Dewpaw blinked open his eyes. He was sprawled on a foggy, rather gloomy forest floor.
Groaning, he sat up, and spotted his siblings lying in the same awkward position, their hands bent in a- Dewpaw froze. They didn't have paws; they had hands. How he knew the strange word, he wasn't sure, but he was perfectly aware that something wasn't right.
He turned over his hand, examining his fingers. Stumbling with shock, he felt something cold and wet meet his face when it crashed against the forest floor. Spluttering, he glanced down at the puddle he had fallen into, and gasped.
Dewpaw no longer had fur on his face, whiskers on his cheeks, or even normal ears. The only parts of him that looked somewhat the same were his eyes, but now with a considerable bit more brown in them, and his hair, which was a very dark gray, almost black.
Suddenly, he heard the leaves rustle from beside him.
"What happened?" Amberpaw grumbled.
Dewpaw just pointed at the puddle. Amberpaw looked down at her reflection, and screamed. Her eyes were the same color as Dewpaw's, but her hair was a golden-auburn color.
"Well this has been an interesting dream. StarClan, can you wake me up now?" Snowpaw sighed, blinking his eyes rapidly. His eyes were the same as his siblings, but his hair was a white-blonde. "This isn't a dream," Dewpaw said slowly, remembering the shock of the water on his face.
"Sorry bro, but for once I agree with Snowpaw. What else could have happened?" Amberpaw queried.
"I'll just wake up in my nest in camp, safe and sound," she continued, though there was a tint of uncertainty in her voice.
"Dreams, unless sent from StarClan, are a cat's imagination. I don't think StarClan is trying to tell us something by turning us into twolegs. Plus, could your imagination come up with this?" Dewpaw asked. But he wasn't looking at Amberpaw. His finger was pointed to a silhouette through the ominous forest, which had the shape of a huge, dark castle.
"So this is what the Dark Forest is like," Snowpaw mused.
"Just because you did something Dark Forest worthy doesn't explain why we're here," Amberpaw snapped.
"And I'm pretty sure I'm not dead and breathing."
The apprentices whipped their heads around to the source of the noise. A large, very large figure walked through the trees, humming an unfamiliar tune. Spotting the young cat-turned-twolegs, he stopped dead.
"Did yer portkey mess up?" he finally asked. Dewpaw glanced back towards the stones. They had stopped glowing; in fact, their color was so dull, if a stone could be dead, these ones definitely were.
"Umm. . . Yes?" Amberpaw said, her gaze darting back and forth between her siblings.
The big twoleg smiled at them. "Well, c'mon 'ere this way. 'E need to get ya warmed up."
"He's creepy." Snowpaw shuddered and leaned close to his brother's ear. "Too happy. It isn't natural."
Once they reached the big twoleg's "house," he pored the three apprentices what he called "tea."
"So tell 'e," he rumbled, pouring more in Amberpaw's cup. "Wha're yer names?"
"Well I'm Dewpaw, and this is Am-"
"Dewpaw?" he chuckled. "Funny las' name yer got ther', Dew Paw."
"Uhh. . . yeah. Funny. And this is my sister, Amber Paw, and my brother, Snow Paw."
"Eccentric parents," Dewpaw said quickly. "Um, what's your name?"
The twoleg started passing out brownish squares. "Hagrid. Rubeus Hagrid."
Snowpaw almost snorted from hearing Hagrid's name.
Amberpaw gingerly picked up a square. "What are these?"
Hagrid looked surprised. "Yer never had a toffee bar?"
"Eccentric parents," Dewpaw reminded him.
"Ah. So wha' year are yer in at Hogwarts?"
All the apprentices paused, and stared at Hagrid.
"Umm. . ."
"Yer don' know? You look like fourth years ter me. Are yer the foreign-exchange kids McGonagall was talkin' about?"
"Yep. Foreign Exchange students." Dewpaw butted in before his littermates caused more problems.
"Tha' makes sense. Are yeh going to a private sorting or the one with the firs' years? I thin' a private sorting would 'e better; thin' how big yeh be compared to the firs' years!" Hagrid chuckled.
"Private," Dewpaw replied.
Snowpaw sniffed a toffee square and cautiously licked it. He had soon demolished it. "These are good!"
"New record! New record!" Amberpaw exclaimed. "Snowp- I mean, Snow actually likes something for once!"
"So Hagrid," Dewpaw asked as Snowpaw rolled his eyes. "What exactly is 'sorting'?"
"It's when the sorting at puts you in the house best suited for you," he responded.
I wonder if houses are like Clans.
"What should we bring?"
"Oh. 'Ere's a supply list. Yeh'll be takin' Care o Magical Creatures, right?" he winked.
Snowpaw almost spit out his tea. "Did you say magical?"
Hagrid narrowed his small eyes. "Yeh did get your letters over the summer to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, right?"
"Of course we did," replied Dewpaw, kicking Snowpaw from under the table.
Hagrid didn't reply. To change the subject, Dewpaw said, "Sooo. . . where exactly do we get all this stuff?"
"And why does it say 'protective place to put wand'?" Amberpaw piped up. It's was Hagrid's turn to spit out his drink.
"Yeh don' have wands?!"
"Eccentric parents?" Dewpaw said hopefully. Hagrid sighed. "'E need teh go on a long trip to Diagon Alley. Yeh at leas' used Floo Powder before, righ'?" he asked, heading towards his fireplace.
Realizing he couldn't afford another no, Dewpaw nodded.
Taking some powder from a bag, Hagrid stood in his fireplace, and clearly said "Diagon Alley!" before green flames engulfed him, and he was gone. Amberpaw gasped.
"Where did he go?"
"Hmm. . . Follow my lead," Dewpaw ordered. Snowpaw rolled his eyes. "Dewpaw, if this is anything like the idea that got us into his mess, I'll-" But Dewpaw ignored his brother. Stepping into the fireplace, he grabbed some powder in his hand and studied it.
"Hagrid threw it down, and said his words very clearly," Dewpaw muttered.
"Diagon Alley!" he yelled, throwing his powder in the fireplace. The next thing he knew, he was covered in soot, Hagrid looking down on him. Dewpaw coughed.
Snowpaw picked some ash specks out of his slick hair and frowned. "That sucked."
"Tell me about it," Amberpaw wheezed.
"Firs' thing's firs', yeh need to go to Ollivander's. I'll lead yeh 'ere, then I otta go get some stuff for meh class," he said, walking off. The apprentices almost had to jog to catch up to his enormous strides.
Finally, they reached an ancient-looking shop, that looked as if it was closed down. "'Ere yeh are," Hagrid said in his gruff voice. The apprentices were too busy studying the ominous shop, Hagrid was gone by the time they turned around. Nervously, the went inside.
"I hate this place," Snowpaw decided. For once, no one contradicted him.
"Okay, that's a lot of wands." Amberpaw muttered anxiously.
Dewpaw looked up. Wands, on the shelves. Wands, in the cabinets. Wands, on the windows. Dewpaw whistled.
"Here to buy a wand?"
The young twolegs spun around to see a very, very old man heading towards them. Dewpaw marveled at the fact he didn't collapse where he stood.
"Yes," Amberpaw said slowly, as if she was dealing with Purdy.
"Alright then. You, come first," he said pointing to Snowpaw. Surprise shone on Snowpaw's face as he followed the old man to one of the shelves. The man pulled out a wand, passed it to Snowpaw, and said, "Willow, unicorn hair, eight and a half inches."
Snowpaw just stood and stared at it.
"Well, go on!" said the man impatiently.
"Give it a whirl!"
Snowpaw stared at it. "How?"
The man looked exasperated. "Is it that hard to wave your hand?"
Sighing, Snowpaw waved the wand. Dewpaw jumped as he heard the crack of the window.
"Nope," the man said, taking the wand as if breaking windows was an everyday thing.
"This is strange." Dewpaw hissed to Amberpaw.
Amberpaw nodded. The man passed Snowpaw a difderent wand, muttering "Phoenix tail feather, maple, nine inches."
Snowpaw waved the wand again, and behind him, suddenly the shelf tipped over, its contents scattering on the floor. Finally, after trying at least ten different wands, the shop looking messier then ever, the old man pulled out a wand, and said, "Dragon heart string, rosewood, ten and a half inches."
Snowpaw waved the wand. Dewpaw ducked, expecting another small disaster, but instead, gold and red sparks flew out of Snowpaw's wand. Snowpaw looked just as surprised as Dewpaw did.
"That's the one!" the man clapped.
The old man turned to Amberpaw. "You're up." He stated gruffly.
Amberpaw looked startled. "Me?"
Nervously, Amberpaw walked up to the man, while Snowpaw admired his new wand. The man took out a wand from a cabinet, and passed it to Amberpaw, saying, "Phoenix tail feather, cherry, ten inches."
Looking hesitant, Amberpaw waved her wand. Like with Snowpaw, gold and red sparks flashed out of the wand. The man looked surprised.
"Huh," he pondered. "Usually it doesn't happen on your first try. Oh well. You!" he said, pointing at Dewpaw. Dewpaw gulped.
Out of the corner of his eye, Dewpaw spotted Snowpaw with his wand hidden guiltily behind his back.
I wonder what he did, Dewpaw thought as he took his wand from the old twoleg.
"Phoenix tail feather, maple, eleven inches."
Concentrating hard, Dewpaw waved the wand. Nothing happened.
The old twoleg didn't appear surprised as he handed Dewpaw a second wand.
"Unicorn hair, pine, nine and a half inches."
Dewpaw waved it and sprang back as golden sparks exploded into the air before his face.
Snowpaw groaned. "Are we done?"
"As a matter of fact, yes," answered the man. Eager to get out of the shop, the apprentices quickly paid an exited Ollivander's.
"The next thing on the list is. . . A pet. It has to be either an owl, toad, or. . . cat," Amberpaw read. A cat?
"A cat?" Snowpaw questioned, taking the list from her and examining it for himself. "We're cats. How can we have a pet cat. . . a kittypet?"
Privately, Dewpaw agreed, though the others didn't sound much better either. Owls will eat cats. And toads are just. . . toads were just weird. Nervously, the three entered the Eeylops Owl Emporium, next to Magical Menagerie.
Snowpaw immediately was attracted to a fierce-looking screech owl, while an intelligent-looking barn owl caught Dewpaw's eye. Amberpaw, on the other paw, was wandering around the shop from owl to owl, sometimes looking at an owl, but after looking as if she wanted to buy it, changed her mind at the last minute. Snowpaw was the first to make a final decision.
"I would like the screech owl," he declared to the worker, pointing to the owl.
"Fifteen galleons," the worker replied.
"Uhh. . ."
"The gold ones," the worker rolled his eyes.
"I knew that," Snowpaw snapped, and reached in his pocket for the money. The worker brought the owl to Snowpaw, and he looked a little surprised when the owl hopped on his shoulder.
"It's a male owl, right?" Snowpaw asked hopefully.
"Yes, he is," the worker sighed, rolling his eyes once again. Snowpaw looked pleased.
"Come on, you guys, you're taking forever," Snowpaw sighed, exasperated.
Dewpaw rubbed the barn owl's beak and it closed its eyes contentedly.
"I'd like this one," Dewpaw piped up.
"Ten galleons," the worker responded. Knowing which coins were galleons after Snowpaw's fumble, Dewpaw pulled out the money and passed it to the worker.
"And is this one a girl or boy?"
"Hey guys?" Amberpaw said.
"Could we go to the shop next door? I don't think I'm interested in an owl."
Sighing, Snowpaw left the shop, his screech owl perched importantly on his shoulder. Dewpaw followed. Once they entered the Magical Menagerie, to Dewpaw's surprise, the first thing Amberpaw went to was a small basket of kittens. Dewpaw turned, seeing another kitten basket, with three small kittens mewing inside it. Snowpaw padded up beside him and studied the kittens.
"Hey, that one looks like you," Dewpaw chuckled, pointing to a white one with large amber eyes.
"Not nearly as much as that one resembles you," Snowpaw retorted, looking at a small gray-and-white kitten with the same eyes.
"And this one. . ." Next to the two the two kittens sat a small dappled ginger one, the amber eyes the same.
"Can I help you?" an employee asked. "You know, these kittens are one-fourth kneazle. Adorable siblings, aren't they?"
Snowpaw and Dewpaw exchanged half amused, half mystified glances.
"Adorable," Dewpaw said absently.
"Hey guys!" Amberpaw piped up. "What do you think of this cutie?" A small gray tabby lay in her arms, purring contently.
"I think it's crazy for you to get a cat when we are-" Snowpaw's eyes darted to the employee. "When we're allergic to them."
"No we're no-" Amberpaw followed Snowpaw's gaze, which was darting at the employee, and broke off.
"I mean, my allergies aren't that bad," she insisted, cuddling the gray fuzzball.
"Oh, he's one of my favorites. This little rascal's nine galleons. Take good care of him!" the employee chattered as Amberpaw passed the coins.
Amberpaw stroked the kitten's ear and it began to purr. "I'm gonna call you Stormp- Uh, I mean Storm." She stuttered, blushing slightly under her siblings' gazes.
"Hey, what should we call our owls?" Dewpaw asked his brother.
"Owl," Snowpaw replied.
"I don't know, what're you calling yours?"
Storm mewled and batted at Amberpaw's nose.
"Sage." Dewpaw responded. "And what're you calling yours, Dark?"
"No, Skull." Snowpaw retorted nastily. "You have a problem with that?"
"Maybe. . ."
"Whatever. What's next on the list?"
"Books," answered Amberpaw. "Lots and lots of books."
Dewpaw squealed despite himself. "Cool!"
Snowpaw rolled his eyes. "Let's just get this over with. Where do we go to get books?"
Amberpaw pointed. "Down there."
Dewpaw grinned and grabbed his siblings' hands. "Let's go, then!"
Dewpaw, dragging his siblings behind him, flung open a door to a store with a sign hanging over it reading Obscurus Books. Much to Dewpaw's disapointment and to Amberpaw and Snowpaw's relief, most of the books they needed were stacked on a shelf near the front door. The sblings nearly had to drag Dewpaw out of the bookstore.
Peering over Amberpaw's shoulder, Snowpaw said, "Did we get everything we need? 'Cause I so want to be doing anything but this right now."
Amberpaw consulted her list. "It appears so."
"Finally!" Snowpaw groaned.
"I wouldn't get too settled. We still need to have a Choosing ceremony. And don' t forget the fact that we're twolegs stuck somewhere possibly millions of miles away from home," Amberpaw warned.
Snowpaw facepalmed. "Great."
Dewpaw shifted the weight of his books. "C'mon, guys. Let's go find Hagrid."