“The kitchens? Aunt Viola says only the really good Potions students get to go there, since they're the ones who brew the Pumpkin juice. Pumpkins can't produce their own juice without help, you know.”
I'll never forget the my own Sorting Ceremony! Ihad never seen anything more beautiful or overwhelming. There were sixteen of us, walking up the aisle towards the front stage, Four long tables, two on each side, were packed with staring students. Long tables in front of us were packed with staring professors. An odd looking, tattered hat, was placed on a stool, and we were quickly approaching it.
I felt a tug on my sleeve. “Noxanne look up! Floating candles! They don't drip wax, do they? That could be really painful!” I had met my fellow new student Rosalie on the train ride, and somehow she seemed more nervous than I was. I forced myself to smile and considered words of reassurance, when Voldemortina, another new student, responded. “No, Rosalie, those are special candles. I hear they've added flobberworm wax to them this year so they won't drip. We're perfectly safe.”
My mouth dropped open, but I was too stunned to speak. Unfortunately, Joan, another 11 year old I'd met on the train, piped up: “Who cares! All that matters is being sorted into the right House. I'm going to be sorted in Slytherin. My entire family is always sorted into Slytherin!.” I managed to step aside, just barely avoiding being hit by a mass of golden curls.
The professor who had shown us into the hall was pointing to the hat, which began to sing. I listened, mesmerized by the sheer wonder of it all, my curiosity growing as the song progressed, wondering which House would become my Home. A special, never to be forgotten moment when that hat would be placed upon my head and my fate would be sealed. I was lost in the moment until Rosalie tugged on my sleeve: “I'm so scared! What if I'm put in Gryffindor? They don't really expect us to be brave and all that, right?”
“You, Gryffindor?” Joan hissed. “You'll be lucky if you aren't assigned to the kitchens!”
“The kitchens? Aunt Viola says only the really good Potions students get to go there, since they're the ones who brew the Pumpkin juice. Pumpkins can't produce their own juice without help, you know.” Voldemortina again.
“Noxanne Alabaster!” My name! I noticed the professor motioning to me to have a seat on the stool, and the hat was placed on my head. I waited with nervous anticipation.
The hat began to speak. “Let's see. No more than an average amount of bravery, I see. You seem to have no ambition, and you fear hard work. Ah - but you actually believe Hogwarts: A History was the most fascinating book ever published. Stranger still: you've actually read it. Interesting. Very interesting. RAVENCLAW.”
The professor removed the hat from my head and I jumped off the stool and ran to one of the center tables, where people with blue and bronze badges were beckoning me. My new home for the next seven years! They seemed so friendly, and I knew I'd feel right at home there, amongt my new friends.
I thought my happiness could know no bounds, but then Voldemortina, Joan, and Rosalie joined our table. They'd gotten Ravenclaw, too. Merlin's beard! To be honest, I was hoping they'd be in a different House, but that's ok. Surely we won't all be in the same dorm room.
Pop! A mouth watering feast suddenly appeared in front of us. Rosalie shrieked and Joan rolled her eyes, while only Voldemortina seemed as impressed as I was. Deep in admiration for the feast, she turned to our Prefect and asked who the Potions professor was, and he pointed out a man who looked really intimidating and like something out of a muggle B movie horror flick. Voldemortina, undaunted, waved at the man and thanked him for the Pumpkin juice. The blackest eyes I have even seen simply stared at her. I wanted to hide under the table.
Finally! The Prefect was showing us to our Common Room. A riddle to answer! Finally: a chance to show off my riddle solving abilities! With shiny fangs , my bloodless bite will bring together what's mostly white. What am I?
My stomach hit the floor. I had no idea! Rosalie started crying, afraid she'd never be able to enter her own Common Room and hoping we'd be taught how to conjure floor mats on the first day of lessons. Joan glared at the door. Voldemortina, however, piped up: “Oh, good, an easy one!”
And it was.
Feeling a bit annoyed with myself for not guessing the riddle, I entered the Common Room. We were in the west wing of the fifth floor, in the most beautiful tower I had ever seen. White walls, deep blue furnishings, bronze accents, stars on the ceiling, and books! Lots and lots of books. A marble statue with the name Rowena Ravenclaw was listed on the plaque. The setting sun was shining through 12 ft. tall windows, which offered stunning views overlooking the lake. I was lost in admiration and having happy thoughts of my good fortune when I was startled by a bundle of fur landing in my lap: my cat, Muffin! She was here! I hugged her warmly and was rewarded with a small meow.
The door opened, a wizard entered and introduced himself as Professor Anderson, our Head of House. He told us about the history of Ravenclaw and some general information about Hogwarts, During his warm greeting, my cat jumped out of my arms, off to explore the beautiful surroundings. I smiled at the wonder of it all.
“The following will be sharing a dorm room: (I held my breath)
Oh, well, I sighed. I refuse to allow this to ruin my perfect, never to be forgotten day.
Rosalie, however, was still sobbing. “Professor, we're awfully high up! What if we have an earthquake? What if the tower falls?”
“Never fear, my dear child! This tower has stood for over a thousand years," smiled Professor Anderson warmly. I liked him. “Here, have some delicious little cupcakes. I bet if you ask them to, they'll even dance for you!” The Professor turned towards a small table, but suddenly looked confused, as if he'd lost something. “Has anyone seen the cupcakes?”
Muffin chose that precise moment to jump back into my arms, her little furry face covered in blue and white frosting.
It was going to be a very long year.