Germany wished he never asked exactly how old he would have to be for this mission. Britain gave the three supply lists, showered them in galleons, sickles, and knuts, made them to “proper age”, and handed them flue powder, instructing them on how to use it correctly.
The German didn’t like this idea, but he already agreed to it. He fidgeted with his eleven-year-old body as England gave them instructions on where to go and what to do. “Remember, when people ask your names, give them your human names. No one can know that you are immortal countries. If I, god forbid, have to send you a howler, then I would have to be careful as to how I word it, and you would have to read between the lines.”
“Question!” Italy waved his hand in the air, his voice even higher than usual. “What’s a howler?”
“A howler,” Britain started. “is a verbal letter. It magically voices the letters message, and usually uses the writer’s voice.”
Italy nodded understandingly, then looked up at the fidgety German. “Germany, what’s a howler?” he repeated.
Though he didn’t want to know what Britain’s spell did to his voice, he sighed reluctantly in a voice twice as high as it normally is. “A howler is a talking paper.” he answered.
“How did you not get that?!” Romano yelled, also with a premature voice.
Britain ignored the fact that Italy just repeated the question to someone else and continued to explain. “Here are your robes, as soon as you get to Digon Ally, change into them immediately, or better yet, put them on before you get there so that it would be less obvious that you are different. Be sure to get all your supplies today, the train leaves tomorrow at exactly eleven o’clock. Once you get to the train station,” he passed out three tickets. “find a woman by the name of Weasley. Her job is to help first years to the platform before the train leaves. Once you leave the train, you follow a man named Hagrid. He will lead you to the castle, and to Professor McGonagall, who will lead you to the Great Hall, and you will be sorted into houses.”
“Sorted?” Germany asked in an unusually high voice. “By what? Will they separate me from Italy?!”
“They sort you by personality, and judging from how different you are, there is a good chance you three could be separated, but just for sleeping arrangements.” he explained.
Italy started to cling to Germany’s arm. “No! No! No! Don’t leave me alone Doitsu!”
“I won’t leave you alone, not by a long shot.” he sighed. “Now get off me!”
After changing into their robes, they double checked to make sure they had everything. When they were satisfied, they climbed into the fireplace one by one, dropping the flue powder to their feet. In a flash of green flames, they transferred from Britain’s lair to a sunny market. They reunited not long after they climbed out, but Italy kept on clinging to Germany. “Don’t leave me Germany!”
“SH!” he quickly sealed his mouth. “It’s Ludwig, remember “Feliciano”? We need to get accustomed to responding to our human names.” Feli didn’t seem fazed. “Lovino,” he sighed. “can you do something? He’s your bruder.”
“What do you expect me to do?” Lovi asked. “He does it to me all the time and everything I do never works.”
Ludwig sighed again and looked at his list. “First thing we need is a wand.” he read off the paper. After asking around, they ended up at Olivander’s. Ludwig entered first since the Italians were terrified with the shadowy, dark, and mysterious shop, though one of the brothers didn’t admit his fear. “Hello?” the German called in the dark shop. “My friends and I can use some assistance in purchasing a wand!”
A sudden thumping sound startled them as Feliciano and Lovino jumped behind Ludwig, trembling in fear. An old man eyed them with shocking blue eyes and wild white hair. “I’ll start with you Mr…”
“Ludwig.” he answered.
“Ludwig.” the man repeated as he pulled out a box. “Try this.” The blond took the wand and gave it a whip. Perhaps I could straighten those pictures. he thought, but the frames exploded, causing the Italians to continue trembling. “Apparently not.” the man observed calmly as he handed him another. Maybe I can clean that mess I just made. he thought as he whipped the new wand, only to cause an eruption of fire. “Defiantly not!” the man exclaimed, putting out the flames.
It went on like that for a few more minutes until Ludwig found his match, then it was Feliciano’s turn. It took him longer to find a good wand, and the one that actually worked was a simple ten-inch wand with no special design. Lovino practically wrecked the shop with the hundreds of wands he tried, when his wand was Feli’s twin all along, only slightly darker.
They paid the old man for the wands. Despite the man’s protests of “It happens all the time”, Ludwig added a tip to help with the destruction that they caused.
They gathered the rest of their supplies with much more ease. Feliciano looked at the bottom of his list ‘Owl, cat, or toad’. “Ludwig! We should get a kitty!”
“Why?” he asked flatly, passing by the pet store.
“I agree with Feli of this one Ludwig,” Lovino stated. “It says on the school supply list to have an owl, cat, or toad.”
“It says “if they desire”.” he read. “Meaning that it’s not required.”
“Here, owls are modes of mail,” Lovi argued. “we don’t know if the school will have extra owls, and we can’t risk keeping Britain’s owl. What if he has something important to say to us?” Ludwig thought for a moment. “He’ll need his owl to send the message without sticking out like a sore thumb.”
With a sigh, he walked into the pet store and came out with a freshly hatched white owl with shocking red eyes. Gilbert, he named the pet. Though he wouldn’t admit it, he missed his brother. Lovino bought a small green baby turtle, naming it Antonio. He too missed his caretaker, but would never say so aloud. Feliciano had a small golden brown kitten, giving it the name Itala, after the cat he left at home.
Satisfied with their supplies and pets, they searched for the Weasley woman that Britain told them to find. In a book shop, they found a ginger woman with so many ginger kids, they lost count, a black haired boy, and a dirty blond girl. Ludwig walked up to the woman with Lovino and Feliciano trailing behind. “Excuse me!” he called out. The woman turned to the sound of a voice. “Are you Mrs. Weasaly?”
“Yes I am dear.” she stated sweetly. “Have we met?”
“Not exactly,” he stated. “My name’s Ludwig, and these are my friends, Feliciano, and Lovino.” They waved hello before Ludwig continued. “Our other friend, Arthur Kirkland, told us to find a woman named Weasley after we get our school supplies.”
“He told us you’d help us find the train.” Feli continued.
“We’re “first years” in case you didn’t know.” Lovi grumbled, making air quotes with his fingers when he said “first years”.
“Where are your parents?” she asked.
“Arthur is like our father figure, and he had more important things to do.” the German lied. “He’s the one who sent us off to school with the money for our supplies.”
Suddenly, Mrs. Weasley’s face filled with pity. “Then come with me boys, you are more than welcome to stay with us for the night.” She guided the three boys to the cluster of other kids ranging from thirteen to young adult. “Everyone, these three boys will be joining us for the night, and join you on the train.” she announced.
The black haired kid walked up to them and shook their hands. “I’m Harry, Harry Potter.” he introduced. “And these are my friends, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley.” he informed, gesturing to the kids behind him.
“I’m Ludwig Doitsu, this is Feliciano, and Lovino Vargas.” he stated, shaking Harry’s hand and gesturing for the Italians to do the same. They stayed with the cluster and spent the night at the Weasley’s home.
Ludwig gazed up at the stars out the window, sitting on the sill and wondering what the next day would bring as Feli and Lovi were fast asleep. “Curious, isn’t it?” he heard a voice over the snoring. He whipped his head around to see Harry walk up. “Your first day of your first year.” he continued as he pulled up a chair and sat next to him.
The German sighed. “Arthur told us that it would be very dangerous this year, and the more I think about it, the more I regret dragging Feliciano and Lovino into this mess.”
Harry looked taken aback. “Arthur doesn’t know what he’s talking about, Hogwarts is the safest place in the world.”
He looked at the boy across from him and sighed. “I hope your right.” He walked over to his makeshift bed, and shut out the light, closing his eyes. Harry eyed him curiously, and left for his bed, yawning as he shut the door.
“Buona Notte Doitsu.” Feli breathed dreamily.
The next morning, the three strained to keep up with the Weasleys. They rushed to the platform, but the German and Italians were surprised to see that there were only platforms 9 and 10, no 9 3/4. They stopped in front of a brick wall and watched as the Weasleys ran through it like thin air.
Mrs. Weasaly looked back to see the three first years are the only ones left, and they looked terrified. “Do you think I should run into the wall Gilbert?” Ludwig asked, then threw his hands in the air. “Listen to me! I’m talking to a bird named after my bruder!”
The woman let out a giggle as Feli pressed himself on the opposite wall, Lovi leaned back fearfully, and Ludwig clutched his head frustratingly. “Need help?” she chuckled.
“I change my mind!” Feli squeaked. “I don’t want to go to school! Arthur can homeschool me!”
“You coward!” Lovi accused his younger brother. “If you weren’t so close to Ludwig, then we wouldn’t be running into a brick wall on purpose! Now you’re backing out?!”
“Can you please just tell us what to do?” Ludwig sighed frustratingly, holding Lovino back to prevent a beating on Feliciano’s part.
Letting out another giggle, Mrs. Weasaly pointed to the wall. “Just walk straight through the wall between platforms 9 and 10.” she instructed.
After a lot of convincing, Ludwig got Lovino and Feliciano to run through the brick wall (more like throwing their stuff through, and telling them to get it themselves), and they barely made the train in time.
They looked from seat to seat. “Full, full, full, full, full,” Ludwig mentally documented. They finally came to a spot that had just enough room. He opened the sliding door and looked up to see Harry, Ron, and Hermione. “Do you mind if we sit with you?” he asked. “Everywhere else is full.”
“Not at all.” Hermione stated as Ludwig let the Italians in before him. Feliciano sat up with excitement, clutching his kitten. Lovino slumped in the seat, crossing his arms and scowling out the window with his turtle on top of his head. Ludwig sat straight up and folded his hands in his lap with his chick owl on his arm. “What are your pets’ names?” Hermione asked, sparking conversation.
“This little owl is Gilbert,” Ludwig introduced. “I already regret naming him that.”
“Why?” she asked.
“That’s my “awesome bruder”s name.” She furrowed her brows at Ludwig’s odd imitation of his brother while Feliciano giggled at the impersonation.
She took a deep breath, reminding herself that they are first years, and must be treated as such. “What about you?” she smiled to Lovino.
“It’s a turtle named Antonio.” he grumpily stated before going back to scowling out the window.
“Ok…” she mouthed to herself before smiling at Feliciano. “What’s your cat’s name?”
“Itala!” he said happily.
“You already have a cat named Itala.” Ludwig reminded.
“I miss him, so I got a kitty and named him Itala Junior!” Ludwig groaned at his immaturity.
The rest of the ride was silent with nothing more to talk about as Harry sent his owl out the window with a letter in her beak.
They arrived at the school, where first years were being separated from the upper classmates. They were led over the lake, through the doors, and to a thin, bony woman that could only be Professor McGonagall. “Welcome to Hogwarts.” she announced like it was a recording of an old routine. “In a few moments, you will pass through these doors, and join your classmates, but first you must be sorted into Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin. While you’re here, your house will be like your family. Your triumphs will earn your points, rule breaking will take away points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the house cup. The Sorting Ceremony will begin.”
She led them through the large doors to reveal a huge room with no roof, and floating candles. They all walked along the path between the tables, and the Professor stood next to an old hat with a scroll in her hand. “When I call your name, you will sit on this stool, I’ll place the sorting hat on your head, and you will be sorted into your houses.” She lifted the hat to reveal a stool as she read the first name. “Lovino Vargas!”
The Italian took a deep breath and sat on the stool as the Professor weighed his head down with the thick hat. “Odd young man…Romano.”
“You know?” he asked in his head.
As if reading his mind, the hat answered. “Yes, I know you were sent here by Britain himself…let me see…bad temper, easily offended, quick to attack, I know!” he swapped from speaking in Lovino’s head to announcing out loud, “GRIFFENDORE!”
The crowd cheered as Lovi raced to the table and Professor McGonagall called the next name. “Feliciano Vargas!”
Feli continued clinging to Ludwig’s arm, so Ludwig walked up and pushed Feli off his arm in front of the teacher. The fearful Italian sat on the stool. “Definitely not Gryffindor like your brother…Italy.”
“How do you know who I am?” he cried.
“I read your thoughts.” the hat responded. “Quite knowledgeable, never offensive, I know!” he announced to the entire Great Hall, “RAVENCLAW!”
More cheers erupted as Feli tried to pull Ludwig to follow him to the Ravenclaw table, but then the Professor called, “Ludwig Doitsu!”
The German walked up to the teacher and sat on the stool like his friends did before. “Another odd one…Germany right?”
“You won’t tell anyone…would you?” Ludwig asked, slightly fearful in the fact that he was figured out by a hat.
“No, I wouldn’t even if I could.” he promised as he examined Ludwig’s traits. “Protective, hardworking, better be…” he paused as he swapped to announcement mode. “GRIFFENDORE!”
More applaud as he ran to join Lovino. Only one person wasn’t cheering, and he was the lone Italian at Ravenclaw. He gulped in the knowing fear of being left abandon. If this was supposed to be the most dangerous year at Hogwarts yet, then he wanted to run all the way back to Grandpa Rome, sobbing the whole way.