Adara awoke the next morning to the delicious smell of bacon, fried potatoes, black pudding, toast, eggs and any other breakfast food she could ever hope to eat. I guess that’s one of the perks of being down here, she thought happily. We must be right next to the kitchens. Remembering she started school today, she groggily climbed out of bed and dressed in her robes and brand new Hufflepuff tie, brushing her curly bob of dark hair into a respectable state.
“Morning, Adara. Are you going to head to breakfast now?” Molly asked, already dressed and sporting a tidy ponytail. Adara nodded eagerly.
“Absolutely! I’m starving!” she agreed and joined Molly at the door, walking into the common room and climbing out of the barrel entrance. The Great Hall was already bustling and full of noise when they arrived, students were talking excitedly to each other over french toast or scrambled eggs. The heads of houses were walking up and down tables, talking to students and handing out timetables.
“Adara! Adara! OVER HERE!” a voice screamed from the far wall and Adara turned to see Gem running towards her, radiant grin on her face with an amused looking Percy walking at a more leisurely pace, obviously enjoying the spectacle Gem was making of herself with the extreme greeting. Adara didn’t mind, though and laughed when Gem gave her an enthusiastic hug. “Have you seen the food they have on offer?” she asked in wonderment. “I hope we get to eat like this every day!” Adara laughed.
“Probably. The Hufflepuff dorms are right next to the kitchens so I could smell it from my bed,” Adara said. Gem laughed.
“Lucky,” she said. “I’d ask you to sit with us, but it’s not allowed or something so maybe I’ll see you later?”
“Yeah. See you later,” Adara agreed, watching her walk back towards the Gryffindors. Adara spotted Molly sitting at the Hufflepuff table and joined her, piling her plate full of bacon and scrambled eggs before she’d even sat down. “Did you get your timetable yet?” she asked. Molly shook her head.
“Professor Sprout should be coming back down here soon,” she replied, mouth half-full of buttered toast.
“Oh, good,” Adara said, tucking into her breakfast.
Not long after, some of the first years started pointing upwards and gasping and Adara looked up from her food to see what all the fuss was about. Hundreds of owls were swooping in from the rafters of the vaulted ceiling, letters or parcels tied to their legs or clutched in their beaks. Adara spotted a familiar pair of wings and waved. A beautiful young barn owl flew down and landed in front of her, picking it’s feet out of a small puddle of spilt syrup. “Hey, Circe,” Adara said softly, petting the bird. “How’re ya doing, girl?”
“She’s beautiful,” Molly commented. Adara nodded proudly.
“I got her for my eleventh birthday last november,” she told Molly. To Circe, she said, “So what have you got for me?” and pulled a letter from the owl’s leg, smiling when she recognised the handwriting as her mother’s.
Morning, darling, it read.
Just writing to see how the train ride went and to wish you luck on your first day. Ian is already missing you and your father says hello. We are also very curious to know which house you were sorted into, although whichever it is, we won’t mind.
Love you always and we’re very proud of you,
Adara laughed. That was so like her mother. She quickly pulled a small piece of parchment from her shoulder bag and scrawled an answer to her mother before tying it to Circe’s leg and allowing the bird to fly away. It was then that Professor Sprout appeared behind her.
“Whelan, Hooper, welcome to Hufflepuff house,” she said kindly, handing the two girls a blank timetable and tapping it with her wand. “These are your timetables. Good luck with your classes!” she told them and continued down the table. Adara glanced at the table, finishing her last bite of breakfast.
“So, what have we got first?” Molly asked Adara, peering at her own timetable.
“Transfiguration. With the Gryffindors,” Adara replied.
“Oh, cool!” Molly cheered. “And then?”
“Potions, with the Ravenclaws,” Adara affirmed.
In the end, Adara and Gem both agreed that Transfiguration wasn’t all it was cracked up to be - especially where the teacher was concerned. Professor Ariel Hemming had a very monotonous voice to be rivalled with Professor Binns, the ghost who taught History of Magic, and didn’t seem keen to do any demonstrations, instead preferring to give the students lots of theory homework in the hope that if they knew how the spells work they’d be able to perform it successfully first time off. Top this off with a twenty minute lecture on the importance of getting to class on time and being organized at the beginning of class and Adara and Gem were feeling thoroughly underwhelmed.
“And I was really looking forward to this class,” Gem sighed, gathering up her quill and parchment.
“I don’t think you’re the only one,” Adara stifled a laugh as she glance behind them. Percy had dozed off some time through the class and was sleeping with his head in his hands.
Gem giggled. “Percy,” she whispered, trying to wake him without grabbing the attention of the Transfiguration professor. As her first attempt had failed she reached over and shook him gently
“C’mon Percy, we have History of Magic now. Wake up” Gem sat back in her chair when that too failed “He sleeps like a rock apparently”
Adara whacked him around the head. “Get up,” she commented looking at the boy sternly.
“Blue jellybeans” He said, startled. The two girls looked at him incredulously and exchanged glances before laughing.
“Blue … Jellybeans?” Gem asked.
“Uh... Yeah? Why not? Blue jellybeans are the best,” Percy scoffed as if it were obvious. Adara and Gem exchanged another glance before Gem nodded. Adara frowned.
“I always preferred the purple ones...” she began before Gem smacked her lightly on the arm so she’d get a move on. “Well,” Adara said. “I’ll see you guys at break, I guess. Have fun in History of Magic. It sounds fascinating!” She then turned and left, joining Molly and heading down towards the dungeons, while Percy and Gem headed to the History of Magic classroom.
Potions was an interesting experience. The class was taught by a teacher called Professor Clara Oswald. She was one of the youngest teachers at Hogwarts and seemed to actually enjoy her job. She was charismatic, funny and made mixing things in a cauldron for hours sound interesting. When Adara walked into the classroom with Molly and Sam, (who was in her class as Hufflepuffs had potions with the Ravenclaws) she was greeted by an array of interesting smells. The Professor lead the class in, then let them take their seats while she made her way to the front of the class where a large cauldron was bubbling.
“Hi, guys,” she said once they were all seated. “So today, I thought we would jump straight in and try to brew something.” She turned her back to the class and wrote ‘Cure for Boils, p. 12’ at the top of the blackboard in a messy, sloping script. “If you get out the textbook Magical Drafts and Potions, the recipe should be on page 12. If you follow the instructions carefully, you should be able to brew a cure for boils, which may come in useful down the track, huh?”
The class bustled about getting their books out and setting up their cauldrons. After ten minutes of coaching the students on how to get their cauldrons ready and the fires underneath lit without explosion or inferno, the class was allowed to get to work.
“I think I like her,” Sam said softly to Adara as they set to work. Adara nodded.
“Yeah, she seems nice,” Adara replied. “Where are you up to?”
Sam checked his recipe book. “Adding the fangs,” he replied, then frowned. “Are they crushed enough, do you think?” Adara shrugged.
“Dunno. I’m probably going a bit overboard with mine to be sure.”
“Oh!” Molly said softly from Adara’s other side. Adara looked over to the girl to see she had knocked her mortar and pestle on the floor, cracking the mortar and spilling her snake fangs onto the stone floor. Molly looked like she was on the verge of tears but Adara smiled.
“Hey, don’t worry about it. We’ll fix it, you’ll see,” she put her hand up and Professor Oswald made her way over, tucking a stray strand of dark hair out of her way. “Professor? We had an accident.” Professor Oswald smiled and fixed the broken mortar and placed it on the desk, vanishing the spilled snake fangs with a wave of her wand.
“There you go, sweetie. Good as new. Nice work, you guys,” the professor said before walking away, humming a tune none of the students except the muggleborns recognised. The rest of the lesson passed without a hitch and when the lesson ended, Professor Oswald walked between the rows, commenting on the potions the students had managed to brew and exclaiming over the ones who had gotten them nearly right. When she got to Adara, Sam and Molly’s table she smiled warmly again.
“Good effort, you guys. It’s almost perfect.”
True, the steam coming off Adara’s was a turquoise green instead of pink and Sam and Molly both had concoctions that were slightly too purple, but the professor didn’t seem to expect anything better. She continued down the rows, exclaiming things like, “Oh, excellent, Miss Chase! See me after class,” or “So close, Donnelly. Definitely not a bad attempt for the first day.” When they were finally dismissed, Adara, Sam and Molly emerged from the dungeons feeling a lot happier than they had left the previous lesson.
Gem and Percy on the other hand had a terrible class. History of Magic was taught by Professor Binns. A Ghost that had died in the Hogwarts Staff Room, and continued to teach, presumably because he hadn’t seemed to notice he was dead. Percy (again) had fallen asleep to the old mans voice and Gem had dozed off multiple times, only to awaken when a Slytherin had kicked the back of her seat.
“I’m dropping this as soon as I can,” Percy groaned as they exited the classroom, his dark hair slightly dishevelled due to his sleep.
“Agreed, Do you know what we have next?”
“Lunch, I hope,” Percy grumbled. “I’m starving!”