My name is Covington, and I am a first-year student returning to Hogwarts.
This wasn't the first time that I've set foot at Hogwarts. A few months ago, I regularly stole to the magical castle under darkness' veil. I was surprised that even as a muggle-born, I was both instantly discovered and welcome by the staff and students at Hogwarts. I was even allowed to sit in a few classes; apparently, this is the only school that I've ever heard of in which students sneak into class. This year, however, I will be attending Hogwarts for real. My mother was adamant about me not going, but a few well-placed distractions caused by yours truly minimized the friction between us like a careful drop of oil applied to two stuck gears.
I spent the whole move-in day tired because I spent the night before packing my stuff. Like a muggle playing Tetris, I tried to fit the most stuff into the least amount of suitcase as possible. My mother "helped" me pack by throwing girly clothes I would never wear, muggle electronic devices, and other stuff I wouldn't have caught dead in at Hogwarts; I threw them back on my bed. Her last words before I left were, "Make sure you watch enough TV at Hogwarts, and make friends with Mindy!" I said goodbye to my brother Kastor - who was still asleep - and dragged my rolling luggage at the door.
Mindy, her mother's (and apparently also my mother's) little darling, was already at the shuttle stop. Her mother was there to hold her bags and wait with her at the stop. Mindy looked as if she was dressed up for a fashion show; her thin frame was sporting skinny jeans, a tight-fitting shirt, and high-heeled shoes. Her face was drenched in makeup. She was lazily looking at a tiny cellphone screen while her hands zipped over its miniature keys - muggle technology. Mindy smirked at me as if I were the one breaking the rules; my face was stoic as I laughed on the inside.
If Mindy were any other person, I would have reminded her that muggle technology was not allowed at Hogwarts. But no, I'd rather have the professors deal with her transgressions. Let her feel the wrath of the magical professorate; let her be made to feel that she was the stupid one. Then after Mindy will be reprimanded, I will find a private place, snicker for a minute or two, and then go on with daily life, reminding myself that Mindy has already won a delinquent mark on the professors' books.
After boarding the express shuttle provided by the school, I ended up directly at Hogwarts. A sea of students poured towards Hogwarts castle. I've spotted several Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, Ravenclaws, and Slytherins that I've met during my auditing days. Some waved, others smiled. I joined up with a bunch of Gryffindor friends and followed them into the Great Hall. When they got to the Gryffindor table, I sat down with them. I didn't want to leave, but alas, the Headmistress made an announcement that she was about to start the sorting ceremony, and I had to take a seat at the newcomers' row.
Words and names passed in and out of my ears while I thought and thought and thought. Actually, it was more like I worried, worried, and worried. You see, I did not fit exactly into one of the four houses; I was told that I talked like a Ravenclaw, I was subtle like a Slytherin, and I was fair-minded like a Hufflepuff. But I wanted to be a Gryffindor. Gryffindor was my home, my home that I was returning to after a figurative kidnapping. Of all things, I wanted to be strong, noble, and brave.
The Headmistress called my name, and with a shaky gait that betrayed my nervousness, I approached the front of the room and turned to face the audience. A cheer rose from all over the Great Hall and filled the air. I scanned the room to see members of all of the houses wishing that Sorting Hat would place me in their house. My eyes stopped at the Gryffindor table, and my eyes watered up. I couldn't make out anyone's face now; the lights were now spills of brightness in a watery blur. The noise was growing in a quick crescendo. As time stood still, I thought of what I would do if by chance I didn't make it into Gryffindor, a very real possiblily - who I would talk to, who I would switch with, how I would position myself to be portrayed as a mis-sort who belonged in Gryffindor in the first place, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
I felt the hat on top of my head, and tears gushed out of my eyes.
*The mother, Mindy, and Kastor are characters made specifically for this blog; they aren't real students.