Sep 15, 2019 2:38 PM
Pottervor
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"SLYTHERIN!"

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- and he swaggers his way to his friends Crabbe and Goyle, only stumbling once when Dayo winks at him.

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Moon, Nott, Parkinson, Patil (Padma), Patil (Parvati), Perks, Thomas, Tolipan, Turpin, and finally "Weasley, Ronald!"

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Who is sent to Gryffindor almost as quickly as Malfoy was sent to Slytherin.

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And now that's over with.

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There's still "Zabini, Blaise!" who's a Slytherin but then the Deputy Headmistress rolls up her scroll and takes the Hat away.

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Albus Dumbledore gets to his feet. He's beaming at the students, his arms opened wide, as if nothing could have pleased him more than to see them all there.

"Welcome," he says. "Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!

"Thank you!"

He sits back down. Everybody claps and cheers.

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.................................

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"Don't worry, he's always like this. Percy Weasley, by the way, a pleasure to meet you. Potatoes?"

And indeed, the dishes in front of him are now piled with food: roast beef, roast chicken, pork chops and lamb chops, sausages, bacon and steak, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, fries, Yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, gravy, ketchup, and, for some strange reason, peppermint humbugs.

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...that's a lot of food.

And he can just... have as much as he wants?

...all right then.

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Muninn cheerfully steals a steak.

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"Where did you get that raven?"

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"Is it even allowed?"

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The ghost that seems to like hanging around the Gryffindor table looks mournfully at the food.

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"What's it to you?" the raven says to the twins.

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"Are you all right?" says Victor to the ghost.

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"Oh yes, I just haven't really eaten in four hundred years. I don't need to, of course, but one does miss it. I don't think I've introduced myself? Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington at your service. Resident ghost of Gryffindor Tower."

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"I know who you are!" says Ron suddenly. "My brothers told me about you - you're Nearly Headless Nick!"

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"Pleased to meet you, Sir Nicholas. I'm sorry about the food," he says.

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He inclines his head in acknowledgement, then turns to Ron to say, "I would prefer you to call me Sir Nicholas de Mimsy -"

"Nearly headless?" asks the boy McGonagall called Seamus Finnigan, "How can you be nearly headless?"

Sir Nicholas looks extremely miffed, as if their little chat wasn't going at all the way he wanted. "Like this," he says irritably. He seizes his left ear and pulls. His whole head swings off his neck and falls onto his shoulder as if it's on a hinge. Someone has obviously tried to behead him, but not done it properly.

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"Oh dear. That looks uncomfortable," says Victor. "I'm sorry."

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"Thank you," Nearly Headless Nick says, then flips his head back onto his neck, coughs, and continues: "So - new Gryffindors! I hope you're going to help us win the House championship this year? Gryffindors have never gone so long without winning. Slytherins have got the cup six years in a row! The Bloody Baron's becoming almost unbearable - he's the Slytherin ghost."

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Victor is somewhat more interested in the feast than in the House cup.

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The other students seem to disagree, and when they look over at the Slytherin table, Seamus asks, "How did he get covered in blood?"

"I've never asked," says Sir Nicholas delicately, and changes the subject as people continue eating.

When everyone has eaten as much as they can, the remains of the food fades from the plates, leaving them sparkling clean as before. A moment later the desserts appear. Blocks of ice cream in every flavor you can think of, apple pies, treacle tarts, chocolate eclairs and jam doughnuts, trifle, strawberries, jelly, rice pudding -

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Victor will have a small slice of apple pie with a small scoop of ice cream.

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