8. The Twins

Sypriana's summer bounced between showing off the magic she learned at Hogwarts to her mother, exchanging letters with Elixyvette, and sketching as much as she could before the next school year began. It was a rather busy summer for a twelve-year-old girl, and by the middle of it, she was already wishing to be back at Hogwarts — she did enjoy her abundance of free time, though, the majority of her summer being spent filling a whole sketchbook full of drawings and sketches of all the various creatures and places she learned about during the school year.

It was in late August when Mr. Wong and Elixyvette came to bring Sypriana with them to Diagon Alley. Just like last year, the trip was for their school supplies, but this year, there were two new additions to their shopping party.

Vivyanne and Danielle Wong, Elixyvette's younger sisters. They were fraternal twins, but Sypriana still had a hard time telling them apart from one another, and this was especially because Vivyanne and Danielle were so alike in personality, not just in looks. As far as twins went, Vivyanne and Danielle seemed to do everything together — they liked the same shows and books, wore the same style of clothes and glasses, and even shared the same hobbies.

It was through talking to the twins that Sypriana realized that the reason Mr. Wong knew the best wizarding paints to buy was because the twins also enjoyed drawing and painting, and it was through the twins that Sypriana realized art could be a wizarding career, too. Apparently, the moving portraits that hanged on the walls of Hogwarts weren't made with ordinary spells — those portraits needed the skill of a talented witch or wizard! This gave Sypriana something to think about while the twins got fitted for their school robes.

The train ride to Hogwarts was, unsurprisingly, livelier in comparison to last year's. Unfortunately for Elixyvette, however, the twins shared Ethan's opinion that their older sister fancied Jun and teased her relentlessly any chance they got.

"We're just friends," Elixyvette would insist each time her supposed crush was brought up.

"Sure…" Danielle would roll her eyes while Vivyanne would counter with something like, "That's not what your journal said," or even, "I'm sure that's why you ogle him."

And then while Elixyvette buried her bright red face in her hands, Ethan would wager, "Ten galleons that they end up together before we graduate Hogwarts."

Sypriana would just sit in the background during those interactions, quietly watching Elixyvette's reactions and gauging Jun's non-reactions. She hadn't asked Elixyvette yet about her alleged feelings for Jun, but at this point, she's begun to share Ethan and the twins' opinions.

As for Jun, Sypriana was not very sure how to read him. There would be times when he'd join in and tease Elixyvette, and then there would be times when he'd redirect the conversation to save Elixyvette from embarrassment. If Jun did reciprocate Elixyvette's feelings, he didn't bother correcting her whenever she insisted they were just friends.

But one thing Sypriana was sure of — and this was something she noticed all throughout first year — was that there was some sort of understanding between the two. Jun didn't treat Elixyvette like a younger sister, like how he would treat Vivyanne and Danielle, and Elixyvette's friendship with him was much different than her friendship with Ethan — Sypriana was sure her own friendship with Elixyvette didn't hold a candle to whatever understanding there was between her friend and Jun, but she put these thoughts on hold as the train pulled up to the Hogsmeade station.

When it came time for the twins to follow Hagrid alongside the other first years, Elixyvette was very reluctant to part with her sisters — she was a very overprotective older sister, Sypriana realized — but somehow, Jun managed to drag her away from her sisters and onto the carriage. And as the self-moving carriage got closer and closer to Hogwarts, Elixyvette's anxiety grew exponentially.

"Are you worried about which house they'll be sorted into?" Sypriana asked.

"Most siblings usually end up in the same house," Ethan said. "I'm sure the twins will end up in Ravenclaw where you can keep a close watch on them."

"I hope they don't…" Elixyvette replied softly, but then as if she said the wrong thing, she corrected herself in a much louder and flustered voice, "I mean, I would love to have them in the same house, but it's just . . . um, I don't think they'd like Ravenclaw all that much, you know?"

Sypriana didn't really follow Elixyvette's logic there — the twins seemed to share a lot of intellectual pursuits, just like their older sister, so Sypriana found it very hard to believe Ravenclaw wouldn't suit the twins.

Ethan and Jun seemed to share Sypriana's line of thought because they glanced at each other, an eyebrow raised and lips pursed.

"Well, if they get sorted into Hufflepuff, I'll watch over them for you," Jun offered.

"Same goes for me," Ethan added. "Though I highly doubt either of them would end up in Slytherin. They're too nice for their own good sometimes." That last comment earned him an elbow to the gut from Jun.

"And if they end up in Gryffindor, you'll definitely see them often enough," Sypriana said. "You're always at Gryffindor Tower with me, and we can include your sisters in our sleepovers too." After a giggle, she continued, "If they are sorted into Gryffindor, you'll probably end up moving permanently into the Gryffindor common room this year."

"Wait." Jun narrowed his eyes at Elixyvette. "Do you actually not sleep in the Ravenclaw dorms? Maisie —"

Elixyvette bristled at the mention of Jun's current girlfriend. "Well, I don't know what Maisie told you, but it's not like I have that many friends in Ravenclaw, and I like spending time with Sypri, so of course, I'd sneak off to Gryffindor Tower whenever I get a chance."

Her defensive run-on sentence had Jun and Ethan sharing another look, but before either of them could say anything further, the carriage stopped, and the four of them made the short trek into the school.

Even during the Headmistress's welcoming speech, Sypriana couldn't get her friend's odd behavior out of her mind. And later, when the sorting ceremony concluded and both Vivyanne and Danielle were sorted into Hufflepuff, Sypriana's suspicions were raised further when Elixyvette's tense body finally relaxed.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of JK Rowling. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.