Author's Note: Hello again! I was going to edit this chapter before posting today but I ended up making scones and butter cookies so apologies in advance for any spelling or grammar errors.
The door swung open at once. A tall, black-haired witch in emerald-green robes stood there. Hermione recognised her immediately as the stern faced Professor McGonagall and waved discreetly, and rather shyly, at the woman. Professor McGonagall gave her a brief smile when her eyes lingered on her.
"The firs' years, Professor McGonagall," said Hagrid.
"Thank you, Hagrid. I will take them from here."
She pulled the door wide. The entrance hall was made up of large stone walls that were lit with flaming torches like the ones at Gringotts, the ceiling was too high to make out, and a magnificent marble staircase facing them led to the upper floors. They followed Professor McGonagall across the flagged stone floor. They could hear the drone of hundreds of voices from a doorway to the right -the rest of the school must already be here – but Professor McGonagall showed the first years into a small, empty chamber off the hall. They crowded in, standing rather closer together than they would usually have done, peering about nervously.
"Welcome to Hogwarts," said Professor McGonagall. "The start-of-term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your houses. The Sorting is a very important ceremony because, while you are here, your house will be something like your family within Hogwarts. You will have classes with the rest of your house, sleep in your house dormitory, and spend free time in your house common room."
"The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each house has its own noble history and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your house points, while any rulebreaking will lose house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the house cup, a great honor. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours."
"The Sorting Ceremony will take place in a few minutes in front of the rest of the school. I suggest you all smarten yourselves up as much as you can while you are waiting."
Her eyes lingered for a moment on Neville's cloak, which was fastened under his left ear, and on Ron's smudged nose. Harry nervously tried to flatten his hair.
"I shall return when we are ready for you. Please wait quietly," Professor McGonagall said.
Harry swallowed nervously beside Hermione, and as soon as the professor left, Hermione pulled Harry's nervous hand down. "It looks fine. Don't worry."
"How exactly do they sort us into houses?" Harry asked.
"Some sort of test, I reckon. Fred said it hurts a lot, but I think he was joking," Ron said.
"I doubt it's going to be a test," Hermione reassured them, "We barely know anything. If it was a test of all things, most people would never make it into Hogwarts, let alone graduate."
They seemed to relax at that, and even the surrounding First Years looked less nervous. Hermione reached out to Harry and squeezed his hand in comfort. She whispered softly to him, "Don't worry, Harry. Just be yourself. I'm sure it'll be fine, wherever you go, and I promise to always be your friend."
"Thanks Hermione," he gave her a weak smile, "I'll always be your friend too."
Then something happened that made them jump about a foot in the air –several people behind him screamed.
"What the –?"
Hermione gasped. So did the people around her. About twenty ghosts had just streamed through the back wall. Pearly-white and slightly transparent, they glided across the room talking to one another and hardly glancing at the first years. They seemed to be arguing. What looked like a fat little monk was saying: "Forgive and forget, I say, we ought to give him a second chance –"
"My dear Friar, haven't we given Peeves all the chances he deserves? He gives us all a bad name and you know, he's not really even a ghost – I say, what are you all doing here?" A ghost wearing a ruff and tights had suddenly noticed the first years.
"New students!" said the Fat Friar, smiling around at them. "About to be Sorted, I suppose?"
A few people nodded mutely.
"Hope to see you in Hufflepuff!" said the Friar. "My old house, you know."
"Move along now," said a sharp voice. "The Sorting Ceremony's about to start."
Professor McGonagall had returned. One by one, the ghosts floated away through the opposite wall. "Now, form a line," Professor McGonagall told the first years, "and follow me."
Hermione got in line in front of Harry as McGonagall led them out of the chamber, back across the hall, and through a pair of double doors into the Great Hall. The Hall, lit by thousands and thousands of candles, floating mid-air over four long tables where the rest of the students were sitting. Tables were laid with golden plates and goblets, and at the top of the hall was another long table where the teachers were sitting. McGonagall led them towards the front and Hermione turned back to whisper to Harry, "The ceiling is bewitched to look like the sky outside."
They stood nervously at the front, all eyes on them, as McGonagall brought out a stool and an old tattered hat. For a few seconds there was complete silence, then the hat twitched. A rip near the brim opened wide and then the hat started singing.
"Oh you may not think I'm pretty,
But don't judge on what you see.
I'll eat myself if you can find,
A smarter hat than me."
Bewildered, Hermione's jaw was hanging but now that the words were registering, she found it hard to stifle a giggle. Harry turned to look at her and grinned. All nervousness left their system. There was no test – just a hat.
"You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall.
For I'm the Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all."
"There's nothing hidden in your head,
The Sorting Hat can't see.
So try me on and I will tell you,
Where you ought to be."
Hermione could feel the giddiness creeping in as the hat continued singing. This was magic. Real magic. And it was more wonderful than she could imagine. She squeezed Harry's hand beside her excitedly, exchanging smiles frequently. "I know," he whispered at her, eyes twinkling.
"You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve and chivalry,
Set Gryffindors apart;"
"You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal.
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true,
And unafraid of toil;"
"Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
If you've a ready mind.
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;"
"Or perhaps in Slytherin,
You'll make your real friends.
Those cunning folk use any means,
To achieve their end."
"So put me on! Don't be afraid!
And don't get in a flap!
You're in safe hands,
For I'm a Thinking Cap!"
The whole hall burst into applause as the hat finished its song. It bowed to each of the four tables and became silent again. Harry leaned over at Hermione, and whispered, "I bet you're a Ravenclaw."
"There are more important things than books and cleverness," she whispered back.
"So we've got to try on a hat!" Ron whispered loudly, "I'll kill Fred, he was going on about wrestling a troll."
Harry smiled weakly, but before he could drown in his nervous thoughts, Hermione interrupted with whispered words, "You'll do great in any house, Harry."
Professor McGonagall stepped forward holding a long roll of parchment. "When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted. Abbott, Hannah!"
A pink faced girl with blonde pigtails stumbled forward, put on the hat – which fell right down her eyes – and a moment passed.
"HUFFLEPUFF," the hat announced.
The table on the right of the hall cheered and clapped as Hannah went to join them at the Hufflepuff table.
"HUFFLEPUFF," the hat announced again, and the girl joined the table.
The table second from the left clapped and welcomed the boy. This went on in a similar manner with "Brocklehurst, Mandy" going to Ravenclaw, followed by "Brown, Lavender" as the first Gryffindor. "Bulstrode, Millicent" was the first to be sorted into Slytherin, and Harry and Hermione were taken aback by Ron's slight sneer.
"Finch-Fletchley, Justin" was sorted into Hufflepuff and "Finnigan, Seamus" into Gryffindor. As the boy, Seamus, made his way to the Gryffindor table, Professor McGonagall called the next name on the list.
Hermione squeezed Harry's hand nervously before letting go and stepping forward. She walked towards the stool calmly and felt the hat placed gently on her head. The last thing she saw was the brilliant green eyes of Harry Potter before the hat's rim fell down past her eyes, obscuring her vision.
"Hmm," a voice said in her ear, "What a charming you lady? Ah, I am speaking to you in your mind. No, others can't hear what I say."
'Are you reading my mind?' Hermione thought.
"Clever girl. But don't worry it's all confidential. Hogwarts magic. No one will know you're the Dagworth-Granger heir unless you wish them to."
'Can anyone just read my mind?'
"Of course not, dear girl. A very skilled witch or wizard can read minds, but only if eye contact is maintained. The headmaster is a prime example. You would do well in Ravenclaw with that mind of yours."
'Like I told Harry, there are more important things than books and cleverness.'
"Ah, and there is that loyalty. Helga Hufflepuff would be proud to have you in her house. And what is more important to you?"
'Making a difference. Being accepted. Being the best version of myself," Hermione thought strongly, "Please put me in the place where I can fully develop and reach my potential."
"There's only one place for that…" the Sorting Hat said, "better be...SLYTHERIN!"
Harry watched his friend, Hermione, walk up the stool to get sorted. Hermione was the first friend he made in the Wizarding World. He had met her at the bookstore at Diagon Alley, where she helped him find some books and recommended some more books to him. If she didn't tell him, he wouldn't have known she was a muggleborn witch, born and raised in the muggle world.
If one thing Harry could be certain of, is that Hermione was the nicest and kindest and most giving person he knows. She helped him without knowing who he is – the shopkeeper at Flourish and Blotts told him how she was often there helping people, regardless of who they were.
She was, is, his friend. His first friend.
She sought him out on the train. Defended him and evaded questions, changing the subject when she could see he wasn't comfortable. She paid for the treats from the cart and didn't seem to expect anything back. She reassured him that she would always be his friend, regardless where he went.
So when the hat announced her house loudly and the hall fell silent. And when Ron sneered beside him, hissing, "Should have known she's a filthy snake."
And no one clapped for her. Not even her own house.
Harry, in spite of them all, clapped loudly for his friend who beamed right back at him.
Hermione took off the hat and placed it on the stool. Harry was the only one clapping, but soon, more students joined him in his clapping and she smiled at him brightly, gratefully. She made her way to the Slytherin table calmly with all the poise and grace she could muster and sat down beside Millicent Bulstrode.
"Well met, Heiress Bulstrode," Hermione greeted politely as she sat, nodding in greeting to other students.
The older students seemed to nod in approval.
The sorting continued and soon the Slytherin table was joined by Nott and Parkinson, both of whom decided to sit on the other side by Crabbe, Goyle and Greengrass. They were followed by Malfoy who, to the shock of everyone there, slid onto the seat next to Hermione.
"Heir Malfoy," she said airily.
"M'lady," he greeted with a smirk.
They returned their attention to the sorting ceremony as the rest of the house murmured and whispered among themselves. That is, until Professor McGonagall announced Harry's name, "Potter, Harry!"
Silence settled upon the Slytherins and they watched with keen, sharp eyes as Harry's head disappeared under the brim of the hat. A minute passed. And then another. And then another.
The hat then announced, "SLYTHERIN!"
And the hall broke out in surprised whispers and Hermione stood from her seat, clapping loudly. Harry's eyes immediately met hers and she smiled encouragingly at him, as he made his way towards her slowly. Soon she was joined by the Weasley twins in her clapping, then Malfoy and the rest of the Slytherin house – though none were as enthusiastic as her. Once he reached the table, Hermione engulfed him in a quick hug and offered him the seat between herself and Malfoy.
The boys nodded politely at each other.
"You alright, Harry?" Hermione asked worriedly.
"Yeah." he nodded and squeezed her hand.
The rest of the sorting went smoothly though without much notice by the majority of the people as the Harry Potter was sorted into Slytherin – perhaps the biggest news to hit the Wizarding public since the fall of Voldemort. The last student to be sorted was "Zabini, Blaise" who made Slytherin.
Professor McGonagall rolled up her scroll and took the Sorting Hat away. Albus Dumbledore got to his feet then, beaming at the students with his arms wide open. He sat on a golden chair that Hermione likened to a throne, and his silver hair shone brightly.
"Welcome," he said, "Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts. Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you."
Food appeared on the table as Hermione pondered the words and Harry frowned. "Is– is he mad?"
An older student snorted.
"Oh!" Hermione's eyes brightened. "Oh, he's a genius."
"What?" All the Slytherins around them chimed. One even went so far to say, "You're crazy."
Hermione's cheeks turned red as she tried to explain herself, "Nitwit, Blubber, Oddment and Tweak. They're four words that describe the opposite of each house, or well, I suppose they could also describe the houses. That's not the point though."
At that point, most of the Slytherins had lost all interest in listening to what she had to say. Hermione added some food to her plate before she continued.
"He's saying how sad it is that we've been divided and put into houses where we will view other houses as less than. For example, Ravenclaws will see everyone outside their house as nitwits. And it's a shame, because in order to be an all rounded witch or wizard you need to have characteristics of each house. You can't be a good Slytherin if you're not smart enough to be cunning or smart enough to meet your ambitions, and so you must also be hardworking to achieve what you've set out to do. You also have to be brave enough to take chances in order to be successful."
Those who listened remained contemplative as they thought her words over seriously. Sitting by Harry and Malloy made Hermione a person worth listening to, in the Slytherin's opinion, and no Slytherin was dumb enough to squander and overlook that connection so early on. Well, except one young and naive first year. Pansy Parkinson snorted from her place at the table, "You must be mad too, if you really believe that."
"Believe what you will," Hermione said lightly before turning to Harry, and essentially, asking for privacy. "You must be awfully hungry."
"I'm a growing boy."
"What did the Sorting Hat say to you?"
"Plenty of courage, not a bad mind and a thirst to prove myself. Said that Slytherin will help me on the way to greatness. You?"
"It told me I'd do well in Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff too, but I asked the hat to put me where I can achieve my full potential." Hermione told him before leaning in to whisper, "The hat also told me it's possible for great wizards and witches to read our minds. The headmaster can read our mind if we make eye contact."
"Do we know if only the headmaster can do that?" he whispered back, "And is there a way to stop him from reading our mind?"
Hermione shrugged, "Don't make eye contact. We can look up other methods later or ask."
"What are you whispering about?" Malfoy asked from beside them.
"Call me Draco."
"Draco, can Wizards read minds like the Sorting Hat?" Hermione asked, her voice soft.
"It takes skill, but it's called Legilimency," he says.
"I see," Hermione said, "It's illegal, especially on minors, but hard to prove."
Draco smirked, "At least you know something."
"That's great," Harry muttered, "Doesn't stop them from actually reading my mind though. Not making eye contact isn't exactly fool-proof."
"Occlumency," Draco muttered under his breath.
Hermione smiled at him gratefully before Draco looked away. Hermione gave Harry's hand a squeeze, and she turned to speak to Milicent Bulstrode who was listening in on Daphne Greengrass and Tracey Davis' conversation. They spoke of their hopes for their studies and the next few years at Hogwarts, with Hermione expressing her desire to beat previous exam records and Milicent told Hermione of her family business in kneazle breeding.
"The Bulstrodes are famous for their Kneazels," commented Daphne Greengrass, "They are of the highest quality. Not a very lucrative business though, I'm afraid."
"And what does your family do, Heiress Greengrass?"
Daphne sniffed, "We run the apothecary at Diagon Alley, with most of the plants taken from our greenhouses."
"What about you, Miss Davis?"
"My dad's a solicitor in Edinburgh," Davis said and then the discussion turned into one about their homes. From what she could tell, Davis was a half-blood and was able to relate to her upbringing the most. They were in the midst of telling her about the witches wire and witch weekly, and other forms of entertainment the wizarding world had to offer, when a ghost wrapped in chains and splattered with silvery blood appeared in the middle of the table.
"Merlin, Morgana, and Circe," Daphne Greengrass exclaimed, hands at her chest.
"Welcome to the House of Slytherin. Baron Thaddeus Wilkes, at your service. The resident Slytherin ghost," the ghost introduced himself monotonously.
"Wicked," Harry murmured beside her.
Hermione cleared her throat, "Baron Wilkes, how did you come about to...join the other side?"
"None of your business."
"My father told me all about you," Draco said, "You were the last of the Noble House of Wilkes."
The ghost sneered, "I was."
The first years were startled by the horrifying sneer and kept quiet as the ghost left them, though Hermione was brimming with questions. A prefect shook her head, "That's the Bloody Baron. You'll make life easier for yourself if you avoid him. Not much of a conversationalist, that one, the other ghosts are more willing to talk."
Soon the food was replaced with all kinds of desserts. Hermione loaded her plate with a generous amount of pudding, well aware that she had a bit too many already that afternoon. Harry had no such reservations as she watched him pile his plate with treats. She raised her brows at him only to receive a slight blush from the boy who continued to feast.
Hermione continued to speak with the other Slytherin girls when Harry suddenly jumped beside her, "Ouch!"
"Are you alright, Harry?"
"Y-yeah, I'm fine," he said, avoiding her questioning gaze. "Who's that teacher beside Professor Quirrell?"
"That's Professor Snape," Draco replied, "He's my godfather and the head of Slytherin. Why? How'd you know about Professor Quirrell anyway."
Harry took a sip of pumpkin juice, "Met him at the Leaky."
"Is there something wrong, Harry?"
Harry gave her a smile, "I'm fine, Hermione. We can talk about it later."
At last, the desserts too disappeared, and Professor Dumbledore got to his feet again. The hall fell silent.
"Ahem – just a few more words now that we're all fed and watered. I have a few start-of-term notices to give you. First years should note that the forest on the ground is forbidden to all pupils, and a few of our older students would do well to remember that as well."
"I've also been asked by the caretaker, Mr. Filch, to remind you all that no magic is to be used between classes in the corridors."
"Quidditch trials will be held in the second week of term, and anyone interested in playing for their house should contact Madam Hooch."
"And finally, I must tell you that this year, the third-floor corridor on the right-hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a very painful death."
Hermione felt a chill seep into her bones as the Slytherins looked at one another. Harry had chuckled, and seemed to think it was a joke, until he looked around and saw how serious and somber everyone looked. "He's not serious?"
"Told you he's mad," the prefect from earlier said. "Doubt the wizard would joke about something like death though."
"And now, before we go to bed, let us sing the school song," cried Dumbledore. He gave a flick of his wand and a long golden ribbon flew out of it, twisting itself in the air to form snake-like words. "Everyone pick their favourite tune!"
The resulting sound sounded like it came from a nightmare.
"Is it always like this?" Hermione asked a prefect.
The Slytherins all sang in a single tune, much to Hermione's relief, and in the end only the Weasley twins were left singing to a slow funeral march. Dumbledore conducted their last few lines with his wand and when they finished, he was one of those who clapped the loudest.
"Ah, music," he said, wiping his eyes, "A magic beyond all we do here. And now, bedtime. Off you trot!"
The Slytherin first years followed the prefects through the crowds, out of the Great Hall and down the marble staircases. They went down lower and lower into the grounds of the castle. Hermione looked around, amazed by the sheer size of the castle and the number of moving portraits around as they navigated the maze-like structure of the building. They passed through many hidden doorways and winding staircases.
Finally, they reached the end of a hallway. They stood in front of a bare stretch of stone and the prefect spoke, "Noblesse oblige."
The stones started to move and pull away, and Hermione noticed they looked like snakes. They stepped past the newly parted archway and she gasped at the magnificence of the common room.
The space was large, probably larger than her home combined. The ceiling hung high above them in a dome like manner and multiple flickering lights illuminated the space. There were three fireplaces – one at the end, and one at each side – with multiple green-velvet sofas and chairs. In some places, the walls held bookshelves and there were desks with table lamps dotted around. It was, simply put, spectacular.
"Welcome to the Slytherin Common Room," the Prefect, Hestia Killburn, said, "As you heard, the password is noblesse oblige. The common room, as the place you will probably spend most of your time in, is equipped with everything you may need. The corridor that you see on your left leads to the common room toilets and a small kitchen. The house elves – Mopsy and Mipsy – reside there. The corridor on your right leads to some study rooms and potions labs. You may book any of the rooms by signing your name on the sheets at the selected time slot of your preference, available at the door of each room. Once signed, your name cannot be erased, but you cannot sign your name more than five times each week."
Perseus Plunkett, another prefect, led them to the end of the common room and in front of the largest fireplace, "The rooms are on this side of the common room. Girls to the right corridor, boys to the left corridor. First years are on this floor, and at the end of the hallway the stairs lead down to the rooms of other years. Have I been clear?"
"Unlike other houses, Slytherins respect privacy and as such we are the only house with individual rooms. Your room will have your name written on it and it is warded so that only you, or anyone you invite, may enter. Each room has a bed, a wardrobe, a desk and chair. You are free to decorate it as you will. Toilets are by the stairs at the end of the hallway which you have to share with your year mates, but there are individual stalls and enough space for all of you to bathe at the same time and more."
"Tempus," he said, and the time read 21:00, "You are now free to explore your own rooms and the Slytherin Common Room. We will meet back here at 21:30 for a house meeting with Professor Snape. Dismissed."
The girls split from the boys and walked down their corridor. The first room had an elaborate golden scripted plate which read, "Bulstrode, Millicent". Hermione's room was third along the corridor, between Tracy and Daphne. Her door glowed when she touched it, as though in recognition, and she pushed the heavy door open.
On the opposite side of the door was a large floor to ceiling window overlooking the lake. It was dark and murky at the moment, but Hermione was sure it would be spectacular in the morning. On either side of the window were long heavy green-velvet curtains with silver accents. The bed was at the center of the room, the headboard propped against the right wall. It was probably king-sized and fitted with silken sheets. At the foot of the bed was her trunk, and further along, propped against the left wall was a long oaken desk and table lamp. By the door, to her right, was a wardrobe, mirror and a simple folding screen.
She stepped in and looked around, touching everything as she went, saving the bed for last. When she reached it, she couldn't help but flop onto the bed and she bounced upon the mattress once or twice. This was to be her home for the next seven years.
A knock from the door pulled her out of her thoughts and she went to open it. Standing outside was Daphne, Tracey and Milicent. Daphne said, "We're going to look at the bathroom if you'd like to come with us."
"Should we ask Pansy?" Milicent asked. They knocked on the girl's door and she agreed to join after some hesitation and staring.
They pushed the door open to reveal a bathroom that looked like it came out of a picture book on Roman thermae. Shower stalls and toilets lined the wall on the left. A long marbled heated pool was at the centre of the room decorated with columns, and facing the lake were washbasins, mirrors and dressing tables.
"We can get dressed for balls here together," Tracey said excitedly.
"They don't do balls anymore, Tracey," Daphne snorted, "Not since Dumbledore at least."
"Samahian Ball, Yule Ball, Beltane Ball," Daphne listed, "They don't exist anymore, but we Slytherins hold a party in the common room, I heard. But it's nothing as grand or great."
"Why did he get rid of it?" Hermione cried.
"It's because of muggleborns," Pansy said bitterly, "Other muggleborns. They find our traditions barbaric so Hallows Eve became Halloween. Yule became Christmas. Beltane became Easter. Dumbledore is all for forgetting tradition and bringing muggle traditions into our world. He's a 'light' wizard."
Daphne hummed, "It wasn't always like this. There was a time before when muggleborns were fostered by pureblood families. They were essentially adopted and included into the family magics. But many muggleborns betrayed their adopted families and shared family secrets, or would scorn their families for being barbaric. In the worst cases, they sold their foster family to muggle authorities at the time to be burnt at the stake."
They were silent and Hermione's face was struck with horror. "That's awful. I-I don't. A- but, why?"
The other girls shrugged.
Pansy flicked her wrist revealing her wand as she casted tempus, "We should head back out. There's only five more minutes left."
Together they huddled out of the room, down the corridor and out into the common room. The boys were already sitting by the large fireplace, speaking with the prefects. When Harry spotted her, he waved and she went to join him.
"Did you see our rooms, Hermione?" he said excitedly, "They're huge! And that bathroom! The rest of the boys and I are going for a dip later."
He looked like an eager puppy and Hermione couldn't help but laugh. "Yes, Harry. I think I might go for a dip later too."
"I don't quite like the enchanted mirrors though," he huffed, "It insulted my hair. Said I ought to do something about it like I haven't tried already."
The door to the Slytherin Common Room opened again, and the room fell silent as Professor Snape walked in. His black robes billowed behind him as he stalked to the centre of the room and paused. He looked around, scanned the common room and finished with his gaze upon the gathered first years.
"Welcome to Slytherin, and for the rest of my snakes, welcome back," he started softly, "You are here because Salazar Slytherin sees the potential in you to achieve greatness. Here at Slytherin, you treat your house as family and you take care of each other. Disputes remain in the house, and outside these walls you portray yourselves as one united unit."
"First years," he looked at them sharply, "You will be assigned a sixth year mentor over the first term to help you navigate the castle, your classes, and instruct you on our House rules. They will be here, in the common room, at eight in the morning to greet you."
"Tomorrow, all of you will receive your schedules at breakfast as well as a time slot for a health check up with Madam Pomfrey. I will be there and you will attend, lest you wish to be summoned and dragged to the infirmary by your ears."
"As you heard, Quidditch trials begin next week. First years may participate. I expect us to win again this year," he paused here to look around again, "In fact, I expect the house cup to remain within Slytherin and you will all achieve my expectations, I hope."
"If you have any questions, my office is available at all hours," he finished, "I will now leave you all in the capable hands of Miss Gemma Farley."
Professor Snape turned and stormed out the common room, as an older girl stepped out to address the gathered crowd. "Hello and welcome. As Professor Snape said, I'm Gemma Farley and the seventh year prefect for Slytherin as well as head girl this year. We'll begin this meeting with the first year's introducing themselves."
The gathered house turned to look at them.
"Draco Malfoy. Pureblood," Draco was the first to step out and say, "Heir to the Ancient and Noble House of Malfoy."
"Daphne Greengrass," Daphne said, "Heiress to the Ancient and Noble House of Greengrass."
"Theodore Nott. Heir to the Noble House of Nott."
"Blaise Zabini. Heir to the Ancient and Noble House of Zabini."
"Pansy Parkinson of the Ancient and Noble House of Parkinson."
"Tracey Davis. Half-blood. House of Wellbeloved."
"Vincent Crabbe, Heir to the Noble House of Crabbe."
"Gregory Goyle, Heir to the Noble House of Goyle."
Draco nudged Harry, and Harry stepped forward, "Er – Harry Potter. Half-blood. Heir to the Ancient and Noble House of Potter?"
"The Potters are a Most Ancient and Noble House," someone said, "Did no one teach you this?"
"No," Harry said, cheeks turning red, turning to Hermione for help.
Before murmurs could break out and Harry could faint from embarrassment, Hermione stepped forward and said, "Hermione Granger. Muggle-born. Heiress to the Noble House of Dagworth-Granger."
As soon as she said that, the Slytherin common room broke into a cacophony of noise. Everyone was speaking to her at once and she couldn't hear what was said, or who asked what. Some of her year mates were pulling at her and Harry looked at her confused. She should have known this would happen, but she didn't want to feel, well, left out.
It was Gemma Farley. She had her wand in her hand as she screamed for attention. The room immediately fell into silence and they were watching Hermione. She felt their stares acutely as a shiver went down her neck.
"Now, Hermione," the prefect said, "Please explain."
"I'm a muggleborn. Both my parents are muggles who grew up in the muggle world. My grandparents are muggles," she started nervously, "When we found out I was a witch, we went to Gringotts for an inheritance test and it showed that I'm the heir to the Noble House of Dagworth-Granger."
"I claimed heirship," she said, showing them her ring, "and went down to the vaults to speak to the portraits. My...ancestors had a working theory since the beginning that muggle-borns are simply descendants from squib lines, and my...existence...has proved it. But I am muggleborn through and through."
"I see," Farley said.
"No one except the goblins and perhaps some ministry staff know that I have claimed heirship, so I hope to ask for everyone's discretion as much as possible."
"Of course. I'm sure we all need time to process this, and we are prevented from speaking of house business without the heir or lord's permission, or the news must be public knowledge. The consequence of spreading house information to those not already in the know will be judged by magic as I'm sure you all know," Farley concluded. "In other news, we will be meeting on the first of each month for monthly house meetings. You will also remember to respect your house members, regardless of anything. They are your equals at your time in Hogwarts. Bullying is not tolerated, especially in-house bullying, but rivalries are expected and tolerated. Weekly tutoring sessions for first years are on Monday evenings in the common room, Tuesday for second years, and Thursday for third years. Fourth years and fifth years have group study sessions on Wednesday, while sixth and seventh years will have study sessions on Friday. You are not obligated to attend but these sessions are here for your benefit."
"More details will be posted on the bulletin," Farley gestured to a board by the entrance of the common room, "Quidditch Captain, Marcus Flint, please set quidditch practices around this schedule. All clubs will begin recruitment after quidditch trials and I highly suggest you participate in at least one club, but no more than two."
"If there's anything to add, please speak up now," Farley said.
"The third floor corridor," someone called out, "do we know what's going on?"
There were whispers when Farley answered, "No, we don't. Dumbledore hasn't informed any of the prefects and Professor Snape is under the teacher's oath of secrecy to the headmaster. We'll organise a volunteer party to venture to the corridor and figure out what the problem is. If you'd like to volunteer, I'll have a sign up sheet up on the bulletin tomorrow. Fifth years and above only. Anything else?"
Her question was met with silence. Farley nodded, "Alright. Remember, if you break the rules, don't get caught. Sixth years stay behind. The rest of you, dismissed and good night."
Author's Note 2: Thank you for reading! I've been daydreaming about being a Slytherin a lot (hehe~) and this is just how I imagine it to be. Pls let me know what you think of my take on the Slytherins and the house in general! I hope its interesting and you'll keep reading!
Now that I've posted the first three chapters, I'll be posting chapter 4 next week so I have time to write more and post consistently! I will also try to read and respond to every comment now, so please bear with me if I'm slow to respond :)