The two of us; Kaitlyn and I, walked through the large doors and into the Entrance Hall. The entrance Hall was crowded as it always was on the first day. Students of all years were entering in groups, leaving the First Years a little startled. They probably didn’t know where to go, what to do, whom to look for. I smiled to myself, we were just like that! Some five years ago, I realised that we had grown only when I saw the little ones.
“Cal? Caldera?” I turned towards Kaitlyn, who looked irritated.
I raised an eyebrow, “What did I do?”
“We were talking, remember?” she said, furrowing her eyebrows.
I sighed. I had told her about the incident with Fred and she wouldn’t stop talking about how I was cursed سے طرف کی oblivion.
“How oblivious can آپ be? He asked آپ to the Yule Ball and آپ accepted! Why did you? To dance?” she kept speaking.
I rolled my eyes. Why did they think that going to the Yule Ball with Fred was such a big event? It was almost two years ago.
“Yes, Kaitlyn. I went there to dance because it was a Ball. I accepted because no one had asked me and we know each other since we were little,” I said, getting annoyed.
Why on earth were we having a discussion in the middle of the Entrance Hall, with people brutally pushing past us?
“What about Draco Malfoy? He had asked آپ and آپ know him since آپ were babies!” she exclaimed, quite loudly too, seeming to be very satisfied with her comeback.
The فیرریٹ, بھگانا was just being the idiot he was, that was it. In case anyone hadn’t noticed, he seemed to take a special liking to irritating me.
“You don’t know how much I pity myself, Kaitlyn. No one should be exposed to such idiocy at a young age,” I shook my head, trying to look sad.
“But he did ask you!” she exclaimed again.
“ ‘Roth, I don’t think anyone will ask آپ to the Ball. So, I’m being kind enough to ask you, accept my offer.’ That was what he said,” I said, really he was the idiot he was, he didn’t expect me to be his date.
“You remember how he asked you!” she smirked at me, I rolled my eyes.
She was worse that Ginny یا Hermione! She romanticised every relation I had with a person of the opposite gender.
“What are آپ ladies doing here? Do آپ wanna be trampled?” I heard David’s voice say.
To say the least, I was relieved. Kaitlyn really seemed to be in the mood to anatomize my love-life. Not that I had one.
I turned and smiled at David, “We were just going.”
“Let’s go,” Kaitlyn said, and pulled me towards the large double doors that led to the Great Hall.
David and Terry (who I hadn’t seen until that moment) followed behind.
The Great Hall was just as I remembered it; not that I had expected it to change but seeing all the students, the teacher’s and other staff sitting at their usual places made me feel at home. Hogwarts was ہوم to each and every one of us. The enchanted ceiling was beautiful as usual; with the numerous candles apparently hanging from the ceiling. They say that آپ get used to the magic at Hogwarts but the ceiling of the Great Hall never ceased to fascinate me.
Most of the students were at the table, talking amongst themselves.
“So we’re again, eh?” Terry said, looking around with a smile on his face.
“No...We’re in Azkaban!” David said, flicking him on the head, “Of course we are, Terry.”
“Come on boys, sit,” Kaitlyn کہا as she sat at our House table, I followed.
They two of them sat at the table, after shoving at each other and laughing. Kaitlyn just rolled her eyes and I wouldn’t blame her; what was so funny about shoving at each other. Boys...I never really understood what they had in their skulls.
“Can I sit here?”
All four of us turned to see, Michael Corner, standing beside the table.
“Since when did آپ start asking permission for sitting with us?” I asked; he was being weird.
Michael just sighed and sat down.
“Where did آپ disappear to?” David asked him.
“I got on another carriage and آپ people didn’t wait for me,” Michael glared at all of us.
“Sorry,” Kaitlyn said, “but Cal and I were discussing about—”
I glared at her, did she have to be so...open...about things.
“Hey Cal!” I turned around to see a very worried looking Hermione and an indifferent Ron.
“Yeah?” Could something be wrong? Harry wasn’t there, so he probably got into some kind of trouble. It was usual and it was just the first night, it wouldn’t be that bad.
“Did آپ see Harry?” she asked, her voice urgent.
“No,” I shook my head. So I was right; Harry got into trouble again.
“It’s usual for him, Hermione. He’ll be back,” I added.
“Told you, didn’t I?” Ron said, looking at Hermione, annoyed.
“Thanks anyways, Caldera,” Hermione کہا and walked away with Ron behind.
“That bloke always disappears doesn’t he?” David said, shaking his head, looking like an old man.
I laughed. David looked at me, “What?”
“Hey guys,” a rather giggly voice said; Padma Patil.
I smiled up at her, so did the others.
“Come on, Padma; sit down” Kaitlyn said, patting the space اگلے to her, “the Sorting Ceremony will start in a moment, I believe.”
Padma sat down, just then, the First Years started filing into the Hall, led سے طرف کی Professor McGonagall.
The usual procedure took place; no one seemed the least bit interested in what the Sorting Hat had to stay, well most of them.
Finally when the Sorting was finally over, I looked over towards the Gryffindor table, no sign of Harry.
“Can آپ guys not eat like pigs?” Kaitlyn screeched, I just ignored her, it happened every time all of us sat together to eat. I just age a small piece of chicken.
I looked towards the double doors to see a bloody faced Harry enter the Great Hall. I was right; trouble again. But how did he manage to get all bloody on the first day?
I heard a high pitched laughter issuing from the Slytherin table; which unfortunately was beside ours. I turned towards their میز, جدول to see who could make such a ridiculous noise, I turned around to come face to face with the ferret. My luck!
“It’s not a good manner, eavesdropping on other people’s conversations, Roth,” he sneered, “Do آپ want to end up like Potty?”
I raised an eyebrow, was he implying that he did that to Harry? But I couldn’t ask, he’d think that I was really interested in their conversation.
“It would be so much مزید convenient if that girlfriend of yours wasn’t so loud,” I said, smiling the sweetest, fakest smile I could manage.
“Jealous, Roth?” another voice sneered, the ferret’s girlfriend of course.
“Yeah, Pansy! I’m so jealous, I’m planning to murder آپ in your sleep and—”
“Stop it, Cal! Don’t..You’ll lower yourself,” David interrupted, grabbing my arms. I didn’t know that he was listening, the rest of them were caught up in their own conversations.
“Low? A blood-traitor like آپ talks about being low?” Pansy barked again.
I saw David grit his teeth from the corner of my eye; he opened his mouth to say something but then he...and everyone else in the Great Hall was interrupted سے طرف کی Professor Dumbledore’s deep voice.
“The very best of evenings to you,” he کہا as she smiled broadly, both David and I turned towards the teacher’s table.
The first thing I noticed when I looked at Dumbledore was his right hand, which was blackened and just looked...dead. Taking into account, the whispers that were coming from all the tables, I wasn’t the only one to notice.
"What happened to his hand?” Kaitlyn whispered, looking genuinely horrified.
“Who knows? He may have been doing something in the summer,” Terry just shrugged.
“But why didn’t he heal it?” Padma asked.
“Why are آپ asking me? Ask him!” Terry whispered. Padma rolled her eyes.
No one could blame them; the blackened hand did raise many سوالات in my mind too.
Dumbledore seemed to have interpreted the whispers in the Hall; he just smiled and کہا that it was nothing.
Of course it wasn’t nothing! The hand looked dead! Could it be? The curses I had read about? The old ones...some poisons without cure.
Dumbledore just continued speaking, the worst part was: The goods from Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes had been banned! Most of the younger ones, groaned at that. And I myself was disappointed! I know, being a prefect I mustn’t be thinking that way but with the twins gone at least the pranks would serve as a memory of the fun times and chaos they brought to Hogwarts.
“We are pleased to welcome a new member of the staff this year,” Dumbledore continued, he was talking about Slughorn, “Professor Slughorn.” Slughorn stood up; his bald head was gleaming in the candle light. Perhaps it was because he favoured famous people, I didn’t particularly have a liking towards him, “is an old colleague of mine who had agreed to resume his old post of Potions-master.”
Potions? Harry had told us that there’d be new teacher but didn’t tell us that he’s take over Snapes’s post!
And it wasn’t just me who was surprised سے طرف کی it, most of them were.
“Potions?” Terry asked, raising his eyebrows.
“Professor Snape meanwhile,” Dumbledore continued, noticing that the muttering was growing louder, “will be taking the position of the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher.”
“Wow,” Kaitlyn said, she probably had nothing else to say. What could anyone say anyways?
Dumbledore had made his decision, no one could change. He must have done it for a reason...hopefully.
“We’re doomed!” Michael whispered harshly.
“No, we’re not. Doesn’t matter who the teacher is, we’ll have to do our best,” David said, turning.
Michael responded with a nod and sighed.
“But doesn’t it seem like the post is jinxed?” Padma stated.
I raised an eyebrow, “What do آپ mean?”
“Well, no one has had the post for مزید than a year,” Padma said, shrugging.
It was true! All the teachers who had taken the post had to leave the post in a year. Quirrell had even lost his life.
“Yeah. Come to think of it, it is true,” Kaitlyn said, sitting up. She obviously found another topic to speak about.
Then Dumbledore started speaking again, “Now, as everyone in this Hall knows, Lord Voldemort and his followers are once مزید at large and gaining in strength.”
I knew he’d mention this, had expected it but again at the mention of the Dark Lord and the Death Eaters, my دل started beating faster and my breath hitched.
I could feel Kaitlyn’s eyes but she didn’t say a thing. The whole Hall was silent for that matter. Kaitlyn was outspoken but knew when she shouldn’t be talking, I was thankful for that.
Like every time someone mentioned Death Eaters, I didn’t listen. I didn’t listen to a word he said, it may have been important but I just couldn’t. I knew he wasn’t talking about Dad in particular but he was one of them and I couldn’t stand it when someone talked about my Dad like he was a bad person. He may be bad to them; to me he’s my father.
“I trust آپ to conduct yourselves, always, with the utmost regard for your own and others' safety,” I heard Dumbledore say; his speech must have been over.
I looked up at the Headmaster; he was smiling down at all of us. I sighed and smiled a little, as long as we were under Dumbledore’s wings, we’d be safe.
"But now, your beds await, as warm and comfortable as آپ could possibly wish, and I know that your سب, سب سے اوپر priority is to be well-rested for your lessons tomorrow. Let us therefore say goodnight. Pip pip!"
I smiled and got up from the bench, all the other around me did the same, the benches making a deafening scraping sound.
“Let’s go, we have to herd the First Years,” David کہا lazily.
“I hate the job,” I whined, I couldn’t help it! This was the worst part of being a Prefect.
Herding small children who didn’t know what to do. Yes, I had been the same too but I swear, I wasn’t that out of control.
“Stop whining, girl. We have to do it,” David said, trying to sound stern and failing miserably.
“Bye people! See آپ in the dorm!” I waved at the rest of them.
They waved and exited the Hall through the large double doors.
“Let’s get going then,” David کہا walking off towards the First Years who looked...intimidated.
They found David scary? He wasn’t scary! He was just a tall bloke not scary. I ran after him.
“Can’t live without dear David, eh Roth?” I heard the فیرریٹ, بھگانا comment; I just sent a glare in his direction as I stood beside David.
Why did he always appear out of nowhere? He just stood there as Pansy tried to get the First Years in a queue.
“Follow me! I don’t want anyone getting lost یا getting into fights!” David called.
The First Years were already in a queue, some were still staring at the ceiling in awe, some looking around the Hall and some looking at the ghosts who were floating around.
“You lead, I’ll stay at the back in case anyone gets lost,” I whispered to him. David nodded.
“Come on!” he waved and started walking towards the doors. I went to the end of the queue and started walking behind them.
Our little procession made its way towards the Grand Staircase. As expected, the First Years looked at it with awe. The staircase was an extraordinary sight for all the children, the one’s from Wizarding families and the Muggle-borns.
I figured they would want to know about it so I started, “These are the grand staircases and as آپ can see, they keep shifting. Please be careful and try to remember the stairs آپ need to take. It won’t be easy but as آپ are Ravenclaws, it won’t be very difficult.”
I smiled at them as I finished.
Then David led them on the stairs. The stairs were very familiar to us and it wasn’t very difficult to make our way to the fifth floor.
We entered the Spiral Staircase that led to our common room.
The First Years were talking amongst themselves, and looking around.
I was starting to feel tired and wanted to get into my bed. The thought of a warm and comfortable بستر seemed very pleasing.
We all came to a stop at the سب, سب سے اوپر of the staircase, and stood at the door. The eagle knocker at the door spoke in its usual deep voice, “Which came first, the phoenix, یا the flame?”
It was a usual riddle and all of us knew the answer.
“A دائرے, حلقہ has no beginning,” David stated and the door swung open.
The children nearly ran David over trying to enter the common room all at once.
I started laughing. David glared at me, “I hope it happens to آپ someday.”
“Sure,” I stated.
I looked around at the common room, some students were lounging on the chairs and talking but most of them were probably in their beds already. I always felt that our common room had a soothing atmosphere, maybe it was because most of it was blue. Blue carpets, blue and silver silks, the domed ceiling was painted with stars.
“I’m going to sleep. Good night, David,” I said, as I tried to stifle a yawn.
“Okay, good night, Cal,” he smiled and left walking towards a group of boys.
I turned and made my way towards the statue of Rowena Ravenclaw, I looked up at her stone face.
Beauty and intelligence; two words that described her well.
I then entered the door leading to the girl’s dorm and went up the short flight of stairs. I then entered our room, to find Kaitlyn and Padma fast asleep in their beds. Kaitlyn...for a person who wanted to talk all night, she sure did fall asleep early.
“Wingardium Leviosa,” I whispered and flicked my wand towards my trunks that were on my bed.
They placed themselves on the floor beside my bed. I unzipped my small bag, which had all the things I needed for the night.
I changed into my pyjamas, folded my robes and placed them on the foot of my bed.
Then, I took off my bracelet and ring, placed them on the bedside میز, جدول and got into bed.
I noticed that Luna wasn’t in the room yet, so I left the lights on.
“Good night, Kaitlyn..Padma...” I کہا to myself, knowing that they couldn’t hear me.
I closed my eyes, I was very tired. I hadn’t had any sleep the night before too.
The night before! My eyes opened at the memory of Dad’s voice.
“I love آپ two...”
I didn’t know if it was real but I knew that he loved us.
Without anymore thoughts about last night, I surrendered myself to sleep.
. . .