Aberforth took me back up the castle steps around half-past eleven. He sent me off into school, with a fond pat on my head like I was his pet dog or something. I didn't mind, though.
"You are always welcome at the Inn young one. Come visit soon." He tells me, and I nod with a matching smile.
"It was nice to meet you, cousin." I tease the man, and he brings me in for a hug.
"It was an honour child." He replies and then apparates back to his Inn. He'd apparated me back to the castle.
I was getting better with not wanting to hurl like the last time Albus had apparated me.
Albus had been waiting for me at the steps as if he knew exactly what time I'd be back.
"Aberforth is always at least half an hour early to meetings. I figured he'd do the same in regards to bringing you back." He tells me when I'd asked.
It seemed like the brothers loved each other dearly but were now utter foes.
He'd taken me to the Hufflepuff dorms with the instructions to get up bright and early so I wouldn't be late for classes, handing me my class schedule.
I knew how to get into the dorms because Albus had informed me how. The professors knew how to access all the dorms. However, I only knew how to access two of them.
I was still Slytherin at heart, but I guess now I was needed more as a Hufflepuff.
I walk up to the pile of large barrels, stacked in the shadows on the right-hand side corridor.
One fabulous quality of the Hufflepuff dorms was that they were near the kitchens. I'd snuck into the kitchens and swiped a couple of cookies.
Well, not swiped because a house-elf caught me and handed them to me with a mysterious smile.
She was the most adorable house elf I'd seen.
Meeting Lucky had made me miss Dobby.
I find the second barrel from the bottom, middle of the second row and tapped on it to the rhythm of 'Helga Hufflepuff.’
The doors swing open, and I smile in awe as I step through the tunnel entryway.
It was such a cozy and welcoming place that I felt myself falling in love. The common room was enormous and had earthy decor all around. It was a round room with low ceilings.
There were substantially round windows that I found myself walking towards amazed. The couches and chairs were burnished with copper touchings and plush, cozy yellow and black patterns.
This was such a difference from the Slytherin room I came to fall in love with in the future.
I amble through the common room, just taking in the view around me. It was late in the night, and there were no students in here except me.
I sit on the couch, my eyes roaming everywhere I could. I take out my backpack and open it, finding the compass staring at me. I pick it up and run my fingers over the outside of it.
I open it up, expecting to see two arrowheads staring up at me instead, I see my great grandmama's face.... Helga Hufflepuff.
I stare at her in confusion and see the image move. She was laughing, her whole lighting up in what was utter delight. Her eyes filled with love and I smile missing her.
I'd have to pay her portrait a visit tomorrow.
My grandmama was a round, plump woman with stunning red hair and blue eyes that I had inherited from her.
She points than at me and I watch as she makes a heart with her hands. I tilt my head to the side in confusion. She usually did that when she saw me or when I was leaving after one of my visits.
I close the compass, deep in thought.
Taking off my necklace, I adjust the compass so that it hung off the long gold chain I usually wore. The chain had been my mum's, and I never took it off.
I tuck the necklace into my robes, and then I go back to my bag. I look through it frantically for a second and then curse -- the goblet.
My grandmama's goblet was still in a case under my bed in the Slytherin dorms. I curse inwardly and try to even my panicked breathing.
"Oh my god." I groan. She'd entrusted me to the goblet, and I'd left it in the future. "Great! Now, I need to find where it is in this timeline. " I scowl to myself and get up, making my way to the girl dorms.
I open the doors to find most of the girls still awake. They all whirl around to stare at me in confusion.
"Who are you?" A girl who looked a couple of years older than me asks. Her eyes were a kind hazel, and her matching golden hair was in two braids that framed the sides of her face.
"I'm Valentine Dumbledore," I say, and her eyes light up.
"What? I thought you were in Slytherin." She asks, and I grin.
"Oh, no. Those were my friend's robes I'd borrowed to get into the school. The Sorting hat sorted me into Hufflepuff." I explain, and she gives a little shriek of glee.
"Yay!! Finally!! Hufflepuff has a legend!" She squeals and I blink in surprise. Legend? But Dumbledore hadn't defeated Grindelwald yet. He must've been much more powerful than I'd thought.
"I'm Liana Bones. Prefect." She beams, and I smile in realization.
"Nice to meet you!" I say, and she looks at the faces staring at us.
"Everyone!! Valentine Dumbledore... Hufflepuff!" She exclaims, making them burst into a round of applause.
My heart warms when I realize they were trying to have me live the experience that all first-years got on their first day in Hogwarts.
I grin and wave at everyone. "I'll show you your bed! You must be exhausted!" She beams and leads me to a bed beside two other girls.
One looked like she'd been asleep but had woken up, the other seemed to stare at me curiously.
"Anyways, I'll leave you to your unpacking! You have any questions.... let me know!" She beams, smiling as she literally skips away.
I half expected to see her farting out rainbows and have birds chirping all around her.
"She's always that... happy. It's normal." The girl who'd been eyeing me curiously states.
"Oh." I give a weak chuckle. "Yeah, it seems like it." I muse, and she watches me as I simply put my backpack on the floor by my bed and look around.
"I have some extra pyjamas if you need them?" She says, and I look up to meet her gentle grey eyes.
"Oh! Thanks so much! Yes, please, if it's no trouble?" I ask tentatively.
"I wouldn't have offered otherwise." She teases and gets up to rumble through her drawers before handing me a pair of yellow pyjamas.
"Here. We seem to be the same size." She grins, and I give her a grateful look.
"Thanks so much," I say, and she shrugs.
She points me to where the washrooms are, and I give her a grin before rushing over to change from my robes to the pyjamas.
I wave my wand over my robes and wash them thoroughly before going over them with my wand again to dry.
I take my hair down from the high ponytail it usually is in. My long, thick, wavy black hair falls in its curls down my back. I loved my hair.
It was my favourite thing about me, and it reminded me of my mom because she used to have the same long black hair.
My tired, ocean, blue eyes stare back at me from the mirror in the washroom, making me sigh.
Lilly had inherited our dad's flaming red hair while Petunia was like mum and me.
I walk out; my wand stashed in my sleeve like most witches usually did. I put my robes in the drawer beside my bed, and I smile softly at the girl. "Thanks again. It fits perfectly!" I beam, and she beams back.
"That's good!" She says, her eyes warm and kind.
"May I know the name of my pyjama hero." I quip, and she chuckles.
"Abagail Diggory." She beams. I whip over to look at her. I was meeting all of my friend's ancestors, it seemed.
"Well, it's really nice to meet you... I'm Valentine, as you probably heard." I laugh, and she laughs with me.
"So, I guess we're bunk buddies." She points out, and I nod.
"That's a good thing," I tell her.
"Third year?" She asks, and I nod.
"Yup, unfortunately." I tease, making her flip her black hair back with a grin.
"Oh! I think you were the one that barged into my Defense of the Dark Arts class!" She exclaims, and I cringe.
"Oh yeah... I did that." I groan, and she laughs.
"Oh my god Professor Merrythought looked so confused. She had no clue who you were!" Abagail demands and I cover my face with my hands.
"Ugh, I have her tomorrow." I groan, and she grins.
"Same! Let's compare schedules!" She demands, getting excited, and I pull out the paper that Albus had given me.
"Oh! Oh! We have five classes together." She demands, grinning, and I smile back.
"It'll be nice to know someone in those classes," I state, and she nods.
"Bloody hell, what urged you to take Arithmancy and Study of Ancient Runes as electives?" She demands, and I shrug.
"Overachiever alert," I say, pointing at myself, and she shakes her head amused.
"Yeah, a lot of people here are." She says, almost bitter, and I raise a brow.
"Some resentment there, I see," I tell her, and she shrugs.
"I'm taking Divination and Muggle Studies. Not as difficult." She pipes and I grin.
"Arithmancy is actually really interesting, you know." I tease, making her stick out her tongue in dislike.
"NO, thank you!" She demands, making me grin in amusement.
"We have History of Magic together first thing in the morning tomorrow," Abagail tells me and gets comfy in her own bed.
"I'll make sure to wake you up so we can get a good breakfast." She says kindly and I grin.
"Ugh Thank you. You're a lifesaver." I tell her, and she beams.
"Anytime!" She says. I find myself tucking myself into the familiar bed sheets I've come to know and love over the past three years of my life.
I lean over to turn off the lamp beside my bed. Abagail does the same shooting me smile.
I fall into my bed and bring the covers up to my chin, waiting for the cool covers to heat up my already cold body.
Although the dorms were different, the beds in Hogwarts were all the same. I found myself feeling safe and sound as I lay under the blanket of safety.
Before I knew it, my eyes were shut closed, and I fell into the most profound slumber I'd ever been in.