My hair was still slightly damp from the terrible weather outside; I felt sorry for the first yuears in front of us they seemed to be soaking wet. Coral and I had managed to cover the majority of our heads with our robes, so our robes were wet but we remained dry.
I just stood in the line waiting to be sorted. I don’t think I’d ever been so nervous of anything in my life, the anticipation of waiting not knowing what to expect. The feeling altogether made me shudder. I glanced around the huge halls a row of four huge tables, everyone seemed engaged in the sorting, obviously it was something taken very seriously at this school. The corresponding house cheered when a new person was admitted.
Even though it was a mere thirty seconds of my life it seemed agonizing, what if the hat told me I didn’t belong to a house? What if the house I was sorted in wasn’t right? What if nobody liked me?
I tried to glance over to Coral for comfort, but she seemed in awe a beaming smile emitting bright light across the room. She seemed to be in the complete opposite mind set to me, she was a Slytherin as she had told me so she didn’t need to be nervous.
I glanced along the back of the room, seeing all the professors sat proudly at their tables. Applauding respectfully at the new students, there was a female professor – who I knew to Professor McGonagall – stood engaged holding a long roll of parchment that bear all the names. She read out each name clearly.
“Coral Day!” She called, with clarity. Coral adjusted her skirt and practically skipped up to the chair, and the hat was placed on her head.
“Slytherin!” It called, clapping erupted from the Slytherin table and Coral winked at me as if to say “I told you so” before, sliding gracefully along to the Slytherin table.
Then I realised I was the last in the line, that meant-
“And Romany Riddle.” She finally said, I felt my lungs shrivel and my knees felt like they were buckling under me, somehow I stumbled to the chair. Where I could see everyone staring at me inquisitively, they were all whispering among themselves: “who” “is she?” “really” “wow”
I felt the hat placed on my head astonished at its weight and I began to bite my lip, hard.
“Tricky, Tricky….” The hat murmured, I looked up towards the rim of the hat. “Well I see a lot of compassion about you but you’re also rather mature and sensible, wise beyond your years. Then theres the eagerness to prove yourself but…I see…I see a lot more.” It babbled, why didn’t anyone else get this babbling when the hat was placed on their head? I knew it! I wasn’t in a house, I was an outsider.
“I really don’t mind can you just hurry up and pick.” I said to it, trying to be polite as possible.
“Well then….Gryffindor!” It called, then I stumbled as fast as possible to the Gryffindor table. That was awful thank god I’d never have to do that again.
My nervousness of sorting was then displaced by complete horror, Gryffindor? I didn’t picture myself here; I was a clumsy, blithering, idiot…maybe I was a bit vain? I didn’t belong with all this lot, they’d trample me.
Before I could worry anymore, Dumbledore appeared at the front of the hall, everyone turning their attention towards him. I’d never seen him before; he had a giant silvery beard and glasses. He also dressed rather colourfully. He told everyone to start eating but I simply gazed in awe at him, he was so captivating somehow. For a moment I swear he glanced in my direction his eyes twinkling as they did.
“Slave Labour!” Someone screamed opposite me causing me to drop my spoon. I looked for the culprit and saw it was Hermione, who now had her arms folded strictly across her chest and her face resembled that of a child that had been told “no you can’t have any chocolate until after tea.”
No one seemed to notice this though as the clink of my spoon had gathered everyone’s attention. I smiled nervously and wheezed a sort of laughter, leaning under the table to grab the spoon and classically hitting my head on the way up. People were still looking at me not saying a word; I was so great at first impressions.
“You are rather clumsy aren’t you.” Someone laughed and it was Ron.
“I think clumsy is an understatement.” I replied.
After which everyone stopped paying attention to me and continued to vulture every last scrap of food. I just sat there to myself an amused look on my face. As the whirr of conversation died down, the rain thrashing upon the roof of the castle could be heard. I hoped there was no lightning or thunder; It frightened me dreadfully. I’d had enough drama trying to get in the boat on the way here; all the way along I had the horrific vision of me drowning and being eaten by sharks. After all I couldn’t swim and I didn’t want to start learning now.
“Now you are all fed and watetered I must ask for your attention once more. I take the chance to give out a few notices. Mr Filch the caretaker has asked me to tell you the list of things forbidden in the castle has been increased…” Dumbledore began, listing various toys and gadgets but I didn’t think anyone was paying that much attention to it. Even Dumbledore himself didn’t seem to be paying attention to what he was saying himself.
Scoping the room out, I noticed Harry staring at me with subtle intensity; My first reaction was to smile and raise an eyebrow at him as if to say “what”; He smiled and then shook his head in response looking away. Was there something in my teeth?
“It is my painful duty to inform you that the Quidditch cup will not take place this year.” There was gasps and groans from everyone at Dumbledore’s announcement. I sighed myself I really wanted to see Quidditch as I’d never experienced it before.
“What!” Harry gasped appalled, I gave him an apologetic look even though he wasn’t in my direction.
“This is due to an event that will be taking place in October, that will focus teachers’ time and energy bit I assure you it will be enjoyable for students as this year Hogwarts-“ before Dumbledore could finish, there was a rumble of thunder as the great hall doors crashed open. I froze to my chair counting in my head; I hated thunder. Then I covered my eyes at the sight of lightning; what kind of school was this? What did they think this was a cloud chamber?
“May I introduce the new defense against the dark arts teacher, Professor Moody.” Uncovering my eyes next to Dumbledore stood a man that looked like he’d been pulled through a paper shredder. Covered in scars, one of his eyes lopping to one side but then scraping around erratically; he reminded me of the mangled stray cat my Aunt Georgiana – who I loved very much - insisted upon feeding.
Well this guy knew how to make an entrance no matter how horrifying, but something about him seemed familiar. The way he stood the way he held himself it was rather distinct, even his expression.
“As I was saying, we are to have to honour of hosting a rather exciting event over these coming months, which has not been held for over a century. The Triwizard tournament will be taking place at Hogwarts this year!”
“You’re Joking!” One of the twins (I had no clue which) exclaimed loudly over everything. In which the hall erupted in laughter.
I’d read about the Triwizard tournament, my Granddad told me his Granddad had competed once and regretfully died. I think he was killed by a Griffin, although I may be wrong. He got a book out which explained the last twenty-four tournaments in great detail. I discovered it was rather brutal, no not rather. It was utterly barbaric!
I then shook my head disapprovingly at Dumbledore explanation.
“Whats wrong?” Ron asked.
“My Great Great Grandfather competed in it, he was killed by a Griffin. It ripped him to pieces, limb by limb.”
“Oh.” Ron replied turning rather green.
“Beauxbatons and Dumstrang students will be arriving in October to take part.” Dumbledore added. Beauxbatons? Beauxbatons? My mouth began to goldfish, opening and closing. Why! Why were they coming, were all of them coming? No this couldn’t happen; I couldn’t deal with Courtney Flores again I couldn’t!
“I bid you good night.” Dumbledore approved, before everyone got out of their chairs. Sluggishly I followed behind the pack of Gryffindor students.
“Romany Romany!” Someone called to me; I turned around to see Mia running up to me. I didn’t smile at her; I didn’t have the energy so I simply waved. “You’re a Gryffindor! I’m so happy!” She squealed doing a little jump up and down dance. “Anyway I pulled a few strings and guess who’s going to be your roommate?”
“Hmmmn...You?” I replied with fake enthusiasm.
“Yep, come with me Rome…Can I call you Rome?” She asked I’d never been called Rome before. The thing I got called most often at my old school was ”Riddle” rather spitefully.
“Rome…yes I like it. Paris, Barcelona, Rome speaking.” She giggled; I think I could start to like Mia. She was so humble and down to earth, yet she had that streak of fire which made her all that bit more interesting. “Anyway so now there are three of us, you, me and Blair. You see we had another girl Mabel, but she moved away last year. Now you can fill her spot!”
Mia began chattering excitedly about some of the happenings last year, and I smiled and nodded. I hated to be ignorant but I was distracted; All I had done since I’d come to this school was worry. Now I was worried about Courtney, Carter, Chloe, Carly and Brittany (an honorary member of the group) showing up. All they did was torment and embarrass me; if I wanted that I would have stayed at Beauxbatons. I guess I had till October to come up with a solution.
“So this is our humble Abode!” Mia exclaimed, showing me the room with an outstretched arms motion. There were three huge four poster beds in red for Gryffindor I assumed. On one of those beds there was a girl peering a pair of brown doeful eyes over a book she had been reading, she pulled the book away from her face, revealing the full of her face. She had rather small petite features compared to her eyes, her ash brown hair scraped into a ponytail. “That there is Blair.”
“Hi Blair.” I waved to her, walking towards the centre of the room. “I’m Romany nice to meet you.”
“Romany…That’s a really interesting name. It’s pretty.”
“Thanks, that’s really nice of you. What were you reading?”
“Really? That’s my favourite book.”
“Well I haven’t finished it yet but I must say it’s rather delightful.” She smiled, at me warming to my presence a bit more as she seemed a bit distant at first. I didn’t mind that she was quiet; sometimes you needed a quiet friend someone who’d listen, Blair seemed like a listener.
Just then there was a knock on the door, a rather frantic one. Mia opened the door and Nicol burst in.
“Come in.” Mia sighed sarcastically.
“What are you doing?” Nicole asked me, rather forcefully.
“Stood.” I mumbled, because she was scaring me a little.
“No I mean….Gryffindor! Really? I even made sure there was room for you to share with Zara and I, but you get placed in Gryffindor. Theres this randomer called Coral in my room now!” Nicole cried, as if it were some kind of disaster.
“Well I didn’t reall…”
“What do you have to say for yourself?”
“Um.” Nicole stood there expectantly, tapping her foot. I loved Nicole but at times she scared me, this was one of those times. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. “Sorry?”
“Tomorrow Romany! Tomorrow!” Nicole sighed, doing a watching you motion before exiting the room.
“Well she’s quite a character” Mia sighed.
“You could say that, but then again I wouldn’t be friends with her if she was any different.”