valeria, taking sidelong glance at the young new Slytherin boy. "I was on the team last year. I was a Seeker. Sort of." She nibbles at her lip. "I was second-string…only played one game. But our last Seeker graduated, so I think my chances are good this year."

Ria takes a break from throwing threatening looks and burning Gryffindor paper airplanes to pay attention to the sorting. She seems rather bored for a moment until the next boy steps up, the boy that appeared with Dumbledore at the train station. Her sharp eyes never leave him and when the sorting hat shirks in what seems to be fear, her eyes widen for a split second. She's sitting at the edge of her seat.

Hazel, a mousy Third year at the Hufflepuff table, sighs happily as the sugar from her cookie fills her with a little extra energy. She sits forward after passing the tin on, resting her chin in her hands and watching the ceremony proceed with interest. Her eyes widen a little as she watches, the Hat's reaction a new one even for someone who has seen the sorting a few times. As the whispering begins at the table all around her, she remains silent, watching the boy, and the other first years, curiously.

Josie blinks at the reaction of the otherwise cheerful sorting hat to the new Slytherin. "That's weird," she says softly. Looking to the girls across from her, the only ones to really talk to her so far, she asks, "Has it ever done that before?"

Cillian is settled comfortably at his new House table and he also watches the hat's reaction before he leans over towards Josie, who he's attempted to sit close to. He's quiet however before he offers softly. "Perhaps 'e 'as lice?" He whispers before winking trying to lighten the mysterious mood.

Cullaine shrugs at the reaction of the sorting hat to the new Slytherin boy. "Sure, the fact a hat can talk doesn't bother anyone," he says, dryly. "But if it stutters, everyone is perturbed." He shakes his head, making a 'tsk' noise.

Alcimus claps a bit as Tom is sorted. As the boy arrives at the table, he comments in his direction, "Is the hat going to be all right? I hope you didn't break it." He wonders a bit what could have caused that to happen. He didn't seem that bad on the train… He might have to watch him closely to see if he has some kind of hidden depths.

Meanwhile, Valeria answers Hephaesta. "Yes… I saw," she says. "It looked like you did all right from where I was sitting," she adds.

The blondes frown, looking at each other in thought. "Hmmmm, well there was the one year when-" But the other cuts her off with an elbow to the waist, and shakes her head, "That was because the Firstie who took the test had been drinking some potion some sixth year gave him. This I think is different." Reluctantly, the other nods along.

Ajax actually glances up as Tom takes center stage, and the strange reaction of the Sorting Hat makes him frown and lean forward a bit, forgetting for the moment his empty belly. Did the hat just… stutter? That seems really odd. Something must not be quite right there. He glances around the table, looking for someone with whom to consult, but he ends up just smiling and politely applauding. No sense in worrying the younger students, and he can always ask about that later.

Hephaesta smiles appreciatively to Valeria. "Thanks." As the Riddle boy draws nearer, her eyes drift toward him again. Though she doesn't feel the same visceral reaction many others seem to be having, nor did she seem particularly concerned at the hat's stutter, she does note the reaction itself, and it lights a fire under her curiosity.

Ria resumes back to her relaxed position and cool expression when arms crossing in front of her. Otherwise her eyes follow Tom as she seats himself at her house table. And once he's situated, she peers back at the rest of the room who seems to be staring at the boy. She throws her own threatening gaze back at them. What are you looking at folks? Show's over.

Josie looks to Cullaine, and blinks, "Per-what?" She shrugs then and says, "It's just weird. Seen reactions like that tons of times from people, but they were people that owed Jimmy money, or had said something they shouldn't've. Wonder if his parents are someone important the hat didn't want to get mad?" She's still talking softly, though she grins at Cillian's suggestion.


A rather still frightened blond girl that's nibbling melted chocolate off of her finger shrinks in fear much like the patch did on Tom Riddle's head, but this time it's because the person any boggart will now turn into begins stepping towards the dais to take the Sorting Hat back from the Deputy Headmaster when it was done sorting little "Erica Stainwright." Cue crude joke from the Slytherin Table about how, "She's gonna Stain somethin' all 'wright'." Dumbledore has to give the Sorting Hat a light poke. It was just limply sitting on the frighten's girl head. What a display of terrified Firstie and Hat. But at the poke the hat shouts out. "HUFFLEPUFF!" High on the sugar they've been sneaking all sorting and finally the get someone sorted in the Badgers practically climb onto the table and chairs to whoop, yawp, and cheer their merry brains out.

The Opening Feast

In the commotion no one really hears or notices that Head Master Dippet is at the podium and seemingly has been giving his Opening Speech because when the noise finally dulls down enough he can be heard at the end of a sentence, "…will mean a grim slow torturous end of all life." He nods and, mutters, "Thank you. Failte (Pronounced fal'-tchuh) and Slainte (SLAHN-che)…Welcome and to your health." The Headmaster then turns around and shuffles towards his chair at the High table. He lifts up his fork and lowers it while looking at Professor Binns who's complimenting on the speech. A loud clatter of empty fork against empty plate.

Dippet stares at his plate for a long moment and then breaks out into a chuckle and laugh. "What's a feast without food!?" He asks while bending far over and stomping his foot as hard as a man of 300 year of age can on the floor. He cups his hands around his mouth and shouts, "FOOD!"

And just like that a magnificent feast for all sorts of taste buds covers the tables. The platters at the Slytherin table are all on raised silver legs so that Sal can freely slither about the length of the table. The creature notably stops with his head at the top side of Tom Riddle's plate and the boy fearlessly pets the big reptile's head. Tom has just settled down really, as ever since he was sorted he's been going around the House table and personally introducing himself to each of his House members and getting each and everyone of their names. Rather instantly he seems to memorize what he's told.

Cullaine crosses his arms and runs his tongue over his teeth. "I doubt it," he says, under his breath at Josie. "The robes he had on were last year's fashion, fifty years ago." He shakes his head. "Also, he's a hat — what's he afraid of, humid weather? Probably just got a mothball caught in his… I guess it's a mouth."

Josie giggles a little and nods quickly to Cullaine, and then there's food! The sudden appearance makes her jump, but she's grinning immediately, and starting to serve herself a big plateful of everything in reach.

Hazel cheers with her table, waving excitedly to the newcomer. "Hello!" She calls out, though she is certain her greetings are drowned out by the many others also enthusiastically welcoming Erica.

As when Tom Riddle finally comes around to Ria, she shakes his hand (after inspecting it of course!) and says in a neither friendly nor unfriendly voice, "Pleasure to meet you Tom. I'm Ria Sykes, one of your prefects. I have two rules — don't touch me if you're filthy and don't make a fool out of our house. Keep both and we'll be fine." The third rule would have been Gryffindor sucks, but that's not so much a rule as it is a fact.

Cillian has to clap happily when the food arrives and he shifts in his seat and he quickly chooses something with potatoes and something else with meat and then something with chocolate and he offers a strawberry to Josie. "Look! A strawberry, here, ye have to taste this! Imagine if we were able to pirate an entire crate of 'em?"

"Well, this is certainly going to be a time of change around here," Alcimus observes. "Last year they had the new train, next year we might need a new hat… I mean, you heard the song, that one was made by the founders of the school, and how long ago was that? After looking into the heads of so many eleven-year-olds, it was bound to crack sometime." He gets some food from the table while looking over the professors. "They certainly look like a wise group," he notes. "Maybe I'll be a professor at Hogwarts someday. I mean, I have plenty of time to decide what I want to do, but it's good to start thinking about it early."

Josie's mouth is stuffed with food when Cillian firsts offers the strawberry, but in a few moments she manages to swallow and accepts it with a smile, "Thanks." She takes a bite and then grins, nodding quickly, "That'd be great!"

In all the excitement about the new school year, Hephaesta didn't realize how hungry she was. The sudden appearance of the feast has her stomach growling, and she quickly loads her plate with sensible, nutritious fare.

Ajax goes for a rather random assortment of sweet things, somewhat healthy things, and meaty-bready-definitely-bad-for-you things. He's nibbling on a biscuit when he abruptly turns to Hephaesta. "So, how'd you invent those goggles of yours, anyhow? They're brilliant, of course, but I'd never even have thought of inventing something like that." He winks, adding, "'Course, I'm not an artificer."

Cillian mixes different things together and even dips his fruit in chocolate pudding as he mms and laughs softly, lapsing into a contemplative silence as he looks at those at his table and he stares off into the distance, almost staring blankly as he eats and tries to picture…what his school year if going to be like. There's a quick shake of his head as he takes a sip of his pumpkin juice and he chuckles softly. He makes sure to toss a wave to Hephaesta at her table before looking to Josie. "Now I just gotta work on me roar so I dun shame the great beastie. Heh, the tings you learn at school eh?" Then he's all about the eating.

Ria gets up from her seat to introduce herself to the new Slytherins as well. She stops by Alcimus and after unceremoniously inching in between him and the person on his other side she says, "Latts, right? Good. Welcome to Slytherin. I'm your prefect Ria Sykes. If you need anything, I'm your go to person." She also gives him the same the same "two rule" breakdown that she gave to Tom before finishing off with, "Any questions?" Boy she briefs newbies fast.

Hephaesta swallows a mouthful of peas, shrugging to Ajax. "It just seemed like a good idea. After the first time we had Quidditch practice in the rain, I figured regular goggles still get fogged up and covered in water drops…so why not make goggles that can see right through the rain? Well, then I figured they should do more than that. I mean, the Snitch is pretty far away and tiny. Of course, I'll have to get Madam Hooch to let me use them in games. But they're pretty useful off the pitch, too."

Valeria starts eating, occasionally looking toward Alcimus for a bit. The hat's reaction to Tom Riddle has made her a bit more concerned about her brother than before. Would he really be all right sharing a house with that boy? Thankfully Ajax lightens the mood a bit with his question. "I know," she says agreeing with him.

Alcimus is a bit surprised at Ria's intrusion between his seat and the next, but nods toward her. "It's nice to meet you," he answers.

"I guess I never got as into quidditch as some people," Ajax admits, waving a hand dismissively. "Was always more my father's sort of thing. But, I still think the goggles are really cool. Do they let you see in the dark? That'd be a useful for sure!" He's happy to lead the conversation away from the oddity of the new boy with the Sorting Hat.

Hephaesta nods a bit more excitedly at Ajax's interest in her work. "They do. But you have to calibrate them for it. They might even see through invisibility spells with the right settings…I haven't really been able to test them for it, though."

"Nice to meet you as well," Ria simply replies and then adds the line she so often hears from her father, "Make us proud this year." And just like Arlo, the words really translate into: don't disappoint us.

"That sounds brilliant," Valeria says. "It's always a good thing for witches and wizards to have creativity like that rather than just relying on the same old spells that everyone's used for ages."

"I'll be sure to do that," Alcimus answers Ria. He's intent on earning some serious house points for Slytherin, and hopes that the nastier members don't lose too many for them.

That means you Grubble and Dramond.

Hephaesta smiles to Valeria, "Exactly! Even with artificers, things have been stagnant for a long time. It's not like Muggles. They invent new things all the time. Sometimes really amazing things. Even my goggles have some Muggle technology in them."

Grinning crookedly, Ajax says, "I like muggle music pretty well. That Cole Porter knows his stuff, eh?" He laughs a little, spooning up some potatoes, and munches on that while he listens to the table conversation, trying to think prefecty and responsible thoughts instead of inappropriate ones about adaptations of enchanted artifacts.

Hephaesta shrugs at Ajax. "Cole…Porter? I don't know Muggle music very well. Is it really that different from wizard music?" All the while that she talks, Phae has her little notebook out on the table. Every so often, when an idea strikes her, she'll thumb it open and jot down a few quick notes, then go right back to the conversation at hand.

"I don't spend a lot of time in the Muggle world either," Valeria notes. "I've only heard a little of their music, to be honest. I remember one song I heard when I was young at some sort of party… I think someone my father knew was getting married to a Muggle. And I was amused by the song, because it mentioned owls. But of course it meant something totally different to them than it did to me," she explains.

With her fellow Gryffindor firsties distracted by their meals, Josie's left without much conversation, so as she continues to eat her eyes are wandering up and down the Gryffindor table, glancing curiously from one older student to the next.

Laughing quietly, Ajax says, "Cole Porter's… he's different! He's got more bounce to his music than a lot of wizarding music. I'm not sure I can really explain unless you hear a bit of it." He shrugs, adding, "But I like wizard music, too. I like some of just about everything, I'd say."

Akilina leans forward and turns, her voice not as mousy as she looks she asks just as her glasses slide off her face (thanks gravity! huff) "So what was that song that hat was singing about?" The tone of her question and the content practically ignites a big flashing neon sign over the girl's head of 'MUGGLE BORN!' *blink* *Blink* 'MUGGLE BORN!'.

"Eclectic," says Phae, showing off a little vocabulary. "I don't listen to music a lot. Though my mother really likes the wizarding wireless. Lately she's been going on and on about Wolfgang Montague." Phae just rolls her eyes before address Akilina. "It sounded like it was trying to teach us some history about the founders. I wrote it all down. I figured I'd go over it tonight." She nods to Ajax. "That's what I use the goggles for mostly. Reading in the dark."

"I don't think they're going to have a test about the song," Valeria says to Hephaesta. "Anyway, there's a whole book about the history of Hogwarts, so you can just read that if you want to know." Books! They're useful!

"I know," says Phae, giving Valeria a look that says as much. "But the hat knows a lot of things, and if everything were in books, we wouldn't need to write more books."

Akilina perks hearing that Phae has written it down, she scampers down from her seat and then sneaks in between Phae and the person that was sitting beside her. "Excuse me. May I see what you wrote?"

Notably Akilina is so small she doesn't jostle about either Phae or the person next to her as she gets settled.

Ajax balances his spoon on one finger, commenting casually, "And if we only accepted a single source for all information, we'd be pretty poor scholars! We should try to get the story from all sides. The hat is obviously a highly credible primary source."

While all the other tables are busy mingling and partying, leave it to the Ravenclaw table turning into The Study Group table already.

Hephaesta nods to Akilina, scooting a little to make room, even in the mousey girl doesn't need it. She opens her notebook to the appropriate page and hands it over. Glancing to Ajax, she nods in agreement. "I'd love to have a few hours to talk to the Sorting Hat. Can you imagine everything it knows? It's seen inside the mind of every student in Hogwarts history." She shakes her head, wide-eyed at the weight of that.

"That's true," Valeria says. "I… actually haven't really thought about it that much. I mean, it just comes out at the start of every year and sorts everyone and then it gets put away… I'm not sure where," she notes. "But it must know a lot."

Akilina pulls out an extendable pointer that is affixed with a powerful magnet at the pointy end. The pointer is tugged on so it's nearly six feet in length, but then the Ravenclaw girl with a much longer and better angled reach gets the spoon with ease so she starts to collapse the pointer back down. "Do you think the other Houses realize?" She pointedly looks at everyone having a good time and not looking at all as if they are talking about going on treasure hunts themselves. At least to her squinty eyes. But then she's back to the written out song and she points to it verse by verse. "Witches, riches…hazards…obstacles. Then don't dance, don't fret, it's the firsties day. He belonged to Godric Gryffindor." Seems she's read her Hogwarts, A History too…shame it disappeared on the train ride, she wanted to read it! "Slytherin wanted the hat, there was a fight. Do you think this is symbolism? I read," She looks at Valeria pointedly. "That Slytherin wanted to make it so only Pure-Bloods would be allowed here…" She looks about to everyone around who is contributing to the great Treasure riddle debate.

Hephaesta shrugs, "That makes sense. If Salazar Slytherin had the hat, maybe he could have altered it so that it wouldn't sort anyone with Muggle blood."

Accepting back his spoon, Ajax notes, "Gotta have a spoon. For pudding, y'know." Then he digs into said pudding, though he listens to the discussion quite keenly. "I've heard that, too," he notes to Akilina. "Rubbish idea. Pure-bloods would go mad without muggle-borns to faint and fret about." This is accompanied by a vague wave toward the Slytherin table. "But how does that relate to a sword, cup, crown and… gold?"

Hephaesta rests her chin on her hand pensively. "I'm not sure. But I intend to find out. Valeria is right, though. This calls for more research in the library. I'm not sure they'll let us in there tonight, though." As if to further punctuate the point of how late it's getting, Phae stifles a yawn.

Right on cue the Heads of House come down from their high table. Professor Mopsus with his staff that he uses as a blinds man's cane. He stops right behind the Blue Haired Boy and gives him a tap. "Ajax, see to it your House gets to their dormitories safely and without getting lost." Slughorn, who knows Miss Sykes well enough not to tap her or even appear to be about to touch her, clears his throat to get her attention. "Please Miss Sykes, take the lead in getting the first years back, hmm? Don't want firsties running around lost and starving in the dungeons on the first night…again." The other Heads of House instruct their House Prefects to do the same and the herding off to dormitories and their cozy beds begins.

Ajax drops his spoon to the tabletop and offers a grin, which can be heard in his voice as readily as seen, saying, "Yes, sir, professor! I'll get them all safely to bed. Won't lose a single one to the stair trolls this year." He claps his hands and addresses the table. "All right, you lot! Let's be off. We've got to get you all safe to the tower, to bed, and all that. So, yes, again—let's be off!"

Ria's a diligent little servant when she needs to and she hears the throat clearing with no problem, even around all this nose. So she stands up in one graceful movement and says, "I will make sure the first-years are stuffed and locked in their cages, sir." She smiles after her joke, but something about the glint in her eyes make it seem like she's not entirely kidding. And then cleaning up her dining area, which was -already- organized, she begins to round up the troops for bed.

*Clatter* *Crack* Akilina's thick glasses fall right off her face with the stretched expression of fear on her face. "Stair trolls!?" So much for thinking Hogwarts was going to be a paradise. She likened Pringle to a Bridge Troll that they must just get past earlier when Erica was nearly weeing herself for fear of the Caretaker. It's very safe to say that Ajax nearly has to piggy back Akilina up the stairs to the Ravenclaw Tower, for every step, no matter how consoled she is, has her frightened now.

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