'Hello, everyone! I'm Professor Longbottom, and welcome to your first Herbology lesson.', Neville Longbottom said to his class.
They where all inside a greenhouse, listening to their teacher. His tone was very friendly and happy.
'We'll be studying Mandrakes today. They're also known as Mandragora, and they look a bit like humans. They look like a baby when they're young and they mature as the plant grows. Not only do they resemble to humans, but their behavior is similar. When I was at Hogwarts, they threw a party, a behavior quite similar to the one of a teenager and they can even have acne. They can be used in Potions and as a cure for Petrification. Both Dugbogs and Flesh-Eating Slugs feed on it. Its cry can be fatal, when it's mature, and it isn't at all pleasant when it's young. It can knock you out for a couple of hours if you're not paying attention. It's very similar to the scream of a banshee. Now, I gave you all earmuffs at the beginning of the class. Place them on your head, and, after everyone's ready, you're going to pull them out of their roots, understand? Brilliant, let's go.', he said, putting his own earmuffs on.
The students followed his example, and soon the Mandrakes were screaming. Teddy didn't remember ever hearing something as horrible as their screams. He placed it into the other pot and the screams finally ended.
'Thank Merlin it stopped. It was bloody horrible!', Felix whispered to Ted.
'Well, um.., well done, everybody. That'll be 6 points to each house. Luckily no one fainted. Wonderful. Well, you're free, as far as I remember, you have Potions next.', he said, 'Bloody hard class, Potions. I was never good at it.', he added, whispering.The few students who heard him laughed and left the greenhouse.
The boys did as well, and as they were heading towards Potions, they saw Victoire leaving a classroom.
'Hey, Teddy, Felix! How was your day so far? History of Magic is quite interesting. How's Flying?'
They told her about their lessons, and they soon entered the Potions classroom.
'Good afternoon, class. I am Professor Slughorn, and welcome to Potions!', the short, fat man, who seemed to be their Potions teacher said, 'Ah, Mr. Lupin, am I right? I knew your parents quite well, you know. Excellent student, your father. And your mother as well. You're welcome to join me and some of my students at my dinners. I have some kind of a club.' Slughorn giggled. 'You're welcome as well, Miss Weasley.'
A few of the other first years looked at them weirdly, and Teddy saw Victoire blushing. He wasn't particularly pleased either.
'Well, everyone, let's start.', the Professor said, and started telling them about different sorts of Potions.
The class followed as usual and so did the rest of the week. Teddy loved Transfiguration, Flying and Defense Against the Dark Arts, but he didn't really enjoy Potions or History of Magic, finding them boring. He trained at Quidditch with Felix every day after school. They were getting better and better, and he noticed Felix was a little faster than him. Teddy was happy for him, since he was better than Felix at Magic in general, especially at Transfiguration. The day of the Try-Outs was getting closer and closer, until it finally came.
'Merlin, I'm so nervous. What if I'm too nervous on the field, too?What if I screw up?', Felix said with a desperate tone, looking weirdly at his breakfast. 'I don't feel like eating..'
'Calm down, Felix. It's going to be alright. You're a terrific flyer, as far as I heard.', Victoire said. 'Now eat. You'll feel better.'
'Yeah,it's going to be great. You'll make it and you'll be a brilliant Beater.',Teddy added, even tough he was nervous as well.
He wanted to be a Beater, too, but there were so many other Gryffindors trying out, he started to believe he didn't have a shot.
'Come on, boys. We've got Defense Against the Dark Arts next.',Victoire said sitting up.
So did Felix and Ted, and soon, they reached the classroom.
Teddy liked Defense Against the Dark Arts a lot. The teacher was really nice, even tough she used to be in Slytherin. She was a really young lady, with light brown hair, always tied up in a loop and piercing green eyes. She laughed a lot, especially at the students' jokes. Teddy liked her a lot.
'Morning, everyone!', she said, entering the classroom.
'Good Morning, Professor Hilaris!', they all answered in a not-so-synchronized chorus. Her full name was Anna Hilaris.
'Ok, well, let's start. Books at page 13, we'll be studying ghosts today.'
Teddy let out a quiet gasp. It was the one question about his parents he never asked Harry. Could his parents come back as ghosts?
'A ghost a disembodied soul of a once-living wizard or witch, left upon the earth. Only a magic being can become a ghost but in order to do so, after he dies, of course, you must be afraid of death, afraid to leave the actual earth. Otherwise, you pass on, into the Afterlife. Even though we don't really know what happens after death. Yet.'
Teddy's very, very small smile turned into a frown. His parents would never be afraid of dying. They were probably the bravest people he knew. Except he didn't know them.
His eyes became glassy. He tried to focus on what his teacher was saying.
'Ghosts are a grayish-silver image of their living selves, and aren't material. They can simply walk through an object without causing any damage, but they can create so-called disturbances in fire or water. It's not very pleasant when a ghost walks through you, either, believe me.' A few students laughed. 'However,I brought a ghost, a Hogwarts resident, to be your example. I present you, Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, also known as Nearly-Headless Nick! He is the Gryffindor ghost, so half of you already know him. I would've brought the ghost of my of my own house, but the Gray Lady... Oh, sorry, Helena rarely speaks to students,except Ravenclaws, of course.'
Teddy saw a smile appearing on Victoire's face and he was once again sure she truly belonged in Ravenclaw.
'Anyways, here he is, everybody!'
The air suddenly got a bit colder, and Nick stepped through the door, even though "stepped" might not be the perfect word. "Flew" or "floated' is a bit better.
'Yes, the temperature changes in the presence of a ghost.', their teacher said, trying to somehow shake hands with Nick, but she soon let it go. 'Welcome to our class, Sir Nicholas, would you please make a demonstration?'
'Oh, yes, why not?', the ghost answered. He had a happy voice.
He probably doesn't get the occasion to show off every day.,Teddy thought, while watching Nick pass through a table. Nothing happened to the object and Sir Nicholas didn't seem damaged, either. The class clapped quite loudly.
'Well, Sir, thank you. Would you please sit down - well, actually just..float - and tell us a bit about..umm..death?
'Oh, yes, of course.'
'Thank you. Now,everybody, please ask Sir Nicholas any questions you want, but be reasonable.'
Everyone was shy at first, since asking someone about their death didn't really seem pleasant for the person, but finally a few students raised their hand.
'Yes, umm.. Sara, is it?',he asked, pointing at Sara Stillwater.
'How's.. err...' She seemed a bit uncomfortable. ' Death?'
'Oh, it's quicker than falling asleep.',Nick answered. 'It's something us ghost usually get asked. It wasn't at all painful, as I expected it.'
Teddy's eyes widened. It was what he heard from Harry as well, four years ago, when he first asked him how his parents...left.
'How did you come back,Nick?', he heard Felix's voice. 'As a ghost,I mean.Did you..um..decide to or...?'
'Well, it's kind of complicated,really. I never explained this before, but I'll try. They let the blade fall and I just..well, it was a shock, the last thing I remember from being alive is seeing a little child's face, full of terror, but the pain never came and I died, I can say, very quickly. I woke up after what seemed like a second to me and I realized I was in a white place.'
'Excuse me?', Professor Hilaris asked, She was listening to him as careful as Teddy, and probably all of the others, were.
'It was just a gigantic, white room. Well,I don't know if it was a room, I couldn't see it's end, but I think I could've walked and walked for ages without getting anywhere. It was just so very bright in there, I could see nothing, absolutely nothing, except for the immense amount of white and two doors. There wasn't anything too special at the doors, except for, of course, that they were the only thing I could see, in the middle of nowhere, but except for that, nothing. Just normal doors, like this one, or that one.' He pointed at two doors in the room. 'I don't remember exactly what happened later, it's all very foggy, but I chose the left one. Don't ask me why, I just knew. I was, I hate to admit it, afraid of death. Afraid of what lay behind the right door, because I know that's what it was. Again, I knew, without someone telling me. The afterlife. Wizard heaven. I have no idea. I took the left door. The door that led me back to life. Not my normal life. No normal life at all. I just remember falling and falling after I crossed the threshold, until I finally woke up in another room, but a room I recognized as my own. I couldn't feel my legs, arms or anything for that instance. I got up, I couldn't touch anything. But I got used to it, and it's not a bad life at all. The only thing I miss though is food. The wonderful taste of beef, pumpkin juice, all foods.' He sighed.'However, I came back to Hogwarts, my one and only home, now that my parents had died,too, and looked for Albus Dumbledore. He was and still is the wisest man I ever, ever knew. I became the ghost of my former house,Gryffindor, and,well, here I am.'
Teddy was truly amazed. He was sure, so sure, his parents had taken the right door. There was a slow clapping in the class, and even their teacher was a bit shocked. You could tell she never heard all that before.
'Any other questions?',Nick asked, after a while.
'The hour's almost over, but I think we have time for one more...Miss Weasley?',Professor Hilard said, pointing at Victoire, who had her hand raised.
'Do you look the same?',she asked, and then explained as she saw Nick's confused face. 'I mean do you age, or anything like that?'
'Not at all. I look exactly, and I mean exactly, the same as I did before. I even wear the same clothes. Sadly,that is. It reminds me of my death. But at least I don't have to see blood everyday I wake up. The Bloody Baron is cursed for what he did. But no, I never change, and probably never will. I look the same, and quite handsome,I might add.'
'Well, Sir Nicholas, thank you so much for everything. We hope we will see you again sometimes.', the teacher said getting up. 'So very nice talking to you.'
'Thank you. Well, goodbye,children and I'll see you in the common room perhaps,Gryffindors. Goodbye!', Nick said, slowly floating away.
'Class is over, everyone. Have a nice day, hope you enjoyed this class and, sorry, but you'll have a small homework: just a half of a roll of parchment about ghosts, so basically everything you heard today, due, let's say, in one week.'
There were no groans, since they all found the subject very interesting and everyone soon left the class.
The whole day followed as usual : next was Potions, then Care of Magical Creatures,which Teddy enjoyed pretty much, especially because of Hagrid, then History of Magic, Charms, which Ted also liked, and then finally,Flying. But this time, Felix and him didn't leave their brooms in their common room, but put on their Quidditch Equipment and waited for the rest of the students and the captain to arrive. The Quidditch Captain, a tall, pretty girl named Jessie Wood, was kind of strict, from what Teddy had heard (mainly from Felix, who knew from his "horrible" brother), but you could see Quidditch was her passion.
'Everybody, line up!', she said. The boys looked around and noticed that they weren't the only first years: there were two more, Sara, who Teddy had seen a lot lately, and a small,chubby boy, named, as far as he could remember, Edgar Bones, who turned out to be quite fast.
The took a tour of the pitch to "warm up" and then started playing a usual Quidditch game, being divided into two teams. Felix and Teddy were on the same one, who won, but the Keeper and two of the Chasers were chosen from the other team: the Chasers being Sara, Amber Lee, a second-year and Andrew Bell, a forth year, the Seeker, Jessie herself and the Keeper, Scott Xander, who was already on the team last year.
'The Beaters will be.. hmm.. well, they're going to be some new guys, first-years.'
Teddy smiled, but he was still worried, since Edgar was also trying out for Beater.
'One of you guys,' She pointed at the three boys.'Isn't going to be on the team, and I'm very sorry.'
She seemed nicer to them than to the other ones. Teddy figured she probably wasn't accepted on her first year, but then he changed his mind, realizing how good she was at Quidditch. She was probably just very nice sometimes.
'Congratulations, Felix Green!'
Teddy couldn't have been happier for him.
'You were the best out of them, but not by much, well done. The second one will be, well, it was a close fight, but, bravo Edward Lupin, is it?'
He couldn't believe his ears. He was a Beater! And alongside Felix as well! It was absolutely brilliant!
'Teddy, actually.', was the only thing he could say.
He walked, well almost ran, up to Felix and they high-fived.
'I'm sorry,Edgar. You were close. But, as I was watching you, I noticed you could be a fair Keeper. Y'know, Scott's graduating next year, so maybe you could try out.'
He nodded, quite happy, and walked away, alongside the other Gryffindors who didn't make it.
'Wonderful,everybody. Practice will be every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, at six o'clock on weekends and at five o'clock on Tuesday and Thursday. Got it? Great. I'll see you next time,then. Can I have a word with a first-years,though? The other ones, goodbye, everyone. Great work.'
'Thanks.', they all said and walked away,exhausted but cheerful, as Ted,Felix and Sara approached her.
'You'll need new brooms. I know first-years aren't allowed with them, but when you make the team, you are. Diagon Alley's the best place. Our first match will be in three weeks, so try to get them by then. Good luck, amazing work and,well,goodbye!'
They also left and the boys headed towards their common rooms.
'Guys!',they heard Victoire.'How was it?'
'WE"RE BEATERS! Both of us!',they cheered.
'Oh,Merlin,that's marvelous! Brilliant,that is!',she exclaimed as well. She kept on congratulating them, until she finally asked them:'When's practice?'
'Five o'clock Tuesday and Thursday and six on Sunday.',Felix answered.
'That's not bad at all. You'll have plenty of time for everything else.'
'We should go to sleep now. I'll see you tomorrow in..umm... Transfiguration,I think. Night,boys.',Victoire said, slowly walking away.
'Night,Vic.',they answered her, going up to their dorms, still smiling.
She was right, they should go to sleep. They were very tired and had Astronomy the next day, at midnight.