Every year, we step on that train at Kings Cross, on our way to our home away from home. This year, sorting was decided to be covered by two students! Owl Posts Julia Vitrac and Slytherins Hestia Withka! Welcome to Hogwarts first years, and for our returning students, we give a warm welcome back to Hogwarts!
We began the day by making our way through the busy muggle filled station of King’s Cross…until we found ourselves stood between platforms 9 and 10.
It was busy, per usual, but you could spot the first years a kilometer away! So lost, so fascinated, so… first year!
Yes, first years often stand right out even in a crowd of muggles! I giggled to myself as I heard one or two asking the muggle man at the station where Platform 9 ¾ was, but then I stepped in to help, showing them the way by running into the wall between the two platforms.
As we boarded the train, each of us going to our own group in our own train car, I couldn’t help but feel relieved. I hope you first years learn to feel that happy relieved feeling when it’s time to come home to Hogwarts every year.
The train gets awfully busy so soon, but it’s a sight to see and for the seven years you come to Hogwarts and back, you never forget the train ride! The first day is chaos and I hope not too many pets got mistakenly left behind on the platform.
Of course! You never forget that first train ride, the trolley lady, the rolling hills, the new face introductions. It’s the cornerstone of your Hogwarts adventure. What lays the foundation is your sorting! Which house will you be? Will you make friends? Will your family be happy with the hats selection? These questions fill your mind for most. I sort of wish I could read the minds of first years, just so I can find out what questions they ask themselves every year.
Chocolate frogs and liquorice wands, it’s no mistake if you pay a few more galleons than you intended to, but you must be careful of that crafty trolley lady! The train journey itself is a rather long one, but it’s plenty of time to introduce yourself to the new first years and they you. There’s also plenty of time to get changed into your uniforms and robes. As the train continues on its journey, chugging away from London, the magic in the air thickens as we make our way to Hogwarts.
The uniform change is probably the most hectic part of the train ride. I feel bad for the prefects and head boy and girl, they have to change a lot sooner than the rest of the students. Although, I’m pretty sure I saw one or two first years who were ahead of the game and changed as soon as they got on the train. That’s a long train ride to spend in your uniform! Hope it didn’t wrinkle too much.
Some were eager to start the new school year sooner than the rest of us, I expect. I hope everyone was in their robes as the train slowed down and made its way into Hogsmeade station, where Professor Priaulx stood waiting. When the train made its stop, one by one we all found ourselves standing on the platform. Professor Priaulx presumably, as always, lead the first years to the boats as the rest of us took carriages to the castle.
Have you ever stepped off that train, stopped, and then just took a huge breath and felt instantly at peace? The smells of Hogsmeade just swirling around your head as you make your way through to the carriages? Then, just as the carriage is approaching the gates… you see it. The castle! You don’t think you’re going to make it because you’re just bursting with happiness at being home. That’s usually how it is for me, although, this year there was some sadness at seeing the castle. Sadness at remembering there would be no bubbles at sorting this year, or any year.
For those of us who had the pleasure to be taught or speak with former Headmaster Fox, it was a sad return, however his memory lives on, throughout the castle. As we, the elder years made our way into the castle, which was lit up by the many candles, we stepped into the Great Hall, sitting at our house tables, and we eagerly awaited for the first years to arrive…
Our new Deputy Headmistress, Professor Blightly, came rolling into the great hall with a gaggle of gawking first years behind her. It was then the sorting began! This years sorting hat song was absolutely amazing, if you ask me. Which, why would you be reading this article if you weren’t?
The Sorting Hat song is always memorable and each is different, the song sung is never the same. Jeeves our ever so friendly poltergeist had his own choice of words. Still the Sorting Hat managed to meet tune with Jeeves, and even through the annoyance of Jeeves. When the song was sung and Jeeves out the way, our new Deputy Headmistress, Professor Blightly began to call the first years up to be sorted.
While we don’t see much of our poltergeist pal, he still comes around every so often and shows us his love. In the form of pranks. He’s incorrigible really. Although, I wouldn’t pay much attention to his rambling about each house he did on sorting night. Poor thing is probably just jealous he wasn’t sorted.
We watched on as the Sorting Hat was placed on the first years heads, one by one, the hat had many things to say before it called out, ‘Gryffindor! Hufflepuff! Slytherin! Ravenclaw!’ As the first years were placed into their house, they joined their house mates, at their designated house table. Some older students were inclined to greet the new members of their house, but we don’t need to go into that! Those whom were lucky, were greeted by a roy of smiles and cheers.
In the wake of our recent tragedy, the school song didn’t need to be sung. However, I’m sure I speak for us all when I say… Thank you Headmistress O’Keeffe! She made a point to tell us that Professor Fox wouldn’t be happy with us missing it. I can personally say, I sung loudly and proudly that night. We had a few reminders about the memorial the next day, and then it was time for the food!
That wasn’t all, the food only began after the terror that filled the hall. A clown, a werewolf, a skeleton and then a frightful man yelling at Headmistress O’Keeffe! Some first years scurried underneath the tables, others got their wands at the ready but we had nothing to fear as Headmistress O’Keeffe banished what turned out to be just a Boggart! Something the first years will learn in Defense Against The Dark Arts. Fear made some more hungry than others as we tucked into the feast laid out before us on the tables. As we began to wonder, what else this new school year would bring.
Oh yes… how could I forget… A year at Hogwarts hasn’t started without some sort of trauma! All those with clown phobias, we humbly apologize, although there wasn’t much we could do to prevent such an event. I do hope everyone exercises some caution when exploring the castle, I don’t know if that Boggart was ever caught.
With that, we wrap up our take on this years sorting ceremony, and welcome you all back to Hogwarts.
Be cautious, be kind, and most of all, be proud to be a student at Hogwarts! Welcome and welcome back!