When the train pulled into the school's station, Eloise was practically bursting she was so excited. Her father had told her all about his time at Hogwarts, making her even more excited to tell her future children her own stories.
As the students filed out of the train, Eloise's eyes immediately went to a ginormous man who was holding a lantern. "Firs' years this way!" The man exclaimed, gesturing the first years to follow him. Eloise walked beside Neville and Dean, wide-eyed. The giant man led them to a group of boats that were waiting at the edge of a giant lake. "Four students per boat! Careful not to rock it too much, we wouldn't want anybody fallin' in." The man said. Eloise carefully made her way into a little boat along with Dean, Seamus, and Neville. She took a seat in the back with Dean, Neville sitting in the middle, and Seamus sitting at the very front.
As soon as all the students and the giant man made their way into the boats, they suddenly started moving even though there weren't any oars moving them. "Why shouldn't we move the boats much you think?" Eloise whispered to Dean. "I heard there's a giant squid in here," Dean whispered back, not very quietly though as Neville whipped around with wide-eyes, rocking the boat slightly. Eloise quickly held onto the side of the boat as did Dean, trying to steady the boat. "I-I'm sorry," Neville said turning himself back around to face forward. "It's alright," Eloise muttered.
Eloise gasped when the students came upon the school, gazing up at the giant castle in amazement. The sheer size of the castle made Eloise wonder how she could possibly remember the way to her classes. When the students made their way across the lake and into the boathouse, Hagrid led them up a great flight of stairs into the school. Eloise chatted excitedly about the school to Neville and Dean as the group of first years walked up another flight of stairs. When they turned the corner, Eloise recognized the witch standing at the top of the stairs. Professor McGonagall was wearing emerald green robes this time with a rather large witch hat.
The group of students quickly came to a stop when they reached the top of the stairs as well.
"Welcome to Hogwarts," Professor McGonagall started. " Now, in a few moments, you will pass through these doors and join your classmates but, before you can take your seats you must be sorted into your houses."
"They are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Now while you're here, your house will be like your family. Your triumphs will earn you points, any rule-breaking and you will lose points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the house cup."
"Trevor!" Neville exclaimed suddenly, Eloise jumped rather suddenly at the boy's movements and shuffled a bit to the side when he reached down to grab a toad. Eloise obviously recognized the toad as the toad Neville had been looking for on the train and smiled.
Neville looked nervously up at McGonagall who looked rather confused at why Neville had interrupted her speech. "Sorry," He muttered, making his way back next to Eloise.
"The sorting ceremony will begin momentarily." Professor McGonagall said, turning away from the students and walking towards a door.
"It's true then," a voice piped up after the professor left. " What they're saying on the train. Harry Potter had come to Hogwarts." Eloise turned to Neville, who did the same. They gave each other looks of confusion. Eloise knew of Harry from her father but she had never met him before.
"This is Crabbe and Goyle," said a bleach-blonde haired boy. "And I'm Malfoy, Draco Malfoy." Eloise heard someone hide a chuckle. "Think my name's funny do you?" Asked Draco who seemed to be staring daggers at who had laughed. A red-headed boy frowned at him. "No need to ask yours."
"Red hair and a hand-me-down robe? You must be a Weasley." Draco turned to Harry who was standing next to the boy who she had identified as Ron Weasley. "You'll see that some wizarding families are better than others, Potter, you don't want to go making friends with the wrong sort." Eloise hated that some wizards were blood-prejudiced. She didn't think it mattered who or where someone came from as long as they were a good person. "I can help you there." Draco held out a hand to Harry though Harry ignored it and looked seriously at the boy stood in front of him.
"I think I can tell the right sort for my own, thanks," Harry responded. McGonagall appeared behind Draco, tapping him with a scroll of parchment. "We're ready for you now, follow me." The professor announced.
The students did as told and followed the professor as two large doors opened to reveal a great hall. Eloise's mouth dropped open at the sight of the great hall. Candles seemed to be hung mid-air and the ceiling looked like the night sky. Neville had the same look of amazement as the students made their way to the front of the hall where a stool sat with a rather old looking hat sat on it.
"Now before we begin, Professor Dumbledore would like to say a few words." Professor McGonagall told the first years, ushering them to be quiet.
"I have a few start of term notices I wish to announce. The first years please note that the Dark Forest is strictly forbidden to all students. Also, our caretaker, Mr.Filch has asked me to remind you that the third-floor corridor on the right-hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a most painful death." Eloise looked confusingly at Dumbledore as Neville did the same. "Thank you."
"Now, when I call your name, you will come forth and I shall place the sorting hat on your head and you will be sorted into your houses." McGonagall picked up the hat as she called out the name "Hermione Granger," Eloise watched as Hermione nervously sat on the stool, Professor McGonagall placing the sorting hat on her head. The sorting hat mumbled to itself before exclaiming "GRYFFINDOR!".
The Gryffindor students clapped as Hermione hopped off the stool and ran over to sit at their table.
"Draco Malfoy," Professor McGonagall didn't even have to place the hat all the way onto the boy's head before it exclaimed "SLYTHERIN!". The Slytherin table clapped as well as the boy took a seat at their table. Some other students were called before McGonagall exclaimed "Ronald Weasley," The boy nervously took a seat on the stool before the hat exclaimed "GRYFFINDOR!"
Some of the students whispered to each other about the boy who lived as he took a seat on the stool. The hat took a bit of a longer time deliberating which house Harry would go into before exclaiming "GRYFFINDOR!"
The Gryffindors were overwhelmed with excitement when the Harry Potter joined their house.
Eventually, Neville was called up to the sorting hat. He ended up becoming a Gryffindor which it seemed he found confusing. After Neville had gone, Professor McGonagall announced "Eloise Lupin,". Eloise felt her breath hitch up as she made her way towards the stool herself. The hat was placed on her head and she could hear it talking.
"Ahh let's see here now, plenty of courage I see, lots of curiosity as well, you know one of your parents was in Slytherin you might do quite well in there, though I also see lots of bravery, better be..."
"GRYFFINDOR!" The hat exclaimed. Eloise felt a wave of relief wash over her as the hat was taken off of her head and she went to sit next to Neville. As she watched the other students get sorted she couldn't help but think to herself what the hat had said. Her father had been a Gryffindor and she never knew her mother so she was confused about who the Slytherin in her family was.
All the students had been sorted by now, Dean Thomas ended up a Gryffindor as did Seamus Finnegan. The two boys took seats next to Eloise and Neville, smiling when they saw that all four of them had been made Gryffindors. They would be spending even more time together this year.
Professor McGonagall called everyone's attention to the front of the great hall, Dumbledore announcing for the feast to begin. Suddenly, delicious food appeared in front of everyone's table. Large roasted turkeys, chickens, and ham were placed at every other spot at the table, a multitude of potatoes, fruits, vegetables, and even a few desserts littered in between them. Eloise happily grabbed a plate of a few slices of ham, some mashed potatoes, a helping of roasted broccoli, and a cob of corn.
"I'm half and half," Seamus said to Dean and Eloise, Neville listening in. "Me dad's a muggle, mam's a witch, bit of a nasty shock for him when he found out."
Eloise was taking a drink of her pumpkin juice when a ghostly head popped out from the plate of chicken wings, making her almost choke. Neville turned to her coughing, a scared look on his face. "You alright El?" He asked. "Yeah"- She coughed- "It's all good."
The head introduced himself to Ron, who looked rather scared though the Gryffindor prefect, Percy who was Ron's older brother, shook his head seemingly in disappointment. Other ghosts flooded the great hall, flying all around.
"Hello Sir Nicholas, have a nice summer?" Percy asked politely. "Dismal," The ghost responded. "Once again my request to join the Headless Hunt has been denied." Hermione looked rather confusingly at the ghost, as did Eloise. "Hey, I know you!" Ron exclaimed. "You're Nearly-Headless Nick!"
"I prefer Sir Nicholas if you don't mind."
"Nearly-Headless? How can you be nearly headless?" Hermione asked snarkily. Harry rolled his eyes at the girl.
"Like this," Sir Nicholas said, grabbing the side of his head and pulling it downwards revealing the inside of his neck. Eloise almost choked and spit out her pumpkin juice again, getting another concerned look from Neville and Dean.
"Gryffindor's follow me please," Percy said, leading the first years to the Gryffindor common room. "This way, keep up now."
Eloise looked in awe when she got up the staircase they Gryffindors had walked up, seeing a multitude of staircases surrounded by paintings that looked to be moving. "This is the direct part of the dormitories. Oh, and keep an eye on the staircases, they like to change."
Percy led the rest of the first years to the door to the Gryffindor common room which was a couple of stair cases up from where they were before. Except instead of a door, there seemed to be a large painting. "Password?" asked the regal-looking woman in the painting. "Caput Draconis," Percy exclaimed, opening the painting which led to the inside of the Gryffindor common room.
The first years followed Percy through the painting, audible gasping and talking about their reactions to the common room. Eloise thought it looked like one of the most comfortable places she's ever been. A roaring fireplace was surrounded by a multitude of couches and lounge chairs. There was a wizards chess table surrounded by chairs and a couple of tables with lamps on them which Eloise assumed were for students to do homework on.
"Welcome to the Gryffindor common room. Boys dormitories are upstairs and down to your left, girls, the same on your right. You'll find all your belongings have already been brought up."
Eloise dispersed from the crowd, saying her goodnights to Seamus, Dean, and Neville and heading up to her dorm along with Hermione Granger.
The two girls opened the door to find two other girls already there. "Oh hello!" One of the girls exclaimed. She had curly blond hair and chocolate brown skin. The other girl had long straight black hair and a rather friendly grin on her face. "I'm Lavender and this is Pavarti!" The curly-haired girl said, pointing to Pavarti who waved and grinned at Eloise and Hermione. Eloise sent back a smile and made her way to a bed where she saw her trunks sitting.
While Eloise unpacked some of her bags, another girl walked into the dorms. She had short black hair with bangs and dark brown eyes. The girl sent a shy smile to the girls before introducing herself. "Hi, I'm Agnes, Agnes Yuen," She said, shaking the hand that Hermione held out.
Eloise spent some time chatting with the girls in her dorm before deciding to head to bed. While she put on her pajamas she couldn't stop thinking about her unofficial first evening at Hogwarts.
She couldn't wait to write to her father.