First Day of the End
Jason's carriage, the lead carriage which carried the Head Students and the Prefects, snagged a bump in the path and shook Jason from his thoughts. The others sneered at him. He would definitely not be utilizing the Prefects' bathroom this year. "So..." Jason muttered uncomfortably, "How did your parents feel about you being Head Girl, Pansy?"
Pansy Parkinson sneered and looked toward the lake. Jason could see the lanterns bobbing somewhere near the middle of the body of water--the first years. Jason felt nothing but pity for them; for some reason, he could only see Hogwarts being the least magical experience of their lives. At least they would be greeted by Professor McGonagall--scratch that. Amycus and Alecto Carrow would "greet" them.
The carriage came to a slow halt before the rusted metal gates of the castle. Three figures, two rather short and dumpy, the last towering above them, waited just beyond. Jason could hear the bickering over the whining of the carriage as he climbed out. "Amycus, let me do these lists, you do those. You know very well you can't keep track of that many things at a time!"
"Sister, I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself!" Amycus hissed through yellowing teeth.
"Will you both stop your quarreling. The students are arriving," McGonagall's voice rang out above them both. Jason could hear the annoyance, and he saw it in her eyes once he got close enough to the gate. "Ah, Mr. Crowe. If you would, form a single file line. Profess--Headmaster Snape is implementing a new..housing method.."
The Slytherin Prefects, along with Pansy, quickly formed a line, their noses pointed in the air. Oh, this was going to be a fun year. Alecto scuttled from behind a the metal gate, clearing her throat as she brought her clipboard to her face, "Name, Blood Status, and Current House."
"Pansy Parkinson, Pure, Slytherin." Jason didn't like where this was going. A new housing method? A sudden inquiry about Blood Status? Current house?
"Professor?" Jason whispered sideways to Professor McGonagall, "Are they... are they trying to rearrange the houses?"
"Sadly, that would be my guess," she answered, looking cautiously at her surroundings, "Severus insists that all of those files were lost with Albus's death, or were somehow found untrustworthy under the last board of governors. Jason, I must tell you something that I was only made aware of this morning. No Muggle-borns have been admitted to the school this year. I--I fear any who dared return will have their wands confiscated and be left to fend for themselves. I will tell Amycus to sort all the students in line by house; he will, undoubtably, place the Slytherins in the front. That will give us time to help anybody foolish enough to risk coming a chance to escape. Amycus!"
Jason allowed his head to stop spinning while Professor McGonagall presented her idea to Amycus. He could tell it was hard for her to have somebody other than Dumbledore above her. Amycus quickly claimed the idea as his own, and as the Professor had expected, all Slytherins were hurried to the front of the line. Gryffindors second, Ravenclaws third, and a much smaller Hufflepuff house gathered at the end of the line.
"Where is the Head Boy?" Alecto croaked, squinting to see the list in front of her, "Jason Crowe?" McGonagall shot him a look and Jason quickly hurried to the front of the line. "Ah, there you are," she smiled. Her teeth, like her brother's, were an unpleasant shade of yellow, "Blood Status and Current House?"
Jason's pulse raced. He was Pure Blood. He was Ravenclaw. But if he said he was Pure Blood, he was sure he'd quickly become Slytherin. That had been Snape's plan; he could name Jason Head Boy and still keep Slytherin students in all leading roles, because Jason's house would be changed. But Snape had said the reconds were untrustworthy. This was where Jason would get the upper hand on Snape. Not only that, but Moxie would be ashamed if he didn't show some Salem Spirit in the face of danger.
"Ravenclaw," Jason said quietly.
Alecto waited a moment and slowly looked up from her papers. Her lips were curled with subtle fury, "I believe I asked for your blood status, first."
Jason's eyes met the shorter woman's. He could feel the defiance oozing out of him. If there was one thing he was going to do this year, it was that he was going to make Amycus and Alecto's jobs very hard. "Half blood," Jason more-or-less shouted. He looked around; he caught a small smirk from Professor McGonagall.
Alecto stared at him blankly. "Did you need me to repeat something?" Jason said curtly, "Half-blood. Ravenclaw. Head Boy." He gave a cheeky smile as Alecto scribbled his words down and he walked back to Professor McGonagall's side. Away from the crowd, Jason shuddered with a deep sigh, "Please tell me Moxie would approve."
"Oh, Jason," McGonagall said, trying to contain her amusement, "I think you may have outdone Moxie with that one."