View Full Version : Hogwarts: The Next Generation
November 27th, 2003, 6:11 pm
Well the title (sorry for not thinking of a better one) gives you a hint of when this story is set- a generation after the Harry Potter books. This story is based around Harry's son starting at Hogwarts.
I began to write this a few months ago, but didn't post it because I wanted to wait untill I'd finished it. Then I started back at school and didn't have any time to work on it, so I've had the first couple of chapters lying around for a while. Anyway, I thought I'd bite the bullet and post them on here, so that you lovely people can read what I've got so far. I really hope that I'll be able to write some more of this fanfic soon. If I do I will post it as I write it. I would really appreciate comments on this. Feedback Thread (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=21032)
My apologies again for not thinking of a better title. I just thought it up now, because I figured I'd need a title if I was going to post this.
November 27th, 2003, 6:13 pm
It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining down on Diagon Alley and there was not a cloud in the sky. Of course, amongst all the hustle and bustle of the crowds every single witch and wizard was getting way too hot and bothered. It was like wondering round an oven, Ben thought. He spent hours being dragged from shop to shop by his parents to pick up various school supplies and he was bored, tired and very fed up. Whist roaming the many different wizard shops of Diagon Alley, they had come across one or two muggle-borns shopping for their first year at Hogwarts. Ben noticed how much of a wonder it seemed to them. He thought this very strange, as his mother had dragged him round Diagon Alley so many times that it seemed no stranger to him than going to the toilet and about as interesting. His father however, had watched them with nostalgia. He had then talked to them for what seemed like hours about his first trip to Diagon Alley, getting his letter from Hogwarts, going through the barrier at platform nine and three quarters, taking the Hogwarts Express… He was still going on about his first experiences of the wizarding world. Ben was fed up with it. He was fed up with Emily’s winging about having to be dragged round with them. What made it worse was the fact that he had been looking forward to getting his wand so much that he had insisted on going straight to Ollivanders after getting their gold out of Gringotts. Now that that was done his wand was stuffed away in one of their many shopping bags and he had nothing exiting left to look forward to buying.
They were all sat outside the ice cream parlour, taking a break between shops. As people walked passed many of them stared at them. Ben was used to this. He knew that they were staring not at him, but at his father. More precisely, they were staring at the lightning bolt scar on his forehead. Every single which and wizard knew of that scar, every one of them knew that he was Harry Potter, the man who had twice defeated Lord Voldermort, the first time when he was just a baby. Every witch or wizard who ever met Ben knew that he was the son of one of the greatest heroes of their time, no the greatest hero of their time, for that’s what Harry was to the wizarding world. A reputation like that is hard to live up to. Ben had had to live with that his whole life. Most of the time he was really proud of his father, but lately he was beginning to resent him slightly. He felt that too much was expected of him. In a weeks time he would be starting at Hogwarts. What if he didn’t live up to people’s expectations of him? What were their expectations of him? Was he expected to be popular? Do well in class? Be good at quiddich? Or was he expected to be a hero like his father? He was worried that whatever people’s expectations of him were, he couldn’t live up to them. He was worried that he wouldn’t be able to live up to his father’s expectations of him. What made things worse was the fact that Harry was now a teacher at Hogwarts. He had taught Defence Against the Dark Arts since just a couple of years after he left school. He had been training to be an auror, but he missed Hogwarts so much that he jumped at the chance to go back and teach.
Benjamin Potter was a lot like his father in many ways. They looked alike for one thing, though Harry always said that both his children had their mother’s smile. Emily, like their mother, Lisa, had brown eyes, but Ben’s eyes were green like his father’s. Emily had thin brown frizzy hair, like Lisa whereas Ben had Harry’s messy black hair. Harry however, wore glasses, so one thing made him look less like Ben.
They were alike in more than just appearance. They seemed to think the same way. They both loved to play quiddich, although Ben didn’t think he could ever be anywhere near as good as his father. In fact they enjoyed most of the same things. They were very close. Everyone always told Ben how much he was like his father. Did they expect him to do things that his father had done? Did they expect him to be a hero too? Did his parents expect him to be brave and noble and do something incredibly dangerous like his father would have done?
“Harry!” a voice called from across the street. Ben recognised it at once as belonging to his godfather.
“Ron!” Harry replied “Come and join us.” Ron made his way though the crowds, followed by his daughter Charlotte. Charlotte was only a few months younger than Ben and their fathers had been best friends since they started at Hogwarts, so naturally they were very close to, having grown up together. They were practically cousins. In fact they shared a cousin, Sort of. Rachel Weasley was the daughter of Lisa’s cousin Andrea and Ron’s brother Fred. She was four years older than them, really smart and was in Ravenclaw. She had just been made a prefect and couldn’t help but brag about it every time she saw them.
Andrea, who everyone called Andi, was an auror. She and Lisa were really close and Ben and Emily always called her their aunt even though she wasn’t really. She was also an animagus, which Ben thought was really cool. She could turn herself into an owl.
Charlotte smiled at Ben and drew up a seat next to him, while Ron ordered them both an ice cream. Charlotte, like most of the Weasley family, had flaming red hair. The rest of her appearance she got from her mothers side of the family. She, like her mother was very skinny and very pretty. She had her mother’s bright blue eyes. In fact the only difference between them besides their ages was the fact that Anya Weasley had long blond curly hair.
“Where’s Anya?” Lisa asked.
“She had to work.”
“She’s been working a lot lately.”
“Well you know how it is with Anya.” said Ron. “She’s very career-driven. She does make a lot of money, which is a good thing, even if we aren’t getting to see so much of her lately.” Anya was a lawyer. She specialised in wizard law, but knew the laws of wizards and muggles alike and could represent anyone in any case. She was really good at her job, but didn’t spend much time with her family as a consequence.
“So what were you guys talking about?” asked Charlotte, eager to change the subject.
“Hogwarts.” grumbled Ben.
“So what house do you reckon Ben will be in then?” Ron said this like he hadn’t already asked it a thousand times and Harry replied the same answer as always.
“Griffindor, of course.”
“Ah, yes the wonderful Griffindor.” said Charlotte with a slight giggle. She and Ben had listened to their fathers talk about how great Griffindor was and how bad Slitherin was a thousand times over.
“I don’t know about that.” said Lisa. “There are some wonderful people in Hufflepuff too.” Lisa had been in Hufflepuff the year above Harry, but they hadn’t really noticed each other until after they left school. At least he hadn’t noticed her. Anyone who had gone to Hogwarts at that time could not help but notice Harry Potter.
“Well Hufflepuff are OK,” said Harry “but they are never really going to win the house cup are they?” This quickly descended into a big argument about which house was best and ended only when Emily interrupted them by suggesting that they go and see Ron’s twin brothers.
Ten minutes later they found themselves in Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, the magical joke shop ran by Ron’s brothers. There seemed to be a lot of noise coming from the back.
“Welcome.” One of the twins greeted them as they walked in. Then as he looked up from what he was doing he saw who it was. “Harry! Ron! Lisa! How are you all? Are you shopping for Ben and Charlotte’s Hogwarts stuff?”
“Yes, err... George,” Harry read the name tag George was wearing “we’ve almost done. In fact we just have to get Ben’s books and then we were thinking of getting him an owl. Urm, What’s that racket?” There was clearly rowing coming from the back of the shop, but they couldn’t make out what was being said.
“Andi got called in to work for something. Rachel’s been stuck with us, bored out of her mind all day. Her and Fred have been arguing non-stop. Shall I call her out here to see you?” he asked the children. “She’ll be dying to show you her new prefects badge again.” He said this in a mocking tone.
“I can’t believe she’s Fred’s daughter.” said Ron.
“I know,” replied George “She acts more like Poncy Percy.”
“Ron! Harry!” Fred had just emerged from the back of the shop. “RACHEL!” he shouted more angrily than was necessary. “Come out, your cousins are here.”
Rachel came out in a strop. She had long straight blood red hair and glasses with thick black frames. She smiled at them. There was an awkward silence. Both her and Fred were in a huge mood with each other. George tried to break the silence and did this by bringing up Ben’s least favourite topic. “So what houses do you think you two will be in then.”
“Griffindor” said Charlotte.
“Yeah, Griffindor.” Ben replied moodily.
“Now, now,” said Rachel “Ravenclaw is an excellent house. I’m sure you both would do very well there. I myself am now a Ravenclaw prefect.” She gave a smug smile.
“And we’re both terribly ashamed of her.” Said George.
“I tried to disown her, but Andi wouldn’t hear any of it.” Fred added.
“Stop insulting me before you start!” She gave them both a nasty glare. “Why can’t you just be proud of me instead of teasing me about it?”
“You’re my daughter. It’s my job to tease you.”
“You are both just jealous!”
“Why would we be jealous?” George asked.
“Because you two are the only ones in your family who weren’t prefects.” She turned to her father. “You can’t stand the fact that I achieved something you didn’t!”
“Why would we want to?” Fred was clearly still annoyed at whatever they had just been arguing about. “They’re all stuck up swats like Percy.”
“What’s wrong with Percy?”
“He’s a worthless idiot. He cares more about his career than his family.”
“Oh and you care so much about your family.”
Ron, Charlotte and the Potters tried to sneak out of the shop while they were arguing, but got in the way of Rachel storming out into Diagon Alley.
“Shouldn’t you go after her?” Lisa asked Fred.
“Nah. The girl needs her space when she’s in a mood. She’ll be fine in a couple of hours.”
When they had finished chatting to the Weasley twins and purchased all their school books, Harry took Ben to buy an owl. He brought him a large barn owl. Ben wasn’t sure what he was going to call him yet, but he was delighted at this present. Although Harry said that he got him it so he didn’t have to worry about him keeping contact from Hogwarts, Ben really knew that he’d brought it because he wanted to treat him. Ben had always been Harry’s favourite. Not that he’d ever admit that to Emily or even Lisa, but Ben knew it. Maybe it was because Harry saw himself in Ben. Harry wanted Ben to have all the things that he never had when he was growing up with the Durleys. He loved Emily just as much; it was just that he was closer to Ben. Lisa was probably closer to Emily so it was balanced out. Ben was just worried that he was going to disappoint his father.
Ben was lying in bed holding his new wand, looking at it and listening to the soft hooting of his new and still unnamed owl. Harry had suggested that Ben leave him in the study with his and Lisa’s owls, but Ben had wanted to keep him in his room for now. All in all Ben had had a good day. Despite his nervousness about going to Hogwarts, he was really starting to look forward to it. He had his own wand and an owl and soon he would be learning magic at the greatest wizarding school in the world. He fell asleep and dreamed of what Hogwarts would be like.
November 27th, 2003, 6:23 pm
It was a week later and the day that Ben and Charlotte would be going to Hogwarts for the first time. It had started chaotically as everybody got ready and made sure everything was packed. Harry kept nagging everyone to hurry up, but Lisa was trying to catch up on some work before they left. Lisa worked as a reporter for The Daily Prophet, the number one wizard newspaper in Britain. The house was always covered with her research and half written articles, the study looked like a permanent rubbish tip and Lisa always panicked when she couldn’t find what she was looking for. One of these days she was definitely going to have to get a house elf.
They had travelled to Kings Cross station by a normal muggle taxi. The taxi driver thought it was strange that they had an owl, but didn’t say anything and just kept giving them odd looks. Muggles were often like that when they saw wizards.
Ben had met up with Charlotte and (to their dismay) Rachel and they were now saying goodbye to their parents on platform nine and three quarters. Harry was going to travel to Hogwarts by floo powder later that day. Emily started to cry when Ben said goodbye to her.
“Calm down, Em. I’m not dying.”
“But I’m not going to see you for ages. The longest I’ve ever gone without seeing you before is a week and that was too long.”
“I’ll write to you all the time.”
“Promise. In fact I’ll send you an owl as soon as I get there.”
“I’ll miss you.” They hugged until Ben finally got on the train. Ben and Charlotte waved out of the window as the train left and Emily ran alongside it until she got to the end of the platform.
They found an empty compartment and sat down. It wasn’t long before they were interrupted. A nervous face appeared round the edge of the door. It belonged to a small black boy with gold coloured glasses.
“Urm, Hello. Do you mind if I sit in here with you?” The boy stammered as he asked this question.
“Not at all.” Charlotte replied in a welcoming tone. “The more the merrier.” She smiled. He seemed more relaxed once she had spoken to him. He took a seat.
“My name’s Craig Matthew Darcy, but you can just call me Darcy. I don’t really think I’m much of a Craig.”
“I’m Charlotte Elizabeth Weasley. You can call me whatever you want.”
“Benjamin Sirius Potter,” Ben offered Darcy his hand and he shook it.
“Wow,” he said. For a moment Ben squirmed as thought he was one of his father’s fans. “Cool middle name.”
“Oh, well Sirius was my father’s godfather. My dad’s parents died when he was a baby, so Sirius was the closest thing he ever had to a father.”
“That’s got to be tough. I’m an only child so my parents spoil me a little bit. I can’t imagine life without them.”
“I’m an only child too.” said Charlotte “Ben has a sister though.”
“Speaking of families, are your parents wizards?” asked Ben.
“No. I have no idea what I’m doing.”
“Well neither do we,” said Charlotte “and both of us come from wizarding families.”
“My dad’s kind of famous in the wizarding world.” Ben said this last sentence quietly, but the next thing Charlotte said wasn’t quiet at all.
“Kind of! He’s the most famous wizard of our time.”
“Really?” said Darcy eagerly “I don’t know anything about wizards. What’s his name?”
“Harry Potter.” Ben proceeded to tell Darcy, with help from Charlotte, all about his father and why he was famous. Darcy listened with interest, but didn’t act too much like it was that big a deal, which made Ben like him more, because he hated it when people made a big deal about his father’s fame. They then told each other all about themselves. Darcy was a bit of a bookworm and he always got good marks at school. He didn’t seem very geekish to Ben though. His father was a collage lecturer and his mother was a doctor. Darcy also tried not to make a big deal about his parents. Ben got the impression that Darcy’s also felt he’d got a lot to live up to. Charlotte went off with some of the girls, but Ben and Darcy continued to talk throughout the train journey.
They got off at Hogsmeade station and were greeted by the enormous Hagrid, who led all the first years to the boats to cross the lake to Hogwarts. Hagrid was getting old now, but he still worked as groundskeeper and Care of Magical Creatures teacher.
As the boats came into view of Hogwarts there was not a single first year who was not in awe. Ben had never imagined it to look that spectacular, even though Harry was always telling him it was. For the first time in weeks all his worries disappeared and he was filled with nothing but excitement.
Once they got into Hogwarts however, Ben was not the only one who was terrified. They were led out into the Great Hall by Professor Snape, deputy head and head of Slitherin house. Although they got on better now that they had been forced to work together for so long, Snape and Harry had always hated each other. Harry had told Ben that this was because he had hated his father, James when they were at school together. Ben was worried that Snape wanted to pass on this hatred to a third generation.
He didn’t have long to worry about this though, as the Sorting Hat was now placed on a stool in front of the whole school and sang it’s song. The rest of the school listened with interest, as the hat sang a different song each year, but the first years were terrified as they knew they would soon be sorted into their houses.
Ben was so nervous he wasn’t paying attention to the names being called out, which was probably a good this as he didn’t notice Snape working his way down the list of names and didn’t know how close he was getting to P. He watched as a blond girl was sorted into Hufflepuff, a dark haired boy into Slitherin, a tall boy into Ravenclaw, a small scared girl into Hufflepuff, Darcy into Hufflepuff, a red haired girl into Griffindor…
Eventually he heard Snape call out “Benjamin Potter”. Ben noticed he said the word ‘Potter’ with particular loathing. He slowly made his way up to the stool. He noticed that the whole school was staring at him. For the first time he noticed the staff table and saw his father give him a proud smile. He gave him a nervous smile back, sat down and put on the hat. It came down over his eyes, which was a relief, because no one could see how terrified he was. He heard a voice in his head.
“Well, well, look what we have here, the son of the famous Harry Potter. You live forever in your father’s shadow. You are desperate to prove that you are more than just his son and yet you lack a little courage. You have a good mind, but most of all you have a good heart. Ah, I know where to put you. HUFFLEPUFF!” The Sorting Hat shouted this out to the whole room. There was a huge cheer from the direction of the Hufflepuff table. Ben got up took off the hat and put it back on the chair. Ben was shocked. His father would be so disappointed with him. He had so much wanted him to be in Griffindor too. However, when Ben looked up to the staff table, his father had a big smile on his face. He was sure that he was just hiding his disappointment. He made his way slowly towards the Hufflepuff table. He felt so ashamed of himself. He’d failed. As he sat down however, Darcy gave him a pat on the back and a huge smile, which made him feel better. If all the Hufflepuffs were like Darcy then maybe it wasn’t so bad. After all, his mother was in Hufflepuff.
Ben was glad that he and Darcy were in the same house even if it wasn’t the house he wanted. They sat and watched the rest of the sorting. Charlotte was the last to be sorted and she was put in Griffindor. Ben was slightly disappointed that they weren’t in the same house, but was pleased for her. At least one of them would keep their father happy.
An old witch got up from the staff table and waited for silence. “Good evening everyone. I am Professor McGonagall, headmistress of Hogwarts. Firstly I would like to say welcome back to all our students and welcome to all our new first years. I trust everyone will make them all feel welcome. If any of you have problems settling in please don’t hesitate to talk to one of your house’s prefects.” Ben noticed that Rachel had a smug smile on her face as she said the last part. “Now that you have all been sorted into your houses, we will begin the feast.” As she said this, mountains of food appear from thin air in the middle of the tables.
A rumble of chatter broke out as everyone started to tuck in to the feast. Ben hadn’t noticed that a small blond boy with glasses had sat down beside him. This boy now spoke to him.
“You’re Ben Potter aren’t you?”
I was last time I checked.”
“We’ve met before.”
Ben looked at him closely. “I don’t think we have.”
“I know your aunt, Andrea.”
“How do you know Andi?” Ben asked.
“She saved my life when I was younger, just a baby actually. She used to be really good friends with my mother.”
“Used to be?”
“Both my parents are dead now.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.” Ben didn’t know what else to say on this subject. “You never told me your name.”
“I’m sorry, how terribly rude of me. I’m Timothy Jenson.”
“Do you like to be called Tim or Timmy?” Darcy asked
“Either. I’m not fussed. Who are you?”
“Craig Darcy. Just call me Darcy though. I’ll call you Tim.”
“Pleased to meet you.” Timothy replied. They shook hands.
The three of them sat chatting together throughout the whole meal. Ben quickly began to like Tim too. In fact the three of them soon felt like they’d been friends for years. Although Tim didn’t say much about his life, he told them that his mother was a muggle-born and his father was a pure-blood. He had grown up with his single muggle aunt, Sarah. Unlike Darcy, he had always known he was a wizard. However, he had grown up away from the wizarding world, so he too didn’t know a lot about magic.
Ben had got so wrapped up in talking to his new friends that he had forgotten all about his disappointment about not getting into Griffindor. He was reminded however when the feast was over and he went to talk to his father. Tim and Darcy went with him.
“Ben!” Harry gave him a big smile. “Well done! Hufflepuff’s a fine house.”
“Do you really think that?”
“I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t.”
“I thought…” Ben looked down at the floor. “I thought you would be disappointed that I didn’t get in Griffindor like you.”
Harry gave him a kind fatherly smile. “Ben I don’t expect you to be me. I expect you to be you. You are a wonderful person no matter what house you’re in.”
“Even if I was in Slitherin?”
“I would still love you if you were in Slitherin. Although I am glad you’re not. Hufflepuffs are much nicer.” They both smiled. Ben was glad that his father wasn’t upset with him.
“There are some people I’d like you to meet. This is Timothy Jenson and Craig Darcy.” They both shook hands with Harry. “This is my father, Harry Potter. He’s the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you both.”
“The pleasure is mine,” said Tim “I’ve heard so much about you.”
Harry smiled. “All good, I hope.”
“Well I’m going to be your teacher for the next seven years, so we’ll have plenty of time to chat. Right now I think your prefects are waiting to show you all to your dorms.” They looked out into the hall to see the rest of the first years gathering in their houses. The new Slitherins were already being led to the dungeons.
“Well it’s been great to meet you.” said Tim. He was just turning to go when Harry stopped him.
“Wait a minute. Did you say you were Timothy Jenson?”
“As in Harriet and Rufus Jenson’s son?”
Timothy looked down at the ground. “Yes” he said timidly. Harry looked shocked.
“It’s great to meet you, Timothy.” said Harry, still slightly shocked.
“Please,” he mumbled “call me Tim.”
“I wonder what all that was about.” said Darcy as they were lying in bed.
“What?” Ben asked, sleepily. They were the only two in their dorm who were still awake.
“Tim’s parents. Him and your dad were acting all weird about them. What do you think happened to them?”
“Don’t know. I expect he’ll tell us when he’s ready to.”
“Aren’t you curious?”
“Yes. I’m also very tired. I’m going to sleep. Good night.”
Ben suspected that Darcy would be lying awake for a while. He didn’t seem very sleepy. He supposed that Hogwarts must seem even stranger to someone who had never even believed that magic was real until they got their letter from Hogwarts. Ben thought about what had happened that day. He had made two new friends and he had been sorted into Hufflepuff. He was actually quite happy about it now that he knew his father was alright about it. He’d always wanted to people know that he was more than just Harry’s son. Now that he was in a different house from him, he had taken his first step towards independence. If he had thought about he couldn’t really think of a house he would have been happier in. Ravenclaw were all academic and Ben had never been too bothered about schoolwork and as for Slitherin, well, he certainly didn’t want to be one of them. Voldermort himself was in Slitherin. No, Ben was perfectly happy with the way the day had gone, now that he thought about it. With this in mind he drifted of into a peaceful sleep.
December 23rd, 2003, 5:24 pm
Ben was awoken the next morning by the sounds of Darcy excitedly quizzing the other boys in his dorm about magic and the type of spells they were going to learn. Tim explained to him that, growing up with his muggle aunt, Sarah, he had learned very little about magic, so he was left to question the other two boys who were already out of bed. The three boys were sharing their dorm with three other boys called Matthew, James and Liam. Matthew was still asleep, but Liam who was a pureblood and James who was a halfblood were both animatedly telling Tim and Darcy everything they knew about things like spells, curses, potions, transfiguration and magical creatures. They were just getting to the subject of animagi when they realised Ben was awake.
“Morning, Ben.” Darcy said in a cheery voice.
“Good morning.” Ben replied with a sleepy voice. “What lessons do we have today?”
“Charms first thing.” Liam replied.
“Then Herbology,” said Darcy excitedly “Ooh, and this afternoon, we’ve got Potions. I can’t wait for Potions. It’s seems fascinating!”
“Don’t see why you’re looking forward to it.” said James. “I heard that the Potions master is horrible.”
“Yeah,” Ben agreed “he was terrible to my dad when he went to Hogwarts. In fact he wasn’t exactly friendly towards him when he started teaching here either.”
“My father told me that Professor Snape is the best teacher he ever had.” Liam told them. James stared at him.
“But he favours Slitherin and treats all the other houses like vermin!”
“Well, my dad was in Slitherin. So was my mum.”
“Oh,” said Ben “you’re from one of those families. I didn’t think there were many of them left outside Azkaban.”
“There are more left than you think, but there are a lot of proud purebloods in Azkaban.” Liam frowned. “That’s why I try to be as much unlike them as possible. I’m so glad I got in Hufflepuff. My parents will go mental when they find out!” A wicked grin crossed his face.
There was a sound from Matthew’s bed as he woke up. The room had gone kind of quiet. Matthew mumbled “Morning” to them.
“I was kind of worried that I ended up in Hufflepuff.” Ben said quietly.
“Why?” James asked with an amused look on his face. “I knew I’d end up in Hufflepuff because I’m rubbish at everything. You’ve just got to accept these things.”
“H- Hu- Hufflepuff isn’t rubbish.” Matthew stammered nervously. He looked as terrified as a rabbit trying to cross the road.
“Course they aren’t” Liam piped up “Much better than Slitherin.” Ben smiled at him. He felt reassured by the fact that the other Hufflepuffs seemed happy with their lot, but it didn’t stop him from continuing to voice his concerns when they’d sat down to breakfast.
“My dad really wanted me to be in Griffindor.” He told them. “I’m worried that deep down he thinks I’m a failure.”
“Don’t be such an idiot.” A familiar voice came from behind Ben. “Harry would sooner be best friends with Snape than ever think you’re a failure!”
Ben turned around. “Charlotte! How are you?”
“Fine thanks. I made some new friends.” She gestured towards a group of girls who were chatting at the Griffindor table. “I see you’ve made some too. Are you going to introduce me.?”
“This is Darcy and this is Tim.” He indicated to his friends on either side of him.
“Charlotte Weasley.” She shook each of their hands. “Great to meet you guys.”
“W- W- Weasley?” stammered Matthew. “You w- wouldn’t happen to be related to-“
“Ron Weasley.” She had a rather impatient voice. “Yes. He’s my dad.”
“I- I’m just a muggle really - well I suppose I’m a wizard now - but I’ve read all about the two wars. I’ve b- been reading all I can about the w- wizarding world since I got m- my letter from Hogwarts. It’s amazing all the stuff that happened in the second war. I- I can’t believe I’m t- talking to the children of H- Harry P- Potter and R- Ron Weasley. Amazing.” He was rather breathless by the time he said this last word, but he looked at their expressions and added in a mumbled voice “I’m not normally this nervous. I’m just terrified because I don’t know anything about magic.” He seemed to gain a little confidence as he turned to Darcy and said “Have you heard of their fathers? They were heroes in the fight against Voldermort. Best friends fighting together to defeat an enemy so evil and powerful, risking life and limb to help each other out. How amazing is that?”
“So how do you two know each other?” Liam asked Ben and Charlotte sarcastically. Darcy, James and Timothy all giggled uncontrollably, but Ben looked to Matthew, who was hiding his face with nerves and embarrassment and couldn’t help feel slightly sorry for him. Nevertheless he hoped he would shut up about his father soon. He hated having people everywhere he went tell him how great the famous Harry Potter was and telling him how proud he must be to have a father like that. Ben had noticed that since he had arrived at Hogwarts whispers seemed to follow him around and many people seemed to be staring at him, but looked away as soon as he caught their eye. He hoped this would die down too. After all their were many heroes of the last war, granted none of them were quite as famous as Harry Potter, but they had kids too and many of them were at Hogwarts already, so Ben couldn’t possibly be that big a deal could he? He couldn’t be as big a deal as his father was. Nobody could ever be as big a deal as his father was and yet people seemed to think that he would be.
“What’s the matter?” Darcy’s voice brought his attention back to the world around him. He had been staring at the staff table, where his father was chatting to Professor McGonagall.
“Nothing.” said Ben “Nothing at all.”
The Hufflepuffs’ first class was Charms. After a long talk about different types of Charms they had learnt their first spell- the lumos charm, which makes the wand light up. Most of them had managed this OK, apart from Matthew who got nervous and made his wand flicker uncontrollably and Liam, who couldn’t seem to make his stay lit for more than ten seconds.
They were now making their way down to the greenhouses where they would be having Herbology with the Griffindors. Ben was pleased about this as it meant they’d be working with Charlotte and it would be nice for him to see a familiar face. However when they reached the greenhouses Charlotte wasn’t the only familiar face he saw. Harry Potter was standing chatting quietly to Professor Sprout, the first year Griffindors lining up nervously outside the greenhouse. Ben tried to pretend he hadn’t seen them, but then he realised they were talking about him and listened carefully “…of course I was absolutely delighted that he was put into Hufflepuff, it’s not everyday we get the good ones. You must be a bit disappointed that he’s not in your house, though.”
“Oh I’m sure he’ll be glad of that in a couple of years time, when he starts to hate me!”
“How could he ever hate you?”
“Believe me, all teenagers hate their parents at some point.”
“Well I suppose so.” She glanced over in Ben’s direction. He quickly looked away and pretended he hadn’t been listening. “Hello, Ben. Your father was just telling me wonderful things about you.”
“He doesn’t really mean it.” Ben mumbled “He’s just saying nice things because he’s my dad. I’m not really any good at anything.”
“Don’t put yourself down Ben.” Said Harry “You never give yourself the credit you deserve.”
Ben looked nervously down at the ground. “Why are you here?”
“I just had my new Griffindors for Defence Against the Dark Arts. I wanted to make sure they found the greenhouses OK.” He seemed slightly embarrassed as he spoke and he didn’t quite catch Ben’s eye. “Well I better be going. I’ve got a class of sixth years now and they’re just starting their N.E.W.T.s.” He rolled his eyes. “I’ll see you later, Ben.” He patted Ben on the shoulder as he walked past him.
“He was checking up on me. I’m sure of it.” Ben was rather annoyed that his father had had the nerve to show up before one of his classes on his very first day.
“I’m sure he wasn’t doing that.” Charlotte gave him a smile. “Harry’s not like that. He wouldn’t deliberately do anything to embarrass you.”
“It looked a lot like that from where I was standing.” They were in their Herbology lesson, sitting at a table with Timothy and Darcy.
“I’m inclined to agree with Ben on this one.” said Darcy “It did seem that way.”
“Well I’m sure he didn’t intend to embarrass you. He just-”
“-Wants to treat me like a little baby who can’t look after himself!”
“Look at it from his point of view. You’re his son. It’s hard for him to be around you and not want to find out how you’re doing.” Charlotte gave him a concerned look. “If it bothers you just talk to him and tell him to give you a bit of space.”
“It’s not that I want him to ignore me. I just want him to know that I can stand on my own two feet.”
“I think he tries his hardest to be closer to you because he never had a real family of his own when he was growing up.”
“I know.” Ben was a lot calmer now and he was starting to think a bit clearer. “Family’s always been important to my dad. I know he really just wants to make sure me and Emily are both OK.”
The four of them talked throughout the Herbology lesson and hung around the grounds chatting afterwards. When they sat down to lunch and Charlotte had to go and sit down at the Griffindor table, both Darcy and Tim told Ben how wonderful she was. Ben was inclined to agree with them. Charlotte was the best friend he ever had. She was like a sister to him. Not an annoying little sister like Emily was, but a fun one. She was someone he could talk to about anything and she understood him better than anybody else. Now that he though about it, Ben wished he was in Griffindor, not to please his father, but so that he could spend more time with Charlotte. Having Darcy and Timothy in his house made up for it though. Ben had also decided that being in Hufflepuff meant that people expected less of you and in his mind that was always a good thing.
Apart from his worries and nervousness, Ben had really enjoyed his first morning at Hogwarts. He was certain that he was going to love it there. Indeed, Ben had decided that the only thing that could possibly spoil it was Professor Snape. So far none of the teachers had treated Ben any differently in class because of his father. He was certain that this would not be the case with Snape. Snape had hated Harry ever since the first day he walked into his class, just because he had hated his father when they were at school together. Harry and Snape had quickly become enemies while he was teaching Harry and nothing changed when they started working together at Hogwarts.
Ben spent a good part of lunch warning his new friends about Snape. He repeated all the worst stories his father had told him about him. When they had finished their meal he even spoke to Harry about the prospect of his first Potions lesson. Harry wished him luck and promised to curse Snape if he gave Ben any grief. He also told Ben that he had found out from Professor Snape that the Hufflepuffs would be learning Potions with the Slitherins. This made Ben and his friends dread Potions even more. It was widely known that the Slitherins were not to be messed with. They were nasty to all the other houses and picked on everyone who they thought were below them, and they thought of Hufflepuffs as the bottom of the barrel. Worst of all, Snape was in charge of them.
February 12th, 2004, 6:40 pm
Potions classes took place in the dank, dark dungeons below the castles. There was an unpleasant atmosphere about the dungeons. Partly because this area of the castle belonged to the Slytherins and all other house members were made to feel unwelcome here and partly because, well, they were dungeons. It’s hard to feel relaxed in a cold, smelly place designed to keep people prisoner in.
The Hufflepuffs were the first to arrive outside the Potions classroom. The door was locked and Professor Snape was not yet there. The girls were chatting, but the boys remained in nervous silence. Liam tried to break the silence.
“I suppose he won’t be too hard on purebloods, will he?”
“Only if they’re in Slytherin.” Ben told him.
“I guess he hates muggleborns.” Matthew said timidly.
“No.” Ben answered. “I think he hates all non-Slytherins equally.”
“Even so, I think I’ll keep my head down. This magic stuff is all rather scary to me as it is.”
Darcy had just opened his mouth to tell him not to worry, when a nasty voice interrupted them. “Oh look, Alex. It’s the gang of useless mudbloods.” This voice belonged to a short skinny boy who had just appeared amongst a group of Slytherins. The boy called Alex seemed to be at the head of the group. He had jet-black hair and cold blue eyes, which looked merciless. He said nothing, but merely smiled nastily at the boy’s comment.
Liam went over to the boy who had spoken and gave him a disdainful look. “Didn’t your mother ever tell you not to use language like that or was she too busy locked up in Azkaban?”
The boy was about to react when Alex pushed him aside and surveyed Liam. “You don’t sound like a mudblood too me. Who are you?”
“Liam Parkinson. I don’t take kindly to people speaking like that to my classmates.”
“Parkinson?” He thought about this for a moment. “You’re a pureblood aren’t you?”
The boy extended a hand to Liam. “Alexander Flint.” He spoke with a kind of pride and smugness. Liam did not shake his hand.
“I won’t shake hands with you until you and your friends take back the comments about muggle-borns.”
“What? You mean ‘mudbloods’?” He smirked and walked over to Matthew, who didn’t dare to look him in the eye and backed away from him slightly. “He is a filthy mudblood.” He shoved Matthew, who then looked like he was about to burst into tears. The Slytherins all laughed.
“Leave him alone.” A large Hufflepuff girl marched over to Alexander Flint, with an angry look on her face. “If you want to pick on a muggle-born, pick on me.” She said this with a lot of menace in her voice and a mad gleam in her eye. “I’m Harriet Summers.” Harriet extended her hand to him, but looked as if she would break his hand if she shook it.
“I don’t shake hands with mudbloods. Especially fat, ugly mudbloods like you!”
“How dare you!?” Ben marched over to Flint. “It’s one thing using the M word, but it’s another to speak like that to a lady. Or did your parents not teach you manners.?” Harriet blushed slightly.
“She’s no lady. She’s a big fat pig!”
Harriet made to hit him, but Ben got between them. “Don’t give him the satisfaction, Harriet.” Ben turned to Flint. “Who the hell do you think you are?”
“Who the hell are you? Another stupid mudblood?”
Ben was going to reply, but Matthew suddenly gained the courage to speak. “H- he’s no muggle-born. He’s the s- s- son of Harry Potter.”
Ben’s looked to the floor for a moment and then back to Flint, who looked taken aback, but quickly regained his smarmy smile. “Really? You’re the little runt of Professor Potty? I’ve heard he’s a right loser.”
“Don’t you dare talk about my father like that! He beat Voldermort didn’t he? That makes him far from a loser.”
One or two of the purebloods and halfbloods flinched slightly. That name was spoken freely now, but there were still some who didn’t like to hear it.
“For that he will pay.”
“What are you going to do? Call him names? That’s a good way to lose a lot of house points.”
“It’s not what I’m going to do. The Death Eaters will reform sooner or later. You mark my words. Then you’ll soon forget about your silly house points. When the time comes you’ll be crushed like a bug, along with your father.”
“Your empty threats don’t scare me. You’re just too much of a coward to fight me on your own. You’re scared that I’m as powerful as my father and I’ll crush you like a bug, because you are a bug, you filthy, ugly maggot.”
“That will be five points from Hufflepuff, Mr Potter and don’t let me hear you talking to other students like that again.” Professor Snape had appeared behind the crowd of Hufflepuffs and Slytherins.
“Fine!” said Ben “I won’t let you hear me talk like that again.”
“Another five for taking that tone with a teacher.”
“That’s not fair! He was being far worse than Ben was.” Harriet pointed to Alexander Flint as she said this.
“That makes it fifteen points from Hufflepuff. If you don’t want to make it any more I suggest you all be quiet and get into the classroom.”
The lesson itself was not much better. As expected, Snape disliked Ben almost as much as he had Harry and James. He was treating Ben like vermin. Ben silently cursed his grandfather for setting Snape against his family. He kept finding reasons to dock points from Hufflepuff and let the Slytherins get away with pretty much everything, just as he had done when he’d taught Harry. Matthew was so terrified of Snape that he knocked over his cauldron, causing him to almost cry, much to the amusement of the Slytherins. Snape gave Liam and James detention for whispering rude comments about him to each other. Liam was rather pleased at this. He wanted to be rebellious against his parents and getting detention from Snape on his first day was like winning a prize. James wasn’t so pleased, but he joined in with Liam in enthusiastically telling the other Hufflepuffs what an ugly git Snape was when they were sat down ready for dinner in the Great Hall.
“He’s a fowl, ugly, nasty, rude…”
“Did you just come from Potions by any chance?” Harry Potter had appeared beside the Hufflepuff table.
“How did you guess?” said Kerry, a girl with long red hair in Ben’s class.
“I’m psychic. How was dear old Professor Snape?”
“He was Professor Snape.” Ben mumbled miserably.
“He gave me and Liam detention.”
“Just for talking.” said Liam indignantly.
“Well, we may have been talking about him.” James conceded.
“Yeah, but he wasn’t meant to hear that.”
“Professor Sprout won’t be happy to hear that two of her students got detention on their first day.” Harry did look rather concerned at this.
“He was being unfair to us throughout the lesson.” Harriet told him.
“Well, I’ll have a word with Snape and see if I can get him to drop the detention. I’m not promising anything mind you.” With that he left and went up to the staff table.
Ben was glad he hadn’t spoken directly to him in front of all his classmates. He was slightly embarrassed that he was interfering, but glad that he was interfering on his classmate behalf and not his.
“I hope he doesn’t get Snape to drop the detention.” said Liam “My mother won’t be nearly as annoyed with me if he does.”
February 13th, 2004, 9:37 pm
It’s now Wednesday night and I’ve been at Hogwarts for three days. I like it here so far. I’ve made new friends and also met a lot of people I know already.
Thomas Weasley came up to me to tell me that he’s just been made captain of the Gryffindor quiddich team. He’s very excited about it. I don’t know if Dad made him captain because he’s good or because he likes the Weasleys. From what I hear he’s a brilliant seeker. Almost as good as Dad was. I can’t wait for quiddich season to start, so I can watch the matches. Hufflepuff haven’t won the house cup for years though. They’ll be doing tryouts for the house teams next Thursday. Hufflepuff are looking for a new keeper and seeker, but they don’t usually have first years on the team. I might go and watch the tryouts though, to see if Hufflepuff stand a chance this year. Charlotte is going to watch the Gryffindor tryouts and I might go with her. (They’re looking for chasers.)
Rachel hasn’t spoken to me much, but I’ve seen her around being as bossy and prefect-like as possible. She acts like her uncle Percy and you know how irritating he is. I think I may try to avoid her as much as possible.
Then of course, there’s Charlotte. I still chat to her a lot, but I don’t see her as much as I’d like, because she’s in Gryffindor. I don’t mind being in Hufflepuff as much as I did to begin with, but I would really like to be in the same house as Charlotte. She’s been my best mate for years. I’ve known her my whole life. It’s weird not going everywhere with her.
I’ve made a lot of new friends too. There are ten other kids in my class and they are all lovely. I have made two great friends in my class called Craig and Tim. Craig likes to be called Darcy, which is his last name. Tim is really fun and has a good sense of humour. Darcy is really smart. His parents are a doctor and a lecturer. As you can probably guess they’re muggles. It must be weird to be a wizard with muggle parents. Darcy has been telling me lots of stuff about muggles, so has Tim. Tim lives with his muggle aunt. They told me lots of stuff about television and those things called films, where you sit with lots of people in a dark room and they project a moving picture in front of you. It sounds amazing. How can they possibly make pictures move without magic? I might take Muggle Studies in my third year to find out. It sounds better than Divination or Arithmacy anyway.
I’ve seen Dad around too. I caught him talking to Professor Sprout about me on my first day, which was very embarrassing. (Professor Sprout is my head of house. She’s really nice too.) I hope Dad doesn’t hang around me too much. Tomorrow morning I’ve got my first Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson with him, which I’m dreading. I really hope he doesn’t embarrass me in front of my class. I’d rather people didn’t know we were related, but he’s so famous that the school knows everything about him. He tried to get two of my classmates, Liam and James out of an unfair detention with Professor Snape, but Snape’s as nasty as he said he was and hates Dad, so they both have detention on Friday. Can you believe they got detention on their first day? I’m not sure that even Fred and George managed that.
I’m missing you and Mum loads. I’ll write again as soon as I can. I’m sending this with my new owl. I’ve called him Lister. Darcy helped me name him. Lister is a character off his favourite television programme. I thought the name sounded cool and I kind of like him having a name that’s muggle related. Loads of people name their owls after famous witches and wizards. I like being different.
Please send my love to Mum, Tiger and the rabbits. Tell them all I am missing them loads. I’m especially missing Mum, but most of all you. (Don’t tell Tiger that though, as cats like to feel like they are loved the most, so she’ll be jealous.)
Lots of love from your favourite big brother,
Ben x x x x x
Ben read through the letter he had written. He had written it in the Hufflepuff common room, but had brought it up to the owlery to send. He wasn’t really that bothered about how the cat or the rabbits were doing. In fact he didn’t really like rabbits that much. They didn’t do much and their hutches stank. When they first got them he’d privately hoped that Tiger would eat them. But he knew that Emily loved the animals and he genuinely was missing her. He always pretended to care about the things she was interested in, because he liked to think of himself as the caring older brother. He missed his mother too. He would have written to her, but he wanted Emily to feel special and he knew she would show his letters to her anyway. As he read through he wondered if he’d missed anything. Then he thought of Alexander Flint. Each time he’d seen him was worst than the last. He’d been picking on Matthew since they first met him. Ben had quickly grown to hate him and he was nasty to Ben too. He didn’t want Emily to know that he’d already made an enemy, so he simply wrote:
P.S. The Slytherins here are really horrible. I’m sure glad I’m not in Slytherin.
He’d written to her the night he’d got there to say Hogwarts was huge and he’d been sorted into Hufflepuff, but this was his first proper letter to her. She’d sent a quick note back saying that she missed him already.
Ben found Lister and called him over. He blew on the wet ink, then folded upthe letter and attached it to Lister’s outstretched leg. He stroked his feathers and then watched him fly off into the distance. He stared out of the window for a while in quiet contemplation. Hogwarts was different from any other place on Earth. He felt very lucky to be there.
February 26th, 2004, 11:24 am
Harry dashed through the corridors. He was late for his lesson with the Hufflepuffs. Three sixth years shouted a comment as he ran past them, so he stopped to tell them off and told them to get to their lessons.
He turned into the Defence Against the Dark Arts corridor where the Hufflepuffs were lined up against the wall. He mumbled a “Sorry I’m late” and then surveyed the group. There were the two boys who’d got detention off Snape standing nearest the door. He lowered his voice and said to them “I wasn’t able to get Professor Snape to change his mind. Sorry.”
James thanked him for trying as he let them both into the room. They were followed by a group of girls who had been gossiping when Harry had arrived. Ben and his friends were last in. I bet he’s trying not to be first in so that it doesn’t look like he’s trying to please me thought Harry.
He sighed as he followed the students in and shut the door. He and Ben got on famously when it was just the two of them, but whenever people started to make a big deal about his fame, Harry felt that Ben began to resent him somewhat. In all honesty, he couldn’t blame him. Harry had himself felt that many times about his own fame. The amount of times he’d asked ‘Why me?’ He hadn’t asked to be the boy who lived, he hadn’t asked to be part of that **** prophecy and given the choice he wouldn’t have ever faced Voldermort, but he’d done it because it had to be done. When you don’t have a choice it’s so much easier to play the hero.
But Ben had a choice. He didn’t have to do anything spectacular to set himself apart, but many people seemed to think that he aught to because his father had. Harry sympathised with him so much. He’d spent so long wanting to be just like James Potter, the great quiddich player, the marauder, the hero, the best friend of Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. He’d been so proud whenever Sirius had said he was just like him. Then after a while he’d grown to resent him, especially after he found out he wasn’t the perfect role model he’d thought. Eventually he realised that he wasn’t his father. He felt proud of James, but still realised that he was somebody else, someone who was also a good person, but in different ways.
Harry wondered how long it would take Ben to realise how special he was. He had always noticed what a wonderful person his son was, but then again he was biased. Parents find it hard to look at their children from an objective point of view. Harry loved Ben to pieces and wished he could just give him a normal life. He’d fought against terrible forces to make the world a safer place for his family to grow up in, but he could never give them a normal life. Anyone who was close to him had to live with his past every day.
Emily didn’t mind it as much as Ben. She’d always just thought it was cool to have a hero for a dad. It didn’t get to her like it did Ben. Although, she was a girl, which meant that less people compared her to Harry.
Lisa had problems dealing with his fame to begin with. She’d both fancied him and admired him for ages at Hogwarts, but never managed to pluck up the courage to speak to him. It was only after they’d both left school that they’d met and connected. He’d met her in Diagon Ally. She’d just started her job at the Daily Prophet and had managed to screw up the first assignment they’d given her. She was in tears because she thought she’d get the sack before she’d even had a chance. Harry bought her a drink in the Leaky Cauldron and calmed her down. He felt sorry for her and offered to give her an interview, so that she’d have something to give her editor. It was the first interview he’d given since he’d defeated Voldermort. He hadn’t even talked about it to his friends much, but for some reason he found himself completely opening up to her. He felt he could easily talk to her about everything from Sirius’s death, to the Triwizard Tournament, to how terrified he was when he faced Voldermort. He told her things he’d never told anyone, mostly things about his feelings.
She was a very good listener. She wrote the article, but left out all the personal things he’d told her. Not only did it save her career, but it gave it an enormous boost. The rival reports at the time were all desperate to get the first interview with Harry Potter and it was got by a girl who’d just got her first job in the business and was not much more than a year out of Hogwarts.
After that they went out on a few dates and soon fell madly in love. Harry felt that Lisa was the one thing that had been missing from his life. He could always open up to her and she could always understand what he was feeling. At Hogwarts there had always been a part of him that felt alone, a part of him he kept back from his friends. Lisa was the first person who could see all the sides of him, not just the brave sides or the obvious problems. Best of all Lisa gave him the one thing he’d longed for more than anything else in the world: a family. Harry had missed out on being a son or a brother. At least now he got to be a father and a husband. He felt a lot of love for his family, because he’d missed out on it the first time round.
Often when he saw Ben and Emily he wondered if he’d have ever had brothers or sisters. He often wondered what life with his parent would have been like, but it hurt him more to think that his siblings never even got a chance to be born because of Lord Voldermort.
Ben sat down in his seat and watched his father walk to the front of the classroom and take out the register. He wondered if he’d say anything when he got to his name. He’d die if he did. Ben was terrified that his father would totally embarrass him.
“Right!” said Harry with a cheery smile “As this is our first lesson I thought that when I called your name out you could stand up and tell me one fact about yourself. That way I can get to know you a little better.”
Oh, God thought Ben He’s really going to embarrass me now. Ben put his head on the desk and covered his face.
A pretty girl with black hair tied in a plat stood up.“Urm… My name is Tiffany. I like to paint pictures. In fact I like doing any kind of art.”
“Brillient.” Said Harry “Art is a wonderful expression of life and emotion. Willow Black?”
A happy looking blond girl answered him. “I’m Willow. I come from a long line of Hufflepuff girls.”
Harry considered her name for a moment. Dare he ask the question that was going through his mind? He decided he would. “You would happen to be related to Sirius Black would you?”
“I think he’s a distant cousin of my dad’s.”
“I thought that there weren’t any Blacks left.”
“Well my father’s a squib, so he was disowned by the family. My mother’s a witch though. In fact I think she was in your year at school. Perhaps you knew her. Hannah Abbot?”
Recognition dawned on Harry. She did look rather similar to Hannah. “Oh yeah! I remember Hannah. I didn’t know her very well though.”
“She said you gave her great Defence Against the Dark Arts lessons, so I thought I’d try them for myself.”
“I’m glad to have such eager students. Which one of you is Alison Croft?” A shy girl with brown hair put her hand up. “Well stand up and tell us something about yourself.” She did as he said.
“I have lots of pets.” She answered quite quietly. “A dog, three cats, five rabbits, six gerbils and a tank of fish.”
“Your house must be like a menagerie.” Harry said as she quickly sat back down. “Craig Darcy.”
He stood up “Just Darcy, please. Let’s see. Facts about me? I enjoy cycling. I go cycling with my parents a lot. A couple of months ago I joined them in a big cycle for charity.”
“Well, it’s good to see people who raise money for charity. What was it for?”
“The hospital Mum works at. She’s a doctor.”
“Brilliant.” Harry looked down at his list. “Kerry Ferguson.”
Kerry stood up. “I’m Kerry and I support Puddlemore United.”
“That’s great. I know their keeper.”
Kerry’s eyes lit up in delight. “You know Oliver Wood?”
“Yeah, we were played on the house team together.”
“You actually played quiddich with him?” She looked absolutely amazed.
“Oh, he’s brilliant at quiddich.” Ben said this before he could stop himself. “He’s the best seeker I’ve ever seen.”
Harry smiled. It was nice to see Ben happy with him. “Thank you, Ben. I’m not as great as he makes out, but I do miss playing quiddich.”
“Why did you stop?” James asked.
“I like it at Hogwarts too much. I’d rather work here than play quiddich professionally. That’s really saying something about how much I love this place.” He looked over at Timothy who was next on the register. “Tim, would you care to tell us something about you?”
Tim simply got up and said “I really like Hogwarts as well” then sat back down.
“I haven’t met a person yet who doesn’t” he looked down at the register. “James Little.”
“I’m going to fall out with Kerry because I’m a Wasps fan and Puddlemore knocked us out of the semi-final last season.”
“Just try not to kill each other during my classes, OK?” Harry joked. “Liam Parkinson.”
“I have one uncle and two second cousins in Azkaban.” Liam said with a sly smile.
“I guess I should be careful what I say at parents evenings then.” Harry wondered what else he could say to put off saying the next name, but he knew he couldn’t. He’d have to talk to him in class sooner or later. “Benjamin Potter.”
Ben had decided to get into the spirit of things. He looked his father in the eye and said. “Hi, I’m Ben. When I was six I went on your Firebolt without asking, crashed it into the shed and blamed it on the dog.”
Harry smiled, partly because of what he said and partly because Ben had seemed to gain confidence. “I’d gathered it was you. For one thing dogs can’t fly brooms and for another we didn’t even have a dog.” He caught Ben’s eye and saw that he was smiling back. Most of the class had laughed too. “Harriet Summers” Harry called.
She stood up and said with a smile. “My name is Harriet and I fancy the pants off Ben!” She smiled at Ben and blew him a kiss. Ben blushed.
“I’m sure you’ll make a great daughter-in-law” Harry said with a smile. “I’m kidding!” he added hastily as he caught Ben’s glare. “Right, only one person left now. Where’s Matthew Thomas?” Everybody looked around the room, but Matthew was nowhere to be seen.
“I saw him about half an hour ago, in the toilets on the fourth floor.” Darcy told them.
“Maybe he got lost” said Harriet.
Ben was more worried than the others. He’d seen Flint and his friends heading up to the forth floor before the lesson. That was about half an hour ago too. He daren’t voice his concerns to the others though. After it was decided that no one knew where Matthew was, they decided to start the lesson without him.
The lesson went well. Very well in fact. The other children really liked Harry and many told him what a cool dad he had. What was even better was that Ben actually felt inclined to agree with them. He hadn’t embarrassed Ben at all. In fact it was quite the opposite. He’d actually made Ben feel proud to call himself his son. It wasn’t that Ben wasn’t proud of Harry most of the time. It was just that most of the time his pride for his father was overshadowed by the weight of his fame.
During their first lesson Harry had told them the basics of Defence Against the Dark Arts. They hadn’t yet learnt any spells, but they’d learnt about what dangers they were most likely to face and told what spells they would soon be taught to prepare themselves. The Hufflepuffs had enjoyed the so much (especially when quizzing Harry on the many dangers he had faced,) that Matthew had been pushed to the back of their minds. Ben remembered however and left the group on their way to History of Magic to go and look for him. Darcy made to follow him, but Ben told him to go to class and make excuses for him. Darcy seemed slightly upset that Ben didn’t want him to go with him, but he agreed and followed the others.
Ben went straight to the boys toilets on the fourth floor. As he reached the door he heard sobbing. He pushed it open slowly and spoke softly. “Matthew? Are you OK?” As Ben reached a closed cubicle he heard Matthew call from inside it.
“Why don’t you want me here? What’s the matter?”
“I don’t want you to see me.”
“Why not?” asked Ben.
There was the sound of the bolt being drawn back and Matthew slowly opened the door. Once it was open Ben could see that his nose had swollen to almost half the size of his face. It also looked red and sore from crying. “Flint did this to me. Him and his friends forced me to eat some kind of sweet and it made my nose go huge.”
“Don’t worry about that.” Ben told him. “I’m sure they’ll be able to fix that at the hospital wing.”
“It’s not just that. It’s the way he was towards me. I was the things he said. They were horrible. They kept calling me ‘mudblood’ and saying loads of nasty things.”
“Don’t listen to them Matthew. They’re just a bunch of idiots.”
“I guess.” He sniffed and gave Ben a grateful look, yet still looked unconvinced.
“Don’t give them the satisfaction of getting to you. They don’t know. It’s not personal. They’re just jerks who like to pick on those they think are beneath them, which is pretty much everybody. I’m sure you’re a lovely person, Matthew. You’re better than them.”
Matthew smiled at Ben. “You’re right.”
“Come on. Let’s get you down to the hospital wing and get your nose back to normal.”
“Alright, but quickly, I don’t want anybody else to see me looking like this.”
It didn’t take long to get Matthew’s nose shrunk, so they both managed to make their History of Magic lesson. They both wished they hadn’t. It was so incredibly boring. The ghost who taught it just hovered at the fount of the class lecturing them in a dull tone. They were all glad when it was over. Matthew had made Ben promise not to tell the other children what happened, so they just said that he’d got lost on the way to Defence Against the Dark Arts. He did insist on dropping in on Harry to apologise.
After Matthew had left Ben stayed behind and told his father what had really happened. He told him he was worried about Flint and the other Slytherins and their attitude towards the Hufflepuffs. Harry told him that that was just the way things were. Slytherins always picked on other students. He promised he’d do his best to try and stop them, but he thought he was fighting a loosing battle. He did say he would speak to both Professor Snape and Professor Sprout about it and he gave Ben some reassuring words.
When Ben left he felt better about it, but he was still unhappy. He’d thought that somehow things would have been different once he’d got to Hogwarts. He didn’t want any trouble. He just wanted the quiet life. Yet every time he saw him Flint had made some smart comment about Ben or his father. This was yet another thing that seemed to be happening to him because of Harry. Ben and his friends would probably just fade into the background if it wasn’t for him. At least that’s what Ben thought. This afternoon he’d felt really good about his father, fame and all, but now he seemed to be back where he started.
Ben was at a strange school with strange people. He knew his dad and a few other students, but it was a whole new world to him. Was it one that he’d ever feel comfortable in? Only time would tell.
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