Categories > Books > Harry Potter > To Rewrite History

Back to Hogwarts: the Train and the Feast

by jeansvenus 7 reviews

The train compartment is very crowded. Harry replays an old conversation with Draco. Moody startles everyone, and Harry walks the halls at night with McGonagall.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: G - Genres: Drama, Romance - Characters: Barty Crouch Jr., Crabbe, Draco, Dumbledore, Ginny, Goyle, Harry, Hermione, Moody, Ron, Theodore Nott, Other - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2007-02-15 - Updated: 2007-02-16 - 3816 words

It was a boisterous group that boarded the Hogwarts Express when summer ended. Lee Jordan levitated everyone's trunks into storage for them, and Hermione and Harry gave Mrs. Weasley last minute hugs. Ginny smiled brightly and accepted congratulations from everyone who saw her engagement ring.

They piled into an empty compartment near the back and waved out the window to the Weasleys staying behind.

"We'll see you next summer!"

"Bye Mum!"

"Take care of my daughter, Harry."

"I will, sir!"

The train pulled out of the station, the tunnel's stale wind hitting the riders' faces. Harry ducked back inside and the others followed suit quickly.

"Back to school!" Hermione squealed.

Ron gaped at her. "Yeah, 'Mione, back to school." He shook his head in disbelief. "Back to school," he muttered.

"I'm looking forward to it," Harry said, grinning. "Should be an interesting year."

Ginny elbowed him. "You still won't say why it's going to be a good year!"

"Yeah, mate," Ron chimed in. "Tell us."

Draco stuck his head in the door of the compartment. "Good day, Gryffindors! How are all of you?" He squeezed into the seat next to Harry and Ginny. Millie, Ted, Greg, and Vince all followed.

"Harry's keeping secrets," Ginny said with an exaggerated sigh. "It's awful."

"Don't give in, Potter!" Draco cried. "Let them hear about it at the feast."

Harry chuckled. "Don't worry, I won't break that easily."

Millie smiled and interrupted. "Show us your ring, Ginny! I read all about it in the Prophet yesterday."

Ginny blushed and held out her hand so the Slytherin students could admire the craftsmanship of her ring. The white gold had been brushed to a silky shine, and seven tiny diamonds were embedded randomly in the rounded band.

"Beautiful," Ted commented. "Seven diamonds for the seventh child, I suppose? Powerful association."

She beamed at him. "Exactly," she said. "That's why I chose this one."

"Oh!" Draco said suddenly. He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a mobile phone. "Have a look, Harry. Leech juice, pulverized pomegranate seeds, strained fluxweed, and bat adrenaline."

Harry nodded. "Very nice. Corrosive, though. Did you think of anything to protect the copper battery?"

Draco shook his head. "I just wanted to try out a prototype."

Millie dug into her pocket. "Here's mine, you two. I didn't use adrenaline; I used mandrake juice. For the sound, you know."

"Logical," Ted put in. "But you'd still need a bonding agent to keep the copper from being eaten by the leech juice."

"Have you considered dragon's blood?" Hermione offered.

Draco, Millie, Ted, and Harry all looked at her.

"What?" she asked. "It's just a suggestion."

"Hermione," Millie said, "Please go into business with us."

"Please, Granger," Draco added plaintively. "We need your brains."

She blushed. "If you can wait for me to finish Uni..." she trailed off, seeing the dejected looks on their faces. "What? I've the grades for Oxford. Or Cambridge."

"We'll keep a place for you," Harry said. "If you can get into a good university, do it." He turned to Ted and Draco and pointed out, "She'll be able to keep us informed about the latest technology and medical breakthroughs, you know."

"All right, Granger," agreed Ted. "That's not a bad idea."

Millie, seeing Ginny listening in intently, said affably to her, "This'll be your first year taking electives, right? What are you signed up for?"

Ginny smiled and slipped her hand in Harry's. "I'm listed for Muggle Studies, Care of Magical Creatures, and Arithmancy. I hear the Muggle Studies professor is better than the one my father had when he attended Hogwarts."

"If the last Muggle Studies professor is the one that taught him about 'eckeltricity,' then I should hope the new one's better," Ron said, breaking away from listening to Greg and Vince for a moment.

"You're one to talk," Hermione said tartly. "You and your 'fellytones.'"

Ron scowled at her and turned back to the parchment the three of them were huddled over.

The door of the compartment opened again. "My word, it's packed in here!" a voice called out laughingly.

Harry looked up and grinned at the boy in the doorway. "Hello, Cedric! How are you?"

"Not bad, Harry, not bad," was the cheerful reply. "Aren't you a bit crowded in here?"

"There's always room for more," Hermione said with a bright smile.

Harry noticed the badge pinned to Cedric's jumper. "Well done, Cedric. Head Boy!"

"Thanks," he said happily. "I was a bit surprised to get it."

"We're not surprised." Harry looked over at Greg. "Have you written my bet with Draco down yet?"

"Yeah, Potter. Ten on Diggory for you, ten on Higgs for Draco."

Cedric looked at him oddly, and then broke into a grin. "Is this anything to do with what we were briefed on during the prefects' meeting just now?"

Harry laughed. "Ten galleons on you, Cedric. And if neither of us win, we go down to Hogsmeade and complain over fish and chips to Rosmerta."

Cedric laughed. "I'll see you lot at the Great Hall," he said, moving away from the doorway. "We're about an hour away, you ought to get changed soon."

The Slytherins all reached into their pockets and pulled out folded robes, shrunk into squares the size of mint tins. Harry, Ginny and Ron all looked to Hermione.

"Oh, fine," she said, huffing. She rummaged around her book bag, head and arm deep inside the shallow canvas holdall. She flung a wadded-up ball of black robes at Ron, her aim perfect.

"That's you fixed," her voice echoed out from the bag. "Aha!" She withdrew her head and arm, slightly red in the face, clutching two folded robes.

"Ginny, Harry," she said. "I'm not playing mother next time."

"Yes, Hermione," they said obediently, grinning.

The nine of them all stood and, with a bit of maneuvering around each other, managed to get their robes on without injury.

"I'm all wrinkled," Ron said disgustedly. He slapped ineffectually at the creases in his robes.

"If you'd folded them in the first place, Ronald, they wouldn't be wrinkled," Hermione retorted.

Ginny and Harry sighed and sat down again. "How many does this make?" she asked quietly.

"I've lost track," he said, chuckling. "But it's rather funny."

"So, Harry," Draco said. "That house elf you hired."

"What about her?" Harry replied.

"Is she going to be at Hogwarts this year? Because I'd love it if I could have the croissants Mother gave her the recipe for."

"Sure you can," he agreed. "They'll be available every morning at the Gryffindor table."

Draco groaned. "Will you come eat with us sometimes, too?"

"Of course!" Harry exclaimed, surprised. "Don't think I won't."

"Deal then, Potter," Draco said. "I'll come steal your pastries in the morning and you eat dinner with us every once in a while."

"Deal." They shook hands, grinning.

They settled down in relative silence to await the end of the train ride. Ron buried his long nose in a Quidditch book. Hermione was making little notes in Ginny's Arithmancy book for her, with Ginny looking on and asking occasional questions. Millie and Ted pulled out a fresh piece of parchment and were writing feverishly side by side. Vince and Greg were napping.

Draco and Harry looked at each other.

Harry nudged Draco in the ribs with his elbow. "So it's true?" he murmured.

"What?" Draco asked softly, bewildered.

"They're saying all up and down the corridor that Draco Malfoy's in this compartment. Is it true?"

An indefinable look spread across Draco's face, and vanished as he gave the floor of the compartment a lopsided smile. "Yes, it's true. I'm Draco Malfoy."

Harry smiled. "I'm Harry. Harry Potter. That's Weasley and Granger. You'll soon find that some wizards don't hold grudges and have a sense of humor. I can help you there." He held out his hand, holding his breath unconsciously.

"I'd say you're right," Draco said, and gripped his hand firmly. He faltered, and gave Harry a quick, awkward hug, letting go immediately. "I can't believe you remembered that," he said quietly.

"It's hardly something one forgets," Harry replied.

Draco coughed. "I guess not."

Ron sat up and slammed his book shut, startling them. "Oi! Hogsmeade! We're here!"

The small compartment was a flurry of jostling limbs as everyone packed away their textbooks and parchments.

They fell over each other out the door, laughing, as the train ground to a stop at the station.

"Ugh!" Millie cried, throwing her arms over her head.

Hermione pulled her jacket hood up and clutched her robes closed. "When did it start raining?"

"Who knows?" Harry answered. "Let's go get a carriage!"

"Think we can fit this many people in one of the carriages?" Ginny asked wickedly.

"Let's not try," Draco said. "Breathing is something I like to do."

They split up by House at the carriages with promises to get together during breakfast the next day.

"Did you know Crabbe and Goyle run betting pools on just about everything?" Ron demanded as the carriages took off toward the castle.

"Like what?" Hermione asked, feigning interest.

"Who wins the House Cup, who'll have the most detentions, how many cauldrons will explode before the year's out..." Ron shook his head in amazement. "They're not brilliant, but they're savvy, did you know that?"

Harry nodded. "It's a reputation thing," he said. "Draco told me about it. They don't really feel secure enough to act normally outside of the people they grew up with."

Ron looked confused, but Hermione nodded in understanding.


"That was a nice thing you did," Ginny whispered to Harry as they sat at their table in the Great Hall with all the other students.

"What do you mean?" he said back, low-voiced.

She grinned at him. "I mean what you did for Draco. That was nice of you."

Harry shrugged, uncomfortable. "It just needed doing," he muttered.

"Oh, of /course/," she said, imitating Draco's most aristocratic drawl.

"'M /hungry/," Ron whined. "Where're the firsties? Let's get them sorted so we can eat!"

"My God, Ron," Hermione chided. "Have a bit of patience."

McGonagall led in a long, scraggly line of damp students as Hermione spoke. Many looked terrified just by the austere transfigurations teacher, and seemed bowled over by the idea that the staff could get any more eccentric. One tiny boy stood, dripping, and beamed at the Gryffindor table.

"That's my brother, Dennis!" Colin Creevey said in a stage whisper to Harry. "I hope he gets sorted into Gryffindor."

"Yeah, Colin," Harry said with a halfhearted smile. "That'd be brilliant."

"Hush!" Hermione said sharply as the Hall fell into silence. The Sorting Hat opened at the rip at the brim and, after a breathless pause, began to sing.

"A thousand years or more ago
when I was newly sewn,
there lived four wizards of renown,
whose names are still well known:
bold Gryffindor, from wild moor,
fair Ravenclaw, from glen,
sweet Hufflepuff, from valley broad,
shrewd Slytherin, from fen.
They shared a wish, a hope, a dream,
they hatched a daring plan
to educate young sorcerers
thus Hogwarts School began.
Now each of these four founders
formed their own house, for each
did value different virtues
in the ones they had to teach.
By Gryffindor, the bravest were
Prized far beyond the rest;
For Ravenclaw, the cleverest
would always be the best;
For Hufflepuff, hard workers were
Most worthy of admission;
And power-hungry Slytherin
loved those of great ambition.
While still alive they did divide
Their favorites from the throng,
Yet how to pick the worthy ones
When they were dead and gone?

'Twas Gryffindor who found the way,
He whipped me off his head
The founders put some brains in me
So I could choose instead!
Now slip me snug about your ears,
I've never yet been wrong,
I'll have a look inside your mind
And tell where you belong!"

"That's not what it sang the last time we heard it," Harry said in an aside to Ron under the clapping.

"Well, of course it isn't," Ron replied. "Sings a different one every year. It's got to be a pretty boring life, hasn't it, being a hat? I suppose it spends all year making up the next one."*

Harry laughed and turned to face the front as McGonagall began to read the names off in her crisp Scottish brogue.

"Ackerly, Stewart!"


As the newly sorted Ackerly walked quickly to the cheering table, Harry was pleased to see Cho Chang and her friends making room for the nervous first-year.

"Baddock, Malcolm!"


Pansy stood to greet the wobbly-looking boy who'd just joined their house. Baddock sat quickly, blushing.

"Branstone, Eleanor" and "Cauldwell, Owen" were sorted into Hufflepuff, where Cedric handed them off to a few older students.

To Colin's delight, and Harry's dismay, "Creevey, Dennis" was sorted into Gryffindor, and he squelched his way over to his brother's seat. Harry tuned out the boy's breathless exclamations and watched the rest of the Sorting with glazed eyes, ignoring the hunger in his stomach.

After "Zeller, Rose" was sorted into Hufflepuff, and Filch had carried off the three-legged stool and Hat, Dumbledore stood up.

"Welcome, new students!" he cried. "Welcome back, returning students! This is going to be a wonderful year!"

Dumbledore beamed out at the four tables. "I have a few pre-feast announcements to make before we can eat," he said cheerily. "First of all, your Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher this year is Alastor"-

/Boom/. The door to the Great Hall slammed open. A man stood glaring wildly at the students, backlit by the heavy rain and lightning. He had a fierce, bright blue eye that spun dizzily around the room. The man stumped toward the High Table, and Harry could just make out a claw-like wooden leg under his cloak.

"Don't let me stop you, Albus," the man said gruffly.

Dumbledore smiled and nodded at him. "Professor Alastor Moody, everyone."

Most of the students seemed too scared to clap, and the applause petered out quickly.

"Blimey," George whispered. "That's Mad-Eye Moody!"

"Next," Dumbledore went on, "Quidditch has been cancelled for the year."

There was an immediate uproar from the students. Dumbledore raised his hands for silence. "As I was saying, Quidditch has been cancelled"-he spoke over the grumbling-"because we're hosting the Tri-Wizard Tournament this year."

"No way!" Ron shouted. His ears turned red as people looked in his direction.

"I'm quite serious, Mr. Weasley," Dumbledore said lightly. "If you'd like to hear a joke, though, find me after the feast."

At a glare from McGonagall, he hurried on. "As it is such a dangerous contest, we've decided that only those who are of age may enter their names for the Tournament. Delegations from the French Academy of Beauxbatons and the Northern European Institute of Durmstrang will be arriving later this month. Please extend every courtesy toward our guests while they are with us."

"Now," Dumbledore summed up, "I'm sure you're all far too hungry to listen to anything else, up!"

With a groan of delight, Ron fell on the food. Harry wasn't far behind him.

"What d'you think, hmm?" Fred wondered aloud to George. "I bet we could enter."

"You're only sixteen," Ron pointed out through a mouthful of chicken.

"Your point, Ronnikins?" George asked. "We've gotten away with plenty before. What's faking our age?"

Hermione shook her head. "It's on your heads if you get caught," she warned.

They shrugged and ignored her.

"It would be nice to win the Tournament," Ron said to Harry. "What's the winnings, thousand galleons or so?"

"Guess so," Harry replied. "Still, I don't want to enter. I've put my money on Diggory, remember? It'll be nice having someone else get all the attention for once."

"I'd do it in a heartbeat," Ron said. "Still, it's not like I can fool the judges. I really do look fourteen," he said gloomily.

Nearly-Headless Nick caught Ron's comments as he drifted by. "Enjoy your youth, young Gryffindor," he said mournfully. "Else, you may end up like me." He looked up at the High Table and shuddered discreetly at the sight of the battered Professor Moody. "Or /him/, even."

"Urgh." Ron gulped down his pumpkin juice and didn't answer. He looked horrified at the prospect.

After everyone's stomachs were pleasantly full and the desserts had been cleared away, Harry stayed behind while everyone left for the dorm rooms.

"Ah, Harry," Dumbledore said, noticing him standing a ways apart from the cluster of teachers quietly. "Is this one of those nights?"

"Yes, sir," he said politely. "May I ask who's doing rounds tonight?"

"I am, Mr. Potter," McGonagall said firmly. "We may run across the Head Boy and Girl, but you're with me until you feel you can sleep."

"Thank you, Professor," Harry said gratefully.

"So, Harry," Professor Sprout interjected. "What do you think about this TriWizard Tournament? Anyone you want to be Hogwarts Champion?"

"I made a bet with a friend that Cedric Diggory would be Champion," Harry told her with a grin. "It's worth ten galleons if I win, and I'm fairly confident about it."

She gave him a broad smile. "Yes, he does seem like Champion material, doesn't he?"

"He's a credit to Hufflepuff," he replied as he walked out with McGonagall.

McGonagall eyed him speculatively. "You've changed, Potter," she stated, walking briskly up the marble staircase to the first floor.

"I should hope so," he said. "Finally got my growth spurt. Madam Pomfrey had to wring it out of me with potions."

"Poppy's a good matron," McGonagall said with a small smile. Her face grew stern again and she demanded, "But explain what you mean by needing potions to grow?"

Harry winced. "I didn't get much to eat before coming to Hogwarts," he said tentatively, "and every summer after."

McGonagall stopped and looked at him. "Those muggles didn't feed you?" she asked, outraged.

"Err, I've taken care of the problem now," he said. He saw the look on her face and added hastily, "Without hexing them, really!"

"But still," she protested. "Why didn't you tell us when you first came to Hogwarts?"

He scuffed his foot on the floor and kept his eyes down as they resumed walking. "I didn't know until last year that anyone would care, really. But Madam Pomfrey found out after that incident with the dementors, and she took care of everything." He looked at her from beneath his fringe- I'm as tall as she is, he realized with a start- and said with a grin, "I'm going to be taller than my dad when I'm done growing."

She sighed. "I'll still be having words with Albus about this. It's our job to notice such things."

"Please don't," he asked, putting a hand on her arm. He looked at her, eyes serious, and elaborated, "We've spent the summer corresponding. He knows it was awful, and he knows things are good now. I've put my faith in him, and I think it's well placed."

"Potter, you...." She sighed and reluctantly nodded her agreement. "You are growing to be a fine young man. I'm proud to have you in my House."

"Thanks, Professor," he said sincerely.

Harry was pleasantly surprised at the kindness and the wicked sense of humor his Head of House displayed on their long walk around the castle. She gave him advice about supplementary texts for his new classes, congratulating him on working hard and earning the seats.

He, in turn, showed the notes he had accumulated about the Wizarding mobile phones. She said she'd drop a word with the proper teachers about class points and help in case they hit stumbling blocks.

The stern transfigurations professor stopped in front of a sleeping portrait on the seventh floor at around one in the morning.

"Have a good sleep, Potter," she said kindly. "I trust you'll make it to breakfast tomorrow?"

"I ought to," he said. "I've a coffee mug that refills on command."

Her thin lips turned up in a hint of a smile. "Wish I had one," she commented, and rapped on the portrait frame.

"Hnh? Oh, hello, Professor," the Fat Lady said sleepily. "Password, please?"

"Balderdash," she said crisply.

Harry ducked inside as the portrait swung open, but stuck his head out and called quietly to his receding Head of House, "Good night, Professor! And thanks again!"

"Go to bed, Potter," came the firm reply from down the hall.

Harry climbed the stairs of the tower and slipped silently into the fourth-year boys' dormitory. His trunk stood at the end of his bed on one side of the room, four slightly snoring lumps taking up the other beds. Harry grinned.

It's good to be back. He lay on his bed in his flannel pajamas, fingers laced behind his head, and smiled sleepily at the underside of the canopy. Can't wait...until to...morrow...

author's notes! Otherwise known as, JeansVenus answers reviewer questions!

First off: my ability to update regularly is probably going to get seriously out of whack. I have to go in for bloodwork tomorrow, and depending on the results, they may or may not poke about my insides with sharp knives. Ugh.

the bits marked with an asterisk (*) are courtesy of the canon fourth year book.

kurotatsu72: Thanks for pointing that out. I went back and corrected the error.

banner: You make me feel all warm and squishy inside! Thank you! I actually modeled Harry, Ginny, and Draco after myself and a couple of my more brainiac/ comedian friends. We really did act like that in our first year of high school and last year of junior high, so I'm not pulling the precocious behavior out of nowhere.

Hurricane Andrew: Thanks for the compliment! And yes, Millicent Bulstrode and Theodore Nott befriended Harry in third year, when they offered to tutor him in Arithmancy and Ancient Runes.

DrT: Yes, sometimes I like writing Dumbledore as the chessmaster, but this time it just didn't fit for me. I felt that in order to have Harry get away with all he's going to this year (remember how much he put in place in terms of politics during the summer?), he needs to have a working relationship with the headmaster. As for Snape and the mobile phones...he already got a glimpse of Harry's intelligence when they came across each other in the apothecary. He might be shocked, but he'll see reason.

Dragen: I'm glad you liked the letter approach to the end of the summer holidays. I thought it would be an interesting way to show the personalities of the different characters.

Murgel: Thanks a bunch. Reviews like yours make me smile. I've been able to update frequently these days because of free time on my hands. Things might get shaky soon, but I'm not one to abandon a fic.
Sign up to rate and review this story