Leto Sagitta and the Wizards of London | BEING REWRITTEN

will ATTEMPT to post first rewritten chapter by august

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3. THE SORTING HAT

The door swung open at once. A tall, black-haired witch in emerald-green robes stood there. She had a stern face, and my first thought was that she was like Ares. Someone you did not want to mess with.

“The firs’ years, Professor McGonagall,” said the huge man.

“Thank you, Hagrid. I will take them from here.”

Professor McGonagall pulled the door wide. The entrance hall was bigger than the dining pavilion back at Camp Half-Blood, and that meant it was big. The stone walls were lit with flaming torches like the ones at Gringotts, the ceiling was too high to make out, and a magnificent marble staircase facing them led to the upper floors. Annabeth would be so jealous if I ever told her about this place.

We followed Professor McGonagall across the flagged stone floor. I could hear the drone of hundreds of voices from the doorway to the right 一 the rest of the school must already be inside 一 but Professor McGonagall led us into a small, empty chamber off the hall. We crowded in, standing too close together for my preference. Many of the others were peering around nervously as if Professor McGonagall was going to whip out a spear and murder us all.

“Welcome to Hogwarts,” said Professor McGonagall. “The start-of-term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your Houses. The Sorting is a very important ceremony because, while you are here, your House will be something like your family within Hogwarts. You will have classes with the rest of your House, sleep in your House dormitory, and spend free time in your House common room.

“The four Houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each House has its own noble history and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your House points, while and rule-breaking will lose House points. At the end of the year, the House with the most points is awarded the House Cup, a great honor. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever House becomes yours.

“The Sorting Ceremony will take place in a few minutes in front of the rest of the school. I suggest you all smarten yourselves up as much as you can while you are waiting.”

Professor McGonagall’s eyes lingered for a moment on Neville’s cloak, which was fastened under his left ear, and on some dirt smudged on a red head’s nose. One or two students nervously fixed themselves up.

“I shall return when we are ready for you,” said Professor McGonagall. “Please wait quietly.”

She left the chamber.

No one was talking much except for Hermione, who was whispering very fast about all the spells she’d learned and wondering which one she’d needed. Now that I was at Hogwarts, I wasn’t really as nervous as I was before.

Then something happened that made many people jump a foot in the air, and scream.

“What the 一?”

Many people gasped, and I turned towards to commotion. About twenty ghosts had just streamed through the back wall. Never in the four years of living at Camp Half-Blood had I ever seen a ghost. Pearly-white and slightly transparent, they glided across the room talking to one another and hardly glanced at us, first years. They seemed to be arguing.

What looked like a fat little monk was saying: “Forgive and forget, I say, we ought to give him a second chance 一”

“My dear Friar, haven’t we given Peeves all the chances he deserves? He gives us all a bad name and you know, he’s not really even a ghost 一 I say, what are you all doing here?”

A ghost wearing a ruff and tights had suddenly noticed us below.

Nobody answered. I just looked up and glared. Somehow I didn’t think that Hades was the one who let them back into the mortal world.

“New students!” said Friar, smiling around at them. “About to be Sorted, I suppose?”

A few people nodded mutely.

“Hope to see you in Hufflepuff!” said Friar. “My old House, you know.”

“Move along now,” said a sharp voice. “The Sorting Ceremony’s about to start.”

Professor McGonagall had returned. One by one, the ghosts floated away through the opposite wall.

“Now, form a line,” Professor McGonagall told us, “and follow me.”

Getting behind a black haired girl, we walked out of the chamber, back across the hall, and through a pair of double doors into the Great Hall.

I’ve never imagined such a place, it was almost as perfect as Olympus. Almost.

The place was lit by thousands and thousands of candles that were floating midair over four long tables, where the rest of the students were sitting. The tables were laid with glittering golden plates and goblets. At the top of the hall was another long table where the teachers, including Dumbledore, were sitting. Professor McGonagall led us up towards the table filled with teachers, and we came to a halt in a line facing the other students and the teachers sitting behind us. Hundreds of faces stared at us, and someone to my left cowered slightly behind me. Dotted here and there among the students, the ghosts shone misty silver.

Looking around, I saw many things that Annabeth would have loved to see, especially the ceiling which looked like the night sky.

Living at Camp Half-Blood, I literally lived underneath the stars, and even for me, it was hard to tell that a roof was actually there.

Looking down, I noticed that Professor McGonagall silently placed a four-legged stool in front of us. On top of the stool, she put a pointed wizard’s hat. The hat was patched and frayed and extremely dirty. If a child of Aphrodite were here, they would have screamed if the hat got a foot close to their “perfect” hair.

Noticing that everyone in the hall seemed to be staring at the hat, I watched too. For a few seconds, there was complete silence. Then the hat twitched. At that tiny movement, I almost had my dagger out of my shoe. Slowly, and unsuspiciously, I lowered my foot as the hat ripped open, near the brim, like a mouth 一 and began to sing.

 

The whole hall burst into applause as the hat finished its song. It bowed to each of the four tables and then became quite still again.

Professor McGonagall now stepped forward holding a long roll of paper.

“When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted,” she said. “Abbott, Hannah!”

A pink-faced girl with blonde pigtails stumbled out of line, sat down, and put on the hat, which fell right down over her eyes. A moment’s pause 一

“HUFFLEPUFF!” shouted the hat.

The table on the right cheered and clapped as Hannah went to sit down at the Hufflepuff table. Frair waved merrily at her.

“Bones, Susan!”

“HUFFLEPUFF!” shouted the hat again, and Susan scuttled off to sit next to Hannah.

“Boot, Terry!”

“RAVENCLAW!”

The table second from the left clapped this time; several Ravenclaws stood up to shake hands with Terry as he joined them.

“Brocklehurst, Mandy” went to Ravenclaw too, but “Brown, Lavender” became the first new Gryffindor, and the table on the far left exploded with cheers, and some catcalls.

“Bulstrode, Millicent” then became Slytherin.

Being at Camp Half-Blood for a long time, I was always one of the first to be chosen for anything. But because of my lovely father, I was going to be one of the last called.

“Finch-Fletchley, Justin!”

“HUFFLEPUFF!”

I noticed that sometimes the hat shouted out the House at once, but others it took a little while to decide. “Finnigan, Seamus,” a sandy-haired boy, sat on the stool for almost a whole minute before the hat declared him a Gryffindor.

“Granger, Hermione!”

Hermione almost ran to the stool and jammed the hat eagerly on her head.

“GRYFFINDOR!” shouted the hat.

When Neville Longbottom was called, he fell over on his way to the stool. The hat took a long time to decide with Neville. When it finally shouted, “GRYFFINDOR,” Neville ran off still wearing it, and had to jog back amid gales of laughter to give it to “MacDougal, Morag.”

A boy named “Malfoy, Draco,” was put into Slytherin before the hat barely even touched his too shiny hair.

There weren’t many people left now.

“Moon”..., “Nott”..., “Parkinson”…, then a pair of twin girls, “Patil” and “Patil”..., then “Perks, Sally-Anne”..., and then 一

“Potter, Harry!”

My eyes snapped off the ground and onto the blacked haired boy who was getting onto the stool uncomfortably under all the stares. He was the guy from my dreams.

Whispers broke out like little hissing fires all over the hall.

“Potter, did she say?”

“The Harry Potter?”

When the hat yelled “GRYFFINDOR,” Harry shakily took off the hat and towards the Gryffindor table, which was cheering louder than it had before. Although, a little less loud than the Are’s cabin.

With only five people left, Professor McGonagall called 一

“Sagitta, Leto!”

I stepped forward, and onto the stool. The last thing I saw was hundreds of eyes staring at me before the hat fell over my eyes.

“Hmm,” said a small voice in my ear. “Albus told me that I would get you. Said I had to put you with Potter. I guess that’ll make you GRYFFINDOR!”

I took off the hat and walked towards the Gryffindor table who was cheering. I sat down opposite of Hermione, close enough to hear everything Harry says, as the next person was called.

“Thomas, Dean,” joined us at Gryffindor. “Turpin, Lisa,” became Ravenclaw and then “Weasley, Ronald,” became Gryffindor.

“Well done, Ron, excellent,” said a redhead, who was probably Ron’s brother, as “Zabini, Blaise,” was made a Slytherin. Professor McGonagall rolled up her scroll and took the Sorting Hat away.

I looked down at my empty gold plate. I had only just realized how hungry I was, the toast and fruits I ate on the train seemed ages ago.

Dumbledore had gotten to his feet. He was beaming at us, his arms opened wide as if nothing could have pleased him more than to see all of us.

“Welcome!” he said. “Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!

“Thank you!”

He sat back down. Everybody clapped and cheered.

“Is he 一 a bit mad?” Harry asked Ron’s brother.

“Mad? He’s a genius! Best wizard in the world! But he is a bit mad, yes. Potatoes, Harry?”

My eyes widened. The dishes in front of us were now piled with food. I’ve never seen so much unhealthy food all on one table: roast beef, roast chicken, pork chops and lamb chops, sausages, ham and steak, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, fries, Yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, gravy, ketchup, and, for some strange reason, peppermint humbugs.

At Camp Half-Blood nothing was unhealthy. Even all the meats were lean and had no fat on them. I piled my plate with a bit of everything and I wasn’t sure if I should begin to eat.

Did I have to sacrifice my food to the gods?

Well, when you’re a demigod, you only live once unless you have connections. I picked up my fork, and being the rebel I am, I began eating.

   At first, I was really confused. It’s sad to admit, but I had no clue on how to pour myself a drink. Even Percy would have facepalmed at my stupidness. I whispered a drink name into my cup, but it remained empty.

It wasn't until I saw Ron’s brother pour a drink into Harry’s cup was when I realized that you actually had to use the pitchers that were on the table and pour it into a cup yourself.

Picking at my chocolate éclair, I listened closely to all the aimless conversations around me. Neville was talking with Ron and Harry about the first time he used magic, and Hermione was talking with Ron’s brother about the classes.

“So Leto, I never got to ask your this on the train, but why do you have a weird accent?”

“I’m from America.” If Hermione thought that I had a weird accent, she defiantly was not paying attention to Seamus when he was explaining how “me dad’s a Muggle.”

“From what I’ve read, only wizards and witches from Scotland, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales come to Hogwarts.”

Before I could reason with her, Harry clapped a hand to his head.

“Ouch!”

“What is it?” asked Ron’s brother.

“N-nothing.”

At last, the desserts disappeared, and Dumbledore got to his feet again. The hall fell silent.

“Ahem 一 just a few more words now that we are all fed and watered. I have a few start-of-term notices to give you.

“First years should note that the forest on the grounds is forbidden to all pupils. And a few of our older students would do well to remember that as well.”

Dumbledore’s twinkling eyes flashed in the direction of a pair of redhead twins sitting at our table.

“I have also been asked by Mr. Filch, the caretaker, to remind you all that no magic should be used between classes in the corridors.

“Quidditch trials will be held in the second week of the term. Anyone interested in playing for their House teams should contact Madam Hooch.

“And finally, I must tell you that this year, the third-floor corridor on the right-hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a very painful death.”

I laughed along with a few others. I’ve been told that nearly every year by Chiron. And nearly every year, I find out that the “very painful death” was actually a secret stash of candies and chips.

“And now, before we go to bed, let us sing the school song!” cried Dumbledore.

Dumbledore flicked his wand, and a long golden ribbon flew out of it, which rose high above the tables and twisted itself into words.

“Everyone pick their favorite tune,” said Dumbledore, “and off we go!”

 

As a daughter of Apollo, I got the archery and healing side. Not the singing and instrument side.

Everyone finished the song at different times. At last, only the redhead twins were left singing along to a very slow funeral march. Very out of tune, may I say. Dumbledore conducted their last few lines with his wand and when they had finished, he was one of the loudest clappers.

“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here! And now, bedtime. Off you trot!”

We followed Ron’s brother through chattering crowds, out of the Great Hall, and up the marble staircase. The people in the portraits hung on the walls whispered and pointed as we walked by. Twice we were led through doorways hidden behind sliding panels and hanging tapestries. We climbed more staircases until we ending at a sudden halt.

A bundle of walking sticks was floating in midair ahead of them, and Ron’s brother took a step towards them, they then began throwing themselves at him.

“Peeves,” he whispered, “a poltergeist.” He raised his voice, “Peeves 一 show yourself.”

A loud sound, like the air being let out from a balloon, answered.

“Do you want me to go to the Bloody Baron?”

There was a pop, and a little man with wicked, dark eyes and a side mouth appeared, floating cross-legged in the air, clutching the walking sticks.

“Oooooooh,” he said, with an evil cackle. “Icicle Firsties! What fun!”

Peeves swooped suddenly at us, and we all ducked. This man was going to be a lot of trouble.

“Go away, Peeves, or the Baron’ll hear about this, I mean it!” barked Ron’s brother.

Peeves stuck out his tongue and vanished, dropping the walking sticks on Neville’s head. I heard him zooming away, rattling coats of armor as he passed.

“You want to watch out for Peeves,” said Ron’s brother, as we set off again. “The Bloody Baron’s the only one who can control him, he won’t even listen  to us prefects. Here we are.”

At the very end of the corridor hung a portrait of a very fat woman in a pink silk dress.

“Password?” she said.

“Caput Draconis,” said Ron’s brother, and the portrait swung forward to reveal a round hole in the wall. We all scrambled through it 一 Neville needed a leg up 一 and I found myself in the Gryffindor common room, a cozy, round room full of squashy armchairs.

Ron’s brother directed us, girls, through one door to our dormitory. At the top of a spiral staircase, I found my bed at last. In the room, there were five four-posters hung with deep red,velvet curtains, a huge upgrade from the bunk beds at Camp Half-Blood. Our trunks had already been brought up and were laying in front of the beds.

Too tired to talk much, the four other girls pulled on their pajamas and immediately fell into bed.

Laying in bed for an hour, I just couldn’t fall asleep. Maybe it was the fact that I didn’t practice any archery or do anything tiring or that I was just jet lagged.

But I knew that I was going to sneak out, and explore.




 

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