Hogwarts and the Wolf in the Fold

Voldemort puts a spy into Hogwarts.
Set during the year of the Half-blood Prince.

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15. First Day at Hogwarts

 First Day at Hogwarts

David woke in the morning to see the first light of dawn trying to break through the chinks in the curtains. He got up and drew them back. There were two windows, each as round as the doors in the common room and the curtains were again coloured with a black and yellow flowered pattern.
‘It’s like being a giant bee.’ He thought to himself and this was reinforced when he looked out of the window and saw that it was at a level with a grassy lawn. There were flowers just outside the window, but most of the heads were turning to seed. It was after all, the beginning of autumn.
After washing himself and cleaning his teeth, he changed back into his wizard’s robes and headed out to get some breakfast. The ever-present Dusty immediately jumped onto his shoulder.
“You don’t have to follow me to breakfast.” He told him.
“Why don’t you take a look around outside and meet me later?” He asked.
He went back and opened a window and left it ajar for Dusty to come in and out. The black bird looked at him dubiously, but then flitted out through the window.
David strolled through the common room and it was already filled with students who were sorting through piles of book, or filing into the corridor that led to the great hall.
He met Biggins at the breakfast table and helped himself to scrambled eggs and sausages. They talked about the coming term and Biggins told David about the quidditch season that would begin before too long.
As breakfast finished, Professor Sprout approached David and greeted him enthusiastically.
“Well, well, another year of studies to look forward to. I hope you have a good time here at Hogwarts. I’ve brought your timetable for this year and it covers the subjects that you chose when you applied to come over and study here.” She said and handed a piece of parchment to David.
“You’ve got me for herbology, of course and Professor Flitwick for Charms. You’ve already met Professor McGonagall who teaches transfiguration and then you’ve got Professor Hagrid for Care of Magical Creatures.
David looked at the parchment and it turned out to be his timetable for the coming year. He hadn’t chosen those subjects himself, the real Davide must have done that.
The subjects sounded interesting enough and David mused that he must have had a lot in common with the French wizard. He then wondered where Davide was now. He hadn’t really thought about it before, but how did Voldemort get those memories out of Davide and where was he now?
He shrugged and told himself that Davide must have been told that his exchange had been cancelled and right now he must be sat in Beauxbatons, without a clue about David taking his place over here. He tried to suppress an inner grin.
Professor Sprout made her way out of the hall and David read through the timetable. He had the whole day off today.
He remembered that he would need to buy his books for the subjects that had been chosen, so he headed over to the staff table and waited for Professor McGonagall to finish her breakfast.
When she arose from the table and made to leave, he went over and spoke to her.
“Excuse me, Professor. I wondered if it would be possible to go into Hogsmeade today and buy the books I need for my subjects?”
Professor McGonagall looked at him and clicked her fingers.
“I knew there was something I had to do this morning. Sorry David, I forgot to bring you a copy of the booklist from Flourish and Blotts. I’m afraid there are no bookshops in Hogsmeade that would have those books. They need to be ordered by owl service from London.”
 “If you follow me up to the staff room, I will give you the order form and booklist. You can use one of the school owls if you like, unless your raven is able to perform that service?”
David was a little disappointed, but the idea of using an owl to deliver an order form intrigued him. How would it know where to go? How would the books get back to Hogwarts?
“Thank you, Professor.” He said and followed her up to the staff room.
He waited outside in the corridor as Professor McGonagall could be heard inside the staff room, rooting around in a drawer.
She emerged with a sheaf of parchments and handed them to David.
“I look forward to teaching you in the coming year. If you are as good at transfiguration as Fleur Delacourt, then you will find the lessons most agreeable.”
She smiled and closed the door on him.
David leafed through the booklist as he walked back down to the Hufflepuff common room. As he wandered through the great hall he passed Colin Creavey.
“Hi there, David.” Said Colin, in a flush of excitement.
“I just got my timetable. Have you got yours yet? I’ve got history of magic now and then potions straight after!”
“Sounds like a nightmare.” Said David and grinned.
“Tell me about it. Talk about boring. History of magic first thing on a Monday!”
“Ah well, only one more year of it then you can drop the subject forever.” David sympathised.
“Yeah, can’t wait.” Grinned Colin.
“How about we meet up sometime, if you don’t mind being friends with a Gryffindor?”
“Sure thing.” Said David.
Colin thought about it for a second, then said.
“How about the first Hogsmeade weekend? That won’t be too long away. I can show you around the village and we can get a butterbeer in the Hog’s Head inn.”
“Cool.” Agreed David.
“See you around then.”
“Yeah. Bye.” Said Colin and he hurried away, off to his first lesson.
David went back to his room to get Dusty and to fill in his order form for Flourish and Blotts. He then took the right amount of money out of the bag that Voldemort had given him.
He hunted around the room for something suitable to package his money and order form, but didn’t have to look far. The writing table was actually stocked with simple quills and black ink. There was also an ample supply of writing parchment and envelopes.
He put the items into one of the envelopes and then stuck it shut using a small blob of sealing wax that he hit with a sealing jinx. The image in the wax was a raven inside an intricately worked circle.
Dusty was soon back in the room, having got himself a snack and something to drink from somewhere out in the Hogwarts gardens. David watched Dusty preening himself in the sunlight coming through the window and then had to suppress a laugh when a pair of legs walked into view just outside on the lawn.
The legs stopped outside the window, turned around and then disappeared back to where they had come from. An idea then hit him, that he could gather more information by using Dusty and getting into the other house common rooms via the windows.
Planning it all in his head, he took Dusty with him to try and find the owlery.
He walked to the entrance of the castle to see if he could find anyone who could direct him. The place was empty apart from a strange-looking little man who was hanging upside-down from one of the chandeliers.
As soon as he saw David, his eyes lit up mischievously and he dropped like a stone to the floor. David gasped, but just before he hit the stone, the little man spun around and floated three feet up in the air.
He was dressed very oddly, a very loud striped suit with an orange bow tie, topped with a bell-shaped hat like an upside-down umbel flower.
“Oh what is this that Peevsie sees today? A lost little student? Perhaps we can have some fun?” He giggled madly.
David looked at him in wonder. ‘What on earth is this?’ He asked himself.
“Erm, can you help me at all? Asked David, not too sure that this peculiar little person had all the bats in his belfry.
“Oh yes, oh yes. Peeves is always ready to help new students.” He doffed his cap to David.
David was a bit dubious, especially as the man took a pencil out of his pocket and for no good reason shoved it up his own nose.
“Well, I’m looking for the owlery and wondered if..” He stopped short as the man took the pencil out and began tapping David on the shoulder with it.
“Urgh, do you mind not..”
The man starting barking like a dog, as loud as he could into David’s ear. Dusty flew up into the air in a fright at this. The man giggled maniacally, having achieved a reaction and chased straight after him.
“Peeves!” A cry came from behind David and he looked round to see the caretaker Filtch running towards him as fast as he could, followed closely by a scrawny long-haired cat.
The little man whooped with delight and swerved away from Dusty, up the staircase and out of sight. He could be heard banging against the walls and cackling madly.
The gangly man approached David and put his hand on his shoulder, as he bent over gasping for breath. Wheezing heavily, it took a good minute for him to recover enough to be able to speak.
“What were you doing with that nuisance of a poltergeist, Peeves?” He finally managed to ask.
“Poltergeist? I just wanted to know the way to the owlery.” David explained.
“Here, I don’t know you, do I? Who are you” He asked and prodded David in the chest.
“David Bertillon. I’m here on exchange from Beauxbatons. Why do you want to know?”
“The French kid, eh? Well, I’m Argus Filch the school caretaker and it’s my job to ask questions around here and to keep the place clean and tidy.”
David flinched as the man put his face close up to his.
“If you stick to the rules then we’ll get on very well. Just stay away from Peeves and let me know if you see him breaking anything or writing where he shouldn’t.
David nodded.
“Quickest way to the owlery is out the front door, its round at the top of the west tower.”
He grabbed hold of his coat-tails and began to shuffle up the stairs in pursuit of Peeves.
“Come on, my sweet. We’ll get him yet.” He called back to the cat, which was at that moment following Dusty as he floated down onto David’s shoulder.
David shook his head and walked out into the sunshine.
He had to walk quite away along the path that skirted around the castle and for the first time he got a good look at the place.
It was huge and obviously very old, many hundreds of years by the look of it. The stone was weathered and beaten, but the blocks were big and it was obvious that it would last for as many years again.
There were very many windows along the walls and up in the towers and turrets that sprung up along the top of the roofs. There were many of these, as it appeared that the castle had been built-on and added to over the passage of time.
The topmost walls were crenelated and there were slits here and there for people to look out from behind them. The towers were like huge spires, some with pennants blowing in the gentle breeze that also freshened David’s face.
It was an awe-inspiring sight and David made a vow to himself that he would fly over the place at some point and take a better look at it from above.
He found the west tower to be a lot shorter than many of the others and it was dotted with openings without any glass in them.
Inside, he wound his way up a stone staircase that ran around the inside of the tower wall. Through an opening at the top, there was the owlery itself. The place smelled musty and was whitewashed with bird droppings.
There were cavities in the wall and these were filled with owls of different colours and sizes. They were mostly asleep inside the dark hollows, but a few had opened their large eyes and were looking at David and Dusty.
One owl in particular caught his eye, as it was a dazzling white colour. He called up to it, but it turned its head and folded its wing over, ignoring him completely.
“Thanks a lot.” He said.
“Is there anybody here who’ll take a package to London?” He asked, thinking that what he was doing was completely insane.
Eventually, a large brown owl fluttered down onto a perch in front of him and lifted one its legs out for him. I didn’t look too best pleased to have been aroused from its slumbers.
David took his letter and tied it to the leg, using the thin leather strap that hung from it. The bird looked at the letter and then raised and lowered its leg, as if trying to figure out the weight and balance of the load.
With a flap of its wings, it lifted off and flew out of an opening in the wall.
‘There goes nothing.’ Thought David.
‘How on earth will it be able to carry all those books back to here?’
Thinking no more about it, he headed back to the main building. He had remembered that Alice Chattox had told him there was a library in the school where he could borrow the books that he needed.
Fortunately for David there was no need this time to ask directions from a psychotic poltergeist. He bumped into another student, a round-faced boy around the same age as himself. He was also heading for the library and was keen to show David the way.
David found that the boy was called Neville Longbottom and that he was in the same year, which meant that they would be sharing some lessons together. It turned out that the Hufflepuffs took herbology at the same time as the Gryffindors. This meant that there was at least one lesson where David could see Harry Potter at first hand and maybe even meet and speak to him.
Neville took David along the stairs and corridors that led to the library and David tried to remember the route they were taking. It wasn’t easy as the library was up on the third floor and the staircases sometimes moved after they had got to the top of them.
Inside the library David found the woman in charge to be a little abrupt with him, but she did allow him to take out five books. Madame Pince gave him a quick tour of the sections where each type of book could be found. There was even a restricted section, where permission was required before the books could be referenced or borrowed.
It was a big place, with thousands of magical books available for view. David marvelled at the range of sizes, shapes and colours. There wasn’t much else to do before lunch, so David sat and read a few of the more interesting-looking volumes.
He flicked through the pages and looked mostly at the pictures, rather than reading the text. He found one book called ‘Elf Magic Explained’ by Tobias Eckeridge, to be quite interesting. There were several moving pictures showing an elf levitating various objects and of him disapparating.
David looked at the little elf and smiled to himself. He was wondering what Pinky was up to right now. She was probably trying her best to keep Ralf and Igor under control.
The library had several students in there and all were being very quiet, either reading books or writing on rolls of parchment. Madame Pince kept a very strict policy of silence and nobody dared to upset her in her own domain.
When the students all got up and started to make their way out, David realised that it must be lunchtime. His stomach rumbled in anticipation of what was to come.
Dusty yawned on his shoulder and David wondered if the bird had fallen asleep while he had been reading. He jiggled his shoulder up and down and Dusty gave him an annoyed look.
Down in the great hall there was another delicious lunch on offer. David chose stew and dumplings with a heap of crunchy red cabbage on the side.
He was joined at the table by a pretty girl with long red hair which was plaited down her back. She introduced herself as Susan Bones and told him that Biggins had pointed David out to her and that they were in the same year. It turned out that she was also taking Care of Magical Creatures and they would be taking it together after lunch.
“Tell me about the place where you live in France.” She said.
David told her about the chateau and the house elves that worked there. Susan was fascinated by it all and loved Dusty, who hopped from David’s shoulder and pecked hungrily at a loaf of bread on the table.
Susan told David about her own upbringing by her aunt and assorted relatives. She was a half-blood, meaning that one of her parents was a muggle. She pointed out the other Hufflepuff students in their year at school.
There was Hannah Abbot, a tall blond-haired girl who was chatting to a boy in their year that Susan told him was called Ernie Macmillan. The other two were also chatting together and their names turned out to be Justin Finch-Fletchley and Zacharias Smith.
When he had finished eating, David rushed to his room to drop off the library books and then returned to the dining hall to meet up with Susan and Zacharias, who was the other Hufflepuff also taking Care of Magical Creatures. They went out together and made their way down to Hagrid’s hut at the edge of the forest that ringed the school.
When they arrived, Hagrid was waiting outside for them and he had a huge smile on his face. The smile faltered somewhat when he saw that there were only a dozen students and his favourite three were nowhere to be seen.
“Welcome back, everybody.” He said.
“I thought there would be more of yer. Is there anybody else still up at the school?”
“No, we’re all here.” Said Susan.
Hagrid looked disappointed and temporarily flustered. He twisted his hands stared around at the ground before composing himself.
“Right. This year we’re going to deal with a load more magical creatures that you’ve probably never heard of, but the first months we’re gonna be concentratin’ on everybody’s favourite. The dragon!”
David couldn’t help himself and cried out.
“Wow! Dragons?”
Hagrid looked over at him and grinned widely.
“Tha’s right. Dragons.”
He suddenly realised that he didn’t recognise David.
“Oo are you?” He asked.
“David.” He replied.
“I’m an exchange student.”
“Ahh.” Exclaimed Hagrid.
“Professor Sprout did tell me, but I forgot. Nice to meet yer.”
He held out a huge hand for David to shake and pumped it up and down, causing Dusty to flap in annoyance.
“Wha’s that?” Asked Hagrid and pointed to Dusty.
“Oh, this is Dusty. He’s a raven. He’s my familiar.” Answered David.
“A familiar!” Hagrid’s eyes lit up with excitement.
“I’ve only ever seen two of them before. These are dead rare.”
He held out his open palm and Dusty hopped onto it. Hagrid’s black eyes twinkled as he lifted Dusty up to take a closer look.
“ Amazin’. I never thought I’d get to see another one.”
He held Dusty up for everyone else to see and said.
“Look everyone. This is a familiar. We cover these be-autiful creatures in year seven. They are really interestin’ animals and have loads of magical properties.”
David flushed with pride as Hagrid let Dusty hop back onto his shoulder.
“Well, I think I might just move the sessions on familiars to this year, after Christmas. It’ll be really useful to study two of them together.”
“Two of them? Have you got the other one here?” Asked Miriam Chadwick, a slender dark-haired Slytherin girl.
Hagrid chuckled in delight.
“Yeah, some of you might have seen him before. He usually stays inside the castle during the day, but comes out at night to hunt for doxies. He’s a very handsome creature. Belongs to Professor Dumbledore he does. Well, not ‘belong’. He lives with Dumbledore.”
They all looked at each other, but nobody appeared to know what Hagrid was talking about.
“He’s a phoenix, called Fawkes.”
There was an appreciative murmur from everyone and Hagrid looked pleased with himself.
“Anyway, enough of familiars for the time being. There’s plenty of time to find out about them after Christmas.” He clapped his hands and winked at David.
“So, dragons eh? Who can tell me which breed of dragon can be found in this country?”
Hagrid looked round at the students and a few of them threw their hands into the air. A clever girl from Ravenclaw called Hettie Bracegirdle was given the nod by Hagrid and she recited.
“ The common Welsh green is the only surviving British dragon. It is still to be found in the more remote corners of Wales and its diet is mostly sheep and wild deer.”
“Corr-ect!” Exclaimed Hagrid.
“Take ten points for Ravenclaw.”
David looked at her, impressed with this titbit of information. Hettie smiled knowingly and blinked at David, then looked down at a large furry book that she was holding. She stroked the book lovingly and it made a strange kind of ‘purring’ noise.
Hagrid took them over to a low building that had been erected not far from his hut. It had no walls, but was a series of upright poles with a mossy roof overhead. Inside it there was room for a large round table that could easily seat twenty or more students.
They all sat down and Hagrid took his place up by a chalkboard, where there was a series of drawings showing the life cycle of a dragon.
“You can all copy these pictures.” He said.
“From egg to giant flying lizard. The whole life cycle.”
He then seemed to drift off into some memory or other, smiling to himself as if remembering a happy time in the past. He was actually thinking about the time that he raised a young dragon from an egg, right here in his own hut. He’d had to give away the dragon when it got so big that he was in danger or being burned to a crisp in his own home.
On the table was an assortment of dragon-related objects. There were the remains of the egg from which his own dragon Norbert had hatched, along with four incredibly lifelike miniature dragons that moved and blew flames like the real thing.
Hagrid had managed to snaffle these models after they had been used in the tri-wizards trophy, in order for the contestants to choose a real-life one as part of one of the tasks.
All in all, it was a very enjoyable first lesson for David and he got to know Hannah and Susan a little better, as they were sitting at either side of him throughout. He didn’t have the monster book of monsters as a reference to work from, so he had shared Hannah’s copy with her and Susan. She had forgotten to bring hers.
The double lesson passed quickly and for homework Hagrid asked them each to write a half page of parchment on another breed of dragon of their own choice. David had a free period last thing, so he decided to go to the library and borrow another book.
Dinner that evening was a noisy affair, as everyone was keen to recall their adventures over the summer holidays and to talk about the first day’s lessons.
David sat by Susan and they chatted about Hagrid, who had fascinated David. Not just because of his enormous size, but because he seemed so knowledgeable and keen on the subject he was teaching. David loved animals and had always wanted a pet, so he could easily relate to Hagrid who kept a whole menagerie of them in and around his hut.
That night as he lay in bed, he contemplated all the events of the day and once again wondered to himself how dramatically his life had changed. There was just the smallest nagging doubt, that once again he would be taken away from his new home just as he was getting settled and beginning to enjoy himself.
He put the thought away, turned over and fell asleep.

 

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