11- year old Noah Wilson was a little nervous about going to Hogwarts. He had known he was a wizard for a while, but living in Canada didn't offer many good choices in terms of wizarding schools. The closest one was in America, but that wasn't the greatest choice.
On top of that, Hogwarts was in England, which meant he would have to leave the country. And go to school with complete strangers. At least the weird stuff that always happened to him would be seen as normal...
Noah had always been bullied for being smarter than everyone else. Adults called him a genius. He was reading high-school books by the time he was in second grade. He was the only kid in his family with an IQ higher than 140, and he was the youngest of seven. He was also the only one who was a wizard, so that made the bullying even worse. When he got his acceptance letter, he was so excited, he couldn't sleep!
He left on July 28. He had had his trunk packed since he got his letter, on July 20. He'd packed his clothes, a few novels, and some writing utensils. He would have to buy the rest of his stuff, like his textbooks and wand, in London. He couldn't wait to get a wand. And an owl. And his large magic textbooks. He had decided to travel in his favorite red sweater vest and white long sleeve shirt, as well as cargo shorts and his old green hiking boots.
The flight he was taking to London would be leaving in two hours. Then, he would stay in the Leaky Cauldron for a day and buy all his stuff in Diagon Alley. Then, on September 1, he would board the Hogwarts Express. Of course, he would be doing this all by himself. Naturally. His parents were too busy with their six other children to notice or even care that he was leaving.
Stupid economy class. Noah was seated in the very back of the plane, next to the bathrooms. If you don't know, that's the worst seat on an airplane.
He was reading a book about the wand selection process, something he still didn't understand, and probably never would. Which is why he loved the subject so much. He enjoyed confusing subjects, because it provided a challenge for his large brain.
He was in a window seat, since he loves to look out at the sky when he wasn't reading. There was a little girl, maybe nine years old, sitting in the seat next to him, and she was staring at him, deep in concentration. She had long, wavy blonde hair, pale skin, and was wearing a green sweater and a grey skirt over purple leggings and black shoes.
"You know, your aura is kind of hard to read. I see a little dark yellow, and maybe some red, but not much else. You hide your true feelings well." the little girl said out of the blue.
Noah, emerged in his book, was surprised that she had actually had the nerve to talk to him. He thought she was incapable of speaking. He turned to look at her.
"Whatever. I don't need people looking at my aura all the time. Besides, I have other things to worry about,'' he plainly said back to her.
"Right, like your worries about fitting in at a new school, far from home, without knowing anyone," she replied, confusing Noah.
Noah shrugged, then ignored her.
"In case we ever meet again, I'm Dawn. I'm moving to England with my mom to help at the nature conservancy there." she continued, holding out her hand for Noah to shake.
"Noah," he replied back. " I'm…well, you already know."
"Indeed. Well, it looks like the plane is landing. Good luck with everything, Noah. I'm sure you will find a home at your new school." She winked, then leapt out of her seat and ran over to a woman who looked like her mother.
"Weirdo," he muttered as he got up from his seat and found his luggage.
"So, this is London," Noah said to himself as he exited the airport and boarded a double decker bus.
He passed Big Ben, the London Eye, and various other landmarks I refuse to name because there are SO many, and those are the ones I remember off the top of my head. He finally reached the inner city, and got off the bus, dragging his trunk behind him.
There were many, many, MANY people on the street. Well, not as many as, like, New York or something, but for a scrawny 11- year old, who had never left Canada until yesterday, it was a lot. There were shady alleyways and bright, sunny sidewalks. There were stores and offices, and lots of different British accents being tossed around by the wind.
He finally found the Leaky Cauldron. It was rundown and old-looking. That's what gave it away. It was in an alleyway with old buildings surrounding it.
When he opened the creaky old door, he immediately caught the smell of liquor and smoke. The bar was occupied by a few geezers, being served by a bartender who looked older than the bar itself. There were a few patrons sitting at old tables drinking who knows what and reading the paper. One guy doing so was stirring his coffee, twirling the spoon without touching it. He noticed a few wanted posters around, and a broom sweeping by itself.
"Wow, what a dump…" he muttered to himself, unaware that the bartender and everyone else had noticed his presence. He slowly walked toward the bar as what felt like a hundred eyes followed him.
"Well well well, if it isn't another new student. All by his lonesome. I bet he got lost on the way here."
"I bet he doesn't have a Knut to his name."
What a bunch of drunks, Noah thought, as he finally made his way to the bar. "Uh, bartender?" he asked the guy behind the counter. " Where do I sign in for my room?"
The bartender looked up at him. "What's yer name, newbie?"
"N-Noah, sir," he replied with a stutter. He never stuttered, this guy just made him nervous. "I'm here to get stuff for school, since it starts tomorrow."
"Uh-huh. Room 206." He hands him an old looking key. " You here by yourself? Why don't you stay with yer family and get yer stuff on their account? Huh?", the bartender inquired.
"Ha ha, yeah, see, my family's back in Canada, so….yeah. I'm just here for a day to buy my stuff in Diagon Alley and catch the train." Noah replied back with a nervous laugh.
"Canada? Yer from Canada? Don't remember any students 'round here bein' from Canada. Ye got into Hogwarts?" the bartender asked, surprised.
"Yeah. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some shopping to do." Noah started to walk away. Then, he quickly turned around, realizing something he forgot to ask the bartender.
"Uh… where's Diagon Alley exactly?" He asked the bartender.
"It's that way." he said, pointing to a door-shaped opening in the wall, where a low brick wall was visible. "I'll show you out there. Be back down here in 5 minutes."
"...Ok." Noah quickly grabbed his stuff and ran, almost sprinted up the stairs to his room. It was a simple room, with a bed, dresser, and mirror, the walls painted green. He placed his trunk on the bed and ran back downstairs.
" Let's go!" he said, a little too enthusiastically.
"Meh," the bartender mumbled. "Just, follow me, Canada. You've got some serious shopping to do. Joey, cover the bar for me." He followed the bartender out of the bar to the brick wall he saw when he first walked in. The bartender pulled out his wand and tapped a few bricks on the wall, and they separated to reveal another alleyway teeming with wizards.
"Well, this is Diagon Alley, Canada. Happy shopping, I guess." the older man said with a flourish of his hand. He turned back towards the Leaky Cauldron, then turned back around. "Oh, and dinner's at 7, don't be late." He walked back into the bar.
Noah was amazed by how many wizards and witches there were. They were all wearing robes in different colors, and all carrying large shopping bags. The shops had just as much variety. There were shops for pets, robes, books, and wands.
"Where to shop first….Hmmmm….." Noah pondered as he stood in the middle of the alleyway. "I should get my wand." He decided to get his wand at Ollivander's. He knew that Mr. Ollivander had been in rehab for a little while after being tortured during the Second Wizarding War, so he was nervous about seeing him.
He creaked open the door and entered the old wand shop. It was fairly messy, with wand boxes stacked on top of each other on floor to ceiling shelves. He walked up to the front desk, which was covered in papers and more wands, and rang the little bell on the desk. A sliding ladder suddenly made its appearance, with a crazy looking old man hanging on. He was balding with wild white hair, and wearing a purple suit jacket robe thing and a dirty- white ruffled shirt underneath. He was also wearing a bow tie. He had a wild look in his eyes as he stared at Noah.
"Ah, Mr. Wilson. I was hoping you would come in today. All the new Hogwarts students blow in sooner or later." the old man said with a voice as old as time itself. He climbed down the ladder and jumped to the ground. "Mr. Ollivander." He put his hand out, and Noah took it. They shook hands. "I've never had the pleasure of meeting a CANADIAN wizard before or selling him one of my wands." He pulled away and walked through the store to a shelve of wand boxes. He scanned them until he found the wand he was looking for. He pulled it out, and walked back to Noah, who had been waiting behind the front desk. "Try this one." He handed Noah a long, dark colored wand. He suspected it to be a darker shade of oak. He grabbed it and wove it around. Wand boxes flew off the shelves. A few quills exploded in their holding jar. After a few seconds of this, he quickly was relieved of the wand as Mr. Ollivander grabbed it out of his hand and quickly threw it back into its box. The boxes stopped flying and the quills stopped exploding. "Well, that's certainly not it."
He went back into the shelves and found another wand box. He brought it to Noah and opened it. The wand was a lighter shade of wood, but also rich in color. It was a little shorter than the last wand, and looked to be more flexible. Noah suspected it was beech. When Mr. Ollivander handed him this wand, he knew it was the wand for him. It felt just right in his hands, the grooves and curves fitting his fingers perfectly. Also, the room lit up and operatic music started playing. His hair was blown from his face. "I think that just sealed the deal," he said as the music stopped playing and the light faded. "How much for the wand?" he asked as Mr. Ollivander continued to stare at him.
"Hmmmm…..curious. Very curious." Mr. Ollivander whispered as he took the wand back from Noah. "A wand hasn't reacted to a wizard like that since….Potter." He shook his head. "Never mind, it's a silly inquisition. Seven Galleons." He pointed to the wand as Noah reached for some money in his bag. "That's a new one, that is. Crafted from the finest beech wood in Britain." He placed the wand back in its box as Noah dropped seven gold Galleons onto the desk. The wandmaker's eyes widened. "How did you manage to get seven Galleons?" the wandmaker asked.
"Money conversion. I have over 5000 Canadian dollars in the bank at home, so I converted it all to wizard currency at Gringotts. I'm upper middle-class in terms of money in this place," Noah replied as he grabbed his wand and placed it in his bag.
He walked out of Ollivander's and continued to shop until he had all his things for school, including some new quills and parchment. He would have to get used to using them, since he was accustomed to using pencils and paper. He saw a few kids who looked his age staring at a racing broom display case in a storefront. He wasn't too interested in learning to ride a broom. He would much rather read about wands.
"Damn! I'm gonna be late!" Noah cursed as he ran down the stairs of the Leaky Cauldron, now dressed in a long-sleeved red t-shirt with a cartoon dragon on the front, black shorts and his hiking boots. He dragged his trunk and carried his owl cage, which his new owl Athena occupied, up to the bar, where the bartender was now serving two patrons. "How do I get to King's Cross Station?" Noah quickly asked.
"Just follow the signs, Canada, ye'll git there." simply said the bartender. "Good luck and all that to you."
" Thanks." He continued to run, with his stuff still dragging on the ground.
Noah entered King's Cross Station totally out of breath. He had run from the pub to the station. He wasn't exactly the most athletic of people. Or wizards.
His belongings, now on a cart neatly stacked, he was rolling down the platform. He held his ticket for Platform 9 ¾. He knew how to get there, he just was a little nervous about going through the wall.
He stopped between Platforms 8 and 9, noticing a short-looking kid who looked his age, with brown hair and teal eyes, pushing a cart similar to his, except he had a gray cat on his cart instead of an owl cage. The kid was wearing an oversized pale yellow shirt with two horizontal stripes over an even larger polo shirt. He also saw a woman, who looked like his mother, rushing next to him and his cart. He heard their conversation:
"You remember how to get there, right Cody?" asked the woman.
"Yes, mum, walk straight at the wall-"
"Between Platforms Nine and Ten!" she finished, in a reminding tone. "Ok, I'll see you at Christmas. Have a good time at Hogwarts. Try not to screw up anything." She kissed his forehead and ran off, probably to her car. Noah heard the kid named Cody sigh, revealing a gap in his front teeth. He slowly pushed his cart up to him.
"Wow, she was in a hurry." he said sarcastically.
Cody turned his head around and his eyes widened. He hadn't noticed the taller, tanner boy standing beside him until he heard his voice. "Ye-yeah, she was in a bit of a hurry. She's got her job at the Ministry to worry about. Heh." He mentally slapped himself for saying that. He didn't even know if this kid was a wizard, dammit! "I-I mean the, uh-"
"Hold your words, Cody, I know what you meant, and I don't care." Noah replied.
"Oh. Heh." Cody rubbed the back of his neck. This boy made him nervous. Not in a bad way, just, there was something about him he was unsure about. And how did he know his name? "So, are you going to Hog-"
"Skip that, we're gonna miss the train!" Noah quickly ran in-between 9 and 10 and went through the wall, as Cody soon followed.
The platform was covered in students, all with their trunks and owls being loaded onto the train. Noah handed of his baggage to a waiting guy in a red suit. He then boarded the train and found a seat towards the back by a window and re-opened his book about wands.
Cody was searching the train for the kid he saw on the platform. He looked through the entire train, until he found him in the back.
"Heh, looks like I found you!" he proclaimed as he slid the door open to reveal the person he had been searching for, reading a leather bound book. He slid into the seat across from him. Awkward silence hung in the air, until Cody broke the tension. "So, you like to read?"
The kid looked up, seemingly annoyed that his peaceful reading had been disturbed. "What do you want, Cody?" the kid asked as he let his eyes drift back to the pages of his book.
"Uh…" Cody wasn't sure what to say. He didn't talk to people often, since all the people who talked to him did so to bully him for being a geek. Then it hit him: he didn't know this kid's name. " W-What's your name?"
The kid sighed, but put his book down and stared back at Cody. "Noah Wilson. I'm from Canada, if you're wondering why I don't have an accent." He stuck out his hand for Cody to shake.
He took it. "Cody Anderson. I'm from, well, here." There was a brief moment of silence. " I haven't met anyone Canadian before, let alone any Canadian wizards." He hadn't met many wizards at all, since neither of his parents were magical. "Why are you going to Hogwarts? Isn't there a North American school you could go to?" He was blanking on the name, but he knew it started with an I.
"Yeah, but I guess the big wigs up top figured I was too smart for that school. I have to get an advanced education, and Hogwarts is one of the elitist wizarding schools in the world. Plus, it's way better here than at my home in Canada."
"Why?" Cody knew this kid was hiding something. He just had to find out what it was.
"None of your business," Noah quickly shot back at him. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some wands to read about." He finally reached back for his book, but also pulled his wand out from his backpack and balanced it on top of his hands. " I'm trying to figure out what my wand core is. I forgot to ask that old wand making dude, Mr. Ollivander." He placed his wand in his lap, reopened his book, and continued reading.
"Huh." Cody noticed the rich color of the wood, the fine carved detailing, the way the top was just slightly more tan than the bottom. He had never seen that tone of color in a wand before. It was... beautiful. He had always had a soft spot for fine-looking wands. He pulled his own wand out of his travel bag. " I wish I had a wand like that. All I have is this cruddy looking alder wand." His wand was less appealing to the eye than Noah's, and was one dark shade of brown, but had a few silver accents around the bottom. " I got mine at Ollivander's too. Is yours new or used?" Cody had spent two years coming up with the money to buy his own wand at Ollivander's. Seven Galleons were hard to come by, and his was second-hand.
"Mine's new." Noah said simply. This kid asked a lot of questions. He kind of liked that. The child part of his brain hoped they would be sorted into the same house. His genius side told him it was a foolish thought. He would certainly be sorted into Ravenclaw. This kid seemed more like a Hufflepuff.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a girl with crazy curly orange hair, wearing Hogwarts school robes upside down, popped out of the roof. "HI!"
"AAAAAHHHHH!" the two boys screamed in surprise and slight terror. This girl had scared their wits out of them. She dropped to the ground, some of her messy curls dangling in front of her green eyes.
"Who are you two? Are you friends? Are you more than friends? Besties? You look like nerds. Are you nerds? I'm Izzy!" she talked so fast you could barely understand a word she said. She didn't have an accent, and she talked like she had a 10- second time limit to speak.
There was silence. "Uhhhh...I'm Noah, and this is Cody," Noah finally spoke out and pointed to himself and then his new friend-ish. " We're…" he looked back at him "acquaintances."
"Y-yeah, we're acquaintances." Cody added. He thought they were a little more than that, but this girl made him REALLY nervous.
"Oh. OK! See you later!" Izzy waved and jumped back out the way she came. Both boys looked Stupefied.
"That was random," Noah heard Cody say under his breath. He smiled. Not so Cody could see, just enough to keep it to himself.
The rest of the train ride was void of surprises for the two young Trolley Witch came around with her cart of sweets, and Noah bought them both Chocolate Frogs and some Pumpkin Pasties. He also bought himself a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. He had heard of them, but never tasted them before.
When they were closer to Hogwarts, they changed into their school robes, resembling the ones that girl Izzy was wearing. Noah's fit better on him than Cody's, which were a few sizes too big. They hung low to the ground, barely showing his rather large black shoes.
Cody looked to the floor. He was embarrassed that he got the wrong robe size. He saw Noah smirk. "I think these are a bit big on me."
" You don't say…" Noah replied sarcastically. His fit him perfect.
"Heh…" Cody liked it when Noah got sarcastic.
Then, the train stopped. They had arrived at Hogwarts.
Noah smiled as he looked out the window, then at Cody. "Let's do this."
Hogwarts was more amazing in person than in books. The tall, looming towers were sort of scary in the darkness, but the magic candle-light made the inside inviting.
A large swarm of other first-years surrounded Noah and Cody, with them stuck in the middle. Noah could make out Izzy talking, or screaming, at a rather chubby looking blond kid. He was laughing at her antics. Elsewhere, a tan-skinned girl was yelling at a boy with black hair, who at 11 already had a few piercings. To his left, he saw a girl with dark hair, who looked Asian, whispering to a tall-ish blond girl. To his right, two girls with matching hairdos were talking quietly and squealing about something. Of course, they all talked with slight British accents, and we're all wearing Hogwarts robes. It was hard to understand what anyone was saying. He caught Cody staring at a girl a few feet in front of them, with short black hair and pale skin.
Suddenly, everyone was quiet as a tanned, middle-aged man with decent stubble on his face, shoulder length dark wavy hair, and perfectly white teeth walked onto the steps of the entranceway. He smiled, and some were temporarily blinded. Noah suspected he had used a teeth-whitening charm. "Hello, first-years!" He spoke loudly and clearly. "Welcome to Hogwarts! I am your assistant headmaster, Professor McLean!" He was wearing dark blue robes with silver accents all over it, and a matching hat. " Before you join your fellow students, you must be sorted into your houses. "Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, and…" an evil sort of smile spread across his face as he said "Slytherin."
Kids started talking and whispering again after he finished his sentence.
"I can't believe it's almost time for us to be sorted! I wonder what house I'm getting!" said a short girl with brown hair, braces and glasses.
"I hope I'm not in a House with this Neanderthal," that tan girl from earlier said, pointing to the boy she had been yelling at earlier.
"Same to you, Princess." the boy replied, crossing his arms and turning away.
"Duncan, I swear, you make me so-"
"Can it, you two!" Professor McLean shouted, making everyone turn their heads and stare at him. "Get yourselves into the Great Hall. The Sorting Ceremony is starting." He turned on his heels and walked through the large double doors into the Great Hall.
The Great Hall was filled with students, all sitting at four long tables with their houses. The tables were laid for a feast, but no food was present. As the first-years walked down the middle of the hall, all eyes were on them as they made their way to the Head Table. Professor McLean was at the place where the Headmaster sits. He had his feet up on the table. "Surprise, first-years! I'm actually the Headmaster. Professor Hatchet here is the assistant Headmaster." He gestured to the muscular, black wizard standing next to the Sorting Hat. He was wearing brown and white robes. His hat covered his bald head. He looked at the first-years like they were fresh meat.
"Alright, listen up, maggots! We're gonna sort you now, and you're gonna like it!"
Professor Hatchet held up the Sorting Hat, an old, nasty hat with creases for a face. He looked like he hadn't been washed since the 70's, so we're talkin' 30 something years. " We"ll do so this according to this… list here." He narrowed his eyes at the piece of parchment he was holding. " Courtney Williamson"
Courtney made her way to the front of the room. She sat on the stool, a confident smile on her face. The bald professor placed the hat on her head, and he began to speak.
"Ok, ok….lemme see…." the hat thought for a moment. "Slytherin!"
Courtney's smile faded. "What? I can't be in Slytherin! I'm not evil, I'm a nice person!"
"Shut it, Princess, so the rest of us can get sorted," that kid she argued with earlier spoke again. Courtney lowered her head and made her way to the Slytherin table, where she was welcomed by her new House. Sort of.
"Duncan Edwards" The young wizard who had many shouting matches with Courtney walked up quietly to the stool and sat down.
"Hmmmmm….interesting. This one has some stuff bottled up, but the right house will fix that! I say…. Gryffindor!"
Duncan's blue eyes widened as he walked down the stairs and sat down at the Gryffindor table, where he was greeted with pats on the back and hair ruffles.
"Next…. Cody Anderson!"
"Shoot, I was hoping to go last," Cody muttered to Noah as he made his way to the front. He sat on the stool, nervous about all the eyes on him.
"Oh, my, I haven't had an Anderson for a long time, a LONG time… Better be.."Cody gritted his teeth. "Ravenclaw!"
Cody's eyes widened, and he smiled. He was glad he wasn't in Slytherin. "Awesome." He joined his new House, and was greeted with handshakes.
Noah tensed up. He wasn't ready to be sorted. He wanted to be in Ravenclaw, but who could tell what the hat would decide…
He started to walk up to the front, but turned his head, and saw Cody giving him a thumbs up from the Ravenclaw table. He smiled and sat on the stool, the Sorting Hat hovering over his head.
"Well, well, well… A Canadian! I've never sorted a Canadian. This will be fun!"
Professor Hatchet placed him on Noah's head.
"Whoa!" The Sorting hat had a surprised expression on his creased face as he tried to make his decision. " You appear to be a genius! There's also a twisted sense of humor, your somewhat arrogant sense of pride, and I'm sensing some insecurities. Hmmmm…."
Noah nervously looked around the room as all eyes were on him and the Sorting Hat. 5 minutes past, 10, 15, with the Sorting Hat mumbling every so often. After 20 minutes of this, the Hat made its decision:
"Ahh, I can't figure this kid out. Let's just move on to the next one."
Professor Hatchet took the hat off of Noah's head, leaving him with nasty hat hair from wearing it longer than anyone ever had. He got up, but wasn't sure where to sit, since he hadn't been sorted, and there wasn't a table for people who weren't sorted to sit. Everyone was still staring at him, as confused as he was. "Um… Where do I sit? Is there a table for non-Sorted kids somewhere in here?"
"Nope, you're the first one ever not to get Sorted right away. You must be pretty special, kid!" Professor McLean came up and patted him on the back so hard that he tripped onto the stairs. Noah looked back at the Headmaster one more time, who gave him another all too-perfect smile.
Suddenly, a young-ish looking guy, maybe in his 20s, grabbed Noah's arm and started to drag him away from the Great Hall. The guy was wearing robes similar to Chris', but they were a dark red instead of blue, with the silver details in black. "Come on, kid, let's go." He led him away.
The ceremony continued. Izzy was sorted into Gryffindor, along with that chubby kid she had been making laugh, whose name was Owen. That Asian girl, Heather, was sorted into Slytherin. Her blonde-haired friend Lindsay was sorted into Hufflepuff. A sort of buff girl named Eva was sorted into Gryffindor. The pale girl Cody had been staring at, whose name was Gwen, was sorted into Ravenclaw. Cody silently cheered as she sat next to him, and he gave her a smile. A Spanish-looking kid named Alejandro was sorted into Slytherin, and was constantly caught stealing glances at Heather. She tried ignoring him, but also started to glance back at him.
When everyone was sorted, Cody looked around for Noah. He thought he might have been brought back in, having been sorted into Ravenclaw. Don't get ahead of yourself, Cody, he thought, for all I know, he's been sorted into Slytherin.
He shuddered at that thought. Slytherins were always the ones who turned dark, and Noah would never do that. Right?