Flowers and Snakes

People didn’t believe Voldemort when he told the world he had changed. Not even the news that he had fathered a child with his life partner Quirrell changed their opinion of him. So when Avalona starts her education at Hogwarts she decides to keep her parentage a secret from everyone except her closest friends. A gifted witch, she quickly excels, first academically and then physically as she becomes the second youngest seeker in history after Harry Potter. But her path isn’t going to be easy as she discovers new powers, figures out who her friends really are, and learning to find happiness in the darkest of places.
(Technically a HP and AVPM crossover, but it’s mostly HP- only AVPM reference is Quirrelmort)
My first Movella! 

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5. I Get Sorted

As the Black Lake rushed past the bows of our boat, I gazed up at the castle. There were turrets and towers, courtyards and- was that a drawbridge? It reminded me of one of my friends from my previous school who had been crazily obsessed with anything medieval.

I’m serious, she read the Lord of the Rings in Year 3.
Anyway, I couldn’t help but gape at the school, and from the expressions of my friends, they were also in awe. We were half way across the lake before I broke the silence.
“Well... it’s big.” I commented lamely.
I got a few distracted nods in reply and decided to drop it. The rest of the journey was in silence. At the far side of the water, I could just about make out a low, wide stone tunnel to which we were headed. As we entered, magical torches flamed to life in brilliant shades of red, yellow, blue and green. They cast eerie shadows on my friends’ faces.
Clump, clump. The flotilla of boats bumped gently gainst the stone quay as they docked. I was the first to jump out although Macy almost pushed me into the water in her eagerness to jump out.
“Oh, gosh Avalona. I’m so sorry!” She cried out, grabbing the back of my robe to stop me from toppling over. I flashed her a grin and shook my head, meaning that she shouldn’t worry about it. After a couple of minutes the rest of the first years were out of the boats and standing on the cobbled dock. Quirrell had told me about how a huge half-giant used to escort the first years across the lake and up to the castle, but I had no idea whether he still did. I had seen no sign of anyone large enough to be a half giant, and the prefects had led us to the boats but then left. The other students looked about them confusedly, obviously wondering where to go to next. I glanced at Scorpius and Stella- their expressions matched mine.
Macy looked as if she was about to jump back into the boat when a large figure stepped out of the shadows. He had frizzy dark hair streaked with grey that hung past his shoulders and matched his bushy beard. Honestly, his hair made mine look like a supermodel’s dreams come true, and that’s saying something. The man’s shoulders were broad, much like the rest of his body, and he was clad in dark brown working clothes. But the most striking thing about him was his height. I felt that if I were to stand next to him my head would be barely past his waist, even though I am normally considered fairly tall.
His arrival startled most of us, and some were so shocked they screamed.
“Honestly,” Scorpius muttered under his breath. “It’s just Hagrid. He’s not that scary.”
I shot him a sidelong glance just as ‘Hagrid’ started speaking.
“Now don’t get your robes in a twist!” He spoke with a strong accent, but I couldn’t place it. “I’m Hagrid, the Game Keeper of Hogwarts. I’m normally the one to escort all you First Years  across the lake, but in recent years my age has prevented me from taking the boats. Now, if all of you follow me, I’ll take you up to the castle.”
Hagrid turned and walked up a set of wide steps to a heavy wooden door. We followed him blindly though it and into a well lit corridor that matched the whole medival castle theme. I took the opportunity to speak to Socrpius.
“What did you mean earlier that it’s ‘only Hagrid’? Have you met him before?” I watched his features crumple into a sneer and found the result quite unflattering.
“No, but my father never has anything good to say about him.” He spat the word ‘father’. I got the impression he didn’t like his parents much.
“Oh,” I replied, unable to think of anything better.
By this time, we had been led into a large open hallway and up some more steps to stand in front of a gigantic (not pun intended Hagird, honest!) set of oaken doors decorated with brass detailings. The Game Keeper turned to us again. The students in front of us shied away from his bulky frame, and I was with Scorpius on this one- the giant obviously wasn’t dangerous, depsite his size.
“Now, if you lot just stay here for a few minutes, I’ll be a-going to tell the Head Mistress of your arrival.”
I expected him to go through the doors or at least disppear off down another corridor. However, he simply turned to a section of blank wall beside the doors and brought out a pink umbrella from the depths of his overcoat. Some thick skulled person laughed aloud at this. Idiot. The giant tapped the tip of the umbrella on a stone square to the left of the doors several times, and before our eyes a hatch flipped out with an old-fashioned hotel desk bell attached to it. Hagrid struck the bell once. The sound revberated through the air, and as in answer, the doors opened. As we stood there in shock, Hagrid turned once more and grinned at us.
“Welcome to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!”


For the first time in my life, I cursed my father for giving me his name. I was a ‘Quirrell’ so of course I had to wait for an age to get sorted into a house. I knew that I had a good chance of getting to Ravenclaw, and I honestly didn’t mind if the hat decided I would be best in Slytherin, but that didn’t mean that I wasn’t nervous.
Macy was one of the first to be called up. I clapped her on the shoulder as she stepped up onto the raised platform on which the hat stool was placed. She looked extremely worried as she sat down and the Sorting Hat was placed on her head. But she needn’t have worried really, because after about half a minute, the hat bellowed:
“Gryffindor!”
The smile that lit up Macy’s face could’ve cheered up a depression patient, even though a certain Malfoy grunted at my left. I jabbed him with my elbow.
Truthfully, I didn’t pay attention to much of the sorting. I didn’t even notice when Scopius left my side, or when he grudgingly made his way over to the Slytherin Table. I didn’t really have time to feel sorry for him, because before I knew it, Professor Lethwaite was calling my name.
“Avalona Marvolo Quirrell.”
The students all around me sucked air sharply in unison and I could practically feel their eyes boring into the back of my head as I gingerly made my way up the shallow steps to the wooden stool. The professor, who was petite, blonde and very obviously still in her twenties, smiled at me as I sat down but for some reason it didn’t quite reach her hypnotizing green eyes. I guess it was because all the teachers must have been notified about my enrollment. I wouldn’t blame them if they were nervous of me.
Tugging on the bottom of my school jumper, I sat on the stool, even though it didn’t look like it could hold anyone’s weight. It must have been centuries old, and it was made of crumblings grey wood. Several wood chips flaked off as I sat down.
Butterflies swirled in my abdomen. The hat was placed on my head and the drooping rim completely covered my brows. I was plunged into darkness as a soft yet gravelly voice filtered into my brain. At first I couldn’t make out the words, but the voice got louder and harsher until it finally snapped.
Ah, another hatstall! Do you know how many students nowadays don’t know where they want to be placed? Too many! Indecision is torture!
I didn’t know how to respond to that. It wasn’t every day that you get shouted at by an enchanted hat.
Oh, sarcasm eh? You better watch what you think kid, because I can literally hear your thoughts.
“I’m sorry.” I whisper.
The hat relents a little, and I can almost imagine that it feels a little regret at snapping at me.
Oh, it’s not your fault. I’m just a bitter old hat.
He pauses. Can a hat be referred to as ‘he’? His voice is certainly male.
Do me a favour would you? Your thoughts are interfering with my ability to sort you. Would you mind trying to distract yourself?
It’s an odd request, but I just want to get sorted and get down off this damn pedestal, so I oblige. Slowly pushing the Hat’s rim up off my brows, I study the remaining first years waiting to be sorted. There’s one girl right at the front with thick rimmed glasses and short brown hair. Her robes are faded and threadbare, so I figure that she must come from a poor family, but there is a hardness in her dark eyes. From the way that her upper lip curls upwards when she sees me watching her, I can tell that she isn’t as soft as she may seem. If I had to sort her, I say Slytherin.
In the back of my mind I can hear the old Hat humming as he tries to analyse my thought patterns, but I drown it out by focusing on one of the other new students, this time a boy with crisp uniform and short ginger hair. He’s not a Weasley. I know because he doesn’t have their trademark mischevious glint in his eye, but he holds his chin up and fixes me with a defiant stare. His shoulders aren’t tensed and his arms hang loosely by his sides. However, I know instantly that he is intelligent and arrogant. Definitely a strong Gryffindor contender.
I analysed a few more of my fellow students until the Sorting Hat was pulled abruptly off my head. I looked over to Professor Lethwaite in confusion. I didn’t hear the hat sort me at all.
“Ravenclaw, dear.” She murmered to me as she waved her wand over my head. The stripes on my uniform faded from black to blue and bronze as a warm wind ruffles my hair and robe. I was vaguely aware of the second table from the left erupting into applause but I was in too deep a daze to fully register that they were clapping for me.
Stumbling down the steps and making my way over to the Ravenclaw table was harder than I had imagined it, however I did manage to do it without making a complete fool of myself. I took my seat next to Stella, who for some reason was gazing at the enchanted ceiling and whispering things to herself, and watched the rest of the sortings. I was right about the Slytherin girl but the boy I thought would be in Gryffindor was sorted into Ravenclaw instead. His name was Andrew Tygus. He sat next to me after we were sorted. We didn’t talk for the first part of the evening.
After about ten minutes of watching the last of the newbies get sorted into their houses, the feast appeared on the table after a short speech from Headmaster McGonnagall. I had heard that the old Headmaster Professor Dumbledore used to give excellent opening speeches, but Professor McGonnagall was almost ancient- she had to be at least ninety, and I didn’t know how long she had been Headmaster- so her speech was considerably good.
The food really was excellent. Quirrell’s description really hadn’t done it justice.
There were whole roasted birds with creamy sauces and fried potato sticks that the muggles call chips (for some unfathomable reason), and mountains of other foods that I had never seen before. Pitchers of bubbling liquids were strategically placed all along the table, and I wasn’t sure whether they were supposed to be fizzy drinks or whether they were warmed through. On the table in front of each person a bronze plate, bronze cutlery and chalice, and when I glanced over at the other tables I noticed that the Gryffindors had Golden Utensils, the Slytherins had silver and the Hufflepuffs had glittering black. In the back of my mind a though clicked together that told me that these weer the secondary colours of each house. Clever.
Most of the plates on my table were empty and the students immediately started piling food onto them, but my platter already had a small vegetarian roast on it with a small bronze dish of white sauce flecked with green herbs. I dipped my pinkie into it and tasted it. Tartar sauce. Yum.
I practically inhaled the whole meal and I was half way through my second helping when I remebered that I should really try to talk to some of my new house mates. I tried starting a conversation with Stella, but she had now pulled a book out of her robe pocket and was reading it upside down, which was sort of weird, but then our food had appeared out of thin air, so I really shouldn’t judge. Instead I turned to Andrew next to me and another first year girl who was sat across the table from him. She was really pretty with her rich tan skin, dark almond shaped eyes and silky black hair that fell in a shimmering curtain down to her waist. She had cupped her neck with one delicate hand and was batting her eyelids almost furiously at the ginger boy. A feeling of immediate dislike settled deep in my stomach but I tried to ignore it. I was determined to at least try to talk to her before I started hating her. I knew it was mostly jealousy. I didn’t obsess over my looks like most of the girls I have met, but once in a while I did long for flawless looks, and this girl had that down to a ‘T’.
“Hi, I’m Avalona.” I try smiling at them and I have to focus hard to stop my stutter from resurfacing. It always shows itself when I get even the slightest bit nervous. Andrew turns to me and smiles back and introduces himself, but the girl stares at me coldly. Obviously she didn’t like me interrupting her flirtatious conversation.
“Oh, the daughter of that disgraced Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. I thought he died after Voldemort dumped him.” She sneered as I clenched my fist under the table.
“How. Did. You. Know. That?” I punctuated every word with acid. I didn’t think anyone would immediately connect my name with my parents.
“I’m Shari Chang. It’s my job to know everything about everyone.”
“But I’ve only just met you.”
She tapped her nose and smirked.
“Magicians never tell their secrets and neither do I. I’m going to rule this school one day.”
My smile turned bitter.
“ Well I admire your confidence, but I’m sure a lot of people will be looking to become prefects.” I manage to say without spitting. She snorted and tucked a stray stand of hair behind her ear.
“ I hope you aren’t talking about yourself. You won’t get anywhere with those looks. Everyone knows that the Ravenclaw house are mainly known for their beauty. I don’t even know how you made it in...”
Andrew froze mid-bite and stared at her, leaving a chip speared on his fork suspended mid air. He had an absolutely gobsmacked look on his face. Maybe he wasn’t as arrogant as I had though he was.
“Actually Shari, the most well known Ravenclaw trait is intelligence and the application of wisdom.”
All of the students sat near us had turned to stare at Shari, most of them with shocked or scandalized expressions. I took me a couple of minutes to realise that it wasn’t Andrew that had spoken- he was still frozen and it was actually one of the sixth year Prefects. He had a shiny bronze shield badge on his robe lapel with a bright blue ‘P’ enamelled on the front. He was only sat a couple of students down from Andrew.
Shari looked at him like she had a sour sweet in her mouth. Her plucked eyebrows furrowed causing creases to pucker her smooth forhead.
“That’s not what I’ve heard. My mother always said that all the Ravecnclaw girls were the prettiest in Hogwarts.” She laughed bitterly. “I mean, yes she also jabbered on about the value of intelligence, but who cares about that stuff anyway?”
She was met with more shocked and stony glares.
“What?” She grumbled and stared down at her meal. I didn’t know how she got into this house, but now that she was here I was pretty sure she was going to make my life hell. We were going to have to share a dormitory too.
I made small talk with Andrew for the rest of dinner. I discovered that he was a mixed blood wizard whose father was muggleborn, and that both his parents were in Ravenclaw too. I told him quite a bit about myself too, but obviously not the other half of my parentage. I just told him that Quirrell was a lone father.
By the time that McGonnagall dismissed us to our dormitories, I was stuffed with vegetarian food and my throat hurt from laughing. Andrew it turns out was quite the comedian. The prefects herded us out of the Great Hall and coralled us to the Ravenclaw tower. I tried to memorise the way but Stella kept walking into me with her nose stuck in her upside down book, and Andrew kept trying (and succeeding) to make me laugh. Instead of remembering how to get to my new living quarters, I just followed the general crowd until the other first years in front of me clustered around yet another grand oaken door. The male prefect that had scolded Shari earlier stood infront of the door and adressed us. He ran a hand through his short sandy hair before speaking.
“Most of the other houses have specific passwords that allow them access to their respective common rooms and dormitories, Ravenclaw doesn’t. To prove our natural intelligence and wit, you will have to answer a question to get into the Ravenclaw Tower. The questions will be different each time and will test your ability to think on your feet. If you can’t answer it, then you have to wait for someone to come along who can. Any questions?”
No one spoke or raised their hands, so the prefect turned to the door and asked for a question. On the door was a knocker shaped like an eagle mid flight and as we watched it, it started to speak. The eagle itself didn’t move but an eerie voice eminated from somewhere inside it.
Why is a Raven like a Writing desk?
I had to choke back my laughter. That particular riddle had confused muggles for centuries, but I guess that wizards had know the answer all along, as the Prefect barked an answer and the door swung open.
We all crammed through the once wide, but now all-too narrow door way and spilled into the wide circular common room.
My jaw dropped.
 

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