The great hall exploded with noise as the students rushed to grab some of the endless food supplied for them. Gem picked at her food that she'd piled onto her place, savouring the flavour.
"I'm glad I know someone in this house." Gem froze and looked at the boy beside her. Feeling her face heat up she nodded and did her best to hide behind a curtain of her hair
"You're very quiet," Percy commented, Gem almost scoffed. If only he knew what she could be like once someone got to know her. "You can talk to me, ya know."
"Yeah," she stated timidly "I know."
"So, this is some pretty good food," Percy said earning a grin and a small giggle from the girl
"I guess so, are you usually so... " Gem tried to find the right word.
"Awesome?" Percy provided. "Amazing? Usually, yes I am."
Gem sighed and looked over to the Ravenclaw table in an attempt to spot her friend.
Adara was almost inhaling her food. She didn't even notice that a first year girl was trying to get her attention until she actually raised her voice.
"Hey," she said. "I uh... Saw you talking to Sherlock before the sorting."
"Yeah," Adara replied. " He wasn't very talkative, though."
"I know. He can be friendly when he wants to be, though," the girl told Adara.
"You sound like you know him," Adara observed.
"We're neighbors," she answered, tightening the ponytail her long brown hair was in. "I sometimes see him and John around. They're always together. They're inseparable."
“You're telling me that he actually socializes with people other than his reflection?” Adara said.
The girl beside her giggled “You’re funny,” she commented.
I wasn’t joking, but alright.
The girl beside her gasped slightly, “Oh, I almost forgot. I’m Molly, Molly Hooper,” she smiled. Adara introduced herself and the two girls continued chatting until the food disappeared off the plates and McGonagall stood again clearing her throat as the hall fell silent.
"You may all proceed to your respective dormitories, your prefects will lead you. Have a good nights rest, I hope you are all excited to start a new year at Hogwarts."
The Students started to talk to each other excitedly, some getting out of their seats scrambling to say goodnight to their friends in other houses.
"Adara!" called a voice that was now familiar to the Hufflepuff. Turning to face Gem, she was surprised to see Percy beside her.
Adara gave a mock gasp. "So your voice can be louder than a squeak!"
"Ha ha very funny," Gem said, blushing slightly. "C'mon we have to walk together on the way to the common rooms."
Adara nodded. "Until we go separate ways, you mean."
Percy nudged Gem slightly and grinned at Adara "Let's go, people are starting to leave" He gestured towards the doors where everybody was attempting to squeeze through.
A girl with copper hair tapped Adara on the shoulder and pushed her forwards gentle "This way, Hurry now or we'll get left behind"
The trio walked towards the great doors, and were joined by Sam who was leaning against a corridor wall. The girl they had talked to before pushed past them, and this time Adara noticed the Prefect badge and Hufflepuff tie. She'd definitely talk to this girl again soon if she was a prefect of her house.
A hand waved in front of Adara's face startling her slightly. "Adara?"
"Pardon me?" Gem laughed.
"Sam was talking to you," she said "But your head was in the clouds."
.“Oh! Sorry, Sam. What were you saying?” Adara apologized, looking sincere. Sam laughed and rolled his eyes.
“I was saying that ‘cause you’re in Hufflepuff and I’m in Ravenclaw that we’ll have lots of classes together,” he repeated.
“How’d you know?” Adara asked curiously.
“Dean told me that the Gryffindors and Slytherins have lots of classes together. He’s been complaining about it for years,” Sam explained.
“Oh. Which one’s he in?” Adara asked. Gem cleared her throat.
“He’s the er... Gryffindor prefect,” she said, blushing slightly. Adara laughed.
“Oh, god. That’s funny. Well,” she said, noticing that the Hufflepuffs were separating from the rest of the student body to descend a flight of stone steps. “I think I have to go, but see you all tomorrow!” she smiled and waved as Gem, Percy and Sam headed up the stairs to their respective common rooms. Adara grinned. This is what she’d been looking forward to most this evening. She was intensely curious to see where she’d be living for the remainder of her school career. Personally, she’d rather been hoping to be in Ravenclaw Tower where she’d at least be above ground, but from what she’d heard, the Hufflepuff common room was notorious for it’s cozy, comfortable atmosphere. The Hufflepuffs had all stopped moving and were watching the prefect girl closely. She was standing at the end of the passageway where there was a floor-to-ceiling stack of large mead barrels information to make an impenetrable wall.
“This is the entrance to the Hufflepuff common room and dormitories. Now, watch very closely and hope you remember the barrel and the rhythm because if you get either wrong... lets just say it won’t be pleasant for you.” One of the students snickered.
“Yeah,” he said. “Unless you like getting doused in vinegar. The statement alarmed Adara, although she wasn’t sure whether to believe it or not, and she made sure to remember everything the prefect did to open the passage. The girl tapped a barrel in a rhythm and it’s lid fell open. The girl smiled and indicated the first years should start climbing through. Adara was one of the last ones and when she crawled through the barrel and landed in the room on the other side, she gasped.
The Hufflepuff common room was everything she’d heard it would be. The room was full of plush leather armchairs and couches upholstered in either yellow or black. There was a large mantle carved with what looked like badgers and above it, a portrait of a kind looking woman hung, waving and beaming at the students. various herbs and hanging plants were suspended from the ceiling, draping down out of their baskets like leafy chandeliers and little lights flitted around them like fireflies with four limbs. There were windows at the very top of the room and if Adara stood on tiptoe, she could just catch a glimpse of the hogwarts lawn underneath her nose. The prefect girl was talking again, catching Adara’s attention.
“The door on the right,” she indicated one of two large, perfectly round doors that obviously lead to other rooms. “Is the girls dormitories. The one on the left,” she indicated the other door. “Is the boys dormitories. Now I suggest you get some sleep as we will be starting classes tomorrow. Goodnight!”
“Goodnight, dears,” the portrait of the kind woman Adara thought was probably Helga Hufflepuff herself echoed as the students filed through.
When Adara walked through the door to the girl’s dormitories, she was met with seven identical doors facing her in a semicircle. Each was labelled, one for each year level and she went through the one to her far right, which read, ‘First Years’. Inside, there were two rows of very comfortable looking four-poster beds, each dressed with thick patchwork quilts, curtained with alternating yellow and black drapes and dark timber night stands. Adara smiled and flopped onto the one furthest from the door that was still free and stared at the yellow canopy.
Yes, she decided as she closed her eyes, savouring the feel of the mattress under her tired body. I could get used to this.
Gem winced as the stairs moved yet again, gripping onto the railing tightly. Don’t fall over, you’ll make a complete fool of yourself.
Adara had left them a while ago, leaving Gem, Percy and Sam to continue walking with the other students. After a while they had came to some staircases, that happened to change every few seconds. Sam had gone one way, so then it was only Gem and Percy that remained together.
The dark haired boy beside her chuckled slightly and held her arm. “You okay there?” Gem spared him a glance and nodded.
“Super,” she said, then jolted slightly as the staircase stopped. “Oh, thank gods.”
People began to halt almost as soon as they started
“Alright. All of you listen up, I need you to pay attention.” Deans called to the 1st year Gryffindors. “To get into our common room you have to say a password to this lovely lady.”
Gem stood on the tips of her toes to see over the small crowd. Dean was standing next a painting of a lady in a pink dress who resembled a opera singer.
“Flattery gets you nowhere, Mr. Winchester, “ she replied. “Password?”
“Gobbledygook” Dean replied smoothly, Gem watched in wonder as the painting swung open to reveal the Gryffindor common room. “Don’t forget that password, I don’t want to have to come rescue stranded Gryffindors.” Dean warned.
Gem felt a breath on her neck and heard a voice joke, “I hope you got that, ‘cause I’ve forgotten it.”
“Percy,” she whispered the the boy standing behind her as they shuffled closer to the common room. “I hope you’re taking this seriously.”
“Of course I am,” he grinned, sea-green eyes sparkling with mischief. “What makes you think i’m not?”
Gem was about to retort when they entered the common room. She immediately felt at peace with the warm and homely atmosphere the crackling fire and cozy couches supplied. Wide windows graced the walls giving a clear view of the night sky.
“Boys to the left, Girls to the right” Dean thought for a moment “And bewarned there’s a charm on the girls dormitories. Any boys who try and sneak up there… won’t be able to. I learnt that the hard way,” he mumbled near the end
“What about the Boy’s dorms?” Percy asked
“Well apparently females are more trustworthy,” Dean muttered “They can enter if they want, but don’t go getting any ideas girls.”
“Hear that, Gem? Don’t get any ideas,” Percy teased, Gem laughed and refrained from rolling her eyes. Instead she replied with a “Goodnight Percy,” and followed the girls to the room labelled First years. The dormitories were decked in red curtains and mahogany four poster beds. The windows opened to a vast view of the Hogwarts grounds from their vantage point near the top of the Gryffindor Tower. Gem looked around. One or two beds were taken so she rushed to claim one by a window before her other dorm mates arrived. Quickly, she changed into her pyjamas which she pulled from her trunk that had somehow found it’s way to her dormitory and climbed into bed. With a smile on her face, she closed her eyes and thought about how much she was looking forward to tomorrow. She fell asleep before the last girl had entered the room and shut the door behind her.