Pluto - transformation
Pluto ♇ Transformation
"I don't know how,"
Nineteen Years Later:
The doors of The Great Hall opened to a crowd of children with jaws wide open. They were herded in like they were every year and Headmaster McGonagall looked on in pride. There were few heads that looked out in front of them and not to the candlesticks floating above, and thus there was many trampling and tripping into each other.
The administrators that sat at the head of the room giggled to themselves, many still able to recall when it had been them in the same position years ago. Hagrid and Neville covered their mouths "professionally" hiding their laughter, the looks of amazement from first years never getting old for them.
It has been nineteen years after The Second Wizarding War and many have started anew. Hogwarts has been rebuilt for the most part but will never be exactly the same. There was still many damages and many things that will never come back. The passage to The Chamber of Secrets had been permanently sealed and The Room of Requirement/of Hidden Things was gone forever, to name a few.
"Gryffindor!" The Hat, voice rang out in The Great Hall, announcing house for a girl named Rose Weasley.
But today, as the new batch of first years lined up to be placed under The Sorting Hat, there was a noticeable increase of ghost seated at the tables, and the first years mumbled among themselves that some looked a lot younger than the other ghosts.
The ceremony performed as normal, this time each table clapped when a new member was added and there was no boo-ing for Slytherins. This was a new year, a new generation, and it was going to be treated in no way to the past.
From the new students, there were many whose parents have never been heard of, and there were those unforgettable ones. But that didn't matter much to the students, especially these younger ones. They had no recollection of the past war, and it held little importance to them.
Slytherin table stood when a girl named Mariah Hampton accepted her placement. She was followed under The Hat by another Weasley and a girl with bleach-blonde hair that jumped for joy and practically ran to the chair for her sorting. This time, The Hat went silent over the blonde one—this girl was the first Hat Stall in eleven years.
"Hmm, let's see. You're a bright one, I see, one eager to learn and to prove herself," The Hat spoke, dragging out the anticipation.
The girl nodded her head vigorously.
"You might be good in Hufflepuff, house of those who are kind and just. …You have an extreme loyalty and bravery…and with an eagerness to learn, much like Ms. Granger years ago, you might be good in Ravenclaw… Have you heard of Ms. Granger—Mrs. Weasley now—she's Rose's mum."
The girl under The Hat spoke that mostly everyone knows who Hermione was.
It took ten whole minutes of silence that followed before The Hat announced the girl's new house. And with a bellow, Gryffindor was chosen. A wide, shining smile broke across the girl's face.
"I wanna love you but I don't know how,"
Years ago when Hogwarts was getting rebuilt, a key had been found among the rubble. No one knew what it belonged to and being busy with rebuilding, it was forgotten and Finch had kept it to himself until a few years ago. That is when some of the professors retired and a new Potter entered the school. McGonagall, while very prideful, had swallowed nervously at the head of The Great Hall at the beginning of that year.
Not too long ago, alumni begun submitting applications for the newly available teaching positions.
And the key had been a talked about subject in the beginning—since Hogwarts' rebuilding, there wasn't a door or room that hadn't been discovered and explored but this key and a few rooms on the top floor. It was forgotten in the mist of rebuilding and it was rarely picked up again, and only a few rooms across the castle remained locked.
Neville heard of this a year after his arrival. He had taken over Pomona Sprout's position as herbology teacher and had her old classrooms as well, but they felt too small and empty.
When he heard of the key, it didn't hold any importance to him and thus went a full two years without questioning its existence.
Before returning to Hogwarts, Neville and Luna had found out that a relationship between them wouldn't work out. This was mainly on Luna's part—though they had been getting along well, they had begun drifting, and she just couldn't get the words of her cousin out of her head.
That was something about her cousin—Echo believed things that were preposterous, without physical fact and evidence. She went off of something else that rarely proved her wrong.
When Luna started noticing that she and Neville begun drifting apart, Luna proposed the split, to which he didn't verbally object. Luna revealed that Echo had always supposed Hannah talk to Neville more, believing by some fact-less belief that Hannah would be a match for her best friend; Echo had thought that for years. Hannah, who was patient, lively, and a matron at Hogwarts now, and happily holding the name Mrs. Longbottom.
Because of remembering that randomly, the curiosity sprung in his mind when Neville heard about that key Filch was holding onto again. Putting two and two together out of some wild haunch, he asked McGonagall permission to see the key, proposing that it probably belonged to him nineteen years ago, he lied. And after a tension-filled confrontation with old man Filch, the brown key rarely left Neville's side. He kept it, but was afraid to use it and had only been told of it once by the lips of its past owner all those years ago and right before going off into battle.
He told Hannah about it too. She was the one who convinced him to go and try the doors to that room upstairs. But he was too afraid. He hadn't been there during the rebuilding and was afraid that there were new walls and everything was blank in that abandoned classroom.
It was a small, simple key, and could go to anything—that is what frightened him.
But she nudged his shoulder, turning him back over on the bed they shared to look her in the eye, and told him to do it, to settle this curiosity that gnawed at him.
Now, it was only Neville, Hannah, and Luna who knew about the secret room Echo used to occupy years ago. Rolf Scamander, Luna's husband now, knew bits only and pieces.
Neville asked McGonagall permission to go up on the sixth floor during a break in-between classes. She didn't allow him without her attendance which he hadn't minded. Neville wasn't sure what would happen if he went up there alone—whether he would cry from the blank walls or get caught in nostalgia that it was still there. That's why when he arrived, he hesitated so long to turn the key that he worried the Headmaster. A lump appeared in his throat and with McGonagall's hand on his shoulder, pushed the two heavy doors open.
He crushed a glass valve under his foot when he stepped inside. It had been an accident and kicked it to the side. They were almost blinded by the light from the wide windows and wWhen he looked up, Neville almost dropped to the floor.
There were dead vines that tried to grow within the walls but perished during the rebuilding. But everything was were it had been, seemingly untouched. There was a latter toppled over to the floor, dust and cobwebs had grown over it all, and old newspapers that were scattered across the floor—everything. Neville turned around, a toothy smile beaming, and told McGonagall that it was perfect. This was the room he wanted to move into, to move the classroom to.
McGonagall worried. She told him that she would get staff to wash off the dust and paint on the far wall. But Neville jumped in front of her and told her that it was fine, that he would take care of it. The first thing he did before they left was cradle the pieces of the broken valve in his hand, which he would trash later.
The following weeks, Professor Longbottom was noticeably happier when teaching class and the mandrakes did not seem to be a bother like usual. And in the school break that followed, he rolled up his sleeves and steadied the latter against the wall, old newspapers spread out on the floor under him. His fingers were stained colors of the rainbow for days that followed and went to bed smelling like paint for nights.
"I wanna love you but I don't know how,"
When students arrived back, it rumored that the herbology classroom had been moved to a large room on the sixth floor. So on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, they were out in the greenhouse while the others, students had to climb the staircases. Many complained about the number of steps but that was expected. And when the children—all first years this time—entered, there were a few jaws that opened.
The room was much larger than their old classroom and there was a beautiful mural painted in the back behind Professor Longbottom's desk. There was a fountain of water pouring in the back left corner that was surrounded by a small blooming bush and vines hung from the ceiling. It was alive and green, colorful and illuminated by the sun's light.
The children were greeted by the man coming out from behind a large bush growing up the right wall, small pink flowers sticking to his clothes as he placed his fists on his hips and he asked how they liked the new room.
It was much roomier and the windows were at just the right spot for the sun to fully light the room that it was a change from the other candle-lit classes, a good change.
The children spoke that it was nice. One girl, a light blonde, plucked a flower from the floor at Neville's feet. He didn't see her face and she hadn't spoken since entering with her class, more interested in the pink flower.
All were ordered to their seats and Neville called attendance and then for each students to say something about themselves. It was a sort of icebreaker after the holidays.
The blonde one had followed behind him, picking up the flowers in his trail, then went to her own seat.
Neville hesitated when coming to a name near the bottom of the list. It was a name that noticeably changed his attitude and left the students feeling a tad awkward when addressed. But it was no big deal—it was just a name!
The girl was called to pay attention, her head snapping upward from the flowers covering her desk and her eyes were hit by the sun rays. She stood and placed the armful of pink flowers she had collected on the professor's desk.
She was a girl with almost-white blonde hair that reached to her lower shoulders and eyes would crinkle in a smile as she talked eagerly about her break, telling of a hiking trip she went on with her aunt.
Neville has heard of this peculiar girl—has had her in his class several times since her year started, and still couldn't grow fully accustomed to it.
Venus was energetic and a bit spacious sometimes. She was the odd girl he has heard of whose gray eyes would sparkle and shone brightly when the sun hit them just right. She was talkative and mischievous and appeared to have an irrational fear of heights and the the shadows in the Art classroom caused by candlelight, and would ramble about almost anything of the most random subject. The young Gryffindor liked to smile and wanted a pet dragon and was extremely friendly but she would sometimes give one a chill when they knew she was staring. She had a good friend in Gryffindor, a girl with wild crinkly hair who chose the house after getting Slytherin.
Neville has heard of the girl, Venus, and his suspicions rose when hearing a tale from his wife when the student appeared from being sent to the hospital wing after a spell backfired and split her hands open.
But Hannah said she liked her. The girl was very optimistic and her company made her visit pass by in a blink.
Venus was a girl with a bright smile and bangs cut right above her gray eyes. Neville saw her hands were still bandaged from stitches when she placed the flowers on his desk, told him about her hiking trip, and turned around going back to her desk.
Venus would become his favorite student and bring Hannah candy and sweets when she would find out both adults were married. Hannah would joke about the amount the girl would bring, joking that Venus would send Hannah to the doctor from all the sugar—and she's a nurse!
She would become Neville's most reoccurring student whom would come after hours and would lie about having trouble with homework to listen to him drift off and tell about stories of when he was younger. He didn't really mention The War much, but Venus liked hearing about a lady named Luna, a lady in a long-destroyed portrait who wore an elegant blue dress and was like a caring mother, of living with the infamous Harry Potter, eventually defeating Voldemort, and a friend called Echo. Venus liked hearing about Echo. And sometimes if Venus would catch him at the right time when he was making tea, they would sit near the wide windows of the classroom and Venus would laugh. And Neville would swear that when her eyes crinkled, they sparkled, and he would mistake her for a joyful girl he once knew years ago.
"I wanna love you…"
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