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We Are Young

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“But what if I’m not sorted into Ravenclaw, I will never see you again…”

Grâce took her bag off of the luggage rack and put it down on the padded seat before looking down to find her sister’s eyes. They were full of apprehension, her brain storming with bad thoughts, anticipating her sorting. It was her first year in Hogwarts and started preparing for it as soon as she got her letter, excited by the start of this new step of her life. That was until excitement was replaced with doubt and concern.

“Stop worrying so much, everything will be fine,” Grâce said, trying in vain to help her sister calm down, “Besides, we can still see each other even if we’re not in the same house,” she added, “we can meet at breakfast and lunch, and on breaks too…” she explained, pulling two long black robes out of the bag.

“But everyone in the family was a Ravenclaw, what if I’m different…?” Her sister said, shifting her position on the seat to kneel on it, facing the back and turning her head to look into Grâce’s eyes.

“Not everyone,” Grâce corrected, “Grandma was a Gryffindor, remember, and a proud one at that,” she stated, giving her sister a nod. The latter sat properly again, looking a little upset.

Grâce was right, but still, she wanted to be in Ravenclaw. Almost every member of their family that attended Hogwarts was sorted into Ravenclaw, a lot of them excelled in school. The past year, Grâce achieved all her O.W.L.s, she was so skilled in Arithmancy, Divination, Potions, Herbology and many other subjects and fields, including Quidditch, being part of the team since her third year. She would be expected to do as well as her older sister. At least that’s how she saw it, and she would hate to be a disappointment to her family.

“Come on, you should put on your robes, we’ll be there soon,” Grâce interrupted her sister’s train of thought, gently nudging her arm with the hand that held the robes. The girl took them and proceeded to put them on. Grâce sat down again, unfolding her own garment.

“But what if I’m in Slytherin…?” She asked quietly, taking a quick look at the boy sitting across from them, on the other seat. Grâce mechanically turned her head to find the student, already in his black and green robes, the Slytherin emblem on his chest. He was reading Libiatus Borage’s book of Advanced Potion-Making, a book that Grâce herself had to buy this year, and seemed absorbed in his reading.

To her surprise, the boy looked up from his book, and Grâce’s look briefly met his black eyes, peeking through equally dark stands of hair. She quickly looked away though, scolding herself for being so intruding and impolite. She came around quickly and looked at her sister again. Reaching out to arrange the fastening of her robes.

“Well, then you’ll still be an excellent witch, except you’ll be wearing green,” she simply said, playfully poking her sister’s nose with her finger.

Grâce looked over at the boy again, just to make sure she didn’t upset him too much, but he was still reading in silence. After she quickly slid on her own robes, she sat back and turned her head to the window, letting her eyes wander to the slow-moving mountains, still slightly visible in the light of the setting sun, her ears filling with the metallic clatter of the train zooming along the railroad as everyone in the compartment stayed silent.

Later when the train reached Hogsmeade station, Grâce guided her sister out of the compartment, making sure she didn’t forget anything, and out of the train, leaving the dark-haired boy behind without a word.

As soon as they stepped onto the platform, a loud and hoarse voice reached their ears. “First years! This way please,” the voice said and Grâce turned her head to see Hagrid standing at the end of the platform, a lantern in hand. “Come on, don’t be shy…” he said playfully.

Grâce turned to her sister who looked back, concerned, expecting her to confirm what the man said. “This is Hagrid, he’ll take you all to the castle,” Grâce announced with a gentle voice, her sister didn’t move. “Come on, off you go…” she said, gesturing her to make her way to the end of the platform. “I’ll see you later in the great hall,” she then explained with a nod, and the girl was off to join the other first year students.

Grâce’s lips bent into a small smile as she watched her sister walk away, her robes swirling slightly with each step in the gentle wind. She remembered her first year, she remembered walking along the train to join the crowd. She remembered the excitement and the amazement when she first saw the stone castle, its thousands of lights standing out in the dark of night and reflecting on the surface of the lake. With this in mind, she turned the other way and started walking towards the carriages, hoping to catch one before they were all gone.

“Edward Doyle.” Professor McGonagall’s voice resonated within the great hall as she called another student. Grâce watched the boy walk towards the stool and sit down. McGonagall put the old hat on his head and it came to life instantly.

It frowned in deep thought, taking a few seconds before answering, searching for a suitable house for the boy, “Slytherin!” it then declared as a round of applause went up among the students. Grâce briefly turned towards the table of the Slytherin house, her eyes immediately finding the dark-haired boy, he was the only one to barely applause, his face neutral, the slight movement of his hands making the sleeves of his robes brush back and forth over the book that was set beside his plate, the same book she saw him read back in the train.

“Victoire De Beaumont,” McGonagall called, looking away from the parchment she held in her right hand. Grâce was pulled out of her thoughts as she felt a slight pinch in the heart when she heard her sister’s name. She turned slightly on her seat to get a better look at what was happening a few feet away, at the head of the great hall.

Victoire slowly made her way to the stool, briefly looking back at Grâce as she nodded with a smile, encouraging her to go. The professor gently put the hat on her head and waited for it to start talking.  

“Aaah, I see, you want to prove your worth, don’t you…” Victoire bit her bottom lip slightly, her eyes finding Grâce’s. “And you have quite a few skills already, you might fit in Slytherin,” the girl’s heartbeat quickened suddenly. “But… I see something more here, don’t I…” she looked up, waiting for its final decision, silently pleading to be sorted into Ravenclaw, where she could stay with her sister. “Well then, that’ll be… Gryffindor!”

Surprise and excitement washed over Grâce as students of every table applauded at the same time, the Gryffindor one being the loudest, of course. Grâce applauded too, and smiled to her sister who seemed to join her housemates with a bitter-sweet smile on her face.

After all the new students were sorted, Dumbledore summoned the food for the feast and wished everyone a good appetite. The first year students were all amazed by the sudden appearance of the food but Grâce didn’t pay attention to it as she looked around to find where her sister was seated. Luckily, she was almost right behind her, only a few feet closer to the head of the hall.

Grâce sneakily got up from the bench and quickly crossed the space left between the Ravenclaw table and the Gryffindor one. She approached her sister and crouched beside her, taking her hands in hers. “Hey, Vicky, don’t be upset, you’ll do great in Gryffindor, I promise…” she said quietly, so that only her could hear. Victoire gave her a smile. “You’ll make a lot of friends, you’ll see,” she added, nearly interrupted by another voice coming from the other side of the table.

“That’s quite alright, Victoire, we Gryffindors are friends with everyone,” the boy said with an enthusiastic voice, “Except with Slytherins, they can’t be trusted,” he added mockingly.

Grâce got up and looked at the boy as he laughed with his friends. “Oh shut up Potter,” she said, rolling her eyes slightly. James Potter made a hobby out of despising Slytherins, as well as generally getting on people’s nerves. Grâce hardly came across him during her past few years in Hogwarts, except on Quidditch events, but she knew him from reputation, he and his three friends.

“Don’t worry your pretty little head, Vic, we’re here if you ever need anything,” he said with a more serious tone that Grâce rarely heard coming from him. “We’re all friends here,” he announced, stretching the word ‘all’, giving Grâce an insisting look that made her roll her eyes. Good words and noble promises… She smirked slightly.

“Alright, then I’ll hold you accountable if anything happens to her, Potter,” Grâce said and James looked confused and ready to talk back. For an instant she thought she beat him at his own game. She might have…

“It would be an honor to be of use, My Lady…” the boy next to James said, patting his friend’s shoulder. She looked over at her new interlocutor and pulled a fake smile.

“Don’t be cocky, now, Black…” she said with a tilt of the head. The very few times she saw him, he had made a habit of sarcastically mocking her. This time was no exception, and she responded as usual. Ending the conversation with them, she turned to Victoire again, gently tucking a stand of blond hair behind her small ear. “I’ll see you later, Mon Cœur,” she added quietly before addressing James with a monotone voice, “see you later on the field.”

She went back to her table without another word and as soon as she turned her back, a sly smile played on Remus’ face. “See you later in class…” he corrected and his friends looked delighted. As a matter of fact, Remus had already had a look at the class schedule. N.E.W.T.-level classes involved students of all houses, as long as they met the requirements. And he knew he and his friends were taking a lot of the same classes as Grâce did. Potions, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Charms, Transfiguration…

Oh the Marauders would get to have fun again this year.