|Life at Hogwarts
Author: Rowena Lexicon PM
Ellie, a half-blood, receives her letter to Hogwarts and discovers that life there isn't as easy as it seems, with the help of the Weasleys! Next-GenRated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Romance - OC & Teddy L. - Chapters: 6 - Words: 11,572 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 11 - Updated: 01-22-13 - Published: 08-01-12 - id: 8381287
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
18th August, 2015
Finally, I'm standing here outside the Leaky Cauldron, with my equipment list clutched tightly in my shaking hand, and my best friend beside me.
Mum's inside, buying drinks, but I'm perfectly content to simply stare at the faded, peeling sign which, to me, signifies my entry into the Wizarding World. Finally.
I could look at it all day, but after a minute or so Bronwyn tugs on my sleeve and pulls me into the pub. It's only fair, I suppose, because she's been here about a million times before. But this is my first time, because my Mum wanted to keep it until I got my Hogwarts letter.
The warm, comforting smell of Butterbeer washes over us as we walk through the door, and I see my Mum standing by the counter, conversing with a rosy faced blonde woman who is pouring out drinks. My Mum turns and sees us.
"Ellie! Over here!"
My Mum can be pretty loud. Now is one of those times when her voice seems to fill the room and make everyone look at either her or me. And in a busy pub such as this one, it's kind of embarrassing. OK, more than kind of.
"C'mon," I mutter quickly to Bronwyn, and we begin to push our way through the throng of people goggling at us.
As we get closer to the bar, though, I catch the eye of a boy with blue hair, and he grins at me. He looks to be a quite a few years older than me, and his purple eyes sparkle attractively. I blush and turn away quickly at the thought.
We manage to negotiate to where my Mum is still talking to the barmaid, despite the queue that's forming behind her. I grab the Butterbeer, and the two Pumpkin juices and pull her away.
"OK, I'm coming! Sorry," she says to the people in the line who are glaring at us.
There are barely any tables left, so we just stand against the back wall. I pass Bronwyn her Pumpkin juice and, and Mum her Butterbeer.
"That was Hannah Longbottom," my Mum says excitedly, "she's Neville Longbottom's wife- he's the Herbology teacher at Hogwarts now, and I went to Hogwarts at the same time as them!"
"That's great, Mum, but did you really have to hold up everyone who wanted a drink, just to have a chat?"
"Oh, but I'm always willing to talk to a fellow Housemate!"
"Mum, you must have been loads older than her!"
"Only four years, or so! I remember talking to her in the Common Room once or twice..."
I glance sideways at Bronwyn, catching her eye, and we both look way to keep from laughing.
Still, I have to stifle a giggle with my napkin.
I take another gulp of Pumpkin juice, draining my glass, and then I stand, eager to finally set foot in Diagon Alley, for the first time in my life.
My Mum's glass is still half-full, and she rolls her eyes at me.
"No need to rush," she says, sipping slowly at her drink.
Bronwyn grins at me, warmth in her greenish-brown eyes. She knows how much this means to me.
"Kate, do you mind if I go with Ellie and you stay here to finish your drink. I do know the way. We can wait for you by Gringotts."
"I don't see why you can't wait for a few minutes, Ellie. Alright...fine! Go on then, I'll catch you up."
"Come on!" Bronwyn grabs my arm and pulls me out of the back door, into an alleyway with a wall at the end, "My Dad gave me his wand for the day," she mutter to herself, digging around in her bag, and then pulling out a jet black wand. She steps in front of the brick wall and sucks in a breath, "I've seen Mum and Dad do this a million times before..."
She taps a brick with the wand, and before I know it, the brick is wriggling, parting along with the adjoining bricks, opening up until I've got my first sight of Diagon Alley.
And it's...It's amazing.
Bronwyn grabs my hand, and pulls me into the bustling street.
I know that my blue eyes must be as round as saucers as I take in the sight of a street full of more magic than I've ever seen in one place. There are shops around me bursting with the unexpected and new. New to me, anyway. But Bronwyn's been here before, and she tugs on my hand, quickly leading me to her favourite shops and pointing out the cool stuff in the windows. Flourish and Blotts, the perfect place for a bookworm like me, Quality Quidditch Supplies, with a Firebolt 4000 on display, The Magical Menagerie, full of squawking birds and hissing cats, and Gringotts, the huge marble building where Bronwyn forces me to sit down on the steps with her to wait for my Mum.
"I'd buy the whole street if I could!" I say happily, my mouth curved in an involuntary smile.
"I doubt your Mum'd be too happy about that!" Bronwyn replies, beaming at me.
"She's probably going to try and convince me to go to the second hand robes shop. 'They'll be just as good, only cheaper!'" I mimic my Mum's voice, making Bronwyn laugh again.
"I'm sure she won't do that. Relax!"
"What are you two on about?" I see my Mum coming up the steps, her hands already full of bags saying 'SALE' on them in enchanted letters. Bronwyn and I start giggling again, "Anyway, Ellie, these are for your sleepover tonight. I got owls from everyone this morning, and I thought you might like some sweets from that new branch of Honeydukes they opened down there...They were having a sale on Chocolate Frogs."
"Thanks, Mum," I laugh, standing up.
"I think I've got the key," she says, digging in her handbag.
"If you've forgotten it..." I grin, but I start to worry anyway.
"No, here it is!" Mum says, holding it up triumphantly, "How about I go in and get your money and you look round the shops. Those Gringotts carts are not for everyone."
"She's right," Bronwyn agrees, "I've got some money already, so how about we go to the Magical Menagerie and I'll buy you a birthday present?"
"Fine," I say, although I'd really like to find out what all the fuss is about the Gringotts carts.
"Come on, then," Bronwyn sets off down the steps again, and I follow.
"I can't believe I have to leave Ko-Ko and Crystal at home," I say mournfully as I look at a Tabby cat who reminds me of Ko-Ko, "It's so unfair! We can only take one animal, and I just can't split them up!"
"It's the same with Lily and Betty for me, but they're only kittens," says Bronwyn, "I think I might buy a cat though. It's such a shame we're not allowed dogs or chickens, though..."
"Bronwyn, if they let you bring all of your animals to Hogwarts, it'd be a farm, not a school! You got...what? Four chickens, two dogs, two cats and...how many fish?"
"Get an owl. It'll be useful for post, at least," I suggest, stroking the feathers of a large Tawny Owl with amber eyes.
"No, I think I will get another cat. It'll be nice to have one to stroke..."
I laugh at her and go back to looking at the owls.
"I'll pay half," I promise.
"No! It's your birthday!" Bronwyn says loudly.
"They're really expensive, though..." I feel guilty about making her buy one for me...maybe I'll...
"And don't go picking the cheapest one, either!"
"It's so CUTE!" I tickle my new Barn Owl under its chin, and it proceeds to nibble on my fingers.
"What are you going to call it?" Bronwyn asks, carrying a blue cat carrier in one hand.
"I dunno...What about you? What's the new kitty called?"
"Belladonna! It's a cute name!"
"It'll grow on me, I s'pose...Also, if you buy one more black cat I'm declaring you a Witch! What do you have against other coloured cats?" I ask her, peering at the tiny black kitten through her bars of the carrier.
"So, what about your owl?" Bronwyn asks.
"Trixie? What do you think?"
"It's a nice name, I suppose."
"Trixie it is, then!"
"What's that I hear?" I turn to see my Mum striding towards us again, her arms full of books. The bags are gone, I suppose she must have Apparated home and back with them, "I got your books, Ellie, and yours too, Bronwyn."
I jump forwards to relieve her of the load, and buckle under the weight as she shoves half of the books into my arms.
"We still need to go to Madam Malkin's to get you both fitted for robes, and then I'll send you both to Ollivander's and I can buy your cauldrons and everything."
I've been looking forward to going into all the different shops, but that obviously isn't on my Mum's agenda. I decide to go with the flow, and from what I've heard about Ollivander's, I can't wait.
It's dusty, and dark. Bronwyn steps tentatively forward and taps the bell on the counter nervously, and I wish my Mum could have come with us. I can hear the shuffling of feet, and then, suddenly, I see the form of a man step out of the shadows. He was old, and frail, and he walks towards us with a limp and a walking stick. His eyes, though, are pointed and sharp, clever and focused.
"Eleanor Kensington and Bronwyn Harper...I have been awaiting your presence in my shop..." His voice is eerie and quiet, but full of power.
"Uh..." I mumble, a tiny bit scared.
"You are both here for your wands? I shall start with Bronwyn. Please stretch out your wand arm..."
Funnily enough, it's only the third wand that's perfect for her. 14 inches, Pine, Dragon Heartstring...
"You will be especially skilled in non-verbal magic, I can gather...or at least, the wand tells me you will be. The wand chooses the Wizard...Or Witch, as it may be, after all."
The wand itself is reddish orange (it reminds me of Bronwyn's cropped, dyed hair), and it seems to extend perfectly from her hand, as though it's meant to be there.
Then it's my turn. I stick out my right hand for the floating tape measure to, well...measure, and all the while Ollivander is pulling out boxes from the shelves at random, chucking them onto the floor, an clicking his fingers impatiently at the tape measure once he wants it to stop.
He holds out the first wand.
"The last time I had a customer this difficult; Harry Potter was standing where you are now!"
The pile of discarded wands is growing. A nagging fear creeps into the back of my head: What if it's all a mistake? What if I'm not Magical at all? I am a Half-Blood. Mum's a Witch, Dad's a Muggle. And I never showed any Magical qualities, not really, until I got the Hogwarts letter (sparks flew out of my ears).
Ollivander doesn't appear to have the same concerns. The more wands I go through, the more sure he is that I'm a 'Tricky Customer', and that we'll find the perfect fit soon.
"Try...this. 10 inches, Phoenix Feather, Willow..."
I wave it, but the dark wood stays dull and lifeless; not a single spark shoots from the end, which is what happened when Bronwyn waved the perfect wand.
"I really shouldn't...no, I will...I don't know if it'll..."
"What's that?" I ask, interrupting his mutterings.
"Nothing...nothing...Alright, try this one. 12 ¼ inches, Unicorn Tail Hair, and Laurel wood."
I take the stick of wood nervously into my hand. But as soon as the wood is in contact with my skin, both my fingertips and the wand seems to warm up, and a golden glow appears at the end. An electric pulse seeps through my fingers, and...
Well, maybe this might be the wand for me.
Ollivander is probably one failed wand away from jumping up and down and clapping, so it's quite a relief, really.
"Of course, I should have known, but I was...reluctant..."
"Why?" I ask, nervous again.
"Well, I have never sold that wand before, because of the...connections it has to a dark time, a very dark time indeed."
"What Dark Time?" I ask, half impatient, half scared.
"You do, of course, know of the Dark Wizard named Lord Voldemort? Well, many years ago, he sucked the blood of an innocent Unicorn, in the Forbidden Forest of Hogwarts School. And that innocent creature was the one who produced the core of this wand."
It's a chilling enough tale, but then he smiles and passes me the wand, asks for the Galleons, which I extract from my pocket and pass to him.
I tuck my wand away in my bag and walk quickly out of the shop, pulling Bronwyn behind me.
"Do that nose thing again!"
"No! It's disgusting!" Jess objects, covering her face self-consciously.
We're sitting in my living room- all seven of us- ignoring the DVD that's playing away to itself in the background, surrounding Jess, who managed to change her nose into a Pig's snout, and we're laughing at her transformation.
Jess is a Metamorphagus, and we're constantly entertained by her unexpected alterations. So far tonight her hair has turned pink, and her eyes have gone bright green.
"It's not my fault! I can't control it yet!" Jess blushes, and most of her skin turns pink, matching her hair.
It's been so long, though, that none of us can really remember what she actually looks like. Right now, her hair is bubblegum pink, spiralling in ringlets down to her shoulders, and her skin is pale, her eyelashes long...she looks like a porcelain doll!
Next to her is Hannah, who has natural golden blonde hair, shoulder length, and melted chocolate coloured eyes. She looks pretty in an outdoorsy sort of way, blue shirt and skinny jeans, emphasizing her slim figure.
Hannah and Jess don't often get along, through clashing personalities, but tonight is one of those times when they're joking around together, taking the mick without anyone getting offended.
Then there's Lottie, staring into space, looking beautiful with shimmery blue eye shadow drawing attention to the blue of her eyes. Her light blonde hair is plaited and curled into an intricate bun. I'm next to her, with Bronwyn on my other side.
Bronwyn's cropped reddish ginger hair is gelled to the side, and she's laughing at a joke Georgina's just told.
Georgina has short hair, which is blonde, and she's wearing a spangled purple top and denim shorts. She's a year older than the rest of us, and is sharing her tales of Hogwarts with an attentive audience. She's friends with a girl called Naomi from France, who she can't wait for us to meet, and she's got millions of tales about the stupid things boys in her year insist on doing, like going into the Forbidden Forest late at night and then screaming for help when they hear a branch snap.
The last person in the group is Elisabeth, her dark brown hair straightened and plaited despite the fact that it's barely longer than mine. She has the gorgeous skin tone of a European, her heritage being Italian, and her dark brown eyes are warm and comforting.
The atmosphere in the room is happy and relaxed, as we pass around the bowl of popcorn and speculate about Houses.
Georgina is a Gryffindor, and she takes delight in saying over and over again that it was the House of the famous Harry Potter, and how she's met one of his kids, James, who's in her year, and is also a Gryffindor.
I think Jess will be a Slytherin, but everyone else insists she'll be a Ravenclaw. Everyone agrees that Bronwyn will be a Ravenclaw, she's the smartest one here. I think I'm a Gryffindor, but no-one else agrees with me, although there's debate as to whether I'll be a Hufflepuff (like my Mum) or a Ravenclaw.
By midnight, though, we're all worn out. I practically collapse onto my air bed, barely even bothering to take off my glasses before I fall asleep...