Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
In the final seven years of Voldemort's Dark Times, his influence and power grew to alarming proportions. Britain was almost completely cowed, with Hogwarts acting as the sole safe haven on the isles. He also controlled most of Europe, after he captured Durmstang in a hard fought victory against it's occupants. With France hemmed about on all sides, and Dumbledore pinned up in Hogwarts, Tom Riddle turned his eyes toward the Orient. In a series of sneak attacks, Voldemort conquered the nine schools of magic in China, and the four in Japan.
It seemed nothing could truly stand in Voldemort's way. Then the incredible happened. An army attacked and caught Durmstang completely off guard. A coalition of the survivors of China's and Japan's schools, led by a man named Inushiro Kumasaka, the Red Dragon of Kyoto, sacked Durmstang then grouped with Dumbledore at Hogwarts. Inushiro Kumasaka, one of the most powerful wizards of our time, led thirty-two strikes and counter strikes in the following years, thirteen in which he dueled Voldemort himself. A man named Remus Lupin also rallied a band of werewolves to the cause. It is due largely to the heroic example of Remus Lupin and his Swift Company that the Modern Wizarding World no longer holds such prejudice against werewolves.
For three years, Inushiro's Drakes and Voldemort's Death Eaters clashed, neither gaining an edge over the other. The magic world was tearing itself apart at the seams. Then a seven year old boy picked up his father's wand and slew the most feared wizard in five hundred years. In the after math, Hogwarts was expanded to accommodate the survivors of Durmstang, the nine schools of China, and the four schools in Japan. Two large memorials were also built on Hogwarts ground. One to the fallen; the Phoenix Fountain with it's head bowed, water leaking from it's eyes. One to the victorious; The Dragon's Torch, a magnificent carving of a dragon with it's head pointing skyward, a flame eternally billowing from it's maw. A smaller memorial, in the corner of the grounds, was erected in memory of Remus Lupin and his Swift Company, all of whom were wiped out in a courageous defense of Hogsmede. The Lupin Memorial depicts a pack of wolves nestled together, forever in sleep.
It looked like a Thomas the Tank Engine reject. To say that the Hogwarts Express was somewhat dated was to say that Dumbledore was a little old. Coal powered, smoke stacks and the whole nine yards. Frankly, Harry was surprised that Wizards would 'stoop' to using any form of muggle technology, no matter how old. In his few short visits to the wizarding world, Harry had been shocked at the prejudice of wizards against muggles.
Harry and James said their goodbye, nodding at their dad's "Take care." their mom's "Stay out of trouble." and laughing at Sirius' "Get into trouble." Luggage in tow, the Potter twins boarded the train. It was crowded in the isle as Harry waded forward in search of a compartment.
"Watch yourself, you little mudblood." Harry froze. The voice had come from a compartment to his left. Moving in for a better look, Harry saw that there were four boys inside. Two large, obese kids towered over a young boy with a shaved head. The fourth boy, a blond kid with an aristocratic, obnoxious voice, seemed to be doing the talking for the larger boys.
"You'll have to leave, mudblood. This compartment is ours." The blond boy spoke again. Harry felt James pull up along side him. Harry's brother tensed at the word 'mudblood', but Harry put a restricting arm on his shoulder and shook his head.
For his part, the bald kid nodded and picked up his stuff and began to leave the compartment. The blond kid looked surprised at his lack of resistance, then moved to block him.
"Hey, where are you going so fast? Running away, are you? You mudbloods are all the same. Let's see what you have in the bag."
The boy spoke for the first time. "Nothing that would interest you, friend. Just a few lowly muggle possessions that have little value to anyone but me." the boy stated, meekly.
Before the blond kid could answer, someone darted past Harry and into the compartment. The new arrival stepped between the bullies and their victim. He was oriental, that much was obvious. He looked about Harry's age. His face was angled, and his hair was done up in a top not. It was also obvious that he was a martial artist. Everything from his lithe form to the way he stood screamed of speed and reflex.
"Three to one? Hardly seems fair. Why don't you cowards try that on me?"
One of the big kids took his invite. With a lumbering step, fatty threw a clumsy punch that the oriental ducked. A knee to the groin brought him down. Both his friends soon followed him to the floor, one from a karate chop to the throat, the other from a kick to the face. The three goons stumbled to their feet and brushed past Harry and James on their way out.
"Don't let those guys push you around. Look, if you ever have trouble with them again, just let me know. I'm Motokazu Kumasaka, by the way." The oriental seemed proud of the name.
The bald kid stared at him for a moment. "There was no need to resort to violence." He spoke, softly.
Motokazu's eyes widened. "Your welcome." He sounded offended.
"You didn't fight them for me. You fought them because you wanted to show off. I was simply your audience and your excuse." The boy stated mildly.
From Motokazu's expression, Harry could tell the boy had struck a nerve. The boy picked his bag up and began to leave the room again.
"Hey, where are you going?" Motokazu asked.
"To find another compartment. This one seems to disagree with me." Then he was gone, leaving a fuming Motokazu behind.
Motokazu looked up as Harry and James entered. "Saw that?" He looked sheepish.
Harry nodded. They left it at that.
"I'm Motokazu as you may have heard." The boy looked a little less embarrassed once it became clear Harry and James wouldn't bring up what just happened again.
"I'm James Potter. This is my brother Harry." James introduced them.
Motokazu's eyes widened. "I have heard that name before. You honor me with your presence, Potter-San." He said, suddenly formal.
James turned red. "Well, uh…" he stammered.
Harry decided to save him. "In the name of Merlin don't treat him like that. His head will swell up so big we'll never get him out of this compartment."
"His… head will swell?" Motokazu asked, confused by the phrase.
"It means he'll get too proud." Harry explained.
"I see." Motokazu answered, but Harry wondered if he did.
The conversation flowed easier from that point. Harry and James talked of their life in America to a curious and attentive Motokazu. Motokazu, in turn, told them of growing up in Hogsmede. His father was a professor at Hogwarts. He held a class called Attack Magic. Motokazu had only been to Hogwarts a few times, but he described it as the "coolest place in the world." Ghosts, moving staircases, wind towers, and a forest full of amazing things.
Motokazu was still shooting odd glances at James, but that was fine. The first few days after James had killed Voldemort, Harry had looked at him strangely as well. He couldn't fathom his brother having killed a man, much less a dark lord feared around the world. Eventually, James had complained, "Harry is looking at me funny again, mom!" After that, his mother had taken him into another room and explained that even though James was special in many ways, mostly he was a normal person and that Harry should treat him like he always had. Harry had shot rubber bands at James at random times for the rest of the day. James for his part yelled his indignation every time Harry caught him off guard, but was inwardly glad his brother was back to normal.
The compartment grew more crowded as they were joined by a brunette girl in jeans and a tank top. Her name was Sara, and she lacked Motokazu's subtlety, openly gawking at Harry's brother. James was shooting her confused looks in response to her enthralled expression.
Another added to their party, a fourth year named Richard. He was affable and had a friendly personality, and, Harry soon discovered, he was Sara's older brother. Richard was giving Harry looks of mild alarm at his sister's captivated expression, to which Harry could only shrug at helplessly. James, unsure of how to respond to Sara's pining, settled for acting like he didn't notice. Motokazu was doing his best not to laugh, and Sara continued to gape, completely unaware.
Finally, Richard broke the bizarre moment. "Sara… What the hell are you doing?"
That was too much for Motokazu, who let out an odd noise, controlled himself a moment longer, then burst into gales of laughter. Sara, looking like a rabbit having a heart attack, gave a strangled noise of embarrassment and bolted from the compartment.
"That was delicately done." Harry observed, dryly.
"She's my sister. I'm allowed to embarrass the shit out of her." Richard said, offhand. "We're almost to Hogsmede. You might want to change into your robes now."
Harry nodded and pulled out his duffel bag.
"First years! First years! I would like all the first years over here, please!" Harry turned to see a man in expensive looking robes. A group of kids were gathering around him.
"Hello. My name is professor Quirell. I am your new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Right now, however, I suppose I'm acting as something of a guide. So, if you would all just follow me, the boats are this way."
He led them to a lake and began pairing them off, four to a boat. Harry in a stroke of poor luck found himself in a boat with the three bullies they'd encountered on the train.
"Draco Malfoy." The blond boy said simply, thrusting out his hand.
Harry hesitantly took it. He'd heard about the Malfoys. They were text book prejudice, traditional purebloods. Oddly, though, they'd fought viciously against Voldemort in the last war, distinguishing themselves as heroes. They'd sworn that no Malfoy would ever bend the knee to a halfblood, no mater his mother's lineage. Despite their alliance in the war, the Malfoys remained a family stooped in the dark arts, so Harry was very hesitant in taking the boys hand. Also, the scene he'd witnessed earlier on the train was less than endearing. Never the less, the boy hadn't done anything to him personally, so Harry tried to keep an open mind. Maybe the boy wasn't all bad.
"Harry Potter." Harry answered. The boy's eyes widened.
"Potter? As in James Potter? The little boy who killed Voldemort?"
"My twin. He's here as well. Not sure where." Harry glanced around until he spotted James in a boat a little bit ahead of his.
Hogwarts emerged suddenly from the fog; a colossal mass of turrets, towers, and ramparts. The stone work was amazing. It was easy to see that some of the towers and structures had been around longer than other parts. A brighter stone was used on the expansions of the castle; Draken and Phoenix Tower, The Wolf Gate, and the Far Northern Wing were all constructed in the last five years. Two dorm buildings had also been built on the grounds, along with a stable and holding pens. The final addition to the expansion was an onyx wall around the entire grounds. Even the lake was guarded against. During the war, Hogwarts had been besieged innumerable times. When the schools from the Orient joined Hogwarts, they used their combined numbers to build the wall. Through the four remaining years of the war, it was never breached.
They landed, and Quirell led them through a small gate in the wall, across the grounds, and to the front steps. There, they were met by two members of staff; an elderly, Scottish woman, and a middle aged Asian who stood a half-step behind her.
"Good evening. I'm am professor McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress and Transfiguration teacher. This is my colleague, Professor Kumasaka." A wave of gasps and she rolled her eyes. "I see you've heard of him. Now, in a few moments, you will be sorted into houses. There are four. Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. So, if you would follow me…"
The first years were ushered in to a large hall that was aptly named The Great Hall. The ceiling over head was the first thing to draw Harry's attention. It was charmed to look like the sky and, save for any form of precipitation, imitated the current weather outside. The ceiling was not the only impressive aspect of the hall. Four, ornate and well carved tables ran the length of the hall, side by side. At the head of the hall, a final, shorter table was designated for the staff. Located just in front of the staff table, sat a stool with a hat on it. Harry was taken aback when it suddenly, and incredibly, burst into song.
Welcome all to Hogwarts
Listen now to me
We have a system of sorts
I control you destiny
I've been around a time, see
And I've learned just how to tell
Where you will find family
And where you will excel
Gryffindor is for the strong
The courageous and the brave
A Gryffindor will right a wrong
And tolerate no knave
Hufflepuff breeds loyalty
A hard working, honest lot
It's good to have one by ye
When ever you're in a tight spot
Ravenclaw loves knowledge
And clear headed thinking skill
Learning gives you an edge
If you but have the will
Slytherin's value cunning
Ambition will take them far
They strive ever to be something
More than what they are
The crowd burst into applause, and the sorting began. Sara Carter ended up in Ravenclaw like her brother before her. Motokazu became
a Gryffindor. The bald headed kid that Draco had been picking on earlier, Lee Chung, joined Hufflepuff. Draco Malfoy joined Slytherin.
"Potter, Harry!" Harry made his way to the stool amid a slight murmur of whispers. With a sigh, he sat down on the chair. It felt nice to be sitting after so long. Seventy students or so had already been sorted, and another forty still waited in line. Harry slipped the hat over his head.
"Hufflepuff!" the hat said, almost immediately. Harry made his way to his new table as a roar of approval swept his new house. The raven hared boy sat down next to Lee Chung among an assault of back slaps and hand shakes. He looked up at the stool in time to see his brother sorted into Gryffindor as the Gryffindors roared, stomped their feet, and cheered. Harry felt a stab of disappointment. He'd been hoping to be in the same house…
The sorting went on, but Harry paid it little mind. He was having an interesting conversation with a boy named Justin about the dueling room in the Far North Wing when he felt an odd pressure in his head. Thinking it was a headache coming on, Harry cleared his mind and began meditating… a concept he'd picked up from Ryan. The pressure ended abruptly.
The sound of glass breaking interrupted the ceremony, and Harry turned his head to see an embarrassed Albus Dumbledore holding up a shattered glass goblet apologetically. Harry grinned. He liked Dumbledore. His sense of humor was odd, and his mannerisms were even odder, but Harry could see wisdom behind his eccentric behavior.
A hush fell over the crowd as a young boy with shoulder length red hair made his way to the front of the hall. His every step seemed to be a statement of defiance, and his posture was rigid. As he turned and sat on the stool, Harry caught a glimpse of his cold brown eyes. The hat sunk over his face, then belted out, "Gryffindor!"
The hall remained silent as Ronald Weasley rose to his feet and trudged toward Gryffindor's table. Another red head, presumably his brother, met him halfway and led him by the arm to his seat. Harry watched as Gryffindor seemed to shift around him, moving in closer like a protective wall.
"That's Ron Weasley." Justin informed him. "He lost his parents, three older brothers, and a younger sister in the war."
A pang of sympathy struck Harry's heart as he glanced back over towards Gryffindor table, where the two red headed boys sat side by side.
There were twenty-three first year Hufflepuffs; Harry counted them as they were led across the grounds to their dorm, the Hufflepuff Sanctum. It was a round, two story building. The bottom floor held The Commons. It included a small library, a rec room, and a small kitchen. The upstairs housed the living space and the restroom facilities.
"Potter, Sans, Michelles, Chung, Willis, Price. You're in room five." The prefect announced. Harry trudged up the stairs and sank into his bed, vowing to get to know his room mates in the morning.
AN: Sort of rushed at the end. I don't know about this chapter. Felt kinda forced. Conversation was sorta weak… Oh well. Posting it anyway. Whenever I try to edit something, I just end up staring at my computer screen for hours on end, wondering what I should cut out. Thank you all for the reviews I've been getting. Sorry that I don't have time to answer them this chapter.