When Sofia finally returned home, she was surprised to be greeted not only by her parents and brothers, but by all of her cousins and her aunts as well.
"Your uncles have gone to rally support against Voldemort here in the north," her father explained. "As you know, the curse is passed through males and first borns only. Since I only have three sisters, none of their husbands or children are bound by the curse. My sisters will stay here where they are safe from Voldemort."
"And guess what, Sofia," Ollie said, bounding forward to give her a hug. "We get to go to Hogwarts with you next year!"
Sofia looked at her father, praying this was not true. She wanted her family as far away from Voldemort as possible. With Dumbledore dead, he would certainly be close to Hogwarts now.
"All of you?" She asked.
Her father nodded.
"All who are of age; James, Julius, Lauren, Marcus, Evanna, Lillian, Ollie and Daniel. I have already had them enrolled."
"Yeah," Daniel said, walking up to his sister. "I can't stand sitting in this house for another year while there's a war going on out there. I want to be a part of it."
Her other cousins began to mutter their agreements, and Sofia felt her head spinning. They could not go to Hogwarts. They could not fight in this war. Did they not realize that they were all in terrible danger?
"No!" Sofia shouted above their excited murmur. "No one is going to Hogwarts next year."
"Sofia, let's talk about this calmly," her mother said with a warning tone.
"No!" Sofia repeated. "You can't let them go," she said as she turned to her parents and her aunts. "They'll all be in danger. Don't you see, Voldemort's going to try and take over Hogwarts now that Dumbledore is dead. You have to stay as far away from him as possible."
Marcus, who had always been closest to her, reached for her arm.
"No," she said as she pulled away. "You can't. It's too dangerous."
Marcus pulled up his sleeve and held out his arm, his Phoenix tattoo displayed for all to look at.
"You see this, Sof?" He demanded. "This isn't just a mark of the family curse. Otherwise we wouldn't have them. It's a mark of our bond, our blood, our unity. The people we marry and the children we have will never understand this bond. These tattoos don't bind us to Voldemort. They bind us to each other. We're all in this together, whether you like it or not."
There were murmurs of agreement among Sofia's family, and she realized that no matter what she said, she would not win this fight. They were going, whether she liked it or not.
"Well since I'm outnumbered," she said dryly. "I guess you all are going. But what are you going to do about bring sorted into houses?"
"I'll rejoin Slytherin," he said. "Evanna will be sorted with the other first years. Professor McGonagall is coming by today to sort everyone else."
Just as he was saying that, the fireplace began to crackle and the older witch came crawling out, carrying the old sorting hat in her hands.
"Good afternoon," she said pleasantly. "I do hate to rush things, but I do not have much time. Now, this is most unusual, but these are strange times. Come, let us begin."
She motioned for everyone to sit down and they did so. The adults sat on one side of the room. The children sat on the other in chronological order.
"Now," McGonagall began. "Evanna you will be eleven at the start of term, the age of our first years, but we are going to go ahead and sort you now."
She placed the hat on Evanna's head.
"Ah," the sorting hat began. "More Adema's. You are a bright one, you are, a very quick thinker. We'll put you in Ravenclaw."
McGonagall continued down the line. Lillian joined Evanna in Ravenclaw. Ollie and the twins joined Daniel in Slytherin. Marcus and James were placed in Gryffindor with Sofia.
"Now," Professor McGonagall said once the hat finished with James. "I believe you all have been divided so that you can join the Houses together. Never before has Hogwarts had so many members of one family together before at one time. It is my understanding that you all carry the Adema name, even though you married into other families."
Sofia's father nodded.
"It is custom that the Adema name sticks through one generation of all children so that the prestige is preserved. Once my nieces marry, they will assume the names of their husbands."
"Yes, well, I expect that you stay connected by more than just your name next year. Troubling times are ahead of us, and we must stick close to those we love."
McGonagall stepped close to Sofia's father and bent over to whisper in his ear.
"I cannot say I agree with your decision, Carston, to be so far from your children, but I shall do all I can to keep them say."
He stood up and reached out a hand. As she shook it, he said "thank you, Minerva. Let me know if you need anything at all."
McGonagall nodded and then stepped into the fireplace, disappearing as quickly as she had come.
This is the end of this book. The next one will be up soon, so don't fret too much. Keep up the support!!! If you haven't already, I encourage you to read the first two books in Sofia's story.