Skagerrak, Denmark-June 1935
The 11-year old wizard Silvanus Lange stood with his hand behind the back in a classroom full of children like him all dressed in the same uniform which consisted of black robes covering waistcoat and a striped necktie knotted around the collar of a white shirt. As always no one was supposed to move or say anything until the teacher came into the room. Breaking the rules was to no one's advantage but Silvanus could not hold himself.
"Hey, Simon what do you think this lesson will be about? I heard magister Denzler was to make a big announcement."
"Shut up, Lange and behave yourself" his classmate responded angrily much to Silvanus's dismay since he used to consider Simon as one of his only friends.
"Why so upset?" the blond boy asked.
"I won't get into more trouble because of your misbehavior," Simon responded.
"It is not my fault that you been punished. You just needed to be more discreet," Silvanus responded.
"More discreet? I never should've been friends with you, to begin with," Simon whispered.
"Will you two just shut up?" the girl next to them said.
"Don't get yourself involved, Klara" Silvanus responded.
"When you're breaking the rules, I'm afraid I need to do so," Klara replied sternly.
Silvanus finally shut up once the magister stepped into the classroom. He was a tall and middle age wizard dressed in militaristic robes with a Deathly Hallows symbol sewed at the left arm.
"I'd heard noise from the outside. You shall not need to be scolded after two years at Skagerrak School of Magic but here we are anyway. I have a big announcement today so I'm not in the mood for punishment. We will take our daily routine as usual, " the Magister said in a stoic manner. "GOOD AFTERNOON CLASS!"
Everyone stretched themselves with their fists knotted and responded; "GOOD AFTERNOON MAGISTER"
"You have permission to sit down," the adult wizard ordered them.
Despite being from Sweden, Magister Denzler spoke fluent Danish with only a slight trace of his native accent.
"Two weeks ago the Norwegian Ministry of Magic saw the light and signed its allegiance with our glorious Zauberreich just its counterpart here in Denmark did two years ago. It meant huge progress for our cause and soon other Ministries will join as well. My native Sweden will be among them. It is just a matter of time. With Norway now under the jurisdiction of the Zauberreich, Federal Chancellor Grindelwald has decided to make the Durmstrang Institute Magical Learning a part of it.
He took a pause and continued explaining while the class listened eagerly; "As you've learned in history class, Durmstrang used to be one of the 11 so-called 'prestigious' wizarding schools registered by the International Confederation of Wizards. It was most famous for teaching the dark arts and only accepted children from rich and powerful families, especially those that were 'pure of blood,' " he said with a dash of sarcasm.
"Both the Federal Chancellor and I attended school during our youths and we both agree on that it was a crumbling and disgusting place. A breeding ground for bullying and childish power play, collapsing under its conservative ideals and afraid of change. However, under its new administration, this will all be different. Anyone who've sworn loyalty to the Zauberreich will be given the chance of attending the Institute regardless of blood status or their families economic and social situation. It is our belief that true greatness isn't something you're born off but something that it is achieved through hard work and discipline. "
He sure can talk, Silvanus thought for himself.
"A test will be arranged next week in all the federal states where any witch or wizard in the age group of 11-17 is expected to show up. The test will challenge your physical, mental and above all, your magical skills. If we, the judges determine that you've succeeded in all challenges, then you'll be sent on a boat to Durmstrang at the beginning of August. Any questions?"
Klara raised her hand.
"Jensen", the Magister nodded.
"If Durmstrang is located in Norway, does that mean we have to learn Norweigian?"
"I presume you meant those who'll pass the test, but no you don't need to learn any new languages until next week. Danish, Norwegian and Swedish are very similar languages which enable students of said nationalities to share lessons together, just like it was during my school days. As the years go by you will also learn German, French, and English due to them being the most spoken languages of the Zauberreich, so far."
Simon raised his hand.
"Olsen", the Swede nodded.
"What will happen if you don't pass the test?"
"Then you will be staying and finishing your education here in Skagerrak unless you decide to attend next years trials," Magister Denzler answered.
Silvanus was indeed intrigued by this as we would more than like to leave his home in Denmark for something greater.
"To prepare you for the test we will repeat some of the basic spells you've been taught here in pre-school. We will start with the levitation charm."
Everyone picked up a small, round stone out of their bags and put it on their table.
Pointing his wand at his tea kettle, Magister Denzler said; "With tact and grace; WINGARDIUM LEVIOSA!"
"WINGARDIUM LEVIOSA" all the students repeated making their stones lift above the table.
For Silvanus, this was no challenge as he regularly practiced basic spells at home but for some of his classmates, things did not go as easy since one could hear stones bump on the floor.
"ANDERSEN, why does this happen again, after months of practicing?" Denzler asked with a sense of sadism.
"I-I have-haven't practiced enough, Magister," Nils Andersen replied nervously.
"Don't worry then I have 7 more years to teach you better," the Swedish wizard smiled devilishly. "OK! Next spell is the summoning charm. Students, put your stones a meter in front of your tables."
After everyone did as he told them, he said: "Say the spell!"
Now the stones flew everywhere in every direction hitting many in the face, although Silvanus succeeded in repelling everything that flew near him.
While many laid knocked out on the floor, the magister made one snarky comment; "This is going to be a long afternoon."
When the day was over, all the kids walked out of the school building discussing the revelations of the day. The weather was gray as if a storm was looming over the isles of Denmark.
"I am definitely gonna show who is going to Durmstrang," Klara stated confidently.
"Don't put your hopes too high, Klara. You're not even top 10 in the class" Fanny mocked her.
"Says who?" the other witch responded.
"Says me!" Fanny replied.
"Why do you even want to go Durmstrang? Isn't it better here?" Nils stuttered.
"You only say that because you're afraid of failing. But don't be ashamed of yourself. You're pretty good for being a 'Mudblood'," Fanny continued her savage rampage.
"DAHL, you know I can report you for using such words," Simon came to defense.
"I like to see you try, Olsen."
"Maybe I will if you don't behave yourself."
It was in tedious discussions like this Silvanus just preferred to stay quiet and let the conflict solve itself.
"Come on Simon lets go home," he finally said.
"I'm not coming home to you again, Silas. What did you think of when you'd transfigured the older student's food into worms and let me take the blame? " the brown-haired boy objected.
"I didn't let you 'take the blame.' You could've easily gotten away had you not panicked," the blond wizard argued.
"I don't care and I don't like you. BYE!" Simon said and marched away in the opposite direction as his former friend's.
Distraught and angered, Silas went into the direction towards his apartment.
Since Gellert Grindelwald's forces had marched into Copenhagen, 1932 the wizarding community of Denmark had been condensed into a single group of hidden island in the ocean of Skagerrak. A small city had been built that contained most modern necessities. There were shops, restaurants, pubs situated within buildings that seemed like they were about to tip. The Deathly Hallow symbol could be seen everywhere. On flags, posters, house entrance. There were no getting away from it. Silas couldn't help but find it amusing that the most powerful dark wizard in history had chosen a sign from a children's book as a symbol for his cause.
On the way home, he saw two faceless figures in uniform bringing what looked like a drunk hobo towards the City Council Building where he could only imagine what they were about to do with him next.
He walked closer to the shore of the island that the school was situated on and walked over a bridge to the next one was his home laid. This island consisted of multiple high 5-7 store buildings with several bridges and spiraling staircases that connected each other like some kind of network. On his way up the top of his home building, Silas could spot some of the neighbors saddling a hippogriff and flying away to the other island and some small children playing tennis on their broomsticks. House-elves were decorating and painting the walls by making the equipment work by itself.
This was not the kind of environment most wizards of his kind was used too. Priorly to the occupation, all pure-blood wizards in the country lived in small, secluded communities out on the countryside distant from that did not live up to their standards.' Now nearly all magical folks and been concentrated into a single city which they were magically restraint from leaving without special permission from the council. On the upside, everyday life seemed much more exciting and there were greater opportunities for meeting new peoples.
Silas opened the door to his 'apartment' and saw that his parents had left a note that explained they were doing embassy work in Austria again. Feeling empty on the inside, he cooked dinner and sat alone eating on the outside while witnessing the sunset.