Harry Potter and the Unwanted Ticket.
A twist at the end of Harry's first trip to Diagon Alley with Hagrid.
Chapter 18: The Sorting of 1991! Part 1.
I don't own the Harry Potter verse. Just playing.
Summary: A twist at the end of Harry's first trip to Diagon Alley with Hagrid. As they approach the Leaky Cauldron to leave Diagon Alley, Hagrid decides to present Harry with his gold ticket to the Hogwarts Express, while Harry was really expecting to go directly to Hogwarts with Hagrid now. Harry asks a different question.
And that changes everything. HHr NLLL T for Characters deaths.
07/06/23 Beta by alix33. Thank you.
- Harry Potter and the Unwanted Ticket. -
Future generations will come to remember the famous Sorting of 1991 as the moment that Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry changed and was the beginning of the end of the long reign of headmaster Dumbledore.
- Harry Potter and the Unwanted Ticket. -
Before going into the Great Hall, Unspeakable Croaker had a final meeting with his teams of Unspeakables and Goblin Curse Breakers. The search of Hogwarts had been very difficult as they had no current map of the castle and the layout had changed since the Unspeakables had attended Hogwarts as students. Sirius had tried to find a certain particular map that had been created during his student Marauders days, but it was no longer in the filing cabinet of the Hogwarts caretaker, Mr Argus Filch, and not responding to the Accio charm. Sirius feared that it had been destroyed or worse, seized by the headmaster. So they were flying blind and could only search what they could see and detect by their own magic, which left out the secret passages, secret rooms and secret corridors hidden by ancient and powerful magic. But as the dark cursed artefacts of the headmaster were meant to affect the students, they had to be positioned near, and exposed to, where the students could be found and not hidden away in secret passages or hidden rooms. While the dark cursed artefact of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named that they were primarily looking for was definitely hidden by ancient magic in some secret room.
They were running out of time and Croaker gave them instructions to search the offices and private quarters that had been occupied before, but now should be empty with everyone expected to be in the Great Hall for the Sorting and Welcome Feast. He sent them on their way.
The remaining six Senior Unspeakables gathered together. Unspeakable Alpha spoke. "We have been examining the Wards of Hogwarts Castle. The headmaster has been undermining the defences of the school for his special projects. In particular there is a loophole for allowing the dark mark through the wards and entering the castle."
Croaker replied. "That would be for Severus Snape and Lucius Malfoy. Malfoy is dead and Severus no longer has a dark mark, so that loophole can be closed."
Alpha continued. "I will add that to the list. A new loophole was opened to allow class XXX creatures like Trolls, small dragons and Cerberuses to enter the castle."
"I wonder what the headmaster has in mind for class XXX creatures? Are there any such creatures currently in the castle?"
"The results of our scans are inconclusive, but they indicate something big is inside the castle. It may be one big creature or a couple of class XXX creatures."
"We will need to have a thorough search of the castle and a complete review of the wards when we have more time."
The Senior Unspeakables nodded their agreement.
While Croaker continued.
"Okay, we have a developing situation. It is confirmed that Professor Quirrell is possessed by Subject X aka He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and the possession is draining his magical core. We don't believe he can survive for much longer. But he is too weak to cast magic. The threat is that Subject X will kill Quirrell and try to escape or try to possess someone else. Being so weak he would be unable to force possession and can only possess a willing idiot." Croaker explained. "He was very persuasive at gathering followers, so he could easily trick a student. We must not allow him to escape Quirrell's body."
The Unspeakables nodded their understanding. Alpha asked. "Does the headmaster know Subject X is possessing Quirrell?"
"Absolutely. It looks like the headmaster has arranged a rematch between the Boy-Who-Lived and Subject X, and used a highly magical artefact to attract Subject X to the castle."
"Sweet Merlin! Whose side is the headmaster on?"
"His own! His power is based on dividing everyone!" Croaker explained. "I consider the headmaster to be the biggest threat to Harry Potter and the students. He just needs to be the last great wizard standing to win everything. So be very careful, he is very good at creating chaos and taking control of the situation while dumping the blame on someone else. Unfortunately we need to wait for the headmaster to make his move before we can step in and take control. We do have the express permission of the Board of Governors and Minister of Magic to ensure the castle is safe for the Boy-Who-Lived! But, that will matter for nothing if this goes bad, as we are in the castle without His express permission, and the headmaster still has many diehard supporters who would never believe nor hear anything against him."
The Unspeakables nodded their understanding that if this went bad the headmaster would try to dump the blame on them and the Department of Mysteries.
"Okay, we need to divide you up into two teams of three. Team Alpha, you are to monitor Quirrellmort. If it looks like Quirrell is about to die so Subject X can escape. You are to stun him and give him a phial of the Draught of Living Death, to preserve Quirrell's body and trap Subject X inside." Croaker said. "Also Professor Snape will be sitting next to Quirrellmort."
"Wasn't Snape a Death Eater?" Team Alpha leader asked.
"Yes. It is a long story, and he has been trapped under Dumbledore's thumb. But he no longer has a dark mark and jumped at the chance to support Harry Potter. He will protect Harry."
"Okay. Are there any spells we can use to trap and contain the wraith in the event of a breach?" Team Alpha leader asked.
"Unfortunately that is an ancient magic called Soul Magic. It was a branch of Soul Magic that Subject X used to circumvent death in 1981. So Dumbledore managed to get the Wizengamot to declare all Soul Magic as dark without telling them why. Dumbledore was particularly obtuse about that, and if we had known that Subject X had used Soul Magic we could have dealt with Subject X before the Blood War got hot. So the blood of all those we lost is on Dumbledore's hands. Then he had the nerve to demand that all information on Soul Magic be destroyed, even though he knew the dark side would never do that. He even demanded my memories of Soul Magic be erased. I told him that I would erase his memories of soul magic first, but he refused my generous offer for his Greater Good. So I refused his offer for my Greater Good too. But I am forbidden from teaching anyone else, while the headmaster has no such restrictions. Go figure. That is why we had to involve Gringotts to find and cleansed the artefacts. They refused to destroy their information on Soul Magic as they use that in their Life Stones to monitor the health of their clients." Croaker explained. "So, if Subject X goes wraith form, let me deal with him. If he gets past me use your Dust Buster vacuum cleaners to suck him in. Remember. Constant Vigilance!"
"Yes, Sir!" Team Alpha said as they faded from view to follow Quirrellmort.
"Okay team Beta, you are to monitor the headmaster. If it looks like he is about to cast spells at Harry Potter, you are to take him down by any means necessary! But remember that this is a school full of students. Minister Bones will be sitting next to the headmaster and she will be watching him like a hawk. If he takes his wand out, get ready! So, Constant Vigilance!"
"Yes, Sir!" Team Beta said as they faded from view to follow Albus Dumbledore.
Croaker was alone and whispered to himself.
"Good luck, Harry Potter. May what your parents started in 1981 be soon over!"
He removed the security wards and left the classroom to go to the Great Hall.
- Harry Potter and the Unwanted Ticket. -
Professor McGonagall led the first years up the stairs and along the corridor towards the Great Hall. Harry aka James to hide his identity, and Hermione looked for the Magical Portraits, displays and other items mentioned in Hogwarts, A History as they walked at the back of the group while Neville carefully guided the invisible Luna, and Draco, Susan and Hannah walked in front.
As they approached, the huge oak doors of the Great Hall slowly opened by themselves and the largest bell in the Hogwarts Clock Tower sounded a deep gong. Chief Witch Marchbanks recognised the signal and stood up and pointed her wand at her throat, muttered, "Sonorus," and her magically magnified voice echoed into the Great Hall.
"Witches and Wizards, an Heir of the Founders of Hogwarts has arrived in the castle! All stand!"
There was a loud shuffle as the surprised students, Professors, Board Members, Minister, and Guests stood up.
"Including you, headmaster!"
Slowly the frustrated headmaster stood up and cursed under his breath. He had used his control of the castle to stamp out this tradition. Inwardly he groans as the very last thing he needed was an Heir of the Founders that he didn't have absolute and complete control over.
Through the open doors the first years heard the Chief Witch and saw the Great Hall full of students and adults standing up.
Hermione turned to James. "There hasn't been an heir in the castle since 1937 when the Heir of Slytherin arrived."
James smirked. "Yes, we read that in Hogwarts, A History! That will upset the headmaster!"
"I wonder who it is? You might have some competition!" Hermione teased.
"It might be you, Indiana! You're full of surprises!" James smirked.
A surprised Professor McGonagall led them as they marched in two by two to the front of the hall with all the ghost of Hogwarts silently following them. The largest bell in the Hogwarts Clock Tower sounded a deep gong for each step, twenty-one in all. While the enchanted ceiling of the Great Hall showed a brilliant display of celebratory fireworks that finished with an enormous firework waterfall pouring off a giant arch bridge and the lights were reflected in the water below.
James and Hermione looked upward and saw the amazing fireworks against a velvety black ceiling dotted with stars and two larger balls of white feathers.
"I think I can see Hedwig and Louis. They have a bird's eye view of the sorting." James whispered.
Hermione chuckled as she whisper, "It's bewitched to look like the sky outside. It must also be able to display memories as well. We read about it in Hogwarts, A History."
It was hard to believe there was a ceiling there at all, and that the Great Hall didn't simply open on to the heavens.
Then the exhausted headmaster sat down and everyone followed while the first years stood still to be sorted. They didn't know that the Head Table had been extended to accommodate the staff as well as the members of the Board of Governors. James noticed that Minister Bones was sitting in the center next to an ancient Merlin lookalike that must be the headmaster, Albus Dumbledore.
Except for a few in the know, everyone was searching the first years for the Boy-Who-Lived and were disappointed not to see him. Now they had an Heir of the Founders of Hogwarts to look for but no one stood out.
Dumbledore absently hummed a country and western tune as he looked worried and went over his to-do list in his mind as he reached into his pocket and then remembered that he had lost his special silver cigarette lighter, he called his 'Put-Outer' and now had nothing to detect the Boy's blood even if he was present. And none of his Chocolate Frog Spy Cards that were part of his extensive Secret Spy Network had reported seeing the Boy on the train. And now after the little incident of the Acceptance Letter and the presence of the wraith of the Dark Lord, Hogwarts herself had thrown a hissy fit and was still refusing to talk to him and identify who had entered the castle. That on top of the fact that the Fidelius Charm he had cast that morning on the Corridor of Painful Death, had drained his magical core and Hogwarts had still refused to transfer the control of the wards from Minerva to him while he was still so weak. And the Philosopher's Stone was missing. Hagrid had lost it after picking it up from Gringotts. No matter, as it was a fake. The important thing was Quirrellmort thought that it was real and in Hogwarts. He gave Quirrellmort a quick glance and noticed how weak and sickly he looked. He wondered how long Quirrellmort could survive and then realised that if he wanted to keep Tom inside the castle this year, he will have to find another willing host to be possessed. Maybe a lonely first year student. He scanned the first year students in front of him and thought of the Longbottom boy. He should be alone and friendless after growing up with that old battleaxe. Then he noticed a lone angry redhead boy that everyone was avoiding. He could be perfect and sacrifices needed to be made. The headmaster settled down for the sorting and mentally noted that the worst news for today was that the Boy-Who-Lived had been missing from his control for a month and he never bothered to report it to the Ministry. But he did have a good excuse.
James quickly spotted a smiling Sev on the left of the Head Table sitting next to a sickly looking teacher wearing a turban that he had met in the Leaky Cauldron. It appears that he had deteriorated a lot since then. On the other side of Sev, James was surprised to see a smiling Sirius.
Neville looked along the Head Table and quickly spotted his Gran. Her hat was unmistakable.
"Oh no!" He whispered. "Gran is here. The gig is up!"
Luna stood next to Neville hidden under the Longbottoms' Cloak of Invisibility, and whispered back. "Stay cool, Neville. The plan is perfect and it will work out in the end."
"I don't know, it will just work out." Luna encouraged while a little sad that her seer vision wasn't completely 20/20. "Have faith. For, I see ourselves sitting together on the Ravenclaw Table with James and Hermione." But she wasn't too sure how to explain all the pandemonium that she also saw that surrounded them.
"Oh? Okay Luna. Let's do this!"
Neither James nor Hermione noticed that the two cloaked figures on the end of the Head Table were Hermione's parents, and the new members of the Board of Governors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
While Narcissa had her fingers crossed for Draco.
- Great Hall Entrance Door -
- Gryffindor – Ravenclaw – Hufflepuff – Slytherin. -
- Unsorted First Year Students -
- Sorting Hat -
- Head Table -
Professor McGonagall signalled for the first years to line up across the front and they looked at a lone empty old four-legged stool, but no Sorting Hat. With everything that had happened, no one had noticed that Fawkes and the Sorting Hat were missing until then.
"Damn that old fool!" Whispered Professor McGonagall. "Everything is going wrong tonight. No Harry Potter! Now no Sorting Hat!"
Suddenly a ball of fire erupted over the stool to reveal a phoenix holding a tatted old pointy hat covered in sand and faded by the sun. The phoenix shook off the sand and placed the hat on the stool and then flamed away before the surprised headmaster could catch him. Though Fawkes didn't go far and sneaked up to the rafters to watch the sorting with two owls and three elves. Dobby popped away to the Hogwarts' kitchen for bacon, popcorn, Butterbeer and Firewhisky, and returned. Fawkes looked in need of refreshments, and they knew it would be a long sorting.
Then they were joined by a large Toco Toucan with conspicuously contrasting plumage with a mainly black body, a white throat, chest and upper tail-coverts, and red under tail-coverts. What appears to be a blue iris is actually thin blue skin around the eye. This blue skin is surrounded by another ring of bare, orange skin. The most noticeable feature, however, was its huge bill, which measured nine inches in length, and was yellow-orange, tending to deeper reddish-orange on its lower sections and culmen, and with a black base and large spot on the tip.
The Toucan nodded to Fawkes and the Phoenix offered some bacon which it readily enjoyed with the Butterbeer. Welcomed, the odd group settled down to eat, drink and watch the sorting, while Dobby kept them well supplied from the kitchen.
The surprised first years loved to see the Phoenix and watched the old hat as a tear opened in the brim of the hat and a clear loud familiar raspy voice spoke.
"ALOHA AHIAHI, DUDES! Greetings from Hawaii! And welcome to Hogwarts!"
"Aloha Ahiahi, Mahalo!" Hermione responded as the first years giggled with laughter and the brim of the hat smiled at her.
But there was stunned silence from everyone else in the Great Hall, who were expecting a song, except for a smiling Sirius who was enjoying the moment. While the headmaster was getting rather impatient and couldn't wait for the sorting to be over so he could recall his Order of the Phoenix to duty and start the search for Harry tonight. He cursed himself again for having lost his silver Put-Outer. Without it, he didn't have any other means to find the Boy, and Fawkes had refused to obey his call and had already left the Great Hall before he could curse, er, hex, er, catch him.
A very stern looking Professor McGonagall coughed to recovered her surprise.
"Oh, right then." The Sorting Hat cleared his throat to sing a song he had learnt on his holidays with Fawkes, and the raspy voice sang. (Think, Ray Charles.)
"Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
There's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true."
The first years had no idea what to expect and applauded the hat for the moving rendition of the song. While James and Hermione knew that this was different, as every Sorting Hat song had been written in Hogwarts, A History.
"Please may I have the first name, Headmistress?" The Sorting Hat requested, confirming that the Castle was done with the headmaster.
While a very stern looking Professor McGonagall recovered her surprise and realised that there would be no traditional song from the Sorting Hat this year. She suspected that something to do with the headmaster's disappointing behaviour. She cleared her throat and read off the first name for sorting.
Her friends whispered encouragement as the pink-faced Hannah with blonde pigtails released Susan and stumbled out of line, put on the hat, which fell right down over her eyes, and sat down.
A moments pause — "If you are sure then. HUFFLEPUFF!" shouted a raspy voice of the hat.
The table on the right cheered and clapped as Hannah went to sit down at the Hufflepuff table.
Professor McGonagall hesitated to say the next name.
There was a rumble of oohs, aahs and bloody hells in the hall as the older students realised the change of family. While the headmaster gasped and choked and dropped his gold goblet as he spat out a mouth full of his favourite special Firewhisky and Mandrake juice all over the Head Table in front of him. A castle elf quickly cleaned up the mess as Minister Bones and Professor Flitwick enjoyed whacking his back to help clear his airways.
Draco's friends whispered encouragement as the blond boy with dark roots made his way confidently to the four-legged stool. His short time with James had changed him and shown how much fun you can have if you are friendly and nice. The change in attitude had done wonders for his relationship with his mother and Godfather. He no longer wanted the power to dominate, manipulate and control others, but now he wanted to be the best wizard he could be and he had the ambitions and cunning he needed to achieve that. The hat had barely touched his head when it shouted.
Draco smiled and winked at James as he confidently walked to the cheering Slytherin table on the far right.
While the headmaster caught his breath and smirked as he didn't know what had happened to Lucius, but at least Draco had gone into the correct House. He dismissed the concern of Amelia and Filius with a wave of his hand and sat down on his throne. He really didn't like surprises.
While James, Hermione, Neville and the invisible Luna with Susan carefully watched the headmaster's reaction to the change of family. As did Gran, Frank, Alice, Croaker, Sirius, Sev, Remus and Narcissa.
Her friends whispered encouragement as the redhead made her way.
"HUFFLEPUFF!" shouted the hat again, and Susan scuttled off to sit next to Hannah as the Hufflepuffs cheered with Minister Bones.
And so on until.
Her friends whispered encouragement as Shere Khan climbed up onto Hermione's shoulder and wrapped around her neck in a position that defied gravity and showed how well the witch and familiar had bonded and shared their magic. Shere Khan had brought out her inner tiger. James looked into her eyes to say how much he loved her and that she could do this. Encouraged, she released James and walked purposely and carefully over to the four-legged stool. She saw that the Sorting Hat was patched and frayed and extremely dirty covered in fine dusting of sand. She thought that would never do and triggered her wand into her hand and waved it over the hat.
Then to clear the resulting dust cloud of a thousand years of dust and grime that came off the hat.
A mini tornado came out of her wand and sucked up the floating dust cloud. Then vanished with a pop.
The rest of the school gasped, as Professor McGonagall was shocked that a first year student would raise their wand at the famous ancient Sorting Hat. The headmaster almost dropped his gold goblet of his special Firewhisky and Mandrake juice. He hissed and groaned as he was particularly angered in case his manipulating charms and Ancient Runes on the Sorting Hat had been affected. While James, Neville and Luna smirked as that was such a Hermione thing to do.
But before they could do anything the brim opened.
"Oh! Thank you but you missed the inside."
"Oh?" Hermione said as she picked up the hat and waved her wand inside.
Then to clear the resulting dust cloud of hair and dandruff that came out the hat.
A mini tornado came out of her wand and sucked up the floating dust cloud. Then vanished with a pop.
"Oh, thank you. Now I can finally breathe again. It has been such a long time since I have felt this clean." The Sorting Hat said as it gave the headmaster a withering look of disdain as his wandless compulsion hex that he cast during the sorting of 1892 was finally broken by the first year cleaning spell by the powerful Muggle-born witch. The old compulsion hex had been wandlessly cast by a brilliant and powerful, but young and manipulative Albus Dumbledore way back at the sorting of 1892 to encourage the Sorting Hat to sort a headstrong, very cunning and extremely ambitious but somewhat possibility maybe good half-blood wizard into Gryffindor and not Slytherin where he belonged.
"You're welcome. The Scouring and Vanishing Charms are listed in the third chapter of Book of Spells by Miranda Goshawk."
"Excellent. Ten points to your new house." Hermione fist-pumped a yes. "Now we need to sort you, so sit on the stool and place the new clean me on your head." The Sorting Hat instructed, while the headmaster was surprised, he never knew that the hat could give house points.
Hermione complied and placed the hat on her head and sat down. As first of the Golden Quartet to be sorted, she was on a mission and there appeared to be a silent conversation going on between Hermione and the hat with her shaking her head to disagree with the hat's thinking. Then Shere Khan raised a paw to the brim of the hat and showed his razor-sharp claws. There was a faint glow as the razor-sharp claws and the enhanced magic of the part Kneazle finally destroyed the ancient runes for control and manipulation that the headmaster had added to ensure the sorting complied with his Greater Good.
The old compulsion hex and ancient runes with which the headmaster had cursed the hat, had prevented the Sorting Hat from sorting purely on abilities regardless of heritage, and this manipulation went on for the next century to ensure that all the Pure-blood witches and wizards who could go bad were sorted into Slytherin. While cunning and ambitious but good half-bloods and Muggle-borns were sorted into Gryffindor. There by perpetuating the rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin that gave rise to an environment of mistrust that was favourable to the development of dark lords.
Freed from Dumbledore's ancient runes and hex by the magic of the young witch and pocket tiger, the Sorting Hat was encouraged to agree with Hermione's request and yelled. "Okay, okay. Better be RAVENCLAW!"
A smiling Hermione took the hat off and winked at James, Neville and the invisible Luna as she walked to the second table to the left with a grinning Shere Khan on her shoulders. The Ravenclaw students politely clapped.
While the headmaster released his breath as he relaxed. He silently cheered as he didn't want such a headstrong Muggle-born witch in Gryffindor where she could interfere with his plans for the Boy-Who-Lived. Then he carefully waved his second spare wand with his hand hidden under the table, at the Sorting Hat on the stool. He silently cursed as he got no response from his manipulative charms and controlling hexes on the hat.
The Sorting Hat felt the weak magic of the headmaster and turned to blow a raspberry at him to show that he was now a free agent and would sort the students on their abilities as the Founders wished.
Professor McGonagall smirked as she saw the Sorting Hat blow a raspberry at the headmaster and knew something had changed. She read the next name.
A tall beautiful blonde witch glided over to the Sorting Hat and gracefully placed it on her head as she sat on the stool.
A moments pause — "SLYTHERIN!" shouted a raspy voice of the hat.
The table on the far right cheered and clapped as Daphne glided across the stone floor as she went to sit down at the Slytherin table next to Draco.
Onward the sorting went until.
James whispered encouragement as Neville with Luna under the Longbottoms' Cloak of Invisibility, walked carefully over to the four-legged stool. He picked up the hat and sat on the stool as the invisible Luna hopped onto his lap and wrapped her arms around him. Neville slowly lowered the hat onto his head when it screamed.
Neville quickly placed the hat over Luna's invisible head and the hat screamed.
"LOVEGOOD, LUNA, RAVENCLAW!"
Neville whispered as he fist pumped and threw the hat up for Professor McGonagall to catch, while Luna revealed herself from under the Longbottoms' Cloak of Invisibility to a shocked Great Hall. Neville gathered the cloak as Luna collected Moonlight from James and they ran over to sit next to Hermione while Sirius cheered the prank.
While a certain rude loud-mouth redhead boy was about to say a vulgar comment about his loony neighbour when he felt a bad vibe of something watching him. He turned to see a ginger pocket tiger staring directly into his soul and he remembered pain! A whole lot of pain! And forgot what he was going to say.
The headmaster had wisely decided not to hold his gold goblet of his special Firewhisky and Mandrake juice as this sorting was proving to be full of surprises and he really really didn't like surprises. Someone had snuck into his castle and he didn't know anything about it. The castle still hadn't warned him and he feared who else had been wandering around his castle. The Longbottom boy was suppose to go into Gryffindor with the Boy-Who-Lived and the rest of the light-side cannon fodder. He cursed that he never could get his hands on the Longbottoms' Cloak of Invisibility. It was not as perfect as the Potter's Cloak of Invisibility, but it still was very good. He glanced over to see the smirk on Madam Longbottom's face. He prepared his Machiavellian charm as two can play this game.
While Professor McGonagall tried to protest. "But? She wasn't on the list!"
"Quick, check it twice before that ginger Pocket Tiger lodges a protest!" Cried the hat.
"But?" Professor McGonagall checked the list twice to discover Luna's name had been magically added. "Oh, here it is. Welcome Luna Lovegood to…"
Professor McGonagall was cut off by the headmaster. He didn't want Molly to demand that young Ginevra be allowed to attend if young Miss Lovegood got in, as that would mess up his plans for young Ronald and his best friend, the Boy-Who-Lived. And the Quest for the Philosopher's Stone that he had fastidiously arranged for them.
"I am afraid that young Miss Lovegood is not old enough to attend this year. I am so sorry.." The Great Albus Dumbledore had started to speak but was cut off by the Sorting Hat.
"Silence, professor! Luna Lovegood will be eleven soon enough, and she is a Ravenclaw if ever there was one."
"But?" The shocked headmaster protested as the Sorting Hat had never told him to shut up before. What had that Muggle-born witch done?
"What I have sorted, I have sorted." The Sorting Hat defied the headmaster.
"But?" The headmaster continued to protest. He looked at Professor McGonagall for support but noticed that she was still a little bit upset about all the wasted parchment, and he could feel a headache was coming on, and this was wasting time he could using to search for the Boy.
"By the Power invested in me by the Founders, I declare Luna Lovegood, a Ravenclaw and a first year student of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! So shall it be!" The Sorting Hat proudly stated with a smirk.
Again the headmaster looked at his Deputy Headmistress for support only to see her stern disapproving eye. She wasn't going to play his games as she pointed to Miss Lovegood's name on the official Magically Certified, Hogwarts Student Registry Parchment.
Regardless, the obstinate headmaster pressed on with his saddest and most disappointed face. Guaranteed to win sympathy.
"Nevertheless, I am so sorry, but I am afraid…"
The headmaster was cut off by Madam Longbottom who held her wand in her hand after she had pointed it at her throat, and muttered, "Sonorus." Her magically magnified voice echoed into the Great Hall. The old battleaxe smirked as she stood up to stared down the old fool. She was going to enjoy this!
"As Chairwitch of the Board of Governors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and your Boss!"
She paused for effect as she waited for the old fool to almost respond and then continued to speak and block his words.
"Plus I am also in loco parentis for Miss Luna Lovegood."
She paused again for the old fool to almost respond and then continued to speak and block his words.
"Miss Luna Lovegood's name is on the Official Magically Certified Hogwarts Student Registry Parchment!"
"Hogwarts has accepted her!"
"So! I, will allow it!"
"You dare to go against the Sorting Hat! And Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry? Headmaster?"
"Surely, you are not petty enough, headmaster, to ignore Hogwarts Castle and deny a Pure-blood Witch Her Magical Education!"
"What are you truly afraid of, headmaster?"
The old battleaxe Chairwitch of the Board of Governors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry had spoken in a tone that would brook no argument. The headmaster tried to meet her flinty glare, but couldn't stand straight and still after his recent injuries. Nor could he get a word in edgeways. Then he fearfully noticed that the witch and wizard standing next to the old battleaxe with a hostile stare were Frank and Alice Longbottom. He didn't know how the hell they had managed to escape St Mungo's but he didn't wish to open that Pandora's box in the Great Hall while it was full of students and Ministry VIPs. There would be no support for the headmaster from the Longbottoms if they were ever to discover what he had done to the Nobel and Most Ancient House of Longbottom. Greater Good be damned!
While sitting next to the headmaster, Minister Bones and next to her, Chief Witch Marchbanks, smirked and coughed to clear their throats and cracked their knuckles to indicate that the Ministry of Magic was ready to step in for an easy victory. It would never do for the headmaster to deny a Pure-blood witch her magical education once the castle had accepted her.
The headmaster knew he would be fighting a battle that he couldn't possibly win. And he would be in a world of pain if he foolishly persisted. But it was also a battle he couldn't afford to lose either.
What the headmaster was truly afraid of was losing power and control, and the sheeple not doing what He told them and starting to think for themselves.
This why he hated surprises. If he had known that Frank and Alice Longbottom had escaped St Mungo's, he would have never started this fight and stirred up this hornet's nest against him of the combined forces of Hogwarts Castle, the Sorting Hat, the Deputy Headmistress, the Chairwitch of the Board of Governors, the new Minister of Magic and the new Chief Witch of the Wizengamot. A Howler from Molly now looked like a fart in a teacup compared to this crap storm he had foolishly created.
So, the angry frustrated headmaster stamped his foot and humphed as he flopped down defeated in his own school, and his sad face showed how disappointed he was. He promised himself that he would make the Longbottoms and the Lovegood witch suffer for this. St Mungo's would be the least of their problems! And yes, he was that petty. Just ask Severus Snape and Harry Potter. He shook his head in disgust as he could already hear the howler from Molly Weasley.
"I hereby declare that Luna Lovegood is a Ravenclaw! So be it!"
The old battleaxe proclaimed as she triumphantly and gracefully sat down.
While the Sorting Hat danced a quick victory jig as it whispered, "Yes!" Then nodded a thank you towards Madam Longbottom, and then turned to open its brim to blow a raspberry at the silly old fool professor.
Madam Longbottom with Frank and Alice gave a victory fist-pump as they cried together, "Yes!"
"Sweet Merlin that felt so good! Mum!" Alice cheered to her mother-in-law. They had indeed discovered the headmaster's despicable sticky fingers all over the Lestrange attack that almost killed them, and on their treatment at St Mungo's that prevented them from gaining guardianship of her godson, Harry.
"The Longbottoms are back!" Frank added with another fist-pump then gave Neville and Luna a double thumbs up victory sign. While the politically astute Ravenclaws chapped and cheered Neville and Luna as Hermione hugged them.
While a surprised Sev used his finger to slide a gold galleon along the table to Sirius. He had bet on the headmaster and he had never lost before. Times were changing. While Sirius gleefully accepted the won gold galleon.
While a seventh year Hufflepuff prefect with a pale heart-shaped face, dark twinkling eyes, and short spiky hair that was a violent shade of violet stood up and led the cheer from Hufflepuff.
And a blond Slytherin first year yelled. "Way to go, Gran!"
And there was a surprising growing cheer from Slytherin House as the children of the late Death Eaters, who were now wards of House Potter by conquest, celebrated their new regent for standing up to the headmaster and winning a great victory.
Slowly everyone in the Great Hall realised what had just happened and clapped and cheered as they enjoyed the moment. While in the rafters, a phoenix, a large Toco Toucan, two snowy owls and three elves were cheering. The large Toucan flapped his wings, gave a deep, coarse croaking, and a bill-clack. There was a tear in his eye for the successful and brilliant prank of his Little Moonbeam.
While next to the disappointed headmaster, Minister Bones whispered. "You're losing your touch, Albus." He humphed and took a drink. "You have been at the center of power for a century. Don't you think it may be time to retire, gracefully?"
The headmaster gasped and choked and spat out a mouth full of his special Firewhisky and Mandrake juice all over the Head Table in front of him. He could never contend for one moment surrendering all of the power he had gathered together over the last century. His Greater Good demanded that he alone must have all power forever. A castle elf quickly cleaned up the mess as Minister Bones and Professor Flitwick cheerfully whacked his back to help clear his airways.
While the Chief Witch whispered. "You know, I am fifty years his senior, Amelia?"
"Yes, but you have no desire to rule the world, and control and micromanage everyone in it for your Greater Good!" Amelia whispered back.
"True! Education used to be teaching how to think, not what to think!"
"Agreed, and if you like, you can whack his back the next time he chokes."
"Oh, I would like to do that!" She giggled. "But you seem to enjoy whacking him!"
"I can share!"
Professor McGonagall hid her smirk as she marvelled at the audacity of the moment as the hat and her dear friends conspire against the foolhardy headmaster, as he tried to conspire against Hogwarts Castle. This time the headmaster lost far more than he ever hoped to gain.
When things calmed down, she read out the next name.
And the sorting continued.
Until Professor McGonagall reached the letter P.
A sad young witch was sorted into Slytherin and nervously walked over to the table on the far right and sat opposite Draco. He smiled at his friend and tried to make her feel welcomed.
A bright young witch released her identical twin sister and was sorted into Ravenclaw. She gracefully walked over to the table on the left and sat opposite Hermione. She welcomed the new Ravenclaw with a smile.
The louder identical twin sister was sorted into Gryffindor. She glanced at her sister as she ran over to the Gryffindor table and sat next to her new BFF, Lavender Brown.
Professor McGonagall checked her list twice.
She had been dreading this moment, and hesitated to say the next name. The burden of what happened on that cold November night weighted heavily on her. She steeled herself and tried to speak.
Her voice died as her emotions overwhelmed her.
An extraordinary silence filled the Great Hall, while the old witch gently weeps.
- Harry Potter and the Unwanted Ticket. -
Thank you for reading.
- Harry Potter and the Unwanted Ticket. -