Aria Montgomery landed in the fireplace of her house, coughing hackingly. Throwing her new Hogwarts school books on the coffee table, she sighed. She hated traveling by Floo powder. In Iceland, where she had been living for the past three years, underage wizards were allowed to Apparate. It really sucked that she had to move back to England after living in such an amazing place. Durmstrang, a magic school in Iceland, was full of handsome, mature boys who could relate to her artsy personality, and sophisticated girls who didn't think of Aria as a dork just because she wore pheonix-feather earrings and knitted her own bras.
She headed up the stairs to her room and started packing up for Hogwarts. Aria stuffed her books and supplies into her intricately carved trunk. A photo fell out, and she picked it up. It was an enchanted photo of her and four friends from Hogwarts. Alison DiLaurentis, a pretty girl with clear blue eyes, a heart shaped face, and blonde hair, was sitting in the Quidditch bleacherss, smiling glamorously. Aria was sitting beside her, blue-black hair blowing unnattractively as she faked a smile at the camera. Emily Fields, Spencer Hanna Marin, were also sitting around Ali, looking just as fake as Aria. Ali said something quietly and giggles, and Aria, Emily, Spencer, and Hanna all gave fake little laughs too.
Aria couldn't stop staring at the photo, watching it repeat over and over. The smiling, Ali giggling, the rest of them going along with it. Ali DiLaurentis was the only reason them rest of them were popular. She had plucked them out to be her four best friends in first year. Aria had been dorky and awkward, never quite fitting in until Ali became her friend. Then Ali disappeared, at the end of second year. They had all gotten together for a sleepover at Ali's house. She couldn't remember quite what had happend. But no one ever saw Ali again.
A few minutes later, Aria realized that she had forgotten to get any Hogwarts robes. The ones she had from second year were way too small by now.
"Ugh..."she muttered, wishing she could be going to Durmstrang in her familiar blood-red robes and warm mahogany fur cape, adding red lace stockings and sexy boots. Aria headed over and got the Floo powder bowl. It was empty.
"Mike!" she exclaimed.
"What?" her brother, a soon-to-be fifth year shouted back. He was busy watching Muggle television.
"Did you use up all the Floo powder?"
"Yeah. And your point is?"
Aria ignored him. She headed into her parent's room for some more Floo powder, and started sifting through their stuff. No luck. She guessed she would have to take the bus and go to Charing Cross Road.
Once she was there, she took out her wand and tapped on the bricks between the shops. It opened up into the Leaky Cauldron and she went through. Aria ran quickly to Madam Malkin's and picked up a few standard size black robes. She stuffed them in her big purse and shuffled back through the Leaky Cauldron. As she passed the bar she decided it couldn't hurt to have a drink or two.
"One firewhiskey please."
"How old are you?"
"Seventeen" Aria said. It was the truth.
The woman squinted at her, but decided not to argue. She served Aria some firewhiskey. Aria took the goblet and drank, feeling the burning sensation, and the happiness flowing through her.
"Hullo." said a young man, taking a seat next to her.
Aria suddenly felt self conscious. He was very attractive looking. "Hi."
"Is that firewhiskey?"
Aria nodded with a blush. What else would it be?
"Can I have a taste?" He took the goblet from her and sipped. "Ahh. Its good, nothing like the kind in Iceland though."
Her eyes widened. "You've been to iceland?"
"Yes, I used to go to Durmstrang. How about you?"
"I used to go to Durmstrang too." She was about to add that she was going to start Hogwarts, but thought that might make her sound young.
"Really? I don't remember you."
"I-I was younger than you." Aria said with a coy smile. She couldn't really remember this guy in all her three years of Durmstrang, but he didn't have to know that.
"So..." he said, leaning in. Aria could smell his scent, and her heart beat fast. "Are you single?"
Aria pushed her goblet back and got up. "I have to go to the bathroom."
"Can I come with?"
When they got to the bathroom, he sat on the counter and hoisted her up. He enfolded her in his handsome arms, his warm chest against her collarbone. She wrapped her legs around him and pressed close, touching his lips which tasted strongly of firewhiskey...