Yes. I finally started the sequel of Chronicles. It'll be alike and different at the same time, and I hope I won't disappoint you all.
Disclaimer: no copyright infringement intended. Everything recognisable belongs to JK Rowling.
"Albus, seriously! Hurry up!"
I bang my fists against the bathroom door, urging my best friend slash cousin slash womanizing bastard to get his business done. What is taking him so long anyway? He's a boy, for Merlin's sake. They're supposed to brush their teeth, and, well, stop at that point. Maybe shave and change underwear – acceptable – but other than that?
Unless you live alone, a girl always deserves The Bathroom Time in the morning.
"Man," I hear him muttering from the other side, "if I'd known you'd act like Lily all the time, I would've never agreed to share a dorm with you."
"Yes, I get it. You hate me." I roll my eyes, even though he can't me. "Now get the fuck out. I won't be late for my first class!"
"Who cares? It's all just introduction anyway," Albus remarks annoyingly.
Albus Severus Potter, the ever-so academic soul of the family.
Sighing, I start tapping my foot impatiently. Reminding myself that I love my cousin and therefore, do not benefit from strangling him with my bare hands, I try to transform my irritation into positive energy. It's my first day at the very prestigious London Wizarding University (L.W.U. for short) and I oughtn't spend it with a smile painted downwards and a near-stroke from not being able to brush my hair in the morning. It took a lot of effort to stand here, at this very spot, so I'm not going to let Albus and his childish antics ruin it for me.
(Although, I will have a lot of fun later, letting him make up for this by buying me chocolate frogs.)
When after another five minutes of waiting in anticipation Albus still doesn't give a sign of leaving the bathroom, I say casually: "You know, you may think that running your hands through your hair seventy times in front of the mirror will make it look better, but you're wrong. The only thing you're doing is making it all the more greasy."
"Blah, blah, blah," comes from the enemy, "keep whining and I'll keep this door closed forever."
"Good thing I don't know twenty times as much Alohomora variations," I reply cruelly.
Fortunately, the door then opens.
"You're a smart-ass," Albus grins The Lopsided Grin, "you're lucky I love you."
Albus Potter is what you would call the type to get everything handed on a platter. Not a silver one, because aunt Ginny and uncle Harry don't tend to spoil him, but a platter all the same. His last name helps him a great deal, but it are his looks that basically pave the way. He's got this messy sort of raven hair, tanned skin, dark eyes. He hasn't got what you call a perfect face, but he's so heart-wrenchingly charming with his dumb smiles and his easygoing manners all the girls fall in love with him all the same. Although his Quidditch talent as a Seeker (thanks, Harry!) don't hurt either. It's what got him into this place too. I'm here for studies, he's here to play for the L.W.U. Quidditch team.
All anger melting like snow exposed to a heat wave, I can't help but smile a little. "Great."
As I walk into the bathroom, closing the door behind me, the voice of the mirror rings through the room. "Are we ready for a fresh start?"
I stare at my reflection. My curly locks are still red as fire, my eyes are still blue as the ocean. I'm still freckled, as a trademark for the Weasleys, and my lips are still plump. I look like I've always looked, which is not a bad thing. I didn't dye my hair, get a tan, or get taller. I'm not seventeen anymore, but that's about it.
I applied for a spot in this University at the end of my seventh year at Hogwarts. I had to take an exam, which I studied for day and night, and which I passed with flying colours. They sent me a perfectly white owl, reporting they'd love to have a student like me in their courses, and that my test results were very rare. Needless to say, I partied for a week after that. Not really responsible for a future Healer, but hell. I got into the L.W.U., you know? For the first time in my life I felt like I'd actually achieved something – never mind all the prefect and Head Girl stuff in Hogwarts. This was the real deal.
This is the real deal.
The thing about the L.W.U. is that it's really nothing like my old school. It's a lot more modern, and not all of the facilities are housed under the same roof. The university consists of a couple different buildings. Each department (Healing Degree – Law Degree – Management Degree – Historical Degree) has its own complex, and then there are the dorm houses. They are usually strictly divided into a female and male section, but exceptions can be made if the parties are blood-related (and sporting the family names 'Weasley' or 'Potter'.) Furthermore there is of course the Quidditch stadium, which is a lot fancier than the Quidditch field in Hogwarts. L.W.U. has its own professional team, which Albus is a part of. In that light he's not actually a student – more of an employee – but as long as you live here, you are still bound to the rules regarding the dorms. Shame for him.
Wondering how my journey here will turn out, I start getting ready. Putting on a low-waist jeans (Lily: "Your figure is made for these type of trousers!") and an emerald, silk, short-sleeved blouse (Louis: "Show some cleavage, love. The Weasley girls are nothing if not attractive!") under my obligatory school robe, I keep looking at myself in the mirror.
"Yeah," I say eventually. "I'm ready for a fresh start."
"Man, we're like celebrities already!"
Albus looks around ostentatiously, taking in all the glances we're receiving as he walks me to my first class. He's not lying. In Hogwarts people were used to the fact that we're the children of the people that indirectly saved their lives, but that'll probably take a while to happen here. Everyone's obviously whispering and pointing at us, but I can't bring myself to either mind or drink it in. Albus, on the other hand, clearly enjoys the attention (which he'd receive anyway, Potter or not) and throws in a few winks here and there for good measure. Linking his arm in mine to prevent him from running off to some random girl, I make a tssk'ing sound.
"Savour it for as long as it lasts."
"Pessimist. Merlin, would you just look at these girls... they're like – "
"Older than you? Yes, wonderful."
"Like that matters," Albus snorts. "Age is just a number."
I regard him with a pointed look. "That sounded almost profound."
"It is pro – hey, Rose?"
"Look over there. Is that...?"
I follow his orders and turn my head over to the direction he's currently nodding at. When I see who he sees, I try to keep the spaghetti I ate yesterday down my stomach. I make my finest attempt to not let my jaw drop to the floor, and it takes all of my willpower to not Avada myself right here. Albus puts a comforting hand on my shoulder, but I'm too frozen up to react. My brain has suddenly come to a standstill, simply because I have such a hard time convincing myself that what I'm seeing is reality, and not some delusion from not sleeping enough. Or something.
"You've got to be bloody kidding me."
This must be amrak or marka or whatever anagram for karma fits, because this has to be work from the gods.
Violetta Chang does not just appear on the campus of L.W.U.
She does not.
"Perhaps somebody put LSD in your drink," Albus offers feebly.
"Which drink? I haven't had one this morning," I say through gritted teeth, watching how the, unfortunately pretty, bane of my existence sweeps her now cut shorter black hair over her shoulder. She's standing in the centre of a group of boys and girls, giggling like the airhead she is. Although, technically speaking, that last part isn't entirely accurate. Violetta has got a few brain cells stocked in that stupid head of hers, she just doesn't know how to use them. Except for the time she applied to get in this university, apparently.
I mean, come on.
This is just preposterous.
"How did she get in?" Albus asks, voicing my thoughts.
I shrug. "She was still a Ravenclaw. Hopefully she's not in the Healer department."
"Maybe she's being trained in the Escort department?"
I chuckle. "Everyone has their talents."
"That you could say," he smiles at me. "Come on, I'll take you to class."
When we find the reasonably small auditorium, Albus wishes me good luck and leaves. It's like being eleven all over again – except without the support of my family. I'm an independent girl, sure, but come to think about it, I've never been really alone. In Hogwarts I had Louis with me in Ravenclaw, and my brother and the rest of my cousins in other houses. Today, however, Albus is the only one of my family members on this campus, and he's obviously not studying to become a Healer. Therefore, I'm bound to go in there alone. Feeling quite self-conscious, I walk through the door, the clicking of my heels ringing through the auditorium.
(Just why did I put on these shoes again?)
(Oh, yes. Fresh start. I'm a woman now.)
The room is beautiful. In spite of the modernity around this campus, this space is a tad classic, with red and golden as the local colour palette. There are about fifty people occupying the seats, and by the looks of it, I'm one of the last to walk in. In the front stands a man – old, wrinkly, wise-looking, wearing glasses – with a parchment and a quill in his hand. I see how the recognition lights up in his eyes as soon as he spots me. The fifty other students obviously recognise me too, as a wave of whispers once again fills the air. Horribly uncomfortable, I scan the room for a free seat. Luckily there seems to be one girl who's answering my prayers. She raises up her hand a little and smiles at me. Deciding that this is my best option, I walk up the stairs and let myself fall into the seat next to her.
"Hey," she greets quietly, "you looked a bit awkward, so..."
She, on the other hand, doesn't look awkward at all. In fact, she looks pretty damn sure. Her long, blond hair is straight yet messy, and her bangs are nearly covering her big, blue eyes. Her robe is buttoned up wrongly, but she's so good-looking that it doesn't matter. I ponder briefly how I always seem to attract beautiful people and how this is kind of damaging for my self-esteem, but then realise she must be expecting an answer.
"Yeah," I respond. "I know exactly two people in this university. One of them is my cousin, and the other one is a girl I can't stand for the life of it. Neither of them is here, so thanks."
"No problem. I'm alone here as well," she says, and now I notice an accent in her speaking.
"Where are you from?" I ask, interested. "I don't mean to offend you, but you sound a little – "
"Foreign? Yes, I'm from France."
"Yes," she grimaces slightly at the mention of her old school. "Etiquettes all the way."
"Not one for etiquettes?"
She scrunches up her nose, and I decide I like her. "I'm a bit chaotic."
Just when I'm about to ask her name, the professor in the front clears his throat. In one second the room is silenced, and everyone's attention transfixed on the man who has now tilted his head up towards us.
"Good morning," he greets us, to which we reply with the same sentence simultaneously. He continues, "Before we begin, I'd like everyone to say their name, so I can scratch it on the list. We'll start in the front." A boy puts on a questioning face. "Yes, you."
My turn. "Rose Weasley."
Collective turn of heads my way. The professor cocks his slightly, and mutters: "Interesting."
Blondie next to me widens her eyes, indicating that she had no idea it was me. Which is plausible, as French people usually don't read Witch Weekly or the Daily Prophet. Fortunately, she immediately recovers and utters her name aloud: "Eloise Moreau."
"French, I presume?" the professor shifts his penetrating gaze from me to her.
Just when the man is about to say something, the door from the auditorium opens again. I roll my eyes at the sound – just how hard is it to be on time? I mean, I had an annoying cousin who wouldn't let me use the bathroom this morning, and I'm still –
Is that –
Leather, shiny shoes. Black tailored trousers. Grey cashmere sweater.
I vaguely hear Eloise mumbling something about 'hot' and I register some new whispering and I know people are looking at me again – from me to him, from him to me – and my head is spinning and I feel like I can't even breathe.
"I'm sorry, professor, I got held up on the way."
That voice. That arrogant, drawling voice.
"Apparently. What's your name?"
And then he finally looks up, sees me.
So much for a fresh start.
Ideas, suggestions, constructive criticism: always welcome.